Roe v. Wade

Just the title grabs a lot of attention.  This is probably the most contentious political element in U.S. history.  Why?  Because it’s not just political — it’s social, religious, medical, AND political.  Any discussion today about abortion promises to always be contentious.  The only other topic that draws similar reaction has been the death penalty, and its attention is dwarfed by that of abortion.

I could spend much time to point out historical events and benchmarks in the life of abortion, but we have all heard every

argument from the Pro Life and Pro Choice sides so often we can regurgitate them without thinking.  Doing so has provided no answers, no relief for anyone caught up in the horrible situations that result in abortions, and certainly provided no answers to the only question that matters:  When does life begin?  If we knew beyond any doubt when life begins, we could make objective decisions based on facts rather than circumstantial emotions which continue to drive every aspect of the abortion culture.

And this is not just an American thing.  Abortions were part of life long before there even was a United States.  And though the calendar has been different, the nationalities have been different, the languages have been different, the circumstances around abortion have never changed no matter when or where they happen.  It always involves at least two people and the creation that is a result of what occurred between those two.  That part of the process never changes.

So what else is there to talk about that has not been hashed and re-hashed ad nauseum?   There is one important factor that has been left out of the conversation about abortion.  It is not a Pro Life or Pro Choice item.  It does not damn those who choose abortion as their option or those who choose pregnancy.  It is not about the vitriolic cries that often result in violence in the public square.

How many times have you faced circumstances that force you to make a choice?  And the choice is between two or more really important things to you, and your choice will make a major impact on your life and the lives of others.  You make that choice.  Things may work out OK after that choice.  But in time, you find yourself asking the question:  “What if?”  A high school athlete who is pretty good on the baseball or softball field, the basketball or tennis court, the football or soccer field, receives an offer of a college scholarship to take their proficiency in their sport to the next level.  They may choose to go, or they may choose no to.  The “what if” can (and will) happen with either choice.  If they choose to go play, at some point they will pause, thinking about what their life would be like if they had NOT gone to play ball in college and had pursued a law degree instead (or some other choice).  If they chose to pursue the law degree and rejected playing ball in college, they’ll eventually wonder what their life would have been had they chosen to play ball instead.  Maybe they passed on the NBA, Major League Baseball, the WNBA, or professional tennis.  Who knows?

Forget athletics.  Most people travel the road of looking for and (hopefully) finding a life partner — a soul mate.  In that process, most get involved in relationships with several different people.  Most eventually narrow that search to one and form a lifetime relationship.  Unless you are wired different than most, at some point  you will look back at your “young adult” relationships and wonder, “What if I had married Joe instead of Bill?  What would my life be like now?”

The answer to all these “what ifs” is the same:  we will never know for certain what life on a different path would have been.  But we will always wonder.  It stands to reason that “if” we had made different choices, circumstances would logically be different.  In most cases when confronted with making those choices, we have no idea what the life consequences of our choices will be.  We know there always WILL be consequences.  We simply hope those outcomes confirm we made the right choices.

In this conversation, there also is a “what if” that needs to be considered.  Science someday will almost certainly prove when life actually begins.  When that happens, scientific findings may make no difference to some.  But to others those findings will be devastating.  In this conversation, missing is the consideration of “what if” our World was totally without abortions.  What would life look like?  There would be millions of humans who would have lived normal lives and created generations of others.  There would be more physically and mentally handicapped people who would have via their handicaps at birth required mountainous amounts of money and time for their care that always come with emotional, physical, and mental challenges for their care givers.  The lives of those who would have interacted with them would have likely been different.

We had an unplanned and unexpected pregnancy in the 70’s when abortion was rampant.  And we gave serious thought to going that direction.  We were young and active, just out of college and just getting started.  We wanted children, but not right then.  We decided against termination.  Please indulge my “what if” for a moment:

“What If”‘ we had chosen abortion?   There would be 4 grandsons I would not know, one of which I watched as a junior in high school pitch in his team’s first district baseball game of the season last Saturday.  I would not be able to watch he and his next youngest brother play together on their high school football team that will be looking for their 15th State Championship in the Fall.  (They won their 14th State High School championship last year)  I would not know their 11 year old brother who is already becoming an accomplished pianist and song writer.  Nor would I know their “little” brother, who at 8 years old is the most active, most outgoing and happy young man I’ve ever known, and is already a phenomenal athlete.  I would have not known their Mom who is one of the most amazing women alive today.  She is brilliant, focused, hard working, hopelessly devoted to her family, and is the loving glue that holds our extended family together, plans every function and is an organizational and artistic genius.  One other “what if” is probably the most sobering:  we would be buried in the guilt of knowing we missed all of these people that would have been our descendants because we chose abortion.  My “what ifs” are a bit scary.  Think for a moment about yours.

