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Monday, November 24, 2014

I thank everyone who supported me and my baby

This Thanksgiving week, Secular Pro-Life is giving a few guests the opportunity to thank the pro-life heroes in their lives.

First up is Valerie Lopez, a Texas A & M University student who got a huge shock in January: she was pregnant, and for added drama, she didn't find out until she was already 23 weeks along! A late-term abortion was never an option for Valerie, whose dedication to the pro-life cause included a leadership role at TAMU's pro-life student organization and an internship with SPL. But Valerie still needed support as she navigated the special challenges of parenting as a student... with just four months to prepare.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. I'd add that the village gets involved long before the child is born! Valerie thanks:
  • her mom, who was strongly supportive,
  • her friends, "who never delivered an ounce of judgment and threw me a surprise baby shower,"
  • her family, "who made big changes and lots of room for an extra person in their lives," and last but certainly not least
  • her partner Ervin, the baby's father, to whom Valerie is now engaged. "Instead of being worried about himself and everything going on in his life, he showed pure joy throughout the entire pregnancy and is now a great father," Valerie says. "I am so thankful because I know how much my son is loved, especially by his parents."
Baby Noah was born six months ago, and I have to agree: while his conception wasn't planned, there's no question he's very much loved! 

Above: the family of scallywags at Halloween

110 comments:

secularprolife.org said...

That's great and I wish the couple the best of luck, the difficulties of raising a child grows exponentially as they begin to walk and talk back at you, but not to say that joy diminishes... I remember a story similar to this a bit before my time of an undergraduate woman at the Univ. of Chicago, who became pregnant. She did give birth, completed her bachelors and gave one of the valedictory speeches at graduation, while the father apparently took a few extra years to graduate, and was no longer involved in the child's life. One common thread between these two stories is that the grandparent(s) gave lots of support.

Would the story have played out in a similar way if the student was say an exchange student from a poor 3rd world country, with no parents or relatives anywhere nearby? Would it have been a good idea for such a student, possibly one of the first women (or men) from her village or slum given this opportunity for a first-world education, to go ahead and become a mother? This situation is actually not that uncommon in higher education all around the world. By being a pioneer, she may be able to improve the lot of future women (and men) in her country by having had an abortion and concentrating on completing her degree at the top of her class.

And I'm not so sure how this person is exactly a "pro-life hero". There are also many pro-choicers who believe in choice, yet would decide to give birth when confronted with this situation, due to their abundant financial resources and parental help.

secularprolife.org said...

Well I have heard from myintx that church charities will magically fix everything and pay 250k to raise the kid to 18.

secularprolife.org said...

Just out of curiosity, will Christian charities also do this for a Muslim baby? Or an atheist baby? If so, I would commend such a church.

secularprolife.org said...

No, I don't believe they will. I have heard horror stories of people being denied food because they let it slip that they are atheist.

And most CPCs are backed by religious organizations and they only donate diapers and formula, which won't help if you have no insurance and an expensive hospital bill.

secularprolife.org said...

I have no clue either. But Christianity is very worried about its dwindling followers. I wonder if they would still be pro-life if they knew the new kid isn't an automatic convert or possibly an "evil" Muslim.

secularprolife.org said...

I can't find the link now, but Christian charities receive millions of dollars per year from the US government to spend on helping the poor. Apparently the head of one such charity turned down millions of dollars in public funds because the government said that public monies could not be used to discriminate against non Christians. So this charity chose to let the poor suffer vs help non Christians

secularprolife.org said...

To be fair, I think there are Christian charities that aren't like that. Unitarians, Presbyterians and Quakers appear to be driven more by humanism than a mad dash to increase followers. But I did read about how gay adoption agencies chose to close up shop rather than allow gay couples to adopt.

secularprolife.org said...

Yep. The Unitarians are pro choice too.

The thing is, many pro lifers behave as if charity is ubiquitous, when it clearly can't reach everyone.

secularprolife.org said...

This is a personally pro-life story. The Pro-life ideal goes well beyond the political, indeed, there are pro-lifers who believe there should be no choice available, but aren't the least bit involved in politics. For the woman herself, she's talking about pro-life people who made it possible to live out her pro-life ideals, much like a pro-literacy person giving a child a book, though they don't get involved in political fights to increase funding to schools. It's a good thing in the right direction towards our goals, though it might not have further impact that this one person's story.

But I do think that stories like this are important. It should give us pro-lifers some perspective: this is what it is going to take to have a society that stamps out abortion for all but the extreme cases. As you said, those support structures are intrinsic to surviving and even thriving during a crisis pregnancy. If those structures don't exist on the familial, or communal level, we need to make sure they are available on a governmental level. So that is what we need to work towards.

secularprolife.org said...

I guess what I was confused about is that this is a story about a person making a personal decision. Many pro-choicers would also make the same decision in such a situation.

I'm assuming this story is "heroic" because of the pregnant student. Many pro-choicers are quite supportive of a woman's educational and professional opportunities, as well as her ability to live an independent life. And this is one reason pro-choicers believe that a woman's right to choose is important: having and caring for a kid is no joke. They will interfere with school, and early in one's career is when one is most likely to be learning their trade and will be expected to work crazy hours.


