Protect ALL life, Rep. Woolsey!

Today the 2011 March for Life took place in Washington D.C. and other cities in the U.S. and around the world. Congressman Mike Pence spoke eloquently in defense of the unborn:

We must not remain silent when great moral battles are being waged. Those who would have us ignore the battle being fought over life have forgotten the lessons of history. As in the days of a house divided, America’s darkest moments have come when economic arguments trumped moral principles.

A nation that will not stand for life will not stand for long.

You know there can be no lasting prosperity without a moral foundation in law.

Rep. Pence speaks the truth. We must protect the unborn. They have as much right to life as any person already born. 

Yet, our representative, Lynn Woolsey,  without fail supports access to abortion over a fundamental right to life. She would deny the rights of a helpless child in the womb.

This is a position that a majority of Americans do not share. A Gallup poll taken in 2009 showed that more Americans considered themselves pro-life rather than pro-choice. And a further indiction of the shift toward pro-life mores is illustrated by the change in the number of pro-life state governors. As discussed here, the 2010 elections increased to a majority of 29 (up from a previous minority of 21) the governorships that are now pro-life. Here in District 6 and in California at large, pro-choice may still be the majority, but I have great hopes that people here will soon change their affiliations and their views.

Perhaps the awful actions of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell will remind those who consider themselves pro-choice that abortion is brutal killing. Gosnell performed illegal forms of abortion according to the charges, but no matter how an abortion is performed it ends a human life by means that should never be inflicted on any human being. Rep. Woolsey has supported partial birth abortions; she along with a minority of her colleagues voted against the ban on partial birth abortions in 2003 despite the barbarity of the procedure. What Kermit Gosnell allegedly did to children he took from wombs is similar to the partial birth abortion procedure. Where is the humanity in killing infants like that? Why would Lynn Woolsey and some other pro-choice proponents want to permit partial birth abortion? 

On a blog today I read this suggested wording for a constitutional amendment protecting life:   

“Every human person from conception to natural death is guaranteed their individual right to life and no entity, gov’t or private has the right to take it away.”

Perhaps it is indeed time for us to undertake to pass such an amendment. It would outlaw the death penalty too — something Rep. Woolsey would support and about which I have more mixed feelings than I do about the killing of infants — but life in prison can serve to protect the populace from criminals who might otherwise receive a death sentence. If consistency about life requires that inclusion in order to protect innocent infants, then so be it.

We cannot be a culture of death. We must, as Rep. Pence said today, stand for life. Rep. Woolsey prides herself on being a champion of those who cannot protect themselves, yet she abandons the most vulnerable of all. We, the voters in District 6, must not hide from the issue of abortion, but must challenge ourselves and our congressional representative to fight for the lives of the unborn too!

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About district6voter

A concerned Northern California citizen who believes Representative Lynn Woolsey ought to be replaced in November, 2010.
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10 Responses to Protect ALL life, Rep. Woolsey!

  1. Sierra Peterson says:

    Why would Lynn Woolsey and some other pro-choice proponents want to permit partial birth abortion?

    One reason that many people support late term abortions is to save the life of the woman. For example, an ectopic pregnancy that is carried to term is very dangerous for the woman and can be fatal. It makes little sense not to provide abortion in such cases because, with only extremely rare exceptions, babies who survive an ectopic pregnancy die shortly after birth. There are many other medical conditions, such as heart disease, that can be life-threatening during pregnancy. You may wish to read this article:How a Late Term Abortion Saved My Life.

    • I believe IF an abortion were ever really needed to to save the life of the mother from outright death, it should then be used. And that provision is almost universally included in legislation that has been proposed or passed. However, according to various doctors an unborn child never/almost never “needs” to be killed in order to save his/her mother:

      “[Partial-birth abortion] is never necessary to preserve the life or the fertility of the mother, and may in fact threaten her health or well-being or future fertility. In my practice, I see these rare, unusual cases that come to most generalists’ offices once in a lifetime — they all come into our office. We see these every day…. The presence of fetal disabilities or fetal anomalies are not a reason to have a termination of pregnancy to preserve the life of the mother — they do not threaten the life of the mother in any way…. [and] where these rare instances do occur, they do not require the death of the baby or the fetus prior to the completion of the delivery.”
      – Dr. Curtis Cook, OB/GYN Perinatologist, West Michigan Perinatal and Genetic Diagnostic Center, July 24, 1996 (source: http://www.peopleforlife.org/pba.html)

