Found it on Facebook: Margaret Sanger’s ultimate goal

If you’ve been educated in the American school system at any time during and after the late 1960s, you’ve been taught that Margaret Sanger, had her emotions terribly wrung when she saw the terrible suffering poor women (mostly immigrants and blacks) experienced because they had child after child after child under the most appalling economic circumstances.  To the extent Sanger was one of the major forces helping women break the cycle of annual pregnancies that destroyed their health and well-being, I have to applaud her.  I don’t do pregnancy well and I’m not exaggerating when I say that a third might have killed me.

What I’ve learned since leaving school is that relieving women’s suffering was only one of Sanger’s goals, although it was the only one that she was willing to discuss publicly.  When speaking with friends, she was more straightforward about her ultimate plans for birth control and abortion:

Margaret Sanger

(I checked and that quotation appears to be real, rather than libelous and apocryphal. It comes from her comment on the ‘Negro Project’ in a letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble, December 10, 1939., a document found in the Sanger manuscripts, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, North Hampton, Massachusetts.)

Sanger would undoubtedly be proud to learn that her beloved Planned Parenthood overwhelmingly targets African-Americans and other minorities.

Incidentally, it’s recently acquired knowledge such as this, all of which runs directly counter to the careful myths on which I was raised, that makes me increasingly hostile to America’s abortion culture.

The President’s speech to Planned Parenthood reminds us how dishonest the abortion debate is on the Left

Fetus

Lately, abortion has been in the news.  It never gets far out of the news, but it intruded with extra force these past two weeks for two reasons.  The first was the story about the media’s decision to ignore the Kermit Gosnell trial because it didn’t fit into the abortion narrative.  The narrative is that abortion should be “safe, rare, and legal.”  The Gosnell reality was that women died in his filthy clinic, that living babies got murdered (with the psychopathic Gosnell collecting hands and feet as trophies), and that the abortions were illegal under any standards, since they were so late term as to constitute murder under Pennsylvania law.  Because Gosnell interrupted the narrative (“we have achieved safe, rare, and legal, and now we must fight zealously to keep it”), what may be the most sensational mass murder trial in American history went unreported.

The other “abortion in the news” moment was Obama’s slobbering love letter to Planned Parenthood, when he spoke at their big hoo-ha.  If you doubt that it was a love letter, you need only listen to the very last few seconds of his speech:

As long as we’ve got to fight to make sure women have access to quality, affordable health care, and as long as we’ve got to fight to protect a woman’s right to make her own choices about her own health, I want you to know that you’ve also got a president who’s going to be right there with you, fighting every step of the way.  Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you.

Yuck.  I’ve been slimed.

That was Obama’s emotional shtick.  In light of the Gosnell affair, it was a grossly misleading emotional shtick because it’s clear that, when women’s “health care” (i.e., abortion) is not delivered into a quality way, neither Obama nor abortion’s cheerleaders will be there for those women.

But there was something else Obama said that was equally dishonest, and that was his insistence that those who oppose abortion on demand want to return the world to the 1950s:

So the fact is, after decades of progress, there are still those who want to turn back the clock to policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century.  And they’ve been involved in an orchestrated and historic effort to roll back basic rights when it comes to women’s health.

There’s a very subtle dishonesty at work here.  What Obama fails to acknowledge is that the social dynamics of our world are so entirely different from those in the 1950s that, even if abortion was outlawed entirely, significant economic and social pressures that women faced in the 50s are virtually nonexistent now.  In the 1950s, women had abortions to escape social stigma (“she’s a slut”) and economic collapse (minimal safety net).  The social stigma was an especially powerful force.  Women were branded and disowned.

I wrote about this false comparison to the 1950s once before, and think it’s worthwhile to reprint that post in its entirety here, simply because the Gosnell trial and Obama Planned Parenthood speech make it very relevant to today’s debate (or avoidance of debate).  So, from January 11, 2010, The need for an honest, 21st century debate about abortion:

I dreamed last night about the first ultrasound I had when I was pregnant with my daughter.  I was sixteen weeks pregnant, and had been throwing up non-stop for 15 1/2 of those sixteen weeks.  I was not happy.  I resented the parasite within me.  And then I saw the sonogram image and discovered that the parasite had a little round head, two arms and two legs, and an incredible spinal cord that looked like the most exquisite string of pearls.  That image did not instantly reconcile me to the next 26 weeks of non-stop vomiting, but it made me aware that “the fetus” is not simply an aggregation of cells, or a thing indistinguishable from a dog or a chicken fetus.  It’s a baby.

By the time I had my second child, I knew, without question, that every “fetus” is a nascent human being.  I finally recognized on an emotional level that the zygote created on the first day is the same life as the baby you hold in your arms on the last.  It is also the same as the toddler that lisps “I wuv you,” and the pre-teen who says “Y0u’re the best mommy ever.”  They all start there, right inside each mother.

You’d think, of course, that this realization should have been obvious to me, and should have long predated the birth of two children.  But I grew up in the feminist abortion oriented culture, and that culture shies away assiduously from focusing on the life within the woman and focuses, instead, only on the woman herself.  There’s a great deal of logic to that focus.  During my lifetime alone, there was little to focus on other than the woman.  Doctors doing autopsies and medical students studying anatomy might have had a sense of fetal development but, really, no one else did.  We weren’t peeking in the womb just a few decades back.  Premature babies died as often as not, so our cultural sense of their viability was limited.  Heck, in the old days, huge numbers of full-term babies died as often as not.  In the pre-modern era, up to 50% of all children died before their 5th birthday — and that’s just counting live births.

And so what we saw in the old days of the abortion debate was the woman.  And in a pre-birth control, high morality era (and yes, I mean morality, not mortality), the unmarried, or even the married, woman’s lot wasn’t an easy one when it came to pregnancies.  First off, married or not, short of abstinence, there were only the most limited ways to stop pregnancy.  The married woman whose husband (reasonably) didn’t want celibacy, could expect a lifetime of pregnancies until her early death, often as the end of a torturous labor, when she’d be laid in her grave alongside probably half of the children she had borne.  For the unmarried lady in a high morality era, rape, or simply the romantic impulse of the moment, could lead to horrific social ostracism, to which was then added all the risks of childbirth.  In short, for many women, pregnancy was a truly rotten deal, and abortions, legal or illegal, safe or unsafe, seemed like a very reasonable option.

How the world has changed!  Nowadays, condoms are everywhere, whether in the vending machine at the nightclub bathroom, at Walgreen’s, or even at your local Safeway grocery.  Women also have available to them the ubiquitous Pill, IUDs, diaphragms, contraceptive sponges, and contraceptive gels.  All of these forms of birth control can fail even if used properly, but the main result of pregnancy in America is probably the decision, conscious or not, not to use any birth control at all.  Some decide not to use contraceptives because they want to get pregnant, and some decide not to use them because, whether for the man or the woman involved, they’re uncomfortable, inconvenient, or embarrassing.  Still, compared to the old days, sex that is free of the risk of pregnancy is normative, not impossible.

