Wednesday, May 4, 2016



Clinton blasts Indiana law that protects babies from abortions based on sex or disability

By Dave Andrusko
Pro-abortion Hillary Clinton
Pro-abortion Hillary Clinton
Understandably, most of the media attention today on presidential primaries in Indiana has focused on the Republican side of the ledger where front-runner Donald Trump aims to extend his sizable lead over pro-life Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
And although pro-abortion Hillary Clinton has a commanding, indeed probably insuperable delegate lead over pro-abortion Democratic Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, she is hoping to avoid a loss to her lone competitor.
I had meant to mention a comment Mrs. Clinton made last weekend, just hours after the ACLU predictably challenged a comprehensive Indiana law which, among other provisions, protects unborn babies who would be aborted because of a disability or because of their gender (almost always girls).
“I will defend a woman’s right to make her own health-care decisions,” Clinton said to a few hundred supporters at a gathering . “I’ll tell ya, I’ll defend Planned Parenthood against these attacks. And I commend the women of this state, young and old, for standing up against this governor and this legislature.”
The Washington Post’s David Weigel noted
She did not mention the details of the legislation, House Bill 1337, which bans abortions for several factors not deemed life-threatening.
Why would she? Anything that offers even the tiniest protection to unborn babies must be opposed by Planned Parenthood’s much preferred candidate.

Source:NRLC News

Media Bias


Pro-abortion “study” totally misrepresents what CPCs do, pretend results illustrate what “really” happens there

By Dave Andrusko
"All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center" refers for abortions, yet calls itself a "Pregnancy Resource Center"
“All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center” refers for abortions, yet calls itself a “Pregnancy Resource Center”

Last month , the pro-abortion-to-the-hilt site RH Reality Check changed its name to Rewire. We were told nothing had changed, except that they were better than ever.
Their “high-quality daily online publication” would “contribute to a free and just society by ensuring the exchange of information that is accurate, fair, and thorough,” Editor in Chief Jodi Jacobson assured her readers. Well… what’s the over/under on that?

A friend sent this to me this morning. Based on a study that appeared in the journal Contraception, Nicole Knight Shine wrote a story at under the headline, “Study: Pregnant People Seek Diapers, Not Abortion Counseling.”

The title of the study at Contraception is, “What women seek from a pregnancy resource center.”
From the abstract we learn that lo and behold, almost all of the women come to pregnancy resource centers/crisis pregnancy centers for free diapers and baby clothes. “Only 6% of clients discussed pregnancy options and only 2% discussed abortion during peer counseling.”
Wow, who’d thunk. Can this be true? Of course not.
Let’s start with the obvious: Cui bono? Who benefits? Start with the three researchers who wrote the study.

They call the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) home. As NRLC’s director of Education Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon once put it, “If Planned Parenthood is America’s abortion chain and the Guttmacher Institute its source of statistics, then UCSF has long been the nation’s abortion training academy.”
Not exactly a font of objectivity on “reproductive health” issues.
Here’s Knight Shine’s summary conclusion:
While acknowledging the limited scope of the research, [co-author Katrina] Kimport suggests the findings illuminate a possible mismatch between the resources sought by clients and the ostensible aim of crisis pregnancy centers.
Kimport noted that the work underscores that pregnant people are not making abortion decisions at these centers. Instead, as authors of the report indicate, pregnant people arrive at their decisions by conferring privately with family and friends.
The research comes as nearly half of states now funnel tax dollars to CPCs, often at the expense of community health care.
So, if there is a “mismatch,” and “nearly half of states now funnel tax dollars to CPCs, often at the expense of community health care,” what’s the logical conclusion? Don’t be wasting resources on those pregnancy help centers (PRCs). Anybody can hand out free diapers and baby clothes.
So, another arrow in the pro-abortion quiver to shoot at the abortion industry’s competition.
And, of course, we can generalize the results of the study which, as it happens, is of one pregnancy resource center, right?
So who is “All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center in Bloomington, Indiana.” According to Knight Shine
The center offers a variety of pregnancy-related services, including abortion referrals—the only pregnancy resource center in the state to do so, according to the study.
What? The specific agency studied is not a pro-life PRC at all! It makes abortion referrals, “the only pregnancy resource center in the state to do so”! (You would hope so!)
Is Planned Parenthood a PRC because some affiliate, somewhere handles an adoption or two besides the thousands of babies it kills?
My friend (who is much gentler than I am), wrote, “Thus, it is flawed to extrapolate from this one pro-abortion agency what the thousands of pro-life PRC’s and maternity homes provide.”
No, it is not merely “flawed.” It is deliberately misleading, patently dishonest, and thoroughly representative of the results first, evidence later (or never) style of pro-abortion “research.”
Genuine PRCs offer free diapers and baby clothes and layettes and lots of other items new moms need. But they don’t hand out Pampers with one hand and instructions to the local abortion clinic with the other.
Rewire? How about rewiring rewire with an emphasis on truth in advertising?

