Wednesday, May 31, 2006

"Taking my baby away"

A young woman shares her abortion experience in a poem.

Life Links 5/31/06

New poll on the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research and human cloning which was "commissioned by the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)" is out. Another poll, sponsored by the pro-embryonic stem cell group Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research was released earlier this month. The polls ask different questions in different ways and, not surprisingly, have different results.

Some Presbyteries are hoping to make the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) stance on abortion a little less pro-choice. One overture seems to be targeting the Presbyterian Church's financial support of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

So much for Cecelia Fire Thunder and her reservation abortion clinic

KeloLand television is reporting that Oglala Sioux tribal council has voted to ban abortion on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and to "suspend tribal President Cecelia Fire Thunder on grounds she asked for donations for an abortion clinic without the council's OK." Fire Thunder will be suspended for 20 days until an impeachment hearing can take place.

After South Dakota's legislature voted to ban abortion, Fire Thunder (a former abortion clinic worker ) received a fair amount of press coverage after promising to open an abortion clinic on her tribe's reservation. Jill Stanek did some basic research and it appeared fairly obvious that Ms. Fire Thunder had a nice little fund raising scam in the works. Even though Fire Thunder had a somewhat checkered past as the tribe's leader and South Dakota's attorney general noted that abortions performed by a non-tribal member on another non-tribal member on tribal land would still be in violation of state law, pro-choice individuals and groups still showed strong support for Fire Thunder.

Alternet did a long story and interview with Fire Thunder and a number of pro-choice bloggers gave financially and/or encouraged their readers to financially support Fire Thunder's effort.

Some pro-choice bloggers even had a pro-choice bingo event where they raised $500 and a portion of that went to Cecelia Fire Thunder. I wonder what Fire Thunder did with the bingo money? A nice dinner? Some furniture? A weekend trip, perhaps?

What did P.T. Barnum supposedly say about suckers?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Wanted: Perfect Feet

The United Kingdom's Sunday Times is reporting that more than twenty children were aborted late in pregnancy because of various foot problems (all of which are easily corrected by surgery) from 1996 to 2004 in the UK.

One of the foot problems/reasons for abortion mentioned is extra digits. Though this is very rare, I just can't fathom this.

I have a brother-in-law who was born with 7 toes (the extra two toes extended from near his big toe) on one of his feet. He lived with these extra toes for around a year (I can't remember the exact time) until he had surgery to get rid of the toes. The in-laws recently had a party for his college graduation and his mother (my mother-in-law) had out a bunch of old pictures including pictures of him back when he still had piggy #11 and piggy #12. The pictures were quite interesting and everyone always has a good laugh when my mother-in-law tells the story of how she thought something was "really wrong" with my brother-in-law after he was born because the doctors took him to another room or something like that. Though his foot is still slightly abnormal (I think he has an extra bone in there) this didn't stop him from playing soccer or basketball for his high school. Or from beating me by 20 strokes in golf yesterday (this is largely my fault as I am literally the worst chipper on the face of the Earth).

How can someone have an abortion at 20+ weeks because their unborn child has an extra toe? That's insane. The Times article only cites one person who defends the practice of aborting 20+ week unborn children because they have abnormal feet.
Jane Fisher, director of the charity Antenatal Results and Choices, defended the right of parents to terminate pregnancies when defects were found.

"This is not part of a move towards designer babies," she said. "These are difficult and painful issues."

A difficult and painful issue? Is it really that painful to give birth to a child with an abnormal foot and then have a doctor fix the problem after birth?

Have some couples been so ingrained with the idea that they're going to have a "perfect baby" that any slight visible abnormality leads them to abort? At 20+ weeks too? These are wanted or planned pregnancies were one would think that these women/couples would have already bonded with their child.

But it's still a woman's right to choose, right? What if the 20+ week child has brown eyes instead of blue or red hair instead of brown? Is it still a woman's right to choose? Does the right to choose include the right to have a child customized to your liking and the right to abort every child that doesn't fit into that mold.

By no means am I saying that most abortions occur for these reasons but it seems to follow that if one believes that a woman has a right to abortion because of the bodily autonomy argument, she has that right for whatever reason (extra toes, brown eyes, red hair, big nose, etc.) she chooses.

UPDATED: Amy Welborn correctly notes, "It will be a fine day when reporters on stories like this go to abortion-rights groups for their reactions. And press them on their reactions. And print them."

Friday, May 26, 2006

I believe in free speech. Take your speech and get out of the country!

Justice for All is a prolife group which uses large photos of unborn children (some of whom are aborted) and displays these photos on college campuses. One of their displays is currently at UC-Santa Barbara.

