Tuesday, January 31, 2006

"Continue pulling to disarticulate at the neck."

Here's a link to the 9th Circuit Court's decision on the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. They declared it unconstitutional.

How sad is that Supreme Court precedent says something like this is constitutionally protected?

An intact D&E proceeds in one of two ways, depending on the position of the fetus in the uterus. If the fetus presents head first (a vertex presentation), the doctor first collapses the head, either by compressing the skull with forceps or by inserting surgical scissors into the base of the skull and draining its contents. The doctor then uses forceps to grasp the fetus and extracts it through the cervix.5 If the fetus presents feet first (a breech presentation), the doctor begins by grasping a lower extremity and pulling it through the cervix, at which point the head typically becomes lodged in the cervix. When that occurs, the doctor can either collapse the head and then remove the fetus or continue pulling to disarticulate at the neck. (If the doctor uses the latter option, he will have to use at least one more pass of the forceps to remove the part of the fetus that remains, and the procedure is not considered an intact D&E.)
(emphasis mine)

So some abortionists finish off a partial-birth abortion not by sucking the brains of the child out, but by pulling on the child's body until the child's body is separated from the child's head.

Justice Samuel Alito Jr.

That has a nice ring to it. 58 to 42. I was off by one vote. Senator Landrieu didn't come through for me. Interestingly, Justice Alito received less votes from Democratic Senators than Justice Thomas.

Monday, January 30, 2006

"So abortion is really the only choice she has in this matter..."

Is this pro-choice or pro-abortion?

This same blogger (who feels that her friend's only choice is to have an abortion) had a miscarriage and said, "there's not a day that passes where i don't feel the incredible hurt of losing a child, and not just any child, but the child of my best friend of 4 years....as sad as it is, it's probably the best thing that could've happened. after the miscarraige, i named the unborn embryo Skyler. i will keep him in my heart, always.
mommy loves you, skyler. "

She has also previously given birth and made an adoption plan for that child and had an abortion.


The U.S. Senate will invoke cloture on the Alito debate with 65 votes.

Judge Alito will be confirmed with 59 votes.

Jack Bauer will kill or seriously injure someone on tonight's episode of 24.

In 24, the shadowy man behind the nerve gas scare is working for a military weapons contractor who is upset about the fighting terrorists (what President Logan called it)/disarmament (what the media in 24 have called it) agreement that President Logan and Russia's prime minister signed.

My wife will watch Skating with Celebrities tonight.

Massachusetts' Department of Social Services is not the best guardian

Dean Barnett has a good summary of what happened and what's happening in the life of Haleigh Poutre in the Weekly Standard.

"I hope he knows how much I loved him."

A long story about the birth of a baby with anencephaly in the LA Times and here's another from Right to Life of Michigan.

HT: Dawn Eden

Friday, January 27, 2006

Putting words in the mouths of past feminists

National Review has posted an excerpt of Kate O'Beirne's book, Women Who Make the World Worse: and How Their Radical Feminist Assault Is Ruining Our Schools, Families, Military, and Sports.

In the excerpt, Kate quotes America's early feminists as calling abortion things like, "the ultimate exploitation of women," "child murder," "infanticide," and "antenatal child murder." These early feminists also called abortionists "child murderers" and called places where abortions take place "infant butcheries." They said women who commit abortion were "awfully guilty" regardless of their motive and said it is "degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit."

To me these quotes are a strong indication that early feminists were opposed to abortion 1.) because it killed an unborn child 2.) it distorted the feminist values of equality and non-violence.

However, some feminists bloggers read things like "child murder" and "infanticide" and somehow come to the conclusion that the real reason early feminists opposed abortion because was it "was then a dangerous procedure often forced upon them by men" and "abortion was a symbol of male dominance–women could be raped, sent to abortionists against their will, left dead or disfigured, all because they were viewed as subhuman objects whose very lives were considered less important then men's desires. Abortion symbolized male control over women."

Also notice how Amanda (the latter link above) in her haste to erect strawmen arguments to knock down fails to read the first quote she takes from O'Beirne properly. She beats O'Beirne to death for quoting a feminist for life for saying that motherhood was against Victorian era social norms. The obvious problem is that O'Beirne is quoting a modern day feminist for life talking about today's social norms where we have a "wombless model of success society."

Motherhood wasn't looked down upon in Victorian era society but pregnant women were and that's something Stanton protested against by going out in public while visibly pregnant which was what was against Victorian-era society norms. According to a web site dedicated to Victorian era health "confinement" and "lying in" were synonyms for pregnancy. In the Victorian era, pregnancy was equated with an illness and pregnant women wore "invalid gowns."

Or as another web site notes: "The Victorian view of sex placed pregnancy in an unusual position. Maternity was thought to be a woman's glory, but at the same time it was an obvious result of sexual intercourse. As a result, pregnant women of the upper, more refined classes stayed indoors rather than show their change in condition."

Or as Dr. Raul Artal notes in his foreword of a pregnancy exercise book, "To the Victorian lady, pregnancy was a state of confinement and it was considered unseemly for pregnant women to engage in active recreational or social activities. It was even inappropriate to be seen outside her family setting."

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Governor Granholm wants human cloning to come to Michigan

During her recent State of the State address to the citizens of Michigan, Governor Jennifer Granholm called on Michigan's legislature to pass a bill that would not only legalize non-therapeutic research on human embryos but would also legalize human cloning in the state of Michigan.

