New York magazine asks, "Just how pro-choice is America?" and answers, "Not so much"

New York magazine abortion distortion.png

I'm surprised NARAL linked to this piece yesterday in New York magazine, calling it a "[t]hought-provoking piece." It's no-spin depressing for the other side, actually. The article is long but a good read. And, with a reminder that this was written by a pro-abort, it makes quite the convincing case for incrementalism. Stay strong, pro-lifers, we're winning. Here are some "choice" excerpts...

Most New Yorkers hadn't heard of Bart Stupak before he attached his devastating anti-abortion amendment to the House's health-care-reform bill 3 weeks ago....

And the results sent chills through the pro-choice world.... But... [w]as Stupak's truly the minority view?

According to a Gallup poll from July, 60% of Americans think abortion should be either illegal or "legal only in a few circumstances."... Just 2 months before the health-care bill's passage in the House, a Rasmussen poll found that 48% of the public didn't want abortion covered in any government-subsidized health plan, while just 13% did....

"Because there's a Democratic majority in Congress and the president is pro-choice," says Nancy Keenan, the current director of NARAL, "it sometimes gets lost how truly numerically challenged we are."...

The idea that a bunch of pro-life rogue wingnuts have hijacked the agenda and thwarted the national will is a convenient, but fanciful, belief. Even with an 81-person margin in the House, and even with a passionately committed female, pro-choice Speaker, it was the Democrats who managed to pass a bill that, arguably, would restrict access to abortion more aggressively than any state measure or legal case since the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade....

From the moment abortion was legalized nationally in 1973, the American public wasn't especially comfortable with it.... As Jeffrey Rosen, the legal scholar at George Washington University, wrote in The Atlantic 3 years ago, Roe v. Wade was one of the few Supreme Court decisions that was out of step with mainstream public opinion....

If forced to choose, Americans today are far more eager to label themselves "pro-life" than they were a dozen years ago. The youngest generation of voters - those between the ages of 18 and 29, and therefore most likely to need an abortion - is the most pro-life to come along since the generation born during the Great Depression, according to Michael Hais and Morley Winograd, authors of Millennial Makeover, who got granular data on the subject from Pew Research Center.

Crisis Pregnancy Centers... now outnumber the country's abortion providers, who themselves are a rapidly aging group (2/3 are over 50, according to a National Abortion Federation study from 2002). In the wake of the murder of Dr. George Tiller this year, the Senate couldn't even pass a resolution condemning violence against abortion providers.

Abortion counselors will also tell you that the stigma attached to the procedure is worse than it's been in years....

One could say, in a sense, that the pro-choice movement has always had the harder job. The choice argument is an analytical one, grounded in theories of privacy and the rights of the mother; the pro-life side has the case with instant visceral and emotional appeal: This is life we're talking about. Things were also bound to get worse when the national tide turned Democratic; whenever a pro-choice person occupies the White House, those who fret about the issue stop giving money to NARAL and the pro-life side reasserts itself (indeed, says Cecile Richards, the head of Planned Parenthood, protests at her clinics are up, up, up).

But these explanations alone can't fully account for the shift in tide. Rather, it's a confluence of things--starting, I'd argue, with technological advances. Generally, science is the friend of progressive political causes. Not this one.

As fetal ultrasound technology improved during the nineties, abortion providers, conditioned to reassure patients that the fetus was merely tissue, found it much harder to do so once their patients were staring at images that looked so lifelike.... [O]rganizations like Focus on the Family began to use this technology to their advantage, sending ultrasound machines to CPCs....

Perhaps just as important, the pro-life movement got very shrewd about its politics, realizing that it had a highly conflicted electorate on its hands. As William Saletan shows with depressing cogency in Bearing Right: How Conservatives Won the Abortion War, the pro-choice movement was never going to win its case on the basis of women's rights. Men, especially southern white men, didn't care. The most persuasive argument it had was an old American standby: The government has no right meddling in your business.

It didn't take long for the pro-life movement to use this argument to its own advantage, realizing that if the public didn't like the government making decisions about abortions, it could force pro-choice legislators to admit that the public wouldn't like the government funding them either. They were right. Soon, pro-choice candidates were running away from public funding and toward parental consent - another constraint the public overwhelmingly prefers, as well as 24-hour waiting periods - and a more libertarian Supreme Court upheld these restrictions in landmark cases in 1989 and 1992.

Yet that still wasn't the worst of it. Until the mid-90s, the political debate over abortion remained mostly in the theoretical realm, with the role of government at its center. Had it stayed there, it's possible we'd be in a different place today.

But in late 1995... FL Republican congressman... Charles Canady had a stroke of insight that would shift it to the realm of both the metaphysical and brutally physical, which is precisely where the pro-life movement wanted it all along.

On the floor of the House, he introduced a bill that would ban so-called "partial-birth abortions".... The procedure was extremely upsetting to behold. In it, the fetus - or is it a baby? - is removed from the uterus and stabbed in the back of the head with surgical scissors. It's a revolting image, one to which the public was ritualistically subjected on the evening news as the debate raged on the House and Senate floors. Defending it was a pro-choice person's nightmare....

Clinton still vetoed the ban in 1996, but it was eventually signed into law in 2003 and withstood a Supreme Court challenge in 2007. More important, women were spooked. "A lot of our patients started asking whether or not the fetus felt pain after that, even if they were early along in their pregnancy," says Albert George Thomas, who until 2 years ago had spent 18 years as the head of the family-planning clinic at Mt. Sinai....

[I]f you want to hear honest talk about the realities of abortion, go speak with... abortion counselors and providers. Even the most radically pro-choice will tell you that the political discourse they hear about the subject, with its easy dichotomies and bumper-sticker boilerplate, has little correspondence to the messy, intricate stories of her patients. They hear about peace and guilt, relief and sin. And it is they who will acknowledge, whether we like it or not, that the rhetoric and imagery of the pro-life movement can touch on some basic emotional truths. Peg Johnston, who manages Access for Women in upstate NY, remembers the 1st time her patients unconsciously began to co-opt the language of the protesters outside. "And it wasn't that these protesters were brainwashing them," she says. "It's that they were tapping into things we all have some discomfort about."

This is quite a brave confession for Johnston - or any pro-choice person - to make. It means making oneself vulnerable to opportunist pro-life activists, who'll happily take those words about uncertainty or moral qualms and repurpose them for their own ends....

But Harris raises a very real and terrible dilemma for those of us who are pro-choice: Engage these questions and you play into the hands of the pro-life movement; refuse to engage in them and you risk living in a political vacuum....

NARAL's Nancy Keenan likes to say that abortion's biggest defenders right now are a "menopausal militia" - a rueful, inspired little joke. These baby-boomers, whose young adulthoods were defined by the fight over the right to choose, will soon be numerically overtaken by a generation of twentysomethings who is more pro-life than any but our senior citizens. As GOP strategists Christopher Blunt and Fred Steeper have pointed out, this group came of age during the partial-birth debate and was the first to grow up with pictures of sonograms on their refrigerators. The major development in reproductive technology during their lifetimes wasn't something that prevented pregnancies but something that created them: IVF....

Given this demographic shift, plus the Stupak Amendment, plus the unavoidable fact that abortion's essential nature is unchanging - it will always involve some brutal nexus of the heart and the mind - it's hard for a pro-choice person like myself to see how the ball rolls forward.

Perhaps Obama will help. This is, after all, a president who went to Notre Dame, a school with a 167-year history of Roman Catholic orthodoxy, and dared to give a speech about abortion.

But what he said was hardly his usual optimistic, paradigm-shifting oratory. All it was was a sober recitation of the problem, one that all-too-painfully explained why public opinion on the subject hasn't budged in 36 years. "I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away," he told his audience. "No matter how much we may want to fudge it - indeed, while we know that the views of most Americans on the subject are complex and even contradictory - the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable."


Comments:

Look at the photo! It's a baby-bump, not an "abortable blob"!

Posted by: Janet at November 30, 2009 4:26 PM


Wow.

In just a few paragraphs, this writer summarized 36 years of blood, sweat, and tears of the pro-life movement.

But I have to sigh. It's always the "so-called" partial-birth abortion, never the "actual" partial-birth abortion.

And then there's Keenan confessing to being "numerically challenged".

How about morally challenged, Nancy? That would accurately explain your numbers.

Posted by: carder at November 30, 2009 4:27 PM


The great revelation in this article is the shift in tone; from arrogant, defiant condescension toward the pro-life movement, to subdued whining over having had the harder task all along.

Gone, it seems are the halcyon days of the pro-choice rhetoric over a majority of Americans always having supported abortion and that pro-lifers represent an ever-dwindling minority of rabid extremists.

Roe will die with a whimper.

Posted by: Gerard Nadal at November 30, 2009 4:51 PM


"Roe will die with a whimper."

Wouldn't that be something!!

Excellent article, Jill.

Posted by: Janet at November 30, 2009 5:51 PM


plus the unavoidable fact that abortion's essential nature is unchanging - it will always involve some brutal nexus of the heart and the mind

certainly a brutal thing for the baby's heart. There's the problem for them. They support an evil, horrible thing that everyone in their heart knows is an evil, horrible thing.

That guilt you're feeling - that's a message from your conscience, not the nasty pro-lifers.

Say it with me:

"You can't kill people to solve your problems."

Posted by: Louise at November 30, 2009 6:06 PM


As I noted in an e-mail to Jill that she never responded to, it's infuriating that she and other antis wants to outlaw the pill and early abortions. She admits to taking the pill during her childbearing years, and she only has 3 kids.

Now that she doesn't have to worry about getting pregnant, she thinks she's allowed to dictate whether other women can use birth control. I take it that most antis think I should not use contraception and get pregnant every year--or else I'm a horrible "pro-abort" who doesn't want to be punished with an unwanted pregnancy.

You're right--just like Jill, I don't want any more than 3, and not until I'm ready. And I don't need antis who controlled their own fertility when THEY needed to telling me I should have 10.

