Lawmaker compares abortion, prostitution - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Lawmaker compares abortion, prostitution

Mendive makes comparison during legislative breakfast

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Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013 12:00 am

BOISE - A lawmaker from North Idaho drew audible gasps Wednesday morning when he asked representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union-Idaho if their pro-abortion rights stance also means that they support prostitution.

Rep. Ron Mendive, R-Coeur d'Alene, made the comparison during a legislative breakfast presentation held by the ACLU on criminal justice reform and other legislative priorities.

Since the ACLU supports a woman's right to choose abortion, shouldn't the organization also support prostitution, Mendive asked ALCU-Idaho executive director Monica Hopkins. Mendive then said that prostitution is "a woman's choice."

Hopkins noted that a woman's right to access reproductive health care is constitutionally mandated, while prostitution is illegal. She also reminded Mendive that prostitution is not always a "choice," noting that a bill targeting human trafficking could be presented to lawmakers during the legislative session.

"He was correlating a criminal action with something that is constitutionally protected. Those are two completely separate issues," Hopkins said after the event. "When we're talking about women's rights, and a woman's right to choose, we are talking about reproductive rights that are constitutionally protected. What Rep. Mendive was talking about in the arena of prostitution is something that the state has very clearly said is an illegal activity ... in the same way that someone may choose to rob a bank, but that would be criminal activity that is not constitutionally protected."

Mendive, who was first elected to the Legislature last year, said he posed the question because he was incensed by what he believes is a double standard.

"It was just a question," he said. "I do believe it's a double standard."

Prostitution is a choice "more so than an abortion would be," he said.

"Because (in an abortion) there's two beating hearts. And then there's one," Mendive said.

Mendive said he didn't intend to trivialize human trafficking, but he still stressed that he believes prostitution is often a choice that a woman makes about what she does with her own body.

Asked if he stood by his words, however, he conceded, "Maybe it was a poor illustration."

House Majority Caucus Chairman John Vander Woude, R-Meridian, said he disagrees with Mendive and believes the northern Idaho freshman should have refrained from making the comparison.

Most women who engage in prostitution do so because of circumstances beyond their control, Vander Woude said, not out of their own volition.

"Rarely when a woman becomes a prostitute, is it because of a choice," Vander Woude said. "The example, in my opinion, was a very poor choice."

This incident marks the second time inside of a year in which an Idaho lawmaker has gained attention from comments he's made about abortion. Sen. Chuck Winder of Boise, the Senate assistant majority leader, made comments during the 2012 session in debate over a bill to require a woman to get an ultrasound before an abortion.

"I would hope that when a woman goes into a physician, with a rape issue, that that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage, or was it truly caused by a rape," Winder said during testimony last March.

Winder later said he was misunderstood and never meant to cast doubt on the truthfulness of a woman's claim of rape.

Associated Press reporter John Miller contributed to this story.

© 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  • 1inIdaho posted at 11:15 am on Wed, Jan 23, 2013.

    1inIdaho Posts: 252

    It's not a valid comparison. It is a disingenuous attack against all women.
    Society has an established view of women who exchange (carnal knowledge) for something of value. Such women are branded with a word that I'm sure the censors won't allow on these boards. We'll just say the "who-word."
    Mr. Mendive, because he holds an opinion about women who have abortions, made the comparison in order to cast both classes of women in a similar light. Mr. Mendive couldn't care less about some "liberal double standard." He's just marking it obvious what his opinion is of ALL women.

