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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Racist creeps reject the pro-life message. Yay!

The internet is a wonderful thing. Obviously. How did we ever live without facebook, YouTube, and cat memes? But the internet has also made it easy for racist, fascist types to find each other and spew venom.

You may have heard Hillary Clinton's speech about the "alt Right" recently. Cracked (not just a humor mag!) does a good job of explaining the alt Right's internet presence. In a nutshell, if you are a decent human being, and you ever stumble upon one of their websites, you will feel gross.

But there is one alt Right article that is, in a perverse way, worth your time. I don't know what brave soul first dug into the depths to find it, but it's been circulating in pro-life circles for a few days, for reasons that the author definitely did not intend. It is titled "The Pro-Life Temptation," and it is a disgusting rant arguing that right to life movement contravenes principles of "racial hygiene," and therefore members of the alt Right must reject us.

The universal reaction from pro-lifers sharing this article has been "Great! We don't want you!" We wear the alt Right's rejection as a badge of pride.

If you're reluctant to click on the link, I get it. Like I said, the alt Right is gross. Also, spending too much time on such a site probably gets you on a secret list. So here's the breakdown of his argument (complete with quotes that would be right at home in Margaret Sanger's personal library), and Secular Pro-Life's official responses.

Now would be a good time for me to point out that this blog post is not safe for work.

Alt Right asswipe:
First of all, the pro-life position is clearly dysgenic. A 2011 study showed that in 2008, while 16 percent of women aged 15-44 lived below the poverty line, among women who had abortions, the number was 42 percent. Hispanic and African-American women made up a combined 31 percent of this age group, but almost 55 percent of those who chose to terminate a pregnancy. The reasons behind these patterns aren’t hard to figure out. In a world with reliable birth control, it is quite easy to avoid an unwanted pregnancy; the only ones who can’t are the least intelligent and responsible members of society: women who are disproportionately Black, Hispanic, and poor.
Response:


Alt Right asswipe:
The alt Right is skeptical, to say the least, of concepts like “equality” and “human rights,” especially as bases for policy. The unborn fetus has no connection to anyone else in the community. If it is not even wanted by its own mother, criminalizing abortion means that the state must step in and say that the individual has rights as an individual, despite its lack of connection to any larger social group.
Response:


Alt Right asswipe:
In the popular imagination, the pro-life movement is associated with opposition to women’s liberation and the rest of the leftist agenda. In reality, its positions lead to dysgenics and are justified through appeals to the same universalist principles that are allowing mass Third World immigration and other forms of suicidal liberalism.
Response: 


In all seriousness, it's a bizarre feeling to receive the much-wished-for recognition that the pro-life movement is about human rights, not misogyny... and then be rejected on that basis. So it goes.

And to our reasonable, moderate pro-choice readers: I'm genuinely sorry that you have to deal with these creeps.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

In one month...

Say #HelloHyde to Gina. She is the daughter of Cuban immigrants and became a pro-life activist while attending the University of Florida.  

The 40th anniversary of the Hyde Amendment will take place on September 30, 2016! We are so excited to celebrate this milestone. The Hyde Amendment restricts taxpayer funding of abortion through the Medicaid program, and has saved over a million lives. In fact, when you look at the millions of Americans born through the Medicaid program after 1976 ("Medicaid kids"), one out of every nine is alive today because of the Hyde Amendment.

The #HelloHyde campaign, introducing the American public to Medicaid kids, is just a month away. Our message is simple: people conceived in poverty are human beings with inherent dignity and worth. Our lives should be celebrated, not destroyed.

We just released a timeline of the Hyde Amendment that you can use to educate yourself and others about the rich history of this life-saving legislation. Here are a few highlights:
  • Congress votes on the Hyde Amendment is every year, and it has passed with bipartisan support every time.
  • The Hyde Amendment was found constitutional in Harris v. McRae in 1980. This result surprised Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who thought the Supreme Court would strike down the Hyde Amendment because “there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”
  • Pro-abortion organizations agree that the Hyde Amendment is effective, and estimate that if the Hyde Amendment were repealed, there would be an additional 33,000 abortions every year.
If you are a Medicaid kid and want to keep Medicaid life-affirming, don't wait until the last minute! We are gathering photos now. Download your nametag and submit your picture at HelloHyde.org.

If you are the parent of a Medicaid kid, you can submit your child's photo too. Who can resist these cuties?





Monday, August 29, 2016

"Feminist" comedy video demeans mothers who choose life

I really want to like MTV's "If Famous Movie Romances Were Feminist" video:



Unpopular opinion: I've always had a deep-seated hatred for Grease, not only because of the "did she put up a fight" line this sketch takes issue with, but also because of the royally screwed up message you get from the movie's conclusion. Namely, that if a young woman wants to get a young man's attention, she should just change her entire personality and appearance to match his preferences.

And also the music is not that great. Just sayin'.

But of course MTV had to ruin it by deeming Knocked Up "un-feminist," and their "feminist" version involves taking the life of a preborn child:
Woman: So, I have something I really need to tell you, and it's kind of why I called you. Here goes. I'm pregnant, and I'm having an abortion.
Man: I think that is a great idea. So should we skip the rest of the movie? 
I took a look at the YouTube comments for this video and was very pleasantly surprised to see two brave pro-choicers call out the maker of the video for being pro-abortion rather than pro-choice. Unfortunately, the rank-and-file objectors are out-powered here. The maker of the video is Laci Green—who just happens to be an official spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood.


The Huffington Post made this pro-abortion boondoggle even worse by running it under the headline Here's What Rom Coms Would Look Like If They Treated Women Like Humans, and highlighting the Knocked Up remake as the best part. Apparently women who don't abort their unplanned children are something less than human and should not be depicted in film.

