Thursday, April 17, 2008

I Get Mail

Yesterday, I received the following email:

Dear friend,

According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, approximately 1 out of 3 women in the United States will have had an abortion by age 45. You may be surprised, as were we; but it’s fair to say that the majority of Americans have either had an abortion or know someone who has experienced an abortion.

“Abortion” – the word stopped you for a moment, didn’t it?

Typically, the reactions that surround this word impede any reasonable discussion on the topic, especially the real feelings of those who have been touched by an abortion experience.

Please keep reading.

After 35 years of polarization and judgment, Michaelene Fredenburg is looking to change this. Using the Internet to provide a confidential space and support resources, Michaelene has created a safe environment for men and women who have been touched by an abortion experience. And she can relate to what they need. She’s been there.

The outreach Michaelene created acknowledges that each person’s abortion experience is unique - some positive, some indifferent, some negative. However, a common thread weaves through every story. It is this common thread that has created the outreach’s name - Abortion Changes You. These are words echoed by the hundreds of people Michaelene has spoken with over the years whose lives have been touched by an abortion experience.

I invite you to visit AbortionChangesYou.com. I am certain you will be surprised by the experience. After visiting the website and exploring the interactive content and amazing drawings, poems and stories that have been contributed, people from different abortion perspectives have remarked that it’s a “breath of fresh air.” This is not about debate. It’s about personal experiences that people have regardless of their beliefs or political views on abortion. The link to the movie mail is as follows: www.abortionchangesyou.com/aboutus. I also encourage you to visit www.abortionchangesyouresources.com to download the movie and banner ads for use on your blog.

Michaelene has also authored a book that will be released in early May. Changed: Making Sense of Your Own or a Loved One’s Abortion Experience is as unique as the Abortion Changes You outreach. Combining a collection of very different stories from people who have had an abortion experience with creative elements such as the Healing Pathways and a journaling component, this book creates a new standard for issue-inspired literature. These stories come from both men and women and provide a rare expression of feelings and perspectives following an abortion experience.

“Abortion” – it doesn’t have to be a word we avoid. This is a real opportunity for a conversation with your audience that will inspire, encourage and equip them.

Best,

Andrew Long

Sound friendly enough, doesn't it? Well, given my clear stance on abortion and my record vehemently defending choice, I was both skeptical and curious. Just who is Michaelene Fredenburg?

Turns out, she is an anti-choice activist from San Diego who is one of the darlings of Lifesite and folks like Jill Stanek. Hardly the person to change "35 years of polarization and judgment" - she has been one of the causes of it. Check out even a small number of those sites from the Google search - she is anti-choice and fighting for an end to a woman's choice in the US.

My reply:


Mr. Long,

With all due respect, please do not try to peddle your dishonesty with me. It only took me a few minutes on Google to find out who Michaelene Fredenburg is. It did not take long for me to discover she - and you, I assume - is nothing more than an anti-choice activist trying to peddle the unfounded nonsense about abortion causing mental anguish in people like fathers who don't actually have abortions. I suppose you have to grasp at something now that the abortion-breast cancer link has been proven completely false.

In other words, stop using stealth and subterfuge to try to force your agenda and opinions on people. Stop trying to "trick" people into thinking you and your organization are something you are not. You are an anti-choice organization but you know saying that will get you (rightly) ignored.

In my books, that makes you and your organization nothing but liars and cowards.

I am proudly and fiercely pro-choice. If you don't think abortion is right, don't have one. That is your choice.

I promise you that if you or anyone else tries to tell my daughter or wife what they can or cannot do with their bodies, you will be resisted and fought by any means necessary. Freedom of choice and security of the person are not negotiable.

Please do not contact me again with your lies. Your email address is being added to my spam filter. That is the price of dishonesty. I'll ask you to kindly remove my email from any lists you may have.

Good day.



And Mr. Longs quick reply back:

You completely missed the point of the email, and the nature of the outreach. It’s not about anti-choice –- it’s about pro-choice – and about some of those pro-choice people who may need help after an abortion.

I’m sorry your own personal agenda clouds something good. I couldn’t find the will not to respond, but out of respect I will remove your email address and you will not be contacted again.

And my final reply to him:

"and about some of those pro-choice people who may need help after an abortion.
"

Right, by someone so openly anti-choice that she is the favourite of the so-called "pro-life" sites and has testified before the US House of Representatives about her anti-choice views?

