The Conclusion “The “A” Word Part 3 By Steven Phillips
The Conclusion “The “A” Word Part 3 By Steven Phillips
The Conclusion of, “The ‘A’ Word” Part 3 By Steven Phillips
Earlier, I stated that NO LEGITIMATE NATIONAL CANDIDATE FOR ANY OFFICE WANTS TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF ABORTIONS, It might be helpful to take a look at what has happened to the actual abortion numbers. Since Roe v. Wade, the number of abortions in America has gone from a high in 1990 of 1.4 million abortions nationwide to just under half of that number by 2013. The interesting thing about that is the fact that, the years which saw the greatest declines in abortions were during Democratic Presidencies – specifically from 1992-1998 when Bill Clinton was in office. During Clinton’s Presidency, the annual number of abortions fell from 1.359,000 to 884,000 (a reduction approaching half of a million abortions) when he left office. The most notable fact about that statistic is that Hillary Clinton also led a major effort when she was First Lady concerning health care issues among children in America. As a part of that initiative, contraceptives were made available to teenagers to protect against sexually transmitted diseases and to reduce the number of pregnancies among our teenage population. It must be emphasized that this segment of our population is by far the segment most likely to contract a sexually transmitted disease, an unwanted pregnancy, and the most likely group to seek an abortion.
As a result of that initiative, the abortion rate showed a dramatic decline – which should have been the shared goal of the ProLife Christian community. However, even this also became a serious issue which they had with Democrats. It was only then that the true scope of their agenda became clear. They wanted to control, by legislation, many aspects of societal behavior. Because the huge reductions were achieved, in large, part to the availability of contraceptives, that was not good enough! They also did not want young people having sex, and they did not want contraceptives made available to them for fear that this would increase teenage sexual behavior. I can somewhat understand the last point. However, even when I was a youth, contraceptives were always available if one knew where to look. As a parent, I have to jump in here and also say – NO PARENT HOPES THEIR KIDS PARTICIPATE IN SEXUAL BEHAVIOR IN THEIR TEENS. That is true of both Republican and Democrat parents alike. Nevertheless, living with the very basic reality that young people often will engage in sexual behavior, and the reality that STD’s became much more of a deadly threat during the same time with the spread of AIDS, the ProLife Movement was willing to sacrifice the obvious reduction in abortions, and the obvious benefits of reducing sexually transmitted diseases in the teenage population, simply because the Democrats were willing to accomplish those mutually desired goals by trying to address the risks which arise from unprotected sexual habits.
Keep in mind, nothing was made mandatory about teenagers obtaining or using those contraceptives. Nothing violated the rights of parents who wished to teach their children against teenage sexual behavior. Nothing prevented churches from their teaching on the topic. And, abortions, as well as STD’s, dropped significantly as a result of Hillary Clinton’s initiative. Both of those latter facts actually highlight the depth of the problem that the ProLife movement chose to ignore – teenagers had been engaging in sexual behavior all along – just unprotected. The ProLife groups had not made their case with the teenage population through their message, so they came back to the idea of having the government mandate behavior – and virtually every study has shown that this will not achieve their desired effect either
What’s my point? You cannot talk out of both sides of your mouth at the same time and hope that your message will resonate coherently. What has been the result” It is vital that conservative Christians understand that their message IS NOT RESONATING COHERENTLY IN OUR SOCIETY! Large swaths of our culture are simply tuning out conservative Christianity as a result. This is why the non-conservative, non-Christian segment of our population is growing increasingly foreign from the ProLife Movement. They are largely ignoring ProLife rhetoric about “concern for unborn life” because, in their minds, they have come to associate the conservative, ProLife message as one that lacks regard for life after birth. The majority of them see the conservative right is trying to accomplish through legislation what they cannot bring about through living exemplary lives or through sharing their beliefs. Then add to all of these examples that these same conservative groups are often very quick to support military involvements, are almost universally against expanding healthcare or daycare for working mothers, and strongly in favor of the death penalty… HOW CAN THE GUISE OF THE SO-CALLED “PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT” BE MAINTAINED WITH SUCH OBVIOUS EXAMPLES OF BEING AGAINST “LIFE” IN SO MANY OTHER AREAS?
