Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Who Really Cares About Women?

In one of the most sensational news stories of 2009, former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson walked away from her 8-year career to join forces with the pro-life movement. In so doing Johnson joined a growing contingent of former abortion-industry workers and leaders who now work to unveil the truth about abortion and help those victimized by the industry. The fact is that abortion does not help women, but is a highly lucrative industry that profits from women's pain.

One of the early defectors from the abortion industry was Round Rock's own Carol Everett. In the 1970's and 80's, Everett worked as a director of abortion clinics in the Dallas area and eventually opened her own clinics. As she describes in her book Blood Money: Getting Rich Off A Woman's Right to Choose, Everett made $150,000 a year selling abortions and was on target to make $260,000 in 1983. She also describes her sales methods in the book, including 'family planning' services; prescribing low-dose birth control pills that were sure to fail, thus promising more abortion income for the clinic. As for 'caring for women,' Everett's harrowing description of fatally botched abortions reveals the callousness of an industry devoted to profit.

While she may have profited financially from these abortions, Everett was suffering from the consequences of abortion personally. After her then-illegal abortion in 1973, she became one of the many thousands of women to endure Post Abortion Stress syndrome (PAS); a debilitating depression that drives numerous women to drugs, alcohol, and sometimes suicide each year. Everett sought psychiatric care, but spent years coming to terms with her 'choice.'

As the testimonies of courageous witnesses like Carol Everett and Abby Johnson prove, the notion that abortion somehow helps women is a devastating lie. The truth is that abortion hurts women both physically and emotionally, and that the abortion industry, whose number one provider is Planned Parenthood, is financially thriving on both government subsidies and obscene profits. It is intellectually dishonest to claim to be both 'Pro-Life' and 'Pro-Planned Parenthood,' which is likely the reason Texas Alliance for Life endorsed Ken Paxton for Texas Speaker today. 

Although lambasted by the pro-abortion Left, Everett and Johnson are anything but silent. Johnson has been speaking out quite effectively over the past year, and Everett continues to work through her organization The Heidi Group, a Round Rock-based non-profit dedicated to providing alternatives to abortion and ministering to the needs of women and children, especially in low-income, inner-city areas.

Carol Everett's story will soon be available in film version, and she will be the special guest speaker at a luncheon in Round Rock next week sponsored by the Williamson County Republican Women.  WCRW has a history of hosting pro-life speakers each January in honor of Sanctity of Human Life month, and past speakers have included Dr. Joe Pojman of Texas Alliance for Life, Molly White of Women for Life International, and Dr. Elizabeth Graham of Texas Right to Life.  The luncheon will be on Wednesday, January 5, at 11:30AM.  RSVP at the WCRW website.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Hansen Family Christmas Curse

I am spending time celebrating the Season with my family this month and will return to political commentary in January, but wanted to share this little Christmas message.

Christmas at our house always seems to involve contracting some sort of vile illness. The ghosts of Christmas past remind us that we have survived bronchitis, strep, scarlet fever, rotovirus, raging double-ear infections, and this year thus far, the stomach flu. Years ago we learned to stay home for the holidays, not only because Christmas Eve worship services are always better at your home church, but because it's really terrible to be sick in a relative's guest room or hotel room.

Christmas shopping at our house involves the usual purchases of gifts, wrapping, and bows, but also includes stocking up on kleenex, 7-UP, saltines, Immodium, and children's ibuprofen. And yes, we eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and take vitamins, but alas, for 12 years we've not had a healthy holiday, and are known far and wide for "The Hansen Family Christmas Curse."

And yet, we love Christmas. Fever and chills aside, you'll find us singing the old carols, decorating cookies, and sharing gifts with friends and family. We never forget what Christmas is all about, and no, we don't care that Jesus wasn't actually born on December 25. Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of our Savior, and we celebrate him with great joy.

My wish for all is that you know the peace in your heart that only comes through knowing the Christ whose birth we celebrate.

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

We Are All 'Conservatives' Now?

Wow, what a difference two years makes.  In the face of the Obama victory in 2008, so many of my political acquaintances were touting their 'moderate pride,' and discussing the various ways the GOP needed to move to the center.  Now, however, it seems everyone wants to be a Conservative.  Democrats shamelessly sprinkled the term throughout their 2010 campaign literature, and Republicans previously known as 'moderates,' are scrambling to prove that, really and truly, they have always been Conservatives. 

So, did all these folks suddenly have death-bed Election Year conversions? Perhaps to some extent, but for the most part I think the survivors are redefining the Conservative label in an effort to squeeze into the political fashion du jour.  

Of course claiming to be a political Conservative has had various implications over the years.  At different times and locations, today's Conservatives would have been called "Liberals," and today's Liberals are earnestly seeking a return to their previous identification as "Progressives."  (Oh, the delicious irony; but that's for another day.)  While there are common threads that run through the history of Conservatism, we have to acknowledge that certain policy positions have characterized conservative thought in recent decades, and none more significantly than those regarding abortion.

In recent years, when anyone identified as a political Conservative, we immediately knew they were pro-life.  For those who hate Conservatives, abortion policy stands front and center as the issue held up for the greatest ridicule and disdain.  Now however, we are to accept as Conservatives not only those who've been silent on the issue, but those who've been in bed with the enemy: abortion-giant Planned Parenthood.

We are now told, via endless and annoying internet advertisements, that Texas House Speaker Joe Straus is a Conservative.  When it comes to abortion issues however, the evidence just doesn't add up.  Straus earned a 50% pro-life rating in 2005, his wife has held several Planned Parenthood Board positions, and in addition to special recognition, Straus has received campaign contributions from the abortion business' political action committee.  This is not the resume of a Conservative. 

Some of my colleagues would clarify by saying, "well, he's a fiscal Conservative," but that argument doesn't hold up when we consider his less than stellar ratings from fiscally conservative groups, and his troubling committee appointments in 2009.

Now, I do not believe Joe Straus is 'evil,' nor is he a Democrat in Republican clothing. He is not, however, a Conservative by the current definition.  This isn't a reason to kick him out of the Republican party;  the GOP, like any other major party, is a coalition of various political camps.  However, super-majorities are rarely lasting, and if we are to make the most of our current status, we will need a strong, conservative leader in place.  Who that leader will be, remains to be seen, and there may yet be another candidate in the race.  Even so, Straus may survive and emerge with the gavel on January 11.  If so, we must continue to work for conservative priorities, but with a watchful eye on our moderate Speaker.