Tag Archives: Pro-Abortion

Is it wrong to pass incremental pro-life laws?

I'm Scheming Unborn Baby, and I approve this decision
I’m Scheming Unborn Baby, and saving a life is a good thing

Pro-life debater Scott Klusendorf summarizes a recent debate between a pro-life incrementalist and a pro-life abolitionist. An incrementalist is a pro-lifer who wants to pass laws that save lives right now, while still working for a full ban on abortion. An abolitionist is a pro-lifer who does not want to pass laws that solve part of the problem, preferring to hold off on laws that save lives until they can get all abortions banned.

So there was a debate, and Scott watched it, and here is his review.

First, the intro:

T. Russell Hunter issued a very public challenge calling for any pro-life leader to debate him on incrementalism. Gregg Cunningham, a former member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Executive Director of the Center for Bioethical Reform, accepted. The formal debate structure was as follows: 20-minute opening statements, 15-minute rebuttals, 15-minute cross-examination, 5-minute closing statements. An informal audience Q&A followed the formal debate.

[…]Gregg Cunningham won the formal exchange handily and he did so early by pointing out a fundamental flaw in Hunter’s argument—namely, the mistaken claim that pro-lifers have the power to end abortion immediately but won’t. Again and again, he exposed Hunter’s fallacious either/or reasoning by demonstrating that pro-lifers don’t have to choose between incremental legislation that saves some children right now or total abolition that saves all at a later time. Rather, they can advance both strategies simultaneously and save many lives in the process. Cunningham also demonstrated a superior grasp of social reform history, noting that while Wilberforce, Lincoln, and Martin-Luther King were in principle moral absolutists, in practice they functioned as strategic and tactical incrementalists—as do pro-lifers today. During cross-examination, Hunter stumbled badly when asked if those babies saved through incremental legislation should have been left to die. When he refused to give a clear answer—despite being repeatedly pressed to do so—the debate was effectively over. In short, Hunter could not preach his way to victory, even when invoking his understanding of Scripture. His claim that incrementalism is not found in the Bible was decisively refuted when Gregg cited three examples from Scripture where God dealt incrementally with His people.

I watched this video clip to get a feel for how it went down:

In the clip, Cunningham asks if the babies who are saved by incremental legislation should be allowed to die instead. He has some evidence from a law professor saying that incremental laws do save some lives, and he is asking the AHA person should we not enact these incremental laws that save the lives of unborn children.

Scott has the transcript:

GC: I’d like to return to the question with which I began, which Russ hasn’t answered. Should we allow these babies to die rather than enact incremental legislation?

TRH: No.

GC: I’m sorry?

TRH: Like, should we allow – should we allow babies to die?

GC: Should we allow these – because…

TRH: The charade is – the charade is not even what we’re talking about – the incrementalism/immediatism debate. Focusing the ax at the tree, getting all the people who follow incrementalism to become immediatists and help put that ax to the branch – to the root…

GC: Would you answer this question?

TRH & GC: [unintelligible]

Moderator: That was the last question. Russ, go ahead and answer that, and then we’re gonna end this.

GC: Just for the record, Russ didn’t answer the question: Should we have allowed these babies to die, which this university professor says would have died had that legislation not been enacted. Should we have allowed them to die rather than enact the incremental legislation?

Moderator: Okay, Russ, answer that question, then we’ll change.

TRH: Um, well, I firmly believe that abortion is evil, and it is one of these things that the powers and principalities of darkness and high places are very in to. It’s the crown jewel of darkness, and I actually believe that if they can keep abortion going by deceiving people into becoming gradualists, they will do it. And if to deceive them they have to give them empty, illusory victories, and law professors may claim that babies were saved, they’ll do it. But I – if someone goes to an abortion mill and shoots a doctor, a baby might be saved that day, but that’s not going towards abolishing abortion. It’s not establishing justice that day [unintelligible] a baby that day.

GC: May I ask for clarification for your answer? You’re saying this guy’s making this up?

TRH: Uh, no, I have to read it. But I’m just saying that convincing people to be gradualists by saying, “Hey look, we saved some,” while they’re still being – I’m pretty sure that you can convince people to be gradualists for the next 40 years…

GC: Hey Russell, let’s do both. Let’s do both. Let’s do both.

Honestly, I am not sure why anyone pays these AHA people any mind. Just judging from that one clip, I don’t think that Hunter has anything of value to say in this debate. His group seems to be more concerned with attacking other pro-lifers who actually are getting the job done than doing anything. In the real world, incremental pro-life laws save lives. To be persuasive on those incremental laws, you have to talk about the logic and science that supports the pro-life view. That will be persuasive to Christians as well as non-Christians. Building consensus for incremental pro-life laws by appealing to a bigger audience that includes non-Christians makes sense – it solves the actual problem.

