Friday, March 31, 2006

Check out those biceps

All that pink can't hide my niece's muscular physique.

The Blindness of the Pro-Choice Movement

Via Feministe, I've forcibly digested this article by a volunteer of New York City's Haven Coalition. Haven Coalition members house pregnant women who come to New York City seeking late-term abortions. The author, Lynn Harris (a professional writer who is married to a rabbi), convinces me over and over again that certain pro-choice people have a huge blindspot when looking at certain aspects of reality.

Lynn begins by noting,
"When she told me she was stepping out for a smoke, I was briefly, mildly shocked: I mean, this girl is 21 weeks pregnant. But just as quickly, I remembered: After tomorrow, she won't be."

How ridiculous is this? Lynn is shocked that a pregnant woman is smoking, presumably because she's aware that smoking can cause damage to the unborn child. Yet Lynn isn't shocked that this same woman will do something which will intentionally kill the same unborn child tomorrow. Smoking while pregnant is bad because it could hurt the unborn child. Aborting children is good even though it kills the unborn child. The pro-choice position looks better every day, huh?

I also wonder if Lynn looks down on pregnant women who are planning on giving birth yet choose to smoke during pregnancy.

Lynn goes on to note how her and her husband basically ignore what their scripture has to about when abortion should be allowed and instead base their position on a very broad definition of "health." She then explains why her and her husband are members of the Haven Coalition.
What moves us, what made us both instantly say yes when a friend emailed us about becoming Haven hosts, are the Jewish commandments to help and protect our neighbor, to shelter someone who is in—again, liberally interpreted—danger.

How about the unborn child? Are they not in danger? Doesn't the fact that they are about to be killed mean the unborn are in danger? Are you kidding me, Lynn? How sad is it that Lynn is so blind that she can't see how her actions are violations of the exact commandments she's purporting to follow.
And the notion of tzedakah, which is not an act of magnanimous charity—"Here, pitiable one, make yourself comfortable in my fabulous Brooklyn home!"—but one of justice: giving the poor their due.

How about providing some justice to the unborn? How about giving them "their due" by letting them live (all of 3 months) til their due date?
Access to abortion—access, not just the in-principle right—is a fundamental matter of social and economic justice. The word "choice" doesn't even begin to cover it. We, the Jews, are the people commanded to take care of the widow and the orphan.

Abortion has become more than just a right to many pro-choice people. It is no longer enough for women to just have the option of having an abortion if they have the money to pay for it. Women now should be able to have their abortion paid for and have a doctor in every hometown who will be willing to perform one because being able to have an abortion when and how you like has somehow become a matter of social and economic justice. Imagine if the NRA said that gun ownership was no longer a matter of rights but of social and economic justice where even poor people should be allowed to have guns they can't afford and that it's a travesty that only such-and-such a percentage of counties have a place where guns are sold.

Also notice how there is absolutely no thought that maybe, just maybe, the unborn child in our present times could be considered something akin to the widow or the orphan in Jewish scripture.
When David delivers a Haven guest to the clinic in the morning, there's almost always a protester or two, often male, usually the quiet, murmuring, "If you're pregnant we can help you" type. David always warns the patients ahead of time that they'll probably be there, tries to get between them and the patient, and then calls me in a rage from his cell when he leaves. The strong patients sass back, the resolute ones stare straight ahead, the frightened ones burst into tears—and yet not one wavers in her determination to do what's right for her. So thanks, harassing guy, that was useful for everyone.

Quietly murmuring, "we can help you" is harassing someone? Please. Should Lynn's husband really be in a rage because someone offers to help a poor woman who is pregnant with a 20+ week old unborn child bring that child to term? Is that really "rage-worthy?" I'm starting to wonder if Rabbi Harris has some anger issues.
It's so viscerally clear to both of us that Haven, and working to protect reproductive freedom, is about taking care of society's most vulnerable.

It's so viscerally clear to me that Haven and its members are so blind to reality that they can't see where society's most vulnerable really are. Even when those who are most vulnerable cause the visible physical protrudement of their mothers' bellies in homes of Haven's members.

Make sure you look at the last paragraph where Lynn seems to compare abortion to redemption.

Food and Water

Rev. Robert Johansen has a long article about the causes behind Terri Schiavo's death. Some excerpts:
"Those fighting to save Terri's life did not recognize what they were up against and were unprepared for its demands until it was too late. The shift in our culture that made her death possible began long before March 31, 2005, and the elements of that shift need to be identified if we are to learn from what happened.....

Over and over on the various cable news programs and in the print media, I saw the issue framed as: Under what circumstances should life be "prolonged"? This word is telling: Generally speaking, the word "prolong" does not have a positive connotation. We do not speak of "prolonging" good things, we speak rather of unpleasant things as being "prolonged." The implication, reinforced every time the word was used, was that Terri's life was something bad or unpleasant that ought to be over.....

The idea that continued human life now requires justification is also evident in the currents of legal thought dominant among those involved in end-of-life issues. They have borrowed a page from the pro-abortion movement's handbook and have begun to redefine legal personhood so as to leave the profoundly disabled outside its boundaries. Dr. Ronald Cranford, a leading bioethicist and the chief medical witness appearing on behalf of Michael Schiavo, has testified that patients in a "persistent vegetative state" (PVS), as well as the profoundly disabled, lack "personhood" and consequently have no constitutional rights.....

In the past, medicine operated under a presumption that food and water simply constituted the basic minimum of care offered to a patient, as a necessity of sustaining life. Now an alternative presumption applies, one based on a redefinition of the boundaries of what constitutes medical "treatment." Under the new definition, food and water, because they contribute to the patient's overall well-being and recovery, now can be considered treatment.....

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Life Links 3/30/06

Jay Nordlinger discusses and links to a variety of information from two individuals who discuss how the Chinese government is harvesting the organs of living members of the Falun Gong sect.

Radio host Pat Campbell interviews Michael Schiavo and Father Frank Pavone. HT: Prolife Blogs

First, it's a pro-choice Superhero killing prolifers, now the Planned Parenthood Golden Gate is offering a chance to win a free iPod for every appointment and the ability to get free movie tickets if you recommend them to a friend and they go in.

Going after Ramesh

Plenty of bloggers are pre-emptively going after Ramesh Ponnuru and his upcoming book, The Party of Death.

What's interesting is the complete and utter weakness of their lame attacks. They claim that Ramesh's book was edited by Red State's Ben Domenech, who recently resigned from his Washington Post blog after it was discovered that he plagiarized the work of others for a variety of articles.

The question is: What does Domenech's past plagiarism have do with Ramesh's book (which they haven't read) and Ramesh (who was unaware of Domenech's past plagiarism)? Should Ramesh and his book take the fall because Domenech plagiarized? Is Ramesh's book going to be poor and filled with thoughtless arguments simply because Domenech may have edited it?

They also don't like Ramesh's publisher and think that "Party of Death" refers to Democrats.

Ramesh has responded to one of the pro-choice bloggers.
"I explain in the book what I mean and don't mean by the title phrase. It doesn't mean "the Democrats," although the book is tough on the Democrats. (I didn't write the flap copy.) It certainly doesn't mean that Democrats like to kill people...."

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Devils Indeed

Growing up as a University of Michigan basketball fan in the days of the Fab Five, I had a strong distaste for the Duke basketball team. I just couldn't stand Bobby Hurley and Grant Hill. However, those former Blue Devils are angels compared to the current lineup of Duke's lacrosse team.

Duke University has suspended the lacrosse team's games after the team's captains hosted a party which included underage drinking and "private party dancers."

What's more disturbing is that one of the dancers has accused three of the lacrosse team members of rape. It has also been reported that neighbors heard racial slurs being targeted at the dancers (who are Black). The lacrosse team is standing together, refusing to implicate who the alleged rapists may have been and 46 of the players recently submitted DNA samples to the police.

