Beyond the lies and talking points, abortion is nothing more than a sexual safety valve

abortion
Photo credit: Maria Oswalt

My body, my choice. A woman’s right to choose. Planned Parenthood. Reproductive health. Family planning. Pro-choice. Safe, legal and rare. Bans off our bodies.

These phrases are just wordplay. They’re marketing messages. Every single one is cynical, illogical and useless in an honest conversation about abortion.

Why even have the conversation? Because modern abortion on demand is built on lies and talking points. Isn’t it past time for honesty about a “right” that isn’t, yet was created to enable sexual freedom without consequences?

The lie

In 1973, Roe v. Wade proponents assured us that abortion would be “safe, legal and rare.” Rare as in a million abortions per year, plus or minus a few hundred thousand? Rare as in 62,502,904 abortions since 1973? These numbers are not from a pro-life source; they’re from the Guttmacher Institute—and the CDC.

What about rape and incest victims?

According to a 2004 Guttmacher Institute study, the percentage of women who said they were seeking an abortion after being raped was one percent. Those seeking abortion as a result of incest was .05 percent. The study also found that these numbers hadn’t changed appreciably between 1987-2004.

The reason

Why do most women have abortions? They don’t do it for their health. They do it for their freedom. When asked why they wanted an abortion by the Guttmacher Institute, the number one reason was that, “Having a baby would dramatically change my life.”

Why do women use Planned Parenthood? According to Planned Parenthood’s own 2019-2020 Annual Report, 96.9 percent of pregnant women use their services to get an abortion. 0.7 percent seek adoption referrals, and 2.4 percent go for some form of prenatal care.

The truth is that most women who abort their pregnancies do so not for family planning, not for their reproductive health, and not to show the world that they are in control of their bodies and their choices.

Most use abortion as safety valves for their sexual freedom.

Before Roe v. Wade and the Supreme Court’s legal gymnastics and creation of the aforementioned nonexistent right out of thin air, American men and women had children because they would change their lives. Children were built-in to the marriage arrangement. And if a couple decided not to have children, there was effective birth control. Pregnancies were prevented, so babies wouldn’t be aborted.

The revolution

Prior to the sexual revolution, pregnancy and children were seen as normal and genuine family planning. Yet as in any revolution, norms were discarded, so that so-called freedoms could be enjoyed without consequences.

My body, my choice is a legitimate right. Legally and constitutionally, we choose with whom we have sexual relations. Rare instances of rape and incest aside, once we choose, we’re responsible for the consequences of our sexual choices.

Here’s the abortion delusion: An unborn baby is only a baby, if he or she is wanted. Desire, not reality, is the deciding factor that determines one’s humanity.

In reality, our control over our bodies does not include control over others’ bodies. Morally, we have no right to kill our unborn. Their bodies are theirs, not ours.

If and when conception occurs, a new life begins, and another human being’s body becomes part of a new equation. He or she too has a right to life. Sadly, thanks to Roe v. Wade, this right has been stripped away to make room for selfish sexual freedom.

Here’s the dilemma: When it comes to choice, sexual freedom is incompatible with the sanctity of human life. We are free to choose how we live sexually. We are not free to choose whether another lives or dies based on our convenience.

The war

Attorney General Merrick Garland just held a press conference to announce his Justice Department’s lawsuit against Texas and its “heartbeat law.” He said the law makes it too risky for abortion clinics to operate. He said nothing about it helping to make life less risky for a virtually unprotected people group. Garland bases his lawsuit on the assertion that the Texas law violates the nonexistent constitutional “right” to abortion.

To explain, this phantom right to abort one’s pregnancy was created by the Supreme Court for their majority ruling on Roe v. Wade. The court based their decision on a contortion, alteration and expansion of the rights to privacy in the Constitution.

This creation of a woman’s right to abort her pregnancy in the name of privacy is a pivot point at which sexual freedom goes beyond choice to dehumanize human life.

In truth, Texas did what other states should do. They enacted commonsense legislation that provides unborn babies some level of protection. Their heartbeat law protects an unprotected people group against those who believe the lie that a fetus isn’t a person and that their freedom is more important than someone else’s life.

The Texas law also provides a check on an industry that values profit over people. President Biden and his party’s outrage against legislation that values life and seeks to protect it is proof positive of the efficacy of nearly fifty years of damnable lies and tissue-thin talking points.

It’s high time we as a nation of rights and freedoms extend those rights and freedoms to those who have little or no protection or recourse.

Dixie is burning Plumas County and bringing out the best in us

Plumas

This dang Dixie. I feel utterly helpless. I’m trying to not let my grief over my community’s epic loss turn to rage. I may be a transplant from Texas, but I love the Sierra Nevada and the beauty of Plumas County. It’s my home now.

The last few mornings, I’ve wakened to blue skies and felt surges of hope. Then the wind comes, and my feels turn to fear. Another neighboring community is in Dixie’s crosshairs. It’s truly a monster.

Quincy is spared … so far. I feel guilty enjoying the beauty of its nearby wilderness when so many fellow residents have lost theirs. I weigh whether to post the beautiful images I capture here against the possibility of hurting those who’ve lost everything.

The images encourage me. Maybe they do the same for others. So I post. Photography and writing are my therapy. So is hiking and gravel biking in these lovely forests that surrounded us a mere few weeks ago.

