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Abortion debate in america part 3: Christina visits Planned Parenthood in Houston May 31, 2010

Filed under: abortion,news-opinion — Christina Lynn Hildebrand @ 4:32 AM
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About 5-6 months ago, you may recall that I went to Planned Parenthood to film for a class in electronic news.

Now ai think it must be heard the story-behind-the-interview; what it felt like as a Christian woman to be in Planned Parenthood.

Really, however, this must be said that it was a friend of mine named Bryant who encouraged me to conduct an interview with the Houston Planned Parenthood Spokesperson,  Rochelle Tofoya. I initially did not want to do it because I honestly felt that I, as a Christian woman, would basically lose face. I was thinking that someone from church would see me and think that I am going in there to have an abortion procedure done. The reason that I say this is because sometimes Christians judge others. Also, nobody from church really knew what I was doing because at the time I was trying to stay apolitical because I was not a member of the church at the time. I didn’t know what their stance was on this type of issue and I was in no mood to make waves – though they now know and one has even complimented the short video I made. I was not going in there for an abortion procedure and I would never do such a thing. So I went in to film the interview and nothing more.

However, God had other plans. I was unable to get alot of footage of people praying outside the Planned Parenthood building on Fannin St. and finally came to the conclusion that I had to conduct an interview with a pro choice person. The UH women’s resource center would not do an interview with me. I had no other choice. I had to go to Planned Parenthood and conduct the interview.

Also, that day was filled with alot of drama. I went by the University of Houston MD Anderson Library and, as I was told earlier that weekend, the Pro Life Cougars (which I am a member of – the only active Vineyardite/protestant in the group!) were out and about with their Genocide Awareness Project. That display, as shown in the film I made, had some extremely graphic pictures of genocide with a comparison to abortion. I somehow had an inkling about this when I first found out about it that protesters would come out and heckle these pro-life people. They did exactly that. They brought out coat hangers, wore coat hangers, and shouted many things at them. One I believe even threw a coat hanger at the organizers!

In hindsight, this had me a bit worried about what I was about to do: would those that approach the vehicles at Planned Parenthood be out in full force on a weekday? Would they be stupid enough and confuse me for someone whose going in for an abortion procedure? Would the folks at Planned Parenthood figure out that I was a Christian by the fact that I was a Christian who is basically trying to expose them by using their own words against them? The only way they could remotely have known this fact about me was by the fact that I had previously been there as a sidewalk counselor – someone who tries to convince women not to have an abortion or get a pregnancy test at Planned Parenthood. Also, if their car people were out and about, they may figure out my faith by what I was blasting (usually Amy Grant when it comes to Christian music) on my ipod through the speakers.

There were so many questions on my mind.

However, it is during these times that a Christian woman must rely on one thing: faith. So before I went, not only did I let friends know what I was doing so they could pray for me, such as the members of the Pro Life Cougars, my friend Rachel, my parents, and a few others. I believe I also told some of the members of my lifegroup – but not many because I wanted to be apolitical with them.

So I walked into the building with camera and tripod in tow. I met up with Rochelle and Laura Leona, the Public Relations specialists at Planned Parenthood. But first, I was met with a metal detector, which my camera set off. As they were looking through my stuff, I looked around and saw a picture painting of children. I thought to myself “how ironic” – but not in a good way. I also saw the lady manning the front desk and the security guard, also a woman. I could not help but think that these women, by working at this place, are nothing but traitors to their own sex. They are inflicting more pain than healing.

I also noticed, in the words of Juno MacDuff, that the place “smelled like a doctors office.” Also, I noticed a disturbing amount of pictures of happy pregnant women and families. I kept thinking, “doesn’t this defeat the purpose of your existence?”

Interviewing Rochelle, the spokesperson, I felt like I was interviewing a Nazi. They thought they were doing a public service, but in reality were doing much more harm than good. It was sorta like having the devil in disguise in your midst – you never trust a deceiver.

So after the interview, I went back to UH so I could show some of the footage to my friend Kristine and the rest of the Pro Life Cougars at the Catholic Newman Center. We discussed what went on in our various places.

