One of the most obvious differences between the pro-life movement and the pro-abortion movement – besides the principles their names convey – is what has come to be known as the “intensity gap.”
The intensity gap is a term used to refer to the fact that one side is backed by a much greater and broader level of intensity from its subscribers. In plain terms: pro-lifers are way more gung-ho about supporting life than pro-choicers are about supporting abortion.
Surprisingly, the pro-choice movement has been candid in its acknowledgment of this fact.
Last week I came across the heartbreaking story of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old woman who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer one year after her wedding. When doctors suggested that she might only have six months to live, she and her family moved from California to Oregon in order to obtain the prescriptions necessary for doctor-assisted euthanasia. She is devoting her last days to fundraising and lobbying for an organization dedicated to expanding the legality of assisted suicide to other States.
Brittany’s story really hit home, as I was diagnosed with a very similar incurable brain cancer in 2008 at the age of twenty-four. After years of terrible headaches and misdiagnosis, my Grade III brain cancer (Anaplastic Astrocytoma) proved to be inoperable due to its location. Most studies state that the median survival time for this type of cancer is eighteen months, even with aggressive radiation and chemotherapy.
I was beginning an exciting career as a naval officer with my entire life ahead of me. I had so many hopes and dreams, and in an instant they all seemed to be crushed. As Brittany said in her online video, “being told you have that kind of timeline still feels like you’re going to die tomorrow.”
In late summer, the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) sent a chilling letter to all private health care insurers in the state, ordering them to cover all elective abortions. Immediately. Naturally, many California churches insure their staff members under these policies.
According to an October complaint filed by Alliance Defending Freedom and Life Legal Defense Foundation on behalf of several California churches, “the insurers were instructed to…remove any limitations on health coverage for abortions.” The insurance companies could not, for any reason, deny coverage to a woman for her abortion.
As the complaint states, “DMHC ordered elective abortion coverage into these churches’ health insurance plans.”
The DMHC’s letter acknowledged a religious exception to the abortion coverage – but only for the insurance companies. Stunningly, the state of California is not recognizing the right of churches to be religiously and conscientiously exempt from funding abortions.
Due to California forbidding denial of coverage for any abortion at all, churches in California are now being told they must cover late-term abortions, abortions in which babies who feel pain are literally ripped apart limb by limb, early abortions in which babies are sucked, spine last, into a vacuum device, and abortions for every conceivable reason under the sun, performed at any stage of pregnancy that the state allows.
In an effort to erase “abortion stigma,” Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards penned an introspective article detailing her personal abortion for Elle Magazine titled “Ending the Silence That Fuels Abortion Stigma.” At glance, Richards’ article addresses the issue that she says women who obtain abortions face: shame and judgement from culture.
To tear down the ironclad walls of stigma, Richards contends that there must be a concerted effort to dialogue about abortion and the right of women to choose “reproductive health care” without backlash or criticism from the public. This stigma, as Richards describes, is a sting she experienced firsthand through an abortion that she obtained years prior. Though she says it wasn’t a “difficult decision,” the Planned Parenthood president says it is high time that a discussion on the benefits of abortion be brought to the table.
Richards is correct in part: a strong stigma exists against women in the United States; however, her analysis of the culture errors ever so slightly. True, there is a deeply entrenched stigma in this country that has permeated the fabric of society, soaking through media, through the school system, and through virtually every aspect of culture. Sadly, it is one that is fundamental to all humanity: a stigma against the conviction to uphold the value of each human life. The greater issue today is not an “abortion stigma,” but a stigma on human rights — the integrity of an individual to value human life regardless of one’s age, size, gender, physical capabilities, or race — and to uphold their right to life above every other human right.
The abortion movement is on a crusade to get women to tell stories about their own abortions. The crusade aims to normalize abortion – even when it’s performed for reasons of convenience, done late-term, or used as birth control.
The abortion movement’s message? Basically this: women shouldn’t have to justify their decisions to end their children’s lives; women should be able to just share their stories among friends.
