Categorized | Personal, Politics, Science

My dialogue with an Anti-RH apologist: A blow-by-blow account

While I don’t mind people openly stating their opposition for the RH Bill, it strikes a raw nerve in me when these people attempt to prove their point by distorting data,  fear-mongering, and strawman attacks.

Most of these guys are usually ripped a new one within a few comments, but there are the occasional special cases. These are the guys who just don’t know when to quit, even when they’re backed up against a wall, and openly admit they have no solid facts to back up their case.

People like Timothy, a commenter who took up residence at an FF article covering some of the crazier shit that was said by the Pro-Life camp at a recent Reproductive Health forum.

The long story short: Timothy pretended to be curious about some of the details of the RH Bill with regard for its policies on contraceptives. Then he eventually let slip in his writing and tone that he was another Anti-RH apologist who wasn’t so much concerned about seeking the facts than about distorting them to suit his needs.

We had a rather long (and in my case, furious) exchange in the comment logs, and while I thought that was the end of it, fellow resident innerminds got a good look at the material, realized it merited an article all its own, and convinced me to lay off the Dead Space 2, and Monster Hunter Portable 3rd combi-marathon long enough to make it so.

What you are about to read is my exchange with Timothy – I’ve some of the juicier snippets of his original comments in quote blocks – followed by my rebuttals to each of them.

Of course, you’re also welcome to read the original exchange at the article itself, in case you think I’m just demonizing the guy or that I’m leaving out the best parts. And without further ado, join me in my descent into madness:

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Even if we use condoms/contraceptives correctly there is still a risk, yes, the risk is signifcantly lowered but a risk nonetheless. It is already a scientific fact the contraception routinely fail at statistically signinifcant rates, in the US 54% of the women who have had abortions were using contraceptives

http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html

If we make contraceptives widely accessible we might address some of the problems as mentioned by the proponents of the bill, but it’s also possbile that this would result in greater sexual activity and because contraception fails so consistently there would be more “unwanted” pregnancies which later lead to a demand for abortions

And if you cared to read the rest of the RH bill, you’d also see that a good portion of it aims to educate women in responsible contraceptive use, which means teaching them the risks that go with each method they plan to use.

You’re only telling half the story by claiming that Reproductive Health is only about making contraceptives widely available – that is only part of the solution. The rest of it involves educating people.

The reality you also fail to understand is that regardless of abortions being illegal, they are still happening. According to the locally done study Forsaken Lives, at least 560,000 illegal abortions occur in the Philippines each year, with women falling prey the practices of unlicensed, unregulated clinics. And it is because of these often unsafe conditions that 90,000 of these women will suffer complications, with a further 1,000 dying every year.

That is fact.

And quite frankly, while I’d rather not see abortions happen – nobody does – I still think it makes far more sense to at least have them done in properly sanctioned clinics and hospitals to ensure a far better chance of survival for the woman involved.

And furthermore, I suggest you take a good look at your own link – the Guttmacher’s study also indicated a long-term decline in abortions in the US when contraceptives became more prevalent, from a peak of 29.6 abortions for every sample population of 1,000 women, to just 19.6 in 2008.

I’m rather surprised you missed it, given that it’s right at the top of the link. This observation is further confirmed by related studies, as pointed out in one of FF’s previous articles.

But the point I was trying to make was that contraception fails, even if you are well educated on how to use them and considering that you use them properly, chances are that it will fail. Does it bother you that more than 50% of those who are seeking abortion are actually using contraceptives. How can you explain this?

As compared to what, NFP/Abstinence-only? I have already pointed out that the most probable alternative available has been a failure – just ask the Texas state health department.

Reading further into your own figures, the Guttmacher paper indicates that of the 54 percent of the women who had an abortion despite their use of contraceptives, 76 percent were pill users who reported that they were inconsistent with with their use of contraceptive method. That point is further elaborated on here.

The rates in abortion has decreased or stalled for so many years and you attribute that to contraceptives but that is just your opinion probably substantiated by some research group or something.

