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Monday, November 23, 2020

What We're Thankful For

This Thanksgiving is going to be a lot different, and while we will miss the large family gatherings and traditions, it's still important to take a moment for gratitude. 

We are extremely thankful for all the children who have been born in 2020, and for all their parents who bravely chose life in such an uncertain year. We are also thankful for everyone who has supported them, from friends and family members, to sidewalk counselors, to pregnancy resource center volunteers, to Amazon baby registry donors.

We appreciate all who, despite the contentiousness of an election year, have discussed politics without resorting to personal attacks and who have persuasively advocated policies that will help the vulnerable. 

Special thanks go out to everyone who has contributed specifically to Secular Pro-Life in 2020—whether that was by writing a guest article for this blog, donating money, attending one of our virtual events, spreading our message on social media, or in any other way. We couldn't do this work without you. Thank you so, so much.

For Life,

Kelsey, Monica, and Terrisa

[Photo credit: Chris Lawton on Unsplash]

Friday, November 20, 2020

Medical Waste Company Ends Partnership with Late-Term Abortion Business

A Bio-Haz Solutions employee hauling boxes of dead babies.
Photo via Project Weak Link

For once, 2020 brings good news! Created Equal reports that Bio-Haz Solutions, a medical waste company, has stopped picking up and disposing of the bodies of Leroy Carhart's abortion victims in Bethesda, MD.

Created Equal is the organization behind Project Weak Link, a campaign urging medical waste companies to refuse to profit from abortion. As we've previously written

One of the leaked CMP videos featured abortionists commiserating about a perplexing administrative problem: if you can't sell the corpses, how else to dispose of them?

Created Equal has jumped on this and launched a new initiative called Project Weak Link. The tissue disposal companies are the weak link in the abortion industry chain. Created Equal proposes that if tissue disposal companies realize that working with abortion businesses will bring them bad press and cost them money, the power of the market will kick in to save babies.

Project Weak Link has seen several successes, but persuading Bio-Haz Solutions to quit doing Leroy Carhart's dirty work is a particularly sweet victory. Carhart is notorious for killing even third-trimester babies. He has a long history of sending women to the hospital and, more than once, the morgue. He openly admits that abortion ends the life of a baby. 

Now, Operation Rescue notes, "without a way to dispose of the large volume of aborted baby remains, it is likely that they are being stored at the clinic without refrigeration, creating a dangerous health hazard for Carhart’s clients, workers, and everyone else that does business in that multi-office building on Old Georgetown Road." We join in their hope that this untenable situation will finally cause local health authorities to terminate Carhart's gruesome trade. 

Created Equal encourages you to submit a digital thank-you note to Bio-Haz CEO David Henritzy for doing the right thing. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Poll: Pro-Life Candidates Received 5-Point Advantage in 2020

"I Voted" stickers

A McLaughlin & Associates poll shows that abortion-motivated voters had a significant impact on the November election, National Right to Life News reports:

Nationally, 23% of voters said that the abortion issue affected their vote and voted for candidates who oppose abortion. This compares to just 18% who said abortion affected their vote and voted for candidates who favor abortion, yielding a 5% advantage for pro-life candidates.

In states where National Right to Life’s political committees were most actively involved, 27% of voters said that the abortion issue affected their vote and voted for candidates who oppose abortion. This compares to just 16% who said abortion affected their vote and voted for candidates who favor abortion, yielding an 11% advantage for pro-life candidates in those high-activity states.

