The tragedy of abortion absolutism and how the pro-life movement can respond

Demonstrators who support legal abortion gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court during the 46th annual March for Life Jan. 18 in Washington. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz) 

The stark reality of abortion entered public consciousness this week to a degree not seen in years. Americans were just beginning to understand how radical New York’s Reproductive Health Act, passed on Jan. 22, really was. At the same time, a Virginia state delegate acknowledged, during a legislative hearing, that the bill she had proposed to loosen regulation of late-term abortions would in fact allow abortion up until the moment of delivery. The governor of Virginia, himself a pediatric neurosurgeon, addressed the same issue on a radio show. He explained that it was more likely that such a case, involving a baby with severe deformities or who was expected to be nonviable, would result in a delivery but that the child would only be resuscitated if the mother and family desired. His clinical discussion of choosing to allow an infant to die shocked many. And while it did not attract as much attention, the governor of Rhode Island vowed to sign a similar bill in her state.

As we pointed out earlier this month, with Roe v. Wade under potential threat at the Supreme Court, pro-choice activists are pushing to have its effects codified into state law—and sometimes trying to expand access to abortion at the same time. This challenge calls for careful discernment from the pro-life movement. The fact that some consciences are being woken to recognize the tragedy of abortion is an opportunity for pro-lifers to broaden the circle of those who are willing to support pregnant women and be concerned for unborn children.

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Here are three ways to engage this challenge constructively:

First, take great care to be clear, accurate and fair in describing the bad effects of these laws. They are shocking enough without any exaggeration. Also, veterans of pro-life work are not surprised that the controversies over these laws are already being described in terms of “attacks” on the politicians arguing for them. While there is no easy way to achieve fair media coverage of the moral concerns about abortion, it is still important to do what is possible to avoid the most predictable media bias. Some commentators immediately equated the Virginia governor’s remarks to “infanticide,” which the governor described as a bad-faith interpretation—and that allowed the news cycle to turn to parsing the criticism of the governor rather than keeping the focus on the moral question.

Second, be proactive about acknowledging and engaging the best possible motives behind even these very bad laws and resist the temptation to demonize those who support them. Many pro-choice advocates point out—accurately—that the late-term abortions to which these laws expand access are rare and usually connected to tragic diagnoses of fetal abnormality, maternal risk or the expectation that a child will die shortly after birth. Instead of relying solely on blunt, accurate descriptions of the violence of late-term abortions, pro-lifers should give even more emphasis to compassionate care for both mother and child in these terrible circumstances. Options such as perinatal hospice, which provides support and care for the mother, infant and family in situations where a child is expected to die before or shortly after birth, should be much better known. Efforts need to be made to guarantee that they are presented as part of the standard of care and resourced well enough to be available wherever needed. Too often, silence about these possibilities leads to the false choice between late-term abortion and “forcing” a mother to give birth.

Third, legislative efforts to defeat and reverse these laws should be paired with opportunities to reach across the aisle and work for reforms that will help expectant parents and make it easier for them to choose to bring their children into the world. This is not a retreat from the effort to protect unborn children in law—it is a recognition that pro-lifers should be willing to use every practical means to support and defend the dignity of life. If legal limits on abortion are connected to increases in support for parental leave and protections against pregnancy discrimination, they can potentially attract a much wider base of support. Such an approach is not only a chance for real policy improvements, but also a potential opening to win minds and hearts to recognize the value of every human life at all stages of development.

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Crystal Watson
9 months 2 weeks ago

This is happening because pro-life Republican legislators made every effort to both overturn Roe and to chip away at existing rights to the point where the decision in Roe was defeated in some states for some people. Combine this with Republican policies that hurt the poor and women. Republicans and pro-life people have been trying to force a minority religious policy on a country that mostly doesn't share that perspective - now Democrats have to try to reverse that trend.

Nora Bolcon
9 months 2 weeks ago

Exactly, Pro-lifer groups wanted to attack Roe v wade and make the right a matter for states to decide and they are seeing what that result is so stop complaining.

karen oconnell
9 months 2 weeks ago

the 'goal ' of so called 'pro-lifer' was never that of '''leaving the issue up to the states. they wanted the ammendment in place and mandatory for all states. if the abortion piece is ever amended, it will probably go to the states. forget about the amendment. it is the law of the land. use $$$ and influence to help singles and families who feel that abortion ''is their only solution.'' (that won't be as much 'fun.!!!'' no marches etc. just lots and lots of love and charity to those facing a tough time.

