Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Value of Human Life

I cannot relate to the horror of knowing my child might be decapitated.

I cannot relate to the trauma of having my daughters kidnapped while at school simply because they are girls and not boys.

I do not have to worry about having only moments to run for shelter before a bomb is dropped on my family.

These are all evils I am desperately aware of, but they are not happening here, to me, now. I cannot act like they are. I can donate money and share links; I can contact elected officials and speak until I'm blue in the face about how these atrocities must stop, but can I stop them? Probably not. Can I relate to them on anything more than a superficial level? If I'm being completely honest, no.

Sadly, these horrific events are happening on the other side of the world. I lose sleep imagining them, aching to do something, but nothing of real use comes from my comfortable anguish.

Then an actor dies. A funny man who beneath it all was so sad he took his own life. And I can relate to that. I can relate to being in a part of the world that has everything yet still lacks so much. I've never truly been without shelter or safety, but I have felt great sadness and the truest despair possible in the only environment I've ever known. I’ve lost more than I can ever hope to gain back. I’ve grieved a soul mate taken from me far too soon. I've felt that defeated and lost. I've had those thoughts. I've looked at all I was blessed with and hated myself even more for feeling so hopeless when I had so much. I can relate to some Hollywood actor more than I can relate to a mother who fears for the life of her child on a minute by minute basis. That might not be socially acceptable, but it's the truth.

We are all aware of the pain, suffering, and reprehensible evils in the world, but they often feel too far off to fix.

Then there are those that hit close to home, and we feel like we might actually have a shot at making an impact. So we share our own stories, and we let others know they're not alone in this universal struggle, because yes, you can mourn a celebrity while still fighting oppression in the Middle East and aching for the families suffering there. It's not an either/or... it's an all. We all hurt, but thankfully, we also all belong to something bigger; something human. And that humanity is the only thing capable of overpowering such suffering, no matter what side of the globe we're on.

However, that same humanity is also incapable of devaluing even one human life, whether it's lost in California, Israel, Nigeria, or Iraq- because that humanity, the humanity which will save us all, counts every single life as precious.

Thank You, Mom.

Today is my birthday and I just wanted to take a minute to tell you all how amazing my mother is. She was 19, single, and living away from home when she found out she was pregnant. She knew choosing life for me meant she would have to leave college and move back home. She had every reason in the world to abort me and pretend like I never existed. But she didn't. She put my life over her own and has been an amazing example of what true female strength is ever since. She spent the next decade working to provide for me while finishing her degree. My mother is one of the most courageous women I've ever known. And as I sit here today, watching my kids jump through the sprinklers in her front yard, I cannot thank her enough for giving me life. That choice will impact generations to come...

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Why You Need To See Obvious Child

Two weeks ago I saw the movie “Obvious Child” and since then I’ve written just as many reviews.
The first was all about how funny yet horrible it was, wherein I pretty much described the whole thing scene for scene since I was basically asking you not to see a pretty funny movie and felt like, at the very least, I owed you that.

The second was a much more rational review giving credit where credit was due (as mentioned above it is very funny) but still imploring you to understand Hollywood’s efforts to unstigmatize something that, well, quite honestly should not be unstigmatized because when we start killing the innocent for fun we might as well all grow silly little patch mustaches and start speaking German. Oh yeah, I totally went there. Hard. Which is why both of those reviews will remain locked away in my word doc files for all of eternity.

Today I started a third draft, and this is it. 

Go see “Obvious Child.”

Give the big nasty pro-aborts in Hollywood your hard earned money and watch it. (Or find a bootlegged version on-line, totally your call. Just see it.)

Why on Earth would you do that, you ask? It’s simple: this movie’s audience is your audience. The people it is speaking to are the people you are speaking to. The message it’s getting across (to the point that the theater applauded at the end… to my horror) is the latest promotion of abortion and we must be prepared to debunk it.

“Obvious Child” is being touted as the first ever “Abortion Rom-Com.” That’s right, a romantic comedy about abortion. I thought it would be impossible to do, but it wasn’t. I mean think about it. You have a broken, vulnerable protagonist, a na├»ve pretty boy love interest, and an unplanned pregnancy. We live in a world where abortion is, not to play too much into the title, the obvious answer.  It wouldn’t be to you or me, but it is to a significant number of women in the world. One in three will have an abortion at some point in their life. These are the women you and I know and love. These are the women seeing this movie. These are the women who you might run into next week, on the sidewalk, outside of the clinic.

