Archive for the ‘Pro Life’ Category
Among all the pro-abortion myths, the assertion that the abortion-breast cancer (ABC) link has been “disproven” is among the easiest to debunk. But you have to have your references with you. And to really close the sale, you have to understand some basic statistics.
Three factors make this discussion more complex:
- Statistical analysis doesn’t “prove” anything, it only manages uncertainty. An analysis that “shows a statistically significant relationship” between abortion and breast cancer doesn’t definitively prove a relationship exists, and a study that “fails to show a statistically significant relationship” certainly doesn’t prove that it doesn’t exist. There is a big difference between failing to find something and proving that it’s not there.
- Even if you find an independent statistical relationship in the data, that statistical link doesn’t prove that a causality link exists. So even if the statistical link were undisputable, it would be wrong for us to say that abortion definitely causes breast cancer until the biological causal mechanism is established. However, plausible causal mechanisms have been proposed.
- The effect of delaying childbirth is also a risk factor. Because abortion, by its very nature, causes a delay in childbirth, it is easy to see how some might believe that the delayed-childbirth effect is the real culprit, and abortion is no more a risk factor than simply failing to get pregnant. However, you need to know that the abortion effect has been measured independently of the delayed-childbearing effect.
- The most self-assured antagonists in your audience are sometimes the ones who don’t have a clue about statistical analysis. All they know is the party line, but they are quick to tell you how smart they are and how stupid you are. However, others in your audience are listening, and they are the ones you are patiently trying to reach. Reach them with reason, not anger.
To paraphrase Alexander Pope, a little knowledge of statistics is a dangerous thing. I had a boss once who had taken one class in statistics, and his statistical conclusions were downright horrific. I got a PhD minor in experimental statistics, and the more I learned about it, the more I learned to be careful. Therefore, I actually had one of my long-time-ago statistics professors review this post.
Here’s how to respond to the assertion that the ABC link has been “disproven”:
Step 1. Show your audience a recent study that shows the statistical link; it helps if the paper is co-authored by a person who has previously denied the link. Here is a paper that is important for two reasons: (a) it is recent and (b) it was co-authored by Dr. Louise Brinton, the chairperson of the 2003 NCI workshop that declared abortion not to be a risk factor for breast cancer. This paper, which she co-authored in 2009, reported that abortion was indeed associated with a 40% increase in cancer risk. (See the occurrence ratio of 1.4 reported for abortion at bottom of page 1158.)
The increase in cancer risk measured in this study was statistically significant at the 95% level, which means that there is less than a 5% probability of a “false positive.” (A false positive, in this case, would mean that you detected a difference in cancer risk due to abortion that doesn’t actually exist, a difference that is based solely on random sampling error.)
Keep in mind that if there is no difference in cancer risk due to abortion, and you test at the 95% level of confidence, you will detect the non-existent difference (i.e., get a false positive) 5% of the time, or 1 time in 20, based solely on random sampling error. Because of the possibility of false positives, we would want to see more studies.
Step 2. Show your audience a compilation of studies. The Breast Cancer Prevention Institute (BCPI) has assembled a list of 68 studies that tested for the link. Nearly half of the studies cited (31 of 68) found a statistically significant increase in cancer risk associated with abortion. In other words, in 31 studies, the data shows that the abortion group has a higher risk than the non-abortion group. That’s still not enough to prove causality, but we can be confident that the statistical link is real.
When you produce this list for your audience, be sure to disclose that the BCPI has a pro-life agenda, and that your audience should read the studies and decide for themselves. I say to students, “Don’t let people with opinions, including me, tell you what to believe; you have to do the research yourself.”
The other 37 studies ”fail to show that the cancer risk is elevated due to abortion.” But ”failing to show” an elevated risk is not equivalent to “proving” that there is no elevated risk. A statistical analysis can’t prove that the risk is exactly the same, it can only “fail to show” that the risk is elevated. Until you understand this point, do not attempt to explain Steps 3 and 4, just go directly to the Conclusion (below).
Step 3 (optional). Explain the concepts of statistical significance, false positives and false negatives. This is tricky to explain, but data can “show that the cancer risk due to abortion is elevated at a statistically significant level,” or they can ”fail to show that the cancer risk is elevated at a statistically significant level,” but the data can never show that the cancer risk is not at all elevated.
