Thursday, May 31, 2007

Prolife blogger on CNN

Ashli of The S.I.C.L.E. Cell is featured on a CNN segment about her debilitating maternal disease, Hyperemesis Gravidarum. She also discusses her feelings about her abortion.

I don't want to turn my back on the children I want dead

This morning the Today Show featured this story about a divorced couple in Texas fighting a court battle over the fate of their 3 embryonic children. The story goes the husband changed his mind at the last minute, the wife really wanted the children, the couple gets divorced, the ex-husband doesn't want the human embryos implanted while the ex-wife does.
Randy Roman does not dispute that he put a halt to the procedure. He declined to appear on the broadcast with his ex-wife, but acknowledged in court that he changed his mind about going through with the procedure just hours before the clinic was scheduled to implant Augusta's fertilized eggs in her uterus in April 2002.
Ignoring the ignorant "fertilized egg" language, if IVF clinics weren't so focused on having high rates of success (and therefore creating more embryos than couples ever intend to implant), you'd think it'd be smart for them to create contracts where the parents consent to implanting the embryos before the embryos are created.

I smirked while watching the show at this quote from the father's attorney.
"A lot of fathers in our society have children and turn their backs on them," Randy's attorney, Gregory Enos, told TODAY host Meredith Vieira. "My client is an ethical, religious and moral person. And if he's going to create a child, he's going to insist on being a father, but he doesn't want to bring a child into a relationship that is already divorced and so acrimonious."
Well, the problem is he's already helped create some children, hasn't he? That's what this dispute is about - whether he will allow those embryonic children a chance to continue their lives or if he will turn his back on and force them to be destroyed.

Life Links 5/31/07

A California company named StemLifeLine is hoping people who have gone through IVF will want to create their own "personal (embryonic) stem cell lines" from their remaining unborn children. The California Department of Health Services apparently approved this ghastly business of killing your own embryonic children so you can store their cells for yourself. StemLifeLine is marketing it as "insurance for the future" and claims "personalized therapies" with embryonic stem cells "may be just around the corner." They also recommend clients "commit at least ten remaining embryos to this process to ensure high probability for the successful derivation of a personal stem cell line."

I have trouble imagining something more disgustingly selfish.

Wesley Smith and Rita Marker: Dr. Death Rides Again

Michael Gerson: Doing the Right Thing in Darfur

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

One abortion provider's thoughts on Mother Teresa

Beket is the name of a Daily Kos diarist who claims to be an abortion provider. One of his diaries entries even claims he performed an abortion on the president of the prolife organization on campus (I strongly doubt the veracity of that claim). Anyway, I was scrolling through the comments of one of Beket's post and found this gem of a quote from him:
Ludicrous? If you mean that you regard Pope John Paul II as an example of empathy and compassion and not the slavishly authoritarian tyrant he was (as Rebecca pointed out so well in a comment above), well, I agree that is ludicrous.

Don't get me started on Pope JP II. Or the poverty-pimp of Calcutta, Mother Teresa.
Putting aside the attack on Pope John Paul II, how disturbed does an individual have to be to call Mother Teresa a "poverty-pimp?"

Why is that abortion clinic so dirty?

If you're wondering why your local abortion clinic doesn't appear to be clean, maybe it's because they hired a crazy, wanna-be modeling agent, child-rapist to be their janitor like the Summit Center abortion clinic in Connecticut did.
Summit Medical Center has abortion clinics located in 6 locations across the United States and claims to be "one of the nation's leading abortion providers."

Life Links 5/30/07

An article in the Asian Times about China's most recent problems with its one-child policy and the rise of abortion among unmarried Chinese women.

Ramesh Ponnuru discusses why abortion should doom Giuliani's campaign.
How much more could Giuliani have done to make abortion prevalent in New York? Murdock's standard — that he didn't go out of his way to promote abortion in what has rightly been called the country's "abortion capital" — amounts to giving Giuliani credit for not going around performing abortions himself.

A politician and former pastor running for a Virginia State Senate seat recently was quoted as comparing the issue of abortion to a just war.
Cox said a discussion about abortion rights could be linked to that of a "just war," when killing might be justified toward a greater good. Like Hrovat, he said life was sacred. Unlike his opponent, Cox declared the right to an abortion should remain with the individual, not with the government.
I wonder if infanticide could be justified on those grounds as well.

The biotechnology company Neurastem, Inc. has a press release announcing they used human spinal stem cells to successful treat rats who had been paralyzed by spinal ischemia.
According to lead investigator Dr. Martin Marsala, "In this study, we demonstrated that grafting human neural cells directly into the spinal cord leads to a progressive recovery of motor function. This could be an effective treatment for patients suffering from the same kind of ischemia-induced paralysis. We are currently studying hSSCs in paralyzed mini-pigs, who have similar spinal cord anatomy as human spinal cords."

