Sunday, July 10, 2005

An email from pro-life Sarah

I got an interesting email last night, I am not going to copy it in it's entirety but here are some of the main points and then? My reply to Sarah....

Dear Lisa,
I know you are a liberal, but please hear me out. If you will be kind enough to read to the end, I would appreciate it deeply. Please use your own judgement in this matter.

As you probably have heard, Justice Sandra Day O'Conner is retiring. President Bush will now have the opportunity to appoint another justice to the Supreme Court, and Congress must approve the nomination. Please use the websites below to contact the President and your state Congressmen/women to urge them to support a pro-life justice. If you do this, Roe V. Wade can be overturned and the atrocity of legal abortion can end in our lifetime.

Why oppose legal abortion? Right now, over 4,000 babies a day die from abortion in the U.S- 1.6 million a year. Since nearly all surgical abortions happen after the sixth week, all these babies have a heart beat and brain waves, and virtually all have arms and legs, fingers and toes. Read a few quotes from current abortionists about thier jobs: (She then continues with some graphic descriptions of the abortion process).

My response:

Dear Sarah,

Thank you for your email but I need to clarify a few things for you. Yes, I am a liberal, however the assumption that all liberals believe in abortion is not correct. Since I heard you out, hopefully you will respond with a similar courtesy.

In addition to being a liberal I am a Catholic, and I'm sure you know my churches belief on the matter of abortion. I have never had an abortion, my child bearing days are now done, but I would never encourage my daughters or anyone to have an abortion.

That said here is where we differ. I do not personally support the idea of abortion but on several fronts I do not agree it is our place to do as you have suggested force the overturn of Roe v Wade or try to make abortion illegal. First, abortion is legal in the United States of America. Even if Roe v Wade is overturned, abortion would still be legal. If somehow it were to become illegal everywhere in the United States, abortion would still happen. In countries were abortion is illegal does abortion still exist? Of course it does and it creates a greater risk to those women who have gotten pregnant.

Secondly, I believe in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights of the United States of America. We have certain personal rights one of which is the right to privacy. Another is freedom from religious persecution. Neither you nor I have the right to tell anyone what they can do or not do because of our religious beliefs.

Finally and this is the most important part of it to me, the only way to really stop abortion is to prevent unwanted pregnancies. It means stop promoting abstinance only programs realizing that there are people out there that do not believe there is anything wrong with pre-marital sex or having sex for non-procreational reasons. Merely making abortion illegal will have no effect on this. If all of the money, time and energy trying to make abortion illegal and efforts such as yours to somehow influence the Supreme Court nomination process were spent on promoting birth control and family planning, abortion would become a non-issue. Every single unwanted pregnancy that is prevented? Prevents a possible abortion.

While this of course would not stop all abortions from happening, it would create a situation where abortion was rare and only used in cases where a rape, incest or some other health issue which are now a very small number of the abortions performed today.

That to me is a goal worth fighting for, and I hope you support this as a realistic solution.

Thank you,

Lisa Renee


Dottie said...

I agree with you Lisa. While I would never have one and I would certainly discourage my daughter from having one, I dont like the idea of a woman being in a situation where she is pregnant due to rape, insest or some other involunary way and being forced to carry a baby to term. Her body has already been violated. She shouldnt have to have it torn up giving birth against her will too.

Lisa Renee said...

I usually don't write much about abortion because even though I don't support it, I do believe in freedom of choice. I hestitate to call myself pro-choice yet, that is what I am because I would not choose to have an abortion but if someone else did it's not my place to stop them. Those I do know who have had abortions did not take this decision lightly. They truly felt for their own personal situation this was the best option. I've done things differently, but then that was my choice.

I think it is wrong to try to make the only or the main criteria for a Supreme Court Justice (or any judge for that matter) being their position on abortion. If they were really a credible candidate their personal positions on issues wouldn't be a part of their job as a judge or justice anyway.

They are supposed to interpret law based on the Constitution, not social issues. Since she wanted me to contact the President and my Congresspersons, I did so, telling them my exact position on it.

Me4Prez said...

I am also a liberal Catholic and I am not an abortion supporter. I am a pro-choice person though.

I feel along the same lines as you do. If you want to lower the abortion rate, try educating people instead of telling them about only one aspect. My Catholic school talked pretty much only about abstinence, but girls started having sex around the 4th garde and guys followed a little behind.

