Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Life Links 8/31/11

U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks has ruled that parts of Texas' ultrasound law violate the Constitution.
He ordered that the state cannot impose penalties against doctors who don't fulfill its requirements.

"The Act's onerous requirements will surely dissuade or prevent many competent doctors from performing abortions, making it significantly more difficult for pregnant women to obtain abortions," wrote Sparks, granting the temporary injunction. "Forcing pregnant women to receive medical treatment from less-skilled providers certainly seems to be at odds with 'protecting the physical and psychological health and well-being of pregnant women,' one of the Act's stated purposes."
Well, now we know Judge Sparks knows next to nothing about who provides abortions. It's not like there's a slew of competent abortionists who are going to stop providing abortions because they have to describe ultrasound images to women. Second, if they can't take the time to describe an ultrasound, are they really that competent?

Here's the ruling. Texas' attorney general has already filed a motion to appeal the ruling.

A judge is Kansas has ordered the state to continue funding Planned Parenthood on a quarterly basis while a state law barring them from funding is enjoined.

LOL Quote of the Week from NARAL's Ted Miller discussing Virginia's abortion clinic regulations:
"Abortion providers are already the most regulated health care providers in the state....." he said.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Life Links 8/30/11

At the Live Action blog, Jennie Stone dismantles Charles Blow's editorial. The editorial previously (it has now be corrected) misquoted a Guttmacher Institute study about unplanned pregnancy.

A woman from Texas named Cynthia Greenwood is being charged with interfering with a rape investigation after she allegedly took her then 12-year-old adopted daughter with special needs to get a late-term abortion in Cleveland because her now 19-year-old biological son was the father.
Children’s protective services launched its investigation after someone in Texas called in anonymous tip that the 12-year-old became hysterical when Greenwood took her in for an abortion. The tip caller said Greenwood refused to say how her daughter became pregnant. Court documents said on Oct. 22, 2010, Greenwood allegedly took her daughter to a women’s clinic in Cleveland to have an abortion. She was 22 weeks pregnant.
Notice that the tip came from Texas. No one at the abortion clinic in Cleveland took the time to think about why a 12-year-old girl with special needs from Texas was in Ohio for a 22-week abortion.

In response to a push for organizations who don't provide abortion to provide abortion counseling in Great Britain, a female reporter for the Daily Mail posed as a pregnant woman and went to 5 locations (abortion clinics and pregnancy care centers) for counseling.
What happened next left me confused and traumatised — and I’m not even pregnant. I discovered that vulnerable women are being given advice that is both biased and manipulative — and could easily make them feel pressured into making a decision they will regret later.....

My first call was to Marie Stopes, a nationwide network of sexual health clinics that provide private and NHS abortions. They claim to allow women ‘access to comprehensive, impartial and non-judgmental information’ and all counsellors are members of BACP.

On the phone, the operator repeatedly tried to book me in for a medical assessment, the first step to getting an abortion — despite me stressing that I hadn’t yet made up my mind.

Biopolitical Times discusses the trend of some IVF practitioners to promote social egg freezing.
In most of the media coverage, the take-away message is that egg freezing is an unproblematic boon. NPR’s article, for example, carries the conclusive title, “Egg Freezing Puts The Biological Clock On Hold” and reports that fertility doctors “envision a time when society considers freezing eggs an act not of desperation but of empowerment.” The Vogue piece declares, “Stopping the biological clock through egg freezing has long been the ultimate feminist fantasy.”

Monday, August 29, 2011

Another Planned Parenthood clinic set to close in Texas

This time in Hays.
Planned Parenthood says it plans to close its clinic in Hays unless it is advised this week that it will soon receive the Title X funding already ordered by a federal judge.

The group said in a court filing last week that it will stop providing services at the clinic this Friday unless it is told it will receive the money by Sept. 16.

Life Links 8/29/11

FOX News has an article about how adult stem cells are being used to treat multiple sclerosis at the Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Jeffrey Cohen of the Cleveland Clinic said the main goal of the study is to demonstrate that the treatment is safe, but also to find out if the treatment will benefit the patient.

White’s bone marrow, which contains mesenchymal stem cells, was collected, then purified and multiplied. After four to six weeks, doctors gave White an infusion of these stem cells, which are thought to decrease the damaging immune activity.

“We’ve had a number of effective treatments for MS that slow down the disease, but nothing that repairs the damage that has already occurred and many of us think that stem cells is one of the most promising approaches to accomplish that,” Cohen said.

Two months after the infusion, White said he has not had any side effects. He said he has better eye movement and muscle movement.

The Washington Times has an update on Virginia's draft regulations for abortion clinics which are opposed by pro-choice groups.
Pro-choice groups say recently released draft regulations governing abortion clinics in Virginia would be the most stringent such measures in the country and are part of a politically motivated plot to undermine the rights of women to access abortions.

In the National Review, Katherina Trinko writes about Ron Paul's prolife beliefs and his position on abortion/federalism.
But Paul still has a problem with pro-lifers. He wants to return abortion-legalization decisions to the states, not work to make abortion illegal on the federal level. “Strangely, given that my moral views are akin to theirs, various national pro-life groups have been hostile to my position on this issue. But I also believe in the Constitution, and therefore, I consider it a state-level responsibility to restrain violence against any human being,” Paul wrote in his book Liberty Defined, published this spring.

In practical terms, what Paul proposes is removing abortion-related legislation from the jurisdiction of the federal courts rather than fighting to overturn Roe v. Wade. He views his proposal as “simpler,” since the jurisdiction could be removed via legislation rather than pushing for a Supreme Court decision, and he believes that if the jurisdiction of the federal courts was removed, abortion laws could be decided on a state-by-state basis. “Ending nationally legalized abortions by federal court order is neither a practical answer to the problem nor a constitutionally sound argument,” he wrote.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Life Links 8/26/11

A woman is in intensive care after an abortion clinic in Australia botched a late-term abortion.
The woman remains in hospital in intensive care following complications during a late term abortion at the Marie Stopes Maroondah clinic, formerly known as the Croydon Day Centre.

