My Choice?

This is the rhetoric of pro-choice feminists. As a woman who has chosen to have a family, I can attest that this is certainly not the reality these feminists have created.

This is the rhetoric of pro-choice feminists. As a woman who has chosen to have a family, I can attest that this is certainly not the reality these feminists have created.

Recently, I shared some of my hope for what life would be like in a society that accepts and embraces women in their totality. Today, I’m going to share some of the pain I experience living in a society that doesn’t.

Every time I hear the phrase, “My body. My choice.” I vomit a little.

Seriously.

Ok…not seriously.

But it makes me incredibly angry.

The women who coined this phrase don’t really mean it. They mean that they will wholeheartedly support any woman who does not want to be saddled with the burden of pregnancy, children, and family life. They will fight to the death (tragically, I have to say no pun intended) to ensure that a woman will never be forced to shoulder these responsibilities if she doesn’t want to.

But what if she does want to?

By their own logic, it seems that a woman should also be able to CHOOSE pregnancy, children, and family life. If that’s what she wants, more power to her. Right?

Sadly, I know first-hand that the reverse is simply not true.

They do not support women who want to be pregnant, who want to raise children, and who want to devote their lives to their families. And, unfortunately, this lack of support doesn’t stop with them, but extends to society at large.

I can’t begin to count how many snide, rude, and downright cruel comments have been made to me and my children when we dare venture out in public. Men occasionally make comments about my workload, “My, you’ve got your hands full…” But they rarely, if ever, have anything ugly to say. Women, on the other hand, are often vicious in their commentary, and have no qualms about questioning the need for my children’s existence right in front of them. Interestingly, when my husband takes the kiddos out in public alone, he never gets nasty comments, only praise and admiration.

I’m certainly not looking for praise and admiration. I haven’t chosen my family life for the sake of what others think. But it would definitely be nice if I didn’t feel like I was preparing for battle every time I left the house. It would be nice if I didn’t have to rehearse witty answers about my knowledge of the reproductive process or my ability to provide financially for the little ones that have been entrusted to my care on the way to the store. It would be nice if I didn’t have to warn my children that if someone is nasty to us at the store, they should simply smile or stand there quietly because mommy will handle it. It seems funny that a group who loves to make posters about “rosaries on their ovaries” and “government in their bedrooms” has no issues busting up into my bedroom in the checkout line at the grocery store. Double standard much?

I don’t need a reason to have a child. And I certainly don’t need your permission. My children have a right to exist. More than that, they are a gift. Each child brings a new spark, new joy, and a new dynamic to our family. I am so grateful for each one of them.

When questioned by strangers if she’s “done yet” my girlfriend, also a mother of four, joyfully replies, “I certainly hope not!” I couldn’t agree with her more.

It makes me so sad to know that it doesn’t matter how much I love and want my children. The fact is, the world doesn’t want them. The world thinks they don’t deserve to exist. But I can’t understand why. Why would you not love these precious, irrepeatable, bundles of joy and laughter and creativity. Aren’t those good things? Why can’t the world want more of that? But even if you don’t want more of that, isn’t it supposed to be my choice?

This is my decision about what to do with my body. Don't infringe on my right to privacy by assuming you have a voice in my most intimate decisions. No one has more of a say on my own rights than me. If you're going to be pro-choice, you better get prepared to stand by your own logic. Meet my "choice." I am grateful for every one of them.

This is my decision about what to do with my body. Don’t infringe on my right to privacy by assuming you have a voice in my most intimate decisions. No one has more of a say on my own rights than me. If you’re going to be pro-choice, you better get prepared to stand by your own logic. Meet my “choice.” I am grateful for every one of them.

Disturbingly Refreshing

Developing fetus at 8 weeks

Did you know that it’s possible to be simultaneously disturbed and refreshed at the same time and as a result of one event?  That’s how I felt after reading this article: Q&A: Austin Abortion Doctor Responds to Protests, Abortion, Religion, and Euthanasia for the first time about a month ago and my reaction was no different when I stumbled across it again today. On the one hand, I am completely refreshed to hear some honesty about the abortion business. This atheist abortionist from Austin (gosh, I love alliteration!) lays out many of the same facts I bring up to my pro-choice friends. He doesn’t hide behind propaganda. He doesn’t try to claim he’s in business for the women who may fall victim to rape or incest or medical necessity. He knows full well that more than 96% of his patients meet none of those qualifications and he’s not ashamed. I think that’s the disturbing part. When people hide behind propaganda, you can at least feel sorry for them, give them the benefit of the doubt, and hope one day their eyes will be opened to the truth. This man knows the truth and carries on, somehow believing that both he and doctors who perform euthanasia are providing a much needed service to the world. Much of what he says is incredibly valid and accurate. The rest is incredibly frightening and disturbing.

