baltimoresun.com

« United Methodists win advertising award | Main | Bartholomew arrives »

October 20, 2009

Catholic leaders oppose city council effort

Local Catholic leaders are opposing a Baltimore City Council proposal that they say unfairly harrasses pro-life pregnancy support centers, the Catholic Review reports.

The bill, sponsored by council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and 10 other council members, would require clinics that don't provide contraception or abortion to post signs saying so, or be fined $500 per day.

The Catholic Review quotes from a letter by Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien saying that the proroposal targets non-profit organizations whose mission is to help women carry pregnancies to term.

"To fine a center $500 for not posting a sign that states as much is nothing short of harassment,” Archbishop O’Brien said, “especially when nothing in a pregnancy support center’s yellow page advertisements or Web pages would lead a woman to believe these centers provide abortions or abortion-related services.”

The Catholic Review also quotes from a letter from Rawlings-Blake: “I believe this measure is needed to secure women’s access to accurate and safe medical information. ... Of course, I support efforts by nonprofit organizations to assist future mothers. This ordinance does nothing to hamper those efforts.”

Read the rest of the story at catholicreview.org.

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 2:29 PM | | Comments (63)
        

Comments

"would require clinics that don't provide contraception or abortion to post signs saying so, or be fined $500 per day."

entirely reasonable and more than appropriate. I hope the law specifies a font size and placement of the sign in a very obvious spot.

It's bad enough when a hospital that provides services of a much broader nature then elects to play ostrich on these issues but for a clinic that purports to have women as it's primary focus to obfuscate and mislead is reprehensible.

Put up the sign or pay the fine and have that money directed to clinics that actually offer help to young women.

I don't really see this as something worth making a big deal over. Compliance doesn’t appear to place any undue burden on the clinics. The easiest solution would be to simply post the sign.

What a good thing! Nobody is asking them to provide contraception or abortions.

These facilities have a sole purpose to mislead vulnerable women at a time when they need unbiased advice and care. If they are providing *advice only* based on religious beliefs then they should state that and also state explicitly that they are not providing medical advice.

This is 2010 and it is clear that the Catholic Church *still* does not respect women or trust them to make their own decisions. Be up front about your faith based advice so you don't scare and mislead vulnerable women. I don't think Jesus would have tried to trick people into accepting his path.

These places have in their mission statements to help pregnant women carry pregnancies to term AND to bring these women to Christ. But they don't say anything about this upfront when women walk in the door. The volunteers there really want to help women, but their version of "help" is by denying them information so that they don't chose birth control or abortion.

And "harrassment"? Try all of the meaningless regulations and barriers in the way of places like Planned Parenthood. Wow.

Next week the City Council will require Burger King to post signs that it doesn't offer Big Macs.
Dentists should also be required to post that they don't offer eye glasses.
Give me a break! Does anyone in the US not know that contraception & abortion are legal in the US? This bill is simply being passed to harass these pro-life pregnancy centers.
Perhaps Planned Parenthood should be forced to post a sign saying that unlike what the name implies, they don't help you become a parent, they help you kill your child.

If this is what it takes for places to be honest and forthcoming then it needs to be done. Pregnant women need to know their choices up front so they can make the right one for themselves. Yes some Planned Parenthood centers offer abortion if that is what the woman decides but she knows that up front. Women walking into a pregnancy center may not know that they will only have the choice to keep the pregnancy. It's easy... let the women know their options and where to get them.

What is wrong with making an effort to help pregnant women carry babies to full term without advertising that they dont provide services to end the baby's life? If a woman decides that she doesnt want the service, she is not being forced to stay there. There are many women who feel guilty about aborting children. Undoubtedly some of them wish they had visited one of these centers. Maybe supporters of this bill could do this. Go to one of these centers get the address of a mother who says that she changed her mind about abortion after visiting the center. Then go to her son or daughter and ask them how they feel about their mom visiting the center, if they support it or are against it. If they say that it was a bad idea for their mom to have visited the center then support the bill. Thanks.

"Try all of the meaningless regulations and barriers in the way of places like Planned Parenthood"

Like what? You failed to mention any or if they only apply to Planned Parenthood or all centers. Next time try having something to suuport such garbage.

@KJB: The problem with your argument is that Burger King doesn't try to structure itself exactly like a McDonald's to get people in the door who expect Big Macs only to present them with a Whopper. This is, however, pretty much what "crisis pregnancy centers" do -- they place themselves near legitimate women's health clinics and try to mimic them right down to the appearance of the building and having volunteers dressed in a similar fashion to doctors, so that women facing an unplanned pregnancy will think that they have found a source of comprehensive information about reproductive healthcare. Once volunteers start talking, the opposite becomes clear: they're not interested in helping women make a fully informed choice, they just want to discourage abortion and birth control. They will cite outdated and discredited studies about the "risks" of abortion, give women incorrect information on how developed the embryo actually is at their particular stage of pregnancy, and show graphic (and often fabricated) pictures of illegal abortions. If the nature of the crisis pregnancy center wasn't so inherently deceptive, then I might be able to understand your reasoning, but these places won't be honest until the law forces them to be.

