Pro-Life; Pro-Choice

Rape Victim

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.

Her father, a male friend, a classmate, an acquaintance who she only exchanges casual niceties with when she sees him, the friend of a trusted friend who took her out on a first date, assaulted her.  She was shocked.  Never did she imagine someone who was familiar to her, a respectable gent, might do as he did.  She did not know that someone known to the victim commits almost two-thirds of rapes.  This lovely lass had not truly had a need to grapple with cruel realities.  She could not have considered the cruelest realities that would now change her life forever.  Nor have many politicians found themselves in a place as unimaginable as this.  Yet, Presidents, Vice Presidents, Senators, Representatives, and Judges appointed by one Administration or another have a decisive power to determine her future.

As the elected officials debate her circumstances and the consequences, she lives them.  The recent “pro-life” revelations offered by the potential Vice President, Sarah Palin reminds this survivor of her personal, private history, and the hell that haunts her.  Her misery may have been met when she sensed a stranger in her presence.  However, more likely she suffered at the hands of one she knows well.  

73% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger.?

38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.?

28% are an intimate.?

7% are a relative.

Her situation might have been as most; it could have occurred less than a mile from her home.  She may have been among the 4 in 10 who are maliciously molested in their own abode.  The young girl, older woman, middle-aged miss was attacked from behind, or perhaps, from a frontal position.  She was fondled and finally, penetrated.  Her most private parts were not merely entered.  Her sense of self was ripped from her soul.  Clinically, Jane, Joanne, Jana, or Jennifer was raped just as women, men too are violated throughout America.

In 2006, there were 272,350 victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.  (These figures do not include victims 12 years old or younger.)

Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.

While the numbers of women subject to such an assault may be great, in truth, Deborah, Diane, Dina, and Dawn never thought they might be among these.  Each never expected to be a statistic.  Nor could they have predicted that they might become a vessel for another person’s personal angst.  Not one of these women wondered what might motivate someone to sexually assault them.  They were certain, they, themselves would never place themselves in a position to be brutally debased or heartlessly dishonored.

Yet, while in fear for their lives, ashamed, even mortified these frightened females unwillingly surrendered to a touch that terrified them.  Each was held tightly, not in a sensual manner, but as a means to control of their movements.  Engaged in an entanglement that was far from erotic, Sweet Sadie, Susan, Stephanie, or Sarah wondered and worried.  What might he do.  Did he have a weapon?  Until that moment, these ladies might not have fully appreciated the lethal power of language.  Yet, as the words of the perpetrator pierced their minds, hearts, and souls as a dagger might, they grew to understand.  In the United States, near eighteen (18) million have been victims of attempted or completed rape.  

1 out of every 6 American women have been the victims of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime (14.8% completed rape; 2.8% attempted rape).

17.7 million American women have been victims of attempted or completed rape.

9 of every 10 rape victims were female in 2003.

While about 80% of all victims are white, minorities are somewhat more likely to be attacked.

Some of these lovely ladies, in their careers, may crack a ceiling.  They may be outwardly successful.  Still inwardly, invisible to the human eye, these daughters of Eve are emotionally shattered.  A fortunate few will work past the profound effect to the extent they are able.  Yet, they will never forget the horror they felt, the horrific crime they endured.  No Miss, Missus, or Ms will forget what changed their lives and outlook.

While they may “choose life” for the fetus, choose to give birth to the child who is the result of such a vicious, violent, aggression, it will always be a challenge to look at that little lovable being and not be reminded of when or how that beautiful baby came into being.  Humans may heal physically from an invasion into their body and being; however, the internal wounds leave serious scars.

A child, as they grow inevitably will, on occasion, error.  A mother conceived in love will hopefully understand.  She will likely be gentle with the toddler.  A prideful mother may appreciate the development.  Yet, that same potentially melodious Mom may not be quite as generous if she scorns the man who planted the seed.  The way in which a woman coddles, or cares, for an infant is influenced by her perception of the other biological parent.  Try as a Mommy might to forget the circumstances of conception, the memory remains.  A young one who ever acts in a manner that is defiant or difficult is frequently compared to the man who planted the seed .

