Tuesday, June 2, 2009

George Tiller and Real Choice

Readers have written to me about contraception as an alternative to abortion that should be offered and promoted. I also like the idea of advertising and promoting alternatives to abortion. I strongly believe that the struggle over abortion is a battle for each heart and mind. Also, I think that the struggle for a living wage and affordable health care are part of the price tag for family values. How many people have gone to abortion clinics because they despaired of sufficiently stretching their small paycheck to cover a new child? Being "pro life" is a cradle to grave proposition. Focusing solely on abortion laws is like touting one's opposition to flag burning as proof of patriotism. Abortion "rights" are a battleground only because a lot of other values have fallen by the wayside.

There is one early "incendiary" claim of the right to lifers that has proven eerily prophetic. An early prediction was that after unborn life became negotiable that the sick and elderly would soon be offered the "choice" of assisted suicide. After this would come the psychological pressure to "pull the plug" or to "step aside" so that money could go to "quality life". The interests of inheritors and of the Social Security system in "pulling the plug" are not to hard for the cynical or crooked to imagine.

An additional area of difficulty is the anomaly in many jurisdictions of a child being unable to take Tylenol in school yet being able to get a court order permitting her to get an abortion without parental knowledge or approval.This is only the bottom of a slippery slope in which parents of children in public school often don't even have the right to keep them out of sex education classes in which gay sex is discussed in class without the right of the parents to keep their children out of the class. The site "MASS Resistance describes as follows the judicial battle in Massachusetts in which parents lost the right to keep their children out of sex education classes they find objectionable.


"On April 27, a Lexington, MA, parent, David Parker, was arrested by the Lexington police and charged with "trespassing" at his son’s elementary school during a scheduled meeting with the principal and the town’s Director of Education over his objections to homosexual curriculum materials. Parker had asked for notification and possible opt-out for his son for homosexual curriculum or ad-hoc discussions by adults in his son’s kindergarten class. After several months of communication, he was repeatedly told that his requests are "not possible." He finally said he would not leave the meeting until this was resolved.

After being arrested and spending the night in jail, Parker was arraigned on Thursday, April 28, in Concord District Court. When he informed Judge Robert McKenna that he had not been allowed to call his lawyer, the judge scolded him for not being respectful. Parker was released on $1,000 surety bond. He was officially informed that he may not set foot on any school property in Lexington, or he will be arrested again for trespassing. A hearing was set for June 1, followed by court appearances on Aug. 2 and Sept. 19.

New superintendent is no different. During the summer, Dr. Paul Ash took over as superintendent of Lexington Schools from William Hurley, who was serving in an interim capacity. On Sept. 22, Ash announced he was ordering teachers to give NO notice when discussing homosexual relationships with children, even in elementary grades. (see report below). Ash also continues to enforce the no-trespass order against Parker. At the Sept. 19 court appearance, Judge McKenna gave Ash an extra 30 days to decide whether to lift the ban, after Ash had complained he hadn't had enought time.

Statement by David Parker (April 27, 2005):

“I, David Parker, am the father of a kindergarten student at Estabrook Elementary School in Lexington, Massachusetts. Since the beginning of this school year, my wife and I have learned that school materials and discussions about gay-headed households/same-sex union issues have been exposed to the children. There are definitive plans to increase the teacher/staff/adult mediated discussions of these subjects.

“We have officially stated on many occasions—to the Lexington school administration—a request that we be notified when these discussions are planned, and want our 6-year-old opted out of such situations when arising “spontaneously”.

“Our parental requests for our own child were flat-out denied with no effort at accommodation. In our meeting on April 27, I, insisted that such accommodation be made and refused to leave the meeting room. I was informed that I would be arrested.”


In absence of private schools that are as tuition free as are public schools, this amounts to forced indoctrination of those who lack the means to find and pay for a suitable private school. Anyone who uses the adjective "pro choice" is morally obligated to support "school choice". The Massachusetts judicial defeat of David Parker and parents like him is anti choice. Today the issue of the day is homosexuality. But tomorrow it could just as easily be abortion. Our legal system operates on precedents. And we are establishing some very poor precedents for the right of parents to secure suitable religious instruction for their children.

The biggest misconception in political discourse is that women's rights and abortion rights are inseparably joined. In reality, a woman in an abusive relationship is far more likely to be pressed into an abortion by an abusive parner than into an unwanted pregnancy. A sweatshop boss views abortions as an overhead cost of limiting the upward pressure on employee wages.

There is a need for legal abortion and that is when the physical life of the mother is in danger. This should be protected by law.

In the aftermath of the murder of Dr. Tiller, the anti abortion camp has been on the defensive, disavowing the actions of Tiller's attacker. This is to be expected. I have joined in the pro life mainstream's condemnation of Tiller's murder. But the real truth is that pro lifers have been on the defensive for years. Every manner of impediment and sanction has been put on parents who want to teach a value system that treats pro-life, anti euthanasia and pro heterosexual marriage opinions with respect rather than derision.

The vast majority of "pro life" individuals condemn the murder of Dr. Tiller. But there remains a strong wellspring of frustration with the contempt for believers in the mainstream media and entertainment venues. Conservative Christians as well as Orthodox Jews note a process of marginalisation that has been going on a long time as epitomised by the arrest and prosecution of David Parker. If "pro choice" partisans are going to call "right to life" advocates to task for the Tiller murder, then I suggest they pull up a chair and get ready to discuss a long list of grievances. Because there is a lot on the table. Sphere: Related Content

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