Thursday, November 30, 2006

Another Alabama abortion clinic cited for violations

An abortion clinic in Huntsville was "cited by state inspectors last month for violating 10 state laws governing abortion providers."

Violations included not documenting the age of the aborted children, sending women home before a 20 minute recovery period and connecting women who had complications to an administrator instead of a physician.

Does a bill to prevent women from being coerced into abortion trample rights?

Dueling editorials are in the Detroit News, one answering yes, another answering no.

I wonder if it's uncomfortable for Michigan Planned Parenthood and Michigan NOW to be on the same side of this debate as Glenn Sacks. It's tough to stand next to someone who thinks men have a constitutional right to threaten and coerce women into having abortions. I don't know what Constitution Mr. Sacks is reading but I can't find the right to coerce women into abortion in this one. What other types of things do men have the constitutional right to coerce women into?

Links to the text of the package of bills can be found here.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Life Links 11/29/06

Britain's biggest abortion provider: Abortion should be a decision between a woman and
her doctor
someone she's never met before but has a license to practice medicine
a nurse she's never met before.

Nat Hentoff: When do we become human beings?

Was Carmen Climaco sentenced to 30 years for an illegal abortion in El Salvador or was she sentenced to 30 years for strangling her newborn child? Here's the editorial in Spanish by Julia Regina de Cardenal. Babelfish is a web page that translates various languages in case you (like me) can't translate Spanish.

Do women make children? Or do unborn human beings develop inside of women?

About a month ago, Richard Stith had an interesting post in First Things where he discussed why many pro-choicers find prolife arguments absurd. He noted:
I submit that pro-life arguments seem absurd to any listener who has in the back of the mind a sense that the embryo or fetus is being constructed in the womb.....To someone who conceives of gestation as intrauterine construction, pro-life people sound just this ridiculous. For a thing being constructed is truly not there until it is nearly complete.....

I conclude that pro-choice folks think pro-life claims regarding embryos to be not only wrong but also absurd whenever they think (even unconsciously) that embryos are under construction in the womb. And pro-life folks find pro-choice denials of prized human dignity in embryos to be equally absurd whenever they think that the unborn child develops (indeed, develops itself, unlike the Polaroid photo) from the moment of fertilization.

The two sides are not quite parallel in this, however: Human beings do develop. To think they are constructed is flatly erroneous. This error remains intuitively plausible and has a decent cultural pedigree, so therefore those who make it should not be dismissed as utterly irrational or evil, even though they may seem so from the viewpoint of one who bears in mind the facts of human development. But they are absolutely wrong.

I remembered this post by Stith after reading this comment by Amanda from Pandagon on this post by a blogger named Sharon.

Amanda writes (among other things), "There's a nearly 10 month period between the sexual intercourse and the baby, which is a not-inconsiderable amount of time. Men don't make babies. Women do."

Do women make babies? Or do unborn human beings develop inside the wombs of women? Women certainly play a pivotal and important role in helping unborn human beings develop in-utero (and ex-utero for that matter) but ninth months of gestation doesn't "make" a baby. Providing nutrients and a safe environment for a developing fetus doesn't "make" a newborn anymore than providing nutrients and a safe environment for a newborn "makes" a toddler. The child (and adults for that matter) needs certain things to continue developing but these needs don't mean the child is being made. Nor does it mean that the individual who provides those needs is making the individual who receives those needs.

Now I must assume Amanda has some knowledge of fetal development and that she must understand that over time the unborn child becomes larger and more developed. Yet she still is claiming that women "make babies." Is it because this idea is "intuitively plausible and has a decent cultural pedigree" or could there be other reasons?

Jesurgislac, a blogger who comments on Amanda's blog, leaves me further scratching my head when she writes, "Once a child actually exists - after the baby is born - it is of course illegal to kill it, and your suggestion that anyone wants this to be legal is false."