Harvest Technologies Corp. has a press release announcing they've been given approval by the FDA to "commence a 48-patient 'feasibility' clinical trial using the company's BMAC System to treat patients with Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI). The BMAC System is a point-of-care device for concentrating a patient's own (autologous) bone marrow stem cells in approximately 15 minutes. The study's design provides for injecting these cells into the affected limb to reduce the potential for limb amputation. It is believed that the injection of stem cells will arrest and possibly reverse the effects of CLI, a late-stage form of Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)."

When is it a bad time for a guy to try to get a date?

How about right after he robbed the woman's place of employment?

Imagine if the thief had actually gotten the female employee's phone number. How stupid would he have to be to call it?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Arizona State Professor Censors Prolife Student's Video

Read Brooke Burns' story and watch her short film here.
My story was this: Boy and girl have sex and she becomes pregnant, boy wants girl to have an abortion and girl does not want one, boy gets frustrated that girl refuses to have abortion and takes matters into his own hands by slipping the RU-486 abortion pill in girl's drink without her knowledge because this is his "choice" too, girl has miscarriage and finds out that boy caused it, boy is arrested and charged with manslaughter.

Life Links 5/29/07

Umbilical cord stem cells engineered to produce insulin. The article from the Southwest Nebraska News is like one of the few American news outlets reporting this story.

Ed Whelan on why the partial-birth abortion legislation will continue on the state level.

A story of embryo adoption from Oklahoma.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Life Links 5/24/07

Joe Carter: An Open Letter to Fetal Humans
With any luck you'll survive the fetal stage of development and move on to infancy, adolescence, and adulthood. Once you reach this stage of life you'll be able to join other Americans in exercising one of our most cherished and incontrovertible rights: the right to kill a fetus for any reason you choose.

Yesterday, The Detroit News published another article intent on promoting embryonic stem cell research. Key quote:
Opponents of embryonic stem cell research consider research using embryonic stem cells unethical and argue that research on adult stem cells is finding cures, too.
Too? I was unaware embryonic stem cell research was finding cures or even treating humans.
Feldman said that she couldn't conduct embryonic stem cell research in her lab because of state law and limitations placed on labs that receive federal grants -- the source of much of the money for her research.
A more honest article would say, "Feldman can't kill human embryos in her lab because of Michigan law and wants to conduct research on embryonic stem cell lines which aren't approved for federal funding."

Here's a question for somebody from Colorado Right to Life: Do you do anything but attack other prolife organizations?

Michael Gerson on Rudy's abortion muddle.
But Giuliani has chosen an option that is not an option -- a belief that unborn life deserves our sympathy but does not deserve rights or justice. This view is likely to dog him in the primary process, not only because it is pro-choice but because it is incoherent.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

" I know I do not have another option."

That's what a young woman who has an appointment scheduled for Tuesday says about her "choice." This woman also relays she spends time talking to her unborn child.

The choice that isn't a choice.

She also writes (my emphasis), "I read some of the entries before joining and some I got the impression that if you might have these thoughts you might not be ready to have the abortion and you may want to consider having the child. I have considered. I would love to, but there is no way I could afford it and I cannot bring a baby into the world knowing I cannot properly support it."

She would love to have the child but feels she can't afford to and therefore feels she has no other option. Do the pro-choice commenters offer to help her find the financial means and support to continue her pregnancy? Or do they merely tell her she's probably made the best choice (even after she's told them it isn't a choice)?

Take a guess.

So much for pro-choice, huh?

Life Links 5/22/07

The LA Times has a story (here's the story in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel if you don't have LA Times registration) about medical students thinking about becoming abortion providers.
That upbeat message was a marked contrast from the lecture Lederer and her friends heard last fall at the University of Colorado's medical school in downtown Denver. Medical Students for Choice had invited Dr. Warren Hern, a legend in the abortion rights movement, to give them encouragement. He offered none.

None of you will be an abortion provider, he told the students. You don't have it in you.

"Do something else. Fix broken legs," he often advises. "No reasonable person would do this."

Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati has posted some of the court documents of Denise Fairbanks. Fairbanks is the young woman who is suing Planned Parenthood because she claims she told their staff about how she was raped and then Planned Parenthood didn't report anything. The last page is a Planned Parenthood documentation form for suspected sexual or child abuse. The writing is difficult to read but I believe under "Reason for report" it says, "Patient reports pregnancy is a result of sexual assault by a stranger."

Under "Summary of information provided" I believe it says, "After consultation with PPCR (Planned Parenthood Cincinnati Region) attorney, report of a crime to the police was not made; due to the physician-patient privilege, i.e. and prohibited from reporting as no severe bodily injury was reported."

Free prolife books for bloggers. But there is catch.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Life Links 5/21/07

British doctors are requesting authorities investigate an abortion performed on a woman who was 28 weeks pregnant (which is 4 weeks past Britain's legal limit).
A GP raised the alarm after a 22-year-old woman demanded a termination when more than six months' pregnant. He refused and a colleague referred her for counselling to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), a charity which runs a chain of private abortion clinics.