Source: NRLC News

Monday, May 2, 2016

Abortion Positive?????


Are you “abortion positive”? Child rapists are.

I hear a lot of claims from abortion proponents. Some are meticulously researched and challenging to answer. Some aren’t:
Nobody likes abortionPeople who say this are usually one of two things: uninformed or dishonest. If they’re dishonest, there isn’t much you can do. But if they’re just uninformed, then you can change that pretty easily. There’s a group that’s making it even easier.
Abortion Positive

Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity (URGE) finished their Abortion Positive bus tour recently. Visiting 10 college campuses, stops were billed as “an all day event celebrating access to abortion.” They featured “free giveaways, special speakers” and “someone in a vagina costume who would love to be on your snap chat story!”
Meanwhile, members of the University of North Georgia’s Skeptics Society held an event offering fetus shaped cookies a couple weeks back. Visitors were encouraged to give reasons why abortion should remain legal. Examples included,

Clearly, these people do like abortion. What’s more, plenty of others feel the same way. They aren’t all in educational facilities, though; some are in correctional ones.
Gary Cross is. Cross went to prison for raping his 13 year-old stepdaughter, a crime Planned Parenthood helped cover up. Cross brought the victim there after getting her pregnant. Despite her being well below the age of consent, staff didn’t contact authorities, setting up an abortion instead. When the evidence was gone, the abuse resumed.
Timothy Smith also had an “abortion positive” outlook, and with good reason: the abortion Planned Parenthood did on his 13 year-old victim kept her rape hidden. Once again, Planned Parenthood’s employees weren’t too concerned about seeing a pregnant child. As one later admitted, “being thirteen and pregnant alone is not a red flag.”
Luis Gonzalez-Jose was thankful for Planned Parenthood’s abortion services after raping an 11 year-old. Fellow predators John Blanks, Jr., Adam Gault, Joseph Coles, Kevon Walker, Edgar Ramirez, and Grey David Woods were too.
But child rapists aren’t the only ones who like abortion: in cultures that prefer sons, that’s how daughters are often disposed of. It doesn’t just happen overseas: the Canadian Medical Association Journal has called Canada “a haven” for sex selective abortion, and a new study supports the characterization. Undercover footage from Live Action has proven that Planned Parenthood gladly provides the same service.

And then there’s plain old misogynists. Christian McQueen wrote “The Ten Slut Commandments,” a guide on how to “exploit” and “use” women with “low self-esteem” and “daddy issues.” Here’s why abortion access is something he values:Christian McQueen quoteAs you can see, URGE has no shortage of company when it comes to liking abortion. If you don’t fall into that category, then there’s something you should probably do: stop funding it.
Planned Parenthood is America’s largest abortion chain, receiving over half a billion dollars of your money every year. Tell Congress that funding should go to federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and community health centers (CHCs) instead. Not only are FQHCs and CHCs more accessible, they also provide services that Planned Parenthood doesn’t.
Unfortunately, I suspect groups like URGE aren’t going to stop cheering for abortion. Those who conceal rape and kills girls? They won’t either.

Source: LiveAction News


(Photo credit: Carla Alves)

Prenatal testing pioneer regrets giving birth to son with Down syndrome

There has been a lot of discussion in the pro-life community about prenatal testing. It’s often blamed for the extraordinarily high rate of abortion among babies diagnosed prenatally with disabilities. It’s become so ubiquitous that parents now file wrongful birth suits for not having the opportunity to abort their children with disabilities. And while it would be impossible to lay blame at the feet of one sole person for this state of affairs, a good place to start would be with Len and Lee Herzenberg. The couple was recently spotlighted in NPR’s “Only Human” podcast series, in “A Birth That Launched The Search For A Down Syndrome Test.”

The Herzenbergs gave birth to their son, Michael, in 1961. He was whisked off to the NICU after he began turning blue, and not long after, doctors diagnosed Michael with Down syndrome. They gave him a few months to live, and then sent Len in to tell his wife. They immediately decided that they did not want their son anymore.

