Tuesday, March 22, 2011
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.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
|Actually, do I really need an essay? I think this picture should just about do it.|
|Ron White 2012!|
It’s possible my suddenly warm-hearted, if condescending, feelings toward Bush were a reaction to Obama’s “big bad Bush” rhetoric during the 2008 presidential campaign.
|Mainly because, according to UglyDemocrats.com, Republicans are prettier.|
The widespread hatred for George W. Bush went far beyond disagreement with his policies or even the war. It was a personal loathing. A major publisher released a book about Bush being assassinated. Bookstores around the country had whole designated sections of anti-Bush books and gifts; I saw one myself in a major chain bookstore in Texas. Celebrities and journalists called him names on TV; one even lamented that there was no John Wilkes Booth or John Hinckley, Jr., when we needed him.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not advocating for willful anti-intellectualism, and neither is Hanson when defending Bush, who upon meeting the president found him to be an avid reader and quite “learned… the opposite of the popular caricature.” I’m just saying that if I have to choose between someone who can use big words to speak at length about various themes in the work of Virgil and someone who can use small words to explain and defend the Constitution, I’m going with the latter. How many pompous academic blowhards have you met who know everything, but know nothing? (See Obama.)
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Life Decisions International has compiled a lengthy list of celebrities who support Planned Parenthood and legal abortion, either through simple lip-service or by donating considerable time and money. In case you’re wondering who’s on the list, the answer is: almost everyone. Brace yourself before you read it. You’re going to see people on that list you really like, and you’re going to feel disappointed.
From music to film and beyond, most of Hollywood not only supports legal abortion but rallies around Planned Parenthood to defend it, showing once again how out of touch the entertainment industry is with the rest of America. As Ramesh Ponnuru delineated in his book The Party of Death, most Americans are unaware just how few restrictions there are on abortion in the United States. The average American is probably not aware that there are places in this country where a woman can go have her baby killed at any time before the due date, for any reason at all. Most Americans are not aware that the ban on Partial Birth Abortion was a ban on one particular method of killing the baby in the second trimester. It was not a ban on late-term abortions. Those still happen, and they are still legal in some states.
Gwyneth Paltrow, who along with her mother Blythe Danner is a Planned Parenthood supporter, appeared on the hit TV show “Glee” the other night as the substitute sex ed teacher. In an episode I like to call “Planned Parenthood: The Musical,” the show's writers played mouthpiece to the PP approach to educating the young about sex: abstinence is stupid, more information -- even in the Google age -- is the only way, and here’s a cucumber-based demonstration of how to put on a condom. The only missing plank on the platform was abortion, which I imagine the show will get around to eventually.
Paltrow’s character Holly, in a conversation in which another teacher (Jayma Mays) advocated celibacy, referred to her as a “crazy Pope lady.” Holly began the class’s sex ed “lesson” by singing a song, along with the class, that featured a refrain of “Do you want to touch me there?” After a few minutes, the two girls from the celibacy club shrugged, smiled, and got up and joined in the fun, after Holly assured them they were “naïve, and possibly frigid.” Meanwhile, throughout the episode the president of the celibacy club confirmed this assertion by being both naïve and frigid. Later, Holly encouraged two girls in their fledgling lesbian relationship while the father of the main gay character lamented that there were many schools without sexual education that covered gay sex.
The opposing argument – that celibacy is often chosen by teenagers and adults who wish to make an intelligent moral decision; that abstinence education has been proven to reduce teen sex; and that condoms and birth control pills often lead to unwanted pregnancies and hence abortions – this opposing viewpoint was non-existent. The only advocate for celibacy was, as mentioned, a woman with a personality disorder who couldn’t stand to be touched, even by her husband. (See “flippancy.”)
It’s common sense that abortion doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It begins with a lack of basic sexual morality, the kind of lack we often see touted, even in "family" programming, as routine and even enlightened. The simple truth is if people only had sex with those with whom they intended to have children, abortion would not be a problem. This is why Planned Parenthood offers more than just abortion services. It’s not because they care about women; their own stated reason for existing is population control. No, they peddle cheap pills and free condoms and encourage the underage to have sex, as Live Action’s investigations have discovered, even when their partners are adults who are endangering them.
They do this because, as former abortion clinic director turned pro-life advocate Carol Everett has said, “… [B]irth control sells abortions. If I could get into fourth, fifth, sixth grades, I’d say, ‘Your mother’s an old fuddy-duddy about sex, isn’t she?’ They would all nod and say yes. So I’d tell them to come to me. I’d give them a low-dose pill.’”
The great battle cry we’ve heard for years is, “They’re gonna do it anyway!” This is true. But to illustrate an extreme example, people are going to commit murder anyway, but as a society we still pretty strongly encourage people not to do it, and I daresay, were it perfectly legal, they’d probably do it quite a bit more often.
Sex before marriage is not new to our time, but what is new is that in the last fifty years or so, beginning with the sexual revolution of the 1960s, we as a culture have slowly unburdened ourselves of a high standard, or really any standard, when it comes to sexual morality. In 1955, a young woman having sex with her boyfriend, though not unheard of, was considered far from ideal. Today, there is no ideal, and the fact that teenagers will have sex with each other is par for the course – as are teen pregnancy, abortion, single motherhood, the welfare state, and juvenile delinquency. Coincidence? No.
