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Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Top 10 Stories of 2020

The most-read articles on the Secular Pro-Life blog in 2020 are...

#10: Interview: Pro-life Democrats reflect on the Democratic Party and the pro-life movement—The abortion industry exerts a barbaric influence on the Democratic Party, but left-leaning pro-lifers refuse to be sidelined.

#9: Christopher Hitchens Wound Up Opposing Abortion Choice—Hitchens, like many Americans, had conflicting feelings about abortion which changed over time. Ultimately, he concluded that "[t]he presumption is that the unborn entity has a right on its side, and that every effort should be made to see if it can be preserved."

#8: Coronavirus, Liberty, and Abortion: Does the Right to Life Supersede All Other Rights?—The era of masks and social distancing has valuable lessons for the abortion debate.  

#7: Instead of abortion or adoption, what about kinship caregiving?—Guest author Virginia Pride brings attention to this under-discussed alternative. 

#6: Annie's story: unintended pregnancy threatened her athletic scholarship — and her pro-choice views—"I knew there was a tiny human growing within me. Abortion would mean ending my child’s life. I knew this as an objective, undeniable, scientific fact. Another scientific fact: I could not remain competitive at the Division I level much longer. I was in the middle of a moral dilemma, and it quickly dawned on me that I may not really have much of a choice at all."

#5: A Pro-Life Response to "The unscientific nature of the concept that 'human life begins at conception,' and why it matters"—Science is firmly on the side of the pro-life position. Pro-abortion science deniers rely on linguistic trickery.  

#4: How many Democrats are pro-life?—Depending on the poll you cite, somewhere between 11 million and 36 million.

#3: The pro-choice view survives on widespread ignorance of biology—Abortion industry leaders tend to avoid the easily debunked "clump of cells" lie, but rank-and-file pro-choicers have yet to catch on. 

#2: A Supreme Court abortion decision is expected any day. Here's what you need to know.—Sadly, the Supreme Court granted abortion businesses an undeserved exception from health and safety regulations. In the process, Chief Justice John Roberts revealed himself to be a coward.

#1: Even very pro-choice biologists acknowledge a human life begins at fertilization—The scientific consensus on life's beginning is abundantly clear. There is no mystery, only obfuscation.


Photo credit: Christin Hume on Unsplash

Monday, December 21, 2020

Americans United for Life releases 2021 "Life List"

Every year, Americans United for Life (AUL) releases the "Life List," which ranks each U.S. state on a spectrum from most to least pro-life based on a comprehensive legal analysis of each state's legal protections for human life from conception to natural death. Numerous laws, from gestational limits to informed consent to facility regulations, factor into the analysis. Historically, a state's position on the Life List positively correlates with its abortion rate.

Here are the rankings (click to enlarge), with #1 Arkansas being the best state for unborn children and #50 Vermont the worst:


AUL writes:
Every year the team at Americans United for Life ranks all 50 states on how welcoming and protective they are to all human life. For 2021, I couldn’t be more proud to announce that Americans United for Life has ranked the great state of Arkansas as the most pro-life state in our union!

2020 saw a real race to the top as communities across the country passed laws that save the lives of preborn children and protect the health of women. Arkansas is number one because of the truly impressive example that is being set in Little Rock. 
More details about the legal landscape in each state, along with recommended pro-life priorities for upcoming legislative sessions, can be found in AUL's "Defending Life" manual.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Seeking Graphic Design and Branding Volunteers

Do you have a passion for graphic design? Secular Pro-Life is looking for volunteers! 

Since we won't be attending any conferences for a while, we're taking this opportunity to revamp our exhibit booth. Banners, brochures, display backdrops, t-shirts: it's all on the table, and it all needs to look professional and consistently branded. 

If you think you’re right for this project, we'd love to hear from you! Please email info@secularprolife.org with the subject line "Graphic Design" and include a link to your portfolio and a little bit about yourself.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Congressional Testimony Highlights Life-Saving Importance of the Hyde Amendment

Last week, a Congressional subcommittee held a hearing on the Hyde Amendment, which prevents taxpayer funding of abortion through the Medicaid program. The subcommittee was dominated by abortion supporters. The purpose of the hearing, titled "The Impact on Women Seeking an Abortion but are Denied Because of an Inability to Pay," was to propagate the false narrative that the Hyde Amendment is racist. The truth is that the Hyde Amendment has saved the lives of over 2.4 million low-income children since 1976, including many Black and brown people. 

Christina Bennett (pictured) was the sole pro-life witness permitted to testify at the hearing. You may remember Christina from our joint presentation at the Students for Life of America conference a few years ago. We come from different backgrounds—she is a Black Christian, and I am a white atheist—and that diversity is a great source of strength.

