poetry • art • marriage • momhood • faith

The Big Ugly.

When a girl is a Mraz-loving, artsy-fartsy, tree-hugging, feminist who writes poetry, chances are she’ll be in the minority of her peers when it comes to her pro-life leanings.

In this society of politically correct niceties, the pro-life activist is labeled “narrow-minded” at best, and all too often considered a bigot.  It’s “bad form” to even suggest you don’t support “a woman’s right to choose.”  No wonder the issue of abortion is one so many people tiptoe around and avoid confronting: akin to religion and politics, the abortion debate has grown into the sore spot where both of those sensitive topics meet.  Where the ruling of Roe v. Wade was intended to settle an issue, it has created a bloody divide instead.

I have not really delved into this issue myself for the simple fact that I was considering my audience.  Which is exactly why I should have brought it up sooner.

* * * * *

This election has been making me physically ill.  I have been useless at work lately, getting my work done, but not as efficiently as I should.  I have been preoccupied to the point of exhaustion.  I have been having nightmares about not getting to vote, about showing up late, or not being registered.  I have awoken feeling as though I had spent hours crying.

* * * * *

Do you really know what a partial birth or late term abortion is or how one is performed?

“But,” some assert, “Obama supports restrictions on late term abortions and only really supports the procedure when the mother’s health is endangered.” The Partial Birth Abortion Ban affords the senator and fellow pro-abortion fans such a loophole, one that allows partial birth abortions to continue under the guise of “protecting the mother’s life.”

For the record, The Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 states:

Hundreds of ob-gyns and fetal/maternal specialists, along with former Surgeon General Koop have come forward to unequivocally state that “partial-birth abortion is never medically necessary to protect a mother’s health or her future fertility.”  In fact, the procedure can significantly threaten a mother’s health or ability to carry future children to term.  The American Medical Association has said the procedure is “not good medicine” and is “not medically indicated” in any situation.

… so why is the loophole necessary if not to abuse it?

* * * * *

Do you know what infanticide is? 

 * * * * *

My second child was born premature.  The span of 50 minutes from when my doctor confirmed that I was “going to have this baby today” to when I actually delivered was among the most frightening experiences of my life.  We were fortunate that he was not dangerously early. But still, his lungs were underdeveloped, so he was swept away as soon as he was delivered, taken to be teathered to a ventilator, IV, feeding tube, heart monitor…

But because he was wanted, he survived.

 * * * * *

Without the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, a premature baby who is marked for abortion but survives is not afforded any right* to medical care for the simple fact that the child was unwanted by the birth mother.  (*Due to the language of Roe v. Wade, we apparently can’t just say “a baby is a baby — care for it.”)

The Born Alive Infant Protection Act prevents the disposal of such children.

Obama opposed the bill.

* * * * * 

I am aware that abortion is not the only issue at stake this election.  Nor is it the only life-affirming issue to up for consideration: the war, poverty issues, and health care fall under the same umbrella.  However, I believe the issue of Life is the most important issue.

To consider a child to be less than human simply because he or she is not wanted by his or her birth mother, to me, that is evil.

Let’s put it this way: if you witnessed a mother walk up to a train track and lay her newborn down on it and walk away, would you rescue the child?  Or would you leave the child to die because that’s what the mother wanted?  Isn’t that question absurd?! You don’t even have to be smarter than a 5th grader to know it would be wrong to leave the child to die.

But that’s exactly what that man is choosing.

And as far as I can see, any person who cannot make such an obviously straightforward moral choice ought not be handling any other matter facing our nation.

 * * * * *

I expect I’m down to only one reader from now on.  But maybe I can sleep tonight for a change.

6 Comments

  1. Jenn Jenn
    October 26, 2008    

    Difference of opinion and the ability (and freedom) to debate or discuss those differences is the very thing that makes our country great. You will never lose me as a reader just because I may not always agree with your opinion Julie, I actually hope to not agree with people 100% of the time — that gets rather boring, no?

    I do not know enough about partial birth however to feel that I could have an informed enough conversation about it at this time which is a bummer because I’m sure we could debate well. I will need to go and look into this topic for sure.

    As far as abortion on the more general sense I’m sure you could guess by now that I am a pro-choice gal. However that comes with a stipulation — using it as a method of birth control is right out. Monitoring of MR’s could assist in this.

    Now I do not have children, am not planning to have any (in fact I really hope to never get pregnant for reasons too long for comments) however, if I were to get pregnant I could never have an abortion and would do my best to be the best mom I could be. This is where my own right to choose comes in, I just choose something different than what most people would imagine the “chooser” would.

    This is actually one of the issues I have read up on the least where the candidates are concerned so thanks for bringing it to the surface, I will need to dig into this again.

