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Posts Tagged ‘campus’

Half the Battle is Just Showing Up

People in this tour group of parents and prospective students were trying not to look at the GAP display, but eventually, they couldn’t help but see. (Click to enlarge.)

by Mick Hunt

Fall is coming and classes have begun at the major universities in the United States and Canada. Which means it’s the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) season again. I hope you will consider joining the team for the GAP nearest you. At least come out to observe. There’s a need for every kind of personality and set of interests and abilities.

We just need to show up, and that’s where we fail most often.

Some people are really good at speaking to crowds. Fletcher Armstrong is one of the best at this. Every group that gathers becomes his class and he is the professor. Stephanie Grey of CBR Canada is best at give and take in a crowd. I prefer the one-on-one, off-script, creative, philosophical discussion.

All of us struggle with the angry, bright, loud, combative student or professor. Sometimes the most you can do is listen, and let the pictures speak for themselves. I enjoy talking or debating with really smart people, and invariably they know more about certain subjects than I do, in which case I’m usually quiet while listening and asking questions. I look at these times as an opportunity to learn.

The one thing that makes it all easier is the fact that our position is right. We represent truth, fact, and reason. And no matter how smart or educated you are, no matter how polished your PhD looks, or how many peer-reviewed publications you have, or how many academic honors you’ve received, if you are trying to defend the indefensible, you will have a hard time, especially if you believe too many things that aren’t true. We pro-lifers, on the other hand, win the debate without saying a word. We just need to show up, and that’s where we fail most often.  Very few pro-life people are involved when needed (or as often).

Showing up. Let me tell you about a classic confrontation during our Genocide Awareness Project at North Carolina State University (NCSU) last spring.

I was standing at the corner of the GAP display nearest the student center where most of the traffic was. Between me and the main walking lane was a line of pro-abortion-choice students holding signs. All of a sudden someone started shouting. He was a rather nice looking student with a clear baritone voice in an Australian accent. He had been talking with one of the GAP volunteers, another man about my age. Something apparently ticked the student off, which set him hurling insults at the volunteer.

He then said, “Who’s in charge here, who is the mastermind? Who can answer my questions?”

He then shouted a few of the usual derogatory remarks about GAP. A few people around cheered.

True, he was angry, but he obviously was clear-headed, fearless, and bright. Capable of sarcastic, winsome insight. I was intimidated. So, when he looked directly at me and asked loudly if I was the mastermind, I was relieved when an attractive girl just then spoke to me out of the blue from my left when I had been looking toward the commotion on the right. She had asked a question, an easy one. So, I was saved from being drawn into a public spectacle in which I had a clear disadvantage. No way I could look good and respond to this guy in front of a crowd. I just can’t yell and be winsome.

Things quieted down and I took a break and sat on a brick wall away from the action. Then I noticed our Australian friend was talking quietly with Starla, a pro-life acquaintance of mine from Asheville. I joined them just as the young man asked her about the classic “Famous Violinist” thought-experiment of Judith Jarvis Thomson, the scenario taught in every introductory liberal rhetoric class.

In a few moments I could tell Starla wasn’t prepared for this question, and I joined in. She left after a minute. (She said later it was fine for me to butt in.) Then I talked with the young man for the next hour. It turned out that he had been a war paramedic in Afghanistan and had seen more than his share of blood, death, and mangled bodies. Also, he said his mother was strongly pro-life and had often debated with him about abortion. So, he was good at this.

I believe (for the reasons given above) I won the debate. He could only assert but not defend his claim that it’s OK to kill a prenatal child and not OK to kill a born child, but he wouldn’t admit it, of course. His argument was built around “agency” or the mother’s right to “bodily integrity”, which means a woman is morally permitted to repel a person who “invades” her body, even if the person is her own child whose very existence came into being by the child’s mother’s actions, actions which are by nature those bringing people into existence. And even if society ordinarily places a burden on parents, even unwilling parents, to either provide for a child or safely turn the child over to another agent.

My conclusion was to say his position was “brutal”. He said it wasn’t, and basically that’s where we ended the debate. If a person can’t see how it is brutal to kill a child in the womb when looking at the photographs of brutally killed children, I don’t know what else to say. My conversation with him took place on our first day we were at NCSU, and I saw him again the second day when we spoke again briefly.

