Friday, December 30, 2005

Moral responsibility

Jill at Feministe has an interesting post on the story of an Egyptian child who was born with a head attached to his head. She goes on to tentatively compare this situation with pregnancy and the removal of the head with abortion.

Throughout that thread, there were the usual questions of whether a fetus is part of the woman's body, it's own separate entity with individual rights, or something in between. I happen to think that it's something in between. But what this documentary made clear is that there is no moral or ethical responsibility for one being to allow another to live off of it.

I'm not sure what Jill means by "something in between." Hopefully, she'll provide some answers in the comments section. It seems that being part of another organism and being an organism unto oneself would be diametrically opposed and that the unborn would have to fit in one biological category or the other.

This documentary made something clear to her but what if she viewed another hypothetical documentary. This documentary follows a woman who recently gave birth to a baby boy in far off land where baby formula doesn't exist and there are no other lactating women. This woman decides that she doesn't want to use her breasts to feed her child. The child eventually dies from malnutrition. Would Jill still believe that "there is no moral or ethical responsibility for one being to allow another to live off of it?"

Where's the love?

For providing quotes from embryology textbooks and defending the scientific reality that at conception a human life has begun at Media Girl's blog, I've been accused of being a "serial troll" and imposing my religious beliefs on everyone else, my blog has been called a "pseudo religio slobber dump site", and Serge and myself have been called "fundie wackjobs from Focus on the Family."

Why is that some pro-choicers when faced with scientific facts from scientific textbooks must accuse those providing evidence from science of being "fundie wackjobs?" Why is that my belief backed by quotes from experts in embryology is one of faith yet their belief (that the unborn aren't human beings in the biological sense) which is backed by nothing but their pro-choice ideology is somehow valid?

Do people actually believe that we become human beings when "the mother decides the fetus in her body is a human being and she wants a baby and she accepts reponsibility for its care."

To blatantly plagiarize from a Norman Geisler book: I'd don't have enough faith to be pro-choice.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

"Take care of it!"

A blogger named Lucy who recently broke free of an abusive relationship relates the circumstances of her abortion:

He had gotten me pregnant twice, andwhen I told him, he basically muttered "take care of it!". I went alone, had the abortion alone, and drove my self home, alone. He spent that night in the bar, and didn't come home until 6:00 am.

Hwang Out to Dry

A panel of South Korean scientists have concluded that Hwang Woo-Suk has provided no data to prove that he produced patient specific cloned embryonic stem cells.

Hmmm.... Where was this panel when Hwang submitted his paper to Science?


Here's what the Seoul Times has to say:

But, his cloned dog and other previous research performances are under suspicion after he was revealed as one of the biggest liars in the recent scientific history.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Why is there only one abortion clinic in Mississippi?

From the AP:

A Jackson abortion clinic, which closed in 2004, has been ordered by a Hinds County judge to pay a $500,000 default judgment to a woman who claimed she was injured in a 2003 procedure by a doctor who has since lost his medical license.....

The clinic closed in August 2004 after Dehenre, its only abortion physician, had his license suspended following the death of a patient in Alabama and was cited for malpractice in the cases of three other women, including Travis.

Both Alabama and Mississippi suspended Dehenre's medical license indefinitely. The state of New York also suspended Dehenre's medical license.

Noble said his client almost bled to death from the procedure.

Travis, then 20, paid $680 for an abortion at the clinic, according to the lawsuit. She went to the clinic in March 2003 with her mother. The Jackson woman had at least one child already. Though she had planned to have more children later, according to the lawsuit, she had to have a hysterectomy after the procedure.

You want it? You got it.

A pro-choice blogger named Media Girl recently commented on this article in the Washington Post on abortion in South Dakota. South Dakota's task force on abortion released a report that states that science defines life as beginning at conception.

In her post Media Girl asks,

Here they go with the "science is what I say it is" approach. Does life really begin at conception? Where is this scientific evidence? Does implantation have nothing to do with it? What about gestation?

In the comments section, I left a few quotes from my side panel regarding what science has to say about what happens at conception.

Media Girl also stated, "Unborn children -- a nice, nonsensical phrase, because of course children are not children until they are born. But hey, potential children are almost children, right?"

In response, I asked her how a nine inch journey down the birth canal changes a non-child into a child.

Media Girl's response to my embryology textbook quotes and questions?

1. Spill seed into a woman of chilbearing years
2. Optional: Repeat step 1

And you're done! You have a baby. Oh, never mind the nine months' gestation needed to actually make the baby. That's just irrelevant!

Never mind the nutrition from the woman. Never mind the billions upon billions of processes that must happen for an actual baby to result.

New math: potential baby = baby.

Babies are more than a jumble of genetics, Jivin.

She has no evidence from science to dispute what embryology has to say or any reasoning to back up her assertions so she creates a strawman and goes after it. I never said that a woman's body plays no role in nurturing the growing child. I pointed to the science she asked for. She just doesn't like the answer science has provided. I was also accused by other commenters of being "really into my faith" because I provided quotes from embryology textbooks.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

In Case You Missed It Over the Holiday

I hope everyone out there had a wonderful Christmas spent with family and friends. I'll be spending the next week working off the extra pounds gained from too much good food. Here are some stories you might have missed over the long weekend.

