Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Life Links 9/30/08

Newsweek asked it's On Faith panelists the following question:
John McCain and Sarah Palin say it's time to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. Do you agree? What is the right moral choice?

Here are their responses. I'm sure there's lot of good blogging material here. On contributer, Willis Elliott considers single-issue, anti-abortion voters immoral and claims people who vote based on prolife issues are practicing "fetolatry, the idolatry of sacralizing the conceptus/embryo/fetus."

Also notice how Elliott doesn't seem to understand Justice Scalia's position on abortion. It's not that Scalia thinks "anti-abortion laws violate constitutional freedoms." Scalia thinks the Constitution doesn't say anything about abortion so Supreme Court should leave abortion regulations up to the legislative branch. If he thought "anti-abortion laws" were so bad, he probably wouldn't be the so a big boogey-man for the pro-choice movement.

Senator Sam Brownback has a column on his legislation to provide support and information to parents whose children are diagnosed with Down Syndrome.

Archbishop William Burke was interviewed in an Italian newspaper and discussed how the Democratic Party is changing into the Party of Death.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Maybe we should lower the voting age

Then we might get some better political ads. Not all of these are very good (I’m considerably more partial to the ads directed at elementary school children like #25, #20, #14, and #12) but you might get a couple of laughs.

Life Links 9/29/08

The Los Angeles Times has a long article about abortion in Russia. Here’s a classic quote from the story:
"The spiritual position," said Natalia Karpovich, a leader of the State Duma committee focused on family, women and children, "should be that this is murder and the woman who does this commits a sin. Still, I want to stress it's a woman's choice."
It’s a woman’s choice to commit murder?

Adult stem cells have been used to help treat patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis.

Linda Hirschmann has a typical Hirschman piece in the Washington Post making some ludicrous claims about what could happen if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

The Argus Leader runs down the exceptions in South Dakota’s most recent attempt to ban abortion and allows both sides to explain their position.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Life Links 9/26/08

Yuval Levin and Wesley Smith have both commented on the recent advance of creating induced pluripotent stem cells in mice using adenoviruses instead of retroviruses. This work clears another objection from embryonic stem cell proponents who often claim induced pluripotent stem cells can't replace embryonic stem cells because of the danger of using retroviruses.

Levin writes,
More then ever, it appears that the promise of such pluripotent cells can be explored—all the way from basic science to the clinic—without the need to use or destroy human embryos, and so without political or ethical controversy. As President Bush put it back in 2006, in defending his approach to the issue and describing the iPS technique (which was then still largely theoretical), science and ethics need not be at odds; with the right policies and the right scientific techniques, they can be championed together. Here's hoping.
I'm worried no matter how far induced pluripotent stem cell research advances, there will still be scientists who'll want to kill human embryos for their stem cells.

A judge in Australia has ruled that an 18-month pregnant 12-year-old girl who has the intellect and emotional maturity of a 9-year-old can have an abortion. There's nothing in the articles I've read about finding the individual who raped her.
The girl had told her carers she wanted the termination and her parents had both consented. However, it was considered their consent was beyond their powers and a judge's declaration was needed.
Hmmm.... can someone with the intellect of 9-year-old really understand having an abortion. I'm guessing her "carers" had their own thoughts on what should happen to this girl's child.

Time profiles a new book on what would happen in the states if Roe v. Wade fell. The book is written by Paul Linton, who works as special counsel to the prolife law firm the Thomas More Law Society.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Life Links 9/25/08

The Brownback-Kennedy bill to give information to parents whose child is diagnosed with Down Syndrome has passed the U.S. Senate on a voice vote.

A Fox affiliate in Alabama has a story on a woman who went to Germany to receive an injection of adult stem cells to help treat her spinal cord injury.
She went to Germany in August. Adult stem cells were taken from her bone marrow and injected into her spine. She says she's starting to have feeling in her legs.

Tara Blackwell told FOX10 News, "They inserted 9,000 stem cells into my spine. I can feel my left thigh, and what's really weird when I itch my right shoulder, I can feel it in my hip.

