Saturday, February 2, 2013

Is Gun Control Pro-Life?

The shooting at Sandy Hook mere days before Christmas in 2012 shocked and horrified the entire nation. But not everyone in the country saw the tragedy as an excuse to enact major legislation. Leave that to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and her congressional buddies, who are pushing to ban certain guns they deem "assault" or "military-style" weapons.

Now pro-lifers have a new charge of hypocrisy to dodge. Luckily, it's not a difficult argument to shoot down. (Pun intended.) You can be pro-life and pro-Second Amendment. It's fun and easy, like bumper bowling!

In all seriousness, being cool with guns does not mean you under-value human life, or that you don't care about children. To the contrary! I am as pro-life as they come. I'm even one of those nutso, out-of-touch extremists who is pro-life in cases of rape and incest.

I am also as pro-gun as they come. We own many guns. My husband and I are both NRA members and licensed to carry concealed. My stepson has been shooting since he was six years old. Guns are an important part of our lives, not just because they are fun to shoot - they are! - but because we believe we have a responsibility as Americans to defend ourselves.

A few weeks ago a United States Marine, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, wrote a letter to Sen. Feinstein declaring that he refused to be disarmed. He also said this:

I am not your subject. I am the man who keeps you free. I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant. I am the flesh and blood of America.

America is unique among nations in many ways, and almost all those ways stem from this singular fact: we are the first nation to be founded on an idea. That all men are created equal. That we were endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights. That we will not be governed without our consent.

The Second Amendment has exactly nothing to do with hunting or sport shooting. It has everything to do with Americans being able to defend themselves from threats to their lives, and that includes the threat of a tyrannical government. Consent of the governed, remember?

Besides, concealed carry saves lives. Don't believe me? Do some research. John Lott, Jr. and David Mustard of the University of Chicago completed an exhaustive study of crime and gun laws and "concluded that, had the states which outlaw 'concealed carry' allowed their citizens to carry concealed weapons, over 1,500 murders, 4,000 rapes, and 60,000 aggravated assaults could have been prevented yearly since 1992."

Writer and firearms expert Larry Correia states in his exhaustive viral blog post, "An opinion on gun control":

Over the last fifty years, with only one single exception (Gabby Giffords), every single mass shooting event with more than four casualties has taken place in a location where guns were supposedly not allowed.

He also lays out a pretty good argument just by observing one week's worth of crime - the week of the Sandy Hook massacre:

There were four mass killing attempts this week. Only one made the news because it helped the agreed upon media narrative.

1.       Oregon. NOT a gun free zone. Shooter confronted by permit holder. Shooter commits suicide. Only a few casualties.

2.       Texas. NOT a gun free zone. Shooter killed immediately by off duty cop. Only a few casualties.

3.       Connecticut. GUN FREE ZONE. Shooters kills until the police arrive. Suicide. 26 dead.

4.       China. GUN FREE COUNTRY. A guy with a KNIFE stabs 22 children.

Being pro-life means believing in the value of human life. Common sense and empirical evidence prove that responsible citizens carrying guns save human lives from the criminals and madmen who would end them.

Unfortunately, just like with the issue of abortion, emotion sometimes rules over reason. We see a woman enduring a crisis pregnancy and we want to "help," so we encourage to her to do something that does not help: have an abortion. Similarly, we see a tragedy like Sandy Hook, and in our grief we want to do something to "help," so we do something that does not help: blame guns and enact restrictive laws.

Sen. Feinstein seems to believe in Rahm Emanuel's adage that one should "never let a good crisis go to waste." Hence her push for gun bans in the wake of the Newtown shootings. (By the way, Rahm Emanuel is mayor of Chicago, a "gun-free" city with a skyrocketing murder rate: over 500 last year.)

The truth is, crazy people who want to kill a lot of other people choose "gun-free" zones for the same reason Planned Parenthood places its clinics in poor neighborhoods: easy targets.

The simple fact is that there is no such thing as a "gun-free" zone for criminals. If you're ever targeted by one, I think deep down, no matter how scared you are of guns or how much you hate them, you hope you're in a state like Texas or Mississippi or Oregon, and that someone like me, or better yet my husband, is nearby.

I believe in the sanctity of life, and I believe in our sacred right to defend innocent life, whether its our own or a stranger's. The push to disarm responsible Americans and place us at the mercy of madmen is as anti-life as the campaign to place the unborn at the mercy of the abortionist's tools. That legal victory took place forty years ago with the Roe decision, and it has led to the loss of millions of innocent lives.

I pray that forty years from now we do not have to lament a similar tragedy.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I Just Found Out Republicans Are Oppressing Me

Sometimes you read a blog so stupid it kind of makes your day.

