Kristen Walker Hatten

Pro-choice: Why I’m never going back

Kristen Walker Hatten
By Kristen Walker Hatten

November 19, 2012 (LiveActionNews.org) - I get this a lot, in e-mails and comments:

“Hey ‘Kristen,’ if that’s your REAL name. I read your dumb article because I have nothing better to do than read stuff I hate on the Internet. You’re always talking about how you used to be this big pro-choice liberal because you were uninformed and lost in the darkness or whatever. Well, how do we know you’re not uninformed NOW? How do we know you’re not just brainwashed and in two years you’ll be writing for Jezebel and condemning your dumb pro-life self? Will the real Kristen please stand up?”

I’ve never addressed these comments because I have a life. But I have a less of a life now that I am a lowly, insignificant housewife, so I’m going to address these comments.

I am pro-life because of information. I was pro-choice because of lack of information.

That’s really the simplest answer. I could stop typing now, but then you all would weep and gnash your teeth because you want more paragraphs of my wisdom over which to rejoice or send me hate mail. So let me go into a little more detail.

Not everyone is pro-life because of information. Some people are pro-life because they grew up that way, and they have given as little thought to abortion as I had when I was pro-choice. I call this a “default” position. I was pro-choice by default, for the same reason I was politically liberal. It was the easy position, the one I absorbed from the media, pop culture, and other kids. Unless they receive a lot of correcting influence, most kids are gonna lean this way.

There’s a saying: “If you’re not a liberal at 20, you have no heart. If you’re still a liberal at 40, you have no brain.” I get it. Liberalism is obvious to children, because the most obvious way to help people is to give them stuff and be “nice” to them. It takes a lifetime of learning – and, in my opinion, usually the influence of religion, which helps one understand that man can’t fix all of Earth’s problems - to realize that giving people “free” stuff is impossible, because nothing is free. And because giving people stuff and being “nice” to them is not nice, or helpful; it leads to dependency and corruption and general crappiness. (See Africa, ruined by aid. See also certain parts of Chicago, ruined by leniency.)

CLICK ‘LIKE’ IF YOU ARE PRO-LIFE!

I read this book. It’s a great book to read if you want to understand why people are conservatives. It was written by David Mamet, the playwright, and it’s called The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture. He says something in that book that made me stop in my tracks, and it was this: “Kindness to the wicked is cruelty to the righteous.”

The Dalai Lama said, “My religion is kindness.” Doesn’t that sound like a beautiful thing? Liberals love it. You can buy a calendar festooned with quotes like that, and pictures of the Dalai Lama looking at flowers, in every bookstore in San Francisco.

The problem is that kindness doesn’t work in every situation. To use a pretty worn out example because it’s a good one, if we were kind to the Germans and Japanese in World War II, the good guys would have perished from the earth. We’d all be speaking German and heiling Hitler right now, or we’d be dead. We wouldn’t be America, that’s for sure. Kindness to Hitler would have been cruelty to the Jews and other enemies of the state he was busy slaughtering. In order to be kind to the Jews and the gypsies and the gays and the priests and the Americans, etc., we had to be cruel to the Nazis. We had to make a choice.

When it comes to abortion, ‘kindness’ to the mother is cruelty to the child.

And in this case, as in many, kindness isn’t particularly kind. How is it kind to teach someone nothing, to offer her no instruction because it is “mean,” to watch her walk away to make the same mistakes again that caused her grief and desperation and pain and confusion and sorrow – and led to the death of her child? Is that kindness? Giving her some condoms and a phone number for Medicaid?

To me, kindness is telling people the truth: this will kill your child. You are a mother now. It is your responsibility to protect this child. You have other options, and we will help you every step of the way, but if you decide to let a doctor kill your baby, you will regret it for the rest of your life.

That is real kindness. Not the lie that a handful of cash will make it all go away.