      – As reported by Dr. Pamela Smith in American Medical News, “There are absolutely no obstetrical situations encountered in this country which require a partially delivered human fetus to be destroyed to preserve the life or health of the mother.”
      (source: http://www.priestsforlife.org/speakersmanual/ch3introductiontoproabortionrhetoric.htm)

      Other sources to bolster this view:
      http://www.hli.org/index.php/condoms/264?task=view
      http://www.wvforlife.org/pba.htm
      http://www.preciouslife.com/?va=137&vb=138

  2. Sierra Peterson says:

    according to various doctors an unborn child never/almost never “needs” to be killed in order to save his/her mother:
    Ectopic pregnancies account for approximately 2% of all pregnancies and in those situations it is unfortunately necessary to abort the fetus in order to prevent maternal fatality. From webmd.com:
    “There is no way to save an ectopic pregnancy. It cannot turn into a normal pregnancy. If the egg keeps growing in the fallopian tube, it can damage or burst the tube and cause heavy bleeding that could be deadly. If you have an ectopic pregnancy, you will need quick treatment to end it before it causes dangerous problems. ”
    There are many more sources where that came from.

    Also unfortunately, many pro-life doctors have told their patients who have this condition that an abortion is always wrong, even in the case of ectopic pregnancy, advice that endangers women’s lives needlessly. People die from ectopic pregnancies all the time and abortion is the only way to treat it. I share your aversion to abortion and wish there was another way of preventing these deaths. But there simply is not.

    As for fetal abnormalities, have you researched anecephaly? It is a condition in which the baby is born without a cerebellum, which is the area of the brain that controls consciousness. Their brain stem is fully exposed to the air, meaning that they continually undergo infections and must be artificially resuscitated on a regular basis. They usually die either in the womb or a few moments after birth. The ones who survive are blind, deaf and unconscious. The longest any anecephalic baby has ever lived is to the age of two, when it died of a heart attack after having been in and out of the hospital for all of its short life. This is cited as a rare success story by anti-abortion people. Personally, I think it is cruel to keep a child alive in such a state, where they are unable to experience the world and are constantly exposed to infections. It is also known that pregnancies of anecephalic fetuses are fraught with complications such as an extremely long duration, again leading to a potential loss of life for a mother with health problems .

    I am not a eugenicist. I don’t feel this way about babies with Down’s Syndrome or autism. I don’t fault the mothers for wanting to save their anecephelic babies, but there is a time for letting go. It is certainly a tragedy that babies like this come into the world in the first place and one of the reasons for why we need a sound environmental policy.

    My sense of the situation is that it is deeply wrong to prioritize the life of an immature fetus over that of a fully grown human being and here is why: there are degrees of consciousness and this is why almost no one remembers life in the womb.
    Do we even know when the soul enters the body? I believe that sometimes it enters at the moment of conception–and sometimes it doesn’t. I think it’s very hard to say and I certainly don’t trust priests given that they are promoting dangerous and dubious research, not to mention their history of genocide and child abuse.

    Let me share a story of a friend of mine who decided to get an abortion after getting out of a traumatic relationship. She realized that she needed to stop the pregnancy because it would be wrong to bring a soul into such a violent situation. There were extenuating circumstances there that would take far too long to describe, FYI. Her midwife advised her to pray for the spirit, to ask that it find a better home, with two parents that would be able to provide for it in a safe and stable environment. She even named the fetus Blue. She did not tell anyone the fetus’s name. Well, a few months later the midwife had a child and named it Blue! The child was very well-adjusted and even developed a bond with my friend. So I think there is more to this than we can possibly know.

    I think abortion is absolutely horrific and it, along with the human body’s physiological need for animal products, is one of the main reasons why I believe we are living in a fallen universe. You may see this as going off-topic but I think these issues must be dealt with if the abortion subject is going to be discussed in an honest way. One of the reasons why I don’t trust the Catholic church is because they promote dogma that encourages shame in single mothers. I think that the way to prevent needless abortions is not through condemning mothers because this shame will always be transferred onto the child. Instead, what is necessary is to create a society that honors the sanctity of motherhood while respecting the basic human rights of women, children and all people. That means taking steps to reduce poverty, eliminating war, bringing children back into the workplace, preventing the separation of families through the prison industrial complex and outlawing toxic chemicals, among other solutions. These steps will drastically reduce the number of abortions without forcing women to go through dangerous and unwanted pregnancies.

