Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

Pro-abortion lobby spread false statistics

original article: Study: Activists Misleading About Number of Illegal Abortion Deaths
December 13, 2012 by DR. PETER SAUNDERS

 

One of the principal techniques used by the pro-abortion lobby to advance their agenda of legalising abortion in developing world countries is to argue that ‘safe, legal abortion’ will decrease overall maternal mortality whilst not appreciably increasing the overall number of abortions.

In order to make this case they obviously have to establish first that there are already lots of illegal abortions happening and that many women are dying from them.

To achieve this end lobbyists need statistics about levels of illegal abortions and this where the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI) comes in.

For many years AGI’s astronomical figures of illegal abortions from developing countries have gone virtually unchallenged by both prolife and prochoice campaigners alike.

But this is about to change now that more rigorous research is being published.

Jacqueline Harvey
 this week writes about a new study published in the International Journal of Women’s Health showing that AGI’s figures for illegal abortions in Mexico in 2006 and 2009 were grossly overestimated.

The study titled, ‘Fundamental Discrepancies In Abortion Estimates And Abortion-Related Mortality: A Reevaluation Of Recent Studies In Mexico With Special Reference To The International Classification Of Diseases’ was conducted by a panel of six epidemiologists at four universities in the U.S., Mexico and Chile and examines the actual figures produced by the Federal District of Mexico and confirmed by an independent, non-governmental agency that supports legal abortion.

AGI’s estimate for illegal abortions in Mexico in 2006 was 725,070-1,024,424. But the actual number of abortions in 2007 after abortion was legalised (which typically increases rather than decreases the numbers), was only 10,137! So AGI’s estimate was 70-100 times the actual figure.

After legalisation the AGI estimate for legal abortions in Mexico in 2009 was 122,455. But the actual number was 12,221. This is a 10 fold overestimation.

These gross disparities discredit not only AGI figures for illegal abortions and abortion-related mortality in Mexico, but in all countries where they apply their flawed methodologies to create these bogus estimates.

The researchers also discovered that AGI purposefully includes women who died from ectopic pregnancies, miscarriage and assault in their calculations of illegal abortion-related mortality, a case of intentional deception. This leads them to over-estimate abortion-related mortality rate by almost 35%. I have previously blogged about gross overestimates of maternal deaths in the US and UK abortions before legalisation here.

Harvey concludes:

‘Nonetheless, AGI uses these false calculations and deceptive figures about illegal abortion deaths to push for decriminalization of abortion around the world. This new study authoritatively discredits the Alan Guttmacher Institute and its findings.’

This new study adds hard evidence to suspicions I have had for some time. Last July I was speaking at an ICMDA (International Christian Medical and Dental Association uniting over 70 national bodies of which CMF is one) conference in Nigeria where there were 1,700 Christian doctors and medical students from all over Africa.

A leading obstetrician in Kenya told me then that she thought the AGI stats for death from abortion for Kenya were grossly inflated and based on small urban samples along which included miscarriages and other gynaecological diagnoses.

And another doctor who was working in the main teaching hospital in Lagos, Nigeria had done a research project on abortion deaths and said that the actual number of illegal abortions was very small relative to AGI estimates.

This strategy used in Kenya and other developing countries is similar to that used by US abortion supporters in their efforts to legalize abortion in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Dr Bernard Nathanson, a leading supporter of abortion rights and an abortionist himself, later admitted to deception:

‘We aroused enough sympathy to sell our program of permissive abortion by fabricating 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.’

The most impressive catalogue of known abortion statistics on line is that of William Johnston whose latest totals of abortions worldwide (last updated in August 2012) are listed here.

What struck me about these numbers was how much lower they were than AGI figures for all developing countries.

When I raised this discrepancy with Johnston he answered as follows (reprinted with permission):

‘(My) figures for worldwide abortions differ because AGI includes estimates of unreported illegal abortions, estimates which are inflated by bad methodology (in my opinion).

My figures cover only reported abortions (with limited use of estimates, eg. interpolation for missing years) thus, while they are incomplete they are well documented. They are also limited to countries with legal abortion and where statistics are compiled. Some of the higher AGI/WHO figures involve estimated underreporting from countries with legal abortions, but most of the difference is from their estimates for developing countries where abortion is illegal or legal under very limited circumstances.

These latter estimates are generally based on hospitalisation samples, household surveys, and a variety of assumptions. This process yields illegal abortion rates that are as high as legal abortion rates in the developed world, coincidentally supporting the AGI thesis that abortion should be unrestricted everywhere because laws have no effect on occurrence rates.

The key here is of course the set of assumptions that turn small sample sizes into multi-national estimates of abortion rates. Some obvious issues I see include: surveys of urban populations on abortion, and treating results as applicable to the general population; bias by basing results on surveys of people willing to talk to these survey takers; the validity of the assumptions used for underreporting, for deciding what fraction of hospital miscarriage cases are illegal abortions, or for turning such “detected” abortions into figures including “undetected” abortions.

I do not dispute that many illegal abortions take place in developing countries but I suspect that the actual numbers are significantly below the AGI/WHO estimates, because the methodology of their estimates involves assumptions biased by their policy position. I have little evidence to produce an estimate of total worldwide abortions, but I’m inclined to suspect that the AGI/WHO figures (of 42 million per year) are high by about a factor of two.

A few years ago Laura Antkowiak and Randall O’Bannon analyzed the AGI methodology in an article series in the National Right to Life newsletter. They indicate, for example, that some of the sample sizes involved are only a few dozen. Here are links to their articles.

1. WHO Claims of Unsafe Abortions and Deaths
2. World Abortion Estimates: An Audit (Part 1)
3. World Abortion Estimates: An Audit (Part 2)
4. World Abortion Estimates: An Audit (Part 3)
5. World Abortion Estimates: An Audit (Part 4)

Here are figures for comparison: AGI/WHO estimate worldwide abortions at 45.6 million in 1995, 41.6 million in 2003, and 43.8 million in 2008. (This is from the jointly AGI-WHO-authored article Sedgh et al., 2012, The Lancet, 379(9816):625+) For those three years what I can document are 18.1, 15.1, and 16.0 million. The drop to my current figure of ~12 million/year is mostly due to fluctuations in reported figures from China.

Some perspective on using AGI as a source: for current abortions in the US, their data is better than official data because the abortion providers provide statistics to AGI that they withhold from state health departments. In contrast, AGI survey-based statistics (based on estimates) tend to be biased.

Another point: the above Lancet article claims: ‘The abortion rate was lower in sub-regions where more women live under liberal abortion laws’ – a counter-intuitive claim to anyone but an abortion proponent, one that rests entirely on methodological assumptions, and one that is refuted by regional-level data in the US and Europe.’

Harvey and Johnston’s work needs much wider circulation to counter the ‘lies, damned lies and statistics’ that pro-abortion campaigners and population control advocates are using to advance their case. More research is also needed.

The fact that abortions in developing countries have been overestimated does not in any way of course alter the fact that abortion remains the number one cause of human death worldwide.

Even when one takes Johnston’s ‘revised-down’ figures the total number of abortions is utterly staggering. Johnston has documented almost 1 billion abortions worldwide from figures gleaned for the 90 years between 1922 and 2012, a figure equivalent to one seventh of the world’s current population.

Given the timespan the vast majority of these babies, had they not been aborted, would still be alive today.

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abortion, babies, corruption, false, fraud, ideology, propaganda, scandal, study

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Filed under: abortion, babies, corruption, false, fraud, ideology, propaganda, scandal, study

What I wish I would have said about abortion

My family and I recently had a discussion about abortion with some dear friends. Well, it was mainly me and the wife of the other couple. Now, if this discussion was with a stranger I most likely would have unloaded. Most defenses for abortion are quite common and easy enough to respond to.

Some people who defend the killing of children are monsters. Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, is one. Dr. Mary Gatter, admitting she sold aborted baby parts, and would like sell more because she wants a Lamborghini, is another such monster. Never mind the profit motive here, move on.

But some people have been led to believe certain things that simply are not so, and would not defend abortion if they could see the picture as opponents do. Abortion culture teaches an inverted ethic. We should take a closer look at it.