This movie is absolutely meant to normalize abortion, and how can we combat that if we don't see it? How will we be able to point out what a total infomercial the scene at Planned Parenthood is? The acting was pretty awful and totally Obama and Zach G. Between Two Ferns-ing it for the Affordable Care Act, all over again. The woman you might be counseling, she saw that scene. It’s might even be why she decided to trust Planned Parenthood in the first place. The info it gave her about how PP offers HIV & STD testings and how the abortion won't hurt her at all might be what helped her get out of bed and come here today, but you won’t know that’s what’s going on in her head. You won’t know to mention the pain her child’s capable of feeling which the movie very conveiniently left out. You won’t know to warn her that not all Planned Parenthood “counselors,” like the one in the film will offer her alternatives such as adoption. That’s what you’re there for.

Honest truth, this movie is totally abortion Juno. It just is. It’s quirky and hip and completely relates to today’s generation, and if you refuse to see it because you will not contribute to garbage like this coming out of Hollywood, I’ll respect that. But if you see it anyway, because you want to prepare yourself for the lies about abortion that are being wrapped up in pretty witty little packages and given to girls today, I’ll respect that even more. As a pro-lifer it’s not an easy movie to watch. But as a pro-lifer a lot of things are hard for us to see, especially young girls who have been lied to and brainwashed going into these clinics to kill their children because propaganda like this makes it seem like everyone is doing it and it's no big deal. Speak their language, meet them on their level, and let them know it is. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

News Flash: We're ALL Anti-Choice

One of my favorite things about being a nut job anti-choicer is that I get to be consistent. Abortion is wrong from the moment of conception up through the juicy miracle of birth.

Easy, breezy, beautiful: pro-life.

Inconsistency is the hallmark of the pro-choicer. Because they're not pro-choice. They're pro-certain choices.

The abortion advocate might be fine with a woman aborting because she's poor and destitute, but appalled by a woman aborting because she doesn't want another girl.

He may be a-okay with a teenage girl aborting because she wants to finish high school before having a baby, but repulsed by a teenage girl who aborts so she won't be fat for prom.

He may be 100% cool with a woman aborting because she's young and just not ready, but 100% not cool with a woman having her tenth abortion in a row.

Perhaps the most common example: abortion up to (insert number) weeks is acceptable, but abortion after that is at least questionable and at worst awful.

The lines the "pro-choice" draw are startlingly arbitrary. They vary from person to person and case to case. The sole criteria for judgment seems to be: this just bothers me for some reason. And the unspoken, unacknowledged little inconvenient truth behind the bother is that abortion is wrong and they know it.

If abortion weren't wrong, ten in a row would be fine, and doing it to fit into a prom dress would be fine, and doing it because you've had it up to here with pumping out boys would be fine.
If those aren't fine, what are your criteria? Is there a list somewhere that we can look at? No. You guys make it up as you go along.

So the next time you call us anti-choice, think about all the choices you're anti. And congratulate us a little, because at least we're consistent.


Post by Kristen Hatten

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Amanda Rudd's Story of Surviving Sexual Assault and Finding Her True Self...

On campus I have often felt a sense of alienation and scrutiny for being who I am as an “unconventional” Feminist.

I am Catholic. I am Pro-life. And I am Conservative.

I am also a student in my last year at the University of Oregon. Throughout my time here I have struggled in many ways, just like many students do during their college days. I would like to say that the personal struggles I have faced as a woman have helped me to connect to resources like the Women's Center here on campus, but unfortunately that would not be entirely true.

Every year they hold a march against sexual violence called, “Take Back the Night.” They parade around the school and into the city. I went to it a couple years ago, as a recent survivor, hoping to feel empowered and united in the bonds of sisterhood and brotherhood against the horrible atrocity of sexual violence that overwhelms our college campus. In some small part I did feel strengthened, however, in a much larger sense I felt that I had to deny myself and bash my Church and my God in order to stand true as a feminist on campus. Many of the slogans that we were given to yell said, "Not the Church, Not the State, Women must decide their fate." As a Catholic, I knew that by shouting this slogan, I was denying almost everything I stand for as a believer in Christ. Did I want to protest sexual violence? Absolutely! But in order to do so I had to conform into what was determined politically correct and what was considered the "right kind of feminist."

The year I was assaulted I underwent an extreme amount of inner turmoil. I began to hate myself and God for making me a woman. I despised my feminine qualities because I felt that if I was more masculine than perhaps I wouldn't have been assaulted. I blamed myself, and sometimes I still fall into that pattern.

During that very difficult time, a male friend reached out to me. He had no idea what kind of hardship I was undergoing. He had invited me to Catholic mass a few times in the past, but I was a bit skeptical since I was a proclaimed Baptist. However, when he invited me this time, something inside urged me to say yes. So, I went. Never in my life had I felt more at peace and more loved. Suddenly, I was drawn to my faith in Christ, and as I continued on this path I became more confident in how I was created as a woman. I realized that my feminine qualities served a significant purpose in this world. My femininity was not a burden that I had to carry, but a beautiful gift. Most importantly what I realized was that my God entrusted me with the most supreme gift possible, of one day being able to carry life into this world.

