Pages

Monday, January 31, 2011

Another doc slips under the radar!

Late Term Abortions: very controversial and very dangerous!

Let me start with a late term abortion procedure called intra-cardiac injection. This procedure is done with the mother laying supine on an exam table with her abdomen cleansed. Then a spinal needle is pushed through into the uterus where it injects the late-term baby with poison. Another method uses air that is directly inserted into the heart of the unborn child. Either way, death of the child is imminent. The mother then has to deliver a dead child, or have another abortion procedure done to pull pieces of the child out, which are then trashed. More and more nowadays, young doctors are shying away from practicing this taboo method of abortion. Still, there are abortion doctors out there that do this on a regular basis.

One of these is Dr. James S. Pendergraft of Orlando, Florida. Dr. Pendergraft, an abortionist who had his medical license suspended in 2006 for illegal abortions, has now stated in his web site LateTermAbortions.net that he still does late term abortions (but not in Florida). He states that mothers will have to fly or drive to the D.C. area to be met by an office staff, and then taken to a secret location. Is it just me or does the fact that you have to go to a clinic in secret scream out " Sketchy!" After the injection takes place, the woman is required to travel back home with her dead child inside for who knows how long to have her personal physician remove the baby! Dr. Pendergraft claims that it perfectly legal to do these late term abortions, and that his medical record is impeccable. Well, does having your license suspended sound flawless to you? It doesn't for me either, yet he is practicing in another state other than Florida. Is he licensed in this state? And with a secret clinic, how can the proper authorities check safety and hold it to state standards?

Extreme pro-aborts defend late-term abortions and the physicians that do them. Yet, they don't seem to care enough about the women receiving these procedures, that they are in safe and legal environments with emergency services close by! This method of killing the baby and then releasing the woman with a dead baby still inside is so scary. What if she doesn't get to her other doctor quickly enough before infection starts? Pendergraft states on his web site that it is a safe procedure. But he contradicts himself just two paragraphs later by saying this:
[T]he patient's blood become severely infected, but this can lead to a clotting disorder where the patient's blood does not clot, severe low blood pressure, bleeding constantly from needle sticks, internal bleeding, multiple organ failure which can lead to maternal death. This is nothing that should be taken lightly.
He is right about one thing- this is nothing that should be taken lightly! What he is doing is illegal and harmful to his patients. With no accountability, what's really going on behind closed doors? This man needs to be stopped!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Victory in Baltimore

Weekly guest blogger Matthew Newman, who lives in Maryland, has been keeping tabs on this case for several months. The City of Baltimore enacted an ordinance requiring pro-life pregnancy centers and clinics to post signs stating that they do not perform abortions or provide birth control services. Pro-lifers had a number of issues with this legislation. First, the signs themselves would not be entirely true: while no pregnancy centers perform abortions or distribute prescription contraceptives, many offer classes in Natural Family Planning (NFP), which is a type of birth control. Second, and more importantly, the ordinance was enacted at the behest of pro-abortion groups. Although the ordinance's proponents claimed that they just wanted women to be well-informed, when an amendment was proposed which would require abortion facilities to post what services they don't offer (like baby supplies, parenting classes, and other assistance), it was struck down. The objective was clear: get women away from the free alternatives and into the abortion clinics.
Pro-lifers sued, and the law has been found unconstitutional! Under the First Amendment, a government cannot limit speech based on viewpoint; the judge rightly saw through the pro-abortion rhetoric and ruled that the pregnancy resource centers were being punished for their pro-life stance. The ruling casts doubt on the validity of a similar ordinance in Austin, TX, and on a proposed restriction in New York City.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Pro-Life NZ Tour Begins

Although most SecularProLife.org supporters are in the United States and Canada, I don't want to neglect the efforts to end abortion overseas! Pro-Life NZ, an organization of pro-life youth in New Zealand, is kicking off a nationwide tour with American pro-life leaders Jill Stanek and Bryan Kemper. They hope that the tour will inspire New Zealanders of good conscience to rise up against abortion. The pro-life movement there is smaller, but vibrant and busy. Wish them luck!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Secular pro-life in the news

Catholic blog CelleDoor captured a photo of our pro-life, pro-science message at the San Francisco Walk for Life.

In her coverage of the D.C. March for Life, Christianity Today author Karen Swallow Prior highlights Phil, one of our most active volunteers:
He is a young, pro-life vegan who cut his activism teeth in the anti-globalization movement. He worked for a pro-life organization for a few years, keeping his atheist views to himself, but has since “come out” as an atheist while maintaining his pro-life convictions. He says he has been warmly received at the March, where he carries a sign identifying himself as a pro-life atheist.
On the other hand, Mary E. Hunt of Religion Dispatches asks "Why don't they just call it the Catholic March for Life?" While admitting that non-Catholics were present, she argues that it was "a Catholic demonstration that is made to appear far more generic than it is." [Bias warning: Hunt is a pro-abortion Catholic.]

