Friday, October 30, 2009

"‘With all due respect, sir, you do not have a plan."

At, Fred Lucas has an article about Congressman Bart Stupak's continued efforts to get a vote on an amendment to remove abortion funding from health care reform legislation.

Lucas notes how White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has changed his tune on abortion funding. Previously Gibbs had attempted to argue that the Hyde Amendment would prevent health care reform from funding abortion.
On Tuesday, Gibbs notably did not repeat this assertion—which has been vigorously refuted by both Stupak and the Catholic bishops--but simply stated that the president’s position is that no federal money should be used to pay for abortion in the health care bill.

Stupak told in a statement Thursday that he noticed Gibbs’ change of tack and that since Wednesday he has seen “increased willingness to keep the discussion going” in dealing with this and other issues in the health care bill.

The article also includes Stupak's memory of a discussion he had with President Obama on health care reform and abortion.
“I called him,” said Stupak. “I called the president--had a discussion with the president. And I read exactly what you just said [Obama's statement from his Sept. 9 speech saying that 'under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions']. And he said: ‘What it says is “under my plan”’—meaning the president’s plan. And I said: ‘With all due respect, sir, you do not have a plan. The only plan we have out is the House plan.’ So, I don’t know if it is a game of semantics or what.”

No room for discussion with backs turned

The Daily Cal has dueling editorials by Alberto Gonzalez, president of the Berkeley Students for Life, and Alison Ostendorf, president of Berkeley NOW, regarding the recent Genocide Awareness Project display on campus. Ostendorf's editorial is telling because she claims there was no chance for debate because the display featured images of aborted children. She then goes on to list a bunch of things she doesn't know about Berkeley Students for Life including their "full arguments." She also claims there was an "absence of any real space for discussion."

This seems incredibly disingenuous when there were prolife participants readily available to discuss the images and it was pro-choice protesters who were standing in front of the display with their backs turned to the display and the prolifers.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"I am an abortionist. ... That is what I do."

So says LeRoy Carhart during an interview with CNN's Wayne Drash.

Carhart admits to performing an abortion at 36 weeks on a child whose brain hadn't developed. He also says, "We do kill fetuses."

Life Links 10/29/09

So much for gold standard, eh? After tricking California’s gullible voters into believing that embryonic stem cells were going to cure every malady known to man and intentionally downplaying the success of adult stem cell research, California’s stem cell agency is now giving the majority of research grants to projects that having nothing to do with embryonic stem cell research.

Here’s a web page which has a portion of NY Times editorial after the passage of Prop. 71 (the proposal which lead to the creation of California’s stem cell agency).

Bart Stupak has an editorial in The Hill about his efforts to exclude abortion funding from health care reform.

Stanford researchers have created egg and sperm cells using embryonic stem cells.

Suspicious packages were placed outside a Connecticut abortion clinic leading staff to evacuate. The packages were found to be non-threatening.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Life Links 10/28/09

A 21-year-old man in Utah named Aaron Harrison has been sentenced to five years in jail after he beat up a pregnant 17-year-old girl in a failed attempt to kill the girl's unborn child. The girl, who apparently asked Harrison to beat her up because her boyfriend threatened to break up with her if she didn't get rid of the child, was originally sentenced to juvenile detention was released after a judge ruled that she was seeking an abortion and therefore couldn't be criminally liable.
The girl, who wasn't identified because she was a juvenile, pleaded no contest in June to a second-degree felony count of criminal solicitation to commit murder. Juvenile Court Judge Larry Steele ordered her to be placed in the custody of Utah Juvenile Justice Services until she was 21.

But Steele this month had the girl released from jail after ruling that she was seeking an abortion and was therefore not criminally liable.

Steele called the girl's actions "shocking and crude" in a ruling. But he said that under state law, "a woman who solicits or seeks to have another cause an abortion of her own unborn child cannot be criminally liable."

eBay says it won't allow the auction of militant anti-abortion items to raise money for Scott Roeder's defense.

U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth has dismissed a lawsuit which hoped to prevent the implementation of the NIH's new embryonic stem cell research guidelines.

Randall Terry is providing a great example of what NOT to do if you want to change hearts and minds on abortion. He's promoting a contest to burn effigies of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.
A YouTube video of the contest instructions shows how to print a poster of Reid and Pelosi and construct a stand for it. The clip shows a person dousing the Democratic leaders' images with flammable liquid. The next scene shows their picture going up in flames. People are then encouraged to take pictures, record and submit online the footage of their Oct. 31 protests.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Life Links 10/27/09

At the pro-choice blog Feministing, a blogger named Rose shares bits of a conversation she had with Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards regarding health care and abortion and the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA).

Stephen Drake of Not Dead Yet isn't happy with the Princetonian's portrayal of his organization and its description of their protest against Singer.

Friends of Scott Roeder (the alleged killer of George Tiller) are planning to auction off random militant anti-abortion items on eBay to raise money for his defense. Weird. How many people are actually interested in an Army of God manual? Hopefully, not very many.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Unborn Child Killed, Man Arrested

A 37-year-old man named Joshua Woodward has been arrested on suspicion of murder because authorities believe he played a role in the death of his unborn child. The child miscarried at approximately 13 weeks.

Every news story I've read on this incident calls the entity which was allegedly killed an "unborn child." The term "fetus" is nowhere to be seen.


