Friday, May 30, 2008

Life Links 5/30/08

Colleen Carroll Campbell on pro-choice opposition to sex-selection abortion bans:
The study does not mean that most Asian-Americans practice sex selection, of course. What the numbers do suggest is that this ultimate form of misogyny can happen in any culture that fails to defend the intrinsic dignity of every human life.

Sadly, most American feminist leaders have remained silent in the face of this modern atrocity. Their refusal to brook any limits on abortion rights has led to one of the bitterest ironies of our post-feminist age: that the abortion license touted as the key to liberating future generations of women would become the preferred means of eradicating them.

A school district in Minnesota is being sued after teachers continually tried to stop a student from wearing his prolife t-shirts.

Russell Moore on transracial adoption and the Gospel:
Right now, there are untold numbers of children, many of them racial minorities, languishing in the foster care system in the United States. Would the social workers really have us believe that it is better for an African-American child to grow up bounced from home to home in this bureaucratic limbo than to be a child to parents whose skin is paler than his? Do they really believe that a white Russian child would do better to live in an orphanage until she is dismissed at eighteen to a life of suicide or homelessness than to grow up with loving African-American parents?

This approach loves the abstract notion of humanity more than actual humans. It neatly categorizes persons according to their racial lineages rather than according to their need for love, for acceptance, for families. Our love for neighbor means we ought to prioritize the need for families for the fatherless-regardless of how they're skin colors or languages line up with one another.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

“A little bitter, eh?”

That’s what I thought after reading this RH Reality Check post by Alexa Stanard on the passage of the partial-birth abortion ban in the Michigan House. What I truly love is the contradictory arguments against the ban. On one hand, the legislation is horribly cruel because it doesn’t have a health of the mother exception and supposedly is worded so loosely it could apply to different second trimester abortion procedures. On the other hand, the legislation is worthless because it mirrors the federal legislation.

Notice how Stanard never says what the final vote tally was. She notes that “Thirty-two legislators were brave enough to stand their ground and not cave into manipulative political maneuvering” but fails to note how 74 legislators including around 20 Democrats in the Michigan House voted in favor of the ban.

Stanard also laments the time the legislators spent on the bill as if her pro-choice standard bearers weren’t the sole cause of this waste of time. Legislation which passes with 74 votes (out of 110 seats) isn’t legislation which takes a long time to pass unless those opposed to it try to stop it from getting a vote.

Life Links 5/29/08

Planned Parenthood faces a $50 million lawsuit from a woman who claims her daughter was injured at their Metropolitan, Washington D.C. location. Alleged injuries include severe abdominal bleeding, severe vaginal injury, severe injury to the cervix, significant uterine perforation, a small bowel tear, pieces of the unborn child were found in the girl’s abdomen and she is now infertile. Students for Life of America has PDFs of the lawsuit and Planned Parenthood’s response.

Some individuals in the student government of York University in Canada want to ban prolife student groups from their university. Another strike for pro-choice intolerance. I like this quote:
Gilary Massa, vice-president external of the York Federation of Students, said student clubs will be free to discuss abortion in student space, as long as they do it "within a pro-choice realm," and that all clubs will be investigated to ensure compliance.
You have the freedom of speech as long as you discuss abortion “within a pro-choice realm.” Classic. More silly quotes from Massa here.

Paul T. Stallsworth on the United Methodist Church and abortion.

Does being seen with our nation’s most infamous late-term abortionist help Kathleen Sebelius’ chances of getting the nod for Vice-President? Probably not.

James Thomson says he doesn’t believe the value of embryonic stem cells is in transplantation.
I really believe personally that the value of these cells is not in transplantation. It's hard to predict the future, but my guess is 20 years from now if you look backwards, 90% of the value of these cells will be in things that don't make the front pages. It will be things like drug screening, which is kind of boring, but it does get drugs to market that are safer and faster.
So much for Cures! Cures! Cures!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Life Links 5/28/08

Conor Friedersdorf speculates that the abortion debate will change dramatically in future years if artificial wombs ever become a reality.
It is conceivable that adoptive parents would step in to raise children who would've been aborted prior to artificial womb technology, though it is unlikely that enough adoptive parents could be found to raise all the children now aborted. It is possible that society's views about killing fetuses would change in the pro-life direction once that change didn't entail forcing women to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, and that the government would be in the business of funding large scale orphanages.

The Michigan House has voted to pass a state-level partial-birth abortion ban. It appears Governor Granholm will veto it. It has a veto proof majority in the House but it's short of a veto proof majority in the Michigan Senate by a couple of votes if I remember correctly.

Robert Novak has a column on possible Obama running mate Kathleen Sebelius' position on abortion.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Life Links 5/27/08

Rebecca Walker, the daughter of author Alice Walker, discusses her childhood, her disagreement with her mother's beliefs and her abortion early in life.
Although I was on the Pill - something I had arranged at 13, visiting the doctor with my best friend - I fell pregnant at 14. I organised an abortion myself. Now I shudder at the memory. I was only a little girl. I don't remember my mother being shocked or upset. She tried to be supportive, accompanying me with her boyfriend.

Although I believe that an abortion was the right decision for me then, the aftermath haunted me for decades. It ate away at my self-confidence and, until I had Tenzin (her son), I was terrified that I'd never be able to have a baby because of what I had done to the child I had destroyed. For feminists to say that abortion carries no consequences is simply wrong.

According to the New York Post, a new book will share how Courtney Love was encourage by a doctor to have an abortion because of her heroin addiction.
During a meeting with a doctor at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's chemical dependency program, the doctor "tried to give clinical advice, suggesting to Courtney that it was not a great idea to have a baby while dealing with addiction," writes Goldberg. That didn't sit well with Love, who exploded.

" 'You're not telling me to have a [bleep]-ing abortion, are you?' asked Courtney, her voice rising with her trademark hostile whine. 'I mean I'm pro-choice, but that doesn't mean that anyone has the right to tell me to have a [bleep]ing abortion.'