It’s a fact substantiated by several research groups, including the Guttmacher Institute – whom you cited as well as IIRC – the American Medical Association, and various reproductive health organizations worldwide.

So yes, it is just “my” opinion; it just happens to be backed up by cold facts, which is more than I can say for your sad attempt to distort the data to serve you needs, and dropping it like a hot potato when you realize it’s not working in your favor.

A little word of advice – if you’re going to attempt poisoning the well, make sure you’re not drinking from it too.

So present me with that reliable source concluding that contraception was the reason for the decline in abortion rates because there are also equally reliable sources out there that say that evidences are inconclusive since for the past years pro-lifers have also been very aggressive in their campaign to educate people about the risks of abortion

I already have – four links in my previous replies in fact, and it’s not my problem if you haven’t read them.

One of our articles cited several credible studies indicating a long-term decline in abortions with the rise of RH education; and for the umpteenth time, before you mouth off on how I did not provide solid data,

Read. The. Fucking. URL:

http://filipinofreethinkers.org/2011/01/20/contraception-doesnt-decrease-abortions-busted/

As for your reliable sources for the Pro-Life case, you’re welcome to post them. Just be reminded that everybody already has a pretty good idea of how they operate:

*At this point, Timothy asked if we’d reconsider our stance if he presented evidence that contraceptives were counter-productive to lessening abortions. Innerminds and I agreed that we’d rethink our views when said facts were given, at which point Timothy just had to say this:

That’s good to hear, I believe it’s very important to have an open mind especially when it comes to issues like the RH bill

A little tip, cupcake – having an open mind is not the same as being gullible. Having trouble telling the difference? :3

But the thing here is….I cannot present you with any hard facts or conclusive evidence that will give you something to think about let alone reconsider your stand….but neither can you

You’re only half-right in this regard. I have posted several links since we started this discussion, including supplementary readings to the Guttmacher article you yourself linked to.

The FF articles I have also linked to in turn linked to several long-term studies analyzing the effects of contraceptive use in more than half a dozen countries; Studies that were conducted by medical professionals and health organizations based on the most accurate data they had at the time these studies were conducted.

But to humor you, here is a list of some of the studies that our article had reported on:

Is this the fabled hard evidence you claim our side did not provide?

As for your inability to provide for any evidence, I can only think of two reasons why you cannot:

  1. There isn’t any on the web, or at least any that would hold water under scrutiny, or
  2. You’re a puss-nutted, dimwitted twat who’s too fucking lazy to do a proper search.

As with most things in life, I think the truth is somewhere in between.

I came here, hoping I would come across something new, something more conclusive, unbiased data/argument/reasoning that will shed light on this matter but sadly the ones you have been using have either been disproven or challenged.

And once again you’re resorting to your self-righteous, pandering tone.

You did not come here to look for something new; You came here to try to hoodwink us into thinking you’re right, by distorting data from credible sources, and accusing us of not doing our research into matters.

You were caught lying, and now that we are rubbing your hypocrisy in your face, you’re trying to play the part of a sympathetic peacemaker who’s about to be martyred. That’s not going to fucking happen. Not on my fucking watch.

Give it up Timothy – the only thing here that is being disproven and challenged is your rhetoric.

You have yet to provide any data rebutting the information we have provided – you claim that the data has been disproven, then why not provide evidence that it has been, instead of bitching about us needing to be more open-minded.

Come to think of it if we did find a conclusive evidence we would not be having these arguments, but unfortunately we don’t have it yet, it is not as clear as black and white, not as certain as the sunrise, sadly, when it comes to these repductive health issues, we are all left on the gray area

I guess the answers or the facts we are looking for will not come in the form of data or statistics but on a more personal and experiential level. When we have seen our families crumble, our women degraded, treated as objects, our society disintigrate then maybe just maybe we would really have something to think about

*As you can imagine, this was the point at which I lost it, and decided to let this idiot have it. It did not help any that I recently received word that a close relative was dying of cancer. This was not a good time to piss me off.

Timothy, take a look at the newspaper, seriously.

