Friday, April 28, 2006

Friday Baby Blogging

My niece in her Easter dress.

Life Links 4/28/06

Serge shares a hypothetical from a pro-choicer which strongly questions the absolute bodily autonomy argument (even if the fetus has the right to life) for abortion rights most famously expressed by Judith Jarvis Thompson.

The Raving/Unaborted Atheist offers his take on Carolyn Maloney's bill against crisis pregnancy centers.

Melanie Childers says that prolife people saved her sister's (Andrea Clark's) life. For those of you who don't know who Andrea Clark is, here's some background info.

Who really needs embryonic stem cells?

James Kelly discusses how he believes Christopher Reeve was misled to become a strong proponent of embryonic stem cell research and how many Americans are being misled by scientists who are more intent on finding work than finding treatments. Take the time to read this.

Kelly notes,
"Reeve opened my eyes to an unfolding global tragedy. He made me realize how far those pursuing a multi-billion dollar goldmine in long range basic research will descend to achieve their ends. I eventually concluded that while it appears that science and industry are using disability and disease to exploit human fetal and embryonic life, the truth is far worse. The push for ES and cloning research may exploit us all.....

To me it seemed increasingly impractical for society to commit massive research resources to tackling complex safety and performance issues linked to ES cells, including rejection, epigenetic instability, tumor formation, or teratoma formation. It seemed impractical to pay science to puzzle over turning ES cells into stable, fully functional adult cells, when adult stem cells are designed to do it naturally....

"We" do not need additional problems to solve, but basic researchers do — as many as they can find or make. Each additional hurdle represents years of future work. The public sees problems in ES safety and performance as roadblocks to their medical use. To scientists they represent future articles in research journals, ladders to professional fame, university tenure, research funding, potential patents, licensing fees, royalties, biotech 'start up' firms, and hype to encourage investment."

HT: Wesley Smith

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Sullivan, read the book before you embarrass yourself anymore

Andrew Sullivan is just sometimes content to embarrass himself for seemingly no other reason than because his ego is too large for him not to say anything about something he knows nothing about. Yesterday and today he's attacking Ramesh Ponnuru's book (which he hasn't read) because of its title here and here. Ramesh replies to Sullivan's first post here.

Sullivan says, "Conservative writers have now made fortunes calling their partisan opponents traitors, godless, and now pro-death. Their rhetoric increasingly equates being a Christian with being a Republican. I never thought someone as civilized and intelligent as Ponnuru would sink to this kind of rhetoric."

Pseudo-conservative writers now make fortunes calling the title of a book they haven't read "reprehensible." Their rhetoric now creates silly and ignorant strawman arguments since I've read the book and never noticed Christianity being equated with being a Republican. I'm well aware that someone as "knowledgeable" as Sullivan would attack a book he hasn't read based on nothing but the book's title even though he doesn't care seem what the author means by the title. Thanks Andrew. Never let your complete ignorance on a subject keep you from self-righteously taking cheap shots at others.

But I really think Andrew should read the book because Ramesh aptly discusses and logically destroys Sullivan's "personally prolife" position also famously held by Mario Cuomo. You see Andrew "abhors abortion as a moral matter" and "can never condone it" (seemingly because abortion intentionally ends the life of an innocent human being) yet he thinks that "attempt(s) of the government to police a woman's body in the first stages of pregnancy to be a deeply unconservative idea." Sullivan can never condone abortion yet thinks restricting abortion in the first trimester is deeply unconservative? Gee, thanks. How many sides of his mouth can he talk out of? Why attempts to police a woman's body later in pregnancy (after the first trimester) aren't "deeply unconservative" is never explained.

Sullivan provides no reasoning (except saying "balancing of goods") as to why it should be illegal to abort 12-week fetuses yet illegal to abort 13-week fetuses. What changes in that one week make the developing human being worthy of legal protection? Is there no real reason except to "balance the goods?"

Why the first trimester? Why not the first quadmester?

Nor does Sullivan seem to recognize in his second post that one branch of the federal government (the Supreme Court) has already imposed itself into the abortion debate.

If Sullivan took the time to research the book a little before commenting (if he didn't feel like waiting to read it) he might notice that various bloggers like Amy Welborn and Naaman have already shared what Ramesh says he means by the title.

Help for Lydia

Please pray for Lydia or try to help her. I discussed Lydia's situation in the post below.

Even though Lydia is against abortion, it appears from a recent entry on her blog that she may have scheduled an appointment at an abortion clinic for Tuesday. Lydia is under a lot of pressure to abort.

She comments in one of her posts:
All I am told on a daily basis is how I am going to ruin my life because I have not even graduated from high school, though I will in June.
Everyone keeps telling me it will be hard on me to balance college and a baby and then later have to balance a baby and a career.

The only ones here to help me and assist me in any way are my friends and most of them are turning their heads now. I have no where to go if I keep my child and I am being looked down on because I do not believe in abortion.

Everyone is on my back at every second they have a chance to shove the idea of abortion down my meak throat; no matter how hard I try to get them to understand, they just say I'm too immature and I cannot do it.

I pray every day for someone to just send me a sign and let me know I can do this and I haven't received anything.

My ex boyfriend and father of my baby will not have me if I have our child and that kills me inside. I feel like he cannot love me enough to love something of our own creation and for that I am a failure.

I'm just so confused. I cannot raise a child without any support from my family or my baby's father or his family.

As much as I don't approve the idea, I am ultimately going to be a murderer in my eyes and I can't change anyone's heart enough to get them to see that with clarity.

