Should Abortion be the Answer to the Zika Virus Outbreak?

In Abortion, adoption, Child Development, Choice, Education, Euthanasia, Families, Health Care, Human Rights, motherhood, Parenting, Sanctity of Life, Values on February 5, 2016 at 7:03 am

Zika Virus babyby Teralynn Nordgren

The Zika virus has fueled the debate about abortion in some of the most pro-life countries in the world. I understand the fear that is behind this debate. The thought of life with a child who is likely never to gain independence and who will require extra care for her entire life can be daunting, to say the least. In fact, when I heard the news about the Zika virus spreading up to Mexico, my own fear sky-rocketed and I told my husband that we should delay pregnancy even though we have been wanting to get pregnant for several months now. However, the reasoning that supports abortion just isn’t right, even with the spread of the Zika virus.

The easiest way to illustrate why it isn’t right is to start with a slightly different scenario and then compare. Let’s say a woman bears a child and he is perfectly healthy, as he is expected to be, based on the course of pregnancy. A year later, that baby is in a car accident and suffers brain injury. (The symptoms of brain injury are very similar to microcephaly.) With a little bit of medical care, the child becomes stable but it is clear that he will suffer the complications of his brain injury for the rest of his life. Would society accept that the mother of this one-year-old should have the right to end his life? Would they even discuss that as an option? After all, the mom’s life is going to be greatly affected by this baby’s brain injuries. The baby she thought would grow up to be healthy, independent, and neurotypical is now at high risk of needing care for the rest of his life. He might be demanding and never grow out of it. He might be expensive. The emotional shock and adjustment will be exhausting, and she might not recover from it for a long time.

Because society can see the one-year-old, because they can see his face and it’s easier to see how he is like the rest of us, most people would shudder at the thought of allowing his mother to choose to end his life for her own sake. Society defends and supports the one-year-old. They point out he has potential. They say he can still do incredible things. Instead of saying his life is expendable they set up The Special Olympics for him and donate millions towards research to help children with special needs.

Society also helps the family. Government programs (like Medicare in the United States) help pay for his care. Other government programs, as well as non-profit organizations, help the family by providing child care and early-intervention services that will hopefully help the child become more independent.

It’s depressing to think that if this same child had experienced brain damage in the womb, he could just be aborted at the mother’s whim, and society’s hands are legally tied. What is the difference between a one-year-old and a fetus? About a year of development. And what is the difference to a mother’s body between bearing a child with special needs versus a medically normal child? Nothing. What is the difference in the mother’s life whether the child is born with special needs or develops them a year after birth? Very little. In fact, at the time of birth, the mother would have more options. She could place the child for adoption or take advantage of infant safe haven laws and baby hatch laws where they are in place.

In short, the Zika virus doesn’t justify abortion because life is the most basic right granted to any of us in society, and everyone deserves that right. In case you or someone you know is feeling anxious about the Zika virus and microcephaly, I will include a range of links for you below – including links to informational websites, blogs, and support groups. Information can help ease anxiety. I know there are many people in severe crisis, and we need to work on ways to effectively help these people through. But abortion is not the answer. Abortion is the end of hope, not the beginning of it. As long as there is life, there is hope. Life is precious. Let’s respect it.


CDC Q&A: Zika virus infection (Zika) and pregnancy

Mircrocephaly – Mayo Clinic

USA Today Q&A: What is microcephaly, the birth defect linked to Zika?

Time Magazine: How Brazil Uncovered the Possible Connection Between Zika and Microcephaly

Facebook Group: Parents of Children with Microcephaly Support Group 

The Hartley Hooligans

The Government is my Shepherd, I Need Not Work

In Child Development, Constitution, Democracy, Education, Families, Free Speech, Freedom, Government, Parenting, Schools, Values on February 4, 2016 at 9:11 am

socialismby Mekelle Tenney

We can learn a lot about the American people from election results. Monday marked the start of the 2016 Presidential primary election. I have been listening to analysists discuss the results of the Iowa caucus all day. They have compared voter turnout to previous years, voter turnout between parties, demographics of voters, and basically every possible aspect of these results. There was one issue that didn’t get much coverage. Did you know that 697 people voted for a candidate who is openly running on a socialist platform? The number isn’t that alarming, until you realize that it was 50% of the voters in the democrat party. It’s hard to understand why people are so willing to give up their freedom for a little security. To be truthful, we have had little bits of socialism popping up in America for decades. Maybe that is why these voters are so eager for socialism. I came across a parody the other day that fits the current situation we find ourselves in.