The Boston Phoenix is featuring the abortion story of an anonymous pro-choice woman.
Back at the dorm, hours later, I know that I writhed in my twin bed, suffering from debilitating, convulsing cramps. My roommates, best friend, and boyfriend hovered around; they brought me pain killers, Tiger Balm, hot-water bottles, and applesauce, and all the while they stroked my head and conferenced in the background about how I was doing. I bled profusely as my body rejected the fetus that had been described to me as “the size of a grain of rice.” I threw up. And finally, I fell asleep.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Life Links 9/24/08

The Detroit Free Press has a couple of articles on embryonic stem cell research which give you a clear idea of where reporter Megha Satyanarayana stands on the issue. One article focuses on Proposal 2 while the other talks to a woman who went through IVF and would have given any "leftover" embryos to be adopted, if she had any. At the end of the second article I'm wondering to myself, "Why didn't they interview someone who actually had their embryos adopted or adopted embryos?"

In the first article, Dr. Sean Morrison intentionally misleads the reporter on a number counts (failing to note how U of M gets federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, claiming getting new embryonic stem cells is "costly," and insinuating Michael Clarke (the unnamed researcher who went to Stanford) did so because of Michigan's laws. Of course, Satyanarayana fails to actually check into any of Morrison's claims. The rest of the article displays the typical reporting style of someone with an axe to grind. The points of opponents of Proposal 2 are quickly dismissed by lengthy quotes from proponents of Proposal 2 while the opponents of Proposal 2 aren't given any space to correct false claims from Dr. Morrison and other Proposal 2 advocates. The article concludes by comparing opposition to killing human embryos for research with the opposition to the use of insulin.

Keep it up Satyanarayana and you'll have a long career in an industry which is continuing to lose the trust of the American people because of obviously biased articles like yours.

The Chicago Tribune fact checks Obama's ad which mislead listeners on McCain position on "stem cell research." If you're going to mislead people about your opponent's position at least claim he's opposed to embryonic stem cell research since no one is opposed to all types of stem cell research.

Rebecca Taylor examines a statement by Wisconsin's Governor Jim Doyle on embryonic stem cell research.

Wesley Smith contrasts the results of a trial of a mother who killed her disabled child with Robert Lattimore who killed his disabled child but claimed he was doing so out of compassion.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Life Links 9/23/08

Both the Washington Post and Newsweek have stories about a Alan Guttmacher study which was supposedly released today (the closest thing I could find on their web site this morning was a study with a release date in August) on the demographics of who has abortions. UPDATE:Here's a link to the study.

Denis Hart, the Archbishop of Victoria is warning Catholic hospitals in Victoria could close their maternity wards if a new abortion law passes. The law would force doctor who object to performing abortions to refer women to an abortion provider. It appears the Archbishop's warning aren't going unheeded. Proponents of the bill don't seem to fully grasp why doctors who oppose performing abortions don't want to refer women to abortion providers.

Steven Waldman on the disappearance of Barack Obama's abortion reduction plan:
My uninformed theory on what's happened:there was always a tension for them between two goals: 1) appealing to pro-choice moderate women and 2) appealing to pro-life moderate evangelicals and Catholics. They've now concluded:

Winning moderate evangelicals is hopeless and, it turns out, centrist Catholics just dont care all that much abortion. Given that, it makes more political sense to reach out to those pro-choice women.

Of course this obviously leaves them open to charges that they didn't believe in abortion reduction all that much in the first place.

On a similar note, Cardinal Justin Rigali, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, sent a letter to all members of Congress regarding the Freedom of Choice Act along with a legal analysis of what FOCA would do. In the letter he notes how FOCA will the have opposite effect of the supposed bi-partisan goal of reducing abortion.
"However," wrote Cardinal Rigali, "there is one thing absolutely everyone should be able to agree on: We can't reduce abortions by promoting abortion.... No one who sponsors or supports legislation like FOCA can credibly claim to be part of a good-faith discussion on how to reduce abortions."
What did Barack Obama promise would be the first thing he did once elected president? That's right.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Muskegon Chronicle explains embryonic stem cell research

Classic. A Muskegon Chronicle editorial in favor of Proposal 2 explains the opposition to killing human embryos for research thusly:
Those unfamiliar with the debate may wonder what all the hue and cry is. It's over the fact that the research material is created from the fetuses of human embryos, a terrible sin in the eyes of those opposed to this kind of scientific exploration.

The fetuses of human embryos? Seriously? The phrase “the fetuses of human embryos” is in a newspaper’s editorial. This was written by someone and was edited by at least one editor, if not multiple editors.

I’m guessing the writer means to say something like “the research material is created from the bodies of human embryos” but didn’t want to say “bodies.” I don’t know. Your guess is as good as mine.