Ramesh Ponnuru on this Washington Post piece on the controversy over human cloning "early stem cell work" in Missouri.

Wesley Smith on Peter Singer's thinking (or lack thereof) on human cloning.

Ever wonder where Kwanzaa came from? La Shawn Barber and Frank Beckmann have your answer.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Korean Cloning: A House Built on a Stack of Lies

After blowing close to $40 million on Hwang Woo-Suk, a South Korean university panel has accused Hwang of deliberately faking at least 9 stem cell lines. They also found that more eggs were used than reported. They’re still trying to figure out how many. Other top stem cell researchers doubt if Hwang actually cloned a dog. So Hwang not only lied about how many stem cell lines were created from human clones (he possibly might not have created any), but how many eggs were needed to create the clones (which might not have even been created) but also might have lied about cloning a dog.

I find this quote amusing:

Professor Alan Trounson, a top stem-cell researcher at Australia's Monash University, said the scandal showed scientists were rigorously checking one another's results.

If that were the case, this research would have never been published in the first place. It took the investigation of a South Korean television station to get researchers to actually question Hwang and his research.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Infanticide in West Michigan (continued)

Amy Nash, a woman in West Michigan who has been accused of killing her disabled infant daughter after writing a confession is now denying the charges and saying that "God didn't want her to suffer, so He took her back."

That article also mentions that her husband claims that Amy originally wanted to abort the child after a prenatal test but she is denying this as well.

Her husband has said she wanted an abortion after discovering in a prenatal test that the girl would be born with Spina Bifida, but he talked her out of it.

She said she never wanted an abortion.

She said she planned to talk to her husband about that on Christmas Day, when he is expected to visit her in jail.

If she had had an abortion, she said, "I would still have the heartbreak I have now."

Life Links 12/22/05

The Detroit Free Press profiles Right to Life of Michigan's President Barbara Listing on their front page.

Wesley Smith points out some quotes from an article in Nature.

The Raving Atheist has a guest post at the Dawn Patrol about NARAL's fear of a prolife Christmas tree.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

God would be in favor of human cloning?

That's the position of Paula Gott, an ordained minister (it appears she makes a living by writing), whose incoherent opinion piece on how God would view embryonic stem cell research and cloning is here.

Those opposed to stem cell research have accepted as fact that life begins at the moment of conception, although there is nothing in the Bible that supports this belief. Only "church tradition" provides a specific moment at which life begins.

They've accepted that fact because they have a basic knowledge of embryology. Besides church tradition, embryology textbooks also provide a specific moment for when the life of a human being begins. Gott seems to prefer to ignore evidence from science and put the question of life's beginning into a solely theological realm. Does Gott believe that since the Bible doesn't say that "life begins at conception" that it isn't true?

If a scientist can remove one of these surplus eggs, place it in a growing medium and produce differentiated cells that can save lives, why would God object? Surely he had good reason for providing nearly half a million surplus eggs per woman.

Did you catch that ladies? According to Gott, God placed those extra eggs in you so that one day you could go through hormonal therapy, risk Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome, have those extra eggs extracted and used in human cloning efforts. That must have been His plan all along.

Gott is either largely ignorant about cloning or being intentionally deceptive (my guess is the former). In cloning, eggs aren't placed "in a growing medium." Somatic cells are placed in eggs and then prodded to develop into a human embryos. The cloned human embryos would then be killed for their stem cells. This is another great example of those who advocate for human cloning research failing to mention the word cloning or embryo in their discussion about cloning and embryos.

It seems Gott went to the God Would Never Let Anything Bad Happen School of Theology.

The Bible reveals an all-powerful God who created the heavens and the Earth, plants, animals, human beings — the entire universe, every living thing. With this unlimited power to create life, surely if God does implant souls at the moment of conception, he also has the power to transplant a soul and donate a cell that can save a life.

Wouldn't God know the difference between a cell in a woman's body dividing to become a human life and a cell in a laboratory dish dividing for the purpose of saving a human life?

So in other words, human cloning should be allowed because God would understand the intentions of researchers and make sure that the embryos used in embryonic stem cell research didn't have souls and weren't really human life. That's new one.

Transplant a soul? Does that sound like Buddhism to anyone else?

So according to Gott, the researchers aren't really killing a human being because if the human embryo was a human life and did have a soul, God would remove that embryo's soul and transplant it to another embryo. Her biblical basis for this reasoning? (Cue chirping crickets)

Hmmm.... Couldn't that reasoning also could be used to justify every killing. I mean, it's okay for me to kill my annoying neighbor because God would have the ability to transplant his soul, right?

HT: Mark Shea

Abortion posts

A woman who doesn't "believe in abortion" recently found out she's pregnant. She might be pressured into abortion by her boyfriend. (I had to highlight the text to read the message)

A Buddhist named Henry at a new blog named Should we legalise abortion thinks "most people won't deny d fact that "abortion", is in its most fundamental form, d taking of another person's life (some of us will beg to differ) .. yet nobody can say for sure, if d legalising of this "murder" is ultimately right or wrong..."