At least I gave him an amicable, cogent presentation, but conversations like this point out the price we are paying for 47 years of legal child killing by abortion since 1967. The brutality of it isn’t so raw anymore. Over time, some people have become so accustomed to the violence that they don’t believe it is violence. Which is all the more reason to reach as many people as possible as soon as possible before it’s too late to turn things around.

So, we need to show up. We need to stand and talk.

Mick Hunt is a regular contributor to FAB.

Encouraging responses at James Madison University

Jane Bullington winning hearts, changing minds, and saving lives at James Madison University

Jane Bullington winning hearts, changing minds, and saving lives at James Madison University.

“Thank you for being here.”  On the morning of Day 2 at JMU, Mick Hunt read from Ephesians 6, to encourage the team to “put on the full armor of God” in preparation for another day at JMU.  Their discussion was interrupted by a female student who approached the group.

She said, “Thank you for being here. Christians really need to see this. I know this is a spiritual battle.  Can I pray for you?”  Nicole and Jonathan approached her and thanked her for her timely encouragement.  They held hands while she prayed for God’s blessing on our team and for the students who would see images, asking God to move their hearts.

Breast cancer link.  One of our GAP signs presents the connection between abortion and breast cancer.  The hard-core pro-aborts dispute this, but there is plenty of statistical evidence to suggest that abortion increases the probability of breast cancer from the ambient 10% to about 13 or 14% (an increase of 30 or 40 percent).  This is not a trivial increase; it likely results in 10,000 fatalities per year (source).

As two female students looked at the sign depicting this link, Jane began to explain the cellular changes in breast tissue that begin to happen when a woman becomes pregnant.  One of them interrupted, “I am a biology major and I see where you are going with that.  That’s the most convincing argument right there for not having abortions!  You need to be telling women this!”  Jane laughed and said, “We’re doing our very best, please help us!”

You can help us with your gift to sustain this work.  If only 8 people would give $100 per month, we could go back to JMU every single year.  Click here to make it so.

GAP sign depicting causal link between abortion and breast cancer

GAP sign depicting causal link between abortion and breast cancer.

“I never thought of them as siblings before.”

CBR Project Director Jane Bullington speaks to a student at UT Knoxville

CBR Project Director Jane Bullington speaks to a student at UT Knoxville.

I found out for sure what I had always known — my mom aborted 2 children before me.

CBR staffer Jane Bullington met a young man at the UT Knoxville GAP.  Steve had a cocky look on his face.  Jane asked him what he thought — it’s our standard way of breaking the ice.

Steve started out with all the same stuff we’ve heard before:  shock value, misused use of the term genocide, pictures don’t change minds, you are turning people away from your cause, etc., etc., etc.

But then they actually started talking and Steve began to verbalize some of the bad consequences of abortion, the damage to women, the effects on families, the mental stress on women, etc.  He got tears in his eyes.  He said, “In recent months, I have been drawn to everything I see or read about abortion.  I found out for sure what I had always known: my mom aborted 2 children before me.  She treated me … well … different.  She and my dad had troubles.  My home was tense.”

Jane asked him, “Do you have other siblings besides those 2 your mom aborted?”

Steve looked at her with surprise, “I never thought of them as my siblings, but they are.  Yes, I have an older brother.”

Later in the conversation, his position began to move, “I still think women should have a choice, but so many other people get hurt that I want them to know the truth, the truth about what they are doing, and the consequences they will endure, they and their families.  I guess education like yours would be good for women.”

Jane asked Steve if his mom would go to a post-abortion healing ministry like Deeper Still.   He chuckled and said, “Absolutely no.  She believes the ends justifies the means, and she wanted what she wanted.”

Jane suggested he might want to talk to someone else later on in his journey and told him that Deeper Still could be of help to him, as a son, too.

At the end of the conversation, Steve thanked Jane for her time and she gave him a hug — Jane is a mom and moms like that sort of thing.  Steve left, but as he walked away, his eyes never left the pictures.

GAP returns to U of Tennessee at Knoxville

Dialoge with pro-abortion student.  I got the shade; I was there first.

Dialogue with pro-abortion student. (I got the shade; I was there first.)