I don’t recall how the discussion moved to the abortion issue. One of the earlier comments from my friend was something like “would it surprise you to know that I’m pro-life?” I wasn’t surprised by that, and I told her so. But during the course of the discussion she proceeded to defend keeping abortion legal. Apparently, she’s of the “I don’t personally support abortion, but I think abortion should be legal” bent. I wanted to phrase her position that way, and then rephrase it with a less sanitized choice of words. “You mean you don’t personally support killing babies, but you think killing babies should be legal?” But I didn’t say that. This is my friend, after all, and I know she is not like the monsters mentioned above. My friend is susceptible to reason; I don’t believe the monsters are.

Letting the discussion play out on the sanitized language field was one of my mistakes. Another semantic game the monsters play is trying to distinguish between “pro-choice” and “pro-abortion” while bullying women who are pro-life. In discussions with monsters I would ask “the choice to do what?” It’s a surreal experience watching abortion supporters perform logical gymnastics trying to avoid the obvious fact that even in perfect circumstances, two lives enter an abortion clinic but only one life leaves. Another tactic is accusing abortion opponents as being opposed to “abortion rights” rather than being opposed to “killing babies”. See how one definition makes abortion look good and the other makes abortion look bad? Diverting attention away from the whole picture, focusing on a tiny subset of facts, and playing semantic games are very common in this battle. Obscuring the nature of the evil in question is one of the best tactics used to defend it. So when the monsters use tactics like this, ordinary folk like my friend catch on to it. I should have pushed for this clarification of language right from the beginning.

Predictably, the discussion moved on to matters of “what about when the life of the mother is at stake?”. I understand why the discussion so often moves in that direction. Most people who think abortion should remain legal don’t realize those of us who think killing babies should be illegal have already thought through this aspect of the situation. For the moment, let’s overlook the fact my friend was defending killing babies. For now let’s pretend questions about the mother’s life can honestly be addressed to the exclusion of the child’s life. Of the many pro-lifers I know, all of them are willing to make an exception for cases where bringing the child to full term would cause the death of the mother. For instance, if a pregnant woman has cancer and her therapy would end up killing her baby, I know of no one who would deny the mother access to the healthcare she needs. Though, for Stephanie Hosford, aborting her child was not necessary.

But cases where the mother’s life is almost certainly at serious risk are extremely rare. The monsters who bring up these cases often use them (dishonestly) as an excuse to guilt people into supporting unlimited abortion. And in doing so they teach our society to think along the same lines. My friend wanted to keep talking about the 1% of cases, the rarest cases. She wanted to dig deep into the details, to see how far banning abortion, with exceptions, could go. But there was also a hint that she was searching for flaws in my position, almost as if any problem that might be found in my approach would invalidate the entire argument. Of course, no policy in human experience is 100% without flaws. My preferred solution is not invalidated simply because it might not be absolutely flawless, as that is a quite unrealistic standard.

We could easily claim abortion shouldn’t be allowed because of its flaws. Abortion’s most vocal supporters demand absurd standards. For example, some of the more rabid abortion supporters claim a 12 year old girl should be allowed to have an abortion without her parents’ consent or knowledge despite the fact our laws require that same girl to have both of those things to get her ears pierced. Or, that same girl participating in Planned Parenthood’s own pro-abortion poster contest would be required by Planned Parenthood itself to provide written parental consent – simply to submit posters. Another example is the absurd claim men have no right to speak about abortion because this is a women’s issue, unless of course those men approve of it. The hypocrisy aside, telling someone they have no right to speak on a topic because of their gender is what we call sexist. But I didn’t say that.

There were, of course, the interruptions. When asked if I thought some form of medical board should be employed in the matter, in my response I was interrupted in mid sentence (something that happened numerous times) and was later accused of claiming a medical board should be invoked at every case where executing the child was thought to be the only way to save the mother’s life. It is perfectly appropriate for a bipartisan board of medical professionals (rather than lawyers or politicians or government/insurance bureaucrats) to establish guidelines for what doctors ought to do in rare situations like this. This was my point, but I didn’t get to make it since my friend was thinking of an invasive bureaucratic process invoked at every instance – putting words in my mouth. She heard as much as she wanted to hear and assumed the rest of my position. Unfortunately, this is a normal thing in a discussion on a controversial issue. We all need to be careful about this. To interrupt and presume (effectively misconstruing what other people say) does not help us understand the other side of the debate. When the truth is on your side, you don’t have to resort to tactics like this. But I didn’t say that.

We did discuss the 99% of cases a little, cases where the mother’s life is not in danger. I wish I would have stated in these cases the question for me is “under what circumstances is it justifiable to give a child the death penalty?” What was mentioned briefly was the example where a woman is raped and a pregnancy results. This is one of the best examples of the inverted ethic our society teaches.

So in a very realistic scenario: a man attacks a woman, he rapes her, and this results in a the conception of a child. In the United States, our inverted ethic tells us the death penalty should NOT be an option for the rapist, but it should be an option for the child. A child in the womb is the epitome of human innocence. The rapist is one of the worst examples of human depravity. This not the kind of rapist who engages in a consensual act with a woman, she gets embarrassed afterwards, and decides to accuse the guy of rape. There have been many cases of such false allegations. The Duke Lacrosse Team, though a different type of situation, should be brought up as an example of fake rape whenever this type of debate occurs. But it should also be mentioned instances of fake rape make it more difficult to deal with real rape, where someone is actually accosted and violated. Yet, the question remains, under what circumstances is it justifiable to give a child the death penalty, especially if our laws don’t permit this option for a rapist? Regardless of how the child is conceived, that blood is innocent. But I didn’t say that.

There was also the notion of “forcing” women to have children. That’s a fantastic lie the monsters have taught us, where the notion of natural consequences has been all but forgotten. The fact that a particular activity has a realistically high chance of a predictable and natural consequence has been obscured from the discussion. The claim banning abortion would be same as “forcing” women to give birth completely ignores the fact the overwhelming majority of pregnancies result from a mutually consensual act. Actions have consequences and in this case obvious consequences, as attested by the multi-billion dollar birth control industry. Why would there be so much money in birth control if this cause-and-effect sequence were a mystery? Whether you approve or disapprove of birth control has nothing to do with the fact the cause-and-effect sequence that results in pregnancy is not a mystery. If you use birth control, you prove you understand that sequence.

Recreational sex in a consequence-free environment is not a human right – we don’t have a right to be free from natural consequences, whether they be the nature of biology or the laws of physics. You can gripe about natural laws all you wish, but the universe doesn’t have to care or acquiesce. Rather than look at the painfully explicit common sense of the situation, abortion supporters have contorted their logic into a contrived grievance of “forced motherhood”. The child is not responsible for being conceived, yet that is who is punished (by the death penalty) in the act of abortion. I hear abortion advocates complain that the rape is not fair to the woman, which is true, but it’s also legitimate to ask how is killing the baby fair? This pro-abortion line of argument also intentionally dismisses the common place alternative of adoption. “Forced motherhood” is lie that dismisses both natural reality and the adoption alternative.

There was also the question of how banning abortion would affect the culture. My friend was convinced such a change of law would result in a great deal of new children in the world. I presume she also meant “unwanted” children, almost as if being “wanted” was the criterion by which society decides who has a right to live or not (thankfully we don’t live in a society like that, but progressive culture is pushing us in that direction). On this question we addressed the fact life is not a static thing. Because life is dynamic, changing the law on this fundamental and important issue would not be limited only to one presumptuous reaction; it would change expectations and actions across all society.

Many major laws have been implemented with certain intentions, yet realized unintended results – because society reacted in unpredictable (or unacknowledged) ways. One recent example involves an education funding issue in the U.K. Sex-ed funding was reduced, accompanied by predictable criticism. But what was surprising (at least to the advocates of progressive sex-ed and “free” birth control) was the result: a reduction in teen pregnancies by more than 40%. One might get the impression the government sex-ed policies, those who crafted them, and those who promoted and defended them may have neglected some basic tenets of human nature.