A little more than halfway thru her speech, Granholm said,

"If we are truly serious about improving both the cost and quality of health care in this state, we must tap the full power of modern science to combat life-threatening illnesses. Imagine having to watch your child suffer with juvenile diabetes. Imagine watching your wife lose her ability to speak, and walk, and even eat, as her Parkinson's worsens. Stem cell research holds the promise for finding cures and for improving the lives of thousands of people.

Talented researchers and businesses around the world are working right now on those cures…but we can't recruit them to Michigan to do their work because of the limits Michigan law puts on them. When human lives are at stake, we should lead the nation in this work, not put obstacles in our own path.

Tonight, I am asking you, our Legislature, to join with me in supporting this search for cures. Pass Representative Meisner's bill to remove the limits on stem cell research in Michigan, and do it now."

First, I should provide the current legal situation regarding stem cell research and human cloning in the state of Michigan. Human cloning was banned in Michigan in 1998. There are no limits on adult or umbilical cord stem cell research and the only "limit" on embryonic stem cell research is that you can't use a human embryo for non-therapeutic research in the state of Michigan. That means that researchers can't extract stem cells from human embryos (which kills the embryo) while in Michigan but researcher could import embryonic stem cell from another state or kill human embryos in another state and then bring their stem cells into Michigan and experiment on the stem cells in Michigan. And this is exactly what researchers from the University of Michigan are already doing. They have an official policy on embryonic stem cell research. They've imported some embryonic stem cells from James Thomson's stem cell lines and received federal funding and are planning on creating a $10.5 million stem cell center. So the whole "can't recruit them" because of limits is complete hogwash.

At the end of Granholm's quote she calls on Michigan's legislature to pass "Representative Meisner's bill to remove the limits on stem cell research in Michigan." Here's Meisner's bill. It's one of the most deceptive bills on human cloning that I've ever read.

The whole goal of the legislation is to remove the scientific definition of human cloning from Michigan's law books and replace it with a law whose definition of "cloning" allows unbridled human cloning as long as no clones are implanted for the purpose of bringing a clone to birth. The text could also possible be interpreted to allow for the implantation of human clones as long as the purpose was to kill the clones before they are born.

Here's my favorite part from Meisner's legislation (the scratched off text is the original cloning ban language that Meisner would throw out and the bolded text is the language he would insert):

a) "Human cloning" means the use of human creating or attempting to create a human being by using the somatic cell nuclear transfer technology to produce a human embryo procedure for the purpose of, or to implant, the resulting product to initiate a pregnancy that could result in the birth of a human being.

What's the "resulting product?" Could that be a cloned human embryo? What pro-cloning advocates can't get away from is that somatic cell nuclear transfer is cloning and that it creates a clone. This is evident in all of their legislation when they bar the implantation of the clone. They can't call the clone a "clone" because then the gig would be up. So they're left to making up terms life "resulting product" or "the product of nuclear transplantation" or "the product of somatic cell nuclear transfer."

Michigan's legislature is overwhelmingly prolife so it won't pass Meisner's bill anytime soon but Granholm's speech indicates that she's not just in favor of embryonic stem cell research but she's also in favor of human cloning for research purposes.

Related: Strengthen cloning ban by legalizing cloning

March for Life pictures

Zombietime has plenty of from the West Coast March and Jewel has a ton from the D.C. March.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

LifeLinks 1/25/06

I just got around to catching up with the American Journal of Bioethics' blog. I missed some good times in the comments sections of one of Art Caplan's posts. Art's post and comments get taken to the cleaners by Wesley Smith, Bradford Short, Joe Carter and Richard Doerflinger.

Though I disagree with much of William Saletan's editorial in the New York Times, it is still worth the read.

Adam's has some photographic answers to some pro-choice arguments and links to a video of the pro-choice protestors in San Francisco.

Why are humans valuable?

Patrick Lee and Robert George have provided a priceless gift to prolifers regarding human embryo research and abortion.

Singer voices here perhaps the most popular argument in favor of embryo-destructive research and abortion. Few who accept this argument have followed it to its logical conclusion, however, as Singer has: If self-awareness is the ground of general immunity of being killed right not to be killed, not only abortion but also infanticide, and the killing of many helpless adults, are morally legitimate (see Singer's popular textbook, Practical Ethics, Chapters 2 and 4). In fact that conclusion is inescapable once one accepts Singer's premise. But one has decisive reasons to reject that premise as fatally flawed. It is true that an embryo or fetus (or infant) lacks the immediately exercisable capacity for self-awareness, rationality, or free choice. Yet, the embryo or fetus does have the basic, natural capacity for such actions as consequent to its nature, that is, as entailed by the kind of entity it is. The embryo or fetus, precisely in virtue of the kind of entity he or she is, has the capacity to develop himself or herself to the point where he will perform such actions. And no one has been able to give an intelligible reason why we should base full moral rights on immediately exercisable capacities — which can come and go — rather than on the basic, natural capacities that a human being at any stage of development has in virtue of the kind of entity it is.

Take the time to read the whole thing here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

So then it is a baby?

You've got to wonder about the level of cognitive dissonance that affects this pro-choicer. She calls the unborn child in her womb a "baby" yet is in favor of legal killing of other "babies" and for some reason thinks that her "baby" would also be in favor of the legal killing of other "babies."

March for Life pictures

Plenty of March for Life photos at Mommy Life and Yahoo!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Pro-choice quotes

Warning: follow the following links at your own risk as they will expose you to foul language and even worse thinking.