The world has also changed in that the stigma of pregnancy outside of wedlock has vanished.  Whether the young woman intends to keep the baby or to put it up for adoption, no one would judge her for getting pregnant.  Indeed, so totally has our culture changed, I had to explain to my son why I thought it was a good idea that his Mommy and Daddy got married before having children.  To him, it was six of one, half dozen of the other.  (Incidentally, I explained it by telling him that a stable married relationship was the best thing for the child, and you wanted to make sure you had that relationship in place before the child came along.  As a child himself, he could appreciate that reasoning.)  With Angelina Jolie, a most admired young woman, going around adopting and giving birth to multiple children, either alone or with a partner to whom she is not married, you know your culture has crossed a line to a time and place in which marriage and pregnancy bear no relationship to each other.

Finally, the world has changed in that both maternal and infant mortality in America are but a small — beyond small, minute — fraction of what they once were.  When a woman dies in childbirth, or has a stroke, it’s so rare it makes the news section of the paper.  In the old days, it was just another obituary and a tombstone.  I don’t need to describe to you the rarity of infant deaths.  We know they still happen, but they too are rare events, and often result from terrible birth defects that are beyond the reach even of modern medicine.

In our modern era, therefore, many of the forces that once drove abortion are gone.  You’re infinitely less likely to get pregnant than you once were (unless you want to).  If you’re married and get pregnant, you’re much less likely to die than ever before.  If you’re unmarried and get pregnant, not only are you less likely to die than in the past, you’re also going to get baby showers, not social ostracism.  If you keep your baby, you know that, even though it’s a tough row to hoe, you’ll be supported.  If you give it up for adoption, you know that there are nice middle-class families who are desperate to give your baby a good home and tons of love.

Why then, in our modern era, should we still have abortion?  That’s the question we ought to be asking, especially as the Democrats are currently demanding the Americans directly fund abortions for those women who choose to have them.

Certainly, I think most of us would agree that abortion is a good, even a necessary, thing if the mother’s life is in danger.  That the mother’s life is in danger with much less frequency than once was the case doesn’t change the moral force of protecting the existing life over the nascent life.

There’s room for debate over abortion for pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest.  Some could say that the fetus is innocent of the violence and betrayal visited on the woman, and therefore shouldn’t be destroyed.  Others would say that rape and incest are such heinous moral crimes that it is equally immoral to force the woman to carry the result of that evil in her body.  To be honest, both arguments make sense to me.  I think the majority of Americans side with the former line of thinking, and I can certainly live with the legal outcome of accepting that argument.

And then there’s the last argument to justify abortion, the “convenience argument,” although no pro-choice person would ever describe it in those terms.  This is an argument that once sat very well with me, but that now makes me very unhappy.  It is a purely modern argument, once that exists in an era where few women fear accidental pregnancies, death or social stigma.

The “convenience argument” says it’s just not fair that both the man and the woman get to make whoopee, but that it’s the woman whose life is put on hold for nine months or, depending on her decision, for 18 years or more.  It’s not fair that she has to throw up for months, go through labor, stop her education, give up her career, lose her figure, and just stop having fun, while the man, if he chooses not to marry her, gets to go on with his life as before.  Even if they marry and the man takes on economic responsibility for the child, his figure, his career, and his free time can be remarkably untouched by precisely the same event that irrevocably changes a woman’s life.  To which I would say now (although I wouldn’t have said it 20 years ago), life is tough.  The child didn’t ask to be conceived but, now that it is, you owe it an obligation, whether it’s a nine month obligation through to adoption or a lifetime commitment.

Interestingly, one of the things you’ll notice about pro-choice advocacy (usually in movies) is that it roots its emotional arguments in the past, when women couldn’t stop pregnancies, when they died far too easily, and when an out-of-wedlock pregnancy was the end of the world.  Think back, for example, to 2004, when the movie Vera Drake opened to immense critical approval, was nominated for three Oscars, and won a whole slew of other awards.  The movie tells the story of the saintlike Vera Drake, a loving wife and mother in the 1950s, who also provides pathetically poor, distressed women with abortions.  The women getting abortions are all desperately in need of them — a mother of seven children, a rape victim, an isolated immigrant, a wife who had an affair while her husband was in Korea, etc. The movie also shows a rich girl getting away with a medical abortion, so as to emphasize the Marxist theory that the rich get richer and the poor get children.  The dramatic tension in the movie comes about because Vera Drake is arrested and prosecuted for this then-illegal act.

Vera Drake is blatantly pro-choice, but also blatantly dishonest as an instrument in today’s debate.  Both the troubles faced by the poor women and the advantages offered to the rich are no longer issues in today’s abortion debate.

Another movie that cheated when it came to the abortion issue was HBO’s 1996 movie, If These Walls Could Talk, which follows three abortion events affecting the residents of a single house, over a period of decades:

1952

The 1952 segment deals with Claire Donnelly (Demi Moore), a widowed nurse living in suburban Chicago, who becomes pregnant by her brother-in-law and decides to undergo abortion in order not to hurt her late husband’s family. However, abortion at the time is strictly illegal. Donnelly eventually finds another nurse (CCH Pounder) who provides her the name of a woman who can find her someone who will perform the abortion. After a clandestine procedure she finally manages to abort but dies shortly afterwards due to hemorrhage.

1974

The 1974 segment deals with Barbara Barrows (Sissy Spacek), a struggling and aging mother with four children and a policeman husband who works the night shift, who discovers she must welcome another addition to the family, despite having recently gone back to college. She considers abortion with the support of her teenage daughter (Hedy Burress) but ultimately chooses to keep the child.

1996

The 1996 segment deals with Christine Cullen (Anne Heche), a college student who got pregnant by a married professor, decides on an abortion when he breaks up with her and only offers her money. She is operated on by Dr. Beth Thompson (Cher). However, the abortion takes place during a violent protest, and an abortion protester (Matthew Lillard) walks in on the operation and shoots Dr. Thompson.

If These Walls Could Talk is quite a carefully thought-out movie, making sure to keep sympathy in places that still resonate today:  the woman who is incestuously raped, a situation that we sympathize with now, dies because abortion is not legal; the woman who keeps getting pregnant, a situation we find less sympathetic in a birth control era, chooses life; and the least sympathetic woman, the one who has the convenience abortion, is trumped by the even more evil murderous pro-Lifer.