Posted by: Ashley Herzog at November 30, 2009 6:10 PM


Ashley, you're faulting me for changing my mind based on advanced education. Ok, you don't have to.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at November 30, 2009 6:35 PM


Ashley Herzog,
Your comments are very hurtful to the thousands of women who cannot get pregnant each year no matter how hard they try. I hope that you are able to have your children when you are "ready".

Posted by: Janet at November 30, 2009 6:58 PM


The fact that some women have trouble getting pregnant does NOT justify forcing other women to forgo contraception when they don't want to get pregnant. That's akin to saying "I'm overweight--so everyone else should be forced to diet!"

Posted by: Ashley Herzog at November 30, 2009 7:06 PM


Exactly, Janet.I would LOVE to just be able to get pregnant any time I'm 'ready'. Life doesn't always work out that way, Ashley. :(

Posted by: Pamela at November 30, 2009 7:07 PM


What?! Is Jill Stanek running around ripping The Pill out of women's hands and "forcing" them to forgo contraception?

Good gracious, Jill.

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at November 30, 2009 7:12 PM


Carla, I think Jill supports prohibiting the use of the birth control pill. I could be wrong.

If I am wrong, and she just wants to try to talk people out of using it, I have no problem with that.

Posted by: Hal at November 30, 2009 7:46 PM


Every elective abortion has at least one victim. The pre-natal child.

One murdered pre-natal human is as morally repugnant as 1.5 million or 50 million.

The pre-natal human is an equal member of the human family.

Then why should we treat those who are complicit in his/her murder any differently than the mother and her accomplices who murder her new born infant?

Elective abortion is a crime against humanity, all humanity.

The continuing unabated bigotry of the barbarians who advocate abortion on demand says even if these pre-natal childern are 'human', they are less equal than other humans.

This is the same tripe that the KKK and the eugenicists have been offering up for centuries.

So Ashley Herzog, when your mother was pregnant with you what species of embryo/fetus was resident in her uterus?

yor bro ken

Posted by: kbhvac at November 30, 2009 8:01 PM


Ashley if you need help with the answer, ask any fifth grader.

yor bro ken

Posted by: kbhvac at November 30, 2009 8:03 PM


I'm not concerned with what "species" my mom was ever pregnant with. But I AM glad she aborted a dangerous pregnancy, which saved her life and allowed her to have one more child--my now 16-year-old sister.

http://www.thepost.ohiou.edu/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=25806&SectionID=17&SubSectionID=35&S=1

Of course, she could have chosen to be an anti-choice martyr and refused the abortion, since embryos are "people" with equal rights. But she chose abortion, and that allowed her to produce another life. Under an abortion ban, she wouldn't have that choice--she would have been forced to leave me and my sister motherless, and my other sister would not have been born.

But that's the end game of the anti-choice movement. A few dead women (and mothers of out-of-the-womb children) are no big deal, as long as we protect the rights of the almighty fetus.

Posted by: Ashley Herzog at November 30, 2009 8:14 PM


There is something that is just as effective in planning pregnancies as the pill: Natural Family Planning (ie the sympto-thermal method). ((This is not the rhythm method.)) When applied correctly, it is actually just as effective as the pill, and even more, you can get pregnant right when you want to! Women on the pill love to talk about control. But when you take the pill, you are actually giving up control over your own reproductive capabilities. You are helpless to the power of the pill, and if you get pregnant, it is because the pill failed outside of your control. With NFP, you know your body to a "T". You possess all of the control over your reproductive capabilities. You know precisely when you are fertile and when you are not. The control is in your own hands. AND you don't have to worry about blood clots, strokes, pulmonary embolisms, depression, weight gain, potential early abortions, etc.

Posted by: Scott at November 30, 2009 8:18 PM


Ashley, I'm sorry for the loss of your sibling. I hope that someday you will realize how precious he/she was.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at November 30, 2009 8:22 PM


Hal,
You don't get my sense of humor by now??? :P

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at November 30, 2009 8:25 PM


Ashley, You seem to by your email, believe abortion is OK. If abortion is OK, I suggest you do a bit of reading. Tell Angele, who went tohave an abortion, and had to suffer, as she watched her baby diing in a bathroom stall... Tell her abortion is OK! Tell Sycloria Williams, that taking a live breething baby and throwing it into a biohasard bag, and trowing into the trash like garbage... Tell this mother abortion is OK! Tell Carla, one of the Mods, abortion is OK, when abortion has done nothing but hurt her, and other wimen, who have had abortions! Obama believes, that babies, who are born alive, should be denied medical treatment, people like Gianna Jessen! Obama, dosn't want people to know the truth, because he knows if people learn the truth, they will not support his proabortion agenda. Obama thinks he's God, but he isn't, and he better not pass that trash he calls healthcare, or He will be votted out of office!

Posted by: RJ Sandefur at November 30, 2009 8:29 PM


Ashley,
A doctor would not refuse to do a D&C after a miscarriage for reasons of conscience (ignorance maybe). Later you mention that Mississippi law allows an ambulance driver to refuse to deliver a hemorrhaging patient with an ectopic pregnancy to an abortion clinic. A hospital would be the ambulance driver's first choice, not an abortion clinic. How are these cases related to conscience laws?

Posted by: Janet at November 30, 2009 8:36 PM


Most women have a solution for men like "Scott" who wants to tell women what to do and take away their rights to use contraceptives. Suffice it to say that after their "solution", Scott won't be contributing to any unwanted pregnancies. LOL.

Posted by: Bystander at November 30, 2009 8:41 PM


Ashley, I just read your article about your mom. Sadly, I think you have taken on the wrong battle. Do you really want babies that are alive and thriving, to die, so that you can make your point? Rather than fighting for abortion rights, you need to be fighting for a woman's rights. I see where your mom's situation may make you think that it is a slipperly slope. But women desere better! We deserve to be treated if we are miscarrying! That is a fact. But if our baby is viable, and healthy, we need to believe that mothers can handle bringing a baby into the world, and giving that baby up for adoption if the time is not right. We deserve better than killing our own children. Your mother's circumstances are horrible. That was wrong! But killing a child, so that you can make a point that this was wrong, is just as wrong! Women deserve better than second rate health care! We deserve dignity. Fight for that dignity, but don't mistake killing with dignity! My heart goes out to you, and I do pray that one day, you see the beauty of life, and how this whole abortion industry has clouded all of our thinking. You are a wonderful daughter! Give your mom a hug! I for one am thrilled she lived to see another beautiful life!

Posted by: IDSC at November 30, 2009 8:43 PM


Jill, I am reading this, and remembering the first time I saw you on the tv. You were telling about the baby you watched die, who just so happend to have Down syndrome. God used you, to awake the American thinker. To get them to think again. Many others have done this as well. I had been sharing the incredible destruction of abortion, and specifically the babies who happen to have that little scary extra chromosome, and in that moment, you told the entire world, what many mothers had told me. Your story was the reality of the pressure that was being put on the mothers who would call me, telling me it was their only choice! I do see a change in the hearts of Americans. Collectively, we need to continue to "teach" everyone the truth about abortion. Those who have had one amaze me how they tell the truth about their pain. If one mother changes her mind, it is worth every effort. Keep teaching ya all! I believe a new day is dawning! All of the baby boomers are waking up, and realizint their kids are not as pro life as they once thought they were!

Posted by: IDSC at November 30, 2009 9:01 PM


Bystander, are you suggesting castration? Or worse? I guess it is about time I start receiving threats. I was starting to think maybe I wasn't working hard enough. For if they hate me, it is only because they first hated the One who sent me. Thank you for emboldening me!

I would have you know that it was my fiancee who enlightened me on NFP, not the other way around. I was also trained in it by a woman, and I know a few female physicians who also specialize in it. I never once implied taking away anything from women. You read your own anti-male bias into what I said and came up with that yourself. I suggest you go back and read it again without such bias and see what I really said. I merely pointed out that through NFP, a woman can have just as much success in avoiding pregnancy, and more control over her own body, without any life-threatening side-effects. How is that anti-woman?

Posted by: Scott at November 30, 2009 9:05 PM


Ashley presents a false dichotomy: either use the pill or get pregnant every year.

I have three kids, too, and I'm still of childbearing age. I have used NFP (Creighton model) both to conceive two of my boys and avoid when I had a cancer scare and now that I'm recovering from serious abdominal surgery.

For the life of me I can't figure out how the pill (used for non-medical purposes) is smart or good for women. Artificial hormones suppress natural processes, and come with some nasty side effects. And, HOW PRO-WOMAN is it that women take on all these risks, for years on end?

Then we come to the fact that sometimes the pill acts as an abortifacient, which is morally problematic.

Kudos to Jill for rethinking her position after advanced education on how the pill works.

Thinking women have enough healthy, moral tools to prevent or achieve pregnancy not to begrudge her or other women who dare to question the pill.

Posted by: Mary Ann, Singing Mum at November 30, 2009 9:06 PM


Sorry for the double post, folks.

Posted by: Mary Ann, Singing Mum at November 30, 2009 9:10 PM


Ashley,

I read your article with great interest. There are several issues within that I would like to address as a husband, father and biology professor.

First, as a husband and father of three children ages 10,8,6, I am very sorry for the loss of your brother or sister.

From the clinical presentation that you gave, it is not at all clear that the baby was dead at the time of the sonogram, or that the placental integrity was in doubt. If that physician had any doubt that the baby was still alive, then she was within her rights to not preemptively terminate its life; just as an oncologist has the right in Oregon to refuse physician assisted suicide to a terminal patient requesting that legal option.

My doctorate is in Microbiology. I spent a total of thirteen years in graduate school and post-doctoral training. As a medical microbiologist, my desire is to do healing work. I've earned the right to determine what it is I do with my skills, attained at no small cost in time, money and personal sacrifice. The same may be said for an Obstetrician, or any other physician.

Presuming, therefore, upon the competence of the OB, your mother seems to have suffered a serious, but unforeseen complication. It is not the experience of most women to hemorrhage in so serious a manner in miscarriage. It's understandable that you are frightened by the thought of losing your mom in this way. You should know that D&C carries hemorrhagic risks of its own on intact placentas. Many women hemorrhage from those "safe and legal" abortions.