Daily Kos diarist Maryscott O'Connor: "Bottom line: that may well be a human being in there, but it's an awfully TINY one, and I'm going to have to lower the boom. I don't wish to house and feed it for 9 months, let alone 18 years; for reasons whose details are my OWN and NO ONE else's to examine, dissect, judge or measure, I do not wish to carry this potential human being to term. Thusly, I will make my medical decision and MURDER it, if you want to use that term."

Daily Kos commenter Teresa in PA: "why rare? that's kind of political pander is it not? Abortion is already rare and I think it should be more frequent since there are many women who would like to get abortions but can not because of circumstances beyond their control or because they have been quilted and misinformed."

Daily Kos commenter Felagund: "Thanks Teresa for raising this point. I wish abortion was more common. Mrs. F teaches in a local public school and it is obvious that at least half the children there were either unwanted at the time, still unwanted, or produced by people financially and/or emotionally incapable of caring for them. This makes the children themselves deeply problematic. It's no coincidence that the decline in rates of violent crime and the evidently temporary existence of legal abortion go hand in hand....There are lots and lots of people who have children they shouldn't, and we and society would be better off encouraging them to think of abortion as not only a practical but a moral good."

Lisaerei: "March for Life, today, outside my building.

Too bad I forgot my Glock 19 at home...

The other option was to simulate a pregnancy and have Joe do a home-made abortion by punching me in the stomach mid-march, although, i get the feeling that would either result in him being arrested or stoned to death."

Pro-choice Criticism of Roe

Timothy Carney has plenty of it.

Pro-choice rally on C-SPAN

I'm watching C-SPAN, they're playing the NOW pro-choice rally from Sunday night. There are not very many people there. It looks like less than 100 pro-choicers who were surrounded by prolifers.

Most of the speakers are taking their 4 minutes to rail against Judge Alito. The usual, "He'll take us back to the stone age" speech. He's "so far out of the mainstream," he "doesn't care about teenage rape victims," he's not right to replace Sandra Day O'Connor, he tortures toddlers for fun (just kidding), blah, blah.....

Jatrice Martel Gaiter, President of Metropolitan D.C. Planned Parenthood asserted that prolife people were racist, mean and indifferent to the lives of born children before she started screaming "Stop them! Stop them now!"

Blogging for Life

The following have something to say about abortion and/or the March for Life.

Between Two Worlds

La Shawn Barber

National Review

G. Tracy Meehan on the bad twins of Roe and Doe.

Susan Wills on Breyer's ludicrous hypothetical in Ayotte vs. Planned Parenthood.

Deacon Greg Shaffer


You can listen to the Blogs for Life Conference here

West Coast March for Life and Pro-choice Intolerance

The West Coast March for Life was another time for intolerant pro-choicers to come out and show their complete intolerance for prolifers and the prolife view.

A few pro-choicers held signs that said "Bigots go home" or "Keep your laws off my body and I'll keep my hands off your throat."

Lovely, huh? Also, notice the white sign with purple lettering in the background that reads "Free abortion on demand." Odd, because according Kate Michelman on Meet the Press, "I have never heard a woman demand to have an abortion. I think that that language reveals the lack of respect that those who oppose abortion have for women who face crises. We've got to get rid of that language."

Random Jottings has a photo of a large sign which reads "No to Women-Hating Christian-Fascist Theocracy."

Pro-choice intolerance is alive and well.

HT: After Abortion

Friday, January 20, 2006

My Bleeding Dream

A young woman named Brittany at her blog, My Bleeding Dream laments the loss of Emily, her aborted child. She also says that she and her boyfriend will be trying to have another child soon because "I need one to make me complete." It appears she was coerced into having an abortion by her mother and her boyfriend's mother.

"I miss Emily so much. Dustin and I had a fight last night because I was mad. I wasn't mad at him but I was upset. I wish she was back. I would be 20 weeks and 6 days pregnant today, but...i'm not because I had to have an abortion. I did NOT want to have an abortion, I wanted to keep my child. Dustin did too, he wanted his little baby to be born. He wanted to push her on a swing and teach her things. "

Abortion Clinic Days also has the sad story of a women who felt forced into an abortion because she was the family's sole wage earner, her husband is a drunk and her mother (who it seems was her support system and talked her out of abortion on two previous occassions) was no longer alive.

Life Links 1/20/06

Should humans be considered valuable based on their appearance?

Could George Tiller care less about women he's performing abortions on? Follow this link and listen to an employee named Marguerite from Tiller's abortion clinic call for an ambulance. Her first concern is "please, please, please" for no lights and sirens on the ambulance. Christin Gilbert, the young woman who needed medical care later died because her abortion was botched. It also seems that Tiller didn't want the medical condition of his victim to be disclosed to the emergency personnel over the phone.

Why would any parent not want a child?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

A Lesson from England

Don't cheat on your boyfriend when your boyfriend's parrot is in the room.

LONDON - Chris Taylor, a 30-year-old British computer programmer, grew suspicious of his live-in girlfriend when his pet parrot began to imitate her saying, "I love you, Gary."

Ziggy, an 8-year-old African gray parrot, would also make kissing noises whenever the name Gary was mentioned on TV and would mimic Suzy Collins saying, "Hiya, Gary," every time she answered her mobile phone.

