Abortion in Venezuela: two opinions

marcha-por-la-despenalizacion-del-aborto-venezuela-25-11-2009-caracas-2(This is a rare double post on the blog. A few weeks ago, Audrey brought up the idea that we should write about abortion. After much prodding, I reluctantly agreed.

Initially, I thought the topic was too painful and incendiary for us to reach any common ground. Since it cuts to the very essence of what it is to be human, there are no easy answers, and it’s a topic that is very easy to get wrong. But Audrey insisted that we needed to have some sort of a debate, and that an imperfect one was better than none at all.

I agreed, on one condition: that it come out as a double post, with Audrey’s opinion first, and mine second. Here it is. JC.)

First half, by Audrey M. Dacosta

As women, once we became sexually active, we walked around with a dangling sword over our heads at all times, the sword of the unwanted pregnancy. You could be that girl, you could become the statistic, you would have to abandon your dreams, college was probably out of the question, life as you knew it would end. There was that chance. But, there was also a “solution.”

Drinking hot malta was a top choice and named frequently by friends, it was said to be proven time and time again to bring back your menstruation.

Some swore by a strong cinnamon tisane.

Others named a horrid tasting and foul smelling plant, used for menstrual cramps, that could also double as an abortive agent.

And then, someone would say:

“There is a pill, a small pill, it wasn’t meant for that, but it can be used for that. I don’t know the name, but a cousin/sister/aunt/neighbor/friend-of-a-friend used it, and she’s fine.”

And you would breathe a little calmer, because, you knew that if you were ever in that position, there was a way out.

Since 1915, abortion has been illegal in Venezuela, with the only exception if the mother’s life is at risk from the pregnancy (no, you cannot even access a legal abortion if you are pregnant due to rape).

Even so, about 60,000 illegal abortions are estimated to be performed each year in our country. This number shouldn’t surprise us, considering that 50% of Venezuelan pregnancies are unintended. And unintended pregnancies are the root of abortions.

In 2006 an incredible 43,16% of the cases admitted in Maternidad Concepcion Palacios (the nation’s biggest maternity) were of women with ongoing voluntary abortion procedures. Twenty of those women died.

Nationwide, every week two women die during or from complications from this procedure. In 2009, it still was the third cause of death of pregnant mothers (Venezuela has the highest maternity death rate in all Latin America by the way).

Yet, no real discussion has been taken upon this subject that’s becoming a health dilemma. This blackout has given rise to black market and guerilla abortion “solutions”.

Since 2011, the Colectivo Faldas en Revolución (Skirts in Revolution) has been running the “Abortion Hotline“. They support “safe” abortions, focusing on poor women who they see as the most vulnerable in the abortion black market. You call and receive information about the drug Misoprostol (also known as Cytotec) and it’s use for interrupting unwanted pregnancies. The drug has reduced mortalities associated with abortions in places like Brasil (where abortion is also illegal).

Legally, Faldas en Revolución could be charged with Incitement. Women who seek abortions could face up to 2 years in jail.

Still, Línea Aborto gets about 20 calls a week. Now, this is the interesting and yet incredibly OBVIOUS “finding”, the main reason stated by women (and men) for wanting an abortion are economic hardship. 73.3% of the callers said they earned less than 1.600Bs a Month (year 2011).  The next reason pointed by the callers, was that women felt that continuing the pregnancy would limit their academic and workforce development.

This is consistent with the Abortionomics report by Robin H. Pugh Yi, Ph.D for  Akeso Consulting. The research shows that:

…financial circumstances have always been a major determinant of women’s choices regarding unintended pregnancy. Poor women are more likely to terminate pregnancies than their more well-to-do counterparts

It is also poor women who share an unequal burden of the unintended pregnancy. In the Gutmacher report for Unintended Pregnancy in the United States it was clear that:

the rate of unintended pregnancy among poor women (those with incomes at or below the federal poverty level) in 2008 was 137 per 1,000 women aged 15–44, more than five times the rate among women at the highest income level (26 per 1,000)

There’s a variety of reasons for this, but just of the top of my head, “better off” women have better family planning educations and have better access to birth control methods, they are also more empowered. Also, let’s not forget that women living in poverty are disproportionately affected by intimate partner violence and sexual violence .

Now, you are right, this is data for the United States, yet, as I read the Abortionomics report I see the eery similarities. Things like:

If economic and political conditions increase women’s risk of unintended pregnancy, heighten their sense that abortion is the only reasonable response to unintended pregnancy, and decrease access to safe and legal abortion, women may be more likely to choose illegal abortion procedures. This would likely lead to an increase not only in abortion but in abortion-related deaths.


As more women and families fall below the poverty line and are otherwise constrained by financial circumstances, abortion rates can be expected to rise”.

This is precisely the trend we are seeing in out country. As the economic climate worsens, the sexual violence against women worsens, illegal abortion will only rise and so will maternal deaths associated to it.

The cost of not talking about this is measured in dead women. Because when the hot malt, the herbal plants and the cinnamon infusions don’t work, the next step is a wire hanger and a back alley “doctor”.

Second half, by Juan Cristóbal Nagel

MaxThis is my nephew Max. Max is less than three months old. Well, we think he’s Max. He might be a Maxine.

Still, he’s my nephew. He has a beating heart. He has his own DNA, different from his mother’s and his father’s. He has a gender, although we still don’t know what it is. He even has some functioning organs. For those of us who believe, he has a God-given soul.

But there is one thing he does not have: the right to life.

You see, Max is growing up in Spain, and in Spain, abortion on demand is legal in the first trimester. You, me, and anyone living or passing through Spain has something that most every human being has: the right to have their life protected by the state.

Everyone, that is, who has been born. Some people simply have fewer rights than others. Ironically, this is taken as a sign of “civilization.”

Of course, your position on this debate rests on whether or not you think this fetus is an actual human being with rights. That is why the abortion debate cuts to the bone – because it speaks to the very core of what it means to be human, which ultimately is the question. That is why it is such an emotional issue for all humans.

Now, I could continue making my point along the usual lines: about beating hearts brought to a stop, saline solutions, partial-birth abortions and the like. I could try and address Audrey’s statistics and points (legalizing abortions would only increase the number of abortions, by the way, because decriminalizing something always increases that thing’s frequency), but that would be trite.

Instead, I want to put aside the ethical dilemma and talk about why legalizing abortion would be terrible politics for Venezuela.

Legalizing abortion in Venezuela would tear apart the fragile coalition in the opposition. Personally, I could never vote for a candidate who pledged to legalize abortion, and I think many in Venezuela think the same way. I don’t care who he or she is running against – this is a dealbreaker for me and for many in the MUD. Say what you will about chavismo, but so far they have resisted calls for legalizing abortions. It would be a shame if our side became the pro-abortion side – because I would have to become a chavista, and so would this blog.

Second, pushing an abortion agenda now would be terrible timing. There are so many things wrong in Venezuela, and particularly in the realm of health care and violence, that picking a fight over abortion seems useless. In a country with zero private investment in health care, where more than half of the doctors have fled the country, and where medicines are scare, pushing an abortion agenda seems out of place. Legalized abortions would be just one more thing that doesn’t work well in Venezuela, one more thing there are no drugs for.

The abortion issue is also related to crime. Ours is a society consumed by violence. In order to turn the tide, we need to emphasize the idea that every life is worth protecting, that life is sacred and precious, and that whomever takes it commits an unspeakable offense.

An abortion agenda clashes with this head on. It is an inherent contradiction to propose ending prison violence, for example, while proposing at the same time the legalization of abortion. Legalized abortions are not part of a human rights agenda – quite the opposite.

Finally, there is one important aspect being overlooked: there is no legal adoption in Venezuela to speak of – none. We all know infertile couples in Venezuela, and the ordeal they face in order to adopt a baby is inhumane.

It simply can’t be done – what ends up happening is that they find themselves a mother willing to give up her baby, and they pay off the nurses (and the mother) so that they go into the clinic at the same time and the babies are switched. It is, esentially, a payoff, the purchase of a child. Kafka himself could not have designed this any more convoluted or inhumane. The lack of a legal, workable adoption framework in our country is a devastating reality for thousands of couples and many more orphans. It is a travesty, a shame on our society.

How about we work on getting that in order before we propose making it simple and legal to do away with “the problem”? How about a positive agenda for adoptions in our country before going into this other thing? Once women know that they have options, that society is willing to try to take care of them, they might think twice before going to the back alleys to get the problem taken care of. It is incoherent to talk about legalizing abortions when that should be the last resort – fix the system, and maybe abortion does not even come into consideration. Give women more options instead of passing laws telling them they can’t cope. That’s the real feminist agenda.

I sympathize with every woman faced with this choice. Of course, we need to find ways to make it easier for women facing complicated pregnancies. Yes, I am a man, and therefore my perspective on this issue is different from that of a woman. However, this is not a “woman” issue only, it is a “human” issue.

I probably have not swayed you with my arguments. Everyone has their own way of thinking about these things, and it’s difficult to change people’s minds.

But perhaps, if I have not persuaded you, you might be willing to listen to Gianna Jessen. As a baby, she survived a botched abortion and lived to tell the tale. It’s well worth your time.

209 thoughts on “Abortion in Venezuela: two opinions

  1. Well, we do ‘t want this to become a Chavista blog, do we? I guess poor women will just have to take one for the team. Because Juan will support the creation of a communist dictatorship in Venezuela rather than give you control over your own body. And I thought that he actually thought the US, Canada, or Germany are better societies than Venezuela under Maduro!


    • La única cosa que faltó aquí fue el clásico “Qué raro, todos los que están a favor del aborto, nacieron”.

      More on “but you can’t see the air but you know it exists”.


    • Ouch! Be careful my friend. Last time I tried to have a civilized discussion involving religious beliefs with Mr. Nagel he ended up publicly insulting my mother in the most despicable way, which by the way completely proved my point that chavismo used many of the manupulative tools religions use to achieve unconditional support from believers, even if it involves irrationallity and moraly questionable actions. After this incident, and only because I decided not to go as low as he did, he magnanimously decided to bury the hatchet.


  2. “It would be a shame if our side became the pro-abortion side – because I would have to become a chavista, and so would this blog”.

    Ah, ok.


    • Yeah. I fail to see the connection, “I’m against abortions, so I guess I’ll have to join the side of the guys who beat women up on the street (Acosta Carlés, remember).”
      Abortions are a theme of civil rights, chavismo is a theme of ideology (which is really communism). Our friend Juan here missed that fact this time.


    • Juan Cristobal Nagel,

      I am stunned by this, and have a ton more respect for you now than I used to have.

      I dearly hope one of these days, the pro-abortionists in the opposition get their way, because it would be awesome if the Revolution got you on our side.

      For the record, I loathe abortion rights, and I’m very happy that the revolution has thus far kept down the nihilists like Audrey who want to legalize it.


    • Yeah, that is a very fundamentalist position, isn’t it? Reminds me of some other countries, some other cultures. That would be a sight to see, JC turning this blog around and voting for Maduro and promoting his politics because of the abortion issue. Personally, I would have no problem with that. It is his blog and he should be free to do whatever he prefers. People should have freedoms. Problems always arise when some people want to govern what others can and cannot do.

      Talking about politics, I wonder what other issues are out there that could turn people to chavismo. But no, forget it, better not to bring that up. Lets not focus on what divide us lest we forget about the important things. Lets not pick abstract battles instead of real ones. In the US this type of hot button issues are used to poison politics and kill real debate. They are polarizing topics.

      Regarding the issue in question. Audrey’s post is about the harsh reality of young women choosing abortion in our country today. JC’s post is about the moral issue of the sacredness of life even at that early stage. One is arguing for the fetus life the other for the young woman’s life. The truth is, no one likes abortions. No one is pro abortion. We can imagine great solutions like loving families, more education, adoption, orphanages, state support, eliminating the social stigma for pregnant girls, no studies or careers interrupted, more access to contraceptives. All good desirable solutions that would indeed improve greatly the situation for young women.
      But still there will be abortions. You cannot stop them by making them illegal.

      The divide is not so much between those in favor of abortion and those against it. It is more between those that believe making it illegal is a solution and those that believe that it makes a bad situation worse.

      There are certain human imperatives that cannot be stopped by the state by making them illegal. Whether it is substance abuse, prostitution, gambling, trading currency, profits, extramarital sex or homosexuality, prohibition just doesn’t work. Not even if a “war” is declared against it. Not even the harshest punishment work. That only makes the situation worse, more obscure, more risky, more dangerous, more deadly.

      That doesn’t mean society should do nothing, on the contrary, but declaring it illegal only serves to bury the issue and turn a blind eye to it. It becomes a non issue. Let the criminal system deal with it. A girl died because of an abortion? She should have known that is illegal, lets jail the “doctor” involved and problem solved.


      • Completelly agree. Difficult to find levelheaded opinions in such a polarizing subject. You just hit the nail on the head.


  3. Well, well. First, let me applaud Audrey for convincing Juan to talk about this topic. Nothing healthier that a good debate.

    I understand that Juan you as owner/editor of the blog could have felt the need to state your opinion, I would although have appreciated the view of another woman. Why? You said that it is a human issue and not only a women issue, but the fact is that the decision of terminating a pregnancy resides solely in the women. What happens if the parent is not present? What happens if the father wants to terminate and the mother doesn’t? and so on… And of course, it is her body the one carrying the fetus. In the perfect scenario, this is a join decision but I think that rarely happens.

    Nevertheless, I appreciate your political opinion. It is true that such a delicate topic would create a rift in the opposition and even in the Chavismo but I always wonder: until when can we postpone a debate? Like this, we have other topics, like same-sex marriage, that are being ignored by most, thankfully not all, politicians from both sides of the isle just for the sake of protecting their votes. Meanwhile, a part of the population keeps being disenfranchised. I don’t know where to stand. It is frustrating not finding any politician that has “the whole package” and that represents all the ideals that one would like to support.

    As you said, there is no legal framework for adoption and yes it is a SHAME. I wish I could see any move from the opposition to solve this. This type of things is one of those very few ones that we miiiiiiiight find common ground. But still, we are so focus in our polarized world that we do not act on anything else. And of course, sex ed, easy access to contraceptives, women’s health, and a huge range of topics that are normal to any other society but for us it seems to be frozen in the 1960’s.