That happened today when Google obligingly sent me my daily news results for articles containing the words "Texas" and "abortion," and I clicked on a link titled "Barefoot, Pregnant, and In the Kitchen." This blog post for is written by one Daniel Johnson, who looks in his photo like a deflated Wilford Brimley.

Fasten your seatbelts for this roller coaster ride, because you are about to experience the heights of idiocy, interspersed with sharp plummets to crazy.

Here is how the whole thing starts off:

I was outraged by the headline when I opened this morning’s New York Times: Women in Texas Losing Options for Health Care in Abortion Fight. I’ve never been a great fan of democracy because it’s a given that people can usually be counted on to vote against their own best interests. 

Isn't it awesome how this guy just goes right ahead and admits it? "I've never been a great fan of democracy..."

Liberals hate it when people get to do stuff they don't think we should do, like believe in God and drive SUVs. It drives them bonkers.

A drunk liberal at a party once accidentally let slip something like, "I don't believe in free speech..." She then tried to backpedal (and later punched my friend in the face, but that's another story) but the damage was done, and the truth was out.

Louis C.K. can refer to Sarah Palin's vagina as a "disgusting retard-making c***" and everyone think's it's a real scream, but call one of the ladies of the Left an ugly name, and we just cannot continue to go on as a nation unless Limbaugh apologizes. Better yet, pull your sponsorship dollars! Yank him from the air!

I don't want Louis C.K.'s despicable ass taken off the air. Let him have his show. It's called the First Amendment.

Anyway, Johnson goes on to say:

This is what Abrahamic religion does to women. We have come to see it in Islamic countries where women are not allowed to go out in public without a male "guardian".

It's always really fun for me when people point out the obvious correlations between Islam and Christianity. There are lots of similarities, after all. Have you ever noticed how in the United States, where we have Christian Law, there is no punishment for men who throw acid on the faces of women who deny their marriage proposals? And have you noticed how women have to cover themselves or be beaten? And how women who talk to non-Christian males, lose their virginity before marriage, or get raped, can legally be killed by their fathers and brothers? Oh, and remember how homosexuality is a crime punishable by death, and women can't drive, vote, or speak to a man unless spoken to?

Yeah, me neither.

Moving on.

The real fun comes when Johnson starts perusing the comments section of the NYT article in question. Now, Internet coments are never what you'd call a forum for enlightened and even-handed debate, but even for the insanity of the Webbertubes, these are pretty insane.

This one is my personal favorite:

Texas should be regarded as a third world country, such as Afghanistan: Primitive beliefs, rampant corruption, lacking in education, mistreating women. It's a pity it can't be ceded to Venezuela, or at least be forced to move culturally in the direction of the 21st century. Banning cowboy hats and boots, and other such adolescent props, might help. If hats are needed, let them use pith helmets.

I'll bet you five horses and a moo-cow that thar Yankee ain't never even been to Texas! Hell, I bet he thinks we still ride horseback to skewl, when the truth is ever' last homestead has us a covered wagon. Yeeeehaw!

Compared to the rest of the U.S., Texas has a high standard of living. In a tanking economy, we are remarkably solvent and jobs are comparatively plentiful. We also take the dishes out of the sink before we pee in it.

Apparently we don't excel at the kind of fancy book-learnin' this person favors, and we aren't as 21st century as he would have us be. He's also not fond of our style of dress. (Apparently his fancy books have taught him all Texans run around in cowboy hats and boots all the time.)

So, like a typical liberal, what he doesn't like he wants to ban. Note how he uses the words "forced" and "banning" both in that small paragraph. Ah, yes: the party of tolerance.

To you, anonymous NYT reader, I would like to extend this invitation: come to Texas. We'll show you just how primitive we are.

Here comes another comment I really liked:

Any woman who votes Republican deserves what she gets.

That's a little ominous, isn't it? If he means I get a Republican president, then... that's awesome. Cool. But this seems to have a weird threatening twist to it.

It reminds me of Janeane Garofaloalolflo on MSNBC saying that women and "people of color," a PC phrase that makes my eyelid twitch, who identify with the Republican party must have a form of Stockholm syndrome and that we subconsciously seek to "curry favor with the oppressor."

It would be really funny, but it's so hard to laugh while looking at Janeane Garolalalfoalala. Remember when she was cute and fun? Remember Reality Bites? What happened, Janeane? She looks all dry and bitter, like a dessicated almond in hipster glasses.

Here's the last little bit of Johnson's cuckoo blog:

Then I read about the Republicans' physical assault on women.

In Texas a woman seeking an abortion must first allow an ultrasound probe to be inserted into her vagina. "It’s state-sanctioned abuse," said Dr. Curtis Boyd, a Texas physician who provides abortions. "It borders on a definition of rape. Many states describe rape as putting any object into an orifice against a person’s will. Well, that’s what this is. A woman is coerced to do this, just as I’m coerced."
[Emphasis in original.]

