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hooksaw
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Recent events have occurred and others will occur that bring this divisive issue to the fore once again. Perhaps we can make some sense of it all--perhaps not.

A Gallup Poll shows that--for the first time--more Americans are "pro-life" than "pro-choice."

http://www.gallup.com/poll/118399/More-Americans-Pro-Life-Than-Pro-Choice-First-Time.aspx

1. In the past, this seemed to be a social issue that hurt conservatives at the polls. In light of this apparent new trend, is this still the case?

President Obama was invited to speak at Notre Dame's commencement this past weekend. The invitation and honorary degree angered some.

2. Should President Obama have been invited to speak and honored at Notre Dame given the "Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding The Participation of Catholics in Political Life" that bans pro-abortion politicians and others from being honored by Catholic organizations?

A candidate for the Supreme Court will be picked soon--perhaps this week--by President Obama.

3. Will abortion be a litmus test for the candidate? Should it be?

My answers:

1. I'm pro-choice--so I'm apparently in the minority now (I just don't think government should be involved in this sort of decision). It's difficult to say whether this new trend will help conservatives--it probably won't make that much difference at the polls.

2. I understand that some Catholics were upset about the Obama invitation to Notre Dame, but I wasn't. If we start banning sitting presidents from speaking at institutions because some group disagrees with them, we might as well give up on presidential speeches outside the White House and other federal property.

Perhaps Notre Dame could have split the baby by allowing Obama to speak but not "honoring" him with a degree? Just a thought.

3. Yes, I think abortion will be a litmus tests applied by Obama. No, I don't think it should be--pro or con.

5/18/2009 10:15:01 AM

Fail Boat
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Is there any explanation given for the big change in the numbers?

Edit:

Uh, huh?

Quote :
"The May 2009 survey documents comparable changes in public views about the legality of abortion. In answer to a question providing three options for the extent to which abortion should be legal, about as many Americans now say the procedure should be illegal in all circumstances (23%) as say it should be legal under any circumstances (22%). This contrasts with the last four years, when Gallup found a strong tilt of public attitudes in favor of unrestricted abortion."


As recently as 2005, the numbers were the same again. Or does 2005 not fall under "the last four years"?

Caveat, I haven't read the rest of the report yet.

[Edited on May 18, 2009 at 10:23 AM. Reason : .]

5/18/2009 10:20:04 AM

Shaggy
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I am pro-abortion.

5/18/2009 10:39:02 AM

agentlion
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I'm not really in a position to question Gallup's methods, but the last two years look really suspect.... A complete reversal of that magnitude, especially when the opposite trend has been pretty clear for 8 years, seems very unlikely



i guess the change in Republican's attitudes accounts for most of it. Maybe the presidential election has something to do with it, where the Republican anti-abortion message was spread pretty hard through the party.


[Edited on May 18, 2009 at 10:48 AM. Reason : .]

5/18/2009 10:44:32 AM

EarthDogg
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Quote :
"Is there any explanation given for the big change in the numbers?
"


Very good question. Could it be, with the advancement in ultrasounds and other methods of "Seeing" a living human being develop inside a woman, that people are becoming less receptive to the thought that unborn children are just tissue.

5/18/2009 10:52:49 AM

not dnl
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^^that first graph surprised the shit out of me the other day

5/18/2009 10:57:07 AM

Stimwalt
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There are lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics. I call into question the research methodology of this gallup poll. What were the research questions that were asked? How subjective are the categorizations of Pro-life and Pro-choice. Does the poll take into account the individuals that believe abortion should be legal in cases of rape and births that threaten the life of the mother? If so, how were these individuals categorized? One might assume that individuals in favor of abortion in cases of rape and saving the life of the mother, would be labeled pro-choice. However, depending on the research classifications, these individuals may be considered pro-life instead, in that they do not agree with abortions outside of this moral realm of questioning. Until these important questions can be answered in clarity, this poll is meaningless to me.

[Edited on May 18, 2009 at 11:00 AM. Reason : -]

5/18/2009 10:59:12 AM

Fail Boat
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Quote :
"Very good question. Could it be, with the advancement in ultrasounds and other methods of "Seeing" a living human being develop inside a woman, that people are becoming less receptive to the thought that unborn children are just tissue."