But we're the anti-woman ones, somehow.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Book Review: A Father's Choice


Whenever I attend the March for Life, I see them: the handful of men, bundled up in the cold, holding signs that say "I regret lost fatherhood." They are heavily outnumbered by the surrounding women carrying "I regret my abortion" signs.

On this blog, we've talked a lot about abortions caused by coercive male partners, which is certainly a problem worth discussing. But I now realize we've devoted less attention to the good guys than we should. Who are the men who regret lost fatherhood? 

A Father's Choice, by Anthony Perry, is the true story of one such man. The title is ironic, as it's clear from the beginning that he is fighting a losing battle and that his child will be killed. It may take two to tango, but by law, only one has the lethal power of "choice." My chief complaint is that the story carries no suspense; we all know how it will end. But how could it be otherwise?

This is a heartbreaking book. Perry tries everything. He promises to be there for his girlfriend Jenny and their child, and to provide financial support. She repeatedly tells him that she's keeping an open mind. In the interest of staying on her good side and demonstrating his reliability, he reluctantly accompanies her to an initial pre-abortion appointment, where he reads a brochure that describes in graphic detail how his child will die. When she expresses concern about having a baby before she's fulfilled her dream of traveling, he comes up with possibilities for traveling on a budget. But nothing is enough. She finally confesses that she had been stringing him along, and had decided on abortion the moment she found out she was pregnant.

Despite his efforts, he blames himself:
Jenny had made this choice because of me. She had said that had she been in love with me, she would have kept the baby. But she wasn’t, and so she wouldn’t. “Love is either there, or it isn’t,” she said. Those words endlessly repeated themselves in my head, cutting each time like a razor blade.
Perry experiences an emotional roller coaster I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Although Perry eventually marries a pro-life woman and has other children, he never forgets their lost older sibling.

I recommend this memoir to anyone involved in sidewalk advocacy, pregnancy options counseling, or post-abortion counseling. And I particularly recommend it to pro-life young men who are about to become, or have recently become, sexually active. As a woman, I'm very wary of dating "pro-choice" men, but at least I have the law on my side. Men, you don't. Know what you're getting into, understand the worst-case scenario, and keep Perry's story in mind when considering potential partners. You do have a choice, but you must exercise it early. Choose wisely.

A Father's Choice is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle format.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Remembering Marla Cardamone

[Today's post by Sarah Terzo is part of our paid blogging program. Sarah is a pro-life atheist, a frequent contributor to Live Action News, a board member of the Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians, and the force behind ClinicQuotes.com.]

Since Roe v. Wade made abortion legal in every state in the U.S., over 55 million babies have been killed in the wombs of their mothers (and some outside). The deaths of women from legal abortion get far less attention. Yet hundreds of women have been killed in botched legal abortions.

One of these women was 18-year-old Marla Cardamone (pictured right), who died from a botched abortion 27 years ago this month. Christina Dunigan has written about the events that took place in August of 1989.

Cardamone, already the mother of a toddler, was pregnant and was thinking of making an adoption plan for her baby. Unfortunately, her social worker urged her to have an abortion. The reason was that Cardamone had been taking medication for depression. The medications Tegretol (a mood stabilizer) and Elavil (an antidepressant) had a small chance of causing fetal deformities. According to Dunigan’s research, however, the chances of Cardamone’s baby being damaged was only 8%.

Despite the fact that the odds were in her child’s favor, Cardamone listened to the social worker who was urging her to abort. Already, as a woman suffering from a mental illness, she was at high risk of post-abortion trauma and regret. According to a World Health Organization report:
Studies concerned with women who have had legal abortions in hospitals, mainly for psychiatric reasons, show that serious mental disorders arise more often in women with previous emotional problems. These, the very women for whom legal abortion is considered to be justified on psychiatric grounds, are the ones that have the highest risk for postabortion psychiatric disorders.
Cardamone went for a sonogram, but never learned the medical results. More on that later.

The social worker convinced Cardamone that the risk of having a severely disabled baby was too high, and she agreed to an abortion. She may have believed that no one would adopt a disabled child. This is a common misconception. There are often families willing to adopt even children with potentially fatal conditions. For instance, Dana Weinstein, who told the story of her abortion in Generation Roe: Inside the Future of the Pro-Choice Movement, was given the option of placing her son for adoption, even though he suffered from a fatal brain defect. Weinstein says:
They couldn’t give me any indication of how long the child would survive after it was born, but they did say that I would need a resuscitation order in place prior to delivering her, and she would need significant medical intervention to exist. They gave me the option of adoption, there are apparently families and places that will adopt children like this, that will die.
Sadly, instead of placing her baby for adoption, Weinstein aborted at 32 weeks.

So even if Cardamone’s baby had been severely disabled, adoption was still a possibility. But Cardamone chose abortion. She was admitted to Magee Women’s Hospital for the abortion and abortionist Michael W. Weinberger injected urea into her uterus to kill her baby.

She would never leave the hospital.

A botched laminaria insertion and possible botched injection led to septicemia, and massive cortical necrosis of the kidneys and uterine wall. The complications began during the night. She became ill with nausea, vomiting, urinary incontinence and began bleeding from the mouth. Disorientation and seizures followed. Her temperature skyrocketed. Although doctors struggled to save her, she died. Her family was not notified that anything was wrong until after her death.