Nora Bolcon
9 months 2 weeks ago

I agree with you Karen,

If we spent half the funds on helping women and couples with problematic unexpected pregnancies instead of trying to criminalize abortion, there would have been so many less abortions. However, you are correct, it is much easier to hold a sign with the Knights of Columbus all male review marching behind you and funding your cause with insurance money persecuting women and condemning them. This while making sure you do nothing to support actually helping women with what matters. God forbid these pro-lifers spend a dime of taxes to actually help parents raise the unborn children they claim to love so much! Most of these trigger laws leave no help for women other than they will help the women find families for their unaffordable children they obviously can't afford to raise after being forced to give birth to them. These laws are what is an abomination, in my opinion but no one seems to be criticizing them in "America Magazine"or within our church hierarchy.

Lisa M
9 months 2 weeks ago

Nora-let's be honest about it. More men favour abortion than women, and I think we all know why. There are plenty of us, plenty who believe in respect for all life, womb to tomb; we believe the solution is to change hearts, by doing the right thing and helping our neighbour, by providing greater aid to ALL people in distress, whether that be a refugee, a migrant or a pregnant woman. We don't vote republican, or support Trump, but as I'm sure you can imagine, the democrats are no longer a party we can supporter either. I just don't think that fits the narrative though, so the divisions continue. God help us.

Nora Bolcon
9 months 2 weeks ago

Unfortunately, independent candidates do not win elections. I don't love everything the Dems do but they do stand for justice and the middle class and poor. The Republicans pretend to care about Jesus and conservative values but all they ever really back is misogyny, racism, ethnic hatred and pure greed. The last one being their most important priority. I vote Democrat because they are always the lesser of two evils in what has always been a two party country.

To make a real difference we need to get rid of the electoral college. Perhaps then people will start believing more that every vote matters and maybe then independent candidates would have chance.

Lisa M
9 months 2 weeks ago

Nora- to make a real difference we need to DO. Grouping people into republican, racist, misogynist and greedy is a cop out. Saying you choose the party who cares for the middle class and poor is simply not backed by statistics, particularly when you look at cities that have had democrats in power for decades. This isn't the Kennedy era, and they shouldn't be given a free pass for what they were.

While I do not think picketing is the most effective way to bring change, I most certainly would never judge those who are dedicating their time and effort to try to save a life, and many have. Just think if we all were so committed. It is shameful that we attack those who at least try. It's so easy to say what should be done, while staying on the sidelines.

True feminism respects women and everything about us, including the beautiful gift of bearing children. WE should demand an end to the pressure that is put on women where they feel they have no choice. That is NOT a choice, and it is not in women's best interest. Please give the misogynist, racist labels a rest. I'm pretty sure those types slither their way throughout society, some just hide it a bit better.

Crystal Watson
9 months 2 weeks ago

We can't help but make a distinction between Republicans and Democrats - it is the Democratic party that stands for women's rights, while the Republicans support a president who cheats on his wife and grabs women by the pu**y. And "true" feminism isn't about glorifying women and their ability to have children, it's about treating men and women as equals.

Valerie Finnigan
9 months 2 weeks ago

Ahem. Democrats also supported a guy who had multiple complaints of sexual harassment, assault, and even rape against him. The Dems seem to only support women's rights as long as it's politically expedient.

Valerie Finnigan
9 months 2 weeks ago

Ahem. Democrats also supported a guy who had multiple complaints of sexual harassment, assault, and even rape against him. The Dems seem to only support women's rights as long as it's politically expedient.

Crystal Watson
9 months 2 weeks ago

The difference is that voters knew about Trump's misogyny before the election and voted for him anyway. We didn't know about Clinton until he was already in office.

Nora Bolcon
9 months 2 weeks ago

Correct!

Lisa M
9 months 2 weeks ago

Crystal-equality is about treating men and women as equals, true feminism is about embracing and celebrating our differences, challenging our talents and not kowtowing to anyone. Hilary Clinton may have been your representative for feminism, but certainly not mine.

