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Culture of Cruelness v. Culture of Wisdom

By Vickie Stangl
Analysis | May 15, 2011

WICHITA, Kan. - State legislatures all over America are bravely protecting women from those wily abortion doctors duping young women into having abortions.

Yes, multiple restrictive laws are on the books to make sure unsuspecting women are "informed" about what happens when they have an abortion because if there is one thing women do not understand, it's how to make their own reproductive choices. Thank goodness the state is so accommodating.

It seems to me we have left out one very important element in making sure women are informed about their medical choices. I believe new legislation should be proposed banning physicians from assisting in the delivery of a potential baby until the woman has been "informed" of all the medical and mental health dangers to her life if she continues with a live birth.

If Kansas legislators are so concerned about women making informed choices, shouldn't they support legislation that would mandate all OB-GYN doctors inform their patients that pregnancy is one the most dangerous medical risks a women can make? And, if these OB-GYN doctors do not cover all the health risks that come with pregnancy and a live birth, they should be fined and have their practices shut down by the State. Sound unreasonable? Perhaps not.

Giving birth is far more dangerous than an abortion procedure. Women should be told that remaining pregnant could led to their imminent death. A few complications that come with pregnancy include high blood pressure, seizures, massive water retention leading to other complications, heart failure, diabetes, dangerous thyroid imbalance resulting in a lifetime of medication, postpartum depression and of course, and at any second, a wandering blood clot could cause a massive stroke ending the woman's life immediately. Why don't we tell these real healthcare risk factors to young pregnant women?

We are dishonest with young women in America because religious conservatives have taken over our secular government and are imposing their beliefs about birth control and life on everyone else. We do need an honest debate about life but no group, including the Democratic Party of Kansas is willing to have that debate and stand up to the conservative bullies and end this nonsense once and for all.

Kansas is moving closer and closer to the point of upholding the "unborn" as more important than a human being already in this world. Of course, never mind about the quality of life when a new little being comes screaming into the world. [Kansas lawmakers can't even honor children by making sure public schools are funded at acceptable levels.] It is maddening to witness again and again our cruel and sanctimonious elected officials crafting the fairy tale that life is a miracle and everyone has a "right to be born". Tell that lie to the children who go to bed starving at night or to the children sexually abused, or bullied at school, or struggling with disabilities that leave them isolated and thrown away in society as the world moves on. The state of Kansas has a child abuse problem and yet instead of facing that reality we have legislators talking about the so called "culture of life."

What we have in Kansas is a culture of cruelness and it is one rippling across the nation in the quest to deny young and especially poor women their autonomy as full citizens. Frankly, Kansans and Americans do not think very highly of women or there would be protesting in the streets and outrage over the systematic destruction of a woman's right to her own life. As a democratic republic, the denial of such a fundamental right does not bode well for everyone else's liberties.

Women must solider on and fight. Women understand far more than any lawmaker what is at stake when it comes to their reproductive decisions. The actions women take to terminate or give birth is done out of love, compassion, and practical acknowledgment to do what is best for their lives and those around them. Women who decide to terminate their pregnancy are labeled as misguided, selfish, uninformed and of course, murderers, all because a few powerful officials cannot accept the fact that not every pregnancy is a miracle, but simply biology.

It is a shame our leaders do not have the moral intelligence to understand the gravity of adding a new person to the world. Not every woman sees the promise in one more baby nor a guarantee that this baby will not destroy her health and life.

Surely Governor Brownback and anti-abortion legislators must accept the fact that their mantra of a culture of life also includes the possibility that evil may enter into the world with every new baby? I'm sure Osama bin Laden's mother believed he was a baby of promise and a little miracle, too. Let's be honest about life. Not every baby born into this world adds to humanity.

We should promote a "culture of wisdom" in America; wisdom to know when life is optimal and when it is not. As part of the human community we must allow women the freedom and dignity to know the difference, because anything less is simply breeding like animals.


Vickie, this is an article that has been needing to be written. Good job! A culture of cruelness describes it to a tee. During my term in the Kansas House, I went to the floor during debate and suggested that maybe if they were so determined that every child should be born, regardless of the condition of the fetus, we should require that the state assume the responsibility of the cost of caring for a lifetime of total dependency for those born without the capacity to ever be self-sufficient. You should have heard the howling!
I served on the House Federal & State Affairs Committee where the hearings were held concerning abortion and all those abortion restriction bills. Some of the testimony would almost break your heart, with stories of how much they wanted the baby, but it had terrible deformities that would never have let the baby have any quality of life and probably limit its life to just days or months. The anti-abortion people would accuse them of inflating the danger, and even say that the decision should be"The Lord's,"not theirs. I always thought the same logic should apply to going to the doctor---why do it when it is the "Lord's choice."
But, you are right. They don't want to fund schools, provide for the disabled, or to do anything that you & I might consider humane. They live in a culture of cruelness. Let's call it what it is.! Thanks for writing.

While I tend to be pro life and detest the wholesale slaughter of innocents for profit by the abortion industry, their probably is some truth to your comments. If one wants to bring all children into the world they better be darn willing to pay for them. And if they dont, they better just shut their traps and let women decide on their own.

Ethel I so appreciate your comments as an experienced legislator. I am always shocked by the fact that the anti-abortion legislators have no human compassion for these women or couples in dire need. The only thing that matters is their Phelps like judgement that all women are simply baby-killers. Thanks again for posting this important information as a legislator who witnessed the cruelness first hand in the Kansas Legislature.

Vickie--Thank you for once again making clear what should be obvious. Anti-choice legislators and activists don't want to support families after the child is born, but they sure don't want women to decide for themselves what is best for them. My mother had to take to her bed and eat only oatmeal when she was pregnant with me because she had a dangerous medical condition. She and my dad, both pro-choice, chose to have me, and I was born healthy. But I've seen the pictures of the fetuses with fetal anomalies that Peggy Bowman showed to leglislators and I've taken care of those kids who would never be able to speak, move, or eat by themselves when I worked at the Winfield State Hospital. I think if legislators had to spend a week in such a place, they might begin to see the light.

Brad, what I don't understand is this--it's okay for other doctors to make money in their practices, but for some reason, people seem to think doctors who do abortions shouldn't make any money. I will guarantee you, as the mother of three children, an abortion is cheaper than raising a kid to adulthood. I do believe doctors who do abortions earn every cent they get and more. Call it hazardous-duty pay.

One more thing--I too am puzzled about why women and the men who love them haven't taken to the streets. It's as if everyone is numb.

Diane- I had a terrible scare too, when I was pregnant with Tory-we thought my leg was forming a blood clot. We spent several nervous hours watching my leg grow larger and larger until it finally started to go down again. When I asked what I could do to stop such a thing, there was just a look of helplessness on Bob's face. I started holding the boys in my lap and rocking then not sure if I was going to be with them much longer. It was a horrible feeling and such relief when my swelling began to go down but it certainly brought home the fact how dangerous this little journey of pregnancy is for women and how this must be a woman's decision, not societies or someone's religious dogma.

Vickie--First, I'm so glad things turned out well for you. Second, people seem to think being pregnant is a care-free, "blooming" time for women. Even though I never suffered any life-threatening conditions when I was pregnant with my kids, I was so morning sick with the first one that I lost weight while I was pregnant. Then I suffered from postpartum depression. Because I didn't know what it was, I thought I was losing my mind.

I love my kids and wouldn't give them up for anything, but being pregnant is no walk in the park.

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