Archive for February, 2012
When confronted with the story of the prom mom who killed her child, pro-lifers sarcasticly referred to it as a 4th trimester abortion. “If you can kill them before birth,” we asked, “why not after? Isn’t it just another form of abortion?”
We were being sarcastic. The pro-aborts were incredulous. How could we possibly suggest that the moral status of a preborn child was equal to that of the born child?
As it turns out, one man’s sarcasm is another man’s policy proposal.
In a paper published by the Journal of Medical Ethics, Alberto Giubilini (Department of Philosophy, University of Milan) and Francesca Minerva (Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, University of Melbourne) are now saying, “Yes, the pro-lifers are correct. There is no difference between the moral status of a preborn child and that of an infant. So we can kill the infants, also!” (Source here.) They wrote:
Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’. We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her. This means that many non-human animals and mentally retarded human individuals are persons, but that all the individuals who are not in the condition of attributing any value to their own existence are not persons.
If criteria such as the costs (social, psychological, economic) for the potential parents are good enough reasons for having an abortion even when the fetus is healthy, if the moral status of the newborn is the same as that of the infant and if neither has any moral value by virtue of being a potential person, then the same reasons which justify abortion should also justify the killing of the potential person when it is at the stage of a newborn.
Well, there you have it.
The big question is this: What will you do about it? One suggestion: Please help us storm the gates of the Culture of Death. Please give sacrificially so we can combat the Culture of Death, before it destroys our next generation. If you won’t, who will? For the sake of your sons and daughters, and also your nieces and nephews, please help us turn back the tide of death.
This report comes from Kurt Linnemann of CBR Maryland.
They came out with a sign! A handmade sign! Finally! After bringing our School “Choice” Project (the graphic reality of abortion) to nine high schools, we had our first student protest. Two of them stood beside us holding a handmade sign that said, “It’s easy to talk about MORALITY when you’re not the one getting PREGNANT.”
It was great … and I commended them on their willingness to stand for what they believed. Flawed as it may be, I was glad to see they had conviction and were willing to act. And I told them so. As I took pictures of the students holding the sign, a Baltimore County police officer told me I was not allowed to take their picture. I asked her why. She told me that once a child gets on a school bus they become wards of the state and as such they are protected by the state. I repsonded by saying that as long as they were in public, I had a legal right to take their photo, minor or not, ward of the state or not. I asked her to call her supervisor. She did and afterwards told me that her supervisor simply instructed her to encourage the students to leave and get into class.
So these students along with others learned of activism and our First Amendment rights, which are both great things. And the 1600 students at Parkville High School learned what abortion does to a baby. Through the images of the aborted babies, the plight of the preborn child became a major topic of discussion for the students, faculty, administration, and related families of Parkville High School.
By participating in the School “Choice” Project one morning a week, you can be a hero, save a baby, and get to work on time! For further information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 410-913-3931.
Awesome! Kurt’s appeal for help is obviously targeted to the schools in the CBR Maryland region. We can help you reach high-school students with the truth, no matter where you live! Go to www.ProLifeOnCampus.com and “Contact us.”
Note: We always follow police directives, but we do ask them why and ask them to clarify with their own supervisors. If they persist, even with a demand we know to be unlawful, we comply and work it out with their lawyers in the proper venue at the proper time. On the street is neither the proper venue nor the proper time.
Now that the dust has settled a bit, I wanted to share with you this column by Steven D. Greydanus.
For one thing, Greydanus has given us the best summary of what Komen has said and not said. That’s worth reading, because there is considerable confusion on the degree to which Komen “caved.”
Greydanus goes on to point out that the real story has nothing to do with Komen. The real story is ” the swiftness and ruthlessness of the Culture of Death Left backlash against Komen.” He wrote,
I’m sure Komen executives expected to take some heat in the media for their decision. They probably weren’t anticipating that the American Association of University Women would immediately bar Komen from approved community service opportunities for college women at the AAUW’s annual leadership conference.
That’s right: As far as the AAUW is concerned, … [fighting] breast cancer isn’t enough. You have to fund America’s largest abortion provider.
Complete column here.
As I reflected on the range of emotions from our GAP excursion to Florida, the opening lines from Charles Dickens’ great novel came to mind:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness … it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair …
Hope that’s not too literarial for all you people in Rio Linda.
Anyway, I am hopeful for the future when I think about the team of young people who accompanied us to the U of North Florida (UNF) and Florida State U (FSU). They gave of themselves so freely, so that others might live and live more abundantly. I was blessed to be with them.
