Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Eric Holder's wife tied to building which houses abortion clinic

No wonder the Justice Department has been working to quell the activities of sidewalk counselors.

This part was hilarious.
“No, absolutely not,” Tuckson said. “I’ve told you the truth: I do not technically own that property. My sister does not technically own that property. And if you say that we do, that is a lie.” 

Asked why she used the word “technically,” Tuckson said, “You need to do your own work and look at the deed. I pulled it up, and I’m looking at it right now. We are not on the deed.”

A Watchdog reporter asked Tuckson how she happened to have a copy of the deed to a piece of property she doesn’t own. After a very long pause, Tuckson replied, “I just pulled it up.”

Why I don't really believe Patheos' Libby Anne's "lost faith in the prolife movement" story

Some pro-choice blogs are abuzz over this post by Libby Anne of Patheos in which she describes how she "Lost Faith in the ‘Pro-life' Movement." Libby Anne says her conversion into being in favor of legal abortion started when she read a NY Times article about a WHO and AGI study regarding abortions worldwide. She claims that as a prolifer, she found this "study" persuasive.

As I have noted numerous times, the studies by the WHO and AGI which attempt to guessestimate how many abortions are performed in developing nations where abortion is illegal are a joke. Anyone who takes the time to actually read the studies and find out where the numbers come from quickly realizes that there is next to no empirical basis for the numbers. Yet somehow Libby Anne (who claims to have been the president of her university's Student for Life group and been to "pro-life banquet after pro-life banquet") had 1.) Never heard about these claims before and was 2.) surprised by claims that pro-choicers believe large number of women die from illegal abortion.

I'm struggling to believe this is a true story. If she was the president of her Students for Life group, she should have come across these claims before. These claims are very popular in the pro-choice movement (the idea that banning abortion won't stop abortion is often the first thing many pro-choice people argue) and prolifers spend a good deal of time combating them. Second, she should have been skeptical of this study as she should have known that the AGI is a pro-choice organization. Third, I would guess most SFL group presidents would ask their local or state prolife group or maybe even fellow group members about such a study and its results before accepting them so trustingly.

Libby Anne then goes on to make a number of generalized, caricatured claims about the prolife movement (which she should know are untrue if she spent so much time in the movement as she claims) and suddenly (during her lunch break!!) adopts the worldview of the pro-choice movement.

Her explanation for her transition also doesn't make any sense. If the AGI study convinced her that birth control is the answer to saving unborn children and is good because of that then why would her beliefs about the value of unborn children be suddenly decreased? Libby Anne's explanation for why she no longer thinks the unborn should be protected is also not very well thought out. She claims she believes the unborn aren't persons because well...well.... she never really says. Someone who was as strongly prolife as Libby Anne claims she was would struggle with this much more. She would have had these conversations with family members, etc. and would have at least some reasoning for why unborn babies (her term) aren't persons. She also now accepts the bodily autonomy argument and sees birth as the "key dividing line."

She then shows she doesn't have basic research skills when she claims that "Obamacare stands to cut abortion rates by 75%" based on a study which shows no such thing. I find it hard to believe that real people actually believe that. Even though birth control is already incredibly accessible in this country and most women who have abortions used birth control in the last month, Obamacare forcing companies to include it on their insurance is going to cut abortion by 75%. Yeah, ok. You have to be the most gullible and uninformed person in the world to believe that.

Libby Anne claims she was dupe for defending the prolife movement. I'd bet anyone who reads this account and thinks they're getting an honest story is a dupe. To me it sounds exactly like what a pro-choice blogger would write if she was writing the fictional account of how she was once prolife but then became pro-choice. Maybe Libby Anne was prolife at one point, but this description of how she became prolife is far from an accurate portrayal of that.

UPDATE 11/1/12:
I'm sure Libby Anne is lying.  This woman is a fraud.  She was never the Students for Life president at a university. Read this comment and try to explain how someone who was so involved in the prolife movement could believe that second trimester abortions are generally "only allowed in case of rape, incest, life of the mother, or fetal abnormality."

That's the type of thing only incredibly ignorant, sheltered pro-choice people believe.  1. You have to be ignorant of abortion laws/legislation.  The closest states have come to limiting abortion is 20 weeks.  2. You have to be ignorant of how many second trimester abortions there are and how frequently they are performed.  About 10% of abortions are performed after 12 weeks. That's around 100,000 a year in our country.   

Anyone who has had any interaction with any slightly knowledgeable prolifer would never write something like Libby Anne because they would know how easy it is to shoot down and how stupid and ignorant they would look if they said it. 