At the Abortioneers’ blog, a post regarding Friday night’s Law and Order episode:
Besides the blatant anti-choice views throughout the epsiode, there was a blasphemous account of a doctor that would accidentally deliver a live fetus and offer to "finish" the procedure. It is heinous to insinuate that this would happen and that Dr. Tiller had ever done this.
Unfortunately, it did happen. Abortion clinic owner Belkis Gonzales was arrested after killing a child who was born alive during a botched abortion.
On March 3, police arrested clinic owner Belkis Gonzalez on felony charges of “tampering with evidence and practicing healthcare without a license that resulted in injury,” according to the Herald. Gonzales “is accused of cutting Shanice’s umbilical cord on July 20, 2006, after the surprise [live] birth inside the clinic, and sweeping the baby into a medical waste bag,” the Herald reported. “Then, Hialeah police said, she hid the body from detectives for one week.”

Also, notice the use of the “blasphemous.” Are abortionists sacred figures now?

Life Links 10/26/09

Friday’s Law and Order episode "Dignity" (clip here) was a “ripped from the headlines” episode which focused on abortion and the murder of a late-term abortionist in a church reminiscent of abortionist George Tiller’s murder over the summer. I watched the episode was surprised to see Law and Order’s writers actually allow prolife arguments to be presented by someone other than an unflattering sidewalk counselor. There was even a segment which seemed based on Brenda Pratt Shafer’s partial-birth abortion testimony except the baby was completely born as opposed to partially born. A few pro-choicers like Salon’s Kate Harding and abortion clinic director Charlotte Taft were less than pleased.

Disgraced South Korean cloning researcher Hwang Woo-Suk has been convicted for embezzling research funds and illegally buying human eggs. The court has suspended his two-year sentence for three years.

The Daily Princetonian has an article on Peter Singer’s 10 years at Princeton which includes some quotes from Not Dead Yet’s Stephen Drake and others who are repulsed by Singer’s views.
“I don’t agree with Princeton’s policy of promoting professors regardless of their worldview,” said Alan Moore ’71, a retired medical academic who stopped donating money to the University 10 years ago because of Singer’s appointment. Moore had worked with pediatric intensive care units trying to save infants and he said he took specific issue with Singer’s views on infanticide.

“Princeton’s point of view I find morally repugnant,” he explained. “I can guarantee you that if there were a world-famous scholar that called for the extermination of all Jews, Princeton wouldn’t hire the professor. Princeton just accepts infanticide as a valid point of view. Only in an Eastern, liberal ivory tower setting can he espouse such a view.”

The Grand Rapids Press shares a story about perinatal hospice which includes a slide show of Chloe’s short life.
When Jody Kyser learned a few months into her pregnancy that her baby had a chromosomal disorder, Trisomy 18, she was certain about one thing: she would do what she could to make the child’s life comfortable, for as long as that might be.

College Students Freeze Their Buns Off Marching Against Global Warming


I love stories like this. In Grand Rapids, we’re in the midst of experiencing one of coldest Octobers on record and they’ve been keeping records for around 100 years. The temperature is below average nearly every single day yet there are still a few goofs willing to freeze their kesters off and stand in the rain.

We also got an appearance from our mayor George Heartwell.
Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell was also among the group of 40 to 50 people that carried signs and banners and chanted.

Heartwell, who was clad in a green hard hat, said he is convinced climate change is the "greatest threat facing the world today, bar none."
Then he jumped into his Ford Escape Hybrid and turned up the heat.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Abortion in Health Care Debate Continues

Michigan's Bart Stupak and other prolife Dems still aren't seeing eye-to-eye with the pro-choice leadership on abortion in health care refrom.

Washington Post religion writer Anthony Stevens-Arroyo needs to get a clue. Seriously, how misinformed does someone have to be to still think that the Hyde Amendment (appropriations amendment which only applies to federal medicaid funding) prevents the funding of abortion in health care reform? It's like the Post went looking for someone who had less research ability than a high school freshman. Also, this paragraph doesn't make any sense:
If the bishops need to add clarifying language to proposed legislation that repeats the Hyde Amendment, there are better ways of lobbying, I would think. Why not approach a known Pro-life Democrat like Senator Robert Casey, Jr. of my state to work from the inside? At a meeting I attended with the Senator, he said as much, pointing out that he broke ranks with his party when just such an amendment was proposed and rejected by the Democrats.
So if the bishops want language like the Hyde Amendment inserted into the bill they should have tried that using a prolife Democrat who voted for an amendment which was already voted down????? Think about that for one second. Steven-Arroyo is suggesting they do something they already tried to do and is acting like it's some fresh new idea he came up even though he knows it was already tried.

Friday Baby Blogging

Modeling sun glasses and a hat

Some more cat wrestling

Thursday, October 22, 2009

University of Michigan gets stem cell grants, Sean Morrison can’t help but lie

The Detroit Free Press has an AP story which is reporting that the University of Michigan has “received 13 federal stimulus grants worth $6.8 million for stem cell research.” The AP story then proceeds to act like the grants are because of Proposal 2, a referendum passed in 2008 to legalize the killing of human embryos for research in Michigan, by claiming these grants are “a sign of the state’s growing clout since voters last year eased restrictions in the emerging field that seeks treatments and cures for numerous diseases.”

Except that 12 of the grants have nothing to do with human embryonic stem cells and the only grant that does would have been legal before Proposal 2 since it doesn’t require Sean Morrison to kill human embryos just use the embryonic stem cells they already had. The University of Michigan press release even notes that Morrison’s study “would have been permitted prior to the passage of Proposal 2."

