Tag Archives: CPC

Are crisis pregnancy centers equipped to discuss the issue of abortion rationally?

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

Consider this article from Stand to Reason, written by Greg Koukl. The title of the article is “The Vanishing Pro-Life Apologist”. Koukl argues that crisis pregnancy centers are less interested in making the case for the right to life of the unborn child, and more interested in giving women who have already chosen life what they need, in terms of material support.

Koukl writes:

The last few years have witnessed a stunning development in the pro-life movement. More and more crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) refuse to discuss abortion. A new wave of pro-life leaders insist that victory will not be gained in the court of public opinion if the debate centers principally on the morality of abortion.

Paul Swope calls it “a failure to communicate” when right-to-lifers focus primarily on the unborn instead of on the felt needs of women. “The pro-life movement must show that abortion is actually not in a woman’s own self-interest,” he says, “and that the choice of life offers hope and a positive, expanded sense of self.” Reframing the debate in these terms will enable the movement to “regain the moral high ground in the mind of the American public.”

[…]Pro-life feminist Frederica Matthews-Green agrees. “Pro-lifers will not be able to break through this deadlock by stressing the humanity of the unborn….That is a question nobody is asking. But there is a question they are asking. It is, ‘How could we live without it?’ The problem is not moral, but practical.”

Swope and Matthews-Green are not suggesting we frame the debate in terms of the felt needs of women in the narrow context of crisis counseling. It’s certainly appropriate to inform a woman of the physical and psychological consequences of choosing abortion. Rather, they insist the pro-life movement in general must speak less of the unborn and more of the woman in order to break the alleged deadlock.

While it’s true that appealing to self-interest might dissuade some abortion-minded women from killing their babies, it’s hard to image how this could be an effective general strategy. Here’s why: It’s almost always in a woman’s short-term self-interest to abort. This is precisely why the pro-abortion side has been effective. A focus on felt needs favors death, not life.

How can we “regain the moral high ground in the mind of the public,” to use Swope’s words, if we retreat from the moral debate? The whole point of an ethical argument is to give reasons why a woman ought not pursue selfish interests. Felt needs are the problem, not the solution.

This approach completely sabotages the pro-life position. Crisis pregnancy centers do not exist to handle pregnancy. Hospitals and clinics do that. CPCs handle crisis pregnancies, those that are vulnerable to termination by abortion. In a sense, CPCs don’t exist for the woman, but for the child whose life is in danger. The idea is to dissuade women from having abortions precisely because abortion is a moral tragedy. If not, then why oppose it?

What kind of morality does this tactic leave us with? Such a posture implicitly promotes the vice of selfishness instead of the virtue of sacrificial motherhood. Ideas have consequences, and this one may have, as Frank Beckwith observes, “the unfortunate consequence of increasing the number of people who think that unless their needs are pacified they are perfectly justified in performing homicide on the most vulnerable of our population.”

I actually want to go even further than that.

I think that if CPCs refuse to speak up against abortion on on moral grounds, they are doing nothing at all to stem the flow of abortions. Today, men and women are increasingly choosing to have sex when they are not in any kind of committed relationship where a child would be welcome. There are two things we can do to stop this.

First, we can tell them about what abortion really is, and how it is morally wrong to take the life of another person without adequate moral justification. (And selfishness is not moral justification). Second, we can tell them to be more careful about who they choose for relationships, about what the goal of the relationship is (not fun, but marriage), and about making decisions that mature them as a couple so that they are ready to provide for a child. Sex should not be seen as something recreational, and sex partners should not be chosen because of the fun you can have in the moment.

Now if CPCs do not want to tell people that abortion is wrong, and that relationships should be focused on commitment and providing for children, then we will never see fewer abortions. Our job is not to let people in this society think that unless someone else pays the bills, then abortion is OK. Abortion is only OK if the life of the mother is at risk – a very rare scenario. Our job is to educate men and women so that they understand how to have relationships that do not put them in a position where they have to take the life of an unborn child in order to make the lives of the grown-ups more satisfying.

We need to make the the safety of unborn children an issue that people consider when they choose who to have a relationship with, and when to have sex. In particular, women should choose men who value marriage before sex, and who make decisions to ready themselves for the man’s role in marriage. And men should choose women who value chastity and providing above men who offer fun and thrills.