Some days it feels like the other day; at other times, it seems months ago that we were gearing up for post-COVID camping trips, lake outings, and Sierra fun. It was the “new roaring twenties” here in paradise. Then yet another fire crashed the party.

Yet, it’s not all bad. Amid the fears and tears, horror and sorrow, many are showing amazing love and kindness toward their neighbors. I’ve realized that Plumas County is home to some tough and loving people. Who says the Old West grit is gone?

Plumas people are fiercely protective of their forests and the folks around them. It’s been a joy to behold the ways in which so many are helping others. When people are tried by fire, fear, loss and grief, the result is usually love.

Plumas Strong. It isn’t just a cute sentiment—it’s for real, man. Let’s roll.

Sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind: California and its epic wildfires

California

Like the 2018 Camp Fire, California’s Dixie Fire is truly epic. It has burned more than 220,000 acres and at least 40 structures. It’s the largest conflagration since the Camp Fire that destroyed Paradise. Sadly, California wildfires are becoming as common as Florida hurricanes. Why is this happening and who’s to blame? In a word, California.

By mismanaging its forests and water sources and enabling a power provider to place profits over people, the Golden State has sown the wind and is reaping the whirlwind.

Why is every California fire season scarier and more destructive than the last? The reasons can be boiled down to these:

    1. Decades of forest mismanagement caused by environmentalists shaping policy
    2. Co-opted Northern California watersheds and water supply diversion
    3. Hotter temperatures and historic drought conditions caused by climate change
    4. Failing PG&E infrastructure
Forest mismanagement

We live five miles from the southeastern edge of the Dixie Fire. Our little mountain town of Quincy is under an evacuation warning. Many of our fellow residents live in areas of mandatory evacuation and some have lost their homes. Local firefighters and forest experts have known for years this was inevitable.

It’s common sense, really. When forest undergrowth and dead limbs and logs are allowed to pile up between trees, you may as well stack logs at their bases and wait for a lightning strike or stray spark from a train or campfire. To counter all these possibilities, wise forest managers remove forest floor fuels and keep forests from growing dangerously dense.

Foolish forest managers allow undergrowth to flourish in order to “protect” ecological environments of certain species at the expense of overall forest ecology. This hands-off approach is pushed in Sacramento by those who think we’re only one species sharing our environment rather than caretakers of our environment.

Wise gardeners prevent weeds from diverting moisture from produce plants by removing them. This ensures a healthy garden. Why wouldn’t smart forest management include removal of undergrowth and dead or dying trees?

Water diversion

A few years ago, state biologists “gill-netted” vast quantities of fish in our local Silver Lake in order to prevent them from feeding on a certain frog. This decimated the fish population in favor of the frog population. How is this an ecological balance?

Similarly, allowing natural water sources to feed rivers and streams provides better hydration for trees—and raises critical moisture levels for forests. Diverting water from Northern California sources when levels are low exacerbates the deadly dryness of moisture-starved Sierra forests. Shouldn’t there be a balance based on water levels?

As climate change continues to affect moisture and heat, smart and balanced water management becomes more critical. Yet California continues to base policy decisions reactively rather than proactively. If Northern California watershed areas burn for lack of moisture, poor water management will be partially to blame.

So will California’s reliance on hydroelectric power over traditional (and more effective) fossil-fuel plants. The state gets nearly 2/3 of its power from non-fossil fuel production, which is why it has to buy electricity from states like Oregon, Arizona and others.

Failing PG&E

Failed PG&E power lines are responsible for devastating California wildfires for the last five fire seasons. According to PG&E’s initial report the day the Dixie Fire started, an employee responding to an outage noticed a blown fuse at Cresta Dam in a heavily forested area of Butte County around the Feather River Canyon. He found two blown fuses and a tree leaning on a power conductor. He also found a fire on the ground near the base of the tree.

When the 2018 Camp Fire erupted, a PG&E employee noticed flames caused by a faulty transmission line in Feather River Canyon. Many of these lines are supported by electrical towers from the early 1900s. PG&E customers pay modern rates for modern electricity delivered via century-old towers.

In fairness, PG&E is finally taking steps to modernize its infrastructure with underground line burial and other measures. Sadly, these measures are long overdue and are too little too late for victims of the Camp Fire and now for those dealing with the Dixie Fire. Worse, PG&E seems to be continuing their foot-dragging regarding reporting system failures when they point to a wildfire start.

Closed market

According to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), PG&E ignored regulations that require it to report wildfire-related infrastructure failures within two hours of the event. PG&E took five days to report the Dixie Fire-related failure to CPUC. As a state agency, CPUC answers to Governor Gavin Newsom and Sacramento politicians. PG&E is supposed to answer to CPUC, yet is still failing to follow the rules.

Not only is there a lack of meaningful accountability, the relationship between California and PG&E is dysfunctional. The average citizen wonders why Sacramento continues enabling a repeat offender of a power company. Another question is why California refuses to open up its utility market to competitors in order to force PG&E to modernize its infrastructure.

Something has to change or California will continue to burn every fire season. Close to home, people in our community love living in Northern California, but the Golden State will lose even more citizens if residents have to flee the flames every summer.