Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Plea to Understand Thee

I have too often been mocked, impugned, ignored, misunderstood, misinterpreted, and even threatened for being an outspoken advocate for unborn human beings. Oftentimes I wonder why this is so. My mind has thought through the topic of abortion in every way that I can imagine. Nights were spent trying my best to think in a mindset opposite of my own, the mindset of a "pro-choicer." I do this to refine my own beliefs, to ensure the certainty of my own thoughts, and to understand the perspective of "the other side."

However, no matter how hard I try to re-think this topic, the unshakable truth continues to insist in presenting itself to the forefront of my cortex. Then the truth repeatedly tears my heart in two. With blood trickling onto the floor, my body is called into action to defend the lives of the unborn and to assist the women and men most affected. If you do not fully understand how I feel then this post is for you.











Simile

Imagine, if you will, that one mile down the street, in the town that you grew up, is a place of continual horror and mayhem. Imagine, too, that this place slaughters approximately 20 young children weekly. This has been something that those in your town know is occurring yet choose to do nothing about. People go to the store, go to school, go to church, and go about their daily lives without ever talking about it. It's taboo.

Could you allow the slaughter to continue without saying anything? Could you go to sleep every night knowing that countless children are being brutally slaughtered one mile down your street while you do nothing? Over time you start to forget about this topic. You do everything you can to ignore it. You start to be just like everyone else; you go about living your life as if it is not happening. Then, one day, you see photographic proof of what occurs at this place that slaughters countless children. The photos are gruesome, nasty, yet entirely reflective of the truth. It moves your brain and your heart to action!

The next day you tell your friends that you are planning on doing what you can to stop this horror. Your friends tell you "it's the parents' choice!" Your friends tell you that this topic is something that is so personal that it should not be something to do anything about. Your friends tell you, even, that "if you don't like children being killed, then don't have your own children killed!" One of your longtime friends tells you that she never wants to talk to you again because of how "heartless" you are.

Aghast, you press on. You stand in front of the building where these children are slaughtered. You peacefully plea with the parents walking to this place to not kill their own children. A security guard yells at you, he reminds you, quite forcefully, that it is the right of these parents to come here. A father comes up to you and yells at your face "how about YOU try to care for these children!? You have the choice, so let us have OURS!" You calmly respond that you really want to care for these children, especially if it saves their lives. You ask parents going into the building if you can adopt their children. Rather than the parents accept the help you offer the father yells profanities at you.

You know that trying to prevent the killing of children is extremely important. You have one more idea. You start writing articles about this topic publicly. You really have a passion to save children's lives and you start to really share it with others. Rather than receive any encouragement, you are impugned. Others say that you are a disgusting human being, against parental rights, and are bigoted. You're not too sure how anyone could think so, but they think so nonetheless.

After a while you realize that there is really not much that you can do to resolve this problem in its entirety. Not only is it happening in your own town, it is also happening all throughout the country. Just to do the little that you can do has such a large cost: you lose your friends, others threaten you, some demean you, and still more ignore you entirely. With no recourse, you know that there is no other option but to keep going. You know that there just are not enough people that wish to save these children's lives. Even if you are one the few lone people to do so, these children need someone to defend them!











Reality

My pro-choice friend, the way you would feel in the circumstance that I have described above is often the way that I feel as an advocate for unborn human beings. People call me sexist, bigoted, hateful, mean, judgmental, amongst other things. In trying to offer the most help to women I am cussed at. Even in peacefully defending the unborn publicly I am threatened to be beaten up. In offering my help to adopt the children who were scheduled to be brutally slaughtered I get yelled at with the worst kinds of profanities. Some old friends wish to no long talk to me anymore because I defend the unborn. Many others just plain ignore me.

Please, I plead thee, understand how it is that I feel. The slaughtering of born children in the scenario that I presented may make you feel the same way that I feel about the slaughtering of unborn children. Our federal law allows the legal killing of over one million unborn children annually. Yet what can I do about it? I will continue to do what little I can in my own life to stop the bloodshed. Furthermore, I will do so with love, kindness, faith, understanding, and with as much patience as possible. May God bless you.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

In Response

I recently had a discussion with someone who was pro-abortion-choice. I wish to publish part of my own words in the discussion here because of the highly informative facts contained therein.

Topics touched were of mother and unborn as separate human beings, placenta as a pseudo-organ of the unborn, role of hormones in pregnancy, problems with vague definitions of personhood, conception as the start of a human being's life, and the fact that one should be in favor of making abortion illegal past 6 weeks gestational age if brainwave activity is one's defining moment of personhood.



Separate or Same Human Being?

An unborn baby is an entirely separate human being than his or her mother. This is scientific fact. The two organisms (mother and unborn) have a mutualistic symbiotic relationship (it has been documented that bother mother and unborn benefit from the natural state of pregnancy). This means that the unborn do not share blood with their mothers. Also, the only hormone provided by the mother that is essential for an unborn child's survival is progesterone. The placenta also produces progesterone on it's own which signals the mother to continue progesterone production. It is progesterone levels that tell a woman's body to go into menses (a "period"). Indeed, the progesterone levels drop in late pregnancy to help labor begin (I sometimes refer to labor as a massive period). The other hormones, such as HCG and HPL, are also created by the placenta (SOURCE)

The placenta is a pseudo organ that is made by one layer of the unborn embryo and one layer of the mother's uterus. Indeed, it is an organ of BOTH the mother and the unborn. Thus, the great majority of hormones are made by an organ that could be considered belonging primarily to the fetus.



Conception

Science clearly shows that a human being's life begins at conception. "[The Zygote] results from the union of an oocyte and a sperm. A zygote is the beginning of a new human being. Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm … unites with a female gamete or oocyte … to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual." The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th ed. 1998, pg. 2-18.

The mother does provide nourishment that sustains an unborn child's life. So does a mother provide nourishment that sustains a born child's life. Nature provided breasts to allow a newborn to survive. Much like a marsupial is born and must fully depend upon it's mother in her pouch, so does a newborn human being fully depend upon the breast. This has only recently changed due to the advent of man-made formula that mimics breast milk (thank goodness for the human race's intelligence) and that of human milk banks.