Legalizing abortion has resulted in an average of over 1 million abortions per year in the United States since 1973 – the overwhelming majority of which had nothing to do with rape or the mother’s health. Well over 50 million abortions have been performed in that time, in the U.S. alone. Let that sink in. This is not the same as 50 million heart surgeries, nor, I reiterate, were these health or rape related abortions. Over 50 million human lives have been snuffed out for the sake of convenience, in the name of women’s rights. Today the abortion supporting narrative pushes the killing of babies as healthcare, it plays semantic games with personhood (like other great evils in the past), and it acts as precedent for other pro-death movements such as euthanasia.

Assisted suicide has been pushed in Western societies as a “right-to-die” and a “choice” type issue. Who could have foreseen the influx of euthanasia support, even euthanasia against the patient’s wishes, once right-to-die laws were implemented in the name of choice? Some of us could, given the ostensible push to normalize killing as a response to human suffering. Today we frequently hear the argument medicalized killing qualifies as healthcare, just as is done in the abortion debate. Think about that: medicalized killing. What could possibly go wrong with that? (Oregon Senate Committee Passes Bill to Allow Starving Mentally Ill Patients to Death.) I mean, it’s not as if the absurdly named “end of life care” would be pushed as a substitute for actual healthcare, would it?

This brings me to what I thought was the core of the issue for my friend. She mentioned her concern that banning abortion would lead to curtailing other rights for women. And that’s one of the biggest lies our society teaches us about abortion.

Everyone believes in the slippery slope argument (as my friend does). It just depends on the issue. The slippery slope is constantly proven on matters of speech. Approved speech is the opposite of free speech (a right explicitly mentioned in the US Constitution). The list of restricted speech is constantly expanding. While ridiculing the political right about their supposed fear mongering, their concerns are justified every day with the latest updates to the list of banned words and violently thwarted public speeches. But the slippery slope argument is not always valid.

The slippery slope was invoked to defend slavery. Keep in mind, supporters of slavery treated it as a “property rights” issue. By casting slavery as a matter of property, its defenders were able to wrap this evil in the cloak of constitutional rights. The abolitionists were not at all interested in curtailing property rights, though slavery defenders accused them of wanting to do just that because that’s how they (slavery supporters) had defined the issue. The abolitionists argued that, in a free country where we are all created equal with the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, it was morally invalid and an American contradiction to treat one person as the property of another. That is not a right, that is an injustice. The fact slavery defenders disagreed with or maligned this perspective did not change the ugly reality of the situation.

The same applies to abortion. The monsters have defined the issue in terms of women’s rights, preaching that banning abortion would inevitably lead to curtailing other rights women have. I’ve written on this point before, taking a closer look at how the abortion industry wants everyone to think of abortion in only one way, their way (while they ridicule pro-lifers for being rigid). They insist the fight over abortion has always been about controlling women. Abortion opponents argue something quite different; we argue killing one’s own child is not a right, it’s an injustice. From that perspective, it is patently untrue that banning the KILLING OF CHILDREN poses a threat to women’s rights. The defenders of “women’s rights” are in the unenviable position of having to argue against LIFE as a human right. In fact, treating a class of people as non-persons poses a grave threat to other human rights. The “not a person” argument was used to defend slavery and is once again used to defend abortion – by the same political party. But I didn’t say that.

We didn’t get into other details such as the striking eugenicist tone of the abortion crowd. Did you know there are efforts to eliminate Down Syndrome, not by curing the ailment, but by eliminating the people through abortion? I didn’t mention this comment made by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg about Roe v Wade:

Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.

On a global scale, the frequency at which abortion is tied to population control is demonstrated by a recent speaker invited to the Vatican who claimed decreasing the human population by 6 billion people would have a “pro-life” effect. Talk about inverted ethics. Pope Francis has appointed an abortion supporter to the Vatican’s pro-life academy. Others in positions of power have bought into the population bomb myth. We should all be cautious about listening to people talk about universal healthcare (the government controlled kind) and women’s rights who also believe the human population is one of the world’s biggest problems. The conflict of interest and ulterior motives can’t be that difficult to spot.

We didn’t get to matters of the science related to abortion, such as the fact the child can feel pain even in the womb, or the fact the preborn child is not part of the mother’s body but is actually a separate entity, or that science strongly indicates the child in the womb is human being. Nor did I ask, if the “fetus” is merely a formless clump of cells (another popular argument among the monsters), how can organs be harvested from it?

Speaking of a formless clump of cells, abortion culture preaches outright scientific fraud. For the first few weeks of gestation, one can legitimately argue the “fetus” is just a blob. But to argue the child is merely a blob of cells at 9 weeks or later is downright anti-science. An article on Live Action News details how an abortion facility in New York “uses false depictions of abortions in an attempt to convince women that early abortion is trivial and easy, encouraging women to abort”.

Compare the image provided by the abortion clinic of what the child looks like in the 9th week of gestation (left) to an image of what the child would actually look like (on the right). If the child at 9 weeks of gestation really were as depicted by the abortion clinic, please tell me where the harvestable organs are. You don’t have to take my word or Live Action News’ word for it. Google some images on “ultrasound 9 weeks” and compare the results to the images provided by the New York abortion facility. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

We didn’t discuss the racist and eugenicist origins of Planned Parenthood’s founder Margaret Sanger, or the fact the majority of American Planned Parenthood clinics are set up for easy access to black communities. Nor did we discuss the fact black folk make up about 12% of the American population, but well over 30% of American abortions.

We didn’t address the issue of what has been termed “post birth abortion”, refusing to give medical aid to a baby born in the process of a botched abortion. Really? Does Planned Parenthood actually defend killing babies after birth? Yes, they do. And some judges do, too, believe it or not.

We didn’t talk about the growing problem of healthcare practitioners being coerced to participate in medicalized killing. A nurse in Sweden was fired because she refused to assist in performing abortions. A Canadian nurse was recently forced to resign from her job of 30 years because she refused to sign an oath agreeing to help euthanize patients who wanted assisted suicide. Nor did I mention Planned Parenthood too often fails to report known incidents of sex trafficking and child sex abuse because of obvious financial motive. Planned Parenthood is, after all, a major international corporation. It would be intellectually lazy and dishonest to ignore or dismiss this factor. I didn’t mention the fact Planned Parenthood is America’s biggest abortion business.

We didn’t talk about former abortionists who have converted to the pro-life side, and now fight against abortion. Nor did we talk about Norma McCorvey, the famous “Roe” from Roe v Wade who became a pro-life activist, fighting to overturn that court ruling. The same is true of Sandra Cano, the “Doe” of Roe’s companion case Doe v Bolton.

We didn’t talk about the absurdity of branding the killing of one’s own child as “healthcare” or the odious ideas that killing babies is an act of compassion or women’s empowerment. How does killing a baby “empower” women? No more than beating up a woman would empower men – in other words, abuse is not empowerment. Notice I didn’t pose the question with rhetorical sleight of hand, asking “how does abortion empower women?”. I asked a more honest question, one that does not hide behind sanitized language intended to mask the evil reality of the situation. Besides, on a global scale, given the majority of sex-selective abortions target girls (as many cultures have a clear preference for boys), here is yet another reason to question how women are “empowered” by this. But since boys and girls are both targeted, it’s curious that abortion is defined as a women’s rights issue, rather than a baby’s rights issue.

Nor did we discuss the demonstrably false idea that in some locations Planned Parenthood is the only place a woman can get any healthcare at all. The truth is, there is no where on the planet that Planned Parenthood is the only source of healthcare, so it is asinine to suggest women “won’t have access to healthcare” if Planned Parenthood is closed down or if abortion is banned. This is a popular claim among the monsters.

We didn’t talk about survivors of botched abortions who have grown into adults now fighting against abortion. When confronted with the claim abortion is about women’s rights, abortion survivor Gianna Jessen bravely asks “what were my rights?” Nor did we discuss the myth of absolute autonomy, the idea women should have absolute control over their own bodies, when we ALL (even the staunchest abortion defenders) support laws restricting what people can do. If you support even ONE such law, you don’t believe in absolute autonomy. And there is no reason for me to pretend you do.

After all, why do people support any laws restricting what people can do? Usually, laws designed to protect people from harm garner widespread support. But on the issue of abortion, somehow we can’t all agree that killing babies is inflicting harm.