Christina came very close to being aborted herself. To face off with powerful elected officials who support the industry that almost killed her, and who fraudulently claim the mantle of anti-racism to boot, must have been emotionally exhausting. Frankly, if I were in her position, I would have been too enraged to even form a coherent sentence. But leave it to Christina to school members of Congress with incredible poise and dignity! I am so proud to call her a friend. 

The time for live testimony was limited, but thankfully, Christina also had the opportunity to submit longer written testimony. It is reprinted below and well worth your read. 

* * *

Greetings Chairwoman DeLauro, Ranking Member Cole, and members of the subcommittee. My name is Christina Bennett and I am a pro-life advocate and the Communications Director for the Family Institute of Connecticut. The Hyde Amendment is very important to me and I'm grateful to share my story and why I feel it must be supported. 

For over 40 years, the Hyde Amendment has prohibited federal dollars from going towards taxpayer funding of elective abortions. This rider tacked onto the annual appropriations bill protects already vulnerable women from the ravages of the abortion industry. It honors the conscience rights of millions of hard-working Americans who object to their income funding the destruction of innocent lives through abortion. The Hyde Amendment, since its inception, has saved over two million unborn lives and spared their parents from the pain of abortion. 

My Mother's Story 

I was born in a Connecticut hospital in 1981, a year after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Hyde Amendment. My mother faced intense pressure to abort, leading her to schedule an appointment at Mount Sinai Hospital in Hartford, CT. The kind words of a Black elderly janitor encouraged her to walk out of her abortion appointment. "Do you want to have this baby?" she asked. My mother said yes. That question should have been asked by the counselor she met moments before. Sadly the counselor only assured her she was making the right decision by choosing abortion. Before she left the doctor's office, he tried to coax her to stay, reminding her she'd already paid for her abortion. My mother saw right through his insincere plea, recognizing his concern was about payment, not her welfare. He yelled, "Don’t leave this room!" but she left regardless of his forceful plea.  

Women Need Support, Not Abortion

My mother's story is representative of women who have been coerced into abortion and have received substandard care from an industry profiting from their pain. While working for four years at a pregnancy resource center I saw hundreds of mothers who made the decision to parent, choose abortion, and place their child in an adoptive home. I talked to women who sought abortions because their partners coerced them, they feared being kicked out of their homes, or lacked the practical resources they needed. 

Though their backgrounds and stories were different, many were looking for similar things. They wanted adequate housing, better employment, daycare assistance, material resources and emotional support. By offering free services like parenting classes and material support, we met the needs of women and their families. Some of those women decided to parent because we provided the support they needed to continue on in their pregnancy. One of the most desired things was safe housing. In the state of Connecticut, housing for young mothers beyond homeless shelters is hard to come by. I was grieved to see a faith-based home for teenage mothers, St. Agnes Home, close after 100 years, partly because the state stopped referring clients and funding them. 

I understand the reasons presented by the state for the home's closing. At the same time, it's disheartening to live in state where my taxpayer dollars fund abortion through Medicaid but I can't find adequate housing for pregnant women in need. Thankfully, faith-based homes like the Nehemiah House and the Malta House exist, but there is a great need for additional housing for pregnant women. I am often burdened by the reality that my state has financial resources to pay for pregnancy terminations but not to create the structures needed to help pregnant women survive.

Correcting Misunderstandings About Hyde 

The Hyde Amendment is falsely accused of being a discriminatory act, but studies show that low-income women of color are actually more supportive of the Amendment as well as opposing abortion in general. One recent study found that 55% of low-income respondents said that they specifically support the Hyde Amendment, and only 26% opposed it (11% somewhat; 15% strongly). In addition, a vast number of respondents said they support the Hyde Amendment, including Black respondents (42%-34%), Latinos (56%-24%), and whites (58%-29%). I have seen this in my own experience: many low-income women I've worked with are morally opposed to abortion and understand the harmful consequences that come with it. 

Hyde Saves Lives and Respects Consciences of Americans 

Hyde does not take away the legal right to abortion given in the Roe v. Wade ruling. The Hyde Amendment has provisions to allow for abortion in cases of rape, incest, and life threatening reasons related to a mother's health. However the vast majority of abortions in America are performed for elective reasons and the Hyde Amendment wisely prevents those abortions from being federally funded. Furthermore states can decide on their own if they want to fund abortion as 16 states have done.

The purpose of the Hyde Amendment is to protect the religious and general moral freedom of those whose religion or worldview obliges them to believe that abortion is the killing of an innocent person—it is not just because they don't like it, because it makes them uncomfortable, or because they disagree. It is not only morally unthinkable but also clearly unconstitutional to force someone to financially assist in the systematic murder of a vulnerable class of people—the unborn. As someone who escaped abortion, it is deeply troubling to know I am forced to financially contribute to the death of unborn children. 