The Herald Sun understands the Medical Board of Australia held a special hearing yesterday to quiz medical staff involved in the procedure.

It is believed that one of the doctors involved has previously been criticised by the MBA.
The article also discusses a recent late-term abortion report which shared some of the reasons women in Australia are getting post 20-week abortions. More than half of Australia's late-term abortions in 2008 were for "psycho-social" reasons, including 2 abortions on women who were more than 7 months pregnant.

NPR covers a recent Guttmacher Institute study which found the rate of unintended pregnancy virtually stayed the same from 2001 to 2006.
The report found that overall, "the United States did not make progress toward its goal of reducing unintended pregnancy between 2001 and 2006." In fact, the rate was 49 percent in 2006, virtually unchanged from 48 percent in 2001.

But the highest rate of unintended pregnancy of all the subgroups studied occurred among "cohabitors," or, to use the vernacular, women who were shacking up.

The largest increase of unintended pregnancies occurred in cohabitators under age 25.
Unsurprisingly, they also quote Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards who uses the study to call for more "affordable birth control" aka "more funding for Planned Parenthood."

There's certainly no mention of how Planned Parenthood got probably more than a billion dollars in government funds during the 2001-2006 time period to help reduce rates of unintended pregnancy. I can't imagine another report showing how completely ineffective Planned Parenthood is at reducing unintended pregnancies. From 1994-2006 the rate of unintended pregnancies among poor women (the group Planned Parenthood supposedly serves so well) rose nearly 50%.

On Friday, Virginia's health department is expected to release draft regulations for abortion clinics.
Opponents of the measure previously had estimated that the new regulations could cause 17 of Virginia’s 21 abortion clinics to close because of potential new standards on measurements such as hallway width.

A local news station reports on the closing of a Planned Parenthood in Sherman, Texas. The reports says it closed because of a lack of customers and also notes a Planned Parenthood in Gainesville (a city which neighbors Sherman) will close August 29.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Life Links 8/24/11

Rick Perry has signed the Susan B. Anthony List's presidential prolife pledge.
"I not only pledge to protect unborn life, but have a record of doing so in Texas," Perry said in a statement. "I have signed legislation requiring parental consent for a minor to obtain an abortion, and have long advocated adoption as an alternative to abortion in order to protect unborn children."

Rapper Lil' Wayne's upcoming music video release includes a scene where a woman leaves an abortion clinic.
The Chris Robinson-directed clip is filled with drama and social commentary, telling the story of a beautiful young woman who stumbles into every imaginable pitfall.

The video opens in an abortion clinic, where a woman lies in a gown on the operating table. Suddenly she changes her mind and flies off the table and through the clinic's hall, choosing to keep her child.

In an update, the three individuals in Scotland who killed a young woman because she aborted one of their children have been sentenced for their crime.
The 15-year-old had sworn revenge on Miss Muir who had become pregnant by him and then had a termination before going back with a former boyfriend.

The teenager and 34-year-old George Stewart yesterday appeared at the High Court in Glasgow after admitting the culpable homicide of Miss Muir.

Emma Merrilees, 20 - who struck the fatal blow during the brutal assault - joined them in the dock after pleading guilty to a murder charge.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Life Links 8/23/11

A NPR blog has statistics on the percentage of OB/GYNs who provide abortions.
Ninety-seven percent of OB-GYNs have encountered patients wanting an abortion, but only 14 percent of the doctors perform them, according to a study published today in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology. That finding suggests a smaller percentage of OB-GYNs may be offering abortion services than previous studies have estimated.

Wesley Smith and Lisa Graas of the Live Action blog discuss Vice President Joe Biden's recent comments about China's one-child policy. WEsley writes,
So, he regrets the financial problems caused, but “fully understands” and is not “second guessing” the one child policy-caused blood shedding. Disgraceful.

In California, a woman has been arrested for felony hit-and-run after running a red light a hitting a pregnant pedestrian. The accident may have killed the child.
Brittney Cheeseman, 18, was walking in an intersection at Manchester Boulevard and Market Street about 10:30 p.m. Saturday when she was struck by a vehicle described as a 1996 grey Nissan.

The Nissan's driver was traveling east on Manchester and failed to stop at a red light, witnesses told police.

Cheeseman was taken to a hospital with nonthreatening injuries, said Officer Jonathan Rivers of the Inglewood Police Department. But her 5- or 6-month-old fetus was unresponsive and showed no signs of life, doctors said.

Police, using a license number provided by witnesses, tracked down the driver, Janine Rachel Mayfield, on Sunday and took her into custody for felony hit-and-run.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dr. Robert Blake argues poorly about when life begins

Robert Blake, pro-choice doctor and professor at the University of Missouri, is not about to let a prolifer get away with asserting that "most pro-abortion activists … concede human life begins at conception."

Blake thinks women who have abortions have "better long-term psychological adjustment than those who elected to continue the pregnancy" so you might even describe him as pro-abortion.

In a letter to the editor of the Columbian Tribune, Blake makes a number of poor arguments in his attempt to prove the unborn aren't living human beings.
Nonsense! Human life began gradually millions of years ago.
I'm not sure if Blake is being facetious or if he is completely unable to understand the claim being made.

There is no scientific, religious or philosophical consensus about when an individual human life (person) begins. The notion that this occurs at conception is based on the presence of unique DNA in a living cell.
First, there's not a lot of consensus on anything scientific, religious or philosophical. That doesn't mean that nothing in those areas isn't true.

Second, the recognition that the life of an individual human being begins at conception is actually based on much more than what Blake claims it is. Conception is also the time when the human embryo acts as an integrated, unified human organism. The unique DNA simply proves the unborn child isn't a part of her mother (another pro-choice argument). It doesn't prove she's a living organism.

After strawmanning the prolife position, Blake then quickly changes the subject from "Are the unborn living human beings to "Are the unborn ‘living persons?'"
Many scientists reject this as sufficient criteria for a human being. We believe the definitions of when a life begins and when it ends should be consistent. It will be months before the product of conception develops the neurologic function that distinguishes a living person from a dead body.
See Maureen Condic's wonderful First Things piece to see how we can defined life's beginning by how we define it's end.