First of all: spare me the dramatics. A woman seeking an abortion is going to have an ultrasound anyway. That's part of the process. This law just makes sure she has the opportunity to view it, and have it described to her, before a 24 hour waiting period.

I attended a meeting hosted by Planned Parenthood of North Texas at which Nancy Northup of Center for Reproductive Rights spoke about their case against the Texas Sonogram Law. One slightly off-kilter lady stood up and started ranting about the vaginal probe being rape, and Northup, the crusading abortion advocate, dismissed this. You could tell she thought it was silly.

The woman stood up again and again her concern was waved off by Northup. Trust me: if there was a case against the probe, CRR would have mentioned it.

Second: let's talk about Dr. Curtis Boyd for a second. He commits abortions (right here in Dallas) up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. By any standard, that is past viability. He famously told WFAA-TV, "Am I killing? Yes I am."

So forgive me if I am simultaneously yawning and rolling my eyes when Boyd acts concerned about women being "abused" by a sonogram probe. Okay, Boyd: if the probe is abusive to a woman, what is it when you jam things into her cervix and suck her baby out of her? It ain't no foot massage.

What Boyd does to women is the ultimate form of abuse. And his concern for her well-being and virtue is utterly false. His only concern is for his paycheck, which he knows is threatened by the sonogram law. Late term abortionists stand to take a particularly hard hit: a woman viewing an ultrasound of a 24-week-old fetus is going to see clearly discernible limbs, movement, perhaps even yawns and hiccups. Kind of hard to sell the old "clump of cells" line when the clump is sucking its thumb, huh, Boyd?

I hope you enjoyed this ride into the fascinating mind of Daniel Johnson and his fellow wackos. I think I'll send a copy of this blog to him and see what he has to say. I bet it'll be interesting, and I'll be sure to share it with you.

I better get going. I have to pump out this young'un and cook up some vittles 'fore sundown iffen I don't wanna git beat.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Later, I Don't Suck As Bad

A lot of bad things have happened since the sun came up on this day ten years ago. Many people have died: some tragically, some heroically, some justly. Innocent people have been caught in the crossfire of a war that began -- let us not forget -- when deranged fanatics attacked a civilian target in the most populous city in our country.

But good has also come of this horror. Saddam Hussein was removed from power in Iraq and replaced with a vastly improved government. Osama bin Laden was finally found and killed. Terrorists of various stripes have been destroyed or weakened by our resolve. And across this great nation, brave men and women -- Soldiers, firefighters, police, civilians, and officials -- have protected and inspired us with acts of courage and honor and sacrifice.

Oh, and another good thing that has come of this tragedy: I don't suck quite so hard anymore.

You see, I have a confession to make, and for those who haven't known me for very long this will come as a shock: I used to be a liberal. And I don't mean a mild, gentle, lukewarm liberal, like John McCain. I mean a rabid, screeching liberal. I made Keith Olbermann look like Charles Krauthammer. I was a member of the ACLU, Amnesty International, and I got Ralph Nader to come speak at my college during his 2004 campaign. I owned Fahrenheit 9/11 on DVD. I edited a student magazine with an anti-war theme so extreme a concerned father called the school and threatened to remove his son from the journalism department. I believed in freedom for Mumia Abu-Jamal, the immediate closure of Guantanamo, and that Bush, Cheney, and Rove were the real "Axis of Evil." I believed our government was complicit in 9/11 and would not rule out the idea that Dubya and his cohorts orchestrated the entire thing as an excuse to go to war "for oil." I even went out in the middle of the night with stickers reading "FORTIFIED WITH 100% PURE IRAQI BLOOD" and stuck them on gas pumps around the city.

I was barely to the right of those people in black bandannas in Seattle who hurled Molotov cocktails at World Bank officials... and honestly if I could have afforded the plane ticket I probably would have been there and done that.

I would tell you the name of the anarchist website I got this from, but I don't believe in your rules.

I owned several books by the organization CrimeThinc., which encouraged armed resistance against our corporatist, fascistic, totalitarian police state, as well as dumpster diving, shoplifting, and forming anarchosyndicalist squat communities in abandoned buildings. I also evangelized, passing these books and ones containing similarly crazy ideas, such as Kalle Lasn's Culture Jam, on to my younger brothers. (God forgive me.)

The anti-war magazine I edited featured a giant full-color comic as the center spread, which I commissioned from a very talented artist on the newspaper staff. It was a parody of The Wizard of Oz called "The Wizard of Oil." Condi Rice was Dorothy, and Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld were her companions. Other features in that issue included a "form letter" from Bush to the family of a slain soldier, featuring various misspellings and a childishly callous attitude. For example, "As a tokin of thanks for yer sacrafise, I have attached a 30% off coupon for Pizza hut." It also contained a handwritten note saying "Daddy, please corect my spelling." Yet another page contained a "lost recording" of Bush's secret tour in Vietnam, revealing why the government kept it a secret. (His ineptitude, of course. He said "clacks" instead of "clicks" and thought all the Viet Cong were actually named Charlie. Har har.)

