Thursday, August 11, 2005

Abortion Hurts Women

A few years ago I participated, with some friends and family, in a peaceful, pro-life demonstration. At the beginning of the demonstration we were handed a stack of signs, which we split up amongst us. My sign read "Abortion Hurts Women."

Huh? In my mind the pro-choice movement had monopolized the issue of women's rights, but as I stood holding that sign, I began to really think about which side has women's best interests in mind.

Since then I've come across a group called Feminists for Life. This group teaches that a true defense of women's right would protect a woman's right to have an education and a child, or a career and a child, and not this either/or mentality that the pro-choice movement pushes.

Thanks to Jane Sullivan Roberts (John Roberts' wife) involvement with Feminists for Life, it's been getting some great media coverage and I hope everyone will take the time to visit FFL and read what they are all about.

Where does Feminists for Life fit in the Pro-Life Community, Rob Moll, Christianity Today

Feminists for Life is where the policy meets the pavement, Foster told Christianity Today. By addressing the forces that push women toward abortion, Feminists for Life tries to make abortion "unthinkable," not just illegal. Whether lack of support from a father, the need to work full-time, or a lack of resources on a college campus to care for a child, their feminist concern for the vulnerable motivates their concern for both the baby and the woman. Major legal pushes recently have included passage of the Violence Against Women Act, fighting the family cap on welfare, and supporting laws enforcing child support.

The Bible and feminists.

Feminists for Life builds upon the work of the early American feminists who found their feminist moorings in the Bible, says Haddad. "Secular feminists often place their feminist convictions above the authority of Scripture. The early feminists were suffragists because they believed their Christian voice had an important place in the public square."

More articles:

Feminists for Life Refuse to Choose, Dallas Morning News

Changing the Tone, Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review

When Heaton won her first "Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series" Emmy in 2000 for Everybody Loves Raymond, she thanked her mother for "letting me out because life is really amazing." That's the kind of honest, happy enthusiasm FFL brings to the "pro-life" cause and the abortion debate in America. Just a genuine love for life and desire to get us all protecting it. One of Heaton's FFL sound bites is: "women who experience an unplanned pregnancy also deserve unplanned joy." FFL's attitude is that women — especially frightened, anxious women — deserve to know that. The ad I see most from Feminists for Life reads: "Abortion is a reflection that we have not met the needs of women. Women deserve better than abortion." Every life involved in an abortion, including the baby, the mother and the father, is precious — and Feminists for Life is working toward a more complete conversation about abortion and its inhumanity.

Pro-life Feminism is No Oxymoron, Crispen Sartwell, Christian Science Monitor


Lauren said...

Sometimes the choice to have an abortion is not for the sake of an education or a career. Some women just are not ready to me moms or just don't want a child.

I know, I know, "then she shouldn't have sex." That is the stock response from any pro-lif-er, anwyay. Unfortunately, real life is not as cut and dry as some idealists or extremists would like it to be.

I just can't wrap my brain around why the pro-life/pro-choice issue even has grounds. I mean, pro-choice is just that: having a choice. It is not saying that either is right or the other is wrong, it does not advocate terminating pregnancies, it is not founded by the American Coalition for Population Maintenance, and it most certainly is not the mating call of the sinners.

I feel much the same about this topic as I do with the homosexual rights issues. I can't understand why there are groups of these (Chrisitan) extremists preaching that their way is the only way and that want to keep people from living their own lives solely based on their own religion and views.

Who is it hurting if two men are allowed to be married and have the same rights that are afforded to me and my husband? Is it fair that my best friend cannot marry the love of his life becasue they are both men?

In the same respect, one woman's choice to or not to keep a pregnancy is really no one's business but her own. And, she should have every right to make that choice for herself.

Kim, I love you very much. However, I have a very short nerve where pro-lifers, and pretty much every other conservative human interest viewpoint, is concerned.

Kim Traynor said...

Hi Lauren, you may have a short-nerve on this issue, but you expressed yourself very courteously and that is the first step toward having a really meaningful conversation on such a heated topic. So thanks!

