By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor
(CNN) - For decades, the March for Life has followed a familiar formula: Bus in thousands of abortion opponents. Protest in front of the Supreme Court. Go home.
But this year, in addition to braving snow and bone-chilling wind, the March will move in a different direction, says Jeanne Monahan, president of the anti-abortion group.
Long-winded political speeches? See ya.
An exclusive focus on Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that lifted restrictions on abortion? Gone.
A hipster Catholic musician, evangelical leaders and March for Life app? Welcome to the protest.
And those changes just skim the surface.
The March for Life, billed as the world’s largest anti-abortion event, is remaking itself in deeper ways as well, says Monahan.
For its first 40 years, the march was marshaled by Nellie Gray, an occasionally irascible Catholic who had little use for modern technology, political compromise or the mainstream media.
Gray died in her home office in 2012 at age 88. A short time later, Monahan was named her successor at the March for Life.
While abortion opponents praise Gray’s legacy, there’s a popular saying around the March for Life’s Washington headquarters: “We’re a brand-new, 41-year-old organization.”
The goal: to turn their annual, one-day demonstration into a potent political machine.
Abortion rights advocates say they’re skeptical that March for Life leaders can convince more Americans to join their cause. Since 1989, the percentage who want to overturn Roe has barely budged above 30%.
“It’s an impressive show,” Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, says of the March for Life. “But at the end of the day, they have failed dramatically at their goal.”
Still, even O’Brien expressed respect for his foes’ new plans. “It’s pretty clever, actually.”
With that in mind, here are six big ways the March for Life is changing this year:
1) 9 to 5
Since 1974, the March for Life has made a really loud noise every January 22, the anniversary of Roe. V. Wade.
Estimates of the crowd’s size vary, but it seems safe to say tens of thousands have attended the protest each year.
Organizers estimate that at least 50% of the marchers are under 18, as busloads of Catholic school kids descend on the capital from across the country.
But some abortion opponents complain the March for Life had morphed in recent years from a political demonstration to a photo op.
Ryan Bomberger, an anti-abortion activist who is speaking at march events, says the protest needs to find ways to harness its youthful energy throughout the year.
“You’ve got all these young people with energy and passion and the desire to do something about the injustice of abortion. But what do they do when they leave the march and go home?”
March for Life leaders want to turn its young protesters into citizen lobbyists, much like Tea Party partisans and the Obama campaign did with their troops.
The key to that, says March for Life's Chairman of the Board Patrick Kelly, is to keep them engaged throughout the year, including through social media. (More on that later.)
In addition to Monahan, an experienced Washington politico, the March for Life has beefed up its Washington office by hiring a full-time lobbyist and social media manager who will also lead outreach to evangelicals, a big and politically active constituency.
The focus this year will be combating the Obama administration’s contraception mandate, which requires most companies to provide free contraceptive coverage to employees. Abortion opponents say that some covered services are tantamount to abortion.
2) If You’ve Got the Money, We've Got the Time
For decades, the March for Life subsisted on a meager budget: Just $150,000 a year, according to tax filings from 2009-2011.
But new Washington offices, lobbyists and social media managers don’t come cheap. Fortunately for the March for Life, a donor who was a friend of Gray’s bequeathed $550,000 to the organization last year.
That, along with a more robust fund-raising campaign, has allowed the March to increase its budget from $252,000 when Monahan took over in 2012, to $780,000 this year.
“We are professionalizing the March for Life,” said Kelly.
3) With Arms Wide Open
Though various religious groups oppose abortion (many support abortion rights as well) the March for Life has come to be considered mainly a Catholic event.
Catholic clergy offer prayers, Catholic politicians make speeches and Catholic school kids fill out the rank-and-file.
Monahan says this year will different.
The March for Life has hired a full-time staffer devoted to bringing more Protestant evangelicals to the protest, and they hope to see that effort bear fruit this Wednesday.
They’ve tapped James Dobson, founder of the evangelical powerhouse ministry Focus on the Family, as a keynote speaker. Dobson and his adopted son, Ryan, will talk about adoption, an issue close to the heart of many evangelicals.
4) The Hardest Part
For the first time in its 41 years, the March for Life will focus on an issue besides abortion on Wednesday.
Through Dobson and other speakers, the march is also promoting the idea of “noble adoption” as an alternative to abortion.
“Adoption is a heroic decision for pregnant mothers who find themselves in a difficult situation,” says Monahan. “We want to eliminate the stigma of adoption and encourage women to pursue this noble option.”
The spotlight on adoption dovetails with new focus within the anti-abortion movement on crisis pregnancy centers, which urge women to carry their pregnancy to term.
Critics charge that the centers divulge false medical information about abortion and deceive unwitting patients into thinking they provide abortions, only to advise them otherwise. Supporters say they help women through financial assistance, counseling and adoption referrals.
5) Wish You Were Here
Despite the youth of many March for Life participants, the group’s website had been decidedly Web 1.0.
Under Monahan, that has changed dramatically.
The group posts Instagram pics of chilly protesters trudging through snow at past marches on Throwback Thursdays. They upload posts about prenatal development to Pinterest and tweet throughout the year, including this one about the difficult choices pregnant women sometimes face.
For the more technically advanced, the March has developed an app that connects to a 360-degree camera so folks can follow the protest from home. The app also has anti-abortion information, links to articles about adoption and tips for lobbying Congress.
“We have to find a way to take those boots on the ground and talk to them throughout the year,” says Kelly. “And with Facebook and Twitter and other social media we have the tools to do so.”
The March is also hoping for a high-profile social media endorsement on Wednesday: Monahan says she’s asked the Vatican to send a tweet from the Pope in support of the March for Life.
