Friday, July 29, 2011

Youth Organize Clinic Outreach in San Diego

This morning I had the honor of joining a group of college-age young people outside of Doctor Kung's abortion clinic in San Diego.  It was wonderful to see 17 year old twins, Jarah and Jerial Burke, organize a group of students to sidewalk counsel and hold signs outside of the abortion clinic so early in the morning.  Signs displaying the beautiful development of life were visible to the cars as they passed the clinic this morning.

A group of five students from John Paul the Great Catholic University, students from Rancho Cucamonga, and others from all over southern California participated in their first Prolife activism event.  Below is the testimony from Nick Van Lieshout:

"Today I had the opportunity to participate in a Pro-Life event organized through my school's Pro-Life club and sponsored by Live Action San Diego. Along with fellow students from my school, John Paul the Great Catholic University, we joined members of the Live Action team outside a clinic in Vista, holding signs, handing out literature, and sidewalk chalking to promote the sanctity of life. The weather was nice and the group we went with was fun and energetic. As both a college student and a member of the Pro-Life Club, it's great to be able to join up with other individuals from around the area and share in our common goal. While our efforts may not have been on the scale of the Walk for Life in San Francisco, it still has an impact. All it takes is one sign, one voice to make someone change their mind. I look forward to future events and encourage anyone interested to join us next time!"
Standing In Defence of the Voiceless,

NRLC and NARAL agree

The National Right to Life Committee and NARAL Pro-Choice America have each released reports on the Republican field of presidential candidates. They agree that all of the most prominent candidates oppose abortion. It appears that pro-life groups have mostly forgiven Romney's earlier opposition to prenatal rights-- and that his former pro-choice supporters have officially bailed on him. (Neither group bothered to address pro-abortion Republican and former governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson.)

As a consequence, the right to life is unlikely to be an issue during the primaries. NRLC and other pro-life organizations are declining to endorse a candidate at this time.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Midweek News Roundup: 07/27/11

Domestic News: In North Carolina, the state House voted to override the veto of Governor Bev Perdue (D) who vetoed a measure to require a waiting period before an abortion. The override now goes to the NC Senate, leaders of which seem to think they have the votes. South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley (R) has decided against appealing a court injunction on the implementation of a new law requiring a three day waiting period and requiring a woman to seek counseling before an abortion. Planned Parenthood brought the suit which lead to the injunction. Minnesota abortion statistics showed a 7% drop year over year leading to a historic low in the state's abortion rate. Many credit Minnesota's Positive Alternatives program, which began under Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) in July 2006.

International News: A Japanese study has found that from 2000 to 2010 the number of abortions performed due to fetal abnormalities has doubled from the number performed in the previous 10 years. In Taiwan, recent statistics show that for every live birth there are three abortions performed. Statistics also show that Taiwan has the lowest fertility rate in Asia.

Discussion Topic: Now that the 2012 field appears to be set, what potential Presidential candidate do you feel best reflects your values on life issues?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Minnesota abortions lowest since 1975

The Minnesota Department of Health just announced the state's 2010 abortion statistics. Abortions dropped 7% from 2009. This is the fourth straight year of decline, and the lowest number of abortions since the mid-1970s!

The decline is unusual, because the state's population has grown considerably since 1975. In addition, we would expect the number of abortions to increase dramatically during an economic downturn, since most abortions are done for socioeconomic reasons.

Thanks to the efforts of pro-life Minnesotans, this did not happen. Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) credits several factors. First among these is the Positive Alternatives program, legistated in 2006, which provides grants to pregnancy support organizations. Positive Alternatives has served over 25,000 women. Other pro-life victories that likely played a role in the decline are the Women's Right to Know law, which requires abortion centers to tell patients the truth about fetal development, and the requirement of parental notification for minors seeking abortions.

