Lindy’s Blog: Where Mom is Always Right

October 1, 2008

The faulty logic of the abortion movement, continued

There is a fascinating philosophical argument going on in the comments section of my last post.  The argument is not new, but it is nonetheless interesting.  Something that has re-asserted itself in my mind:  the abortion debate is just as much as a spiritual battle as one of morality, or law, or health.  You can present someone with the facts, and then they completely ignore those facts and say you’re being “emotionally manipulative.”  Complete blindness.  Really, you should check it out.  I really want to thank Jon, who has singlehandedly blown away the adversaries.  And he was decidedly UN-emotional, thank you very much.  Quite rational.  

Though I do allow myself to get emotional over abortion.  How can I not?  Having children of my own, carrying them for nine months in my body–a thought ocurred to me at three in the morning.  Take my eldest:  He is so full of life and spunk.  He’s the light of my life.  He says things that slay me.  He doesn’t like milk on his cereal.  He enjoys reading the table of contents almost better than the book itself.  He enjoys going to the bathroom with the light off.  He only eats spiced meat.  He logs in upwards of 25,000 words a day.  He enjoys swinging as high as he can.  He states the camel as his favorite animal.  Everything he is, every unique and sometimes annoying thing, he had in his make-up the moment he was conceived.  So, to argue–even only until the baby is “viable”–that that baby could be destroyed, you’ve destroyed all that with it.  It is a tragedy beyond words.

As far as fetal pain, hell YES it’s a genuine concern.  A whole lot of abortion advocates–and I mean most, perhaps all who are strongly pro-abortion–argue their position from an “it’s the mother’s ultimate choice.”  So, I assume, in their understanding, this choice should be available to her just as much at the end of the pregnancy as at the beginning.  So, what do these abortion fanatics think about the reality of fetal pain then?  This has been repeatedly ignored.  I imagine a baby would feel its skull being punctured and its brains being sucked out.  I would imagine a baby would feel its limbs being torn off.  I would imagine that a baby would feel the burns of a saline abortion.  Indeed, there are a number of people walking around with these burns on their bodies–they survived the horrific procedure.  

They are now in a catch-22.  If one then said that abortion should stop after the fetus can feel pain–and there isn’t conclusive data to establish when that is yet, but it’s looking like a lot LESS than 26 weeks–is to admit that life begins only when someone can feel pain.  If I’m under general anesthesia, I can feel no pain.  So am I then dead?  (As far as when a fetus can feel pain, consider this statement made in a British medical journal: “Try sticking an infant with a pin and you know what happens. She opens her mouth to cry and also pulls away. Try sticking an 8-week-old human fetus in the palm of his hand. He opens his mouth and pulls his hand away. A more technical description would add that changes in heart rate and fetal movement also suggest that intrauterine manipulations are painful to the fetus.”)

Another component of abortion that is completely ignored is its effects on the women who undergo them.  Direct harm includes physical injury and death, psychological trauma, and increased risk of breast cancer.  (There is a definite link between abortion and breast cancer, where three out of four peer-reviewed studies reveals a significant correlation between abortion and cancer.) Indirect harm includes sexual promiscuity and increased risk of STDs, including increased incidence of cervical cancer, coarsened relationships between men and women, domestic abuse, child abuse, and increase in the repeat abortion rate.  So, with all these negative consequences for women, can abortion still be called a “necessary evil?”  Arguably, abortion-on-demand has been the largest experiment on women and society ever.  

Come on concerned feminists:  abortion hurts women.  Where is your outrage?  Research the Silent No More campaign to read more about the devastating effects of abortion on women.  There are a number of prominent converts to the pro-life cause, as well, such as the founder of NARAL, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, and Norma McCorvey, the “Roe” of Roe v. Wade.

The more I read and immerse myself in this issue, the more strengthened is my resolve to do my part to stop it.  If that means simply blogging about it, well, I’ll do it.  And I’ll never stop praying.

The pro-life movement continues to make huge strides here in the US.  Anyone who would claim otherwise needs to widen their scope.  Consider these headlines:

“There is a clear and definite trend toward a drop in access to [abortion].” -Susan Tew, the Alan Guttmacher Institute

“Abortion is a matter of choice in this country not only for women but for physicians as well.  All over the country, most physicians are choosing not to do it.”  -American Medical News

“Unless drastic changes are made, American women will lose the right to abortion and the Supreme Court won’t be the cause of it…the reason will be that physicians either can’t or won’t perform this essential service.” -Barbara Radford, former director, National Abortion Federation

“…the availability of abortions is diminishing because fewer doctors are willing to perform the procedure.” -The Washington Post

“Those who run abortion clinics, even in large cities, say that recruiting doctors is now their most serious problem.”  -The San Fransisco Chronicle

“…no doctors want to come and work in abortion clinics.  Guess what?  No nurses want to come and work in abortion clinics.” -Genevieve Grein, manager, Choice Medical Group, Santa Cruz, Calif.

