Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mexican Supreme Court Upholds Baja California Law

The Mexican state of Baja California amended their Constitution in 2008 to define life as beginning at conception. The amendment made it all the way to the Supreme Court which upheld the law. Mexico requires 8 of the 11 members of their Supreme Court to vote in favor of overturning a law for it to be overturned; 7 voted against the Baja California measure. In 2008, the Mexican Supreme Court upheld a law in Mexico City, which is treated as its own state, that legalized abortion within its border. Here's an excerpt from the LA Times piece on the ruling:
Abortion foes in Mexico scored a victory Wednesday when the Supreme Court narrowly upheld a provision of Baja California's state constitution saying life begins at conception.

Although seven of the court's 11 justices deemed the measure unconstitutional, they were short of the eight votes needed to overturn it.

The court debate carried heightened suspense because two of the tribunal's 11 members have joined since the court's 2008 ruling upholding a Mexico City law allowing access to abortion. As it turned out, one new judge voted to uphold the Baja California measure and the other voted to invalidate it.

Abortion opponents who had been camped outside the Supreme Court building whooped with glee at word of the ruling. In Baja California, Catholic Archbishop Rafael Romo of Tijuana hailed it as "a positive decision."

Advocates for reproductive rights called the close ruling a temporary setback in the country's abortion debate...The court, ruling after three days of debate, next takes up a challenge to a similar anti-abortion law in the central state of San Luis Potosi.

The two cases have been watched as a measure of abortion rights in Mexico, where more than a dozen states have enacted similar laws as a response to a move by Mexico City to legalize abortion in 2007. Outside the capital, abortion is already illegal, except in some circumstances, but it is infrequently prosecuted.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pro-life atheist's review of 180 Movie

[Editor's note: Today's post is by Patrick Ptomey. It originally appeared on his blog and is reprinted with permission. The film is embedded at the end of the post.]

I've been an outspoken supporter of the protection of all human life for just as long as I have been a non-theist.

It's not news that a large majority of people in the pro-life movement are Christian. And they aren't afraid of letting you know that abortion is wrong according to the Bible. They use abortion as a stepping stone to encourage people to turn to god. This is the problem with the pro-life movement. Society and the media have become so disillusioned by the overlapping and intermingling of religion and abortion that abortion has become a religious issue instead of a human rights issue. The result: to be a Christian you must be pro-life, and to be an Atheist you must be pro-choice. Never mind this neglects all the other religions of the world; which is proof that converting others to Christianity is the biggest goal of the Christian pro-life movement.

As you can grasp, I'm not in favor of religiously charged pro-life arguments. This has been written about numerous times by fellow pro-life secularists, so I'll save my rant for a later date.

I am writing this blog in response to a video posted by Ray Comfort last Wednesday, the 21st of September. The short film is titled "180" Movie and compares the horrors of the German Holocaust to the horrors of abortion in the U.S. using simple logic. Ray interviews dozens of young adults about their feelings towards the Holocaust, some of whom were unfazed by the loss of life. He proceeds to put the guests into hypothetical situations, forcing them to choose between their own self-comfort and the lives of helpless others. This comparison of Nazi Germany to abortion is not unprecedented, but for some of you it may be the first time you see the two side by side. Watch as he puts people into awkward situations by catching their contradicting positions.

Although I am not a fan of Ray Comfort for obvious reasons, I have to hand it to him.

He did a wonderful job arguing for the protection of unborn human lives by capitalizing on the illogical and contradicting mindset of countless people. The best part is that he did this without bringing religion into the discussion. This is proof that people can understand abortion is wrong regardless of their belief system. I hope all of Ray's fan base can see that abortion can be argued on a moral ground, using the issue of human rights to make their case. I have my doubts though.

Like I mentioned above, Christians often times use the abortion issue to make a case for their god. Just as I was applauding Ray's method of debate, I should have expected some plug for god. Ray spends the last ten minutes of the film explaining that people should repent because we are a "self-admitted lying, thief, blasphemer, adulterer at heart." Weren't we just talking about abortion a minute ago, Ray? I guess I should have known that he was going to throw in the 'Hell Card', but I encourage everyone to watch at least the first twenty minutes of the video. Also, be careful to note that this video is highly edited and may feature reconstructed questions and answers.