Further Proof that Life Starts at Conception

"Biologically speaking, human development begins at fertilization."
The Biology of Prenatal Develpment, National Geographic, 2006. [A video documentary] The start of human development means that a human being exists. How can a person's development start before he/she exists? For example, science doesn't consider spermatogenesis or the development of oocytes in an unborn girl's ovaries to be the beginning of human development. Rather, conception is the starting point of human development for the very reason that a new human being exists.

"Almost all higher animals start their lives from a single cell, the fertilized ovum (zygote). ... The time of fertilization represents the starting point in the life history, or ontogeny, of the individual." Carlson, Bruce M., Patten's Foundations of Embryology, 6th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996, p.3.

"The development of a human being begins with fertilization, a process by which two highly specialized cells, the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female, unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote." Langman, Jan. Medical Embryology. 3rd edition. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1975, p. 3 ... do understand that we born people are also single organisms just the same as a conceptus or zygote is.

"Fertilization is a sequence of events that begins with the contact of a sperm (spermatozoon) with a secondary oocyte (ovum) and ends with the fusion of their pronuclei (the haploid nuclei of the sperm and ovum) and the mingling of their chromosomes to form a new cell. This fertilized ovum, known as a zygote, is a large diploid cell that is the beginning, or primordium, of a human being." Moore, Keith L. Essentials of Human Embryology. Toronto: B.C. Decker Inc, 1988, p.2. Emphasis on the word "new" in "to form a new cell." It is different and separate than the two originating gametes (spermatozoon and oocyte).

It is through this process that a new human being comes into existence. There are two other way a new human being can come into existence, that is, through asexual reproduction to produce identical twins and through in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Even human development classes that my wife has taken also state the a new human life begins at conception.



Problem with Vague Philosophies

[This person subscribed to a philosophy that human beings must meet a list of 5 special criteria to obtain "Full Moral Status (FMS)" to then be considered a human being or person. He got these criteria from a philosophy class and they are as follows: 1: Sophisticated Cognitive Capacities, 2: Capacity to Develop Sophisticated Cognitive Capacities, 3: Rudimentary Cognitive Capacities, 4: Member of a Cognitively Sophisticated Species, 5: Special Relationships. He also argued that no animal was capable of "Full Moral Status (FMS)" and are thus agents considered to be capable only of "Partial Moral Status(PMS)"]

The problem with your argument is that you subscribe to a vague and undefinable definition of personhood. Your five tenants to define a moral being has no basis in reality or truth. Are human beings suppose to protect the lives of other human beings? Then we must not use subjective definitions made by man. Rather, we should use the objective and verifiable reality that science provides. Science proves without a doubt that a human being's life starts at conception. It does not, however, provide some other marker for the start of our lives. When my first baby Adam was discovered to exist, he was a "clump of cells" (all of us are clumps of cells, really, and an unborn clump of cells is just as organized a clump as we adults are). Yet, even at that very early stage, we loved our son the same then as we do now.

You see, those who are pro-abortion-choice use emotional arguments. However, a human being can be loved at one time and then not at another. Some human being's lives are lost yet are not mourned. Other human being's lives are lost yet are mourned. What attributes these persons' values? Other people. Those who are pro-abortion-choice use definitions with vague and undefinable meanings to discriminate an unrecognized portion of the human race. Just the same as slave owners used subjective definitions to dehumanize blacks! If we truly want to have a equal society, our society needs to unite together and defend all people from conception until natural death based upon the facts that science provides.

"Although my five tenants which I learned in my class are man made, we still must go by the definitions..." I truly dislike man made things like this. The reason is that all men are imperfect. Using an imperfect system will then lead to imperfect decisions. Why does a newborn child (which cannot communicate in any complex way nor be able to have self recognition) be classified as FMS and full protection under the law whilst a much smarter 10 year old dolphin (which amazingly communicates through a complex language) can only have PMS and not have the full protections under the law? African Grey parrots can have a vocabulary of hundreds of words and has been classified as being just as smart as a human toddler yet cannot be classified as FMS as a human neonate or disabled human adult can? The contradictions are aplenty and illustrate the fallacy of your Full Moral Status system.

There are days that I wish that I could believe the same as you. You know why? Because if I did believe like you then I would be able reason away and make insignificant the million babies that are slaughtered every year in this country. I very badly wish that the truth was not the truth! I really wish I could say "it's her body, her choice." It brings tears to my eyes that I cannot truly believe that. I cannot ignore the truth. I cannot ignore science. I cannot ignore how abortion has ravaged our nation. I also cannot sit idly by while fellow human beings are discriminated against and slaughtered. I must be a voice for the voiceless! I must defend the defenseless! It is for this reason that I am a nurse today.



Start of Brain Acitivity

One last thing. You said "And if the brain activity begins fairly quickly, then I believe this also supports my belief of having an abortion quickly." According to ehd.org, "the embryo has brainwaves by 6 weeks, 2 days!" This is scientifically true! Thus, according to the CDC, you would oppose over 37% of all abortions! 37% of all abortions are done past 8 weeks gestation, which is over 450,000 abortions annually according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute. Would you be willing to make illegal over 450,000 of the surgical elective abortions that happen annually in this country today? [He never answered this question]



Unborn and Neonates Must Rely on their Mothers for Survival

Fetuses that are born become neonates. This nomenclature only changes with the change of a human being's environment. As demonstrated by this story (which is one among many), fetuses are surviving earlier and earlier. This one story shows a 22 week fetus surviving at being born at such an early gestational age. Science has been helping prematurely born neonates survive earlier and earlier.

To answer your contention that without the advances of science then these prematurely born would otherwise die: the same can be said of term children who are unable or unwilling to breastfeed. Prior to the advent of scientifically discovered and created formula and human milk banks, many more babies died than do today. Breastfeeding is the natural means of mother providing 100% sustenance to the neonate and who would die without it. You argue that the 100% sustenance from the mother is one reason support killing the unborn. Could it, then, also be a reason to kill the born?