But I can’t escape despair when I reflect on some of the students we encountered – students who believe that unrestrained sex (anywhere, anytime, with anybody) is another “entitlement” to be demanded, rather than a curse to be avoided. They don’t know about — indeed, they don’t want to know about — the physical, emotional, and spiritual dangers inherent in the lifestyle they’ve embraced, not only for themselves, but for others as well.
The ups and downs of the week were personified by two young women we met along the way, Julie and Brandi.
“I cried until I couldn’t breathe.”
We had been to UNF in 2009. As with every GAP, many students had said our pictures had changed their minds. But we didn’t know about Julie. She was a freshman at the time.
Fast-forward to February 21, 2012. CBR staffers Nicole Cooley and Stephanie Gray had been holding “Open Mike” for nearly 2 hours. They had withstood an intense barrage of pro-abortion artillery. Just before they were about to close it down for the day, a young lady stepped forward and asked for the microphone. She remembered when we came before. She had been pro-choice. She had been really angry.
“I thought your pictures were disgusting,” she said of that first encounter, “but they followed me home. They followed me for several days. And I went online and looked up a video of abortion.”
After seeing that video — likely the Choice Blues video featured on AbortionNo.org, a CBR website — she said, “I cried until I couldn’t breathe. I changed at that moment from pro-choice to pro-life.”
What a blessing to hear those words! On this day (in 2012), Julie had actually left campus for the day but had come back to complete a forgotten errand. She parked where she doesn’t usually park. She didn’t know why. She walked a route she doesn’t usually walk. She didn’t know why. Then, she saw the Open Mike and decided to speak. I told her that God had arranged it for her to come and give us much-needed encouragement!
She said we were changing many more hearts and minds than we could imagine. See Julie tell her story in the video below!
“That’s what vaccines are for.”
At FSU, it was clear that Brandi is quite intelligent, but like most of us, she struggles to blindfold her own prejudices, even for a few minutes. She was much more interested in lecturing than listening. Nothing I had to say could possibly be worth considering. I’ve been around teenagers before, so I’m familiar with the disorder.
She did, as I recall, accept our position that preborn children deserve protection in the 3rd trimester, but I don’t think she ever told me what morally relevant criteria makes it OK to kill a 2nd-trimester child.
It is difficult to advance a coherent argument when you’re being interrupted at every turn. We think it was their plan to come out en masse and interrupt each of us in mid-sentence so that nobody could hear us finish a complete thought. Most of the time, she was interrupting to lecture me on things I had already tried to say myself. Finally, I interrupted her, “Brandi, I’ve got a PhD in engineering, I know the difference between science and philosophy. I know the difference between facts and conclusions.”
She asserted that even though the preborn child has structures you can see, they are not persons because the cells are yet undifferentiated. (Which isn’t true, by the way.) Anyway, the obvious question, which I did manage to get out, was, “Why should we accept your assertion that personhood should depend on degree of cell differentiation?” I got no answer.
At that point, she changed the subject to contraception. (CBR takes no position on contraception, but we do oppose any agent that acts as an abortifacient.) She asked why we don’t hand out contraceptives, as if they are the silver bullet that would end abortion, if only we would distribute our fair share. I replied that 54% of all abortions were performed on women who used contraceptives in the month in which they got pregnant (source). People at FSU have ample access to inexpensive (if not free) contraception, but they still get abortions.
She countered with the unsubstantiated claim that the 54% reported by Guttmacher were largely people who ran out of contraceptives mid-month and could not afford to buy more. [Note how silly this is: people are too poor to pay for a $1 contraceptive, but they can afford a $500 abortion .]
I told her that contraceptives fail, and it is not our goal to merely reduce the number of abortions. Our goal is to get rid of the whole bloody mess. And besides, I said, we have no desire to encourage people to put themselves at risk for deadly STDs. Condoms fail, and even when they work properly they are only marginally effective against some diseases, particularly human papillomavirus (HPV).
That’s when she said, “That’s what vaccines are for.”
I was surprised by her candor. “Brandi, is that the best you can do? Counsel people to put themselves at risk for deadly diseases and depend on a vaccine for protection?” As any safety engineer will tell you, the first rule for minimizing risk is to remove the hazard altogether. But Brandi would encourage teenagers to engage in potentially deadly behaviors with only a thin layer of latex as protection. Oh yes, the latex and a vaccine.