The next day, I stopped by the Genocide Awareness Project so I could film. The protesting and tension was just as tense as ever! So I decided to interview the protesters. One guy was literally getting into my face as I was speaking to him. Unpleasant, yes, but it made for a great interview. However, he turned out to be a rather nice guy even if we didn’t agree on the subject matter.

Finally, I had to turn in the raw footage – or at least let my professor see it. I saw him flinch when he saw the footage! However, when I turned in the final edited project, he gave me a C. I don’t know if it was because it was late or because he didn’t agree with my stance. I think it’s the latter because he basically slammed everyone’s project. However, the funny thing was that, while editing the project, I showed it to other film students and they seemed to like it. It flowed well and looked current – like something you would see on Mtv or Fuse.

Overall, it was a journey that I will never forget. However, I hope it opened many eyes to the horror and travesty of this procedure.


transcripted interview with Christine Kasper of Houston Coalition for life December 10, 2009

Filed under: abortion,controversial stuff — Christina Lynn Hildebrand @ 12:11 AM

Here lies the audio interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsz12B4OINE

We were able to catch up with Christine Casper of Houston Coalition for life and we asked about what exactly happens to a woman mentally when they get an abortion procedure and what does she have to gain or lose during this procedure.

CHRISTINE KASPER: “I would say that during the actual procedure, many of the women, begin to realize the reality of what they’ve done. A lot of them are thinking of the problem and are trying to find solutions to that problem. During and immediately after the procedure a lot of women experience the loss and the emptiness of their wounds and so, at that time, I think it starts to actually sink in as to what has actually occurred.”

We also talked about the views of the church – more specifically, the Catholic Church and their views on the abortion procedure. This is what she had to say.

CHRISTINE: “I know I can speak for the teachings of the Catholic church and that is that all human life is sacred from the moment it’s conceived until natural death; and so we have to do our utmost to respect each life and to protect each life. Abortion would never be allowed in any circumstance because it is the taking of an innocent unborn human being. Of course, we have to mention too that, if and when a woman does commit an abortion that there is healing and open-arms welcoming her back because Christ offers healing no matter what we have done wrong. The Catholic Church wants to welcome those women back on to be able to accept that forgiveness and be welcomed back into the church. Abortion is considered a very serious sin, and, by doing something of that nature you are actually separating yourself from God and from the church. So you have to be reconciled with him in order to come back.”

There are also many spiritual repercussions that a woman can go through if she has an abortion procedure, which is another thing that Christine and I talked about. However, there is healing for those that get that along with the healing that the woman goes through after the abortion. More specifically, the aspects of healing, both spiritual and mental.

CHRISTINE: The pamphlet entitled “Women hurt” goes through kind of the steps of the healing process and, specifically, the 3rd step that the refer to is forgiveness from God. So typically what happens is that, what a woman will go through is a lot of feelings of guilt and shame, even staying away from church and anything having to do with God and Jesus because basically they feel that shameness. They feel that they are not welcome anymore and they think “how can God forgive me when I have done something like this. One of the important steps in the healing process is asking God for forgiveness and accepting that forgiveness. That is what is said here [in the pamphlet] that came, as a surprise is that 98% of women who are counseled after their abortion were not churched. They needed to experience divine forgiveness. They didn’t realize that they needed to experience that. Along with Alcoholics Anonymous, this is a psychological problem that, in almost every case, can only be solved by divine forgiveness. In other words, a woman who goes through with an abortion procedure; the only way that she can truly heal from this procedure is to ask God for forgiveness…”

One rather silent group that suffers from abortions is men. We took a look at how men are affected by abortions both mentally and spiritually.

