May 18, 2009 by Brigitte Pellerin 13 Comments
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This is the phoniest man alive.
Obama needs to explain to me where this “middle” ground is. The pro- abortion crowd supports killing unborn babies. We anti- abortionists are against the killing of unborn babies. How do you meet in the middle on that, only kill half the baby. Seriously though Obama is extremely phony and on top of it he proudly supports the pro- abortion party line (we support your choice as long as it’s abortion). I was greatly disappointed in Notre Dame’s choice. It seems like they chose being cool instead of choosing to support life.
Finding the middle group may include things like working to eliminate or reduce poverty conditions, one of the reasons why many women decided to have an abortion. Thats what he means when developing a strategy to reduce abortions. I’m not saying I’m totally on board with Obama, but I think this issue deserves some thought.
I know this post has nothing to do with George W. Bush, but just to give a contrast, Dr. Glen Harold Stassen from Sojourners in 2004 argues that abortion rates increased with Bush. Yes, he’s a very prolife president and he altered abortion laws and thats great for him, but he didn’t address some of the causes, like poverty. http://www.factcheck.org/UploadedFiles/HoustonChroniclecom-Why-abortion-rate-is-up-in-Bush-years.pdf.
Stassen also wrote a similar response in light of Obama’s address, challenging him and Congress to pass these changes: http://blog.sojo.net/2009/05/18/challenging-obama-on-abortion/
I’m not saying I’m not conflicted with Obama on abortion, but here is another point of view.
Rebekah said, “[President Bush] didn’t address some of the causes [of abortion], like poverty.” There’s serious poverty in America? Poverty is a cause of abortion? The civil government has the responsibility of reducing poverty? This thought of Rebekah’s (or Mr. Harold’s) is wrong in more than one way.
As far as I know, America’s poorest are not starving. The present generation is much better off than most previous generations. The Pilgrims, as we all know, were starving or dying of cold and exposure in their first years in America. I don’t know how many Pilgrim women committed suicide, but I highly doubt that they killed their babies. That’s the lifeboat mentality: who do we throw overboard first?
Please keep the government out of wealth redistribution! The civil government is force, and forced giving “to the poor” usually ends up becoming forced giving to corrupt politicians. Look at Indian reservations or African countries. Helping the poor doesn’t have to mean the dole–it certainly shouldn’t anyway–but it often does in one way or another. If not done properly, it encourages the poor to be lazy and the ever-bigger government to be more oppressive. It’s the job of the Church, not the civil government.
“…the dignity possessed by all children of God…” (around last 1:00)
On a different note, Jon, I don’t think any of us here would deny that financial difficulty is a legitimate reason to have an abortion. However, the reality is that financial difficulty does encourage women to have abortions. Recognizing this fact, and also recognizing our duty to show compassion for and to help others, it would be wise for pro-lifers to support initiatives reducing such financial constraints in the interest of showing love to fellow human beings and reducing abortion.
Natalie, I think you meant to say that you DO “think any [or everyone] of us here would deny that financial difficulty is a legitimate reason to have an abortion.”
You say that “the reality is that financial difficulty does encourage women to have abortions.” You bring to mind the account recorded in 2 Kings 6:24-31. Two mothers agreed to eat their sons because they were all starving. The whole city was starving. People were gathering bird poop and selling it in the market as food. No American is in such desperate straits! When expectant mothers forcibly abort because of mere financial difficulty, then what’s needed is greater expectations of them (and their men) from society–and greater discipline with regard to sexual intercourse–and planned parenthood (God’s plan, not Planned Parenthood). Maybe we should lobby for real education in the public schools, not try to unrealistically eliminate every difficulty in life. Not that we can’t do both, but I don’t like what seems to be to be your socialist emphasis.
You say that we have a “duty to show compassion for and to help others.” The proper agent to process such expressions of compassion and help, when not directly made oneself, is the Church. I don’t want to be too simplistic, but I do want to argue over the emphasis here. Your first comment was critical of President Bush, but he much more than any Republican president before him (I think) practiced “compassionate conservatism” (or his version of it), and he spent a lot of money on the same. You can’t fault him, but I can (for making government too big).
If we want to give, then let’s give. But we may not force others (really rich people) to give instead of us. Let them give on their own! They’ll spend their money more wisely and compassionately than the government will.