The managing editor of UC-Santa Barbara's student newspaper, Devon Claire Flannery, is not pleased with the display.
Showing photo-shopped images of mutilated fetuses is a most deplorable way to communicate one's message. The reason for this, specifically, is because if these demonstrators really cared about stopping abortion, then they would actually try to help women rather than try to guilt them out of terminating unwanted pregnancies.

The first tactic of pro-choice people who don't like to look at the images of aborted children is to say that the pictures are fake or are "photo-shopped." Yet Flannery like most pro-choicers who think abortion photos are fake provides not a single lick of evidence to back up her assertion.

I wonder if Flannery thinks showing pictures of people starved and killed during the Holocaust is the most deplorable way of communicating the horrors of the Holocaust or if showing pictures of Emmett Till's body was a deplorable way to share how Emmett was killed. Probably not.

Flannery also has no clue if the people at Justice for All do anything to help women. Does she assume that the only thing these prolifers do is carry around pictures. Is their no possibility that they might also help pregnancy centers? Nor does Flannery seem to understand that prolifers think persuading women away from abortion via pictures and debate is helping them.
The anti-abortion protestors assert that fetuses are humans, too, which is debatable, but last time I checked, there is no controversy over whether a fertile woman is really a person or not.

It's amazing isn't how quickly a pro-choice writer can put aside the central question in this debate. Simply say that whether the unborn are human or not is debatable and move on. Don't provide any argument or evidence. Don't work to come to a conclusion. Simply say it's debatable and move on.
However, the demonstrators shouldn't hide behind their "Justice for All" and "free counseling for women" signs next to their photos of mutilated fetuses - which were probably mutilated because the abortion was performed illegally in a country where abortion has been outlawed by people like those present on campus today - and try to call it free speech.

One wonders if Flannery has any clue what she is talking about if she actually thinks that the fetuses are mutilated because the abortion was probably illegally. Does she not recognize that the goal of abortion (whether legal or illegal) is to destroy the fetus? How would an illegal abortion create a more mutilated fetus than a legal one?

So then why isn't it free speech? Because you disagree with it?
These demonstrators don't care about women; they don't even care about fetuses. They just want to scare those of us who may need to have, or have had abortions, into thinking religious organizations, sexist males and insensitive thinkers know better than us on what is right for our bodies, our lives and our futures.

How many unargued assertions can one fit into two sentences? I guess when you have limited knowledge on a subject and are unable to provide any evidence for the central question of the debate, the most obvious tactic to turn to is impugning those you disagree and throwing out personal attacks.
Well, I don't want to hear it. Get your medieval, ignorant and sexist posters, opinions and scare tactics out of my school, out of my country and away from my body.

Although, early in her editorial, Flannery says, "No one is saying the demonstrators don't have a right to be here," she is now telling the demonstrators to get off her campus and out of her country. So much for free speech. If Flannery doesn't like the images on the posters, she doesn't give a rat's behind about free speech. She calls the posters medieval (huh?), ignorant (how?) and sexist (why?).

Some pro-choicer will have to explain to me how a poster of a living unborn child next to an aborted unborn child is sexist.

Time after time after time, I'm continually amazed at the unbelievably poor arguments which come from pro-choicers at institutes of higher learning. When confronted with facts about embryology, they call their opponents "sexist." When confronted with logical arguments about why abortion should be illegal, they call their opponents "religious fundamentalists." And when given the opportunity to provide a defense for their views, they resort to childish name calling and insults.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Life Links 5/25/06

Eric Cohen on how the steam that was powering the push for more federally-funded embryonic stem cell lines seems to have puffed out.

Richard Doerflinger also has a long article in the New Atlantis about cloning and stem cell research which I might have linked to before.

It appears that sex-selection abortion is occurring Canada at the expense of Canadian taxpayers.
The one example offered was the case of "Mary" who already has four boys and wants a girl. The memo states, "during her routine 18 week ultrasound was told she is carrying another boy. She would like to terminate the pregnancy and try one more time for a girl."

If it's "her body, her choice" I have trouble seeing how advocates of legal abortion could oppose allowing someone from having an abortion based on the reason behind the decision. It's still "her choice" even if the reason behind it is grotesque, no?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Life Links 5/24/06

The Guardian has a story on men in persistent vegetative states which weren't so persistent. Three men were given a drug which is commonly used as a sleeping pill. The drug, Zolpidem, aroused them after 20 minutes and its effects lasted around 4 hours.
Patient L had been in a vegetative state for three years, showing no reaction to touch and no response to his family. After he was given the drug, he was able to talk to them. Patient G was also able to interact with family, answer simple questions and catch a baseball. Patient N "was constantly uttering random screams". After he was given the drug, the screaming stopped, and he started watching television and reacting to his family.