The house where the incident occurred was recently purchased by the university in the hopes of selling it to individuals who wouldn't rent it out.

According to the Durham County District Attorney, "My reading of the report of the emergency room nurse would indicate that some type of sexual assault did in fact take place."

HT: SmartBlkWoman

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Saving your pet or a stranger's baby?

I wonder how Ron Bailey would respond to the individuals at the ChildFree Hardcore Livejournal Community who agree (language warning) that they'd save their pet before saving a stranger's baby. One individual even notes that he/she would save his/her pet hermit crabs before saving "some stranger's dumb kid."

I like my cats but these people are certifiable.

For some reason, allows the original poster of the CFH post to host a bulletin board for women who've had abortions or are thinking of having an abortion.

Ultrasounds are bad and giving women considering abortion the option of seeing them is even worse

Ema at The Well-Timed Period is rather miffed that Michigan's pro-choice governor, Jennifer Granholm, signed legislation which will give women considering an abortion the option of viewing on ultrasound if their abortion provider performs an ultrasound.

I think part of Ema's problem with the bill is that she thinks that HB 4446 does more than it actually does. This is partially the fault of the Michigan web site she links to which doesn't differentiate between Michigan's original informed consent bill and HB 4446 (which adds unto the informed consent bill) .

Another part of her problem seems to be with the act of performing an ultrasound. She's calls performing an ultrasound a "politically-indicated test" even though the National Abortion Federation notes that for first trimester surgical abortions:

"Ultrasonography, using a consistent and published table of fetalmeasurements can be of clinical value in verifying intra-uterine pregnancy and gestational age"

and says that for second trimester abortions,

"Gestational age must be verified by ultrasonography, using a consistent and published table of fetal measurements, prior to the termination of a pregnancy clinically estimated to be more than 14 weeks LMP."

For some reason, Ema thinks that giving women the option of viewing their ultrasound (if their abortion provider happens to performs one) has the "potential to negatively impact the medical care of female patients of reproductive age."

Ema also goes on to attack Gilda Jacobs, one of the most pro-choice legislators in Michigan.

What is it that some pro-choicers fear about women having the option of viewing their ultrasound? I can't fathom how a rational pro-choice person thinks that giving women the choice of whether or not to view their ultrasound is so bad.

Life Links 3/28/06

Wesley Smith notes that the U.S. isn't falling behind in stem cell research. In fact, U.S. scientists published 42% of the total articles on stem cell research between 2000 and 2004.

Hwang Woo -Suk definitely knew how to work the media. "Here's my credit card. Go have some drinks."

Jim Sollisch, who is pro-choice and formerly worked at an abortion clinic counseling men, writes in the Christian Science Monitor that, "What I heard from many of them was that they were grieving. Some called it a death. Some called it a loss. Only a tiny percentage treated it like a medical procedure.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Marriage and Race

Here's a couple of interesting articles about marriage and race.

Marriage is for White People

Marriage: A social justice issue

Controlling Terri

On Sunday, my wife and I watched the majority of Matt Lauer's interview with Michael Schiavo's interview on Dateline regarding the life and death of Terri Schiavo.

Unfortunately, Matt only had a couple of semi-tough questions for Michael and didn't follow up with tough questions when Michael said a number of things that didn't make sense to me. I am grateful though that Lauer shot Schiavo down when Michael tried to play that lame "they'd cut Terri's arms and legs off" card. It showed that Matt did at least a little homework. One moment that especially stuck out to me was right before Michael said, "we (he and Bobby Schindler) hate each other," he was about to say "I hate him (Bobby)" but caught himself and only mouthed the words.

Towards the end of the interview, after Michael talked about why he wouldn't let Terri's family into the room when she died and they showed Terri's tombstone ("I kept my promise"), my wife made what I think was a dead-on comment. She said something like, "It was all about control."

After a long court struggle with her parents filled with numerous accusations from all parties and numerous liters of bad blood being spilled, where the control of Terri's life and treatment were constantly up in the air, Michael Schiavo finally had control of a number of things at the end of Terri's life and after her death. And he took full control of them. He had control over who would be with Terri when she died. He had control over when and where Terri's remains would be buried and if he'd let the Schindlers attend the funeral. He had control over what would be written on her tombstone. Michael could finally take control and the Schindler's didn't have any say and after the long and painful legal struggle where he wasn't always in full control, I think he cherished that control.

He cherished being able to decide that he would be alone with Terri when she died. He cherished the idea that he could decide that the Schindlers wouldn't know about Terri's funeral. He cherished being able to stick it to the Schindlers on Terri's tombstone.

Terri's death was never about Terri's supposed wish. Terri's death and the long struggle over it was about Michael having control, being allowed to "win" and getting what he thought was best.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Michael Schiavo Interview

Via Prolife Blogs, I've read a partial transcript of Matt Lauer interview with Michael Schiavo and his wife Jodi. An excerpt:
On his marriage to Jodi
Lauer: People have often asked. Michael why didn't you divorce Terri, you were living with Jodi.

Michael Schiavo: Why do I have to divorce Terri? Terri wasn't like a football— an inanimate object you pass back and forth. She was my wife. You mean because your wife gets sick, do you give her back?

Jodi Schiavo: I would think so much less of Michael had he walked away from her. That is one of the qualities in him that I so admire. That up against everything...he stuck by her...

Why do I have to divorce Terri? How about the fact that you're living with another woman and fathering her children? If your wife gets sick, do you dehydrate her to death? "Giving her back" to her family is probably preferable to dehydrating her, no?

He stuck by her? How's that? By living with you, fathering children with you and trying to dehydrate Terri to death? Wouldn't all wives like a husband that sticks by them like that?

Those Rascally Michigan Republicans

Are having a little too much fun with Senator Debbie Stabenow's "Dangerously Incompetent" sign. The song has a good bass line, though.

Questions for Pro-choice People

I ran into this paper by Michael Pakaluk while perusing the internet. I'd never seen it before but found it interesting and thought I'd pass it along.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Zogby Poll on Abortion

The results of a recent Zogby poll on abortion are available online here. It was a large poll with 30,117 respondents and has a low margin of error of +/- 0.6 percentage points.

Things that I find interesting include:

Individuals who said they would support a Democrat congressional candidate were much more likely to answer "not sure" when asked about a specific policy/law than individuals who'd favor a Republican congressional candidate.

17% of individuals who'd support of Democrat for Congress in 2006 said "not sure" when asked "Do you agree or disagree that abortion ends a human life?"

20% of Democrat supporters and 17% of independent said "not sure" when asked, "Which of the following best describes when you think life begins?"

35% of individuals who'd support a Democrat for Congress in 2006 said they think life begins at birth.

If you can't defend legal abortion, then attack the motives of prolifers

I've noticed a rather disturbing trend in the posts of various pro-choice bloggers and writers in recent months. The trend is to attack the motives of prolifers and the strategy seems to be working itself into becoming the most used arrow in the pro-choice quiver. Instead of trying to defend legal abortion and provide good reasons why abortion should remain legal, why tax dollars should pay for abortions and a number of other pro-choice positions, pro-choicers are using simplistic logic and huge over-generalizations to attack the motives of prolifers.

Why is this? Though I'm not certain if certain pro-choicers believe these are the real motives of prolifers, it's much easier to insinuate evil motives and then write off individuals with these evil motives than it is to take the argument of someone you disagree with seriously and then show why that argument is wrong and why your position is right. This is especially true for pro-choice movement which is struggling to find a foothold in a storm as they are currently stuck between a rock (the scientific evidence of the unborn's humanity, the feelings of post-abortive women, and society's belief that abortion isn't morally right) and a hard place (admitting abortion is "bad" inevitably leads to the question of why is abortion "bad").

