Sunday, August 31, 2014

Embryinic Stem Cell Research


Embryonic Stem Cell Hype Encore

By Wesley J. Smith

I predicted in 2013 that the company which bought Geron would restart its embryonic stem cell product human trial. Indeed, it is.

I could also have predicted the media would hype it to the moon. And so the San Francisco Chronicle has in big headlines on the front page. From, “Stem Cell Industry’s ‘Huge Development’ in Bay Area:”

Almost three years after a Bay Area company shut down the world’s first clinical trial of a therapy using embryonic stem cells, another local company is reviving the therapy. The treatment drew international attention in 2010, when Geron in Menlo Park began testing it in patients with severe spinal cord injuries. But it scrapped the project a year later because of a lack of funds – a move seen as a major blow to the nascent field. The therapy was then sold to Asterias Biotherapeutics, also in Menlo Park. On Wednesday, Asterias said it had gained regulatory permission to test whether the treatment, which is derived from human embryonic stem cells, helps heal patients with a different kind of spinal cord injury…
“It’s a huge development for the field,” said Kevin Whittlesey, science officer at the agency. “We’re starting to realize the potential touted so highly when embryonic stem cell research was in its infancy.”

Let’s deconstruct this. First, the prominence of the story seeks to help California’s boondoggle stem cell agency keep its door open

The trial was also described as a victory by the state’s taxpayer-funded stem cell agency. Created by voters a decade ago, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is authorized to spend $3 billion on stem cell research, and its future rests on the results, including any potential therapies, that those scientists and companies develop. A $14.3 million grant will cover half the costs of Asterias’ trial, the company said.

Secondly, the original Geron study may not have worked all that well:
With some tweaks, Asterias is picking up where Geron left off. Geron treated severe injuries in the thoracic region of the spinal cord, which runs along the back. Asterias is targeting injuries that originate in the neck, citing an outside study that suggests injuries in this area are easier to treat. It will also amp up the doses used to inject patients.
Finally, if this is such a big deal, why do the media constantly ignore far more advanced human trials for spinal cord injury using ethical stem cells? For example this very exciting peer reviewed study [ ]of paralyzed subjects treated with olfactory stem cells:
Of the 13 patients assessed by functional studies, 1 paraplegic patient (patient 9) can ambulate with 2 crutches and knee braces with no physical assistance and 10 other patients can ambulate with walkers with or without braces with physical assistance.
One tetraplegic patient (patient 13) ambulates with a walker, without knee braces or physical assistance.
Did you get that? Tetraplegia means paralyzed from the neck down! In this study, one totally paralyzed subject now uses a walker without assistance. Why isn’t that worth a front page story?
Let me answer my own question: Because when it comes to cultural deconstruction, it isn’t the treatment that matters so much as the source of the treatment. Adult stem cells just don’t shatter any moral boundaries.
Editor’s note. This appeared on Wesley’s great blog.

Source: NRLC News

Importance of Elections


Texas pro-life law faces setback in ongoing legal battle

In a sweeping, yet potentially short-lived blow to tough Texas abortion restrictions, a federal judge Friday blocked the law’s key provision requiring abortion clinics to adhere to the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers.

Citing “undue burdens” on women seeking abortions, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel stood with pro-abortion proponents in a decision that halted the last portion of House Bill 2, the law responsible for shuttering abortion clinics across the state. The Texas provision would have forced more than half of the state’s remaining abortion clinics, which fail to meet the medical and structural standards required under H.B.2., to shut their doors.

Signed into law by Governor Rick Perry in July 2013, H.B. 2 effectively reduced the state’s abortion rate and cut the number of Texas abortion clinics from 40 to 19. The provision, which was set to go into effect September 1, would have axed the number of abortion clinics even further–only seven facilities were expected to withstand standards that would have protected women from health risks associated with botched abortions.

In an opinion, Yeakel said the Lone Star state is at a “tipping point” in regards to abortion access restrictions, asserting that the provision would further affect the ability of impoverished or minority women to obtain an abortion procedure.

“The court is firmly convinced that the State has placed unreasonable obstacles in the path of a woman’s ability to obtain a previability abortion,” Yeakel said.
The case is likely to be ultimately heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
During oral arguments earlier this month, pro-abortion proponents asserted that the final provision would have left areas west or south of San Antonio without abortion providers; however, state attorneys contended that there was no evidence to prove that the restrictions placed an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions.

Portions of H.B.2 protecting pre-born children and women’s health are currently in effect. Last year, Judge Yeakel sought to block the H.B.2 admitting privilege requirement, but the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals quickly rebuked the federal judge and reversed his decision. Abortion providers lost a previous challenge against a H.B.2 provision requiring abortionists to obtain hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of an abortion clinic, but Yeakel’s ruling grants two abortion clinics an exception to the hospital admittance privilege requirement.

“We are disappointed that the court did not uphold House Bill 2 in its entirety,” said Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life. “This means that beginning Sept. 1, women considering abortion will not receive all of the protections from threats to their health and safety that were intended by the Legislature and Governor [Rick] Perry.”
State attorney general and pro-life advocate, Greg Abbot, vows to appeal the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

“The state disagrees with the court’s ruling and will seek immediate relief from the Fifth Circuit,” said Lauren Bean, spokeswoman for Abbot.
The lawsuit against Texas’ abortion restrictions was initiated by the Center for Reproductive Rights and championed by abortion clinics, which argue that the law poses medically unnecessary regulations on abortion providers. However, the H.B. 2 prohibition on abortions after 20 weeks passed uncontested by Planned Parenthood. The late-term abortion provision of the law protects children who, according to medical research, feel pain after 20 weeks.

But Planned Parenthood and pro-abortion groups have not remained quiet in Texas. The abortion giant has been busy filling the coffers of pro-abortion gubernatorial candidate, Wendy Davis, who is challenging Mr. Abbott. The race for Texas governor is set to be a feisty battle in which Planned Parenthood and pro-abortion groups are deeply invested.

Davis thrust the Texas abortion law into national spotlight last year after her long filibuster against the legislation made headlines. The bill stalled, but eventually passed the state Legislature. Abbot, however, defends H.B. 2, and says the law places no unconstitutional burden on women seeking abortions. He contends that almost 90 percent of Texas women of reproductive age would live within 150 miles of an abortion clinic if the law was fully implemented.

The outcome of the race for governor will determine whether Governor Perry’s efforts to implement tougher abortion restrictions will remain.

Source: LiveAction News



Sister of three aborted babies: “Our grief is real”

Sara is one of many siblings of aborted babies who has struggled with the loss of their family members. She is different from Renee and Donna in that the babies she mourns were her father’s. 
She answers some questions below:

What were your feelings on abortions before you found out about losing siblings?
I was very pro-choice. I didn’t like that abortion existed, but understood that it had a place in this world and that it wasn’t my life and my place to judge another persons’ life, choice or circumstances.

How did you find out about the abortions?
I found out about my brother Jon when I was admiring a picture in my dad’s house of a hand ( presumably the hand of God) holding a baby. He and my mom have been divorced since I was very little and he told me that he got it when his girlfriend from some years back aborted their son that they were going to name Jon. I was in shock and little more was said about it. I found out about the twins very causally. We were painting a bedroom and my dad’s current girlfriend happened to mention she aborted a set of twins that were his, again I was in shock and that’s all that was said about the matter.