We didn’t talk about the case of Kermit Gosnell, a respected man of his community, advocate of women’s reproductive health issues, and branded America’s most prolific serial killer convicted of killing babies born alive and some of the women he “served” in his abortion clinic, not to mention the harm he inflicted upon other women under his “care”. Nor did we discuss the underhanded protection Gosnell enjoyed by the political establishment and the news media who went out of their way to avoid bringing Gosnell’s story to the public. Nor did we talk about the many other women who have died as a result of shoddy abortions, yes even women in the United States. What, did you still think abortion was safe? Or are we going to act like a few women’s lives are a price worth paying for the sake of being able to legally kill our children? If there is any situation where the 100% flawless standard should be demanded, it’s this.

Since that discussion with my friend, I found an astounding article on The Stream written by Jennifer Hartline. Hartline’s no-nonsense approach to this issue raises some powerful points we in the right-to-life community need to own. She says:

I’m tired of hearing people … tell me that abortion is vital — no, indispensable — to women’s health, well-being, equality, success and happiness in this world. I’m sick of hearing that women simply cannot thrive without the legal right to terminate their babies.

I’m sick of the womb being cast as the ball and chain around a woman’s neck. I’ve had it with babies being cast as the aggressor, the enemy, the thief of dreams. Abortion advocates rely on the narrative the Mom and Baby are locked in combat with each other, and only one can come out alive. This demented view of pregnancy means Mom has to kill Baby in self-defense.

I’m sick of fertility being cast as a disease, and pregnancy as some flukey and horrible thing that happens sometimes after you have sex, even though it shouldn’t because latex and chemicals are supposed to prevent that. I mean, how’d that happen?

I’m sick of women being told they cannot be happy unless their female bodies cease to do female things. I’m tired of hearing that women must be like men in every way, or they cannot be considered equal…

For me, the discussion was not about winning the debate. It was about winning the war. I’d much rather see my friend defending life than defending the killing of children. Making her an enemy helps neither of us in any way. And it doesn’t help in the war, either. Challenging the notion killing children is a “solution” or a “right” is at the heart of the matter. I intend to bring up these details next time, if there is a next time.

Ideally, American society will reach the point where so many people identify with the right-to-life side that banning abortion will become the standard attitude, and it will not be those defending the rights of babies who have to fight an uphill battle. This battle will not be won by legislation, but by winning hearts and minds. The legislative battle, though absolutely necessary, is merely the icing on the cake. Ending the injustice of killing children for the sake of someone else’s convenience is the real battle.

abortion, culture, ideology, philosophy

Filed under: abortion, culture, ideology, philosophy

Woman Dies After Botched 6-Month Abortion

original article: Woman Dies After Botched 6-Month Abortion Takes Her Life
August 23, 2017 by CHERYL SULLENGER

A woman has died as the result of a late-term abortion process initiated at Southwestern Women’s Options (SWO), in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is the largest abortion facility in the U.S. that openly specializes in abortions throughout all nine months of pregnancy.

Abortion Free New Mexico obtained the autopsy report for Keisha Marie Atkins, 23, who died on February 4, 2017, after being transported from SWO to UNM Hospital. Tara Shaver of Abortion Free New Mexico has also been in communication with members of Atkins’ family.

Operation Rescue is assisting Abortion Free New Mexico with an investigation of this tragedy.

This abortion-related death is particularly troubling in light of a criminal investigation that is currently underway by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office into Southwestern Women’s Options and UNM. UNM has aggressively worked to increase second and third trimester abortions at SWO, which, in turn, is UNM’s largest provider of aborted baby tissue and organs. A U.S. House investigation found this arrangement violates state and federal law, despite stonewalling and obfuscation on the part of UNM and SWO.

Atkins reported to SWO on January 31, 2017, for a four day late-term abortion procedure that was to be done by eighty-year old abortion facility owner Curtis Boyd. It is believed that Atkins was six months pregnant or more.

Four days later, on February 3, 2017, Atkins returned to SWO for the completion of the abortion where she displayed labored breathing and signs of sepsis, a systemic, life-threatening infection.

At 12:04 p.m. on February 3, an ambulance was called to transport Atkins to the hospital, but was later cancelled, raising questions of how and when Atkins actually received emergency medical help.

Once at the UNM Medical Center, Atkins’ condition deteriorated rapidly, prompting UNM staff to perform an emergency D&E abortion procedure to remove her baby through dismemberment.

During the procedure, Atkins suffered cardiac arrest. Efforts to revive her were unsuccessful, and she was pronounced dead at 12:10 a.m. on February 4, 2017.

An autopsy was conducted at the UNM Health Sciences Center by the UNM Office of the Medical Investigator, which also serves as the Bernadillo County Coroner. The OMI determined that Atkins cause of death was “pulmonary thromboembolism due to pregnancy,” in other words, blood clots in the lungs.

However, a careful review of the autopsy findings indicates that this cause of death is a whitewash meant to blame Atkins’ pregnancy for her death instead of what appears to be a mismanaged late-term abortion procedure.

“UNM is a biased promoter of abortion that is attempting to shift blame onto Atkins’ pregnancy, instead of the abortion, where the blame rightfully belongs,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “Keisha Atkins and her family deserve the truth, not a cover-up. But with UNM and SWO, covering up their misdeeds has become standard operating procedure.”

There is evidence that Atkins suffered from sepsis, a bacterial infection caused by the four-day abortion process, which brought about symptoms consistent with Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC). Atkins suffered hemorrhaging in her brain, a buildup of fluid around her lungs, and other symptoms of DIC that the autopsy ignored.

Pro-life leaders believe there is a way to keep other women from suffering Atkins’ fate.

“We call on the New Mexico Attorney General to step up their criminal investigation, and we call on the State Medical Board to take a hard, honest look at Keisha Atkins’ death,” Newman said. “Curtis Boyd should be stopped from practicing, and the dangerous Southwestern Women’s Options should be shut down for good.”

“Coverups are as heinous as the crimes, and the crimes of the abortion cartel in New Mexico have been covered up for too many years. It is time for Hector Balderas to do his job or resign. It is time for the UNM Regents to do their jobs or resign. It is time for the New Mexico Medical Board to fully investigate Keisha’s death without bias,” said Fr. Stephen Imbarrato, The Protest Priest.

“We join the family of Keisha Atkins as they grieve her death from serious complications during a late term abortion at Southwestern Women’s Options. She was a 23-year old vibrant woman with her whole life ahead of her that was tragically cut short,” stated Tara Shaver of Abortion Free New Mexico. “For years we have worked to expose the barbaric nature of late term abortion in New Mexico and sought to bring accountability to the unregulated and unaccountable Abortion Cartel. Now more than ever, we need leadership in our city and state to take a bold stand and the necessary steps to prevent the needless deaths of women and their children through late term abortion.”

View the autopsy report.

abortion, feminism, health care, scandal, tragedy

Filed under: abortion, feminism, health care, scandal, tragedy

Killing babies is not a necessary path to opportunity

original article: Hey, Planned Parenthood: Women don’t need abortion to be successful
Jun3 22, 2017 by Cassy Fiano

For abortion advocates, there’s a common argument that gets repeated quite frequently: women need abortion in order to succeed, to build careers, to get an education. Without abortion, women will be left behind, because an unexpected pregnancy will destroy any chance she has to be successful.

Planned Parenthood President and CEO Cecile Richards made this argument at the Forbes Women Summit. She first argued that one way Planned Parenthood gets people through their doors is because parents want their sons and daughters to have equal opportunities, saying, “We’re at this tipping point. Fathers want their daughters to have every opportunity their sons have. That’s a big cultural shift. That’s one way we bring folks in.”

She then continued on, saying it’s imperative for women to be able to choose when they have families if they’re going to be successful. “The fundamental ability for women to participate in the workforce is the ability to access healthcare and decide when they can have children,” she argued. “Today, women are half the workforce. If we want to grow this economy, you can’t do that leaving half the workforce behind.”

Considering that Planned Parenthood is America’s largest abortion corporation, the meaning behind that statement is obvious. Without access to abortion, Richards is claiming, women will be left behind in the workplace. But here’s the million-dollar question that Richards will never answer: how does abortion actually solve the problem?

