Monthly Archives: June 2013

The Pro-Life Generation is not on Tumblr


I’m disgusted.

Background: I got a tumblr just to see what it was like. My best friend from high school virtually-introduced me to new people who I’m now following. (No, I’m not telling you my tumblr URL, it’s attached to real me and we’re not going there.) Anyway, these new people seem to think that “abortion rights” is synonymous with “women’s health” and is a good thing.

Because everyone seems to think that this bill is about banning abortion in Texas (TEXAS, people, why the hell are you messing with Texas), I did some research. And I went to known left-leaning media sites for my information because I know that they’ll report the bare minimum of the bill and then emphasize its terrible results.

From Huffington Post:

The bill would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy and force many clinics that perform the procedure to upgrade their facilities and be classified as ambulatory surgical centers. Also, doctors would be required to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles – a tall order in rural communities.

“If this passes, abortion would be virtually banned in the state of Texas, and many women could be forced to resort to dangerous and unsafe measures,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund and daughter of the late former Texas governor Ann Richards.

From CNN:

The bill would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and tighten standards on abortion clinics and the doctors who work at them. Critics say it would shut most of the abortion clinics in Texas.

From the New York Times:

The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, require abortion clinics to meet the same standards that hospital-style surgical centers do, and mandate that a doctor who performs abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

NPR, while it glossed all of those facts completely and focused solely on the “banned after 20 weeks of pregnancy,” did give me the name of the bill: SB 5. So I looked that up, too.

This is the full text of the bill which was discussed. And its amendments are here. I’m going to try to sift through the legalese and summarize the bill article by article.

Section 1: Requirements of a Physician

-Physician must have admitting privileges at a hospital with OB/GYN facilities within 30 miles of the clinic

-Physician must provide a way to contact him in the event of complications and give the woman the name, address, and phone number of the hospital nearest to her, also in the event of complications

Section 2: On Abortions After 20 Weeks

-Physicians may not induce/perform abortions at or after 20 weeks post-fertilization

-Physicians must determine gestational age of unborn child before performing/inducing abortion

-Exceptions: immediate medical emergencies threatening the life of the mother

Section 3: On Abortion-Inducing Drugs

-Abortion-inducing drugs may only be administered/prescribed by a physician

-If the physician is administering the drug, both physician and patient must be present at a registered clinic

-If the patient is administering the drug, she must follow the directions

-None of this applies to actual medical problems (ectopic pregnancy, extraction of miscarriage, pre-existing medical conditions in the mother which require treatment)

-Physician must give patient the label of the drug (with all its facts, dosage, warnings, etc)

-Physician must do a follow-up with the patient post-administration/use of the drug within 14 days to confirm the abortion and assess the bleeding

-Physician must show reasonable effort in ensuring the patient makes the follow-up appointment

-If the patient has a severe adverse effect in response to the drug and physician knows, physician must report it to MedWatch

Section 4: Health and Safety Code [effective September 1, 2014]

-Abortion clinics must meet standards of ambulatory surgical centers

Section 5: Health and Safety Code

-Lists requirements of physician’s report

Section 6: Occupations Code

-Lists all the ways a physician can have his license revoked

Section 7: Occupations Code

-(I’m not sure. Possibly just embellishes the ramifications of Section 6.)

Section 8:

-repeals a part of the Health and Safety Code which wasn’t present in either document found

Section 9:

-Clarification and ass-covering

Section 10:

-Mention of precedent, more legalese

Sections 11 and 12:


And now we read this summary. Let’s see… bans abortions after 20 weeks. Yes, that would send “feminists” into a snit. The rest? Welcome to the medical world, abortion clinics. You wanted to be taken seriously? Now deal with the fact that you have to comply with medical standards. Your clinics must meet the standards of an outpatient surgery centre. Nothing earth-shattering there. Your physicians must have admitting privileges to an OB/GYN-equipped hospital within 30 miles–this is in case of complications. This also makes sense. Also in case of complications, patients know where their nearest hospital is and where/how to reach their physician. Unreasonable? This is par for the course. Physicians must do follow-ups. Also normal. If the drugs fail horrifically, they need to be reported–I would HOPE so. That’s the whole point of the FDA.

Oh, and the ban on late-term abortions is flexible:

If Subchapter C, Chapter 171, Health and Safety Code, as added by this Act, prohibiting abortions performed on an unborn child 20 or more weeks after fertilization is found by any court to be invalid or to impose an undue burden as applied to any person, group of persons, or circumstances, the prohibition shall apply to that person or group of persons or circumstances on the earliest date on which the subchapter can be constitutionally applied.

Being pro-life myself, I really don’t like the loose wording and enormous amount of loopholes here. However, if requiring the standards of abortion clinics to meet those of outpatient facilities will cause almost all of them to close, then clearly you’re doing something wrong in the first place. Get used to regular inspections. Get used to high sanitation. And get the hell over it because if you’re performing surgeries and expect your patients to walk out of there later that day, then these things are fully expected and exactly normal.