Confronted with the evidence, Collins admitted to a month-long affair with a coworker named Gary and moved out of their shared Leeds apartment that same night.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood

In an unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals overstepped its bounds when it permanently blocked New Hampshire's parental notification law. The justices avoided the question of whether New Hampshire's law (which didn't have an exemption for the health of the mother) was an "undue burden" and ruled that the lower court should have merely issued an "declaratory judgment and an injunction prohibiting the statute's unconstitutional application."

The opinion, written by Justice O'Connor, is here.

Planned Parenthood has a press release "welcoming" this ruling. I haven't seen an official response from National Right to Life yet but the American Center for Law and Justice says, "The Supreme Court got it right in determining that the appeals court went too far by declaring the parental notification law in New Hampshire unconstitutional. The undivided decision by the high court underscores the fact that parents have a critical role to play in the health and well-being of their children— especially when considering an abortion."

This seems to be a case where neither side got entirely what they wanted.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Jack Bauer: "You are gonna tell me what I want to know. It's just a question of how much you want it to hurt."

I don't know if anyone else out there religiously watches 24 but isn't incredibly weird seeing Samwise Gamgee/Rudy (aka Sean Astin) being in charge of CTU Los Angeles.

Deroy Murdock: "For the broader ESCR community, Hwang's phony findings are akin to learning in 1879 that Thomas Edison's light bulb was made of nothing more than candles, mirrors, and lies."

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (channeling Pat Robertson) : "Surely God is mad at America. He sent us hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it's destroyed and put stress on this country....Surely he doesn't approve of us being in Iraq under false pretenses. But surely he is upset at black America also. We're not taking care of ourselves."

Supreme Court Rules in Gonzales v. Oregon

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal government didn't have the authority to stop Oregon doctors from prescribing federally-controlled substances to assist in the suicides of their patients by a vote of 6-3.

Chief Justice John Roberts joined Justice Thomas and Scalia in dissent.

Here's an old Wesley Smith piece for background information.

UPDATE: The opinion is here.

Monday, January 16, 2006

I want my baby back

A young woman recently shared her adverse reaction to her abortions at the Live Journal Abortion Info Community.

" I had an abortion last year, and still Im torn up about it, I try to convince myself I did the right thing, I wasnt ready to have a baby, I would probably be abusive, I had abusive parents and am manic depressive and have anxiety, I have a crappy job and dont make tons of money.
But deep inside me I feel like I murdered something, I feel like I could have done something else but I was also afraid of having a baby raised on welfare or raised like my parents raised me, and I wouldnt beable to give it up for adoption I was attatched after 4 months.

I wake up at night with dreams and find myself screaming I want my baby back, I try to talk to my boyfriend but I know hes frustreated about it (hes the one that I got pregant with, weve been together for two years)
Alot of times I have dreams about being in the abortion clinic I see everyone else having abortions and acting like its an every day event.
I feel like if i ever do have kids I will feel guilty for the one I killed.

A couple of other women in the comments are also struggling with their abortion experience.

LifeLinks 1/16/06

A long New York Times article on a pregnancy center in Kentucky.

Fight abortion by shopping online at Counterclick.org

This is hilarious. HT: Wesley Smith

Scott Klusendorf points out that those in favor of legal abortion often make claims about transcendent truth even if they don't believe in the transcendent.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Pro-choice bigotry?

At Panda's Thumb, a pro-choice commenter named Mcubed is took PZ and other pro-choice commenters to task for the manner in which they dismiss prolife views.

In one comment, mcubed writes,
"Ultimately, I don't find the arguments convincing, but I wouldn't be so quick to belittle or dismiss them as you are. And frankly, I think one of the reasons the anti-abortion movement has gained such steam is precisely because many pro-choice advocates are so often condescending and downright insulting.....

Ultimately, we all like to believe that the positions we align ourselves with are the reasonable positions that reasonable people would hold. Frankly, I expect a degree of small-mindedness, bigotry and derisiveness on the part of some who hold opposing views, and I'm always glad to find people in the opposition who are, in fact, reasonable and articulate, even if unpersuasive......What pains me is to find small-mindedness, bigotry and derisiveness among people whose positions I agree with."

Other comments by mcubed here, here, here and here,

Mcubed's reward: He or she gets called a troll and accused of being prolife.

I think we need more pro-choicers like Mcubed.

Another great example of pro-choice intolerance

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Bay Area abortion-rights activists say a Roman Catholic group's advertisements on hundreds of BART trains and in scores of stations -- attacking the Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade decision and asking "Abortion: Have we gone too far?" -- have gone too far in a region known for its progressive politics.

Many of the ads have been torn down or defaced since the campaign began three weeks ago.

"I think every woman has noticed them,'' said Suzanne "Sam" Joi, a member of Code Pink, a social justice and anti-war group. "I couldn't believe BART would allow something like this. Why are they doing this?''

Some pro-choice activists are so intolerant of prolife views that they can't understand why an organization would allow the advertisements of a view that disagrees with the pro-choice view.


Life Links 1/13/06

JollyBlogger on the history of the prolife movement.

Is pregnancy more dangerous than smoking? Serge has the answer.

Islet cells formed from embryonic stem cell "do not produce detectable amounts of new insulin."

How do you paralyze a usually active kitten with fear?

