Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"I have to admit that after seeing the pictures all thoughts of abortion faded. But now I sit here still unsure."

Elegant Ease is a blogger who cancelled an abortion after finding out at the abortion clinic that she was farther along than she thought. She is struggling with whether she will have an abortion or not. Previous blog posts indicate that she is a Christian.
So last Friday I went to the abortion clinic prepared to get it over with. I found out that at 14 weeks I was much further along than I'd anticipated and decided against it. I even asked to see the ultrasound pictures. I have to admit that after seeing the pictures all thoughts of abortion faded. But now I sit here still unsure.

What is this life that we give so much effort to save and achieve? I'm hoping to really find out. In the meantime I have to decide if the life of my marriage is strong enough to work for it and if the life of my child is important enough at this time to proceed with this pregnancy. I feel like a woman gone mad most days.

Any comments left on her blog should be out of love for her and her child.

Life Links 4/29/08

University of Arizona senior Matt Hathaway on why we should embrace Aliza Shvarts' abortion art:
A great number of people, both those who support and those who oppose abortion, have been offended by the notion of Shvarts' project. By ignoring, censoring or banning images such as Schvarts', we elevate abortion to pure theory while divorcing it from its practice.

The photos, videos and blood of Schvarts' claimed project are needed to construct opinions about abortion, fertility, art and free speech at their most extreme limits. Rejecting reality for the sake of comfort leads us to ignorance (three cheers for the Ivy League, Yale.) So, pro-lifers, pro-choicers and anyone not yet aligned: If you can't handle the image, confront the issue behind it.

The Impatient Patient (a pro-choicer who believes abortion "kills a baby") rants on (language warning) a Vicki Saporta editorial against the Canadian unborn victims of violence legislation.
If Saporta argued that a fetus shouldn't have the right to life because it's part of the mother's body until the umbilical cord is cut, or if she argued that she just didn't believe a fetus should have the right to life until it emerged from its mother's body, then I might be able to respect her argument (even if I disagreed with it). But what angers me so much, is that Saporta is saying that she's not willing to even consider the rights of the fetus because all she can care about is the right of a woman to have an abortion.
HT: ProWomanProLife

Nat Hentoff on Barack Obama, Infanticide candidate for president

Monday, April 28, 2008

Life Links 4/28/08

Peter Augustine Lawler reviews Robert George’s and Christopher Tollefsen’s Embryo in the City Journal.

Indian Prime Minister calls his nation’s practice of sex-selection abortion “a national shame.”
"No nation, no society, no community can hold its head high and claim to be part of the civilised world if it condones the practice of discriminating against one half of humanity represented by women.

Baylor philosophy professor Alexander Pruss provides an argument against abortion (Don Marquis’ future-like-ours), a standard pro-choice response and then his response to that response.

The twins of a bank teller who was 5-months pregnant have died after their mother was shot during a bank robbery. One twin died before birth and the other shortly after. Police are still looking for the shooter.

Switzerland has passed a law which provides certain rights to social animals.
From guinea-pigs to budgerigars, any animal classified as a “social species” will be a victim of abuse if it does not cohabit, or at least have contact, with others of its own kind.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday Baby Blogging

From the front

And a view of her baby mullet

Are all reproductive choices really okay?

In an editorial in the Yale Daily News, Pierson College sophomore O'Hagan Blades discusses Aliza Shvarts abortion art project by writing:
Her project, surely, will become the poster child for irresponsible and disrespectful abuse of the right to abortion and a counter-example to the notion that a woman knows what is best for her own body.
The problem with this statement is it totally undermines the foundation of the pro-choice position. The pro-choice position states that women have a right to abortion because they (and not politicians, prolifers, etc.) know what is best for their own body and they therefore have the right to choose to do whatever they want with their bodies regardless of whether their actions would end the life of a developing human being.

Blades' comments here assume that some decisions to have an abortion can be irresponsible and disrespectful. But the pro-choice position doesn't really allow for claiming individual choices about reproduction are wrong. The pro-choice position affirms all reproductive choices regardless of what is being chosen. If an art student wanted to intentionally impregnant herself, carry the child for five months, have a late-term abortion and then display the remains of the child as "art," the pro-choice movement may be able to claim it's bad art but I don't see how they can claim it's a bad choice and that choice should be prohibited.

