Anti-Choicers can’t keep their facts straight

What a surprise right? While I expected that my words would be taken out of context, I am utterly surprised that conversations that did not occur would be cited and that my TEARS would be taken out of context. The rest of this nasty little piece aside, Bryan Kemper for Life News writes that, ” two of the girls admitted to having problems seeing their nieces and nephews who would be the same age as their children.”

FALSE! As far as I know, I am the only woman on the panel who even has a nephew, and no nieces were ever mentioned. Not once. I also never said anything about Carter’s age being difficult, but merely that there is a sentimental aspect about my relationship with him now. And to clarify, this relationship is good. I love Carter and love spending time with him (although it has become a bit obnoxious now that he demands that I take him outside very single time he sees me). I love being an aunt.

Mr. Kemper also writes that “one girl who broke down on camera talking about her decision to have an abortion.” I going to assume that “that one girl” is me (damn it, why am I so sentimental? I knew I should have held back those tears better).

I want to clarify and state that I absolutely do not consider my abortion experience to have been sad, negative or in anyway deserving of tears. I was a happy and relieved little goofball after it, truth be told. Just ask my boyfriend. What I was crying about was how difficult it was to come home to my sister and nephew and not feel like I could tell her the truth. She’s my SISTER after all. If there’s anyone I should have been comfortable telling, it should have been her.

I wanted so badly to walk through the door and explain to her how sorry I was that I had been so judgmental while she was dealing with her unplanned pregnancy. That I now knew how hard it is to make decisions like that, and how I totally respect her choice to become a single, teenage mother. I wanted to beg her to forgive me for being so distant directly after having Carter. I wanted to explain that I had intended to be more supportive, but that I was counting down the days until I could breathe again.

I felt unable to do any of that because I wanted to keep my family safe from the confusion and stigma that accompany abortion. That’s why I cried. I love my family. They’re amazing and I feel horrible that I felt that I had to keep something so important to me a secret from them for so long.

For me, the silence is what hurt. The strain that it put on my relationships with the most important people in my life, that’s what I regret.

I suppose that I shouldn’t be surprised that an organization that is only concerned with perpetuating an anti-choice agenda would out-right LIE about the facts of the show. I shouldn’t be concerned either, but I am. These lies are what make abortion such a taboo subject. They’re what scares girls and women out of considering all their options, or from picking one that they know is right for them. These lies are what have, for so long, kept me silent. Well, not anymore.

Below is a link the the article, as well as the page through which Life News can be contacted. As I did, I hope you all will write a message to them, letting them know that their account of “No Easy Decision” doesn’t add up to what you saw, and that you would like them to retract the article and print one with a bit more journalistic integrity.

*Also, Markai and James are not married and MTV didn’t look for advertisements for this segment. No organization funded it.

http://www.lifenews.com/2010/12/29/youth-pro-life-leaders-respond-to-mtv%E2%80%99s-abortion-episode/

http://www.lifenews.com/contact/

 

 

24 Comments

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24 responses to “Anti-Choicers can’t keep their facts straight

  1. Brian Heinemann

    Just wanted to add my input, as a journalist who ran a Catholic newspaper for two years. This is a pathetic piece of “journalism” and Life News should be ashamed of themselves. The writer quoted himself, made up facts, and completely spun things however he wanted with blatant disregard to what was said on the actual show. What a joke. This idiot should lose his job.

  2. Brian Heinemann

    I just sent Life News the following letter…

    Hello,

    I’m writing you in response to the article “Youth Pro-life Leaders Respond to MTV’s Abortion Episode.” As a journalist who ran a Catholic newspaper for two years and who knows what good journalism is, I thought you should know that this “opinion” piece is a joke, and you should be ashamed of publishing it. If you simply watched the show on MTV and then read the comments made in this article, you’d realize that the writer – who unabashedly and ridiculously quoted HIMSELF – simply made up facts and paid no attention to what actually happened on the show.

    Of course, I understand the stance you are trying to make here. Unfortunately for you, good journalism – and credible journalism – does not allow for simply making up facts or blatantly spinning things totally out of context just to support your side of an argument. What you’ve published here is a travesty and a joke, and Mr. Kemper and your organization should be embarrassed.

    Next time, tell your writers to do a little research, or stick to facts to try to make a point. I don’t know what combination of ethos, pathos, and logo you were going for here, but you failed miserably and made yourselves look stupid.

    Sincerely,

    Brian Heinemann

  3. That article was so infantilizing. How I long for the day when these men will stop feeling the need to stop bossing around women.

  4. You shouldn’t need to legitimize your tears to anyone, least of all an anti-choicer who has a big enough ego to quote himself.

    That said, I’m glad you spoke out–not just on the show itself, but here on your blog as well. As unnecessary as I think this explanation is, (because why the hell can’t people just respect your decision?) these are the exactly the kinds of stories we need to tell if we’re ever going to get people to understand that pro-choice doesn’t mean pro-abortion/anti-life.