“We hugged each other, and it was a terrible conversation to realize that you’d lost the baby, but the baby was lost,” Lee says now. “We knew immediately what we’d do. We had already made the decision that it was not a good thing to take the baby home, and so we didn’t.”
… Lee and Len Herzenberg had seen friends struggle with the birth of a child with Down syndrome and had even gone with a colleague to an institution, where he dropped off his own infant daughter.
So, they decided Michael would never come home.
But the Herzenbergs were scientists. Len was a professor at Stanford, working in the fields of immunology and genetics. Lee, also a professor of genetics at Stanford, is still running the lab she and her husband founded together at the age of 81. They worked together at Caltech, the Pasteur Institute in Paris, and the National Institutes of Health. Together, they developed the fluorescence-activated flow cytometer, or FACS. FACS was used to diagnose AIDS, and found the first stem cells. But the Herzenbergs wanted to use it to be able to diagnose Down syndrome prenatally… to avoid more babies with Down syndrome being born. So, with a medical student named Diana Bianchi, they set about using FACS to isolate fetal cells in the mother’s bloodstream.
The Herzenbergs didn’t create the prenatal testing that we have now. But their work was the first step towards making that prenatal testing a reality. And decades later, in 2008, Len supported researchers who did create the non-invasive prenatal blood screenings and ensured that their work got published.
Lee Herzenberg is honest about what she would have done if she’d known early on in her pregnancy that Michael had Down syndrome.
“I’d say if I had the choice of not pushing Michael into this life — if I at that time would know I was carrying a Down syndrome child — I would have aborted the child,” she says. “I see no reason Michael has to live the life he leads. The fact that we’ve made it very happy for him or that he’s made it very happy for us — all of that is adapting to a situation, but I don’t think it’s fair or proper.”
Oddly, while Lee finds it perfectly acceptable to abort a baby because they have a disability, she hates the idea of women using prenatal testing to abort babies because they are girls. How can someone not see the cognitive dissonance there? And Lee’s outlook, that she sees “no reason” that Michael has to live his life, is horrifying. Did she ever bother asking Michael what he thinks of his life? Does she care? Judging by her utter lack of regret for not being involved whatsoever in her son’s life, the answer is no. After all, if she had raised her son, she might not have been able to pioneer research that would lead to prenatal testing that allowed women to have the abortions she missed out on.
I asked Lee if she ever regretted not raising Michael, and she said no. “It was a decision that was selfish, if you like, because we had things we wanted to do. In retrospect, a lot of things would never have gotten done. There would be no FACS had we decided to do this. Because it would have been a very intensive kind of upbringing.”
On the flip side, though, another researcher is using prenatal testing for good. That medical student that worked with them so many years ago, Diana Bianchi, founded the Mother Infant Research Institute. She still works on prenatal testing, but not with the goal of exterminating people with disabilities. Her goal is to improve the lives of people with disabilities.
Now that she can detect Down syndrome so early, she wants to treat it early, too — in the womb. Because finding this chromosomal abnormality at 10 weeks means there’s a window of opportunity: The brain changes associated with Down syndrome don’t occur until a month or so later. Theoretically, you could treat a fetus before some brain changes occur at all.
Bianchi’s work is still early. She’s experimenting with mice, giving them existing drugs in utero to see if she can forestall brain damage.
This is what the purpose of prenatal testing should be. Bianchi’s work could drastically improve the lives of human beings with chromosomal abnormalities. Imagine the possibilities if her research is ultimately successful! It’s just a shame that the Herzenbergs didn’t have a similar outlook. How much good could have they done? And how different could Michael’s life have been?
Lee Herzenberg brushes off her son’s life as not worth living. Even the NPR reporter says that they aren’t sure how much Michael can understand, even though Michael can read and uses a cell phone, and his caretaker says he’s a lot like his mother. Once only given months to live, he’s now 54 years old and lives in a group home. He never lived with the Herzenbergs, because they never wanted to bring him home. But Michael still loves his parents, filling his room with pictures of his mom and dad.
If only more people were willing to embrace that kind of love, the world might be a much better place.

Source: LiveAction News

Follow the Money


Planned Parenthood CEOs and late-term abortionists donate thousands to Democratic party

A 2015 Planned Parenthood Affiliate Chief Executive Officers Report (prepared by STOPP International) lists 62 current or recent Planned Parenthood affiliate CEOs. Searching these CEOs on the FEC and Open Secrets websites will turn up thousands of dollars in donations to three favorites:
  1. Barack Obama
  2. Hillary Clinton
  3. The Democratic Party (both national and state)

Time and space in previous articles have already been spent detailing the dedication of Planned Parenthood to President Barack Obama. Those donations have ended, as Obama is term-limited and will be longer be campaigning for a political office.
This article will not be focusing on donations to candidates by Planned Parenthood’s political action committee or by its president, Cecile Richards. (The relation between the abortion giant at large and Hillary Clinton is explained in detail here.) Instead, this article will focus on personal donations by top Planned Parenthood staff throughout the nation, as well as late-term abortionists, to the Democratic party.
Warren Hern
Hern is a late-term abortionist described who operates his facility in Boulder, CO. He is currently being sued for a botched abortion that left a 4-centimeter piece of the baby’s skull in the mother’s uterus. The complaint against Hern indicates he did not even bother to conduct an ultrasound following the late-term abortion to ensure all pieces of the baby had been removed. Hern has written a textbook on abortion procedures and describes that “the sensations of dismemberment flow through the forceps like an electric current.”
Hern has regularly donated to a number of Democratic politicians – including Hillary Clinton, CO Rep. Dianna DeGette, and former CO Senator Mark Udall. Additionally, he has donated thousands to the Democratic party, including:
  • Four donations to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from 1998 to 2006, totaling $3,499.
  • 14 donations to the Democratic Party of Colorado from 2005 to 2010, totaling $13,750. His biggest donation year to date was 2007, with $8,250 going to the party that year.
George Tiller
Tiller was perhaps the most infamous late-term abortionist in the nation. He was known for performing partial-birth abortions, even on healthy, late-term babies. Prior to his shooting death in 2009, he was a giant donor to the Democratic Party – on the state and national levels. Tiller donated:
  • $50,800 to the Kansas Democratic State Committee from 1989-2004.
  • $24,874 to multiple state Democratic committees and/or Democratic victory/election committees in states including Ohio, Michigan, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida, Missouri, Indiana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Colorado, Alaska, Wisconsin, Virginia.
  • All of the $24,874 was donated in 2008, except for $5000 that was given in Missouri in 2004. The majority of Tiller’s, 2008 donations were made in October, just before the general election.
  • On the national level, Tiller made six donations to the DNC Services Corp/Democratic National Committee from 1996-2008, totaling a whopping $69,000.
Planned Parenthood affiliates’ top staff

