Beware the “abortion task force”

Missouri Governor Matt Blunt has put an anti-choice group in charge of convening a task force in his name to investigate the “impact of abortion on women.” Of course, every member of the task force is anti-choice. I’m sure this will be an “objective overview of the impact of abortion.”
The forced-pregnancy movement uses tactics like this — bullshit committees stacked with anti-choicers and testimony from biased “experts” — to introduce inaccurate or slanted information about abortion into the public record, which can be used to prop up anti-choice legislation and legal decisions. So trust me, these task forces are a big deal.
A good example: South Dakota’s task force on abortion was a major factor in the state’s abortion ban (which voters overturned last year). State lawmakers used the commission’s biased “findings” (over which the only two pro-choice members of the task force quit in protest) to form the basis of the legislation that not only criminalized abortion, but used the “daddy knows best” language that’s the hallmark of the anti-choice movement.
So don’t you just love how the Associated Press says “Gov. Matt Blunt, an abortion opponent, has launched the state on a scientific quest to determine how abortions affect women,” then goes on to use this quote:

“I certainly would begin with the presumption that abortion has a negative impact on Missouri children, Missouri women, Missouri men, because it’s harmful to society,� Blunt said.

Sure sounds like a “scientific quest” to me. Stay tuned for the task force’s completely biased findings, and the terrible legislation that is likely to result.

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23 Comments

  1. Lydia
    Posted October 30, 2007 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Missouri usually doesn’t suck this much.

  2. dee
    Posted October 30, 2007 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Blunt has it backwards….
    How exactly is abortion harmful to society?
    How does forcing women to have children they do not want and cannot afford to take care of help society? Does forced pregnancy reduce child abuse? Does it result in less welfare and dependency on the state?
    How does denying a woman access to safe health care help society? Any takers?

  3. acranom
    Posted October 30, 2007 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Oh, dee. It’s not about what women want. They can have access to safe health care through their fetus!
    Abortion hurts women because it stops them from becoming mothers, which is the only way women find fulfillment.
    Also, they get uppity when they’re allowed to control their lives or bodies. Uppity women are bad for men. Who will make them dinner? Men can’t run society on an empty stomach.
    How I’d do?

  4. micheyd
    Posted October 30, 2007 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    “I’m going to begin with the presumption that abortion is bad, then collect data to support only this idea, and reject any anomalies (neutral/content/happy women? don’t count – clearly freaks), then present my obviously scientific data to the clearly objective panel of anti-abortion activists handpicked by me.”

  5. EG
    Posted October 30, 2007 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Well, gee whiz, isn’t that how “science” is always done? At least by people who don’t understand the concept…

  6. dee
    Posted October 30, 2007 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    acranom….there is a seat waiting for you on the task force. You already have the answers so just think of how much money Missouri can save.
    Don’t forget to mention that abortion actually increases child abuse because we know how unstable women can get when their wombs are empty.

  7. Posted October 30, 2007 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    The trouble is, for most women, abortion is a hard decision (social stigma, relationships suffer, etc). Especially if they found out later in their pregnancy or they had originally wanted a child but then discovered some horrific genetic defect and aborted for that reason. So these people will interview women who will talk about how “difficult” the choice was and how the “regretted” having been put in the situation at all, and they will interpret that as “women are emotionally harmed by abortion.”
    And they won’t compare it to women who HAD a child at a bad time in their life, or one who is disabled, and even if they did all those women have had children for long enough that they will say “well, I love my kid so I guess it worked out” and not complain, whatever they actually feel.
    The fact that these people clearly have an agenda will only make that problem worse, because they will be pressuring women to answer “their way.” You can’t base abortion laws off people’s responses to polls. You HAVE to do it objectively, and objectively, the right to choose is more helpful to society.

  8. jennyfields
    Posted October 30, 2007 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Abortions make the baby Jesus cry.
    It amazes me that people can just lie like this and have virtually no one call them on their bullshit. This type of dishonest, agenda toting “research” only jeopardizes the public trust in real objective research on things that matter.
    Lies make the baby Jesus cry. Shame.
    Also, there a Ford banner above this right now that says “Build Ford Tough, How Deep Does it Go?” The guy is scrutinizing a bolt that looks suspiciously phallic. The whole point of the ad is to show that Ford’s bolts are bigger than the other company’s bolts. Real subtle.