It’s also a dishonest movie.  Nowadays, as I said, few quarrel with the legality or morality of an incest or rape abortion; birth control should help keep women from repeat pregnancies (although I do know a woman who claims that she and all four of her siblings were each born clutching Mom’s diaphragm); and the fact that there are loony-toons out there doesn’t lessen the dubiously moral choice of abortion for convenience.

Outside of the movie industry, if you go to the NOW website, that organization still has a page devoted to women who suffered abortions in the past, at a time when women daily had to face down endless pregnancies, childbirth mortality, and extreme social stigma.  As I have tried to prove, though, those emotional arguments do not provide a good rationale for unlimited abortion in 21st Century America, especially at the taxpayers’ expense.

A much more intellectually honest movie view of abortion was Juno, a sleeper hit in 2007 about a teenage girl whose foolish moment of passion with a friend left her pregnant.  That movie was honest about how the pregnancy happened (no birth control), honest about the absence of social stigma (lots of familial love and support), honest about the almost frightening ease with which even teenagers can obtain abortions, and honest about the desperate middle-class couples looking for a baby.  It was also honest about the fact that, given all of these circumstances, it was entirely logical for the teenager to opt not to abort.

As for me, long time readers of this blog know that, even though intellectually and morally I’m no longer pro-choice, I’m still not entirely pro-life.  I accept abortion to protect the mother’s life, and can agree to abortion in cases of rape or incest, even though that’s not fair to the innocent fetus.  My problem is that, while I know that convenience abortions are morally wrong, I still get this emotional, lizard-brain feeling of a trapped rat in a cage when I imagine myself being a young woman who finds herself pregnant when she doesn’t want to be.  For me, although motherhood has had many rewards, it’s also entailed many sacrifices.  When I think of those sacrifices, and then apply them to, say, a 22 year old version of me, or when I imagine my daughter grown, and in the same situation, I still want to cry out “But that’s not fair.”  When that happens, though, I squish my lizard-brain, tell myself “Life isn’t fair,” and try to focus on the fetus and not my feelings.  I only hope that, if my daughter, before she’s married, ever does come to tell me she’s pregnant, I remember that deeper morality, and give her the right advice.

Found it on Facebook — Planned Parenthood’s attack on Paul Ryan

With the election nearing, the Facebook frenzy is accelerating.  I got this from a Facebook acquaintance:


Lots of food for thought, there:

Ryan voted to end funding for Planned Parenthood.  Ryan’s vote is completely in line with Romney’s insistence that a broke U.S. government should repeatedly ask itself “Is this program worth going into debt to the Chinese?”

This is an especially good question, when it’s unclear why Planned Parenthood gets special funding status.  If we’re saying women’s health care (including or not including) abortion is of transcendent importance, then we should just put aside a pot of money and let all health care programs apply by proving that they provide the best women’s health care for the least money.  Alternative, we should give women vouchers entitling them to special services that are unique to women.

Of course, once we stop assuming that Planned Parenthood is automatically entitled to funds, and start questioning the services it provides and the benefits citizens receive, we’d better start giving men vouchers for services that are unique to men.  For example, the feds could pay for women’s pap smears, breast exams, and well-baby checkups, and pay for men’s prostate exams, Viagra, and heart disease prevention and treatment (since men die from heart disease in proportionately greater numbers than women).  Indeed, since men routinely die earlier than women do (sorry guys), men should get special longevity treatments, or they should get cash payments for those years that they die sooner, thereby saving the government money.  And really, if we’re going to break it down this way, by looking at both need and savings, we’d better have special vouchers for African-American men who, sadly, have significantly greater health risks than their white or Asian counterparts.  They should get both bigger vouchers and a cash discount for being virtuous enough to die before they cost the government too much  money.  (And wasn’t it the Progressives who want bat bleep crazy when they learned that a cigarette company argued that smoking is really a benefit for socialized medicine because people die sooner, rather than being a lasting burden on the system?)

This is so confusing.  I have a really good idea:  How about the government stops funding special interests and starts promoting a competitive market for quality health care?

He wants to overturn Roe v. Wade with no exceptions for rape or incest.  All thinking people want to overturn Roe v. Wade because it is a terrible malformation of American law.  There is no right to abortion under the Constitution.  There is also no federal ban on abortion under the Constitution.  Abortion is not a federal issue.  It’s a state issue.  Roe v. Wade should be overturned, with the abortion question then being returned to the various States.  They will do what they will, and each state, by looking at the others’ experiments regarding abortion, will be able to decide what is the best policy, either generally or specifically (i.e., for a given state’s finances or morals).

The Ryan budget plan would dismantle Medicaid.  How often will Ryan have to repeat that Medicaid will be there for those who have vested or who are near vesting?  Don’t answer — that’s a hypothetical question.  I know that no Progressive will ever believe him or the laws he’s proposed.  And how often will Ryan have to repeat that Medicaid will continue to be there for those younger people who want it, but that the government will facilitate market-based insurance for those who don’t?  Yup.  That’s another hypothetical.  [UPDATE:  Me being dyslexic and confusing Medicare and Medicaid.  Sorry.  Medicaid is a state program which is going to get royally reamed under Obama.  He's giving short-term benefits now and then transferring the entire burden to the various states, many of which are currently looking for ways to run and hide.  I suspect that the Ryan budget plan can't be worse than the current situation, but I have to run now, and cannot confirm that belief.  Anyone want to volunteer information?]

He co-sponsored an extreme and dangerous “personhood” bill.  Here’s what Ryan’s co-sponsored bill states in relevant part:

(1) the Congress declares that–

(A) the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being, and is the paramount and most fundamental right of a person; and

(B) the life of each human being begins with fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent, irrespective of sex, health, function or disability, defect, stage of biological development, or condition of dependency, at which time every human being shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood; and

(2) the Congress affirms that the Congress, each State, the District of Columbia, and all United States territories have the authority to protect the lives of all human beings residing in its respective jurisdictions.

“Extreme and dangerous”?  Really?  What the bill states is a biological truth.  The real question isn’t when life begins, it’s when each citizen has the power to end another person’s life.  For the most part, we all agree that, once someone is born, a fellow citizen cannot arbitrarily and without government due process, terminate that born person’s life.  The question is whether an individual can act to terminate a pre-born person’s life and, if so, when.  As long as Roe v. Wade exists, does it matter that Congress symbolically affirms that government entities have the right to protect life on their soil?  No, because  Roe v. Wade gives the faux-constitutional final word to the woman.  And if Roe v. Wade is overturned, all that the bill does is say what the Constitution already implies, which is that the individual states have the power to make such laws.  So I ask again — “Extreme and dangerous”?  Really?  Symbolic, maybe; but practically meaningless.

