Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Gandhi's view on birth control

From the lips of Gandhi himself.  Even Margaret Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood) couldn't change his mind.  Who knew that this man, best known for a life of non-violence, was actually waging a war on women? ;)  I can just hear Sandra Fluke now: " But Gandhi, poor female Georgetown Law students are being denied basic human rights".....

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Contraception: A Cruel Master

I've grown quite weary of listening to Cecile Richards and Kathleen Sebelius drone on about their supposed concern for my "reproductive choices" and my "health care". Haven't you? They remind me of those little dolls I used to play with as a child--the dolls that came with a string attached that, when pulled, would play a recorded message like "feed me" or "I need a drink of water." The messages never changed and, after awhile, I lost interest and stopped pulling the string.

The big difference here is painfully obvious; these media dolls have the ability to pull their own strings.

It is a curious and frustrating thing that for two bright and well-educated women, in their overwhelming concern for women's "health care" and their tireless (and well paid) work on behalf of "women's issues", they appear incapable of envisioning a solution that doesn't revolve around abortion and contraception.

It's as if they have never met an abortion they couldn't profit from, nor a contraceptive they couldn't wait to peddle.

Equally frustrating are the endless (and ridiculous) birth control commercials. I have many friends who use various types of contraception. None of them, not one, wakes up in the morning like the images portrayed in the media. Far from jumping into pools with each other with cute little swimsuits on and singing stupid songs about the days of the week, the lives of actual women who use contraception look very different from those singing, robotic women on television.

Oh, I've seen them all: the patch, the shot, the pill, the diaphragm, the implants, the shield, the rings, etc. Enough already! If empowerment is realized by turning ourselves into nothing more than human rats for pharmaceutical companies, by conditioning women to become more excited about a proposed ring to stick up our vaginas than to put on our fingers, then ladies, we have been grievously betrayed.

Advertisements filled with giggly girls, running around in pink polka-dotted outfits and flowing skirts completely unable to hide their absolute joy and excitement at being tossed yet another contraption to stuff up themselves is nothing more than pharmaceutical porn. In reality, contraception is something women have been saddled with, not something they have been empowered by.

The women I've known are more likely to resemble the other birth control commercials, the sequels. These sequels are hard to miss and they usually start out something like this: "Have you or anyone you know used the drug 'Spaz' within the last 12 months? Do you suffer from strokes, blood clots, heart attacks? . . ." and then continue with a list of side effects a mile long, so terrible, that only a contraceptive for women would be deemed worthy of that kind of risk.

Class action lawsuits have a funny way of ripping the mask right off the "birth control as health care" mantra, exposing a very hideous face. Jumping into pools and skipping around on pink sidewalks is hardly possible when you're lying in a hospital bed suffering from a recent stroke, a "negative side-effect" from your "health care".

So many women I have known are hesitant to speak aloud what has only been expressed in the silence of their own hearts. The truth? Many would be happy to end their dependence on artificial birth control but are concerned that the men in their lives would become upset and it would have a ripple effect of negative consequences so daunting that it becomes too overwhelming to even consider.

With all our talk of empowerment, liberation, and advancement for women, we seem unable to free ourselves from the shackles of dangerous chemicals, implantation devices, and shots for our bodies filled with the latest batch of hormonal drugs. It is hard to fathom that in a day and age where women are at the top of every societal structure and status, we continue to value the integrity and health of our chickens' bodies more than we value the integrity and health of our own.

Thanks to organizations like Planned Parenthood, fertility has been likened to a disease and contraception and abortion are the cures. Under the banner of "reproductive choice", women put their bodies and their emotions through hell on a daily basis for precisely what they feel they do not have--a choice. Fertility and family planning have been successfully defined as a burden: a burden that has been placed squarely on the shoulders of women. It has been made ours, and ours alone to bear--or abort.

Welcome to your empowerment. It's hardly recognizable.

