Thursday, June 28, 2018

This post is going to get lost

Because Justice Kennedy has retired, and why would any other topic appear in your newsfeed?

But for those lucky few who do see this, I will be speaking at the National Right to Life convention in Overland Park, Kansas this Saturday. My topic is "Making the Pro-Life Argument from the Secular Perspective" and it will go from 1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. I'll talk about the historical reasons abortion is treated as a "religious issue," why it's so important for us to push back against that stereotype, and how to make the case against abortion without presuming the existence of a deity.

In addition, I will of course be promoting the #NextNominee petition to replace Justice Kennedy with a pro-life woman. If you haven't already signed it, do it now.

Finally, an apology to our readers: I know the blog has been off-schedule lately. The Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday routine has gone completely out the window. Life got hectic. I promise we'll be back on track by mid-July.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Three takeaways from NIFLA v. Becerra

Yesterday, the Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 decision in favor of the pregnancy centers challenging a California law that required them to post signage advertising state-funded abortion. The majority opinion, which found that the pregnancy centers were protected by the First Amendment, was written by Justice Thomas and joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Kennedy, Alito, and Gorsuch. The dissent was written by Justice Breyer and joined by Justices Ginsburg, Kagan, and Sotomayor.

The case has been amply covered by media of all stripes, so I'll just offer a few thoughts.

We desperately need a pro-life woman on the Court. All three women Justices—who I should note are past childbearing age and come from high-SES families—shamefully voted against the charities that aid low-income mothers in crisis. Already, pro-abortion groups are touting the sad fact that the Court's free speech supporters are all male. This must change. If you haven't already done so, sign the #NextNominee petition to make our next Justice a pro-life woman! A vacancy could come any day.

The central disagreement was how to apply Casey. In the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Court held that states could require abortion businesses to disclose the procedure's risks and alternatives without running afoul of the First Amendment. Abortion supporters argued that California's law was analogous to the law in Casey. I previously offered my counter-argument, which I'm pleased to see is similar to the majority ruling:
The licensed notice at issue here is not an informed consent requirement or any other regulation of professional conduct. The notice does not facilitate informed consent to a medical procedure. In fact, it is not tied to a procedure at all. It applies to all interactions between a covered facility and its clients, regardless of whether a medical procedure is ever sought, offered, or performed. If a covered facility does provide medical procedures, the notice provides no information about the risks or benefits of those procedures. Tellingly, many facilities that provide the exact same services as covered facilities—such as general practice clinics, see §123471(a)—are not required to provide the licensed notice.
The dissent's counter-argument rests on the claim that childbirth, like abortion, is a "medical procedure that involves certain health risks." Without getting into the longstanding feminist debate over the medicalization of childbirth, the notion that birth is a medical procedure is certainly news to all the mothers who've given birth without the involvement of any medical professional whatsoever. And while no one doubts that childbirth has risks, going to a pregnancy center does not in any way increase those preexisting risks; if anything, it decreases them by giving women access to free ultrasound exams and other resources. By contrast, the risks of abortion are the creation of the abortionist, and therefore the abortionist should bear the burden of explaining those risks.

Justice Kennedy's concurrence stole the show. The majority did not explicitly rule on the question of whether California's law was meant to discriminate against pro-life people (i.e., unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination), but of course it was. The Justices in the majority debunked the neutral rationales California put forward; for instance, they saw through the argument that California just wants to educate low-income women, noting that if that were the true motivation, the law would not have exempted most clinics that serve the poor.

But Justice Kennedy took it a step further in his concurring opinion, which was joined by all the majority Justices save Thomas (emphasis mine):
This separate writing seeks to underscore that the apparent viewpoint discrimination here is a matter of serious constitutional concern. See ante, at 6, n. 2. The Court, in my view, is correct not to reach this question. It was not sufficiently developed, and the rationale for the Court’s decision today suffices to resolve the case. And had the Court’s analysis been confined to viewpoint discrimination, some legislators might have inferred that if the law were reenacted with a broader base and broader coverage it then would be upheld.
It does appear that viewpoint discrimination is inherent in the design and structure of this Act. This law is a paradigmatic example of the serious threat presented when government seeks to impose its own message in the place of individual speech, thought, and expression. For here the State requires primarily pro-life pregnancy centers to promote the State’s own preferred message advertising abortions. This compels individuals to contradict their most deeply held beliefs, beliefs grounded in basic philosophical, ethical, or religious precepts, or all of these.
Check out that last sentence. Four Supreme Court Justices just acknowledged that an anti-abortion stance can be based on philosophical and ethical precepts rather than just religious ones! Go us!

