Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ abortion

The new Jesus ‘n’ Mo strip, called “wade,” came with this email:

Today we return to an old theme, prompted by this article in Harpers Bazaar. (It’s about the Trump administration’s drive to ban all abortions, restoring a “culture of life”, and the dangers that this poses to women.)

It’s worth a read! The figures that Mo quotes are from that article. Here’s another one:

“If anti-abortionists are going to keep calling pro-choice people baby killers, then it’s time to start referring to them for what they are: people who would kill women.

At the very least, they are people who will stand by cheerfully, smugly, while they enact a system that leads to 14-year-old girls drinking rat poison.”



  1. Randy schenck
    Posted June 29, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    I find it hard to believe in today’s America, why any woman would want to have children. No time off, no coverage and some of the most expensive education in the world. Good luck.

    • Posted June 29, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      And a strident ‘pro-life’ culture that claims to love innocent children, but is really only ‘pro-forced pregnancy.’ Not even proper nutrition and medical care of fetus by giving such to the (possibly unwed, slut of a) mother. And once you’re born, you’re on your own kid.

      But- be aborted, and you’ll get a grand funeral.

    • Kevin
      Posted June 29, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      In my experience, Christian women are very proud to have children, and evangelicals look, with respect, to mothers who have more than three.

      If higher education is important to families with many babies, I watch as 5+family after 5+family becomes more sullen with the prospect of paying for college. What ultimately happens is those families require most if not all of their children to pay for their own college. The same families could easily have afforded at least one if not two children to attend any college in America without loans. Alas, the next generation suffers as a result.

    • Posted June 29, 2017 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Why? One smile. One smile from your child. That’s all it takes.

      Works for dads too. Just saying.

      • Posted June 30, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        Yes. And there’s also this thing called “evolution” which imbues us with some instinctual desires and cravings, mostly dealing with reproduction. That may also play a role in why women (and men) want to have children, even in modern day America.

  2. Heather Hastie
    Posted June 29, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    I haven’t read the linked article yet, and it may include this statistic, but I want to highlight it anyway: worldwide, there are more abortions in countries where it is illegal than those where it’s legal.

    That’s because lack of access to abortion is frequently associated with societies that treat women as second-class citizens, honour cultures etc. When the value of a woman is tied up with her virginity and fecundity, women are driven to desperate actions.

    Those in the US who are most opposed to abortion are often the same ones who dislike the idea of women having control over their own bodies, their own lives, or their fertility. They also frequently believe stopping abortion will stop single women having sex, because all single women who use contraception are whores. Who remembers the Rush Limbaugh versus Sandra Fluke incident for example?

    Forbidding legal abortions doesn’t stop abortion, it increases the risk to women who have them. In more ways than one.

    • Carey
      Posted June 29, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      I think the best way to prevent abortions is to do everything possible to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place. This includes sex education and access to effective contraception. Unrealistic expectations of celibacy make the problem far worse.

      • Randy schenck
        Posted June 29, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        Good luck with that sex education thing. Another area of concern by the conservative, so-called prolifers is keeping that sex ed out of their public schools.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted June 29, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        I agree completely. In fact, the reason NZ’s abortion rate has fallen in recent years is for that very reason. Good quality sex education in schools and widespread availability of contraceptives, most often at no or nominal charge.

        • rickflick
          Posted June 29, 2017 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

          Boom! There you go. Once more reason to love NZ. How lucky you are to live in a rational society. If it was something in the water or air (odor of sheep dung?) that caused people to think so clearly and well, we could bottle it and ship it around the world.

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted June 29, 2017 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

            17 years (1999-2016) of atheist prime ministers perhaps?

            The NZ electorate as a whole is fairly well educated about politics. Our locally-produced news and documentary programmes are required to be genuinely fair and balanced, and the most watched show on TV is the 6 0’clock news.

