Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Do pro-lifers have to adopt unwanted children in order to have standing to oppose abortion?

This was sent to me by my friend Robb. The caller asks Greg whether he has ever taken in any foster children, since he is pro-life. She apparently thinks that Greg cannot be pro-life unless Greg is willing to adopt every crisis pregnancy child who is allowed to be born.

This is the greatest amount of ass-kicking that has ever been accomplished in 10 minutes. I have never heard Greg Koukl lose his temper, but he is clearly a little annoyed with the caller.

Filed under: Videos, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pro-life doctors banned from presenting scientific evidence at MWIA conference

From the Daily Caller. (H/T Mary)

Excerpt:

A group of pro-life OB/GYN doctors was unceremoniously banned at the last minute from presenting a panel on abortion at an international conference for women in medicine  in South Korea last week.

Dr. Mary Davenport, one of the three pro-life doctors scheduled to speak, told The Daily Caller she was shocked because the group’s presentations detailing the risks of abortion were “straight academic talks.”

“It wasn’t any kind of advocacy position about what any nation’s abortion laws should be or anything like that,” said Davenport. “But we find this all over — that due to political correctness there’s some things you can’t say.”

Davenport and her two colleagues from the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) learned of the cancellation the night before the presentation was supposed to take place.

As to why the group was invited only to have its event cancelled, Davenport said “it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.” She theorized there was a split between the conference’s organizers, the Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA), and its Korean hosts.

“The Korean people wanted to hear what we had to say,” Davenport said. “But I guess they were overruled by the leadership of this particular organization.”

Life News had more about another attempt by the MWIA organizers to shut the scientists down.

Excerpt:

MWIA’s press release emphasizes that the presentations were censored because their conclusions were politically incorrect. The title of the press release is “MWIA is proud to stand for women’s rights.” It “regrets” that MWIA invited presenters “who would deny women their basic right to choice.” For good measure, it throws in some slander, stating that the speakers’ presentations– which were to summarize recent studies from such esteemed journals as the Journal of Reproductive Medicine, BJOG, PLoS ONE, and numerous others– have “no scientific merit.”

The real motivation is clear: these speakers were censored for daring to share data that might show that abortion has downsides for women.

What’s worse, MWIA leaders actively prevented people who wanted to learn more about the topic on their own time from doing so!

With the cancellation of our talks, our host Anna Choi, head of group of 680 Korean obgyn physicians who stopped doing abortions, had decided to set up a radio and newspaper interview for us during the time that we were supposed to present.

When we got to the “radio” interview that Anna had set up, it was actually a television interview, and the newspaper reporter was there also.

They put the three of us up front like a “panel” discussion, and the reporters started asking us questions about our presentation, allowing us an opportunity to talk about what we came to present. About 20 minutes into the interview, the Secretary General of MWIA, a Canadian woman, burst into the room (I kid you not. …and all of this is on camera), and came up to the table and said “What presentation is this? Donna Harrison said “it’s not a presentation”. So she snarled “Why are you being interviewed? At that point, the answers were left to Anna, our host. Anna said that this was a requested interview by the press.

The SecGen then said “Who gave you permission to interview these people?” And the reporters said “We are the press, we don’t need anyone’s permission. We have freedom of the press” And the Sec Gen snarled at Anna and said “Did you arrange this? Did you talk to the organizing committee?” And Anna said “I am on the organizing committee. I don’t need to talk to anyone.” And the Sec Gen stood in front of the camera, and refused to move, and said “The interview is over.” Then the reporters said “You can’t do this. We have the freedom of the press. You are interfering with the freedom of the press.” But the Sec Gen would not move and said “The interview is over.”

We exited to the hall, and a Belgian and German woman were waiting. They started to make fun of the Korean translator, and to snap pictures in her face. And she said “You can’t do this. This is my country. I will call the police.” And they actually grabbed at her, and then one of the Korean reporters put a huge camera in the Belgian woman’s face and started taking photos of her. A fist fight almost ensured between the women, but another of the Koreans stepped in and kept any contact from happening. And all of this was on camera. And then our Korean hosts ushered us down the hall, and down the elevator, along with the reporters and camera crew, and we resumed the interview in the commons area downstairs by the trash cans and the bathroom. We were able to complete the entire interview, and instead of our audience being a few women doctors from the conference, we now have an audience of probably a few thousand.