Morrison intentionally misleads the reporter by saying, “The passage of Proposal 2 made it possible for millions of dollars in new resources to flow into the University of Michigan to be invested into ... stem cell research.” Except that the University of Michigan was getting millions of dollars for embryonic stem cell research 5 years before Proposal 2 passed.

Morrison knows this. Yet he has to act like Proposal 2 actually did something more than allow him to kill human embryos. He knows cures from embryonic stem cells aren’t coming anytime soon so he has to act like all the ridiculous hoopla about the importance of passing Proposal 2 has some grounding.

Federal dollars can’t be used to fund the direct killing of human embryos because the Dickey Amendment still stands so the passage of Proposal 2 did nothing to get the University of Michigan these grants and Morrison knows it.

Life Links 10/22/09

Dede Scozzafava, a pro-choice Republican congressional candidate, called the police on the Weekly Standard’s John McCormack after he asked her a couple of questions including her position on health care reform bills which fund abortion. The Scozzafa campaign originally claimed that McCormack yelled at Scozzafava but have now retracted that statement after audio recordings proved otherwise.

The Washington Times has an editorial calling on John Boehner, Newt Gingrich and the National Republican Committee to withdraw their support from Scozzafava based on her actions.

Abortion advocates are apparently getting disillusioned with President Obama to the point of protesting his special adviser Valerie Jarrett.

The RH Reality Check blog has posted a piece by Susan Cohen which attempts to defend the recent Alan Guttmacher “study” on worldwide abortion. Nowhere in the piece does Cohen even attempt to respond to the main criticism of the study; that the numbers of annual abortions in countries where abortion is illegal or highly restricted are concocted statistics based on the dubious guesswork of abortion advocates.

Wesley Smith writes in the National Review about “an end-of-life protocol known as the Liverpool Care Pathway.”
The Pathway’s guidelines instruct doctors to put patients thought to be near death into a drug-induced coma, after which all food and fluids, as well as medical treatments such as antibiotics, are withdrawn until death......

Angry family members are beginning to come forward, charging that their loved ones have been sedated and had food and water withdrawn — whether their symptoms warranted these measures or not. Indeed, some have alleged that their deceased relatives would have lived but for having been put on the Pathway to death. These stories have all the early hallmarks of a full-fledged medical scandal.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Life Links 10/21/2009

The Charlotte Observer reports that 15-year-old pregnant bus stop shooting victim Tiffany Wright was pressured to have an abortion by a person of interest in the case before she was shot. Police believe Royce Mitchell, though not the father of the child, should be charged with statutory rape.
The documents, released Tuesday, say Mitchell took Tiffany – his adopted sister – to a Charlotte abortion clinic in July, but she was turned away because she was too far along at 21 weeks. So Mitchell planned a trip to an Atlanta clinic within days where Tiffany's pregnancy could be terminated.

Tiffany was eight-months pregnant when she was gunned down on Sept. 14 as she waited for her school bus. Doctors delivered her baby girl, but the infant later died.

At Mary Meets Dolly, Rebecca Taylor has a post about a new kind of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis called comparative genomic hybridization. She notes how the article slyly tries to define conception as implantation.
Here is the problem. How can you test an embryo unless it has ALREADY been conceived? If all of the embryos tested with CGH have already been conceived then how can CGH "double conception rates" as the article claims?

I'll tell you how. By changing the definition of conception to mean implantation. See, it is so much easier to toss out something you think hasn't been "conceived" yet. When people think pre-conception they think egg and sperm which is accurate. But by saying the embryos that are being tested haven't been conceived yet, these embryos suddenly carry the moral weight of egg and sperm. Which means practically none. Egg, sperm, pre-conceived embryo? All just biological waste that can be tossed out if defective.

The problem is that embryos have been conceived. They are fundamentally different from egg and sperm. They are full members of the species Homo sapiens and organisms in their own right. No amount of linguistic gymnastics can change that.

One of the writers at the Abortioneers blog (language warning) is upset that prolifers are reading their posts and supposedly taking their words out of context. She also mentions how hard doing abortion work can be.
We know how isolating and hard it can be. We know that when you go home, it’s challenging to tell your partner/friends/parents/pet/whatever about your day, because they just.won’ We know it’s not a normal job.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Life Links 10/20/09

At the Stand to Reason blog, Amy Hall has some good insights into the academic paper by abortionist Lisa Miller posted at the Abortioneers blog regarding how those in the abortion industry react to second-trimester abortions.
It is utterly amazing to me that a person could see some of these things so clearly, could be informed so strongly by her own moral intuition, could grasp the contradictions, and yet could have a response that seeks to find a way to overcome the "visual and visceral ways in which first and second trimester abortions are different," rather than to reflect logically on what these things might mean and ask the question, How on earth could one person's "hopes and wishes" magically transform "unspeakable violence" against another person into something acceptable that one ought to work hard to encourage?

The human ability to reshape the conscience through argument, even in the face of such dramatic, "visceral" reactions to the contrary should give us pause. My guess is that unless you have carefully trained yourself otherwise, merely reading the descriptions above was sickening. But what if you, like the author, were wrongly convinced that something far more morally significant was at stake? Something that you believed would suffer if you gave in to your moral intuitions and rational questioning of contradictions? And further, what if the pressures of your respected colleagues and the culture consistently spoke against your own conscience? Could you not also be capable of convincing yourself of anything?