He has repeatedly tried to repeal the “Affordable Care Act,” which banned insurance companies from charging women more than men.  Okay, in item one, above, Planned Parenthood implicitly conceded that women’s healthcare is more expensive than men’s, which is why the government (in Planned Parenthood’s view) should subsidize it.  So Planned Parenthood is either saying legal businesses should operate at a loss, or that they should arbitrarily increase men’s insurance rates to subsidize women’s.  In that vein, I think Congress should also pass a law saying that teenage drivers shouldn’t pay any more for car insurance than a 40-year-old woman.  Never mind the statistics showing which driver is more likely to cost the insurance company money.

But while I’m talking about laws, if Planned Parenthood’s only concern about ObamaCare is those “equal” insurance rates, why not repeal ObamaCare, which is a 2,700 page monstrosity that adds an enormous amount to America’s debt load and has seen substantial cost increases for currently insured Americans, and in its place enact a very simple bill?  The new bill could say “Women must be charged precisely the same for health insurance as men.  Insurance companies may achieve this goal by raising men’s rates or lowering women’s, whichever they prefer.  There.  That was easy.

If we’re looking for serious government subsidies, I think the federal government should create a subsidy for reason-challenged Progressives.  It could fund emergency six-week long classes on Socratic-based logic and reasoning.

Now that Obama has put contraception front and center, Progressives attack as insane and dictatorial those who want to raise human sexuality above base animal practices *UPDATED*

This is just the week for me to have sex on my mind.  It’s not my fault, though, because the culture insists on pushing it into the forefront of my brain.

Ours is a sex saturated culture.  Progressives like it that way and want it to stay that way.  Conservatives point out that, while sexual pleasure is one of life’s blessings, a sexually saturated culture is not a healthy culture.  Instead, it is one beset by fatherless children (who are more likely to live in economically unstable homes); unmarried teen mothers; demoralized women with low self-esteem; rampant sexually transmitted diseaseabortion rates high enough to shock even many of those who support abortion in theory; and nihilistic youth who squander their sexual capital in loveless relationships during their teens and twenties, and who then wonder why, Peggy Lee-like, they’re left asking “is that all there is?”.

Since the statistics support the conservative view, statistics have only one way to challenge the conservative narrative — they have to denigrate the conservatives themselves, without actually touching upon the narrative.  That’s what we’re seeing with Rick Santorum.

I haven’t yet warmed up to Santorum, but I don’t fault him for wanting to talk about problems in our culture.  Birth control has changed behaviors and — which is something few want to acknowledge — the Pill is a very powerful drug that profoundly affects a woman’s hormonal balance.  Blithely handing it out to teens, without parental knowledge or permission, is not something a culture should undertake lightly. And yet that’s what Progressives want to do.

Worse, if someone (Santorum, for example) says “Hey, wait a minute,” Progressives refuse to talk about the health risks of not only giving teens massive amounts of hormones, but also giving them permission to engage in activities that can harm them both physically and mentally. Instead, Progressives try to paint their challengers as maddened Victorian censors, intent upon using the full power of the federal government to return women to a barefoot and pregnant existence in the kitchen.

Don’t believe me?  Just watch Jon Stewart, who manages in a single segment to (1) gloss over the lies within the HHS mandate (because nothing is free); (2) misrepresent the Church’s position regarding Obama’s HHS mandate by pretending that the Church is attacking contraception, rather than fighting against a government putsch that forces them to pay for contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization; (3) launches a direct attack on the Church’s decency; and (4) shows Santorum as a mad man.  Warning:  this video is NSFW.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
The Vagina Ideologues
www.thedailyshow.com
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(Mr. Bookworm, having watched this segment, turned to me and announced “this is why I can never vote for Santorum.  He’s a God freak.”  Mr. Bookworm was taken aback when I said that he couldn’t support Obama either, because Obama had used Jesus to justify higher taxes.  I got an earful of silence back after that one.)

James Taranto, in a post that looks at anti-Santorum attacks from conservatives who disagree with him on social issues, still manages to explain precisely what’s going on:

In truth, Santorum says only that he would “talk about” what he sees as the social harms of contraception. There is no conflict whatever between limited government and moral exhortation, provided the latter is unaccompanied by legislative or administrative action.

And the quote is very much in keeping with “a tradition rooted in the pursuit of happiness.” Santorum is merely making a case for deferred gratification. His claim is that the easy availability of birth control has enabled and encouraged a pursuit of pleasure that is inimical to the achievement of happiness. One may reasonably argue that Santorum is overgeneralizing or that on the whole he is mistaken. But to write him out of the American tradition on the basis of that quote, as Friedersdorf attempts to do, is simply bonkers.

[snip]

What he says is that birth control has greatly expanded sexual freedom, and that sexual freedom has had consequences that are harmful to society and to women in particular. Again, one may disagree whether, on balance, these harms outweighed the benefits. But what is so upsetting about the idea that they might have? What in the world explains Friedersdorf’s and Rubin’s overwrought emotionalism?

Here’s our attempt at an explanation: In liberal metropolises like Los Angeles, Washington and New York (homes of Friedersdorf, Rubin and this columnist, respectively), a high proportion of conservatives have internalized the assumptions of feminism. One of those assumptions is that female sexual freedom, an essential component of sexual equality, is an unadulterated good. Santorum’s statements to the contrary challenge this deeply held view.

Furthermore, contemporary feminism is, as we recently argued, a totalitarian ideology, by which we mean one that tolerates no divergence between the personal and the political. If you are not a feminist, you can enjoy a lifestyle of sexual freedom and also take seriously the idea that sexual freedom is bad for society. If you are a feminist, that is a thoughtcrime.

[snip]

Totalitarian ideologies sustain themselves in large part through fear, and feminism has been particularly fearsome of late, as the Susan G. Komen ladies and the Catholic bishops can attest. But our intuition is that this is a sign of weakness, not strength. The fearful reactions to Santorum’s heresies against sexual freedom reinforce that sense.

This column has its differences with Rick Santorum, but we admire him for his fearlessness in challenging feminist pieties. “One man with courage makes a majority,” Andrew Jackson is supposed to have observed. Is Rick Santorum such a man? If not, let’s hear a reasoned argument to the contrary.

Rick Santorum is not the only conservative who is subject to ad hominem attacks for daring to raise factual challenges to feminist pieties.  In today’s SF Comical, Amy Graff, who is one of the paper’s official bloggers, is disgusted by an anti-Planned Parenthood video that is filled with a collection of graphic sexual images.

