Tag Archives: Pro-Life

Scott Klusendorf defends the pro-life view on the Unbelievable radio show

I'm Scheming Unborn Baby, and I approve of incrementalism
I’m Scheming Unborn Baby, and I approve of this debate

This is a re-post of a debate on abortion.

Here are the details:

Justin hosts a discussion between Mara Clarke of the Abortion Support Network and Scott Klusendorf of the Life Training Instititute. Mara believes women should decide whether to terminate a pregnancy, but Scott says that all depends on whether we are dealing with a human life in the womb.

MP3 of this show

My snarky paraphrase of the debate (not exact):

  • Speaker introductions
  • Klusendorf: no justification for abortion is necessary if the unborn are not human
  • Klusendorf: we need to address the issue “what is the unborn?” Are the unborn human?
  • Klusendorf: SLED: size, level of development, environment, degree of dependency
  • Klusendorf: None of these things affect the value of a human being
  • Klusendorf: Even if we don’t KNOW whether the unborn is human
  • Mara: I’m not going to debate when life begins
  • Mara: Women know when life begins by feelings
  • Mara: The moral decision is “whether I can take care of this child?”
  • Brierley: When is an unborn being human?
  • Mara: I refuse to debate that – the real question is whether women want their babies or not
  • Mara: Forced pregnancy is not OK
  • Brierley: Could your justification for abortion (not wanting to care for a child) work through all 9 months?
  • Mara: Late term abortions are rare, so I don’t have to answer that question
  • Mara: Abortion should be OK through all 9 months of pregnancy because women cannot be restricted
  • Mara: Some women are poor, they need to be able to kill expensive babies at any time
  • Klusendorf: although she says she won’t debate the unborn, she does take a position
  • Klusendorf: she assumes the unborn is not human, because she says that insufficient funds is justification for abortion
  • Klusendorf: no one argues that you can kill a two year old because they cost money, because she thinks they are human
  • Klusendorf: she is begging the question by assuming the unborn are not human, but that is the issue we must resolve
  • Klusendorf: I am pro-choice on many other things, e.g. women choosing their own husbands, religion, etc.
  • Klusendorf: Some choices are wrong – Mara might be right, but she needs to make the case for the unborn not being human
  • Brierley: What is your reason for thinking that an unborn child is different from a 2-year old?
  • Mara: An unborn child is not the same as a 2-year old, in my personal opinion
  • Mara: I am not a debater, so I don’t have to provide reasoning for my assertion, I just feel it
  • Mara: Not everybody agrees with Scott, they don’t have to have a rational argument, they just need to feel differently
  • Mara: From my experience, when a woman doesn’t want to be pregnant, then she should be able to not be pregnant
  • Mara: Women shouldn’t be punished with a baby that she doesn’t want, even if she chooses to have recreational sex
  • Brierley: What do you think of women who think the unborn is human and do it anyway?
  • Klusendorf: It’s interesting that they never kill their toddlers for those reasons
  • Klusendorf: I layed out scientific and philosophical reasons for the humanity of the unborn
  • Klusendorf: Her response was “but some people disagree with you”
  • Klusendorf: People disagreed about whether slavery was wrong, or whether women should be able to vote
  • Klusendorf: that doesn’t mean there is no right answer – the right answer depends on the arguments
  • Klusendorf: if absence of agreement makes a view false, then it makes HER pro-choice view false as well
  • Klusendorf: she did make an argument for the unborn child having no rights because of the location
  • Klusendorf: she needs to explain to us why location matters – what about location confers value
  • Mara: I’m not going to let Scott frame my debate for me!!!
  • Mara: women get pregnant and they don’t want their babies! should we put them in jail!!!!
  • Klusendorf: I didn’t just give my opinion, I had science and philosophy, the issue is “what is the unborn?”
  • Mara: philosophical and scientific debates are unimportant, I am an expert in real women’s lives
  • Klusendorf: Which women? Women in the womb or only those outside the womb?
  • Mara: Only those outside the womb
  • Klusendorf: Only those outside the womb?
  • Mara: Women living outside the womb have a right to kill women inside the womb – women have bodily autonomy
  • Klusendorf: then does a pregnant woman with nausea have a right to take a drug for it that will harm her unborn child?
  • Mara: Unborn children are only valuable if they are wanted, unborn children only deserve protection if they are wanted
  • Mara: There are restrictions on abortion – you can’t get an abortion through all nine months in the US
  • Mara: There is a 24-week limit in the UK as well
  • Klusendorf: There are no restrictions on abortion that conflict with “a woman’s health” because Supreme Court said
  • Mara: where are these late term abortion clinics?
  • Klusendorf: (he names two)
  • Mara: that’s not enough!!! we need more! where is there one in Pennsylvania?
  • Klusendorf: well, there used to be Gosnell’s clinic in Pennsylvania, and you could even get an infanticide there….
  • Brierley: What about Dawkins’ view that it is moral to abort Down’s Syndrome babies?
  • Klusendorf: he is ignoring the scientific case and philosophical case for the pro-life
  • Klusendorf: the pro-life view is a true basis for human equality

