Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Life Links 9/30/09

An Arizona judge has struck down many of the provisions in a variety of prolife laws which were scheduled to take effect today.
The preliminary injunction issued by Judge Donald Daughton of Maricopa County Superior Court allows a 24-hour waiting period to take affect, but he blocked requirements that a woman see a doctor in person for advance disclosures before getting an abortion.

The so-called "informed consent" consultation can be by telephone and by a qualified staff member, Daughton said in his ruling granting most of a request by Planned Parenthood, the state's major abortion provider.

The state judge also blocked provisions prohibiting nurse practitioners from performing surgical abortions, requiring the notarizing of parental consent forms and expanding an existing law that now permits health-care workers to refuse to participate in abortions.

Representative Trent Franks has clarified and defended his remarks in which he called President Obama "an enemy of humanity" because of Obama's abortion policies.
"A president that has lost his way that badly, that has no ability to see the image of God in these little fellow human beings, if he can't do that right, then he has no place in any station of government and we need to realize that he is an enemy of humanity," Franks said to the "How to Take Back America" conference.

Franks said in a statement Tuesday that he was referring to "unborn humanity" and should have clarified his remarks. His statement listed a series of actions Obama has taken related to abortion.

"While I absolutely should have made the meaning of my statement more clear, the facts remain that these radical pro-abortion policies do not have place in a government founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights and chief among those rights is the right to life," Franks said in the statement.

The BBC will apparently run a television show which focuses on women considering abortion.
And among shows that take a voyeuristic peek at the darker side of life is the BBC docu soap "My Big Decision" in which viewers for five days follow young women who are deciding whether or not to have an abortion.

At Sonoma State, student Danielle Zelisko provides another one of those "I don't like having to view pictures of aborted children" editorials which contains the usual mix of ignorance and poor reasoning. Here's the text of the sign Danielle says she put together to protest the display: "Support a Woman's Right to Choose, or at least research both sides and don't mindlessly listen to propaganda."

In her editorial she then mindlessly claims the pictures of aborted children are from "third trimester abortions performed in other countries and miscarriages, yet this organization was claiming they were pictures of first and second trimester abortions" without a scrap of evidence.

I think the best part is when she wants her university officials to call an organization with a pro-choice view and invite them on campus so students could get both sides of the issue because I'm sure she would have felt the same way if it was a pro-choice organization putting together a display.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Life Links 9/29/09

A man from Tennessee named Tarence Nelson has been arrested and will face double murder charges after allegedly shooting and killing his 8-months pregnant girlfriend and their unborn child. Apparently, Nelson wanted Tonya Johnson to have an abortion.
Witnesses told detectives that Nelson was the father of Johnson's child, and that he wanted her to have an abortion, but she refused.

Ingram says Nelson's intent to kill the child was obvious by her wounds.

"It looked like he was intent on killing both of them," he said.

Detectives agree. Nelson will be charged with double murder.

"I think it should be a double homicide, the baby was ready to come," Ingram said.

The New York Times has an article on Bart Stupak's efforts to get abortion out of health care reform.
After months of pushing the issue, Mr. Stupak said in an interview, Mr. Obama finally called him 10 days ago. “He said: ‘Look, try to get this thing worked out among the Democrats. We want you to work it out within the party,’ ” Mr. Stupak said, adding that Mr. Obama did not say whether he supported the segregated-money provision or a more sweeping restriction. “We got his attention, which we never had before.”

After the president called, Mr. Stupak said, Ms. Pelosi agreed to meet with Mr. Stupak on Tuesday to discuss his proposals for the first time, her office confirmed. Her spokesman, Nadeam Elshami, said in a statement, “As we have throughout the process, we are meeting with our members to listen to their concerns, consulting with the administration, and making progress.”

Over the weekend, abortionist George Tiller was posthumously honored by the International Federation of Planned Parenthood Foundation.

McGill University's campus paper has a doozy of an editorial entitled, "Choose Choice" where author Sarah Woolf attempts to argue that having a prolife group on campus is oppressive to young women. Apparently, the goal and mandate of prolife groups is to oppress young women (a group Woolf claims is a "minority group") and "telling a woman what to do with her body is oppressive."

Other oppressive groups who tell women what to do with their bodies but were not mentioned by Woolf: groups who want to stop drunk driving, groups who are opposed to people smoking in public places, groups opposed to drug use, anti-suicide groups, groups opposed to self-mutilation, and groups working to help women with eating disorders.

I think these pro-choicers in South America win for silliest outfits ever at an abortion rally.

Monday, September 28, 2009

"it was the best kept secret of my life"

At the blog a lion all my life, Selinaaa discusses her abortion (language warning) and what lead to it.
i didn't cry, i didn't do anything really. i just sat there on the toilet with my mouth wide open. completely aghast, it never occurred to me to keep my child. almost immediately after realizing that i was really pregnant with this shameless (blank) CHILD i began to think about how to get money to get rid of it. i called several places and the price was pretty much $400 dollars.

what i hate to admit was that he had everything to do with me aborting my child. i let him have so much of me to begin with, that i was willing to let him have the inside of me too. i only thought to myself, "how on earth can i tell him, he won't even look at me", "how can i keep the child of a guy who's ashamed to even be my friend", "how can i keep this baby if he doesn't even (blank) accept a myspace (blank) comment from me?"

it was the best kept secret of my life. no one knew what i had done, no one knew the decisions i had made- which was a terrible idea because i just got sucked right back into feeling sorry for myself. "no one knows what i'm going through, life is so sad" blah blah blah. and around and around i went. i started coming up with baby names. IF i had my child i would name it this and that. for some reason i wanted to name my son Garces and my daughter Lourdes Pilar.

it wasn't until two years after my abortion that i started thinking about myself. what it meant to me to have a child and what it had done to me to get an abortion. i still don't know.