For this to have an effect, I'd like to know how many people across the country have seen the advanced ultrasounds. My guess is not nearly enough to make such a large reversal in these stats.

5/18/2009 11:37:03 AM

Lumex
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Gallup is a fairly reputable polling institution. I'm all for questioning polling practices, but I'm inclined to believe Gallup knows what its doing.

5/18/2009 11:37:14 AM

disco_stu
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Please to watch Penn & Teller: Bullshit Season 4 Episode 9 entitled Numbers.

Pollsters admitting that what they're doing is bullshit.

5/18/2009 11:39:10 AM

marko
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Quote :
"There are lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics. I call into question the research methodology of this gallup poll. What were the research questions that were asked? How subjective are the categorizations of Pro-life and Pro-choice. Does the poll take into account the individuals that believe abortion should be legal in cases of rape and births that threaten the life of the mother? If so, how were these individuals categorized? One might assume that individuals in favor of abortion in cases of rape and saving the life of the mother, would be labeled pro-choice. However, depending on the research classifications, these individuals may be considered pro-life instead, in that they do not agree with abortions outside of this moral realm of questioning. Until these important questions can be answered in clarity, this poll is meaningless to me."


i saw it somewhere on pbs... this is pretty much what happened in this poll

5/18/2009 11:46:53 AM

hooksaw
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Well, the media must believe this poll, because they took it and ran like hell with it. OMFG! PRO-LIFERS ARE A MAJORITY?!!1

^ And I take PBS with a grain of salt--just like all the others (and polls). I mean, you're kind of saying don't believe Gallup but believe PBS.

In any event, the last sentence from the link in the OP is Gallup's get-out-of-jail free card:

Quote :
"Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,015 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted May 7-10, 2009. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

Gallup Poll Daily results are based on telephone interviews with 971 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted May 12-13, 2009, as part of Gallup Poll Daily tracking. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on land-line telephones (for respondents with a land-line telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell-phone only).

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls."


http://www.gallup.com/poll/118399/More-Americans-Pro-Life-Than-Pro-Choice-First-Time.aspx

PS: Concerning the Gallup Poll, there's also this from AP by way of WRAL:

Quote :
"The findings echoed a recent national survey by the Pew Research Center, which reported a sharp decline since last August in those saying abortion should be legal in all or most cases - from 54 percent to 46 percent.

Taken together, the two polls have elated anti-abortion activists, who had been stung by the November election results that placed President Barack Obama and other abortion-rights supporters in power in Washington."


http://www.wral.com/news/national_world/national/story/5156664/

[Edited on May 18, 2009 at 12:07 PM. Reason : .]

5/18/2009 12:01:20 PM

TKE-Teg
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lol, I love how some of you think the numbers are valid until it reveals something you wouldn't expect. Then you question the integrity of Gallup instead of looking elsewhere.

5/18/2009 1:04:06 PM

HUR
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^ Obama aborted your babies, took your global warming monies, and our freedoms

I always found an irony in the fact that the most ardent pro-life defenders are also the same people bitching about the LIBERALS and their social welfare programs paying Tarsheda to be a high school drop out teen mom.

[Edited on May 18, 2009 at 1:12 PM. Reason : l]

5/18/2009 1:11:03 PM

tromboner950
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^^A complete reversal in trend over such a short time period with no recognizable cause is actually a decent reason to doubt the validity of a poll.

Normally I'd agree with you about people questioning poll validity, but in this case the concern seems somewhat justified.

[Edited on May 18, 2009 at 1:20 PM. Reason : though statistically (math-wise, anyway)... I can't see anything wrong.]

5/18/2009 1:14:51 PM

TKE-Teg
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i suppose I do see your point

5/18/2009 1:17:24 PM

DirtyGreek
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Wait, I thought we were usually supposed to question gallup because they indicated an increase in liberal sensibilities? I can't keep up anymore...

