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Why Reduce Unwanted Pregnancies?

I didn't watch Obama yesterday at Notre Dame. Didn't listen to him. There was no way I was going to ruin my Sunday listening to a speech I could've writen every cliche of myself including "dialogue" and "working together to reduce the number of abortions."

So, instead my children and I went to the library and then played on the swingset in the backyard. I wasn't thinking much about it until a friend of mine called and asked what I thought of Obama's speech. Now, mind you this friend is a very pro-choice liberal and was just calling to needle me.

He said I should've watched because the speech was really great and he thinks it would've changed my perception of Obama. I told him that I'm not concerned with what Obama says, it's what he does that bothers me.

My friend assured me it was a "middle of the road" speech and I would've liked it because Obama talked about something we can all agree on and that is reducing unwanted pregnancies.

I was a little tired and instead of going into what that actually means, I decided on a different tactic. I asked a simple question. Why? Why do you and Obama want to reduce abortions?

My friend for a few moments stuttered and finally just said, "What do you mean, why?"

I mean, why is it so important for abortion to be so rare that it warrants the President of the United States talking about it? If the fetus in the womb is just a blobby little choice and not a child at all, what do we care if abortion happens a thousand times a day and twice that on Sundays.

Isn't it up to the woman to do what she wants to do? If the creature in the womb is deemed not to be a baby by its "mother" who are we to question her and prefer that she not do it often. Isn't it a legitimate choice? Why is one abortion cool but eight...not in good taste?

Isn't the President forcing his morality on women by saying he wants to reduce abortion?

I mean, it's not like abortion has some kind of medical risk associated with it, does it? If so, I haven't read about it in the mainstream media?

My friend said I shouldn't make fun because it's a very difficult decision for women but all he was doing was refusing to answer. He hastily added that he thinks Obama really means that we have to watch out for the future implications of abortion. He said he read recently about gender based abortions and that we can all agree that is not a good idea.

Why, I laughed. You're saying it's not OK to kill based on gender a fetus that you're willing to deny its very humanity? How can you worry about it's male-ness or female-ness and not about its humanity?

My friend quickly retreated and asked about the NBA Playoffs. I let him because I could tell he was uncomfortable. I hoped that maybe I gave him something to think about. Probably not. But maybe.

But I think the question needs answering. Obama speaks endlessly about reducing unwanted pregnancies. He did so at Notre Dame:

“Let us work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions. Let’s reduce unintended pregnancies. Let’s make adoption more available. Let’s provide care and support for women who do carry their child to term."
My question is why?

Much like Bill Clinton saying he wants abortion to be "safe, legal and rare" and essentially every pro-choicer picked up on it. My question is "why?"

So next time someone defends their pro-choice-ness and says we can all agree that we want to reduce abortions, just ask them why.

And don't let them start talking about the NBA Playoffs like I did.

Update: Aggie Catholics have more on this very topic in their Notre Dame wrapup.

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22 comments:

David L Alexander said...

Hey, your neighbor's a weenie. Get past it. I didn't watch it either. But I did read the transcript. It takes a lot of nerve for a non-Catholic to try and "school" Catholics on how to be Catholic. Then again, this is the guy who gave the Queen an iPod with his speeches for a present.

Speaking of bad taste....

Eileen said...

Excellent!

Rick said...

Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world. (Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin 4:8 (37a))

a123b said...

I agree with you, but I think that they don't like the large emotional damage associated with an abortion.

Catholic said...

I posted the same question on Twitter recently and one person compared it to cancer.

She said, we all want to eliminate the need for cancer treatment, but that doesn't mean treating cancer is wrong.

So yes, a child-in-utero is like cancer... but to be honest, I haven't come up with a good response.

AlwaysCatholic said...

Yesterday I performed an experiment. I read the text of the speech after it had been delivered because I was at Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament from 2 to 4 pm.

I, like yourself, Matthew, didn't want to hear or see something I can see or hear everyday on the mainstream media if I didn't have a life. but I do.

