#ShoutYourAbortion and the Devaluing of Children

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Image found at Kickstarter

I’m going to get into a lot of trouble, at least in certain circles, for writing this, but it’s been bothering me for a while now and, as my long-time readers know, I process my thoughts and feelings by writing.

Believe it or not, back in the day, I used to be an agnostic/atheist and a Democrat. It seemed to be the default setting for most of the people I hung out with after High School (a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away). I didn’t think much about my politics or social opinions for a long time, and certainly didn’t do anything to challenge them.

Then I got married, and several years later, my wife became pregnant. Yes, we were at a stage in our lives when we wanted to start a family, so it was quite intentional. Like I imagine most pregnant couples to be, we immediately started bonding with our unborn baby (it wasn’t until about halfway through the pregnancy that we found out my wife was having twins).

Anyway, my wife started taking prenatal vitamins and otherwise doing whatever she could to make sure our baby was born healthy. We dabbled at picking out baby names, and as her due date got closer, began buying high chairs, car seats, a crib, decorating our children’s room (by then we knew there’d be two). We were drawing ever closer to our two sons even before they were born.

That’s what expectant parents do, right?

One day, on my commute to work, I passed by an abortion clinic. Maybe it was Planned Parenthood, I don’t remember. I know it was an abortion clinic because I saw people carrying signs outside protesting abortions. On other similar occasions in the past, I was mentally critical of the protesters, since I supported pro-choice, just like my politics said I should. I knew women who had abortions and as far as I could tell, the net effect was pretty benign. That wasn’t my only experience, but I’ll get to the others in a minute.

But on the occasion of driving past the protest, I thought about my pregnant wife, and I thought about how we felt about our unborn children. That set me off on a trajectory that would eventually lead me to make some life-altering decisions affecting my political/social outlook.

However, nearly ten years before that, I had worked at a Suicide Prevention hotline in Berkeley. I was on staff, hired to cover the midnight to 8 a.m. shift (since it was rare for a volunteer to want to work that late). Of course, I received all kinds of calls from insomniacs and such, plus we had our “regulars” who would call in (not everyone who phoned was actively suicidal).

However, some of the most heart-wrenching calls I took were from young women who had just had an abortion. This was the late 1970s and into the early 80s and Roe vs. Wade made abortions legal starting in 1973. These were women who were sobbing into the telephone, talking to a stranger in the middle of the night, pouring out their anguish because they had just killed their baby. That’s how they expressed it. I’m not putting words in anyone’s mouth.

I put those experiences all together over the subsequent years, did my research, and came to a single devastating conclusion: The only difference at all between a fetus and an unborn baby human being is whether the child is wanted or not.

That’s it.

My wife and I didn’t wait until some critical period in the gestation of our sons to start emotionally bonding with them, we began the minute we found out she was pregnant. My wife didn’t wait until some critical period in gestation to start taking prenatal vitamins, stop drinking alcohol (she’s never been a big drinker anyway) and doing everything in her power to make sure our unborn sons would be as healthy as possible, she began right away.

I’ve heard it said that in order for an otherwise sane and moral human being to be able to kill a person, their “enemy” has to be dehumanized. In other words, if the person you plan to kill isn’t considered human, then it’s easier in war, for example, to pull the trigger. Check out a number of World War Two propaganda posters. They depict Germans and Japanese in the most ghastly lights, as vicious killers and monsters. That’s what made it okay for American civilians to hate them, for our government to intern Japanese people in camps, and for soldiers to kill them in battle.

So a fetus is a potential human, but while that potential is unrealized, it’s okay to kill them. That’s pro-choice. The potential mommy’s body, her life, her attitudes, are all more important than her child’s life.

I know what some people are going to say. What about cases where a girl or woman becomes pregnant due to incest or rape?

According to “The New York Times” in a 1989 article (yes, it’s old, so the statistic has changed slightly), only One percent of abortions are performed because the girl or woman was a victim of those crimes. Only one percent. According to a 2011 article by Christian media group Focus on the Family, that figure had risen to 1.5%. So as of about seven or eight years ago, only 1.5% of all abortions nationwide were performed because of incest or rape. So much for that straw man argument.

