Celia Wolf-Devine

Opinion

How dare you as a man…

Celia Wolf-Devine
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To read part I of this series outlining basic pro-life arguments, click here.

December 10, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - There is a popular pro-choice cartoon showing some old men in judges’ robes, obviously pregnant. One of them says to another “maybe we should rethink our position on abortion.” People who argue this way assume what is plainly not the case, that all women take a pro-choice position on abortion. But even apart from this fact, there are many reasons why men as well as women need to confront the moral issue of abortion.

Certainly the experience of pregnancy and childbirth is unique to women. And although a man can try to understand empathetically, both the joys and the pains women go through remain a closed book to them. The wonderful sense of heightened life that comes with feeling that there is a new life within you, the first experience of the baby’s motion and the unique sort of intimacy that develops during pregnancy are things men can’t experience just as much as the morning sickness, the discomforts of late pregnancy, and the violent pains of childbirth are. But this proves nothing at all about whether men are entitled to make moral judgments about abortion.

First of all, as shown in my previous article, abortion destroys a living human being. We each began life in a woman’s womb and can therefore say for every abortion “it might have been me.” By virtue of our shared humanity, we all have an obligation to come to the defense of innocent and helpless human beings. If we saw an infant about to be run over by a truck, our duty to rescue it would be obvious. Abortions are morally similar, but they are performed in special facilities by people in white coats. The distinctively human features of the embryo or fetus are downplayed and hushed up. But they are there for anyone who chooses to look.

Second, for every pregnancy there is one man who has a particularly strong obligation to protect the new life – namely the father. The embryo didn’t just fall out of the sky or arrive via a stork; it came into existence as a result of an action performed by both of the parents. Parents have an obligation to care for their children – to protect and nurture them. Once pregnancy has occurred they are already parents; the time for “reproductive choice” has passed. Their son or daughter may be still tiny and immature, but it is there, and they are obligated to care for it.

The impact of abortion on fathers, especially, has been hushed up in order to make it look like abortion concerns only the woman who should therefore have the freedom to terminate the pregnancy. A number of men (in addition to aborted unborn males) are damaged by abortion and not just the father. The grandfathers, uncles and brothers of the aborted individual can be scarred for life as well. But the father is most deeply affected. The effect is immediately felt when the woman gets an abortion against the father’s wishes. There is a certain pride in being able to make a new life spring into being. A mystery and sense of power – whether or not the pregnancy was desired or intended. When the father tries to protect his baby and she goes ahead with the abortion anyway, feelings of rage and powerlessness flow naturally. (I was once on a radio talk show abortion debate in San Francisco, whose host was going through this sort of anger and powerlessness but felt too intimidated by aggressive feminists to say so on the air.) In destroying a man’s baby the woman is rejecting him on a deep level, and abortion usually terminates the relationship between the parents, even if the man went along with it willingly.

If the man pressured her into an abortion, severe guilt is likely to result at some point. (A friend of mine working on a suicide prevention hotline received a call from such a man.) And even if the woman insists on the abortion and the man feels relief at the time, feelings of grief and shame often surface many years later (as happened to a friend of mine in his late forties after his son died prematurely). A man who marries a post abortive woman will have heavy emotional baggage to deal with even if he had nothing to do with the abortion, and a woman’s capacity to bond with subsequent children can be seriously compromised by an earlier abortion.

In short, the poisonous ripple effect that spreads out from the violence of abortion touches the lives of many people, and not just the woman. Men as well as women can look at what is destroyed in an abortion and reflect about this in light of moral principles, and take a searching look at the consequences that result from abortion for those directly affected by it and for society as a whole.

Note: Celia Wolf-Devine is an extensively published author and lecturer in Philosophy. She, along with her husband Phil Devine are co-authors of a book on Abortion published by Oxford University Press.



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A photo of Kim Tucci at 25 weeks gestation Erin Elizabeth Photography
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‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’

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An ultrasound of the five different compartments, each with its own baby, inside Kim's womb.

AUSTRALIA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- A 26-year-old Australian mom has given birth to five healthy babies, all conceived naturally, after refusing the doctor’s advice that she must abort three of them in order to give the remaining two a better chance at life. 

“After my initial ultrasound I was told I could consider the selection method to give 2 babies the best chance in life,” wrote mom Kim Tucci in a Facebook post last September. 

“I watched a YouTube video on the procedure and I cried. I could never do that! Was I selfish for not giving two the chance of 100% survival? All I knew is that I already love them and that every heart beat I heard I connect with them more. For me life starts when a heart starts beating and all I know for sure is that I will do whatever it takes to bring them into this world healthy,” she wrote. 

Last Thursday Kim and her husband Vaughn welcomed the five new members into their family — one boy and four girls —increasing the number of their children from 3 to 8. The babies were born at 30 weeks, 10 weeks early, due to insufficient space in Kim’s womb. They weighed on average about 2.5 pounds. 

The quintuplets’ story began last March, after Kim and Vaughn had been trying for six months to conceive just one more child for their family. Due to health complications, Kim wondered if she would ever become a mother again. 

After what she thought was an extra long cycle, she decided to take a pregnancy test. 

“I was feeling tired and a little nauseated and thought I would take a pregnancy test just to get the ‘what if’ out of my head. To my shock and utter excitement it was positive,” she wrote on a Facebook post.

The parents got the shock of their lives when doctors confirmed in an ultrasound examination that there was not one baby, but five. 

“After a long wait for the ultrasound we finally went in. The sonographer told me there were multiple gestational sacks, but she could only see a heart beat in two. I was so excited! Twins!”

