Integral Interpretation of Abortion, Abortion Bans


Portland OR considering travel and trade ban with Texas.



This just in:


I knew this topic would expose the frailty of the integral ideals. @corey-devos you have fallen into a trap of petty political arguments. Your opening comment set the tone and you allowed @FermentedAgave to completely undress your integral street cred.

This string is embarrassing for you as the leader here @corey-devos. You may feel all secure thinking you won this debate with your sharp intellectual prowess. Yet just like every war and every other unexplainable human tragedy, there is not a winning side here.

You attacked the very human being @FermentedAgave you were in conversation with and then ignored his integral points of discussion and argued the politics of it instead. It reads like you were emotionally charged. Like this same discussion has been spinning in your head and turning in your belly for decades; a battle you have fought many times from the political Left.

You use political reasoning in a forum you dominate with an audience on your side of the debate. Despite this advantage you abandoned the integral framework of respect and acceptance for this serious discussion.

This topic certainly is worthy of honest integral acceptance to accommodate all views. Especially @FermentedAgave who stands alone in the ring explaining his take on the matter which is worthy of understanding since it does reflect the view of many others.

Showing respect and consideration for all sides of the discussion would shine like a beacon of Integral connections. Sadly that was not accomplished with this topic string.


Everyone gets charged up. This PASSION is what spurs humanity into action. That’s what we work on in our own personal Upper Left Quadrants.


Why are we actively challenging everyone else’s point of view instead of understanding the other side? Where are the integral bridges to connecting these polarizing emotional topics? Perhaps you can share some discoveries you’ve made @FermentedAgave through this process?


Please, please please can we have some female contribution to this string? Though given how the string has progressed, I can imagine that a female reading it would not wish to join in with male head butting.
For what it’s worth, my take on it is this: abortion is an issue for females. Full stop. Any legislation relating to abortion should be dealt with solely by female law makers. Full stop. If a female chooses to discuss her situation with her partner, that choice should be honoured. If a female lawgiver seeks advice from a make lawgiver then that choice should be honoured. Otherwise, the idea that a male should have any power, control or unasked for influence over what a woman may choose to do with her body, I find both morally and ethically repugnant.


This is 100% fair, and I thank you for the feedback. I will totally own this. I clearly have some very strong feelings about this, as do we all I think, and those passions probably did get the better of me in this discussion. For the record, I did not walk away feeling like I “won” anything, but instead feeling a deep sadness that our civilization seems to be quickly losing some very hard-won cultural and legal emergents. It’s painful to see just how fragile our collective development and social structures really are, and how quickly things can collapse. And yeah, that kind of makes me want to fight.

As I’ve said before, it’s okay for us to get a bit messy in conversations like these. As long as we are willing to clean up the mess afterward.

One of the real difficulties here is I think this is a conversation that transcends politics, but it’s only ever been served to us through a political frame. This can make it very difficult to enfold with each other, because political frames become quickly laden with the unconscious weight of countless other issues.

So I want to make it clear, the source of my frustration is not FermentedAgave or anything he said, but the abject cruelty that I see in this new law. And yes, I probably could have found a cleaner way to express that frustration without chasing these points like a dog going after a squirrel.

Here is one of the challenges of integral discourse — “everyone is right” does not always mean “the truth exists 50% between two parties”. Some are always more right that others, and chances are, we perceive ourselves to be on that side. In some cases it’s clear — if one person says “I want to kick 10 puppies” and the other says “you shouldn’t kick any puppies”, the integral compromise is not “well, let’s only kick five puppies”. But in this case it’s even more difficult, because either way, a puppy gets kicked — either a woman, or a developing fetus. And as Ken talked about, we have to figure out how to properly weigh the holonic agency of both of those parties. As for me, I’m really not trying to argue “from the left”, but rather from my own most integral center, which for this particular issue has more overlap with the left than it does with the right.

To be fair, I also did try to make some effort to let FermentedAgave know I was not trying to strawman him as he thought I was doing, but was instead trying to factually respond to many of the claims and frames that emerged during the discussion, while using integral ideas to scaffold and situate my responses. I was consciously trying to prevent myself from attacking him personally and making character judgments, even when the fire started burning hot. I also tried to identify the sort of healthy conservatism that I could actually rally behind, worldcentric interiorist perspectives that I think could actually help move us toward a shared goal of having as few abortions take place as possible. And yes, I probably could have done so more skillfully than I did.

As my friend Mark Fischler says, the goal isn’t to be right, but to get it right, which is always going to be an ongoing process of mess-making and mess-cleaning. Having heated discussions like these, and tending to each other during/after, is part of that process. So I am always trying to figure out how to get it right, especially when it comes to deeply controversial issues such as these that themselves result from (and contribute to) a tremendous amount of pain and trauma.