P.S.: Want more NIFLA v. Becerra coverage? NIFLA itself is holding a webcast tomorrow night.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Join us at the Pro-Life Women's Conference THIS WEEKEND!

The Third Annual Pro-Life Women's Conference is happening this weekend in St. Louis, and Secular Pro-Life is proud to once again be an exhibiting sponsor. Come by our booth to learn more about our #NextNominee campaign to put a pro-life woman on the Supreme Court (have you joined yet?), and get free stuff!

The conference begins on Friday night with a dinner program featuring keynote speaker Serrin Foster of Feminists for Life; her talk is entitled "Ending The Feminization of Poverty that Drives Women to Abortion!" Saturday and Sunday are jam-packed with informative sessions on topics like the menstrual cycle, how to educate your kids about sex, frozen embryos, coping with pregnancy loss, empowering single moms, birth trauma, adoption, enacting pro-life laws, addressing sexual harassment, and so much more.

There's still time to register, so don't miss out!

We will be too busy to blog over the next few days, but check out our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for regular updates.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Three takeaways from Gallup abortion polling

Gallup recently released a series of articles on its latest abortion survey, which goes into much more detail than previous years. There's far more data than I can realistically cover in a blog post, but here are three things that caught my eye.

Confusion about why women seek abortions: 60% of Americans say that abortion should "generally be legal" in the first trimester. (Second- and third-trimester abortions do not have majority support.) But when asked about specific reasons for having an abortion in the first trimester, a different picture emerges (click to enlarge):

Side note: the questions about first-trimester abortions for fetal disabilities don't make sense. Down Syndrome and other issues are generally diagnosed later in pregnancy.

Abortion when the woman does not want the child for non-medical reasonsthat is, elective abortionis opposed by a majority of Americans, even in the first trimester! So how is it that 60% believe first trimester should generally be legal, while only 45% support first trimester elective abortion? "Generally legal" means allowing elective abortions! It's the same question asked two different ways!

Unless... people are under the mistaken impression that most first trimester abortions are not elective. That explains the results. The reality is that the overwhelming majority of abortions—upwards of 75%are sought for socioeconomic reasons, not medical ones. Rape and incest account for less than 1.5% of abortions. Nearly a quarter of women cited "husband or partner wants me to have an abortion" as a reason.

We should emphasize the reasons women abort in our educational efforts. It's also important to explain that widely supported limits on abortions after the first trimester cannot be put into place until Roe v. Wade and its progeny are overturned.

No Trump effect. I worried publicly that the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, and pro-life organizations' support for him, would tarnish the movement's reputation and impair our ability to save lives. At the very least I thought that people with anti-abortion views would become shy, telling pollsters they were pro-choice or undecided in an effort to distance themselves from President Trump.

I'm very glad to have been wrong about this one. While Trump obviously remains a divisive figure, thankfully this hasn't turned the public away from support for human life. In fact, the pro-life position has gained a couple of percentage points since 2016.

"Personally pro-life" is dead. In addition to asking whether abortion should be legal or illegal in various circumstances, Gallup also asks about the morality of abortion (emphasis added):
By a slim five-percentage-point margin, 48% to 43%, Americans believe abortion is wrong from a moral perspective. In fact, abortion is the moral issue among those tested on which the public is most closely divided.
The 43% who believe abortion to be morally acceptable matches the percentage who say it should be legal in all or most circumstances.
Since Gallup first measured attitudes about the morality of abortion in 2001, an average of 41% have regarded it as acceptable and 49% as wrong. Though attitudes have fluctuated, at no point have more Americans said abortion is morally acceptable than have said it is morally wrong.
Read that sentence again. Everyone surveyed who said abortion should be legal in all or most circumstances also said that abortion is morally acceptable. The bloc saying that abortion is morally unacceptable, but should be legal anywaythe infamous "personally pro-life" compromisehas vanished. And good riddance! It was always a cop-out. Now we can have a real debate about what abortion is and does.

