Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Ignorance and Arrogance: Not the best combo

The unflappable ignorance and overt arrogance of some pro-choicers never ceases to amaze me.

Matsu, a pro-choice blogger at mediagirl.com (remember the pro-choice blog where Serge and I were called among other things "fundie wackjobs" for providing quotes from embryology textbooks and arguing about when the life of an individual human being begins) attempts to prove that "life begins at conception" is a religious belief.

What's interesting is that Matsu asserts that "life begins at conception" is a religious view after explaining "the idea that "life begins at conception" cannot be found in the Bible." The ignorance of Christian beliefs would also be laughable if it weren't so sad.

Here's my favorite quote:
"The modern scientific understanding of impregnation came first, then a religious significance was attached to a scientific insight."

No. Modern scientific understanding about when life begins occurred and prolifers have accepted this modern scientific understanding. Many pro-choicers because of their advocacy for abortion have vainly attempted to deny scientific facts by claiming that accepting modern scientific understanding is somehow a religious belief.

UPDATE: It appears that I have been banned from Media Girl's web site. I posted a comment there yesterday and now it is gone. It's amazing how some of the supposedly open-minded pro-choicers who simply can't stand anyone imposing their view on anyone else are so willing to ban the speech of others.

Read the comments section for Matsu's post to see how Robert from The Argument Clinic points out a factual error that Media Girl made while commenting (she claimed South Dakota's abortion ban doesn't have an exception for the life of the mother - it does). The response from Media Girl and Bay Prairie is anything but civil and all Robert did was point out a factual error. It would have been so easy for Media Girl to say, "You're right. I blew it. I meant "health" of the mother" or something like that.

So much for the right to privacy

From the Abortion Info community at LiveJournal:
"They came with me this morning to the clinic and it was very strange. All these girls, some were crying, some were half asleep. I just thought you would have a little more privacy. The nurse also told me that I'd have to have a 2 day procedure right in front of some random girl standing behind me. I know she was there for the same reason I was, but she may have well shouted it over the PA system."

The challenge of reaching hearts and minds

Albert Mohler shares some of my reactions to the abortion debate between William Saletan and Katha Pollitt.
Why should pro-lifers pay attention to this debate among advocates of abortion rights? The answer to that question is simple--the exchange between William Saletan and Katha Pollitt demonstrates the inherent weakness of the pro-abortion argument, or its pro-choice variant. Lacking any objective definition of human life and the status of the unborn, the pro-abortion movement is mired in a pattern of endless internal debates and confusions. Saletan's argument is less radical than Pollitt's, but his position is morally arbitrary, based more in pragmatic concern than in moral philosophy.

In any event, the exchange between William Saletan and Katha Pollitt indicates that the pro-abortion movement knows that it has work to do in reaching the hearts and minds of Americans. The pro-life movement had better remind itself of the same challenge. Both sides are locked in a race to reach the hearts and minds of those still stuck in the middle.

Life Links 2/28/06

James Teela: Stop racial profiling of abortion clinics.
When African Americans are concerned, the abortion industry obviously puts aside it's "safe and rare" mantra and instead replaces it with one that appears to embrace "numerous and near."

Bradley Hughes Jr.: Real-World Successes of Adult Stem Cell Treatments

Justin Taylor: Mother Sues Over Unsuccessful Abortion

Here's the story from the BBC. Ms. Dow's (the mother suing over the "wrongful" birth of her daughter) lawsuit states, "As a result of the failed termination the pursuer suffered loss, injury and damage."

Suffered loss? Nope. As a result of the failed termination, you experienced gain. You did not suffer loss. You've gained the opportunity to be involved in the life of a beautiful little girl.

Monday, February 27, 2006

CBS, what about adult stem cell research?

Last night while flipping thru the channels (we don't have cable so flipping takes all of ten seconds) I came upon a 60 Minutes story on stem cell research. The transcript is here.

The slanted story which didn't have an interview with anyone who is opposed to embryonic stem cell research had some solid whoppers in it. The usual distortion of Bush's policy on embryonic stem cell research, the paralyzed advocate brimming with false hope, and the false dilemma of discarding vs. killing embryos were all par for the course.

But I think the most amazing (even though relatively predictable) part of the segment is that stem cells from adults and umbilical cords weren't mentioned once. Not a single time. In fact, CBS treated adult stem cells and stem cells from umbilical cords as if they didn't even exist.

After discussing how embryonic stem cell research still needs to jump over some hurdles before it can be tested in humans, we learn that there is "one area of stem-cell research" that is ready for human testing.
"But there is one area of stem-cell research that is now ready for human testing and it may be the only chance that Joanna and Marcus Kerner have to save the life of their 6-year-old son, Daniel."

Guess which area. It's not adult stem cell research. It's not research on stem cells from umbilical cords. It's research on stem cells from aborted children.
"The FDA recently approved a clinical trial using brain stem cells from fetal tissue to treat the rare and always fatal neurological disorder called Batten disease, which Daniel was diagnosed with a year and a half ago."

I guess America doesn't need to know that research with adult stem cells has outpaced embryonic stem cell research with regards to spinal cord injuries, heart disease and diabetes when hyping embryonic stem cells seems to never get old.

Saving Lives=Condoning Killing?

Scott Klusendorf writes a much needed post on what I'd call the "prolife absolutists" or "non-incrementalists" of Covenant News. Covenant News and its editor Jim Rudd proclaim that they are prolife news source yet they take illogical cheap shots at any piece of prolife legislation that doesn't attempt to ban abortion completely. Somehow any legislation (parental consent laws, informed consent laws, bans on partial-birth abortion, abortion clinic regulations, etc.) which attempts to limit or reduce abortion somehow condones the killing of unborn children for Jim Rudd.

A bill which would require abortionists to let pregnant women know they can view their ultrasound is compared to Nazis taking pictures of Jews. A bill to regulate abortion facilities is labeled "A Bill To Murder Babies In 'Regulated' Clinics." When Indiana has legislation to inform women who are considering abortion about couples waiting to adopt, Covenant News says, "Indiana Panel OKs Murdering Babies After Mothers Are Told 'Many Families Are Waiting To Adopt Children'".

In Jim Rudd's world, prolifers who pass prolife laws which try to limit and reduce the number of abortion are "just as responsible and just as guilty of murdering children by abortion as the pro-abortion people."

With "prolifers" like these who needs pro-choicers to oppose prolife legislation?

It's like they can't fathom that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on this issue and that federal courts will strike down complete abortion bans immediately. Working to save unborn children with prolife laws while also focusing on getting U.S. Supreme Court justices who recognize that the "right to abortion" isn't in the Constitution is useless for those who are more focused on berating prolife efforts than on making a real difference in the lives of women and children.

In his post Scott asks,
"Was William Wilberforce no different than pro-slavery leaders in the House of Lords bcause he supported incremental steps which banned some forms of slavery but allowed others? Or, should we celebrate him as a moral hero who did what he could to limit evil insofar as was possible at that time? If he is a moral hero, how is he any different from pro-life politicians in Georgia (and elsewhere) who also work to limit evil, albeit incrementally?"