Or is it 25 different vaccines? When I was Brandi’s age, there were really only two STDs. It had been that way for centuries. Now, a mere 40 years later, I’m told there are more than 25 different STDs. The Associated Press reports that 1 in 4 teen girls has at least one. What changed? More contraceptives? More Planned-Parenthood-style sex education? More reckless and deadly behaviors? Yes, yes, and yes. Of course we don’t oppose truthful education, but we do oppose encouraging teenagers to engage in reckless and self-destructive behaviors.
Perhaps latex and vaccines are the best Brandi can offer. People on the Left apparently believe that people are so helpless, they cannot possibly control themselves where sex is concerned. So instead of addressing reckless and deadly behaviors, they insist on latex and vaccines.
And they insist on it, not only for their own children, but for ours as well. And the rest of us should pay for it. And when our children get sick anyway — many will — too bad. And when they get pregnant anyway — many will — the rest of us should pay for the abortions. No thanks. Leave me and my family out of it.
Our culture has become a cesspool, deadly for some, and I fear that the worst is yet to come. Our only hope is a miracle. Fortunately, God is in the miracle business. If we pray and fast and sacrifice much, who knows what He will do?
Perhaps the Brandi of today will be the Julie of tomorrow.
- Wikipedia reports that the typical failure rate for condoms is 15%, and the perfect-use failure rate is 2%. Those numbers are for pregnancy prevention over a 1-year period, not the prevention of STD transmission. A woman can become pregnant only a few days a month; a person can contract an STD on any and every day of the month. The more times a person engages in sex, the more opportunities for condom failure, so a person’s cumulative risk for catching an STD increases every time.
- Since returning from Florida, I have run across a 2011 paper by Peter Arcidiancono (Duke University), Ahmed Khwaja (Yale University) and Lijing Ouyang (Centers for Disease Control). They concluded, “Programs that increase access to contraception are found to decrease teen pregnancies in the short run but increase teen pregnancies in the long run.” (Source) More good information here.
Got a nice e-mail from Michael Oliveros, a student at the University of North Florida (UNF):
It was really nice to see you on campus, since I am around a very pro-choice environment so much. I am really excited about the pro-life club that you are starting! It will give me a way to express my pro-life views, as well as a place for support, and to be around people of like mind.
Again, I’d like to reiterate how appreciative I am of you all coming out. I commend all of you for your courage in being a voice for these babies, and for standing up for life. I hope and pray that I can have the same courage and dedication that all of you have as I become a part of this pro-life club.
God bless, and all of you are in my prayers!
Thanks to all of you who support our work! You make it possible!
Day 1 of the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) at Florida State University (FSU) was a huge success. Large crowds gathered to view the signs and listen to our team explain the facts about prenatal development and abortion.
I was able to pray with one student who had been abused as a child. I prayed that God would reveal himself to this young man in a powerful way. As an atheist, he was probably skeptical, but he let me pray for him nonetheless! I hope you will pray for him as well.
We continue to be impressed by the good work of the George Mason University (GMU) Students for Life, led by their president Anna Maher and aided by local CBR volunteer Jonathan Darnel.
Every week, they display abortion pictures. Every week, they pick up new members. More people are volunteering for leadership. It’s amazing what one person can start when she puts her mind to it.
Earlier this month, they were joined for the day by CBR Virginia Project Director Nicole Cooley.
Today, we drove from Jacksonville to Tallahassee and displayed “Choice” signs at Florida A&M University (FAMU). One student invited us to speak to her class tomorrow and another wanted a “Choice” sign for herself!
When they see us on campus with the “Genocide Awarness Project,” they are incredulous. They storm over to us and insist on educating us about the definition of genocide, as if there is only one.
They imagine that we have never looked it up for ourselves. They don’t realize that there are at least three different classes of definitions of genocide:
- legal definitions, intended to support prosecution in court,
- popular definitions, intended to convey meaning to a general audience, and
- scholarly definitions, postulated by scholars to help them understand and study the phenomena more completely.
We, of course, are looking at the term more conceptually, as a scholar might, as opposed to more concretely and more narrowly, as a judge and jury might if they were being asked to incarcerate somebody for life.
How do we answer the angry student? First of all, we agree with him, “You are right, abortion is nothing like genocide … IF.” You can imagine the expressions we get. They don’t hear the “IF” at first.
We go on to say that if pre-born children are not living human beings, then abortion does not kill humans and there are no relevant similarities between abortion and genocide.
But if pre-born children are living human beings — science tells us they are — then abortion kills 1.2 million living humans every year in the US. If not genocide, what else would we call it?