Friday, June 15, 2018

#NextNominee petitions President Trump to nominate a pro-life woman for the next Supreme Court vacancy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Young adult anti-abortion advocates organized by Secular Pro-Life have launched #NextNominee, a campaign to fill the next Supreme Court vacancy with a pro-life woman. The centerpiece of the campaign is a petition hosted at, a federal website that allows concerned citizens to voice their concerns directly to White House officials. If the petition receives at least 100,000 signatures in the next 30 days, the Trump administration will respond.

Link to petition: 
Link to #NextNominee website: 

Although approximately half of American women oppose abortion, no pro-life woman has ever served on the nation’s highest court. Current Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan, and former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, have all been consistent votes in favor of the abortion industry.

“Supreme Court opinions claim women ‘rely’ on abortion to succeed in the workplace, which is insulting. My success does not depend on anyone's death,” said Secular Pro-Life president Kelsey Hazzard, who is also an attorney.

The majority of American women support common-sense abortion limits. According to a December 2017 poll by Marist University, 62% of American women support a ban on abortions after 20 weeks (5 months) of pregnancy—an issue that is likely to be heard by the Supreme Court. The survey also found that 51% of American women either want abortion to be illegal in all cases, or legal only in cases of rape, incest, and to save the mother’s life; that 60% oppose the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions; and that 52% believe abortion does more harm than good.

“Discrimination starts in the womb,” said Beth Fox, a #NextNominee spokeswoman who has a rare genetic condition called Myotonic Dystrophy. “My entire life people have used the name of choice to justify their belief I never should have been born. I, like many others, am fed up with it. We need a female pro-life Justice who will stand for equal rights for all.”

“The pro-life female voice needs to be heard in this country, and what better way than to start from the top!” added #NextNominee spokeswoman Gina Mallica. “Pro-abortion does not equal pro-woman."

There are currently no vacant seats on the Supreme Court. Justice Anthony Kennedy, the “swing” vote responsible for many 5-4 decisions in favor of abortion, has been the subject of retirement rumors for years. He is 81 years old. Justice Ginsburg, age 85, is the oldest Justice on the Court. The third oldest, 79-year-old Steven Breyer, is also pro-abortion.

President Trump has pledged to nominate anti-abortion Justices to the Court and has publicly released his short list of potential nominees. There are six women on the short list: Hon. Amy C. Barrett of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals; Hon. Allison Eid of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, in the position previously occupied by Justice Gorsuch; Hon. Britt Grant of the Supreme Court of Georgia, whose nomination to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals is currently pending; Hon. Joan Larsen of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals; Hon. Margaret Ryan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces; and Hon. Diane Sykes of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Full Text of Petition

Four women have served on the Supreme Court, and all four have consistently ruled in favor of the abortion industry. They have even endorsed the misogynistic notions that women rely on abortion for professional success and that women cannot “enjoy equal citizenship stature” without abortion.

The majority of American women support common-sense abortion limits, and we deserve judicial representation. A pro-life woman on our nation’s highest court will be a living rebuke to those who falsely equate abortion with women’s empowerment.

We therefore call upon President Trump to nominate a pro-life woman to the Supreme Court at his earliest opportunity.

About the Organizers

The #NextNominee campaign is coordinated by Secular Pro-Life, an organization that unites people of every faith and no faith to promote the right to life. It is also endorsed by Pro-Life San Francisco, a non-partisan, non-sectarian group of pro-life Millennials connecting families with resources and resisting the abortion lobby in the Bay area, and New Wave Feminists, an anti-abortion feminist organization that believes all humans should be free from violence for the duration of their lifetime.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Another waste disposal company quits working with abortion vendors

Last week, Operation Rescue announced its discovery that Biomedical Waste Services was the disposal company picking up the remains of victims at thirteen surgical abortion facilities in Maryland—including the notorious late-term abortion center operated by Leroy Carhart. Carhart has killed several women in the course of his practice, in addition to untold numbers of children in the womb.

