Wednesday, November 30, 2005

LifeLinks 11/30/05

Clark Forsythe on Ayotte vs. Planned Parenthood in the National Review Online.

You can listen in on-line to the oral arguments at the C-SPAN website at 12:15 p.m.

Judge Ray Randolph's lecture to the Federalist Society discussing the draft of an opinion on abortion by Judge Henry Friendly that was never filed because the New York legislature voted to legalize abortion before the case was decided.


Scientists in London will soon be using nasal stem cells in an attempt to "mend the severed nerves of young people who have suffered motorbike accidents."

Why isn't this kind of research more popular?

"This is not the most popular way of attempting to heal spinal injuries. That would be to produce patented chemicals, which drug companies can make and sell. What we're proposing could be carried out by any very modestly equipped hospital with neurosurgery. There are no patents. It makes it a very unpopular form of research.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The abortionist who makes women "born again"

The Los Angeles Times today has a long article which profiles William Harrison, a 70-year-old abortionist from Arkansas. The contents of the article are chilling in so many ways. Take the time to read the whole thing.

He calls himself an "abortionist" and says, "I am destroying life."

But he also feels he's giving life: He calls his patients "born again."

"When you end what the woman considers a disastrous pregnancy, she has literally been given her life back," he says.


Giving "life" by taking life. What grand concept! "Born again?" Whatever you need to tell yourself to make it thru the day.

"We try to make sure she doesn't ever feel guilty," he says, "for what she feels she has to do."


"Has to do?" Doesn't sound like "choice," now does it?

A nurse has already given her a local anesthetic, Valium and a drug to dilate her cervix; Harrison prepares to inject Versed, a sedative, in her intravenous line. The drug will wipe out her memory of everything that happens during the 20 minutes she's in the operating room. It's so effective that patients who return for a follow-up exam often don't recognize Harrison.


Reassuring, huh? So much for that doctor/client relationship.

For the few women who arrive ambivalent or beset by guilt, Harrison's nurse has posted statistics on the exam-room mirror: One out of every four pregnant women in the U.S. chooses abortion. A third of all women in this country will have at least one abortion by the time they're 45.

"You think there's room in hell for all those women?" the nurse will ask.

If the woman remains troubled, the nurse tells her to go home and think it over.


Now that's some quality counseling. The nurse has some "helpful" information on embryology for another patient.

The 17-year-old in for a consultation this morning assures the nurse that she does not consider the embryo inside her a baby.

"Not until it's developed," she says. "That would be about three months?"

"It's completely formed about nine weeks," the nurse tells her. "Yours is more like a chicken yolk."


Dr. Harrison has trouble holding to his own incoherent positions.

Harrison draws his own moral line at the end of the second trimester, or 26 weeks since the first day of the woman's last menstrual period. Until that point, he will abort for any reason.

"It's not a baby to me until the mother tells me it's a baby," he says.

But Harrison refuses to end third-trimester pregnancies, even if the fetus is severely disabled. Some premature infants born at that stage, or even a few weeks earlier, can survive. Harrison believes they may be developed enough to feel pain in utero. Just a handful of doctors around the nation will abort a fetus at this stage.

"I just don't think it should be done," says Harrison, who calls the practice infanticide.


So it's not a baby until the mother says it is but killing unborn children past 26 weeks is infanticide? So then you don't really believe that tolerant, open-minded mumbo-jumbo about the unborn "not being babies until their moms say so?"

Abortion and Crime

Here's an article in the Wall Street Journal on a paper published by Christopher Foote, a Federal Reserve Bank economist and research assistant Christopher Goetz.

The paper comments on the abortion-crime link that Stephen Levitt, author of Freakonomics, researched and wrote about in his book and in the Quarterly Journal of Economics.

The Boston Fed's Mr. Foote says he spotted a missing formula in the programming of Mr. Levitt's original research. He argues the programming oversight made it difficult to pick up other factors that might have influenced crime rates during the 1980s and 1990s, like the crack wave that waxed and waned during that period. He also argues that in producing the research, Mr. Levitt should have counted arrests on a per-capita basis. Instead, he counted overall arrests. After he adjusted for both factors, Mr. Foote says, the abortion effect disappeared.

"There are no statistical grounds for believing that the hypothetical youths who were aborted as fetuses would have been more likely to commit crimes had they reached maturity than the actual youths who developed from fetuses and carried to term," the authors assert in the report.

More problems in Cloneville

First, Hwang Woo-Suk publicly apologized for lying about the source of the eggs (some of them came from female researchers) used in his cloning experiments after University of Pittsburgh's Gerald Schatten publicly broke off his ties with Woo-Suk because he was misled by Woo-Suk.

Now, a South Korean television station called MBC is saying they have been contacted by one of Woo-Suk's researchers who says that "the results published by Science in 2004 were a collection of falsehoods." According to the story, "the researcher maintains that Hwang's team fabricated data because in reality it failed to clone a somatic cell and instead used a frozen embryo from the hospital to make stem cells. The researcher says the team also lied about cloning a cow."

But in South Korea, where hundreds of women have signed a list to voluntarily donate their eggs, Hwang Woo-Suk is treated like a rock star. The majority of advertisers (11 of 12) have pulled commercials from MBC's program which documented Woo-Suk's research. Some of Woo-Suk's supporters even held a protest vigil outside the MBC headquarters because the station aired a supposedly biased program on the controversy created by Woo-Suk's research.

In other cloning news, a molecular biologist from India is accusing animal cloning expert Ian Wilmut (the creator of Dolly the sheep) of racial discrimination and poaching ideas.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Catholic teacher fired for being pregnant

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, the Los Angeles Times had a story on an unmarried Catholic school teacher named Michelle McCusker who was fired after she told her employers that she was pregnant.

McCusker had been teaching pre-kindergarten at St. Rose of Lima. After losing her $30,000-a-year job, she began working as a substitute teacher in New York City public schools. She is living with her parents on Long Island and has declined to comment further.

The Brooklyn Archdiocese issued a brief statement this week, saying: "This is a difficult situation for every person involved, but the school had no choice but to follow the principles contained in the teachers' personnel handbook."

The handbook states that "a teacher is required to convey the teachings of the Catholic faith by his or her words and actions, demonstrating an acceptance of Gospel values and the Christian tradition."

The archdiocese's right to teach these values in its schools, and to expect teachers to uphold them in their personal lives, is inviolate, said Kiera McCaffrey, communications director for the Catholic League, a national group.


I can see how the school would want to uphold the principles of the school regarding pre-marital sex but I don't think firing Ms. McCusker is the best way of going about it.