J Jones
9 months 2 weeks ago

Lisa, this is not honest. Feminism is a movement focused on the rights of women based on the equality of the sexes.

Lisa M
9 months 1 week ago

J Brookbank- fair enough :)

J Jones
9 months 1 week ago

Grateful you saw my comment. Meaninful communication is impossible if basic dictionary definitions are thrown out the window.

Crystal Watson
9 months 2 weeks ago

Well, you're not talking about actual feminism. You are describing JPII's idea, "conplementarianism". It's pushed by conservative Catholics as the "new" feminism, but it's the opposite of feminism.

Lisa M
9 months 1 week ago

It has always puzzled me that some women decide they speak for all women, and define feminism from their perspective only. The sad reality is, the feminism you seem to speak of and support, has been pushed by women who grew up in dysfunction, often had an absent or alcoholic or domineering father and /or a passive or mentally unstable mother as their example, and thus became determined not to have to rely on anyone. Ironically, many have done just that, seemingly unable to live without a man. Their goals are genuine but they have no clue what is ideal. Fortunately for some of us, we grew up with parents who loved and respected each other, complimented each other, and were one in union with the other. A husband and father who was mentally strong and supportive and a wife and mother who was the same, just doing different things. Unfortunately for Simone Beauvoir, Margaret Sanger, Gloria Steinem and Germain Greer and many others, no such examples of equality were witnessed. Sorry, but their views on equality and feminism are certainly not mine.

Crystal Watson
9 months 1 week ago

This makes no sense.

Lisa M
9 months 1 week ago

Crystal Watson- How so? Have you read their biographies?

Crystal Watson
9 months 1 week ago

!) feminism is not dependent on the work of those few women you mention. It's a huge and complex movement, championed not just by women but men too.
2) are you a psychologist/psychiatrist? The idea that bad childhoods turn women into feminists is just silly.

J Jones
9 months 1 week ago

Lisa, with no disrespect intended, I sincerely believe you do not understand the definition of the term "feminism". (Lisa, please forgive me for the earlier version of this comment in which I mistyped 'no respect intended' instead of 'no disrespect intended'.")

Crystal Watson
9 months 1 week ago

Here. let a man explain what feminism is, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau. He does a good job of it ... https://youtu.be/BHacFI8K6ck

Lisa M
9 months 1 week ago

Crystal Watson- Sorry Crystal, as a Canadian, believe me when I say many of us do not consider PM Trudeau an advocate for women. Interestingly, he too has a background of inappropriate behaviour with at least one woman. When, by the way is it ok for men to speak about women's rights? Only when they support the feminist cause that you define? Not the men who support women like myself who do not see abortion as a women's right issue? Those men have no right to speak?

As mentioned earlier, I agree with you that feminism is a movement that seeks equality between the sexes. The difference between your views and mine, however, is I don't believe in sacrificing my female uniqueness in the name of equality. That is NOT equality. Nor is taking the life of an unborn child in the name of equality.

The reason I mentioned the background of some of the leading feminists, is it speaks to their inability to embrace the differences between men and women, because their experience has been one of oppression. That doesn't make the male-female relationship unequal, it makes certain men and women unwilling/unable to accept it. Naturally, it follows that those who have not been treated properly will fight for change.

For the record, I am NOT a conservative. I'm not a liberal, I am Catholic as far as my beliefs, which means, in general, conservative on moral issues, liberal on social issues. I believe Catholic teaching respects the dignity of the individual and promotes the unity of mankind.

J Jones
9 months 1 week ago

Lisa, I sincerely believe you are mixing apples and oranges. It is simply NOT a feminist argument that no differences exist between and women. Difference and equality are not in conflict unless society's structure (its laws, institutions, policies, etc) assigns rights and privileges unequally based on gender. It really is that simple.

All this other stuff? Fine, good, go for it. Those are distinct issues.

Feminism is a movement working to ensure equal rights for women based on the equality of the sexes. That's all.

Lisa M
9 months 1 week ago

J - I agree 100% that difference and equality are not in conflict unless imposed by laws, etc. So explain to me please how abortion falls into the category of women's rights? How is it one person's right over another in the name of equality? How is it equality when we are 'offering' women in their most vulnerable time the 'option' to end a life so that theirs may continue like before? Does it not bother you that so many are pressured into this? Is that equality? That's feminism to fight for?

