Life Site News picked up on an article from Bioethicist Dr. Anna Smajdor of the University of East Anglia. The article is called: In Defense of Ectogenesis, ectogenesis being the process of allowing unborn babies to develop outside mothers through the use of reproductive technology (which does not yet exist) such as Brave New World-like artificial wombs.

 

DaVinci Bioethicist argues that pregnancy is a condition that women need to one day reject

Image source: http://catholiceducation.org/images/medical/womb%20by%20DaVinci.JPG

The article appears to be an attack on motherhood and the very ability of women to bear children.  Smajdor describes pregnancy, or the state of being pregnant, as being an undesirable “medical condition”. She goes as far as comparing it to a “disease” appearing to completely disregard the  physiological importance of pregnancy for child rearing. It makes one wonder if Smajdor has ever had any children herself.

She describes this very biological difference or lack of equivalency between men and women as itself a major “inequality” between the sexes. So according to her, women aren’t equal to men until they’re essentially biologically equivalent to men. Such a position is ideological and ultimately only reflects Smajdor’s own disgust towards the very idea that there are significant sex-related biological differences that lead to different reproductive roles; a position I doubt many share with her.

But in regards to abortion, the concept of ectogenesis does make one wonder about the implications it would have on the abortion industry. After seeing the entire process of development of the unborn, would those who support the “right” to abort unborn babies still assert such a “right”? Would such a “right” for the parents to terminate this process, with the baby now depending on a machine, still exist?

Smajdor has written about and been involved in a number of projects discussing and promoting future reproductive technologies such as the use of artificial gametes. Being a biomedical ethicist, I would be interested in hearing her views on abortion, how she would define a human being and whether her views and positions are actually consistent with her overall ethical views. Nonetheless, I strongly disagree with her perspective on pregnancy and if she were to speak to many pregnant women or women who have gone through pregnancy, she would perhaps rethink her position.

 

The Unbearable Wrongness of Roe

On January 25, 2012, in Blog, by Alisdair

US Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun The Unbearable Wrongness of Roe

Thirty-nine years ago, the Supreme Court delivered a radical, legally untenable, immoral decision. In this article cross posted from Public Discourse, Michael Stokes Paulsen argues that the US supreme court has forfeited its entitlement to have its decisions respected, and followed, by the other branches of government, by the states, and by the people.

Today, thousands of people at the March for Life in Washington, D.C., are commemorating the thirty-ninth anniversary of a legal and moral monstrosity, Roe v. Wade, and its companion case, Doe v. Bolton. The two cases, in combination, created an essentially unqualified constitutional right of pregnant women to abortion—the right to kill their children, gestating in their wombs, up to the point of birth. After nearly four decades, Roe’s human death toll stands at nearly sixty million human lives, a total exceeding the Nazi Holocaust, Stalin’s purges, Pol Pot’s killing fields, and the Rwandan genocide combined. Over the past forty years, one-sixth of the American population has been killed by abortion. One in four African-Americans is killed before birth. Abortion is the leading cause of (unnatural) death in America.

It is almost too much to contemplate: the prospect that we are living in the midst of, and accepting (to various degrees) one of the greatest human holocausts in history. And so we don’t contemplate it. Instead, we look for ways to deny this grim reality, minimize it, or explain away our complacency—or complicity.

It is important, however, to view reality with eyes wide open, focus clear, and gaze not averted. On this thirty-ninth anniversary of Roe and Doe, I would like simply to set forth what Roe and Doe held, in as clear-headed and straightforwardly descriptive legal terms as possible, and to lay out its human and moral consequences. My brief tour of Roe’s unbearable wrongness begins with Roe’s radicalism—its extreme holding creating a plenary right to obtain or commit abortion—proceeds with Roe’s legal untenability, and concludes with Roe’s immorality and the moral problem of our seeming passivity and quiescence in response to the greatest legal and moral wrongs of our age.

Roe’s Radicalism

Start with Roe’s radicalism, a radicalism that we may no longer grasp because it has become so familiar. Roe created a constitutional right to obtain or commit an abortion of a human life—that is, to terminate the life of a human embryo or fetus. It is important to be clear-sighted about this: abortion kills a living human embryo or fetus. What distinguishes “abortion” from (say) miscarriage is the specific intention to kill a living fetus. What was alive before has been deliberately killed. Abortion takes a life. Further, the life taken is human life. There is really no doubt about that as a matter of biology. The embryo or fetus belongs to the species homo sapiens. It is a separate, living human being that is killed by abortion.

To be sure, that human being is killed at an early stage in its life cycle, and for a substantial part of that time could not live without direct biological connection to his or her mother (the person in whom Roe vests the right to terminate that human life). But that does not make the human embryo any less alive, any less human, or any less a separate life from the mother. It just makes the unborn baby more vulnerable and dependent.

The right created by the Supreme Court in Roe is a constitutional right of some human beings to kill other human beings. I do not mean for my description to be provocative, but simply direct—blunt about facts. One need not presume that the human fetus has a right not to be killed in order to recognize that, as a descriptive matter, Roe creates a right for one class of human beings to kill other human beings.