"It's not like we're saying that she is a sinner and can't be a role model," McCaffrey said. "But there's a visible sign. She's pregnant. To have children looking at that, and say it's OK, is not the example the church wants to set."


But what kind of example are they setting instead? They obviously don't want their teachers to have sex outside of wedlock but doesn't firing an unmarried pregnant teacher send a clear message to other unmarried teachers who might be engaged in premarital sex or might even be pregnant? They're trying to say "Don't have sex outside of marriage" but it comes off as "You can't be pregnant outside of marriage and work here" since pregnancy is often the only physical sign that informs others that an individual has had sex outside of marriage. If I was an unmarried pregnant woman, losing my job due to the discovery of pregnancy could be one of the deciding factors leading to an abortion.

I'm also not sure that allowing Ms. McCusker to keep her job means that the school is saying McCusker's behavior is "OK." The ongoing pregnancy doesn't tell us if McCusker is still having premarital sex (neither does the LA Times article). The pregnancy is a sign that in the past McCusker has engaged in a behavior that is against the school's principles.

But what about women who've had abortions in the past? What about women who gave birth to a child out-of-wedlock earlier in their lives? Could they then not be allowed to teach at St. Rose of Lima because they've previously engaged in behavior that is against the school's principles?

In a recent post, the Pro-Woman Pro-Lifer pointed out to one of her pregnant clients "how hypocritical it is for the church (Catholic or Protestant) to teach that abortion is murder and then shun women who decide not to have one."

Couldn't McCusker's response to her pregnancy been used as a valuable teaching tool instead of as a reason for firing her?

In other words from the Pro-Woman Pro-Lifer, couldn't the school have used McCusker's pregnancy to "(t)each (their) kids that sex before marriage is wrong, but an abortion doesn't make it right again. Teach them that they don't need to have an abortion to avoid embarrassment within the church. The main focus should be to show them how helping pregnant women remain pregnant makes you feel good and does the work of Christ. That way, should she become pregnant, she'll know you won't ostracize her or judge her (or fire her). Preach the Gospel, and when necessary, use words. Teach them that children are a blessing that can be brought out of a bad decision, but abortion is a bad decision brought out of another bad decision."

How many babies survive abortion in the United States?

According to the Confidential Enquiry into Child Health, 50 babies a year survive abortion in Britain. In 2002, there were 1,354 abortions performed after 22 weeks in Britain. That means that around 3.7% of children aborted after 22 weeks survive.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1.4% of U.S. abortions take place at 21 weeks or later. If Britain's baby survival percentage coincides across the Atlantic, then around 673 children survive abortion every year in the United States (1.4% of 1.3 million is 18,200 and 3.7% of 18,200 is 673).

Life Links 11/28/05

Jill Stanek profiled Right to Life of Michigan and its success in her Thanksgiving column.


The Grand Rapids Press has been featuring stories on adoption during National Adoption Month. The stories this week is about a couple that adopted four sisters.


Wesley Smith on the New York Times' misleading description of cloning for research.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Daily Joke

Armando of Daily Kos tries to go after Stuart Taylor's portrayal of Alito being mainstream compared to his critics and Justice Ginsburg. Taylor notes that most Americans don't want Roe overtured yet they favor different types of legislation that have been shot down because of Roe and the Supreme Court. Taylor seems to recognize that this is probably because a large percentage of Americans don't have an accurate idea of what Roe did nor what overturning Roe would do.

Armando to the rescue:

"Oh, I see. It is because Americans do NOT understand the issues. How very condescending of Taylor. I submit that Taylor is either being disingenuous or it is he that does not understand."

Instead of trying to prove Taylor wrong (maybe by providing polls showing that Americans know what overturning Roe v. Wade would do), Armando calls Taylor "condescending."

Does Armando actually believe that the majority of Americans understand exactly what Roe v. Wade did? Or what overturning Roe would do?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Planned Parenthood's web site calls the unborn "children"

Working at an organization that strongly advocates on behalf of legal abortion must be trying in a lot of ways. One thing that I think a lot of people would find difficult would be language usage. When you're an abortion advocate and you're discussing abortion, words like "child," "baby," and "living" aren't the correct words to describe the unborn because then some people might get the idea that the unborn are living human beings. We all know that Planned Parenthood and company wouldn't want that.

Yet Planned Parenthood has posted part of an article on the possible dangers of anticonvulsant drugs might have on women on their web site. The article was written by Ann Scherer and originally appeared on Epilepsy USA's website.

Quotes I thought I'd never see grace Planned Parenthood's web site include:

"Potential effects on children whose mothers take anticonvulsants during pregnancy are even more troubling..."

"Now pregnant with her first child, Julie has had seizures since childhood and has taken anticonvulsants for years."


Noticeably missing from Planned Parenthood's web site version of the article is this:

"Sometimes, pregnancy is the starting point. When 23-year-old Liz Wood, of Calera, AL, became pregnant with her son, she knew her life would change. As a single mom-to-be, she knew she'd face special challenges. What she didn't expect was an entirely new medical diagnosis.

During the ninth month of her pregnancy, Liz experienced a seizure, a grand mal convulsion that stopped her breathing. "I almost died, and I almost lost the baby," she recalled. (Emphasis added)

Google respects Jivin. Well, not really

I'm #1 if people are searching Google for reasons to be a Michigan fan. Lloyd Carr's "playing not to lose" coaching style certainly wouldn't be a reason for me.

#2 and #3 for "the unborn are living" scientific proof

#2 for satricial arguments.

#2 on Yahoo! for is abortion moral? What now Don Marquis?

#25 for Jehoshaphat. As far as prolife bloggers with Old Testament pseudonyms go, Naaman is absolutely killing me - he's at #3 for Naaman. What gives?

#83 for parental consent abortion.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The least of us? The vulnerable? What about the unborn?

When discussing the recent Congressional budget cuts, Planned Parenthood's "Now What" blogger says,

"I've always been told that we are judged by how we treat the "least" of us - those who have meager means, those who are vulnerable. But I'm not here to sit in judgment of anyone but me. Let others judge for themselves.

And to that end, next week when members of Congress go home and sit around their family table for the traditional turkey extravaganza, the plate should contain only one thing: A mirror."


I wonder if she'll look in the mirror during the holidays and wonder at how her employer treats the most vulnerable of human beings.

Probably not.

Does legal abortion have deep roots?

Even though I'm no fan of Michael Kinsley, I think he makes an interesting point in his recent column.

He writes,

"Others emphasize that social policies can start with a Supreme Court ruling and develop into deeply rooted national values. That happened with Roe and abortion, they would say, while the opposite happened with Bowers and laws against homosexuality. Of course, if a policy really has become a deeply rooted national value, then the once-controversial Supreme Court ruling is superfluous, because democracy will protect such a value. The fear that motivates the Roe panic is that the rights at stake are not deeply rooted. Or not deeply enough."