How has being the sibling of aborted babies affected you?
It’s taken me a while for it to sink in that I’m a sibling of aborted babies….and to accept and own that grief. it seems a lot of resources exist when the abortions are because of the mother…but very few understand what it’s like to be in my shoes. As well as being the sibling of aborted babies I have 3 babies myself lost to miscarriage and it’s made me come to terms with aspects of those losses too.

What was it like meeting other siblings of aborted babies?
Meeting Susi/Renee was amazing. She was the first person I reached out to who didn’t judge me, she understood that I could accept that abortion was necessarily in some circumstances ( life of the mother) but also be sad that  MY siblings were aborted .

What has brought you healing?
Being able to collect tangible items for my siblings and being able to name the twins and have people remember them and their lives with me.

How can the pro-life movement reach out towards people who have lost a sibling to abortion?
Realize that we come from all walks of life….that we can love and miss our siblings no matter how we feel about abortion as a whole, our grief is real…..someone is missing from our life through no fault of our own and we have to work through our own grief process about what happened and the choice someone else made.

As someone who loves a postabortion family member, how should the pro-life movement reach out to postabortion women (and men if applicable)?
If we’re reaching out to you…love us and accept us for who were are and where we are. I know my father grieves those babies that he never got a chance to know……I know he would have loved them just as much as I would have.

Can you give any advice to other siblings?
Reach out….find someone who understands.

Can you give any advice to mothers who may want to tell their surviving children that they aborted their sibling? 
Find a quiet place…speak your heart….involve the father if you can so he can tell his story too.

With over 50 million legal abortions in the years since Roe V. Wade, one can only imagine the suffering that abortion has caused those who were left behind- the mothers, the fathers, and the siblings.

Source: LiveAction News

Ice Buckets and Babies Lives


Embryonic stem cell research: Setting the record straight

With the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge going around, many people started talking about how they can’t support ALS because embryonic stem cell research kills babies. Other people said that it doesn’t matter because the embryos used for research coming from the IVF process have no hope of living anyway. And others? They said embryos are hardly people, so have at it.
There are all sorts of “facts” being thrown around, so let’s set the record straight with some scientific facts.

At the moment of conception, a new, unique DNA is present in that single cell. This fertilized egg, scientifically called a zygote, is the beginning of the continuum of human life. All that needs to happen from this point on is for the zygote to have nourishment to grow. Eventually it will become an embryo, then a fetus, and eventually after birth an infant and adult. Check out fetal development facts here.

But some would say it’s not a person. A zygote certainly doesn’t look very much like a person. But being born doesn’t magically make us human beings. Developing toenails doesn’t magically make us human beings. It makes sense to say that the moment of our beginning – fertilization – is the beginning of our existence.
Okay, embryos might be human. But since stem cells are all taken from the IVF process, they have no hope of developing into people anyway. Right? So we should make use of them!
The fact is that stem cells can be taken taken from more than embryos in the IVF process. We’ve gotten them from adults. They also have been found in amniotic fluid, and the umbilical cord. Many people throw around the idea that embryonic stem cells come from purposefully aborted embryos, but there’s a lot of research to be done on this topic. In 2009, the National Institute of Health released Guidelines on Human Stem Cell Research which allows funding for stem cell research on embryos from IVF. It also allows embryos to be donated in compliance with certain regulations.
I found that it’s not intellectually honest to say that all this research is happening on aborted babies. In fact, much of it is on embryos from IVF procedures. Why? Because the cells needed for research are best harvested at the blastocyst stage of development: about 5-6 days after fertilization when the embryo has developed into about 100 cells with an inner cell mass of 10-20 undifferentiated cells.
So enough of the scientific jargon. Why the focus on embryonic stem cells?

Embryonic stem cells are what we call pluripotent which means they can be programmed to become any cell except egg or sperm. Adult stem cells are naturally multipotent which means they can be programmed to become a different cell of a similar type. For example, an adult stem cell from bone marrow could be programmed into a blood cell.

Initially most people, including scientists saw more value in embryonic stem cell research over adult. Why? Because there is allegedly more potential with embryonic stem cells, especially looking at the natural state of adult vs. embryonic. But is there really more potential with embryonic stem cell research? Is it necessary to fund it with millions of dollars? Take a look at the recent developments in the embryonic/adult stem cell research saga:
If you believe the scientific fact of human life existing before birth, then we have come to a dilemma: do we have to end lives to do research to protect lives? Well, it’s a foggy situation, you might say. How about this: If it’s okay to sacrifice some life to research to save other lives, why don’t we have people with disabilities give their lives to research? How about people who are depressed and don’t want to live anymore? How about a “normal” person be electively chosen to die for research? If it’s for the purpose of saving other people, isn’t that okay?
Hopefully your answer is “no”. It’s not okay to have a person killed in the same of scientific research.
And after doing research myself, it’s clear that stem cell research is not as simple as people say it is. However, it’s incredibly exciting with all the potential.

Adult stem cells have demonstrated incredible potential as the articles I linked to have shown. Embryonic stem cell research, on the other hand, has not had a major breakthrough lately that I was able to find.

It’s time we look at the facts. If you want to support stem cell research that’s actually making a difference, I recommend you support the JPII Medical Research Institute which focuses on “the most ethical and cost-effective way of conducting medical research to help develop therapies and cures for a variety of diseases.”

Source:LiveAction News

Saturday, August 30, 2014



CNN explains why a woman should tell her OB-GYN she has had an abortion

By Dave Andrusko
tellyourdocAs they say, imagine my surprise. A friend recently posted a link on Facebook to a story that ran (as it turns out) several years ago–“5 secrets you shouldn’t keep from your GYN”—that had a remarkable truth not ordinarily seen on the “mainstream media.”

Elizabeth Cohen, described as a CNN Senior Medical Correspondent, began with a series of horror stories revolving around the unwillingness of women to tell their OB-GYN certain sensitive (or, seemingly, not so sensitive) information.

Cohen does a good job of discussing subject areas you might not necessarily think of—or would assume women would routinely reveal—before getting to #4: “Whether you’ve had an abortion.” (The “Rankin” in the following quote is Dr. Lissa Rankin, a gynecologist in Mill Valley, California.)
“People who’ve had abortions sometimes worry about saying so if they know their doctor is pro-life, or if they don’t know where their doctor stands on the issue,” Rankin says. While it’s understandable to have that worry, it’s medically important to tell your doctor if you’ve had abortions.
Why it matters: If you’re infertile, it’s important for your doctor to know about past abortions for two reasons. One, it indicates that at least in one point in your life, you were fertile and “the plumbing works,” Rankin says.
Secondly, the infertility might be caused by infection or scar tissue that resulted from the abortion, she adds.
Also, multiple abortions could put you at a higher risk for miscarriage or premature birth, she says.
Finally, if you’re about to have surgery on your cervix or uterus, your doctor needs to know about prior abortions, as scar tissue might make the surgery more difficult.
Wow! How many times have experts—and by no means necessarily pro-life—tried to get these truths across?! Abortion is an unnatural assault on a woman’s reproductive system. There can be, and are, a host of complications.

They include what Cohen talked about but many others as well, including a substantially elevated risk of a premature delivery. This “seriously threatens the lives and health of newborn children,” writes Paul Stark. “The risk of premature delivery increases with each additional abortion.” In addition, abortion is “also associated with an increased risk of infertility, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and placenta previa.”