            It’s also part of our identity as NZers to be fair. We have a bit of a thing about it. We expect our politicians to be honest, and not to make personal attacks too. Dirty politics genuinely doesn’t work here. Political parties that were expected to win elections have gone on to lose because they indulged in dirty politics. Our politicians by in large battle on ideas and there are many inter-party friendships. Any kind of nastiness gets punished heavily by voters.

            I’m proud of our political system and the way it works. However, everyone getting on is also pretty boring, which is why I write about US politics frequently and almost never about NZ politics!

            • rickflick
              Posted June 29, 2017 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

              I am ever hopeful that US politics will become as boring as that of NZ!

    • darrelle
      Posted June 29, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      “They also frequently believe stopping abortion will stop single women having sex, because all single women who use contraception are whores.”

      The thing that makes me sneer in derision when I hear pro-lifers expressing such sentiments is their cluelessness in assuming that not having sex is solely up to the woman. The men in their lives bear none of the burden while doing all they can to get in their pants?

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted June 29, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        Well, since these are usually the same people who think a woman’s clothing, or how much she’s had to drink are valid excuses for rape perhaps we shouldn’t be so surprised.

        These religious men must be a pretty pathetic bunch if they’re unable to control themselves to the extent that rape is the only option in the company of a woman they find desirable.

        • Posted June 30, 2017 at 7:44 am | Permalink

          “Well, since these are usually the same people who think a woman’s clothing…[is a] valid excuses for rape…”

          Yes, if only there was a way to force these women to cover themselves from head to toe in a shapeless bag. Maybe just leave a small slit near the eyes, to see out of. Why has no one thought of this before?

      • Carey
        Posted June 29, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

        In all fairness, I think many Conservative Christians would advocate for the father to marry the mother and raise the child- in the Christian faith of course. I am related to some Southern Baptists and they do not approve of non marital sex for males or females.

        • darrelle
          Posted June 29, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

          Sure, but the woman still bears the stigma, especially among her own community of conservative believers. She also bears a large majority, often all of, the burden. Even in cases were the man marries the woman it is not uncommon for the marriage to fail and the woman to end up young, single, with a baby / young child and a dead-beat ex that either doesn’t pay child support even though he could or doesn’t earn enough to do so.

          • Diane G.
            Posted June 30, 2017 at 1:45 am | Permalink

            So true! If only there were a way to stigmatize unwed fathers (I’m generally more humane than that, but this subject just pushes all my buttons…).

            • Posted June 30, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

              There is a way! If the woman has to view a sonogram of the fetus, so does “Dad.” Funeral for the fetus? Dad pays half. And so on.

              Man up, men!

    • Posted June 29, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      “…worldwide, there are more abortions in countries where it is illegal than those where it’s legal.”

      Not doubting it just wondering, if they are illegal how is the rate measured?

      • Posted June 29, 2017 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        I suppose that they count only the cases where the illegal abortion goes awry and the woman rushes to the hospital to save her life.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted June 29, 2017 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        I don’t know, but the source was a good one. Unfortunately, I can’t remember who it was now. However, I wouldn’t be using the statistic if I didn’t think it was a reliable source.

        The numbers in the report were fairly close. 35 vs 37 per 1,000 pregnancies. However, given the difficulties in counting illegal abortions, I expect the number for illegal abortions is actually higher than 37.

    • nicky
      Posted June 29, 2017 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      I have to second that, Heather. Until quite recently the abortion numbers were lowest in the Netherlands. The first western country or at least one of the first (I do not include communist countries where it was used as ‘contraceptive) to legalise it (well, with some rules about the stage of pregnancy). Legalisation was accompanied by serious sexual education and access to contraceptives, of course (something missing in those communist countries).
      Recently abortion numbers in the Netherlands have gone up, mainly due to abortions in the immigrant community (read ‘Islamic’ there).

