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Opinion: The "War on Women" Doesn't Ring True

Does living in a Democratic state mean you can’t go public about being pro-life?

The following is a column originally posted on Acton Patch

When my 18 year-old daughter arrived home for spring break in March of 2012, she made an Acton bucket list of sorts. 

At the top of Jackie’s list: go to Town Hall to register to vote.

This coming November, she’ll make the trek from Chestnut Hill to the RJ Grey Junior High gym to cast her first ballot.

Jackie won’t be at the dinner table participating in “election talk” with her political-junkie dad this fall. She won’t be at the high school listening to Mary Price Maddox explain the complexities of the issues. But I have no doubt that she’ll be paying attention to the messages put forth by both the Democrats and the Republicans who hope to win her vote.

I am confident that my daughter will be able to discern most of the differences between the policies of Barack Obama and those of Mitt Romney.  She’ll decide for herself which candidate’s views match most  closely with her own before entering the polling booth.

There is one issue, though, that I predict will confuse her. It’s the pro-choice vs. pro-life debate.

Why? Because I am a grown woman and I can’t make sense of it.

It’s being said that there is a “War on Women.”  What does that mean? Can that be true in 2012? Or is it a ploy to get every woman to vote for the liberal Democrat?

Full disclosure: I would never, ever, consider having an abortion. If I had become pregnant before I was capable of mothering, I would have given my baby up for adoption.

I would have been in the minority. There are over 1.2 million abortions performed in the U.S. each year. The number of infants that are given up for adoption? About  140,000.

With numbers like that, and all the attention to the issue in the media, one would think that the majority of Americans are pro-choice.

That’s not true.

What is true is that the latest Gallup polling on this issue found that 51% of Americans identify themselves as pro-life and consider abortion morally wrong.

Tuesday night, Rick Santorum spoke at the Republican National Convention.  He mentioned his three year-old daughter Bella, who has needed medical treatment for a rare genetic disorder. When photos of sweet little Bella were shown, it was like shining a spotlight on Santorum’s commitment to preserve life.

After his speech, the news commentators were all abuzz about whether Santorum’s pro-life reference was part of a sound strategy…or a big mistake.

I wondered why, given the fact that pro-life proponents outnumber pro-choice advocates and the latter group is losing support, anyone would think Santorum could be making a political blunder.

Romney’s position on abortion is that he opposes it most cases but is in favor of making exceptions in the case of rape, incest, or threat to the mother’s life.

He has been quoted as saying it would be “wonderful” if Americans could "agree that we’re not going to have legalized abortion in the nation.”

That’s exactly how I feel about the issue, although I would encourage rape victims to consider bringing babies to term and fulfilling the dreams of loving infertile couples.

Does this mean that I want Roe vs. Wade overturned? Or that I think that the Republican party will ever succeed in doing that?

No on both counts.

What I do want to see is an increase in the number of infants given up for adoption. The only way for that to happen is for there to be a shift away from unwanted babies being quickly disposed of and toward young women being supported—financially and emotionally--through pregnancy and the surrender process.

I want to see the media, that sometimes-evil entity that informs social culture, get on board and make adoption as acceptable as raising babies out of wedlock and having abortions.

So what do I want my daughter to know?

I want her to know that I would I would love for her to enjoy a fulfilling consensual sexual relationship when she is old enough to handle all of the possible consequences.  This means when she is able to take care of a child for at least 18 years or to carry a baby to term and put it up for adoption. Everyone knows that no birth control is 100% effective.

I want her to know that she should refrain from hooking up with young men she hardly knows in the name of freedom.  Yes, it’s her body and since she is of age, she gets to decide. But there are ramifications of this behavior that I prefer she not experience.

I want her to know that being a single mother at a young age is a huge predictor of living in poverty.  

I want her to know that, if one of her friends gets pregnant and shares an intent to put the baby up for adoption, she should encourage this.

I want her to know that I worked for Catholic Charities back when they provided infant placements. The best days there were ones when an adoptive couple came to pick up their baby and take him home. Every staff member cheered as the family walked out the agency’s front  door to their new life. It happened two or three times a year at most; that wasn’t anywhere near often enough.