To be Pro-Life is to be Feminist

"I'm a huge feminist and I will always be. Women get the short end of the stick and quite frankly it pisses me off." I'm a huge feminist too. I also get pissed off when I think of all of the times that women were discriminated against throughout human history. Christians throughout history have also been guilty of discrimination. So have Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Shintoists, and practically many other other groups of people throughout the years of history.

I have protested in front of abortion clinics off and on for some years now. Guess which gender I see protesting and/or sidewalk counseling the most? I see women a whole lot more often fighting against abortion than men. In fact, I run into more men who are adamantly pro-abortion-choice than I do women.

I support equal wages for equal work, gender protection laws in hiring practices, and everything that truly allows women and men to be equals in our society. A ton more unborn GIRLS get aborted than do boys. That is an abomination!

Being a father, a nurse, and a human being all direct me to be pro-life and to stand for the lives of women and children whenever I possibly can.



By the way, I really do think that dolphins would be able to achieve "full moral status" as this person has described it. Dolphins are awesome! :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

What do they mean by "choice"?

Today is the 39th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade United States Supreme Court decision that universally legalized elective abortion in our country. Alongside the sister case, Doe vs. Bolton, Roe vs. Wade legalized elective abortion for any reason in the first two trimesters of pregnancy and for the health of the mother in the last trimester; in the Doe vs. Bolton case, "health of the mother" was broadly defined to include mental health; finally, the term "mental health" was also broadly defined to include financial hardship or relationship difficulties. Thus, abortion was legalized on the federal level through all nine months of pregnancy for practically any reason. The unborn were effectively removed from any and all protections afforded them in the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution.

National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL, formerly ARAL-- Association to Repeal Abortion Laws) is the sponsor of an annual "Blog for Choice Day" which is held every year on the Roe vs. Wade anniversary date. However, what choice is NARAL and participating bloggers advocating for?



CHOICE
The word itself means having the ability to choose. The word "choose" is defined as the ability "to select from a number of possibilities; pick by preference." Does this definition help us to understand which choice NARAL intends to allow? No, it does not; yet they are supposed to be blogging about it today. I will now discuss about choice.

There are certain choices that are clearly allowed in a society. A restaurant has a menu from which to choose a particular dish for a meal. A electronics store has a plethora of products from which customers are able to choose. All of these, and a plenty more like them, are choice of which practically everyone is in agreement to allow freedom to choose. Furthermore, society often will protect choices such as ability to own property, freely speak and protest peacefully, travel, amongst others.

However, there are also certain choices that are clearly NOT allowed in a society. A restaurant does not have a choice in offering contaminated foods that will make their customers sick. An electronics store has policies in place to disallow their employees from choosing to steal from store cash registers. Furthermore, society disallows choices such as prostitution, slavery, human trafficking, personal drug abuse, drunk driving, rape, amongst so many others.

Thus, the issue that NARAL and bloggers are addressing in "Blog for Choice Day" is NOT about choice in and of itself. Indeed, all people of all backgrounds believe that some choices should be allowed whilst others should not be. Rather, the topic is about what specific choices should be allowed and what specific choices should not be allowed. Indeed, it is about one choice and only one choice.

Being "pro-choice" does not specify which choice someone is in favor of allowing. One could be "pro-heroine-choice" whilst another "anti-heroine-choice" in regards to public and personal policy. Most people would most likely be "anti" in regards to the choice for heroine usage. Even more-so would one find it ridiculous and even laughable that we, as a society, should have a debate that is regarding the legalization of the "choice" of murdering another human being. Could someone "agree to disagree" regarding legalization of murder since "it's a personal decision" and one cannot "force your religion on me" and that, indeed, "it's a choice!"? Heck, "don't like murder, then don't murder anyone!"



THE ACTUAL CHOICE
The choice of which NARAL and those blogging for "Blog for Choice Day" is clearly one thing and one thing only: abortion. Hiding behind the word "choice" helps cover up the pro-abortion movement's true motivation which is, in fact, abortion itself. It's truly disingenuous to use the word "choice" in this matter.

Since the actual choice is abortion itself, then the debate is NOT about choice but is, rather, if abortion kills a human being or not. Refer to my previous article The Right Choice as a start then go to the website for The Endowment for Human Development for in-depth, scientific, accurate, and awesome information about fetal development. To determine if abortion is a viable choice, we must look at who it affects the most: the unborn human child. Those who are pro-abortion-choice wish to skirt this conversation by omitting the word "abortion." If they are trying to hide it, don't you think that would be perfect place to start looking?

Demand that those who pro-abortion-choice start discussing what they wish to defend: abortion!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Coping More than Two Years Following an Elective Abortion

Focusing on Lazarus coping theory, I wrote a term paper discussing the need for health coping strategies for women who have had a previous abortion. As a nurse, this focuses on many nursing interventions and even has a paragraph noting appropriate nursing diagnoses. This term paper was an assignment for a nursing writing and theory class. Please read through it. If you have any thoughts or corrections, please comment!


Introduction: Lazarus’ Theory on Coping and Relationship to Elective Abortion


      Richard S. Lazarus is a theorist that has been at the forefront at developing research and published works regarding coping. Coping literally means the ability to deal with stress; it is defined as malleable and practical actions to resolve stress by resolving daily problems (Lazarus & Folkman 1984). Lazarus has described coping as being based in reality and able to adjust freely to lower stress levels associated with difficult events. Lazarus states that coping is different for all people and that there are many different forms of coping that result in the successful ability to deal with stress. Furthermore, stress is different for all people and for all situations; indeed, two people can experience a same event and experience related stress in different ways. Stress can be good and it can be bad. Forms of coping with these stressors are far and wide.
There are a multitude of situations that require coping. The death of a father, an upcoming wedding, and a new addition to a family are all stressful events that require the use of coping strategies. Among the situations in life that require healthy coping strategies is an elective abortion. Indeed, an elective abortion is a stressful occurrence that requires a healthy coping reaction to allow recovery and resolution (Goodwin & Ogden, 2007).
      There are many coping strategies that can be applied to the stressor of an elective abortion and that of other stressful life events. There are four key coping strategies. One is Type A and B personalities, a second is healthy coping, a third is denial or avoidance and a fourth is defensive coping.