Just three hours later, after receiving multiple calls from pro-life advocates, Biomedical Waste Services cancelled the contract!

As we wrote in connection with a similar victory achieved by Created Equal's "Project Weak Link" in the Midwest late last year:
What remains to be seen is whether this will result in the closure of any abortion businesses. This effect is likely to be delayed, because many facilities have the capacity to keep the remains of their victims in refrigerated storage for a time. In an undercover video, abortionist Renee Chelian indicated that she could store five months' worth of aborted bodies in this fashion.
However, that is a temporary solution to their gruesome problem. Chelian concluded: "We are all one incinerator away, or one incinerator company away, from being closed."
Operation Rescue president Troy Newman states that the organization will "remain watchful," and notes that if any other companies take over  for Maryland abortion businesses, "we know our amazing supporters can once again be counted on to jump into action!"

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Make your voice heard!

Two critical life-related matters are open for public comment. The first is a proposed federal regulation that would protect Title X funds from Planned Parenthood. The second is a proposal before the American Board of Medical Specialities (AMBS) to create a new board specialty in "Complex Family Planning"—code for late-term abortion.

Title X Regulation
As we previously reported, pro-life organizations are urging the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to restore Reagan-era regulations that disentangle Title X family planning funds from abortion vendors. HHS has responded with a proposed rule, which must go through a public comment period before it can be fully implemented. Planned Parenthood is rallying its troops to keep its taxpayer funds flowing, so it's crucial for HHS to hear from us!

You can read the proposed rule here and submit your supportive comment here. I wrote:
I strongly support the proposed rule. For too long, Title X funds have subsidized abortion vendors. The provision of taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood—which has repeatedly defrauded Medicaid and failed to report the sexual abuse of children, among other scandals—is especially troubling. Federally qualified health centers and other community clinics are far more deserving recipients of Title X funds, and are fully capable of meeting women's nonviolent family planning needs.
HHS is accepting comments through July 31.

Board Certification in Late-Term Abortion
The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) has sounded the alarm about a proposed board certification program for "Complex Family Planning." AAPLOG warns:
The application includes things which all ob/gyns are already trained in:  contraception, miscarriage management, management of complicated pregnancies. This part of the application is a smokescreen.
What is unique to this board certification, and is the focus of the fellowship is SECOND and THIRD TRIMESTER ABORTION TRAINING. 
Training in contraception, and miscarriage management and complicated pregnancy management is already done in an ob/gyn residency. There is no need for an additional board certification.
Training in management of high risk pregnancies is already accomplished through a maternal fetal medicine subspecialty board certification. There is no need for an additional board certification.
The uniqueness of the proposed board certification is in training physicians to kill fetuses in utero. This practice should have no place in the field of medicine, much less have the imprimatur of the ABMS.
You can read the application for the proposed specialty here and submit your comment in opposition here. Comments from medical professionals will naturally carry more weight, so we particularly encourage you to participate if you work in the medical field; however, the comment form allows "private individuals" to comment as well. I wrote:
I urge AMBS to reject the proposed certification in complex family planning. The vast majority of items included in this proposed certification, such as the provision of contraception and management of miscarriage, are matters that all ob/gyns should master and are already adequately addressed by other certification programs. What sets this proposed subspecialty certification apart is its training in late-term abortion methods. Late-term abortion is a gross violation of a physician's oath to do no harm. Accordingly, abortions in the second and third trimester are opposed by the vast majority of Americans, including those who identify themselves as pro-choice. If AMBS approves this subspecialty certification, it will introduce a source of distrust into the already strained relationship between medical professionals and the general public. 
This comment period is open through July 6.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Former Planned Parenthood workers say Planned Parenthood covered up statutory rape

The pro-life group Live Action has released a series of videos documenting cases where Planned Parenthood failed to report statutory rape and sent underage girls home with their abusers.

