Wednesday, November 23, 2005

An email I got yesterday...

Below is an email I got yesterday. I thought it was worth sharing. I added a link to this organization in the links section on the right. I don't know much about the group, other than the email I got as I have not investigated further. But I did like the email. I couldn't paste the email perfectly in due to sizing issues, but I have copied the text in. At the bottom is a link to the email at the organization's web site.


A Priest, a prostitute and a homeless man walk into a police station. Debating the Life Issue.
Can You Explain Why You Believe Abortion on Demand is Wrong?
Can You Respond to Proponents of .Pro-choice. Arguments?
Can You Explain to Your Co-worker Why You Are Pro-Life?

The Pro-Choice Position is Easily Summarized, and reflected in the overview below, as well as in the high school debate story below. Before you read the story, can you respond to these positions of the ProChoice Agenda? This is not an exhaustive list of positions, but is representative. Please print this overview and the debate story for future reflection.

* A Woman is constitutionally entitled to the right of privacy, and thereby entitled to determine the destiny of the fetus in her womb.
* A Woman is not aborting a baby, because what she aborts does not have the attributes of a human being.
* A Woman's right to choose abortion is the right to self determine her best course of reproductive health considering all moral and health options.
* A Woman's right to choose is rooted in compassionate concern for the prospective needs of the prospective child, truly valuing children and family, and weighing costs, care, parenting skills, and all factors, primary of which is the issue of "Is the child planned, and Is the child wanted?".
* A Woman's right to choose cannot be abridged by the "good intentions" of the religious community who have no authority over the decisions of the woman and no right to legislate their morality.
* No one can say with assurance, when does life truly begin, and therefore, every one's opinion is as valid as any one's opinion.
* A Woman's right to choose in anchored is the "freedom of choice", a right basic to our way of life, and it must be protected and preserved.
* The Medical Community is perfectly capable of assisting an expectant mother with her options, and this issue should end there.
* People of religious conviction have no consensus of opinion in this matter, and are therefore disqualified , both by reason of their lack of unity, and by the protection afforded constitutionally for separation of Church and State from influencing this body of law.
* Fetal rights and Fetal protection legislation punishes women for their behavior during pregnancy, and is opening a very dangerous door to prosecution for any number of perceived wrong behaviors.

A Priest, a prostitute and a homeless man walk into a police station.
The Debate was Humiliating. Pro-Lifers are Zapped.
The Kids Get Ready for Round Two

The Debate was over. Women's right to choose. Rape. Incest. Rights of governments to interfere. Our bodies, our decisions. Abortion is the legal law of the land. All front and centre. Thank heavens the humiliation was over.

The pro-life position students hung their heads. They were mortified. In only minutes, literally minutes, they had their heads handed to them by the "pro-choice" debate team. And in front of the entire student body, and their teachers. Even the cooks and janitors watched. It wasn't pretty. Six points made. Six responses pitifully failed. Debate over. Custer had more success at Bull Run.

The track coach, Mr. Evans, had walked up to their table. The auditorium was empty as everyone had moved to the cafeteria. "That must have been very painful. And humiliating. To be so publicly trounced, in front of the entire student body." This insight was followed by a larger than life laugh from Mr. Evans. No one shared his good humor.

Robert looked up, but Sheryl spoke first." We thought you were on our side. Now you're laughing at us. Thanks for nothing." Heads hung lower.

"Well, you were wrong. I was on the side of winning, and you are obviously on the side of losing. You will find the loser's side pretty lonely. Look around. See anyone asking for autographs?" He continued, "Look kids, being right is not enough. Being on the side of right is not enough. You lost this debate. You deserved to lose this debate. Do you want to know why?"

By now the kids were pretty exasperated. "Sure. Tell us why we lost the debate. We thought we lost because we sucked." From Robert.

"You were simply un-prepared. You were un-prepared to respond to their assertions. You were unprepared to respond to miss-direction. You were un-prepared to respond to personality attacks. But you know where you really blew it?" He was now leaning over the table and inviting them with his eyes to respond.

This time it was Greg, the favorite for valedictorian of the senior class in his best sarcasm. "Not just where we blew it, but where we really blew it. Boy, I can't wait for this!"

Mr. Evans weighed in. "Greg, you are a smart guy. All you kids are smart. But today it didn't look like it. You were unprepared to frame your arguments in a way that engaged your opponent and the audience."