First of all, I apoligize if I acted like there is anything cut and dry about the reasons women get abortions. The way I feel is the opposite, that it is complex and heart breaking. What I love about FFL is that they aren't about condemning the action they are about preventing it in a way that adds to the quality of life of the mother and child.

I used to be pro-choice because I sympathized so much with the women who had to choose. I never stopped sympathizing with those women but, as you can see, now I'm pro-life. The reason I switched positions is that I did some research and decided that an unborn child is a human being. That's what clarified the issue for me. I don't have a right to take any human's life no matter how closely they are related to me or how much they depend on me. It's not a matter of privacy, it's a matter of basic civil rights.

Because our independence as a nation was founded on the principle that all persons are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain fundamental rights, I believe it is a civil rights violation rival only to slavery that the government would stand by and not protect the equality of the unborn.

My position is that all Americans, regardless of the stage of life or sexual orientation or faith or health or race, ought to receive equal protection under the law.

I love you too, Lauren. You have a heart for justice and you've seen how discrimination and injustice has hurt gays in this country, and it grieves you. I hope you will apply your heart for justice and equality to all Americans, including the ones with no voices.

Kim Traynor said...


Just for the record, my position on the rights of gay Americans is that the government has no grounds to discriminate against anyone based on their sexual orientation.

People who follow the the teachings of the Bible are taught not to engage in homosexual relationships, or pre-marital relationships, or extra-marital relationships, but whether a person does or not is between that person and their faith, NOT that person and their government.

Government ought to protect people's rights, not legislate morality.

Pops said...

Planned Parenthood's research arm found that women get abortions for two reasons. They don't feel they can financially support a child, or they don't have the support of their partner. If that is true, do these women feel pressured into an abortion, or do they feel they are simply making a choice. I'm not talking about women who just don't feel like being a mom. Want isn't an issue for a woman whose boyfriend says he'll split if she has the baby. That's not choice. Femimists for Life says women should have resources (from government, work, church, etc.) to take care of their kids if their men won't help financially or emotionally. I think that's just something to applaud.

Lauren said...

Perhaps it is my legal-minded-ness that adds such passion to these types of topic/issues, for me.

On the Choice/Life issues:
Legally, an unborn child is not considered a human being.
(For example, if a person, A, shoves a pregnant woman, B, down a flight of stairs and this causes such trauma to result in a miscarriage, A would not be charged with murder but rather a degree of assault upon B.)
Further, there is already a life to be considered, before that of the unborn. Isn't it also a Civil Rights issue for her? Is it just to afford a "life" inside her more rights than to her? Or, rather, not more rights, but more weighted rights?
The pro-life stance does not afford ezual protectio under the law for women and their unborn.

I have checked out the FFL website (I think I saw it a few years ago, too, while doing a political science project, but I could be wrong). Like I said previously, addressing education and career issues for women with unwanted pregnancies does not offer a solution for the "problem." It still addresses the issue with the same closed-conservativism as most other pro-life organizations.

Not that this is a reason for everyone and all laws to be pro-choice, but, women will get abortions whether is is legal/accepted or not. Not only has history proven this, but look at drugs laws and usage. I mean, usage has actually increased since the "War on Drugs" began -- making something illegal does not mean that it will not happen anymore.

I won't even go into the religious beliefs behind pro-life views and how it is not right to push personal religion onto other people/judge others based on your own religious beliefs... that is a whole other ball game.

Just a note: I am not trying to change your mind (because you could no sooner change mine) over to my way of thinking (aka, the right way of thinking). I get a lot of "shit" from people sometimes telling me how it is insensitive and immoral and ... well, you know the standard name-calling, for me to stand on the pro-choice sidelines.

Pops said...

Actually, under the Unborn Child Protection Act, it is illegal to push a pregnant women down the stairs. Someone could be charged for injury to both the woman and baby.

Abortion and infanticide have always gone on. That doesn't mean that we need to subsidize abortion clinics with taxpayer money.

Lauren said...

Kim, I am so glad to see a Christian say this, to see YOU say this...

"People who follow the the teachings of the Bible are taught not to engage in homosexual relationships, or pre-marital relationships, or extra-marital relationships, but whether a person does or not is between that person and their faith, NOT that person and their government.