For this story to be inspirational and to have meaning to couples in the same situation, I think it needs to showcase someone who has found a way to balance education or career and a new baby. As it stands, it just tells me about someone who JUST had a baby while a student. Did this student graduate? Is she planning to pursue a higher degree or perhaps go into a field she has set her sights on? Or is she going to become a stay at home mom for a while? Also, what became of the father? Has his academic performance suffered as a result of his decision to become a father so young?

If you want to stamp out abortion for all but the extreme cases, you and I agree there needs to be all sorts of support structures in place so that in cases like this, young people do not have to decide between having the baby, or settling for a less successful career. Merely telling me that someone had a baby 6 months ago while a college student doesn't tell me a whole lot. If I am to be pursuaded to follow the same path as these two, I'd like to know, did they succeed in pursuing two targets? If they did, what advice do they have for an ambitious young couple in school for having both? Or is this a case as the old Japanese saying says "One who pursues two rabbits will lose them both".

secularprolife.org said...

Right. As a kid, I used to watch Mormon PSAs, not knowing what a Mormon was. One of them was this song that has been drilled into my head "mother you never failed me... I know you gave up a lot... missing your master's degree, but look at the kid's you've got, mother you never failed me..."



Years later, this song ran through my head, and I realized just how depressing and backwards this message is. Woman, you don't need a master's degree as long as you keep popping them out.



So I want to know, is this the message this pro-life hero is trying to tell us? Or is it one where a woman had her baby in college, and against all odds still got her PhD and is now a CEO?

secularprolife.org said...

Thanks for a good presentation of "what we need to work towards." I'm not completely clear, however, whether you think we need to work towards a supportive society as a prior condition before enacting any unborn child-protection legislation. You seem to suggest as much here --


"It should give us pro-lifers some perspective: this is what it is going to take to have a society that stamps out abortion for all but the extreme cases"


-- but that sentence of yours could be understood in another way also:


I think that a "pro-lifer" as the word is normally used supports unborn child-protection legislation even under present social conditions. But the specific criteria under which such legislation will protect the unborn are not part of the definition. "Unborn child-protection legislation" really just means any kind of legislation that involves society deciding whether one of its little members is to be eliminated or not. It means that society does not allow just one of its members to make a unilateral decision about the life of another of its members.


So a "pro-lifer" could possibly support unborn child-protection legislation that would allow abortion where support structures (even governmental) don't exist at all, but would prevent it where they do exist.

secularprolife.org said...

Your reply is thought-provoking. I will have to do some thinking about your pragmatic approach.

You may have misunderstood one thing. I wrote:

"'Unborn child-protection legislation' really just means any kind of legislation that involves society deciding whether one of its little members is to be eliminated or not."

Since unborn child-protection legislation is legislation about unborn children, it would be unrelated to infanticide. In my post I had not meant to make any spoken or unspoken reference to infanticide. The only little members of society that I was referring to were its unborn little members.

And "protection of the unborn" could of course never include killing the unborn. But unborn child-protection legislation, if it allowed any exceptions at all -- which it should -- would, sadly and sometimes unavoidably, allow some killing.

secularprolife.org said...

Hi purple, I think you are assuming everyone shares your idea of "success". I am not sure that is the case. For many people a "rich intellectual" life is the pinnacle of success. For others it might be service towards others. For others still, success is not a goal but a state of being. I personally do not see personal success as a reason to have an abortion. Also people have different talents, and perhaps some of those talents are not what YOU would consider successful. I think this story sows a hero, because she chose life at a moment whe abortion would have been so much more convenient

secularprolife.org said...

I agree with you that the stories should be told in their entirety as well as how the mother felt about the change of course to her life and the support, or lack there of, that she received

secularprolife.org said...

Hi Rose

Sure, as I said, I'm not knocking this couple's choice, and I am well aware we all have our own definitions of success.

But what I wanted to know was has this couple had to CHANGE their definition of success in order to accommodate their baby? If so, are they happy they did, or would the husband or wife one day regret their decision? In this way, this story 6 months after birth is not really answering any important concerns of WHY many college-age women would choose abortion. It only shows a cute baby.

Also, what if the woman DID have aspirations that just are not compatible with a baby at this moment? There are many majors in science that fit this bill.

secularprolife.org said...

Well the point of the article is to show a hero. Does a hero cease to be one if later he regrets his heroic action? Heroism means putting others before yourself even if you risk your life doing so. This woman is a hero because she did just that. She put another before herself. You will find that nowadays it is not easy to find people who do heroic acts. Many people may be called Herod generically, but few act heroically in the true sense of the word.

secularprolife.org said...

This story doesn't seem to have enough information to say whether this is a heroic act or not. What if having this baby put the couple in a dire financial situation? What if one or both ended up dropping out of school? Would they be a hero if they ended up homeless with little job skills?



Would you consider a woman who chose abortion as a student, but ended up graduating and ended up discovering the cure for cancer a hero? Or a coward because she chose not to give birth?

secularprolife.org said...

They always erase the woman. The embryo is always destined for great things, the woman - shrug - the world hasn't lost anything if pregnancy details her career or kills her. All that matters is that she give birth - a mere means to an end.

secularprolife.org said...

