Tag Archives: Roe v. Wade

New study: unborn babies are viable at 22 weeks

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

This story appeared in the radically leftist New York Times, of all places.

It says:

A small number of very premature babies are surviving earlier outside the womb than doctors once thought possible, a new study has documented, raising questions about how aggressively they should be treated and posing implications for the debate about abortion.

[…]The study, one of the largest and most systematic examinations of care for very premature infants, found that hospitals with sophisticated neonatal units varied widely in their approach to 22-week-olds, ranging from a few that offer no active medical treatment to a handful that assertively treat most cases with measures like ventilation, intubation and surfactant to improve the functioning of babies’ lungs.

[…]The study, involving nearly 5,000 babies born between 22 and 27 weeks gestation, found that 22-week-old babies did not survive without medical intervention. In the 78 cases where active treatment was given, 18 survived, and by the time they were young toddlers, seven of those did not have moderate or severe impairments. Six had serious problems such as blindness, deafness or severe cerebral palsy.

Of the 755 born at 23 weeks, treatment was given to 542. About a third of those survived, and about half of the survivors had no significant problems.

You can double-check the details of the study.

Meanwhile, in Congress, the Republicans are getting ready to reintroduce a bill that bans abortions after 20 weeks.

Excerpt:

Republicans in the House of Representatives will hold a vote on or around the anniversary of the murder conviction of late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell on a marquee bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy because unborn children feel intense pain in abortions. This is the second time Republicans have planned a vote on the major pro-life bill — and this vote is expected to take place next week, possibly Wednesday, the anniversary of Gosnell’s conviction.

[…]As pro-life sources have informed LifeNews, other new provisions of the bill that strengthen in include a born-alive infant protection requirement that requires a second doctor be present and prepared to provide  care to the child if he or she is born alive and that the child must receive the same level of care as would any other premature infant. The baby must then be transported and admitted to a hospital.  The woman is also empowered with a right to sue if the law is not followed, and is provided with an informed consent form that notifies her of the age of her baby and the requirements under the law.

Abortionists are explicitly required to follow state mandatory reporting laws and state parental involvement laws.  Finally, abortionists are required to report any late abortions done under the exceptions to the Center for Disease Control and such data will be compiled into an annual public report to ensure accountability.

This bill doesn’t go all the way to banning all abortions – far from it. But pro-life groups are pleased, because they want to save some lives even if they can’t save all:

Top pro-life advocates are strongly supporting the final version of the bill up for a vote next week, according to the Weekly Standard. Two major pro-life groups have already signed off on the revised bill.

“We will have even stronger support than we did in the last Congress,” said Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey, a leading pro-life advocate in the House. “It will be good to have a truly unified pro-life conference.”

National Right to Life Committee president Carol Tobias worked closely with Republican leadership staff members and met Thursday with McCarthy. “I felt very comfortable working with leadership staff,” said Tobias. “We were working as allies.”

“We are thankful to our pro-life allies on the Hill, including House GOP leadership and the Congressional Pro-Life Women’s Caucus, who have tirelessly worked to bring this bill to a vote,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List. “This process has yielded a strong bill which we expect to pass next week with enthusiastic bipartisan support.”

Sponsoring Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona says the bill has the potential to save thousands of babies from abortion.

That bill is, of course, opposed by Democrats.

UPDATE: Here’s a news story about a woman who killed a 20-week-old baby who was born alive and left to die.

Abortion debate: Scott Klusendorf debates Nadine Strossen on abortion

Abortion can be a complicated issue, but the nice thing about Scott is that he cuts right to the core of the debate and makes sure to clarify what each side is saying. He strips away the rhetoric and gets down to the real arguments on each side and  the pro-life side comes out on top.

Relevant  resources

Recently, Scott taught two classes on the techniques that he uses when debating abortion.

The first talk was on Tactics. Here is the PDF. In the handout, Scott explains how to use questions to make your opponent give reasons for their views instead of just asserting them.

The second talk was on Relativism. Here is the PDF. In the handout, Scott explains what moral relativism is, and some of the problems with the view.

