Here’s the video, featuring my favorite pro-life speakers Scott Klusendorf. Scott is the founder and President of the Life Training Institute. LTI’s mission is to make a rigorous, rational defense for pro-life positions with respect to a variety of ethical issues. If you listen to Scott, you will learn a lot, and learn it from someone who has been tested on the battlefield of ideas.
right to life of the unborn
end of life questions
40 minutes of guided discussion, 20 minutes of Q&A. This video was apparently recorded in the summer of 2016.
the 1-minute case for the pro-life position (excellent)
dealing with those who dismiss the pro-life case as religious
how and when do people win arguments?
how does one get better at discussing moral issues?
who are some of the best books to get informed about life issues?
what are some of the best books from the other side?
what is the SLED test? do pro-abortion scholars accept it?
if abortion were illegal, who should be punished and how much?
is it inflammatory and dangerous to say that abortion is killing?
Assisted reproductive technologies:
how should we speak to people considering ARTs?
what is the underlying issue in ART discussions?
should pro-lifers be opposed to all use of ARTs?
what should pro-lifers think about surrogacy?
which books provide an introduction to ART ethics?
End of life issues:
what is the central issue in end of life discussions?
should treatment always be continued or are there situations where treatment can be withdrawn?
if a student wants to take courses in bioethics, where should they go to take courses or do a degree?
what is the policy situation for pro-lifers in terms of legislation and SCOTUS decision-making?
what are some policies that pro-lifers can support as incremental measures that move the issue in the right direction?
I liked this discussion. I tried to listen as someone new to the issue and he did a good job of not assuming any prior knowledge of the debate. My favorite part was his survey of books and arguments on the other side, and what they say. I don’t think that most people realize what the implications of the pro-abortion worldview really are for things like infanticide, and so on. The discussion about who should be punished for abortion and how much was new to me – and that actually came up during the last election, during the GOP primary. Personally, I would let the woman get off, and just prosecute the doctor.
It’s very very good to listen to crystal clear thinking on these controversial issues from someone who has encountered the other side in their writings, and in public debates with them. Not to mention having to interact with people making decisions in these areas.
I decided to start the week off with a happy story about a powerful Republican woman taking a bold step to defend unborn children in a blue state. Here is a story from Fox News about Iowa’s governor Kim Reynolds, a Republican, who has signed a bill banning all abortions on babies who have a heartbeat! That’s pretty early on, and will cover most abortions.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Friday signed off on a law banning most abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, or at about six weeks of pregnancy, The Associated Press reported.
The restriction is the strictest abortion regulation in the nation, the AP said. It also said passage and enactment of the measure has set the state up for a protracted legal fight.
The State House passed the legislation on Tuesday night with a 51-46 vote, Iowa Public Radio reported. It was debated for more than eight hours before House representatives decided on it. The bill passed the Senate early Wednesday with a 27-19 vote.
The legislation bans abortion in all cases after six weeks of pregnancy, which critics of the legislation argue is before most women are aware they are pregnant. Up until now, a woman has been able to get an abortion in Iowa up to her 20th week.
However, the measure would not ban abortion after six weeks in all cases — some exemptions include instances of rape, incest, fetal abnormalities or to save the mother’s life.
This is the earliest ban on abortion in the nation! I’m so impressed. I’d like women to make better choices about men and the timing of sexual activity so that we don’t have to do terrible things in order to “resolve” unwanted pregnancies.
Life News has more details about how the bill works:
The bill would require abortion practitioners to test for the unborn baby’s heartbeat before performing an abortion. If a heartbeat is detected, the abortion would be prohibited except in cases involving medical emergency, rape, incest or fetal abnormalities deemed to be “incompatible” with life.
Because an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable by about six weeks of pregnancy, the bill would prohibit almost all abortions in Iowa.
Unfortunately, Planned Parenthood isn’t going to give up their source of revenue without a legal fight:
Immediately after Reynolds’ announcement Friday, branches of Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union in Iowa responded with plans to sue the state, the AP reports.
[…]Because of the current make-up of the U.S. Supreme Court and lower courts, a law to prohibit abortions in the first trimester most likely would not survive a court challenge. President Donald Trump promised to appoint pro-life justices to the courts, but he would have to appoint at least one more Supreme Court judge before the Iowa legislation would have a chance of being upheld.
North Dakota and Arkansas passed heartbeat bills several years ago, but federal courts struck down both laws.