I asked a Catholic I know that believes himself to be faithful, attends Mass on Sundays and Holydays, loves Benedict etc. etc.professes a Pro-Life belief,
to watch and listen to THE SPEECH.

We then agreed to meet afterward to discuss it.

This faithful Catholic was so happy to hear that Obama seems to be softening towards his stance on abortion, open to listening to others and mentioned several other key phrases that convinced this person that well, maybe he (Obama) isn't that bad.

I chose to stay cool, logical (like yourself Matthew) and to the point.

I asked this person to read the text of the speech that he had watched and listened.

The result: The person looked at me with a confused look and said, "I don't understand. Are your sure this is the actual text of the speech?" I, however, was not confused. I was'nt even surprised.

I was once again witnessing a phenomenon some people say is akin to NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming, I think that's correct). NLP is used by motivational speakers, "life" coaches, moneymaking gurus and the like. It seems to be a subtle form of "persuasion" that has great results for these people because it helps drive their dvd sales through the roof.

Now I didn't say this was a scientific experiment, just sort of an observational one.

The language, tone and body language that Obama uses is the same as these "self-help" characters. Everything is couched in flowery, romantic language that mesmerizes the listener into a feel-good stupor. The listener feels at this point that ANYTHING is possible because of what they are hearing.

The person that had watched and listened to the speech was acting and responding in that manner until he read the speech.When he read the text he became disturbed by the same phrases he had just thought were wonderful.

What disturbed him most was that he had been drawn into this "intellectual ponzi" scheme as he described it when he came to.

I smiled, thanked him for being part of experiment and told him, "by the way, do not feel bad". "There's probably hundreds of priests including Fr. Jenkins and the usual suspects, that have been swayed to Obama's side and they are much more educated and proud to be in deliberate defiance of Rome".

He said, "Yeah, but that doesn't help me when I stand before Christ at the end of my life. Mea culpa".

As I said goodbye, I assured him that I would keep him and Fr. Jenkins et al. in my prayers.

As I thought back on this interaction, I realized that being a Catholic in our world is not easy, unless of course, you believe the true Messiah and not the deceivers that cross our path.

Margaret said...

Spot on, Matthew.

What other "right" do we seek to make the exercise of rare? We would like to have freedom of speech, but use it only very infrequently? Freedom of religion? Of the press???

What utter nonsense. It's just more feel-good fluffery.

matthew archbold said...

Catholic,
Sometimes just forcing pro-choicers to say something stupid like babies in the womb are like cancer is all you can do.

But I guess one question would be at what moment in the nine month timeline does the baby magically transform from cancer to baby?

Anonymous said...

Catholic,

Wouldn't it be interesting to hear from the pro-choicer why she thinks that the comparison to a cancer treatment is appropriate. Isn't it the side effects / uncertain effectiveness we are fearing most in a cancer treatment? What would be the equivalent of reducing these in the case of abortion? Can she give a reason as to why abortion is undesirable the way a cancer treatment is?

Schot Bredeweg said...

The simple answer of "why reduce unwanted pregnancies"? Because abortion separates the procreative aspect from sexual intercourse. Pregnancies are a side-effect of intercourse, or, at least, they used to be until eugenicists popularized birth control methods and abortion. Reproductive freedom is saying, "I want to have sex without taking responsibility for my body or my decisions".

I apologize in advance if it seems like I'm not using fair-minded words, or if I am not inviting dialogue.

Kit said...

An unwanted pregnancy IS a cancer to the woman suffering through it. Pregnancy ruins a woman's body, causes enormous financial hardship, and demands at the very least ten months' commitment. Are any of you willing to give up a year of your life? I believe women are worth something in and of themselves, not just as baby machines to produce sons.

Honestly, do you people have any idea what pregnancy is like? (Men are not allowed to answer this one because males cannot in any way, shape, form, or fashion know what it's like to be pregnant. You get only the fun part and none of the misery.)

Seriously, we want to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies solely because women in that position suffer. They suffer physically, emotionally, and financially. I don't want anyone (real people, not the lumps of cells you consider more important than the icky women carrying them.)

matthew archbold said...