This bill seems like a no-brainer. It won't stop any one from going in to a crisis pregnancy center, but it will let them know what to expect. What's wrong with that? What do these CPCs have to hide?

Seems to me these places can do a lot of harm if they deny women access to the full range of information. Women assume they are going to get help with a crisis pregnancy and shouldn't be lied to, or tricked in to carrying a pregnancy to term. Last time I checked, abortion was legal, and a decision women get to make without manipulation.

A Crisis Pregnancy Center is clearly different than an abortion clinic. A Crisis Pregnancy Center values life and tries to lead a woman to understand that she has a human inside of her and that if allowed to live, that human will be born in nine months or less and even under the law be considered a child.
An abortion clinic on the other hand devalues that human simply for being small or not yet completely developed and tries to fool the woman into thinking that the child is not human and then convinces her to allow the doctor to murder the child.
That's the plane difference right there. Just as any woman who wants to keep her child could leave an abortion clinic and go to a Crisis Pregnancy Center so can any woman at a Crisis Pregnancy Center leave and go to an abortion clinic. Every woman in the US knows she has has the option of having a doctor murder her child, this is not the great American secret. Just like every American knows you get Big Macs at McDonald's and not at Burger King.
The problem is that the city council is trying to harass these Crisis Pregnancy Centers because they don't follow their ideology of murdering pre-born children. That is where the problem lies, its a clear attack.
If the City Council passes this bill then all abortion clinics should be required to post a sign on their door stating "We murder pre-born children."
Perhaps the above comment is a bit extreme, although calling it anything else would be, as they say, "putting lipstick on a pig." But, as the Catholic Review article quotes Archbishop O'Brien - “The bill does not on the other hand seek to fine abortion clinics for not posting a list of services they do not provide (e.g., parenting classes, maternity and infant clothes, formula),” he said. " It seems to be that a place called "Planned Parenthood" would do just that.
Or, just to get away from the abortion debate, should every hospital have to list the services they do not provide? Should every doctor's office have to list the services they do not provide? This is what the bill is saying, except its targeted only at Crisis Pregnancy Centers, showing a clear ideological reason behind the measure.

Amen to that Richard. Soon, God will say, "Ok world. You have ruled enough. Now it is time for Me to come back and rule." When that happens, the last thing we will see is Planned Parenthood and liberal people who support it.

Because crisis pregnancy centers deliberately mislead young women (I myself have seen many many advertisements saying, "pregnant? need help? come talk about your options") and outfit their centers to look like doctor's offices in an attempt to get them through their doors, this law is necessary.
There are crisis pregnancy centers that do lock women in their "exam" rooms while they lecture these young women on the dangers of abortion - dangers that are not medically substantiated, or have been medically disproven.
Women who go to these centers requesting contraception are told about natural family planning and abstinence, not contraception, and they are told that birth control will cause sterility or damage to their future children. The women who visit these centers need to know that the people talking to them are not doctors, and are not trained to give medical information. Crisis Pregnancy Centers may have the best of intentions, and they may be very helpful to some women in need of advice. They may offer parenting classes and referrals to doctors and help obtaining baby supplies. But they are not medical clinics, and they try their very hardest to look like a doctor's office in a deliberate attempt to mislead confused and desperate women. They offer options counseling, which any reasonable person would read to include abortions. To offer options counseling in what is designed to look like a doctor's office and then to instead tell women lies or half-truths about abortion and contraception is the very definition of false advertising, and since the centers still insist on practicing these despicable methods, it is up to the law to put a stop to it.

What would you have "abortion clinics" post signs about? Perhaps if they do not refer for things, they should have signs indicating as such, but many "abortion clinics" do in fact refer for all services, INCLUDING adoption, counseling, and follow up treatment.

The issue is not that the limited service pregnancy centers try to get women to give their child up for adoption- it is that they try to sway vulnerable, perhaps frightened women one way or another using FALSE information. I have been going to Planned Parenthood for well women exams for years and not once have I ever been given false information.

Look deeper into this, people. If you saw both sides of the issue you would know that these limited pregnancy services are lying to pregnant women, not giving them options, and then discouraging them from taking steps to prevent an unwanted pregnancy in the future- all under the guise of a health center. As a Christian, I find this deplorable that they consider doing this in the name of God.