Next Blake attacks his strawman argument and confuses parts and wholes.
A kidney harvested from an accident victim and transplanted into a renal failure patient contains millions of cells with the donor's DNA, which will hopefully live for many more years. Yet no one considers the donor to be alive as a person.
Of course they don't because a kidney isn't an organized, unified organism like a human embryo is.
The notion that life begins at conception is not endorsed by the National Academy of Sciences, AMA and many other scientific organizations and was refuted in a brief submitted to the Supreme Court by a group of 167 scientists, including 11 Nobel Prize winners.
But what's the position of leading embryologists? Blake argument is a little like saying, "The American Cancer Society hasn't endorsed the belief that moderate drinking of red wine is good for the heart, therefore the claim can't be true." Of the 167 scientists who signed the amici curiae brief in Webster v. Planned Parenthood, supposedly only one was an embryologist.

I wonder why?

Overheard: Abortioneer calls out "Pro-Choice Hypocrisy"

Here's someone willing to unapologetically stand up for sex-selection abortion and "selectively reducing" twins.
Personally I have no problem with anyone's decision to have an abortion - whether it's because she can't afford it, doesn't want multiple births, doesn't want a boy/girl, etc. If you call yourself pro-choice, how about you be just that. Celebrate choice and let the person who has the pregnancy decide what she's going to do and why she's going to do it, and keep your opinions about it to yourself.

Life Links 8/22/11

Thomas Stevens is hoping the Kentucky Supreme Court will hear his case and award damages for the death of his unborn grandson.
Fourteen weeks pregnant, Desiree Amber Stevens was heading east on Ky. 52 in Estill County on Aug. 16, 2008, when another driver tried to cross the highway in front of her, causing a horrific crash that killed Stevens and her unborn child.

The other driver, Gina Flynn, and Stevens' insurance carrier, Progressive Direct, settled a wrongful death suit for an undisclosed amount that was filed by Thomas A. Stevens on his 24-year-old daughter's behalf.

But Flynn and Progressive refused to pay a penny for the wrongful death of Stevens' unborn grandson — and Circuit Judge Thomas Jones said they didn't have to.

The Joplin Globe has the story of a pregnant mother who, along with her unborn child, survived the tornado that hit Joplin.
As daylight peeked through the twisted remains of the store, Morris could see that Rodgers was bearing the brunt of the pressure.

She had learned about six weeks earlier that she was pregnant.

When he saw her awkward position under the weight of the collapsed store walls, "I was thinking about the baby but I wasn't going to say that to her," Morris said. "I wanted her thinking of her life."
Martin said it was a difficult rescue because the jack used to lift the rubble, called a portable ram, was nearly overburdened. Every step the firefighters took in the debris pushed harder on Rodgers.

"I would say she had well over a ton on her back," Martin said. "Our machines almost wouldn't lift it." The jack stalled once, straining against the weight, and then moved again.......

During her tests, an ultrasound was done and the technologist asked her father, "How would you like to be a Granddad?"

The baby was alive.

The New York Times covers the early testing to determine a fetus's sex.
"I think over the long run this has the potential of changing attitudes toward pregnancy and to family," said Audrey R. Chapman, a bioethicist at the University of Connecticut Health Center. "Women may be less invested in their pregnancies earlier than they are later, and the question has been raised whether women will look at their pregnancies increasingly as being conditional: ‘I will keep this pregnancy only if.' "

Fetal sex tests have a few medical applications, allowing couples with histories of rare sex-linked disorders to avoid costly and invasive genetic testing if they learn they are expecting the other sex. But for most couples, the tests, which are unregulated, simply answer the boy-or-girl question weeks earlier than ultrasound, and in a less invasive and safer way than amniocentesis.

Margaret Somerville comments on "deselecting our children."
Here's a recent Danish headline: "Plans to make Denmark a Down syndrome-free perfect society." The Danes want to promote aborting fetuses with Down syndrome, so their society will be free of such people around 2030. One bioethicist describes it as a "fantastic achievement."

At least the Danes are raising this issue. In North America, it's estimated that more than 90 per cent of unborn babies with Down syndrome are aborted.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Seven Arizona Planned Parenthood clinics stop performing abortion

Seven Planned Parenthood clinics in Arizona will no longer be performing abortions thanks to prolife legislation.
The organization had been offering abortions at 10 of its 13 Arizona locations. Starting today, that will drop to three.

Planned Parenthood eliminated the services after an Arizona appellate court last week upheld a 2009 state law that placed new restrictions on abortions in the state, including authorizing only physicians to perform surgical abortions.......

Cathi Herrod, president for the Center for Arizona Policy, a socially conservative organization that helped author the 2009 law, said the new requirements are about safety and raising "the standard of care" for women.

"The real story here is that Planned Parenthood has chosen to end their services rather than raise that standard of care to be at the same level as other medical care in the state," Herrod said. "The real story here is that they can't find doctors to perform these services. I think that's telling."
And especially note this ooopsie...
Planned Parenthood estimates that one in five of the women it sees is seeking an abortion.
Wait, what happened to abortion being a such a small part (3% right?) of what Planned Parenthood does?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Life Links 8/18/11

Ross Douthat writes about the failings of liberal bioethics with the NY Times selective twin reduction as a backdrop.
Like Dr. Evans, they find reasons to embrace each new technological leap while promising to resist the next one — and then time passes, science marches on, and they find reasons why the next moral compromise, too, must be accepted for the greater good, or at least tolerated in the name of privacy and choice. You can always count on them to worry, often perceptively, about hypothetical evils, potential slips down the bioethical slope. But they’re either ineffectual or accommodating once an evil actually arrives. Tomorrow, they always say — tomorrow, we’ll draw the line. But tomorrow never comes.

A New Orleans abortion clinic was robbed by two men, who were buzzed in after one man asked if his girlfriend had an abortion last week.
Afterward, police said, the men produced a gun, forced three employees in the back office and demanded money.

Police said one victim gave the men money from her purse, took another’s cellphone and struck a victim in the head with the gun.