Roe, coupled with Doe, creates a plenary right to kill the embryo or fetus for essentially any reason, at any time throughout all nine months of pregnancy. Distilled to its essence, Roe created a “trimester” framework for abortion. In roughly the first three months of pregnancy, the right of abortion is avowedly plenary: abortion may be had for any reason. In the second three months, government may regulate abortion to protect the life or health of the mother, but again the right to have an abortion remains plenary. In the final three months—after the point of “viability,” when the human fetus could live on his or her own outside the mother’s womb—Roe says that abortion can be restricted or prohibited . . . except where abortion is necessary to protect the “life or health” of the pregnant woman.

This is a big exception. And here is where Doe steps in. On its face, Roe might appear, to the unwary or uninitiated, “moderate”—its trimester-balancing framework a measured, reasonable-sounding, proportionate act of judicial legislation concerning abortion. It is Doe that does a lot of the work, through an indirect and ultimately disingenuous definition of the “health” reasons that always may justify a woman’s decision to have an abortion and trump any interest of society in protecting fetal human life, even when the child could survive outside the mother’s womb. Doe holds that relevant “health” considerations justifying late-term abortions include “all factors—physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age—relevant to the well-being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.” (Doe’s understanding of “the patient” did not include the fetus; Roe held elsewhere that the human fetus has no legal rights that any person is bound to respect.)

Roe then cross-referenced Doe’s stylized definition of health and incorporated it into the main holding. The result is that an abortion may be had, under Roe and Doe, for essentially any reason, throughout all nine months of pregnancy, up to the point of birth.

Nothing in any of the Court’s later abortion cases alters this definition of “health” or the right to abortion throughout pregnancy. Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 case reaffirming Roe, tinkered slightly with the trimester framework and the point at which “viability” occurs but did not change Roe’s (and Doe’s) holding that abortion may be had for any reason, before viability, and for any “health” reason throughout pregnancy. The partial-birth abortion cases carried this understanding forward, holding that the state may not prohibit the abortion method of inducing birth and killing the fetus on the way out of the birth canal (Carhart I [2000]), unless an equally effective, equally “healthy” method of killing the fetus is available (Carhart II [2007]).

I suspect that if more people understood Roe’s and Doe’s actual holding fewer would support that constitutional regime. Roe was a truly extreme decision, creating an effectively unrestricted constitutional right to abort a living human being for any reason the mother might have, throughout pregnancy right up to the point of birth.

Roe’s Legal Untenability

This brings us to Roe’s utter indefensibility as a matter of constitutional law. If the U.S. Constitution actually protected such an extreme personal legal right to kill the human fetus, that would be troubling enough, but the trouble would be with the content of the Constitution. The further problem with Roe is that it has absolutely no basis in the text, structure, or history of the Constitution. No rule or principle of law fairly traceable to the text, discernible from its structure, or fairly derived from evidence of intention or historical understanding of an authoritative decision of the people, remotely supports the result reached in Roe. In terms of fair principles of constitutional interpretation, Roe is perhaps the least defensible major constitutional decision in the Supreme Court’s history.

Roe’s reasoning, distilled to its essentials, is that the Constitution creates a “privacy” right to abortion, on the premise that the right not “to bear” a child is protected by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. No serious constitutional law scholar thinks this is a plausible reading of the Due Process Clause. That clause forbids government to “deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law.” Without due process of law are crucial words. The Due Process Clause does not say that government never may deprive a person of life, liberty or property. It only says that government may not do so “without due process of law”—that is, arbitrarily, lawlessly, not in conformity with duly enacted laws and accepted procedures for their application.

Many nonetheless support Roe’s holding as a policy matter and therefore seek to rationalize the holding some other way. Perhaps the goofiest is the suggestion advanced by a few law professors, in apparent seriousness, that abortion restrictions violate the Thirteenth Amendment’s ban on slavery. Saner, but in the end still unsound as a legal matter, is the notion that abortion laws discriminate on the basis of sex and thus deny “equal protection of the laws.” The defect in this argument is that abortion laws do not classify on the basis of sex or gender and are not disguised attempts to do so. Rather, they aim at conduct—obtaining or committing an abortion—when engaged in by persons of either sex. Abortion restrictions do not restrict acts of women because they are women; they restrict acts committed by men or women because they kill human fetuses. Further, ask a “pro-choice” “feminist” whether abortion should be permitted for reasons of sex-selection—that is, because the unborn child is a girl—and the sex discrimination argument begins to turn back on itself. All but the most blindly pro-abortion ideologues abandon the argument that abortion rights are required for gender equality, if that means abortion can be chosen for gender-selection of boys over girls.

In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Supreme Court rested the right to abortion back where Roe purported to find it, in the Due Process Clause. Recognizing the embarrassments created by this view, Casey added another prop: the doctrine of precedent or “stare decisis,” which is essentially all that is left to support Roe. But Casey’s invocation of the doctrine was transparently disingenuous: Because the public expects the Court to adhere (usually) to its past decisions, because the Court had staked its authority on Roe, and because the Court might be viewed unfavorably by some of the public if it reversed itself in such a case, the Court said that it had decided to adhere to Roe “whether or not mistaken.” Thus, what Roe held to be required by substantive due process Casey held to be required by stare decisis, even assuming Roe to be wrong.