While this news is encouraging, pro-life advocates will not rest until abortions are down to zero:
“The fact that 11,505 pregnant women last year still believed that abortion was their only or best option underscores the enormous need for women to find alternatives to abortion,” [MCCL director Scott] Fischbach said. “Minnesota needs to continue to establish greater protections for unborn children and their mothers. The Department of Health statistics clearly show that help provided by Positive Alternatives and other legislative measures drive down abortion numbers as women find life-affirming alternatives.”

Monday, July 25, 2011

One civil judgment, one closure!

Two pro-life victories to bring to your attention today!

An Orlando jury held that late-term abortionist James Pendergraft must pay $36 million to the victim of a botched abortion. The baby girl he attempted to kill is now ten years old; she suffers from cerebral palsy and other serious health problems as a result of Pendergraft's "safe and legal procedure." As documents, this is not the first time Pendergraft has committed abortion malpractice. Hopefully, it will be the last.

40 Days for Life reports that the Family Planning Medical Clinic abortion center in La Puente, California is closing. According to the California Catholic Daily, the center's 77-year-old owner has a history of operating shoddy centers, and Family Planning Medical Clinic was no exception.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

What should be our #1 priority?

Jill Stanek just closed a poll on the question "What needs to happen first for the pro-life movement to acheive its goal of stopping abortion?" I thought the results were pretty interesting.

The most popular answer, by far, was "Change public opinion on abortion," at 36.6%. My own pick was "Get more media supporting the pro-life message," because I see that as a prerequisite to changing public opinion (remember, the question is what must happen first). But only 6.1% agreed with me. Another closely related answer, "Change the image of the pro-life movement," came in at 10.1%.

The second-place finisher was "Get more people praying to end abortion," with 21.1%. Jill says she finds this "troubling," while commenter Tony says "What would be troublesome is if the entire pro-life movement was made up only of Christians." As for me: I have nothing at all against prayer, but if praying for an end to abortion is step #1, then we must already be at step #2, because there are already lots of people praying for an end to abortion (see, e.g., 40 Days for Life).

Coming in third was "Stop funding the abortion industry" at 11.8%. This may be due to the recent push to defund Planned Parenthood; would this have even been an option on the poll if it were conducted two years ago? Interestingly, only 1.5% chose "Close more abortion mills." Perhaps they think that if closures come first-- without a change in public opinion-- there will be a backlash and the pro-life victory would be temporary. There may be something to that.

Relatively few voters (3.6%) went with "Open more pregnancy resource centers." This may have to do with how the poll was worded; plenty of PRCs exist, and rather than building more, it's probably better to focus our resources on improving those that already exist. 1.9% voted for "Get more people healed," which I assume refers to post-abortion recovery.

Finally, I was surprised to see little interest in the political approach: 3.6% for "Reduce the power of the courts" and 3.6% for "Register more voters and elect more pro-life candidates."

Friday, July 22, 2011

Youth Activated and Educated -- Survivors ProLife Training Camp 2011

Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust -- a pro-life youth organization dedicated to activating and educating youth to the pro-life movement -- just finished their 14th annual ProLife Training Camp. This camp was filled with an action packed 12 days of intense training by leading pro-life activists followed up by an array of activism events all over the Los Angeles and Orange County area.

Memoria Die-In at Huntington Beach

This 60+ person camp gave youth a crash course in abortion related education and activism. Guest speakers included Rev. Patrick Mahoney from the Christian Defense Coalition, Kristan Hawkins from Students for Life of America, Alan Schlemon from Stand to Reason, Allison Aranda from Life Legal Defence, Don Blythe (AKA Uncle Don) well known sidewalk counselor who is responsible for saving hundreds if not thousands of children outside of abortion clinics, Brandi Swindell from Stanton Healthcare, Seth Drayer from Created Equal, and many other experienced professionals. Some of the training topics included:

  • ‘Why Prolife: The Child & The Woman’
  • Fetal development
  • History of the abortion movement
  • Pro-life apologetics
  • Abortion industry
  • Media interviews
  • Event photography and videography
  • Persuasively defending life
  • Social media activism
  • Chastity
  • Sidewalk counseling
  • Event planning
  • Police liaison -- knowing your legal rights and how to defend them
I personally had the honor of training the new young pro-life activists on ‘Why ProLife: the Child’, social media activism, media interviews, how to write a press release, and videography and photography.