J Jones
9 months 1 week ago

Lisa, a couple thoughts:

1) I recognize that you believe that "many" women abort pregnancies because they are "pressured" by individuals in their lives. That is a very vague statement; it is certainly ominous; and I have not seen any evidence other than anecdotes that this is a serious factor in 2019. (In fact, the only time I heard about this last year was when text messages were published and forensically identified as belonging to a married anti-abortion conservative Republican congressman from PA who pressured his married mistress to abort a pregnancy which resulted when he had intercourse with her.) Can you point me to non-anecdotal evidence of this phenomenon?

2) As you know, many feminists do not support abortion rights. I think you are a feminist who doesn't support abortion rights. I am a feminist who believes women have the right to bodily integrity and the right to make healthcare decisions in the privacy of their medical provider's office and in the context of the reality of their individual lives. I believe both complex positions ---- yours and mine ---- are compatible with feminism.

3) I believe your question with the words "offering", "options", "so their lives can continue as before", etc, is so loaded with assumptions and jargon that it cannot produce a meaningful response.

3)

Lisa M
9 months 1 week ago

J- I can attest to the absolute fear, I remember it well, even 35 years later. Thankfully I had very supportive parents, but the fact is, when in crisis, you have no idea what to expect. I have two friends who had a different reaction when they broke the news to their families. One was dragged to a clinic, the other was told to have an abortion or leave the home. We all were from financially secure Catholic families. My children know several girls who were too afraid to tell their parents, or whose parent and/or boyfriend put pressure on them. The reality is, many, women feel pressured, and others are too afraid to tell their families. This, absolutely must stop. This is not free choice this is a coerced decision for far too many young women.
https://www.pop.org/many-american-women-felt-pressured-abortions-study-finds/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3729671/
http://www.life.org.nz/abortion/abortionkeyissues/whywomenabort/Default.htm
https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-38775641

J Jones
9 months 1 week ago

Lisa, I will read the articles. Thanks. I agree with you 100% that pregnant women and girls should not be directed, pressured or otherwise controlled by others.

Nora Bolcon
9 months 1 week ago

It is sad what happened to these women and girls but this only justifies the stand that abortion needs to be solely up to the pregnant women, not their families, or parents, or the politicians who are mostly men, or you who are not directly involved in every womens story. You want us to treat all pregnant women like they are children or mentally disabled. Women are human adults and when they are pregnant they will have to carry most of the burden of the pregnancy which directly affects their health, career and emotional well being which is why it is only fair that they get to choose to gestate their pregnancies t birth and not be forced to use their bodies and organs to gestate their pregnancies against their will. We do not even make people give blood to save their own child's life after they are born. We do not force all dead people to be organ donors to save others lives, including new born babies so how then is your stand just on principal alone? Not to mention harsh laws against abortion always increase its occurrence in every country of the world and that has already been well evidenced.

Crystal Watson
9 months 1 week ago

Lisa -
Men can be feminists and speak on the issue, just as they can have an opinion on abortion.
It seems you have chosen to adopt the church's views on feminism. That's fine, but that definition has nothing to do with actual feminism as the greater world understands it. And I don't understand why you feel the need to project psychological problems on those who disagree with you. This is what makes it really impossible to argue with many religious people ... there are no shared facts.

Lisa M
9 months 1 week ago

Crystal- I never came close to suggesting that those who disagreed with my interpretation of feminism have psychological problems. I said that many of the leading feminists grew up in dysfunction, and therefore desired change, but did not know what an ideal male/female relationship was. They had only to imagine. That goes for all of us, who have not experienced something we want to experience, we imagine and then attempt to achieve it. Plenty of people in similar circumstances move on to make great relationships, others not so much. But, if I were to seek advise from someone, say about marriage, I would ask someone who has succeeded and is happy, rather than someone whose marriage either failed or has brought pain or bitterness. That is just logical to me. When we are hurt by something, our guard is up, and we try to protect ourself. That is a natural response.

J Jones
9 months 1 week ago

Lisa, I agree with almost everything you say here. I just don't understand how it is particularly relevant to feminism. The feminist works of the women you mentioned are NOT focused on helping women and men have successful marriages. Their works are focused on eliminating structural barriers to women's equality and rights. There are points of intersection, of course, but feminism never intended to be a recipe for healthy, happy marriages. You do you, as they say. Meanwhile,z feminism will remain focused on equal rights for women based on the equality of women.