African-American prolife leaders have a new billboard campaign which calls out Jesse Jackson for his support of abortion.
The ad hints at the groups’ primary charge — that civil rights leaders who support abortion are betraying the black community — and directs onlookers to visit

“Something is wrong,” said Catherine Davis, founder of the Restoration Project, a co-sponsor of the billboard, “when those elected to protect the interests of their constituents turn a blind eye to the horrific impact that abortion is wreaking on the black community. In New York City, for every 1,000 black babies born alive, 1,489 are aborted. In Washington, D.C. for every 100 black babies born alive, 165 are aborted! Something is wrong!”

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Life Links 8/17/11

The ACLU has sued to stopped Kansas' law which bars insurance companies from covering elective abortions.
A federal lawsuit filed Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union contends the law is unconstitutional and discriminates against women because it doesn't apply similar insurance limits on men's health care needs.....

Amiri of the ACLU said the lawsuit against Kansas was the first filed against this type of law in recent years.

However in 1992, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the Missouri law, enacted in 1983, was constitutional because it did not place an undue burden on women seeking abortions.

The Missouri law barred insurers from covering elective abortions except through optional riders purchased at an additional expense.

A woman who did not purchase the optional rider was denied coverage for her elective abortion. She challenged the law and won in district court, but she lost on appeal.

The federal appeals court said the woman didn't offer evidence that abortion coverage was unavailable or too costly.

UPI is reported that the Catholic Church is granting special concessions to women who've had abortions.
The "special" concession for a pregnancy-termination act normally deemed a sin punishable by excommunication is a result of an appeal by Madrid Archbishop Antonio Maria Rouco Varela for the Vatican to offer women who had abortions access to "the fruits of divine grace that will open the doors to a new life," Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said.....

Special powers have been given to all priests in Madrid to absolve women who confess to abortion in the sacrament of penance during Benedict's four-day visit to the church's World Youth Day event, Lombardi said.

Overheard - Albert Mohler on the NY Times Magazine article on the "fetal reduction" of twins:
Euphemisms are the refuge of moral cowardice, and no euphemism is so cowardly or so deadly as "reduction" - a word that sounds like math, but really means murder.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Saletan on twin reduction: Why do they trouble pro-choicers?

After listing examples of pro-choicers who don't like twin reduction, William Saletan argues pro-choicers are troubled because they can't pretend unborn children are non-humans in twin reduction like they can in abortion.
Look up any abortion-related item in Jezebel, and you'll see the developing human referred to as a fetus or pregnancy. But when the same entity appears in a non-abortion item, it gets an upgrade. A blood test could help "women who are concerned that they may be carrying a child with Down's Syndrome." A TV character wonders whether she's "capable of carrying a child to term." Nuclear radiation in Japan "may put unborn children at risk."

This bifurcated mindset permeates pro-choice thinking. Embryos fertilized for procreation are embryos; embryos cloned for research are "activated eggs." A fetus you want is a baby; a fetus you don't want is a pregnancy. Under federal law, anyone who injures or kills a "child in utero" during a violent crime gets the same punishment as if he had injured or killed "the unborn child's mother," but no such penalty applies to "an abortion for which the consent of the pregnant woman … has been obtained."

Reduction destroys this distinction. It combines, in a single pregnancy, a wanted and an unwanted fetus. In the case of identical twins, even their genomes are indistinguishable. You can't pretend that one is precious and the other is just tissue. You're killing the same creature to which you're dedicating your life.

Abortionist LeRoy Carhart compares late term abortion to what?

In an interview with Patch, here's late-term abortion LeRoy Carhart:
Patch: What are your personal views, as far as religion, and where does abortion fit in to that?
I think it's no different than with someone who has had a heart attack: If we were to save their life are we going against God's will because if medicine didn't intervene, the patient was going to die? Is that what God wants, for a person to die? That's not an issue, not a question. It’s the same thing with a flawed pregnancy. People wouldn't think God created a flawed pregnancy to punish or test the parents. I think that it's just like any other medical condition, something that happens. God has provided us with a way to educate people to help take care of it. I think that because a certain, small group of people don't believe in it doesn't mean that it's not the right thing to do.

It's no different except when you're treating someone with a heart attack, you're not trying to kill them. You're not injecting digoxin into their hearts because their hearts aren't working properly. You're trying to save their life not "take care of it."

Carhart has so distanced himself from reality he thinks trying to save the life a person with a faulty heart is equivalent of killing an unborn child by injecting digoxin into their heart.

Life Links 8/16/11

At the RH Reality, there is a long article from the Guttmacher Institutes Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health regarding George Tiller's abortion clinic and the post-24 week patients who went there.
Patients at this meeting were also given written information on “baby plans” (For fetal indication patients, staff used the term “baby,” rather than “fetus,” reflecting these patients’ preferences. The word “baby” was not typically used with other abortion patients at WHCS; among other women, the most common term was “pregnancy.”)—the options available to them after their abortion.......

On a day-to-day basis, one of the most difficult things for staff to manage was the boycott of the clinic by local businesses, an action engineered by Operation Rescue and other groups. Protesters photographed the license plates of all vehicles that entered the premises and maintained a list on the Operation Rescue Web site of local establishments that did business with the clinic. In many cases, this intimidation worked. Staff reported that numerous local establishments abruptly ended long-standing business relationships with WHCS......

As noted earlier, Dr. Tiller was a highly spiritual person, and he periodically referred to the clinic’s work as a “ministry.” Similarly, several staff—particularly those with the most emotionally challenging work—pointed to their own strong religious beliefs as having guided their work. “I felt I was doing the Lord’s work,” said the staff member charged with readying the stillborn babies to be seen by their parents. In almost identical terms, the woman who prepared the babies’ bodies for cremation said, “God put me here to do this work.” And the clinic chaplain, referring to the comfort she tried to give to grieving parents, recounted, “This was holy work we were doing here. We gave the parents the gift of not having to make their babies suffer.”

RH Reality Check also has this post from an alternative reality by Sunsara Taylor criticizing the NY Times Magazine piece on fetal reduction.
The only basis for viewing the decision of a woman not to carry every fetus to term as a “moral” or “ethical dilemma” is the unscientific lie that treats fetuses like people, rather than as a subordinate part of a woman's body.