I also want to applaud FermentedAgave for having the courage to represent his own views and values in a space where so many people are actively disagreeing with him. And for prompting this discussion, which, as contentious as it was, I think actually yielded some good fruit. And I want to thank other participants for trying to keep the discussion reigned in, staying focused, and enforcing some degree of interpersonal hygiene. As you did here, excecutive. You were right to call me out, and I thank you for inviting all of us to get it right!


Thank you Corey! You redeemed yourself with this well though out and humble reply! I love you bother! ~ Peace :slight_smile:


And what frustrates me so much is that this issue should not transcend politics. But the level of politics that is dealing with the issue is simply not capable of dealing with it. When we look deep into the political process that has given rise to this law, to my way of thinking, the process appears deeply flawed. If so, then it’s no surprise the outcome is deeply flawed.
Ok, so very easy for me to pontificate.,
Teal is about the appropriate level of expertise to the problem, rather than appropriate level in a power hierarchy. How do we get the expertise to make the decision rather than advise to power?


Not enough time to say all I might want to say, but @Andrew_Baines, Esq., thanks for asking for some female contributions, and for your clear view on the issue. While male head-butting may not be the party I want to attend, make no mistake, I do follow the conversations.

And to me, the original post here made the conversation a political one. One doesn’t have to overtly state their political view on an issue for that political view to be known; there is history at this site through discourse on other topics. We’re a pretty small group; we tend to know where others are coming from politically, even if they use questions rather than outright statements of position. So I thought Corey was perfectly legitimate in expressing his personal stance about the Texas law. And actually, when I re-read this thread, it was not Corey who threw the first verbal “punch,” so I think some of the criticism lodged against him is off-target. While he may have “chased a few squirrels,” he also held to the integral framework with a lot of integral education throughout this thread. As for his intellectual prowess, we all might want to ask ourselves why he’s in the job he is, and we’re not.

My own view on abortion is that until there are better alternatives and better methods of contraception, women are going to have them, whether or not they’re legal. The article I linked to about Mexico decriminalizing abortion speaks to other largely Catholic countries as well. Here is a quote of paragraph 11 in that article about what happens despite illegality or restrictions on abortion: “Despite the restrictions, there were an estimated 6.5 million abortions each year in Latin America from 2010 to 2014, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a U.S.-based policy group that supports abortion rights and tracks national abortion statistics. It estimated that some 760,000 women are treated each year from complications related to unsafe abortions and that some 900 women die each year.” This is in Latin American countries with huge Catholic populations, abortion still happens despite religious prohibitions, and much of it unsafe for the woman. That should tell us something about the import of personal choice around this issue

I appreciate the many slippery slopes and nuances that have been raised in this thread but I am overall pro-choice. But I don’t think abortion is a stand-alone social issue. Our culture is hypersexualized, and I suppose this is where my conservatism comes in. I found the Grammy performance by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion for instance (I think that’s who it was) totally inappropriate for television. But women are not the only ones contributing to this oversexualized culture; there are lots of crotch-grabbing men and boys and men wearing really low-slung pants and “performing” in ways that leave little to the imagination. I also think there is a relationship between thoughts, words, and deeds. I support free speech, but I think that right is being utterly abused in so many areas, and not just in the form of lying. I find excessive cursing, for instance, to be antithetical to a better behaved and less crass and more humane, less violent culture. (Although cursing is probably as prevalent among ‘conservatives’ as ‘liberals,’ and liberals certainly do not have the patent on inappropriate sexual behavior.)

Much more I could say about abortion being intertwined with other social issues, but I’ve run out of time. Great discussion here, I thought, head-butting and all.


Personally I think it’s been a great discussion sharp elbows and all (reminds me of boarding the Pullman in Italy during rush hour :slight_smile: . To keeping things in perspective we haven’t made a blip of immediate difference in the world for anyone impacted by the abortion laws, no puppies were kicked in the filming of this episode but just perhaps we might each gain a little enlightenment on others or most importantly on ourselves??

One thing I find helpful is to try and at least understand what frame the conversation starts in and what frame I react from. Where frame might be political, policy, operational, legal, military, integral, religious, secular, meta / tactical, etc just as we might try to maintain awareness of what quadrant we are looking into or coming from. In dialog I think easy enough for most to handle 1 frame transition and perhaps 2 if telegraphed with transition. Mashing up frames adds exponential complexity that usually destroys dialog unless dynamically we can focus back into 1 or 2 frames. Again, looking at multiple frames is great, as long as the transitions are well communicated.