Misleader in Chief

Ramesh Ponnuru and Michael Cannon point out 21 inaccurate claims from President Obama's address to Congress focused on health care reform.
8. “Those of us with health insurance are also paying a hidden and growing tax for those without it — about $1,000 per year that pays for somebody else’s emergency room and charitable care.” That number comes from a left-wing advocacy group. A Kaiser Family Foundation study debunked the group’s analysis, reaching an estimate closer to $200 per year for a family. The CBO report mentioned above reached the same conclusion.

9. At this point, Obama said, “These are the facts. Nobody disputes them.” This comment continues Obama’s already long tradition of trying to curtail debate by denying that anyone disagrees with him.

Life Links 9/28/09

The LA Times has an article about personhood efforts in various states.

Rita Marker shares how law enforcement personnel in one Washington city were recently trained to provide information about the assisted suicide advocacy group Compassion and Choices (formerly the Hemlock Society) to cancer patients.
The irony was not lost on one experienced negotiator in attendance:
"I find it interesting that, as crisis negotiators, we are trying to talk people out of killing themselves. But by the end of the afternoon, we had a social worker from the oncology department of the hospital talking about being able to assist people in killing themselves."

If, indeed, part of crisis management eventually includes offering suicide assistance, it could lead to a rather bizarre screening process. When a 911 call comes in, will there be an extra step in the screening process? If a person calls, asking for help for a suicidal family member, will the screener ask if the person is terminally ill? If not, crisis negotiators could be dispatched to the scene. But, if the suicidal person is terminally ill, will she be given C & C's toll free number - so C & C could dispatch assisted-suicide facilitators?

Jimmy Akin dismantles a recent blog post by Gregg Easterbrook encouraging society to embrace human cloning as a new means of having children.

The Socialist Party in Spain has revealed their plans to change their country’s abortion laws.
Under the proposed reforms, abortions would be allowed for women of 16 and over on demand up to the 14th week of pregnancy, and up to 22 weeks if there is a risk to the mother's health or if the foetus is deformed.

Women can also undergo the procedure after 22 weeks if the foetus has a serious or incurable illness.
The measure also plans to allow girls as young as 16 the ability to get abortions without parental consent.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Judge: Woman too pregnant to serve jail time

In an interesting case, a 19-year-old pregnant woman from Pontiac, Michigan was granted 9 weeks of reprieve from jail (she’ll have to go after the 9 weeks is up) because she is due to deliver in 5 weeks. The judge didn’t want her to deliver behind bars.

Alexis Wilson faces 3-7 years in jail after she crashed a car into a pole and killed Tamia Williams, her pregnant passenger and Tamia’s unborn child.
Wilson, driving a rented car, slammed into a pole early that morning, breaking her pelvis and killing Williams and Williams' fetus.

Blood tests, taken at the scene but completed almost six months later, showed traces of marijuana in Wilson.

She pleaded no contest earlier this year to driving while intoxicated causing death, manslaughter with a motor vehicle and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, causing a miscarriage.

Life Links 9/24/09

A Catholic magazine in Poland which spoke out against a woman who wanted an abortion has been ordered by a Polish court to pay the woman $11,000 for speaking against her actions.
Tysiac has become a symbol for the abortion rights movement because she challenged Poland's ban on abortion with the European Court of Human Rights. In 2007, that court ordered Poland to pay her damages of euro25,000 (nearly $37,000) because doctors refused to let her terminate her pregnancy despite serious risk to her eyesight.

After giving birth, her eyesight deteriorated considerably due to a retinal hemorrhage and doctors declared her significantly disabled.

Following the ruling, the editor of Gosc Niedzielny (Sunday Visitor), Rev. Marek Gancarczyk, wrote: "We live in a world where a mother receives an award for very much wanting to kill her child, but not being allowed to do so."

Wesley Smith explains the UK Department of Public Prosecution’s assisted suicide decriminalization guidelines.
In other words, if a despairing mother had help with suicide because her 18-year-old was run over by a bus, the policy states that punishing the crime would be in the public interest. But if the mother–or the young man’s best friend for that matter–assists his suicide because he has quadriplegia caused by the bus accident–it may not be in the public interest to prosecute that assisted suicide. Thus, this official document creates an explicitly invidiously discriminatory public policy that holds the lives of people who are healthy and able bodied as having greater value–and hence, are more worthy of protecting–than the lives of people with serious disabilities or the dying. That’s an astonishing abandonment of the most weak and vulnerable in society.

Nat Hentoff covers a dangerous provision in the Baucus health care bill which would penalize 10% of doctors with Medicare patients.
During the continuous, extensive coverage of this proposed legislation, there has been only very limited mention – and none I've seen in the mainstream press – of a section that penalizes doctors for Medicare patients
who, for at least five years (from 2015 to 2020), authorize total treatments that wind up in the top 10 percent of national annual Medicare costs per patient.

The 1 in 10 Medicare doctors who spend beyond this limit will themselves lose 5 percent of their own total Medicare reimbursements. Considering the already low rates Medicare doctors get – and the president pledges they will get lower – this could be a heavy penalty.