So the child doesn't "actually exist" until he or she is born? Is the womb some form of alternative reality where things exist but don't "actually exist?" Why would anyone write that the child doesn't "actually exist" (which is more than saying the unborn are "not alive" or "not a person") until birth? If the unborn didn't "actually exist" then why do women have abortions to get rid of something which doesn't "actually exist?" Someone can't actually believe that, can they?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Can't beat golden retriever choreography

Can you imagine how much time this would have taken?

Robert Lanza still can't be honest about ACT's experiments

Even though his paper to Nature had to be changed, Robert Lanza is still being dishonest about the controversy surrounding ACT's experiment. He sits in "disbelief" that a controversy arose over him and his company claiming they'd created embryonic stem cell lines without killing human embryos when they killed every one of the embryos they used. Of course, those aren't the words he'd use to describe what happened.

The article gets the whole controversy wrong and the reasons behind it wrong, most likely because Lanza misled the reporter.

Life Links 11/28/06

Alabama is discussing new regulations for its abortion providers.

A priest from Miami may tried to convince a woman to abort his child. The woman refused to have an abortion and has a child whose DNA could certainly prove if a certain priest is the father.

In another chapter of the intolerant pro-choicer theater, the CBC has picked up on a motion by the vice-president of services for the Carleton University Students' Association (CUSA) to basically not allow any prolife college groups on Carleton's campus. As Serge documented, this motion seems to be have set forth after and because of an abortion debate in which the advocates of legal abortion faired poorly.

There has also been some discussion on a blog run by students at Carelton regarding this issue. What I find funny is that the text of the motion doesn't include the word "abortion."

CUSA "respect(s) and affirm(s) a woman's right to choose" what?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Life Links 11/27/06

James Kelly on why opposition to embryo-killing research shouldn't be a losing issue
When ESCs and human cloning are hyped with lies and frauds, call the lies and frauds by their name. When the motive for the deceptions is money, expose it. The public might be confused by scientific double talk, but it understands lies, frauds, and self-serving financial interests.....

If Americans can be shown that their health is being sacrificed, that their hopes are being exploited, and their trust has been betrayed to promote biotech financial goals, stem cell issues will become conservative and pro-life political strengths, rather than weaknesses.

The UK's Lord Winston explains why he thinks every parents should be able to choose the sex of their child. He doesn't see how this treats children as commodities and never really talks about the embryos who don't have the right combination of chromosomes which determine someone's sex.

Here's a pro-choice student at the University of Maryland's take on displays using pictures of aborted children. The student believes the pictures are most likely real yet opposes such displays because they can evoke feelings of shame. But if the unborn aren't valuable human beings worthy of protection then why should anyone be ashamed for killing them or playing a role in killing them?

Quote of the week

Frederick Buechner: "Vocation is where the world's greatest need and a person's greatest joy meet."

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Alliance for Medical Research - another pro-ESCR group, the same basic story

Wesley Smith has a new article in the Weekly Standard discussing the deceptive video (mentioned earlier) from the Alliance for Medical Research. I wonder if the bioethicists at the American Journal of Bioethics will protest this complete fabrication of research by the Alliance for Medical Research?

Probably not seeing as they believe, "the abuses of science by proponents of stem cell research pale by comparison to the abuses of the right wing..."

But back to the Alliance for Medical Research. Here's their web site. You might find some interesting things if you take a look. For example, their FAQ section was copied and pasted from the International Society for Stem Cell Research's FAQ web site without citation. AMR's Fact vs. Myths is copied and pasted with citation from the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research. You'd also find a "stem cell primer" by Scott Gilbert, an embryologist who has let his "scientific" views become so politicized that he actually writes that the view that the life of a human being begins "when it can be metabolically independent from the mother" is "scientifically defensible." One new thing I also learned was that according to AMR's ethics section "After the male sperm has penetrated the membrane of the female ovum, the process called 'fertilization' is then begun. Fertilization normally occurs in the uterus." Hmmm... Odd, I always thought fertilization typically took place in one of the fallopian tubes. The ethics section also contains some really horrendous attempts at logic regarding whether cloned human embryos are human beings or not. Really, really horrendous.