Jim Rudd's updated response (in the post where he compared ultrasound legislation to Nazi picture taking) is to ignore these questions, assert that the legislation is "Naziesque" and create a rather obvious strawman argument. Jim says, "The Commandment says, 'Thou shalt not kill.' It does NOT say, 'Killing is OK after you take ultrasound pictures.'"

Hello? Earth to Jim? The legislators voting for the Georgia bill to require abortionists to tell women they have a right to see their ultrasound doesn't mean the legislators think that abortion is "OK" if an ultrasound is shown. Quite the contrary. Their strong opposition to abortion is the reason behind this legislation. The legislators recognize that seeing a live ultrasound image of her child might change an abortion-minded women's decision.

I thought this was amazing

I saw these video clips while watching the Pistons crush the Cavaliers on Sunday. Jason McElwain is a 17-year high school student with autism. He didn't start speaking until he was 5. He's a manager for his school's basketball team. In a game on February 15, his coach put him in during the game's final 4 minutes. Jason made 6 of 10 from three point range and scored twenty points. ABC News has more on the story.

Friday, February 24, 2006

The Natives are restless

Pro-choice blogger Jane Hamsher is none too happy with NARAL and Planned Parenthood with regards to Justice Alito.

"They sat back, bilked their membership like an ATM then didn't show up to fight Alito's confirmation, frolicking in their mountain of hoarded cash even as they pissed and moaned. Worse yet, afterwards they told their members to thank those in the Senate -- like Joe Lieberman -- who cast their votes to let this happen."

HT: Alexa

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Good Reads

William Dembski has a conversation among Darwinians Michael Ruse and Daniel Dennett.

Maggie Gallagher answers some questions about marriage.

The Raving/Unaborted Atheist made an "editing" (wink, wink) mistake when he entered portions of Pope Benedict's first encyclical into a post for the Carnival of the Feminists and claimed it came from Betty Friedan's Feminist Mystique.

Even the closest of comrades disagree from time to time

Serge at Imago Dei disagrees with my take (shared by Feminists for Life) on the firing of a Catholic school teacher for having sex outside of marriage. Michelle McCusker, an unmarried pre-kindergarten Catholic school teacher, was fired after she informed her superiors that she was pregnant. From the accounts of this case that I've read, I haven't seen information on whether Ms. McCusker is still involved in a relationship that includes pre-marital sex or if Ms. McCusker regrets having sex before marriage.

Serge notes, "almost all women who become pregnant (regardless of circumstances) should not be fired from their job." For Serge, being a teacher is one of the exceptions because teachers "occupy a special place in the life of a young impressionable child. It is impossible to expect a child to respect the authority of a teacher in instructing them and not have the child look to them as a role model. This is especially the case in a private school setting, in which teachers are free and required to teach children about moral issues as well as classical academic ones."

I certainly agree with the position that teachers hold a special place in the lives of young children especially children who are in pre-kindergarten yet I still don't see firing Ms. McCusker as the best option for the children she taught and seemingly had strong bonds with.

Serge concludes by saying, "(e)nsuring that our children have the best opportunity to avoid the pitfalls that his teacher has to deal with needs to be our primary objective. Insisting that those charged with teaching and influencing our children live their life in a way consistent with the ideals they will teach our kids is not encouraging abortion. It is encouraging responsibility and accountability."

But does give Ms. McCusker the boot ensure her pre-kindergartens will have the best opportunity to avoid having pre-marital sex later in life? I don't see how it does. I doubt Ms. McCusker's firing and reasons behind it will sway a single one of her students regarding their decision to engage in pre-marital sex or not if we fast forwarded 15 years. The more likely result is young students wondering why their beloved teacher is no longer around. Either way it seems that the parents of Ms. McCusker's pre-kindergarten class would have been left in the unenviable position of trying to explain the situation.

I don't think the firing of McCusker was an action that encouraged abortion. I think it was an action whose justifiable and well-meaning intent could send the wrong message to other school teachers who might become pregnant outside of marriage.

When I first discussed the issue back in November I noted that I could "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." I think the school could have used this situation to teach a valuable lesson to its other faculty and students. I would hope as Naaman did that "the Church (w)ould have looked for an opportunity to temper justice with mercy and righteousness with compassion."

Would there have been a way for the school/church to hold Ms. McCusker accountable to the school's moral standards yet allow her to keep her job? Would there have been a way for them to discourage pre-marital sex but at the same time support and embrace Ms. McCusker for choosing life for her unborn child?

In future years, when I have children and they're going to school and having strong ties with a teacher my feelings could certainly shift but at this point I don't think firing Ms. McCusker was only means of teaching responsibility and accountability.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Whose "choice" is this?

Jasmine is struggling with her decision regarding her pregnancy but seems to be leaning towards abortion because of her boyfriend's wishes.

if he decided to want to keep the baby...I would TOTALLY keep it....

When we agreed yes to keeping it one afternoon, we talked about naming the baby, what the baby would look like...complexion, eyes, nose, hair..and then the rest of the day would go by...and nothing would be talked about..then he woke me up that night to tell me that he doesn't want to keep it...because he's not ready to settle down....

Later that afternoon as I was taking him to work we argued at the fact that I said I'm keeping the baby...and he was giving me the guilt trips...after a few mins...he agreed to keeping the baby again...and then...the next morning..after he dropped me off at work..he went to an abortion clinic...talked to a counselor...and then came back to me with paperwork that its okay to have an abortion....

I mentioned to him...that if he and I were to break up...I would keep the baby...I don't know why I said that....

If the money doesn't come by the 11th week...I'm not going to go through the abortion. I think it would be too risky on my body. and then..I'd actually get to keep the baby~! .

Life Links 1/22/06

Keith Plummer, Rebecca Taylor, Robert George and Gilbert Meilaender have all fisked this pro-cloning editorial from Michael Gazzaniga.

Dawn Eden on concealing what partial-birth abortion is. I was actually a bit surprised when ABC News last night mentioned something like "the procedure involves the partial delivery...." They did, however, preface partial-birth abortion with the almost ever present "so-called."

A brother and sister tandem have been arrested in India for forcing the brother's wife to have an abortion.

Rascal is currently home and recovering from her surgery. She was very scared on the ride home and is slightly uncomfortable with being touched. When I left her at home, she seemed content to lie down for the most part since walking currently irritates her paws.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Bad Guys always crack in the end

On Sunday, I finished watching the third season of 24 on DVD (I watched the season when it original aired as well). What stuck in mind at the end of Season Three is that the terrorists when captured and not allowed to commit suicide, always eventually crack. Sometimes this takes physical violence or the threat of it like Roger Stanton (Season Two-tortured with electric shock paddles) or Walt Cummings (Season Five-Jack threatened to cut out his eyeball) or for the more hardened evil doer who isn't scared to die for his/her cause, threats against the lives of their families like Said Ali's wife and children (Season Two) or Stephen Saunder's daughter Jane (Season Three).