The government is my shepherd; therefore, I need not work. It allowed me to lie down on a good job. It leadeth me beside still factories. It destroyeth my initiative. It leadeth me in the path of a parasite for politics’ sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of laziness and deficit spending, I will fear no evil for government is with me. It prepareth an economic utopia for me by appropriating the earnings of my own grandchildren. It filleth my head with false security. My inefficiency runneth over. Surely the government should care for me all the days of my life, and I dwell in a fool’s paradise forever.

This verse is both comical and alarming especially because I found it in a book printed in 1985. Things have changed a lot since then. If anything they have gotten worse with more government dependence. But why does that matter? What does socialism mean for your family? Socialism means that your children’s healthcare, education, and thought processes, would be controlled, and managed by the government. Government becomes the nanny, making the choices and decisions that parents should be making for their children. The government will raise all of us from the cradle to the grave. Sound extreme? Not really, like I said we already see some of this happening in our lives now.

We have examples of socialist governments in the world today, where government is involved in almost every aspect of the family’s life even down to how many children they have. The role of mother and father becomes moot and unnecessary. One aspect of socialism that many find appealing is that it offers economic security while relieving us of personal responsibility. This is an attitude that we should avoid at all costs. One way we can accomplish this is by teaching our children the importance of hard work, personal achievement, and personal responsibility.

If we do not reverse this attitude in America I’m afraid that we will head down a path from which we cannot return. One of the most alarming aspects of socialism is that it is most often the stepping stone to communism.

In a conversation Kkrushchev had with secretary of agriculture, Ezra Taft Benson, he gave this chilling warning. “You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we will keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll wake up and find you already have communism. We’ll so weaken your economy until you’ll fall like over ripe fruit into our hands”. No the number of people who voted for socialism was not large but that does not matter. If the percentage is high enough those people will decide our future.

When the Courts don’t Defend Churches, the Law, and Employment Rights

In Abstinence, Choice, Constitution, Courts, Diane Robertson, Families, Free Speech, Freedom, Gay rights, Government, Homosexuality, Human Rights, Marriage, Non-Discrimination, Religion, Religious Freedom, Religious rights, Same-Sex Marriage, Schools, Sexual Orientation, Supreme Court, Values on February 3, 2016 at 8:31 am

catholic gaysby Diane Robertson

As a member of a Church that hires many people to do a multitude of things from computer programming to custodial to cook and expects everyone to adhere to the Church’s standards of conduct in public and in private, I worry when I read that a judge has decided that this is not an okay practice.

Recently a state judge in Massachusetts ruled that a Catholic school discriminated against a gay man by retracting a job offer upon learning that he was married to another man.

Girl school CatholicFontbonne Academy offered a position to Matthew Barrett as a food services director in 2013. The private school informed Barrett that all employees were assumed to exemplify Catholic teachings and values, and he agreed to those terms.

Barrett listed his husband on the employment form as his emergency contact, prompting the school to withdraw the job offer.

The Catholic Church has always defined marriage to be between one man and one woman and has always preached that sexual relationships are only to be had in a marriage between a man and a woman. It would not be unreasonable to expect that “exemplifying Catholic teachings” includes either living a celibate life or living in complete fidelity within a marriage.

There are a couple of things that make this ruling ominous and outside established laws.

First, the judge accused Fontbonne Academy of withdrawing the job offer because of Barrett’s sexual orientation and therefore breaking the law. That is simply not true. The school holds the same standards for every employee no matter their sexual orientation. Barrett did not meet these standard. Throughout the history of the United States, the law has supported private entities who had a specific set of standards for employees to meet. Roger Severino, of the Heritage Foundation said:

“Personnel is policy, and common sense tells us that an all-girls Catholic school should not be forced by the government to hire people who publicly reject central church teachings about marriage. The Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed the right of private organizations, especially religious ones, to choose the people who carry their messages, but this decision departs from settled law.”

Second, it is an attack on religious freedom. It is the government’s attempt to force religions to abandon their schools, hospitals, orphanages, and other programs or deny their beliefs about marriage.

Since the Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling, one cannot be sure that the Court would continue to uphold the right of churches to hire people who willingly uphold the standards of the church. This time, I hope the case stays in Massachusetts. Otherwise this could signal the end of churches hiring only those people who are willing to live according to the churches’ standards.








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