Voices of Abortion

My wife and I are big fans and supporters of a website called Abort73.  If you’re not familiar with it, the website offers resources, information, links to other websites where you can find help, and merchandise to help share the message that abortion is not a loving choice.

One of the many T-shirts available from Abort73

One of the many T-shirts available from Abort73

But one of the more unique areas of the website is the personal testimony area where people can leave stories in their own words about making a decision for life (keeping the baby) or going through with the abortion.

Reading some of the stories I was reminded of a main reason why I got involved in the life issues in the first place: modern feminism has eviscerated the role of men in our society, especially the important role of men protecting their wives. As a Christian man, I was, and continue to be, embarrassed how many women find out they are pregnant and then are left with no support or help from their boyfriends, fiancés, husbands, or fathers.

The stories that appear on the website are unsolicited and the individuals are free to leave their name (not shared publicly) or to remain anonymous. I’ve included excerpts below from three stories that struck me; they’re lengthy but I believe it’s worth your time to read them.

From a 31-year-old woman in Columbus, Ohio, who was 19 when she had her abortion:

I took a pill and sat in a waiting room with other girls who had taken the pill. It was horrible. I sat there crying, knowing that the room was filled with dying babies. …

For the first year, I couldn’t even go past the baby section at the store without getting emotional. With every passing year I would reflect on what could have been and how old my child would be that year. I ended up finishing school but changing my major to get out early. To shorten the story of the past 13 years since my abortion, I ended up getting addicted to drugs, was in many worthless relationships, I had crappy jobs, and never felt worthy of another child. I felt that I was never with the right person and never made enough money. I didn’t feel I could give a baby anything more now than I could have then. …

A year ago, I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy boy. When I found out I was pregnant, I stopped drinking and partying. … I don’t have a lot, and I have a low-paying job that any 19 year old could get. I was no more ready a year ago than I was at 19, that’s for sure. … The point I’m trying to make is this. There’s no such thing as, “you’re not ready,” because you never will be ready! … Oh how I wish I could go back in time, but I can’t because abortion is forever.

From a 49-year-old woman in the USA, who was 34 when she had her abortion:

I want our baby back. The year was 1999; I was 34 years old and married. I don’t remember much of anything. All I do remember is letting an older, nameless woman take my baby from me—and not even telling my husband. … I felt like my heart was as hard as stone that day. It stayed that way for a long, long time. I remember the look of bewilderment and horror on my husband’s face and in his voice when I told him what I had done. …

I am desperate to be forgiven, but I know I don’t deserve it. All I can tell you at this point is I weep many tears of sorrow when I think of our baby being ripped from my body and laid aside—nameless. Nobody was there to say a prayer or think about how precious and worthy they were—while they were thrown out like a piece of trash. I am so sorry, so very sorry. I hope I am forgiven someday. I would give my life for that child.

From a 41-year-old woman in Colorado, who was 17 when she had her abortion:

I can still hear the nightmarish slurping echo from the suction aspirator machine in my dreams. I vividly recollect the day, twenty-three years ago, that I heard that dreadful appliance’s deafening hum. … Through my progressive promiscuity, I became pregnant at seventeen years old. I was naïve, frightened, distraught, and in panic mode. …

I suppose I was a Christian in name, but I did not truly believe in anything. I made the appointment and ambled into a “Planned Parenthood” abortion clinic. It was like entering a police station, down a narrow and sinister hallway that seemed endless, and ultimately ending up at a window paned with multiple sheets of bullet-proof glass. Midpoint was an undersized, circular opening. Not wanting to make eye contact with the young woman behind the thick panes, I whispered my name into the hollow. She sifted through some loose papers, then pressed a button that buzzed me inside. …

The clinic staff was stern and structured, rushing me through the process. Everything about the procedure was completely void of life, and the lies were manifold. They did not care what my rationale was or why I wanted an abortion. They simply validated my “proper” decision to end the pregnancy. I was not given any counseling or information about other options, like keeping the baby or giving the baby up for adoption. …

