Friday, December 31, 2010
...shared the secular pro-life message at the March for Life, Students for Life of America conference, National Right to Life Committee convention, and Liberty University. We also expanded our presence on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
...began the Secular Sidewalk program. Our Monday bloggers show that sidewalk counseling does not have to be a religious affair. We continue to collect data in the hopes of more effectively saving lives and sparing mothers the pain of abortion. Expect this activism to expand in 2011.
...launched Grow Your Knowledge, a pro-life, comprehensive sex education initiative for teens and young adults.
In addition, SecularProLife.org had over 4000 unique visitors from 69 countries this year! We look forward to continued growth in 2011. As always, your donations are appreciated.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
If it's this complicated for me, I can only imagine the predicament that pro-abortion groups face! After all, they spend a great deal of time labeling us "Christian fanatics" and distancing themselves as much as possible from that sort of thing-- but they're certainly not going to pass up a Christmas fundraising opportunity, either, despite the fact that abortion promotion is more than a bit incongruous with what is essentially the world's largest celebration of a birth. Perhaps that explains the bizarre holiday messages that Jill Stanek has documented over the last few days. (The "best" so far? The fetal models converted into "abornaments" as a Planned Parenthood fundraiser!)
My wish for you, whether you are celebrating Christmas, the end of final exams, or nothing in particular: May you be filled with joy, surrounded by family and friends. And may you take the time to remember those less fortunate. Your local pregnancy center would be very grateful for your donation of diapers, blankets, maternity clothes, and other supplies this time of year.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
President Obama recommended Goodwin Liu for one of these Circuit Courts, but pro-life groups opposed Liu because his well-known pro-abortion views brought his objectivity into question. LifeNews.com reports that Liu will not be approved by the Senate! Three pro-abortion nominees for District Courts (a step below Circuit Courts) were also rejected. Nineteen nominees were approved; none of them faced opposition from pro-life groups.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Means has a troubled past that includes disciplinary action taken against her medical license for the misuse of psychiatry in her family practice, having improper personal relationships with patients, and for something more serious that the Kansas Board of Healing Arts has redacted from her public record.No medical misconduct was reported for the other potential new abortionist, Gregory Lindhart, but he did violate a protective order in March of 2010.
However, the Board did indicate in Means' disciplinary documents that it had the authority to discipline her under a Kansas law for unprofessional conduct including the "commission of any act of sexual abuse, misconduct, or exploitation related to the licensee's professional practice."
A Woman's World Medical Center in Ft. Pierce, FL, has been cited for numerous health and safety violations, including the failure to even have a blood pressure cuff. The kicker?
Bearing in mind pro-aborts often accuse pregnancy care centers of hiring unqualified personnel, the owner admitted to FAHCA that untrained staff performed its ultrasounds, including 2 administrative assistants (neither of whom had personnel files). This is a big deal, particularly since the owner stated the mill uses ultrasounds to determine the age of the baby and cost of abortion.This would be just another routine abortion dump story, except that the Woman's World mill was featured in 12th and Delaware, an HBO documentary that pro-life critics say is little more than a pro-abortion propoganda film.
On a completely unrelated note, I just learned that "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was apparently inspired by drunken abortion advocates defacing a pregnancy center. (Warning: link contains video which contains nudity.) Ironic, given that today's teen spirit is pro-life!
Friday, December 17, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Ireland - The European Union's Court ruled that the Irish abortion ban breached the human rights of a specific woman in a specific instance. The decision is already being dubbed the "Roe v. Wade of Europe." Three women brought a joint motion against the Irish law - one was a recovering alcoholic who wanted an abortion because she was afraid a new child would limit her chances of regaining custody of her other children; one woman was afraid to be a single mother; the third woman had a rare form of cancer which a) could have come back due to the pregnancy and b) her cancer treatments could have had an impact on the unborn child. The European Human Rights Court only ruled in favor of the third woman, not the first two, regarding the Irish law. The judgement said, "The court considered that the establishment of any such risk to her life clearly concerned fundamental values and essential aspects of her right to respect for her private life." Irish law will now need to change to reflect this ruling.
