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The least.

October 17, 2012

“A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.” ~ Ghandi

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I watch the debates. I occasionally digest political commentary. I make it a point to catch some of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. I read and scan through the emotionally-charged (and sometimes entertaining) political posts from friends, family, and acquaintances on Facebook. I guess I try to stay as informed as a busy mother of four can be when election time rolls around.  But, I am cautious to voice my opinions when it comes to politics.  Things can get really nasty when politics are discussed.  I know how easy it is to be hurt and to hurt others when the subject of politics arises. So, in general, I shy away from discussing political matters.  But, I do have opinions.

Today, I simply want to share a few of them on here.  Please don’t be offended.  I don’t want to offend.  I just want to explain where my heart is during this election season.

We all have our own decision-making process leading up to election day.  Some vote strictly for Republicans.  Some vote strictly for Democrats.  Some vote strictly for Libertarians.  Some vote for whom their parent, pastor, or other authoritative figure encourages them to…..without doing any in-depth research of their own.  Some vote based on a particular candidate’s race or religion.  Some take online questionnaires that will generate the name of the candidate for whom they should vote.  Some have come to the decision that a trip to the polls is pointless because they feel as though they are simply voting for the lesser of two evils.

My decision-making process isn’t an agonizing one.  It isn’t complex.  Each time that I have walked into my designated polling place, I have done so with the belief that I have one job to do.  I have come to the conclusion that my job is to speak up for the last – the least – the littlest members of our society.

They have no voice.  They are completely vulnerable.  They are naked.  They are helpless.  They are poor.  They are powerless.  They are the weakest of the weak.

They are the unborn.

I have heard the beautiful, rhythmic sound of their heartbeats.

I have felt their incredible twists and turns inside of me.

I have watched in amazement as they stretch and kick inside of my womb….shifting my entire midsection from side to side.

I have been in awe at the soft, subtle, continual pulses in my stomach…..indicating that they have the hiccups.

I have seen their beautiful bodies onscreen in dark, silent ultrasound rooms……completely in awe of the sacred gift inside of me.

I have been blown away by the fact that their little lives depended on me for housing, for nourishment, for protection.

I have prayed and prayed and prayed for them.

I have experienced the incredible miracle of their births.

I have been overwhelmed by emotion upon seeing them for the first time.

I have had the privilege of nursing them and providing them with nourishment during their infancy.

I have fed them their first tastes of solid food.

I have heard them say their first words.

I have watched them take their first steps.

I have rocked them to sleep.

I have sung to them.

I have read them bedtime stories.

I have felt their goodnight kisses.

I have watched them learn how to read.

I have watched them blow out their birthday candles.

I have helped them learn how to ride their bikes.

I have watched them climb onto the school bus for the first time.

I have watched, in wonder, as they grow and develop and change right before my eyes.

And – I have had the unmatched joy of loving (and being loved by) them.

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“The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.” ~D. Bonhoeffer

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For those reasons and more, on November 6th I will do as I have done on every election day thus far.  I will speak for them.  For they are not unlike those three precious souls that lived and breathed and grew inside of me.  My Sidney.  My Jackson.  My Morganne.  I will seek, as I always do, to give the unborn children – our weakest and most vulnerable citizens – a voice.  I will do so because I believe the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (promised to us in the Declaration of Independence) is a promise that should belong to them as well.

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“Unless and until it can be proven that the unborn child is not a living entity, then its right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness must be protected.” ~R. Reagan

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Next month, our nation will decide which man they want to lead this country.  Barack Obama or Mitt Romney.

I have looked over President Obama’s pro-choice record during his four years in office.  I have seen my tax dollars pumped into organizations that perform abortions.  I have read and I have heard things that he has said in regard to this issue.  It makes me stomach churn and my heart ache.

In 2008, he explained why he would back his daughters if they ever decided to have an abortion.  He said, “I’ve got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old.  I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby”.

Sadly, that seems to be the general consensus of the Democratic Party these days.  Unless you choose a baby,  it becomes a punishing mistake.

Our current Vice President’s views seem to be no different than the President’s.  Some of you may remember this statement from our Vice President last year.  It was directed toward China and their one-child policy.  He said to them,  “Your policy has been one which I fully understand — I’m not second-guessing — of one child per family.”  Countless Chinese babies have been aborted due to the one-child policy that is in place.  Countless Chinese women have been victimized as a result of its implementation.  It’s horrifying.  There is so much blood on the hands of the Chinese government due to that policy.  And there our Vice President was…..condoning and supporting it.  But, knowing what I do about his pro-choice track record (and his superior’s), I can remember not being surprised at all by his statement.  Saddened by it…..and sickened by it……..but not surprised.

Some would like to dismiss that comment as being unintentional and off-the-cuff.  But, Biden assured us last week during the Vice Presidential debate (with a grin on his face) that he “means everything that he says”.  So, sadly, his unfortunate viewpoint on China’s one-child policy cannot be dismissed.