We don’t have enough money to bail everyone out. We have to teach grown-ups moral boundaries, and give them a vision for relationships that is focused on commitment, and therefore safe for unborn children.


So here are my two points about CPCs and pro-life apologetics:

  • crisis pregnancy centers should be committed to defending the right to life of the unborn child in conversations with grown-ups, so that grown-ups police themselves in their relationship and sexual decision-making.
  • crisis pregnancy centers should be working with organizations that use pro-life arguments and evidence to persuade people to value the unborn before the life decision has been made.

And for everyone else, make sure that you’re equipped to explain to others why you think that unborn children deserve full legal protection.

Here’s a good video from Scott Klusendorf to help you do that:

This is an important moral issue, and we can’t be persuasive unless we are equipped with logical arguments and evidence.

Canadian federal election is today: please vote for Stephen Harper!

Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Prime Minister Stephen Harper

I try to keep up with elections in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, so I know that there is a Canadian election today. I want to encourage all my Canadian readers to vote, and to help me answer your concerns about Stephen Harper, I have an absolutely marvelous post from Catholic writer Denyse O’Leary.

She writes:

Why are traditional religious communities dying?

[…][I]n a secular society, religious traditions are usually mediated through private institutions. Each decline in the importance of such institutions shuts off a passage to the life beyond that they mediate.

A child can grow up in a religious home today and discover that there are really only two players that matter: himself and big government. The only mediator and advocate is his entitlement card.

As he loses all interest in traditional spiritual life, he discovers the true faith of the progressive society:

Government controls more and more important stuff, and free association controls less and less. Government grants “freedom” to indulge oneself, of course, but that is almost a sacrament, and one that tends to weaken the citizen.

The transformation does not happen all at once, but by degrees. Recently, I was informed by a woman who considers herself a Catholic that abortion and euthanasia are mere “boutique issues,” compared to the awful things Stephen Harper is doing.

Just take in her basic idea for a moment:

The fundamental duty of government is to protect and advance human lives, but progressives know that their real business is currying favour with the growing numbers of fashionable identity groups. Increasingly, such groups will finance their advances on the public dollar. Some of the largesse may come from stripping traditional religious people and institutions of their property (possibly also in fines for non-compliance with some secularist belief). Most people we run into in the plaza will just be “nice” about the whole thing, no matter what is happening.

How do Christians respond?

Much as I sympathize, bracing for storms to come, I think Christians are mainly victims of ourselves.

Consider the excuses I hear (I am talking about legitimate Christian ones, not fundamentally anti-Christian ones, like the “boutique issue” claim above):

* “But Harper did nothing about abortion!”
Oh, for heaven’s sakes! As someone who dealt at close quarters with the abortion lobby for decades, I know they will gladly shut down free speech and freedom of conscience altogether to gain their ends. The euthanasia people will likely do the same. Until their fangs are drawn, nothing can really be done. Harper knows that drawing their fangs will be a serious struggle. And if you are not in it for the fight of your life, don’t interfere by demanding useless demonstrations of loyalty. Other parties will advance and cement their interests more than Harper’s will.

* “A spell of persecution would do us good”
Why is it always Western Christians who think this, not the Middle Eastern Christian and Yazidi girls sold into sex slavery, partly a result of the policy choices of progressive government? Reality check: Persecution causes the worst of human nature to flourish in our own communities as well as the best. Most communities cannot handle the strain. Do any of the Seven Churches of Asia exist today? Even one? Why is that?

[…]What should we do? It will take decades to send progressivism to its deserved reward. I will start by voting for the only party that is not actually hostile to our traditional values (like the right to live, and to speak freely).

[…]We need to grow up and stop funding, and voting for our enemies, and making excuses for anti-Christian bigots. (All the while making pathetic scolding noises.) If we need to change our bank accounts, our votes, our alumni donor policies, we do it individually because that is the responsible thing for an individual Christian adult to do.

And you don’t have to take her word for it, you can just look over to Europe and see how things are going in left-turning countries that embrace social justice. It’s a Christianity-killer.