But see, the other side has the easy sell. The lie is always easier: “Republicans are mean; here’s some free stuff.” The “default” position is the easy one you glean from movies and cool grownups. At 26, I had absolutely no idea what abortion really was. I literally, truly thought it was a “clump of cells.” It was information, it was truth, that changed my mind.

This is not to say everyone who is pro-choice lacks information. There are people right now working in clinics whose job it is to count the body parts and make sure there are no arms or fingers or heads left inside women to cause infection. Gotta make sure they got it all! These people certainly do not labor under any illusions about the baby being a “clump of cells.”

So how do they do it? Sister, you got me. I do not know. I know that even pro-choice Kristen would have run from that room screaming and puking. Listen: I know very good people who used to do this job and are now pro-life. Being Catholic, I think there are probably demons involved, and I am not even remotely joking. I think it is possible to delude yourself that you are doing “good” even while sifting through your bloody fingers tangible evidence of unspeakable evil. Humans are clever like that. We can do all sorts of mental acrobatics to make ourselves the good guys.

I spent the first few weeks of being pro-life trying desperately to stuff the genie back in the bottle – to reverse the spell, if you will. I wanted the internet to make me pro-choice again soooo bad. I knew what I was in for: I was going to be one of the dumb, backwards, mean, lady-hating pro-life wackos. But it couldn’t be done. And that is your answer, e-mail-haters and internet-commenters. That is how you know I will not be backpedaling and becoming liberal, pro-choice Kristen again: because once things are learned, they can’t be unlearned. And in the past six years – almost exactly – of reading and talking and arguing and writing, I have learned nothing new that would un-convince me of the humanity of the unborn, or the evil of abortion.

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Reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews.org


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Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

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Arguments don’t have genitals

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon van Maren

“As soon as he grows his own uterus, he can have an opinion.”

That was a comment left on The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada’s Facebook page by a woman who presumably opposes men speaking out against misogyny, domestic abuse, rape culture, and female genital mutilation as well. Apparently, you see, male genitals disqualify people from speaking out on various human rights issues deemed by women who define themselves by their uteruses while protesting angrily against being defined by their uteruses as “women’s issues.”

Which abortion isn’t, by the way. It’s a human rights issue.

To break it down really simply for our confused “feminist” friends: Human beings have human rights. Human rights begin when the human being begins, or we are simply choosing some random and arbitrary point at which human beings get their human rights. If we do not grant human rights to all human beings, inevitably some sub-set of human beings gets denied protection by another group with conflicting interests. In this case, of course, it is the abortion crowd, who want to be able to kill pre-born children in the womb whenever they want, for any reason they want.

Science tells us when human life begins. Pro-abortion dogma is at worst a cynical manoeuvre to sacrifice the lives of pre-born human beings for self-interest, and at best an outdated view that collapsed feebly under the weight of new discoveries in science and embryology. But the abortion cabal wants to preserve their bloody status quo at all costs, and so they make ludicrous claims about needing a uterus to qualify for a discussion on science and human rights.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

In fact, feminists love it when men speak up on abortion, as long as we’re reading from their script, which is why the carnivorous feminists have such a support system among the Deadbeat Dads for Dead Babies set and the No Strings Attached Club.

Male abortion activists have even begun to complain about “forced fatherhood,” a new cultural injustice in which they are expected to bear some responsibility for fathering children with women they didn’t love enough to want to father children with, but did appreciate enough to use for sex. Casual fluid swaps, they whine, should not result in custody hearings.

This is not to mention a genuine social tragedy that has men forcing or pressuring women to have abortions or abandoning them when they discover that the woman is, indeed, pregnant.

Or the fact that abortion has assisted pimps, rapists, and misogynists in continuing the crimes of sex trafficking, sexual abuse, and sex-selection abortion.

And coming against these disgusting trends are thousands of men in the pro-life movement who believe that shared humanity means shared responsibility, and that when the weak and vulnerable are robbed of their rights, we have to stand up and speak out.