On the contrary, Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate who is running against President Obama this year, said in a statement to the Washington Post:  “China’s one-child policy is gruesome and barbaric. Vice President Biden’s acquiescence to such a policy should shock the conscience of every American. Instead of condoning the policy, Vice President Biden should have condemned it in the strongest possible terms. There can be no defense of a government that engages in compulsory sterilization and forced abortions in the name of population control.”

Ah, yes.  Now, that’s more like it.

I have looked over Mitt Romney’s views on abortion.  He and his running mate, Paul Ryan, are pro-life.  Romney recently stated that he is running as “a pro-life candidate and will be a pro-life president”.  At one point during his political career, I believe that Romney was pro-choice.  But, he has since claimed that his views have changed.  And I’m thankful that they have.  Paul Ryan has been unwavering in his pro-life stance throughout his political career.

That being said, I DO realize that the courts hold much of the power when it comes to abortion legislation in this country.  Electing a pro-life president and vice president doesn’t automatically solve the abortion problem.  It most certainly won’t stop abortions from occurring.  I know that.  But, to say that a president can’t make a real difference in the fight against abortion simply isn’t true.

While Romney and Ryan may not have the power to overturn Roe v. Wade themselves, they would have the power to potentially appoint Supreme Court justices who are pro-life.  And that, as we all know, could make a profound impact on abortion legislation in this country.

I believe that these guys could do much good on behalf of the unborn.  They sound as though they are committed to making an effort to protect our nation’s weakest and most vulnerable members.  If elected, my hope is that they would be able to follow through on that commitment.

For that reason (above any other), they will receive my vote on November 6th.

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 “Abortion is legal because babies can’t vote.” ~J. Bonkowski

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In the 2008 election, there were many attempts to deify Barack Obama as our nation’s “savior”.  Take, for instance, that famous “Hope” poster that was propagated during that time.  Do you remember it?  It was a Photoshop-enhanced image of him looking pensively off into the distance.  Just below his face, you see the word “HOPE” in all caps.

Hope?  Hmmmmm.

There should have been a disclaimer on that poster which stated that this promise of his – this promise of hope – excluded the unborn.

When I think of hope, I can’t say that Barak Obama’s face is the one that comes to my mind.

I see a different face.  Similar…..but different.

I see the face of someone who, like President Obama, was conceived by a white woman and a black man.  I see the face of someone who, like President Obama, is handsome.  I see the face of someone who, like President Obama, has a great smile.

It’s the face of a young boy that I have grown to love very much.

His young mother, though poor and single and lacking family support, carried him full-term and gave birth to him.  But, she knew that she was financially unable to care for her child.  Many women who find themselves in that situation end up choosing abortion as the “solution” to the “problem”.  But, she didn’t.  This young mother chose a wonderful young couple to become his forever parents.  She did an incredibly difficult thing.  She gave him away.  But, by doing so, she gave this great couple the gift they had been wanting for so long.  By choosing adoption – instead of abortion – she put an end to their waiting and fulfilled their great desire to become parents.  By choosing adoption – not abortion – she was able to offer hope to this couple.  By choosing adoption – not abortion – she was able to offer hope to the precious little boy growing inside of her.

This precious little boy I am speaking of is none other than my nephew, Avery.

A face like his is one that rightly deserves to be associated with the word “hope”.

He is a living, breathing example of hope.

He is a living, breathing example of how beautiful adoption – as opposed to abortion – can be.

Abortion is far from beautiful.  I have seen images of aborted children before.  I can honestly say that I have yet to see anything in this life more disturbing than those images.  They are far from beautiful.  Far from it.

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“I got to where I couldn’t stand to look at the little bodies anymore” ~Dr. Beverly McMillan (when asked why she stopped performing abortions)

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Thanks to Grace, I, too, have seen firsthand how beautiful adoption – as opposed to abortion – can be.  In a country where abortion is readily available – and often times encouraged – Grace’s Chinese mother carried her to term and gave birth to her.  Needless to say, I have benefited immeasurably from what this young Chinese woman did for her baby girl.

I have many close friends and other family members whose lives have been transformed by the miracle of adoption.

How beautiful adoption – instead of abortion – can be.  How beautiful.

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“Abortion kills twice. It kills the body of the baby and it can kill the conscience of the mother. Abortion is profoundly anti-women. Three quarters of its victims are women:   half the babies and all the mothers.” ~ Mother Teresa

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I realize that my approach to election day may seem simplistic.  It may seem uneducated.  It may seem overly emotional.  It may seem naive.  It may seem uninformed.  It may seem that I am over-simplifying a very complex issue……and creating a black & white issue out of something that should be gray.

