OpinionTue Dec 11, 2012 - 11:39 am EST
Why is government (and society) discouraging childbearing?
December 11, 2012 (Pop.org) - Past generations of American pioneers, known for their openness to life, would not have believed it. They would be astonished to learn that, in the second decade of the twenty-first century, a woman’s fertility is not celebrated but discouraged. Women who marry early, leave the workforce, and devote themselves to the birthing and raising of children are not the norm. On the contrary, a woman is expected to pass her most fertile years acting like a man, building up a strong career, and making a lot of money. Only after she is thus “established” and has “enough money” is she allowed to start thinking about having children.
In all of this, of course, there is no assumption that she will abstain from sex. Rather, she is expected to use pills and implants, diaphragms and injections in order to foil conception and escape the “burden of children.” The Sandra Flukes of the world are not, however, expected to pay for their own contraceptives. Our “Contraceptor-in-Chief” has decreed that Obamacare (that is to say, all of us) will bear this burden. Apparently, in the view of some, modern women are helpless creatures who need government assistance to postpone and control their own fertility to keep it from spiraling out of control.
At a recent Family in America conference, Dr. Jennifer Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute, spoke of society’s lack of acceptance of women’s fertility. Young women are told they must be just like men if they want to enter the workforce and fit in in the workplace. They are advised not to have children right out of school because that will get in the way of a career. Universities accept ever larger numbers of female students, but only with the unspoken understanding that they will not have children while on campus.
According to Dr. Morse, fertility is not seen as the norm for women but is rather viewed as a problem. And since society’s progressives view fertility as problematic, a government constituted of progressives takes action to curb it. This is evident in the recent HHS mandate, in which contraception is considered “preventive care” and is to be “free.” In other words, as Dr. Morse noted, “pregnancy is seen as a disease, a problem to be solved.” So long as this view of women’s fertility is widely held, the government will continue to find ways to control fertility and keep the numbers of mothers and babies down.
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The feminist movement has done a good job of portraying women’s fertility in a bad light. Dr. Allan Carlson, President of the Howard Center for Family, Religion, & Society and Editor of The Family in America, addressed precisely this point at the conference: “Feminists want choices, but don’t want women to choose to stay with kids at home, they might like it!” Instead of catering to these views, according to Dr. Carlson, public policies should allow for more choices. Specifically, policies should be put in place to make it easier for women to choose to stay at home if they so desire.
The government should not stand in the way of a woman’s fertility, but should rather safeguard it. Women should be allowed to choose when to bear children and how to raise their families.
This prescription also makes demographic sense. The birth rate has dropped below replacement in America over the past few years. Despite this birth dearth, fertility is still not seen as a good thing, but rather as a problem to be dealt with. If America is to sustain herself, her people need to start replacing themselves. Given that our present policies discourage childbearing, this will not be an easy task.
A recurring theme at the Family in America conference was how American society as a whole has grown to disfavor fertility and disregard marriage. As the institution of marriage declines, this tends to lower fertility even further. Both trends affect public policy since politicians tend to cater to general societal trends. Charles Murray, author of the recent book Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010, who also addressed the conference, pointed out: “Once you don’t have marriage, you need a stronger state. The welfare state is absolutely essential for America’s people.”
While a good first step in promoting marriage and fertility as societal goods is to institute pro-family and pro-fertility policies, this is only a first step. Ultimately, society itself must embrace the idea that men and women are each unique in their own way, and that marriage is a natural means of uniting their unique strengths so that the whole is greater than the parts. We must recover the truth that a woman’s fertility is integral to her womanhood and is something to be nurtured, not thwarted.
Reprinted with permission from the Population Research Institute.
‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’
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.
UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react
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.
Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’
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.
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.