UPDATE: On Wednesday morning, Monahan got her papal tweet.
I join the March for Life in Washington with my prayers. May God help us respect all life, especially the most vulnerable
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) January 22, 2014
I join the March for Life in Washington with my prayers. May God help us respect all life, especially the most vulnerable
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) January 22, 2014
6) Yakety Yak
Imagine listening to politicians drone on for hours about their voting records in the chilly January air.
Monahan didn’t think so either, so she’s trying to accomplish a minor miracle: limiting the speaking time of politicians at the pre-march rally.
Only a handful of politicians, including House Majority Leader Eric Canton, R-Virginia, and Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Illinois, have been invited to speak. They’ve all been asked to keep their speeches to a just a few minutes.
“In past years our rally has gone on for two or three hours and people lost interest,” Monahan says.
So, instead of boring speeches, the rally this year will feature a live concert by Matt Maher, a Catholic singer-songwriter with a huge following among young Christians.
So, will all this make any difference?
Clearly, changes are afoot this year at the March for Life. But what effect, if any, will they have on the larger anti-abortion movement?
Not much, says Ziad Munson, a sociologist at Lehigh University and author of the book “The Making of Pro-life Activists.”
The March for Life hasn’t really been politically influential since the early 1990s, says Munson. Meanwhile, other abortion opponents, like Catholic bishops and National Right to Life Committee, have led the charge.
“In effect, what we’re seeing is a new organization within a movement, not a new approach,” he says. “I don’t think the March for Life is likely to make inroads that haven’t already been made.”
Monahan is more optimistic.
If the March can recruit even a slice of its youthful protesters into citizen activists, she says, it might be enough to tip the balance in a country deeply divided on the morality of abortion.
To bring up God or negative things about prolife people are logical fallacies and chance the subject from the point: unborn humans are living beings with different DNA than their Moms.
Now we have 3D pictures and they look just like babies. There is a demographic winter coming, no over pop problem. Instead of killing the unborn because they might have a hard life or be a criminal, we can reteach ethics.
Even if you are not sure if the unborn are persons, wouldn't you swerve around a blanket in the street if it looked as if a human was under the blanket? When in doubt, protect life, like we do the baby eagles and seals.
I support the protection of the life and rights of a woman over the life of a collection of cells that could potentially become a human.
"Potentially become a human"? Hmmm? Or are said growing cells already infused with their own unique, replicating human DNA easily tested from conception to death of said human?
Is a week old embryo able to survive outside the body? Hmmmm? You were on here yesterday whining about Obama meeting the Pope. Are you one of those that would cut funding for social programs that would care for our poor? Bet you are.
And just how many meals for the poor could be purchased if BO cancelled his visit with Francis?
With respect to supporting programs for the poor, a ready source of revenue for such programs:
Eliminate the cost of controlling and/or supporting religion by exposing religion for the con that it is by redirecting our funds and saving a lot of "souls" in the process.
Saving 1.5 billion lost Muslims:
There never were and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam and therefore no more koranic-driven acts of horror and terror LIKE 9/11.
– One trillion dollars over the next several years as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will end.
– Eighteen billion dollars/yr. to Pakistan will stop.
– Four billion dollars/yr. to Egypt will end.
Saving 2 billion lost Christians including the Mormons:
There were never any bodily resurrections and there will never be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity!!!
– The Mormon ti-the empire will now become taxable as will all Christian "religions" and evangelical non-profits since there is no longer any claim to being a tax-exempt religion.
– the faith-based federal projects supported by both Bush and Obama will be eliminated saving $385 million/yr. and another $2 billion/yr in grants.
Giving to religious groups mostly Christian in 2010, totaled $95.8 billion,
– Saving 15.5 million Orthodox followers of Judaism:
Abraham and Moses never existed.
– Four billion dollars/yr. to Israel saved.
– All Jewish sects and non-profits will no longer be tax exempt.
Now all we need to do is convince these 3.5+ billion global and local citizens that they have been conned all these centuries Time for a YouTube,Twitter and FaceBook campaign and a good bully pulpit disclosure by BO declaring all religion to be null and void !!!!
@reality.................Please leave the president out of it. We've been giving money to foreign countries for decades. In addition, the money we give is a fraction of what we spend.
Obviously, some missed the trillions we are spending to control Islam. The easily solution. Declare said religion to be the terror organization that it is and deport all who refuse to give up belonging to said organization.
Regarding religious "non-profits", getting rid of their tax exempt status would put added billions in our tax coffers maybe enough to pay for the ACA.
I must disagree. I'm not fan of Islam, far from it, but characterizing an entire religion as a terrorist organization would never work. It's patently unconsti-tutional for one thing. It would never get off the ground legally. It would also be a huge favor to Christianity, which is not much better. Also, taxing church will never get off the ground either. Again, it's a violation of the separation of church and state principle. Also–do we really want this? Making churches a taxpayer gives them "skin in the game". I'm confident that it would just lead to a further entanglement of church and state.
No–it's better to improve our education, build up the wall of separation, and vigorously speak out against religion as we do in this forum. The number of unbelievers–whether they label themselves "atheist" or not–is definitely increasing. We just need to puncture the taboo of "respecting" religion and faith. This is what has protected them from being exposed–this notion that whether one believes or not–one must still "respect" religion.
"wouldn't you swerve around a blanket in the street if it looked as if a human was under the blanket?"
It depends. What if the only choices are to run over the blanket or jump the curb and plow into a crowd sitting at a cafe?
it also depends on something else...If I swerve and do not hit the person under the blanket, will I then be responsible for the person for the rest of my life?