This is our 8th day of GAP in the last 3 weeks.  If you count our Pro Life Training Academy, travel, and prep work, it’s my 16th day of hard labor in 19 days.  By hard labor I mean up at 6:00 am and to bed at midnight or later on GAP days … with only slightly more sleep on the other days.  There would be 3 more days after this one.

But God is good.  He knew that we were all tired.  He didn’t test us.  After we got the exhibit set up, I propped myself up on a wall underneath a shade tree, right near the poll table.  They would have to come to me.

At the poll table, students answer the question, “Should abortion remain legal?”  A “no” response means pro-life; we sign them up for the Pro Life Collegians.  A “yes” response means pro-abortion; we initiate dialogue with the goal of helping them rethink their position.  For most of the day, I just quietly asked the “yes” responders, one at a time, “May I ask why you responded that way?”  If they answer, we’re off to the races.

For a nice change of pace, God didn’t send any combative people over to the table this day.  The combative types can offer awesome opportunities, especially if they draw a crowd.  But they are rarely thoughtful and it is hard work to be reasonable with somebody who is unreasonable.  I just wasn’t up to it.

So God sent to me (and all the rest of us) a steady stream of people who were willing to have civil discourse.  He also sent a number of pro-lifers who gave us encouragement.  It was very different from most GAPs, including most GAPs at UT.

Of course, a few passersby gave us the “flying buzzard” as they rushed on past, but the drive-by’s can be easily ignored.  We should aways remember that such people are often facing struggles that we probably can’t imagine.  We should also remember that God loves each and every one of them, too.  But God would have had a hard time loving them through us on this day.  The civil ones got all we had to give.

Day 2 of GAP at UT Chattanooga

No one wants to see that

UTC student Madi Rose Taff stating the obvious. Nobody want's to see pictures of violence. But even fewer people want to be tortured to death.

Day 2 at UT Chattanooga (UTC) was another awesome day of GAP.  Come to think of it, I’ve participated in perhaps 150 days of GAP, and every single one of them was awesome.  Maybe that’s why we want to do even more of it.

It was another hot, hot day at UTC.  Before this week would be over, the heat would take it’s toll.  In fact, I’m typing this a full 2 weeks later, and my body hasn’t fully recovered, yet.  Please pray for healing and recovery.

We were greeted by protesters, which is always a plus.  They attracted the newspaper to come and do a story on our project.  The pro-aborts really don’t know what to do about us.  If they don’t respond at all, then we dominate the landscape.  If they do respond, they look silly.

For example, this group didn’t try to argue that abortion is OK.  No they took a very nuanced view of the First Amendment:

  1. Free speech is important and should be protected.
  2. We shouldn’t be allowed to show abortion pictures because it made them uncomfortable.

Oooohhhh kay.

One guy, who was not even pro-life, came by to protest the protesters.  He was there on behalf of the First Amendment.  Like we always say, “GAP is like a box of chock-lits; ya neva know WATT your gonna gay-et.”

UTC students study the pictures.

UTC students study the GAP pictures in front of the library.

Shouldn’t Christians be taught God’s side?

Liberty students see abortion, many for the first time.

Liberty students see abortion, many for the first time.

We were disturbed but not particularly surprised at some of the reaction from Liberty University students when we took GAP there a few weeks back.  So many of them wanted to live within the fiction that since they are “pro-life,” whatever that means, that’s all they need to know.  Not trying to pick on Liberty here; Liberty is simply a microcosm of the modern American church.

A particularly disturbing comment from “LU” (his pen-name) appeard on FAB.  It read, in part, as follows:

… Abortion has been in the light of public media for years now and I would say that most adults do know what takes place.  You are not showing us anything we haven’t seen or heard before, you only anger the students of this campus with your lack of tact.  Also, it pains me to see the young children with your group being involved in this protest.  These children are way too young to be seeing these images in the first place and are only being brought up into a lifestyle of intolerance; not a true life of love as we as Christians are called to live.  Children need to be taught both sides of an issue and allowed to develop their own opinions once they are capable to do so. … We need to be able to decide for ourselves through skeptical study of the Bible and beliefs we have been taught.  It is sad to see how Christianity is being portrayed to unbelievers through your work.  I pray for you, your family, and fellow campaigners.