I don't know about Protestant Christians, but catholic charities serve all faiths. Mother Teresa worked in India serving Hindus. She completely disagreed with their view of religion, but never stopped serving them with love. Most Catholic Churches will have a st Vincent de Paul society which ministers to the poor. No questions asked. Caritas international works tirelessly in many conflict zones around the globe even where the majority of the population is non Christian. I find it sad how you judge without actually having looked things up, because you are unaware that while we sit here comfortably, many volunteers are working for the people of Sudan, Congo, Angola, Liberia, Benin, Malawi etc etc as well as Asia, Latin america, Oceania regardless of their beliefs.

secularprolife.org said...

The story does have enough information. In this case choosing life was an act of heroism. Like I said, hero is a word that has lost some of its heft. An act of heroism, however, means putting others before yourself. i don't think of the hypothetical scientist one way or another. Since we are taking hypothetically, I believe our woman scientist would have found the cure for cancer anyway, since she is so bright, but it might have taken her a little longer possibly.

secularprolife.org said...

Exactly what lies and where did you get the information?

secularprolife.org said...

Catholic church and condoms in Africa

http://churchandstate.org.uk/2012/12/the-catholic-church-condoms-and-hiv-aids-in-africa/

Was MT not against artificial contraceptives?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Mother_Teresa

secularprolife.org said...

It looses its heft when merely giving birth == hero. I am asking, is it an act of heroism if I give birth knowing full well I cannot provide for the child? Or giving birth to a child without access to health insurance? Is it pregnant high school girl a hero if she gives birth and drops out of school? The couple in this story are probably going to be OK, I hope. But I want to know, do all couples in similar situations end up happily?

As for women scientists, you are aware that as recently as 30 years ago, elite US universities did not admit women? Many women researchers were paid 0 cents on the dollar compared to men? And pregnancy at the wrong time would in fact be career ending, especially in an experimental science like biology?

secularprolife.org said...

Well, isn't their stance on gay adoption as I said?

The West Bank comment was not about the CC, but of some Israeli Rabbis.

>> In Africa, I repeat AFRICA, condoms did not work to reduce HIV.

Where did you get that info from? Latex condoms are known to be a highly effective barrier against HIV in the west.

http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/publications-a-z/416-condom-effectiveness



Why would condoms be effective in the west, but not effective in Africa? Is there something different about the anatomy of Africans? What is it?

secularprolife.org said...

Not their anatomy, their culture. And no they did not start reducing new infections until the ABC (abstinence, be faithful, condom).

secularprolife.org said...

Their culture or the Catholic church telling them condoms don't work? They apparently recently reversed some of their BS about condoms, as detailed in the above links.



Abstinence and be faithful. Hmm, so this works in Africa but apparently not at all in the US. Funny world we live in, huh?

secularprolife.org said...

http://m.mic.com/articles/28746/mother-teresa-not-a-saint-new-study-suggests-she-was-a-fraud

secularprolife.org said...

"We occasionally lose site of God’s path because we don’t see the end
result. Mother Theresa says it best “God doesn’t ask us to be
successful, he asks us to be faithful”." -- blogger on lifesitenews


Well, don't know if she's a fraud, but she seems pretty misguided and probably not very knowledgeable about science or medicine. Ignorant people with good intentions can actually be very dangerous.

secularprolife.org said...

i think you are deliberately misconstruing, or maybe you are generally not understanding, or most probably I am just sleepy and writing hurriedly. but that's ok. Maybe you should take a trip to an African country one day you might be surprised at how different the culture is. And yes abc, also works in the west, but was applied best to Africa where condoms ONLY did not show a decline in infection rate.

secularprolife.org said...

I keep asking you, what organization is saying

>> Africa where condoms ONLY did not show a decline in infection rate

this? Because I don't find any references that say this.

For example, "The Guardian" newspaper says

>> The church is making the claims across four continents despite a widespread scientific consensus that condoms are impermeable to HIV.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/oct/09/aids


Ignoring whether or not condoms are effective in Africa, EVERY newssite is saying that the Catholic Church is lying to people that condoms AREN'T effective, when they clearly have been shown to be in the west.

secularprolife.org said...

It makes me laugh how this meek, frail little woman who ministered to the poor most of her life, just INFURIATES some people! Ok night p, you really need to get a hold of more reliable news sources. Here is an article by someone who, unlike mic.com, knew her

secularprolife.org said...

Sorry I cannot seem to past it. It is on thehindu.com

secularprolife.org said...

You've pasted the front page of "thehindu.com". There is no mention of MT. Tried search box. Pulls up no articles about her...

secularprolife.org said...

Do you see a scientist collecting half dead people from the streets of Kolkata? Also, do you know where that quote is from and in what context it was said? you must be so smart to have inferred so much ftom such a little quote. Agreed about Mao.

secularprolife.org said...

Try mother TERESA without the h

secularprolife.org said...

Mic.com references a study, there is empirical evidence that she was a fraud and caused unnecessary suffering. This stuff has been documented.

And no, Indians don't think very highly of her
http://www.mukto-mona.com/Articles/mother_teresa/sanal_ed.htm

secularprolife.org said...

My iPad is not pasting for some reason

secularprolife.org said...

Collect all you want. Without proper medical knowledge, you aren't going to do them any good, save for giving them a baptism against their will (alleged by many). Scientists are the ones that cured or eradicated things like syphilis, the plague, and made HIV a lot more survivable. Not the Catholic Church and not MT.

secularprolife.org said...