Good Lord, your arguments get more absurd every day, Austin.
Man you need to leave the drugs alone!
is your god an all powerful god or is he just a spectator?
If he is all powerful god then he causes or by inaction allows billions of miscarriages.
your god is an abortionist too, so why are you christians against your god?
Which is a worse trait in a society superst*tion or violence, or are they both equally bad qualities?
The problem is when violence becomes rationalized with supersti/tion.
Then you get holy wars, witch hunts and inquisitions.
Do you walk to work, or carry your lunch?
What is the difference between an apple?
Do you like comparing apples to howitzers?
Supersti tion or violence? Might as well compare apples to oranges; they are both fruits. Both supersti tion and violence are the offspring of ignorance (defined as lack of knowledge). Early civilizations sought to explain the sun in the sky and decided it must be a god. For the Egyptians, the sun was the god Ra traveling across the sky in a boat whereas the Greeks thought it was Apollo in a chariot. Today, astronomers can tell you all about the sun. Violence is more complex; it spirals out from the schoolyard bully to global wars. All violence shares the root of ignorance of nuanced conflict resolution skills. Modern society has a long way to go to escape both. I would love to see humans colonize another planet with the best minds. Could you imagine the possibilities?
Abortion is as old as medicine itself.
Hippocrates himself was an abortion providor. Plato lets it be known that he was pro-choice in "Theaetetus".
Ancient Chinese doctors prescribed mercury. Ancient Egyptians used various herbs to make "bitter water" as mentioned in the Bible.
Pennyroyal tea, worm fern, sage, salvia, savory, cypress, hyssop, dittany, opium, madder in beer, watercress seeds... the list of historical abortifacients from every civilization in history is long (though many are ineffective and/or dangerous).
Prohibiting pervasive behaviours and procedures like abortion, prosti/tution, alcohol consumption etc. is never effective. Criminalizing such practives serves only to drive them underground, to the greater detriment of society at large.
It is time to stop the sisyphian struggle against that which cannot be eradicated. Educate our young women about all of their options, from abstinence to all manner of contraception, so that the number of girls seeking abortions is reduced.
We need to quit arguing about the semantic evils of abortion and concentrate on making it unnecessary becuase any quest to eradicate it through legislation is doomed to failure.
The Church calls it holocide, a crime to top any other. It's a long road to acceptance.
Making abortion unnecessary is a great idea.
Thanks, Doc for pointing out that abortion has always been with us down thru the ages. To go further, whenever the chosen method failed then the next step was to resort to infanticide. This was a very common practice throughout the world. Try googling this topic and what you learn will make anyone realize how civilized we have become to draw the line at an early age of fetal viability. I remember reading that the first "foundling" home in England was opened in the 18th century by a sea captain who was distressed to see the rotting corpses of infants in the gutters and on dung heaps where they had been left to die of exposure AFTER a full-term birth. What is the old saying? "I cried because I had no shoes until I met the man with no feet." Abortion pales in comparison to infanticide
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ :) :) :) $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
hey christians! how about adopting a few children in the system before demanding a female add to that number you aren't willing to lower through adoption.
"Each year more than 20,000 children age out of the foster care without being adopted. Today there are 104,000 children in foster care waiting to be adopted ranging in age from less than a year old to 21.
The race and ethnicity of children waiting to be adopted vary from State to State and City to City. However, the most recent adoption and foster care statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families Adoption and Foster Care Ana-lysis Reporting System shows the majority of children waiting to be adopted are Caucasian (40 percent) or African American (28 percent). Children of Hispanic origin account for 22 percent of those waiting to be adopted.
go save these children first, then worry about a fetus.
They are apparently as pro choice as you are
In the meantime, stop the carnage by practicing safe-se-x.
My wife and I adopted a little boy from an orphanage whose mother gave him up at birth because he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. If you are at all interested in factual information, you will find the preponderance of those adopting children in need are christians.
@dev: well i guess that makes you the exception, hardly the rule. i do applaud you and your wife's effort at accepting a child with such an affliction, however i would point out the ironic point of your god made that child that way.
once genetic testing for illness has been perfected, children like that won't have to be born. those illness' can be fixed...................and if not the fetus terminated.
i would say go to these people in these anti-abortion groups and show them how to save children, not force a woman to carry a fetus she doesn't want.
mind you i still think you are just blowing smoke; however if you are lying, your god will deal with you............i guess.
In support of Devin's comments: My bother and sister-in-law, both good Christians, adopted four special needs children. All of these children are now adults and are good, hard-working citizens. Ditto for many of my Christian friends.
My data set is however very skewed since most of friends are Christians. It is very possible that members of other religions or those having no religion are also adopting children.
" Well I guess that makes you the exception" No, it makes me the rule. While there are many others who adopt, Christians are a significant portion. This is simply factual. If you choose to argue facts, that is your prerogative.
" your God made the child that way" Actually, we finally have a point of agreement. Even much more to your chagrin, you are in agreement with God. He asked Moses this question, " Who has made man's mouth? Or who has made the mute or the blind? Is it not I, the Lord? " If I were God, I would have not made my son this way, but I am not. I can tell you this, this child has been a blessing to my wife and I and our biological children in ways you will never understand.
As for this "blowing smoke" and "lying" comment, if it was questioning the truthfulness of my having this son, I won't even dignify that with an answer.
cannibalism, the pros and cons.