At Reason Magazine, David Harsanyi discusses the secular case for life:
[The March for Life] had me wonder how many Americans avoid an honest look at the abortion issue because of the cultural dimensions of the debate. How many Americans instinctively turn to the pro-choice camp because pro-life proponents aggravate their secular sensibilities?

As Nat Hentoff, the noted civil libertarian journalist, once remarked, when he turned pro-life, his cohorts at The Village Voice wondered when he had "converted to Catholicism—the only explanation they could think of" for his "apostasy."

It's unfortunate that abortion is a social issue, because it is science and reason that can turn the debate.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Quick News Roundup: 01/26/11

Hey All - my news roundup posts have moved to Wednesdays this week - so you get a mid-week news summary.

Domestic News: Many of us have heard of the awful situation with Kermit Gosnell in Pennsylvania. What many did not know was that it was Republican Governor Tom Ridge in the mid-nineties who ended the state's practice of inspecting abortion clinics according to a grand jury report. The report states:
The Pennsylvania Department of Health abruptly decided, for political reasons, to stop inspecting abortion clinics at all...With the change of administration from Governor [Robert] Casey to Governor Ridge, officials concluded that inspections would be ‘putting a barrier up to women’ seeking abortions … Even nail salons in Pennsylvania are monitored more closely for client safety.
Casey is a pro-life Democrat, his son is serving as the Senior Senator from Pennsylvania. The March for Life occurred on Monday, January 24, 2011 in Washington, DC and despite the thousands of people in attendance, the media largely ignored it. Newsbusters has an article on the event and discussing the lack of discussion on the March for Life from the major news networks.

International News: On January 23, 2011, the March for Life was held in France. Check out their official website for more details and photos from the event. With Russia's high abortion rate, a Russian Orthodox Patriarch recently released publicly his ideas to help reduce the number of abortions in Russia. Orthodox Patriarch Kirill proposes the formation of a number of crisis pregnancy centers, additional orphanages, and ensure that abortion is not covered by state supplied health insurance. The Patriarch said in his letter that th the Ministry of Health and Social Development should "...makes preservation of pregnancy a priority task for the doctor and bans medical initiatives on its interruption."

Editorial: Here is an editorial by Khaya Dlanga entitled "When abortion becomes frivolous" discussing the horror and the awful practice of aborting unborn babies merely for convenience or for other extreme frivolous.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Remembering Roe: East Coast

Yesterday, Monica shared her experience at the Walk for Life in San Francisco, California. SecularProLife.org volunteers were also busy on the East Coast this past weekend, as a swarm of pro-life advocates converged upon Washington, D.C. for the March for Life.

But we're getting a bit ahead of ourselves. First was the Students for Life of America conference, on Sunday. Kelsey, Phil, and Aimee ran the booth, where we distributed every last copy of our brochures and signs.

Kelsey (below, wearing green) spoke on a panel about breaking through the apathy on college campuses, with a focus on planning events that appeal to non-Christian students. The other members of the panel were Kortney Blythe of Students for Life, and Bryan Kemper of Stand True (who you might remember from this).

The next day, SecularProLife.org teamed up with Rock for Life to participate in the March for Life. Phil writes:

The march started prematurely, but when I realized the cops weren't stopping it, we literally ran a few blocks and pulled in at the front, so that when the photographers at the top of Capitol Hill took their photos, it looked like WE were leading the march!
Later on, our "For the embryology textbook tells me so" banner was indeed captured by the news cameras.

This is only our second year at the March for Life, and we got our message out loud and clear. None of this would have been possible without your generosity and support. Thank you!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Walk for Life West Coast 2011

Warning: some crude language.

I have lived in the San Francisco bay area for five and a half years. This was my 5th year attending Walk For Life WC. Some years I go by myself; other years I’ve gone with my family and some friends. This year I went with one of my younger sisters and my boyfriend. This time we decided to bring out own signs. Previously we have carried no signs or perhaps snagged some of those "Women Deserve Better" signs. But if there's anything a massive political protest needs more of, it's humor. I mean diversity? I don't know. Anyway, all three of us chose designs that were originally created for the Secular Pro Life Zazzle store.

Left: "Call me an extremist, but I think dismemberment is wrong." Right: "Pro-Science. Pro-Life."