To finish this conversation, here is the Roe v. Wade “what if” question for the ages:  what if we find out someday that life really DOES begins at conception?

 

 

March, March, March…

I marched today.  I didn’t march in Washington D.C.  I marched in my city.  I joined thousands of others who marched together for one cause and one cause only:  to end the killing of unborn babies.  Now don’t start throwing rocks at your computer screen — they won’t hit me.  And please don’t scream at me that my not having a vagina negates any right I may have to march.  I don’t have a vagina, but I have 3 babies that collectively have 6 babies.  And I have the right to have an opinion, especially in light of the fact that my federal government has for years allocated funds — some of my tax dollars — for the purpose of funding abortions.  And I summarily reject that.  Planned Parenthood who is at the heart of this controversy has couched its services as absolute necessary assistance in womens health in a multitude of areas.  But today Planned Parenthood’s actual services were revealed:  330,000 abortions per year, absolutely NO mammograms provided at any Planned Parenthood center as well as NO prenatal care.  And it was released that two of their centers perform NOTHING but abortions 40 hours per week.

There are several things that have rocked me in this world, but none more than the ironies that surround Pro Life and Pro Choice causes — ironies like the fact that Pro Choicers seem to confine choice to just one thing:  abortion.  Pro Lifers never consider abortion as a choice.  I’ve never heard of a Pro Choicer considering raising that child as a choice.  There may be some out there, but I didn’t hear them speak at the January 21st rally on the Mall in D.C.  And I didn’t hear any Pro Life speeches either even though the massive rally was promoted as a “Womens Rights Rally.”  Pro Life women were not invited or welcome.

But as I marched across the bridge today between Bossier City and Shreveport, Louisiana, all I could think about was that “other” irony:  the irony that the one who has the only voice that matters in this conversation was not in D.C. to speak nor marching with me in Louisiana.  That one is that baby.  That baby’s only crime:  conception, the first thing that ever happened to it which in too many cases becomes the only thing it ever participates in before it is slaughtered.  And it had no say so in either its conception or its termination.

But you know what the ultimate irony is?  This nation since its founding has championed itself for being the best, often the smartest, the most caring and accepting, the most generous and giving, the healthiest and  always the fairest of countries on Earth.  But as good as we are, as smart as we are, as caring and accepting, generous and giving, healthy and fair as we are, we continue to again and again allow, support, and commit abortions.

What’s the irony?  Think about it for a moment:  when does life begin?  Do you really know?  Does anyone really know?  I think the answer to those questions is simple:  no one knows for sure.  Just like Al Gore does not know for certain global warming is real and we are uncertain still (even with all of NASA’s knowledge of the Universe) if there is or is not life anywhere except on Earth, we do not know when life actually begins.  Is it at conception?  Is it at 2 months, 7 months, not until birth?   No one knows.

Still don’t know the irony I’m talking about?  It’s simple: how stupid we are to roll the dice on the one thing that is the only thing that must be for humanity to continue:  LIFE.  Let me make it simple:  what if life begins at conception?  What if it begins at the 2 month mark in its mom’s belly?  Maybe at 7 months?  What if at birth babies have actually been alive for 9 months?  Have you ever thought about that?  Oh, I’m certain Pro Life supporters have.  But I doubt many Pro Choice proponents have considered that — at least not seriously.  Why?  Because if they had, they would NEVER COME DOWN ON THE SIDE OF TAKING THE CHANCE ABORTING A BABY WOULD BE KILLING A HUMAN BEING.  That would simply be inhumane.

So I marched today.  And while I marched I remembered the difficulties we faced when we got pregnant the first time.  That was in the 70’s.  Abortion was “the” thing.  But we opted to have our child, who now has 4 of our grandchildren.  Having our second child meant the same decision.  Circumstances were different, but we knew having another child meant another set of responsibilities that would not be there if we just made them go away.  We chose to have that baby….and our son several years later.  And we have twin grand daughters because of those choices.

The next time you or someone you love is struggling with “the” decision, get them to sit down and quietly talk through “the” decision with you.  See if you can get them to consider….just at least consider….that aborting that baby could possibly be killing that baby.  Sure, no one knows for sure.  But shouldn’t all of us that are citizens of the greatest nation on Earth champion the one thing that will perpetuate life on Earth for generations to come?  Without having babies who grow up to carry our name and our heritages forward, there will be no tomorrow.  How will each mother who has made the choice to abort that baby react if/when someday they find out for sure: abortion really IS murder?

Abortion is an option.  We need to keep it as an option that is opted for less and less and less and less……….

