Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Life Links 11/30/10

Scott Klusendorf provides a sample of how he would structure a basic prolife seminar to help equip Christians persuasively defend the unborn.

In Canada, Robert Latimer has been granted full parole to return to his home. Latimer claimed his act of murdering his disabled daughter in 1993 with carbon monoxide was a mercy killing. For the last 2 years, he'd been living in a halfway house.

Barbara Bush recently claimed that she didn't put her miscarried child in a jar and show it to President George W. Bush when he was a teen. She claims a housekeeper did.

Having an abortion in the United Arab Emirates can have severe consequences.
BM, a Syrian, appeared on Sunday before the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance and was charged with illegal sex, facilitating prostitution and assisting in an abortion. The court also addressed four women from Uzbekistan, who were charged with prostitution and being in the country illegally.

SD, one of the four, was accused of aborting her pregnancy and having sex with BM. She pleaded not guilty to the sex charges but admitted to being in the country illegally.

SD initially confessed to taking abortion pills and to having sex with BM, but she retracted that after the Chief Justice told her she faced stoning if she confessed. She then pleaded not guilty and said she aborted the foetus naturally.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pediatricians not happy having abortionist as a neighbor

Dr. Steve Brinn, M.D. submitted this letter to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The three pediatricians of Liberty Sharonville Pediatrics have practiced in Sharonville for 31 years, caring for infants and children since 1979. Our present building was built in 1985. Imagine our shock and disbelief, when we learned that an abortion clinic was opening in the building 50-feet from our front door. Why would a clinic performing abortions be so insensitive to a group practice treating children for 31 years?

To have a group of OB/GYN doctors terminating fetuses just outside our door, to force our mothers and their babies drive through a common driveway, driving by the front of an abortion clinic, in order to park in our lot to have their babies cared for is an atrocity. We are here to prevent infant diseases, and they are here to end infant lives. We may not have the legal right to get them to move but we will do anything in our power to vocalize our personal disgust with their mission.

Life Links 11/29/10

Frances Kissling discusses the Open Hearts abortion conference and her thoughts on it.
Surely something subtle changed for each of us. Perhaps, as Peter Singer, another of the organizers, had hoped, it was one on those moments when those on different sides of the issue learned that not everyone who disagrees with them is either "stupid or evil." Or simply that we are all human and things are complicated.
Amanda Marcotte disagrees because she believes prolifers are all liars who are really just anti-woman and anti-sex.
Part of the problem is that it's impossible to have a dialogue with someone who refuses to speak honestly about their positions. As long as anti-choicers continue promoting the fraudulent idea that they're in this for "life", when they are clearly in it to oppose sexual liberation and women's rights, there cannot be any dialogue. Talking to liars isn't a dialogue.
Back to Kissling, who thinks the pro-choice movement should embrace the seriousness of abortion.
Not even the reproductive justice movement, the newest and best of abortion rights frames, adequately addresses the fact that abortion is a serious decision precisely because it involves how we, as humans, will foster respect for life, even if ending it is justified and not the same as taking the life of a person. Can we acknowledge that abortion is not just a medical procedure like having one's tonsils out but entails many losses, including the inability to bring life one has created to fruition?

Is it possible that such acknowledgments might result not in greater restriction of abortion, but in a public that trusts us, and trusts women, even more?

The Globe and Mail has published a piece by a woman going by the name L. Allen who says she has forgiven herself for her abortions.
For 10 years I had tried to forget it happened. I had buried it all deep down – the guilt, the memories, everything – and convinced myself that the abortions didn't affect me. It wasn't until I came across Ms. Lamott's story and reflected on my own that I realized I'd been clinging to a whole pile of unresolved guilt for my decisions.

Perhaps it is the upcoming birth of my child that has propelled me into confronting my past. What better time to purge the wounds that have festered so long within? Silent, unspoken pain that begged to be noticed and dealt with, but which I chose to ignore.

More than 2,000 people took part in a ceremony to "send off the souls" of more than 2,000 aborted children found in a Buddhist temple in Thailand.
The ceremony started at 7am when Phrakhru Wijit Sorakhun, the abbot of Wat Phai Ngern Chotanaram, performed religious rites in the main chapel of the temple.

A prayer was given and alms were offered to 100 monks and novices to make merit for the souls of the unborn babies.

The names of the 2,002 unborn babies written on pieces of paper were put in a coffin, which was carried around the crematorium three times.

Participants placed dokmai chan, or sandalwood flowers, at the crematorium site and poured ceremonial water as an act of offering merit to the unborn babies. Similar merit-making rituals will also be organised in the next seven days, 50 days and 100 days.

In the Kansas City Star, one parent writes about answering her child's question about abortion.
Recently, my parenting skills were tested with the question, "What is an abortion?" This question was difficult enough to answer, but the follow-up question of "why" was nearly impossible.

Another gem from Amanda Marcotte

This one showing her complete lack of knowledge about fetal development and when abortions take place.
Never mind that pretty much every pro-choicer is quite aware what a fetus is, thank you very much. And never mind that most abortions happens well before the period where a fetus looks like much at all, since it's tiny and doesn't resemble a person.
Here's what the unborn child looks like at 8 weeks of pregnancy (6 weeks after conception) which is the stage of development when most U.S. abortions are performed at or after).

Don't you just love it when someone claims to be an expert about something and then proves they have no clue what they're talking about in the next sentence?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Life Links 11/24/10

Pete Arnold, the man behind Birthornot.com admits to CNN that they never intended to have an abortion. He still claims his wife is pro-choice.
"My intent is not to deceive people, but at the same point, I do want people to talk about this. This seemed like a pretty good way to further the discussion, because people don't ever seem to want to talk about it for real if there's no name on it, no Baby Wiggles," he said.