Events in Michigan this week

This week has been a big week for life issues in Michigan.

On Tuesday, a variety of pro-choice groups sponsored a pro-choice rally at the state capitol which included a speech by Governor Jennifer Granholm. You can watch clips of the Michigan March for Choice Rally at a web site created for the rally. A variety of prolife college students protested this rally. You can see a prolife sign saying "Women Need Love, Not Abortion" in the left hand side of a picture at the Lansing State-Journal.

On Wednesday, Right to Life of Michigan held its annual Legislative Day in Lansing. At this event, prolifers (including myself) learned about a variety of prolife bills which are making their way thru the legislature and were encouraged to lobby their legislators whom joined them during lunch. Dr. David Prentice, Senior Fellow for Life Sciences at the Family Research Council and founding member of Do No Harm spoke about stem cell research and I think he did a good job of explaining the basic of the research, some of the great things that adult stem cell research has done and explaining the ethical and scientific problems with embryonic stem cells.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

New Abortion Poll

The Susan B. Anthony List has released the results of a recent poll on abortion.

The poll found the majority of those polled (54%) were more likely to pick a prolife option to describe their position on abortion. The six options were 1. abortion prohibited in all circumstances (16%), 2. abortion should be legal only to save the life of the mother (16%), 3. abortion should only be legal in cases of rape and incest and to save the life of the mother (22%), 4. abortion should be legal for any reason but not after the first trimester (21%), 5. abortion should be legal for any reason but not after the second trimester (8%), 6. and abortions should be allowed for any time during a woman's pregnancy and for any reason (12%). Another 6% didn't know or refused to answer.

The poll also shows that the majority of Americans aren't familiar with what happened in Roe v. Wade yet 65% thought they were familiar with it.

HT: Ramesh Ponnuru

"If I have an abortion, I lose everything."

An 18-year-old named Lydia is says she'll make a final decision regarding her pregnancy today. From an entry on her blog it appears that her father threatened to move out of the house if she didn't have an abortion. In another entry it appears he's changed his mind. It also seems that the father of the child wants her to have an abortion. Most of her postings are speaking to the father of the child.

Some notable quotes from some of her various posts:

"If I have an abortion, I lose everything."

"I'm sorry you can't see how passionate I am about life. How precious life is. How perfect it is when it's formed. I'm sorry I cherish and almost worship that and my morals. I'm sorry I love someone I haven't even met yet, and that's wrong in your eyes."

"I guess the only choice I have to make you happy is to abort.
I'll abort our life we made, that possibly came around at the wrong time, but I saw it was a blessing in was a hindering object to you.
I'll let it go.
But, if it goes, so do I. I cannot live knowing that I went through with an ultimate sin against my heart.
I cannot live knowing death of the innocent makes you think everything will be okay.
Nothing will be perfect.
I'm not perfect."

"I am selfish for keeping a life?
Isn't it selfish to kill it just for the sake of getting out of the consequences?
I think so....
If I do lose you then I'll still die happy, because I'll still have a piece of you that I will carry and nurture and love forever.
I promised I would love you until the sun forgets to rise or set and I'm keeping that promise.
No matter how hard this is on me, no matter how you still tell me that my eyes are amazing, I cannot be phased.
I am keeping it.
I will love and support it."

So much for Stanford

Stanford student Alicia DeSantola has a piece in the Stanford Progressive called "The Real Pro-life Movement" which almost makes me feel bad for pro-choice college students if this is the kind of ignorance they are filled with.

The premise of Alicia's column is that pro-choice Democrats (you know the ones in favor of legal abortion, tax dollars paying for abortions, etc.) are actual the real "prolifers."

Alicia claims that "the Democratic Party is quietly working to ensure that abortion is safe, legal, and nonexistent." Nonexistent? That's new, no?

She then ignorantly claims, "During the Reagan era, the hallmark of "pro-life" policies, the number of annual abortions increased by 70,000. Similarly, during all but one year of the first Bush administration, abortion occurrences rose dramatically."

Alicia obviously has a very limited knowledge of prolife laws and policies. The Reagan era was hardly the "hallmark" of prolife policies. Most current prolife laws weren't passed until after the Supreme Court's decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey so during Reagan's presidency there weren't a whole lot of prolife policies enacted. She's also wrong about the first Bush presidency. According to the CDC, the number of abortions performed in America dropped in two of the four years he was in office.

Alicia does mention one policy from the Reagan era (the Mexico City Policy) but she seemingly has absolutely no clue what that policy actually does.
"These figures are no coincidence. Presidents Reagan and Bush, pandering to their religious conservative base, both endorsed abstinence-only programs in high schools. Combined with the "Mexico City policy" of refusing to fund non-governmental family planning organizations which offer abortion counseling, these policies contributed to a general lack of sexual education in the American population."

Unfortunately, Alicia seems to be unaware that the Mexico City policy has nothing to do with family planning and sex education in the United States. It deals with the U.S. government giving funds to international family planning groups. The United States government did and does give a bunch of money to family planning organizations such as Planned Planned which are involved with abortion.
Countless times conservatives have presented the argument that every unwanted child can be raised in a loving home. Of course every child deserves to be loved. However, if abortion foes win an outright ban, our already overloaded foster care system would reach breaking point.

Alicia's evidence that South Dakota's foster care system would reach a breaking point if the approximately 800 abortions performed there annually didn't exist?.... Cricket chirping....more crickets.......

Is it me or do some pro-choicers have no idea where foster children come from? It's like they think every child in the foster care system was born into the foster care system. And that any newborn child up for adoption will spend the rest of their life in foster care.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Will Overturning Roe Hurt Republican Prolifers?