A story we missed

My apologies for bringing this story to you so late. It's easy to forget things that fall on the same day as the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

September 11 is the anniversary of another attack as well. It was on September 11, 2009 that Jim Pouillon was murdered while displaying a pro-life sign. The killer, Harlan Drake, also murdered a local businessman with whom he had a personal feud. For the two murders, Drake received two life sentences.

Mr. Pouillon has been gone for two years, but his memory remains.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Caring for Women.

So I was reading this RealChoice blog post about a woman who went into a CPC by mistake, was shown her sonogram, and now, years after her abortion, still gets upset thinking of the images from the sonogram.  The RealChoice author had some insightful commentary and I recommend you read the article all the way through.  (You can also read SPL’s insightful commentary about the same woman here.)

However, I am struck by the way the two sides of the abortion debate view their own approaches and their opponents’ approaches toward women.

Pro-life view of CPC workers (from the RealChoice blog post)
They treated the pregnant woman “like a human being, like somebody important, with relationships and a capacity to be a good mother.”  They were “kind, honest, forthright, and trying to treat her like a complete human being with real needs and capabilities.”

Pro-choice view of CPC workers (from this Abortioneers blog post):
 CPCs “basically lie to women and say whatever to convince visitors not to have an abortion. They’ll tell you that you’ll get breast cancer, that you’ll become infertile, that God will not forgive you, that you’ll spend an eternity burning in Hell – if you get this abortion.”

Pro-life view of abortion clinic workers (from the RealChoice blog post)
The abortion facilities “feed you comfortable lies until they have your money, and then lose all interest in you.”  At Planned Parenthood the pregnant woman could expect to be “patronized, processed, and lied to.”
Abortion clinic worker’s perspective on assisting women in obtaining abortions (from another Abortioneers blog post)
Don’t **** with her about her relationship or question if she’s sure she doesn’t want to try a new birth control method (because, this one failed. Right?). If she sighs deep, looks like she hasn’t slept, seems distant: just ****ing hold her hand. Show her kindness. Let her breathe.” (Emphasis in original.)

It’s clear to me that there are people on both sides of the debate who care a great deal about women even while they have very different ideas of how best to show that care.  And while in the abortion debate—and nearly every other political debate—it’s simpler to vilify your ideological opponents and keep things black and white, I’m not sure how much that reflects reality.  I think it's important to understand what our opposition thinks if we are to effectively communicate.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Action Alert: Stop the Birth Control Mandate

On August 1, 2011 the Department of Health and Human Services decided to mandate coverage of birth control, surgical sterilization, and abortifacients in all private heathcare plans.

Are you a tax payer? Do you support Birth Control, Abortifacients (a drug or agent that causes abortion), and surgical sterilization? Well you’ll be providing these services for millions of Americana's to take advantage of at any time. Despite religious or moral beliefs you’re paying for it, and patients do not even have a co-pay for these services.

While I was sitting in urgent care the other day I couldn't get over the fact that the woman in front of me was 19 weeks pregnant and had to pay a $15 co-pay in order to see a doctor after she fell, couldn't walk, and was having severe back and stomach pain. While in contrast, August 1st Health and Human Services (HHS) mandated that private health plans will cover "preventative services": contraceptives, sterilization, and abortifacients with NO co-pay or out of pocket expenses for these services.

Now, I see nothing wrong with co-pays. But I find it ridiculous that a woman would not have to pay a dime to be sterilized, chemically abort her child, or prevent her body from naturally beginning human life while a woman who is pregnant, and severely hurt, has to pay to even get in the door at urgent care.

Please defend the consciences of millions of Americans who do not support abortifaceints, contraception, and sterilization. This will only take a few minutes:

  1. Health and Human Services is accepting comments on the issue at hand until September 30th. Please send an email through NCHLA’s action center in opposition to this mandate.
  2. Post the link to this article (**) on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites so that others can take action as well.

Standing In Defence of the Voiceless,

Timmerie Millington

Read Timmerie's Bio

Abortion after sonogram

Today's post is a review of an article on Jezebel, in which a pro-choicer describes visiting a pregnancy help center, viewing her unborn baby on a sonogram, and then having an abortion. The author now rails against pregnancy centers.

What I see above all in this story is a deep-seated grief that has been transformed into misdirected anger as a psychological defense mechanism. I cannot emphasize enough that I do not intend to demonize this woman. We all experience misdirected anger at times. But I think it's important for us to examine this closely, to try to understand the whirlwind of emotion, so that we can serve women in crisis pregnancies better.