Chuck Colson has a column on Michael Schiavo's book. Though most of the column is good, Colson unfortunately and incorrectly states the autopsy found that Terri was brain dead. "The vision centers of her brain were dead" and her brain was half of the size it normally would be but Terri's autopsy doesn't claim she was brain dead. Stephen Nelson even notes at the end of his exam that "Neuropathologic examination alone of the decedent's brain - or any brain, for that matter - cannot prove or disprove a diagnosis of persistent vegetative state or minimally conscious state."

William Saletan chronicles the United Kingdom's advance towards eugenics.

Stem cells and spinal cords

Yesterday, the Grand Rapids Press carried a long story about a teenager named Kadi Dehaan who was partially paralyzed 18 months ago. This week she will graduate from high school and then fly to Russia to receive a stem cell transplant in the hope of helping her paralysis.
NeuroVita, which opened in Moscow in 2002, recently has been drawing blood from paralyzed patients, isolating and growing the blood's stem cells, then injecting the cells into the injured spinal cord.

About 60 percent of the patients who have undergone multiple transfusions have regained at least some feeling or function, according to NeuroVita's Web site.

The story also mentions Jason Feasel, a Michigan man paralyzed in a motorcycle accident, who received a olfactory mucosa transplant via Dr. Carlos Lima in Portugal.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

"He didn't seem to care about me or the baby I was aborting."

A young woman shares her abortion experience where she was surprised by her insensitive abortionist.

Some excerpts:
As I stared at the cieling taking deep breaths he rushed in. I opened my mouth to introduce myself with a nervous laugh but he quickly smiled and nodded and pulled the ultra sound machine near the bed. The funny nurse hurried in to be by my side - thank god.
He didn't even introduce himself, not a how are you, not a hello I don't think. He told me to pull the blanket down and hold it. I did what he said afraid he would yell at me....

At this point I tried to inch my head forward to see it but he shut the screen off and wiped the gel off me. He told me to move forward on the bed, kind of confused I put my feet up. He stopped me and was like "no. listen to me. move forward so that your laying lower on the bed." I told him I'm sorry and that I was scared, he was like "well, your not listening to a word I'm saying, just calm yourself."...

I didn't enjoy the doctor. It didn't hurt at all, I had some mild cramps today and very little blood actually. Yet, the fact that the doctor was so insensitive to me was somewhat depressing. I ended up crying earlier this evening because of it and how he didn't seem to care about me or the baby I was aborting.

What kind of support?

Aspen Baker, founder of Exhale , had an editorial in yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer regarding her after-abortion-support talk line.

The National Advisory Council to Exhale (listed in their annual report) is made up of a number of pro-choice leaders like Frances Kissling and Carlton Veazey. Another member of the advisory council, Anne Baker (perhaps one of Aspen's relatives?) is the director of counseling at an abortion clinic in Illinois.

In her editorial, Aspen Baker notes that some of the people who call are prolife. I wonder what kind of support Exhale provides to prolife women who deeply regret their abortion. What coping strategies are given to women who recognize they helped to end the life of their own child? Are their feelings accepted by Exhale's counselors or are prolife women who regret their abortion given coping strategies which ignore these feelings? Would Exhale ever refer these women to post-abortion organizations which are prolife?

Monday, May 22, 2006

Alabama's Abhorrent Abortion Clinic

The Birmingham News has a strongly-worded editorial regarding an abortion clinic called the Summit Medical Center of Alabama. On Wednesday, the state Board of Medical Examiners temporarily (90-120 days at least for now) suspended the clinic's license for "egregious lapses in care, including non-physicians performing abortions.".

In February of this year, a woman gave birth to a "stillborn, macerated, six pound, four ounce baby" after she was given the RU-486 abortion drug cocktail by a non-physician at the clinic. Non-physician staff also performed an ultrasound and told the woman she was 6 weeks pregnant.

In case you're wondering, Merriam-Webster defines "macerate" as meaning,
1: to cause to waste away by or as if by excessive fasting
2 : to cause to become soft or separated into constituent elements by or as if by steeping in fluid;

What kind of person gives abortion pills to a woman who is nearly term and tells her she is only 6 weeks?

According to a state health officer, 4 of 10 sampled women were provided with abortions without a physician present.

The end of the Birmingham News editorial notes:
Based on the suspension order, we think Summit should never be allowed back into business. Even people who support a woman's right to an abortion should have a hard time believing the clinic should ever be allowed to perform another one.

Friday, May 12, 2006


My deep apologies to everyone who faithfully and graciously takes the time to read my daily sputterings but my postings will more than likely come to a complete standstill for the next week. I will be on vacation for the next week with my lovely wife and I doubt I'll find time to post.

