Monday, June 12, 2017

The Absurdity of an Argument: Men Not Allowed

The argument I am going to argue against is as follows: men should not have any authority regarding issues surrounding pregnancy, especially moral issues. According to this argument, the reason men should not have any authority over this subject is because men cannot experience pregnancy and thus cannot understand what it means to be pregnant. It is also argued that pregnancy issues do not affect men as it does women.

From a pro-life perspective the response to this argument is simple: all human beings have an obligation to defend the lives of other human beings regardless of their size, level of development, place of residence, and amount of dependency. Indeed, it is widely viewed that all people are obligated to actively oppose the killing of innocent people regardless of largely uncontrollable variables such as gender, ethnic background, and religious affiliation. Therapeutic abortions are the intentional killing of human beings because of their young age, location, level of dependence, and how they inconvenience other human beings. In the United States, the number of unborn human beings purposely killed has reached the millions long ago and continues to this day; indeed, 730,222 unborn human beings were killed in the United States in 2011 alone not including California, Florida, and four other states (CDC, 2014). Including California's 184,552 abortions in 2011, using Guttmacher's numbers, the total comes to 914,774 (Guttmacher Institute, 2015). Thus, if it is the case that this many human beings are being killed then this must be diametrically opposed until it comes to an end.

The argument from the preceding paragraph is the one that I subscribe to. However, the argument should be delved into more deeply. The reason for this is that an emotional argument many people subscribe to has stripped away the humanity and "person-hood status" of the unborn no matter how ardently it is debated. This is important because if the converse is true (if an abortion does not kill a human being) then a massacre of grand scale does not exist. Thus, the following rebuttals to the argument that men have no right to an opinion regarding therapeutic abortion does not take into account the humanity of the unborn. Sound argument follows from both logical and experiential perspectives.

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Rebuttal from Logic
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We, as humans both male and female, have the capacity for reason. Reason results from utilizing logic. All people have experienced many things but not all people can experience all things during their life time  (i.e. not all women experience pregnancy). What reason would there be to disallow a group of individuals from using their capacity to reason to form an opinion although one has not had certain experiences? It is true that one who has had a previous personal experience related to the subject in question will often lend more credibility on the subject the experience is related to. For example, if I ate 10,000 calories every day for five years and became obese then I would be able to speak from experience when I say that overeating results in weight gain, numerous health problems, and many inconveniences; this experience has then created increased credibility to my opinion regarding overeating. However, is it a necessity that I have this experience to have enough credibility to hold the opinion that overeating results in a negative outcome and should be avoided? It is possible to have known this probable outcome without first experiencing it by using facts and logic. Therefore, gaining credibility through an experiential background is important but not a requirement prior to forming an opinion. Indeed, those who have experienced a therapeutic abortion can provide vital insights into the subject but that experience alone cannot be the basis for an opinion.

By utilizing this frame of thought, if one group cannot biologically experience something it does not logically follow that the group cannot have an opinion regarding it. Experience certainly adds credibility but lack of experience does not, in itself, remove the ability of a human to utilize sound reason, logic, and facts to form a credible opinion.

Consider also that it is highly possible that someone who has experienced something may actually have a biased opinion, particularly from an emotional stand point. For example, say that a man had a brother that died from a skiing accident. This man also has no prior knowledge of the required safety precautions already in place for skiing safety.  This person would likely be angry, justifiably so, about the dangers of skiing even without knowing anything about existing skiing safety precautions. Would it then follow that it would be acceptable to make skiing illegal based upon this man's emotionally charged experience? While a case can be made to create laws that provide additional safety for skiing, an argument purely from an emotional stand point is weak. For example, what exactly could have prevented the accident? Was their a failure in the mechanism of the ski equipment or was there user error involved? A position would need to be formed following a proper investigation from impartial experts in the field. The man's stance on skiing is so heavily weighed on emotion that this opinion must only be considered in light of other compelling arguments derived from facts and logic. Naturally, then, a woman who has had an abortion but has a poor grasp of the facts should not be the sole basis of forming your own opinion on the subject.

