Skip navigation

Category Archives: Abortion

Okay, at least Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post has some appearance of sanity. At least she gets that saying that we  celebrate a woman’s right to choose can be about choosing to HAVE THE DARN KID, not just about the heart-wrenching choice to off the little bastard (excuse my French). Jenkins comments on the controversial Tebow ad slated for the Super Bowl:

I’ll spit this out quick, before the armies of feminism try to gag me and strap electrodes to my forehead: Tim Tebow is one of the better things to happen to young women in some time. I realize this stance won’t endear me to the “Dwindling Organizations of Ladies in Lockstep,” otherwise known as DOLL, but I’ll try to pick up the shards of my shattered feminist credentials and go on.

As statements at Super Bowls go, I prefer the idea of Tebow’s pro-life ad to, say, Jim McMahon dropping his pants, as the former Chicago Bears quarterback once did in response to a question. We’re always harping on athletes to be more responsible and engaged in the issues of their day, and less concerned with just cashing checks. It therefore seems more than a little hypocritical to insist on it only if it means criticizing sneaker companies, and to stifle them when they take a stance that might make us uncomfortable.

I’m pro-choice, and Tebow clearly is not. But based on what I’ve heard in the past week, I’ll take his side against the group-think, elitism and condescension of the “National Organization of Fewer and Fewer Women All The Time.” For one thing, Tebow seems smarter than they do.

Advertisements

At left-leaning  TruthDig.Com, a pro-choice journalist defends the Stupak Ammendment and discusses the fallacies swirling around the pro-choice and pro-life communities:

Fallacy No. 1: The Stupak amendment is necessary to maintain the status quo, in which no federal money is used for abortions, except in cases of rape, incest or to preserve the life of the mother.

As it went to the floor, the House bill included an amendment, by California Democrat Lois Capps, that would have required all insurance plans in the exchanges to segregate public and private dollars to make certain that the public subsidies would not be used to underwrite abortion coverage.

But if the Capps restrictions do not go far enough, existing efforts to segregate federal funding from abortion coverage fall short as well. For example, Medicaid is a joint federal-state program. Federal law prohibits federal Medicaid funding for most abortions. But the law also lets states decide to use their own money for abortion coverage, and 17 do. How is that different from separating public and private dollars in the exchange? Likewise, current law allows family planning funds, national and international, to go to clinics that perform abortions, so long as the federal money is kept separate.

And no one questions—not yet, anyway—the fact that millions in tax dollars subsidize abortion coverage through the employer exclusion, which allows health insurance to be provided as a tax-free benefit. News alert: The single-largest subsidy in the tax code is going to pay for abortions!

Fallacy No. 2: Your money is fungible but mine isn’t.

The wall of separation between public and private funds is always going to have some degree of permeability. It’s just that some fungibility is deemed acceptable, and some not. It depends, it seems, on who gets the money.

The same folks who squawk about money being fungible when it comes to federal funding and abortion take the opposite view when it comes to federal funding and parochial schools or federal funding and faith-based programs.

When the Catholic Church takes government money to run homeless shelters or soup kitchens, it frees up dollars for other, religious expenses that wouldn’t be a permissible use of government funds. Somehow, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which pushed the Stupak amendment, isn’t bothered by this reality.

When the government gives low-income families school vouchers to use at parochial schools, or sends educational material and equipment to parochial schools, the bishops aren’t worried about whether that money is being commingled to subsidize religion.

“The simple fact that broad governmental social programs may have some effect of aiding religious institutions … cannot be cause for invalidating a program on Establishment Clause grounds,” the bishops argued in one case before the Supreme Court.

Fallacy No. 3: The Stupak amendment is such an intolerable intrusion on the rights of women to choose that it cannot be allowed to stand.

I’ve come to the reluctant conclusion that this is wrong, and that pro-choice forces may be making a mistake in elevating the importance of the amendment to the degree they have. The Stupak amendment is not worth killing health reform over.

The women most hurt by the amendment stand to gain much more from expanded insurance coverage. And while having coverage is preferable, it is not the same as putting an insurmountable obstacle in the way of abortion rights. Women who lack insurance still obtain—and, if the amendment survives, still will be able to obtain—abortions. It’s possible that the exchanges will evolve to supplant employer-based insurance, making the amendment’s impact far greater than it now appears.

That remote risk isn’t worth the greater danger: losing the opportunity to get reform now.

san-francisco-health-care-protest-shovel

The Daily Beast outlines how pro-life Democrats and a fairly moderate President Obama have been promising a Health Care Reform that would avoid using public money to fund abortions all along. So why are pro-choice Democrats so shocked? Maybe they were listening to the distortions of Glenn Beck and the Tea Party crowd.

In a July interview with Katie Couric and on the floor of Congress in September, President Obama promised there would be no public financing of abortion in health reform, meaning the procedure would not be available to women who opt in to any potential new public insurance plan. That pushed the goalposts closer to the pro-life position.

