Jivin J's Life Links 10-20-09

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  • At the Stand to Reason blog, Amy Hall has some good insights into the academic paper by abortionist Lisa Miller at the Abortioneers blog, regarding how those in the abortion industry react to second-trimester abortions:
  • It is utterly amazing to me that a person could see some of these things so clearly, could be informed so strongly by her own moral intuition, could grasp the contradictions, and yet could have a response that seeks to find a way to overcome the "visual and visceral ways in which first and second trimester abortions are different," rather than to reflect logically on what these things might mean and ask the question, How on earth could one person's "hopes and wishes" magically transform "unspeakable violence" against another person into something acceptable that one ought to work hard to encourage?...

    The human ability to reshape the conscience through argument, even in the face of such dramatic, "visceral" reactions to the contrary should give us pause. My guess is that unless you have carefully trained yourself otherwise, merely reading the descriptions above was sickening. But what if you, like the author, were wrongly convinced that something far more morally significant was at stake? Something that you believed would suffer if you gave in to your moral intuitions and rational questioning of contradictions? And further, what if the pressures of your respected colleagues and the culture consistently spoke against your own conscience? Could you not also be capable of convincing yourself of anything?

  • The BBC reports on Dr. Edward Erin, a British doctor who spiked the drink of his mistress Bella Prowse in a failed attempt to cause her to miscarry has been found guilty of attempting to administer poison:
  • When she fell pregnant the doctor begged her to have an abortion, claiming if she had the baby it would "kill him and he would have to leave work."

    She became suspicious after allegedly finding yellow powder in a cup of Earl Grey tea Dr. Erin made for her in January 2008.

    An article in the First Post notes that Prowse didn't want an abortion because she had one in 2002 and felt it was a mistake.

  • A man in the Santa Barbara area has admitted to killing a woman he had sex with after she continued to contact him and claimed that she was pregnant with his child:
  • After sending a few heated text messages back and forth, Musser said he decided to ignore her and headed home, where he again smoked marijuana. At 11 p.m., he got a phone call from Zazueta and the two reportedly talked for 15 to 20 minutes.

    Musser said he told her to get an abortion and leave him alone before he eventually hung up on her. Despite several calls from her, he said he didn't answer and planned to go to sleep.

    But after getting a text message from Zazueta at midnight saying she was coming over, Musser said he snapped.

    "I said if she comes over here, I'm going to kill her," he told Ella during the interview. "That's when I lost my soul."


    Comments:

    Sick, sick sick! I remember when I felt my daughter move inside me -- it felt like a little butterfly. The terrifying thing about the 'borts is now they're admitting, in so many words, that a life is being taken, but it's okay in the name of "choice."

    Posted by: Phillymiss at October 20, 2009 1:22 PM


    My prayers go out to the Zazueta family.

    Posted by: Janet at October 20, 2009 1:44 PM


    MODS: ; you have a comment that needs deleting in the Dolye thread.

    Posted by: Hal at October 20, 2009 5:42 PM


    Thanks Hal. We're working on it...

    Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at October 20, 2009 6:08 PM


    Thank you, Hal.

    Posted by: bethany at October 20, 2009 6:31 PM


    This anal-ytical thinking comes from the abortionist having his/her head where the sun don't shine.

    It also explains the abortionists dismal outlook on life.

    yor bro ken

    Posted by: kbhvac at October 21, 2009 1:05 AM


    How on earth could one person's "hopes and wishes" magically transform "unspeakable violence" against another person into something acceptable that one ought to work hard to encourage?...


    I think the answer to this is that people today are primarily concerned about themselves and act as if there is no higher authority that they are accountable to.
    Most men and women also believe they are entitled now to promiscuous sex - sex without the possibility of children.
    It's degrading to both men and women and objectifying to children because they are mere objects who are either wanted or unwanted. If unwanted, they can be disposed of, even violently if necessary.

    Posted by: angel at October 21, 2009 7:17 AM


    "I think the answer to this is that people today are primarily concerned about themselves and act as if there is no higher authority that they are accountable to.
    Most men and women also believe they are entitled now to promiscuous sex - sex without the possibility of children."

    You say that as if it's a bad thing.