Yeah, scientists don't help anyone. Like that guy who developed a vaccine for polio...what a loser.

secularprolife.org said...

Lot of good that will do if they are just lying in the street. How about I collect them you make them a medicine. And MT did not baptize them nor did she want yo unless they wanted. It still makes me laugh how people get so worked up about Mother Teresa.

secularprolife.org said...

I can play that game too:
http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/?p=6811

A person who worked with her says that she was not such a good person.

I originally chose not to paste this link, however, because I prefer documented evidence, and the proof is in the study referenced in the mic article.

secularprolife.org said...

Who said they don't help anyone? You just like to fall back on one of your favourite fallacies. Like I saipd before I could tell you "ther was a really good cheeseburger" and you'd probably answer "oh, so chicken sandwiches are disgusting, right! You are so beefist!" See?

secularprolife.org said...

Yeah, she'd collect them, and then she would increase their suffering by denying them medication or using dirty needles.

And MT doesn't infuriate me. You're the only one who appears to be angry that people are daring to criticise the RCC.

secularprolife.org said...

I don't play games. 'Night, night p.

secularprolife.org said...

What fallacy, pray tell? You dismissed the lifesaving work of scientists because they aren't out there ministering to the poor.

secularprolife.org said...

Well, I don't work on leprosy or anything, but I am a professional scientist developing statistical methods for understanding neuroscience data, which is quite useful for understanding things like the dynamics of epileptic seizures, and I'm hoping will one day find a use brain-computer-interfaces and neurotechnologies that WILL let the blind and deaf see, and WILL let amputees control ever more life-like limbs. Is that good enough?

secularprolife.org said...

I sincerely wish you all the best and all the success you heart desires. I'm not sure what you mean good enough. It seems plenty good to me.

secularprolife.org said...

I think I understand your grievance a little more now. I agree, it would be good to hear what happened afterwards. Birth is not the end of the story. I think it is a separate question of if someone should have the right to life or not, but it is an important question for society to answer.

secularprolife.org said...

Thanks. You said I should go make medicine. Well, I don't make medicine, but I am hoping my work will one day improve the quality of life on earth. Or it may not, who knows.

secularprolife.org said...

Yes I am aware. And like I said in order to put the child first is an act of heroism. The soldier who shields a comrade may loose a leg or his mobility, or his brin function. He might become unsuccessful in his future endeavors. However he did a heroic act. It is rare for people to act heroically, that's ehy they get medals. The woman scientist put her career before so according to my definition she was successful, but not heroic. My mother put her carrer first and was very successful in the U.N. We didn't see her much at times, but we still felt loved and cared for. I was told (not by my mother) that she was being pressured to terminate the pregnancy...that was 1973 and she did have a little career setback when I was born but she also chose life

secularprolife.org said...

Hi KB

I really don't think merely bring someone into the world makes one a hero.

I respect your opinions very much. You are level-headed and recognize that it would be bad to completely outlaw abortion without a bare minimum of infrastructure in society. I will probably not agree on the question of right to life without a experiencing a religious epiphany of some sort. Out of curiosity, would you be OK with a world where abortion is still legal but with reasonable restrictions, but society at large recognizes that abortion is in fact killing something, and governments do as much as possible to provide safety nets for women who don't have the luxuries of a supportive extended families or financial security?

In such a world, HR departments would view pregnant employees not as a burden (possibly government subsidies for companies that must pay for workers during maternity and paternity leave?), and there would be free prenatal care for all. Schools would provide accommodation for pregnant students. All the social policies that are likely to reduce abortion. But abortion remains legal. Would you be able to support that? Both pro-choicers and pro-lifers would be supporting women to choose to give birth through their tax contributions.

secularprolife.org said...

That was a noble act of your mother, and I think that is fantastic of her.

I'm assuming the soldier analogy is in response to a pregnant high school girl who might drop out, yet still chooses to keep the baby. Sometimes in war, an act of mercy between soldiers is to be put of their misery, if it is apparent that the wounds are too grave. This to me is what a pregnant girl in high school might be like. Pregnancy in high school is discouraged for a reason. Some girls might have the fortitude to woman-up, but many will fall into poverty. I ask again, is bringing a child into the world knowing full well they will be very disadvantaged and possibly suffer a life of medical conditions due to poor nutrition from the get go, is this a heroic act? Some may beat the odds, and yes, those moms are heroes. But social science data suggests that most will not.

The woman scientist I talked about is also somewhat modeled on my mother. She left a country where women were not expected to become professionals. She decided on 1 child from the get go and used contraceptives. Unfortunately, it failed. After much thought, she chose to abort. The reasons were because of 1) the work load and hours demanded of a bench scientist, 2) her first child really wanted a sibling, and she felt giving away the second kid after birth would be very traumatic for a kid with no other extended family within a 6000 mile radius and 3) because she felt it was her duty to be a role model to the girls (and boys) of her country, that a woman can succeed in a field dominated by men. To me, my mom is a hero, because I always felt her love, and saw her passion and dedication to her work. She became one of the pioneering scientists in biotechnology, and developed techniques that have made a lot of modern medical science possible. And she is joined by other amazing women scientists of her generation who I have had the pleasure to be around growing up. They have all made tremendous contributions to cancer, AIDS, allergy research etc. And without fail, they are ALL pro-choice. Some have had abortions, but they are not just successful, they are heroes to humanity.

secularprolife.org said...