Coping: Type A and Type B


      Type A coping involves heavy work towards a goal, high competitiveness, and a fixed faith system (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). This coping requires a person to make efforts to control the person’s environment because a particular event allowed no control. This attempt at control is a compensatory mechanism. It aids in the coping process but leads to an unhealthy physical and mental lifestyle. This behavior may be exhibited in what many people call “workaholics.” Working excessively hard and being an over-achiever can help someone cope with a person’s history of elective abortion by aiding the person in a sense of “fixing” problems or “making up” for possible wrong doings; for example, it may help a woman who has regretted the decision to abort to “make up” for this wrong. These actions may also serve the purpose of the person attempting to not remember the elective abortion and remain distracted.
      Type B coping is essentially the opposite of Type A. Whilst Type A is motivated by intense competitiveness, lofty goals, control of the environment, and a fixed system of faith, Type B is motivated to receive reduced work-load, wish to achieve goals in an extended time frame, feels largely unable control of the environment, and does not usually believe in a fixed set of values or beliefs (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). Also, this group of people may be seen as vulnerable to being withdrawn and use this as another coping mechanism. It is easier to visualize this group as avoiding conflict to reduce their stress level. Those whom have had an abortion may use this coping mechanism to avoid situations that may remind them of their abortion (i.e. remaining stagnant keeps them away from different situations that may trigger displeasant memories).

Coping: Denial and Avoidance


      Another form of coping is denial or avoidance. Denial can also be described as the reluctance or lack of ability to admit or deal with spiritual or emotional hurt is termed denial (Burke & Reardon, 2002). Further, denial or avoidance is not based in reality (rather, denial denies reality). There are many different forms of denial or avoidance. Indeed, the many different forms of denial are meant to help cope with an uncomfortable experience or reality.
      Many women are at a very difficult time of their lives when they decide to have an elective abortion. It has been found to be common in women who have experienced an elective abortion to utilize avoidance and denial as coping mechanisms (Cougle, Reardon, & Coleman, 2005). With the multitude of stressors pressing on them, the reality of an elective abortion (death of the fetus) is oftentimes not realized and placed as the accomplishment of an elective abortion procedure. Many problems facing women that lead them to the decision of elective abortion does not negate the emotional reality that it produces in the short-term and, especially, long-term aftermath of the procedure. One long-term study demonstrated most post-abortion women involved used avoidance as a coping mechanism to deal with the memory of abortion (Hess 2004). The ineffective coping strategy of denial or avoidance oftentimes occurs due in large part to lack of familial support and societal acceptance (realized or perceived), deemphasizing the problem, and personal shame.
      Lazarus’ studies led him to eventually conclude that denial can have a lessened negative effect if occurring immediately after an event but are illustrative of ineffective coping in the long-term (Lazarus & Folkman 1984). The lacking desire to appropriately address, understand, and accept a problem contributes to ineffective coping. The desire to appropriately grieve can be assisted by aiding in the reversal of a woman’s thought processes of shame, misplaced guilt, perceived lack of support, and dehumanization of the fetus.
Defensive coping may manifest as being mad, using substances to numb the emotional pain, and removing oneself from societal dialogue regarding the stressor of problem. This unhealthy form of coping can be seen in those who have no extensive support system due to not having known access to healthy channels to funnel stress and, thus, healthily cope. Some studies have shown women who have had elective abortions to have an increased risk of substance abuse, mental health problems, and mood disorders (Cole, Coyle, Shuping & Rue, 2009).

Healthy Coping


      Healthy and appropriate coping is characterized by a person’s active participation in the process of coping. It takes recognition that there is or are problem(s) (acceptance) to cope with and a rigorous cognitive effort. The effort of coping following acceptance is different for each situation. There are many different coping mechanisms. Lazarus openly admitted that there is no one healthy coping strategy but many different ones that may lead a person health coping. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) wrote that the appropriateness of a coping strategy is illustrated by how it positively affects the person in the long term. Folkman later wrote with Moskowitz that only the coping processes that maintain an encouraging affect in response to chronic stress could possibly involve meaning to a person (2000). Thus, women who have had an abortion in their past must illicit positive coping strategies tailored to their own needs that will result in a healthy view of themselves and who they are today. However, one common healthy coping mechanism related to past elective abortion, following its acceptance, is grief.

Focus On Long-Term Coping vs. Short-Term Coping


      Many studies that have been published have one glaring fatal flaw. This flaw is that many of them use a very small time of follow-up (two years or less) (Trybulski 2006). In addition to this glaring flaw, many studies on the subject of women’s reaction following an abortion have had poor design, selected samples resulting in bias results, inability to control confounding, and misuse of subjects’ prior mental health (Fergusson, Horwood, & Ridder 2006). Rosanna F. Hess, a Registered Nurse (RN) and Nurse Practitioner (DNP), stated that a woman’s elective abortion resolved and held a different perspective regarding it “as the woman matured;” short-term studies will not capture and have not captured this aspect (Hess, 2004).
      Tybulski published a study that involved one to two hour detailed interviews of women immediately following an elective abortion; the study illustrated that the 16 people interviewed had reported relief (Trybulski, 2006). The term “relief” sounds like an entirely positive response. However, Lazarus states that the feeling of relief is not always a positive emotional response (Lazarus 2000); whilst the immediate response of some women is certainly relief, it does not ensure that the experience was wholly positive. Rather, it indicates that many immediate stressors have been relieved. These stressors are due to the person’s current situation and include such things as pressure from family and mate, lack of support structure, belief that birthing a child would hinder personal and financial achievement among others. Placed in the perspective that women’s view of an elective abortion changes over time, this feeling of relief may transform into other emotions that may or may not be positive. Furthermore, Hess explains that her studies have illustrated that a women’s immediate reaction to abortion can also include “guilt, a sense of loss, and anger” (Hess, 2004).
      Long-term coping is important since there are many ineffective coping skills, such as denial that was mentioned by Lazarus, that can benefit a person in the short-term but not truly resolve the stressor. This results in a stressor needing to be dealt with in the long-term; when a stressor is “put-off” using coping mechanisms such as avoidance, denial, defensive, Type A and Type B it results in increased difficulty in resolving the stressor. Using such coping mechanisms prevents the most appropriate coping mechanisms which is acceptance and grief.