    Posted by: Hal at October 21, 2009 10:44 AM


    Hal,

    If entitlement to sex without the possibility of children requires the intentional killing of innocent human beings, then yeh...it's a bad thing.

    If you were only referencing lack of accountability to a higher authority as a good thing, then I would say this: regarding abortion, I'm not especially interested in urging people to be accountable to a higher authority (unless that's their cup o' tea). I'm interested in urging people to be accountable to their fellow human beings.

    Posted by: Janette at October 21, 2009 12:57 PM


    Janette, That seems like a more persuasive argument.

    Even those against abortion should be okay with sex without children if no one aborts when "accidents" happen.

    Posted by: Hal at October 21, 2009 1:25 PM


    Here's the thing, Hal. Sex divorced from childbearing creates a situation where children are viewed as something to be protected from. There is no way to take this mentality and not have it result in abortion.

    Your comment is akin to saying "well, I guess people wouldn't have a problem with drugs if they didn't result in dangerous behavior" It's the nature of the beast.

    Posted by: Lauren at October 21, 2009 5:19 PM


    I think it's very important to be able to have sex and be protected from having children.

    Until and unless you want to have children, of course.

    No one would want an abortion if no one had an unwanted pregnancy. That's a good thing, right?

    Posted by: Hal at October 21, 2009 8:33 PM


    "Here's the thing, Hal. Sex divorced from childbearing creates a situation where children are viewed as something to be protected from. There is no way to take this mentality and not have it result in abortion."

    Not true. It happens all of the time. But we've been over this. Whatever.

    Hal, it's not about being held accountable to a highER authority, it's that one's standards for their own behavior should be the highest possible from the start. That entails not ending the lives of one's offspring.

    Posted by: xalisae at October 21, 2009 8:48 PM


    Hal, you're not even trying to understand. Setting up children as the enemy is the mindset that leads to abortion.

    If no one was divorcing sex from reproduction, no one would be having abortions.

    Who's getting abortions? People who want to have sex, but don't want to have children. Has birth control solved this problem? Nope, it's made it worse.

    Posted by: Oliver at October 21, 2009 8:48 PM


    Whoops, Oliver at 8:48 was me.

    Posted by: Lauren at October 21, 2009 8:53 PM


    X, I am talking about society at large. Yes, individual people can have unintended pregnancies and not have abortions, but when society divorces sex from pregnancy, there will always be a problem.

    Posted by: Oliver at October 21, 2009 8:54 PM


    Well, my ideas about society as a whole is pretty much...forget about them because they're screwed-up. So I suppose I lack perspective in this matter.

    Posted by: xalisae at October 21, 2009 9:11 PM


    It's fact of life. More people want to have sex at any given time than want to have children. Some people don't want any children. I don't think they should live a life entirely without sex. Perhaps you do.

    Posted by: Hal at October 22, 2009 10:35 AM


    Hal, when will you understand that not wanting children IS the problem. Unless you are working in a manner where you can not have a family (in which case, I defer to the Catholic Church regarding Priests and Nuns) children should be welcomed and expected.

    Obviously there are things that limit fertility, such as cancer or surgery, but you can not tell me that the 90 something % of women who are using contraception are all doing so because of risks to their lives to have a child. Most are doing so for entirely selfish reasons. That's the mentality that must change.

    Posted by: Lauren at October 22, 2009 12:18 PM


    If I'm married for 30 years (of joint fertility) and want to have sex 3 or 4 times a week, you expect me to be open to as many children as nature gives me? No thanks. Nothing wrong with not wanting any children, not wanting more than a certain number. Nothing wrong with that at all, and the "penalty" for that desire should not be forgoing sex. At least in my book.

    Posted by: Hal at October 22, 2009 3:46 PM


    Hal,
    No hobbies?

    Posted by: Janet at October 22, 2009 3:57 PM


    Hal,
    I meant, "No other hobbies?"

    :)

    Posted by: Janet at October 22, 2009 4:00 PM


    Hal, you and your wife have already shown that you can not be trusted with perserving life when it comes at a time you view to be inconvienant.

    THe contraceptive mentality has already killed two of your children. Your life illustrates my point very well.