Although it will be a difficult fight to save this law, at least voters will get another chance to understand that Democrats are opposed to restrictions on abortion. They want abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, and taxpayer-funded in a single-payer system. That way, abortion is as easy to obtain as getting a prescription for antibiotics.
I don’t see why we can’t just tell women not to have sex with men before marriage. If women withheld sex from men who were not their husbands, then men would grow up and start trying to prove themselves to women as husband candidates again. Not giving men premarital sex makes them behave much better towards women. They try harder in school, they work harder at work, they treat women with respect. They learn how to behave like husbands. What is wrong with that? Is the current status quo of using Tinder to be screwed over by hot guys working for women?
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 overheard Ben Shapiro talking about some pro-abortion tweet that went viral on Twitter. Basically, the snarky pro-abortion person tried to make the case that unborn children don’t deserve legal protections because people have a moral intuition to save a 5-year-old instead of an embryo, if they can only choose one. The best response to this dilemma comes from Robert George, professor at Princeton University and Christopher Tollefsen.
We agree that considering the case as described by Sandel, most people in Jones’s circumstances would choose to rescue the girl. However, this by no means shows that human embryos are not human beings or that they may be deliberately killed to produce stem cells, or in an abortion.
The first thing to notice is that the case as described is not, in fact, analogous to the suggestion that we should perform embryo-destructive research for the benefits it might provide us, or to the suggestion that it is permissible to abort an unborn human being. In both such cases, we are being invited to kill, or authorize the killing of, human embryos or fetuses in order to provide benefits to others. But in the fire scenario, there is no killing; the deaths of the embryos who are lost when Jones opts to save the girl are not killings—no one is acting to destroy the embryos or cause their deaths—but rather are the kind of death we accept as side effects in various cases in which, for example, acting to save one or some persons means that we are unable to save another or others.
Second, there are differences between the embryos and the five-year-old girl that are or can be morally relevant to the decision concerning whom to rescue. For example, the five-year-old will suffer great terror and pain in the fire, but the embryos will not. Moreover, the family of the five-year-old presumably loves her and has developed bonds of attachment and affection with her that will mean much greater grief in the event of her death than in the event of the death of the embryos. While these concerns would not justify killing, they can play a legitimate role in determining how we may allocate scarce resources and, in some cases, whom we may or should rescue. Often, the (or at least a) morally correct decision cannot be made just on the numbers—a point that even utilitarians are willing to acknowledge. And so, for example, it is morally relevant in some cases where choices of whom to rescue must be made that a person we could save is (for example) our own son or daughter, even if saving him or her means that we cannot save, say, three of our neighbors’ children who end up perishing in the fire from which we saved our own child.
The analogy, like Judith Jarvis Thomson’s violin analogy, completely ignores the fact that in a pregnancy, the baby is created as a result of the decisions of the mother and the father of the baby. This is not some stranger, this is their child. And in the case of abortion, it’s not being done to save a 5-year-old. I once heard of a case where a woman killed her unborn child so she wouldn’t look fat on the beach, during her vacation. Hardly a morally sufficient reason.
I really liked this:
The possibility that resources might be used and even, perhaps, lives risked to save the frozen embryos calls to mind the story with which we began our book Embryo: A Defense of Human Life. In 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a police crew in New Orleans did save a canister of fourteen hundred human embryos from a hospital. Our book began with Noah, one of those embryos, who sixteen months later emerged, via Caesarean section, into the light of the world and his parents’ love. But if those officers had never made it to Noah’s hospital, or if they had abandoned those canisters of liquid nitrogen, the toll of Katrina would have been fourteen hundred human beings higher than it already was, and Noah, sadly, would have perished before having the opportunity to meet his loving family.
The harm of abortion is exactly like the harm of murder in general… each act deprives a person of all of their future. And this against the victim’s will, and without adequate moral justification.
An embryo has a unique genetic signature different from his mother, different from his father. He is a different person, and, if given shelter and food, he will grow up just like any of us do. Is it such a terrible thing to give food and shelter to another human being, that was created as a direct result of the choices of grown-ups? We don’t get to resort to murder of others just in order to make our own lives easier, do we?
Tennessee has two of the least conservative Republican senators, namely, Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander. One of my absolute favorite members of the House of Representatives, Marsha Blackburn, is running for Corker’s seat in 2018. I have written about her on this blog many times. Twitter decided to censor a pro-life announcement from her Senate campaign account.
