To my sisters who marched on Washington
I wanted to write something snarky. I wanted to dash off line after line of statistics and data supporting the appalling abuse committed against women and children in the name of “progress” and “equality.” I wanted to drop blistering one-liners about losing our bearings, rejecting our feminist roots and blowing past all the other pertinent issues surrounding women’s freedoms that don’t originate in the pelvic region.
But then I watched some of the coverage of the marches – the big one in Washington and the smaller ones around the country and the world. And I read real women’s stories and saw their tear-streaked faces and I recognized myself in each of them, pink hats notwithstanding.
Because we are all of us desperate for love.
The fire that burns in the eyes of a million demonstrators is not something to be dismissed or derided. However wrong I believe their cause, however appalling I find their tactics, I cannot dismiss the humanity of these angry, hurting people.
For 43 years we have lived a national nightmare. For a hundred years before that, the planks were being diabolically slid into place, building a foundation on rotted, wrong-headed principles that had little to do with true human freedom and everything to do with a new kind of enslavement, to an “enlightened” social order which utterly subjugates the least of these to the caprices of the ones in power.
It is the most clever and effective tactic hell has coughed up since that business in Eden, to turn a mother against her child, and to turn women against their own femininity. And of course, – of course – the Enemy would seek to desiccate the very source of our salvation, the openness of spirit and the willingness of heart and the heroic bravery of a young woman to step boldly into the plan of salvation history, opening her womb to receive the gift of Life itself.
Mary is the most feared creature in the history of all humanity. And the most powerful.
Her yes to God altered reality itself. And her willingness to set aside her own plans and to offer God her very life was key to His achieving our salvation. He could have asked anyone, in any time. He could have asked a man. He could have zapped Himself down to earth and appeared as a 30 year old carpenter, fully equipped to build tables and preach the Gospel without the pesky three decades of life in a dull little family unit in a dirty, backwater town in the Middle East.
But He did not.
He choose to come into our world through the womb of a woman, His mother. And as I scrolled through picture after picture of angry, frightened women wearing vaginas on their heads, carrying signs pledging allegiance to Planned Parenthood and swearing that any lecherous old white man who wanted to deprive them of their contraceptives would have to pry them from their cold, dead hands, my heart broke for the satanic effectiveness of this whole campaign.
As it ever was, from the beginning, the Enemy seeks to divide and conquer, pitting man against woman, mother against child. This modern iteration of “feminism” is anything but; a warped perversion of the profound and beautiful truth of the unique and earth-shattering dignity of femininity.
The culture deafens us with shouts about freedom and equality. What it means by that is that we are all reducible to the sum of our reproductive parts, that we are packages of pregnancy-vulnerable organ systems that must be shuttered at all cost, that our worth lies in our ability to forcibly extract financial support from society at large to keep us carefully sterile, effectively barren.
The modern argument for feminism is intimately tied up with abortion rights. The right for a woman to control her own destiny by killing her child is the highest held sacrament in this pseudo religion. The vow that no woman will ever be made bereft by the sexual caprices of a man who would ruin her life by impregnating her and then abandoning her, is paramount.
“NO” you might be shouting, a card-carrying feminist yourself. “It isn’t that at all! Women deserve equal opportunities that men have by birthright. We will not be enslaved by our reproductive systems, punished by a monthly cycle which persists with the damning threat of new life. Science has freed us from this drudgery, and the law and the culture must follow!”
But this entire system is predicated upon the belief, unspoken or unacknowledged for many though it may be, that something is fundamentally wrong with being a woman.
That women, as they are and as they were created and as they forever shall be recognized, are fatally flawed. And that achieving equality with the “dominant” sex requires the suppression and mutilation and utter rejection of our capacity to conceive and bear new life.
“NO!” I can hear the shouting revving up again. “IT’S THE FREEDOM TO CHOOSE WHEN THAT WE ARE FIGHTING FOR!”
And to that I say, we aren’t that powerful. And I don’t mean we as women, but we as human beings.
The freedom to choose whether and when you will take the life of another human being is no freedom at all; it is slavery of the basest sort. To proclaim that the rights of women are founded on the trampled rights of the child is no achievement of civil progress, it is a redistribution of pain and abuse, trickled down to the smallest and meekest ones. MLK would never have advocated for a freedom for blacks predicated upon the subjection of yellows or whites. His understanding cut to the heart of what it means to be human: that we are each of us created equal, in the image and likeness of God.
Each of us.
No matter whether we possess a penis or ovaries. No matter if our bodies are tiny and underdeveloped or wizened with age. No matter if we are beautiful and perfectly pulled together or disgusting and matted with the dirt and the grime of a lifetime of abuse and neglect.
Non of us can take away the dignity of another human being, given by God who sees in each of us the image of His Beloved son.
When we reduce our rights to a laundry list of procedures we ought to have access to, a list of medications which can protect us from becoming mothers, or can clean out the contents of our wombs should the timing or circumstances be tragic, we lose sight of what it means to be human, to be a person created to be in relationship with others, orienting us ultimately toward that greatest Other.
Abortion is not feminism. Sexual socialism, whereby the government subsidizes, with the funds of the populace, a preferred lifestyle of license and debauched freedom, is not feminism. Marching in the streets with self-defacing placards and self-abusing slogans of the vilest and crudest sort is not feminism.
I understand that there is fear. Fear of what a future unplanned and unexpected and unsafe could look like. But that fear is rooted in forgetfulness. We have forgotten who we are, and Whose we are. We have traded the truth for a lie: that we can be like God, choosing who lives and dies, utterly controlling our destinies during our lives on earth.
But perfect love casts out all fear. Perfect love raises up the lowly and the frightened and looks us dead in the eye and says, “you matter. You were created out of love, and for love, and I love you madly. I died for you, and I still suffer for love of you. Look at me and let me tell you who you are, and what you were made for.”
Don’t let Planned Parenthood tell you what it means to be a woman. Don’t let any NGO or government agency or corporation or worldview or popular cultural movement tell you what it means to be female. They didn’t write the manual on you, and they can never show you the depth of your dignity or the fullness of what you are worth.
It is a lie. And we have let our trust in our Creator die and have chosen it, time and again.