In every state, a young teen who has sex with an adult is considered a victim of statutory rape and sexual exploitation. Some of these are cases of incest, where a girl is coerced into sex with a father, step-father, or other family member. In these cases, the girl is caught in an abusive situation. When young girls “date” and have sex with adult men in their late twenties and thirties, they are being taken advantage of by adults who manipulate and intimidate them. These relationships are based on exploitation.

Former Planned Parenthood workers have admitted that they sent underage girls back to their abusers without reporting the abuse. In a video released by Live Action, workers talk about their experiences.

Former sex educator Monica Cline was asked to train Planned Parenthood workers about reporting cases of statutory rape. She describes what happened when she told a group of workers about mandatory reporting:
I was teaching on human trafficking and statutory rape and was telling Planned Parenthood staff of Corpus Christi and the Gulf Coast basically, you’ve got to report when you see a girl coming in with an older man who that you can tell is not her father. You know something’s wrong, you’ve got to report that, it’s considered human trafficking. It is also considered statutory rape; you’ve got to report this. And they started laughing. And I said, “I don’t think there was anything I said that was funny. What’s going on here?” And the response was, “Honey, if she’s not having sex with this man this week she’ll have another one next week.” … One of the things that they even mentioned was, they adopted George Bush’s don’t ask, don’t tell in the military for homosexuality, so they said well if it’s good enough for Bush, it’s good enough for us. If we don’t ask how old her partner is, we don’t have to tell.
Cline was so troubled by the workers’ attitudes that she spoke to her superior about it. Her superior told her that her job was to give the information, not to worry about whether the abortion workers followed it. She was advised not to push the issue.

Former Planned Parenthood manager Sue Thayer was also interviewed by Lila Rose in the video. Thayer says:
We were all required to be mandatory reporters, but if we saw a case… questionable abuse, or even for sure — I mean, this kid is being abused – um, we really were discouraged from calling it in, just because, uh, they didn’t want to have the trouble, the angry parent, the angry boyfriend, whatever it was. So, more than once I was told, “No, that is not reportable – you don’t need to call it in.”
Lila Rose then asked Thayer if Planned Parenthood changed its policy on reporting statutory rape after Live Action’s investigation in 2008. In that investigation, Lila Rose went to Planned Parenthood facilities claiming to be the victim of statutory rape. She recorded Planned Parenthood workers advising her to lie about her age so that the abuse would not have to be reported.

Rose wanted to know whether Planned Parenthood changed their policies after this happened. Thayer told her that soon after the undercover videos came out, Planned Parenthood put Lila Rose’s picture on the wall and encouraged workers to look out for her. However, they did not take steps to change their policy about statutory rape. They did not retrain the workers or change their policies.

Thayer also recalls one time where she did report a situation of statutory rape and Planned Parenthood’s reaction:
I actually did call in a suspected case one time, and I got in trouble for that. [I] should've called management first and found out if that was reportable or not, and I just called it in because I knew that it needed to be reported, and I was a mandatory reporter because of being a foster parent as well. So I felt like I really needed to. But that was frowned upon.
Former Planned Parenthood worker Catherine Adair had a similar story:
So many things would happen in that counseling room that really bothered me. There'd be girls coming in with their abusers. Against all protocol, the abuser would be you know, let in to the counseling room that was where they were supposed to be separated from who they were with – men were never allowed back there, but with these young girls, they'd be allowed back there because – even if they knew – even if I would go to the manager, and I said, “Look, there's something going on here.” – She would say, “She's better off with the abortion. We can't do anything about what's going on at home but at least we can give her the abortion.”
Not only did Planned Parenthood not report cases of statutory rape, they gave the girls’ abusers extra privileges to shadow the girls while they were having their abortions. In this way, Planned Parenthood actively aided the abusers.

Although Planned Parenthood sets itself up as a champion for women, it is clear that they do not have women’s best interests at heart. In this and many other cases, Planned Parenthood exploits women for financial gain. They are not protecting vulnerable teens who come to them seeking abortions or birth control. Instead, they are helping their abusers.

[Today's guest post by Sarah Terzo is part of our paid blogging program.]