After three days of intense training these activists were ready to take their knowledge to the streets where they conducted their own: show the truth outreaches at Huntington, Venice, and Newport beaches, and educated about abortion, side walk counseled at two abortion clinics in Los Angeles, performed more than 5 pro-life flash mobs all over Los Angeles (see video below), and held many other events in the Los Angeles area.

This camp not only brought new people to the pro-life movement, educated thousands of people in Los Angeles and Orange County, and trained new leader who will stand for life; it also created strong bonds among over 60 young people, young people who will not be silent while their brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, and friends are slaughtered in the womb.

These young people will stand against the injustice of abortion, educate their peers, and will not stop until every life is treated with the dignity it deserves!

Despite 3 physical assaults on Survivors Campers by those who disagree with our prolife message, Survivors had a successful event where many people changed their views on abortion. Event leaders did a fantastic job organizing the outreach at Venice Beach, and police liaisons were extremely effective in working with the police to protect the Survivors' right to free speech and to stand up for those in the group who were assaulted.

Standing In Defence of the Voiceless,

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Midweek News Roundup: 07/21/11

Hey all - I'm a day behind, but here's some quick hits of recent news

Domestic News: Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) signed legislation yesterday which banned abortion after 20 weeks after performing a viability test. If an abortion is requested after 20 weeks of pregnancy, a test for viability of the fetus will be required; if the fetus is viable, the abortion can not take place. Texas is following Indiana's lead as Governor Rick Perry (R) signed legislation defunding Planned Parenthood of taxpayer dollars. He also signed two other pieces of pro-life legislation, including a bill which, according to LifeNews, "...prevents local tax funding for elective abortions by hospital districts." North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue (D) vetoed legislation requiring a waiting period before an abortion can be performed. Pro-life legislators are looking for one additional supporter to override her veto.

International News: Russian President Dmitri A. Medvedev signed legislation which requires abortion clinics to devote 10% of any advertising to describe the dangers abortions pose to a woman's health as well as making it illegal to describe abortions as a safe procedure. Pro-life legislators in Russia are pushing for additional legislation including further restrictions on abortions. Russian Orthodox Church leaders have been active in pushing for this legislation.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pro-Life Youth Website Hacked

Students for Life of America (SFLA) reports that has been hacked. connected pro-life students with opportunities for activism, such as internships at major pro-life organizations; it also let users set up automatic pro-life status updates for facebook and twitter. Currently, the site has no function at all. SFLA fairly assumes that was targeted for its pro-life work, but to the best of my knowledge, no pro-choice individual or group has claimed responsibility yet. was launched fairly recently, but SFLA already knows of one baby whose life may have been saved by the site. SFLA executive director Kristan Hawkins released a statement saying "Make no mistake about it: pro-abortion activists attacked us precisely because we are saving lives."

"This breach of security was a direct attack on the entire pro-life community," Hawkins added. "We cannot allow such dirty tricks to go unanswered. Let’s rebuild bigger and better than ever before!"

SFLA is seeking donations to do just that. I've contributed $25. Will you match me?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Do pregnancy centers "depend on deceiving women"?

Recently, pro-abortion blogger Amanda Marcotte wrote in opposition to the court decision which struck down New York City's anti-pregnancy center law. She makes the usual accusations against pregnancy centers, always citing personal testimonies from CPC Watch, which is not exactly an unbiased source. She takes them as gospel, but has no problem rejecting the video evidence against Planned Parenthood as "doctored" and "lies." For me, the absence of a Live Action-style attack against pregnancy centers-- with video, across many states-- speaks volumes.

But I digress. The central issue in this article is the claim that pregnancy centers "depend on deceiving women who walk through their doors into thinking they're going to get actual medical care"-- which, coming from Marcotte, means abortion. Sonograms, pregnancy testing, prenatal care, STD testing, and other services evidently don't count, since those are provided by many pregnancy centers.