The truth is terrifying, but that’s because freedom – true freedom – is the most radical thing the world has ever seen.
You were made for more than this. You were made for greatness. You were made by love, for love. And so long as we rage against love, our hearts will ever be restless, angry, unsatisfied and afraid.
But we have a God who tells us constantly, untiringly,
Be Not Afraid.
You were made for more than what your body is, or what your body can do. You were made for more than casual sex, for more than abortion, for more than mutual masturbation. You are more than a receptacle into which sperm should be deposited and than evacuated. And anyone and anything that has ever convinced you otherwise has been a lie.
If you have never known God, or have only known a broken image of Him, I beg you to reconsider in light of this one question only: what does it mean to have been created a woman? What was I created for?
And let Him whisper the answer to you. Scream at Him if you must. He can take it.
But don’t settle for what this world wants to give you in terms of freedom, of feminism. It’s a counterfeit, and a cheap one at that. Walk past the knockoffs – they’re garbage, poorly made, and unethically-sourced anyway. But you already know that. Keep your chin up and your head held high, and do not settle for anything less than that for which you were made.
You are a daughter of the King, and His plans for your life far surpass those of any of the angry, agitated leaders whose screams echo from podiums or ring out into the vast echo chamber of social media.
You were made for more.
Weeping. So beautiful.
What I needed to hear, profound and complete, thank you
My son sent this to me. So beautifully written. I wonder the millions marching for the right to kill a baby. Its so incomprehensible, it’s was hard to look, which I did for about a minute. These marchers cannot believe in our Lord and want to kill at the same time.
Beautifully and powerfully put, Jenny. Thank you.
Great, great, great.
Wonderfully written! So happy to be able to recognize my worth in His eyes!
Thank You for putting into (very eloquent) words what I was thinking . You also have helped me to be more merciful in trying to understand the points of view of so many of those women without the anger and frustration I have been feeling for days now. God bless you!!!
Some of us marched because of Article 1, Section 9.
Article I Section 9 of the Constitution prohibits an officer of the government from getting paid by foreign governments. The framers of the Constitution didn’t want U.S. officials corrupted by such payments.
But because Trump won’t divest his assets or even put them into a blind trust, foreign governments are already paying him, every minute of the day — loans for his office buildings from banks controlled by foreign governments; leases with tenants like the Abu Dhabi tourism office, a government enterprise; rental income from foreign diplomatic offices; investments in his businesses from sovereign wealth.
My favorite sign read: Left or Right, We All See Wrong.
This is bigger than abortion.
Hillary Clinton got paid by foreign governments for divulging US government information and promising US favors as the Secretary of State! Did you March then?
Have you read the treasonous Trans Pacific Partnership agreement that Obama and Congress signed and Trump (thankfully) withdrew us from?
Ignorance doesn’t make a successful movement.
No, because they do not know that we live in what became a Crony Capitalist or, as I prefer, a Corporate Fascist society where Corporate Media is the propaganda machine for the Corporate/State Duopoly, that great divider that was. Thus they likely do not know a great deal of the facts, particularly how the Saudis bragged about funding 20% of her campaign, and that’s not counting their Corporate Media holdings nor the millions pumped into the now shuddering Clinton Slush Fund.
I’m looking forward to an end to the pay for play, of the endless, unconstitutional wars, the ‘nation building’ everywhere else as the U.S. rots and lives are lost,… and the struggle against the demagoguery and smear efforts by this dying Corporate media.
If we follow the logic of your first sentence, you seem to imply that if Hilary Clinton did it, then it’s ok. I don’t think that way, and I don’t think you believe that either. So let’s address what I brought up: That the President of the United States is violating the Constitution that he just swore to protect.
Trump’s grown sons running his business is not enough. To focus on his very important new job he needs to put his assets in a blind trust. He still knows what he owns and who’s running those properties.
According to Trump’s financial disclosure, he has investments in or owns companies in at least 20 countries. Unlike his domestic business, Mr Trump could run afoul of a clause in the US constitution by continuing to profit from these deals.
The emoluments clause specifically prevents anyone who holds a US “office of trust or profit” from accepting gifts, payments or any benefit from a foreign nation.
Even routine business benefits like tax breaks would likely violate the emoluments clause.
One former White House ethics lawyer has argued Mr Trump would be violation of the constitution “on day one”, if he keeps his business. (http://www.rawstory.com/2016/11/former-bush-ethics-lawyer-trump-is-going-to-be-in-violation-of-the-constitution-on-day-1/)
In addition to emoluments, Mr Trump’s foreign policy decisions could be called into question in any country in which the Trump Organization does business, especially when his policies would benefit the firm’s holdings overseas.
TPP was dead because Congress never approved it, and I for one had serious concerns about it as well. Your use of the word treasonous is interesting though. I would use that word to characterize Donald Trump.
Once he became president, Donald Trump became OUR employee. We don’t have to blindly follow this madman just because he’s a Republican.
Salha I asked you if you marched when Hillary Clinton was busted for what she did. My preceding example was not a syllogism.
TPP was not dead. Obama agreed to it on behalf of the US with 2 years to ratify.
Here’s a synopsis of why it was treasonous.
You have no proof that Trump is guilty of treason based on unreleased tax records.
Colleen, TPP was dead because Congress, this Congress, was never going to ratify it.
I’m not talking about tax records. I’m talking about the fact that the president of the united states receives income from businesses aboard. He is violating the constitution. But you people are so distracted by abortion that you don’t pay attention to what matters.
Hillary was never really “busted” as the FBI never brought charges.
Obama violated the DOMESTIC emoluments clause. No lawsuit, march or impeachment there.
Also your phrase “you people” sounds pretty bigoted of you.
Um, how did Obama violate that clause. Please post the article that explains that. Do you mean when he won a Nobel Peace Prize?
The Nobel Committee that awards the Peace Prize is not a ‘King, Prince, or foreign State,’” and therefore the clause “does not apply, per our own DOJ.
Listen Obama is not perfect. Clinton is not perfect. But I wonder if you understand the magnitude of difference between other presidents (republican or democrat) and the sentient tire fire who has just taken office?