The … doctor leisurely walked in, hastily introduced himself, and instantaneously began. I kept lying to myself over and over; “it will all be over soon.” The suction machine was flipped on, that ghastly, piercing drone that continues to wake me today. The nurses … told me the abortion would feel no worse than, “bad menstrual cramps;” liars! The unbearable pain took me by surprise and I involuntarily started gagging. I writhed in agony with each pitiless tug. It felt like my bowel was being ruthlessly dragged through my vagina. I pulled in a deep breath, but when the stagnant air hit my nostrils, so did the nasty stench, which I soon realized was the smell of blood. My blood, the baby’s blood. Oh my God! …

Eventually, I was moved to a crammed and soiled “recovery room.” It was overflowing with young women, all with sorrow-brimmed eyes and in immense pain. Before I could even finish scanning the room, the queasiness hit. I folded my hands over my mouth and dashed for the bathroom, but I wasn’t alone. I found myself leaning over one filthy toilet with four other women, all squirming and twisting around to find a tiny opening to vomit into. … We wordlessly laid there, like beaten dogs stricken into submission. An irritable nurse … demanded that we all go sit down. Everyone lingered in immobilizing pain. So she began … pulling us by the necklines of our shirts from the toilet’s musty edge.  A brown paper bag filled with condoms and birth control pills was shoved into my hands, and I was … pushed out the back door. … I limped away, as sheer emptiness settled into the very foundation of my being. I was not told that I would be unable to look at my own disgraceful reflection in a mirror, or that my confidence and self-respect would be gone immediately.

The thing about our choices is that after we have made them, they turn around and make us. … Abortion didn’t “help” me as I exercised my “right to choose” at seventeen years old. I [had] hurt myself even more, and I knew it instantly. … I buried my dirty secret for over ten years, telling myself I would never have an abortion again. … I tried to lie to myself to quell the anguish and guilt, but I couldn’t bury the truth forever. … For anyone who thinks abortion helps women, there is a village missing its idiot.

I felt lower than pond scum, but I certainly didn’t change for the better. In about a year, my caustic lifestyle left me pregnant again, but this time, everything would be different. I refused to make the same lapse in personal ethics again. I was keeping my baby, no matter what. My parents wanted me to abort their grandchild. What they didn’t know or understand was that I had already taken the life of one of their grandchildren, and I couldn’t do it again.

Click on these links to read more abortion stories or birth stories. Listen to the voices of abortion and understand that this is not a political issue.

Supreme Emergency

I’ve been reading Moral Philosophy: A Reader, 4th edition (edited by Louis P. Pojman and Peter Tramel) and found it to be very interesting, enough so that I’ve actually said to people, “I’m enjoying studying philosophy.” One essay caught my attention because of my interests in history and ethics. I have always been a World War II buff and the last part of this book (Applied Ethics) contains three essays regarding that period of time and the morality of bombing civilian population areas. In reading the selections on this topic, I found parallels in the abortion debate that should make us stop and think.

The essay that really caught my attention was an excerpt from Just and Unjust Wars by Michael Walzer. In a war, one of the conventions modern nations attempt to keep is that combatants fight with other combatants and that civilians should not be targeted. Yet, there are times, called supreme emergencies by Walzer, where it is justifiable to break those conventions. So what defines a supreme emergency? Walzer states:

It is defined by two criteria, which correspond to the two levels on which the concept of necessity works: the first has to do with the imminence of the danger and the second with its nature. The two criteria must both be applied. Neither one by itself is sufficient as an account of extremity or as a defense of the extraordinary measures extremity is thought to require. Close but not serious, serious but not close–neither one makes for a supreme emergency. (Pojman and Tramel, 450)

And that’s exactly what the pro-aborts do: create a situation in the minds of abortion-vulnerable women so that they feel they are in a position of close and serious danger. They tell women: you’ll never finish high school or college; your career is in danger; there’s no way you can handle another child in addition to the ones you already have; you were expecting to have one child not twins; you’re going to have too many challenges while raising a child with a mental or physical disability; you will be reminding of being raped every day you look at that child. By playing on the fear that the women may already have, rather than counseling them and supporting them, pro-aborts have created a sense of supreme emergency.