Twenty pages of that. Seriously.

I argued about the war with everybody who would sit still long enough. I knew all the talking points, and I threw in lots of colorful little tidbits. "Halliburton got an illegal no-bid contract! Condi Rice had intel from the CIA in August showing a Bin Laden attack was imminent! Dubya's National Guard papers were doctored! The towers collapsed into their own footprints! Into their own footprints!" Etcetera.

Every year on 9/11's anniversary, my friends and I would have 9/11 parties. We would watch conspiracy theory videos and "jokingly" toast to jihad. In fact, some of my friends and family are having just such a party today. I no longer join them.

It's important that you know that on 9/11 I was as horrified as you were. I was curling my hair in my mom's house, getting ready for school, when she told me to come look at the news. I was standing in front of the TV, wondering if it was an accident or what, when the second plane hit the tower. At that moment, like everyone else in the world, I knew. It wasn't an accident. I drove to school in my mom's red Blazer with the radio on. I sat in the parking lot listening before I went in to my Logic class. Our professor didn't mention it until the end of the class, when he let us go early, saying it was surely hard for everyone to concentrate. I wandered through my home away from home, the theatre department. It was deserted except for the department head, an older man I much admired, sitting with his office door open and one cowboy boot propped on his desk, listening to the radio. We expressed our mutual bewilderment and then I wandered off again, towards the cafeteria, where students sat on chairs and tables and the floor staring up at the TV.

Later, at home, I remember very vividly sitting on the floor in front of the coffee table watching footage of people jumping from the buildings. I put my head in my arms and sobbed. One of my brothers, thirteen years old at the time, happened by and said, "Why is she crying?" My mom nodded at the TV and said, "Why do you think?"

Like many people who would later condemn the mindless, flag-waving patriotism of the coming few weeks, I was completely caught up in the mindless, flag-waving patriotism of the coming few weeks. I watched Congress gather on Capitol Hill and sing patriotic songs, and I cried. I watched an exhausted Giuliani deliver a press conference extolling the heroism of the FDNY, and I cried. I watched endless newsreel footage of brave first responders battling dust, debris, weariness, and sorrow, and I cried. I wanted whoever had done this found and shot and stabbed and hanged and resuscitated and stabbed some more. In other words, my reaction was normal, healthy, just, and human.

I don't remember when I went full-bore leftist and started with my conspiracies, Bush-bashing, pacifism, and "poor poor terrorists" rhetoric. I can't point to one event or piece of knowledge or conversation that started it. What I do know is that it was after the immediacy of the attack faded, when I stopped feeling that awful sadness for those tiny faceless people jumping to their deaths from the flames, because that's when I stopped feeling that the people who did that -- who did that -- could only be evil. I didn't believe in evil. I was rational. I was an agnostic, not some simple-minded Christian. I knew that good and bad were relative, and if we could only understand the motivations for the attack, we could amend our behaviors so we weren't hated anymore, stop being unjust to the poor Muslims, and then everything would be fine. My idea of how this would all happen was hazy, but I was pretty sure it involved the U.N.

Look at 'em go! I can feel the problem-solving.

When I started believing in God, everything changed.

It's only recently that I have begun to understand why we have a two- party system in our -- and most -- countries. It's because when you break it down, there are really two ways of looking at the world: with God or without God. Without God, everything is up to us humans. We are capable of paradise ourselves. We can solve any problem. We are the best that exists or ever will, and we are also the worst. "Evil" is a fairy tale word. There are no evildoers, only wounded souls who need understanding and hugs and Toms shoes.

With God, we see that humans are a creation, a creature, and flawed, and we will always be flawed. No amount of appeasement or reason or humanitarian aid will stop it. No amount of human will can put an end to evil. Only one Will can -- and will -- do that.

Like Whittaker Chambers said of Communism, the vision of the American left is "the vision of man without God." I know because I had the vision. In it, nothing is true, nothing is good, nothing is false, nothing is wrong. Everything is whatever we think it is, and the end result of that is chaos and what I would call today moral depravity.

When people like I was are accused of not loving America, I know now that this accusation is correct. I did not love America, and neither did the people I associated with. How could I love an idea like America, which is based in morality, based in Godliness? I denied that America was Christian while I denied that I was unpatriotic. I needed America to be without morals if I were to love it. I didn't love it. After my initial "irrational" feelings of solidarity with my fellow Americans subsided after 9/11, I believed we deserved to be attacked, that we should and would cease to exist as we were. We needed to be brought down because we were a disgusting empire only after money to line the pockets of rich white men in suits. We needed to be more like Europe. I declared myself, on the masthead of that awful magazine, a "Citizen of the World," and at the same time declared myself a patriot for defending the United States against people trying to tear her down from the inside via renditions and the PATRIOT Act.