It bothers me that the Archbishop and Crisis Pregnancy Centers imply "abortion-related services” to mean birth control services. Birth control is not abortion-related. Last time I checked, birth control is the best way to prevent unwanted or unintended pregnancies and abortion. But the Archbishop and Crisis Pregnancy Centers feel that abstinence is the only answer. That’s why these pro-life centers won’t even tell women about how birth control can effectively prevent any future unwanted pregnancies. Yes, abstinence prevents pregnancy, but so do birth control pills and condoms. It's unrealistic to expect that in our hyper sexualized society people are not going to have sex. Why don't we give them the tools to protect themselves from needing abortions in the first place? Seems obvious. Women deserve to know what they are getting themselves into when they go to these centers. It’s harassment for these centers to not tell women about their full range of options.

Lets then require Abortion Clinics to post disclosure information, as well. For example, Consumer Reports tested condoms and the ones that broke or otherwise failed at a highest rates were the ones distributed by PPA. By golly, "we also do abortions for failed contraception!" Not that buying holey condoms was intentional, of course, they just don't care about women, but about profit margin, or the law, as recent undercover investigations have shown. As for unborn babies, we know how much "pregnancy care" PPA provides. Pre-natal care for women? What mother who wants to keep her child wants to sit in a waiting room next to a women waiting to have hers killed.

On the other hand, Crisis Pregnancy Centers will get the mother and baby medical care, help with clothing, feeding and if desired adoption.

Missy - What exactly do limited service pregnancy centers lie about? You neglected to actually mention what it is they are lying about. What false information do they use and how do they attempt to sway anyone? If you are making allegations it would ne nice to actually have some examples.

Hey "Anonymous." Just for you, buddy.

From the United States House of Representatives, Committee on Government Reform, Special Investigations Division, July of 2006: "False and Misleading Information Provided by Federally Funded Pregnancy Resource Centers."
http://reform.democrats.house.gov/documents/20060717101140-30092.pdf

AND:

From the Center for Reproductive Rights, formerly known as the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy: "Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) / Burdensome and Unnecessary Requirements Limit Access to Services" http://reproductiverights.org/en/project/targeted-regulation-of-abortion-providers-trap

I hope that answers your questions, "Anonymous." Do let me know if there is any further factual information that illustrates the rampant problems with CPCs that I can provide for you.

The rest of you---please call City Council and support this bill. It's a no-brainer. In fact, it should be national.

Meghan - Thanks I'll read it when I have a chance and defer commenting any further after.

Meghan- Thanks, I was actually just working on giving Anonymous some facts myself. I guess it was our bad for assuming that people speaking out against this issue might be well-informed about it....

And some comments to Richard's "Give me a break! Does anyone in the US not know that contraception & abortion are legal in the US? This bill is simply being passed to harass these pro-life pregnancy centers.
Perhaps Planned Parenthood should be forced to post a sign saying that unlike what the name implies, they don't help you become a parent, they help you kill your child."

1. I assume everyone in the US knows that contraception and abortion are legal, but I wouldn't say they all know where to go for it. The problem is that these centers lure women in to make them think they can get information about these services, but give them false or misleading information, or just lecture them about 'values' instead. For a confused, vulnerable woman (yes, because that is who the centers target), this can be very coercive.

2. Planned Parenthood does offer a lot of parenting services. No, they don't give out material assistance like baby clothes a diapers, but that is because they are a medical clinic and do not pose as anything else. They do offer counseling about parenting and adoption services, as well as prenatal care and birthing classes.

If these centers really want to help women that want to keep their children but just need some material assistance, this regulation should have no effect on their work. Then again, if that were their mission, they wouldn't be coercing women to come in using ads and billboards that say "Pregnant? Need help?". These ads would instead say "Having a baby? Need help?". The goal of these centers is to provide assistance to people that they label "abortion vulnerable" and in fact, they devote much less time and materials to the women who know they want to keep their children. That's backwards.

But in the end, this bill just asks crisis pregnancy centers to be honest about who they are. On the inside, they don't have to change a thing.

The CPCs are not lying at all. Abortionists could clear this up themselves by simply calling themselves abortion providers. However abortionists and their proponents would rather hide behind terms like "choice" and "reproductive services" then state what it is they do. I guess even they know deep down that abortion is indefensible.

The intent of these other centers is to take a scared young woman and rather than inform her of ALL the options available to tell her only of a select few, to confuse her in general and to the largest degree possible to delay that young woman from getting the actually complete and objective information needed to make an informed choice without the browbeating and imposed guilt of a zealot.

Yes, the very heart of charity. They should all be ashamed of themselves.

I would think that these organizations would be proud to promote the fact that they don't provide those services - as they are so very critial of those that do.
Or perhaps they trying to be deliberately deceitful to vulnerable women?
They can't have it both ways. Either post the signs and take pride in the actions, or pay the fee and admit that to being deceitful.

Hey Richard: "Perhaps Planned Parenthood should be forced to post a sign saying that unlike what the name implies, they don't help you become a parent, they help you kill your child."