Source: NRLC News

Planned Parenthood


Planned Parenthood Raising Money for Big Push in Fall Elections

By Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., NRL Director of Education & Research
Wendy Davis and Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards
Wendy Davis and Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards
Faced with clinic closings and legislative defeats, Planned Parenthood’s political arm (Planned Parenthood Action Fund) is in the process of spending $16 million in this fall’s races. To gin up contributions, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards has sent out a fiery but fact-challenged appeal fundraising letter to would-be supporters.
This massive political involvement may come as somewhat of a surprise to those who imagine Planned Parenthood to be just a  “women’s health care provider,”  the image PPFA so carefully cultivates. But, in fact, the nation’s largest abortion performer and promoter has also long been one of the biggest players on the political scene, spending millions to put politicians in office who will defend the killing of unborn babies and keep the taxpayer dollars flowing their way.
Ironically, while Richards opens with the statement “This has got to stop.  Politics has no place in women’s health care[,]” Planned Parenthood then spends the rest of the letter detailing why folks need to send “a generous contribution of $50, $75, $100, $500 or more” to aid in “changing the political landscape,” to “protect the pro-women’s health majority in the U.S. Senate” (“because the Senate approves Supreme Court nominees, we can prevent the Court from tilting further away from women’s rights”), to “show the power of women’s votes by electing candidates who support women’s health care and Planned Parenthood and defeating those who don’t.”
While there are the usual “sky is falling” pleas about access to birth control and threats to “women’s health care,” it is significant to note that in the four page letter, “abortion” appears no less than 16 times.  Several of these are in complaints about “anti-abortion groups,” “protesters,” or “extremists,” and their actions thwarting Planned Parenthood’s agenda. But others make Planned Parenthood’s profound abortion commitment more explicit.
One of their biggest complaints is about “irrational and often dangerous laws” such as “abortion restrictions” in North Carolina, “so-called patient safety laws” in Virginia, required “counseling” and waiting periods in South Dakota, limits imposed by a state medical board on “telemedicine” (web-cam) abortions in Iowa,  and a new Ohio law requiring abortionists to have “special agreements with local hospitals” (e.g., transfer agreements, admitting privileges which is an increasingly common and necessary requirement ).
Absent from the letter, of course, is anything about the filthy and dangerous conditions discovered at clinics like Planned Parenthood’s Wilmington, Delaware facility, women who’ve died after taking abortion drug RU-486 at Planned Parenthood clinics, or videos showing how some Planned Parenthood counselors ignore or evade informed consent, parental involvement, or statutory rape reporting laws.
Under the circumstances, it seems like it would be “rational” to assume that the more “dangerous” course for women would be to let Planned Parenthood continue to operate its abortion mills unregulated.
In the letter, Richards holds up two states as examples of what Planned Parenthood has done and will do.
Planned Parenthood offers Virginia as proof that “We know how to win for women.”  Without directly mentioning the cool million that Planned Parenthood put into ads in the closing days of last year’s very close gubernatorial campaign, Richards says that “we reached out all across the political spectrum, explaining the stakes to women and making it clear which candidate would protect their health and rights – and which would not.”
Unsaid is how Planned Parenthood manipulated and distorted perceptions of women in the Commonwealth, making it sound like the pro-life Republican candidate wanted to take away women’s birth control and cancer screenings, neither of which were remotely true.
Although carried along by a compliant media and buoyed by a  vast superiority in campaign funds, Terry McAuliffe, the PPFA-backed pro-abortion Democrat , won by just 2.5%.  Planned Parenthood says that “women’s votes made all the difference,” and though there were obviously other factors in play, exit polls did show that young single women – the target constituency for Planned Parenthood’s misleading ads – did go heavily for the Democrat.
While the previous pro-life Republican administration in Virginia had been able to put in place some of the badly needed clinic regulations Planned Parenthood complained about, Richards noted that “the new governor we helped elect has beat back attacks on women’s health care and is working to expand access to affordable birth control, cancer screenings, and safe, legal abortion.”  (No mention of making abortion “rare.”)
There hasn’t been much in the press about the McAuliffe’s efforts to expand “cancer screenings” at Planned Parenthood, but did feature the following headline on its May 14, 2014 website: “‘Bankrolled’ by Planned Parenthood, McAuliffe pushes looser abortion rules clinic rules.”
The other state featured in Planned Parenthood’s fundraising letter is Texas.  Richards declares “In my home state of Texas, for example, the governor and the legislature pulled every trick in the book to push through a wildly unpopular law that fully implemented could close all but a handful of women’s health facilities, leaving hundreds of thousands of women with nowhere to turn for care.”
(For all the handwringing about closing clinics, it should be noted that two Texas Planned Parenthood affiliates have already announced plans to open giant new abortion megaclinics in Dallas and San Antonio intended to be fully compliant with the new law. They, too, are using the passage of the new laws as part of their pitch for new funds.)
In that one sentence from Richards there are numerous errors and misstatements that need deconstructing. Here are just a few.
The law may have been “wildly unpopular” in Planned Parenthood’s circles and among the throngs they bused in from all over the country, but it passed handily among Texas’ elected representatives (male and female) and was signed by a governor Texans returned to office three times.
The law’s focus was not on closing “women’s health facilities” but on halting abortions on pain-capable unborn children; requiring abortionists to follow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s prescribing protocol for RU-486; ensuring that abortionists would have hospital admitting privileges so they could accompany women who had suffered complications; and placing safeguards on previously poorly regulated abortion clinics.
As long as they did not perform abortions or met the commonsense requirements, the centers  were unaffected.  If clinics closed, it was due to their insistence on offering abortions without needed safeguards for women, not due to any effort by legislators to conspire against women needing health care.
Richards does take the opportunity to promote Planned Parenthood’s  latest “feminist icon,”  gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, the state Senator who led a “heroic 11-hour filibuster” of a pro-life law that eventually passed anyway. The letter manages not to mention that in opposing HB 2, Davis was, among other things, defending late abortions. Richards described the pro-abortion mob that descended on Austin during the filibuster as part of a “grassroots uproar against the reckless new law” that Planned Parenthood called “the most inspiring fight for women’s health we’ve seen in years.”
Put that in context of plans already announced by Planned Parenthood to spend $3 million in Texas elections in 2014 to elect Davis and other key pro-abortion candidates.
Planned Parenthood says that
 “Now in 2014, we need more boots on the ground.  We need more trained activists engaging in direct voter contact, face-to-face, aboutwhat these elections mean in terms of safe, legal abortion… We need women to understand how much their vote matters – to themselves, their daughters, and to women all across the country who are having a hard time getting the care they need.”
The message of the letter is clear.  Planned Parenthood is going to be raising and spending lots of money in this fall’s election, peddling myths about threats to women’s health to get voters to the polls and to defend, fund, and expand their abortion empire

Source: NRLC News



Gallup finds Obama’s ‘Strong Disapproval’ is now twice as large as his ‘Strong Approval’

