There are many who say this is just more right wing extremist reactionary to nothing. Get over it and move on, it means nothing. However, the most significant development for me, is that Congress convened to debate this issue and vote in late July. That is prime time for summer recess. They were not just hanging around working on more important issues and squeezed this incidental item in to appease the right wing. In all likelihood, most if not all members were in their home states. They came back specifically FOR this vote, not inspite of it. If it didn't matter, if it weren't significant, it could have waited or been ignored.
In addition, while the motion didn't pass, it received a majority of votes. When was the last time that a president was elected with even close to half the votes, let alone a clear majority? Yet, they are considered landslides. The motion did not pass, but this is not an absolute defeat. The majority of our legislators believe what PP is doing is wrong. We are not in the minority, a strange fringe group. We have a significant voice and it is time we use it.
Planned Parenthood is not the only option. The campaign goes that without PP, thousands will be without healthcare. However, there is an entire network of free mammography clinics, community health clinics, and crisis pregnancy center. In fact out of 8, 735 centers providing mammography, none of them are run by PP. In addition, there are only 820 PP clinics nationwide, however, in New York alone, the most liberal abortion state, there are well over 110 crisis pregnancy centers. Who is filling the greater need?
Planned Parenthood is not the only option. For better or worse, Obamacare has been ratified as the law of the land. It requires every person to carry health insurance. As part of the program, all providers, save a very select few employers, must provide contraception and abortion coverage. In addition, annual well checkup/physicals are provided for free or a very minimal cost for any testing done. Gone are the days of the poor uninsured having no choice but falling on the mercy of whatever clinic sets up shop in the neighborhood. Either Obamacare fails to deliver it's promises, or Planned Parenthood is just pulling the wool further over our eyes.
Fetal stem cell research is big business, but not big innovation. While the reasoning goes that the sale and or trade of fetal parts is critical for medical advances, the truth does not support it. However, despite all the lauded promise of fetal stem cell cures, none have been reached. Conversely, hundreds, if not thousands of patients have been treated and cured with adult stem cells. In addition, the harvesting of adult stem cells is painless and would actually save hospitals money on disposal. The greatest source of adult stem cells is cord blood, drained from an umbilical cord just after birth. The options for cord blood banking have increased while outlets for donation have exponentially shrunk. This rich resource is routinely disposed on a daily basis across the country. Why not pursue research with a readily available, ethically obtained source, instead of literally tearing the unborn limb from limb for a hoped for cure that may never be despite millions of dollars and millions more lives being sacrificed for the cause.
Back office deals for profits create a conflict of interest. Unlike crisis pregnancy centers that operate on shoestring budgets and through the generous support of volunteers, Planned Parenthood is a multi-million dollar organization. On top of the flow of cash from government subsidies and corporate sponsors, PP is increasing its profits through selling fetal organs and body parts. Signing contracts for large researching corporations creates a desire to obtain quotas of "line items." When counseling a woman on their options, PP stands to lose everything or gain big depending upon the choice she makes. A conflict of interests for sure. Crisis pregnancy centers have no gain either way, in fact they give more when a woman chooses life, their preferred outcome. This includes prenatal screening and check ups, vitamins and nutritional support, baby gear, diapers and wipes, clothing, formula, and more.
Once someone becomes a commodity they cease to have dignity. Throughout history, the destruction of a class of people has been preceded by deeming them sub human or non human. Slavery, genocide, the Holocaust, persecution...all stem from seeing another as unworthy of dignity, devoid of humanity. Abortion is built on the same premise and the selling of "harvested" parts raises the dehumanization to a new level. The abortion industry is a hungry giant thirsty for continual bloodshed. The hunting of pregnant animals is considered reprehensible, yet we refuse to acknowledge the inherent value and sanctity of our own race. Unlike other forms of oppression aimed at a single group, abortion seeks to destroy the value of every life.
By basing a person's personhood upon their abilities, usefulness, and convenience, no person is sacred, we are all dispensible. Worse still, by viewing the unborn as a source to harvest and sell commodities creates an "ends justifies the means" form of healthcare. We may anticipate and hope for the ends, but who would want to be sacrificed as the means. Even if you would choose to give your body to science, would you want an outsider to arbitrarily decide for you, to remove your voice and all power of choice?
Lastly, is our failing of the women most in need of our care. As Ann write, every abortion is a failure of the woman receiving it and the human aborted. We are failing our girls, failing our families, failing our nation, failing our future. In a more global approach, we are failing the most vulnerable of our planet. Great riches come with great responsibility, however we are squandering our riches on the idols of progress and possessions, casting our pearls before the deities of greed and self centeredness. We must give of ourselves and give until it hurts, with no strings attached, no justification, no "Tsk, tsk, why didn't you know better?"
Pregnancy is not a product of failure nor stupidity, it is a success of intrinsic biology. When we treat it as a choice, a sin, a disease we are projecting an anti-life philosophy. To stop abortion we must love mothers deeper. We must see the dignity, sanctity, and value of every pregnant woman no matter her circumstances, before we can have every woman see that in their unborn. In fighting for the protection of the unborn we must fight for better counseling, education, job preparedness, and emotional support for every woman. Those who choose abortion do so because they have been fed the lies that it is the only way, it is their only option, they are forgotten and unlovable. Without human dignity for the mother, how do we save the child?
Deeper still, life saving international aide must cease to be tied to reproductive restrictions and abortion programs. We can dig deeper, we can give more. Promising help only to those willing to embrace the culture of death starves those even more deeply than famine, drought, and disease. They are all children of God, they are humans as worthy as you and I to live, love, and dream. They have been robbed of everything, often even their homeland, do we have rights to robbing their children, their future? There are better ways, just look at my favorite charity, Mary's Meals. Food and education can be provided for so little while building up the hope, strength, and pride of a starving community.
The only question left is how will you change the course of even one mother's path in the direction of love and life, no matter the cost to you?
Linking up with Kelly who is running a beautiful series on the joy and value of every child, no matter the ability or disability.