If Roe was radical, Casey was craven. A majority of the Supreme Court apparently believed that Roe was wrongly decided, fully understood the moral and human consequences of the decision, and deliberately adhered to it anyway. Stare decisis has never been thought required by the Constitution, before or since. Brown v. Board of Education (1954) famously repudiated Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) on the question of whether racial segregation was consistent with “equal protection of the laws.” The Court has overruled scores of its own precedents. Indeed, it overruled two cases in Casey. Casey’s reaffirmation of Roe, in the name of stare decisis, was a sham—perhaps the most transparently dishonest major judicial decision since Dred Scott.

Roe’s Immorality

Finally, there is Roe’s immorality—the abortion holocaust it unleashed—and the problem of our response to it. Roe is a radical decision and a legally indefensible one. But what really makes Roe unbearably wrong is its consequences. The result of Roe and Doe has been the legally authorized killing of nearly sixty million Americans since 1973. Roe v. Wade authorized unrestricted private violence against human life on an almost unimaginable scale, and did so, falsely, in the name of the Constitution.

It is hard to escape this conclusion, but not impossible—and many certainly try. I will not here belabor the question of whether the intentional killing of innocent, dependent, vulnerable human children is a grave moral wrong. My concluding point concerns the lengths to which we will go to deny the reality of this holocaust, because it is almost unbearable to contemplate and still go on living life as if nothing is terribly wrong. The cognitive dissonance is simply too great. And so we have become, in effect, a nation of holocaust deniers.

Here is the problem, undressed: If human embryonic life is morally worthy of protection, we have permitted sixty million murders under our watch. Faced with this prospect, many of us—maybe even most—flee from the facts. We deny that the living human embryo is “truly” or “fully” human life, adopt a view that whether the embryo or fetus is human “depends,” or can be judged in degrees, on a sliding scale over the course of pregnancy; or we proclaim uncertainty about the facts of human biology; or we proclaim moral agnosticism about the propriety of “imposing our views on others”; or we throw up our hands and give up because moral opposition to an entrenched, pervasive social practice is not worth the effort, discomfort, and social costs. The one position not on the table—the one possibility too hard to look at—is that abortion is a grave moral wrong on a par with the greatest human moral atrocities of all time and that we passively, almost willingly, accept it as such.

All of this should tell us a few more sobering things. It should tell us that, much as we would like to believe that human beings have become more morally conscious, more sensitive to injustice and intolerant of clear evil, it remains the case that we often either fail to recognize it in our midst, or refuse to respond to it decisively, out of self-interest or cowardice. It should tell us that, much as we would like to think that we surely would have stood bravely against slavery, even if embedded in a nineteenth-century society that tolerated and accepted it as a legal right, we might have acquiesced or been tepid in our condemnation. It should tell us that, much as we would like to think we would never have put up with what transpired in Nazi Germany in the 1930s and the 1940s, the evidence of our lives in twenty-first century America is that we might have put up with quite a lot.

And it should tell us finally, that, as much as we may claim to admire our governmental and constitutional system, the decisions of the Supreme Court in the abortion cases expose the Court—at least on this matter of life, death, and law—as a lawless, rogue institution capable of the most monstrous of injustices in the name of law. The Court has, with its abortion decisions, surely forfeited its legal and moral legitimacy as an institution. It has forfeited its claimed authority to speak for the Constitution. It has forfeited its entitlement to have its decisions respected, and followed, by the other branches of government, by the states, and by the people. Yet the docility of the American people with respect to Roe and abortion rivals the pliancy of the most cowardly, servile peoples toward ruinous, brutal, anti-democratic regimes throughout world history.

The Supreme Court is empowered by the Constitution to faithfully interpret the Constitution. But it is not alone in that power, and when it exceeds it and violates it, it is the responsibility of other actors in our system to check the abuse. As James Madison wrote in The Federalist No. 49, “the several departments being perfectly co-ordinate by the terms of their common commission, neither of them, it is evident, can pretend to an exclusive or superior right of settling the boundaries between their respective powers.” Moreover, it is “the people themselves” who are “the grantors of the commission” and who “can alone declare its true meaning and enforce its observance.”

The Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade should not be accepted as law, in any sense. It should be resisted by legislatures and it should be refused enforcement by executive officials because it is not the law. It should be resisted by all citizens, with all the resources at their disposal, and perhaps even with resources not (yet) at their disposal. Anything less is holocaust denial.

Michael Stokes Paulsen is University Chair and Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas, in Minneapolis, and co-director of its Pro-Life Advocacy Center (PLACE).

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gendercide nz Canadian Medical Association Journal calls for curbs on aborting girls

After a long legal and political debate leading up to a decision by its Supreme Court in 1988, Canada has ended up as one of the few nations in the world without an abortion law. About 100,000 abortion are performed each year. But now the Canadian Medical Association Journal is calling for strict limits on abortion – if the mother wants to abortion a child simply because it is a girl.

Gendercide has been imported into Canada with Asian migration. Census data show that there is an unusually high number of male births to women who are South and East Asian immigrants despite vastly improved socio-economic prospects. Most Canadians regard sex-selection as “odious”, says the CMAJ, but the practice persists.