5/18/2009 1:26:19 PM

marko
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i'm not arguing anything, but this is pretty much what i saw on pbs on the poll:

(yes it is from a flaming liberal blog)

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/5/17/732510/-Gallup-Abortion-Poll-MSM-Misrepresents-Results-(POLL)

Quote :
"Questions and responses from 2009 May 7-10 include:

Do you think abortions should be legal under any circumstances, legal only under certain circumstances, or illegal in all circumstances?

22% Legal under any circumstances

53% Legal only under certain circumstances

23% Illegal in all circumstances

2% No opinion
"


Quote :
"With respect to the abortion issue, would you consider yourself to be pro-choice or pro-life?

NOTE: Trends taken only from polls where pro-life/pro-choice was asked following other questions on abortion (for example, what circumstances should abortion be legal trend)

42% Pro-choice

51% Pro-life

2% Mixed/Neither(vol.)

4% Don't knowwhat terms mean (vol.)

1% No opinion"


Quote :
"51% self-identify as Pro-Life, but only 23% feel abortion should be illegal? Doesn't that mean that more than half of the "Pro-Lifers" polled in favor of legal abortion? And isn't that GREAT NEWS - and far more "stunning"? It certainly is to me."


[Edited on May 18, 2009 at 1:34 PM. Reason : +]

5/18/2009 1:31:07 PM

Shaggy
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if you look at it the same way only 22% believe abortion should always be legal, so only 20% of pro-choicers favor real choice™?

[Edited on May 18, 2009 at 1:46 PM. Reason : a]

5/18/2009 1:44:46 PM

tromboner950
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^^"Certain circumstances" is so ambiguous that it's likely that a lot of the self-proclaimed Pro-Lifers chose it, considering that danger to the mother's life or rape cases would fall into those certain circumstances.


On a side note, "legal under any circumstances" seems like something that even many pro-choice people would be reluctant to pick, as it implies that very-late-term abortions should be allowed as well.

The big problem with this poll/this particular question is that the middle ground there is WAY too big. I'm pro-choice, but I'd still probably end up picking "legal under certain circumstances" due to the implications of the first option. At the same time, a lot of pro-lifers would also likely pick the middle one in case it protects the mother's life (or another reason).

There really needs to be 5 categories there (paraphrased... an actual poll needs clearer language):
Legal always, Legal in most cases/[something that implies the system currently in place], Illegal with a few exceptions, Illegal always, No opinion

[Edited on May 18, 2009 at 1:48 PM. Reason : .]

5/18/2009 1:46:49 PM

Lumex
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Quote :
""With respect to the abortion issue, would you consider yourself to be pro-choice or pro-life?

NOTE: Trends taken only from polls where pro-life/pro-choice was asked following other questions on abortion (for example, what circumstances should abortion be legal trend)

42% Pro-choice

51% Pro-life

2% Mixed/Neither(vol.)

4% Don't knowwhat terms mean (vol.)

1% No opinion""


This clears the ambiguity, doesn't it?

5/18/2009 1:55:18 PM

d357r0y3r
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The problem is that, for the purpose of polling, the abortion issue is broken down into a dichotomy, where you're either "for" or "against" abortion. The actual issue is far more complicated than that, in my view. Is anyone "pro-choice" one month before the child is due? One week? One day? Clearly, there is a point where abortion is just plain murder, and most people would agree. I have trouble drawing the line, because at some point, you're essentially saying "killing the fetus before this date is okay, but anything beyond that is killing an unborn child." So, I think in general, morning-after pills and early term abortions (maybe up to the first 2-3 months, though I'm not sure) are okay, but there comes a point where abortion is definitely not okay.

Also, don't make the mistake of thinking that the abortion issue is split along religious lines. There are perfectly good reasons to be anti-abortion that have nothing to do with viewing life as "sacred."

5/18/2009 2:00:39 PM

SandSanta
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Quote :
"Also, don't make the mistake of thinking that the abortion issue is split along religious lines. There are perfectly good reasons to be anti-abortion that have nothing to do with viewing life as "sacred.""


They have finger nails?

5/18/2009 3:22:56 PM

d357r0y3r
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No, like the horribly outdated principle that killing people is wrong.

5/18/2009 3:39:51 PM

Wolfman Tim
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This whole "pro-choice" and "pro-life" terminology is feel-good bullshit anyways. Are all "pro-life" people against the death penalty? Are all pro-choice people against gun control?