Blades continues:
I am fervently pro-choice, morally-relative, non-religious, politically liberal — and I will defend free speech with my life — but Shvarts’ project makes me want to cringe. It is not that she should have been disallowed from following through with her plans. But she seriously underestimated potential repercussions. Those who defend the right to abortion defend a woman’s ability to choose — to reason, to make decisions — yet with that right comes the expectation that her decision will be thought-out and considered somberly.
Somberly? Since when? I can't recall the movement ever claiming they were pro-somber-choice or pro-thought-out-choice. Heck, this is movement that fervently opposes 24-hour waiting periods. Plus, I'm not sure you can argue Shvarts' decision wasn't thought out. She may not have expected the national attention her project has drawn but she certainly seemed to be well aware that her project was controversial and put some thought into it.

Blades eventually gets to the reason she cringes at Shvarts' art. It isn't because Shvarts may have callously created and killed unborn children. It's because, horror of horrors, she may have hurt the pro-choice movement:
But I am not OK with the fact that in invoking abortion with the media, Shvarts has set back the pro-choice movement.....

It is “art,” she claims. Fine. Sure. I might even agree. But Shvarts cannot be so naive as to ignore the fact that millions of people do not agree and see this only as an abuse of choice. Just because she does not (as I do not) endow abortion with moral ideology, she must recognize that more than half of voters in America do. They will judge her piece. They will moralize it. And they will use it as impetus to ban abortion.
From a pro-choice perspective, I think Blades is actually right-on here. The reason pro-choicers should be upset with Shvarts isn't because she supposedly partook in a callous means of possible impregnantation and abortion, but because her actions point to gaping holes in the foundation of the pro-choice argument. A large majority of individuals (be they prolife or pro-choice) were instinctively disgusted by the idea of someone intentionally trying to impregnant themselves and then terminate their pregnancy for "art."

The question that then comes to my mind is: Which position (prolife or pro-choice) is better able to explain this instinctive disgust?

I don't think the pro-choice position can explain it at all. I don't see how the pro-choice position can pick and choose which reproductive choices to support when the foundation of the position is the idea that women should be able to make their reproductive for themselves regardless of the circumstances which surround that choice. If you want an abortion because you were raped - okay. If you want an abortion because you're in tough financial times - okay. If you want an abortion because your child has Down Syndrome - okay. If you want an abortion because you think fetal remains will make a good medium for your art projects - okay. If a woman's choice trumps all, then the desire of an art student to make a point trumps the life of her unborn child. The one caveat here seems to be that if you want an abortion and that abortion might turn people off to the pro-choice movement, that's not okay.

On the other hand, the prolife position can clearly explain the disgust because the prolife position recognizes the value of the unborn child regardless of a woman's individual reproductive choice and the circumstances that surround it.

The real reason pro-choicers should be mad a Shvarts is because Shvarts' choice shows that not all reproductive choices are okay.

(HT on the Blades' editorial to Jill Stanek)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Overheard 4/24/08

Ross Douhat on Doug Kmiec’s suggestion that Obama embrace the Democrats for Life’s 95/10 plan:
You can read up on the 95/10 plan here, on the website of Democrats for Life. They describe it as "a comprehensive package of federal legislation and policy proposals that will reduce the number of abortions by 95% in the next 10 years." I would describe it as a grab-bag of modest proposals, some of them creditable, that might reduce the abortion rate by 10 percent over 95 years.

Steve Wagner on Yale’s decision to block Aliza Shvarts’ ambiguous abortion art project:
And if Yale is censoring this project because abortion kills a human being, and Shvart's art may have included that sort of killing (she claims one point of her project was to be ambiguous about this), then is Yale willing to follow that logic and discourage all Yale students from getting abortions? Why is Yale so concerned about such a small-scale abortion operation as Shvarts's when the Yale Medical Center Family Planning Department teaches doctors to perform abortions and appears to offer abortions as a service?

Dolly cloner Ian Wilmut in the Yomiuri Shimbun on the future of human cloning in the face of the success of induced pluripotent stem cells:
Wilmut said he had initially planned a study to produce embryonic stem (ES) cells from cloned embryos, which are produced by placing the nucleus of a human somatic cell into an ova.