When the woman returned to the surgery about a different matter several weeks later, she was no longer pregnant and told the GP that she "had it sorted privately".

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have used adult stem cells to treat women with stress urinary incontinence.
In the study, Dr. Carr and colleagues took biopsies of skeletal muscle tissue from eight female patients and isolated and expanded the stem cells from the tissue in culture. In an outpatient setting, the patients then received injections of the muscle-derived stem cells into the area surrounding the urethra.

Advice on helping your wife through a miscarriage from Bob Perry. HT: Scott Klusendorf

The Washington Post had a long story on Sunday on fetal reduction abortions. You could get a number of long blog posts on this story. The slippery slope ethics of the doctor, the cognitive dissonance, the rationale used to end life, etc.
And, sure enough, on Greenbaum's screen were three little honeycombed chambers with three fetuses growing in them. The fetuses were moving and waving their limbs; even at this point, approaching 12 weeks of gestation, they were clearly human, at that big-headed-could-be-an-alien-but-definitely-not-a-kitten stage of development. Evans has found this to be the best window of time in which to perform a reduction.

"Who died and left you king?"

Douglas Wilson continues to try to pry an rational atheistic reason for morality from Christopher Hitchens and Hitchens continue to come up firing blanks.
We are talking about (or, more accurately, I am trying to talk about) whether or not atheism provides any rational basis for rational condemnation when others decide to misbehave this way. You keep saying, "I have come to my ethical position." I keep asking, "Yes, quite. But why did you do so?"

You preach like some hot gospeler—with a floppy leather-bound book and all. I know the book is not the Bible and so all I want to know is what book it is, and why it has anything to do with me. Why should anyone listen to your jeremiads against weirdbeards in the Middle East or fundamentalist Baptists from Virginia like Falwell? On your terms, you are just a random collection of protoplasm, noisier than most, but no more authoritative than any—which is to say, not at all.....

There are three insurmountable problems for you here. The first is that innate is not a synonym for authoritative. Why does anyone have to obey any particular prompting from within? And which internal prompting is in charge of sorting out all the other competing promptings? Why? Second, the tangled skein of innate and conflicting moralities found within the billions of humans alive today also has to be sorted out and systematized. Why do you get to do it and then come around and tell us how we must behave? Who died and left you king?

The Real Missing Perspective

Feministing has a guest post by Jennifer Conrow. Conrow works at an abortion provider and in the post she discusses how she relates with women who come to her clinic for abortions. The post seems to be in response to undercover video footage from Lila Rose which showed an employee at a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in California work to avoid report statutory rape. The post is supposed to provide the missing perspective of the abortion clinic.
My facility is one of only two dedicated abortion providers in my state that provides terminations to 24 weeks and 6 days in a pregnancy (yes, that's 6 months; a fact that can sometimes challenge even the most pro-choice among us and is not lost on the small percentage of women who have terminations at that stage in pregnancy). What differentiates us from the other provider is our dedication to a holistic approach to abortion care. In our world abortion is not just about the physical removal of a pregnancy from the body, but it's about the heart and emotional well being of our patients as well.
I wondered which clinic Conrow worked at so I did a google search and it appears at one point in 2006 she worked as the Director of Community Outreach and Education for the Cherry Hill Women's Center . That clinic is in New Jersey. Guess which other "dedicated" abortion clinic in New Jersey provides abortions to 24 weeks?

Metropolitan Medical Associates. The same "dedicated" abortion provider which was shut down by the state health department for more than 2 weeks for (among other things) having no infection control plan, items that should have been sterilized were stored in a manner which would keep them sterile and because investigators found "forceps encrusted in ‘brownish blood-like residues,' rusty crochet hooks used to remove IUDs, and a quarter-inch of dark red ‘dirt and debris' under an exam table."

If being "dedicat(ed) to a holistic approach" is the only thing that differentiates Conrow's clinic from Metropolitan Medical Associates, then I'm guessing Cherry Hill Women's Center doesn't provide the care Conrow describes. Conrow's job title also doesn't seem to be the job title of someone doing abortion clinic counseling (her job could, of course, have changed).

Cherry Hill's "holistic care" also includes "administering digoxin" to unborn children after 20 weeks because "most humane thing we can do in order to ensure that the fetus does not experience pain during the procedure."

Conrow's use of the term "pregnancy" mirrors that of her employer's web site which says, "The procedure will begin with the physician performing a pelvic exam to determine the size and location of the pregnancy in the uterus." You know a woman's getting good informed consent when the abortion clinic uses the word "pregnancy" to describe the size and location of an unborn child.

Conrow rails against parental consent legislation because some parents want their children to have abortions which makes little sense because parental consent for abortion only involves minors who want abortion (so the parental consent law can't lead to parents forcing their children to have abortions) and because New Jersey doesn't have an enforceable parental consent law (a state court ruled their parental consent law was unconstitutional).