The most important thing that I want my bright, caring, witty daughter to know is that I can imagine her being part of an adoptive family, lighting up their world the way she’s lit up mine.

What I would never be able to bear is the thought of her not being here at all.

Is there really a War on Women? As we head to the polls in November, should the candidates’ views on Women’s Issues influence our votes?

NuffisNuff September 01, 2012 at 08:00 PM
There is definitely a War on Women. Here is proof. Here is an example of an pastor who says rape and incest are of no consequence. This whole attitude will encourage criminals to rape and commit acts of incest, because we have men in leadership positions encouraging it by default: http://www.equip.org/bible_answers/should-abortions-be-permitted-in-the-case-of-rape-or-incest/
NuffisNuff September 01, 2012 at 08:03 PM
In Hosea 13:16, God orders abortion. It is also commanded in Numbers 5, when the child is not the husbands. We can also deduce that when there is no husband (out of wedlock), that it is to be so.
Roger Poirier September 04, 2012 at 08:18 PM
This is a ridiculous statement; that you tie the idea that allowing all pregnancies to go to term regardless of whether the pregnancy was a result of rape or incest or not, "will encourage criminals to rape and commit acts of incest"? Makes absolutely no sense.
Roger Poirier September 04, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Twisting scripture is not a valid stand for pro-choice arguments. Hosea 13:16 is about consequences for rebellion against God, and no where in Numbers 5 does scripture state that God "commands" abortion. Again, the loss of the fetus would be a consequence of the infidelity, in this case God takes it upon himself to 'perform' this act. Regardless of where you stand on scripture or faith, don't try to twist the Bible to say what you want it to say. These are not "pro-abortion scriptures".
NuffisNuff September 04, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Your response is emotional and irrational. Sounds like you are twisting scripture to push your political viiewpoint. The scripture is what it is and we can't deny Numbers 5 is speaking about abortion, because it is specifically referring the pesence and non presence of a pregnancy. It is simply a lie when Christians say abortion is forbidden, when God commands in Numbers 5 for the elixir to be administered where the husband may not be the father of the pregnancy, to force the pregnancy to fail. No one can deny that Hosea 13:16 Specifically states : "their women with child shall be ripped up." No one is advocating abortion when it isn't necesaary; but no one can deny that it does occur in the Bible, with cause and justification. You need to read "Mere Morality" by Lewis B. Sneades. Most people really don't think through the suffering that can be prevented, when necesaary, nor have they thought through what the consequences are of extreme "no abortion" legislation. The truth here is that white, Christian pastors are lying by ommission about what the scripture really states, because they are afRaid non-whites are outpacing whites in population growth ---but they won't publicly admit that. because they'd look like bigots.
NuffisNuff September 04, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Furthermore, it is SICK that you are stating that it is irrelevant if a female is raped or a victim of incest and should have no recourse to alleviate life-long suffering, reliving the horror. Some women may be able to, some may not, but sweeping legislation cannot and should not decide that, the woman should and has an expectation of privacy to make these decisions. You are dehumanizing women. To say that a zygote takes precedence over the woman is bizarre and insane. Furthermore, it's not Biblical.
Roger Poirier September 05, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Hos 13:16 The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open.” They [ALL] will fall by the sword. It is a judgement against all of the people. Not about abortion at all. Re: Numbers 5, teh elixir only acts on the guilty, Again, not about abortion. Regarding my "Emotional and irrational" response; no, not really. You have no idea what my political viewpoint is, I didn't state it. I only countered your arguments which are a misuse of scripture. By the way, can you find some New Testament references for abortion? Perhaps more than two obscure passages that may, or may not support your point? I can't speak for other churches, my church has white pastors, black pastors, asian, hispanic... We're too busy focussing on how to be followers of Jesus (not perfect, mind you) to worry about who is outpacing who in population growth.
Roger Poirier September 05, 2012 at 12:10 PM
OK, I read my own post again. "I" never "stated" that it is irrelevant if a female is raped or a victim of incest, The article you cited said that, (actually that is an over-simplification of the article). My point was that your statement linking delivery of these babies will lead to more rape and incest makes no sense. However, the rest of your argument here is more reasonable. What do you say about the potentially 95% of abortions (according to the article) that are performed that are NOT due to rape and incest? Never mind the number, how about ANY abortion that is not due to rape or incest? What does the Bible say about them?
