Archive for Thursday, June 23, 2011

Author discusses book about abortion debate in Kansas

KU grad’s work, ‘The Wichita Divide,’ focuses on murder of George Tiller

June 23, 2011


There’s a new American civil war taking place, and abortion rights are at the center of it all.

That’s the message New York Times best-selling author Stephen Singular relayed to Lawrence residents Wednesday evening at Carnegie Library, 200 W. Ninth St.

“There’s this underlying battle over the values of what type of society we’re going to live in,” Singular said. “It’s a profound argument.”

That battle has been front and center in Kansas recently, with new abortion clinic regulations threatening to shut down the state’s three clinics.

Singular, a Kansas native, talked about the process of writing and knowledge gained through his new book, “The Wichita Divide.” The nonfiction work focuses on the murder of George Tiller and the history of the battle concerning abortion and women’s reproductive rights. Singular has been following the abortion debate for more than two decades and said he’s been shocked by the number of anti-abortion bills that have been written and passed in the last few years.

Holly Weatherford, program director for American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Western Missouri, agreed the 2011 legislative session in Kansas had been detrimental to health rights.

“It was a brutal assault on women’s health care,” she said.

Wednesday night’s crowd was without representation from the anti-abortion side of the debate.

Singular acknowledged the dark and difficult nature of the discussion of abortion but said it was a conversation that needed to be had more often.

“I think there comes a time when you need to speak up and you need to speak out,” he said. “If you don’t articulate it that can be the start of a process that’s not healthy and not good.”

Singular said the reception he’s received about his book has not been positive. The author said that he was not invited to speak in Kansas City and that his book was not being reviewed or taken seriously, despite his passion and commitment to the issue. A Kansas University graduate, Singular said being slighted encouraged him to be that much louder about the issue.

KU student Haley Miller attended the event Wednesday and said she believed the debate in politics about abortion was more of a common sense issue to her.

“I’ve always felt that it’s necessary for a woman to control her reproductive health,” Miller said.

Singular left those in attendance with a simple message to stand up for what they believed in.

“If you truly believe in freedom,” Singular said, “that means the freedom of people to make good decisions, bad decisions, right decisions, wrong decisions, and live with the consequences.”


kansanjayhawk 6 years, 10 months ago

Now the question: Why was the pro-life side of the debate "without representation" and how is it that the Weatherford from ACLU can claim the new laws are "a brutal assault on women's health care" when, in fact, all the new laws do is protect women from dirty and unsanitary conditions at the clinics? Remember when Bill Clinton said "safe" "legal" and "rare"? Well these new laws are designed to ensure that the medical conditions are at least min. "safe" for the woman. The clinics, of course, are never safe for the unborn child who has his life snuffed out!

Bob Forer 6 years, 10 months ago

I was taught to keep religious views to yourself.

Armored_One 6 years, 10 months ago

Faith and belief are very personal things, and while some people migh have no qualms about discussing their innermost views on life, not everyone in the world is so inclined.

Would you enjoy a Muslim browbeating you as to why Allah is the way to go, or perhaps the Wiccan reciting the rede in your ear until you are ready to pinch someone's head off?

Religion and politics are two topics that should never be discussed in mixed company, simply because it is rude to inflict your views on someone without knowing if they'd appreciate your commentary.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 10 months ago

Well guess what alot of us don't believe that we have to keep our "religious views to ourself". In fact, we believe that the problem with our society is that we have allowed "political correctness" to limit our freedom of religion! Which we are now realizing we need to actively use to engage the secular humanist onslaught against American traditions!

beatrice 6 years, 10 months ago

In what way has your freedom of religion been limited? Who is saying you can't believe as you choose? I sure would like to see you answer this.

Has anyone demanded that churches be closed? No. Have we put those who go door to door to tell others they are going to hell in jail for spreading their religious views? No. Are you allowed to believe in what ever god you choose? Yes.

