Tragedy vs Statistics

A Baby @ 6 WeeksI heard a statement the other day that stuck with me. The statement is “One death is considered a tragedy. One million deaths is a statistic.”

If you look at the election a few weeks ago you will see that the Pro-Life side of the abortion issue was defeated in multiple locations. I think the vast majority of people in our country would not put themselves in either the Pro-Life or Pro-Choice camps. For the silent majority the issue is just too politically divisive and their true preference would be to have the issue just go away, but of course it won’t. The statistics that Pro-Lifers throw around, myself included, are just truly not comprehendible to the average citizen who is focused on their own life. The silent majority does not attach a fleeting thought to the statistic of 48 million deaths post Roe v Wade because they just can’t comprehend it nor do they want to. They are bombarded through the media with terms like fetus, cells, and embryo, causing them not to see the human person that is being killed during an abortion. Therefore in order to truly combat the issue of abortion, we have to do it one death at a time. We have to show the relevance of how each life that has been taken affects the average Joe.

We also have to remember that abortion was legal upon request prior to Roe v Wade in 4 states and with strict stipulations in 16 other states. I question if we will ever get back to that status again in our country even if Roe v Wade is overturned. It’s not a bad thing to try and limit or remove the “legal” supply of abortions but as long as there are unwanted pregnancies there will be a demand for abortion, legal or illegal.

Therefore I think the Pro-Life Community is better to focus its long-term resources on combating the demand for abortions rather than the laws of the nation. If I was to act on the abortion issue, and I’m starting to really consider taking some true action, here is how I’ve considered approaching the problem.

1) Make the abortion issue local. Instead of talking about how there have been 48 Million abortions since Roe v. Wade made abortion “legal” we need to talk about how many abortions are happening in our own communities. People can understand and tie their conscience to a number like 1388, the # of abortions in my community last year, much more readily than then can to 48 million. In my state of Kansas here are some statistics I found for 2007 from the Kansas Center for Health & Environmental Statistics:

  • 10,836 abortions were performed in Kansas
  • 1388 were performed in Johnson County pop. 525,000 (which is where I live)
  • Almost half of the 10,836 were performed on non-Kansas residents
  • There are 5 abortion facilities in the state of Kansas
  • 1808 of the 10,836 abortions were performed on married women
  • 4305 of the 10,836 abortions were performed on women who had one or more previously induced abortions
  • 0 of the 10,836 abortions performed were to prevent the mother’s death

By making the issue local you help people comprehend its affect in their own community, by using numbers that they can associate with. I would also do what I can to show the average Joe what a number like 48 million looks like.

2) Education – Educate people on what really happens during an abortion. Make even the thought of having an abortion from being non-existent in the community around you. Show people, especially those ages 10 to 30 on what abortion truly is. Educate people about the facts of how contraception causes abortion and how failed contraception results in pregnancy. Educate our community on how the Planned Parenthood organizations pushes “safe-sex” to our society only to ensure their organization a steady supply of unwanted pregnancies who’s mothers are more likely to choose to have an abortion. Educate parents on how to discuss the topics of sex and abortion with their kids and show them how to create a line of communication and support, where if a teen pregnancy does occur, that there is a culture of trust and love that the teen will work with their parents verses seeking out an abortion on their own. Educate the African-American community on how Planned Parenthood targets them.

3) Focus – Leave the other life issues of euthanasia, embryonic stem cell, and the death penalty to other groups. Yes, we need cultivate and entire culture of life, but in order to cause an actual change in the status quo of abortion we have to focus our energies on the single issue in order to truly make a difference.

4) Prayer – Cultivate a community of prayer by organizing prayer & fasting that requests people in your local parishes to pray for specific intentions. 1) for the conversion of those who perform abortions 2) for a change of heart for those considering an abortion 3) for a healing of those who have had an abortion 4) thanksgiving for mothers who have said yes to the miracle of life & 5) for a society that values every conceived life.

5) No Political Pandering – Do not align with any political party or politician. Siding with one side of the political spectrum will not defeat Abortion. No one party or politician will solve the abortion issue. By siding with specific politicians or parties will only alienate the other side of the political spectrum. For abortion to be defeated the whole society will need to be involved.

6) 80/20 Rule – We must be willing to agree to take the 80% or 90% and fight for the 20% or 10% another day. Too often the Pro-Life forces seem to be after the big target and appear to be an all or nothing crowd. Rome was not built in a day nor was it destroyed in a day. We must be willing to settle for smaller victories providing an appearance of compromise along the way. How does one eat and elephant? One bite at a time. Abortion is bigger than an elephant. The civil rights movement was not a one-day event. Nor will be the defeat of abortion. The fight at this point in time appears to be life long one.