Ha! Bigger than abortion! Thats ridiculous. He was a private business man. Abortion Hilary was Secretary of State when she sold us out.
Deshawn, I’m trying to explain that Trump is still acting like a private business man, when in fact we the people are his boss.
You don’t have to agree with everything your party does.
Trump is working well within the law. The problem is the way the argument is couched – presuming that he has a nefarious intent. Apart from the rhetoric of the election process Trump has not shown any malice towards anyone. Hs message does not seem to profit himself, but rather to profit America. You are trying to hold the president to a rule you would not accept for yourself. I suggest you save your money and anger for a greater cause.
“You are trying to hold the president to a rule you would not accept for yourself.”
I would absolutely apply this rule to myself.
“Apart from the rhetoric of the election process Trump has not shown any malice towards anyone.”
He continues to lash out at reporters. He demanded lists of who was working on issues related to climate and related to women/children. He refuses to accept that he lost the popular vote.
You do not have to blindly pledge your allegiance to Donald Trump. You can research and think for yourself and still be conservative.
No. It’s not bigger than abortion.
There are more serious issues facing our country than abortion. If you don’t want one, don’t have one.
Excellent. Yes this is so much more than abortion. We are marching to maintain human rights. We are marching to oppose a dangerous unhinged person who maligns women, the disabled, our veterans, and immigrants. Jesus would never approve of such a person who is not well and has control over nuclear weapons. People need to wake up. We are entering dark times indeed
Thank you for your powerful response to recent events! As someone who is joining the church this year and just beginning to understand God’s plan for me as a woman, I appreciate your words and clarity of the church’s teachings on such a big topic.
I’m going to save this and refer back to it. It says what my heart has wanted to say, but puts these thoughts into the world in black and white, making them a reality. It is heartbreaking sad how the method for creation of new life, bringing a man and a woman together, has become commercialized and used to convince men and women that sex is for indulgence, fun, and instant gratification.
So much truth and beauty in this. Thank you for your thoughts!
The most sensible thing I’ve read relating to all this. Thank you.
beautiful. Thank you.
Thank you thank you Jenny. Forwarding to everyone.
Wow, Jenny. Just…wow.
My husband read this first and sent it to me telling me, if I hadn’t yet, I needed to read it.
God bless you for listening to Him and allowing the Holy Spirit to speak through you. 💓
Hi, Jenny. I’ve been following your blog for a long time. I read it often because it challenges me to think critically about my own views and my own inconsistencies and contradictions. Although I disagree with you on many fronts, I respect your ideas and the thoughtful way in which you express your views. I marched in Denver on Saturday because I believe in the rights of all. I believe in a woman’s right to choose life, and I believe in a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion. It is something I’ve struggled with my entire life. I realize we have very different views on that, but I respect you and I support you no matter what.
I recently got out of a terrible marriage, where my life and basic dignity were being degraded. I have struggled recently with “what am I here for, if not to bring life into the world and have a husband and family, etc?” because for many, many years, I thought that path was the only way I could make God happy. Circumstances have changed my path, and I am faced with a new reality. What does it mean to be a woman? Who defines that? Who do I want to be? Also, what am I here to do? Does God have a plan for me? Will I have the courage and the strength to carry out the truth of what God wants for my life?
But I have found solace in your post. I am reminded that our experiences and all our stories and messy contradictions can and hopefully will unite us in the end, because of and through the love of Christ. Your post is vulnerable and beautiful, and it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you – from one woman to another.
This is a model for how to respond and have dialogue with someone with whom you disagree on important issues. I’m sorry you have suffered and are suffering, Natalie, and I’ll pray for you. Thanks for being an example for all of us.
Kati, thank you for your prayers and for your kindness. I will keep you in my heart and pray for you, too. Your post reminds me that the love and light of Christ shines through us all. Peace be with you.
Natalie, The first time I read this article I was angry and feeling misunderstood. Then, I read your comment and reread the article. Thanks for helping me to challenge myself and to see that thinking critically about your own views is always beneficial. Your reply is a nice reminder to listen even when you don’t agree with everything being said. I appreciate you.
Thank you, Mary. I appreciate you, too.
because of and through the love of Christ.
Sorry, You simply cannot be a Christian and promote the murder of the most innocent. Thats not Christian, its satanic.
Laura @ Life is Beautiful
Prayers for you, Natalie. God absolutely does have a plan for you. And as Jenny mentioned, His plan is written in our bodies with our receptivity and our loving hearts but that doesn’t always mean a physical motherhood! You as a woman can be a spiritual mother to those God places in your path in the workplace, in the home, on a mission field, in the grocery store. We are so uniquely and beautifully made as women. <3 Hugs as you heal during this time!
Thank you Laura for your kindness. Please keep me in your prayers and I will do the same for you.
Keeping you in my prayers, Natalie.
I am deeply sorry for the pain you have experienced. You are a child of God, and deserving of respect and love.
The questions you ask are similar to questions I struggle with. What does it mean to be a wife and mother? After a day of changing diapers, who am I? Who will I be once my children are all in school or grown? What does God want of me in my daily life?
A woman is certainly more than a mother and yet motherhood is so all consuming that the phrase more than a mother doesn’t sound right.
All I know about abortion is that far too many women who choose it are hurting, scared, or exhausted. And we need to do more to make women and their babest whole.
Natalie I am 100% on board with every point you just made. I have nothing more to add other than your story is inspiring and one that I believe is left out of the picture with these kinds of arguments (which I do respect by the way). I wish this kind of perspective could be respected and listened to more often.
Beautiful. The truth truly sets one free to be who God called her to be.
I had to take a break from social media because the posts about the March, and the unwillingness to listen from the women I know who marched, was too much. Your perspective is the one we should have because you’re right, we can each see ourselves in our sisters pain, regardless of how distorted her perception may be.
Thank you Laura for your kindness. Please keep me in your prayers and I will do the same for you.
Love this! As always, spot on, Jenny!!!!
I have been waiting for you to comment on the march! Please know that your posts are always so valuable to so many of us Catholic women. Thank you for what you do!
Exactly what I wanted to say, but lacked the grace to (I, too, wanted to go snarky, but didn’t). Thank you for your words always, but especially today.