If Roe and legal abortion are so deeply ingrained in our conscience as a nation, then why are pro-choice organizations so scared about having the issue returned to the democratic arena? If the large majority of Americans are pro-choice, then why not give them a chance to have their voices heard by voting for pro-choice candidate who would protect legal abortion?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Pro-choice confliction

Emily at After Abortion has linked to bunch of articles in the online magazine "The Nerve." One essay is written by pro-choicer Ada Calhoun who struggles with her "deep moral anxiety" regarding 2nd trimester abortions and another article by Jennifer Baumgardner of "I Had an Abortion" fame discusses women who have multiple abortions and how they are viewed by some pro-choice individuals.

I noticed that both articles seem to indicate that there is a push towards verbal conformity in certain pro-choice circles where mentioning an opposition to almost any kind of abortion is a unusual proposition.

Calhoun notes, "I've never said this out loud before, that I have such reluctance about abortion past a certain point — which in my case is definitely before Andrea's five months, when the fetus kicks, has a heartbeat, and sucks its thumb. Being pro-choice with reservations is taboo. It is to wrestle with guilt and doubt and feel that you must be silent."

Baumgardner mentions that "In September, Pauline Bart, another second wave woman of some reputation within the movement, suggested at a screening of "Speak Out" that younger women learn to do abortions themselves just as the collective of women known as 'Jane' did pre-Roe v. Wade. 'It's just like taking a melon-baller and scooping out a melon,' she said, referring to performing an abortion in ones' own apartment. I nodded earnestly but thought, 'No, it isn't.' Or, at least, it isn't to me."

Calhoun says, "But I do wonder if maybe we pro-choice advocates aren't more conflicted than we let on, and therefore if maybe pro-life advocates aren't as well."

I hope that Calhoun continues to examine the reasons behind her confliction. Why did she secretly hope "no one on the street would think it was me who was getting the abortion?" Why didn't Calhoun cheer for the woman who spoke at a rally about her seven abortions? Why does she personally feel that abortion in the fifth month is morally wrong?

More and more I see evidence that the prolife side has won the argument over whether the unborn are human beings and whether abortion is immoral but we've much more work to do on getting people to understand the consequences of those realities.

UPDATE:
Naaman adds his thoughts

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Erwin Chemerinsky: law professor and completely ignorant regarding basic human biology

On Monday, Hugh Hewitt interview John Eastman from Chapman University Law School and Erwin Chemerinsky from Duke University Law School. During the interview, Chemerinsky showed his complete ignorance regarding whether the unborn are human beings or not.

Here are some excerpts from Radioblogger's transcripts:

I understand you regard the fetus as a child. I don't. But the question shouldn't be for you or for me. It should be for each woman to decide for herself whether to continue or terminate her pregnancy.....

But there is not now, nor will there ever be any consensus on the question of when somebody becomes a human being. I do not believe that a fetus before viability is a human being. You do. But the question is who should decide that?


How about biology? How about science? Shouldn't biology tell us what something is biologically? Since when do individual humans get to decide if another living being is a human being or not? Why are individual women the sole arbitrators of whether something is a human being or not?

Towards the end of the interview, Eastman smartly asked Chemerinsky, if it's not a human being then "What else is it?" Not surprisingly, Chemerinsky provides no answer. I've yet to come across a pro-choicer, who uses the "it's a potential human being" line, who can also explain what the unborn are currently or actually.

Besides not understanding that scientific community has been in agreement about whether the unborn are human beings or not for decades, Chemerinsky's way of thinking is quite poor.

"We don't have a consensus, therefore let the woman decide."

I could use the same silly argument for newborn children. Peter Singer and others don't believe newborn infants are persons. Therefore, we don't have a consensus. Therefore, the woman should decide whether their newborn child is a person or not and whether they should live or die.

Someone could also use the same argument to prove that slaves don't deserve the same rights (something that Eastman points out during the interview).

If we had to have a complete consensus to decide whether each individual human being deserved to live then we wouldn't have much of a world and we wouldn't have many human beings in it.

"Our child doesn't deserve Down Syndrome. He deserves death."

Maria Eftimiades, national correspondent for People magazine, shared her decision to abort her son with Down Syndrome in yesterday's Washington Post.

She discusses how her pregnancy, her hopes for her son and her abortion decision before closing with a few comments.

I'm sure pro-lifers don't give you the right to grieve for the baby you chose not to bring into the world (another euphemism, although avoiding the word "abortion'' doesn't take any sting out of the decision to have one). Only now do I understand how entirely personal the decision to terminate a pregnancy is and how wrong it feels to bring someone else's morality into the discussion.


Maybe she doesn't know the right prolifers because the prolife movement has done immensely more work helping women grieve the loss of the child they aborted than the pro-choice movement. Prolife people are able to recognize that an actual loss occurred while the ideology of many pro-choicers usually just leads them to think women just lost something "that could have been" and blame grieving emotions on hormones.

As for that baby that will never be, I will remember him always. But I'm quite certain that I made the right choice for the three of us.


That baby that will never be? How about that baby that was but is no longer? How can you remember something that never was?

Isn't it odd how some people have a problem with others bringing their "morality into the discussion" but have no problem pushing their morality onto their unborn children?

"You can't decide what's right for me. No one should tell me what to do. But I can decide that death is right for my son based solely on him having a disability. I can decide that his life isn't worth living because that raising a disabled is a ‘journey' that's ‘better not taken.'"

They have no problem with pushing morality on others as long as they're the ones doing the pushing.

HT: The Corner

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Alito discusses his 1985 job application

The New York Times has an article on what Judge Alito said when Senator Feinstein brought up his job application essay.

"He said first of all it was different then," Ms. Feinstein said. "He said, 'I was an advocate seeking a job, it was a political job and that was 1985. I'm now a judge, I've been on the circuit court for 15 years and it's very different. I'm not an advocate, I don't give heed to my personal views, what I do is interpret the law."'


I can almost guarantee that someone will say something like, "He's still an advocate seeking a job and saying that he was seeking a job back then is an obvious answer to the current interview question of a pro-choice senator."

You gotta love Senator Cornyn: "I'm not sure it is news that Judge Alito is pro-life, nor that Roe v. Wade was poorly reasoned."

This doesn't seem like a "choice"

A single mother, who calls herself "Scared Mom," with partial custody fears that her ex-husband will try to take away her children once he knows she is pregnant. She's now considering abortion because of her legal woes with her ex even though she was unable to listen to Planned Parenthood's description of abortion and has had nightmares about abortion.