G.K. Chesterton said, "A man who loves humanity and ignores patriotism is ignoring humanity... Patriotism begins the praise of the world at the nearest thing, instead of beginning it at the most distant, and thus it insures what is, perhaps, the most essential of all earthly considerations, that nothing upon earth shall go without its due appreciation." America deserves her due appreciation. I am happy, after those years wandering in the darkness of cynicism, ignorance, and the terribly "simple faith" (Chesterton again) of atheism, to duly appreciate her.

I remember being about seven years old at a school assembly, with my hand over my heart, looking at the flag while Lee Greenwood's "Proud to Be An American" played, and crying. This memory was embarrassing to me at 22. At 32, I am there again. I am seven years old, and I am glad to be seven, because Jesus tells me it's a good idea. "Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3)."

But not these children. These are bad children.

I am observing the tenth anniversary of 9/11 by reflecting on the tragedy and heroism that have resulted from that willfully terrible act. It is a reminder that evil exists, and that good exists, and that thanks to my faith, I know which one wins in the end. I am also celebrating the fact that I am a better person today than I was then. I am still desperately far from perfect, but I am both wiser and happier now than I was then. This has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with grace.
Today I am proud to be an American, proud to cry when I see pictures of George W. Bush hugging soldiers or veterans getting misty-eyed when they hear the national anthem. I have gone from a young woman who actually paid for actual print copies of "The Nation" to be delivered to her home, to the Kristen you know and (should probably) love today. So it's not too late for your left-wing nephew who thinks Obama isn't liberal enough.
If there was hope for me, there's hope for anybody.

Except for him. He's done.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

NY Pro-Choice Group Files Lawsuit Challenging TX Sonogram Law

According to the June 14 issue of The Daily Texan, “A New York-based reproductive rights group filed a class-action lawsuit Monday against a new law passed by the Texas Legislature that increases regulations on Texas women seeking abortions and physicians who perform the procedure.”

The legislation in question is of course the so-called sonogram bill, signed into law by Governor Rick Perry on May 19 of this year. The law requires that women in Texas be given a sonogram before an abortion. The woman is not required to view the ultrasound, but the doctor is required to point out features such as the size of the fetus.

The argument the Center for Reproductive Rights is using to advance its anti-life agenda is privacy, and it is as unsurprising as it is unconvincing. Abortion proponents have been screaming “PRIVACY!” at the top of their lungs since roughly the 1960s. Ironically enough, the “right to privacy” is guaranteed nowhere in our Bill of Rights or other founding documents. (The right to life, however, is the first one mentioned.)

The CRR is behaving as though every abortion took place after a heartfelt, informative discussion between a woman and her private physician, when in actuality the patient at an abortion clinic usually doesn’t see her doctor until she’s got her feet in the stirrups. As former abortion clinic owner turned pro-life activist Carol Everett described in her testimony to the Pro-Life Action League of Chicago, “The doctor walks in, sees the patient for the very first time, pats her on the leg, says, ‘Hi, baby, how are you?’ You call them ‘baby’ so you don't have to remember their name. And she says, ‘Oh, I'm scared,’ or, ‘I'm cold.’ Never anything positive. And he doesn't really ask her any questions. It's just get the abortion done.”

So much for the myth of the noble doctor and his trusting patient, having their sacred and private relationship intruded upon by the tyrannical State. So much for the image of the empowered woman nodding soberly as her comforting physician helps her make an informed decision. That is what CRR would have us believe is going on when they lament, “The law treats women as if they are too immature or incompetent to make their own important medical decisions… It’s very demeaning and patronizing to women.”

Really? It’s demeaning and patronizing to women to require their doctors to make them aware of a medical procedure before they do it? Please give me just a small break.

Can we consider that maybe it’s demeaning and patronizing to women to pretend like we find this law demeaning and patronizing? Do you know how anti-lifers really find this law? Not demeaning. Not patronizing. Threatening. They know that if a woman views an ultrasound of her baby she is less likely to abort it, so they are going to do everything in their power to stop that from happening.

Behind every well-meaning feminist who has performed the logical acrobatics required to convince herself that giving medical information to a woman is somehow demeaning to her, there is a Planned Parenthood lackey who is desperate to protect a multi-billion dollar business.

Carol Everett again: “I have seen doctors walk out after three hours work and split $4,500 between them on a Saturday morning.” Not too shabby.

And speaking again of an abortion doctor, she said, “If he discovers that she may be farther along than anyone thought she was, they stop right there, collect the money, and then finish the procedure… If abortion is such a good thing, why don't they give them away? If abortion is such a good thing, why don't they go ahead and do the abortion then, and trust you to pay the extra $200 when they're finished?”