Before a researcher performs the statistical test, he must first set the “level of significance” for that test, usually 1%, 5% or 10%. This is the level of “false positives” he is willing to accept. In other words, if he sets the level of significance at 5% (alpha=0.05), then that means if he finds a difference between the “control” group and the “test” group (e.g., between the non-abortion group and the abortion group) that is statistically significant, he can be 95% sure that the difference actually exists and is not due to random sampling error. There is only a 5% chance that he will measure a positive difference that isn’t really there (i.e., a false positive).
But the lower he sets the likelihood of false positives, the greater the opportunity for false negatives (i.e., stating “no difference” when one exists). If his data shows an increase in risk within the abortion group, but he can be only 89% confident that the measured increase is real and not due to random sampling error, he still has to report that the elevated risk from abortion is “not statistically significant at the 95% level.” He might be 89% sure, but he’s not 95% sure, so he has to report “no difference.” Consequently, a failure to find a statistically significant risk elevation is not proof that the risk isn’t elevated. It might only mean that he does not have enough data to confirm that the measured risk elevation is “statistically significant.”
Step 4 (optional). Explain that the difference between the groups is difficult to show at a statistically significant level because the difference is not all that big. The ambient cancer risk among women is about 10%. Abortion appears to increase the risk of breast cancer to about 13% or 14%, which is a 30% or 40% increase in cancer risk. A difference of only 3 or 4% is difficult to measure statistically—you need a large dataset to do it—but it’s an important difference to the estimated 300,000 or 400,000 women who got cancer because of their abortions.
An abortion-related increase in cancer risk from 10% to only 13% is enough to kill more than 300,000 deaths since Roe (source), which is about 8,000 women per year. But because measuring an increase of this magnitude in an individual study is difficult, the opportunity for false negatives is high, which could explain why some of the studies in the BCPI compilation fail to find the increase.
- We can never be fairly criticized for saying that abortion is a possible risk factor for breast cancer. According to a recent compilation, 31 of 68 studies have shown a statistical relationship, even if the causal mechanisms have not been established.
- The accusation that the ABC link has been “proven” false is made by people who don’t understand how science and statistics work. The lower a researcher establishes the likelihood of a false positive (normally 1%, 5%, or 10%), the greater the opportunity for a false negative (i.e., stating “no difference” when one exists).
- There are many in the medical community who believe there is more evidence for the link than against it.
A week and a half ago, the U of North Florida (UNF) Spinnaker (student newpaper) printed an op-ed piece critical of the GAP project. A few days later, I offered a rebuttal, which was printed in its entirety in the most recent issue. Awesome! Next to my letter was another pro-life op-ed piece, this one by another Spinnaker editor. Hurray for The Spinnaker!
I was pleased that The Spinnaker printed my letter. They also appended to my letter some final comments of their own, essentially a rebuttal to some of my points. No problem; we welcome debate. But I did want to respond, so I sent them this e-mail over the weekend:
Dear Spinnaker Editors,
I just wanted to sincerely thank you for printing my letter in your February 29, 2012 edition, along with another column from the pro-life side of the debate. I do appreciate you allowing commentary from both sides of the debate on our Genocide Awareness Project. Even if we disagree on key points, you were fair to print both sides.
I did want to respond to your comments that appeared at the end of my editorial in the paper. Not trying to be argumentative, but I thought I should address some of the points you raised.
Think of it as a friendly chat over coffee. In fact, I’ve attached a cup of coffee. From several hundred miles away, e-mail is the best I can do. Please feel free to print it out on your printer and share a cup with each member of the staff! You’ll note that it’s a bit flat, but still steamy. Try that with the US Postal Service!
Anyway, you said that your reference to “bloody babies” made no link to abortion victims, just to the photos the GAP displayed. I can’t think of any bloody babies we displayed other than abortion victims. Most people don’t think about abortion victims as “bloody babies”, and that is exactly why we want them to be seen, because that is exactly what they are.
As to the differences between the miscarried fetus, the aborted fetus, and the fetus in the womb, they are very different. The aborted fetus has generally been torn into pieces. In fact, one part of the abortion procedure is to reassemble the pieces to make sure that no part of the fetus has been left inside the uterus, which could create a serious infection. On the other hand, the miscarried fetus is generally not torn apart, although it can happen, depending on how the baby is removed. Miscarriages can occur spontaneously, which normally results in an intact embryo/fetus. If they find the baby dead and have to induce labor, that also can result in an intact fetus. At least it did for ours, who died at 19 weeks. We had another that died earlier in pregnancy, and the removal did (I was told) damage the body beyond any recognition or recovery.
Regarding living babies in the womb, obviously they have not been torn apart and therefore look nothing like the aborted babies we displayed.