In a ringing editorial, the CMAJ says:

“Should female feticide in Canada be ignored because it is a small problem localized to minority ethnic groups? No. Small numbers cannot be ignored when the issue is about discrimination against women in its most extreme form. This evil devalues women.”

Its solution for eliminating this “repugnant practice” is “to postpone the disclosure of medically irrelevant information to women until after about 30 weeks of pregnancy”. The assumption is that almost no one would have an abortion at 30 weeks.

However, the widely-discussed proposal has been criticised on several counts. From a practical point of view, it will soon be easy for women to test the sex of their unborn child at home, with commercially-available kits. Can a doctor refuse to perform an abortion even if he suspects the patient’s motivation? He might get in legal hot water.

In fact, one of the papers on which the journal’s stand was based was more realistic. “Our [30-week] proposal, then, would not prevent sex selection. Rather, we suggest that it would permit health care providers to navigate ethically the meaningful application of the SOGC policy of not supporting sex selection while maintaining patients’ rights to full disclosure of medical information.” In other words, the 30-week rule is just a sop for doctors’ consciences.

And both pro-life and pro-choice supporters attacked the proposal as illogical. Why should doctors discourage aborting girls and acquiesce in aborting children with Down syndrome? “Either the fetus has rights or not,” said Marni Soupcoff, of the National Post. “If not, then sorry, no ‘good’ reason is necessary for an abortion. If yes, it gets complex.” ~ CMAJ, Jan 16

 Cross posted from BioEdge.
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SPUC logo UN report claiming rise in ‘unsafe’ abortion rates called ‘pro abortion propaganda’

A United Nations World Health Organization report published on Thursday in The Lancet claiming to show that unsafe (read illegal) abortion rates have risen by 5% between 1995 and 2008 with a resulting increase in maternal mortality have been called “dubious” by a leading UK pro-life organization.

John Smeaton, director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) said, “A claim published today in The Lancet that so-called ‘unsafe’ – usually illegal – abortions worldwide have risen by 5% is dubious,” and that “researchers from the Guttmacher Institute and the World Health Organization (WHO) and other commentators in The Lancet are using the figure to argue that so-called ‘safe’ abortion should be legalized worldwide.”

“The WHO routinely makes unsubstantiated claims about so-called ‘unsafe’ or illegal abortion,” Smeaton observed. “WHO is one of the world’s major pro-abortion bodies. The Guttmacher Institute is the research arm of the worldwide pro-abortion lobby. The report is pro-abortion propaganda, and should be dismissed as such.”

The Lancet quotes Professor Beverly Winikoff, from the New York based abortion advocacy group Gynuity, to say “Unsafe abortion is one of the five major contributors to maternal mortality, causing one in every seven or eight maternal deaths in 2008. Yet, when abortion is provided with proper medical techniques and care, the risk of death is negligible and nearly 14 times lower than that of childbirth.”

However, a study published in The Lancet in 2010 shows that maternal mortality rates have been significantly overestimated by United Nations agencies due to a lack of proper reporting and also imprecise statistical modeling.

While the current Lancet report focuses on implementing “safe” abortion in third-world countries as the way to decrease maternal deaths, the 2010 Lancet report stated that progress has been made in reducing maternal mortality in developing countries, due to declining pregnancy rates in some countries, higher per capita income, higher education rates for women, and increasing availability of basic medical care including “skilled birth attendants.”

The 2010 Lancet report also noted that researchers were surprised that three of the richest countries in the world actually showed increased maternal mortality; the United States, Canada and Norway – three countries with the most liberal abortion laws in the world.

“Promoters of legal abortion have a proven track-record of making wildly exaggerated claims about the number of so-called ‘unsafe’ or illegal abortions,” Mr. Smeaton remarked. “Such false claims were made in 1967 to lobby for the UK’s Abortion Act and in the 1970s to justify the US’s Roe v Wade decision. The late Dr Bernard Nathanson, the US abortion pioneer who became pro-life, admitted that he deliberately exaggerated the estimated number of illegal abortions five-fold when campaigning for abortion legalization.”

Statistics prove that countries where abortion is illegal have among the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world.

Poland, which banned abortion 20 years ago, after communism fell, has seen maternal deaths drop by more than 40 per cent, while maternal mortality rate in El Salvador dropped by half after abortion was re-criminalized in 1998.

According to a 2009 World Health Organization report, Mauritius boasts the lowest maternal mortality on the African continent, while also being one of the most protective of the unborn. The same WHO report showed that countries such as Ethiopia, which have been pressured to legalize abortion, have not been successful in reducing maternal death. In fact, Ethiopia’s rate is 48 times greater than that of Mauritius.

South Africa, which has had one of the most permissive abortion laws in Africa since 1996, saw maternal deaths increase twenty percent from 2005-2007. International Planned Parenthood Federation has acknowledged that part of this “surge” is “due to complications of abortion,” even though abortion is legal and therefore presumably “safe.”

WHO statistics for the South East Asia region show Nepal, where there is no restriction on the procedure, has the region’s highest rate of maternal mortality. The lowest in the region is Sri Lanka, with a rate fourteen times lower than that of Nepal. According to the pro-abortion public interest law firm Center for Reproductive Rights, Sri Lanka has among the most restrictive abortion laws in the world.