Opposing View, russ, chad, sharon, meredith s., jeremy, austin, topher, L of A, Robbie Brown, Jesus Beloved, tell the pharisees y u love the lord jesus christ. come on. don't b shy
Both legal and illegal abortion are bad for women! Abortion hurts women and barbarically kills a child when most vulnerable. We as women will never gain our independence by the blood of our own children! You dont hurt another to get ahead and we are never the same once we try. An abortion changes a woman's life for a lifetime! Never the same...and the decision is final...no amount of tears, or alcohol, nor drugs consumed will ever bring a child back!
It is legal and will (and should) stay that way
Lots of bad things have been legal at one point.
good things, too
Exactly what we need a new Tea Party .
Don't believe in abortion? Then don't have one. It's as simple as that.
No one is forcing you to have an abortion against your will.
Folks–nothing has really changed here. Unfortunately, religion and it's adherents are obsessed with your se-x life and reproductive choices. This is still about se-x and control, but now they are dressing it up with some hip music and smiley faces.
I'll sit up and take notice when a strong, well-funded pro-life organization is formed that does not focus on changing laws and telling people when they can have se-x and babies, but rather when they have long lines of pro-life women lining up to volunteer to have unwanted embryos transplanted into themselves, and the organization is willing to pay for it. The technology exists now. Embryos can also be frozen.
Pro-life people should be willing to do it. If you truly believe that a zygote is the full moral equivalent of an extant human baby, it should be a moral imperative. Stand up and volunteer now to have those embryos implanted in yourself, and/or contribute money toward an organization that does this. Then I'll buy that you really are "pro-life".
But I'll be surprised to see this happen. It won't solve the REAL problem–will it? "SE-X WITHOUT CONSEQUENCES!" they shriek. And how will churches try to control our se-x lives if this were to become a reality?
Thank you, Dan!!! What a novel idea..... I am sure they will be lining up to "adopt" the fetus of the alcoholic that lives on coffee & cigs and doesn't know what prenatal care is; let alone have the IQ to spell it. Let's SAVE THOSE BABIES!
Yes Cherilyn, they would gladly adopt that baby... Along with all the drug addicted, downs syndrome, disabled, multiracial children adopted by prolife people who see the value in EVERY human person whether society does or not.
The best thing anybody can do within a society is give people an escape from that society.
@jen: so how many exactly are going to adopt these children?
"The Number of Waiting Children:
Each year more than 20,000 children age out of the foster care without being adopted. Today there are 104,000 children in foster care waiting to be adopted ranging in age from less than a year old to 21.
start by adopting these 104,000 children then worry about whether or not a female wants to contribute to this number of parentless children. you christian bigots make me sick.
Nevermind "they". How many of those unwanted babies has your family adopted?
It is never appropriate to blame the victim.
I am very hopeful for the pro-life generation, they can surely put an end to abortion within this generation. One in three abortion clinics in Texas closed in just one year, nothing compared to what's to come. Abortion is destructive, wicked, and intrinsically detrimental to humanity, no wonder why it is popular among liberals.
"put an end to abortion"
IMPOSSIBLE. Outlawing abortion would just bring back the horrible days of do-it-yourself abortions with coat-hangers.
Besides, you show NO SYMPATHY for victims of r@pe or those needing abortions to save the mother's life.
u have no sympathy for the life u r destroying
ain't 60 million ra pes
make penalties 4 ra pe much more severe
forbid men from making profits off of p o r n
emphasize modest dressing among women
Let me guess. Are you from the Taliban?
i am from a long line of atheists
nope, i have no sympathy because it isn't my choice whether or not these women decide to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.
they aren't detroying a life, because the fetus can't live on it's own.
however i would provide a counter point to yours; you don't care about the life you are destroying.
how do you think that child will be treated?
how well educated can a child that is mistreated and misunderstood going to be?
do you care if the child is beaten to death in a fit of rage by an uncaring parent?
how will you ensure that child isn't starved to death because the parent doesn't want it?
there are 104,000 children in the american adoption system at this very moment, guess where they came from?
dangerous and unloving homes.
because the parents didn't want them, they couldn't provide for them or they were forced to have them and then give them up.
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?
nothing, you will sit right in your nice little cubicle or home sipping on your wamr beverage while these children are spit out and forced into the adoption system.
NO, i would say it is you and your ilk that DON'T CARE ABOUT LIFE.
"emphasize modest dressing among women"
Right, so blame the woman! That's not at all logical or reasonable! Women should not fear being harmed by a man due to how she dresses and no-one has the right to make her feel like she should be ashamed. Lets lay the blame where it truly lies and ensure these pigs are removed from society at every turn.
This isn't going to prevent abortions or unwanted pregnancies. Education is a wonderful thing. We need to empower the next generation instead of making them ashamed.
u have no sympathy for the life u r destroying
ain't 60 million r a p es
make penalties 4 r a p e much more severe
forbid men from making profits off of p o r ernnn
emphasize modest dressing among women
So your solution is to control se=xuality? Women have to change the way they dress? Really? And you think this is what causes ra-pe?
I have a better idea. Let people be free to dress the way they do now. It's none of your business how they dress. Let se-x be free between consenting adults–it's none of our business. This is a free country.
Instead, if you don't believe in abortion, don't have one. It's so simple.
Pro-life people should be lining up to have these unwanted embryos transplanted into themselves, or pay to have them removed and frozen. If you really believe it's a baby, then you should be willing to do this, and pay for it. If not, then I doubt your real convictions–and most likely you are just worried about se-x.
of course not
women should wear a string and 2 bottle caps. that will cut down on r
most guys r only fat, old, smelly hags, so dress how u like
u have no sympathy for the life u r destroying
Sadly neither do you. Like the other phony pro lifers you offer nothing as far as support for the kids.