Canada - Canadian Parliament voted down a bill which would have made it illegal to coerce a woman into getting an abortion. The bill failed by a margin of 178 against to 97 in favor. The Conservative Party leadership actually opposed the bill on the grounds that they felt that this was already the law and that this specific legislation was unnecessary. Heritage Minister James Moore said, “I just think it’s legally unnecessary...Those protections already exist in the criminal code. That was the justice minister’s assessment and I agree with him.”
Wisconsin - In Madison, Wisconsin, a new surgery center was supposed to be offering late-term abortions. That has changed. Originally, the new center was planning to perform late term abortions and had even approved plans last year to that effect. Pro-life groups in Wisconsin fought the plan and can take this as a minor victory that they have scrapped the proposal. That said, the UW Medical system says, "...it remains committed to providing the procedure [abortion] eventually."
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
In fact, it is not clear to us that the claim asserted by some amici that one has an unlimited right to do with one's body as one pleases bears a close relationship to the right of privacy previously articulated in the Court's decisions. The Court has refused to recognize an unlimited right of this kind in the past.
The appellee and certain amici argue that the fetus is a "person" within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. In support of this, they outline at length and in detail the well-known facts of fetal development. If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment.
We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.
For the stage subsequent to [fetal] viability the State, in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life, may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.
...the medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors - physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's age - relevant to the well-being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health. This allows the attending physician the room he needs....
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Technology has already benefited unborn children in significant ways. Ultrasounds have debunked the "ball of cells" myth, changed mother's minds about abortion, and converted many people from pro-choice to pro-life. Advances in prenatal care have improved the health of mothers and babies. And just yesterday, Heather wrote about a new medical protocol that can save certain older fetuses from abortions that have already begun. But I'm talking about something bigger: the technology to safely transplant an "unwanted" unborn child into an artificial womb.
Unfortunately, as soon as the thought came to me, I realized how much abortion advocates would fight to keep it from happening.
At first glance, artificial wombs seem like the perfect solution. The baby lives and the mother doesn't have to share her body-- sounds great! But while bodily integrity is a nice rhetorical point for abortion advocates, the real objective of abortion is not to terminate a pregnancy, but to kill a baby. Mothers with pregnancy complications would take advantage of the artificial womb, but they make up a very small fraction of abortions. For most abortion-minded women, the pregnancy itself isn't the problem-- it's the newborn who results. They cite financial constraints, education, career, and poor relationships.
That means that the majority of mothers would not want to raise the babies gestated in artificial wombs. The babies would instead be put up for adoption. If artificial wombs became available, some mothers would still prefer abortion. In that situation, abortion advocates will ditch the bodily integrity argument, and instead argue that for a woman to know that her baby is out there, being raised by someone else, is a psychological burden that outweighs the baby's right to life. (While I don't dispute that adoption is an emotional minefield, that alone cannot justify killing a human being. But any argument with the full support of Planned Parenthood and NARAL is bound to get some traction, no matter how wrong it is.)
Another issue arises when we think about how the technology would develop. In the early stages of experimentation, it will not be safe for the babies. The only (possibly) ethical approach would be to work with babies who are already doomed to die-- that is, babies who are scheduled to be aborted. But what abortionist will refer mothers to a study that could put him out of business?
While artificial wombs sound cool, I have to conclude they will do little to save the lives of unborn children. Please prove me wrong in the comments section.
Monday, December 13, 2010
A new mission has started by the brave sidewalk counselors of the Pro-life Action League to save babies from being aborted during the second trimester abortion process. During certain types of late-term abortion, an abortionist will insert laminaria (a Japanese seaweed used for dilating the cervix) to open up the cervix and prepare for the evacuation of a dead baby. The baby is then killed by lethal injection. What sidewalk counselors have found is that this type of abortion takes up to three days to complete, and in a short span of time, roughly 6-7 hours, the laminaria can be removed and the baby be saved!
However, they must be taken out quickly, before the cervix has dilated too much and the baby is born premature. Thankfully, the Pro-life Action League has used this to their advantage to save these babies from an untimely death. The article shares the story of Jamie Stout, a mother at 5 months gestation who decided to have an abortion. She changed her mind, deciding to give life to her child instead of death after sidewalk counselors had brought Jamie to have a sonogram done. She bravely had doctors remove the laminaria from her cervix. Luckily, no harm had come to the baby, and months later Jamie gave birth to beautiful baby girl she named Claire.