Dr. Edward Erin, a British doctor who spiked the drink of his mistress Bella Prowse in a failed attempt to cause her to miscarry has been found guilty of attempting to administer poison.
When she fell pregnant the doctor begged her to have an abortion, claiming if she had the baby it would "kill him and he would have to leave work".

She became suspicious after allegedly finding yellow powder in a cup of Earl Grey tea Dr Erin made for her in January 2008.
An article in the First Post notes that Prowse didn't want an abortion because she had one in 2002 and felt it was a mistake.

A man in the Santa Barbara area has admitted to killing a woman he had sex with after she continued to contact him and claimed that she was pregnant with his child.
After sending a few heated text messages back and forth, Musser said he decided to ignore her and headed home, where he again smoked marijuana. At 11 p.m., he got a phone call from Zazueta and the two reportedly talked for 15 to 20 minutes.

Musser said he told her to get an abortion and leave him alone before he eventually hung up on her. Despite several calls from her, he said he didn’t answer and planned to go to sleep.

But after getting a text message from Zazueta at midnight saying she was coming over, Musser said he snapped.

“I said if she comes over here, I’m going to kill her,” he told Ella during the interview. “…That’s when I lost my soul.”

Monday, October 19, 2009

"the guilt, unconfrotmableness etc of my medical abortion back in april has played a huge part in my life."

A young woman at LiveJournal's abortion info community is scared she might be pregnant again after having an abortion in April. If she is pregnant again, she plans on keeping the child because of her past abortion experience.
If i have fell pregnant I AM KEEPING THIS ONE. As the guilt, unconfrotmableness etc of my medical abortion back in april has played a huge part in my life. to the point of regret....

I am so so scared. Im not ready 4 a baby yet, im only 21 and my partner is 32. hence why i dont wot i done in april. but tere is no way i will go thru that again. never in a million years. i think about hte baby i got rid of everyday. and when i think about it, if i kept that baby,,, i was due any time now.

Life Links 10/19/09

A Michigan-based researcher has authored a study showing how adult olfactory stem cells can help patients with spinal cord injuries.

Amy Sullivan has an article in Time regarding the role of the Catholic bishops in health care reform.
The Democrats who helped negotiate the Capps compromise, according to one person who was involved, felt confident it would "help clear the way for the bishops to support" the House health-reform bill. But just a few weeks after Rigali's initial letter, the Cardinal on Aug. 11 sent a second letter to members of Congress that raised a new concern: "Funds paid into these plans are fungible, and federal-taxpayer funds will subsidize the operating budget and provider networks that expand access to abortion."
Of course, Sullivan blames the USCCB for not getting behind the Capps Amendment.

The New York Times covers (sans picture) the recent large prolife protest in Spain over the government’s plans to liberalize the country’s abortion laws. A previous large prolife rally occurred in Spain back in March.

Law & Order: SVU finds new ways to bash prolifers

I’ve seen bad writing on television shows before but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a show which was as pointless this last week’s “Law & Order: SVU” episode entitled “Hammered.” It was like part of the episode was written by a NARAL employee. The gist of story (a full recap is here) is that a guy wakes up to a murdered woman at his place. He has no memory of what happened the night before.

We eventually find out the dead woman is an abortion provider so the detectives suspect the guy is prolife and killed her because he was against abortion or that someone against abortion killed her and set him up. We get a confrontation between the detectives and an abortion clinic protester which is filled with the usual soundbitastic pro-choice arguments (life of the mother, rape, etc.) and makes the prolife protester out to be callous. Another abortion provider at the dead woman’s clinic is allowed to spout NARAL’s statistics of violence against abortion providers, attack the intelligence of prolifers and show all the hate mail the clinic receives.

Eventually, we find out the main suspect is an alcoholic who gets violent when drunk and then has blackouts and can’t remember what he did while drunk. So abortion had nothing to do with the killing, it was just a chance for the writers to bash prolifers and promote abortion. I’m guessing the writers wanted another one of Planned Parenthood’s Maggie Awards.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Life Links 10/16/09

Ed West shreds Alan Guttmacher Institute's "70,000 women die annually from unsafe abortion" estimate.
I don’t doubt many women die as a result of unsafe abortion, but no one can possibly have any idea of the real figure, especially as so much of it goes on it countries where there are virtually no statistics for anything.

In its 2007 report, Unsafe Abortion, the World Health Organisation admitted: “Where induced abortion is restricted and largely inaccessible, or legal but difficult to obtain, little information is available on abortion practice. In such circumstances, it is difficult to quantify and classify abortion. What information is available is inevitably not completely relaible.” The United Nations Population Division calls the estimates “quite speculative since hard data are missing for the large majority of countries”.

In other words – politically-motivated guesswork.

That doesn’t stop people trying. The Guttmacher Institute also claims there are up to 800,000 illegal abortions a year in the Philippines, which would make its rate three times that of the UK, where abortion is on demand and subsidised by the taxpayer. Does anyone believe that figure?

Detroit will host a stem cell conference put on by the Genetics Policy Institute, an organization which advocates in favor of human cloning for research.