Signs of Ineffective Coping


      Burke, a psychiatrist who started his career specializing in eating disorders, found that many women have found elective abortion to be a traumatic occurrence resulting in ineffective coping (Burke & Reardon 2002). This ineffective coping has led to the finding that elective abortion is associated with rates of mental disorder (Fergusson, Horwood, & Ridder, 2006). Recognizing the possibility of unhealthy behaviors may be exhibited in women who have had elective abortion is important. Some of these unhealthy behaviors including using passive-aggressive behaviors to gain control, keeping an elective abortion secretive, conjuring up images and fantasized situations if the women did not have the abortion, and involvement in ceremonies (Hess, 2004). Another sign of ineffective coping is the lessened ability to choose healthy relationships. Some may choose to remain in abusive relationships with the father of the aborted unborn child to help maintain the only remaining connection.

Emotional Responses Triggered by Events


      Avoidance and denial may exhibit by strong emotional reactions that are triggered by events that remind women of their elective abortion. Worden (2009) described succinctly that, in his experience, a negative response, such as grief, may be displayed at the due date of the pregnancy and even when infertility occurs. Furthermore, when a woman who has had abortion discovers the more human features of the fetus that was killed in the abortion procedure, it will often result in increased negative reactions (Goodwin & Ogden, 2007).

Nursing Intervention: Discussion


      Nurses in Labor and Delivery are often unlikely to allow assignment to care for women who have are scheduled to have an elective abortion (Marek, 2004). This indicates the extreme moral issue surrounding elective abortion that nurses have been uncomfortable with. No matter how uncomfortable a nurse is with elective abortion, it is important to remain impartial and nonjudgmental to women who have had an abortion. It is important to remember that once an elective abortion has taken place, nothing is going to reverse what happened.
      Open and non-judgmental discussion regarding difficult aspects of a person’s past that has been difficult to cope with has been proven to be successful. Nurses and all professionals in contact with those using coping mechanisms dealing with stressful situations need to be sensitive in their approach. Being non-judgmental, allowing the person to lead conversation, giving him ample time for discussion (not “over-talking”), expressing concern over the appropriate concepts at appropriate times, and not interjecting a personal opinion into the discussion all can help a person appropriately and healthily cope. Gentle guidance to help people accept the reality of what has happened is important since denial is generally an ineffective coping mechanism and a barrier to a healthy grieving process.

Nursing Intervention: Referral


      Nurses and other professionals, once gaining the trust of a person, can then refer them to appropriate counseling groups, organizations, and events. One such organization that provides support for women who have had elective abortions Rachel’s Vineyard. Founded in 1995 by Doctor Theresa Burke, Rachel’s Vineyard now holds over 700 weekend retreats annually to provide group counseling for women who have had elective abortions (Rachel’s Vineyard 2010).
      Referrals are important because they provide a resource for those in need. It also provides concrete evidence to post-elective abortion patients that not only is there support for them, but that there are other women who have had similar experiences and are willing to help. Hess (2004) has written that nurses need to discuss with women who have had an elective abortion regarding utilizing therapy and group counseling. Support is indeed important in healthy coping.

Nursing Intervention: Prevention


      Since many women have reported negative reactions in the long-term following an elective abortion, it is important to teach women and men techniques for primary prevention of pregnancy and, thus, elective abortion (Hess, 2004). If the destruction of the unborn child is desired to be avoided, it is important to teach patients one possible mechanism of action of low dose birth control; this mechanism of action is changes in the endometrial lining leading to the reduced likelihood of an embryo properly implanting resulting in embryonic death (Bayer Pharmaceuticals, 2011). Furthermore, teach patients that intra-uterine devices (IUDs) also have a similar mechanism of action. Educate patients regarding all of their birth control options such as barrier methods, natural family planning (NFP), and abstinence.
      When discussion prevention strategies with men, it is important to teach men to provide support and assistance to their mate especially when she is pregnant. It has been demonstrated that pregnant women who have been abandoned or left without support by their mate were much more likely to have an elective abortion (Kimport, Foster, & Weitz, 2011).

Nursing Intervention: Teaching Healthy Coping Skills


      For those patients that you encounter that have an elective abortion in their history, teach these women techniques to appropriate cope. Stress the importance with the patient of surrounding herself with supporting family and avoiding negative contacts; it has been shown that a lack of support from others results in an increased negative coping (Goodwin & Ogden, 2007). Hess (2004) also suggested suggesting to women to name, give a gender, and dictate a letter to the fetus that was aborted to solidify the importance of using the grieving process as a healthy coping mechanism.

Appropriate NANDA Nursing Diagnoses


      Appropriate NANDA nursing diagnoses include Anxiety, Moral Distress, Ineffective Coping, Ineffective Denial, Defensive Coping and Complicated Grieving. Anxiety is appropriate due to some research that has indicated generalized anxiety surrounding the elective abortion (Cougle, Reardon, & Coleman, 2005). Moral Distress is appropriate due to the question of a fetus’ humanity in the mind of a post-elective-abortion woman and her surrounding support systems. Ineffective coping is appropriate due to the use of unhealthy coping mechanisms such as denial, avoidance, Type A and Type B personalities, personal shame, among others. Ineffective Denial is appropriate because the higher levels of denial lead to ineffective coping. Defensive Coping is appropriate because it employs unhealthy tactics to remove negative feelings of the mind such as substance abuse (Cole, Coyle, Shuping & Rue, 2009). The last appropriate nursing diagnosis is complicated grieving; this diagnosis is specifically appropriate because it fits the portions of this topic where grieving for a fetus that is legally and socially accepted to kill without consequences is taboo.