The author was a 21-year-old pro-choicer who thought that she was only a couple weeks pregnant, and planned to take an abortion pill. But she learned from the pregnancy center that she was actually three and a half months along. They provided her with a sonogram, which confronted her with the humanity of her unborn baby:
Then she turned the monitor to me. I have so many little brothers and sisters. I was with my mother the first time she heard my younger siblings heartbeat. There was a heartbeat now, too.

. . .

I clutched my hand to my stomach and in the sonogram screen, an arm lifted. I took my arm away and the arm went back down. "Put your hand back up!" the older woman said. I did, and the tiny hand went up again. That's the moment that I can't get out of my head, to this day.
After speaking with a counselor, she was considering the possibility that she "could be a good mother." But she was ambivalent, and didn't make a follow-up appointment. She returned home, to a boyfriend who was eager to "take care of it." He took the sonogram printout and hid it from her-- but it was too late to undo her knowledge.
For me, the real anger didn't come until later when I actually went through with the abortion. I'm not saying it's ever easy for anyone, but all I could think about that day was the sonogram and that hand. There were tears streaming down my face when I was going under. I remember the anesthesiologist telling me, "Don't worry, it won't hurt," and I remember thinking, That's not what I'm crying about.
Of course, she was crying about the fact that her child-- whose movements she watched, whose heartbeat she heard-- was about to die.

But this self-insight is fleeting. She apparently thinks that if only she had been able to maintain her ignorance of human development, everything would have been fine. She blames the pregnancy center for allowing her to see the situation for what it really was. And now, she wants to impose her wished-for ignorance on other women by fighting sonogram laws.

Some things are just too much for the human heart to handle, and the knowledge that you're responsible for the death of a real live human being is one of them. She initially felt that the pregnancy center volunteers were honest and kind. But she can no longer feel that way, not after making the decision she made. And so, she demonizes the pregnancy center movement in an effort to avoid her grief. It isn't working, though: she says that "It's taken me the two years since [the abortion] not to break down every time I think about it."

This is the pain that thousands of women experience each year. This is why pro-lifers must be proactive in reaching out to women hurt by abortion, and it is why we must continue helping women choose life. Willful ignorance is not the answer.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Video: Obama & Planned Parenthood

I couldn't have summed it up better. Great job, SBA List!

YouTube's attempt at auto-captions fails big time, so here's the transcript:
"He was the most popular guy at the party. Big smiles and tall tales. But the longer he's stayed, the less he's liked. First the small businessmen left him, then union workers, college kids, and soccer moms. But through it all, one friend has stuck with Barack Obama: the abortion providers. [Cue romantic music] And his dedication knows no bounds! For them, he promised to shut down the entire federal government, threatened to slash Medicaid for the poor in Indiana, even offered to pay for abortion clinics in New Hampshire with our federal tax dollars. Barack Obama and Planned Parenthood-- they won't stop, until America turns off the music."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

NARAL - Profits over Women's Health

Barbara Hollingsworth of the Washington Examiner wrote a thought provoking piece entitled, "NARAL puts abortion profits over women's health." Worth the read. Here's an excerpt from the article:
Women of a certain age remember the bloody coat-hanger images brandished by abortion advocates that helped topple abortion laws in all 50 states.

But now that getting rid of unborn infants has been legal in the U.S. since Roe v. Wade in 1973, there's considerably less concern about women's health.

For example, pro-choice groups insist that abortions should be treated just like any other medical procedure. So why is NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia executive director Tarina Keene livid now that the Virginia Board of Health is doing exactly that?

After a standing-room-only public hearing lasting more than four hours, the board voted 12-1 last week to require the 22 abortion clinics performing first-trimester abortions in Virginia to meet the same medical standards as other ambulatory surgical centers in the commonwealth.

The new regulations, which will go into effect Jan. 1, require abortion clinics to have a licensed physician present when women are put under general anesthesia, submit to unannounced inspections, develop a plan for emergency care, and report any complications to the state Health Department. These are basic safety measures recommended by most medical experts...Abortion advocates like Keene are upset because they know that making abortions safer will cut deeply into the clinics' bottom line. When push comes to shove, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia chooses abortion industry profits over the safety and well-being of women it purportedly represents.

Ironically, it was left to Keene's pro-life counterpart in Virginia to make the case for the tougher new standards.