One abortion activist gives her opinion on why women should talk about their abortions:
[T]he next time someone says the word ‘abortion,’ the hope is that…person you told won’t think about the proverbial bloody fetus, they instead will think about you: a person who they love and respect and made this decision.
And while the “bloody fetus” may indeed be proverbial (meaning well-known), that’s because it’s also true.
Often, the world does not change positions on issues of social justice until it sees the problem for itself. It may not be socially acceptable to show pictures of “bloody fetuses,” but if we showed them constantly – if they were on the news every night – do we really think that abortion would continue for much longer?
I owe you – the readers and the staff of Live Action – an apology. I stopped writing for this blog abruptly and without explanation. It was unprofessional and unkind, and I have no excuse. I can only apologize, and hope you’ll have me back.
I decided, this time last year, to leave the pro-life movement. I had several reasons, but what it boiled down to was: pro-life activism wasn’t my calling; I wasn’t a joiner, a sign-holder, or a saint.
The Council of Europe is an international human rights body comprised of 47 nations. In order to join, a country must sign a treaty known as the European Convention On Human Rights. Protocol 6 of that treaty prohibits signatories from using the death penalty… on criminals. Letting a newborn die is apparently fine.
On January 31, Angel Pintado, a Spanish member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, submitted a question to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. Mr. Pintado was curious as to “what specific steps will the Committee of Ministers take in order to guarantee that fetuses who survive abortions are not deprived of the medical treatment that they are entitled to – as human persons born alive – according to the European Convention on Human Rights?” The answer was less than inspiring.
President Obama has been accused of trying to silence his critics. Apparently he’s silencing his supporters now, too.
That was Gwyneth Paltrow’s experience, anyway. Obama was attending a Democratic fundraiser organized by the Hollywood star when he allegedly robbed Paltrow of her ability to communicate. After describing herself as one of the president’s “biggest fans,” Ms. Paltrow went on to declare, “You’re so handsome that I can’t speak properly.”
As a heterosexual man, I’m probably not the most qualified person to evaluate President Obama’s physical attractiveness. What I can say is that no matter how handsome someone might be, there are some things that pro-lifers just shouldn’t stay silent about. That includes supporting sensible rules to protect women from negligent and malicious doctors. The good news is that Arizona and other states have passed laws allowing surprise inspections of abortion clinics. Unfortunately, not everyone is on board.
Ignore your biological clock, ladies, Facebook and Apple have announced that they will now be covering the cost of freezing your eggs. Both companies are willing to dish out up to $20,000 per woman for this technology, enough to cover two elective rounds of egg harvesting.
Egg freezing isn’t health care
Just like abortion, egg freezing isn’t necessary for maintaining a woman’s health. And pregnancy and childbirth at later ages can lead to more complications. Paying for this new technology is not about supporting women’s health, it’s about getting more work out of women to benefit their companies.
When a woman falls pregnant against her desire, pro-abortion advocates argue that restricting her right to abortion condemns her to “forced pregnancy” or, in even more radical terms, “gestational slavery.”
By their logic, a woman unable to attain an abortion is enslaved both to the burgeoning life within her uterus, and to those who, by restricting access to abortion, oblige her to remain pregnant.
But the idea that government, men, or any other outside source can force a woman to remain pregnant implies that they take an active role in gestation, one that enables them to control it in some way. The idea implies that outside forces possess the power to dictate when, how, and for how long a woman will be pregnant. The truth is, however, that neither men nor even women ultimately control when and for how long a uterus gestates.
The Cult of Contraception doesn’t exactly enjoy an overabundance of brain power, but when it comes to truly insipid commentary, PolicyMic has always been in a league of its own. This weekend, Marcie Bianco wrote that the birth control market is—what else?—even more sexist than you think.