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 29, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Let us not forget that, in an interview with Chris Matthews during the GOP campaign, Donald Trump said that “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who obtain abortions. He later backtracked on that, of course, after being told in no uncertain terms that this is the dirty little secret the less-extreme reaches of the pro-life movement are desperate to keep out of the public eye.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted June 29, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      And for anyone who doubts that prosecution for women who have an abortion is an ultimate goal of the “baby killer” faction, check out the Right Wing Watch website. There you will find plenty of examples of people proud to say that this should happen.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 29, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

        If the American pro-life movement ever succeeds in its ultimate goal of having enacted a constitutional amendment conferring “personhood” on fetuses, abortion necessarily will constitute murder under the constitution’s Equal Protection guarantee.

        Most advocates for so amending the constitution don’t talk about that.

        • DaveP
          Posted June 29, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

          Wouldn’t every miscarriage potentially be followed by charges for manslaughter or negligent homicide?

          • Posted June 29, 2017 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

            Of course! As if miscarriage isn’t devastating enough by itself.

  4. Posted June 29, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Things actually seem to be improving this side of the pond:

    The Government will fund abortions in England for women arriving from Northern Ireland, it has been announced.

    The concession follows mounting pressure from MPs and a proposed amendment to the Queen’s Speech calling for the Government to allocate adequate funding for women who are forced to travel to England to have an abortion.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted June 29, 2017 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      Yay! About time! After all, as UK citizens, they should be entitled to it.

      (I suppose this still leaves women from the Republic out in the cold, but I guess it would be too much to expect the British government to fund other countries’ citizens).


    • stuartcoyle
      Posted June 29, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      How long is that going to last with the DUP holding the balance of power?

  5. JohnE
    Posted June 29, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    The sad fact is that statistics like these are completely irrelevant for those in the anti-abortion crowd who operate from the unshakable premise that human life begins at conception, and who would undoubtedly insist that: (1) women who die from unsafe abortions have no one to blame but themselves; and (2) the number “lives” saved if abortion is banned is immensely greater than the number of women who die as a result of restrictive abortion laws. Unless you can disabuse these folks of their underlying premise, I don’t see any way to get them to change their minds on this issue.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted June 29, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      I don’t ask them to change their minds on anything. I simply demand that they keep their ideas to themselves and let the rest of us decide on ours.

    • darrelle
      Posted June 29, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      I think your are mostly correct about changing committed pro-lifers’ minds, but just want to point something out about your #2. The statistics actually show that the total number of fetus lives saved is higher in places where abortion is allowed. The statistics show that there are fewer abortions in places where abortions are allowed than in places where it is banned.

  6. Posted June 29, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    I am not sure I get this one. Isn’t islam generally OK with abortions (granted, before 4 months, but then late-term abortions are not that widely accepted elsewhere either)? Seems to me that in this case a “nothing to do with islam” argument might have some merit.

    • Posted June 29, 2017 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      There may be no explicit ban but the spirit is against abortion. My Libyan friends have told me that in (Gaddafi’s) Libya abortions were strictly forbidden. I came up with an idea about illegal hospitals admitting women with unwanted pregnancies (registered with other diagnoses) and women wishing but unable to have babies (registered with difficult pregnancy) and, when a woman from group 1 gives birth, a woman from group 2 takes the baby home and all are happy.

  7. Posted June 29, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    I think the notion that its all about protecting cute little babies is giving the anti abortionists far too much credit.
    Exhibit A: Irish Magdalen laundries in which young unmarried (and therefore shamed) mothers were imprisoned (up until 1996!)

    Exhibit B: The mass graves their babies were thrown into
    Its usually been far more about controlling female sexuality than it has been about protecting babies. But I’m sure it would be easy to count the number of anti-abortionists who have happily adopted these babies. There must be, oh…thousands of such people?