Surprise, surprise. Planned Parenthood and two abortionists are challenging Alaska recently passed parental notification law.

Authorities in Thailand have seized approximately 100,000 pills used for inducing abortions.

I always find it so curious when pro-choicers think photos of aborted children are fake. For example, Brit Schulte writes about Justice For All display at North Texas in the Socialist Worker:
On the other side, the anti-choice demonstrators held their fabricated images of supposedly aborted fetuses.
What does Schulte imagine that aborted children look like?

Steve Wagner also posted a video of Justice For All's display at North Texas.

RH Reality Check's Robin Marty writes one of the most unintentionally hilarious sentences ever.
The effectiveness of embryonic stem cells over adult stem cells is a scientific fact that everyone except the most extreme of the anti-choice movement has recognized.
Yes, embryonic stem cells, which have yet to successfully treat a single human being of a single disease and have only been recently approved for two early stage clinical trialsm are more effective than adult stem cells, which have been successfully treating people with a myriad of diseases for years. That's just delusional. Marty's not claiming embryonic stem cells have "more promise" or "greater potential." She thinks they're more effective now.

Where does RH Reality Check find these people?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Life Links 11/23/10

The LA Times has a long article on the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine and their plans to ask California voters for more stem cell money. Wesley Smith comments,
So who cares about fiscal sanity? Who cares that ESCR is now funded without the Bush restrictions? Who cares that human cloning hasn’t worked out? Who cares that California is falling into the ocean fiscally? Who cares that our taxpayers are groaning under high taxes and an astonishing level of bond debt? Not the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine.

Prolifers in Council Bluffs came out to a city council meeting to show their opposition to LeRoy Carhart's plans to build a late-term abortion mill there.
Carhart, the Bellevue doctor who once performed late-term abortions in Nebraska, recently said he plans to open an abortion clinic in Council Bluffs.

If so, it won’t be on Avenue G and North 15th Street. At its meeting Monday, the council unanimously agreed to dispose of 24,393 square feet of vacant city ground near that intersection, but with the stipulation that an abortion clinic could not be built there.

A Harvard researcher has developed a new way to reprogram "mature endothelial cells—which line the interior of blood vessels" into flexible adult stem cells.
Medici’s study, published online earlier this week in the journal Nature Medicine, found a mutated gene that causes a disease known as Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva induced endothelial cells to become cells very similar to adult mesenchymal stem cells, which have the ability to differentiate into bone, fat, and cartilage cells.....

In addition, Medici said the new discovery is “a much safer alternative than induced pluripotent stem cells,” which also come from reprogrammed mature cells but can lead to cancer in patients.

American Idol Fantasia Barrino tells court she had abortion before suicide attempt

My FOX Orlando and a variety of celebrity tabloids are reporting that former American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino told the Mecklenburg County Court in North Carolina that she had an abortion before attempting suicide three months ago.

The father of the child was a married man named Antwaun Cook, whom Barrino claims she believed was separated from his wife.
The 26-year-old singer said she had gotten pregnant by Antwaun Cook and had chosen to terminate the pregnancy.

On August 9, she was admitted to Mercy South Hospital in Pineville, N.C. after swallowing a bottle of Aspirin and a sleep aid in a suicide attempt.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Life Links 11/22/10

The New York Times has an article on the illegal abortion controversy in Thailand where 2,000 aborted children were found in a Buddhist temple.
Lanchakorn Janthamanas, 33, has acknowledged that she made regular deliveries of fetuses to the temple after collecting them from several illegal clinics. She has also acknowledged having performed illegal abortions.

But her mother said it was not such a simple matter to place blame. "I am proud of my daughter for her contribution to society," said the mother, Sombat Sinotho, 60, speaking of the abortions she had performed. "Only those who have not faced the problem of an unwanted pregnancy tend to view her as evil."

Ms. Lanchakorn said she had rescued eight fetuses that had survived the procedure and was now raising them as her own adopted children. "I commit sin every day," she said, "so if the kids won't die, there's no need to kill them."

A Planned Parenthood in Columbia, Missouri, has resumed performing abortions after three months of no abortions because of staffing issues.

One of the leader's of Lansing's 40 Days for Life campaign shares his experience at the recent burial for 17 aborted children whose remains were found in an abortion clinic dumpster..

FDA gives ACT clearance for another embryonic stem cell trial

Advanced Cell Technology just announced via press release that the Food and Drug Administration has approved their application for the second clinical trial using cells derived from embryonic stem cells. They will test retinal cells created from human embryonic stem cells in patients with Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy, a juvenile eye disease which eventually leads to blindness.
The Phase I/II trial will be a prospective, open-label study that is designed to determine the safety and tolerability of the RPE cells following sub-retinal transplantation to patients with advanced SMD. A total of twelve patients will be enrolled in the study at multiple clinical sites.

Why would pro-choicers be against a site like Birthornot.com if it wasn't a hoax?

Pro-choicer Jeff Fecke has done a fair amount of research into Pete and Alisha Arnold, the couple behind Birthornot.com and it's clear as day that it's a hoax. But while I certainly don't condone what the Arnolds are doing, I think Fecke's conclusion is wrong. He writes,
But Pete and Alisha Arnold failed in their trolling, simply because they fundamentally misunderstood the pro-choice view. It's not surprising; being anti-choice means that you want to decide for others what they must do when faced with the decision to have a child. It's only natural for them to assume that pro-choicers must want to force women to have abortions against their will. After all, to an anti-choicer, "against their will" is how women should do pretty much everything; it's just a question of who's making the decisions for them.
First, they failed in their trolling because they didn't cover their tracks.

