In which I (sigh) have to give Bob Lord a Pro-Choice 101 lecture


I discovered this April 9th post of Bob Lord’s as I was searching for another one and decided to read it, though I’ve been avoiding his stuff as a general rule while the primary is still going on. I’ve also decided to make what began as a comment into a full post.

Bob, as you know, I’m the person you quoted here:

I personally could not care less what a male religious leader who believes women are walking baby machines thinks about our Presidential election but I can understand why either candidate would seek his favor.

This apparently inspired your tirade lambasting those of us who weren’t impressed by Bernie Sanders’ recent Pope-stalking junket and whom you believe to place too much importance on “abortion” as a campaign issue. Well, as someone who pays careful attention to what you still (despite “representing Planned Parenthood”) deem to be a trivial little ladies side issue that can, and must, be jettisoned whenever More Important™ issues (IOW those that affect men) are on the table, allow me to explain:

As you might predict I’d say, Bob, you’re wrong on this. Reproductive rights are not merely about the legality of abortion, although that is a crucial aspect of them. They’re about access to contraception, sex ed, prevention of disease, and other things that are vital to the ability of woman to have freedom and bodily autonomy. They’re also about public health, the safety and well-being of children and men(!), the environment, and (yes) the economy. If you doubt that last part how about we drop an unplanned baby off at your house and see how that changes your finances, Bob? And you’re a rich guy. You could handle it, unlike the woman who presses your shirts at the dry cleaner.

So it’s rather more than what you characterize as an argument between a religious nut and a 15 year old over whether she should have the baby, where it’s plainly obvious to everyone that the religious nut is wrong and we can all focus on Important Things now. It’s a war over the culture and one side is fiercely dedicated to going back to the dark ages for women (and being amazingly successful at advancing that agenda around the globe). The other side doesn’t want to do that, but is unfortunately filled with people like yourself who view it as a minor and easily resolvable disagreement over morals. The Pope is on the wrong side of that war – and heads an institution that is at the forefront of waging it on women – and I’m going to say so, whether it bothers you or not. And if you think I’m “sold out on economic justice” because of that, then I don’t think you know what economic justice is.

Class dismissed.


  1. I have never voted for a clinton. why should I now. the proudest votes I ever made was for nader in 1996 2000 2004 and obama in 2008 and 2012. green party looking better every day!

  2. This is a very important reason why those who support Bernie (and I am one, I voted for him during the primary) MUST be adults and support Hillary and other candidates like Ann Fitzpatrick in the General Election. My big issue is the environment, and there is no doubt that Bernie is better and certainly there are way better people than Kirkpatrick for that issue. But realistically I have to support both Hillary (who is actually pretty decent on this) and Kirkpatrick because the other side is Just So Bat Crap Crazy. Even though the environment is my first issue there are so many other issues that are important and interconnected — women’s rights, public education, infrastructure investment, national parks and forests, Native American/First Peoples rights, civil rights and environmental justice, renewable energy, environmental agriculture, food water and drug safety, space program, defense (which is going solar faster than anyone), inequality, education, abolishing private prisons, education, social security and health insurance improvement, science funding, health research funding, environmental preservation, voting rights, campaign finance reform, LGBT rights, education …. There are so many reasons why we must support our candidates, even imperfect candidates, over Bat Crap Crazy candidates (who these days nearly always have an R in front of their names) that I will vote for Hillary and Kirkpatrick in the General and even send each some campaign money. I want the Dems to own the White House and the Senate and even get the House if possible. If we can do it with liberal or progressive candidates (Hillary is one of these by the way, maybe not quite as much as Bernie but she is still one of these), fine. If not then elect these for now to keep us from sliding backwards and primary them with a better candidate later.

  3. So, pro-choice Democrats must reject any faith or leader of a faith if the belief of that organization or person is contrary to a woman’s reproductive rights? Because, why? It’s impossible to accept that someone can say something you disagree with and also something you agree with?

    The us vs. them stuff has got to stop. For crying out loud, you even invoked the culture war; Fox News manufactured propaganda, that attempts to show how a Christian majority in this country is somehow victimized by a few atheist Liberals. Yeesh. The first way to lose a fake war is to believe you’re involved in one in the first place.

    It’s way beyond time we started looking for common ground. I’m pro-choice. To my pro-life conservative friends I ask one question: Since you believe in small government, how does government intervention in the sex lives of its citizenry make government smaller and less powerful? Not one person has ever given me a satisfactory answer.

    Bob’s post ventured into weird territory about how a pro-choice advocate chooses that position over all else. That’s ridiculous. Plenty of ardent pro-choice Dems also support the environment and economic equality. But, then you went and proved his ridiculous point by showing just how black and white you think this has to be! Why, Donna, why? It really is possible to accept that someone can be right on somethings and wrong on others and that doesn’t make them a bad person.

    If you don’t agree, think about that when you’re campaigning to sway Bernie supporters to vote Hillary in the General in the next couple months.

    • I agree, Rob, but i do think that Donna has a point too. Everybody has there own first line issues, for Bob Lord it is inequality, for me the environment, for Donna women’s reproductive and legal rights, but that doesn’t mean that other issues are not important too. Basically that there are no perfect candidates. As for the Pope, he is not on the ballot. But I might vote for him if he was over say Ted Cruz or Donald Trump or Kasich or Ryan. All are poor on women’s issues but I would get more support for education, for general health care, and for the environment from this Pope. And he has made those issues important to his followers.

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