Prolife black ministers plan on endorsing Obama’s health care reform bills today.
The black leaders are expected to use careful language -- echoing Obama's abortion funding pledge while cautioning the White House against breaking its promise.

"In accord with our commitment to Christian teaching, we wholeheartedly affirm the president's position that medical costs related to the abortion of fetuses shall not be covered by healthcare plans funded by this initiative," Blake will say today, according to an advance copy of his remarks.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Life Links 9/23/09

Abortionist LeRoy Carhart is apparently considered a "rock star" to some individuals who work in abortion clinics. Here's one of his fawning fans at the Abortioneers blog:
This lovely fall day didn’t seem like it could get much better until I got to actually talk with one of our rock stars. One of our celebrity doctors. Oh, how I swooned! Have you seen that commercial where they show the co-inventor of the flash drive walking down an office corridor, people in business attire are falling all over each other and wanting autographs, and they say something like “our rock stars aren’t like your rock stars?” Okay, seriously: it was like that. I felt privileged and honored (I am not someone who gets all worried about titles and stuff) to speak to one of our super heroes: Dr. Carhart. And yes: he’s super nice. Are you jealous?
Their rock stars certainly aren't like our rock stars. I find it hard to swoon over someone responsible for the deaths of countless unborn children and Christin Gilbert, a young pregnant woman with Down Syndrome.

A teen in Pennsylvania has plead guilty to attempted third-degree murder and aggravated assault after unsuccessfully attempting to abort his child by giving his girlfriend a drink spiked with a cow hormone.

U.S. News and World Report has an interesting article on experiments where rats snorted adult stem cells and the stem cells quickly traveled to the brain.
The researchers had mice sniff tiny droplets containing adult stem cells from rats. An hour later, rat stem cells were clearly visible in the mice’s brains. To make sure the ability to penetrate the brain wasn’t limited just to those cells, they also had rats snort a second type of cells, from human brain tumors. These cells also penetrated the brain within an hour.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Life Links 9/22/09

Some pro-choice organizations are more than a tad miffed that the Democrats in power aren't making any efforts to overturn the Hyde Amendment and are promising that no federal dollars will be used to pay for abortion under health care reform.
"But what we're being offered is not enough," she said, contending that President Obama had "traded many women's futures away" when he assured Congress on Sept. 9 that the new health plan would provide no public funds for abortion.

"In the day-to-day world outside Congress, access to abortion is not a bargaining chip or a political football," Poggi said. "It's about whether women have the chance to live healthy lives. ...It's about whether poor women and girls and women of color matter as much as other people."

In another one of those "IVF clinic makes huge mistake" stories, a woman named Carolyn Savage found out she was carrying another couple's child.
The Savages were presented with two devastating choices: They could either terminate the pregnancy, something that clashed with their religious beliefs, or they could carry the fetus to term and then hand him over to his biological parents.

That moment is rapidly approaching. Carolyn is 35 weeks pregnant and within the next two weeks will deliver the baby with his genetic parents attending the birth. At that time, the Savages will give up the infant, perhaps never to see or hold him again.

They are telling their story in the hopes that no other couple ever has to go through what they have endured.

Nature's blog reports that the FDA has given NeuralStem approval to start a clinical trial using stem cells derived from the stem cells of a 8-week-old unborn child in an effort to treat ALS patients.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Another example of pro-choice intolerance

NAZ Today reports that a 69-year-old man protesting abortion outside a courthouse in Flagstaff, Arizona was assaulted by two women.
Denise Redsteer 48, and Laura Chapman 48, both of Flagstaff were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and criminal damage.

Chapman and Redsteer allegedly approached Johnny Wallace and began yelling profanities and grabbing at a sign he was holding up. One of the suspects kicked the sign and tried to take the sign. While trying to protect his property Wallace reportedly took one of the women to the ground. While he was struggling with one woman, the other woman engaged in the fight and tried taking his sign. Wallace also had to fight her off. Numerous witnesses verified the victim’s account of what happened.

Medics were called to the scene to treat minor injuries. Disorderly conduct and criminal damage are both misdemeanor crimes. The suspects were cited into city court to answer the charges.

Life Links 9/21/09

ABC News has a story about Irene Vilar, an author who claims she was addicted to abortion and had 16 abortions in 15 years. She used abortion as a form of self-mutilation.
Vilar's pregnancies became compulsively self-destructive: After her 9th and 10th abortions, she "needed another self-injury to get the high."

"In the beginning I was taking pills and I'd skip a day or two or give up one month," she said. "I'd think I'll be better next time. But slowly, my days took on a balancing act and there was a specific high. I would get my period and be sad, then discover I was pregnant, being afraid, yet also so excited."

Wesley Smith writes about how a prosecutor has decided to decriminalize assisted suicide in Britain.

Here’s a nonsensical column in the University of Minnesota’s newspaper by Opinions/Editorials Editor Jonathon Brown. In response to receiving an overwhelming number of letters regarding a recent prolife display on campus, Brown writes that students shouldn’t waste their time debating abortion because the debate is “long-dead”and the issue is the most polarizing in America. If the debate is “long-dead” then why are so many students willing to write in to their campus paper about it??

Catholic Culture has excerpts of an interview the Times of Malta did with Doug Kmiec. In one part, Kmiec recalls that Obama described abortion as “taking the life of a child.”

In South Africa, an abortion clinic will apparently be investigated after the body of an aborted child blocked a drain.
"At this stage, we suspect that the foetus was flushed down the drain by the abortion clinic in one of the buildings in Hill Street."

