Tag Archives: Abortion

Obama proposes rule to prevent states from defunding Planned Parenthood

Barack Obama speaking to Planned Parenthood
Barack Obama speaking to Planned Parenthood

This story is from Life News, and I think it nicely shows just how pro-abortion Obama, and his Democrat Party supporters, are.

Excerpt:

Pro-abortion President Barack Obama has proposed a new rule that would essentially prohibit states from defunding the Planned Parenthood abortion business and a leading pro-life member of Congress is not happy about it.

The proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) could prevent states from blocking Title X funding (federal dollars for family planning services) to abortion companies like Planned Parenthood.

“This latest stunt from President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services should surprise absolutely no one,” Rep. Diane Black told LifeNews.com

“We’ve known all along that the Obama Administration will go to untold lengths to protect its friends in the big abortion industry. After all, this Administration has previously used backdoor maneuvers to line Planned Parenthood’s pockets with Obamacare navigator grants and praised the abortion provider’s ‘high ethical standard’ even after it was caught trafficking in baby body parts,” Black said.

She continued: “Now, they have taken the unprecedented step of thwarting states’ rights with a shady proposed rule change that prevents states from funding the providers who will best serve their citizens.  In the coming days, I intend to lead a letter expressing the deep concerns of Members of Congress on this proposal, but we won’t stop there. We must use the full force of Congress and the grassroots strength of the national pro-life movement to defeat this absurd rule and prevent the Obama Administration from acting unilaterally to carry out political favors and prop up a scandal-ridden abortion provider.”

Many states that are run by Republican governors have defunded Planned Parenthood, e.g. Wisconsin, Texas, etc. And the reason why is not hard to see – less money means fewer abortions. Abortion providers are in the abortion business for the money. And if there is no money, then they get out of the business. Their whole business model relies on leftist governments transferring money from pro-life taxpayers to pro-abortion abortion providers.

Take a look at this story from Live Action News about billing fraud in Wisconsin:

An audit by Wisconsin’s Department of Health and Human Services has found that as many as two-thirds of all Medicaid payments to the state’s Planned Parenthood locations were fraudulent.

According to the audit of eight family planning facilities (five of which were operated by Planned Parenthood), roughly half of the funds they received came from fraudulent or otherwise-inappropriate billing practices. Auditors discovered that Planned Parenthood was the worst offender among facilities investigated, with the highest percentage of over-billing.

These practices included prescriptions not signed by valid prescribers, billing for quantities of medications that matched neither the prescribed nor dispensed quantities, failing to prove medication was even dispensed, reimbursement for unnecessary duplicative drugs, and more.

 

Obama looks at a story like that and says “keep the fraud going!” and his supporters agree. Every Democrat voter is pro-abortion, and every Democrat voter thinks that pro-life taxpayers should be paying their money to abortion providers.

Awakening the “moral sense” of the public in the abortion debate

 

Young pro-life women protest Planned Parenthood
Young pro-life women protest Planned Parenthood

Scott Klusendorf linked to this article from the Public Discourse. The article talks about the need to augment logical arguments in other ways in order to awaken the moral sense of the public so that they will support the pro-life cause and vote to repeal pro-abortion laws.

Excerpt:

In a manner similar to the case of slavery as outlined by Douglass, there are two simple points that, once admitted, join to condemn clearly the practice of abortion: (1) the embryo is a human being from the moment of conception, and (2) all human beings have a natural right to life.

The second point, as in the case of the natural right to liberty, doesn’t require serious argument on the level of ordinary judgment, even though many pro-choice philosophers have tried to argue that only persons have a right to life, and the unborn, in their view, aren’t persons. To make such arguments, however, requires choosing an arbitrary cut-off point for personhood, as pro-life philosophers such as George, Tollefsen, and Lee have shown.

The first point is more often chosen as promising ground for challenges, but it too is plainly obvious to the unbiased mind.

Once conception occurs, the embryo is something other than the woman who carries it. The fact that the embryo requires the mother’s body to live is no argument against this—dependence does not exclude otherness, otherwise none of us would be distinguishable from everyone and everything else in the world upon which we depend in innumerable ways. The embryo is obviously something other than a part of the mother, but what is it?

This is where it gets easy, despite the messy, abstract philosophical arguments. The more appropriate version of the question is the following: What else could it be besides a human being? Is there a single example in natural history of sexual intercourse between two individuals of the same species resulting in something other than another individual of that species? Is it plausible to guess that sexual intercourse between two human beings might result in a fish, at least initially? Or maybe a frog? Such speculation is entirely fanciful and runs directly contrary to our experience of the world since the beginning of recorded history.