As a biologist, I can assure you that at the moment of fertilization, a new human organism comes into being. Barring any catastrophic events, at every subsequent stage of the life cycle, the organism is whole and complete in both form and function for that stage of the life cycle.

As for personhood status, who gets to determine what are the functions a human organism needs to exhibit in order to get the full protection of the law. If you were truly liberal, you would take the most expansive, inclusive definition and apply it liberally.

But in 30 years of higher education, I've learned that 'liberals' are really some of the most parsimonious people among us. Why do you suppose that's so?

Posted by: Gerard Nadal at November 30, 2009 9:12 PM


'But that's the end game of the anti-choice movement. A few dead women (and mothers of out-of-the-womb children) are no big deal, as long as we protect the rights of the almighty fetus.'

Straw man. No one wants to see dead women, and exceptions for the life of the mother are important to pro-lifers.

But you just keep spouting out the logical fallacies. And the pro-life movement, accompanied by ultrasound images, etc., will continue to change hearts and minds about the humanity of embryos and fetuses, just like the article in the post realizes.

Its possible to respect and protect the life of everyone. Why don't you pro-aborts get that?

Posted by: Mary Ann, Singing Mum at November 30, 2009 9:26 PM


Oops, I hate types, I meant the baby boomers children are not as "pro choice" as they once thought they were! oops! lol

Posted by: IDSCforlife at November 30, 2009 9:30 PM


But that's the end game of the anti-choice movement. A few dead women (and mothers of out-of-the-womb children) are no big deal, as long as we protect the rights of the almighty fetus.
Posted by: Ashley Herzog at November 30, 2009 8:14 PM

aside from your own familial situation, the "endgame" as you call it is to recognize that an unborn baby is a human being with a right to live.
The endgame is to protect that right since the human unborn baby is the same as a born person except in development which is seen as a biological, emotional and psychological continuum.

The fact is Ashley, MOST if not almost ALL abortions occur for reasons of convenience on the part of one or both parents. Some women are grossly misguided about abortion but most abortions are not due to medical reasons. They are done because the mother sees the pregnancy as an inconvenience. She is not prepared in any way because she expected sex without the responsibility of parenthood.
Which is why many prolifers such as myself believe contraception and the contraceptive mentality have a big role in abortion.

Posted by: angel at November 30, 2009 9:43 PM


Ashley I am sorry for your mother's loss. Wow, you seem extremely angry at us "fetus lovers" and I am sure there is something else going on with you for you to post like you did especially 16 years or so later. I don't know all of the circumstances but as a healthcare worker who saw women in your mother's situation, sounds like she probably needed more medical follow-up, more compassionate care and more specific discharge instructions about miscarriage or spontaneous abortion (the medical term). A miscarriage or an elective abortion can be but rarely is life-threating to a woman. Many prolifers who post here have suffered from having a miscarriage. You seem to be blaming the entire pro-life movement for something that seems to be a problem of an individual healthcare provider. Even Catholic hospitals who do not perform abortions are not in the business of sending women threatening to miscarry home to bleed to death, so they usually follow a specific protocol and give them excellent, compassionate care. Sounds like your mother's case should have been handled differently, but labeling "conscious protections" as a license to kill women is pretty ridiculous.

Posted by: Prolifer L at November 30, 2009 9:46 PM


I would also like to point out to you Ashley that your mother's original doctor behaved in an ethical and moral manner.
First off, she had no reason to believe that your mother would suddenly hemorrhage so severely during the miscarriage. That is out of the norm. Many women miscarry without needing much intervention or any at all.

Secondly, by your own words, the doctor stated that the baby had stopped developing. If the baby was not yet dead, then the doctor had no moral reason to kill that baby by doing an abortion and she was quite right to refuse to do so, against her conscience and against her belief that this would entail poor medical management of your mother's situation.

Many doctors prefer to wait for nature to "take it's course" in this case for the pregnancy to naturally end with the death and miscarriage of the baby.
I've had many friends who have unfortunately miscarried and most doctors will not intervene unless there is some indication that there is a problem AFTER the death of the baby.

Posted by: angel at November 30, 2009 9:55 PM


Okay Ashley...number one, the pill is dangerous. READ UP ON IT. Why would you want to put that crap in your body just so some man can have sex with you and not be bothered with a baby?

Second, the pill CAN cause an abortion. I was on the pill for the early years of my married life and conceived my son while on YAZ. Thank God bloodwork revealed I was pregnant at 13 days! I was less than two weeks along when I found out my son existed and today he is a healthy three year old! He is also my only child so far. I no longer take the pill but my husband and I have avoided pregnancy for financial reasons. There are other methods of birth control besides hormonal contraceptives. And hopefully this year (maybe even next month) I hope to get pregnant again. Its nice not having to wait for the pill to leave my system and know its not screwing up my uterine lining etc...My body functions perfectly and is being respected, not abused for someone's sexual gratification. I think the pill is utterly sexist.

Posted by: Sydney M. at November 30, 2009 10:21 PM


Riiight. So, Sydney, your husband was sexually abusing you when you conceived your son--because you were on birth control and he didn't want to be "bothered with a baby"? You really believe that? If he was abusing your body when you when you were on the pill, why are you still with him?

Posted by: Ashley Herzog at November 30, 2009 10:29 PM


When I found out about the nature of the pill and told my husband that I would no longer take it, he wasn't happy about it. I did tell him that he had several choices... he could either agree with me to use other birth control or he could agree to be celibate. He came around to my line of thinking because he didn't relish the thought of being celibate. But that is how strongly I wanted my body to be respected. Ashley, its WOMEN that are ingesting these dangerous synthetic hormones, not men. Its women who are developing cancers of the breast and reproductive organs after years of pill use, not men. Breast and ovarian cancer are on the rise! I think if my husband had fought me on it, insisting I stay on the pill just so he could have sex with me and not get me pregnant, then yes, I think that would be abuse of my body. But my husband is a good, kind, moral man and once I explained it all to him he understood why I felt the way I do.

I'm really not sure where all your anger and sarcasm are coming from Ashley. Its a shame for such a pretty young woman to be so bitter at such a young age.

Posted by: Sydney M. at November 30, 2009 10:37 PM


THE ONLY PART THE AUTHOR LEAVES OUT IS THE RISING TIDE OF POST-ABORTIVE WOMEN WHO SHOUT OUT "ABORTION IS A FEMINIST LIE!" THAT IS A HUGE PART OF THE PRO-LIFE GROUNDSWELL IN THE LAST TWENTY YEARS.

Posted by: MEL at November 30, 2009 10:51 PM


Ashley,

As a very young adult, people here are cutting you some major slack because of your relatively youthful inexperience. There is significant age and experience here on this blog which you lack by virtue of relatively few years.

Don't take advantage of that good will by being snarky. You will find that it had a propensity to evaporate rather precipitously. Speak to people with the same respectful interest that they are using with you. This isn't undergrad. This is the world of full adulthood, and your snarking doesn't cut it here.

As a man; a husband, father, and biologist, I agree with the observation that the pill is pretty dangerous for women. No man, be he husband or boyfriend is worth having sex with if he KNOWS the dangers of the pill, but goes along with you using it anyway. (Most guys don't know the dangers).

Whatever the particulars of Sydney's marriage, she's right. Taking the pill is abusing your body for a man's pleasure. Remember that you heard it from a man.

And please try to match replies that comport well with the lovely visage of yourself on that link. You can be firm, even passionate about your position without being ugly.

Posted by: Gerard Nadal at November 30, 2009 10:53 PM


Ashley Herzog: "Of course, she could have chosen to be an anti-choice martyr and refused the abortion, since embryos are 'people' with equal rights."

Ah, yes. "People," in quotation marks. What was somebody remarking about "so-called" in this thread?

Bystander: "Most women have a solution for men like 'Scott' who wants to tell women what to do and take away their rights to use contraceptives. Suffice it to say that after their 'solution,' Scott won't be contributing to any unwanted pregnancies. LOL."

You're one despicable excuse for a human being if you're making light of sexual mutilation in any way.

Posted by: bmmg39 at November 30, 2009 10:57 PM


WAY TO SHOUT IT OUT MEL!

The tide is turning. Pro-lifers are winning.

Let's keep ratcheting up the pressure!

(I just love that word ratchet but I don't know why! :)

The more people we can recruit for this next 40 Days for Life, the less each of us has to do - many hands make light work.

Let's all do what we can, even if it's just 1 or 2 shifts per week, and let's push this thing over the top.

It's good to remember that thousands of babies are dying, every day - helps us keep our edge.

Posted by: Ed at November 30, 2009 11:46 PM


BS"D

I am not sure if I saw this in the New York Magazine article or elsewhere, but another "incrementalist" victory is that for the first time, the issue of PRIVATE health coverage of abortions is being openly debated. When HillaryCare was beind debated 16 years ago, abortion was going to be a mandated benefit for everyone. Today if, G-d willing, we can stop ObamaCare, the issue of private health insurance plans covering abortions (especially when the life of the mother is not endangered, which is almost always the case), is going to be the next battleground. Pro-life organizations have yet to put pressure on health insurers to drop abortion as a covered benefit. Since polls show that a majority of Americans believe that most abortions should not be covered by their health insurance premiums, we have a powerful market incentive to change insurers policies. The GOP recently dropped abortion coverage for its employees, and others may wish to follow suit.

Posted by: Stephen Mendelsohn at December 1, 2009 12:08 AM


"(indeed, says Cecile Richards, the head of Planned Parenthood, protests at her clinics are up, up, up)."

Yeah baby.

"It's a revolting image(Partial Birth Abortion), one to which the public was ritualistically subjected on the evening news as the debate raged on the House and Senate floors. Defending it was a pro-choice person's nightmare...."

"America will reject abortion when America sees abortion." Amen Fr. Pavone.

This is starting to get fun!

Posted by: Ed at December 1, 2009 12:15 AM


It's always darkest before the dawn. With Obama's election just a year ago, I was almost in despair. And then came Notre Dame. What a nightmare.

Now all at once everything is turning around. The time is right. They've gone too far, and America is fighting back! It would be such a pleasure to watch Obama's face fall when all his plans are defeated.

