Tag Archives: by Marissa

Personhood: Why All Human Beings Qualify

by Marissa Poisson

 

From our neighbours to the south at Abort73:

There have been at least two other instances in American history in which specific groups of human beings were stripped of their rights of personhood as a means of justifying horrific mistreatment. African-Americans and Native-Americans both felt the brunt of a system which tried to create the artificial classification: human, non-person. This distinction wasn’t based on an honest evaluation of the evidence, but with an eye towards justifying a specific action. In the case of Native-Americans, they had land. In the case of African-Americans, they had labor. Classifying them as non-persons (even property) provided a moral framework for those in power to forcefully take what they wanted without compensation. Today, “unwanted,” unborn children don’t hold anything as tangible as land or labor, but their claims on those who would eliminate them are no less significant. They stand in the way of an unencumbered, more self-absorbed lifestyle. Once again, this notion that human beings can be classified as “non-persons” is not built on an objective assessment of the facts, but with an eye towards justifying abortion.

Check out the poster on the right about the denial of personhood from NCLN.

Happy Ending for Selfless Mom and Baby Delivered at 28 Weeks

by Marissa Poisson

From an article on a young woman who had a rare tumour growing inside her heart while pregnant:

“I decided I would have him before doing anything with me,” she said. “I wanted him to have a chance to survive before me. There was no way I would be able to do the surgery while being pregnant knowing there was a chance he would die from it.”

Not everyone felt the same way. Some family friends, a nurse in Thunder Bay, even her mother for one brief moment, thought Stout should put herself first. They intimated that Stout could always have another baby if she were healthy.

“They weren’t saying it meanly,” said Stout. “They were saying that I hadn’t met the baby yet, that I wasn’t attached. But even when I was pregnant, Bentley was my whole world. I would never choose myself over him.”

Coldhearted Calculus

by Marissa Poisson

One week ago, two major American newspapers published two very different stories. The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy examines the phenomenon of parents who select to “reduce” twins to singletons for mainly lifestyle considerations while How a D.C. area family with 11 children, ages 12 through 1, makes it work describes just that. The former features “Jenny” and her husband, who are “choosing to extinguish one of two healthy fetuses, almost as if having half an abortion,” though you can no more have half an abortion than you can be a little bit pregnant. (“Coin-toss abortion” is a more apt description, unless of course the parents are choosing one child over another based on their sex.) In the latter, we read about Jen and Larry Kilmer, who have welcomed their children one after another with open arms.

In reading one article after the other, I was struck by how it all came down to a matter of perspective. The parents electing to have a shot of potassium chloride injected into one or more of their healthy babies’ hearts in the article are financially stable, married and often did everything they could to become pregnant in the first place, but they want precisely one child to be born. Still, on one level they know what they are doing is wrong. “This is bad, but it’s not anywhere as bad as neglecting your child or not giving everything you can to the children you have,” says Jenny. But what does it mean to give everything you can to your children? “I feel very strongly that the best gift you can give a child is a sibling,” says Jen.

The first article states, “Whatever the particulars, these patients concluded that they lacked the resources to deal with the chaos, stereophonic screaming and exhaustion of raising twins.” Jen, on the other hand, says, “People are always asking, ‘How do you have time for yourself?’ But when you realize there’s more to life than yourself. . . I think time to yourself is overrated.” Even the author of the “reduction” piece, referring to her own situation, says, “There’s no doubt that life with twins and a third child so close in age has often felt all-consuming and out of control. And yet the thought of not having any one of them is unbearable now, because they are no longer shadowy fetuses but full-fledged human beings whom I love in a huge and aching way.” The crux of it is not the specific number of children in a family but rather that those “shadowy fetuses” are already fully human; they are the same individuals who elicit that huge and aching love.

Now that Jenny has subtracted one of her twins, she will be able to set aside twice as much money for the child who emerges from her womb alive, and it’s true that the Kilmers don’t have college funds for their children. But I have no doubt as to which family is richer. As Mother Theresa said, “It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”

More articles on “selective reductions” here, here, here and here. To read them is to weep.

*New, heartbreaking article by a father who recently lost two of his triplets: The New Scar on My Soul

Coverage of the March for Life!

by Marissa Poisson

Thanks to all those who came to the 2011 March for Life! It was great to be surrounded by such a huge number of pro-lifers. The above video is worth watching whether you were able to participate or not. I especially like the message at the 5:23 mark. The child in the womb is human, women are strong enough to have their babies, and support is available. (See resources in Ottawa on the right.) The March for Life is an annual event, but that is something that bears repeating every day of the year.

“It’s a girl baby, and we can’t keep it.”

by Marissa Poisson

Over the weekend, I read an article that describes the writer’s experience in a Chinese village during and shortly after the birth of a baby girl. I found the whole article very moving and the following passage especially striking:

“Doing [killing] a baby girl is not a big thing around here. You city folk are shocked the first time you see it, right?” the older woman said comfortingly, obviously seeing how shocked I was.

“That’s a living child!” I said in a shaking voice, pointing at the slops pail. I was still so shocked, I didn’t dare to move.

“It’s not a child,” she corrected me.

“What do you mean, it’s not a child? I saw it.” I could scarcely believe that she could tell me such a blatant lie!

“It’s not a child. If it was, we’d be looking after it, wouldn’t we?” she interrupted. “It’s a girl baby, and we can’t keep it.”

“A girl baby isn’t a child, and you can’t keep it?” I repeated uncomprehendingly.