It should be obvious to anyone that the two points hold, and that the embryo is a human being possessing a natural right to life from the moment of its conception. The problem is that the younger and less developed the embryo is, the less it excites what some have called our “moral sense,” our sympathy with it as another human being like us. And as Hume correctly notes, human beings tend to be moved more by their passions and feelings, including the so-called “moral sense,” than by their intellectual understanding of the world when determining their actions. Even if our reason and common sense tell us clearly—as they undoubtedly do—that the embryo is a human being with the right to life, our moral sense or sympathy lets us off the hook.

So where does this leave pro-life advocates? How can we bridge the Humean—and human—gap between intellectual understanding and actual practice in our nation? The answer lies in the parallel between the issue of abortion and those of slavery and subsequent civil rights. The pro-life movement needs to model more closely in its organization and practices the antebellum abolition movement and the civil rights movement in order to achieve similar success in ending the evil of abortion. It needs to take up the mantle of these causes in a manner beyond rhetorical parallel or intellectual analogy and be prepared to undergo similar hardships before achieving its goals.

Both of these historical movements ultimately succeeded not by winning arguments, but by awakening the moral sense or conscience of a majority of the nation. Legislation relating to the provision of an ultrasound prior to an abortion, currently in place in some form in more than twenty states, is very well suited to this purpose. The dissemination of graphic images relating to abortion procedures, though controversial in pro-life circles, is also highly appropriate to this purpose.

The civil rights movement was driven forward significantly by television and photographic coverage of the inhuman treatment of protestors, as well as the publication of vivid written reports of racially motivated cruelties. Moral senses or sympathies are sparked most effectively by distasteful, unsettling, and shocking information; and when intellectual argument has had its day in trying to awaken consciences and has shown itself insufficient, recourse must be had to the level of moral sense and feeling.

There can be no doubt that pro-lifers are the abolitionists of this generation, urging the powerful not to take advantage of the powerless.

This reminds me about the story of Emmett Till. Have you heard of that? Here it is explained in a letter from Gregg Cunningham of CBR, a pro-life group.

Excerpt:

Many pro-lifers have heard about Emmett Till, the fourteen-year-old black boy from Chicago who, while visiting relatives in Mississippi, was tortured to death, allegedly for whistling at a white woman (or bidding her farewell with a flippant “bye baby” – accounts vary). But this tragic civil rights story offers more lessons for effective pro-life activism than is generally understood.

BlackPressUSA.com, August 27, 2001, reported in a story entitled “1955 – Emmett Till Killed in Mississippi” that Emmett’s mother “had insisted that the casket be opened when it arrived in Chicago, although it had been sealed when it left Mississippi.” There was a reason that authorities in Mississippi did not want the world to see the body of Emmett Till.

The Washington Post, August 28, 2005, published a story on the legacy of Emmett Till entitled “Dead End,” with a subhead which read “On the Trail of a Civil Rights Icon, Starting Where He Did”:

…Ahmed A. Rayner Sr., … prepared Emmett’s body for services after it was pulled from the Tallahatchie River – with a cotton-gin fan tied around his neck with barbed wire. Tortured and bruised, with most of his teeth missing, his remains were returned in a sealed box on a train to Chicago.

Ahmed Rayner is dead and the family-owned funeral home is run by his granddaughter [Pamela Rayner].

[…]‘I remember him saying that he had to do something because the way that he [Emmett] was brought up here, he looked so bad that it would probably scare most of the people,’ says Rayner. There was the eye that her grandfather had to put back into Till’s head and the fixing of his swollen tongue that hung out of his mouth – the stitching and patchwork to make the boy presentable in a glass-covered casket.

There was also a reason that Emmett’s mother demanded the unsealing of the crate in which the condition of her son’s body had been hidden:

‘After the body arrived I knew I had to look and see and make sure it was Emmett. That was when I decided that I wanted the whole world to see what I had seen. There was no way I could describe what was in that box. No way. And I just wanted the world to see.’ (BlackPressUSA.com, February 21, 2001, ‘A Disturbing Picture’)

Sounds a lot like abortion: no way it can be described; vital that we show the world how horrifying it looks.