Pro-Choice Epiphany Pt 2

I just found a fabulous article in the Washington Post by sports columnist Sally Jenkins. I’m so excited to see that I’m not the only woman in the world who recognizes the difference between pro-choice and pro-death. This is a woman who is truly pro-choice. She is the perfect illustration of the point I was making in my “Pro-Choice Epiphany.” I do not agree with her in terms of being pro-choice, but I’m thrilled to see her article. Check it out for yourself here.

My Pro-Choice Epiphany

lightbulbAs I sat here wasting entirely too much time reading blogs and other online articles about the Tim Tebow Superbowl Ad, I had an epiphany. The Pro-choice Movement is made up of two camps, one who is honestly pro-choice and one who is actually pro-death.

The pro-choicers advocate a woman’s right to choose. Period. She can choose yes. She can choose no. It doesn’t matter. What matters to them is the fact that she made the choice. For the most part, these people seem unbothered by the Tim Tebow ad. Those who are bothered seem most disturbed that a serious issue is being mentioned for 30 seconds during their football game.

My favorite quote regarding the ad not being suitable for the Superbowl was given by Jehmu Greene, president of the Women’s Media Center. She’s upset because CBS is “inserting an exceedingly controversial issue into a place where we all hope Americans will be united, not divided, in terms of watching America’s most-watched sporting event.” All Americans united? Come on lady, it’s the Superbowl.

Speaking as a member of a “house divided,” football, or any sport for that matter, is not the place for breeding unity. Sure the fans are united in that they are fans of the sport and enjoy watching it. But have you ever seen what happens when a graduate from Ohio State has a get-together and his buddy from work shows up in a Michigan shirt? Haha…not pretty! And it doesn’t even have to be football season! Or how about visiting Yankee Stadium when the Red Sox are in town? I’d advise you didn’t walk into the stadium, or perhaps even the state, wearing a Boston ball cap…whether or not the Red Sox are in town. Sports fans are true to their teams and therefore their rivalries. They hold them as sacred as their religious affiliation and their political beliefs. On Sunday February 7, more than a few drunken buffoons will end up in fist fights during or immediately after the Superbowl. Clearly, Ms. Greene is not a sports fan to propose National unity is the underlying goal of sporting events.

Back to the topic at hand…

The pro-death camp actually doesn’t care anything about women having a choice. In fact, it seems they want anyone who chooses life to be silenced. It’s as if they want abortion to be the only outcome of any pregnancy. This is the group who is outraged by the Tebow Commercial. Take this viewpoint for example:

“You cannot tell a woman that she might give birth to the next superstar, the next president, the next great thing…. What you won’t hear in this commercial is that a woman might die giving birth, or go broke after she has the child, or lose her own future and compromise her kid’s….[W]omen and their partners in this situation are left with difficult, horrible choices no one wants to be beset with.” ~ Elizabeth Gettelman, Mother Jones regarding the Tim Tebow commercial.

By all means, Ms. Gettelman, lets just stop reproducing all together because life doesn’t turn into a fairy tale after you conceive and bear a child. I didn’t realize children were only worth having in the most ideal of circumstances. Do you, my dear reader, actually know anyone who has conceived and bore a child under ideal circumstances? We don’t live in a movie. Life is hard and full of challenges. But what I don’t understand is what that has to do with children. The fact that one could loose their job and “go broke” is supposed to be sufficient reason to use abortion as birth control? (I’m glad I don’t make all of my decisions on unlikely what-ifs.) And when did children become a burden rather than a blessing?

But here’s my favorite part of my whole epiphany. In general, children adopt their parents viewpoints on politics, religion and other important issues. The best predictor of the way an 18-year-old will vote in an election is the way his/her parents vote. So, using that same logic, the pro-death camp that refuses to reproduce or support others in their decision to reproduce (a decision which should be made before having sex, not upon pregnancy as they seem to advocate) will likely cause the extinction of their own movement. If they aren’t reproducing, they don’t have anyone to pass these views on to.

That’s why they’re so mad. The future of the pro-death movement isn’t a legacy they can pass on to their own offspring because they won’t have any. They’re forced to spread their message and recruit others to their cause, which is where the logic quoted above comes from. Their only hope is to convince other women that having a baby will ruin her life, her career, her figure and anything else they can come up with to terrify her. They need to scare others into agreeing with them. (Laughably, that sounds a lot like the “fire and brimstone” sermons they are so vehemently opposed to.) That’s why this ad is dangerous to them.