You are mistaking your right to religious freedom with your desire to have society conform to your religious views. Well guess what, not all of us share your views and refuse to live OUR lives based on YOUR religion. The fact that you can't see this is where we have a problem.

xclusive85 6 years, 10 months ago

Jesse, do you have a list of the new regulations? I read through the bill that was passed, but it doesn't have specific regulations, just that regulations will be made concerning certain issues.

Jimo 6 years, 10 months ago

"dirty and unsanitary"?

That a deep-fried Kool-aid Pop you're slurping down there. Next, you'll be telling us that we must address the critical threat of voter fraud by discouraging people from voting.

d28bob 6 years, 10 months ago

You probably thought the signs that said "This way to the showers" at Auschwitz were just put there to help people get clean? And that the recent Kansas law changing from parental consent for minors to the new requirement of having notarized consent from both parents is a good thing? With no exceptions for incest or rape? How's that gonna work when Daddy or stepdaddy was the cause and 14 year old Virginia needs his notarized permission to end her ordeal?

Steve was right - the abortion debate is NOT about when life begins, it's about power - the power of men and their sycophants to control the lives of those who have less power. Nothing more, nothing less. Until we use our power as voters to chuck the Religious Right out of politics, we deserve to have them dictate what we do according to their twisted views of God.

Liberal (proud to be one) is rooted in the Latin word for freedom. Those who threw off the chains of British tyranny were NOT conservatives! Change is part of life, and liberals are comfortable with change. Conservatives fear change, and want to return us to a mythical past when prayers were mandatory in public schools, minorities had their own drinking fountains, gays were back in the closet, and abortions were dangerous and illegal.

We will be free until we surrender our rights and freedoms to those who promise security in exchange for the ability to control our lives for us. What's the matter with Kansas?

imastinker 6 years, 10 months ago

It is about power, the power of women and their sycophants to control the lives of those who have less power.

verity 6 years, 10 months ago

"Steve was right - the abortion debate is NOT about when life begins, it's about power - the power of men and their sycophants to control the lives of those who have less power. Nothing more, nothing less."


MyName 6 years, 10 months ago

Probably they left when they found out that they were actually supposed to 1) talk about the issues, 2) civilly, and 3) weren't allowed any visual aids.

d28bob 6 years, 10 months ago

Tuesday night in Kansas City Singular said, "We have the worst financial crisis in our lifetimes, environmental challenges that are being ignored, and are fighting two wars for a decade now and the Congress almost shut down the government over abortion restrictions. There were no weapons of mass destruction but there are weapons of mass distraction."

There is an entire generation of women who grew up with Roe v Wade as the law of the land, and have no memory of a time when abortion was dangerous and illegal.They don't realize that there are forces which want to take us back to those days, and who won't stop until women are forced to carry all pregnancies to term. Freedoms are not God-given, they are the result of struggle and sacrifice.

Every woman, every feminist should read this book and think. When people such as the Attorney General of Kansas are willing to break the law because they claim that their version of God's law trumps man's law, we are all in danger. WAKE UP!

Bob Forer 6 years, 10 months ago

"Freedoms are not God-given, they are the result of struggle and sacrifice."

Absolutely,. But it goes beyond just women and the right to an abortion. Seems like many of the freedoms--not just the right to control one's body--that my parents and other members of the "Greatest Generation" fought for, are slowly being eroded.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 10 months ago

That is one view--however-- many of us believe that freedom comes from God and the natural laws of God. I believe that if you will read the writings of our nations founding fathers you will find that they believed this.

Corey Williams 6 years, 10 months ago

"freedom comes from God" Ok. If you believe in god, then you must also believe that god created the marijuana plant. Why? And where is our freedom to indulge in one of god's creations?

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 10 months ago

so you will be out of your mind and unable to be a productive member of society?...