Dr. Geeta Shroff keeps getting people to pay big bucks to get injected with what she calls "embryonic stem cells" and then come home claiming the treatment improved their lives.
Perry Cross, who was left a quadriplegic by the accident at the age of 19, has been injected with embryonic stem cells, a procedure which is banned by most Western countries.

He was treated by maverick Indian doctor Dr Geeta Shroff, who has refused to publish papers outlining her research and methods....

Dr Shroff researched and developed her methods without grants or financial help and developed it almost single-handedly over two years, beginning the work in a small laboratory she set up in her garage.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Klusendorf v. Strossen revisited

Last night, Life Training Institute President Scott Klusendorf debated ACLU President Nadine Strossen at California Polytechnic State University (also known as Cal Poly). The only reason I know is because a student who attended the debate must have been searching for some other responses to the debate or previous debates and came across my post regarding the Klusendorf-Strossen debate at Grand Valley State and decided to leave a comment:
I saw Scott and Nadine last night at my school. I found your entry interesting.

Why should this human right be exercised rarely? Because it's an invasive, costly, and avoidable procedure done on the human body. Which is why contraceptives should be promoted and used--I wonder what Scott would think of contraceptives.

I agree that Scott was very persuasive. But in one situation, a student asked if abortion was excusable in situations of rape or incest. As he said he could sympathize for the woman, he said a woman should not have to "commit homicide" to "make herself feel better." Way to demean a woman's feelings and emotional state! So it's people like him who think that a woman's right to reclaim power over her body is belittled to nothing more than an inexcusable action done to "make herself feel better."

I also found it interesting that Scott said that if the life of the mother and fetus were at stake, he would rather save the mother than lose two. Than lose two. In no way did he explain that he would rather save the mother's life if only the mother or fetus would survive.

This, I ask you, what is a human being? Is what genetically defines is makes us a human being? Or is it our intellect, our thought, our consciousness, our actions that makes us human beings? Would you still consider a brain-dead person a human being or a mass murderer a human being? Who defines these terms but ourselves.

As the definition of 'human being' is a personal one, so should the intimate decision women make when they consider abortion. In other words, you may practice your pro-life beliefs if you let me practice mine.

My guess is Selina (the commenter) is a very intelligent young woman yet I wonder if she has actually thought through the last part of her comment. If "human being" should really be defined on a personal level then how could you speak out against any number of killings in which the perpetrator's personal definition of human being didn't happen to include his victims?

The new defense attorney strategy du jour would be: "My client didn't think his victims were human beings."

And knowing how Scott typically begins a presentation, I'm fairly certain he provided a good deal of evidence to show the unborn are human beings. Instead of trying to prove him wrong, Selina feels she can simply wipe away his evidence by claiming that what makes something a human being is personal or completely non-objective.

UPDATE:Here's the school newspaper's write-up of the event.

Life Links 5/22/08

Michigan’s 2007 abortion statistics have been released and abortions decreased 3.7% in one year. Here’s Right to Life of Michigan’s press release.

Steve Wagner (author of Common Ground without Compromise: 25 Questions to Create Dialogue on Abortion) and Michaelene Fredenburg (author of Changed: Making Sense of Your Own or a Loved Ones Abortion Experience) are interviewed on the Point of View radio show.

Sarah Steelman, a Republican candidate for governor in Missouri is donating contributions made to her campaign by embryonic stem cell research proponents to the Missouri Baptist Children's Home.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Why all cultures aren't equal example #3,683,241

From Reuters:
Five armed men burst into the small room and courtyard at dawn, just as 21-year-old, 22-week pregnant, Sunita was drying her face on a towel.

They punched and kicked her stomach as she called out for her sleeping boyfriend "Jassa", 22-year-old Jasbir Singh, witnesses said. When he woke, both were dragged into waiting cars, driven away and strangled.

Their bodies, half-stripped, were laid out on the dirt outside Sunita's father's house for all to see, a sign that the family's "honor" had been restored by her cold-blooded murder.

A week later, the village of Balla, just a couple of hours drive from India's capital New Delhi, stands united behind the act, proud, defiant almost to a man.

Life Links 5/21/08

In the American Spectator, Joe Carter eviscerates Prime Minister Gordon Brown's attempt to defend the creation of human/animal hybrid clones.

None of the votes to lower the abortion limit in Britain passed. It appears the closest vote was 304 to 233. Blogger James Cary has some thoughts.

A three person panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled by a 2-1 vote that Virginia's ban on partial-birth abortion is unconstitutional. Backers of the law plan on challenging the ruling in front of the entire Fourth Circuit Court or the U.S. Supreme Court.

Abortion proponents and Ken Edelin still have trouble telling the whole story regarding why he was arrested and convicted. Here are some of the details which are always conveniently left out when he gets interviewed by pro-choice advocates.
“On October 2 the girl was twice subjected to [a] saline infusion abortion procedure. A third and similar attempt was made the following day.All proved unsuccessful. Later the second day Dr. Edelin performed a hysterotomy and surgically aborted the child. It was during the hysterotomy that Dr. Edelin was alleged to have detached the placenta from the uterine wall and then held the child inside its mother for at least three minutes...

According to NRL News, “The prosecution charged that the infant was viable at the time the abortion was performed and that it was the action of Dr. Edelin of holding the child inside its mother’s womb after detaching the placenta which caused it to suffocate. (One witness for the prosecution said that holding the baby inside the mother for three minutes "would be equivalent to cutting the air hose on a salvage diver.")

“‘Manslaughter is the issue, not abortion, criminal manslaughter,’ the prosecution said.”

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Life Links 5/20/08

JT at Between Two Worlds has posted a YouTube video of Barack Obama's speech at a Planned Parenthood event. He notes, "Every evangelical should watch the first 10 minutes or so of this speech by Barack Obama, delivered to Planned Parenthood in July 2007. It is an impassioned defense of partial-birth abortion."

