Poor Baby: The Most Beautiful Writing I’ve Read in Years

poorbaby

This reflection by a woman who had 3 abortions is, quite simply, the most beautiful writing I’ve read in a very long time. I started this book one night and I couldn’t stop until I had finished. Not because it was a page-turner. Not because it had any kind of suspense. But her writing, her language, was like a classic painting, I couldn’t turn away.

There is a bit of a disconnect between the first part of the brief e-book and the second. In the first she writes poetically on her past, a past that many women of the 60’s and 70’s could likely relate to. The second is not as poetic but it is a powerful testimony of mercy and forgiveness. It is her own testimony of her experiences with Project Rachel, a ministry of the Catholic Church to help women recovering from abortions.

I highly recommend this book to basically everyone. People working in the pro-life movement. People working in the pro-choice movement. People who have experienced abortion. People in ministry, especially Project Rachel. People who just like good writing.

It may seem like a bit of a rip-off, 3 bucks for a 54 page essay, but it is worth every penny. I definitely have a new addition to my list of favorite authors.

I think this may be only available as an e-book on the Kindle, but it’s available as a paperback as well. Learn more about purchasing it here.

 

Advertisements

Mother Teresa on Abortion

motherteresa

But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself.

And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.

By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems.

And, by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion.

Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.

– Mother Teresa at the National Prayer Breakfast in 1994, speaking in front of then President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, then VP Al Gore, and Tipper Gore.

Quite appropriate for this week as we just learned that Mother Teresa will be canonized soon.

Theology of the Body Thursday # 37:Women Need Abortion?

TOBThursdayslogo

I’m currently working on a blog enumerating the many, many ways that the assertion that “Women need abortion in order to be successful” is unspeakably insulting to… well… everyone, I want to concentrate today on that assertion from a Theology of the Body perspective.

Where do I start? The statement is so irredeemably screwed up. So, I’m going to limit myself to the idea that we are made to be gifts. An abortion is in many ways a refusal of the gift.

It is a refusal of the gift of the male who gave himself to the woman in the sexual act.

It is a refusal of the gift of fertility, that women were made with the awesome ability to bring new life into the world.

Of course, most obviously, it is a refusal of the child, a gift from God violently sent back to its Maker because it wasn’t the right time or the couple had “better” things to do.

“This likeness [to God] reveals that man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.”

-Gaudium et Spes

The statement that “Women need to have the right to an abortion in order to be successful” is a huge insult to the gift. It says implicitly that women don’t want the gift of fertility. They certainly don’t want the gift of a child. That children are a burden and motherhood is a pointless endeavor. That our plans and desires are more important than morality and success can only be measured by dollar signs and fancy titles.

This idea cannot be any more incompatible with the fact we can only find ourselves through a sincere gift of ourselves.

johnpauliicentercover

Want an Abortion? They have an app for that.

Last week, I talked a little about Women on Waves and their offer of free abortion drugs for people in Zika-affected areas. Today I want to share with you their app for anyone seeking a medical abortion.

womenonwaveslogoIt’s more than a little scary and I almost puked a little when I first found it. I’m not going to give you a link to the app. You can find it easily enough if you look. And it’s free.

So, about the app. It lists every country in the world and gives a summary of its laws regarding abortion. It gives links to find local clinics and other ways to get help getting an abortion.

Nothing about pro-life options at all. The only mention of adoption on the entire app in on the third question in the evaluation where they ask what you want to do about your pregnancy. The options they give are simply abortion, adoption, or keep the baby. The website they give for more information about adoption is useless. So much for choice.

Perhaps the most scary part of the app is the option to get pills for a medical abortion. It asks to you take an online evaluation. A doctor will look at the evaluation and for a (negotiable) fee, you can get the pills delivered to your door. Now, someone, tell me how this is legal! It’s not like there aren’t laws about shipping stuff in the mail, despite what the app claims. It claims that “In most countries there is no violation of customs regulations when you receive the medicines at your home address [for personal use].” That’s not even true in the US.

