Friday, April 28, 2006

Pt. 4: Some Thoughts

Ok, so I meant to get this post written two days ago. But everyday living got in the way and that's how it should be and so here I am writing my follow up posts now.

Lately abortion topics have made Yahoo headlines, I've noticed it brought up in a few different shows that I watch, and have been listening to Vienna Teng's CD whose song lyrics I posted a few days ago. So, the subject has been on my mind. Perhaps it jumps out at me all the more with a new baby in my house, I'm not sure. I know that when I was pregnant reading headlines about abortion made me physically ill. Now, with the baby here, they make me so very sad. Sad for those women who never got to meet their precious children. My life has been profoundly changed and infinitely enriched by having children and my heart breaks for those who denied themselves this chance.

As such, I decided I would go ahead and post about the subject. Pt. 1 was the lyrics to a really great song by .an artist well worth checking out. Pt. 2 are images from a baby in utero taken by a 4D ultrasound. Pt. 3 are simply stats, the figures minus the rhetoric. For the start of any discussion knowing what the information is, is the best way to begin.

So, what does one do with the topic of Abortion? It is something that is always at the fore front of any political race, with both sides believing they have everything to loose if the opposing candidate wins. It is something that is talked about in many schools, churches, families. But what do we actually do with it?

Some people take their hatred for abortion and with it create a new evil. They bomb clinics and shoot doctors. They yell horrible things at fragile women, all in the name of Christ. They are the people we see on TV and wish that they would just shut up, disappear, claim some other name rather than the one of our savior. We know, that whatever else we do, it isn't suppose to be like that.

Going back to my first post, the lyrics of "Shasta":
"you're all alone in this world no that's not true
the nice Christian lady told you so
she was handing out pamphlet by the clinic door
saying "Jesus knows what you're been through
take the Savior into your heart my child
there's love waiting for the both of you"


That I think is probably what we're supposed to do on a one on one level. Yes, abortion is wrong. No, not just wrong, it is horrific. I had considered posting the descriptions of procedures on here that I found at a clinic's website, but to be honest I couldn't even get through reading them myself. This isn't a grey issue. Abortion is murder. Period.

But, we can't forget that there are still real people involved. People who need to know the love of Christ, people who need Him and His salvation. They need to know that they are sinners in need of Christ's grace-but not because they are getting an abortion, but because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

We also have to remember the pain that these women are carrying around with them. As much as people would like to try and deny that the fetus which they aborted was not actually a human, we all know different. This really hit home with me the other day when I caught a Sex In The City rerun. One character was considering an abortion and asking her friend who had had one 13 years ago for comfort:

Miranda: "I'll go in there, and do this, and then rest for a few days and I'll be ok. I'll be fine. I'll feel normal again. Right? I mean, how long did it take until you felt normal again?"

Carrie: "I'm hoping any day now"


Go back and read the statistics on the number of women who have had abortions. They are staggering. And they cover all age groups, races, religions, and economic backgrounds. There is a very good statistical chance that when talking to someone who is for abortion that they have had one. Not always of course, but I think it is good to keep in mind. That you aren't debating with them about something theoretical, it is likely very personal. That doesn't mean we say something is ok when it's not, but that we once again remind ourselves that we are dealing with real people, with real pain.

One thing about, is we as a culture have an abortive mindset I think. We view children as something that we add to our family when and if they desire. Children aren't blessing from God, but family accessories. We know longer look at God as being sovereign over the womb, but rather feel we get to be simply because there is medicine to help make it happen our way. And even beyond the conception of babies, society as a whole is very age segregated. Yes, we have our children, but we don't really have to interact with them much after that point if we don't want to. There are countless activities to send each family member in a different direction, keeping the kids separate from each other and from the parents. Our hearts as a nation are abortive even if we never have an abortion ourselves.

And yes, I'm making big generalizations here, and using "we" and "our". To be honest, I think that is fair. I think that even those of us who are fighting hard against this mindset have still been poisoned by it. Even though we know it is wrong, we still fight against it in our lives. Not always succeeding either, as it is hard to go against the current.

This post isn't necessarily going where I thought it would. I had intended to talk more about as a society what the abortion debate looks like, the terms pro-choice and pro-life, and the importance of defining life as beginning at conception. I had intended to continue this "series" dealing with the issue of emergency contraception and the implications from that information. I still might. But first I do think it is important to figure out how to frame the conversation with people. The topic, and all topics related, are intensely personal and highly emotional. I don't think that means they should be avoided though. It is life of unborn children which is at stake and that is more important that minding our own business.