Granted, a girl, a matron, or a soon-to-be Mom of any age, a woman who finds herself pregnant might consider adoption, as Vice Presidential aspirant Sarah Palin would advise.  However, as a new mother ponders the future, she  has faith she will never forget that she had a child and abandoned the precious being.  Sure, she may say to herself she gave her son or daughter a wonderful home, two parents, a chance at a better life.  Yet, in her heart of hearts she knows the child will wonder why his or her birth mother might desert a child so dear.  

How could she be certain that the parents who raise her baby will be the best.  The expectant Mom cannot imagine how she will live with the memory that she rejected her own . . . the baby who will also be a product of rape.  A woman torn from within may understand that the fabric of her life was torn and tattered when first the man placed his seed in her womb.

While this woman with child might trust as Sarah Palin does, birth begins at conception, she may also come to terms with the fact that a definitive death occurred within her.  As an Earthly life as she knew it ended on the day of her rape.  A female when forced to face the demon that destroyed her spirit considers the alternatives, cannot help but think of the quality of life, hers, and her baby’s.

She will wonder will the newborn be safe; will she.  Might she, as the mother, or her child, be sane in a world full of feeling provoked by a scurrilous crime.  Is a child, not conceived in love, or a Mom mortified by a memory, better off if they settle for simple survival.  A female who finds herself confronted with what is surely a traumatic decision, must weigh what no one can evaluate for her.  She must determine the significance of the events and attempt to evaluate how she and the being who may mature will thrive..  

Rape for a woman so fully developed can be as cruel as abortion is for one who is barely born.  Perchance, no one can decide what is paramount, preeminent, or the perfect choice.  If we, as a society, as people,  are to truly honor life, might humans respect an individuals right to choose how, when, or if his or her body is breached.  Could we also provide sterile and sanitary spaces for those who may ponder what is imperceptible, inconceivable to us.  Let us reflect upon life, the quality, and all that is not necessarily quantifiable.  Perchance, we might empathize with the women and the being in the womb, the two entities whose fragile feelings were ignored at the time of rape.

Sources . . . Survivors of Sexual Assault . . .

Sarah Palin; Formidable Force

Palin, Biden on Roe versus Wade

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.

Some have become decidedly lax as they reflect on the Presidential election.  A few presumed to be excited by the polls.  Barack Obama has pulled ahead, ever so slightly.  Progressives play with the numbers and feel a sense of exuberance.  Frequently, Democrats and Independents who lean “Left” fail to recall; complacency will not increase the vote count.  Sarah Palin has come far in her career.  Often, in the past, she has shown herself to be a competent challenger.  Sarah Palin is a formidable force.

Yet, as the nation awaits the next debate, a battle of wits and wisdom with Vice Presidential candidates, Joseph Biden and Sara Palin on the stage, Democrats say there is nothing to fear, but fear itself.  Some discount the dynamic demeanor of the Alaskan Governor.  Progressives ponder, there is no need to worry.  Governor Palin has lost much of her momentum.  Yet, it might be wise to consider those who would vote for the wondrous woman are not as vociferous in the public forum.  Nor are these persons as evident in election polls.  Palin, and McCain devotees have the dominion of a cast ballot.

These voters are not as some presume them to be.  Advocates of the Alaskan Governor are not necessarily women.  Yet, supporters of Barack Obama feared they would be.  Some Democrats believed with a woman on the ticket, John McCain would surely soar ahead in the polls.  Hence, a mass mail was sent out.  Liberal persons thought the message would move women.  The thought was perchance, these facts might influence female voters.

1.) John McCain opposes equal pay legislation saying it wouldn’t do “anything to help the rights of women.”

2.) John McCain opposes requiring health care plans to cover prescription birth control

3.) John McCain opposes comprehensive, medically accurate sex education.

4.) John McCain opposes common sense funding to prevent unintended and teen pregnancies.

5.) John McCain opposes funding for public education about emergency contraception.

6.) John McCain opposes restoring family planning services for low-income women.