Ramesh Ponnuru doesn't think so.

Celebrity Abortion News

According to, court papers filed by Denise Richards charge that Charlie Sheen requested that Richards abort their first child and only accepted the pregnancy after Richards threatened to leave their marriage. Sheen has denied this charge and other charges that Richards has leveled against him.

Friday, April 21, 2006


One of the terms that have taken on a life of their own in recent years is "access." Whether it be "access" to contraceptives or "access" to abortion, we're told over and over again that poor women don't have "access" to something because they are poor. I'm still waiting for the NRA to say that low income men don't have "access" to guns because of the high cost for guns and bullets.

The fact is that low-income women have plenty of access to contraceptives. Plenty. Nothing stops a low-income woman from buying condoms or having her partner purchase condoms. Nothing. If a woman and her partner want to have sex, all she needs to steadfastly say is: "We're not having sex unless a condom is involved" and guess what?

That guy will go out and buy a condom.

Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton have recently written an op-ed (HT: Feministe) where "access" is mentioned.
"Most of these unintended pregnancies -- and the resulting abortions -- can be prevented if we eliminate the barriers that prevent women from having access to affordable and effective contraception."

What barriers prevent women from buying condoms? Are there invisible steel bars at the grocery store preventing women from grabbing a pack of Trojans? Are there invisible walls which stop women from getting a birth control prescription at their doctor's door?

Hillary and Harry later go on to diss South Dakota.
For example, a recent analysis by the non-partisan Guttmacher Institute revealed that South Dakota is one of the most difficult states for low-income women to obtain contraceptives.

What they conveniently don't mention is that South Dakota, which supposedly doesn't provide free contraceptives to poor women, has a much lower rate of abortion than states like New York and California which were given high marks with regards to contraception from the Alan Guttmacher Institute.

Why is it that according to the CDC, residents of South Dakota ( ranked 44th overall by the AGI) had an abortion rate of 6 (per 1,000 women aged 15-44) and an abortion ratio of 94 (per 1,000 live births) in 2002 when New York residents (5th overall by the AGI) had an abortion rate of 30 and an ratio of 462 in the same year? The last year the CDC records abortion statistics for California is 1997. At that time California (occurrences not residents since the resident statistics are basically non-existent in 1997) had an abortion rate of 38 and an abortion ratio of 525. California, by the way, was ranked #1 overall by the AGI. I'm sorry but with results like those, I don't think South Dakota is going to be running to New York and California for advice on lowering abortions.

Maybe, just maybe, a state's policies on giving out free contraceptives don't necessarily correlate to a lower abortion rate. Maybe some other factors apply, like, let's say, where a state pays for low-income women to have "access" to abortion. Or maybe what the average age of marriage is? Or maybe how abortion is seen by the residents of that state? Or maybe how unborn children are seen by residents of that state?

Party of Death - Book Review - Part One

I recently received Ramesh Ponnuru's new book, The Party of Death, and have been reading it on my lunch break during the last two days. Besides the fact that receiving this book for free is the first tangible thing I've gotten from almost a year and a half of blogging, Ramesh is probably my favorite writer for the National Review so I've looked forward to reading this book for quite some time.

As of today I've read the first seven chapters and enjoyed them thoroughly. In the first chapter, Ramesh takes the time to shatter the myth of what Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton did and dismantles Judge Blackmun's "flimsy" reasoning and the media's acceptance of the "first three months" line. Chapter two discusses how the abortion issue has realigned the political orientation of many individuals, the abandonment of prolife principles by many Democratic politicians, and the "personally opposed" stance of politicians like Mario Cuomo. Chapter notes how many Democrats have taken advocacy of abortion to the extremes of wanting tax dollars to pay for abortion and their disapproval of Unborn Victims of Violence law. Chapters four and five discuss partial-birth abortion. Chapter six addresses whether abortion has brought about social good (such as a reduction in crime) and how those arguments are "something of a sideshow." Chapter seven (which was my favorite chapter so far) discusses personhood and other arguments used in an attempt to argue away the rights of the unborn.

Though I'm only a third of the way through the book, if the rest of the book is like the first seven chapters (and I'm guessing it is), Ramesh Ponnuru has taken the stores of knowledge prolifers have acquired over the past 30+ years and condensed that knowledge into an enjoyably readable 248-page tome on arguably some of the most important political issues of our time.

Some quotable quotes so far:
"But saying that Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in the first three months of pregnancy is like saying that World War II pitted Germany against Great Britain: It's true in a narrow sense, but it's very far from being the whole story."

After posting a classic discussion between Rick Santorum and Barbara Boxer - "These are the difficulties one takes on in defending the killing of a human being inches away from being born: You're forced either to defend infanticide openly, or to draw distinctions that amount to a deadly game of Hokey-Pokey."

"The legislators who tried to outlaw partial-birth abortion were trying to work around (the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court used birth, a change of location, to transform a fetus to a human being). Conceding that the Court would not allow them to protect life within the womb, they tried to mark an outer boundary to the abortion right: to establish that they could protect human beings partway out of the womb. It is this attempt to draw a limit that the courts put down. In the process, they ascribed their own irrationality to others."

"The argument for the sanctity of life is straightforward. If human beings have intrinsic dignity and worth, then they have this dignity and worth simply because they are human beings. It follows that all human beings have this dignity and worth. They are equal in the fundamental rights that attach to being human. These rights - and to have any rights at all must be to have the right not to be killed - cannot depend on particular qualities that some human beings have and others do not."