Is Hyde Racist? 

The Hyde Amendment protects women from the abortion industry which is rooted in eugenics philosophy, population control, and the unlawful targeting of the Black community. Planned Parenthood locations across the country are acknowledging the racist roots of their organization. The Planned Parenthood of Greater NY has removed founder Margaret Sanger's name from their Manhattan building. Sanger focused her efforts on limiting the birth of poor, women of color and decades later her specific targeting has led to 79% of abortion facilities being located in low-income minority neighborhoods. 

Black women who are just 14% percent of the childbearing population are 3 times more likely to abort and make up over 36% of the abortions. In light of the decreasing Black population and disproportionate rate of abortion in the Black community, pro-abortion extremists are fighting to increase abortions nationwide through repealing Hyde and offering free abortions to the needy and vulnerable. It is at the least irresponsible and at the most sinister to allow a federal government with a history of eugenics, slavery, Jim Crow laws, and other forms of systemic racism to pay for-profit organizations to end the lives of the vulnerable.

Offering free abortions will secure Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry a guaranteed, steady stream of ready and available clients. The disenfranchised population of low-income Black and Latino women will be prey for an industry already found guilty of over-billing Medicaid, accepting racially motivated abortion donations and manipulating medical claims to increase financial gain.  

Former abortion workers who have left the industry tell horror stories of coercing women to abort for profit and being encouraged to reach abortion quotas set by Planned Parenthood executives. If unacceptable practices and abhorrent behaviors are already present with the current funding they receive, why should this industry be trusted with additional taxpayer dollars?

While Black women such as Cree Erwin, Lakisha Wilson, and Tonya Reaves have died at the hands of the abortion industry, others have been left wounded. I dedicate this testimony to my dear friend and strong Black mother, Destenie Watford. Destenie obtained a Medicaid-funded abortion at a Hartford county abortion clinic. Staff told her she was past the point of them being able to legally perform an abortion, but they did one anyway. Although CT law states abortions should be funded only for medical reasons, Destenie wasn't asked any questions about her health. They simply took her card and billed the state. Shortly after her 5-month abortion procedure she was rushed to the emergency room for a D&C procedure. Doctors found fetal remains inside of her body. She spent 3 days in the ER and if not for the care of medical professionals and the mercy of God, she would not be alive today. 

It is abhorrent that taxpayers are forced to be complicit in this type of injustice and abuse. Even though Destenie willingly chose abortion, she is still a victim to a system that manipulated her. She was lied to by our government to believe abortion was simply an inconsequential woman’s right. She joined Medicaid to help her family, not realizing how much the "benefit" of a free abortion would end up costing her. 

Abortion is not true aid to the pregnant woman in need. Abortion is the supposed alleviation of her "problem pregnancy" through an act of violence. Research shows that the vast majority of women who chose one abortion, in time, will have multiple abortions. One study identified 7,388,842 pregnancy outcomes occurring to Medicaid-eligible women in the 17 states which paid for abortion services between 1999-2014. Results from the study showed that women who aborted their first pregnancy were increasingly more likely to have another abortion at each following pregnancy and women experiencing abortions were more prone to hemorrhage and infection, two major causes of maternal mortality, among other adverse consequences. 

While pro-choice advocates present abortion as the best way out of dire circumstances, one can conclude that for a significant number of women, having an abortion means they're more likely to have another. This can create an unhealthy dependency on the act of abortion as a band-aid solution to the economic and health disparities that are at the root of the reasons women seek abortion. Removing Hyde would only make it easier for women to have multiple abortions and endure any consequences that could come as a result of those procedures. 

I am grateful for the Hyde Amendment and the estimated 60,000 lives that have been saved yearly because of it. One of those lives is my friend Deanna Fortin. Please consider her story and protect the Hyde Amendment:

Recent research estimates that the Hyde Amendment has saved more than two million children since its passage in 1976, and it is very likely that I was one of them. 

You see, when my birth mother found out she was pregnant with me, she was already a single teenage mother to three kids under the age of 5 years old. Having a fourth child under these circumstances was certainly not ideal for her, and many activists fighting to get rid of Hyde would argue that her situation is exactly why Medicaid should pay for poor women’s abortions. But instead of offering to kill her unborn child, free of charge, our government sent my birth mother a message of hope by paying for my prenatal care, birth, and care as an infant.  

Our worth in life is not determined by the economic circumstances at the time of our birth. Despite being born into poverty to a teenage mother, and despite spending the first five years of my life in the Louisiana foster care system, my life story is still one of hope. My siblings and I were all adopted, and three of us were placed with the same amazing family. I grew up knowing without a doubt that I was loved, and that I could achieve whatever goal I put my mind to.