What I wanted Scott to ask was whether sex-selection abortions were OK with her. Since her reasoning is “if it’s unwanted, it has no rights”, then that would mean sex-selection abortions are just fine. That’s what a UK abortion expert recently argued. And I also posted recently about how sex-selection abortions are not prosecuted in the UK. If you’re looking for a war on women, there it is.

Pro-life student Nathan Apodaca wins case against California State University

House Republican leader tweets about Nathan's case
House Republican leader tweets about Nathan’s case

I have some good news! Last week, a pro-life student who attends California State University San Marcos was able to sue for discrimination, and he won. The case has implications for the entire CSU system, and every university in America. What’s more, the plaintiff in the case is a friend of the Wintery Knight blog! Let’s take a look at the details of the case and the judge’s decision.

Nathan told me that this story from The College Fix had the most details, and here it is:

Six months after a federal judge ruled that California State University officials could be held personally liable for funding policies that disfavor pro-life students, the largest four-year university system in the country has agreed to revise policies across its 23 campuses.

CSU’s board of trustees and the student government at CSU-San Marcos entered into a settlement agreement with the campus chapter of Students for Life and its former president Nathan Apodaca.

[…]The lawsuit challenged CSUSM funding policies that overwhelmingly favored two pro-choice campus organizations: the Gender Equity Center and LGBTQA Pride Center. They receive nearly $300,000 from Associated Students, Inc. each year with no strings attached.

Alliance Defending Freedom are the masters of defending religious liberty, and as they usually do, they made a video of their client explaining the facts of the case:

And here are the details of the decisions:

CSU is paying $240,000 in legal fees to the students’ lawyers at the Alliance Defending Freedom and $3,000 in damages to the club. The student government is giving Apodaca a $300 refund of his mandatory student fees, which he paid into a funding system that favored pro-choice viewpoints and disfavored his own pro-life views.

[…]Lorenz ordered CSUSM to revise the $500 application process to require “specific and detailed standards guiding decision making” on funding requests. They can no longer judge “the content of the speech” seeking funding by asking questions about its “purpose” and the “student benefit” of clubs’ events.

[…]The student government will adopt viewpoint-neutral standards for the allocation of mandatory student fees to any registered student organization “that involves viewpoint expression.” They must comply with the Supreme Court’s 2000 ruling in a similar case, known as Southworth.

The process must “not discriminate against any funding request based on the viewpoint to be expressed by the RSO or proposed event.” Funding applications that are “denied or reduced” must be accompanied by “the reasons” for the decision and a “right of prompt appeal” to an official or administrator.

All 23 campuses are getting a policy makeover as well. The agreement directs Chancellor White’s office to issue a “policy directive” across the system that imposes viewpoint-neutral criteria and procedures on student association funding requests for “student speech events.” It lays out five specific policies getting revisions.

This is the part that made me say “WOW!”:

In a major setback for the feminist and LGBTQ centers, the agreement bars them from funding via mandatory student fees, retroactive to July 1. The student government’s Board of Directors and Campus Activity Board will also not use those fees “unless and until” the student government adopts viewpoint-neutral criteria.

[…]In a statement on the settlement, the [ADF] emphasized that the two CSUSM centers received “57 times more than” the 100-plus recognized student organizations combined.

[…]Lorenz had rejected the defendants’ arguments that White and Haynes had a “reasonable belief” that forcing pro-life students to fund pro-choice speech, while denying them funding for their own speech, “was lawful.” The judge said “the development and state of the law” on compelled speech made clear to both officials that the funding mechanisms they oversaw were unconstitutional.

Things were really bad before Nathan and the ADF got the win.

I know that after he finishes his undergraduate degree, Nathan has plans to apply to law school in the future, so this may not be the last you hear about him. If you want to hear more from him before he argues for the reversal of Roe v Wade at the Supreme Court in 2035, then you can check out his articles at Human Defense Initiative.