"A woman from Virginia Beach died in a Philadelphia abortion clinic run by the same individual who is operating unregulated clinics in our commonwealth. There is no watchdog," said Olivia Gans, president of the Virginia Society for Human Life, the nation's oldest pro-life group.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Let 'em have their pro-abortion license plates

North Carolina has a Choose Life license plate, but the state legislature has refused to allow a pro-choice plate. The ACLU is suing, saying that the state must either allow both or neither.

I agree with the ACLU for two reasons.

First, it's a matter of free speech. I'm well aware that abortion advocates are constantly trying to censor us. But it's no good to stoop to their level.

Second, the availability of a pro-choice plate is no threat to us, and will probably help the pro-life movement in the long run. In those states where pro-choice plates have been introduced, they've been duds. For instance, in Montana, the state Right to Life organization raised $5,570 from specialty license plate sales between April and June 2011. Planned Parenthood of Montana, during the same time frame? $700. (See pages 3 and 4 of this pdf.) Having both plates available will make the pro-life majority that much more visible by comparison. Plus, seeing pro-abortion plates on the road might motivate pro-life drivers to buy a pro-life plate the next time they're at the DMV.

Agree, or disagree?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Infanticide acceptable under Canadian law?

In 2005, 19 year old Katrina Effert of Alberta, Canada secretly gave birth to a baby boy.  She then strangled him and threw him over a fence.  After being found guilty of second degree murder in not one but two trials, however the verdicts were summarily thrown out in appeals court.  On Sept 9, 2011 walked out of court a free woman, with only a 3 year suspended sentence for infanticide, thanks to Justice Joanne Veit of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench.

Justice Veit cited Canada's lack of abortion law, and stated “while many Canadians undoubtedly view abortion as a less than ideal solution to unprotected sex and unwanted pregnancy, they generally understand, accept and sympathize with the onerous demands pregnancy and childbirth exact from mothers, especially mothers without support.”  She also added “Naturally, Canadians are grieved by an infant’s death, especially at the hands of the infant’s mother, but Canadians also grieve for the mother.”

Under Canadian law, a charge of infanticide can be proven if the mother is "not fully recovered" from childbirth and there is evidence her mind was disturbed.  Yet Effert's mind was never shown to be disturbed.  However despite Effert's planning for the delivery by stocking the downstairs bathroom of her parents' home with towels and a scissors in which to cut the umbilical cord, as well as her attempts to induce a miscarriage by smoking and drinking during her pregnancy, Veit insisted this was "a classic case of infanticide." 

So apparently in Canada a newborn can be murdered and still be protected by "a woman's freedom of choice."  Peter Singer would be proud.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pro-life win against censorship!

Steve Macias, the west coast coordinator of Students for Life of America (and a personal friend), was standing on public property outside a high school. He was passing out a brochure about fetal development, abortion, and how to take a stand against injustice. One of the twelve pages contained graphic images of aborted babies, while others were devoted to images of slavery and genocide; the cover stated "Warning! Disturbing photos of injustice inside."

One of the biggest arguments against pro-lifers using graphic images is that children might see them. For younger children, I'm ambivalent, but high schoolers are unquestionably old enough to process the information and make up their own minds. According to the Guttmacher Institute, nearly one fifth of abortions in the United States are done on teenagers. Surely, if someone is old enough to have an abortion, she is old enough to see an abortion! It is critical to reach high schoolers with the facts about human development, before they find themselves facing unplanned pregnancies.

A school administrator stood beside Steve and his companions, threatening them with arrest and snatching brochures from the students' hands. But this story has a happy ending:
The panic that the administrator had communicated [in her 911 call] sent a half dozen police cars speeding to the campus and toward the group of us handing out literature. Fortunately, the police understood the law and protected our right to stand for the preborn at this high school. So instead of arresting us as the administrator had desired, an officer actually came out to us and affirmed that what we were doing was perfectly fine.
A giant thumbs up to these police officers for doing their jobs!

Steve ends his account thusly:
This is just another example of how there is an intense battle for the mind and souls of children at publicly funded schools where the dominant secular culture is undermining the sanctity of human life. Students are under great pressure to conform to the schools’ radical, anti-life views on abortion, which are imposed on them by secular textbooks, administrators, and teachers.
Here, I must respectfully disagree with Steve. The secular human anatomy textbook is one of our best weapons in the fight for life. And for all we know, the school administrator was a pro-choice Catholic, and the police officers who stood up for Steve were humanists.

