Category Archives: Pregnancy

The Solution to Unwanted Pregnancies

Just when you thought web-based programs couldn’t get more depraved, we have the introduction of a fake attempt to “humanize” the discussion about abortion by having “actors” pretending to be pregnant tell their sob stories and have you, the audience, decide if the baby should live or die.

I’m not kidding.  Supposedly, the producers got this bright idea from Barack Obama’s commencement address at the University of Notre Dame, when he said he wanted “to find ways to communicate about a workable solution to the problem of unintended pregnancies.”  I thought we already came up with such a solution:  it’s called ADOPTION.

Here’s the rundown of an episode:

1. A wife of a brave, deployed military man who screws around on him gets knocked up.
2. A wife of a man who is violent, but who keeps cranking out babies with him.
3. A couple who just wants to get on the phony reality show.

Yeah, this really advances the discussion about abortion.

Just because these women were irresponsible, should an innocent human being die?  Just because a woman has created a lousy circumstance for the well-being of a child, should the innocent child die?

How about this:  The entire time the woman is whining about her life, show a split screen with a live video of the fetus moving around, sucking its thumb, doing back flips, etc.  Then we’ll vote as to whether the mother should be given the death sentence after the baby is born.  What a great idea for a reality show!

The solution to unwanted pregnancies is to take responsibility, or to give that blessing to someone else.

Giving Birth In Front of an Audience

During my college years in the Sixties, “empowerment” and “consciousness-raising” were the main focus of existence, even though these concepts were largely used to insist that you were a victim of something or someone just for being female.

Well, fast forward to now, and one young, married woman in her twenties has decided that giving birth live on the Internet is empowering to women!  The use of that term in this circumstance cracks me up.  I remember, during my loooong labor, my husband saying that he was going to leave to get a cup of coffee.  I threatened him with “if you leave…never come back!!”  I guess that threat was “empowerment,” but giving birth in public or private is one of our least powerful times.  We are completely at the mercy of a baby who is usually saying “Hell, no, I won’t go.”

Nonetheless, this woman has decided that taking something personal and making it public is empowering and educational and spreading joy.  Oh, puleeze!  In our sadly growing exhibitionist, voyeuristic, reality show mentality of a society, this is how people become “important,” known, and “famous.”

The point of “personal” is that something is perfected by its modesty, and sharing is not an issue of public promotion, but an opportunity for a few people to embrace a meaningful moment of experience.  Experiences and moments that are universal (like child-bearing) are not educational.  The childbirth is going to be posted on a mom website, which means that they’ve all been there and done that.

Her husband is marginalized.  She admits that he was “hesitant” at first, but I’m sure he ultimately had no say.  There aren’t too many decent men who want to share the birth of their first child with a camera crew and a blog audience – that makes Daddy less special and less involved.

It’s all just sad to me.  And what happens after the event, when the thrill, the attention and adrenaline of being in the spotlight goes away?  What is she going to do with this kid to keep the flow going?  Think Jon and Kate.  Think “sad” for the children who become the means of their parents’ moment in the light, in ways other than simply enjoying their first smiles and first steps.

Unintentional Surrogate Motherhood

A short time into her pregnancy, a married woman in Ohio was told by her husband that he had just received a call from the fertility clinic which helped them attain this pregnancy.  The clinic “goofed,” and the baby in her belly was the product of the embryo of some other couple, who now expected her to go through childbirth and hand over the baby.

This couple is quite religious and they don’t believe in abortion, so in spite of their immense personal pain, they planned to hand over the baby after it was born (they did so at the end of September, when the woman delivered a healthy baby boy).Their only request was to see and hold the baby first, as they had already formed a bond.

Shame on the clinic for making that phone call!  You may be shocked at that response, but since strangers meet, fall in love, marry and spend their lives together, it’s obvious that genetics is not the prime criterion for love, or no one would be able to adopt a child.

Having been pregnant, I’ll tell you that at the absolute instant of fertilization, an intense relationship starts (and continues, in spite of morning sickness, and inevitable heartburn and constipation).  This actual “birth mother” is traumatized, as is her whole family.  And for what?  Ownership of an embryo?

I remember a Law and Order episode where the “punch line” was that the father who raised the now-teenage boy was revealed NOT to be the biological father, and he lost custody.  Shameful and cruel, I thought.

Some people think that because something is “the truth,” that it should be revealed.  Not necessarily, and especially not when terrible human suffering ensues.

The “embryo” family simply could have kept trying, and there is no proof that this particular embryo would have thrived until birth in the genetic mother. 

I think everyone was better off with this truth not being spoken.