Serrin Foster on the ACLU of Michigan vs. the Coercive Abortion Prevention Act

Serrin Foster, the president of Feminists for Life is none too pleased with the ACLU of Michigan's position on a package of bills to prevent women from being coerced into abortion.

Here's an excerpt from an e-mail I received:
Sadly, Ms. Moss' statements are inconsistent with the ACLU's record of supporting the rights of women who choose to bear the children they have conceived. After stating, "Let's be clear: No one should be coerced into having an abortion or having a baby," Ms. Moss takes a very different path. "However, if the Legislature really cared about protecting pregnant women, lawmakers would put more effort into ensuring that women have the resources they need to avoid unintended pregnancies and that those who are victims of abuse can get meaningful help."

Huh? How do "resources… to avoid unintended pregnancies" protect a woman who is already pregnant? And doesn't providing "meaningful help" for survivors of abuse include protecting them from coercion? If a woman does not want an abortion, those who coerce her through threats of violence, blackmail, divorce, or loss of housing, employment, or educational opportunities must be punished. No choice isn't pro-choice.

If a woman does not want an abortion and is experiencing coercion, it makes sense to mobilize doctors to support her free choice. There is ample precedent for this approach. Legislators across the U.S. have already enacted laws that require doctors and teachers to report suspected domestic violence or child abuse. Doctors can be a part of the solution to unwanted abortions as well.

Related: ACLU of Michigan is against a measure to prevent abortion coercion

Life Links 5/12/06

Serge on the pro-choice movement's attempt to link abortion and contraception with regards to the prolife movment's public policy goals. I would offer a third reason behind this trend: the inability to coherently defend the legal killing of nascent human beings. I think the pro-choice movement is finding it much more difficult to hide behind the "clump of cells" line with today's technology. It's much easier to say, "Look, they want to take away your pills and condoms" than explain why intentionally killing a living human being should remain legal.

Anybody seen the movie Gattaca? Britain seems to be taking another step in that direction. Their Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority is allowing couples to use pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to screen their embryonic children for genes linked to cancer. They've gone from allowing screening for genes that inevitable cause a disease (which is bad itself) to screening human embryos for genes where a certain percentage of people (around 80%) eventually get certain kinds of cancer. HT: Rebecca Taylor

Steve Dilliard takes one of Ramesh Ponnuru's detractors to task. And guess what? The detractor doesn't appear to have read Party of Death either. Surprise, surprise.

Hwang Charged

South Korean dog cloner and wannabe human cloner Hwang Woo-Suk has been charged with "fraud, embezzlement and violating bioethics laws."

Hwang allegedly accepted $2 million in private donations from individuals who thought his fake research was successful and embezzled $900,000 more in private and public research funds.

Think about this - if Hwang had actually been successful in cloning a human being then none of this would probably be happening. He'd still be a national hero for cloning a human being while now he's a disgrace because he failed and acted like he was successful. How far have certain societies fallen to where they're at the point where cloning human beings makes one a national hero but failing to clone and lying about it makes one a national disgrace?

The Canadian March for Life

Suzanne has some pictures.

Belushi's pupils

Now you see them

Now you don't

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Where have all the black babies gone?

Update: Thanks to Spike for pointing out that the Washington Post made a huge typo in their chart - the percentage of children under 5 who are Black and Asian was switched. Black children actually represent 15% of all children under five. Here's the correct chart.

The Washington Post has a story on a census report which discusses the race of children under the age of five. The census found that 45% of Americans under the age of five are members of a racial/ethnic minority compared to 33% of America's total population.

However, the chart at the bottom of the page shows that black children under five represent only 4% of the population younger than 5 even though African-Americans represent 13% of America's total population. While other minority gourps like Asians and Hispanics have a much higher percentage in the under 5 population, African-Americans have a much lower percentage.

Where are all the black children? They've been aborted. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 36.6% of U.S. abortions performed in 2002 were performed on Black women. This percentage has held fairly steady since the early 1990's.

Was I right or was I right?

Who could of guessed it? Andrew Sullivan has made his fourth post on Ramesh Ponnuru's book Party of Death (which he hasn't read) and notes that one of his readers (who doesn't sound like he's read the book either) "nails it."

Isn't it hilarious that someone who hasn't read the book could describe someone else who probably hasn't read the book as "nail(ing) it" in a description of the book? One would think that someone would have to actually read a book to be able to judge if someone else's critique of the book is accurate or not.

Catholic school teacher who was fired for being an abortion clinic escort has a one-woman show

And it's called "Baby-Killer." The story is from the May 5th Scene section of the Sacramento Bee. I had to phony register to read the story (registered name is "billsmith7," password is "billsmith" if they give you any trouble) which is also reproduced on the blog of Katelyn Sills, the student who was unjustly expelled from Loretto High School after her mom shared Marie Bain's abortion advocacy with administrators and Catholic leaders.