Conservative MP’s bill to ban sex-selection abortions is defeated

Conservative MP Fiona Bruce
Conservative MP Fiona Bruce

The leftist BBC reports.

Excerpt:

MPs have defeated a cross-party bid to clarify in law that abortion on the grounds of gender alone is illegal in the UK.

Conservative MP Fiona Bruce, who spearheaded the move, said the law was being “interpreted in different ways”.

But her proposal was defeated by 292 to 201. A review of the extent of sex selective abortion was agreed to.

[…]Her amendment would not have changed the law, but sought to update 1967 legislation that was drafted before it was possible to identify the sex of a foetus.

[…]Making the case for the change, the Congleton MP said her amendment would “clarify beyond doubt in statute that sex selective abortion is illegal in UK law”.

Now you might think that the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats would be against killing unborn girls, just because they are the “wrong” sex.

But you’d be wrong. The Shadow Secretary Yvette Cooper wrote to all the Labour MPs urging them to vote against the bill.

Life News says:

“Mrs Bruce has provoked furious opposition from the most radical elements in the pro-abortion lobby, who have now been joined by pro-abortion MPs like Yvette Cooper, Jenny Willott and Sarah Newton in attempts to block the condemnation of aborting baby girls,” he said.

“Most pro-abortion MPs were initially content to ignore this move because they know it will not change the law. However, the mere restatement of the law has split the ranks of the pro-abortion lobby, dividing feminists who recognise that it is used predominantly to abort girls, from feminists who regard the right to demand an abortion for any reason or no reason as the touchstone of feminist orthodoxy,” Tully explained. “The more extreme lobby regard the unborn child as a non-entity and won’t face the fact that each baby is either a boy or a girl. Aborting baby girls demeans all women, just as aborting babies because of their disability or racial characteristics demeans others like them. The truth is that every abortion demeans all of us.”

He concluded: “Ms Cooper’s statement undermines claims that Labour MPs are free to vote according to conscience on this issue.  As shadow Home Office Secretary, she has intervened not simply to tell Labour MPs to support abortion, but to support one of the most blatant abuses of the law.”

Cooper is a high-ranking Labour MP. Jenny Willott is a Liberal Democrat MP. Sarah Newton is a Conservative MP.

In the UK, the crime is not even being prosecuted.

From the UK Telegraph.

Excerpt:

Britain’s top law officer is to come under pressure in the House of Commons this week to say why the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute over the gender selection abortion scandal.

Dominic Grieve, the attorney general, will face questions from Tory MPs who want the Government to tighten up the 1967 Abortion Act in the wake of the scandal.

The comments come as Britain’s most senior prosecutor prepares to release a paper justifying his decision not to prosecute two doctors over an abortion scandal.

So, there was definitely a need for the law, since no one was being prosecuted for breaking it. And the measure strengthening the language was defeated – which tells me that they like things just the way they are now.

Alliance Defending Freedom wins HHS mandate case: Democrats forced to pay $570,000

Life News has some good news for us.

They write:

The bill is coming due, literally, for the Obama administration over its attempts to force companies to comply with the HHS mandate, that compels them to pay for drugs for their employees that can cause abortions.

The pro-life legal group ADF obtained a settlement in federal court Friday that requires the Obama administration to pay an agreed-upon amount of $570,000 to ADF and allied attorneys who won a lawsuit at the U.S. Supreme Court against the abortion-pill mandate in Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Burwell. 

Conestoga Wood is one of the companies that challenged the abortion mandate in court and the high court eventually sided with them and Hobby Lobby, the most prominent firm taking on the Obama mandate.

“The government does a serious disservice to taxpayers when it pursues unjust laws that force many of them to defend their constitutionally protected freedoms,” Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman told LifeNews.com. “While this case is finally over, many others remain. We hope the administration will stop defending its indefensible abortion-pill mandate and end its waste of taxpayer dollars on a fruitless quest to force people to give up their freedom to live and work according to their beliefs.”

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys represent Conestoga Wood Specialties and the Hahn family, Mennonite cabinetmakers in Pennsylvania who appealed to the nation’s high court after a divided federal appellate court ruled against them. The Supreme Court eventually sided with the company.

“The cost of religious freedom for the Hahn family and many other job creators across the country who face this mandate is severe,” added Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “A family should not face massive fines and lawsuits just because they want to earn a living consistent with their faith.”

The mandate could have cost the family nearly $3 million per month in fines if it doesn’t agree to live contrary to its Christian convictions. It forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception under threat of heavy penalties by the Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies if the mandate’s requirements aren’t met.