In connection with his research on iPS cells, Wilmut said it will be unnecessary in years to come to conduct studies to develop ES cells from cloned human embryos. Nevertheless, Wilmut stressed the need to continue studies involving cloned animals in the future.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Still trying to defend partial-birth abortion and failing miserably

Willie Parker is a Michigan abortionist who recently penned a post for the RH Reality Check blog. It never ceases to amaze how some pro-choice individuals will continue to put forward the same lame talking points on partial-birth abortion bans. It's like they assume their audience knows absolutely nothing about partial-birth abortion and partial-birth abortion bans. Parker writes,
The federal law doesn't use medical terminology, so it's difficult to define precisely what the law bans.

Here's the language the law uses. It doesn't need to have medical terminology to make it quite clear what it bans. If you don't get it, then as Joe Carter says, "If any doctors are still confused maybe I can put it in even simpler terms: If the baby's whole head is sticking out, don't kill her; if the baby's bottom half is sticking out and you can see where the umbilical cord attaches, don't kill him. If you're still confused then you need to put down the head-crushing forceps. For while you might be evil enough to be an abortionist, you're too dumb to be a doctor."

Would anyone seriously want someone stupid enough to not understand what this language bans operating on them?
As a consequence, doctors like me are barred from using certain medical techniques, even in cases when a woman's health is threatened and that procedure is the fastest and safest way to help her.
The procedure in question typically requires two days of dilation. How on earth could this be the "fastest" procedure when a woman's health is threatened?
Every abortion restriction that follows this pattern creates a barrier between women and their doctors. If you were facing a grave medical situation, who would you want to determine your best course of treatment: your trusted physician, or a politician in Lansing?
What grave medical situation in pregnancy would lead a doctor to forcibly dilate a cervix over 2 days before partially removing the child?

Ah, yes - the trusted physician whom you've never met before.
Several states are weighing legislation that would force doctors to perform unnecessary -- and expensive -- ultrasounds before an abortion.
Ultrasounds are unnecessary? But aren't they the only way to confirm an early term pregnancy isn't ectopic? Aren't they the standard way abortionists figure out how far along a woman is in her pregnancy so they know how much to charge and which technique to use? Don't the National Abortion Federation's Clinical Policy Guidelines note, "Ultrasonography, using a consistent and published table of fetal measurements can be of clinical value in verifying intra-uterine pregnancy and gestational age."

More from Yale and Aliza Shvarts

Shvarts has written a guest column explain her "art." She somehow believes that her "art" of artificially inserting herself with semen, taking some herbs (which were supposedly abortifacient) and then saving the fluid which comes out of her body "call(s) into question the relationship between form and function as they converge on the body" and "creates an ambiguity that isolates the locus of ontology to an act of readership. An intentional ambiguity pervades both the act and the objects I produced in relation to it. The performance exists only as I chose to represent it." Shvarts also claims, "The reality of the pregnancy, both for myself and for the audience, is a matter of reading."

Yeah, uh-huh. Shvarts seems to fail to understand that just because she may not be certain of whether she was pregnant or not doesn't mean the reality of whether she was pregnant or not is up for grabs.

One commenter at Feministing had this to say about Shvarts' explanation:
Pompous, pretentious twaddle. And hurtful, too, to those of us who have actually suffered from losing a pregnancy--either by way of abortion or by way of a miscarriage. I've done it both ways, and her wordy pseudo-intellectual psychobabble doesn't give me some kind of artistic epiphany. Her style of "art" doesn't make me think about my life or anyone else's in a new way. It makes me think that she's an attention-sucking, ego-inflated dingbat who's milking her 15 minutes for all it's worth.

The pro-choice group at Yale wrote a letter to the editor where they note they "stand by the right to reproductive freedom, we cannot approve of her approach and presentation." and "Like most who have heard of these events, we are shocked by the content of the art piece in question and the manner in which very serious aspects of reproductive rights have been treated."

The New York Sun has an article with some background information on Shvarts and some of her past "art" projects.
Ms. Shvarts also railed against those who take a narrow view of what constitutes art. "People have to stop being so dismissive about what art is. It has to stop hanging on the wall. It has to be something lived, breathed every day," she said.
People who think mixing their menstrual blood with vaseline is art certainly would like it if people took a wider view of what art is.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Is Senator Tom Coburn comparable to a former domestic terrorist?