Reading Graff’s post, one finds that she’s not at all troubled by the fact that the video is correct in stating that Planned Parenthood, with help from federal tax dollars, goes to schools all over America to sell sex as a consequence-free activity for young people that’s fun, fun, fun.  (Indeed, just the other day, a San Francisco high school celebrated Valentine’s Day, if not with PP’s help, at least with PP’s style.)  Instead, Graff thinks it’s disgusting that the dirty-minded people at the American Life League were sick enough to assemble all of the PP propaganda in a single place:

The video was created to show that Planned Parenthood is a “perverted” organization, turning America’s children into sex addicts through community events featuring penis-shaped balloons, vagina macaroons, vulva puppet shows, and giant vagina costumes. And then there’s all the masturbation literature, graphic images of naked boys and girls, and online descriptions of sexual organs. Planned Parenthood would tell you they offer these materials to educate youth and encourage safe sex but Michael Hichborn, media director of the American Life League, says, “They’re selling pornography to kids as science.” No matter, this video is quite an impressive collection of lewdness.

Graff’s right in a way.  Ripped free of the youthful “rah-rah” and feminist ideology in which PP packages these sexuality promotions, the material it routinely distributes as schools throughout America does look remarkably like pornography for the younger set.  Here — see for yourself, but just be sure not to watch this video in the office:

Although this may come as a surprise to Progressives, conservatives like sex.  Indeed, to the extent that devoutly religious people such as Santorum believe that human sexuality is a direct gift from God, they probably appreciate it even more than Progressives do, seeing as the latter simply view it as a pleasurable animal instinct.

Conservatives, however, are the ones who are willing to point out that nothing is free, not even a gift from God.  Sex comes with strings attached, and it’s a health society that respects those strings and weaves them into a strong social fabric, rather than rope with which to hang our young people.  It’s very important, therefore, that we fight back against the Obama narrative that has moderate social conservatives — meaning people who don’t want sexual segregation, burqas, the end of contraception, etc., but who do want sex, and women, treated with more reverence and respect — painted as the worst kind of puritanical totalitarians.

UPDATE:  Tina Korbe, at Hot Air, also weighs in on the now-pulled American Life League video, and includes a link to information about its contents.

I’ve got smart friends and they send me interesting things

It’s a family stuff day, so blogging has been light, and will continue to be so.  Fortunately, I’ve got friends who send me interesting things which I am so happy to pass on to you.  In no particular order:

Wolf Howling has written a fascinating, scholarly dissertation examining the adversarial history of faith and socialism, and the way that history quite logically to Obama’s current fight with religious organizations over funding for abortifacients, contraceptives, and sterilization.

Samuel Jackson and Barack Obama are two minds with but a single thought:  Make voting easy by examining your skin color and, if it’s dark, vote accordingly.  Samuel Jackson, in a profanity-laced interview, freely admits that he couldn’t have cared less about the type of governance Obama would bring to the White House.  The only thing that mattered was his color.  That’s just one person.  Our dear (black) leader — and, yes, his color is an important point in this post — has prepared an entire video imploring black people to vote for him because he’s black:x

As the friend who sent me this asked “I wonder what the backlash would be if Mitt Romney started a Mormons for Mitt campaign?”

Rhymes with Right suggests that the Catholic Church go medieval over ObamaCare [link fixed].  I think he’s right.  Citizens in America are free to make decisions that implicate their religion — and the religion is free to make decisions right back.  What cannot happen in America, however, is precisely what Obama is doing, which is to interject the state into the relationship between the religion and its followers.

Lastly, one of my oldest and dearest blog friends, Patrick O’Hannigan, looks at the Komen versus Planned Parenthood kerfuffle.  I say “legitimate,” because they are both private organizations, as opposed to a government organization versus a religion.  Within the context of the fight itself, of course, I think Planned Parenthood’s position and strategy are both entirely illegitimate and, as Patrick carefully explains, Komen, before it caved, was in the right.

Fisking three dishonest Democrat senators on the subject of ObamaCare’s birth control mandate

The last two times I fisked, I was attacking solo acts.  This time, I get a triumvirate, as the three most liberal women in the United States Senate, Barbara Boxer, Patty Murray, and Jeanne Shaheen, have joined together to write an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal, justifying ObamaCare’s intrusion into the realm of religion.  I cannot resist the fisk.

It was a historic victory for women’s health when the Obama administration changed the law to require private health plans to provide preventive services including breast exams, HIV screening and contraception for free. This new policy will help millions of women get the affordable care they need.

[This is simply ideology blah-blah.  Women get free stuff.  Men don't.  It hardly seems fair to me.]

Now, sadly, there is an aggressive and misleading campaign to deny this benefit to women. It is being waged in the name of religious liberty. But the real forces behind it are the same ones that sought to shut down the federal government last year over funding for women’s health care. They are the same forces that just tried to pressure the Susan G. Komen Foundation into cutting off funding to Planned Parenthood for breast-cancer screenings. Once again, they are trying to force their politics on women’s personal health-care decisions.

[The above is an impressively misleading paragraph, conflating core constitutional rights with marketplace pressures.  The ObamaCare fight is a war of religious liberty, insofar as the Obama administration, contrary to the limitation that the First Amendment imposes upon the federal government, is trying to force religious organizations to engage in practices that directly contradict core doctrinal matters.  The other fight arose from the fact that a privately funded charity wanted to stop providing money to an organization that (a) is being investigated for corruption; (b) receives massive amounts of federal dollars; (c) is one of the largest abortion providers in the country; and (d) does almost no "breast-cancer screenings" but, instead, simply refers women to other providers.  Having the facts kind of makes a mockery out the triumvirate's claim that those opposed to the ObamaCare mandate "are trying to force their politics on women's personal health-care decisions."]

We are very glad that the president has stood up to these forces while protecting religious freedom on all sides. His administration should be commended, not criticized.

[There's that new-speak again -- the president "protects" religious freedom by imposing doctrinal mandates on religious organizations.]

Contraception was included as a required preventive service on the recommendation of the independent, nonprofit Institute of Medicine and other medical experts because it is essential to the health of women and families. Access to birth control is directly linked to declines in maternal and infant mortality, can reduce the risk of ovarian cancer, and is linked to overall good health outcomes. Nationwide, 1.5 million women use contraceptives only as treatment for serious medical conditions. Most importantly, broadening access to birth control will help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions, a goal we all should share.

[Been here, done that.  This is the big lie at the heart of the Obama administration's attack on traditional religious institutions.  These harpies constantly conflate the availability of birth control with funding for birth control.  They are not the same.  Women in America can get birth control.  The government can fund organizations -- indeed, it already does with the monies that go to Planned Parenthood -- that provide all these birth control options.  Forcing religious organizations to pay for birth control, sterilization and abortifacients, however, both exceeds the government's power and contravenes the limitations the Bill of Rights imposes on government.  This is not about whether women should have birth control; it's about with the government can force churches to pay for it.]