Cardamone’s mother describes coming to the hospital to see her daughter’s body:
When I entered the room, I could hardly believe what I saw. There was my beautiful daughter so horribly disfigured that she was almost unrecognizable. A tube was still protruding from her mouth and I could see that her teeth and gums were covered with blood. Her eyes were half opened and the whites of her eyes were a dark yellow. Her face was swollen and discolored a deep purple. The left side of her face looked like she had suffered a stroke. All I wanted was to hold her. I managed to get an arm around her and kissed her good-bye.
A lawsuit was filed, and another tragic fact came to light. The ultrasound Cardamone had before the abortion showed that the baby was normal, but she never knew. As her mother said: “My daughter was pressured to have an abortion, and there had been no reason for it, no reason at all.”

Pro-choice groups have never reached out to Cardamone’s family or publicly mentioned her death. Cardamone’s mother says.
I’ve often wondered why pro-choice women’s groups have never expressed any sympathy or concern over Marla’s death. Why aren’t they demanding justice? Why aren’t they concerned that Marla was lied to about the condition of her baby and wasn’t shown the sonogram results? Why aren’t they concerned that proper treatment was delayed because Marla was misdiagnosed by a resident who was only two months out of medical school? Why are they so quiet? I believe it’s because pro-choice groups don’t want women to read or hear about abortion injuries and deaths. Bad publicity hurts their cause. That’s why they prefer that Marla and her baby remain hidden statistics.
Marla Cardamone’s death was a tragedy that never should have happened. How many times have pro-choice leaders told the public that abortion must be legal in so that it can be safe? Cardamone is just one of hundreds of mothers who have died from legal abortions.

A legal abortion is not always a safe abortion. But despite these deaths, the pro-choice movement has mobilized against common sense clinic regulations that would make abortion safer and have been successful in getting legislation protecting women struck down in the courts.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Primary care at Planned Parenthood? Not so much.


There's what Planned Parenthood says, and then there's what Planned Parenthood does.

In a recent Washington Post puff piece on Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, the message is that Planned Parenthood is proud of its abortion practice and doing everything it can to publicize it:
One hundred years after Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger began educating women about birth control in New York and 43 years after Roe v. Wade, the reproductive rights movement in America is at a pivotal crossroads. Facing hundreds of restrictive laws nationwide, abortion rights advocates are going on the offensive with a new strategy. 
Gone is the vaguely conciliatory mantra of the past, the ideal of keeping abortion “safe, legal and rare” once advocated by Bill and Hillary Clinton. Today’s activists are bringing the passionately debated procedure into the light, encouraging women to talk openly about their abortions and giving the movement an unapologetic human face. ...
... Since Richards’s ascension, Planned Parenthood has also pointedly transformed its messaging and its public strategy. Two years ago, the organization officially — and shrewdly — shed the abortion-specific “pro-choice” label in favor of broader terms such as “reproductive rights” and “women’s health care.” Most notably, it started highlighting the day-to-day reality of abortion, encouraging women to come forward with their personal stories. 
But despite the projection of optimism, Cecile Richards is no fool: she knows that Planned Parenthood's reputation as the abortion industry leader is a liability. Which is why they recently released a commercial trying to convince people that Planned Parenthood is really about... flu shots and diabetes screenings?



It's true that Planned Parenthood occasionally extends its reach into primary care—but only occasionally. In its own annual report (page 30), flu shots, asthma care, and diabetes screenings aren't even common enough to warrant their own categories.* They instead fall under the category of "Family Practice Services," and Planned Parenthood only offered such services 33,060 times in the 2014-2015 audit year.

That same year, it committed 323,999 abortions. At Planned Parenthood, abortion is ten times more common than primary care. That probably has something to do with the fact that Planned Parenthood requires every affiliate to commit abortions, while no such mandate exists for legitimate health care. And of course, this video fails to acknowledge the obvious: the federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) that pro-life groups want to fund instead of Planned Parenthood offer primary care to a much greater extent than PP ever will.

Interestingly, this isn't the first time Planned Parenthood has aired this type of commercial. I remember a similar one that played at my movie theater several years ago; it concluded with the painfully awkward slogan "Planned Parenthood: we're more than you think." However, I don't know if that was a nationwide ad campaign or merely a local one.


*Breast exams, also mentioned in the video, are not separately tracked; they are combined with "breast care," which in turn falls under the category "cancer screening and prevention." Secular Pro-Life obviously takes no issue with these services, except to note that Planned Parenthood's provision of them is on a precipitous decline.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Some unborn children in the UK get a lucky break

From what I can gather, Marie Stopes is basically the UK's version of Planned Parenthood. Except that Planned Parenthood would engage in a multi-million dollar lawsuit rather than allow this:

From the Telegraph
From the BBC
From the Guardian

Inspectors found that Marie Stopes failed to ensure that teenage abortion customers were giving informed consent, and also found that Marie Stopes' anesthesia protocols for abortions after the first trimester put patients at risk. This amounts to 250 abortions per week, according to the BBC.

First-trimester abortions on adult mothers will continue. Some mothers will go to competing abortion businesses such as BPAS (and infuriatingly, the National Health Service is actively facilitating the process of rescheduling abortion appointments). But the unexpected reprieve for at least a few unborn babies is certainly welcome.

It is not clear how long this state of affairs will last, but we know it won't be up to Marie Stopes. "The Government has also informed Marie Stopes International that Ministers will not give approval for further clinics to offer termination services until the [Care Quality Commission] are satisfied that their concerns have been fully addressed," reports the Telegraph.

The Guardian notes that "abortion providers and campaigners fear that the inspectorate’s action and closure of services could undermine the pro-choice cause." Guess you should've thought about that before you did unsafe second-trimester abortions on teenagers without their informed consent.

Friday, August 19, 2016

An Interview with New Wave Feminists

A scene from the 2015 March for Life weekend. SPL president Kelsey Hazzard has red wine; NWF co-president Destiny Herdon-De La Rosa has white wine. NWF's other co-president, Kristen Walker Hatten, is on the far left.