Similarly, WHO statistics for South America show that Chile has the lowest rate of maternal mortality, whereas Guyana, which significantly liberalized its laws in the mid-1990s citing concern over maternal deaths, has the highest. Chile protects unborn life in its penal laws and constitution, and has seen the maternal mortality rate decline from 275 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 1960 to 18.7 deaths in 2000, the largest reduction in any Latin country.

“The truth is that countries with strict laws against abortion have lower maternal death rates than countries which allow abortion widely,” Mr. Smeaton concluded. “Ireland, where abortion is banned, has one of the world’s best maternal health records. Legalized abortion does nothing to improve medical care.”

An abstract with link to the full text of the Lancet report titled “Induced abortion: incidence and trends worldwide from 1995 to 2008” is available here.

Cross posted from LifeSiteNews.com

Review: Pro-life short film Volition

On January 20, 2012, in Blog, by Alisdair

 

Review by Auckland  film reviewer Aaron Lopez.

I once heard from an elder that one of the oldest tricks humankind has
ever taught itself to employ is the dehumanization of the enemy. It’s
said that when you can remove the human element from a person, actions
that would once be perceived as ‘inhumane’ are now fully justified
under your conscience. If you were to look at the brief history of
man, you would be able to see moments in which men impede on the
liberty of other men in an absolutely unjust manner.

‘Volition’, by young filmmaker T. Jara Morgan, is a brief glimpse into
the lives of those who took part in some of our darker moments in
history. There are three stories running in parallel with one another:
a young Nazi Officer rounding up the Jewish people; a 19th Century
white American doctor in the midst of political climate regarding
black slavery; and a young man and his girlfriend in an abortion
clinic. All three main characters are played by the same actor to give
some visual communion to the stories.

It is quite obvious that the first two stories are a setup for
understanding the third. As world citizens of the 21st century, we
totally and utterly understand the moral evils of the Holocaust and
black civil rights. In fact, we are the champions who continue to
triumph over it, and we do not hesitate to call out injustice to those
who may repeat these offences.

We are living in this current political, ethical, and physical war of
the third story, and there are people on both sides who think what
they are doing is ultimately a moral good. What Morgan does, however,
is to help place the current issue of abortion in context of other
humanitarian issues of the past to give us a better sense of what
we’re dealing with.

So it was that Nazi Germany was fed with propaganda about the equality
of the Jewish people. They’re given biological evidence that the Jews
are a sub-species of human, because they’re cranial widths are
smaller, and while they say it may seem trivial, it’s of vital
importance to distinguish between them and the Aryan race. And the
same went for 1850s America. Says the mayor to the Doc: ‘You’ve seen
them in their natural habitat… they live no better than beasts over
there!… they don’t even have their own language!’. We know such views
to be despicable in this day and age. Could we ever hope to do the
same?

‘Scientifically, it’s just a lump of cells’, says the doctor to the
pregnant woman in an attempt to console her potential choice.
Apparently, we can.

‘Do we feed them… clothe them… give them elixir when they’re feeling
sick?’, continues the mayor who wants to keep his slaves. He even
makes sure the conditions are good on the plantations his slaves work
on! He’s a good slave master, and yet federal government is making him
look evil. The Nazis themselves aren’t doing anything really bad, or
so they think. They simply just want to preserve the incredible Aryan
race, which is in jeopardy because of all those European Jews.
Likewise, a baby is seen as a hindrance to the mother. It impedes on
her ability to conduct her life independently, and it brings
responsibility to her and to those who may not be able to care for it.
Are they doing anything bad? They don’t think so.

As the Nazis and slave owners cry out, their mission is for the greater
good, so does the contemporary abortionist who says it’s for the
greater good. If the young couple do not have the abortion, the young
man cannot get the scholarship for his college. As long as the young
Nazi officer continues to round up Jews, he will become a Commandant.
As long as the doctor supports slave ownership, he will have good
stance in his community. Thus the choice posed to these three
characters is critical: do you choose for yourself over the liberty of
another? Or do you sacrifice everything to pursue another’s human
right?

‘Volition’ poetically encapsulates and educates as to why people fight
for the right to life. If you need to dehumanize the ‘enemy’ and
justify your reasons through distorted methods, you are probably
leading yourself into a grave and moral evil. There will be some
pro-choice advocates that will be terribly incited by this film (some
already are). But we can only hope that people will come round and
support even the tiniest of human life, lest they become no better
than Nazis and slave-owners.

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Martin Luther King abortion Martin Luther King Jr’s niece: My uncle would be pro life

As the world marks the contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his niece Alevda King says her uncle would be pro-life and battle against abortion if he were alive today. As the daughter of Rev. A. D. King, a leader in the Civil Right’s movement, King sees the pro-life cause as a continuation of the Civil Rights movement in which her uncle was a prominent leader.

Alveda King called her uncle “a man of great compassion, and a man of non-violence.”

“He once said, ‘The Negro cannot win as long as he is willing to sacrifice the lives of his children for comfort and safety,’” she added.

King said her uncle would understand that to include the destruction of unborn children.

“I know in my heart that if Uncle Martin were alive today, he would join with me in the greatest civil rights struggle of this generation – the recognition of the unborn child’s basic right to life,” she has said previously.