Then, please, God, let's get some sensible health care plan. Maybe not this year, but soon.

Posted by: Lori Pieper at December 1, 2009 2:45 AM


The so-called intellectual argument that must be made by abortion-choicers is that:

a) the conceived offspring is not a human being worthy of protection
b) sex is primarily about recreation and not pro-creation
c) a woman alone holds the responsibility for the sexual, consequences in her decision making, though she constitutes only half of the conception process
d) it is not only just, but good, for a woman to execute sheer power ("might makes right") leading to a torturous, violent death over a defenseless innocent human being - her own child. There are no other instances where such violent force is rendered against human beings with such an excuse.
e) a market which thrives on shame, guilt and victimhood is not actively desired and expanded by abortion providers.

The biological science of human beings, even at the earliest stages of life, is irrefutable. The abortion-choice is a moral issue because a human being is undeniably destroyed.

Philosophical arguments against the personhood of early stage humans must categorically reject the very factors we rely upon to express our own humanity.

In the end you have to contend with such absurdities that "birth control" can be forcibly established after conception through a rejection of motherhood via the violent destruction of your own child in the interests of sexual pleasure while it is practically impossible to do so beforehand.

The younger generations - the survivors of the abortion holocaust, aren't stupid. They might be ill-informed, but when they grasp the preciousness of life, while remembering their lost siblings, they rise up to condemn the older self-focused generations and their acts of destruction.

That's happening now.

And it's unstoppable.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at December 1, 2009 6:25 AM


Posted by: Ashley Herzog at November 30, 2009 8:14 PM

"I'm not concerned with what "species" my mom was ever pregnant with. But I AM glad she aborted a dangerous pregnancy, which saved her life and allowed her to have one more child--my now 16-year-old sister.

But that's the end game of the anti-choice movement. A few dead women (and mothers of out-of-the-womb children) are no big deal, as long as we protect the rights of the almighty fetus."

---------------------------------------------------

As a 'journalist' you must know that you missed the point and went to great lengths to do it.

Your mom did not have an elective abortion, but submitted to a therapeutic procedure.

Having your inflamed appendix removed is therapeutic and having rhinoplasty is an elective cosmetic procedure.

Your bigotry is as blinding to you as any Jew hating mass murderers anti-semitisim is to him/her.

They don't care whether Jews are 'human or not', they just hate them because they are Jews.

Doctors usually take an oath to do no harm. When your mom presented herself to her doctor the doctor made a medical decesion that her condition was not life threatening and a moral decision that she/he could/would not perform an 'elective abortion' while the pre-natal child was still alive and your mom's life and health, in the doctors best judgement was not threatened.

Now I know women never lie and they never ever lie about having an 'elective abortion', but the scenario you have described concerning your mother could just as easily have the complications of a legal or illegal abortion.

But your emotional response colored by your 'dead babies r us' bigotry has clouded your journalistic judgement.

As journalist you should know if someone tells you something get two independent corroborations.

If your mom tells you something, get three or four, not because you should not trust your mom, but to protect your journalistic integrity.

Thanks for the anecdotal narrative. I am glad your mom is doing well and I am grieve the loss of her pre-natal child.

yor bro ken

Posted by: kbhvac at December 1, 2009 7:36 AM


Now all at once everything is turning around. The time is right. They've gone too far, and America is fighting back! It would be such a pleasure to watch Obama's face fall when all his plans are defeated.

Actually, Lori, I think we can set a bigger goal in our sights: I want Obama to become pro-life. And while that's outrageous, it's not impossible. Abby Johnson became pro-life. Bernard Nathanson became pro-life. Our movement is winning ideological victories all the time; there's no reason to suppose we can't win this one, too.

With some of the people who have seen the truth over the years, I think we need to start looking at everyone as if their minds could be changed. Because you never know. That radical pro-abort may be that way because they're so close to changing their mind that they can barely stand it, and we need to be there for them, too. So, yes, I want to bring Obama over to our side, and I think that it can be done. Then he can tear down all his pro-abortion plans himself. :)

Posted by: Keli Hu at December 1, 2009 8:08 AM


Gerard, I love your wit, knowledge, and wisdom. Please keep commenting here. (And kbhvac - yor bro ken - I don't tell you the same thing nearly enough.)

Stephen, 12:08a: I had not thought of that, but you're right. The healthcare debate has opened the door to discuss private insurance coverage of abortion.

One reason to promote interstate insurance availability is for pro-lifers and Christians to have more options along this line.

I think the other side is quite cognizant of that and is fighting it in part b/c they don't want to see Catholic insurance companies, for instance, prosper in such a healthy free market environment.

I wonder if part of PP's rationale in fighting for public funding of abortion through private insurance is tangled in this knowledge.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at December 1, 2009 8:40 AM


Ashley, my opposition to contraception is holistic.

Yes, hormonal contraception and the IUD can abort a 5-9 day old preborn baby. That's a problem.

Yes, hormonal contraception is code for artificial female steroids, which wreaks havoc on a woman's body and health. That's a problem.

Yes, contraception promotes illicit sexual behavior. 40 yrs ago 5% of children born were illegitimate. Today 40% are, more in poor and minority cultures. 40 yrs ago there were basically 2 STDs: syphilis and gonorrhea. Today there are dozens, some incurable and deadly, like HIV. Bacterial strains are becoming more resistant to antibiotics. In all this, women and children are the primary payers of the price. That's a problem.

But overriding all of this is that contraception blocks the mysterious, holy relationship between husband, wife, and God. For the potential for God to bless a sexual union with children is His real part to play in love-making. Otherwise it is merely sensual. That's the worst problem.

Contraception is the foundation of abortion. Its very meaning is "anti-conception," anti-child. It establishes a mindset of hostility toward procreation.

Ashley, seriously, name one good that has come from widespread availability of contraception.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at December 1, 2009 8:49 AM


Ashley, seriously, name one good that has come from widespread availability of contraception.
Posted by: Jill Stanek at December 1, 2009 8:49 AM

sexual liberation of men and women.

Posted by: Hal at December 1, 2009 9:02 AM


"Ashley, seriously, name one good that has come from widespread availability of contraception."

Not getting pregnant when I don't want to be sounds good to me.

Also, the idea that husband and wife should only have sex to get pregnant (and not for "sensual" reasons) is ludicrous, and no one believes it unless they're 1. celibate Catholic priests or 2. past their childbearing years.

I'd recommend not telling young "pro-life" women you believe should risk pregnancy every time they have sex. They will drop the cause in a heartbeat.

The truth is that women have other goals in mind than being constantly pregnant, which is why 98 percent of women use contraception at some point in their lives.

Posted by: Ashley Herzog at December 1, 2009 9:21 AM


Thanks Ashley, that's what I meant.

Posted by: Hal at December 1, 2009 9:23 AM


Hal, as if.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at December 1, 2009 9:25 AM


Right, Hal. How many kids do you have?

Posted by: Ashley Herzog at December 1, 2009 9:28 AM


sexual liberation of men and women.

Posted by: Hal at December 1, 2009 9:02 AM

True freedom is realized when we obey God's laws. The gift of sex is a tremendous blessing in the marriage relationship, designed for maximum pleasure (not just child-bearing, did Jill say that?) no guilt whatsoever.

A local 13 year old girl recently met a friend on facebook, her first boyfriend. Mom didn't approve of her daughter dating a 15 year old and had to stop her cell phone and internet service, even put her into a new school.

The girl was determined and she snuck him into the house this past Saturday. Sunday night Mom heard something, looked in her daughter's closet, and saw two eyes staring back at her, "Who are you?"

Turns out he's 19 and is facing up to 2 felony counts of criminal sexual conduct and 15 years behind bars.

True liberty is found following the rules, not breaking them.

If you break God's Laws you do so to your own peril.

Posted by: Ed at December 1, 2009 9:34 AM


Hal, if you only realized how laughable your statement is that the pill has sexually liberated men and women.

Men, perhaps, but certainly not women.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at December 1, 2009 9:57 AM


"Also, the idea that husband and wife should only have sex to get pregnant (and not for "sensual" reasons) is ludicrous, and no one believes it unless they're 1. celibate Catholic priests or 2. past their childbearing years."

Sorry Ashley, if you're going to be a journalist, then you're going to get taken to the woodshed for ignorant cracks like this one about Catholic Clergy. I'm Roman Catholic and was a seminarian before leaving to take up biomedical research.

Your statement is callous, ignorant, and bigoted. If you want a job at the New York Times, I'd say that you've got your credentials secure. But as newspapers are a dying industry, you'll be looking for employment elsewhere before long and you just might need to cultivate actual knowledge and civility. So listen up.

My clergy (the 96% not accused of wrongdoing) actually are models of the self-mastery required in chaste love, which is what we are all called to (not to be confused with celibate marital status). You could obviously do with a lesson in self-mastery, as your passions lead you to steamroll anyone with a differing point of view. (That cuts it at the NY Times where vituperative communications are one-way. Not here)

The Catholic understanding of human sex and sexuality is that it has two components:

1. UNITIVE. It unites husband and wife in ever-deepening bonds of intimacy and love through the sensual expression of that love.

2. PROCREATIVE. It is open to the possible (not probable) transmission of life. NFP is as effective as the pill, with none of the toxicity.

These are intertwined realities, comprising an organic wholeness. When they are separated, the unitive degenerates into narcissistic self-indulgence for far too many people. Especially for men. That doesn't bode well for women.

The very real prospect of generating a new life has always kept men closer to home and more respectful of their wives. The pill shattered that sense of mutual responsibility. A 50% divorce rate is no small coincidence.

Again Ashley, snarking doesn't cut it among grown adults. This isn't your journalism class where everyone voices derision for Catholicism, and doesn't even know enough to be ashamed for ridiculing something of which they know absolutely nothing.

If you MUST ridicule us (I realize that's the coin of the realm in journalism and academia) at least quote the actual document that deals with contraception and the value of human life: Humanae Vitae.

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html

I don't know why you're so angry, but pace yourself. You still have at least six more decades of life to spread that anger through. Why burn out in your twenties?