This gives you a taste of how incredibly ignorant your average newspaper editorial board is on the subject of stem cell research. They don’t even know the basic terminology and can’t even explain why some people oppose killing human embryos for their stem cells. Is there not one individual on the Muskegon Chronicle editorial board with the knowledge to explain to his/her co-workers that there is no such thing as "fetuses of human embryos?"

Life Links 9/22/08

Jill Stanek notes the numerous deceptions in a Barack Obama campaign ad which attempts to defend him from criticism on his Born Alive votes. An additional deception would be the claim about McCain running on a platform to ban abortion in cases of rape and incest.

This is hilarious but unfortunately not surprising story. People in favor of killing human embryos for stem cells pay a college professor an inordinate amount of money to write a pathetic study based on admittedly “arbitrary” estimates. The Detroit Free Press writes two stories on the study without actually examining the study or putting the paper before an unbiased source. A Political science professor at Michigan State easily notices the paper’s flaws.

Meanwhile, James Thomson’s companies are shifting to focus their work on non-embryonic stem cells. HT: Wesley Smith

Thursday, September 18, 2008

When Does Life Begin?

RH Reality Check has recently started a series of videos on abortion and issues related to abortion featuring Amanda Marcotte. The first video I watched focuses on the Amanda Marcotte's inability to accept the scientific reality that the life of a human being begins at conception. The commentary of the video is the usual laughable diatribe of Marcotte assertions and silly arguments. Most of sounded like talking points I've heard from her before.

The best part occurs at around 3:14 when Marcotte claims, "The argument that life begins at conception at fertilization is a fundamental Christian belief that has no scientific evidence behind it."

This really shows how astoundingly ignorant she is. She doesn't even understand what a fundamental Christian belief is (last I checked "life begins at fertilization" isn't in the Apostle's Creed) and has never taken even a brief look at the scientific evidence to answer the question of when life begins.

What's funny is the video is supposed to be Marcotte debunking the prolife position but I have trouble seeing how Marcotte comes off as any more persuasive than the strawman they set up for her to beat up.

Life Links 9/18/08

Ramesh Ponnuru outlines the numerous problems with Doug Kmiec’s attempt to defend Barack Obama’s votes against the giving basic rights to infants who survive abortion.

I find it odd that Kmiec calls the Born Alive legislation a “legal charade” but says that he would have voted for it. Are their other pieces of prolife legislation, Kmiec is now willing to call “legal charades” since Obama voted against them? The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, perhaps?

What’s not surprising is that Kmiec never mentions Obama numerous varying excuses for his votes against this legislation and instead comes up with a new and false excuse. What’s also not surprising is Kmiec never mentions how legislation identical to the legislation Obama voted down passed the U.S. Senate 98-0.

Google will now allow religious organizations to place ads on abortion after their policy was challenged.

Michael G. Franc writes to the Palin children about how their brother Trig is a blessing by talking about his experience with his brother John:
I came to realize that this was the theme of John’s life and, if the Lord indeed works in mysterious ways, this is the reason John entered my life and the lives of those around me. He made us better people, bringing forth “the better angels of our nature.”

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Life Links 9/17/08

CNN is covering BornAliveTruth's television ad regarding Obama's votes on the Illinois Born Alive Infant Protection Act. Obama campaign is still struggling to come up with a plausible explaination for Obama's votes and his various past reasons for voting against this legislation. Wouldn't it be so much easier (instead of coming up with lame excuse after lame excuse) for Obama to admit he made a mistake and trusted the wrong special interest (i.e. Planned Parenthood) on this legislation?

In a paper in Down's Syndrome Research and Practice, Down's Syndrome Education International chief executive Frank Buckley and Professor Sue Buckley are estimating that two children without Down Syndrome die during testing for Down Syndrome for every 3 children who are aborted after it is discovered they have Down Syndrome.

In a post about how Christians and non-Christians should think about their positions on abortion, Washington Post reporter Sally Quinn provides her rather unthoughtful position on when the unborn become human beings.
I have total respect for those who believe that life begins at conception. I do not. My belief is that when a fetus is viable, when it can survive on its own, then it is a human being. My beliefs are based, not on religion, but on my own sense of morality. I do not want others imposing their religious beliefs on me.
So she bases her position on whether the unborn are alive or not on whether she thinks its okay to kill them or not. So the unborn before viability aren't alive because Sally Quinn thinks it should be legal to kill them but after viability they're alive because Sally Quinn doesn't think it should be legal to kill them.