You really don't know when to stop lying?

No, I didn't miss the point of the email at all.

Good day.


Yes, once again another attempt at trickery and subterfuge. Another example of dishonesty and outright lies to further their own "personal agenda". Clearly honesty and ethics is something these people know nothing about.

And Andrew Long? Who is he?

Why Mr. Long is the Production Coordinator with the Maximus Group. Who are the Maximus Group? Why they are a "specialized and full-service communications marketing agency" who sell PR marketing of "Catholic or other authentically Christian products/messages to the secular world".

It seems then, based on all of this, that this email was part of a paid PR campaign to spread and promote a specious, unfounded connection between abortion and mental health of both women AND men, via stealth and subterfuge - by seeming to be part of a supposedly non-partisan group that is, in reality, the whole cloth creation of the Catholic anti-choice movement.

So, beware. And if you receive (or have received) a similar email from Mr. Long (or one of his co-workers) , be sure to let him know we are on to them.

I'll say it again, just to be really clear:

If you don't think abortion is right, don't have one. Feel free to do all you can to make the choices other than abortion the one chosen. Just stop thinking you can tell other people what they can do with their body and stop lying about your true position and intent.

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15 Comments:

At 1:45 PM, Blogger jj said...

Good work!

I am curious as to why you were targeted with this thing, given that your pro-choice stance is absolutely clear. I wonder what they're up to this time.

It's profoundly interesting that they have the money to waste on BS like "messages to the secular world" that are really stealth attacks on womens' rights, when kids are going to school without breakfast right here in Canada.

 
At 1:53 PM, Blogger Mike said...

JJ,

I was wondering that myself. I mean, its not like I'm being subtle or anything - more than once I have promised to use force of arms to defend the right to choose, if needed.

I suspect that I got this because the last time this nonsense about "male victims of abortion" came up over at BnR, I talked about supposedly being the father of a fetus aborted by an ex-girlfriend. I guess that make me a target demographic. Perhaps they thought I could be 'turned' with some sneaky subterfuge and persuasion.

Or they could just be really stupid.

Personally I'm not sure which is more likely, though I lean to stupid.

The implication is they are trolling pro-choice sites looking for marks, and gathering email addresses.

Looking for targets?

 
At 2:54 PM, Anonymous Flash said...

Well spoken, sir.
My wife and I have had the experience of an abortion early in our marriage, and it was a difficult choice to make - the right one, as it turns out, as she was subsequently diagnosed with a chronic disease with a genetic component.
The point is, it was a realistic and necessary choice, a hard-won right, and one that we should never take for granted. Letting the ignorance of people like that just wash over us is the sure path to drowning in ignorance in the future.

 
At 3:40 PM, Blogger skdadl said...

Well said, Mike. Sometimes as I'm reading along through their sentimental glurge, I start to feel sorry for people who transfer their real feelings and frustrations to campaigns like this. But then I see the calculated dishonesty that you have outlined so well, and I recover my senses.

 
At 4:15 PM, Blogger Mike said...

skdadl,

I was willing to give this woman the benefit of the doubt until I read one of her "testimonies" where she claimed to have had second thought about her abortion and was forced to go through it anyway, with the doctor shouting "Shut her up!".

Sorry, but that, without any evidence to back it up, is bullshit. My sister is a nurse in the US and they don't give an aspirin without consent - they could be sued six way to Sunday.

If that were true, she was the victim of an assault causing grievous bodily harm. So why doesn't she name the doctor? Why doesn't she name the hospital or the clinic? Why doesn't she lay charges against the doctor and the nurses? Why doesn't she file suit against them all?

That would be invaluable in her efforts, I would think, if it really happened.

Call me cold hearted, but I don't think that happened at all. I don't believe her.

I suspect that she is simply feeling guilty because she had an abortion and feels guilty, and this story makes her feel better. She doesn't take action because it would reveal the truth - that she did it without changing her mind.

Plus 'forced abortion' is good anti-choice propaganda.

I feel sorry for a bout a minute until the depths of the dishonesty sink in. Then I despise them.

 
At 9:52 PM, Blogger rww said...

I received that e-mail too and I thought I was "special". It may have targeted all bloggers or bloggers who used the term "abortion" in their blogs.