But, we haven’t finished with the actual historical record yet.
To further prove this point, after the Clintons left the White House, the abortion numbers then remained virtually unchanged during the Bush Presidency – hovering right about the number it was at towards the end of the Clinton years of about 850,000 annually. However, after Barack Obama took office the rate started to decline once again to the current levels of about 600,000. That figure still does not represent the full picture. The population has grown dramatically through all of that time, as well. The number of people living in the United States has grown from just over 200,000,000 in 1973 to almost 325,000,000 today. That means the actual rate of abortion is not just half what it was at it’s high point in 1990. Since that time, the Democrats have held the Presidency for the greatest cumulative number of years since the Roe v. Wade decision became law. The declines in the abortion rate have also been, by far, the greatest during those years compared to when Republicans were in office, when the rate remained almost unchanged. Given the nearly 40% increase in our population, the actual abortion rate compared to percentage of population is FAR LESS than half of what it was at it’s height in 1990!
The simple truth is then unmistakable. All of the actions and words of the conservative ProLife movement, and all of the political battles including budget showdowns, delays in approving Supreme Court Justices and other crucial national appointees, and all of the gridlock that conservatives have boasted about have not actually affected the abortion rate nearly so much as the initiatives of Democratic Presidents.
As I have already said, it’s time to set the record straight… NO LEGITIMATE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE HAS EVER DESIRED TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF ABORTIONS REGARDLESS OF THEIR PARTY AFFILIATION. What may be the oye opener to many is that the Democrats have been far more successful in bring that number down compared to Republicans. And, they accomplished that by looking after the needs of pregnant women, providing health care, child care, medical insurance, safer sex protections, legal protections, and by advocating for better conditions for women. Now you can gripe at me all you want. But all of the priorities that I have just mentioned are also THINGS I SHOULD THINK GOD CARES ABOUT, TOO. So if it’s possible to accomplish the desired goal without mandating what people have to do or believe, SINCE WHEN DID WANTING TO PROTECT THE RIGHT OF CITIZENS TO MAKE THEIR OWN CHOICES BECOME AN UN-AMERICAN THING???
I have heard the argument that the ProLife movement has. “We are passionate because it is our belief that an unborn child is a life!” I know that, for you, that means it’s murder for someone to take that life. I want to first say, if that is how you truly believe, I respect you for holding your personal conviction in that regard.
But, hear me, carefully… I respect you for holding YOUR PERSONAL conviction in that regard. What I do not respect is that they have taken it upon themselves to force others to agree with their personal convictions. And, I’m tired of people thinking that ProChoice people care nothing about the sanctity of life. I passionately believe that all life is precious. For instance, I can no longer sit idly by and watch us murder our own planet. I cannot ignore the fact that those who have spent their whole lives studying our world’s environment almost universally agree that we will virtually ruin our world and cause untold death, sickness, and starvation if we don’t immediately do whatever we can to help save our planet. This is one area where your choices and my choices affect everyone – not just yourself. You can decide not to have an abortion… but what you and I do will affect all of us. I am also deeply troubled that study after study has shown that there are programs we can adopt to care for the basic needs of everyone, which can be paid for by simply deciding to tax those who have become the richest among us at a fair rate, and those programs would produce not only lower abortion rates, but better quality of living for us all. Yet those programs are largely ignored by conservative Christians.
And, now… I’m going to get personal. I am going to say my greatest “beef” with the ProLife movement. These programs that have the chance to help all of us and greatly reduce the abortion rate as a side benefit are never the programs you seem to want to try. Why? Is it because it will cost you money? Are you saying, “I believe in the sanctity of life… but don’t touch my pocket book!