Conclusion


      Richard Lazarus describes that coping is unique for all people and changes depending on the situation. However, he also described that there are general types of coping such as denial, avoidance, defensive, healthy, and Type A and Type B. When women have an elective abortion it may result in a period of relief among other emotions. As the woman matures or is separated from the experience, a clearer image of what occurred surfaces. Many of these reactions in the long-term, and sometimes short-term, are negative due to the utilization of ineffective coping strategies.
      In conclusion, it is important for nurses to teach the use of effective coping strategies, use of conception prevention and elective abortion prevention strategies, remain nonjudgmental, allow patients to lead conversation, refer women to appropriate support groups, among other interventions. To appropriately help women following an elective abortion that has happened years in the past, it is important to recognize signs of ineffective coping. Nurses have a responsibility to assist patients in properly coping with an elective abortion that has occurred in their past.

References


About us. (2010). Retrieved November 11, 2011, from Rachel's Vineyard website: http://www.rachelsvineyard.org/aboutus/ourstory.htm

Burke, T. K., & Reardon, D. C. (2002). Forbidden grief: The unspoken pain of abortion. Acorn Books.

Coleman, P. , Coyle, C. , Shuping, M. , & Rue, V. (2009). Induced abortion and anxiety, mood, and substance abuse disorders: Isolating the effects of abortion in the national comorbidity survey. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 43(8), 770-776.

Cougle, J. , Reardon, D. , & Coleman, P. (2005). Generalized anxiety following unintended pregnancies resolved through childbirth and abortion: A cohort study of the 1995 national survey of family growth. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 19(1), 137-142.

Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L., & Ridder, E. M. (2006). Abortion in young women and subsequent mental health. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 47(1), 16-24. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2005.01538.x

Folkman, S. K., & Moskowitz, J. T. (2000). Positive affect and the other side of coping. American Psychologist, 55, 647–654.

Goodwin, P., & Ogden, J. (2007). Women's reflections upon their past abortions: An exploration of how and why emotional reactions change over time. Psychology & Health, 22(2), 231-248.

Hess, R. (2004). Dimensions of women's long-term postabortion experience. The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing, 29(3), 193-198.

Kimport, K. , Foster, K. , & Weitz, T. (2011). Social sources of women's emotional difficulty after abortion: Lessons from women's abortion narratives. Perspectives on Sexual and Reprod Health, 43(2), 103-109.

Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (n.d.). Stress, appraisal, and coping. (Original work published 1984) Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=i-ySQQuUpr8C&dq=Coping+lazarus&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Marek, M. J. (2004), Nurses' attitudes toward pregnancy termination in the labor and delivery setting. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 33: 472–479. doi: 10.1177/0884217504266912

Trybulski, J. (2006). Women and abortion: the past reaches into the present. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 54(6), 683-690.

Worden, J. W. (2009). Grief counseling and grief therapy (S. Sussman & J. Rosen, Eds., 4th ed.). New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Yaz official FDA information, side effects, and uses. (2011, March). Retrieved November 11, 2011, from Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc via Drugs.com website: http://www.drugs.com/pro/yaz.html

Monday, November 7, 2011

Experiencing Death in Hospice

I have not been writing much on this blog due to being extremely busy. I am working full-time, going to school, and taking care of two sons alongside my wife. This is a post that I made in the online portion of a nursing class. It is regarding how me, my coworkers, and our hospice organization deals with the deaths of our patients.



Death. At times it is a relief. Even in times of relief, there is always an element of grief. Death of a patient is never easy no matter how much it was expected nor how much suffering was experienced by the patient. Every human being's life is a blessing and is eternally valued. After experiencing many deaths with whom there is an element of compassion, nurses and other health professionals "may...experience a state of exhaustion and a biological, psychological, and social dysfunction called...compassion fatigue" (Papadatou 2000).

In experiencing a death, I pray, reach out for support from my immediate supervisor, discuss the experience with other nurses, get a hug from my wife, and watch my children be happy. Other times the endless amount of paperwork and other job responsibilities distract me from being required to appropriate grieve.

In supporting a coworker who has experienced a patient loss, I direct conversations regarding the patient to them. I ask my coworker what the patient was like. If I know the patient, then I mention the positive qualities that I noticed regarding the patient.

Our organization is a small business and has a lot of work to do. Admission, death, admission, death... it never seems to stop. I have asked management a number of times to institute a biweekly meeting for all of the staff to give support to one another regarding patient death. However, nothing has yet been implemented. There is such a great need for this type of institutionalized support for our workers. I have felt the need for such a meeting a great number of times. I can tell that the stress of paperwork, patient care, time-management, overtime, and patient death has put a heavy burden on many of my coworkers. It is sorely needed and I will again make the suggestion. Our company does not allow any paid time off to attend funerals although they are always very willing to grant time-off.

Grief is something that all people will experience. It is not always from the loss of a loved one. However, the loss of a loved one is one of the most dramatic losses. The loss of a patient can also be very dramatic and requires support systems from coworkers, family, and institutional assistance. Our organization needs to address the compassion fatigue that many of us have been experiencing.

This is a long quote, but Suzanne Rich in 2005 published words that explain my feelings really well:

When a patient under our care dies, we may feel an acute sense of loss, both professionally and personally. Professionally, if a particular treatment or intervention fails, and a patient clearly shows signs of dying, we may feel eesponsible, guilty, angry, depressed, or helpless. On a personal level, if we are unable to relieve or control a patient's symptoms, such as nausea or pain, we may feel incapable of dealing with a dying patient.



Papadatou, D. (2000). A proposed model of health professionals' grieving process. Omega: Journal of Death and Dying, 41(1), 59-77.
Rich, S. (2005). Providing quality end-of-life care. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 20(2), 141-145.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Protest Experience Revisited

I was sidewalk counseling outside of Planned Parenthood in Riverside with my son Adam and my wife Heather today. I was able to talk to many people today regarding the issue of abortion that this Planned Parenthood commits.

I spoke to a Satanist who believes that pro-lifers are strictly religious zealots and recited a lot of pro-choice talking points; I was able to educate him that there are many pro-life organizations and individuals that are not religious at all and that the scientific reality of human life is the reason why many people are indeed pro-life.

I met some very nice elderly women who stood by to pray the rosary. They were one of the nicest people I have ever met; they were so kind to us and our son Adam. They were very peaceful and patient.