The Washington Times has an editorial on Barack Obama's and John McCain's positions on abortion and claims that each man's rhetoric doesn't match his record.

Britain's Parliament has voted against a ban on creating cloned human/animal hybrid embryos.

Legislators in Massachusetts are using large portions of the $1 billion dollars the state planned to spend on life sciences (including embryonic stem cell research) for some pet projects earmarks.
The governor's initial proposal sought to empower a panel of industry specialists and academic leaders to decide how to spend $1 billion over 10 years in several targeted areas, much like a similar program in California. But lawmakers in the Senate and House decided how and where to dole out large portions of the $1 billion that would be spent in the bill, which could emerge from a conference committee as early as this week, earmarking hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for specific projects, even giving names to individual buildings and grants.....

In addition, legislators have designated $12.6 million for a highway interchange near Andover, and $12.9 million for a sewage treatment plant in Framingham, money designed, they said, to spur local development for life sciences companies.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Life Links 5/19/08

The Telegraph is reporting members of parliament in the United Kingdom will likely vote in favor of limiting abortion to 22 weeks. The time limit in Britain is currently set at 24 weeks.

Maybe there was another reason for NARAL’s endorsement of Obama. From the American Spectator’s Washington Prowler:
One reason that the national board of NARAL, the pro-abortion lobbying organization, endorsed Sen. Barack Obama, and encouraged its state membership to do the same, was a series of behind the scenes conversations between the Obama campaign and NARAL.

"The message was, get on board or risk losing influence," says an Obama strategist. "We needed one of these [feminist or pro-abortion] groups to step up and walk away from Hillary. NARAL did it, and to its credit under great danger to its credibility with its membership."

The Daily Breeze has a story about a high school softball player who became pregnant and decided to let her cousin (who recently discovered she couldn’t have children) adopt her child.
"In my mind, I was thinking about an abortion," Cuico said. "But I didn't want to because the baby was already moving in my stomach. I felt sad just thinking about an abortion. It was an emotional roller coaster for the next month...."

"I had a change of heart. If I had an abortion, I don't know how I would've lived with myself."

INCHRISTwithchrist posts the story of a post-abortive woman.
I had allowed the abortions to leave such a terrible mark on my life. I let it stand in between me and my God for years. I invited the memories to take permanent resident in my mind and heart and prevent me from receiving Gods acceptance and mercy.

The LA Times has an obituary on Harvey Karman, an illegal abortionist and the man who invented the cannula to help kill unborn children. Here’s parts I found noteworthy:
Karman also had many detractors, particularly because of his attempt to revolutionize second-trimester abortions with a device called the super coil, which was inserted into the uterus and expanded when exposed to moisture, causing a miscarriage. It caused serious complications, including hemorrhaging and infection, when it was used on about a dozen women in Philadelphia on Mother's Day in 1972.

"Harvey engaged in some very irresponsible experimentation on women's bodies," said Carol Downer, who co-founded feminist women's health clinics in Southern California in the 1970s.....

His ultimate goal, according to Darney, who met Karman in the early 1970s, was to "make it possible for women to safely do their own abortions using the simplest possible equipment......"

He said the team visited outlying villages (in Bangladesh) and taught midwives, village chiefs, young girls, "anybody who wanted to learn," how to use the cannula for an abortion. The method is still used widely there, although it is called menstrual extraction because abortion is banned.

Karman "is responsible for saving the lives of countless women throughout the world through this innovative technology," Vicki Saporta, president and chief executive of the National Abortion Federation, a professional association for abortion providers based in Washington, D.C., said in an interview last week.

The California Catholic Daily has more information on Harvey Karman:
Woo’s obituary did not mention that the illegal hotel-room abortion for which Karman was convicted occasioned another obituary more than 50 years ago – that of otherwise healthy Joyce Johnson, who died in April 1955 from sepsis following Karman’s abortion. She was 26. Karman was not then nor did he ever become a physician – but he continued to perform abortions.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I would love to attend a debate between Ken Epps and Joyce Arthur

Ken Epps on his bill to punish individuals who commit acts of violence against pregnant women and their unborn children:
There is something seriously wrong with our system when the so-called "right" to end a pregnancy takes away another pregnant woman's right to have her wanted baby protected in law.....

So why do the opponents of C-484 resort to scare tactics and misrepresentations of the law to make their case? Why are they so afraid of a law that would punish a criminal for intentionally harming or killing an unborn baby who is wanted and loved by its mother?

The answer was revealed when an outspoken opponent of C-484 was quoted recently in the media: "If the fetuses are recognized in this bill, it could bleed into people's consciousness and make people change their minds about abortion."

Even if people do start questioning abortion, it does not necessarily follow that they will change their minds about whether a woman should have the freedom to choose that option. What it means is that pro-choice advocates will be in a position of having to justify abortion without relying on the illusion that the fetus is absolutely worthless....

The irony is that for years pro-lifers have been accused of trying to impose their views on others. The opponents of C-484 are now attempting to impose on women who want to be pregnant and want to love and protect their babies the view that the child in her womb is unworthy of protection in criminal law, unworthy of any amount of respect at all to the extent that a criminal can brutally attack that mother's child with a fist or a boot or a gun or a knife or a sword and face no consequences for killing what is so dear to her.

Life Links 5/15/08

Looks like Geron will have to put off their human embryonic stem cell clinical trial on spinal cord injuries at least another year. They apparently at least applied for a clinical trial this year as opposed to all the previous years where they promised to apply but never did.

The pro-choice claws are coming out after NARAL issued their endorsement of Obama. NOW-New York State president Marcia Pappas (of Ted-Kennedy-committed-“ultimate betrayal” by-endorsing-Obama fame), EMILY’s List President Ellen Malcolm and NARAL’s New York State affiliate aren’t on board.

On one hand, it’s like “Is it really that big of a deal to endorse the presumptive nominee now that he has basically wrapped the nomination up?” but then on the other hand, “Why not just wait until it’s completely over?” The only reason to give the endorsement now seems to be to convince Clinton to drop out sooner rather than later.