Proper family planning through birth control results in healthier mothers and children, which benefits all of us. It saves us money too: The National Business Group on Health—a nonprofit whose members are primarily Fortune 500 companies and large public-sector employers—estimated that it costs 15% to 17% more for employers to exclude birth-control coverage, both because other medical costs rise and because of lost productivity.

[See above.  Apples and oranges.  Even accepting as true every single statement in the above paragraph, that still doesn't give the administration the right or power to force churches to fund birth control, sterilization and abortifacients.]

Contraception is not a controversial issue for the vast majority of Americans. Some 99% of women in the U.S. who are or have been sexually active at some point in their lives have used birth control, including 98% of Catholic women, according to the Guttmacher Institute. A recent survey by Hart Research shows 71% of American voters, including 77% of Catholic women voters, supported this provision broadening access to birth control.

[Ditto.]

Consistent with other federal policies, churches and other groups dedicated to teaching religious doctrine are exempted from providing this coverage under a “conscience clause.” But the law does include institutions that have historic religious ties but also have a broader mission, such as hospitals and universities. That’s also consistent with federal policy—and with laws that already exist in many states.

[Boot strapping argument here.  The second sentence assumes that the law is allowed to include institutions that aren't dedicated solely to religious activity, and staffed solely by core religious employees, and then says that, because the law includes them, therefore the inclusion is consistent with federal policy.  And, as did Sebelius, these gals wrongly look to state law, as if the states' acts give the federal government powers denied it under the Constitution.]

Those now attacking the new health-coverage requirement claim it is an assault on religious liberty, but the opposite is true. Religious freedom means that Catholic women who want to follow their church’s doctrine can do so, avoiding the use of contraception in any form. But the millions of American women who choose to use contraception should not be forced to follow religious doctrine, whether Catholic or non-Catholic.

[Nothing now prevents church employees from buying and using contraception.  They've been able to do so freely, in all 50 states, since the Griswold case in 1965.  What does exist now is a Big Rule saying that the government cannot force religious organizations to engage in acts that violate doctrine.  The First Amendment is explicit:  "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...."  Right now, there are no laws prohibiting Catholic women from doing whatever the heck they please regarding their health care and contraceptive choices.  The only difference now is that never before has the federal government had the temerity to make laws, rules, and regulations that directly implicate an establishment of religion, prohibiting it from freely exercising its faith.]

Catholic hospitals and charities are woven into the fabric of our broader society. They serve the public, receive government funds, and get special tax benefits. We have a long history of asking these institutions to play by the same rules as all our other public institutions.

[Rhetorical sleight of hand.  When it comes to playing by workplace rules, the previous rules didn't attack doctrine.  This here is a different type of rule.]

So let’s remember who this controversy is really about—the women of America. Already too many women struggle to pay for birth control. According to the Hart Research survey cited above, more than one-third of women have reported having difficulty affording birth control. It can cost $600 a year for prescription contraceptives. That’s a lot of money for a mother working as a medical technician in a Catholic hospital, or a teacher in a private religious school.

[And we're right back to the cost-shifting argument.  See my discussion, above.]

Improving access to birth control is good health policy and good economic policy. It will mean healthier women, healthier children and healthier families. It will save money for businesses and consumers. We should hold to the promise we made women and provide this access broadly. Our nation will be better for it.

[Ditto.]

I was going to wrap this up by saying I’ve seldom seen a more ignorant and dishonest piece of advocacy writing. I’ve decided, though, that it’s not ignorant. These gals know what they’re doing and what game they are playing. This is simply dishonest.  It is, however, a fine piece of writing coming from acolytes of the Constitutional law professor who now discovers, seemly for the first time in his intellectual life, that the Founders wisely wanted to limit a nascent dictator’s power:

[T]his week Barack Obama proved himself once again the perfect epigone of Woodrow Wilson—the first president to criticize the Constitution and the principles of the American Founding—with his remarks to NBC’s Matt Lauer that one reason he hasn’t succeeded in fulfilling his campaign promises to transform the world is that “it turns out our Founders designed a system that makes it more difficult to bring about change than I would like sometimes.”  It turns out?  He’s just discovering this now?  (Well, one thing that “turns out” is that the only constitutional law Obama actually taught at the University of Chicago was the equal protection clause.  Apparently he skipped over that whole “separation of powers” stuff.)

That Planned Parenthood video I posted earlier is the real deal

Last week, I posted a Planned Parenthood of San Francisco video that was so extreme and biased, I raised the possibility that it was a fake, intended to discredit PP.  The inestimable Zombie, bless his (or her) heart, did the leg work for me and discovered that it is the real deal.  Here are the links Zombie sent me establishing that fact:

The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character

Dionysus, God of Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood’s Most Recent Gaffe

Inside Planned Parenthood Golden Gate’s Building Design

Double Standard : There’s The Left, And Then There’s The Rest Of Us

Open warfare between the Left and America might be a good and clarifying thing

We are now at the point of open warfare between the Left and the traditional Judeo-Christian faiths in America.  We all know that there’s long been a covert war, but it’s finally out in the open now.  As I’ve pointed out on my blog, this week alone, the open war has played out in the Susan G. Komen versus Planned Parenthood fight, the ObamaCare versus Catholic Church fight, and the gay activists versus any religion fight.  Now, we can add one (or maybe two) more to the list:  the Leftists and Muslims versus Christians at West Point attack, with, as a companion piece, the silencing of military chaplains.

West Point Chapel

A flurry of very high profile attacks might actually be a good thing.  Covert attacks are very difficult to defend against.  There are a lot of Cassandras in covert wars, people who realize what’s happen, but whose are disregarded on the ground that their confused or paranoid.  It’s only when war is well and truly declared that people get energized and are willing to man the barricades.

Cassandra prophesying

America is a religious nation.  Ordinary Joe and Josephine might be willing to sit in their recliners in the face of one or two of these attacks, showing the same inertia seen in Martin Niemöller’s famous “First they came. . . .” poem. These sustained attacks against all aspects of religion in public life, however, might make Joe and Josephine worry that they’re the next ones the government and its cohorts will come for.

Your tax dollars at work: Planned Parenthood video from San Francisco *UPDATED*

Given the current kerfuffle about Planned Parenthood, it seemed worthwhile to remind people that Planned Parenthood isn’t just about abortions. It’s also about advancing an agenda antithetical, not only to Christians, whom it attacks very directly, but to any parents who worry about their children’s safety and morality.

Also, as you watch this circa 2005 video from a San Francisco Planned Parenthood Chapter (i.e., a pre-Obama video), please keep in mind that you, the taxpayer, heavily subsidize Planned Parenthood. This video’s crude propaganda is still shocking — and is a reminder about where your tax dollars go:

(I have to admit, watching this video, that I really wonder whether it isn’t a head fake. It’s hard to believe that, even in the San Francisco chapter, someone would come out with propaganda this crude. Does anyone know more about this video’s provenance?)