    Educación sexual para decidir,
    anticonceptivos para no abortar,
    aborto legal para no morir.


  4. This post was not a good idea. Neither of you will persuade a single reader. Take down this post, we do not need this debate to escalate, not on this blog, not now


      • Why are people from the opposition, who constantly charge that the Chavistas don’t want to hear anything contrary to their opinion as on of their main faults, so scared of debate among their own ranks?

        Alrhough I may be partial to Audrey’s point of view, I agree with JC that there are other things that should preoccupy the oppo at this stage. Leave this for the next step.


  5. Juan,

    Do you think the State should be distributing free information on preservatives (pills, condoms, etc)
    or does that collide with the regilious principles?

    I think there is a big problem: a lot of the Primero Justicia team seem to see even such a concession as a terrible sin. The problem is that that is not realistic: most people do have sex outside marriage and a lot before 18 years old. Whether you want to keep within your own family a given behaviour or not is one thing, but it is quite another to expect the State to keep the same attitude, when that doesn’t help
    Yulimar Pacheco in La Vega or María Rodríguez in El Tigre. They need the availability of sex education and the possibility to get pills.

    Remember also: countries with legalized abortion are, curiously, countries with lower abortion rates. And do you know the main reason for that? It is not the abortion law itself but a much natural atitude towards sex and gender. Trying to keep all the teenagers with the same sexual standards as the ones prescribed by one’s religious believes is bound for trouble.

    I hope to see one day Henrique Capriles talking about the need to give more information on preservatives to teenagers and make them available free for girls up from 16 years old or so. I keep dreaming.

    Perhaps if a government did something about that a lot of unwanted pregnancies would not happen.


    • When we read the statistics we always think about poor women, the reality is that coming from a middle/upper-middle background, I know more than 10 teenage/young adults unwanted pregnancies. I wonder what does that say about our sex ed?


      • Harodani,

        You might know more than 10 teenage/young adults unwanted pregnancies and I know a couple as well but have you visited friends in barrios and asked about the girls around? The problem there is bigger. But even if the rate of unwanted pregnancies were the same across classes: the issue about availability of contraceptives is big. It is extremely hard for teenagers to buy condoms or pills, they do not get the proper education and counseling.
        Of course, we could fight against male chauvisnim, but we need more than that. On a related topic I mention on another post: if you father a child and you do not answer about that child your life should turn into a legal hell in Venezuela.


        • Yes totally, I agree with you. Hehe

          What I meant was, if there is a problem in apparent educated classes, it is way worse in lower ones. I have also seen cases in the barrios and I have also seen women desperate for not finding a solution. I am in total desbelief that the government has done nothing on increasing contraception access and well sex ed… well… http://www.lapatilla.com/site/2014/04/25/sexo-explicito-asi-ensenaran-educacion-sexual-en-quinto-grado-foto/


          • At the same time I was completely appaled when I went to Venezuela, visited Farmatodo to get something against headache and found Viagra was sold at the counter like it was chewing gum, no prescription needed.

            Apparently, Venezuelan “machitos” always need that product, no matter what health condition they might have, but they don’t seem to see the need for condoms.


            • You know how it works: patriarchy. I have a dear friend. She has two brothers and a sister. The brothers, both older, have had unplanned children in terrible relationships. The two girls have each one gone for abortion, decision taken from the fear of the father and economic hardship.

              There you have Venezuelan machitos.


  6. Juan,

    Your first instinct that this issue did not belong in this blog was the correct one. I don’t think I am even going to weigh in with my opinion on the issue. All of the arguments (pro and con) have all been elucidated time and time again. This is not an issue that is going to be resolved in the context of Chavista Venezuela. Wait until we have a stable democracy re-established in which open and honest debate is possible.


  7. Among the poorest in rural India , there is the custom of abandoning newly born baby girls in the forest to die , this is seen as an act of mercy , because girls from very poor families can never have the dowries which allow them to marry and have children so they are condemned to lead lives of utter misery , never to know the protection of a husband or the love of their own children , becoming just another mouth to feed in a starving family.

    The govt sees this with horror , so it picks up these abandoned girls and brings them up in special orphanages . Poor people see this as a sign of the govts cruelty , they think the merciful thing is to allow these young girls to die. Death is a better fate than living in want without a family or any prospect of marriage and motherhood.. and yet to them life is sacred ..not only that of a human being but even that of an animal .

    In our culture the fate of an unwanted child is also very cruel , born to parent who dont want it they never recieve the love care and attention they need to grow up happy and adjusted , instead they become deeply scarred by growing up in an atmosphere of quiet or overt rejection by those whose love it needs the most..
    Many of them later become criminals or the irresponsible parents of children they never care for thus pepetuating a system which is cruel to children and a source of problems for society.

    Ending the life of a budding human being can naturally be seen as cruel , but allowing it to be born to parent who will not care or cherish it and thus to a life steeped in misery and suffering is also cruel. There is no straightforward uneiquivocal answer to the moral dilemma posed by the situation of an unwanted child and the parents who dont want to see it born .

    We probably see ourselves as very far apart from the lives and customs of very poor indian peasants and yet the moral dilemmas they face and the solutions they find to their dilemmas are not that much different from those we face in our own world and circumstance. . .


  8. Indeed this is quite a polemic topic.

    Here in the US we find so many politically coerced “progressives” who hypocritically support abortion while going violently against the Death Penalty, and the Conservatives bellowing the inverse hypocrisy.

    The politicization of morality is the worst way to conduct a country.We should have learned this by now.

    Avoiding the theme as much as possible would be more intelligent.We cannot engineer a perfect social society for anyone without suffering dire consequences.

    Hindsight will show this to be true.


    • So, accepting the status quo is always better than getting into controversial topics? I think that’s the exact opposite of what a politicians should do. What about past battles to end historical institutions that oppressed specific sectors of society?

      Of course any change in policy has redistributive consequences, and it will please some and anger others. However, it seems that you fail to see that a passive position as the one you propose implies taking sides.


      • Gustavo,

        Perhaps you do not understand me….Where am I recommending a passive position and by whom?

        I simply think that these kinds of social issues should be addressed by people who feel the need to do so , outside of the regular political parties.

        Aligning political parties with social issues is proving fatal.

        My personal position on this topic is of no interest to anyone here, and would make no difference to anyone either.I simply thing there should be a place for everyone to have their say with respect, if politicians stay out of it.


    • Comparing the death penalty and abortion is ridiculous. But I guess that’s the root of all the disagreement with this topic.


  9. Wow!
    “Say what you will about chavismo, but so far they have resisted calls for legalizing abortions. It would be a shame if our side became the pro-abortion side – because I would have to become a chavista, and so would this blog.’

    Encore wow!
    This is a rare double post on the blog. A few weeks ago, Audrey brought up the idea that we should write about abortion. After much prodding, I reluctantly agreed. (…) I agreed, on one condition: that it come out as a double post, with Audrey’s opinion first, and mine second. Here it is. JC.)

    Dear Audrey Dacosta: start your own blog!


  10. I believe that addressing the topic is a brave issue. It has both policy and moral implications, and as far as I can see it, it is framed as both in either half of the article. My respects for this blog grows…

    It is a very divisive issue, indeed (both within the opposition and the general public), and one which reverberates to the core of our traditional political cleavages (among them the Catholic/secular divide). Other issues come to mind, some solved (like the debate between Evolution and Creationism (fought out by XIXth Century Positivist and Catholic scientists) and, today, the vast array of gender and LGBT issues. Possibly the main issue was solved ages ago: the separation of Church and State.

    Is it possible to reach a middle ground, regardless of one’s preferences? Politicians should strive to that. Attacking violence against women, promoting more preventive contraception, better sex education, etc. And, also, promoting more economic prosperity, which would give women more independence and, alas, real choices. There is a strong class divide in this matter, which s often overlooked.

    Perhaps it is a luxury given to other democracies, as we are striving for basic freedoms, but providing true choices for women (by making them more prosperous and more independent), and not merely an alternative between tragedy and misery -which is the status quo- would be truly revolutionary.


    • GtAveledo, I’m with you all the way here:

      Attacking violence against women, promoting more preventive contraception, better sex education, etc. And, also, promoting more economic prosperity, which would give women more independence and, alas, real choices.

      But making echo of Juan’s argument, if you recognize the unique human life in a tiny embryo? How does it follow that the answer to the above questions is preying on the weakest?

      BTW, I would also walk on the opposition if it ever placed abortion in their ‘plank’. In US politics I am personally in the no-mans-land of the Republican and Democrats until abortion gets on the scale, then I have to think that saving innocent human lives is of highest importance.


  11. While attempts have been made to correlate this debate within the political and economic framework in present-day Venezuela, I, too, am not sure that this overwhelmingly private matter, predominantly in the hands of women, belongs on CC. Outside of that, I’m glad Gianna Jessen has a crusade to frame her victimhood and help her shine in public. She’s been at it since the age of 14. A nice gig, subsidized, promoted and organized by what I suspect is the heavy hand of the religious right.

    I’m not saying that Gianna doesn’t have a valid point that needs to be raised. I’m just a little suspicious about the politics (of the crusaders) behind the circus act. Gianna does ’em proud; she’s a terrific performer. But she is unlikely to change the minds of those in the darkest hours of their psychological needs.

    Interestingly, this post comes on the heels of my watching the BBC series “Call the Midwife”, based on the memoirs of a nurse who worked in East London in the 1950’s. What makes the series (now on DVD) so engaging is not only the acting from all concerned, but the presentation, or rather dramatization of personal stories, without any preachy tones. Any male watchers would probably fall to their knees in gratitude that they never need worry about getting pregnant, much less, delivering …


  12. Audrey’s post is concise, well-written, non-polemic, and relies heavily on statistics. While, as Juan points out, no one’s position on the issue is likely to move much, Audrey’s post at least provides some valuable information to anyone interested in learning more about abortion in Venezuela.

    On the other hand, Juan’s post starts with a dumb cliche and goes downhill from there. Other people have focused on the “Chavista blog” line, but for my money this one’s even worse: “Give women more options instead of passing laws telling them they can’t cope. That’s the real feminist agenda.”


    • Couldn’t agree more with George, the quote about the “real feminist agenda” makes me cringe, what a dissapointing post from Juan..

      BTW Juan, did you actually read the article you linked to your post? http://www.theguardian.com/society/sarah-boseley-global-health/2011/oct/24/abortion-unitednations
      It doesn’t state that legalized abortions are not part of a human rights agenda. It states, well, quite the opposite! I would recomend you read the article again as it might provide you some perspective on this matter.

      Like Ines said above: Dear Audrey, start your own blog, it will be warmly welcomed.


    • Here, here, George. And on the adoption law bit. It’s true that have a functioning framework for legal adoptions would help children find families to raise them but there are not enough potential families for every child in need of one. Furthermore, adoption laws don’t actually address the fundamental root causes for wanting an abortion: ending an unwanted pregnancy. Abortions have existed and will exist forever and ever (it’s like prostitution that way)–the truly humane response is to a) put in place strategies to prevent unwanted pregnancies (e.g. comprehensive sex ed, family planning options of all kinds, etc.) and b) make abortions as safe as possible. You cannot reduce their frequency by making them illegal: rare and safe should be the goal.


      • ETA: I’d like to call BS on not having this debate here and in the larger political environment. When should MUD really have all the complicated social policy discussions? Cuando ganen?


        • The problem with any social policy discussion is that if it disrupts the established idiosyncracy, then it’s taboo, and it shouldn’t be mentioned, EVUR.

          Some examples on that include, on the political side, calling the wax doll for what he truly was: A thief, a murderer and a traitor, but no one in the MUD’ll ever say any of those, because the fabled “emotional connection of the less-elightened masses”

          Another example is relevant to this issue of abortion and for extension, pregnancy control, venezuelan society has in a critical proportion the mindset I like to call “stupid prudish”, which lead many people to apply the most retrograde and dumbass religious principles to live, and one of those principles is that parents never, EVER, talk to their children about anything related to sex, because in middle and upper economic clases it’s thought teaching to kids sexual education is gonna turn them into sex-starved devils (succubi and incubi?) that’ll go and fuck like rabbits the time you stop staring at them.

          And with the most ignorant people in venezuelan society, it’s the mindset of the “machito pendejo” the roadblock to any birth control measure, since they “have several reasons” to spread children like a zerg colony, one being that doing it “a rin pelao” is much more satisfying that using a condom (or using any form of birth control), another is that some girls grow thinking that having a malandro’s child is some sort of merit or achievement, and then you have the irresponsible parents that just go and say to their children “go and find a husband so he gets you out of this mess”

          But in the end, unwanted pregnancy is a combination that includes large amounts of stupid, ignorance and assholery and a lot of bad luck for the girl or woman.


          • “because in middle and upper economic clases it’s thought teaching to kids sexual education is gonna turn them into sex-starved devils (succubi and incubi?) that’ll go and fuck like rabbits the time you stop staring at them.”

            lol, It’s true jajaja


        • Yo pienso que cualquier momento es un buen momento para discutir el tema.

          You think abortion is too problematic subject to mention in the opposition?

          Then what is the option? Staying quiet and letting the thing linger in the dark? Let the rates of maternity deaths due to back alley abortions remain high? Let the young 12, 13, 14, 15 year old keep having babies,?
          Let raped women scavenge the black market for a solution?

          The opposition makes no mention of sex-education for all, makes no mention on planned parenthood programs, of distributing contraceptives or at least making them more accesible to the people who need them.

          130Bs are the cost of pills
          80 Bs is the cost of a DIU and 700 Bs the “installation”
          100 Bs cost a packet of 3 condoms
          1500 Bs cost a hormone implant under the arm.

          I can afford them. Can someone who makes Sueldo Mínimo afford them?. Can a 14, 15, 16 yearl old who depends on their parents afford them? Can a mother of 4, who depends on her partner for economic stability afford them?

          Why is the opposition not talking about this?! A

          These are important subjects that are swept under the rug because they are uncomfortable to some.
          We NEED to TALK a about them.


          • It transpires from JC’s article that Humans Rights issues that don’t fit his political agenda are somehow less urgent / less important and talking about them should be postponed until a more “convenient” time..

            “These are important subjects that are swept under the rug because they are uncomfortable to some.
            We NEED to TALK a about them”

            Yes, exactly.