We arrived at the Justin Herman Plaza in time to hear the last two speeches, which were heavily religious. I was thinking about the relationship between religion and the Pro-Life movement for most of the Walk, actually. More on that later. Shortly after the speeches ended and everyone started migrating to the route, a girl saw my sign, which says "Secularprolife.org" at the bottom, and said she knew the girl who founded Secular Pro Life! So we talked about that a bit; she told me how her local Pro-life group includes an atheist, which is cool.

As we started milling toward the route I saw many people read my sign approvingly. Several people asked my boyfriend if they could take pictures of him with his sign, which is probably my favorite slogan too, but he wanted that sign. Anyway I figured I could wear my "Th.In.K" shirt and carry the "Pro-science. Pro-life." sign and be all themed.

My sister's sign, on the other hand, got mixed reactions. Lots of people liked it and laughed, but several people didn't get it and thought she was a pro-choicer in our midst. At one point one of the volunteers told me that all three of us were on the wrong side and needed to cross the line to the pro-choice side. I smiled, confused, and said "Um, what?" and then he read our signs more closely and said "Oh! ...oh, never mind." I hope he was just reacting to the Planned Parenthood logo and not to my "Pro-science" phrase. That would just be depressing.

Later a woman saw and tried to block my sister’s sign, and called a volunteer over to ask her to leave. My sister again explained that she is pro-life and the sign is satire. The volunteer responded that that may be so, but that my sister should "strongly consider" taking her sign down because it is "antagonistic". My sister said "Well, I considered it. And no." So the guy left. Ah well. Most people pointed and smiled and took pictures of it, so I think most people got it.

After talking about it later, we decided it makes sense that people would think my sister was a pro-choicer, or more accurately, a counter protester, because the SF counter protesters tend to be as incendiary as possible, even if it makes the overall pro-choice side look awful. I think some of them don't care about abortion much one way or another and actually just want to be outrageous, really. Exhibits here:



Anyway.

So at first, actually, I was a little bit disappointed in the Walk. We only saw maybe five counter protesters. That's even less than last year, and last year it was raining and nasty. This year was gorgeous. Eventually, though, we came across two separate and relatively large crowds of counter protesters, so that was satisfying. I tried to get pictures of every sign. I usually asked permission and some counter protesters smiled and posed. It’s funny to me to imagine getting along with them in other contexts.

I noticed that the counter protests were generally focused as much or more on being anti-religion as they were on abortion at all.






"Religious Bigots Unwelcome In San Francisco."

And it's understandable, to an extent, since most of the signs and groups at the Walk were overtly religious and used religion as a primary reason for being pro-life.





The thing is, I think that the religious commonality really pulls the overall pro-life movement together, and I think religious faith gets people impassioned about the pro-life cause. I am sure if religion were left out of it entirely, the Walk overall would be much, much smaller. Also there's a lot to be said for solidarity.

Even so, I can completely see how the speeches and signs and such can really alienate secular pro-lifers as well as people open to being pro-life who are not religious. After being involved with Secular Pro Life more this past year, the religiosity felt more obvious to me than before. There were also a few signs (though not many) that spoke about the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, and that just flat out annoyed me. That's not the issue we're here to address, and I don't think it really does anything for the pro-life side. This isn't supposed to be a Catholic or Protestant movement. It is supposed to be a pro-life movement which, yes, is comprised largely of Catholics and other Christians, but is comprised of others as well. If the goal is to spread the mentality that abortion should be restricted, going on tangents about gay marriage is useless at best, counter productive more likely. I believe these side issues are more likely to alienate potential pro-lifers than they are to draw the pro-life crowd closer together.

On a happier note, my boyfriend really got into the Walk. This is only his 2nd Walk, first time with signs, and he managed to hold his (and, often, mine, while I was taking pictures) high the whole time. He wanted to stand on the side nearest counter protesters and passers-by (as did I, as did my sister). He had a few people yell things at him specifically. One guy said "What dismemberment?!" and my boyfriend just said "Well, fetal dismemberment." The guy walked away. Later a girl shouted at him "Well have you ever been circumcised?" He didn't respond, because we all agreed it's useless to get into any kind of verbal debates at a Walk. Only the most passionate people from both sides show up to begin with, and passionate people aren't usually looking for a rational debate. They’ve already picked their sides. So my boyfriend didn't say anything. I assume the girl meant that circumcision is a kind of dismemberment so my boyfriend can't *really* think dismemberment is wrong and he's a hypocrite to be anti-abortion. Or something. I could be wrong; that's just what jumped to mind.

There were tens of thousands of pro-lifers there, compared to the 7500 that showed up for the first Walk for Life WC several years ago. I was pleased with how few of them responded directly to the counter protesters. The Walk for Life WC always encourages participants to uphold the standard of a peaceful demonstration, and this year was no exception. Overall it was a really good Walk. My sister is already plotting what kind of sign to make next year. :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

What is choice?