    If you hadn't divorced sex from reporduction, you either wouldn't have gotten pregnant in the first place, or you would have had all the children you conceived.

    Posted by: Lauren at October 22, 2009 4:39 PM


    Hal,

    Forgoing sex once in a while doesn't have to be a "penalty", as you put it. I get so fed up with the childish "I want" attitude of pro-aborts and contraception peddlers.

    Quite frankly, the couples I've met with the healthiest relationships have practiced NFP or simply been constantly accepting of the gift of life. Now, I agree that a 12-child family isn't for everyone. I'm not saying that you must always be having children. I'm saying that the Catholic Church has really hit on something with their stance against contraception.

    Couples practicing NFP have a MUCH lower divorce rate, and profess to have much BETTER communication in their marriages than couples practicing contraception. Because there is a mutual respect for the natural progression of life within the marital act. There is a love and respect that they must revisit every month. There is communication starting in the bedroom that translates to communication in other things.

    No longer is it his problem or her problem when something unexpected happens. It's our challenge which we must face.

    Quite frankly, for the reduced divorce rates alone, I'm happy and eager to practice NFP. I don't understand why anyone would place their immediate sexual gratification over the opportunity to give their marriage, and their communication, a boost.

    Posted by: MaryRose at October 22, 2009 5:35 PM


    "If I'm married for 30 years (of joint fertility) and want to have sex 3 or 4 times a week, you expect me to be open to as many children as nature gives me? No thanks. Nothing wrong with not wanting any children, not wanting more than a certain number. Nothing wrong with that at all, and the "penalty" for that desire should not be forgoing sex. At least in my book.
    Posted by: Hal at October 22, 2009 3:46 PM"

    My husband and I have sex more than 3 or 4 times a week most weeks. That's why I got my tubes tied. You're right, there is nothing wrong with not wanting more children. But don't kill the ones that come along. Get yourself fixed.

    Posted by: xalisae at October 22, 2009 6:25 PM


    Why wouldn't NFP be considered a method of contraception?

    I understand the idea that, generally speaking, working with nature honors potential life and the marital relationship more than using artifical methods that work against nature. It essentially creates a healthy and balanced mentality towards marital sex and it's purpose, an affect that artificial contraception cannot provide in and of itself. But putting the benefits of NFP aside, isn't the intention still to avoid pregnancy?

    Posted by: Janette at October 22, 2009 6:26 PM


    Hi Janette.

    "But putting the benefits of NFP aside, isn't the intention still to avoid pregnancy?"

    Yes. However, in Catholic moral theology, avoiding pregnancy in and of itself is not sinful; what can be sinful is the MEANS by which one goes about avoiding pregnancy. Now this may sound a bit silly, but presumably, all of us reading this right now are avoiding pregnancy; that is, we are reading Jill's blog and hence not engaging in the conjugal act. Anytime one does not engage in the conjugal act, they avoid pregnancy. So I think we can agree that it is OK to not have sex. It is OK to be abstinent.

    That being said, what NFP does is it tells you WHEN to be abstinent (if you wish to avoid pregnancy- it may also be used to try and get pregnant). So when we compare NFP with artificial contraception, we see a huge difference in the means of avoiding pregnancy. With NFP, the "contraception" is abstinence. But with artificial contraception, the couple still gets the pleasure and enjoyment of the sexual act, but purposefully thwarts the procreative nature of the sexual act. Does the NFP couple thwart the nature of the sexual act? NO! Why? Because there is no sexual act to thwart. The “contraception” in the case of NFP is abstinence, which is perfectly acceptable.

    The key distinction that I always want to emphasize is that with artificial contraception, you get the pleasure of sex without the consequences. With NFP, you get neither the pleasure of sex nor the consequences. You aren’t thwarting or putting up a barrier to the procreative aspect of the conjugal act because there IS not conjugal. The same can not be said of artificial contraception. God love you.

    Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at October 22, 2009 7:52 PM


    Bobby, I understand that the means, and intent, of NFP is what differentiates it from other forms of contraception in the eyes of the church. But if someone is going to say that, from the perspective of controlling family size, NFP is okay AS AN END but contraception is not, then how does that make sense?