Wow. This is probably why pro-choice people oppose those laws that require that a woman have an ultrasound before having an abortion. If they actually know what they are aborting, then maybe they wouldn’t do it. The pro-choicers don’t want them to know the facts. Not from peer-reviewed journals, and not from ultrasounds.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , ,

Wendy Davis can’t explain how Gosnell murders and late-term abortions differ

The Weekly Standard asked Texas state senator Wendy Davis about her filibuster of the ban on abortions after 20 weeks.

Excerpt:

Texas state senator Wendy Davis spoke at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Monday afternoon about her 13-hour filibuster of a bill limiting late-term abortion, her life story, and her future in politics.

Davis has become a champion for pro-choice activists, but during her recent whirlwind national media tour, she never commented on late-term abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted of murder in May for killing infants moments after they were born.

Following her Press Club speech on Monday, THE WEEKLY STANDARD asked Davis to explain the difference between the late-term abortions that the Texas state senator wants to keep legal and the illegal Gosnell killings.

Davis didn’t answer the question. “I don’t know what happened in the Gosnell case,” she told me.

THE WEEKLY STANDARD: The supporters of these bans, they argue that there really isn’t much of a difference between what happened in that Philadelphia case with abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell [killing born-alive infants] 23 weeks into pregnancy and legal late-term abortions at 23 weeks. What is the difference between those two, between legal abortion at 23 weeks and what Gosnell did? Do you see a distinction between those two [acts]?

SEN. WENDY DAVIS: I don’t know what happened in the Gosnell case. But I do know that it happened in an ambulatory surgical center. And in Texas changing our clinics to that standard obviously isn’t going to make a difference. The state of the law obviously has to assure that doctors are providing safe procedures for women and that proper oversight by the health and human services department is being given. It sounds as though there was a huge gap in that oversight, and no one can defend that. But that’s not the landscape of what’s happening in Texas.

In June, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi was similarly unable to explain the difference between the Gosnell murders and late-term abortions. Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards ducked the question in July.

Polls have consistently shown that solid majorities of Americans, including women, support banning most abortions that occur later than 20 weeks after conception.

Asked what she thinks of polls showing women support limiting abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, Davis told me that people “don’t really understand” the issue.

I actually think that it’s pro-abortion people like Nancy Pelosi and Wendy Davis, and their media sycophants, who don’t understand abortion.

Here is the ignorance again, this time on Jezebel, a radical feminist web site, as reported by the American Spectator.

Excerpt: (links removed)

Other examples include a Jezebel article that declares “the concept of fetal pain is bullshit.” It’s a fascinating piece, full of superfluous nicknames and profanities, centered on the astounding assertion that “there’s no evidence that nonviable fetal pain is a thing.” Even more fascinating, however, is that the author, Katie J.M. Baker, doesn’t cite one ounce of scientific evidence to support her claim. Instead, she awkwardly transitions into an incoherent rant against Republicans.

But despite the left’s panic, there is a strong case to be made that unborn children feel pain by 20 weeks.

In a 1999 article published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Dr. Vivette Glover and Dr. Nicholas M. Fisk explain a key fact:

The most important evidence [of fetal pain] is anatomical. For the fetus to feel pain, it is necessary for the requisite nociceptive pathways to be developed. This involves neural connections between peripheral receptors and the spinal cord, upward transmission via the spinal cord to the thalamus, and from there to the outer cerebral layers.

Among the scientific jargon lies a key word – “nociception,” which has to do with nociceptive neurons. These “generate trains of action potentials in response to painful stimuli, and the frequency of firing signals the intensity of the pain.” In other words, they are what make pain painful. Glover and Fisk say that “most incoming pathways, including nociceptive ones, are routed through the thalamus and, as stated above, penetrate the subplate zone from about 17 weeks” into a pregnancy.