You say that you did not describe a fetus as “just a blob of tissue.” Perhaps you didn’t explicitly make that claim, but when you advocate a debate about abortion in which the facts of abortion are hidden, you invite people to believe the myths that the abortion industry has advanced, including the myth that the unborn child is just a blob of tissue. It isn’t necessary for you to claim that the fetus is a blob of tissue, because for so many, that is the default assumption. That’s why it is up to us to prove otherwise. Pictures are, for most of our audience, the most effective proof we have.
Finally, you said that you didn’t encourage readers to be pro- or anti-abortion. Perhaps not explicitly, but the effect of your message is still pro-abortion because you don’t point people to the most important issue … whether or not the pre-born child is a human being whose life we must respect in the same way that we respect the life of a born child. We are more than willing to have a debate about our strategy and tactics, but the debate over abortion really centers around the questions of (1) who the pre-born child is, and (2) how must he be valued.
You were skeptical of our comparison of abortion to genocide. Obviously, abortion is nothing like genocide … IF. 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.
If it is wrong for whiter people to kill darker people for something they can’t control (the color of their skin), how can it be OK for older people to kill younger people for something they can’t control (their age)?
Blessings to all of you,
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.
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!
It has been widely reported that the Susan G. Komen Foundation caved to pressure from Planned Parenthood (PP). I said so myself in an e-mail to CBR friends and supporters. But it might be too early to tell. At any rate, Komen will not be getting the personal donation that my wife and I had planned.
Here is Komen’s statement. Three points about it:
- Komen has said that they will continue to fund existing grants. We already knew that. It’s called “keeping your commitments.”
- Komen clarified that they would disqualify grantees who were under investigations that are “criminal and conclusive in nature and not political.” Again, no surprise there. Planned Parenthood is certainly guilty of criminal misconduct, and the video evidence is conclusive. (Note: This is true if you consider PP to be one organization, as we certainly do. But if Komen intends to only disqualify PP affiliates who are currently under criminal investigation, then this is a big loophole.)
- Komen said that PP would be eligible to apply for future grants. I suppose anybody can apply; that’s no guarantee they will get anything. We can’t assume anything, except that Komen is keeping their options open. We shall have to wait and see.
- Komen also said that they would maintain “the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities.” Hiding behind affiliate autonomy is a common tactic to disavow responsibility for bad behavior. That ruse won’t work with us. Komen would never allow any affiliate to give a grant to the KKK. If we see that Komen affiliates are giving new grants to PP, we will know that Komen has caved.
So where does that leave us? One Komen board member said this is not a reversal. I think we’ll just have to wait and see.
- Planned Parenthood: Vicious Not Victorious, by Micheal New
- Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer Press Release. (They will be getting that donation from my wife and myself.)
- Media genuflects before Church of Planned Parenthood.
One reader told me there are better places to give our money than the Susan B. Komen Foundation. I agreed, but I pointed out that few of us decide how to spend our money that way. If we did, there would be plenty of money for pro-life work and Comcast would be trying to figure out how to get Christians to support cable TV every month. (Full disclosure: we have cable TV at our house, but we give more every month to pro-life work than we give to the cable TV company.)
We’ve been trying to make sense of the controversy over a Canadian doctor’s proposal that doctors be prohibited from telling parents the gender of their children until 30 weeks into a pregnancy. Editorial by Dr. Rajendra Kale here. Coverage from here and here. Favorable commentary in the Calgary Herald here; opposition in the Ottawa Citizen here.
According to Dr. Kale, who is from India, “Female feticide happens in India and China by the millions, but it also happens in North America in numbers large enough to distort the male-to-female ratio in some ethnic groups.”
Reaction has been mixed, but a narrative is beginning to emerge:
- It’s a perfectly acceptable choice to abort your baby if the child might be poor, might delay the attainment of educational goals, is incompatible with the parent’s chosen lifestyles, might be handicapped, etc. In fact, for any reason or for no reason at all.
- Abortion to kill a baby because the parents wanted a different gender is “abhorrent” and “deplorable” and “repugnant.”
- Abortion should be an absolute right, except when it shouldn’t. Articulated here. Supported by polling here.
They hypocrisy of this narrative is so obvious, we struggle to see how it can be advanced, outside a Saturday Night Live (SNL) parody or an MSNBC editorial. (Note: SNL, no doubt, would be offended by our grouping them with MSNBC, so let us stop to reassure SNL that we recognize the difference between comedy and folly.)