  3. Sierra Peterson says:

    One more thing: as for my previous statement about when the soul enters the body, let me qualify that as speculation. Really, I don’t know. But I know that forcing a woman to undergo a dangerous pregnancy is every bit as, if not more, violent than aborting a fetus.

    As for Catholicism, I believe there are many ethical priests out there, some of whom support abortion in the case of ectopic pregnancies. But to characterize the Church as pro-life is ridiculous considering their history with foundling hospitals. These hospitals, which were ostensibly set up by the Church to care for orphaned children from poor families, frequently had a death rate of 80%! This is because the conditions of the hospitals were filthy and unfit for sustaining human life. This is what happens when you outlaw contraception and don’t prioritize charity. Clearly, there is a pressing need for truly compassionate and decentralized institutions.

  4. Sierra Peterson says:

    Here is another reason for why I believe the rights of women supercede those of an embryo: when one of my friends was living in Golden Gate Park, she became pregnant unexpectedly. She was 17 at the time and had recently gotten out of a mental hospital. Since she was a runaway she knew that, if she got picked up by the police, she would be forced to have the baby in a mental hospital because of parental consent laws. So instead she decided to induce a miscarriage by overdosing on methamphetamine. She did induce the miscarriage but could have easily died in the process.

    In all reality, there are no accurate statistics of how many women died from illegal abortions before Roe vs Wade because these deaths were considered shameful
    so families had every reason to sweep them under the rug. If abortion becomes illegal, many thousands of women like my friend will die from illegal abortions.

    • Personal responsibility is essential in the realm of human sexuality. Having abortions just because a pregnancy is inconvenient or a problem for a mother (or father) is wrong. I understand that people are people and don’t always do the ideal things in their lives. Neverthless, that doesn’t persuade me that abortion should be legal or acceptable. Babies, once conceived, are not just a piece of their mother’s bodies. They are new, developing individuals and should always be afforded the same rights as any other person. If one were to claim that a human being had no rights to life if they were not able to take fend for themselves or weren’t fully physically capable, it wouldn’t just be unborn children who might be a risk of being killed. Young, born children can’t fend for themselves. Neither can some adults who have mental or physical disabilities. And some of the elderly can’t either. We must not assume a person is only entitled to life if they are capable of being self-sustaining or we risk the “rationale” that anyone who isn’t physically or mentally competent can be terminated.

      I also disagree with the tendency of some of calling an unborn child an embryo or a fetus (foetus). Yes, these are scientific terms, but they are also intentionally antiseptic and are often used to try to move away from the unborn’s humanity. Yes, as some point in our existence we all were an embryo, a fetus. But from the time we are conceived we are growing human beings. Here is a good timeline of fetal development: http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/facts/fetaldevelopment.html

      As to the point where a soul enters a body, yes, it is unknown to us, but all the more reason to err on the side of caution and so I assume that a baby is entitled to natural life from conception.

      Sierra, I’m not going to enter into any conversation about the Catholic Church except to note that the Church is on point about right to life and so I tend to use materials that derive from websites associated with the Church.

      And finally, with regard to ectopic pregnancies and some other conditions that can lead to pregnancy terminations, generally a pregnancy that begins outside the normal place, the uterus, terminates itself. The body knows when something is wrong usually and works to take care of the situation. Even, as we all know, when a pregnancy begins in the womb, there can be instances where something isn’t right and the woman will experience a miscarriage (aka, a spontaneous abortion). If a pregnancy is brought to an end by nature, then so be it, and doctors can perform procedures to “clean” up (as is often the case with ectopic pregnancies where the “fetus” has already died). Also, if another procedure has to be done to a woman carrying a child to prevent the woman’s immanent death, and it results in loss of an unborn as a byproduct (not due to direct medical abortion), that is sometimes an unavoidable necessity. Here are a couple articles that talk about this issue:
      http://essayfarm.com/view.php?id=20717&title=A%20medical%20and%20moral%20look%20at%20ectopic%20pregnancy&make=984974435&rating_current=0&words=&count=78&subject=Science
      http://www.americancatholic.org/Newsletters/CU/ac0898.asp

      Let’s now let this issue rest, please. We’ve discussed it and are apparently not going to agree about abortion on demand.