This is just one story of how sidewalk counselors are getting more savvy to show girls the truth about their babies. The Pro-life Action League, with the help of former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino, has even got Resurrection Hospital on board with training on abortion reversal for situations such as Jamie Stout's. Now a new protocol within the Pro-life Action League allows sidewalk counselors to alert the emergency room of Resurrection Hospital of an emergency abortion reversal. This is a huge success for the pro-life cause! Hopefully this will spread nationwide and most hospitals will have trained physicians in ERs everywhere to help with the abortion reversals. Thankfully, here in Roanoke, VA, second term abortions are not done and sidewalk counselors here don't have to worry about this procedure. But just across the state line into North Carolina, abortions take place up to 19 weeks! So for the sidewalk counselors in states that have late-term abortions, this story is a beacon of hope. Let us keep up reaching out to these girls and pushing for change in our nation, so that one day we will not have to worry about abortions at all!
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Logical Reasoning and Misogyny
Control and Misogyny]
Friday, December 10, 2010
For years, Life Decisions International has maintained a long list of companies which donate to Planned Parenthood and encouraged pro-lifers to boycott these businesses. An unusually high number of companies have been dropped from the boycott list in the last few months. The economy may be part of the reason, but doesn't completely explain the timing.
A new report by abortion advocates suggests that ultrasounds before chemical abortions are unnecessary, but pro-lifers respond that the study's own data shows that ultrasounds help detect ectopic pregnancies. The abortion pill does not work in the case of an ectopic pregnancy, which can be life-threatening if noticed too late.
The 2011 Students for Life of America conference has sold out. Over 1600 students are expected to attend! SecularProLife.org will be there with resources for campus activists.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Recently, Steven Mosher of the Population Research Institute wrote an article for LifeNews.com, rightfully denouncing Ted Turner's call for a global one-child policy. (Turner, he writes, fathered five kids but "has often publicly regretted having so many children." Boy, that must make the younger Turners feel fantastic.) Mosher pointed out that China's approach is not the carrots-only, rights-respecting policy of Turner's imagination: it is a coercive violation of the rights of unborn children and their parents.
He could have left it at that. Instead, he took a detour:
Turner justifies his proposed war on people by claiming that we are in the midst of an environmental crisis of the first order—and that we can stop global warming by reducing the number of people.I soon got an email from a SecularProLife.org supporter, angry that global warming doubt is being associated with the pro-life cause. This, he said, plays into the "unscientific pro-lifer" stereotype propogated by the opposition. Would I please write about it?
He spoke in conjunction with economist Brian O’Neill, who claimed that promoting access to “family planning” could be a major boon to those seeking to reduce greenhouse emissions.
Now, I personally find it hard to get worked up about rising levels of carbon dioxide, since increased amounts of this atmospheric “fertilizer” will lead to increased food production. Ditto for global warming— if indeed it is happening at all. But these are subjects for another day.
As for Turner, long before he or anyone else began hyping “global warming,” he was an outspoken population controller.
When the pro-choice movement frequently makes bogus medical claims like these, it ought to lose all scientific credibility. But that doesn't give us pro-lifers a free pass. We don't get to be the scientific ones just by default. We have a responsibility to do research, cite our sources, and be willing to say "I don't know."
In the case of global warming, I am admittedly not an expert. I defer to the scientific consensus, which is that climate change is taking place and poses a threat. It's possible that rising levels of carbon dioxide could benefit some regions of the earth. But in other regions, we may see changing temperatures and water patterns that disrupt farming.
Climate research is, of course, ongoing. If strong evidence surfaces showing no threat from global warming or greenhouse gases, we should adapt our positions to the new evidence. And we can always say: "I don't know enough about global warming to make a judgment. If it is happening, we should address it by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, breeding or engineering better crops, etc. But environmental concerns can never justify killing people or robbing them of their fertility." That's a position that all pro-lifers can get behind.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
This week was a quiet one. We gave out one pamphlet in the morning, but it doesn’t seem to have changed her mind. However, last weekend, when I was home for Thanksgiving, we apparently had a drive off. One young woman sat in her car for a long time before coming over to talk to the counselors. She reportedly had a joyful smile on her face as she told them that she was going to keep her baby. I was told that it was the look any parent gets when he or she realizes that yes, this IS their child!