Government ought to protect people's rights, not legislate morality.

... thank you.

(For the record, I am a Christian and I am a Catholic, but I do not agree with those churches' views on many, many things. I struggle to find my place in many churches because I am a "liberal."

I too, think that FFL's mission is a noble one and I wholeheartedly applaud their efforts.
I am saying that simply having those resources would not eliminate the "need" for abortions in the first place.

Also, women get abortions for more than two reasons. My reasons would not have been for lack of support or lack of finances. Like, in college, I had a total support system of friends and family, and I was even married before my senior year (for those of you that don't know me), and I would not want to bring a child into this world to parents that are not ready.
And T can think of at least 3 other reasons, too.

Kim Traynor said...

Thanks pops, interesting stuff!

Hi Lauren, never say never!

Anyway, if we're talking about law, I have a couple of things to add. First: our laws actually do state that unborn children have rights. See below:

"The Unborn Victims of Violence Act is also known as "Laci and Conner's Law" after Laci Peterson and her unborn son, Conner, whose disappearance and death drew national attention. The California woman was nearly eight months pregnant when she disappeared in December 2002; Laci and Conner's bodies were found the following April.

"Under the law, anyone who harms a woman's unborn child while committing a federal crime commits a distinct federal crime against the child in addition to the crime against the woman."

The second thing is that American law doesn't always get it right. For generations we enslaved black americans. Just because people could find legal justification to enslave other humans didn't make it right, similarly roe v. wade might make it legal, but it doesn't make it right. The law needs to change.

Finally, I don't believe that an unborn child is a human because of my religion. I believe it because of science and logic. What determines someone's humanity? Is it their iq? Is it their mobility? Is it their size? Is it their autonomy? If it were these things than huge chunks of the population would be excluded from "humanity." No, it's none of those things. If someone is alive (and they are alive, ask any biolgist) and is a human being (check their DNA, they are all human from the moment of conception)then they deserve the basic rights afforded to all living human beings.

I hope this doesn't qualify as giving you "shit!" I'm glad you are not on the sidelines and folks like you and I shouldn't be afraid to speak our minds just because some folks might get bent out of shape. Even though I don't talk about controversial subjects very often I hope that when I do this blog will be a safe place for the people who disagree with me as well as those who agree with me.

Kim Traynor said...

Hi guys, I'm such a slow blogger that I didn't even see those last two posts before I posted mine, sorry for the redundancy!

Lauren said...

(1) I did not mean to tie the question of whether a baby is or is not a human being to religion, I meant them as separate entities. I only brought in religion to say that many people's view on abortion comes from their religion/beliefs. The human being issue was meant to be under the law topic.

(2) I did not say or intend to imply that there were no charges that could be filed. I spoke specifically of murder and it was a very vague example.

Controversial issues such as abortion get especially confusing because of contradictory laws from state to state and state to federal levels (just to note).

But, I'm going to stop my "arguements" here because I know too much on the subject to have a proper debate in the comments section of a blog. Plus, I hate Hate HATE debating! (Maybe its becasue I was forced into so many of them throughout the years.)

seegeepee said...

I know this thread is over and done with, but I wanted to butt in anyway. Then it kept getting longer, and longer, and finally I moved it to my own page, so as not to make yours a'splode.

Kim Traynor said...

This thread is open as long as anyone wants to say his or her peace. I won't be around much this weekend, got the much anticipated art fair, but I'll see y'all next week!

Crystal said...

"Just for the record, my position on the rights of gay Americans is that the government has no grounds to discriminate against anyone based on their sexual orientation.

People who follow the the teachings of the Bible are taught not to engage in homosexual relationships, or pre-marital relationships, or extra-marital relationships, but whether a person does or not is between that person and their faith, NOT that person and their government.

Government ought to protect people's rights, not legislate morality.

Kim I haven't read through all of the comments yet for this post but right after I read the above comment I just had to comment now. I could not agree with any more about this subject. I feel EXACTLY the same way.


OK back to reading the LONG comments. I may not comment on this subject tonight because I am very tired from my party. But for the record in case anyone who reads this is curious or cares I am 100% pro-life. YEP!