BTW, I am not saying MT was a bad woman. There are allegations about some of her practices, ie baptizing the sick and dying on their death beds regardless of their religion (this wouldn't shock me, sounds like something Christianity in all its varieties has done, see Ann Romney's atheist father's posthumous baptism into Mormonism), poor facilities and staff not trained in medicine doing more harm than good, denouncement of contraceptives despite scientific consensus of its effectiveness etc. She may have been doing these things out of a belief that they are good things, but as I said, well-intentioned but ignorant people can do tremendous harm. She may have been meek, but she did yield quite a bit of power and influence.

It is interesting that you just flat out agree about Mao. In the beginning, Mao was an idealistic young revolutionary, and his policies were very egalitarian. He believed women were completely equal to men, and actively involved them in the political and military hierarchy. He treated his POWs humanely and with respect (my grandfather in the Imperial Japanese Army has first hand experience). He later became a bloody dictator, but he did start off with a desire to liberate and modernize the Chinese people. His ideologies were progressive in some areas, but in others were pure ignorance.

secularprolife.org said...

I'd have to see such a society to be sure - if such a society saw abortion genuinely become unthinkable for all but the most extreme cases, then I don't require any laws to back that up - but I'd be inclined to go with a no. One thing responding to comments on places like here here and others, is the level of vitriol that does exist towards the unborn in at least some sections of the pro-choice and pro-abortion communities (I understand they are not the same, but there is overlap).

But I acknowledge the possibility that unbeknownst to me, such a caring society sees the end (or severe decline) of psychopaths who just revel in misery towards others including their own offspring, or the set of women who use abortion as birth control, or societal problems like gender selective abortions.

I don't see why parents shouldn't be considered heroes for bringing us to term and birthing us though. Pregnancy is work and a measure of pain, so I think the term applies. They might not be in the same realm of people who are out there fighting ebola, but they are heroes in their own right.

secularprolife.org said...

2 days ago

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secularprolife.org said...

Do you think a 23-week-old unborn child is an equal human / are you writing from that perspective? If not, I get your reasoning, but if so it seems to be in line with a problematic tendency I've observed....

I feel like liberals who are otherwise pro-human-equality tend to treat children as somewhat expendable in the fight for universal human equality. That is to say, the idea is that if an adult is in a bad situation because of discrimination or lack of social support, and they choose to deal with this by harming an even more powerless person, a child, the only thing that can be done is to improve the situation of the adult, and the child doesn't really have an independent right not to be harmed.

In this case, it seems that you're saying that if an adult can have a better life by harming a child, then it's okay for people with more social power to get ahead by harming those with less, which I don't think should ever be the case.

secularprolife.org said...

Do I feel that a 23-week old fetus is a child?

I've stated before here that I am in favor of REASONABLE restrictions to abortion. 23-weeks is close to when a fetus is beginning to respond to sensory input, but probably not quite yet. While it might not have a will or consciousness yet, it might be able to feel rudimentary pain and avoidance. On these grounds, I think it might be capable of suffering. While I don't consider it a "child", I might almost be pursuaded that aborting at 23-week should be restricted unless for medical necessity.


However, I don't consider fetuses in general to be children, and you said a while ago that you supported giving born children (or teens, you never got back to me on how old exactly) the right to vote, and not supporting this position was "agism", while I believe things like suffrage require a certain degree of knowledge and education to make informed decisions, ie there are reasonable qualifications that should be met by a potential voter. Seeing that you support this ridiculous position leads me to believe that you see the world through a weird "ageist" lens, and will automatically call a fetus a child, regardless of whether that fetus has the capability to feel pain, lives in a sensory vacuum and otherwise cannot be personally and practically harmed by an abortion.

secularprolife.org said...

Yes, I am one of them. I had just been accepted to nursing school when I found out I was pregnant. Fortunately, the school was very understanding and postponed my matriculation for a year. The alternative would have been completing as many semesters as I could and then going back, and that would have played games with my financial aid. Also, I had a very supportive family. I have no words to express how important that is. I was very lucky, and everything worked out for me. Not everyone is that lucky, and I have to keep those women in mind. No woman should have to derail chasing her dream for an unplanned pregnancy. It's no benefit to either the mother or the child.

secularprolife.org said...

Children aren't 'expendable' but pregnancy is expendable. The sky will not fall if a pregnancy, or a million pregnancies fail to come to term. Most women actually do end up with the number of children they want, no more and no less. This is normal fertility, of course. The woman who doesn't want to be pregnant right now is likely also the same woman who'll be delighted to be pregnant five years from now. What earthly difference does it make? The answer is, it doesn't make a difference in the grand scheme of things. In her individual life, it can make a great deal of difference. As in the difference between Susan, the physician who practices medicine at the hospital, and Susan, the lady who cleans the hospital.

secularprolife.org said...

I agree, that is a HORRIBLE message to send to women and girls, that they only matter for the purpose of birthing children.

secularprolife.org said...

If argent believes that 11 yo girls should be forced to gestate, then, IMO, she believes that children, female children, are expendable.

If she doesn't, then its clear that she doesn't believe that prenates have an intrinsic right to life.

No wonder she won't answer the question. You cant claim to be for *actual* children and then torture them with forced gestation.

secularprolife.org said...