Try substituting the word “preborn” for “girl” in the above, and I think you’ll find it applies quite handily to the West. After all, killing a preborn baby cannot be a big thing around here, given the rate at which it’s done. Those unaccustomed to the practice may instinctively find it revolting, but those who have embraced modern cultural values can assure us that it’s perfectly normal. It may seem self-evident that the preborn are living children, but they must not be since we’re not looking after them.

In some cultures, girl babies don’t count if their families wanted a boy and are routinely disposed of. Here, both boy and girl preborn babies don’t count if they are deemed unwanted and are routinely disposed of. Is that the difference between the developing and developed world? Does killing earlier and without discriminating between the sexes make us any more civilized?

Marking Anniversaries

by Theresa Stephenson and Marissa Poisson

Today marks the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that legalized abortion.  For Canada, January 28 will be the 23rd anniversary of a similar case, R. v. Morgentaler, in which our Supreme Court struck down the abortion law and left a legal vacuum. The Canadian case was brought by three abortionists, while the American suit was filed on behalf of a woman named Norma McCorvey, alias “Jane Roe.” Her view on abortion may surprise you:

Those two landmark cases in North American history have left a legacy of death and deception. Millions of babies have been killed in clinics and hospitals, and millions of post-abortive women have suffered the aftermath of their child’s death. When we sanction ending a preborn child’s life at any point during pregnancy, are Kermit Gosnell’s crimes not the logical extension of our society’s attitude?

Can two supposed bastions of human rights not do better in terms of respecting the most fundamental of them all? Just imagine how many of our classmates, friends and family members are not with us today because of abortion. It’s up to all of us to work towards making abortion a thing of the past.

Views on Abortion

by Marissa Poisson

I don’t watch The View, but I stumbled across a clip from Monday’s show. It raises interesting questions about technology’s role in the pro-life movement and how women’s feelings about their abortions may change after some years have passed.

Unsafe, Legal and Wrong

by Marissa Poisson

An Ontario judge ruled on Tuesday that Criminal Code laws against keeping a common bawdy house, living on the avails of prostitution and communicating for the purpose of prostitution violated women’s Charter rights to freedom of expression and security of the person. (Prostitution is not illegal in Canada, but many of the activities associated with it are. Both the federal and provincial governments announced they will appeal the decision.)

What does this have to do with abortion? Firstly, I would say that proponents of prostitution and abortion have in common the idea that legalizing something dangerous makes it safe. Prostitution may become less hidden if the decision survives the appeals, but exploitation does not become safe by virtue of being legal. Similarly, legalized abortion does not change the nature of the procedure. It may be done in government-funded clinics now, but it is still chemically toxic or physically invasive for the woman undergoing it and deadly for her child.

Secondly, I’ve never met a little girl who says she wants to be a prostitute or have an abortion when she grows up. Women are driven to these things by desperation. A few vocal women may claim to be thriving as prostitutes, but most are addicted to drugs, undereducated and abused, and some are victims of human trafficking. Abortion, for its part, is sometimes used to cover up sexual abuse of minors and illicit relationships, and many women feel pressured to abort by outside expectations.

Thirdly, legal is not synonymous with moral. We don’t have to look far in history to find examples of this. Rulings on abortion and prostitution have been based on security of the person, but the safest thing would be for people to stay far away from both. We need to work to eliminate the conditions that lead women to these supposed choices because no legal ruling can make right what is inherently wrong.

“A Woman Wants an Abortion Like She Wants…”

by Marissa Poisson

A couple of days ago, the topic of abortion came up in conversation and I decided to reveal my pro-life views. The acquaintance I was speaking with shared with me that someone she knows had an abortion last week. As I listened to her describe the woman’s circumstances, I could certainly agree that they were less than ideal for welcoming a child. Apparently, the woman didn’t want to have an abortion but, among other things, didn’t feel she could afford a newborn. There are as many different situations as there are women facing an unplanned pregnancy but, really, what woman wants to have an abortion? As Frederica Mathewes-Green wrote:

“For the question remains, do women want abortion? Not like she wants a Porsche or an ice cream cone. Like an animal caught in a trap, trying to gnaw off its own leg, a woman who seeks an abortion is trying to escape a desperate situation by an act of violence and self-loss. Abortion is not a sign that women are free, but a sign that they are desperate.” (http://www.feministsforlife.org/FFL_topics/after/rtnwrfmg.htm)

The conversation left me saddened and outraged. I am saddened because of the loss of life, of course, and for this woman, who will never be able to terminate her memories of the abortion. I also find it outrageous that abortion seems to be the only clear choice that caring, compassionate Canada has to offer desperate women. A choice is not a choice if you only have one option. A woman who says she’d like to have her baby but feels overwhelmed by seemingly insurmountable challenges needs help, not an abortion. We need to eliminate the obstacles the mother faces, not her child.

Baffling Reproductive Policy

by Marissa Poisson

As was announced in July, free infertility treatment will be available in Quebec starting this month, which leads one to believe that infertility is now considered a disease there. Paradoxically, pregnancy also seems to be classified as a disease in the province and throughout the country given the availability of publicly funded abortion. Are the definitions of any other diseases wholly dependent on the circumstances of the individuals they afflict?

As a young woman, am I to believe that if I were to become pregnant now, when it would interfere with my university studies, the sensible choice would be abortion and that if I were to find myself unable to start a family in twenty years, it would be reasonable to expect free IVF?

The incoherence is jarring. Quebec’s politicians stand behind aborting tens of thousands of future Francophones every year yet are poised to spend lavishly to enable women to try their luck at conceiving artificially. Adoption seems to be the forgotten component in this equation; it needs to be encouraged as a viable option for women facing unplanned pregnancies and infertile couples. In the multi-million dollar business of life and death, the cures are worse than the diseases.