Byron York doesn't think so:
But wouldn’t Coburn be more comparable to Ayers if he, Coburn, had bombed abortion clinics in the past — and then said that he not only did not regret bombing the clinics but wished that he had done more? And then, after bombing abortion clinics and refusing to express regret, he held a political event in his home for Barack Obama, which Obama attended?

And if all that had happened, would Obama say it wasn’t a problem because Coburn had bombed those clinics a long time ago, when Obama was just 8 years old?

Do you believe that would endear Obama to voters in the Democratic primaries?

As it was, Obama used his Senate colleague Coburn to suggest that the issue was not one of violence, and radicalism, and lawbreaking, but rather a simple disagreement: Sen. Coburn and I disagree on some things, and yet we’re still friendly. Bill Ayers and I disagree on some things, and yet we’re still friendly. So what’s the problem?

That’s not quite good enough.

Abortion art was all a scam, says Yale. No it wasn't, says student

Yale University has released a statement a Yale spokesperson claiming that Aliza Shvarts' "art project" is a hoax:
Ms. Shvarts is engaged in performance art. Her art project includes visual representations, a press release and other narrative materials. She stated to three senior Yale University officials today, including two deans, that she did not impregnate herself and that she did not induce any miscarriages. The entire project is an art piece, a creative fiction designed to draw attention to the ambiguity surrounding form and function of a woman’s body.

She is an artist and has the right to express herself through performance art.

Had these acts been real, they would have violated basic ethical standards and raised serious mental and physical health concerns.
Shvarts, however, is sticking to her story in a new article in the Yale Daily News.
But Shvarts stood by her project, calling the University’s statement “ultimately inaccurate.”....

But Shvarts reiterated Thursday that she repeatedly use a needleless syringe to insert semen into herself. At the end of her menstrual cycle, she took abortifacient herbs to induce bleeding, she said. She said she does not know whether or not she was ever pregnant.

“No one can say with 100-percent certainty that anything in the piece did or did not happen,” Shvarts said, “because the nature of the piece is that it did not consist of certainties.”

This afternoon, Shvarts showed the News footage from tapes she plans to play at the exhibit. The tapes depict Shvarts — sometimes naked, sometimes clothed — alone in a shower stall bleeding into a cup.

Here's the AP story on the controversy. Note the quote from NARAL spokesman Ted Miller.
Groups both for and against abortion rights expressed outrage over the affair.

Ted Miller, a spokesman for NARAL Pro-Choice America, called the concept offensive and "not a constructive addition to the debate over reproductive rights."
Why Ted? If abortion is just another simple medical procedure that women have the right to, what's wrong with intentionally getting pregnant for the purpose of inducing abortions?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Life Links 4/17/08

Jen from Turn the Clock Forward on Damon Wayan's "Abortion Man."
For those of you who would rather not watch the video and possibly generate ad revenue for its creators, here's the rundown: a woman calls her boyfriend to tell him she's pregnant. He pretends to be happy about the news; she's thrilled that he wants the baby, and starts making plans for their new family life. When he gets off the phone, he calls for help, and "Abortion Man" answers the call. Abortion Man accosts the young woman as she's walking down the street and beats and kicks her. Miscarriage hilarity ensues.

I really hesitated to post this, because I know that giving the creeps who made this video more publicity is exactly what they want, and will let them claim they're "edgy". But we need to speak up and let them know that they're not edgy or funny or clever; they're just misogynistic bullies.

The Council of Europe calls for "safe and legal" abortion for all women in its 47 member states.

Mike Long from Political Mavens makes a point regarding Yale student Aliza Shvarts and her attempt to make her repeat abortions into art.
As I've said before, if abortion is simply just another medical procedure, as "pro-choice" advocates insist, then they have no grounds to object. She might as well be plucking hairs from her head to make a pillow.

California's embryonic stem cell agency appears to be taking credit for research they didn't fund. They funded some of the scientist Catriona Jamieson's work with embryonic stem cells and then tried to take credit for funding her successful work which had nothing to do with embryonic stem cells. I guess when you fool the public into wasting $6 billion of their tax-dollars on embryonic stem cell research, you've got to act like they're getting something for their money.

Yale student tries to make repeat abortions into art

Aliza Shvarts is a sick, sick, sick individual. This is beyond disgusting:
Beginning next Tuesday, Shvarts will be displaying her senior art project, a documentation of a nine-month process during which she artificially inseminated herself "as often as possible" while periodically taking abortifacient drugs to induce miscarriages. Her exhibition will feature video recordings of these forced miscarriages as well as preserved collections of the blood from the process.