"There is a radical difference that separates both an adult human being and a human embryo from both a kitten and a sperm cell. The first two are complete, living human organisms and the second two are not. Yet the party of death ignores that basic difference while making a difference of degree - the adult's greater age and development of his capacities - the basis of a radical difference in treatment."

End of life debate in West Michigan

The Grand Rapids Press has a two stories about a 97-year-old woman named Hazel Wagner in Allegan General Hospital. One doctor there, Brian Drozdowski, has "filed a petition eight days ago asking Van Buren County Probate Judge Frank Willis to cease the heroic efforts to keep Wagner alive, court records show. He asked that her "full code" status be changed to respite care, with her breathing tube removed, tube feedings stopped and measures taken to make Wagner comfortable." In the court document, Drozdowski has stated that Wagner has "almost no chance of meaningful recovery."

The patient has dementia, only one living relative, and never filled out any kind of end-of-life document such as a do-not-resuscitate order, a living will or a durable power of attorney.

The second article details that Ms. Wagner's guardian, Tammy Dykstra, has removed Ms. Wagner from Allegan General Hospital to a hospital in Kalamazoo. According to court officials, Dykstra "understood Wagner was improving."

One of the articles also notes that if a judge ruled in favor of Drozdowski petition, the guardian (not Drozdowski or the hospital) would be allowed to decide if Ms. Wagner continues to receive food and water and breathing support.

I think the language used in the first story is instructive of how our culture views those that receive and need certain life-sustaining medical care.

"should be allowed to die"

‘"unethical" to keep her alive like this'

"He finally died in October 2001"

"Our opinion is that it would be futile to continue to aggressively treat (such patients)."

Thursday, April 20, 2006

This is absolutely hilarious

Patterico has caught LA Times columnist Michael Hiltzik posting under a couple of aliases, referring to himself in the third person, having one of the aliases compliment him and complimenting his own alias.

Only Michael Hiltzik's incredibly lame response could top it for laughs.

UPDATE: The LA Times has suspended Hiltzik's blog for violating "The Times ethics guidelines."

Adult stem cell news

Next month a San Diego-based company will begin the first clinical trial to see if "stem cells derived from fat can be used to regenerate breast tissue."

The study will include women who have had "partial mastectomies due to breast cancer."

In Australia, researchers are using adult stem cells to treat patients with broken bones which failed to heal.

Baptist News shares the story of a young woman named Jacki Rabon. Jacki was paralyzed after a car accident in 2003. She is currently walking with the help of a parallel bar after going to Portugal, receiving a transplant of stem cells from her olfactory tissue and spending months rehabilitating.

Ask Amy

Here's an Ask Amy column where a 40-year-old pregnant woman is told by her friend of 10 years that she should have an abortion.
When I told one of my friends that I am pregnant, she got upset with me "for letting this happen at your age." She told me that she thinks I should exercise my "right to choice" and have an abortion.

I told her that I have decided to have the baby and that it already has a heartbeat.

She said that "there ain't nothing there that you can call a life" and that obstetricians perform ultrasounds so early in pregnancy to "browbeat and intimidate" women into having babies that they don't want.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Dave Andrusko: "To (Cristina) Page, the real reason you and I object to ripping the heads off of unborn babies is not because we find this a stomach-turning abridgement of basic human rights and a betrayal of our nation's best impulses, but rather because we are afraid of sex. This simple-minded putdown represents the ultimate one-explanation-fits-all strategy, which, for Page, also has the wonderful effect of eliminating the need to take ANYTHING we say seriously."

Karen Bodle: "I was in denial over the truth of abortion for over 20 years."

Random abortion clinic worker to a woman struggling with whether to have an abortion at around 7 weeks (my emphasis): "I know there's a lot of information on the internet about fetal growth, etc, so you probably have this picture in your head of an actual "baby" growing inside you. While later in your pregnancy, that'd certainly be more accurate, you have to realize that at this point, your pregnancy isn't even fetal. Fetal growth does not begin until the 8th week of gestation. Your pregnancy now is a tiny sac, the size of a peanut, with some liquid on the inside."
Just some liquid, huh?

In other teacher/abortion news

A fourth-grade social studies teacher in Pennsylvania named Katherine McGuire is on paid leave after discussing abortion with her students.

According to the story, McGuire discussed abortion and asked her students to vote if they'd would choose abortion or adoption. She then told her students she was against abortion.

Some parents are threatening legal action against McGuire.

According to the account given by the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Ms. McGuire wasn't the one who brought the subject up but she described an abortion procedure and noted that a baby was killed during the procedure.

We can only guess at the cricumstances of this discussion. My guess is that Ms. McGuire was teaching her young students about elections and government and maybe certain issues that people vote on when one of her students (probably a student with prolife parents) mentions abortion. Other students may have quickly asked, "What's abortion?" At that point, what's a teacher to do? Do you discuss abortion and the political controversy surrounding it with fourth graders or do you try to avoid the subject?

I've actually discussed this type of situation with someone I know who has a child of similar age. The child's mother is strongly prolife and because of her involvement with various prolife events has taught her daughter some things about abortion. During the 2004 election, the young students at the daughter's school were asked to take part in a mock election between Kerry and Bush (this is where I think the cause of the problem lies) and the daughter was asked by her friends or the teacher (I can't remember) why she was voting for President Bush. The daughter said she's voting for Bush because he's against abortion and then went on to describe her understanding of abortion. This, of course, caused some stirring and eventually the teacher requested that the daughter not talk about abortion in class. The teacher later mentioned this incident to the mother and requested the mother talk to her daughter about not talking about abortion in class.