Perhaps you should stop by a Planned Parenthood sometime. Perhaps you would find a good number of proactive women planning their futures and their families. Perhaps you would be enlightened to know that this doesn't have to equate to abortion.

God, schmod. Get a life. This isn't the Dark Ages. Do you believe in Santa Claus too?

Riley are you in grade school or something?

What it boils down to is that if you were aborted you wouldnt be here and God wanted you here.

Clay,
Thank you for your honesty. This is what we want CPCs to admit. This is the point of the crisis pregnancy centers: they do not want women to have abortions or to control the number of children they have. They believe this is God's decision.

The problem is that in a post-Enlightenment society (with democracy and free will), people are free to believe this or not believe it.

If you chose to believe, then visit a CPC for help. But if you don't realize that this is the agenda at a CPC, you should be told this upfront -- they will not help you with birth control or abortion information...and they will not because they are fundamentalist evangelicals trying to make sure that you have children.

This is a lie, y'all: Archbishop O’Brien said, “especially when nothing in a pregnancy support center’s yellow page advertisements or Web pages would lead a woman to believe these centers provide abortions or abortion-related services.”
From "Services" page on the website of Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns: "Abortion Risks and Procedures ~ Complete information about each abortion procedure." "Sonograms ~ Sonograms administered by a certified sonographer on clients who are abortion-minded."
Absolutely true, this doesn't say "we do an abortion here". But it implies that the sonogram is abortion preparation. This is the flavor of the info given by pro-life pregnancy centers. It's not exactly a lie, but it's misleading. This bill would simply require transparency.
A woman who is determined to get an abortion will get an abortion. We know this because women ALWAYS, from the beginning of recorded time, have terminated pregnancies -- safe or unsafe, legal or outlaw, righteous or wicked, women do what they know is best for themselves and their families.
Likewise, women who are determined to carry a pregnancy to term will do so, even under the worst imaginable circumstances. Through poverty, abuse, war, at the expense of their own lives, women will, again, do what they know is best for themselves and their families.
This controversy is about the women who are torn, caught in the whirling tornado of true ambivalence. What a crazy, suffocating place to be! Pregnant, maybe sick, with a ticking clock sitting in your abdomen, you have to weigh one of the heaviest decisions a human has the power to make. It's hard. It's hard enough without trying to navigate who has your best interests at heart through the deafening clamor of the abortion debate.
Any woman in that unenviable position deserves nothing less than the most accurate, current, evidence-based medical information about abortion as one of her options. Intentionally misleading her about how damaging an abortion will be adds a cruel burden to that excruciating decision.
Women have been the gatekeeper for every human life that ever walked the planet. We know what we need to do, and when. Truth is not too much respect to ask for.

KGB - They are human beings trying to reason with and save the health of the mother-to-be... not to mention the saving of an innocent life. I don't see why rational people can't see the logic and reasoning of wanting to save a baby? Like it isn't that hard to see. I think it all boils down to selfishness. Before you crucify me consider this:

The mother may have(in most cases) made the decision to experience the sexual act. In biology we learn that this is to crate a new life right? So having said this, the common misconception in our culture is that sex is solely for pleasure. This is wrong. Sex is pleasurable of course... babies are the goal however. If the mother does not realize this, then she is living under a rock. Even considering the abortion is a selfish act because it is by nature CONVENIENT. Why can't the baby be born? because I want my life to come before the baby's. I want to be able to live my normal life. Being a mother seems not to be normal anymore. In a perfect world, why would she want an abortion? She probably wouldn't. It is a direct result of our secular, selfish, "I am my own boss" sex-crazed culture that has no objective examples of sexual responsibility or logical decision making.

I would be surprised if anyone even attempted to argue that because this is the sad truth no matter how you cut it.

I dont believe that the centers are trying to get you to have any more kids than the one that is already created. Ok they dont give out birth control pills, etc. What is stopping a woman from getting them when she asks and is told no and then leaves the center? What is stopping her from telling her mate to use a condom? If she wants these things she is free to get them, even at the drugstore.

This law would substantially help a woman know ALL of her options, some of which are difficult for a woman to access. Passing the law is necessary for full disclosure.

Clay:
What is stopping women from getting birth control from somewhere other than the CPC?
The answer might be the fact that many CPCs will tell women that birth control and condoms don't work, that they will surely result in and STD, and/or that birth control can give you cancer. Also they will be told they are sinning against God if they want to have sex outside of marriage or use contraceptives within marriage. That kind of lecture (and yes, i'll tell you- it feels like a lecture) is not very encouraging for women to go get birth control elsewhere.

Also, since CPCs are misrepresenting themselves, many women may not know exactly where they can go to get a prescription and affordable birth control (if they can't go to a pregnancy center, where can they go?). Most CPCs will not provide women with that information either.