The goal in creating the art exhibition, Shvarts said, was to spark conversation and debate on the relationship between art and the human body. But her project has already provoked more than just debate, inciting, for instance, outcry at a forum for fellow senior art majors held last week. And when told about Shvarts' project, students on both ends of the abortion debate have expressed shock — saying the project does everything from violate moral code to trivialize abortion......

The display of Schvarts' project will feature a large cube suspended from the ceiling of a room in the gallery of Green Hall. Schvarts will wrap hundreds of feet of plastic sheeting around this cube; lined between layers of the sheeting will be the blood from Schvarts' self-induced miscarriages mixed with Vaseline in order to prevent the blood from drying and to extend the blood throughout the plastic sheeting.

Schvarts will then project recorded videos onto the four sides of the cube. These videos, captured on a VHS camcorder, will show her experiencing miscarriages in her bathrooom tub, she said. Similar videos will be projected onto the walls of the room.

UPDATE:Warner Todd Huston at Newsbusters is extremely skeptical that Shvarts (or Schvarts) was ever pregnant:
The main question is, was she ever pregnant? I have to say most likely no. The "turkey baster" method of implanting semen for impregnation is very ineffective, though known to be successful. Sperm does not live for too long once it hits the open air, so implantation would had to have occurred quickly after the issuing of the fluids. So, to assume that this girl had actually impregnated herself is not a good bet. There is no indication that there was any sort of "controls" placed on her efforts at implantation and, since there was never once any medical care, there is no proof that she ever was pregnant at all.

Abortion art was all a scam, says Yale. No, it wasn't, says student.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

How not to prove something wrong

Don't read the study, don't link to information about it, just assume its rather common sense results are wrong because you don't like the groups which funded it.

As always, solid analysis from Jessica Valenti and Feministing.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Life Links 4/15/08

Two teens in Ohio have been found guilty of murder after assaulting a young woman and killing her unborn child.
Gibson said 18-year-old Kerria Anderson told Price she was pregnant with his child. Price learned he and Anderson were cousins and urged her to have an abortion. Anderson refused.

That's when the teens planned to beat Anderson until she lost the child, Gibson said.

Tests later revealed Price wasn't the father, but that wasn't until months after the attack.

The boys lured Anderson to an Over-the-Rhine apartment, where they kicked, beat and stomped her. Anderson went into labor and the baby was stillborn, Gibson said.

Students at New York University recently debated abortion. Here's one random nonsensical quote from a pro-choice student in attendance who lost a sibling to abortion:
"I think about the independence of women. I couldn't imagine having sex with a pro-life woman," one student said.

"License to Lie" is an interesting title choice for a post attempting to attack Choose Life license plates, especially considering that's what Michigan abortionist Alberto Hodari told a group of pro-choice medical students he had.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Shout to the Lord on American Idol

Joshua Harris has some background information and thoughts on American Idol contestants singing Shout to Lord on the show last week.
I guess I'm not really at home with either group. With all due respect, I don't think that having a song like Shout to the Lord sung (even though I like it) is going to usher in revival. This reminds me of the fervor before the movie The Passion of the Christ was released. People spoke about this movie as if it was the ultimate opportunity for the gospel to advance. I don't think it was. Was I glad that it was released? Sure. But I think that it's too easy for Christians to think that any moment in the media spotlight on TV or in film is a bigger deal than it really is. We should welcome any opportunity for media to help spread the good news about Jesus, but I don't think we should put too much stock in that vehicle.

Life Links 4/14/2008

Here's the full text of Senator Clinton's and Senator Obama's remarks at the Compassion Forum.

I, like Jill Stanek, wish the presidential candidates would be asked to explain their positions and reasoning on life issues a little more with some follow-up questions. If "I believe that the potential for life begins at conception" doesn't necessitate a follow-up question, I don't what does. Clinton also claims that laws against abortion would be very difficult "to sustain in our kind of open society" as if there weren't laws against abortion in various states less than 40 years ago or as if there aren't currently prolife laws in a variety of open societies.

The new New Atlantis is up and includes a piece by the editors on John McCain's position on embryonic stem cell research and an article by Yuval Levin on science and the left.