Don’t worry, they give a helpful video explaining how to take the drug:

The video encourages lying to your health care provider. But I sure hope you didn’t lie during your online evaluation. That would be bad.

In their defense, as much as it pains me to say anything in their defense, they are transparent about the risks to the woman and they strongly recommend having an ultrasound if possible to determine the age of the unborn child (so much so that they will stop an evaluation if you say you have not had one). They tell you to make sure you have friends with you when you take the drugs and to be within an hour from a medical center.

That recommendation, the fee and the fact all of this is available on a phone app makes the whole thing reek of classism. Only the wealthy in countries in which abortion is severely restricted would have access to this service. Wealthy people would likely have other means to break the law and usually poverty is a driving force behind needing an abortion in the first place.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to leave you with this nasty taste in your mouth. I will in coming weeks talk more about pro-life apps to help women facing unplanned pregnancies, but here is a list to get you started:

The Life App- Android   iTunes   Windows

SUG- Android   iTunes

And numerous individual crisis pregnancy centers have their own apps. Just search “pro-life” in your favorite app store.

 

 

 

Today is the Birthday of Pro-Life Feminist Warrior, Susan B. Anthony

suzzyb

One hundred and ninety-five years ago today, suffragist and feminist Susan B. Anthony was born in Adams, MA. This most awesome woman was born into a politically active Quaker family. She was still a child when she started work in the anti-slavery movement. She dedicated the majority of her life to fighting for women’s rights including equal pay for equal work, the right to vote, the right to own property, the right to sign petitions and speak publicly. Like many women suffragists, she was also active in the temperance movement.

She was the more active half of a famous example of true friendship. Her partner-in-crime, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was married with 7 children, so she mainly stayed home, wrote, edited and womanned the fort while the unmarried, childless Anthony traveled across the US and spoke out for women.

 

Although abortion now is quite different than abortion in 1800’s, her views on the procedure are beyond debate. She refused to advertise abortion providers and abortifacient drugs in her publication The Revolution. The Revolution did publish, however, an anonymous essay containing the following quote:

Guilty? Yes, no matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed. It will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death; but oh! Thrice guilty is he who, for selfish gratification, heedless of her prayers, indifferent to her fate, drove her to the desperation which impels her to the crime.

Anthony herself said this in response to a man who complimented her saying she would have made a good mother:

I thank you, sir… but sweeter even than to have had the joy of caring for children of my own has it been to me to help bring about a better state of things for mothers generally, so that their unborn little ones could not be willed away from them.

In speaking about the evils of society perpetuated by men, Anthony lists abortion.

The prosecutions on our courts for breach of promise, divorce, adultery, bigamy, seduction, rape; the newspaper reports every day of every year of scandals and outrages, of wife murders and paramour shooting, of abortions and infanticides, are perpetual reminders of men’s incapacity to cope successfully with this monster evil of society.

We also have found in her diary a couple passages in which she mourns her sister-in-law’s abortion.

While it is unclear whether she would be for criminalizing abortion, she clearly saw it as murder and fought for a better life for both mother and child. If she were alive today, she would speak out against abortion. She would agree with pro-life feminist Sidney Callahan who says, “Women will never climb to equality and social empowerment over mounds of dead fetuses.” (By the way, fetus is just Latin for ‘baby.’)

Hillary Clinton said Stuff in 1995 that I Agree With

Pope John Paul II wrote an eye-opening Letter to Women on the eve of the UN’s 4th World Conference on Women held in 1995 in Beijing. This letter should be read by every female on the planet. He apologized on behalf of the Church for all of the discrimination we have faced. He waxed poetic about how freaking awesome we are. He demonstrated without a doubt how well he really understood us.

Mothers-Day-MUR

Image from the USCCB. This is only one kind of woman that he thanks in this letter.