Hat tip:  shirleyelizabeth

UPDATE: The inestimable Zombie, bless his (or her) heart, did the leg work for me and discovered that this video is the real deal. Here are the links Zombie sent me establishing that fact:

The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character

Dionysus, God of Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood’s Most Recent Gaffe

Inside Planned Parenthood Golden Gate’s Building Design

Double Standard : There’s The Left, And Then There’s The Rest Of Us

How dare a private organization spend its money the way it wants to? Liberals opine about ObamaCare and the Susan G. Komen Foundation

In the past week, two decisions came out regarding the way in which private organizations spend their money.  The first decision was the Obama administration’s announcement that businesses in America must provide their employees with insurance that covers birth control, sterilization, and abortifacients.  The only exception was for businesses that had no employees other than those dedicated to a core religious mission (i.e., a convent that doesn’t employ any janitorial or gardening staff, but only nuns, who serve in all capacities, both religious and non-religious).

One year from now, by government diktat, religious organizations that are doctrinally opposed to any forms of birth control, abortion, or sterilization must nevertheless fund these activities.  This will affect every religiously run school, health care center, or other charity in America, of which there are many.  It will also affect most parishes, to the extent that the only employees aren’t priests and nuns.

The other decision that hit the news regarding the way in which private entities can spend their money came, not from the government, but from an actual private entity.  The Susan G. Komen foundation, which is dedicated to finding a cure for breast cancer, announced that it will cut its ties to Planned Parenthood.  As an aside, Susan G. Komen is privately funded; Planned Parenthood, of course, receives substantial monies from the government.

Komen claimed that it cut funding because Planned Parenthood is running afoul of Congress, a problem that makes it impossible for Komen, under its charter, to provide funding.  Planned Parenthood claims that Komen, under the leadership of one of Sarah Palin’s friends, is punishing Planned Parenthood for providing abortions and abortion counseling.

In the conservative world view, those stories are bass ackward.  When it comes to the Church, the government should not be telling religious institutions to spend their money on activities antithetical to their core doctrines.  And with regard to business, conservatives believe that private foundations have the perfect right to withhold funds from organizations that engage in activities they find offensive.  It’s very different in liberal land.

My insight into liberal land comes through my “real me” Facebook account.  Because I’ve spent most of my life in the Bay Area, I’d say that roughly 90% of my Facebook friends are liberal leaning.  I therefore get to see what energizes them (and why), as well as what they ignore completely.

I can tell you that what my friends ignored completely was the Obama administration’s assault on religious freedom.  Not a single person I know commented upon the fact that the Catholic Church is outraged, and on the move, because of the requirement that it fund birth control and abortions.  As far as my friends were concerned, this was a non-issue.

Liberal pundits are equally unable to see why this matters.  Megan McArdle hones in on the liberal argument supporting the administration’s mandate, which is that if religious institutions are going to go into business (i.e., healthcare or education, both of which are activities in which they’ve engaged for millennia), they need to play by big boy rules, which translates to bowing down to government diktats that touch upon doctrinal issues.  If they don’t want to play by those rules, they shouldn’t be doing anything more than administering the sacrament:

[From the liberal viewpoint] the regulations seem to have nothing to do with whether the Catholic hospitals or other charities take public money; rather, it’s the fact that they provide services to the public, rather than having an explicitly religious mission.

I’ve seen several versions of Kevin’s complaint on the interwebs, and everyone makes it seems to assume that we’re doing the Catholic Church a big old favor by allowing them to provide health care and other social services to a needy public.  Why, we’re really coddling them, and it’s about time they started acting a little grateful for everything we’ve done for them!

McArdle shreds this argument with a little real world logic:

In the universe where I live, some of the best charity care is provided by religious groups–in part because they have extremely strong fundraising capabilities, in part because they often have access to an extremely deep and motivated pool of volunteers, and in part because they are often able to generate significant returns to scale and longevity. And of course, the comparative discretion and decentralization of private charity, religious or secular, makes it much more effective in many (not all ways) than government entitlements.

In this world, I had been under the impression that we were providing Catholic charities with federal funds mostly because this was the most cost-effective way of delivering services to needy groups.

Simply put, the religious organizations that run charitable programs are doing the government a favor, not vice versa.  Nevertheless, the Obama government has just decided to bite the hand that feeds it — not that my Facebook friends care.

What my Facebook friends do care about, deeply, is Komen’s decision to cut funding to Planned Parenthood.  They are outraged and are furiously sharing Facebook links from Planned Parenthood and other pro-Choice advocacy groups that find it morally wrong that a private entity, offended by Planned Parenthood’s approach to a core moral issue, might have rethought its charitable outreach.  Some examples:

Tell the board of Susan G. Komen: Don’t throw Planned Parenthood under the bus!
act.credoaction.com
The Republican plan to defund Planned Parenthood is working — but if we take action now we may be able to stop the latest attack on women’s right to health care. It was just announced that Susan G. Komen for a Cure will no longer fund free or low-cost breast cancer screenings for millions of women.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure: Don’t Succumb to Right Wing Attacks. Restore Planned Parenthood Relatio
signon.org
I just signed a petition to Nancy G. Brinker, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Susan G. Komen for the Cure: Stand firm for women and restore your relationship with Planned Parenthood immediately.

Women’s lives vs. politics
pol.moveon.org
Susan G. Komen for the Cure just bowed to anti-choice pressure and eliminated breast health funding for Planned Parenthood, even though this means thousands of women could be denied the screening and early detection that saves lives. Tell them to put women’s lives ahead of politics.

Most of my Facebook friends, in posting these links, announce that they’ll never give money to Komen again, but are at that very minute cutting a check to Planned Parenthood.  In other words, they understand how the marketplace works; they just don’t like it.

What I especially love about all the comments I’ve seen is the moralizing:  “Breast cancer isn’t pro-choice or anti-choice.”  “It’s immoral to stop funding breast cancer research.”  “How can Komen put politics ahead of morality?”  In making these arguments, my friends are oblivious to two pertinent points.

First of all, Komen isn’t stopping its funding for breast cancer research.  It’s simply finding a new partner with which to work, either because its current partner is corrupt and in trouble with Congress (the official Komen line) or because its current partner engages in acts that the Komen organization finds morally wrong.  By making breast cancer screening available through a morally corrupt entity, Komen understands that it is essentially funding that corruption, a nuance that eludes the liberals.

Second, it’s the Komen Foundation’s own money.  Last I heard, and despite the Obama administration’s most recent assault on the Church, in America people (and corporations) have a Constitutional right to spend their money (or not spend their money) as they please.