I am grateful that such things come in balance. Days when we speak to no one always leave me heartbroken. But whenever we successfully save a life it gives me hope and reminds me that just being there matters more than anything else.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Logical reasoning dictates that if a premise is true, its contrapositive must be true. However, if a premise is true, it does not necessarily follow that the inverse and converse are true.
Inverse: If you are not swimming, you are not wet. (
Premise: If you hate women, you will want them to endure unwanted pregnancies. (hate --> endure)
Often, people who agree with the premise assert the converse, but this does not follow logically. For example, you may want women to endure unwanted pregnancies because you want fetal life to be protected. This says nothing about how you feel about women, one way or another.
Looking at the data from a different perspective, I see it as a mix of good news and bad news. Here are the findings that I think are most important:
Informed consent is lacking. This is HLI's main point, and I agree that it's disconcerting. For instance, only 40% of women reported that their doctors discussed the widely acknowledged risk of blood clots and stroke. Worse, 10% of young women age 15 to 17 reported getting their pills from a friend instead of seeing a doctor.
On the plus side, the vast majority of respondents were aware that hormonal contraceptives do not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
Women view contraception as a social good. A majority of American women believe that contraception has had a positive impact on society (64%, versus 19% neutral and 9% negative), marriages (56%-29%-6%), and the quality of relationships between men and women (57%-26%-8%). Breaking down the results by religious affiliation, a plurality of Catholics and a majority of evangelical and mainline Protestants view the pill as positive for society. To put it bluntly, when religious groups blame contraception for abortion, divorce, and other social ills, they aren't only alienating the non-religious-- they're also alienating their supposed constituents!
The pill is pervasive. Only 12% of respondents over the age of 25 had never taken hormonal contraception. The majority of respondents in every religious subgroup, including Catholics, are on the pill or have been at some point in their lives. Roughly half of pill users began taking the pill at or before the age of 18, many at the suggestion of a parent. It's common for women in their 30s and 40s to report having taken oral contraceptives for ten years or more.
But it isn't just about contraception. While a majority of oral contraceptive users are on the pill to prevent pregnancy (61%), I expected the percentage to be much higher. Other reasons for being on the pill include regulating periods (21%), alleviating cramps (8%), and treating acne (4%). Catholic pharmacists who have qualms about distributing oral contraceptives should bear this in mind.
For most, sexual activity precedes going on the pill. This is true for every age group except the youngest, the 15- to 17-year-olds. The survey doesn't indicate whether women are using other forms of contraception in the interim.
Friday, December 3, 2010
But since, as everyone knows, pro-life groups hate women, especially women who would dare to be so brazenly feminist as to join the armed forces, pro-life members of Congress are urging a no v-- oh, sorry? Just kidding. Pro-life leaders stated that they had no objections, and the bill passed the House that same day.
That still leaves the Senate. It is expected to pass there without any changes; the real obstacle is not opposition to the merits of the legislation, but simply time, as the lame-duck Congress is scrambling to pass many other bills. To contact your Senator about the Women Veterans Bill of Rights law, click here.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
HIV testing is an important aspect of prenatal care. If a pregnant mother is HIV-positive, medications can be prescribed to prevent the baby from becoming infected. The sooner your ob/gyn knows your HIV status, the better!
The best way to prevent the sexual transmission of AIDS is to be abstinent or practice mutual monogamy with an HIV-negative partner. Obviously, you should also avoid injecting illicit drugs.
If you are sexually active, insist that your partner get tested. Of the estimated 1.1 million HIV-positive people in the United States, as many as one in five do not know that they carry the virus.
When used consistently, latex condoms reduce the risk of spreading HIV by about 80%. This benefit does not extend to condoms made with other materials.
Planned Parenthood is not the only option for HIV testing. Standalone programs, local health departments, and pro-life pregnancy clinics in your area may also offer testing or referrals. Click here to search for HIV testing sites by zipcode. You may need to be tested more than once to ensure an accurate result.