I would add: if abortion really doesn’t kill anything, really just rids the woman’s body of an extra clump of cells, why are they worried about showing her a sonogram? Is it because they’re afraid she might see something recognizable, something with a heartbeat, something human?

The sonogram image is a powerful one. It was another abortion provider turned pro-life activist, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, whose documentary “Silent Scream,” which showed a sonogram image of a fetus during an abortion, shocked the world in the early 1980s. President Reagan even had it screened at the White House. Former Planned Parenthood employee, now a best-selling pro-life author, Abby Johnson, had the epiphany that changed her life while viewing an ultrasound. Carol Everett said, “I've seen sonograms with the baby pulling away from the instruments...”

Who are we helping by withholding this information? I’ll give you a hint: it’s not women.

It’s an industry. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry.

The abortion clinic is not like a birthing center. You won’t find caring people, soft lighting, and comfortable chairs. You won’t have intimate heart-to-hearts with nurses who remind you of your great-aunt and doctors who remind you of your grandpa. You will find instruments of death and people who want your money. It’s a joke that these places are even referred to as “health care” facilities. They are factories, and the products they manufacture are dead children and wounded, empty women.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Texas-Sized Slice of Truth

Rick Perry, governor of the Great State of Texas – and I’ll admit I’m a bit partial – is about to sign a bill into law that will require women considering abortion to receive a sonogram at least 24 hours before the procedure. According to the New York Times, “Though the woman can choose not to view the images and hear the heartbeat, the doctor must describe what the sonogram shows, including the existence of legs, arms and internal organs."

This law will save lives.

Sonogram laws are a powerful victory against abortion because sonograms provide a window into the hidden world of the womb. In other words, sonograms tell the truth. Because the abortion industry subsists on secrecy and lies, the greatest weapon against abortion is truth.

Based on personal experience, it is my firm belief that most people who support abortion don’t know what it is they’re supporting, and most women who have abortions don’t truly understand what abortion is.

I was pro-choice until November of 2006, when a pro-life friend had a Conversation with me. I capitalize it because it was a Conversation that changed my life forever. I began it with the firmly held belief that being pro-choice was the enlightened, humane way to be; pro-choice was on the side of human rights, caring about women, and just generally being an intelligent, ethical person. When I saw pro-life bumper stickers on my friend’s car, I scoffed openly. “You’ve gone a little too far, don’t you think?” I said to her. She was calm and polite when, later that night, I brought it up again.

“How can you possibly be pro-life?” I asked her.

She explained the issue to me with clarity and reason, and told me that photos had played a large part in convincing her of the inherent wrong of abortion. Towards the end of the Conversation, almost (but not quite) persuaded against my will, I asked to see the photos. When I was done looking at them, I was pro-life. And not only was I pro-life, I was an activist, and have remained one.

There is a lot of debate in the pro-life community about whether graphic images are a good idea. I looked at graphic photos a million times as a pro-choicer, and all I saw was something to anger me at pro-lifers. It didn’t register to me that I was looking at a dead baby. It was simply one more thing about which to get angry and indignant at the anti-choice wackos. However, when a person is ready to see them, to really see them, as I was after that Conversation, they are the most powerful tool we have against the ignorance that is the calling card of the pro-choice base.

Most people think, as I did, in terms of “tissue,” “clumps of cells,” “the products of pregnancy,” all the euphemisms Planned Parenthood and the entire anti-life front use to dehumanize an unborn child. An image of an aborted baby says in one second what even the most well-informed and eloquent pro-life crusader could not say in two hours. It says: “This is a human being, and it is dead.” A picture of an abortion does not show you a terminated pregnancy or some discarded tissue. It shows you, clearly and finally, a child that has been killed. Legally.

Most people, almost all people, have a conscience, which means most people have a visceral reaction to such photos if they have been prepared to see them. Something in them says, “That is wrong.”

The sonogram image is the most powerful visual tool in the pro-life arsenal. It is far more effective and powerful to the woman considering abortion than even the most horrifying photo of an aborted baby, because the child is alive and the child is hers.

Women who go to abortion clinics are bombarded with the aforementioned euphemisms: tissue, clump of cells, product of pregnancy. But a moving image of the child inside her, in some cases fully formed and active, its strong little heart beating away: this belies the euphemisms. It negates the propaganda. It is the truth, in front of her eyes, and it is the most powerful weapon we have to fight the people who would kill that child and collect their fee.

Planned Parenthood and their many allies and supporters are furious  about the sonogram bill in Texas and others like it all over the country. They are angry because they are not concerned with helping women make an informed decision. They are concerned with the money they make committing abortions.

Sonogram laws are devastating to the abortion industry. The last thing in the world they want is for the woman to think about the living child inside her as a living child. After all, then she might act on her instinct to protect it and, God forbid, leave with her body, soul, and baby intact, and her money in her pocket.