Although most Americans think about the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki when thinking about the bombing of civilians during WWII, the fact is the Nazis did it extensively to England and the Soviet Union; and in retaliation, the British did it extensively to Germany and German-held territories. The British justified it by saying “tactical use of bombers [against military targets] could not stop Hitler and that the destruction of cities could” and “the bombers alone…provide the means of victory.” (455)

And that’s exactly what the pro-aborts do: they tell abortion-vulnerable women that the only option they have is to get an abortion. If that wasn’t true, what would explain the fact that although the largest abortion provider in the United States, Planned Parenthood, claims to make adoption referrals, 92 percent of the pregnant women they serve abort their babies? Or that some affiliates have abysmal numbers adoption referrals, in one case, Planned Parenthood of Indiana had only 12 adoptions in 7 years.

The next step is to dehumanize those you are about to act upon. Walzer notes that the Allies did not bomb occupied French civilian areas because they were seen as allies, the Allies had “special commitments to the French,” and the goal was to free the French from Nazi occupation. But the German citizens, though not in control of Nazi policy or the execution of the war, were seen as part of the problem. They were faulted for contributing to the Nazi war effort and therefore were to be punished in addition to the Nazi leadership. Walzer explains that some might have thought that “it makes sense to say that there were more people in German than in French cities who were responsible (in some fashion) for the evil of Nazism, and we may well be reluctant to extend to them the full range of civilian rights.” (456)

And that’s exactly what the pro-aborts do: the original arguments supporting abortion included calling the pre-born baby a mass of cells, a clump of tissue, or a parasite. Now that scientific and medical progress has shown those claims to be false, the pro-aborts now say that the pre-born baby isn’t really a person, it’s just a potential person and that since it needs the continued assistance of another (the mother), then it’s the mother’s rights and desires that are more important than the pre-born baby’s. Can you also hear how these arguments are made to support ending the life of those with disabilities, the terminally ill, or the elderly? The quality of life they have or will have do not meet our definition of what it means to be a person so why shouldn’t we help them end their lives?

Finally, Walzer notes that the British bombings of German cities, after the initial bombings in late 1940, were no longer justified by July 1942 when Winston Churchill stated:

In the days when we were fighting alone, we answered the questions: “How are you going to win the war?” by saying: “We will shatter Germany by bombing.” Since then the enormous injuries inflicted on the German Army and manpower by the Russians, and the accession of the manpower and munitions of the United States, have rendered other possibilities open. (456)

Certainly by 1945 when the Germans Army was in collapse and the war was about to be ended, the continued bombing of civilians was no longer needed, therefore the bombing of Dresden, which killed approximately 100,000 people, was an unjustifiable act.

And that’s exactly what’s still happening today: with the availability of resources available from public and private organizations, women facing unwanted pregnancies are not alone. There are places to turn to, there are people willing to help. Yet 1.2 million abortions in the United States are still performed every year and over 40 million abortions per year occur worldwide. This all happens despite the fact that there is no close and serious threat to be addressed by ending these innocent lives.

Finally, speaking about the innocent civilians in German cities bombed by the Allies during WWII, Walzer writes:

We can recognize their horror only when we have acknowledged the personality and value of the men and women we destroy in committing them [acts we would not normally do]. It is the acknowledgement of rights that puts a stop to such calculations [to justify these acts] and forces us to realize that the destruction of the innocent, whatever its purposes, is a kind of blasphemy against our deepest moral commitments. (457, additional comments are mine)

It’s time to acknowledge the rights of the baby in the womb. It’s time that we speak up for them. And it’s time “to realize that the destruction of the innocent, whatever its purpose, is a kind of blasphemy against our deepest moral commitments.”

Women as POWs

I was just browsing through the political cartoons at WORLD magazine when I ran across this one from earlier in the week.