UPDATE 4/2/13:
I was wrong.  She's not a fraud.  I've discovered who she is in real life.  She was a Students for Life president for a period of time.  I still doubt aspects of her conversion story.  She's not including any information about a pivotal life event which over time led to her completely changing her worldview and led her to question everything she was taught by her parents.  Her arguments are still poor.  I think this is because while she used to be prolife, my guess is she no longer interacts with people who are prolife.  She went from a conservative, prolife, evangelical bubble into a pro-choice, liberal bubble. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Life Links 10/26/12

Texas' Women Health Program doesn't need to fund abortion providers and their affiliates after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals denied an appeal to reconsider their early decision. Planned Parenthood lawyers apparently can't understand that no one is taking away their free speech rights if a state chooses not to fund abortion providers.
In a statement issued Thursday, Gov. Rick Perry said Texas will immediately "defund" the health organization's affiliates. "Today's ruling affirms yet again that in Texas the Women's Health Program has no obligation to fund Planned Parenthood and other organizations that perform or promote abortion. In Texas we choose life, and we will immediately begin defunding all abortion affiliates to honor and uphold that choice."

President Obama lied about Planned Parenthood providing mammograms again on the Tonight Show. He's lied so many times about this, the Washington Post finally fact checked him on it.
The problem here is that Planned Parenthood does not perform mammograms or even possess the necessary equipment to do so. As such, the organization certainly does not "provide" mammograms in the strict sense.

A woman named Rebecca Edmonds is suing the Air Force after her scholarship was revoked because she was pregnant. The Air Force has policy which prohibits single parents from enlisting.
Edmonds said she asked the officer who informed her that she was being ejected from the Air Force, "Had I terminated the pregnancy before my commissioning, would I have been able to commission at that point?" And, according to Edmonds, "He said, 'Well. Technically, yes.' That was the hardest part of all of this. Someone telling me to my face that had I gotten an abortion, then I would be eligible for service."

Authorities in Louisiana have arrested a man who allegedly cut his child out of his pregnant wife. The wife is in critical condition and the child died.
Deputies continued to interview people at the home in Walker a day after they arrested Jeffrey Reynolds, 31. He is accused of slashing his wife's throat and cutting their unborn child out of her abdomen with a kitchen knife. Deputies found the baby dead inside the home with a large laceration to the head. Paula Reynolds, 28, was seven and a half months pregnant. At last check, she was in critical condition.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Life Links 10/23/12

In Iowa, a jury is deciding if liberal, pro-choice members of the University of Iowa law school staff discriminated against and decided not to hire Teresa Wagner because she was prolife.
Wagner's attorney, Steve Fieweger, told jurors that professor Randall Bezanson, a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun who helped draft the Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion in 1973, led the opposition to her hiring during a 2007 faculty meeting. Wagner, a part-time employee of the law school's writing center, had previously worked as a lawyer for the National Right to Life Committee and the Family Research Council, which both oppose abortion rights.... Wagner testified that she thought she would get one of two full-time openings when she was among two finalists. Instead, the faculty decided to recommend the other finalist, Matt Williamson, and not fill the second job at that time. Carroll acknowledged that Williamson was considered a poor teacher and left after one year. "I was very surprised and disappointed, devastated even, that the job could have been given to him," Wagner said. She noted she had prior experience teaching a similar class at George Mason University, had practiced law and gotten more articles published.

In California, a woman has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly trying to kill the unborn child of a woman who testified against her husband, a convicted murderer.

The New York Times covers the abortion debate in Great Britain.
With hindsight, perhaps the most surprising thing is how long abortion has been off the political agenda in Britain. An intensely divisive political issue elsewhere, the subject rarely makes the front pages All that changed this month, as a series of senior Conservative members of Parliament, from the prime minister down, indicated that they supported reducing the period in which abortions are permitted.

Democrats for Life has dropped Tim Kaine from their list of endorsed candidates.
His spokesman and website are is now identifying him as a pro-choice Democrat. DFLA, therefore, cannot endorse Governor Kaine.
Maybe that should be something you examine before making an endorsement, no?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Life Links 10/22/12

This is maybe the weirdest story ever regarding an attempt to raise funds for prolife commercials.  Michael Gardner was sentenced to 13 years in Australia after authorities found that he was using acres of land to grow marijuana.  According to Gardner (who think he should have been sentenced to 20 years and appealed for a longer sentence), he was hoping to use the profits for "a national anti-abortion campaign."  The crop of cannabis was worth nearly $70 million dollars.