Expose her to a toddler who loves nothing more than grabbing her fluffy fur.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Peggy Noonan: "Let's cause some senators distress. The great thing about Joe Biden during the Alito hearings, the reason he is, to me, actually endearing, is that as he speaks, as he goes on and on and spins his long statements, hypotheticals, and free associations--as he demonstrates yet again, as he did in the Roberts hearings and even the Thomas hearings, that he is incapable of staying on the river of a thought, and is constantly lured down tributaries from which he can never quite work his way back--you can see him batting the little paddles of his mind against the weeds, trying desperately to return to the river but not remembering where it is, or where it was going. I love him. He's human, like a garrulous uncle after a drink.

In this, in the hearings, he is unlike Ted Kennedy in that he doesn't seem driven by some obscure malice--Uh, I, uh, cannot, uh, remembuh why I hate you, Judge Alioto, but there, uh, must be a good reason and I will, um, damn well find it. When he peers over his glasses at Judge Alito he is like an old woman who's unfortunately senile and quite sure the teapot on the stove is plotting against her. Mr. Biden is also unlike Chuck Schumer in that he doesn't ask questions with an air of, With this one I'm going to trap you and leave you flailing like a bug in a bug zapper--we're going to hear your last little crackling buzz any minute now!"

Robert George: "We all know why they are opposed to Samuel Alito. It has nothing to do with Vanguard Mutual Funds or a defunct conservative alumni group at Princeton. They oppose Alito because they believe it is the duty of Supreme Court justices to strike down legislation that liberals happen to regard as illiberal, irrespective of whether any basis for invalidating the legislation can be identified in the text, logic, structure, or historical understanding of the Constitution. Above all, they want justices who will preserve, defend, and expand the "right" to abortion that was manufactured by the Supreme Court in the 1973 cases of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton."

Susan Sullivan: "I consider myself a social progressive. I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU and a liberal pro-choice advocate who supports abortion rights. I favor gun control, support gay marriage and oppose the death penalty. I also don't have a problem if you want to take "God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance. In short, no one is likely to mistake me for a conservative any time soon. Yet, I support the nomination of Judge Alito, because I know from having worked closely with him, that he is not a political ideologue and is not intent on advancing a conservative political agenda."

Lack of Knowledge Regarding Prolife Laws

The various pro-choice attacks on Samuel Alito, especially his dissent in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, usually rely on a lack of knowledge regarding certain prolife laws and/or how judges should come to their decisions.

Tiffany at Black Feminism is an example. She writes,

"One of the things that most disturbs me about Samuel Alito is his 1991 dissent in a challenge to a Pennsylvania law restricting abortion access. In his dissent, Alito argued that legally requiring a woman to notify her husband before seeking an abortion did not constitute an "undue burden."

My disagreement with Alito is simple, but from a common-sense standpoint, not a legal one: my health and safety are on the line. Why should anyone else have a say, and why should the government legally require me to put my health and safety at risk? Not only is pregnancy itself a risky proposition, but for many women, so is revealing a pregnancy. In fact, some researchers say that homicide is the leading cause of death for pregnant women. And what if that pregnancy wasn't a result of her husband's good lovin'? Thank goodness the other judges in the case had more sense."

First, isn't it always fun to criticize legal rulings from a "common-sense standpoint?" Because we all know that judges should base their rulings on common sense, right? I mean, who needs the Constitution and legal precedent if you have common sense?

Second, it's quite obvious that Tiffany has never read the text of Pennsylvania's spousal notification law or the text of Third Circuit's decision because if she did then she would know that one of the exceptions to this law was if "Her spouse is not the father of the child." Tiffany also seems unaware that this law had other exceptions including if the "woman has reason to believe that the furnishing of notice to her spouse is likely to result in the infliction of bodily injury upon her by her spouse or by another individual."

The saddest thing is that NARAL's blog links to Tiffany's ill-informed opinion.

The New York Times is completely clueless on cloning

Rebecca from Mary Meets Dolly covers how the New York Times Science Desk is incredibly ignorant or intentionally deceptive regarding what "therapeutic" cloning is.

Rebecca wrote the NY Times on their misleading description of human cloning. Here's the response she got:

Dear Ms. Taylor:

Thank you for your note about cloning, a word that is used in several different ways. Although its central meaning refers to making identical copies of some biological entity, it has now garnered more extensive meanings, as for instance in the well known phrase "therapeutic cloning." This procedure refers to treating a patient with tissues derived from his own cells, not to cloning him, but the word is used because the first steps in the procedure are the same as those used to clone an animal. It was in this same sense that we used the phrase "cloning human cells."


Science Desk
New York Times

Unbelievable. The NY Times has officially accepted the completely unscientific definition of what cloning is.

If you'd think the NY Times Science Desk could review and understand basic documents like a glossary of cloning terms from the National Academies of Science or this summary from the National Human Genome Research Institute or the FAQs on cloning from the President's Council on Bioethics, you'd be wrong.

Weird visuals/things that make you scratch your head from yesterday's hearings

Senator Specter and Senator Kennedy working out at a gym together. Specter: "Senator Kennedy and I frequent the gym at the same time."

The hearings that NOW's Kim Gandy heard where Democratic senators are "leaning over backwards to be extremely, very, very nice" to Judge Alito.

Someone asking someone else if they could remember reading a New York Times article from more than 25 years ago.

KENNEDY: In 1980, the New York Times article about the coeducation of Princeton, CAP is described as an organization against the admittance of women. In 1980, you were working as an assistant U.S. attorney in Trenton, New Jersey.

KENNEDY: Did you read the New York Times? Did you see this article?

ALITO: I don't believe that I saw the article.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Planned Parenthood is clueless as Ted Kennedy

Planned Parenthood has a new cartoon out on the Samuel Alito hearings where they allow you to ask Alito a question and then have him answer. The cartoon Alito gives a bunch of non-responses.