And I am not going to even get into the million reasons a woman may be unable to ask/convince her sex partner to use a condom.

Well I am a Christian and I think that abortion is wrong, but to tell someone not to use birth control is overdoing it. Also, I read a review of what a woman said when she visited one of the centers and she didnt mention anything about being told it is a sin against God. Why would a center take a chance on scaring a non-Christian away? I think that there is probably a little misinformation on both sides. I cant say that discouraging a woman from abortion is wrong in any case. Many women do feel guilty later about having had one. Thanks.

Clay - How do you not believe in abortion and yet justify birth control Clay? You seem mixed up and "half-hearted" on your positions. Thanks

@anonymous: no actually, I am a college graduate, but thanks for asking!

You may wonder what sharing the Gospel has to do with an unplanned pregnancy. The truth is that things have not changed much for the past 2000 years. Women are still searching for love in the arms of a man, just like the women at the well , the women caught in adultery or even Hagar. They give themselves hoping that they can capture the love and affection they long for. They make choices that may not be in their own best interest. Most of the women we see do not value themselves. They have no understanding what a gift they could and should be to their future husbands. Through society, movies and TV sex has become just a casual act. It is no longer the sacred, covenant thing that God created it to be between a man and a women.

These women come to us hurting and confused. In need to see that there is something or someone bigger than them to give them hope to get them through their crisis. God calls the staff and volunteers to Crisis Pregnancy centers. Many of us have been in our client’s place. Having to make the hard choices. Some of us chose abortion and now regret it. It was only God’s love and acceptance that changed us into some one we can now respect. We know that His love is exactly what these women need because He was exactly what each of us needed. We have been forgiven much so we love much. In that passion and appreciation for what Christ has done for us, we feel compelled to share the truth about the one what saved us and changed us. Do we force these women to accept Christ? Of course not. Only the Spirit can draw them and He does. We pray daily that He draw the women He wants us to minister and that each client is a divine appointment. He hooks just the right volunteer to the right client. More often than not the volunteer can share a part of her life that can relate to the girl in the room and then she can share what Christ did to help her escape the pain and hurt of being where the client is.

Volunteers have their own personal stories to share with the clients. I personally know women who had a perforated uterus from abortion. I know women who aborted the only baby they would ever conceive. There are women who have miscarriage after miscarriage due to damage to their cervix during an abortion. Don’t these clients have the right to know that these realities can happen to them. The statistics have to come from somewhere. Just like pregnancy with out education these women believe these consequences can never happen to them. They thought they also were not the one that an unplanned pregnancy was going to happen to. They have been shown that sex has no consequences.

Contraceptives do not protect a women from STD’s or the emotional pain of being used and discarded. We want to educate women so they protect themselves, physically, emotionally and spiritually. If you do things God’s way there is peace, joy and hope. When you do things the worlds way you can end up sick, dying inside, full of depression. Which brings me to the subject of Post Abortion Stress Syndrome. Many women who have had abortions later suffer from depression, self abusive behaviors and even an increased risk of suicide. We just want women to be aware that there choices may end up not being as easy as they think. If a woman comes to our clinic and still chooses abortion we continue to support and encourage her.

We are trying to show that when you have God on your side; although things maybe hard and maybe they will be hard decisions, they don’t have to go through it alone. They have a mighty God that is ready, able, and willing to help them through the tough times and give them a hope that as they follow Him. God’s unconditional, everlasting love is the only thing that can satisfy that need for love.

Pregnancy centers, at least ours tells women up front when they call for an appointment and want abortion information,that we do not preform or refer for abortion. We tell them that we have information so they can make an imformed decision about their pregnancy.

They do not understand that abortion is not the easy answer some may protray it to be. There are statistics put out by the states that show there can be physical and emotional risks to abortion. Just as these women never think that an unplanned pregnancy is going to happen to them. they don't think the realities of the risks of abortion will happen to them. I personally know women who have had a perferated uterus from an abortion. I know women who have aborted the only baby they would ever concieve. I know women who have suffered deep depression and emotional problems from an abortion. I personally experienced a deep feeling of guilt and shame over my desicion to have and abortion. I want women to know all these things are a possibility and a reality to many. I wish someone had told me.

As for contraceptives, our society makes it look like sex has no consequences. Contraceptives do not protect women from STD's, some which can kil them. HPV is rampant in this country. Who told us it is a sexually transmitted decease that causes nearly all cervical cancer.
We want these women to be educated and to know that there is a better way. That God's way is the best way. If you are abstinent and save sex for marriage, you don't have to worry about an unplanned pregnancy or STD's. We want them to know that we care about them as women. Not just their babies.

We offer ultrasound so they can know if it is even a viable pregnancy. How far along is she? Is it in her uterus where it belongs? We also hope when she sees the reality of what is inside her she will choose life. I would much rather deal with the fact that I my baby had a heart beat at 21 days after conception then to find it out after I made an abortion decission. Our goal is really to educate these women. So they can make a choice they can live with 20 years from now.