Anyway, this all has to make sense. One might have to stand on his head to see all the pieces line up, but they do line up. But how?
Under the Judeo/Christian/Western (JCW) ethic, each of us is a created being, endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights. In this hemisphere, we created a collective (i.e., the good ole US of A) for the primary purpose of protecting the rights of each and every human person.
We are held accountable by our Creator to protect the rights of others. Not because of any good that might accrue to the collective or to ourselves, but because each person is created with value equal to our own. Hence, depending on whose rights are in jeopardy at the moment, white people are required to advocate for black slaves, men to advocate for women, born people to advocate for the preborn, etc. To the JCW like us, abortion is wrong because each abortion destroys an individual person.
But under the Darwinist/Marxist/Leftist (DML) worldview, we are not created. We are evolved. We are simply a reformulated extention of primordial organic soup. We have no claims to individual liberty, any more than dogs or rocks. As individuals, our only identity is our membership the collective (e.g., the “human race” or perhaps the “life energy of the cosmos” or whatever). We get more rights than dogs only because we can.
However, what we do have is an instinct for survival. (We can’t justify why our survival is important, only that our instinct for it must have evolved into existence and therefore must be accommodated.) So we make laws that protect ourselves and other members of our collective. But these laws are an expression of our instinct for personal protection; they are not based on the notion that every human being has intrinsic valuable.
For the DML, abortion is OK because, first of all, it does not threaten the DML himself. He is already born. Unlike other forms of murder, he isn’t threatened by it, even if it is conducted on a large scale. Nor does he believe it to threaten his collective. It only threatens other individuals (who have no intrinsic value).
If that were all there was to it, the DML would remain neutral about whether abortion should be legal or not. But there is more. He is selfish. He likes sex and he demands to have it without responsibility. (We know about selfishness, because our sin problem is just as big as his.) Therefore, in his mind, unlimited abortion must be a “right.”
But wait a minute, the good Canadian doctor has alerted us to a form of abortion that threatens our own society. When we imagine a culture in which young men outnumber young women by 10 to 20%, we reel in horror. “Historically, societies in which men substantially outnumber women are not nice places to live,” Mara Hvistendahl wrote in her book, Unnatural Selection. “Often they are unstable. Sometimes they are violent.”
The DMLs don’t want to live in such a place, so their instinct for self-preservation kicks in. The abortions that lead to this horror are, unlike every other kind of abortion they can imagine, “deplorable” and must be prohibited.
But the DMLs won’t want to think about this for very long. They won’t want to defend the hypocrisy that some children may be killed and some may not. Or that the “reproductive rights” of some women are inviolate, but the rights of others women (i.e., Indian, Korean, and Chinese minorities living in Canada) must be trampled upon.
When they see how big and ugly this hypocrisy truly is, they will quit talking about it. They will reason that sex-selective abortions threaten somebody else’s collective, not their own, so they will let this dog go back to sleep.
What do you think?
Although he was always against abortion, Pierre told LifeSiteNews.com that the song arose in his heart after a guest at his high school showed his class images of children killed in abortion. His sentiments deepened after a visit to the former Nazi concentration camp at Dachau, where he said it was not the horrors of the slaughter itself, but the indifference of the surrounding communities, that shocked him most.
Full story here.
In Holland, I’m told that senior citizens often refuse to go to a hospital from fear that their doctors might kill them, without request or consent. Sound far-fetched? Such murders happen 550 times/year. Also, 8% of all infant deaths are from lethal injections. In Holland. More here.
In this video, Texas abortion doctor Curtis Boyd admits he is killing people.
He is an ordained minister and says that he prays often. He even prays that the children he is killing will return to a God with love and understanding. Perhaps he should read Matthew 7:21-23:
Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.”
We suppose Dr. Boyd will ask, ”Did I not kill children in Your name?”
What if Mary and Joseph were on Facebook?
Strategic pro-life activism means being at the right place, at the right time, with the right message. That’s what we do at CBR.
A decisive blow for ObamaCare and other pro-abortion legislation in the US Senate was delivered in the state of Virginia, way back in 2006. In November of that year, the pro-abortion candidate won a seat in the US Senate by fewer than 10,000 votes. Had just 5,000 voters switched from pro-abortion to pro-life (just over 2 voters/precinct), then the pro-life candidate would have won in 2006 and ObamaCare would have been rejected in 2009. Remember the midnight vote in the US Senate two years ago?