Also of note, the Ethics Advisory Board for the Alliance for Medical Research has one member - Louis Guenin - whom I heard speak not too long ago and whom I'm guessing is the author of the ethics section of the AMR's web site.

I wonder if Mr. Guenin gets paid to look the other way as this organization creates a video filled with lies and distortions? Or maybe the question isn't if but how much?

I'm starting to realize it's fairly easy to start a pro-embryonic stem cell research/human cloning for research group. Have a press conference bashing those anti-science luddites who want Michael J. Fox to suffer, create a web site with information taken from other pro-embryonic stem cell research web sites, pay some pro-ESCR bioethicist to be on your ethics board, distort what somatic cell nuclear transfer is, etc., etc.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Repeat abortion study

The Alan Guttmacher Institute has released a new study regarding repeat abortions in the United States. They also have a press release about the report.

They conclude "the reproductive health care system in general is failing to provide women with the services and counseling they need" even though they later say "the majority of women having abortions were using contraceptives when they became pregnant" and "women obtaining second and higher-order abortions were slightly more likely to have been using a highly effective hormonal method (such as the pill, the patch or the ring) when they became pregnant."

What they don't mention in the press release is that even though around 54% of women having abortions are using some form of contraceptive, a large percentage of them are using them irregularly or inconsistently. For example, on page 30, the study finds that the major reason (around 75%) for failure among pill users was "irregular use." Individuals who used barrier methods cited "used method inconsistently" as the reason for failure about 50% of the time. It should also be noted that more than 45% of the women having abortions used no form of contraception.

AGI also thinks there shouldn't be any barriers which impede abortion providers from getting Title X family planning money and that keeping family planning services "separate and distinguishable" from abortion services has led to more abortions. According to the web page of Planned Parenthood of California, Planned Parenthood gets 14% of Title X money.

Isn't it amazing how every AGI study always concludes that Planned Parenthood needs more money or some commonsense obstacle needs to be removed? It's almost as if the conclusion was foregone regardless of what the study finds.

Serge also has some thoughts

"My child....I tried every way possible not to think of it that way."

A blogger from the United Kingdom discusses her experience with abortion.
My whole world fell in around me as I tried to make the hardest decision I have ever faced. I had always said I didn't want children. But there was a child growing inside me. My child....I tried every way possible not to think of it that way. I told myself it was nothing but a bunch of cells. It was just an accident I had to deal with.

If you choose to post a comment, please show love and respect to this individual.

Life Links 11/21/06

A long trailer and a film clip from the video A Distant Thunder are available on YouTube. I reviewed the video about a year ago.

More embryonic stem cell misinformation, this time from the Alliance for Medical Cures, according to Wesley Smith. From my research it appears as though the Alliance for Medical Cures is trying to equate the relieving of some Parkinson's-like symptoms in macaques (a type of monkey) by using cells from monkey embryos with curing Parkinson's Disease in chimpanzee with human embryonic stem cells.

Not to mention how Governor Granholm is peddling pure grade A cow manure regarding how many jobs would be created in Michigan if killing human embryos for research became legal.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Life Links 11/20/06

Patrick McIlheran: The hot button's hot since it's about who's human
We face the same questions as Aristotle, says Furton: "There's still good and evil, right and wrong conduct." You tell them apart, out on the edge of science, by sticking with what's worked. Don't kill humans. Don't maim them. Don't treat them as materials.
HT: Rebecca

Abortion clinics in Alabama will now be inspected at least once a year. This is after a woman who was full-term was given RU-486 after being told she was six weeks pregnant at an abortion clinic which is now shut down and more recently an abortion clinic administrator at a different abortion clinic was caught ordering drugs and then taking them for her own use.