"Do yourself a favor. Find a way, in one sentence, one sentence that neutralizes your opponent's position, and states your position in a way that cannot be misunderstood. At most use two sentences. Then use an illustration than cannot be misunderstood. But force yourself to talk less and communicate more. Use a statement. Ask a question. Make a comparison, but talk less, and communicate more. No one, and I mean no one is going to remember one point that your team made today. If facts and figures mattered, there would be no debate. You over-talked one of the most important social issues of our day, and lost badly."

Greg was pretty uncomfortable with this dressing down, but his desire to win this debate, for many reasons, were overshadowing his wounded pride. "Maybe Mr. Evans is right. Why don't we try to summarize in a very brief response our positions from the debate today?"

Sheryl didn't feel like role play, and she said as much. "It is far too complex a debate for one sentence replies or summaries. With all due respect, Mr. Evans, it is a very complex societal issue."

Mr. Evans laughed out loud. "No Sheryl, it is not that complex. Let's all of us have a go at it. I will take the first challenge and frame the response, and we will work into the others. What was the first position?"

Robert remembered. It was his to respond to. They never made up the lost ground after he muddled his answer. "We assert that a woman, as a citizen of the United States, has the essential and sovereign constitutional right to choose what she does with her body."

Mr. Evans began. "This is simply an untrue statement, for in no home, business, or public or private location, in America may a woman or a man for that matter, choose to do anything, without some limitations, with their body by constitutionally vested rights. Can I shoot up heroin, smoke dope, do meth, parade about on a playground without my clothes, and sell my body organs on the black market? No, the constitution does not guarantee unbridled personal freedom. The supposition is clearly and universally false."

They had to admit. It was a pretty good response. Sheryl got into the game. "How about the one I had to handle. "The Right to Life Zealots are trying to force their morality on the rest of society. We believe that a woman's right to choose to abort an unwelcome or unplanned pregnancy is her decision, and the state has no right to interfere in that decision, and that one segment of society has no right to enforce their morality on another segment of society."

"That was a tough one, wasn't it Sheryl. Why?" Mr. Evans had their attention.
"What did the speaker do?"

"It seemed like he threw everything in, so no matter what you said, you were against women and part of the "evil" right to life zealots forcing our views on mothers. Anyway, I blew it." Sheryl was almost despondent.

"Again, hit the main issue in a way that is understandable. How about, "You have made three assertions, all of which are untrue. A woman has an unbridled right, the state cannot interfere, and one segment of society has no right to "enforce" their morality on another segment of society.

Let us respond to the third assertion first.

Early one morning, a priest, a prostitute, and a homeless man walk into a police station. The prostitute says," I was on my way home from work and there is a produce truck stalled on the train track crossing." The Priest says," I was on my way in to Mass, and I noticed a stalled grocery truck on the Railroad crossing." The homeless man says," I woke up this morning out by the RR Crossing, and there is a truck sitting where the train goes through." The police immediately send a patrol car, contact the Railroad, and call for a wrecker to avoid the loss of innocent life. Notice that the character or the perceived worth, or the religious conviction of the messenger did not change the message. "Innocent lives will be lost, if someone doesn't do something". Any member of our society, regardless of their religious or non-religious conviction may contribute to the process of establishing truth and right action in the interest of protecting innocent life.

Next, A woman has the legal right to choose. "This is a sad and embarrassing argument for the position of Pro-Abortion that just doesn't work. The last people that tried this argument approach tried to use it to justify slavery. Does this sound familiar? No do-gooder group, particularly a church group, can tell me not to have slaves. If I want to buy slaves, sell slaves, do anything I want with my slaves, it is nobody's business but my own, and non-slave owners cannot tell slave owners what to do. It is our legal right. Your argument failed slave owners and it fails for you today. Why? Slavery was fundamentally wrong. You cannot make something right that is fundamentally wrong no matter how clever you are, even if a current law supports your position.

Lastly, Guess what? All laws are anti-choice for somebody! A Republic form of government guarantees the State the right to interfere. Any other conclusion is simply un-informed or naive. All laws reflect a certain moral view. All laws reflect a developed view of society's concerns. A bank robber may not agree with bank robbery laws, but most law abiding citizens do. We certainly legislate morality. We did it yesterday, will do it today, and it will happen tomorrow. Your premise is simply incorrect and without foundation in current fact or history."