By Dave Andrusko
ObamaapprovalGallup814The last two times we’ve posted on President Obama’s rocky approval ratings as measured by Gallup, several kind readers politely suggested that my suggestion—that the President’s approval numbers could dip several more points, if not more—couldn’t be true. The President’s baseline supporters, my correspondents said, would never, ever give up.
Of course, I beg to differ. Just check events of the past 24 hours and ask yourself if Mr. Obama’s approval numbers seem primed to take another hit.
On a very much related note, here’s something else from Gallup, a follow up to the post we wrote yesterday about how Republicans and Independents are much more likely to be “thinking” about the November elections than are Democrats.
Unlike yesterday’s Gallup headline, this one sugarcoats nothing: “Obama’s ‘Strong Disapproval’ Double His ‘Strong Approval’: Republicans are more likely to strongly disapprove now than in 2010.”
The key, obviously, is not that three in four Republicans strongly disapprove. No, it’s the overall numbers and the downward trend. As Justin McCarthy wrote
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans are more than twice as likely to say they “strongly disapprove” (39%) of President Barack Obama’s job performance as they are to say they “strongly approve” (17%). The percentage of Americans who strongly disapprove of Obama has increased over time, while the percentage who strongly approve has dropped by almost half.
In the first year of Obama’s presidency, the percentages of Americans who had strong views about the job he was doing were essentially tied, but the strongly negative responses now significantly outweigh the strongly positive ones. The largest segment of Americans today, 39%, strongly disapprove of Obama’s job performance, while 14% moderately disapprove. Another 27% moderately approve, while 17% strongly approve.
Which is not to say the Republicans’ passionate (and growing) disapproval of Mr. Obama does not have enormous implications for November 4.
The Gallup poll story we discussed yesterday offered a theory why the impact of much greater interest (“thinking” about the election) might be exaggerated. McCarthy’s story, by contrast, does not minimize the potential impact on turnout:
Since 2009, a majority of Republicans have strongly disapproved of Obama’s performance, ranging between 58% and 75%. Gallup has not asked this intensity question frequently, but in its recent Aug. 7-10 poll, this percentage jumped 13 points from the January 2011 measure, suggesting that extreme dissatisfaction among the president’s opposing party is higher than it has ever been.
Notably, Republicans are even more likely to say they strongly disapprove of Obama now than in 2010, a year when a tide of anti-Obama sentiments led to major Democratic losses in the House and Senate in that year’s midterm election. Part of that increase may be attributable to the passage of time, in that Republicans are simply more solid in their views of Obama six years into his presidency than two years in. But those strong negative views of Obama could boost Republican turnout this fall when the Democratic majority in the Senate is in peril. [Emphasis added.]
What would make this situation even worse for Mr. Obama and his fellow Democrats? Obviously, if enthusiasm among Democrats is waning. And that’s exactly what Gallup found.
[W]hereas Democrats were nearly three times as likely to strongly approve as moderately approve of Obama in 2009, the ratio is now about 1-to-1.
What’s the final thing that could go wrong for President Obama and, by extension, Senate Democrats running for re-election this fall? A falloff among Independents.
According to McCarthy, 39% of Independents strongly disapprove, a number which, comparatively, has been consistent.

However this is not the case with those who strongly approve.
In previous years, one in five or more independents (19% to 23%) strongly approved of the president’s performance. In 2014, however, the percentage of independents who strongly approve has shrunken to 11%.
That is tremendous drop-off in strong approval: from 19%/23% down to a mere 11%!
More on Monday.

Source: NRLC News

Friday, August 29, 2014

You Have to Be Kidding?


Aborting a down syndrome baby because he can’t go to Cornell?

Editor’s note. This appeared at
One father, a computer technologist, said the following about what he would think if the baby turned out to have Down’s:
“I’m sorry to say that I just couldn’t accept that. I mean, I’ve worked hard to get where I am, I worked hard at Cornell. And I want the same for my child. I want to teach my child, and have him learn. Maybe it’s unfortunate, maybe I should be more accepting. But I don’t want a child with retardation.”
Later, in the same book, he said:
“I’m sorry to say I couldn’t think about raising a child with Down’s. I’m something of a perfectionist. I want the best for my child. I’ve worked hard, I went to Cornell University, I’d want that for my child. I’d want to teach him things he couldn’t absorb. I’m sorry I can’t be more accepting, but I’m clear I wouldn’t want to continue the pregnancy.” [1]
He and his partner were having amniocentesis done with the plan to abort the baby if he or she had down syndrome.
[1] Rayna Rapp “Testing Women, Testing the Fetus: the Social Impact of Amniocentesis in America” (New York: Routledge, 1999) 90, 133 – 134

Source: NRLC News

Planned Parenthood and Tee Shirts

Featured Image
Elise Hilton

Scarlett Johansson fails logic

Despite my esteemed background in high school drama (I starred in several productions), I don’t critique acting, except over the water cooler. I don’t have a clue what it takes to make a movie, let alone make a movie well. I assume Scarlett Johansson does, as she’s made a number of them. But clearly, Ms. Johansson doesn’t do so well with logic.

Ms. Johansson has designed t-shirts for Planned Parenthood. The hot pink t’s feature a cartoon male on the front, along with “Hey Politicians! The 1950s called…”; the back reads, “They want their sexism back!” Ms. Johansson stated her reason for wanting to be part of this project:
When I heard that some politicians were cheering the Supreme Court’s decision to give bosses the right to interfere in our access to birth control, I thought I had woken up in another decade,” explained Johansson in a statement.
“Like many of my friends, I was appalled by the thought of men taking away women’s ability to make our own personal health care decisions,” she added.
Oh. Dear. I don’t like men or anyone else taking away my ability to make decisions about my health care either, so I guess we have that in common. That’s about as far as it goes. Ms. Johansson: What men? Where? How are they doing this? Is this some vast right-wing conspiracy?
The last time I checked, pretty much anybody can walk into any drugstore in America and plunk down cash for condoms or Plan B. Most large pharmacies sell a month’s supply of birth control pills for about ten bucks. And Planned Parenthood keeps telling us they’ll give birth control to anyone who asks. There are no men stopping anyone from buying these items. (Also, just so we are crystal clear: abstinence costs nothing.)

Ms. Johansson seems to believe that if an employer does not pay for something, you can’t have it. That, my dear, is faulty logic. While I understand that in Hollywood, there are many perks that come with the job of acting (for instance, the swag bag for the 2014 Emmy Awards included a luxury hotel spa treatment, a $600 smart phone, and jewelry, along with other goodies), a boss can offer his or her employees whatever perks and salary he or she wishes. The employee can then accept the job or not. However, if the boss does not offer employees a company car, for instance, that does not mean you can’t get a car. It just means you’ll have to buy one yourself.

And this is not sexism, Ms. Johansson. It is business and ethics. A boss may not be able to afford to buy all of her employees a car, so she doesn’t do so. A boss may choose not to offer health insurance that pays for abortions, because it violates her conscience. In neither instance do you lose your ability to get those things. And frankly, claiming that it is sexism makes women sound a wee bit weak and whiny (“But, but, how will I ever get birth control pills now??”)
Ms. Johansson, we women are better than this.

Reprinted with permission from Acton Institute.