You can find out more about Scott’s organization, the Life Training Institute, on their web page. He is the #1 pro-life debater in the United States, in my opinion. I have met Scott, and he is someone I personally admire. His book “The Case for Life” is the best introduction to pro-life apologetics that you can get. With that book, anyone can learn to be confident and bold when defending the right of unborn children to live.

Does legalized abortion reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies?

Here’s economist John R. Lott to explain.

First he points out what happened around the time that abortion was legalized:

  • A sharp increase in pre-marital sex.
  • A sharp rise in out-of-wedlock births.
  • A drop in the number of children placed for adoption.
  • A decline in marriages that occur after the woman is pregnant.

Then he writes this: (links removed)

Many of these changes might seem contradictory. Why would both the number of abortions and out-of-wedlock births go up? If there were more illegitimate births, why were fewer children available for adoption?

For the first puzzle, part of the answer lies in attitudes toward premarital sex. With abortion seen as a backup, women as well as men became less careful in using contraceptives as well as more likely to have premarital sex.

There were more unplanned pregnancies. But legal abortion did not mean every unplanned pregnancy led to abortion. After all, just because abortion is legal does not mean that the decision is an easy one.

Academic studies have found that legalized abortion, by encouraging premarital sex, increased the number of unplanned births, even outweighing the reduction in unplanned births due to abortion.

In the United States from the early 1970s, when abortion was liberalized, through the late 1980s, there was a tremendous increase in the rate of out-of-wedlock births, rising from an average of 5 percent of all births from 1965 to 1969 to more than 16 percent two decades later (1985 to 1989).

For blacks, the numbers soared from 35 percent to 62 percent. While not all of this rise can be attributed to liberalized abortion rules, it was a key contributing factor, nevertheless.

With legalization and a woman not forced to go through with an unplanned pregnancy, a man might well expect his partner to have an abortion if a sexual encounter were to result in an unplanned pregnancy.

But what happens if the woman refuses — say, she is morally opposed or, perhaps, she thought she could have an abortion but upon becoming pregnant decides she can’t go through with it?

Many men, feeling tricked into unwanted fatherhood, likely will wash their hands of the affair altogether, thinking, “I never wanted a baby. It’s her choice, so let her raise the baby herself.”

What is expected of men in this position has changed dramatically in the last four decades. Evidence shows that the greater availability of abortion largely ended “shotgun” marriages, where men felt obligated to marrying the women.

What has happened to these babies of reluctant fathers?

The mothers often raise the children on their own. Even as abortion has led to more out-of-wedlock births it has dramatically reduced adoptions of children born in America by two-parent families.

Before Roe, when abortion was much more difficult, women who would have chosen an abortion but were unable to get one turned to adoption as their backup. After Roe, women who turned down an abortion also were the type who wanted to keep the child.

But all these changes — rising out-of-wedlock births, plummeting adoption rates and the end of shotgun marriages — meant one thing: more single-parent families. With work and other demands on their time, single parents, no matter how “wanted” their child may be, tend to devote less attention to their children than do married couples; after all, it’s difficult for one person to spend as much time with a child as two people can.

From the beginning of the abortion debate, those favoring abortion have pointed to the social costs of “unwanted” children who simply won’t get the attention of “wanted” ones. But there is a trade-off that has long been neglected. Abortion may eliminate “unwanted” children, but it increases out-of-wedlock births and single parenthood. Unfortunately, the social consequences of illegitimacy dominated.

Children born after liberalized abortion rules have suffered a series of problems from difficulties at school to more crime. The saddest fact is that it is the most vulnerable in society, poor blacks, who have suffered the most from these changes.

[…]Liberalized abortion undoubtedly has made life easier for many, but like sex itself sometimes, it has had many unintended consequences.

You can read more about it in Dr. Lott’s book “Freedomnomics“, which is a response to the popular leftist book Freakonomics.

Should abortion be legal? Scott Klusendorf vs Nadine Strossen

Abortion can be a complicated issue, but the nice thing about Scott is that he cuts right to the core of the debate and makes sure to clarify what each side is saying. He strips away the rhetoric and gets down to the real arguments on each side and  the pro-life side comes out on top.