At the blog To Abort or Not, WS1238 claims that during the first few months the human embryo is ‘not a life."

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I need to have this abortion.....

A pregnant teenager named Hazel who was thinking about names for her child a month ago has now decided to have an abortion. Warning: language.

i dont even know what to do now, i need to have this abortion, its 450 dollars, and i have NONE of the money. my mom knows now, brittany probabbly told her. i think im gonna puke, either that or pass out....

Stem Cell News

Today President Bush signed the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005 which will provide "$265 million for life saving stem cell therapy, cord blood and bone marrow transplant. Specifically, $79 million will be authorized for the collection and storage of cord blood stem cells (a type of adult stem cell) with the goal of reaching a total inventory of 150,000 units. This would make them available to more than 90 percent of patients in need."

British scientists have grown human cartilage from adult stem cells and "are predicting a ‘cure' for arthritis within the next decade."

Prof Hollander, the Arthritis Research Campaign professor of rheumatology and tissue engineering, has devised a way of making adult bone marrow stem cells grow into cartilage within 40 days in the laboratory.

As of noon today, the only American paper to pick up this story is the New York Sun. How many American papers would have this story if it was embryonic stem cells which were grown into cartilage?

Unwanted conception doesn't necessarily equal "unwanted babies"

It's quite unfortunate that the Associated Press doesn't understand that reality. Many couples might not want to conceive a child when they do but that doesn't mean the conceived child is unwanted.

I'm surprised that only 14% of births began with an unwanted conception. Doesn't Planned Parenthood always say that 50% of pregnancies are unplanned and that around half of those (or 25% of all pregnancies) end in abortion?

That means that 11% of births (25%-14%) were unplanned but the mother wanted to conceive.

Or maybe women who give birth to children that they love don't remember the conception of that child as unwanted when they look back on it?

HT: The Corner

Infanticide in Detroit

Jessica O'Neal has been charged with first-degree murder after admitting to suffocating Malik O'Neal, her 9-month-old infant. She had originally told hospital officials that her baby was kidnaped. Malik's body was found in the basement of his grandmother's home in a garbage bag where it had been hidden for more than a week. It appears that Jessica suffocated the child because he wouldn't stop crying.

Monday, December 19, 2005

New Abortion T-Shirt

The Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project has created a new t-shirt for post-abortive women who are looking to fund another's abortion. The t-shirt says, "ask me about my abortion!"

Life Links 12/19/05

Wesley Smith has a column in the National Review on the real Jack Kevorkian.

The ladies at have posted the 72 page report from South Dakota's task force on abortion.

A conference for prolife bloggers called Blogs4Life will be taking place before the March for Life.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

NARAL's take on Judge Alito

NARAL has loaded up their pistol with blanks and is shooting at Judge Alito in their new Liberty (aka Legal Abortion) at Risk Report.

I think my favorite part of the report is on page 9:

South Dakota enacted a law in 2005 requiring physicians providing abortion services to tell the patient that: (1) the abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being; (2) the pregnant woman has an existing relationship with the unborn human being that is protected by the U. S. Constitution and the laws of South Dakota, and which will be terminated by the abortion; and (3) depression, psychological distress, increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide, death, hemorrhage, danger to subsequent pregnancies, and infertility are significant risk factors of having an abortion. Medical evidence refutes virtually all of these claims.

This report has 86 endnotes. Notice how writers supply no endnote for their claim in the last sentence. Hmmmm..... I wonder why.

NARAL continues to tell whoppers about Michigan's Legal Birth Definition Act. On page 10, they note:

Perhaps the most notable piece of anti-choice legislation enacted in 2004 was Michigan's new ban on abortion, which could effectively outlaw abortion even in the earliest stages of pregnancy. The Michigan ban represents the most far-reaching restriction on the right to choose adopted by any state in more than a decade.37

The endnote has the law's address in Michigan's compiled laws and no explanation as to how a law that defines legal birth at the point when any non-severed part of the child is outside the woman could outlaw abortion in the earliest stages of pregnancy.

The report also lies about the Pennsylvania's spousal notification law:

He would have upheld a statute that would have forced married women to notify their husbands before seeking abortion services, even though the statute would endanger and coerce women who feared abuse if forced to notify their husbands.

Mentioning that the law had an exemption for women who feared the "infliction of bodily injury" must have slipped their minds.

Hwang Woo-Suk's pants are on fire

No wonder Hwang was so stressed out.

LifeNews, Scott Klusendorf and ProlifeBlogs are all over this AP story where one of Hwang's co-researchers, Roh Sung-il, admits that much of their famous human cloning research was faked.

Roh Sung-il, chairman of the board at Mizmedi Hospital, told KBS television that Hwang had agreed to ask the journal Science to withdraw the paper, published in June to international acclaim. Roh was one of the co-authors of the article that detailed how individual stem cell colonies were created for 11 patients through cloning.

Roh also told MBC television that Hwang had pressured a former scientist at his lab to fake data to make it look like there were 11 stem cell colonies.

Roh said nine of the embryonic stem cell lines Hwang had claimed were cloned in the paper were faked, and the authenticity of the other two was unknown.