But, the fact is, it’s the only approach that I feel comfortable with……it’s the only approach that gives me peace on election night.  It’s an approach for which I refuse to apologize.  It’s the only approach that allows me to, in some small way, give a voice to the voiceless.

I do what little I can to give them a voice.

I can pray for them.  I can support my local Crisis Pregnancy Center (the wonderful alternative to Planned Parenthood).  And I can cast pro-life votes on election day.  As of now, those are the only ways that I know how to help.  I realize that those things seem very small in the grand scheme of things.  But, I would like to do what I can – no matter how small.

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“I am not a one-issue voter in the sense that indicates I am an ignorant fundamentalist who only cares about one thing. I believe in protecting the environment. I believe in caring for the poor, the orphan, the widow in her distress. These are some of the so-called “issues” that many of us use to justify voting for Obama. But, how can we possibly claim it is love for the poor and helpless that motivates us to vote for such a man when he is committed to allowing the most helpless among us to be killed?”  ~Joseph Bayly

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The greatest opposition to the pro-life movement comes from feminists…..those who spend their lives ensuring that women’s rights are protected in this country.  They will suggest that if you oppose the right for a woman to have an abortion, then you are insensitive and out of touch…..and that you care nothing about women’s rights.

I couldn’t disagree more.

I care about women’s rights.  How could I not?   I’m a woman.  Furthermore, I was raised by a woman who (as many of you know) is no wilting flower.  She has clearly shown me, in her words and in her actions over the years, that women’s rights are very important.  She is strong and independent.  She taught me from the get-go that girls could do anything that boys could.  She refused to buy me Barbie dolls (I still give her a hard time about this!!!) because she didn’t like the body image that those dolls convey to young girls.  She is so smart.  She taught me not to be afraid to speak my mind.  She is very well-read.  She strongly encouraged me to go on to college, and to excel in my school work.  She is – seriously – more handy than most men I know.  She isn’t afraid – and has never been afraid – to do the dirty work.  She can build.  She can lead.  She can direct.  She can teach.  She can oversee.  She was my first and most influential example of womanhood.  She shaped my view of womanhood.  She cares very much about women’s rights.  She is not pro-choice.  She is pro-life.  And, from what she has told me, the votes she casts at the polls usually reflect that.

I mention that to simply suggest the idea that opposing the right for a woman to have an abortion doesn’t mean that you don’t care about women’s rights.  So not true.  Soooo not true.

In my opinion, abortion shouldn’t even be labeled as a women’s rights issue at all.  Rather, it’s an issue that is all about the right to life – a right which was promised to each of us in the Declaration of Independence.

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“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” ~The Declaration of Independence

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Today’s feminists seem to overlook the fact that some of the most prominent early crusaders and founding mothers of women’s rights in this country were pro-life.

Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Elizabeth Blackwell were among them.  My guess is that you have probably heard all three of those names before.  If not, be sure to look them up today.  Impressive women, to say the least.

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“Sweeter even than to have had the joy of caring for children of my own has it been to me to help bring about a better state of things for mothers generally, so that their unborn little ones could not be willed away from them.” ~Susan B. Anthony

“When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.” ~Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“The gross perversion and destruction of motherhood by the abortionist filled me with indignation, and awakened active antagonism. That the honorable term ‘female physician’ should be exclusively applied to those women who carried on this shocking trade seemed to me a horror. It was an utter degradation of what might and should become a noble position for women.  ~Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell 

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How is it that abortion is described as being in place to “protect women” when half of all of the aborted babies in this country are girls?  Females.  Future women.

What about the rights of those women to be born?

I simply don’t understand.

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“I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself.” ~Mother Teresa

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Will the results of the 2012 local, state, and federal elections solve the abortion epidemic in our country?  Certainly not.  But, I do believe that the politicians representing us do have the power to make some positive changes.  I hope and pray that they do.

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“Any society, any nation, should be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members — the last, the littlest, the least.” ~R. Mahony

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Over 1,200,000 babies are legally aborted in this country each year.  Over 1,200,000 heartbeats are willingly stopped by their own mothers.

Compare that number to the number of votes I get to cast on election day.  One.  Just one.

I realize that it’s just a drop in the bucket.

But, at least a drop is something.

It’s far better than doing nothing.

It’s the least that I can do……for the last, the littlest, the least.

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” ‘For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’  And then He will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ ” ~Jesus Christ


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3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 17, 2012 5:47 pm

    Beautifully written. Thanks Carly

  2. Brett permalink
    October 23, 2012 6:20 pm

    You’ve perfectly captured why I have no shame in being a “one-issue voter”, though you worded it far more eloquently than I ever have or will. Thanks for taking this stand in a way that is not divisive or attacking, but hopeful and firm in all the right ways.

  3. October 23, 2012 7:33 pm

    Rosie & Brett, thanks so much for your words. But, more importantly, thank you for doing your part to stand up for the unborn.

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