A Volley of Valentines in Virginia - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
A Volley of Valentines in Virginia

Last month some women started a new front in their long war on men, women and children, a war with so many victims killed — and disabled in soul and body. And they lost. On February 17, Virginia state Senator Stephen H. Martin and other pro-life Virginia legislators received late valentines from the Virginia Pro-Choice Coalition asking them to give up their opposition to abortion.


I find the report of this volley of valentines in Virginia disturbing on several levels. First, I was not aware that organizations, for-profit or not-for-profit, send valentines. Valentines are meant to be sent by individuals to individuals. Second, since valentines are used to express romantic love, or affection, or at least friendship, it is wrong to send them to an opponent, much less to ask the recipient to change their sincerely held beliefs. Third, it is just plain hard to believe that valentines would be used to lobby legislators.

But at the deepest level, the use of a valentine in this instance is insulting beyond measure. Although Valentine’s Day first became associated with romantic love in Chaucer’s day, and although the custom of sending valentines did not begin until the 18th century, the name of the day was provided by one of the Christian saints. While there was more than one saint named Valentinus, the most likely to have inspired valentines was a priest in Rome during the reign of Roman emperor Claudius II (also known as Claudius Gothicus) (213-270, emperor, 268-270). He was arrested for helping Christians, most notably, by preparing them for marriage and praying with them for marriages blessed by children. He tried to convert the emperor and was subsequently tortured, stoned and beheaded.

To use valentines to try to convert recipients to be pro-abortion is utterly contrary to St. Valentine’s life, to his message to engaged and married couples… and his Gospel message to public officials. The Virginia Pro-Choice Coalition has totally dishonored the memory of St. Valentine. I call on the Coalition to make a public apology and post it on their website and Facebook pages.

The odds of the Virginia Pro-Choice Coalition being successful in obtaining Senator Martin’s surrender were nil. Some 40 years ago, of course, there were some defectors from the pro-life camp, such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., and the late Senator Ted Kennedy, but in recent decades it has been the pro-abortionists who have converted, not the other way around. Numbered among these converts are the late Dr. Bernard Nathanson (1926-2011) who killed thousands of unborn children, and Norma McCorvey who was the plaintiff in Roe v. Wade. The Pro-Life Action League hosts conferences giving these converts a public platform. The pro-life movement recognizes the admonition of St. Augustine (354-430 A.D.), bishop of Hippo, in his famous book City of God 4-430 A.D.), for Christian readers to be careful about how they treat the enemy because of our fervent hope that they will become one of us – as Augustine himself, a convert, had become.

That admonition of Augustine did not restrain him, however, from calling the views of his opponents as “stupid” and other such adjectives. Thus, Senator Martin replied to the valentine with a post on his Facebook page to needle the pro-abortionists, calling pregnant women “hosts.” He wrote: “…once a child…exist[s] in your womb, I’m not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child’s host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn’t want it.”

Blinded by their ideology, pro-abortionists struck back. Four women state Senators, all members of the Abortion Party, Democrats (Barbara A. Favola, Janet D. Howell, Mamie E. Locke, L. Louise Lucas), took to the floor of the Senate, with women from Planned Parenthood of Virginia and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia in the gallery supporting them by wearing shirts that read “Not a Host” (above) to criticize Martin as “misogynistic,” “demeaning,” and demonstrating “total lack of respect for women and lack of respect for their bodies.” Martin retorted that his Facebook post had been “playing back” their view of women; they weren’t his views.

Martin was right of course. The pro-abortionists don’t object to the concept; their beef was limited to Martin’s choice of words. Washington Post columnist Petula Dvorak proved Martin’s point. In a February 27 column, she didn’t object to the term “host.” Rather, she accepted it as an apt term because, she wrote, a pregnant woman was a host(ess) or a slave to an “invader,” to “a demanding unseen stranger” — even when the child was deliberately obtained through advances in reproductive technology. (Contrary to medical ethics, science and terminology, Dvorak used the word “mother” to refer only to a woman who has successfully delivered a child.)

Dvorak’s only objection was that Senator Martin had talked about women’s bodies when, she wrote, there are more important issues. She conveniently never mentioned the fact that Senator Martin’s Facebook post was a response. The webpages of the pro-abortion groups that criticize Senator Martin’s use of the term “host” also do not mention that his Facebook post was a response.

A pregnant woman is either a host carrying a parasite (the pro-abortion word), or fetus, or products of conception, or a mother. So, there you have it. State Senators Favola, Howell, Locke, and Lucas, Planned Parenthood, and NARAL, all agree with Senator Martin. A pregnant woman is not a host. If she is not a host, she is a mother… a mother of a child. And Senator Martin won that concession from them.

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