Here’s a fairly recent paper (PDF) that explains it:

What accounts for cross-national variation in religiosity as measured by church attendance and non-religious rates? Examining answers from both secularization theory and the religious economy perspective, we assert that cross-national variation in religious participation is a function of government welfare spending and provide a theory that links macro-sociological outcomes with individual rationality. Churches historically have provided social welfare. As governments gradually assume many of these welfare functions, individuals with elastic preferences for spiritual goods will reduce their level of participation since the desired welfare goods can be obtained from secular sources. Cross-national data on welfare spending and religious participation show a strong negative relationship between these two variables after controlling for other aspects of modernization.

Kudos to Denyse for understanding what is happening in her country. At least one Canadian Christian understands the relationship between the Christian church’s influence and the size of government.

Voter Guide

By the way, here is a voter guide to the positions of the 3 parties that will be of interest to voters:

Voter Guide (click for much larger image)
Voter Guide (click for much larger image)

It was posted by my Canadian friend Coralie. She follows these things quite closely.

Notice that both  the leftist parties want to get rid of income splitting and tax-free savings accounts. Income-splitting for seniors allows one spouse to retire, and the income of the working spouse is split with the non-working spouse, so they pay less taxes. Families with young children also are eligible for income splitting, which is a boon to stay-at-home moms. And the tax-free savings account is like a ROTH IRA, except better – you can pull out all the tax-free gains at any time, for any reason, and the gains are NEVER taxed. We have nothing like that in the USA. It has changed the character of Canadians to value saving over spending, making them more responsible and independent from government. TFSAs are how you change the character of a nation.

Why vote for Stephen Harper?

My Canadian friend McKenzie is conservative now, but she was not always, and I remember her asking me a while back to explain what conservatives stand for. Well, I found an article that re-caps what Stephen Harper has achieved in the last 9 years. The article lists 100 accomplishments, with links to each one.

Here are some that stuck out to me:

  • Adoption Expense Tax Credit increased — from a one-time $13,100 to 15,000 in 2014
  • Age of Consent Legislation — raised from 14 to 16 effective May 1, 2008
  • Beyond the Border Agreement with the U.S. — passed in late 2011, on perimeter security co-operation
  • Canada Apprentice Loan Program — up to $4000 for those registered in any Red Seals apprenticeship training announced in January 2015
  • Canada/EU Trade Agreement — although ratification still required, an `End of Negotiations`Agreement signed on September 26, 2014
  • Canadian Wheat Board Monopoly Ends — Bill C18 removed the CWB’s monopoly regarding decisions made by many Western farmers to market their wheat
  • Columbia Free Trade Agreement — went into force on August 15th, 2011
  • Consumer Product Safety Act — came into effect June 20, 2011 to ensure manufacturers do not market dangerous products
  • Corporate Tax Rate — reduced from 18% to 16.5% effective January 2012, with another 1.5% reduction in 2012 to 15%
  • Corrupt Regimes Act (C-61) – allows Canada to act upon the request of a foreign state to freeze the assets that their former leaders and members of their entourage, including family members, senior officials and associates, may have placed in Canadian financial institutions
  • Employment Insurance Premiums Reduced —  in the fall of 2014 by 15% for to encourage small businesses to hire
  • Exploited Persons Act — legislation that received Royal Assent to protect against drug, organized or prostitution type of crime
  • Express Entry Immigration into Canada Program — when skilled immigrants to Canada will get quick entry so that they can contribute to economy
  • Fairness at the Pumps Act (C-14) – protects Canadian consumers from inaccurate measurements when purchasing gasoline effective August 2014
  • Family Caregiver Tax Credit — Bill C-13 established a new $2000 tax credit on December 15, 2011 to help families dealing with challenging medical expenses
  • Family Income Splitting — families with children under 18 will be allowed to split income beginning in 2014 up to $50,000 with credit capped at $2000.00
  • Federal Infrastructure Plan — longest long-term plan in Canadian history supporting projects that enhance economic growth, job creation and productivity
  • Free Trade Agreement — signed on July 2, 2009 — between Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland
  • Gun Registry Scrapped — as the legislation passed Third Reading
  • GST /HST– Goods & Services Tax Cut — From 7% to 6% and then to 5%
  • Honduras Free Trade Agreement — completed and signed on November 5th, 2013 and will enter into force on June 19, 2014
  • Income Splitting for Canadian Seniors — a change to the Income Tax Act for pensioners starting in 2006
  • Jordan Free Trade Agreement — went into force on October 1st, 2012
  • Kid’s sport tax credit — up to $500 per child
  • Mission Against ISIL extended March 30, 2015 — to aid the people of Iraq and Syria
  • Ombudsman for Victims of Crime — Established
  • Panama Free Trade Agreement — went into force on April 1st, 2013
  • Peru – Canada Free Trade Agreement — adopted by Parliament June 18, 2009
  • Protecting Victims from Sexual Offenders — signed on December 15, 2010 to protect children against sexual predators
  • Safe Streets & Communities Act — passed March June 13, 2012 to protect children and communities against terrorism
  • South Korea Free Trade Agreement Signed on September 22, 2014 — 1st Asia Pacific Agreement with final legislative steps for full implementation on November 26, 2014
  • Tax cuts made 160 Times — since the Conservatives took office in 2006
  • Tax Free Savings Account with an initial annual limit of $5500.00 — which was raised to $10,000 in April 2015 budget
  • Taxpayers Bill of Rights
  • Taxpayers Ombudsman
  • Temporary Foreign Workers Program — reforms made so that Canadians are hired first
  • Universal Child Care Benefit — in 2006 $1,200.00 per year for every child under age six
  • Universal Child Care Benefit Enhancement — effective January 1st, 2015, beginning July 1st, 2015, parents will receive $160.00 per child per month up to age six and $60.00 for each child aged 6 to 17
  • Victims Bill of Rights — Bill C-32 passed on June 18th, 2014