Cathy Ruse relays a couple of stories about mothers killing their newborn children and the reaction of judges to their crimes.
My point in raising these cases is not to argue for criminal penalties for women who have abortions – no one in the pro-life movement seeks that – but to show the irony in our law, and the striking quotes from those in the legal system as they recognize and defend the humanity of the youngest of babies. They sound so much like pro-lifers. One day, God willing, everyone will speak this way about children, even before birth.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Life Links 10/15/09

Here’s the Alan Guttmacher Institute’s most recent foray into guessing how many abortions occur worldwide using estimates from pro-choice organizations. Unfortunately, some news organizations take these ideological-based guesses as gospel. Here’s a telling quote from AGI president Sharon Camp
The researchers said preventing the need for abortion entirely was unrealistic, but said eliminating unsafe abortion by improving access to contraception and increasing pressure to lift abortion restrictions was a worthwhile and achievable goal.

"Women will continue to seek abortion whether it is safe or not as long as the unmet need for contraception remains high," Camp said. "With sufficient political will, we can ensure that no woman has to die in order to end a pregnancy she neither wanted nor planned for."
I guess they’re not on aboard with the pro-choice frame of reducing the need for abortion. That’s just unrealistic because women apparently will always need abortion.

Political will can somehow ensure that no woman will die from abortion? How ridiculous is that statement?

The appendix table 1 is useful in providing a list of countries and the reasons abortion is legally permitted in those countries.

Paul Zummo takes apart Michael Sean Winters’ post on abortion, health care and the Hyde Amendment.

Big Blue Wave translates the gist of a story (from French) about a woman from Quebec who almost died after having a second trimester abortion. After bleeding heavily after the abortion she was sent home.
On the way, the bleeding got worse. The pain became almost unbearable. They headed towards St. Jerome Hospital. She arrived at about 1 pm, and underwent an emergency operation in which she received a blood transfusion. She told le Journal de Montreal that the staff told her that had she arrived five minutes later, it could have been fatal. "They saved my life," she said.

She says that she is traumatized and wonders if she will ever be able to have more children. But she was even more traumatized by what happened AFTER the abortion, when she tried to reach the abortionist on several occasions, but to no avail. At this point, she doesn't want to talk to him, and intends to lay a complaint against him.

Charmaine Yoest has an editorial in the Wall Street Journal entitled, “Tax Dollars Shouldn’t Fund Abortion.”

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Life Links 10/14/09

Scott Klusendorf shares about a recent debate at the University of North Carolina between himself and former ACLU president Nadine Strossen.

Dawn Eden has a column in Headline Bistro about the work of Ashli McCall to educate others about hyperemesis gravidarum.

McGill University student Birgitte Witt has an editorial in the school newspaper about how she's disappointed in McGill prolife club Choose Life because....well, because they're not pro-choice. She apparently is also ignorant of what happened at the protest of Choose Life's event with Jojo Ruba.
If Choose Life want to continue to exist on campus and, as they put it, "introduce [their] perspective into public discussion, in the interest of promoting respect for all human life," they should begin to respect the agency and integrity of those women and men protesting outside their doors on Tuesday night.
Outside their doors? Ummm... do you the group of students in the room who were childishly screaming children's songs to disrupt the event and then continued to interrupt the presentation for more than an hour.

Also, note Witt's response to Natalie Fohl's (Choose Life's president) claim that abortion "ends the life of another human being." Instead of providing any evidence that the unborn aren't living human beings, Witt argues that this claim is somehow bad (apparently regardless of whether it is true or not) because it means Fohl thinks women who have abortions are murderers.

Golfer John Daly will play in PGA Tour event after he received a stem cell treatment to help heal his ribs.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Life Links 10/13/09

Keith Pavlischek writes about how a recent encounter and conversation with Sojourners' Rev. Jim Wallis has left him with the strong impression that Wallis is pro-choice.
In addition, I told Wallis as bluntly as I could, that as far as I could tell his position and that of Sojourners was indistinguishable from the old Mario Cuomo position of being “personally opposed” to abortion while wanting to keep the procedure legal. I suggested that neither he nor Sojourners could honestly be labeled pro-life because, for that term to mean anything, it has to involve advocacy for the legal protection of the unborn. Wallis was equally frank in response. He simply rejected my suggestion that the “legal protection of the unborn” had anything to do with being pro-life. Both of us left that conversation with a clear understanding that Wallis was, quite simply, pro-choice on abortion.

Here's another instance of pro-choice intolerance, this time at Princeton University. Posters with photos of unborn children and pregnant women were defaced.
Public Safety was notified of the first instance of vandalism on Thursday at around 12:45 a.m., Cliatt said, noting that all six posters on the lawn had been torn off their plywood mounts. She added that “debate with words, not soft-focus photography” had also been written in black ink on one of the pieces.

“The irony of that is that there was text on all the posters, except the one where the vandal had removed the text,” said Princeton Pro-Life member Matthew Sanyour ’11, one of the students who first found the ruined posters on Wednesday night.

The LA Times has a story on self-described abortion addict Irene Vilar.
Again and again during their 11-year relationship, she rebelled: "Forgetting" her birth control pills, she would get pregnant, feel the thrill of self-determination, then panic that she would lose her husband, seek an abortion and collapse in relief and despair.

"Of course, this did not mean I wanted to do it again and again," she said. "A druggie also wants to stop every time."

"Her story is just so tragic," said Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life. "It really underscores everything we always say in the pro-life movement -- that abortion is part of a very sad story for women." For proponents of legal abortion, who often invoke the Clinton-era mantra that abortion should be "safe, legal and rare," Vilar's story raises uncomfortable, and perhaps unanswerable, questions about the use of abortion as a first-line tool of birth control.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Life Links 10/12/09

In case you missed it, the New York Times had a long article profiling a trio of abortion protestors. The New York Times photojournalism blog even featured pictures of the remains of aborted children taken by Monica Migliorino Miller.