When Someone Believes in You

There’s an interesting program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro that aims to keep 12 to 18 year old girls in school, minus the sad drama of pregnancies or abortions.

The program is sponsored by College Bound Sisters.  Girls in the program attend 90-minute meetings every week, at which they receive lessons in abstinence and the use of contraceptives, and they receive one dollar per day that they are not pregnant.  The money is deposited into a fund that’s available for collection when they enroll in college.

Obviously, there are many who will say “Hey, bribery is not the correct way to handle such behavioral issues.”  But slow down and think about it – when a 12 year old believes that one dollar a day is a great incentive, it tells you two things:

1. the gentle maturity level of such young girls
2. how so very many young girls are hungry for direction

Keep in mind that 3 out of 10 young women become pregnant by age 20, and the costs associated with teen pregnancies exceed $9 BILLION annually.

So, what’s their track record?  According to the co-director of the program, 6 of the 125 who have been enrolled for 6 months or longer have gotten pregnant or otherwise dropped out since it began in 1997 (and it only costs $75,000 – not billion – to operate the program).  Recent graduates have left the program with up to $3,000 saved up for college.  Basically, the representatives of the program say “If someone believes in you, there’s no end to what a lot of people can accomplish.”

This reminds me of a patient I had years ago, who went from “ditzy” behavior and drug addiction to clean and sober.  She completed college and advanced nursing training, and has been employed ever since.  A little ego in me caused me to ask here, “What made the difference here?”  I thought she’d point out some brilliant intervention of mine.  Nope, not at all.  She pointed out that I had believed in her when no one else did, that she had respected me, and I respected her potential.  That made the difference in her outlook and choices.

So, when you’re confused as to how to really help someone, just believe in them, and let them know it.

A Thirteen Year Old Father

I’m turning my blog today over to a 15 year old, who wrote me the following:
Dear Dr. Laura:

Hi. My dad sent something to my email that frankly made me sick. A young 13 year boy is now the father of a baby girl that was just born last Monday. The fact that the parents of this young boy let him have a 15 year old girlfriend, and the fact that they support this, makes me angry.

This poor little girl is going to grow up with an extremely young mother, an even younger father, and is probably going to live in a broken home. These kids are not ready to be parents.

Fortunately, my parents are together and happy, and all my life I’ve been given examples of what a relationship should be. I’m 15, and will never make the mistake of getting pregnant before I’m married. I feel sorry for the mother and father of the baby, because they’ve been robbed of their childhood. They will never get the freedom now that I have.

 I’ve listened to you for as long as I can remember, and I guess some of what you’ve been saying has sunk in. I was talking to my mom about the story and telling her how this baby needs to be given a good home with GROWN UP parents to take care of her. I couldn’t help thinking afterwards “WOW! That sounded like Dr. Laura!” Thank you so much for your preaching, teaching, and nagging that helps many little babies just like this one.

It makes me cry to think that this story probably won’t have a happy ending, and my heart goes out to that baby. Thank you so much for fighting for kids who can’t speak for themselves, and being a great role model.

Laura O.

Parental Notification Laws

There have been innumerable skirmishes all over America concerning whether or not parents should get notification, much less a say, in whether their kids can visit the museum of natural history during school hours (usually yes), get their ears pierced (also yes) or have an unborn baby scraped or sucked out of their bodies (ahh…that would be a “NO” if you ask Planned Un-Parenthood, the ACLU, and a host of other ultra-liberal, feminista organizations).

Generally, the concern these organizations present have to do almost solely with the imagined sociopathy of America’s parents: that they will savage or murder their pregnant daughters, or toss them bodily from their homes into the murky night and swampy streets. They have not, however, ever come up with any instances of that happening – but what do facts matter when you want to make sure an abortion is always available when a kid wants one?

For the third time in the last four years, California voters were asked to weigh in on teen abortion, determining whether doctors would be required to notify parents at least 48 hours before performing an abortion on a minor…you hear that?  ON A MINOR CHILD!

There are those who think abortions are so important to the well-being of children that they believe that children are capable of making that decision on their own.  That’s why a piece by Kenny Goldberg (KPBS-FM radio in San Diego) is so blatantly clear on the limitations of the thinking of children.

The Vista Community Clinic in California sees hundreds of teens a month for reproductive health issues.  Mr. Goldberg interviewed some of those teenage girls to see what their opinions and concerns were regarding their parents’ knowing about their abortion appointments.  Here is a typical example: “I don’t think I would tell my parents, because I feel like they would look at me as someone who’s already messed up – like early in my life, and I’d feel like I was a disappointment.”