Do pro-life centers and clinics depend on deception? There are thousands of pregnancy centers across the country, so it's always possible that there are some bad apples, but I don't believe that deceptive advertising is typical. Since Marcotte's rant was prompted by New York City, let's focus there. This is an advertisement for Expectant Mother Care, a pregnancy center with multiple locations in the big apple: This clearly advertises "Abortion Alternatives," not abortion. And, of course, no abortion business is free. There is absolutely nothing about this ad that would suggest that EMC is an abortion business. If a woman thinks that EMC is an abortion facility, it must be for reasons other than deliberate deception on EMC's part.

I suspect that, for some people, there's a thought process that goes something like this: "Here is a place that has something to do with crisis pregnancy. The only solution that's ever offered to women in my neighborhood is abortion. So maybe it's an abortion center." And who can blame them? Abortion centers far outnumber non-profit pregnancy help centers in New York City and other urban areas.
If you are pregnant and need assistance, visit to find a secular pregnancy center or to find a faith-based Christian center. If you're Jewish and live in the D.C./Maryland area, consider visiting In Shifra's Arms.

Friday, July 15, 2011 fundraising update

Cross-posted from Abortion Safety Project:
Project leader Kelsey Hazzard asked for contributions to for her birthday. As a result of this fundraising boost, we have now raised a total of nearly $1800! We greatly appreciate the generosity of all our supporters. Every dollar raised helps make abortion malpractice information available to all women.

It isn’t too late to contribute. You can make a donation of any size here.

Thank you!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

More free speech victories!

As I've said before, pro-life advocates are not only working to advance the rights of unborn children-- we are also a major force in the expansion of American free speech rights. Here are two recent victories in that arena.

First, a federal judge has enjoined a New York City ordinance regulating the speech of pro-life pregnancy centers and clinics. Judge Pauley's opinion eloquently argues that the law is a violation of our First Amendment rights. You can read more about the problems with the NYC law here and here.

Second, a group of pro-life teens who were unfairly arrested and strip-searched in 2008 have finally received justice:
Maryland state troopers handcuffed and arrested 18 pro-life advocates for sharing a peaceful pro-life message along a Bel Air, Maryland public street in August 2008. Among those arrested were three young women who were later shackled, strip-searched, and detained overnight by other police.

On Tuesday, Hon. Richard D. Bennett of the federal district court for the District of Maryland issued a 49-page opinion in a civil rights action filed by attorneys with the American Catholic Lawyers Association in 2009. The decision, following extensive motions for summary judgment by both plaintiffs and defendants, holds that the First and Fourth Amendment rights of the seven pro-life advocates who are the plaintiffs (as well as two pro-life advocates represented by the Alliance Defense Fund) were violated when the state troopers arrested and jailed them.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Midweek News Roundup: 7/13/2011

Hey All. I've been gone a while - here's the reason for it. Anyway, I'm back so on to the news.

Domestic News: Lawmakers in New Jersey were unable to override a line-item veto from Governor Chris Christie (R) of Planned Parenthood funding. Only 24 State Senators voted to overturn Christie's veto. LifeNews compiled abortion statistics from Planned Parenthood showing the number of abortions they are performing a year. The numbers are staggering - as is a chart showing the increase in the early 2000s. To put it in perspective - there were over 100,000 more abortions performed in 2009 than in 1999. Ohio may be the next state to ban abortions after 20 weeks. Lawmakers are expected to approve the measure today and Governor Kasich (R) is expected to sign the measure. Abortionists in Kansas are seeking a court ruling to prevent new safety requirements from going into effect.

International News: In Poland, pro-life activists have reportedly collected 600,000 signatures in a 2 week timeframe to push forward a measure to prohibit all abortions in the country. They were given three months to collect 100,000 signatures and appear to have far surpassed the requirement. As I am unfamiliar with the Polish legal system, I am not sure exactly what the next step is in the legal process. Despite recent relaxing of abortion laws, it appears that the abortion rate in Spain has been dropping. The report specifically shows that teenagers are choosing life at a higher rate.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Google+ a new tool for the pro-life movement?