Francis Beckwith wrote the following on the decision to give the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama based on Obama’s potential to bring peace:
Ironically, the fact that the unborn has not achieved certain powers and abilities it may only actualize in the future, and does not actualize in the present, is employed by some bioethicists to justify abortion. (See my critique of such arguments here and here). So, Obama’s potential gets him the Nobel Peace Prize, while the unborn’s potential, unfortunately, is not enough to avoid being awarded the prize of prenatal violence.

Scientists from Columbia Universityhave created a jaw joint bone from adult stem cells while ABC News has a story about how adult stem cells help a boy who was born without cheek bones. Below is a picture of Brad Guilkey, before and after surgery.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Life Links 10/9/09

In Winnipeg, two men have pleaded guilty to murder after killing a pregnant woman who was carrying one of their children. A teenager previously pleaded guilty to his role in the killing.
Roxanne Fernando, 24, was lured to a violent death in February 2007, only weeks after discovering she was pregnant with Plourde's child....

During the youth's sentencing, Crown attorney Brent Davidson told court Plourde pressured her to have an abortion. Fernando initially agreed to terminate her pregnancy but later had a "change of heart," setting in motion a disturbing chain of events, he said.

"It would be the fetus that would drive the planned and deliberate killing of Ms. Fernando," said Davidson....

Fernando was taken to a remote area near Mollard Road and Ritchie Street in northwest Winnipeg and repeatedly beaten with a broken hockey stick until she was dead. Her body was then buried in a snow-filled ditch.

Terence Jeffrey has a column on health care reform, abortion and the role of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
What the Finance Committee bill does is mandate that the secretary of Health and Human Services make certain that the health insurance exchange in every state include an insurance plan that covers abortions that go beyond those funded by the Hyde Amendment – that go beyond covering abortion in cases of rape, incest or a threat to the life of the mother.

The bill requires the secretary to make certain every state has an insurance plan that people can buy with money paid directly out of the U.S. Treasury that covers abortion on demand.....

If the insurance plans in a particular state decide they do not want to cover the killing of unborn babies, the HHS secretary will presumably have to come up with some means for recruiting an insurer into that state that is ready and willing to cover abortions.

But whatever means the secretary settles on for carrying out the bill's death mandate, the fact is that if this bill is enacted, every future American Health and Human Services secretary will be required by law to make sure that people can secure abortions through a government-approved insurance plan that receives revenue straight out of the U.S. Treasury.

Research at the Harvard Stem Cell Institutue have made another induced pluripotent stem cell breakthrough. They were able to use one chemical to replace 2 of the 4 genes used to transform regular cells into iPS cells.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Life Links 10/8/09

At the LTI Blog, Serge links to the first part of a video(language warning) of the disruption of Jojo Ruba’s lecture at McGill University. I’m embarrassed for the disruptive students. Rarely does my 22-month-old daughter have tantrums this childish. Bereft of any arguments, they’re left to singing “Old McDonald had a farm” and other songs loudly. The saddest part about is that they seem proud of their idiotic behavior. Other parts of the video disruption are on youtube as well. Just type in McGill and Ruba.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs need to get up to speed on the health care reform and abortion debate. I thought pro-choicers retired the “Hyde Amendment prevents health care reform legislation from funding abortion” more than month ago.

The city of Chicago has passed a buffer zone law.
It creates a protection zone within a 50-ft. radius of the entrance to any hospital, medical clinic or healthcare facility. Within that zone, no one could get closer than 8 feet to pass materials, display signs, protest, educate or counsel another person without their consent.

The Chicago law — which carries a $500 fine — is patterned after an even stricter Colorado law that has already passed muster with the U.S. Supreme Court. In Colorado, the radius is 100 feet.

A Georgia abortionist has been arrested in a road rage incident.
Daniel E. McBrayer, 58, was arrested following an investigation into an assault reported by a woman who told police that McBrayer, following a traffic altercation, got out of his car at the intersection of Roswell and Abernathy roads, walked up to her car and struck her in the face, Sandy Springs police Lt. Steve Rose said.

McBrayer is an ob-gyn who, according to the Composite State Board of Medical Examiners, was disciplined in 2001 for performing second-trimester abortions in his Marietta office. Performance of abortions after the first-trimester in a non-hospital setting or in an unlicensed abortion facility is a violation of Georgia law.

According to the consent order agreed to by McBrayer, who also admitted that he had not filed certificates of abortions as required by Georgia law, he was fined $5,000 and his medical license was placed on probation for two years.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Life Links 10/7/09

National Review has an editorial in response to a Nature editorial which argues for changing the definition of death to include individuals who aren't dead but "who will never again be the person(s) (they were)" to increase organ donations.
The deeper flaw with the proposal is that it is grossly immoral, an attempt to legitimize the killing of vulnerable people while pretending something else is being done. Further evils would come in its train. The editorial concludes that “concerns about the legal details of declaring death in someone who will never again be the person he or she was should be weighed against the value of giving a full and healthy life to someone who will die without a transplant.” Whether someone is actually dead is not a “legal detail.” And note the expansiveness of the language. There will always be people whose lives do not seem “full and healthy,” in comparison either with who they once were or with others deemed more deserving of life.

