Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Love it.

There is much to be said for young people speaking out! I encourage people to share their opinions no matter what they may be! As a sociologist I appreciate the need for differing opinions and I love to have people share their point of view with me and discuss it, as long as all involved parties are respectful!

A friend and former classmate of mine has responded to my previous entry entitled 'Dear President Obama' in which I wrote out my thoughts and feelings on some issues I differ in opinion on from our president. Her response stated her respect for my beliefs and her admiration for my being in-the-know when it comes to politics (rare for people in the 20-somethings) and that she respectfully disagreed. I asked her to share her own stance with me, as I truly desired to know where she stands. You can find that response on her blog which is here...


Her response is titled, 'Opinion Time'.

First off, I'd like to thank her for taking the time to share that with me and with those of you who chose to read her response to my controversial letter. I believe it safe to say that a large number of American citizens are on her side. There is a strong desire in our country to see abstinence education be abolished and the continuation of abortions within our nation.  I think it valuable to present opposing sides to arguments and we certainly have those.

In my time working in abstinence education I have been under the umbrella of a crisis pregnancy center and have heard several arguments as to scenarios in which people feel there should be abortions allowed. For example, a vast majority of people who argue in favor of abortion remaining legal make the argument that rape victims should have the option to abort the child of their attacker. Lisa's argument that people who do not wish to have children, such as herself, should also be allowed this right is also quite popular. She does also makes a statement I really appreciate when she says that abortions are not a proper form of 'birth control'.

In response to this I would like to point out that there is no conceivable way to limit this. While in theory I understand (though respectfully disagree) with the statement that there are some situations that should be considered acceptable while some not...the number of abortions performed/desired makes it impossible to properly judge this. The examples I hear most frequently are rape victims, situations in which the mother is in danger, and children who are to be born with severe birth defects. How would we take on the responsibility of determining the worthy v. unworthy applicants? Court cases? Juries? This process could (and in such large numbers most likely would) drag on beyond the window of time that women are allowed to have an abortion as well.

I'm a big fan of facts. So here are some that should help shed some light on the issue of abortion as it stands in the United States.  They will also tell you where I'm coming from and perhaps shed light on to the formation of your own beliefs on this topic.

- 1 in 4 pregnancies conceived in the US is terminated through abortion.
- Over 30 million babies have been aborted in our country since it's legalization in 1973.
- Approx. 45% of women seeking abortions today have had 1 or more in the past.
- Around 1% of abortions are the result of rape

The 'parasite' theory...in response to that I can only say that the facts do not support the theory (shared by many) that a child is not a child in the beginning. The truth is this...

As soon as the sperm joins with the egg (conception), the DNA has been determined including sex, eye, and hair color. By the 20th day after conception, the foundations of the brain, spinal cord and nervous system are already established, and the HEART BEGINS TO BEAT. If you wish to further confirm this you can do some research on fetal development.

Note: how many women even know they're pregnant within the first 20 days?  Consider that.

What I like about Lisa's argument and respect is that she takes ownership of her opinions. That's a sorely lacking quality in so many people, esp. in our generation. The 20-somethings love to blame-place or to cop-out of answering the tough questions and Lisa really owns her thoughts and feelings towards the areas I'd addressed.

One primary issue that I would like to take ownership of is that my belief in God does play a part in my beliefs about the right to life. Our nation was founded on biblical principles that seem to be slowly being weeded out. I firmly believe God to be the giver of life and while I would agree with Lisa that at this point in my life I'm not sure I ever want children of my own, I also believe that if I do everything in my own power to prevent that and I still get pregnant later in life - I would accept that as God's will for me.

Many people share similar opinions to hers about abstinence education being a church thing, while sex ed is a secular and therefore public school way to address things. Part of these opinions I believe come from the belief that abstinence education doesn't address sexual activity, contraceptives, and 'safety' properly. Having spent 14 months teaching this I will take it upon myself to say that we discuss: condoms, birth control, STD risks, all forms of sex (vaginal, anal, oral, and mutual masturbation), pregnancy risks, abortion, adoption, teen parenting, and a whole slew of other topics.

To say that abstinence doesn't have it's place in the public schools I believe takes away the idea of 'personal responsibility'. At 23 I already appreciate that I am ultimately responsible for my own actions and resulting effects on myself and the world around me. Our youth need to be held accountable for their own actions and therefore understand that what they do now affects their futures, sex included. Also, I'm a true believer that people CAN wait until marriage. While many chose not too there are still plenty out there who are sticking to that and they're not all 'church people'. I believe we'd be doing our youth a terrible injustice to eliminate this from being presented as a healthy alternative to trusting 'safe sex' to protect you in a country where 4,200 women are dying of HPV yearly, an STD that guys cannot be tested for but pass on to their women partners.

There is no know form of 'safe sex' that can eliminate the risk of STDs and pregnancy except abstinence until marriage. When there is, I will revisit my stance. Until then I still want the safety of our youth to be a high priority!

Finally, I'd like to offer a YouTube clip of what I previously meant in my letter about Obama calling a child a 'punishment'...


After rewatching it, I would be interested to hear his take on what values and morals he'd like his children to adopt. I don't mean that sarcastically. Those are different per individual and a fascinating topic.

I hope this entry further clarifies why I take the stance I do. And again, thanks to Lisa for furthering this dialog! I do like to talk about the issues. 20-something need more of a voice in politics!


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