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/oct/25/women-wealth-childcare-family-babies-study

secularprolife.org said...

I have never seen "vitriol toward the unborn" anywhere in the pro-choice community. You DO realize that like the "pro-life" community, most of us are mothers, and have probably never had an abortion, right? The only difference I can see is the propensity to erase the woman, or look straight through her while claiming to "see the unborn." The unborn do not exist in a vacuum. Somewhere very close by is a woman or a girl who may not have a supportive partner (even husbands can be lukewarm on the subject), doesn't have family support, supports herself in a job with little to no flexibility, and may be in the process of trying to achieve a better life for herself and the children she may already have. These supports will not magically fall out of the sky because you make abortion illegal. Actually, you are working back-ass-wards. Abortion will decrease all on it's own when the supports are put into place, never the other way around.

secularprolife.org said...

>> Children aren't 'expendable' but pregnancy is expendable.



Simply correct.

secularprolife.org said...

I don't think a whole lot of 'Mother' Theresa's 'service' to Hindus. You aren't going to win many kudos with that example.

secularprolife.org said...

Vitriol = failing to recognize the very real humanity of human DNA.

Actually, the only real vitriol that I have seen is when people refer to the unborn as parasites. I notice this on FTB and Patheos.

Yes, the unborn can do a lot of damage. That's nature. It doesn't make them evil, as some PCers like to pretend. But we can override nature, right?

secularprolife.org said...

They are especially concerned about black babies, and they accuse PP and PCers of outright genocide for permitting black people to access contraception and abortion.

Case in point: http://allenbwest.com/2014/02/ethnic-cleansing-nyc-almost-50-2012-abortions-black/

However, the GOP opposes the ACA which would lower the black infant and maternal mortality rate. Black women are more likely to have pregnancy and birth complications, and a lack of prenatal care leads to more stillbirths etc.

secularprolife.org said...

If you think about it, it's not at all "odd" that states where social supports are poor are the same ones enacting cruel abortion restrictions (which are thankfully being overturned by courts). The reason is simple. These people don't really care about "life." That's right, I said it. They don't care. We don't "edge in closer" on both sides, and no, society will never be perfect. It doesn't need to be perfect. But here's what does need to happen: As a society, we need to re-align our priorities. And absolutely, if you want less abortions, the social support needs to be in place. Simply taking the lazy man's way out and passing anti-choice laws isn't going to cut it. You ignore history a lot, don't you? Laws don't keep women from aborting, and they never will. If you want motherhood to be a more frequent choice, then you need to support that choice materially, and not just with words. Carrots are far more effective than sticks in motivating human behavior. And for those who need abortion, it needs to be safe, just like any other medical procedure.

secularprolife.org said...

The fetal mammal is biologically indistinguishable from a parasite. It's not vitriol to state that. My daughter called her fetus "my little parasite" and she loves and wanted her daughter very much. I see no "vitriol toward the unborn" anywhere in the pro-choice movement. But it certainly is vitriol toward women who are erased in the quest for the almighty fetus.

secularprolife.org said...

Well they have to make women the villains in order to prop the brainless embryo up as the all important moral center.

So, as soon as you even dare to mention the woman, they have to snap into action and talk about how pregnancy is easy, women are selfish sluts etc. How women are betraying nature by murdering their innocent widdle children etc. Its a narrative, about how women are *supposed* to be, and if you fight this, they demonize you. This strategy is also a way to get around the whole problem of how we don't ask anyone else to risk life and limb for another. They have to minimize the risks of pregnancy, and make women into the most selfish, hateful, demonic people on earth. It is the ONLY way that they can justify what they are *demanding* women do.

Its akin to calling antebellum slaves ungrateful, because at least they were given shelter and food!

secularprolife.org said...

Exactly. And I don't do gas lighting. And I don't do shame, either. And I definitely don't do "how women ought to be." I am what I am. Take it or leave it.

secularprolife.org said...

If they're not demonizing women, which is the standard approach, then they're infantilizing them by claiming they're 'victims' of the predatory 'abortion industry' and have no idea what they're actually doing.
Thus they need help and love guilt, shaming, and manipulation to make the 'right' choice. Condescension writ large.

secularprolife.org said...

Yes, and the cure for suicidal people who do *not* want to be pregnant is imprisonment and forced feeding because any person who doesn't want to be pregnant is cray cray right, and they need 'help' in the form of a 9 month stay in a sanitarium!

secularprolife.org said...

Yes, which would all be referred to as 'helping' her.

secularprolife.org said...

We know what happens to women denied abortion = bad stuff.
http://io9.com/5958187/what-happens-to-women-denied-abortions-this-is-the-first-scientific-study-to-find-out

secularprolife.org said...

"Laws don't keep women from aborting, and they never will."

Actually, I think that this depends on the specific women involved.

secularprolife.org said...

No, actually that depends upon how the specific woman feels about the specific pregnancy. Historically, women have neither abstained from abortion merely because it was illegal, nor HAD abortions merely because they *were* legal. Here's the only thing that happens when abortion is illegal and women experience untenable pregnancies: Women of means travel to other states or other countries that treat women decently and have safe abortions. Women of no means are subjected to unsafe illegal abortion, sabotaging the pregnancy themselves so that they must be treated to save their own lives (also known as "miscarriage management), or forced to give birth to children they never wanted, and please bear in mind, they can legally be abandoned with no questions asked at any hospital, and in some states, police precincts and fire department/EMS. In case you haven't figured it out, those children will now become all of our problems, and we will all be paying for them. I see no positive effects upon society that comes from criminalizing abortions. But then, I know a bit of the background and history. You don't.

secularprolife.org said...