We are not at all convinced by the feminist argument that people should think with their reproductive organs or genitals. We think that the number of people currently doing that has perhaps contributed to the problems we face. And we refuse to be told that protecting the human rights of all human beings is “none of our business” and “outside of our interests.”

Arguments don’t have genitals, feminists. It’s a stupid argument trying to protect a bloody ideology.

Reprinted with permission from CCBR.


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Rachel Daly

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Gvmt strikes UK Catholic school admission policy that prefers Mass attendees

Rachel Daly
By Rachel Daly

St. Joseph's Catholic Primary School in Epsom, England, was ordered to change its admissions policy after it was ruled discriminatory by the nation's Office of Schools Adjudicator, according to Your Local Guardian. St. Joseph's reportedly had been granting preferred acceptance to students whose families attended Mass at the affiliated church.

St. Joseph’s School is for students from age 4 to 11 and describes itself as “enjoy[ing] a high level of academic success.” The school furthermore places high priority on its Catholic identity, affirming on its homepage that “We place prayer and worship at the center of everything we do.”

The school states in its current admissions policy that it was "set up primarily to serve the Catholic community in St Joseph’s Parish" and that when the applicant pool exceeds 60 students, its criteria for prioritizing students includes "the strength of evidence of practice of the faith as demonstrated by the level of the family's Mass attendance on Sundays." 

Opponents of this policy reportedly argue that since donations are asked for at Mass, it could allow donation amounts to influence acceptance, and that forcing non-accepted local students to seek education elsewhere imposes a financial burden upon their families. 

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As Your Local Guardian reports, the adjudicators dismissed claims that donation amounts were affecting school acceptance, given that it is impossible to track donations. Nonetheless, the adjudicators maintained that "discrimination ... potentially arises from requiring attendance at the church rather than residency in the parish."

The Office of Schools Adjudicators, according to its website, is appointed by the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State of Education, to perform such functions as mediating disputes over school acceptances. The Office's ruling on St. Joseph's will require the school to release a revised admissions policy, which is expected in the next few days.

Reprinted with permission from the Cardinal Newman Society.


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Carolyn Moynihan

African women at risk of HIV, hostages to birth control

Carolyn Moynihan
By Carolyn Moynihan

Which should be the priority for a health organisation: preventing an incurable disease, or preventing a natural function that might have adverse physical consequences?

Preventing the disease, you would think. But the World Health Organisation would rather expose African women to HIV-AIDS than withdraw its support from a suspect method of birth control, arguing that childbirth is also risky in Africa. Riskier, apparently, than the said contraceptive. And at least one of WHO’s major partners agrees.

This is one of the stories you will not have read in coverage of the International AIDS Conference held in Melbourne last week, despite the fact that WHO made an announcement about it during the conference and the findings of a highly relevant study were presented there.

The story is this: there is increasing evidence that the method of contraception preferred by family planning organisations working in Africa (and elsewhere) facilitates the transmission of HIV. The method is the progesterone injection in the form of either DMPA (Depo Provera, the most common) or NET-En (Noristerat).

Millions of women in sub-Saharan Africa receive the injection every three months. The method overcomes problems of access. It can be given by nurses or health workers. A wife need not bother her husband for any special consideration; the teenage girl need not remember to take a pill.

But for 30 years evidence has been accumulating that, for all its “effectiveness” in controlling the number of births, the jab may also be very effective in increasing the number of people with HIV.

Three years ago at another AIDS conference in Rome, researchers who had analysed data from a number of previous studies delivered the disturbing news that injectables at least doubled the risk of infection with HIV for women and their male partners.

That study had its weaknesses but one of the experts present in Rome, Charles Morrison of FHI 360 (formerly Family Health International, a family planning organisation that also works in AIDS prevention), considered it a “good study” and subsequently led another meta-analysis that addressed some of the issues with previous research.