Arizona’s Board of Nursing has decided that nurse practitioners with special training can commit first-trimester abortions. The Arizona legislature is currently considering a bill to only allow physicians to perform abortions but I doubt Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano would sign it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"It felt like someone was stabbing me in the stomach over and over again"

A woman who had a failed RU-486 chemical abortion at Planned Parenthood describes her experience:
“Ms. Wilkerson, I don’t know how to explain this any other way, but you are still pregnant.” He explained that since I had thrown up some of the medication, it most likely caused the procedure to not work as it should have. At this point, I was pretty much freaking out. I KNEW what the next step was, and that was surgery. ACTUAL surgery. The vacuum surgery. I asked him what the sound I heard coming from the ultra-sound was, and he said it was the heartbeat. I began to cry.

He went on to explain that although the child was still living, there was an extreme possibility of deformity, and that surgery was my best option.
Her child dies before the surgical abortion and immediately after the surgical abortion she has some negative emotional feelings (she googles “ways to commit suicide") but says she now doesn't think about it everyday or think about what may have been. She does keep an ultrasound photo of her child but hasn't looked at it in a while and doesn't plan to.

Life Links 5/14/08

A woman in New York named Hua Zheng has been charged with child endangerment after leaving her newborn child at the doorstep of her pastor's home. According to the story, she had previously sought an abortion after her husband "told her they could not afford another child and ordered her to have an abortion.

After being told by two doctors it was too dangerous to get the procedure, Zheng, of Flushing, lied to her husband and hid her pregnancy, the sources said."

A little boy from Florida apparently has better vision after receiving treatments of umbilical cord stem cells in China. His vision has supposedly gone from 20/1200 to 20/200 in less than 3 months.

In Texas, a woman has been charged with abuse of a corpse after allegedly admitting to trying to flush her stillborn child down the toilet.

Like really, really stupid pro-choice pro-abortion rants? This is a classic one.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Life Links 5/13/08

The Telegraph is reporting on a baby girl Ellie-Suzanne Fish who is leaving the hospital healthy after being born Britian abortion limit cut-off.
She weighed 1lb 4.7oz and was given just a 10 to 15 per cent chance of survival then had to endure three operations, including two on the brain.

But she is now nine months old and a healthy 14lbs, and has been allowed out of hospital for the first time.

A woman in Oregon is accusing a Republican congressional candidate Mike Erickson of paying for her abortion in 2000. Erickson denies being involved in the abortion. Erickson's primary opponent Kevin Mannix has used this charge in a campaign mailer.
The woman and her friend, Kristi Oetken, first attempted to draw attention to the issue in 2006 after receiving a campaign mailer from Erickson touting his endorsement by Oregon Right to Life during Erickson’s first run for Oregon’s 5th Congressional District. The woman and her friend said they considered Erickson’s anti-abortion stand hypocritical in light of his experience with the woman.

Researchers at Cornell created what is believed to be the first genetically altered human embryo by inserting a gene to make the embryo fluorescent.
The Cornell scientists put a gene for a fluorescent protein into the single-celled human embryo. The embryo had three sets of chromosomes instead of two.

After the embryo divided for three days, all the cells in the embryo glowed, Dr. Rosenwaks said. He said the goal of the work was to see if the fluorescent marker would carry into the daughter cells, allowing genetic changes to be traced as cells divided.
They justified their work by saying the abnormal embryo would have never become a baby.

Ryan Anderson chronicles a recent symposium at Princeton titled “Is It Wrong to End Early Human Life?” Participants included Robert George, Patrick Lee, and Peter Singer among others.
Taken as a whole, the discussions revealed several salient points. It was instructive to witness the ease with which various speakers could embrace infanticide or dehumanize unborn life—recall Harman’s argument that unborn children “really are a lot like plants.” But even more instructive was how unalarmed many in the Princeton audience seemed to be by any of this. I had forgotten that, for more than a few in the academic elite, this is just par for the course.

John Ronson has a long piece in the Guardian about his experiences following around assisted suicide facilitator George Exoo.
Once or twice a week," Humphry explained, "I get very strange people on the telephone who are anxious to commit suicide because of their depression or sad lives. When they get your number they want to talk and talk. And they call again and again. And they also call all the other right-to-die groups."

Humphry said that the mainstream right-to-die groups will tell them, "'We can't help you. It's not within our parameters because you aren't terminally ill.' But they pursue you. They call and call. And eventually someone will say, 'George Exoo will probably help you.' And that gets them off the phone and on to George."
HT: Wesley Smith for both the Ronson and Anderson pieces.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Life Links 5/12/08

So much for the embryonic stem cell research head start. From an article in Nature on induced pluripotent stem cells:
The ten-year head start human ES cells got on human iPS cells has effectively shrunk to zero, says Thomson, because so much of the legacy of ES cells — reagents, culture media, hands-on expertise and experimental history — is transferable to iPS cells.

A man in St. Louis about to throw away his lawn clippings found a newborn boy in a dumpster and saved him.
“Falker says whoever left the child in the trash bin had a plan in mind.

“The baby was covered up so nobody could find it,” he said.
The child was recently released from the hospital to foster parents.

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius’ pro-choice position has begun to catch up with her.
The Roman Catholic archbishop for northeast Kansas said Friday that Gov. Kathleen Sebelius should refrain from taking Communion until she publicly repudiates her support for abortion rights.
As a professed Catholic, you can only veto so many prolife bills before the church leadership has to do something more than issue a statement noting their disappointment. Archbishop Naumann isn’t fooling around. I wonder if something like this will ever happen to Governor Granholm in Michigan.

Three individuals in India have been sentenced to 10 years in prison after forcing a women to abort her child after a ultrasound test showed the child was a girl. After the abortion, it was discovered the test was wrong and the child was a boy.