Prescribing evil motives to prolifers seems like a much easier task (or at least a good short term strategy) than dealing with the problems the pro-choice movement is currently facing.

The two motives (that I've seen at least) prescribed to prolifers are either that 1.) prolifers want to punish women for having sex and/or that 2.) the real goal isn't saving unborn children but making birth control illegal and preventing procreative sex.

At Alas, a Blog, Ampersand provides a chart which attempts to show that the policies which prolifers advocate are more consistent with the belief that women should suffer consequences for having sex than the belief that abortion is "exactly the same as child murder."

Amp cherry picks policies (why no mention of opposing the killing of human embryos for their stem cells, opposition to assisted suicide or bans on tax-funded abortions?), creates some major strawmen (which prolife organization is opposed to an HPV vaccine and which prolife organization wants to keep abortions for rape and incest legal?) and incorrectly insinuates that partial-birth abortion has a lower risk of injuring the mother even though there is absolutely no evidence for this. However, what's most tragic is his complete inability to take the possible varied motives behind a variety of policies seriously even though he says, "I really like to assume the best of everyone, even people I disagree with. And I try hard to take what opponents say, at their word." The chart that follows his statement is strong evidence that he really hasn't tried that hard to take the varied positions of prolifers on a variety of policies seriously.

Molly at Molly Saves the Day makes a similar argument when she states,
"Guess what that means? It means it's NOT ABOUT LIFE. If abortions should be illegal but there should not be forced marrow donations from living donors, the distinction isn't one of life, it's one of responsibility."

This same kind of obvious ad hominem attack is also clearly seen in a Salon article featuring statements from NARAL New York's Cristina Page who says, "The anti-choice movement has become a religious movement, and because of that, their interest isn't in reducing abortion. In fact, reducing abortion has become problematic for them, because they want to strip Americans of using birth control, in effect to change the entire family structure."

Cristina's main schtick isn't trying to prove that the unborn aren't human beings or that unborn human beings don't deserve to be protected by law but to attack the motives of prolifers by claiming that the real goal of the prolife movement is "the creation of a society in which the only acceptable reason for sex is procreation". In the Salon article, she also asserts that the prolife movement, besides wanting to ban abortion and contraception, wants to "make child care impossible" based on nothing but the web sites of a few organizations that are against abortion mentioning a study from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development which seems to have found some correlation between child care and aggressiveness in children.

I think these attempts to unmask the supposedly evil motives of prolifers will ultimately fail to persuade the large majority of the American public. The hardcore pro-choicers will eat this up for breakfast, lunch and dinner but most people who know and interact with regular-average-joe-contraceptive-using-kids-in-daycare prolifers will have a hard time believing that the main motive of behind their friend or co-workers opposition to abortion (especially women who are prolife) is to punish women for having sex.

Do some pro-choice people really think the prolife position of wanting to save unborn children is so nonsensical that they have to come up with other motives for us? Or do they really see us as vile sexist minions trying to control women? I don't know. But it's hard for me to understand why anyone would think this kind of strategy would work.

Erring on the side of death

According to the leader of an investigative panel that Governor Mitt Romney appointed, "''Haleigh (Poutre)'s case represents a frightening confluence of a healthcare system ignorant of abuse and a child-protection system ignorant of medicine."

They also note that Haleigh almost died because "flawed or insufficient information was given to the state agencies, medical centers, and court systems that were supposed to protect her."

Prolifeblogs notes,
"Although the panel ripped the system and recommended more government, procedures and processes, I've seen no admission of guilt or acknowledgement of a fundamental problem related to the diagnosis of PVS and its subsequent use to terminate a patient. What in the world is a state agency doing attempting to euthanasize a young girl shortly after her incapacitation?...

It is now widely known that Haleigh was the victim of a fatally broken bureaucracy. Even worse, she was almost a fatality of a defective and crumbling death oriented medical system and a twisted judicial process."

Situations like Haleigh's will continue to happen if some individuals in medical community continue to err on the side of death and accept that death is somehow the answer to patients who are seriously incapacitated.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Jasmine had an abortion last Friday. In February, I asked, "Whose choice is this?" and posted some quotes from Jasmine. Jasmine seemed excited about the prospect of "keep(ing) the baby" but was been pushed towards abortion by her boyfriend.

After her abortion, she writes,
"Since then, I've cried for hours upon hours...every day. I don't cry when my bf's around but he doesn't make me feel any better about the relationship. We made a commitment and I followed through with mine. His answers now are slightly changing. He was sooo adamant about "yes I'll keep my promises" prior to the abortion and then 3 days later..his words are changing about what his commitment was.

I hate myself for killing my own. I try to hide it, to keep my spirits up but really it doesn't help. I realize I don't like to keep my spirits up just because I feel like then I'd be avoiding the truth and feeling like a heartless cold person."

Jasmine also relays that the abortionist didn't let her see her ultrasound.

Dumb, Da-Da, Da, Dumb

Alexander Sanger is Margaret Sanger's grandson and is the Chair of the International Planned Parenthood Council. He has a blog to promote his book, Beyond Choice.

An entry from yesterday makes me wonder if some pro-choice leaders have the ability to take the prolife position seriously and makes it harder and harder for me to respect the intellects of pro-choice leaders.

Sanger post asks what South Dakota was trying to do by banning abortion and then answers by saying,(emphasis mine)
"Were they trying to enforce their version of a religious/moral code? Make Christianity state law? Demean women? Keep women barefoot and pregnant? Bring back patriarchy?

My answer is, all of the above. But the motivation behind all this becomes clear only when we look at the demographic/societal context.

You probably haven't read much about what the law will mean for the childbearing rate in South Dakota, because no one has focused on it. That, in my view, is what this law is all about: increasing the childbearing rate, especially the white childbearing rate.

I don't if Mr. Sanger is unbelievably ignorant about abortion in South Dakota and the rest of America but to assert that banning abortion is about increasing the white childbearing rate is probably one of the most laughable things I've heard from a pro-choice advocate in a while.

First, one has to point out that only 814 abortions occurred in South Dakota in 2004 and only 670 were performed on residents of South Dakota. Further more, In 2004, there were 11,339 births to women who reside in South Dakota. If all resident abortions were stopped in South Dakota, the childbearing rate would go up a mere 5.9%.

Later Sanger uses old statistics to try to prove his point when he says, "BUT, there were fewer births in South Dakota in 2002 than 1990, 10,698 versus 10,999. The white births dropped from 9,076 to 8,376." I'm guessing he didn't use the 2004 number (11,339) because it didn't help him.

Sanger also fails to mention what percentage of abortions are performed on white women compared to Native Americans. Whites makes up 88.7% of South Dakota's population, 78.7% of South Dakota's births and receive 81% of South Dakota's abortions where patient's race is known (there were 44 abortions where the race wasn't reported). Native Americans are 8.3% of South Dakota's population, have 18.5% of South Dakota's births and receive 9.4% of South Dakota's abortions where the patient's race is known. Other races make up 3% South Dakota's population and 2.8% of South Dakota's births yet receive 9.6% of South Dakota's abortions where the patient's race is known.

Whites in South Dakota have a lower percentage of the state's abortions compared to their population while Native Americans and the other races both have a higher percent of the state's abortions compared to their population. Stopping all abortions in South Dakota would have a greater impact on the childbearing rates of minorities than it would on the childbearing rates of whites.

What dingleberry would look at these statistics and think that banning abortion would be about raising the white childbearing rate? I wonder if Sanger thinks prolifers in the numerous states where more than 30% of the state's abortions are performed on Black women are also just trying to increase the white childbirth rate.

