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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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
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Indiana faces backlash as it becomes 20th state to protect religious liberty

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By Ben Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, March 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday, Indiana became the 20th state to prevent the government from forcing people of faith to violate their religious beliefs in business or the public square.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 101) into law, saying the freedom of religion is a preeminent American value.

“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” Pence said.

Gov. Pence, a possible dark horse candidate for president in 2016, cited court cases brought by religious organizations and employers, including Catholic universities, against the HHS mandate. “One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.”

The new law could also prevent Christian business owners from being compelled to bake a cake or take photographs of a same-sex "marriage" ceremony, if doing so violates their faith. In recent years, business owners have seen an increased level of prosecution for denying such services, despite their religious and moral beliefs.

The state's pro-life organization applauded Pence for his stance. "Indiana's pro-life community is grateful to Gov. Mike Pence for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law,” said Indiana Right to Life's president and CEO Mike Fichter. “This bill will give pro-lifers a necessary legal recourse if they are pressured to support abortion against their deeply-held religious beliefs.”

“RFRA is an important bill to protect the religious freedom of Hoosiers who believe the right to life comes from God, not government,” he said.

The state RFRA is based on the federal bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The Supreme Court cited the federal law when it ruled that Hobby Lobby had the right to refuse to fund abortion-inducing drugs, if doing so violated its owners' sincerely held religious beliefs.

In signing the measure – similar to the one Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed – Pence and the state of Indiana have faced a torrent of venom from opponents of the bill, who claim it grants a “right to discriminate” and raises the spectre of segregation.

"They've basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it's OK to discriminate against people," said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national homosexual pressure group.

The Disciples of Christ, a liberal Protestant denomination based in the state capital, has said it will move its 2017 annual convention if the RFRA became state law. The NCAA warned the bill's adoption “might affect future events” in the Hoosier state.

Pence denied such concerns, saying, "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would've vetoed it."

The bill's supporters say that, under the Obama administration, it is Christians who are most likely to suffer discrimination.

"Originally RFRA laws were intended to protect small religious groups from undue burdens on practicing their faith in public life,” said Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “It was not imagined there would come a day when laws might seek to jail or financially destroy nuns, rabbis or Christian camp counselors who prefer to abstain from the next wave of sexual and gender experimentation. And there's always a next wave.”

The bill's supporters note that it does not end the government's right to coerce people of faith into violating their conscience in every situation. However, it requires that doing so has to serve a compelling government interest and the government must use the least restrictive means possible. “There will be times when a state or federal government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression – to ensure public safety, for instance,” said Sarah Torre, an expert at the Heritage Foundation. “But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom.”

Restricting the ability of government to interfere in people's private decisions, especially their religious decisions, is the very purpose of the Constitution, its supporters say.

"Religious freedom is the cornerstone of all liberty for all people,” Tooley said. “Deny or reduce it, and there are no ultimate limits on the state's power to coerce."

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Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting.
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Porn is transforming our men from protectors into predators. Fight back.

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By Jonathon van Maren

Since I’ve gotten involved in anti-pornography work, I’ve met countless men who struggle, fight, or have beaten pornography. Each person seems to deal with the guilt and shame that accompanies porn use in a different way—some deny that it’s “all that bad,” others pretend that they could “stop whenever they want,” many insist that “everyone is doing it,” and most, when pressed, admit to a deep sense of self-loathing.

One worry surfaces often in conversation: What do my past or current struggles with pornography say about me as a man? Can I ever move past this and have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship?

I want to address this question just briefly, since I’ve encountered it so many times.

First, however, I’ve written before how I at times dislike the language of “struggling” with pornography or pornography “addiction,” not because they aren’t accurate but because too often they are used as an excuse rather than an explanation. It is true, many do in fact “struggle” with what can legitimately be considered an addiction, but when this language is used to describe an interminable battle with no end (and I’ve met dozens of men for whom this is the case), then I prefer we use terminology like “fighting my porn habit.” A semantic debate, certainly, but one I think is important. We need to stop struggling with porn and start fighting it.