          • Audrey I have to express my appreciation for the interesting, informed and thoughtful commentary on ‘Venezuelan issues I hear little about’, to put it that way, that you bring to this blog.


          • Audrey,

            I really like your posts. I am glad now you are in a safe place and all (like me, by the way), but I hope that doesn’t make you forget about those topics few write well about, about what’s happening to women, to the elderly, to the people in the interior, etc.


    • I was thinking about the same line.
      But even if that were not the case: one of the problems is that the religious conservatives do not want to make any concesion even when it comes to preservatives and the like, trying to force not ethics, but their morals.
      In every Don Bosco or any education institution that gets a penny from the State there should be good sexual education, also about where the girls there can get their pills and the boys their preservatives.
      If you don’t want that, you don’t get a cent from the State.


  13. “The abortion issue is also related to crime. Ours is a society consumed by violence. In order to turn the tide, we need to emphasize the idea that every life is worth protecting, that life is sacred and precious, and that whomever takes it commits an unspeakable offense.”

    When speaking about how abortion relates to crime, I am surprised neither brought up an “uncomfortable” economic argument that just can’t be ignored, especially in a country as plagued by crime as ours:



    • This is the best argument, by far.

      And in Venezuela, unwanted kids have a very high probability of become either murderesrs or victims


    • The freakonomics guys just prove that correlation does not imply causation. But let’s entertain the idea for a minute…

      Why stop crime by preventing poor from reproducing? We would have much better results by identifying the troubled kids in middle school and locking them away. Start counting ‘three strikes and your out’ from puberty and lock them up for life. Just apply the ‘three strikes’ rule at an earlier age.

      Heck, let’s go a step further, you get a license to drive a car, let’s put a license to have children and let’s insure only the fittest, moral upright and beautiful reproduce. That ought to improve the gene pool a lot.

      The point is this, a poor person has as much right to live and reproduce as you do, and the experiment with Eugenics usually go really bad. Do some research on forced sterilization in the US all the way up to the 70s.


      • BTW, Steve Jobs and Barack Obama are products of unplanned pregnancies from young women. Following common liberal thinking, abortion would have been the most efficient choice for them.

        Maybe someone else would have founded Apple and I would still have my iphone, and maybe John McCain would be president of the US.


        • oh please, this is the most ridiculous argument so far. i could just as easily ask how many mozarts or aristotles were not realized because of wars, hunger, disease, lack of education and opportunity ?
          what you should be asking is, how many people do you really think this country can suport? do you really think that this completely irresponsible growth is sustainable? how can you talk the cost of lost human potential when at least 50% of children in this country are growing up with inadequate support? what is the cost of that? how many engineers, and doctors and (real) teachers are never going to get the education they need becasuet hey have to work selling on the street.
          Renacuajo, you are a moron.


          • What I would ask you Fred, is who gets to decide who reproduces, and which guidelines will they apply?

            If instead you cop-out and say we need to educate the masses and give them modern medical care so that they make the best decisions, I will agree with you, but the fact stands that neither you or I know how many Mozarts were unrealized, and that is why we respect EVERY human life and whichever stage of development or condition.

            As for how many people can a country or the world for that manner sustain? I’ll leave it to nature to decide. Maybe the current Ebola outbreak will become a pandemic and population will be corrected in one fell swoop. But I certainly think that humans make poor judges of who should live, die and reproduce.

            Btw Fred, you are impolite :-)


            • Renacuajo

              We are part of nature and we cannot pretend not to know what kind of pressure humans are putting on the environment. You don’t have to be a genious for this, just know some basic maths.

              You cannot go on thinking this idea of “multiplicate and conquer the Earth” is still relevant as it was when a Jewish guy wrote it around the VI Century B.C.


              Of course, population control should be carried out preferably using condoms or pills or the like. Abortion is a tragedy.


              • Kepler,

                I never advocated to “multiplicate and conquer the Earth”. That is a religious understanding of the world which would only make sense to a religious person.

                Christopher Hitchens, a renown atheist was against abortion.


            • On this subject , you bet i’m impolite. i’m tired of people telling others what is best based on THEIR religious doctrine. How dare you? if a woman wants an abortion she clearly has come to terms with the moral issues and that is far beyond your purview.
              Stop intruding on something that is of ABSOLUTELY no concern of yours!
              You fail do recognize the ignorance and self conceit that allows you to think you can decide this for others.
              Make your own decicions. Your premise of what constitutes a human life is based on religous dogma. That is completely subjective.


              • Fred,

                I observe that a fertilized egg has unique DNA and if left to its own devises will probably die of old age. Where is religion in all of this? Even tiny humans should have someone voicing their concern. So it is not a private matter.

                Women should have all the choices: they should be free to have sex as they wish, they should have all the contraception they may need, but once a new and innocent human life is involved, it has to be respected.


              • Religions through history tried to explain what science couldn’t and to provide some moral compass. It succeeded and failed in many different times.

                Unfortunately science has been unable to properly identify the moment in which you can consider something “human” or “living”. Like you argue, what constitutes human life is a subjective thing. But being such an important thing it shouldn’t.

                You may pick a 3 week point in the embryo development, but that is an arbitrary line and only limited to our understanding.

                Ultimately is a sense of consciousness what is felt as human and many studies has shown that humans are not self-aware until we are several months old.

                Indeed a woman has to come to terms on the morality of these decisions. But it is also up to society. A woman may come to terms with the idea that her newborn child shouldn’t live, but somehow, as a society, the immorality of that decision has reached an consensus. Obviously the morality or immorality of terminating a pregnancy is still undecided.

                What I think is appalling from both sides, is being such a complex issue, with so poor understanding of the human mind (soul?) people make very bold statements. Also, I am appalled to the very low level of tolerance that there is when listening to contrasting point of views.


              • Thing is Rodrigo, if we make a mistake on when people become people, innocent and vulnerable humans die. So even the agnostic on the question of where human life begins should probably should cast his lot with the pro-life group. One innocent death is one too many.


              • Renacuajo, “I observe that a fertilized egg has unique DNA and if left to its own devises will probably die of old age.” do you want a more subjective definition of life than this one???
                You cloak your religious indoctrination behind pseudo scientific jargon to hide what you already recognize as a losing argument. Your religion defines life as starting at conception therefore you torture science to give you a useful definition. it is your church that keeps others from having the choice. Practice your own religion and don’t have an abortion. No one is forcing abortion on you. stop proselytizing by fiat.


              • Renacuajo,

                Do you know every time you walk a little bit faster or play football or the like are killing a lot of cells from your own body? I don’t talk about the ones that die of “natural causes”.


              • That’s the thing fred. In the lack of definition how do you guide yourself morally? Do we agree that a born child should not be killed? How about one that has just been conceived? How about one that has been three months in the pregnancy? How about one 6 months in? How about one week prior its birth? How about a minute prior the birth? Where do you draw your arbitrary line in the lack of a definition? Any definition should work for edge cases it seems.

                I acknowledge that no definition exist, and renacuajo argues that when having none, it is better to play it safe and avoid terminating a human life altogether, not based on a religion belief, but based on a moral principle.


              • The whole discussion is moot. You are not saving embryos lives by making abortion illegal. Abortions will still happen and women will be risking their lives and some will be dying because of the prohibition.


            • You don’t seem to do the maths.

              In countries where abortion is legal abortion tends to be less frequent. The case is not always so but in general yes, that’s the trend. You say that one should save lives. Well: those in Chile and Venezuela and to an extent those in the US where abortion is illegal are having more deaths.

              And they don’t even want to allow teenagers to receive proper sex education and receive birth-control pills and preservatives.

              Who is more responsible for deaths?


            • We all have DIFFERENT moral principles, and I support FULL respect to them as long as those principles do not affect negatively to others.
              But when two principles affects negatively to each other, I believe that the principle that is widely accepted should be imposed. (Social consensus)

              BUT THIS IS NOT THE CASE

              Because what we have here is OTHERS complaining about moral principles, that DO NOT AFFECT THEM, but instead affect an outsider (The fetus) that is MUCH more related to the mother’s principles than to theirs, in fact, I dare to say that the fetus is part of the mother, as the same way as a hand or a foot is.

              Once the child is born, it could become independent from the mother, and thus the human rights should apply.


              • In Pakistan there is social consensus to stone adulterous women, but does that make it objectively right? And yes, the stoning of some girl in Pakistan probably has no direct effect on me, so do I have a moral duty? Should I censure it and maybe try to change it if it is in my hands?

                A foot or a hand will has the same DNA as its owner and is intended to serve him for life, a fetus is has unique DNA and his physical dependence is temporary, hence this makes a qualitatively difference.

                Exploring your idea of “independence’. Infants and toddlers are totally dependent of their parents to stay alive (stop feeding them or forget them in a hot car and they will die). Taking it to the extreme, some kids in college depend financially from their parents, so should they have human rights only after they are gainfully employed?


              • “In Pakistan there is social consensus to stone adulterous women, but does that make it objectively right?”
                R= “Right” and “Wrong” are subjective concepts. What is “Right” for me, is not necessarily “Right” for you, and vice versa, There CANNOT be an objective argumentation about it, unless we agree subjectively at somewhere deep.
                I let the pakistan people do whatever they wanna do as long as I’m not affected, because I respect their beliefs, and their beliefs are not messing with mine.
                It doesn’t mean I’m pro about “Stoning adulterous women”, it just means I have different beliefs.
                That’s why I added to my moral principles the “respect to outsiders beliefs”.

                “A foot or a hand will has the same DNA as its owner and is intended to serve him for life, a fetus is has unique DNA and his physical dependence is temporary”
                R= That’s an arbitrary line, Why should the DNA be the separation line?
                This is what I believe, “The more developed we get, the more ‘Human’ we become”.
                There’s NO evident separation line, any line we choose it will be arbitrary.

                “Exploring your idea of “independence’. Infants and toddlers are totally dependent of their parents to stay alive ”
                R= Sorry, you misunderstood me, I said “Independent from the mother”.
                Once the child is born, it could depend on anyone else, and not the mother exclusively.


          • It is a fool’s game to get into the argument of defining life. it is irrelevant to this discussion. The right to terminate a pregnancy by a woman should not be in question until at least you have viability outside the womb.
            i understand there are many facets to this issue but to try to argue it by using an arbitrary moral measure that is derived from a theological abstraction is preposterous.There is no rational medical reason to outlaw first trimester abortions except your own moral impositions. If someone else does not share your religious beliefs, as long as they are not in a theocracy, they should not have to abide by them.


            • like I said above… not being guided by any religious belief, and acknowledging the fact that a clear definition on what’s a human life doesn’t exist and recognizing that terminating a life is morally reprehensible, one through logic, can hardly argue that abortions prior to 3 months are OK and abortions at 3 months + 1 day are not.


              • which is exactly why that decision should not be dictated by anyone other than the one responsible for it. the pregnat woman.
                You talk of morality and decide that a fertilized egg is a human life. That’s an absolutely ludicrous presumption. You want to ascribe souls to subdivided cells . of course it is religious dogma. it is a pavlonian response to the pretense of a divine intervention at conception. the so called sanctity of human life.
                Again,you continue to overlay your religious dogma on people that do not share your romantic notion of conception.
                abortion is a medical procedure that accomplishes something the human body does by itself to a very large number of fertilized eggs everyday. I do not mourn for the trillions of sperm and eggs that do not become humans.


              • and egg and a sperm is not an embryo!

                and I am not religious at all!

                Is the mother responsible for the born baby? How is that different from her responsibility when in the pregnancy.

                Why 3 months vs 3 months + 1 day?

                My issue with your argument is that is full of arbitrary lines. None based on science or logic.

                If terminating a pregnancy 1 second prior to birth is OK, because it is a pregnancy then it is OK all the way from conception. But then why is it so different when the baby is born? It is biologically the same thing! Is the umbilical cord what makes the distinction?

                I am sorry but I think all of the above are questions that need answers.

                Unless you are going to provide reasons, a 3 months arbitrary line sounds to me more like dogma than any religious belief presented here


              • Rodrigo Linares, perhaps before answering the question about the fetus/baby, ask yourself at what point the woman ceases to be pregnant. To be truly objective, the focus cannot merely be about the offspring; you must consider the bearer.


        • Renacuajo : Just as likely some unwanted child could have later become an evildoer , the important thing in both cases is that Obama and Jobs were raised as very much wanted children , Jobs natural parents were very concerned over who would adopt their child and finally decided on a couple that raised him with great love . Obama not only had his Mom but his loving grandparents giving him the affection all children need to become decent adults . If there is an unwanted child but the grandparents or others are willing to adopt it and raise it as their own child then its ok. but if the environment is one where the unwanted child is going to end up abandoned that changes the whole thing .

          Unchecked population growth makes thing difficult for countries like ours that lacks the organization culture and resources to maintain health and educational standards that can reach all .

          There is a big confusion with the whole unwanted pregnancies issue , because people extrapolate from US cultural conditions where an illicit begotten child is a big problem . in our marginal culture underage women WANT to have their babies not because of the babies but because it gives them status and helps attach the father to them and they do want a man to ‘represent’ them . I had the same confusion but talking to a close relative who worked with people in the barrios opened my eyes , all those pretty stereotypes of US culture dont translate well into the values of Venezuelan marginal society .

          Eugenics is awful and should be condemned but there is a gap between that and more controlled and ordered population growth !!


      • This has nothing to do with Eugenics, so I am not even going to entertain that argument. I know about the history of Eugenics in US and Europe and of course it was an abhorrent policy/practice deliberately and systematically imposed by the state based on racist views.

        Abortion is about personal choices of individuals and the state’s right to restrict such choices to protect rights of others, and about understanding the economic and social impact of this for a given society. The point is to have all the information and consider all aspects (the post itself is considering political aspects) of the issue in order to be able to analyze the issue from a public policy perspective.


        • Look, I can respect the “freedom of choice” argument (despite that I hold the opposite view), but you aren’t going to convince anybody with “the children of the poor” argument because that road leads to eugenics. And, more importantly, is a very dishonest argument when you say that the children of other people are the problem.


  14. Some issues cannot be solved, they can only be managed. The Arab-Israeli conflict is one. Abortion is another.
    So here is my question. Like Seinfeld who asked “why do they insist with these (pointing to the chopsticks), they have the fork, I mean they’ve SEEN it, haven’t they?” I ask: why not have the morning after pill replace abortion? Is mass production and distribution of this solution wrong? Why?