Later Sanger reasons that the motive behind not imprisoning women who have abortions is:
"And what is the penalty, you might ask, for women who get the abortion, who are equally guilty with the doc? Nothing. Nada. Zilch. No time in the pen. Nope, the folks running the South Dakota patriarchal reproductive system can't put women of reproductive age in the chair or in prison. Then they can't reproduce! We need them in the game, as George H. W. Bush said of his granddaughter, in the game making babies."

I find it sad when pro-choicers can't take claims about the humanity of unborn and prolife respect for the lives of unborn human beings seriously. Trying to reduce the prolife position to racist motivations and the desire to keep women barefoot and pregnant is childish, futile and embarassing.

Naaman (back strong after a rest on the blogging bench) adds his thoughts.


Matthew 6:9-15 contains the Lord's Prayer and a brief comment by Jesus regarding the prayer.

After sharing the Lord's Prayer with his disciples, Jesus says, "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."

A variety of Bible commentaries have sought to provide insight into Matthew 6:14-15.

The fact that Jesus comments just on the forgiveness portion in the Lord's Prayer tells us forgiving others is an important part of the Christian life and that not being able to forgive others is something that, at minimum, pulls us away from Christ.

We are called to forgive without an asterix. We aren't called to forgive just those who've asked for forgiveness. We aren't called to forgive just those who want our forgiveness. We aren't called to forgive just those who've repented. We are called to forgive everyone.

Even though we may despise the actions of abortion providers, we are still called to forgive them.

Monday, March 20, 2006

When is it safe again?

It's nice to see that Planned Parenthood has finally decided to stop telling women to take the second drug of the RU-486 cocktail vaginally instead of orally. All it took was for a couple more women to die and their deaths to receive headlines. They've also updated the Medication Abortion section of their web site. Via the magic of the Way Back Machine, we can see what Planned Parenthood's web page said about Medication Abortion about a year ago. It used to say "63 days" was safe, now's it's down to "56 days." The rate of effectiveness has also changed (gotten better) over time.

They've also updated one of their "fact sheets" on medical abortion. What once was "63 days" has again been changed to "56 days."

I wonder how many more deaths it will take until the number drops to 49 days?

Life Links 3/20/06

Dory at Wittenberg Gate has posted Bloggers' Best for Terri Schiavo: Anniversary Edition, pt. 1

Steve Wagner of STR spent four hours discussing abortion with a large group of college students, many of whom were pro-choice. How many pro-choice speakers would be willing to spend four hours discussing abortion with a room filled with prolifers?

Governor Granholm says she will sign Michigan's ultrasound viewing legislation to the dismay of the ACLU. I guess telling women considering abortion that they have the option of viewing a live image of their ultrasound is somehow not pro-choice.

Robert George and Eric Cohen on Korea's cloning scandal.

Friday, March 17, 2006

3D Pictures of the Littlest Naaman

Naaman has posted some pictures of the littlest Naaman.

He notes,
"4D ultrasound is, quite literally, a miracle of technology. You have to see it to believe it. We used Baby Insight, and they were fantastic. For less than $300, we got a collection of still images, a 30-minute DVD, announcement cards for friends & family, and (best of all) a miraculous glimpse into the life of our youngest son."

Wanted: Talented actress who'd have an abortion for $5,000

Via Christina, here's a Washington, D.C. Craig's List posting looking for young female actresses who will become pregnant, get an abortion and have the abortion filmed. The compensation is $5,000.

If this is real, words can't describe how sick this is.

Friday Cat Blogging

After her traumatic surgery Rascal is back to being herself. She's back to jumping on kitchen counters and her new favorite activity is fetching the circles from the tops of milk cartons. She is a bit heftier though. From the time of her surgery to her three week after surgery check up she went from a slim 5.7 pounds to around 6.6 pounds.

Belushi and Rascal recently enjoyed a time of sunbathing together.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Stopping abortion coercion with or without pro-"choice" groups

The Michigan Legislature has introduced a group of bills (only 2 were currently available) to try to help ensure that women in Michigan aren't being coerced into having an abortion. According to an Associated Press article, the legislation would require abortion clinics to ask women and if they've been coerced, to wait 24 hours, make abortion coercion illegal and allow women to file lawsuit against individuals who have coerced them.

The pro-choice response:
"It seems to me this is just erecting more barriers to a woman's right to choose an abortion," said Sarah Scranton, Planned Parenthood's executive director.

Note to Ms. Scranton: If she's being coerced into abortion then she's not choosing abortion.

I received an e-mail from Feminists for Life supporting this legislation entitled "No Choice isn't Pro-Choice."


Buffalo's #1 alternative newsweekly, the Art Voice, has a web page with audio clips of a reporter interviewing various people in a library about the 1998 shooting of abortionist Barnett Slepian and the dwindling number of abortion providers. The last interview features a young woman who says that she considers abortion to be "murder" but when the next question asks how she feels about there only being one abortion provider in Buffalo she says, "That's a touchy subject, because if there's only one doctor performing, it's kind of limiting women's rights. It's limiting us the opportunity [to decide] whether or not we want to keep the child. So it does sort of put a strain on our choices and our options."

When I aborted my first pregnancy, did I kill a baby?

The Chicago Tribune has an editorial by a post-abortive woman named Emily Hauser. Emily has previously written articles for the Tribune on the conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians. She's also previously had writings about her abortion published in the Des Moines Register.

Some excerpts:
"My abortion is a thing of which I'm neither ashamed nor proud. I wish that I hadn't had to do it, but I did...

I ask myself: When I aborted my first pregnancy, did I kill a baby? I honestly don't think so. But did I stop the potential for life? Absolutely. Insofar as life itself is simultaneously the most mundane and most divine fact on our planet, this means something."


John Hinderaker: The Supreme Court recently ruled, in Lawrence v. Texas, that there is a constitutional right to commit acts of homosexual sodomy. Was this ruling informed by reference to foreign jurisprudence? If not, why not? On Ginsburg's approach, the justices apparently get to pick and choose when they will look abroad for guidance. And, if foreign guidance had been sought in the Lawrence case, would the justices have looked to the law in Muslim countries where commission of such acts is a capital crime? If not, why not? There is no coherent answer to these questions, and, Ginsburg does not offer one. In reality, reference to foreign law is nothing more than an ad hoc tool to be invoked or ignored at will by justices who want to advance a left-wing agenda.

Justice Holman: "I am not persuaded, even taking into account predicted future deterioration, that it is currently in the best interests of M to discontinue ventilation with the inevitable result that he will immediately die."

Evolutionary biologist David Haig: "If you think about the heart or the kidney, they're wonderful bits of engineering that work day in and day out for years and years."

Don't you just love it when an evolutionary biologist describes parts of a body as "wonderful bits of engineering." I know I do. Makes you wonder, who could have done such wonderful engineering?

Island of Hope

Here's a sad story about abandoned newborns and a cemetery in New York where 80 abandoned newborns are buried.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Betsy Illingworth

is project manager for Planned Parenthood Global Partners and her writing is often featured on Planned Parenthood's web site. Today some of her writing on Mexico's abortion policy is featured.

Betsy has a history of stretching the truth when it fits her. Today is no different.

Her article says that, "Under Mexican law, these women (women who have been raped) should be allowed access to safe, legal abortion services. However, several obstacles stand in their way.

One issue is Mexico's laws regarding sexual violence. Many Mexican states do not criminalize intimate partner violence, and others criminalize only "repeated" family violence. Mexican law also considers incest to be "consensual" sex. ."

What's your perception after reading that? My perception was that Mexican law asserts that any type of incest is consensual and that girls who have been raped by their fathers (what I usually think of incest as) are not being allowed to have abortion. I doubted this was the case so I looked it up.

