Tag: abortion

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Last year I was having blood drawn from me at the lab by one of the phlebotomists. It’s routine, as I had aortic heart valve replacement surgery in 2010, followed by a pacemaker implantation to keep me alive. “What are you doing for Father’s Day?” she asked me. Preview Open

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Why this? Why now? Since I have extensively written online as Jennifer Thieme, I thought it would be prudent to formally announce that I have gone back to my maiden name: Jennifer Johnson. It also seemed like a good time to tell the story of my last names, as it is an unusual story and […]

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Maya Angelou: Why I Kept My Baby

 

master-class-maya-angelou-2-600x411Writing in 2001 in Family Circle magazine, Maya Angelou, who died yesterday at 86, described her decision to keep the child she conceived at 16. With thanks to Feminists For Life for posting it, I’m reposting this remarkable article in full.

When I was 16, a boy in high school evinced interest in me, so I had sex with him — just once. And after I came out of that room, I thought, Is that all there is to it? My goodness, I’ll never do that again! Then, when I found out I was pregnant, I went to the boy and asked him for help, but he said it wasn’t his baby and he didn’t want any part of it.

I was scared to pieces. Back then, if you had money, there were some girls who got abortions, but I couldn’t deal with that idea. Oh, no. No. I knew there was somebody inside me. So I decided to keep the baby.

Choosing Life

 

shutterstock_16545007I sat in the hot car smelling old French fries. There were always some under the seat where the kids spilled them, but the kids were gone now. I didn’t know where. I looked through the grimy windshield at the building in front of me and read the words on the door over and over again: Planned Parenthood.

Sweat was running down the back of my neck, but I didn’t turn on the air conditioner. I wanted to feel the heat. I wanted the distraction from the pain. My hand strayed to my stomach. I was more than two months pregnant. Still time to kill the baby. And killing was what it was. No one could tell me otherwise. I’d had two children. I’d lost two others. I knew what it was like to feel a child grow inside of me. The little twitches of life, the turning of an elbow or a knee as it rolled across my stomach, the flutter of faint hiccups.

I watched as a young girl and her friend hurried from their car to the building. They slipped inside, with the door banging behind them; I wondered which of them was pregnant. I looked in the mirror. I was 33. Hardly a teenager. I didn’t recognize the woman in the mirror. I saw only shame. 

Great Man, Great Book: Hadley Arkes and First Things

 

Hadley-ArkesThere are a handful of political/philosophical books that have caused me to re-orient the way I think about the world.

Three examples: Friedrich von Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom clarified the way I think about markets and the ever-expanding bureaucratic state; Thomas Sowell’s A Conflict of Visions created a framework for the way I think about the differences between the liberal and conservative minds; and C. S. Lewis’s The Abolition of Man, a brilliant (and short) defense of objective truths, reaffirmed some of my most fondly held beliefs.

Another such book has come into my life, this one dramatically clarifying my thinking about ethics and the first principles of moral and political life. The author is the American moral and legal philosopher Hadley Arkes (pronounced with two syllables), longtime professor at Amherst College in Massachusetts. The book’s title is First Things: An Inquiry Into the First Principles of Morals and Justice (1986). It is a brilliant modern exposition of the “natural rights” philosophy.

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Alternate-Side Parking is a semi-regular, once or twice a week, podcast. Each episode lasts approximately as long as it takes for me to find a new alternate-side parking space in my neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, plus however long I feel like sitting in the driver’s seat. In today’s episode I ruminate about abortion, focusing […]

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Alternate-Side Parking is a semi-regular, once or twice a week, podcast. Each episode lasts approximately as long as it takes for me to find a new alternate-side parking space in my neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, plus however long I feel like sitting in the driver’s seat. In today’s special Sunday going-to-Pep-Boys-oops-it’s-closed-I-guess-I’ll-go-to-Autozone episode I talk […]

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The legislative session in Texas is set to end tonight at 12 midnight, and State Senator Wendy Davis of Fort Worth is attempting a 13-hour filibuster in an effort to prevent an anti-abortion bill from being passed by the majority Republicans. All she has to do is talk past midnight, and she will have successfully […]

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