UN General Assembly Resolution 96, adopted in 1946, describes genocide as “a denial of the right of existence of entire human groups, as homicide is the denial of the right to live of individual human beings …” Resolution 96 goes on to say it is a crime “whether committed on religious, racial, political or any other grounds …” (emphasis added)
With abortion, the “entire human group” denied the right of existence is unwanted, pre-born children.
In 1948, the UN adopted a more narrow legal definition of genocide to support prosecution in court. As a concession to the Soviet Union, who feared Stalin’s mass murders might be considered genocidal if broader language were employed, the UN omitted references to social and political groups. (The Study of Mass Murder and Genocide, Robert Gellately and Ben Kiernan, in The Specter of Genocide: Mass Murder in Historical Perspective, Cambridge University Press, 2003, p. 18)
However, others have adopted more comprehensive language. For example, French law adds “[any] group determined by any other arbitrary criterion.”
Abortion is a form of age discrimination, in that it targets unwanted children of a certain age. Their destruction is justified based on arbitrary age- related factors such as size, level of development, environment (location), and degree of dependency.
Got a comment today on a previous FAB posting. Read Mari’s comment here (Comment 1).
My response follows:
Thanks for commenting on the GAP project at UNF. Yes, we know that the abortion pictures are extremely disturbing. They are difficult for you to look at, because you have a functioning conscience. That’s a good thing.
Please permit me to address some of the specific points you raised.
You say that you would have no problem with us handing out pamphlets to people who wanted them. But these methods appeal to you because they would make it easy for you to ignore the injustice you now find so disturbing. Your complaint reminds us of what they said to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., when he marched against racial injustice. They wanted him to confine his activities to the Black church, so they could ignore the injustice he sought to correct. They didn’t want to be bothered. And as long as Dr. King didn’t bother them, they were OK with it.
But Dr. King knew that in order to change the status quo, he had to show people that racism was much worse than they imagined. It was pictures of Black men and women being attacked with dogs and water cannons—those pictures appearing on TV and in magazines reaching millions of American households—that turned the tide against segregation in the South. We have no hope of correcting the injustice of abortion unless we expose it.
Our operating principle actually comes from the King family. Dr. Martin Luther King said that, “America will not reject racism until America sees racism.” His niece, Dr. Alveda King, now says that “America will not reject abortion until America sees abortion.” That’s why we are working to make sure that every American sees abortion for what it is, an act of violence that destroys a growing child.
The fact that you and others find baby-killing disturbing is actually encouraging. The people who worry us are the ones who don’t care about it.
You said you came to the campus to learn. You learned something today. First, you learned that the preborn child is a living human being, even in the first trimester of pregnancy. Second, you learned that abortion is an act of violence that destroys a living human child. This information will be very valuable to you, if you want to do the right thing.
Speaking of learning, doesn’t it bother you that so many people and institutions have conspired to tell you only lies … lies about who the preborn child is and lies about what abortion does to her. The education system, the media, the entertainment industry, the government, and others have all conspired with the abortion industry to make people believe that the preborn child is just a mass of cells and abortion is just removing a benign medical procedure. Had they told you the truth, we would not have been compelled to come to your campus.
You say that we are exploiting unborn children by showing their pictures. How so? If we are exploiting these children, then isn’t it equally true that the Holocaust Museum in Washington is exploiting European Jews by showing pictures of their dead bodies? You can’t go to any Holocaust museum or read a book on the Holocaust without seeing a disturbing photo of dead Jewish bodies.
You say you had no choice in the matter of whether to look at the photos or not. Actually, you could have turned your head away from the pictures and walked right on by. We watched many people doing exactly that. Apparently, you didn’t turn your head; the fact that you are so disturbed suggests you studied the images very carefully. We’re glad you did, but it was clearly your choice to study them or not.
And even if it is true that you had no choice but to see the photos for a few seconds before you were able to avert your gaze, are you so selfish as to be unwilling to endure a few moments of discomfort in other to save another person’s life?
You say that we should be ashamed. It reminds me of something Louis Hine said. In the early 1900s, he displayed photos of very young (adolescent) children working in coal mines, textile mills, etc. He wrote in his memoirs that some people were more angry at him for showing the pictures than at the industrial bosses for abusing the children. It is the abortionist who should be ashamed for killing the children, not us for exposing the truth.
For more information about abortion—no matter what you decide, you want your decision to be informed by the facts—visit www.AbortionNo.org.
We’re up and running with our pro-life display at the U of North Florida (UNF), an important and growing university in Jacksonville. Our pro-life GAP display is situated on the main sidewalk leading from the Student Union to the academic buildings.