Sexual love speaks a beautiful language of unity and the vehicle for this expression of love is our bodies. When we invite contraception into the conversation, it's like talking to that annoying guy at the party; we will soon find ourselves being constantly interrupted.

Contraception screams a self-loathing message. It says to women that in our most natural and healthy state there is something wrong with us, so wrong that it should be withheld. Its abusive message conditions us to believe that we are undeserving of being loved in our fullness and are only desirable in parts.

I reject the attempts of those who slyly wrap this message in the cloak of liberation and empowerment for women while always with an eye toward Planned Parenthood's bottom line. I resent my body being used as a pawn for their agenda, their profits, and their politics and I am deeply insulted by the constant obsession of those in our government attempting to pass off harmful chemicals, devices, and drugs as "health care" for women when it would be unthinkable to pull this same kind of bait-and-switch stunt on men.

The inherent anti-woman message of contraception reeks of a familiar and deceptive stench.

The Catholic Church recognizes in women what their own boyfriends and husbands sometimes fail to see and it is pleased to have a message for women that Planned Parenthood never will; you are a gift, not just the convenient parts, not just the parts that make others happy or give others pleasure, but all of you. Your fertility is not a disease to be cured but was lovingly designed in the mind of God. You were created for love and when you give the gift of your body in that love, it is worthy of being received--in its entirety.

I won't use contraception because my body and my sexuality are gifts (and my husband's are pretty nice too). I won't use contraception because when I give myself to my husband in love, I want it to be a total giving and a total receiving, nothing withheld, nothing unworthy of being shared.

We use Natural Family Planning because love was designed to be expressed without interruption.

Blessed Pope John Paul II, in his Letter to Women, wrote beautifully about the "unity of the two" which "enables each to experience their interpersonal and reciprocal relationship as a gift." On this Valentine's Day, I hope your marital relationship is experienced as that true gift. The time has come to embrace a message of empowerment truly deserving of being repeated, and one we should never grow tired of hearing; we are worthy of being loved--in our entirety.

Friday, February 8, 2013



"In transforming culture so that it supports life, women occupy a place, in thought and action, which is unique and decisive. It depends on them to promote a "new feminism" which rejects the temptation of imitating models of "male domination", in order to acknowledge and affirm the true genius of women in every aspect of the life of society, and overcome all discrimination, violence and exploitation.” JPII

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Helen Alvare and the HHS Mandate

Helen Alvare's thoughts on the new HHS rules:

"They fail to understand the full nature of the free exercise of religion—that religion, whether practiced individually or by a group, requires being able to integrate one’s actions with one’s religious beliefs, especially when these don’t attack but advance the common good—here, the health and well-being of women and girls."
Helen Alvare

Monday, February 4, 2013

Superbowl 2013....some thoughts.

I sat down with my husband yesterday to watch the Superbowl.  We didn't really have a favorite team so we were just looking forward to enjoying a good game, yummy food and being together. 

Then the commercials hit.  

Many of the commercials are filled with images of women you never seem to find in real life or among your friends.  Do you ever notice that?  It is as if the team of writers for these commercials only include overgrown adolescent boys and Planned Parenthood.  The women act like they just can't wait to have meaningless sex and drink lots of beer.  I find myself wishing they would do a follow-up commercial.  The one where the girl is at the pharmacy (alone) picking up her prescription for her new STD....a gift from that hot guy at the bar and his lovely BUD.

It makes me irritated but most of all, it just makes me sad.  So many girls have grown up in a culture that treats their beautiful bodies as nothing more than objects to be gawked at by a bunch of drunk men at a bar.  Girls, that is not sexy that's just being used.  Isn't it maddening to think that we have a whole generation of girls who can't tell the difference?

Then there was the halftime show. 

Now, I have to say, I have seen much worse.   But, a little more of Beyonce's voice and alot less of Beyonce would have been appreciated.   I don't know about you, but I'm not interested in watching her perform "moves" only her OBGYN should see.