One of their bloggers thinks "Alito's "answers" remind me of Charlie Brown's teacher. Wah wah wah wah wah... I am watching very carefully. Alito's definitely talking. Words are coming out of his mouth — but he's not saying anything."

Have they been watching the same hearings? Supposedly Alito has answered a greater percentage of questions than Roberts or Ginsburg. Alito usually is quite open to giving a response when the senators aren't giving long speeches. A more appropriate cartoon would be Biden or Kennedy or another senator droning on.

The blogger continues: "This morning on NBC's Today show, political pundit Paul Begala said that the Senate Judiciary Committee should ask Alito for just one example from his 15 years of serving as a judge in which his personal views differed from his rulings. Not a bad idea" and then says we'd probably get answers like the ones provided by Planned Parenthood's cartoon.

Is Planned Parenthood's blogger unaware that Alito voted to uphold the Supreme Court's ruling on partial-birth abortion in Planned Parenthood vs. Farmer?

Not so "super-duper"

Senator Mike Dewine: During the confirmation hearing of Chief Justice Roberts, Chairman Specter showed us a chart stating that the Supreme Court had the opportunity to overrule Roe v. Wade in 38 cases. Because of this, the chairman suggested that Roe was not only a super-precedent, but super-duper-precedent.

The chairman has made the same argument at the hearing today. In fact, he brought the chart out again today.

Now, Judge, just to show you that not all members of this panel are like-minded, I want to tell you that I disagree. To me, Roe is not super-precedent. I believe Roe is precedent, but I don't believe it's super-duper-precedent, nor super-precedent.

First, although the court has applied Roe in 38 cases, it has not directly taken up the issue of whether to overrule Roe in every one of those cases.

In fact, out of those 38 cases, I've only found four in which the court directly addressed the status of Roe as binding precedent.

In Webster, the court asked whether Roe should be reaffirmed but ultimately avoided the issue.

In three cases, City of Akron, Thornburgh and Casey, the court did reaffirm Roe.

But the last of these, Casey, did so in a way that hardly left Roe on firm footing. In fact, Casey altered Roe by eliminating the strict scrutiny standard of review and replacing it with a lesser, undue burden tests. The result has been many restrictions on abortion have been upheld.

Second, just because Roe has been applied and reaffirmed does not make it a special form of precedent. Many other cases have been applied for decades before eventually being overruled.

For example, Plessy v. Ferguson, the case establishing the principle of separate but equal was upheld for 60 years before it was overruled, and certainly discredited today; Lochner v. New York, a case that greatly limited the power of the states to protect children and workers, was consistently applied for more than 30 years before it was overruled. And Swift v. Tyson, the case establishing the doctrine of federal common law, was a bedrock principle of American law repeatedly applied and upheld for nearly 100 years before it, too, was struck down.

Thus the mere fact that Roe has been upheld for more than 30 years does not mean that it's entitled to special deference.

Third, from the start, Roe has been criticized by lawyers, scholars and judges, whether Democrats or Republicans. And to date, it does remain controversial....."

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Alito Hearings Quotes

Washington Times: "The racist, sexist dragon Mr. Kennedy wants to slay simply isn't there. Judge Alito is an honorable public servant who has spent 15 years on the federal bench. Judge him on his merits as a public servant."

John Podhertz: "Being lectured on moral matters by Teddy Kennedy is like getting childcare tips from Andrea Yates."

Senator Sam Brownback: "And you can claim whatever you want to of being pro-life or pro- choice, but the right to a abortion is not in the Constitution. The court created it. It created a constitutional right. And these decisions removed a fully appropriate political judgment from the people of the several states and has led to many adverse consequences.

For instance, it's led to the almost complete killing of a whole class of people in America. As I noted to my colleagues in the Roberts' hearings, this year -- this year -- between 80 percent to 90 percent of the children in America diagnosed with Down's Syndrome will be killed in the womb simply because they have a positive genetic test which can be wrong, and is often wrong, but they would have a positive genetic test for Down's Syndrome and they will be killed.

America is poorer because of such a policy. We are at our best when we help the weakest. The weak make us strong. To kill them makes us all the poorer, insensitive, calloused and jaded."

Senator Tom Coburn: "And as I've listened today, we've talked about the unfortunate, the frail. The quotes have been "fair shake for those that are underprivileged." We've heard "values, strong, free and fair, progressive judiciary." We've heard "the vulnerable, the more unvulnerable (sic), the weak, those who suffer." We've heard of an Alito mold that has to be in the mold of somebody else.

And as a practicing physician, the one disheartening thing that I hear is this very common word, this "right to choose" and how we sterilize that to not talk about what it really is.

I've had the unfortunate privilege of carrying over 300 women who've had complications from this wonderful right to choose to kill their unborn babies. And that's what it is: It's the right of convenience to take the life."

Cloning Spin Cycle 101

According to a panel of South Korean researchers, Hwang Woo-Suk used more than 2000 human eggs and was never able to create a human embryo thru cloning even though his government provided his lab with $65 million. Evidence indicates that Snuppy the cloned dog is actually a cloned dog.

Notice how the NY Times spins this story. It's outrageous.

With Dr. Hwang's professional implosion, the goal of cloning human cells is once again open. Dr. George Daley, of Harvard Medical School, said there was no reason to suppose human cells could not be cloned, despite Dr. Hwang's failure to do so even with rich financing and copious supplies of human eggs.