But what about other reasons? Why do women get abortions? Yes, because the pregnancy is unwanted, but what are the specifics?

According to a 2005 paper published by the Guttmacher Institute and cited in Table 2 of their paper, the primary reasons in descending order are:

  1. Having a baby would dramatically change my life interfering with education, job/career, other children/dependents
  2. Can’t afford a baby now due to being unmarried, unemployed, or for reasons of poverty
  3. Don’t want to be a single mother or am having relationship problems
  4. Have completed my childbearing and don’t want additional children

You can click the links I provided to read the entire table for the full list of reasons, but these are the major ones.

According to Very Well Health, the most common reason women have abortions has to do with finances. Specifically, 40% of women are financially unprepared to have a baby, and this includes conditions of poverty and being on public assistance.

Depending on your perspective, poverty/finances might be a valid reason to have an abortion should a woman unintentionally become pregnant. After all, what costs more, an abortion or raising a child from infancy to age eighteen? It’s a tough argument to counter. On the other hand, it sounds like there’s a justification of ending a human life just because that person is poor. It has some horrible implications if you start applying the principle to people who have already been born. No, it’s not that pro-choice people are actively promoting murder of a born person, even a newly born infant, but where do you draw the line between late-term abortion and killing a viable child?

That question deserves further consideration. Toward the end of my wife’s pregnancy with our sons, she developed pre-eclampsia and had to be hospitalized until she gave birth. This was at Long Beach (California) Memorial Hospital which, at the time at least, had one of the best neonatal ICUs in the nation. I saw prematurely born babies, some as young as 20 weeks gestation, all struggling to stay alive, their parents in horrible anguish and heartbreak.

I know that by most standards, 20 weeks gestation (though some authorities go as young as 16 weeks) is the cut off point for late-term abortions. There may be some pro-abortion pro-choice advocates who would be okay with aborting a baby at 21 weeks, 22, 25, or 30, but I’m not sure about that. All I know is what I witnessed was another reason I believe the only difference between a fetus (which you can abort) and an unborn baby (which you can’t because it would be unthinkable), is whether or not the child is wanted. That’s the ONLY reason based on my experiences.

Some weeks ago, I watched a video of conservative political commentator, writer, attorney, and Orthodox Jew Ben Shapiro explaining why an unborn baby is not “a ball of goo.” You can watch it at LifeNews.com and read the accompanying article, but Ben’s argument is devastating.

Okay, so why am I writing this all right now (as opposed to last year, or next year, or never)? Because I read this today.

shout
Screenshot from twitter

Regardless of where you land on the abortion debate, what person in their right mind forces their own abortion experience on children? She even tells children that having an abortion is part of God’s plan, like going to the dentist.

When I was a kid, I knew women became pregnant and had babies, but in my wildest imagination, I had no clue those pregnancies could be (at that time, illegally) terminated. I’m pretty sure my children didn’t grow up with that knowledge, at least before Junior or Senior High. I don’t know what my almost ten-year-old grandson knows, and to a high degree of confidence, I’m absolutely sure my three-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter doesn’t have a clue.

Amelia Bonow and several other activists created the #ShoutYourAbortion movement, hashtag included. I guess she thought the other abortion advocates didn’t take it far enough, so in addition to just having abortions be legal, she wants women to be proud of them. Heck infamous popular celebrity Lena Dunham has gone on record saying she wishes she had an abortion. Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren compares abortion to having your tonsils removed. I don’t know if she’s ever had an abortion, but I do know she has two (adult age) children.

And who the heck would actually produce a book for children on abortion? My son, the father of my grandchildren, has similar political and social attitudes to my own (he’s actually a lot more conservative) and I’m sure he’ll agree that it’s a book my grandkids will never read, not until they’re old enough to buy it themselves or check it out from the library.

For crying out loud, let children BE children. You really don’t have to drag them into some of the messiness that goes along with being an adult. Honest. Stop it!

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about parenting and abortions. If you’ve never parented, maybe it’s easier to have an abortion, because you haven’t let yourself go through the experience of bonding with an unborn (and later born) child. But what if you’ve had children? You know what it feels like to grow close, to cherish, to nurture an unborn life. How can you simply turn around after having those profound experiences and have an abortion as if you were flipping off a light switch?