Conestoga Wood Specialties owners Norman Hahn, Elizabeth Hahn, Norman Lemar Hahn, Anthony H. Hahn, and Kevin Hahn desire to run their company, a wholesale manufacturer of custom wood cabinet parts, in a manner that reflects their Christian beliefs, including their belief that God requires respect for the sanctity of human life.

I try not to think about whose money this is… in a fair world, it would come right out of Obama’s bank accounts.

I took a quick look to see if there were any ADF podcasts on this case, and I didn’t find any.

What did early church fathers think about abortion and infanticide?

Unborn baby scheming about early church traditions
Unborn baby scheming about early church traditions

This is from Birds of the Air. (H/T Neil Simpson)

Summary:

Recently I came across a reading of the Didache. “The what?” you may ask. The Didache is a book written somewhere in the first or second century. For a long time it was up for consideration as Scripture. It was believed to be the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles. Eventually it was agreed that the book was an excellent book, but not inspired Scripture. So I was pleased to be able to download this admirable book containing good teachings from the early Church fathers.

The book seemed to be largely a lot of quotes from Scripture. You’ll learn the basic rules of Christianity — “First, you shall love God who made you; second, love your neighbor as yourself.” You’ll learn that “grave sins” are forbidden, like adultery, murder, fornication, and so on. (They specifically include pederasty in the list.) There are instructions regarding teachers, prophets, Christian assembly, and so on. Lots of the normal, good stuff. But, since this was written sometime prior to 200 AD, I was somewhat surprised at this instruction: “You shall not murder a child by abortion” (Didache, Ch 2).

I got curious about what babies look like when they are just a few weeks old, so I went looking for pictures of them.

This post from Life News has ten excellent pictures of life inside the womb.

Here’s my favorite from 10 weeks:

Unborn Baby - 10 weeks old
Unborn Baby – 10 weeks old

This is a first trimester baby!

I decided to go hunting to see what is developed at this time, and found this list:

  • From this week until birth, the developing organism is called a fetus.
  • The fetus is now the size of a small strawberry.
  • The feet are 2mm long (one tenth of an inch).
  • The neck is beginning to take shape.
  • The body muscles are almost developed. Baby has begun movement.
  • While still too small for you to feel, your little one is wriggling and shifting.
  • The jaws are in place. The mouth cavity and the nose are joined.
  • The ears and nose can now be seen clearly.
  • Fingerprints are already evident in the skin.
  • Nipples and hair follicles begin to form.

The unborn baby is now called a fetus. Though the fetus is constantly moving, you will not be able to actually feel fetal movement for several more weeks. All of the organs, muscles, and nerves are in place and beginning to function. As the hands and feet develop fingers and toes, they have lost their paddle like look. The touch pads on the fingers form and already have fingerprints.

During this week of pregnancy the crown to rump length of the fetus is 0.9 inch to 1.2 inches (22 to 30mm), weight 0.07 ounce (2gm). They are now on the way to forming their testicles or ovaries, getting ready for the next generation. Until the ninth week of fetus development, the fetal reproductive apparatus is the same one for the both sexes. The head is still large and curves into chest.

Each week your uterus grows larger with the baby growing inside it. You may begin to see your waistline growing thicker by this time. A pelvic exam will detect that your uterus has grown from it’s normal, size of your fist, to a little bigger than a grapefruit.

Fascinating!

Republicans Renee Ellmers and Jackie Walorski derail vote on 20-week abortion ban

I’m afraid I have some bad news to report.

This is from the Federalist.

Excerpt:

Evidently, Republicans don’t feel competent enough to make a case against infanticide. Why else would the GOP pull its 20-week abortion limit bill?

[…]A Quinnipiac poll found that 60 percent of women support limiting abortions to the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. A CBS News poll found that 60 percent of Americans thought abortion “should not be permitted” or available only under “stricter limits.” A CNN Poll found that 58 percent of Americans believe abortion should legal only in a “few circumstances” or “always illegal.”

Yet the GOP caves on a bill that would prohibit most abortions after 20 weeks and promises instead to pass another worthless ban on taxpayer funded abortions—which we all know can be ignored by hiring an accountant.

Polls change. Polls don’t make you right. I know. But today is the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade. And while the media continues to treat every Obama non-starter and crowd-pleaser as genuine policy idea, the 20-week abortion ban was predictably framed as another divisive play by zealous conservatives. Controversial. Republican leadership helpfully confirmed this perception by abandoning the only bill their party has come up with in years that widely supported.

[…][T]he most mystifying aspect of the GOP’s retreat on the 20-week ban is that the 20-week ban is not new. Most of these same Republicans voted on the same legislation before the midterm elections, including some of the same representatives that reportedly withdrew their support for the bill. Nearly every GOP candidate running in the midterms publicly backed the idea, even in high-profile races where Democrats made abortion the central issue of their campaign.