Nora Bolcon
9 months 1 week ago

Lisa claiming people come from dysfunctional families based on their feminist stand is definitely presuming those who disagree with you are speaking from a problematic psychological root and this is both false and insulting. I am a happily married feminist women to a happily married feminist husband. We have two children and have been married for 24 years. It is my husband support for equal treatment for men and women in society and in religion that has kept our marriage happy and always fair and never abusive. Sexism inside and out of marriage is harmful and unhealthy period. Oppression is abuse no matter how the church dresses it up. If you have chosen a stereotypical role for yourself, you should be thankful for the liberty to do so rather than try to legally push other women into that role which they healthily do not want.

Lisa M
9 months 1 week ago

Nora-It is disingenuous of you to say that I have suggested women who support a feminist view different from my own come from dysfunctional homes. I neither said it nor implied it, nor have I chosen to live a stereotypical role for myself. I merely stated, and it should be noted, that many of our leading feminists, according to their biographies, came from dysfunctional homes. Their model for male/female was not a positive one, so naturally they sought change, whereby they insured they were protected, but at the same time ignored some of our unique differences. What that implies, and what I meant by that is some of the 'rights' they have promoted have not necessarily been in the best interest of women. Some have. We've gained some freedoms, and lost others. One can certainly make an argument that abortion has not been a positive solution for women facing difficult circumstances, and has in fact often been used by others(men in particular) to pressure vulnerable women to abort when if it is not the choice they want to make. For me, that is not pro woman, or pro feminism.

Nora Bolcon
9 months 1 week ago

Then why do we refuse ordination to women called to ordained priesthood when Christ commanded we treat all people the same?
Also, you are making the common error in your comments when you imply that women are claimed to be exactly the same as men by feminists
Feminists believe all people are different and unique in their flesh but still equally human and deserving of same rights and treatment. We would agree that women are as different as men as white men are different than black men. In fact the most recent gender research done broadly in England proved men and women think and act more similarly, than different groups of men and different groups of women.

The reason abortion should remain legal is that in every country of the world where it is a crime or difficult to access, there are always higher rates of abortion. If you are pro life you need to face this fact that your stand on how to deal with abortion has caused far more abortion to occur than would have if you and those like you chose a different way to deal with immorality of abortion. But we all know you can't face these facts. Check out the world health orgs. Site if you don't believe me.

Nora Bolcon
9 months 1 week ago

Then why do we refuse ordination to women called to ordained priesthood when Christ commanded we treat all people the same?
Also, you are making the common error in your comments when you imply that women are claimed to be exactly the same as men by feminists
Feminists believe all people are different and unique in their flesh but still equally human and deserving of same rights and treatment. We would agree that women are as different as men as white men are different than black men. In fact the most recent gender research done broadly in England proved men and women think and act more similarly, than different groups of men and different groups of women.

The reason abortion should remain legal is that in every country of the world where it is a crime or difficult to access, there are always higher rates of abortion. If you are pro life you need to face this fact that your stand on how to deal with abortion has caused far more abortion to occur than would have if you and those like you chose a different way to deal with immorality of abortion. But we all know you can't face these facts. Check out the world health orgs. Site if you don't believe me.

Nora Bolcon
9 months 1 week ago

That is false, completely presumptive and disrespectful to all genuine feminists. You are clearly not a feminist as such people fight for same treatment for both sexes. You don't get to change definitions because you don't like what they mean. No one said feminists spoke for all peoples beliefs or all womens. You simply are not a feminist. Plenty of feminists come from happily married parents and are themselves happily married parents.

If your parents are equals why do they have to different works rather than same works? God never told Adam he had different responsibilities than Eve in their marriage. If you think otherwise then find me that list in Genesis. Sexism is as destructive as racism. It limits and strips liberty from half the people for no rational reason or for any reason Christ would ever support.