Source: LifeSite News



Many more Republicans and Independents than Democrats thinking about upcoming elections

By Dave Andrusko
GallupGOPpoll6Let’s put three items together and see what they might tell us about the political lay of the land with 68 days to go until the November 4 mid-term elections.
First, today’s Gallup approval/disapproval numbers for President Barack Obama: 40%/54%. Realistically, it would be hard to conjure up a scenario where 40% approval becomes 43%, let alone 45%. But it would equally easy to see 54% disapproval become 56% or even 58%.
The President’s numbers can likely only grow worse. This is baggage that already vulnerable Senate Democrats can ill afford.
Second, what Gallup yesterday headlined as “Republicans’ ‘Thought’ to 2014 Election Exceeds Democrats.” Everyone has known for months and months that Republicans are much more motivated than Democrats. And while “thinking” about an electorate [either “quite a lot” or “some” ] cannot simply be extrapolated out as a firm predictor of actual turnout, it’s an awfully good indicator.
Here’s Jeffrey M. Jones’s opening paragraph
PRINCETON, NJ — One in three Americans (33%) say they have given “quite a lot” or “some” thought to the 2014 midterm election, up from 26% in April. Importantly, Republicans (42%) are much more engaged than Democrats (27%) in the election at this point.
(BTW, obviously the headline should have read something along the lines of Republicans being “much more engaged” than Democrats. But…)
As Jones notes, it only stands to reason that just as more Americans are thinking about the elections than did in April, still more will as we approach November 4. Implications?
One would be, “If there is no significant narrowing of the Republican-Democratic thought gap between now and Election Day, the Republican advantage in turnout could surpass that on Election Day 2010.”
Or as Jones elaborates
“Democrats need strong turnout to minimize the potential seat losses in Congress that occur in nearly every midterm election for the president’s party. But with Republicans much more engaged in the election at this point than Democrats — and by one of the larger margins in recent midterm election years — the odds of strong Democratic turnout seem low, suggesting 2014 could be a good year for Republicans. Even if the Republican advantage narrows considerably by Election Day, as seen in 2010, Republicans seem poised to have the upper hand in turnout.”
He also makes this…interesting comment:
“To some degree, the Democratic deficit in election thought may reflect not just their turnout intentions but also their beliefs about the likelihood their party will perform well in the election. From that standpoint, the measure may overstate the Republican advantage in potential turnout this year.”
Is Jones saying that Democrats are thinking less about the election than Republicans now but will think more about it as November 4 approaches ? Because even if they are not as optimistic as Republicans they will turn out anyway? How does that follow?
What about Republicans? Is Jones saying the turnout advantage may be exaggerated because the “thinking about” advantage Republicans enjoy now is at least partially because they believe the GOP will do well in November? That this “good feeling” is just that–a feeling, and won’t be reflected in actually voting patterns? Why?

If you’re a Republican and you feel good now about November; and if you continue to “think about” the election; and your party’s prospects continue to look very good, why wouldn’t you be highly motivated to vote? What about the Republicans whose attention to the election hasn’t kicked in yet?
Moreover, given how poorly the President is faring among Independents, if I was a Democrat running in the fall, it would make me very nervous that the percentage of Independents thinking “quite a lot” or “some” about the election has increased by nine points since April—from 23% to 32%.
Third, with Democrats floundering, they are testing any number of themes in hopes of finding one that will resonate. Naturally, the common denominator is to portray Republicans as “extremists” on [fill in the blank].

The difficulty is, as Hotair’s Noah Rothman wrote,
“In 2014, it is the Democratic Party’s turn to field a slate of weak, untested, and gaffe-prone candidates.”
It’s only one state but Montana will always be remembered for how the situation for Democrats went from bad to worse to impossibly bad. Rothman wrote
“In Montana, where Democrats originally sought to rescue their electoral prospects by replacing a weak incumbent with a fresh face, the party’s hopes utterly imploded when that fresh face proved to be a serial plagiarizer. His ultimate replacement, chosen by the party at convention, is a self-described anarcho-socialist.”
More tomorrow

Source: NRLC News

Assisted Suicide


Canadian Cowardly Head Doc’s Hand-Wringing OK for Assisted Suicide

By Wesley J. Smith
Dr. Chris Simpson, the new president of the Canadian Medical Association
Dr. Chris Simpson, the new president of the Canadian Medical Association

This is how the culture of death advances. A clueless, or cowardly–or both–authority figure says he or she is against assisted suicide except as a very last resort when everything else has been tried.
Never mind that medicalized killing has never been so limited anywhere assisted suicide/euthanasia is legal. Never. Ever. Nowhere.

Not Oregon. Not Washington. Not the Netherlands. Not Belgium. Not anywhere on planet earth.
But saying that it is OK, if limited to a very last resort when everything that can be conjured by the minds of medical science has failed allows a surrender with seeming principle.
That’s the kind of abjection now pushed by the head of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), Dr. Chris Simpson. From the story:
Doctor-hastened death would only be appropriate after all other reasonable choices have been exhausted, says the head of the country’s largest doctors’ group. Dr. Chris Simpson, newly installed president of the Canadian Medical Association, made the comments in advance of a landmark Supreme Court of Canada hearing expected to add fuel to the emotional end-of-life debate gaining urgency across Canada.
Simpson said there are enough doctors in Canada willing to perform doctor-hastened death, if the federal ban outlawing euthanasia were lifted.
But doctors first need safeguards to protect the vulnerable and a strategy to urgently shore up palliative care “so that this is not seen as a first, or second or even third choice, but a choice that’s appropriate for people after all other reasonable options are exhausted,” he said.
I have zero respect for this argument. Zero. Better to advocate for outright legalization than engage in this cowardly charade.

The “last resort” justification is a hiding place for those without sufficient guts or principle–either to admit they are for assisted suicide or who don’t have the bone marrow to stand against it and be accused of lacking compassion.
Reading the balance of the article, it seems that Simpson comes in the former category.
More proof of my thesis:

Simpson, who will be appearing before the Supreme Court, said that the CMA will be neither “pro nor con” and that as long as euthanasia and doctor-assisted death remain illegal “we’ll be advising our members not to participate in it.”
Should the legal landscape change, “Our new policy will be to allow physicians to follow their conscience” within the confines of the law.
How can a medical association be NEUTRAL about legalizing doctor prescribed death?

Moreover, that statement completely belies the “last resort” pretense. No principles.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Wesley’s great blog.



“Pro-Choice,” “Pro-toys,” and “Do-It-Yourself Abortions”

By Dave Andrusko
Ruby Rae Spiegel
Ruby Rae Spiegel

So the headline in the New York Times reads “Young, Fearless and Not Into Dragons: Ruby Rae Spiegel’s Play ‘Dry Land’ Confronts Abortion.”
You know the Times would drool over any play about abortion (unless, of course, the mother chooses not to abort). Add to this that the playwright is a recently turned 21 senior at Yale and Laura Collins-Hughesaug is already primed to be practically ecstatic. But there’s more.

Spiegel’s play is about a young girl who has a DIY (Do It Yourself) abortion, the ultimate expression of “liberation.” And, for good measure (sort of), her real-life father is a former member of the Weather Underground and her mother (once her parents divorced) “filled the rooms of their Park Slope, Brooklyn, brownstone with feminist academics.”
There are hints about the play’s content, but for more I went to an interview Spiegel gave to Adam Szymkowicz.
The more emotional core of the play came from a feeling that I had about a year and a half ago after I had had sex with someone that I liked, but wasn’t particularly close with, and was afraid that I had become pregnant. That intense feeling of aloneness, that the problem affected me and only me and that it resided in my body, literally on my person, was really startling and stuck in my mind for a while after the possibility of pregnancy was a material concern. The final puzzle piece was when I read an article in The New Republic called “The Rise of the DIY Abortion,” and I saw theatrical potential in the kind of intimate bodily acts that are demanded of you if you attempt to abort a fetus non-surgically. Also from a political standpoint I found it interesting that articles that detail these realities are somewhat common, but seeing them embodied is somehow too close to that experience. Of course many women do embody that reality, so maybe showing it on stage could be a kind of radical form of empathy for that surprisingly common, yet often silence experience. So bringing those pieces together, the aesthetic interest in pools [she spent much of her childhood swimming], the personal emotional connection, and the interesting political and theatrical story I saw in the article, created the groundwork for the play as it stands now.