Yet, at the same time, Obama continues to support unrestricted abortion on demand for any reason at any time by anyone. There is no one to moderate his position. No one to make him veto a bill. No one to ask him about it. The president has no compunctions about supporting infanticide…

[…]This is about politics. Tragically incompetent politics. Even though a veto was imminent, you have to wonder: If the party representing the pro-life position, a party with a sizable historic majority, can’t pull together a vote on an issue as unambiguous and risk-free as this one, what are the chances if it coming to a consensus and offering compelling arguments on issues like health care or tax reform? Very little, I imagine.

Before anyone goes crazy and starts to talk about not voting for Republican candidates in general elections, I want to point out that the vast majority of Republicans in the House would have voted for this bill. The opposition to the vote was led by a few Republican women – women who were known to be moderates.

The Federalist reports on that, too:

Two of the representatives who caused the biggest stink about the bill were Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina and Jackie Walorski of Indiana. Last week, Ellmers said she didn’t think it was a good idea to vote on the legislation so early in the session (an argument that makes no sense, but let’s put that aside). Yesterday the women pulled their sponsorship of the bill over what they said were concerns over the rape reporting requirement. And yet here are both women speaking in favor of this exact same legislation two years ago…

Renee Ellmers, from North Carolina:

Jackie Walorski, from Indiana:

The rest of the article discusses what a blunder this was for the GOP.

But their conclusion is important:

Newsflash to the geniuses in her policy shop: there are few issues the Republicans can have with as much support, much less as much passionate support. If you’re cowering in fear on popular stuff, what are you going to do when the going gets tough?

What are they going to do on Keystone XL? What are they going to do on Obamacare? Are they going to fight the tough battles when they retreat on the easy ones?

So what’s the answer? I think that the answer is that the grassroots have to do the following:

  1. Never give money to Republican groups, but only to individual candidates who have pro-life achievements.
  2. Find out who the candidates are in the primaries and vote for the most conservative one. You can always vote for the moderate Republican in the general election, should it come to that.
  3. Call your elected representatives in Washington and let them know how you feel about these moderate Republican women.

It’s generally not a good idea to vote for a third party or a Democrat in an election, that would be worse than voting for a moderate… except in the case of these two ring leaders. I think we can send a message to the GOP by voting for a third party or voting Democrat just for these two. That way, the rest of them will learn not to do what they did. I don’t recommend doing this for trivial things, but for a ban on abortions after 20 weeks? I think some retaliation is in order, for the ring leaders. Ellmers is garbage anyway, and needs to go. Her betrayal is a surprise to no one.

Ellmers won her primary

Of course, we should first try to defeat these RINOs in the Republican primaries, where the Republican candidate for the general election is selected.

Ellmers won her last primary because her opponent had no money:

According to his most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission, Roche had raised only $23,000 through the middle of April, less than three weeks before election day. Ellmers, meanwhile, had raised nearly $1 million over the election cycle and had $424,000 in cash on hand.

In other words, Ellmers had over 18 times as much cash on hand as Roche had raised over the course of the entire race.

Ellmers has also had the backing of the GOP establishment in North Carolina and well-funded national pro-amnesty organizations ranging from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg via his political advocacy shop FWD.us to ImmigrationWorksUSA, a business group pushing amnesty.

[…]Tea Party Patriots, which is led by national coordinator Jenny Beth Martin, has already faced some criticism for where its resources have been focused. Ingraham hosted Martin on her program last week, and asked why she hasn’t spent any of the $2 million Tea Party Patriots spent on polling, fundraising and consulting fees on candidates like Roche or House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s primary challenger Dave Brat.

“If you could knock off Cantor and you can knock off Ellmers, that sends shockwaves through the establishment that you seem so committed to upending, and yet you haven’t done the research?” Ingraham pressed Martin. “It’s a little late in the game to be doing the research. What’s the hold up?”

But Martin’s group is hardly the only one where this issue–which is not necessarily because of nefarious motives, but more likely because of political inexperience and a pack mentality in the conservative political action committee world where one group goes into a race all others follow–has arisen. Because of actions from various conservative groups like the Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF), Madison Project, FreedomWorks and more–which are focused on races like Matt Bevin’s unlikely-to-succeed challenge to Mitch McConnell or Milton Wolf’s lagging bid against Pat Roberts–candidates like Roche either go unnoticed, underfunded or ignored.

We actually did knock off Cantor – this actually works. But it works better when pro-lifers start to think about all the issues, not just abortion, and start to primary candidates who are liberal on any issue, not just on abortion.