If conservative, ProLife Christians would have spent their time and resources on obtaining health care for every citizen instead, they would have millions of people who would be singing their praises. If they had tackled homelessness, food for all, daycare for working mothers, equality in pay, college funds to help children get a better education, family leave time for parents who are having a baby or caring for a sick loved one… OR, YOU NAME IT!!!… any of these programs that have proven to help society and improve conditions for families and children to prosper…things that virtually every study has shown us that without these types of programs, abortion is often the only option many women see available to them… If they would have been doing the this type of interaction with our society which is CLEARLY OUTLINED in Christian scripture as vital and central to the work God desires to be done… if THIS had been the work of the church today, where would America be today? How many of the “ills” of our nation would be righted? How many people would there be who would be saying…”Man those conservative Christians sure know how to help a person, don’t they!”
Is that what you are hearing today??? Well, then, ask yourself…Why not?
CHALLENGE YOURSELF FOR JUST ONE MINUTE MORE. IS ONLY UNBORN LIFE SACRED? DOES THAT CONVICTION ONLY APPLY IF IT COSTS YOU LITTLE… OR NOTHING ?
Well, I have bad news for everyone on that issue. Jesus may have NOT said anything about abortion… but he sure had a lot to say about money.
Oddly enough, God never asks us to look at the budget or the deficit, when people’s needs are staring us in the face. I mean… here they are, the twelve disciples, sitting on a hillside beside the lake, with thousands of people gathered there… and Jesus says, “Did anyone bring lunch for them?” The amazed disciples immediately took a look at their equivalent of a national debt, “We only have a few loaves and a few fish… but what is that compared to this need?” The answer was straight from the attitude of God…”Why don’t you give them what you have?”
I hear conservative Christians talking about the terrible financial state we are in as a nation. This is offered as a reason why we can’t possibly spend more, do more, meet more needs. I understand the economics. It’s the disconnect from the very roots of their faith that bothers me.It’s become a sort of emergency parachute or spiritual justification for being aligned with virtually every conservative politician that bothers me. It’s as if they are saying… “Now remember, God wants us to be conservative with our money..”
WHERE DID YOU READ THAT???
Conservative, ProLife Christians try to say that providing the programs necessary to help people in ways which might make an abortion a less necessary alternative, is too expensive. Out of their mouth, at the same time they say, “Every life is precious.” The message is clear… “I don’t want to spend the money. I personally believe that the Universe is ordered in such a way that that the needed provisions to help people is already to be provided when needed… and I think that is what that Corinthians verse is saying also. In fact I have a problem with the whole disconnect among Christians who apply their Scripture only on a micro basis. They tell me that scriptures about “turning the other cheek” are only meant concerning personal encounters – Not international ones. Likewise, they have said to me that Scriptures that say, “God will meet our needs” can only be interpreted concerning personal provisions – NOT NATIONAL NEEDS!
You cannot rationalize the passion that is expressed by those who are out to stop abortion with the unwillingness to invest in other programs which are known to greatly reduce the abortion rate. This conflicted dichotomy of views within the same camp is yet another reason non-Christian, non- conservatives are distancing themselves from Christian circles.
Take a final look at the severity of that problem in a way that should challenge every person of faith. If every life is precious (and it is) then I want to point to a huge, daily loss of life among children…In fact, an estimated loss of 36,000 of them every day. That’s roughly the equivalent of half of the entire crowd size we saw at one of the recent World Series games…All of them walking… crawling…in rags, to their death, every day. To fully picture this example, you have to contrast it with the fact that this number exceeds the total number of abortions in the United States…EVERY 18 DAYS!
That means over 13 million children’s lives are lost in this real life travesty every year. Essentially, all of these deaths are preventable. In most cases, the cost of that prevention would be pennies a day for each one of them. These are the number of children who die from starvation, lack of basic medical supplies and similar poverty issues every day around the world.