Why? Because you don't care and never will. The reason you want women to give birth is for them to feel the pain in birthing and to punish them for having s3x in a way that you don't believe in. You feel abortion is an easy way out from the pain. You're really sadistic and sick. By limiting abortion services, all you are doing is making abortion a for profit business that the rich will take advantage of leaving the poor with children they can't afford. Keeping that circle of poverty going strong.
Expand your mind, rethink economics
@Studied.....................Maybe an individual can live without money. When you have a child you need to support, that's no time to experiment! To get milk, healthcare, shelter, food etc. etc. to get those things you need MONEY. I'm sorry but that's reality.
u have no sympathy for the life u r d est ro ying
You have no sympathy for the language you are destroying.
u have no sym pathy
for the l if e u r d est ro yi ng
u have no sym pat hy
for th e l if e u r d es t ro yi ng
It wouldn't be because of the ridiculous restrictions made that targeted those clinics that were not applicable to any other firms of outpatient surgery , would it? The ones that are being challenged now as UnConstitutional? And quashing the rights of the people already born?
@Jack azz the apologist..................Abortion isn't popular with liberals. We are PRO CHOICE not pro abortion. Obviously a man, which is the reason you feel the way you do. I bet if men got pregnant and had to give birth through your penis, abortion would be as common crooked politicians.
Lol. I once told my husband that I would lightly knock him in the nuts at shorter and shorter intervals and maybe he'd get the idea how painful labor is. He declined.
That's the worst pain I could imagine for a man...and labor sure is the worst pain I've ever endured.
Watch out for wendy davis!
Josh: The right to an abortion is not going away. If you don't like it, cowboy, too damn bad
Why did you use a year old Gallup poll? The most recent on Abortion pro-life vs. pro-choice indicates an increase in the number of pro-lifers – 48% pro-life to 45% pro-choice. In addition, why do you use the term "anti-abortion" as a designation for the "pro-life" group? It is not the term they use to identify themselves. In addition, it is not the term that Gallup uses in their surveys. Seems a hidden agenda there. It was not the "March for Anti-Abortion" after all.
They are called anti-abortion because it is the impression of most people that they are anti-abortion. Everyone sane is pro-life in some sense: enjoy life, bunnies, new flowers popping up etc.
I'm not sure where you got your numbers. In the last election, Mississippi a southern christian state voted to defeat the personhood amendment that would have considered conception the beginning of life and would have ended abortions in the state. Trust me, the numbers are at 70 – 30 for pro choice.
Stop with the double talk, pro life means anti abortion period.
Woah their. It seems your forgetting about the new laws in Texas.
The wonders of gerrymandered districts!
The laws in texas that were pushed by rick "oops" perry. We'll see how things turn out with wendy davis running on the democratic ticket. Texas women are still upset by that law.Former Gov. Bob "indicted" Mcdonell of Virginia pushed similar laws. The men he endorsed to replace him lost.
From a different article;
"Gallup found last year that 26 percent thought abortion should be legal in any circ.umstance, 20 percent said it should be illegal in all cases, and 52 percent thought it should be legal in certain circu.mstances. In 1975, those numbers were 21, 22 and 54, respectively."
Shades of gray.
sadly, slavery was popular
don't matter if only 1 of us hates destroying life
You boasted of having 100 abortions. Figured you'd be all for skavery, too.
The amount of bias in this article is disturbing. Why couldn't the writer of this have a more balanced article like the Washington Post had made. You can obviously see that the man/woman is pro choice.
Please, if you care, spay and neuter your humans.
Thanks for the laugh! By the time I was 19, I had decided not to have kids but I could not find a doc to sterilize me because they said I was too young and would change my mind. How paternalistic of them. I could have saved the $$$ that I have spent on birth control that has failed twice now plus the cost of the abortions. At age 25, I still do NOT want any kids and I am still looking for a doc to sterilize me. In the meantime, I am so glad to be able to get a safe & legal abortion if needed! I will always stand up for all women to have a choice! My body. My life. My choice.
Wait, why can't you have a hysterectomy per your own request, or your tubes tied?
Most doctors won't perform a tubal ligation without the woman having kids first...too permanent. They generally won't do vasectomies on men without them having kids, either.
They'll never perform a hysterectomy on a woman unless it's medically necessary.
As a man Please forgive my ignorance on the subject. Is having your tubes tied the same as sterilization? My sister in-law had her tubes tied after her only child was born when she was 18. She's now 47. No kids since.
Yes tubal ligation is considered a form of permanent surgical sterilization
For a woman, having her "tubes tied" is the common term for sterilization. It is a simple procedure but no doctor I have asked so far will do it unless I am either married to a man who also does not want children or I already have kids. Rather defeats the purpose, I say.
@Cher...............So you need a man in essence give you "permission" to get the procedure! Could you go south or north of the border to get it done.
@Cher..........This is extreme. Could you get a niece or nephew or a male with the same last name to pretend? Or will the doc want proof.
Ken – Last summer, I had a consultation w an attorney. He said that I can't force a doctor to perform an elective sterilization. I found a gynecologist in Chicago that told me to come back when I am 30 years old. Very frustrating. Thanks for the suggestions.
My wife had her tubes tied, although her church tried to stop her and told her it was a sin. She was a Mormon at the time. Her Catholic girlfriend had her tubes cut and cauterized. My understanding is that if they are tied it's reversible (probably within a certain time span).
Cherilyn, interesting reading about your travails with your personal reproductive choices. To me, this sort of thing is further evidence that the real issue is not "life"–it's about religion's obsession with controlling our se-xuality and reproduction. Too many people are viewing abortion in a vacuum (no pun intended)–without looking at the larger picture.