For me, that goal was becoming a pro-life attorney focused on ensuring other children got the same chances in life I did. I am proud of what I have accomplished, and the lives I hope I have played some small part in saving. But what if my birth mother had gotten a different message from the government when I was still in her womb?

Policy is not made in a vacuum, and the policy choices we make as a nation deliver a very important message about our values. The Hyde Amendment sends the positive message that one’s economic status does not determine one’s worth and dignity as a human being. If we were to abolish the Hyde Amendment, what message would we be sending to poor women — that their unborn children are a problem and abortion is a solution? That the government takes a utilitarian stance on whether the lives of their unborn children have value?

Our nation has sent a strong message through the Hyde Amendment over the past 41 years, and has enabled more than two million Americans to pursue our inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Thank you for reading my testimony. God bless. 

Monday, December 14, 2020

Free E-Book Exposes Pro-Abortion Extremism

Author Sarah Terzo
Sarah Terzo is one of the most prominent atheists in the pro-life movement today. She is the brains behind Clinic Quotes, which tracks damning admissions by abortionists and their allies. Her writings regularly appear on Live Action News and Medium, and she serves on the boards of Consistent Life and the Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians (PLAGAL+). She is also a dear friend of Secular Pro-Life, volunteering at our conference booths and supporting us in myriad other ways. 

Sarah has prepared a 25-page e-book compiling some of her best insights on pro-choice activists who admit that abortion takes human life. It is meticulously sourced, straightforward, and a vivid reminder of the evil attitudes we are up against. And she's sharing it for free! All you have to do is sign up for her email list—giving you access to even more excellent pro-life content. 

The opening excerpt is below. I strongly encourage you to read the whole thing

* * *

It is sometimes assumed in the abortion debate that the fundamental difference between the pro-life and pro-choice position is conflicting views on when human life begins. Pro-lifers believe that life begins at conception. The fetus in the womb is a human being. Pro-lifers use science and reason to back up this premise. Pro-choicers, on the other hand, are thought to believe that a baby in the womb is not a human life. They think life does not begin at conception. Or they may believe that a fetus, while physically alive, is not a baby.

Many pro-lifers think that if we can just convince pro-choicers that a preborn fetus is a human being, they will change their minds and embrace the pro-life cause. Sadly, for many, if not most, this is not true.

More and more pro-choice activists are admitting that a preborn baby is a living human being. Their pro-choice stand is based not on the belief that the baby is not a human being, but rather on the belief that killing the baby is justified.

This opinion was expressed in Naomi Wolf’s essay "Our Bodies, Our Souls: Rethinking ProChoice Rhetoric." Her essay, which appeared in the October 16, 1995, issue of The New Republic, contains this passage:

It was when I was four months pregnant, sick as a dog, and in the middle of an argument, that I realized I could no longer tolerate the fetus-is-nothing paradigm of the pro-choice movement. I was being interrogated by a conservative, and the subject of abortion rights came up. "You're four months pregnant," he said. "Are you going to tell me that’s not a baby you’re carrying?"

The accepted pro-choice response at such a moment in the conversation is to evade: to move as swiftly as possible to a discussion of "privacy" and "difficult personal decisions" and "choice." Had I not been so nauseated and so cranky and so weighed down with the physical gravity of what was going on inside me, I might not have told what is the truth for me. "Of course, it’s a baby," I snapped. And went rashly on: "And if I found myself in circumstances in which I had to make the terrible decision to end this life, then that would be between myself and God."

Many pro-life readers found this revelation shocking, and some pro-choice activists criticized Wolf. Having a fellow activist suddenly proclaim that yes, a fetus has been a baby all along, was jarring to them. They saw her rhetoric as a threat to abortion rights. But despite the outcry from some pro-choicers, others have echoed her sentiments. 

One example is abortion supporter Judith Arcana. Arcana was part of the group JANE. JANE was a group of feminists that was established before abortion was legalized. JANE started as a referral service that connected pregnant women with illegal abortionists. Later, the members of JANE, who had no medical degrees, performed abortions on women themselves. They did illegal abortions in all three trimesters of pregnancy. Arcana, therefore, is both a pro-abortion activist and a former illegal abortionist. She says:

I performed abortions, I have had an abortion and I am in favor of women having abortions when we choose to do so. But we should never disregard the fact that being pregnant means there is a baby growing inside of a woman, a baby whose life is ended. We ought not to pretend this is not happening.

Arcana readily admits that abortion kills a baby. She clearly feels that abortions are justified, even though they kill babies. She has no problem with believing a woman has the right to murder her baby for personal reasons.

In an interview, Arcana was asked whether pro-choice activists should show pictures of starving children to illustrate the need for abortion and argue for legal abortion. She felt they shouldn't, because, "Surely the outcome of that approach is to make the case less woman-centered. Surely the child is really irrelevant to the issue (emphasis added)."