We will be investigating one of the abortion clinics in the area, said Khuzwayo.

She said police were not sure whether the clinic was legal or not and added that this was the third time that a drain had been blocked because of the flushing away of a foetus.

"It happened at least three times last week," she said.

Rick Snyder is not prolife - why is Jerry Zandstra endorsing him?

On Friday, the Grand Rapids Press ran a print story (here’s the online version) about how Jerry Zandstra, the chairman/president of the Pro-Life Federation of Michigan has endorsed Rick Snyder for the GOP nomination for governor of Michigan.

The problem?

Rick Snyder isn’t prolife while all the other announced candidates (Attorney General Mike Cox, Congressman Peter Hoekstra, and Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard) are. Back in July, the Detroit News noted how Snyder voted in favor of Proposal 2 in 2008. Proposal 2 was a constitutional amendment to legalize the killing of human embryos for research.

After Rick Snyder announced his run in March, RightMichigan pointed out how Snyder gave money to the organization behind the proposal to kill human embryos in Michigan. Here’s the late contribution report which shows that Snyder gave $2,000 to Cure Michigan, the ballot question committee behind the successful effort to legalize the killing of human embryos for research.

In response, John Yob (who is running Snyder’s campaign and ran Zandstra failed campaign for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in 2006) arranged for Zandstra to conduct a softball interview with Snyder whose only question on life issues was asked and answered as follows:
Where are you on abortion?

I am a pro-life, pro-family Republican. It is unfortunate there isn't consensus on this issue, but I understand the strong emotional argument on both sides. What there must be consensus on however is a commitment on the quality of life we offer Michigan children and to future generations: A great education; good and plentiful jobs; safe and vibrant communities; and a clean environment.
Notice the complete lack of any question regarding Snyder position on killing human embryos for research. Or any question following up what Snyder means when he's says he's "pro-life." Does that mean he's personally prolife or politically prolife?

So the real question is: why in the world is someone who created his own prolife organization endorsing the only candidate in the race who isn’t prolife? Why is Zandstra acting like Snyder is prolife when there is conclusive evidence to the contrary? Why when given the opportunity to question Snyder about his position on killing human embryos for research did Zandstra pass?

If Rick Snyder is in favor of killing human embryos for research (which seems obvious because he voted for and gave money to a constitutional amendment to change Michigan’s prolife law which protected human embryos from being killed for experimentation) then he wouldn’t pass the first question in the Pro-Life Federation of Michigan’s certification survey which asks,
1. Do you believe that human life begins at conception and that unborn children should be extended rights as persons under the United States Constitution?

If Jerry Zandstra wants to endorse Rick Snyder for governor that’s his right. However, he shouldn’t be using his position in the prolife organization he created to trick prolifers into thinking Rick Snyder is prolife.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Does health care include abortion?

AUL's Charmaine Yoest has a nice editorial in the Washington Times on abortion and health care.
Lost in the debate over whether or not abortion "is in there" -- whether or not you can flip to a certain page and point to a particular clause related to abortion funding -- is an understanding among political elites that this is a watershed battle over definition. It's existential, if you will, and comes down to a very straightforward question: Is abortion health care, or is it not?

An inadvertent answer from the abortion advocates' side emerged during the debate over HR 3200 in the House Education and Labor Committee on July 22, after Rep. Mark Souder, Indiana Republican, offered an amendment to exclude abortion funding from health care reform. Rep. Lynn Woolsey, California Democrat, clearly miffed, responded:

"[Abortion] is a legal medical practice and by even having to talk about it ... we're not talking about having your tonsils out. ..."

No, indeed we are not. As a matter of public policy, we still have the ability to differentiate between an abortion and a tonsillectomy. But this is precisely the debate we now confront. Planned Parenthood and the abortion lobby defines abortion as health care, as being morally equivalent to a tonsillectomy, and health care reform is their vehicle for imposing that view definitively with the full force of the federal government....

This is quite literally a defining moment for the pro-life movement. On Planned Parenthood's Web site, the very first category under "Health" on the navigation bar is the "Abortion" category. This is their agenda -- to win by definition. If the abortion lobby succeeds at equating abortion with health care at the federal level, they will have shifted the entire debate. They've been marking this turf for years with poll-tested messaging, describing abortion as 'reproductive health." Now they are reaching for their ultimate objective of removing the "reproductive" adjective and making it mandatory health care, plain and simple.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

“Honk for Abortions”

That’s what the sign of one 18-year-old said as she and her friend staged a small counter protest to a large protest being held at Planned Parenthood after a memorial service for murdered abortion protester Jim Pouillon.

The other counter protester held a sign saying, “My friend had an abortion - now she's in college and has a great future.”

Now that's a less than thoughtful reason to favor abortion. Killing innocent human beings is okay as long as it leads to "a great future" for the woman having an abortion.

Life Links 9/17/09

FOX News reports that Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest will be meeting with Joshua DuBois, Director of Faith Based & Neighborhood Partnerships and Tina Tchen, Director for Public Liaison, to discuss abortion and health care.

Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame’s President, has annouced that he plans to attend the March for Life in 2010 and has formed a “Task Force on Supporting the Choice for Life” whose goal will be “to consider and recommend ways that Notre Dame, informed by Catholic teaching, can support the sanctity of life.”

A woman in Botswana has been sentenced to five years in jail after she suffocated her daughter who was born alive after her mother tried to abort her.