Now it’s true we might never know for sure exactly when an unborn child feels pain and to what extent. But Glover, Fisk, and others conclude that it is very possible pain is felt by at least 20 weeks. “Given the anatomical evidence, it is possible that the fetus can feel pain from 20 weeks and is caused distress by interventions from as early as 15 or 16 weeks. This sets a limit to the earliest stage that analgesia might be considered,” according to Glover and Fisk. They don’t suggest that abortions should cease, but instead recommend that painkillers be administered to children about to be aborted.

Pro-lifers are very familiar with what a baby can do at all stages of development. We have to be, because we have to be able to debate this issue using the real evidence. We are also the ones who push for informed consent and mandatory ultrasound, whereas the other side opposes both of those. Why is that? It’s because the pro-life side has the evidence and pushes it, whereas the pro-abortion side tries to hide the evidence and appeal to feelings. Abortion supporters don’t know, and they don’t want anyone to know. Their embrace of abortion depends on their not knowing the truth.

Pro-lifer Amy Hall tweeted about an editorial from CNN that makes this point about willful ignorance. The author writes that pro-lifers want to ban abortion after 20 weeks in order to protect unborn children who have a heart beat. Huh? Unborn babies have a heart beat at week 6, according to the well-respected Mayo Clinic. That means that the CNN journalist was off by 14 weeks in her statement.  That’s the level of knowledge that you have on the other side of the abortion debate. It’s a self-serving ignorance designed to give them maximum autonomy and maximum irresponsibility.

For myself, I think that I’ll continue to look up to  pro-life women like Jaime Herrera Beutler and Michele Bachmann. They get it.

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Short pro-life responses to six pro-choice slogans

Two posts: (first post, second post) by Daniel Rodger, who lives in the UK.

Here are the six slogans:

  1. ‘It’s a women’s right to choose.’ 
  2. ‘Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one.’
  3. ‘Keep your Rosaries off my ovaries.’
  4. Vote Pro-choice. Politicians make crappy doctors.’
  5. ‘May the fetus you save be gay.’
  6. ‘Stop the war on women.’

I had not heard #5 before. But here are the first two responses:

1. ‘It’s a women’s right to choose.’ 

Of course we all respect someone’s right to choose, it would make you seem like a moral monster to deny something western civilisation values so highly. However, clearly there are many circumstances where the right to choose has its limitations. No-one is trying to tell women they can’t choose what to eat or who to talk to but the idea that choice is absolute is nonsense. One must clarify what is being referred to when we talk about having a right to choose to do something. If I wanted to choose to shoot my dog or beat a child for fun you would likely be abhorred at the nature of my choice and tell me that I have no such right to do so.

Very few people think that we should be able to kill other human beings with impunity which means that the nature of this ‘choice’ begs the question and assumes something about the nature of the unborn. That they are different, less valuable, outside of our moral circle, disposable and whose geographical location justifies their killing in the name of Western autonomy. Clearly whether someone is male or female they do not have the ‘right’ to choose to do whatever they want. Dressed up in more philosophical language we would find ourselves responding to the bodily autonomy objection that has been suitably refuted elsewhere ad nauseam.

2. ‘Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one.’

Let’s try and use similar logic on some other moral quandaries, ‘Don’t like slavery? Don’t own one.’ Don’t like wife beating? Don’t beat yours.’ Don’t like child abuse? Don’t abuse yours. Don’t like strawberries? Don’t eat them. What this slogan does quite effectively is that it moves abortion from being something that may be an objective moral wrong that kills a developing and innocent human being to one of personal tastes. Very few people would accept that preferring strawberries over apricots is morally similar to preferring to keep slaves or not, yet this is the category the slogan is putting abortion in. Slavery is wrong because it treats intrinsically valuable human being’s as a commodities that can be traded and sold.