People should think long and hard about the pairing of the ObamaCare/Catholic Church battle, and the Planned Parenthood/Komen battle, because these two fights perfectly represent two sides of the same coin:  namely, the liberal belief that there is nothing, including the Constitution, to stop the government and the liberal elites from dictating how individuals and private entities should spend their money.

San Francisco Chronicle columnist warns city’s rational thinkers not to roll in the mud with one specific fringe group

Here’s the lede:

The great thing about living in San Francisco is that it is socially and culturally responsible. The bad thing is, a city that is so socially and culturally responsible can’t resist taking the bait when a fringe group tries to provoke a reaction.

In a non-Bizarro world, one might think that the columnist, C.W. Nevius, is advising San Franciscans to ignore the OWSers camped out along the Embarcadero.  What better way to avoid the drugs, feces and vomit?  Except that can’t be right take on that lede because even San Francisco, with its seemingly endless tolerance for all things Progressive, cleared out the OWS camp a couple of months ago because it was a public health hazard.

Or maybe Nevius is advising San Franciscans to avoid the antisemitic/anti-American hate fest that occurs whenever the Progressive crowd takes to the streets of San Francisco to oppose the wars the U.S. is fighting against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.  Nope.  Can’t be that.  Those protests ended when Obama took the White House, even though it took another three years for one war to wrap up and the other is still going strong.

Hmm.  Maybe Nevius is telling San Franciscans to stay away from the annual Up Your Alley Fair, an open air celebration of pretty much unlimited debauchery.  Or the annual Folsom Street Fair, which features less nudity, but more whips and chains.

I mean, frankly, when it comes to “fringe groups” that are trying “to provoke a reaction,” San Francisco certain has more than its fair share.

This being San Francisco, however, Nevius had something even more fringey in mind, something so horrifying that even San Francisco’s usual crew of protesters, the ones who will take off their clothes to protest anything, including their right to take off their clothes, are being warned away lest they get damaged by contact with this extremist organization.  What is this diabolical gathering, the one so out there that San Franciscans need to hide in their homes rather than validate it with confrontation?

The 8th Annual Walk For Life, which will be held on January 21, 2012, in San Francisco.  Last year, this “fringe” group managed to gather around 40,000 people, all of whom frightened ordinary San Franciscans by wearing normal clothes, walking peaceably, and carrying signs that support life.  (Zombie has an illustrative photo essay from the 2010 walk.)

Nevius, who sometimes distinguishes himself by being amongst the more sensible columnists by San Francisco Chronicle standards, embraces San Francisco’s amorality, however, when he says that the City, en masse, should ignore this pro-Life plague:

The best approach, of course, would be to let them [the pro-Life walkers] have their moment, ignore them, and then go back to real life in San Francisco. That’s the approach that will be taken by the local chapter of Planned Parenthood.

[snip]

Naturally, not everyone feels that way, and we can just about count on clashes between the two groups. There will be disagreements about the size of the crowds – protesters claim that the walk organizers overestimate the size of the march, and members of the walk claim that the number of protesters decreases every year.

At the end of the day, it comes down to a classic example of sound and fury signifying nothing. When the walk concludes Saturday, you can bet that no one will have changed his or her position, although everyone will be congratulating himself or herself for standing up for the cause.

I’ve done enough abortion posts for you guys to know that I’m conflicted on this subject.  I grew up totally pro-Choice, focused entirely on the woman’s needs and convenience.  As I’ve aged — and had children — I’ve no longer been able to deny that there is another life involved.  I want to deny it.  If, God forbid, my daughter shows up pregnant at 15, I want to say “Oh, never mind, darling!  I’ll just take you to the doctor and that’ll be that,” but I don’t think I can anymore.  It’s not a woman’s convenience versus a cell’s existence.  It’s a life versus a life.

So when C.W. Nevius says “[w]hen the walk concludes Saturday, you can bet that no one will have changed his or her position,” he’s plain wrong.  The walk may be the last link in the chain for someone who is struggling, as I struggle, with making a u-turn in a profound belief system, one that forces us to confront who we are and what value we place upon ourselves.

Three hours and 12 minutes

Three hours and 12 minutes — that’s how much time I’ve got to myself this morning.  I am beyond excited.  I haven’t really hit the online news yet, but I did discover some things last night that I wanted to bring to your attention (assuming you haven’t already read them).  I expect that, as I read more, I’ll have more ideas swirling around my head.  As it is, even though I never left town, it was such a frantically busy week last week, and an even more busy weekend, that I feel as if I’ve actually been away and am only now returning.  So, in no particular order, stuff that interested me:

Yesterday, American Thinker had two articles about Barack Obama.  That’s not unusual, of course, since Obama is definitely a topic of conversation in the blogosphere.  What struck me about both of these articles, however, is how they reminded me of closing argument at a trial.  Each was an unusually good summary of the facts we know about the man and why those facts disqualify him from being President.  More than that, rather than trying to convince us about his disqualifications — since we, the average American Thinker reader, are already among the converted — the articles explain why his same handicaps mean that, even as he bewitches the media and the intelligentsia, he’s not a sure winner.  You’ll find the articles here and here.

Kathryn Jean Lopez offers some rather stunning insights into the Planned Parenthood approach to birth control and why it will ultimately be ineffective when it comes to teaching our children responsibility, even when it is ostensibly preaching abstinence.  After discussing PP’s suggested packing list for vacation (every birth control item known to man), Lopez goes on to say:

And therein lies the problem with groups like Planned Parenthood — and with way too much of pop culture. For Planned Parenthood and the anything-goes ethos it represents, young people are always going to have sex. In their worldview, there’s no reason for living if you’re not going to mimic the rutting bachelorettes of Sex and the City. What could you possibly do to have a successful, happy life if it doesn’t involve going through a condom a day?

Likewise, in its abstinence video, PP has its little protagonist message make it clear that she’s heading for some self-fulfillment. Lopez immediately realizes what the problem is with this approach to abstinence:

So abstinence to Planned Parenthood means masturbation? No wonder they think abstinence education is a total waste of time. They can’t get their minds out from Down There. They can’t believe that if you challenge young people to want more than what they see on TV and in the movies, they’ll take you up on it. Planned Parenthood just doesn’t get it; abstinence education can never be about simply saying, “Here’s what you can do so no one gets pregnant but you can still get some sexual kicks.” It has to be part of a greater education: a character education. A physical education. A moral education.

[snip]

The girl in the Planned Parenthood video is, of course, right to say that her night at home won’t give her disease or a baby. But it’s no way to live. She’s cutting herself off from others. She believes she lives in a world in which sex and simulating sex are the only options on a Friday night. There are, of course, alternatives, and good ones at that. If there weren’t, all married couples would get divorced after only a few years of nuptial bliss.

“I want [the Israelis] to come back” — ’nuff said.  Read it.

More to follow.