Google recently launched a new social networking platform, Google+, to compete with Facebook. At the moment, it's invitation-only, but growing; those who have invitations are then free to invite their friends. The Huffington Post reports that non-profit groups have been eager to join:
Some early adopting social activists lucky enough to be invited to test-drive Google+ planned to use it to organize questions for President Obama's Twitter town hall Wednesday, she said.

And although Google is focusing on individual profiles and not encouraging the equivalent of organizational Facebook fan pages, some nonprofits are "hacking to get it," said Beth Kanter, a blogger who focuses on how nonprofits are using social media to bring about change.

KaBoom, which helps communities build children's playgrounds, has started a Google+ site. So has the group Bullying UK, which already has more than 3,000 people in its circle.
But Google is trying to hold back the tide and reserve Google+ for individuals, at least for the time being.

Pro-life activists have found Facebook and other social media sites to be a useful tool for organizing pro-life campaigns, educating undecided people, and reaching out to mothers in crisis pregnancies. It's only a matter of time before Google+ joins our toolbox.

If you're using Google+, what do you think of it? Do you see opportunities for pro-life outreach? Should Secular Pro-Life join early?

Monday, July 11, 2011

17 days

This is a story of life and perseverance and I encourage you to never let go of the ones you love:

Jim O’Brien’s sister was close to giving birth to her little boy when her doctor realized there was something wrong with her son in the womb. After the child was born he was diagnosed with Golden Har Syndrome and doctors didn’t believe he would make it . . .

His uncle Jim O’Brien shares:
 When my sister gave birth to her first child, who was diagnosed with a very rare syndrome, the doctors at Stanford Medical Center advised her that the child would not live beyond 17 days. If the child, Danny, were to somehow pull through, he would “be a vegetable”.

Thank God my sister ignored the “doctors playing God” advice. She moved into his emergency room, responded immediately when problems occurred while nurses were on breaks or too busy, and saved his life countless times. The next few years were exhausting as together, the family kept meeting the challenges and beating the odds. My sister, brother in law and Danny never quit with this struggle and never quit with God.
Seventeen years later Danny was moving into the dormitory to begin his medical studies at The University of Stanford. He never had a grade below an “A” in any subject, was elected Class President, served on the ASB Council all 4 years of high school and was Captain of the Cross Country and Track Teams. 
On June 6th, 2011 our family attended the Hooding Ceremony for Doctor Danny who begins his rounds today as a pediatrician. I don’t expect this new doctor to ever doubt the will of a child, a family and most importantly: God.
Isn't it beautiful to read about this family's courage and persistence, from having the baby to refusing to pull the plug when doctors advised "letting go".  I hope this story is an inspiration to all who have struggled and will struggle with sick children both inside and outside of the womb. We must  be persistent in life affirming beliefs from conception to natural death and not waver in our beliefs based on the situation.  Isn’t it ironic that this once sick baby has now graduated from Stanford Medical School?  This is the same institution where his parents were advised to let go.   I strongly believe Jim O’Brien’s nephew will be an advocate for life, and certainly one that is prudent in advising people when to let go of human life.

Standing In Defence of the Voiceless,

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Five days old and doing amazing things

I thought this was really neat:
A recent study presented at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology shows that in the first five days of his existence, the tiniest of human beings has the capacity to heal himself of genetic abnormalities. ... Professor William G. Kearns told the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology that a three-day-old embryo (called a cleavage stage embryo) with an incorrect number of chromosomes (known as “aneuploidy”) was capable of undergoing “a dynamic process of genetic normalisation” so that by day five, when it had developed to the blastocyst stage, it had become euploid, with the correct number of chromosomes.
This is a significant development in our understanding of prenatal life. It is also significant because, unfortunately, embryos conceived by in vitro fertilization are often killed if they appear to have genetic abnormalities, a process called pre-implantation diagnosis. The new study suggests that many of these embryos would have grown up to be perfectly healthy, if they were only given the chance.