Father Thomas Berg wonders if New York will follow California’s path of spending stem cell money on new, fancy real estate instead of the quickest way to treatments.
So, why was Lubin’s application shot down?

Lubin’s clinical data, in the opinion of his colleagues and independent observers, was solid. His request — in response to an RFA for facilities grants — was modest in comparison to the eight-figure grants the CIRM eventually approved. He just wanted to build new labs for the Children’s Hospital. And Lubin is no second-string researcher: His work is supported by the NIH, and he has served on many NIH peer-review committees. Lubin’s research, which focuses on adult stem cells derived from the placenta, could arguably translate almost immediately into therapeutic applications to the benefit of millions of black children who suffer atrociously from the effects of sickle cell anemia. About 1,000 babies a year are born with the genetic disease in the United States.

As it turns out, Lubin’s work was faulted among other things, according to a summary on the CIRM website, for showing “no evidence of current use or planned expansion into the use of human embryonic stem cells.”

“What if your mother had aborted you?"

At the RH Reality Check blog, Frances Kissling tries to answer the question, “What if your mother had aborted you?" and reveals some exceptionally poor responses.
In the beginning, my answer was fairly abstract, philosophical. I'd note that the "I" who stands before them is not the "I" that was once a fetus. The I of today is the result of a mother who continued a pregnancy and the process of becoming that made me who I am today.
What silliness! So that wasn’t you who was kicking in your mother’s womb? That must have been some other organism who later because the organism that you are?

Since her time in the womb, Frances Kissling has increased in size and abilities, developed physically and mentally but the entity which was outside Kissling’s mother after birth is the same entity which inside Kissling’s mother before birth. A journey down the birth canal doesn’t magically change that.

Kissling now has a different response:
I feel a need to turn that question around and to ask instead: What if your mother's life would have been significantly happier and healthier if she had not had you? If you as a fetus had the capacity to make decisions, would you have given your life for your mother's life, health and happiness?
The simple response to this question is that human beings don’t have the right to kill other innocent human beings even if killing other human beings makes them happier and healthier. Presumed future happiness is in no way proper justification for killing a human being.

Kissling’s answer gets even more ridiculous as she says her mother “never should have had children.” She then describes various hardships her mother went through until Kissling hired her mother to work as “the head of the telephone appointment staff” at Kissling’s abortion clinic. Kissling’s mother “flourished” at the position her daughter hired her for and eventually “moved to DC and was the practice manager for a busy orthopedic practice. Her pleasure and first time security was cut short by lung cancer and at the age of 58 she died.”

Kissling then notes,
As a fetus I would have gladly given up my chance to enter the world and become Frances Kissling to have given my mother a better chance at happiness.
Well, that’s something which is much easier to state when you know it can no longer happen. It’s much easier to claim, “I’d rather have been killed in the womb” when your born and enjoy the legal protections birth brings. The statement also erroneously assumes that as a fetus Kissling wasn’t in the world. She was in the world, she was just in the womb at the time. If Kissling’s non-existence would have helped her mother out so much and Kissling cared so much about how mother’s happiness, then would Kissling have been willing to have been killed once outside the womb? Probably not. She hasn’t made any argument for why it’s okay to abort for presumed future happiness but not okay to kill infants/toddlers/adolscents for presumed future happiness.

Kissling concludes:
If we are going to imagine, as some do, fetuses as part of the human community, we are going to have to accept that if they could make decisions, they might be as willing to sacrifice for others as we demand that women and only women be.
So if fetuses could make decisions, they might be willing to be intentionally killed for their mothers’ presumed future happiness? And as unlikely as that is, would that make killing them okay? Is it okay to kill someone for your future happiness if they’re willing to be killed for your future happiness?

Also notice Kissling’s play on the word “sacrifice.” It’s true that mothers often make tremendous sacrifices for their children. But they typically aren’t killed for their children or willing to die to raise their children’s level of presumed future happiness. Yet that’s the sacrifice Kissling is claiming hypothetical decision-making fetuses might be willing to make. Kissling is equating making sacrifices with being a sacrifice.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Cristina Page just can’t help herself

Her latest RH Reality Check blog post entitled “Outing the Pro-Teen Sex Agenda” claims that the most pro-choice states (states given an “A” by National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League rankings) have “a lot more to celebrate” regarding teen pregnancy prevention and claims that prolife states (states given an “F” by NARAL) are where high-schoolers are:
-more sexually active
- more likely to have had sex before the age of 13
- more likely to have four or more sexual partners.
First off, the criteria of the comparison is rather silly to start with because it assumes, without any evidence, that just because a state is ranked poorly by NARAL because they have prolife laws, they are therefore “prone to tell kids that abstinence is the only proven contraception, and discourage use of actual contraception, then wag their finger at the less ‘morally superior’ states.”

For example, Alan Guttmacher Institute ranks states on their “efforts to help women avoid unintended pregnancy” and South Carolina and Alabama (which NARAL gives “F’s” regarding abortion) are the 3rd and 4th highest ranked states by AGI with regards to contraception while some states (like New Jersey or Hawaii) ranked well by NARAL with regards to abortion do poorly on AGI’s contraception rankings.

In addition, statewide comparisons which assume one group of states is more prone to comply to one brand of sex education are especially poor considering most decisions regarding sex education are made at the local level.

Regardless, we’ll move on to see if Cristina is being accurate when she claims pro-choice states have more to celebrate with regards to teen pregnancy. When examining teen pregnancy, probably the basic item to look at is the teen pregnancy rate. For some reason, Page doesn't note which states did better with this most basic of categories.

NARAL gives 19 states an “F.” The average teen pregnancy rate of these states is 74.89. Some states are very low (like North Dakota with a 42) while other states are high (like Texas with a 103).

NARAL gives 8 states either an “A” or “A+” and gives 7 states an “A-.” I’m not certain if Cristina included “A-“ states so the average teen pregnancy rate of the “A” states without the “A-“ states is 75 and 78.47 with the “A-“ states. Again, some states were low (like Vermont with a 44) while others were high (like “A-“ Nevada with a 113).