The following donations can be searched here. They total nearly $41,000 with over half coming from the Chief Medical Officer at one of the Planned Parenthood affiliates that is a chief suspect in the baby body parts scandal – PP Mar Monte, CA.
Dorothy Furgerson, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, PP Mar Monte, CA: TOTAL $16,674.50
Biggest Donation Year: 2014, with $10,000
  • Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee:
    $250 2004
    $250 2012
  • DNC Services Corp/Democratic National Committee:
    $250 1999
    $250 1999
    $250 2002
    $250 2004
    $250 2000
    $500 2004
    $500 2006
    $500 2006
    $500 2007
    $250 2007
    $250 2008
    $500 2010
    $500 2010
    $10,000 2014
  • California Democratic Party:
    $237 1999
    $475 2006
    $237.50 2007
    $475 2010
Sarah Stoesz, CEO PP MN, SD, & ND, St. Paul, MN: TOTAL $6,705
  • DNC Services Corp/Democratic National Committee:
    $1,530 2012
    $250 2012
    $750 2012
  • Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (the Democratic Party in MN):
    $250 2012
    $375 2013
    $250 2013
    $500 2014
    $300 2015
    $2,500 2015
Jill June, former CEO, PP of the Heartland, Des Moines, IA: TOTAL $2,000
  • Iowa Democratic Party:
    $500 2011
    $500 2013
    $500 2012
    $500 2015
Carole Brite, CEO, PP Illinois, Chicago, IL: TOTAL $250
  • Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee:
    $250 2012
Heather Estes, CEO, PP Northern California, Concord, CA: TOTAL $500
  • DNC Services Corp/Democratic National Committee:
    $500 2014
Laura Meyers, CEO, PP Metropolitan DC, Washington, DC: TOTAL $550
  • Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee:
    $300 2012
    $250 2012
David Greenberg, CEO, PP Columbia Willamette, Portland, OR: TOTAL $1,350
  • Democratic Party of Oregon:
    $500 2010
    $250 2011
    $350 2011
    $250 2011
Bryan Howard, CEO, PP Arizona, Phoenix, AZ: TOTAL $3,700
  • Arizona State Democratic Central Executive Committee:
    $1250 2003
    $250 2004
    $400 2010
    $300 2012
    $500 2014
    $500 2015
  • DNC Services Corp/Democratic National Committee:
    $500 2000
Barbara Zdravecky, CEO, PP SW & Central FL, Sarasota, FL: TOTAL $500
  • DNC Services Corp/Democratic National Committee:
    $500 2010
Betty Cockrum, CEO, PP Indiana and Kentucky, Indianapolis, IN: TOTAL $1,000
  • Indiana Democratic Congressional Victory Committee:
    $1,000 2012
Loreen Lamerand, CEO, PP Mid & S Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI: TOTAL $2,500
  • Michigan Democratic State Central Committee:
    $2,500 2014
Peter Brownlie, CEO, PP KS & Mid-Missouri, Overland Park, KS: TOTAL $250
  • Kansas Democratic Party:
    $250 2011
Jeffrey Hons, CEO, PP South Texas, San Antonio, TX: TOTAL $500
  • DNC Services Corp/Democratic National Committee:
    $500 2004
Jeff Teague, CEO,PP Middle and East TN, Nashville, TN: TOTAL $1000
  • DNC Services Corp/Democratic National Committee:
    $1000 2004
Stacy James, CEO, PP Montana, Billings, MT: TOTAL $750
  • DNC Services Corp/Democratic National Committee:
    $200 2004
  • Montana Democratic Party:
    $250 2004
    $300 2005
Karrie Galloway, CEO, PP Assoc Utah, Salt Lake City, UT: TOTAL $2,750
  • Utah State Democratic Committee:
    $1,000 2010
    $500 2012
    $250 2012
    $1,000 2013
Source: LiveAction News

Music and Media

Nichole Nordeman

Viral music video celebrates motherhood

Christian artist, Nichole Nordeman, is out with a new music video that is already going viral, a mere three days after “Slow Down” was released. While the video has over 17,000 views on YouTube, its Facebook total has already hit 2.5 million.
The song celebrates the preciousness of children, calling them “everything I wanted” even in the unexpected and tearful moments.

