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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Well, this ruined my Memorial Day

In my ongoing effort to reach across the aisle, I've acquired some radically pro-abortion facebook friends. The following image speaks for itself.
Scott Roeder's murder of Tiller was immoral, horrific, and every other negative adjective you can think of. It also probably set the pro-life movement back years; had Roeder ever bothered to talk to anyone in the mainstream pro-life movement, he would have realized that we were close to getting Tiller's medical license revoked through peaceful, legal means.

But this shouldn't stop us from acknowledging the truth: Tiller was no hero. Not only was he an abortionist, but his medical negligence killed a young woman who had Down Syndrome. In 1989, he deliberately hit a peaceful pro-life demonstrator with his car (for which he was charged with felony assault). Comparing George Tiller to the real heroes who have defended our country is disgusting.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Guest post at Stand for Life

I have a guest post at Stand for Life, Monte Harms' award-winning blog. Please check it out, and if you have any feedback (good or bad) write your comments here. After all, I'm not just speaking for myself, and I want to make sure that I represent you well.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Pro-Life Musicians

Recently, someone had discussed the idea of not only religious musicians performing in support of pro-life values - but secular artists as well. As such, I did a little research and here's a list and some reference links about some more secular, pro-life artists:
Switchfoot
POD
Delores O'Riordan - lead singer of The Cranberries
As I Lay Dying
mewithoutYou
Flyleaf
August Burns Red
Type O Negative - Lead singer passed away last month, but was a strong opponent of abortion
Ben Folds - of Ben Folds Five fame

Here's my list of references for your reviewing pleasure:
Reference 1 - "American Life League"
Reference 2 - Insta-blogs, Peter Steel bio / obit
Reference 3 - "Ben Folds is a huge pro-lifer" by Byron Crawford

Do you know of any other musicians who are pro-life who may fall more on the secular side of the aisle? Comments more than welcome, they're encouraged!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Care about born kids?

Of course you do! So here's a quick, easy way to help kids in trouble.

How wonderful would it be if we could get this banner on every pro-life site? Directions for installing the banner can be found here.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Brodie Donegan and Nick Ball's crusade

New South Wales authorities plan to revisit NSW laws, which currently provide no protection for unborn victims of crime, in light of the death of 32-week-old Zoe Ball. Zoe's mother, Brodie Donegan, was taking a walk on Christmas Day of last year when she was struck by a car; the driver was allegedly under the influence of drugs. Brodie suffered severe injuries, but thankfully survived. Zoe, sadly, was stillborn. Under current law, the driver cannot be charged with Zoe's death. Together with Zoe's father Nick Ball, Brodie is lobbying to have their daughter's life and death recognized by the government.
[Donegan and Ball] have spoken out against the law – which effectively says their baby never existed - in the hope of getting it changed.

“It’s ridiculous. It’s rude. It’s not acknowledging her life,” Ms Donegan says.

“It’s not acknowledging she was part of our family.”
Our thoughts are with Brodie and Nick as they go up against supposed "women's rights advocates" to get justice for their little girl.
H/T Simon

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ambulance comes to Naples, FL abortion center

This is not a story of national significance, and (unfortunately) it's not an uncommon event either. I'm writing about it because Naples, FL is my hometown. It isn't a large city; there's a good chance that I know the victim. So if you have any additional information about this, please email me at info@secularprolife.org. You can remain anonymous.

Planned Parenthood of Collier County began doing abortions less than a year ago. Yesterday, shortly before 1pm, an ambulance arrived. It left minutes later with an unidentified patient. Local pro-life advocates confirm that the center does abortions on Mondays, but the center refuses to say that this was a botched abortion.
“I can't say that, all I know [is] we are a medical facility and we respond to emergencies," [center director Char] Wendel said.

Fred Goduti, a local pro-life advocate, confirmed to the newspaper that this was the first time an ambulance had been called to the abortion center since it started doing abortions last September.

“We were praying this would not happen,” he said. “It is inevitable it would happen.”
Context: Char Wendel is a nutcase who, on the anniversary of 9/11, publicly accused sidewalk counselors of terrorism. Her statement makes no sense. Planned Parenthood does not respond to emergencies. It is not an ER. That's why, when an emergency happens, they call an ambulance. What activity conducted at Planned Parenthood, besides abortion, could possibly require emergency medical attention? Or does Wendel expect us to believe that someone just walked in and had a heart attack?

UPDATE: Jill Stanek has photos that a pro-lifer took of the ambulance in the parking lot. Incredibly, the Planned Parenthood was prepared with a giant black sheet to obscure the scene from cameras!