Others are pointing at the pro-choice groups themselves. Jane Hamsher, who runs the Netroots blog Firedoglake, says the organizations have gotten too cozy with the Democratic Party establishment, which often seeks to avoid public discussion of abortion. In the health-reform fight, NARAL and Planned Parenthood were less effective in advocating for their agenda than were proponents of the public insurance option, Hamsher said. “We went out and got commitments from members of the House to vote against any bill that doesn’t have a public option,” Hamsher told The Daily Beast. “They weren’t doing the same thing.”

Richards, of Planned Parenthood, said she wasn’t aware of any efforts, before Saturday’s vote, to extract promises from legislators to vote against a health bill that restricts abortion access. “Frankly, this issue came out Friday night,” she said. Yet Stupak has been on the warpath since July, when he released a letter signed by 19 Democrats demanding a ban on abortion coverage in the exchanges.

6a00d83451c45669e20120a4c441c4970b-500wi

When the Republican Party needs the conservative evangelical vote, they know just how to wind us up. All we like sheep…

Bork_new copy

Newsweek interviews Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan’s defeated Supreme Court appointee who many pro lifers thought could help end abortion by overturning Roe. He finds the concept absurd.

“I oppose abortion. But an amazing number of people thought that I would outlaw abortion. They didn’t understand that not only did I have no desire to do that, but I had no power to do it. If you overrule Roe v. Wade, abortion does not become illegal. State legislatures take on the subject. The abortion issue has produced divisions and bitterness in our politics that countries don’t have where abortion is decided by legislatures.”

Of course, it should be remembered that shortly before Roe was made the law of the land, the legislature in California had just liberalized its abortion laws. The governor at the time was Ronald Reagan. Ironic.

randallterry-0102

Anti-abortion activist Randall Terry was winding up the base today. Apparently, having a pro-choice president is a recipe for increased violence. All this murder and mayhem is Obama’s fault. Gosh, here I am wanting to blame Sarah Palin and Randall Terry for all their over-the-top rhetoric. I was way off.

In response to a follow up question from The Washington Independent‘s Dave Weigel about the correlation between violent right wing extremism and Democratic administrations, Terry recalled a quote, which he believed to have originated with either Robert or John F. Kennedy: “When you make peaceful protest impossible, you make violent protest inevitable,” adding, “I can promise you this–there is visceral contempt for this administration,” in the pro-life community.

Pro-lifers are beginning to sound a lot like the pro-deathers. Thanks alot, Obama.

p_cover_kelley

Can a pro-choice president be anti-abortion? Yes, he can.

President Barack Obama has tapped an anti-abortion activist to a senior Health and Human Services “faith-based” position just a week after the murder of prominent abortion doctor George Tiller.

Alexia Kelley is executive director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (CACG), and will head the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Health and Human Services.

According to The American Prospect, a liberal magazine, “Kelley is a leading proponent of ‘common ground’ abortion reduction — only CACG’s common ground is at odds with that of Obama. While the administration favors reducing the need for abortion by reducing unintended pregnancies, Kelley has made clear that she seeks instead to reduce access to abortion.”

Kelley’s appointment appears yet more salient in lieu of the fact that President Obama has expanded the faith-based project of the executive branch to include public policy — with an eye toward reducing the need for abortions.

cleavage_qN1Avs1ObXE9 copy

If a recent study is correct, a girl who has attended private religious schools is more likely to get an abortion than a girl who has attended public schools.

Despite Adamczyk’s finding that rates of reported abortions were higher for young women educated at private religious schools, the type of religious school was not a factor: Catholic schools had similar rates as other religious schools.”Religious school attendance is not necessarily indicative of conservative religious beliefs because students attend these schools for a variety of reasons,” Adamczyk said. “These schools tend to generate high levels of commitment and strong social ties among their students and families, so abortion rates could be higher due to the potential for increased feelings of shame related to an extramarital birth.”

Sadly, American Christianity has done a bang up job in making men and women feel more shame than mercy. Their learning institutions from 4K to grad school has also done a swell job of demanding a strong witness for their schools (i.e., Don’t get caught drinking or knocked up while unmarried, after all, what would Jesus do?). Conservative schools and well-meaning parents have encouraged Christian kids to put off marriage and never to settle for less than perfection. They have given religous girls a bubble in which to live that knows little of grace and forgiveness and plenty about not dressing trashy. A bubble that, in the end,  is as useless as a faulty condom.  The message is clear. Bad behavior must be kept on the down low, and upstanding, church-going parents must never be dissappointed. Worst of all, in this uptight, graceless system Jesus is reduced that cool dude hanging on the cross who we must never fail, rather than the Incarnate friend of sinners who understands and forgives messy lives. Maybe it’s time for Amercian Christianity to come to Jesus. After all, he is the one who famously had little patience with shame-bound religiosity. “Woe unto you, Scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites! You have omitted the weightier matters of the law––justice, mercy and faith.”