Armored_One 6 years, 10 months ago

So you are saying that God picked up a musket? LOL

By saying that freedom comes from God and the natural laws of God, you are in fact revoking the right for others to worship as they wish, since they have laws that are not addressed in the Bible.

You, sir/madam, are the true threat to religious freedom in this country, as are any that are willing to stand up and say "My God is right and your's is wrong."

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 10 months ago

Not saying that at all. Each persons religious beliefs are protected but that does not stop the one from having beliefs about where are freedom came from. When one starts to restrict your beliefs then you can make those accusations.!

Jimo 6 years, 10 months ago


I keep getting emails about Kansas abortion laws from acquaintances around the country and the world. Unfortunately, I don't have a source of Kansas news other than LJW so I'm usually a bit hand-tied in answering people's questions.

So ... where's the big story in the LJW about the Kansas abortion big story?

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 10 months ago

I guess rats in the hallway and unsanitary conditions are o k with liberals?

beatrice 6 years, 10 months ago

So either you meet the new standards or you are ok with rats and unsanitary conditions. Got it.

Does your church meet the standards set in these guidelines? I guess they must be okay with rats and unsanitary conditions then.

In other words, your hyperbolic argument is just silly.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 10 months ago

If my Church is doing surgery then "yes" it should meet the guidelines.

Linda Endicott 6 years, 10 months ago

I'm pretty sure the health department would have a lot to say about your church having rats and unsanitary conditions, whether you perform surgery there or not...

Armored_One 6 years, 10 months ago

As I have had it explained to me by biologists, a miscarriage is the body's way of performing a natural abortion, although I was repeatedly told that it is also a very simplistic overview of the process.

If the woman's body rejects a fetus, who do we charge for the murder, if life begins at conception?

Granted, women have no more control over a miscarriage than they do over the elliptic of the Earth, but if her body is allowed to make that choice, and she is supposedly accountable for her actions, both intentional and accidental, then should a miscarriage be listed as manslaughter?

I'm just asking since this is all about when life begins and all that nonsense.

Leave Roe vs. Wade alone and actually enforce it the way it was written. Regulate them the same way you would a lyposuction clinic, since both are actually elective procedures. Draw actual lines in the sand, namely before X number of weeks, an abortion is completely the choice of the woman. After Y weeks, cause should be shown, and after Z weeks, unless her health is in jeopardy, no abortion at all. I'd suggest that viability without the need for drastic life saving measures would be the guideline for Z, which is what, 24 weeks, or something along those lines?

If you can't make up your mind within 6 months, then another 3 months, give or take, shouldn't be an issue. But within 10-12 weeks, I don't see as it should be anyone's concern other than those that are in her immediate circle of family, namely the sperm donor, her parents and the woman.

If you write laws for abortion based on only one religion, that does break the Constituition.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.

Yes, that is not the whole passage, but it is right there at the very beginning because it is so blasted important. Are Muslims being consulted over this debaucle, or the Buddhists, Wiccans or basically any other recognized religion in this country?

Everybody gets so blasted up in arms over the concept of Sharia Laws, but no one except those of us who think the Constitution should trump it all is bothered about the Christian God being shoved down everyone's throat.

The Constitution, just like the Bible, should not be taken in bits and pieces. The whole blasted thing is there for ALL of us. It's not a doormat and it is not toilet paper. Stop using it as either of those things and use it for what it was intended.

But that first part is tantamount to everything else. Laws written on the basis of only one religion, no matter what the reason, are wrong, from start to finish. If you are unwilling to accept a Sharia Law, then don't force someone to abide by your own version.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 10 months ago

Once again it is important to remember that prior to Roe almost all of the states prohibited abortion or it was placed under strict regulations. Most states continued the common-law tradition of viewing abortion as part of the criminal code--a criminal act--against nature. These states were not a part of some "religious taliban" etc. but were a part of the American legal position of outlawing aboriton. Lets return to that by allowing states to make their own law on the issue of abortion.

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