  15. I had a vasectomy done last year. After 3 kids I have more than enough. Luckily I could afford the USD1000 operation, instead of keep on having more and more kids (which will cost a fortune in the future). The funny thing is that there are no laws banning vasectomies, which if you think about it, is very much in line with an abortion, basically a step before an abortion. Be aware that I feel bad for the billions of sperm that will be stuck inside my testicles forever, I have had dreams of them being stuck in an island with no future and no reason to exist due to my decision, I almost feel like Fidel should fell about Cubans, but Fidel does not give a shit. I do, but I do not want more kids.

    I believe that there should not be a law deciding such a personal matter, that decision should fall on each person and each situation. More to the point, the abortion law strongly smells of religion arm wrestling law makers into its creation, and I do not like that at all.

    I love my 3 kids with all my heart, and if I had more I would love them equally, but the reality is that 3 kids now a days is almost irresponsible, 3 is too many. Imagine 4+. I do not have enough money for 4+. Besides, there are around 7 billion people on our planet, and that is quite enough.


    • Jau,

      I think the difference between sperm and fertilized egg is qualitatively different. The first has half of your own DNA and left alone will not become anything different without human intervention.

      A fertilized egg, left to its own devises wil become an cygote, embryo…., fetus, new born…, teenager, … and even a over-educated snob like me. It has DNA distinct to both parents which makes it an individual


      • “The first has half of your own DNA and left alone will not become anything different without human intervention.”
        R=You are using the same arguments that pro-natural people do on “Natural vs Man-made” debates.
        Why do you differentiate “Human intervention” from any other natural reaction?

        Even though it has DNA from the father, the mother is the one that do all the work, she is the one that has to go through all the suffering, for something that might give her NO REWARD BUT THE OPPOSITE.


      • Out of curiosity, do religious conservatives support sperm/egg banks, holding “products” that have not been fertilized?


    • “I believe that there should not be a law deciding such a personal matter, that decision should fall on each person and each situation.”

      The decision always falls on each person, no law can change that. A law can make it easier and safer or harder and riskier but the decision is always on the woman.


  16. Great post Audrey and Juan!

    I think you both agree on something (and everyone else). Abortion is the least wanted outcome. Let’s start from there. Juan would say that making it illegal is a deterrent. Audrey masterfully demonstrated that making it illegal simply doesn’t do it because both in Venezuela and everywhere else those things simply create an opportunity for crooks to profit at the expense of the lives of a few young women. Making it illegal doesn’t rid us of the abortion. It makes the abortion just worse.

    But Juan also goes to say that there are many more things that we should focus on to precisely prevent unwanted pregnancies so abortion is not even a decision that a woman must bear. A very hard decision also to make for that matter. Sex ed, contraception community support and even decent orphanages must be there. Teen pregnancy is major issue in Venezuela (3 of every 5 pregnancies if I remember correctly are underage). Not only for abortion but due to the cost that it bears to our society.

    As for a political platform that openly support or openly deters abortion, well, it is silly to say that you would outright go against it, for one or the other. It is about what they propose to prevent unwanted pregnancies what I care about.

    Every abortion, every rape, every murder is the failure of our society. This is why these topics are so hard to discuss. They show our own flaws. Our biggest weaknesses.


    • One of the issues is that the conservative side doesn’t seem to make a concession on other things like really open sex education and REAL availibility of contraceptives for teenagers.

      And let’s remember: in countries such as Spain or Norway there are probably less abortions than in countries such as Venezuela or the USA.


      • Leaving our dogmas behind is needed for good policy making. Even conservatives know that.

        In Realpolitik you have goals, ideals, but in the day to day fights, what matters is winning the battle against problems.


        • The availability of sex education and contraceptive materials for teenagers should be a choice for the parents, not the all mighty dictatorial state at least while children are still minors, and even after that I do not think it is fair to religious people to have to pay for these materials which should be the responsibility of each person to obtain anyway.

          If a person cannot be responsible for his or her own life, then better we offer free psychotherapy, than free contraceptives.


          • No. Let’s those who think so to migrate to the US and preferably live in the state you live. They may reproduce there and keep their children believing in whatever religion they want until those children are 80 years old.


            • Kepler exactly…. because freedom of thought and choice are respected here…people do not have to agree with me and become an atheist. They can be any kind of religion they wish to with any belief they desire.I might find it absurd to believe in God, but I fully respect those who do.

              People who go around claiming that certain things have to be taught in school just because they believe them are authoritarian.


              • They can believe in Buddhism or the Muppets, for all I care, but they have no right to prevent their children
                from getting some pretty basic education.


  17. Glad you picked the point up , beyond the abortion question is the unwanted children question which has terrible social consequences in that it fosters a social model where people mate indiscriminately for short periods , have children they cannot or dont want to provide for, emotionally or materially, and which being abandoned become in turn warped or incomplete adults or even delinquents . its been shown here and abroad that Children who are not born to mature or responsible parents often develop scarred or maimed personalities and become a deadweight for society or worse.

    This disfunctional social model is the result of deep poverty in people who abandon the communities where they have their roots to go to the city barrios where social chaos rules , where the web of social relations that protect poor people in rural venezuela is rent and destroyed leaving people stranded in a permissive and disordered social landscape giving birh to children they abandon and very often mistreat. People living in this degraded social and family environment have very high birth rates which makes the situation worse and worse as time passes . Our Society has seen this process of social deterioration increase during the last couple of decades until it has become the social catastrophe , we face now .

    To break this cycle you need to lower the birth rate in the barrios , try to persuade people not to breed unless they are committed to bringing up their children in a responsible manner , abortion may be a tool towards this end , but so are the promotion of birth control , the penalization of irresponsible parenthood , the creation of carrot and stick mechanism to dissuade people from irresponsible coupling and breeding .

    Abortion although useful to this end , is perhaps one of the morally least savory means of breaking this unhealthy cycle , there is something discomfitting about ending an unborn childs life whatever the benefit it brings to society or to parents who dont want to be inconvenienced or who dont have the means of raising a child as they might want to . (please see my comment above on the Indian custom of female child infanticide) .

    Still sometimes hard undesired choices have to be made to face really big problems . In 1945 president Truman was told that taking the Japanese Islands by allied forces would demand 1 million US deaths unless atomic bombs were dropped on innocent japanese civilians to dissuade the japanese forces from any further resistance . His decision to drop the atom bombs on hiroshima and nagasaki caused over a 100.000 deaths , No one can say that these deaths were morally desirable in any way and yet he made the tough decision and perhaps a million or more lives where saved .

    The possibility of abortion may be viewed as posing for us a similar dilemma !!


  18. I have to begin my answer with this:
    “…by the way, because decriminalizing something always increases that thing’s frequency)”

    Dude, that’s BULLSHIT, it actually works in reverse, “CRIMINALIZE something, and that’ll raise the frequency due to BLACK MARKET” Just look at the biggest culprit of the whole economic ruin of Venezuela: The currency exchange system that criminalized the free exchange of foreign currendy in Venezuela, leading to a ridiculous raise in the currency buying due to the limitations enforced by the government.

    Venezuela is a country plagued by black market mafias in each level with one of the biggest reasons being the stupid fascist laws that forbid everything and enforce ridiculous punishments arbitrarily just limited by the bureaucrat’s ill will, the last thing we need are more laws that forbid even more stuff (While people are killed in the streets everyday as if the whole country was a goddamned warzone)

    What you actually need is a change in the cultural idiosyncrasy of the lowest reourse people in Venezuela, and that begins by giving them education, and that includes SEX HEALTH EDUCATION, everybody and their mothers know that unwanted pregnancies are caused more by ignorance at the time of dancing the horizontal tango than anything else, because teenagers think they’re immune of getting pregnant just because another stupid teenager tells them “It’s fine, if I pull out, you won’t be pregnant, pinky swear! :D”

    That leads to the idea I used to open this reply, sexual education has been criminalized by this prudish society on the base that “Let the kids know ANYTHING about sex before marriage, and they’ll be fucking like rabbits the moment we take our eyes off them!”, combine that with the “vivo” idiosyncracy (Better said, the mamag**vo way to be) and you’ll find a vivo that goes around screwing ignorant girls left and right and leaving unwanted pregnancies all over the place.

    I personally think that everybody is responsible for their own actions, but that must be combined with appropiate education about the subject, ignoring and trying to conceal the matter won’t ever do anything useful, and we’ve enough years and cases that already prove it.

    But, appropiate, fulfilling and proper education on chavismo roboilusión?? Fuck no, they’re the first to say stupid stuff like showing scantily dressed model pictures in newspapers “incite rape”


  19. Abortion is in fact almost decriminalized in Venezuela since long time ago: there are very few criminal cases in courts about abortion (except in some case which could be tagged as infanticide, e.g. at 9 month of pregnancy). If you can afford it, it is easy to find a good clinic and doctor for a sure abortion. Otherwise, you must go to very unsafe places and risk your life.
    It is a really a public health issue and therefore must be traited like this.


  20. Heh, sorry for the double post, but I’d to comment that picture too: Those two protesters show the same stupid envy that constitutes the marrow of chavismo in Venezuela: “Oh, the rich bitches are prized for being dirty sluts for daring to fuck, just because they have money and I don’t! While the poor, nobler lower-class girls just languish and die in a sidewalk while the rich laugh in contempt after having stole all of her money and dreams!”


  21. Tough subject and given the state the country not sure it’s time to have this debate. Congrats to Audrey for bringing out very much needed status report of abortion in Venezuela. It is every bit as dire as one would have imagined. Unfortunately, it was a little too easy for Juan to stick to the no abortion position to the point of becoming a Chavista, the shock! Here are a few points that somebody in Juan’s position must address.

    In such position one must clarify what is your position on birth control. I remind you that in the US the antiabortion crowd not only wants to forbid abortion but also any type of pregnancy prevention, which is nuts in a country like Venezuela. But all potential life must be preserved or so the argument goes. Oh yeah funny how that prohibition doesn’t include vasectomies. Easy to say if you are well off, but if it is you who is not going to be able to feed child then what? Child must be born to see if he/she can win the lottery? What right are we preserving here, the one to a hungry life?

    Next what is your position on abortion in the case of rape. Unfortunately as reflected by the law rape in the Venezuelan psyche is “ok” and if you don’t believe me I just have to remind you of growing up watching “Leonela” where ultimately the victim is supposed not only to bear the child but to fall in love and accept the father of her child. Anything else is a dysfunctional sexual behavior. What of the child born to a mother that was raped? Why is the onus on the mother required to love the child anyway?

    It is very easy to discuss principles of life in the abstract until the circumstances, be it of poverty or violence against the woman are harsh and brought into the discussion. Personally, there is no right to life if you can’t guarantee minimal living conditions to the potential child and mother. That sadly is not possible in current day Venezuela.


  22. As many have said, the state can and should create a system that first of all, educates from an early age – when kids reach puberty – in order to avoid an unwanted pregnancy, but also gives support and options if that would have been the case, before killing the baby, especially if the life of the mother is not in danger.

    Here are some examples:

    Sexual education, empowering the girls to take control. The “machito” culture has to be eradicated once and for all.
    Seminars to parents with children in junior high school. Parents without education tend to leave their kids to learn on their own. Parents should be putting condoms on their kids’ hands (both boys and girls) as soon as their instincts start kicking in, parents should take their girls to the gynaecologists when they start menstruating.
    Easy access to birth control methods to teenagers (condoms, pills, etc).
    Adoption laws! Seriously? There is no adoption laws??
    Child support laws and maintenance enforcement. One thing very wrong in Venezuela is that we automatically think that children are “their mother’s”. We have to start making fathers responsible as well, through education first, and with laws.

    As I said, many things can be done as well. Excellent alternatives in a country where abortion is legal, by the way:

    Angel’s Craddle: http://www.providencehealthcare.org/health-services/additional-services/angels-cradle

    Special school for pregnated and teen moms: http://schools.cbe.ab.ca/b418/

    Just for the record, I am not a religious person, but I am a mom and I know as a fact that a fetus is not part of my body, is only a temporary resident, and I don’t have right right to kill him just because it doesn’t pay the rent. :-)


        • Should the state pay for lung cancer patients if it’s due to 40 years of careless smoking? Or should an hospital deny attention to a cyclist with a broken skull because he wasn’t wearing a helmet? Or to all victims of an accident that could have been preventable?

          It’s not all about “paying for my choices”. it’s about a state looking after the well being of a society.

          And remember, I live in Canada, where medical care is socialized. And we also have many americans crossing the border to get here what they can’t get in the US because of people like you.


          • No they shouldn’t …I don’t believe in State paid for medicine unless we are discussing the very poor.

            I think people need to look after their own well being and make their own choices, unless they are disabled and cannot.

            People like me? You do not know me at all.

            And great , I hope Canada allows for immigration as well.Strange that Canada gives free health care for anyone crossing the border.My guess that it can’t be that many or they would be bankrupt by now.

            There is nothing worse in my mind than a ” State” that wants to ” care for me” Big Brother go home.


            • People like me? You do not know me at all.
              Try some of your own meds:
              Why should other people have to pay for your choices?

              Next, There is nothing worse in my mind than a ” State” that wants to ” care for me” Big Brother go home.

              Unless you have lived in a system of socialized medicine, you have a deficit of information on that system to be giving sweeping opinions on it, as you do.


          • Carolina, as far as I know, Canada’s health care is provided mostly by private entities. The services may be paid for by government, making them seem public, but healthcare is technically still private.


              • So, yes, “…publicly funded … system …, which … has most services provided by private entities.”


              • Techically, yes.
                Pero en la practica el estado regula, fija costos, salarios, y los paga, y ademas controla el numero de doctores y enfermeros en el sistema. Lo de “privado” es solo un titulo.


              • Carolina, look further into it. even by rereading your own link. I see much misconception about Canada’s “socialized” health care system. It’s not so much.

                Doctors compete, as do clinics. The government may stipulate how much it will pay for a service, but does not limit what the private provider can charge. If you want to use providers that charge more than what the government is willing to pay, you have to pay out of pocket. Most people choose not to, so those providers that want to make more money decide to leave. Government mainly controls the market through budgetary constraints.


              • The topic is labyrinthian. I’ll cover just a few main points.