@CHERILYN: yeah my mom had the same problem. she had two kids myself and my sister by the time she was 19. she wanted to get sterilized because she had her boy and girl, all the doctors refused because "she was too young and would want more later."
well she didn't want anymore yet, "the pill" failed 3 other times and now i'm the oldest of 5 kids. my mother never had an easy life trying to provide for us and you can see the struggle and pain of life ecthed into her face from working herself to the bone.
needless to say i love my mom for what she did for her children; i hate the doctors for not accepting what she wanted for herself.
her life, her choice, my fight now.
Thank you both, WASP and Dan, for standing up for women. We all need to respect women and men in allowing them to decide when and, indeed, if at all to have children.
I believe that life begins at conception. I also believe that life is cheap and people die all the time. As long as the fetus is terminated before the legal cut-off it should only be an issue to the mother and not the rest of us.
Really? It's the only thing any of us can truly say we have, and without that we don't have much including you.
Sick hypocrite troll.
Wait a minute, how does my appreciating my own survival equate to me being a sick troll exactly?
BBM is a sicko. Ignore him.
Yes, life is cheap in a large part of the world. "Pro-life" really only means anti-abortion as the religious right are not active in the attempt to stop any other premature termination of life.
I suppose food not bombs, animal rescue, investors against genocide and all the other groups that happen to contain religious people as well as secular people are invalid just to support your point?
@life..it's the religious ones that support repubs that don't want gun control, want to cut programs and are pro life. So yes religious people are gonna get it too.
Life, I'm sure some religious people are supporting those causes; my point was that they're not vocal on those issues as they are with their anti-abortion stance, they aren't introducing legislation to prevent those other causes of death and in the case of gun control, capital punishment, and foreign wars are doing the opposite.
Yep, Including me.
You're intellectually honest, at least. Still, the stance you take is disturbing. Perhaps you've never loved someone and seen their true worth. (Love makes us SEE someone's worth, it doesn't GIVE it to them).
Otis is right. We kill people everyday. Don't try to sound like you care now.
Why do you think he doesn't care about people being killed? Why do you say that his caring about it is a new thing?
@nate......I said "don't try to sound like you care" I didn't say he didn't. He seemed shocked by the previous post. He shouldn't be.
Disturbing to you and maybe the only sociopathic bone in my body but I think a lot of other folks feel the same way. I would rather to put our resources into kids that have already been born and/or better chance. If I felt that all the aborted fetuses had a decent chance I might feel differently but I believe there are too many people on Earth already and to bring unwanted people into the world will only add to the problem. If we are overrun with dogs at cats at the shelters I am OK to terminate them too. At least with humans I am only OK to terminate them before they get to the point it is not legal.
Thank you Otis. A man that deals with reality.
"I believe there are too many people on Earth already and to bring unwanted people into the world will only add to the problem"
Got any facts to back up your belief because when I look around me I see plenty of resources, it's only the distribution of them that is criminal, some are hoarding them that is the problem.
There's already a water crisis in a lot of the world. As populations continue to rise, the food situation will worsen – 20,000 people already die daily from starvation alone. Resources don't get more vital than food and water.
@life.........................You answered your own question. Yes there is hoarding, unfortunately because of hoarding millions in this country go to bed hungry and those are the ones lucky enough to have a bed. Repubs want to cut/gut every program poor people need to survive. Why? Because we can't afford it! In other words not enough resources.
Practicing safe -se-x eliminates the concern. See the previous comments about the Brutal Effects of Stupidity.
I agree with Otis. QUALITY of life is more important than QUANTI-TY (ie population numbers.) The truth is, for any animal species the quality of life is inversely proportional to population numbers. At a certain tipping point, resources become scarce hence starvation and disease etc. weaken a group leading to a population crash which thins out the weakest and, ultimately, leads to a better quality of life for the survivors. Take a good look around. What would most benefit humans as a whole would be another pandemic like the flu in 1918. So, yes, life is cheap and people do die everyday but not enough. And, unfortunately, modern society & medicine supports too many weak links that ultimately weaken the gene pool.
@cherilyn: wanna get married? you are the first human female that i believe i could have a truthful conversation with and enjoy observing life.
i'm really serious; i find it difficult to interact with most people on an equal level. i'm viewed as odd or unfeeling for many of my more natural based views. lmfao
Hi, WASP – I do not relate to nor understand people. What I have learned about them has not impressed me greatly. Objectively, I do not think I would make a good parent. I wonder if marriage has become obsolete and we just haven't realized it? So, it is not a goal of mine.
I live way out in the country by a lake with peac@cks, African geese, ducks, rabbits, turtles, two dogs and herd of deer. I am a biologist who is interested in animal behavior while working on my master's in genetics.
It is interesting to meet an intelligent human being; so few of them seem to have survived. I am happy to be your friend, WASP, but where do you want to meet to talk besides the Belief Blog?
@cherilyn: i could pick your brain for hours based strictly on the observation you have seen of predator/prey interactions.
"marriage" has always been a ceremony, i believe mainly to insure the two parties involved weren't of blood relation during a time when villages were small and the art of geneology wasn't used yet.
(hint: on the marriage thing i was teasing.) i was married once, she cheated 3 times and poisoned me, so i'm not getting married ever again.
hmmmm the whole meeting elsewhere to chat is made more difficult by the fact it requires open release of information like my email on an open social media;.................................. Mrotserif1980@facebook.com
i always enjoy making friends, mainly ones i can have an equal conversation with.
Hi, WASP – You are very brave to give your personal info out on a public forum. You should consider changing the name that you post under here. People don't realize that what they put out on the internet can come back to bite them professionally.