I said that I don’t want to be “too simplistic.” Actually I don’t want to be simplistic at all, so I’ll appreciate any examples of wise legislation that reduce financial constraints without greatly expanding the power of the civil government and increasing taxes.
Thanks for the correction.
I’m quite on board with greater emphasis on personal responsibility in both dealing with the consequences of ones actions and giving to those in need individually, and not waiting around for the wealthy to do it.
But when we minimize the suffering of women and in the face of their very real (though not necessarily life-threatening) challenges and simply say “suck it up–it’s not that bad!” we’re not going to get anywhere with the ‘middle group’ and we’re missing an opportunity to effectively reduce abortions. I appreciate the republican and limited-government ideals you’re supporting, but if we’re discussing where the emphasis should be, perhaps we should prioritize reducing the number of abortions over reducing the size of the government in the short term. Ideally these two goals could go hand-in-hand, and hopefully will in the long run, but in the mean time, to echo Rebekah, pragmatic strategies that will save lives and reduce suffering and poverty are worth our consideration.
Regarding John and Natalie’s discussion, I don’t believe that poverty in the US is fueling abortions. There are numerous resources in the US for pregnant women, from the private and public sector: food, medical care, shelter, job training, baby supplies, etc., all readily available and easily accessible. These are turned down in favor of the quick-fix appeal of abortion. No matter what reason is given for having an abortion, it boils down to this: a woman with an unplanned pregnancy can legally become unpregnant. Presented behind a cloud of misleading euphemisms, this seems infinitely more convenient.
I would prefer to leave Janette’s comment as the conclusion, but I can’t ignore–to echo Natalie and Rebekah–the best “pragmatic strategy that will save lives and reduce suffering.” And it’s already being done! The fact that desperate expectant mothers would rather abort their children than give them up for adoption says a lot about them, in my opinion. I’m aware of the fact that pregnancy and delivery are no picnic, but abortion isn’t a picnic, either. Are expectant mothers currently being turned down when they want to give up their children for adoption? Adoption, one would think, reduces poverty, and there are crisis pregnancy centres willing to help, maybe also financially aid, the expectant mother. Adoption and abortion have the same result for her: no child. Is her boyfriend or employer the problem perhaps? I realize that not all jobs can be done while carrying a child…
Anti-abortionists are anti-women, since when abortions are illegal, women resort to coat hangers and suffer agonizing consequences. This is a well known fact.
Why would I pay taxes to support kids that nobody wanted or needed? It is not the higher-income-bracket people who have excessive number of kids, you know….If you try to pass laws to try to make me undergo physical torture that pregnancy is, it would only be fair that we pass laws that would deny expensive medical treatments to kids whose parents do not pay sufficient income tax….Would you like that, breeders?
Nina, I’m all in favour of getting the civil government out of health care. It’s not their responsibility. Besides, there aren’t enough future tax-payers to pay for it: as you say, the higher-income people aren’t having kids. But if there aren’t enough tax-payers to pay for your retirement health care, we can always euthanize you. (I wouldn’t.)
To modify an oft-used saying: if you don’t want a pregnancy, don’t get one. That abortions cause agonizing consequences is a well-known fact; however, the coat-hanger abortion is mostly a well-known myth. Abortionists are anti-children, and you seem quite anti-children yourself. Children and women are not mutually exclusive. I would like to think of myself as being pro-woman and pro-children.
I volunteered for several years at a crisis pregnancy center and I can tell you that there is a great deal of very real poverty in the US. There is a lot of “hidden homelessness,” people sleeping in cars or on friends’ sofas because they can’t afford the deposit or rent on an apartment or because they are trying to escape an abusive relationship. I would say that most of our clients were working, sometimes long hours in hard jobs, but they still needed to come to us for diapers or go to the food bank to make ends meet. Believe me, it is very difficult to make the case to someone in those situations that carrying their pregnancy to term is a great idea, especially when our abortion-friendly culture promises a quick, “easy” solution.
I believe that a living wage, affordable medical care, and safe, affordable housing would go a very long way toward reducing the number of abortions here. (Whether it is the government’s job to provide those things is another discussion but personally, I would have no problem with it.)
And as for: “Why would I pay taxes to support kids that nobody wanted or needed?” Nina, your utilitarian selfishness reaffirms my belief that the pro-choice lobby is filled with elitist snobs who are more interested in promoting eugenics than equality. Thanks for reminding me that I am, in fact, one of the good guys.