I also elicited a response from a clinic worker about my son and how he was "planned" just like they are helping people "plan" in their clinic. I told them that my planning was remaining abstinent until marriage and that their services are not necessary. I only had a few seconds to speak since they were trying to ignore me. I should have also said that planning does not require the killing of innocent babies.

I also spoke to some women and men who were going into the clinic about fetal development, the fact that Planned Parenthood commits around 350,000 abortions yearly versus around 3,000 adoption referrals yearly. Planed Parenthood's business is one sided--it is focused on the killing of innocent children and the damaging of their mothers in the process.

On November 21, 2004 I wrote an article titled "The Protest Experience" that I have never published on this blog. It was a very good article so I wish to share it with you.



The Protest Experience

It was in the middle of the night. I was sitting at the computer browsing the internet. The day was an ordinary day. This night was also an ordinary night. Then I found some images and movies of murdered children. Images of atrocities have called people to act to stop the atrocities o the images depict. A picture of a gruesome lynching of an African American called people to act against lynch mobs and racism. Pictures of death camps in Nazi Germany called people to act in favor of eradicating Nazism. “Most of us would neither understand nor believe the extent of the Holocaust were it not for the pictures” (Alcorn 241). That night, the pictures I saw called me to act against the mass murder of children: the atrocity called abortion.

Just a few days after I saw these images I went to the city of San Bernardino in California to attend a protest in front of an abortion clinic named “Family Planning Associates.” My parents drove me to the clinic and participated in casual discussion with other protesters and a man whose wife had gone into the clinic to have an abortion. My mother talked to this person. She told him that we were here because we believed in the life of the unborn and wanted to save lives. The person stated that even though he respected his wife’s decision, he secretly did not want his wife to have an abortion. After he told my mom this, he looked at his four year old daughter standing next to him and started to cry. It was too late for his baby to live. This person understood that his child had been killed that day.

I walked towards the protesters at the front of the abortion clinic. The group that was there was called Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust (survivors.la) and represented the youth involved in spreading the pro-life message. The first conversation I started with somebody was a discussion about the television show “The Simpsons” and how some portions of the show had illustrated the point that abortion was, at the very least, wrong. My conversation with him showed me that not all protesters were “extremists” that the media portrayed. This person was someone just like me that felt compelled enough about the lives of unborn children to do something about it.

After I finished talking to that person I walked towards the entrance to the clinic and saw a Catholic priest praying the rosary for the women and children inside the clinic. He was not there to stop anyone from entering but, instead, to pray for their safety and the lives of the unborn. After he prayed the rosary, the priest talked to the protesters and encouraged them to continue doing God’s work while remaining peaceful and loving. I was again surprised. Here I saw that pro-life protesters were not the people I was lead to believe that they were. I have seen on the news that pro-life protesters were violent and wished to force women to not have an abortion. What I saw at this protest was completely contrary to the notion that pro-life individuals very often became violent and vile.

I then saw somebody holding a large display detailed with high quality pictures and text. The pictures on the display showed the development of the unborn human child. The pictures showed pictures from the first week, fourth week, eighth week, and all the way until birth. The text was placed next to each photo and gave facts about fetal development. For example, there was a fact like that was stated by the intrauterine photographer and author of A Child is Born Lennart Nilsson, “Though the embryo now weighs only 1/30 of an ounce [at 6 ½ weeks old (when many women do not yet know they are pregnant)], it has all the internal organs of the adult in various stages of development. It already has a little mouth with lips, an early tongue and buds for 20 milk teeth. It’s sex and reproductive organs have begun to sprout.” Seeing this was, again, a great service to me. The facts that I have so often seen on the internet, stated in books, and published by doctors were being shown to those walking into the abortion clinic. These facts were not presented by force. Instead, the facts were viewed by choice.

Unfortunately, this was when I saw the reaction by those that disagreed with the pro-life position. This reaction did not appear to be rational. A person walking into the clinic yelled to “get out of [her] face;” another yelled at us from inside the clinic and called us evil people. Soon thereafter, I was holding a sign showing one of the pictures I saw on the internet of a sixth month abortion (a picture of Malachi). Numerous cars drove by and yelled profanities directed at me! A couple even drove by and flipped me off. Of the few hours that I was at the clinic that morning I was repeatedly yelled at and called evil. Am I evil because I want to save human lives?

I can only hope that people can see photos of induced abortions for themselves so that they can understand what I understand. I have been repeatedly told that I cannot show these images. People have continually stated that they do not want to look at these photos because they are very gruesome. Politicians and debaters have been attacked whenever they use these photos to prove a point. Documentaries and news stories will freely use pictures of the Holocaust to show what truly happened yet they will not use pictures of abortions to show what abortion really is. If induced abortion was not something bad then why are these pictures not allowed to be used to prove that point? Countless Americans have either not seen these pictures or have chosen to ignore them. When people attack me for showing these pictures, the photos have an effect. When people immediately look away from the photos once they see them, the photos have an effect. This effect is to show that we are killing over a million children every year in the United States. No one wants to realize this atrocity and the photos help them to realize it. Once an individual realizes than an atrocity is taking place then they will be more likely to help end the atrocity. Protesting against abortion is one way to help end this atrocity.

Going to protest once has compelled me to continue protesting. I went to Long Beach to show the pictures of abortions and hand out literature to educate the public. Again, I was yelled at. A handful of pennies were thrown out of a car traveling about 35MPH aimed to hurt me. They missed, thankfully, but their intention was aimed at hurting me because of my message. I have protested at an abortion clinic near in my city of Riverside numerous times. Each time I have been there I have been yelled at. One time I asked what an individual’s job was as he was walking out of an abortion clinic. This person walked up to me and threatened to beat me up just because I asked him that question.

There have also been moments that made everything worth while. While protesting, I have seen one person change her mind about having an abortion. While protesting, I have seen numerous people driving by looked extremely surprised by the pictures we showed allowing them to realize what truly happens. I prayed the rosary in front of a clinic and had one person change from being angry at me to being thankful to me. These things alone, amidst those yelling, threatening, and throwing things at me, have made it all worth it.