It’s important to know what you are voting for, not just what you are voting against.

Canadian government to limit environmentalist obstruction of energy development

From Fox Business: the Canadians embrace federalism.


The Canadian government released details Tuesday of its plan to dramatically streamline reviews for big energy and mining projects, capping the timeline for federal reviews and ceding more regulatory oversight to the country’s provinces.

The Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said for months it would move to speed up the regulatory review of big energy, mining and infrastructure projects. It has expressed frustration at the sometimes-lengthy review timelines for big projects.

Mr. Harper’s government said in its annual budget announcement last month that it would cap federal reviews. Resources Minister Joe Oliver released details Tuesday, saying that federally-led hearings would be applied only to major initiatives that risk some environmental harm.

Further, the government said it was prepared to hand over more responsibility for the review to Canadian provinces, so long as their regulations meet or exceed federal standards. Canadian provinces already enjoy considerable regulatory oversight.

“It is counterproductive to have the federal and provincial governments completing separate reviews of the same project,” Oliver said in a speech in Toronto.

[…]The government had previewed in its budget last month that reviews for major projects would be limited to 24 months. Meanwhile, regular inter-provincial pipeline reviews, as conducted by the National Energy Board, would be limited to 18 months.

Oliver said Tuesday that Enbridge Inc.’s (ENB) proposed Northern Gateway pipeline – which envisions shipping oil from Alberta to Canada’s West Coast — would benefit from the quicker review. The line has been mired in stiff opposition from native groups in British Columbia, and the government has accused foreign-funded environmental groups of tying up the project in regulatory hearings. Government officials said the new rules would also limit who could participate as intervenors in the review process.

[…]In Toronto, Oliver said the current process is unworkable, with over 40 federal departments involved in reviews. He said he would pare that back to only three federal agencies: the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency; the National Energy Board; and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

The Canadian process, as it stands, forces investors to go “through hoops and hurdles as far as the eye can see,” Oliver said. “We simply have to turn that around.”

Canadians don’t want to scare businesses away from Canada – they want the jobs to come to Canada. That’s the exact opposite of what Obama’s socialist “Environmental Protection Agency” does – they regulate energy development, in order to block it or slow it down.

And Canada lowered corporate taxes to 15% compared to our 35% – and their revenues held steady.