“Those doctors who have the skill and the courage to provide abortion in today’s political climate are a shrinking population. New providers are not coming along at anything like a replacement rate.” -Jospeh Felmand, director of counseling and education, Planned Parenthood of Central and Northern Arizona

“We have got to have more providers to replace those who are leaving…” -Eleanor Smeal, founder, Feminist Majority Foundation

Continue the good fight!  We are winning; the tide is turning. 

I’m adding Jill Stanek’s blog to my blogroll.  If you don’t know her story, here is an excerpt of an article she wrote, titled “The Ultimate Civil Rights Movement: A peek into the future of pro-life efforts to end abortion”:

“I was baptized by fire into the pro-life movement seven years ago on discovering the hospital where I worked as a registered nurse committed late-term abortions that sometimes ended with live births.  Babies spunky enough to survive their abortions were nevertheless shelved to die in a labor and delivery department soiled utility room in accordance with their mothers’ intent.

Holding one of those babies for the 45 minutes he lived changed my life.  Before then, I was an apathetic pro-lifer, uncomfortable with the topic and disconcerted by activists.  Would that  all pro-aborts might have held that little guy.  Would that it wouldn’t take that.”

Jill Stanek has become a leader in the pro-life movement and helping stop “live-birth abortion,” and in 2002 President Bush asked Jill to attend his signing of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act.  Yes BAIPA, the same BAIPA that Barack Obama voted against.  If you would like to read her full story, here is the link: http://www.priestsforlife.org/testimony/jillstanektestimony.htm 

She goes on to say later in the article:

“The graphic images were my biggest hurdle.  I thought they were over-the-top. 

But if picketers like Joe Scheidler of Pro-Life Action League were willing to protest in front of my hospital, I took them, along with their graphic signs.

One particular time I was standing next to Joe holding my non-graphic sign while he held the one with the photo of the baby’s head being held by forceps.

You usually don’t talk much during pickets, one of the culture’s nuances.  Time is spent praying with or without a Rosary, or just watching faces in cars going by as they view our signs, which is always interesting.

Well, I began to stare at the little aborted baby’s picture. 

I decided he looked the same age as the aborted baby I held.  I noted this little guy’s dark hair and beautiful little round head, even though half his face was torn off. I imagined how his hair should have smelled like baby lotion.

Suddenly, he bacame a real baby to me.  And I began to feel ashamed that I was embarrassed about his baby picture, grotesque as it was.  I thought, what a difference will that baby’s life and death make if I don’t honor him by showing the world his first (and last) photo?”

Ever since, I have held a graphic aborted baby sign at any picket I’ve attended.”

She goes on,

“Fr. Farank Pavone of Priests for Life teachies that graphic photos have been a vital part of all modern social justice movements, such as those of Emmett Till.

Emmett was a 14-year-old black boy from Chicago.  In the summer of 1955, Emmett convinced his mom to let him visit relatives in Mississippi.  Emmett didn’t realize how blacks were viewed in the south, and on a dare he said hello and then, “bye, baby” to a white teenager working in a grocery store.

This prank cost Emmett his life.  Three days later, two of the girl’s relatives pulled Emmett from his uncle’s home, stripped him naked, beat him beyond recognition, shot him in the head, gouged out one of his eyes, wrapped barbed wire around his body, tied his neck to a 100-pound cotton gin fan, and dumped his body into the Tallahatchie River.

When Emmett’s mother received her boy in his casket back in Chicago, she insisted on an open casket and asked a new magazine at the time named Jet to print photos of her slain, disfigured son.  Mrs. Till’s actions ignited the modern-day Civil Rights movement. 

She said, ‘After the body arrived, I knew I had to look and see and make sure it was Emmett.  That was when I decided that I wanted the whole world to see what I had seen. There was no way I could describe what was in that box.  No way.  And I just wanted the world to see.’

Some 50,000 people viewed Emmett’s mutilated body over the course of three days.  And Jet magazine ran the pictures.

The publisher of Jet magazine recalled, ‘There were people on the staff who were squeamish about the photographs.  I had reservations, too, but I decided finally that if it happened it was our responsibility to print it and let the world experience man’s unhumanity to man.’

That issue of Jet sold out immediately.  Those photos did as much as any other event to traumatize Black America and prepare the way for the Freedom Movement of the sixties.”

Make no mistake: abortion is a civil rights issue.  Babies have a civil right to LIVE.  If graphic images of aborted babies bother you, thank the Good Lord for it, because it means you still have a conscience. 

I will never stop fighting to end abortion.

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4 Comments »

  1. Lindy,

    I have been “watching” this debate unfold on your blog with a lot of interest.