Today is NARAL's "Blog for Choice" day. The pro-life response is to insist upon clarity. What do you mean by choice?

Just as an experiment, I recorded all the choices that I made for a day. For someone who supposedly can't stand women making their own choices, I made a ton: what to wear, what to read, what flavor of ice cream to buy at the grocery store. I even made a medical choice involving my body, when I chose to get my allergy shot. I chose to obey all traffic laws-- although, arguably, that choice was made for me by the government. This "anti-choice" advocate eventually made so many choices that she lost count.

Of course, that isn't what's meant when NARAL talks about freedom of choice. But is it fair to say that "choice" simply means "abortion"?

The response from those who identify themselves as "pro-choice" is usually no. They would say that "choice" means support for abortion, adoption, and parenting. Okay. I'll accept that definition at face value. Just realize that it's equally damning. What if I said that I was pro-choice: it's up to you if you want to murder your grandma, place her in a rest home, or allow her to live with your family? Would you call me pro-grandma-murder? I certainly wouldn't blame you.

When people say that they support abortion, adoption, and parenting, the last two choices are really beside the point, because no one-- pro-life or pro-choice-- has a problem with people choosing between adoption and parenting. It's like a politician who says he'll be tough on crime; I've yet to see anyone campaign on a platform of support for criminals!

Let's be clear. The choice that's being debated is the choice to either give birth or have an abortion. From the perspective of NARAL and its allies, that's the choice between allowing a child to come into being, or getting rid of "tissue." From our perspective, the child has already come into being, so the choice is between a live baby and a dead baby. Now we can get down to the core issue: the humanity, or non-humanity, of the unborn child (a scientific question), and what rights attach (a legal question).

I'll close with a comment from Dr. Bernard Nathanson:
"Women must have control over their own bodies."

"Safe and legal abortion is every woman's right."

"Who decides? You decide!"

"Freedom of choice -- a basic American right."

. . .

"I remember laughing when we made those slogans up," recalls Bernard Nathanson, M.D., co-founder of pro-abortion group NARAL, reminiscing about the early days of the pro-abortion movement in the late '60s and early '70s.

"We were looking for some sexy, catchy slogans to capture public opinion. They were very cynical slogans then, just as all of these slogans today are very, very cynical."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Americans United for Life's 2011 Rankings

As a followup to NARAL's State by State rankings from a week ago, Americans United for Life have released their 2011 state by state ranking. Most improved year over year are Missouri (7) and Arizona (18). At the very bottom of the list is Washington, which in NARAL's list was #2 with an abortion rate in 2008 of 18.3 per 1,000 women. Check out the link for a detailed map. Here's the list:

1. Oklahoma
2. Louisiana
3. Pennsylvania
4. Arkansas
5. Texas
6. Nebraska
7. Missouri
8. North Dakota
9. South Dakota
10. Georgia
11. Indiana
12. Mississippi
13. Kentucky
14. Virginia
15. Kansas
16. Ohio
17. Michigan
18. Arizona
19. South Carolina
20. Minnesota
21. Alabama
22. Wisconsin
23. Idaho
24. Colorado
25. Utah
26. Florida
27. Rhode Island
28. Tennessee
29. North Carolina
30. Delaware
31. Maine
32. Wyoming
33. West Virginia
34. Iowa
35. Illinois
36. New Hampshire
37. Alaska
38. New Mexico
39. Massachusetts
40. Maryland
41. New York
42. Oregon
43. Nevada
44. Connecticut
45. Montana
46. New Jersey
47. Vermont
48. Hawaii
49. California
50. Washington

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

SFLA responds to Gosnell's arrest

Students for Life of America points out that infanticide by abortionists is a scandal that reaches far beyond Kermit Gosnell. Here is their press release:

Arlington, VA- Officials in Philadelphia announced today that they have arrested abortionist, Kermit Gosnell, his wife and eight others in a late night raid and have charged them with eight counts of murder. The victims are a woman who died after she overdosed on painkillers during an abortion and seven babies who were born alive during failed illegal late-term abortions and then killed by Gosnell or his assistants. Some clinic workers have been charged with multiple counts of murder in the deaths of the infants.

Students for Life has been covering the abortion industry’s hidden practice of infanticide since 2008, when SFLA released undercover video footage of Planned Parenthood openly admitting to infanticide if a baby was born alive.