Sadly, this knowledge has come at a price: the researchers killed at least one human embryo.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Your tax dollars at work: 300 confirmed deaths in D.C.

Every year, pro-lifers in Congress must fight to preserve numerous budget riders that protect unborn children. The most famous of these is the Hyde Amendment, which forbids abortion payments through federal Medicaid, with exceptions for rape, incest, and the mother's life. Experts on both sides estimate that the Hyde Amendment has saved over one million lives since it was first enacted in 1976.

Let's dwell on this. There are approximately 145,437,000 Americans under the age of 35. One in 145 would be dead if pro-abortion groups had gotten their way. How many people under 35 are friends with you on facebook? How many, statistically, would have "disappeared" without Hyde?

There's another rider which is less well-known. The Dornan Amendment prohibits abortion spending through federal funds in the District of Columbia. This rider failed for two years under the Obama administration, but has since been restored.

During just those two years, we paid for the deaths of 300 unborn children. True, some would likely have been killed anyway. But others could have survived, if it weren't for our "help."

It's easy to get glossy-eyed when we hear talk of taxes and budget riders and negotiations and amendments. We cannot afford to forget what these battles are really about: life and death.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

It's National Fertility Awareness Month!

This is a wonderful guest post by Louisa Millington . . .

While at the gym last week, it came to my attention that I had let June almost completely run its course without paying tribute to National Fertility Awareness Month.  I was shaken out of my blissful ignorance when I came across an episode of The View.  In observance of National Fertility Awareness Month, the ladies of The View were dedicating an hour to Surrogacy.  As I watched, and peddled, a question began to develop:  If the surrogate decides to abort, is it still her body, her choice?   As the question continued to brew in my head over the next few days, I happened upon a second occasion to consider the issue of surrogacy while sitting at a book store killing time, waiting for my daughter’s flight to arrive.  While I sat quietly reading, a pregnant Asian woman sat next to me, and within the course of thirty minutes she was joined by five other pregnant women.   I must admit my curiosity got the better of me, and I began to make conversation.   The woman next to me told me she, and the group of women with her, were all from China.  Now having just seen the surrogacy episode of The View, and then finding myself in the company of six pregnant women from China, it got me thinking.  My mind very quickly jumped to the thought that these women could be part of the Chinese “wombs for rent” industry.  While these two surrogacy experiences open up a whole range of questions, I did get the sense that I was being called to explore some of those questions.

I’ll start with my first question:  If a surrogate decides to abort, is it still her body, her choice?   The quick answer is, yes. If you are unfamiliar with surrogacy, it is fairly simple.   There are two basic types of surrogacy, traditional and gestational.   Traditional uses the host surrogate’s egg and either donor sperm or sperm from the intended father to impregnate the host; there is a genetic relationship to the surrogate in traditional surrogacy.  Gestational surrogacy uses either donor sperm and eggs or the sperm and eggs of the intended father and mother to impregnate the host surrogate; there is no genetic relationship to the surrogate in gestational surrogacy.   Most people that choose surrogacy, as opposed to IVF or adoption, do so out of a desire to have a genetic relationship with the child.  There are only six states in the United States that permit surrogacy contracts:  Arkansas, California, Illinois (gestational surrogacy only), Massachusetts, New Jersey (uncompensated surrogacy agreements only), and Washington (uncompensated surrogacy agreements only).   The remaining states have no surrogacy laws, mixed/ambiguous laws, or surrogacy is not legal.  Surrogacy contracts are typically legal contracts where portions of the contracts can be unenforceable, particularly any portion of a contract that would require a surrogate host to continue a pregnancy against her will.   A surrogate mother has the option at any time to continue or end the pregnancy and there is nothing the intended parents can do to change the fact that this is her exclusive right (even with a legal contract).