"The goal of cloning human cells" or the goal of cloning human embryos and then extracting their cells? How was human cloning closed when Hwang was supposedly successful? Back then, it was a great success and it supposedly showed that this kind of experiment could work and we should push forward. Now that the research is a complete and utter failure and fraud, it still becomes a great opportunity to push forward. Amazing, isn't it?

The article previously claims (thru Stanford's Irving Weismann) that human cloning efforts have been slowed by Hwang's success. Hmmm... that's odd because the end of the article notes how numerous researchers, including Dolly's creator Ian Wilmut are pursuing human cloning. Ian Wilmut even wanted to work on human cloning with Hwang.

Gerald Schatten who failed at cloning monkey for years said, "We could have been struggling for decades," Schatten said. "Now our work is taking off fabulously. I think the whole world owes the Republic of Korea a debt of gratitude."

Here's an article from Slate in October that talks about why South Korea was beating the U.S. in stem cell research.

Here's another one from the Associated Press claiming that South Korea "takes the lead in stem cell research" because of their government's support. The article quotes Zach Hall, interim president of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine as saying this on cloning, "This is work we need to be doing here. We are falling behind."

Here's Art Caplan and David Magnus telling us that researchers in the U.S. would be smart to leave the U.S. so they could get support from other countries who look more favorably on human cloning.

I couldn't find a single time where Hwang's fraudulent success in human cloning was seen as something that was holding up U.S. researchers before the research was determined a fraud. Instead, it was continually used as a reason to entice more public funding and support for human cloning efforts in the U.S.

Those in favor of human cloning and embryonic stem cell research never fail to spin the false hope of their work even though they continuously fail to produce anything near treating a human being.

HT: Wesley Smith

Monday, January 09, 2006

Alito Hearings

How is Ted Kennedy a U.S. Senator? He's such an embarassment.

The Washington Post has summaries of the senators' opening statements and the transcripts of some.

Tom Coburn and Sam Brownback used their time to argue against Roe v. Wade and abortion.

Fifth Vote Myth

Yesterday on Meet the Press, NARAL's former president Kate Michelman spouted the fifth vote myth.

Judge Alito replaces Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a justice who was the critical and decisive fifth vote that protected women's legal rights, including their right to reproductive choice, and Judge Alito's record indicates very clearly that he approaches the law very different from Justice O'Connor, that he will swing the court dangerously and differently against women's rights and not just our right to reproductive freedom but, you know, our rights to affirmative action.

I'm always amazed (though I shouldn't be) at the blatant dishonesty of high level pro-choice advocates. Kate is well aware that if Alito is confirmed and wants to overturn Roe that there will still be five judges who will vote to uphold Roe. I would just love for Kate to explain how O'Connor was the fifth vote upholding Roe and explain how Anthony Kennedy is in favor of overturning Roe.

The Limited Role of a Judge

A former law clerk to Samuel Alito named Conor Dugan had an essay in Sunday's Grand Rapids Press regarding Samuel Alito. From a quick google search, it appears Conor is a former blogger. I think this sums up the attacks on Alito nicely:

One of the primary lessons I learned from Judge Alito was about what a judge is and is not in our constitutional system. Much popular thinking about the judicial function holds that the judiciary is just another extension of politics. In this view, a judge ought to attempt to sort out political disputes and to bring to bear his or her personal policy preferences on the law.

This clearly is the perspective of Judge Alito's critics and also of many popular media accounts of his record. For instance, the Washington Post, in an analysis of Judge Alito's work on the bench, described him as " highly sympathetic to prosecutors (and) skeptical of immigrants trying to avoid deportation," as if his decisions in these cases indicated his personal preferences. These accounts of Judge Alito's record never ask what the law required in a particular case but, rather, focus on the results of his decisions.

Such characterizations also assume Judge Alito personally supports the underlying policy of the law at issue and conclude that his decisions skew in the direction of his personal preferences. It is guaranteed that much of the questioning during this week's hearings will revolve around this understanding of the role of a judge and these characterizations of Judge Alito's opinions.

But, as I learned from Judge Alito, this understanding of what a judge is and does is profoundly misguided. Judge Alito taught me that the starting point in any case must be what the law requires. Judge Alito showed me and my fellow clerks that a judge is to put personal ideology aside and ascertain the meaning of the law -- not the meaning he or she wants. A judge has a quite limited role and a solemn responsibility to live up to that role.

Friday, January 06, 2006

I'm mentioned in the Corner

No, not really. But my fake name is. But guess what? It's spelled wrong. Big surprise.

Tim Graham writes about Pat Robertson's interpretation of Joel 3.

Here's Joel 3 so you can stare at the screen and wonder how Pat Robertson thinks Ariel Sharon's stroke is God punishing him for dividing God's land.

As Hugh Hewitt so aptly points out: Will God be punishing Robertson when he is affected by ill health?

Another Adult Stem Cell Success Blacked Out in the American Media

From the UK's The Telegraph:

The ability to recreate breast cancer in the laboratory, understand why the cancer can recur in treated women and even grow replacement breast tissue could result from the discovery of a "mammary gland stem cell" reported today by scientists....

Remarkably, two teams report today that it is possible to reconstruct an entire organ from a stem cell, which in this case is the branched ducts and structures made of so called epithelial tissue in a milk producing breast.