Oh, but there’s more.

You may or may not be aware of an eleven-year-old boy named Desmond Napoles, also known as Desmond is Amazing (and if you click that last link, yeah…that’s a boy).

NBC recently promoted Napoles, in part, because he was featured cross-dressing and performing at a Gay club, with adult men waving money at him as if he were a stripper. I don’t know about you, but I consider that outrageous, and I can’t imagine why his parents allow such insanity.

Supposedly, he’s starting a dating website for trans children as well as a drag club for children.

Yes, I know this is an extreme example of poor parenting decisions, and you’re probably wondering what this has to do with abortion.

It has to do with objectifying and hypersexualizing young children. I mean, if a child means so little to you in the womb that you not only abort that child, but #ShoutYourAbortion to the world, including to children as young as little Desmond, how much can kids in general really mean in today’s progressive society (okay, so there are probably tons of progressive parents who love and cherish their children, but to the degree that all this other stuff is happening, there’s a problem)?

I know the counter-argument is that some conservative and religious parents do harm to their children as well, and I’m sure that’s true, but it doesn’t make any of the points I’ve established in this blog post less valid.

desmond 8
Desmond Napoles at age 8 -whose dancing drew joyous applause from the crowd at Sunday’s New York City Pride March. (Photo: Yana Paskova/Getty Images)

Something has changed in our world when women are told that having an abortion is not only a good thing, but a valid, right, and moral thing to achieve, no more harmful than going to the dentist or having your tonsils removed, and all part of God’s eternal plan for the salvation of the world. Something is horribly wrong when an eleven-year-old boy performs in drag in front of a bunch of men in a gay nightclub. Something is horribly wrong in our world, when that boy then performs on a major network (NBC) television show and is praised for being (in my opinion) sexually exploited, and millions of people in the audience think it’s okay.

It is not okay. How younger people are being programmed to believe ending a human life and sexually exploiting young boys is not okay.

Parents and grandparents and all the other caretakers of children out there, please protect your kids. Don’t let the culture corrupt and destroy them. If this is what morality looks like when progressives and atheists believe they are the highest moral and ethical force in the universe, I don’t think you have to look too far to figure out why I prefer that a perfect and Holy God is my moral compass.

Oh, for more, read the article The Problem With “The Kids Meet Someone Who Had An Abortion” Video.

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46 thoughts on “#ShoutYourAbortion and the Devaluing of Children”

  1. I agree with every single word you have said!!! Kudos to your opinions because they are right and true. There are so many MORE things in addition to what you have mentioned that are truly screwed up in this world. This is the tip of the iceberg and I give you a huge high 5 for the courage it took to post this! ❤

    1. That’s for the enthusiastic endorsement, Courtney. If I wrote about everything wrong in the world, I’d be writing forever, and the blog post would be impossibly long.

  2. I would have given this post a “like”. It is mostly excellent, apart from the brief drift into partisan politics.

    Don’t forget that it was under a “conservative” presidency that a majority “conservative” supreme court that legalised abortion.

    The underlying problem is not caused by “progressive” politics or politicians, but by mankind’s increasing rejection of God. The resulting societal corruption is reflected across the whole political spectrum, and most disturbingly results in things this:

    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/trump-christ-billboard-st-louis/

    1. Two things to say in response at this time. I grew up in St. Louis, and I go visit. Yes, it’s like that. Even in church now. (Not all.)

      Second, beyond only Supreme Court history, “the right” worked in favor of abortion in multiple ways… until it was legalized.

  3. I haven’t read the comments yet, but I was fully with you… until you make it about being progressive. And being conservative is about a perfect and holy God? Not so.

  4. Marleen, I’m aware that we differ politically, and Onesimus also chided me on the points you bring up, however, I suspect if you looked up the religiosity, politics, and social biases of the #ShoutYourAbortion activists and supporters, you’d discover a pattern of atheism and leftist progressiveness.

    1. You can find some crazy ass(es) among the right too, no? Your continual equating of conservative politics and a holy God is wrong.