Upon hearing of the arrests, Kristan Hawkins, Executive Director of Students for Life of America, commented,

“The news coming out of Philadelphia is disgusting. Infanticide continues to happen in America and only certain cases are coming to light. SFLA has been on top of this since 2008 when we released an undercover video of a Planned Parenthood worker, at a federally funded Planned Parenthood facility, openly admitting to practicing infanticide as a form of an abortion procedure. These are new born babies who are being left to die or are being killed because they are supposedly “unwanted”. America needs to put a stop to this barbaric and inhumane practice and Congress must defund Planned Parenthood immediately.”

Watch SFLA’s 2008 undercover infanticide video here.

Abortionist Gosnell arrested on post-natal murders

Kermit Gosnell, an abortionist doing business in Philadelphia, has been arrested on eight counts of murder. One of those counts is for Karna Mongar, a political refugee who escaped horrible conditions in Nepal only to be killed in a botched abortion in 2009, just five months after she arrived in the United States. The other seven counts are for babies who were allegedly killed after being born alive.

It's great that these eight people have a shot at getting justice. It's also completely arbitrary. Yes, we mourn these seven babies-- but Gosnell has killed far, far more. Those other victims will never be legally recognized, because they happened to be on the other side of the birth canal when they were slaughtered. Likewise, the maternal death in this case is tragic, but not unique. Many abortionists have maternal mortalities under their belts; typically it results in no criminal charges, and they often get to keep their abortion practices, too!

Fortunately, Gosnell's medical license has already been suspended for several months. A criminal conviction with prison time would ensure that his license is never reinstated. But there are no guarantees. With $240,000 in cash found at his residence, there's no doubt that he'll be able to afford a savvy lawyer. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This weekend

Want to join us in Washington, D.C. this weekend? Then pay close attention to this message from Phil, our awesome March for Life coordinator. There are several opportunities for you to meet fellow secular pro-lifers this weekend:
As the 38th anniversary of Roe v Wade approaches, many SecularProLife.org activists are preparing to converge on Washington, D.C. for the annual March for Life. While the March itself isn't until Monday, January 24th, thousands of pro-lifers will begin descending upon the city in the days beforehand.

On Saturday, we 'll be ditching the computers and hitting the streets of DC, engaging the residents of our nation's capital in pro-life outreach. If you are interested in joining us, please email PhilVegEdge@gmail.com.

We will be having a meetup Saturday night at 10:30 pm at T.G.I. Friday's. The address is 2100 Pennsylvania Ave NW (at 21st St) and is just two blocks from the Foggy Bottom/GWU metro station. The meetup is open to anyone, but please let Phil know beforehand so we can have a rough estimate of how many people are coming.

Sunday is the Students for Life of America conference, where over 1,700 pro-life students from across the country will converge. SecularProLife.org will have a table, and our fearless leader Kelsey Hazzard will be speaking at the 'Breaking the Apathy on Your Campus' workshop.

For Monday's march, we will be meeting up at 12:00 pm on the north side of Constitution Ave NW, between 3rd and 4th st. We will have a SecularProLife.org banner and signs. If you plan to be there, email PhilVegEdge@gmail.com ahead of time, and we'll send you a phone number just in case you have any trouble finding us.

Following the March for Life is the National Pro-Life Youth Rally (2-5 pm). This coordinated effort by several pro-life youth organizations will include a free concert by Barlow Girl and numerous speakers, including Eduardo Verastegui, actor and star of the award-winning movie, Bella; Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King; Abby Johnson, former Director of Planned Parenthood; David Bereit, 40 Days for Life; Kristan Hawkins, Students for Life of America; Erik Whittington, Rock For Life; Lila Rose, Live Action, and Ryan Bomberger, Radiance Foundation.

The NPLYR will be held two blocks north of the Supreme Court, and the address is:
Lower Senate Park, Corner of D St. NE & 1st St. NE, Washington, DC, 20001

If you still need a ride to D.C.,check out www.MarchforLifeFinder.com for a list of buses heading to the March. The website also lists several local pro-life marches across the country, so if you're unable to make it to the national March for Life, we encourage you to participate in one in your community!
Students for Life of America has a comprehensive list of religious and secular activities taking place over the anniversary weekend, including West Coast events.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Scatterbrained Sunday: A sad anniversary

We are just a week away from the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Memorial activities will take place around the country. SecularProLife.org has a busy weekend planned, which includes participation in the D.C. March for Life on January 24. (You can join us!)

Over 50 million babies have been killed by legalized abortion since the Supreme Court handed down its decision in 1973. How will you be honoring their memories next weekend?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

On NARAL report card, high abortion rate gets you good marks

NARAL, one of America's most prominent abortion advocacy groups, has released its annual report card, ranking states on their adherence to NARAL's agenda. This grade is supposedly based on a state's friendliness toward "reproductive rights," a phrase often abused as a euphemism for abortion. I'll spare you a detailed statistical analysis (although if you have the skills and time to conduct one, feel free to share it in the comments section). Instead, I've simply compared the NARAL rankings to Guttmacher's 2008 state-by-state abortion data, and highlighted those states with rates above the national average of 19.6.