Who needs embryology when we have Sally Quinn's morality to tell us whether the unborn are alive or not?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Jonathan Moreno gets it wrong on stem cells again

I’ll try to have more on this tomorrow but Jonathan Moreno and Rick Weiss have an editorial in the Boston Globe entitled "GOP wants to close stem cell lab doors. The editorial falsely claims the GOP’s platform calls for a “ban (on) all embryonic stem cell research.”

The platform does no such thing. It calls for the U.S. to ban "experimentation on human embryos for research purposes." This is much different than calling for a ban on any research using cells which were obtained from human embryos. There’s a difference between research on human embryos and research on human embryonic stem cells. The language of the GOP platform would ban the former but not affect research on embryonic stem cells which were previously extracted from human embryos. If the proposal were passed into law then federal law would mirror current Michigan law where research on human embryonic stem cells is legal but killing and non-therapeutic experimentation on human embryos is illegal.

Here’s a good rule of thumb: If Jonathan Moreno is making a claim with regards to stem cell research, the claim is most likely false.

Life Links 9/15/08

Reflections of a Paralytic on a new McCain ad on stem cell research.
Indeed, “change is coming” to Washington. It looks like no matter who is president, we can say goodbye to our current stem cell policy as laid out in the White House stem cell report.
I think it’s a pretty lame response to Biden’s comments but McCain’s position doesn’t really leave him with a better response.

Ed Whelan responds to a recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal on abortion and the election.

A woman in Massachusetts was assaulted by her boyfriend after she told him she didn’t want to get an abortion.
A city man angry because his pregnant girlfriend did not want to get an abortion slammed her head against a refrigerator Wednesday, according to police and prosecutors.

Joshua W. Figler, 24, of Frederick Street is accused of assaulting his 20-year-old girlfriend after continued bickering over the woman's pregnancy.....

"(She) wants to keep the baby and refuses to get an abortion," said Belknap, noting that Figler "has become more frustrated and aggressive" toward the woman since learning about the pregnancy.

The Washington Post has an article on raising children with Down Syndrome which contains an almost unbelievably sad story.
Many parents also talk about how the phone never rings with invitations for a play date for their children or an offer to help carpool. Sometimes, they find themselves answering people who suggest that their child should never have been born.

That happened to Tia Marsili, 49, of Vienna while driving from her hometown in western Pennsylvania to Virginia Beach with her sister. The trip lasted six hours and was not without some fussing from Marsili's daughters, Sheridan and Skye. Both girls have Down syndrome. Sheridan's condition had come as a surprise after birth, but Marsili knew from prenatal testing that Skye would have Down syndrome.

"My sister looked at me and said, 'Why didn't you abort her?' " Marsili recalled. "I said, 'What? Because we love her, and she's my baby, and we love her!' 'But you knew,' my sister said. . . . It was pretty shocking. Even people that close to me."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Life Links 9/11/08

Father Thomas Williams on Joe Biden’s recent appearance on Meet the Press:
The more serious problem for Joe Biden at this point is not the loss of his credibility as a Catholic, but as a person of conscience. When you say on national television that you agree with your Church that abortion is murder, but that you intend to support legislation that keeps abortion fully available, you leave voters wondering why you would support a right to what you consider to be murder.

There is stupid and then there’s really stupid:
A Democratic Party leader said Wednesday that Sarah Palin's "primary qualification" for the vice presidency is that she has not had an abortion.

Dr. Andre Lalonde, executive vice president of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in Ottawa, is worried all the news surrounding Sarah Palin and her son Trig will have an “implication for abortion issues in Canada,” namely women in Canada choosing not to abort their children diagnosed with Down Syndrome.

Camille Paglia (a pro-choicer) writes on abortion and the Democratic Party:
Hence I have always frankly admitted that abortion is murder, the extermination of the powerless by the powerful. Liberals for the most part have shrunk from facing the ethical consequences of their embrace of abortion, which results in the annihilation of concrete individuals and not just clumps of insensate tissue. The state in my view has no authority whatever to intervene in the biological processes of any woman's body, which nature has implanted there before birth and hence before that woman's entrance into society and citizenship....

It is nonsensical and counterproductive for Democrats to imagine that pro-life values can be defeated by maliciously destroying their proponents. And it is equally foolish to expect that feminism must for all time be inextricably wed to the pro-choice agenda. There is plenty of room in modern thought for a pro-life feminism -- one in fact that would have far more appeal to third-world cultures where motherhood is still honored and where the Western model of the hard-driving, self-absorbed career woman is less admired.