Two instances (that I can remember) where individuals didn't crack from extended physical torture were when Jack was tortured to the point of death (the torturers then brought him back to life) in Season Two and when Chase was tortured by the Salazar brothers' thugs in Season Three (including getting a bullet thru the hand compliments of Hector Salazar).

This got me thinking about what we, as human beings, are willing to do and go thru for our beliefs. Thousands of troops from America and elsewhere are willing to risk their lives everyday not knowing when they could be the next victim of a roadside bomb. There might be a thousand Iranians willing to strap explosives to their chests to protect Iran's nuclear plants.

Many of us are willing to sacrifice our lives for things we believe are 100% true but we can't be 100% certain whether those beliefs are true or not. But what if we knew if something was true or not? Would anyone out there be willing to experience torture and be killed for something they knew was a lie? It seems impossible or at least very highly unlikely.

Around 1,950 years ago, the disciples of Jesus were beaten, tortured and killed because they claimed to have seen their rabbi defeat death. These individuals were in a position to know whether they actually saw a risen Christ or not and they were willing to die for it. Why would they be willing to be tortured and killed for something they knew was a lie?

Wrong turns and forgiveness

Candy is the mother of an eighth grade boy and has been asked to share with her son "what wrong turns have you made in your life?" for a class they're part of at their church.

She writes,

"So this morning I sat down and wrote to him about the abortion I had when I was 19 - the biggest but not the on(l)y mistake I've ever made, obviously. This won't be the first time Max has heard about my abortion. When I decided I needed to start talking about, after healing had begun in earnest, I knew Max needed to know first. He was generous in his grace and ability to forgive me. Unfortunately, one thing I have learned is that he also has since justified abortion in several settings where it's been discussed just because him "mom had one". I've tried to tell him that it was a mistake, a terribly bad choice, and certainly not one to be glossed over or justified. I'm not sure how to get that through to him so I hope he reads this note once he has received his notebook this weekend at the banquet. I want him to know there are terrible mistakes and we make them, but that none of them is unforgiveable. I want him to know that God forgives and forgets. I want him to know that eventually we can forgive ourselves."

U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 is constitutional

The Associated Press article is here.

"The Supreme Court said Tuesday it will consider the constitutionality of banning a type of late-term abortion, teeing up a contentious issue for a newly-constituted court already in a state of flux over privacy rights.

The Bush administration has pressed the high court to reinstate the federal law, passed in 2003 but never put in effect because it was struck down by judges in California, Nebraska and New York. "

Feminists for Life and New York Civil Liberties Union agree on something

They agree that Michelle McCusker shouldn't have been fired after getting pregnant from out-of-wedlock sex. Michelle was fired after she told her supervisors that she was pregnant since she is unmarried and her school's teacher handbook states that teachers "must convey the teachings of the Catholic faith by his or her words and actions."

McCusker and the NYCLU are suing the school for gender discrimination and Serrin Foster mentions McCusker when she addresses prolife groups.

" "It is not pro-life to take away the resources and support that women need and deserve to bring children into this world," Foster says. "The appropriate response for the employer when they found out she was pregnant, is to say, 'Congratulations,' and, 'How can I help?' "

Related: Catholic teacher fired for being pregnant

Under the knife

Sometime today our baby will be going under the knife as her womb and front claws are taken away. Since the vet's office was closer to my work, I had to be the bad guy and take her in. She was so scared in the vet's office that she was shaking.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Life Links 2/20/06

Albert Mohler: "Who's Afraid of an Argument? The Insecurities of the Abortion Rights Movement."

"The very fact that the other side is increasingly resistant to debate indicates that we are winning--at least in terms of putting the abortion rights movement into a defensive posture. Intellectual defensiveness is a sign of the inherent weakness of the pro-choice movement."

Rebecca Taylor on whether proponents of embryonic stem cell research are looking for cures or competition.

Scott Klusendorf on "another cloning puff piece."

Animalizing Reason

Leon Wieseltier provides a crushing review of darwinist Daniel Dennett's book, Breaking the Spell:

"In this profound sense, Dennett does not believe in reason. He will be outraged to hear this, since he regards himself as a giant of rationalism. But the reason he imputes to the human creatures depicted in his book is merely a creaturely reason. Dennett's natural history does not deny reason, it animalizes reason. It portrays reason in service to natural selection, and as a product of natural selection. But if reason is a product of natural selection, then how much confidence can we have in a rational argument for natural selection? The power of reason is owed to the independence of reason, and to nothing else. (In this respect, rationalism is closer to mysticism than it is to materialism.) Evolutionary biology cannot invoke the power of reason even as it destroys it."

If reason, isn't objectively true but was created by natural selection then why should we believe it? And moreover, why should we use reason to try to prove a worldview that disproves the truth of reason?

As Norman Geisler and Frank Turek explain, "if materialism is true, then reason itself is impossible. For if mental processes are nothing but chemical reactions in the brain, then there is no reason to believe that anything is true (including the theory of materialism). Chemicals can't evalute whether or not a theory is true. "

"It's strange to wrap myself in the memories of children I would have had but for an abortion"

At her blog, Mue writes,

"Play the depressing music.
Que the tears.
Drink the wine.
I figured it was time for me to be a complete drunken recluse. I kind of like it though.
It's strange to wrap myself in the memories of children I would have had but for an abortion."

Well, if Roseanne Barr likes it, it's gotta be good

Cristina Page, author of How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America, has a web page for her book and a blog where she hopes "to show how the pro-life movement, by continually editing out the truth, has turned itself instead into the pro-lie movement."

So much for "no longer tolerat(ing) inflammatory terms that serve only to divide us further and create conflict."

Maybe it's just me but when someone says I'm a part of the "pro-lie" movement, I usually don't think that they really want to work with me or the movement I'm part of.

Friday, February 17, 2006

"Common sense meanings?" Why not just be truthful?

In a discussion over cloning and stem cell research in Missouri one proponent of Missouri's phony ban on cloning had this to say:

Teitelbaum said the initiative uses common-sense meanings. When typical voters think of human cloning, they expect to see a baby, he said. The initiative would ban cloning a baby by imposing criminal penalties against anyone who attempted to implant cloned cells into a woman's uterus.

Professor Teitelbaum doesn't think that Missouri's citizens should be informed about what's really going on because he knows what they're thinking. He knows that they wouldn't be opposed to human cloning for research purposes if they really knew what it was but those poor Missouri common folk will probably think we're talking about bringing cloned babies to birth. We just have give those ignorant hillbillies a pack of lies "common sense meanings" and then they'll understand.

Who needs accurate definitions when we have "common sense" meanings?

Who needs to know that "'Clone or attempt to clone a human being' means to implant in a uterus or attempt to implant iNa uterus anything other than the product of fertilization of an egg of a human female by a sperm of a human male for the purpose of initiating a pregnancy that could result in the creation of a human fetus, or the birth of a human being" is scientifically false when Professor Teitelbaum thinks it's a "common sense meaning?"