Women who illegally import RU-486 in Australia could face time in jail or a large fine if caught.

Julian Sanchez (a pro-choicer) argues it is against the interests of those in favor of legal abortion to take a more "moderate" stand (the "abortion is bad but should be legal" position) on abortion. Also, notice how Julian defines the differences "between humans and other animals." I wonder if he thinks infanticide is no "more regrettable than a root canal."

Friday, November 17, 2006

Life Links 11/17/06

An Arkansas man reportedly raped a 15-year-old girl and then when she became pregnant he took her to the Hope Clinic in Granite City, Illinois and forced her to have an abortion.

A professor at the University of Pennsylvania has discovered a stem cell in the follicle of human hair which has "so far differentiated into six different cells, including neurons, adipose, and muscle tissue, among others."

I think we're going to being hearing about this appointment for a while. I can almost guarantee the phrase "Bush's war on women" will be mentioned by some group if it hasn't already.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

More stem cell breakthroughs without killing embryos

Scientists from Switzerland have grown heart valves from stem cells found in amniotic fluid.
The goal is to grow the valves in the lab during a pregnancy and then implant them into a baby with heart defects after it is born.

Italian researchers found that injections of stem cells into golden retrievers suffering from muscular dystrophy helped with their symptoms.
"Even though by itself it may not lead to a complete cure, it would ameliorate the condition and then step by step we could work on this to the point of getting a real cure," he told Reuters.

After more tests on dogs, Cossu and his team hope to begin trials of the stem cell treatment in humans in a few years' time.

A biotechnology company is expanding its clinical trials using adult stem cells to treat heart attack patients and patients with heart failure.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

An Irish judge has ruled that frozen embryos aren't "unborn"

This is an interesting story and ruling. Ireland's Constitution has an amendment which says,
"The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right."

Yet Justice Brian McGovern ruled that the law didn't include frozen embryos because the individuals who wrote and voted for the amendment would have only meant children in the womb when thinking about the term "unborn." The term "unborn" is not defined by Ireland's Constitution according to the article.

This ruling will keep a mother from implanting embryos which were leftover from her and her now separated husband's attempt at IVF.

While it is probable the individuals who passed the prolife amendment to Ireland's Constitution weren't thinking of frozen embryos, the language doesn't seem to exclude them either and it is quite clear that frozen embryos are in reality "unborn" since they haven't been born.

The judge also seems to have some trouble distinguishing between scientific reality and moral beliefs. According to the article he said, "Even within different religions, there can be disagreements as to when genetic material becomes a `human being'. But it is not the function of the courts to choose between competing religious and moral beliefs."

So then I guess if one religion says "genetic material" doesn't become a human being until 60 days after birth then the courts would be unable to choose between "competing religious and moral beliefs."

Why will we keep hearing about embryonic stem cell research?

Here's a good article by Yuval Levin on stem cell research focusing on how embryonic stem cell research hasn't become the wedge issue many Democrats hoped it would and why some Democrats will continue to use this issue.
But if most voters seem relatively indifferent to the issue, why have stem cells taken such a prominent place in the liberal political imagination? Some on the Left have surely bought the hype and think the future of medicine is on the line — and that, as Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado preposterously claims at every opportunity, embryonic stem cells will "cure diseases that affect 110 million Americans and their families." But for many on the Left who realize that not every third American is dying of a degenerative illness and that the therapeutic potential of embryonic stem cells remains for now thoroughly speculative, the issue nonetheless resonates, and for reasons that run deep.

The issue offers, for one thing, a foil for the abortion debate. On abortion, the Left finds itself defending an increasingly abstract notion of freedom against (thanks to improving imaging technology) an increasingly concrete case that a human life is at stake. When it comes to stem-cell research, it is pro-lifers who find themselves making an abstract case for the humanity of a ball of cells, while their opponents can point to very concrete sick children and adults whom they claim could be helped by the destruction of embryos. It offers the Left a compassionate "health care" dimension to the case against the humanity of the unborn.