The abortion movement's strategy, as outlined by NARAL co-founder Bernard Nathanson, is to paint opposition to abortion as a fringe religious issue. Let's not help them.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

True or False: Planned Parenthood Reduces Unplanned Pregnancies

I wonder if Planned Parenthood is surprised that the number of abortions has not dropped. Since they’re for reducing unplanned pregnancies, right?

Recently the Guttmacher Institute released a study about unplanned pregnancies and whether or not the number of unplanned pregnancies has declined. The main point that this pro-abortion organization’s study shows is that despite the increase over the years in government funding of Planned Parenthood, the unplanned pregnancy rate has not gone down at all. In addition the pregnancy rate rose by 50% for women who are poor. Planned Parenthood continues to reveal that they’re in the business for making money off of abortions.

Once again, I have to ask: Why is the federal government funding Planned Parenthood? Why is President Obama’s Administration fighting so hard to keep Planned Parenthood funded?

For the Dignity of the born and unborn,

Timmerie Millington

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mississippi Personhood Amendment

Following a court decision to allow it, this fall voters in Mississippi will get to decide on whether to approve or disapprove an amendment to their state constitution that will define a person as "... every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof." A "Personhood" amendment as it is most commonly called, has been tried in a few other states in the past.

Here's the official website for the organization which supports the amendment in Mississippi. The question I have for our readers is - what do you think of this approach? What do you think the outcome of this amendment will be in Mississippi? Opponents say that this will ban birth control; supporters say that this will only prohibit abortions and protect unborn lives.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Life Matters Journal releases its first issue

I am incredibly impressed by the work being done by our friends at the Life Matters Journal. Less than a month after first requesting articles, they have already published their first mini-issue! You can read it online, for free, here. (To purchase a print version, for $12, go here.)

Topics addressed in this issue include family planning, war, the 2012 presidential candidates, fetal pain legislation, and capital punishment. I especially want to highlight Nick Neal's article "What is the Consistent Life Ethic?" in which he argues that "If anything has hurt pro-lifers' credibility, it is the marriage of pro-life and pro-war ideology." Even if you disagree with his conclusions, the article provides a great framework for discussion.

Interested in contributing a piece to the next issue of the Life Matters Journal? Email Aimee at

Monday, September 12, 2011

Silent Witness: The Baby in the Jar

[Editor's note: This article, originally posted on the Live Action blog, is by Secular Pro-Life member and former abortion worker Jewels Green. Jewels, who is a Christian, tells me that she wants her piece to serve as a reminder "that human dignity transcends religion."]

So much became daily business-as-usual while working at an abortion clinic year after year: the tears, the shouting parents and boyfriends, the drivers who accompanied abortion patients who said they were “going out for a cigarette” and then disappeared and abandoned the pregnant mother they’d brought in, the jokes in the lunchroom about the one who showed up with multiple other kids in tow. (We did not allow children in the waiting room. Ever.)

Even the macabre became commonplace. The gallows humor I’d seen in movies about medical staff who work around disease and death day in and day out was right at home in an abortion clinic.

I vividly remember the cleaning lady who quit after finding a foot in the drain of one of the sinks in the autoclave room where the medical instruments were cleaned and sterilized after abortions. We all laughed and joked about it in the staff lounge for days and weeks afterward.

One time the power went out for hours and we were all explicitly instructed NOT to open the freezer where all of the medical waste was stored (read: dead baby parts in bio-hazard bags). Inevitably, someone did open that freezer and I will never, ever forget the stench of decaying human flesh for as long as I live—but we all laughed as we gagged and joked how at least “they” had it better in that non-functioning freezer because at least they couldn’t smell it.

One thing about the clinic never sat well with me, maybe because in my heart I always knew it was wrong. All of it was wrong, but especially this: the dead baby in the refrigerator in the lab. It was touted as a “teaching tool” and a “medical anomaly” that this perfect 10-week-old fetus “survived” the suction abortion procedure perfectly intact. So he (I thought I could tell it was a he) was given the dubious honor of being preserved in formalin in a translucent plastic jar in the laboratory refrigerator. I think we called him Charlie, but I can’t really remember. I know he had a name, but blissfully I have either forgotten or repressed it. But he was there every day I worked there.

Occasionally I peeked in on him, fascinated by the bizarreness of it all, but also with a scientific curiosity—every other abortion resulted in parts, bits and pieces of human in the jar—but this miraculous little creature was perfectly formed and complete in every way, with the heartbreaking exception that he was dead. There was no amniotic sac, no placenta, just a teeny-tiny perfect little baby floating in the jar. In the fridge. Forever a silent witness to the march of death of his immature brethren.