You don’t need to ask permission to save them. No one has to overturn any Supreme Court decision to intervene. There are no liberals who will try to stop you from trying to help these children – in fact we will applaud you, and stand right beside you, and throw in our support, dollar for dollar. You will be known as the heros of our culture. People will flock to join your ranks.
Can I ask you, if life is precious to you…If this unthinkable picture of suffering and death is going on everyday…If you have the chance to unite your society to conquer this wrong… If these victims are looking you in the face, with eyes that you can see, and tears you can almost taste…If you have an absolutely unambiguous and unequivocal mandate in your own Scriptures and from the lips of Jesus, himself to champion this cause….
Why haven’t you?
This is my issue with conservative, ProLife Christians. I haven’t seen elections slammed full of commercials demanding a stop to this needless loss of life. I have never known of any Presidential appointments being stall until they knew the appointee was behind them on this issue. I know of no budget showdowns that hinge on whether or not this wrong is corrected. In fact the exact same candidates most of this group is supporting this time around (and essentially every time around since I’ve been following elections) are the same ones who are the most opposed to increased spending to prevent these needless deaths. And, this week, many of these people will pull the lever or place their “X” beside the name of the person who has advocated that we should close our borders to these who will die, that we should, “put America first” in the face of most of the world that has been barely holding on for centuries, but who has said, “I will appoint Supreme Court Justices who will overturn Roe v.Wade.”
So, of course…you’ll vote for him.
Because, “Who cares about these foreigners outside our borders, anyway”…
People are asking me why I did this article. First of all, this is a subject in which I have had quite a bit of experience. I’ve counseled people for years on this issue. And, I have also dealt with it in many other countries. In Russia, for instance, I was at a convention when someone who was speaking before me happened to mentioned abortion in his statement. I heard a “groan” go up from the crowd. We spent the next two days counseling and praying with people. It turns out, Russia has had a policy for decades to provide abortion as a sort of “contraceptive after the fact”. I counseled women who had had eight, ten, even fourteen abortions. (Perhaps you can understand now why I have grave concerns that American ProLife people are NOT likely to get what they think they will get, if Donald Trumpis elected, given the fact that Russia and North Korea just this morning voiced their support for to him.)
In all of that time, I have found one constant “background “ story that most people don’t hear without being in a counseling environment. I continually run into women who can become almost hysterical when this issue is approached. If I mention the subject online, invariably, I will have a few women who will send me comment after comment to attack me for even suggesting that I feel the fairest position for all women is to be able to decide this issue for themselves. When I have had the chance to counsel some of those women, I nearly always find that they either had an abortion, they were a victim of sexual assault, or they tragically lost a child – either before or after birth. I am not bringing this up to harm those women – quite the opposite. There are issues concerning birth about which I think most men should be very quiet and listen, rather than speak. There is also a natural relational bond which occurs in the process of childbirth. Believe me, my wife and I have all too many experiences working through those issues from the five miscarriages we have endured. Some people are even more enraged if they become aware of that fact. Typical responses go something like this, “How could you NOT be ProLife??? You know what the loss of a baby is like!!!”
That’s right, I we do. But, both in our personal life, and in our professional life, we have not found that the ProLife position actually gave much emotional relief to those who have a serious need for counseling or therapy instead.. I have found that, women who have post traumatic stress issues which center around sexual assault or the loss of a child, AND who become actively involved in the ProLife movement, often get worse. Why? Because they are not dealing with their real issues, but rather, they are re-living their trauma internally with each ProLife activity they are involved in. It is my conclusion that both women and men who suffer PTSD which was triggered by a birth crisis issue, tend to live out their anger and/or frustration in an ever increasing rage in which the ProLife movement becomes a place for them to vent that rage. Please understand, there are many, many people who have either a religious or a philosophical ProLife belief – who have not had an obvious connection with a sexual assault, miscarriage or abortion, or a loss of a child. But the problem is often they either do not take responsibility or they are unaware of the additional trauma they might be producing by encouraging the PTSD people within their movement to become more and more involved and active. Those who have had a tragic experience concerning sexual assault or the loss of a child need real help – NOT a never ending environment in which they continue to vent their trauma in a non-helpful manner. The professionals who work work with PTSD tell us that anytime a trauma is re-lived without a careful and sensitive helper who can help them reprocess a disconnect between the original trauma and the new stimulus, the disorder increases.
