Pages

Friday, April 30, 2010

Quick News Roundup 04/30/10

State Laws - The Week wrote a brief article describing the 5 States with the strictest abortion laws. The winners? Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Louisiana, and South Dakota. In other Kansas related news, the state legislature came 2 votes shy of overturning the Governor's veto of new proposed abortion legislation. If it passed, the legislation would have allowed people to sue if they felt an abortion was performed illegally and require doctors performing post-viability abortions to specifically detail the medical reason why the abortion was necessary.

International News - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently shifted to the right on foreign aid with regards to abortions. Effectively, it's the Canadian equivalent to the American "Mexico City policy," prohibiting the use of Canadian foreign aid in projects which perform abortions. "The Star" has an editorial discussing the potential reasons why. In Kenyan news, the nation is on the verge of passing a new Constitution...but the new Constitution explicitly lists abortion as a legal right. Not in all cases, but in the case where the mother's life is in jeopardy. Local religious leaders fear that this could open the floodgates to 100% legal abortion under all circumstances and are planning to oppose it, despite it's inclusion of many democratic reforms.

Two Days of Life - In Italy, a child reportedly survived for 2 days following a failed abortion attempt. The child was aborted at 22 weeks and left to die. 20 hours later, a Reverend found the still breathing child and contacted hospital personnel. I'm going to be honest here - this story just upsets me on so many levels. As a father of a premature baby, I've seen firsthand that children can survive after 22 weeks. My son was born around 30 weeks and there was a child in that very hospital being kept alive after 24 weeks. 22 weeks is not outside the ability for a modernized country to be able to save.

Lawsuits - A nurse working at Mount Sinai hospital was forced to perform an abortion, despite explicitly telling staff that it was contrary to her beliefs. She is filing a second law suit against the hospital over the matter.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Book study part three

Each Tuesday, we will be cross-posting Gerard Nadal's discussion of Embryo: A Defense of Human Life. Today is the third installment.

As the relative quiescence of the blog in recent weeks will attest, there has been a great deal going on that has kept me from posting, and I am truly sorry for the interruption of our ongoing discussion of EMBRYO. To Chapter 3, Dualism.

We need a little primer with some of the language that undergirds this chapter, specifically a discussion of essence and accidents. Before proceeding, I must confess that while I studied philosophy as a second major in college, that’s sand lot baseball and this is the major leagues. I invite Dr. Tollefsen to correct me if I fail in any way to present the philosophy accurately. This is his baby (no pun intended) from here.

Accidents- This is not the colloquial understanding of a mishap, but rather a description of an objects discernable characteristics: height, weight, shape, color, texture, material composition etc.

Essence- Perhaps a spice combination used by celebrity chef Emeril, but in philosophy a statement encompassing the very idea of what an object is, the very concept of the thing.

For example, we all know a chair when we see one, yet there are untold numbers of different types/models/styles of chair; everything from a simple wooden kitchen set chair, to a formal dining room chair, to an upholstered recliner. All are very different in material composition, texture, color, style, etc. Yet, they all share one essence: chairness.

This is an important exercise in metaphysics as we turn our attention from chairs to humans and human development: The essential “Gerard” relative to the accidental “Gerard” (who has added a few ‘accidental’ pounds since he got married 17 1/2 years ago).

Now, the authors take us into some rather challenging thought regarding the essential ‘me’ vs. the accidental ‘me’, which leads to a discussion of the philosophical error that is dualism. As regarding human beings, a common perception is that the essential ‘me’ is the mind/soul while the accidental ‘me’ is the body in which the soul resides and from which it is liberated at death. The authors quite correctly refute this understanding in asserting that “we are also essentially bodily, organic beings, part of the physical world, with biological lives essential, not accidental, to our existence.

The error of dualism plays itself in the area of embryo ethics. The organism need not exhibit all of its potentialities all the time to be the essential organism, the kind of thing that it is. To suggest that the kind of thing something is depends on some function yet to be performed, some accidental feature yet to be developed, is a grave error.

The authors go on to describe several types of dualism: mind-body, soul-body, Lockean, brain-body, and Constitutionalism. Under constitutionalism, the organic body/animal precedes the person’s existence, and in many cases, outlives the person. So here the human person is constituted by, but not identical to the human animal. Moral dualism will be further explored in chapter 5. In brief, it suggests that humans may come into existence at fertilization, but do not become worthy of moral respect (become persons) until some later stage of development.