    If the anti-choicers were paying any attention at all, they’d realize that your show of emotion speaks to the difficulty of the decision. Something I hear a lot from the anti-choice side of it is that those who identify as pro-choice are “selfish baby killers.”

    But obviously, that isn’t true at all. As you pointed out in the interview, it’s a parenting decision.

  5. This is exactly the problem with antis–they can’t comprehend nuance. They approach the issue with a sledgehammer and don’t care who or what gets bashed, including the truth!

  6. Katie I am writing to apologize. I was a co-writer on this article and the part in question was submitted by the co-author and I failed to fact check that section. I went back and re-watched the show this morning and saw how un-factual that section was and immediately deleted that from the article.

    You can see the rewrite on my site at http://www.bryankemper.com and it will be up soon at lifenews.com.

    Again I am sorry I did not check her addition to the article before I submitted it.

    Bryan Kemper

    • Natalia (from the show)

      Mr. Kemper,
      I appreciate your apology and re-write as I’m sure Katie does. At least you legitimately attempted to correct your factual mistakes. You were not entirely successful though. James is *still referred to as Markai’s “husband” in the article. Their unmarried status is something I would have expected religious anti-choicers to latch on to. Also you claimed that she, at the time of the show’s taping, was still not sure she made the right decision even though she clearly states on camera that she does still feel sadness but not regret.
      The entire purpose of creating this program was to start a dialog. That dialog needs to be factually correct. Discussions on the internet can easily become like a game of “Telephone”, where information is slowly corrupted until it barely resembles the truth. In the future please do not start a game of Telephone by irresponsibly overlooking the facts.
      All in all thank you for your attempt to re-write the article and for remaining respectful towards Katie.

  7. We already responded to Katie and issued a correction and updated the article Bryan Kemper, who is not affiliated with LifeNews.com, wrote. He regrets the honest mistakes and they were quickly corrected once we were notified.

    Now if only the abortion industry will correct their many, many mistakes — including the ones in the MTV special where they mislead women about the facts of fetal development. We don’t expect see see a correction on that.

    • While I do very much appreciate your prompt response, I am curious to know how inventing scenes that were simply not in the show qualify as “honest mistakes.” That sounds like lying to me. Perhaps your writers were watching a different show?

      And while I do not speak for MTV, I do happen to know that medical doctors were consulted in terms of the “facts” of the show (I mean, Dr. Drew was there after all).
      As far as I understand it, you are not a doctor and have no authority to speak on such issues as fetal development.
      For that reason, I will disregard the rather snarky and unprofessional last bit of your post.

      • Katie

        As I said the person who wrote that section was chastised for not carefully checking facts, when I got the message from you I went back watched the show and and immediately deleted what she wrote. I can assure you from my side of this there was no lying involved, but there was a lack of fact checking for which I have apologized for.

        As for fetal development, I have been in this line of work for 20 years and am well qualified and well studied on these issues.

      • As I said, I’m grateful that you edited her mistakes. While I don’t think she needs to be chastised, I do wonder where she came up with the idea that those things were said. It seems to me that she lied about it, or was watching a different show. I appreciate your apology. Thank you for being professional and mature about it. No hard feelings.

        I am actually very familiar with your work and have even heard you speak a few times. Still, you are not a doctor and as such I would argue that you are not qualified to disperse information about medical and biological processes. You may speak about your lived experience, your opinion and how your faith educates that opinion, but nothing more. You may cite medical professionals, but that is all.

        I know what I saw on that ultrasound screen. I know what I saw and felt in that clinic room. I know what I experienced in my body, my heart, and my soul. Please, do not think that I am ignorant, or that I “know” any less than you. I know my truth, and I am comfortable and at peace with it. I hope that you can respect that.

  8. Just watched the episode and read the Kemper article and I’m so annoyed! What, if you get an abortion you’re not allowed to cry about it ever? That if you cry about it that automatically means you regret your decision? WTF-ever!

    I left a post for you on 16andloved.com but then I found you here – thanks Internet! :-)

    Anyway, y’all did the right thing. I was 29 and in college (and if someone says I should have known better at that age they will get punched) when I got pregnant and ending it was the hardest thing I ever had to do but I don’t regret it. Not even when several years later I had two miscarriages.

    I cried, thinking that the first time might have been my only chance but I’m 6 mos. pregnant now with a healthy baby girl and I still don’t regret it. It was the right thing for me at the time with the resources I had. Period.

    And I sometimes still cry about it. And that’s completely and totally fine. Crying means you’re human.

    • Exactly! How sad is it that for so many people tears automatically mean sadness? I’ve cried for many reasons: happiness, gratitude, fear, anger, pain. I’ve cried laughing as well. Showing emotion does not mean that you’re sad, traumatized, or regretful. I have no idea why so few people understand that.

  9. “How I long for the day when these men will stop feeling the need to stop bossing around women.”

    Haha, my brain must have been in two different places in that comment. You know what I mean..