Note how illogical his reasoning is:

  1. We shouldn’t show the pictures because everbody has seen them when they were younger.
  2. Younger people shouldn’t see the picture’s, either.
  3. Showing the pictures is intolerant.
  4. Leaving Christians ignorant allows them to figure out for themselves what side they are on.

But wait a minute, if we all followed his advice, none of his classmates would have ever seen the pictures before and the first premise would be invalidated.

I responded as follows:

LU Student, you are mistaken on many points.  Please read my Open Letter to Liberty University, which you can link to from our website, http://www.ProLifeOnCampus.com.

You said that “abortion has been in the light of public media for years now.”  Really? I watch public media all the time.  I see unborn children dehumanized as mere blobs of tissue, masses of cells, products of conception, parasites, etc.  I see abortion euphemized as a reproductive “choice.”  A mere picture would dispel those myths, but the myths are cherished by those in power, so the pictures are suppressed.  With all the talk about “choice,” I’ve almost never seen any attention paid to what is actually being chosen.  The rare exception is when we come into town and some of the local media outlets actually show the pictures we have put on display.  Without any presentation of the reality of abortion in the media, the education system, and even the Church, most people have no idea who the preborn baby is and what abortion does to her.

You say the “shock factor” is not as effective as we would like to believe.  Your argument is not with us.  Your argument is with the countless women and men who have let us know that our pictures changed their minds.  In many cases, they tell us that our pictures saved their own children from destruction at the hands of the abortionist.  You can see many testimonials on http://www.AbortionNo.org and on http://www.ProLifeOnCampus.com.

You say that children should never be shown these pictures, but that you and everybody else at Liberty has already seen them?  How can that be?  If only a few kooks like us are letting our children see the pictures, how can it be that by the time they are 18, everybody has seen them?  We have encountered many, many students who tell us that they grew up in “pro-life” churches, had never seen abortion pictures, had come to believe abortion should be a choice, and changed their minds only after seeing our pictures.

You say that “Children need to be taught both sides of an issue and allowed to develop their own opinions once they are capable to do so.”  Really?  Whatever happened to God’s side?  Whatever happened to “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6)?  We are commanded not to kill their own children (Mark 10:19).  We are commanded to protect and defend the defenseless (Proverbs 24:11-12).  And finally, we are commanded to teach other believers to do the same (Matthew 28:20).  These commands are not optional.

When Christians see the horror of abortion, they are more likely to obey God’s command not to kill their own children (Mark 10:19).  Furthermore, they are more motivated to protect and defend the defenseless (Proverbs 24:11-12).  And finally, they more fully understand their duty as Christian leaders to teach other believers to do the same (Matthew 28:20).

[Note: You can read the entire discussion stream here.]

GAP at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, Day 1

Class change at UTC

Class change at UTC.

Another great day of GAP, this time at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  Early in the day, CBR Virginia Director Nicole Cooley spoke with Amber, whose mother had wanted to abort her.  Her father intervened to save her life, but her mother was a drug addict and abusive during her entire childhood.  The mother had even told her that she never wanted Amber.

But now Amber has made it all the way to UTC, where she is majoring in theatre.  She told Nicole that seeing the pictures in the GAP display has made her realize that every day is a gift, and she has resolved to make her life count.

Nicole prayed with Amber and told her that even though her mother didn’t plan her or want her, she had a Heavenly Father who both planned and loved her.

Debbie Picarello and Nicole Cooley speak with a UTC student

Debbie Picarello and Nicole Cooley speak with clarity about abortion and about our Savior. They are a light to hurting men and women.

Are the men at Liberty University just more adept … ?

bag-over-head-2

.

Students tell us that the opinion among Liberty U students was divided.  Some appreciated our efforts to expose the deeds of darkness (Ephesians 5:11); some did not.  That was not a surprise.

But several of our staff members noticed something very different about the reaction of Liberty University students to our presence.  The people who objected were almost all men.  They seemed to believe that they were all pro-life enough, and we shouldn’t bother them any more about it.  (They didn’t realize that one of our our primary goals was to bother them about abortion, so that they would do something about it.)  They listened politely to our explanations, but you could see the skepticism was still there.

The women, however, all seemed to get it.  They didn’t claim that their classmates were all pro-life.  They understood the need for students to see the pictures, even at a Christian school like Liberty.

