Thursday, January 31, 2013

We are better than that

The thing about abortion is that it doesn't empower women.   Women don't choose abortion like they choose which dress to wear, they choose abortion as a last desperate action because they see no other option.  Instead of cultivating respectful, responsible relationships between men and women, abortion makes it a lot easier to be irresponsible and selfish.

Feminist activist Michelle Kinsey Bruns writes this article: The time I told a group of anti-choice teenagers about my abortion.

"I could never get past the terrible trap that an unwanted pregnancy must seem to be to the person enduring it. I spent a lot of time, back then, thinking about imprisonment and escape."

Dealing vs Deleting

When you choose to deal with the curve balls life throws you, the bars of a cage disappear.  Nothing can hold prisoner the person who chooses to deal with a thing.  In order to advance in life, you must overcome the obstacles and challenges thrown at you.  Sometimes, those challenges come from bad choices you made, so facing up to that and taking responsibility for it seems to me, to be the obvious thing to do.  Abortion does not deal with the curve ball, it seeks to make it not exist.  The problem with that is that it does not make the child non-existent.  It just makes you the father or the mother, or the sister/brother/grandparent of a dead child.  You did not make him not exist.  You made him die.

Sometimes challenges come from something external to us.  The characteristic of the hero is that he or she rises to the challenge and sacrifices something of him/herself for the better good.  Personal sacrifice actually brings rewards.  There is no good in this world that has not been brought about by some personal sacrifice on the part of someone.  The good outweighs the sacrifice.  Abortion simply implies that women are weak-minded creatures, incapable of heroism.  To choose to do what is right, to cross the hurdles, to climb the cliffs, to make it to the top, despite what you thought (or others thought) you could do, that is empowering.  To hide is not.  What do parents teach their children these days?  That there are no consequences for our actions?  That we can just go on making bad decisions and never have to deal with unhappy things in our life?  Life is not consequence-free.  Even abortion has its consequences: guilt, depression, infertility, problem pregnancies and death.  Yes, even death in a legal clinic.

Feelings don't Make a Wrong Action Right

I had an "unwanted" pregnancy once.  That is to say, I certainly did not want to be pregnant at the time.  My child was never "unwanted".  Just the circumstances of pregnancy.  I know the feelings of just wanting it not to be.  How could I face up to my family, friends and the Catholic group I was in at the time?  How would I finish university?  How would I support a child, alone?  The shame of it was the worst.  How could I be a single mother?  This was not how I had foreseen my life at all.

Feelings do not make your actions good or bad.  Feeling hurt that your boyfriend is cheating on you, for example, does not make murdering him or the other girl okay.  Feelings are temporary.  Actions are permanent.  The feelings go away, the action NEVER WILL.  You may be feeling trapped, scared, ashamed, helpless, or depressed,  That does not mean that there is no help or hope for you.  If you really do not want a child, there are worse things in life to suffer than a nine-month pregnancy, and there are whole lists of people waiting to adopt.

I chose to keep my child, and I have never felt imprisoned because of it.  I have never regretted it, not once.  I went back to university, I crossed that hurdle, I finished my degree.  I always had help and support.  To say that pro-lifers only care about ensuring that the fetus survives then forget about the child and mother is nonsense.  I had support well past my son's birth.  Sometimes I would come home and find bags of groceries waiting at my door.  People babysat for free.  Others gave me free furniture.  Children are not the end of your life, they are the beginning of a new chapter.  My children do not keep me from accomplishing things, to the contrary, they are often my source of inspiration.  I can say that I am a stronger, better person today for taking on the hurdles life has put in my way.  How many women can say abortion has made them a stronger, better person?

"It’s true I was troubled when I was eighteen. When I found I was pregnant, I told my boyfriend that I would kill myself, but if he wanted to raise a child, I would wait to give birth, and then kill myself. I had attempted suicide before, ending up hospitalized, at thirteen, for weeks. By eighteen it had begun to seem I might survive my childhood, but I didn’t believe I could survive being responsible for someone else’s."

A Terrible Childhood does not Make a Wrong Action Right

I'm sorry she had a hard childhood.  Truly I am.  I did not have an easy childhood myself. I was ostracized, picked on, put down, laughed at, left out, told I was undesirable, randomly kicked or punched in passing, and was constantly told that I was no good for anything.  Shall I go on?  My father had to come and pick me up after school twice a day, every day in grade four because a group of 5 or 6 boys waited outside the school door every day so they could beat me up.  Secondary school was slightly better.  If I had not had loving parents, I might have tried to commit suicide myself.

I got over it.  I have (mostly) moved on.  Having an abortion does not "save" you from an unhappy childhood or a desire to commit suicide.  Seeing a psychologist and dealing with it does.  Once again, an action is not made good or bad by the childhood of the person committing it.  It may help to understand why the person may have done a thing, but it does not change the nature of the action. If I were to go back and beat up all the people who once beat me up when I was a kid, it might be understandable, but it would still be wrong.