Related: The Missouri Coalition for Livesaving Cures is unbelievably claiming that "SCNT stem cell research" (aka human cloning for research) could "benefit over 500,000 Missouri patients and reduce state health care costs by billions." We just need to get passed the reality that SCNT has never been able to create a cloned human embryo, much less a cloned human embryo with stem cells, much less successfully removing those stem cells, much less using those stem cells to treat anyone. And who needs to bother with getting all those human eggs necessary to even try to cloning SCNT stem cell research?

Related: Wesley Smith previously testified in front of Missouri lawmakers on cloning.

HT: Prolife Blogs

Yoking together birth control and abortion again

In another sad attempt to prove prolife movement is really just out to get into people's bedrooms and prevent them from having non-procreative sex (because we all know killing unborn children is just a side issue that prolifers drum up for support to regulate all sex), Planned Parenthood's Susan Yudt interviewed abortion advocate Cristina Page about her new book.

You can tell by the title of the book, "How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America: Freedom, Politics and the War on Sex" that Cristina has some delusional beliefs about the pro-choice movement.

An excerpt:

What it boils down to, Page aptly argues, is that anti-choice extremists are not merely anti-abortion. "[A]bortion isn't the keystone issue anymore," she writes. "It's birth control, and more to the point, Americans' sex lives...."

According to Page, the Puritan impulse to bully and shame Americans out of non-procreative sex is what drives this powerful minority of anti-choice extremists to fight tooth-and-nail against birth control — the very thing that reduces the rate of abortion.

That's right. I mean take a look at National Right to Life's web site and material and the web sites and written material of other mainstream prolife groups (say Focus on the Family or Family Research Council) and you'll see that the focus is on stopping birth control and stopping people from having sex. They obviously don't give a rat's behind about the lives of unborn children. They just want to prevent Jim and Sarah from having sex if the intent of the sex isn't to procreate. /sarcasm off

Reading the interview/excerpts from Page's book, I'm left wondering, "Where's the evidence for all these assertions?" She mentions a vote in the Congress and one doctor from Texas. Where's the evidence that powerful prolife organizations are opposed to birth control and want to stop non-procreative sex. Where's the survey that says prolifers are opposed to birth control?

Cristina Page seems to be an individual who's advocacy for abortion has forced her to live with a large amount of intellectual dishonesty.

For example, in 2003, she co-wrote an editorial for the New York Times with a Right to Life of Michigan employee. The editorial calls on prolife and pro-choice groups to come together to "achieve real progress" and to focus on the "surprising number of important issues on which we agree." It also says, "many unintended pregnancies could be prevented by ensuring that women have health insurance coverage for the most effective contraception methods."

The editorial also says, "We can no longer tolerate inflammatory terms that serve only to divide us further and create conflict." What happened in 3 years so that Cristina is now arguing that the "anti-choice extremists" are against birth control and non-procreative sex when she co-wrote an editorial with a prolifer who said unintended pregnancies could be reduced if health insurance covered birth control?

The editorial also notes that the decrease in abortion "(w)hether (it) has come through better education on contraception or through programs that discourage premarital sex, pro-life and pro-choice advocates should celebrate such an achievement together and acknowledge each other's role in it."

Here's what Page thinks of prolife efforts now - "Yet, as Page points out, these measures haven't reduced the number of abortions — they've merely forced women to postpone first-trimester abortions and seek more risky second-trimester abortions."

Cristina Page has gone from hoping the prolife and pro-choice movements could work together on a number of issues to deceptively labeling prolife organizations as being against birth control and non-procreative sex. How sad is that? Especially when she personally knows a prolifer who agrees with her on birth control issues.

Being almost wholly unable to provide good reasons for why it should be legal to kill developing human beings throughout pregnancy, the pro-choice movement is forced to try to yoke birth control with abortion and accuse most prolifers of wanting to be the sex police.

The article is filled with a ton of "What? You didn't just say that did you?" quotes like:

"[T]oday society accepts our sexual urges. Sexual desire isn't marginalized, isn't correct in some instances and disgusting in others."

So then is society accepting of the sex urges of pedophiles? Society accepts the sexual urges of men who cheat on their wives? Or maybe, just maybe, some sexual desires are still marginalized and considered disgusting?

This upswing in fidelity (there are supposedly less extra-marital affairs now than in the 50's) is likely a result of "the more lengthy and thoughtful trying-out of marriage partners, the freer expression within marriages of different desires,"

Or maybe (if it's actually true) it's because divorce is more common and accepted. Plus, where are her 50's affair statistics coming from? My guess? Alfred Kinsey.

"Everyone uses birth control, and we're all in favor of it, especially because it prevents the need for abortion."

If everyone uses birth control and birth control prevents the need for abortion, then why are there more than a million abortions in the U.S. every year?

Page argues that the attacks on abortion rights are a prelude to a much more sweeping goal: "the creation of a society in which the only acceptable reason for sex is procreation."

How did she find our playbook? Who gave it up? How does she know prolifers really want to stop sex among infertile couples, people who have had hysterectomies, tubal ligations, or vasectomies and sex among those too old to have children? /sarcasm off

Friday Cat Blogging

Belushi wanted to know if he looks better wild and crazy

or classy and sophisticated

Thursday, February 16, 2006

"they will always be my babies!"

Krazie Elmo shares her abortion story from seven years ago.

"When i was with my ex, when i was 18 (barely) we found out i was pregnant for the first time. At first we were happy and excited.
Let me explain something else, my ex was sexually and mentally/emotionally abusive.
So as i was saying, after i was 6 weeks (1 weeks later) he got me down to my lowest point emotionally/mentally and told me I HAD to get an abortion. So being who I was then, I did when i was 16 weeks pregnant at a clinic in cabbagetown. While there, I took a peek at my chart AND ultrasound they did. It was 2 babies! I made a promise to them that i would never forget them and that i hope they could forgive my actions. I have always considered them my first children, my angels. I never knew them, or what gender they were but they will always be my babies!"

"but seein i was so young i didn't have a say in it"

Blogger Sarah shares how her abortion was her parents' choice. It also seems her abortion clinic didn't provide very much information about fetal development to her.

"ok yeah i also dont believe in abortions but seein i was so young i didn't have a say in it, my parents set it all up and i just went along with it, i was so young i only had just turned 17 but gee calling me a murderer before a baby has a heart beat is kinda stupid seeing the baby couldn't be killed because the baby neither had a heart or brain, i can't believe how childish people can be, its not them that had to go through the abortion it was hard for me because in those 7 weeks i got attached to it and i had to give it up something that i have wanted, i wanted to have the baby i would have loved it, but i was young, James was young and we couldn't handle having a baby."