Secular Pro-Life's Monica Snyder recently interviewed Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa of New Wave Feminists. SPL and NWF cross paths often, and we thought it would be fun to give you an official introduction to their work. Here are the highlights:

What is New Wave Feminists and why did you found it?
NWF is common sense feminism that is consistent with women’s rights and human rights. We are on the verge of the fourth wave of feminism and we want to define what this movement will look like in the future. Because honestly right now it’s kind of a shit show and if something doesn’t change, it won’t have a future.

Where do bodily rights fit in? How do you respond to the argument that no one should be able to use your body against your will? 
We are strong proponents of bodily autonomy. So strong that we think you should have control over your body from the moment it first exists. If anyone in this scenario is truly having anti-choice beliefs forced upon them, it’s that child. They were not the one who chose (99% of the time) to engage in the conceptual act that led to their existence. They are not the ones who are choosing what is done to their body – and let’s make no mistake, it is their body. They have a different heartbeat, brainwaves, different DNA, and half the time a different gender. For far too long women fought to have control over their own bodies. We are not anyone else’s property. And having been viewed that way before, when we were at our most vulnerable, it is unacceptable for us to pass that same oppression onto our children.

Have you interacted much with the overall pro-life movement? If so, how has it gone?
We have. Honestly, when I started NWF back in ’06 or ’07 I wanted to see just as much of a change in the pro-life movement as I did in the feminist movement. Both had really gone off course in a lot of ways, but both were also showing signs of promise.

I am a huge supporter of sidewalk counseling. We’re actually on the Advisory Board for Sidewalk Advocates for Life. They are out there everyday offering practical resources to women in need. It’s not enough to just be against something, you must be for something if you want to change the culture. They are FOR women and their children.

Groups like that, along with pregnancy resource centers, are making all of the difference. The days of screaming at women through bullhorns and making the abortion clinic look like a safe haven are on their way out. A women facing an unplanned pregnancy already has enough fear and chaos in her head, she doesn’t need you throwing a bloody image in her face and adding to that fear. She needs you to be the calm in the storm, the light that runs out the darkness. I’m happy to say that I do think the pro-life movement is going in that direction and I think it’s because compassionate, pro-woman pro-life activists are taking the reins.

There are a lot of people who believe in gender equality but reject the label “feminist” at least partly because it’s so strongly associated with being pro-choice. What do you think of that position? 
I mean, I get it. For the first few years we actually went by “New Wave Femmes” because we too hated the F-word. Also, I’m a big Violent Femmes fan, so I thought that sounded way cooler anyway. Other people (namely on the internet) just thought it sounded gay… like we were a bunch of feminine homosexuals who were way into 80’s new wave music. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure a few of us are, but…

That’s when we decided it was time to take the word back. Just because some sucky people sucked it all up for the last 40 years that doesn’t mean the foundational concept should be scrapped. Same goes for the word “pro-life.” It also has a ton of negative connotations associated it, but the belief that women are strong as hell and they shouldn’t have to sacrifice their unborn children to keep being badass is something worth taking back and making awesome again, right?

If NWF got a $1,000,000 grant, what would you want to do with it?
Ha! If NWF got a $1,000 grant, my answer would probably be the same thing – college outreach. The sidewalks are the last line of defense when it comes to changing hearts and minds, but the colleges are just one step behind that. I have a heart for college kids because my mom was a sophomore at the University of Texas when she became pregnant with me. I know it would’ve been so easy for her to find ten people on that campus to tell her just to abort me, and I know the courage it took for her to return home (to her minister parents) and give me life.

So many of these young adults are on their own for the very first time and along with their newfound physical freedom, they’re also discovering that they can think for themselves now too. They no longer have to have the same beliefs as their parents and they’re caught in cacophony of different ideologies. I want the pro-woman, pro-life, pro-nonviolent choices message to be one of the sounds they’re hearing. Right now that argument is just noise to a lot of them because it’s being drowned out by a culture of instant gratification and convenience. We have to be on campuses proclaiming LOUDLY that women’s rights are human rights, and human rights should start the moment a person first exists.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Louisiana flooding devastates pregnancy care center

Entire neighborhoods have been flooded

Care Pregnancy Clinic in Baton Rouge, LA is a medically staffed pro-life pregnancy resource center. It provides pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, housing assistance, counseling, maternity and baby supplies, and other services to thousands of vulnerable families.

And it has fallen victim to massive flooding in southern Louisiana. (Don't feel bad if you haven't heard about this; the media coverage has been dismal.)

Care Pregnancy Clinic writes:
The recent unprecedented flooding of Baton Rouge, LA devastated the ability of the Care Pregnancy Clinic to continue to serve the mothers and babies in our community! The abortion clinic is open now and we are getting calls.
We need an RV so we can start serving now! If you are able to loan or donate an RV, we can begin saving babies immediately! 
Over 128,000 clients, with their babies, 256,000 have been served since 1980. We have been privileged to provide to our clients: ultrasound, pregnancy testing, medical consultations with physicians’ pregnancy verification, STD/STI testing, abortion reversal, home visits, education in nutrition, breast feeding, childbirth and parenting all at no cost to our clients. The babies’ mothers receive baby essentials, baby food, formula, diapers, baby clothes, maternity clothes, cribs, car seats, and other baby items. This baby boutique was damaged as well and will need to be replaced.
The Care Pregnancy Clinic sustained substantial damage in the latest flooding in the 2016 Historic Flood. We estimate $425,000 is needed to make all the necessary repairs. All three ultrasound machines were damaged and need to be replaced, dry wall stripped, etc. The building needs repairs and all office electronic equipment must be replaced. No life-saving donation is too large or too small. We are a 501(c)3 charitable organization.
I cannot begin imagine the emotional roller coaster of fear over an unexpected pregnancy, relief at receiving help from the pregnancy center, and then suddenly losing both your house and the pregnancy center support system you've counted on. Please donate here as you are able. And if by some chance you can spare an RV, call 225-266-7075.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Democratic National Convention: Pro-Choice, or Pro-Abortion?