I've been leaning away from abortion. Doors have been opened. One friend has offered to help with daycare. Then I learned I could transfer in my job to learn something and be in a desk job for a year or two..

Right now, I know if I will lose my kids, I have to have an abortion. And I am so scared. I don't want to do that. But, on the other hand, I can't afford maternity clothes (the stuff I already have were 12 year old hand me downs.. and some other stuff.. but I can't go into my office in that). And I make too much money to qualify for any relief. So irritating.."


Previously Scared Mom's mother whom is described as a "very Christian lady" told her:
"You HAVE to have an abortion.
You HAVE NO CHOICE."


Does anyone know any good lawyers in California that could help this woman?

Intentionally faulty definitions for cloning

Here's an AP article from the Akron Beacon Journal that illustrates how the definitions of embryonic stem cells and human cloning can be so easily skewed. (Emphasis mine)

Embryonic stem cell: A cell taken from a developing embryo after a few days of dividing, when it is a ball of about 200 cells, that can become any organ or tissue in the body. The original embryo no longer can develop into a human being.....

Reproductive cloning: Inserting the genetic material from a mature organism, such as a human, into an egg cell and stimulating it to divide into an embryo for implantation into a female uterus and development of a duplicate human being.

Therapeutic cloning: Using the same technique with no intention of growing a new human, but instead directing the rapidly dividing cells to grow into a desired tissue, such as skin or cells that make insulin.


Looking at these definitions it becomes clear to me that their intent isn't to inform individuals of facts but to attempt to influence others to believe that human embryos aren't human beings. They all assume that embryos aren't human beings and that embryos need to develop past some unmentioned threshold to become human beings. Also, notice how the definition for "therapeutic" cloning never mentions that a human embryo is killed and that's where these "rapidly dividing cells" come from.

The sources of these "definitions" are the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and a "fact sheet" given to Ohio legislators.

When you examine the glossary at the NIH web site you'll notice that the definitions for embryo and fetus recognize that the unborn are developing human organisms. I'm guessing that the "fact sheet" distributed to Ohio legislators was created by a group lobbying in favor of human cloning or a legislator pushing to pass a law to allow human cloning.

Pro-choice organizations respond to Judge Alito's resume essay

The essay is available online here.

Needless to say, it's not the best time to be an abortion advocate.

NARAL's president Nancy Keenan says, "Samuel Alito's stated opposition to a woman's constitutional right to choose as guaranteed by Roe v. Wade is further evidence that anti-choice groups got exactly what they ordered from President Bush. This new information about Alito's legal philosophy further puts him out of the mainstream" and "Pro-choice Americans want the Senate to press Mr. Alito on why he chose to highlight his disregard for women's fundamental freedom in a job application."

Planned Parenthood's president Karen Pearl says, "This document shows Judge Alito's judicial philosophy is far more dangerous to the health and safety of American women than the public may have thought. It is strong evidence that Judge Alito would vote to permit restrictions on reproductive freedom for every woman in the United States" and "There is no room on the court for someone like Judge Alito with a judicial philosophy that places at risk the rights, freedoms, and liberties that Americans hold dear."

NOW's president Kim Gandy said, "And with the release of these documents, Alito can no longer coast through confirmation on an ambiguous pledge. Women must urge their senators to oppose this nominee as a threat to our basic human and civil rights" and "Women and women's rights supporters must not tolerate the advancement of a Supreme Court nominee whose personal beliefs will cloud his judgment on cases in which our lives and future hang in the balance."

Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation continues to make a fool of herself by purporting the 5th justice myth when she says, "Just as we feared, this document confirms that Alito could very well be the fifth vote on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and/or restrict access to reproductive rights for women."

Monday, November 14, 2005

Life Links 11/14/05

Annie at After Abortion blasts Planned Parenthood's vice-president, Dr. Vanessa Cullins, for defending the safety of Ortho-Evra birth control patch which has killed 23 women in the last 3 years. Why is Dr. Cullins, who has also trained other abortionists in late-term abortion techniques defending the patch? Maybe it's because she's been on the Ortho McNeil payroll as an adviser, consultant and speaker.


Ross Douthat ponders what will happen if Roe v. Wade is overturned.


Confirm Them and Patterico on Kate Michelman's hit piece in the LA Times regarding Judge Alito and his dissent in Casey.

A good line from Michelman:

"That is why it is so disappointing that President Bush has chosen to be intimidated by the most extreme element of his political base rather than acting as what he so often purports to be: a leader."

Michelman would, of course, prefer that Bush was intimidated by the most extreme element of the political base that opposes him. I wonder if Kate's brain is so warped that she actually believes that Bush following what she, NARAL and Planned Parenthood want would make Bush a leader.

"The Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion"

That's what Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito wrote in his application to become deputy assistant to Attorney General Edwin I. Meese III in 1985. The Washington Times obtained the document where Alito said he "personally believe very strongly" in this position and "I am particularly proud of my contributions in recent cases in which the government has argued in the Supreme Court that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed and that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion."

More quotes:

"In the field of law, I disagree strenuously with the usurpation by the judiciary of decision-making authority that should be exercised by the branches of government responsible to the electorate,"

"I believe very strongly in limited government, federalism, free enterprise, the supremacy of the elected branches of government, the need for a strong defense and effective law enforcement, and the legitimacy of a government role in protecting traditional values"

Stay tuned for NARAL's reaction to this news.

I'm predicting terms like "out of the mainstream," "right-wing idealogue," and "judical activist."

UPDATE:
The PDF of the resume is available online here

HT: Confirm Them

The sentence in question is found at the end of a paragraph in this context:

"Most recently, it has been an honor and source of personal satisfaction for me to serve in the office of the Solicitor General during President Reagan's administration and to help to advance legal positions in which I personally believe very strongly. I am particularly proud of my contributions in recent cases in which the government has argued in the Supreme Court that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed and that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion."

Friday, November 11, 2005

America's Next Top Model?

She's not even been out of the womb for a year and my niece already knows how to pose like a professional model.



The fact that she's green and only has three fingers on her hands might hurt her chances.

Using Science to Discriminate Sooner and Sooner

The Washington Post had an article yesterday on a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine which found that a combination of tests can be performed in the first trimester to "reliably identify" whether the unborn child has Down Syndrome or not. The combined tests do have a 5% false positive result, which means that 5% of the children tested will not have Down Syndrome but the tests will conclude that they do.