I'm hoping to continue this weekend with further thoughts on the matter, but right now I don't have the mental energy. And I might not anytime soon for that matter, so this may get put on hold. As is, I'm feeling like I could have done a better job on this post had I waited, but I didn't want to leave the first three out there without any explanation.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Pt. 3: The Stats

The following is a list of abortion statistics. Numbers are derived from pro-abortion sources courtesy of The Alan Guttmacher Institute and Planned Parenthood's Family Planning Perspectives, as well as the Center for Disease Control.

WORLDWIDE

Number of abortions per year:
Approximately 46 Million

Number of abortions per day: Approximately 126,000

Where abortions occur:
78% of all abortions are obtained in developing countries and 22% occur in developed countries.

Legality of abortion:
About 26 million women obtain legal abortions each year, while an additional 20 million abortions are obtained in countries where it is restricted or prohibited by law.

Abortion averages:
Worldwide, the lifetime average is about 1 abortion per woman.
© Copyright 1999-2000, The Alan Guttmacher Institute. (www.agi-usa.org)


UNITED STATES

Number of abortions per year:
1.37 Million (1996)Number of abortions per day: Approximately 3,700

Who's having abortions (age)?
52% of women obtaining abortions in the U.S. are younger than 25: Women aged 20-24 obtain 32% of all abortions; Teenagers obtain 20% and girls under 15 account for 1.2%.

Who's having abortions (race)?
While white women obtain 60% of all abortions, their abortion rate is well below that of minority women. Black women are more than 3 times as likely as white women to have an abortion, and Hispanic women are roughly 2 times as likely.

Who's having abortions (marital status)?
64.4% of all abortions are performed on never-married women; Married women account for 18.4% of all abortions and divorced women obtain 9.4%.

Who's having abortions (religion)?
Women identifying themselves as Protestants obtain 37.4% of all abortions in the U.S.; Catholic women account for 31.3%, Jewish women account for 1.3%, and women with no religious affiliation obtain 23.7% of all abortions. 18% of all abortions are performed on women who identify themselves as "Born-again/Evangelical".

Who's having abortions (income)?
Women with family incomes less than $15,000 obtain 28.7% of all abortions; Women with family incomes between $15,000 and $29,999 obtain 19.5%; Women with family incomes between $30,000 and $59,999 obtain 38.0%; Women with family incomes over $60,000 obtain 13.8%.

Why women have abortions:
1% of all abortions occur because of rape or incest; 6% of abortions occur because of potential health problems regarding either the mother or child, and 93% of all abortions occur for social reasons (On average, women give at least 3 reasons for choosing abortion: 3/4 say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or other responsibilities; about 2/3 say they cannot afford a child; and 1/2 say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner (AGI)).

At what gestational ages are abortions performed:
52% of all abortions occur before the 9th week of pregnancy, 25% happen between the 9th & 10th week, 12% happen between the 11th and 12th week, 6% happen between the 13th & 15th week, 4% happen between the 16th & 20th week, and 1% of all abortions (16,450/yr.) happen after the 20th week of pregnancy.

Likelihood of abortion:
An estimated 43% of all women will have at least 1 abortion by the time they are 45 years old. 47% of all abortions are performed on women who have had at least one previous abortion.

HOW ARE ABORTIONS PERFORMED?
95% of abortions were known to have been performed by curettage (which includes dilatation and evacuation [D&E]). Most curetage abortions are suction procedures(CDC).
Hysterectomy and hysterotomy were used in less than 1% of all abortions (CDC).
Medical abortions make up approximately 3% of all abortions reported (CDC).

WHO IS PERFORMING ABORTIONS?
The number of abortion providers declined by 11% between 1996 and 2000 (from 2,042 to 1,819) (AGI).
97% of abortion facilities provide abortion at 8 weeks, and 86% provide services at 12 weeks, but provision drops off steeply after that, with only 13% of providers offering services at 24 weeks (AGI).

ABORTION FATALITY
In 2000 (the most recent year for which data are available), 11 women died as a result of complications from known legal induced abortion (CDC).
The number of deaths attributable to legal induced abortion was highest before the 1980s (CDC).
In 1972 (the year before abortion was federally legalized), a total of 24 women died from causes known to be associated with legal abortions, and 39 died as a result of known illegal abortions (CDC).

THE COST OF ABORTION
In 2000, the cost of a nonhospital abortion with local anesthesia at 10 weeks of gestation ranged from $150 to $4,000, and the average amount paid was $372.20 (AGI).
In nonhospital facilities offering mifepristone for use in medical abortion in 2000, the average cost of a medical abortion was $490.23 (AGI).

MEDICAL ABORTION
About 37,000 medical abortions were performed in the first half of 2001; these procedures involved the use of mifepristone or methotrexate (AGI).
Approximately 600 providers offered medical abortion in the first half of 2001 (AGI).