Screenshot: Ilyse Hogue, who is the president of NARAL and the mother of an aborted baby,
speaks at the Democratic National Convention 
[Today's guest post by Acyutananda is part of our paid blogging program.]

Ilyse Hogue is said to have made history on July 24, 2016 as the first person to talk about her own abortion in a political party’s convention:
Texas women are tough. We approach challenges with clear eyes and full hearts. To succeed in life, all we need are the tools, the trust, and the chance to chart our own path. I was fortunate enough to have these things when I found out I was pregnant years ago. I wanted a family, but it was the wrong time. I made the decision that was best for me—to have an abortion— and get compassionate care at a clinic in my own community. [clapping and cheering] . . . You see, it’s not as simple as bad girls get abortions and good girls have families. We are the same women at different times in our lives — each making decisions that are best for us. [clapping and cheering] 
Before I discuss the response of the convention attendees, which is my main point, let’s devote a minute to Ilyse Hogue’s rhetorical processes. First of all, she didn’t want a family at that time, a situation we are meant to sympathize with and that we can sympathize with. But does it follow from that that the best decision was to get an abortion? Had she had a problem about her pregnancy, she might have had an argument that the best decision was to get an abortion. But her problem was about a family, and carrying a pregnancy to term does not equate to having a family. It only equates to being compassionate toward the tiny child one has brought into being. There is adoption, there are safe-haven laws. So why she got an abortion is not explained by the family factor alone.

"It’s not as simple as bad girls get abortions and good girls have families." True, it is not. But then, who ever said it is? I have never met a pro-lifer who demands that any girl have a family. All the pro-lifers I know respect people who do not have children, as long as they don't kill a human being.

Now we want to look at what that convention crowd was applauding. And first let’s note that it is hard to estimate how many of the attendees were clapping and cheering. If there were two thousand in the audience, then it was not all of them, but it was significant. Certainly no one booed, though one in three rank-and-file Democrats (probably under-represented among the delegates) identify as pro-life. We don’t know individually of anyone who clapped or cheered, because the camera stayed on Hogue. Did Hillary Clinton clap? Barack Obama? Tim Kaine? Joe Biden?

Anyway, we can certainly say that Hogue’s remarks were enthusiastically received. But what exactly was the crowd applauding? The first burst of applause that followed Hogue’s remarks about the "tools, the trust, and the chance to chart our own path" might be chalked up to support for abortion "choice."  Some Democrats, in the past at least, have notably said that they personally oppose abortion, but that women should have the choice because of back-alley abortions, or bodily rights, or for the sake of "not imposing beliefs."

But what of the applause that followed Hogue's proclamation that women like her make the "decisions that are best for us"? Did the crowd applaud the decision-making power (choice), or did they applaud the idea that abortion is often for the best (as Hogue claims it was in the case of her own pregnancy)? Well, if they applauded choice, it was not choice because of back-alley abortions or bodily rights or "not imposing beliefs." It was choice because choice is likely to result in "the best" decision—it was because abortion is often for the best, or specifically the best for the woman, regardless of what it means for anyone else. That is what they were applauding.

When I hear a crowd cheering for a fatal outcome in a one-on-one contest—not a sober acceptance of the outcome, but cheering—I can only be reminded of the gladiator movies I have seen. But of course, that moment at the convention was in many ways unlike a gladiatorial fight. Unlike in those days, on this occasion the bigger contestant, the one who recounted her story, had not risked losing her life. An element of suspense was missing. But she convinced the crowd that she had risked losing what was "best for me." What she recounted to the crowd was a victory for "me." That 5 foot 6 inch gladiator had obtained compassionate care in her community—that is, the assistance of a squad of highly-trained adults armed with advanced weaponry. She had "faced the challenge" and won, and she announced to the audience and the nation that winning was best for her. The unarmed inch-long gladiator had lost; had not been invited to the convention; and could not be contacted for comment. What the Democratic crowd seemed to applaud was that the person who was one of them had secured what was best for her. History is written by the winners.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Tickets available for Life/Peace/Justice Conference

Wait a minute. Didn't we just have Life/Peace/Justice Conference?

Yes. Traditionally, the Life/Peace/Justice Conference has been held at Villanova University in April. But the organizers are shaking things up. It will henceforth be in held in the fall, and that means two LPJ conferences for 2016. The conference will take place on Friday, October 21 and Saturday, October 22. In an added twist, instead of Villanova, we're heading to the University of Texas at Austin. Thanks, Texans for Life!

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Life/Peace/Justice is a conference put together by our dear friends at the Life Matters Journal. It covers a vast array of threats to human life, including abortion, the death penalty, suicide, war, poverty, and racism. This is an incredible opportunity to network with like-minded people and discover new ways to protect life in your community.

Secular Pro-Life is proud to co-sponsor this event. SPL president Kelsey Hazzard will speak, and we'll have a booth where you can meet Kelsey and several of our board members, including some of the awesome Medicaid kids who are in charge of the #HelloHyde campaign.

Tickets are just $20 for students and $35 for adults. They are for sale now on the L/P/J conference website. Hope to see you there!