Second, who's Jeff Fecke to say that if a Alisha Arnold was actually considering an abortion and thought the viewpoint of the public would be helpful in making her decision that a web site like Birthornot.com would be "wrong."

Fecke writes, "Anyone who's truly pro-choice would understand why putting a woman's right to choose up for a vote is wrong" but then never really explains why.

From a prolife perspective, I know why I think it's wrong but I'm struggling to see why the "Trust Women" caucus would think so. If a woman chooses to rely on the public's help in making an abortion decision, then what's wrong with that from a pro-choice perspective? For years we've heard that a woman should be allowed to make an abortion decision with "her doctor and family." Why (from a pro-choice perspective) would it be wrong to include the public in this realm of influence?

"You can see that it resembles a human..."

The Toronto Star has a long piece on abortion in Canada featuring the story of an abortionist-in-training who began struggling with performing abortions after he and his partner (they're gay) decided they wanted to adopt a child.
His belief that women had the right to do what they wanted with their bodies was steadfast during his medical training in London, Ont.

It solidified further after he spent a month learning how to perform abortions at the Morgentaler Clinic in Toronto. He found that he enjoyed the work and was not put off by a woman's tears or the tissue he extracted from her womb.....

As James's desire to have a family deepened, he began to think an uneasy thing: how could he terminate pregnancies when each abortion meant there would be one less child for adoption?

He also wondered how he would explain what he did for a living to his adopted child. After all, wouldn't his son or daughter have been born because the birth mother had not chosen abortion?
James remembers feeling a gentle shock each of those first few times. But even after viewing a second-term abortion, he was not haunted by what he saw.

"During the direct examination, you might see an arm or an umbilical cord or, even, the body. It doesn't all come out in one piece. With your imagination, you can see that it resembles a human.....

Though James recognizes that abortion kills something that "resembles a human" and every abortion means one less child available for adopted, he decides that being an abortionist (including doing later abortions) is his career path.
One year after questions started to swirl through his mind, he has made his choice.

James will be an abortion doctor.

Not only that, but James plans to do second-trimester abortions as part of his practice. He will step to the very front line, the place where there is greatest need — and greatest risk.

More on abortion and health care

At Public Discourse, Jim Capretta shares his thoughts on Richard Stith's argument that adding the Hyde Amendment to the health care law may be better than repealing the law.
There are much better ways to address the genuine needs of the uninsured than what was passed. The fundamental problem in American health care is insufficient productivity by the health sector. The solution is not top-down micromanagement from Washington, D.C., but a functioning marketplace in which the government provides oversight but consumers and patients direct the allocation of resources. That can be done by converting today's federal support for insurance into support that the beneficiaries themselves direct and control. Indeed, a crucial reform would be to give all American households a fixed tax credit—about $6,000 per family—that must be used for the purchase of an insurance plan. This would take the place of today's tax preference for job-based plans and would guarantee insurance coverage to the entire U.S. population. It would do so in a way that then engendered the kind of dynamic response in the marketplace that could transform American medicine for the better. And it could be an absolutely pro-life step by inclusion of a clear prohibition against coverage of elective abortions in any plan purchased by the credit.

Richard Stith responds to Capretta's response.

Friday, November 19, 2010

More evidence that Birthornot.com is a stunt

LifeNews.com provides views from both prolife and pro-choice camps (common ground!) who think the web site Birthornot.com is a hoax in which the couple is actually prolife and were attempting to make some kind of point.

Life Links 11/19/10

More than thousand additional aborted children have been found at a Buddhist temple in Thailand. Earlier this week there were reports of more than 300 aborted children being found. Now, after opening a new area, 1,500 more children were found on Thursday night according to MSNBC. Police have arrested one woman who admitted performing illegal abortions.

Politico has an article about how National Right to Life is pushing hard for Representative Joe Pitts to get "the gavel of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health" if Fred Upton (mixed voting record on life issues) is given the chairmanship of the full committee.
"It has been widely reported that Congressman Fred Upton is the frontrunner for the full committee chairmanship. This prospect raises the gravest concerns from the pro-life perspective," Johnson wrote. "We acknowledge that Mr. Upton has voted pro-life on a number of significant issues, including curbs on direct federal funding of abortion. Moreover, in recent weeks he has stated his intent to actively move certain pieces of key pro-life legislation. But these statements do not greatly comfort us, in light of the 24-year record summarized above. If, however, the Health Subcommittee were to be chaired by a Member with a long history of bold leadership on pro-life issues, our objections to a prospective Upton chairmanship would be greatly mitigated."

At the Corner Greg Pfundstein relates some of what happened at the New York City Council committee hearing on a measure to regulate CPCs.
Halloran, who is concerned about the bill for scope-of-government reasons, pressed Freedman and her co-panelist, Dr. Susan Blank of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, on the “truth in advertising” contention. Did they honestly think that anyone would be confused about what an organization called Bridge to Life, the Sisters of Life, or Life Center does? Both officials averred that indeed, people would, since not everyone is well-versed in the vocabulary of the culture war. That is, Blank and Freedman believe that a reasonable person might assume that an organization called the Sisters of Life performs abortions.

The councilman then asked whether a person might also think an organization called Planned Parenthood focuses its efforts on assisting women who choose parenthood. No, said Blank and Freedman, a reasonable person would not assume that an organization called Planned Parenthood is primarily concerned with parenthood.