Could it be that the men didn’t get it because, as a group, men are much more adept at hiding (from each other) their involvement with sex, pregnancy, and abortion?

We are not being critical in this regard; we are just being realistic.  CBR’s Executive Director Gregg Cunningham recalls listening to a broadcast of James Dobson’s radio program, during which Dr. Dobson interviewed six Christian college presidents.  Dr. Dobson asked them if they had ever seen a pregnant student on their campuses.  To a person, they said no.  To a person, they all believed this was evidence that their students were living chaste lives.  Dr. Dobson was incredulous.  We are not.

Perhaps the women need to speak, and the men need to listen up.

GAP at Radford U GAP (Day 1) and Liberty U GAP (Day 3)

GAP at Radford University

GAP at Radford University

On Wednesday (yesterday), some of us slipped away from Lynchburg to take our Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) to Radford University.  We were invited by the Radford College Republicans.

This GAP was a bit unusual because we displayed during the very first week of classes.  We’ve never visited a school in August before, let alone two.  We have two more scheduled for week after next.

This is important for a couple of reasons.  First, we are reaching so many freshmen before they’ve even had a chance to get (or get a girlfriend) pregnant.  Also, by completing 4 GAPs this early, we still have time to visit even more schools later this semester … but only if we get the funding.  We depend solely on you, so please give generously; a baby’s life depends on it.

At Radford, nearly 30 pro-life students declared their support at our poll table.  We hope some of them will start a Students for Life club on campus.  The College Republicans were also busy, signing up at least 20 new members on Day 1.  GAP is an excellent membership recruiting platform, because it gets the attention of the most serious students and lets them know they can make a huge difference in the lives of others.

Work at Liberty University continues.  We’ve been joined by the Hardin Family GAP Team from White House, Tennessee, and the Hardwick Family GAP Team from Columbus, Ohio.  Darius Hardwick is CBR’s Midwest Region Director.  Several Liberty students have commented on earlier FAB postings.

More to come!  Please keep those cards and letters coming!

White House Pro-Lifers Need Our Help!

Hardin Family GAP Team

Hardin Family GAP Team

Did you know that White House is home to a family of pro-life missionaries like no other?  Ask yourself this question: Would you do this with 7 of your children?  Read on; it’s even more incredible than you think.

I’m talking about the Hardin Family of White House, Tennessee, just north of Nashville.  Yes, Mom and 7 children (3 teenagers and 4 younger children) are coming to Lynchburg, Virginia, for CBR’s outreach to Liberty University.  (See photo at right.)  They’ll drive 8 hours to get here, just so they can stand out in the hot sun holding GAP signs for members of the Liberty community.

Bright Eyes in the center of the photo is Karine, the newest member of the Hardin family. You may remember our story of her arrival from Armenia earlier this year.  This will be her first GAP!

This will be more Hardin’s than we’ve ever seen at one time! Because of the them and the rest of our traveling team, students at Liberty will see abortion in all its horror.  When Christians see the horror of abortion, they are more likely to obey God’s command not to kill their own children (Mark 10:19).  They are more motivated to protect and defend the defenseless (Proverbs 24:11-12).  They more fully understand their duty as Christian leaders to teach other believers to do the same (Matthew 28:20).

The Hardin’s are willing to come to bring truth in love to Liberty students.  (Others are coming from Florida, Ohio, Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina.)  They offer themselves freely.  All they ask is their expenses.  Could you help us cover their expenses?  Here’s what it will cost to bring the Hardins:

  • Gas: $250 (500 miles in a van big enough for 8!)
  • Lodging: $250
  • Food: $480 (ever try to feed 8 on the road?)

Your tax deductible gift to CBR (link here) will transport the Hardins and the rest of our team to Liberty University next week.  This is one of the most important GAPs we’ve ever done.  Please be as generous as you can, maybe even more so.  Thank you for saving babies and moms.