And this is exactly what Padawer does. She even adopts the anti-abortion language that refers to fetuses as people, as when she writes: “Consider the choice of which fetus to eliminate: if both appear healthy (which is typical with twins), doctors aim for whichever one is easier to reach. If both are equally accessible, the decision of who lives and who dies is random [emphasis added].”

No. Fetuses have the potential to become human beings but they are NOT human beings – they are not independent biological or social beings at all – until they are born. In other words, there is no “who” when referring to a fetus.
How many unscientific assertions does Taylor make here?

1. The fetus is a subordinate part of the woman's body (pay no attention to that completely different DNA code).
2. Fetuses are not human beings because
3. They only become human beings at birth because
4. Birth is the magical event which makes fetuses into independent biological and social beings.

A Florida judge has denied abortion kingpin James Pendergraft a new trial.
Judge John Marshall Kest's ruling also denied Pendergraft's motion to set aside verdicts for compensatory and punitive damages. It means the troubled operator of the Orlando Women's Center – and his clinic -- may soon have to start paying out $36.7 million in damages awarded by the jury......

Pendergraft's attorney argued in his motion that the woman was partly responsible. Had she stayed at the clinic, "the abortion procedure would have been completed," he argued.

It was not immediately clear if Pendergraft will appeal Kest's ruling. Fernandez said Pendergraft is uninsured.

David Schmidt at the Live Action blog has caught a Planned Parenthood chaplain lying about his affiliation with the Southern Baptist Church.
A current Southern Baptist Minister with personal connections to the Southern Baptist national executive committee confirmed that one must currently be connected with a Southern Baptist congregation to be a “Southern Baptist Minister.” He said that claiming to be a Southern Baptist Minister while not even attending a Southern Baptist church was “misrepresentation.” Southern Baptist North American Mission Board Chaplaincy Coordinator Dr. David E. Mullis commented of Lachina’s deception, “unbelievable hubris to think he would not be found out!”

This revelation means that a Planned Parenthood Chaplain traveled from Washington State to Mississippi and made false religious claims to influence Mississippi voters against a pro-life ballot measure.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Life Links 8/15/11

I'm not sure who came up with the title for this AP article: One-child policy a surprising boon for China girls.

Yeah, 43 million girls aborted because they were female, coercive family planning measures, being less likely to have siblings, family members who are bitter you're not male, etc. and in return the policy may have played a small role in the increasing number of Chinese women going to college and getting degrees. Doesn't really sound like a boon to me.

According to the, the Northern Illinois Women's Center abortion clinic in Rockford failed an inspection in June.
Below are listed some of the frightening violations documented by the State of Illinois about Rockford's abortion mill;

The Northern Illinois Women's Center did NOT meet the requirement of a sanitary facility.

It was determined "that 3 of 3 operating rooms inspected failed to ensure a sanitary environment."

NIWC failed to prevent potential contamination of clean equipment.

Gynecological cannula's were stained with a "brown substance!" (Cannulas are surgical instruments inserted directly inside a mother.)

Three teens in Milwaukee have been arrested for the murder of a pregnant woman.
34-year-old Sharon Staples was killed early Sunday morning after she refused to give her purse to two armed robbers. Staples was four months pregnant. The fetus didn't survive. Staples also left behind seven children ranging in age from 4 to 13.
Wisconsin has an unborn victims of violence law.

A Catholic church in the Phillipines is set to rally against the government's lack of action to prevent the selling of illegal abortion pills.
Ignacio recounted that he earlier received a text message from the police reporting that authorities had apprehended two vendors selling Cytotec, and had subsequently cleared the area of others suspected of vending the tablets.

"I said I was not satisfied … they need to capture all distributors, all suppliers and close down all abortion clinics in Quiapo," Ignacio told reporters in an interview.

Ignacio said parishioners and devotees of the Black Nazarene have decided to mobilize a rally on Friday to express their outrage on the continuing Cytotec trade in Quiapo despite repeated calls for authorities to act on the problem.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Life Links 8/12/11

The Arizona Court of Appeals voted 3-0 to uphold abortion restrictions in Arizona, including a ban on nurse practitioners performing surgical abortions.
The judges said prohibiting anyone but a licensed physician from surgically terminating a pregnancy does not impose undue restrictions on a woman's constitutional right to choose.

Judge Peter Swann, writing for the unanimous court, said the facts that nurse practitioners are specifically trained to do the procedure, are available in rural areas where Planned Parenthood does not have doctors, and have a comparable safety record are legally irrelevant.

The court also upheld laws requiring a woman to meet personally with the surgeon 24 hours before an abortion and for parental-consent forms for minors to be notarized, and allowing medical personnel, including pharmacists, to opt out of any participation in an abortion.....

The injunction, however, remains in place to allow time for Planned Parenthood Arizona to decide whether to appeal, and for the Supreme Court to decide whether to review the ruling.

But Thursday's decision, unless overturned, has broader implications.

The appellate court said a law can be struck down only if it places an "undue burden" on a woman's right to abortion. They said the fact it may place some burden on women is not enough.

The board of Central Health (a health district in Texas) voted unanimously to stop funding abortions for the residents of Travis County after a new state passed which would cut off their funding if they continued to fund abortions.
After convening behind closed doors, the board voted, also unanimously, to redirect the $450,000 that had been budgeted for abortions toward expanding other services.....

Central Health paid for 720 pregnancy terminations in the past fiscal year , according to the health district.

In New Orleans, a man has been convicted of rape and main piece of evidence was DNA from the aborted child.
Samuel Williams, 58, will be sentenced Aug. 19 to life in prison, after a two-day trial in which DNA evidence from the fetus proved key, along with the ominous presence of the fetus itself.

"This is the greatest thing that has (the girl's) back," said prosecutor James Myers, holding before the jury a plastic zip-lock bag containing remnants of the fetus. "Because this right here will point to this man and say: 'You're a rapist, you're a pedophile...'"