      1. Yes Marleen, there are clearly serious problems with any “side” of politics. There is a deceptive clash created between left/right, or progressive/conservative: all ultimately meaningless divisions intended to portray one particular political “side” as being right or godly, and the other as wrong or evil.

        In reality ALL political philosophies have a mixture of good and bad or the potentially good and the potentially bad. And often the supporters of those philosophies can easily flip from one particular stance to the complete opposite, whenever it becomes politically expedient to do so. (The Republican attitude to abortion is one such case of that).

        For those professing belief in Jesus/Yeshua – it is HIM we should be serving, not fickle political ideologies.

  5. …you’d discover a pattern of atheism and leftist progressiveness.

    And there are no atheist influences in “rightist conservatism”? And no equally abhorrent beliefs and practices associated with “the right”?

    And yes, Snopes – the site confirmed the existence of that billboard and even provided a photo of it. Promoting Donald Trump as if he is The Word who is God. As if Trump will “make the gospel great again”.
    I’d just seen a print article about it in a bible society publication and I looked for a source online, the first of which was at snopes.

    Was that billboard and its message coming out of “leftist progressiveness”?

    I’ve tried to address this US religious obsession with (and love of) so called “conservative” politics on many occasions, but clearly it is far too ingrained into the psyche.

    As a very important person once said “You can only serve one master”.

    The real issue is not related to politics, it is entirely a spiritual matter.

    1. I just came across this person yesterday on youtube. The whole thing is important, but I’d recommend first starting at the 14:15 mark (halfway, but for a particular reason).

      A Personal History of the John Birch Society

  6. Well said, James. Let’s see if we can “get [you and me] into a lot of trouble” with this. I posted the link to this blog on my Facebook page.

    1. So, I got a couple of sad emojis in response and one friend messaged me saying that your article I shared “…was really powerful…. Its crazy and sad beit [sic] abortion, or child exploitation.” No trouble on this end.

  7. Fascinating and excellently written. I once listened to a speech from a young woman in my class about her abortion. She felt like she killed her child. She was incredibly upset just like your experiences with volunteering at the hotline. Another woman who had an abortion I was acquainted with said that if she had the choice again, she wouldn’t have aborted her baby. There’s a lack of support for these women. Vulnerable time. I’ve listened to the arguments on the other side, which sound scientifically accurate, yet I think they fail to account for a woman’s emotional and psychological well being. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    1. It’s true that there’s a lack of support. I found out years after the fact that my cousin had been pregnant after I had moved out of town. Had I known, I would have strongly encouraged her to let me raise her child (I was married and she wasnt, and her mother and my mother — twins — were pushing her to have an abortion, which she had). I was raised more conservative (the new brand of it) than people tended to be back at that time. I can’t tell you how shocked I was at their reaction to her pregnancy. It’s probably part of why the two of them insisted on it all being secret, because I actually followed through in life on what “we” supposedly believed (only me). But here’s the deal, my mother is the kind of person who thinks you can buy indulgences [look it up] by being an enthusiastic spokesperson* [and I think literally — buy — now as she has started calling herself a Catholic (which we absolutely couldn’t be, because of her, when I was little and she was of childbearing age)… and money has been disappearing].

      * She even found some degree of sanctification (in her own mind) in starting a conversation to shame my cousin over abortion in a sideways manner. What-the-goddamn hell? The two closest women in her life tell her to do it, and then they both go on to pretend to be upstanding Republicans (they “get it” at a deeper level).

      1. Thank you for asking, theresaly. She’s pretty good in general. She’s very successful in (scientific) work she started when she was very young. Her relationship with her mother is quite strained, but she has a principled, disciplined (personally adhered to) respect for her mom anyway. She mourned for decades because she wanted a child. All our mothers wanted was for her to find a husband. She now has a pleasant Jewish wife.

      2. * She even found some degree of sanctification (in her own mind) in starting a conversation to shame my cousin over abortion in a sideways manner. What-the-goddamn hell? The two closest women in her life tell her to do it, and then they both go on to pretend to be upstanding Republicans (they “get it” at a deeper level).