After realizing prolife states (by Page’s criteria) had a slightly lower teen pregnancy rate than pro-choice states, you probably are no longer wondering why Page doesn’t mention the most basic indicator of success with regards to teen pregnancy in her analysis.

Instead, the first criteria Page uses is the proportion of high school students who had sexual intercourse in the previous three months or “sexually active” for short. One problem which springs immediately to mind is that many states (including 5 of the 8 “A” states, 1 “A-“ state and 6 “F” states don’t have recorded statistics for this category. I would expect most honest people to at least note that of the groups they're comparing, 5 of the 8 (or 6 of 15 if "A-" states are counted) states in one group and 6 of 19 in another group don’t have statistics to be compared. Does it really make sense to claim the most pro-choice states have more to celebrate than the most prolife states based on a category where the majority of the most pro-choice don't record data? Not to me, but then again, I'm not desperate to prove the pro-choice movement saved America.

The averages are 34.69% for the “F” states, 29.67% for the “A” only states and 31% for “A” and “A-“ states combined.

The second criteria Page notes pro-choice state success over prolife states is sex before the age of 13.

Again there is the problem of many states (including 4 “A” states, 1 “A-“ state and 6 “F” states) not having recorded statistics for this category. I also wonder if these statistics include children who have been forcibly raped because you can’t really blame children being forcibly raped on a state’s prolife laws. Anyway, let’s go to the statistics.

For the 13 recorded prolife states, the average is 6.62%. For pro-choice states, the “A” without “A-“ average (4 states) is 5.25% and 5.6% with “A-“ states (total of 10 states).

The third criteria Page uses is the proportion of high school students with four or more lifetime sexual partners.

We again have the same problem with numerous states not recording this information including 4 “A” states, one “A-“ state and 7 “F” states.

The averages are 15.09% for the “F” states, 11.50% for the “A” states without “A-“ states and 12.2% with the “A-“ states.

What all these statistics would have been if pro-choice states like California, Oregon and Washington were included along with prolife states like Pennsylvania and Utah is anyone’s guess.

When all the dust is settled you see that Page’s attack on prolife states and congratulations of pro-choice states is based on fairly small differences between two groups of states where many of the states’ information isn’t even recorded based on the silly, unproven assumption that prolife states "are prone to tell kids that abstinence is the only proven contraception, and discourage use of actual contraception, then wag their finger at the less ‘morally superior’ states.”"

If this is what the pro-choice movement and Cristina Page celebrate, then I feel sorry for them.

What’s obvious once you actually take a look at the teen pregnancy rates is the that teen pregnancy rates seem to be much more correlated with geography than with how prolife a state’s law may or may not be. The Northeast and Plains sections of our country typically have the lowest rates, the Midwest is in the middle, and the highest rates are in the South and Southwestern states.

Life Links 5/8/08

Another Michigan abortion provider has been caught throwing aborted children into the dumpster (warning: graphic images). HT: Jill Stanek

Here’s another article on what California’s Proposition 71 will be funding.
The center will be a highly visible symbol of the region's commitment to stem cell research, and a place where the taxpayers footing the bill can see what progress their money has fueled, said Dr. Edward Holmes, the consortium's president and formerly head of UCSD's medical school.
If I was a California taxpayer, I’d be thinking: We were promised cures but all we got for our $6 billion dollars was a bunch of fancy buildings.

Canadian MP Ken Epps (sponsor of the Canadian Unborn Victims of Crime Act) absolutely destroys claims made by Joyce Arthur and Lynn Paltrow that Epps’ legislation could be used to police and punish pregnant women. He concludes by saying,
“The onus is on those who claim that C-484 can be used to “police” and “punish” pregnant women to prove how. Given they are unable to do this, then intellectual honesty and integrity demand that they put an immediate end to their campaign of fear.”

The prolife students at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point have posted a YouTube video of student Roderick King pulling up the crosses of their prolife display. Another great example of pro-choice intolerance where King respects the prolifers’ right to freedom of speech as long it doesn’t upset him.

Here’s another sad infanticide story. This time the mother, Morgan Hite, gave birth in a bathtub, wrapped her son up in a towel, put him in a tote and left him in a closet. The child was discovered months later by Hite’s father and step-mother. The story says,
Hite told police she had tried to get an abortion in Anchorage but a women's health clinic would not perform the procedure because she was 15 1/2 weeks pregnant, the affidavit says. Alaska law limits abortions to the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.
Huh? Not according to Alaska's abortion statistics. Alaska even gets an "A-" from NARAL. I'm guessing the "women's health clinic" is Planned Parenthood which offers surgical abortion through the end of the 13th week.

The Washington Post is featuring an article about a “residential program for homeless adolescent mothers and their children” in Arlington developed by parishioners at a Catholic Church.
The Elizabeth House program is simple: It's for homeless adolescent girls from 16 to 20 who have decided to keep their babies -- and who want to set personal goals, particularly educational ambitions. The group usually takes in young women during their second trimesters, after they have decided to become parents. They can stay in the program two to three years.
But remember according to some pro-choicers, prolifers’ concern for life only extends to birth.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Life Links 5/7/08

Are prolife Republicans evil fiends who truly want to punish women or are they fangless big talkers who've done nothing in the past 30 years for the prolife cause?

This is the question I'd like Scott Swenson to answer after this post of his on the RH Reality Check blog. On one hand, pro-choicers continually harp on how wrong and hurtful various pieces of prolife legislation are, how evil conservative judicial nominees are, and how John McCain will throw women behind bars for having abortions if elected. Yet on the other hand, I've also come across statements like the one Swenson posts from BlueTexan which claimm Republicans have done "absolutely nothing over the past 30 years" for the prolife movement and that they're using prolifers. Well, which is it?

Why all the posts and attacks on prolife Republicans if they really haven't done anything to stop abortion in 30 years? If they don't do anything, then why are pro-choicers so concerned?