Why do I mention this? Because his was far from the only voice heard at the conference. Hillary Clinton, at the time the First Lady of the United States, spoke in a plenary session and surprisingly both contradicted and unintentionally echoed some of John Paul II’s words. Reading her speech, it was a challenge to me to not read abortion rights into every sentence. As a pro-life activist reading a pro-choice activist’s words, I’m naturally on the defense. But she said a few good things I’d like to share with you:

What we are learning around the world is that if women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will flourish. If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations do as well. That is why every woman, every man, every child, every family, and every nation on this planet does have a stake in the discussion that takes place here.

Many of us has heard:

ec6fb69f354947987b35767ef4f06785

In John Paul II’s Letter to Women, he does stretch this to include women, that women are an essential part of the family.

Clinton also said:

 We [women] are the primary caretakers for most of the world’s children and elderly. Yet much of the work we do is not valued–not by economists, not by historians, not by popular culture, not by government leaders.

I did read a very good book once that made the argument that while workplaces are sexist, often they are even more anti-caregiver regardless of gender. Perhaps, in many cases even worse for the male caregiver than the female. Someone taking time off to care for others is looked down upon. If you quit for your family, you often publicly make up some other excuse.

As John Paul II says in his letter:

And what shall we say of the obstacles which in so many parts of the world still keep women from being fully integrated into social, political and economic life? We need only think of how the gift of motherhood is often penalized rather than rewarded, even though humanity owes its very survival to this gift. Certainly, much remains to be done to prevent discrimination against those who have chosen to be wives and mothers. As far as personal rights are concerned, there is an urgent need to achieve real equality in every area: equal pay for equal work, protection for working mothers, fairness in career advancements, equality of spouses with regard to family rights and the recognition of everything that is part of the rights and duties of citizens in a democratic State.

Our society depends on caregivers for our very survival, but all caregivers have to fight for respect.

Clinton concludes her speech:

The time is now. We must move beyond rhetoric. We must move beyond recognition of problems to working together, to have the common efforts to build that common ground we hope to see.

Sadly, instead of coming together looking for common ground, our politics are becoming more and more polarized. You can just see that today in the varied responses to the death of Justice Scalia. I don’t trust Clinton to seek such common ground, but it’s a nice sentiment I wish all politicians would strive for. It is a goal that needs to be reached particularly when it comes to women’s rights.

Don’t mistake this for any kind of endorsement. She did mention abortion and birth control several times in her speech under the euphemism “family planning.” Her views on abortion are clear.  Her speech, however, is very good and offers plenty to ponder.

UPDATED: Zika and Abortion

It shouldn’t be any surprise to anyone that abortion-rights advocates have been using a terrible disease called Zika to push their agenda, trying to topple some of the toughest abortion laws in the world.

Zika is a disease spread by mosquitoes and it is currently found mainly in Central and South America. The majority of people who catch it never feel any symptoms. Most of those who feel symptoms will feel like they caught the flu and the symptoms are gone within days, so they will never seek medical attention and never be formally diagnosed. Zika rarely results in death.

Aedes_aegypti

So, why is this a news story? Zika is still a mystery and may cause some serious health issues like Guillain-Barre. There is thought to be a link between Zika and the birth defect, microcephaly. This link is unproven, but it is enough for abortion-rights advocates to storm the Supreme Federal Court in Brazil and for a particularly despicable group, Women on Waves, to offer free abortion pills to anyone living in Zika-affected areas.

Women in these countries are being told by their government not get pregnant for two years while the bishops’ are taking a strong stance for life. It’s impossible not to sympathize with their fear and confusion. Enter Brazilian journalist Ana Carolina Caceres. She has microcephaly, and she says:

I believe that abortion is a short-sighted attempt to tackle the problem. The most important thing is access to treatment: counselling for parents and older sufferers, and physiotherapy and neurological treatment for those born with microcephaly.

I believe her whole article should be required reading for anyone in this debate. The link is unproven. The birth defect isn’t a death sentence. And even if it were, all life is sacred. These activists should be ashamed of themselves.

UPDATE: Doctors in the region are now saying that they believe that the outbreak of microcephaly is caused by the larvacide (insecticide that targets baby mosquitos) being used to combat Zika rather than Zika itself.