                Doctors are paid by their provincial government for each patient visit. Specialists charge the government more than a family phyx does. Some services that doctors provide are not covered by provincial health care. For these, doctors bill the patient directly, having previously informed same, prior to procedure. Those patients having private insurance will then submit their bills to the insurer for (partial) reimbursement, if the private insurer allows coverage.

                In the case of Botox injections, these are definitely not covered by any health care insurer. Mole removal, unless said mole appears to be a potential issue, is also not covered.

                Health care coverage depends on the province. Alberta’s health care has a stronger two-tiered medical system, where doctors are freer to practice medicine without as many strong-arm tactics by their provincial government. I have no idea whether the quality of medicine provided in AB is any greater than in other provinces, mutatis mutandi.

                Meds are paid for by the patient, aided by a private insurance plan with that type of coverage. At 65 years of age, the government pays for meds, but only partially, and only on basic drugs within each classification. The balance of the drug bill is absorbed by the citizen.


        • Because of the potential negative externalities created by unintended children, as previously discussed.


    • “Nearly 75 years later, 79 percent of Planned Parenthood’s abortion facilities are located in black or minority neighborhoods, and black babies are aborted at four times the rate of white ones. In New York City, which has the highest abortion rate in the world, nearly 82 percent of all abortions were performed on black or Hispanic babies, according to the CDC’s numbers. In Texas, the number was nearly 64 percent.”

      I do not subscribe to the view on the right that abortion should be banned or to the view on the left that these nauseating statistics are the result of a plan to commit genocide against blacks and hispanics. What I do think is that these statistics reflect the interaction between the availability of abortion and the CAD culture (as opposed to the DAD culture) of inner city black and hispanic communities.

      How do you revert a CAD culture back to a DAD culture? I agree with you 100%: women are key, they need options. But why are black and hispanic women choosing abortion as their main contraceptive in inner cities? What kind of mentality is that? Women in CAD cultures have zero self-esteem. It’s one of the outcomes. We need to change the CAD culture.

      The mainstream media has a role here. For instance, why is the role of San Jose, the good father, is so utterly devalued in Venezuela? Why in the US, do Hollywood and the mainstream media depict the good father as an exploited idiot at best? Think about it.


  23. One additional absolutely random thought: legal abortion was a big part of the feminists movements during the 60’s 70’s, as part of “reproductive rights” and such. Back in the time there was a need for these, but most of developed western societies have changed and I feel feminist movements are somehow starting to be a thing of the past as the role of women in modern society has changed.

    Is Venezuela so far back in this as a society that we are still debating about making abortion legal?

    How about making illegal to ask a potential employee for a pregnancy test?

    Again, random thoughts…


  24. ” Why am I right”?

    It is not a matter of right and wrong…it should be a matter of mutual respect and rights.


  25. This is always a good debate and, in societies with real deliberative system, it generates a good pool of arguments. I’ve always been pro choice in abortion and Euthanasy, because at the end every pro-life options get us directly to the State taking out the citizen’s right to choice a thing related with his body and well, i think the state has the last decision in to many issues related with our personal liberties to let then decide over the human body.

    The main problem with this debate in our typical Latin-american society is that the politician and Social groups use moralistic/religious arguments to sustain its claims. This makes a debate about abortion or euthanasy specially difficult because in our modern society, the moral compass can vary a lot in each family (to brother can have different opinions) and more if we see the thing in a municipal/state or even national level (More when the majority of parties are looking for votes in rural areas).

    So, if one day we decide to have a high level political debate, i think it should stay on scientific level or we’ll have a similar situation that the USA


  26. Audrey,

    What a contrast. Nagel, whatever his faults (and they are many), writes an impassioned post drawing on philosophy and moral reasoning. You write a dumb, vacuous burbling resting mostly on personal anecdote and I don’t know what.

    Nagel is an enemy of the revolution, but at least he’s an enemy one can respect. You’re just a fool.


    • Hector, I don’t understand your attack on Audrey. Both Audrey and Juan used personal anecdotes to introduce their standing on the issue (Audrey used her feelings when she was younger and Juan even published the picture of his coming nephew). Both wrote very well about the issue, even reviewing with links some previous statistics.

      Why then, Audrey is “just a fool” while Juan writes an “impassionate post frawing on philosophy and moral issues”? The two posts are just two different ways of presenting the issue, presenting their view. You may disagree with one of them, but when you go to the personal level to disagree (“you are just a fool”), you lose all credibility with your statement.


    • “You’re just a Fool”??? come on, you can do better than that.

      This is a well supported post based on statistics and facts, in which the both coauthors agreed to upload and make it public for god sake!!! Audrey and Nagel respect each other for sure. But i don’t think they need a “You’re just a Fool” guy to respect them. (Not even Nagel)


  27. Trying to control the number of abortions by making them illegal is like trying to avoid inflation by setting price controls. It´s bad public policy with self-defeating results. Just because you ban abortions doesn’t
    mean fewer abortions happen, it´s just there as a prohibition to make some people happy who is oblivious about how there is no an actual way that the state can control how many abortions happen.


    • Exactly, declare abortions illegal and a black market will arise. JC must understand this basic economic principle. The state cannot rule on the minds of people.


  28. JCN: “Of course, your position on this debate rests on whether or not you think this fetus is an actual human being with rights.”

    Not quite. My position does not rest on the fetus/human being with rights issue. My position rests on the people’s/government’s right to meddle.

    JCN: “Personally, I could never vote for a candidate who pledged to legalize abortion.”

    It’s not a candidate that legalizes abortion, it’s a system that does. Are you saying you would rather a candidate that is against abortion but cements a system of communism/dictatorship in which, on a whim, could impose abortion, than a candidate that believes in abortion but will reinstate a system of democracy, including a social freedom means for deciding on abortion in which it would not be in the candidate’s power to neither impose nor prohibit abortion?! A ‘yes’ implies that you would not *become* chavista, it would imply that you *are* chavista.

    JCN: “There are so many things wrong in Venezuela, and particularly in the realm of health care and violence, that picking a fight over abortion seems useless.”

    You seem to imply that protecting the life of a non citizen trumps protecting the life and suffering of a Venezuelan woman. You also seem to imply that attempts to protect the life of a Venezuelan woman in such circumstances is useless.

    JCN: “It is an inherent contradiction to propose ending prison violence, for example, while proposing at the same time the legalization of abortion.”

    In law, violence is “the unlawful exercise of physical force or intimidation by the exhibition of such force.” [Google]. The key word is unlawful. Prison violence, therefore, is not in the same bucket as a legal medical procedure.

    JCN: “there is no legal adoption in Venezuela to speak of”

    That is what is up for debate, making it legal, somehow.

    JCN: “The lack of a legal, workable adoption framework in our country is a devastating reality for thousands of couples and many more orphans.”

    Couldn’t agree more, but it’s relevant only as an option to the abortion candidate, not as a legal means of forcing a woman through a life damaging/ending pregnancy.

    JCN: “Give women more options instead of passing laws telling them they can’t cope.”

    Why not give them more options, y *punto*? That’s the real feminist agenda, not one that forces onto them what you want.

    JCN: “However, this is not a “woman” issue only, it is a “human” issue.”

    Not quite. It may be of “human” interest (i.e., of interest to you), but it’s only a women issue, until men or machines can produce babies…

    JCN: ” I thought the topic was too painful and incendiary for us to reach any common ground.”



    • I missed the line about prison violence on my first read through. Just a rambling, borderline-hysterical post.


  29. Extorres, Juan’s statement:
    “Personally, I could never vote for a candidate who pledged to legalize abortion.” is very typical of issues that truly divide voters. Here in Québec, for instance, is the separatist issue. Some people would never ever vote for a separatist leader, no matter the agenda. That means that the issue is so fundamental to them, that it overshadows any other political, social or economic consideration. I don’t think right that you call him “a chavista”. Juan has the fundamental right to be so much against abortion that it would prevent him to vote for a candidate that would, otherwise, be of his liking.

    I don’t agree with him, and I would try to reason with him in the case we had such a situation, but he is acting according to his more profound principles and I respect that. You should too.


    • Bruni, Juan brought up the “…because I would have to become a chavista…” argument. All I did was call his bluff by pointing out that a believer in a system in which a leader can impose a personal position on everyone else is already being chavista, versus believing in a system in which democracy prevails. China, for example, has a similar system and unilaterally decides when to impose/remove forced birth control policies. Chavismo would similarly support or fight abortion, at whim, via unilateral decisions.

      As to his “more profound principles”, it almost seems that you’re excusing lack of reason. Sorry, but when it comes to government policy, reason is the only ticket I respect.


    • The key word here is “fundamental” which is the root of “fundamentalism”. It is OK to have fundamental principles, we all have them, the problems start when we want to impose them on others, whether through law, violence or political coercion as seems to be the case here. I can just imagine JC’s political party threatening to throw its support to chavismo unless the opposition keeps abortion rights off the debate. Imagine that under the pretext of saving lives he doesn’t see a problem supporting a regime that has brought so much misery to our country, where the number of deaths has risen so sharply due to violence. If anything this regime may have increased the number of abortions, not reduced it. Yet he would support that in order to keep abortions illegal.

      And all for what? to save lives? when in reality it does just the opposite, it condemns women to death and ruins lives. I think it is more about the appearance of moral righteousness than real caring about human lives. The fundamental principle seems to be about posturing not saving lives, otherwise JC would recognize that criminalizing abortions makes matters worse not better, it does not save lives. Where is the rationality in that? Fundamentalism trumps reason.


  30. HUMAN or NOT HUMAN claim

    The more intelligent and developed we become, the more “human” we get (soul, spirit, etc).
    There’s no line that separates a fetus from a human that has a “soul”.

    So it’s an ETHICAL ISSUE to draw that SEPARATION LINE.



    Many of the claims I here against abortion, resides on the potentiality of a fetus into becoming a successful human being, just like Nagel’s final claim.

    What if I go radical, and claim that each time an ovum or a spermatozoid dies, is like murder because they are a POTENTIAL HUMAN BEING.
    Each time we have sex using condom is a murder because we denied its natural right of developing into a successful human being.
    There’s no clear line that separates a “potential human being” from deserving the human rights or NOT.

    So this is another ETHICAL ISSUE to draw that SEPARATION LINE.



    This is a MUST HAVE, but it’s so far from being enough.

    Yeah, certainly it solves SOME of the post-birth problems, specially the financial one, but it does not help AT ALL with the pregnancy phase, the social repercussions of society for giving away a child, or the instinctive and mental issue of knowing of being a mother and not being able to raise the child.
    Yeah, Adoption is a good thing for sterile couples, but most mothers ARE NOT willing or mentally ready to go to the whole pregnancy process just to give away HER child at the end of it.


    ETHICAL ISSUE and my point of view.

    We all have DIFFERENT ethical principles, and I support FULL respect to them as long as those principles do not affect negatively to others.
    When a principle affects negatively to other, I believe that those principles widely accepted should be imposed. BUT THIS IS NOT THE CASE because what we have here, is OTHERS complaining about ethical principles, that DO NOT AFFECT THEM, but instead affect an outsider (The fetus) that is MUUUUCH more related to the mother’s principles than to theirs, in fact I dare to say that the fetus is part of the mother, as the same way as a hand or a feet IS.

    I believe that the “human” perception of a being (soul) is acquired slowly through its development.
    A fetus DEPENDS COMPLETELY on its parents resources (Specially the mother’s), so you could say that the child (Up to that phase) is COMPLETELY just a part of her mother’s (Except for DNA part of the father), besides it has NO independence and it’s unable to ACT. The fetus is just a “POTENTIAL HUMAN BEING”.
    So to me, there’s no point for supporting the fetus’ right to live without regarding the mother’s beliefs.

    A mother MUST decide for what’s best for herself and HER child, even if that decision means abortion. Which could mean resigning a child today in order to have a child tomorrow amid better conditions to raise it, hence better chances for that kid to become a successful human being.


  31. I’m pro-life, but I can understand some of the arguments made by the pro-choice side. Still, this isn’t going to become a hot topic in this country for a while.


  32. I’ve never thought much about this subject, and in this country it seems irrelevant but i’ll give it a shot.

    On the case of rape,the choice should always be there, along with infrastructure,aptitude and a clean safe environment for the procedure to take place.Using tax money for this may not be cool for some.

    However, there are kids out there(men and women too) who act like machines.Some women can very well reach 5 abortions by the time they’re 20. Sexual education along with cheap birth control options are a must, and in Venezuela we have none. Condoms and pills ,wich are the most popular, are extremely expensive and in the case of pills also difficult to find,remember scarcity.

    There’s also another option: Adoption

    In my family alone there are 2 aunts and 1 uncle that can’t reproduce.
    On my wife’s side, her mom suffered a miscarriage and one of her sisters has suffered 2,one was twins.
    We haven’t been to a fertility clinic but I’m very unsure about the both of us being fertile. For people who have growing a family as a must on their plans,this can be very painful,difficult to accept and life mardiciating. So it would be nice to not have to wait 5 years to finally get that phone call,if you get it at all.

    I’m out of thoughts and tired.


  33. Abortion per se is not the problem , its the harm done society and the kids themselves when people who dont want a kid to be born or are absolutely irresponsable as parents breed like rabbits . Venezuela has suffered a lot from a culture that promotes this kind of behaviour , its not just teen agers having chidren they dont want to have ( often many of them want to have them but later dont want to have the burden of raising them ) .

    Inspired by rhe above I’ve let my imagination loose and dreamt up some probably impractical ideas to deal with the problem of uncontrolled population growth and unwanted pregnancies :

    – Free distribution of birth control pills and morning after pills in places were abandoned children are rife,
    – Carry out well thought out campaign to promote their use .
    – Pay women to remain childless after they’ve had 2 children (payable 1/2 after latest birth and 1/2 after 5 straight years or remaining childless )
    – Easing of adoption procedures .
    – Promote sterilization of women already with children by offering to pay for the medical procedure and by also paying them a cash bonus.
    – Allow therapeutic abortions ( and then let physicians judge when one is justified)
    – Impose penalties/fines on irresponsible parents , barr them from govt jobs or benefits until they assume responsibility for their children.
    – Mandatory sterilization of men who have 2 children without taking responsibility for them or without acknowledging their parenthood ( blood samples taken on all children who have no declared fathers for use as proof of parenthood )
    – Create universal bank with blood samples of all men asking for govt job or accused of irresponsible parenting . Use them to establish paternity of children who lack any known father.
    – Create light sentences ( small fine) for people who conduct safe abortions under certain circumstances . (mitigation of penalties if the abortion does not place mother in danger) .
    – Pay a bonus to any woman who offers her unborn (unwanted) child for adoption if it is evident that she lacks the means of supporting the child or already has two or more children.
    – Pay bonus to parents who adopt unwanted children within one year after their birth .
    – Legalize womb rental agreements between unwed mothers and childless couples .