Posted by: Gerard Nadal at December 1, 2009 10:00 AM


True liberty is found following the rules, not breaking them.

If you break God's Laws you do so to your own peril.
Posted by: Ed at December 1, 2009 9:34 AM

Couldn't disagree anymore with those statements Ed. But, if it works for you, I'm okay with that.

Ashley, I have two daughters.

Posted by: Hal at December 1, 2009 10:04 AM


Gerard had it exactly right with this statement:

"Taking the pill is abusing your body for a man's pleasure."

Especially after having been working with teenagers who use the pill at the Pregnancy Center, I know without a doubt this is sadly very true.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at December 1, 2009 10:05 AM


Jill,

Thanks for your kind words. Finding your blog has been one of those rare good finds.

Posted by: Gerard Nadal at December 1, 2009 10:05 AM


Bethany, you are forgetting that sometimes (hopefully every time)a woman is having sex because she wants to as well. So, at least she is "abusing her body for her own pleasure" as well.

Posted by: Hal at December 1, 2009 10:24 AM


Hal, that's not always the case and quite too often, women are hurt by men they thought loved them because they become pregnant while on the pill, and that man tells them to have an abortion or they're leaving.

Not only can it cause these types of problems (that's just one of many), but the problems that hormonal birth control can cause a woman physically are horrific, and even in young teenagers, they've shared with me the physical ramifications of their taking the pill or using the shot (although many times they are unaware these problems are actually a result of those things). It's really hard to see so many people suffering as a result of the pill, especially while so many people are totally ignorant about it.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at December 1, 2009 10:38 AM


Bethany, I'd rather we put our efforts into teaching young women who don't want to have sex to avoid it than teaching young women who do want to have sex to avoid the pill.

Posted by: Hal at December 1, 2009 10:41 AM


Oh and several years ago, I took the pill for about 6 months, and I also noticed many physical problems as a result, which at the time was the reason that I stopped taking them (I was not yet aware at the time that they can cause abortions.

The reason I was taking it at the time was because I was told that it would help with menstrual cramps- it turned out that those were very much preferable to the side effects I experienced on the pill...and the funny thing is that having babies is what actually got rid of the menstrual cramps in the end!

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at December 1, 2009 10:42 AM


Bethany, I'd rather we put our efforts into teaching young women who don't want to have sex to avoid it than teaching young women who do want to have sex to avoid the pill.

Hal, you make it sound so easy. As if it's only the woman's desire to have sex or not to have sex. It's not easy as that. Women have sex to bond emotionally with a man- many girls have the misconception that somehow having sex with a man will make him love her, and that could not be more wrong. So many girls can DESIRE to have sex, but for the wrong reasons. So to encourage these women who DESIRE it to go ahead and have it, doesn't help solve the problem at all!

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at December 1, 2009 10:45 AM


I oppose abortive methods of birth control (hormonal contraceptives, IUDs) because I believe that biologically/scientifically speaking, a new human life is created at CONCEPTION (not implantation). I don't have a problem with barrier methods (the sponge, diaphragm, condoms, spermicide, etc.) because they truly are contraceptives-they prevent a child from being conceived in the first place rather than destroying a child which has already been conceived.

The attitude that "well, if I can't take the pill or have an IUD, then I guess I'll just get pregnant every time I have sex!" is ridiculous. There are many other methods to choose from - many are widely available without even needing to see a doctor. I used to use hormonal birth control until I realized that it can, indeed, cause early abortions. I also found some of the side effects to be unpleasant, and now I understand that some of the other side effects are downright dangerous. I did not like how the hormonal contraceptives messed up my body and I think that it's unwise for women to take huge risks with their future health this way. There are many other ways to PREVENT pregnancy rather than destroying life after it is created (or even taking a chance of doing so). As a side note, I did notice that it seemed to take an awfully long time for my body to come to a place where I was able to conceive after discontinuing hormonal birth control in order to attempt pregnancy. I realize that this is not necessarily the case with all women but it was the case for me, and I am concerned about the ill effects of hormonal contraceptives extending into the realm of causing or aggravating fertility problems.

I don't believe there is a moral problem with PREVENTING conception of a child. It's ending the life of a child which has already been conceived that I have a problem with.


Bethany, I found that my menstrual cramping was very much lessened after giving birth as well. I wonder how many other women have found the same.

Posted by: army_wife at December 1, 2009 11:57 AM


Most women have a solution for men like "Scott" who wants to tell women what to do and take away their rights to use contraceptives. Suffice it to say that after their "solution", Scott won't be contributing to any unwanted pregnancies. LOL.
Posted by: Bystander at November 30, 2009 8:41 PM
____________________________________________________Most women? I think you mean most FEMINISTS, Bystander..but I won't be so presumptuous as to speak for "most" of ANY group.

Posted by: Pamela at December 1, 2009 11:59 AM


Ashley, My mother bleed havley when she had me. I according to her was known an aborted baby. I was born at 25 weeks. I resently found this out. RJ

Posted by: RJ Sandefur at December 1, 2009 12:01 PM


I'm sorry for your mother's situation, Ashley, but most prolifers do make exceptions for the life of the mother. Also, not all prolifers, including myself, oppose the use of artifical contraception. This seems to be mostly a Catholic position (no offense to my Catholic friends).

Posted by: Phillymiss at December 1, 2009 12:26 PM


Posted by: army_wife at December 1, 2009 11:57 AM

***********

I agree with your post, army_wife--we appear to have the same view on this.

Posted by: Kel at December 1, 2009 12:34 PM


To Jill et al.:

I have no problem with saving sexual relations for marriage, but not everyone shares this worldview, and it's not just young people. There are many people that think one night stands and "friends with benefits" types of situations are okay. I am 51, recently divorced, and am shocked at the number of men my age who just want a casual sexual relationship. Uh, no.

Wouldn't you rather see a young (or "old" like me) person use contraceptives to prevent a pregnancy rather than have them "fall pregnant" as the British rather quaintly say, than have an unwanted pregnancy and abort?

As for the pill, it's been causing problems for women for years, but if someone wants to take it, shouldn't they be allowed to? Surely not all forms of the pill cause very early abortions.

Posted by: Phillymiss at December 1, 2009 12:46 PM


Posted by: bethany at December 1, 2009 10:45 AM

Excellent points!

If anyone wants to find out more about "side-effects of birth-control", just google it and you'll find all sorts of blog conversations on the subject. There are unpleasant side-effects that I wouldn't want to mention here.

Posted by: Janet at December 1, 2009 12:57 PM


Whether you're discussing abortion, "abortafacient contraceptives" (sorry for the oxymoron), or non-abortafacient, "barrier" contraceptives, one must be clear what is meant by "against." Some people oppose the legality of one of the above, while for the "barrier" contraceptives, simply eschew their use themselves.

Ashley Herzog: "Also, the idea that husband and wife should only have sex to get pregnant (and not for 'sensual' reasons) is ludicrous, and no one believes it unless they're 1. celibate Catholic priests or 2. past their childbearing years."

Don't conflate two different things here. Some eschew contraceptives and/or use Natural Family Planning, while still enjoying the sex they do have. The objection is usually to separating (artificially) the recreative element from the procreative element. And plenty of childbearing-age couples do that, contrary to your comment.

"The truth is that women have other goals in mind than being constantly pregnant, which is why 98 percent of women use contraception at some point in their lives."

We keep hearing that such a "large" percentage uses contraception, and then, when asked for ways to reduce the abortion rate, pro-choicers argue "more contraception." Pick one.

Posted by: bmmg39 at December 1, 2009 1:27 PM


Ed, 9:34 wrote: "True freedom is realized when we obey God's laws. The gift of sex is a tremendous blessing in the marriage relationship, designed for maximum pleasure (not just child-bearing, did Jill say that?) no guilt whatsoever."

No, I didn't say that. Sex is good. We just can't take the opportunity for the blessing of a child from it.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at December 1, 2009 1:46 PM


Phillymiss, 12:46p, wrote: "I have no problem with saving sexual relations for marriage, but not everyone shares this worldview, and it's not just young people.... Wouldn't you rather see a young (or "old" like me) person use contraceptives to prevent a pregnancy rather than have them "fall pregnant" as the British rather quaintly say, than have an unwanted pregnancy and abort?"

Actually, Phillymiss, contraception doesn't prevent pregancy. It increases the risk of pregnancy by increasing the volume of sexual relations. And it's not fullproof anyway. For the Pill to be 99% effective it has to be taken EXACTLY correctly, which it rarely, rarely is, particularly by those young people you mentioned. There are more unwanted pregnancies now than ever, and it's certainly not due to lack of access of instruction.

We do no one a favor by enabling them in destructive behaviors. We only help by instilling healthy behaviors.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at December 1, 2009 1:52 PM


I read this too, and I appreciate the "grey" tone of the article, and denotes a really evolved PC viewpoint on abortion. I'd really like for that level of candor to be at the forefront of PC communication and outreach, and believe this will begin with the younger cohort of the movement, in the same way it's happened on the PL side.

I also agree that the elimination of abortion is only the tip of the iceberg for the PL agenda, which in more and more circles, would see such an achievement as a welcome mat to challenge other forms of reproductive health and management, ie, birth control and sex education.

For the record, I agree with some PL'ers on the board re: hormonal birth control, albeit, for different reasons. HBC has been an overwhelming benefit to the majority of women who choose it. That said, it's still a daily synthetic hormone and personally I'd rather not if I have another choice, which I do. I'm so thankful for that.

Posted by: Danielle at December 1, 2009 2:34 PM


Keli, I'm sure you are right. I know I probably sounded vindictive. I certainly want Obama to realize he has been wrong and join in the fight to eradicate abortion. Because with God on our side, we WILL win in the end.