Lisa M
9 months 1 week ago

Nora-Please quote me where I said any such thing! Whose arguing sexism is not destructive? I'm not a feminist, why, because I dared to challenge some of the positions some of our leading feminists have taken, by acknowledging they did not have the best male/female roll models to emulate? That somehow translates to I'm not a feminist and apparently can't be an equal to my spouse if our work is different? I'm pretty sure you'd be shocked at my occupation, as well as the sports and hobbies I've engaged in over the years. Suffice is to say when I obtained my degree in my field, nearly 80% of my classmates were male, I was a single unmarried parent, and began my own business. I don't think I was a 'traditional' woman, and I most certainly always have , and continue to advocate for equality. I grew up with no gender expectations, and believed I could be whatever I wanted to be. I came from a family that for generations, it seems, believed in an lived their lives as equals. I'm a feminist, I just strongly part ways when we ignore the uniqueness of our gender, and accept the taking of a life as part of our identity.

Nora Bolcon
9 months 1 week ago

No feminism is about treating men and women exactly the same. Including in religion like demanding same sacraments be offered to all baptized, like priesthood to start. You don't get to change the definition of feminism Lisa. Just like the many priests I talk with who try to convince women that our church's patriarchy is not sexist or a form of hatred. Bull! It is both. The definition of sexism is merely treating one sex differently than the other. This difference usually ends up with women being treated less like in our church.

Nora Bolcon
9 months 2 weeks ago

Well I am calling it like it is, and I don't agree with making abortion illegal anywhere because all evidence indicates it only increases abortion, and because no such law could ever be just or fair since we do not have any laws requiring men be forced to use their organs and bodies to save the lives others, like forced kidney or bone marrow transplants or even forced blood donation. We do not even demand anyone be forced to donate their organs after they are dead, even if it is to save a child's life. We only tell women, when they don't want to give up legal control over their own organ's use, murderers when someone or a fetus dies as a result.

God does not care more about the unborn than he does about the born.

Dems have protected constantly workers rights and wages and have fought for all civil rights protections for both women and minorities against constant attacks from Republicans and the stats and research does evidence that and that research is enormous in quantity and easy to find.

If Republicans don't want to be called misogynistic or racist they need to stop attacking voter access to minorities and stop attacking womens rights.

Everywhere in the world where abortion is hard to access or illegal, the maternal death rates are also much higher. That's the facts. There is nothing more harmful to womens health than death.

Scott Cooper
9 months 1 week ago

So patently wrong

Scott Cooper
9 months 1 week ago

Amen

John Rysavy
9 months ago

Getting rid of electoral college is off the table. I question the hatred you have for Republicans with your vitriol. There is always a middle ground for policy disagreements-but not abortion.

John Rysavy
9 months ago

Many Catholic pro-choice politicians equivocate and stand on moral relativism.

Mike Fitzpatrick
9 months 2 weeks ago

Nora, the Catholic Church and other pro-life groups and pro-life individuals pay out their own money to help women who are pregnant and after their child is born. There are also government, city, state and federal programs that help these women.
What we are seeing now with the Democrat Party is the end of the slippery slope that began when Roe v Wade was upheld.

Nora Bolcon
9 months 2 weeks ago

Michael some pro lifers and pro choicers give to women to help with clothes, diapers, housing help for a very short time. However since most pro lifers are Republicans they fight and have hurt women, enormously by doing so, any real governmental aid to women. Republicans have fought and are still fighting against all wellfare, publicly funded daycare, universal healthcare which would help everyone but especially women who are pregnant or single moms. The Republicans have fought laws extending and demanding longer paid maternity and paternity leaves. They have also attacked the healthcare savings accounts designed to ease taxes on families who spent money on healthcare.

Plainly put, babies take 18 years to mature to adulthood so pro lifers spending barely enough to cover decent housing, food, healthcare, daycare, and clothing cost for the first few months, if that, is like giving a box of crackers to someone who has nothing and expecting it to feed them for a couple of years. Every social program in place anywhere in the U.S. for these women has been attacked with quite a bit of success by the Republican party which is backed by pro lifers. So women cannot count on any of the programs they used to count on because they have already been cut in many states. Not to mention most Republicans don't want to spend money to educate and train women for jobs with which they could better support their children. No one wants to feel forced to live a life on welfare even when it is there because that is a pretty destitute lifestyle so we either start really spending to help these women and that means paying tons more tax dollars to social programs or we should shut the f ... Up because we are just hypocrites.