According to the pro-choice Human Rights Watch (which Illingworth uses as her source), in Mexico "forced sex between family members is generally defined as rape." Incest is defined as sex between family members if the sex is voluntary. If the sex is forced then that act (which most of think of when we hear the word incest) is considered rape. It's too bad that Betsy didn't feel like sharing these details with the visitors to Planned Parenthood's web site who are left with the incorrect impression that Mexican law defines any sex between family members as consensual.

Wanted: Congressional Staffer

Qualifications: The ability to avoid putting a certain U.S. Senator next to signs that correctly describe her ability make you wonder if she has a staff.

Marie Claire and CPC "deception" update

Update: Melissa has taken down her post and has posted this response to some commenters on Dawn's blog.

Dawn Eden has an update on Siobhan O'Connor and her article for Marie Claire on crisis pregnancy centers. Dawn has found one blogger who was interviewed by Siobhan. The blogger has also had an (language warning) RU-486 abortion and took pictures of the aborted embryo.

She describes seeing her dead embryonic child as, "the single neatest thing I had ever seen," "Holy crap, that's so cool!" and "HOLY CRAP THIS THING IS FREAKING AWESOME." She also called her boyfriend to see their dead child. The boyfriend was less enthusiatic and also "didn't realize it would have fingers and toes and all of that so soon."

I'll again remind you that Melissa's (which is the blogger's name) interview is going to be "pretty central" to the Marie Claire article on CPCs. Thanks Siobhan.

Melissa also set up a pro-choice community at Live Journal. She also seems to have (language warning) had problems with Planned Parenthood.

HT: AfterAbortion

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Abortion in the courts

There's a long article in the Weekly Standard by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross & Adam White regarding the upcoming Supreme Court case Gonzales v. Carhart on the federal partial-birth abortion ban.

Life Links 3/14/06

Japanese researchers have found stem cells in menstrual blood. I'm not kidding. The researchers were able to obtain 30 times more stem cells from the blood than from bone marrow and "(w)hen the stem cells were cultured in a way to induce them to become heart cells, after five days about half of the cells contracted "spontaneously, rhythmical and synchronously, suggesting the presence of electrical communication" between the cells, Miyoshi announced. That is to say, they behaved like heart cells."

It is also noted that cells from younger patients have longer life spans than cells from older patients.

Father Thomas Williams on the recent statement by 55 Catholic Democrats regarding abortion. Some excerpts:
Just as you don't have the polytheistic wing of Islam or the seal-clubbing wing of Greenpeace, you don't have the pro-abortion wing of the Catholic Church....

To justify their position, the authors of the statement appeal to the so-called "primacy of conscience." Yet conscience is not a pass to excuse wrongdoing. Would it make any difference if a serial killer claimed he was following his conscience when he murdered his victims? Even if the politicians are following their conscience, Catholic morality makes an important distinction between good conscience and bad conscience, and a conscience that sees nothing wrong with killing the innocent falls decidedly in the second category....

And as regards its "undesirability," this poorly chosen term will likely provoke only indignation. Hangnails are undesirable; under-seasoned salads are undesirable; lines at the cash register are undesirable. Abortion is repugnant and evil.

Let's be honest

Via Abortion Clinic Days, I've come across this editorial on South Dakota's abortion law by Lynn Paltrow and Charon Asetoyer.

In the editorial, Paltrow and Asetoyer assert that South Dakota's ban on abortion could be used to punish women. That is odd because even the authors are aware and mention that South Dakota's ban specifically says, "(n)othing in this Act may be construed to subject the pregnant mother upon whom any abortion is performed or attempted to any criminal conviction and penalty."

They say that women will be imprisoned based on other state laws which they describe as saying the unborn child is a "legal person."
"If the unborn are legal persons, as numerous South Dakota laws assert, then a pregnant woman who has an abortion can be prosecuted as a murderer under already existing homicide laws."

This statement is wholly deceptive. South Dakota's criminal code and the fetal homicide statute in it but it clearly states in Section 151 that, "(t)his section does not apply to acts which cause the death of an unborn child if those acts were committed during any abortion, lawful or unlawful, to which the pregnant woman consented."

So South Dakota's abortion ban says that women can't be punished and South Dakota's fetal homicide law specifically states that the law doesn't apply to abortion yet Paltrow and Asetoyer are asserting that South Dakota women who have abortions could be prosecuted. What's their basis for this claim that clearly goes against clear wording of South Dakota's laws?

A single case in South Carolina (which has differently worded laws than South Dakota) where a woman was convicted for the death of her stillborn child. The prosecutors and the jury believed that the stillbirth was caused by the woman's cocaine use.

This kind of intentionally deceptive garbage is par for course for Lynn Paltrow. She's previously asserted that the federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act "creates the legal foundation for policing pregnancy and punishing women who carry their pregnancies to term" even though the law specifically states that "(n)othing in this section shall be construed to permit the prosecution–...of any woman with respect to her unborn child."

Monday, March 13, 2006

Talk about rare

One thing I find so interesting about the pro-choice movement's furor over South Dakota's law banning abortion is that prolife groups, if they wanted, could use the same rhetoric that opponents of the ban on partial-birth abortion often use.

From the beginning of the debate over partial-birth abortion, prolifers were and are continually told that partial-birth abortions are rare and they account for less than 1% of all abortions. In the shadow of America's 1.3 million abortions a year, 3,000 to 5,000 partial-birth abortions certainly seem like a small issue to some.

The whole purpose of the "partial-birth abortions are rare" line was to minimize the importance of the ban. As if to say, "These abortions are so rare, do we even need to talk about them?"

But what about the rarity of South Dakota's abortions? According to South Dakota's health department there were only 814 abortions performed in South Dakota in 2004. That's 0.00063 % of the abortions performed in the United States in a given year. This means that South Dakota's ban on abortion would only effect six of every ten thousand abortions. Talk about rare.

What would the pro-choice response be if a prolife debater channeled Kate Michelman and said, "For the record, let me note that 99% of abortions in this country aren't performed in the combined states of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota. The abortions at issue here (abortions performed in South Dakota) are essentially a subset of that other one percent of abortions. It is rare."

Life Links 3/13/06

The Raving/Unaborted Atheist on how Planned Parenthood thinks that abortion best fulfills "the central Biblical imperative to love and render justice to one's neighbor."

Scott Klusendorf on Judie Brown's careless remarks.

Colleen Carroll Campbell on the child euthanasia protocol in the Netherlands.

Bruce Wilson on Dianne Feinstein's theory of relativity.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Airing of Grievances

I'm a big fan of the television show 24 but every now and again certain aspects of the show's plot lines are completely nonsensical and I feel forced to air my grievances. The double episode from last Monday probably had one of the most egregious examples of this that I can remember (besides the helicopter not being able to catch up and find Marwan's jeep in Season 4).

The problem has to do with Lynn McGill's key card. In an earlier episode this year (1 p.m. -2 p.m), Lynn McGill (played by Sean Astin aka Samwise Gamgee) was lured outside CTU by his drug addict sister for money. While outside Lynn was beaten up by his sister's boyfriend (also a drug addict) and his wallet was taken. Lynn's key card, which eventually allowed terrorists access to CTU, was in the wallet.

The problem is this: How and why did the terrorists contact/get involved with Lynn's sister's boyfriend to get the key card? One would assume that they knew the boyfriend before he got the key card and hence the reason for the mugging since it makes even less sense that the drug addicted boyfriend would know what the key card was and then be able to contact the exact terrorists who would want it in the span of a couple of hours.

One might argue that the terrorists had been plotting this for a while and were able to figure out who would be at CTU and whose key card they could acquire. But then other problems arise. Lynn worked at District before this year's 24 (he arrives at CTU during the 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. episode) so how would the terrorists have known that he would be working at CTU on the day in question? Furthermore, why would they be planning on getting Lynn's key card to attack CTU months in advance when their original hope was to use the nerve gas against Russia?