Federal races that were decided in favor of an anti-abortion candidate by less than 5 points in other words, those where single-issue pro-life voters likely decided the election — include:

  • Arizona District 6: Rep. David Schweikert (R) over Hiral Tipirneni (D)
  • California District 39: Young Kim (R) over Rep. Gil Cisneros (D)
  • California District 48: Rep. Michelle Steel (R) over Harley Rouda (D)
  • Florida District 26: Carlos Gimenez (R) over Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D)
  • Florida District 27: Maria Elvira Salazar (R) over Rep. Donna Shalala (D)
  • Indiana District 5: Victoria Spartz (R) over Christina Hale (D)
  • Iowa District 1: Ashley Hinson (R) over Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D)
  • Minnesota District 1: Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R) over Dan Feehan (D)
  • Nebraska District 2: Rep. Donald Bacon (R) over Kara Eastman (D) 
  • North Carolina: Sen. Thom Tillis (R) over Cal Cunningham (D)
  • South Carolina District 1: Nancy Mace (R) over Rep. Joe Cunningham (D)
  • Texas District 23: Tony Gonzales (R) over Gina Ortiz Jones (D) 
  • Texas District 24: Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R) over Candace Valenzuela (D)
  • Virginia District 5: Rep. Bob Good (R) over Cameron Webb (D)
The above list omits races which remain too close for the Associated Press to call. 

Although Republicans have benefited tremendously from single-issue pro-life voters, it's worth noting that pro-life Democrats did quite well in state-level races, with 81 victories by "True Blue" candidates endorsed by Democrats for Life of America. As Democratic Party leaders conduct their election postmortem, they'd do well to remember that abortion extremism is unpopular with the American populace, and the five-point pro-life advantage is available to candidates of either party who are prepared to take a stand for children in the womb.

[Photo credit: Element5 Digital on Unsplash]

Monday, November 16, 2020

Georgia Run-Off Election Crucial to Save Preborn Lives

Control of the Senate — and with it, the critical ability to block extreme pro-abortion measures — comes down to a run-off election in Georgia on January 5. Without a pro-life majority in the Senate, politicians friendly to the abortion industry could push taxpayer-funded abortion (costing an estimated 60,000 innocent lives per year), confirm pro-abortion judicial nominees, or even enshrine the mistake of Roe v. Wade into federal legislation. We must stop their horrific plans from becoming a reality. 

Both Georgia Senate seats, currently held by anti-abortion Republicans, are up for grabs. Incumbent Sen. David Perdue will face Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, and incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler will face Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock. Ossoff and Warnock are both endorsed by Planned Parenthood and NARAL.

Students for Life Action is organizing a #VoteProLifeFirst effort in Georgia. Housing, food, and stipends are available to students who want to knock on doors. Training is provided. They are also seeking volunteers to send text messages. You can learn more and sign up here

[Photo credit: Students for Life]

Friday, November 13, 2020

Secular Resources for Abortion Healing

Women hold "I Regret My Abortion" outside the Supreme Court

The largest and best-known programs for mothers who regret their abortions, like Rachel's Vineyard and Silent No More, are faith-based. This is unsurprising when you consider that Christian doctrine promises supernatural forgiveness of wrongdoing and reunification with the aborted child in the afterlife. Many women who have had abortions derive great comfort from those beliefs. But what about those who are not Christian and not interested in conversion? According to the Guttmacher Institute, 38% of abortion customers have no religious affiliation and another 8% identify with non-Christian religions. That's a huge population who may need secular services.

We wrote about this several years ago, but this is an important topic that deserves an update. Here are a few options for those who want acknowledgment of the actual source of their grief—their children's lost lives—without bringing the Bible into it.

We highly recommend Abortion Changes You (also offered in Spanish), led by the wonderful Michaelene Fredenburg. We collaborated with Michaelene for a secular abortion healing workshop at the 2019 Rehumanize Conference in New Orelans and hope to work with her again. Abortion Changes You operates under the umbrella of Life Perspectives, which also provides care for families who have experienced miscarriage and other forms of reproductive loss. 

Pro-life atheist Albany Rose, who we've known for many years, found that it helped her to reclaim her medical records from the abortion facility. She has opened up about that experience on YouTube.

AfterAbortion.com is an informal collection of message boards where people can help one another through their pain. Formal counseling is not provided; this is purely peer support. Pro-life vs. pro-choice debate is not allowed. 