Twitter has blocked Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s (Tenn.) Senate campaign announcement ad, ruling that a pro-life statement was “inflammatory.”
At one point in the video, Blackburn, who announced last week that she is running for the Senate in Tennessee, heralded how she “stopped the sale of baby body parts,” a reference to her investigation into Planned Parenthood’s reported practice of “donating” body parts in return for monetary compensation.
But a Twitter representative told the Blackburn campaign that Twitter blocked the ad from being promoted, calling it “an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction,” the Associated Press reported Monday. Twitter said that Blackburn would have to repost the video without the flagged statement in order to advertise.
Instead, Blackburn—who is vying to replace Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.), who will not seek another term—tweeted out a call to action on Facebook and Twitter, asking her followers to share the video themselves.
“Twitter shut down our announcement video ad, claiming it was ‘inflammatory’ & ‘negative.’ Silicon Valley should not be allowed to impose their values on us,” she wrote on Facebook. “Join me in standing up to the liberal elite.”
Here’s the video that was censored:
Marsha Blackburn has an 88% conservative rating from the Heritage Foundation. I’ve not found a better way to assess political candidates than the Heritage Foundation’s Scorecards.
I took a quick look at the Twitter CEO’s account (@Jack) and found it littered with sophomoric left-wing propaganda, including support for anti-American millionaire Colin Kaepernick. Obviously “Jack” is in favor of left-wing free speech, just not free speech for those he disagrees with. This is standard for the close-minded, intolerant bigots on the left, though. Nothing surprising, people on the left like Jack just don’t handle different points of view very well.
More about Blackburn from Life News, for those who don’t know her record:
The Tennessee Republican has established herself as a champion for the rights of unborn babies. The eight-term congresswoman has a 100-percent pro-life voting record.
Most recently, she chaired the U.S. House Select Panel on Infant Lives, which investigated Planned Parenthood’s sales of aborted baby body parts. In January, the committee sent numerous criminal and regulatory referrals to federal and state officials regarding Planned Parenthood and other groups involved in the baby body parts trade.
More than anyone, Blackburn has distinguished herself as a pro-lifer who is willing to investigate Big Abortion corporations.
I thought to myself, where is all this censorship of pro-life views coming from? Well, it turns out that this person who works in communications at Twitter is the former press secretary for Kalama Harris. You remember Kamala Harris is the attorney general of California, who collaborated with Planned Parenthood to go after the Center for Medical Progress.
Officials from California Attorney General Kamala Harris‘ office and Planned Parenthood collaborated to draft legislation targeting the pro-life activist whose undercover videos showed officials for the nation’s largest abortion provider discussing the sale of fetal body parts, emails show.
The emails depict conversations between the state agency and Planned Parenthood over AB 1671, which would amend the penal code to make secretly recording and disseminating communications with health care providers a crime. Gov. Jerry Brown has until the end of the month to sign or veto the bill.
AB 1671 is a response to the Center for Medical Progress’ undercover video series spearheaded by David Daleiden.
The documents are another indication of Ms. Harris‘ close relationship with Planned Parenthood and call into question the impartiality of her ongoing investigation of Mr. Daleiden, legal experts said.
[…]Ronald D. Rotunda, a professor of jurisprudence at Chapman University, said the emails show Ms. Harris is a “tool of Planned Parenthood.” He said it is not uncommon for the attorney general to play a role in the legislative process, but added that Ms. Harris in this case was “working with Planned Parenthood to protect it from criminal prosecution.”
Now, it’s well known that companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. have serious problems at the top with censorship of diverse views. In these companies, they all think the same, and they hire people who think the same, and they fire people who don’t think the same. Instead of fixing the problem, they keep right on going with their progressive cultural imperialism. If you’re looking for “corporate fascism”, you don’t need to look any further than Google, Facebook and Twitter. Zero ideological diversity. Dangerous censorship of opposing views.
If the federal government is looking for a good place to crack down on corporate fascism, I think breaking up Google, Facebook and Twitter into smaller companies would be a good start. In fact, moderate Republican Hugh Hewitt recently suggested this to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy on his MSNBC show. By all means, and we should de-fund fascist universities that don’t allow both sides of debates to be heard.
I don’t often ask my readers for favors, but if you can please share this post on social media, I would be grateful. Marsha Blackburn is one of the good ones, and I’d like to see her win the race to become senator in Tennessee. I’m sick of seeing conservative legislation derailed by the likes of Corker and Alexander.