Any thoughts on how parents and teachers should handle this type of situation?

"I am so glad I didn't listen to him and get an abortion"

Deanna defends her baby.

Sally Jacobsen apologizes, will probably be charged

Northern Kentucky Professor Sally Jacobsen has apologized for her "impulsive action in dismantling (a prolife) display." Though I wonder if she's actually sorry about dismantling the display or just sorry for the harm her actions have brought herself and her university.

Jacobsen has also sent an e-mail to her students apologizing for getting them involved in this and offering them advice on how to deal with the authorities including saying, "You can make it hard to find you."

The police say they don't anticipate charging the students but they anticipate that Jacobsen will be charged for her actions.

Related: Vandalism: Taking the abortion debate to a higher level

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

More Abortion Led to More Crime

That's what John Mueller concludes when he reviewed Freakonomics for the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Mueller turns Stephen Leavitt's "abortion leads to a reduction in crime" theory on its head when he notes that abortion increased the number of men who would have otherwise been financial responsible for their children. According to Mueller, having dependent children is something which seems to play a role in lowering a man's chances of committing homicide.
Legalizing abortion didn't lower homicide rates 15-20 years later by eliminating infants who might, if they survived, have become murderers: it raised the homicide rate almost at once by turning their fathers back into men without dependent children -- a small but steady share of whom do murder. The homicide rate rose sharply in the 1960s and '70s when expanding welfare and legal abortion sharply reduced economic fatherhood, and it dropped sharply in the '90s partly due to a recovering birth rate, but mostly because welfare reform and incarceration raised the share of men outside prison who were supporting children.

I wish that Mueller examined more crimes than just homicide but I think his theory is interesting.

A Question for 24 Addicts

Where has Agent Curtis Manning gone? Approximately three hours ago, Jack carried Bierko (the lead terrorist) out of an explosion, gave him to Manning and asked Manning to take Bierko to CTU Medical for treatment and interrogation.

I haven't seen Manning since. It's like he completely disappeared. I have seen Bierko (or at least the guy who plays him), however. He was on Law and Order: Criminal Intent a week or so ago.

So where is Manning? It only took Jack like five minutes to get to the gas distribution center via helicopter so it can't be too far from CTU via car. Is Manning questioning Bierko back at CTU and the show's directors thought that questioning of the lead terrorist was somehow unimportant?

Did he go home and catch up on some Zs after bringing Bierko in?

Did President Logan have Manning's SUV held up at a check point so Bierko couldn't be questioned?

Did Bierko somehow wake up, knockout or kill Manning and escape?

Will Manning be back on the show this season or will the directors just never mention Jack's top wingman for the rest of the season and expect us to accept this?

The Anger Just Eats Away

The Washington Post had a long article about angry leftwing bloggers on Saturday. The article focuses most of its attention on Maryscott O'Connor (a blogger and Daily Kos diarist) whose anger towards Bush and the right wing seems to engulf her life.

Maryscott blames her anger on a sense of powerlessness and says,
"I have become one of those people with all the bumper stickers on their car. I am this close to being one of those muttering people pushing a cart. I'm insane with rage and grief. But I also feel more connected than I ever have."

After reading the article it almost seems that these angry blogs act as an internet support group for people whose large stores of irrational anger find them looking for some place to release this anger. Instead of learning healthy ways to control and express anger, angry bloggers seem caught up in showing who can express the most anger towards whatever target they might choose.

Instead of finding constructive ways to deal with their rage (such as avoidance), these bloggers seem to look for things that will make them more angry and they seem to embrace their anger as if its release is something positive and constructive.

The web page of the American Psychological Association notes, "Research has found that "letting it rip" with anger actually escalates anger and aggression and does nothing to help you (or the person you're angry with) resolve the situation."

Governor Granholm to speak at pro-choice rally

Governor Jennifer Granholm, a Catholic who declared herself "personally opposed to abortion" during her run for Michigan's governorship, is on the lineup card to speak at an upcoming pro-choice rally at the state capitol on April 25.

What I find interesting is that Governor Granholm recently signed a prolife bill which allows women contemplating an abortion the option of seeing their ultrasound if the abortionist performs one even though the main sponsor of the pro-choice rally, MARAL Pro-Choice Michigan, was opposed to this legislation.

Monday, April 17, 2006

How the Pro-choice Movement Scared America

I think Jennifer Roback Morse nails the main strategy of the current pro-choice movement in the title of her recent column on Cristina Page.

If you don't recall, Cristina Page is the author of the book How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America and her main schtick is linking together abortion and birth control in an attempt to demonize prolifers.

Cristina will be coming to Michigan in May and for $50 you can hear her speak and get a copy of her book.

Vandalism: Taking the abortion debate to a higher level

The Kentucky Post weighs in on Sally Jacobsen's method of expressing her "freedom to destroy speak."
It's moot how you feel about abortion. This is about respect and intelligent discourse. You'd think a veteran university professor would have the capacity to debate issues intellectually. But then that's what this country has come to.

I wonder if Professor Jacobsen thinks that hypothetical students trashing the boots of an Eyes Wide Open display would equate with exercising their freedom of speech.

Probably not.