Friends of Secular Pro-Life at the L/P/J conference in April

Friday, August 12, 2016

Another factor in the plummeting abortion rate

Abortion reporting is always a few years behind; the best data we have is from 2011. In that year, the abortion rate in the United States hit a record low. As the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute notes, abortion rates have fallen even in states that are traditionally hostile to the right to life. The plummeting demand for abortion is a major factor behind the closure of abortion businesses nationwide.

That leads to an obvious question: what's causing the lack of demand? You might point to increased contraceptive use/better methods, increased public support for the pro-life stance (particularly among young people of reproductive age), or the growth of pregnancy resource centers. I have no doubt that all of the above play a role. But let's not place ourselves at the center of the universe. Sometimes, the abortion rate is impacted by random societal factors that have nothing to do with deliberate pro-life or pro-choice strategies.

Case in point: a study published earlier this month shows that young adults are increasingly abstaining from sexual intercourse. More precisely, "among those aged 20–24, more than twice as many Millennials born in the 1990s (15%) had no sexual partners since age 18 compared to GenX’ers born in the 1960s (6%)." Fifteen percent may not seem like much in absolute terms, but the shift presents a significant challenge for the abortion industry; a third of its customers are between the ages of 20 and 24.

Surveys have repeatedly shown that organized religion is less important in the lives of Millennials compared to older generations. So it's no surprise that the 15% of abstinent early-20-somethings appear to be motivated primarily by personal, rather than religious, considerations. The Washington Post's coverage of the study offers several potential reasons for the drop in sexual activity, including women becoming more empowered to say no, fewer opportunities for in-person (as opposed to online) social interaction, student loan debt and poor economic recovery causing Millennials to prioritize work over dating, and fear of intimacy.* Anecdotally, as a single woman myself (albeit a tad older at 28), I'd say that's pretty accurate.

If this trend continues—and as the Washington Post notes, studies of the teen cohort suggest it will—unplanned pregnancies will of course decline, and abortion businesses will struggle to stay afloat. No wonder they're itching for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment to turn on a spigot of taxpayer money.


*Concerns about pregnancy or STDs didn't make the cut. After all, they've been around a lot longer than 24-year-olds have, so they can't explain an increase in abstinence.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Tallulah film review


For someone who claims to be pro-choice, actress Ellen Page sure finds herself in her fair share of life-affirming movies. (That's not a dig; I happen to like Page a lot.) Pro-life audiences of course know her best as Juno, a pregnant teenager who considers abortion but decides to give her baby a chance through adoption. This time around she takes on the role of a pseudo-adoptive parent, as the titular character in the Netflix original film Tallulah.

Page plays "Lu," a drifter and petty thief. She encounters the wealthy but troubled alcoholic Carolyn, and Carolyn's toddler, Madison. Carolyn, desperate for a sitter and neglectful of her daughter, places Madison in Lu's care for the night. Carolyn returns from her date passed-out drunk, and Lu quickly realizes that Carolyn cannot care for the child—but rather than call law enforcement, Lu impulsively takes baby Madison and attempts to pass herself off as the biological mother.

Unlike JunoTallulah doesn't address the subject of abortion directly. But as we all know, pro-life doesn't end at birth. I found Tallulah to be a solid addition to the whole-life film canon.

I don't want to give away too much of the plot, but Tallulah carries some worthy themes. Among them: parental and societal responsibility for children, doing what's right instead of what's easy, and that life is worth living for its own sake even when things don't go as planned. The characters are well-developed, with no pure heroes or pure villains; as one puts it, "We're all horrible. And we're all just people."

Tallulah is rated TV-MA for profanity and brief nudity. It is available on Netflix.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Lies, Damned Lies, and the Abortion Lobby on Zika


The petition site Care2 is currently home to the baldest pro-abortion lie I have seen in quite a while, and that's saying something. The petition demands that Congress "pass [a] Zika funding bill without defunding Planned Parenthood."
The Zika virus is transmitted through mosquitoes, and is also sexually transmitted. Pregnant women and unborn children are at highest risk. Yet the current Zika bill includes provisions that would also defund Planned Parenthood, which is why Democrats refused to let the bill pass. Planned Parenthood is one of the most valuable assets to pregnant women in America, especially those who are uninsured or low-income. To fund Zika research while defunding Planned Parenthood simply makes no sense.
We cannot wait any longer to financially support Zika research, but we cannot allow a bill to pass that strips funding from a key women's health care provider.
Surprise: it "makes no sense" because it never happened! Believe me, if we'd actually managed to defund Planned Parenthood, I'd be the first one celebrating from the rooftops. It's just not true.

Here's what actually happened. The House of Representatives, which has a pro-life majority, passed a bill that would have put $1.1 billion toward fighting Zika. Much of that money would have gone to research and mosquito control, with the rest going to health care charities on the ground in vulnerable regions like Puerto Rico and Florida. The recipients of the funding were specifically named.

Planned Parenthood wasn't on the list for this new money.

With a sense of entitlement that would put most people to shame, Planned Parenthood cried that it was being "defunded" and demanded that the Senators in its pocket vote against the Zika funding bill. Which they did, on a 52-48 vote.

Planned Parenthood would not have been "stripped of funding" in any way, shape, or form. Uncontroversial community health centers would have received much-needed resources to combat the virus. But that didn't happen, because Planned Parenthood didn't get its protection money. Nice Zika funding bill you've got there. It would be a shame if something were to happen to it...

The Zika virus is bound to get more media attention as the Olympic games progress, and I'm sure we'll see more pro-abortion lies. Keep this article handy.

And if any of you were on the fence about whether Planned Parenthood does more harm than good, I hope this incident has convinced you. Planned Parenthood's prioritization of money over women's health could not be more obvious.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Two family conversations about abortion


I recently read two very different articles recounting family conversations about abortion, each important in its own way.