Some women adopt secular elements of Christian post-abortion healing programs, including rituals such as naming the unborn child or dedicating a physical memorial to the child. Some also benefit from one-on-one therapy with a psychologist—but of course, you will have to carefully choose a psychologist you trust. This directory may help.

Finally, please bear in mind that grief and regret are extended processes, and most abortion healing programs take the long view. They are therefore not appropriate for emergency situations. If you are struggling with self-harm or thoughts of suicide, call 911 or 1-800-SUICIDE immediately.

[Photo credit: Students for Life Action]

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

We Asked, You Answered: Learning from Defeat

The Colorado state capitol building

Sadly, Colorado's Proposition 115—which would have finally prohibited medically unnecessary late-term abortions (five months or later) in the state—did not pass. Although Election Day did have some bright spots, like the passage of Louisiana's Love Life Amendment and the election of numerous pro-life women to Congress, the inability to pass even the barest protection for babies in the Centennial State is extremely discouraging. We wrote on Facebook:
For those of you who live in Colorado, give us your thoughts on why Prop 115 failed and what pro-lifers should do for the next round to have more success. This defeat is very frustrating and sad, but we are in this work for life, so let's review and prepare for the next fight.
Here are a few of the many responses, and it didn't take long for a theme to emerge:

Hope R.: I saw no ads in support of prop 115 that I can recall. And the ads against it were full of misinformation. I saw several ads claiming "it's an intentionally confusing proposition" and so called doctors claiming "it will restrict my ability to provide care to save the mother’s life." Lies were shoved in our faces and very little was said about the truth. 

Amy B.: Straight up there was NO money spent on it! I only saw two yard signs, no TV ads, no print ads. Nothing. People decided they'd rather throw money at candidates (some of whom are objectively terrible people) than at making actual substantive progress on abortion restrictions. I think if I'd heard actual facts from the pro-life side of the ballot issue it might have been different but all I heard was straight up crickets! Deafening silence from the ballot measure supporters. (And I run in pro-life circles and live in a conservative area of the state, so if I heard/saw nothing you can guess that most others got even less).

Keri K.: Big abortion money, completely lied on commercials about the bill, said Yes on 115 would not help those with medical issues, rape, ban all abortions essentially. Yes on 115 did not have any TV presences to combat this messaging

Hope R.: I saw no ads in support of prop 115 that I can recall. And the ads against it were full of misinformation. I saw several ads claiming "it's an intentionally confusing proposition" and so called doctors claiming "it will restrict my ability to provide care to save the mother’s life." Lies were shoved in our faces and very little was said about the truth.

Julie M.: I only just moved to CO, but from NY. (Please don't hate on me I married into the state, lol.) I wasn't following any polls but expected it to fail and was surprised at how well it did. I saw only ads against it, and they got "better" (more persuasive) with time, whereas I only heard of vote yes through word of mouth and a sign waver or two. The pro-life movement here needs to reach beyond its solid base and explain the brutality so that in a state getting darker blue, people still vote their conscience and not their party on abortion. Public opinion is on our side, but pro-life strategy needs a lot of work.

Ellen C.: Honestly, there wasn't a good ground game past getting it on the ballot (and even that was shaky), and the abortion lobby was FLOODING the field with their propaganda.

Jesse B.: No one is going to want to hear this, but here goes nothing. Prop 115 failed, because people are tired of pro-lifers actually just being pro-birth. You want prop 115 to pass (which I voted yes on, so calm yourselves), but many of you stay on one side of the aisle for all other issues. Maybe if we could show people that we care about babies inside the womb, outside the womb, the babies who need WIC, and the babies who grow up to need college assistance by no fault of their own, our voices would be louder. Try voting away from party lines, and I guarantee you will bring many more people to the table to hear you out on abortion.