Roh told MBC that he heard from Hwang on Thursday morning that "there were no embryonic stem cells" because all colonies have since died in the lab.

In related news, the delusional bioethicists at American Journal of Bioethics blog are trying to defend their misleading column by claiming that they just got a name wrong.

Truly By Any Means Necessary

The Detroit Free Press has an article on the childish intimidation antics of the group By Any Means Necessary which opposes Michigan's ballot proposal to rid the state of affirmative action.

The group used high school students to intimidate members of Michigan's Board of Canvassers.

In October, the Michigan Court of Appeals ordered the canvassers to place the initiative on the ballot because it had far more than the necessary 317,757 signatures.

But on Wednesday, after the meeting was repeatedly disrupted by about 250 rowdy Detroit high school students and the group By Any Means Necessary, the board could muster only two votes -- Republicans Lyn Bankes and Katherine DeGrow -- to comply with the court order.

The students and other protesters yelled, "They say Jim Crow. We say, hell no," when the board first attempted to vote around noon.

About 50 students advanced toward the board, knocking over a table before being stopped by Lansing police. Others jumped on chairs and stomped their feet. Board members adjourned the meeting for two hours......

This has been a victory of mob rule," said Chris Thomas, director of elections for the Michigan Secretary of State. "Never before have I seen such absolutely incredible and unprofessional behavior from lawyers urging this disruption. They used these children as pawns."

Infanticide in West Michigan

On Tuesday, the Grand Rapids Press reported that a woman from West Michigan had confessed to intentionally suffocating her disabled infant daughter.

Authorities initially ruled Janie Nash's death accidental due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, but further investigation allegedly shows the child's mother, Amy Nash, 22, ended her daughter's life to relieve her of living with multiple birth defects.

Emergency contraception up, abortion up

In a fact sheet describing their services for 2004, Planned Parenthood notes that its affiliates performed 255,015 abortions in 2004. According to Planned Parenthood's 2003-2004 annual report, Planned Parenthood affiliates performed 230,630 abortions in 2002 and 244,628 abortion is 2003.

The fact sheet also notes that Planned Parenthood had 983,537 emergency contraception (EC) clients in 2004. This number is up from 633,756 in 2002 and 774,482 in 2003.

So in the last two years, the number of abortions performed by Planned Parenthood has risen 10.6% even though their number of EC clients has risen by more than 55% over the same time period?

Why does Planned Parenthood claim that widespread distribution of EC will lower the number of abortion performed when they widely distribute EC and the number of abortions they perform has steadily risen?

Makes you wonder if Planned Parenthood's sweet financial deal on EC has something to do with it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

MARAL is making themselves more obsolete every day

Michigan's NARAL affiliate still isn't happy about Michigan's ultrasound viewing option legislation (H.B. 4446) even though the mandatory ultrasound requirement has been removed. MARAL's Rebekah Warren was interviewed by the Metro Times.

Warren says MARAL's research hasn't found any doctors who would refuse showing an ultrasound to any patient making the request. But requiring a doctor to ask a patient if she'd like to see an ultrasound in proximity to an abortion is a move Warren has described as "emotionally manipulative."

She says there's another problem as well.

"One of the biggest changes in this legislation is putting a list of places women can get free ultrasounds on the state Web site," Warren says. Typically, an ultrasound costs between $300 and $700, depending on the stage of the pregnancy.

Some of clinics that offer free ultrasounds, Warren says, are geared toward influencing women against abortion.

"We would rather not have that on the state Web site," Warren says. After all, as she points out, the state posts no list of abortion providers.

Asking a patient if they want to see their ultrasound is "emotionally manipulative?" Please.

How out of the mainstream is MARAL looking? This legislation was passed by a vote of 36-0. Not a single pro-choice state senator voted against it. Not one.

On MARAL's web site, they call the bill "Forced Medical Procedures for Women." Yet when the "forced" medical procedure (which is performed anyway) section is removed, MARAL still opposes the legislation. The real problem wasn't a "forced" medical procedure, it's that MARAL doesn't think abortion-minded women should know they can have the option of viewing their ultrasound.

If Rebekah wants abortion providers on the list of places that offer free ultrasounds then why not encourage abortion providers to provide ultrasounds for free? What would be the point of putting a listing of abortion providers on Michigan's informed consent web site? If a woman is looking for informed consent information, it means that she's already contacted an abortion clinic.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Woman and Unborn Child Survive Sky Diving Accident

This is crazy.

Shayna Richardson was making her first solo skydiving jump when she had trouble with her parachutes and, while falling at about 50 mph, hit face first in a parking lot. Although badly hurt, she survived _ and doctors treating her injuries discovered she was pregnant. Four surgeries and two months later, Richardson said she and the fetus are doing fine.

"Just this last week we went and saw the doctor and we've got arms, we've got legs. We've got a full face. The baby is moving around just fine. The heart rate looks good. So not only did God save me but he spared this baby," she said.

HT: The Corner

Abortion clinic worker: "Work is slowly eating my soul"

In November, a Live Journal blogger named Burnout_Ohio was looking for a forum for abortion clinic workers at the LiveJournal Abortion Info blog.