“I was moved to another machine for a clearer view and had the head doctor come in and double check the findings. She started to count, one, two, three, four, five. Did i hear that correctly? Five? My legs start to shake uncontrollably and all i can do is laugh. The sonographer then told me the term for five is ‘quintuplets,’” Kim wrote.

Even though Kim began to feel stretched to the limit with all those human lives growing inside her, she chose to focus on her babies, and not herself, referring to them as “my five little miracles.” 

“It's getting harder as each day passes to push through the pain, every part of my body aches and sleeping is becoming very painful. No amount of pillows are helping support my back and belly. Sometimes I get so upset that I just want to throw my hands up and give in.”

“Sometimes my pelvis becomes so stiff I can barely walk and my hips feel like they are grinding away constantly. I'm finding it hard to eat as I basically have no room left in my stomach, and the way it is positioned it's pushed all the way back with the babies leaning against it.” 

“My skin on my belly is so stretched its painful and hot to touch. It literally feels like I have hives! No amount of cream helps relieve the discomfort. I have a lot of stretch marks now. Dealing with such a huge change in my body is hard.” 

“Is it all worth it? Yes!!!! I will keep pushing through,” she wrote in one Facebook post days before the babies were born. 

The newborns' names are Keith, Ali, Penelope, Tiffany, and Beatrix. They were born at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco, Western Australia. Mother and babies are reported to be doing well. 



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UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react

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GENEVA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- The United Nations, following the lead of international abortion activists, is now urging Latin American countries hit by the mosquito-borne Zika virus to lift restrictions on abortion for pregnant women who have contacted the virus and whose pre-born children may be at risk for birth defects, including having smaller than normal heads. 

The UN human rights office said today that it is not enough for South American countries to urge women to postpone pregnancy without also offering them abortion as a final solution. 

“How can they ask these women not to become pregnant, but not offer… the possibility to stop their pregnancies?” UN spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters. 

UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that governments should make available contraception and abortion services.

“Laws and policies that restrict (women’s) access to these services must be urgently reviewed in line with human rights obligations in order to ensure the right to health for all in practice,” he said.

But Brazil’s bishops strongly asserted yesterday that efforts should be made to eradicate the virus, not the people who may be infected by it. 

The disease is “no justification whatsoever to promote abortion,” they said in a statement, adding that it is not morally acceptable to promote abortion “in the cases of microcephaly, as, unfortunately, some groups are proposing to the Supreme Federal Court, in a total lack of respect for the gift of life.”

Honduras Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has also come out strongly against the notion of “therapeutic abortions” as a response to the problem. Unlike Brazil where abortion is legal in the case of rape or health of the mother, abortion remains entirely illegal in Honduras.

“We should never talk about ‘therapeutic’ abortion,” the cardinal said in a homily at a February 3 Mass in Suyap. “Therapeutic abortion doesn’t exist. Therapeutic means curing, and abortion cures nothing. It takes innocent lives,” he said. 

While the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international public health emergency February 1 on account of concerns over the virus, critics have pointed out, however, that not one death as resulted from the virus. Even on WHO’s own website the virus is described in mild terms. 

“It causes mild fever and rash. Other symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis. Zika virus disease is usually mild, with symptoms lasting only a few days,” the website states. “To date, there have been no reported deaths associated with Zika virus,” it added. 

Critics suspect that the crisis is being manipulated to advance an anti-human agenda on the pre-born. 

“Is Zika, actually, a hideous virus that threatens to spread uncontrollably across the world creating an army of disabled children with tiny heads and low IQ’s? Or might this be a willful misinterpretation of the scarce data to manipulate public opinion and legislatures?” wrote pro-life critic Mei-Li Garcia earlier this week.

“It becomes very clear that the publicity surrounding this story has a very little to do with medicine and a lot to do with a convenient crisis that is being used by those pushing for the legalization of abortion around the world,” she wrote.



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Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’

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DERRY, NH, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Hillary Clinton has a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees - several, in fact. At a Democratic event on Wednesday, Clinton unveiled her criteria in selecting a judge for the nation's highest court.

“I do have a litmus test, I have a bunch of litmus tests," she said.

"We’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed,” she said.

There have been over 58,000,000 abortions since the 1973 court ruling legalizing abortion in all 50 states, according to National Right to Life.

That echoes her recent call to arms speech before Planned Parenthood last month, when she stated that taxpayers must fund abortion-on-demand in order to uphold the "right" of choice.

“We have to preserve marriage equality,” Clinton said, referring to last summer's Obergefell v. Hodges case, a 5-4 ruling that redefined marriage nationwide. “We have to go further to end discrimination against the LGBT community."

Her views differentiate her from the Republican front runners. Ted Cruz has called the court's marriage ruling "fundamentally illegitimate," and Donald Trump told Fox News Sunday this week that he would "be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things." Marco Rubio has said he won't "concede" the issue to the one-vote majority.

All Republican presidential hopefuls say they are pro-life and will defund Planned Parenthood.

Her husband, Bill Clinton, raised the makeup of the Supreme Court early last month in New Hampshire, saying it receives "almost no attention" as a campaign issue.

On Wednesday, Hillary said "the next president could get as many as three appointments. It’s one of the many reasons why we can’t turn the White House over to the Republicans again.”

Clinton said her judicial appointees must also reverse the Citizens United ruling on campaign finance and oppose a recent decision striking down a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In 2013's Shelby County v. Holder, justices struck down Section 4(b) of the act, which said that certain states and jurisdictions had to obtain permission from the federal government before changing their voting laws.

At one time, most politicians frowned upon any "litmus test" for judicial nominees, emphasizing the independence of the third branch of government. "I don't believe in litmus tests," Jeb Bush told Chuck Todd last November.

But with the rise of an activist judiciary in the middle of the 20th century, constitutionalists have sought to rein in the power of the bench.



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