Live Action President Lila Rose destroyed this argument, noting that instead of using abortion as a band-aid, we should demand better options for women, so they don’t have to choose between their careers or education, and their babies.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fliveaction%2Fvideos%2F10155371433139785%2F&show_text=1&width=560

Pregnancy is not a disease or a life-destroying plague. Women should not be told that their only options are to either kill their children, or give up their future. Women should not be left in such desperation that they think there is no other choice but abortion. It’s a sentiment advanced by Susan B. Anthony herself:

Guilty? Yes no matter what the motive, love of ease, or desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed. It will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death; but oh! Thrice guilty is he who, for selfish gratification, heedless of her prayers, indifferent to her fate, drove her to the desperation which impels her to the crime.

Abortion doesn’t solve a problem for women; it takes a woman in crisis and hands her violence and death, and then leaves her to handle the potential aftermath alone, unaided. Women who have abortions are at higher risk for numerous mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, and suicidal behavior.

We should be demanding more for women. We should be arguing that women should not have to feel that their lives will be ruined by pregnancy, yet Cecile Richards offers no better alternative. Planned Parenthood, after all, does next to nothing to help pregnant women if they don’t want abortions. Richards refused to stop committing abortions and focus on health care instead, even if it risked Planned Parenthood’s half a billion dollars in taxpayer funding — because abortion is “vital” to Planned Parenthood’s mission.

So why should anyone trust Planned Parenthood? As long as women feel terrified, desperate, and trapped with no way out, they’ll continue seeking abortions — and abortions mean profit for Planned Parenthood. A world where women didn’t have to choose between their careers or their babies would be a world where Planned Parenthood is practically unnecessary.

There’s nothing feminist or empowering about abortion. And women don’t need abortion to be successful. What we need are better options, more support, and a society that embraces mothers and their children… not a society that urges mothers to kill their babies in exchange for a brighter future.

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Stop killing babies for sexual pleasure

original article: No, Killing Babies Doesn’t Make for Better Sex
May 21, 2017 by JENNIFER HARTLINE

Cosmopolitan writer Jill Filipovich ranks right up there with some of the most devoted religious people I’ve ever heard. Her singular focus, dedication and commitment is impressive. She is 100% sold-out, all-in, nothing held back. A true believer if there ever was one.

Take notes, folks. This is what it looks like when you shape your life, your philosophy and your decisions around the tenets of pure religion hedonism.

In this case, the deity is guaranteed to accommodate, because it’s the face in the mirror. Inside the Shrine of Sexual Pleasure, there on its altar the required sacrifice of blood is paid in an endless stream of silent victims, given over in dutiful homage by all the disciples seeking unrestricted happiness.

Ms. Filipovich believes women cannot be equal to men unless we abort our babies. She believes sex can only be freely, fully enjoyed if we have the assurance that we can get rid of any pesky little people that result from our sexual exploits.

If You Object to Abortion, You Must Hate Women

As the Washington Free Beacon noted:

In a December CNN op-ed, she lamented President Donald Trump’s election because “sex is about to get a lot less fun.”

She argued that, in addition to the usual “benefits” of abortion, “more of us are able to have sex without the anxiety of pregnancy, to enjoy the unique and fundamentally human pleasure that sex creates, and to tend to our relationships without the interruption and emotional devastation that an unintended pregnancy can bring.”

“In essence,” said LifeNews, “she accused conservatives of wanting to control women and prohibit them from having recreational sex.”

She continues:

But the future of women’s health under President Trump, and HHS Secretary Price, looks grim: Price’s plan turns sex for pleasure into a luxury item and puts our health at risk. And it sends women a clear message: That partaking in a full range of human enjoyment and physical experience isn’t for us, and that we exist instead to reproduce.

She thinks anyone who objects to abortion is out to ruin the sex lives of women because they’re misogynist pigs who hate women. There simply can’t be any reason to object to abortion other than that you hate women. And you hate sex. And you don’t want women to ever ever ever enjoy sex. Because SEX! Life is all about sex!

I’m Sick and Tired of the Abortion Narrative

Frankly, this is so tiresome and annoying. It’s brainless, insulting and cheap. The irony, Ms. Filipovich, is that sex is all about life!

I’m tired of hearing people like Filipovich, Democrat chairman Tom Perez, Nancy Pelosi, Cecile Richards and 99.9% of Hollywood tell me that abortion is vital — no, indispensable — to women’s health, well-being, equality, success and happiness in this world. I’m sick of hearing that women simply cannot thrive without the legal right to terminate their babies.

I’m sick of the womb being cast as the ball and chain around a woman’s neck. I’ve had it with babies being cast as the aggressor, the enemy, the thief of dreams. Abortion advocates rely on the narrative the Mom and Baby are locked in combat with each other, and only one can come out alive. This demented view of pregnancy means Mom has to kill Baby in self-defense.

I’m sick of fertility being cast as a disease, and pregnancy as some flukey and horrible thing that happens sometimes after you have sex, even though it shouldn’t because latex and chemicals are supposed to prevent that. I mean, how’d that happen?

I’m sick of women being told they cannot be happy unless their female bodies cease to do female things. I’m tired of hearing that women must be like men in every way, or they cannot be considered equal. What a load of horsehockey.

But at least Ms. Filipovich is honest where the politicians and Planned Parenthood continue to lie through their teeth. Abortion absolutely is utilized as “back-up birth control.” It’s the contraceptive method you use when your other contraceptive methods have failed. And nobody knows better than Planned Parenthood just how often contraception fails. That reliable, splendid failure brings in tremendous revenue — more abortions!

Pitting Women Against Their Bodies and Their Children

Filipovich says abortion has to be available so women can have “worry-free” sex. Without knowing she can abort the baby if she becomes pregnant, a woman simply can’t relax and “partake in a full range of human enjoyment.”

If I can’t kill you later, how can I possibly enjoy myself now?

This isn’t feminism. It’s not womanhood. It’s not equality, or freedom, or liberation, or progress. It’s not health care. It’s completely depraved and unutterably sad.

To consign women to this — you must live your life at war with your own body and at war with your child, if you ever hope to be “happy” — is the most hopeless and inhumane kind of slavery. It chains women to the lie that their female nature is a continuous threat to their plans and their own personhood. In order to achieve anything worthwhile, women have to be men. Hmm. Sounds like sexism to me.

Nothing Could be More Anti-Woman Than Killing Babies

Corrupt men throughout history have done a stellar job of demeaning and objectifying women for their own pleasure, but in 2017 it’s fashionable for women to disdain their own bodies and have a flippant disregard for the most innocent of human beings.

Well, not this woman. Filipovich’s hedonistic worship of sexual pleasure is revolting. Women are not served by this violent notion that it’s us versus our own babies in a fight to the death.

The future of women’s health has nothing to do with uninhibited sex and everything to do with respect for the female body as God designed it, and reverence for human life. Nothing could be more anti-woman than abortion.

Sorry, Ms. Filipovich, but child sacrifice doesn’t make for great sex, either.

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Filed under: abortion, conservative, culture, ethics, feminism, ideology, pro-life, prolife

No, Jesus Would Not Kill Babies In The Womb

original article: No, Willie Parker, Jesus Would Not Kill Babies In The Womb
May 18, 2017 by Sean Nolan

In a recent New York Times article, Dr. Willie Parker says he believes “that as an abortion provider, [he is] doing God’s work.” It’s his Christian faith, the author contends, that drives him to abort babies. His “Life’s Work” (as his new book is ironically titled) is to end life for every preborn child that comes before him.

With the release of his book he is quickly becoming a hero and would-be martyr of abortionists, as they conveniently neglect the facts to make their case. As a self-identifying Christian, African-American, and feminist, he’s the perfect candidate to be the face of abortion advocacy.

Christianity’s Objections to Abortion Are Unyielding

Parker’s self-identifying as a Christian is a dream come true for abortionists. Anything they can do to imply Jesus was sympathetic to their cause builds hope that they can tip the scales in their favor. Hence the inclusion of this laughable line: “remember that conservative Christianity’s ferocious opposition to abortion is relatively new in historical terms.”

Remember, this is The New York Times, not The Onion, neglecting the scores of information highlighting the opposite case. One of the earliest Christian documents, The Didache, explicitly prohibits abortion. But overlook that fact because it’s inconvenient.