But the most damning testimony against the law was given by a young lady who was confused by the name “Planned Parenthood,” which led her to have a very strange experience just last week. The address 44 Court Street in Brooklyn is home to EMC, Planned Parenthood, and Dr. Emily’s Abortion Clinic. Twenty-eight weeks pregnant and happily so, but a little “financially strapped,” the young lady went to 44 Court Street looking for an organization that had assisted a friend of hers a few years earlier. She couldn’t remember the name of the organization, just the address. What she wanted was a car seat, since you’re not allowed to leave the hospital without one. Looking at the directory in the lobby, she saw Planned Parenthood and assumed that it must be the organization she was looking for. But when she went inside and explained her situation, she was told that they could not help her get a car seat, but that since she was financially strapped, she could sign documents indicating that she was under psychological stress and get a medical waiver for a late-term abortion.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pregnant couple sets up web site for people to vote on whether they should give birth or have an abortion

The Daily Mail has a piece on a Minnesota couple named Pete and Alisha Arnold who've set up a web site (which just stopped working for me), www.birthornot.com, to let people vote on whether Alisha should give birth or have a late-term abortion.
The couple, from Minneapolis, have uploaded regular scan images of the foetus, which is a perfectly-healthy boy they have nicknamed 'Wiggles'.

Alisha is now 17 weeks pregnant and web users have until December 7 to cast their vote - just two days before the 20-week cut-off line for a state-legal abortion.

The latest results shows a fairly split opinion, with 46.27 per cent voting to keep the baby and 53.73 per cent wanting the couple to have an abortion.

Writing on her blog, Alisha said she fears the pressure of juggling motherhood and a career could cause her to have a nervous breakdown.

She wrote: 'I'm not convinced that I want to change the status quo. I feel that as I age I've actually gotten more selfish and set in my ways.

'I'm afraid that I will eventually regret starting a family and "settling down", as they say.
They claim it isn't a hoax and are (not surprisingly) pro-choice.
Some claim the website is a pro-life publicity stunt but the couple have strenuously denied this.

They told U.S. website Gawker: 'We are taking this very seriously. It's definitely not a pro-life campaign, we believe in a woman's right to choose.

UPDATE: Amanda Marcotte thinks its a stunt by prolifers.

Thai authorities going after illegal abortion clinics

In Thailand, authorities are cracking down on illegal abortion clinics after hundreds of aborted children were found at a Buddhist temple.
Health officials said yesterday they had targetted about 3,900 clinics they suspected of performing abortions.

The move came as police obtained an account from a woman working at one of three clinics they raided yesterday. She said she had been paid to transport foetuses to an undertaker at Wat Phai Ngern Chotanaram in Bang Kholaem district.....

Pol Col Sombat said the crematorium at Wat Phai Ngern Chotanaram had not been working for the past two months, and that was why the foetuses had to be stored.

The remains did not give off a foul odour initially and petrol was poured around the morgue of the temple in a bid to cover the smell.

A pit was later dug to bury the foetuses but the stench was overpowering, prompting local people to complain to the abbot. The complaint led to the stunning discovery just before the burial.

The undertaker initially tried to distance himself from any wrongdoing by claiming he had been paid by a woman to keep some plastic bags and he did not know what was inside them.

Life Links 11/18/10

The Live Action blog has a video by the Citizens for a Pro-Life Society showing what they discovered at abortion clinic dumpsters, including the remains of a number of unborn children aborted in the first trimester.

The LA Times has a piece by Valerie Ulene, M.D. about how unplanned pregnancies and how most of them happen when women fail to use contraceptives or use them improperly/inconsistently. Unsurprisingly, it's not prolifers who are to blame for the vast majority of women failing to use contraception.
A study published in 2009 in the Journal of Family Practice found that among contraception non-users, 87% cited at least one of the following reasons: "just not thinking about birth control," "not planning to have sex," "getting caught up in the heat of the moment" or "just went with the flow."
With few exceptions, unintended pregnancies are not "accidents." They are predictable consequences of having sex without contraception.

William Saletan now shares his advice for pro-choicers. I doubt pro-choicers are going to be taking him up on any of them (except #2 which they already claim to support) since they either completely undermine the slogan that pro-choicers "trust women" (moralizing about contraception, stigmatizing women who don't use contraception when they don't want to get pregnant and targeting women who get repeat abortions) or would hurt the abortion industry (embracing the value of the unborn and considering more restrictions on 2nd trimester abortions).

On abortion clinic in Yakima, Washington closed on Monday. Looks like an example of another independent clinic losing its business to Planned Parenthood.
"It's regrettable. We'd rather not have to close," said Beverly Whipple, one of the clinic's founders who steered it through turbulent times in the face of early anti-abortion protests.

She said that with the expansion of Planned Parenthood abortion services in recent years, the region is now overserved. "There isn't the patient volume for two main providers," Whipple said.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Life Links 11/17/10

Carleton University's student union has banned the campus' prolife club. However, they did give them an option of continuing to be recognized. All Carleton Lifeline has to do is become pro-choice.
“We invite you to amend your constitution to create one that respects our anti-discrimination policy as laid out above,” wrote Khaldoon Bushnaq, CUSA’s vice-president of internal affairs. “If you are able to resubmit a constitution that meets our criteria by Thursday, November 18th we will be able to certify your club for this semester.”
“It’s very ironic that they have a discrimination policy that allows them to discriminate against pro-life groups,” (Ruth Lobo, the president of Carleton Lifeline) said. “CUSA claims to be representative of all students. As a pro-life student I am not represented by an organization I am forced to pay dues to in my tuition. Either they should create a policy in which students can opt out of fees or get rid of the discrimination policy,” Ms. Lobo said.