What is more, it allows the Left to claim the authority of science in its fight against conservatives. By depicting opposition to the destruction of nascent life for the sake of medical research as opposition to the progress of science, liberal embryonic-stem-cell advocates can position themselves where they most like to imagine themselves: as partisans of progress, struggling against reactionary and religious zealots who champion only ignorance and pain. Never mind that pro-lifers are defending the liberal ideal of equality by making a case grounded thoroughly in embryology, and never mind that the supposedly scientific case to the contrary amounts to "embryos are awfully small and don't look like anyone I know." For many on the Left, this is a fight between science and religion, and therefore the epitome of a progressive struggle.

Let them play twice

Mitch Albom makes the case for why Michigan and Ohio State should play twice.

If the Michigan-Ohio State football game this Saturday is a close contest then every unbiased college football fan knows these teams should play again in the national championship game. These two teams are the two best teams in college football and if they aren't allowed to play again then November 18 (not January 8th) is when the real national championship game will be played.

Florida might be able to make an interesting game with either of these teams but they lost to Auburn (who got whipped by Georgia) and barely beat Vanderbilt and South Carolina. USC doesn't deserve to be ranked in the top 10. Notre Dame seems only not to struggle when they're planning the armed forces schools. Rutgers? Yeah, right. I'm sorry but anyone who takes a team that beat a 1-9 North Carolina by 5 points and South Florida by 2 points as a serious national championship contender doesn't deserve to have a vote.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The tale of two Andys

Good news is in for Michigan prolifers. Andy Dillon, a prolife Democrat, has been chosen by his fellow Democrats to be the next Michigan House Speaker. The candidate who thankfully didn't get the position, Andy Meisner, is pro-choice and a leading proponents of killing human embryos for research and human cloning for research.

This should also be a wake-up call to prolifers who think prolife organizations should only support prolife Republicans.

Life Links 11/14/06

Lauren discusses the bodily integrity argument for legal abortion .

Is abortion one of the causes of illegal immigration? That's what a panel of Missouri legislators is attempting to argue.

A woman chronicles her abortion experience (among other things) on her blog during the month of October (starting October 13).

Monday, November 13, 2006

Life Links 11/13/06

Stem cells from human bone marrow have been used by researchers from Tulane University to fix cells which are responsible for diabetes in mice. The researchers are planning on having trials with human patients in the future.

Cassing Hammond has an editorial in the Chicago Sun-Times on his opposition to the partial-birth abortion ban case. Notice that the procedure in question is never once described or identified. I wonder why? This is the same Dr. Hammond who testified that he sometimes uses his finger to puncture the head of a partially-born child. (Page 6)

Steve Wagner at the Stand to Reason Blog is providing the results to various questions asked to college students at California State University - Northridge. Questions include: how many abortions take place in California every day, up until what point can a woman obtain a legal abortion in the U.S. and up until what point do you think abortions should be legal. You might find the answers surprising.

Jordan Lorence on the prolife protestor who shouted during the oral arguments in Gonzales v. Carhart.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Life Links 11/10/06

"Happy Birthday" video by the hip-hop group Flipsyde. The lyrics include:
Please accept my apologies, wonder what would have been
Would you've been a little angel or an angel of sin?
Tom-boy running around, hanging with all the guys.
Or a little tough boy with beautiful brown eyes?
I payed for the murder before they determined the sex
Choosing our life over your life meant your death
And you never got a chance to even open your eyes
Sometimes I wonder as a fetus if you fought for your life?
More and more it seems like the most powerful testimonies against abortion come from individuals whom you might not expect.

HT:After Abortion

Rebecca has a challenge for those in favor of embryo destructive research.

"We do not want embryonic stem cells because they are too undifferentiated." So says a researcher that restored vision in mice.