Secondly, pornography does do devastating things to one’s sense of masculinity. We know this. Pornography enslaves men by the millions, perverting their role as protector and defender of the more vulnerable and turning them into sexual cannibals, consuming those they see on-screen to satisfy their sexual appetites.

What often starts as mere curiosity or an accidental encounter can turn into something that invades the mind and twists even the most basic attractions. I’ve met porn users who can’t believe the types of things they want to watch. They haven’t simply been using porn. Porn has actively reshaped them into something they don’t recognize and don’t like. 

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Porn is this generation’s great assault on masculinity and the role of men in society. It is essential that we win this battle for the sake of society’s survival. Contrary to what the gender-bending and family-morphing progressive elites claim, good husbands and good fathers and good church leaders are necessary for a healthy society. But pornography is destroying marriages, creating distant and disconnected fathers, and, metaphoricaclly castrating men, hindering their ability and desire to make a positive difference in the society around us.

So, with this sobering set of facts in mind let’s return to the question: what do pornography struggles, past and present, say about a man?

The proper way to respond is with everything that is good about masculinity. We have to fight pornography as men have fought countless evils throughout the ages. We need to fight pornography to protect women, and wives, and children, and our society at large. This is how pornography threatens society, by castrating men, and turning them from protectors into predators. Rooting out the evil in our own lives allows us to better fulfill the role we are called to perform in the lives of others. Battling our own demons enables us to battle the wider cultural demons. Every day without porn is another bit of virtue built. Virtue is not something you’re born with. Virtues are habits that you build. And one day without porn is the first step towards the virtue of being porn-free.

Many men ask me if men who have had past porn addictions are cut out for being in a relationship or working in the pro-life movement or in other areas where we are called to protect and defend the weak and vulnerable. And the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. Our society needs men who know what it means to fight battles and win. Our society needs men who can say that they fought porn and they beat porn, because their families and their friends were too important to risk. Our society needs men who rose to the challenge that the evils of their generation threw at them, and became better men as the result. And our society needs men who can help their friends and their sons and those around them fight the plague of pornography and free themselves from it, too—and who can understand better and offer encouragement more relevant than someone who has fought and been freed themselves?

So the answer to men is yes. Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting. Lend them support and encouragement. We cannot change the fact that porn has left an enormous path of destruction in its wake. But we can change the fact that too many people aren’t fighting it. We can change our own involvement. And we can rise to the challenge and face this threat to masculinity with all that is good about masculinity.

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Red Alert!

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By John-Henry Westen

I don’t like having to do this, but we have always found it best to be totally upfront with our readers: our Spring fundraising campaign is now worrying us! 

You see, with just 6 days remaining, we have only raised 30% of our goal, with $125,000 still left to raise. That is a long ways to go yet.

We have no choice but to reach our minimum goal of $175,000 if we are going to be able to continue serving the 5+ million readers who rely on us every month for investigative and groundbreaking news reports on life, faith and family issues.

Every year, LifeSite readership continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This year, we are again experiencing record-breaking interest, with over 6 million people visiting our website last month alone!

This unprecedented growth in turn creates its own demand for increased staff and resources, as we struggle to serve these millions of new readers.

And especially keep this in mind. As many more people read LifeSite, our mission of bringing about cultural change gets boosted. Our ultimate goal has always been to educate and activate the public to take well-informed, needed actions.

Another upside to our huge growth in readers is that it should be that much easier to reach our goal. To put it simply: if each person who read this one email donated whatever they could (even just $10) we would easily surpass our goal! 

Today, I hope you will join the many heroes who keep this ship afloat, and enable us to proclaim the truth through our reporting to tens of millions of people every year!

Your donations to LifeSite cause major things to happen! We see that every day and it is very exciting. Please join with us in making a cultural impact with a donation of ANY AMOUNT right now. 

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