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Saving Lives in Memory of Baby Emily

When I was a child, my baby sister died just two days before her delivery date when my mom’s uterus ruptured unexpectedly—the result of my Caesarean birth just four years earlier. It was the first real tragedy my parents faced in their marriage, and she just happened to die on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Every subsequent year on January 22nd, my parents remembered my sister Emily by participating in pro-life events, including our state’s annual March for Life. We sent up balloons. We ate birthday cake. We celebrated her life.

Even though my baby sister Emily was not an abortion victim, her death taught my family the value of human life and in a very real way started me on my journey as a pro-life activist.

I was only four years old when she died. Now I am 26 and have more than ten years of pro-life experience as an activist. I have volunteered at crisis pregnancy centers, counseled women outside of several Planned Parenthood clinics, referred several women for help, and witnessed more than one life saved.

I will always be grateful to my parents for their example of valuing human life. When facing the greatest tragedy of their marriage, they saw an opportunity for action in their community. They recognized that they were not the only ones to lose a child. In perhaps the most admirable way possible, they taught me to celebrate life and stand up for life at the same time, even in the face of death. This is what the pro-life movement is all about.

You don’t need to be religious to care about ending abortion. You just need to know the value of a human life.

[Today's guest post by Mary Flanagan is part of our paid blogging program.]

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Abortion is Nothing to Celebrate

On May 25, Ireland voted in favor of appealing their 8th amendment, passed in 1983, which addressed the equal right to life of unborn children and their mothers. The results were announced the following morning, to reactions of cheers, celebrations, and tears. These were happy tears from the pro-choice crowd, shed because while the country once allowed for abortion only when the mother’s life was at risk, legislation will now be introduced to allow for abortion for any reason for up to 12-weeks of pregnancy, and up until 6 months for vague reasons.

The pro-choice crowd has acknowledged that abortion is a difficult decision to make, but a woman’s decision to make all the same. At least, they used to. Pro-choicers might say that they are celebrating “choice” or “freedom,” but those are euphemisms.

Just as the pro-choice side has acknowledged that abortion is a difficult decision, they likewise ought to announce that there is nothing worth celebrating to it. Post-abortion women and those considering abortion might not feel much, if anything, about their pregnancy. Nobody purposefully gets pregnant just to have an abortion, though. Thus, an abortion, occurs because something that the woman didn’t intend on happening (the pregnancy) happened, and she does not wish to go through with it. This is an objective, undeniable view of abortion, no matter one’s view on the issue.

Those celebrating then are celebrating for something unintended to happen to women, for them to have to be put into a difficult decision, one which might endanger their health and well-being, one which they might come to regret. This is in addition to how in celebrating what will inevitably bring about more abortions, they are celebrating the death of innocent unborn children, who are unique individuals already beginning to develop from the moment they are conceived.

The abortion movement has misled society time and time again, especially and including women they claim to represent. This is true in the United States, where Norma McCorvey and Sandra Cano—the “Roe” and “Doe” of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decisions Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton—were misled by their legal teams in favor of getting the Court to legalize abortion on-demand in all 50 states, through all nine months of pregnancy. It’s true in Ireland, as well.

Abortion advocates decry pro-life laws and nations as anti-women, neglecting to mention that maternal mortality rates in pro-life Ireland were the envy of the world. The deceit doesn’t stop there, though. In Ireland, groups such as Amnesty International and Together for Yes, sold abortion as good for society. Amnesty spoke of “compassion, respect, dignity and equality.” Together for Yes claimed abortion would create “a more compassionate Ireland.” Sadly, the people of Ireland bought it.

Even if the people of Ireland wish to liberalize their abortion laws more so, perhaps to allow for more exceptions, there is certainly legislation to propose which is less extreme than the one at hand. Why wasn’t that considered, if the bottom line was to be “more compassionate,” and not to further the abortion cause?

And who, exactly, is abortion “more compassionate” for? Certainly not the unborn child, whose death by abortion is grisly and gruesome, no matter when in term or through what method. A former abortionist, Dr. Anthony Levatino, explains what a D&C abortion entails here in an interview with Lila Rose, president of Live Action.

