Last week, TV actress Amy Brenneman told the women’s magazine Cosmopolitan that she has never regretted her abortion.Brenneman said she felt prompted to tell her story after asking Nancy Keenan, the former president of the radical pro-abortion group NARAL, why the pro-abortion movement is losing support while the pro-life movement is gaining it.“She answered with one simple word: ‘stories,’” Brenneman said. “This makes sense to me. I am a storyteller by trade, after all. I believe that we connect and learn by the specifics of stories, our own and others’.”“I have never, not for one moment, regretted my abortion. My husband of 20 years and I became parents when we had built a home to nurture our children. Indeed, being a parent has only strengthened my commitment to reproductive justice as access to legal abortion allows children a fighting chance to be born into families that desire them and can support them,” she said.Now, Rep. Diane Black, a Tennessee congresswoman, has written an open letter to Brenneman.Black was a registered nurse for 40 years. Her letter follows:I read with interest your February 29th column in Cosmopolitan magazine about your personal experience with abortion. While we approach this sensitive issue from different viewpoints, I thank you for sharing your story. I agree that women, regardless of their opinion, should talk honestly about this matter. I also know that some who, like me, identify as pro-life and oppose abortion have not always conveyed that opinion with the compassion and empathy that should be afforded to this topic on both sides of the debate, and for that I am sorry.CLICK LIKE IF YOU’RE PRO-LIFE! Like you, I know what it is like to be single, pregnant, and uncertain of what the future holds. I was carrying my youngest child to term when my first husband left me amid the demons of alcoholism. Later, in my career as an emergency room nurse, I met other young women in this same precarious position. I believe that the pro-life community has a responsibility to those women. It is why I have long supported the work of my local crisis local pregnancy center and other nonprofits that offer real, tangible help to women in this very situation – everything from diapers and formula to counseling and prayer.I want you to know that I agree with you on the need to defend every woman’s right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” As you and I know, this has not historically been the case and I am keenly aware of those whose shoulders I now stand on as a woman who cannot only vote but can also serve in Congress.I want every young girl, including my two granddaughters, to be able to – as you say – “choose their destiny.” I believe that protecting those rights, however, starts with protecting the most foundational right of all: the right of a preborn, human being with a beating heart to see the light of day. A young woman cannot choose her destiny if her life is cut short in the womb.When we frame abortion as a means of female empowerment, we don’t tell the full story. Indeed, studies show that abortions worldwide disproportionately impacts baby girls. Consider a 2012 report in Britain’s Daily Telegraph on abortion practices in India, where there are believed to be as many as eight million cases of female sex-selective abortion over the last decade, a phenomenon that is now affecting the country’s overall gender ratio.
I say this not to shame any woman who has made the difficult decision to have an abortion but rather in hopes of raising the consciousness of this nation so we can enact needed protections for these members of the human family.
Specific to your concerns on the Texas abortion law now in question before the United States Supreme Court in the case of Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt, I readily admit my own bias. That said, I believe the standards you call “onerous” and “unnecessary” to be quite modest.
As you know, the disputed Texas law has two key provisions. First, it requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles so that a patient receiving an abortion can be quickly transferred in the event of complications and, secondly, it requires abortion clinics to abide by the same safety standards and licensing requirements as other outpatient surgery centers in the state. To be clear, the law does not attempt to illegalize abortion at any stage of pregnancy.
I passionately believe in protecting the unborn, but I also believe equal attention must be devoted to protecting their mothers. While I disagree with the choice of abortion, I do not believe any woman should lose her life at the hands of an unregulated, unsafe abortion clinic or a fly-by-night abortion doctor. That is what this law aims to prevent.
It is my hope that women’s advocates – and you are certainly a needed and influential one – will take a deeper look at this law and applaud these commonsense standards rather than attempt to turn back the clock and strip them away.
August 8, 2013
The Obama Administration’s contraceptive/abortifacient/sterilization mandate will begin to be enforced against nonprofit religious schools, charities and health care providers on January 1, 2014. In the weeks to come, Congress must decide whether to address this problem before that deadline.
Members of Congress should continue to be urged to co-sponsor the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (H.R. 940, S. 1204), and to work for its approval in the next "must-pass" bill needed to keep the federal government operating. Government must not force Americans to violate their religious and moral beliefs on respect for life when they provide health care or purchase health coverage.
Congress is now in its summer recess (August 5-September 9). The recess presents special opportunities to contact your Members and urge their support for H.R. 940/S. 1204. Members will be in their home districts and states. They will be learning what is important to their constituents, and this will influence their actions when they return in the fall. Please consider taking one or more of the following actions:
- Meet with Members in their local offices.
- Ask questions at town hall meetings.
- Step forward to talk with Members at county fairs and other public events listed on Members’ schedules.
- Write letters-to-the-editors for local papers and newsletters in response to stories or editorials related to conscience rights.
- Participate in radio and TV call-in shows. Members and their staffs read the local papers and track local media.
Always be polite and respectful. Full contact and scheduling info can be found on Members’ web sites at: www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.
Of course, if you have not yet sent e-mail messages to your Representative and two Senators urging support of H.R. 940/S. 1204, you can do so by clicking on the link below. A note: You also will be able to send a separate message to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) using his special Speaker’s web form.