UPDATE:Kudos to Northern Kentucky. Jacobsen has been put on leave.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

The Daily Mail has an editorial by Joan Blackwell, a pro-choice woman who is uncomfortable with the number of abortions in the United Kingdom. Back when abortion was legalized, Blackwell assumed that "more sex education, more contraception, and less inhibited social attitudes would mean no woman would become pregnant who didn't want to" and is disturbed by the fact that this hasn't become a reality and notes that abortions in the UK are on the rise. Blackwell attempts to find out why abortions are on the rise even though her utopian vision of more sex ed, more contraceptives, etc. has come to pass.

To accomplish this goal Blackwell shares the story of Polly, a teenager who had an abortion at 14, and shares some of Polly's thoughts including, "'I don't regret my decision, but I did feel very ashamed when I was with the doctors and nurse and it was a very frightening experience...'I often wonder how my mum and dad felt at my getting rid of their grandchild. That does haunt me — but it's something we don't talk about any more."

Blackwell concludes that the culture where sex after a date is assumed, binge drinking is prevalent and where women are objectified is reason behind the UK's high and rising abortion numbers. Blackwell says,
"What is brutal and exploitative is a culture of easy and cheap sex, callous regard for each other's feelings, and a glib assumption that, 'what the hell, when things go wrong, she can always get an abortion'.

It is this coarsening of how we treat each other that leads to misery and wretchedness."
I'm wondering if Blackwell ever thought that maybe the legalizing and widespread practice of abortion might have led to some of the factors she thinks leads to abortion. It's like, hello? Where do you think the glib assumption that "when things go she can always have an abortion" came from? Maybe the fact that abortion is legal and available and the National Health Services pays for a whopping 82% of abortions performed on women from England and Wales.

If the post-abortive girl you interview claims to have no regrets (yet at the same time claims she is haunted) about her decision to get rid of her parents' grandchild (and thus her own child) isn't that a sign of callous disregard for something? Is it possible her abortion might have played a role in this callous disregard?

Blackwell's piece also contains this jaw-dropping paragraph:
If all three fail them and they then fall pregnant, the law allows them to seek and have an abortion. They are not forced to bear a child they did not intend and do not want. No children will be born into unloving homes and indifferent parents.
She can't really believe this, can she? Does she honestly believe that abortion makes sure that no children are born into unloving homes and indifferent parents? I also absolutely can't stand it when pro-choicers assume that the homes of people who bear a child they didn't plan are unloving and the parents indifferent.

Defending Life 2006

Americans United for Life has created a "State-by-State Legal Guide to Abortion, Bioethics, and the End of Life" called Defending Life 2006 and posted it online (you'll have to fill out a quick form to get to the table of contents). The report is kind of the prolife version of NARAL's Who Decides? This should be a good resource for individuals who want to know which states have various laws regarding abortion and other life issues in place.

Michigan was ranked as the #1 state for defending life.

Thursday Cat Blogging

Since Rascal has gained some poundage and become less fleet of foot, she now seems to enjoy laying on her back and wrestling with my hand as I scratch her belly. She's also learning to accessorize.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Life Links 4/12/06

Jill Stanek on Cecelia Fire Thunder's promise of a Planned Parenthood on her tribe's land. Sounds like Ms. Fire Thunder has a nice little personal fund raising scam in the works.

Wesley Smith dissects this column by Froma Harrop on futile care.

Dawn Eden links to the blog of a physician's assistant named Mike who works at Planned Parenthood in California. Mike says,
"so i'm totally hating my job at planned parenthood. the philosophy behind the mission of planned parenthood is totally incongruent with the way medicine is actually practiced at the affliates i've worked for thus far. the way the clinics are run is totally not based on patient care. they seem more based upon volume of patients seen on a daily basis.

the expectation is to see 40 patients in an eight hour shift. meaning at most i can give a patient 10 minutes of my time. that truly is unreal. i've learned to do the bare minimum for my patients, practicing shortcuts and excluding some extra care i would normally like to give my patients. this is not the type of care i really want to give to my patients but it essentially is the type of care planned parenthood has molded me into giving;"

Matthew Eppinette calls out Ronald Bailey's fantasy world where science cures and saves all.

Robert Nagel in the Weekly Standard on the U.S. Supreme Court and precedents.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Mystical World of Pro-Choice Atheism

In a response to a post by the Raving Atheist, biology professor PZ Myers says, "Picking an instant and calling that the moment when one is human is not scientific. This is an emotional, social, economic, and personal decision."

Here we have a biology professor claiming that whether an entity is human or not isn't based on science but on the pregnant woman's emotions, social situation and economics. I guess we don't need biology when we can look into a woman's saving account or lack thereof.

If a woman decides to have an abortion based on financial or social reasons, then I guess the unborn wasn't a human in PZ's mystical world. Somehow in this world of atheistic fantasy, what kind of organism the unborn are is based their mother's feelings. One wonders if this is the case for other organisms. Are unwanted dog fetuses not really dogs if their mothers decide they aren't? Are two poor chimpanzees capable of mating and creating an entity that isn't a chimpanzee if the female chimp feels the entity growing in her womb isn't a chimpanzee?

What about the fortunate early embryo whose mother decides to keep the child upon finding out that she's pregnant? If the woman judges her finances, social situation and emotions and makes the personal decision that her early embryo is a human, then is the early embryo a human at the instant of that decision?

What was the embryo before that decision? A giraffe embryo? A cat embryo? A cow embryo, perhaps? Or maybe some newly discovered type of organism without a genus and species to call home?

And what about women who think the unborn is a human, yet have abortions anyway? Or women who go back and forth in their decision? Does the humanness of the organism in her womb go back and forth with changing opinion? Or a woman who wins the lottery a day before her abortion is scheduled?