She wrote,
"i'm just the run of the mill educator slash support person in the room at a clinic. are there any internet groups or sites for clinic employees to discuss working in a clinic? it's a uniquely demanding job and i'm rather emotionally exhausted sometimes.

i'd like to talk to people who understand."

Two weeks later, on her own blog (warning: language) she writes,
"work is slowly eating my soul.

i was doing math in my head driving home as usual. god, i make awful money for a job that actually sucks once you strip away all the pretentious "oh i HELP people" bullshit.

well, actually, being the stranger that says the right thing during an awful tearful confession in a strange office does have a value beyond money."

Cloning Chaos

In the National Review Online, Richard Doerflinger goes to town on exposing the lies and exaggerations of scientists and bio-ethicists in favor of human cloning.

In related news, an online Korean news service reported Sunday that the world's leading cloner Woo-Suk Hwang "may have ordered a subordinate to fabricate photos of nine stem cell batches from just two cell lines that were presented to Science."

Abortion can lead to:

More mental distress.

Norwegian researchers have completed a study which found "levels of distress remained high in the abortion group. After two years, 18 per cent were still experiencing distress, with 20 per cent at five years."

The percentage of women who experience distress rises from 2 years to 5 years after the abortion. It makes you wonder: What would the stress level be at 10 or 15 years after the abortion?

The ladies at After Abortion share their thoughts.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Friday Cat Blogging

Have you heard of cats with 6 claws on each hand? My cat Johnny has got them beat. She's has 6 claws on one paw and 7 on the other. Here's a picture of her 7 claw paw. It's almost the size of a baseball mitt. I'm holding her 3-claw thumb-like growth in between my thumb and fore finger.

Michigan's Ultrasound Legislation

On Wednesday, the Michigan Senate voted 36-0 to approve a revised version of ultrasound viewing option legislation. H.B. 4446 adds text to Michigan's informed consent law that will require abortion providers to "provide the patient with the opportunity to view, or not to view, an active ultrasound image of the fetus, and offer to provide the patient with a physical picture of the ultrasound image of the fetus prior to the performance of the abortion" if the woman undergoes an ultrasound. Last year, ultrasound was the pregnancy confirmation method for 87.2% of women having an abortion. The legislation also instructs that Michigan's informed consent web site have a listing of facilities that provide free ultrasounds.

The legislation was revised so that abortion providers aren't required to perform an ultrasound prior to an abortion. This revised version will hopefully be accepted by Jennifer Granholm, Michigan's pro-choice governor who was opposed to the legislation previously because of the mandatory ultrasound section.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

"Abortion is more important than the lives and health of women"

That's the message I hear every time I read a pro-choice organization's tirade against the Mexico City Policy, usually called the Global Gag Rule by abortion proponents. The Mexico City policy prevents U.S. taxpayer funds from going to organizations that perform, refer, or promote abortion overseas.

Planned Parenthood's web site is featuring an article on the policy by Betsy Illingworth.

Illingworth sums up the quandary that abortion advocates are faced with by saying, "Reproductive health NGOs are forced to make a choice: accept the U.S. funding but agree to terms that may endanger the health of their patients, or reject the funding and be forced to cut programs — also endangering their patients' health."

But I always wonder: How does not performing, referring, or advocating for abortion endanger the health of patients? If the patients and the funding are so important then why not just dump abortion advocacy? Why does abortion advocacy take priority over everything else?

Illingworth goes on to list different organizations and programs that have suffered because of their refusal to drop their abortion advocacy. Planned Parenthood blames the Mexico City policy for cutting contraceptives and HIV services but they should really be blaming themselves. Organizations have been given a simple choice: "Dump abortion and you can continue to receive funds. Keep abortion and you lose your funds." Too often abortion advocates cling to their abortion advocacy in spite of what they lose because of it and then blame President Bush because they don't like his rules.

The article also claims that "The Global Gag Rule Obstructs Free Speech and Democracy." Now this is childish statement for even Planned Parenthood. Would a policy that prevents federal funds from going to organizations that advocate for toddler torture be an obstruction of free speech? What about a policy that prevents federal funds from going to Neo-Nazi organizations?

Re-writing history

In a front page article in the Wall Street Journal today entitled "How Simple Device Set Off a Fight Over Elderly Care," writer Mark Fritz erroneously states, "The feeding tube debate erupted this year with the case of Terri Schiavo, a 41-year-old brain-dead Florida woman." (emphasis mine)

Reporters attempting to falsely assert that Terri was brain-dead during her ordeal were mostly held in check but where are The Journal's editors on this story?

The previous sentence had this cheap shot: "And religious and right-to-life groups also are fighting to expand the use of PEGs (feeding tubes) in elderly people nearing death, challenging anyone who would allow these patients to die."

I was unaware that prolifers were attempting to stop every elderly person from dying. The right to life has now become the right to never die? Did I miss that memo? Or is Mark Fritz being a little loose with his words and generalizations?

The article is available online at the Wall Street Journal's web site but only subscribers have access.