By doing this, I have been making a difference. People have seen what development an unborn child goes through. Because of my action, more people have seen what really happens by the abortion procedures. The more minds that we change the greater the chance we will have upon changing our culture into one that values human life at all stages of development. Having these values will change the amount of people having abortion and to also elect government officials that are pro-life. In 1990 there were approximately 1.6 million abortions. In 1997 there was a drop of abortions to approximately 1.3 million abortions (according to Planned Parenthood's own The Allan Guttchmacher Institute). If the pro-life message continues to spread we can continue to limit these numbers. I, personally, will not stop spreading the truth about abortion until all induced abortions end (thus, I will never stop!).

The first major step to ending abortion is by making it illegal. Abortion was illegal in most states in the United States before 1973. Many people believe that abortions done before 1973 were done as “back alley abortions” or “coat hanger abortions.” This is largely untrue. Planned Parenthood, in 1960, stated that “90% of all illegal abortions are presently done by physicians” and also said "abortion, whether therapeutic or illegal, is in the main no longer dangerous" (American Journal of Public Health, 1960--found at ClinicQuotes.com). Again, people state that 5,000 to 10,000 women died from illegal abortions but Bernard N. Nathanson, M.D., one that helped to fabricate this number in NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League), states today that “[he] knew the figures were totally false” (Aborting America 193). The truth, by looking back at the numbers, shows that that the average amount of deaths caused by illegal abortion every year was 250, with a high of 388 in 1948 (Aborting America 48). Some people state that deaths do not occur from legal abortions yet the three clinics I have protested at have had women dying at them (Edrica Goode, Chanelle Bryant, Tami Suematsu)! The courts have legalized the killing of our unborn children. We must not keep the murder of unborn children legal just to make the killing process a little safer (although this might not even be true).

We must work together in our effort to understand the issues of the day. I protest so that I can spread what I believe. If what you believe is that abortion is not the killing of innocent children then I would also like to hear from you rather than being yelled at and threatened like I was at the abortion clinics I protested at. We must gather together. We are brothers and sisters in Christ.



Thank you for reading. Please leave a comment if you wish.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Pro-Abortion Program in C++

An abortionist that has been practicing since the 1970's in Philadelphia has been arrested for 7 charges of murdering born alive infants from botched abortions and 1 charge of murder of a woman. For more information regarding this story, please read Jill Stanek's article regarding it on her blog. One pro-abortion blogger believes that the 7 charges of murdering the infants should be dropped. Reading comments from other pro-abortion people is a scary task. It is I who has fished out a truly disgusting and vile reason to be pro-abortion.

Poster Aquaria shared something that his mother told him (emphasis mine):

"This is an orphanage. Used to [be] when you came by on a Saturday, you'd see hundreds of kids playing everywhere, people nobody wanted, or couldn't afford to keep, and nobody adopted them. You don't see many kids here anymore, not since abortion was legal, and maybe that's a good thing."

Aquaria cited this as a reason he is now pro-abortion. I took only one class on C++ in college. I did alright in the class but it has been a while. This is a bare-bones program of how pro-aborts think.



If(Money>0)
{
Baby;
}

elseIf(Wantedness>0)
{
Baby;
}

Else
{
Blob;
}



The equation reads: if there is money or wantedness then the unborn is a baby; if neither is true then the baby is nothing but a blob of tissue. Let us test this equation through hypothetical examples.

Hypothetical #1: Wantedness
A woman at the age of 17 becomes pregnant. She was using the pill but forgot to take a dose. She cites this as the reason she became pregnant. She doesn't want a baby right now. Due to the unwantedness of the baby it is referred to as pregnancy tissue and she schedules an abortion for the end of the week. The abortion takes place when she was 12 weeks pregnant. According to the equation, regardless of contradicting the most basic principals and facts of science, there actually was no baby (wantedness was false).

Hypothetical #2: Money
A man discovers that his wife is pregnant. Him and his wife are very excited about the baby. A week later the man is fired from his job as an electrician. They have few support systems and are bracing for the inability to pay bills, rent, and other expenses. Although the pregnancy was initially wanted very much by the couple, the baby was no longer a baby due to the lack of funds to support it (money was false).

Hypothetical #1 Pt2: Wantedness
The 17 year old woman has the abortion completed to expel the unwanted pregnancy tissue. Immediately following the procedure the woman has a change of heart and panics. She knows it is too late and starts to wale and cry. At this point what was previous called unwanted pregnancy tissue is now called baby yet... nothing can bring that baby back to life (wanted became true after the program ended).

Hypothetical #2 Pt2: Money
The woman reluctantly had the abortion although she really wanted to have a child. The lack of funds did not allow the pregnancy blob of tissue to be a baby. One week following the abortion when the blob of tissue was killed the man got a job that paid better than the last. Now with money, his dead blob of tissue that was killed became a baby yet... nothing can bring that baby back to life (money became true after the program ended).



Due to this very complex program that the pro-aborts have concocted, blobs of tissue magically become babies after they have been killed. When using their perverse logic to its natural conclusion it results in equally scary prospects. If a blob can magically become a baby, then a baby can also magically become a blob. What better a way to deal with unwanted born children in the orphanage than to declare them blobs of tissue that can be killed in a "safe, sane, and legal" clinic? No different than the unwanted and unaffordable blobs in utero! With such faulty logic it is strange how so many people are blind to its deception.

Pro-lifers have an even simpler program!



If(humanBeing)
{
baby
}

else
{
notBaby
}



This program simply reads: if it is a human being, then it is a baby; otherwise it is not a baby! Science has proven time after time that a human being's life begins at conception. No amount of religion, opinion, or philosophy will ever change this fact. Please refer to my blog entry Playing the Human Being Word Game and Abort73.com's Medical Testimony Page for further details regarding this line of facts.



"After fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being. [It] is no longer a matter of taste or opinion...it is plain experimental evidence. Every individual has a very neat beginning, at conception." Jerome LeJeune, Geneticist (In 1981 at a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee)



1. Comment left by Aquaria on the article "This is not a case about abortion" by PZ Myers as accessed on January 20, 2011. URL