ABORTION AND CONTRACEPTION
Induced abortions usually result from unintended pregnancies, which often occur despite the use of contraception (CDC).
54% of women having abortions used a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant. 76% of pill users and 49% of condom users reported using the methods inconsistently, while 13% of pill users and 14% of condom users reported correct use (AGI).
8% of women having abortions have never used a method of birth control; nonuse is greatest among those who are young, poor, black, Hispanic or poorly educated (AGI).
9 in 10 women at risk of unintended pregnancy are using a contraceptive method (AGI).

ABORTION AND MINORS
55% of minors who have abortions do not tell their parents (AGI).
32 states currently enforce parental consent or notification laws for minors seeking an abortion: AL, AR, AZ, DE, GA, IA, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, OH, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA,WI, WV, and WY. The Supreme Court ruled that minors must have the alternative of seeking a court order authorizing the procedure (AGI).

ABORTION AND PUBLIC FUNDS
The U.S. Congress has barred the use of federal Medicaid funds to pay for abortions, except when the woman's life would be endangered by a full-term pregnancy or in cases of rape or incest (AGI).
17 states (AK, AZ, CA, CT, HI, IL, MA, MD, MN, MT, NJ, NM, NY, OR, VT, WA and WV) do use public funds to pay for abortions for some poor women. About 14% of all abortions in the United States are paid for with public funds (virtually all from the state) (AGI).

Abortion coverage:
48% of all abortion facilities provide services after the 12th week of pregnancy. 9 in 10 managed care plans routinely cover abortion or provide limited coverage. About 14% of all abortions in the United States are paid for with public funds, virtually all of which are state funds. 16 states (CA, CT, HI, ED, IL, MA , MD, MD, MN, MT, NJ, NM, NY, OR, VT, WA and WV) pay for abortions for some poor women.
© Copyright 1998, The Alan Guttmacher Institute. (www.agi-usa.org)© Copyright 1997, The Alan Guttmacher Institute. (www.agi-usa.org)© Copyright 1995, Family Planning Perspectives© Copyright 1988, Family Planning Perspectives



Chemical Abortions

RU-486: When a woman is given RU-486 (also called Mifepristone), it kills her baby by interfering with progesterone, the hormone which keeps the baby implanted in the wall of the mother’s uterus. Two days later, the woman returns to the clinic to receive a prostaglandin drug which induces labor and expels the dead embryo (RU-486 is used until 7 weeks after the first day of her last menstrual period). If the baby hasn’t been expelled by the time the woman makes her third visit to the doctor, she will require a surgical abortion procedure (5-8% likelihood). Raymond, Klein & Dumble, the pro-abortion authors of RU486 Misconceptions, Myths and Morals, (IWT Pub, 1991) stress that RU-486 is not safe for women and list the following contraindications (reasons a person should not take RU-486): under age 18 or over 35; menstrual irregularities; history of fibroids, abnormal menstrual bleeding or endometriosis cervical incompetence, previous abortion, or abnormal pregnancies; pelvic inflammatory disease; recent use of IUD or the pill 3 months.

Methotrexate & Misoprostol: Two drugs that were developed for cancer (methotrexate) and ulcer (misoprostol) treatment are now being used in combination to kill babies. Methotrexate is used to poison the baby and then Misoprostol empties the uterus of the baby. Keep in mind that Methotrexate is a chemotherapy drug with the potential for serious toxicity, which can result in the death of the mother as well as the baby. (Methotrexate & Misoprostol to Terminate Early Pregnancy, R. Hausknecht, New England Journal of Medicine, Vol.333, No. 9, 8/31/95, Pg. 537 and “Methotrexate & Misoprostol,” M. Creinin et al., JAMA, Oct. 19, 1994 and Physicians Desk Reference)

Monday, April 24, 2006

Pt. 2: A Picture

Pt. 1: Shasta (Carrie's Song) by Vienna Teng

so far so good
you're coming to the bend at the end of the road
you put a hand to the belly that's foreign more
with every day like an oversize load

and you're thinking about clouds the color of fire
and the scent of an orange peel
the way Mt. Shasta explodes into windshield view
and your hands steady on the wheel

so far so good
coffee motel coffee diner coffee go on
styrofoam is drying like the tears that once did flow
starting 10 o'clock and ending at dawn

and you can't go back but you're going back
and you don't know what you'll say
you've got half-formed sentences
explanations for a life half-broken away
and they just may
they'll take you in their arms and then take out their knives
so you drive on thinking

so far so good
but you can't go on much longer like this you know
you're all alone in this world no that's not true
the nice Christian lady told you so

she was handing out pamphlets by the clinic door
saying "Jesus knows what you've been through
take the Savior into your heart my child
there's love waiting for the both of you"

well you don't believe but you have to believe
it's still crumpled there in your back seat
were you the hero or the worst kind of coward back there
putting pavement back under your feet
couldn't stand the heat
couldn't stand the thought of ghosts with a negative age
turn the page
OK

so far so good
you try to sing along to the radio
but it's not your language not your song
it's from some other time ago

and you're thinking about how someone died that day
the you that was so carefully planned
but then again maybe this life is like a sleeping mountain
waking up to shape the land

calm calm let it come let it come back to you
calm calm breathe on out you know you know what to do

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Babies are for Wearing



Believe it or not, this post is being brought to you by sesame Street. The letter B. And the shape of the day- circle. Sorry. No, seriously, I really was inspired by sesame Street to write on this subject. I've been pondering sharing my thoughts on this for awhile now, and then when today on sesame Street they had a segment about life in Africa and every mom you saw had a baby tied on their back I decided it was time.