    I am not anti-life but I am pro-choice as it relates to a woman’s right to choose whether she has a baby. Ideally, unwanted pregnacies (and STD’s)are avoided through education and accessible prevention options. I think many women are not aware that they have options about when/or when not to become sexually active (economic and cultural obstacles) and what medically safe and effective ways there are to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. If your belief is that a woman should not engage in sex until marriage or not use contraception, what follows will be moot.

    Abortion is the worst option. But the best options are not always available or accessible and education is sorely lacking. Abortions, illegal ones, will happen if there is a demand and doctors are not allowed to preform them.

    If we as an society had a different sensibility about sex, sex education and birth control, abortions rates would decline,(as seen in the european countries) and wouldnt that be better than the level of abortions we are experiencing now??

    I live in Argentina, while a Catholic, latin country, attitudes about sex are much more open, and while kids here have sex 2 years later on average than US kids,sex is not taboo, pre-martial sex is common and birth control is available and almost universally used (its an economic necessity, families average less than 2 kids in Buenos Aires). Abortion is illegal (although legal for mother’s health and rape), but prevention options are available and affordable through health insurance. My strategy for eliminating abortions is education and more realistic tactics that will curb unwanted pregnancies.

    I am a Catholic too, born, educated and raised. I am conflicted about a lot of things relative to the Church, but not about my faith. Killing is wrong. Abortion, the death penalty and war are wrong. Women dont get pregnant to kill babies. I think we agree the dealth penalty was not in God’s plan, and this stupid war is certainly is not in his plan, either are the 3.5 million Iraqi orphans and the 2 million refugees. Its all horrific. I respect your passion, but I look at it differently and am trying to solve with a different approach. And the war..the pro-life movement is awfully quiet about the war.

    Here is an interesting perspective, check it out.

    http://prolifeproobama.com/plpo_kmiecaudio.htm

    my best,
    elizabeth

    Comment by elizabeth — October 1, 2008 @ 9:18 pm |Reply

  2. Elizabeth: Yes, this debate is quite compelling.

    I do believe that sex should be reserved for marriage, and I do believe that contraception is both an abortifacient and has negative health effects on women. (In other words, I do not agree with the premise of the argument that certain forms of contraception are medically “safe” or “healthy.”) But yet, I don’t think your points are moot. It’s good and honorable to discuss these important things.

    I do not want to make this comment 3 pages long, and so I think the best way to explain where I’m coming from–the basis of my arguments in accordance with my Catholic faith–is to refer you to Mary Eberstadt’s article on Humanae Vitae. It can be found about halfway down on the Too Good to Keep to Myself page on this blog.

    I think you’re missing out on some of the best that the Catholic faith offers! I fervently hope that you’d read it with an open mind. Explore further the true teachings of our faith, in her own words, and not from an outside source. Know that you’re not the only one who balks at some of the teachings of the Catholic Church, and know that so many have found unexpected treasure when they have explored these hard teachings with an open mind and heart.

    I do want to challenge you (with complete goodwill) on a few of your statements. Access to more contraception does not prevent pregnancy. This has been proven. The only sure way to not become pregnant is to not have sex. Feel free to double check this statistic, but I read that 54% of women who had an abortion had used a contraceptive method in the month they became pregnant. And a very small (1-3%) number of women have abortions due to health problems or rape. This means that most abortions are performed as a means of birth control or failed contraceptive use or “lack of education.” (Is it possible in this day and age, in our sex-saturated culture, to actually NOT know that sex can mean pregnancy, no matter how “safe”? But I digress…)

    Thanks to the internet, it’s possible to find statistics for any point of view, and that complicates the arguments centering on abortion statistics. For instance, the Guttmacher Institute, known as the “leading authority” on abortion stats, is directly affiliated with Planned Parenthood, the US’s largest abortion provider. So I have a real hard time trusting in the accuracy of their statistics. It’s a sticky situation, to be sure.

    There’s also the issue of under-reporting of abortion statistics, which is vast, and further complicates the discussion.

    One thing I did find compelling about the supposedly low European abortion rates is compelling. Of course, I found these statements on the internet, so I suppose one could take them or leave them, too. But here is the link, http://prophecyfellowship.yuku.com/topic/8558/t/Teen-Pregnancy-in-Europe-Low-Due-to-ABSTINENCE.html, and an excerpt of what this person had to say about the subject:

    “Though pregnancy data and abortion rates are not collected and reported the same way in each European country, here’s what I discovered: The much-heralded Dutch teen pregnancy, abortion and birthrates used are for all females under 20 years of age (including elementary school children), while ours are for adolescents ages 15 to 19. If you factor in prepubescent girls, naturally you come up with a much smaller number. Also, teenage girls are routinely put on the pill.

    In Holland, there is a strong emphasis on delaying sexual activity. Fetal development is taught in schools, and most Dutch educators report they do not use condom demonstrations. There is little tolerance for teenage pregnancy. Unwed mothers are not subsidized the way they are in the U.S.