The Pro-life Generation, Shallow?

Ms Kinsey-Bruns assumes that she is like the teenagers who go to the pro-life march in Washington DC.  Or rather, that they are like her.  Just kids who aren't really pro-life; they're only in it for the field trip.

I don't deny the possibility that some teenagers may have been along only for the field trip. Certainly, the idea of going on a trip is appealing.  But that is not all that they are there for.  These young people are defiant and enthusiastic in their protest.  Not the kind of sentiment one would expect from people who are just there for the field trip.  These young people are the survivors.  Any one of them could have been legally aborted.  They are the lucky ones. That gives a person a different perspective in life.  Even in a public school, my 18 year old son said most of his friends were against abortion.  The tide is turning.

"As long as there are field-trip-loving Catholic-school kids, there will always be a March for Life."

Assuming that they may be more interested in the trip than the actual March proves nothing, as the same could be assumed of any teenagers attending any protest, anywhere, including the pro-choice protests.

Many of the young people at both the March in DC as well as in Ottawa are in their twenties and thirties, college-age, or working.  They've had plenty of time to be re-educated by today's society.  Yet they haven't been convinced.  The March for Life does not depend on field-trip-loving Catholic high-school kids.  How many of them are even Catholic?  Did you know that atheists also march for life?  Because "life is all there is and all that matters, and abortion destroys the life of an innocent human being."  Did you know feminists also march for life (with never a mention of God)?  Because "women deserve better."  Did you know that gays and lesbians also march for life?  "Because it is "consistent with the gay and lesbian struggle for human rights." Ms Kinsey-Bruns' statement sounds like the last-ditch attempt of a pro-choicer to convince herself that she is not on the losing side.

"So most years, I’m there at their March for Uterine Conscription too, in front of the Supreme Court with friends and like-minded strangers, holding pro-choice signs and arguing with dozens of adolescents—puffed up on privilege and inadequate adult supervision—who believe they are experts on sexuality and fetal development and parenting and medical tragedy and rape and regret."


The "March for Uterine Conscription"

I find it really sad when women become so delusional that they compare pregnancy to "uterine conscription".  It shows a lack of understanding of the beauty of life, and the beauty of motherhood.  It is not necessary to want to be a mother in order to understand the beauty of motherhood.  My own sister is a good example of that.  What I find ironic is that many of these same women probably also consider themselves very "pagan", nature-centered, environmental etc. For pagans and ancient cultures, fertility was up there in the realm of the gods. I'm pretty sure abortion would be sacrilegious.

Adolescents and Fetal Development

Ms. Kinsey-Bruns seems to think she is more of an expert than "dozens of adolescents".  Oh wait, did she really write dozens of adolescents?  There were over 600 000 people at this year's March for Life in DC, and she only saw dozens?  Interesting.  Back to the point.  Science teaches us that new life starts at conception, and that this new life has a DNA separate from the mother's DNA.  It is not a part of the mother's body, although it is being nurtured by the mother's body.  High school students learn this in biology class.  Is she going to refute biology then?  Does she have a different scientific theory on fetal development?  Even certain pro-choicers admit abortion terminates a life:

"This pro-life versus pro-choice dynamic often leads to intense clashes in the public sphere, with both sides accusing the other of restricting rights and advocating damaging policies. In a new piece that was published this week, Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams, a pro-choice adherent, decides not to steer clear of the “life” issue and asks: “So what if abortion ends life?”" (The Blaze)

Experts on Sexuality and Parenting?

Does Ms Kinsey-Bruns know that the many different people marching for life actually have many different views on sexuality and parenting and that likely very few of them consider themselves experts on the matter?  Oh right, probably not, since she only saw dozens of them, and they were all brain-washed Catholic high-school kids there for the field trip. She probably also thinks they are all perfect clones of each other.  Never mind, when it comes down to the basic question; whether abortion is the killing of a person or not, a person's views on parenting and sexuality don't really matter anyway.

Medical Tragedy, Rape and Regret

I think I will let the true experts; the ones who dealt with medical tragedy, rape and regret, and overcame them, (instead of pretending they didn't exist) speak:

On Rape:

"Joyce Ann McCauley-Benner was raped at 20 while working her way through college and chose not to abort, not knowing if her unborn son was the result of rape or of her relationship. She says, "I know what it's like to want to run as far away as possible from a problem, how it feels to hang on to 'if I wasn't pregnant anymore, it would all be OK again.'" Ms. McCauley-Benner, who graduated from college while raising her son, worked on a racial justice task force and has worked with victims of sex trafficking." ( Feminists for Life Speakers)