Canada: Corporate tax cuts, not stimulus spending
Canada: Corporate tax cuts, not stimulus spending

They cut their corporate tax rate, but then businesses saw the lower rate and just kept on expanding in order to make more money. As businesses grow, they pay more in taxes. So government revenues from taxes haven’t dropped at all, even with the lower corporate tax rates! More businesses moved in to Canada to capitalize on the lower tax rates, generating revenue for the government. More workers moved off of unemployment and welfare as demand for labor grew, and they started paying income taxes and sales taxes, generating even more revenue for the government. Do you know what makes consumers more confident, so that they spend more? Having a job.  Not being dependent on government.

Look at their unemployment rate:

Canada and US unemployment rates
Canada and US unemployment rates

When we embraced “stimulus” spending, they went for the corporate tax cuts. Our unemployment rate used to be LOWER than theirs, before Pelosi and Reid took over Congress in January 2007. Now we are HIGHER than they are. That’s not rhetoric – that’s data. Even though Canada’s economy is linked to ours, and has suffered as a result of that, they have been signing free trade deals left, right and center. They did this in order to decouple themselves from our collapsing economy, massive debt and devalued currency. Barack Obama, of course, opposes free trade. He has to – he’s in the back pocket of the socialist labor unions.

Free trade empire: (click for larger image)

Canada: Free Trade Empire
Canada: Free Trade Empire

What a contrast Canada’s energy policy makes with Obama’s politicized “Cash for Cronies” energy policy. But then again, Canada hired a conservative right-wing capitalist economist to run their country. We could have just done the same and put in economists like Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams to run our economy, but we put in an unqualified community organizer instead.

Do pro-lifers care about people who are already born?

From Ruth Blog – a post to answer the objection that pro-lifers don’t care about babies after they are born.

Here’s the challenge:

One of the most frequently repeated truisms of the abortion debate is that pro-lifers really don’t care about life. As much as they talk about protecting the unborn, we are told, pro-lifers do nothing to support mothers and infants who are already in the world. Liberal writers such as Matthew Yglesias are given to observing that pro-lifers believe that “life begins at conception and ends at birth.” At Commonweal, David Gibson, a journalist who frequently covers the abortion debate, asks how much pro-lifers do for mothers: “I just want to know what realistic steps they are proposing or backing. I’m not sure I’d expect to hear anything from pro-life groups now since there’s really been nothing for years.”

And an excerpt from the response:

In the United States there are some 2,300 affiliates of the three largest pregnancy resource center umbrella groups, Heartbeat International, CareNet, and the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA). Over 1.9 million American women take advantage of these services each year. Many stay at one of the 350 residential facilities for women and children operated by pro-life groups. In New York City alone, there are twenty-two centers serving 12,000 women a year. These centers provide services including pre-natal care, STI testing, STI treatment, ultrasound, childbirth classes, labor coaching, midwife services, lactation consultation, nutrition consulting, social work, abstinence education, parenting classes, material assistance, and post-abortion counseling.

[…]The Catholic Church–perhaps the single most influential pro-life institution in the United States–makes the largest financial, institutional and personnel commitments to charitable causes of any private source in the United States. These include AIDS ministry, health care, education, housing services, and care for the elderly, disabled, and immigrants. In 2004 alone, 562 Catholic hospitals treated over 85 million patients; Catholic elementary and high schools educated over 2 million students; Catholic colleges educated nearly 800,000 students; Catholic Charities served over eight-and-a-half million different individuals. In 2007, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development awarded nine million dollars in grants to reduce poverty. And in 2009, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network spent nearly five million dollars in services for impoverished immigrants.

The Catholic Church is far from the only pro-life religious group that assists the needy. At the Manhattan Bible Church, a pro-life church in New York since 1973, Pastor Bill Devlin and his congregation run a soup kitchen that has served over a million people and a K-8 school that has educated 90,000 needy students. Pastor Devlin and other church families have adopted scores of babies, and taken in scores of pregnant women, including some who were both drug-addicted and HIV positive. The church runs a one-hundred-and-fifty bed residential drug rehabilitation center and a prison ministry at Rikers Island. All told, the church runs some forty ministries, and all without a government dime.

[….]If pro-life Americans provide so many (often free) services to the poor and vulnerable–work easily discovered by any researcher or journalist with an Internet connection–why are they sometimes accused of caring only for life inside the womb? Quite possibly, it is the conviction of abortion advocates that “caring for the born” translates first and always into advocacy for government programs and funds. In other words, abortion advocates appear to conflate charitable works and civil society with government action. The pro-life movement does not. Rather, it takes up the work of assisting women and children and families, one fundraiser and hotline and billboard at a time.