Just as Virginia was key to the pro-abort victories of 2009-2010, it is also key to undoing the damage in 2013-2014. Don’t take our word for it. Listen to the pro-life former Senator from Virginia, George Allen:
Virginia’s key. Our U.S. Senate race here in Virginia is one that objective observers say is crucial. If we win Virginia, the Republicans, the conservatives, take over the majority in the U.S. Senate and everyone recognizes that whoever wins the presidency, they need to win Virginia.
That’s why CBR is focused like a laser on expanding pro-life activism in Virginia and other key states. CBR can’t endorse any particular candidate or party, of course, but we can put abortion on the election-year agenda by forcing people to see what abortion is and does.
Abortion advocates and their allies in the media portray pro-life candidates as “extreme,” “arch-conservative,” “right-wing,” etc., but they portray pro-abortion candidates as “moderate.” By helping us take abortion pictures to Virginia, we can show young people that killing babies is an extremist act of terror, whereas saving babies is a rational act of compassion.
In 2011, we took GAP to 3 major universities in Virginia. We started 2 new pro-life clubs on campus. These students will constantly remind their classmates that abortion is an act of violence that kills a baby. We have invitations to take our GAP project to George Mason U and Virginia Commonwealth U in the Spring. But we can’t do it without your help. Please help us show voters in Virginia that voting for abortion is absolute evil. Click here to join us! No gift is too small; no gift is too large!
Thought you might enjoy reading this poem, My Little Baby Boy, which is dedicated to our work on campus! This is part of Family Friend Poem’s “We Care” program!
We are sometimes criticized for writing about the economy, freedom, etc., on these pages. Best to focus on pro-life issues, they say.
There is some merit in that assertion. In our Pro-Life Training Academy (PLTA), we teach pro-life activists how to convince even atheists and communists that abortion is wrong. Even if they believe we are wrong about politics, economics, etc., that does not justify killing a child.
But it’s important for us to understand how saving children is related to saving the economy.
Over the past 50 years, a deadly idea has been growing in the collective American psyche: the notion that all of us are “entitled” to whatever we need, and sometimes even what we want, and we have no responsibility to work for it or pay for it. The list of “entitlements” includes food, shelter, health care, a college education, etc., … and the list is growing.
Entitlement, along with its twin monster Dependency, are cultivated and used by political charlatans as tools for obtaining and consolidating political power. They make outrageous promises, but of course, those promises must be kept by somebody else (i.e., the productive class), if they can be kept at all. But it really doesn’t matter if they can be kept or not, because the people on the receiving end are ”entitled.”
As to paying for the promises? Well, somebody else can worry about that tomorrow.
Couple that general sense of entitlement with the non-stop portrayal of free sex on TV, in movies, at school, etc. Everybody is having sex, nobody gets pregnant, and nobody gets STDs. In the popular culture, sex is just an expected part of teenage life. So it’s easy to see how young males would think sex without responsibility is just one more item on their long list of ”entitlements.” All a boy has to do is get a girl to give in to his “request,” and when she does, it’s all good.
Since contraception so often fails or is simply forgotten (source), recourse to abortion is necessary for having sex without responsibility, so abortion must be a “right” as well. They will even say it, “But if I agree with you about abortion, I’ll have to give up sex!” Not necessarily, but they might have to accept responsibility, and of course, responsibility is antithetical to entitlement.
Some are more callous than others, “Yep, my girlfriend has the right to kill my child, and I’ll do anything in my power to make sure she does, but the ultimate guilt … er, decision … is hers!”
The more we promote the entitlement philosophy, the more abortions we will have. The politicians who work hardest to cultivate entitlement/dependency also promote the most extreme child-killing policies, because responsibility and entitlement are incompatible values.
Conversely, although the 2010 elections were not a pro-life mandate, per se, but rather a mandate to roll back entitlements gone wild, the result was a record number of pro-life laws passed at the state level in 2011. Many of the newly-elected lawmakers who promised fiscal sanity also worked to protect children and moms from abortion.
Furthermore, we must always remind ourselves that the first order of business for the political class is to stay in power. That means paying off powerful political allies like Planned Parenthood. They tell us our money will go for food, shelter, education, health care, etc., for people who need it. But in reality, they take money from the productive class and use much of it to grow the bureacracy and pay off their political friends.
You know about Solyndra, but the half-billion they got is chump change. Planned Parenthood stands to take in billions of dollars (that’s “billions” with a “b”) annually from ObamaCare (source). (Annually means every year, for all you people in Rio Linda.) The more we feed the beast that is our federal government, the more entitlement, dependency, and abortions we will have.
What do you think? Please comment!