"I had the tough one, and I really blew it." This time it was Sandra. She was really sick with her performance. "We hold that a woman has a right to an abortion because a woman does have the right to control her own body, and this right may not be interfered with, for any reason"

Mr. Evans took a little extra time. "Who around this table is for a woman or a man's right to make choices with his own body, so long as those choices do not break laws or injure other people?" Everyone looked around and slowly raised their hands. "What just happened? So, it looks like we are pro-choice, right? We were miss-directed and we walked right into it. Don't be conflicted. Everyone is pro-choice. To a point. And guess what? Everyone is "anti-choice" on certain issues."

"The entire abortion debate, boiled down, is not complex. It is simple. Ready?"

They were really ready. "Tell us!".

"The Pro Choice Side simply believes that a woman is making a choice for her own body. The Pro Life side believes she is making a choice for another human being that at that moment is totally defenseless. If it is not a human being, no harm, no foul. If it is a human being, than every single argument made for killing a child in the womb can be made for killing of children outside the womb. It all hinges on this issue."

"Is this true? Is what I have said true?" Mr. Evans waited. "If it is true, than again, how do we respond simply, truthfully, and completely to this statement? "A woman has the right to make a choice over her own body."?

Greg took the lead, a little confidence rising. "How about, We would agree that a woman certainly, within the confines of the law, has the right to make decisions regarding her own body, but that is not what you are referring to in your statement when you qualify it with the act of abortion.

In an Abortion, a woman is not aborting a part of her own body. She is not losing a tooth, or an organ, or some extra tissue. Science has established that the embryo, the fetus, the baby, that is aborted has everything it could ever possibly need to be a human being, and that it is, on a very small scale, a truly human being. The only thing that happens after conception is that this baby gets older, larger, more aware and less dependant. This is not a religious view. It is scientific fact and the subject of many medical school textbooks.

We do not believe that any woman, or any man, has the right to unilaterally determine that a child shall not have the right to life because the child is small, dependant, or not very highly developed. We do not allow such decisions after birth. Some of our audience remember the Susan Smith incident in which a mother killed her children by submerging her automobile. Either this act was wrong or was it simply bad timing? We do not allow mothers to kill toddlers, junior high students, teenagers or their adult children. Why? And what is the true difference between an infant and a toddler and an infant and a pre-born baby? Only the location and stage of development. Can you imagine a law that said "Seniors have the right to abort Freshman?" They are obviously less developed and most are smaller.

Your statement confuses a baby, completely distinct from his or her mother, even though it is in the mother's body, with a disposable part of the mother's body. Therefore, your premise is false, and your position is without merit.

A woman has a right to make choices over the destiny of her own body, but not the right to make decisions for the life and death destiny of another human being, that is temporarily residing in her body.

Mr. Evans joined the group in a clap. "Bravo, Greg. Not in one sentence or two sentences, but I bet you would have kept the audience with you, and, more importantly forced the truth into focus, which is the real purpose of this kind of debate.

Greg asked, "How would you have handled it?"

Mr. Evans stated, "Greg, I think you did a good job. If I were answering it, I would probably start with a statement like, "The three most important words in real estate are "location, location, location." The four most important words in this debate are, "Is it a baby?" If it is a baby, the location of the baby is irrelevant. In the mother, out of the mother in a hospital, or out of the hospital in a home, or out of the home in a day school. Location does not matter. If it is a baby, it is entitled to the same rights we provide to any person in the human family. If it is a baby, then by definition, the mother of the baby does not have a right to kill this baby.

Many in the audience will remember the tiny baby that fell into a well pipe in the family home back yard, and it could not free itself. The entire nation held vigil by their televisions to see if the tiny baby could be rescued from this dark, temporary location. The baby was totally dependent. Surprisingly no one suggested that instruments be inserted into the well pipe to dismember the child and remove it from the pipe in the interest of saving money or inconvenience to the parents. That baby was rescued. America cheered.

1,300,000 plus babies a year never have the opportunity to emerge from the mother's womb alive. Instead, they are forcibly removed and die in the process. Why? What is the difference between the baby in the well and the baby in the womb?