Pro-abortion philosopher Peter Singer doesn't have an issue with killing infants but he dislikes Roe v. Wade
Singer further surprised me—and showed his meta-commitment to democracy and reason–when he said that he, like Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan, disliked Roe V. Wade. That 1973 Supreme Court decision, Singer felt, provides a flimsy rationale for abortion and has corrupted the process whereby Supreme Court Justices are chosen. Ideally, Singer said, voters rather than unelected judges should determine the legal status of abortion. Singer nonetheless acknowledged that if Roe V. Wade is overturned, some states might outlaw or severely restrict abortion. "I'm torn," he admitted.

I don't believe I've ever read a stupider argument for why abortion is moral than this:
What struck me most was the simple and direct statement made by Dr. Nozer Sheriar, an obstetrician-gynecologist from India, who explained why he supports women who have abortions: "anything 46 million women do every year can't be immoral."

So lying is moral?  Surely, 46 million women a year lie.  Ergo, it can't be immoral.  Pro-abortion logic fail. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Overheard: In China, working at an abortion clinic one of "the best ways to make an income"

Regarding China's 13 million annual abortions:

And Sheng Keyi, who in her novel “Northern Girls” wrote about the lives of Chinese migrant women seeking jobs in cities like Shenzhen in the south, addressed the issue last year at a book fair in Beijing.
“About 70 or 80 percent of migrant worker girls in Shenzhen have probably had abortions,” she said. “I remember hearing that working in a gynecological hospital in Shenzhen was one of the best ways to make an income, because there was such a regular supply of abortions to be done. Millions and millions. It is very common.”

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Life Links 10/16/12

Notice the word that's missing in's "abortion" ad featuring three Hollywood actresses. Here's a clue - it starts with A.

The Hill has an article on the Planned Parenthood vs. SBA list ad battle in battleground states.
In their ads, Planned Parenthood's political arms argue that Romney jeopardizes healthcare for low-income women when he vows to cut off funding for the group. Romney argues that federal funds need not support a major provider of abortions. The SBA List, meanwhile, paints President Obama as an extremist on abortion, highlighting his opposition as a state legislator to a bill the group says was meant to protect vulnerable infants. Obama has defended his vote, saying the measure would have hurt doctors and undermined Roe v. Wade. Overall, Planned Parenthood's political wing has spent roughly five times more than the SBA List on swing-state ads, which will continue airing next week.

At the New Statesmen, Mehdi Hasan writes about being a self-described "prolife lefty" and then about the response to his piece.
The reaction from left-liberal, 'pro-choice' commenters on Twitter yesterday reminded me that the right may have a point when they object to the left's shrill, one-sided, close-minded response to any attempt to debate certain social and ethical issues.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Life Links 10/15/12

Another sad development for Democrats for Life of America. They've endorsed Tim Kaine in the U.S. Senate race in Virginia and Steve Pestka in the Congressional race in my district in Michigan. Neither of these candidates call themselves prolife. Kaine's web site says this:
I strongly support the right of women to make their own health and reproductive decisions and, for that reason, will oppose efforts to weaken or subvert the basic holding of Roe v. Wade.
Pestka spent a inordinate amount of money in the primary noting his love for Planned Parenthood because his opponent highlighted an old funding vote which Pestka has now disavowed.
"I am personally opposed to abortion and I would never counsel anyone to have an abortion," Pestka said. "I oppose late-term abortion, but at the end of the day, I don't support making abortion illegal."
Does Democrats for Life have any kind of standard on who they endorse?

Heikal Badrulhisham, a student at the University of Wisconsin, provides probably the worst argument ever against using graphic images as part of an effort to educate people about abortion.
The problem with the use of gruesome images in anti-abortion campaigns is the messages delivered by such images are distinct from the proclaimed rationales of the campaigns. Pictures of aborted fetuses have nothing to do with the moral arguments frequently used against abortion. If the purpose of a campaign is to convince people abortion is disgusting, by all means use the pictures. If not, tear down those repellant posters for the sake of reasonable dialogue.
Huh? How do the images have nothing to do with the moral arguments used by prolifers? What a ridiculously absurd assertion. Maybe Badrullhisham makes this assertion because of an unfamiliarity with prolife arguments as the piece also states, "I am not concerned about the arguments made by these campaigns."

Forbes notes how the FDA has approved a clinical trial which will use umbilical cord blood in an attempt to treat autism.
The 30 children that will participate in the placebo controlled trial, ages 2-7, had umbilical cord blood banked at birth, as part of the Cord Blood Registry, a highly organized and well known stem cell bank. The goal of the trial will be to evaluate whether stem cell therapy has any effect on behavior and language difficulties commonly experienced by children with autism.