The Charleston Gazette has an interesting story of a Marshall University professor who discovered embryonic skeletal bones in a fossil of a plesiosaur, "a large four-flippered water reptile," which proves they had live births as opposed to laying eggs.
The fossil reveals that plesiosaurs are one of the few aquatic reptiles to give birth to a single, large offspring. That suggests that the creatures may have engaged in parental care, making them similar to dolphins, O'Keefe said.....

The fossilized fetus was found inside its 15.4-foot long mother, and contained a developing body with ribs, 20 vertebrae, shoulders, hips and paddle bones.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Life Links 8/11/11

According to the International Business Times, a South Korean documentary television team found Chinese pharmaceutical companies use the remains of aborted children for stamina pills.
Chinese hospitals and abortion clinics that are connected to the business immediately notify pharmaceutical companies when a baby dies, mostly because of a still birth or an abortion.

The companies purchase the baby corpses and store them in some family's refrigerator to avoid suspicion. The next step in this highly secretive process is putting the corpses in a medical drying microwave and grinding them into pills. The ground baby powder is then put in a capsule, ready to be sold as a stamina enhancer, according to the SBS team.
The team ran tests on the pills and found them to be 99.7% human.

A San Diego attorney has pled guilty to baby selling. From the LA Times:
According to court documents, Erickson hired women in San Diego to go to Ukraine to be implanted with embryos created from the sperm and eggs of donors.

Once a woman was in the second trimester of pregnancy, she would return to San Diego and Erickson would "shop" the babies by falsely telling couples that a couple who had intended to adopt the baby had backed out of the deal. The new couple would then be charged between $100,000 and $150,000, according to prosecutors.

Overheard - does having an abortion give abortion advocates more pro-choice credibility? From the Abortioneers blog:
I've never had an abortion. I've never even had a pregnancy scare, though that's probably more because of the lack of opportunity than anything else. Sometimes I start to think that I could have just a teeny bit more Abortioneer cred if I had had an abortion, even though I don't really believe that there is a hierarchy of pro-choicedness.

From Britain, we have another example of an abortion clinic worker who does his job because he cares so much about women rights.
A consultant used the hands of sedated patients to perform obscene acts on himself during abortion procedures, a medical watchdog heard.

Dr Narendra Sharma, who was working at the Marie Stopes clinic in Fallowfield, Manchester, as a locum anaesthetist, is accused of moving a woman's hand under the operating table during one of the procedures.

Selectively killing a twin

The New York Times Magazine has a long story on selective reduction, specifically the reduction of twins to a single child by killing one of the twins. It is really quite disturbing.
As Jenny lay on the obstetrician's examination table, she was grateful that the ultrasound tech had turned off the overhead screen. She didn't want to see the two shadows floating inside her. Since making her decision, she had tried hard not to think about them, though she could often think of little else. She was 45 and pregnant after six years of fertility bills, ovulation injections, donor eggs and disappointment — and yet here she was, 14 weeks into her pregnancy, choosing to extinguish one of two healthy fetuses, almost as if having half an abortion. As the doctor inserted the needle into Jenny's abdomen, aiming at one of the fetuses, Jenny tried not to flinch, caught between intense relief and intense guilt.

"Things would have been different if we were 15 years younger or if we hadn't had children already or if we were more financially secure," she said later. "If I had conceived these twins naturally, I wouldn't have reduced this pregnancy, because you feel like if there's a natural order, then you don't want to disturb it. But we created this child in such an artificial manner — in a test tube, choosing an egg donor, having the embryo placed in me — and somehow, making a decision about how many to carry seemed to be just another choice. The pregnancy was all so consumerish to begin with, and this became yet another thing we could control."
Jenny was even turned down by two doctors who refused to selectively reduce one of her twins.
After being rebuffed by physicians close to home, Jenny went online and found Dr. Joanne Stone, the highly regarded head of Mount Sinai's maternal-fetal-medicine unit. Jenny traveled thousands of miles to get there. She still resents the first doctor back home who told her she shouldn't reduce twins and another who dismissively told her to just buck up and buy diapers in bulk.

In response to this mother's decision to kill one of her twins, Robin Marty shows a crack in the pro-choice armor.
If she had gotten pregnant on her own, she would have been willing to keep both twins, but since it was already "so consumerish" she didn't feel like the same "rules" applied? I find it hard to wrap my head around the idea that someone would abort a twin just because of the way the pregnancy was conceived. If you feel that it was somehow part of the "natural order" for twins without intervention, why would medical assistance change that mindset?

As Marty's commenters point out, if you accept the "Trust Women" mantra then you can't judge any reproductive health decision even the women who callously decides to abort via selective reduction because she's embracing her consumerish desires.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Life Links 8/10/11 profiles a bunch of abortion advocates who give and raise funds for pro-choice organizations including billionaire Helen Zell.

Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women's Rights Without Frontiers replies to China's promise to crack down on sex-selection abortions.
A BBC News article, "China acts to protect baby girls," reported the same vow in 2004. Zhao Baige, then Deputy Director (now Vice Minister) of China's National Population and Family Planning Commission, vowed seven years ago: "Illegal sex determination and sex-selective abortion must be strictly banned . . . China has set the goal of lowering the sex ratio to a normal level by 2010."

The result? In 2004, there were 117 boys born for every 100 girls born. In 2011 -- a year after China had vowed to bring sex ratios to a normal level -- there are now 119 boys born for every 100 girls born. The gender gap has not closed, but widened.

Same government. Same vow. Should we expect a different result?

The Ottawa Citizen reports on displays of images of aborted children in towns around Ottawa, Canada.
In the case of a grisly photo of a first-trimester aborted child that was prominently displayed Tuesday, "we have documentation from the pathologist" as well as a letter from a lawyer confirming the pathologist's credentials.

"I don't know why in this age of instant information people are surprised at the visuals. You can see the facts (on the stages of development) in any high school biology textbook. And, if you know abortion techniques, then you know a child can be decapitated, can be disembowelled in an abortion."