First, Broadly gives us Talking to My Grandma About Her 12 Abortions. The author's grandmother lived in the U.S.S.R., which was the first nation to make elective abortion legal. Not only that, abortions were paid for by the government—exactly what abortion apologists in the United States are after when they talk about repealing the Hyde Amendment.

It will come as no surprise to anyone who has even a passing familiarity with pro-life feminist theory that this policy had horrific consequences.
Raised by a hard-lipped, single father in a tiny apartment, she overcame her poor health, getting top grades in school and eventually moving to Moscow, where she earned a chemistry degree at university. Shortly after, she met my grandfather—a kind-hearted film nerd who ran the Moscow Film Festival—and gave birth to my mother at age 24. My grandmother had her second child at 35; in the span of the 11 years in between, she had the majority of her abortions. 
At the time, Soviet citizens were all too familiar with a particular catchphrase: "There is no sex in the Soviet Union." According to my grandma, sex was seen as taboo and positioned as a distraction for citizens who were supposed to be spending their time fulfilling their duties as good, hardworking Communists. 
Taboo or not, Soviets still had sex, and the state was there to take advantage. The Soviet abortion regime was incredibly misogynistic:
"For most women, waiting for an abortion felt like being on a conveyor belt. On any given morning, there'd be ten women in line at the hospital to get an abortion," she said. "So, whenever I needed one, I made sure to go out of my way to ask around and track down a person within the state-run hospital system whom I could pay extra for better treatment." 
According to my grandma, paying extra guaranteed you more humane treatment than you'd get from a typical state-funded abortion. When I asked her what the doctors performing subsidized abortions at state-run hospitals were like, sharp anger entered her voice. "They wouldn't be sympathetic or encouraging," she said. "They'd laugh at you and tell you to shut up and stop crying. These people were heartless and felt nothing for the women getting abortions."
She goes on to recount that publicly funded abortions were done with no anesthesia. In fact, many women of her time passed on "safe and legal" abortions and went the back-alley, paid route in an attempt to avoid abortionists' cruelty. (The back-alley abortionists turned out to be no better.) As for the fathers, they were nowhere to be found; discussions about sexual consent and health were lacking even between husbands and wives, so when women became pregnant, men had little role to play beyond driving them to and from the hospital for an abortion.

The "conveyor belt" abortion model is not unique to Soviet Russia, of course. But to see it in action from the very beginning of the legal abortion movement is certainly enlightening.

The author of the Broadly piece is sympathetic to her grandmother, and understandably so. If she feels any existential horror at being the descendant of one of just two surviving siblings out of fourteen conceived, she keeps it to herself.

The second piece comes from the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform and recounts a conversation between a pro-life mom (the author) and her young son, Elliot. She had introduced her son to her pro-life work in an age-appropriate way, talking about helping mothers and babies, but had never explained the gruesome mechanics of what an abortion is. She was floored when her son asked:
“Can abortion doctors kill me too?”
My heart drops. Within seconds I’m on the floor too, cupping his beautiful face with my wet hands. “Oh sweetie, no. No, they can’t!”
His big brown eyes search mine. “How do you know?”
I pull him on my lap and explain that the law, the rule in Canada is that only very little children, only those who are still in their mom’s tummy can be killed. I explain that that could never happen to him, and that we will always do everything we can to keep him safe.
He snuggles up to me, when all of a sudden his forehead furrows again. “What about Tisa?”
I explain that no one is allowed to hurt his little sister either.
“But she’s little,” he counters.
“Yes, but she’s born. She’s safe, sweetheart. And you’re a really good big brother for taking such good care of her.”
That can't have been an easy conversation, but she calms him down. Upon reflection, she writes:
The reason Elliot feels threatened by abortion is because he can’t make the distinction between born and pre-born like adults do. He figures that someone who can end the life of babies like his sister (who he once saw on ultrasound) can also end her life now because he doesn’t understand the difference between Tisa inside and Tisa outside the womb.
He has understood that if you are a human being, no one should be allowed to harm you. Intuitively he knows that one’s age and location is irrelevant. And he’s right.
My son has just taught me an important lesson: that we fool ourselves when we think we’re not affected by an injustice as long as we don’t belong to the group of human beings that’s currently being targeted. If we can strip human embryos and fetuses of their right to life, why not those in the age categories of infants or toddlers? If the human rights of some can be taken away, why not of others?
Readers, have you had any interesting conversations about abortion with members of your family? Tell us your stories in the comments and we might share them in a future blog post.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Today at noon: tweetfest to expose medical rape at Ohio abortion business

Earlier this week, an Ohio Department of Heath report from last summer was finally released to the public. It contents show outrageous misconduct by an abortionist.

On June 11, 2015, a woman was brought to Women's Med Center, an abortion business in Dayton, Ohio. According to the report, the woman "showed signs of recreational drug abuse" (Percocet, Suboxone, and possibly heroin). She was so high, she was "not able to walk, or to make coherent conversation." She was "semi-conscious with a low blood pressure."

Women's Med Center performed a late-term abortion on the woman despite the obvious signs that she couldn't consent. Later, they called for an ambulance to deal with the overdose. The Ohio Dept. of Health concluded that Women's Med Center "failed to ensure a patient was allowed to refuse or withdraw consent for treatment when her physical and cognitive function precluded her from participating in her treatment."

Where I'm from, deliberately inserting instruments into a half-conscious, intoxicated woman's vagina is called RAPE.

The state of Ohio has known about this for over a year, and yet no charges have been filed against the responsible abortionist(s). Calling yourself a defender of "women's health" is apparently a get-out-of-jail-free card for rape. I can't think of a better example of rape culture at work.