As I have perused the surrogacy message boards, I have learned that abortion is a hot topic in the surrogacy community.  It can become an issue when selective reduction comes in to play, when the potential for a “defective” child becomes an issue, when a surrogate or intended parents change their mind, or when intended parents become unable to pay their bill.  I’ve read stories of intended parents that have paid tens of thousands of dollars only to have their genetic property arbitrarily destroyed by a surrogate that changed her mind.   These parents weep over their lost child, their lost parenthood, while the surrogate mom exercises her right to privacy.  Imagine the dichotomy of positions.  While many, if not most, of these families are ardent supporters of women’s reproductive rights, these same families lament the loss of their “child”.  So whose property is that growing human?  Many try to sue for performance of contract; however the sad reality is, the child in the womb is chattel owned by the mother carrying him or her.  Many have tried to apply commerce laws, laws applying to the selling of goods and services, to the surrogacy contract; once again a woman’s right to privacy supersedes commerce law in this instance.   I am struck at this point by the offensive objectification of these children, pawns used by surrogates to improve their financial situation and by intended parents attempting to satisfy their desire to have a genetic relationship with a child. This thing, this child, that sees its net worth rising and falling based on human desire and the ability to perform.

Now, what about those six women from China? Once again I was faced with dueling challenges; China’s forced subjugation of women with respect to their ability to have more than one child and the burgeoning womb for rent industry in China.  As I researched, I came across many articles about the Chinese government cracking down on the womb for rent industry, and stories of the Chinese government strapping teenage women to tables as they insert needles into their bellies to begin the abortion process, a situation not unfamiliar to many Chinese women that have been subjected to forced abortions (even when the little ones were intended to remain within their genetic families).  I doubt many of you are asking why Chinese women would be used for surrogates, in case you are, the answer is cheap labor.  The cost of surrogacy with a Chinese or Indian woman ranges from $12,000 to $30,000 compared to the cost of a US surrogate which costs upward of $70,000.  While continuing my research I also learned that many military wives are becoming surrogates in order to supplement pay, particularly those whose husbands are being deployed for long periods of time.  Women, how far have we come to sink so low?  Women of all skin color are selling their fertility to improve their financial situations, allowing themselves to be used as a tool to satisfy their desires and the desires of others.

Dare I risk broaching another surrogacy question? What about the risks of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)?  In order to achieve pregnancy IVF is perfomed.  Drugs are given to an egg donor to hyper stimulate ovary production.   A woman’s pelvic area swells to about twice its normal size and if you think PMS is bad during normal ovulation can you imagine being in the presence of woman whose ovaries have been hyper stimulated, or can you imagine being that woman?  Most women produce only one egg per cycle. Egg donors will produce anywhere from 5-35 eggs.  Did I mention the possible association between IVF and breast and ovarian cancer. Do your own research, check with the National Institute of Health.

In the final analysis, I would say BUYER AND SELLER BEWARE.  There is an overwhelming amount of using and abusing of the human person involved in designing a baby that is genetically related to the intended parents.  In addition to the utilization of the child, it deprives the child of his or her filial relationship with his or her parents and their extended family, it creates a disruption in both the societal role and the obligation of parenting, it creates a disruption to the institution of marriage (the historical purpose of marriage is unity and the pro-creation and raising of children), and creates disorder in the fabric of society.

It’s National Fertility Awareness month.  Be aware of those that are seeking, without success to achieve pregnancy, and be of support in word and in deed. Be knowledgeable of ethical resources for achieving pregnancy such as Natural Family Planning and NaPro Technology Both have been hugely successful in helping couples struggling with infertility to achieve pregnancy. Not all infertile couples will be open to discussing such an intimate topic, so perhaps providing the couple with written information will be the least intrusive route to take. Most of all, be an informed voice of support and sanity.