First the higher-ranking states (from NARAL's point of view):

And now the lower-ranking ones: The correlation isn't perfect, but it's plain to see that killing unborn babies at a higher than average rate virtually guarantees a state a position in the top 25. Even Florida, the only such state not in the top 25, received a passing grade with a D. And of the twelve highlighted states, eight received grades of A- or better. Working to make abortion rare? Apparently, that's extracurricular.

But they're not "pro-abortion," they're just pro-choice!
Right?

Friday, January 14, 2011

News from campus

At Vanderbilt University, pro-life nursing candidates are celebrating a change in the university's admissions and conscience policy. The school's application process had included a statement that nursing students in the women's health track "will be expected to care for women undergoing termination of pregnancy," and that students unwilling to be complicit in abortions should apply for a different track. Simply put, UC Davis was actively discouraging the education of pro-life ob/gyns. After a lawsuit was filed by the Alliance Defense Fund, Vanderbilt quickly changed its application form.
"Christians and other pro-life members of the medical community shouldn’t be forced to participate in abortions to pursue their profession. That’s what federal law says, and that’s why Vanderbilt is doing the right thing in changing its policy and application,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman in a statement to LifeNews.com.
Emphasis added. Thumbs up to Mr. Bowman for acknowledging the non-Christian pro-lifers who are impacted by this policy change.

At the veterinary school at UC Davis, a professor is being accused of pregnancy discrimination after allegedly polling the class on how to grade a student who was absent due to giving birth. Sadly, UC Davis appears to have no pro-life student organizations, but several pro-abortion groups.

34 spaces have unexpectedly become available at the sold-out Students for Life of America conference, which will be held on January 23 in Bethesda. Now's your chance to register. SecularProLife.org will be there!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Quick News Roundup: 01/13/11

Domestic News: A pharmacist in Idaho is under fire by Planned Parenthood for refusing to fill a prescription for methergine. The drug is used to prevent bleeding after childbirth or after an abortion. Planned Parenthood contacted the pharmacist about the prescription, who asked if it was for woman who had an abortion. When the person from Planned Parenthood refused to respond, the pharmacist said they would not fill it if the prescription had anything to do with an abortion. Pro-life Maryland legislators are looking to limit late term abortions. Maryland has some of the least stringent laws on abortion in the United States. In 1992, voters approved a measure to legalize later term abortions when the mother's life is in jeopardy or for fetal deformity. If you haven't heard yet, the abortion statistics came out for New York City and they're chilling. 41% of babies are aborted in New York City. The abortion rate is significantly higher than the national average.

International News: In China, the abortion rate has been on the rise, particularly among younger women. Statistics only include abortions performed in major cities, but based on those statistics the number of abortions performed rose 1.6 million between 2008 and 2007. Experts estimate that the total number may be closer to 13 million annually. In the United Kingdom, women are suing to be allowed to take abortion pills at home. Current law requires the pills to be taken at a clinic prior to returning home; some countries allow women to take the second abortion pill at home.

Discussion Topic: Open thread. Discuss the news, pro-life politics, or other recent items of note.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Gone fishing

Apologies for missing posts the last few days. As I wrote on Wednesday, I've been traveling abroad, and my flight plans have gotten a bit convoluted. I'll be back in the United States soon, at which point the Pro-Life News of the Day will hopefully start living up to its name again!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Gender Selection in Australia

I've been traveling, so my post has nothing to do with sidewalk counseling. Instead, this article from the Herald Sun is about an Australian couple who aborted their twins boys, conceived through IVF, because they wanted a daughter. They have three born sons and had one little girl who died shortly after birth. Now, if this were just a case of sex-selective abortion it wouldn’t be news worthy. Unfortunately, this happens every day, though usually fetuses are killed because they’re girls, not boys.

However, the couple now wants to select the gender of the next embryos used for IVF which is illegal for non-medical reasons in the Australian state of Victoria. A panel was convened to review their case and they were denied an exception. They are now considering coming to the U.S. for the embryo selection because we do not have the same restrictions.

What’s most interesting about this case are some quotes from Gab Kovacs, an Australian IVF pioneer:

"I can't see how it could possibly harm anyone," he said.

"Laws should be made to protect people from things that are going to damage them. Why should we make this illegal? Who is this going to harm if this couple have their desire fulfilled?"

Except for the embryos. This law protects the youngest of children from being “discarded” just because of their gender.