The authors then go on to present some compelling argumentation against dualism, which we will pick up this Thursday in a second post on this chapter. I’m uncertain as to how people have understood the material in chapter 3, so I’ll draw the line here and see where the discussion takes us.

It’s good to be back.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Quick News Roundup 04/23/10

Supreme Court: President Obama stated this week that he will not use abortion or other social issues as a form of litmus test for who he nominates to the Supreme Court. With his very next breath, the President said that he wants a nominee "...who is going to be interpreting our Constitution in a way that takes into account individual rights, and that includes women's rights. And that's going to be something that is very important to me." And by women's rights, he means the right to an abortion. So, he says there's no litmus test...but then says that they must support a women's "right to choose."

State Laws: The Virginia State legislature just sided with Governor McDonnell and upheld his budget calling for an end to taxpayer funded abortions. According to Family Foundation director Virginia Cobb, "Prior to the Governor’s amendment, Virginia was one of only 17 states that funded elective (“health” of the mother) abortions." Now Virgina joins the 33 others who do not fund it. In Georgia a bill to ban selective abortion based on race or sex passed a hurdle, getting out of committee. It could be on the State Legislature's floor as early as Wednesday of next week.

Michigan Gunman: The man who murdered pro-life protestors last September was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole. The murderer, Harlan Drake, tried to argue that he was "insane" at the time of the murders. When he took the stand in defense of himself, according to mlive.com "Drake took the stand in his own defense this week, telling jurors that he didn’t feel any remorse for the slayings. He also testified that he hated himself and deserved to die."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

On hiatus


In addition to running SecularProLife.org, I am also a first-year law student. Finals are approaching and my stress level has become unacceptably high. Accordingly, I am on hiatus from blogging until things calm down. You will still get your Friday posts from MRNewman and things that are cross-posted from Gerard Nadal.
If you are interested in guest blogging, please email me your piece at info@secularprolife.org. This is a great opportunity to get your foot in the door, and a huge help!

Monday, April 19, 2010

"22 Weeks" to be screened at Cannes Film Festival

I have seen this movie and it is amazing. I'm so happy to hear that it will be featured at Cannes- particularly since, as LifeNews points out, pro-abortion films have dominated on our issue in previous years.
The festival is May 12-23, 2010. If you are in France at that time I encourage you to go out and support this film. I must warn you, however, that it is based on a true story and NOT for people with a weak stomach.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Scatterbrained Sunday

There usually isn't much pro-life news on weekends. So, following in the footsteps of Jill Stanek's Weekend Question and Bryan Kemper's Free Stuff Friday, I have decided to make Scatterbrained Sunday a regular feature of this blog.
Today, I draw your attention to Four Reasons You Might Be Aborted: An Open Letter to Fetal Humans. It's an interesting piece, but I can think of far more than four. I wish they had included "the economy goes sour," and "your father doesn't want you and makes your mom get an abortion." What reasons would you add?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Have an abortion, get $5000?

In Australia, everyone who gives birth gets a $5000 "baby bonus." The government also gives $5000 to the women whose children are stillborn, because telling a family that they've lost their baby and following up with "We need to talk about that subsidy" is a bit insensitive. The problem is that stillbirth is defined in a way that includes some late-term abortions! The issue was first raised two years ago, but so far the government's attempts to close the loophole have fallen short:
In August 2008, Families Minister Jenny Macklin said she would close the loophole, after initially denying it existed. It took until early 2009 to distribute the new forms the Government said clarified whether there was a stillbirth or an abortion.

The new form means a doctor or midwife must certify a child was "delivered" to confirm the baby was not aborted.

Senator Bernardi questioned the effectiveness of the term "delivered" in distinguishing between stillbirth and abortion.

The Australian Medical Association agrees there can still be confusion.
It goes without saying that the law creates some pretty perverse incentives. The AMA president says he is unaware of any cases in which someone deliberately got pregnant and then had a late-term abortion to get the $5000, which is some comfort. But this loophole also incentivizes people who become pregnant unexpectedly to get an abortion. Further, women who are already set on aborting may delay the abortion until 20 weeks, at which time the physical risks to the mother are much higher and the baby may be able to feel pain.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Abortion Requirements Pass MO State Senate