I’m sorry, but I don’t know what march you attended or what you saw. The focus was never merely about reproductive rights, although there were those for whom that was important. I chose to march, knowing that there would be people with whom I had differing views on abortion. I marched for affordable healthcare, on which many families depend. I marched for my Muslim friends, who live in daily fear. I marched for immigrants, that American-born children not be separated from their undocumented parents. I marched for an end to lenient rape laws, in a country where one in six women experience an attempted rape and rapists have legal rights to the children they create. I marched, as did the majority of the marchers for care for the planet, an end to the unjust application of the death penalty, voting rights, a livable wage, and so much more. And I did all this because my Catholic faith requires me to speak up for those whose voice is not heard, both the born and the unborn.
If you love your moslem friends, then speak to them about the true Christ. They need your evangelization to step out of the dark shadow Islam casts over them and hear about the real Christ. Not the fake Christ reimagined by the man, not son of god, but the man, mohommed. The man who would not have been concerned about protecting women. The culture that imitates mohommed rapes, abuses and exploits women…when they are considered at all. Time to stop worrying if they get a dirty look from an American and start looking into the oppressive nightmare perpetrated by their own people. They aren’t migrants leaving an Islamic utopia. It’s a nightmare…and where do they run for protection…to us “horrible” people who live in the west, which is the product of Christendom. It’s time to see the truth!
Muslims literally say the exact same thing about Christianity.
Actual statistics say the number of abortions has dropped dramatically in the last eight years because we have educated women about birth control. As someone who has seen multiple young girls get pregnant by family members, I think abortion is important. I don’t want to go back to a time when women were using coat hangers and hurting themselves and their life growing inside of them. I don’t when life begins because it’s impossible to know but many faiths, including the Jewish faith, the faith the Catholic faith is based on, believes that it is when the child is born. Jenny, I sincerely appreciate your response to everyone. Although I don’t agree with you, I think you are trying to find the truth and follow Jesus.
Thank you Nora for pointing out that comprehensive sex ed and access to contraception reduces abortion. It is wrong to force Catholic theology on everyone.
The March for Life, a peaceful endeavor, seeks to promote and secure and acknowledge life as God intended it… Free to follow His will, free to live in love, freely giving of ourselves, and recognizing the dignity of EVERY human being. The “Women’s March” was a fancy cover up word for celebrating freedom FROM God’s command for loving others. I think participants of that march that were there for reasons other than to argue for abortion or contraceptives were plainly duped about what they were supporting. You have a chance to stand up for LIFE, in all it’s beautiful forms at the March for Life. Come join us!
What? There was every race and religion at the March. You are just judging something and making assumptions. Whether you agree with abortion or not, women were there to support one another. Women felt that they needed that support because the United States just elected a man that bragged about raping women, made fun of people with disabilities, and insulted every nonwhite race. Don’t minimize this march so you can feel more comfortable with it. This is a terrible time for this country and women are going to need each other, whether they are pro choice or pro life.
Excellent. Thank you!
Tears. Tears of joy. Tears of Beauty. Gratitude to know there are other women who know this and who have the words and the guts to share it.
Here’s the political/legal dilemma. In my opinion, the only social issue the GOP gets right is the abortion issue. Before Scalia died last year, SCOTUS had six Catholics and three Jews, but refused to overturn Roe v. Wade. Only a constitutional amendment can overturn Roe v. Wade. It could pass Congress and sent to the states for ratification with a Trump signature. Is that likely? W had a GOP Congress and it didn’t get done. So, what’s the solution? It will probably have to come through educating the current young generation and those after them about the evilness of abortion. Need to shove down the demand for now.
We’ve got 4 sons under 18 and the three oldest were annoyed by the marchers and protestors. They don’t support Trump per se but said some callous things. My wife and I have been dismayed our (so far) two oldest boys apparently growing contempt for women, which sometimes extends to disrespect for their mom. I’ve wondered where I’ve fallen short and am responsible for this, but I also think that they are being influenced by an insidious profound misogyny in our contemporary culture–something I think is quite new, though I recognize that similar ideas have always been with us. To some extent it is a young male’s reaction to some of the more foolish feminist rhetoric and posturing they encounter, and, I’m sorry to say, the conduct of a good many foolish girls they meet, but I suspect porn has a lot more to do with it. This week I tried to talk to them about feminism and to explain that women have often been treated unfairly and denied the dignity they are due, and so have grievances but that nature or God’s plan is something that all of us should accept and that feminism is or has become a confused ideology that misguides many. I used to argue with my sisters about such things but its been a while and I think I did a poor job of stating things for my boys. I made a copy of your article and I’m going to try and get them to read it (as well as my wife) because it expresses what I could not. I think this is a beautiful piece really. I’ve read your writing before and will again I hope so thanks.
Being pro-choice does not mean that you are pro-abortion, but is something that seems to be perpetuated in certain circles. Ironically, those who are the most zealously anti-abortion are the same people who are anti-government assistance and against universal healthcare. You can’t claim to value life and then have no regard for the welfare of the mother and the welfare of the child after birth. The level of incarceration in this country shows this hypocrisy. People aren’t advocating abortion, but they recognize that it is a choice for each individual to make and is not ours to impose. If you think the march was only about abortion rights than you haven’t been listening. You have lent a deaf ear to the bigotry, misogynistic, racist rhetoric and religious intolerance that has been emboldened by this administration. We marched for tolerance and acceptance of those who appear different than you and who hold different religious or personal beliefs. We marched for equal treatment under the law (you may not be aware of it, but the “equal rights act” was never ratified and as such, some states don’t even see women as equal in the eyes of the law). The irony of the “christian” message today is that it isn’t very “christian” at all — it is divisive, intolerant and prejudicial. You want others to respect your beliefs, but are unwilling to respect others.
I am sorry if that’s what you read here, through your own lens. You make a lot of assumptions about what I believe and understand. My prayer is that we can move towards greater understanding of the profound dignity of every human life, no matter their sex, their age, their color, or their legal status. I pray that becomes your desire as well.