  2. Ginger Ginger
    October 26, 2008    

    i too respect your opinion even though i don’t fully agree with you julie. don’t ever be afraid to express your opinion on such an important issue. if someone can’t handle someone feeling differently then they do and having independent thought then they have bigger problems, right? like jenn, i think that using abortion as a method of birth control is terrible and i would never have an abortion…however, if i were raped or (supposing i were much younger) molested by a family member and got pregnant i would hope that i’d at least be given the right to a choice as a woman.

    abortion is a very important issue today. think about what one person as president could do about that one issue though, as an individual….nothing. the president doesn’t make dictatorial decisions; everything has to go through hoops and red tape and a court system with a mind all its own. the only thing he/she can do by themselves is veto a bill. their personal opinion means squat and chances are, if someone tried to overturn roe vs wade they would fail miserably…because it would be taking away a woman’s right and replacing it with something that should be followed within that woman’s religious beliefs.

    so while i’m not going to try and change your mind about your vote because that is also your right as a woman, i want everyone to think about the big picture in this election. what are we willing to sacrifice as a country for one issue. one issue, that if overturned, would lead to back alley abortions and weekend trips to mexico and a trail of damaged women that need medical attention and can’t get it…left to bleed to death. it happened before roe vs wade and it would happen again. (my mom knew a woman in new york that was raped and couldn’t get an abortion legally so she flew to mexico and had one done). i want every woman to think about how they’d do carrying their rapist’s baby….even to give up for adoption. i, for one, would die of depression and i’m sure the baby wouldn’t do well to know what it was a product of.

    i might have a different opinion if everyone who opposed abortion would adopt one or two children, but they don’t….most people want to have their own child. there are too many unwanted children in this world, so until there is an overwhelming support of sex-ed programs to teach people about reproduction and birth control and an overwhelming number of people adopting children instead of taking fertility drugs and being artificially impregnated, i would rather keep my right to choose.

  3. artjewl artjewl
    October 27, 2008    

    Thank you, Jenn & Ginger, for your comments. Of course, I don't expect to agree on everything, it's just that this issue is a heated topic for me, one that really has shaped who I am.

    I have lots to respond to here, more than I care to put in a comment, so I'll be making it a separate post. Hopefully that will happen later today.

  4. Megan Megan
    October 28, 2008    

    well, i guess i’ll be the one reader 🙂

    the line about the election making you physically ill…i’m there, too. i started to tear up pretty heavily watching that video, especially when obama went into the “it’s time for a different attitude in the white house and supreme court”…i’m scared.
    abortion has always been my number one issue, but you’re right–other people have their own number one issues which is frustrating for everyone.

    i appreciate this post so much…it seems that it was a brave move for you.
    abort73.com is a brilliant website with great resources and information.
    talking with my parents about the election, my dad brought up a good point: if you’re not crazy about either candidate (i’m not), you at least have to go with the supreme court issue. there are going to be pivotal openings in the next 4 years that could change the course of our country for a very long time. it’s no longer about choosing a man for 4-8 years, it’s about choosing a man that will choose the right people for the next 25+ years. that’s a daunting task as a voter, but it’s the task at hand.

    as for your comment on my page, i think it’s more “picking up litter in dresses” since he says “we’re picking up trash in dresses”…just the contradiction and absurdity of wearing sunday best to do a dirty job…
    i’m sure you picked up on that, but thought i’d say how i took the line 🙂

    i’m in london until december, so i’m watching the campaigns/election from afar…it should be interesting to see how people here react in 2 weeks.

    i’m with you 100% on this post, so don’t feel alone in the world!! 🙂

  5. Megan Megan
    October 28, 2008    

    also, sorry to double comment, i saw a mention about “imagine having a rapist’s baby”…i read a statistic once that rape accounts for less than 1% of abortions in the US. that’s usually the zinger pro-choicers pull out, but statistics aren’t so convincing.

    i won’t claim that stat to be fully accurate, and it’s much too late to bother researching it right now, but i think it’s right.

  6. artjewl artjewl
    October 28, 2008    

    Meg,

    Thank you for speaking up! You’ve raised some important points as well. The issue of the Supreme Court Justices is HUGE. David Capper, poli-sci grad student at Baylor explains this well, so I’ll just quote him:

    On abortion, while an “Obama Court” would likely extend ‘pro-choice’ rights – which, coming from the Supreme Court would be binding in all 50 states – regardless of the preferences of the people in any given state. A “McCain Court” that went as far as to reverse Roe v. Wade would not tyrannically abolish the right to an abortion, for a reversal of Roe would do no more than return the power to regulate – or ban – abortion to the states and their respective legislatures, whose laws can be reversed or altered if the majority so wishes.

    Anyhow, I’ll probably talk more about that in “The Big Ugly pt 2,” which is growing more and more into a term paper than a blog entry.

    The rape stat, I’m trying to verify.

    Oh, and regarding “Beautiful Mess,” I agree with your interpretation, but I can’t help but think of the other too. Afterall, Jason is a master of double entendre.

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torch bearing quietly

I will not act out, will not
yell or curse or slam doors,
will not make a scene -- you
do not deserve such a chance
to make an example out of me
to be proven right since you
are not. Instead, I'll stand
at this street corner, raise
my hand high and clench that
light which yet remains. It
will burn brightly, quietly,
fiercely before fading as I.

Then I'll be gone but found.

©JAC 2005

Poetry by Julie Ann Cook!

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Love Like Weeds
by Julie Ann Cook
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