Combat BarbieIt immediately struck me that no one has been talking about what would happen when one of our women combatants gets captured. How would that be used to compromise the morale of the soldiers in the field? How would that be used to compromise the political will of our government? How would that be used to compromise the morale of a nation who speaks out in support or against a war?

What will be our response when we see American women raped, tortured, battered, and killed?

In the mad dash to be seen as “enlightened,” “open-minded,” or whatever other term you want to use, we are becoming a nation that does not want to protect and provide for the women of this nation, which is contrary to a man’s natural desire (see Thoughts on Chivalry). But that’s hardly surprising since we don’t want to protect them anymore in any other way.

We have basically told men that its okay to use women as tools (pornography), are easily replaceable (hooking up/friends with  benefits), and are valueless if they become pregnant (40 years of legalized abortion leaving a legacy of over 55 million dead babies and countless women dealing with the aftereffects). Now we’re letting men off the hook again and throwing our women into the lion’s den of front line combatant.

Women in Combat and What Real Men Don’t Do

Last week, the Pentagon suddenly announced that women would be allowed to serve in direct combat. Where did this come from? Who was pushing for the right for women to kill someone? Why would someone WANT to do this, to purposely put yourself in a position where you would have to kill another human being?

After some reflection, I’ve decided that we shouldn’t be surprised by this action. Our society does not want to understand that men and women, although equal, are not the same. We are not the same biologically, physically, emotionally, psychologically, or spiritually. There’s no disputing these realities:

  • Men and women have different internal structures designed by God for different purposes (biologically);
  • Men and women have different capabilities in regards to strength and size–yes, there are women who are stronger than me, but the average woman is not as strong or big as the average man (physically);
  • Men and women have different feelings that emerge while experiencing the same situation (emotionally);
  • Men and women have different thought processes to handle the same situation (psychologically); and,
  • Men and women were given different roles to play in our families and our culture by God (spiritually).

Even if you don’t believe in God, you cannot brush away all the other differences between men and women. This DOES NOT mean that women are inferior to men and it DOES NOT mean that men are inferior to women. What it does mean is that men and women have different roles in society and when we blur those distinctions, then society suffers. And when society suffers, families and individuals suffer.

For example, women were created by God to be the bearers and nurturers of human life. That’s a biological fact that cannot be avoided. But when a woman, who has a desire to bring forth life, is told to go ahead and kill it instead, what is going through her mind? That’s the same paradox we have set up with legalized abortion in this country. A time that should be joyous (pregnancy) is now turned into an opportunity for the abortion clinic to make several hundred dollars and the woman is told that killing her child is the best thing that she could do in that situation.

Here’s another example: men were tasked by God to protect and defend women. But now that a woman will be the one defending herself and the man, he has no reason to step up and perform his role. I’m not saying that women shouldn’t be able to defend themselves, they should because men aren’t always available or able to do so, but if the woman takes the primary role, then what is the man to do? Allowing women to serve in direct combat doesn’t elevate the status of women but actually does the opposite, it devalues the woman because now they can be killed with no compunction since they are just another combatant.

This is also seen in today’s legal abortion culture. A man can get a woman pregnant and not have to take care of her or his child by telling the woman to get an abortion. This lack of duty or responsibility can also be seen in the low numbers of the younger generation getting married. For the men: why take on this responsibility when the women want to take care of themselves? For the women: why get married when the men are irresponsible and absent? Do you see the vicious circle we have created?

Author Linda Bartlett has written extensively about the roles of men and women and she has posted on her blog a four part series from an study on relationships that she wrote. The lesson is entitled, “Bearers and Defenders of Life.” You can read Part 1 by clicking here, Part 2 by clicking here, Part 3 by clicking here, and the Conclusion by clicking here.

WORLD magazine posted an interesting article on the topic, “Unwilling Warriors” (click here to read it) that describes some of the problems with women in combat. The most interesting fact they uncovered was the casualty rate comparison between mixed-gender combat units and all-male combat units.  Take a look at it and see if it makes any sense.