If I thought women were icky, I don't think I'd have five kids.

Anonymous said...

“we all want to eliminate the need for cancer treatment, but that doesn't mean treating cancer is wrong.”

Unfortunately, this is the logic that “convinces” people that abortion is a valid “choice.” Even if it sounds convincing, the analogy is not very effective because cancer treatment and abortion are not comparable. The parallels drawn:
Cancer treatment “cures” cancer.
Abortion “cures” pregnancy.
If curing cancer with cancer treatment is not wrong, then curing pregnancy with abortion must not be wrong.

Although, I’m not a philosopher, here are some of the problems with the logic:
First, pregnancy cannot be compared to cancer. Cancer is terminal, pregnancy is not. Cancer is a disease, pregnancy is a state. No one wants to have cancer; many women want to be pregnant – but even when they don’t there are couples out there who would want their unwanted babies. There may be some confusion, however, about the literal destruction of life by cancer, and the figurative life “destroyed” by an inconvenient pregnancy – but that doesn’t consider the post-abortion destruction. The scholar neglects to note that childbirth also “cures” pregnancy without destroying any life; pregnancy is not necessarily a permanent “burden” as no one who is pro-life insists that the mother must raise the baby -- adoption is a precious gift.

Second, cancer treatment isn’t morally objectionable. On the other hand, abortion is because it takes the life of an innocent human being. Curing cancer with cancer treatment can save a life, curing pregnancy with abortion takes a life.

Third, it is true that we would all like to eliminate the need for cancer treatments, because that would imply that there is no more cancer. Everyone can agree that a world without cancer is desirable. On the other hand, to eliminate the need for someone to consider abortion would mean one of two things, either it is not a legal option (not likely what the scholar considered) or there is no more pregnancy. A world without any pregnancy would mean humans would become extinct, which everyone would agree is not desirable.

Too long for twitter?

Margaret said...

Kit--

All ranting aside, you didn't address the actual point-- if there is nothing wrong with abortion, if it's a "right" as so many on the left assert, then what difference does it make how many there are? Who cares if a woman has one or eight? Why should we be trying to reduce the numbers?

Unless, of course, we're talking about the wholesale slaughter of an entire subclass of human beings...

PS I'm pregnant with my ninth child. I can't even imagine how ruined my body is and how unhappy I must be. In fact, I'm so deluded, I'm happy about it. :)

Rick said...

Hi Kit,

Here's a site for women by women http://www.silentnomoreawareness.org/

I hope it helps before it's too late.

Anonymous said...

Regular reader posting anonymously here.

Kit, I have been pregnant 6 times, carried 3 of them to term and lost 3 to miscarriage.

My first was unplanned. I was married 2 months when we found out. I was 24. I thought I was happy about it, but I wasn't. I was scared to death. I wanted to have children later, not right away. I was resentful that I got pregnant right away.

A few years ago, I probably would have said that I wish had had my child later in life, now all I can say is that while my body will never be the same (hello stretch marks, goodbye waist line!), my soul will never be either. My child is wonderful in every way. I am the woman I am now in part because of that child that came when I was not planning it.

Knowing how I felt when I lost my three to miscarriage (and still feel 7 years after the first one), I cannot possibly imagine how a woman who chose the death of her child must feel.

I seriously doubt that anyone here considers women "icky." The fact is that women who have abortions (and the men who are the fathers of the aborted children) have a higher rate of drug and alcohol problems that the general population. And a post abortive woman is three times more likely to attempt to take her own life than a woman who gave birth. You can read more here: http://www.afterabortion.org/psychol.html

Women who choose abortion suffer much more than those women who didn't choose abortion suffer.

There are several things that progress naturally from sex, among them: a state of euphoria, bonding to one's partner, and pregnancy. All three are excellent things. But if a woman (or a man) is not ready to deal with all of the the things that are a natural progression from intercourse, then a woman (or a man) ought not to have sex until such a time that s/he is ready to have a child.