This video was personal for Nordeman, as she tweeted that “lots of people I love” are in “Slow Down” and explained that she wrote it for her son’s fifth grade graduation.
Nordeman shared with World Magazine that she had a time of slowing down – or stopping, really – in her own life, when, at the peak of her singing career, she felt God asking her to stop.
I was a new mom. I know so many artists and friends of mine who are able to make those two worlds live together in tandem. They bring nannies on the road and they homeschool on the tour bus. That just never felt like a fit for me, and so I was subsequently not being a great artist or a great mom. …
I think God was so generous to continue to give me creative opportunities while I was home during that season where I wasn’t recording and I wasn’t touring, I wasn’t traveling. I was able to write a book. I was able to write songs for a project called The Story, 17 songs for a multiartist collaboration. I don’t feel like I ever stopped fully creating. I just didn’t have to get on a tour bus or an airplane to do it.
Nordeman has now stepped back into her singing career, and it seems as though she is proving to be as popular as ever with music that reaches into the hearts of her listeners. As a mother who has given freely to her children, Nordeman has experienced the words she sings. And moms are responding to “Slow Down,” sharing their own thoughts about the precious lives entrusted to them.
One young mother of two small children posted Nordeman’s video with her own comment: “Such a sweet reminder that these are the times I will miss so dearly. Trying to soak up every moment, even with the diaper changes, tantrums, and sleepless nights. I wouldn’t trade these days for anything.”
A British woman reflected on why “Slow Down” is touching so many hearts:
“I sat crying big blobby tears to this and then shared it on my business page (I run music/multi sensory classes for babies and toddlers). The shares, likes and reach has been huge…why? Because whatever colour, creed, religion, background we are the love we have for our children reminds us of the heartbeat of God within us more than anything else and we just get it. Thank you for giving me something to share that truly touches hearts. Xx PS. It’s been such a thrill to share your music, which I have followed and has been such a part of my journey with Jesus since the beginning, with an audience that probably wouldn’t have ever come across you here in England too! Xx”
An mother who has adult children reminisced:
“I’ve given one away in marriage, watched graduations, and even very unexpectedly given one teenager back to Jesus. I treasure the memories of all my children’s childhoods even more than ever, and wish like anything for those days back. I cherish each and every day with all my kids, even though the last is in high school.”
At least one dad touchingly admitted to crying over Nordeman’s song, tweeting, “firefighter on duty. Have tears. Should have waited. Hoping for no calls.”
For anyone wondering where to buy the song:

Source: LiveAction News

Sunday, May 1, 2016



How we communicate the Pro-Life Story to a 21st-Century Audience

By Dave Andrusko
“The bottom line is no woman is going to want an abortion after seeing a sonogram.” — Francesco Angelo, medical director of the Family Planning Center in Mineola, as quoted in the New York Times.
shesachildYears ago Prof. George McKenna wrote one of the best essays on abortion I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. Titled, “On Abortion: A Lincolnian Position,” McKenna’s message is, if anything, more relevant today, than it was when his essay first appeared in The Atlantic Magazine.

With respect to the abomination of slavery, “People’s moral intuitions could not be repressed,” McKenna wrote. “[T]hey would surface in all kinds of unexpected ways: in winces and unguarded expressions, in labored euphemisms, in slips of the tongue. Lincoln was on the lookout for these, and he forced his opponents to acknowledge their significance.”
Such “moral intuitions” are alive and well, tapping on the windows of souls today with regard to abortion just as loudly and persistently as they did in the mid-19th century when slavery was legal. In our heart of hearts almost all of us know that both are moral cancers and that neither is “rooted in the soil of American Democracy.”

Much of our job can be encapsulated in this formulation: successfully bringing to the surface the uneasiness, the moral discomfort that abortion elicits in people of good will. It’s not a question of instilling this in people; it’s already there, as the quotation from the abortion clinic operator that begins this post demonstrates. Our task is to help people to recognize that this tap-tap-tapping on their hearts is not something to be ignored or repressed but acknowledged for what it is: the better angels of their nature at work.

We’re talking here about everyday interactions, the kind of casual conversations that while most often are unplanned, offer rich possibilities. But before going any further, it’s very important that we’re clear about both what we don’t mean, and the target audience we are speaking about.
We don’t mean placing your principles in mothballs or minimizing your pro-life education to a quick course in Sound Bites 101. Principles power this movement, and information is the fuel.
Nor is it to suggest that what has worked can’t continue to touch the hearts and the minds of Americans. We’ve changed the contours of the debate in this nation with a multifaceted approach that is the model of effectiveness and simplicity.