What Lady Black said...

Read this:

http://articles.latimes.com/2003/jan/21/local/me-patt21


One of the main reasons that abortion was legalized is because dead, dying and sick women = public health crisis.


BTW, the original arguments against RvW had nothing to do with the sanctity of unborn life - that is a new invention - the original arguments against abortion all had to do with female chastity, as did the arguments opposing contraception, as it was believed that if people would not suffer 'consequences' form having sex, that 'promiscuity' would run rampant, and that well, if people have sex for fun, then surely society will collapse, right?

secularprolife.org said...

"No, actually that depends upon how the specific woman feels about the specific pregnancy. Historically, women have neither abstained from abortion merely because it was illegal, nor HAD abortions merely because they *were* legal. Here's the only thing that happens when abortion is illegal and women experience untenable pregnancies: Women of means travel to other states or other countries that treat women decently and have safe abortions. Women of no means are subjected to unsafe illegal abortion, sabotaging the pregnancy themselves so that they must be treated to save their own lives (also known as "miscarriage management), or forced to give birth to children they never wanted, and please bear in mind, they can legally be abandoned with no questions asked at any hospital, and in some states, police precincts and fire department/EMS."

Basically, you yourself acknowledged my point here, which is that abortion bans do save some prenatal lives (whether or not abortion is morally justifiable is a separate issue, though).

"In case you haven't figured it out, those children will now become all of our problems, and we will all be paying for them."

Yes, and your point is? Anyway, you appear to be guilty of question-begging here by assuming that abortion is morally justifiable; else, using a similar rationale, one can say that we should forcibly sterilize poor people so that the taxpayers wouldn't be paying for their children afterwards.

"I see no positive effects upon society that comes from criminalizing abortions."

Yes, because you don't consider prenates to be persons/worthy of having rights.

"But then, I know a bit of the background and history."

Perhaps.

"You don't."

On the contrary, I knew all of the information in your post here before you even made this post. LOL at assuming that you know me better than I know myself. :)

secularprolife.org said...

I will read this either today or tomorrow.

secularprolife.org said...

Yes, because you don't consider prenates to be persons/worthy of having rights.


Society isn't harmed if women abort, however, as pregnancy is a private thing. Society is no more harmed than if people refuse to procreate by using contraception.


See, there are two ways of looking at this, and this is where I think there is a disconnect..


Pro-lifers believe that reproduction ends the moment sperm meets egg.



Pro-choicers believe that reproduction takes 9 months, inside a woman's body, and that a woman makes a baby during that time.



Zygotes embryos and fetuses are not members of society. They exist in limbo, with only the potential to become full fledged members of society. People have abortions in the majority of the time because the pregnancy was unintended in the first place. If society 'loses out' if that zygote fails to implant, miscarries, or is aborted, then you can argue that society has 'lost out' and been irreperably harmed if the couple used contraception as well, and failed to reproduce.





Next to no resources go into creating a zygote. In fact, you can split embryos in a petri dish...speaking of which...


Let me ask you this. If a mad scientist splits a single embryo into two embryos, then forces those two embryos to merge again, has he just committed MURDER?

secularprolife.org said...

"Let me ask you this. If a mad scientist splits a single embryo into two embryos, then forces those two embryos to merge again, has he just committed MURDER?"

No, I don't think so, even from a politically anti-abortion perspective; rather, I think that he simply did to them what I think Pokemon are capable of doing (aren't Pokemon capable of fusing?).

And Yes, I agree that this is where the differences over personhood between pro-choicers and politically anti-abortion people are relevant; frankly, though, if I was pro-choice, then I would be unsure that birth should be the "dividing line" for humans between persons and non-persons; after all, don't humans only acquire greater intelligence to some non-human animals (whom we don't consider to be persons) at some point *after* birth?

secularprolife.org said...

I asked the question, because some of the posters here have told me that if one embryo absorbs another, that one of them has been killed. So like, if a chimer is composed of two embryos, the one that developed a brain = a person, and the one whose DNA became the liver kidneys etc = dead.


So, by pro-life logic, the mad scientist has just committed murder.

secularprolife.org said...

Maybe they are correct on this; honestly, I might need to do more research on this.

secularprolife.org said...

To clarify, I meant that they might be correct in regards to the biological facts here.

secularprolife.org said...

Nope, because reproduction doesn't complete until you can produce offspring that is actually sentient and autonomous ie capable of spontaneous life. Until then it's just potential. It's like saying that a blueprint and a pile of bricks is already a building months or years before that building is complete. There is no 'building' until construction has been completed, until then, all of the materials and the blueprints merely have the *potential* to become a building someday.


It's like, you can't start charging people rent to live in your building until it's complete, can you? You can't charge a toll for people to cross a bridge until the bridge has been built. The bridge doesn't exist as a bridge just because you have a collection of parts and a blueprint.

secularprolife.org said...