For those of you who don't remember the story, teacher Marie Bain was fired from Loretto after it was revealed that she volunteered as an abortion clinic escort.

Bain, a "self-proclaimed private person," describes her play by saying, "The play is about one year in my life. It's about when and why and how I started volunteering, through my hiring and firing at Loretto. In the play, I sing and dance. It's entertainment. I'm not giving a speech." The play will take place at Sacramento's YWCA for three Saturdays in May.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Abortion "Champion" Dead

Abortion advocate Lawrence Lader died on Sunday at the age of 86. Along with Bernard Nathanson, Lader co-founded NARAL and was the leader of NARAL during the early 70's.

In his book, Aborting America (p. 33), Bernard Nathanson describes Lader's hate for the Catholic Church.
Then Larry brought out his favourite whipping-boy.
"...and the other thing we've got to do is bring the Catholic hierarchy out where we can fight them. That's the real enemy. The biggest single obstacle to peace and decency throughout all of history."


"Well, Larry, what do you think? Is the Catholic hierarchy identical with the anti-abortion forces? Aren't there any others opposed to abortion?" As I nosed the car into the Lincoln Tunnel traffic, he set the intellectual tone for the next eight years with a single word.


It is also noteworthy that the New York Times has some trouble differentiating between RU-486 and emergency contraception.
He successfully challenged some restrictions on the drug RU-486, known as the morning-after pill, and arranged to manufacture a version of it in the United States.

"Abortion ... is a rite of passage"

Or at least that's what Bon, an abortion provider and blogger at Abortion Clinic Days, thinks.
But what made Anjie really unique was that she was conscious that there were strong forces that were trying to make her feel bad. She was actively rejecting the slogans and conventional wisdom of the anti-abortion folks that have seeped into our cultural consciousness.

Was she actively rejecting the conventional wisdom of prolifers (and possibly her own ingrained wisdom) and/or was she unconsciously accepting the pro-choice idea that puts career ambitions miles ahead of the lives of unborn children?
The other amazing thing is that she said, "I am the last in my crowd to have an abortion. Now it is 100%." Many of you will see this as a sign of depravity among college students. But the remarkable thing is that all those friends had been open about their experience and were willing to share their experience to help out a friend. She felt taken care of, connected, and what I can only describe as NORMAL. This is amazing for how rare it is. But the truth is that abortion, like having a baby, losing a parent, having sex for the first time, getting married, etc. is a rite of passage.

After the milestone of having an abortion, the realm which Anjie now passes into would probably be up for debate.

Picking the wrong man to tangle with

Ramesh Ponnuru takes on Andrew Sullivan's use of the term "Christianist" and the Alan Guttmacher Institute's rebuttal to his piece on their report.

Maybe Sullivan will take the time to grace us with his fourth post (the previous three are here, here and here) on Ramesh's book, which Sullivan has yet to read.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Eugenics, anyone?

Via ProlifeBlogs, I've read the Judicial Watch's Clinton RU-486 Files report. Various memos between Clinton staff members show how hard the Clinton administration worked to get the abortion drug to American soil and how the drug's maker was wary of selling the drug in the U.S.

At the end of files there is a disturbing letter to then-President-elect Clinton from Ron Weddington. Ron Weddington is the ex-husband of Sarah Weddington and was her co-counsel when she argued Roe v. Wade in front of the Supreme Court. After reading the letter, it's hard not to put Weddington in the camp of eugenicists. This letter to the editor of the New York Times in 2003 doesn't help either.

In his letter to Clinton, Weddington channels Margaret Sanger,
"But you can start immediately to eliminate the barely educated, unhealthy and poor segment of our country. No, I'm not advocating some sort of mass extinction of these unfortunate people. Crime, drugs and disease are already doing that. The problem is that their numbers are not only replaced but increased by the birth of millions of babies to people who can't afford to have babies.

There, I've said it. It's what we all know is true, but we only whisper it, because as liberals who believe in individual rights, we view any program which might treat the disadvantages differently as discriminatory, mean-spirited and ..... well.... so Republican.....

I am not proposing that you send federal agents armed with Depo-Provera dart guns to the ghetto. You should use persuasion rather than coercion.....

Point out that only people like George Bush who inherit money can pay for more than one or two kids in today's economy.

After noting that birth control won't completely solve the America's main problem (in the eyes of Weddington) of "barely educated, unhealthy and poor people" breeding, Weddington notes,
No, government is also going to have to provide vasectomies, tubal ligations and abortions....RU-486 and conventional abortions. Even if we make abortion as ubiquitous as sneakers and junk food, there will still be unplanned pregnancies.....