If Brooklyn Nets CEO Brett Yormack says, "Just have an abortion and we'll be good," don't believe him.
Reyna Purcell, now 35, got pregnant shortly after she started dating Yormark, according to court filings. Purcell claimed she wanted to keep the baby, but Yormark threatened to break up with her if she did not end the pregnancy. Purcell claimed Yormark promised to stay in the relationship and take her on vacation if she had an abortion, according to the ruling. Purcell had an abortion in February 2011, according to the ruling, and Yormark ended the relationship soon after.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Life Links 10/9/12

A women in California has given birth to quintuplets after being advised to abort one or more of their children.
Meryl Ferraro, 39, and her husband, John, last week welcomed the arrival of their quintuplets, whom they have collectively nicknamed GRACE, for their first name initials: Gabrielle, Riley (a boy), Addison (a girl), Cooper, and Emerson (a girl).....

"After reading all the information, we were horrified," the Ferraro's background page reads. "We decided it was not our place to choose which of our babies would live and which one would die. If God was giving us 5 babies, there was a reason. We made a decision to see them as a precious blessing from God above and not as burdens we needed to eliminate."

Go and read David Lawson's piece in the Independent on abortion politics in the UK.  A taste:
Among Miller's responsibilities in Cabinet are "women" (that's what it says), so her interjection has been seen as monstrously inappropriate; and her accompanying it with the remark that she herself is "a feminist" is seen as bizarre beyond belief. The Guardian's Women's Blog Editor described her position as "astonishing", while in the same paper Tanya Gold levelled the most damning charge of all: "I suspect that Miller is pro-life." Good heavens, let's send round the thought police immediately.

In other UK abortion-related news, singer Lily Allen, who is pregnant, is apparently incapable of making an argument.  She seems to believe that all men shouldn't be allowed to share their position on abortion because some men leave women during pregnancy or after a child is born.
She began a lengthy series of Twitter posts with: 'Can small minded idiot blokes stop telling women whether or not they're entitled to abortions please ? #enoughnow'.

This was followed up by her tweeting: 'The day the number of single father households equal the number of single mother households is the day I start to listen to their views.'

Center for Reproductive Right is struggling to deal with all the prolife legislation on the state level so they've enlisted the help of some pro-abortion celebrities because no one argues better than an actor reading lines someone else wrote for them. 

Does providing free contraceptives lower the abortion rate?

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and the Contraceptive Choice Project have released a study which found that when women were given free contraceptives, the rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion decreased.  Here's how Time describes the women in the study:
The researchers enrolled 9,256 women from the St. Louis region into the Contraceptive Choice Project between August 2007 and September 2011. The women were aged 14 to 45, with an average age of 25, and many were poor and uninsured with low education. Nearly two-thirds had had an unintended pregnancy previously. Participants were either not using a reversible contraception method or willing to switch to a new one.
So we have women who are open to using contraceptives or at least switching which kind they use.  This is obviously a sub-group of women.

And the results:
Over the course of the study, which lasted from 2008 to 2010, women experienced far fewer unintended pregnancies than expected: there were 4.4 to 7.5 abortions per 1,000 women in the study, after adjusting for age and race — much fewer than the national rate of 19.6 abortions per 1,000 women and lower also than the rate in the St. Louis area of 13.4 to 17 abortions per 1,000 women.
But the key point of the study is here:
Researchers provided free, FDA-approved birth control to the women for three years. The women were given their choice of contraception, including oral birth control pills and long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods like implants and IUDs. The researchers specially briefed the participants on the "superior effectiveness" of LARC methods — the T-shaped IUD, or intrauterine device, has close to 100% effectiveness and can last five to 10 years, for instance — and 75% of women chose those devices over the pill, patch or ring.
So the results don't say that providing women with any kind of free contraceptives reduces unplanned pregnancies but rather that briefing women who are willing to switch contraceptives to (or rather strongly encouraging women to use) long term contraceptive methods which are more effective and getting a large percentage of women to use those methods reduces unplanned pregnancies. 

This is basically like saying implantable contraceptives have higher success rates.  Duh, that's not news.  That's something we already know.  The only novel thing about this study is the high percentage of women (75%) the researchers convinced to go on long-acting implantable contraceptives.  They accomplished this because it was the primary goal of their study ("To promote the use of long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods"). 