Ramesh Ponnuru responds to William Saletan's advice for the prolife movement.
Third, Saletan says that if pro-lifers “were to embrace contraception and give it moral sanction,” it would reduce abortion more than any anti-abortion law. I’m highly skeptical. Are people really having sex without contraception because pro-lifers have refrained from proselytizing in favor of contraception?
Come on Ramesh. Everybody knows that National Right to Life's lack of a position paper on contraception is main cause of unmarried women using birth control sporadically and improperly.

Prolifers came up to testify against a measure to regulate prolife pregnancy centers at a New York City Council committee meeting.
Council Member Daniel Halloran raised questions about the city government telling a group that it must disclose what it doesn't provide, suggesting that Planned Parenthood should change its name to indicate that it also plans for nonparenthood.

"I am very concerned that if the government can step in here it can step in other places and do exactly the same thing," he said.

In North Dakota, the Cass County state’s attorney Birch Burdick has decided against charging abortionist Lori Thorndike for performing abortions after letting her North Dakota medical license expire.
Under North Dakota law, abortions must be performed by a licensed physician. Violations in the abortion statute are subject to possible misdemeanor or felony criminal penalties.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Former world's oldest mother might want to have another kid

Adriana Iliescu, a 72-year-old woman in Romania who formerly held the title of world's oldest mother might want to get pregnant again. She had a child via IVF when she was 66 and became the oldest mother in the world.

The article also notes that she had an abortion early in her life.
A spokeswoman for the Romanian intellectuals, who comes from a wealthy family, Adriana married when she was 20 years old. In the first year of her marriage she became pregnant, but doctors advised her to have an abortion because she was diagnosed with TB. She had to agree because she could understand the potential danger to the child.

The Daily Mail has more.

Life Links 11/16/10

The remains of more than 340 unborn children have been found at a Buddhist temple in Thailand.
A total of 348 corpses, wrapped in plastic bags and newspaper, were found by a member of temple staff in a mortuary storage area.

Police Colonel Metee Rakphan said plastic bags were found "with fetal corpses inside hidden in the storehouse of a temple".

"We assume that they were from illegal abortion clinics, and we are now investigating," he told AFP, adding that they were questioning the temple mortician.

A student at a pro-abortion conference in Africa seems to be forgetting someone:
“I am willing to face any challenge in the pursuit of the legalisation of abortion in Uganda,” Ogwal told the over 50 participants in a session on unsafe abortion and young women, where he was a presenter....

“Uganda can borrow a leaf from countries like South Africa. Otherwise, we are losing a lot of people who would have been useful to our society due to unsafe abortion,” Ogwal said.

Scientists in the UK have injected fetal stem cells into the brain of a patient who suffered a stroke.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Life Links 11/15/10

At Public Discourse, Helen Alvare writes that abortion law should be family law, as opposed to constitutional law.
Questions about "abortion and the law" are usually seen as matters of constitutional law. Constitutional law, however, seems ill-suited. This is not only because the U.S. Supreme Court discovered a "constitutional right" for something that had been banned by most states for most of the nation's history. It is also because the "privacy" right encompassing abortion frames the issue as a struggle between the state and the woman over her right to define her life, her future, or even her "concept …of the universe," in the famous words of the Casey Court. But it is becoming increasingly apparent that abortion is about family relationships, not simply a contest between the state and a woman who happens to be pregnant.

A Planned Parenthood in Lawrence, Kansas has closed because of lack of interest in their services. According to Kansas prolife groups, the Lawrence location offered RU-486 chemical abortions.
Planned Parenthood did not return calls Friday. But a sign posted in the window of the Lawrence office at 2108J W. 27th St. said that location closed Aug. 31.

"It appears the need for our services is not as great as it once was and it is no longer financially feasible to continue offering those services," the notice said. "We are sorry for the inconvenience this may cause you."

Joseph Knippenberg responds to a Poltico article which asked if abortion was the reason some Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate lost.
If I were to draw a lesson from the evidence before us, it isn't that abortion is a winner or wave-stopper for Democrats, or that Republicans need to modulate their pro-life positions in order to win office. It's that Republicans have to find a way (which has nothing to do with abortion) to win over more African-American and Hispanic voters. That's been done before and can surely be done again.

In the meantime, if Democrats want to strengthen their connection with roughly one-third of the electorate by emphasizing their strongly pro-choice position, well, who am I to stand in their way?

University of Georgia student Samantha Shelton is extremely confused. She somehow thinks that a Center for Bio-Ethical Reform/Genocide Awareness Project display showing the remains of aborted children violated her university's code of conduct by "infring[ing] upon the rights, privacy, or privileges" of women who have exercised their right to terminate their pregnancy." She never explains how these rights were infringed upon. The only "right" she seems to argue was violated was her "right" not to be disturbed.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"It was certainly not an easy decision to abort four of my unborn children."

The UK's The Sun has a story on a 22-year-old woman who has had four abortions, one at 22-weeks. Stacy Cutler attempts to explain her reasoning.
Stacy believes she made the right decision when terminating four pregnancies - one only two weeks before the legal limit of 24 weeks. She says: "It was certainly not an easy decision to abort four of my unborn children.

"But I realised that it would be unfair to bring those children in to the world when I barely had the money to look after my son.

Stacy, who was on the Pill when she fell pregnant all four times, feels that abortion is still too much of a taboo in this country.

She says: "Women who choose to have an abortion are criticised and looked down on.