Nor are we ignoring the vital role of political and legislative action. While it is not the primary focus in this post, we have written elsewhere today (as we do every day) about the critically important benefits that flow from publicly fighting for what we believe in in these arenas.
Please understand also that when we are speaking to those who already share our perspective, much of what follows still applies but in a different way. They are already in the fold or merely need the tools to make them more effective. Our colleagues need information they can quickly assimilate, a local organization they can immediately join, a primer on fetal development that they can absorb in an hour or less.

They have invited us into their homes, so to speak. Since we’ve already passed this most important threshold, the primary barrier to overcome is the vast range of everyday time-consuming activities that makes it difficult for people to carve out space to serve the cause of unborn babies and the medically dependent elderly.

What we are talking about here is how we win over people who are not currently in our Movement. They may be curious about us, they may be even hostile without knowing why.
Winning them over, more often than not, is accomplished very informally. Put another way, this is about how to soften the “soil” that may otherwise be too hard for the “seed” – – the truth about the unborn – – to take root.
Given an audience of skeptics, “arguing” the case for life is in almost all circumstances a non-starter, if by that we mean that we think we can intellectually force feed, if not browbeat, people into coming our way. If you see yourself as a salesman or saleswoman, the most important thing that I’ve learned in my three decades + involvement in this Movement is that you can’t close the deal if you can’t get in the door.
Meaning it’s not necessarily what you or I say (especially initially), but who we are and how we present ourselves that almost always will decide whether someone will give any consideration to the first words out of our mouths. If we come across as angry know-it-alls, why would anyone want to be in our presence one nanosecond longer than he or she has to be?
And what is so surprising is how often abortion or a related issue comes up. We were once at the doctor’s office recently where my wife was receiving medical treatment. I was reading the Washington Post when the nurse peeked over my shoulder and saw that I was working my way through an article on stem cell research and cloning.
“Tough issue,” she said. She then explained how she surely would want to find cures for diseases but wouldn’t want to clone a “baby.”
We explained that she didn’t have to choose. All the breakthroughs to date involved the use of stem cells derived from sources other than embryos (cloned or otherwise) and that, indeed, she was in the vast majority who found the idea of cloning a baby abhorrent.
If Lesson One is be the kind of human being you’d like to be around, Lesson Number Two is to know your stuff. Opportunities will occur. Indeed, something not dissimilar happened in an adult Sunday school class I teach and in a discussion with friends of my children just recently.
Lesson Three is that with the exception of hard-core pro-abortion types, you will be utterly amazed how many people are “permeable” – – that is, how few people are locked into a thought-out, well-reasoned position. They have a smidgeon of information and a “well, I think,” or “everybody knows” way of looking at the issue.
I’m not saying they will run over to our corner at the drop of a hat. What I am saying is that, approached respectfully, they will not run away.
What is really intriguing here, by the way, is that it is not uncommon to talk to people you’ve known for years – – people who have never agreed with you or anything – – and suddenly find common ground. Recently I exchanged e-mails with a gentleman whose ambivalence on abortion has always been transparent but who is well-known as a self-identified “pro-choicer.”
He took the occasion to inform me that he is firmly against all stem cell research that involves human embryos. (I also learned that he had been deeply hurt by pro-lifers whom he felt were more interested in scoring cheap shots than being intellectually honest. You just never know….)
Lesson Four is that our culture is awash in possibilities to gently, matter-of-factly, persuasively make the case for the unborn. Nowhere is that more apparent that through the conscious-raising potential of ultrasounds.

They carry a powerful pro-life message: that there’s a creature in there who looks amazingly like a baby post-birth.

We can and we should steep ourselves in the basics of fetal development – – the ABCs of our common developmental journey – – so that we can converse intelligently. But no words coming out of our mouths could ever match the impact of that commercial where the mom joyfully, almost reverently watches her unborn child scamper around. Whew!
A final thought, one that has been brought to my attention a lot. Do not expect people who disagree with us to consider the humanity of the unborn if they are persuaded we minimize, if not dismiss altogether, their humanity.

Of course the unborn child and the elderly woman in a nursing home are deserving of care and protection whether you and I make their case in a winsome way or not. But human nature doesn’t work that way. If our audience finds us or our approach unappealing, the real loser will be the defenseless human beings for whom we are trying to recruit new defenders.

And as we have written dozens of times, there is no more encouraging news than the surge in pro-life sentiment among young people and young adults which shows no sign of abating. While they have heard the pro-abortion mantra their entire lives, they simply aren’t buying. While many adults will salute the Politically Correct Flag when it is run up the pole, it’s my experience that most kids scorn PC thinking.

They know the pain, the hurt, the disillusionment that so often accompanies an abortion. They can’t be snowed: abortion kills babies and hurts women. They have friends who have aborted and deeply regret it.

