On Monday night, The Senate voted 51-46 in opposition to a measure that would have banned abortions on unborn children 20 weeks and older. The legislation was titled the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act”.
The Senate failed this evening to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would’ve banned abortions after 20 weeks, after Democrats filibustered the bill. In a 51–46 vote, the bill failed to make it out of debate and to a final floor vote.
Two Republicans — Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — continued their support for abortion by crossing the aisle to vote with the Democrats against the bill. Meanwhile, three Democrats — Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana — broke ranks and voted with Republicans in favor of the legislation. The vote split along similar party lines in 2015, the last time the Senate considered similar legislation.
[…]The bill was based on scientific evidence showing that fetuses have the capacity to feel pain beginning at 20-weeks’ gestation.
According to a 2006 study from the International Association for the Study of Pain, “The available scientific evidence makes it possible, even probable, that fetal pain perception occurs well before late gestation.” The study goes on to say that pain perception develops in the “second trimester,” “well before the third trimester.”
A 2012 study by the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists concludes, “the basis for pain perception appear[s] at about 20 to 22 weeks from conception.”
And another 2012 study that was published in the journal Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy found that “ … from the second trimester onwards, the fetus reacts to painful stimuli … [T]hese painful interventions may cause long-term effects.” The authors of this study recommend that unborn children be given painkillers during “potentially painful procedures” such as surgeries—or, I would add, such as abortions.
There are many more studies like these but the consensus is clear: The science at a minimum suggests that unborn children can feel pain at 20 weeks—can feel the abortionists’ knife and suction tube as it rips them apart in the womb. That possibility alone should have us rushing to ban abortion at 20 weeks.
20 weeks is pretty far along in the pregnancy process. It’s way past the time when babies can feel pain, and close to the point where they are actually viable outside the womb.
A little while back, I blogged about a little baby who was delivered at 22 weeks, and survived:
If the Senate had passed the bill, then Trump would have signed it into law, which is very different than his predecessor Obama. Obama, you’ll remember, voted several times in favor of infanticide, as a state senator in Illinois. As president, he threatened to veto any ban on abortions after 20 weeks. When people were voting for Obama as president, that’s what they were voting for.
So, what’s the answer to a defeat like this? Well, we have to get more persuasive. We have to get more convincing. We have to learn how to get comfortable having conversations with safe, open-minded moderates about abortion. People aren’t afraid to talk about abortion if you just stick to the scientific evidence, and reason about what we know for certain.
Fortunately for pro-lifers, making the pro-life case is an easy things to learn how to do. You just need an introductory book. If you haven’t yet gotten a book on how to be convincing, then pick up “The Case for Life”, written by Scott Klusendorf. It’s the best introductory book, and you get the benefit of his experience debating abortion advocates in formal debates. If you can’t get the book, then you can just watch a lecture featuring Scott Klusendorf, and see how he does it.
I remember the days when the DOJ was managed by Eric Holder, and was as corrupt as corrupt could be. The rank and file is probably still corrupt, but a Republican administration brings different priorities.
The Justice Department has launched a federal investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices and the sale of fetal tissue.
In a letter first obtained by Fox News, Justice Department Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Stephen Boyd formally requested unredacted documents from the Senate Judiciary Committee, the same panel that led the congressional probe into the women’s health organization.
[…]A spokesman for the committee told Fox News on Friday that they received the Department’s “official request for unredacted copies of its 2016 report and we will work to cooperate fully.”
In that final report entitled “Human Fetal Tissue Research: Context and Controversy” published in December 2016, Grassley referred Planned Parenthood and other providers to the FBI for investigation.
Grassley said at the time that the committee has discovered enough evidence that shows how abortion providers had transferred fetal tissue and body parts from aborted fetuses for research by charging amounts higher than they actually cost.
“The report documents the failure of the Department of Justice, across multiple administrations, to enforce the law that bans the buying and selling of human fetal tissue,” Grassley wrote last December urging the Justice Department and FBI to investigate. “It also documents substantial evidence suggesting that the specific entities involved in the recent controversy, and/or individuals employed by those entities, may have violated that law.”
This would never have happened if Hillary Clinton had won the election in 2016.
That’s happening at the federal level. At the state level, two companies that were in the baby parts selling business just got hit with massive fines.