Terry Kane
9 months 2 weeks ago

Karen -
What amendment are you referencing?

Tim Donovan
9 months 1 week ago

I agree that the original goal of the pro-life movement was to amend the Constitution to restore the right to life from fertilization to natural death. I do syupport an exception in the very rare cases to prevent the death of the pregnant woman. Ideally, I still support such an amendment (more on that later). Undoubtedly, I'll be called a misogynist for my views. However, I believe that I do understand (as do many if not most pro-life advocates) the difficulties faced by women who have unplanned or difficult pregnancies. In 1982, my best friend, Jerry, who was 19 and in college told me that his 17 year old high school senior girlfriend Rose was pregnant. Despite several difficulties (especially for his girlfriend who hadn't completed high school, and the still common at that time stigma of being pregnant out-of-wedlock) Rose gave birth to their baby boy just one,month after she turned 18 (and graduated from high school). My friends got married nine months later (yes, I know the timing was ironic). I was happy as both a friend and pro-life advocate to frequently babysit their son, buy him clothes and toys, and for several years drive Rose to and from work. (We both worked at a program for disabled adults). In time, my friend Jerry became a mechanical engineer, and Rose became a pharmacist. They eventually had three more children, and I was happy to help care for them as well. My friend Rose had an older sister who several years,before she (Rose) gave birth had had an abortion. Although I firmly disagreed with her decision, I didn't have feelings of "hatred" towards her. In fact, we got along well and both enjoyed helping to care for her sister's and boyfriend's (eventual husband's) baby, and other three children. Some years later, Rose's sister, a nurse had a baby when unmarried. For over 25 years, I worked with disabled children and adults in different capacities (for six years I was a Special Education teacher who instructed children with brain damage, some of whom had behavior disorders and/or physical disabilities). Also, my friend Rose had another sister, Eileen, who had a disabled child whom I babysat from time to time. Her child was mentally challenged, was autistic, and for awhile was primarily fed through a feeding tube. (I understood how to use a feeding tube; one of my students had such a tube, as,did one of the disabled men whom I worked with in a,group home. Ihad a feeding tube myself for severeal years sometime in the past because of difficulty swallowing which led to weight loss. Despite the frequent challenges of working with brain damaged or disabled children or adults, I generally enjoyed my experiences, and never thought one of my disabled students/clients/friends would have been better off killed by tye violence of legal abortion. Two quick asides. I still keep in touch with the mother of one of my disabled students, and each year send him a birthday and Christmas cards. When I worked in a group home with disabled men, I usually had to work on major holidays. I didn't really mind, as I frequently took one of my "clients", Paul, home for dinner with my family, even though he couldn't eat orally (but through a,tube). I cried when Paul died, and was permitted to take some photos of him from the group home and other simple toys which he used to entertain himself. I made a "memory book" which included various photos of Paul and descriptions of his,life. Life can be and often is,cha!lenging (one of my aunt's was catatonic for mozt of her life, and from age 15_until hsr death from breast cancer in her mid-sixties Aunt Dorothy lived in a state,mental institution). However, my Grandmom, her mother, frequently visited her by taking several buses from Philadelphia to Delaware State Mental Hospital. When my parents,married, my Dad drove my loving Grandmom and our family to Delaware to visit her. After my Grandmom died, my Mom, Dad and me continued to visit my aunt for several years until her death. Despite tye difficulties of life, I still believe that deliberately killing an unborn human being is a violation of human rights. Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton are radical decisions which permit legal aborrion for any reason up until tye time when the unborn infant (or fetus, which means "young one" in latin) is viable. According to fhe Supreme Court in Doe v. Bolton, states may permit legal abortion after the developing infant is viable for "health" reasons. The court defined health very broadly: it includes not only physical health, but emotional, psychological factors or the woman's age or familial situation. Although I don't believe that the majority of Americans is always right, surveys by the respected Gallup poll have for many years found that the majority of Americans (women as well as men) believe that abortion should be legal under either "a few circumstances" or "no circumstances."
A number of legal scholars including some who support legal abortion have criticized the legal reasoning of Roe. Years ago, I read an excellent book by Harvard Law Professor Mary Ann Glendon. It was titled "Rights Talk: The Impoverishment of Political Discourse." Prof. Glendon noted that prominent law Professor Lawrence Tribe who favored legal abortion nevertheless severely criticized Roe as having no basis in our Constitution.