I want to note this quote from the study's lead researcher:

"By the time you're 20 weeks pregnant, most women will be feeling fetal movement. We wouldn't want to underestimate the psychological or emotional difficulty of undergoing pregnancy termination that late," Malone said. "Also, at that point it's easy to tell by looking at the woman if she is pregnant. This way she can make her decision in utmost privacy."

Isn't it sad that a medical journal and medical researchers are more concerned with a woman's ability to have an abortion without anyone else knowing than they are with saving and helping children with disabilities? It's like their thinking is, "We've got to kill the child before the mother feels it move. We wouldn't want her to know that her child is a living, kicking, moving human being and then form some kind of attachment to it. We wouldn't want her neighbors to know that she aborted solely because her child was disabled."

Notice how in not wanting to underestimate the emotional pain of women who have late term abortions, they seem to be underestimating the emotional pain of women who have abortions early in pregnancy or the possible emotional pain of any woman who has an abortion solely because their child has a disability regardless of the stage of pregnancy.

Malone and others, however, said they doubted the approach would result in more abortions.

What about the 5% of case with false positive results? Since the test is far from perfect, wouldn't that lead to an increase in the number of children who are falsely diagnosed with Down Syndrome and then aborted after being falsely diagnosed?

Rated R

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Reality vs. Anna Quindlen

Ingredients:
1. Faulty claims about illegal abortion (a standard ingredient)
2. Accuse judges of coming into bedrooms (I know it's a rather old and stale ingredient but Anna likes it anyway)
3. Act as if it was surprising that the Supreme Court's action of overturning laws in 50 states, based on nothing resembling the Constitution, didn't shut up those pesky citizens and their state legislatures. (a new twist)

Stir well for 2 minutes and presto! You've got Anna Quindlen's most recent column for Newsweek.

And it was hard not to wonder: wouldn't (Alito's) confirmation process be more illuminating if abortion were taken out of the public realm and put back where it belongs, in the private one?


I love who pro-choicers want abortion removed from the courts after a court decided that abortion should be legal throughout all 50 states. Isn't that so convenient? I'm also wondering if Quindlen would use that same statement when it comes to tax-funded abortions for poor women?

I think the confirmation process would be a lot more illuminating if the public at large and pro-choice groups understand what the role of a judge was.

But even when it was illegal, it was widespread. As Cynthia Gorney noted in her definitive history, "Articles of Faith," reliable statistics were hard to come by. One national conference held in 1955 put the number of illegal abortions each year at somewhere between 200,000 and 1.2 million.


Anyone who honestly believes there were 1.2 million illegal abortions a year before Roe knows absolutely nothing about abortion statistics pre-1973. After abortion was made completely legal in 1973, there weren't a million abortions on the national level for a couple of years according to the Centers for Disease Control and the Alan Guttmacher Institute. How are we supposed to believe that more than a million unsafe, illegal abortions were being performed annually pre-Roe when there weren't a million legal abortions until a couple of years after abortion became legal? It's just amazing how unpopular abortion became once it was legal, isn't it? I guess women just must have liked the thrill of the illegal abortion back in the day. Not convinced? Yeah, neither am I.

The list of methods was long and various: quinine and Lysol, pencils and garden hoses, slippery elm and castor oil, and on and on and on.


Those might have been the abortion methods of 1955 but by 1972 the methods of illegal abortion had become much more similar to the legal abortion techniques used today. But maybe those methods are the "on and on and on." Anna, of course, wouldn't want her readers to know that those dangerous illegal abortion techniques of yesteryear are fairly similar to the "safe and legal" techniques of today.

But Roe v. Wade had a curious long-term effect. Instead of fostering an atmosphere in which government was agnostic on the issue, it fomented one in which it became activist.


Why would anyone think that Roe v. Wade would make prolife citizens and their prolife state legislatures agnostic towards abortion? How can government ever be agnostic on an issue where one branch of government (the judiciary) has implemented a policy based on nothing but the personal opinions of Harry Blackmun?

The result has been a weirdly distasteful amalgam of gynecology and nuts-and-bolts legislation, most notable when members of Congress took to the floor with anatomical diagrams to illustrate the evil of so-called partial-birth abortion.


Now what's really distasteful? Making the public aware that such a procedure exists and showing them what it is? Or the procedure itself?

It all sounded a bit as though the judges had wandered off the bench and into someone's bedroom.


Yes, the necessary "judges in the bedroom" line! Oh the originality accuracy absolute lameness!

We're in a real mess here, trying to fit a profound and intimate matter into a system more suited to tax codes and property issues, like trying to solve the mysteries of literature using formulas in math class.


I again wonder if Quindlen felt the same way about Blackmun's hyper-legalistic trimester framework? For some reason, she can't seem to recognize that "the mess" (which, by the way, has only become a mess because Bush is the one nominating judges) we're in is because of judges usurping power from state legislatures.

That's because abortion is unlike any other matter and pregnancy is different from any other state of being. The situation in which an embryo is permitted to grow over time into an independent human in the body of another is just not comparable to anything else.


So the reasoning here seems to be "Pregnancy isn't comparable to any other state of being. Therefore, abortion is a very complex issue." To me that seems like a greater reason for the issue to be about to voters and their state legislatures, not nine lawyers.

What does Quindlen mean by "independent?" Does Anna mean "independent" in the sense that they can care for themselves? Because I know a bunch of teenagers who aren't "independent" from their mothers even though they've enjoyed the luxury of more than a decade outside the womb.

Imagine how it could transform the landscape if somehow abortion were absent from government intervention or interference. Those who believe it is a moral wrong could fight through hearts and minds, not laws that would resurrect the Lysol and the garden hose.


By absent from government interference, Quindlen doesn't mean get rid of Roe v. Wade, she means absolutely no abortion restrictions whatsoever. Third-trimester abortions? Twenty-five-year-old men taking their 14-year-old girlfriends for abortion? Abortions in unsanitary conditions? No problem - just as long as there's no government interference.

And we all know that working to pass prolife legislation prevents prolifers from changing hearts and minds. Talk about a false dilemma.

Mentioning garden hoses again? What happened to the coathanger? Is the age old symbol of the pro-choice movement no longer en vogue?

And judges could return to those issues that lend themselves to jurisprudence instead of puzzling out the singular fact patterns of the womb.


Anna now admits that judges shouldn't be making abortion decisions. So then is she for overthrowing Roe? Nope, because then the state legislatures would have a crack at it and we all know that the only human beings who should be involved in an abortion decision are a woman and her doctor.

Oh wait. Maybe I'm forgetting someone.

The scripts of interviews for Frontline's "The Last Abortion Clinic"

are available online here. Some interesting stuff though some of it is repetitive and you can only take so much of Kathryn Kolbert.