Conrow praises her clinic but doesn't mention one of Cherry Hill Women's Center's abortionists, Dr. Charles Benjamin, was sued for failing to inform a patient of the emotional and physical risks of abortion by a Pennsylvania teen whom he performed a second-trimester abortion on. Benjamin settled the lawsuit out of court.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Life Links 5/18/07

Police in Pennsylvania found a dead child in woman's freezer. They aren't sure yet if the child was miscarried, aborted or killed shortly after birth.

Here's an article about doctors in India using adult stem cells to treat Parkinson's Disease.

A woman from West Michigan has traveled to Russia to receive injections of her own stem cells in an attempt to treat her spinal cord injury.
The stem cells are drawn from Rummelt's own blood and separated in a special machine. Then they are injected into her spinal fluid. Three trips and six injections later Rummelt can use her hip-flexers to crawl. A considerable feat, after not being able to move the lower half of her body for years.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Life Links 5/17/07

The British cabinet has come out in favor of allowing Britist scientists to attempt create and kill hybrid human-animal embryos through cloning. But only for "serious human illnesses." So I guess there's something wrong with trying to create hybrid human-animal embryos using animal eggs if the diseases aren't "serious."

At Right Reason, William Vallicella wonders what Rudy Giuliani means when he says he's personally opposed to abortion.

Via First Things, one Lutheran Pastor unwilling to support a human embryonic stem cell research bill in Delaware.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Planned Parenthood doesn't want their less than lawful counseling on YouTube

Well, at least Planned Parenthood cares about one kind of law. Too bad it's not the law that protect girls who have been raped. Michelle Malkin has more on the double standard for undercover reporting based on who the target is.

What I find infinitely amusing is that Planned Parenthood "applaud(ed)" Henry Waxman's report in which Waxman staffers called pregnancy centers and posed as 17-year-old girls who were considering abortion in an attempt to expose them as providing false information. For more information on Waxman's report, here's a National Right to Life article on how his report didn't take the time to thoroughly examine if some the claims about the dangers of abortion to women were true or not.

It seems that going undercover and deceiving people about who you are in order to get information is ok by Planned Parenthood standards if the target is a pregnancy center but not if the target is Planned Parenthoood.

If Lila Rose had taken her camera into a pregnancy center in California and posted a the recording on YouTube, she would be hero in Planned Parenthood's eyes. Instead, she exposed a Planned Parenthood employee turning a blind eye towards statutory rape and in response Planned Parenthood threatens a lawsuit.

Out of step with reality

Kirsten Moore who was quoted a couple of days ago saying employees at her pro-choice organization couldn't even bring themselves to being in favor of regulating sex selection abortions now has a post at the RH Reality (Un)Check(ed) blog where she discusses the interview and her reasoning. It includes this quote
Every person's circumstances are different and our society is built on the premise that people should be able to practice their own morality or faith.
How can someone believe American society with all of its laws and rules was built on the premise that people should practice their own morality?

Moore certainly isn't comfortable with people who think it is moral to kill abortionists practicing their own morality, is she?
Our refusal to set limits is part of what makes people believe abortion rights advocates are out of step with the public.
Ding-ding-ding-ding-ding!! We have a winner.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Flip Murray dunking over Kirk Hinrich

For Pistons fans.

Life Links 5/15/07

Surprise, surprise. People's feelings towards Roe v. Wade change if they actually have a clue of what Roe did. HT: Scott Klusendorf

A story on fetal surgery at 5 months was featured on Dateline last Sunday night. HT: Jill Stanek

The Hill has an article on how some House Democrats aren't pleased with the Pope's stance on pro-choice Catholic Politicians. Classic line:
Some Catholic organizations have criticized the Pope's statement.
Guess what followed this statement? You guessed it. A statement from the executive director of "Catholics" for a Free Choice. I wonder if "some Catholic organizations" actually means one organization which calls itself Catholic while working to undermine the church's teachings.

The Hartford Courant has a story on a 22-year-old man who has been arrested for having sex with a 14-year-old girl. He impregnated the girl three times in 6 months and she had three abortions. The police weren't contacted by the abortion clinic but by the girl's mother. Wouldn't it be nice if someone in Connecticut decided to investigate where this girl had her abortions and why the abortion provider didn't contact the authorities?

Human Cloning at UC-Irvine

Scientists at the University of California Irvine will begin attempts at human cloning for research or as they refer to it: Develop Patient-Specific Stem Cell Lines. Check out this deceptive definition -
Keirstead will use a technique called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) in which a patient's DNA is transplanted into a donated unfertilized egg cell in order to generate stem cell lines with the same genetic makeup of the patient.
Does SCNT (aka cloning) generate stem cell lines or does it attempt to create a cloned human embryo from which stem cells can be removed?