Roe v Wade is definitely bad law. But in my opinion because of it, a genie of sorts, is out of the bottle. And it may not go back into the bottle. There for we must address the demand of abortion over and above the supply of abortion. Drugs are illegal in this country, but the mere fact they are illegal does not stop the demand for them, likewise with the issue of abortion. It was an issue in the United States prior to Roe v Wade and regardless of its “legality” it will remain an issue.

Now I ask you to ponder this question. If abortion is wrong, why would contraception not be considered just as evil as abortion? 48 Million deaths have occurred due to induced abortions in the USA since 1973 it is estimated. But I would estimate an even greater and unfathomable number of human persons have died due to the affects of contraception since the introduction of the pill in the last century.

Stand & Fight

I want to apologize to my readers for not posting much last week.  Ultimately I was a bit depressed with the results of Tuesday night and needed some reflection time.  First let me say I was never a fan of John McCain but he offered me the only hope to the cold reality of his opponent.  For the past few months I’ve been consumed with the election and the direction I see my country moving.  Ultimately I believe our country choose what it felt was the best hope for our economic future at the sacrifice of our moral future.  This last week I’ve been able to reflect some on the current situation, ponder what I believe to be coming in our future, and consider how I, and others, can deal with what is coming.

In my reflection I wonder if the pilgrims on the Mayflower knew just how seemingly fortunate they were, that there was a new frontier they could sail too and live according to their values verses those thrust upon them by their government.  They had a choice, it wasn’t a glamorous choice, but they did have the option flee their homeland and start a new life. 

In today’s world we don’t have that option, and when you think about it, what would God prefer of us?  Would he choose that we run from the problems of society and start new or would he instead prefer us to stand up and fight for Him right where we are?  I do believe the later option allows us to truly show God who we are, and what we are willing to do for Him.  After all Moses fled his crisis in Egypt only for God to send him right back to confront Pharaoh head on.

So what do we do, how do we fight? This is a good question considering most of us haven’t done much fighting.  We may give an issue or cause of our faith our lips service but our actions probably more resemble apathy than action.  With that said this individual is taking the next few weeks to meditate on what I can do, besides throwing out my opinion on this blog.  Something that has come to me in my reflection is something I’ll call the PEA Principle for now.  I’ll use PEA as an acronym for Prayer, Education, & Action.  And when we want to cause “Change” for the common good I think we must operate in that order; Prayer, Education, & Action.

A pea is a small food which in a way represents how we are to be in comparison to God.  We must be small and we must be food for others as they may not be receiving Christ in the Eucharist.  As John the Baptist said “I must decrease so He may increase”.  We too should decrease to ourselves so God who dwells within us may more easily shine through us, thus affecting a greater change towards His will rather than our own. 


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Hope & Change is Just “Code”

It didn’t even take a week for the culture of life to feel the strangle hold of the Obama administration starting to tighten its grip. Obama’s transistion team revealed a list of executive orders that would take place once Obama is in office. One is the reversal of the Mexico City Policy which prevents groups outside the US that receive American aid from counseling women about the availability of having an abortion.

Hope & Change I believe is just code for Death & Taxes.

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Prayer Over Hope

Instead of focusing on hope as a nation maybe we should depend more on prayer.

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Too Burdensome

If everyone in the country was forced to watch this in school, abortion in this country would not exist.  Be warned there are some images towards the end that are hard to watch but I think you need to see them to help forum your conscience of what abortion really is.

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It’s Just An Embryo

This is what an "embryo" looks like at 20 weeks.  Today is All Souls day and below is one of God’s precious souls.  We should say a special prayer today for all souls.  And I feel we should especially for the souls that we as a nation have let down that didn’t even get to live to 20 weeks because we tolerate politicians, especially supposed Catholic politicians, that support legal abortion.

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A Big God

A little girl who, on the way home from church, turned to her mother and said, "Mommy, the Preacher’s sermon this morning confused me."

The mother said, "Oh! Why is that?

The girl replied, "Well, he said that God is bigger than we are. Is that true?"

"Yes, that’s true," the mother replied.

"He also said that God lives within us. Is that true too?"

Again the mother replied, "Yes, that’s true too."

"Well," said the girl. "If God is bigger than us and He lives in us, wouldn’t He show through?"

— Author Unknown

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