Friday Cat Blogging


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Life Links 11/9/06

Greg Koukl on partial-birth abortion and moral velocity

After the election, American Life League's Judie Brown spends time self-righteously attacking other prolifers (including Rick Santorum) and other prolife organizations because they pay attention to politics where Judie "only pay(s) attention to the babies." Gee, thanks. She also seems unable to comprehend that the citizens of South Dakota don't necessarily want "abortion on demand" when they voted down a ban on abortion. What I read about South Dakota's ban, it seems likely that the law would have passed by a large margin if it had exceptions for rape and incest. Judy's problem is her complete inability to understand that if you have a complete all-or-nothing-this-exact-instant approach to abortion then almost all of the time you're going to end up with absolutely nothing. If it's all about the babies (as Judie says), then shouldn't we work on things that actually get us closer to our goal of protecting unborn children as opposed to measures which consistently fail and don't save any babies?

Wesley Smith on the continued hype of the Missouri cloning initiative.

Ed Whelan thinks there is still room for strong judicial nominees.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Some more adult stem cell news

British researchers plan on using adult stem cell from bone marrow to treat patients after they have heart attacks. They hope these injections will help repair damage done by the heart attack and "delay or prevent the onset of heart failure.

According to this press release, scientists at Theravitae have found stem cells in blood have "the capacity to assist in the regeneration and repair of a multitude of damaged tissues." Their research has been published in the British Journal of Haematology.
A novel stem cell population, called Synergetic Cell Population has been discovered and cultured under conditions that mimic the natural body environment where they develop into different cell types, such as blood vessel cells, heart muscle cells and even nerves.

Oral Arguments in Gonzales v. Carhart (the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Case)

The AP story about the arguments and the actual arguments if you want to read them.

Life Links 11/8/06

National Right to Life's Douglas Johnson echoes some of my thoughts and adds some more regarding Linda Greenhouse's latest attempt to make sure no one confuses her with an actual journalist.

Oral arguments on the federal ban on partial-birth abortions are today.

It appears the Missouri cloning amendment has barely passed.

California voters have again turned down a parental notification proposal and voters in Oregon also voted against a similar measure.

Not a good night for Michigan prolifers

Four more years of governor who "personally opposes abortion" yet vetoes a ban on partial-birth abortion. Not to mention the scary possibility of Carl Levin retiring at the end of his term and Granholm running for his seat in 2008.

At least six more years (and probably more) of radical pro-abortion U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow.

The Michigan House is now in the hands of Democrats while the Michigan Senate looks to stay in Republican hands. Both houses will have fairly strong prolife majorities because of a good number of prolife Democrats but the questions of will these prolife Democrats get positions on committees which vote on prolife bills and if any prolife Democrats will have leadership roles is up in the air. I've also heard that there might be a possibility that Andy Meisner, a big advocate of human cloning for research, could attempt to take on a leadership role in the house. Ughh....

If the Democrats end up having a majority in the U.S. Senate, the prospects of a Supreme Court judicial nominee like Alito or even Roberts passing through committee becomes more difficult. I would really not be comfortable with another "stealth" candidate like Souter.

I feel like independent voters of this election had a throw-the-bums out mentality for legislative offices except for when it came to Democrats holding statewide offices. Despite outspending Granholm, DeVos received a smaller percentage of votes than Dick Posthumus did in 2002 and seems like Granholm got the vast majority of people who were undecided heading into election day and didn't get a ton more votes than Republican senatorial candidate Michael Bouchard.

The Democrats will have a chance to put forth and get votes on their legislative agenda. We'll have to see how the American people respond to it.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Human Cloning for Research Passes Senate in Australia

It appears as if human cloning for research could soon become legal is Australia. Another article includes some usual anti-science accusations from Senator Kay Patterson. At least they passed an amendment to prevent attempts to create human-animal hybrid clones . Trying to clone human embryo using cow eggs is something that could be going ahead in Britain.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Bias or Ignorance

My vote is for bias. Linda Greenhouse can't be that ignorant, can she?