My brother is a disabled Vietnam War veteran, I have watched him go into almost catatonic trauma every time he hears any helicopter fly overhead or fireworks on the Fourth of July. In a similar way, I have observed numerous examples where I have seen either near violent behavior or virtual catatonic response in counseling people dealing with sexual assault, negative child birthing experiences, or the loss of a child. If I am correct about the connection between the ProLife movement and the participation of untreated traumatized people in their activities. it is almost inhumane to subject them to highly charged, ProLife activities without caring for their hidden need, first. They are not simply rats for a lab experiment. I am quick to admit that this “re-traumatization” is, almost certainly unintended – but it is serious and cruel, nonetheless.
We also need to deal with the fact that ANY traumatic experience which has to do with human sexual behavior can be a source of PTSD, hidden just under the surface of the one who were traumatized. Sexual experiences and child birthing experiences are some of the most potentially stressful experiences anyone can face in life. Much of modern psychology deals with these issues. For those individuals with PSTD related problems that stemmed from these types of issues, I would conclude that the ProLife movement environment is not the best place for treatment – regardless of your religious or philosophical beliefs. This article has been an outgrowth of many years of study on this subject for both my wife and me. It is part of the work I am putting together for a second thesis I am working on. But it began at a much more personal level. My wife and I needed answers. It was through searching our own faith’s scriptures and NOT finding any clear statements there, that we began to have some deeper questions. For us, if God was silent, who were we to make this choice for others?
I’m so truly sorry to all of my friends who may be hurt by the things that I have said here. I never meant to hurt any of you. I know some of you feel passionate about this issue. I just think there has to be a better way for you to achieve your goals. But what could I do? Just sit here and watch you make the WORST choice for a President in our 240 year history simply because someone changed his position long enough to again get your vote because of the same issue which has divided us for so many years? I couldn’t do that without at least trying to ask you to think about this issue again.
I should also say that I am not assuming that ProLife people are not concerned about the other issues I have talked about which also concern the protection of life. I am concerned that I almost never see the level of involvement to those issues that you give to abortion issues. Most obviously, I never see virtually any of you willing to make your entire political decision based upon where a candidate stands on protecting life beyond the abortion issue. If you did that, you would be a formidable political force, indeed. I would very much like to work together on those issues.
If there is another way for us to work together, I’m willing to try to find it. If there is anything left of America, after this week that can be put back together, I’m willing to help. If you don’t want to vote for Hillary Clinton, I understand. But, you have alternatives to the obvious other choice. I’ll even go a step further…If we find out that Mrs.Clinton actually did something that law professional agree was illegal, I’ll even support you calling for an impeachment. I can live with a Tim Kaine. I believe he is a moral person – someone whom almost everyone who knows him, also says good things about him. He’s even a former missionary before he entered politics, so I think most of you would are reading this article would probably be able to live with him. Finally, I will be sorry to lose those of you who have been enraged by my position as stated in this article, so much so that you might wish to “de-friend” me. I sincerely believe we need to come together and piut this single issue to rest – so far as American Politics is concerned. It is tearing us apart. I’m sure some of you think I’ve lost my mind. People who know me, know I’ve been a liberal for a long time, and a Christian. Some people think those two can’t abide within a single person. If that’ so, then maybe I’ve become a laughing stock to those who think that is true…
You may be laughing………..But Jesus and I are crying.
I’m Steven Phillips. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.
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