To assert that whether the unborn are human or not based on a woman's socially and economically based decision is mystical poppycock. It's unfortunate that an individual's preference for legal abortion can lead them so far from scientific truth that they are forced to rely on such obviously poor criteria in an attempt to magically dehumanize the unborn.

Ever wonder why the U.S. auto industry seems to always be cutting back and cutting jobs?

Here's one possible answer.

General Motors pays Lillian Winkel, a 83-year-old great-great grandmother, $74,000 a year to clean floors and empty wastebaskets.
"At nonunion plants, somebody cleaning offices couldn't dream of making the $74,000 that Winkel earned last year. Including the pension and Social Security she also gets, she received $114,000."

$114,000!?!?!?! To sweep floors and empty trash bins?!?!?!?!

Winkel notes that she always works on her birthday because, "I don't know anybody else who's going to give me three hundred and some-odd dollars for my birthday. Thank God for General Motors."

Monday, April 10, 2006

Abortion in El Salvador

On Sunday, the New York Times magazine had a long article about abortion in El Salvador called "Pro-life Nation." Abortion is illegal in El Salvador and the abortionist, the woman, and anyone that helps her obtain an abortion can be sent to jail. The article notes that if a woman cooperates with the authorities to find the abortionist it is unlikely that she will be sent to jail.

The article is written from the perspective of someone who is pro-choice and most of the information seems to come from abortion supporters but the article is worth the read and didn't come off as too biased. The article was missing the usual claims of deaths that I'm used to in an article about illegal abortion. Make sure you note the coercion that women who've had illegal abortions describe.

On page 1, D.C. says,
"I told the father. He said he didn't want another child. He didn't want to deal with problems like this. My mother told me she would kick me out if I ever got pregnant again."

On page 9, Carmen Climaco says,
"I never thought I could get pregnant because I had been sterilized. Suddenly I saw two doors shutting at the same time. There was nothing I could do. My mother said she'd toss me out of the house if I got pregnant."

Friday, April 07, 2006

Life Links 4/7/06

A pro-choice college student thinks 47 million U.S. abortion since Roe v. Wade is a "gross overestimation."

An Australian abortionist has been charged with the manslaughter of a fetus after he gave a woman some pills to take home for a late-term abortion.
"The woman allegedly gave birth in a toilet to a baby boy, who lived for four hours."

The Duluth News-Tribune via Knight Ridder has a long article on the Stacy Zallie Foundation, an organization whose mission is "to assist women who have made the difficult choice of ending their pregnancy in finding a caring, non-judgmental resourse to help restore their happiness and reconnect with their loved ones and their future."

Being honest about emergency contraception concerns

In a lame attempt to assert that those big, mean Republicans have the "ugly intent" to "regulate a woman's physiology against her will," PZ Myers explains how emergency contraception is supposed to work. In his rush to point fingers at those women-controlling bigots in Congress, he fails take the concerns of individuals who have questions about emergency contraception with any level of seriousness. Surprised? Yeah, me neither.

PZ discusses how the primary purpose of taking EC is too prevent ovulation. What PZ never attempts to do is talk about what might happen if a woman takes EC after she has ovulated. This, of course, shows that either PZ is either woefully ignorant about the stance of people who have questions/concerns about EC or he is being intentionally deceptive. Though it does make it easier for him to create strawmen, knock ‘em down and then make bold assertions about those opposed to EC.

Although, emergency contraception is also frequently referred to as the "morning-after-pill," Planned Parenthood notes that certain emergency contraceptive regimens have a five-day window of effectiveness even though the effectiveness decreases over time. When the FDA approved Plan B (probably the most popular form of EC) back in 1999, the the text on the carton of Plan B notes that the first tablet should be taken "as soon as possible within 72 hours of unprotected sex."

So the big questions PZ never addresses are: What does EC do if a couple has sex, the woman ovulates in the next day or so and then takes EC after she has ovulated yet within the 72-hour-after-sex-range? Would EC prevent a human embryo from implanting in a woman's uterus if EC is taken after ovulation?

One might ask: But Jivin, isn't it so much easier (and apparently more entertaining) to ignore the relevant and important questions and then proceed to paint your opponents as women-controlling "kooks?"

Yes, yes, it is. When a large number of a writer's audience and the writer himself think that prolifers are nuts who tap their fingers together like Monty Burns and cackle as they try to figure out which new plot they'll use to control women, then yes, it's much easier to not take their concerns honestly because taking the concerns of prolifers honestly might not go over with the your view and audience's view of prolifers.

Hopefully, PZ is aware that there are some serious scientists who have actually tried to figure out if emergency contraception prevents an embryo from implanting. Too bad he couldn't share that research with his readers.

PZ also fails to mention that the current controversy over EC doesn't have to do with whether it is should be legal or not. No one is "holding it up." It's already legal. The controversy is rather about whether EC should be sold over-the-counter instead of only by prescription. If Republicans are trying to "regulate a woman's physiology against her will" because they don't want a contraceptive drug sold over-the-counter then is anyone who is opposed to selling regular hormonal birth control pills over-the-counter also trying to "regulate a woman's physiology against her will?"

PZ writes, "Plan B doesn't help if one is already pregnant, and it doesn't affect any implanted zygotes."

How sad is it that a biology professor is using the term zygote to describe an entity that has implanted in a woman's uterus? PZ should be well aware that it would be impossible for a human zygote (one-celled entity) to implant in a woman's uterus.


Cynthia McKinney on April 3: "Well, you know, that goes to the heart of the press conference that we had today. And I want to thank you for covering the other press conference that we had on Friday with Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte.