How I pray his soul rests in peace, and that someday he is given decent burial—or at the very least tossed out with the rest of the bio-hazardous waste, for that would be far more merciful than where I knew him to be.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten years later

It's impossible not to talk about the tenth anniversary of 9/11. To blog about any other story would be to ignore the elephant in the room.

Various pro-life commentators have noted that the number of lives lost in the September 11 attacks is very nearly the number lost to abortion every day. That's true as a statistical matter, but comparing body counts has never done much for me. After all, if the number dead is what mattered, there would be many mass killings meriting more prominent days of remembrance than 9/11.

What truly sets 9/11 apart is the emotional response it created. The whole point of terrorism is to inspire fear, of course, but 9/11 inspired much more than that. It inspired courage, selflessness, and unity.

If Americans from so many different backgrounds could unite over the tragedy of September 11, why shouldn't we be able to unite with people of different faiths to fight the tragedy of abortion? If political affiliation ceased to matter on that day, why shouldn't pro-life and pro-choice be able to treat one another with respect? And why shouldn't pregnancy centers be overflowing with donations of baby supplies, just as the Red Cross was overwhelmed with donations of blood?

As you think back to where you were ten years ago, think about how you responded-- and how that response can inform your actions today.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

News briefs

1) A recent study of premature infants suggests that babies' ability to distinguish touch from pain becomes fully mature around 35 weeks.
Dr Rebeccah Slater, UCL Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology, said: "Premature babies who are younger than 35 weeks have similar brain responses when they experience touch or pain. After this time there is a gradual change, rather than a sudden shift, when the brain starts to process the two types of stimuli in a distinct manner."
The study's authors cautioned that the study does not attempt to explain what sensations babies feel prior to 35 weeks. The caveat fell on deaf ears as abortion advocates scrambled to exploit the study in their battle against fetal pain legislation, disregarding more on-point research that suggests an earlier ability to feel pain.

2) On the TV show Toddlers and Tiaras (which I have never watched and never will), a three-year-old beauty pageant contestant briefly appeared dressed as a prostitute, sparking predictable outrage. Her mother has said that she will sell the dress and, supposedly in line with her daughter's wishes, give the proceeds to Georgia Right to Life. Also predictably, Georgia Right to Life wants nothing to do with this and has indicated that it will decline the donation.

3) Students for Life of America's Jon Scharfenberger takes a baby on a stroll to promote the Pregnant on Campus Initiative:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sex-Selective Abortion on the Rise Internationally

In India and China, sex-selective abortion has skewed the gender ratio by 10-20% in either country with females being aborted at a much higher rate. In addition, this type of gender imbalance is beginning to crop up in unexpected places, including parts of the world where there had been no history of sex-selective abortions. Niemen Watchdog has a detailed piece on this topic here. Here's an excerpt:
Results from the Indian and Chinese censuses released earlier this year show the sex ratio at birth becoming more skewed in both countries. China counted fully 118 boys born for every 100 girls, while India, which uses an alternative statistic, reported 914 girls for every 1,000 boys, ages 0-6. (The natural human sex ratio at birth, by contrast, is 105 boys per 100 girls.) Sex selection, mainly through abortion, has been practiced on a broad scale in South and East Asia since the early 1980s, when cheap ultrasound machines able to detect the sex of a fetus in the second trimester were first marketed in China, India, South Korea, and Taiwan. If Asia's sex ratio at birth had remained at its natural equilibrium over the past few decades, one demographer found in 2005, the continent would have an additional 163 million women and girls today.

Equally alarming is the fact that sex selection is spreading. In the past fifteen years, skewed sex ratios have cropped up in countries with no history of the problem – including Vietnam, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Albania. Sex selection also occurs in the United States.

That more boys than girls are born is now widely accepted, as is the fact that gender imbalance on the scale of Asia's has serious societal implications. As millions of what demographers call “surplus males” grow up and cannot find wives, they are turning to poorer countries to buy them. Asia's sex ratio imbalance has also contributed to an increase in sex trafficking.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Time to regulate the fertility industry?

I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day. Now, back to business!

The New York Times reports that one sperm donor has fathered more than 150 children. The story has prompted concern from experts and activists who believe that regulation of the fertility industry is long overdue:
There is growing concern among parents, donors and medical experts about potential negative consequences of having so many children fathered by the same donors, including the possibility that genes for rare diseases could be spread more widely through the population. Some experts are even calling attention to the increased odds of accidental incest between half sisters and half brothers, who often live close to one another.