Donna Hylton: Womens’ Advocate

I am one of many who watched with interest the Womens March in Washington, D.C. the day after the Trump inauguration.  I was very curious about the purposes for their march.  I was (and still am) puzzled at what the outcry was against.  After all, abortion is legal as are LGBT rights including marriage and adoption.  I know in other areas there are still challenges and concerns.  But I honestly have felt regarding womens rights in America things had progressed dramatically in the last few years.  I still do not understand the totality of the outcry and certainly do not understand why anyone — especially Madonna — would cry that she occasionally would like to blow up the White House.  Yes, equality of pay in the workplace is not equal for women.  Yes in many societies on Earth women are held in contempt, viewed as actual chattel property, are not allowed to drive, go to school, speak unless spoken to, and are considered to be valuable only as men in their lives determine.  But with few exceptions these are not the cases in the U.S.

It bothered me to hear the vitriol that came off the stage by some who spoke that Saturday.  Not only what was said shocked me, but I was surprised at who some of the speakers were.  Some were women who are wealthy and by all accounts very successful:  actors like Scarlett Johannsen, Ashley Judd, Madonna, Cher, and several others.  Some are longtime feminist activists like Gloria Steinem whose positions on womens rights are well known.  But one speaker floored me — Donna Hylton.

Donna Hylton is truly a womens right activist.  But she’s a lot more.  And what I am confident of is that she is NOT a good spokesperson for womens rights in America.  And I doubt very many who stood on the Washington Mall listening to her really know who she is and her past.  If they did and are OK with that, I am really concerned about what is happening among American women.

In 1985, Hylton helped kidnap, torture, rape, and murder a 62-year-old New York real estate broker named Thomas Vigliarole.  At no point in her advocacy does she mention the name of her victim. On her website, her admission to her crimes is simply:

“My name is Donna Hylton, but for twenty-seven years I was known as Inmate #86G0206.  In 1986 I was sentenced to 25 years-to-life for kidnapping and second-degree murder. I served the time at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, the only maximum-security prison for women in New York State, and was released in 2012.”

The brutal torture and murder is outlined in the Psychology Today article written in 1995 about  Donna Hylton.  “Vigliarole believed that [Hylton and her accomplices] were prostitutes who were going to have sex with him. Instead, they picked him up on March 8 in Elmhurst, Queens, at Maria [Talag]’s home, and drugged him to make him drowsy. Then they drove him to Selma [Price]’s apartment in Harlem. The apartment had already been prepared for an extended torture session: the closet door had been cut, a pot put in it for use as a toilet, the windows boarded.

Vigliarole was set-up by Louis Miranda; the two had allegedly partnered on a graft and the payout had gone south.  Miranda and his accomplices — Selma and Maria — had offered Donna Hylton and her two friends, Rita and Theresa, $9,000 each for helping kidnap and murder Vigliorole. When they were done, they locked Vigliorle’s decomposing body in a footlocker.’  Donna had planned to use the money to pay for a picture portfolio to start a modeling career.

What they did is disturbing to read:

“For the next 15 to 20 days (police aren’t sure just when Vigliarole died), the man was starved, burned, beaten, and tortured. (Even 10 years later, [New York City Detective William] Spurling could recall Rita’s chilling response when they questioned her about shoving a three-foot metal bar up Vigliarole’s rear: ‘He was a homo anyway.’ How did she know? ‘When I stuck the bar up his rectum he wiggled.’)

The three girls took turns watching the man. It was Donna who delivered a ransom note and tape to a friend of Vigliarole’s, who was able to get a partial license plate number of the car she was driving. He notified the police, who traced the plate to a rental car facility. On April 6 the suspects were arrested, and detectives spent 36 hours straight interviewing the seven men and women. ‘We had to keep going back and forth and catch them in lies,’ said Spurling. ‘It was a never-ending circle of lies.’  Spurling himself interviewed Donna: ‘I couldn’t believe this girl who was so intelligent and nice-looking could be so unemotional about what she was telling me she and her friends had done. They’d squeezed the victim’s testicles with a pair of pliers, beat him, burned him. Actually, I thought the judge’s sentence was lenient. Once a jailbird, always a jailbird.’

Hylton served a 27-year prison sentence for her heinous crimes.  Since her release, Hylton has become an outspoken advocate of prison reform, and claims the justice system mistreated her because she was a woman.

At the march in Washington, Hylton was keynote speaker and was cheered by hundreds of thousands of women as a hero.  I have two granddaughters.  I shudder to think that they would ever look at any woman who had personally participated in such activities and who obviously had such little care for human life as a role model and especially not a qualified spokesperson for womens rights.  Yes we have a long way to go to complete in America the transition for women from where they were to where they want and need to go.  But we’ve traveled far down that road already.  I don’t think we need the vitriol spewed by Hylton and others to spur us on toward that goal.