Abortion clinic protestors in Rockford, Illinois have posted this video (warning: lots of n-word usage by the pro-choicer) of a local pro-choice man verbally attacking them. Besides swearing, calling one of the protesters the n-word numerous times, the pro-choicer neighborhood resident also calls the protester a "confederate" and a "degenerate." He also yells to a woman who apparently is on her way into the abortion clinic, "You're doing the right thing. God will honor you. I believe in you mom."

Friday, April 11, 2008

Life Links 4/11/08

Authorities in Mexico have captured Cesar Laurean, the Marine suspected of killing Maria Lauterbach, a pregnant fellow Marine he was suspected of raping.
Laurean has been on the lam since January, after investigators say they found the charred remains of Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach and her unborn baby buried in Laurean's back yard. Lauterbach, who was eight months pregnant, disappeared in December 2007. The discovery of her remains prompted authorities to file murder charges against Laurean.

The FDA is holding two days of hearings to discuss how they might regulate future attempts to use embryonic stem cells in human therapies. The Wall Street Journal article notes how Geron is claiming they plan to submit a proposal to begin a clinical trial using embryonic stem cells on patients with spinal cord injuries this summer.

A CNN Money article mentions, "The FDA seems to be more concerned with the stem cells' possible side effect of producing tumors. Because of the 'potential risks' of human embryonic stem cell products, data showing a drug's effectiveness 'may need to be particularly strong,' the document said."

In other stem cell news, Germany has eased their restrictions on importing embryonic stem cells. While killing human embryos for research is still illegal in Germany, researchers can now import embryonic stem cell lines created before May 1, 2007, whereas before they could only work on embryonic stem cell lines created before January 1, 2002.

A police officer from Olathe, Kansas is on paid leave after threatening to arrest a prolifer for displaying graphic images of aborted children on the side of his truck.

Alex Kindell, the president of the pro-choice group at Northern Kentucky University claims the Genocide Awareness Project's pulic display of aborted children is promoting hate and violence.
"This isn't promoting free speech," she said. "They're promoting hate. They're promoting violence."
So showing images of violence against unborn children in an attempt to stop this violence is somehow promoting violence?

For those of you who might remember, Northern Kentucky is the place where now-former NKU professor Sally Jacobsen and her students destroyed a prolife display of crosses.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Life Links 4/9/08

In First Things, Christopher Kazcor discusses the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' recent attempt to push prolife doctors into referring women to abortion providers against their consciences.

Stem cell research may not find wonder cures?
Stem cell research, we have long been told, should pave the way for revolutionary new treatments to help millions of patients around the world.

Yet despite the years of study and debate about the potential, therapies have been slow to materialise.

Even the head of the UK National Stem Cell Network has now conceded that stem cell research may never deliver new treatments.

Paul Kengor on Bob Casey Jr., Barack Obama and abortion:
Sen. Barack Obama is so extreme on abortion that he has managed to achieve what I once thought impossible: He is to the left of Hillary Clinton on abortion. I say that as someone who has written a book on Hillary Clinton, with a special focus on her abortion fanaticism.....

Does Casey not understand the threshold upon which he and his nation now stand? Roe v. Wade is at last in peril, but if he achieves his dream of an Obama presidency, Obama can tip the Supreme Court’s balance in a pro-Roe direction for decades to come. There have been 40 million abortions since 1973.

Consequently, Senator Casey’s endorsement of Obama is an undeniable betrayal of his, his father’s, and his church’s pro-life work and commitment.

Michael West, founder of Geron and former head of Advanced Cell Technology, is working on a new way to try to make money off embryonic stem cells. He hopes to "sell lines of cells that he dubs 'human embryonic progenitors'--cells that have inched partway along the continuum from embryonic stem cell to differentiated adult cell" because embryonic stem cells are so difficult to control.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Life Links 4/8/08

UPDATE 4/10: From a recent post on his blog, it appears the Newsweek reporter may taken liberties with Pastor Hamilton's position on abortion. It seems (from the blog post) that a more correct label for his position would be prolife-with-exceptions rather than pro-choice. I still haven't had time to listen to the audio of his sermon and I'm just starting to read the abortion chapter in his book which was recently made available online.