The Missouri State Senate just passed legislation which will create a list of information that a doctor must provide to a woman 24 hours prior to performing an abortion. According to the Columbia Missouran, these include:
    • "Illustrated handouts from the Department of Health detailing abortion risks and physical characteristics of the unborn child's development in two-week increments, with the statement: 'The life of each human being begins at conception. Abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being',
    • The gestational age of the fetus,
    • An opportunity to view an ultrasound and hear the heartbeat of the unborn child,
    • Information on available medical assistance and counseling resources,
    • Contact information for rape crisis and domestic violence centers, and
    • Details on the father's liability for child support"
Besides the reuired handout stating that "The life of each human being begins at conception," most of this is innocuous. Planned Parenthood is especially angry because the law would require all this information to be provided in person. This would prevent same-day abortions and change much of the pre-procedure meetings that Planned Parenthood sets up ahead of time. The Speaker of the Missouri House seems confident that it can get through the House, saying, "I'm confident we'll get a bill on the governor's desk...We'll work together, and see what we can work out." You can read more about this at CNBC and at the article referenced previously.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It's April 15, and you know what that means

SuzyB has an interesting post today: Babies Pay on Tax Day. It highlights the various ways that our tax dollars fund abortion, including the reversal of the Mexico City Policy (international abortion) and Dornan Amendment (abortions in Washington, D.C.). I predict that this will cause some pro-lifers to think "I should not pay my taxes." Obviously the Susan B. Anthony List did not say that, because they aren't stupid. Their suggestion to offset the impact of taxpayer-funded abortion with a donation to a pro-life group is far more sensible, not to mention legal. After all, whoever you are, it's inevitable that your tax dollars will fund something you think is evil, whether your opposition is to abortion, war, Don't Ask Don't Tell, environmental policy, the death penalty, or just plain wasteful spending.

Now's as good a time as any to make a couple of unrelated announcements:
1) Catholic pro-life blog La Familia de Guadalupe is giving away books about pro-life feminism. Go write a comment to enter.
2) I have obtained Nat Hentoff's mailing address and plan to write him about the work that SecularProLife.org is doing. Is there anything you'd like him to know?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Guess who doesn't like Abortion Recovery Month?


The governors of Minnesota and Texas have declared April to be the official month for abortion recovery and awareness. Naturally, this drew the ire of self-proclaimed "pro-woman" abortion groups. Rather than once again attacking the existence of post-abortion regret--perhaps out of fear that post-abortive women would come out of the woodwork to refute them--Planned Parenthood of Minnesota has instead dismissed the proclamation as "pandering to anti-choice organizations."
SecularProLife.org strongly supports abortion recovery and applauds the campaign to increase awareness in the month of April. To that end, I encourage you to read this excellent article from Silent No More, which includes an extensive resource list. Although Silent No More is a religious effort, their first priority is to give post-abortive women of all faith backgrounds the opportunity to experience healing:
Spiritual beliefs are personal and are often tied-in with how we look at abortion in general and our own experience with abortion in particular. It is not uncommon to feel that we are unacceptable to God if we have had an abortion, or to feel that abortion is "the unforgivable sin". That pain is hard to bear. It is one reason that many, but not all, post-abortion groups have a spiritual basis. I indicate information about that with each listing.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fetal pain bill (LB 1103) passes

NEBRASKA RIGHT TO LIFE PRESS RELEASE
Lincoln---The Nebraska Legislature may have changed the course of the nation's abortion debate ...with its 44 to 5 passage today of LB 1103, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, said Julie Schmit-Albin, Executive Director of Nebraska Right to Life (the state affiliate to the National Right to Life Committee.)

"The Nebraska Legislature took a bold step today which should ratchet up the abortion debate across America." said Schmit-Albin. "LB 1103 bans abortion at 20 weeks gestation based on medical documentation that unborn babies are capable of feeling pain at that point and beyond. What we didn't know in 1973 when Roe v. Wade was foisted upon the nation; we know now through the technological advances of in-utero surgery and 4-D ultrasound. Nebraska has a compelling interest in protecting unborn babies who feel pain at this gestation because we have a late term abortionist, LeRoy Carhart, performing abortions through at least 24 weeks here."

Expert testimony regarding the unborn feeling pain by at least 20 weeks gestation was presented by four physicians at LB 1103's committee hearing on February 25th. The doctors were specialists in anestheology and maternal/fetal health. A constitutional law expert also testified on behalf of LB 1103. An exception is allowed under the law for a medical emergency for the pregnant woman to avert death or avert a substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function, said Schmit-Albin.