Would Sarah have rejected her parents' choice of abortion if she knew that her "baby" actually did have a heart and a brain?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Planned Parenthood Making Stuff Up Again? No, never

Betsy Illingsworth writes today's headline article for Planned Parenthood's website. The article boldly asserts that,

"This year alone, abortions performed under unsanitary conditions or by untrained providers will cause 19 million women to suffer injuries, illness, or death.

Nearly all of these 19 million women are living in poverty-stricken countries."

To me this stuck out right away because I remembered that according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute (Planned Parenthood's research arm) there were something like 40 million (it's 46 million) abortions every year throughout the world so I thought it odd that nearly half of these abortion would result in "injuries, illness or death" to the women having them.

Where does Betsy get her statistics? The article doesn't say (no footnotes, no endnotes, no nothing) but I'm guessing she took the number from this web page at the Alan Guttmacher Institute web site which reads,

"The World Health Organization defines "unsafe abortion" as a "procedure for terminating an unwanted pregnancy [carried out] either by a person lacking the necessary skills or in an environment lacking minimal medical standards, or both." It estimates that almost 20 million unsafe abortions occur each year--19 million in developing countries and the remainder mostly in Eastern Europe."

So is Betsy taking the number of "unsafe abortions" and then determining that every or close to every "unsafe abortion" resulted in women suffering "injuries, illness or death?" That's certainly the way it appears.

Life Links 2/15/06

Somehow I previously missed this piece from Colleen Carroll Campbell on the West Coast March for Life.

Justice Scalia on the idea of a living Constitution.

Patterico is promoting some discussions on abortion.

Who's Happy?

The Pew Research Center has released its "Are we happy yet?" survey.

43% of those who attend church weekly or more are very happy while 31% and 26% of those who attend church "monthly or less" and "seldom or never" consider themselves very happy, respectively.

Other findings include conservatives are happier than liberals, Republicans are happier than Democrats, Evangelical Protestants are happier than Mainline Protestants and cat owners are happier than dog owners..

"Why should an unborn child be punished for my naivete?"

I thought this post from a young woman who recently had an abortion was interesting.

She discusses how she couldn't have raised her unborn child and how she couldn't give the child up for adoption and then she says that abortion was her "choice."

She also asks, "i was naive. why should i be punished, why should an unborn child be punished for my naivete?"

By "punished" she doesn't mean abortion, she means being raised by a single mom.

Unfortunately, she didn't know that being born and being raised by a single parent isn't a punishment for an unborn child when compared to the alternative.

Men trying to coerce women into abortion

It happens every day.

"i just spoke txt my bf and asked him how he would feel if i decided i couldn't go through it and his first reaction was to blame this website for putting ideas in my head! then he txt saying, 'well you might as wel drop out of uni now, cancel ur phone contract, ill sell my car n no holiday n we'll live in a council house, how do u feel bout that for the rest of ur life?'

That tells me he is being completely selfish and more concerned about what his life is gonna be like in the long run if i have the baby, he clearly has no idea about the hell im going through and will go through either choice i make."

"My BF was very nice to me when i told him i was so upset and it took every bit of gutts i had to face him and tell him i was pregnant, we had a 10 min discussion over it (he was busy) and he said it was too soon for us in our realationship we had only been seeing each other for 2 months and he didnt want another child he's 42 and his youngest is 5yrs. he convinced me to terminate the baby. I went home feeling sick and crying.
The next day his attidude changed and he became distant I pushed him to talk about it again as i was a mess and he said he wasnt sure he could have another child and one again convinced me to end it. I left feeling lost and alone but prepared for Him to abort the baby. "

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

You can't top Dawn Eden on headlines

Looking for dirt on organizations that help women in unplanned pregnancies at an abortionist's blog is all in a day's work for one Marie Claire "reporter."

Rachael informed Dawn about this and the reporter left a comment on Rachael's blog asking her to remove the reporter's e-mail address and claimed "I am writing a balanced piece represending both sides of the equation."

Note to Siobhan O'Connor: If you don't want your e-mail address (siobhanmegan@yahoo.com) on blogs, don't leave it in the comments of a public blog.

I'm still waiting for the day when a reporter comes to my blog and asks for stories about naughty abortionists or the heroic efforts of CPCs. I won't be holding my breath.

What's the deal with prolife politicians not being able to talk about stem cell research?

Is it me or does it seem like every other week or so there is a new prolife political candidate who is unable to give a decent answer to the media on where they stand on embryonic stem cell research or human cloning.

The most recent is U.S. Senator Jim Talent. But in the past couple of weeks Maryland's Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele , Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann and Michigan gubernatorial candidate Dick Devos have all failed to properly explain their position on embryonic stem cell research.

Maybe it's because they don't want to take concrete stands on controversial issues before voters get a chance to know them. Maybe it's because they're scared of how the media will portray their response. Maybe they want to appear thoughtful. To me, they come of as waffling willows who are unable or unwilling to stand up and explain what they believe.

If there are any aides to these politicians out there, please have your candidate read this paper from Scott Klusendorf and then have them review some of the other resources he provides at the end of the paper. Being able to provide a rational and thoughtful defense for your beliefs is exponentially more impressive than saying, "I'll have to think about that and get back to you."

Nationalism run amok

The Los Angeles Times has a story on the reporters and whistle blowers who helped prove that Hwang Woo-Suk's human cloning research was fraudulent. The story also notes the ugly face of South Korean nationalism.

Some supporters argue that even if Hwang lied, the South Korean media shouldn't have exposed him because it will put the country at a disadvantage with the United States in the competitive biotech industry.

"You're America's dog," fumed a Hwang loyalist in an angry posting on MBC's online bulletin board. "Those who buried the greatest scientist in the history of the Korean people will incur the wrath of the heavens."......

Although the "pro-truth" camp, as Choi puts it, is now beginning to outweigh the pro-Hwang camp, the network still receives about 1,500 messages a day complaining about the coverage.

"Even now," Choi said, "people still believe in Hwang's righteousness."


Jennifer Roback Morse: "I bring up abortion politics and rhetoric because a very destructive and false view of human sexuality is behind the drive for unlimited sexual activity as an entitlement. Only the widespread availability of abortion without cost makes that view of sexuality even remotely plausible.

But the plain fact is that many women have experienced abortion for themselves, and they know that there are negative consequences to it. So I bring up the subject to illustrate how deeply implicated the "pro-choice" view of the world is in the creation of the consumer-sex world we all inhabit."

Joe Carter: "There really is no excuse for accepting her as one of our own. Perhaps if she possessed intelligence and a rapier wit, her cutting barbs might be endurable. But Coulter's "humor" slices like a shard from a Mountain Dew bottle found on a meth lab floor. Her remarks leave jagged gashs that grow infected and fester with pus, infecting all of us in the process.

Conservatism deserves better, deserves more civility and less Coulter. The fact that she is tolerated—much less admired--by conservatives is evidence that we have lost our philosophical moorings. If the Big Tent of conservatism really has room for the likes of Coulter, then it might just be time to close this circus down."