Temporary Discalcement


I feel like “temporary discalcement” could be a band name. But that’s not the point of this post.


My trusty sandals. Still wet from my morning walk to studio.

As I may have mentioned in passing, I’m spending my summer living between two houses, spending almost exactly half the week at each place. One is home-home. The other is just a house where I’m renting a room for the summer. I travel every week, and I’m always back at my house for the weekends, so I’m constantly figuring out ways to pack lighter and faster and tighter. The first thing I did was to ditch the idea of packing shoes. If I decided I were going to pack shoes, I’d have to actually choose which shoes I was going to pack, and I’m way too fond of my shoes to have to decide. So I just wear my sandals everywhere–they’re flat and comfortable and got me through a week’s worth of walking in Italy three years ago.

It has rained almost non-stop for the past two weeks. The first week I was living like this, it was sunny and hot. I don’t like hot, so I am happy about the coolness and the opportunity to wear sweaters and long sleeves, but man… my feet are SOAKED. ALL THE TIME.

This whole situation is giving me a lot of respect for the discalced religious orders. I really, really hate having wet feet. (Wet, icky feet are even worse–and sandals let in a lot of crud, so that happens way too often.) But I’m learning to deal with it and offer it up. Now my joke is that I’m a third-order discalced, even though I’m neither a religious nor a third-order and I’m fairly sure a discalced third-order doesn’t exist. It’s still fun to think about though.

And so, on this cold and grey and rainy day, I close with a picture of my umbrella which I took because it looked pretty darned awesome.DSCF4053

The center of the house


According to Frank Lloyd Wright, the hearth is the center of the household.

According to a quick Facebook poll I took recently, the kitchen is–or wherever food is prepared. One person suggested the TV room, but the overwhelming response was the kitchen.

I’m inclined to agree with kitchen, primarily, simply because my family gathers in the kitchen to cook and eat and it’s directly on axis with the front door when you enter, so we frequently entertain in it as well. Also, the kitchen is where most families eat dinner, and eating together–maybe not as a whole family [1] but still in some kind of group–is a very common thing.

However, I see the argument for the TV room. At the house where I’m living for half the summer, we gather in the TV room to watch things and chat about them. Since beginning my time in this house, I have seen lots of things I wouldn’t hunt down myself: like Game of Thrones [2] or Mean Girls [3]. However, we did watch My Neighbour Totoro one day and that was pretty awesome. Nonetheless, I really enjoy getting a chance to just hang out with my housemates, even if I don’t often approve of their taste. But that’s a younger-generation thing to do, to gather in front of the TV, as far as I know. If we eat dinner as a house, though, we eat in the kitchen. It’s still a gathering place.

It makes sense for the place where bread is broken together to be the center of the house. In a sense, it’s the center of the Faith–the Eucharist [4]. House/family dinner is a chance for everyone to catch up with each other. The Eucharist is a chance for all the faithful to pray together, offering their prayers for each other. Because the Eucharistic Sacrifice exists outside of harmonic/monotonous time as we know it but is rather always happening at every moment, every time we witness it we are glimpsing the community of Heaven–and catching up with our heavenly Family. I can go to Mass on Saturday night and I will be praying with my friend who attends Mass on Sunday morning. We are united beyond time and space.

1. It’s a sad thing that many families don’t eat all together any more.

2. My best friend from high school calls it Boobs and Dragons. I’d be more inclined to call it Boobs and Violence, since I’m only in it for the dragons and they really don’t show up often enough to make it worthwhile.

3. Avoided this like the plague because I’d had horrific experiences during middle school. Lots of cultural references make sense now but it wasn’t all that good.

4. I know it’s MUCH more than just breaking bread together–but the communal meal is still a valid aspect, albeit played up way too much by feel-goods.

Re-charging one’s “batteries”


One of my friends asked me the other day if I meditated. I asked for what purpose would I meditate? She said she didn’t know, if I ever needed some peace of mind or something. I said that if I need quiet time, I go someplace beautiful and spend time there. Pretty churches work best because then I’m surrounded by beauty and by God’s presence.

I discovered over this past year that I really, truly, desperately need to be regularly exposed to lots of beauty. The Catholic Center on campus is a little… well, it’s kind of drab and boring, like many Catholic Centers of secular universities. And while the Sacrifice is the same wherever you go, as a fallen human being, I often need external stimulation. My way of doing so is enjoying beauty.

For others, they may have different ways of “re-charging” and “re-focusing” whenever they need it. My theory is that so long as you’re within the Transcendentals–Goodness, Truth, or Beauty–you’re in good shape. So if your “thing” is working at a soup kitchen (Good) or reading up on apologetics (Truth) or spending time surrounded by icons (Beauty), or any variation thereof, you’ve found your way to talk to God.

A gorgeous German Gothic church from my home diocese