by Diane R. Pagen, LMSW
Do you think that abortion is a joyful and liberating experience, akin to a yoga retreat? This is what abortion rights activists often sound like they are telling us to think. Must you think so, in order to preserve the right to have one? This is the impression I get from celebrities who fancy themselves women’s rights activists. Celebrities, though their opinions are no more informed (and maybe even less informed) than the average person, get media coverage for every statement that they make about any controversial public issue, including one as important and contentious as abortion.
Sometimes those statements are reckless. An example is the writer/actress Lena Dunham, who earlier this year got a few days of media coverage by stating that she wished she had had an abortion already because to have had one would make her a better advocate for women’s abortion rights. The fact that she thinks she knows exactly the effect that terminating a pregnancy would have on her is naïve beyond belief, yet women like Dunham tell the rest of America that women’s empowerment starts by taking lightly a matter so personally and socially difficult as abortion. Damn, she makes having an abortion sound like a virtual rite of passage for people who care about women’s rights.
by Lisa Stiller
On Saturday, Jan 21 I will join over a million of people taking part in one of over 600 women marches being held throughout the nation, organized as a protest of the “Trump Agenda”. I am walking as a pro-life feminist.
Depending on the city, the marches have different organizers. But most of the marches have at least one prominent organizer at the forefront that is affiliated with a pro-abortion organization (Planned Parenthood, NARAL, etc). The rallying cry for most includes wording clearly referencing “protecting women’s health”, “protecting reproductive choice”, “marching against the war on women,” all code for protecting abortion “rights”.
Because of the endorsement of abortion, at first, I was hesitant to join. But because abortion does not define a women’s agenda, I decided that as a pro-life feminist, I had so many reasons to stand up to everything Trump and his administration stand for. In fact, the Women’s March website lists “reproductive freedom” as one of 12 huge injustices they are standing up against.
By Matt Tuman
Lost in the presidential race this year was what happened this summer in the Illinois state legislator. Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law Senate Bill 1564, which made abortion the preference for unintended pregnancies in Illinois. The bill stipulates that all doctors, hospitals and pregnancy centers not only provide information on abortion and where it is available, but also discuss the ‘benefits’ of abortion. If the doctor or center is morally or religiously opposed to abortion, they still must either refer the patient to another provider, transfer them to another provider or provide them with information on locations that will offer abortion.
This law amounts to total hypocrisy on the pro-choice community. Their major argument is that the government should not be involved in women’s health decisions and that those decisions should be left between the woman and her doctor. However, with the passage of this law they take that decision making process away by forcing what the doctor has to say even if he has moral or religious objections to it.
by Julie Locascio
Bitter political and social conflicts may not be new, but we may be seeing unprecedented levels of vitriol because of the ability of anonymous angry people to take their attitudes to extreme positions online. Even people posting in their own name find new courage to level cruel broadsides because they can find an enthusiastic echo chamber to “like” and pass along everything they say. So where do people of modest temperament find space to reflect on and calmly discuss public policy? For many of us, it is not in our preferred political party.
In a world of “competing” hashtags saying #blacklivesmatter, #bluelivesmatter, #migrantlivesmatter, #womenslivesmatter, #babieslivesmatter, etc., some of us keep wondering why any of these things need to be said. The answer, sadly, is that political parties in our country do not embrace a consistent ethic of life where #alllivesmatter. And the reason for that is that candidates who embrace a consistent ethic of life are attacked so viciously in the primaries that they rarely get a chance to present their platforms in a general election.
DFLA’s Charles Camosy writes:
Family leave programs and child-care support are energetically backed by liberals. Hillary Clinton just wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post pledging to provide incentives to improve the situation. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has introduced federal legislation mandating paid family leave. If conservatives are wise, they will join in the effort. This is especially true for those who are antiabortion: They should want mothers to have the resources to help them keep their babies….
Democrats who want to see such bills pass need to come up with a carrot to get moderate Republicans on board. A nearly perfect one exists: the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which was passed by the House last year but filibustered by Senate Democrats.
The bill would ban elective abortions past the 20th week of pregnancy. The United States is extreme in allowing such abortions in the first place; it is one of only seven countries in the world that permit abortions beyond 20 weeks. Though there is legitimate debate among biologists about when a fetus can feel pain, the Pain-Capable Act’s 20-week ban is common-sense legislation that would catch up our abortion policy with France, Britain, Germany and most of the rest of the civilized world.
By Matthew Tyson
On May 12th, 2016, Governor Robert Bentley of Alabama signed a bill that would prohibit abortions performed through “Dilation or Evacuation”—other wise known in the bill as “dismemberment abortion.” This would essentially prohibit second trimester abortions of viable infants in Alabama.
SB 363, or the Alabama Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, has the full support of Democrats for Life of America, and we would like to send our sincerest gratitude to the 5 Democratic legislators that voted in favor of the bill: House minority leader Craig Ford (D, Gadsden) and Rep. Elaine Beech (D, Chatom), as well as Senators Priscilla Dunn (D, Bessemer), Linda Coleman-Madison (D, Birmingham), and Vivian Figures (D, Mobile).
Though a win for the whole life community to provide protection to preborn infants, the bill attracted the expected negative criticism from abortion rights supporters.
by Matt Tuman
Today’s front-page article of the Washington Post discussed the enormous electoral losses Democrats have taken since President Obama was inaugurated in January 2009. Since then, Democrats have lost 13 Senate seats, 69 House Seats, 913 state legislative seats, 11 governorships and 32 state legislative chambers.
The natural question that follows is, “How did this happen?”
Pro-life Democrats have been alienated from the Democratic Party. The 2012 Democratic platform stated the party “strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade” and “opposes any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.” With this uncompromising stance, the party excludes over one third of all Democrats. In a CNN/ORC poll released last year, 36 percent of Democrats said that abortion should be illegal before the fetus is viable. The Democratic Party cannot thrive when it ostracizes such a large part of its membership.