It is clear Arcana sees a preborn baby as a child, just like pro-lifers do. She just supports killing that child.

Julia Black echoed these sentiments in an interview in which she discussed My Fetus, a proabortion documentary that she directed. In an interview with ABC's Tony Jones, she said, bluntly, "[The idea of] dismembering a baby and pulling it out in pieces … is obviously horrific. But at the same time, it is easy to get caught up in that emotion." 

Julia Black implies that while abortion does indeed kill a baby by dismemberment, this act is nothing to be concerned about. There is no need to get "caught up" in an emotional reaction to the baby's murder. The baby's dismemberment is of no consequence. What is important is the mother's desire not to be pregnant. Those of us who are troubled by the thought of a baby being violently torn apart are overreacting and overemotional. We should just get over it and accept abortion.

Black also acknowledged that babies are killed by abortion when she said:

Having looked at the facts, uncomfortable as they are, you have to make up your own mind as to which life takes priority. That decision is a moral one, that only you can make.

Choosing abortion means sacrificing a life, acknowledges Black. But it should still be a woman's choice.

Is this callous attitude limited to only a few pro-choice advocates on the fringe? To answer that question, one needs to look no further than to Faye Wattleton, the former president of Planned Parenthood... 

To keep reading, sign up for Sarah's email list!

Friday, December 11, 2020

New Data Reveals Dozens of Abortion Businesses Took PPP Funding

Back in July, we reported that Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds were used to prop up several abortion businesses in addition to Planned Parenthood affiliates nationwide. Infuriatingly, Hope Clinic for Women in Illinois received over $150,000 despite publicly admitting that its gruesome business was booming; its deputy director told CBS News that "women are now less likely to change their minds once they schedule an abortion. Normally, 50% go through with it; amid the pandemic, the rate is 85%." PPP money was supposed to help struggling small businesses keep their employees on the payroll, not subsidize abortionists who are already flush with cash from exploiting mothers' fears.

Our July reporting was based on a limited data set, in which the Small Business Administration only disclosed businesses that received $150,000 or more in PPP funds and did not state the exact amounts of the grants. Following a lawsuit from major media outlets, the Small Business Administration recently released more complete data

Secular Pro-Life's analysis of this new information reveals dozens more abortion businesses that took PPP money from the American people, totaling over $3.5 million. Abortion lobby groups obtained millions more. Again, this is on top of the $80 million wrongfully taken by Planned Parenthood, which is excluded from our review because it has already been widely reported. 

With no further ado:

Abortion Businesses

A Gyn Diagnostic Center in Hialeah, FL received $12,120.

AbortionClinicsOrg (the infamous Leroy Carhart) in Bethesda, MD received $120,782. 

Acacia Women's Center in Phoenix, AZ received $27,500.

Access Health Center in Downers Grove, IL received $64,155.

Ashland Center for Women's Health in Ashland, OR received $7,000.

Atlanta Women's Medical Center in Atlanta, GA received $211,864.

Blue Coral Women's Care in Miami, FL received $8,446.

Bristol Regional Women's Center in Bristol, TN received $21,100.

Concord Feminist Health Center in Concord, NH received $111,000.

Delaware County Women's Center in Chester, PA received $44,526.

Desert Star Family Planning in Phoenix, AZ received $43,117.

Eastside Gynecology in New York, NY received $35,727.

Eve of Kendall in Miami, FL received $29,400.

Family Planning Association of Maine in Augusta, ME received $238,500. 

Feminist Health Ctr of Portsmouth in Greenland, NH received $51,619.

Feminist Women's Health Center in Atlanta, GA received $304,600.

Feminist Women's Health Center, which is apparently unrelated to the Georgia company above, operates the "Cedar River" chain of abortion centers in Washington state (Renton, Tacoma, and Seattle). It received $443,321.

Gynecology and More in Hialeah, FL received $9,840.

Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City, IL received $151,935.

Houston Women's Reproductive Services in Houston, TX received $26,930.

Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health in Knoxville, TN received $123,995.

Little Rock Family Planning Services in Little Rock, AR received $149,800.

Lovejoy Surgicenter in Portland, OR received $146,700.

Michigan Avenue Center for Health in Chicago, IL received $28,012. The grant was approved on May 1, 2020. Less than three months later, Michigan Avenue for Health hospitalized a teenage girl.

Miramar Woman Center in Miramar, FL received $9,750.

My Choice Medical Center in Van Nuys, CA received $87,500.

Potomac Family Planning Center in Rockville, MD received $112,400.

Northland Family Planning Clinic in Southfield, MI received $347,810.

Robbinsdale Clinic in Minneapolis, MI received $63,077.

South Wind Women's Center in Oklahoma City, OK received $91,800.