    The list does not purport to propose final version of anything only general ideas for exploration and refining, it is also totally amoral and politically incorrect. !! .


  34. All over Japan, you find Buddhist temples with odd little statues around the entrance. They’re usually small, stone effigies of Bodhisattva wearing colorful knitted bibs or hats or other accessories. They look like this:

    I asked Kanako, my wife, what they were doing there and she told me they are offerings for the well-being of the spirits of Mizuko, meaning aborted or miscarried fetuses.

    It turns out a whole system of ceremonial practice has built up in Japan to honor and grieve these departed beings, a ceremony called Mizuko kuyō .

    Mizuko are “water children”. In traditional Japanese society, the accepted image of pregnancy was that the child started out “liquid” and solidified gradually over the nine month. A child that died before that process was finished was still “part liquid”: a “water child” whose passing – whether intentional or not – would cause intense grief and required a series of ritual observances.

    But these rituals are formally different from funerals, because a Mizuko isn’t considered a person in quite the same way a 6 month old baby is. The rites involve presenting an offering to the spiritual being that was slated to become the child’s “angel de la guarda”, but who will now have no one to guard. It’s those offerings you see on the little statues.

    These ceremonies are public, very solemn, and often very sad. They are done indistinctly whether the pregnancy was ended by nature or by the mother. (A very wide consensus supports legal abortion in Japan – it’s not a live political issue.)

    I always thought this was a far saner way of dealing with these issues than we have. You begin by facing up, forthrightly, to the fact that something unique, something precious, something of immense value has been lost here. You ritually grieve its passing. You express your regret for a life that might have been but won’t be.

    I’ve heard so many times from women in the West who abort in leftie circles and just don’t find any space to grieve, or worse, are made to feel guilty for thinking it’s all rather a big deal, or guilty for feeeling that there’s anything to grieve at all. It’s as though the polarization of the gringo debate has left the conversation mired in a set of inhuman trenches: on one side you’re expected to treat the destruction of a growing life as nothing much different from a dental cleaning, and on the other side, you’re expected to treat it like first degree murder.

    The Mizuko idea shows there are other, smarter cultural ways to deal with this terrible, terrible situation. It captures the inescapable fact that abortion and miscarriage is often a time of intense, life-shaking grief for women, but retains an appreciation for the – to me, also evident – fact that this loss is different from the loss of young baby. A “Mizuko” is an entity in an ambiguous state, both human and not-quite-yet-human, and the Mizuko Kuyoo ritual preserves that ambiguity in ritual form.

    If any of my kids ever find themselves in the terrible situation of needing a Mizuko Kuyoo, I want to be right there with them to cry alongside them as they place the bib on the Bodhisattva. I want to cry together as a family for the loss of what might have become my grandchild. I don’t want to look away. I will not look away. I will not treat it like it’s nothing. And I will not treat it like it’s murder.


    • Quico, thank you. Didn’t expect such sanity, the life-shaking grief sentence says it all. Please make it part of the main post or make an entirely new one.


    • I agree Quico and it is indeed a nice interpretation.

      I had severe eclampsia in my second pregnancy and my daughter had to be taken out prematurely.She weighted 2 pounds in her 30th week. At the premies ICU where she spent more than two months, they were able to save 23 week-old babies. The hospital, as all hospitals in Québec, also performed abortions, but they put a limit to 18 weeks. They did not find it ethical to terminate a pregnancy after that, given that a few weeks later, babies could be viable (although, in some cases, with heavy handicaps).

      My premies/eclampsia experience gave me a very particular view of abortion and pregnancies. Yes, I am pro-choice because, I know it first hand, a pregnancy is a risk, and none should impose that risk to a woman that does not want to take it. On the other, even when abortion is an option, it is an option I wish women never had the need to take.


    • Your perspective (and that of the Japanese) deserves to be published for a much wider audience. Please consider it, Quico.

      Having said this, I wonder if in Japan there is just as great a variation in experiences among women who undergo abortions or miscarriages. To simplify, let’s deal with abortion, since it is mostly entered into voluntarily.

      Some women — young and not-so-young — will quietly carry their sorrow for as long as they live. Other women will be relieved that the ill-thought or forced coupling and consequences thereof need never have repercussions. Other women still may have both experiences in a lifetime, depending on the planning, or not, prior to conception. Personally, I believe there are psychological variations, not all of them deeply felt. And so, I’d ask: How widespread or observed is the Mizuko Kuyoo ritual throughout Japan? Are there those that pay it no mind?


  35. Platy @ June 23, 2014 at 11:16 am: …in the US the antiabortion crowd not only wants to forbid abortion but also any type of pregnancy prevention…

    Lie. Rancid stinklng lie. The fanatical pro-abortion agitators repeat this lie constantly. They also manipulate law and policy to create maximum possible confusion between contraception and abortion.

    For instance, take the case of Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius, a very prominent dispute turning on that distinction. Obamacare requires employee health care plans to pay for contraception, including “contraceptive” methods which operate after conception and are thus forms of abortion. Hobby Lobby wants only not to have to pay for such services, based on the religious beliefs of its owners.

    But liberal commentators assert that Hobby Lobby wants to deny contraception to female employees. This is of course a lie; Hobby Lobby’s present health care plan covers 16 of the 20 forms of contraception listed in the Obamacare mandate. Nor does Hobby Lobby have any rule or power to prevent employees from obtaining the other four methods themselves.

    The real object of the mandate, and the refusal by HHS to grant Hobby Lobby a religious exemption, is use the bogey of “contraception denial” and the bludgeon of Obamacare rules to impose complicity in abortion on everyone. It isn’t enough that abortion is allowed for any reason at any point during gestation; everyone must support it – or else.

    And to drum up support for the legal and policy maneuvers in pursuit of this goal, lie about the motives of abortion opponents.

    (Incidentally, I don’t believe platy is lying – only repeating what the pro-abortion lobby and its allies in the American press say. Also, I’m sorry for the threadjacking, but I couldn’t leave that lie unanswered.)


    • Plan B, the pill most discussed on Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius, is not an abortive pill. It does not prevent implantation and there is no serious study that proves it.


    • You also forget to mention those lobby groups with their agenda to kill millions of sperms by smothering them in latex instead of letting their natural course go. That is also within the evil Obamacare scheme.
      How many sperms will be killed like that? 250 million every time those preservatives are used! Imagine!
      Teenagers should instead abstain from sex until they are ready to marry and have the children that be.


    • “Obamacare requires employee health care plans to pay for contraception, including “contraceptive” methods which operate after conception and are thus forms of abortion.”

      Which contraceptive are you referring to that is a form of abortion?


  36. I have always believed that any species which killed its young is headed towards extinction or at least perdition.


      • No! Just common sense. I am not religious in any way. I do not believe in the her and after. I believe that ALL persons should be permitted to follow their paths


        • If their path is to be aborted ” so be it”. I am glad I wasn’t. As an Architect I have made very many contributions to our better way of life. I am retried now (71).


        • There are a myriad of species who kill their young in different situations who are still thriving.

          Also, there is ample evidence of infanticide among humans throughout the world from the neolithic period to today.

          I’m not commenting on the morality of voluntary abortion, just pointing out that your premise is not backed up by the blunt realities of the natural kingdom.


  37. @Nagel: I too believe that religious adults should be able to opt out of treatments that go against their beliefs. Therefore, no Catholic adult woman should have to through abortion against her will.

    However, you don’t provide any reason why non-catholic adult women should be denied a medical tretament that is widely available in other countries just because some other people want to impose their religious views on the start of life, the existance of a soul, etc.

    The State should not legislate according to religious doctrines.


    • “Don’t like slavery? Then don’t own a slave!”

      – Bumper sticker from the US South, XIXth Century


      • First off, If we were in 19th century U.S, YOU would be asking us to postpone the debate on slavery as divisisve and non-constructive, to hold off a civil war and keep a political coalition together. Take that into account when playing the “let’s-not-even-discuss-this-until-we-win” card. Pro choice people, see themselves in as a continuation of the civil rights movement, and thus fighting for women’s rights just like abolitionists fough for the rights of black people.

        Now, on to your implicit point. I agree that the law should not discriminate people on gender, race, religion, sexual preference, political beliefs, etc. I also believe that a natural right to be free makes slavery intolerable.

        But you work on a false premise: that born and unborn children have the same rights. They don’t. Not in any legal system in the world:
        – Nationality is determined at birth, not at the time of conception. If two colombians conceive a child in Margarita during their honeymoon, and return to Colombia two weeks later, that child borne in Colombia gets no claim to Venezuelan nationality.
        – A natural miscarriage doesn’t lead to a death certificate as murder, manslaughter, accidental death ot natural death do.
        – The right to have a name only kicks in after birth. There’s no conception certificate or government issued I.D. for unborn children.
        – etc

        I oppose, on principle, to legislation based on religious doctrine. Religious doctrine is to be followed voluntarily by people of a given religion, without any kind of state-backed enforcement. No theocracies for me.

        But I can be persuaded by arguments that forbid abortion after a justifiable threshold. For instance, if a c-section were performed instead of an abortion, and the fetus would be likely to survive as a regular premature child, I would oppose that an abortion be performed.

        I also welcome fact based arguments, like the ones presented by Audrey.


          • The fact based one, was Audrey. She did a good job documenting her numbers and claims.

            Nagel brings up 19th century slavery, y luego el exagerado soy yo por responder.


          • A post without comments is pointless. It is more like a monologue.
            Whenever you think it is best to close the comments, save your and everyone else’s time and do not post anything.


          • Maybe because the criminalization of abortion is a comparatively recent development. It started in the 19th century. Before the 19th century, western societies morally condemned abortion, but the legal system didn’t intervene.

            A less controversial reason might be that we didn’t know then as much as we know now about how developed a fetus is in every stage and our laws haven’t kept up. New legislation shouldn’t be brought forward based on religious dogma, but rather on science facts, healthcare concerns and social consequences.

            My point is that unborn children have fewer rights than born children in every jurisdiction I can recall, even in jurisdictions that recognize the right to be born (and thus outlaw abortion). But Nagel frames it as if Spain was an abnormality in not extending every human right to unborn children:

            ‘You, me, and anyone living or passing through Spain has something that most every human being has: the right to have their life protected by the state.

            Everyone, that is, who has been born. Some people simply have fewer rights than others. Ironically, this is taken as a sign of “civilization.”’


  38. Regardless of your opinions about abortion, there is a very interesting political question here: why hasn’t the government changed the abortion law? I couldn’t understand it at first, especially after reading a Vanessa Davies article in El Nacional that described the frequent deaths from illegal abortion in Venezuela. With a pro government feminist so prominently calling for change, why was the government so slow to act? I asked them Venezuela’s first women’s minister about it the first time I met her. She simply said “you have to move slowly.” I said, no you don’t. You have changed everything, including the Constitution. Why go slowly on this? She simply shrugged and turned away. Later, talking with evangelical Christians in Caracas, I learned that most of them are pro-government, but that their support depends on the government staying anti-abortion and not recognizing gay couples. If that is the reason, it is odd. There is something very strange in a government that claims to be modeling itself on Cuba, which is the most pro-abortion place on the planet, but having an abortion policy locked in place because of political debts to evangelical Christians, a religious movement that owes most of its heritage to the United States.


    • ” There is something very strange in a government that claims to be modeling itself on Cuba, which is the most pro-abortion place on the planet, but having an abortion policy locked in place because of political debts to evangelical Christians, a religious movement that owes most of its heritage to the United States.”

      It should involve money on any level, maybe the evangelicals you mentioned are financing or somehow there’s a deal involving some notable amounts of money, be it useless bolivars or most likely juicy dollars, and they have their grip on the government because some political debt.

      Don’t forget also that chavismo is machista in absurd levels, and thus it fits in their mindset to restrict as much as possible the choices for women and of course stop at any cost the so called gay marriage, on that last one because being a “faggot” is for chavistas something that’s not human, thus they call all the opposition like that (pedro carroña), it goes tied with the dehumanizing speech to justify all the atrocities they’re comitting.


    • This is one of the many huge ironies in Venezuela. I am stunned at how popular Evagelical Christianity is in the interior. The Catholic church is getting swept away. In Central America, Evangelical christianity is very strong and has been for several decades, and it is very much connected with the history and US efforts to combat Catholic liberation theology. So yes, the connection between evangelical christianity and chavismo is perplexing, unless you accept that chavismo is not really an ideology, but personalism, which meshes well with the happy clapper set.


      • People burdened with a mediochre life , who have little intellectual interests or intellectual education ( not to be confused with ordinary formal education ) feel attracted to cults that make them feel ‘spiritual’ and special , that allow them to display their specialness through showy gestures of emotional exhuberance . They are scaping the inner banality and anonymity of their own lives . This applies to quite a few Venezuelan evangelicals and maybe even some charismatic catholics . Its spirituality on the cheap which uncultured people tend to confuse with threatrical expressions of overblown sentimentality .

        It makes you feel special to break with tradition , with the past , with the common and normal , in part it ties in with the reason why uncultured people also gravitate towards that political cult of Chavez , except that Chavismo also contains an element of righteous resentment that I dont think informs the spirit of venezuelan evangelism .!!

        Cults allow people to adopt a more exciting social identity than they are born with and this excitment become thrilling when it can see itself as engaged in a struggle agaisnt the devotees of other identities they enjoy scorning because scorning others make many people feel morally superior and thus gratifies their moral vanity !!.


      • I am convinced that in Latin America, the incentives to convert, away from traditional Catholicism is the reason why the Curia elected Francisco as Pope. For, most of us understand that religious imperatives, which includes an underlying force of “us versus them” is all about numbers (of adherents) and by extension, the increase in financial coffer$. The latter is more necessary in these times than ever before, particularly after all the Court-dictated compensation payment$$ to victims of sexual molestation by disturbed priests.