Reporter Gary Robbins from the OCRegister reports on this story and while he uses the word cloning (with the obligatory and inaccurate "therapeutic" attached) and describes the technique, he includes this factually inaccurate line.
The research has stirred controversy because it involves harvesting stem cells from a surplus embryo, and because some people fear that it would lead to the cloning of humans.
Could lead to the cloning of humans? It is the cloning of humans! How can embryos be considered "surplus" embryos if the embryos are created solely for the purpose of removing their stem cells? Kerstead also has an odd defense of why creating human embryos by cloning specifically for research is ethical.
Keirstead, whose father served as a Lutheran minister, says he considers his work to be ethical and moral because it involves using surplus eggs that were destined to be destroyed, and that the field eventually could produce cures or treatments for a variety of diseases and injuries.
So then your research would be unethical if the eggs were removed specifically for cloning experiments?

Proponents of embryonic stem cell research have gone from arguing it's okay to kill human embryos leftover from IVF because they are "surplus" embryos which are supposedly "going to be destroyed anyway" to now asserting it's okay to create human embryos through cloning for the express purpose of killing them for their cells because the surplus eggs would be otherwise destroyed.

Monday, May 14, 2007

"Life begins when I make the choice."

That's what one pro-choice mother, who details her struggles with her obstetrician in (language warning) this post, thinks. Most of the post discusses how frustrated she became with her doctors wanting her to take tests to determine if her child had a genetic disorder but this part stuck out to me.
I am woman : Life begins when I make the choice.

I had already chosen this baby as mine. I had already called myself a mother. Not to be, but made. My son's face was all that I awaited. Not motherhood, not 'life' because that already had arrived with my choice.
What an odd and arrogant way of thinking. Life begins when I decide it does. Sure it does. Do you also happen control how fast the Earth rotates on its axis?

I've seen various pro-choicers make this kind of assertion and I'm always struck by it. To them, whether a unborn human being is valuable or not isn't their subjective decision but whether the unborn child is objectively alive or not is solely up to their subjective feelings. So in one of their pregnancies this supernatural adorning of life for the developing, growing child could take place in the first couple of weeks while in another pregnancy it could take a few months for this life-bestowing declaration to take place.

Those dirty prolifers! They used arguments!

Ross Douhat on Christine Stansell's confused review of Gonzales v. Carhart and the history of abortion before Roe. One thing Ross doesn't touch on was this statement by Stansell.
In addition, although anti-choice forces succeeded in making it hard for women and girls to get abortions (there are reputed to be places in the West where a woman has to drive 600 miles for an abortion)
Because prolifers are the ones who are preventing all those abortionists from setting up shop in such lucrative locations like Cody, Wyoming and Alliance, Nebraska.

Asking Rudy "Why?"

FoxNews has posted the transcript of Chris Wallace's interview with Rudy Giuliani on Fox New Sunday. Wallace, as Melinda Penner points out, does something many interviewers won't do - ask Giuliani why he is so personally opposed to abortion. I probably would have liked one more why question as a follow up. For example, why are childbirth and adoption better options than abortion?, but I'm glad Wallace went further than most interviewer who typically accept the question dodge Rudy tried originally.
WALLACE: You say that while you support a woman's right to choose, that you personally hate abortion and you wish people didn't have them.

GIULIANI: That's a position that many...

WALLACE: My question is: Why?

GIULIANI: Many millions of Americans have that same position that I have.

Personally, if you asked my advice, if a woman asked my advice about abortion, the advice that I would give is: Shouldn't have the abortion, better to have the child, I'll help you, I'll support you in that choice.

WALLACE: But my question is: Why?



GIULIANI: Because I think having the child is a much better decision. I think it's a much better moral decision. I think it's much better for society.

I think adoption is a better option than abortion. I supported that position by helping adoptions increase in New York when I was the mayor by 66 percent.

Another interesting part of the interview comes when Wallace asks Giuliani about embryonic stem cell research and asks Giuliani if he thinks embryos are a life. Giuliani response doesn't really make any sense.
I don't look at it that way. I don't think it's for me to decide. I can't decide when life begins. All that I can decide is, you know, what are the constitutional issues? What are the legal issues? How do you deal with these things?
I mean, how do deal with these things (legal, constitutional issues) if you don't know whether the human embryo is a living human being or not? Isn't the question of whether the human embryo is a living human being the foremost question here? If the embryo isn't then why are there legal or constitutional questions?

Rudy's answers on why his positions on limiting abortion also don't make sense to me. Parental consent laws had judicial bypasses built in long before 1997. The 1992 Supreme Court decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey was a decision which in part ruled Pennsylvania's updated parental consent law, which had a judicial bypass, was constitutional. So that's not a real reason for him to have changed his position on these laws since 1997.

Rudy also claims he changed his mind about the partial-birth abortion ban because of the congressional findings in the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 which found the procedure was not needed to save a mother's health. But these same arguments were around when Congress was debating partial-birth abortion in 1997.