There is nothing wrong with leading anyone to the Lord. And yes, contraceptives dont keep a woman from getting std's. If someone is that uneducated, by all means tell them these things. My point is that there is no way people at the center try to have kids each time they have sex, and I am not going to either. Maybe if I hit the lottery.

Sandy,

The CDC shows that postPARTUM depression is an accepted clinical diagnosis.

A post-partum depression website says: "In fact, more women will suffer from postpartum depression and related illnesses this year than the combined number of new cases for men and women of tuberculosis, leukemia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy."

It's not distinct to women who have abortion - it happens to lots and lots of us who deal with pregnancy.

Women need unbias, medically accurate information about making important life decisions. Info approved by the CDC and the NIH.

All the Council wants is for these centers to do is to post a sign. Women can make the decision to stay or go. Pretty simple.

Some of you folks just don't get it. "Thou shalt not murder."

Ok, so that's as stated in the Judeo-Christian Ethic. But that principle is universally the first foundational basis for the existence of every legitimate government or society. You can't get away from it.

The science is clear. It is not a blob of stem cells or something. Look at the photos. From the moment that DNA from Mother and Father dissemble, mix, and reassemble in the first new cell, a definitively identifiable, unique individual Human Being exists. That's at the moment of conception.

So how can you deal with your hormones in such a sexualized society? Make the society less sexualized. Become part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Sexual morals exist for a compelling reason. Without them, a society ends up taking away the most precious elements in a child's life: their parents, and eventually turns to murdering the children. It is the children who suffer, and they suffer greatly. You cannot get more heartless, more loveless.

The most basic benefit of sex is the bonding it cements between Mother and Father for the benefit of the children. It is the bonding that Jesus refers to when He says "From the beginning God made them male and female.... What God has joined together, let no man tear apart." Casual or illicit sex powerfully teaches us to misuse, ignore, and destroy this bonding.

Nevertheless,

Children need Mother and Father. Together. For life.

Period.

May God bless you.

Dear KJB,

Post Partum Depression is a completely different problem from Post Abortion Stress Syndrome. I realize that some people say it does not exist, yet I know of women you have sufffered imense pyscological problems after an abortion. Not all women do but they should at least be made aware there there is a risk.

If you believe a Crisis Pregnancy Center should post a sign which states that we don't perform abortion or give out controceptives, what sign would you make an abortion clinic post?

You may suffer Post Abortion Stress 10-20 yrs from now.
You maybe killing the only baby you concieve? Abortion is murder?

Now that is truth in advertising.

To tell women that abortion is a completely safe procedure is a lie. In studies 1 in every 530,000 women die from a botched abortion if she is less than 12 weeks. The statistics go up from there as the pregnancy progresses.

I agree that pregnancy it self can cause complications and even death. The pregnancy related death rates due to complications generally include those caused by abortion.

Young women who take contraceptives have no protection from STD's and often participate in risky sexual behaviors because they are somewhat protected from pregnancy. All they have to do is miss a pill or two and then they are at a clinic for a pregnancy test. I see girls every day that are on birth control that are pregnant. Abstinence is the only sure way to protect themselves from STD's and pregnancy.

Truth is most of the girls we see are put on birth control, become sexually active, then can't afford the pills and then end up pregnant. For each day they delay there choice to have sex the healthier they will be.

I agree with Mr. Bambeck, however I dont think it does a lot for children if they have to have nine brothers and sisters and live in poverty. We see it all the time in Central and South America. There is no murder if a child is never created to begin with. I see people, even Catholics, who stop having kids around 40. You cant convince me that they have stopped having sex.

I wish all of the pro-life time and resources (and money) were spent ministering to the unwanted children all across Baltimore City. But that is likely more difficult to swallow, going into some of the most economically depressed areas of the city. Dealing with the personal tragedies that result from unwanted children and the glaring sin of poverty in general. No that is too big of a problem to tackle, right? Better to have a "feel good" solution for these activists, it's nice and clean to prevent termination of an unwanted pregnancy.

Anyway, if you are against abortion don't have one. If you are going to minister to people, tell them - don't wrap it up in a fake clinic.

squirlygirl - I wasn't aware to be considered a true clinic abortion was a requirement. Get off the pious unwanted children BS. Most abortions are done as a form of birth control. There is no greater good involved it’s murder for convenience period. Instead of trying to sugar coat murder why don't you pro-abortion folks spend more time spreading a bit of common sense about what can happen from the combination of sexual promiscuity and not using some form of birth control.