    I am not anti-NFP. It is for the most part the form of "birth control" that works best for my partner and me, and while I'm obviously not Catholic, I definitely understand the church's teachings on NFP and the reasons for those teachings. But to say that, focusing solely on the goal (spacing pregnancies), it is damaging and at the heart of abortion when contracepting couples do it, but enriching and beneficial when NFP-practicing couples do it - that doesn't make sense to me.

    Posted by: Alexandra at October 22, 2009 9:19 PM


    Hi Alexandra.

    Let me know if I'm not answering what you're asking.

    But I think your answer is in the fact that my discussion of NFP is not complete. What I mean by that is that I only stressed the differences between NFP and contraception, but I did not address when and why NFP can be used- in other words, I left it open to the idea that NFP can easily be used all the time and for any reasons the couple would like, just like a couple using contraception. And this is NOT the case. It can be very easy to fall into a "contraceptive mentality" when using NFP; that is, using it because you want a new car, don't want a child to interfere with work, etc. NFP is only to be used in extenuating circumstances. In other words, a married Catholic couple using NFP is not the norm.

    So if a couple uses NFP with a "we can NOT have another child!!!!" mentality, then they are using it with a contraceptive attitude. The reason we often say that contraception is at the heart of abortion is because contraception gives people the impression that they can engage in consequence-free sex, that a child will not result from their coming together. Now NFP attempts to remove that attitude, but as I tried to illustrate above, a couple can be using NFP but still maintain a contraceptive attitude, and then you're right; there would really be no difference.

    I think a good summary of all this is to say that it is NOT necessary that contraception be at the heart of abortion. In other words, I do think it is possible to use artificial contraception but with an "NFP attitude" (I think X has expressed that this is her view). Now I still condemn this as wrong, but it does not have to have all the same consequences as sex with a "contraceptive attitude."

    I'm not even going to ask if that makes sense, because I'm not convinced it does. I guess I'm not quite sure what you're asking...

    Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at October 22, 2009 9:45 PM


    Alexandra,

    How about we start with the fact that hormonal birth control works not only by making the womb intentionally inhospitable, but by then flushing the conceived zygote? I understand that xalisae and I disagree about the personhood of the conceived zygote, but shouldn't we be avoiding things that intentionally flush conceived human offspring? Isn't that sort-of the whole point of the anti-abortion movement?

    And then there are other implications to contraception. For instance, if a couple gets pregnant while the woman is on the pill, it becomes "her fault", an issue in which she has done something wrong. Not all men take this attitude, but it does become an easier attitude to take when you are in no way involved in the planning process, really. That attitude places blame and creates of the baby a problem.

    Alternatively, we can take NFP. The Natural Family Planning Method is highly ineffective when couples don't communicate. It's extremely important to talk regularly with your partner (ideally, your spouse) about NFP if you're using it. Therefore, should you become pregnant, it is much less likely that either party will be blamed. Because you've been communicating all along. So the child, rather than being the "fault" of an individual, is at the least, a mistake. Ideally, a blessing. And honestly, most NFP-practicing couples are only moderately surprised when they unexpectedly conceive (because they generally know it was a possibility).

    See how the mindsets are different in NFP vs. contraception, and how the resulting child (in surprise pregnancies) is treated wholly differently?

    Posted by: MaryRose at October 22, 2009 9:47 PM


    I think a good summary of all this is to say that it is NOT necessary that contraception be at the heart of abortion. In other words, I do think it is possible to use artificial contraception but with an "NFP attitude" (I think X has expressed that this is her view). Now I still condemn this as wrong, but it does not have to have all the same consequences as sex with a "contraceptive attitude."

    Bobby, thanks. This is at the heart of my question. I think it's entirely possible to use NFP with a "contraceptive mentality," in the sense that pregnancy is being avoided for non-grave reasons. (Not being Catholic, I don't really see much wrong with avoiding pregnancy for non-grave reasons. I think, "I am not ready for a child" is a good enough reason!) I also think it's possible to use other forms of birth control with -- well, not necessarily an NFP mentality, because I think inherent in an NFP mentality is ideally the understanding that NFP is used for important reasons, not mere convenience -- but with a pro-life mentality, in the sense that any child conceived will be allowed to live.