Other election news

Texas voters overwhelming approved adding a ban on gay marriage to their state Constitution.

Kwame Kilpatrick was somehow re-elected mayor of Detroit.

The voters of Hillsdale, Michigan, have elected a new mayor with write-in ballots. His name is Michael Sessions and he's 18-year-old high school student.

Post-abortive teens on Proposition 73

Via Real Choice and Media Girl, I've been pointed to the testimony of teens who mostly oppose Proposition 73. One of the teens is the father of an aborted child. Sixteen year-old Elliot McGregor writes in "NOT READY TO BE A BABY DADDY":

My girlfriend Jenay had an abortion and the baby was mine. I met her at John Muir Middle School in Oakland. We were both 14. She was 15 when she had an abortion....

She had the abortion because she didn't wan't her father to hate her. She didn't actually know if he really would have hated her, but they had some talks in the past and he told her she should wait to have sex and that he would be disappointed if she got pregnant.....

After she had the abortion I felt really bad and relieved at the same time. I felt bad because we killed my son or daughter. I was relieved because I didn't have to go through the drama that might have occurred with my family and I if they found out. (Emphasis mine)


Read the other stories and you'll see that these teens seem to clearly understand that abortion kills a "baby" or an "unborn child" yet think that abortion should be legal. Being a post-abortive person who recognizes the reality of what abortion is seems like a heavy burden for someone who's barely old enough to drive.

I have no clue how Media Girl thinks that the testimony of these kids helps her argument against parental notification.

Californians reject parental rights

Yesterday Californians voted against Proposition 73 which would have required parental notification before minors receive an abortion. With 99.9% of the precincts reporting, the vote was 52.6% to 47.4%. The prolife measure did do better than any of the other Propositions which also failed.

Check out this map which shows how the inland regions of California favored Prop. 73 while the coastal counties were strongly opposed.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Life Links 11/8

Amy Hall does a great job summarizing and discussing some prolife issues that were featured on last week's CSI.

What I found interesting was how while it is usually implied that prolifers use religious claims to back up their opposition to abortion and embryonic stem cell research, characters on CSI attempted to use theological arguments instead of using science (their usual tool) to prove that the unborn aren't living human beings. I wonder why?


Human embryos can repair themselves? According to a recent study, human embryos that appeared "defective" while at the 8-cell stage appear to correct their "defects" by the time they reach the blastocyst stage (about 100-200 cells). How many human embryos have been tossed out as "defective" because of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis who would have corrected their "defect?"

Monday, November 07, 2005

Talk about scary

A blogger named Flamehorn left this comment on a pro-choice blog:

A question for "pro-lifers": If I should happen to become pregnant, one of the following will occur.

(a) I will abort it

(b) I will kill it immediately after it is born

(c) It will live for months or years with someone (me) who hates it and will eventually kill it, probably by bashing its head against a wall when it screams too many times.

Which of those would you prefer? Which is the most humane? How about if I leave it in a hot car on a summer day and it roasts to death? Would you say that's better than allowing a doctor to terminate it before it has developed the neural capacity to suffer?

Ripping Roe

Tim Carney is compiling an ongoing list of quotes from pro-choice commentators and legal scholars criticizing Roe v. Wade.

I think my favorite so far is from Jeffrey Rosen:

"Thirty years after Roe, the finest constitutional minds in the country still have not been able to produce a constitutional justification for striking down restrictions on early-term abortions that is substantially more convincing than Justice Harry Blackmun's famously artless opinion itself. As a result, the pro-choice majority asks nominees to swear allegiance to the decision without being able to identify an intelligible principle to support it."

An Adoption Choice

Anje Schepers, a teenage girl from Grand Rapids who made an adoption plan for her child after trying to get an abortion recently wrote an essay for the Grand Rapids Press. Here are some excerpts:

At first, I wanted an abortion, and I went to a clinic to get one.

I remember that day, because I was so scared. At the same time, I just wanted to get it all done. I thought maybe this would work out for the best, and my family would be less disappointed in me, and my life would get back to normal....

I decided right away I wanted my baby to be adopted. Adoption was right because I was only 16 and worked at Domino's Pizza and, despite how grown-up I had to be for the next months, I wasn't grown-up enough to raise a baby.....

Laila was born on May 23. That was the hardest day of my life -- physically and emotionally. Laila Noelle was born at 5:34 p.m. She was a beautiful 6 pounds 9 ounces and 19 3/4 inches long. Holding her and having her look at me with her big dark eyes made me cry, because I almost had had an abortion.....

I thought I wanted an abortion, because it seemed like something you could just do and never worry about again. But, in my experience, I think about my baby all the time and I'm really happy to know she is here.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Below the belt

NARAL's former president, Kate Michelman, takes a cheap shot at Judge Samuel Alito with this online article that discusses her abortion experience and Alito's dissent in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. She reveals an amazing level of ignorance regarding Alito's actual dissent in Planned Parenthood v. Casey and how our judicial system works. NARAL and other organizations have so distorted and politicized the courts that they view every judicial nominee as if they were a member of Congress who should share everyone of their political views.

Kate fails to mention that Pennsylvania's spousal notification law included broad and simple to provide exceptions by stating:

" EXCEPTIONS.--The statement certifying that the notice required by subsection (a) has been given need not be furnished where the woman provides the physician a signed statement certifying at least one of the following:

(1) Her spouse is not the father of the child.

(2) Her spouse, after diligent effort, could not be located.

(3) The pregnancy is a result of spousal sexual assault as described in section 3128 (relating to spousal sexual assault), which has been reported to a law enforcement agency having the requisite jurisdiction.

(4) The woman has reason to believe that the furnishing of notice to her spouse is likely to result in the infliction of bodily injury upon her by her spouse or by another individual.

Such statements need not be notarized, but shall bear a notice that any false statements made therein are punishable by law.



I think this is worst part though:

"When Casey made it to the Supreme Court in 1992, O'Connor, writing in the majority, reaffirmed the core principle that the right of choice is central to women's dignity and equality. And though the court failed to strike down all of Pennsylvania's restrictions, it did find spousal notification constitutes an "undue burden" -- placing Alito's views among the nation's most radical for jurists."

What's the reasoning here? Alito is "among the nation's most radical jurists" because the Supreme Court disagreed with one of his dissent by a 5-4 margin? Does Michelman actual believe that?

And if so, wouldn't that reasoning also put every pro-choice organization (including NARAL) which opposed the other abortion laws as being radical since the Supreme Court didn't uphold their view that Pennsylvania's other laws regarding abortion weren't "undue burdens?"

UPDATE
Charles Krauthammer's piece on Planned Parenthood v. Casey is definitely worth the read.