One of the dimmer versions of Anonymous suggests: "spend more time spreading a bit of common sense about what can happen from the combination of sexual promiscuity and not using some form of birth control"

as opposed to all the time and energy spent fighting organized efforts to prevent sex ed in the schools? and prevention clinics there? and condom distribution?

by all means, please back off on all that mis-information geared directly at counteracting the same basic objective information that somehow manages to get to the youth in other developed countries without such religious zealots interfering

by all means, please just back off and stop confusing them. The biology is the same regardless of religion.

Mr. Irrational - I never said there was anything wrong with sex ed in schools. You presume too much. Like most you make the assumption that all who opposes abortion have the same ideas. The only idea I oppose you mentioned is condom distribution Any good it does in the form of prevention is more than offset by the appearance of promoting the idea that it's ok for minors to engage in sexual activities. Maybe you could enlighten me as to what mis-information I need to back off. When you do try and have some facts behind it and not just empty rhetoric like your last post.

Anonymous you are daft. Distributing condoms encourages minors to have sex? Sex is everywhere brother. The entire society is hyper sexed. When you distribute condoms you are giving the rubbers to kids who are already walking around with condoms in their pockets. That said I see the uterus wars are on. Notice how most of the women want the puritans out of their reproductive tracts and how some, though not all, of the men would like nothing better than to get into these reproductive tracts with their rules books, in the name of saving the unborn! I highly doubt most of these men are doing anything wonderful for the already born. The Archbishop certainly seems frustrated that the Catholic Church may be further depleted of money via fines--don't forget all the money lost to the victims of abuse-- even as it proselytizes through every desperate means possible. Simply post a sign outside these fake clinics that says, "We are non profit. We are Catholic. Our mission is to help women carry pregnancies to term. Amen!" That is called truth in advertising. Population control is not the Catholic Church's strong point or perhaps it is--perhaps the church hopes to have every unborn be born, until there are no resources left for anyone on Earth, until we run out of food and water, and the church elders, then, can stand in their grand vestments, muttering our death knell in Latin, sprinkling holy water on our fading heads, blessing us on our way to our mass graves. This Church is beset by unintended consequences.
Ravensfan Anon

I know one thing. It never hurts to discourage kids from having sex. On an Oprah show they were interviewing a teen boy and asking him if he knew how to put on a condom, etc. They were acting like it is going to happen so why should we not just give them something to protect themselves, etc. The teens should have been told that they shouldnt have sex until marriage, even if it wasnt cool. Oprah is someone who would have supported John McCain had he been black and Obama white.

Ravensfan Anon - Your appeal to ridicule simply shows you realize the weakness of your own position. If you think handing out condoms isn’t an indirect approval for sex among minors then you are dumber than the post you made already makes you appear. In any event that is the parent’s decision, not the schools, yours or mine to make. I try not to generalize issues between sex, race, creed or religion myself so I won’t comment on that lame attempt to bring gender or religion into the discussion. If you can manage to post an intelligent argument I’ll respond. I do have a question for you, why exactly are the clinics fake? I asked that a similar question before of someone else and didn’t get an answer? As for the sign issue I have no problem with it. If someone is looking to kill an unborn child they have a right to know that the clinic they are entering will do it and not ask her to consider the life of another.

I think it is ironic that the anti-choice community has turned this into a harassment issue. What about the women who are harassed every day when they walk into a planned parenthood, whether it's to get a pack of birth control pills, their annual pap smear or an abortion?

What about the medical providers who are harassed across this country in their homes and in the worst case scenarios murdered in their house of worship (RIP Dr. Tiller)?

What about the harassment of good, hard-working construction workers and their families because they are working on building a clinic outside of Denver or in Aurora, IL? Yes, going to the homes of hired contractors and harassing them and their families in their neighborhoods?

What about lining up in main thoroughfares in cities and towns across America (near schools in many cases) and holding large signs of graphic images, *often doctored* of fetuses?

Harassment is nothing new to the "pro-life" community. Neither is trying to control other people's lives. No Baltimore, this legislation is not intended to harass you, but to protect the women of Baltimore from falling prey to your harassment.

Anonymous –Yes we must stop those evil pro-life fanatics who harass women by asking them to think about the reality of what abortion is and showing pictures what abortion looks like. I mean if we let them get away with that then how can we protect a women’s right to terminate life. We must stop them from showing the world what abortion is because if people know they might realize that the whole pre-choice message is nothing more than crap.

It sounds like you are in denial about what abortion really is with that doctored signs bs. You figure if you close your eyes, and ears you can avoid facing what it is you support, a violent and inhumane way of ending of life.