Two bioscience companies that once operated in Costa Mesa have reached a $7.785-million settlement with the Orange County district attorney’s office over allegations that they illegally sold fetal tissue to companies around the world, prosecutors said Friday.
According to the settlement signed Monday, DV Biologics LLC and sister company DaVinci Biosciences LLC, both based in Yorba Linda, must cease all operations in California within 60 to 120 days. The agreement also requires the companies to admit liability for violations of state and federal laws prohibiting the sale or purchase of fetal tissue for research purposes, prosecutors said.
[…]Prosecutors opened an investigation into the companies in September 2015 after a complaint was submitted by the Irvine-based Center for Medical Progress. The anti-abortion group gained national attention in 2015 after releasing a video showing Planned Parenthood affiliates discussing the sale of aborted fetuses.
There’s been a lot of good news lately. In Iraq, ISIS has been forced to give up all the territory they had taken. Government regulations continue to be obliterated by the Trump administration. Republicans are working on a tax bill which will give taxpayers some of their earned income back – as well as stimulating American companies to create more jobs. And more and more originalist judges are being appointed. Things are looking good in the short term.
Note: For a Christian response to the complaint that the Bible doesn’t condemn slavery, see this article and this article for slavery in the Old Testament, and this article for slavery in the New Testament. These are all by Christian philosopher Paul Copan. You can watch a lecture with Paul Copan on the slavery challenge here, and buy a book where he answers the challenge in more detail. There is also a good debate on whether the Bible condones slavery here, featuring David Instone-Brewer and Robert Price. My post is not a formal logical essay on this issue, it is more that I am outraged that atheists, who cannot even rationally ground objective morality, insist on criticizing the morality of the Bible. I think that atheists who are serious about finding the truth about these issues should check out those links, if they are interested in getting to the truth of these matters.
In other posts, I’ve argued that without an objective moral standard of what is right and wrong, any judgments about right and wrong are just individual opinions. So, when an atheist says slavery is wrong, what he really means is that he thinks slavery is wrong for him, in the same way that he thinks that,say, that chocolate ice cream is right for him. He isn’t saying what is wrong objectively, because on atheism there are no objective moral rules or duties. He is speaking for himself: “I wouldn’t own a slave, just like I wouldn’t eat broccoli – because it’s yucky!”. But he has no rational argument against other people owning slaves in other times and places, because their justification for owning slaves is the same as his justification for not owning slaves : personal preference and cultural conventions.
So do atheists oppose slavery? Do they believe in an objective human right to liberty? Well, there are no objective human rights of any kind on atheism. Human beings are just accidents in an accidental universe, and collections of atoms do not mysteriously accrue “rights”. There is no natural right to liberty on atheism. Now consider abortion, which is favored by most atheists. Like slavery, abortion declares an entire class of human beings as non-persons in order to justify preserving their own happiness and prosperity by means of violence. That’s exactly what slavery does, except abortion is worse than slavery, because you actually kill the person you are declaring as a non-person instead of just imprisoning them.
So how many atheists have this pro-abortion view that it is OK to declare unborn children as non-persons so they can kill them?
Well, according to Gallup, the “non-religious” are the group most likely to support abortion. In fact, 68% favor legalized abortion, compared to only 19% who oppose it.
The Gallup numbers might actually be low, because “No religion” might include people who are spiritual, but not religious. But what about atheists alone?
As a group, atheists tend to be among the most radical supporters of legalized abortion. The Secular Census of 2012 found that 97% of atheists vote for abortion. There are almost no pro-life atheists. Why is it that atheists look at unborn children and think it’s OK to kill them? Well, let’s see what atheists scholars think about morality, and from that we’ll find out why they think abortion is morally permissible.
Atheist scholars think morality is nonsense
Atheist William Provine says atheists have no free will, no moral accountability and no moral significance:
Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear — and these are basically Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either.
Atheists Michael Ruse says atheists have no objective moral standards:
The position of the modern evolutionist is that humans have an awareness of morality because such an awareness of biological worth. Morality is a biological adaptation no less than are hands and feet and teeth. Considered as a rationally justifiable set of claims about an objective something, ethics is illusory. I appreciate when someone says, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself,’ they think they are referring above and beyond themselves. Nevertheless, such reference is truly without foundation. Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction, . . . and any deeper meaning is illusory.(Michael Ruse, “Evolutionary Theory and Christian Ethics,” in The Darwinian Paradigm (London: Routledge, 1989), pp. 262-269).