Just some thoughts on compassionate dialog even when we might differ.


I think it is important to go back and look at the OP and what we can infer from the language used.

The Topic as presented begins with a Law that was passed through a flawed political process.
Discussing the obvious flaws in the law is completely appropriate, as is discussing the Political motivations and the flawed reasoning of the people engaged in that Political process that produced such a terrible (in my judgement) law.

@excecutive I find it perfectly integral to challenge a point of view. Nobody has a point of view that is 100% inviolate. Every point of view can - and should - be challenged. Preferably this is done by the person holding the view before it is expressed. That’s ideal - that we don’t just let fly with anything crossing our minds but first look inward before expressing outward. No one is perfect, though - so we all let something out once in a while that maybe we should have pondered longer.
The problem comes when people identify self / other with a point of view. If people equate their point of view with themselves, or equate another’s point of view with their deemed worth - that is where the problems lie. I disagree with you on quite a wide range of things - and there is nothing wrong with either you or me that we disagree. On the contrary, there is everything healthy with disagreeing with a person’s point of view while still respecting who they are as people. It’s healthy for @corey-devos to challenge views from his point of view and it’s equally healthy for you to challenge him. From my point of view, @FermentedAgave has been a powerful contributor in digging this community out of their safe ivory intellectual towers and actually addressing key topics rather than sweeping them under the rug or locked in a closet.
With all that said, I completely disagree that Corey “attacked” Fermented Agave. Fermentedagave brought a controversial topic, and often uses a broad bush to do the very thing he accuses cory and myself of doing. I have a point of view that fermented likes to use techniques to promote views that are actually against people and groups (rather than just points of view) - then he does a bait and switch when people discuss his views and claims they (we) are attacking him or his community personally. The idiom comes to mind that he’s great at dishing it out, but can’t sit and eat at the table he sets. But let’s pause there and let me say that even saying that, I’m not against him, but I’m describing his technique as I see it. He or others reading this can take my opinion for whatever value they feel is applicable and garner whatever lessons from it or chose not to. But it isn’t “against” him, except in the minds of those predisposed and set in an “against” frame of mind. This isn’t a judgement on my part, but a logical conclusion.
I’d also like to re-emphasize how crucial it is to not apply emotions onto other people based on text. When I see this, I suspect the emotions originate more with the accuser than with the accused.

This is curious to me. It might be true and it might not. Since I myself have had similar things projected onto me by you - I’m leaning toward thinking this topic brings an emotional charge for you? I’m not saying this to be “against” you, but to give you an opportunity. Has the same discussion been spinning in your head and turning in your belly for decades? I myself rarely think about abortion, so it’s a curious idea for someone to accuse another of this. Then it’s followed up by suggesting Corey is on the political left and fights battles many times over the years.
Do you se it now?
If we were face to face at this point I’d ask you to find where in your body you are feeling these emotions that you place onto others, and when was the earliest age you felt that same feeling? I can only guess and take stabs in the dark - but at some point in your early life disagreement between two people probably caused you to feel threatened for your safety? Perhaps you wanted them to stop disagreeing at all costs? Maybe one or both of them were dominating others and did not respect others?
It’s only a stab in the dark and I don’t have any kind of degree or license in psychology. I’m mostly curious.


South Dakota bans telemedicine abortions.


@raybennett. Thanks for the thoughtful post Ray. I do think it common when you see a verbose emotive response traversing multiple frames that there is something evocative in the discussion.

Testacles, always a tingling in the testacles.


I am happy to address whatever things I have projected on you Ray, just ask. :slight_smile:

I have stated my position over and over again here in this forum … you can review my comment history to learn more. My comment to Corey was out of respect for the status he holds here in this community and his response was top of the mountain classy.

Regarding this topic a women MUST HAVE the right to choose … I am Pro Choice on the legality and availability of the procedure.

Toxic politics in general and this topic specifically leave me with a sick empty feeling inside; for everyone on either side of the discussion. My personal connection to the trauma of abortion is not my story to tell … suffice to say I would never encourage anyone I love to have one, but would love and support them in their decision either way.


Relevant to the discussion. 8 years ago, France made contraceptives free for teenagers, and abortion rates went down ~30%, and teen pregnancies went down by ~25%. This is very similar to the results we saw in the Colorado IUD program.

The government announced last year that almost 1,000 girls aged between 12 and 14 become pregnant in France and 770 of those pregnancies result in an abortion. Since free contraception was offered to 15- to 18-year-olds, the number of abortions had dropped from 9.5 per 1,000 pregnancies in 2012 to six in 2018, according to official figures.