Another argument at play here is that there is no experiential difference regarding pregnancy between the following two groups: women whom have never been pregnant before and men. Should it follow, then, that it is not only men that should not have an opinion regarding pregnancy health and therapeutic abortion but also those who have never been pregnant? It would then follow that the only people entitled to an opinion are those who have experienced that said thing for themselves? How else could one know how it feels to then form an opinion of it? This line of reasoning is absurd. For example, can only those who have experienced the process of parenting have an opinion regarding what constitutes child abuse? Just because someone has experience surrounding the subject matter does not make them experts in the field. A child psychologist is not unqualified merely for not having his or her own child just the same as a man is not unqualified merely for not having a uterus. Ultimately, someone who has had a therapeutic abortion can become so steeped in emotion that what actually transpired may be ignored (i.e. the death of an unborn child). It is not always true that those who have directly experienced something are the best experts regarding the related subject.

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Rebuttal from Personal Experience
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Logically, it is not only experience that lends itself to logical conclusions. However, experience plays a large role in discovering the truth. My own experiences illustrate that it is important that all people, both men and women, become involved in the debate over pregnancy related health issues and therapeutic abortion. Human lives are literally at stake.

Experience as a teen
I decided very early on in my life to very actively pursue the truth. As a 6th grader a teacher angrily called me a liar regarding the details surrounding a skirmish that happened during recess. I was being very honest. It hurt me so deeply that I felt physical pain which resulted in me ditching class and running home crying. It made me want to fight adamantly against lies and to discover the truth no matter where it was to be found. This experience also gave me an underlying distrust of others.

Due to this formative experience, I felt dedicated to deeply discovering the truth even in the most controversial and unpleasant topics facing us as a society. Subjects ranging from birth control, homosexuality, government structure, basic morality, faith, and abortion peeked my interest. Abortion became the most important topic because of the gravity of the subject; if abortion is the intentional killing of our fellow human beings then our country has been experiencing a massacre without many of us realizing it! Conversely, however, if abortion is benign and akin to a toenail removal then I could care less. The more that I learned about the subject the more that I could not ignore it. Legalized and widespread killing of our country's unborn children made me very sad and, rightfully so, very angry. I tried so very, very hard to prove myself wrong. I very much did not (and still do not) want to believe this truth. Who in their right mind would want to think that countless children are being killed and torn to tiny little pieces while everyone tries their best to ignore it? Unfortunately, I had no choice but to accept the truth. After all, I reasoned, the truth was, and still is, the most important thing to me.

Experience as a young man
Good life decisions and hard work do not guarantee that a person will not fall into times of great need. Immediately after graduating high school, I went to college. At the time I majored in music. In time, however, I lost confidence in my future goals. Eventually, I was inspired by the great interest I took in the difficult Anatomy and Physiology class. I also met many pre-nursing students. Alongside meeting my future wife who also provided inspiration, these factors led to my decision to become a nurse. I have always wanted to have a more concrete means to help other people. To work in a job where I have a direct and very positive effect on other people in a physical, emotional, and spiritual way fit my personality well.

Finally I got admitted to the nursing program at my local community college. This program was very difficult and life consuming. At the time I had no idea what nursing specialty I would have the most interest in. However, once I experienced labor and delivery nursing that summer I had my answer. I was so intensely excited in helping moms during their pregnancy and while birthing their children. All nursing students are very nervous and freeze up during their first clinical rotations; I was no different. However, the first laboring woman that I was assisted was very receptive to me. She was so happy to have a student be so willing to help and so excited to be involved. She eventually gave birth to her beautiful baby and thanked me very sincerely for all of my help. At that moment I knew that no matter the barriers to becoming a male in labor and delivery that obstetrical nursing was in my future. I cannot thank this woman enough for the inspiration and determination she instilled into me.