    The societal view of prostitution is absurd.
    First of all, the women most looked-down upon and slandered with the "who-word" are those who simply enjoy (carnal knowledge), and engage in it freely just for enjoyment. Apparently, only MEN are allowed to enjoy the act, because they are rarely (if ever) called the who-word.
    Second, there are VERY FEW women who EVER engage in (carnal knowledge) without an expectation of something in return. I don't think that there is a single woman in the world, who has ever called another woman the who-word (silently or out loud), who isn't a hypocrite. If exchanging (carnal knowledge) for cash is so wrong... how is it any LESS wrong to exchange it for drinks, dinner, chocolates, flowers, a car, jewelry, a commitment, doing the dishes, or some other modification of a man's behavior? How is a woman who puts-out, in order to get a man to do what she wants, any-less a who-word? (And, how is any man that "romances" a woman with gifts, or makes a commitment, or changes his behavior in order to gain (carnal knowledge) any less of a "John?").
    Put in that context; the only HONEST carnal relationships are those where the buyer and seller openly agree on the price beforehand.
    Every woman who looks down her nose at "Escorts," and every man who has ever stated, "I have never paid for "it" in my life," are hypocrites and liars.

    Completely lost in Mendive's insensitive comparison is any sense of the tragedy of a society in which women who DON'T want to have (carnal knowledge), are forced to sell it in order to support themselves... never mind the fact that there seems to be an endless supply of men eager to capitalize on the situation.
    He thinks every woman who exchanges cash for "it," does so willingly, by choice. He ignores the fact that many such women are actual or virtual slaves... whose bodies are sold (to MEN), by pimps and human traffickers. He ignores that some women are trapped by economic circumstances, and would rather take cash honestly; than feign love or affection in exchange for a lifestyle.

    He also paints every woman who has an abortion, with the same brush. Never mind that only a few women choose abortion out of convenience. How is a woman who callously terminates multiple abortions, in lieu of practicing prudent birth control; the same as a woman who terminates a pregnancy resulting from rape? Or a woman who terminates a pregnancy to save her own life?

    The world is full of hypocrites like Mendive.
    You can't judge a woman for enjoying her body, like a man.
    You can't call a woman a prostitute, for taking cash... if you aren't going to call every other woman who has ever accepted ANYTHING of value to her, in exchange for putting out.
    And you can't judge a woman for having an abortion, when you know nothing of her circumstances.

  • haydentaxpayer posted at 9:01 am on Tue, Jan 22, 2013.

    haydentaxpayer Posts: 18

    I think it's a valid comparison. Why doesn't the woman have the right to choose? It's her body, right? Aren't we all to support a woman's right to choose?

    I'm not in favor of supporting legalized prostitution, just as I'm not in favor of legalized abortion, but it's an illustration that further proves the hypocrisy of the left.

  • 1inIdaho posted at 7:33 pm on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    1inIdaho Posts: 252

    "No matter the Motive to kill a child, it takes an animal, to do it."... In YOUR opinion.

    Your characterization of women who get abortions is disgusting. Your assumptions about their reasons for needing an abortion, their attitudes about the procedure, how they pay for it, and the impact of those decisions on YOU are truly insane.

    My point in the argument about spending public money on abortions IS NOT that two wrongs make a right. My point is that I don't agree with a lot of the stupid $h*T that my tax money is spent on, and that a lot of that should be sliced from the budget before we decide to deny women the ability to receive procedures when such a denial endangers their lives.

    The ultra-right wing justices on benches across this country, most of whom were appointed rather-than elected, have made the rulings which say that murder of a pregnant woman counts as 2 lives. Pro-Abortion people aren't getting it both ways. Pro-Abortion people don't support the notion that the murder of a pregnant woman counts twice. So-called Pro Lifer's do.

    Murder is the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought, of another person. It isn't the definition of what constitutes a "child" that should have any bearing.
    Personhood is the crux of the argument. Personhood: — noun. chiefly the condition of being a person who is an individual with inalienable rights, esp under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
    And, in case you FORGOT; the 14th Amendment defines a person in the first sentence of the first sentence of Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States...
    Shall I say it again?
    A PERSON has already been defined by the Constitution. And, according to that definition, a PERSON could not possibly be ABORTED.

    Let's place friendly wager, Jeff; on which is more likely to be re-defined by a constitutional amendment, first:
    The definition of a person under the 14th Amendment, or
    Which persons have the right to bear arms (and/or what type of arms they have the right to bear) under the Second Amendment.