Sarah N.: Pro aborts lie through their teeth to convince people that these laws will criminalize miscarriage. Also Colorado has had several personhood amendments that were poorly written and failed miserably. So the left just ties these ballot initiatives together with the personhood. They say stuff like how many times do we have to vote this down. We will reject this again. The uniformed voter is easily swayed by this nonsense. On top of that most people have no idea what abortion is much less late term abortion.

Jay G.: I don't know that it was made clear that Colorado is an outlier here. We're one of a small handful of states that permit abortions so late. And comparing to other world democracies, most European countries permit most early abortions and prohibit most late abortions. I think too many people assumed "any restriction on abortion is a radical proposal," without comparing to other standards.

Megan H.: People need to be educated on the fact that no medical condition is treated by abortion. Most people I’ve talked to about it, including my pre-med niece who lives in Boulder, are under the impression that late term abortion is used as treatment for medical conditions.

Samantha L.: A lot of people seem to think the majority of these abortions are fetal anomalies. That's what I heard in my circles. We need to address that piece. Did I also see that the opposition completely over spent us?

[Photo credit: Wikipedia image of Colorado State Capitol, Creative Commons license]
 

Monday, November 9, 2020

California University Maintained Eugenics Fund for Abortion, Prenatal Screening


The chaos of the election drowned out a disturbing recent story in the Los Angeles Times. The article exposed a fund at the University of California Berkeley that was specifically designated for research in eugenics. The "Genealogical Eugenic Institute Fund," active since 1975, has been suspended due to public outcry. 

Times author Teresa Watanbe correctly notes that eugenics was "discredited after World War II as a horrifying ideology that sought to use science to improve the human race by promoting traits deemed superior and breeding out those judged undesirable. The judgments aligned strongly with social biases that favored white, able-bodied and financially stable people. Eugenics was used as a justification for Hitler’s Nazi Germany to kill 6 million Jewish people, and U.S. authorities to forcibly sterilize more than 60,000 people in California and more than 30 other states largely in the early 20th century."

The fund offered $70,000 a year to projects "related to family planning . . . prenatal screening . . . [and] abortion," which UC Berkeley acknowledged as the "modern" version of eugenics. This doubtless would have been in keeping with the donor's wishes. Abortion, particularly in combination with prenatal screening for "search-and-destroy missions" against babies with disabilities, is absolutely a eugenic project. The article cites Alexandra Minna Stern, a University of Michigan expert on eugenics, who notes that parents can choose "what kinds of humans they deem most desirable and should be selected to live. . . . Embryos with genetic markers for Down syndrome, for instance, may not be selected or may be subsequently aborted."

UC Berkeley is now trying to backtrack, claiming that "[n]o evidence has yet surfaced that Berkeley used the money for eugenic research." Watanbe writes: 
Since 2000, about $1 million has been drawn from the account. The disbursements include $138,325 for the school’s budget deficit, $72,647 for financial aid for low-income students, $575,999 for student support and staff salary and benefits, $123,212 for travel and conferences, and the rest on office supplies, operations and journal subscriptions.

In recent years, the funds were primarily used by one faculty member, who has denied using them for eugenic research — an assertion supported by a review of the person's academic activities, [School of Public Health Dean Michael C. Lu] said. The dean declined to name the faculty member because the fact-finding review was ongoing.
The article does not elaborate upon the staff members whose salaries were covered or the types of conferences funded. Were these abortion researchers and abortion conferences? There must also be full disclosure concerning the faculty member who made primary use of the fund. Extra scrutiny is warranted because UC Berkeley's sister school, UC San Francisco, is a notorious hub for pro-abortion extremism, including gruesome research on the body parts of late-term abortion victims.

