Pro-Life = Pro-Criminalization?

Donald Trump did something that very few others have done this past week.  He actually told the truth about the repercussions of making abortion illegal in this country.

“There has to be some form of punishment.”

“For the woman?” Matthews pushed.

“Yeah,” Trump replied.

If you wish to make abortion illegal by legislative act, constitutional amendment, or any other legal method, you are criminalizing the act.  That doesn’t make you pro-life as much as it makes you pro-criminalization.

Anyone who commits or participates in a criminal act in this country gets some form of punishment.  Period.  If a person steals something, you can and will get arrested for receiving stolen goods if you end up with any of it in your possession.  If you buy drugs from a drug dealer and get caught with drugs in your possession, you will get arrested for drug possession even if it’s for personal use.

Therefore, there is no reason anyone with cursory knowledge of our legal system will deny that Trump spoke the truth.  If you make abortions illegal, you will turn women who have abortions into criminals for the mere fact they’re participating in a criminal act.  AND, they will face some form of punishment.  There is no way around it.

If you call yourself pro-life and prefer to cut down on abortions by educating people on contraception/pregnancy avoidance, advocating adoption, or any other method outside of the legal system, then you are probably not going to be labeled pro-criminalization.

Personally, I would be called pro-choice by today’s standards, but I prefer to call myself pro-freedom.  I understand the right to privacy, and I respect people making their life decisions within that right to privacy.  I wouldn’t personally consider abortion as an option for me, but I also know I have no right to interfere in the private affairs of my neighbor, my friends, or even a total stranger if they have not granted me the permission to get involved.

It takes serious chutzpah to think so highly of yourself that you know what’s better for someone else than they do for themselves.  There may be some exceptions where that is true, but if you’re not a legal guardian, parent, or otherwise legally obligated or designated to make choices for someone, what right do you have to get into their business without being asked?

One last thing that perplexes me about the pro-life crowd.  Why not try to educate people to make “better decisions” as you see it instead of forcing someone to do something they don’t want to do?  Seems that making contraceptive readily available along with sex education to cover EVERYTHING and not just abstinence would do more to prevent unwanted pregnancies than anything else.  Instead of making abortions illegal, why not make sex education legal.  I’d bet you would get the results you’re looking for without having to yell or scream at people.  That would probably keep people from getting threatened or even killed for providing a safe, legal medical procedure that people do have the right to seek out in this country.

 

Let’s be honest…

18 U.S. Code § 2331: From the Legal Information Institute website

18 U.S. Code § 2331: From the Legal Information Institute website

Let’s be honest with ourselves for a minute about the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado.  I’ve seen people trying to blame the entire pro-life movement for the actions of the one person.  I’ve also seen the pro-life movement trying to avoid being painted because of the actions of a single person.  Personally, I see this as one of those examples of the “chickens coming home to roost” for lack of a better phrase.

I mean, if all Muslims have to disavow extremists who act out in the name of Islam or else they’re considered terrorists themselves or sympathizers…

If Black Lives Matters has to protest every single instance of Black-on-Black violence, ignoring their focus on the treatment of Blacks by the justice system, or they’re branded as troublemakers, thugs, or racial animosity stirrers…

Then, Pro-Lifers who refuse to address the extremism within their own movement, address it in public, and disavow it at every opportunity as all other groups are being asked to do, then the Pro-Life movement is responsible for each and every single act of domestic terrorism targeted towards providers and patients at women’s health care centers.

Point blank.  Own it.

When you constantly stir up emotions in people using over-the-top rhetoric, you should expect people to act out aggressively in response to that.  When you constantly tweak people’s emotions in order to influence political decisions, you should be ready for people who are going to respond to your tweaking.

By the definition above (18 U.S. Code § 2331), which is US law, the shooting in Colorado was an act of domestic terrorism.  Refusing to call it that is a refusal to acknowledge the role we play in fostering such an environment where these acts happen.  It’s not like this is the first or even the second time such an incident has happened.

Bryn Greenwood posted tweets on Twitter about her experiences at working at a Planned Parenthood clinic.  Even though one of the clinics where she worked did not provide abortion services, they were still targeted by extremists from the pro-life movement as though they did.  One only has to say the words Planned Parenthood to get a reaction from some people.

I don’t generally post about abortion or my views on it because of the negative attention that comes with merely mentioning the word Abortion.  However, as a Christian, I feel that I have to speak out against the acts and threats perpetrated on fellow Americans.

If you don’t like abortions, don’t have one, don’t visit a clinic that offers them, and don’t pay for someone else to have one.  That’s your right.  That’s your choice.  At the same time, you have no right to stop any other red-blooded American for exercising their right to privacy and right to choose for themselves.

I don’t think the words “pro-life” and “pro-choice” accurately define the current “sides” in the abortion debate.  We should call them “pro-criminalization” and “pro-freedom” because that’s what their arguments basically boil down to.  If you don’t want abortions to be legal as they currently are, then you want them to become a criminal act, punishable by jail time or whatever.  If you want people to have the ability to choose for themselves, then you advocate for women (and men) to have the freedom to decide for themselves.