  39. Audrey is rigth, this topic needs to be talked about. However, even though I think this is something that needs to be legalized, JC had me at: “Ours is a society consumed by violence. In order to turn the tide, we need to emphasize the idea that every life is worth protecting, that life is sacred and precious, and that whomever takes it commits an unspeakable offense.”

    So, yes, let’s fix the system first and give more options to women facing the issues of unwanted pregnancy. Then we can give them even more (legal) options about it.


  40. If Chavistas hold off on a pro abortion change in the laws its not because of any questions of principle , on the contrary since allowing abortion is deemed ;progressive they might favour it just beause of that . Goes nicely with the progressive image they want to sell .

    If they hold off on the subject its because it has such a low priority in their programatic and political agenda that it doesnt even appear on their radar . We know they are not very concerned with petit bourgeois personal freedom issues , and their supporters in the barrios dont see it as big issue either , it hasnt registered in their conscience as something important whatever the actual suffering it may cause marginal women with children they dont want to have..

    Its strictly an educated middle class issue and even there it doenst matter that much because a middle class lady that wants to have one can find the means of getting one without difficulty whatever the law says. This is not a place where the laws counts for much .

    So it remains an issue for ladies and men who are steeped in the cultural wars of developed countries , a tiny tiny minority at best . If people dont mind having laws which forbid abortion and allowing abortion can cause a ruckus with the Church and with Evangelical Suporters why bother !!.


  41. Como este es un tema largo de hablar, prefiero opinar en español a hacerlo en inglés, el cual no domino muy bien. Comprendo por que Juan decidió apelar al argumento emocional y político y no al social. Y es simplemente por que, y no nos vamos a caer a mentiras, no hay motivos pragmáticos -sí, desde ese pragmatismo frío digno de un jerarca del Partido Comunista Chino- para permitir venir al mundo a niños que vivirán en la pobreza y probablemente terminen como malandros. Como tampoco lo hay para permitir vivir y reproducirse a minusválidos mentales, discapacitados físicos, y personas en estado vegetal. Es un costo el mantenerlos, y muchas veces no lleva a nada.

    Sin embargo, hay un motivo esencial por el cual proteger y ayudar a los discapacitados, las personas en estado vegetal y los fetos. Por que son seres humanos VIVOS, y la vida es sagrada por que así lo decidió el Único con poder para decidir entre la vida y la muerte, Dios Todopoderoso (los atheus pueden ir a vomitar en el pipote de la basura que está allí). Todos somos seres humanos iguales, y lo que le hagamos a uno, nos será aplicado o seremos merecedores de que nos aplique. Nadie es quien para juzgar a sus semejantes.

    Sobre el tema del “patriarcado” venezolano, no creo que aquí haya patriarcado. Entiéndase por patriarcado un sistema social donde gobiernen los patriarcas, los padres de familia. Aquí lo que hay es un machismo irresponsable que no incluye las características tradicionales del patriarcado como la protección de la mujer (y antes que alguien venga a quejarse, eso es justo lo que piden las feministas de hoy, que la ley de protecciones especiales a la mujer) y de los hijos, o el sentido de la responsabilidad. Ni siquiera hay respeto hacia los otros hombres entre los mismos hombres. Todo es una pura guachafa, un puro chiste. Decimos que somos una sociedad cristiana y conservadora y tenemos una de las tasas más grandes de embarazos no deseados en América Latina.

    Este país -excepto por la clase media en buena medida conformada por descendientes de inmigrantes- no es conservador y mojigato un carajo. Es irresponsable, y lo que se enseña -sobre todo en los barrios- es a darle a todo lo que tenga falda, y luego desaparecerse. Tan solo las matriarcas, auténticas gobernantes de este país, tratan de imponer algo de moralidad, que sí, es mojigata, pero es más un arrepentimiento de su vida licenciosa de juventud más que otra cosa. Y eso en el mejor de los casos, que hay mucha matriarca que aún se le abre de piernas al primero que pase por allí.

    Este país lo que necesita es una verdadera educación SEXUAL -y entregas gratuitas de condones, ya que estamos con que el Estado regale todo-, y solo un idiota mojigato pensaría que como política de nación, la abstinencia funciona. Y más en un país tan podrido socialmente como éste.

    Primero, y se van a acordar mío, se aprueba en este país el matrimonio gay -y quiera Dios que esto nunca pase- que el aborto.


    • Te falta el principio moral mas importante (para mi) en la VIDA.
      “Respeto hacia las creencias ajenas”

      Precisamente ese “respeto” es lo que se pide para que legalicen el aborto, por las mismas razones que ya tu mismo dijistes, y aceptastes que el aborto se mantiene prohibido por las “creencias” y mas nada.

      El aborto y los matrimonios gays se legalizaran tarde o temprano, y de verdad te digo que es una batalla perdida ir en contra de ello. Las nuevas generaciones, siempre con mentes abiertas, las van a ir aceptando.
      Los que estamos a favor de ellos, solo tratamos de que sean mas temprano que tarde.


      • Me atrevo a acotar la maxima moral que cita Madacol para proponer su sustitucion por la siguiente ´hay que respetar a las personas’ sin importar sus cualidades distintivas , no necesariamente las creencias por que francamente no podemos humanamente dejar de juzgarlas y siempre habra alguna que autenticamente no nos merecen respeto ( p. ejemplo para Madacol las que expresa el Sr Ortega ) . El problema esta en ser sincero en expresar el disentimiento con la opinion ajena sin ofender la dignidad de la persona que la profesa . Esta ultima tarea es bien dificil y poco alcanzan a cumplirla .


      • Yo no puedo respetar a quiénes están en contra de la vida. Lo siento. Los homosexuales son otra historia, y a ellos sí les respeto pese a que no me agraden. Tampoco puedo respetar a alguien que pone el pragmatismo por encima de la ética y la moral. Me gustaría saber que opinarías si Hitler resucitara y propusiera esterilizar a los discapacitados mentales.


        • “Yo no puedo respetar a quiénes están en contra de la vida.”
          R= Si eso fuera verdad, estuvieramos apoyando el suicidio en vez del aborto.
          Y si tu estas a favor de la vida, ¿porqué matas a las cucarachas o las hormigas o las ratas cuando se meten en tu casa? lo digo porque me imagino que lo haces, o AL MENOS permites que los demas lo hagan.

          “Me gustaría saber que opinarías si Hitler resucitara y propusiera esterilizar a los discapacitados mentales.”
          R= Estaría en contra, no veo razones ni beneficio alguno para la humanidad como para atentar en contra de la libertad de un individuo.
          Y mucho mas a mi favor, con la nuevas tecnologías de manipulacion genética.

          “Tampoco puedo respetar a alguien que pone el pragmatismo por encima de la ética y la moral”

          R= El Pragmatismo perfecto sería lo ideal en la vida, pero ambos sabemos que eso no existe (debido a las limitaciones de la mente), y precisamente es apartir de esas imperfecciones que surge la NECESIDAD de “la Ética y la moral”.

          Cuando la inteligencia de un ser humano es INCAPAZ de analizar todas las consecuencias que un acto conlleva, se deja llevar por sus “principios morales” para actuar “”correctamente””, y aquellos individuos cuyos “principios morales” demuestran tener más “éxito”, con el tiempo pasan a predominar cada vez mas y mas, hasta convertirse en la “Ética y moral” de una sociedad.

          Los problemas surgen cuando aparecen nuevos “principios morales” que parezcan tener mas éxito y empiezan los conflictos, cada uno intentando convertirse (o mantenerse) en la predominante “Ética y moral” de la sociedad.
          El tiempo determina al “”vencedor””

          Mira la historia de la humanidad y verás como este patrón se repite miles de veces, desde Galileo hasta Malcolm X.

          Que no se te olvide esto amigo:
          “La ética y la moral son el MEDIO, NO el FIN”


          • Me refería a la vida humana, madacol. La animal no me importa mucho que digamos. Ah, y por lo visto eres un maquiavelista de pro, pues ni tan siquiera reconoces que el feto es un ser vivo. Lo que nos faltaba, pues. Décadas de estudios científicos mandadas a la mierda por un Nietszche wannabe.

            Y por lo visto, todo para ti son conveniencias. La hermandad entre los hombres, Dios, la solidaridad, el amor, y conceptos de ese tipo por lo visto te son desconocidos. Y no entendí un carajo de lo que tiene la moral y la ética, que son conceptos abstractos, filosóficos y espirituales, que ver con los fríos hechos y el pragmatismo. Pues por lo visto, para ti la ética y la moral

            Y que yo recuerde, la ética y la moral siguen siendo las mismas que predicó Nuestro Señor Jesucristo. O al menos, es lo que la gente intenta aplicar. La empatía, el amor por el prójimo, el amor a Dios, el no matar, el no robar, el no ser infiel -ni siquiera la revolución sexual pudo acabar con la concepción del adulterio como tabú-.


            • Claro que reconozco al feto como un ser vivo. Pero así como apoyo matar cucarachas por conveniencia, tambien apoyo matar un feto por conveniencia.

              Pues sí, para mi todo gira en torno a la conveniencia (OJO: En el sentido literal y general, NO en el sentido coloquial). La moral q en un pasado estuvo basada en la coveniencia de aquellos tiempos,


              • (No habia terminado de escribir)

                Pues sí, para mi todo gira en torno a la conveniencia (OJO: En el sentido literal y general, NO en el sentido coloquial). La moral religiosa en un pasado estuvo basada en la conveniencia colectiva que en aquellos tiempos hacía falta tener, pero ya eso dejó de ser así, esa moral ya no está en sintonía con la conveniencia colectiva en el mundo en q vivimos ahora. Y te pongo precisamente el aborto como un ejemplo de ello (eso es lo que creo).

                “-ni siquiera la revolución sexual pudo acabar con la concepción del adulterio como tabú-.”
                R= ¿Y quien dijo que esa revolución ha acabado?, eso apenas está empezando ;).

                Creo que no me entendistes porque hablamos en distintos idiomas, pero no sé que hacer al respecto =/


    • “(los atheus pueden ir a vomitar en el pipote de la basura que está allí).”
      Muy bonita esta perlita, mandar a los ateos a lavarse el culo si no están de acuerdo con tu posición.
      Dedicaría unos cuantos minutos más a responderte, pero al llegar a esa parte, pues quedaste como los chabrutos intransigentes que quieren sustentar su argumento con un insulto hacia los demás.
      PD: Sí, soy ateo, y sí tengo las neuronas lo bastante funcionales para respetar a los demás ya sean musulmanes, cristianos, judíos, etcétera.


    • Por un lado dices que “Nadie es quien para juzgar a sus semejantes”

      Pero dentro de semejantes no entran los ateos (que “pueden ir a vomitar en el pipote de la basura que está allí”), o a los irresponsables caracterizados por no ser clase media descendiente inmigrantes, o las “matriarca[s] que aún se le abre de piernas al primero que pase por allí”, ni los gays.

      Los semejantes a tí, entonces.


      • J. Navarro, yo no juzgo a los ateos. Solamente digo -y cuando dije atheus, me refería a los fanáticos, no a los ateos normales. Jerga de Internet- que ellos pueden retorcerse todo lo que quieran por que use razones religiosas y éticas para oponerme al aborto. Por que hasta donde sé, no es necesario apelar al Creador para defender la Vida. No niego que soy algo arrogante, y que espero que Dios perdone mi arrogancia, pero el ver a mi país hundirse y mi lucha irse al carajo, mi desprecio por mis compatriotas aumenta cada día.

        Por cierto, yo soy venezolano por los cuatro costados, y no tengo sangre de inmigrantes en mis venas. Más bien detesto a los inmigrantes y sus descendientes por su racismo y mojigatería, la cual creo que condené bastante en mi comentario (no en vano muchos de PJ son descendientes de inmigrantes). Son el otro extremo -e igual de detestable- del machismo irresponsable.

        Audrey, lo que dije es que es mucho más probable que se legalice en Venezuela el matrimonio gay que el aborto. De hecho, yo mismo aceptaría la legalización a gran escala del matrimonio gay si implicase la prohibición mundial del aborto. Y en este país la mayoría piensa igual que yo. No en vano, aunque sea timídamente, los activistas LGBT han logrado meter el tema de la discriminación a los homosexuales en la agenda política, aunque sea de plato menor. Si hasta han logrado que un político de primera línea (Leopoldo) los apoye! Mientras el tema del aborto ni se le ve ni se le espera.


        • Las gafedades que a veces dice la gente.

          “Por cierto, yo soy venezolano por los cuatro costados, y no tengo sangre de inmigrantes en mis venas.” Tú debes ser entonces indígena de cepa pura, algo así como la viva imagen de Guaicaipuro, capaz que modelaste para los billetes de a 10, porque hasta donde tengo entendido, esos son los únicos que nacieron en el territorio venezolano que están libres de la “inmunda sangre de inmigrantes”.

          “Más bien detesto a los inmigrantes y sus descendientes por su racismo y mojigatería” Eso sonó bien parecido a la vieja ridícula aquella que llevaba muy orgullosa un cartel de “váyanse hijos de inmigrantes de mierda” con una cabilla en la otra mano (Porque apuesto que cree que ella dará los coñazos sin que nadie se defienda para nada), y que luego salió otra foto suya sosteniendo un retrato de Bolívar, que para que los racistas se retuerzan de la arrechera, pues tengo entendido que era descendiente de inmigrantes. Y para mojigatería, entérate por mucho que te duela que la mayoría de la gente en este país de la generación de los 60 para atrás es “mojigata estúpida”, de esos que como dije en otro comentario, tenían en la cabeza las cucarachas de que la mejor educación sexual para sus hijos era NO DECIRLES ABSOLUTAMENTE NADA y ocultarles toda la información, criando una generación de gente que en una gran proporción no saben que si tienen penetración pene-vagina sin protección de ninguna clase las posibilidades de un embarazo accidental son enormes.

          Entérate también que los estratos más bajos de la sociedad en Venezuela son los más machistas, no es coincidencia que sean los que tienen mayor cantidad de madres solteras, dado que los hombres suelen embarazar a las mujeres y largarse al carajo cuando se enteran que van a tener un hijo, hace unos años me tocó para un trabajo levantar unas encuestas socioeconómicas en varios poblados, y la gente más humilde era la que tenía esas ideas pendejas más incrustadas en el coco.