"But it is far better than bringing a child into the world that you are unable to look after or afford.
Question: Does Stacy really think it is better to kill her unborn children (in her words) than have them be born poor? Or does she really not recognize that she is having her children killed?

Life Links 11/11/10

Secular Prolife notes how the FDA is planning on putting graphic images on cigarette packages and draws parallels to the prolife movement.
The parallels to pro-life images are hard to miss. Many children's lives have been saved by images of the results of abortion. Smoking, like abortion, is a legal choice that the government seeks to dissuade in order to save lives. And, just as abortion businesses fight informed consent laws, cigarette manufacturer R.J. Reynolds is planning a lawsuit to protect its bottom line.

Operation Rescue isn't buying abortionist LeRoy Carhart's supposed late-term abortion business expansion.
"If there is one thing we know for sure about LeRoy Carhart, it is that he rarely, if ever, follows through on his grandiose boastings about future plans. Truthfulness is not a virtue that Mr. Carhart has ever fully embraced," said Newman.

At Time's web site Bonnie Richman discusses George W. Bush's account of seeing his miscarried sibling and how women react to seeing their miscarried children.
Looking at the fetus, touching and holding it is healing, says Swanson. Yet it's not socially acceptable. Who would dare take issue with a parent holding a sick, dying child? Yet looking at, let alone holding, a fetus makes society cringe.

Women who've miscarried aren't repulsed, though. When Swanson has counseled them, she specifically asks whether they saw the fetus. They look at her, their eyes well up and they begin to describe what they saw — buds of limbs, miniaturized perfection — and then they start sobbing. "Every time this happens, you know they've invited you into a sacred space of something deeply personal that they get very little opportunity to talk about," she says.

A man in Ohio was arrested after damaging a church's prolife crosses display.

Twenty-seven-year-old Robert Nicholl was charged Tuesday with disorderly conduct while intoxicated and criminal damaging.

Police say he pulled up some of the 2,000 small white crosses on the lawn outside St. Cecilia Roman Catholic Church and tossed them into the street. The church told The Cincinnati Enquirer it wasn't able to say how many crosses were destroyed.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Late-term abortionist Leroy Carhart planning to expand business into other states

Infamous late-term abortionist Leroy Carhart announced via a television interview that he plans on expanding his abortion business (currently located in Nebraska) into three other states: Iowa, Indiana and Maryland.

Part of the move seems based on Nebraska's fetal pain law which prohibits abortions after 20 weeks.
Carhart will open three new clinics by January. Those clinics, along with the clinic in Bellevue, will be called Carhart Centers for Sexual and Reproductive Health.

He said the first of those three clinics will be in Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C. That clinic will open on Dec. 6.
Looks like he's trying to fill the late-term abortion void left by abortionist Steve Brigham.
The second clinic will open in southeastern Council Bluffs. Carhart said he is still considering one of two buildings. He doesn't know when plans will be finalized.

The third clinic will open in Indianapolis and take the place of a clinic that's already providing services through another practitioner.

"I've said before, we would practice within the laws what they are, and fight the laws to get rid of them, and that's what we're doing," Carhart said.

Carhart said private donations are paying the cost to open the three clinics, estimated to be about $1.5 million.
An article at the Omaha.com web site seems to indicate that Carhart doesn't yet have the $1.5 million.
Opening the Council Bluffs and Washington-area clinics would cost about $1.5 million, he said. He plans to pay for the clinics with “some financing and a lot of fundraising.”
It also notes that Nebraska law forced the expansion and Carhart still wants to challenge the law.
Legislative Bill 1103, which went into effect Oct. 15, bans abortions at 20 weeks after fertilization or later. The law permits abortions at 20 weeks or later only to protect a woman's life or prevent major physical problems.

“This sort of forced us. We had to do it,” Carhart said of expanding elsewhere. “In Iowa and Maryland, we can do the later cases.”

He still plans to challenge LB 1103, but he's working on an effective approach, and it could be months before he and others file a challenge. “We feel it's definitely unconstitutional,” Carhart said.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Life Links 11/9/10

Thabiti Anyabwile provides a sample of how he would compare abortion and slavery if he were white.

Michael New bats down a Washington Post editorial by Brenda Major on abortion and mental health. I found this sentence interesting in Major's piece:
Rigorous U.S. scientific studies have not substantiated the claim that abortion, compared with its alternatives, causes an increased incidence of mental health problems.
Note that Major says "U.S. scientific studies." Does she do this to intentionally rule out the studies done on New Zealand women by David Fergusson?

At a blog called Talking Philosophy, one guy is perplexed at why women are more prolife than men after taking part in an interactive survey based on Judith Jarvis Thomson's violinist thought experiment.

Bonnie Erbe has a column in which she argues asserts the #ihadanabortion Tweeter tag is the pro-choice technological answer to the ultrasound. Yeah, I know. She also blames CPCs for the rise in unwed motherhood.

Life Links 11/8/10

According to New York Magazine, George W. Bush's view on abortion was affected by an incident in which his mother (who is pro-choice) showed him the remains of a child she miscarried. The story will be recounted tonight in an interview on NBC with Matt Lauer.
After Barbara Bush suffered a devastating miscarriage, "she said to her teenage kid, 'Here's the fetus,'" Bush told Lauer, "gesturing as if he were holding the jar." According to the Post, Bush says he got special permission from his mom to recount the private incident in print. Lauer reads an excerpt from the memoir where Bush, who had to drive his mother to the hospital, wrote, "I never expected to see the remains of the fetus, which she had saved in a jar to bring to the hospital." In the interview, he tells Lauer, "There's no question that affected me, a philosophy that we should respect life," adding that, "[The anecdote] was really to show how my mom and I developed a relationship."