7.) John McCain opposes Roe v. Wade and says it should be overturned.  His running mate Sarah Palin opposes abortion in nearly all cases, even in the case of rape or incest.

8.) John McCain wants to nominate Supreme Court justices who are “clones” of conservative Justices Alito and Roberts.

9.) When asked if contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV, John McCain said he was stumped.

10.) In his 25 years in Washington, DC, John McCain has voted against women’s reproductive rights and privacy 125 times.

However, in truth for many of the fairer sex this list proved to be meaningless.  Sarah Palin, the person, definitely had more power to persuade.  The statistics and specifics did not dissuade the daughters of Eve.  Countless were certain that the Democrats would say anything to deceive the electorate.  After all, fact checks continually demonstrate that what a one candidate says in reference to a rival cannot be trusted.  Truth is tentative, tweaked, and twisted.  Veracity can be tailor-made and frequently is.  Each Party engages in self-serving misrepresentations.  

More importantly, numerous women inclusive of Sarah Palin are opposed to abortion.  Some Conservative lasses who consider themselves pro-choice love the lady Palin.

Perhaps equal pay for equal work is less of a concern for Moms and misses who labor at home, or for those who think the structure as is, is fine.  Individuals who have faith in G-d and abstinence do not wish for the distribution of contraception.  These same persons would argue, sex should be taught at home, not in public schools.  Countless, among those with ovaries,  think women must plan for a family.  It is a potential mother’s place to create a brood or protect herself from the possibility.  Whether low-income earners are provided with instruction, as it relates to reproduction, or not, is of little interest to the supposed softer-sex.  Several thousand, millions who think themselves the better half are strong and strident in their support of life.  These woman also endorse Sarah Palin.

Why do they like her so much?

The answers vary.  Her conservative bona fides are important to Charity Chase, a young libertarian: “What she stands for and her record,” Chase said at Republican headquarters.  McCain has long had problems with conservatives, who see one of their own in Palin.

Other interviews reveal an admiration of Palin’s remarkable unpretentiousness – working mother with a pregnant teenage daughter, high-end blue-collar hobbies such as moose hunting and snowmobiling. They can relate to her life easily.

“When you’re a mother, you have better instincts and can solve problems,” said Kayla Carter, who at 16 is working on her first campaign. She was calling voters from a Henderson office.

But Republicans also love that Palin’s no average working mom – she’s like an average working mom with extra-special life force that has fueled a rocket rise, taking on the allegedly corrupt Alaska Republican establishment and beating it in 2006.

“She’s like the average person who does everything,” said Ana Wood, a volunteer at the Henderson office.

The Palin fever is reminiscent of the aura of excitement that’s surrounded Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama since his famous keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

National Review, the venerable conservative magazine, has Palin on its cover this week, with a slightly tongue-in-cheek headline: “The One!”

Might the Obama supporters study further than the polls that affirm what they wish to believe.  Granted, those who have a telephone and are asked of the Palin effect might express disdain.  However, the question is do those polled truly represent all of America.  On October 1, 2008, a proud Ohio voter said no.  The fifty-one percent who resent Sarah Palin do not speak for him.

On this initial day of the Presidential election in Ohio, where the law permits same-Day registration and voting, constituents were able to cast a Presidential ballot on the first Wednesday in October.  Today, Freddie DeLaMonte voted for John McCain.  In an interview with a National Public Radio reporter, the man happily voiced his reason.  “To be truthful is, I like his running mate.  Seems to me, she understands it better than these guys who have been around for a long time and they’re big shots you know.”

No, Freddie is not among the upper crust.  He is not the typical refined Republican.  His history might not lead researchers to believe that he would embrace the grand Old Party.  Mister DeLaMonte is a homeless man, perhaps a transient.  As he says, some without a permanent shelter are.

The jubilant may wish to recall that in late September and early October 2004, the election looked to be as this current challenge appears.  Persons on the Left were increasingly confident.  They had chosen a good candidate.  He was intelligent, informed, and inspired the youth vote.  John Kerry was a war hero.  George W. Bush less likely to win.  