Life Links 5/14/07

How do some pro-choicers react when prolife college students show a Planned Parenthood employee trying to avoid contacting authorities about statutory rape? Salon's Tracy Clark-Flory assumes it must just be one bad egg and labels it an "attack" on Planned Parenthood. I wonder if Clark-Flory feels the same way about investigations into pregnancy centers by NARAL where volunteers pretended they might be pregnant?

Another Salon writer, Peter Birkenhead, tells the story about how he and his now ex-wife (I'm assuming they were married) decided to abort their unborn child because he or she tested positive for Down Syndrome.
They are the people we need to help, and we can help them best by creating a culture that actually values life, not one that sacrifices the quality of the lives of thousands of (mostly poor) young women in the name of "morality."

Is a woman who decides to abort a fetus that would be born into poverty, or addicted to crack, practicing "eugenics"? I don't happen to think so -- I would also exempt screening for genetic diseases and syndromes that significantly impair a person's quality of life from that term, which I think should be reserved for the clearly malign use of genetic testing to screen out undesirable attributes, like gender or hair color or sexual identity -- but my opinion is irrelevant. The only opinion that counts is the opinion of the women making the decision.
So we create a culture that "actually values life" by letting woman kill their unborn children?

I also wonder if Birkenhead knows what the term eugenics means (it means "good birth") because intentionally killing or preventing certain human beings from being born based on whether their "quality of life" will be impaired is basically the definition of negative eugenics. I also love how Birkenhead will excuse abortions based on gender or hair color as long as the mother is making the decision. Eugenics (even by Birkenhead's definition) appears to be okay as long as the woman is deciding which attributes could affect her child's "quality of life."

Birkenhead ends by showing us that he believes in fairy tales about embryonic stem cell research.

Here's an article on how pro-choice organizations deal with prenatal testing and where a consistent pro-choice position leads.
But Kirsten Moore, president of the pro-choice Reproductive Health Technologies Project, said that when members of her staff recently discussed whether to recommend that any prenatal tests be banned, they found it impossible to draw a line — even at sex selection, which almost all found morally repugnant. "We all had our own zones of discomfort but still couldn't quite bring ourselves to say, ‘Here's the line, firm and clear' because that is the core of the pro-choice philosophy," she said. "You can never make that decision for someone else."
If abortion is a woman's choice, then you can't regulate abortion regardless of how despicable the reason for it is.

The AOL Sports blog notes that ESPN's Outside the Lines found some colleges "have written policies saying any student-athlete who becomes pregnant will lose her athletic scholarship, and that many athletes have abortions because they don't want to lose their scholarships" and links to an AP story which shares the experiences of pregnant athletes who were forced to choose between keeping their baby and keeping their scholarship.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday Cat Blogging

It's that time of year again when our cats look out the screen door and cry with the hope of being set free.

Life Links 5/11/07

Dean Barnett posts the thoughts of a neonatalogist whose daughter has Down Syndrome.
The obsession with "perfection" in pregnancies is, in my view, a result of many factors. To be fair to obstetrical providers, some of it has to do with legal considerations. More important, however, is that we have lost the ability to see the value in imperfection. Only perfection matters. Most of us deny our own imperfections (we are human) and cannot appreciate that a child, no matter how "different", is a gift. In an age in which many children are raised by day cares, nannies or public schools, children have become a possession, albeit an important one, but a possession nonetheless. Why shouldn't "it" be perfect?

Francis Kissling has a long post at the RH Reality Check blog republished from Salon deriding Kennedy's decision in Gonzales v. Carhart and explaining why she didn't take any media calls on this procedure for 10 years.
We all get it: Abortion is not an unmitigated good; it is better to not need one; if needed, it is better to have one early; and it is a very serious situation when one needs one when the fetus is more developed.
The question of why abortion isn't an unmitigated good isn't answered.

Biotechnology company Geron claims they will be starting trials on human patients with spinal cord injuries using cells created from embryonic stem cells in 2008. It appears they already believe this trial won't be a huge success and agree their trial won't include individuals with long-term spinal injuries. I found this quote amusing -
Hans Kierstead, head of the embryonic stem cell team at UC Irvine, was worried about the high level of public expectation. "I find it unfair that people demand so much from such a young field," he said.
Hmmm... I wonder why people (who were told miraculous cures were right around the corner) would demand so much.

National Review has posted the text of Mitt Romney's speech to the Massachusetts Citizens for Life dinner last night.
When I first ran for office, I considered whether this should be a personal decision or whether it should be a societal and government decision. I concluded that I would support the law as it was in place — effectively, a pro-choice position.

And I was wrong.

The Roe v. Wade mentality has so cheapened the value of human life that rational people saw human life as mere research material to be used, then destroyed. The slippery slope could soon lead to racks and racks of living human embryos, Brave New World-like, awaiting termination.