While they accomplished their goal, their research flies in the face of the contraception choices of most American women whose top choices for contraception have been the pill, sterilization (female and male), and condoms.  IUDs are typically chosen by less than 10% of the female population.  To get a 75% of women using contraceptives to use implantable methods, that would take every OB/GYN pushing implantables as if they were used car salespeople.

The Time article (probably based on the study's authors) attempts to act like the reason women don't typically choose to use IUD is the higher up front.
Yet American women use LARC methods at far lower rates than in other countries. In large part, that's because of cost: upfront costs to implant an IUD, which requires a doctor visit, can total $500 to $1,000, for example. Over a decade, however, birth control pills can cost just as much. American doctors also tend not to recommend long-acting birth control to women as often as they do the pill or patch, though IUDs and implants may be up to 20 times more effective.
If this is true, then why does the percentage of women using IUDs barely change based on income (table 11)?  It goes from 5.5% for women in households with incomes ranging from 0-149% of the poverty level, 5.5% for women in the 150%-299% level and 5.9% in the 300%+ group. 

As I've noted over and over again, the cost of contraceptives is not one of the top reasons why women aren't using them (or aren't using them consistently).  

There are still a large number of reasons why most women don't want to use implantable contraceptives. Cost is likely one of them but certainly not something that by itself is going to get anywhere near 75% of women on contraceptives using implantable contraceptives.  

So attempting to take this study and act like it proves Obamacare and it's provision forcing employers to cover contraceptives will dramatically lower the abortion rate simply assumes too much.  It assumes all women of child-bearing age are like the women in this study, it assumes 75% of those women will use implantable contraceptives if provided for free, and it assumes the federal subsidized abortion coverage won't increase abortion numbers. 

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Life Links 10/2/12

"Catholics" for Obama willing to blatantly lie about President Obama's record and what Planned Parenthood does?  Why am I not surprised?
On Wednesday Hudson also revealed that a group calling itself Catholics for Obama had been making push poll phone calls in support of the president's re-election bid. Among the questions being asked, he said, was "How can you support a 'Mormon' who does not believe in Jesus Christ?"

The phone banker making the call, which in this case went to a woman Hudson identifies as "the head of a pro-life committee at a parish I know" reportedly also asserted that "President Obama did not support abortion" and that Planned Parenthood "helps children get healthcare and prenatal care and does not promote abortion."

Another instance of pro-choice intolerance in Canada.
Dozens of wooden crosses, displayed on bales of hay at the corner of 188th Street and Fraser Highway, have been smashed to bits.

This is the second time vandals have destroyed this display. The latest attack happened sometime over the weekend.

Ironically, representatives of the group behind the roadside display were going to dismantle it themselves on Sunday morning, but when they arrived all they found was wreckage.

Former abortion clinic owner Terry Lazar is claiming his clinic changing from an abortion clinic to a medical clinic that doesn't provide abortion has nothing to do with prolife protesters despite his quoted comments in the New York Daily News. 
"We closed for economic reasons — not because of protesters," Lazar said. "This is something we've been working on for a long time. We weren't forced to close."
His comments published in the Daily News indicated that the protesters were at least partially behind the economic reasons. 

A federal appeals court has ruled against Planned Parenthood and other abortionists in Ohio who challenged Ohio's law restricting RU-486 abortions to FDA guidelines. 

France's Socialist President Francois Hollande plans on having the full cost of abortions be reimbursed by the government.
The change to full reimbursement was included in the 2013 social security budget unveiled on Monday. In a statement the government said the move was "necessary to ensure all women have equal access to abortion."

The move follows a long campaign by pro-choice organisations and was a manifesto promise by Socialist President Francois Hollande ahead of his election victory in June.

The government also announced that it would increase the amounts clinics are allowed to charge for carrying out abortions to bring them closer into line with their real costs and to facilitate better support for patients.

Monday, October 01, 2012

New York abortion clinic closes because of prolife efforts

From the NY Daily News:
Lazar said the clinic tried to provide both abortions and other types of procedures, but doctors and patients refused to cross the throngs of religious protesters who tried to convince them not to go in.
“You had protesters with signs and banners yelling at people telling them they were baby killers,” Lazar said. “We were trying to do both and it just wasn’t working. We would have gone out of business.”
The new clinic - slated to open as the New York Center for Specialty Surgery under the direction of a California-based medical firm - is undergoing renovations.
So far as many as 20 doctors have expressed interest in working at the new clinic - a stark difference from as recently as a month ago when Lazar struggled to find doctors willing to work there.