Members of prolife group in Canada are claiming they were original prevented from praying in Montreal's Notre Dame Basilica by a guide because of prolife t-shirts but were eventually let in after threatening to go to the media.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Life Links 8/9/11

Indian authorities sealed two hospitals (they sound more like clinics) for performing illegal abortions which may have been sex-selection abortions.
The BMC sealed the operation theatre of Shabnam Hospital in Govandi's Baiganwadi area after reports that a six-month-old foetus was abandoned by the hospital's owner, Dr Diwan Gupta, and the child's mother, Yasmin Khan, a resident of Mumbra.

The Summer of Mercy 2.0 has wound down and NOW's Terry O'Neill still has talking points from the 1970's.
National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill said abortion services and abortion research were necessary.

“Do you know what happens in areas where here are no abortion providers?” O’Neill asked. “That is when women try to self abort and predatory butchers set up shop in the back alleys for women to terminate their pregnancies in unhygienic ways. So what we need is good health care including excellent abortion care.”

Gallup's web site notes areas where a majority of people describing themselves as pro-choice and pro-life both favor certain policy decisions on abortion. They include having abortion legal to save the life of the mother, protect the health of the mother and when a woman is raped. The also both favor a variety of abortion restrictions including banning abortion in the second and third trimesters.

What I find truly interesting is that only 68% of self-described pro-lifers favor banning partial-birth abortion while 90% favor banning all second trimester abortions. That leads me to believe a lot of self-described prolifers have fallen for the lie that partial-birth abortions were performed for health reasons.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Life Links 8/8/11

The Daily Mail has the story of Charlie Allen, a 5-year-old who was born at 23 weeks, weighing 1 lb. 7 oz.
Charlie's survival prompted Mrs Allen to re-ignite the debate on the abortion time limit, and she has called for the current 24-week deadline to be lowered.

She said: ‘How can you say at that stage that they are not a life. They are babies - Charlie is living proof of that.

‘The abortion time limit should be reduced.

‘Charlie has amazed all his doctors and the hospital staff. He was faced with battle after battle from the moment he was born, but he's overcome them all – he's my little fighter.'

Salon did some research into a woman whose death from an illegal abortion shaped Mitt Romney's previous pro-choice beliefs.

China is promising to work on its sex-selection abortion problem.
The pledge is in the outline of a plan for childhood development through 2020 but has no specifics. The plan said authorities would increase efforts against the non-medical use of ultrasound tests and abortion of fetuses based on gender.

Abortionist Richard Leigh from North Dakota recently died. In his career, he performed more than 11,000 abortions.
In January 2003, on the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Leigh said in an interview with the Herald that he had no regrets about his medical career choices.

"Abortion is not a good solution," he said then. "It would be better if we didn't have it. But it would be even better if we didn't need it."

Friday, August 05, 2011

Life Links 8/5/11

The Durango Herald covered a protest at Mercy Regional Medical Center. Mercy is a Catholic hospital yet Planned Parenthood abortionist Richard Grossman is a member of their medical staff.
Grossman, who writes a monthly column for the Herald called “Population Matters!,” said he respects the group's right to demonstrate.

“I honor their beliefs,” he said, “I don't agree with them.”
And how exactly does he honor prolife beliefs?

It amazing what years of abortion advocacy can do. In 20 years, at least five women in Maryland have died from anesthesia-related issues during abortions yet now is the first time that abortion clinics will be regulated in the state.
Under procedures drafted by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the state would for the first time regulate clinics that perform surgical abortions, said spokeswoman Karen Black. Facilities that offer only abortion pills, and physician’s offices that perform occasional abortions would not be affected.

The department has no listing or data on abortion clinics because they have never been regulated, Black said.

This year, lawmakers in Virginia approved regulations for abortion clinics, and officials in Pennsylvania and Kansas took similar steps.

It is estimated that about 20 sites in Maryland perform surgical abortions. Five of the sites are in Montgomery County.

“We don’t know where the sites are unless we look in the Yellow Pages,” Black said.

Planned Parenthood and other abortion advocates are planning on suing to prevent North Carolina's informed consent law from taking effect.
Stam said he isn't surprised that certain groups are planning a lawsuit. "If you read abortion case law, half of them are Planned Parenthood suing over something," he said.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Life Links 8/4/11

Rebecca Taylor on Mara Hvistendahl's "Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men.":
What I loved most about this book is that it goes beyond the typical reasons why Asians are aborting their girls in record numbers. We know they have a preference for boys and China has a one-child policy. But Asia has always prized their sons and only China has a one-child policy. Yet all over Asia, in the last few decades, millions of girls have gone missing. Why? Hvistendahl makes a compelling case that the Western world shoved population control down the throats of Asians and presented sex selective abortion as the "ethical" means to do it. The typical arrogant and fearful Western minds thought they had to control the growth of Asian populations and reasoned that if Asians kept having children until they got a boy, then providing sex selective abortion was the answer.

Hadley Arkes on Rick Perry, the Tenth Amendment and abortion:
Perry remarked that if Roe v. Wade were overturned, the matter of abortion would be subject again to legislation by the states and that is where the matter should be dealt with. "You either have to believe in the Tenth Amendment or you don't," he said.

Perry is of course perfectly right, that if Roe v. Wade were overturned, the states would recover their power to legislate in imposing serious restrictions, even restrictions that come near banning abortions as a practical matter. But why would Perry assume that the federal government has no business acting in this domain? The problem, after all, emanated from the center. It was the intervention of the federal courts, striking down laws on abortion within the states that converted abortion into a federal or national issue.

The corrective, then, needs to come in part from the center......

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a law which was designed after prolifers protested abortion using graphic images at a school. The law creates tougher penalties for creating a disturbance near a school.
The bill was signed three years after a federal court found that the 1st Amendment rights of anti-abortion activists were violated when they were ordered to stop circling Dodson Middle School in a truck with billboard-sized photos of aborted fetuses.

The intent of the new law was questioned by Robert Muise, an attorney for the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, the group that staged the 2003 demonstration outside the school but was stopped by school officials and Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies.

"I think it's meaningless,'' Muise said. "If they pass this in a way to prevent the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform from engaging in peaceful demonstrations on public streets they are not going to win that fight.''