It’s terribly hard to convince someone to buy into your twisted logic especially if there are tv ads, celebrities, and every day people illustrating the opposite. No wonder they get so mad when someone chooses life. More people choosing life and talking about it means the inevitable end of the pro-death movement. Their radical opinions are going to take care of themselves in a survival of the fittest type fashion. I find that to be very amusing.

Tim Tebow Superbowl Uproar

I’ve been really surprised over the controversy being caused by Tim Tebow’s Superbowl ad. If you haven’t heard, Focus on the Family spent $2 million (raised specifically for this cause, not taken from their general budget) on a commercial featuring Tim Tebow and his mother, Pam, to be aired during the Superbowl. The theme? “Celebrate family. Celebrate Life.” Why? Because Pam’s doctors advised her to abort Tim due to medical complications and look at the man he his today. I can’t begin to understand why people are so angry about a 30 second ad delivering the message “Celebrate family. Celebrate life.” aired during the Superbowl. Here are some of the unconvincing arguments I’ve heard from those opposed.

1. “I only want to see fun ads about beer and junk food.”

Without your life you would be unable to enjoy things like ridiculous commercials, beer and junk food. Without life no other issues, whether serious or pleasurable, exist. Why can’t they mix? You’re alive, you’re enjoying yourself and if you have a family they’re likely watching the game with you, so what’s so offensive about the message “Celebrate family. Celebrate life.”? That’s what you’re going to be doing as the commercial airs. Plus, it seems a little degrading to your own intelligence to say, “I only want to watch half-naked women sell me beer, reptiles sell me insurance and whatever other craziness airs, but most definitely not anything serious.” What if the commercial were one of those St. Jude “thanks and giving” ads? Would you be complaining then?

2. “I don’t think Jesus would want them to “waste” $2 million on a commercial.”

Jesus tells us (Luke 12:48) that to whom much is given, much is expected. The donors who paid for this ad have clearly been given very much.  I think Jesus would prefer these people spend their money on a positive, uplifting ad celebrating the dignity of family and life, aired during an event watched by an estimated 93.2 million people in the US alone, rather than spend it on a few new yachts or exotic vacations or whatever else people with $2 million have the capacity to buy. But, while we’re talking about what Jesus would or wouldn’t do, I doubt he supports the companies spending their $2 million on the sex-soaked commercials that you prefer to watch.

3. “Can you imagine the uproar if Planned Parenthood (privately funded) ran a commercial during the superbowl?? People would lose their sh*t. Free speech is all fine and good if treated equally.” Money talks” isn’t free speech. I don’t think divisive politics belong in the land of superbowl commercials.” (I copied this directly from my girlfriend’s facebook page. These are her words, not mine. I deeply respect this individual, but take serious issue with this statement.)

Oh my gosh, where to begin?! I was stunned when I read this! First of all, Planned Parenthood IS NOT privately funded! (Focus on the family, however, is.) In 2008 Planned Parenthood received $320 million from taxpayers. I couldn’t find a statistic on the total they’ve received to date, but from 1973-2005 PP received $3.9 BILLION in tax dollars. As you can infer from looking at these numbers, they get more and more dough each year. (It’s possible the above author was suggesting a privately funded commercial on the behalf of PP could be aired, and if that’s the case I’ll address that momentarily).

As far as free speech being treated equally, PP is absolutely not the victim. They are always in the media spewing their propaganda about “protection” and “education” when in reality their primary goal is to sell abortions. Don’t believe me? Go to your local PP (heck, go to several just to help me prove my point) and tell them you’re pregnant and confused. See what “choices” they offer you. I dare you. I think its disgusting that my tax dollars support an organization that manipulates scared girls/women into killing their children while misrepresenting the facts about the procedure. Don’t believe that either? Make sure to ask them some fact based questions about the procedure and about the baby, then do a little research on your own. It’s all bologna! Everything they say is bologna. They’re trained to sell abortions. Period. What’s worse is it’s not necessarily the volunteers/employees fault. They’re fed the same propaganda as they feed the women who walk through their doors. Shame on them for not checking the facts, but if I were told a “fact” by someone I deemed reputable, I suppose I’d probably believe it too. Anyway, PP isn’t the one on the chopping block here, Focus on the family and Tim Tebow are. But since they were brought into the discussion, I wasn’t going to let them come of looking like a hero. They’re disgusting.