Last week at the Melbourne conference he presented the results. His team had re-analysed raw data on the contraceptive use of more than 37,000 women in 18 prospective observational studies. Of these women, 28 percent reported using DMPA, 8 percent NET-En, 19 percent a combined oral contraceptive pill, and 43 percent no form of hormonal contraception. A total of 1830 women had acquired HIV while in a study.

The analysis showed that both injectables raised the risk of infection by 50 percent:

Compared to non-users [of any hormonal contraceptive], women using DMPA had an elevated risk of infection (hazard ratio 1.56, 95% CI 1.31-1.86), as did women using NET-En (1.51, 95% CI 1.21-1.90). There was no increased risk for women using oral contraceptives.

Similarly, comparing women using injections with those using oral contraceptives, there was an elevated risk associated with DMPA (1.43, 95% CI 1.23-1.67) and NET-En (1.30, 95% CI 0.99-1.71).

Morrison also noted:

The results were consistent in several subgroup and sensitivity analyses. However, when only studies which were judged to be methodologically more reliable were included, the increased risk appeared smaller.

Morrison acknowledged that observational studies such as the FHI analysis depended on have their limitations. He is looking for funding to conduct a randomised controlled study – something that, after 30 years of suspicions and evidence, still has not been done.

So what is his advice to the birth control industry? Stop using this stuff in regions with a high prevalence of HIV until we are sure that we are not feeding an epidemic?

No.

One reason is that FHI is at least as interested in contraception as it is in HIV prevention. Though its website reflects a broad range of development activities, its core business is integrating birth control programmes with HIV prevention. The WHO – one of its partners -- describes the US based, 83 percent US government funded non-profit as “a global health and development organization working on family planning, reproductive health and HIV/AIDS.”

Another reason is that FHI 360 has a vital stake in precisely the kind of contraceptives that are under suspicion. Its annual report refers to:

Our trailblazing work in contraceptive research and development continues, as we develop and introduce high-quality and affordable long-acting contraceptives for women in low-income countries. Research is under way to develop a new biodegradable contraceptive implant that would eliminate the need for removal services. We are also working with partners to develop an injectable contraceptive that would last for up to six months. Currently available injectables require reinjections monthly or quarterly, which can be challenging where health services are limited.

That project is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID.

So Morrison did not argue in Melbourne for restrictions on the use of injectables, and neither did the WHO, whose representative at the conference outlined the UN body’s new guidelines on contraception and HIV. Mary Lyn Gaffield said a review of studies up to – but not including Morrison’s – did not warrant a change to WHO’s policy that DMPA and NET-En should be available, without restriction, in areas of high HIV prevalence.

The most WHO will advise is that women should be informed of the risk:

“Women at high risk of HIV infection should be informed that progestogen-only injectables may or may not increase their risk of HIV acquisition. Women and couples at high risk of HIV acquisition considering progestogen-only injectables should also be informed about and have access to HIV preventive measures, including male and female condoms.”

Condoms? How do they defend such cynicism? By equating the risk of HIV with the risks of motherhood – complications of pregnancy or childbirth, maternal death and the effect on infants... And yet motherhood remains risky precisely because 90 percent of the world’s effort is going into contraception!

Seven years ago a meeting of technical experts convened by WHO to study the injectables-HIV link showed the reproductive health establishment worried about that issue, to be sure, but also concerned that funding was flowing disproportionately to HIV-AIDS programmes, setting back the cause of birth control. The integration of family planning and HIV prevention spearheaded by FHI 360 looks like they have found an answer to that problem.

Whether African women are any better off is very doubtful. They remain pawns in a game that is, above all, about controlling their fertility. They and their partners are encouraged to take risks with their health, if not their lives, while researchers scout for funds to do the definitive study.

FHI had an income of $674 million last year, most of it from the US government. Couldn’t it give Charles Morrison the money to do his research today?

Reprinted with permission from Mercatornet.com.


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