Planned Parenthood delights in the death of sexual standards, and Hollywood helps them sell it. Like Paltrow's "Holly," they break down a young woman’s natural modesty about sex and assure her it’s the most natural thing in the world to pack her purse with flavored condoms. Why? Because a young woman who says “yes” to sex before she’s ready could one day be a young woman who says “yes” to an abortion, allowing PP to continue their intended mission: ridding the world of “human weeds.”
Saturday, March 5, 2011
|Women of the Israeli Defense Forces. Courtesy IDF, Copyright 2008.|
|Not pictured: Christian, Republican, or conservative.|
|When you google "reasonable force," you get a lot of pepper spray photos.|
Thursday, March 3, 2011
How did they do this? By providing a biting yet cogent refutation of the bill’s argument? By looking soberly at both sides and presenting a humorous yet fair analysis?
No. They did it by being completely dismissive of the defunding argument, acting as though it were not even worth considering a ludicrous idea that was clearly designed for the express purpose of denying women access to “convenient" health care. In fact, the title of the segment was “Motherf#@kers,” in reference to the imaginary motive of the bill’s supporters: harming women. They did not even come close to accurately representing the opposing argument.
“Among flippant people,” said C.S. Lewis, “the Joke is always assumed to have been made. No one actually makes it; but every serious subject is discussed in a manner which implies that they have already found a ridiculous side to it.”
In this way, the Daily Show writers and comedians, like many others in the media and especially in comedy, dismissed the whole idea of defunding PP without actually having to make an argument. All they had to do was act as though it were already obvious that it was a ridiculous idea, and the audience – many of them – nodded in agreement, enjoying that smug sense of self-satisfaction that comes with knowing they have the “right” idea, just like Jon Stewart, when in fact they don’t have any idea whatsoever.
Sure, “The Daily Show” is a comedy. It’s supposed to be entertaining. But it is also a major source of political commentary in our culture. Last year’s Rally to Restore Sanity, Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s “moderate alternative” to the Tea Parties, was supposed to call for a return to centrism and reason and fairness and open dialogue. But there is nothing fair about the way the argument against Planned Parenthood was treated by Stewart and his show.
Flippancy is not the only tool the popular media uses to discredit pro-lifers by making us look like a deranged group of violent, zealous lunatics. For example, this past January the Catholic Pro-Life Committee of Dallas, in cooperation with many pro-life organizations, held its annual downtown Roe v. Wade memorial activities, including the March for Life. Of course, the big march every year is in D.C., but in Dallas we feel a special obligation to demonstrate on that day, considering the original suit leading to the Roe decision was filed in the courthouse to which we march every year.
There were several thousand people at the march and rally holding several thousand pro-life signs. I saw many that were religious, some that were challenging, a few that were a little weird, but only one did I find to be truly bizarre. Someone had fastened a baby doll to a piece of poster board, and words – no idea what they meant – were scrawled on the sign in Spanish.
The next day, the Dallas Morning News story on the march featured a giant photo of – you guessed it – the crucified baby doll, replete with a headline reading: “Hundreds March for Life Downtown.” Hundreds. Not thousands. Deliberately misleading? As Sarah Palin would say, “You betcha.” And she knows a thing or two about bad press.
From dismissing us as nutcases to misrepresenting our motives – as in a recent blog by a Dallas Observer writer who claimed the pro-life cause is an elaborate excuse to engage in “slut-shaming” – we are continuously misrepresented and ridiculed by those who don’t even bother to learn what we’re about. I used to do it myself. I was what I call a “Sure Why Not?” pro-choicer. I thought it just kind of came with the territory of being a young, hip, intelligent woman. This is what G.K. Chesterton called “the degrading slavery of being a child of [ones] age.” I had no idea, as most people don’t, what an abortion was, what it did, or what was its miserable aftermath, but I nonetheless proclaimed loudly all the talking points about why “a woman’s right to choose” was as sacred as… actually I don’t think I believed in the sacred at the time. (That was my first problem.)
So how do we combat these injustices? Largely, by doing what we’re already doing: using the media to speak the truth whenever and wherever we can. If you’re not using Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Blogger, and more, to disseminate the truth about abortion, you can start today for free. Do it with intelligence and class and humor and grace. Show them we’re not morons, lunatics, or mean-spirited woman-haters. Avoid flame wars and endless, counterproductive arguments with those who are inflammatory and hateful. Like Jonah Goldberg said, "Don’t wrestle in the mud with pigs. You get dirty and the pig likes it."
But be unafraid. You have nothing to fear from the truth. So you may lose a few Facebook friends. You’ll give them something to think about before they click “Delete,” and you never know when that tiny seed you planted will grow and blossom into a converted soul, profound healing, or even a single, miraculous, human life.
As an actor and entertainer who works for a live music company, I often wonder if I have not damaged professional relationships. We don’t speak about politics or religion in the workplace, but I am anything but shy about voicing my opinion on Facebook. I’m sure I work with people who disagree with me, and it’s quite possible I have lost opportunities due to my beliefs. I may never know. But I will never stop. “Our lives begin to end the day we stop talking about things that matter,” said Dr. King.
Keep talking about and acting on the things that matter. In the end, truth will prevail.