Feel free to air some of your grievances with this year's 24 in the comments section.

Life Links 3/10/06

A story of Australian mothers who defiantly told their doctors that they would not abort. HT: Dawn Eden

Another cloning lie. Surprise, surprise.

Jill Stanek on the fetusphobia of some Harvard students.

Friday Baby Blogging

Is it me or does my niece look like she has disco fever?

New reality show idea: Dancing with the Toddlers

Where's the love for abortion providers?

It appears that the pro-choice movement has decided to keep the National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers celebrations on the down-low today. I wonder if George Tiller, Leroy Carhart, William Harrison and rest of America's abortion providers wonder why even their most strident of supporters won't throw a little gratitude their way on their special day.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Two destinations

Women who have abortions are typically faced with two destinations after having an abortion.

One destination is to say that they did nothing wrong when they had an abortion. For various reasons, the abortion was necessary and they had no other choice. There was no child at all, I wouldn't have been able to care for the child or the child is now in a better place. Abortion is necessary for women because throughout time women will always be faced with unplanned pregnancies and abortion must be an option.

Some of these women may even feel that other people having abortions are doing something wrong but that when they had their abortion, their reasons behind the decision make the decision ok.

The other destination is to say they made a mistake, they did something wrong when they had an abortion. Though abortion seemed like the only choice at the time, there were other, better options for me and my child. The child existed and I played a role in taking his or her life and that was wrong. Abortion is not the answer to an unplanned pregnancy.

I'm certain many post-abortive women fluctuate between these two destinations throughout their lives.

Reading the blog of one post-abortive woman made me wonder how often memories of the abortion and the circumstances around it can be skewed by how a woman is currently feeling about abortion. When Zygote (the post-abortive blogger) found she was pregnant (a little over a year ago) she was "consumed" with her decision, seemed to have struggled mightily with it and often used the words "baby" and "child" to describe what was growing inside her.

When recently discussing her abortion in the comments section of her blog with Christina, Zygote says (emphasis mine),
Please keep in mind, my situation is no where near as dire and desperate as other women in a crisis pregnancy. When I was pregnant I realized how lucky I was that an abortion was truly a choice for me and not a light at the end of the tunnel as is for so many other women.
If it is, as you say, a trap then isn't it up to the individual to see it as such? Anecdotally, the 10 women I know in my life who have had an abortion are fine, well adjusted people who don't regret their abortion. They, and I, don't feel like we feel into a trap. We ended up in a situation, did what we felt was best and continued on with our lives.

Zygote's blog allow us to go back and see if that's how she felt around the time of her abortion.

In April of 2005, (shortly after her abortion) she said this:
"Do I regret what I did? No, I felt and feel like there wasn't another viable option."

In July of 2005, Zygote quotes a blogger who miscarried, received a D and C and wrote, "Women with an unwanted pregnancy probably feel just as trapped and scared as I did. I felt utterly violated by this procedure I was about to undergo — and I imagine that women who don't want to be pregnant feel every bit as violated by the presence of a heartbeat inside them" and then says of herself: "Trapped and scared? Oh, hell yes. Violated? Most definitely. Violated by the presence of a heartbeat? Not all. I felt violated by everything, but the heartbeat."

Zygote later adds, "I knew what outcome i wanted, but just.not.this.way. I was pleading with the universe for any other option."

UPDATED:Zygote has responded to comments I left at her blog regarding her comments above.

Life Links 3/9/06

Wesley Smith on doctors dumping the Hippocratic Oath.

Emily is all over this study from the New England Journal of Medicine which finds that the "Texas parental notification law was associated with a decline in abortion rates among minors from 15 to 17 years of age."

"Non-partisan" Guttmacher Institute? No axe to grind here. That's a classic.

Highway to the Danger Zone

In a new article in Slate, William Saletan chronicles his attendance at a gathering of pro-choice groups designed to discuss the future of the pro-choice movement.

He notes how only 2 of 50 people in the room raised their hands when asked if they thought that 1.295 million abortions a year was a number that was too high.
"This is the predicament facing the abortion-rights movement. It's led by three kinds of people: Those who see no problem, those who are afraid to speak up, and those who think it's futile."

Saletan also notes that some conference attendees argued that "abortion is fundamental to how today's women construct their lives."

Some other excerpts:
"So, I listened with dismay as some speakers dismissed the abortion debate as a byproduct of racism and misogyny. Pro-lifers don't really care about morality, said one participant: They just "want white women to have more white babies." She went on to assert that leaders of protest groups such as Operation Rescue do what they do because they have no other way to make a living—possibly the most amazing statement I've ever heard....

But it was clear at Friday's meeting that many pro-choice activists go further. They're absolutists about relativism. They argue that abortion is good because it's what a woman wants, and that the goodness or badness of abortion depends entirely on her choice. They insist all choices must be "respected" and "free from stigma." I don't get it. If everything has to be respected, what's the value of respect?....

Another veteran warned her colleagues that fetal life has become "the elephant on the kitchen table": If you can't acknowledge it, people will tune you out."

I think Saletan realizes the pro-choice movement is heading towards real big trouble if its leaders continue to hold unto their hardline position (no problem with millions of abortions, the unborn aren't alive, post-abortion problems are non-existent or extremely rare, etc.) which doesn't meld with the majority of Americans who know different.

A Roe v. Wade for Men?

An article in the Detroit News this morning discusses the plans of a national men's rights group to file a lawsuit "claiming that fathers have the legal right to opt out of the financial responsibilities of supporting a child they didn't want -- in a claim they dub ‘Roe v. Wade … for Men.'"

The lawsuit is on behalf of a man from Saginaw named Matt Dubay who says his former girlfriend "told him she couldn't get pregnant -- because she was using contraception and had physical conditions that prevented her from getting pregnant.

After three months, they stopped dating -- but soon afterward, she told him she was pregnant."

Though I think fathers, regardless of their desire for a child, should provide financial assistance what's interesting here is that although they call it a "Roe v. Wade for Men" this group is asking for less than Roe v. Wade gave women. The group isn't asking for fathers to have the right to end the lives of their unborn children throughout pregnancy. They're asking for less than that, they're asking for the right to make a decision about paying child support before the child is born.

The Detroit News also has a poll and a comment board regarding this article online. When I checked last the vote was 59% in favor of men being able to "renounce parenting responsibilities before the child is born."

It appears that in the minds of at least some people the logic of the pro-choice movement (that women only have a responsibility to their unborn children if they want it) should also apply to men.

UPDATED: More thoughts from the American Princess

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Research on Plan B

Phillip Peters discusses some of the studies regarding Plan B (aka emergency contraception) in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Peters concludes that the assumption that Plan B impedes a human embryo from attaching him/herself onto his/her mother's uterine wall is "incorrect" based on current research.
The first consists of studies that have observed the changes in human female chemistry and reproductive anatomy when women take levonorgestrel. A thorough review of these studies by researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden concluded that Plan B, taken as an emergency contraceptive, does not cause changes in the uterine lining but delays or blocks ovulation, probably by impeding the surge of a hormone that triggers it.

In other words, it does not interfere with the implantation of a fertilized egg.

— The second area of research measured implantation rates directly, which required experiments on animals, rather than humans. Researchers at the Catholic University of Chile specifically designed two studies, one on rats and a later one on monkeys, to detect whether Plan B disrupted implantation. Neither study found any evidence of any such disruption.

Indeed, when Plan B was administered after fertilization, pregnancy rates were the same for the females given Plan B as for those given a placebo.

Though he concedes the studies aren't conclusive he points out that we should base our opinions regarding Plan B on scientific studies and not mere assumption.