P.S. I was co-counsel in Roe v. Wade, have sired zero children and one fetus, the abortion of which was recently recounted by my ex-wife in her book, A Question of Choice. I had a vasectomy in 1969 and have never had one moment of regret.

Sarah Weddington's book recounts how she had an abortion in Mexico in 1967. Sarah and Ron divorced in 1974.

Imagine how much Eugenics Kool-Aid one has to drink to believe that in late 1992/early 1993 only people who inherit boatloads of money could pay for more than one or two children. Weddington knew that his plan to keep poor people from having children was discriminatory but he didn't care. To him, the supposed greater good of society outweighed whether the "barely-educated" should be allowed to have as many children as they want.

Pro-choice or Pro-coercion?

Both MARAL and Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Michigan the have decided to come out against the Coercive Abortion Prevention Act (CAPA).

In usual fashion, Planned Parenthood of Michigan calls an effort to stop women from being coerced into abortion, "another attempt by anti-choice lawmakers to shame women and create more barriers to access to abortion, while neglecting to offer real solutions to domestic abuse."

It's crazy how screening women to make sure they aren't coerced, punishing those who coerce and allowing a woman to sue someone who coerces her into an abortion is "another shame women" in the minds of abortion advocates.

Related: ACLU of Michigan is against a measure to prevent abortion coercion

Monday, May 08, 2006

Life Links 5/8/06

A pregnant woman in Virginia shot herself in the stomach the day she was going to give birth in order to kill her unborn child.

Littlest Naaman was successfully born! Give Naaman your congratulations if you get a chance.

Mark Steyn discusses a variety of things including abortion, churches, communities, Ramesh Ponnuru's Party of Death and Tim Horton's donuts.

Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum are teaming up on alternative methods of stem cell research. What's with this article? The first paragraph says, "Rick Santorum (R., Pa.) yesterday called for federal funding of research that would involve creating an altered human embryo - one that could yield precious stem cells but not implant in a uterus" and then the third paragraph says, "Santorum said these methods would not involve destroying embryos and would be "non-controversial." Gotta love reporters.

A long article on the University of California-San Francisco attempts at human cloning in the San Francisco Chronicle. Instead of trying to find donors to donate eggs, researchers will be using eggs which failed to fertilize during IVF.

ACLU of Michigan is against a measure to prevent abortion coercion

Kary Moss, executive director of the ACLU of Michigan, has an editorial in the Detroit Free Press today in which she attacks bills in Michigan which are designed to make it illegal to coerce a woman into getting an abortion. The Coercive Abortion Prevention Act is a set of five bills (H.B. 5879-5883 and S.B. 1177-1181) which you can read by visiting the web site of the Michigan Legislature. The main bill, H.B. 5882, outlines methods of coercion and punishments for certain actions taken to coerce a pregnant woman into abortion. Read the bill and the others and try to explain to me how someone who is supposedly "pro-choice" could be so against these bills.

Some excerpts from Ms. Moss:
Supporters of this legislation laud this effort as a step to protect women who are victims of domestic violence. In reality, this bill is part of a larger agenda to deny women access to the full range of reproductive health services that they really need.

It would be nice if Moss could cite one health service which these bills would deny. She doesn't because the bills don't deny any health service including abortion. If a woman says she's being coerced into abortion, then she has to wait 24 hours.
Let's be clear: No one should be coerced into having an abortion or having a baby. However, if the Legislature really cared about protecting pregnant women, lawmakers would put more effort and money into ensuring that women have the resources they need to avoid unintended pregnancies and that those who are victims of abuse can get meaningful help.

Can anyone spell false dilemma? No one should be coerced into an abortion but I'm against a law making coercing someone into abortion illegal because lawmakers need to put more public funds into family planning? Thanks Kary, but that's complete nonsense. It's like saying, "I'm against a law to make wife-beating illegal because the state legislature hasn't put enough money into pre-marital counseling and conflict resolution seminars." Preventing unplanned pregnancies does nothing to prevent a boyfriend, husband, or parent from coercing a pregnant woman into an abortion. Passing out free condoms doesn't prevent a man from threatening to kick his girlfriend to the curb if she doesn't abort.

Plus, how is it not "meaningful help" to women who are being coerced to make it illegal to coerce women into abortion? Is it not "meaningful help" to women who are being beaten to have laws that make it illegal to beat women?

Kary then goes on to say that Michigan fares poorly in both contraception and helping victims of abuse. She lists the Alan Guttmacher Institute as contraception source, highly praises the AGI and doesn't mention the Planned Parenthood connection. She also only lists Michigan 48th ranking in law and policies and glosses over our 24th ranking in service and availability and 26th ranking in public funding.
If the Legislature wants to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies in Michigan, it should work to ensure access to birth control and medically accurate sex education.