. . .

Critics say that fertility clinics and sperm banks are earning huge profits by allowing too many children to be conceived with sperm from popular donors, and that families should be given more information on the health of donors and the children conceived with their sperm. They are also calling for legal limits on the number of children conceived using the same donor’s sperm and a re-examination of the anonymity that cloaks many donors.
The pro-abortion blog Jezebel agrees:
Regulation seems like a win-win situation for everyone, except for sperm banks, which currently profit from the ability to sell the same man's sperm to lots of women.
It's worth noting that abortion businesses also have a profit motive, yet "reproductive freedom" advocates are mortified by regulations on those.

But I digress. I find myself in full agreement with the Times and with Jezebel on this issue. Regulation of the fertility industry is in the best interest of babies, mothers, and sperm donors.

Ultimately, as long as the fertility industry routinely creates "extra" babies who are then "discarded," pro-lifers will not embrace assisted reproductive technology. But placing limits on the number of children who can be conceived by a single donor would be a step in the right direction, towards a vision of reproductive medicine that respects the rights of every human being, including those who can't speak for themselves.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Top pro-life charities

The other day, a facebook friend shared this link about top pro-abortion organizations. The information comes from My Philanthropedia, which does not provide a list of top pro-life charities.

Fortunately, Charity Navigator has some solid information on the efficiency of pro-life charities. Here are a few pro-life groups that received high ratings.

Four stars
Life Legal Defense Foundation: Provides legal representation to pro-life advocates

Three stars
CareNet: Faith-based pregnancy center network
Good Counsel: Catholic homeless shelter for pregnant women in New Jersey
Human Life International: Catholic organization fighting abortion worldwide
National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund: Responsible for a variety of pro-life educational programs
Pro-Life Action League: Chicago-based group with a focus on sidewalk counseling

A few notes:
1) Secular Pro-Life cannot be evaluated by Charity Navigator because we are not a registered 501(c)(3) organization. We are registered as a non-profit corporation through the state of Florida. Learn more about our current fundraising project here.
2) There are many prominent pro-life organizations that have 501(c)(3) status, but that Charity Navigator hasn't gotten around to yet (e.g. Students for Life of America).
3) I have not included multi-issue organizations, such as the Family Research Council and Alliance Defense Fund.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Abortion's mental health risks in the news

CORRECTION: I misread the story about the federal court ruling. It did not uphold the the South Dakota law requiring disclosure of psychological risks. Instead, it upheld the law requiring disclosure that a) abortion terminates the life of a human being, and b) women have a right to not have an abortion. I apologize for the inconvenience. The full text of the court ruling can be found here.

A peer-reviewed meta-analysis of earlier studies on the connection between abortion and mental health problems has been published in the British Journal of Psychiatry. It shows that the negative impact of abortion is significant:
"Results indicate quite consistently that abortion is associated with moderate to highly increased risks of psychological problems subsequent to the procedure," the study says. "Overall, the results revealed that women who had undergone an abortion experienced an 81 percent increased risk of mental health problems, and nearly 10 percent of the incidence of mental health problems were shown to be directly attributable to abortion."

The peer-reviewed study indicated abortion was linked with a 34 percent chance of anxiety disorders, and 37 percent higher possibility of depression, a more than double risk of alcohol abuse (110 percent), a three times greater risk of marijuana use (220 percent), and 155 percent greater risk of trying to commit suicide.

When compared to unintended pregnancy delivered women had a 55% increased risk of experiencing any mental health problem.
On a related note, a federal court has upheld a South Dakota law requiring disclosure of abortion's mental health risks. The state's sole abortion business, a Planned Parenthood, had sued to prevent that disclosure.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Back to School

Are you or your kids back to school this fall? As school begins again for many of us it is often easy to leave our pro-life convictions at the door. ProLife Organization Stand True has put together a list of “pro-life actions” to help guide youth in being active advocates for life this school year. 

I challenge you to look at this list and pick at least two projects to start right away. If you’re an adult who is out of school you can always assist high school or college students in their efforts. 