Just as you make assumptions about my beliefs and view my comments through your lens. I sincerely appreciate your point of view and I understand that you have concerns based on your beliefs — they are valid. But by the same token, I would encourage you to do the same for those that don’t hold your beliefs. Your post, while it resonates with those that agree with you, doesn’t demonstrate that you’ve considered the other viewpoints or really understood their fears. By focusing on one issue, you miss out on understanding the whole. The bigger challenge is to put yourself in the position of someone who doesn’t hold your view, to understand their fears and concerns and recognize where there is common ground (even when it seems like there isn’t any). You don’t have to agree with it, but you should respect it for its own merits.
Being pro-choice does not mean that you are pro-slavery,
Replace slavery with abortion, friend. Slaves at least were protected from being murdered. I do not respect your murderous beliefs. They shouldn’t be respected.
Is a fetus not different than you? But to you, they are for the trash can.
American women are the most spoiled, protected humans on the planet. Drop your victimhood nonsense. Thats why trump won. We are tired of your whining.
Despite your comments, I respect your decisions and your right to vote for Trump. I don’t vote on a single issue as I feel there are so many important issues that face us as a country and a society — there is too much at stake. Also, I am not playing a victim and I am not whining just because I hold a different viewpoint. If do honor life (something you assumed I don’t) and to be honest if I was in this heartbreaking predicament, I would chose to preserve it. But being pro-choice at a governmental level doesn’t limit my right to act in a pro-life manner and it doesn’t limit yours. Many who are pro-choice are very much in favor of honoring life — it just is hypocritical to say that our opinion should be everyone’s opinion. You don’t know what their situation is, what their health risks are, or their belief system. I hope you can learn to discuss things in a civil manner and extend some understanding and kindness. If you listened to the other side, you might learn something, just as I often do. May we all continue to be open to new ideas and be more understanding than these comments on both sides would suggest.
Just a reminder that Trump did not win the popular vote. His hateful rhetoric is not a mandate.
Abortion should not be an “option” you get to choose. That’s why people say pro choice is pro abortion.
If you don’t want one, don’t get one.
“If you don’t want one, don’t get one”, while one of the most common arguments from Pro-Choice advocates, it demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the Pro-Life movement. The argument for the Pro-Life movement is rooted fundamentally in the premise that every fetus is a human person. As a human person, every fetus deserves the same rights as every other human person, the most natural and basic of all human rights is the right to life. For someone who truly believes a fetus is a human person, it could never be morally justifiable to leave the issue of abortion at “if you don’t want one, don’t get one.” Treating the issue in this way would be comparable to witnessing a genocide, like the Holocaust, and saying “If you don’t agree, don’t personally kill a Jew”. Although, since in the case of abortion there is no fear of personal backlash for expressing an opposing viewpoint, it is actually far less justifiable to maintain this noncommittal position.
The Pro-life position is based on the belief that it is our moral obligation, when we see someone committing murder – especially someone who does not realize that is what they are choosing – to stop them. If you knew there was a person lying unconscious on an unlit road and you saw a car coming down the road towards them, wouldn’t you feel like you needed to do anything in your power to stop the driver from hitting the person? You would do that not only to save the life of the person lying in the road, but also to stop the innocent driver from killing someone just because they hadn’t recognized that it was a person.
Laura @ Life is Beautiful
I have worked in crisis pregnancy work for almost five years now and it has only solidified my belief that abortion must be illegal and unthinkable in this country. Women are hurting so, so deeply from abortion. Most women do not “choose” abortion, they feel that they have no other choice. I believe that because we allow abortion to be legal, it makes it easy for vulnerable women to feel like they have to choose it. If we poured that same energy and money into caring for them and their babies, we would not “need” abortion. I will continue to fight politically for it to be illegal, and I will continue to open my heart and my home to women with crisis pregnancies and to walk with them in their journeys– hopefully choosing life and raising or choosing adoption for their children…but if not, then to find healing and redemption from their abortions.
Why not start with supporting affordable health care for all? Free daycare in high schools, universities and workplaces? Adopting the already horribly abused, neglected and unwanted children BORN every day? I agree that a world without abortion would be a wonderful thing, but until women feel that having a child will not force them into poverty (good daycares in my area are $1000 a month), with great insurance I still had to pay $5000 in fees after the birth of my child (who I desperately wanted). I was very lucky that my job allowed me to take off 8 weeks when I had my child, only 3 of which were paid by saving every minute of my sick and vacation time for that purpose. These are all things which make women, both single and married want abortions and contraceptives. Most families can’t live on a single income and daycare alone can be more than many people make, especially if they have 2 or 3 children close together.
The dialogue here should be, how would Christ solve this problem? I doubt making abortions illegal would be his answer, or certainly not the only part of it. Many of the “women’s issues” are all tied into healthcare, working and NEEDING to work to support their families. He loved lepers, and prostitutes alike, healed the sick. Fed the hungry and made water into wine. Isn’t there a LOVING solution that brings people together, rather than dividing?
You see abortion as a solution to the high cost of having a child. The solution you offer, taking the life of another, is a drastic solution, don’t you think? One could refrain from having sexual relations. One could place their unaffordable child in an adoptive home. Neither of these two solutions involves killing another human being. Is it really easier on one’s conscience to just kill one’s unborn child and be done with the financial burden? Seriously? That, unfortunately, is a selfish and barbaric solution. Depriving one human being of the right to life so that one doesn’t have to cope with the harder path of sexual continence or allowing someone else to provide for the child is a viable solution? Really?
Let’s apply the same logic to aging parents. Getting old can lead to dependency on others for care. Care outside the home costs sometimes astronomical amounts of money. Easier just to kill one’s aging parents.
Let’s apply it to criminals (in fact, it is applied to criminals already). The cost of maintaining a prisoner for life is pretty expensive to society. It’s easier just to sentence the prisoner to death.
The examples could go on and on. We don’t just kill people because it costs money to take care of them.
If you are serious about looking to Jesus for a solution, you’ll find it quite easily if you look at the cross. He gave up his life. It’s called sacrificial love for a reason.