Posted by: Lori Pieper at December 1, 2009 2:52 PM


I think so many people miss the point about why the Catholic church does not agree with any contraception or pre-marital sex. NFP encourages the couple to communicate more intimately about when sexual relations occur(to postpone or plan a pregnancy). Since when is more communication bad in a relationship? Since pre-marital sex & contraception have become more common (and expected)marriges have suffered. The lack of responsible communication & loss of need for self-mastery induced by "sexual freedom" has encouraged mass media to exploit sex. Even our youngest children are exposed to sex as a self-gratifying pleasure with no regard for true emotion and love. This is also a reason masturbation is wrong. Sex is self-GIVING, NOT self-GRATIFICATION! This leads to co-habitation before marriage, as well. It's not necessary to see if you are sexually compatible before marriage if there is no intent for comparison. You are chemically bound in a very special way to the first person you have sex with. That special bond can never be attained again, so stick with who you started with. That's how it was meant to be. Look what messing with the natural order of things has done to us. We are unhappy, divorced, sexually driven animals. How sad.

Posted by: Kristy at December 1, 2009 3:04 PM


Hi folks,

Since Hal brought up the word 'liberating'. And it being closely related word 'freedom', it might be good to explore them some more. The word ]freedom' as it is most often used these days means 'choice', really 'hte ability to choose'. But if you look carefully freedom comes from the abiliy to choose, then freedo'm is preceded by 'choosing'. Then 'freedom' and 'choosing' (though connected) are two different realities.

Humans often experience 'freedom' when they talk of 'FLIGHT (both the physical stuff, like a butterfly in flight, or an eagle in flight, or even a parachute-jump. Humans as well experience esoteric kinds like: a flight from tyranny ... to freedom [ 'flight of Israael from Egyp]; from domination ... like a prisoner being released is 'set free'. Also humans often experience freedom during a walk (alone) in the woods on a gorgeous day.

So, with these (and other) concepts in-mind IMO it is time to seek a re-defining of what 'freedom' actually does mean. To me it seems to mean 'an extension of being'. ((Sorry folks for this nerd-scientist, this does resonate.))
EXAMPLES OF APPLICATION:
1) In marriage ... a (limited) spouse extends (becomes one with) another (limited) being/the-other-spouse. So even though physically limited in variety,,,,,, becomes more free because 'the two become one flesh'. Children are not add-ons but an integral aspect of this union (1 X 1 X 1 X I = 1 family, [note if contribution is less than a whole (100%), the whole suffers the loss.]

2) the act of bonding/becoming-one/loving is not confined within our own species but we do 'bond' to many other life forms. Even ideas and inanimate things like cars/property; as well as bonding to pets are very common.

3) the act of becoming one ... being 'freed' comes about as an extension to God (an unlimited) Being ... read parts of John's gospel when he refers to being ONE and being IN

4) 'liberation' occurs when God extends Himself to man ... (Catherine Dougherty 'Poustinia')


Perhaps, we do a disservice to others (under the guise of 'equality= minimalism) to confine ourselves to a myopic life. Grow-in-freedom, is not a wish to choose-more-often but to become real.

Posted by: John McDonell` at December 1, 2009 3:33 PM


Hi Danielle!!! :)
How was your Thanksgiving?

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at December 1, 2009 4:12 PM


Danielle,
I would be happy as a clam if Roe V. Wade were overturned as the unjust law that it is. Anything after that is cake.

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at December 1, 2009 4:15 PM


Carla -

Belated Happy Holidays - my vacation was restful and just long enough...hope yours was the same.

As for the other discussion piece - I agree that as of right now, most PL activists aren't thinking past RvW just yet. But I still assert that this would become the next crusade if RvW is overturned, ever.

Posted by: Danielle at December 1, 2009 4:25 PM


Sorry Danielle but no holiday is restful with four cherubs under the age of 12!! I am still full from Thanksgiving dinner. :)

Some prolifers might take those issues on I suppose.

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at December 1, 2009 5:03 PM


Actually, Phillymiss, contraception doesn't prevent pregancy. It increases the risk of pregnancy by increasing the volume of sexual relations. And it's not fullproof anyway. For the Pill to be 99% effective it has to be taken EXACTLY correctly, which it rarely, rarely is, particularly by those young people you mentioned. There are more unwanted pregnancies now than ever, and it's certainly not due to lack of access of instruction.

Yes, I understand what you're saying -- NYC has one of the highest abortion rates in the country, and contraception is readily available, to say the least. On paper NFP is a great idea, but it takes a committed couple to use it. More than eighty percent of women getting abortions are single and many of these pregnancies result from casual "hooking up" (I'm not making a value judgment here, just stating facts).


Posted by: Phillymiss at December 1, 2009 6:25 PM


sexual liberation of men and women.

Posted by: Hal at December 1, 2009 9:02 AM
------


Hal - what does that mean in practical terms?

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at December 1, 2009 6:58 PM


If taking the pill is OK, then what's next? giving the sick and dying a pill, which when they take it, they'd never wake up? I'm thankful, my mother had hospice, and I'm also thankful, she won't have to wory about that monster Obama, messing with her healthcare! She died just after the health care bill passed. If abortion funding is in the bill, then what will happen to the hospices across this nation? Pro-choice people the ones I've come in contact with, are they most non-caring people I know. Thats why I am the way I am. When my uncle was dying, my Mother tryed telling the nurse, my uncle needed medicane. "We have other people to care for besides John Parish!" The nurse shouted at my mother. This nurse was an openion pro-choice supporter, and my mother nor I could never quite get over how my dying uncle was treated. RJ

Posted by: RJ Sandefur at December 1, 2009 9:01 PM


Ashley, I have two daughters.
Posted by: Hal at December 1, 2009 10:04 AM

Ashley, Hal is the father of 4 children. Two were aborted by he and his wife, although he insists otherwise.

Posted by: angel at December 1, 2009 9:42 PM


Hal...sexual liberation of men and women! WOOHOO! YIPPEE! Yes, lucky us. Now more than half of all marriages end in divorce, 1 in 4 Americans has an STD and as Jill pointed out there are more diseases to choose from these days. Oh and yes, condoms do not prevent the spread of HIV which is smaller than the human sperm. 1.2 million abortions a year with all the emotional and physical problems that arise from that, oh yes, and tack on 600,000 more dead babies who die from latent abortion morbidity, meaning that their mother's wombs and cervix were damaged by an earlier abortion and thus later WANTED children could not survive. More illegitimate children and all the issues that arise from that (crime, etc...) But thank goodness we are sexually liberated! I mean one good orgasm is worth the damnation of society!

Posted by: Sydney M. at December 1, 2009 10:31 PM


When I was a skirt chasin' horn dog, abortin', contraceptin' and bra burnin' were truly liberatin' for me.

I was like, "Yahoo! You go girls!"

I was willin to be liberatin' as many of them as I could from their archaic moralities into my free luv if if feels good to ME do it lifestyle.

I did not get pregnant so why I did I give a hoot about what they did with their bodies so long as I got my jollies.

But them darn feministas really started makin' my life complicated cause you really had to make sure you said the right things even when you knew you did not mean em'.

The only time I ever contracted an STD was from doin' business in brothel.

You know yor bound to lose when yor playin' against the house. The odds are just not in your favor when you're playin that kind of roulette. The odds get worse for you the more players there are at the table.

[sarcasm alert]

Me and my posse gettin' religion really did increase the threat level for females.

Heaven forbid that we would actually start seeing women as something other than a means to satisfy our own selfish desires.

The sexual revolution was definately liberatin'.......for men.

yor bro ken

Posted by: kbhvac at December 1, 2009 11:34 PM


But I know my liberal skirt chasin horn dog brethren always respected the women they bedded.

They always made sure they practised safe sex and they were always sincere when they told their girl toys that they luved them.

They never got any on the side unless their main squeeze was OK with that arrantement and of course the progressive senstive men they were how could they object to their woman playin the field too.

And why would you limit the possiblities to just the opposite sex. That is just an arbitrary standard left over from some bygone era.

Wipe the slate clean and start from scratch and go til it starts burnin' and itchin' and the antibiotics are no longer effective.

Sexual liberation is such fun!

yor bro ken

saw a bill board the other day. seems kind of appropriate now:

"If you're riding in car with a friend who is driving recklessly ask them if were gonna go for ice cream after you paralyze me?"

Posted by: kbhvac at December 1, 2009 11:47 PM


Mknow,

Actually, It’s far worse than Sydney has said. I’m a medical microbiologist with a huge interest in this area. Indeed, keep the Catholic Church out of this and let’s go to the CDC exclusively.

This from the Fact Sheet for Public Health Personnel on the Male Latex Condom:

http://www.cdc.gov/condomeffectiveness/latex.htm

“Consistent and correct use of male latex condoms can reduce (though not eliminate) the risk of STD transmission. To achieve the maximum protective effect, condoms must be used both consistently and correctly. Inconsistent use can lead to STD acquisition because transmission can occur with a single act of intercourse with an infected partner. Similarly, if condoms are not used correctly, the protective effect may be diminished even when they are used consistently. The most reliable ways to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), are to abstain from sexual activity or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.”

Then listen to how the description of the condom’s effectiveness varies:

“Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, are highly effective in preventing the sexual transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. In addition, consistent and correct use of latex condoms reduces the risk of other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including diseases transmitted by genital secretions, and to a lesser degree, genital ulcer diseases. Condom use may reduce the risk for genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and HPV-associated diseases, e.g., genital warts and cervical cancer.”

While that sounds pretty good for condoms with HIV, these data assume perfect conditions. They utilize industry-generated data with fresh condoms from the assembly line. Latex is susceptible to temperature extremes. Condoms often go through repeated freeze-thaw cycles during shipping in winter months, and sit in hot warehouses and trucks in excess of 115 degrees in summer; all of which reduce the tensile strength of the latex and increase the frequency of catastrophic rupture during use.

Here is a link to CDC on effectiveness of all types of birth conrol:

http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/unintendedpregnancy/Contraception.htm

Please note the document tells us the male condom is 85-98% effective at preventing pregnancy. Also note in the fact sheet on the male latex condom they don’t quantify what is meant by ‘highly effective’. It begs the question. If a condom can be only 85% effective at preventing pregnancy, then it is no better at preventing transmission of HIV from an infected partner, is it?

A quick calculation tells us that a group of 100 women using condoms alone will have roughly 80% of its members pregnant within 10 years. Roughly the same holds true for HIV transmission.