I think the right approach is to give the arguments and the evidence first, and then to show the ultrasound images or the graphical images second (warning people to look away if they are squeamish, first). This is the way that moral people have always argued against injustices. If it worked to change minds then, then it will probably work to change minds now, too. For my own part, I’ve chose not to engage in sexual behavior at all until I am in a position where I can welcome a child into the world. I want to give my future children a safe environment with a committed mother and father. And if I have to give up short-term recreation in order to avoid putting myself in a situation where abortion might be a temptation, then that’s what I’m going to do. It’s called acting responsibly.

Global warming alarmists demand government discourage child births

Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood
Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood

This is from the Washington Times.

It says:

Climate-change activists are mobilizing to cut the birthrate, arguing that richer nations should discourage people having children in order to protect them from the ravages of global warming and reduce emissions.

Travis Rieder, assistant director of the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University, told NPR that bringing down global fertility by half a child per woman “could be the thing that saves us.”

“Here’s a provocative thought: Maybe we should protect our kids by not having them,” said Mr. Rieder, who has one child.

He proposed procreation disincentives such as government tax breaks for poor people and tax penalties for rich people, a kind of “carbon tax on kids.”

Poor nations would be cut slack “because they’re still developing, and because their per capita emissions are a sliver of the developed world’s. Plus, it just doesn’t look good for rich, Western nations to tell people in poor ones not to have kids,” NPR said.

His paper, “Population Engineering and the Fight Against Climate Change,” written with two Georgetown University professors, is scheduled to be published in October.

Their work coincides with that of Conceivable Future, a New Hampshire-basednonprofit founded on the premise that “the climate crisis is a reproductive crisis.”

This sounds to me a lot like China’s one-child policy, which resulted in the government getting involved in all kinds of human rights abuses – coerced abortions, etc. But this isn’t surprising.

Remember when Obama was elected, and he chose a science czar named John Holdren? That science czar had advocated for a “world police” that would restrict the number of children that people can have, in order to stop global warming:

President Obama’s “science czar,” John Holdren, once floated the idea of forced abortions, “compulsory sterilization,” and the creation of a “Planetary Regime” that would oversee human population levels and control all natural resources as a means of protecting the planet — controversial ideas his critics say should have been brought up in his Senate confirmation hearings.

[…][M]any of Holdren’s radical ideas on population control were not brought up at his confirmation hearings; it appears that the senators who scrutinized him had no knowledge of the contents of a textbook he co-authored in 1977, “Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment,” a copy of which was obtained by FOXNews.com.

The 1,000-page course book, which was co-written with environmental activists Paul and Anne Ehrlich, discusses and in one passage seems to advocate totalitarian measures to curb population growth, which it says could cause an environmental catastrophe.

The three authors summarize their guiding principle in a single sentence: “To provide a high quality of life for all, there must be fewer people.”

[…]Holdren and the Ehrlichs offer ideas for “coercive,” “involuntary fertility control,” including “a program of sterilizing women after their second or third child,” which doctors would be expected to do right after a woman gives birth.

What specifically did the authors recommend to solve the overpopulation “problem”?

Those plans include forcing single women to abort their babies or put them up for adoption; implanting sterilizing capsules in people when they reach puberty; and spiking water reserves and staple foods with a chemical that would make people sterile.

To help achieve those goals, they formulate a “world government scheme” they call the Planetary Regime, which  would administer the world’s resources and human growth, and they discuss the development of an “armed international organization, a global analogue of a police force” to which nations would surrender part of their sovereignty.

Holdren also predicted that global warming would kill 1 billion people by 2020. That’s the level of scientific illiteracy and ignorance we are dealing with when dealing with the Democrat party. They will literally say and do anything to manipulate the voters into supporting a socialist agenda.

A simple case for the pro-life position by Scott Klusendorf

I'm Scheming Unborn Baby, and I approve this study
I’m Scheming Unborn Baby, and I approve this message

Are you able to make a basic case for the pro-life view?

Here’s a short 38-lecture by Scott Klusendorf, president of the Life Training Institute.

This is a long treatment that talks about the challenge of moral relativism and the case for the pro-life view. He does show a clip of abortion in the video to the audience.

There’s also a 35-minute audio recording of Scott on the LTI web site. (H/T Apologetics 315) You can put that on your podcast player and listen to it. Listen to it a lot and soon you’ll sound like Scott.

Scott also has an article posted on the LTI web site for those who don’t have time for the video or the audio.