If you want to know my personal views, I wouldn’t ask or force my wife to have an abortion.  I’m not going to force any other woman to have an abortion OR carry a child to term either.  If you want to truly cut down on the number of aborted births, then you do that by educating people on all the choices they have to make in regards to health and family planning.  Whether you decide to go the abstinence or contraception route, preventing a pregnancy also prevent an abortion.

If you advocate cutting off funds and funding to clinics that work to prevent pregnancies, are you really trying to cut down on the number of abortions?

Something to ponder…

Bah humbug!!

I’m really beginning to hate springtime.  I miss being able to be outside without being miserable or full of drugs.  Nowadays, I can’t go outside without looking like I’m crying over a lost pet or my nose running like a child with a serious cold.

I played baseball, ran track, was in the band, and did all other kinds of outdoor sports and events with no problems growing up.  Now, as soon as winter moves out, my eyes turn as red as a traffic light until the summer gets here.  Please hurry up and get here summer.

Vaccine or not

“To vaccinate, or not to vaccinate- that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer 2015
The vomiting and sh*ts of outrageous diseases
Or to take vaccines against a sea of viruses,
And by opposing end them.”

Hamlet paraphrased circa 2015 in the US

Last week was vaccination week in the Casa de Brosephus.  A total of 6 shots in two days of doctor’s visits for all three kids.  The baby had his 4 month check up and 3 shots.  The next day, the middle child had her 2 year check up and 2 shots while big sister got her first dose of the flu shot.  In total, they received 8 different vaccines following the CDC guidelines for children’s vaccines.

When it comes to children and vaccines, I didn’t hesitate to get my kids vaccinated.  For me, it’s a no-brainer.  I’ve read the stories about the supposed links to childhood vaccines and autism.  I see it like this, my kids get their shots and risk being diagnosed with autism if that outcome happens.  Orrrrrrrr…..  I don’t vaccinate my kids, and I risk them getting killed by some virus or disease where their death could have been prevented by a shot.  There’s no reason to even think twice there.

The issue with vaccines hit the news circuit when the measles outbreak started at Disneyland.  Some people tend to forget that other countries don’t vaccinate like we do, so there’s always the chance of contracting a sickness that’s not encountered much here.  Working around international travelers, that’s something that is always in the back of my mind as not every sickness has outward visible signs at the point of being contagious.  I think it’s a good conversation that we need to have as people from both sides of the debate, pro and anti vaccine, have valid concerns that should be addressed.

One way to not address them and effectively deal with the situation is to allow politics to inject themselves into the center of the debate.  Whether it’s Rand Paul, Chris Christie, or some other elected official, if it is not their job to deal with healthcare policy, then they need to not try to take over the debate.  Politics and politicians have a way of screwing things up in my view, and this is definitely one area that doesn’t need to be screwed.

If you decide to vaccinate your kids, then that’s your decision.  If you decide to not vaccinate them, then that’s your decision as well.  Regardless to what you do, remember that your kids are going to be around other kids.  The decisions that you make don’t just affect the health of your child or children.  Those decisions affect everyone the come into close contact with.  See the measles outbreak as proof.

 

 

Ebola has left the building

Dr. Craig Spencer, center, is flanked by New York City Mayor Bill Bill de Blasio, left, and his wife Chirlane McCray as he leaves Bellevue Hospital after being declared free of the Ebola virus on Nov. 11 in New York. Andrew Gombert, European Pressphoto Agency

New York doctor Craig Spencer has been declared to be free of Ebola.  This was the one and only verified case of Ebola currently in the US.  The people under quarantine in Texas have been cleared, and nurse Kaci Hickox has completed her 21 day quarantine period.  This means that the United States is Ebola free for the moment.

Now that this is the case, I wonder if the media and politicians will do some self reflecting and realize that they drove the fear and paranoia over this virus much more than what was necessary.  What we needed was education and information.  Instead we got fear mongering and panic.

For the number of people we’ve had in America that were sick with Ebola, there were exactly two, TWO, transmitted cases.  The likely “worst case scenario” to date would have been the case of Thomas Duncan.

Duncan entered a Dallas hospital already sick with the virus.  At that point, he was for all intents and purposes, a vector to deliver the virus to as many people as he came into contact with.  Looking at the family that surrounded him at home, not a single person has shown any sign of having the virus.  None of the people who were in the hospital around him the time he was released and sent back home have shown any sign of having the virus.  Of all the people involved with treating him up until and after his death, two nurses contracted the virus and got sick.  Of all the people involved with cleaning the hospital or handling his body after death, no one has shown any sign of having the virus.

So, two people contracted the virus from the numerous people who have had close contact with Duncan or his bodily fluids.  This should be a sign of how difficult it is to catch this virus, but the media doesn’t care to push that story.  Politicians and other decision makers seem to have ignored this as well.  Now that the elections are done, there’s no need to incite panic to get votes.  Every politician that decided to quarantine people returning from West Africa were re-elected if they were running for office.

This is the time for the media, politicians, and all others involved to start educating people to reduce the temptation to panic and overreact.  THere are stark differences between the medical infrastructure in America and West Africa.  Even with these stories popping up on how unprepared hospitals are for Ebola, we are light years ahead of the countries dealing with this outbreak when it comes to handling people who are sick.

There’s no more need to panic people because Ebola has left the building.