 
At 3:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah yes, the so-called 'libertarian' who was once a 'socialist' denies that anyone can have their opinions, or motives, changed over time.

Funny. Hows that pot doing, kettle?

 
At 4:07 PM, Blogger Mike said...

I dunno anon, who here is denying that motives can change over time?

This letter is an outright deception and fraud.

It is a stealth attempt by a group of fundamentalist Catholics to make their position sound like something it is not.

I have to wonder why they can't be honest. Lyin for Jesus again.

Dandy strawman, and, as is usually from my anonymous trolls, totally irrelevant.

Go back to No-Libs with the other fascists.

 
At 1:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah yes, the guy claiming that someone quite literally offering help to others is actually "part of a paid PR campaign to spread and promote a specious, unfounded connection between abortion and mental health of both women AND men, via stealth and subterfuge - by seeming to be part of a supposedly non-partisan group that is, in reality, the whole cloth creation of the Catholic anti-choice movement." and then labels me as a "fascist".

Real grown up. Hows the NDP membership coming?

 
At 4:22 PM, Blogger Mike said...

I justified my reasoning. I stand by that statement because it is true. If you don't like it, show it to be untrue - refute my reasoning.

At least its more grown up than commenting anonymously on blogs by knocking down straw men.

 
At 3:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about this reasoning:

I recieved a message from Mike who states that the governemnt needs to be removed from all aspects of out lives and invited me to read his website where he posts stories about the immoral actions of others in name of the common good.

However, it only took me a few seconds to find out who Mike really is, a card carrying member of the NDP!

What a liar! Fraud!

Your logic is incredibly poor. Either peoples' opinions can change over time. Or once an NDP'er, forever an NDP'er.

Judging by the company you keep, you believe the second is true?

 
At 4:01 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Flawed as usual there anon (or Richard or whomever you really are).

I received a message from a person that stated I should go to a website about abortion. This website is based on the premise that abortion is a traumatic event for people other than the woman, a claim which is patently false, and also a common ruse among those who want to re-ciminalize abortion (along with bogus breast cancer links).

It further quotes a woman who is well known as a Catholic anti-choice advocate who testified before Congress to these views and still runs an anti-choice organization in San Diego. I was contacted by a person who is a marketing manager for a PR firm that specializes in Christian messaging, and Catholic policy PR in particular. Nowhere did I find any information that this woman ever changed her mind about abortion - she is still celebrated on places like Lifesite, and various radical Catholic blogs. There is not a peep or word she is anything other than what she has said she is for years - a Catholic anti-choice crusader.

It is well known and easily verifiable that I am not a member of the NDP nor have I been for almost 18 months. I am, in fact NOT a "card carrying member of the NDP"...I belong to no party and quite proudly and regularly says so. I haven't been on the Blogging Dippers for a year.

So, on one hand you have lots of evidence that I am no longer an NDP member (and if you Google, you'll see that) and have changed and on the other hand we have absolutely no evidence that this person has changed - either through her words or the words of others. None. In fact, given the circumstance of the mail, it is likely the person hasn't changed at all.

Yet somehow you think the logic is the same? I can only assume that your truly are an idiot then.

 
At 12:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This website is based on the premise that abortion is a traumatic event for people other than the woman, a claim which is patently false

Ah yes, here is the self professed 'libertarian' deciding that he is the final arbitrater in such matters.

Only Mike knows the truth.

So, on one hand you have lots of evidence that I am no longer an NDP member (and if you Google, you'll see that) and have changed and on the other hand we have absolutely no evidence that this person has changed - either through her words or the words of others

Ah yes, except for the prima facies evidence of the website itself.

But again, you have already determined that you, and only you, hold the truth of these matters.

Such an NDP-like viewpoint. I wonder why I am not surprised.

If I follow your logic, it's very easy for me to conclude that you are very much still an NDP supporter, as your ideologies and actions against others certainly indicate such. And as a "rational reasons" style "libertarian" I hold the final say on these matters.

 
At 10:18 AM, Anonymous Mike in Brooklyn said...

Thanks for your research. I saw an ad on the NYC subway, read the vague but emotionally charged website and was suspicious. It's not their message or opinion so much, it's the deception that ticks me off.

 
At 12:53 PM, Anonymous deBeauxOs said...

Mike, thank you for reminding of this blog post. I read it back in May, but had forgotten where I originally heard about this tactic.

Excellent blog!

 

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