        Additional context: For decades, the topic would come up between my mother and myself — and I would point out that the decision wasn’t coherent with her politics and supposed morals. She [Mom] consistently argued that it was the right decision. (And, yet, this swipe at my cousin from out of the blue [which I witnessed first-hand].)

  8. During the time I was bringing up my children, it was the anti-abortion demonstrators who were exposing very young people — indiscriminately, stubbornly — to abortion graphics. I didn’t participate in that.

  9. “She now has a pleasant Jewish wife.” …is a pleasant Jewish wife? …has a pleasant Jewish life? Just making sure I read that right.

    1. Wife… yes. We’ve celebrated Hanukkah together more than once. We haven’t gotten together for other Jewish holidays, but her wife had comforting Jewish things to say to me (my worldview is more Jewish) after my dad (Catholic) died. And they kept touching in with me for over a year about him (up through his first birthday following the first full year) while we don’t live in the same city or state.

      1. He lived in the same city where they live, so they did a lot with me and for my mother right after his death when I was there and not there.

      2. I also have a (still-living) Catholic aunt (one of my dad’s sisters) — who is educated as a nurse — as well as a Catholic uncle who was an anesthesiologist (her husband who converted to raise their family), both of whom had possibly-comforting medical things to say to me.

      3. That uncle (anti-Obama) stunningly shouted out something about politics when we were recounting (with a priest) things my dad did, at the visitation service, one of which was work at a voting place such that many people could participate in our form of democracy later in his life. Because of that individual’s rudeness (and not everyone there was Catholic, so he wasn’t a good ambassador so to speak), the priest omitted speaking of Dad’s long years of polling service at a subsequent formal service in church (where other parts of his life were repeated).

  10. Quoting Onesimus:

    ….

    ….

    I’d just seen a print article about it in a bible society publication and I looked for a source online, the first of which was at snopes.

    Was that billboard and its message coming out of “leftist progressiveness”?

    {I’ve done that too, learn of something and then look for a source online (often a different source) by which to share the information.}

  11. As bad as abortion is and as abominable a stain as it is on our humanity, I can sympathize with one who regrets their abortion, keeping it private ruefully as a tough decision and lesser evil – certainly no ideal. That’s one thing.

    But getting off on something like abortion to the point of celebration and glee is just sick.

    1. Celebration is bizarre. So is keeping a pregnancy secret so you can push a younger woman (or any woman) to have an abortion while continuing to pretend you’re against it because it fits your politics. And those people include the ones who put up or carry around gory signs in people’s faces (celebrating their own sense of themselves).

    1. “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting”

      The rest of the first chapter of Romans makes very interesting reading, showing why such things as you described are going on in the world.

  12. The parents indicated they didn’t want to encourage nor to discourage the boy dressing in ways he saw as glamorous (what they said was what the boy liked when the mother was watching a drag queen show — sigh, parents should be mindful of themselves and what they’re doing and what they’re really possibly wishing for). But basic guidance (not being with nude adults) would be in order even if that was theoretically the way they were going to proceed.

  13. I didn’t know you had another blog. Gave this post a like because it’s so well-written and I agree with some, though not all points. I’m pro-choice (and yes I have children and also had an abortion after them), but early only, certainly not late-term, unless the mother is gravely ill. Anyway, I have known women who are very cavalier about abortion (men also) as you characterize, and I’ve also known those who wrestle with the decision and how it impacts everyone. There is a vast majority of women between those devastated from the procedure and those who don’t care at all.

    Finances are not a topic to simply brush aside for millions of women, especially single moms ~ what are they supposed to do when we are in a society that does not offer support and structure but yet calls them bad people? They can’t win. This is why so many women keep making poor decisions in relationships too, trying to grab onto any means of help for their existing children, hoping the next guy won’t be such a jerk. This IS all relevant. Telling all these women they simply shouldn’t have sex again until menopause is probably not going to work either. Because reality.

    However I totally agree with you about education and the fact that we have no business indoctrinating little kids about abortion or lifestyle choices. Teach them school subjects, not to pick their noses, and not to punch each other in the face. See if teachers can master those things. As far as celebs and their increasingly ridiculous bids for attention with crazy obnoxious hashtags and crap… ignore them!

    Sorry this is so long. 🙂

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