    Also, Europe has tighter abortion laws. Abortions are typically allowed up to 17 weeks – 22 weeks is considered an emergency. Counseling and waiting periods are standard.

    One of the biggest reasons the Netherlands and other European countries have much lower abortion rates is that early abortions simply are not counted! If a young girl misses her monthly period and goes to a clinic, they don’t do a pregnancy test. They do a D&C (scrape out her uterus) and call it a “menstrual extraction.” If there is no pregnancy (no test to confirm), technically, it was not an abortion!”

    So, I suppose, if anything, one must always exercise caution when making wide statistical comparisons between countries.

    As for the Iraq war, I am no military expert. But the Church is clear in its position on “just” wars, and if I’m not mistaken, the US had nothing but honorable intentions in regard to Iraq. No doubt the Iraqi people are better off now than under the brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, who used chemical and biological weapons on his own people. There was majority consensus on the decision (both Democrats and Republicans) to invade. I’ve generally found that people who oppose the war generally feel that the US is not a noble nation, but merely one who wishes to be “imperialistic.” They completely ignore the bright beacon of light and freedom that we have been and continue to be to the world. Are we perfect? Of course not, no one is. This issue, too, is skewed by the corrupt US media.

    I do feel, and the Catholic Church agrees, that it is an oxymoron to be pro-life and pro-Obama. Doug Kmiec is sadly mistaken. I would refer you to this column, http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=76642, written by a leading student of the law regarding the Born Alive Infants Protection Act and Obama’s stand on life issues. There is a link in one of my earlier posts from Fr. Corapi regarding this as well. A great many US Catholic Bishops have offered nothing but strong condemnation for politicians who vote for pro-abortion policies while receiving Communion.

    Once again, I appreciate your perspectives. We may never be in agreement, but at least we can still discuss these things openly. Open communication is commendable and always welcome.

    Lindy

    Comment by lindyborer — October 2, 2008 @ 11:20 am |Reply

  3. Hi again Lindy:

    Had to take a step away from this discussion. My 6 year had a birthday that needed to be celebrated!

    OK so we agree that abortion is WRONG. Its horrible and vile and tragic. We need to stop abortion. I am not convinced making it illegal is the end all solution. We have to address the cultural and economic issues that allow for women to become pregnant when it is not ideal (married, economically able family). I believe education and access to family planning and contraception is the answer along with economic opportunity and general education and improved literacy. I know that is wishing for the sky..but that is what it will take, not just by saying no sex until you are married (fair number of unwanted pregnancies take place within marriage).

    But I want to circle back to the idea that Pro-Life argument that is bigger than abortion. It calls for protection of all life…. I think we have profound difference of opinion regards to what makes a just war..I dont believe that our invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq was just. While Saddam Hussien was evil, so is the reality of 5 million orphans…Whatever reason we thought we were going (WMDs, regional stability), we seemed to have little consideration for the lives of the people living in the country. You will never be able to convinice me that Jesus would approve of what we have done to that part of the world. There are so many other people in the world we can help, with out killing anyone. Since we are swapping literature..here is an editorial that makes my point much better.

    http://www.scholarsandrogues.com/2008/09/18/pro-life-pro-obama-is-it-possible/

    my best,
    elizabeth

    Comment by elizabeth — October 6, 2008 @ 8:38 am |Reply

  4. Hello. Life goes on even outside the blogosphere, doesn’t it? : )

    I read your link, and I agree with one point made in it: it’s all enough to turn one into a cynic.

    A debate about what constitutes a just war is no small task. Suffice it to say, yes, I agree with you in that we do have a profound difference of opinion regarding the war in Iraq. And, like you, inconsistency of opinion drives me crazy. So, I took the bull by the horns and asked my priest about the Church’s official position on the Iraq war. He said that, given the complex nature of world politics, there is room for differences in opinion, but mainly the Vatican says Preemptive war is not good. (The simplified version, of course.) And he gave me a link to his friend Carole’s blog, who is a Catholic missionary in Ireland, who wrote very accurately and eloquently about the topic, here: http://vitamea.cybercatholics.com/light2nations/2007/06/12/on-war-and-peace-being-a-peacemaker-and-the-giver-of-peace/
    I do not think our invasion of Iraq was preemptive, I think we had just cause, as Carole writes.

    I think, too, that the incredible amount of GOOD we are doing in Iraq is completely ignored and downplayed by the media, which further clouds the issue.

    So, I’m satisfied that I’m not being anti-life in any way and that I’m not being inconsistent in my pro-life stance, and the Church is big enough for both of us, which is great news, don’t you think? Thanks for your thoughts.

    Comment by lindyborer — October 7, 2008 @ 3:06 pm |Reply


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