Life Links 12/8/05

At Dawn Eden's blog, the Raving Atheist dismantles an article in New York Magazine on the "Haven Coalition, an organization that provides overnight housing for women who flock to New York for elective, late second-trimester abortions."

The Raving Atheist's conclusion: "In short, the Haven Coalition exploits the powerlessness, ignorance and trust of impoverished minority strangers to insure that they kill their unborn children without a second thought. Its volunteers do not bother to discover or understand their clients' individual circumstances, nor do they care what they are. Their sole mission is to encourage conduct they consider reprehensible for no better reason than the lack of any reason at all."

James Sherley, an associate professor of biological engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, shares his views on embryonic stem cell research and human cloning in an interview. HT: Wesley Smith

Sherley notes, "Despite the confusion that some like to create on the questions of "are embryos human beings?" and "when does a human life begin?", both scientists and physicians know very well that human embryos are alive and human. A human life begins when a diploid complement of human DNA is initiated to begin human development. Therefore, a life can be initiated by the fusion of sperm and egg or by the introduction of a diploid nucleus into an enucleated egg (ie, "cloning")."

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Life Links 12/7/05

Gerald Nora at Ales Rarus discusses the definition of an organism.

Kim from ThinkChristian posts her thoughts on the firing of a pregnant Catholic school teacher which has sparked a lively discussion.

William Hurlbut answers questions about Altered Nuclear Transfer at National Review.

Michigan's Planned Parenthood affiliates are getting in a tizzy over H.B. 4446, a bill that would allow women the opportunity to view the ultrasound image of their child prior to an abortion. The legislation doesn't force women to view an ultrasound, it merely forces abortionists to give them the opportunity if they so desire.

According to Planned Parenthood, giving women the option of viewing their ultrasound "does not have the best interest of women in mind," is "redundant," is mean-spirited and unnecessary, and does not seek to provide women with more information to make informed decisions. Unfortunately, Planned Parenthood never explains why this legislation is all those bad things.

A web site devoted to firing Lions' President Matt Millen. Now that's a web site I can endorse. For those of you who aren't from the Michigan area or have never seen the Lions play, you should know that rooting for the Detroit Lions has been one of the biggest time-wasters in the lives of millions of people. Countless Sundays I've watched and cheered on a team that has only looked like a professional team in brief and fleeting moments. These moments are then ruined the next play or the next Sunday.

I'll also link to a column that accurately compares giving Matt Millen a five-year contract extension in August of 2005 (after his team compiled the worst overall record during his time in the league) to giving American Idol reject William Hung a ten-album deal.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Life Links 12/6/05

BBC News has a long story on abortion survivor Gianna Jessen.

"You Don't Know Jack" is the tentative name of an upcoming movie that will feature the life story of Jack "Dr. Death" Kevorkian based on an unpublished book written by Kevorkian's friends. Jack Kevorkian is a convicted murderer who assisted in the suicides of more than 100 people , many of whom were not terminally ill.

In a press release, the upcoming movie's producer, Steve Jones says, "Dr Kevorkian is a man who walks in the footsteps of Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela and we're going to tell his story, his struggle, and let the audience decide how they feel about any of the issues that he has taken on." Hand me a barf bag.

I'm guessing Steve Jones knows less about Dr. Death than the International Task Force on Euthanasia.

Monday, December 05, 2005

New York is "The Abortion Capital of America"

The New York Metro has an article that details New York's on-again-off-again-on-again love affair with abortion.

The article is written from a pro-choice slant and has some interesting information.

Abortion was a profitable industry in New York back in the 19th century.

New York's most famous abortionist, the flamboyant Madame Restell, spent $60,000 a year on such advertising. Over 40 years, she built an abortion empire, with traveling salesmen hawking her pills and franchise clinics in Boston and Philadelphia. Such was her prominence that abortion was referred to in New York as "Restellism." The practice became very common. A study from 1868 found that one in five New York City pregnancies ended in abortion.

The article notes that medical abortions have gone back-alley. There is a "growing black market in misoprostol, the drug that is taken with mifepristone to induce abortion but which is cheaper and easier to obtain than its sibling" in New York City.

New Yorkers pay for a lot of abortions.

"In 2003, Medicaid paid for 43 percent of abortions in New York City."

Not all advocates of legal abortion think abortion is a tragedy. Planned Parenthood's Maureen Paul thinks she saves a woman's life every time she performs an abortion.

"Hillary can say anything she wants about whether an abortion is a tragedy," says Dr. Paul. "What I know when I perform an abortion for a patient is that the overwhelming feeling is one of relief. Because the abortion has solved a huge problem in her life, whether it's because she couldn't afford another child, couldn't afford to be a good mother to another child, or doesn't have the money to raise a child." She becomes increasingly passionate as she speaks. "Every time I do an abortion I save a woman's life. If you want to call that a tragedy"—she pauses and exhales a sharp sigh—"I don't consider it a tragedy, I'm sorry."

HT: LifeNews

The "Me" Generation

The Detroit News has a cybersurvey to gage how their on-line readers would answer the question below:

"Would you abort a Down syndrome fetus if the birth defect were detected within the first trimester?"

The survey also allows readers to comment on the question. One of the responses leave me speechless.