Disagreement between prolife Democrats

Ruben Diaz, a prolife Democrat and state senator from New York, has sent a rather stinging rebuke to Kristen Day, Executive Director of Democrats for Life, based on her press release on a statement of principle signed by 55 Catholic Democrats in Congress (the majority of whom are strongly pro-choice).

Recycling Pro-Choice Arguments

With South Dakota passing a ban on abortion, a number of old pro-choice arguments seem to be coming back in style.

In a post yesterday, PZ Myers goes after a bad prolife argument and in doing so sets the world record for how many times someone has confused parts and wholes in a single blog post.

One would hope that as a biologist PZ recognizes that there is a biological difference between a whole organism and mere parts of an organism (like sperm or egg). PZ, through his various interactions with prolifers, should know that prolifers aren't concerned with the parts of human organisms (like sperm or skin cells) but we're concerned the lives of human organisms.

PZ also parrots Ronald Bailey's old "fire in the fertility clinic" hypothetical (I addressed the hypothetical in the comments section of pro-choice blog awhile ago). What's interesting here is in PZ's mind there is no good answer for the prolifer. If you'd save, or for that matter, even think of saving, the embryos then you're one of the "crazies." If you save the child then your position is illogical and you don't really think human embryos deserve protection.

The "fertility clinic fire" scenario and questions like, "Would you throw women in jail for having abortions" (which has been raised recently by a pro-choice blogger here (I discussed the video referenced here) are backdoor attempts to prove the prolife position is wrong instead of proving the pro-choice position is true. Instead of either proving that the unborn aren't biological human beings with biological facts or providing a good and non-arbitrary reason why some human beings should be allowed to legally and intentionally kill innocent human beings, pro-choicers are forced into creating questions where the only responses prolifers can offer leaves pro-choicers calling prolifers either illogical or crazy.

Does South Dakota's Abortion Ban Advance Prolife Objectives?

The editors of the National Review have an editorial against South Dakota's ban on abortion.
"Pro-lifers have gained ground over the last decade and a half by pursuing a savvy incremental strategy. That strategy puts the end of Roe within sight. If Roe falls, pro-lifers should then try to persuade the public in each state to prohibit most abortions. After that, they should try to persuade them to prohibit abortion in the case of rape and incest. To try to collapse this multi-stage process into an instant is to ignore social and political circumstances, and to throw away patiently and painfully won political victories for the sake of an emotional gesture.

The most effective response to Roe is not to pretend that it does not exist. Some of our pro-life allies who favor enacting these laws now — as opposed to waiting until Roe is gone — wave aside the practical objections by saying that it is never the wrong time to do the right thing. That is true. But making it easier for pro-choicers to win the abortion wars is not the right thing to do."

Darwinian Evolution: The faith that cannot be assessed

In an editorial for the Detroit Free Press, Gilbert Omenn and Alan Leshner fear that a single line in legislation to regulate high school education in Michigan "could damage science education, economic progress and even religious freedom."

The horribly dangerous line:
"use relevant scientific data to assess the validity of those theories and to formulate arguments for and against those theories."

Lions and tigers and bears. Oh my!

Telling students to use science to test theories is that dangerous? Come on. Faith in Darwinian evolution has become so strong that its proponents don't want it assessed, even with relevant scientific data.

Omenn and Leshner also provide one enormous untruth when they claim that evolution "explains today's diverse life forms, as well as the fossil record." Really? I guess Omenn and Leshner don't want to mention the problems that the Cambrian explosion causes for Darwinian evolution.

They then go on to equate using scientific data to assess the validity of theories with covering "one religion in school."

In his counterpoint editorial, state representative Brian Palmer notes, "Some claim, and it is a very small minority, that HB 5606 attempts to undermine evolution. A plain reading of the text shows that all that is required under the science section is that a part of the new science curriculum include, at a minimum, instruction in the scientific method.....Further, the bill does not require that any particular scientific theory be taught or not taught. I do not believe that to be the purview of the Legislature. These are decisions that are best made by educators and school boards. It is also worth noting that a provision in the legislation, one that mirrors existing assessment law, contains very clear language directing the Department of Education to ensure the content standards are 'values-neutral.'"

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

"I did not want Friday to come"

A young woman shares her abortion story.
"Reality PUNCHED me in the face when I was called back for an ultrasound; they give ultrasounds to PREGNANT women who have a BABY in them!!!! I asked the tech to please please please not let me see it, I could not see it. She promised that she wouldn't and she didn't. Ok, I was ok. I went back into the waiting room. I was ok. A bit teary, but ok. I was told that I was 8wks and 5 days pregnant. Hmm. Ok. Numb again. Then I was called back to give blood. The MA had my chart sitting there and what was on top of it but the ultrasound picture.. I saw it and I lost it inside. I saw that there was a life inside of me. That picture was of something that was inside of me! Something was trying to grow into a life......

I just wanted someone in that room to ask me, do you really want to go through with this? I wanted SOO bad for someone to say, "you don't have to do this" No one did and I felt soo trapped and scared and was crying soo hard....

How do you convince monster truck fans to go church?

Use this ad.

South Dakota's Governor signs abortion ban, Planned Parenthood asks for money

Planned Parenthood's front page yesterday and today leads straight to a request for donations.

NARAL's press release calls the legislation's life of the mother exception "inadequate" and their background piece says the language for the life of the mother exception "confusing."

Is the following really "confusing?"
No licensed physician who performs a medical procedure designed or intended to prevent the death of a pregnant mother is guilty of violating section 2 of this Act. However, the physician shall make reasonable medical efforts under the circumstances to preserve both the life of the mother and the life of her unborn child in a manner consistent with conventional medical practice.

Seems pretty straightforward to me. A physician isn't guilty if he's trying to save the mother's life and also makes a reasonable effort to save the life of the child if it's possible.

Monday, March 06, 2006

The New York Times cracks me up

In a recent article, the New York Times claims to have performed on a study on the number of abortions performed on minors in a variety of states before and after they passed parental involvement legislation. The six states were Arizona, Idaho, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. They claim that parental involvement laws "do not appear to have produced the sharp drop in teenage abortion rates that some advocates hoped for."

First, why is the study only limited to the states that passed their parental involvement laws from 1995-2004? Why not include other states which passed parental involvement legislation prior to 1995? The article notes:
"Previous research on the effects of parental notification laws has been slender and has produced contradictory conclusions. All were hampered by inconsistencies in the ways states gather and report data.

The Times analysis was limited by its focus on just six states, but it avoided the possible distortions of including states that gather data in inconsistent ways."

What the New York Times fails to mention is that the Arizona abortion statistics are inconsistent. In 2004 (the year after their parental consent law was passed) the state of Arizona implemented a new way of reporting abortions because their previous way ended in inconsistent statistics. In their 2004 abortion report, the Arizona Department of Health Services says (emphasis mine),

"In calendar year 2004, the Arizona Department of Health Services received 12,301 reports of abortions obtained by Arizona residents, 21.1 percent more than the 10,154 reported in 2003 (Figure 1-D1, Table 1D-1). It is unclear, whether this substantial increase represents a true increase in the number of abortions performed or, perhaps, the implementation of the new abortion reporting form in January 2004 may have contributed to the improved response rate from providers."

So the Times includes date from a state which admits in the report that its statistics might not be accurate and for some reason fails to pass that information on to its readers. Hmmmm..... An honest researcher would exclude Arizona's abortion statistics from their study. Would the results of the study been different if Arizona's possibly skewed statistics weren't included?