Newsweek has a small article entitled "How Would Jesus Choose" about a pro-choice Methodist pastor named Adam Hamilton who prefers to call himself "pro-life with a heavy heart" even though he believes abortion should be legal and available. The Newsweek article notes how Hamilton received a letter from his mother which mentioned how she was pressured to but refused to have an abortion when she was a teenager. The article doesn't note if the child who wasn't aborted was Hamilton or one of his siblings.

You can listen to a sermon on abortion by Hamilton from 2004 at the web site of the United Methodist Church.

Scientists from the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research have used induced pluripotent stem cells to treat Parkinson's in rats. According to MIT stem cell scientist Rudolf Jaenisch, "These cells are more readily available and much less controversial than embryonic stem cells. But they seem to have identical potential."

Could someone tell me again why proponents of embryonic stem cell research continue to push cells which are more controversial, less readily available and seem to have the same potential as cells which aren't controversial and are more readily available?

Italian pro-choicers who dislike a political candidate running on the slogan "Abortion? No thanks" showed their distaste by hurling "eggs, tomatoes, oranges, bottles and coins" at Giuliano Ferrara, a devout atheist.

Stay classy Italian pro-choicers.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Monday Neighborhood Blogging

Last week, a car caught on fire right next to my house.

Thankfully, the fire department was there in time to put out the blaze before it reached the gas tank. Unfortunately, someone has a pile a scrap instead of a usable car.

Life Links 4/7/08

Jeff Jacoby on sex-selection abortion in America.
Most Americans rightly regard sex-selective abortions as odious; in a 2006 Zogby poll, an overwhelming 86 percent of Americans agreed that such abortions should be illegal. But they're not illegal - and as economists Douglas Almond and Lena Edlund indicate in the latest issue of PNAS, they are now occurring in the United States, too.

Almond and Edlund examined the ratio of boys to girls among US children born to Chinese, Korean, and Indian parents. For the first children of these Asian-American families, the sex ratio was the normal 1.05-to-1. But when the first baby is a girl, the odds of the second being a boy rose to 1.17-to-1. After two sisters, the likelihood of the third being a son leaped to 1.51-to-1. This is clear "evidence of sex selection, most likely at the prenatal stage," the authors write.

A young woman in the Grand Rapids area with a spinal cord injury continues to make progress with physical therapy and adult stem cell injections.

The Los Angeles Times has an article on Dallas Hextell, a young boy with cerebral palsy who has made dramatic improvements after being treated with his own umbilical cord stem cells.

Wesley Smith notes Hillary's clintonesque support of Oregon's assisted suicide policy.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Exposing Ridiculousness: How Some Pro-Choicers Attack CPCs Without Evidence

April 1st was apparently "Attack Crisis Pregnancy Centers Day" over at the RH Reality Check blog. Numerous entries decried how evil pregnancy centers are. Complaints about CPC deception and trickery were filed left and right. Evidence provided was either wax-paper thin or non-existent.

Vicki Saporta's entry (entitled "Targeting the Vulnerable: Crisis Pregnancy Centers Deceive") contained a long list of shenanigans which CPCs supposedly take part in on a routine basis but didn't link to anything which shows that any of her accusations were true. The only thing she links to is a National Abortion Federation paper which Serge summarized when it originally came out. A lot of her post is actually taken directly from the NAF paper.

As Serge notes, some of her accusations are just plain silly. For example, "Many CPCs are connected with religious organizations, but few disclose that fact in their advertising."

Yeah? So? Numerous charitable organizations are connected with various religions and they don't mention that connection in their advertisements. Listing affiliations isn't always the top priority of an advertisement (where space typically costs money). Saporta's point would be what exactly?

Others accusations are based on microscopically slim evidence. Saporta claims (my emphasis), "Once they get women inside their doors, CPCs often force women to watch graphic, misleading videos." She takes this accusation from the NAF report which states, "While women wait, CPCs often present them with videos and pictures depicting gruesome and graphic images of bloody and dismembered fetuses that have allegedly been aborted as a scare tactic in their effort to compel women not to have abortions."

On the NAF report, the sources for this information are this web site from the Brooklyn Pro-Choice Network which posts the supposed testimony of one woman from Arkansas and this 1999 newsletter from the Center for Reproductive Right where a woman named Jennifer Specht claims she watched a video with images of aborted children after signing a consent form.