Louisa Millington

Louisa Millington is a proud mom of four children and has been married to her husband Tim for 21 years.  She has spent her adult life in service to Life & Dignity issues.  In 1994, with her husband and a small group of people from the Lake Arrowhead area, Louisa opened Veronica's Maternity Home.  Hundreds of children have been born out of Veronica's Home and hundreds of women have changed their lives through the housing, education, life training, and love provided by Veronica's Home.  In 1996 Louisa began to work with the Respect Life Office of the Diocese of San Bernardino and since then has been fortunate to work on legislative issues and projects on a local, state and national level.  She considers herself blessed to have had so many opportunities to serve and equally blessed by the friends and acquaintances she has made along the way.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Thoughts on Pro-Choice Violence Site

Today's story:
Human Life International has revised and updated its web site that chronicles violent, illegal and harassing actions by abortion practitioners and abortion supporters.

HLI staffer Dr. Brian Clowes, director of research for the pro-life group and the lead researcher for HLI’s “Pro-Choice Violence” project, says the web site provides extensive research on the surprising amount of violence perpetrated by abortion practitioners and the proponents of “choice,” compared to the relatively few violent crimes committed by “pro-life” advocates.

. . .

“The point of this project is not to demonize any person who defends the false ‘right’ to choose abortion, it is to set the story straight,” Clowes added. “Countless television shows hold up an archetype of the loud, abusive, or even violent pro-lifer attacking the well-intentioned, heroic abortionist who is supposedly just trying to help women. News reports dwell on the real and sometimes fabricated crimes against abortionists, and routinely refuse to cover real crimes committed by those who either perform abortions or use violence to intimidate pro-lifers.”
First of all, I had visited the site prior to the update, and it is much better organized now. So, well done. And there is definitely a lot of useful information, such as the list of maternal deaths from legal abortions.

But I'm ambivalent about the basic concept: clearing the collective pro-life name by pointing out that pro-choicers are worse.

In a Facebook conversation with a pro-choice friend the other day, I wrote:
No movement-- including pro-life and pro-choice-- should be judged by its extremist fringe. If that were the rule, a lot of historical movements that we look upon favorably would be screwed. Unfortunately, whenever a cause gets large enough, you hit a critical mass where some nutjob is inevitably going to join and ruin things for everyone else...
In short, we really need to move beyond the ad hominem attacks. And sometimes, the best way to do that may be to ignore them, and just go about helping mothers and babies in need.

I realize that Human Life International is not at all suggesting that every abortion supporter is a violent criminal. And they may figure that the media is so biased that there is no other way for them to effectively make their ultimate point, which is that the pro-life movement is a relatively peaceful one. Still, I'm uneasy about the direction of this debate.

Maybe an analogy will help. It's akin to a certain religious flamewar that has repeated itself on countless threads across the internet. It goes something like this: "Look at the Crusades!" "Oh YEAH? Stalin was an atheist and he killed millions of people!" "Oh YEAH? Well the Conquistadors..." and on and on, the implicit idea being that somehow, whoever leaves the thread with the lower body count must hold the key to the meaning of life. Neither is accusing the other of personally being a killer, but it's still not a terribly productive conversation, if you ask me.

What say our readers?

Stories from the weekend

I hope everyone had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend. Here are a few of the pro-life stories that I found most interesting, all from

In Kansas, Judge Carlos Murguia has enjoined the state's health and safety regulations for abortion facilities. This means that two abortion centers that had failed to meet the requirements will remain in business as their legal challenge works its way through the court system.

Luis Zaffirini of the National Right to Life Committee recognizes some outstanding volunteers from their recent convention.

Ireland's Rally for Life was a great success, with somewhere between 7000 and 8000 in attendance-- their largest rally yet! Ireland is a pro-life country, but advocates must be vigilant, as the abortion movement is actively trying to turn public opinion against laws that protect unborn children.

Fairfax County, Virginia resident Charisse Glassman faces criminal charges. She is accused of deliberately hitting a pro-life woman with her car during the D.C. March for Life in January. (The pro-life woman is physically okay.) Glassman was running for the local school board, but after the charges became public knowledge, she withdrew her candidacy.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fourth of July Weekend

The blog is on hiatus for the Fourth of July weekend.

I wish our American readers a very happy Independence Day!

(Non-American readers are welcome to have an enjoyable weekend, too.)