    • Blue
      Posted June 29, 2017 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      .This., HelenaHandbasket, .is. The Deal:
      Gotz to get quietened them whoring wimminz’
      seksooul dezirez. The entire country’s entire
      honor seems only to reside DEEP INSIDE its
      gurrlz’ and its wimminz’ INSIDES — no matter
      that, or any other, country’s dominating
      religion(s). One is as down with Her Ever
      Actually Doing, let alone (literally gaaaawdz’
      – forbid) Enjoyin’, The Nasty as the next
      religion is.

      In re your stated Exhibit A / Irish atrocities,
      this is but one of many such fictionalized
      historical documentaries on christianity’s
      horror of Controlling Her Always: the y2002
      Magdalene Sisters of

      IF “living” and “life” were the countries’ and
      / or the religions’ true concern ? Why, then
      the countries and the religions are required to
      FLIP / REVERSE what it is that they control in
      the humans who are the female ones with thus
      then: Require all spermatozoa, spilt however,
      to be rescued, preserved with savior – like
      reverence and, if one or any of ‘em all is not
      forthgoing in to actual humanness, again
      however that incubatin’ and final result comes
      about, then it is to be given with lavish
      ceremony and sacrosanctity an inviolate
      sendoff, again however its memorializing
      funeral be, to its god’s heaven.


  8. Richard Jone4s
    Posted June 29, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Canada has shown the way; get rid of all legal restrictions on abortion. This article shows that it works fine, certainly compared to the US.

    • Diane G.
      Posted June 30, 2017 at 1:58 am | Permalink

      Great idea. In what other area of medicine/health care do we allow government intrusion to such an extent?

  9. Bob Bottemiller
    Posted June 29, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Also note that the “culture of life” folks never bring up the topic of capital punishment. Once the fetus is born into the world, it’s no longer one of God’s children.

    • Mark Joseph
      Posted June 30, 2017 at 12:16 am | Permalink

      Or war. Or guns. Or making medical care for the poor hard to obtain. Or any of the many other anti-life things they enthusiastically support. They aren’t pro-life; they’re pro-fetus. Or, as I usually phrase it, pro-women-as-livestock.

      Here’s the requisite cartoon.

      • Diane G.
        Posted June 30, 2017 at 1:59 am | Permalink

        Good one!

  10. nicky
    Posted June 29, 2017 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    I think this idea that abortion-is-murder-from conception-onwards is quite a recent development. Of course, the idea was already around more than a thousand years, but it was not very widely accepted.
    The idea most widely accepted was that ‘ensoulment’ occurred at the ‘quickening’ the moment the pregnant woman could feel the fetus moving.
    Of course, that is just an aside. The Jesus ‘n Mo cartoon hits the crux of the matter.
    A woman with an unwanted pregnancy will try to get an abortion. If she can’t get it legally and safe, many will try to get it illegally and unsafe, with a concomitant mortality rate.
    ‘Pro-life’ equates with ‘pro-death’ (of pregnant women).
    If they were serious about reducing the nr of abortions, they would be actively promoting sexual education and contraceptives. They do not. One can only conclude that preventing abortions is not the real goal. There must be another agenda (and we suspect it is something like controlling/punishing women’s sexuality).

    • Posted June 29, 2017 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      If I get the essence of Christianity correctly, all pleasure is sin (to varying degree), sex is a capital sin unless it is marital and for procreation. So if you teach youths contraception, they may prevent unwanted pregnancy and abortion but will engage in another, though lesser sin.

      (You see also that gay sex is sinful because it cannot result in procreation. Our Orthodox church says that it is no sin being a gay, G*d has made you gay to try you, but you should stay celibate. The irony is that the same church is occasionally hit by scandals about STD transmission by unprotected sex in male monasteries.)

  11. Mark Joseph
    Posted June 30, 2017 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    Here’s another Jesus ‘n’ Mo cartoon about abortion, probably my favorite.

    • rickflick
      Posted June 30, 2017 at 5:48 am | Permalink

      That one’s hard to laugh at. 8-(

  12. Craw
    Posted June 30, 2017 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    I don’t know where to drop this deeply depressing link. The increasing acceptance of sharia law in America

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