Tampa Woman's Health Center in Tampa, FL received $33,000.

Union Ob/Gyn in Union, NJ received $124,077.

West Alabama Women's Center in Tuscaloosa, AL received $121,500. West Alabama Women's Center killed a patient in May 2020 and its abortionist's medical license was suspended in August 2020. The Small Business Administration data set does not reveal whether the grant was approved before or after those events.

Women's Aid Center in Chicago, IL received $90,000.

Women's Choice of Hackensack in Hackensack, NJ received $31,715.

Women's Health Services in Brookline, MA received $20,800.

Y. H. Wong Ob/Gyn Practice in New York, NY received $20,832. 

Abortion Lobby Groups

Abortion Care Network received $139,827.

Center for Reproductive Rights received $3,305,897.

Carolina Abortion Fund received $7,246.

Chicago Abortion Fund received $23,900.

Guttmacher Institute received $3,043,300.

NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland Fund received $38,295.

NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts Foundation received $21,900.

NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota Foundation received $64,700.

NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri Foundation received $26,200.

NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina Foundation received $30,500.

NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon Foundation received $75,000.

National Abortion Federation received $583,993.

National Institute for Reproductive Health received $434,000.

National Network of Abortion Funds received $685,000.

Physicians for Reproductive Health received $390,000.

Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice received $95,885. [A prior version of this article incorrectly stated the amount as $866,703. This was caused by pulling from the wrong column of the Small Business Administration's spreadsheet. We regret the error.]

URGE: Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity received $333,800.


Photo credit: Giorgio Travato on Unsplash

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

November Recap

 

 

Projects
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!  In November Kelsey virtually presented the "Secular Case Against Abortion" to students at the Ave Maria School of Law and the University of Georgia. Continuing her role as a mentor to pro-life high school students, Kelsey also advised a recent meeting of the Students for Life of America Stevens Fellows.

Terrisa has been running social media for the campaign against New Jersey's S3030. This awful bill would do to New Jersey what has already been done to New York, expanding abortion in the state to until birth, threatening fully viable babies with poisoning or dismemberment for even the most flimsy of medical reasons. If you live in New Jersey, be sure to contact your state representative and senator and tell them to reject S3030.  

Terrisa also was featured in an article by Ireland-based The Minimise Project on her secular journey to the pro-life view.  

Oh, yes, and Terrisa got arrested while protesting fetal organ harvesting at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.



Twitter
We gained 156 new followers, bringing us to 13,529 total. We sent 40 tweets, which were viewed 177,700 times. Over 11,000 people viewed this tweet linking to our gallery of testimonies from people who grew up in foster care, in poverty, or with disabilities and who value their lives.


Original tweet here.
Facebook
In November we reached 33,709 followers.  Our content was viewed over 266,000 times, including 16,207 views of another one of Monica's fantastic red-ink takedowns of a pro-choice meme. 

Seriously, just take like 5 seconds. Enjoy more of Monica's fixed memes here.  



Blogger
Our three most-read blog posts for November in increasing order:If you have something to say about abortion from a secular perspective, we want to hear it!  Guest posts help us cover a more diverse range of perspectives, topics, and experiences. If you have a piece you'd like to be considered for posting, please email us at info@secularprolife.org.

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

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

Paypal

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

Monday, December 7, 2020

An Interview with the Founder of Colorado for Life

Secular Pro-Life's Monica Snyder recently interviewed Marcie Little of Colorado for Life, a new organization working to protect unborn children in a state with extreme pro-abortion policies.

How did you originally get involved in pro-life work? What did that look like?

My first real foray into pro-life work was with Save the Storks, where I worked for five years. Weeks into starting that job in 2013, the Kermit Gosnell trial started and I was heartbroken that any woman who walked into his office didn't immediately walk out. I was so burdened by the desperation and loneliness they must have felt to keep walking into the filth of his clinic and I realized the need for compassion towards the woman in the pro-life movement. It's something I've been passionate about ever since.

What is the abortion debate like in Colorado?

There really doesn’t seem to be much debate here. I think most people are uninformed that there are NO restrictions on abortion here; I didn't realize that until I had already lived here a few years. It's unthinkable and my guess is most people just don't think about it.

In relation to Prop 115, there was never a chance for honest debate and conversation because the opposition outspent us 15:1 and centered all of their messaging around three main lies: (1) Prop 115 is a ban on abortion (no mention of late-term abortion); (2) Prop 115 has no exception for the life of the mother (this was blatantly false); and (3) Prop 115 is intentionally confusing (it was the least confusing issue on the state ballot this year). Without adequate money to fight back against the nonstop lies in television ads, radio ads, and social media, it quickly became a losing battle.

What made you decide to create Colorado for Life?