Spiegel’s fortunes are on the rise. Her play will have its premiere September 6 in a Colt Coeur production, at the Here Arts Center in the South Village.
We learn Colt Coeur’s artistic director, Adrienne Campbell-Holt, “said she knew as soon as she read the script that she needed to direct the play.”

“Abortion is something that I have personal experience with, that many of the people in the company have personal experience with,” said Ms. Campbell-Holt, who is 34. “I have never had as immediate a reaction to a play as I had to this play.”
Without being specific [aka graphic], Collins-Hughesaug tells us
“When ‘Dry Land’ was staged by students at Yale last semester, Ms. Spiegel said, audiences were warned that the play contains violence. A young woman fainted anyway, she said, and a man in the front row spent an entire performance rubbing the belly of his pregnant girlfriend. Another young man told Ms. Spiegel the play inspired him to call his mother to ask about the abortion she had in college.”
I don’t know Spiegel and I don’t know her mother, although the temptation to conclude she was deeply influenced by her mother is hard to avoid. Especially if you happen to have read another interview Spiegel gave, this one to Rebecca Deutsch.
Deutsch asked her, “Tell me a story from your childhood that influenced who you are as a writer or as a person.”
This story actually kind of relates to the subject of DRY LAND. So my mom brought me to a pro-choice rally when I was like four or five, and I was pretty bored at first— it was crowded and loud and not the most kid friendly place. But about halfway through I perked up and started chanting along with the crowd. My mom was so proud—they were chanting, “What do we want? Choice! When do we want it? Now!” I was halving a blast, shouting at the top of my lungs, and then my mom put me on her shoulders. She soon realized that I wasn’t actually shouting the real words. I was yelling, “What do we want? Toys! When do we want them? Now!” (I thought it was a pro-toys rally.)
This relates on tangentially to my writing— but I misspell almost every other word I write (I’m pretty dyslexic) and I’ve found that some kind of wonderful things actually come out of it. Spell-check thinks that I mean a different word, and oftentimes I end up keeping the misunderstanding because it was actually better than the word I first intended. Not that a pro-toys rally is better than a pro-choice rally, but you get what I mean!
Yes, we get what you mean. A pro-toys rally might suggest we have kids to give toys to. And, no, you would not expect a pro-choice rally to be the most kid friendly place.
It took me a while to track down but the New Republic article Spiegel is referring to involves Jennie Linn McCormack, about whom we have written many times.

McCormack self-aborted in 2010 using unspecified abortifacient pills purchased over the Internet when she was between 18 and 21 weeks pregnant. Just two things besides the obvious fact that ordering abortifacients from the Internet is unbelievably dangerous.

First, even the zaniest pro-abortionist is leery about using RU-486 (the likely abortifacient) much past 9 weeks, certainly not past 11 weeks. Using it a couple of months later in her pregnancy was dangerous to Ms. McCormack, who has three living children.

Second, according to a story in Newsweek written by Nancy Hass, when she saw the size of the baby, McCormack was scared, “She didn’t know what to do—‘I was paralyzed,’ she says—so she put it in a box on her porch, and, terrified, called a friend. That friend then called his sister, who reported McCormack to the police.”

How Spiegel can find in McCormack’s bizarre behavior material for “interesting political and theatrical story” which stirred in her a “radical form of empathy” leaves me speechless.

Source: NRLC News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Media Bias


WaPo Blogger: Abortion Is ‘A Deeply Affirmative Value’

By Katie Yoder
Carter Eskew
Carter Eskew

In a piece for The Washington Post, blogger Carter Eskew recently argued, “It’s time for a new dialogue on abortion.”

Eskew, director at The Glover Park Group (which lobbies for Planned Parenthood) and former strategist for Al Gore, wrote in response to his colleague Janet Harris, who insisted abortion is never immoral or “difficult.” “Control over one’s reproduction is a deeply affirmative value,” he approved, and “It’s time to assert it.”
Citing Harris, Eskew affirmed, “She couldn’t be more right” and added, “the current political dialogue is even worse than she documents.” “The pro-choice movement,” he lamented, “has been on the defensive” while the pro-life movement is “chipping away at a woman’s freedom.”
Abortion advocates “can’t and won’t win,” he continued, “because they don’t have an affirmative argument.”

But, surprisingly, Eskew got one thing right: “The problem is ‘choice’ will never trump ‘life.’ Choice is valuable, but life is precious. As long as there is no competing affirmative value for abortion, then life will always win.”

That sentiment quickly disappeared as Eskew found his fix: the “small, brave cohort of women” who “affirm the positive value of abortion in their own lives” for “abortion rights, centered on not just freedom of ‘choice’ but on the benefits of the outcome of choice.”
While “the right to control one’s body [which, you know, includes any other body within it] is basic,” he explained, “it remains abstract.” He continued, “More concrete are personal benefits, such as waiting until one is willing and able to care for a child, and societal benefits” for women, including finishing school and entering the workforce.

Convenience, in other words. Think of killing your child as a time-management tool – maybe even a handy app that gets you through your busy schedule with a minimum of hassle.
As far as the “safe, legal and rare” argument, Eskew complained abortion advocates, “might as well wave the white flag because implicit in this formulation is that abortion is bad and shameful.” Whelp, at least he has the media to back him up (see: The Daily Beast, The Guardian, Salon – and even the nets).

He concluded by comparing abortion to “gay rights.” “For years,” he cried, “the public dialogue on gays did not comport with the private reality” and “The laws treated homosexuality as deviant, when it was common; as shameful, when it was human.”
“The gap between repression and reality was bound to be breached,” he finished, and “the same evolution looms on the abortion issue.”
Except that this “repression” is connected to the “reality:” abortion terminates the lives of the most vulnerable – or, in his own words, “Choice is valuable, but life is precious.”
Editor’s note. This appeared at

Source: NRLC News

More on Abortionist


Steven Brigham no more an abortion “outlier” than Kermit Gosnell

By Dave Andrusko
Abortionist Steven Brigham
Abortionist Steven Brigham

What do you do if you are a pillar of the more-more-more abortion brain trust when you have an abortionist whose conduct is outlandish even by your ever-forgiving standards? You distance yourself from the man’s behavior, you minimize the gravity of his offenses, and (naturally) blame pro-lifers!
You remember how the Abortion Establishment tap-danced around thrice-convicted murderer abortionist Kermit Gosnell? Barely heard of the guy and if “rogue abortion providers” like Gosnell exist, it’s because of “anti-choicers.”.

How’s that? We make it uncomfortable for them by “stigmatizing” abortion, meaning some the brightest and the best choose not to rip babies limb from limb.
But Gosnell is not an “outlier” or “renegade” as Planned Parenthood et al. insisted, as we have discussed countless times over the decades. Perhaps at the head of the class, the valedictorian of malevolence, is Steven Brigham.

It would be difficult—almost impossible—to exaggerate how shady this guy is. But Brigham is equally shifty and has taken advantage of lax abortion laws and weak-kneed licensing boards who can never quite seem to take his license away permanently.
On Monday, we posted about Brigham’s latest day in court (“N.J. judge moves to permanently revoke abortionist Steven Brigham’s license,”).  New Jersey authorities are trying yet again to take away his license, having failed in the 1990s.

Very briefly, Brigham would dilate a woman’s cervix in his Voorhees ,New Jersey, abortion clinic but deliver the dead child in another state (in this case, Maryland) where babies could legally be aborted much later than in New Jersey This multi-state practice only came to light when women were seriously hurt, as was the case with a teenager who almost died in 2010.