  5. Sierra Peterson says:

    I will lay the issue to rest once I respond to your statements. Last night I left a comment that may not have registered so I am leaving it once again.

    Here is a quote taken from Priestsforlife, which directly contradicts the idea that the life of the fetus doesn’t ever need to be taken to save the life of the woman:
    “Sometimes the child cannot be saved, such as in the case of an ectopic pregnancy. Here, a child implants in a place other than the uterus, such as the fallopian tube, the ovary or the abdominal cavity. If the child as implanted right at the opening of the fallopian tube to the uterus, sometimes these can be monitored to see if the baby will “move” slowly toward the enlarging uterus. Usually, though, this is not compatible with life for the baby and the baby will die and the mother can easily hemorrhage to death. In this rare case, the fallopian tube should be surgically removed, curing the mother of the abnormal tube and saving her life. Tragically, this ends the baby’s life. This death is a “secondary effect” of the operation and was the not the intention of the operation. Nor was the operation itself a killing of the child; it was the removal of the tube. On the other hand, treatment of the ectopic pregnancy with methotrexate is the direct killing the baby, and does not cure the woman of the abnormal fallopian tube. That method, therefore, is morally wrong.”

    The idea that ectopic pregnancies “resolve themselves” is false because, if it was true,
    women would not DIE of untreated pregnancies. What the priest recommends here is “waiting and watching”, an extremely dangerous strategy given that tubal rupture always occurs in the earliest stages of pregnancy. If you read the comments of the first link I provided, one of the people mentions how two women in their community lost their life after priests counseled them to not abort during an ectopic pregnancy.
    Priests are not scientists and those few anti-abortion doctors who do oppose abortion even in this situation are directly endangering women’s lives with misinformation. Look more closely into the scientific literature on this issue and you will see that the overwhelming majority of doctors agree that abortion is necessary to save the woman’s life in the case of ectopic pregnancies.

    Furthermore, what the priest advocates here is an extremely invasive procedure, removing a portion of the fallopian tube, when an alternative that is much easier on the woman’s body is available. This is unconscionable given that the effect is the same in both situations. Also, he mentions waiting for the fetus to move to the uterus yet this has NEVER occurred in a single incidence of pregnancy occurring in the fallopian tubes. So he wants to put women’s lives at risk on the hope of a non-existent miracle, yet has the nerve to call doctors who are actually saving them unethical?

    • Priests are not doctors. Neither am I and neither, I assume, are you. However, in the medical community, there are MANY doctors who do not perform abortions themselves or approve of others who do. They have solid medical reasons for their views. I trust their judgment.

      It is necessary to differentiate between deliberate abortions of developing unborns and medical procedures that are performed to save a woman’s life and which are not in any way aimed at terminating an unborn life but which may, as a secondary consequence have that unfortunate and unintended effect. For example, if a pregnant woman is in a car crash and is injured internally, when she is taken to the emergency room and treated, the baby might not survive that necessary treatment. In such an event, doctors should/would try to save the child inside the womb or deliver it and try to save it outside if possible. Sometimes saving the baby isn’t possible and that is understood by all, I think.

      Many ectopic pregnancies do resolve on their own. Not all. And yes, there can be deaths if proper care isn’t given. But there can be deaths associated with many medical conditions.

  6. Sierra Peterson says:

    There was recently a ban on all abortions in Nicaruaga and three women have since died as a result.
    From the article:
    Evangelical groups and the church say abortion is never needed now because medical advances solve the complications that might otherwise put a pregnant mother’s life at risk….Valladares said doctors should have acted quicker.

    “They knew she had a limited amount of time before she bled out. The whole world knows that with an ectopic pregnancy,” Valladares said. “They didn’t treat her, out of fear.”
    The actions taken by Nicaraguan doctors are exactly what is recommended by priestsfor life….watching and waiting.

    • Doctors everywhere in the world make mistakes of all kinds that can result in the death of their patients. I don’t know the specifics of this case and, as I said, I’m not an MD anyway. Perhaps they waited too long. However, read my links on ectopic pregnancies and you will see that pro-life proponents accept the need to treat ectopic pregnancy complications and other life-threatening problems. However, again, an unborn baby, no matter its size, should never be presumed to be just a bit of flesh that can be excised at will. Every effort should always be made to protect the lives of both an expectant mother and her unborn child.

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