It appears that some pro-choice students from our neighbor to the north still can't stand to let a prolife lecture by Jojo Ruba occur on campus without childish disruptions.
Despite reports that the event had been cancelled, Choose Life President Natalie Fohl proceeded with holding Tuesday's lecture. As soon as Ruba began to speak, a group of pro-choice advocates broke into song, drowning Ruba out and disrupting the lecture. When Ruba played a video of graphic images in response, the protestors went up on stage to block the screens....

Although McGill security guards asked the protestors to return to their seats and remain quiet so Ruba could continue his presentation, they all refused. After about an hour of singing, the Montreal police arrived, and demanded that the demonstrators either leave the room or return to their seats and remain silent for the rest of the presentation.

The trial of Belkis Gonzalez, the abortion clinic operator who allegedly killed baby Shanice after a botched abortion, is set to begin on Friday. Local prolifers are still upset she isn't being charged with murder.

Wesley Smith on NIH director Francis Collins' position on using cloning to create and destroy human embryos for research.
What I find disturbing is Collins’s seeming acceptance that religion is the only basis for opposing human cloning. In fact, it is the least of it. Treating human life as a mere commodity, manufactured solely for instrumental use, quality control, and destruction, is a hugely important ethical issue that extends far beyond religion and into important human rights issues, including the intrinsic value of human life, e.g. human exceptionalism.

Joe Carter notes that Justice Ginsburg doesn't attend a Red Mass ceremony not because she isn't Catholic but because the sermon spoke against abortion.
Ginsburg is Jewish, but non-observant, so there is no reason to expect her to attend the mass. But her reason for not joining her colleagues are revealing: While attending a Catholic mass apparently wouldn’t conflict with her Judaic religious sensibilities, they do offend her religious beliefs as a member of the Church of Pro-Choice.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Life Links 10/6/09

In the UK, a doctor is on trial after allegedly attempting to abort his mistress' child by spiking her drink with abortion drugs.
Miss Prowse, who eventually gave birth to a healthy baby boy, said she agreed to have an abortion but then changed her mind. ...

The court was told that Miss Prowse kept the remains of the drinks and, when analysed by police, were found to contain abortion drugs diclofenac, misoprostol and methotrexate.

Miss Prowse said: "He told me if I had the baby it would 'destroy him'." The court heard that abortion drugs were found on Erin and his wife had seen him grinding up tablets.

William McGurn has a piece in the Wall Street Journal on how Congressman Bart Stupak is becoming a problem in the same way that former Pennsylvania governor Robert Casey was a problem for the party's abortion proponents.

Meanwhile Governor Casey's son, Senator Bob Casey, seems to be struggling with what to do if abortion funding is included in health care reform legislation.
Casey, in an interview, said it is one of many concerns he plans to bring to the White House and Senate leadership before the measure comes up for a vote.

''We're trying to make sure we don't have federal tax dollars paying for abortion,'' he said.

Still, he doesn't want to let any one issue stand in the way of a health care overhaul. ''We shouldn't have this debate be an impediment to getting a bill passed,'' he said.

Issues which "may frankly be too dangerous for pro-choice movements to acknowledge"

At the Abortioneers blog, one abortion clinic worker post the entirety of a journal article (with the exception of references) focusing on second-trimester abortions and why some abortionists don't perform them. It is written by a female abortionist who is extremely direct and the article includes a number of personal stories relating to abortion. She talks about "the personal and psychological aspects" of performing second trimester abortions, the "visual and visceral dimensions of second trimester abortion," the "violence inherent in abortion, especially apparent in the second trimester" and "legitimate ethical and moral issues providers may have with second trimester abortion, as distinct from first trimester abortion."

I would strongly suggest you read the whole thing. Here are some excerpts:
When I was a little over 18 weeks pregnant with my now pre-school child, I did a second trimester abortion for a patient who was also a little over 18 weeks pregnant. As I reviewed her chart I realised that I was more interested than usual in seeing the fetal parts when I was done, since they would so closely resemble those of my own fetus. I went about doing the procedure as usual, removed the laminaria I had placed earlier and confirmed I had adequate dilation. I used electrical suction to remove the amniotic fluid, picked up my forceps and began to remove the fetus in parts, as I always did. I felt lucky that this one was already in the breech position – it would make grasping small parts (legs and arms) a little easier. With my first pass of the forceps, I grasped an extremity and began to pull it down. I could see a small foot hanging from the teeth of my forceps. With a quick tug, I separated the leg. Precisely at that moment, I felt a kick – a fluttery “thump, thump” in my own uterus. It was one of the first times I felt fetal movement. There was a leg and foot in my forceps, and a “thump, thump” in my abdomen. Instantly, tears were streaming from my eyes – without me – meaning my conscious brain - even being aware of what was going on. I felt as if my response had come entirely from my body, bypassing my usual cognitive processing completely. A message seemed to travel from my hand and my uterus to my tear ducts. It was an overwhelming feeling – a brutally visceral response – heartfelt and unmediated by my training or my feminist pro-choice politics. It was one of the more raw moments in my life. Doing second trimester abortions did not get easier after my pregnancy; in fact, dealing with little infant parts of my born baby only made dealing with dismembered fetal parts sadder......