The article also includes the comments of abortion providers admitting that children are often coerced into abortion by their parents.
"I see far more parents trying to pressure their daughters to have one," said Jane Bovard, owner of the Red River Women's Clinic in Fargo, N.D., a state where a minor needs consent from both parents. "As a parent myself, I can understand. But I say to parents, 'You force her to have this abortion, and I can tell you that within the next six months she's going to be pregnant again.' "

If you're truly "pro-choice" shouldn't your response have been, "Forcing a girl to have an abortion is wrong. I'm not going to perform an abortion on a girl who is being forced into it." Plus, how does Ms. Bovard know that a teen who is being coerced/forced into an abortion by their parents will be pregnant again? Is it because she's performed abortions on teens who were forced into an abortion and then they've come back 6 months later?

More on the heartless reaction of some pro-choice bloggers to this story from Emily and more about the statistics from Christina.

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Return of Patriarchy

There's an interesting essay at Foreign Policy magazine by Phillip Longman called "The Return of Patriarchy" which discusses patriarchy and changing population trends over time.

Another take on Pollitt v. Saletan

From George Neumayr (emphasis mine):
"Pro-abortion purists like Pollitt have grown tired of this song-and-dance and can see that the cowardice of elected Democrats is on the side of pro-lifers. In the end, given a choice between saving abortion and saving themselves politically in a culture moving away from it, these Democrats will choose the latter.

All of their changes in tone, ostensibly adopted to save legal abortion from demise, are hastening it. Pollitt correctly assesses the psychology of the debate. By conceding that abortion is bad, pro-choicers lose all footing in it and invite the American people to ask and act on the question: if it is so bad, why is it legal?

William Saletan's position (which Pollitt singles out for criticism) of morally opposing abortion while legally supporting it isn't sustainable logically or culturally. Pollitt asked Saletan the inconvenient question that renders his position untenable in a Slate exchange in early February: "You don't explain why, exactly, you, a pro-choicer, find abortion so outrageous, so terribly morally offensive, so wrong."

Democrats can't persuasively call abortion bad merely because it is unpleasant for women (Hillary Clinton has tried to finesse it this way — as a "tragedy" for women without making any reference to the child). Ultimately, they will have to acknowledge the injustice to the child. They are traveling through various stages of concession, a path that will take them from wanting abortion "rare" to calling it "bad" to finally admitting that it is unjust and therefore subject to law."

Yes. Yes. Yes.

A thousand times yes.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Unbiased reporter redux

Not only did Marie Claire reporter Siobhan O'Connor leave a message at the blog of an abortion provider looking "for young women 18-35 who have been deceived by" crisis pregnancy centers, she also sent an e-mail to the National Network of Abortion Funds, which in turn sent the suggestion out to their e-mail list.

Who else is betting NARAL, NOW and NAF all got similar e-mails from Ms. O'Connor. I'm still waiting for National Right to Life to receive an e-mail asking for the stories of women who have been deceived by abortion clinics.

"Abortion is the only choice"

A teenager from Finland named Yttembrie is reconsidering having an abortion. She previously indicated that "Abortion is the only choice."

Boston College symposium

Boston College recently had a symposium entitled "Catholic Politicians in the U.S.: Their Faith and Public Policy." Panelists included James Carville, E. J. Dionne, Ed Gillespie, and Peggy Noonan and was moderated by Tim Russert. A large portion of the discussion focused on abortion. Video and audio files of the 90-minute discussion are available online here.

At about 28 minutes, E.J. Dionne dodges a question from Russert. Russert quotes the then Cardinal Ratzinger writing about how abortion and euthanasia have a greater moral weight than other issues and then asks how Catholic politicians should deal with that statement. E.J. Dionne goes into talking about how we can reduce abortions via contraception, abstinence, better economy and supporting women.

At around 39 minutes, Carville calls himself a "moral relativist" and starts swinging at a bunch of windmills.

I thought Dionne, Gillespie and Noonan did a good job presenting their views overall while Carville left me wondering how he's gotten where he's gotten.


Joe Carter: "As the famed Texas Ranger Captain Bill McDonald once said, ‘No man in the wrong can stand up against a man in the right that keeps on coming.' We may not know when the horror of abortion will end but we know we're in the right. Whether it happens in our lifetime or after all that is expected of us is that we do our duty. It is guaranteed to end as long as we ‘keep on coming.'"

Steve Thomas: "What anyone who follows the public debate over abortion can see without too much trouble is that George adopts popular pro-choice rhetoric and applies it to the case at hand, to unleash a very serious criticism of the pro-choice movement. The first point is this: George assumes the humanity—and in George's view, the intrinsic value—of the victims of Paul Hill. With this in place, he launches into the tired sophistry of pro-abortion slogans: he is personally opposed, his opposition is religious in nature (and therefore private, subjective, worthy to be ignored, etc..), he must be tolerant (rather than imposing) of other views on the subject, he would be open to modest ways of reducing such activity, and so on. The whole point is to expose the fact that such arguments, if they can even be called arguments, massively ignore the humanity of the victim in question (again, in this case, the doctor and his security guard). They crash against it and are smashed to pieces like a frail ship against a reef in a stormy sea. And if they do so here, in the context of Hill's murderous actions, the same applies in the case of the unborn."

Deep pockets don't necessarily lead to good numbers

Planned Parenthood's research arm, the Alan Guttmacher Institute, has a new report out on contraception and how states rate. After reviewing Michigan's record on contraception (based in large part on how much taxpayer money Planned Parenthood gets) I went to look at how the AGI grades Michigan with regards to abortion. What I found were some odd statistics.

First, I thought it odd that the AGI's pregnancy and abortion numbers come from the year 2000 when pregnancies and abortions are recorded by the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) through 2004. Why is the AGI four years behind? Even though this report was funded by the deep pockets of the Packard Foundation, the AGI's sources on pregnancy and abortion all come from outdated sources and the AGI's own reports.

Second, it seems that the AGI took the 15-44 female population (2,159,468) the number of births (136,048) from the MDCH's pregnancy stats and then added their own abortion number of 46,470 (which happens to be about 20,000 more abortions than the number reported by abortionists to the MDCH) and somehow (I couldn't figure out how) created a new estimated number of miscarriages by factoring in the new abortion number.

What's interesting is if the AGI's abortion numbers are correct then Michigan abortionists broke the law about 20,000 times in 2000 by failing to report abortions to the MDCH. If Michigan abortionists are required by law to report each abortion they perform to the MDCH, are they more likely to be accurate reporting to the MDCH or through an informal survey by the AGI?

The AGI's report is also telling in that two of the states with the best contraceptive services (California (ranked #1) and New York (ranked #5)) according to the AGI also have some of the highest abortion rates in the nation. Pro-choicers tell us over and over again that mandating contraception coverage by insurance companies and more tax dollars to family planning organizations like Planned Parenthood will lower the abortion rate. Yet in two states where pro-choice lobbyists can usually get whatever they want, the abortion rates are higher than the rest of the nation.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Something that should give every prolifer the chills

Senator Michelman. It's not going to happen but just thinking about gives me the willys.

"Baby" "Killing"

Emily at AfterAbortion has tipped me off to an article in Newsweek about abortion advocates meeting to discuss their strategies.

What stuck out to me was this sentence:
"Independent abortion clinic directors like Peg Johnston in New York state—who will attend the meeting in D.C.—even use words like "baby" and "killing" because that is what many women who come to her say and feel."

Food for thought: If abortion is "killing" a "baby" then what does that make those who provide abortions?

I wonder, does Peg Johnston actually believe she is "killing" a "baby" when she performs an abortion or is she just trying to help pregnant women deal with their emotions because trying to convince pregnant women that they aren't deciding whether to end the life of human being is no longer possible?

Emily nails it when she says, "The reason that Frances Kissling's view (pro-choicers being more open about the "moral ambiguities" around abortion) is a small minority view within the contingent of professional advocates of abortion rights is that the other advocates believe that if there is moral ambiguity around abortion, it's the kind that suggests that abortion might amount to the destruction of an innocent life. And they don't want to go there, because they don't think this is a safe road to keeping abortion legal."