A pregnant teenager named Tiffany Wright was recently shot and killed at a school bus stop. Her child who was delivered was in critical condition on Monday. A person of interest in the case is Tiffany’s brother. Tiffany was adopted and authorities believe 36-year-old Royce Mitchell may be the father of her child.

David Bass notes the lack of response from pro-choice groups after the murder of Jim Pouillon. I think NARAL is the only group to have issued any kind of public response but their web site doesn’t have a press release.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Life Links 9/16/09

Clarke Forsythe argues that Justice Blackmun's personhood remarks aren't a good reason for personhood initiatives.
There are several fundamental problems here. First, this is a classic case of reading the language out of context. The phrase “suggestion of personhood” in Blackmun’s opinion clearly refers to the earlier phrase “within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment.” It does not mean “personhood” in any broader medical, moral, or legal sense. Blackmun is emphasizing the meaning of “person” within the 14th Amendment.

Second, no state can — by statute or constitutional amendment — change the meaning of the 14th Amendment to the federal constitution. The 14th Amendment can be changed only by another federal constitutional amendment or by the U.S. Supreme Court’s changing its interpretation of the 14th Amendment....

Basing state personhood amendments on extrapolations of Blackmun’s language in Roe is futile. This does not mean that establishing some form of legal personhood in the states is not a worthy goal. It simply means that (because of our system of federalism) it will not — it cannot — establish 14th Amendment personhood or set up a test case to overturn Roe.

The Daily Mail has an article on a recent Canadian study which found a link between abortion and premature birth.
It discovered that women who had undergone more than one abortion had a 72 per cent increased risk for low birth weight and 93 per cent risk of prematurity.

It also found that women who had an abortion in the first or second trimester had a 35 per cent increased risk of giving birth to a low-weight birth baby and a 36 per cent increased risk of having a premature baby.
The study is also the focus of articles in the Guardian and the Times Online. I've yet to see an American media outlet pick up on the story published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Douglas Johnson had an editorial in the Winona Daily News discussing what Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards really wants.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Life Links 9/15/09

The Globe and Mail has an indepth article on India's problem with sex-selection abortion. The problem is biggest among the upperclass.
But $100 on the birth of a girl – or even $2,500 at her marriage – means nothing to the country's wealthiest families. And that is where the gender gulf is yawning most deeply. The richest neighbourhoods in the country – the wealthy farming areas of the Punjab, the middle-class areas of Mumbai and other cities, and here, the leafy neighbourhoods in the south of the capital – have the biggest gaps.

High-caste families in urban areas of the Punjab have just 300 girls for every 1,000 boys, researchers financed by Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) reported last year. In South Delhi, it's 832 girls born per 1,000 boys; in the state of Haryana, home to the high-tech hub of Gurgaon, it's 822. (In “normal” circumstances, demographers expect to find 950 to 1,000 girls born for every 1,000 boys).

Conventional wisdom has long held that as India develops – as more families struggle their way into the middle class, more girls go to school and more women join the work force – traditional ideas about the lesser value of girls will erode. The incentive to abort them would fall away.

Instead, the opposite has happened, and the reasons – and solutions – have government and activists stumped.

The Washington Post asked DHHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about abortion, health care and communion.
MS. ROMANO: Do you think that the federal government should do some federal funding of abortions, personally?

SECRETARY SEBELIUS: Well, the President has made it pretty clear that Congress and the new health insurance plan will not provide federal funds for abortions.

MS. ROMANO: Well, I know that. I was asking you what you thought.

SECRETARY SEBELIUS: I am the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and I will support the President's proposal moving forward.

MS. ROMANO: You are also a pro-choice Catholic, and I was reading some stories out of your home state recently where one of the bishops took an action. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

SECRETARY SEBELIUS: Well, the Archbishop in the Kansas City area did not approve of my conduct as a public official and asked that I not present myself for communion.

MS. ROMANO: What did you think about that?

SECRETARY SEBELIUS: Well, it was one of the most painful things I have ever experienced in my life, and I am a firm believer in the separation of church and state, and I feel that my actions as a parishioner are different than my actions as a public official and that the people who elected me in Kansas had a right to expect me to uphold their rights and their beliefs even if they did not have the same religious beliefs that I had. And that's what I did: I took an oath of office and I have taken an oath of office in this job and will uphold the law.

MS. ROMANO: Do you continue to take communion?

SECRETARY SEBELIUS: I really would prefer not to discuss with you¿That's really a personal--thank you.

At the Daily Loaf, a woman shares the third part of her abortion story and her issues with Planned Parenthood in New York.
When I reached the top of the staircase, I saw at least 70 pale, exasperated women waiting. I went to the desk and was given a wristband and a bit more paperwork. Then, I waited.....

I suppose in New York, Planned Parenthood is the way to go if you have no insurance, but barring that, stay away. Why the hell is there only one clinic in all of Manhattan? Why do they over-schedule patients when there are only two doctors working?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Are CPC's really coercing women into adoption?

In case you missed it, the Nation ran an article (also on Alternet) entitled, "Shotgun Adoption" by Kathyrn Joyce. Her thesis is that adoption agencies and crisis pregnancy center coerce vulnerable women into making adoption plans. The article focuses much of its attention on Bethany Christian Services.