"Speaker of the Legislature Mike Flood, like many Nebraskans, was very troubled when he heard that Carhart wanted to become the go-to late term abortionist of the Midwest after George Tiller's death last summer." said Schmit-Albin. "Carhart moonlighted with Tiller for ten years in Wichita, Kansas. Speaker Flood was in a position to do something to ensure that Nebraska does not become the late term abortion capital of the Midwest and we thank him for his diligence and leadership in introducing and prioritizing LB 1103."

"For years LeRoy Carhart has thumbed his nose at Nebraska's outdated post viability statute which contains a health exception you could drive a Mack truck through." said Schmit-Albin. "LB 1103 creates a case of first impression for the courts to acknowledge the capability to feel pain as a compelling state interest to protect those unborn babies from an excruciatingly painful death. The more narrowly defined medical emergency exception with an objective standard should go a long way towards closing the loopholes in current Nebraska statute."

Monday, April 12, 2010

Live Action releases video of lies in abortion "counseling"


In this delightful undercover investigation, a Planned Parenthood counselor tells us that between 6 and 8 weeks' gestation, "there's nothing developed at all. There's no legs, no arms, no head, no brain, no heart."
This brings to mind a favorite quote, from Mary McCarthy:
Every word that she writes is a lie, including "and" and "the."
Given Planned Parenthood's blatant lies, and its participation in recent attempts to force CPCs to put up signs that they don't do abortions, our next step should be to introduce signs in front of every Planned Parenthood saying that they give medically inaccurate information.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Scatterbrained Sunday

I don't have any real news today, so instead, here's my analysis of an advertisement I saw on Jill Stanek's blog. Whoever is behind it must not quite understand the meaning of "No matter what."
No matter what your background ... it's time to unite. Join the thousands praying THE ROSARY OF THE UNBORN to end abortion. One Rosary. Thousands United. www.RosaryofTheUnborn.com

They seem to get that people are looking for a more religiously diverse pro-life movement, and want to be inclusive, but without changing anything about their obviously Catholic message. Really guys, there's no shame in being Catholic or Christian. You might as well come out and just say so. Even though you are not officially affiliated with the Catholic Church and aspire to be ecumenical, last time I checked there weren't any atheists or Jews praying the rosary. (I'm Protestant and don't know anything about rosaries either, or why having a miniature embryo in each bead helps.) It's nice that the money raised from the rosaries goes to pregnancy centers, though.
On a completely unrelated note, Kristan Hawkins, our dear friend and president of Students for Life of America, has gone into labor with her second child! Yay!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Polish politicians, including president, killed in plane crash

I don't really need to give any sources for this story. It's being covered in every news outlet imaginable and I won't waste your time.
I just want to add, since this is news from a pro-life perspective, that Poland is one of the most pro-life countries in Europe. It recriminalized abortion after the end of Soviet occupation, and is often cited for its success in bringing down the maternal death rate. In recent decades it has stood firm, alongside Ireland and Malta, against abortion advocates in the European Union. Now that so many of its leaders have perished, it is unclear what will happen in Poland's political sphere.
SecularProLife.org expresses its condolences to the families of the victims, and to the Polish people as a whole.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Baltimore Archdiocese Suing Over New Law

Recently, the City of Baltimore has changed it's laws to require crisis pregnancy centers to post signage out front stating that they will not perform abortions. Planned parenthood locations or other clinics which do perform abortions are not required to post signage stating that they do provide abortions. This clear case of discrimination has, understandably, angered many in the pro-life community in Maryland. The Baltimore Archdiocese appears to be the first willing to stand against it - and is filing suit against the City of Baltimore on behalf of one of the oldest crisis pregnancy centers in the nation, the Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns. The Washington Times has more on the situation. Here's an excerpt from the article:
The Archdiocese of Baltimore has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the country's oldest crisis pregnancy center, claiming the city has enacted a biased ordinance that discriminates against pro-life organizations.

In a lawsuit filed last week in federal court, the archdiocese took on a new city ordinance - which had heavy backing from pro-choice and feminist groups - that requires crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) to post prominent signs stating they do not dispense contraception nor perform abortions. According to the archdiocese, it is the first such ordinance in the country...As the country's oldest CPC founded in 1980, the Greater Baltimore Center has two other locations: its main offices at 2418 St. Paul St. downtown and a third at St. Rita's Church in Baltimore County, which is not affected by the ordinance. According to archdiocesan spokesman Sean Caine, the center's three locations see a combined 1,200 visitors a year, in addition to about 8,000 people annually via a hot line.