Atheist Richard Dawkins says atheists have no objective moral standards:
In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, or any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference… DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is. And we dance to its music. (Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (1995))
Most atheists are like this – although some affirm objective morality, without really having a rational basis for it. In general though, when atheists use moral language to condemn God, the Bible, or Christians, it’s very important to understand that it is just theater. They are trying to use words that describe realities that they do not even believe in, usually with the goal of getting you to stop judging them for their own sin. I blogged about two examples of this before – Richard Carrier and Michael Shermer.
Let’s take a closer look at Richard Dawkins’ statement that there is “no evil and no good”.
Richard Dawkins and morality
Here’s Richard Dawkins’ view of abortion:
But wait! He goes even further than mere abortion:
Dawkins believes in Darwinian evolution. Survival of the fittest. The strong kill the weak. Where is protection for the unborn in that narrative?
So, what Dawkins really believes is that morality is nonsense. But in order to get you to stop condemning abortion, adultery, infanticide and a whole host of other atheistic misbehaviors, he will try to condemn you using moral language to stop you from making moral judgments. But the goal here is to intimidate you into not judging. By his own words, he thinks that the whole notion of objective moral values and objective moral duties is just nonsense.
Slavery was mostly eradicated from Western civilization–then called Christendom–between the fourth and the tenth century. The Greco-Roman institution of slavery gave way to serfdom. Now serfdom has its problems but at least the serf is not a “human tool” and cannot be bought and sold like property. So slavery was ended twice in Western civilization, first in the medieval era and then again in the modern era.
In the American South, Christianity proved to be the solace of the oppressed. As historian Eugene Genovese documents in Roll, Jordan, Roll, when black slaves sought to find dignity during the dark night of slavery, they didn’t turn to Marcus Aurelius or David Hume; they turned to the Bible. When they sought hope and inspiration for liberation, they found it not in Voltaire or D’Holbach but in the Book of Exodus.
The anti-slavery movements led by Wilberforce in England and abolitionists in America were dominated by Christians. These believers reasoned that since we are all created equal in the eyes of God, no one has the right to rule another without consent. This is the moral basis not only of anti-slavery but also of democracy.
And, in fact, you can see Christians pushing the culture hard against abortion today, just as we did with slavery. We also oppose frivolous divorce, and redefining marriage in a way that normalizes removing mothers and/or fathers away from their children. Defending the weak is what we do.
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:
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.
Actually there are two bills. The first Republican bill blocks Planned Parenthood from getting federal funds, because they harvest organs from born-alive babies. The second Republican bill holds Planned Parenthood criminally responsible for born-alive abortions. The Democrats are opposed to both defunding Planned Parenthood and preventing born-alive abortions. So this is a real battle.
Anyway, let’s see the first story, from Life News.
The House of Representatives voted today for legislation that would temporarily de-fund Planned Parenthood while an investigation continues into it s sale of aborted babies and their body parts.
The House voted 241 to 187 for the bill with 239 Republicans voting for the bill to defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business and 3 Democrats joining them. Three Republicans voted against the defunding bill while 183 Democrats voted against it. Republican Steve King of Iowa vote present.
Rep. Diane Black, a Tennessee Republican who is the pro-life lawmaker sponsoring the legislation and a nurse for more than 40 years, sponsored the legislation. The bill would freeze Planned Parenthood funding for one year while Congress conducts an investigation into its sales of aborted babies. The House vote would follow one the Senate had weeks ago, which saw Senate Democrats filibuster and block legislation to revoke $550 million in taxpayer funding. The Senate is expected to vote soon on a second attempt to de-fund Planned Parenthood.
A new Congressional report finds that de-funding the Planned Parenthood abortion business — even for one year — would save “several thousand” unborn babies from the nightmare of abortion. The report also finds de-funding Planned Parenthood would save the federal government $235 million.
During the debate, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy spoke on the House floor in defense of innocent human life and urged his colleagues to put a moratorium on Planned Parenthood funding in light of its barbaric practices.
“So if we know that this organization performs hundreds of thousands of abortions per year and we know that women have access to other sources for care, the question is, should we force taxpayers to fund a business that spends its money aborting 327,653 children per year? Should we force taxpayers to fund an organization whose barbaric practices, as vividly shown in those videos, disregard and devalue the sanctity of the most innocent human lives?” he asked.