    I reread the article. It’s better, but still infantilizing. They’re seriously claiming that women will see babies and then change their mind about abortion? Nevermind the fact that 60% of these women already have children. Nevermind the fact that these women see babies/children EVERYWHERE they go: church, the grocery store, home.

  10. KushielsMoon

    Thank you for explaining the situation! The antichoice world is very black and white, which is why they have such a hard time seeing women who can feel sad and still think she made the right choice.

    Desiree, I hope you don’t mind but I want to quote some of your words on twitter. Show the complexity of pregnancy and choices.

  11. The revised article is still pathetic. I hope they seriously do not think it’s journalism. Rather than asking MTV why there were no commercials, they assume “This show was obviously funded by some one or some organization with an agenda; a very deadly agenda.” An alternate hypothesis: the shitstorm antis would stir up against anyone who advertised on this segment would not be worth the amount of income they’d get from it.

    Then, rather than calling an abortion facility to see how the same questions Markai asks are typically responded to, they state: “We have a hard time believing this call was not pre-staged and the questions set up by the show.”

    Instead of referring to local regulations regarding who can be at ambulatory surgery centers, they assume that the reason for not allowing children in the waiting room at a medical facility would be that “it would be for business.”

    Even an opinion piece should hold itself to higher standards. Making up your own reasons for the way things are portrayed is no more acceptable than making up your own facts.

    • Agreed. See my comment to placenta sandwich about my experience with the whole “no children” policy.

      I actually called a very similar hotline to the one the Markai called (same organization, different region) and my experience with it was very much the same, and I asked very similar questions. hmmm…

  12. On children in the waiting room: NYProChoiceMD is right, regulations do vary by state and municipality and provider type, and blanket assumptions tend to be worthless. My clinic allows kids in the waiting room, knowing that for some women, their go-to driver and go-to babysitter are the same person and so the driver must bring the kids along. One of my friends works at a clinic that does not, from the perspective that women need to be able to focus on themselves and their well-being on that day, and not distracted and stressed out by making sure their kids are on their best behavior during a long appointment. A third acquaintance works at a clinic that provides on-site childcare — or used to, until antis’ harassment of patients’ children got to be too much. (Maybe Brian Kemper, his co-writer, or Steve Ertelt would like to address that? One anti who heard about it responded”Good, whatever it takes to make abortions harder to get and women afraid to go to the clinic.”)

    • Very, very true. The clinic that I went to explained that they highly advise women to not bring their children because it often has protesters. The protesters are less than respectful and they don’t want children being traumatized by seeing their mothers being treated with such disrespect and cruelty. Also, while my procedure only took about 5 minutes, I was at the clinic for a little over three hours (what with all the counseling, ultrasounds, and blood work) and I can’t imagine a child sitting for that long! Also, because my clinic only does abortions one day a week, they wanted to make sure that all their patients had seats. It was a large place, and if everyone had brought their children, it would have been uncomfortably packed!

      I also wonder if Mr. Kemper had ever contacted a clinic about why certain policies are in place? Typical that they would make such assumptions without doing any research.

      Also, unlike Markai, my boyfriend was allowed to be with me and witness the actual procedure.

  13. I bring my children to support our local clinic every year on Good Friday–they are “planned parenthood” in action, after all–but they HAVE been targets. One year I had to physically push away a woman who was ranting at my four-year-old. Luckily, kids understand bullies.

    • Oh, wow. That’s awful, but probably a very educational experience for your children.

      My boyfriend actually grew up with conservative, Evangelical Christian parents. One of his earliest memories is being drug along by his parents to a anti-choice protest (I believe it was of our local planned parenthood). He says that he remembers being forced to stand there in the freezing cold and rain for hours. He ended up getting sick from it. He says that he remembers be so confused and angry at his parents. He had been miserable the entire time and had begged them to let him sit in the car instead of standing out in the rain. Why did they care so much about these babies and not so much about him?

      He now has a very strained relationship with his parents. I think kids are very perceptive. They’re a lot smarter than society gives them credit for.

      Also, have you written any articles or books about feminist mothering? (I haven’t had time to search through your whole blog) Any suggestions? I’m interested in reading up on it a bit more. I’m thinking that for my graduate thesis I may write about incorporating abortion into the discourse on mothering.

  14. HAVE I?! You’ve made this feminist mom’s new year! I’ll message you with the list.

  15. Ashley

    Good for you for sticking up for yourself! There is nothing more empowering than women speaking for themselves.

    It is unfortunate that we are still demeaned because of our emotions. If we cry, it means we’re weak and confused. Or if we’re angry, it’s because we lost our minds. On the contrary, women are deeply in tune with their emotions and to show them takes a sort of courage that most men cannot imagine.

    Thank you for speaking about your experience and for being an inspiration to many girls and women out there. Abortions should never be shameful, and talking about them even less so. I applaud your bravery and hope you realize what a sensitive and genuine person you are.

  16. Pingback: MTV’s Truths Vs. Anti-Choice Lies | Cure Male Yeast Infection

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