Finally, I’ve been following Public Catholic and she wrote recently about what real men DON’T do. I’ve put a link here to it because I think it falls along the same lines as what I’ve said above: men and women have God-given roles in our society and one of man’s roles is to protect and defend his family, including the baby in the womb. Here’s a link to “Real Men Don’t Kill Their Children,” but be forewarned that she has a picture of an aborted baby at the beginning of the post.

Updated 2 February 2013: added link to the conclusion of Bearers and Defenders of Life.

What Choice are They For?

Yesterday, January 22, 2013, marked the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade (Roe) Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decision which Blog for Choice 2013legalized abortion in every state during all nine months of pregnancy. And today, January 23, 2013, marks the 40th anniversary of a lesser known, but just as important, decision from SCOTUS regarding abortion: Doe v. Bolton (Doe).

Roe was important because in one stoke of the pen, SCOTUS overthrew the states’ right of making their own laws and struck down every law in this land against abortion. To be clear, 17 states had already legalized abortion of some sort prior to that decision, but most of them had restrictions on which trimester those abortions could take place. What Roe did was make it legal to abort a baby any time during the whole nine months of pregnancy if the mother’s health was at risk. But Roe didn’t define what it meant for a mother’s health to be at risk.

Doe took care of that. The day after Roe was handed down, SCOTUS handed down the Doe v. Bolton decision which basically defined the health of the mother as any reason whatsoever. We’re not just talking about mortal danger to the mother, which is what most people that I speak with think it means, Doe defined it to mean any type of physical health issue. So, for example, if a woman doesn’t want to deal with morning sickness, that’s a proper reason (according to Doe) to get an abortion. Additionally, Doe broadened the definition of “health of the mother” to include other types of “health” both of legitimate concern (e.g. mental) and the outrageous (e.g. economic). Whatever the reason, or type of “health” issue, cited there really is no justification for ending the life of an innocent human being.

Ask Them What They Mean When They Say ChoiceWhy this little history lesson? As they have in previous years, NARAL Pro-Choice America encouraged their supporters to “Blog for Choice” on January 22. And pro-life groups and individuals, as they have in previous years, responded by asking what it means when you are for “choice”?

You’ll find that there are a lot of answers to that question. A lot of pro-choice people think it’s about better health care for women (how about better health care for all…seems a little sexist to only advocate better health care for women); or they want you to think it’s about getting free contraceptives; or it’s about empowering women to make decisions about their own bodies.

But the reality is that the folks who are pushing the “choice” agenda–and I don’t mean your friends, relatives, or co-workers who, when asked “Are you pro-life or pro-choice” say they are pro-choice but don’t really know what that means–the ones who take in billions of dollars under the banner of “choice” and pay out millions through their political action committees, know what choice they’re talking about: abortion.

My wife reminded today that Virginia has a specialty license plate called “Trust Women, Respect Choice.” Here in northern Virginia, I often see a car with that plate with a vanity registration: “I HAD 1.” This license plate tells us the truth. I doubt if this person would say “I HAD 1” if she were talking about mammograms at Planned Parenthood (which they don’t do), or free ultrasounds at Planned Parenthood (which they won’t show the results of to the woman considering abortion), or free birth control pills, or free condoms.

So what do they mean when they say choice? The answer is clear: the ending of innocent human life in a barbaric fashion. On this 40th anniversary of two legal decisions which made every American citizen complicit in the sin of murder, I ask that you find the truth behind the rhetoric and then make an informed decision. You can start where I started 16 years ago: by looking at the results of abortions. Be forewarned that the images are graphic and disturbing, but they are real and it happens 3,300 times every day in the US…1.2 million times every year.

If you have been involved in an abortion decision in your past, please know that the purpose of the video is not to condemn you or shame you. The purpose of the video is to help you understand that no matter what the sin, God loves you and has forgiven you through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Here are three resources for help if you have had an abortion in the past: Word of Hope, Rachel’s Vineyard, and Abortion Recovery International.

Watch the video of aborted babies and strengthen your resolve to end this 40 year atrocity we call “choice.” Click here to see the video.

Updated 24 January 2013.