A traveling abortionist may have performed abortions in North Dakota after her medical license there lapsed.
The clinic director called the matter an "administrative oversight," and the head of North Dakota's doctor licensing board said he can't recall a case in which a lapsed medical license led to criminal charges.

The doctor has active medical licenses in her resident state of Colorado and in South Dakota, but her North Dakota license expired June 30, The Forum reported....

Clinic director Tammi Kromenaker would not say whether the doctor performed abortions after her license expired. She said the clinic cooperated with the police investigation and that the doctor is working with the licensing board on a renewal.

The Live Action blog has a Center for Bio-Ethical Reform video showing an individual at Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne (IPFW) being arrested after vandalizing one of their displays.

At First Things, Richard Stith argues that prolifers should work to add Stupak Amendment language to the health care reform law instead of attempting to repeal it.
In order to explain my position, let's step back a moment to remember the situation prior to the new law, when health care was, except for the poor, much more market driven. The market was not favorable to life.

While Medicaid for the poor excluded elective abortion under the Hyde Amendment, many or most health plans automatically included fully elective abortion, giving the insured person no choice in the matter and very few effective ways to protest. Simply repealing the new legislation would presumably restore that market situation.....

However, if the healthcare law were amended to exclude all elective abortion—that is, if the Hyde Amendment were universalized and made permanent—pro-lifers would have the best of all worlds and pro-choicers would face their worst nightmare. The rules against funding elective abortion that were once applicable only to the poor would now become applicable to all, taking abortion totally out of the mainstream of healthcare and making it something no one would have covered who had not previously and deliberately chosen an abortion rider.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Halloween blogging

My pumpkin

The wife's

The kid

Life Links 11/5/10

Two MIT students have written one of the most absurd sentences I've ever seen.
A government’s failure to provide abortions constitutes depraved indifference to human life.
They also have a very low view of women.
Equality of the sexes is impossible without free access to abortions.
They never once attempt to make any argument about the what the unborn are and why it should be legal to kill them and conclude with this.
We look forward to a world in which every woman is guaranteed her right to an abortion whenever she wants, for any reason.

What kind of physicians would work for a man who has lost his medical license in numerous states and has a long history of skirting the law and botching abortions? As Operation Rescue shows, criminals and physicians who likely can't find work anywhere else.

Thabiti Anyabwhile (a prolife pastor in the Cayman Islands) argues that prolifers should avoid comparing abortion to slavery, without at least spending a good amount of time showing your empathy towards how slaves suffered.
A suggestion: If you have an African American audience with whom you’re using this analogy and you have 30 minutes to win their support, spend the first 20 minutes showing your familiarity with the brutality of suffering and affirming the humanity of the sufferer before you employ the suffering and the sufferer in your cause. Otherwise, I’m guessing most of your audience is saying, “How dare you?!”


But having said that, the person who wants to compare abortion to slavery–especially the politically and theologically conservative white person–needs to be ready to hear a lot of people question them personally for doing so. Here’s why. You fit a type in the African American mind. You look, think, speak, and act a lot like the very folks who held slaves. Your views on some things are hauntingly and terrifyingly similar. We sometimes hear you making political arguments about other issues (take states’ rights, for example) and we think, This dude is a Dixiecrat. Now you show up and you talk about the suffering of African Americans in a way that doesn’t deeply explore that suffering or memorialize that humanity and you become very suspect.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

New post-abortive blog

Secrets in the Shadows is the recently-started (October 2010) blog of a post-abortive woman who had an abortion in 1979 when she was a teenager. Her blog includes stories about her life in the time surrounding her abortion and reflections on her feelings while writing.

This is from her most recent post:
Somewhere in my young head, I felt like I was being punished for ending the life of my first child. That the child I gave back to God was my girl; that I had given up my girl. I struggled for sometime with that idea; that I needed to be punished for what I had done. My husband was the only one who knew what was going on with me; I had to work through these feelings on my own. No one talked to me before the abortion about the fact there would be a chance I would grieve the life of that child or that I would struggle with my roll in that abortion. There were no support groups to turn to; no one to help me through the fact that I would have guilt, shame and remorse for my choice.


Delusional, foul-mouthed clinic escort (language warning) cusses out abortion protesters and feels abused after one protester suggests she thank her mom for not aborting her:
Now, I usually do not engage the protesters or even talk to them except to request that they not block the sidewalk or the clinic door. But apparently I had eaten Honey Bunches of Bitch for breakfast because my rebuttal was "Go (expletive) yourself" followed by "(expletive) off". It actually worried me that I wasn't more quick-witted than to drop the F bomb twice in five seconds. It was bound to be "one of those days."
I had planned to ignore her (promise!), but she came to me the exact wrong way that morning:

"You should write a letter to your mother and thank her for not aborting you!"


I don't even remember how it happened, but all of a sudden we were nose-to-nose and I was yelling in her face that my mother was dead and how dare she tell me (expletive) about my mother and to go (expletive) herself, too......

I went into the clinic to cool off, but couldn't really. I couldn't believe what had just happened. I had never before been on the receiving end of protester banter, and I finally learned what it felt like. I felt VIOLATED. I felt ABUSED.

Life Links 11/4/10

Americans United for Life has a helpful listing of prolife election pickups.