Jay from the LTI Blog provides his thoughts on the Valenti-Stenzel-JivinJ dust up.

A Massachusetts-based company named Harvest Technologies is claiming to have "generated promising clinical data using adult stem cells to treat a disease that can lead to non-healing wounds and gangrene."

Scientists in India have supposedly found "adult stem cells in the entire female genital tract and isolat(ed) them using non-invasive methods to develop cells of other organs."
Under lab conditions, the stem cells obtained from the uterus were developed into cells of kidney, liver, fat, brain and beta cells of the pancreas — which produces insulin — and the beating cells of the heart.

According to the researchers, the application of this research includes curing degenerative diseases and studying the effects of drugs.

According to them, the treatment with stem cells can increase the embryo carrying capacity of the uterus, which is helpful in infertility diseases like repeated (miscarriages), pregnancy-induced hypertension, and for in-vitro fertilisation.

Bert Copple shares a story of meeting a post-abortive woman while gathering signature to run for Congress.
While I was out knocking on doors this evening to finish up the collection of petition signatures for our campaign, I met a woman in Warren who asked me what my stance was on abortion. I told her that I was pro-life, and she hesitated to continue signing her name. Looking at me, with anger rising in her voice, she said, “So you must hate me for having an abortion.”

... I explained to her what a miracle life is, and how blessed we each are to have experienced it. And then I said these words to her:

“I don’t hate you. I hate abortion.”

On the blog On this side of the house, Miss Middle in Manchester writes:
"It's difficult, I think abortion is horrid, wicked and wrong. It should be quite right to try and reduce the number of abortions and abortion should not be applauded.

Yet I'm pretty sure that if I was to find myself pregnant tomorrow, I'd have one."

When I read statements like this, I always wonder if the writer actually believes abortion is "horrid, wicked and wrong" and their desire not to be pregnant simply overwhelms their conscience or if they really don't see abortion as being "horrid, wicked and wrong" in the same way I do.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Life Links 5/6/08

Valenti responds again and instead of trying to defend her inaccurate portrayal of what abstinence educator Pam Stenzel said with reasonable arguments, she says she won't engage me because I have a "anti-choice agenda," claims what she said about Stenzel is likely true because supposedly no other commenter on her blog disagrees with her take and then ends by calling me a troll. I guess any prolifer who disagrees with Valenti and decides to leave a comment about it is a "troll." Pro-choicers will continue to lose the battle for hearts and minds if their young leaders (Valenti just recently stopped blogging for NARAL) are completely unable to defend their arguments without slipping into obvious logical fallacies and name calling.

Seriously, how lame would I be if I told pro-choicers who commented here: "I'm sorry but I'm not going to engage you because you have a pro-choice agenda. My position is correct because none of the prolifers here disagree with me. Does being pro-choice give you some magical ability the rest of don't have? I guess I shouldn't feed the trolls."

Amanda Platell in the UK's Daily Mail on the push to lower the abortion limit in Britain to 20 weeks.
We have the most liberal abortion laws in the whole of Europe, twice France's and Germany's legal limit of 12 weeks, and six weeks more than Sweden and Norway.

What can possibly explain the differential? What do these countries know that we don't?

While some prolifers claim incremental prolife laws don't work, pro-choicer Eleanor Bader of the RH Reality Check blog begs to differ. What I find interesting is how "exasperated" abortion providers get when they have to do something so "onerous" like have the abortionist or a nurse, instead of a "counselor" hand women informed consent information. It's like, "Hello, abortionists don't have time to meet women before abortions, they're too busy vacuuming out their children."

Valenti responded

And not very persuasively in my opinion:
JivinJ, I didn't say she lied about counseling teens. Perhaps it's you that needs to take a closer look. She's saying that ALL women suffer from abortions. That ALL women pay a price for having sex. Telling women that taking birth control will make you more likely to die and be sterile is NOT true. SHE IS LYING. Just because she does it with finesse doesn't change that fact.

Saw your charming post, btw. Thanks. Keep your anti-choice (expletive) off my site, k?
Valenti claims Stenzel lied about abortion but the only time Stenzel mentions abortion in the video posted by Valenti is when she's talking about counseling women. Stenzel never once says anything remotely like "ALL women suffer from abortions." You have to be delusionally pro-choice to think "I've counseled women who have suffered emotional consequences after having an abortion" = "All women suffer from abortions."

I also am now fairly certain Valenti intentionally misrepresented what Stenzel said about sterility and death. I believe Valenti knew Stenzel was claiming girls who take hormonal birth control are more likely to contract STDs and STDs (not hormonal birth control) can lead to sterility and death. Instead of trying to prove any of this wrong, Valenti just calls Stenzel a liar "who tells kids that birth control could kill them."

I do like the all-caps in her response to me, though. It just makes her case so much more persuasive to have "SHE IS LYING" in all-caps. Just asserting "She is lying" without evidence isn't anywhere near as persuasive as asserting "SHE IS LYING" without evidence.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Another less than sharp post from Jessica Valenti

At Feministing, Jessica Valenti is calling abstinence educator Pam Stenzel a liar because in a video posted on YouTube, Stenzel says she’s counseled young women who are depressed, suicidal and/or have eating disorders after having abortions.

Jessica’s evidence that Pam Stenzel has never counseled women suffering from these various ailments after having abortions? .......

Absolutely nothing.

Jessica also claims Stenzel is lying when she “tells kids that birth control could kill them.” I don’t think Jessica understands the point Stenzel is trying to get at regards to birth control pills. At about the 5:20 mark of the video, Stenzel talks about how girls on hormonal birth control (be it pills or shots) are more likely to have sexually transmitted diseases than girls who aren’t on birth control. Stenzel is saying that birth control pills or shots protect girls from getting pregnant but don’t protect them from getting STDs, which (the STDs, not the birth control pills) could make someone sterile or dead.

Unfortunately, when you're focused on trying to attack someone before you hear what they say, you often miss the point of what they're trying to say.