My job right now with Nathan is to collaborate with him about what books to read, and annoy him about not doing a degree in computer science. (This is my job with all the young adults I advise) We exchange book suggestions in order to develop our worldviews. He also bullies me to watch movies in the theater like 1917 and to care about Star Wars, which I most certainly do not. I feel that if Nathan had one piece of advice to give my readers, he would say that you need to read books and watch movies about great people, which is what you can see on his Amazon wishlist. One of his favorite recent books was a book about Churchill, which he also bullied me into buying. It’s enormous, I will never finish it. He also likes to make fun of the way youth pastors offer young Christians pizza and movies instead of apologetics and bioethics training.

I think it’s important for old Christians to have a hand in what is going on in the minds of our Christian college students, and in their battles on campus. If you are looking for a good person to partner with, look up your local university’s pro-life club or Ratio Christi club. (I’m told by Carla that Nathan not only started a pro-life campus group, but also was part of a Ratio Christi campus group). At the local university, you’ll find lots of action going on that you can get involved with or financially support. Every older Christian should be in contact with a younger Christian who is making a difference. People think that older Christians need to care about the nonsense that young people are interested, like Tide pods and their weird music (I don’t know what their names are). That’s false. My job is to tell the young people about what I have learned about being a Christian. Not every young Christian will care about making a difference for the Kingdom of God, which is why you should focus on the ones who do.

Donald Trump is the first sitting US President to address March for Life

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

I am old enough to remember when Americans voted for a pro-abortion president for two terms. He voted for infanticide twice, as a state senator in Illinois. He subsidized abortion with taxpayer money. He forced Christian organizations to cover abortions. He forced Christian doctors and nurses to perform and assist in abortions. And he appointed pro-abortion judges.

Obama would never have address pro-lifers at March for Life. But Trump is planning to do just that today! He is the first sitting present to actually join pro-lifers and take part in the events in person.

Donald Trump to speak at March for Life 2020
Donald Trump to speak at March for Life 2020

There was a good interview between two pro-lifers discussing how Trump has done on the pro-life issue.

Here is what one of them said:

Stanek answered that she admired Bush for signing the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act and Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act into law, but what set Trump apart was that “he is just so proactive.”

“I think saying that Trump is the most pro-life president we’ve ever had isn’t to slight other presidents like President Bush and President Reagan,” she explained. “It’s to say that he is fitting the mold that we’ve always hoped for of being verbal, vocal about it,” from calling out Hillary Clinton for believing “in the ninth month you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb,” to his use of blunt language like “execute the baby” to discuss infanticide.

“President Trump is going gangbusters, is hiring people in the administration who are like-minded on abortion,” Stanek said. “They set the policy…he has issued executive orders and administrative orders…just about everything we’ve ever asked him to do, he’s done.”

I found some statements of Trump’s pro-life achievements but the best one by far was from Susan B. Anthony List:

Appointed Pro-Life Judges

In April, 2017, Judge Neil Gorsuch was successfully confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court. And in October, 2018, Judge Brett Kavanaugh was successfully confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court. To date, 157 of President Trump’s judicial nominees have been confirmed, including two Supreme Court justices, forty-three U.S. Courts of Appeals judges, and one hundred thirteen District Court judges.

Permitted States to Defund Planned Parenthood of Title X Funds

In April 2017, Congress sent a bill to President Trump’s desk that permits states to defund Planned Parenthood of Title X family planning funds passed in Congress. President Trump signed the bill which reverses an Obama-era rule that disbarred states from doing so. Because this was passed using the Congressional Review Act, future Administrations cannot enact a similar rule to Obama’s.

Stopped Tax Dollars Funding Abortion Overseas

President Trump not only reinstated the Mexico City Policy, but expanded it to the new Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance program. This new policy ensures that our tax dollars are protected from funding the abortion industry overseas across ALL global health spending, not just family planning dollars. The Bush-era Mexico City Policy protected roughly $500 million in spending – the new Trump policy protects over $8.8 billion overseas aid from funding abortion.

Defunded the Pro-Abortion UNFPA

The UNFPA has long been complicit in China’s oppressive population control activities, including birth limitation policies and forced abortions. President Trump’s State Department cut U.S. Taxpayer funding to the UNFPA.