    It seems silly to me to draw such a sharp distinction in the ends, rather than the means, of NFP versus other forms of birth control, because I see fluidity on both sides. That's all, really.

    Posted by: Alexandra at October 22, 2009 10:00 PM


    "It seems silly to me to draw such a sharp distinction in the ends, rather than the means, of NFP versus other forms of birth control"

    Wait though, Alexandra, the big difference IS in the means. So there is nothing wrong with wanting to space or avoid pregnancy. That is the end goal. Cool. But now you choose your means- NFP or contraception. So the sharp distinction is in the means to the good end of avoiding pregnancy... right?

    Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at October 22, 2009 10:04 PM


    Right, that was what I meant. Sorry I wasn't more coherent!

    Posted by: Alexandra at October 22, 2009 10:20 PM


    Word.

    Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at October 22, 2009 10:20 PM


    Thanks for your response, Bobby. It appears that Alexandra and I were on the same page in her comment to you, and your response to that clarified my initial concerns with NFP vs. artifical contraception.

    Bobby said: "The reason we often say that contraception is at the heart of abortion is because contraception gives people the impression that they can engage in consequence-free sex, that a child will not result from their coming together. Now NFP attempts to remove that attitude, but as I tried to illustrate above, a couple can be using NFP but still maintain a contraceptive attitude, and then you're right; there would really be no difference."

    Yes, this is exactly what I was getting at. I completely understand that the nature of NFP is generally effective in avoiding a contraceptive mentality and that the nature of artifical contraception often causes a contraceptive mentality. But, regarding individuals and not society in general, NFP has the capacity to be misused just as artifical contraception (excluding the pill, that's a different problem altogether) has the capacity to be used properly, if coupled with the right attitude.

    Alexandra said: "I also think it's possible to use other forms of birth control with -- well, not necessarily an NFP mentality, because I think inherent in an NFP mentality is ideally the understanding that NFP is used for important reasons, not mere convenience -- but with a pro-life mentality, in the sense that any child conceived will be allowed to live."

    This is why I'm not opposed to couples using contraception (again excluding hormonal methods). I feel it's possible to acknowledge our culture's dangerous attitudes stemming from contraception without condemning those that use it with a pro-life mentality.

    Alexandra also said: "(Not being Catholic, I don't really see much wrong with avoiding pregnancy for non-grave reasons. I think, "I am not ready for a child" is a good enough reason!)"

    I'm in the same boat, although I'm married to a Catholic (formerly pro-choice, and still not especially devout, including beliefs on NFP). I don't see anything wrong with limiting or delaying pregnancy for matters that would be considered "convenience."

    As an aside, things that many would chalk up as convenience often carry quite a bit more weight than the simple "cause I don't wanna!" connotation the word "convenience" holds. For example, my husband and I are opening our own business next month, with no other employees besides ourselves. We have a 17 month old son. It is going to be extremely challenging simply to keep the business up and running and take care of a toddler. If we had another baby, it would be all the more difficult to keep our heads above water, and I'm not sure we could do it. Of course if we do get pregnant, there is absolutely no chance of abortion - we'll welcome the new child. But I don't find it selfish of us to want to postpone having another child until our business is somewhat established - this would be for the benefit of our current family and to any additional members. My point is that it's not entirely accurate to say that we're avoiding pregnancy right now for our own convenience...we're doing this to provide a foundation for our family, that we will one day expand.

    Posted by: Janette at October 23, 2009 1:16 PM


    MaryRose I agree with you! Abortion goes against a woman's body and can cause physical harm as well as emotional harm. Hormonal contraception also works against a woman's own body and can cause great physical harm. I had to finally convince my husband of that. We use condoms because that is what my husband prefers and I am fine with that. NFP is something I have read a lot about and I do track my own cycles and my fertile times just because it is part of my body and my fertility and I think my fertility and femininity is a wonderful thing. I am fearfully and wonderfully made the Bible says and I see it in the set orderliness of my cycles. I think most pro-aborts and pro-contraceptors have a very anti-woman attitude. They seem to want to attack and demean the way a woman's body works.

    Posted by: Sydney M at October 23, 2009 5:24 PM