You kids are smart. Why not ask for round two? The good news is the other side hasn't come up with any new arguments for nearly forty years. In the mean time, science is helping your side. There will be no surprises." Mr. Evans stood to leave.

"Mr. Evans, what about my question. "If obtaining an abortion becomes illegal, it will force poor women to seek illegal abortions and further contribute to mother and infant mortality." Isn't it true? Really, I know we are for life and against abortion, but isn't it true? How do we answer statements that we can't really refute if they are true. It's kind of hard to win debates when you think they might be right?" No wonder Peter had been so quiet.

And Janet had gotten the rape statement combined with the incest statement. She wasn't sure if she could get a one sentence response, now or ever.

Mr. Evans smiled. At least they were getting their spirit back.

To Peter: "We, as a country, do not refrain from passing laws to protect the innocent because the laws will inconvenience people, whether those people are rich or poor. As an example, child sexual abuse laws are in place to protect children. We do not consider when passing such laws that their compliance may inconvenience those who exploit children. We pass the laws to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Women don't have to get illegal abortions if abortion on demand becomes illegal. They can choose to get illegal abortions. They would be choosing to break a law. The primary consideration in determining right or wrong is not the convenience of keeping the law after right action has been determined."

To Janet: "Less than one percent of all unexpected pregnancies are the result of a rape or a forced sexual union, and yet it is a very significant issue. What is rape? Rape is a horrible act of violence carried out against a smaller, defenseless person, by a larger person in control by the virtue of their overwhelming strength. Most people are anti-choice about the right to rape. To abort the child created by such a union continues the aggression of the more powerful against the defenseless. Do we punish an innocent?

Let's say a one year old's father has too much to drink one night, crosses the line between right and wrong, and rapes the neighbor. Should the child of the father that committed this horrible act be put to death for his father's act? Even if the man goes to prison, that toddler will be there, in the same neighborhood, day after day, week after week as a reminder that his father committed a crime. To punish an innocent for another's crime, no matter how heinous the crime, is certainly beneath a truly human society.

It is of course, a difficult and vexing issue, unless and until you determine Who and What is in the womb. If what develops in the womb is a child, we cannot kill a child for her parent's crime. Would anyone in this room vote to kill a child for her father's crime? Is it a difficult question? Of course it is difficult. Right up to the point when you determine the unborn is a human being. And then it becomes very clear. When we know what is right, we find a way to deal with the outcome.

Kids, listen. The question always, always comes back to this: What or who is the unborn in the womb? Are they a human being, smaller, less developed, totally dependant, and perhaps less aware then a kindergartner? If we know this, we know what to do.

We know what laws to pass. We know what rights to grant and what rights to limit. We know what we must do in our society to make allowances for this information. Is it possible that an unexpected pregnancy would inconvenience the mother for many months? Of course. And yet the alternative is death. We can figure this out, if we have the answer to this simple question.

Our society has wrestled through difficult issues before. We found the truth. We displaced the lies. We displaced the entrenched positions. We made accommodations in our daily lifestyle to reflect the reality of our discoveries. We passed laws. We may have to establish financial subsidies. But we will find a way to act on the truth.

Your next debate will be much more productive, it you keep that as your focus. No matter what statement is made, how does it relate to this fundamental knowledge, of who, or what is in the womb?

See you around."

The Current Situation in American Life:
Nearly five of ten people have no firm conviction regarding abortion. Half of your neighbors. Half of the parents in the local school. And believe it or not, many in your church this coming Sunday.

Are you prepared to win hearts and minds? Can you listen to the opposition's arguments, and respond with truth that makes sense? Can you ask thought provoking questions? Can you articulate truth without being combative, and let .truth. win on its own merits? Can you demonstrate the human rights issues apart from the religious issues? Do you know the simple scientific findings now available that were unknown in 1973?

How important is it? Over one million three hundred thousand persons that God designed, assigned, and made ready for delivery will be killed on the way to his or her destiny because a mother does not see this issue clearly and because our laws still provide for Abortion on Demand.

When we look at it like that, doesn't a little homework make sense, a little practice role play and invitations to a few conversations over coffee and dessert with the non-committed for the purpose of establishing dialogue?

YCVF is committed to providing resources for a grass roots effort to establish dialogue that opens minds to the possibility that who or what is in the womb is a baby, a human being, with rights, defined and protected by law.

Link to email with all the formatting and stuff.