Stand True’s “top ten list of pro-life actions”:
  1. Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity – Last year students from over 4,000 campuses in 28 countries participated and 64 babies were saved in one day. Go to to register and get involved. Pr-life Day of Silent Solidarity Fan Page -
  2. Start a pro-life group on your campus – This is a great way to identify other pro-life students and come together to create awareness and put on events on your campus.   If you need help starting a pro-life group on your campus contact
  3. Wear pro-life t-shirts to school – I have heard many stories about girls who have cancelled abortions after seeing pro-life messages on t-shirts, stickers, posters and more.  Go to
  4. Make pro-life book covers, locker posters and dorm door posters.  This is easy, cheap and a great project to do with your friends.  You can use some of the popular pro-life sayings like: She’s a Child Not a Choice, Abortion Stops a Beating Heart, Choose Life, or you can be creative and come up with your own slogans.
  5. Do a diaper drive for your local pregnancy help center or home for unwed mothers.  Mother’s Day is a great time of year to do a diaper drive and give everything you collect to your local PHC as a gift.  E-mail if you need help in coordinating a diaper drive.
  6. Organize students to attend your local March for Life or the national ones in Washington DC or San Francisco in January.  Do a Google search to find out if there will be a local March for Life in your area.
  7. 40 Days for Life campaign. The 40 Days for Life campaign is one of the most successful pro-life events ever and it takes place for 40 days in both the fall and spring.  Go to
  8. Sidewalk Chalk – If you are on a public college campus sidewalk chalk is perfectly legal and a great way to spread pro-life messages.  For public High School Students you can chalk the public sidewalks leading up to campus.  It is best to do this early in the morning so every one sees the messages on the way to class.
  9. Literature table or distribution – On a college campus you can usually get a table out on a public area of campus to distribute literature and set up fetal models or other educational materials.  In public high schools it is legal to distribute literature on your free time as long as the other students are willing to take it.  If you have any trouble distributing literature you can contact our legal team at  You can order pro-life materials from or  
  10. Bring a pro-life speaker to campus or church – For high school and middle school students you can get a local church to sponsor a pro-life youth rally with a pro-life speaker and invite everyone from school. For college students, if there is not a pro-life club on campus that can do this, find a Christian or Republican club that might be able to sponsor a speaker. 

Standing In Defence of the Voiceless,

Timmerie Millington

Read Timmerie's Bio 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Is "big government" needed to protect life?

[Editor's note: Today's guest post is by Nulono. For more information on pro-life libertarianism, check out Libertarians for Life.]

I'm generally a fan of The Rachel Maddow Show. While I don't always agree with Maddow, she is not usually unreasonable, and will often interview people who disagree with her.

Except for the issue of abortion. Not once have I seen her interview a pro-lifer on an abortion issue, or even a moderate. She always paints pro-lifers in a bad light.

The most recent example of this is a recurring segment on her show attempting to show hypocrisy in the Tea Party. Now, I'm no Tea Partier, and I won't take this space to talk about how I feel about the Tea Party, but bear with me. This segment focused on what she considers really really really BIG government. Think I'm exaggerating?Yeah. So, one would expect some pretty Orwellian stuff in here!

From time to time she does have some legitimate points, but you and I both know that's not what I'm here to talk about. These legitimate examples are just window dressing; 9 times out of 10 it's just about the multiple pro-life victories of 2011.

Now, personally, I have nothing against a big government per se, but that's neither here nor there. Let's look at what a small government would look like. I'm going to dismiss anarchism for the purposes of this discussion, because "small" and "non-existent" are two different things. So, the next step up in government size is Libertarianism. What would a "really really really small government" be? What is the absolute least a government can do before it no longer counts as a government? The minimum requirement for governmenthood, if you will.

Well, Libertarians believe that the central (and only) role of government is to protect citizens from aggression, that is from the initiation of force or fraud. In fact, most political philosophies hold this to be the most fundamental role of government. Even our founding fathers wrote that "to secure these [inalienable] Rights, Governments are instituted among Men." If a government fails to protect the people from aggression, it isn't doing its job. A wise man once said "that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." Luckily, they did the latter, setting up the US as a republic. That means that we can fix ("alter") the government we have, without having to abolish it completely.

Abortion violates the right to life, foremost among the inalienable rights. At the *very least*, the government should defend the right to live, if nothing else. Being pro-life has nothing to do with supporting big government; it only requires that one adhere to the fundamental post-Enlightenment ideals of what a government should do. If you drop the non-aggression principle, you literally no longer have a government. And if what you consider to be REALLY REALLY **BIG** GOVERNMENT literally could not be any smaller, I think you need a better sense of scale.