Midway through nursing school I married my beautiful wife. My wife then became pregnant with our first son. Shortly thereafter, during the final year of nursing school, I lost my job and source of income. Eventually, no food was left and no money was left for gas, bills, and rent. After what seemed like forever I found a minimum wage per-diem job and a small amount of monetary assistance from my parents that kept me going. I also obtained food-stamps once every single last article of food was gone. This was indeed a very difficult time of my life. At times I was uncertain if I could continue nursing school. My doubts were starting to accumulate whether or not I could provide for my wife and new child. During this tumultuous time I realized that one answer to my problems suggested by pro-choicers would be therapeutic abortion. What better way to ensure that I'd be able to continue my education and be successful in life than to remove one major barrier to that? Indeed, it would have been a great idea! However, I already knew that my wife was pregnant not with a parasite or something similar but with my own son! Never did it cross my mind to ever utilize therapeutic abortion to kill my son and help ensure a brighter financial future for myself and my wife. For a more detailed account of this experience please read My Own Pro-Life Walk.

Finally, I graduated nursing school and became a Registered Nurse. As a new graduate nurse I, like so many others, felt the need to get a job to support my family very strongly. The job market was difficult for new graduates at the time. I applied to many maternal units throughout my area as well as Versant programs in maternal health. However, I was not unable to find a job. Soon, out of necessity, I placed applications in different fields of nursing.

Eventually, I was hired for my first Registered Nursing job. This job was Registered Nurse Case Managing in hospice. I worked in this capacity for upwards of three years. The people I worked with were amazing! I also got to experience the opposite spectrum of the life issue, the end of life. There is no better an illustration of the beauty of life than to care for those at the end of life. Indeed, the end of life, as the last part of life's experiences, is such a difficult thing. Yet the people I have met, the stories I have heard, the amount of help that I have provided, and the degree of love that I experienced is tremendously powerful. If it was not for my determination to be a labor and delivery nurse then I might have well stayed in that specialty. I found, through experience, that the end of life needs to occur in dignity, compassion, and help, rather than in a falsely placed sense of sympathy through euthanasia. Please read my articles regarding this topic: Hospice Nursing: Embracing the End of Life and Experiencing Death in Hospice.

After leaving hospice and finding my only means of working in the hospital as a medical-surgical nurse for another three years. As time marched foward I felt significant ambivalence regarding my future in labor and delivery. I had to consider that it is women who almost exclusively work in that specialty and that all of the patients in labor and delivery are women. Amidst this time of ambivalence I left a hand-written note (of all things) for the maternal-child health department manager at a time that I heard of numerous full-time openings regarding my interest. That one fateful action led to me landing an interview to work in labor and delivery.

Experience as a labor and delivery nurse
After nearly eight years after discovering that labor and delivery nursing was in my future as a nursing student I was finally going to have an interview to work as a Registered Nurse in the department! I studied mother-baby nursing in my nursing textbook and delved myself deeply into the world of labor and delivery nursing. Although I had such a positive and inspirational experience in labor and delivery in nursing school that was nearly eight years prior, the experience was brief, and my responsibilities were limited. No amount of preparation could enlighten me as to what experiences were to follow. Most pressing on my mind was the fact that I am a man desiring very much to care for women as they are giving birth to their own children which is something quite rare. Indeed, giving birth is a very vulnerable and personal experience for women. There are many men who are obstetricians but it is nearly impossible to find a man working as a nurse in obstetrics. I also gave great thought to the difficulty that may arise out of the attitudes and beliefs of all of the women nurses that would be my coworkers. I was getting quite nervous!

My interview consisted of some hard clinical knowledge questions and critical thinking. I felt good about my answers and I conveyed my passion for labor and delivery nursing properly. The manager, assistant manager, and two clinical educators were present for the interview. Following a brief private discussion held between the four of them they decided to hire the very first man as a labor and delivery nurse the hospital has ever had. I was speechless. For a moment I had a blank look on my face. Shortly thereafter I came to my senses and expressed how amazing being hired was.