What some see as a mere clump of cells is actually a human life. Human life has identity. Human life has the capacity to love and be loved. Human life has a profound dignity, undiminished by age or infirmity.

A woman in England has been convicted for aborting her unborn child in the 7th month of pregnancy.

This article in International Herald Tribune discusses how the demographics of who gets abortions in China is shifting from married women to single women.
A recent survey of 8,846 single and married women at 10 hospitals in Beijing found that 36 percent had had more than one abortion within six months.....

"All the time, my colleagues say they are seeing young girls who have had five or six abortions," said one doctor who has performed abortions at a public hospital in eastern China for nearly two decades. "Many people consider abortion as a contraception method, especially the young girls. They just leave, and after a few months, they are back again. Sometimes when I'm around the city in shopping malls, I recognize the girls."

How does atheism lead to objective morality?

That the question Douglas Wilson is hoping Christopher Hitchens will actually try to answer in their discussion posted at Christianity Today's web site.
So I am not saying you have to believe in the supernatural in order to live as a responsible citizen. I am saying you have to believe in the supernatural in order to be able to give a rational and coherent account of why you believe yourself obligated to live this way. In order to prove me wrong here, you must do more than employ words like "casuistry" or "evasions"—you simply need to provide that rational account. Given atheism, objective morality follows … how?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Planned Parenthood is getting sued again

This time a Planned Parenthood in Ohio is being sued by a teenager who alleges she was impregnated by her father, told a Planned Parenthood employee when she was there for an abortion and Planned Parenthood never reported the sexual abuse.
In a civil suit filed today in Warren County Common Pleas Court, the teen, formerly of Mason, says she disclosed the sexual abuse to a Planned Parenthood employee when she and her father went to the agency's Mount Auburn clinic to abort her pregnancy in November 2004.

But no police report was filed – and as a result, the abuse continued for another year and a half, the suit says.
Planned Parenthood - proudly serving as America's #1 protector of child rapists.

Life Links 5/9/07

The New York Times has a story on how parents of children with Down Syndrome are organizing events for ob/gyns to meet their children in an effort to put "positive perspectives into a decision often dominated by daunting medical statistics and doctors who feel obligated to describe the difficulties of life with a disabled child."
Dr. Brian Skotko, a medical resident who has studied how mothers were told of prenatal diagnoses, found a high level of dissatisfaction. He said that most doctors have little or no training on how to relay a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.

Pope Benedict has something to say to Catholic politicians who support abortion.

Quack psychiatrist William Rader is claiming he can cure AIDS with fetal stem cells. You just have to fly to the Dominican Republic and pay $25,000 to be injected with what are supposedly fetal stem cells (you have no way of knowing) which Rader claims "know exactly where to go and what to do, all on their own." And if you're looking for any peer-reviewed evidence, you're barking up the wrong tree.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Rudy on Laura Ingraham's show

National Review has posted the audio of Rudy Giuliani on Laura Ingraham's radio show. Most of the interview focuses on abortion. Notice how Rudy completely dodges Laura's first question regarding what is wrong with abortion.

"My Good (Child-Killing)"

Ericka Lutz, an author of various book including The Complete Idiot's Guide to Stepparenting, discusses her experience with abortion.
I am a mother by choice. I have done the reproduction Trifecta -- miscarriage, childbirth, abortion -- in that order, and I had my abortion because I didn't want another child. And I have never felt a moment of regret or guilt. Regret implies self-blame, and I didn't do anything wrong.

My abortion was a good thing....

Because of my abortion, I was able to heal the tattered pieces of my marriage without suffering a conflicted pregnancy at the same time. Because of my abortion, I've had the time, money, ability to follow my dreams and ambitions, to become the person I aspire to be. Because of my abortion, my husband, who has raised children since he was nineteen years old, will someday have an adulthood without kids in the house.

Reading this I'm reminded of the lyrics of Flipsyde's song Happy Birthday.
Choosing our life over your life meant your death...

I've got a million excuses, as to why you died
And other people got their own reasons for homicide

Life Links 5/8/07

If Rudy Guiliani "hates abortion" then why did he on a number of occasions donate money to Planned Parenthood, America's #1 abortion provider?

Wesley Smith discusses how a couple in Britain will be allowed to screen embryos for the cosmetic defect of squinting.

"Children are the new puppies." Indeed.

More pro-choice tolerance - this time spraying prolife protestors with a black liquid.

Monday, May 07, 2007

"Figure out a birthday that works."

That's what a Planned Parenthood employee told a young woman posing as a teenager looking for an abortion in this YouTube video so Planned Parenthood wouldn't have to report statutory rape. Here's another YouTube video by the same people where an abortion clinic counselor tells the couple that if she could have done it all over again she would have aborted her child.

HT: Jill Stanek

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Life Links 5/3/07

Ryan Anderson on Amnesty International's new position on abortion and their attempts to hide it.