As for “needing” contraception, how about backing up a few posts and read all of the women’s comments about the lived experience of NFP. Aside from that, contraception is not “health care” it is a lifestyle choice. The general public does not need to pay for someone’s sexual decisions. Such decisions should be based on one’s own ability to support them. It’s called living within one’s means. A single person, for instance, will certainly not develop a health problem if they fail to experience sex outside of marriage. So what exactly is the health problem being addressed for that population with contraception? Pregnancy is not a health problem, it is a normal physical outcome for specific human behavior.
Jesus loved sinners but asked them to repent of sinful behaviors. That’s love. So is helping our neighbor through the works of mercy. Not through enabling sinful behavior.
You assume that I support abortion. As I stated clearly, I do not. I’m saying let’s find ways to support the people who get pregnant out of wedlock especially, or those who are afraid they cannot support a child. Don’t pay for abortion, pay for life. If it has a value it needs to be paid for from somewhere. No matter how religious you are and teach your children to be women will have sex outside of marriage, men will deny responsibility, teenagers will do stupid things. Even nuns become pregnant from time to time. Are you God? Who are you to judge their sin or repentance? Offer aid, offer support, and make abortion sonething that people would never choose because there are options keep them and foo what they have to do. Will you live through Christ’s love or only judge those who sin?
Jeanette, let’s say I wave a wand and boom, abortion doesn’t exist anymore. You’ve won your fight. What do you do next to serve your sisters who bring life into the world? Do you vote for safety net policies to catch those who fall into hard times? Do you work to make sure every woman and child has enough food to eat? Do you work to make sure that they are born healthy?
Texas has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world. That is unacceptable and we should all be ashamed. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/aug/20/texas-maternal-mortality-rate-health-clinics-funding?CMP=share_btn_fb
Jeanette, thank you for your well written logic. And for those questioning you… Catholics as well as many other groups of people typically take many opportunities to give to mother baby centers. Most parishes regularly collect diapers, clothing, toys, money, and other items to donate to centers aiding unwed pregnant moms. And the notion that we all are called to never judge is false. We are not to judge someone’s end game. I cannot say where someone’s soul is going when their life here expires. But I can and should judge their character, right from wrong, and if they are a safe person. We are supposed to discern. We are not supposed to just be an “anything goes” culture. Jesus wasn’t here for that. Agape love is loving a person in doing and wanting what is best for them. That might be saying no to their lifestyle choices. That is love if it is desired for the betterment and goodness of their soul… To fulfill God’s purpose for them. I could keep going but my 2 year old needs attention. Truth is truth. It doesn’t change. The bible lays it out. Thou shall not kill and love your neighbor leave nothing to question.
Miriam, you stated: “The dialogue here should be, how would Christ solve this problem? I doubt making abortions illegal would be his answer, or certainly not the only part of it. ” You also raised the issue of money as the reason for abortion.
Whether or not you support abortion by your statement, these are the words I’m responding to. You cannot speak for Jesus, but as Catholics do believe that the Church speaks for Jesus on such moral issues as abortion, I’m stating what she teaches. I’m not the judge of that. I’m also stating the facts about how Jesus loves, which can be read in any number of scripture passages about how he responded to those in need of love and mercy. In any case, my point was that there are alternatives to killing one’s child. I also will state for the record that I worked as a volunteer in a crisis pregnancy center serving women in this regard and I also adopted several children out of the foster care system. That doesn’t make me better than anyone, but it gives me perspective on such issues and was a personal response to what I felt called to do in my own life for others. I will also add that the Church does a great deal of work across the whole spectrum of helping women in need, not offering simplistic and harmful solutions like abortion, but rather real material help as well as emotional support etc. Any one of us can freely contribute time or money or advocacy for those apostolates and works. We don’t need to wait for any legislation to address the needs of others. It is, after all, the work of mercy, not just a governmental program, that often gives the most meaningful help to women in need. It is easy to pass that off to the government, much more challenging to make the effort to give personal help. When people become too accustomed to being satisfied with the distribution of their taxes towards such ends they tend to feel they have made their contribution and don’t feel the need to do anything more. If you read the Beatitudes, Christ already solved the problem for us. It’s just a matter of deciding how and when to carry them out. He wasn’t talking to government entities about creating programs, he was talking to his disciples about how to love, which could include such programs but not as an exclusive response.
“Being pro-choice does not mean that you are pro-abortion, but is something that seems to be perpetuated in certain circles.”
You are correct, pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion.
The fundamental premise of the “pro-choice” argument here has two parts: 1) that a human being’s rights come in degrees, varying in value from zero to 100 percent 2) that the degree of a given right that a person has can be unilaterally assigned a value by someone else.
“Ironically, those who are the most zealously anti-abortion are the same people who are anti-government assistance and against universal healthcare.”
There is no irony in that, nor any conflict between being pro-life and being anti-GOVERNMENT assistance or being opposed to GOVERNMENT mandated universal health care. Study the concept of subsidiarity, and you can see how such beliefs are not in conflict. Study the history of health care (Catholics created the hospital system, creating and running some of the first charitable health care institutions in history, and running them for many, many years), or read Finnis’ work on the natural law, or study the arguments of moral philosophers in regards to this matter.
“You can’t claim to value life and then have no regard for the welfare of the mother and the welfare of the child after birth.”
False dichotomy. A person can value life, have regard for the welfare of the mother and child, and be opposed to GOVERNMENT programs. Indeed, opposition to such programs is arguably the best evidence that one is deeply concerned about said welfare. Your premise bears more examination.
“The level of incarceration in this country shows this hypocrisy.”
Non sequitur. This comment has no logical relationship to your earlier comments. In what way do you conceive of them to be related? To me, it appears that the level of incarceration is directly and immediately related to the construction of the false expectation of entitlement, exacerbated by the loss of morality that this country has recently experienced.
“People aren’t advocating abortion, but they recognize that it is a choice for each individual to make and is not ours to impose.”
Allow me to reword this slightly to expose your premise: “People aren’t advocating [wife beating], but they recognize that it is a choice for each individual to make and is not ours to impose.”
Firstly, abortion is not an individual choice: there are two people involved. Secondly, such a morally obscene act is does not lie within the realm of private belief and choice.
Your reply is not new: it has been repeated many times before. I would beg you to reconsider your argument by re-examining your premises, the validity of your information sources, and the quality of the reasoning contained therein. Pax Christi
Outstanding! Well written!