The fact that there are 1.4 million abortions doesn't bother me as much as the fact that there are even more children than that who are unwanted and improperly cared for. Do we really want to add more children tht even our government refuses to properly care for?

And finally. I think that abortions are going to happen and that those wealthy enough can still send their daughters on vacation where they can get rid of any potential "embarassments." I don't want to jeapordize the lives of more women because we removed there right to a safer way.

Me4Prez said...

I also agree on the choice of justices. It isn't liberals who make the courts activist, it is the fact that everyone who gets appointed seems to have some ideological beliefs that affect their judgements and get them noticed by those in power.

Me4Prez said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Daniel said...

Freedom is protecting all our rights; not just the ones we agree with.

Anonymous said...

Its your blog, Lisa, but I can’t help noting the stupidity and arrogance of someone writing “I know you are a liberal but….” As if she already knew how you thought before she even talked to you. People like the author of that e-mail lost their ability to listen to others long, long , long ago. She doesn’t know how you feel about any given issue, that’s just her own ignorance. I wonder when was the last time she “Heard someone out.” Not likely in the last few years.

I see where you are coming from though. I am a lot farther left than you but am opposed to gun control. The American people need more guns, not less. Folks on the left have been fools to disarm ourselves.

That would be like me writing her and saying “I know you voted for a liar and a war monger, but….” And then automatically assuming she supported everything Bush did.

…but as I said, its your scene.

Lisa Renee said...

Steve, I responded to her both via email and here because there are alot of other people out there that do the, I know you are a liberal but....

Will she even think about what I wrote? Probably not, but if she does? Then the few minutes it took me to respond in a non-confrontational manner might have some small effect.

If not? It gave me an idea to blog about.


OG said...

Abstinence only education is working to eradicate AIDS in the poorest of countries in Africa.

Why not use it here? It has never been tried on its own. It works elsewhere.

Can you comment further on your statement that overturning Roe v. Wade would not make a change in the legality of abortion? Roe v. Wade, being overturned, would return to the states that opportunity for legislation, that would prohibit abortion on a state by state basis. Which, we all want right, more states rights?

One last thing. You stated that
"In countries were abortion is illegal does abortion still exist? Of course it does and it creates a greater risk to those women who have gotten pregnant." NO. Not true. It creates a risk to only those women who get pregnant and choose to terminate the life of the baby in utero.

I can only imagine the liberal outcry if we were to start making omelets from California Condor eggs ....or perhaps poaced Spotted Owl for breakfast. After all, while I personally disgree with killing the endangered is just an egg right? Who am I to dictate what someone does with an animal fetus that isnt even mine?

Lisa Renee said...

OG, you are assuming that states will make abortion illegal. I do not make that assumption so overturning Roe v Wade is not going to make abortion illegal. What more likely will happen is some states will agree to abortion and some will not. Women who can afford to will travel to states that allow abortion and those that cannot? Will either decide to have an unwanted child or possibly die in the attempt to have the pregnancy aborted illegally. When the real solution could very easily avoid that scenario.

That was the basis of my response to Sarah. I'm not even going to respond on the whole condor egg thing, except to say, I remember the cartoon and really that's not even an issue because if you want to solicit a Supreme Court Justice that will allow you to cook condor eggs that is now illegal? That would be up to you to garner support in your desire to cook Condor egg omlets.

Of course women will die, your clarification that it will be only women who decide to have an illegal abortion is exactly what will happen. I don't support the idea that women should die in that scenario.

The reduction in aids in africa has not been based on abstinence alone, it has also encouraged condom use and: ABC*: Abstinence, Behavior change (monogamy), and Condom Use.

To say abstinence only is the reason I don't agree with.

To me the only logical way to prevent abortion is to prevent pregnancy. Which means offering more than abstinence only as a solution.

Another issue not discussed is if you do succeed in making abortion illegal everywhere who is going to pay for the care of these babies born to those mothers who cited financial reasons as their primary reason behind having an abortion? That's between 20 to 70% of abortions here in the US depending on which source you want to cite.

Wouldn't preventing the pregnancy in the first place make more sense? To me? That's my take on it.

Me4Prez said...