As usual, organizations like NARAL clamor that the law is “designed to shame women.” This is ludicrous and condescending. If abortion is the empowering act organizations like NARAL would have us believe, they would shrug off sonogram law. If abortion is the nonchalant casting-off of useless tissue anti-lifers would have us believe, a woman could look unflinchingly at the “clump of cells” on the sonogram and say to the abortionist, “Go for it.” But NARAL, Planned Parenthood, NOW, and their ilk know that the woman is going to see a baby. And to NARAL I say, if it is shame that makes her decide not to kill it, then so be it.

But it is possible, and I like to believe probable, that it is a higher emotion that will cause a woman to keep her baby upon viewing a sonogram. I think it might even be appropriate to call it something very silly, like love.

Friday, April 1, 2011

It's Not A Winnebago

This was originally posted at the New Wave Feminists blog, which you should definitely visit. You should also check out our website and join already.


The term “crisis pregnancy” gets overused. I understand some pregnancies qualify as crises. I am thinking here of those that are the result of abuse or that occur while the mother is in prison or twelve years old or, God forbid, both.

Instead, every time someone gets pregnant out of wedlock, or below the age of 24 or so, or without specifically trying to, the word “crisis” rears it head. Really? I’m not making light of the gravity and responsibility of motherhood, but honestly, people, it’s just a baby. It’s not like a Winnebago or anything. I mean, you can take it into restaurants. It fits in the car. You can feed it with your boobs (honest to God; I’ve seen it) and it’s incredibly portable and relatively lightweight.

What’s so terribly scary about a baby? It’s a baby, the symbol for innocence, sweetness, and joy. It’s not like you’re getting your house re-carpeted. You’re going to have a baby. The natural reaction is not annoyance or fear or abject panic, but joy and excitement. In fact I would go so far as to say even in (the rare) pregnancies that warrant fear and panic, joy and excitement still seem pretty natural.

What has happened to us as a culture that we’re afraid of babies? Are we that worthless, lazy, and selfish, that so many of our young women find themselves too busy, important, or cowardly to handle a tiny infant? Like Mother Teresa said, “It is a poverty that a child must die so you may live as you wish.” Think of the word she chose there: poverty. It means, of course the state of being poor, but more specifically a lack of something. So what is it we lack? Courage? Common sense? Morality? All of the above?

Of course radical feminism indoctrinated a generation of women (and now their daughters and young granddaughters) to see children as a ball-and-chain, a barrier between ourselves and happiness, sometimes the one thing standing in the way of our remarkable career as a Freelance Graphic Designer or some other job that is just far more important in the grand scheme of things than nurturing and raising a human being.

So now that we’ve pretty successfully trained the totally natural God-given desire to produce offspring out of young women, especially the smart ones with smart parents who are encouraged to go to college, we’re also working on getting rid of a young woman’s natural maternal instinct. Because babies aren’t feminist! Babies are oppressive! They have all these NEEDS that aren’t MINE!

Couple that with the postmodern cult of Self (everyone’s favorite person AND women’s magazine!) and you have a typical young woman who accidentally gets pregnant (that’s a whole other topic) and finds herself (a) upset because babies are not cool; if they were, Lady Gaga would have four in assorted colors; and (b) unwilling to sublimate her desire to do whatever she wants for the basic needs of another human person who happens to be her own offspring.


Well, guess what? The world around us is teeming with solutions for every last “crisis” pregnancy, real or imagined. I promise you, if every sixteen-year-old girl in the tri-county area got pregnant tomorrow, there are enough waiting couples in this country to adopt the hell out of every last baby. There is a staggering shortage of infants and a waiting list that makes childless couples sick.

Being afraid of childbirth because it will hurt your vagina does not a crisis pregnancy make. Being scared because your dad will yell at you or take away your Blackberry doesn’t do it, either. Being annoyed at missing a semester of college, or disappointed because your boyfriend is mean, or anxious because you don’t make much money, these things are not crises or tragedies. A brain tumor is a crisis. A toddler with HIV is a tragedy. Your pregnancy is probably, sorry ladies, not all that damn big a deal.

Isn’t it time we expected a little more of our young people than to know how many tracks Weezy dropped this week? Shouldn’t we be teaching our daughters to respect themselves enough to keep their legs closed or accept responsibility if they don’t? Shouldn’t our young women be taught to view family life as something timeless, beautiful and fulfilling, and children as gifts from God?

And by the way, those gimmicky Home Ec programs in which high school students are given egg, peanut, or flour sack babies to “scare” them out of procreating don’t help at all. It’s supposed to be a big dose of reality that teaches you how hard it is to care for a child, but I call B.S. I left my egg baby in a mini-fridge for three weeks. I’m pretty sure you can’t do that with a real baby. But I’m also pretty sure human babies are a little bit more rewarding to be around, take care of and love than babies made of dry goods.