Yes, I get your point in regards to this; I am just unsure if it is *completely* comparable to prenates considering that all of the parts of, say, a house already separately exist before they become a whole, whereas some/many (all?) body parts of human beings don't already exist before the prenate becomes sentient.

secularprolife.org said...

Which is irrelevant. Even if the bridge constructed itself, it still wouldn't be a bridge until it could function as one.

secularprolife.org said...

Please pardon my ignorance, but how exactly would these two things be different? As in, what exactly would a functioning bridge have (physically speaking) which a completed, non-functioning bridge would not have?

secularprolife.org said...

You wouldn't be able to drive over an incomplete bridge.

secularprolife.org said...

Yes, but you talked about a bridge already being built; if it is an incomplete bridge, then it hasn't been fully built yet.

secularprolife.org said...

You've lost me.

Though, likely, a completed non-functioning bridge would be like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xox9BVSu7Ok

secularprolife.org said...

What exactly is the difference (in physical terms) between that bridge and that bridge becoming functioning, though? What exactly (in physical terms) would such a bridge have after it becomes functional which it did not previously have?

secularprolife.org said...

This is a bridge, by PL standards:

http://www.lapoco.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Better-bridge-shot-1024x768.jpg

Would you get in a car and drive over it?

secularprolife.org said...

Well, pardon my ignorance, but what exactly is wrong with this bridge? There might be some cracks in it, but what exactly am I missing? (I am sorry if this is an extremely stupid question, but I am honestly trying to understand your point here.)

secularprolife.org said...

Would you get in a car and attempt to drive over it? yes or no?

secularprolife.org said...

No I am not admitting anything. A woman may be ambivalent on the subject of pregnancy, but not on the subject of parenting. Just as they are now. No laws will not, and DO not "save prenatal lives." A woman who really, REALLY doesn't want to be pregnant will find a way to destroy that pregnancy, even if it ends up being dangerous or fatal to her. Nothing is going to stop her. Thus it has always been.

secularprolife.org said...

No, because I trust you on this. However, I would still like to know what exactly is wrong with this bridge.

secularprolife.org said...

bridge1
brij/
noun
noun: bridge; plural noun: bridges
1.
a structure carrying a road, path, railroad, or canal across a river, ravine, road, railroad, or other obstacle.

--------------

It isn't carrying a road, railrad or canal across a river, ravine, road railroad or other obstacle. And it might not *ever* be capable of carrying that road. It isn't a bridge until it can function as one.

BTW, I keep hearing that 'functionalism' has been discredited, but I don't see how...

secularprolife.org said...

"It isn't carrying a road, railroad or canal across a river, ravine, road railroad or other obstacle. And it might not *ever* be capable of carrying that road. It isn't a bridge until it can function as one."

OK, but the ingredients to make this road, railroad, et cetera already exist somewhere else right now, correct?

secularprolife.org said...

"A woman who really, REALLY doesn't want to be pregnant will find a way to destroy that pregnancy, even if it ends up being dangerous or fatal to her. Nothing is going to stop her. Thus it has always been."

Sure, but not all females who want to get abortions fit into this category.

secularprolife.org said...

Yes. Those ingredients could very well exist in a mine someplace, deep in the earth.

secularprolife.org said...

Hence my point that this does *not* appear to be completely equivalent to prenates.

secularprolife.org said...

Nope, because prenates don't build themselves out of nothing. If they could, they wouldn't need a woman's body, they would just grow in a petri dish.

secularprolife.org said...

This *might* be a valid point. Of course, all of us are dependent on certain things (not on someone's body, but on other things), such as food and water, in order for us to continue surviving and developing.

secularprolife.org said...

Yes they do. They really REALLY do. You have no idea the extent to which otherwise law-abiding female citizens have gone to in order to destroy a pregnancy.

secularprolife.org said...

Not all of them.

secularprolife.org said...

If a woman doesn't get enough folic acid during her pregnancy, the prenate might not develop a brain. If certain maternal hormones are not present, the embryo will simply fail to develop.

What is or is not present in the zygote's genes does not matter until those genes are expressed. You can't treat a zygote as if it already has a brain until it actually develops a functional brain. Just like you can't say "this zygote has inherent arms, because the code for arms is in the genes" . Well, what if that code is incorrectly read, interpreted or expressed and the baby is born without arms? What if, from fertilization, there was an error, and the blueprint for constructing arms does not exist? Do we pretend that it has arms anyway, even once born, and we make it play golf, because "humans have arms and it is human?"

secularprolife.org said...

"If a woman doesn't get enough folic acid during her pregnancy, the prenate might not develop a brain. If certain maternal hormones are not present, the embryo will simply fail to develop."

Sure (I guess similar to how a child who never lives to puberty will never be fertile).

"What is or is not present in the zygote's genes does not matter until those genes are expressed. You can't treat a zygote as if it already has a brain until it actually develops a functional brain. Just like you can't say "this zygote has inherent arms, because the code for arms is in the genes" . Well, what if that code is incorrectly read, interpreted or expressed and the baby is born without arms? What if, from fertilization, there was an error, and the blueprint for constructing arms does not exist? Do we pretend that it has arms anyway, even once born, and we make it play golf, because "humans have arms and it is human?""

Frankly, your points here might certainly be valid. Heck, perhaps this will cause me to (gradually/eventually, after thinking it over and debating this more) switch to the pro-choice position on the abortion issue.