  • EddieCox posted at 3:12 pm on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    EddieCox Posts: 50

    In a post in this thread, Jeff Wherley says he is not a 'pro-lifer' But in his twitter profile, he describes himself as "Pro-Life" !!! So which is it Jeff? Or do you just make stuff up for 'convenience' ??

  • EddieCox posted at 3:05 pm on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    EddieCox Posts: 50

    Jeff, I don't know where you got your 98% statistic. The highest I have ever seen is 93% and that number represented all that were not 'medically necessary'. So it depends on what your definition of 'convenience' is.
    Very few, if any, women use abortion as a method of birth control.
    I am not the one telling 'horror stories' you are. I didn't bring up the subject of coat hangers, you did.
    Your memory of abortions before Roe v Wade is foggy or just plain unaware. It was NOT rare. It was frequent - and often arranged by the Catholic Church or some other clergy.

  • EddieCox posted at 2:38 pm on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    EddieCox Posts: 50

    So Jeff. Let's say your wife or daughter was pregnant with a child she actually wanted. But the doctor tells her that there is a problem with the pregnancy, the fetus will die, and carrying this fetus to term will either kill your wife or daughter or make it impossible for her to have future children that she wants very much. What do you think she should do? This is a scenario that happens. And believe it or not, this is not an easy decision for these women. I rarely wish ill on others, but I truly hope that something like this happens to you or someone close to you. Maybe then you will get it.
    Yes, there are people who seek abortions for more selfish reasons. That will continue to happen regardless. But that doesn't mean we should punish those who need the service for legitimate reasons.
    Furthermore, I'm not sure that 1inIdaho was arguing that tax money should be spent on abortions. The argument seems to be that we spend money on things that are a lot more stupid. And money spent on an abortion that saves one life rather than allowing two lives to be lost doesn't sound like a waste to me.

  • EddieCox posted at 11:53 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    EddieCox Posts: 50

    And this story has made the national news so ...
    Let's see...
    Larry Craig in the MSP men's room
    Crapo, the drunk driving Mormon
    Mendive, .... OMG!!!!
    No wonder people make jokes about Idaho.

  • 3GenNative posted at 10:20 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    3GenNative Posts: 169

    Thank you, for saying what needed to be said!

  • 3GenNative posted at 10:19 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    3GenNative Posts: 169

    And your point is?

  • EddieCox posted at 10:01 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    EddieCox Posts: 50

    1InIdaho - It doesn't really matter how many people vote and how many do not vote. The problem is that people in Idaho, particularly this part of Idaho, just walk into the voting both and check the box next to the "R". Most don't even know who was running against Mendive and what he stood for. They listen to FoxNotNews and are so inundated with anti-Obama, anti-liberal, anti-Democratic rhetoric that they know that anything other than a Republican has to be bad that they just vote "R" without knowing what or who they are voting for.
    I have talked to Mendive. Everything he says (other than this prostitution drivel) sounds reasonable. But if you actually check into what he claims are facts, most of it is not factual. Calling Ron Mendive a "lawmaker" makes my skin crawl. Any legitimate lawmaker should be making sure that all of us are equally protected under the laws of this country, not trying to redefine what that those laws mean based on his own ideological agenda.

  • 1inIdaho posted at 9:21 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    1inIdaho Posts: 252

    I hope that every person who has read what Representative Mendive had to say... and who did NOT vote in the election which brought him to office... takes a long, hard look at the results of voter apathy.

    This man in NO-WAY represents the majority opinion of the constituents of his district, yet he won a majority of the votes... in an election where less than 25% of registered voters participated.

    We GET the governance that we DESERVE.
    If you feel like you deserve better representation, than a misogynistic, right-win, Christian Zealot; then you need to participate in the process.
    You need to make yourself aware of the candidates... who they are, and what they stand for.
    If there is no candidate to your liking, then you need to become more involved and either run, yourself, or find & support another candidate.

    The world is run by the people who show-up.
    The only reason that someone like Mendive is in office, is because enough people DIDN'T care.