A little background if you will.....When I was pregnant with my first child I though I wanted a BABYBJÖRN carrier. My only close friend who had a baby had one, and she just loved it. Then, about a month before I was due I saw a young mom in the grocery store with her baby in a beautiful sling. It was this vibrant purple color, the mom looked comfortable and confident, and the baby was happy. So I went home and searched for what I presumed she was wearing- a baby sling. I ended up here and bought myself a beautiful blue batik sling. The only problem was I didn't know how to use it. I didn't know anyone who had a sling, or had used a sling, even very few who knew what a sling was. So I played with it for a little while, making the cradle position work when she was a newborn and then not using it again until she was big enough to ride on my hip. Instead she spent most of her baby days in her car seat when out and in her swing when at home. It worked fine, but I didn't like how disconnected it left me feeling from my baby. When we were out and about it left her on the floor or in the cart, not next to me where I could keep her happy and safe.

So while pregnant this time I did a lot of reading about baby wearing, watched moms that I now knew who used slings and other baby carriers and began life with this new little girl much better prepared. I acquiredd new baby carriers: a Mei Tei, a rebozo, and my personal favorite- a pouch.

Now, before I continue, I will admit to shamelessly borrowing most of the rest of my links and organization of thoughts, as well as the title for this post from this article. It is very good and well worth the read.

Anyway, baby wearing, to me, makes perfect sense and to be honest, I can't imagine getting through the day without at least one of my baby carriers. In fact, I have my little girl in my pouch right now, tummy to tummy, happily sleeping away. They are especially helpful with a toddler about. Obviously my day has to consist of more than sitting on the couch and nursing my newborn. I have another daughter to take care of, a house to clean, food to cook, etc. While wearing my baby I can do all of these things while keeping her happy and fed. Yes, you can even nurse in these things.

Baby wearing is decently trendy right now with many options even in main stream stores- but it isn't anything new. This is a tradition that goes back thousands of years and spans all cultures. For some pictures from around the globe click
here, here, here, here, and here. And go
here to see mama's getting things done using baby carriers.

Basically to me it seems most wise to look at how things have been done for ages and have worked well and do that. We don't all have to be figuring everything out for ourselves. In fact we shouldn't try, but rather support one other and pass on what works. Baby wearing works. There is definitely a learning curve involved, not only in learning to put on the carriers but getting used to doing things with them on. It is well worth the effort to learn though.

I think life with babies is about balance- family life can't stop for a new member at the cost of the old members, but neither can the baby simply be set aside to wait until they are old enough to play. Rather, I think that children of all ages are to be apart of all family life. Families I think should be together in activities- playtime, eating, chores, etc. Baby wearing helps accomplish this and I would highly encourage all moms to check it out.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Housewife Gear




Just a quick post to share with you all the new must have for every housewife. Vintage style, oil cloth aprons. For those of you not familiar with oil cloth, it is a slick, wipeable fabric. Similar to vinyl in a way, but WAY cooler. Hat tip to Barbara at Mommy Life. Not sure yet though if I'm thanking her or upset. As anyone who has been in my kitchen in real life knows, I have a weakness for aprons. I love them. I wear them everyday. All styles and colors, but especially anything vintage and retro. I want to build up my collection so I always have one that looks cute with whatever I'm wear that day. It is as much about an iconic statement as it is about practicality. Yes, I do want to be a 50's housewife in case you were wondering.
Anthropologie is another place to find such wonderful items. Also not sure if I'm happy I was shown that store or not. Makes that whole do not covet thing extremely difficult.

Well, I am sitting her sipping my coffee in a strangely quite house for 9:30am. Normally by this time the eldest has been up for hours and the wee on even longer. But they are both sleeping. It is amazing to me how God blesses us with these little things. Just when one thinks you can't go on functioning without some extra sleep, you get extra sleep. And not only that, but an extra 30min to enjoy coffee and reading and writing. Pretty cool.

I know reading around here as of late has been sparse, and much more of a journal nature than it used to be. But life is busy and I'm doing good to record what is happening, let along wax eloquent about the greater principle behind it. Hope to return to regularly scheduled programming soon.