“"You can abort a 20-week foetus but you can't discard a three-day embryo," he said.

And that’s the conundrum. Most pro-choicers are also feminists, so presumably they have issues with sex-selective abortion (and I do mean most pro-choicers, not the radical ones). They feel that abortion should be used when a woman gets in over her head, into a situation she feels she can’t handle. However, they don’t understand why a woman would PAY to get pregnant and then abort two perfectly healthy fetuses because they weren’t the right gender. And from that point, they’re less likely to approve of it on any stage of development.

From what I’ve read of the comments, most of them feel that embryo gender selection would be almost as heinous. (and they really, really don’t want this couple to be able to do it.) Part of this is because IVF is covered by Australia’s health care system (atleast in part) and they feel it should be used for medical necessities, not frivolities like gender selection.

Obviously, as pro-lifers, we see no conundrum. We're against discarding embryos and terminating fetuses (gotta love technical talk for "killing") regardless of whether they were persecuted for age, location, or gender. I hope that this couple receives the grief counseling they obviously need and that they spend some time appreciating the sons they have. They have gone a long way to replace their daughter. I wonder when they'll realize that it's not possible.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Abortion advocate Linda Meek sentenced

How many years in prison do you think an anti-abortion activist would get for placing a fake bomb at an abortion facility? Ten? Five? Surely not zero.

When it's a pro-abortion activist, though, all she gets is probation!
Linda Meek, the director of the Reproductive Services abortion center, pleaded guilty in October to charges of making false or misleading statements after telling police she supposedly found a bomb at the facility.

Meek reported on August 13 that a bomb had been placed in a trash receptacle, but she told the court in October she purchased an egg timer and placed that in a trash bin and called the local police to report a bomb scare. Officials took the threat seriously and the abortion center and a building adjacent to it were evacuated.

KJRH indicates Meek was sentenced today to five years prohabion due to her role in the incedent.
This is a rather striking example of two more general trends:
1) Abortion advocates painting the pro-life movement as extremist or violent. They are NOT above falsifying information to do it.
2) Abortion advocates not meeting justice. Operation Rescue, in a recent bulletin on cases to watch in 2011, reports that abortion worker Belkis Gonzalez has still not been brought to justice on a post-natal murder that took place over four years ago!
In 2006, Florida’s Belkis Gonzalez, an unlicensed abortion clinic worker, attended the birth of baby Shanice Denise Osbourne, who was born at a Hialeah abortion clinic after a failed abortion attempt. Gonzalez then cut the baby’s umbilical cord, shoved her writhing body into a plastic bag, and tossed her body on the roof of the abortion clinic. After a lengthy investigation, pro-life pressure finally brought criminal charges against Gonzalez in March of 2009 for the unlicensed practice of medicine and evidence tampering. Since then, the case has languished. Every month a hearing is scheduled and every month the hearing is continued. It is long past time for this case to go to trial.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Quick News Roundup: 01/06/11

Happy New Years Secular Pro-Lifers!

Domestic: In Kentucky, a bill requiring women to view an image of an ultrasound of their unborn child before an abortion just made it through committee. This is an expansion of existing informed consent laws in Kentucky which require information to be provided to the patient 24 hours before the procedure is to take place. This fall during the gubernatorial elections in Mississippi, a personhood amendment will be on the ballot. Supporters of the initiative were requried to obtain over 89,000 signatures from certified voters in the state of Mississippi. Mississippi, Kentucky, and Louisiana are the only States which will be holding their gubernatorial elections in 2011.

International: In Zambia, a doctor is being held in custody after an abortion he performed in his office, after hours, in the bathroom, led to the death of the 19 year old high school student. After the recent ruling by the EU's Human Rights Court, Ireland's Labor Party feels that new legislation needs to be proposed. The ruling stated Irish law violated a woman's human rights by prohibiting abortions when the life of the mother is in jeopardy. While some are calling this the European Roe vs. Wade, it only has stated that the fact that there was no life of the mother exemption violated a woman's human rights. In light of the court ruling, the Irish Medical Council clarified their position on abortion, which can be reviewed here.

Discussion Topic: It's a new year, so new concerns, new Congress, new legislative bodies all across the globe. What are your hopes for the coming year?


EDIT - 01/06/11 04:04 PM EST - Edited for clarification on KY law, 2011 elections, and Irish ruling

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Greetings from New Zealand!

I have been visiting pro-life friends in New Zealand for the past week and thought I'd share my observations with you. Naturally these are generalizations, but if something is wildly wrong, I'm sure that Kiwis will correct me in the comments section.