5/18/2009 5:39:41 PM

spöokyjon

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Quote :
""Is there any explanation given for the big change in the numbers?"

I believe it was primarily to due with the false dichotomy of the question. Additionally, the poll respondents were half Republican and half Democrats, which is not remotely an accurate sample of the United States at this point in time.

5/24/2009 12:15:19 PM

moron
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The graph that reiterates marko's post is actually in the first link:


So people don't actually know what they are... politically, people are still mostly "pro-choice" even if they would "choose life." My guess is that people are confusing the "choose life" position with being pro-life.

5/24/2009 12:35:26 PM

spöokyjon

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I'd be really interested to see statistics on "pro-life" people who end up getting abortions when they need to, even though there's really no way to accurately survey that.

5/24/2009 1:28:04 PM

HUR
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I hope everyone who says abortion should be illegal in all circumstances has their wife or 15 year old daughter raped and impregnated by a big thug black guy named Jamal. God's will was for them to have that child and they have to raise it to be best of their ability.

Kid: "Grandpa why do I not have a daddy"

Grandpa: Well son sometimes a woman does not love or choose to have sex with a man. Instead some guys like your father violently force sexual intercourse with people which is how you were born!

5/24/2009 4:22:13 PM

ssjamind
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i am pro-life

5/25/2009 12:17:07 AM

spöokyjon

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I am anti-life, but pro-robot.

5/25/2009 12:18:30 AM

hooksaw
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Obama to Announce Supreme Court Nominee on Tuesday

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/26/obama-makes-decision-on-supreme-court-nominee/

AP source: Obama picks Sotomayor for Supreme Court [UPDATE]

http://www.examiner.com/a-2034611~AP_source__Obama_picks_Sotomayor_for_Supreme_Court.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ug-qUvI6WFo

[Edited on May 26, 2009 at 8:41 AM. Reason : .]

5/26/2009 8:25:28 AM

Samwise16
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Quote :
"I hope everyone who says abortion should be illegal in all circumstances has their wife or 15 year old daughter raped and impregnated by a big thug black guy named Jamal. God's will was for them to have that child and they have to raise it to be best of their ability."


Why would you EVER wish that on someone????

5/26/2009 10:00:55 AM

LunaK
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I really don't believe that the group that believes abortion should be illegal in all circumstances is the majority. They're just the loudest.

5/26/2009 10:03:58 AM

Hunt
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I am pro-choice, but believe states have a right to decide their own abortion policies and that their ability to do so should be settled by congress and not the Supreme Court. This really boils down to whether one believes unelected judges should interpret the constitution based on their own preferences or whether they should interpret the constitution as written. In the former case, judges are granted a wide discretion to change the meaning of the constitution based on their own opinions of what it ought to be. In the latter case, judges are held responsible for determining the constitutionality based on its original meaning. If changes need to be made, they are to be made by an elected congress that has to answer to voters. In Roe v. Wade, it is clear the concurring judges impressed their own opinion on what the fourteenth amendment should mean rather than what it meant to the drafters and the states that ratified it. At the time of ratification, most states had anti-abortion laws, so it is extremely unlikely the drafters and states interpreted the fourteenth amendment to include abortion. To give unelected judges discretion to effectively create ex post facto legislation has enormous implications for sovereignty and the stability of law.

[Edited on May 26, 2009 at 11:15 AM. Reason : .]

5/26/2009 11:14:11 AM

NCSongGirl
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Quote :
"This whole "pro-choice" and "pro-life" terminology is feel-good bullshit anyways. Are all "pro-life" people against the death penalty? Are all pro-choice people against gun control?

"


I consider myself pro-life (though I do think abortion should be allowed in a few specific scenarios), and I am against the death penalty. I know not all "pro-life" people are against the death penalty, but to be for one and not the other has always seemed kind of illogical to me, though I guess someone could say that a criminal had a chance to live and make the choice to break the law or not (resulting in the death penalty) and the unborn baby didn't. Either way though, I'm pro-life in both instances. Generally I agree though...I hardly ever trust polls and such completely. It's all a semantics game when, usually, things aren't that cut and dry.