Historic Christianity has a long tradition of opposing abortion. The first Christians in Rome were also known to rescue abandoned children and take upon themselves the burden of raising them. That one could claim to represent Jesus, who came to offer abundant life, by helping “desperate women” to snuff out the life in their wombs is doublespeak right from the pages of “1984.” Jesus’ own mother, Mary, would’ve been a prime candidate for abortion as a “desperate” and unmarried woman who had faced ridicule for her pregnancy. Instead, the Bible calls her womb “blessed.”

The author correctly, but misleadingly, mentions the Bible’s silence on the issue. While the Bible doesn’t mention abortion by name, even a first-year seminary student would be quick to point out that some of the central claims of Christianity are not taught explicitly in Scripture, but rather made by inference. Chief of these is the orthodox belief in the Trinity, a word never used in the Bible but taught overwhelmingly by implication. We can add abortion to this list.

The Jewish people, some of whom later became the first Christians, were to avoid partaking in the practices of the surrounding peoples, who sacrificed their children to appease their gods. Christians have long held that to abort one’s child as an act of worship to the gods of convenience is not permitted by the God of the Bible. But abortion advocates will attempt to play the “he’s a Christian” card by spinning opposition from Christians to imply Parker is persecuted within his own faith tradition.

So, Do Black Lives Matter?

The second thing abortion elites love about Parker is his skin color. Any opposition he faces from white pro-lifers not associated with Christianity can be easily dismissed as bigotry. Sweep under the rug for a minute that even black celebrities are accusing abortion providers in black communities of genocide. While Planned Parenthood’s media arm proclaims support of black lives, its other arm is reaching for a pair of forceps to end life for hundreds of black babies each day.

In the shortest chapter of his book, Parker dismisses any notion that aborting black babies is a conflict of interest. His argument is that white pro-lifers are seeking to impoverish black women by forcing them to raise kids they can’t afford. He has convinced himself that he is helping his fellow African-Americans by freeing them from the responsibilities of parenting.

In the tradition of the black slave owners in the Confederate South, Parker makes his money by breaking the backs (or spines and what-have-you) of others, many of whom share his skin color. He can’t admit that his work (some have called it his “ministry”) hurts his own people or it’d affect his bottom line. Abortion advocates want us all to simply accept that black lives only matter once they’ve had the privilege of being born. This brings us to the final contradiction of Parker’s platform.

Fighting For Women, Or Against Them?

Parker considers himself a feminist. He believes he is bettering the future for females. Don’t think too long about the number of female lives he’s ended before they’ve begun. This is nothing new to the insane logic of abortion advocacy. If they can successfully shift our attention off the rights of the life inside the womb to the perceived “rights” the pregnant woman has over her inhabited womb, they’ve succeeded.

If we value the lives of women, we must value the lives of all women, whether they have been born or not. That is where Parker’s feminism, and the majority of what is called feminism today, makes a glaring omission. Their interest is simply in women having the right to sex without consequence.

The New York Times article concludes with a strong appeal to our emotions. Shouldn’t a 12-year-old-girl whose father raped her be permitted to abort her child? Those who advocate for life do so for all people, including those who are raped (who often regret aborting) and the children that are conceived as a result of such rape.

Unplanned pregnancy has affected my own family. No doubt it’d make our lives more convenient to have one less mouth to feed and one less diaper to change. But we believe our lives are just one among many and we don’t have the right to infringe upon the lives of others, even if we’re responsible for bringing them into the world.

Parker’s public persona is a farce. He parades the myth that he has a moral responsibility to “help women” while he strips them of their own responsibility to the children they’ve conceived. Christianity places value upon the lives of black women, so much so that it envisions a world in which their lives aren’t ended in the womb. But maybe we’re the ones who are deceiving pregnant women? Perhaps we’re the ones getting rich by volunteering with crisis pregnancy centers and giving away free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and diapers.

Oh, that’s right, it’s Parker’s bank account that grows every time a woman “chooses” abortion. The unsung heroes whose faith drives them to volunteer in crisis pregnancy centers make costly sacrifices to love their neighbors, even when those little neighbors’ own parents aren’t sure if they want to commit to parenthood. But go ahead, Willie, tell yourself you’re loving your neighbors by making sure their hopes for the future die along with the children in their wombs.

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Filed under: abortion, christian, corruption, culture, ethics, ideology, left wing, liberalism, progressive, relativism, religion, tragedy

The World Doesn’t Need the UN Population Fund

original article: The World Doesn’t Need the UN Population Fund
May 9, 2017 by SUSAN YOSHIHARA (The Stream)

When President Donald J. Trump cut U.S. funding to the U.N. Population Fund, abortion advocates howled. But Trump made the right call. The billion dollar-a-year agency has run out of reasons to exist, even by its own metrics.

The agency still relies on the same “overpopulation” gimmicks that justified its creation in 1969. In a 2011 media stunt in hot and crowded Manila, it “welcomed” the seven billionth human born. The world is indeed getting more crowded, but not with babies. Old people are expected to outnumber youth on the planet within sixty years.

From investment firms to national security analysists, experts agree: Many countries suffer not from overpopulation, but from a sharp decline in fertility. It took western countries a century to grow old. Developing nations are managing the feat in just one generation. Their ability to seize the promised “demographic dividend” is fading fast. The World Bank has identified a waning appetite for consumer goods in the geriatric West. They say today’s developing economies won’t be able to manufacture their way to economic growth like China did.

Demographers have been ringing the alarm bell for two decades. Yet the U.N. Population Fund has forged ahead with its mission to limit births.

A One Trick Pony

The Fund claims to help couples have the number of children they want. But the facts show the opposite. It does nothing to relieve infertility. It promotes education for women and girls, but does nothing to help women who want to have a large family. On the contrary. The UNFPA offers the same answer for every woman: Have fewer children.

Yes, the U.N. Population Fund has added to its portfolio to remain relevant. It opposes female genital mutilation, endorses maternal health, abhors the spread of HIV/AIDs, and promotes adolescent and women’s rights. But the U.N. already has agencies with these mandates, such as the World Health Organization, UNAIDs, UNICEF and U.N. Women.

Planned Parenthood said President Trump would “kill” thousands of women this year because they won’t get U.N.-funded contraception. But the Fund did not save a single life last year. Rather, it helped “avert” two thousand theoretical deaths in childbirth by providing contraception.

Hypocrisy

Even the U.N. Population Fund’s claim to the mantle of women’s rights is spurious. China’s abusive family planning program has persisted under its watch. Even Beijing has admitted it went too far. The Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission now allows for two children. But it still exacts punishment on couples who have one more. That includes the threat of forced abortions, loss of livelihoods and homes. And still the U.N. Population Fund defends its partnership with the Chinese agency.

When shell-shocked Nigerian families welcomed back their daughters abducted by Boko Haram, they found that the girls had suffered unspeakable abuse. What did UNFPA recommend? Abortion. For this, its executive director was rightly rebuffed. But the organization’s leadership can’t seem to help itself. They act as if ridding the world of unintended pregnancies and unwanted children will help solve every problem.

What the U.N. Population Fund won’t admit is that “unintended” and “unwanted” are social science constructs, not the sentiments of parents. Such terms often contradict what women really say. A woman may tell a researcher that her beloved child was never “unwanted.” The researcher, however, may code her child as “unwanted,” due to a survey question she answered years earlier about desired family size.

Women are quite capable of making up their own minds. The U.N. Population Fund, however, often doesn’t like what they decide. Hence much of its spending goes to “advocacy.” Translation: Trying to convince women they should stop at two children.

The fact is that ninety five percent of women in the developing world say they already know about family planning. They just don’t opt for the methods the U.N. recommends. This fact should have the U.N. Population Fund declaring victory, not wringing its hands about “lack of uptake.”

Defying still more facts, the UNFPA insists that lack of access to contraception is a global crisis. Just like the “crisis” of overpopulation, the agency stretches credulity to the breaking point. It claims 225 million women want, but cannot get, contraception. It even posted the myth on a massive Times Square billboard. Yet the Guttmacher Institute assures us that only four or five percent of those 225 million women say they don’t have access. The rest don’t want it. In other words, the global family planning market is already nearly saturated.