    If we want to rescue our country from extremism, we need to get involved.
    If we are tired of the status-quo in our politics... where the representatives of BOTH parties, in EVERY State and Federal office are more interested in retaining their position, than they are in serving their constituents; then we need to participate.
    If your representative is too far Left, or too far Right...
    If they are unwilling to negotiate or compromise, just so that they can make an opponent look bad...
    If they are advancing a personal agenda that conflicts with the platform which they espoused in their campaign...
    Write to them. Call their office. One letter may not be enough. Write OFTEN. Encourage your friends and neighbors to write.
    If they are un-responsive; then contact the elections board. Start a recall petition.

    But if you do nothing... nothing will get done.
    If you assume that you cannot make a difference; then you won't.
    If you forego your responsibility as a citizen in a participatory democratic representative republic... then you forego your right to complain about it in forums like this (or anywhere else).

    Mr. Mendive is wrong. Abortion is NOTHING like Prostitution.
    There is NO double-standard when comparing these two issues.
    Frankly, Prostitutes AND women who have abortions should be offended by this crank.
    HE needs to know that he has crossed the line.

    Write him and tell him...
    And at the next opportunity; fire him.

  • 1inIdaho posted at 8:57 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    1inIdaho Posts: 252

    like Representative Mendive, you do a good job of being inflammatory.
    In the absence of a reasonable argument, I guess Reductio ad absurdum is all you've got left.

    Seriously? Can you equate the actions of Lanza: an individual, acting with obvious malice and anger, using a gun to murder fully-formed, walking, talking PEOPLE... with an entire class of women acting from a vastly diverse universe of motives, to terminate a pregnancy?

    Tax money is wasted on the support of outlandish lifestyles for politicians: salaries that FAR exceed the value of the services that are provided, ridiculous travel budgets, healthcare and retirement benefits FAR in excess of anything the individual tax payers will ever be afforded.
    Tax money is wasted on ridiculous wars. It is wasted on research and development of diseases that can be weapon-ized, and which could result in pandemics that destroy ALL life on earth.
    Significantly more money is wasted on a host of far-more useless and destructive things, than is ever used to subsidize abortion.

    Even with mandatory background checks, and the abolition of public access to military arms; you are not denied the ability to defend yourself. If you can't defend yourself from a mugger, or a home-intruder with a double-barreled breach-load shot gun, or any other gun that is not designed specifically for mass-murder; then you must be a really bad shot.
    If you're denied a gun, based on the results of a background check; then YOU are the very person that the rest of us want guns to defend ourselves from.
    And the irony is: if we actually HAD background checks for every gun sale, to prevent people like you from getting a gun; WE wouldn't NEED one (... not for defense, anyway).
    The only scenarios which fear-mongers like you can fabricate, in order to justify the need for public access to the types of guns on which a ban is proposed; are paranoid fantasies that are indicative of a desperate plea for psychiatric help.

    If you can't support your opinion without flights of fantasy, or the logic of the absurd; then you need to take a step-back and honestly evaluate your position.

    Seek help.

  • EddieCox posted at 8:49 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    EddieCox Posts: 50

    No, Max, Obamacare DOES NOT FUND ABORTIONS. No taxpayer dollars are used to fund aboritons.

  • EddieCox posted at 8:46 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    EddieCox Posts: 50

    For those who are claiming that Obamacare funds abortions and are so upset about your taxpayer dollars here is a FACT for you:
    There are no tax dollars used for abortion. Any abortion funding that is allowed under Obamacare comes from customer premiums. To put this another way, a customer can choose a plan that covers abortion - and the customer pays for that through their premium. There are NO TAXPAYER-FUNDED ABORTIONS.
    You are paying for Viagra, however, and I think we should put a stop to that.

  • EddieCox posted at 8:38 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    EddieCox Posts: 50

    Jeff: Wha.......?

  • EddieCox posted at 8:35 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    EddieCox Posts: 50

    Jeff - speaking of dunces - it's not an "intravaginal ultrasound" It's a "transvaginal ultrasound"

  • EddieCox posted at 8:31 am on Fri, Jan 18, 2013.

