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Sunday, February 28, 2010

EMBRYO: A Defense of Human Life

SecularProLife.org is joining Dr. Gerard Nadal's blog, Coming Home, in a study of EMBRYO: A Defense of Human Life, by Robert P. George and Christopher Tollefsen. The book argues for unborn human rights without resorting to religious appeals. Starting March 16, Nadal will discuss one chapter each Tuesday. Each entry will be cross-posted here. This is a great opportunity for the busy students among us (myself included) to finally read something that wasn't assigned for class!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Earthquake in Chile

As you're probably aware, Chile just experienced a major earthquake. Fortunately, it has not caused nearly as much devestation as last month's earthquake in Haiti. The Chilean government has not yet requested international aid. Still, we must take this seriously. 147 lives have already been lost, and if we do not act quickly to restore access to medical care in areas where hospitals have been damaged, many others could die. In addition, a tsunami created by the earthquake threatens nations bordering the Pacific Ocean, including many impoverished countries with vulnerable infrastructure.

Although Chile is a pro-life country, abortion groups have a history of using tragedies like this to fundraise for their agenda. If you would like to give to Chile while ensuring that your donation does not support abortion advocacy, consider Hospital Clinico de la Universidad de Chile, which is listed in Heartbeat International's directory of non-abortive pregnancy resource agencies.

Should we leave God out of pro-life?

Bryan Kemper of Stand True: Christ-Centered Pro-Life invited me to answer today's weekend question on the role of religion in the pro-life movement. Wherever you come out on the substance of the question, this is a great example of pro-lifers working through their differences in a peaceful, respectful way.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Nebraska's Abortion Pain Prevention Act

In Nebraska, State lawmakers are considering a new piece of legislation entitled the Abortion Pain Prevention Act. The bill, if enacted, would be the most stringent in the nation by banning most abortions after 20 weeks of the pregnancy. Why 20 weeks instead of the traditional 24 weeks? After 20 weeks, it's stated, that the fetus can feel pain. This is a major shift and had not been tried in the past. ABC News has more on the story here. Here's an excerpt from the article -
Nebraska legislators are proposing a bill on abortion that, if passed, would be the strictest in the nation and would ban most abortions after 20 weeks into a pregnancy. The first public hearing on the so-called Abortion Pain Prevention Act today drew a crowd of 100, and medical and legal experts from as far away as New York City, Alaska and Boston. The Nebraska legislature's judiciary committee adjourned without taking action and will now discuss the bill in executive session, where the bill could be amended, tabled or passed on to Nebraska's full one-house legislature.

During the nearly four-hour hearing, the eight-member committee heard testimony from 19 people -- including a handful of doctors, several lawyers and two Nebraska parents who opposed the bill and spoke about how abortion had been the right decision for their family.

The proposed bill would ban abortions after fetuses reach 20 weeks, rather than the current limit that falls around 24 weeks. The only exception on the 20-week limit is if the procedure would "avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function" or save the pregnant woman's life. This would be a marked change because current abortion bans in the U.S. are determined by fetal viability, or the point at which a fetus can live outside the womb -- which usually occurs around 24 weeks.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

One step forward, one step back

Our step forward is in Kenya, which is in the process of approving a new national constitution. The most recent draft includes, and the final version is expected to preserve, the human right to life beginning at conception. Its proponents have stated that this provision will not impact the availability of contraception. The progressive constitution also reforms the country's basic national structure, limiting the power of its president with the goal of strengthening democracy. Hopefully, Kenya's new constitution will inspire her neighbors to resist pressure from Western pro-abortion groups and embrace self-government.

Our step backward is in Spain. In spite of huge popular opposition, a new law will allow abortion on demand up
to 14 weeks (left). It will also allow teens to get an abortion without parental consent. The political party currently out of power in Spain has vowed to restore fetal rights as soon as they get the opportunity.


Health Care Summit

Americans United for Life will be providing live updates on the health care summit throughout the day, beginning at 10am. Pro-lifers are not expecting much progress, especially since pro-life Democrats have been excluded from the meeting.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The abortion ad is back, and more dishonest than ever!

You may recall that earlier in the week, I was a guest blogger on SuzyB, where I discussed a facebook ad that invited users to "become a fan" of abortion. I asked pro-lifers to pledge a dollar to SecularProLife.org each time they saw the ad.

We got a few dollars, and then nothing. The ad disappeared. Perhaps, I thought, they were just sticking their toes in the water to see whether or not the pro-life movement would say anything.

But now it's back. Perhaps having read my commentary, they realized that asking people to become a fan of abortion is crass. Their new ad rebrands them as an innocuous site about "various methods for birth control."

By "birth control," they mean abortion. This is a directory of abortion businesses, plain and simple. The only contraception even mentioned is Plan B. You will find nothing about condoms, natural family planning, the birth control pill, or any other method. You will only find limited information about abortion: how it's totally safe, and where you can get one.

Accordingly, our fundraising campaign against this disgusting and deceptive ad is back in gear. Please donate what you can. A generous donor has agreed to match your gifts up to $500.

Life imitates art

A while back, my favorite satirical news site, The Onion, put up a video playing off of the debate over regular and conflict-free diamonds. The analogy: decorative baby skulls. Consumers should make sure they were "harvested responsibly," and not "illegally." (This is my first attempt at embedding video, so please be patient. If it doesn't work, you can view it here.)

Report: Baby Skull Jewelry May Be Linked To Violence

Yesterday, Philadelpia abortionist Kermit Gosnell was in the news after state authorities investigated his clinic and found that "parts of aborted fetuses were displayed in jars." The preserved bodies "are being examined to see if possible illegal late-term abortion procedures were conducted." If they were killed by legal abortion procedures, however, he will not be charged with anything.

In other words, the normative foundation for The Onion's satire has collapsed. It turns out that it IS okay to use baby parts as decoration-- so long as they were harvested legally!

Of course, the baby parts are the least of Gosnell's problems. The state investigation was prompted when a mother died after an unlicensed employee gave her pain medication for an abortion. Investigators found numerous health violations at the "clinic," and Gosnell's license has been suspended.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The latest from Live Action

In response to Obama's announcement of a new health care reform proposal, which would contain considerable funding for abortion, Live Action has released a new video from its Mona Lisa series, showing a Wisconsin Planned Parenthood failing to report an obvious case of statutory rape. This is the tenth video in the series. As Live Action president Lila Rose puts it, "The evidence is now available for all to see that Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin ignores state laws that have been in place for years." No doubt Planned Parenthood will claim this to be yet another isolated incident. Don't believe them for a second!