It’s time for the United States and its partners to shut down the U.N. Population Fund. Its billion-dollar budget should be used to solve real problems, not chase the ghosts of the 1960s.

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Filed under: abortion, bureaucracy, crisis, culture, extremism, foreign affairs, funding, government, ideology, politics, public policy, reform, study

No, GOP’s Obamacare Update Doesn’t Make Rape A Pre-Existing Condition

original article: No, GOP’s Obamacare Update Doesn’t Make Rape A Pre-Existing Condition
May 8, 2017 by Robert Tracinski

The American Left is finishing its sixth straight month of losing it. They have been pegged at “total freakout” for so long now that it is impossible to tell when anything they say is valid or wildly exaggerated.

Take the headline you undoubtedly saw, or had forwarded to you on social media if you interact much with people on the Left, which proclaimed that the American Health Care Act—House Republicans’ Obamacare tweaks—makes sexual assault a pre-existing condition.

AHCA_preexisting

What’s actually going on here? The House bill, which mostly just tinkers with Obamacare instead of actually repealing it, still contains a requirement that insurers have to cover people with pre-existing conditions. But a late addition, the MacArthur Amendment, gives states the ability to ask the federal government for a waiver that would allow insurers to charge people with pre-existing conditions higher rates.

The amendment itself—and I had to search around for a while to find its actual text rather than somebody’s short-stroke summary of it—makes no mention of sexual assault or rape.

Ah, but somebody realized that rape victims sometimes suffer medical problems as a consequences of the assault and that these problems would count as “pre-existing conditions” under the law. They would count as such because they have always counted as pre-existing conditions. But so would any number of other conditions resulting from other tragic and unfortunate events. In other words, this headline is so misleading that even PolitiFact rates it as “Mostly False.”

The new law does not “make” sexual assault a pre-existing condition. The medical consequences of rape have always been considered a pre-existing condition, because that’s what the phrase “pre-existing condition” means. It refers to a condition that existed previously.

“Pre-existing condition” is not a value judgment. It does not imply that the pre-existing condition is the patient’s fault, or that this person is somehow unworthy of receiving medical treatment. It is a merely factual description, but one that has special relevance when talking about insurance. When you require insurance coverage for a pre-existing condition, it’s no longer insurance. Insurance is a financial mechanism for hedging against an unknown future risk, not a way of seeking compensation for damage that has already occurred.

If that seems like a nitpicking distinction, it’s one with very big real-world consequences. Telling insurance companies that they have to cover pre-existing conditions and can’t charge more for that coverage breaks the actuarial calculation behind insurance and contributes to the “death spiral” of escalating premiums, which we could already see under Obamacare. So you can understand why there’s a rational argument for not requiring pre-existing conditions of any kind to be covered under the heading of “insurance.”

So are Democrats making this claim about sexual assault because they want to lobby for free medical treatment for victims of sexual assault—a worthy cause they just discovered five minutes ago? No, they’re doing it because evoking sexual assault victims, as opposed to sufferers of any other kind of pre-existing condition, packs a special emotional wallop. Then when somebody responds by carefully and rationally explaining what’s really going on and why pre-existing conditions can’t be covered if health insurance is going to function properly—as I just did above—that person suddenly looks like a callous heel. How can he approach the issue with such cool logic? How can he be so insensitive to the victims?

In short, it’s a raw appeal to emotion, specifically designed to make rational analysis of the issues look not just inappropriate, but positively immoral.

The Appeal to Emotion is a fallacy that’s thousands of years old, but what makes this particular case a microcosm of today’s style of argument is one extra twist. If the purpose of the Appeal to Emotion is to make logical analysis seem insensitive, the purpose here is to make the user of logic seem insensitive specifically to women. This fits right in with the target audience’s prejudices. Of course those evil people on the Right, those old white men reveling in their patriarchal privilege, would be callously indifferent to the suffering of women. Of course they want women to bear the blame for their own sexual assaults. It’s just like “The Handmaid’s Tale.” We knew it all along!

That’s what makes the headline “too good to check” and ensures its entry into the natural life cycle of a “fake news” story: blaring viral headlines, followed by low-key, surreptitious corrections in the more reputable outlets, followed by the cementing of the headline as an established fact that will never be dislodged from the minds of its target audience. We’ll still be hearing about it 30 years from now.

This fits into a larger problem with how the Left tends to interact with everyone else while they’re in Perpetual Rage Mode. As someone who attempts to interact with the other side pretty regularly on social media—and not always just to score rhetorical points—I’ve begun to notice a distinct pattern. People on the Left will interact with someone on the Right just long enough to be able to find some sign, some slip of the tongue, some violation of accepted speech codes (like not being a prig about Cinco de Mayo) that allows them to dismiss that person as racist, sexist, homophobic, or just insensitive—which provides an excuse to ignore anything he has to say. The conclusion is always the same: all arguments from the Right can be dismissed without consideration because they come from bigots.

They need to stop doing this, and not for our sake—if you’re on the Right, you’re probably used to coping with an omnipresent background radiation of political hostility—but for their own sake. It is a spectacularly unconvincing method of argument that drives people back into their own social media “filter bubbles.” It doesn’t convince anyone. It just convinces them not to talk to you any more. Then you end up on an evening in November, stunned at the fact that so many people voted for a candidate whose sole political function is to stick a finger in your eye.

The Left is already paying the price for making “race, class, and gender” into a substitute for argument and persuasion. They might want to consider not digging that hole any deeper.

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Democrats: get in line with abortion or step aside

original article: Democrats Are Now Officially the Party of Death
May 3, 2017 by JASON JONES & JOHN ZMIRAK (The STREAM)

There is no more room in the Democratic party for pro-life Americans. The chairman of the Democratic National Committee has made that clear. As clear as the water Pontius Pilate used to wash his hands. Townhall reports:

Top Democrats recently told their party to get in line with their radical abortion agenda or step aside. As a way to bury the controversy over the Democrat National Committee campaigning with a Democratic mayoral candidate, Heath Mello, who once voted for pro-life legislation, DNC Chair Tom Perez and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) insisted that it was a mistake and that Roe v. Wade is non-negotiable.

The magazine America, whose liberal Jesuit editors are at least pro-life, pointed out what this really means:

Abortion is now the single issue defining the Democrats, and Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, is the de facto head of the party. … NARAL is at least as powerful within the Democratic Party as the National Rifle Association is within the Republican Party.

Bad News? Or Just Reality Emerging?

It’s hard to know precisely how to feel about this development.

We are Christians, pro-lifers, and conservatives — in that order. There’s no conflict among those things. In fact they go together. But each is a different angle from which to view political questions.

We live in a democracy. We bear a solemn responsibility under God: making just laws for ourselves. So abortion is a political question. It isn’t in China, Cuba, or other totalitarian states. There the people’s masters simply impose the practice on them. (You know, the way liberals want the Supreme Court to keep on doing.)

Strategically, it’s a bad thing for a cause to be trapped in just one party.

It’s key to keep our priorities in order. So let’s scrutinize this news about the Democrats under each of those three categories.

As Christians, We’re Saddened

From a spiritual perspective, this is tragic. One of our nation’s two political parties is now completely dedicated to a fundamental evil. Abortion is even worse than segregation. (Democrats defended that for 100 years). It’s on the level of slavery. To be an active Democrat, going forward, is now to participate in evil. If you raise money for Democratic candidates, give to Democratic causes, or in any way participate in that party’s bid for power. … You are implicated.

Our hearts go out to lifelong Democrats who care about unborn life. And to candidates like Heath Mello who tried to save their party from plunging over the cliff. But it has taken the plunge.

And that is something to mourn. It should lead us to prayer. It should lead pro-lifers who’ve belonged to the Democratic party to take a good hard look at leaving. Maybe they should start a third party that’s clearly pro-life, which also represents their views on other issues, where morality is not so black and white: such as poverty programs, immigration policy, and other liberal priorities.

But they can’t go on cooperating with the party of NARAL — any more than pro-life Republicans could stay in that party if it endorsed euthanasia to cut back on Medicare costs.

As Pro-Lifers, We’re Conflicted

As citizens committed to protecting the vulnerable from violence, we’re deeply saddened. We honor pro-life Democrats of the past, like the great Ellen McCormack and Robert Casey. They championed the human rights of unborn children in a party that was being hijacked by hedonism and feminism. They fought the good fight. And failed.