Is abortion “more compassionate” for women? Not truly, not when, as already mentioned, these women are faced with unintended and frightening events in their lives, and one of their options is a cheap, quick fix. The pro-life movement certainly mourns for the lives lost to abortion, but even if they don’t consider the lives of those unborn children, those in the pro-choice movement shouldn’t be celebrating either. For what they’re celebrating is hard choices, as well as the pain and regret which often follows with it, for the women they claim to be in support of.

[Today's guest post by Rebecca Downs is part of our paid blogging program.]

Monday, June 4, 2018

Chemical Abortion and the Law

You may have read that last week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to a law regulating chemical abortion in Arkansas. The law requires chemical abortion vendors to partner with doctors who have hospital admitting privileges. As a result, two Arkansas abortion centers that do only chemical (and not surgical) abortions, and which cannot find willing partners, are expected to shut down.

This is encouraging not only for Arkansas—where at least 608 chemical abortions took place in 2014, the last year for which data is available—but for the pro-life movement nationally. The implications are significant.

Over the last few years, the abortion lobby has emphasized the strategy of expanding chemical abortion. Industry-friendly publications like Marie Claire and The Guardian have openly mused about a future in which abortion pills are available over the counter, bypassing clinics and all the regulation that goes with them.

This would be disastrous not only for the babies at risk of death and the women at risk of complications, but also for women with wanted pregnancies. There is simply no way to increase access to abortion pills for women without also increasing it for abusive men, who have already shown their willingness to force chemical abortions by slipping pills into their partners' drinks. And those cases are just the tip of the iceberg; since chemical abortion mimics a natural miscarriage, most victims have no idea what has happened.

Last October, the ACLU filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Hawai'i, seeking to make abortion pills available in retail pharmacies like CVS and Walgreen's. Although this case doesn't involve removing the prescription requirement (yet), other safeguards to screen out abusers—such as the requirements that vendors receive training and certification from the manufacturer, maintain signed patient agreement forms, and supervise the dispensation of the pills—are very much on the ACLU's chopping block. Those legal proceedings have been delayed, and the government defendants are expected to respond by the end of this month.

It's hard to believe that the Supreme Court which declined to intervene in the Arkansas chemical abortion case would buy the ACLU's arguments for chemical abortion expansion in the Hawai'i case. Stranger things have happened, and Secular Pro-Life will continue to monitor the proceedings, but I would not be feeling optimistic if I were an ACLU attorney. That's bad news for abusers, and great news for mothers and children.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Pro-life agnostic running for Senate in Missouri

Austin Petersen, a Missouri Republican candidate challenging Senator Claire McCaskill, has a fantastic article in the Springfield News-Leader entitled "Why I'm a Pro-Life Agnostic." The first half is devoted to how he came to question the existence of god—which, tragically, involves the death of his mother at the hands of a corrupt pharmacist. He then turns to the secular sources of his pro-life convictions:
I’m passionately pro-life and believe that Roe v. Wade was one of the cruelest, most heinous decisions ever made by our nation’s leadership.
It’s also one of the most hypocritical decisions, one that goes against the very fiber of who we are as a nation. The Declaration of Independence lays it all out quite clearly. Some truths are (or at least should be) self-evident: that we are all equal, no matter our parentage, race, class or age and that we all have a right not only to liberty and to pursue happiness, but to life itself. History judges societies based on how they treat their most vulnerable members. And when future generations remember that nearly a million abortions occur each year in this country, they will rightly judge us not only for our lack of compassion but for the way in which we betrayed our founding principles.
My pro-life position isn’t just ideological, however; it’s also quite personal. When I was a child, my parents met a woman who had an unwanted pregnancy and was considering abortion. They persuaded her to carry the child to term and offered to adopt after she was born. The woman agreed, and thanks to her courageous decision, I have a wonderful sister named Jodi.
That would be enough for any person to reject abortion—but Petersen also credits us!

Petersen knows that he has an uphill battle ahead; very few people have ever been elected to Congress as open nonbelievers. "But," Petersen writes, "I can’t in good conscience say that I do believe or that I don’t believe when that’s not the case. I have chosen to be completely transparent and honest with the people of Missouri, even if that means I may lose some support."

Republican primary voters will choose between Petersen, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, and several others on August 7. The winner will face Senator McCaskill on November 6.