Monday, May 24, 2010

MD Crisis Pregnancy Center Laws Challenged

In Montgomery County, Maryland, laws requiring crisis pregnancy centers to post notifications that people should go elsewhere if they want an abortion are being challenged in court. The Alliance Defense Fund has filed an anti-discrimination case on behalf of certain crisis pregnancy centers in the County.One News Now has more on the topic and here's an excerpt from the article:
Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) has filed suit against Montgomery County, Maryland, charging discrimination against pro-life pregnancy centers.

The county has enacted new speech rules that specifically target pro-life clinics, requiring them to post signs explaining that women should go elsewhere for care or advice. Under the new policy, failure to do so could result in fines exceeding $20,000 a month. However, the policy does not require pro-abortion facilities to provide similar notification.

"They basically tell [pro-life clinics they] have to post a sign saying that 'we don't have any medical professionals here, and the county recommends you go find a medical professional,'" explains Casey Mattox, legal counsel for ADF. "They don't impose any rule like that, of course, on abortion clinics, and they intentionally crafted this rule to exclude them."
In April, a suit was filed on behalf of one of the oldest crisis pregnancy centers in the nation to challenge similar laws passed in Baltimore City, Maryland. According to studies by Guttmacher, Maryland has some of the most leanient laws in regard to abortions.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Scatterbrained Sunday

When I was interviewed for last week's Slate article, the author asked me how I became pro-life. My answer (which was not included in the article for the simple reason that it's boring) is that I don't know. I've just always been pro-life, from the time I knew what abortion was. It did not come from my parents, neither of whom are all that politically active, and it was never mentioned in school or church. It came from within me, based on my own values of fairness and sticking up for the "little guy." My pro-life convictions became stronger over time as I participated in student activism, took a college course in prenatal development, did my own research, and befriended like-minded people.

Now, I pose the same question to you. Can you pinpoint what made you pro-life? Were you once pro-choice and switched sides, or have you been pro-life for as long as you can remember?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Media acknowledges "artificial life." Why not unborn life?

Yesterday, scientists announced the creation of artificial life. The microscopic organism, dubbed "Synthia" (below), was developed by transplanting syntheic DNA into a host cell.

The emerging technology quickly generated ethical concerns, mostly from environmental groups who oppose it for much the same reasons they oppose genetically modified crops. We aren't anywhere close to being able to create humans through synthetic biology; if it ever gets to that point, it's safe to assume that the burden of protecting their rights will fall on pro-lifers.

I want to talk about the impact this story has on current life issues. Virtually all mainstream media outlets covered this story, and most had no problem calling this "life." And scientifically speaking, it is. So why do these same outlets have such a hard time acknowledging human life in the womb? With this story, they have shown that they understand the scientific criteria for life. Now, they need the courage to apply them even when doing so is politically unpopular.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Support Iowa babies and Students for Life

1. The big Planned Parenthood gala in Cedar Rapids is tonight. Despite their fearmongering (with which the media shamefully assisted), the baby supplies drive and protest are still on.

2. Laces for Life sells $3 pro-life shoelaces in pink and blue. During the month of May, proceeds benefit our friends at Students for Life of America.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bristol Palin getting $30K per speaking engagement

This was in the news a few days ago. Sorry for not being on the ball.

I have nothing against Bristol Palin. Her vice presidential candidate mother aside, Bristol's story is a very common one: a teen who got pregnant despite precautions, and decided to parent the baby with the help of a strong family support system. Good for her! We should encourage young women who choose life, whether through parenting or adoption, to share their experiences. But holy cow, thirty grand to talk about abstinence? It undermines the message just a tad. "I love my son, but parenting is difficult. I wish I had waited until I was older. Also, three more of these talks, and I'll be making a six-figure salary this year."

For the vast majority of teen parents, finances are a struggle. The tens of thousands of dollars dropped on celebrity abstinence spokespeople would be much better spent on securing prenatal care, education, and employment opportunities for young moms in need.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Live Action heads to Canada

As much as we American pro-lifers might feel that we're facing an uphill battle to protect the unborn, we've got nothing on our neighbors to the north. Abortion advocates have a very strong grip on public opinion there-- so much so that Canadian pro-lifers have faced severe threats to their very freedom of speech, especially in universities.
That's why I am so happy to hear that Live Action will begin conducting undercover investigations in Canada. Their videos have had a huge impact in making the public aware of the racism, medical lies, and disregard for statutory rape reporting laws in American abortion businesses. I'm sure Canadian abortionists will prove to be just as sleazy. And since Live Action has an established internet presence, they will hopefully be able to get around Canadian censorship. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Increased identification with the pro-life label

Slate author Jessica Grose gave SecularProLife.org a nod in her recent piece, "Why Are More Americans Calling Themselves Pro-Life?" It's a complex question, and I'd like to hear your answers. Personally, I don't believe it can be attributed to any one thing. While the media didn't take notice until pro-lifers became a majority (excluding undecideds), the shift from 33% pro-life in 1995 to 47% pro-life today was a gradual one. I credit a combination of nearly forty years of pro-life activism, advances in technology, contemporary political pressures, and a healthy pinch of dumb luck.