As for disease transmission rates at some point in people’s lives the following numbers apply to the U.S.:

http://www.cdcnpin.org/scripts/std/std.asp

AIDS cases to date 1,015,000

Chlamydia- “An estimated 2,291,000 noninstitutionalized U.S. civilians ages 14–39 are infected with chlamydia. Underreporting is substantial because most people with chlamydia are not aware of their infections and do not seek testing.”

Genital Herpes- ¼ all women, 1/8 men.

HPV- “At least 50 percent of sexually active men and women acquire genital HPV infection at some point in their lives.”

Trichomoniasis- 7.4 million new cases each year.


Finally, this article on HPV:

Making Sense of HPV
The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, Volume 2, Issue 5, Pages 329-332
L. Raphaelidis

http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1555415506003680

The abstract:

“
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the country's most common sexually transmitted infection. An estimated 75% of the reproductive-age population will be infected with HPV at some point in their lives. Patients diagnosed with HPV should understand that the virus is most often transient, but persistent infection with high-risk HPV can lead to cervical cancer. A laboratory test for HPV detection is available, but clinicians should only use it for routine screening in women over 30 because HPV is so prevalent in the younger population. Condoms provide only modest protection against HPV transmission. The information clinicians provide to patients about HPV can help reduce anxiety and ensure compliance with appropriate follow-up.”

Nothing here from the Pope.

Posted by: Gerard Nadal at December 2, 2009 12:30 AM


kbhvac I just loved your sarcasm alert.

Like I've heard someone post previously. "If you really want to know, just ask any man putting on a condom "When does life begin?" Definately not rocket science.

I am not going to waste my time dealing with the trolls who prowl here they just stop by to get a rise out of the prolifers but I have dealt with a lot of teens and young people over the years and cannot tell you the amount of devastation and negative consequences I have seen physically, mentally, socially, emotionally and spiritually.

Regarding adults and contraception, I cannot tell you how many healthcare workers, doctors, nurses even OB/GYN nurses who used not just 1 but sometimes 2 forms of contraception and it did not work.

I found someone touting condoms preventing HIV-if you call prevention a 1 in 6 failure rate in the course of a year like playing Russian Roulette or like gettig on a plane with a 1 in 6 plane crash rate. You can call it risk reduction but I would not call it prevention. I've dealt with too many teens, young people and adults alike who bought the lie that they could have "safe sex" and I've seen this false sense of security that "nothing could happen to me". I just read a "Teen Vogue" article where a teen who had taken Gardasil contracted a different strain of HPV than what is in the vaccine, she was devastated because she thought she was "protected", safe and had bought the lie. Other teens I have talked to who were so very proud they used condoms everytime they had sex but had still contracted Herpes or HPV and could not believe it. The unplanned pregnancies "I was taking the shots and the pills just like they told me and I got pregnant anyway, how could this happen?". Or the teens performing oral sex that contracted Herpes and HPV in their mouths and throats thinking there would be no consequences and they could still remain "a technical virgin" (some teens thought anal sex was safe but it is actually more risky). The longer a young person is in a relationship the more likely they are to discontinue contraception-usually after 4-6 months (We know we're really in love now" "We're ready to take it to the next level"). What a crock!

Posted by: Prolifer L at December 2, 2009 2:09 AM


It's not common for people to count their abortions nor miscarriages when saying how many children they have.

Posted by: Mknow at December 1, 2009 11:19 PM
--------

It may be uncommon in discussion, however, medically, it's required to count the children who were aborted or miscarried.

Being pregnant means a child is present, regardless of the stage of development, unless of course, the conceptus is a mole or the like.

Your demand to use CDC "facts" is interesting, but it doesn't take a federal decree to realize abstinence is the only 100% effective means to prevent transmission of STDs and pregnancy.

And demanding scientific accuracy via the CDC, but rejecting solid medical embryological and fetal facts about child development is completely illogical.

As for Catholics being anti-family (?!!!) Catholics true to their faith have large, wonderful families.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at December 2, 2009 6:07 AM


A friend from childhood had a miscarriage before going on to have two children, a girl and a boy. She still counts her miscarried child. And she miscarried at like 8 or 9 weeks so it wasn't as if the child was a stillborn. But this mom still acknowledges her first baby that she lost.

Another friend's mother is 40. She got a divorce a few years back...and promptly took to sleeping with men half her age. Now this divorced 40 year old mother of 3 has Herpes. Hooray sexual liberation! She shouldn't have left her husband. She'd still have a house, her family and her health. Is sex with 20 year olds worth having sores erupt on your genitals for the rest of your life? YUCK!

Posted by: Sydney M at December 2, 2009 9:35 AM


Chris is absolutely right. When I worked labor and delivery we always needed to know much more than just how many living children did the woman have. Rather we needed to know full gravida and parity.

Gravid is the number of times a woman was pregnant, whether she delivered or not, including the present pregnancy.

Parity is the number of times a woman has come to term and delivered a baby.

I am gravida 15, para 7. I have congenital hypothyroidism which makes it difficult to carry a child to term. I look forward to meeting my other little ones someday in heaven.

Posted by: Elisabeth at December 2, 2009 10:04 AM


I have 7 children. 3 in heaven and 4 that are here.

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at December 2, 2009 10:28 AM


I'm reminded of the old joke about two German Jews in the 1930s taking the train. One notices that the other is reading Der Stürmer, an antisemitic Nazi publication. He asks his friend how he can read that garbage, especially with all of the terrible things going on.

His friend responds, "Are you kidding? When I look out there, I see persecution, hate, a sea of troubles without end. But in here, we're doing great! We're prosperous, we're powerful--hell, we run the country!"

I'm reasonably sure that your movement has described how America is constantly on the verge of turning into Holland or something like that in order to scare up some support. This isn't much different.

Sydney M.: Yes, lucky us. Now more than half of all marriages end in divorce

Strangely enough, no. It's more like one in four.

Posted by: grendelkhan at December 2, 2009 10:41 AM


You know, one of the things that irks me about the state we just moved to is that on one section of the paperwork to get a birth certificate for a newborn, it asks the number of miscarriages and (induced) abortions but lumps them all together into one figure. AS IF they are the same. Uh, hello! Common sense dictates that they are way different - if they are looking for some sort of statistical analysis about maternal/infant mortality or anything else they want to relate to the number of miscarriages or abortions, then this is going to skew their statistics majorly. It's like lumping apples and oranges all into the same bushel basket. The nature of one is way different than the nature of the other, and they will affect statistical analyses in different ways.

I hope that part of the paperwork is one of the "optional" fields because I'm not going to state that I've had "two miscarriages/induced abortions". If they want to separate the two, then fine. I'm OK with disclosing that I've had 2 miscarriages.

Elisabeth, I want to tell you that I am very sorry you've had to experience losing an infant so many times. I know it is a very tough thing to go through. I don't know how you've managed it so many times.

Posted by: army_wife at December 2, 2009 10:56 AM


Elisabeth, I am so very sorry for your losses! I can't imagine what you've been through.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at December 2, 2009 11:08 AM


Oh, no no no. I'm VERY blessed. My older sister had four or five miscarriages and has never had a child. My older sister in law has had at least five miscarriages and has never had a child. My other older sister in law had to induce early menopause and never had a child.

If I can get to 16 weeks or so, we're good, so I haven't had to endure later miscarriages as so many people have...

And I do have these seven wonderful, loud, messy blessings hanging around making my days busy, full, and loving.

I don't know what His reasoning is in sending these little ones only to take them directly home, but I'm sure we'll all find out some day. At least I know they went in their own time with no fear, no medicines or machines taking them. It is sad, but I have always viewed life and death as just part of the same process and I know I will be with my children for eternity, so I am saddened, but not devastated, when we lose one of our little ones so early.

Posted by: Elisabeth at December 2, 2009 1:03 PM


You have a wonderful attitude and great perspective, Elisabeth. I am thankful that we have the hope of meeting our little ones one day!

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at December 2, 2009 2:26 PM


Ashley, Hal is the father of 4 children. Two were aborted by he and his wife, although he insists otherwise.
Posted by: angel at December 1, 2009 9:42 PM

I don't "insist otherwise." I have two children. That's a fact. I wasn't asked how many times sexual union had resulted in pregnancy. I was asked if I have any children. I have two.

Posted by: Hal at December 2, 2009 3:42 PM


grendelkahn...you are right. I checked my facts and while the divorce rate USED to hover around 50 percent of all marriages, it has now fallen to 40 percent. And that is because more people are just shacking up. So while the percentage of the people that DO get married and divorce has fallen even more people are not even bothering to make the commitment in the first place.

Posted by: Sydney M at December 2, 2009 4:02 PM


Sydney, Grendelkahn was right in that the rates have fallen but obviously it isn't 1 in 4 marriages as he/she claimed. You were much closer, and I agree that the living together has become much more prominent nowadays...so many people don't love each other enough to commit. It's sad.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at December 2, 2009 4:33 PM


Bethany, I'm not sure it's fair to say they don't love enough other enough to commit. They might just have a different view of marriage, but plenty of love.

Posted by: Hal at December 2, 2009 6:46 PM


Hal, what in the world does that even mean?

Either you have love one another enough to remain together, or you don't.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at December 2, 2009 6:53 PM


Hal, why don't you define love for me as you see it...because if by love you mean simply lust, then I totally agree that there's plenty of that to go around! Unfortunately, lust doesn't last like love does!

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at December 2, 2009 6:56 PM


sure, "remain together" does not necessarily equal marriage. Some people spend a lifetime together without a marriage

Posted by: Hal at December 2, 2009 6:57 PM


Hal, what is so scary about marriage if they're going to spend lifetime together anyway?
Why avoid it? What for?

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at December 2, 2009 6:59 PM


I mean, you can love someone and remain with them forever- but making a promise to them that you will remain with them forever and love them for the rest of your life is out of the question...I have to ask why? Makes no sense to me. Seems that if you opt out of marriage you're leaving the door open "just in case". And if you think you might want out later, where's the love in that?