The discovery lays an important foundation for understanding how normal breast tissue develops. It could also provide clues about how breast cancer occurs and how rogue tumour cells can evade treatment to cause a recurrence.

Now go to Google, type in "breast stem cell" (without the quotes), click on News, click on all 59 related for the first story that comes up and this is what you get.

Of the 59 media outlets currently covering the story, Forbes appears to be the only large American media outlet that has mentioned it while large media outlets in Australia, Britain, Canada and India have the story.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Serenity Insanity NOW, Insanity Later

Does any sane human being actually believe this:

Replacing Sandra Day O'Connor with Samuel Alito would set women back decades — and unravel O'Connor's legacy of moderation on the Court. Alito's vote would tip the Court's balance on so many issues that he would be a human time machine — taking us back to the days

* when sexual harassment and sex discrimination were "all in a day's work" for women;
* when women were routinely excluded from law schools, medical schools and elite colleges;
* when there were no female firefighters, and no women on the police force;
* when women could be fired for becoming pregnant, or getting married;
* when employment ads were divided into "Help Wanted - Male" and "Help Wanted - Female;"
* when illegal, unsafe abortions, were the norm, and reliable birth control was outlawed as well.

NOW's President Kim Gandy has fallen out of the crazy tree and hit every branch on the way down. She then dug her way through the ground and hit all the roots. These attacks are so laughable that it shows how little they actually have against Alito.

Does NOW really believe that their members are so stupid that they think one Supreme Court justice has this much power? Do they believe their members are so enraged with AAS (Alito Anger Syndrome) that they'd throw away any sense of being grounded in reality?

But then again, this is the same group that promised us "STOP SOUTER OR WOMEN WILL DIE."

Former Fetus

A LiveJournal blog named Former Fetus where a young pro-choice woman writes about her experience with pregnancy and abortion is probably one of the saddest blogs I've ever read. Warning: language.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Humans need each other

At Imago Dei, Serge has responded to Artemesia's response to Serge's take on her version of Judith Jarvis Thomson's "The Violinist."

One assertion Artemesia made in defense of her hypothetical strikes me as especially untrue:

A parent has a choice about whether to continue the parenting relationship. But most importantly, there is a fundamental difference between being required to donate one's biology and being required to donate one's external resources.

Artemesia asserts there is a fundamental difference between being required to donate one's biology and being required to donate one's external resources. I disagree. What's the fundamental difference? To have and use external resources don't we have to use our bodies? Aren't external resources the products of our biology and its use? To care for their children, parents have to use their bodies in a variety of ways or else their children won't survive. Wouldn't it be wrong for me to let a child in my care starve because I didn't want to use my bodily resources to get her a bottle of milk? Yet Artemesia seems to disagree when she says, "any human being's right to life ends when it requires the biology of another human being in order to stay alive."

A pro-choicer could argue that parents can make an adoption plan and therefore parents don't need to provide their bodily resources as Artemesia does when she says, "Parents can terminate their relationship with children by giving them up for adoption, giving them to the state, or having them raised by relatives. The child can survive without any particular person."

But wouldn't giving a child up for adoption require basic bodily resources? A parent can't just think "I'd like to make an adoption plan for my child" and then it suddenly happens. Parents looking to making an adoption plan have to use their bodies in a variety of ways to accomplish the task before them. At the very least, they'd have to use their bodily resources to make a telephone call to a state or adoption agency, talk to someone from that agency, wait for a period of time and still care for the child in that period of time, let the agency people into the home and sign numerous forms. In one way or another every parent has to provide their bodily resources for a period of time whether they are raising a child or making an adoption plan.

A world where "any human being's right to life ends when it requires the biology of another human being in order to stay alive" is a world that none of us would want to live in. Imagine a world where no human being is required to do anything with their body when the life of another human being is at stake. At multiple points in all of our lives, during gestation and afterwards, we all required the biology of another human being in one way or another to stay alive - be it when we needed someone to feed us, be it when we went into the water before we could swim, be it when we wandered to close to the street or be it when we first started to drive.

A world where every human ceases to deserves legal protection because they require the biology of another human to stay alive is a world where humanity ceases to exist.

The Death of the West?

Mark Steyn has a great column in the Wall Street Opinion Journal where he highlights the possible future consequences of Western culture's lowering birth rate, its love for social welfare programs and its complete tolerance of those who are "cheerfully intolerant."


What will London--or Paris, or Amsterdam--be like in the mid-'30s? If European politicians make no serious attempt this decade to wean the populace off their unsustainable 35-hour weeks, retirement at 60, etc., then to keep the present level of pensions and health benefits the EU will need to import so many workers from North Africa and the Middle East that it will be well on its way to majority Muslim by 2035. As things stand, Muslims are already the primary source of population growth in English cities. Can a society become increasingly Islamic in its demographic character without becoming increasingly Islamic in its political character?

This ought to be the left's issue. I'm a conservative--I'm not entirely on board with the Islamist program when it comes to beheading sodomites and so on, but I agree Britney Spears dresses like a slut: I'm with Mullah Omar on that one. Why then, if your big thing is feminism or abortion or gay marriage, are you so certain that the cult of tolerance will prevail once the biggest demographic in your society is cheerfully intolerant?

"Outwardly, you can seem OK," Audrey said. "But inwardly, there is a whole different story going on."

A local Ohio paper called the Independent has the story of a post-abortive woman.

"I was mad at my boyfriend for not stopping me," Audrey said. "There was a sense of despair, shame and hopelessness ... when I realized what I had done."