Democrats thought, they need only look at the lack of support for the Iraq war.  Whilst there was not a woman on either ticket, Moms, did not wish to lose a son in battle.  Wives longed for husbands to be safe and secure at home.  Daughters surely would not vote for a more battles.  Many were convinced President Bush could not possibly survive another election.  After the first debate, Progressives felt more positive.

On the issue of the economy, the poll showed all voters favoring Kerry 51 percent to Bush’s 44 percent, almost exactly the opposite of what the September 24-26 poll indicated — Bush with 51 percent and Kerry with 45 percent.

Holland said that was good news for Kerry going into the second and third debates, in which domestic issues will be highlighted.

It seemed the war and the economy ensured a guaranteed win. Yet, the extremely unpopular President was elected and inaugurated again.  On January 20, 2005, George w. Bush crossed the threshold of the White House one more time.  Indeed, women voters may have helped place President Bush back into the Oval Office.

Traditionally, conventional wisdom has led many to believe women are concerned with issues that favor Democrats.  Healthcare, education, and Social Security are surely concerns for the gentler sex . However, no matter the gender, the war on terror, and the fear factor can shift what appears to be a solid calculation.  Many women (and men) want McCain and Sarah Palin simply because they feel these two will keep the country safe.  The McCain/Palin ticket also appeals to men.  Charles W. Fairbanks speaks for many.  Mister Fairbanks, who anxiously awaits the first and only Vice Presidential debate writes of his admiration for a robust women such as Sarah Palin.

It never fails.  The more the driveby media struggles against Sarah Palin, the tighter her hold on the American imagination becomes.  Palin Derangement Syndrome has reached a fever pitch, and it doesn’t seem to phase the governor.

While it is true, the Palin effect may have diminished amongst those who are more visible and vocal, Americans cannot ignore the fact that not all of the electorate is dissuaded.  Not all have heard the Alaskan Governor’s supposed gaffes.  Those who have may believe as Sarah Palin so aptly stated in her latest radio interview.

In a series of recent interviews, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has expressed her disdain for the way she has been treated by the press, stoking resentment toward the media among conservatives but also raising questions about how this strategy will help reach independent voters who remain decidedly non committal about Palin.

Her latest jab at the press came last evening in an interview with conservative talk radio show host Hugh Hewitt.  . . .

“I have a degree in journalism also, so it surprises me that so much has changed since I received my education in journalistic ethics all those years ago,” Palin said in response to a question from Hewitt about alleged gotcha questions being asked of her by ABC’s Charlie Gibson and CBS’s Katie Couric.

She added:

“I’m going to take those shots and those pop quizzes and just say that’s okay, those are good testing grounds. And they can continue on in that mode. That’s good. That makes somebody work even harder. It makes somebody be even clearer and more articulate in their positions. So really, I don’t fight it. I invite it.”

Indeed, she does.  Governor Palin is a practiced politician.  She is cheerful, personable, and a powerfully convincing person.  She has captivated America ever since she came onto the Vice Presidential scene.  No one will easily forget or dismiss the demure Sarah Palin.  The debates may remind Progressives of this.

On the eve of the televised Palin performance, many Democrats would wish to believe Governor Palin or those who admire her are “dumb.”  (Please excuse the use of a word I find extremely offensive!) What may be “dumber” is the thought that those who see “the facts” as they pertain to McCain’s record on women’s issues will feel a need to vote for Barack Obama.

Peruse if you choose.  However, please trust the specifics may or may not change a Conservative mind.  “Facts” are fluid.  Sarah Palin’s stance is as persuasive as are these particulars.  Points of view are as Alaskan Governor, formidable.

The Worst of John McCain

McCain has voted consistently against women’s health, and he supports overturning the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Roe v. Wade.  These positions will make it difficult for him to win over moderate pro-choice voters in the general election.  The Arizona State Senator said, “As someone who has consistently and strongly been pro-life, I fully believe that Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that should be overturned.  Roe v. Wade is the most egregious example of judges who impose their own views by legislating from the bench rather than strictly rule what the Constitution says.”