The ordinance was introduced in 2009 by then-City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake who has since become the mayor of Baltimore and is one of the defendants named in the lawsuit. She will also be the honored guest at Planned Parenthood of Maryland's gala fundraiser Thursday night at the Tremont Grand Hotel in Baltimore.

The ordinance requires that a "limited-service pregnancy center" posts an easily readable sign in English and Spanish stating that the center does not offer abortion and birth control services, nor does it provide referrals.

Centers that fail to comply within 10 days of being cited could be fined up to $150 per diem.
For the record, the CPC's website is pretty clear where they fall on the issue of abortion. I don't see any deception there. The City of Baltimore has no reason to force them to post signs that they clearly know will turn people away from the CPC.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

State news review

Lots has been happening at the state level recently.
On Monday, the California-based pro-life advocates at Live Action will release more undercover footage of abortion "counselors" lying to clients.
Michigan Senator Bart Stupak, who led a coalition of pro-life Democrats in the House of Representatives during the health care battle but has been criticized for agreeing to an executive order, may not run for re-election.
In Minnesota, where citizens pay for abortions through state taxes, the rate of taxpayer-funded abortions has dropped 4%. This is in spite of the economic downturn, which we would expect to cause an increase. The likely answer is Michigan's Positive Alternatives program, which provides medical, social, and child care services to mothers with financial need.
New Jersey governor Chris Christie has cut taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, reversing the policy of his predecessor.
The Oklahoma legislature has re-passed, and the governor has re-signed, three pro-life measures. The measures had earlier been passed in a single bill, but a court ruled that the procedure needed to be revised in order to comply with the state's one-subject rule. The new laws protect freedom of conscience, regulate RU-486, and ban sex-selection abortions.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Pro-life group launches boycott of Neocutis

This came out back in October, but I only just learned about it and feel it's important enough to share. The key ingredient in several of Neocutis' anti-aging products is protein from an aborted baby.
Neocutis . . . has developed a line of anti-aging products that include an ingredient the company has trademarked as Processed Skin Cell Protein, or PSP, developed from skin cells harvested from an abortion.

World Net Daily is better known for its evangelical conservative bent than for its accuracy, but in this case they've cited their source: Neocutis' own website.
Through years of research, physicians discovered fetal skin has a unique ability to heal wounds without scarring. Inspired by this, medical researchers at the University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland created a biotechnology process to extract the rich proteins responsible for scarless wound healing from cultured fetal skin cells. A small biopsy of fetal skin was donated following a one-time medical termination and a dedicated cell bank was established for developing new skin treatments. Originally established for wound healing and burn treatments, today this same cell bank also provides a lasting supply of cells for producing Neocutis’ proprietary skin care ingredient Processed Skin Cell Proteins (PSP®). No additional fetal biopsies will ever be required.

Children of God for Life, which is leading the boycott, is understandably unsatisfied with the company's statement. They make some good points in the article. I'd like to add no fetal biopsies were EVER "required." Neocutis conducted one not for some life-saving medical purpose, but to create a product that re-inforces unrealistic standards of beauty. One anti-feminist act--abortion--has led to another.
It's telling that no mother would donate a miscarried child's body for this experiment; it had to be an aborted child, whose dignity was already rejected. While it's unfortunately too late to save the baby whose remains are being used in Neocutis skin cream experiments, a boycott will discourage other companies from following the same path. Do your part by contacting Neocutis and letting them know that you will not be giving them your business!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Justice Stevens to retire during Obama presidency

To the surprise of virtually no one, liberal Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who is approaching his 90th birthday, has announced that he plans to retire while Obama is in office. Much like the replacement of Justice Souter with Justice Sotomayor, this probably will not have much impact. Seeing as there's no way in hell that Obama will appoint a pro-life replacement for Justice Stevens, our main concern is to avoid having an extreme pro-abortion voice on the Court.