This is the kind of indoctrination I was talking about. They’re teaching our kids that babies are about as worthy and interesting as a sack of flour with a pierced nose – (I was rebellious) – in other words, a lump of unrewarding responsibility whose only redeeming characteristic is you get to name it something cool. (“Reznor.” Again, rebellious.)

As a matter of fact, let’s get these stupid programs taken out of schools. But meanwhile, let’s stop reinforcing the usually unfounded fears of the accidentally knocked-up, which are supported mostly by postmodern angst with no basis in reality. Let's encourage young women to make positive, moral choices, to respect themselves body and soul, not out of irrational fear, but out of virtue and intelligence.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

No Exceptions, No Apologies

As someone who has spent the last three and a half years involved in various ways in the pro-life movement, I hear the phrase “except in cases of rape or incest” a lot. It’s kind of a buffering clause, an apologetic little qualifier that people – especially politicians – like to throw out to soften their big mean “anti-choice” message.

The most oft-quoted figure, from a study by Planned Parenthood's own Guttmacher Institute, states that only around 1% of aborted babies are the product of rape or incest. Yet I know a few people who are pretty firmly pro-life, but still waver on the rape/incest issue. They shouldn’t. We should be pro-life without exception, and we should declare this firmly and without apology.

I will explain why this is so using a scene from a film.

The movie Rob Roy (1995) starred Liam Neeson as the title character, Robert MacGregor, a real-life legendary Scot who lived in the 1700s, and Jessica Lange as his devoted wife Mary. A nobleman called Cunningham, believing MacGregor owed him money, paid a visit to his home while MacGregor was away and burned it down, but not before raping Mary.

Mary decided not to tell her husband, because she knew he would challenge Cunningham to a duel, and no one ever survived a duel with Cunningham.

Later, MacGregor found out himself that his wife had been raped, and when he confronted Mary about it, she told him, “There is more. I am with child, and I do not know who the father is.”

Sobbing, she told him, “I couldn’t kill it, husband.”

And he replied, “It’s not the child that needs killing.”

The filmmakers may not have intended to make the argument against abortion in cases of rape and incest, but they did, quite succinctly, through the fictional dialogue of an 18th century Scottish commoner. Having a rugged, simple man utter this bit of wisdom highlights how plainly commonsensical it is; even someone with the most rough-and-ready plebeian take on morality and logic can reason that if anyone deserves to be hurt or killed as a result of a rape, it’s the rapist, not the innocent, defenseless product of his crime.

Rape is a heinous act of violence committed against an innocent person. So is abortion.

Organizations like Planned Parenthood use this rape/incest clause to their advantage. The truth is, as long as people believe abortion is "okay" only in some cases, it is going to keep being okay in any case at all. Adding the “except in cases of rape or incest” phrase to a pro-life message reinforces the mistaken idea that abortion is somehow therapeutic to a woman who has been harmed, and that is not only false, but is a slippery slope to elective abortion on demand. If it can be argued that abortion “helps” a woman in a state of psychological trauma due to rape or incest, it can be argued that she is “helped” by having an abortion in any number of traumatic circumstances.

Proponents of the rape/incest exception argue that the woman who carries her rapist’s child to term (even if releasing for adoption) suffers great psychological trauma. Assuming this is correct for the sake of argument, it is still true that abortion causes great psychological trauma as well. The difference is, one option kills an innocent person and the other doesn’t.

There is no procedure that can erase the pain of rape. A woman does not skip out of the clinic after aborting her rapist’s baby, cleansed of all pain and ready to go shoe-shopping, nor does an abortion catalyze a profound healing process. Quite the opposite: the woman has been violated twice, first by a criminal who gets off hurting women, and second by a greedy “doctor” willing to kill her child for money.

The same goes for incest: it is a grave wrong that should not occur, but if it does, and if a child is the result, the child does not deserve killing, nor does killing it erase the crime or ameliorate the effects.

As Patricia Heaton of Feminists for Life of America said, “A woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy deserves to experience unplanned joy.” This should apply even to the victims of rape and incest. A child is not guilty of its father’s sins, and even the child of a rapist deserves a life lying before her full of joyous possibility. Whether she is parented by her birth mother or released to a loving family through adoption, her fate needn’t be determined by her tragic origin.

As pro-life citizens, we fight for the right to life of every unborn child, no matter the circumstances in which he or she was conceived, and we are committed to the care of mothers as strongly as we are to their children. Women who have been raped or abused – just like all women in crisis pregnancies – deserve care and honesty, and that means not the deadly greed of an abortion clinic, but the kind of support only the pro-life community gives women and their children, through churches, crisis pregnancy centers, other non-profits and individuals. These women need special help to heal and make positive decisions for themselves and their babies. They do not need to be violated again by the abortionist’s grisly tools. Killing is not healing.