[Edited on May 26, 2009 at 12:38 PM. Reason : typo]

5/26/2009 12:37:45 PM

moron
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^ for all intents and purposes then, you are in fact pro-choice. Sorry.

5/26/2009 12:44:49 PM

Ytsejam
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Quote :
" I hope everyone who says abortion should be illegal in all circumstances has their wife or 15 year old daughter raped and impregnated by a big thug black guy named Jamal. God's will was for them to have that child and they have to raise it to be best of their ability."


Just stop posting.

...

How can anyone question the methodology of this polling data? I mean, I am assuming Gallup used the same methodology that they have been in the past few years at least. So you can't really call into question this years results with out calling into question the results of the past decade. If you do that, then there is no trend to assume that this years results were abnormal, since you are questioning the validity of previous polls as well.

5/26/2009 12:48:22 PM

NCSongGirl
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^^ I agreed that I was in some instances, but that it's all a matter of wording was my only real point. That's why I don't really trust a lot of polls and such. People say they are pro-choice and mean that they are for abortion in most any circumstance and others say that they are pro-choice or pro-life meaning they value life but understand the need for legislation allowing for abortions when both the child and mother would die if the pregnancy continued (which is what I would be). The definitions are too blurry/not black and white to preach the poll findings as gospel (though I am not saying that any of you are doing that - I just mean society in general).

[Edited on May 26, 2009 at 12:54 PM. Reason : added an ^]

5/26/2009 12:54:13 PM

LunaK
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http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/04/27/oklahoma.abortion/index.html?hpt=T2

Quote :
"The Oklahoma Senate voted Tuesday to override the governor's vetoes and pass two abortion-related laws.

One law requires women to undergo an ultrasound examination and listen to a description of what it shows before getting an abortion.

Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, a Republican, said Tuesday's vote shows that lawmakers listened to Oklahoma's residents and "made a bold statement in support of the sanctity of life." But Democratic Gov. Brad Henry has called the legislation "an unconstitutional attempt by the Oklahoma legislature to insert government into the private lives and decisions of its citizens."

Henry vetoed the bill and another abortion-related measure Friday, but the state House on Monday overwhelmingly voted to override both vetoes, with House Speaker Chris Benge, a Republican, lauding his colleagues for "moving quickly." The Senate's 36-12 vote Tuesday was the final step required to make the bills laws."

4/27/2010 5:26:08 PM

spöokyjon

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Keep government out of our medical decisions!*

4/27/2010 5:35:11 PM

jwb9984
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Quote :
"One law requires women to undergo an ultrasound examination and listen to a description of what it shows before getting an abortion."


wow, that's some spiteful shit

4/27/2010 5:38:25 PM

LunaK
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I really do hope that this goes to the courts and is overturned.

4/27/2010 5:40:08 PM

Kris
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yeah, let's keep those vagina's under the government's close watch!

4/27/2010 6:13:01 PM

HUR
All American
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I do not give two shits about some unborn baby. Do the world and Darwin a favor by Aborting that shit.

4/27/2010 6:13:40 PM

0EPII1
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What baffles me more is that LunaK was able to post to a nearly year old thread without having it bttt'ed by a moderator

As for this

Quote :
""One law requires women to undergo an ultrasound examination and listen to a description of what it shows before getting an abortion.""


I like.

4/27/2010 8:16:01 PM

Walter
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^^TRUE DAT

4/27/2010 8:31:22 PM

LunaK
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Quote :
"What baffles me more is that LunaK was able to post to a nearly year old thread without having it bttt'ed by a moderator "


premie power hun

4/27/2010 9:36:06 PM

OopsPowSrprs
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^^^ I like it too. It would be even better if they were required to play Cinderella's "Don't Know What You Got, Till It's Gone" in the examination room during the ultrasound. A slide show with pictures of baby faces taken with wide-angle lenses shown on the wall would be helpful also.

[Edited on April 27, 2010 at 9:43 PM. Reason : .]

4/27/2010 9:43:20 PM

takeitback
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until a person has been in the situation of a woman who has to choose whether or not to have an abortion - that person shouldn't judge.

4/27/2010 9:53:12 PM

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