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We feature commentary but most of all action alerts on the same positive, abortion-reducing measures we cover in the Directory.


These measures include post abortion healing; male responsibility; comprehensive sexual/reproductive health education; all voluntary pregnancy prevention methods, plus rape and incest prevention & treatment; and life-affirming ways to get through crisis pregnancy and beyond.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Stepping Up for Pregnant Women & Unborn Children In Her Own Home: Reflections from Linda Naranjo-Huebl

Linda Naranjo-Huebl is a professor of women's and American ethnic literature at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She lives parttime in her hometown of Denver, Colorado, where she and her family personally took into their own home dozens of pregnant women in need of emergency shelter. The women came to them through Alternatives Pregnancy Center, an agency founded and staffed by prolife women, many of whom identify proudly as feminists.

Naranjo-Huebl has borne considerable witness to the ongoing and harsh realities of gender discrimination and their role in abortion. She wrote about her years of service to beleaguered women in unplanned/crisis pregnancies for
ProLife Feminism Yesterday and Today, Second Expanded Edition, the book behind the Nonviolent Choice Directory. The following is an excerpt from her story, reprinted here with her permission.


The crisis, or crises, leading to the need for emergency housing during pregnancy became our [family's] own upon each woman's arrival, and I found myself increasingly angry and frustrated at those social forces that make pregnancy so difficult in the first place. Many people believe that as a society we have progressed from those days when a single woman's pregnancy was cause for ostracism or even punishment...

[But] women facing unplanned or inopportune pregnancies are subjected to all kinds of insults, censure, discrimination, and abandonment. They are aware of a continual undercurrent of judgment against them, including negative assumptions about their morals, their intelligence, their judgment, their self-discipline and sense of responsibility.

They also face more overt discrimination. We have witnessed, and vigorously protested, substandard treatment...by medical establishments, schools, and various social service agencies, not to mention their personal friends, family, and even their church communities. They are also routinely discriminated against in the workplace, if they can even get a job...

Our years of experience also taught us that reactions to unplanned pregnancy are frequently influenced by class and ethnicity. Middle- and upper-class Anglos tend to react more negatively to an unplanned pregnancy...[S]ome panicky middle- and upper-class white parents..would almost prefer their teenage daughter die than have a baby. Contrastingly, while aware that unplanned pregnancies come with a financial burden, the Latino, African American, and working class communities less often regard the situation as a major crisis. In my own extended Latino family, those most likely to consider an unplanned pregnancy as serious problem are those who are rising on the economic ladder.

We can see how these different cultural and economic perspectives extend beyond our borders. Women in the Two Thirds World frequently criticize American feminists for their emphasis on abortion rights instead of equal educational and economic opportunities for women. They tell us that children are not the problem; it's the systems into which they are born...

...When a controlling man (or parents) orders his girlfriend to get an abortion and she chooses otherwise, she is frequently motivated by a growing unconditional attachment and loyalty to her child and also to herself. Psychologists tell us that the "good enough" mother has a healthy sense of self and that her love for her child is an extension of her love for herself.

Abortion, then, can be interpreted, at one level, as an act against onself, against one's own identity. By contrast, the young women who defies boyfriend, husband, parents. friends, or authorities in carrying her child to term performs a heroic act that affirms and builds up her own sense of self while at the same time [she acknowledges the equally valuable life of her child.

And it is appropriate that we too affirm these equally valuable lives...and step up to help her overcome the obstacles she faces...

2 comments:

Voucher Codes said...

Still in this world women are struggling for their equal place with men.its really very disgusting fact.

Marysia said...

Yes, it is pretty disgusting, that women have been struggling for our equal rights for centuries now and still we get mistreated...