People think that abortion providers do a lot for women’s health, but Planned Parenthood doesn’t provide mammograms.

You may be interested in this post by Neil Simpson, who volunteers at a crisis pregnancy center.


The “Pro-lifers don’t care about kids after they are born” line is one of my favorite arguments to rebut.  I teach people how to do it in pro-life training sessions in a two-step approach.  The tone of the conversation is important.  These arguments are powerful and quite effective if they are laid out in a calm, reasoned approach.  You probably won’t convert the rabid pro-choicers, but most of the middle-grounders will get the point.

First, show that pointing out a moral wrong does not obligate you to take responsibility for the situation.

If your neighbor is beating his wife, you call the police.  The police don’t say, “Hey, buddy, unless you are willing to marry her yourself then we aren’t going to stop him from beating her.”  You can use child or animal abuse as examples as well.  Most people get the point pretty quickly.

Or ask the pro-choicer what they would do if the government decided to reduce the number of homeless people by killing them.  Could he protest that without having to house and feed them all himself?

[…]Second, explain that while we aren’t morally obligated to help after the babies are born to be able to speak out against abortion, Christians do many things with their time and money anyway – orphanages, Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs), food pantries, etc.

When I’m teaching CPC volunteers I remind them of all that they and the center do: Pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, food, clothes, diapers, life skill training, parenting training, post-abortion counseling and more – all for free!  And, of course, we share the Gospel with the clients if they are interested (Saving lives now and for eternity!).

The workers are mostly volunteers and the leaders make below-market wages because they believe in the cause.  Most centers receive no government funding, so all the money comes from donations.  There are far more Crisis Pregnancy Centers than there are abortion clinics.

On a completely different topic, I posted an article by Helen Alvare a while back. She is one of the authors of this article. There was a pretty good dispute with a single mother who disagreed her comments to that article.

Related posts

How to take an incremental approach to the abortion problem

Story here at SoCon or Bust. (H/T Miss Marprelate)


1) Gendercide Abortions – Sex-selection abortions, where an abortion is procured for the sole reason of eliminating the unborn child based on the sex of the child.

2) Parental Consent – Laws which require parental notification or consent before a minor obtains an abortion.

3) Informed Consent – Informed consent is also a very reasonable and palatable restriction on abortion.

4) Forced/Coerced Abortion – Many abortions are done so through coercion of boyfriends, husbands and other family members.

5) Unborn Victims of Crime – When an aggressor becomes violent resulting in the death or harm to both the mother and unborn child.

6) Decapitation Abortions – Restricting the crueler methods of abortion, like partial-birth abortion.

7) Fetal Pain – Unborn children do indeed feel intense pain during an abortion. (This worked in Nebraska!)

8 ) Tax Payer Funding – Prevent taxpayers from funding abortions – could draw some traditional-minded libertarians to the cause.

9) Freedom – The western world today is undergoing a massive depopulation which is threatening the fundamental values of western civilization, as Islamic expansionism overruns Europe and, in the future, North America.

10) Economic Collapse –  The reports concerning the economic collapse of the West are also linked to a shrinking population.

Incrementalism is the way to do it! One thing I don’t like about social conservatives, although I am one, is the way that they do not link fiscal conservatism to their social conservatism. But SoCon’s list does link to the fiscal issues.

I’d like to see more ultrasound machines bought by rank-and-file pro-lifers for crisis pregnancy centers. That should be added to the list.

UPDATE: A mysterious e-mailer sends word that federalism would also be a good thing to encourage, as an incremental measure. Allow states more autonomy to restrict abortion as they see fit. Some states like South Dakota and Oklahoma would pass some excellent measures, for sure. The original list is from a Canadian, so that may explain why it is not on the list. They typically favor a strong central government.

My previous post on abortion is here.

Oh, by the way, here’s the Marprelate:

It bites when it's angry! And it likes to wear hats!

I am pretty sure we can summon the Marprelate by posting its picture. Or by clicking this link repeatedly, which I am sure you will all do.