Judge Jeff S. Masin’s decision to yank Brigham’s license will be reviewed by New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners. Here’s hoping he does not slip-slide his way out of this one.

But how does a prominent pro-abortion site, such as, handle “South Jersey-based abortion provider Steven Brigham, who has spent much of his two-decade career fighting charges of misconduct and negligence,” as the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Marie McCullough described him?  Well…
“Brigham has a troubling past, and has been under investigation by state authorities for medical practices that have pushed the boundaries of ethics and the law.”
Not exactly full-disclosure or a full picture. Not even close
Convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell
Convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell

In a long, long piece pro-abortion reporter Holly Otterbein, writing for the [Philadelphia] City Paper, complained that “Brigham, like Gosnell, has overseen abortion procedures in Pennsylvania for decades. Like Gosnell, he’s run afoul of the law — throughout his career, in fact.” That’s an understatement, if ever there was one.

A while back McCullough did a long piece on Brigham, complete with a timeline.
In 1992, a few years out of medical school, Brigham “voluntarily forfeits his Pennsylvania medical license to end an investigation into his Wyomissing clinic,” according to McCullough. “The landlord had successfully sued him for concealing his plans to perform abortions.
Two years later, she wrote, Brigham lost his New York State license for “botching late-term abortions, one begun in Voorhees. Brigham was described as  ‘undertrained’ with ‘submarginal abilities.’” American Women’s Services, Brigham’s Voorhees-based company, has abortion clinics in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and Florida. Brigham has lost his license in five states.”

I suppose that would qualify as “troubled” and “push[ing] the boundaries of ethics and the laws.
What else? We read at that
“The decision comes after Masin heard evidence last year from New Jersey prosecutors showing that Brigham used a dangerous scheme in which he would begin abortions in New Jersey and then transfer patients to Maryland to complete the procedure.
“Brigham would induce fetal death in his Voorhees clinic and would then surgically removed the fetuses at a clandestine clinic in Elkton, Maryland.”
Wouldn’t this be worth adding about the 18-year-old who almost died in 2010?
“After the woman suffered a ruptured uterus, state officials said [Brigham’s co-worker Nicol] Riley put the patient in Brigham’s rented Chevrolet Malibu and drove her Union Hospital in Elkton,” the Baltimore Sun reported. “The board said she sat in slumped in a wheelchair, nearly unconscious, outside the emergency room, while Riley argued with hospital staff, demanding their identities before treating the woman.
“The woman was flown that day to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore for more treatment. State officials said Riley then returned to his clinic in Elkton to perform another abortion. The injured woman survived.”
Or that the doctor who performed emergency surgery on the teenager then went to the Elkton police. This led authorities to search Brigham’s American Woman’s Services abortion clinic which “revealed a freezer with 35 late-term fetuses inside, including one believed to have been aborted at 36 weeks, authorities said,” the AP reported

Or, as McCullough wrote, while Maryland never went after Brigham for illegally practicing medicine, “Instead, the state charged him with murdering viable fetuses found at the Elkton clinic.” But he wiggled out of that one too:

“Maryland prosecutors dropped the charges in 2012, acknowledging that they lacked jurisdiction because the fetal deaths occurred in New Jersey.”

So in the hands of the pro-abortionists, after a few perfunctory tsk-tsks, a man who should rate a 10 for his evilness and total disregard for unborn babies and women gets a 3.
When asked about Brigham, they will site this near-whitewash as evidence they really care.

Source: NRLC News

Pro-Abortion Movement


Watching the Pro-Abortion Movement splinter apart

By Dave Andrusko
Carter Eskew
Carter Eskew

With great interest and amusement we’ve written about the more obvious manifestations of the intra-squad squabbles within the pro-abortion team that went public when Planned Parenthood lowered its “pro-choice” flag in January 2013.
Some opponents of the move were just nostalgic, others saw it as giving away a rallying cry that still resonated, still others wondered if it wasn’t an admission that they had lost control of the political debate (which they had).

As the pro-abortion movement continues to fragment (it’s already broken into many shards), there is an ongoing fight over what will be the new language (the favorites are “reproductive justice” and “reproductive health”) ; who deserves credit for developing the idiom and/or promoting it; and how this all ties into the continued widening of the circle of issues that some pro-abortionists insist must fall within the rubric of “reproductive justice”/“reproductive health.” (Hint: you would be surprised. The issues covers everything from soup to nuts.)

That overlaps with the in-house fighting over who buried the “pro-choice” slogan first and after-the-fact complaints that it was never any good in the first place. A recent example of that was the Washington Post op-ed written by Carter Eskew, a founding partner of the Glover Park Group public relations firm, which has done a lot of work for Planned Parenthood. (He got his ears boxed by PPFA for the column, but that’s another post.)

Eskew celebrated a prior op-ed by Janet Harris who promoted the idea that it is absurd to ever hint that having an abortion was a “difficult decision.” Worse, to suggest that abortion does raise ethical and moral concerns, puts pro-abortionists on the defensive, a theme Eskew hardily seconds
“The pro-choice side cannot win the debate as it is currently framed; it can achieve only small victories when the other side overreaches,” he wrote. “The problem is ‘choice’ will never trump ‘life.’ Choice is valuable, but life is precious. As long as there is no competing affirmative value for abortion, then life will always win.”

So what is the “competing affirmative value for abortion,” according to Eskew.
“A small, brave cohort of women have come forward to affirm the positive value of abortion in their own lives. Their explanations present a promising, new message frame for abortion rights, centered on not just freedom of ‘choice’ but on the benefits of the outcome of choice.”
Sorry, I don’t mean to be dense but isn’t that the argument they have made for decades? Aborting an inconvenient baby means a woman doesn’t get slowed down in her race to succeed?
The “difference” in the latest iterations is that, like Janet Harris, they come across as colder than fish, morally tone-deaf, and utterly indifferent to the serious qualms most people—including many self-identified “pro-choicers”—have about abortion, especially abortion on demand.

So at the same time they expand the number of issues falling under their “reproductive justice” tent, by their callous language they are excluding more and more and more Americans.

Source: NRLC News



Surrogate mother of twins awarded one of the babies after biological mother rejects her because of disability

By Dave Andrusko
An unnamed British woman rejected a baby from a surrogate mother because the child was disabled (Picture: PA)

The Sun newspaper in Great Britain has reported that the biological mother of twins carried by a surrogate allegedly abandoned one of them when the child was found to have congenital myotonic dystrophy, a severe muscular condition which affects breathing. The unidentified woman took the healthy sibling home, Jane Mathews reported.
There is an eerie similarity to the case that occurred just two weeks ago where a couple allegedly abandoned their surrogate son in Thailand after he was born with Down syndrome, while taking the healthy twin girl back with them to Australia.

The Sun referred to the surrogate as “Jenny” to protect her identity. According to Jenny, the biological mother (who also is unnamed) responded horribly when she was informed of the girl’s condition.
“I remember her saying to me, “She’d be a f****** dribbling cabbage! Who would want to adopt her? No one would want to adopt a disabled child,’” she said.
In fact, Jenny and her partner would. After mediation, The Children and Family Court awarded the baby girl with congenital myotonic dystrophy to Jenny (she will be named Amy), while the baby boy will remain with the biological mother.