I am so antisocial that I am mostly clueless about social media like Facebook. Is the contact info you have given me a regular email address or do I have to join Facebook to use it?
I am sorry to hear about your viperous wife. Unfortunately, it is fairly common. I had a disastrous marriage. He had the hot body with endless muscles but he was dumb as a box of rocks. Skip the personal stuff... When I divorced him, he stalked me; he got drunk and tried to kill me and then tried to kill himself. I still do not trust anyone. But I have spent so much time alone with my animals learning how to communicate with them that I realize I miss talking to people.
I try to respect everyone's right to their world views and religious beliefs but I should tell you that much of what I have learned, such as with predator/prey relationships, have brought me to a perhaps agnostic but mostly atheist secularist viewpoint. Religion is interesting but I do not want to spend hours debating it.
I figured you had to be teasing about marriage. Friendship is fine. Intellectual conversation is fine. Everything else that I need, I already have.
Have a Good Day, WASP
Hello Again, WASP – Well, it is a relief that you are an atheist as I do not waste time on anyone preaching the gospel to me. I will try to email you later tonight. If it doesn't work, I will set up a Facebool account sometime this weekend. Til then stay warm. I do not know where you live but it is so bitterly cold here. Usually, I go for a walk in the woods but not today. Take Care!
hmmm i think you will have to set up an account to use that e-mail address. it would walk you to my page. i only get on here to debate religion while i'm bored at work. i'm atheist, so one of my twisted joys is seeing how people react to certain stimuli. religious people i have found have the most peculiar reactions, and vary in ranges sometimes based on depth of religious belief.
well hope to hear from you soon, take care. :)
Hey, for some reason my response is above you instead of below. I must have hit the wrong reply button.
Hallucinations are not proof or evidence supporting the bible or the existence of some god(s). They do, however, tend to prove that Austin is in need of professional mental health treatment.
Defamation of character is not an objective discourse, let alone offensive and abusive; alas, I see it a lot on this CNN Belief Blog.
It's the last resort of those who don't have an actual point to make.
Those against abortion use the argument of when life "begins". Since no one cares when life "ends" does it matter when life begins?
We have 10,000 gun deaths a year, yet not one law has been changed/created.
We have people against healthcare reform! Over 30,000 people (a year) have died because of LACK of healthcare.
Wars have killed literally millions of civillians and soldiers.
The war on poverty has been a failure leading to greater numbers of hunger and homelessness.
If you give women that are considering abortion HOPE, real HOPE not imagined. You could cut down on abortions.
If you take away my gun I loose the ability to hunt for my food, I loose the ability to defend myself from an intruder, you will disempower me.
Don't be paranoid. I didn't say take anything. We could at the very least pass laws the limit those with mental heath issues from getting near a gun as one example. Background checks is another way.
Those laws are already in place. Raising awareness is imperative.
In the meantime, the true gun control is self control.
If the laws are already in place, why are people getting shot? I work in NYC. The majority of guns used in crimes comes from Virginia and Florida. If we had federal gun laws you shouldn't be able to take guns over state lines. Vic proves guns mean more to some people than human life.
'Lose'... once is a typo... twice is because you went to school in Georgia
You touch on some interesting points. Life is actually an unbroken chain, going back to the first living, reproducing cell. I think it's an interesting question to ask–when is a person a person? In other words, when can it reasonably be claimed that a person is enti-tled to protection under the law–a legal person? I think the line should be drawn when we have a functioning brain. This occurs between 24-30 weeks into pregnancy–so it's already about where we draw the legal line now, but for different reasons (viability). Viability can shift with technology though, so I don't think that's a good standard.
If there's a functioning, human brain, possibly capable of consciousness, then I would agree it's immoral to terminate, and it should be legally protected. However, if not, then I think it should be left up to the parties immediately concerned (parents, and ultimately the mother) whether they wish to carry the baby to term.
We have no qualms (most of us) when it comes to pulling the plug on a brain dead relative. We recognize, with an living adult body–that when the brain goes, that's it. What makes the person a person–a human being, is gone. It is our brains that make us special, make us who we are, conscious, living, thinking beings. So if a brain is not yet developed, or developed enough to have measurable brain waves, it makes sense that it should not be counted as a legal person, protected by the law and recognized as such by society.
You also touch on a lot of the other issues that anyone who is truly "pro-life" should care a great deal about, but that's not what we see. We also don't see legions of "pro-life" people lining up to adopt black crack babies, or deformed or retarded children. There are a few, but not many.
The real question is, why should we give a fetus extra rights that no one gets after birth?
@Dan...........We need to look at when women have abortions. 90% occur in the first trimester. NOTHING IS DEVELOPED at that point. Abortions that occur late usually happen because the baby isn't viable or the mothers health is in jeopardy. Women that have late term abortions wanted to have the baby! The pro lifers are so crazy they want to remove a woman's choice under ALL circu mstances.(including ra pe)
Ken, this is part of why I believe the real issue behind the "pro-life" movement is not life at all–it's religion's obsession with human se-xuality and reproduction. They can't stand the thought of young women having se-x outside strict confines that they get to define for us, as well as their obsession with high birth rates to grow their churches.
The christian god is imaginary, fake, man-made and a weakling.
Zeus is the real King of all gods.
No Adam or sin either.
You're purposely being obtuse. Do you get all your theology education on atheist websites?
Many atheists and agnostics get their theology education from actually reading the Bible. That's usually enough.
Contrary to popular belief, one cannot simply read the Bible straight through without any help and understand it. That's what exegetes are for.