More news in the Boston Globe on the sinking biotechnology ship that is Advanced Cell Technology.
Life sciences executives in Boston said yesterday that it is difficult for stem-cell research firms to secure funding because their work focuses on unproven and potentially controversial science.

But those same executives also said Advanced Cell Technology’s trouble could be linked to its history of making scientific claims that later could not be substantiated.

Jesus was a Community Organizer?

That’s a slogan which some Obama supporters ( including one Congressman) have laid claim to. Often added to the slogan is noting that Ponius Pilate was a governor. The subtext there is rather obvious.

It’s the kind slogan people who aren’t Christians and don’t personally know Christians think will somehow be persuasive on Christians. It won’t.

It won’t work because I doubt a single person ever claimed Jesus was a community organizer before Barack Obama started running for president.

It won’t work because people who worship Jesus Christ as their Risen Lord and Savior don’t think of the work he did here on earth as “community organizing.” They think of the work Christ did on such a higher level that they’d actually be insulted when people claim Jesus was a community organizer. It’s not that community organizing is bad work that should be insulted but when you have Jesus changing the history of world by preaching and teaching, performing numerous miraculous feats, asking people to leave their possessions and follow him, dying on the cross to reconcile humanity with God and then rising from the grave and ascending into heaven, community organizing isn’t anywhere near the right label for that work. The only people who would think it is are people so enamored with Obama that they’ve lost their perspective on what Christ was sent to earth to do or individuals who are ignorant about what Jesus’ life and message were actually about.

The slogan is so idiotic, I could only find one attempt to actually make an argument for it. In a blog entry, Daily Kos diarist Spiritual Progressive attempts to take the gospel narrative and make it into a community organizing narrative where Jesus’ main goal was to prevent the Roman empire from ruining the Jewish way of life. I think you might even notice some subtext where President Bush is compared to Herod the Great. Here’s a snippet:
He saw that his people's God-given way of life was slowly being stripped away by King Herod's son Antipas and the Roman Governor Pilate. As well, he knew that those who held religious power were aligned with the government of the day. He knew that it was time for change.
Change we can believe in?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Biden on stem cells and developmental disabilities

Joe Biden's campaign must not have thought a lot before putting this line in his speech.
“I hear all this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents who have both the joy, because there's joy to it as well, the joy and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability, who were born with a birth defect. Well guess what folks? If you care about it, why don't you support stem cell research?”

Yuval Levin and Wesley Smith have some thoughts.

Levin writes,
Biden’s remark is indicative of the lack of seriousness with which some Democratic politicians treat the relevant science here: they don’t themselves think this is one avenue of cell biology that could offer important help in one range of potential biomedical advances but rather they see it as a kind of magic bullet and universal cure-all that allows them to be for curing all that ails the human race and accusing their opponents of being against it all, meanwhile paying no heed to ethical concerns.

While "all this talk" is clearly referring to Sarah Palin's convention speech (I haven't heard any other "talk" regarding this issue than Palin's speech), Biden's press secretary had this to say, “Long story short: couldn’t be farther from being a comment about Gov. Palin.”

Uh... yeah. That's convincing to the die-hard Obama-Biden ticket supporters and just about no one else.

I find it sad the audience would give this kind of comment a standing ovation. That doesn't shed the best light on some Obama-Biden supporters in Missouri who are apparently ignorant about the differences between adult and embryonic stem cells, don't understand that stem cells aren't going to be able to get rid of the extra chromosome in children with Down Syndrome and McCain's position on this issue.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Life Links 9/9/08

Greg Koukl discusses Senator Joe Biden's Meet the Press answer about abortion and the beginning of human life.
The logic of the modified pro-choice position reduces to, “I think it’s wrong to kill my own children, but I don’t think we should stop other people from killing theirs.”

Notice that this critique has nothing to do with whether abortion is right or wrong. That’s a different question. I am simply pointing out that the modified pro-choice view deals itself a fatal blow. That is Biden’s blunder, and the blunder of anyone else advancing such a foolish notion.

Yuval Levin on how the Democratic ticket can't answer questions about the beginning of life without confusing science and theology.
Both insist that the question of when a human life begins is a theological question, and so one without a generally applicable answer. But in fact, the question of when a new human life begins is not fundamentally a theological question but a biological question.....

Do all human beings share in some minimal equal humanity that entitles us to some minimal equal protections, like the protection from intentional killing, regardless of our age, our size, our capacities, abilities, and circumstances?