Aaron Earls: "Lamott's reasoning-death is better than resentment-should come as a surprise to most normal human beings who have faced resentment and lived to tell about it. Should we be disappointed that life was inflicted on us?"

Monday, February 13, 2006

Blogs dealing with abortion

Jayme starts her blog by sharing this:

Actually I dont know what to think--- He and I sat down in December and had a long heart to heart you could say and I found out that the whole time he was sleeping with me he was sleeping with other people. I was crushed of course--then I found out I was pregnant with his baby-- he didnt care but he didnt want it--at first he said it wasnt his which he knew better. But he talked me into an abortion- now I feel totally guilty. I dont know what to do I wish he would see me before I disappear.

Verity says she is planning on having an abortion in a post titled "baby going to go :("

Life Links 2/13/06

CBS News has a story on embryonic stem cell research where Lesley Stahl interviews Art Caplan and Robert George. Caplan mentions the 400,000 human embryos that are frozen but fails to mention that more than 90% aren't available for research. Surprise, surprise. It also seems that Stahl had some tough questions for George while Caplan was allowed to relay his talking points.

Unfortunately, Senator Jim Talent has backed away from his support of a federal ban on human cloning. Ramesh Ponnuru and Wesley Smith aren't buying Talent's reasoning.

An aborted male child survived for 4 hours after being born alive at 28 weeks in South Africa. The abortionist is facing a 300,000 Rand (about $50,000) lawsuit.

Friday, February 10, 2006

"Inflict" Life

Author Anne Lamott has a column in the Los Angeles Times that is another sign (at least to me) that the prolife movement is winning (though slowly) the argument over abortion.

Anne was on a panel discussion with some progressive theologians and the panel was asked "about how (they) should reconcile (their) progressive stances on peace and justice with the ‘murder of a million babies every year in America.'"

At first, Anne, who notes in her column that she has had multiple abortions and described herself after one abortion as "sadder than I'd been since my father died.", passed at responding but then answered when asked another question. Here's what she was thinking:

"Then, when I was asked to answer the next question, I paused, and returned to the topic of abortion. There was a loud buzzing in my head, the voice of reason that says, "You have the right to remain silent," but the voice of my conscience was insistent. I wanted to express calmly, eloquently, that pro-choice people understand that there are two lives involved in an abortion — one born (the pregnant woman) and one not (the fetus) — but that the born person must be allowed to decide what is right."

In other words, according to Anne, the born person "must be allowed to decide" if the life of unborn can be ended. The born, based on their location, can "decide what is right" for the unborn.

But Anne admits that she didn't respond calmly and ended her answer by saying that a "woman's right to choose was nobody else's goddamn business."

One of the last paragraphs of her column is nonsensical jibberish.

"But as a Christian and a feminist, the most important message I can carry and fight for is the sacredness of each human life, and reproductive rights for all women is a crucial part of that: It is a moral necessity that we not be forced to bring children into the world for whom we cannot be responsible and adoring and present. We must not inflict life on children who will be resented; we must not inflict unwanted children on society."

A crucial part of the sacredness of each human life is that some human beings should be able to decide whether other humans live or die? Every life is sacred but we should kill unborn children who will be resented and unwanted? Are you sure you think every life is "sacred" or do you really think that the only "sacred" lives are the lives of those who are wanted? We must not "inflict" life but we should inflict death? Why do we feel the need to "inflict" life on "unwanted" born children? Why don't we just deinflict "life" from all the unwanted born children. So you're fighting for the sacredness of each human life while fighting to make sure that it is legal to kill some human lives?

Technology has forced many in the pro-choice camp to admit that the unborn are living human beings. Instead of trying to provide good reasons for why one human being (the mother) should be allowed to have another human being (the unborn child) killed, many pro-choicers like Anne Lamott are left with nothing to spew but empty slogans and contradictory crap.

Frank J. succintly adds "Who would Jesus Abort?"

Kevin Drum shows that he's not quite up to speed on what a human being is and doesn't have a problem with women using abortion as birth control. He certainly is a political animal.

Emily at After Abortion comments, "That's a lot of anger, and it does not reflect the calm resolve of someone who is in a place of peace about her past. Far from it."

A commenter at Amy Welborn's blog says, "husband and I attended part of the conference Anne Lamott is writing about. skipped the Sunday evening session, and her tantrum. our friends relate that it was like a bomb dropping in the room, destroyed all the goodwill and peace built up over the course of the weekend. so sad. she has to deny it is a life, in order to live with herself, I guess."

These two sentences should never be next to one another


"On some level i feel as if i've already bonded with my child and feel it is murder to kill it, especially when its that developed."

"i also think (abortion is) the right choice for me as i cant afford a child and have nowhere to live, most importantly im also half way through my degree and don't want to have to give that up."

Life Links 2/10/06

Could mainline church denominations be aborting their future members?

Amanda Carpenter at the Human Events' blog has transcribed some of Senator Rick Santorum's speech at CPAC where he replays a dialogue he had with Senator Hillary Clinton.

The Mississippi House has voted overwhelmingly to ban human cloning. The article includes quotes from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International which show that the JDRFI lied through their teeth in an effort to spread confusion about this legislation. Those in favor of human cloning for research purposes are continually forced to mislead others in sad attempts to gain the support of lawmakers and the public.

Adult stem cells have been used to treat individuals with type 2 diabetes. The article says, "According to some American researchers and diabetologists, this is the most important step toward the cure of diabetes since 1929, when Drs. Banting and Best discovered Insulin." HT: Rebecca Taylor

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Columnist Connie Schultz is dealing with a stacked deck

Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz has a recent column which discusses abortion and how religious people view abortion. Her column also features comments by Rev. Carlton Veazey, who is in charge of the Religious Coalition of Reproductive Choice.

In the column, both Veazey and Schultz attempt to persuade readers that religious people support Roe v. Wade and abortion rights. Veazey does this with nothing but ignorant assertions while Schultz tries to back up her position with results from a survey.

Her statistics come from this survey from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. After reviewing this survey I got a much different impression about how religious people view abortion than Schultz presents.

First, the survey misleadingly describes Roe v. Wade as establishing "a woman's constitutional right to an abortion, at least in the first three months of pregnancy." We all know Roe v. Wade did a lot more than that.

Second, Schultze says that, "Even among evangelicals who were polled, fewer than half favored overturning Roe v. Wade." Schultze fails to note that fewer than half of evangelicals also favored keeping Pew's faultily-defined version of Roe. It was a 48% to 48% tie. However, of the evangelicals that were "high commitment," 60% favored dumping Roe. The majority of white Catholics with "high commitment" were also in favor of overturning Roe.

Third, the study clearly shows that the more people attend church, the more likely the are to be opposed to abortion. For individuals that attend church "weekly or more," 18% thought abortion should never be permitted while 43% thought that abortion should be illegal except in cases of rape, incest, or the mother's life. For individuals who attend church "sometimes," these percentages drop to 5% and 30%, respectively. For those who attend church "seldom or never," they drop even further to 2% and 16%, respectively.