And it is the innate idealism of youth that compels them to challenge a self-centered, inverted mentality, the kind that says women and men first, children last.
Appeal to that idealism. It will win them over and they will carry the day.

SAource: NRLC News

Brain Injury


Maggie’s powerful story raises troubling questions about how people with serious intellectual disabilities are diagnosed and cared for

By Jennifer Popik, J.D., Legislative Counsel, Powell Center for Medical Ethics at the National Right to Life Committee
braininjuredperson6reAs the tragedy of Terri Schindler Schiavo’s death by starvation illustrates, euthanasia advocates have long been quick to dismiss as worthless the lives of those people with intellectual and physical disabilities they label with the dehumanizing term “vegetative.” Even as Canada explicitly targets people with disabilities through legalized active euthanasia; and the campaign to expand the states in which assisted suicide is legal in the U.S. continues, iconoclastic physicians are instead demonstrating the potential to communicate with and provide assistive technology and rehabilitative services to this stigmatized population.
In an article from the May 6, 2016, Newsweek Magazine entitled, “Given the right stimuli, brain activity in patients in persistent vegetative states can bear similarity to non-injured people,” author Don Heupel highlights two separate but related issues related to serious brain injuries.
The first problem is the large number of patients whose brain injuries are misdiagnosed. The second is that these improper diagnoses lead to patients who could greatly benefit from therapies being denied these services on the mistaken basis that they would not work. What is worse, countless numbers of these patient’s erroneous diagnoses have meant an early death.
The Newsweek article focuses on Maggie Worthen, a young woman who was set to graduate college in 2006 when she suffered a massive stroke. Her mother was given the grimmest of predictions that she could never recover, and was pushed to remove a ventilator, forgo feeding and hydration, and even donate her organs. Her mother resisted. According to the article,
About two weeks after the stroke, Maggie regained the ability to breathe on her own. And after another two weeks, she was strong enough to be transferred to a brain rehabilitation facility. With a tracheostomy helping to keep her airway clear and a feeding tube in place, Maggie received intensive physical, speech and occupational therapy each day. Nurses were able to help her sit up in a wheelchair. But when she remained unresponsive and failed to show any outward signs of progress two months later, she was labeled “vegetative,” a diagnosis that disqualified her from insurance coverage for future rehabilitation.
Her parents and close family believed Maggie was trying to communicate with them, but were dismissed as being in denial or having wishful thinking. However, “one doctor questioned Maggie’s diagnosis and arranged for her to be transported to Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. There, she was enrolled in a clinical trial aimed at understanding how the severely injured brain recovers.”
While under the new care, Maggie was asked simple questions while the neurology team observed brain activity with the use of high-tech imaging. This trial yielded remarkable results.
According to Heupel, “The responses showed, without a doubt, that Maggie was still conscious.” This proper diagnosis enabled Maggie to qualify for rehab where she was eventually able to be in regular communication for the last year of her life. Up to her death in 2015 at age 31 from pneumonia, Maggie was able “to communicate through an assistive device that let her use eye movements to control a computer cursor to select words and predetermined questions.”
Heupel writes

Dr. Joseph Fins, chief of the division of medical ethics at Weill, says Maggie’s experience and that of others like her raise troubling questions about how people with serious brain injuries are diagnosed and cared for. “Patients like Maggie are routinely misdiagnosed and placed in what we euphemistically call ‘custodial care’ where they have no access to any treatments that might help them recover or give them a chance of engaging with others,” says Fins, even as research suggests that 68 percent of severely brain-injured patients who receive rehabilitation eventually regain consciousness and that 21 percent of those are able to one day live on their own.

Dr. Joseph Fins interviewed Maggie’s family along with over 50 other families in similar situations. Almost all their stories shared a common thread – that the injured person was immediately “written off” and families were asked to make “what he calls ‘premature’ decisions about their loved one—such as whether to withhold or withdraw care or to consent to organ donation.”

The article confirmed that this is not an isolated incident. According to the article
[O]ne recent study that found one-third of patients brought to Canadian trauma centers for severe brain injury died within 72 hours following the injury—and nearly two-thirds of those deaths were caused by life support being withdrawn, and not because the trauma progressed to brain death.

“Many patients, probably thousands, have had their food and fluids cut off and died, based on what we now know may well have been mistaken assumptions that they had lost all capacity for consciousness,” Burke J. Balch, director of NRLC’s Powell Center for Medical Ethics, commented.

“This article along with recent studies have shown that modern medicine is coming up with ways to communicate with aware patients who have routinely been dismissed as ‘vegetative,’ much as today eye movements and blinks are used to communicate with some patients with paraplegia.”