That’s not a question that answers itself. But it is the question at the heart of the abortion and embryo research debates, and Senators Obama and Biden are avoiding the question by insisting they lack an answer to the prior question — the question of the beginning of life — which they wrongly assert to be a matter of theology.

The Anchorage Daily News has an article about Sarah Palin's beliefs on abortion and attempts to pass abortion restrictions in Alaska.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Anatomy of a Bad Pro-Choice Argument

After noting she thinks believing “life begins at conception” makes sense to a lot of people and providing her own phraseology for how she would prefer to acknowledge this scientific reality, Jill at Feministe writes:
But here’s the problem: The fact that a collection of cells starts to develop when that sperm hits the egg doesn’t make that collection of cells a person, or the moral equivalent of a born human being. I think most people would agree — an acorn is not a tree, a seed is not a plant, and a zygote is not a person, even if a seed is a necessary precursor to a plant and a zygote is a necessary precursor to a person. The fact that about half of fertilized eggs don’t implant — ending the potential development of those early “lives” — coupled with the fact that there is no “pro-life” concern for all those billions of fertilized egg-deaths belies the idea that pro-lifers really believe a zygote is the moral equivalent of a born human being. The anti-choice view has always been more about controlling women and controlling sex than saving lives.
Here Jill argues the unborn aren’t persons or “moral equivalent of born human beings.” Her reasoning seem to be as follows:

1. A lot of people don’t think zygotes are persons even though zygotes develop into persons.

2. Approximately half of fertilized eggs don’t end up implanting.

3. There is no prolife concern for embryos which fail to implant and therefore die.

4. Therefore, prolifers don’t really think zygotes are the moral equivalent of born human beings.

5. Therefore, the true motivation is really more about controlling women and sex than saving the lives of unborn human beings.

How many ways does this argument fail?

1. Jill provides no evidence that there is “no prolife concern” for embryos which don’t implant. This assertion can be demonstrated false fairly easily. There are a number of prolife organizations who are opposed to hormonal birth control because they think it may prevent/impede the implantation of a human embryo. Prolifers have also done much with regards to preventing the killing of human embryos slated to be killed for their embryonic stem cells. If prolifers didn’t really think embryos (at the stage of development where implantation takes place) were the moral equivalent of human beings, why would they expend so much time and effort to prevent the killing and cloning of these embryos? How are controlling women and sex the motivation for saving those embryos?

2. The supposed lack of prolife concern for embryos who don’t implant is likely more based on ignorance than lack of concern. My guess is less than 10% of prolifers have any clue as to how many human embryos fail to implant. Though it seems to be an oft-recycled pro-choice blog talking point - the vast majority of prolifers aren’t aware of it.

3. For prolifers who do know that numerous human embryos fail to implant, I believe Jill is confusing lack of ability to save the lives of those embryos who don’t implant with lack of concern. What are prolifers supposed to do to save the lives of human embryos when we don’t even know if fertilization has taken place or if there is something we can do to make implantation more likely.

4. Jill fails to acknowledge that most efforts of prolife organizations deal with preventing people from intentionally killing human beings not preventing unintentional natural deaths. Prolife organizations don't do much to cure Parkinson's but that doesn't mean they think people with Parkinson's aren't the moral equivalent of other human beings.

5. Even if prolifers showed no concern, that wouldn’t necessarily prove we don’t think human embryos aren’t the moral equivalent of born human beings. Do individuals who do nothing to prevent the high rates of infant mortality in some developing countries automatically not believe that infants in developing countries are the moral equivalent of grown human beings?

6. Even if prolifers showed no concern for embryonic human beings, how does that prove embryonic human beings aren’t persons? If your best argument for why unborn human beings aren’t persons is because prolifers don’t care enough about embryos at a certain stage of development, then you don’t have very much of an argument at all.

Life Links 9/8/08

I wonder why Obama didn’t finish his thought on ABC’s This Week.
"Probably. ...What I intended to say is that, as a Christian, I have a lot of humility about understanding when does the soul enter into ... It's a pretty tough question.
The soul enters into.... what exactly?

The living human body, perhaps?