What I think the survey shows most of all is that the average American, churchgoer or not, doesn't have a clue to what Roe v. Wade did and they don't know what overturning Roe v. Wade will do. How else can you explain that 63% of survey respondents want some kind of change in abortion law yet 65% oppose overturning the Supreme Court ruling that prevents changing the level of abortion's legality?

My guess is that a large percentage of Americans, many of whom were persuaded by a slanted media and/or deceptive pro-choice groups, believe that Roe v. Wade only allows abortion in the first 3 months of pregnancy and if Roe v. Wade is overturned then abortion will be illegal throughout America.

LifeLinks 2/8/06

One blogger share her story as a birth mother.

A number of Irish blogs are debating the legalization of abortion.

How one young woman feels after her second trimester abortion:

"I have no enthusiasm for anything. I don't want to wake up in the morning, don't want to go to school. I do because my mom forces me. I get to school and I'm a little better because I'm with my friends and they're hyper\happy\silly. They don't know about all of this though. I come home and I sleep and talk to my friends. I don't do my school work. I dont even want to eat, just eat so I'll still be alive. By no means am I suicidal or anything. I just lost all motivation in me."

Pro-choice moderator Eyelid thinks the symptoms described above sound more like a physical problem than an emotional problem. But then again for Eyelid, it's tough to imagine that any bad emotions after an abortion could be based on anything more than pregnancy hormones.

What's the Leading Cause of Death in the Black Community?

Some would guess heart disease or cancer or even crime or AIDS?

According to the National Center for Injury and Prevention, in 2003, 77,372 African-Americans died from heart disease, 62,660 died from cancer, 8,932 died from homicide, and 7,479 died from HIV/AIDS.

All of those deaths combined (156,443) don't come anywhere close to the leading cause of death in Black community. The leading cause of death in the Black community is abortion.

It is estimated that there were 1.29 million abortions in the United States in 2002. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 35.6% of abortion reported by race were performed on Black women. That means that around 459,240 abortions were performed on Black women in 2002. That means that 459,240 Black unborn children were killed by abortion in a single year. More than 1,200 every day.

Abortion kills about 3 times more African-American human beings every year in the United States than heart disease, cancer, homicide and HIV/AIDS combined.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Life Links 2/7/06

Ashli on the difference between artificial food and hydration and alternative food and hydration.

Greg Gutfield on the prostitution of fetuses. If killing human fetuses isn't wrong, then is there anything wrong if fetal prostiution?

Nat Hentoff: "As a reporter, I usually am able to understand why people with whom I disagree, think and act the way they do; but I am at a loss to understand how an abortionist finds his daily vocation in deliberately, brutally ending a human life."

Monday, February 06, 2006

Too bad Hwang couldn't clone money

Asian media outlets are reporting that disgraced Korean cloner Hwang Woo-Suk embezzled millions of dollars. The New Scientist reports that Hwang gave some of the money he received to politicians and his reports can't account for more than $6 million.

It looks like someone will be seeing the inside of a jail cell in the future. Unfortunately, some in Korea are still going to extreme lengths to show their support for this crook.

Obviously I'm not over it.

A blogger named Pinkscars discusses her abortion (warning language):

"Saturday night I kept thinking about my abortion. MY abortion. I did it. I gave the word and killed my baby. How sick. How awful and selfish and terrible of me. I haven't thought about it in a while. Obviously I'm not over it. I still think it was a mistake.. and if not a mistake I definitely think I took the easy way out."

So is it banned or not?

In a recent editorial, the Detroit Free Press shows that its editorialists are completely clueless about embryonic stem cell research.

What I found incredible was that in one sentence the editorial erroneously claims that the state of Michigan has a ban on embryonic stem cell research and then a few paragraph later the editorial says that the University of Michigan is doing embryonic stem cell research. So is it banned or not? If embryonic stem cell research is banned in Michigan then how can the University of Michigan be doing it? Does the Free Press think its readers are that stupid? Or are the editorial writers that stupid?

The editorial also claims President Bush withdrew federal funding on embryonic stem cell research even though before Bush's policy was implemented there was no federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. It's kind of tough to withdraw something that wasn't there is the first place, isn't it?

The Press also pushes the "fairy tale" that embryonic stem cells could treat Alzheimer's.

The end of the editorial says that "(t)here's no moral victory in preserving embryos that could never be implanted or "adopted."" I have no clue how they can claim that. Why couldn't the human embryos be adopted and implanted instead of killed? How is that not a physical possibility?

And the Free Press also takes the inevitable cheap shot at human embryos.

Embryonic stem cell research doesn't kill anybody. Scientists want to use blastocysts -- three days old, devoid of brain waves, smaller than the period at the end of this sentence -- that fertility clinics would otherwise discard.

Actually, aren't the human embryos killed usually 5-7 days old (the lowest number I've seen before is 4 days old) and since when does age, size and level of development determine if an organism is an "anybody?"

Friday, February 03, 2006

Want to lower the number of abortions? Promote and encourage marriage.

While looking thru Indiana's abortion statistics from 2003, I came across some statistics that baffled me a little bit. One of things that some in the prolife movement have focused on in recent years is the dramatically higher percentage of abortions that are performed on Black women compared to the population in general.

Indiana is striking example of this. Indiana's population is 8.4% Black yet Black women from Indiana get 27.4% of the abortions that are performed on Indiana residents.

What threw me for a loop was Indiana's "Termination Ratios by Age and Race". When viewing the graph you can see that termination ratios (TR) (number of abortions divided by the number of live births multiplied by 1,000) of Black women are higher than those of white women through every single age group but the difference becomes especially exaggerated in the 25-29, 30-34, and 35-39 age groups. In the 25-29 age group, the TR for Black women (346.3) is 5.5 times higher than the TR for white women (62.8). In the 30-34 age group, the TR for Black women (373.3) is 6.5 times higher than the TR for white women (57.0). If you factor out miscarriages, White women aged 25-34 from Indiana brought 94.3% of their pregnancies to term. Only 5.7% had abortions. On the other hand, Black women aged 25-34 in Indiana brought 73.7% of their pregnancies to term while 26.3% had abortions. In other words, for these age groups white women aborted only 1 out of every 18 pregnancies while Black women aborted 1 out of every 4.

The first thing that popped into my head as to why this huge difference would exist was marriage. Abortion statistics from various states usually show with common regularity that around 85% of abortions are performed on unmarried women.

In Indiana, the median age for marriage among Black women is 31. The median age for white women? 27. While 8.4% of Indiana's population is Black, Black women made up only 7.1% of Indiana's brides even though Black men made up 8.4% of Indiana's grooms.

These statistics certainly don't show a causal effect but it seems clear to me that a sustained effort of promoting and encouraging healthy marriages would dramatically lower the number of abortions in our country.

Will and Katha - just one question - what are the unborn?