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at December 2, 2009 7:02 PM


One of my friends through work is my age and has been with her boyfriend/fiance since highschool. She has had two abortions by him and finally got pregnant a third time (on purpose though he was less than thrilled) and had a son. He went and bought her an engagement ring. Their little boy is almost five and they have yet to marry though she is trying her darndest to get pregnant again though its been over two years and she has yet to conceive. She seems to have incredible resentment towards this man for making her abort and he doesn't seem in a rush to get married. He acts like "you got the ring now shutup." She wants to get married because I think she wants to create this little family because she sacrificed two children so that they could have the "fantasy" life and now darn it, she is gonna have it no matter what! Its really pathetic to see her life and struggles. It makes me sad. God didn't intend this. He didn't intend all this pain and anger and distrust. What a mess people make of things.

Posted by: Sydney M. at December 2, 2009 7:41 PM


Sydney M.,
I hope your friend finds the life she wants and others will learn from her mistakes. There are some who see the results but still call this "liberation". Go figure.

Posted by: Janet at December 2, 2009 7:46 PM


Sydney that is so sad- I wish it was rare, but unfortunately this is what this so called "sexual liberation" has caused so many women- lots of broken hearts, empty arms, and broken promises. It is tragic!

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at December 2, 2009 7:51 PM


Elisabeth, I can understand what you are saying. I was deeply saddened when I lost my second baby but somehow it was easier to take than the first (my first miscarriage was also our first baby, so it was particularly difficult for me). I feel better knowing my little ones went peacefully and are in heaven now. They're happier there than they would have been in this old world, I know. And someday I hope to see them and get to know them in heaven.

Sydney M. - that is very sad. I wish your friend could see how she's throwing her life away trying to keep a guy that obviously doesn't love her truly. I agree with Janet's thoughts - this is "liberation"? Doesn't seem "liberating" to me. I was sexually active before I was married (and before I became a Christian) and I have to say that wasn't liberating either. It was the worst decision I have ever made, I believe. What a terrible time that was in my life. I regret not remaining a virgin until marriage every day and I will continue to regret it for the rest of my life.

Posted by: army_wife at December 2, 2009 8:10 PM


Hal, what is so scary about marriage if they're going to spend lifetime together anyway?
Why avoid it? What for?
Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at December 2, 2009 6:59 PM

Bethany, obviously, I'm not one of those people, so I can't really speak for them. But I think they'd say, "we're going to spend our lifetime together anyway, what's the point of 'marriage?'" "Why do it? What for?" It's not your view, and it's not my view, but it's a reasonable view.

Posted by: Hal at December 2, 2009 8:50 PM


What makes it reasonable, Hal? I don't get it.

"why do it, what for" are excuses that a person who does not want to be tied down says.

That's not what a person who truly loves someone else and wants to be with them forever says.


Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at December 2, 2009 8:56 PM


Hal, do you think it is love on the part of both, if one person in the relationship wants to get married and the other doesn't want to, for the same reasons that you described above ("why do it, what for, etc")?

Also, based on Sydney's story about her friend, would you say that her boyfriend/fiancee loved her?

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at December 2, 2009 9:07 PM


I think Sydney's friend and the boyfriend have different goals, perhaps. I certainly not in a position to judge if he loves her or not.

As to your other question, I really am not too fond of the institution of marriage right now, (as practiced in the USA) so maybe I'm not the one to ask. How would you feel if I told you that I don't recognize your marriage as legitimate?

Posted by: Hal at December 2, 2009 9:11 PM


Hal, I didn't say you had to judge him based on actually meeting him, but simply based on the story as Sydney presented it.

Do you really think that someone who loves someone is going to treat them in such a manner?

As to your other question, I really am not too fond of the institution of marriage right now, (as practiced in the USA) so maybe I'm not the one to ask. How would you feel if I told you that I don't recognize your marriage as legitimate?

Are you saying you regret having been married, Hal?

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at December 2, 2009 9:14 PM


Or maybe I could make it easier for you to answer the question....

Hal, if this story were about you and your wife before you were married, do you think that you would be showing love towards her if you treated her that way?

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at December 2, 2009 9:17 PM


I think Sydney's friend and the boyfriend have different goals, perhaps.

Part of loving someone and being in a healthy relationship, Hal, is compromising, and trying to work towards the SAME goals, especially when it comes to a subject as personal as your very relationship!

Another part of love is sacrifice, putting yourself second and the one you love first- willingly- and putting their needs and desires before your own needs and desires.

This is certainly not what was shown in Sydney's story, not in the least.

Selfishness is the opposite of love, Hal, it really is.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at December 2, 2009 9:20 PM


Maybe Sydney's friend is being selfish by expecting marriage.

* * *

Are you saying you regret having been married, Hal?
Posted by: bethany at December 2, 2009 9:14 PM

No, not at all. But I wouldn't do it today given that marriage is denied our gay brothers and sisters. It's an outrage, and I'd have no part of it.

Posted by: Hal at December 2, 2009 9:33 PM


Hal,

May I jump in for a moment? Marriage is the union of a man and a Woman. Gays are free to join in if they wish. They're not being denied.

However, they have no right to demand that the heterosexual community redefine marriage in order to satisfy them. Next in line are the polygamists.

It's like redefining sedimentary rock and calling it igneous rock to admit more samples.

There is no injustice in heterosexuals remaining faithful to the institution created by God, and not usurping His power by redefining that institution.

Posted by: Gerard Nadal at December 2, 2009 9:46 PM


Can you explain how it is selfish to desire to be married to someone you love, Hal? To desire to publicly announce your love before others?

I can explain exactly how it is selfish to desire NOT to be married to someone.


Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at December 2, 2009 9:47 PM


And let me clarify that I am in no way making the girl an innocent victim- she has a very big part in the fact that her relationship with her boyfriend is horribly dysfunctional. But I am talking about the boyfriend now because I truly want to see whether you think that such actions show love, Hal.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at December 2, 2009 9:57 PM


"However, they have no right to demand that the heterosexual community redefine marriage in order to satisfy them. Next in line are the polygamists."

I don't see how. You can just state that marriage is the union of two non-familial consenting adults, and that no person may have more than one spouse at a time. Problem solved.

Posted by: bmmg39 at December 2, 2009 9:57 PM


But then wouldn't we be showing bigotry and intolerance to tell polygamists that can't be married like they want to because of the definition of marriage, bmgg39? Why should they be discriminated against simply because they love more than one person? Why not include them?

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at December 2, 2009 10:03 PM


Can you explain how it is selfish to desire to be married to someone you love, Hal? To desire to publicly announce your love before others?

I can explain exactly how it is selfish to desire NOT to be married to someone.

Posted by: bethany at December 2, 2009 9:47 PM

It's not selfish to "want to be married to someone you love." It is completely selfish, however, to expect someone you love to enter an institution like marriage if he doesn't want to. It's the definition of selfish. YOU want to be married and YOU don't care what he wants. What a brat....that's not love. That's a temper tantrum. What makes "marriage" the default?

I better quit for the night. All my favorite people here are getting me angry. That's no fun. I like it when Ken and HisMan rile me up. You and Carla are the "good guys." Have a nice night.

Posted by: Hal at December 2, 2009 10:15 PM


bmmg39,

The problems BEGIN when we redefine marriage.

Posted by: Gerard Nadal at December 2, 2009 11:14 PM


It is completely selfish, however, to expect someone you love to enter an institution like marriage if he doesn't want to. It's the definition of selfish. YOU want to be married and YOU don't care what he wants. What a brat....that's not love. That's a temper tantrum. What makes "marriage" the default?

So you're agreeing then, that selfishness is the opposite of love?

What happens if both parties of a relationship are selfish, and don't consider what the other wants?

The relationship falls apart.

If the relationship is based on selfishness, it wasn't built on love, and you have just agreed with me about that!

I better quit for the night. All my favorite people here are getting me angry. That's no fun. I like it when Ken and HisMan rile me up. You and Carla are the "good guys." Have a nice night.

I'll trust you on that but it's hard to imagine you angry, Hal. You've always been pretty easy going.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at December 2, 2009 11:27 PM


Good night Hal and everyone! :)

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at December 2, 2009 11:29 PM


Gerard: at one time, marriage was "defined" as a legal relationship one has with a member of the opposite sex and THE SAME RACE. I'm glad we took another look at that one.

Posted by: bmmg39 at December 3, 2009 12:32 AM


bmmg39,

"Gerard: at one time, marriage was "defined" as a legal relationship one has with a member of the opposite sex and THE SAME RACE. I'm glad we took another look at that one."


Me too. There's times my wife swears she's married to a stubborn mule ;o)

Can you point to where the scriptures dictate race as a predicate?

I do know that St. Paul admonishes that we ought not be yoked unevenly to unbelievers.

Posted by: Gerard Nadal at December 3, 2009 2:22 AM


Gerard, I'm not talking about the Scriptures, here. Many great words and wonderful messages are in the Scriptures, but do we need to go through again the parts about selling your daughters to slavery and stoning your neighbors? I'm referring to the law.

Posted by: bmmg39 at December 3, 2009 1:08 PM


bmmg39,

Selling my daughters, no. Stoning my neighbors? You've got my attention...

Lke it or not, Western Civilization is Christian. It's laws arise from its moral code (as indeed all law arises from one moral code or another). That moral code, in turn, was set down to serve humans according to the understanding that God reveals to us about our nature.

Posted by: Gerard Nadal at December 3, 2009 4:59 PM


Much of Western Civilization's laws are based upon the Judeo-Christian traditions and moral code, yes. That doesn't hold that all of Western Civilization is Christian.

Posted by: bmmg39 at December 3, 2009 5:56 PM


Let me explain a couple things:

1: fetal personhood would not end self-defense laws, and
2: not all pro-lifers oppose contraception.

Posted by: Nulono at December 4, 2009 4:42 PM


"Much of Western Civilization's laws are based upon the Judeo-Christian traditions and moral code, yes. That doesn't hold that all of Western Civilization is Christian."

Posted by: bmmg39 at December 3, 2009 5:56 PM

Yes. That's true.

Posted by: Janet at December 4, 2009 5:15 PM