From what I've read, Warren Hern doesn't even perform partial-birth abortions. He prefers D and E abortions or induction abortions and even admitted in 1995 to the American Medical News that he had "very serious reservations" about partial-birth abortion. He also said, "I'm not going to tell somebody else they should not do this procedure. But I'm not going to do it."

How can someone write an article about a certain procedure (partial-birth abortion) and then try to say the descriptions of the procedure are "well off the mark" and then cite an abortionist describing another type of abortion procedure as evidence? It's simply ridiculous that this garbage is somehow considered journalism.

Let's "widen the management options" to include killing children with disabilities

The UK Times has an article on how the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecology is "calling on the health profession to consider permitting the euthanasia of seriously disabled newborn babies."

In response to the Times' story, the RCOG's web site links the to paper their ethics committee wrote in 2005, but has only been noticed recently, here.

The paper states,
We would particularly like the Working Party to consider the wider issues of support and information for parents, and to think more radically about non-resuscitation, withdrawal of treatment decisions, the best-interests test and active euthanasia as they are means of widening the management options available to the sickest of newborns.

Widen the management options by including active euthanasia? Killing children with disabilities should now be a "management option" for British doctors? How's that for language?

Note the logic from the Times article:
The college's submission was also welcomed by John Harris, a member of the government's Human Genetics Commission and professor of bioethics at Manchester University. "We can terminate for serious foetal abnormality up to term but cannot kill a newborn. What do people think has happened in the passage down the birth canal to make it okay to kill the foetus at one end of the birth canal but not at the other?" he said.

Prolifers see the fact that a mere change of location doesn't change the moral status of the child as a reason to protect the unborn child. Those in favor of infanticide see it as a reason to allow the killing of infants with severe disabilities.

Friday, November 03, 2006

24 Season Six Preview

In case any of the other 24 fans out there haven't seen it, here's the preview for season six. The clip seems to show and his Wikipedia biography says that Wayne Palmer is the new President. Though I can tolerate a certain degree of ridiculousness - I'm struggling with how they'll make the former president's brother into the President of the United States.

From my memory of past seasons, Wayne was his brother's chief of staff which is an important position but not one that alone qualifies an individual for the White House. I can't remember a ton of other biographical/background details besides the service in the Marines that Wikipedia mentions but it seems the 24 writers are stretching our limits of imagination more than a little too far if they think they can make Wayne become president without adding some more political accomplishments (which would be difficult considering the next season of 24 usually occurs just a couple of years after the last one).

Not to mention the whole affair with Milliken's wife and him being at the crime scene when Milliken's wife shot Sherry before turning the gun on herself.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Another example of why the pro-choice movement is losing

This time via Ann at Feministing.

Ann links to a web game from Planned Parenthood of Illinois where people looking to get prescription for emergency contraception are confronted by protestors with various signs including "I miss the 50's!," "Keep women BAREFOOT & PREGNANT," "Conditions for sex: married, procreating, missionary position," and "Birth Control is for LOOSE WOMEN." I wonder how often individuals protest Wal-greens (or other pharmacies) over carrying EC. If you've ever been to Chicago (where I swear there's a Wal-Greens on every corner) you know that task would be impossible.

Ann writes, "If I'm not mistaken, these are all things the anti-choice crowd believes."

You are mistaken and the fact that you think these are all things prolifers believe shows you haven't really tried to understand the positions and beliefs of individuals who are prolife. You'd rather just presume their beliefs are foolish or old-fashioned.

Ann is so incredibly ignorant about what prolife people believe she thinks prolife people want to keep women "barefoot and pregnant." She then argues that prolife views are "incredibly outdated."

What I find incredibly outdated is the lame "they want to keep women barefoot and pregnant" assertion. I mean, come on - how old and stale is that.