What does Christianity look like without Christ?

Read about Gretta Vosper and decide for yourself. It kind of resembles an incoherent, thoughtless, empty void to me.

I’m guessing Vosper won’t be using I Corinthians 15:12-19 as the reading text for a sermon any time soon. If you want to explore Vospers theology further, the church has a podcast.

From perusing their web site, it seems that West Hill resembles more of a liberal social club than a church.

Spiritual growth is found in reading “The Ethics of What We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter” by Peter Singer, John Shelby Spong's “A New Christianity for a New World” and Vosper’s recent book in which Jesus is described as a "Middle Eastern peasant with a few charismatic gifts and a great posthumous marketing team.”

What’s truly odd is that church whose pastor doesn’t believe in “the Resurrection, the miracles and the sacrament of baptism” would have the following on the “Our Banner” section of their web site:
As those who gather together to worship God and who seek to understand our lives using, among other means, the scriptures studied and the stories and letters written by the early followers of Jesus, we call ourselves Christians. The name carries a variety of implications, some we might claim and others we might deny. To say one is a Christian carries as much specificity as saying that a flower is red; the depth or hue of the colour, without further distinction, being utterly incomprehensible.

Christians are brought together as one, however, in the acts through which we respond to God with thanksgiving. In the sharing of the bread and cup through Communion, in the celebration of faith through Baptism, in the holding of each other through Prayer, in our Witness through service, in each of these things, we find the opportunity to return praise to the Divine for what we see as its activity in our lives.
From a past sermon, it seems that some of Vosper's congregation have found her “ministry” troubling.

HT: The Corner

Life Links 5/5/08

R.P. shares her abortion story in New University, a paper for the University of California-Irvine.

The New York Times editorial board now appears to be using editorial space to provide free ads for NARAL.
Since a couple more Supreme Court nominations could doom Roe, the National Institute for Reproductive Health, an offshoot of Naral Pro-Choice New York, is trying to inject this question into the presidential campaign. They’re doing it in a TV commercial aimed at John McCain, who –unlike Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton — is strongly anti-choice.

The ad aims to focus voter attention on the harsh real-world consequences if Roe were overturned and abortion became a criminal act.
The ad is horrifically misleading. It claims, “The straight talk about John McCain: He’ll make women criminals.” Because women were punished for abortions before Roe was decided and John McCain is the one who would pass state laws which would make create punishments for women who have abortions? Oh wait. That’s not true at all.

The Michigan State Medical Society has changed their position on embryonic stem cell research to a neutral position. They previous had a position in favor of embryonic stem cell research.

Here’s an AP article on Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and the recent birth of Trigg. Trigg was diagnosed with Down Syndrome during Palin’s pregnancy.
Once her husband got the news, he told her: "We shouldn't be asking, 'Why us?' We should be saying, 'Well, why not us?'"....

"I'm looking at him right now, and I see perfection," Palin said. "Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking, in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?"

Friday, May 02, 2008

Life Links 5/2/08

In a display of pro-choice intolerance, Roderick King, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, pulled up a bunch of crosses which were placed to recognize the number of children killed daily by abortion.

Prolifers in Michigan will hold a funeral on Saturday for the aborted children found in Alberto Hodari's abortion clinic dumpster.

An early love interest of Bob Dylan, Suze Rotolo, has authored a book about her days as Bob Dylan's girlfriend. She apparently had an abortion during her relationship with Dylan.
During their turbulent, four-year relationship, Rotolo deeply loved Dylan, who was 20 when they met. She was there when classic songs like "Blowin' in the Wind" and "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" were new. She looked on with pride, then fear, as celebrity transformed him and other women pursued him. The author finally decided it was time for her to leave and become her own person. But not before an abortion and emotional breakdown shattered her.

"We loved each other very much and when it ended it was mutual heartbreak," she writes in her memoir. "He avoided responsibility. I didn't make it easy for him, either. . . . I knew I was not suited for his life."

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Here's a solid citizen

"Ragemonkey" asked LiveJournal's abortion info community for advice on how to persuade his "friend with benefits" to have an abortion. One of his comments is especially telling:
i can't legally force her to abort. thats the rowe vs. wade thing. my only hope is there is something scarey in the ultrasound picture. but even then her friends mite persuade her to keep a 3 headed kid with a tail. when i have time with her she agrees that its not fair for kid to grow up in our situation, but then her friends undermine my efforts, which irritates me, cuz its not their kid.

Life Links 5/1/08

UK abortionist Rashid Sandhu has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl.
During the trial, the court heard how Sandhu rubbed the girl's breast with gel during an illegal medical procedure in an office at the hospital last June, telling her she needed an abortion after falsely informing her she was pregnant.

UK’s Telegraph has an opinion piece by Dr. Stuart Campbell (an ultrasound pioneer) who calls for the legal limit for abortion in Britain to be reduced from 24 weeks to 20 weeks and the second doctor requirement be scrapped. The Telegraph also has the thoughts of two young women who became pregnant as teenagers, one who had an abortion and another who choose life.

The Cincinnati Enquirer has an editorial opposed to an attempt to ban human cloning in Ohio. While the editorial ridiculously states that a ban on human cloning “would weaken the state's push, through its new economic stimulus package, to attract top biomedical researchers,” they do admit the legislation “would prevent the artificial creation of a human being.”

Induced pluripotent stem cells from mice have been converted into three types of heart and blood cells.

S. at Out of the Looking-Glass World describes events surrounding her abortion experience and her ability to find forgiveness.
One of the hardest things for me as I came to believe in God was that I couldn't be forgiven for my abortion. I owe an enormous debt to a Catholic friend who helped me with this. I had never thought much about it until I became a Christian and then became increasingly tormented by what I'd done. Every moment of every day, I thought of my children. Grief over our sins is good, but not like this. I finally told this friend and he said, without hesitation, "You are forgiven" and I knew that I was. I'd just needed to hear it.