Saporta additionally claims, "Some CPCs further mislead women by giving them false pregnancy test results so that they will postpone obtaining abortion care." This accusation is also taken from the NAF report which claims "When the pregnancy results are revealed they may be presented in ways that are ambiguous53 or even false.54"

The footnote 54 takes us to this web page from the Center for Reproductive Rights which claims (without a source) "Some CPCs have even been charged with misrepresenting the results of pregnancy tests in an effort to prevent women from obtaining an abortion."

Lauren Bull's post (entitled "Exposing Lies: CPC Advertising on College Campuses") was probably more pathetic. Bull tells the story about how she was "shocked" that a CPC was near her college campus and would advertise to college students. The advertisement said, "Scared, Pregnant, Need Help?" These ads were supposedly deceptive.

Bull tries shows how these ads were deceptive by deceptively pretending to think she might be pregnant and setting up an appointment at the CPC. She goes to the office and finds it has pictures of unborn children at various stages of development and parenting magazines. The horror!!!!!

Bull gets her pregnancy test back, feigns relief and leaves with abstinence brochures. The lies the CPC told her???? She doesn't mention or note a single one.

Your average pro-choice person can't find these posts persuasive, can they? I'd really like to know from the pro-choicers who read this blog if they find the Saporta and Bull posts to be worthwhile.

Can the pro-choice movement really not come up with anything more persuasive than attacking a CPC because they have parenting magazines, display pictures of unborn children (which are sooooo deceptive since if a woman thought she was at a place which provided abortions, the first she'd expect would be parenting magazines and fetal pictures) and offer free pregnancy tests to college students?

Life Links 4/3/08

Here's the next video from Lila Rose and the prolifers at UCLA who taped conversations with Planned Parenthood employees. The prolifers had a male caller act like he wanted to donate money for abortions on African-Americans and numerous Planned Parenthood employees were more than happy to oblige. The worst has to be call at the end of the video where the caller says, "The less blacks out there the better" and Planned Parenthood employee Irene Gray responds, "Yeah, yeah, it's a strange time for sure."

A 14-year-old girl in Texas apparently drowned her newborn child in a middle school toilet.
"We understand that the baby was alive when it was born and that the girl attempted to flush the child down the toilet. The child died as a result of these actions," said Lt. Eric Freed of the Baytown Police Department.

Another student who walked into the restroom heard the baby crying and ran to get the nurse and assistant principal. But by the time they arrived, officials said, it was too late.

Ross Douhat provides his thoughts on Chief Justice John Roberts and the chance he would vote to overturn Roe.

Jack Lessenberry, a pro-choice, pro-assisted suicide columnist writes about Jack Kevorkian's plans to run for Congress. The column confirms my notion that Kevorkian has been a crazy, old man for quite a while.

Speaking of Kevorkian, Stephen Drake of Not Dead Yet has posted the transcript of a FOX News piece on Kevorkian's run for Congress.

Phil Kadner of the Southtown Star discusses efforts at the University of Illinois to help pregnant college students keep their children and stay in school.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Life Links 4/2/08

Michael Gerson has a column in the Washington Post on Obama's abortion extremism.

Brave New Britain marches on as researchers at Newcastle University announced they've created cloned hybrid embryos using nuclei from human somatic cells and the eggs of cows. None of the embryos lived long enough for researchers to extract embryonic stem cells.

Prolife students at the University of Calgary have refused to comply with their university's order to hide their display which features images of aborted children.

Michael Clark and Jennifer Lahl have a long article in First Things where they argue that egg harvesting is the newest form of human trafficking.

At East of Eden, Ann Marie shares how she became prolife.

Sarah at CEC for Life shares the story and pictures of a toddler whose life she played a role in saving when she worked for Stand True Ministries.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Life Links 4/1/08

Melinda at the Stand to Reason blog has some thoughts on Barack Obama labeling babies as a "punishment."

The University of Calgary is ordering prolife students to take down a display which features pictures of aborted children.

We The Students will feature a debate on abortion tonight between students at Liberty University and the University of Vermont.

Jay Tea, who describes himself as "squishily pro-choice," has a few thoughts on the numbers in Planned Parenthood's most recent annual report.
1) As several commenters noted, those numbers mean that Planned Parenthood had about an 11% operating profit. If they weren't a non-profit, that would make them a better investment than the oil companies, whose 9% rate of return was labeled "obscene."