Some background. Under the new health care law, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requires most health plans to cover “preventive services for women,” including drugs and procedures that many citizens find objectionable for moral and religious reasons. These objectionable items include sterilization, FDA-approved birth control (such as the IUD, Depo-Provera, ‘morning-after’ pills, and the abortion-inducing drug Ella), and “education and counseling” to promote these to all “women of reproductive capacity,” including minor girls. Under the final rule released by HHS on June 28, the mandate allows only a very narrow exemption for a “religious employer,” chiefly aimed at what HHS calls “houses of worship.” Other religious organizations offering education, health care and charitable services do not qualify for the exemption. The mandate will be enforced against them beginning January 1, 2014, under an “accommodation” that only changes the way the objectionable items must be provided to all employees and their dependents. There is no exemption or delay for individuals, or for businesses owned and operated by families with moral or religious objections.
Thanks for all you do in support of life!
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NPR staff memo quoted by La Shawn Barber in NPR Drops ‘Pro-Life for'”Abortion Rights Opponents’:
NPR News is revising the terms we use to describe people and groups involved in the abortion debate.
This updated policy is aimed at ensuring the words we speak and write are as clear, consistent and neutral as possible. This is important given that written text is such an integral part of our work.
On the air, we should use “abortion rights supporter(s)/advocate(s)” and “abortion rights opponent(s)” or derivations thereof (for example: “advocates of abortion rights”). It is acceptable to use the phrase “anti-abortion”, but do not use the term “pro-abortion rights”.
What’s in a name? Barber points us to: “How the Public is Manipulated” which gives us a heads up and out of the sand noting:
It Makes a Pro-Abortion Assumption that the Debate is About Abortion Rights, Not Abortion It Plays Word Games with the Word “Rights” It Ignores the Fact That Abortion Can Exist Without Abortion Rights It Assumes the Negative It Ignores the Concept of a Right to Life It Affirms the Concept of a Right to an Abortion
Barber makes some points of her own for the mainstream media:
- Refer to abortion supporters as “right to life opponents”
- Refer to gun control supporters as “gun rights opponents”
- Refer to “hate speech” backers as “speech rights opponents”
- Refer to racial preferences advocates as “constitutional rights opponents”
Write me if she missed any.
A question of truth, a question of conversion; the Anchoress asks can Obama be converted on abortion? I ask, and I think posterity will ask, how can this black man, who knows the Black Man’s pain of Slavery, the history of popular resistance to change, who knows the history of a Stephen Douglas ignoring an Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln who finally pricked Douglas into debate by clubbing him verbally, until, as Edward T. Oakes, S.J. says, “Douglas finally had to take notice of Lincoln’s ceaseless hammering away at Douglas’ ‘pro-choice’ platform (which said, in effect, ‘I’m personally opposed to slavery but can’t impose my choice on other states, including other Norther states.’),” not only ignore but side against so utterly defenseless a part of American humanity? ” How can such a man, now President of a country, founded on the principal that all men are created equal, now consent in his heart of hearts to discriminate against the obviously created human person growing from day to day, as all men grow, just because he/she is still under the protection of a mother’s womb.
How can this President, the citizen of the greatest free nation, ever, be content while people conspire to deprive the weakest most dependent members of their civil rights; when to steal or negate life, black,white, red,yellow, male, female,old or young, is intrinsically evil and morally wrong? How can this be-gifted man standby, a blind, deaf, and mute creature, while this glaring, screaming, appealing and appalling issue of Civil Rights is left to cry in the arms of Lady Justice?
The questions continue, nagging and still unanswered. How can a professor, a teacher, a sworn defender of the Constitution, forget the cries of these similarly beleaguered, disenfranchised, these who endure discrimination, these forgotten and forbidden human beings? Is it simply that they have no power, but the power to be, while Obama, himself, who knows the benefits of life, and the gifts of God and has sworn an oath in the Creator’s Name, forsake his power refusing just consideration? Could he not use his powers of rhetoric to acknowledge our posterity and his power of intellect to comprehend their potential? How can such a man claim his “pay grade” justifies the “choice” not to chose life or engage his own reason and heart and soul?
The buck Mr. President not only stops here but demands you at least use the means you possess; ears, eyes and brain to watch a simple, state of the art and science, video of life in the womb. The thumb-sucking, kicking, jumping, hiccupping creature you see before you may well declare the reality; “I am here, now. I am alive, unless you allow my life to come to naught.”
What price freedom; what price honesty? History begs you not to hide behind polls and politics. Don’t ask people with vested interests in the abortion industry, or who purchase human parts for research, who like slave owners count it lose if right prevails. Ask Martin Luther King, Jr. when you should stand for the civil right SIMPLY TO BE!
H/T Anchoress, who hopes for conversion of President Obama on issues of life. I’ll pray for that! I’m sure Obama now knows who Mary Ann Glendon is and may give ear to what she has to say he only out of curiousity, due to a well publicized run in with this woman of integrity.
“We have also been mindful of the fact that in today’s world, ironically, many threats to the dignity of the person have appeared in the guise of human rights. As you pointed out in your memorable speech to the United Nations last year, there are mounting pressures to ‘move away from the protection of human dignity towards the satisfaction of simple interests, often particular interests.’ “……………
“We have paid special attention to rights that are currently under assault such as the right to life, the right to found a family, freedom of conscience and religion, and to rights that have too long awaited fulfillment such as the right to decent subsistence.”
From Pope Benedict’s response: (Full text here)
“The Church’s action in promoting human rights is therefore supported by rational reflection, in such a way that these rights can be presented to all people of good will, independently of any religious affiliation they may have”. At the same time, “insofar as human rights need to be re-appropriated by every generation and by each individual, and insofar as human freedom … is always fragile, the human person needs the unconditional hope and love that can only be found in God and that lead to participation in the justice and generosity of God towards others”.