Six weeks before she was due, Jenny underwent an emergency caesarean to save the babies. The diagnosis of congenital myotonic dystrophy was not made until after their premature births.
When she called to tell the mother of the girl’s condition, “I’ll never forget what she said to me on the phone,” Jenny told Mathews. “I was stunned when I heard her reject Amy.”
Jenny (who has other children of her own) told Mathews, “She had basically told me that she didn’t want a disabled child.” Jenny added she felt “very angry” towards the girl’s biological parents.

Source: NRLC News

Crime and Tragedy


Mother dumps day-old baby in trash can, hopes baby would die and “solve her problems”

By Dave Andrusko
Alicia Marie Englert, 23, is led to police car outside her Kearns, Utah home after allegedly leaving her day-old baby girl in neighbor's trash can KUTV
Alicia Marie Englert, 23, is led to police car outside her Kearns, Utah home after allegedly leaving her day-old baby girl in neighbor’s trash can KUTV

On Tuesday police arrested Alicia Marie Englert on suspicion of attempted murder , after she reportedly dumped her one-day-old baby in a neighbor’s trash in Kearns, Utah. Authorities said the baby girl, who was airlifted to a Salt Lake City hospital, was in critical condition on a ventilator and fighting for her life.

A Probable Cause statement filed by police said “the birth mother was afraid to tell her parents about her pregnancy. She said she discarded the baby in hopes that it would die and solve her problems.”
In an all-too-familiar scenario, a woman found the baby in the trash bin in the Salt Lake City suburb of Kearns. According to the local CBS affiliate
“She heard something that sounded like a cat,” says Adora Nemitz who talked with the neighbors who found the infant. “They told me they found a baby out of the garbage can. I don’t even talk. I was just shocked.”

Detectives quickly discovered the mother lived next door. Englert told officers she’d left her baby about an hour before she was found, authorities said. Englert told police the baby had not received any medical care or food.

There were no “secondary injuries” to the baby, Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder said at the news conference. He said there was also no information about where the baby was born, if others were involved, or who is the baby’s father.

A woman who claimed to be Englert’s sister told ABC 4 News that her sister has mental issues and that she did not know she was pregnant.
“She doesn’t think like a 24-year old,” said the woman who wouldn’t offer her name. “She has like some learning disabilities.”

At the same news conference , Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and health officials said there are resources available for expectant and new mothers, including a crisis hotline. They noted that Utah has a law under which mothers can leave newborns at hospitals, no questions asked.

Source: NRLC News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Abortion as a Ministry


Willie Parker’s “Abortion Ministry”

By Dave Andrusko
Editor’s note. This article appears in the August issue of National Right to Life News. The edition can be read in its entirety at
WillieParkerIt is no coincidence that John Richardson’s story in Esquire magazine is titled, “The Abortion Ministry of Dr. Willie Parker.” Richardson’s profile is a futile attempt to make a kind of saint out of a man who flies into Mississippi twice a month and performs as many as 45 abortions a day. (And, yes, that quantity does bring to mind the charges brought last year by two nurses who once worked at the Wilmington, Delaware Planned Parenthood clinic–that the clinic performed ‘meat-market style assembly-line abortions.”)

The story is built around the interactions Parker has with the women intended to reassure them abortion is safe, safe, safe; that the only opinion that matters is hers; that anyone who disagrees is a hypocritical Christian; and that aborting women is just an extension of the ethos that undergirded the Civil Rights Movement. (And, yes, the latter does remind you of Kermit Gosnell’s similar delusionary argument.)

Indeed we are told over and over that Parker is a Christian (“I do abortions because I am a Christian”). Both Parker and Richardson use that as a defense/justification/explanation for why he aborts and aborts and aborts some more.
Richardson extends the allusion. Referring to the information abortionists are required to pass onto women (which Parker mocks and distorts), Richardson writes, “In an almost priestly cadence, he builds a sermon around the word required.”

Later, “In all these interactions, even if it has nothing to do with abortion, Parker never misses a chance to offer comfort. This seems to be his version of absolution, often delivered with a moral.”
So it would not be unfair to conclude Parker does see himself as a theologian, one dispensing his own kind of balm, which he calls “verbicaine.”

The story is very long, so here are a few summary points.
#1. You would easily conclude reading Richardson’s piece that Parker does not do abortions past the 16th week at all, not just in the state of Mississippi. In fact, Sarah Kliff, then of the Washington Post, began a highly sympathetic 2012 interview with Parker, describing him as “a doctor who has performed late-term abortions.” If you read other stories, Parker freely acknowledges performing abortions at 24 weeks, 6 days, and beyond.

#2. As noted above, Parker recites information that is important to women considering abortion, but then immediately makes mash of it. But Parker’s willingness to bend—actually mutilate—the truth came out in that interview with Kliff. Here’s just one of the examples NRLC addressed in responding.
“In his interview with Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post, Dr. Willie Parker estimated that 1 percent of abortions occur after the first trimester. This is a gross underestimate. Indeed, in a printed statement opposing the bill that he posted on the internet, dated May 17, Dr. Parker himself wrote that ‘roughly 12% of abortions occur at or after 13 weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period,’ citing figures cited by the CDC. This is 12 times the figure he cited in the interview.”

#3. Women who’ve had chemical abortions often are brutally honest about what an RU-486 abortion entails. In comparing chemical to surgical abortions, Parker says only that the “minus” of the former is “heavy bleeding” and “a return visit in two weeks.” Compare that no-big-deal summary with the stories of women who’ve bleed for weeks, who can barely get out of bed, who experience pain they could not even image, “blood clots the size of golf balls,” and “debilitating, convulsing cramps.”

#4. We’re told that opposition to abortion, ultimately, “comes back to the early Judeo-Christian narratives that say the fall of man was caused by a woman, Parker says. ‘That’s woven into our culture, and it has to be deconstructed at every level.’” So at the end of Richardson’s story when Parker matter-of-factly points out the aborted baby’s skull and eyes and the beginnings of a spinal cord, our nausea at this ultimate act of dehumanization is actually a reflection of how we blame Eve for everything?

Two other points.

#5. Parker’s “verbicaine” is intended to enable many women to keep submerged a central truth in their lives that keeps trying to surface: what they are about to do violates something at their very core. The most revealing passage in this piece cuts through the nonsense that Richardson, Parker, and the women hide behind:
A woman named Monique asks if she gets a wish. Sure, Parker says.
“Please tell me that you can’t find it.”
“If only we could wish it away,” he says.
Another woman tries to explain—she just got a promotion; she can’t have a baby now.
“I hear ya. Life is full of those kinds of decisions.”
One scan causes him to pause. “Do you want to know if there is more than one?” he asks.
The woman starts to cry. “No.” She wipes away tears with both hands.
When she leaves, he points to the screen. Triplets. He’s seen lots of twins but never triplets. Some women think multiples are more special, so they get more upset.
Yes, I’m sure, “some women” do. Finally

#6. The crux of Parker’s self-delusion—or is it just indifference?—is captured in the conclusion of Richardson’s story:
But here’s the vital question: Is it a person? Not by the standards of the law, he says. Is it viable outside the womb? It is not. So this piece of life—and remember, sperm is alive, eggs are alive, it’s all life—is still totally dependent on a woman. And that dependence puts it in the domain of her choice. “That’s what I embrace,” he says.
But it’s hard not to look at those tiny fingers, no bigger than the tip of a toothpick.
Does that ever disturb him?
“When I recognize whole fetal parts? No. Because I’m not deluded about what this whole process is.”
And what does examining this tissue tell him? Does this satisfy another state regulation?
“It tells me her uterus is empty and she is no longer pregnant.”

Source: NRLC News