It’s a busy day on campus. We’re seeing lots of student tours. In fact, this might be the perfect day to reach high school students. We’re guessing many of them (and their parents) are out of high school (and work) for Presidents Day, so this is a logical day for them to schedule a university tour.
The Pro Life Training Academy is a big hit at the U of North Florida (UNF) in Jacksonville! More than 100 attended! The UNF Student Union staff were gracious to expand the room and provide additional tables and chairs on a moment’s notice!
CBR’s campus outreach for the Spring 2012 semester got off to a great start at Florida Gulf Coast University earlier this week. Great video on the Eagle News (student newspaper) website.
Notice how the pro-aborts agree with us on the most important aspect of our display: abortion is “terrorizing,” “grotesque,” “shocking,” “aweful,” etc. Unlike the abortion industry and many college professors, pictures don’t lie.
Question: If abortion is such a great thing, then why do pictures of it make abortion advocates so angry?
BTW, CBR will never agree to hide the truth of abortion. That is Planned Parenthood’s schtick, not ours.
Got a note from Lynn Dyer, a sidewalk and crisis pregnancy counselor who explains how she uses CBR’s Choice Blues video to save children and moms from abortion in Arizona. She wrote:
I’ve been involved in pro-life activities for the past 30 years. I”m always interested in finding new ways to touch a woman’s heart so that she will not abort her baby.
When counseling a woman and/or young girl and she agrees to go to our clinic (Life Choices Woman’s Clinic) with me, she will be given an ultrasound so that she can see her baby. After that, she is shown the DVD Choice Blues. In many instances, seeing this DVD has solidified her decision not to abort.
To give an example: I brought a young girl into our clinic recently whom I had counseled on the sidewalk at the abortion clinic. She had had a previous abortion and was to get a second one on this particular day. She reluctantly agreed to come to our clinic with me, but was still abortion minded. She saw her baby on the ultrasound and afterward made the comment to me, “Well, the aborted babies go back to heaven, right?” [Note from FAB: We hear the same thing from “pro-life” Christian pastors who try to justify doing nothing to stop abortion, even within their own churches.]
I know then that she had not had a change of heart yet. Then I sat with her while we watched Choice Blues. This is when I saw the real transformation in this young girl. She explained to me that with her first abortion, she had been heavily sedated and they (Planned Parenthood) had not told her or showed her what would actually take place during her abortion.
She was shocked at what she saw on this video and asked numerous questions about possible physical injuries and complications that might occur as a result of this obviously dangerous and brutal procedure. I truly feel that this girl did not go through with her plans to abort her baby because of what she saw on this DVD.
[In Arizona, there is a 24-hour waiting period, which means that 2 visits to the abortion clinic are required. The sidewalk] is a perfect opportunity for me to give her the Choice Blues DVD to take home with her to watch before she comes back on the second visit to abort. So far, I have never seen a woman whom I have given the DVD to return for her abortion. Choice Blues is an invaluable tool for me in my counseling … a real lifesaver.
Thank you CBR for making this valuable DVD available.
Order your own copies of Choice Blues to hand out. There is a special version of Choice Blues for use in crisis pregnancy counseling that is not suitable for general audiences. For the crisis pregnancy version, click here. We have letters from CPC counselors who have documented literally hundreds of babies saved by CBR videos. Those are just the ones who bothered to write.
For the standard version of Choice Blues, suitable for use with general audiences (normally teenagers and older), click here.
I’m in the Jacksonville Airport, headed back to Knoxville, wrapping up my 4th week on the road. We’re getting ready for our campus outreach (GAP) at the U of North Florida (UNF) and Florida State U (FSU) later this month. Lots of enthusiasm for our Pro Life Training Academy on February 19.
Thanks to God for all the families in Jacksonville and Tallahassee who will house and feed our traveling team of 26 missionaries, including 14 Canadian students who will be learning how to win hearts, change minds, and save lives.
After I landed in Jacksonville, Kenyana fixed me up with a rental car. As she filled out the paperwork, she asked, “What brings you to Jacksonville?”
I told her, “I’m a radical right-wing lunatic troublemaker.” I gave her my card.
She looked at it, “Pro-life.” Then I showed her the photo of our GAP project on the back of my card. She got excited, “You came to my school!”
“Where did you go to school?” I asked.
“Yes, we were there about 3 years ago.”
Without any coaxing at all, Kenyana offered, “Well, you sure changed my mind. I didn’t have any idea what abortion is. None of us did.”
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