Required Health Insurance Companies to Disclose if Plans Cover Abortion

The Trump Administration Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) issued a rule requiring that insurers specify in each plan Summary of Benefits whether the plan covers abortion.

Settlements & New Rule Regarding HHS Mandate

The Departments of HHS, Treasury, and Labor issued two interim final rules, which means they took effect immediately, while allowing a comment period, that provide permanent, enforceable relief from the previous HHS mandate for both religious objectors, such as Little Sisters of the Poor, and moral objectors, such as Susan B. Anthony List. The new rule also exempts private employers and educational institutions that have sincerely held religious beliefs or moral objections against providing contraceptives or abortifacient drugs.

New Office for Conscience Protection at HHS

In May 2019, the Trump administration finalized new regulations to strengthen enforcement of federal laws protecting the conscience rights of health care workers who do not want to participate in abortion. The regulations clarify what recourse is available to victims of discrimination under the law and what penalties the HHS Office of Civil Rights may enforce for violations. Additionally, in January 2018, the Department of Health & Human Services announced the creation of the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division within the Office for Civil Rights. This new office works to protect health care professionals who do not want to participate in abortion. In May, 2019, HHS issued a proposed rule amending Obama-era regulations, clarifying that Section 1557 shall not force a recipient of federal funding to provide or pay for an abortion. It shall also be consistent with the First Amendment and with pro-life provisions, conscience provisions and religious liberty protections in current law.

Allowed States to Defund Planned Parenthood of Medicaid Funds

The Obama administration attempted to prevent states from defunding Planned Parenthood of Medicaid dollars, issuing guidance claiming this may be a violation of federal law. In January 2018, the Trump administration rescinded this guidance, allowing states to defund Planned Parenthood of Medicaid dollars as they see fit.

Cut Planned Parenthood’s Tax Funding by up to $60 Million

In February, 2019, the Trump administration finalized the Protect Life Rule to redirect Title X family planning program funds away from the abortion industry. The rule advances President Trump’s promise to stop taxpayer funding of abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood, who will no longer receive Title X funding if they choose not to comply.

Canceled Huge Contract for Taxpayer-Funded Experimentation with Body Parts of Aborted Babies

In June, 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced they would not renew a major contract with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) to fund research using the body parts of aborted babies. (learn more)

My favorite was the conscience protections! I really hate the idea of being forced by secular leftists to violate my conscience.

I think it’s very important for pro-life voters of all parties to understand that Trump has taken action on pro-life concerns. He listened to pro-life leaders, and did far more than other Republican presidents who were pro-life in name only. Americans often have this annoying habit of forming their opinions based on what they feel and what they hear in the culture. But we need to be informed voters. Let’s look at the facts and decide based on actions.

Did “thousands of women” die in “back alley abortions” before Roe v. Wade?

I get into debates about abortion, and sometimes my opponent will complain that if Roe v. Wade were overturned, then thousands of women would die in illegal abortions. Well, if that ever happens to you, this post will help you to know how to respond to it.

First of all, if Roe v. Wade were overturned, then each of the 50 states would pass legislation deciding when abortions would be legal.

Here’s a map taken from the Washington Examiner:

Abortion rights after Roe v. Wade is overturned
Abortion rights after Roe v. Wade is overturned

Red states are more pro-life than blue states in this map. For example, New York is ranked #6, and Tennessee is ranked #45.

So, if a woman did have irresponsible sex with a hot bad boy, then she easily could terminate her child in one of the blue states.

Second, the number thrown around by abortion advocates is not accurate. It’s simply not true that “thousands of women” were dying from poorly-performed abortions when abortion was still illegal. Actually, abortions were performed by trained medical personnel, but it just wasn’t reported to the police.

Here’s a recent article from the radically leftist Washington Post:

Erica Sackin, a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman, directed us to a 2014 policy statement issued by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG): “It is estimated that before 1973, 1.2 million U.S. women resorted to illegal abortion each year and that unsafe abortions caused as many as 5,000 annual deaths.”

There is no citation in the statement for the estimate of “as many as 5,000 annual deaths,” even though many of the other sentences are carefully documented. None of the citations around this sentence supports the figure, and there is no explanation about how it was calculated.

[…]Meanwhile, Sackin also sent a variety of reports, many of which were referenced in a footnote in a document published by NARAL Pro-Choice America. One of the citations especially caught our eye: Frederick Taussig, “Abortion Spontaneous and Induced: Medical and Social Aspects,” (1936).