Right. God ACTUALLY opposes slavery, right? God actually LIKES handicapped people as his priests.
lol. Read a Bible someday.
How right you are! I am an agnostic atheist. No one can claim to know as a FACT because it can not be proven or disproven. I do however tend to lean towards atheism because with out proof I can not accept religious claim. I am open to the possibility that something outside of our ability to understand exists in some form. I find it impossible that any individual person or religion holds the truth of the matter. No religion can claim to have facts supporting their cause. No facts exist concerning the existence of god, his thoughts, word, commandments exc. Their claims are based on something other than fact. I can't accept that as truth.
I was raised in Catholic schools from kindergarten! I went to service every Friday in school, and most Sundays, took bible studies, had a confirmation, Sunday school....the whole nine. My grandparents were very religious. However when they died....my family became less and less and now we are not very religious at all. I was the first to openly question religion in my family at the age of 18. Some other members of the family are Athiest/Agnostic.
I hate how the religious act as if they are the only people enlightened enough to "understand" the Bible. As if anyone who isn't faithful couldn't have possibly been born into religion, educated in it, lived it for years, understand it's claims very well, and come to reject it's claims for lack of evidence. I spent the good majority of my youth on church property as a child. I had a good relationship with our priest. I volunteered for fundraisers and fish fry's. I absolutely understand the Bible, the Christian faith, the believers, who they are as people exc, and still lean towards atheism.
I think it takes a HUGE amount of arrogance to claim that one KNOWS the word of god. The absolute truth is that no one knows the word of god. No one can claim to know. No one has proof. To expect other people to live by your faith is ludicrous. Any one religion can not hold the truth. It's all speculation that requires faith to believe. Faith is fine so long as you don't expect other people to live by one which they do not choose for themselves.
"The deranged christian god murders newborn babies. What a sicko."
Ah, so if God, who as creator says when EVERY person dies, says a baby is to die, He's a sicko. But when man does it, it's good for population control and because no one can tell a woman what to do with her body.
Claiming your imaginary god is a "creator" is an Illogical, flawed argument .
Provide empirical evidence that your god exists and that your deranged god is a "creator".
solon. keep going around calling people liars. that's your problem. i am not lying.
you need the testimony of the Holy Spirit. not my testimony. but you would believe God who reveals Himself within your personal temple if you seek forgiveness.
Romans 5:8 (New International Version)
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8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
you are not ever excluded.
Your god stated that Adam would die the day he ate the forbidden fruit; he lived 930 years, according to myth.
And you expect to be taken seriously?
Mortals eventually die. When and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil they became mortals that day.
Mortals eventually die. When Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil they became mortals that day.
Vic, comprehension problems?
Genesis 2:17 – But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Why didn't they die the day they ate from it? why 900 years later? Your god said they would die that day.
Wow Vic so where does the fig leaf come in to play ?
"Why didn't they die the day they ate from it? why 900 years later? Your god said they would die that day."
Nope. Death entered the world that day. Before that, no disease, no death.
"Nope. Death entered the world that day. Before that, no disease, no death."
Since there would be no death, would that mean there would be no new life either? Surely you could see something wrong with a world of no death right?
But first, could you please follow the birth line of adam to joseph? Joseph would have to be adam's great great great great etc. nephew right?
You may not be lying, Austin, but you are delusional and unwilling to submit your "prophetic visions" to any sort of independent scrutiny
Right, gopher, no disease, no death until "sin" entered the world
Amazing that a thinking person would believe that tripe
Of course, we are talking about you
Vic and topher this should help ?
Smithsonian's Human Origins Program
That's like a fish asking for proof of water. The Creation is proof of a Creator.
So, you offer no proof at all, no evidence; only unsubstantiated claims, fairy tales and riddles. Exactly what I expected.
There is not and has never been any proof; nothing about your imaginary god, bible or associated fairy tales has held up to even the slightest scrutiny and standards. It's only true to you because you want it to be, not because any evidence exists.
If you had a shred of honesty you would admit your beliefs are based on faith. Instead you bear false witness and claim to have proof.
Classic christian dishonesty.
Can you provide empirical evidence for 'Evolution of Species?!'
Topher, You have no evidence of a creator. Our scientific knowledge shows us that the biblical creation myth is incorrect.
Vic, There's too much to post here and people like redzoa have posted so much evidence in the past. Here's a good starting point – http://evolution.berkeley.edu/
There's a reason that evolution is taught in schools and creationism isn't – all of the evidence supports evolution and none supports creationism.
How about the fact that there is a new flu shot every year. That is the 'evolution of a species' right in front of your eyes.
"god is just, but i want to avoid that justice" – topher/gopher
The " 'justice' of God" is akin to how a white, conservative Evangelical Texas male with a bunker and a variety of assult rifles defines "justice."
god is just, but you do everything in your power to avoid that justice?
hypocrite and coward
Why are the jails and prisons overflowing with christians?
Has zero bearing on the truth ... and has nothing to do with anything.
What a flawed argument. Unfortunately for you, you don't get to decide anything. Heck, you aren't even capable of explaining why so many of your brethren are in jails and prisons.
No, yours is the flawed argument and Topher is right. Ad hominem is attacking the person instead of the argument, which is a logical fallacy.
Topher/Gopher runs from logical arguments
That's an urban legend. Plus, if it were true, how do you know they were not atheists when they committed their crimes and then became Christians in lockup?!
It is true that a lot of people convert to Christianity in lockup.
Bureau of prisons, government statistics obtained during intake processing.
The atheits commit all the crimes then convert to christianity when they get caught?
You're lying for jesus, again.
Bearing false witness is forbidden in the 10 commandments, liar.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.