090531-tiller-hmed-10a.standard

Does abortion terminate a life? Without question. Does a woman’s right to privacy trump an embryo’s right to live. Sadly, it seems to. At least, it always has. That’s right. Always. Roe v. Wade made it legal, but abortion has always been available. Late term abortions, in particular. In fact, leaving unwanted babies to die by exposure was once the state of the art. A grizzly procedure that makes partial-birth abortion look almost humane. Which brings us to the big question. If  abortion stops a heart beat, is it then murder? If we look at the Bible, I’m afraid I would have to say “no.” At least, the God of the Old Testament––who instituted capital punishment for everything from killing a man to dishonoring your parents–– didn’t require the taking of the life of someone responsible for the death of a child in utero (Exodus 21). Which, at the very least, makes me reluctant to call our President a baby killer. Or abortion murder. However, most pro-life Christians are not nearly as reluctant to pull their punches. Some even pull the trigger. Which is how an abortionist came to die this Sunday. At his church. As he worshipped his Savior. As his wife watched on from the church choir loft. Murder. Plain and simple. And the saddest part of all? People who call themselves followers of Jesus are reading this and smiling.

6a00d83451c45669e201156f99981e970c-500wi

Our President advises the graduates of Notre Dame:

Hold firm to your faith and allow it to guide you on your journey. Stand as a lighthouse.

But remember too that the ultimate irony of faith is that it necessarily admits doubt. It is the belief in things not seen. It is beyond our capacity as human beings to know with certainty what God has planned for us or what He asks of us, and those of us who believe must trust that His wisdom is greater than our own.

This doubt should not push us away from our faith. But it should humble us. It should temper our passions, and cause us to be wary of self-righteousness. It should compel us to remain open, and curious, and eager to continue the moral and spiritual debate that began for so many of you within the walls of Notre Dame. And within our vast democracy, this doubt should remind us to persuade through reason, through an appeal whenever we can to universal rather than parochial principles, and most of all through an abiding example of good works, charity, kindness, and service that moves hearts and minds.

Gee. Nice sermon, for a baby killer.

Obama_Notre_Dame_Reyn_t300

Just in case you thought President Obama was the first pro-choice speaker ever to attend a Notre Dame commencement:

It turns out Notre Dame has had numerous leaders who support abortion rights — at least to a greater extent than the Catholic church does — speak at commencement. Here are some of them, including a few surprises:

– 2004: Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page, who voted in the Doe v. Gomez case in 1995 that taxpayer funding of abortion can’t be limited in the state.

– 2003: Richard Lugar, who is largely pro-life but has voted to expand stem cell research and allow the federal government to give grants to organizations that perform abortions.

– 2002: Newsman Tim Russert, who worked for pro-choice pols Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Mario Cuomo.

– 2001: George W. Bush, who, like Lugar, is usually seen as pro-life but favors exceptions in cases of rape and incest, thus contradicting church teaching.

– 1999: Elizabeth Dole, whose position is similar to Bush’s.

– 1988: Andrew Young, former ambassador, congressman, and Atlanta mayor who was “renowned among pro-choice activists for energetically promoting women’s rights during his two decades in Congress and city hall.”

– 1977: President Jimmy Carter, who has long straddled the rhetorical fence on this issue while promoting family planning, supporting abortion rights in certain circumstances, and never calling for Roe v. Wade to be overturned.

n599432894_947956_23651

So the GOP romance of the century is off. Bristol has made up her mind. And mom respects her choice. Just like she respected her daughter’s choice when she chose to have her baby instead of a nice, private abortion. It’s just the right to choose that she opposes. Which makes Sarah Palin more complicated than people give her credit for. But maybe Bristol’s choices aren’t always the wisest. Like not giving her baby the benefits of a two-parent household. In spite of all our modern ideas, statistics still indicate that kids raised in a two-parent household perform better in school and in life. The prisons are full of kids from one-parent households. The rest are in therapy. So how about it, Sarah? Where is all that small-town values stuff when it counts? Either hand over that child to an adoptive family that will love it. Or break out the twelve gauge. Afterall, this is Wasilla not Hollywood.

pope_benedict1

The Pope had a message for a member of his flock: “Abortion isn’t a personal decision. It’s a sin.” This message was delivered to Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, while visiting the Vatican this week. All Catholics, especially legislators, need to be on the right side of this issue. Or so the Pope says. Let’s see if Nancy repents of her Pro-Choice ways.

suffragettes

The original pro-life movement started decades before Roe v. Wade by what these days would be thought of as a very unlikely group: Female suffragettes. Abortion was seen as a wicked assault on both life and motherhood. Today, the liberal origins of this movement is often forgotten. But if you clear away the brush from the last 30 years of being so tightly aligned with the American conservative agenda, it is not out of the question that this cause could make headway in the age of Obama.

Micheal Doughtery writes in the American Conservative:

…the speakers and marchers were surprisingly gentle on Obama. Pastors pleaded from the dais for him to reconsider his support of legal abortion. Priests and rabbis quoted Obama’s inaugural rhetoric, saying that the unborn also deserve “the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free” under our laws. Over and over, speeches asked how he could remain true to his commitment to civil rights and deprive unborn children of the right to life.

The effect of this on the conscience of the new president is unknowable…The ease with which pro-lifers adopt Obama’s words shouldn’t surprise anyone. While the movement is a conservative social movement, dedicated to protecting the family from internal breakdown, it is also a liberal political movement, making the case for equal treatment under the law. This emphasis on egalitarianism draws from the same progressive traditions informing Obama’s rhetoric.