My wife sent me this today and asked me to read this when I had the time to sit and focus on it. What a beautifully and strongly made writing.
THANK YOU! Beautifully written.
If you are ever interested in doing a guest post about the meaning of authentic feminism we would welcome it over at The Guiding Star Project. This beautiful Truth needs to be told with so much LOVE to all the women of the world.
I admit I fear for my daughter when it comes to how deeply anti intellectual feminism has become and how it warps the inherent dignity and meaning of being a woman.
Thank you. Totally awesome. Sharing with my own small circle of local readers.
What a great article – should be read by everyone. It is a disgrace that our education system has systematically denied our children the opportunity to understand our true purpose. The dignity of man rests in the humility of a God that chose to put us first – He hung himself on a cross for our total freedom. The recognition that he chose a woman as our gateway to eternal life, should endow every woman with the respect and honor of Mary our Mother and patroness of these United States.
Well said. The resonance of this post is a indication of your ongoing formation and increasing depth. You are seeing the world, the universe, through the eyes of a true mother, our Blessed Mother…thank you
Praise God for you, Jenny. Offering any suffering I encounter today for your continued fiat to this apostolate. You are doing good and worthy work! And I’m grateful for a voice of reason and mercy in this storm we are all weathering.
Felt confused, so read all I could about The March. Something felt very off about it to me.
It’s going to be a challenge to raise a daughter in our modern world. So glad to have you guiding my path, Jenny. Thank you.
Sometimes as a former Catholic, I miss the feeling on communion I once had in the church, in my church. Thanks for reminding me why I can’t ever go back there. Your views are destructive and hateful, no matter how soft-focus a lens you want to put on your unfaltering support of a patriarchal and violent faith.
You are not my sister, lady.
Andrea, even though we disagree, we are united by our common baptism. You have my prayers and my respect, and the doors of the Church are always open to you. I pray that you will come back to Mass one day – I was away myself in college, and a lot of people prayed me home. God bless you.
Clara Dufficy-La Rosa
That is one of the must beautiful things I have ever read. It is the complete guide and apologetic on why abortion is so painful and cruel. Wow. Speechless.
Look to the latest Disney installment, Moana, for a lyrical narrative on this very fact. The story comes from an ancient native fable: the ancients knew what we have forgotten. See what happens when the Female Creative Force is offended, frustrated, defiled: the result is death, destruction, evil and barrenness. A beautiful (and commercial!) testament to the gorgeous message you so wonderfully voiced in this article.
Thank you ma’am.
I have recently become aware of women in their mid-30’s who have careers, but no husband for their beds or children to suck at their breats. They believed the lies of our modern age and pursued their desire for career before husband and family. I think I now understand the madness, which is an irrational anger. They have sold what is precious, their femininity, for a few magic beans. Unlike Jack, they won’t get a magic beanstalk, or anything else.
Women who are fortunate enough to find a husband to love and who loves them, benefit in so many ways. I envy their husbands. Oh that I were one of them.
Too many have found emptiness in the promises of having it all, career, family, and happiness.
Reminds me of this:
“V. Do you reject Satan?
R. I do.
V. And all his works?
R. I do.
V. And all his empty promises?
R. I do. “
I struggle with this fight, rejecting Satan and his empty promises, daily. But then we finish with:
“V. Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
R. I do.
V. God, the all-powerful Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and forgiven all our sins. May he also keep us faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever.
R. Amen. “
So beautifully written and wonderful to read. I’m Scottish, I don’t have the same healthcare as you. I don’t have the same political system or education system, I’m not a cradle Catholic, but I have experienced life as a young(ish) woman in our days of “equality” . And I’m not sure I like it. Since my teens I’ve been encouraged to use contraception, delay marriage and starting a family, been enthusiastically encouraged to work, study and aim high. Sometimes by family, by teachers and by society. I’ve been told that people fought and died for my right to choose. So, now I am young no longer, my years have gifted me the ability to choose! I choose my family, my children, my faith. I choose the Catholic church, I choose monogamy, I choose values and patience and ideals and honesty. I choose hard work and saving and valuing each other warts and all. I choose to stay at home and be a wife and mother, my two most precious careers! I am pro choice, I’m pro life, I’m pro women I’m pro men. I’m anti abortion in all its guises and I’m anti all the pain and suffering brought down on woman by others demanding more and different things from them. I’m me, a daughter of eve, a sister of Christ, and I’m very proud to call myself a sister of Jenny! (stopping now cos I can’t see for tears)
Your words spoke the words of my heart. I am a wife and a mother. I am also educated and qualified… The problem is that we ‘devalued’ the role of mother and wife when the ideals of feminism came forward, I too am pro choice (your version) and anti abortion. But like you am tired of carrying the burdens and extra weight of what is perceived as the bounty of feminism.
Thank you for articulating:
“I am pro choice, I’m pro life, I’m pro women I’m pro men. I’m anti abortion in all its guises and I’m anti all the pain and suffering brought down on woman by others demanding more and different things from them. I’m me, a daughter of eve, a sister of Christ,”
Mary our mother, Pray for us.
“But this entire system is predicated upon the belief, unspoken or unacknowledged for many though it may be, that something is fundamentally wrong with being a woman.”
You are right on target, Jenny, and this post is you at your best.
Excellent! Thank you. Our culture has been telling lies for way too long. It is Satanic. It has to end. Whether that happens through our prayers or through the return of the Lord, it will end. God is God and we are not.
Wonderful! The truth is so eye opening – once you see the world with this lens you cannot see it any other way.
Thank you for such an eloquent and beautiful article. What a gift!
God bless you. Thank you.
I’m just going to throw this out there. The v****a is the birth canal, NOT the female genitalia. The proper name for the female genitalia is the vulva. The v****a is the female sexual organ (analogous to the male p***s) because without it a female cannot have relations with a male. To put it another way, males without their external genitalia cannot have marital relations but technically women without their external genitalia can. Hence the word v****a is often paired with the word p***s. But a lot of people think it’s because they are both names for genitalia. Not so. Those are vulva hats, not v****a hats, folks. I find it extremely ironic that people who claim to be so knowledgable about women (feminists) and indeed call themselves “nasty women” do not even know the real name of the female genitalia.