Lisa, that is crazy talk. As you can tell from the health care debates, an ounce of prevention is a waste of an ounce. Well, the saying goes something like that.

Brew said...

Though Lisa's already sort of take OG to task, I would like to see evidence that Abstinence Only education is working to stem the tide of the AIDS epidemic in Africa. Most education efforts I've head of there are using a combination of abstinence and prophylactic use education to help curb the spread of the disease. This is particularly true given the likelihood of the disease being spread within a marriage in a locale with as high an incidence of infection. It's not just unmarried people being infected.

Studies here (by institutions like the NIH, and CDC), and abroad have pretty much proved that abstinence only education simply doesn't work. We're wired to want it, and when told we shouldn't, we tend not to listen.

Touting abstinence only education in the face of a pathogen as insidious as HIV, when teaching safe sex practices is a proven help, is just irresponsible.

Lisa Renee said...

me4, yes I am crazy sometimes, I'm surprised it took you this long to discover that - lol.

Brew, the HIV as far as here in the states is probably something I should have addressed as well. Here in the burbs though it's easy to forget about sexually transmitted diseases as an issue since typically here pregnancy is more often the result.

To go into this further since my position might not be clear.....

Having five children, four of whom I've had the discussions with HIV and other diseases has been part of the discussion but the primary focus was on pregnancy prevention. If just telling them "don't do it" worked, then we would have no under age drinking, no drug use and there would never be teenage mothers. It's an idealistic goal to believe in abstinence only programs but it's not one founded in reality. I realize OG and I are on different sides of the fence when it comes to where we draw the line on this issue.

Do I believe abstinence should be stressed as the only sure way to make sure pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases aren't an issue? Yes. However, I believe telling them should you choose not do listen to Rule number one, please remember to have safe sex and this is how you do that.

I know some think that's a mixed message, I think it's a realistic one and does not give them permission it gives them information. Some of the things I have heard my children state their peers believe because of the lack of information or incorrect information makes it very easy for me to see how many of them have gotten pregnant. We need to give them the tools to make sure they are safe. We would not give our children keys to our car and say here you go, without making sure they had driver's education first. A good sex ed program is the same concept. We are teaching them this is a big decision, there are possible consequences to this, and it's not something you should take lightly. I'm not suggesting we throw condoms at them and say "party on". There seems to be a big disagreement on what we should be telling them and it's obvious we are not telling them enough.

Most of them still have the "it would never happen to me" or "I only did it one time". One time is all it takes.....for pregnancy or HIV.

Me4Prez said...

We had girls in school who believed that if you had sex standing up or in a hot tub, you could not get pregnant. There was also the popular, you can't get pregnant your first time theory. And I can't forget my roommates favorite pull-out method that if it wasn't for miscarriages by his girlfriend, would have had 2 kids while still in high school. I am pretty sure that the priest who taught our sex ed class focused on abstinence only. It was a surprise that so many unmarried Catholic girls I knew got pregnant at young ages.

I don't want to show our kids porn as a educational video. I just want them to know that if they act out the porn that their friends showed them to be responsible about it.

Lisa Renee said...

Several of the older four's friends have gotten pregnant, some have had abortions, some have had the baby, either way it changes their life forever.

Teenagers don't use logic at times, I didn't when I was either, which is why I agree it's important to make this a real issue and not some "OH sheesh more stuff to tell us not to do that we aren't going to listen to".

Bring in women who have had babies as teenagers and have had abortions, have them talk to them about the real life consequences. That to me would be more effective than the stupid doll they send home to give them a taste of what it is like to care for a baby.

(I agree on the no porn too me4)

Emily said...

It's a shame that there were 8 girls in my high school graduating class that walked across the stage pregnant when they were getting their diplomas, but I know there were many more that surgically decided *not* to be pregnant during high school.

Abortion, yes, is a horrible thing for a fetus, but it's also a horrible thing for a teenage girl to have to go through.

I'm so thankful that MY mom was intuitive enough to educate me on the risks involved and to give me information my school system didn't deem pertinant until the sophomore year of high school, if even then (by then, most had been "doing the deed" for at least two year"). If nothing else, my less-informed friends (those that listened) benefited from the education my mom gave me.

Lisa Renee said...

Yeppers, Emily that Mom of yours certainly sounds like a good one...

Thanks ((HUGS))
and I love you!


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