CHRISTINE: “well there are certainly differences between ways that men and women grieve about the loss of their child. A lot of the symptoms that they might go through are similar. Some of the typical post-abortion syndrome symptoms for men and women could be anxiety attacks, irritability, outbursts of anger, aggressive behavior, difficulty concentrating, sleeping disorders and the list goes on and on of different situations that they could go through. Drug and alcohol abuse, suicidal thoughts, self-destructive tendencies, problems maintaining relationships. There’s all these sort of consequences that men and women [who goes through with this procedure] could experience. I think that sometimes men might carry the burden that they did not protect their woman, that they are responsible for the death of their child. A lot of times, I know in certain situations that I have talked to, men who wanted to keep their child but had no choice. Basically they were in states of anger because they couldn’t stop it and they wanted it – they missed their child. They recognize that that was their baby and they don’t want to abort their baby. So there’s a wide variety of a thing that they could do or respond upon – things they think upon: “did they want this abortion? “Did they not want this abortion to happen? It’s very difficult for the fathers as well as the mothers.”

That’s all we have for today folks. Thank you for joining our show.


The abortion debate in America December 4, 2009

Filed under: abortion,controversial stuff — Christina Lynn Hildebrand @ 9:04 PM
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Abortion and the split between what college students think on the issue December 1, 2009

Filed under: abortion,controversial stuff — Christina Lynn Hildebrand @ 11:08 PM
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Ever since Roe V. Wade deemed abortion legal, the issue on abortion has been a very divisive issue. Suprisingly, among a new generation of American Christians, the tide of the abortion debate has been somewhat divided: some believe that abortion is murder and that the government should not sanction abortion and other believe that the government has no right to interfere with a woman’s right concerning the life of her unborn child. It has, in essence, become a push-pull factor.

Some young Americans, such as University of Houston student Kristine DeMatta, still hold the view that life begins at conception, which would, in essence, make abortion a murderous act. “My mom had two miscarriages and I was the only one who was born alive.  When my mom and other women talk about their miscarriages, they mourn the loss of a child, not a clump of cells that had no significance to them.  Seeing the pain my parents went through in losing their children helped me to realize the significance of every human life, whether inside or outside the womb,” says DeMatta. “I agree with it [the idea that life begins at conception] not only because it is in Scripture, but because it is scientifically proven.  When an egg and a sperm meet, their pronuclei fuse to produce a diploid cell, containing the DNA that makes that baby unique.  Human development then begins.”

Recent University of Houston alumnus Bobby Miles also concurs. “I would consider myself mostly pro life because I value the life of a child more than the convenience of a parent. I don’t personally support abortion at all, but I think if the US required a legal hearing for each abortion (example: “your honor, I aborted my child because…”), that might be a good place to start,” says Miles.

According to the Life Advocate newspaper, at the March for Life on the Mall in Washington D.C. on January 21, 2009, about half of the pro life activists that attended the event were young highschool or college students who came in large groups. Many members of these groups made their own signs containing their own messages as well. Pro-life advocacy groups are popping up and growing fast on college campuses nationwide.  On facebook alone, the UH Pro-Life Cougars boasts 250 members from the University of Houston (and alumni) alone. Students For Life, another pro-life advocacy group, serves more than 450 pro-life student groups across the nation. Students For Life of America’s aim is to educate college students on issues concerning abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia.

Other young christians, on the other hand, are somewhat divided on the issue. “I am personally pro-life because I believe that God is sovereign and the lives he creates are sacred, even if that means the death of me.” says University of Houston student Joanna Bonner. “I am politically pro-choice because I don’t believe the government has the right to take away choices from the people.”

Other young Christians have mixed feelings about the issue. Caitlyn Grygier, a University of Houston student says that the church considers it murder, and murder is something they are fully against . . . . I think it’s a bit much to consider it murder. I don’t know what I consider it, but murder is awfully harsh. These women who get abortions struggle with the decision and are not lunatics.”

Many young American christians argue that the Bible is their justification for being pro-life, often quoting the passage in Psalms 139:13-16 which states:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I         praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are             wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was     made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,         your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in         your book before one of them came to be.”

Also, in the book of Jeremiah 1:5, it states “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

The political and even moral landscape of the Christian faith is changing. Whereas some are called to action in debates such as the abortion and right to life issue, others are either alienated or do not care.