I hope next time, along with that ring, she'll put some self-respect on it.


Friday, February 1, 2013

So What if Abortion Ends Life?

Mary Elizabeth Williams wrote a piece last week for entitled, "So what if abortion ends life?" An article in which the writer explains how she can believe that life begins at conception while still clinging to her pro-choice position. It is a sobering read but one that I would recommend. I would suggest grabbing a sweater and a nice hot cup of tea first; her words will chill you to the bone. Ms. Williams has the skill of recognizing the need for truth in the only way the pro-choice ideology allows--in the advancement of the diabolical.

In this liberal blueprint for the culture of death, she unapologetically advocates for a concept of what she labels as "unequal life”--life not worthy of protection. It is shocking to read such an honest articulation of a position that any civilized society would find completely repulsive. I have to wonder if she would be the same, outspoken advocate if our society decided to treat writers for the same way she so comfortably treats unborn children.

For Ms. Williams, it all boils down to autonomy, hers, not the baby’s. She actually advocates favoring autonomy over the valuing of the life of a child. She sets forth the classic “might makes right”argument declaring at one point in her article that the pregnant woman is the boss. I’m not sure whether she is deserving of my anger or my pity but definitely my prayers as she reminds me of the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz--in desperate need of a heart.

Just when you think she can’t possibly degrade any further, she finds a way to take us to even lower ground. The author calmly writes about the very little difference between a child in the womb and a newborn sucking his thumb, about first trimester abortions and late trimester abortions. What most people would find to be compelling pro-life arguments, Ms. Williams is able to coolly discard. In fact, she ends the article by acknowledging that a fetus is indeed a life but a “life worth sacrificing”.

What kind of society advocates for the killing of its own children in such cold blood?

Although Ms. Williams is able to proclaim this with chilling ease, she ignores some fundamental questions that are critical in order to put her “beautiful”ideology into practice. Questions like: Who decides whose autonomy is worthy of protection and how do we even know that autonomy is the greatest good? These seemingly fundamental questions are curiously ignored.

I am willing to bet that Ms. Williams doesn’t have the answers to these questions. She perfectly embodies the schizophrenic mentality embraced by so many in our society: a mentality that says I will assert my beliefs over matters of life and death with boldness, completely unburdened by any semblance of logic, reason, truth, or consistency. They assert such ideas because they can and they’re ok with that. People afflicted with this mentality live to serve a common good of one--their own.

But what is truly ironic about her argument is that in her zeal to safeguard and protect her precious autonomy, in her blindness, she advocates the killing of the very thing needed to secure it in the first place--its prerequisite--life itself. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that you can’t be autonomous if you’re dead.

Ms. Williams paints the picture of a very ugly culture; a narcissistic, selfish culture in love with itself and its beloved autonomy. In stark contrast stands the vision of the Catholic Church. As Catholics, we know we’re made in the image and likeness of our Creator. Every life has inherent worth and dignity, no matter how small, no matter the degree of autonomy. We don’t believe in lives worth sacrificing but, rather, in lives worth sacrificing for. We believe that vulnerability and weakness cry out for protection, never for termination. The Catholic vision calls us to a higher love, a more perfect love, an eternal love. For all of us know, we were created for love.

We’ve seen the destruction and the oppression that inevitably comes when we endorse the kind of disordered love of autonomy that Ms. Williams so perfectly illustrates and I can tell you, as a female of Jewish descent, it doesn’t end well.

Many tyrants throughout history were able to do the inconceivable, dehumanizing people to the point of massacring millions of innocents, garnering little, if any, public outrage. Not that long ago, African-Americans were deemed property under the law and Jews were seen as nothing more than garbage to be incinerated. But for a tyrant to brutalize her victims, and society to tolerate such, she must first demonize and dehumanize her victims successfully deeming them to be “lives worth sacrificing.”

Herein lies the difficulty that has always existed for the pro-choice movement; How do you dehumanize and demonize a tiny, innocent, little baby?