Of course the Democratic party is monolithically pro-abortion. It’s the logical consequence of the secular leftist view of man.

Strategically, it’s a bad thing for a cause to be trapped in just one party. Defenders of Israel are glad that pro-Israel candidates exist in both political parties. The National Rifle Association cultivates pro-Second Amendment Democrats. So have pro-lifers, as long as that party made room for differences of conviction. The danger is that Republicans will take our votes for granted, and continue to shove the life issue to the back burner.

But the two-party strategy might be falling apart for other causes too. The anger and intolerance of leftist activists is driving the Democratic party away from a true defense of Israel. Ever more liberal organizations are backing the bigoted “Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions” movement that targets Israel and even American Jews for open discrimination.

On the gun issue, Democratic leadership still prudently allows candidates in selected regions to dissent from the overwhelming party consensus against private handgun ownership. But how long that will last, in our current atmosphere of a rush to extremes? Of hooded leftist demonstrators silencing campus speakers with impunity? Ten years, max, we predict. Sooner rather than later, there will be no more room for Jim Webbs in the Democratic party.

Now the Stakes Are Obvious

On the positive side, the Democrats’ decision to side as a party with baby-parts merchants like Planned Parenthood does … clarify matters. It shreds for once and all the phony “Seamless Garment” that leftists within the churches have used to bury the unborn under a pile of other, more popular priorities.

As we wrote here last summer, members of Democrats for Life were essentially giving political cover to rabid pro-choicers like Hillary Clinton. How? By pretending that issues where people of good will can differ over the wisest policy for enhancing human life were somehow comparable to abortion. No, health insurance, welfare, wages, or even gun violence cannot be classed with abortion. Like genocide or unjust wars of conquest, it’s a practice that’s purely evil which no just government should enable. Period.

As Conservatives, We’re Hopeful

Of course, as citizens with strong, clear convictions about the sanctity of human life, we don’t like to see the party that represents half the country oppose us. It pushes the common good a little further out of reach. We wish that Democrats would come around on a whole range of issues. In an ideal world, both parties would accept core conservative principles — as both parties did on many issues, back in 1960 or so. Then elections could be about competency, honesty, and character.

Just as slavery and segregation denied the founding principles of our country, so does abortion. It is profoundly toxic to have one of our two major political parties aligned against the nation’s very founding. The Democratic party at first clung to slavery, then to segregation. Now it clings to abortion. How long will it take political reality to peel its white knuckles off its latest fetish of evil? Only time will tell.

That said, from the point of view of accomplishing things: The Democrats’ move is wicked, vicious, and helpful. To us. It demonstrates in flesh and blood the left’s commitment to an ideology of suicide.

The left in America has increasingly embraced a whole set of convictions that fit together like a puzzle. What holds the pieces in place is a dark, insidious view of human beings.

We Represent Different Species

Conservatives (especially Christians) believe that human beings are free, responsible creatures — the image of God. We only enjoy our freedoms as part of a compact; each one comes paired with a solemn responsibility. We don’t expect to “get away” with enjoying our rights while abandoning our duties. We don’t want to be paid for work we didn’t do. Nor to fund other people’s willful idleness. We don’t expect to enjoy all the pleasures of life and evade the consequences.

What better example could we find of a reckless abuse of freedom and disregard of duty than the practice of legal abortion? Everyone knows that sex is connected to having children, as eating is to nutrition. But the Sexual Revolution came along and offered us all the “benefits” of bulimia. Contemporary hedonism wants to totally sever that connection — to change the very nature of sex itself. God made it to be the glue that holds two people together in love for life, and generates new lives. Modern man wants it to be a low-investment, low-commitment  (but much more enjoyable) game of Twister.

No real conservative can support that. Few liberals today have the stomach to oppose it. So of course the Democratic party is monolithically pro-abortion. It’s the logical consequence of the secular leftist view of man: a lumpy featherless biped who seeks out pleasure. We can win his votes, the Democrats reckon, by offering him a bigger pile of bananas.

abortion, Democrats, government, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, political correctness, politics, progressive

Filed under: abortion, Democrats, government, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, political correctness, politics, progressive

Teen came in for three abortions, parents never knew

original article: Former abortion worker: Teen came in for three abortions, parents never knew
April 8, 2017 by Sarah Terzo

Brenda Pratt-Shaffer spent three days working at a late-term abortion facility before she became so troubled by what she saw that she quit. She recently wrote a book about her experiences called What the Nurse Saw: Eyewitness to Abortion.

On Pratt–Shaffer’s first day in the abortion facility, she cared for a teenage girl who was there having an abortion without her parents’ knowledge. Pratt–Shafer wrote:

One of the things that really bothered me that day was a fifteen-year-old girl having her third abortion. Her parents did not even know that she was there. She was laughing the whole time she was in the clinic. I wondered if this was a nervous laugh or if she truly just did not care….I just kept thinking about my fifteen-year-old daughter that I had to sign for to have her ears pierced. But here was a fifteen-year-old having such a horrific procedure for the third time that her parents didn’t even know about.(1)

This young woman was in a self-destructive spiral. As a teenager having an abortion, she was already at higher risk of suicide than an adult having an abortion. One study found that a post–abortive teenager is 10 times more likely to commit suicide than a teenager who has never had an abortion.

Her physical health was endangered as well. If this teen were to suffer complications after an abortion, she might hide them from her parents in an effort to keep the abortion a secret. Her parents will not know to be vigilant about their daughter’s health. They won’t know to look out for symptoms of abortion complications in their child. They may not be aware of a dangerous complication like an infection before it’s too late.

This girl’s parents lost three grandchildren to abortion and were never given a chance to try and help their daughter.

In many states there are no parental notification laws, meaning that teenagers are free to schedule their abortions without their parents ever knowing. Even in states where parental notification or consent laws exist, there are judicial bypass clauses that allow teens to evade these laws. Often, Planned Parenthood and other abortion facilities help walk teenagers through the process of judicial bypass.

According to Margo, who worked at a different late-term abortion facility:

Where I worked we were a privately owned late term abortion clinic up to 20 weeks, and Michigan did pass a 24 hour consent law, and we did have parental overrides, judicial overrides that the counselors would help the minors obtain. And some of those things were pretty sketchy…It was more of a goal to keep them [parents] out as much as possible, because we did notice that outcomes would change when there was parental involvement. And so there was a whole system in place to help the kids get a judicial bypass, which basically was a rubber stamp, just go before the judge and say, “I’m afraid of what my parents will do to me if they find out that I am pregnant.” And the judge would ask, “Do you feel like you would be in danger?” “Yes.” “Ok.” And it’s just that sort of thing.

The court bypass option available to minors has always been a loophole that allows teens to evade parental consent laws. The teen must go before a judge and convince him either that she is mature enough to make the abortion decision, or that the abortion is in her best interest. On either of these grounds, the judge can permit the abortion without parental consent. The book Adolescent Abortion: Psychological and Legal Issues discusses one of the first parental consent laws that went into effect and how little impact it had:

As a matter of practice, proceedings have turned out to be pro forma rubberstamps of minors’ decisions. Most minors are found to be mature, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, abortions are almost always found to be in the best interests of immature minors. In Massachusetts between April 1981 [when the parental consent judicial bypass law went into effect] and February 1983, about 1300 minors sought abortions through the judicial bypass procedure. In about 90% of cases, minors were found to be mature. In the remaining cases, all but five petitioners’ request for abortions were approved, according to a best interests standard. In three of those cases the trial court’s decision was overturned on appeal. In one case the judge invited the minor to seek approval from another judge, who granted the petition. In the remaining case the minor decided to go to a neighboring state for the abortion. (2)

The law, therefore, did not prevent a single teenager from having abortions without their parent’s knowledge. Better options need to be pursued to make sure vulnerable teens have the guidance of their parents when making life and death decisions.

abortion, children, corruption, cover up, culture, ethics, law, pro-life, prolife, public policy, reform, scandal, tragedy

Filed under: abortion, children, corruption, cover up, culture, ethics, law, pro-life, prolife, public policy, reform, scandal, tragedy

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