In the article makes three points:

  1. Clarify the issue
  2. Defend your pro-life position with science and philosophy
  3. Challenge your listeners to be intellectually honest

Here’s the second point:

Scientifically, we know that from the earliest stages of development, the unborn are distinct, living, and whole human beings. Leading embryology books confirm this.2 For example, Keith L. Moore & T.V.N. Persaud write, “A zygote is the beginning of a new human being. Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm … unites with a female gamete or oocyte … to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.”3 Prior to his abortion advocacy, former Planned Parenthood President Dr. Alan Guttmacher was perplexed that anyone, much less a medical doctor, would question this. “This all seems so simple and evident that it is difficult to picture a time when it wasn’t part of the common knowledge,” he wrote in his book Life in the Making.4

Philosophically, we can say that embryos are less developed than newborns (or, for that matter, toddlers) but this difference is not morally significant in the way abortion advocates need it to be. Consider the claim that the immediate capacity for self-awareness bestows value on human beings. Notice that this is not an argument, but an arbitrary assertion. Why is some development needed? And why is this particular degree of development (i.e., higher brain function) decisive rather than another? These are questions that abortion advocates do not adequately address.

As Stephen Schwarz points out, there is no morally significant difference between the embryo that you once were and the adult that you are today. Differences of size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency are not relevant such that we can say that you had no rights as an embryo but you do have rights today. Think of the acronym SLED as a helpful reminder of these non-essential differences:5

Size: True, embryos are smaller than newborns and adults, but why is that relevant? Do we really want to say that large people are more human than small ones? Men are generally larger than women, but that doesn’t mean that they deserve more rights. Size doesn’t equal value.

Level of development: True, embryos and fetuses are less developed than the adults they’ll one day become. But again, why is this relevant? Four year-old girls are less developed than 14 year-old ones. Should older children have more rights than their younger siblings? Some people say that self-awareness makes one human. But if that is true, newborns do not qualify as valuable human beings. Six-week old infants lack the immediate capacity for performing human mental functions, as do the reversibly comatose, the sleeping, and those with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Environment: Where you are has no bearing on who you are. Does your value change when you cross the street or roll over in bed? If not, how can a journey of eight inches down the birth-canal suddenly change the essential nature of the unborn from non-human to human? If the unborn are not already human, merely changing their location can’t make them valuable.

Degree of Dependency: If viability makes us human, then all those who depend on insulin or kidney medication are not valuable and we may kill them. Conjoined twins who share blood type and bodily systems also have no right to life.

In short, it’s far more reasonable to argue that although humans differ immensely with respect to talents, accomplishments, and degrees of development, they are nonetheless equal because they share a common human nature.

That’s the core of the basic pro-life case right there. There’s also a good interview of Mr. Klusendorf that I blogged about.

Advanced Objections

You can learn more by reading basic pro-life apologetics… from Francis Beckwith. You might recognize Frank Beckwith as the author of “Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice“. He wrote that book for Cambridge University Press, a top academic press. But before Cambridge University Press, Beckwith wrote easy-to-understand essays for the Christian Research Journal.

Here are four essays that answer common arguments in favor of legalized abortion.

Here’s an excerpt from Part II:

Excerpt:

A woman who becomes pregnant due to an act of either rape or incest is the victim of a horribly violent and morally reprehensible crime. Although pregnancy as a result of either rape or incest is extremely rare, [1] there is no getting around the fact that pregnancy does occur in some instances.

[…]Despite its forceful appeal to our sympathies, there are several problems with this argument. First, it is not relevant to the case for abortion on demand, the position defended by the popular pro-choice movement. This position states that a woman has a right to have an abortion for any reason she prefers during the entire nine months of pregnancy, whether it be for gender-selection, convenience, or rape. [3] To argue for abortion on demand from the hard cases of rape and incest is like trying to argue for the elimination of traffic laws from the fact that one might have to violate some of them in rare circumstances, such as when one’s spouse or child needs to be rushed to the hospital. Proving an exception does not establish a general rule.

[…]Fourth, this argument begs the question by assuming that the unborn is not fully human. For if the unborn is fully human, then we must weigh the relieving of the woman’s mental suffering against the right-to-life of an innocent human being. And homicide of another is never justified to relieve one of emotional distress. Although such a judgment is indeed anguishing, we must not forget that the same innocent unborn entity that the career-oriented woman will abort in order to avoid interference with a job promotion is biologically and morally indistinguishable from the unborn entity that results from an act of rape or incest. And since abortion for career advancement cannot be justified if the unborn entity is fully human, abortion cannot be justified in the cases of rape and incest. In both cases abortion results in the death of an innocent human life. As Dr. Bernard Nathanson has written, “The unwanted pregnancy flows biologically from the sexual act, but not morally from it.” [5]Hence, this argument, like the ones we have already covered in this series, is successful only if the unborn are not fully human.