Is it me or is the pro-choice movement starting to sound like a broken record to anyone else?

Prolifers: We should stop using tax-dollars to pay for abortions.
Pro-choicers: We should ensure access to birth control and sex education.
Prolifers: Teens should receive a parent's consent before having an abortion.
Pro-choicers: We should ensure access to birth control and sex education.
Prolifers: We should make it illegal to coerce a woman into abortion.
Pro-choicers: We should ensure access to birth control and sex education......
The bottom line is that the Legislature should stay out of private health care decisions. These bills do nothing to protect pregnant women.

But you see the problem is that if a woman is being coerced into abortion then she isn't making a private health decision. She's being coerced into a procedure she doesn't want by others. These bills do help protect pregnant women but Moss seems so blinded by her advocacy for abortion that any bill which deals with abortion is an anti-choice effort to undermine abortion.

The saddest thing about this editorial is it makes Moss come off as someone who cares more about making sure women have abortions than making sure women aren't coerced into abortion. Abortion needs to be defended, not the women who are being coerced into them. Instead of standing with pregnant women in crisis, the ACLU of Michigan has decided to stand with the abusive boyfriend, coercive parents and abortion providers.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Life Links 5/4/06

Ramesh Ponnuru takes a "new" (there's nothing really new in it) report from the Alan Guttmacher Institute over his lap and provides a proper spanking. Ramesh doesn't mention it but according to the AGI, tax-funded abortions are a matter of "social justice." On page 5, the report notes, "As a matter of social justice, every woman in the United States should have equal access to abortion services, regardless of economic status; therefore, public funding of abortion for indigent women should be restored nationwide."

Via Scott Klusendorf, here are some pictures (warning: the display being destroyed included graphic photos of aborted children) of a pro-choice student named David Janus Zhang destroying a prolife display on the campus of Western Washington University. Here's also a story about the destruction.

Wesley Smith comments on Senator Dianne Feinstein's support of a bill to legalize assisted suicide.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Those deceptive pregnancy centers

For those interested in the hullabaloo about the pregnancy center in Indiana which according to Planned Parenthood deceived, lured, and harassed a pregnant 17-year-old girl, I've come across a 2004 journalism project by a student at the University of Indiana named Rachel Conner which included a story about and pictures of the inside/outside of the pregnancy center in question.

After viewing the pictures of the inside and outside of this clinic, I have an extremely difficult time believing that anyone (much less a girl, her mother, and her boyfriend) could mistake this pregnancy center (filled with prolife brochures) for a Planned Parenthood.

UPDATED: John from the Generations for Life blog has taken the time to call the Indianapolis Police Department to see if they had any records that would corroborate Planned Parenthood's version of events. He says they came up with nothing. If I was a pro-choicer right now, I think I'd be questioning why Planned Parenthood has provided no evidence to support the version of events in their story and why the evidence seems to be stacking against them. I'd also be wondering why this girl and her mother and Planned Parenthood would let the CPC in question get away with that kind of harassment and never complain to the authorities.

Related: Some people will believe anything

Life Links 5/3/06

Rachel provides some Myths and Facts about Pregnancy Resource Centers.

Eric Cohen discusses the reasonableness of President Bush's stem cell policy and the unreasonableness of his critics.

There is a new pro-choice web site focused on how men deal with abortion. It's and has a section where men can share their abortion stories.

Jill from Feministe posts Nicholas Kristof's recent column on emergency contraception. Ross Douthat responds to Kristof's column and a post from Andrew Sullivan regarding this column. If anyone is interested I did a scatter graph to compare a state's contraception rating from the Alan Guttmacher Institute with the abortion rate by residence from the CDC's 2002 abortion survelliance report. I used occurrence abortion rates for California and New Hampshire from 1997 since those are the most recent/accurate numbers available. As you can see there isn't a whole lot of correlation between having a high contraception ranking from the AGI and having a low abortion rate.

Lydia had the abortion

According to the most recent entry on her blog, Lydia had the abortion.

After and before her abortion she was/is already rationalizing her abortion as being "for the best," "we weren't ready" and "we were thinking of our child as well."

Just two weeks ago she was saying things like "I'm losing everyone I love because I want to keep someone else I love alive."

After saying she thought she was going to abort, she crossed it off, and said, "I really don't think I should compromise my morals."

She was also preparing a room for her child.
"I only have a few more months to prepare, and I've already started re-arranging my room.

I am excited.
I hope you'll stay.

I hope you love us like you said you did."

Less than three weeks ago, Lydia wrote,
"If I have an abortion, I lose everything.
Sure, I feel like I've lost everything already because I am without you...but if I kill this innocent life, I lose it all. I lose the baby. I lose you. I lose me.
It wont fix anything. It'll make life less difficult because you'll be okay with not dealing with a problem that isn't a potential "burden" to you anymore. It'll make me feel like a murderer. 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."