A man in West Virginia was arrested after allegedly sexually assaulting an ex-girlfriend.
The victim, who is three months pregnant with another man's child, told officers Cook told her to have an abortion. When she refused, he held a knife to her stomach and told her he would abort the baby, according to a complaint filed in Kanawha Magistrate Court.

"Rabid feminist" ignorant of Plan B, "war on women" somehow to blame

A Feministe guest blogger named Anna Lekas Miller has a (language warning) post in which she shares a response she gave to a male friend who wrote her because he thought using the terminology "war on women" was a bit much. Miller responds by discussing a circumstance in which she used Plan B two+ years ago.
Lacking access to information isn't just something that "kinda sucks" — it's potentially dangerous and life altering. For example, I didn't know what Plan B was until I needed it. Luckily, my boyfriend's roommate had been in that situation before, and told us that we could get Plan B at Walgreens. My boyfriend took full responsibility and paid the $50 to buy it for me. I also live in New York City, meaning that I could walk down the street to Walgreens and purchase it.
So there's a war on women because Miller (a rabid feminist) didn't know what Plan B was even though it has received a ton of news coverage for years, been advertised nearly everywhere, promoted like crazy by Planned Parenthood and feminist organizations and there was a large political controversy over whether it should be prescribed or be an over-the-counter drug. Really?

I was mortified to ask the Pharmacist for Plan B. I felt like a complete whore for having consensual sex where the condom just happened to break. In this country, if you are a girl who acknowledges her sexuality, you feel like whore by default.

So there ‘s a war on women because Miller is embarrassed that she's having sex. Miller's insecurities = war on women. Got it.

So, what if I hadn't lived in NYC? What if I had lived in the middle of Texas and needed to get a ride to a Planned Parenthood that was 50 or even 100 miles away? What if I lived in South Dakota or Idaho or North Carolina? What if I didn't have the money? What if some bull**** (that has happened to three of my friends) happened where I went and they said "I'm sorry – we are out of Plan B. We will have it in two days and you can come back then." (I'll give you a hint, its not called the "two days after you (expletive)" pill).

Amazingly, Miller (remember she's a "rabid feminist") is writing about her experience with Plan B yet is still incredibly ignorant about it. She thinks you can't use it two days after intercourse. The FAQ section of Plan B's web site says, "You can use Plan B One-Step™ after you've had unprotected sex or contraceptive failure one or more times in the last 72 hours (3 days), and you don't want to become pregnant."

The problem here isn't a war on information or a war on women but rather someone who is apparently unable to process and remember information.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Life Links 8/3/11

Indiana's attorney general has asked a federal court to overturn the preliminary injunction issued by Judge Tonya Walton Pratt which has prevented Indiana from defunding Planned Parenthood.
"This dispute belongs between the state and the federal government that administers and funds the Medicaid program, not between a private contractor and the state," Zoeller said.

"The proper place to argue this dispute is the federal government's own administrative hearing process, established for exactly this purpose. We hope the 7th Circuit will agree, reverse the U.S. District Court's decision and allow the administrative review to run its course."

Looks like San Francisco will be the next city to try to pass pregnancy center legislation.
In a deceptive ploy to preach to pregnant women, anti-abortionists have set up “crisis clinics” in San Francisco claiming to offer non-judgmental abortion services, city officials say.....

City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Supervisor Malia Cohen will discuss efforts to crack down on the faux clinics at a City Hall news conference Tuesday morning.
The New York Times has picked up this story and adds some more details.

Planned Parenthood Mar Monte is still looking for the 9 parking spaces needed to open up a clinic in Redwood City. They are also trying to force Enterprise to keeps an agreement to provide the spaces.

NPR's ombudsman responds to Ryan Bomberger's charges of biased editing during his debate with Carlton Veazey. In the comments section you can tell Bomberger is unimpressed. NPR ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos seems to not have listened to the unedited version because he provides no comparison information about the editing. Nor does Schumacher-Matos seem to notice host Michel Martin's clear bias. LifeNews has an editorial by Bomberger on the ombudsman's comments.

Monday, August 01, 2011


At First Things, Matthew Hennessy discusses Down Syndrome and prenatal testing.
One night, not long after we learned of our daughter’s Down syndrome diagnosis, my wife and I were lying in bed when she pointed to her pregnant belly and said, “You know, we’ve been talking about this child as if she were imaginary, but she’s here in the bed with us now.” It was a powerful moment for me. I believe I became prolife right then and there.

Judge grants temporary injunction in Kansas Planned Parenthood funding case

From the AP:
A federal judge on Monday blocked implementation of a new Kansas law that would strip federal family planning funding from the state's Planned Parenthood chapter, dealing Republican lawmakers their second major legal setback to their recent moves against abortion providers.

U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten ordered the state to immediately resume funding for Planned Parenthood, agreeing with Planned Parenthood that without the injunction the group would suffer irreparable harm while its challenge to the law works its way through the courts.

Planned Parenthood said it would be forced to close its clinic in the western Kansas city of Hays unless the court immediately prohibited the state from stripping it of $330,000 in federal Title X annual funding. It contended that its 5,700 patients would also face higher costs and have less access to services and longer wait or travel times for appointments.

Life Links 8/1/11

The Washington Post covers pro-choice and prolife demonstrations at LeRoy Carhart's Germantown abortion clinic. has a video of the marches with interviews. The Post story notes that Carhart's clinic will be closed this week during the Summer of Mercy 2.0.

In response to abortionist Steven Brigham's abortion practice, Maryland's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has released new draft regulations for abortion clinics including applying for a license, having a 24-hour hotline, having emergency plans and having a qualified anesthesia provider.

The Topeka Capitol-Journal discusses how some prolifers in Kansas aren't happy with incremental legislation.

A teenager in South Carolina has been charged in the deaths of his mother and unborn sibling. He also shot and injured his 12-year-old sister. He was just booked in jail after spending years in the juvenile detention system.
Shortly after being shot, the girl told investigators that before the shootings, the suspect asked her if the baby would die if his mom were shot, according to a Darlington County Sheriff's Office incident report.