Unfortunately, many of the nominees are exactly that. Going through the Huffington Post's list of front-runners:
*Solicitor General Elena Kagan believes that abortion businesses, but not pro-life pregnancy clinics, should receive federal subsidies.
*Seventh Circuit judge Diane Wood opposes parental consent, the ban on partial-birth abortions, and pro-lifers' right to peacefully demonstrate.
*I couldn't find anything on D.C. Ciruit Court of Appeals Judge Merrick Garland's abortion position. He is mostly known for his criminal prosecution experience and is considered one of the more conservative names on the short list.
*Cass Sunstein has stated that pro-lifers want to "co-opt women's bodies." (Interestingly, Sunstein happens to be a strong supporter of animal rights, arguing that they have the right to be free from physical abuse even in the absence of legal personhood. Mr. Sunstein, please give us your address so we can mail your Hypocrite of the Week award.)
*Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm vetoed state legislation against partial-birth abortion.
*Pamela Karlan criticizes the Supreme Court's use of the terms "mother," "unborn child," and "abortionist" in Gonzales v. Carhart (in which the Court upheld a ban on partial-birth abortion.) She also says that there was "no evidence" for post-abortion regret in that case. In fact, the evidence came in the form of hundreds of affidavits submitted by the Justice Foundation.
*Stanford Law professor Kathleen Sullivan is a supporter of the Freedom of Choice Act.
*Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota had 100% ratings from NARAL and Planned Parenthood, and a 0% rating from the National Right to Life Committee, in 2008.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

40 Days for Life comes to a close


40 Days for Life is a recurring pro-life campaign that takes place in front of abortion facilities all around the country. Although 40 Days for Life is a strongly religious event, with a focus on "prayer and fasting," you may recall that they sent SecularProLife.org an email affirming the value of a secular approach and welcoming non-Christians to participate.
The most recent campaign has ended, with fantastic news: they know of 532 babies who were saved from abortion. Whether you credit it to God or to the increased availablility of sidewalk counselors, that is amazing.
Let's learn a little more about these kids. Statistically speaking...
~272 (51.2%) are boys, and 260 are girls.
~At least 266 (50%) are non-white.
~About 8 (1.5%) will eventually self-identify as homosexual. "May be fetus you save be gay," indeed!
~452 (85%) will graduate high school.
~4 or 5 (.9%) will have autism.
~Their average life expectancy is 78 years from birth.
If this has inspired you to try sidewalk counseling, check out our secular, factually accurate handout.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Personhood Amendment in Mississippi Progresses

In 2011, Mississippi may become the next State to be able to vote on a Personhood Amendment to their State Constitution. The ballot initiative was brought forward not by the State Legislature...but by the people. Over 130,000 signatures were filed with the State. It now requires State Legislature review, but could be on the ballot in 2011.

For those who do not know, the Personhood Movement is a movement to try to change the Constitution to define what a person is - and to include in that definition unborn persons. Personhood USA, who I linked to, is a religious based organization - but their goals are not religious in nature. Here's a link an an excerpt from the article from LifeNews on Mississippi's Personhood Amendment:

Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann has notified the backers of the personhood amendment in Mississippi that the state ballot measure received enough signatures. But whether it will ever succeed in its goal of banning abortions is another question.

The amendment is the fourth ballot initiative since 1992 to fulfill the requirement of 89,285 voter signatures.

"The term 'person' or 'persons' shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof," it says.

Les Riley, sponsor of the personhood amendment, told LifeNews.com that it's about all pro-life advocates can do to limit abortions in the state since the legislature has passed almost as many pro-life laws as possible to reduce them.

"The Legislature of the State of Mississippi has passed just about every restriction on abortion that can be passed," he said. "Still, about 3,000 pre-born persons are murdered annually here."

"We believe that the Mississippi Personhood Amendment will be voted into the Constitution, and defended," Riley added.

On February 16, the sponsors submitted over 130,000 signatures, affirming the personhood rights of pre-born babies in Mississippi.

Paul Linton, a prominent pro-life attorney, tells LifeNews.com he doesn't think the amendment will ever get before Mississippi voters.

"I would expect those who are opposed to the initiative to challenge it in court before it appears on the ballot," he said of abortion advocates. "Whether they will wait until after the legislature has had an opportunity to review it (which is mandated under the Mississippi Constitution) remains to be seen."

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Stories we missed

Apologies for not posting yesterday. Here are some quick highlights. (Yes, it's April Fool's Day, but I promise all these stories are real.)

Duke University Women's Center refused to allow Duke Students for Life access to space for a presentation on student motherhood, because Center administrators were "uncomfortable" with the pro-life viewpoint. They quickly reversed their position after a getting a talking-to from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).

The Birmingham, Alabama Planned Parenthood abortion facility that Live Action caught covering up statutory rape is apparently having financial problems. They have fired several staff members with only two days' notice. Sidewalk counselors are working to help the fired accountant find a life-affirming job. If you know of a company in the Birmingham area that might be interested in hiring her, contact 40 Days for Life.

The San Diego school board, apparently unmoved by last week's outrage over a school-facilitated abortion in Seattle, has approved a policy that will allow students to get abortions during school hours without parental consent.