I am glad Anonymous now parents have your approval to give out the benighted condoms. As for me bringing religion into it fellow Anonymous, this is a Catholic clinic --religion is the essence of its mission. Wonderful that you compartmentalize your issues--that you are able to keep gender, race and religion apart--sarcastic I may have been Anonymous, but so were you in your last post. I have every right to point out that the Catholic Church's attitude hastens us to our mass graves. By the way, the fact that you are having such a hissy fit over my comment about men getting into the reproductive tracts of women with their rules books makes me think that my arrow hit your guilty heart right where it hurt. Ah, Anonymous, it is not at all obvious to anyone on this thread that you are a fanatic. Keep it up we'll all think you are a pussy cat who has not had his saucer of milk for weeks.
Ravensfan Anon

Ravensfan Anon - It would seem as if you don’t mind being sarcastic but have problems when someone does it to you. Not surprising most radicals (right or left) always rationalizes why it’s wrong when the other side uses the same tactics as they employ. Hissy fit? I haven’t heard anyone use that in a while. I’m not quite sure how calling you out for your attempt to make a social issue out of a legal one. I can’t say I’m surprised most abortion supporters prefer to close their eyes and mind to what it is they support and instead turn it into some sort of crusade for women’s rights or simply launch personal attacks. I can’t blame you that sure is better than saying you are for someone’s right to terminate a life. That’s why you argue ad hominem. You disappoint me I had pegged you for a little more logical than that.

"Harrassment"? "Closing your eyes and mind"? Having trouble dealing with what you have done, or want to do?

Repent. Change your mind, turn around and go the righteous way. It's not hopeless.

You can't do it alone. Confess to a person who follows the teachings of Jesus, and you will find help. Jesus brings relief from a load of Guilt. Out of all the philosophies and religions of the world, only Jesus accomplishes this. Try Him and see.

Stop the killing.

May God bless you.
William Bambeck

William Bambek,
What are you trying to do? Sprinkle holy water on this blog for purification purposes or are you belaboring under the delusion you are a John The Baptist incarnate? If you are merely bearing witness for the Lord would you try to do it without so much stridency about repenting? By the way are you brother to the amazing one called Clay or perhaps you attend his church? If you don't know him you certainly will when Jesus returns. He'll be the one right next to you on the right hand side of the Lord. That's one reason to hope for Dante's purgatory.
Ravensfan Anon

Mr Bambeck is trying to speak to you from his heart and you wont listen. Let me ask you something. I heard a testimony from a man who died on the operating table. He saw himself floating above the people working on him. Then some people came in to welcome him to hell and started biting him and harassing him. He started screaming as they were pulling him and biting him. Then he came back to life and woke up after the operation. This influenced him so much that he found Christ. If the same thing happened to you, would it make any difference in your life? Thanks.

Anon - Any special reason why you felt the need to mock and insult William? Why is it that you chose to do that rather than present a logical argument? If possible please don’t go into another of your verbose and cherry picked history of the Church. It would seem to me if you were so sure of your position it wouldn’t be that hard to present why you felt what he said has no basis in truth.

A logical argument against a religious rant? Against proselytization blatant? Come on Ravensfan, the man wants everyone to convert to his belief because he thinks it is superior and he insists that conversion can come about through confession. I call that subtle coercion Ravensfan--the only way to counter that is with absurdist humor--a satirical laugh -- and you of course would give me a stern wag of your Catholic forefinger--relax your somber brow Ravensfan, repent that you scold me so, confess to John Colbert tonight that your sense of humor has been robbed by Bambek's veiled threats and the promise of salvation having not quite tantalized Ravensfan Anon enough, to cast him on knees with a cry of despair for forgiveness.
And on the subject of me appearing in tandem with Littel, I see your train of thought now links me to Littel, the two as being one and the same perhaps. I tremble to think what Littel will conclude about your deduction. Your assault on his uniqueness; your view that there may be two of him around, not merely one, Ravensfan, your surmising that one of the two may actually be me--you blaspheme and you may never be forgiven. Me, a mere upstart, a flash in the pan, the equal of the master? You do Littel injustice Ravensfan and you put a smile on my face once more.
Ravensfan Anon

Anon – At least I put a smile on your face. My sense of humor is fine thanks for your concern. I wouldn’t wag a finger at you Anon. You’re satan aren’t you? At least that’s what I read here. Then again considering the reverence you show for Robert maybe he’s satan and your just one of his minions. Shouldn’t you be tempting me to follow you down into the inferno.
ravensfan

But would it make a difference in your life?

Baltimore makes stupid laws every year. Baltimore even reelected their crooked mayor who might soon be going to jail and getting. Baltimore needs a new slogan called "The stupid law city" instead of the current "Charm City."

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

About Matthew Hay Brown
Matthew Hay Brown writes and blogs about faith and values in public and private life for The Baltimore Sun. A former Washington correspondent for the newspaper, he has long written about the intersection of religion and politics. He has reported from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, traveling most recently to Syria and Jordan to write about the Iraqi refugee crisis.
-- ADVERTISEMENT --

Most Recent Comments
Baltimore Sun coverage
Religion in the news
Charm City Current
Stay connected