Amy (Hall, I believe) left this comment at Stand to Reason's blog to a pro-choice individual who favors keeping partial-birth abortion legal. I found this part especially poignant.
So here's what I would ask you to consider: Rather than say that this kind of procedure is okay because the other kinds are okay, maybe your thinking ought to slide the other way—that is, maybe if the visual of the partial birth abortion procedure bothers you, it's because it says something true about all abortions. And maybe this isn't a distraction but the most important question of all.

Here's the Planned Parenthood Services page which notes they performed 264,943 abortions in 2005. This is up from the 255,015 abortions they performed in 2004 and up quite dramatically from the 165,174 abortions they performed in 1997. They've increased the number of abortions they perform annually by nearly 100,000 in 8 years.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Life Links 5/2/07

Catholic Online has posted the text of a speech delivered by Robert George about abortion, personhood, politics and religion.

An Australian company has been granted approval by the FDA to begin Phase II clinical trials with "off-the-shelf" adult stem cells to treat patients who've had heart attacks.

During a question and answer period at a town hall meeting, a 14-year-old girl asked Hillary Clinton why abortion wasn't considered murder.

I missed this letter to Tony Campolo from Jordan Hylden in First Things. From back in February.
You say that most evangelicals believe "something miraculous" happens to make unborn babies human from the moment of conception, but you argue that "there is no way to prove that they are right." Additionally, you write that some evangelicals think making abortions illegal "will do little to solve the problem," because then "abortions will be performed in back alleys by butchers, or with coat hangers by pregnant women themselves." And what's more, other evangelicals argue that "what makes [us] human is interaction with one or more other humans," which means that without this social interaction, unborn babies aren't really human beings yet. For your part, you say you are "firmly pro-life," but if that is true, I have a hard time understanding why you spend most of a chapter parroting Planned Parenthood's arguments in favor of legalized abortion, and why you choose to dismiss the mainstream pro-life Christian position as "faith" in "something miraculous."
HT: Justin Taylor

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Lions and Tigers and Ultrasounds, Oh my!

Well, it appears Slate's William Saletan has angered quite a few pro-choice bloggers for suggesting, of all things, he'd vote in favor of ultrasound legislation as long as the government paid for it.

It seems they think Saletan's reason for not being opposed to laws which give women who are considering having an abortion the option of viewing their ultrasound is because he thinks (either consciously or not) women are stupid. How being in favor of giving women the option of viewing their ultrasound means Saletan thinks women considering abortion are stupid isn't really explained past the assertion that women considering abortion know what they're doing so the government shouldn't have any say in what information they're given by an abortion provider.

In probably my favorite attack on Saletan (the 3rd link above- language warning), Amanda Marcotte says,
"As a general rule, when you request that a doctor relieve you of an unwanted intrusion, you have a fairly good idea of what that intrusion is. Is there a danger of people getting cavities drilled who don't know what a cavity is and what it does to your teeth? I think that most of us are even more familiar with the process of pregnancy, what it does, and what the results are than we are of cavities, yet no one is suggesting that we need to have dentists show pictures of the cavity to us and ask us if we really understand what's happening when it gets drilled.

But men get cavities, so that sort of thing would be insulting to their intelligence and sense of self-determination."

Except that dentists do get informed consent before operating on patients (including, amazingly, male patients). I remember reading and signing a number of forms and watching a short film before having my wisdom teeth removed and I was the one who requested they (along with another tooth) be removed. Was I insulted? Of course not. Like most rational human beings, I'm not opposed to being more informed about the surgery which I'm about to have.

For other examples, here is a 7-page informed consent form for fixed prosthodontic treatment (like having a crown or a bridge put in). The California Dental Association has this to say about informed consent:
Fully informed consent is essential to the ethical practice of dentistry and reflects the patients right of self-decision. Except as exempted by state law, a dentist has the obligation to obtain the fully informed consent of the patient or the patients legal guardian prior to treatment
More and more it seems to me the defense of a woman's right to have an abortion by pro-choice bloggers seem less and less about giving more options to women and more about making sure abortionists can do whatever they'd like.

Life Links 5/1/07

Ann Friedman of the American Prospect and Feministing thinks that the blogger Disgusted Beyond Belief's wife had a D and X abortion (aka partial-birth abortion). I blogged about his story here. Nowhere in DDB's post does he claim his wife had a D and X. His wife was 9 weeks pregnant and I've never seen any abortionist claim a partial-birth abortion can be performed that early. I can't imagine it's physically possible to partially deliver an unborn child at 9 weeks. According to an unborn child at 9 weeks is approximately 0.9 inches long. That would make it kind of tough to grab a leg with forceps, pull out the child's body (with the exception of the head), stab the child in the back of the head and suction the brain's out, wouldn't it?

Score another one for pro-choice ignorance.

The Michigan-based company Aastrom has announced it will be starting Phase Iib trials to treat peripheral arterial disease with adult stem cells.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered how adult stem cells repair cells which control our sense of smell.