Our society is disintegrating, our families are crumbling, our women are being degraded and treated as objects, and it’s all happening even before the appearance of an RH Bill.

We are not children to be spooked by your pathetic attempts at fear-mongering, insinuating that an RH program will somehow make us a moral quagmire

In the case of our women being degraded and objectified, I would go out on a limb and accuse the Pro-Life bloc of doing that with their bullshit, by trying to prevent women from gaining access to information and resources that will give them a fighting chance in living happy lives.

In the case of making abortions illegal, all that policy has done is driven the practice underground, into the arms of unscrupulous individuals who are not beholden to sanctioned standards of medical safety and hygiene.

It is a move that has cost our women dearly.

And again, it is only with an open mind, a pure heart one that is not clouded with hate and prejudice but tempered with compassion and love for our nation that we could truly become a true Filipino Freethinker until then all we are doing here is nothing more than intellectual masturbation.

Timothy.

Fuck you. Seriously. You’re being a self-righteous gobshite.

You can wank off to your morality all day, but the fact is that you know nothing about us, and it pisses me off that you think you do. The reason we are so pissed off at people like you is exactly because we care for these women.

We have grown tired of hearing one religious leader after another coming up with scapegoats for the ills of society, and refusing to accept progressive measures of effectively solving the problem.

We are tired of watching our women suffer and die needlessly to birth and illegal abortion complications, as these so-called moralists stonewall any meaningful attempts to help our women, just so they can get a moral hard-on.

We are angry because we are tired of watching people die at the feet of your so-called love and concern for our women. We love our women, and that’s exactly why we hate liars like you, when you try to take away their rights under the guise of “morally” uplifting them.

If there is anybody here who shows prejudice, it is you, Timothy. I have already cited my sources several times, and yet somehow, you failed to read them or at least try to debate them head-on. You instead pretend they do not exist.

You don’t get to tell us about compassion, purity of heart, or whatnot, you stinking, fucking Hypocrite.

Now in case it hasn’t sunk in yet, I don’t like you 😉

but none of us is like that, pure of heart that is; we are all comiung from a certain perspective, from a particular hurtful, bitter or nurturing experience that have greatly influenced our way of thinking. It’s hard to breakfree from these touchstone experiences, the most that we could do is be aware of our issues and don’t let them get the best of our reasoning capacities.

And that is why we study on the issue exhaustively – reading and sharing links to studies that will help us find the truth of the matter. We are quite aware of the issue at hand.

I am praying for you, actually a lot of people are praying for people like you, for the Lord to touch your heart and heal you from your hurtful experiences, hope that gives you some conselation.

And that’s your problem right there – you seem to spend so much time praying, when it could be better spent for other things, such as looking for credible evidence to counter my argument.

Remember the old adage: “Nasa Diyos and awa, nasa tao ang gawa.”

I know it will only be a matter of time befor this bill is passed so all we could really do now is pray and hope for a miracle that our dear congressmen/women/senators and most especially our beloived president would have a change of heart.

You mean they’d suddenly wake up one morning and just collectively tell the CBCP to shut the fuck up, and let the state do its job? I look forward to that day too 🙂

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

Ezekiel 36:26

Ah, let me quote my favorite good book as well:

But we were dragons. We were supposed to be cruel, cunning, heartless, and terrible. But this much I can tell you, you ape…we never burned and tortured and ripped one another apart and called it morality. – Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

And our exchange ended there – Timothy has yet to reply.

Instead of burying it into the darker recesses of memory, I thought it would be of much better use to the Filipino Freethinker community to metaphorically mount this sad face of Anti-RH rhetoric and stupidity on a stake, and display it as a message to all wannabe apologists: We know how you work, and we will fight you at every turn, destroying every lie you fabricate to push your agenda.

On a parting note, I also pass on this quote I’ve picked up from my favorite film – I do hope many of you will draw as much insight from it as I have. Use it as much as you wish should you ever run into anybody that sounds like Timothy.

 
DISCLAIMER: The opinions in this post do not necessarily represent the position of the Filipino Freethinkers.

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