One abortioneer discusses how she freely calls unborn children "babies" if they're wanted.
I work at an abortion clinic and I have a pregnant friend and a pregnant acquaintance. For what it's worth, one pregnancy was planned, one wasn't, and both are welcome. I can't wait to meet their babies, and I tell them that. I even call an 9-week fetus a baby in the case of the shopkeeper I chat with.....

Several co-workers of mine have been pregnant and bring their kids to work to see all of their aunties. I once told a toddler, "I remember seeing you on your mama's ultrasound around 19 weeks!"
So odd considering that she would have freely assisted in killing that exact same child at 19 weeks if the mother wanted.

A Christianity Today blog has a post about a HBO documentary entitled "Google Baby" about fertility tourism in India where wealthy families from other countries pay Indian women thousands of dollars to carry their child.

Apparently, Cher's mom almost aborted her.
4. On how her mother almost aborted her: "My mother told me once about how she got pregnant with me and didn't want to be with my dad; she was just so young and inexperienced. My grandmother said, 'You have a bright future.' She actually suggested an abortion, so my mom was in the doctor's office—a back-alley doctor—getting on the table. And then at the last minute she said, 'I can't do this. I don't care what happens—I can't do this.' "

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Life Links 11/3/10

Canadian bioethicist Margaret Somerville discusses the film Never Let Me Go (warning: spoilers),
Here are some of the lessons we can take from it.

The cloned children are regarded by the people who run their school as repositories of organs rather than as individual persons, as objects, not human subjects. This dehumanization is inflicted both through the way in which the children are treated and language.

They are constantly monitored with electronic bracelets, like animals are with computer chips. One supervisor, obviously meaning to be empathetic, remarks, "you poor creatures". “Creatures” is a word we use to refer to animals, usually when we are differentiating them from humans. And someone queries whether they have a soul. What is clear is that in dehumanizing the children, these people dehumanize themselves more.

A UK woman is claiming her sight is returning after undergoing a stem cell treatment in China.

A North Carolina man has agreed to plead guilty to "charge of distributing information pertaining to the manufacturing and use of an explosive." Justin Moose gave bomb making instructions to an informant who said he was planning on attacking an abortion clinic.

Looks like Canadian stem cell researchers are taking the same path as their American counterparts: Show us the money or we'll fall behind!!

Election results

The Detroit News has Michigan's election results. Prolifers picked up one congressional seat, barely missed out on one more, and Bart Stupak's old seat was filled by a prolife Republican.

The New York Times
and CNN have useful tools to view election results nationwide.

Colorado's second go at a personhood amendment went down by an approximately 3 to 1 margin.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Life Links 11/2/10

At the Washington Examiner, Tim Carney lists some races to watch if you care about abortion.

Three MIT students reply to an editorial on abortion in their school's newspaper with an exceptional letter.
The question is not, as Yost states, “whether we choose to assign [the embryo] human rights,” but rather whether we choose to respect the rights inherent in every human being. As freely acting agents, we may choose to infringe upon the rights of a person (with or without good cause), but we cannot choose to rescind a human right because we did not grant that right in the first place. Simply by virtue of being human, all human beings are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” It is the duty of the state to protect those rights....

To deny the fundamental nature of the right to life is to deny the basis of all human rights. If, as Yost suggests, we were to accept the assignment of arbitrary precedence to human rights, we then must permit the justification of any infringement upon the rights of another. In a society where anyone can elevate their right to liberty or property or religion above another’s right to live, the weak are helpless before those who are able to assert their rights more strongly.

The National Catholic Register has a report on Fr. Charles Curran's talk at SMU on abortion and how he thinks the bishops are wrong to try to change abortion laws.
However, Curran states, the bishops’ thesis is wrong for four reasons:

* “The speculative doubt about when human life begins;
* “the fact that possibility and feasibility are necessary aspects involved in discussions about abortion law;
* “the understanding and role of civil law;
* “and the weakness of the intrinsic evil argument.”

Catholic tradition, from Thomas Aquinas to today, “recognizes speculative doubt about when the soul is infused or when the human person comes into existence,” said Curran. Aquinas is often cited as someone who, while opposing abortion, “held for delayed animation.” Critics often argue that Aquinas’s thinking on the matter suffered from the faulty biology of the day.

“But an opposing view sees Aquinas’s position of delayed animation as based on his philosophical understanding of hylomorphism, which sees matter and form as the constitutive causes of a being. The matter has to be suitable and capable of receiving the form.” Curran argues that “from the beginning, the matter of what we now call the fetus is not apt or suitable for receiving the human soul. Some growth and development are necessary before the human soul can be infused.”
It seems that someome could use Curran's "speculative doubt" argument to argue that the bishops are wrong to think it should be illegal to kill infants.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Life Links 11/1/10

Planned Parenthood of the Inland Northwest has agreed to pay $345,000 back to the state of Washington after an audit revealed that Medicaid had overpaid (likely based on over billing) Planned Parenthood more than half a million dollars over 3 years.
The original audit estimated the improper payments at $629,143 over a 3-year period, and Planned Parenthood appealed. The settlement implied no admission of incorrect billing, documentation or payment.

The findings were based on 333 procedures performed from March 2004 to February 2007.

At First Things, Matthew Schmitz notes that the National Women's Law Center, a pro-abort group, has posted an ad for a new position to influence the "‘implementation of the new health care law' in order to advance ‘reproductive rights.'"

Donald Hertz has been sentenced to five years probation for threatening the family of abortionist Warren Hern via telephone.

The Daily Mail has an article on a 40 Days for Life protest in England. Author Jane Fryer gets a lot wrong but it's interesting how the Brits apparently think the American prolife movement is violent and how some individuals in Britain are adopting some tactics used by American prolife groups.