NARAL is shamefully siding with the abortionist, dismissing the medical rape allegations as a "witch hunt." It's up to us pro-lifers to make some noise. We know that the national mainstream media won't cover abortionist rape unless we force their hand. Use the hashtag #AbortRapeCulture to shed light on this devastating abuse of women's trust.

Tweetfest press release

Facebook event

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Want to be in our #HelloHyde promotional video?

As most of our readers probably know, Secular Pro-Life is organizing the #HelloHyde campaign to celebrate the lives of Medicaid kids and mark the 40th anniversary of the Hyde Amendment on September 30. The campaign features photographs of people who have been born through the Medicaid program over the past forty years. Like these:

Say #HelloHyde to Stargift! She is a pagan priestess and a student aspiring to be a nurse midwife (CNM). She is a pro-life activist, LGBT supporter, and Afrocentric advocate. 

Say #HelloHyde to Jackie! She's a Gemini.

Say #HelloHyde to Violette! “I’m studying to be a graphic design artist and I want to make cartoons.”

The Hyde Amendment restricts federal funding of abortion through the Medicaid program. A significant fraction of Medicaid kids would be dead if not for the Hyde Amendment. With the Hyde Amendment under increasing attack, Medicaid kids' voices deserve to be heard.

September 30 is the big day, so there is still plenty of time for Medicaid kids to submit photos. BUT—if you get your photo in early, you could be featured in our promotional video!

Here's how to maximize your chances of making the cut:
  • First things first: get your #HelloHyde name tag at HelloHyde.org
  • Position your name tag high on your chest or shoulder, close to your face.
  • Smile or strike a fun pose.
  • Make sure the photo quality is sharp, with the name tag fully readable.
  • Email your photo and a short description of yourself (like above) to submissions@hellohyde.org as soon as possible, ideally before the end of this week.  
Before you submit, please confirm that you are a Medicaid kid by asking a parent. We look forward to seeing your smiling faces in our inbox!

P.S.—We want to showcase a diverse group of people in the video. The photos we've collected so far are ethnically diverse, but we lack diversity of gender (most participants are women) and age (mostly 20s and younger). So if you're a guy and/or in your 30s, and you're on the fence about submitting a photo, please do!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Australian test case challenges laws against pro-life speech

Hat tip to Australian SPL supporter Malessa B. for bringing this to our attention.

Like its counterpart in the United States, the Australian abortion industry despises pro-lifers who attempt to persuade potential customers outside abortion facilities. Rather than taking the liberal approach of responding to the speech it dislikes with speech of its own, the abortion lobby demands government censorship of the pro-life message. They claim that censorship zones (also known as "bubbles") outside of abortion facilities are necessary to protect women from harassment, but the real target is peaceful speech that reveals the humanity of the unborn child.

Here's the message that Queensland resident Graham Preston was tried and convicted for:


Mr. Preston displayed that message outside a Tasmania abortion business. Tasmanian law imposes a censorship zone of 150 meters—for our American readers, that's 164 yards, or roughly one and a half American football fields. Obviously, a woman having second thoughts about an abortion cannot possibly have a conversation with someone who is forced to stand that far away.

For the crime of showing a photo of a baby in the womb and quoting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he has been ordered to pay a $3,000 fine. He plans to appeal the ruling and bring a test case for the free speech rights of pro-lifers under the Australian constitution, and will not pay the fine. He is willing to go to prison if it comes to that; not an empty promise, considering he's done it before.

His supporters point out that "charges against former Greens leader Bob Brown were dropped after he was arrested for allegedly protesting in a logging exclusion zone," and Mr. Preston's conviction represents a double standard. I am not familiar enough with Australian politics to know if the abortion lobby is more or less powerful than the logging lobby there, but in principle, different causes should not receive different treatment.

Mr. Preston traveled to Tasmania to protest because abortion is illegal in his home state of Queensland. But naturally, abortion apologists are pursuing legislation to change that—and while the language of the bill has not been finalized, our source tells us that a censorship provision is being considered. If the bill goes forward, Mr. Preston's statements about the right to life could, overnight, go from being an accurate statement of the law to a cause for his arrest!

This case will set a critical precedent. Donations to Mr. Preston's legal fund can be made here.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Youth Sidewalk Counseling Day This Saturday


Students for Life of America has designated this Saturday, August 6th, as National Pro-Life Generation Sidewalk Day. The majority of abortion customers are women in their twenties. We need their peers to be on the abortion facility sidewalks, offering alternatives.

That's not to say that older sidewalk counselors are a problem; quite the opposite. Obviously, older counselors may have more experience. And many potential abortion customers respond well to advice from a wise, grandmotherly type. But it takes all kinds.

Equal Rights Institute recently published an excellent article highlighting the need for male sidewalk counselors to converse with the men who give rides to the abortion facility. They pointed out that speaking with someone of the same sex in a time of crisis offers "a sense of ease, as if our subconscious is saying, 'This person knows what I am going through.'" Speaking with a person of the same age could offer similar benefits.

In the same vein, we desperately need secular sidewalk counselors to give atheist and agnostic women the opportunity to speak with someone of a similar faith background. A Christian message won't reach the 38% of abortion customers who are religiously unaffiliated.

The National Pro-Life Generation Sidewalk Day event "do's and don'ts" lists evangelism as a don't. Whatever you believe about god, the moment a baby's life is at risk is not the time to share it. They do, however, recommend praying silently for spiritual guidance. No skin off my nose, and if that has the benefit of making religious sidewalk counselors feel calmer or more confident, great. We secular folks are free to just do our own thing, or to meditate.

There will be a free training webinar on Thursday, August 4 to prepare new sidewalk counselors for Saturday. Sign up here.