Back to the matter of free speech being treated equally, I don’t hear people protesting PP constantly being in the media, but I do hear people upset about this Focus ad. It seems to me that the pot is calling the kettle black. And it’s so common these days. That was exactly the point of my previous entry on tolerance. Tolerance is not one directional. If you’re an advocate of free speech, you should be thrilled about this ad, whether you agree with it’s content or not. You should be thrilled that CBS made a decision in FAVOR of free speech. Focus paid their $2 million, just like Budweiser and Geico and Doritos. Therefore they get a commercial spot. If CBS had taken the stance NBC took last year when banning a pro-life ad with the theme, “Life. Imagine the possibilities.” then free speech advocates should be angry. The network shouldn’t judge commercials on content other than deeming them appropriate for the viewing audience in terms of those little viewer rating things. For example, if the Superbowl has a Y7 rating, the commercials should too. Other than that, free speech supports the right for this or any other commercial to air. Don’t hop on the free speech bandwagon if you don’t really mean it. Free speech extends to those you agree with and those you do not. It’s not a matter of “money talking.” Anyone who wants to spend the $2 million on 30 seconds of air time can and should, regardless of the message. (Again, assuming it is of the same “rating” as the show. It would be totally inappropriate to have a “mature” ad come on during a family broadcast.  Ads should be “rated” the same as the tv shows for the children’s sake.)

Regarding “divisive politics” and their place among Superbowl ads…man, what a sad statement. It is so sad to be reminded that the thousands of women who are hurt and babies who are killed daily are reduced to nothing more than a statistic, a talking point and something we don’t want to think about when we’re trying to have fun at a Superbowl party. These are real people, real women and real babies. This is not about pro-choice or pro-life. This is about real people who are manipulated or poorly educated before making a life-altering decision. These are real women who suffer for the rest of their lives. Women who are 6 times more likely to take their own life in the year after having an abortion. Women who are 138% more likely to suffer major clinical depression 8 years later as compared with women who carry unexpected pregnancies to term. Women who are 4 times more likely to develop a substance abuse problem despite the fact that they have never had one prior to the abortion. Nevermind the 1 in 100 women who have severe complications (like uterine perforations, lacerations, blood loss, infections, blood clots, and other complications) from their abortion and 1 in 116,00 that die. Abortion is an ugly beast that we allow to kill children and destroy women, yet we can devalue its presence to mere “politics” to avoid feeling a little uncomfortable about what we allow or even outwardly support.

I think that discomfort is what this all boils down to. Although I obviously haven’t seen the commercial yet, there’s nothing offensive about it. A 30 second story about the “fetus” that wasn’t supposed to make it but did should be heart-warming. Why isn’t it in this case? Because of that discomfort. If Tim Tebow wasn’t supposed to make it and did, how many more stories could there be just like that? How many women listened to their doctors and terminated a pregnancy potentially for no reason? That makes us feel uncomfortable. Especially since a favorite argument of the politically correct pro-choice individuals is “what about cases of medical necessity, incest or rape?” Well, you can put your mind at ease. Those cases only account for 1% of all abortions. So, yes, there are other women who were in Pam Tebow’s situation and may have made the wrong choice. However, the vast majority of women who abort do so for selfish reasons, not medical or horrific ones. Oh…wait. That makes us even more uncomfortable. Hmm…why could that be? Because abortion is wrong. Things that are right don’t need to be justified or rationalized. That discomfort you feel is your conscience. You may have gagged it and stuffed it in a box deep down inside you, but it’s still there. It’s still doing its job, ever so quietly, trying to get you to see the gross error in your logic.

All of this uproar has nothing to do with free speech, what Jesus would want, money, the Superbowl or anything else. The uproar is because something is happening that gives your conscience a little louder voice and you can’t stand it. You can’t stand how ill-at-ease you feel reading this, watching that commercial or being faced with a pro-life perspective of any kind. Instead of taking a long hard look at the way you feel and why you feel that way, at the things you believe and why you believe them, you just get mad. Since that anger has to have an outlet, you direct it at Christians or Focus on the Family or Tim Tebow, or whoever the closest target is at the time.