Hey – that sounds like a valid reason to terminate the life of a baby in one’s body without a parent to talk to about alternatives or to help.

By the way, most of these parental notification initiatives allow for children who come from abusive families to notify another adult relative – like a grandparent or aunt/uncle – or ask a judge for a waiver.

With respect to those options, another teen says “Pregnancy already weighs on you enough.  So to even add court issues to that – that would just be insane – I mean, it would be so much harder to deal with.”

Come on folks – kids who worry about parental disappointment, and the burden of dealing with judges or other adults, clearly are not mature enough to make life-and-death decisions for another human being.

I do know, from my years on the air, that there are many parents who would wholeheartedly support their child’s abortion so that they would get that problem out of the way so their kids could just get on with school and sports.  Unfortunately, they leave their child with a legacy of always knowing they eliminated their first child because of an inconvenience.  That’s better than facing some disappointment or legal procedure?

I believe parents ought to be with their children to help them through any and all crises…from not making the basketball team or cheerleaders, to facing the reality of having created a human life.

Planned Un-Parenthood and YouTube Naughty Bedfellows

SFLA, Students for Life of America, are furious because of video of one of their undercover investigations has been pulled from YouTube.  Evidently, according to Kristin Hawkins who heads the organization, “Last week SFLA posted a video on YouTube exposing Planned Parenthood in Charlotte, North Carolina, covering up statutory rape of a 15-year-old girl.”

Here’s the story: a college woman volunteering for SFLA entered a Planned Parenthood clinic in Charlotte, posing as a 15-year-old girl who had unprotected sex with the mother’s adult, shack-up boyfriend.  She told that staff that the stud had suggested she come to Planned Un-Parenthood and get the “morning-after” pill. 
    
Planned Un-Parenthood gave her the pills, and made an appointment for her to start taking birth control pills without parental knowledge or consent.  SFLA also proved that the crime was not reported by PP to local police, which is a violation of North Carolina Law.

According to Ms. Hawkins, YouTube said the tape had inappropriate content – damn right it did: it showed PP breaking laws…that’s pretty inappropriate.  As it turns out, YouTube has also yanked previous pro-life organization videos while it does, according to Ms. Hawkins, continue to play videos which show, for example, a young man desecrating the Eucharist.

To watch SF’s video visit studentsforlife.org

I’m always impressed with the star-studded and blinged out locals who attend the yearly Santa Barbara Planned Un-Parenthood fund raising events even with the ongoing  stream of information demonstrating their cavalier attitude towards minor women pregnant by adult men, their disrespect for parental rights, as well as their resistance to diving full force into the adoption realm.

Shame, Revisited

After posting a blog last Thursday (9/11/08) about “shame,” I got this response from a reader:

I grew up in a Roman Catholic family.  I attended parochial school, and I also became pregnant at 17.  I was shamed and ostracized for what I had done, but I have to say that the “shaming” I received from my family and community actually led me back onto the right track.

I completed my high school diploma by attending school in the morning, and I began college at night (I was admitted to a local university because I was an honor student in my high school).  I attended college with 30 and 40 year-olds!  Ultimately, I graduated college and became a Certified Public Accountant. 

This was a difficult path, and I recommend it to no one.  I sacrificed much:  my young adulthood.  I did not do the things other kids my age did.  I took care of my baby, I studied, and I cleaned houses.  Although I was ashamed of becoming pregnant so young and out-of-wedlock, I loved my child more than life itself, and I always placed my child’s needs before mine.  I did not “party.”  I did not hang out with friends.  I did not do things just for myself, and most of all, I did not whine.

I don’t think most teens are capable of this, and most babies are probably better off being placed for adoption.  I had my family’s help – I was not tossed onto the streets, but my parents’ expectations were high, and “I” was my child’s caregiver (not my mom).  I was the one up at night with my sick baby.  I was the one who took him to the park and the doctor’s office, and I was the one he came to depend on most.

 I have been happily married now for many years to a man I am so blessed to have as my husband.  I have three beautiful children.  I have chosen to stay home with my younger kids and not work outside of the house.  I ALWAYS hated to leave my oldest child and felt tremendous guilt when I headed off to school for the day or to clean houses.

 It’s an absolute treasure to be a stay-at-home mom.  My job in life now is to provide a warm home environment, and to be there for my hubby and kids.  By the way, the baby boy I had at 17 is now an honor student at [a major university], and quite a wonderful young man.  To this day, I still feel remorse that my oldest did not have the same childhood as my other two kids.  I feel I cheated him, and I suppose I always will.