I think the most integral move will always be the most anti-fragile strategies that accept human nature (e.g. people will always have sex, and unprotected sex will always result in unwanted pregnancies) and tries to improve the conditions that produce bad outcomes (systemic causation), rather than strategies that try to deny human nature altogether (e.g. the solution to abortion is to ban abortion, and tell people not have sex unless you want a child) through things like bans and prohibitions (direct causation).

(Another example of shortsighted “direct causation” thinking that produces more suffering for more people: When asked about how the Texas law will force rape victims to bear their rapist’s child, Abbott’s response was “we will just get all the rapists off the streets.” Brilliant! I wish someone thought of that before. Though I’m still wondering how we will put future rapists in jail before they have a chance to actually rape someone…)

There are times when direct solutions are appropriate. If a bone is broken, fix the damn bone. But if you want to reduce the total number of people who are breaking bones, you have to systemically address the conditions that are causing people to fall in the first place.

Which is why I firmly believe restricting abortions without radically ramping up sex education, family planning, and easy access to contraceptives will only add to the sum total of suffering in this world. I’d love to see worldcentric people from the left and the right coming together in order to achieve a shared goal — to reduce the total number of abortions, AND the total amount of suffering for everyone involved. And we do this by starting with a minimally orange frame (access to abortion is necessary, let’s work together to make them rare and mitigate the trauma) and giving women more agency and more control over their own reproductive organs, not less. From the right we need interior wisdoms that flow from self-respect, personal responsibility, and family values. From the left we need exterior wisdoms that flow from multi-systemic causes and interventions and improving overall economic, educational, and environmental life conditions. If we could find a way to have THAT conversation, bypassing the ridiculous culture wars by leaving the pre-rational stuff by the door, then we might actually see total abortion rates begin to seriously plummet because fewer women are being put into the situation of having to make such an awful choice in the first place.

And when it comes to increasing agency for all parties, as Ken says, we probably need to hold a developmental/holonic frame that allows us to better recognize the stages of “wholeness” of a developing fetus, rather than our metaphysical belief systems around what constitutes “personhood”. Our justice system is purposely designed to respond to what is rather than what may/will be — which is why our system doesn’t try children as adults, regardless of the fact that they will be an adult some day in the future.

This is why, for me personally, the grey zone of “personhood” occurs well in the second trimester, not the first, and therefore I believe abortion should be 100% available to any woman in her first trimester, well beyond the draconian “two weeks after a missed period” standard enforced by the Texas law (with no exceptions for rape or incest, and that forces women to carry an unviable fetus all the way to term, all of which I find needlessly cruel.) We could then talk about sensible restrictions for the second trimester that take the fetus’ growing agency into account, and then leave all third-trimester abortions to medical emergencies (which, thankfully, they almost entirely already are.)


Has the time now come that any one standing for office should undergo a basic competence check related to the office they are seeking? And so only be permitted to stand if they pass it?
I’m just thinking of how the normal checks and balances have failed us miserably in the UK. We have an utter buffoon of a prime minister who is kept in power because he wins elections. ie our members of parliament have voted him as party leader even though they know he is an utter buffoon, but they win their seats because he is liked by the country.
Having said that, of course, we have an abortion law in the UK based on science and up to date social enquiry rather than …… Hmmm, I probably don’t know enough about your processes to comment. But my gut feelings are probably aligned with Corey’s.
And once again I’m aware of the inadequacy of my position. Even as I was writing, I remembered the highly intelligent Nazi doctors who committed unspeakable horrors.
I think I’m burbling on now. I would love to be in the position where it hurts more but bothers me less. But after a day of working with families in breakdown, it’s a case of hurts more and bothers me more. Happen tomorrow is another day.


Another thing to consider, is that abortion has not always been a political fault line. That began in full force in the 1980s as Reagan began to explicitly court religious voters. Roe was decided 7-2 by the supreme court, with five Republican-appointed judges in the majority. In other words, “amber” or “Republican” or “conservative” does not universally mean “anti-abortion”, those are just the surface features here in the US after the issue has been deliberately politicized over the last 40 years.

What we need is less religious belief in our policy making, and more genuine spiritual awakening.

Let’s remember Goldwater’s warning, back in 1981:

“Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.”

It’s not a problem of “partisanship”, it’s not a problem with “amber”, it’s not a problem with “conservatives” — it’s a problem of unyielding, absolutist religious fervor being allowed to hijack our politics. Something very similar is happening on the left as well, these days.


Sounds almost Integral. Why don’t you start this conversation?