As evidence for her claims, Joyce comes up with 2 women who claim they were coerced into adoption (one in 1999, the other in 1994), a woman who claims she was unsuccessfully pressured to relinquish her child by a CPC (ten years ago), a Village Voice investigation into California CPCs in 1994, a couple in Utah who says an adoption agency director got mad at a girl who backed out of an adoption (no date given), and a couple who were apparently pressured into adoption (in 2000). The article also claims "Bethany is ranked poorly by birth mothers" on an unidentified "adoption agency rating website."

According to Bethany's web page, they "placed 1,694 children with their adoptive families" in 2008. 734 were domestic infant adoptions, 456 were older child adoptions, and 504 were international adoptions.

That means Joyce was unable to find a single woman willing to claim Bethany (or any CPC for that matter) coerced her into adoption in the last ten years despite Bethany setting up likely somewhere around 6,000-7,000 domestic infant adoptions in that time frame.

Jim Pouillon Links

Abortion protestor Jim Pouillon was shot and killed Friday morning while holding a sign outside of a Michigan high school.

According to the Flint Journal, Pouillon was allegedly killed by Harlan Drake because Drake disliked his prolife sign. Drake appears to have been on a killing rampage as he allegedly killed another man before Poullion and was planning on killing another. Drake apparently also attempted to commit suicide while in jail.

The Flint Journal article also has a few notable quotes from Lori Lamerand, president of Planned Parenthood of East Central Michigan. One in which she worries about whether prolifers will “decide it’s time to retaliate.” Seriously??

One classless student told AP reporters that, "I can see someone spitting on him or punching him, but shooting him is pretty stupid."

From what I’ve seen, prolife organizations and individuals have done a good job of not acting like the actions of a lone individual are representative of the pro-choice movement. Too bad, pro-choicers didn’t do the same when George Tiller was killed.

The New York Times has an article with more background information on Poullion while the Lansing State Journal notes a gathering to remember him.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Life Links 9/11/09

Wesley Smith responds to President Obama's claim that health care reform wouldn't allow government money to be used to pay for abortions by concisely sharing how it would.

At the LTI Blog, Josh Brahm points out how instead of providing an argument for how and why abortions wouldn't be covered, President Obama merely dismissed the claim.
I wanted to make an observation from last night that I haven’t really heard anyone bring up yet. President Obama has started a pattern of dismissing (and occasionally attacking) his opponents, instead of refuting their arguments. He listed several concerns last night that citizens have raised about abortion and “death panels”, among other things, and as he responded to most of those concerns, he simply dismissed them. “That’s a lie,” he would say, and most of the Democrats in the room would stand and applaud.

He never said, “You know, some well-meaning people have misunderstood or misread the bill, and think that abortion would be covered under the new plan. Actually, that view is mistaken because we are not going to include abortion under ‘family planning services’ or ‘reproductive health.’” THAT would have gotten my attention, because he would have been refuting our argument. It would have given us something to research so that we could double check the accuracy of our views, which is a good thing, because sometimes we’re right, and sometimes we’re wrong.

But, he didn’t do that. He just called us “liars,” and declared to the country that we are using dishonest “scare tactics” for political gain.

That’s not good enough. Any person of good will – but ESPECIALLY the President of the United States – should look honestly at the facts behind any claims, and then either refute them or concede the point.

In Australia, a young woman and her boyfriend are going to go to trial after admitting to buying a version of RU-486 in the Ukraine and then aborting in Australia.
RU486 was allowed into Australia just three years ago and can be administered only under medical supervision, but the laws surrounding its use are so uncertain that a number of doctors have stopped prescribing the drug altogether for fear of prosecution.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Life Links 9/10/09

Dinesh D’Souza tries to get to the bottom of the national tragedy of abortion at Christianity Today.
Why then, in the face of its bad arguments, does the pro-choice movement continue to prevail legally and politically?

I think it's because abortion is the debris of the sexual revolution. We have seen a great shift in the sexual mores of Americans in the past half-century. Today a widespread social understanding persists that if there is going to be sex outside marriage, there will be a considerable number of unwanted pregnancies. Abortion is viewed as a necessary clean-up solution to this social reality....

If I'm on the right track, pro-life arguments are not likely to succeed by simply continuing to stress the humanity of the fetus. The opposition already knows this, as probably do most women who have an abortion. Rather, the pro-life movement must take into account the larger cultural context of the sexual revolution that invisibly but surely sustains the triumphant advocates of abortion.

Bart Stupak, a prolife Democrat from Michigan, is still holding his line saying that he and other prolife legislators will vote no on health care reform if House leadership prevents votes on prolife amendments.

National Right to Life has issued this press release in response to President Obama’s misleading claim regarding abortion and health care during his address to Congress including some questions someone in the media might want to ask Obama.
If Congress enacts that language, would your Secretary fulfill your promise to Planned Parenthood by covering abortions in the public plan, OR would you order her NOT to cover elective abortions under the government plan?

The Contra Costa Times has an article on how a Montclair resident is disturbed by graphic images of abortion displayed near an abortion clinic. The individuals quoted seem to be much more concerned about the possibility of children seeing a gruesome picture of an aborted child than the fact that such gruesome actions are taking place at the clinic.

President Obama misleads on abortion and health care reform again

The man’s disingenuousness is breathtaking. Here’s the speech and video parts at the Huffington Post. He begins talking about some of the controversial issies involved (including abortion) in the second video.

Obama said,
And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up - under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.

Except that current legislation allows federal dollars to fund abortion (a policy which Obama favors) and that President Obama completely repealed the federal conscience laws put in place by the Bush Administration and has yet to replace them.