Marcie Little

For the last couple of years, I've grown more and more frustrated that Colorado doesn't have any restrictions on abortion. I watched during our last legislative session two pro-life bills get sent to the kill committee where the pro-life side overwhelmingly brought more witnesses to testify on their behalf and they still got shot down. I attended a political grassroots training event earlier this year, hoping to change the abortion policies in our state. I met two other people at the event who were passionate about this issue as well, and after a few months of meeting together, we started Colorado for Life this summer.

Do you work with other Colorado pro-life groups? If so, what does that entail?

We’re new, and while we each individually engaged with Prop 115 as much as possible, Colorado for Life (as a 501c4) was not able to officially advocate for Prop 115 since it was a ballot initiative. Since we just started this summer, we haven’t had a chance to officially work with other groups yet, but we certainly will as long as the groups remain committed to the same goal of promoting pro-life policies in Colorado.

How was Colorado for Life involved in Prop 115? 

While CFL was not officially able to be involved in Prop 115, the other co-founders and I set up an Issues Committee to be able to help. I was involved in some of the early efforts last fall, helping get emails out, posting to social media, and also collecting signatures to get it on the ballot. Our Issues Committee (End Birthday Abortions) raised money in the last few months to help promote it and spread the word about Prop 115.

Quite a few Secular Pro-Life supporters in Colorado say that Prop 115 didn't pass because of relative lack of promotion and because the other side outspent pro-life advocates astronomically. What are the best ways to remedy these problems next time?

In a state like Colorado, it will be hard to pass ballot initiatives. They are a risky strategy for a few reasons:

(1) They involve educating a large number of people. Because this is already a polarizing issue and most people don’t understand it, it's very difficult to do that in our sound-byte marketing age.

(2) Fundraising for ballot initiatives is hard. Part of the reason for this is 501c4 organizations can’t promote or lobby against ballot initiatives; Issue Committees must be set up to do that. And ICs are required to collect personal information from their donors (like employment status and employer) once they raise over $5,000 and disclose that information on the Colorado Secretary of State website. Many people who would be willing to donate large sums of money are hesitant to do so because of the rise of doxxing and other aggressive tactics used by the left in recent years.

I don't believe ballot initiatives are the way to go in a state that has so far to go to enact any kind of abortion restriction. They're much easier to pass in Louisiana or other states that have already done a lot of legislative work to move the needle.

If a Colorado resident wants to get involved in pro-life work for the first time, what would you recommend?

There are a few things I'd recommended. Locally, support your pregnancy center. They don't receive government funding and are up against the same misinformation campaigns Prop 115 faced. They need funding to reach women with advertising who are now looking for the abortion pill online and may not ever hear about a pregnancy center without seeing ads. And ads are expensive. You can also support your center by volunteering and donating baby/maternity supplies.

Statewide, join Colorado for Life. We're raising money to combat the abortion industry in Colorado and have a two-pronged approach: Education and Mobilization. We're working to educate Coloradans about just how bad things are here when it comes to abortion, and are also mobilizing Coloradans to engage in politics to do something about it. By joining our email list, people can learn about opportunities to act as they come up and we'll keep people informed on what’s happening during the legislation session on issues that relate to life. To change the situation here, we need people engaged all the time, not just for a short stint to try to get a ballot initiative passed. We believe the lives of the unborn and the well-being of their mothers are worth that investment of time and energy.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

CDC Releases 2018 Abortion Data

CDC building

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control released its annual abortion surveillance report. First, two caveats:

  • Reporting is always a couple of years behind. This report covers the 2018 calendar year. Obviously, it does not account for the impact of COVID-19; we likely won't have that data until 2022.
  • CDC data are incomplete, because state reporting to the CDC is voluntary and some pro-abortion jurisdictions—most notably California—refuse to participate. Therefore, the number of abortions reported by the CDC is not reliable, and we will not be repeating it here. (The more reliable source for total abortions is the Guttmacher Institute, which reported 862,320 abortions in the United States in 2017.) However, since the CDC's data collection is flawed in the same way year after year, the CDC's reporting on abortion trends is generally trustworthy.
The CDC reports that in 2018, there were 11.3 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years (the abortion rate), and 189 abortions per 1,000 live births (the abortion ratio). The long-term trend is positive: since 2009, the abortion rate has decreased 24% and the abortion ratio has decreased 16%. In the short term, however, there has been a sad uptick: between 2017 and 2018, the abortion rate increased 1% and the abortion ratio increased 2%. The CDC concludes:
Among the 48 areas that reported data continuously during 2009–2018, decreases were observed during 2009–2017 in the total number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions, and these decreases resulted in historic lows for this period for all three measures. These decreases were followed by 1%–2% increases across all measures from 2017 to 2018.
The CDC reports that 77.7% of abortions were committed at or before nine weeks, and of those, half were chemical abortions. Nine percent of abortions were committed in the second or third trimester; using the Guttmacher Institute's figure of 862,320 total abortions, we can estimate that 77,609 babies with a gestational age of 13 weeks and older were killed by abortion in 2018. 