The Trail Blog. Washington Post. May 7, 2008

McCain opposed spending $100 million to prevent unintended and teen pregnancies.  ?In 2005, McCain voted NO to allocate $100 million to expand access to preventive health care services that reduce the numbers of unintended and teen pregnancies and reduce the number of abortions.

Roll Call Vote.  March 17, 2005

Statement of Purpose:

To expand access to preventive health care services that reduce unintended pregnancy (including teen pregnancy), reduce the number of abortions, and improve access to women’s health care.

McCain opposed legislation requiring that abstinence-only programs be medically accurate and scientifically based.?  McCain voted NO on legislation that would help reduce the number of teen pregnancies by providing funding for programs to teach comprehensive, medically accurate sexuality education and other programs to prevent unintended teen pregnancies.

Lautenberg, Menendez Offer Comprehensive Approach To Reduce Teen Pregnancy and Abortions

Contact: Alex Formuzis (202) 224-7340?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Washington, D.C. – Acting to reduce the number of teenage pregnancies and abortions in the United States, Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today offered an amendment on the Senate floor to fund programs to encourage abstinence as well as sex education. Currently the federal government doesn’t support any sex education programs that include information about contraception or other forms of birth control.

The legislation was offered as an amendment during consideration of the Child Custody Protection Act (S.403).

McCain opposed Title X, the nation’s family planning program.?  In 1990, McCain voted NO on legislation to extend the Title X federal family planning program, which provides low-income and uninsured women and families with health care services ranging from breast and cervical cancer screening to birth control.

McCain opposed requiring insurance coverage of prescription birth control.?   In 2003, McCain voted NO on legislation to improve the availability of contraceptives for women and to require insurance coverage of prescription birth control.

Amendment Number:

S.Amdt. 258 to S. 3

Statement of Purpose:

To improve the availability of contraceptives for women.

McCain opposes comprehensive sex education.?  In an interview aboard the “Straight Talk Express,” McCain struggled to answer questions about comprehensive sex education and HIV prevention.  He also stated that he supported “the president’s policy” on sex education.

McCain unsure where he stands on government funding for contraception.  ?”Whether I support government funding for them or not, I don’t know,” McCain said about contraceptives.

Statement of Purpose:

To prohibit the expenditure of certain appropriated funds for the distribution or provision of, or the provision of a prescription for, postcoital emergency contraception.

McCain opposed repealing the “global gag rule.  “?In 2005, McCain voted NO on legislation to overturn the “global gag rule,” which bars foreign nongovernmental organizations from receiving U.S. family planning assistance if the organization (using its own, non-U.S. funds) provides abortion services or information or advocates for pro-choice laws and policies in its own country.

Amendment Number:

S.Amdt. 278 to S. 600

Statement of Purpose:

To prohibit the application of certain restrictive eligibility requirements to foreign nongovernmental organizations with respect to the provision of assistance under part I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.

McCain supports overturning Roe v. Wade. ?In February 2007, the AP quoted McCain stating, ‘I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned.”

McCain says Roe v. Wade was a “bad decision.”  ?In May 2007, during an appearance on Meet the Press, Sen. McCain reiterated his support for overturning Roe v. Wade, saying, “I have stated time after time after time that Roe v. Wade was a bad decision, that I support a woman – the, the rights of the unborn.” He went on to say, “My position has been consistently in my voting record, pro-life, and I continue to maintain that position and voting record.”

McCain would have signed 2006 South Dakota abortion ban ?In February 2006, the Hotline reported, “According to a spokesperson, McCain ‘would have signed the legislation, but would also take the appropriate steps under state law — in whatever state — to ensure that the exceptions of rape, incest or life of the mother were included.'” As the New York Times’ Paul Krugman points out, “That attempt at qualification makes no sense: the South Dakota law has produced national shockwaves precisely because it prohibits abortions even for victims of rape or incest.”

McCain touts “pro-life” credentials at conference of FRC Action, the political arm of the Family Research Council. ?At a speech at the FRC Action Voter Values Summit in October 2007, Sen. McCain said, “I have been pro-life my entire public career.  I believe I am the only major candidate in either party who can make that claim.”

Sources for Sarah Palin Effect . . .