“My uncle Martin would agree that we cannot end poverty, hunger, or suffering by killing those who might suffer,” she explained. “We cannot claim to guarantee equal rights if we deny the rights of the helpless. And we cannot feign ignorance of the fact that those who are torn apart, crushed, or left to die on an abortionist’s table are just as human as we are.”

“My uncle said that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” Alveda continued.

“Abortion is genocide,” King says. “It’s killing populations. It’s killing generations and certainly the population that is most impacted by abortion in America is the black community. So I feel that as a civil rights leader I have responsibility to proclaim that black Americans are being exterminated by the genocidal acts of abortion.”

Alveda King is now a proud mother of six and grandmother of six, but she once took the lives of her own children in abortion. Now, as a pro-life leader, she works to stop abortion.

“I had two abortions and a miscarriage related to damage from those abortions,” King has said. “I realized that I was violating the civil rights of a person. When I had my abortions, we were told that it was a blob of tissue and not a person.”

“The great irony is that abortion has done what the Klan only dreamed of… Roughly one quarter of the black population is now missing,” she adds.

King, the full-time director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life, will take part in events today in honor of her late father, the Rev. Dr. Alfred Daniels King, and her late uncle. She was at book signing Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m. at the King Center Freedom Hall Auditorium and, in the Freedom Hall, screened the film “Brother of the Dreamer,” about her father, one of the main strategists behind many civil rights campaigns. King and her mother, Naomi Barber King, attended.

Naomi Barber King, mother of Alveda, is also a crusader in the battle to save African-American babies from abortion. King’s commitment to life began when she changed her mind about aborting her daughter.

“My father-in-law, Martin Luther King Sr., told me he had a vision of my child and he wanted to meet the baby girl in his vision,” Mrs. King said.

At the age of 37, Mrs. King was left a widow with five children following the untimely death of her husband, who was a prominent civil rights leader in his own right.

“God gave me the strength to do all I had to after that,” said the soft-spoken Atlanta resident.

“My mother is a woman of courage, commitment, compassion and indomitable strength,” Alveda King responds. “I am so proud to be her daughter.”

Today, the Kings joined family members at a service at Ebenezer Baptist Church that began with a wreath-laying.

Alveda King has been working full-time for the pro-life cause for nearly a decade…“the fight for all human life, from conception until natural death, is the most pressing civil rights and human rights issue of our time.”

Cross posted from LifeNews.com with additional comments from ProLife NZ.

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Responding to Pro-Choice Bumper Sticker Speak

On January 16, 2012, in Blog, by Miriam

77 percent of abortion leaders are men Responding to Pro Choice Bumper Sticker Speak

We hear vapid slogans from activists all the time, so how are we to respond to these bumper-sticker lines?

Just a few examples I recall encountering:

 

“Never going back!” (typically accompanied with a photo of a coat hanger)

This slogan, imported from the US, is based on US pro-abortion claims that prior to abortion being illegal, thousands of women died each year from illegal abortions and this would reoccur if it were made illegal.

If we look to the US, where this slogan has come from, the actual evidence is to the contrary. One of the founders of US pro-abortion organisation, NARAL, a former abortionist and clinic owner, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, stated that in order to push a legal-abortion agenda, they would “[fabricate] the number of illegal abortions done annually in the U.S. The actual figure was approaching 100,000 but the figure we gave to the media repeatedly was 1,000,000.  Repeating the big lie often enough convinces the public.  The number of women dying from illegal abortions was around 200-250 annually.  The figure we constantly fed to the media was 10,000.”

It is horrible for even one woman to die this way. But, it is not an excuse to keep abortion legal. We wouldn’t make robbery legal in order to make sure that a robber isn’t hurt during a robbery.

Pro-life activists do not do abortions. If we somehow made abortion illegal right now, and illegal abortionists came about in the next few days, each one of them would be pro-choice.  Any woman that ever died or was hurt during an abortion, legal or not, it was because of someone who was pro-choice.  Something for abortion-rights activists to ponder.

Further, as this slogan refers to illegal and “back-alley” abortions, I wonder if they would become angry about pro-choice groups that promote and advocate illegal and secret abortions already.

 

“77% of anti-abortion leaders are men. 100% will never be pregnant.”

Hilarious.  I’ll just say this:  59% of ProLife NZ members are female and our branches in Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerstorn North, Wellington and Christchurch are lead by women as group presidents.

When I think “anti-abortion leaders,” I certainly don’t think of US congressmen.  I think of pro-life women like Marina Young, Marilyn Pryor, Nina Barry-Martin, Abby JohnsonLila Rose, Charmaine Yoest, Marjorie Dannenfelser, Alveda King (niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) and abortion survivors like Melissa Ohden and Gianna Jessen—women who understand that our dignity and rights do not hinge on the broken bodies of our unborn children.

 

“Keep your rosaries off my ovaries.”

This futile attempt to be clever makes abortion rights activists look more ridiculous.  I am not the least bit concerned about your ovaries, nor will I put a rosary on them, I promise.

Some pro-lifers are religious, but one doesn’t have to be to know that killing a defenseless human being is wrong. Simply because some pro-lifers are motivated by religious beliefs doesn’t mean abortion is a religious issue.