Finally, it's true that for some years the goal of the pro-life movement has been to secure a Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and return the decision to make laws regarding abortion to our elected state representatives. I'd prefer a Constitutional Amendment to protect human beings from fertilization to natural death. However, as this seems very unlikely, I do support the overturning of Roe. I believe that we as a society must protect not only the unborn from the violence of legal abortion, but other vulnerable people as well. These include the elderly who may be threatened by euthanasia, and those who are tempted to commit suicide (many of whom I believe are depressed). I'm a former longtime Democrat of more than 25 years (I'm now 56). I'm now a pro-life moderate Republican, but often still agree with the positions on important matters typically held by Democrats. I oppose capital punishment, and for years have been a pen pal with a man imprisoned for life for a serious crime. My friend is a devout Jehovah's Witness, whom I believe has reformed his life. I occasionally send him small amounts of cash for his personal needs. I support stringent gun control laws. Years ago, I found a handgun in my late Dad's bank safety deposit box. I immediately turned the gun into my local police department. I support reasonable regulations and policies to protect our environment, and occasionally send modest contributions to the Catholic Climate Covenant. Although I'm not a pacifist, I admire the courage of their convictions. I only favor war as a last resort after all diplomatic efforts have been exhausted. Of course, civilians must never be deliberately targeted. I also oppose the use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances. Although I believe our country has the right to secure our borders, I don't support building a wall along our border with Mexico. I do believe that our country should welcome more immigrants. This is consistent in my view with God's word: "Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were once foreigners in Egypt." ( Exodus: 22:21). I do believe that in time peace can be achieved between Israel and the Palestinians. This means in my view that the Palestinians must renounce terrorism and acknowledge the right of Israel to exist within secure borders. Israel must not build new settlements, and must agree to recognize a Palestinian state. This may mean withdrawing from some occupied terrotories, but so be it. I also support reasonable government assistance to the millions of Americans in need. Among others, these include people who are disabled, elderly
(I live in a nursing home), homeless (I occasionally contribute small sums to a Philadelphia homeless shelter as well as Habitat for Humanity), veterans, the hungry (with due modesty, I occasionally contribute to a food bank that serves people in the Philadelphia area), the mentally ill (I have two.friends who are mentally ill, one of whom is scziophrenic), and people addicted to drugs, whether legal or illegal. Years ago, I had a serious drinking problem, and my nephew was in a rehabilitation center for alcohol abuse. When I-m able I contribute small sums to Alcoholics Anonymous. I also support raising the minimum wage. I also support universal health care, as long as it in no way funds abortion or abortive drugs. I am pro-life, so I believe in pursuing various efforts to protect unborn human beings. I support all peaceful protests (such as mass rallies and demonstrations outside abortion centers offering women alternatives to abortion). I also support political action, as well as education regarding the reality of abortion. I believe it should be kept in mind that there are many hundreds of alternative-to-abortion agencies nationwide, many of whom are largely staffed by women and men who are volunteers. I think that the oldest crisis pregnancy centers is Birthright. It was founded in 1968 by Louise Summerhill of Canada. According to their website, there are hundreds of Birthright agencies which offer pregnant women compassionate, practical assistance in the United States, Canada, and Africa. Also, Heartbeat International has some 2600 crisis pregnancy centers worldwide. There are two crisis pregnancy centers that I contribute to when I'm able. One is Mother's Home, in suburban Philadelphia. It is a shelter for pregnant women and their children. The home also provides other services for women and their babies, both for a time both before and after birth. The most comprehensive crisis pregnancy agency that I contribute to is Mom's House. This is a group of about six homes which provide quality day care for low income pregnant women so that they can complete their educations.

James Haraldson
9 months 1 week ago

Only a thoroughly corrupt and sick depraved heart, mind, and soul would characterized crushing the skull of a baby as "a right." Only a pocket of air in a cranium would characterize opposition to a self-evident evil as anything having to do with a "minority religious policy." When I was an atheist I opposed mass murder of the unborn like a lot of atheists. When I converted to Catholicism, I continued to oppose mass murder of the unborn. Only a profound fool would fail to recognize innate truths and innate rights, such as the right to life.

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