Roger Poirier September 05, 2012 at 12:40 PM
From the article in the first comment: "First, it is important to note that the incidence of pregnancy as a result of rape is rare, with studies estimating that approximately 1 percent to 4.7 percent of rapes result in pregnancy". I misused the statistic cited in the article. My mistake. The article does not state that 1% to 4.7% of all abortions are due to pregnancies resulting from rape (or incest). My apologies. The other question still remains...
NuffisNuff September 05, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Here is additional proof that "The War on Women" goes well beyond the abortion issue by downplaying rape so that it is no longer really rape and stripping women of their riighta to equal pay: http://pol.moveon.org/waronwomen/
NuffisNuff September 05, 2012 at 06:17 PM
The scripture is what it is. Both scriptures are referring to the presence of pregnancy. Furthermore, the author of this article states she would "never" have an abortion..,,sounds naive and not well thought through. If bet she would have one to save her life -- especially if she had four other children depending on her.
d September 21, 2012 at 05:26 PM
There's more to the "war on women" than just the abortion debate. Take Sandra Fluke, who testified that her friend lost an ovary because she had trouble getting the medicine that would treat her (birth control) covered by her Catholic school's health insurance. Despite what you may have been told hormonal birth control is NOT CHEAP and without insurance it is often unaffordable to a poor women like Sandra Fluke's friend. So her friend suffered and struggled with the health insurance until it was too late. Now this is pretty horrible and the rational, reasonable response would be to say "wow we should take steps to make sure that health insurance covers all *necessary* medications regardless of whether or not the Catholic Church agrees with it". Sort of like how life saving blood transfusions are also mandated despite the fact that many religions are against them. But, of course, that's not the response we got.
d September 21, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Some stats for you: *12% of Pill users in the US, which is over 1.5 million women, use the pill *exclusively* for NON-contraceptive use. This means that it is being used exclusively for treatment of medical problems and NOT for birth control. *More than half of pill users, 58%, rely on the method at least in part for purposes other than pregnancy prevention. Thirty-one percent use it for cramps or menstrual pain, 28% for menstrual regulation, 14% for acne, 4% for endometriosis, and 11% for other unspecified reasons. *9% of pill users, or 762,000 women, are *VIRGINS*. These women (and girls) rely on contraception to treat their medical problems. 82% of 15–19-year-olds report that they use contraceptives for medical reasons rather than birth control. [source]http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/Beyond-Birth-Control.pdf
NuffisNuff September 21, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Thank you d for posting! Very informative indeed! It is obvious that the rapists posting comments here have either not thoroughly thought through the consequences of their fleshly and unbiblical political opinions! Apparently, these rapists clearly do not understand the reality of the suffering women endure. God gave us a BRAIN and a spiritual understanding and a Bible to show us that we are to alleviate suffering whenever possible. Perhaps we should pass laws forcing all men to have vasectomies who have impregnated a female who is not yet ready to be pregnant --whether married or not. I think women should have FULL CONTROL over men's sex lives and reproduction decisions, backed up by legislation.
NuffisNuff September 21, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Roger, any man in a leadership position who states he supports a no exception abortion policy --even for rape or incest -- is encouraging rape and incest de facto, because it sends the very clear message to men that women are property --not human beings.
NuffisNuff September 21, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Women are indeed human beings who are fully capable of making decisions about their health and their future. They don't need some rapist, pedophile or control freak to interefere.
Roger Poirier September 21, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Hello "d". actually, I agree more than I disagree. I am fully aware that "The Pill" can be used to treat far more than just 'birth control" as you state in both of these posts. Quite frankly, If this were the true argument, (and for good measure add in the whole rape and incest discussion also), then there probably be very little argument at all.
Roger Poirier September 21, 2012 at 10:00 PM
You're accusing me of being a RAPIST?!?! Seriously?!? ... not worthy of response.

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