I’d also direct pro-choicers who succumb to the notion that all pro-lifers are a bunch of crazy Christians to groups like the Atheist/Agnostic Pro-Life League and Secular Pro-Life.  With that, I’d check this one off the “debunked” list.

 

“My body, my choice.”

I’ll just go ahead and say it: I agree with this statement.  It is entirely up to a person, man or woman, to decide what they can do with their own body, so long as no one else’s rights are being violated.  And this one-liner would hold water if and only if abortion didn’t involve the body of a completely separate and unique human being who will die a violent and painful death during the process of that so-called ‘choice.’  Your body, your choice; baby’s body, baby’s choice.

 

“Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one.”

When someone resorts to this statement, it becomes quite apparent they cannot actually defend their stance on abortion.  This is the logical equivalent of “Don’t like slavery? Don’t own a slave!”  …But don’t you dare tell me what I can and can’t do.  These statements are as ludicrous as the first.

 

“Freedom to choose.”

I remember a conversation I had on my campus while passing out fliers on fetal development to fellow students.  Upon reading my pro-life shirt, someone said “no thanks, I support a woman’s freedom to choose,” and started to quickly walk away.  I asked, “freedom to choose what?”  To my surprise, he stopped and talked.

“To choose abortion if she wants one.”
“What exactly is an abortion?”
“It’s a termination of a pregnancy.”
“What does it mean when a woman is pregnant?”
“It means there’s a fetus in her uterus.”
“What is a fetus?”
“Something that will become a baby someday.”

At that point, I offered him a second time the flier about fetal development, and this time, he took it.  This argument paves the perfect road to discussion about the humanity of the unborn, and that’s exactly what it did in this conversation.  Long story short, it ended with “I guess I never really thought much about it, because I’m a guy.”

This is why pro-choice activists often make broad, ambiguous like this one:  when we actually stop and think about what “freedom to choose” truly means, it’s a horrific reality to face.

Cross posted from LiveAction with additional reporting from ProLife NZ.

 

Merle Hoffman Pro abortion activist: ‘You don’t have to argue that abortion stops a beating heart. It does.’

Would you be surprised if I told you this quote came from a pro-abortion activist? Well, it did. Here is the quote in its context from Salon’s recent interview with Merle Hoffman, president of US abortion clinic Choices Women’s Medical Center:

“Interestingly, although the standard pro-choice line is essentially to let the woman define the embryo or fetus for herself, Hoffman has a more controversial stance: ‘In the beginning they were calling it a baby. We were saying it was only blood and tissue. Let’s agree this is a life form, a potential life; you’re terminating it. You don’t have to argue that abortion stops a beating heart. It does.’ She adds, ‘I can’t say it’s just like an appendectomy. It isn’t. It’s a very powerful and loaded decision.’

As the Salon article acknowledges, this is not the standard pro-abortion stance. Often the abortion debate boils down to a disagreement on the humanity of the unborn child. But here Hoffman agrees with the typical pro-life view that abortion is not like other medical procedures, as it takes a life and stops a beating heart.

I am pro-life because of the humanity of the unborn child. Hoffman is pro-abortion despite the humanity of the unborn child. Though more medically honest, this stance on abortion is far more frightening than the average pro-abortion stance.

Admitting that abortion ends the life of a human being and still advocating for it sets a very dangerous precedent for our society. Who are we to determine whose heart is allowed to beat and whose is not? Every major social injustice, be it genocide, slavery, or oppression, starts with this terrible assumption, this belief that some humans are less deserving of fundamental rights than others.

Though she initially acknowledged abortion for what it is, Hoffman followed her honesty about abortion in the interview with euphemistic language about abortion.

“With my choice I was fighting for the right of all women to define abortion as an act of love: love for the family one already has, and just as important, love for oneself. I was fighting to reclaim abortion as a mother’s act.”

Hoffman clarifies that she is speaking about love for oneself and other family members, while love for the aborted child is completely overlooked. She already conceded that abortion stops a beating heart — which definitely is not loving the child.

Let’s look at the two kinds of love that were addressed: love for oneself and love for one’s born family.

For oneself, Hoffman ignores the large number of women who feel pain and regret following an abortion. Whether their symptoms are nightmares, depression, or just the feeling of someone missing from their life, none of these common symptoms are evidence that abortion was an act of love toward the women who aborted.

As for love toward one’s born family, abortion still is not the answer. Let’s put this into perspective: If a parent killed one of their born children so they could better take care of another, would the living child consider that an act of love? It is not loving to end the life of one’s brother, sister, son or daughter — born or unborn.

Abortion stops a beating heart. Once that is admitted, it is neither a “loving” action, or an action that should be permitted in our society.

Cross posted from LiveAction with addional comment from ProLife NZ.

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Using selective reduction after IVF treatment

On January 8, 2012, in Blog, by matt

According to the Telegraph, there has been a recent trend in the UK of selective reduction type abortions; abortions made for the purpose of reducing the number of babies born to pregnant mothers. Many of these cases appear to be a result of the in vitro fertilisation practice of implanting multiple zygotes into the mother in an attempt to increase the chances of the mother having a baby. Other infertility treatments (such as ovulating-inducing agents) can also lead to multifetal pregnancies.

