Thursday, March 31, 2011


Today I found this video from Students for Life of America:

I thought this was a powerful and beautiful video. It got me thinking: "What would a video like this from the Pro-Choice side look like?" I have a hard time picturing how the other side could even attempt to make a video like this intended to be beautiful and powerful.  Is there anything beautiful about the "right to choose an abortion"? If anyone reading this can give an example to answer this question, please comment or message me. Because I'm stumped.

So why is it that the Pro-Life movement seems easily able to create emotionally powerful messages? Why is there beauty here? After much thought, I have come to the conclusion that it is because the Pro-Life movement is not focused on itself. Those who support Life have nothing to gain - we all survived to birth. Abortion is no longer a threat to us. But we are going to fight for our fellow human beings who are being dealt the ultimate injustice - having their life violently taken from them during the most precious and vulnerable stage of life. Pro-Choice is focused on 'the Self': what I want, MY body, MY choices. That's why we have difficulty finding beauty on the Pro-Choice side.

Think about this:
Why do we find weddings beautiful? Why do parents weep for joy at the child's birth? Why are we inspired by the crucifixion? Why do we find movies like The Titanic or Saving Private Ryan beautiful or tearjerking?
It is because the beauty in humanity is in self-sacrifice. Weddings are beautiful because two people are giving up themselves for each other. The birth of a child is beautiful because it is all about someone ELSE's new life. The crucifixion is the ultimate sacrifice for other people, who don't deserve it at all but received that sacrifice anyway. Movies are powerful when people put others before themselves.  Warriors who are inspired in battle do it for the sake of the freedom or life of those they love. Self-sacrifice is what we naturally find beautiful. It has been this way throughout all of humanity.

I don't think Pro-Choice people can be inspired forever. It requires fighting for other people to be truly inspired. When fighting for yourself, eventually you'll get sick of yourself.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Don't Judge Me

(This post was written by my girlfriend, who is a student nurse)

"My mother didn't want me. I was exposed to toxins while in the womb which caused me to look like this. Thats why I depend on others for everything. I didn't ask to be a burden. If I could have, I would want to be able to run and go to college someday, maybe have my own family. But thank you for letting me live. Thank you for showing kindness to me and allowing my smile and laughter to touch your heart. Thank you for loving me. "

Recently I worked on the pediatric intensive care unit, it was my first time on the PICU, though I had worked on the regular pediatric unit previously. My shift started at 7am, I had finished receiving report by 7:15 and the 3rd shift nurse was going to help the day shift nurse and I turn the patient and then leave. I won't go into all the medical details but suffice to say the patient's heart rate dropped and the next thing I know my nurse is calling for a doctor, a crash cart and a whole team of people were pouring into the room. They did CPR for 15 minutes and then pronounced him dead less than an hour into my shift.

Death is a part of nursing, I've always known this, but this was the first time I've witnessed it, and it being my own patient, and a pediatric patient was not how I had anticipated my day starting. The boy who had just passed away was 15 years old. He had many health problems and had never led the life of a normal 15 year old, like my brother Michael. Unlike Michael he did not get up every morning and go to school, he did not run or play golf in the summertime with friends, he did not build k'nex creations and legos with his hands when he was a young boy. He was born with a condition that made him completely dependent on those around him. He had been exposed to harmful substances pre-natally and it affected him his whole life. He was cared for by his sister who was like a mother to him.

Yesterday in my maternity class we discussed among other things, genetic testing and how early it is done. It was brought up that they try to do it early enough so that way if the child has downs syndrome for example, the parents can choose to abort their child so they don't have to deal with the disability or the child won't have to live with it. It made me think about my patient who I had previously who passed away. You would think that he was a prime candidate for being aborted, I mean what kind of life did he live? And the burden it must have been to his family to care for him his whole life, in and out of the hospital etc. Yet, he was so loved.

The nurses in the room started weeping when he passed away because he had been a patient there since his birth, and many knew him and his family. Later, when I was talking with the nurses, something they all said many times was what a joy he was. He smiled and had an infectious laugh that made everyone laugh with him.  He had impacted the whole hospital. I was walking in the basement with my nurse, and we ran into doctors, residents, even the cleaning crew who were asking about him and expressed their sorrow when they heard of his death. His sister spoke of how happy she was that he was in a better place now, but she was still upset to lose him. It taught me, and I hope this may show you, that every life here has a purpose. While we may not choose that life for ourselves, we should never deny another human being the right to live. There is a purpose for every person on this earth. We may not see what our purpose is in our lifetime, we may wonder if someones sole purpose here is to annoy us, or we may be able to see the monumental things some people can accomplish during their lifetime.

 Something that appears to be a common saying in today's society is "Do not judge others". So heed your own advice America, do not judge the unborn and the potential life that they may live. Just because it's not what you would choose does not mean that you can deny them their chance to live.

Monday, March 14, 2011

"Rights" and Entitlement

    (This post is on a slightly different topic than usual)

      I think our society has forgotten what a right is.  The current debate about Planned Parenthood's federal funding has got me thinking about this.  I have seen numerous articles and videos of PP supporters outraged saying, "Congress is trying to take away our reproductive rights". I think these people are confusing about what kind of 'rights' they are talking about. I think people on both sides of the debate could benefit from rethinking what they mean when they defend their 'rights'.
     Here's the common mistake: there is a difference between rights and inalienable rights. Rights are legal entitlements, inalienable rights are things all people are born with that should never be taken away.  Whether people like to admit it or not, inalienable rights are based on morals. America's Declaration of Independence identifies what America believes to be inalienable rights - Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of happiness.  From where I stand, I see our society as one that seems to think that everything they are legally entitled to are inalienable rights.
     We are not born with a moral entitlement to every legal right. For example, I currently have the legal right to have a driver's license and drive on public roads.  This does not mean that I was born to have a driver's license and that the right to a driver's license can never be taken away from me. According to the theory of Democracy, which America was built on, if the majority of people (or their representatives) vote to take away my right to a driver's license then I don't have a right to have a driver's license anymore. That might upset me, but I wouldn't cry foul and say that they are taking away one of my "most basic rights".  I do not have an inalienable right to own a driver's license.

     This is how I see people talking about abortion and free birth control.  PP supporters seem to be saying that it is an inalienable right for men and women to have free birth control. FREE?!?! You're telling me that I was born with a moral entitlement to a condom whenever I want one? For FREE?!?!
     Here's a thought - when Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence they didn't have condoms or birth control pills. So if you think people DESERVE to have free condoms and birth control pills, does that mean Thomas Jefferson was lacking one of his inalienable rights? If people 100 years ago didn't have it, then how is it that we are now born with the right to have it?  If a majority of our elected representatives vote to not pay for your condoms, it is not taking away one of your God-given rights. If you want birth control, pay for it yourself. If you can't afford it, no one is making you have "unprotected sex".

     If Planned Parenthood wants to claim it is a NECESSARY HEALTH CARE PROVIDER and entitled to have every American help pay their bills, then they need to provide only the things that are NECESSARY for good health. Birth control, condoms, and abortions are not necessary for anyone to be healthy.  People are free to have birth control and condoms, but they are not entitled to have other people pay for it.