UC Berkeley is reportedly seeking "feedback on renaming and repurposing the fund." Several excellent suggestions have been proposed, such as using the fund to "increase financial aid for underrepresented minority students, support research with communities that have been disproportionately harmed by the eugenic ideology and establish an institute to stand against eugenics and racism." The pro-life community will need to keep a close eye on UC Berkeley to ensure that the fund is truly transformed, and does not promote abortion and ableism in any form.

[Photo credit: Wikipedia image of UC Berkeley's Sather Gate, Creative Commons license]

Friday, November 6, 2020

Book Review: "When You Became You"

When You Became You is a beautifully illustrated children's book by Brooke Stanton and Christiane West. The authors are affiliated with Contend Projects, "a secular, nonpartisan, science education nonprofit with the mission to spread accurate information and awareness about the biological science of human embryology and when a human being begins to exist." 

Secular Pro-Life president Kelsey
Hazzard poses with a copy of
When You Became You
I'm pleased to report that When You Became You lives up to this promise. It is 100% secular and scientifically accurate. Young readers will learn that all humans are human, and that it does not matter "what you look like, where you are from, how old you are, how young you are, if you can talk, if you can walk, if you can dance, or even if you aren't born yet." They will also learn the scientific terms "embryo" and "fetus" and how those words are used to describe human beings before they are born. These core concepts are an incredibly valuable way to inoculate children against pro-abortion propaganda; however, the text does not refer to abortion or anything else that might upset a child. 

I do have one quibble with When You Became You, which is that it doesn't directly answer the question implied by the title. The only reference to the moment of fertilization is a blurb on the back cover. I was expecting an explanation of conception, even if it required childlike language like "a teeny tiny bit from Mom called an egg and a teeny tiny bit from Dad called a sperm." Perhaps the authors wanted to avoid their work being pigeon-holed as yet another sex education book for kids, which is fair enough. That said, there are some lovely watercolor images of very early life that parents could use to embark on a more detailed conversation. 

When You Became You is a great addition to the small but growing canon of pro-life children's literature. It officially releases on November 10 and is available for purchase at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Books-A-Million

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

October Recap

 

Projects
Monica has continued her work promoting social media for Colorado's Prop 115, which would put an end to the barbaric practice of killing viable pre-born children. If you live in Colorado or know people who do, make sure they remember to vote YES ON 115. Similarly, if you live in Lousiana, make sure to vote YES ON AMENDMENT #1: the Love Life Amendment.  It will ensure your state courts will never have the ability to "find" a right to abortion or taxpayer-funded abortion.

Monica is also starting to put together a comprehensive list of all the ways people can participate in pro-life work. If you are on Facebook, we encourage you to comment here with your thoughts and read about some of the suggestions we've already gathered for supporting sidewalk counselors and pregnancy resource centers, and advocating for adoption reform and legislative reform.

Monica also had a little too much fun getting into the spirit of the season with her Halloween pro-life memes (scroll to the end of this email to view a selection of them).

Kelsey was a featured speaker at the National Pro-Life Campaign Conference in Ireland, online of course.  Her talk can be seen here.

Terrisa rallied at the Department of Justice bringing attention to the fact that #PPSellsBabyparts and that the DOJ hasn't prosecuted these crimes. She also rallied at the Supreme Court to support the confirmation of the first pro-life woman to the Court: Justice Amy Coney Barrett. 

Our polar opposite... but a good, civil conversation. See the pic on FB here.


Twitter
We gained 343 new followers, bringing us to 12,973 total. We sent 213 tweets, which were viewed 458,000 times. Over 22,000 people viewed this one that underscores why we care about prenatal children.
 
Original tweet here.
Facebook
In October we gained 1,449 followers, bringing us to 34,756 total. Our content was viewed over 385,000 times, including 41,400 views of this post emphasizing the number of women who aren't about to vote for a pro-choice candidate. Pretending pro-life women don't exist is probably not a great election strategy.
See the original post here.
Blogger
Our three most-read blog posts for October in increasing order:If you have something to say about abortion from a secular perspective, we want to hear it!  Guest posts help us cover a more diverse range of perspectives, topics, and experiences. If you have a piece you'd like to be considered for posting, please email us at info@secularprolife.org.