Relevant  resources

Recently, Scott taught two classes on the techniques that he uses when debating abortion.

The first talk was on Tactics. Here is the PDF. In the handout, Scott explains how to use questions to make your opponent give reasons for their views instead of just asserting them.

The second talk was on Relativism. Here is the PDF. In the handout, Scott explains what moral relativism is, and some of the problems with the view.

You can find out more about Scott’s organization, the Life Training Institute, on their web page. He is the #1 pro-life debater in the United States, in my opinion. I have met Scott, and he is someone I personally admire. His book “The Case for Life” is the best introduction to pro-life apologetics that you can get. With that book, anyone can learn to be confident and bold when defending the right of unborn children to live.

The return of the Life Training Institute podcast

Unborn baby scheming about the new LTI podcast
Unborn baby scheming about the new LTI podcast

The LTI podcast features a pro-life look at news, law and policy.

You can grab the MP3 file here. (30 minutes)

Topics:

  • Susan G. Komen and Planned Parenthood
  • HHS forces religious organizations to cover contraception
  • Evangelicals and political engagement
  • Barack Obama: women need abortion in order to be equal
  • what does the Bible say about abortion?
  • do people have intrinsic value?

This podcast does not discuss how Susan G. Komen backed away from their decision to not fund Planned Parenthood after the mainstream media put pressure on them to continue funding the largest abortion provider in the United States. But the LTI  guys are smart – they were skeptical about giving money to Susan G. Komen even after the initial announcement.  Also note that one of the nice things about Scott Klusendorf is that he is an evangelical Christian – not a Roman Catholic. So it’s nice to see an evangelical Christian taking the lead on moral issues – it makes me proud to be an evangelical. Evangelical men ought to be as well informed about moral issues as they are about politics, science and foreign policy.

Susan G. Komen and Planned Parenthood

Mary sent me a story on the Susan G. Komen Foundation that analyzes how they are linked to Planned Parenthood from the Wall Street Journal. It’s by Robbie George of Princeton, so you have to read it!

Excerpt:

The Susan G. Komen Foundation, an organization dedicated since 1982 to fighting, and one day curing, breast cancer, decided to extricate itself from the culture wars by discontinuing grants to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest provider of abortions. The grants Komen had been making amounted to $650,000 last year, funding some 19 local Planned Parenthood programs that offered manual breast exams but only referrals for mammograms performed elsewhere.

The reality is that Planned Parenthood—with annual revenues exceeding $1 billion—does little in the way of screening for breast cancer. But the organization is very much in the business of selling abortions—more than 300,000 in 2010, according to Planned Parenthood. At an average cost of $500, according to various sources including Planned Parenthood’s website, that translates to about $164 million of revenue per year.

So how did Planned Parenthood and its loyal allies in politics and the media react to Komen’s efforts to be neutral in the controversy over abortion?

Faced with even the tiniest depletion in the massive river of funds Planned Parenthood receives yearly, the behemoth mobilized its enormous cultural, media, financial and political apparatus to attack the Komen Foundation in the press, on TV and through social media.

The organization’s allies demonized the charity, attempting to depict the nation’s most prominent anti-breast cancer organization as a bedfellow of religious extremists. A Facebook page was set up to “Defund the Komen Foundation.” In short, Planned Parenthood took breast-cancer victims as hostages.

Komen’s leaders had good reason to believe their organization could disintegrate under Planned Parenthood’s assault. On Friday the charity issued a statement “apologizing to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives.” The statement assured Planned Parenthood’s supporters that, like any other organization, it is eligible to apply for grants in the future.

I think the bottom line is this. There are plenty of non-Christians giving money to causes like this. If you are a Christians, you’re much better off giving your money to an organization like Life Training Institute. At the very least, you should all buy “The Case for Life”, which is the best  small book on pro-life apologetics.

By the way, I blogged on the previous LTI podcast here. That one was from March 2010. I hope they make more of these regularly.