    EddieCox Posts: 50

    Jeff: While some abortions are done strictly for convenience, others are performed for strictly medically necessary reasons. If abortion is made illegal, those abortions that are done for convenience will continue. They will just be performed in unsafe conditions and women will suffer complications or die. I am old enough to remember how things were before Roe v Wade and believe me, there were lots of abortions. It's the same argument that is made about making guns illegal - if guns are illegal, only criminals will have them. So nothing will stop some abortions. The better way to limit abortions is through education and availability of birth control that will prevent unwanted pregnancies and as a result reduce the number of abortions.
    Also, if abortion is made illegal, it adversely effects those who actually need them for medically necessary reasons. There is also a parallel to the gun debate here. Gun advocates think restrictions are punishing the responsible gun owners who have done nothing wrong. Making abortion illegal or restricted is punishing those who have a valid reason for seeking one. In an emergency, a patient cannot wait for ultrasounds, counseling, or going to another state, etc. before getting an abortion. I worked at a hospital where a doc had to perform a partial birth abortion to save a woman's life. The fetus was not viable but the woman would have died. The doc was in tears afterwards. I knew him to be a religious man & thought he was upset about the procedure. But NO, he was in tears because if the lawmakers had their way, he would not have been able to save that woman's life.
    And none of your tax dollars are being spent for abortions. That is against the law. No one is "stealing money from others to do it. Your tax dollars are being used to pay for Viagra and I think that is worse.
    Furthermore, no one is taking away your ability to defend. If you need an assault rifle with a high-capacity magazine to defend yourself, you might want to look at why that would be necessary.

  • truthful1 posted at 9:24 pm on Thu, Jan 17, 2013.

    truthful1 Posts: 554

    why do people that think that women's wombs need controlling thinks that guns don't need to be?

  • max power posted at 6:42 pm on Thu, Jan 17, 2013.

    max power Posts: 559

    *** Monica Lewinsky Talks About Pregnancy, Prostitution and Abortion ***

    Redondo Beach, Calif - The most famous White House intern in history, Monica Lewinsky, was recently spotted at a Pompous Pizza Parlor in Redondo Beach enjoying a pizza that had been run through the garden.

    Lewinsky, 39, was accompanied by a lady friend who was identified a Leona Prudence, an old school friend from Beverly Hills.

    The White House intern who served under President Bill Clinton, was coincidentally wearing a blue dress and she had on a black beret.

    Lewinsky spoke with Preston Bolero of 'Bedroom Pillow Talk'. He ask her if she ever regretted her partcipation in the "Oral" Office. She grinned, raised her eye brows, winked, and said the only thing she truly regretted was the cigar incident.

    When ask why she has not married, she became somewhat somber and stated she is still waiting for her knight in shining armor to ride in on a white horse and take her away to shangra la.

    Bolero ask her about the rumors that had appeared in the Supermarket Tabloid 'Just Saying' about her being pregnant.

    Lewinsky laughed, took a swig of her Papaya Margarita and remarked that she's not pregnant, but if she was she would want it to be with Justin Bieber. When ask if she would name the baby Bill, if it was a boy, Monica giggled and ask, "Is my dress blue?"

    Sidenote: Monica stated she would never have an abortion and doesn't believe women should degrade themselves by being prostitutes unless the money was right...

  • max power posted at 5:50 pm on Thu, Jan 17, 2013.

    max power Posts: 559

    *** You Cannot Force Your Beliefs On Someone Else ***

    Say What? The liberals in Washington did just that! Obamacare funds abortions. Not all taxpayers are on board...

  • Flash Gordon posted at 5:11 pm on Thu, Jan 17, 2013.

    Flash Gordon Posts: 1296

    Jeff................I bet you too supported the proposed state rape statute without ever reading the Idaho code's definition of rape. First you want to deny any adult woman the right to choose that's the law of the land, and then you want the state to rape her to prevent that law from being used......makes sense, eh?:)

  • Why Not posted at 5:03 pm on Thu, Jan 17, 2013.