Currently, the violence and, frankly, the gruesomeness of abortion is owned only by those who would like to see abortion (at any time in pregnancy) disappear, by those who stand outside clinics and in front of sports arenas holding placards with pictures of fetal parts and partially dismembered fetal bodies. The pro-choice movement has not owned or owned up to the reality of the fetus, or the reality of fetal parts. Since the common anti-abortion stance is that the fetus has a right to life, those who support abortion access necessarily deny such a right. However, in doing so, the fetus is usually neglected entirely, becomes unimportant, nothing. Instead of acknowledging what is on the placards, abortion rights activists may say in response to them that they are fake pictures or that abortions don't really look like that. However, to a doctor and clinic team involved in second trimester abortion, they very well may. Of course, acknowledging the violence of abortion risks admitting that the stereotypes that anti-abortion forces hold of us are true – that we are butchers, etc.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Life Links 10/5/09

The Topeka Capital-Journal has a disturbing article about a female prison inmate who got an abortion after being allegedly raped and impregnated by a vocational teacher who would give inmates money and contraband for sexual favors. The teacher, Anastacio "Ted" Gallardo, was only sentenced to 2 years probation despite the accusations of rape and his admittance that he brought pills to the inmate in an attempt to induce an abortion.
Gallardo, who stipulated at a court hearing he had sex with Keith and brought pills to her in an attempt to induce an abortion, had quit his job as a plumbing instructor at TCF when all attempts to destroy evidence of his crimes failed. He left Keith, a former drug addict, to resolve the dilemma alone. It is difficult enough to be poor, single and pregnant. Keith was dealing with those strikes from behind the steel gates of a prison.

"I was really scared that I was going to get into trouble and do more time," she said.

State corrections officials confirmed Keith's pregnancy was terminated in December 2007 at a Johnson County abortion clinic.

Keith was driven to the Planned Parenthood clinic in a state vehicle by a corrections department employee. It was an emotional, confusing time for Keith. Inside the Planned Parenthood clinic, she signed a stack of documents. She doesn't recall their contents. Her mind is blank on that point. Details of the antiseptic procedure, however, remain vivid. She would welcome relief from memories of the cleansing of the most profound evidence of sex between a corrections department employee and a female inmate to emerge from the Topeka prison.

Wesley Smith notes how California’s embryonic stem cell agency still has loaned money rolling despite its current economic crisis.
I told y’all during the Proposition 71 campaign: If health care plans for the poor collapsed, if the schools had to be shuttered and university tuition raised through the roofs, indeed, if the state fell in the sea, “the scientists” would still get their cloning money. And that is exactly what’s what we are borrowing more money to ensure. The sense of entitlement and privildge would choke a horse. The fiscal stupidity boggles the mind.

Dan Gilgoff interviews Congressman Bart Stupak, a prolife Democrat, about abortion and health care reform.
What about the Capps Amendment language stipulating that federal funds must be segregated from individual premiums in funding abortion coverage?

All that is just a mirage. On the D.C. appropriations bill, we used to have the Dornan language, which said you cannot use federal dollars to pay for [abortions] in D.C. We gave them operating funds, and what we said in Dornan is you had to segregate it. [The Democratic leadership] will not give us that language anymore. They denied us that. So if they were really committed to this firewall, as the pro-choice people say, then why not put in the Dornan language we've had for the last 15 or 16 years?

They have denied us every right-to-life amendment. There's just a lack of trust there. We don't believe it. How does the saying go? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I won't get fooled twice.....

Were you reassured at all about your abortion-in-healthcare concerns after your meeting this week with Speaker Pelosi?

No. The speaker did not promise me either way whether I'd get an amendment. She urged me to go back and work with [Energy and Commerce Committee] Chairman [Henry] Waxman and try to work this out, so we'll go back and forth.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

More evidence of the public trending prolife

The New Times has an article which discusses a recent Pew Research Center poll which showed a rather dramatic change in the percentage people who think abortion should be either always or mostly illegal .
In 2008, a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found that those in favor of keeping abortion legal outnumbered opponents by 54 to 40 percent. The new poll, also conducted by Pew researchers, and released on Thursday, showed that the gap had narrowed considerably: 47 percent of those surveyed said abortion should be legal in all or most cases, and 45 percent said it should be illegal in all or most cases — a difference within the poll’s margin of sampling error.

Michael New has some comments on how Obama’s inability to make a reasoned case for the pro-choice viewpoint could have played a factor in this change.
However, an overlooked reason for this shift in public opinion is because the most visible pro-choice elected official in America is really not a very articulate proponent of abortion rights. When asked about sanctity-of-life issues, President Obama almost never defends legal abortion. Instead, President Obama seems a little dodgy and somewhat evasive. He often mentions the need to find common ground an expresses and interest in trying to reduce the abortion rate. Now on the policy side, he has done nothing to offer much encouragement to pro-lifers. However, President Obama's unwillingness to make a solid case for legal abortion is likely weakening pro-choice sentiment.

Life Links 10/1/09

Harlan Clark, the man who allegedly shot abortion protestor Jim Pouillon, has been ruled incompetent to stand trial.
Shiawassee County District Judge Terrance Dignan, citing a written opinion by the state Center for Forensic Psychiatry, said Harlan Drake could attain competence to stand trial if provided treatment.

Prosecutor Randy Colbry tells WNEM-TV that Drake was placed into the custody of the state Department of Mental Health to undergo treatment.

If you wanted any more evidence that the editorial board for the New York Times isn’t exceptionally thoughtful here’s an astounding sentence.
In a rational system of medical care, there would be virtually no restrictions on financing abortions.
What? In what world is the unrestricted government funding of killing unborn children rational?

The Family Research Council has put together a booklet on the work of pregnancy care centers entitled, A Passion to Serve: A Vision for Life - Pregnancy Resource Center Service Report 2009. You can download it for free here.