Perhaps that is what I found to be the most disturbing about Ms. Williams’ article. She doesn’t even bother to try.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

40 years too long (Written January 20th)

"Where have all the graveyards gone? Gone to flowers, everyone"....or so that Pete Seeger song goes (famously performed by the folk group Peter, Peter and Mary). If you aren't familiar with this song, it is a very touching and poignant song often performed by folk groups in protest to the Vietnam War-- all those flowers gone to graveyards in remembrance of so many, many dead. I guess it natural, then, that this song has been running through my head lately as the black cloud of the anniversary of Roe V. Wade will soon be upon us.

February is the month of my birth and since I was born after January 22nd 1973, I consider myself to be a survivor. I survived the true war on women: I was able to make it out of my mother's womb alive. My birthday serves as a yearly reminder to thank God for giving me the mother He did as I realize that I was only a mother away from no birthday at all. It is beyond sad for me to think of those 55 million casualties, many friends I will never know, blessings from their lives that I will never receive.

55 million dead babies: far too many flowers.

This Tuesday, the media and many so called feminist leaders will tell us (as they do every year at this time) that we should be celebrating this historic landmark "civil rights" decision for women. Oh yes, we'll all have to somehow try and keep our lunches down when gray-haired feminist after gray-haired feminist is rolled out for all to see celebrating this so-called right to choose. We will shake our heads in disbelief at hearing the voice of our own president joining this chorus of celebration: A man whose voice no one would have ever heard had his mother exercised the kind of "choice" he not only celebrates, but now mandates. The legal victory for reproductive choice that was based on a lie, turning our wombs into battlegrounds and giving pregnant women only one choice: Should I be the mother of a live baby or a dead one?

All the while women are waiting to finally get what we supposedly won. Especially, in light of what so many women have clearly lost.

So many women have lost their self-esteem and any healthy concept of self-worth. Women struggle with body image issues and issues of self-harm. Many women have lost the connection to their own bodies, this connection severed so violently, that they are easily duped into celebrating harmful chemicals and devices as "healthcare." Many young women have no idea of their true worth and the value of their own identity, sacrificing their precious bodies (detached from their minds and hearts) at the altar of unworthy male attention. Women have unwittingly surrendered the ability to recognize true love, settling for a weekend hook-up instead of embracing the gift of a lifetime love-up.

When I was little, my Dad would often tell me Bible stories and he never missed an opportunity to tell me that I was even more valuable than that pearl of great price. My parents raised me to believe that my body and my sexuality were gifts from a loving God. My father was present, emotionally and physically, and somewhere in all of this I got the message they were so carefully trying to send: I was worthy of love.

I wonder what our society might look like if more girls were raised with this kind of loving care. Maybe we wouldn't be in need of such landmark "civil rights" decisions.

Yet, we have reason to be encouraged. Women, especially young women, are embracing the pro-life movement like never before. More and more people identify with the pro-life movement and are more comfortable speaking out against abortion to family and friends. We routinely see Planned Parenthood clinics closing, just like the local one here in my area that closed about 2 years ago. In addition to the pro-abortion clinics that are closing, we are seeing many new pro-life initiatives like The Guiding Star Project and specifically pro-woman, pro-life clinics such as the Women's Care Center in my hometown of Duluth, Minnesota opening this year right across the street from the local abortion clinic.

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." (John 1:5)

So as we embark on 40 years of dead little babies and a trail of wounded mothers and fathers, let us pray for the next forty years:

Let us pray that God will make us signs of His love to women so they many never have to feel such despair.

Let us pray that little girls everywhere are raised to know what a gift being a woman truly is and are raised in the beautiful knowledge of their true worth.

Let us pray for an end to abortion and for the healing of so many wounded mothers and fathers made victims by this culture of death.

Finally, let us pray that we may someday soon see an end to what we have been forced to witness over these last 40 years: 55 million dead babies, without flowers, who aren't remembered in graveyards.