I thought about about the first day I started on the unit. How would my coworkers, all women, and patients, all women, respond to my presence? To the meat of the issue, would my coworkers and patients respond with disgust and distrust that a man would want to be a labor and delivery nurse? Would they respond akin to the animus I experienced from the stringent argument that men have absolutely no right to even have an opinion regarding the issue of therapeutic abortion? From the pro-choice perspective, therapeutic abortion is equally as personal a decision as is the decisions surrounding the birthing process. With glee I discovered that patients and fellow nurses were comfortable with my care as long as I had their best intentions at heart, provided competent care, showed and provided respectful and loving care, and remained, always, an advocate for patients. I remember very distinctly one of my first patients encouraging me to provide her care after I had expressed that I was very nervous about it. In my experience, patients refusing my care due to my gender has been an extreme rarity. My coworkers have been and continue to be awesome colleagues with whom I share the same goal of providing safe, competent, and compassionate care for mommies and babies. I have experienced what it means to truly love them both-- both mothers and babies. It is a beautiful experience that has never been hindered by the fact that I am a man. At the time of writing, I have been working in labor and delivery nursing for two and a half years.

I have more experience caring for those with whom are dying and women who are giving birth than most people have ever had in their lives. These beautiful experiences lend to my credibility surrounding life issues. It also does provide a bias towards protecting and defending mothers and their babies. It is of great gratitude that my experiences have confirmed my previously held opinions concluded solely from a logical and factual framework. In my career, in my words, and in my life I will defend, care for, and protect mothers and babies every time that opportunity is provided.

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I share with you my logic and experience to better understand my perspective that gender is not a barrier when it comes to the need to protect the lives of innocent babies. While there is certainly disagreement regarding what it means to be a human being from the philosophical means (this has been argued to begin from conception, as I argue, all the way to toddler-hood, as Princeton Bioethics professor Peter Singer argues) it does not change the fact that we are all called to protect and defend the lives of our fellow members of humanity.

Summarily, us humans, regardless of gender, have the capacity for reason. Therefore, gender should not be grounds for the dismissal of a person's opinion. Also, those who have had the experience surrounding the issue may have a bias that effects their opinion that is not grounded in an objective and logical conclusion considering the facts. Regardless of this possible bias, those who have experienced that which concerns the subject (i.e. a post-abortive woman in regards to the abortion debate) does have increased credibility once that bias is properly understood. Further, those who have the capability to experience that which is related to the argument may have not partaken in it; it does not follow that these people who have had the ability but did not partake should be granted more credibility than those who have no ability to partake (i.e. women who have no had a therapeutic abortion as opposed to men who have no ability to have a therapeutic abortion). Finally, as illustrated by my own experiences, those who cannot personally partake in the experience related to the subject may have other very compelling experiences that are related; this, then, may increase said person's credibility to speak on the subject so long as the bias is considered.

Ultimately, the most important factors surrounding an issue are the facts and logical argument while experiences serve to complement. These arguments illustrate that men can have a voice in regards to pregnancy-related health and therapeutic abortion. A person's gender must not be the basis for silencing a person's opinion.

Please leave comments regarding your own thoughts, experiences, and logic regarding this issue.

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  • State facts about abortion: California. (n.d.). Retrieved July 10, 2015, from Guttmacher Institute website:
  • Center for Disease Control. (2014, November). Abortion surveillance: United States, 2011 (K. Pazol, A. Creanga, K. Burley, & D. Jamieson, Authors) Chasmar, J. (2015, June 16). 
  • Princeton bioethics professor faces calls for resignation over infanticide support. Retrieved June 12, 2017, from

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.


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!


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.


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, "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?

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 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.


      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.


About us. (2010). Retrieved November 11, 2011, from Rachel's Vineyard website:

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

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 website:

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 ( 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 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.