          Si te ofendes con lo que he dicho, es porque toda mi vida me he burlado de los racistas, y más risa me dan cuando son venezolanos, porque precisamente este país es donde casi todo el mundo es mestizo, o para que lo veas más sencillo, todos acá somos “café con leche”, así que la postura de la “raza aria” es bien estúpida para tratar de justificar un argumento.

          “…lo que dije es que es mucho más probable que se legalice en Venezuela el matrimonio gay que el aborto. ” Con la mentalidad ignorante y retrógrada de la mayoría de los venezolanos en esos aspectos, no se aprobará ninguna de las dos cosas a menos que maburro quiera que voten por algún bate quebrado, que no es muy diferente a todas las estupideces populistas que han hecho los políticos en Venezuela en los últimos como 50 años. Y no es que el matrimonio entre parejas del mismo género sea el tema de esta discusión, pero también es cierto que gran parte de los venezolanos son homofóbicos hasta la médula, y de nuevo, los estratos menos educados de la sociedad lo son más, porque son más numerosos y porque la falta de educación y valores los hace más propensos a odiar a un grupo determinado (Demostrado por como la gente más humilde salió en estampida a votar por un asesino como el muñeco de cera aunque ahora estén más jodidos que nunca)

          Ah, y si crees que los “opositores” son los homófobos por ser “hijos de inmigrantes invasores”, pues en menos de 5 minutos puedes conseguir en internet cualquier cantidad de artículos que toman nota y registran las veces que el chavismo ha usado la homofobia como arma política, empezando por el arranque del roba cantinas pedro carroña hasta terminar en una cadena que hizo el imbécil de nicolasno para decir que Capriles era marico (al igual que todos los escuacas) y que como “no se aceptaba como era” pues estaba bien joderlo como fuera.


          • Bien precioso te quedó el hombre de paja, Ralph. Yo, en primer lugar, creo que el venezolano es precisamente el producto del mestizaje, y sí, estoy diciendo que los indígenas de cepa pura no están plenamente identificados con lo que se podría denominar la cultura venezolana.

            En segunda, guste o no reconocerlo, si hay gente racista en este país, son los descendientes de los inmigrantes europeos que vinieron en los 40 y 50. Eso es una verdad como un templo. Y sobre la mojigatería, son los descendientes de inmigrantes nacidos en los 70 en adelante los que persisten en ella, empezando por Caprilito y el electorado de Primero Justicia.

            En tercera, no en vano dije que el machismo irresponsable es el otro extremo de la mojigatería de las clases altas, por lo que obviamente se podía deducir que existe más que todo en las clases bajas. Por que hasta donde yo recuerdo, el machismo tradicional al menos protegía a la mujer que el hombre dejaba embarazada. Cosas como la institución de que los padres obligaran a casarse a los carajitos que agarraban en pleno acto…

            Y sería demasiado idiota de mi parte decir que el chavismo no es homófobo. Más bien diría que si hay alguien en este país favorable al matrimonio gay, son ciertas élites económicas que anhelan con convertir esto en la decadente Europa. Sí, decadente.


            • “Bien precioso te quedó el hombre de paja, Ralph.” Lee lo que es la falacia del muñeco de paja -> http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StrawmanFallacy <- Hasta donde veo no he sacado de contexto lo que has dicho ni he sacado algo que no tiene que ver con lo que dijiste para tratar de contrariar tu escrito.

              "Yo, en primer lugar, creo que el venezolano es precisamente el producto del mestizaje," En ningún lado has dicho esto antes, lo que dijiste es que tú sí eras venezolano verdadero y que los inmigrantes son los que tienen la culpa de todo este peo, cuando precisamente este país está conformado por descendientes de inmigrantes en un altísimo porcentaje, lo que resulta en algo ridículo el ponerse racista como lo hiciste en tu mensaje, porque sí, el racismo no es sólo cuando los caucásicos ojitos azules desprecian a los demás porque tienen piel de color más oscura.

              "En segunda, guste o no reconocerlo, si hay gente racista en este país, son los descendientes de los inmigrantes europeos que vinieron en los 40 y 50. Eso es una verdad como un templo." Y por mucho que a tí te duela, los descendientes de cichos inmigrantes se llaman VENEZOLANOS, y la estupidez del racismo data de la colonia, y es en parte culpa del sistema educativo por no haberlo señalado como lo que es, una estupidez digna de burla.

              "Por que hasta donde yo recuerdo, el machismo tradicional al menos protegía a la mujer que el hombre dejaba embarazada." No hay un machismo "tradicional" al que quieres hacer quedar como algo bueno contra "otro tipo de machismo" que es que crees que hay hoy en día, el machismo es uno sólo y es igual de estúpido por donde se le vea, con ejemplos como este cartel que dice "Incitar al sexo genera violaciones"

              O con estupideces como que las mujeres son las culpables de ser violadas porque ellas estaban provocando al tipo, y pasando por un conjunto de cosas cada una más pendeja que la anterior, hasta llegar a MUJERES que crían a sus hijos con basura en la cabeza como que "las hijas lo que tienen que hacer es estar en una casa limpiando, cocinando y teninendo carajitos" y los hombres "pueden hacer lo que les dé la gana porque son varones"

              "Más bien diría que si hay alguien en este país favorable al matrimonio gay, son ciertas élites económicas que anhelan con convertir esto en la decadente Europa. Sí, decadente." Bueno, a mí realmente no me va ni me viene el asunto del matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo, soy ateo, así que no tengo que traumatizarme con eso de que "distorsiona lo que es la concepción verdadea del matrimonio" y creo que gente responsable puede criar bien a los hijos que adopten (Algo que está bien escaso en Venezuela, donde mucha gente tiene el coco seco con pendejadas como racismo y machismo por ejemplo, nuevamente, estupideces que constituyen al chavismo y de las cuales se aprovechó para captar a sus seguidores)

              Y ni idea de las fulanas omniosas "élites económicas que quieren convertir esto en la decadente Europa" que mencionas al final del mensaje, que hasta donde to tengo entendido, Europa actualmente no es un continente lleno de orgías omnisexuales parafílicas con toda clase de drogadicción y demás vicios perpetrados por herejes sin alma para ser llamada "decadente".


  42. Bravo Audrey M. Dacosta, and Juan Cristóbal Nagel you sounded like a closeted Opus dei member, sadly half of more of the MUD’s leadership are bunch of backward neanderthal viejos verdes that will probably back you up and are still living in the fifties.

    It is time to starts discussing issues like abortion, gay rights, legalization if not now when?

    One of the most overlooked issues of the last 13 years in Venezuela has been the damage done to anyone who dares to call himself a progressive and still oppose the regime. Any mention of abortion, gay rights, drug legalization, you get the comunista, castro loving, go back to Cuba speech thrown at you.

    In Venezuela abortion, as well as all over Latin America, abortion should be legal and part of sex education classes at the high school level, time to move on.


    • You are the perfect example of why I hate politics. You are fed these pat ideas and swallow them whole without so much as a hint of self observation.

      In a free society we can have all of these beliefs and be okay. but once politics are involved we start getting people smug about their ideas, and authoritarian in going against others.

      Nagel and Audrey both have respectable opinions, and part of the truth dear.


    • On the contrary, dude, speak something about favoring same-gender marriage, and chavistas will jump to your throat calling you “marico” faster than an uzi fires rounds.
      It’s the commies the ones who are the worst conservatives and anti progress people here, want an example? Just look at shitbags like pedro carroña to see who are the core homophobes and mysoginists in Venezuela.
      There are moronic people on this side too, I won’t deny that, but do they have any political power to make their stupidity matter? Not a bit.


      • If you are speaking to me, you do not get my point.

        Nowhere did I say that people outside of politics are not moronic.I said that it is best to keep social issues outside of them .Whether or not you or I think someone is moronic, they still have a right to respect and freedom of opinion.


        • En realidad mi comentario era respondiéndole a Space, porque según él los únicos progresistas son los chavistas.


  43. Here’s a twist: would you force people, against their wishes, to keep a family member on life support despite a vegetative or comatose state, despite any damaging effects this policy would cause those related to the case?


  44. Setty, Audrey,

    It is correct most evangelicals in Venezuela are Chavistas, but there are a lot of non-Chavistas as well.

    It goes like this:

    Baptists (and Baptists are evangelical Christians as well, although they USUALLY don’t pretend to “speak in tongues” or get seizures) are usually opposition.

    Pentecostals and others tend to be Chavistas.

    The curious thing: the ones in the better off circles, upper middle class, with the UCAB-PJ connection, tend to be more conservative Catholic…I would say even more so than the previous pope, even if almost every single Catholic but some obscure eminencia will say this current pope rocks.

    So: paradoxically, the most extreme religious groups are either leading or greatly influencing the policies of Chavismo and opposition.

    One of the tragic things I see within the opposition is that the PJ people and some others are remaining so quite about proper sexual education, about preservatives and counseling for the young.

    The Venezuelan middle hasn’t got a chance with that conservatism coming from both sides of the political spectrum.


    • UCAB is rather progressive catholic, being Jesuit (like the current Pope). It looks even more progressive if compared against the Opus Dei influenced Universidad Monteávila.

      But then again, the only birth control methods approved by the Catholic church are abstinence and rythm.


      • I can attest from personal experience that not only are abstinence and the rhythm method approved, they are taught.

        In my marriage course in Caracas, they invited the ‘gringo’ to give a talk on financial planning, but I may have preferred to talk about the part of the course that the guy who was prohibited from having sex was teaching.


  45. I would like to know if Juan Nagel would get to a compromise on
    the information about education on condoms, pills and other birth control methods for anyone who has reached reproductive age.
    What is the position of Primero Justicia?

    It’s amazing that no party seems to touch even that topic. We are not talking about abortion but normal BIRTH CONTROL!


    • Kep , youve hit the nail on the head , the issue is not abortion but birth control and the need for its practice to be promoted and facilitated as much as possible , specially among those who dont have the will or the capacitity to take responsible care of their brood , That would of course include a campaign for making it easy for people to understand the benefits to them of practicing it .

      If you are succesful in promoting birth control and thus responsible parenting then you dont have to think of abortion as the sacred emblem of womanly freedom it has become in developed countries ..

      At least this should be part of the oppos platform even if the more pious among its members feel qualms about publicly favouring abortion !!


      • At least it would reduce the actual, real killing of foetuses.

        Then we can talk about abortion but even there: “evil” Western Europe has the lowest rates of abortion on Earth (Eastern Europe, coming from Communism, the highest):
        And the more open societies like Scandinavia or the Benelux have the lowest at all, by a combination
        of good sexual education and a legal framework with real counceling for abortions.

        Some conservatives here say: “no, we don’t want neither the one nor the other, no concession”
        and with that they are making their countries have the worst abortion rates there are. Is that really so ethical? They probably say: “it’s not our fault, it’s theirs because they are are so far from God”.


        • Fuck you, Kepler.

          It’s no surprise an oppositionist escualido like yourself believes in abortion rights. Escualido philosophy and abortion rights have the same things at their core: Selfishness.

          You people really do belong in a forced labour camp.


          • Hector_St_Clare, let me get this straight: The selfish one is the person who wants you to take into consideration the point of view of a third party, while you, the supposedly selfless one, are the one calling for forced labuor camps, and forced pregnancies.


            • That’s the problem with them, they’re so absurdly self-centered that they can’t even conceive there’s people who don’t think the same as them, and they see that as a threat and an insult.
              That’s why chavismo ended as just another commie-fascist dictatorship (Yes, both ends are equally shitty and the same at the end, they just screw the citizens and turn them into slaves), because it’s born from hatred and envy.


          • There, you said the E word.
            Don’t expect anybody to take you seriously here, or anywhere else.
            Well, I guess you won’t be willing to use the word against anybody outside the “safety of the web”, unless you want a free punch to the face.


    • Kep, te voy a poner una cita de Tatiana Rojas del Colectivo Faldas en Revolución

      “Una medida de despenalización del aborto tiene que estar necesariamente acompañada por una política de educación sexual y de acceso a los métodos anticonceptivos, porque a veces sucede que no siempre están disponibles en los dispensarios, o que la gente no conoce que hay sitios donde los dan gratis, veamos incluso cuánto cuesta una caja de preservativos en cualquier farmacia”.

      Cuándo hablamos (me incluyo) de la despenalización del aborto, siempre lo hacemos pensando en macro. En un gran proyecto que incluya educación, acceso a anticonceptivos, disminución de violencia sexual y aborto.

      Pero en Venezuela, la gente hasta se horroriza por un dibujo de un pene y una vagina en un texto escolar.

      Una amiga mía dio clases de Salud en 8vo grado. Estaba hablando de sexo, embarazo y enfermedades de transmisión sexual. Mi amiga salió en shock de la clases, niños de 13 y 14 años, hablando sobre sus proezas sexuales.

      Yo di clases en 4to año, y algunos muchachos me preguntaban si era verdad que no quedaban embarazadas si se ponían boca arriba luego de las relaciones, o si se tomaban una botellas de 2 lts de coca-cola.

      Ya está pasando, ya lo están haciendo, vamos a darles las herramientas para que se cuiden.


  46. Debido a este post, me animé a discutirlo en mi facebook, y de 11 personas q se manifestaron, me apoyaron “a favor del aborto” 1 por completo y 2 a medias -más de lo q pensaba-, pero aún existe mucha gente horrorizada al respecto =(, y una de ellas me llegó a decir esto:
    “Q pienso q ni tu ni varios q se expresaron a favor merecen haber vivido. Dan asco”


    • Ya ves que es lamentable que hay gente que prefiere que se mueran la madre y el feto a tratar de salvarle la vida por lo menos a la madre cuando se sabe que está en riesgo grave si sigue con el embarazo.
      También debe ser de esas gafas que creen que la única actividad sexual que es permitida es “Dentro del matrimonio, misionero, sólo para la estricta procreación, y que tengan tantos carajitos como Dios les mande”


      • Que hay de esperar, cuando la gran mayoría de gente ha sido educada, desde la cuna y hasta la médula, por quienes abogan por el control de la sociedad, a través de normas que sirven mayormente para proteger las inseguridades de los machitos.


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