Now, after the abortion she writes, "I know I cannot regret this because I understand it was for the best."

How quickly deciding to have an abortion and having an abortion can change what someone thinks about abortion.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Life Links 5/3/06

Joe Carter favorably reviews Ramesh Ponnuru's Party of Death.

The Australian government will be giving $22 million to adult stem cell research focusing on brain and spinal disorders.

Talk about a misleading first sentence. Steve Kraske of the Kansas City Star describes a measure to keep human cloning for research and embryonic stem cell research legal as a ballot measure "aimed at safeguarding early stem-cell research." This is the exact same kind of intentionally deceptive language the group in favor of embryonic stem cell research and human cloning uses on their web site.

The most hilarious part about the "Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures" is that their misleading definitions aren't in their "What it says, What it does" brochure to "save space." Uh-huh.

Or maybe they just don't want people to read the following definition of "cloning" in their initiative language when they claim their measure bans human cloning.
"Clone or attempt to clone a human being" means to implant in a uterus or attempt to implant in a uterus anything other than the product of fertilization of an egg of a human female by a sperm of a human male for the purpose of initiating a pregnancy that could result in the creation of a human fetus, or the birth of a human being."

So in other words "cloning" means implanting a clone into a uterus. But wait, if the clone/anything other than.... already exists then hasn't cloning already taken place?

Unfortunately, it appears Kraske has lent himself to merely parroting the misleading rhetoric of the deceptive organization behind the ballot measure instead of reporting the news.

Lydia update

As of late Monday night, Lydia, the young woman considering abortion even though she is against abortion, says she has decided to have an abortion.
I know adoption is an option, but I know myself enough to know I will become more attached to the child and will ultimately decide to keep it, which may not be a good decision at all.
I cannot risk that.
It is our child and we have decided to abort it......

I do hope Jordan loves me as much as I feel he does and maybe our relationship will grow again and last. I hope it does and if it does, I hope when we're ready we can try again and know that we did it right.

Jordan, Lydia's boyfriend/ex-boyfriend/father of the child, has shown up in the comments section of this post by Lydia to swear at the people trying to persuade Lydia not to abort and adds this bit of wisdom.
"because yeah, im 16 and im smarter than all of you.

and thats not my opinion."

Jordan also has his own blog (language warning).

"If I have an abortion, I lose everything"
Help for Lydia

Monday, May 01, 2006

Some people will believe anything

A number of pro-choice bloggers have linked to and shared this story from Planned Parenthood which claims that a 17-year-old girl in Indiana was lured into a crisis pregnancy center, deceived and then harassed by prolifers who were seemingly associated with the CPC in question.

What I find so sad is that these bloggers simply take Planned Parenthood at their word. Amanda from Pandagon seems to have done the most research by contacting an Indiana Planned Parenthood employee who was unable to provide any actual details but confirmed the story was true. I know - that's some tough, hard-nosed reporting. Go to the source of the information and ask if they're telling the truth. "So you didn't just make up a story? Great. Thanks." Interview over.

I wonder if Amanda even knows which city this supposed incident took place at. If so then maybe she could have taken the time to get a response from the prolife side to see what they had to say.

Unfortunately, no pro-choice blogger that I've seen has taken this story with a grain of salt. They've all taken Planned Parenthood's word even though the story has virtually no solid details. The name and location of the CPC isn't given. No witnesses are given to corroborate the story. No police report. Just the word of Planned Parenthood. "But I read it on the internet so it's gotta be true!"

Now maybe Planned Parenthood isn't making up the story. What if Planned Parenthood was told this story by a client or supporter of theirs? One would hope they'd investigate this story to make sure it was 100% true before e-mailing it to their supporters, no? One would hope they'd contact the CPC in question to get the CPC's side of the story and to see if the story had an basis in fact, right?

I'm with Serge on this one. The fact that this story is being publicized at a time that eerily corresponds with the lobbying efforts on behalf of a pro-choice bill to regulate CPCs makes me wonder if something (such as the whole truth) is not being told.

I would hope that prolifers would also take certain claims with a grain of salt. In the same way that every story shared by pro-choicers isn't the whole truth, we should all be aware that every story shared amongst prolifers might not be 100% true and should avoid treating stories as true unless we have some kind of evidence to back them up.

Related: Those deceptive pregnancy centers

Attack on Abortion Protestor

Prolife Blogs has posted a link to and some video stills of Rose Mawhorter, an abortion protestor, being attacked while protesting near an abortion clinic.

In other free speech news, a middle school student in Wisconsin is being prevented from wearing a prolife t-shirt to school.