    Why Not Posts: 4398

    Supporting Mendive and the anti abortion crowd certainly isn’t on my to-do list, but his viewpoint even though not his own is very interesting none the less. It’s also oddly significant because he raised it while speaking to the ACLU and America’s defender of personal rights took offense.

    Both conditions do in fact boil down to personal choice and personal morals. The argument, “abortion is protected by the Constitution while prostitution is illegal”, this just doesn’t hold water. Abortion was illegal and the laws changed. Prostitution was legal, but the country’s moral pendulum swung the other way, so in most places it no longer is.

    The ACLU especially should understand this and I suspect we haven’t heard the last of it, especially since this incident is now all over the internet. I stand by personal choice and support the rights of every individual to do as they please. As long as they are not endangering others or being a nuisance to the general public who cares, it’s none of your business anyway.

  • chouli posted at 4:56 pm on Thu, Jan 17, 2013.

    chouli Posts: 1270

    It all comes down to choices...and those that seek to remove the ability to choose. It's a power thing.

    If you don't believe in abortion, then don't have one. It's really all that simple.
    You do not have the right to choose for someone else.
    You cannot force your beliefs onto someone else.
    Why is that such a hard concept to manage?

  • chouli posted at 4:52 pm on Thu, Jan 17, 2013.

    chouli Posts: 1270

    jeff, you're just being a troll now. not necessary. citing old testament bible quotes means zilch. be nice. play well with others. men are no better than women in your god's eyes or anyone else's.

  • truthful1 posted at 3:29 pm on Thu, Jan 17, 2013.

    truthful1 Posts: 554

    And people wonder why high tech industries and large paying jobs won't move here. First the Aryan Nation and now this guy. The rest of the country thinks N. Idaho is nuts.

  • IAMWOMAN posted at 3:13 pm on Thu, Jan 17, 2013.

    IAMWOMAN Posts: 56

    Mr. Mendive has every right to have his personal opinion, but when he is representing the citizens of his constituency, he would do well to be mindful of his representation. So glad he is not my elected official.

  • 3GenNative posted at 1:04 pm on Thu, Jan 17, 2013.

    3GenNative Posts: 169

    Dogged, illiterate, opinionated and ignorant. Did I miss any?

  • Born in Bonners posted at 11:02 am on Thu, Jan 17, 2013.

    Born in Bonners Posts: 69

    It just kills me when I see this drivel from the angry old white Republican men in this Taliban ran state of ours. When a man can get pregnant then he has the right to say whatever he wants about rape, birth control and abortion. Until then they all need to shut the he** up. The same lunatics that sponsored state rape. Men sound so ridiculous when they talk about women's bodies and what we should do with them. Like we'd listen to the likes of Jeff Wherley. Some goof ball with about 10,000 Jihad opinions. You know what they say about opinions Jeff. Ha!

  • Screen Name posted at 10:39 am on Thu, Jan 17, 2013.

    Screen Name Posts: 803

    Are we not all innocent in the eyes of the Lord?

  • Flash Gordon posted at 9:49 am on Thu, Jan 17, 2013.

    Flash Gordon Posts: 1296

    What a just awful analogy. Mendive needs to take a logic and critical thinking course at one of the three colleges along the education corridor here in Coeur d' Alene. But Mendive did support the once proposed state mandated vaginal probe requirement for any female considering an abortion in the state of Idaho. He unwittingly, or better yet, nitwittedly, supported a proposal that sanctions rape by the State of Idaho(read the Idaho Code)......and this from an elected official. Says a lot about him and those that elected this neanderthal to office.

  • will-- posted at 7:58 am on Thu, Jan 17, 2013.

    will-- Posts: 939

    You conveniently left the word 'innocent' out of you discussion.

  • Screen Name posted at 6:05 am on Thu, Jan 17, 2013.

    Screen Name Posts: 803

    I know for a fact that all of the ant-abortion folks believe the death penalty should be abolished. After all, all human life is sacrosanct and the killing of any human being is murder, right?

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