"Pregnancy can be punishing, but a child is not a punishment. When Julie Makimaa was reunited with her birthmother, Lee Ezell ("Victory Over Violence," The American Feminist, vol. 5, no. 3), Julie asked her if it would have been better for Lee if Julie was never born at all. Lee told Julie that she was the “only good thing to come out of the rape.”
When someone asks about exceptions for rape and incest, we must also consider how that makes those feel who were conceived through sexual assault. Well-meaning statements can hurt. As one UC-Berkeley grad student said to her pro-choice peers, “I have a right to be here.” They responded, “We didn't mean you!” She asked, “Who did you think you meant?”
My mother told this story to a coworker who agreed and said, "People never think they are talking to an exception—like me.” Could you look at someone conceived in violence and tell her that she never should have been born? What if it turned out to be your best friend—or a relative? Would that change the way you felt about her? Would you think less of her mother?
Rebecca Kiessling, a young attorney and mother who was conceived through sexual assault, asks “Did I deserve the death penalty?”" Can you imagine if we ranked the value of people based on the circumstances of their conception?" " (Feminists for Life Q&A)

On Regret:

"Jewels Green discovered she was pregnant at 17 and was pressured into having an abortion that led to depression and a suicide attempt. She then worked in an abortion center much of her young adulthood and became pro-life years later. She offers insider information from behind the closed doors of the abortion industry and unique insight into the highly personal journey of conversion. FFL was the first pro-life organization Jewels joined and worked as a volunteer before coming onboard as the Editor of FFL's magazine, The American Feminist."  (Feminists for Life Speakers)

Even Jane Roe (Norma McCorvey) of Roe vs Wade regrets her abortion and has her own pro-life movement called Roe No More Ministry.

There are forums at Feminists for Life for women who mourn their aborted children, not to mention Project Rachel, Rachel's Vineyard, Ramah International and Silent no More.  To imply that "regret" is not a problem post-abortive women face is gross ignorance of the facts.  These support groups simply would not exist if regret were not a problem.  A woman who says she had an abortion and does not regret it or at least think that it was a terrible thing even if "necessary" is deluding herself.  She is either lying to herself or she is totally oblivious of what abortion is.  It is these hardened people who come up slogans like "the March for Uterine Conscription" or "the fetus fetish" and consider fetuses to be parasites and children to be "snotty, disgusting brats".  This is the kind of thing that happens to people who live a lie.  They start to live in their own demented world.

On Medical Tragedy:

Pro-life people do not insist that a mother die in order to save an unborn child's life.  When a mother's life is in danger and the secondary result of a procedure to save the mother's life causes the death of the unborn child, it is not considered immoral.  The death of the mother would inevitably cause the death of the unborn child anyway.  Pro-life people only ask that doctors try to save both.  With technology advances these days, there is almost no reason why both cannot be saved.  Ectopic pregnancies are one exception.  If allowed to continue, both mother and child will assuredly die. We don't ask mothers to become martyrs but some mothers did it anyway, with no regrets.  To them, the life of their child was worth their own. Angelica Rosales Talavera's mother chose to carry her to term despite being at risk.  She gave birth to a healthy child and lived.

Just how many abortions are done in order to save the life of a mother?  In the UK, for example, between 1968 and 2011 only 0.006% of abortions were done in order to save the life of the pregnant woman or to prevent grave injury to her physical or mental health. (Parliamentary Business, UK July 19, 2012)

Conclusion

Ms Kinsey-Bruns walks into the reserved car full of students, assuming that they are all like her.  She manages to get out that 1 in 3 women will have an abortion, that she is one of them, and it saved her.  She tells them they can't tell others how to live their own lives (actually, yes we can, we do it all the time for things like rape, murder, theft, honesty, general decency and good will to others), she thanks them for coming to Washington DC, asks them to put their efforts into some other cause, repeats the 1 in 3 thing, says she's proud of it, tells them to have a safe trip, and leaves.  No dialogue.  No one else has a chance to say anything.

She thinks she may have made a difference.  How would she know, since she didn't hang around long enough to find out?  The comments on this are all about how brave she was and one person even congratulates her: "THANK YOU for your thoughtfulness and bravery. You put an adult face on the issue and definitely reached more than a few of the students. BRAVO!"

Once again, how would any one KNOW this, since she didn't bother to hang around long enough?  I know kids who have been to the March for Life in Canada, NONE of those I know were just in it for the field trip, and none of them would have been impressed by someone coming by, blurting out a short monologue and leaving in a rush.  They know their facts.  They would have easily stood by them.

"I put a call out on Facebook, asking if any friends could board in Washington with a Flip cam, for posterity and maybe for safety too. What if nuns came at me with rulers? Or maybe the kids would fall upon me and rend my flesh once they had heard my confession—Catholicism is pretty bloody. No one stepped forward to volunteer, but I decided that if the students were indeed marchers, I would do my speech anyway, alone."

"Nuns with rulers"?  Forgive me for laughing.  This is too stereotypical of a person who is having an adolescent crisis with the Catholic Church.

"Catholicism is pretty bloody."

Because abortion isn't.