As long as the mainstream pro-choice movement continues to utterly fail in addressing prolife arguments and continues to raise up laughable strawmen as representative of the prolife movement, they will continue to lose in the battle for the hearts and minds of America's young people.

Forced Guilt?

The Nation has a long article on Planned Parenthood's new president Cecile Richards written by Jennifer Baumgardner of "I had an abortion" t-shirt fame. (HT: Real Choice)

The third page of the article contains these comments addressing South Dakota task force's abortion report on how abortion hurts women.
The report states, "Abortion hurts women physically, emotionally, and psychologically." In response, prochoicers must clearly demonstrate, with words and deeds, that they are the real advocates for women. "It's been really hard for the prochoice movement as a whole to deal with feelings about abortion, because back in the early days women didn't have forces making them feel guilty," Byllye Avery, the founder of the Black Women's Health Imperative, told me. "But it's been thirty years of people beating on us, and women now do feel guilty. If women need more [emotional resources], then the movement has to provide them."

What message does that send? To me, it says that some people in the pro-choice movement see the feelings of guilt and other emotions like sadness and loss that some women feel after abortion as not being their "real" or "true" feelings. But rather the emotions of these hurting women are merely constructs of feelings created because society makes these women feel that way. It's almost like they think no woman could actually feel guilty about having an abortion unless society forced her to feel that way.

How good of a counselor/emotional supporter is someone going to be if they think every bad feeling a post-abortive women has regarding her abortion is because of some outside force "making them feel guilty?"

Are these real advocates for women (regardless of how the woman feels about her abortion) or are they advocates of abortion who don't want to deal with and have large degrees of difficulty handling how some women feel after their abortions?

In somewhat related news, a large number of letters to a church in New Jersey were found in the Atlantic Ocean. One letter read, "Lord, I know that I have had an abortion and I killed one of your angels," she wrote. "There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about the mistake I made."

How's this for a shocking Halloween costume?

It sounds like one student in Austin, Texas, dressed up as an abortionist "complete with blood-stained labcoat and fetus in pocket."

What do you think his position on abortion was?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

More from the MCSCRC

When the Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research and Cures aren't copying and pasting text from other web sites to fill their own web site they put on some events with the stated goal of educating the public about stem cell research. The most recent event occurred yesterday at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and was covered by the student newspaper.

What still amazes me about this organization is their attempt to act (because of their tax status) like they don't favor a certain legislative agenda. For example, the article states,
The MCSCRC helped organize the event so that after the presentation of the facts about the issue each person would be able to "form their own opinion about stem cell research."

If the goal of the event is for attendees to "form their own opinion about stem cell research" then why were all the speakers strong proponents of embryonic stem cell research?

Also notice how the writer of this article was intentionally misled by the speakers into thinking that Michigan has a "ban against stem cell research" and that legislation to lift this mythical ban would also "strengthen the ban on human cloning." Strengthen the cloning ban? For some reason that sounds familiar.

Cord blood stem cells can become lung cells

Another stem cell breakthrough using non-controversial kinds of stem cells, this time from researchers at the University of Minnesota, which probably won't be covered by American newspapers.
"In the future, we may be able to examine cord blood from babies who have lung diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, to do more research to understand how these diseases evolve as well as to develop better medical treatments," said David McKenna, M.D., assistant professor of lab medicine and pathology and medical director of the Clinical Cell Therapy Lab at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview.

Life Links 11/1/06

Dawn Eden has a YouTube video of a woman shares her story before the Waco City Council about how sidewalk counselors helped her not have an abortion. She's holding her son (whom she describes as "her life") as she testifies.

A story on one British egg "donor" who wanted to "donate" her eggs to pay off credit card debt. HT: K-Lo

Deroy Murdock shows that some people in the debate over embryonic stem cell research really want to decide who lives and who dies including photographs of ex-embryos who were adopted instead of destroyed.