She opens with a comedy video from Buzzfeed (now there’s a font of deep cultural analysis) that purports to illustrate that “society places the burden of birth control on women rather than men,” whose condoms just don’t come with the cost and “cultural stigmas” of female birth-control options: Continue reading →
It’s not unusual to hear people talk about aborting their baby with Down syndrome because it is the “merciful” thing to do. One woman wrote about her decision to abort her baby with Down syndrome because of the “suffering” the baby and her family would be forced to endure, and somehow still has the audacity to claim that she “loves” her son.
A new student group, formed but not yet officially recognized by Fordham University, is certainly making quite the name for itself. It seems that the group doesn’t fully recognize that by being at Fordham, they are at a private, religiously affiliated university. Perhaps it’s that they just don’t care. Either way, it must be noted that they are trying to strip the university of its defining values.
The group is known as the Sex and Gender Equity Safety Students (S.A.G.E.S) Coalition. LifeSiteNews.com recently wrote of how the group distributed condoms to students at events, which is in direct violation of Fordham’s policy. If you’re a group which is not yet recognized but wishes to become recognized in the future, it may not bode well to violate policies.
Like most people, I occasionally put my foot in my mouth. That can involve calling a friend by the wrong name, making a double entendre, or realizing that I’ve just asked out a nun. Well, technically she was a sister.
Last year, I visited Aquinas College (a Catholic university in Tennessee) to watch a friend receive an award for a paper he’d written. There were other students up for awards that night, and more than a few of them were wearing habits.
The sisters gave informed talks on a number of issues, including religious freedom in Vietnam and the relationship between suffering and free will. One was particularly well spoken, so I approached her after the event concluded. She proved to be a fascinating conversationalist, and at some point I simply forgot that this woman belonged to a religious order. After about twenty minutes, I inquired if she was on Facebook. When she said that she wasn’t, I noted that I would “be in the area for a while, so if you want to meet up for coffee…”
Jessica Valenti, a radical feminist blogger at the Guardian and Feministing, routinely raises the eyebrows of critical thinkers with her long-winded rants on gender relations and sexual inequality. She reached a new low, however, with her recent opinion piece meant to expose the unequal treatment of men and women in the United States.
In an attempt at satire, Valenti depicts a dystopia in which men are treated just as badly as women. As part of her portrayal, she refers to the 72-hour waiting period for abortions that Missouri recently mandated and imagines what she believes to be an equivalent scenario for men.
Today, Jennifer Lawrence’s exclusive cover story with Vanity Fair hits the stands. The popular Hunger Games’ star speaks openly about the internet scandal involving the stolen nude photos of her. She calls it a “sex crime,” and says that anyone who purposely looked at the photos of her is guilty.
Lawrence is right that, just because someone is a public figure, it doesn’t give the general public – or anyone in particular – a right to view stolen photos of them.
But Lawrence also got it deeply wrong. In explaining why the nude photos were taken of her in the first place, she said:
I was in a loving, healthy, great relationship for four years. It was long distance, and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he’s going to look at you.
Whoa, whoa, J.Law. Wait a minute, there. “Either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he’s going to look at you”? And this is a “healthy” relationship?
We each have our unique reasons for the choices we make while we’re giving birth to our children. I haven’t lived your story, and you haven’t lived mine.
Yet, some moms insist that the only definition of natural is no medication whatsoever. They argue that they earned the right to call their births “natural” because they refused all medication and all intervention that they consider unnecessary.
For those of you who have read my writer’s bio, you may have noticed that I’ve mentioned I plan to “impact the movement from a legal/political level.”
I applied to law school with the goal in mind to affect abortion laws in this country. This was actually the focus of my application essay.
On the first day of Christian Foundations of Law (CFL) class, I was a student who volunteered to answer why I had chosen to come to law school. And now ever since that first day, whenever abortion comes up, the class gets a chuckle to think of me. Now it is in good fun, especially considering I’m one who likes attention. But it’s not just about the attention. I’m proud of being known for having something to say whenever abortion comes up.