Huge swaths of his speech were so inaccurate and misleading that I’ll left with two possibilities:

1. President Obama is an idiot and he actually believes that the current health care reform measures wouldn’t ever add a dime to our deficits.
2. President Obama thinks the majority of people in our country know so little about health care reform that he can be so cavalier with the truth and not pay any major repercussions.

My favorite part of the speech had to be when President Obama delineated from looking at the teleprompters for one second and looked directly at the camera to say he wanted “to speak directly to America's seniors for a moment.” A moment it was as he then immediately went back to read from the teleprompters.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Life Links 9/9/09

Sarah Palin discusses the problem with the bureaucratization of health care in the Wall Street Journal.
Now look at one way Mr. Obama wants to eliminate inefficiency and waste: He's asked Congress to create an Independent Medicare Advisory Council—an unelected, largely unaccountable group of experts charged with containing Medicare costs. In an interview with the New York Times in April, the president suggested that such a group, working outside of "normal political channels," should guide decisions regarding that "huge driver of cost . . . the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives . . . ."

Given such statements, is it any wonder that many of the sick and elderly are concerned that the Democrats' proposals will ultimately lead to rationing of their health care by—dare I say it—death panels? Establishment voices dismissed that phrase, but it rang true for many Americans. Working through "normal political channels," they made themselves heard, and as a result Congress will likely reject a wrong-headed proposal to authorize end-of-life counseling in this cost-cutting context. But the fact remains that the Democrats' proposals would still empower unelected bureaucrats to make decisions affecting life or death health-care matters. Such government overreaching is what we've come to expect from this administration.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail provides an example of what can happen when unelected bureaucrats are allowed to create guidelines which tell doctors how to operate: A premature child was left to die without treatment because he was born 2 days before twenty-two weeks into gestation and national guidelines advise doctors not to treat children born before 22 weeks.
Experts on medical ethics advised doctors not to resuscitate babies born before 23 weeks in the womb, stating that it was not in the child's 'best interests'.

The guidelines said: 'If gestational age is certain and less than 23+0 (i.e at 22 weeks) it would be considered in the best interests of the baby, and standard practice, for resuscitation not to be carried out.'

Medical intervention would be given for a child born between 22 and 23 weeks only if the parents requested it and only after discussion about likely outcomes.

The rules were endorsed by the British Association of Perinatal Medicine and are followed by NHS hospitals.

Researchers at Stanford University have discovered a quicker way of creating induced pluripotent stem cells. Instead of using skin cells, they dramatically cut the time and increased the efficiency of process by using fat cells.
Other stem cells in the body, such as liver and stomach cells, have been examined for their ability to culture usable iPS cells. Fat stem cells, however, seem especially primed for the job, as they are capable of turning into fat, heart, bone or muscle tissue. "We know that these fat cells are multipotent, which should [make it] easier to reprogram them," Wu says.

Indeed, they were: According to the team's findings, adipose stem cells can be turned into iPS cells twice as quickly as fibroblast skin cells and with 20 times the efficiency. The process can begin immediately after the fat is harvested—via liposuction—and cells are ready to culture within the same day.

A pair of late-stage clinical trials using a drug dervied from adult stem cells showed the drug, Prochymal, didn't improve the patients' conditions anymore than a placebo.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

"But facts are irrelevant."

Everysaturdaymorning is the blog of a Louisville-based abortion clinic escort who chronicles the events outside the clinic where he volunteers. He recently traveled to Bellevue, Nebraska to spend time protesting Operation Rescue's protest of abortionist LeRoy Carhart's clinic.

I've always thought it takes at least a little bit of willfully suspending reality to be a such a big abortion advocate. Everysaturdaymorning shares this following gem which reminds me why it's difficult to believe anything abortion clinic escorts write.
This is OpRes’ “Truth Truck” but the only thing accurate about that is the “truck” part. The pictures are doctored composite pictures of still-born fetuses at 12 weeks gestation. And “Abortion is an ObamaNation.” Really? Abortion rates went down under pro-choice Clinton, skyrocketed under Bush’s abstinence only sex-ed, and are now falling again under the pro-choice Obama administration. But facts are irrelevant.
First, anyone who has spent anytime doing any research on the claim that abortions rose under Bush, knows it's a ridiculous myth which was put forth by Glen Stassen during the 2004 election and then quickly dismantled.

Second, how on earth could anyone know that abortions are now falling under President Obama? I'm not aware of any state which has a quarterly report of abortion statistics available. In Michigan, annual abortion statistics are released usually at least 6 months after the end of the year and that's a lot faster than some other states. I think the CDC's latest abortion report is for 2005. I believe the latest Alan Guttmacher Institute estimates are also for 2005.

You seriously have to be delusional to think that there is some confirmed evidence that abortions are falling under Obama. What policy has even be enacted by his administration in the last half year which could feasibly lower the number of abortions, especially during this economic downturn?

Remember this ridiculous, evidence-free assertion about abortion statistics is coming from someone who has spent 10 years as an abortion clinic escort. This issue is obviously something he cares about very much. His blog, with embedded videos, seems to show that he is at least somewhat computer savvy.

Yet he can't take a few minutes to do any basic research about abortion statistics.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Friday Baby Blogging

Belushi is about to get it.

Rocking the pigtails.