AnonyMouse said...

Kit,

So, if pregnancy ruined a woman's body, why are all those superstars having babies? Wouldn't that ruin someone's career?

Yep, been pregnant (twice in less than two years). Got two beautiful kids to show for it. Never used birth control.

And, if I could save a human life by "committing" (not "giving" as that somehow implies shortening mine, which is certainly not the case) I certainly would.

And, all snark aside, men can know, at least partially, what labor and childbirth is like. They say (and I firmly believe) that it's actually harder to see someone you love suffer than to suffer yourself. My husband had his share of running out at all hours just to satisfy a pregnancy craving, dealing with the results of hormone flux, catering to a bedrest situation, and holding my hand during both my totally unmedicated labors. He probably remembers my labor better than I do, as he had to hear every groan and I only remember a few. It's a total stab in the back to men that are responsible and that truly love the mothers of their children to say that they "can't know". Please don't insult our men.

"Icky." If everyone thought I was icky when I was visibly pregnant, why did I get smiles and congratulations from total strangers, people holding the door or getting me a chair, floods of offers for help (Including one acquaitance who offered to pony up for a plane ticket for my mom to come visit me), and support from friends and family?

Kit, can you answer any of these questions? Have you ever been pregnant?

And, just as an aside, "give up your life for at least ten months" is a total exaggeration. Many women don't even know they're pregant for the first two-three months. And during my first pregancy, I was doing all my normal stuff til about the week before I gave birth. Please don't skew facts when lots of women here know the real ones.

Thanks.

AnonyMouse

Amy said...

Catholic:

Fertility and pregnancy are not diseases. They are the signs of a healthy body.

Cancer is the exact opposite. And, with perhaps the exception of smoking, do people intentionally engage in behaviors they know can lead to cancer? Most likely not. There's only one way to get pregnant, and that's sexual intercourse.

I believe women are worth something in and of themselves, not just as baby machines to produce sons. Funny, then, that you deny the most fundamental part of womenhood: MOTHERHOOD.

Few women get pregnant by themselves or as victims of crimes. Those "clumps of cells" are people, not just parasites.

And yes, I've been pregnant - twice now. The child growing in my womb is not a cancer. I can still do all of the things I did before pregnancy and if I weren't ready for the financial burden, there ARE government programs and adoption agencies that will ease that burden.

The notion that the only way a woman can claim "equality" is through murder is ludicrous, and very very sad.

J W said...

Hey Y'all,

I just wanted to applaud your clear, logical and poignant responses to Kit's post. Thanks for doing such a great job. Hopefully some seeds have been planted.

becomewhatyouare said...

Yes, Kit. I am willing.

I've been willing 15 times. I've lost 10 children before term. I'd take any of them back in a heartbeat. I am willing for a 16th time, if I am so blessed.

I've been committed to the six human beings that made it to term, not for 10 months, but for the past 24 years. Has anyone been committed to you like that?

(if anyone is doing the math, one of our losses was a twin pregnancy, so 6 living here +9 preg. losses=15 pregnancies =16 children. sorry for the detour, but sometimes that confuses people.)

This does NOT make me a "baby machine." I am a MOTHER. And I am not less because I am a mother. I am more because I am.

I've had "unexpected" pregnancies (though never an unwanted one) and yeah, it's an emotional time. However, it is not the same as cancer ~ it wasn't even "like" cancer. Carrying a child is not a disease. That statement is ridiculous and extremely offensive.

Check the science. Those "lumps of cells" are fully human. Nothing less.

Murder is never the answer.

sherry said...

Kit,
I am a mother of many, one of those "baby machines" you deride so mercilessly.
Never mind that most probably also would stipulate that being a mother or a father is one of the hardest and most important jobs in the world.

I would argue that Men must have a say in this debate, for they are also radically effected by abortion. It is their sons and daughters too, that are killed, and whom they cannot by law defend from a woman's wrath. One year of a woman's life is worth a lifetime, or countless lifetimes. That's what your reasoning demands.