In the United States, people typically assume that a pro-life group is Christian (or, more specifically, Catholic) unless told otherwise. Not so in New Zealand. It's a more secular country overall, but it's the ideas that count, not the religious affiliations of the people espousing them. There are of course many great Christian pro-lifers who are motivated by a religious obligation to protect the vulnerable. But even if a pro-life organization has mostly or entirely Christian membership, the group can operate just fine in the secular marketplace of ideas. Abortion advocates haven't strongly invested in anti-religious propoganda like they have in the USA. There's no need for an organization like SecularProLife.org here.

The biggest problem pro-life Kiwis face is not virulent abortion advocacy, but apathy. New Zealanders are known for their laid-back attitude, which is a wonderful trait in many contexts. But when it comes to being actively pro-life, many hesitate, seeing it as too "enthusiastic." Even the fact that 18,000 babies are killed each year (in a country of only 4 million) is insufficient to get people to care.

But I don't want to paint too gloomy a picture of the situation in New Zealand. For one thing, the Kiwi pro-life movement has many leaders under the age of 30, which is a great sign. Here are a couple of pro-life news items out of the gorgeous islands of New Zealand:

First, the New Zealand government recently entered an agreement with Russia which will allow Kiwis to adopt Russian kids. This is great news not only for Russia's older kids who need families, but also for its unborn babies. Russia has an outrageously high abortion rate, but is becoming more pro-life; as the Russian demand for adoptive families increases, international adoptions will help to meet it and spare the lives of many children.

Second, Pro-Life NZ is planning a speaking tour of two American pro-life leaders-- Bryan Kemper and Jill Stanek-- who will be joined by Kiwi advocates at various locations in the tour. The tour will take place from January 28 to February 8. Click here for the full schedule. If you live near Wellington, Palmerston North, Christchurch, Dunedin, Auckland, or Hamilton, I encourage you to attend.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Why Planned Parenthood?

Planned Parenthood claims to be there for Medium to Low income women. I can't help but wondering why these women you have medicaid or regular health insurance wouldn't just go the their primary care physicians or OB/GYN's since most of them take medicaid and almost all insurances? Why Planned Parenthood? Why not your own doctor?

With your own doctor, you can share more since they know you. You can get all the help you would get at Planned Parenthood at a OB/GYN. So really what is Planned Parenthood's agenda for trying to get women away from GYN's and into their doors? All of us know Planned Parenthood first and foremost is an abortion business. All the money they make is from abortions, very little is from birth control or minor procedures. So is it possible if they can get women in their doors and away from private doctors, they increase their chances of doing more abortions? A normal gynecologist will perform a sonogram first thing if pregnancy is suspected and won't hide the screen from the woman. So really if a woman finds out from her regular doctor that she is pregnant: does she tend to keep the baby? Whereas a women who gets all her care from Planned Parenthood, goes in to see if she is pregnant. They test her do a sonogram but most likely will not offer to let her see the screen. What will the first thing they will offer her? Hmmmm.... what is it again Planned Parenthood makes most of their money from? Abortions!!! BINGO!

So I see how slick Planned Parenthood can be. Get more numbers of women=more abortions=MORE MONEY!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Today's stories

Pennsylvania recorded a 3.9% drop in abortions in 2009. Pro-lifers in the state attribute the decrease to legislative efforts, particularly the Alternatives to Abortion program. Still, there's a long way to go: 37,284 babies were killed in the state's 24 abortion centers.

The Susan B. Anthony List is co-hosting the Republican National Committee's chairman debate today. (Pictured right is current chairman Michael Steele, who is running to keep his position.) Perhaps anticipating more accusations that they have ceased to be non-partisan, the SBA List says that "As pro-life advocates in the political sphere, we must advance the Right to Life at every opportunity – that includes influencing a political party’s position on Life." It's hard to argue with that; after all, they were invited, and who passes up that kind of opportunity? However, I'm disappointed that the normally single-issue organization appears to be conflating the issues of abortion and same-sex marriage.
Here were the Life questions asked of candidates in SBA List’s pre-debate interviews:

Life: What is your position on restoring the Right to Life to unborn children, how has this view been shaped, and what specific experience do you have in fighting for the Right to Life?

Life/Marriage Resource Question: As chairman, what specifically would you do differently than current and past administrations when it comes to the issues of Life and Marriage? Will you highlight these two critical issues in political advertising programs?

Life/Marriage Past Support: Have you ever given or served on the board of a pro-abortion group?
The RNC chairman debate will be broadcast on C-SPAN at 1pm Eastern.

Two more companies have been removed from the Life Decisions International boycott list of companies which donate to Planned Parenthood: Kohl's and Mrs. Fields.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Not exactly a hiatus, but...

I anticipate having limited internet access this week, so I may skip a day or two.

Sorry for any inconvenience.