Ah, say the critics, but when Casey ultimately came up to the Supreme Court, O'Connor disagreed with Alito and found that spousal notification is indeed an undue burden.

To which I say: Such is Alito's reward for having tortuously tried to follow O'Connor's logic. Brilliant Alito is, but alas not brilliant enough to divine O'Connor's next zigzag -- after Alito had blown hundreds of neurons trying to figure out the logic of her past (pre- Casey ) rulings.


So true.

UPDATE #2
Bob Novak must be reading my blog.

Parental involvement laws and their affect on risky teen sex

Law professor Jonathon Klick of Florida State and economics professor Thomas Stratmann of George Mason wrote an interesting paper regarding abortion access and risky sex among teens.

Their abstract states:

Laws requiring minors to seek parental consent or to notify a parent prior to obtaining an abortion raise the cost of risky sex for teenagers. Assuming choices to engage in risky sex are made rationally, parental involvement laws should lead to less risky sex among teens, either because of a reduction of sexual activity altogether or because teens will be more fastidious in the use of birth control ex ante. Using gonorrhea rates among older women to control for unobserved heterogeneity across states, our results indicate that the enactment of parental involvement laws significantly reduces risky sexual activity among teenage girls.


It seems like a rather basic and commonsense theory to me. If minor girls see abortion as a form of birth control and recognize that they'll have to involve their parents in an abortion decision, then it makes sense to me that they'd be more likely to avoid having sex without birth control or be even more wary of having sex. The only problem I wonder about is if minor girls are that forward thinking when it comes to having sex. I never had sex as a teen so I can only imagine the thoughts of individuals engaging in pre-marital teen sex. I should also mention that Klick and Stratmann results studied the gonorrhea rates of girls who were 18 and 19.

Other interesting tidbits:

Klick and Stratmann (2003) examine the "double experiment" provided by U.S. abortion policy to examine this link. They find that when Alaska, California, Hawaii, New York, and Washington legalized abortion on demand in the period 1969-1970, the gonorrhea and syphilis rates in those states rose significantly compared to the rest of the country. When the Supreme Court legalized abortion on demand nationwide in 1973, the STD gap between the early legalizers and other states disappeared.....

Incentives matter. They matter even in activities as primal as sex, and they matter even among teenagers, who are conventionally thought to be relatively myopic. If the expected costs of risky sex are raised, teens will substitute toward less risky activities such as protected sex or abstinence. In addition to modeling the decision making processes of teenagers, this insight is important in other contexts as well. Many public policies can be improved by recognizing the sensitivity of teenage sexual decisions to costs and benefits.


HT:The Truth Shall Set You Free

Jimmy Carter Blasts "Abortion Culture"

The Washington Times is reporting that former president Jimmy Carter "condemned all abortions and chastised his party for its intolerance of candidates and nominees who oppose abortion."

Carter also stated, "I've never been convinced, if you let me inject my Christianity into it, that Jesus Christ would approve abortion."

Good for Jimmy. I'm wishing he'd been more vocal about this issue in the past.

One pro-choice blogger responds and it's not pretty (warning expletives):

(Expletive) You, Jimmy

UPDATE
Both National Right to Life and Al Mohler have things to say about Carter's recent comments on abortion.

Grrr...

The Alito hearings won't begin until January 9th.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

When will Ramesh Ponnuru's book about abortion and American politics come out?

Not soon enough.

Red State links to and provides excerpts from of an old article Ramesh did 10 years ago for the National Review.

In the piece, Ramesh details how advocates of legal abortion lied again and again and again in an amicus curiae brief in an attempt to convince Supreme Court justices that "Americans had recognized the right to choose abortion at the time of the Republic's founding" and that the reasons abortion was restricted in the past no longer exist or aren't "constitutionally permissible."

Ramesh outlines how the advocates of legal abortion, "mischaracterize(d) sources," "misreport(ed) facts," "support(ed) claims with citations that have no relevance to those claims," "rip(ped) quotations out of context" and "rel(ied) on discredited sources -- even on sources that signatories to the brief have themselves discredited."

The due date that would have been

On October 25, a pro-choice blogger who writes at Life of a Zygote, discussed her feelings about her past pregnancy and her abortion on the day that she would have been due.

Some excerpts:

Today I would have been a mother. Today I would have been sitting here uncomfortable and screaming at X that he did this to me. Today I would have met my daughter, but I am not. Very rarely in life are we offered a glimpse of what the road not traveled would look like, but today I see that very clearly. I can see how drastically one decision changed (or didn't change) the path my life was on. I often wonder what my life would be like if I had stayed in NY. I have daydreams and thoughts about it, but I don't know for certain what it would be like. I know where I would be if I had kept the baby and it‘s caused some strange emotions and quite a bit of confusion....

Today I am thinking about all the things I don't know because of the abortion. I don't know what it's like to feel a baby move. I don't know what it's like to not see my feet. I don't know what my baby girl would look like. I was so close to all of that, so close I could almost comprehend it. I haven't changed my view of my situation, I still believe the right thing, but today I am going to mourn my daughter. The laughter I'll never hear, the first smile I'll never see. Today I will honor her memory and all of the things I do know because of her....

All of these emotions feel tangible and accurate, but I wonder what it would be like to be the other girl. I wonder what would have happened. Would I be sitting there wondering what it would be like to be me? To wonder if I was ok. Would I be questioning how I would have dealt with the abortion. I wonder who I would have become and I wonder what it would have been like to see my child for the first time. Today I am sad.

Alito and "Personhood"

Gerard Bradley has an article in the National Review on a ruling Alexander v. Whitman by the Third Circuit. The court ruled, with Alito concurring, that it was constitutional for the state of New Jersey to prevent parents from suing medical facilities under a wrongful death law if their unborn child dies before birth. The court based their decision on the idea that unborn children, regardless of whether or not they are human beings, aren't "constitutional persons" under the precedent set forth in Roe v. Wade.

Alito writes in his brief concurrence, "I am in almost complete agreement with the court's opinion, but I write to comment briefly on two points. First, I think that the court's suggestion that there could be "human beings" who are not "constitutional persons" is unfortunate. I agree with the essential point that the court is making: that the Supreme Court has held that a fetus is not a "person" within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. However, the reference to constitutional non-persons, taken out of context, is capable of misuse."

In other news, Father John Neuhaus reports that Judge Alito is a "careful reader of FIRST THINGS."

UPDATE
Robert Bork weighs in: "We may be confident, I think, that a Justice Alito, like Chief Justice John Roberts, will not vote to create new and hitherto unsuspected constitutional rights. He will not share the extreme liberationist philosophy, one of the hangovers from the 1960s, that characterizes the current Court majority. But, also like Roberts, we do not know whether he will vote to overturn the worst constitutional travesties of the past. And, if he is the superb lawyer he is reputed to be, we will not learn that at his hearings either."