He added: “There is no reason—absolutely no reason—that we must choose between funding women’s health and compelling taxpayers to support abortion.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) talked about how Planned Parenthood is not in the business of women’s health care and is really just an abortion company.
[…]“In the history of Planned Parenthood, they have never, ever, ever done one mammogram, because they are not certified to do mammograms. They bring people in and refer them out to get their mammograms. So, for those of us –like in my case, three daughters and a wife of 37 years –look, I want good women’s healthcare. So, let’s fund it,” he said. “But, let’s give it directly to the facilities that will do the mammograms and not Planned Parenthood – for them to take their cut.”
President Barack Obama has already threatened to veto the bill.
Hillary Clinton also spoke out in favor of for-profit organ-harvesting from born-alive children.
After today’s House vote to de-fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business, Hillary Clinton took to twitter to adamantly defend taxpayer funding for the abortion company.
The second bill is even stronger than the first. It will hold Planned Parenthood responsible for performing abortions on born-alive babies.
The House of Representatives today approved a pro-life bill that would hold the Planned Parenthood abortion business criminally liable for harvesting body parts from aborted babies who are technically still alive.
The center for Medical Progress has released 10 videos catching and exposing Planned Parenthood officials selling aborted babies and their body parts. One of the most shocking videos caught the nation’s biggest abortion business harvesting the brain of an aborted baby who was still alive.
The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, sponsored by pro-life Congressman Trent Franks would make failure to provide standard medical care to children born alive during an abortion a federal crime. It would also apply stronger penalties in cases where an overt act is taken to kill the abortion survivor.
[…]Congressman Chris Smith implored the House to pass the bill.
“Undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress have again brought into sharp focus that some babies actually survive abortion,” the New jersey congressman said.
“Dr. Savita Ginde, Medical Director of Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains says ‘sometimes we get—if someone delivers before we get to see them for a procedure—they are intact…’ that is, Madame Speaker, born alive. Breathing, crying, gasping for air. One fetal tissue broker describes on the video watching a ‘fetus …just fall out.’ And left to die.”
“We have a duty to protect these vulnerable children from violence, exploitation and death. Humanitarian due diligence requires that born alive babies be taken to a hospital to obtain care and enhance prospects of survival,” Smith added. “Abortion clinics have no incentive whatsoever to save the child. Abortion clinics do not have neonatal intensive care units—they are in the business of killing babies, not saving them.”
“The Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 3504), authored by pro-life champion Trent Franks simply says any child who survives an abortion must be given the same care as any other premature baby born at the same gestational age. This legislation builds on the landmark Born Alive Infant Protection Act of 2002 authored by Steve Chabot by adding important enforcement provisions,” he concluded.
The House voted 248 to 177 for the bill with 239 Republicans voting for the bill and 5 Democrats joining them. No Republicans voted against the pro-life bill while 177 Democrats voted against it. One member voted present.
A pro-life Senator says he will introduce the Senate version of the bill on Monday. Senator Ben Sasse told LifeNews.com that he will introduce companion legislation in the Senate when Congress resumes its work on Monday.
He said: “If this isn’t the most non-controversial sentence in American politics, it’s time to check our national conscience: newborn babies must receive care and attention. Societies are judged by how we care for the vulnerable and surely anyone with a heart— regardless of where they stand on the abortion debate— should be able to agree that our laws should protect newborns. I’m grateful that a bipartisan majority of the House stood up for babies and I look forward to introducing companion legislation in the Senate next week.”
Despite passage of the bill, the Obama administration says President Barack Obama would veto the measure.
Every time stories about how Obama will veto pro-life bills comes out, it makes me think of all the “Christians” who voted for him in 2008 and again in 2012. What will happen to them when God gets his hands on them? It was known during the election of 2008 that Obama had voted against a ban on born-alive abortions four times as a State senator in Illinois. I just think about how God will deal out punishment to the “Christians” who voted for him. Will he be most angry with them for voting for him for whatever reason? (e.g. – skin color or welfare, etc.) Or will he be most angry with their pastors for misleading them? Or will he be most angry with the national news media (e.g. – MSNBC) for refusing to inform the people about their chosen leftist candidate? Slavery and murder are serious crimes. There is plenty of blame to go around.
The bottom line is clear though… not everyone who comforts themselves with the idea that “God is love” will find God loving on that day.