Can you please cite conclusive evidence that the government subsidizes these services?
“Abortion is not feminism. Sexual socialism, whereby the government subsidizes, with the funds of the populace, a preferred lifestyle of license and debauched freedom, is not feminism.”
* mic drop *
I love being a woman. I’ve been so tempted to post ALL the snark about this, but you’ve reminded me to be a bit more charitable 😉 Go real feminism!
I have no respect for anyone who participated in the feminist, anti-life marches on Sat. By their very presence, they aided the satanic cause of killing unborn babies. There are no excuses for that or for showing their support for other radical leftist causes that seek to undermine the family.
Great article thank you. It makes me wonder however if there needs to be a fundamental re-examination of the way that we holistically react to the issue of abortion and the women’s rights movement. I’m all for love and compassion and respect for individual wayward souls but not so for the evilness that lurks behind their waywardness. And that is the crux of this issue for me. We have become pacified warriors because we have forgotten that this is a war between principalities, not wayward souls for whom we should feel sorry and want to help. It seems to me that there can never be compromise, or even perceived common ground shows of solidarity with the Diabolical (like the Woman’s March on Washington). Between God and Satan there is no common ground. Not ever. The early Church knew this and it converted the civilized world to Catholicism. Today’s Church (leaderhip) has lost this moral obstinacy and that is why Roe v Wade is still standing today after almost 43 years.
Beautifully written! Thank you for taking the time to wrap all of these thoughts together so well… as a Catholic they are words that I know in my heart to be true, but struggle to articulate them. This is such an important message, especially in our time, one that most of our culture does not know or what to hear, but desperately needs! You are a light amidst the darkness, mama 🙂
I’m closing comments on this post. My kids are all sick and I can’t keep up with moderation right now. To those of you using racist terms/calling me a racist/resorting to name-calling, please remember to keep it charitable here, and to use grown up language that is respectful and in keeping with our common dignity. God bless you all.
This article was shared with me by my Catholic best friend, who I was so proud and honored to march with last weekend. I myself am not a Catholic. By stating that, perhaps many of you will stop reading right here or discount whatever I have to say. I hope that won’t be the case.
What I am is a woman deeply devoted to the celebration of the Feminine. I am also a somatic sex educator who has studied much to do with the history and evolution of gender roles and sexuality. And reading this article through the lens of my perspective, I came away so deeply saddened and frustrated, yet also inspired to add my voice to the mix here in hopes that it may offer a perspective that some of you might find useful and can incorporate into your own personal understanding of these tumultuous times we’re living in.
The following paragraph in particular is what got me the most:
“You were made for more than what your body is, or what your body can do. You were made for more than casual sex, for more than abortion, for more than mutual masturbation. You are more than a receptacle into which sperm should be deposited and than evacuated. And anyone and anything that has ever convinced you otherwise has been a lie.”
I wholeheartedly agree. Jenny is absolutely right about us women being made for so much more, but what she neglects to delve deeper into is the part about “anyone and anything that has ever convinced you otherwise”. If you look back through time, humanity long revered the Feminine and women were regarded as the magical, potent, graceful beings that we know ourselves to be. It was the rise of the Patriarchy, which stems from the church, that began vilifying women as witches, seductresses, sluts and more, creating a culture of shame and oppression toward our gender that is the very reason the feminist movement has had cause to arise.
This history of misogyny, of systemic subjugation of women, of moving away from worshiping the Divine Feminine in favor of a male god archetype, directly coincides with the spread of Christianity. Prior to that, women were very often at the center of religious and political power, and thus had a secure place in society at large. Feminism didn’t have a name because effectively everyone was a feminist. So for Jenny to rail against feminism’s existence without acknowledging and understanding its origins feels irresponsible and incomplete to say the very least. I am not here to insult an entire religion or any of you individually. I’m here to ask you to really inform yourselves.
Jenny also seems to use feminism as a synonym for pro-choice while giving little to know recognition to the vast number of issues and values that could be considered feminist. True, many who declare themselves feminists are in fact pro-choice. Yet they are many other values and beliefs that feminists hold. And pro-choice is not tantamount to pro-abortion. Being in favor of each and every human being having sovereignty over their own body is not the same thing as saying you personally would take the life of an unwanted child.
If you’d like to know more, check out the book Vagina by Naomi Wolfe for a fascinating history as well as wonderfully informative insight about women’s sexuality.
Let’s stand together as sisters, women, and support one another even in our differences, rather than tear each other down or create further separation because of them. Now more than ever we need each other.
I’m letting this comment stand as is because I do believe it is essential to have thoughtful, charitable dialogue with people whose views are not our own. But I do take issue with this statement as patently false, and it’s deeply, deeply sad that the reality has become so twisted: “it was the rise of the Patriarchy, which stems from the church”
Christ, God made (hu)man, was the first person to lift women out of the dirt and hold them up – along with prostitutes of both sexes, the poor, the orphaned, the refugee, etc – and say to the world, “here is one worth dying for. One whose value is without measure.” It is deeply sad that we have lost sight, culturally, of the profound dignity the Church bestowed on women, unequivocally affirming the magnificent equality of both sexes. If you are open to it, Darshana, I would ask that you seriously consider reading John Paul II’s “Letter to Women.” You may find a different narrative there than that of the prevailing culture. Thank you for your respectful and thoughtful contribution to this conversation.
Thank you, Jenny. I am glad the spirit of my contribution was felt by you. I am actually familiar with John Paul II’s “Letter to Women” thanks to my aforementioned Catholic best friend. And I so wholly agree with you that it is deeply sad that many modern interpretations of religion, not just Christianity, have lost sight of the dignity and grace that women inherently embody and rightfully deserve to be honored for. ALL humans deserve that. And I hope, trust and pray that as women we can unite in the name of that cause.
“But don’t settle for what this world wants to give you in terms of freedom, of feminism. It’s a counterfeit, and a cheap one at that. Walk past the knockoffs – they’re garbage, poorly made, and unethically-sourced anyway. But you already know that. Keep your chin up and your head held high, and do not settle for anything less than that for which you were made.”
My favorite part. Thank you!