But today we had black elected officials from the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus at the time when Coretta Scott King's body lay in state at the Georgia State Capitol. The Georgia Legislative Black Caucus was not allowed into the building to perform a part of the procession. Why? They can't even answer the question except that the security at the Georgia Capitol did not recognize them as dually- elected members able to carry out the mandate of the people who sent them to the legislature.

And as a result of police action that was -- we can't even understand why the members of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus were disrespected -- that's what they said today -- and forced to look at the body of Coretta Scott King from the third floor of the state Capitol.

The bottom line on this is that it doesn't matter if you're in the United States Capitol or the Georgia Capitol, the issue is racial profiling."

James Myart (attorney for Cynthia McKinney on April 3: "Well, let me put it to you this way.

The congresswoman acted and reacted, as far as I'm concerned, appropriately."

Cynthia McKinney on April 6: "There should not have been any physical contact in this incident.... I am sorry that this misunderstanding happened at all, and I regret its escalation, and I apologize."

Meanwhile, Matt Lowery has a column discussing the likelihood of Congresswoman McKinney not being re-elected in 2006.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Another loving abortion pushing boyfriend

Example here:
He just won't accept it. Today was the last day I could have an abortion. I told him NO at least 100 times. He is relentless in his persistance. It hurts and I am trying to remain strong. He has worn me down but I didn't give in and I feel good about that somewhere inside. I'm just so exhausted right now.

How many women get pushed like this and don't have Val's strength?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Life Links 4/5/06

Brent Bozell on the Washington Post's puff pieces on pro-choicer in its Style section.

Emily at After Abortion notes how shaming doesn't work.

Christina encourages a reporter to ask some more questions regarding the tragic death of Christin Gilbert after an abortion by George Tiller.

David Gelernter on getting back to federalism.

The debate over Eric Pianka

Eric Pianka, a professor at the University of Texas has gained a large amount of notoriety after a a review of one of his speeches in front of the Texas Academy of Sciences was put online and a story about the speech was published in the Seguin Gazette-Enterprise and then linked to by the Drudge Report.

According to the review by Forrest Mims, Pianka stated in his speech that humans were no better than bacteria, the only way to save the earth would be to reduce the human population to 10 percent of its present population, and that the most efficient way of killing 90% of humans would be via the ebola virus.

The article in the Seguin Gazette-Enterprise notes the reactions of Pianka's students and others who attended the speech.

Dr. Pianka says that his remarks were taken out of context and that "he believes the Earth would be better off if the human population were smaller" but "that doesn't mean he wants most humans to die."

The speech wasn't video taped so it's impossible to see the actual context of the speech but William Dembski is offering $1000 to anyone who might have recorded the speech. .

Individuals over at Panda's Thumb think the whole thing has been debunked because a Texas television station interviewed Pianka and Pianka said he would never advocate genocide and he says that Mims is a "crazy kook." Dembski says the interview has been doctored to removed a portion where Pianka says, "We need to plan our collapse rather than just let it happen to us."

Meanwhile, Telic Thoughts has compiled a "The blogger's Guide to Dr. Pianka" and provides links to what some of Pianka's students have said.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

It's all about the patents, baby

As California's voters scratch their heads wondering where the cures to diseases and boatloads of financial returns that proponents of Prop. 71 promised are, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation's (WARF) lawyers are telling California researchers that WARF "will demand a significant chunk of royalties from any of California's (embryonic stem cell) efforts."
Carl Gulbrandsen, executive director of WARF, told the Wisconsin State Journal last week that ``I'm not embarrassed at all to say that I hope the University of Wisconsin will make a whole lot of money from these patents.'' The journal Science reported that WARF typically charges as much as $125,000 for a commercial license with a $40,000 annual maintenance fee.

An article in the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal notes,
Under the policy approved by the board overseeing the institute, organizations that generate more than $500,000 from discoveries that result from research funded by the institute will have to pay a royalty of 25 percent beyond that threshold.

The Mercury News editorial (first link) is none too happy about this and claims that researchers "should have as much claim to patent embryonic stem cells as they do to laying claims on laws of nature. Namely, zero."

"I'm keeping it : D"

A teenage blogger named MLO from Michigan has decided to keep her child after her mom called and told MLO that she wouldn't let her get an abortion.

From previous posts, I'm guessing that MLO is in her second trimester based on the cost of the abortion she was quoted. After telling her parents about the pregnancy and finding them supportive, MLO seemed excited about keeping the child yet her concern for her boyfriend and not wanting "to ruin things for him" seemed to outweigh her desire to keep the child.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Anti-Choice Californians

Even though the National Abortion Rights Action League has given the great state of California an "A+" for their pro-choice laws and lack of anti-choice regulations, unbeknownst to many, the state's legislature passed a draconian measure in September of 2005 which was ardently anti-choice. So anti-choice is this measure, the usually Playstation 2/X-Box-focused students of the California's public schools have even started a ballot initiative and a website so that they can retain their choice.

Their choice to have an abortion free from parental involvement? No, of course not. It's perfectly legal for California's high school students to leave school for an abortion and if they do the school has no legal right to tell their parents.

But, the schools are legally required (or will be come so in July of 2007) to completely prevent them from buying Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, Faygo's Rock'n'Rye and a plethora of other varieties of pop (I'm from Michigan - it's pop, not soda) at school during school hours.

Make sure you check out Serge's take on the rules regulating California's schools and a hypothetical conversation at the LTI Blog.

Blogger's Best for Terri Schiavo: Part 3

is up at Wittenberg Gate.