  9. sarahd_lush
    Posted October 30, 2007 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Double-whammy: Just passed the TV in my office that constantly streams in CNN and Huckabee was on comparing abortion to the Holocaust. WTF? There are so many things wrong with that statement I don’t even know where to begin!

  10. Posted October 30, 2007 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Is it just me or does “Abortion Task Force” sound totally ripe for a super-hero themed cartoon spoof? And if so, please God, is there an animator in the house?

  11. UltraMagnus
    Posted October 30, 2007 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    I hang my head in shame for my home state.

  12. Posted October 30, 2007 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Well, well, well. I think the Matt and Roy Blunt are both related.
    Both are anti-choice and both supports a “task force”. Abortion task forces are nothing more than another piece to the pro-Taliban agenda that the GOP has been touting.

  13. LindsayPW
    Posted October 30, 2007 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Where do they get this name, “Abortion Task Force”? Do they get capes and weaponry with that? Do they get to wear badges?
    What a bunch of fuckwits.

  14. Posted October 30, 2007 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    What a control freak. Blunt can’t leave it to the public health researchers, who have already found on multiple occaisions that abortion doesn’t hurt women. Instead, he has to control women’s lives based on his own prejudices.

  15. Posted October 30, 2007 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Sarah D. Lush and everyone else: I have the part of the transcript of when Taliban Huckabee refers to abortion and liken it to the Holocaust from both today and Sunday. I have posted it on my blog

  16. Posted October 30, 2007 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    “I’m going to begin with the presumption that abortion is bad, then collect data to support only this idea, and reject any anomalies (neutral/content/happy women? don’t count – clearly freaks), then present my obviously scientific data to the clearly objective panel of anti-abortion activists handpicked by me.”
    Basically. I guarantee that the data will be collected in face-to-face, unstructured interviews, not structured telephone interviews or surveys. The women who say their experience was positive or wasn’t totally negative will probably be described as “ambivalent” or “in denial” or “hasn’t been hit with the impact of having an abortion yet.”
    The trouble is, for most women, abortion is a hard decision (social stigma, relationships suffer, etc). Especially if they found out later in their pregnancy or they had originally wanted a child but then discovered some horrific genetic defect and aborted for that reason. So these people will interview women who will talk about how “difficult” the choice was and how the “regretted” having been put in the situation at all, and they will interpret that as “women are emotionally harmed by abortion.”
    This is very easy to do. This so-called task force will either ask local doctors who perform abortions to ask their patients who have had second trimeseter abortions if they want to participate in a study, or the task force will put ads out with something like “Hurt by Abortion? Want to Talk About It?”

  17. prcizmadia
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    Ah, Gov. Blunt… the same guy who is overseeing the complete dismantling of the Medicaid system. The new one will make access to unnecessary items, such as crutches, wheelchairs and oxygen, no longer covered. Ain’t life grand? That’s the kind of science and policy that comes out of Jefferson City these days.

  18. Pickleberry
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    Gee….so glad I just moved here.
    And here I thought politics were f***ed up back in the so-called liberal northeast.

  19. Posted October 31, 2007 at 8:03 am | Permalink
  20. Destra
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    I disagree with Lydia, having grown up in Missouri, it usually sucks this much. Not even the urban centers can pass anything remarkably sensible. Hell, they elected a DEAD guy. Don’t expect much from them.

  21. Posted October 31, 2007 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Oh come, now. *Every* scientific study begins with a biased presumption in order to adequately screen the scientists and weed out those who might disagree with the foregone conclusion.
    Didn’t anyone pay attention in science class?

  22. Peepers
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    I find this kind of thing so infuriating on so many levels.

  23. pull_rank
    Posted November 4, 2007 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Not to knitpick, but since I think it’s important for us to have our facts straight: six pro-choice people were appointed to the SD task force. Two never bothered to come to a single meeting. The other four ended up walking out.

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