Thank you to our supporters
Thank you to those of you who donate to help support our work.  SPL is run by a number of dedicated volunteers and we would not be able to devote the time and energy without the help of donors like you. 

If you like what we do and you want to see more, please consider donating: 
Paypal

If you don't use Paypal, you can also go to our Facebook page and click the blue "Donate" button under our cover photo on the right. 

Finally, some of Monica's most popular October memes. Happy (late) Halloween!

Monday, November 2, 2020

We Asked, You Answered: Navigating Abortion Discussions in the Workplace

We posed this scenario to our Facebook followers:

Scene: You're at work. Coworker A starts casually repeating pro-choice talking points to Coworker B, clearly in earshot of you and several other coworkers. Coworker B agrees politely, though doesn't seem particularly invested in the conversation. They commiserate on their general dislike of pro-lifers and their perceptions of the weaknesses in pro-life arguments. None of the other coworkers participate. How, if it all, do you respond? And why would you respond the way you do?

Here are a few of our favorite responses.

Michael W.: "Would you be surprised to learn I'm pro-life?" They usually are. Then they tell you about their misconceptions of pro-lifers (how they're "not like you") and you can politely shoot them down one by one.

Patty J.: I am the only pro-lifer at my workplace. Some co-workers are more open-minded than others. This issue (and many other leftist political issues) come up a lot. I pick and choose my battles and consider how these battles will impact the work environment. Luckily I am respected professionally so my differing views don't lead to harassment.

Sophie T.: I've never existed in the same universe as shy, so I'd approach them and out myself as pro-life. I'd then try to engage them, but especially Coworker B, in conversation about what being pro-life really means to me and debunk some of the stereotypes. It's hard to hate and fear people if you actually know them, if they're names, faces, and personalities instead of just an ideology. Just like the pro-choicers always say you probably know someone who has had an abortion, everyone knows somebody who's pro-life.

Nat K.: I've been in these shoes. I simply said "I believe life begins at conception and the government's primary job is to protect life. In order to change my mind, you have to draw a hard line between conception and death where life actually begins." Nobody ever has.

Sarah F.: This actually happened once, in a setting where getting into a big argument would have been a huge problem. I didn't say anything because I was afraid that once I got started I would actually start screaming at them (I was pregnant at the time, and they knew it).

No Termination Without Representation: I would close my eyes and meditate till I felt ready for a calm and powerful response.

Melissa M.: Depends greatly on the dynamics and personalities involved in the scenario. A lot of the time I hear people talking about abortion in public, they're feeling troll-y and angling for a spat. Not a great use of time and energy to chase that rabbit.

Rachel S.: "I'm pro-life!" Most are too passive to actually take up debate with you, especially at work. If they do, the easiest way to address any untrue/feeble opinions about a group of people is to say, "but I fit under that ideology, and I don't think that. This is what I, and friends like me actually think," and continue from there.

Nicole C.: I'd probably point out that this kind of conversation is NOT work appropriate. I'd mention that I am pro-life and would gladly have a conversation OUTSIDE work sometime if they wanna go over pro-life arguments but NOT at work.

Lauren M.: Sometimes I don't outright speak against, I'll engage in a conversation based on common ground issues, or I'll say I consider myself a "pro-life feminist", or something along those lines, which often brings on intrigue rather than disdain. It kinda depends on the vibe, however I will almost always respond in some way and ultimately bring it back to women deserve the world to wholly embrace our biology rather than convince us to follow male biological standards ingrained in society. Also, focusing on contraception is a big common ground!

Nicole P.: I'd let it slip at some point that I volunteer at a pregnancy center while at work one day. Then I'd mention all the amazing pro life things the center does.

[Photo credit: Brooke Cagle on Unsplash]