Forty percent of abortions in 2018 were repeat abortions. Nearly sixty percent of abortion customers in 2018 had given birth at least once previously.

Abortion continues to have a disproportionate impact on communities of color. One third of abortion victims were the children of Black women, even though only 13.4% of the general U.S. population is Black. Black women had the highest abortion rate (21.2 abortions per 1,000 women) and ratio (335 abortions per 1,000 live births)

Before you get too discouraged, it's important to note that abortion rates and ratios varied tremendously from state to state. The best numbers came from Missouri, where a strong pro-life movement has closed down all but one abortion business. Missouri's abortion rate was 2.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years and its abortion ratio was 40 abortions per 1,000 live births. Other states with pro-life policies also enjoyed below-average abortion rates and ratios. Compare that to extreme pro-abortion outliers like New York City (26.8 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years and 457 abortions per 1,000 live births) and Washington, D.C. (25.3 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years and 518 abortions per 1,000 live births).

The CDC correctly notes that "[m]ultiple factors influence the incidence of abortion, including access to health care services and contraception; the availability of abortion providers; state regulations, such as mandatory waiting periods, parental involvement laws, and legal restrictions on abortion providers; increasing acceptance of nonmarital childbearing; and changes in the economy and the resulting impact on fertility and contraceptive use." Many of these factors are within our control, as a society. Let the CDC's report motivate you to do everything in your power to save even more children from abortion!


[Image source: CDC.gov]

Monday, November 30, 2020

Our January Plans

Pro-life marchers with banners

January is always a busy time for Secular Pro-Life, and the pro-life movement as a whole, as we mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and develop strategies to save lives in the new year. COVID-19 will make things a bit different in 2021 (read: social distancing and no indoor events), but we are committed to safely making a stand for children in the womb. Our schedule is below; we hope you can join us!

January 2-23: Midwest "Moving the Movement" Tour and Diaper Drive

As we've previously written, the March for Life Chicago is adapting to COVID-19 with a series of smaller parking lot rallies throughout the Midwest. (They're partnering with local radio stations so people can listen to pro-life speakers from their cars; how cool is that?) Secular Pro-Life is pleased to co-sponsor the tour, which has stops in Madison, WI (January 2); Des Moines, IA (January 9); Omaha, NE (January 10); Fort Wayne, IN (January 16); Mundelein, IL (January 17); Indianapolis, IN (January 22); and of course, Chicago, IL (January 23). At the Chicago stop, check your goodie bag for a treat from Secular Pro-Life! 

The tour organizers are also collecting diapers for families in need at each location, with a goal of 130,094—one for every baby annually aborted in the Midwest. Whether or not you live in the Midwest or are able to participate in the tour, we encourage you to contribute online

Friday, January 29: The March for Life in Washington, D.C.

You can find Secular Pro-Life with our friends from Rehumanize International and other organizations at 10:30 a.m. at the corner of Constitution Avenue. Details here. Look for our 14-foot-tall, bright blue banner; you can't miss it! While supplies last, we will be distributing FREE masks featuring our classic slogan "Call me an extremist, but I think dismemberment is wrong."

Saturday, January 30 (day): Virtual Pro-Life Student Conference

The Cardinal O'Connor Conference on Life, traditionally held at Georgetown University, is going remote this year. Secular Pro-Life appreciates this opportunity to connect with Catholic university students and help them reach their secular classmates with the pro-life message. Stop by our virtual exhibit booth and say hello! Registration is required

Saturday, January 30 (evening): Virtual Game Night Fundraiser

Sadly, our traditional karaoke fundraiser is not possible during the pandemic. Instead, we are partnering with Rehumanize International for a virtual game night! Details to follow. 

* * * 

P.S.—Although the lack of in-person conferences has reduced our expenses somewhat, this is still the most costly time of year for us. Please donate to Secular Pro-Life if you are able. We greatly appreciate your support!

Monday, November 23, 2020

What We're Thankful For

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

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

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

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

For Life,

Kelsey, Monica, and Terrisa

[Photo credit: Chris Lawton on Unsplash]

Friday, November 20, 2020

Medical Waste Company Ends Partnership with Late-Term Abortion Business

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

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

"I Voted" stickers

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Photo credit: Element5 Digital on Unsplash]

Monday, November 16, 2020

Georgia Run-Off Election Crucial to Save Preborn Lives

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

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

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

[Photo credit: Students for Life]

Friday, November 13, 2020

Secular Resources for Abortion Healing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Photo credit: Students for Life Action]