Is it me or did Joe Biden’s “when does life begins” answer on Meet the Press reek of relativism?
SEN. BIDEN: I'd say, "Look, I know when it begins for me." It's a personal and private issue. For me, as a Roman Catholic, I'm prepared to accept the teachings of my church. But let me tell you. There are an awful lot of people of great confessional faiths--Protestants, Jews, Muslims and others--who have a different view. They believe in God as strongly as I do. They're intensely as religious as I am religious. They believe in their faith and they believe in human life, and they have differing views as to when life--I'm prepared as a matter of faith to accept that life begins at the moment of conception. But that is my judgment. For me to impose that judgment on everyone else who is equally and maybe even more devout than I am seems to me is inappropriate in a pluralistic society. And I know you get the push back, "Well, what about fascism?" Everybody, you know, you going to say fascism's all right? Fascism isn't a matter of faith. No decent religious person thinks fascism is a good idea.
When will people stop acting like the question “when does the life of a human being begin?” is a question that different people can have different correct answers to?

Biden would “impose his judgement” on religious people in our pluralistic society on any number of given issues yet on the issue of when life begins, his judgement is suddenly not worthy of being imposed.

I wish Brokaw’s follow-up question had been phrased like this, “So your judgement is that the unborn are living human beings but you still think it should be legal to kill these living human beings?”

The New York Times has an article on Sarah Palin’s pregnancy with Trig.
Later that day, Ms. Palin sent an e-mail message to her relatives and close friends about her new son, Ms. Bruce said. She signed it, “Trig’s Creator, Your Heavenly Father.”

“Many people will express sympathy, but you don’t want or need that, because Trig will be a joy,” Ms. Palin wrote. She added, “Children are the most precious and promising ingredient in this mixed-up world you live in down there on Earth. Trig is no different, except he has one extra chromosome.”

I missed news about this case a couple of weeks ago. The California Supreme Court ruled that rapes which result in pregnancy can result in harsher punishments than ones which don’t after a man named Gary Cross repeatedly raped his 13-year-old stepdaughter while her mother worked at night. After the girl became pregnant, Cross arraigned for her to have an abortion at 5 ½ months.
After the abortion in December 2003, Cross resumed sexual activity with the girl until the following July, when K.'s mother came across paperwork from the abortion and summoned police.
A PDF of the court case which includes some horrible details is here. Cross originally took her to an abortion clinic for a pregnancy test and then return for abortion when the mother commented on her daughter’s weight. The abortion clinic then referred them to San Francisco General Hospital because she was so far along.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Life Links 9/5/08

Jonathan Last has a theory on why they hate Sarah Palin.

Jonah Goldberg on the swings and misses at Palin.
The Eagleton Option exposed the press’ gut instincts, and the viscera are not pretty. Eagleton dropped out because it was leaked that he’d received shock therapy for ill-defined mental problems. Many of those who expected Palin to withdraw see her values and her choices as proof of a mental problem. “She’s more a conservative man than she is a woman on women’s issues,” quoth a spokeswoman from the predictably shrill National Organization for Women, which always defines womanhood by a woman’s commitment to left-wing feminist dogma. If you’re pro-life, or even just a Republican, you’re not a real woman, you’re suffering from some sort of pernicious gender confusion.

American Right to Life's plan for ending abortion in less 12 years apparently includes staging a sit-in at Focus on the Family because James Dobson said he'll vote for John McCain if the election was "held today."

With ignorant, self-righteous "friends" like these......

I was going to leave a comment but The Raving Atheist beat me to it and slams RHReality Check blogger Emily Douglas for her inability to check her "facts" almost a day after the charge about Sarah Palin cutting funds for special needs children was proven false. Let's see if she corrects her post.

I wonder if there is a cause-and-effect with regards to fact-checking or the lack therefore which could help explain why people like Emily Douglas are pro-choice. If you believe all the nasty things pro-choice blogs say about prolifers, CPC's, and conservative Christians without examining the evidence, then I can see how one would be pro-choice. Or is it vice-versa where being pro-choice leads people to blindly believe anything another pro-choicer says? Or maybe there is some underlying cause which leads people like Emily Douglas to be both pro-choice and unwilling to question charges by pro-choicers against prolifers.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

"A joke candidate"

That's what Frank Schaefer is calling Sarah Palin in a Huffington Post column.
Palin is a joke candidate only on the ticket as a sop to pro-lifers. End of story.
Quality argument, huh? I guess the "end of story" assertion makes up for the complete lack of an argument.

But I love how this comes from someone who only has a Huffington Post column because he's the rebellious, liberal son of a famous evangelical. Projection, anyone?

What a shameless human being.

Can you say "backfire?"

According to a poll from Rasmussen Reports:
Over half of U.S. voters (51%) think reporters are trying to hurt Sarah Palin with their news coverage, and 24% say those stories make them more likely to vote for Republican presidential candidate John McCain in November.