Grose offers several potential explanations. First is the theory, endorsed by Gallup, that America is becoming more right-wing in general in reaction to the Obama presidency, and this has caused an increased willingness to identify as pro-life.
[Columbia law professor Nathaniel] Persily has another explanation to add to the mix: He attributes the shift toward the pro-life label to Obama's softening of the language of Democratic support for abortion. Obama said about abortion in 2008 during his campaign that "there is something extraordinarily powerful about potential life and that that has a moral weight to it that we take into consideration when we're having these debates." For those in the mushy middle on abortion, hearing a president—even one who identifies as pro-choice—question the morality of abortion might scare them away from Planned Parenthood benefits.
My take: maybe. The rallying cry of the pro-life movement is definitely not "See? Even Obama is kind of pro-life." Instead, the message is "Obama is the most pro-abortion president in history." But it's only natural that when one side is in office, the other side is galvanized.

Next, turning to the pro-life shift among young adults, the loyal opposition points the finger at abstinence-only sex ed:
Aimee R. Thorne-Thomsen, former executive director of the Pro-Choice Public Education Project, says she is skeptical of the Gallup numbers, but adds that twentysomethings have "grown up under a political system that demonized sexuality. Their consciousness has been under abstinence-only, promotion-of-marriage initiatives, so it's a very narrowly based idea of appropriate behavior." Which, for more young people in their 20s, does not include abortion.
My take: Bullshit. The vast majority of Americans, pro-life or not, engage in premarital sex. Even if Ms Thorne-Thomsen were correct that conservative ideas of appropriate sexual behavior have won the adherence of young people (and speaking as a 21-year-old, they absolutely haven't), that could cut the other way. After all, childbirth brings all those sexual indiscretions into the open.

Next up: us!
Alternatively, the young pro-life activists I spoke to wonder if they have more support because of improved ultrasound technology. "My generation has seen ultrasound photos of ourselves and our siblings," Kelsey Hazzard, the president of secularprolife.org, says, "so it's sort of hard to put the 'fetuses are just a clump of tissues' line past us."
Obviously I agree with my own statement, but I'll say again that I don't think that technology is the sole factor.

Grose concludes that "the embrace of the pro-life label appears politically—rather than morally—motivated." My personal experiences in pro-life activism lead me to disagree, but on the whole, Grose's analysis is fair. So thank you, Jessica, for making our voice heard.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Live near Cedar Rapids?

On Thursday, May 20, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards will visit Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the region's Planned Parenthood affiliate. The Pro-Life Action League is planning a peaceful protest during her visit, in memory of the 185,000 unborn babies killed by abortion over the past thirty years in Iowa. Their message is simple: "Abortion is nothing to celebrate." The schedule is as follows:
4pm- Drop off baby supplies at the parking lot of St. Pius X church
4:30pm- Press conference
5pm- Protest of the Planned Parenthood gala at Cedar Rapids Marriot

All are welcome to attend. If you go, I encourage you to carry explicitly secular signs; with luck, some news crew will catch a picture of you and replace their old stock photo of a man holding a portrait of the Virgin Mary.
Oh, and don't forget to wear makeup...
This is the same Cecile Richards who once called the pro-lifers who were opposing the opening of the huge Aurora, Illinois abortuary “some of the ugliest anti-choice protesters we've ever seen.”

Moms and dads with kids in strollers, grandmothers with their Rosary beads, high-school teens rallying on behalf of their unborn brothers and sisters—that’s what Cecile Richards calls “ugly.”

Saturday, May 15, 2010

It's finally summer!