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Muddling Statistics 101

Yesterday I pointed out how it was inaccurate for the researchers at liberal "think" tank Third Way to look at teen abortions (including abortions by 18 and 19-year-old girls) as a percentage of total abortions in an attempt to prove that parental consent laws don't have a large effect on abortion. I pointed out how including the abortions of women who are 18 and 19 when you're looking at parental consent laws (which effect girls under 18) is misleading.

I took a little time this morning to compile the statistics Third Way should have compiled if they were looking to be accurate.

Using the Centers for Disease Control Abortion Survelliance statistics from 2001 (the same year Third Way used) I compared under 18 abortions with total abortions. For the 19 states with parental consent laws there were 14,369 abortions performed on minors while there were 250,268 abortions performed on the total population. This means that minor abortions encompass 5.74% of those states' abortions.

For the 12 states with no parental consent or notification law who also record minor abortions there were 19,075 minor abortions while there were 236,153 abortions performed on the total population. This means that minor abortions encompass 8.08% of those states' abortions.

Now that's a much larger relative percentage difference than the one quoted by Third Way using all teen abortion statistics. They found the percentage of teen abortions (including the abortions of non-minor teens) in states with parental consent laws to be 17.6% while the percentage of teen abortions in states with no parental consent or notification laws to be 19.0%.

A couple of questions. 1. Did the researchers at Third Way not understand that non-minor teens aren't affected by parental consent legislation? 2. Or did the researchers compile the correct statistics first, realize they didn't work for them and then looked for another avenue? 3. Should Democrats really be listening to a think tank who can't even get things like this accurate?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Forcing teens to tell their parents they want an abortion could raise the number of abortions?

Sounds a bit silly, doesn't it? If a teen already is looking to get an abortion and needs to notify her parents or receive their consent before obtaining an abortion, how would that (even if some parents were pushing for the abortion) ever increase the number of abortions?

But that's what progressive "think" tank Third Way would have you believe. In their issue brief on the demographics of abortion they boldly assert:

"In fact, at least one pro-life political tactic - parental consent - could possibly increase the prevalence of abortions. Indeed, the reason parental consent laws have failed to reduce teen abortions is that parents are often the impetus behind teen abortions, not the barrier."

While some parents may want and even encourage their teenage children to have abortions, it's a completely different thing to assert that requiring teens to inform their parents about an already wanted abortion would lead to more abortions. That reasoning might work if states passed laws which required teens to notify their parents of a pregnancy once the teen finds out but it's hardly logical for consent for abortion.

What's even more out there is that later in the issue brief they report that:

In 2001, abortions were performed on 33 out of 10,000 teens in states with strict parental consent laws.

In 2001, abortions were performed on 39 out of 10,000 teens in states with moderate parental notification laws.

In 2001, abortions were performed on 63 out of 10,000 teens in states with no consent/notification laws.

"Ha! Those stupid states with strict and moderate parental consent laws have respectively 48% and 38% fewer teens per capita who have abortions. Wait a second that doesn't help our illogical hypothesis....."

Third Way then tries to invalidate these results by stating that:

"But as a percentage of overall abortions in each of these categories of states, teen abortions are close to the same suggesting that consent and notification laws have little impact on abortion."

It suggests nothing of the sort. That's a complete ideological inference on data with nothing to back it up. For one, Third Way in all of these statistics is comparing apples and oranges. A large number of teen abortions are performed on women who are older than 18 (in Michigan it's more than half). Parental consent laws wouldn't play a factor in the abortion decision of women who are 18 or 19 and aren't affected by parental consent laws. That reality is never mentioned by the statisticians of Third Way.

Second, you can't look at statistics from a single year and infer that the laws have had little impact. The study cites that "teens represented 17.6% of all abortions in states with strict parental consent laws 17.0% of all abortions in states with moderate parental notification laws, and 19.1% of all abortions in states with no consent/notification laws." But we have no clue how the parental consent laws affected the teen abortion percentage over time. Maybe some states with parental consent laws had a situation where teens under 18 represented a much high percent of abortions before the parental consent law but that percentage has lowered since the implementation of the parental consent law. Maybe its actually the other way around. Either way, taking a statistic from one year and inferring parental consent laws have had little impact is how I would have looked at statistics when I was in middle school.

Third, there are so many other reasons why the teen percentage of abortion in states with parental consent laws would closely mirror the teen percentage of abortion in states without parental consent laws. One obvious explanation could be other prolife laws. For example, states with parental consent laws might also have a variety of other prolife laws that lower the number of abortions that adults receive (such as a ban on tax-funded abortion, informed consent, abortion clinic regulations) while states without parental consent laws would also not have the other prolife laws which affect the number of adult abortions.

To prove that parental consent laws haven't had that much impact, they would have to track a variety of individual state abortion statistics relating to parental consent. They would have to track when a parental consent law was passed, what the abortion percentage was for girls under 18 at that point, look to see if the percentage has gone up or down while monitoring a variety of other factors like teen pregnancy rates, other prolife laws, etc.

In Michigan, our parental consent law took effect in March of 1991. In 1990, the number of abortions performed on girls under 18 was 3,820 or 10.6% of all occurrences. In 2004, that number is 1,770 or 6.7% of all occurrences. Also notice how the number of pregnancies of girl who are 15-17 has gone down dramatically (by almost half) since the onset of our parental consent law.

Do these statistics by themselves prove that Michigan's parental consent law has had a huge impact on under 18 abortions? No. Maybe our parental consent legislation had nothing to do with the decrease in the number of under 18 pregnancies and under 18 abortions in Michigan. Maybe it encouraged some girls under 18 to think twice about having sex. Maybe it didn't. But providing accurate statistics over a period of time is going to help us a lot more than providing deceptive statistics for one year.

Expelled for blogging??

A prolife student named Katelyn Sills, who blogged about the firing of a teacher (who also happened to be an abortion clinic escort) from her Catholic high school and whose mother outed the activities of this teacher to their Bishop, has been expelled from Loretto High School, "without forewarning, without a meeting, and without a chance to say goodbye."

As soon as the family's lawyers give the ok, the reasons for her explusion will be posted but we know that her expulsion had "nothing to do with misbehavior or low academic performance on Katelyn's part."

HT: After Abortion

Samuel Alito's 90-year-old mother says:

"Of course, he's against abortion"

HT: Between Two Worlds

Also check out JT's summary of an issue brief on abortion by progressive think tank Third Way.