Cindy Delinalle
City: Novi, mi USA
Subject: Down_syndrome
Comments: Let's be practical. I am not giving up 80% or more of my life to care for a Down Syndrome baby that will be depend on me through his/her adult life. "Corkey" was lucky and probably the only casted to get ratings to play on the hearts of others. Let my be as upfront as possible......This is the 'Me' generation, and with health costs increasing endlessly, who has the money.

Some more lovely comments:

From: fedup
City: over taxed, mi USA
Subject: Down_syndrome
Comments: it should be a mandatory abortion--at a minimum of $4million per child society cannot continue to pay for every unhealthy baby that a parent wants but wont take finacial responsibility for--let parent birth them if they agree to sign over their tax returns, and 100% of assets to the people or abort them

From: Joe
City: Madison Heights, MI USA
Subject: Down_syndrome
Comments: Yes, to take away a horrible future before the lifeform can even make a sentient thought, yes. Would you want to deal with it every minute..of every year..not to mention the life that poor kid would have. Did you really think of that aspect?

Stem Cell Links

In the Corner, Kathryn Lopez has posted a long listing of adult stem cell successes. HT: Scott Klusendorf

Wesley Smith notes how the media silently omit facts about human cloning in the Weekly Standard. It seems that forgetting to mention that cloning for medical research (or therapeutic cloning) creates a human embryo is becoming par for the course.

More brain drain baloney but this time in Great Britain. Instead of coming up with actual therapies, scientists must only hint at the mass exodus of scientists to get more government funding.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Random Links

Planned Parenthood has taken two days to come out with a statement on the most recent Alito memo. Here it is. It seems they're going to go all out on this nomination.

I'm beginning to think that Jack Kevorkian's former lawyer,Geoffrey Fieger, isn't a real human being. He's almost some kind of cartoon character or claymation creation. After being accused of trying to blackmail Michigan's attorney general (who had an extra-marital affair), Fieger is still being investigated by the AG office for illegally financing a Michigan Supreme Court candidate. Now he is under investigation by the FBI and the IRS to see if he coerced employees to donate to John Edwards' presidential campaign and then reimbursed them.

Nikolas Nikas on the 1,000th victim.

This can't be good for the Hillary for President campaign

In an Amazon Book review of Bill Clinton's "My Life," Arkansas abortionist William Harrison described Hillary Clinton as a former patient and said that he and his wife were "good friends" with the Clintons during the early to mid-seventies. Harrison and his wife were even invited to the Clintons' wedding which Harrison describes as "small."

I have known Bill and Hillary Clinton personally since they both moved to Fayetteville to teach at the University of Arkansas Law School in the early 70s. I met Hillary first as her physician and she soon introduced me to her then boyfriend, Bill. My wife and I became good friends with Bill and Hillary and strong supporters for his political campaigns over the years.

According to Wikipedia, Bill and Hillary both starting teaching at the University of Arkansas Law School in 1974.

Harrison was recently featured in a Los Angeles Times article where it mentions:

Harrison opened an obstetrics and gynecology practice, but after the Supreme Court established abortion as a constitutional right in 1973, he decided to take on an additional specialty. Now 70, Harrison estimates he's terminated at least 20,000 pregnancies.

The article isn't very specific on when Harrison began providing abortions. Was it right after Roe or years later? So Harrison was an ob/gyn doctor who might have been providing abortions in the mid-70's when Hillary was his patient. The question that will have people wondering is: What was Hillary a patient for?

I personally doubt that it would be an abortion since I have a hard time believing Hillary would befriend someone who performed her abortion.

Regardless, I can hardly think that someone running for President of the United States wants to be known as a "good friend" to an abortionist.

HT: Right Faith

Emergency Medical Ear Piercing/R-rated Movie Watching

After listening to the arguments in Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood (you can hear them on-line at C-SPAN's web site), I was amazed at the focus on a completely implausible scenario that never happens in real life. The judges in favor of legal abortion by judicial fiat created a scenario of immense impossibility and focused almost all of their questions on how New Hampshire's law would deal with this most unlikely of unlikely possibilities. The scenario being a minor girl who enters a hospital with an emergency medical condition that doesn't endanger her life but immediately endangers her future fertility and abortion seems to be the only "treatment" for this condition. The girl doesn't want doctors to call her parents. What is the doctor to do? Is he or she legally allowed to proceed with the abortion.

In lieu of the Ayotte case, I've recently discovered that Souter, Breyer, Stevens and Ginsburg are about to make a decision on the constitutionality of parental consent laws regarding ear piercing. They are also considering whether to overturn limits on what movies minors may see without being accompanied by their parents because of possible medical emergencies that may arise if minors are not allowed to see R-rated movies that may cure their emergency medical ailments.