I've had nine children, including one with Downs Syndrome, and two children I lost in utero. I did not chose to be a baby machine, nor am I brainless about how the gift of sexuality works. It is precisely because I know that sex creates children, that I know abortion is wrong, EVEN IF, it is a hardship on the woman who decides to have sex.

Making a person a person simply because we wish it to be so is not possible. They always were humans, they were never a fish or a dog or a plant. They were only smaller. Each person starts at conception, this is scientific fact, not faith. Each person only becomes an adult by going through every state of being to get there without stopping, this is also scientific fact, not faith.

Denying a person to be a person because it is convenient to another, is what Hitler, Southern slave holders, and oppressive governments and people throughout history, have always done. 3/5 of a person, property, "Subhuman." The retarded and the weak were thrown off cliffs by the Spartans to keep the people strong.

Law may allow you to make an immoral choice --in Nevada, women can degrade themselves for money. But having the legal "right" to do something, does not make it morally right, whatever someone's feelings are about the issue. Law in its best form, is designed to help curb our human impulses to act on feeling alone, (fear, anger, despair, frustration, rage, unwillingness)when such acts would result in a grave injustice towards another. The unborn were once us.

Mary said...

Kit,
you said: An unwanted pregnancy IS a cancer
I say: No it isn't... it is a blessing...even if it takes the mother years to figure it out.. nobody has ever come to the end of their life and regretted having a child.

you said: Pregnancy ruins a woman's body, causes enormous financial hardship, and demands at the very least ten months' commitment
I say: Say what... I got thinner and stronger after each child I gave birth to... financial hardship? Since when does sharing a life cause you to go without your basic human needs (in this country)? I have been poor, unemployed and raising multiple children on my own (not by choice) and I assure you, we had food, shelter, and clothing. In this country there are people and agencies and Churches more than willing to help with necessities... in fact, we ate better, my kids went to private schools, and we were constantly given clothing during that time. Demands 10 months...that is actually sad... it really is a lifetime of joys and sorrows, pain and worry, and overwhelming satisfaction and love.

you asked: Are any of you willing to give up a year of your life?
I answer: emphatically YES! Over and over again if it meant more children to love!

you said: I believe women are worth something in and of themselves, not just as baby machines to produce sons.
I say: Me too... but the greatest joy I have ever known is raising children. I am not a baby machine, I am a woman. I am even an educated woman, I have been so many things to so many people in my lifetime, military member, blue collar worker, executive director of a corporation, wife, mother, friend...and so on.. again, the most rewarding and the greatest of these titles is mom.

you asked: do you people have any idea what pregnancy is like?
I answer: Yes, I do! I have 3 living children, one die at birth, and 4 miscarriages at various stages of pregnancy. I think that qualifies me to know that I love being pregnant, I love giving birth, I grieved and I cried at the loss of life, and I would do it all again.

you say you want to reduce unwanted pregnancy and the suffering that goes along with it right? So if we know what causes pregnancy and we don't want to be pregnant, we avoid the cause right? Isn't that what you do with cancer, or illness? So if you don't want a baby or the financial obligation it is easy... DON'T have sex right? Simple solution.. sex causes babies so avoid sex! OK.. So when you think about your choices and everybody's rights... the only logical time to make the choice not to have a baby is when you decide to have sex or not, after you have a positive pregnancy test is too late. By the time you find out you are pregnant, your baby (or blob of cells) has his or her own unique DNA and by that measure makes them a unique individual. They also have a gender and heck, they even have a beating heart and blood by the time the woman has been in to see a doctor for the first time after the positive pregnancy test.

Kit, I know you have it in you to recognize the truth in all these comments from all these women here. Don't be fooled by rhetoric about rights. The truth is that babies are babies, they are humans with rights too, not cancer or blobs. They are parasitic in that they need a womb to grow in.. but that is not to say that even out of the womb, after birth babies aren't dependent on others to sustain life.. they are. So should infanticide be ok? As I see it, kids are dependent on others for support often well into their 20's anymore... would it be ok to kill them then up to let's say 24?

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