Scott Klusendorf wrote the The Case for Life, which is the best book for beginners on the pro-life view. For those looking for advanced resources, Francis Beckwith, a professor at Baylor University, published the book Defending Life, with Cambridge University Press, 2007.

I found a very polished hour-long talk by Scott on Viemo. That talk was delivered to students and faculty at Furman University.

Finally, if you want to see Scott Klusendorf in a debate with a former ACLU executive, you can see it right here.

My friend Papa Georgio sent me a post that features THREE talks by Scott Klusendorf. (H/T Religio-Political Talk)

Republican platform stays pro-marriage, pledges to defund Planned Parenthood

Ted and Heidi Cruz have a plan to simplify the tax code
There’s always 2020 to run a conservative Republican candidate for President

Although it is a mistake to run a lifelong Democrat clown as the Republican nominee for President, at least the party platform of the Republican Party as a whole is conservative on social issues.

The Daily Signal reports:

A dramatic effort to change the GOP’s stance on LGBT issues ended with a whimper Monday as the Republican National Convention kicked off officially.

The document, adopted Monday on the floor of Quicken Loans Arena, codifies the traditional definition of marriage and denounces the administration’s school bathroom directive.

“It’s the most conservative platform we’ve ever adopted,” Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., platform committee co-chair, told The Daily Signal. “It’s absolutely pro-marriage. It’s a wonderful platform to unite all Republicans and all Americans.”

Last week, it wasn’t clear if the platform would be agreed to at all.

Delegates and operatives associated with American Unity Fund, an LGBT lobbying organization bankrolled by billionaire Paul Singer, mounted an operation to completely scrap the party’s platform supporting traditional marriage in favor of a shorter document that didn’t include any language about marriage.

The plan hinged on a parliamentary measure known as a minority report. It would trigger a messy debate on the floor of the convention if just 28 of the 112 delegates signed onto the measure.

Last Wednesday the minority report had 37 signatures, CNN reported.

But four of those delegates told The Daily Signal that they were lied to about what they were signing. They thought they were signing a short statement of principle authored by Utah delegate Boyd Matheson.

“When we found out about it, we alerted the people who signed it that the one page ‘statement of principle’ didn’t contain support for traditional marriage and family values,” Indiana delegate Jim Bopp told The Daily Signal.

By the time the convention convened Monday, more than half of the 37 delegates who had signed the minority report removed their names, delegates Bopp, Matheson, and Ben Marchi told The Daily Signal. The loss of signatures killed the initiative.

[…]Marchi, who described the minority report tactic as “the filthiest thing I’ve ever seen in politics,” said the episode should put conservatives on alert.

Not only is the party platform still pro-marriage, (and therefore pro-child), but the party platform is the most pro-life ever.

March for Life reports:

Today the Republican National Convention voted to pass the most detailed pro-life Platform ever – in direct sharp contrast to the draft Democratic Platform which is the most pro-abortion Platform ever.  On the ground in Cleveland to assist the pro-life delegates was March for Life Action Vice President Tom McClusky.

[…]“The delegates deserve a lot of credit for creating this document which, in great detail, explains what the pro-life movement is for and just how radical the pro-abortion position is,” said March for Life Action Vice President Tom McClusky.  “For the first time ever the Republican Platform calls out abortion giant Planned Parenthood by name and says tax dollars should not go to subsidize the death industry.” In addition support for bans on dilation and extraction abortions as well as bans on sex selection and abortions based on disability are, for the first time, in the Platform.

Language defending the conscience rights of individuals and institutions was included as well, fitting after the successful vote on the Conscience Protection Act in the U.S. House of Representatives.  In addition, the Republican Platform calls for protection against attacks on the Hyde Amendment.  Since the 1970’s the Hyde amendment has been the firewall preventing certain tax dollars being used to pay for abortions.

I know that a lot of people who claim to be pro-marriage and pro-life vote for the Democrat party because they are dependent on the government for handouts. But the truth is that if a person is consistently pro-marriage and pro-life, then they ought to be a Republican. I just assume that when someone tells me that they are a Democrat, that they are anti-marriage and pro-abortion. If you’re pro-marriage and pro-life, then you vote Republican. Period.