 

IVF treatment1 300x225 Using selective reduction after IVF treatment

IVF, image source: http://www.thehealthage.com/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/IVF-treatment.jpg

The Department of Health statistics suggest that there has been an increase of reducing selection abortions between 2006 to 2010, with 101 unborns being aborted in 2010. This included reducing twins to one baby as well as triplets to twins and triplets to one baby.

Dr Peter Sunders (chief executive of Christian Medical Fellowship) says:

“If prospective parents are not willing to have twins then they should not be implanting more than one embryo at a time. Parental preference should never take precedence over the right to life of the unborn child.”

If this is occurring as a direct result of the IVF procedure, then this aspect of the procedure should be revised to prevent selective reduction abortion occurring in the first place. A common argument for using selective reduction is that multiple pregnancies are more dangerous to both the mother and unborn’s health and leads to significantly increased chances of premature birth and an increase in need for Caesarean sections. But this is all the more evidence for a procedural revision. There also doesn’t appear to be significant difference in the overall viability and health outcomes of twin pregnancies compared to singletons (Berkowitz et al., 1996), which incidentally appear to be the most common type of reductions given in these statistics: 51 of the 85 are from twins to singletons.

With technological, medical and procedural advances, unborn babies are able to be viable at earlier and earlier stages. Abortion is not justified simply for the purpose of reducing the number of pregnancies. According to Berkowitz et al. (1996), selective reduction procedures themselves have the potential to cause the loss of the entire pregnancy. If the problem lies as a result of the fertility treatment then said procedures and treatments need to be revised and changed in order to reduce the potential of multifetal pregnancies or parents should stop using abortion for the purpose of reducing the number of babies born.

 

Family First NZ Media release - 8 January 2012

Promo Abortion small 300x217 Family First NZ Release: Parental Notification &  Unborn Childs Right to Life

Support for parental notification among young too: 

When asked “Provided it won’t put the girl in physical danger, should parents be told if their school-age daughter is pregnant and considering getting an abortion?” 59% of young respondents thought the parents should be told. 34% disagreed. More young men than women agreed, but both had majority agreement.

“It is significant that even young people can see the importance of having parents informed and involved, even when they know that those same parents will be rightly disappointed and upset. This is a very strong response from young people, and is a rebuke to the politicians in 2004 who chose to exclude parents from this process when debating the provision in the Care of Children Bill,” says Mr McCoskrie.

According to the Care of Children Act 2004, access to abortion is not restricted on grounds of age. Section 38 of the Act says that a girl of any age can give consent to an abortion and that consent operates as if it were given by her parents. Therefore, her parents need never know that their daughter is having such a procedure. Family First is aware of young girls being written to directly asking them to make an appointment to have the Gardasil vaccine.

“This all effectively means that while a parent has to sign a letter for their daughter to go on a school trip to the zoo or to play in the netball team, they are totally excluded from any knowledge or granting of permission for that same child to be put on the pill, have a vaccine, or have a surgical abortion,” says Mr McCoskrie.

When parents were asked a similar question in a 2010 poll, 79% responded yes – only 12% said no.

Family First is asking for the law to be amended to allow for parental notification in all cases of medical advice, prescriptions and procedures unless it can be proved to a family court that it would place the child at extreme risk.

“Parental notification laws in Texas, Michigan, Minnesota, and other US states have seen a drop in both the pregnancy rate and the teen abortion rate – a win-win situation for all concerned. This is especially relevant when almost 80 teenagers a week have an abortion in NZ,” says Mr McCoskrie.

 

 

Support for recognition of unborn child’s right to life among young:

When asked “Do you believe an unborn child or foetus has a right to be born?” 56% of youth respondents said they believed an unborn child or foetus has a right to be born. Slightly more young women than young men agreed – 58% to 55%. Those aged 15 to 17 were strongest in support – 66%.

“This is a pleasantly pro-life view from our young people. A decision from the Court of Appeal last June that the law does not recognize or confer a right to life on the unborn child sends a dangerous message, and should make NZ’ers feel very queasy,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“The message that an unborn child has absolutely no rights is completely inconsistent with warning messages about prenatal alcohol and drug use, recognising the unborn child as a victim with respect to violent crimes on pregnant women, and even the report released by Sir Peter Gluckman referring to ‘environmental risks that occur prenatally’.

“On the one hand we are imploring pregnant women to live a healthy lifestyle to enhance the wellbeing of their unborn child, yet on the other hand the courts are telling us that the child has no right to life. That’s a contradictory message that shows a complete disregard for the most vulnerable. Just when does a child obtain the right to live? 30 weeks? 40 weeks? In the birthing room? At the first Plunket visit?” asks Mr McCoskrie.

Family First is calling for a law change that gives an unborn child the same human rights as any other human being.

“Teenagers are right to say that we should not allow discrimination against our most vulnerable.” 

The Curia Market Research poll surveyed 600 15-21 year olds nationwide. The poll was conducted between 4 and 6 December 2011 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.1%.

Release: http://www.familyfirst.org.nz/2012/01/teens-conservative-on-sex-abortion-issues-poll/