In reality, none of these people or organizations are responsible for your anger or can even do anything about it. If you wholeheartedly believed in abortion, if you honestly believed it’s something that every woman has the right to chose to do, you wouldn’t be so angry right now. You may feel sorry for those pro-life people or laugh at their opinion or be grateful that you’re more sophisticated than to believe in the sanctity of human life, but you wouldn’t be angry. You wouldn’t be so threatened by a 30 second ad that promotes life. You wouldn’t be discussing in on facebook, on radio call in shows and over lunch in the manner you’re doing. You wouldn’t care about it if it didn’t strike a chord with you. You’d just laugh at those silly, uneducated people that wasted $2 million on outdated ideas and be done with it. You’d spend the time you just spent arguing with me to save a tree or a dolphin or whatever else you value more than the right to life. This wouldn’t be such a controversial topic if you weren’t trying so hard to make sure everyone around you understands your justification and rationalization of this sick and disturbing practice.

You don’t have to fight for “the right to have an abortion”, women have that “choice” in this country. If you know you’re right, quit defending yourself. The Tim Tebow ad doesn’t even address a woman’s “right to choose,” it simply promotes the dignity of life and family. Life and family are both good things. This is a happy ad about a family with a happy ending. That’s not anything to be angry about.

Sources:

http://zenit.org/article-28180?l=english

http://www.rachelsvineyard.org/

http://spectator.org/archives/2007/05/23/the-real-planned-parenthood

http://www.prolife.com/

http://www.afterabortion.org/

http://www.eadshome.com/AbortionUgly.htm

http://www.abortionno.org/Resources/fastfacts.html

Pseudo-Tolerance

peace-love-and-tolerance-ellen-paulsonApparently, part of being pregnant in modern times is opening yourself up to constant critique from anyone you come into contact with. This disgusts me. Especially when it’s the self-proclaimed “tolerant” people passing the judgments. The very same people who claim to be open and accepting to any system of beliefs are often the quickest to share their criticisms about me. I’m not passing judgment on tolerant people. I think a lot of the world problems could be solved with a little more tolerance and respect. However, there’s a difference between being truly tolerant and calling yourself tolerant when what you really mean is, “I’m only open to ideas or customs that are modern or liberal or stem from religions found elsewhere in the world.” Present these pseudo-tolerant people with an idea or custom that is either traditional or conservative or Christian and watch their heads spin. They can’t being to fathom why anyone would embrace such values and they’re quick to tell you so. It seems to me if you’re “tolerant” you should respect what I believe and act on, whether it’s left or right or anywhere in between.

One particular situation that really irks me is when pro-choice people comment on my pregnancies. These people believe that I have a right to choose to allow the child growing in my womb to be born or choose to “terminate” him/her instead. Yet, somehow, they feel that they have a right to comment on my right to choose whether or not to conceive a child in the first place. Explain to me how an individual would find it perfectly acceptable to go with me to a clinic to end this child’s life, but the same individual finds it perfectly acceptable to ridicule my “choice” to conceive a child in the first place. Where exactly does my “right to choose” begin and end? If you’re moral stance is “it’s my body and my choice” who are you to tell me otherwise when I choose life?

It further baffles me that the same people who would welcome me with open arms if I were involved in a bisexual polygamous relationship (obviously a little dramatic, but you get the point) are so quick to shake their heads at my heterosexual procreative relationship. Why is it that some people are only willing to extend their tolerance in one direction? People have been involved in heterosexual procreative relationships since the beginning of time. More than likely, its how the very person who stands in judgment of me came to exist. Yet, as of late, that’s no longer the trendy thing to do. In fact, if I insist on being heterosexual, it’s unthinkable that I should also be willing to procreate. At least not more than 1 or 2 times. Which brings me to another favorite that I’ve heard several times lately.

“How can you possibly consider bringing another child into this world when there are so many starving children in it already?” Explain to me how this logic works? The child in my womb is not currently starving, nor will he/she be after he/she is born. Yes, many people in this world are impoverished and hungry. May I ask what you are doing to help with this problem? Does your choice to contracept somehow help feed, clothe or shelter them? I do contribute to causes that help feed, clothe, and shelter these people, but that has nothing to do with my willingness to reproduce. Those are two very separate issues. Or perhaps you’re implying that instead of having my own children, I should adopt those children? Did you ask me if I was open to adoption or did you just assume that I’m somehow too selfish to consider that? It’s funny that I’m the one who regularly passes up nights out or vacations to anywhere in favor of having and supporting a family, while you choose to do everything in your power to avoid having to sacrifice growing your shoe collection in favor of having a child. Yet, I’m the one you somehow assume is selfish. It’s been a while since my clinical psyc class, but I’m pretty sure that’s called projection. The funnier thing is I didn’t randomly walk up to you and ask why you would consider wearing a designer outfit when there are so many starving children in the world. That, however, would have been a much more logical question.