Thirty-nine percent (39%) also believe the GOP vice presidential nominee has better experience to be president of the United States than Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

But 49% give Obama the edge on experience, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey taken before Palin's historic speech Wednesday night to the Republican National Convention.

While Republicans and Democrats predictably favor their party's candidate by overwhelming margins, the experience gap among voters unaffiliated with either party is even narrower than the national totals. Forty-two percent (42%) say Obama has better experience to be president, but 37% say Palin does.

Links on Sarah Palin and the Media

What would our world be like if we didn’t have newspapers like the Washington Post falsely claiming Sarah Palin “slashed funding” for a home for teenage mothers and bloggers like the New Republic’s Michelle Cottle and Feministing’s Jessica Valenti thoughtlessly parroting them without checking the facts?

Yuval Levin writes,
The spectacle reveals a deep rot at the heart of the political press, and has been among the most shameful chapters in the history of modern American journalism. Not everyone has joined in, of course, but essentially all of the important institutions of our political press have played their part in one way or another. We can only hope those involved have begun to come to their senses, and that they recognize the magnitude of their failure this week. That doesn’t mean they should go easy on Palin: it makes sense to look into her past (as it would make sense to look into Obama’s past at some point before November too), and she certainly needs to prove herself tonight and beyond, as any vice presidential candidate has to. But the treatment she has received is not what just any VP candidate would get, and the attitude and assumptions underlying this week’s amazing assault raise very troubling questions about the cream of the crop of political reporters. They have shown themselves to be too insulated and too solipsistic to help the public better understand our politics, and too self-important to report on events as they happen. This is far more than media bias. Let us hope it is a passing episode.

Peggy Noonan has a good suggestion for the media after this last week:
The mainstream media, which has been holding endless symposia here on the future of media in the 21st century, is in danger of missing a central fact of that future: If they appear, once again, as they have in the past, to be people not reporting the battle but engaged in the battle, if they allow themselves to be tagged by that old tag, which so tarnished them in the past, they will do more to imperil their own future than the Internet has.

Wesley Smith suspects the media treatment of Palin might have something to do with her youngest son.
I hope I am wrong, and of course I cannot prove it, but I suspect that the ultimate cause of the liberal media's irrational loathing springs from the Palin family's joyful acceptance of Trig, a vivid rejection of the "quality of life" drive to wipe people with Down and other "defects" off the face of the earth. Such unconditional love stands in stark contrast to the pronounced lack of love that drives the new eugenics, burning the conscience like acid.

Here’s the text of Palin’s speech last night. I missed it but thankfully my wife thought to tape it for me.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Life Links 9/3/08

I hoping for more of this at the GOP convention. Note how the article doesn't include the full quote from Fred Thompson's speech which was:
And my friends, we need a president who doesn't think that the protection of the unborn or a newly born baby is above his pay grade.

The Stupid Pro-Choice Quote of the Day belongs to Emily Douglas who writes in response to Thompson's quote (my emphasis):
Thompson's "newly born baby" is a clear reference to those supposed survivors of abortion. Their existence is medically impossible, but if such a case occurred, existing law would clearly protect him or her.
Medically impossible? Tell that to Gianna Jessen or any other abortion survivors whose continued existence is something Douglas can't grasp.

Barack Obama's campaign is using misleading radio ads to attack John McCain's position on abortion. The voice on the ad is a Planned Parenthood employee. I wonder if this means Obama is done with his attempts to reach out to evangelicals. I also wonder if the Obama campaign is airing this ad now because of the Palin pick.

Albert Mohler recently wrote about the pregnancy of Bristol Palin. Unfortunately, I think he got one thing way wrong.
The press is likely to leave this issue alone, at least as much as possible.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Thoughts on the media reaction to Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate

Did the media spend so much time wondering if Obama could still talk about "change" after he selected Biden (someone who has been in Washington for more than 30 years) as they have been audibly wondering if McCain can still talk about experience because Palin isn't the most experienced (at least in terms of government experience) pick?

Was the lack of foreign policy experience that noteworthy when John Edwards was selected as John Kerry's running mate in 2004?

What possible GOP running mates have foreign policy experience? Tom Ridge? Ewhh...

What would have the reaction been if McCain picked a white male?

On the news of Bristol Palin's pregnancy, I hope evangelicals will have the same reaction if in the future a Democratic candidate's teenage daughter becomes pregnant.