However the real crime of this slogan is that it promotes the idea that those who are Pro-life only think abortion is wrong because they don’t like it, which is false. Whether someone likes strawberries or apricots is a personal preference that no-one would disagree with, but equivocating between that and an act that kills another human being is absurd and assumes moral relativism. This leaves the proponent of such a slogan in the position of having no authority to tell us that neither slavery and wife beating are wrong if I happened to like them.  Lets get this straight, when someone who holds the Pro-life view says abortion is wrong they are not simply saying they don’t like abortion, they are saying it is objectively wrong regardless of how someone may feel about it.

His first post covers the first three objections, the second post covers the latter three objections.

If you like these, you can find a whole collection of them here.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , , ,

Republican Congresswoman refuses to abort baby diagnosed with fatal condition

Unborn baby scheming about doing the right thing

Unborn baby scheming about doing the right thing

Here’s a story from National Review:

World magazine brings some happy news today: Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R., Wash.) and her husband Daniel Beutler have announced the birth of their daughter. What makes this particular arrival noteworthy is that Abigail was diagnosed in utero with Potter’s Sequence, a rare condition that impairs kidney and lung formation. Doctors informed the Beutlers that their daughter would not be able to breathe and would therefore expire moments after birth; they recommended an abortion.

Instead, the couple sought out treatment and prayed for a miracle. They finally discovered an experimental procedure, involving saline injections into the uterus to assist in lung development, and physicians at Johns Hopkins who were willing to try it. On July 15, a mere 28 weeks into the pregnancy, their faith and persistence yielded the world’s first recorded survivor of Potter’s Sequence. Despite lacking functional kidneys and weighing a mere 44 ounces at birth, little Abigail is breathing independently and responding well to peritoneal dialysis.

In a statement on the congresswoman’s Facebook page, the Beutlers thank the many doctors and nurses who rendered assistance, as well as “the thousands who joined us in praying for a miracle. But most of all, we are grateful to God for answering those prayers.”

Fox News had more:

The congresswoman explained on her official website as well as on her social media pages that many doctors were pessimistic about the baby’s chances of making it to term, and were fairly certain that if she survived through birth, she would live only moments. Herrera Beutler is against abortion and said she refused to consider it as an option.

“With hearts full of hope, we put our trust in the Lord and continued to pray for a miracle,” she wrote on her congressional site.

The announcement by the congresswoman was, essentially, a testimony about holding out hope and defying the odds.

Abigail has no kidneys and had no amniotic fluid in the womb. During the pregnancy, doctors injected saline solution into the womb in the place of amniotic fluid.

At birth, Abigail had fully developed lungs and she is breathing on her own, suggesting that the relatively uncommon treatment had worked. Abigail still requires ongoing dialysis and will eventually need a kidney transplant.

Herrera Beutler and her husband said they were thankful for the doctors and nurses who were not willing to accept the fatal diagnosis.

“We are grateful to the thousands who joined us in praying for a miracle. But most of all, we are grateful to God for hearing those prayers,” Herrera Beutler and her husband said in a joint statement.  “As far as every doctor we’ve spoken with knows, Abigail is the first baby with bilateral renal agenesis to breathe sustainably on her own.”

Dr. Louis Halamek, a neonatologist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in California, said they are cautiously optimistic about the future of the baby, born after a 28-week pregnancy.

“Despite Abigail’s prematurity, small size and life-threatening disease, she is doing well,” Halamek said.

Herrera Beutler, 34, is in her second term in Congress, representing the 3rd district covering the southwest portion of Washington state. The National Journal included her on its list of “The Top 25 Most Influential Washington Women Under 35.”

I think that a lot of Democrats are going to be surprised with this story, because they think that protecting the unborn is something that Republicans want to impose on others, but won’t do themselves. After all, Democrats are always passing taxes and regulations from others – but they don’t think that any of that applies to them. Al Gore rants on and on about global warming, but he still spends $30,000 a year in utility bills. So imagine how surprised the Democrats are to see that Republicans aren’t frauds and hypocrites. Yes, we actually believe in protecting the unborn even if it means that we will be less “happy” and less “fulfilled”. That’s what being pro-life means – welcoming children into the world and supplying for their needs, even if it requires us to make sacrifices.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , ,

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