My final exams are over, which means that the blog is no longer on hiatus and we are resuming daily posts! Let me bring you up to speed on what SecularProLife.org is up to this summer.
Grow Your Knowledge: This comprehensive, pro-life sex ed quiz will go live in July. To help us develop questions, go here.
We're filming a commercial in late May or early June, and counting on you to help us make it go viral! I don't want to give anything away before it's released, but I think you're going to love it.
I will be at the National Right to Life Committee conference in Pittsburgh, June 24-26, if anyone would like to meet up for lunch. I checked, and grad/med/law students can register at the college student rate.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Quick News Roundup 05/14/10

World Abortion Laws - CBC News has a great interactive map which discusses the legal status of induced abortion across the globe. Just scroll over your nation of choice and you can see a listing of when abortions are legal in that nation. It's an excellent source of information.

International News - In Brazil a move to legalize abortions has recently been shutdown. The decriminalization of abortion had recently been proposed, but in the heavily Roman Catholic nation during an election year, the topic has been avoided by most major politicians. The topic appears to be toxic amongst voters. As the government of Kenya continues to consider a new Constitution which specifically calls out specific abortion "rights," Catholic groups in Kenya have been actively fighting against it. The Catholic Bishops of Kenya recently released a long public statement on the topic, which can be found here. The bottom line? Reject the Constitution due to this language because a Constitution which defends ones right to murder the unborn, isn't a valid Constitution at all. In the buildup to the G8 Summit, attempts to fund abortions as part of their maternal health initiatives has already drawn scorn from international pro-life groups. The summit will be held in Canada which recently had cut off their international funding to family planning groups which support abortion.

Laura Bush's Book - One of the revelations in First Lady Laura Bush's book is that she was both pro-choice and supportive of legalizing same-sex marriage. An interesting viewpoint for the wife of a President who appointed two pro-life Justices to the Supreme Court and who openly supported a Federal Marriage Amendment. Her views on marriage actually mirror those of Vice President Cheney who's daughter, Mary Cheney, is gay.

Arizona - A recent change in Arizona state law will require that public funding not be spent on any health care policy which funds abortions. The law, which goes into effect July 29th, will prohibit not only state agencies, but local communities which offer insurance that provides abortion funding. The cities of Phoenix and Chandler currently offer insurance policies to their employees which allow for elective abortions. Under the new law, they will be required to change those policies.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Elena Kagan to be nominated for Supreme Court

I'm still technically on hiatus, but a Supreme Court nomination warrants my comments.

Kagan is a strong liberal and supports abortion, which comes as no surprise. What's more surprising is that Obama has chosen a candidate who has never served as a judge, which is likely to be the opposition's main theme. The Washington Post has a good summary of the probable strategy of both sides. Here's an interesting tidbit:
On the other hand, there are some Democrats who believe that baiting conservatives into a fight, especially on a subject like abortion, could only be good for their party. The theory goes that the GOP would whip themselves into a frenzy, forgetting to campaign on health care or jobs or the economy.
Say what you want about the GOP, but I doubt any candidate is stupid enough to forget to mention jobs and the economy! It seems that pro-abortion Democrats have forgotten that pro-lifers are currently a majority of Americans. So go ahead, let Kagan's appointment be about abortion! We're prepared for battle.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Quick News Roundup 05/07/10

Late Term Abortions in Wisconsin - In February 2009, the board of the Madison Surgery Center had allowed all its organization to perform late term abortions. Documentation was obtained by pro-life groups in Wisconsin showing that the Center, which is connected to a number of university hospitals / clinics may have used the late term abortions to harvest fetal body parts for research. This week, the Madison Surgery Center with pressure from the Attorney General's office and pro-life gruops has abandoned its late term abortion plan.

Canada - In British Columbia, pro-life groups have been asking for the government run medical facilities to release their abortion statistics. The response from the provincial Information and Privacy Commissioner? We'll look into whether or not we'll look into providing the public with these statistics. Freedom of information rules are not quite the same in Canada as they are in the United States.

Kansas Abortion Regulation Followup - The State legislature in Kansas tried to override the Governor's veto of new abortion law and failed in the Senate. Last week, the House failed to override the Governor's veto by 2 votes - one of whom was a supporter of the override which allowed him to bring back up the vote this week. The override passed the House on Tuesday, but failed in the State Senate by 1 vote on Wednesday. The legislation, if enacted, 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. This is why it's important to elect pro-life Governors in your home state.

Abortion Statistics - The number of poor women getting abortions has increased during this current economic downturn according to a study performed by the Guttmacher Institute. In 2000, the number of poor women getting abortions was 27%. In 2008, that number leapt to 42%. What else was found out by this study? 57% of women who received abortions paid for the procedure out of pocket. Based on the numbers provided - 43% of women receiving abortions in the timeframe covered in this study had some form of government or outside organization help pay for the procedure. Approximately 1/3 of these women had the procedure paid for by Medicaid.