This is a problem requiring two sets of solutions. The first problem, misdiagnosis, is theoretically the simpler of the two. In the article, Adrian Owen, a neurologist at Western University in Ontario, Canada recommends using an electroencephalogram (EEG), test which uses electrodes attached to the scalp to directly measure activity of the brain. Heupel explains,
EEG tests have shown that they can demonstrate consciousness undetectable in a bedside test. And because the technology is portable, cheap and doesn’t require a patient’s active participation, Owen sees it becoming a broad screening tool—and a way to make sure patients get the help they need to recover. While neuroimaging can’t prove a lack of consciousness, it can prove consciousness, which can be life-changing.
As for the second issue of treatment, new strides are being made with astounding success daily. The article highlights amazing stories in addition to Maggie’s. Treatment ranging from deep brain stimulation, to off-brand uses of simple sleeping medicines to “reboot” brain activity, to the use of MRI’s and visualization to achieve communication have all begun to gain more widespread use.
Heupel notes
These findings have laid the groundwork for developing computerized devices powered completely by the mind, called brain computer interfaces, that could someday allow for constant communication. “In the meantime,” says Owen, “there are questions we need to ask right away, such as, ‘Are you in any pain?’”
The article closes by quoting Dr. Schiff:
“There are a lot of people out there who could be helped but aren’t…. All patients should be treated as if they too have that same potential for recovery.”

Source: NRLC News

So Sorry


A letter to my aborted half-sibling: “Is it possible to miss someone you’ve never even met?”

Editor’s note. The following was sent a while back to National Right to Life. It speaks volumes about a part of the abortion battle that is rarely discussed: its impact on the aborted child’s siblings.
penandpaper3About a week ago my mother told me that she had an abortion before I was born. It devastated me. Mourning someone I have never met seems bizarre to me, yet I am so sad. To help me find closure I wrote my half sibling, that I will never meet, a letter.
I think there is a lot of focus on the baby, the mother, or at most the father, which is great and needed, but I also think pointing out the effects an abortion can have for future children would prove to be very impactful. I did not even exist when my half sibling was killed, yet it has affected me tremendously.
Below is the letter:
She was 15 when your life started, 16 when your life ended. She said no one told her you were more than a lump of tissue. I’m sorry for ignorance.

Your father would be 57 now. She said he doesn’t know. I wish she told him. I wish he fought for you. I wish somebody fought. I’m sorry for secrets.

You would have been my half sibling. 14 years older than me. She took you from me before I even existed…before I could do anything. I’m sorry for unfairness.
You would have been 34 years old. You would have more than likely been married and have your own children. I would have nieces and nephews, you would have a family. But you weren’t even given a name. I’m sorry for abandonment.

Maybe when my other siblings were telling me lies and devaluing me, you would have spoken truth. Maybe you would have stood up for me when no one did. I’m sorry for life being devalued.
Is it possible to miss someone you’ve never even met?…because my heart longs for you. It longs for you to have life. I’m sorry for death.

I wish you could have come to my graduation, I wish I could have gone to yours. I wish we were friends. I wish I could call you right now. I wish we could share all of our joys and griefs. I wish we were at least given a chance.

I’m sorry for selfishness.

It’s just so unfair for you…for us. How could she have killed you? How could our grandmother drive our mother to the clinic so that they could murder you? I’m sorry for silence.
I miss you. I love you.
I’m so sorry no one loved you.

Source: NRLC News

Zika and Abortion


Trinidad and Tobago: Health minister defends pro-life laws in face of Zika

Editor’s note. This comes courtesy of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues.
Minister of Health Terrance Deyalsingh
Minister of Health Terrance Deyalsingh
Trinidad and Tobago’s health minister defended the country’s pro-life laws following a call by the Family Planning Association for the law prohibiting abortion to be revisited following the country’s first confirmed case of Zika in a pregnant woman. Health Minister Deyalsingh told reporters:

“That [pro-life position] is the law of Trinidad and Tobago and that is the law I swore to uphold…Further, one could look at the Code of Ethics of the Medical Board of Trinidad and Tobago, which tells doctors: you must not perform abortions unless the physical and mental well-being of the mother is at risk.
Those are the guidelines, those are the laws, those are the ethical guidelines which I as Minister of Health and a member of the Cabinet, and a member of government will be upholding.

“We feel that at this point in time, the existing laws reflect accurately the majority view of Trinidad and Tobago, notwithstanding anyone’s personal view or other associations which may have a different view. We feel that these laws are adequate to deal with the issue of abortion and reflect the vast majority view including and inclusive of the silent majority who will not speak on the issue.”

The health minister’s comments were enthusiastically received and welcomed in light of the growing pressure from the Family Planning Association, an affiliate of IPPF. Its press release called for immediate revision of the law against abortion stating that

“There is no (more) pressing time than now for the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to revisit its position on abortion to ensure access to safe abortion services for women who have Zika infection and might wish to have an abortion because of fear of microcephaly. There is need for an urgent response at the service provision, research, and policy levels.”

Pro-life leaders in the country have a petition, along with CitizenGo, to Health Minister Deyalsingh and Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley to thank them and to express support for their efforts to reaffirm their offices’ commitment to protecting human life.

Source: NRLC News