As you probably guessed, I converted to Catholicism that year. The Catholic Church helped me strip away my fears, build my confidence and gave me a community that I could, and still do, lean on for prayer and support.

Now, if my conversion helped me to overcome my personal struggle with sexual violence, then how do you think I felt when I was given the slogan, "Not the Church, Not the State, Women must control our fate," to shout in protest with other survivors at the annual “Take Back the Night” march? Not to mention, when I wanted to share my story with others at the rally in downtown Eugene, I felt that I had to censor myself, or hide the very part of me that helped me overcome my pain of being a survivor: Jesus Christ.

Throughout my time at the University of Oregon, my pride and joy has been in serving in two areas of campus life that I consider of utmost importance: St. Thomas More, the Catholic Campus Ministry, and Students for Life, a Pro-life club on campus. Both of these groups define me pretty well, but I do have to say that being Pro-life is a stance that I hold very dear to my heart, because it defines who I am as a woman.

When I was President of Students for Life, my primary goal was to show my fellow students that we deeply care about women's health and wanted to provide informed options for women and men in crisis pregnancy. Since we hold a Pro-life stance, we do not believe that life-ending violence is ever healthy, nor is it an empowering option for women. One should not have to end the life of her child in order to continue with her education. Since we had little funds, we realized that we could not create the Pro-life, Pro-woman culture on campus that we wanted to in one fell swoop. So, our club reached out to students primarily by putting up flyers from organizations that would give services and support to women in crisis pregnancy such as: Feminists for Life, Stand Up Girl, and Students for Life of America. We also held meetings and even had Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece, Dr. Alveda King, come to campus to discuss Pro-life issues in connection to the Civil Rights Movement.

When we put up our flyers, they would often times get torn down, or negative messages would sometimes be written on them. Since this was expected, we persevered by putting up more flyers the next day. What I felt was most discouraging however came from women involved at the Women's Center and Pro-choice groups on campus. They had labeled us "the enemy," after they came to our event with Dr. King. They wrote horrible things about us online which left little room for us to work together on the things we did agree on.

I often look back on my time as President of Students for Life, and feel that I did not do enough to push back against the idea that I was "the wrong kind of feminist." I was told I was preaching a message of hate that was meant to oppress women and uphold the "traditional" roles of the feminine ideal in our patriarchal society, which could not be less true. I simply believe that we as women can work together so we won’t have to choose between the life of our child and our education in order to be successful or obtain equality. Women in crisis deserve better. They deserve true support, not abortion. Through the taking of another human life--one which depends solely on us--we are breaking away from our true identity as women, as protectors, as life givers.

I know that there are many problems within our culture and economy that oppress women, especially in the case of an unplanned pregnancy. The biggest problem in a college environment is that a woman often feels that if she gets pregnant she’s doomed to drop out. This belief is simply not true and we need to come together as a community to stand with women who want to succeed in school and at work if they are pregnant, especially in our Universities. They need to know they have real, empowering choices. Non-violent options like adoption if they don't feel ready to parent, or resources to help them with daycare costs and other necessities if they choose to raise their child.

In an abortion there are two victims: the child whose life must end, and the mother, because she has done something against her own biology. This is a tragedy, and a violent assault that neither woman nor child deserves.

Now I know some of the women in the Pro-choice club on campus personally and I know that they too care about women and their health as much as I do. This message is not an attack on them. I simply want to challenge the status quo of our time: the belief that in order to be a feminist you must support the perpetration of violence against a weaker human being because, after all, ‘we’re bigger, we’re stronger, and so we can do whatever we want to your body.’ We may no longer be property, but now our children are…

The very thing we’re marching against is also, sadly, what we’re marching for: the right to force our will on someone else’s body. This is what I believe and this is why I am Pro-life. It's just one thing to consider when determining who can and cannot claim the label of “feminist.” We are not blindly following some political platform. We have thought this issue out time and again and we see abortion as oppression to both women and their children. Please respect our voices, thoughts, and beliefs. We deserve a place in this movement as well.

At the beginning I told you my story of being a survivor and my conversion into the Catholic Church, and that being a non-conventional feminist on campus has left me feeling alienated even though I am also a sexual assault survivor. Because of that I won't be attending the annual “Take Back the Night” march this year. I will still stand against the evil of sexual violence, but if I cannot embrace my true self, my inner strength, and my personal beliefs than the whole thing would simply be a contradiction of what liberation and authentic choice truly are.


Post by Amanda Rudd

Emily Letts' Abortion

How many of the strong, awesome women we know and love today also felt "no regret" after their abortion... at first? Something to keep in mind.