Life Links 9/4/09

Cardinal Sean O'Malley defends his presence at Senator Kennedy's funeral.
Needless to say, the Senator’s wake and Catholic funeral were controversial because of the fact that he did not publically support Catholic teaching and advocacy on behalf of the unborn. ­­­Given the profound effect of Catholic social teaching on so many of the programs and policies espoused by Senator Kennedy and the millions who benefitted from them, there is a tragic sense of lost opportunity in his lack of support for the unborn. To me and many Catholics it was a great disappointment because, had he placed the issue of life at the centerpiece of the Social Gospel where it belongs, he could have multiplied the immensely valuable work he accomplished....

Helen Alvaré, who is one of the most outstanding pro-life jurists, a former Director of the Bishops´ Pro-life Office and a long standing consultant to the USCCB Committee for Pro-Life Activities, has always said that the pro-life movement is best characterized by what it is for, not against. We are for the precious gift of life, and our task is to build a civilization of love. We must show those who do not share our belief about life that we care about them. We will stop the practice of abortion by changing the law, and we will be successful in changing the law if we change people’s hearts. We will not change hearts by turning away from people in their time of need and when they are experiencing grief and loss....

I had the opportunity to speak briefly with President Obama, to welcome him to the Basilica and to share with him that the bishops of the Catholic Church are anxious to support a plan for universal health care, but we will not support a plan that will include a provision for abortion or could open the way to abortions in the future.

Doug Bandow comments on Hillary Clinton's statement regarding her apparent opposition to sex-selection abortions.
Yet Secretary Clinton challenged two fundamental precepts of the case for legalized abortion. First, she tied the "infanticide rate of girl babies" to sex selection abortions. If sex-based infanticide and abortion are morally equivalent, then non-discriminatory infanticide and abortion should be morally equivalent as well. Secretary Clinton has raised the core moral challenge of abortion: once we enter the continuum of life, our essential humanity has been established. The moment of birth has no obvious moral distinction. Else why would Secretary Clinton be as upset with those who abort baby girls as with those who put newborn girls out to die?

Second, Secretary Clinton undercuts the essential argument of abortion activists: there is a right to unrestricted abortion (or abortion "on demand"). That means for any reason. However, the secretary has identified, to her, at least, one illegitimate reason. If there is one, might there not be others?...

Secretary Clinton has grasped an essential truth: It is wrong to kill baby girls. But it also is wrong to kill baby boys. The problem is not sex selection abortion. The problem is abortion.

David Bass notes how abortion advocates haven't gained the cultural ground they hoped to with the political victory of having a pro-choice resident in the White House.
On the other side, try as they might, the abortion industry has been unable to brand abortion procedures as the equivalent of getting your appendix or tonsils removed. In reality, Planned Parenthood's campaign to "normalize" abortion (through products such as "I Had an Abortion" t-shirts and "Choice on Earth" Christmas cards) has backfired. Most Americans instinctively recognize that abortion is a moral evil, even if they mistakenly view it as a necessary moral evil.

What must be frustrating for the abortion lobby is that 2009 should be the year of unequaled triumphs, but it's turning into the year of unequaled setbacks. The president, so far, hasn't fulfilled his many campaign pledges on the issue; public sentiment is shifting; and support for abortion among the young isn't the default position it used to be.

In the age of hope and change, it wasn't supposed to happen this way.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Life Links 9/3/09

Is it me or is this interview with Jack Kevorkian by the local Detroit FOX affiliate way too light-hearted and rather tasteless considering the reporter is talking to a man who was jailed for killing a man and admits to helping more than 100 people commit suicide? I love how the sub-headline is “No Holds Barred” as if this was some tough interview where a reporter asked probing questions rather than trying to get Kevorkian to do an Al Pacino impression.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a story of a couple who choose life for their child who was diagnosed at 20 weeks with anencephaly.
"You never expect your baby to die. But all these wonderful things keep happening because of Lane," said Mrs. Leighty, a graphic designer. Mr. Leighty is a security guard at Rivers Casino.

"I love that his brief life made such a difference," Mrs. Leighty said.

Time reports on how researchers have created insulin-producing cells from induced pluripotent stem cells from the skin cells of diabetes patients.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Obama's Reality Check web site still provides no mention of abortion

Dan Gilgoff notes that the Obama Administration still hasn't posted a response to the charge that current health care reform measures would allow government funds to pay for abortions. He wonders about the web site's complete silence on such a large issue:
Why does the White House site ignore such a big elephant in the room? I can think of two possible reasons.

The first is obvious: The abortion-in-healthcare-reform debate is one the administration would rather avoid, lest it consume the entire debate over reform. The other is that the White House sees the abortion-in-healthcare question very much as an open one and is still weighing options on exactly how government-controlled healthcare ought to treat abortion.

Have another theory?

In fact I do. It's much easier for the Obama to assert to supporters that prolife groups are making up myths and fabrications than actually provide evidence that they are. Hopes, promises and soaring rhetoric are Obama's strong suit. Providing substantial, accurate evidence for his claims isn't.

I think the abortion-in-healthcare-reform debate is one they want to avoid because they know they'll lose it. Or because it's a debate they've already lost.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Life Links 9/1/09

The Washington Post has another one of those stories about how abortion providers are graying/dwindling and how poor medical students who want to become abortionists find it difficult to find someone to train them on how to kill unborn children. You also get the required ample helping of "how bad back-alley abortions were" testimonies from older abortionists.

In Britain, some patients are avoiding hip replacement as doctors use adult stem cells combined with an patient's “cleaned, ground-up” bone to repair damaged hip bones.

The Daily Loaf has the first part of an abortion story of a 24-year-old woman living in New York.