Souter and company have come up with a scenario where the health of a minor girl may be endangered by this New Hampshire's parental consent for an ear piercing law. Their scenario is below:

Let's say a teenage girl, I'll call her Sarah, enters a hospital at 2 o'clock in the morning. Sarah, for some unknown reason, is at a hospital with a serious medical condition at 2 a.m. without her parents. This serious, emergency medical condition is not life-threatening but it could affect her hearing in future years. You see, Sarah has a newly discovered, before unheard of medical condition where unless her ear is pierced (a simple poke thru the skin) in the next 30 minutes, it is highly likely that she will become deaf. Unfortunately, New Hampshire has a law that prevents anyone from piercing the ear of minor unless a parent consents to the piercing. To complicate matters even further, Sarah refuses to allow the doctors to contact her parents about this emergency situation.

And suppose further, that the doctor's lawyer is present at this situation. What would the lawyer advise his client to do? And remember, every second in this emergency situation counts (some might even suggest that the doctor not wash his hands because time is so of the essence).

In related news
Doctors have just discovered the "Kill Bill: Volume 1 Syndrome." This emergency condition potentially has dramatic effects on the future fertility of minor boys and can only be alleviated if the patients are allowed to watch Uma Thurman mercilessly slice and dice her way through hundreds of combatants before killing Lucy Liu. Doctors must now decide if they will risk legal repercussions by showing endangered minor boys "Kill Bill: Volume 1" when the parents of the minor boys don't want their children to watch the ultra-violent movie or when an unaccompanied minor boy arrives at a hospital at 2 a.m. without his parents and doesn't want his parents to be contacted.

Friday Cat Blogging

Rascal and Belushi take turns attacking the tape measure in cat tunnel.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Follow ups

Ben Shapiro has a column on the LA Times profile of abortionist William Harrison. I disagree with his idea that the article was a "glowing" profile but we've got to get more people asking the questions Ben asks:

"Yet these same politicians refuse to answer just why abortion should remain rare. If abortion is a moral good under any circumstances (as abortion-on-demand advocates declare), why should it remain rare? And if keeping abortion rare is a rational goal, why should state governments be barred from taking steps to discourage abortion?"

Other bloggers on this story include: GrannyGrump, Peakah, Irish Law and Adam's Blog.

Naaman and adds his thoughts on the firing of the pregnant Catholic school teacher.

A 3-year-old gets it

"Adrian Felic, who is 3, tried nudging past his pregnant mother to face the armed robber who kept kicking her in the stomach.

"Don't kick my mommy, don't kick the baby," the boy with big brown eyes yelled at the masked man Tuesday -- the second time in a month he faced armed robbers..."

This will keep them howling for at least a week

Here's the memo from Samuel Alito to the Solicitor General that will have Kim Gandy, Karen Pearl and Nancy Keenan howling for the rest of the week.

NARAL's Keenan had this to say: "Samuel Alito's writings reflect a visceral opposition to Roe v. Wade. It is clear that his legal philosophy calls for a calculated strategy to dismantle fundamental constitutional protections for women, including the health exception issue that the Supreme Court is considering right now." Keenan also states that, "Alito's memo is a litany of legal strategies designed to undermine women's reproductive health. He even confuses birth control with abortion and advocates additional restrictions on women's access to contraception."

Her contraception remarks are probably about the portion of the memo below.

"What, for example, is the objection to informing a woman that certain methods of birth control are "abortifacients," i.e., that they do not prevent fertilization but terminate the development of the fetus after conception? Why cannot the State of Illinois require that this information be provided to patients, in the doctor's own words, so that women for whom the difference is morally significant can make an informal choice? Would a court hesitate for a moment before upholding government's authority to require that patients be informed about the operation of any other drug or medical device?"

So Alito confuses abortion with contraception because he recognizes that some methods of birth control impede implantation instead of preventing conception? An additional restriction is telling women that their birth control method might prevent implantation?

The memo crushes a number of absurd pro-choice arguments against prolife legislation. Alito notes, "If abortion is a woman's choice, as the Court has held, then surely the choice should be informed."

"Furthermore, many physicians, including those operating high-volume abortion clinics, have a financial interest in encouraging women to have abortions. Must the state entrust to them the sole responsibility to provide a woman with the relevant information bearing on her choice?"

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

LifeLinks 11/30/05

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

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

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

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

Why isn't this kind of research more popular?

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

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The abortionist who makes women "born again"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Abortion and Crime

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

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

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

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

More problems in Cloneville

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 28, 2005

Catholic teacher fired for being pregnant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How many babies survive abortion in the United States?

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

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

Life Links 11/28/05

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Daily Joke

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

Armando to the rescue:

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

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

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

Monday, November 21, 2005

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Google respects Jivin. Well, not really

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

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

#2 for satricial arguments.

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

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

#83 for parental consent abortion.

Friday, November 18, 2005

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

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

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

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

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

Probably not.

Does legal abortion have deep roots?

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

He writes,

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

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

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Pro-choice confliction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Naaman adds his thoughts

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

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

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

Here are some excerpts from Radioblogger's transcripts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HT: The Corner

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Alito discusses his 1985 job application

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

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

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

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

This doesn't seem like a "choice"

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

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

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

Previously Scared Mom's mother whom is described as a "very Christian lady" told her:
"You HAVE to have an abortion.

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

Intentionally faulty definitions for cloning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The essay is available online here.

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 14, 2005

Life Links 11/14/05

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

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

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

A good line from Michelman:

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

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