Slate's William Saletan and the Nation's Katha Pollit have been having a discussion over what kind of strategies pro-choice groups and individuals should partake in. Though both writers are pro-choice and would like it if the number of abortions in our country decreased, Saletan believes that abortion is bad while Pollitt doesn't share that conviction. Saletan proposes that pro-choice groups pit contraception (good) against abortion (bad) and that this strategy would gain popular support.

I found Thursday's discussion quite interesting in that it exposes the enormous problem that many of those in the pro-choice movement face. Mainly, that they can't rationally and logically discuss what the unborn are and what abortion is.

On Wednesday, Katha asked Saletan to explain why he thinks abortion is bad. His response follows:

"You ask why I think abortion is bad. I think it's bad because the fetus is of us and is becoming us. It's not a person, but it's on the way to becoming a person, and the longer it develops, the more I recoil at the idea of killing it. Most people, according to polls, think the same way."

While I'm much more sympathetic to Saletan's view than Pollitt's, the above statement would get flipped on its head by most prolifers who have decent experience arguing about abortion.

So it's "of us" but it isn't yet one of us? How can two organisms produce something that isn't one of them but then later becomes one of them? Doesn't that violate the Law of Biogenesis? If it's not currently "one of us," then why is it bad to kill it? When and how do the unborn traverse into the realm of personhood? Why should I accept your definition of personhood over the definition of anyone else?

Katha's view is even worse. After saying that abortion isn't "morally trivial" and that it's a "sad necessity" and "morally serious, very unfortunate event," Katha would rather just try to avoid answering the question of what the unborn are and what abortion really is.

You ask what my own view of abortion is. I think the meaning of abortion is what the woman says it is: For a woman who wants a child but can't have this one it can be sad; for a woman who doesn't want a baby, it can feel like a huge relief, like having your whole life given back to you......I think women have the right to consult their own wishes, needs, and capacities and produce only loved, wanted children they can care for—or even no children at all.

So to Katha abortion isn't really an objective thing. It's a subjective act that means whatever the woman having an abortion wants it to mean. Sounds a lot like, "personally i feel a human being begins 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." Hiding behind this kind of relativistic hogwash has been mainstream pro-choice strategy for years.

What I think Katha realizes but Will doesn't is that if pro-choice organizations admit "abortion is bad" they'll have to have a good answer to "why is abortion bad?" Planned Parenthood will have to explain why it's performing 250,000 "bad" abortion procedures a year. NARAL will have to explain why it thinks tax-dollars should pay for hundreds of thousands of "bad" surgeries. NOW will have to explain why they vehemently oppose parental involvement laws for "bad" teen abortions.

They don't have good answers to these questions. Which is why it's unlikely that pro-choice organizations are going to be latching on to Saletan's proposal anytime soon.

Friday Baby and Cat Blogging

I'm with my niece. Steelers all the way.

Rascal has recently been having what we like to call her "special time." For a few days she goes around the house with her rear in the air trying to convince any inanimate object to mate with her. No doors, chairs or walls have consented to the best of my knowledge.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

RU-486 is still not "safe or effective"

Dr. Margaret Gray and Dr. Donna Harrison have published a review of FDA's Adverse Event Reports from RU-486 abortions in the February 2006 issue of the Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

They note that the "third most common class of severe adverse events was undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy." The drugs (mifepristone and misoprostol) involved in RU-486 abortions shouldn't be given to women with ectopic pregnancies. In the discussion section of the paper, the doctors note,

"Ectopic pregnancy is an absolute contraindication to the use of mifepristone, and failure to rule out ectopic pregnancy resulted in one death, as well as unnecessary morbidity. Requiring ultrasound documentation of intrauterine location of the pregnancy by a qualified ultrasonographer prior to the administration of mifepristone would reduce this life-threatening complication to a minimum."

It's clear that some abortion providers are failing to give women an ultrasound to determine if they have an ectopic pregnancy before prescribing mifepristone, even though failing to rule out an ectopic pregnancy can lead to severe injury or death.

The doctors also mention that,

"With mifepristone abortions, the rate of failure to cause complete termination of pregnancy increases dramatically, along with hemorrhagic events, as the gestational age and the size of the placenta increases. The US clinical trial demonstrated a failure rate of 8% at 49 days or less from the last menstrual period (LMP), increasing to 17% at 50–56 days from the LMP, and further increasing to a 23% failure at 57–63 days from the LMP, as established by sonographic criteria."

Numerous abortion clinics, including Planned Parenthood, disregard the FDA's medication guidelines and prescribe mifepristone up to 63 days from LMP and all the while tell women that it's "96-97 percent effective."

Representative Roscoe Bartlett is currently getting some media coverage for his legislation to withdraw the FDA's approval of RU-486 and review the way in which it was approved.

RU-486 - I'm Hatin' It
Safe and Effective or Unsafe and Ineffective?

What is Birth?

Yesterday, Dawn Eden posted some excerpts from Judge Chester Straub's dissent in the 2nd Circuit Court's ruling that struck down the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003.

Some of these excerpts strongly echo the intent of Michigan's Legal Birth Definition Act. This Michigan law, which was passed as citizen initiated legislation after Governor Granholm vetoed it, defines legal birth and the commencement of legal rights when any non-severed part of the child is outside the mother's body. It draws a line between abortion and infanticide and because it does NARAL has labeled it "one of the most extreme anti-choice laws this country has seen since Roe v. Wade was decided thirty-two years ago." Though the law never mentions partial-birth abortion, it would effectively prohibit the ghastly procedure.

In his dissent, Judge Straub notes,

"Some argue that the removal of a fetus during a D & X is not "birth." See Farmer v. Planned Parenthood of Cent. N.J., 220 F.3d 127, 143 (3d Cir. 2000). However, "birth" is the "passage of the offspring from the uterus to the outside world." Dorlands Illustrated Medical Dictionary 207 (27th ed. 2000). The removal of a fetus from its mother surgically does not mean that it is not born, as a fetus removed from its mother via a cesarean section is certainly "born....."

I disagree with Chief Judge Walker that the fact that the Act is
not limited to post-viability abortions necessarily vitiates the
compelling interest of the State in preventing the procedure to
distinguish abortion from infanticide. Once a fetus is born, its
viability ceases to be relevant to determining the constitutional
protections to which it is entitled.....

In addition to vindicating the right to life of those in the process of being born, the State has a compelling interest in protecting the line between abortion and infanticide."

The Legal Birth Definition Act was overturned by one judge but is currently working its way through the appeals process. Hopefully, they'll be a couple of judges on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals who recognize what Judge Straub recognizes.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Life Links 2/1/06

Adult stem cells are treating lupus.

"The Park Forest, Ill., woman is among 48 patients with severe lupus who had the treatment at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Thirty-three patients have had no disease symptoms for up to more than seven years following their transplants, said Northwestern's Dr. Richard Burt, who led the study."

Wesley Smith says that little Haleigh Poutre still isn't safe.

What President Bush could have said last night.

It looks like William Saletan and Katha Pollitt will continue their arguments regarding pro-choice strategy on abortion at Slate.