Why was a study from 1936 being cited? Because in 1936, we didn’t have antibiotics! People were dying all the time from any kind of surgery – not just abortion.

More:

The advent of antibiotics such as penicillin and improved medical procedures suddenly made abortion less risky. Another prominent researcher, Christopher Tietze, argued in a 1948 paper that the number of deaths from abortion was rapidly declining because of three reasons: contraceptive methods had improved so fewer women were getting pregnant, abortion providers were getting better at avoiding infections, and many lives had been saved because of the introduction of sulfa drugs and penicillin.

[…]The data collected by Tietze showed 2,677 deaths from abortion in 1933, compared with 888 in 1945, with much of the decline in septic cases associated with illegal abortions. (The numbers also include deaths from “therapeutic abortions,” permitted by law, and “spontaneous abortions.”)

By 1959, a leading researcher wrote: “Abortion is no longer a dangerous procedure. This applies not just to therapeutic abortions as performed in hospitals but also to so-called illegal abortions as done by physicians. In 1957, there were only 260 deaths in the whole country attributed to abortions of any kind. In New York City in 1921, there were 144 abortion deaths, in 1951 there were only 15.”

The writer was Mary Steichen Calderone, at the time medical director of Planned Parenthood. She attributed the decline in the mortality rate to antibiotics and the fact that 90 percent of illegal abortions were done by trained physicians.

OK, so abortion advocates cite the study from 1936, which already relies on questionable estimates, because they know that the later numbers are far, far lower – thanks to the widespread use of antibiotics. They’re lying, essentially, because lying helps them to persuade people who think with their feelings, and don’t look too closely at facts.

My third point is simple. Even if women hurt themselves during abortions, that wouldn’t be a reason to legalize abortion. Bank robbers hurt themselves during bank robberies, and drug dealers hurt themselves during drug deals. We do not legalize criminal activities just because criminals get hurt during the commission of those activities. So the real question is, what is the unborn? If the unborn is a living human being, then abortion on demand takes the life of an innocent human being without justification, and should therefore be illegal.

UPDATE: My pro-life friend Nathan sent me a fourth response:

There is a difference today that did not exist in 1973. We have a pro-life movement. We have over 2,000 pregnancy care ministries and clinics operating throughout the continental United States. I highly doubt these clinics will just disappear overnight if abortion became illegal nationwide. Women and children will still be in need, and the free market principles that enable charity to flourish will be there to help.

Given this reality, will proponents of abortion now finally step forward to help provide the support to women necessary so they never have to choose a back alley abortion? Given how they have worked themselves into a panic about rusty coat hangers, it seems they would be the most motivated to do so. The fact many don’t seem to want to do so is telling: They just want to justify their own support for abortion, regardless of whether it helps women or not.

What did early church fathers think about abortion and infanticide?

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

I noticed that the Southern Baptists over at ERLC had a post up which seemed to say that preaching against abortion was morally wrong, because it hurts women’s feelings. This didn’t seem like a very traditional Christian view to me.

The author Phoebe Cates writes:

So, you don’t have to post internet memes and videos, display bumper stickers, or make rude comments to tell me how terrible abortion is. Nor do you need to shout it from street corners or pulpits—I know. My mother knows. Over 66% of women know.

I quoted her from Pulpit and Pen, and it looks like the post has been edited to remove this shaming of pro-life apologists.

The author thinks that women do think abortion is wrong, despite the fact that young, unmarried women vote overwhelmingly for abortion rights in elections. Her goal doesn’t seem to be to convince women not to have abortions by making a case for the right to life of the unborn. Her goal seems to be to stop Christians from making women feel judged when they kill their children. Her focus is on women’s feelings, not the right to life of unwanted children.

The church has been changing a lot lately to accept the teachings of radical feminism. Radical feminism urges women to abandon chastity, delay marriage, get on birth control, and have reckless recreational sex with attractive, no-commitment men, while pursuing their careers. And abortion is fine with these Christians, because they think it’s just a method of birth control to be used to help women to avoid being “punished with a baby” as Obama said. The concern of these Christians about abortion isn’t that it kills babies, it’s that women feel judged when they kill babies.

So, what did Christians used to believe about protecting children before they tossed out the Bible for radical feminism?

This is from Birds of the Air.

Summary:

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

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

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

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

Here’s my favorite from 10 weeks:

Unborn Baby - 10 weeks old

Unborn Baby – 10 weeks old

This is a first trimester baby!

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

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

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

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

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

Fascinating!