Abortion, Medical Honesty Battle Takes Shape at University of Virginia

The Human Rights and Scientific Honesty Initiative

The Human Rights and Scientific Honesty Initiative

A group of Virginia college students, banded together to form The Human Rights and Scientific Honesty Initiative asked me to pass this story along to you:

Abortion, Medical Honesty Battle Takes Shape at University of Virginia

A national treasure of a building, Thomas Jefferson’s Rotunda at the University of Virginia (UVA), has a leaking roof and crumbling columns.  The University and state government have begun the chess game over how much it will cost to repair, and who will be picking up the tab.  But right across the street in the UVA president’s office, they have much bigger worries about what they have been doing with state, federal, and student funds the last 20 years under the leadership of John Casteen .   New UVA President Theresa Sullivan has been handed a series of shocking allegations from our group, The Human Rights and Scientific Honesty Initiative.

Students for Life of America has already identified the University of Virginia as one of the institutions of higher learning that has been financing elective abortions with student health funds, and not even giving their students and their students’ parents the opportunity to opt out of that.  What most people at UVA and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) are totally unaware of is that these schools have both been secretly performing thousands of elective abortions right in their own teaching hospitals!  And, yes, these are both state taxpayer funded universities who also receive federal education grants to boot.

Elective abortions being performed secretly at taxpayer-funded universities are bad enough.  On top of that, UVA has been giving misleading information on a wide range of reproductive issues, neglecting the principle of informed consent.   Sadly, it seems one of America’s top universities allowed itself to be sucked into the Planned Parenthood template for misinforming women and keeping them in the dark about numerous threats to their health.  Somebody finally noticed.

The national pro life movement has been overlooking the universities for too long.  Sometimes we forget that it is not all about Planned Parenthood.  Pro-life activists have a lot to contend with in Charlottesville, a city of only 45,000 people that already has two other abortion facilities as it is, and a large pro-abortion cabal that includes City Council.  One of Live Action’s recent stings of Planned Parenthood aiding and abetting child sex trafficking took place at their Charlottesville area facility.  But right there, in such a hostile environment, we have a whole new front opening in the battle for human rights in America.  And what better place to start than Mr. Jefferson’s University.

We are accepting additional endorsements for our document.  If you are a student, faculty, or alumnus of any Virginia college or university, you can add your name by sending an email to co-author Siobhan Casey at siobhan-casey@hotmail.com.  Thomas Jefferson, who founded UVA back in 1819 near his home at Monticello, once wrote that “The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.”

Media coverage at Johns Hopkins and the University of Delaware

Pro Life on Campus at the University of Delaware

Pro Life on Campus at the University of Delaware

Here is the media coverage from our recent GAP excursion to Maryland and Delaware.

GAP at Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins News-Letter

True Blue Conservative

GAP at the University of Delaware

Media coverage for Kentucky GAP

GAP photo in the Eastern Progress

GAP photo in the Eastern Progress

Check out the media coverage at Eastern Kentukcy and the Univesity of Kentucky.  You think they knew we were there?

The Eastern Progress at Eastern Kentucky University:

The Kentucky Kernel at the University of Kentucky:

Blue Coast Live:

Effective campus pro-life activism: Transition to new leadership

Mary Kate Cavazos of Students for Life

Mary Kate Cavazos of Students for Life

It’s one of the biggest obstacles to effective pro-life activism.

Perhaps the most important task for any pro-life campus group is choosing projects that are both strategic and effective.  Unwise choices leave the most important work undone.

But the transition of leadership from one group of leaders to the next is also very big.  In fact, we frequently encounter groups who have suffered greatly because the former leaders did not effectively pass the mantle of leadership on to the current crop.  Poor project selection and poor execution have been the inevitable result.

But we aren’t doing nothing to help the current leaders identify and train the next crop of leaders.  Each year, we co-host, along with the Students for Life of America (SFLA), our annual Pro-Life Student Leadership Conference.

SFLA has also been working very hard to improve the transition of pro-life leadership on campus.  Here is a video by SFLA’s Mary Kate Cavazos:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXQZRc_TmBE

Abortion debate, Part 3: The unanswered challenge

When does science tell us that life begins?

When does science tell us that life begins?

In her opening remarks, Dr. McLean asserted that the fetus is not a human. She made several other assertions and arguments that I rebutted, but this was the most glaring error of the debate. As Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”

My introductory comments were posted yesterday. In them, I challenged Dr. McLean to prove her assertion that the fetus was not human. I would accept almost all of her points. I would agree that abortion should be legal, that abortion should be covered by insurance, that I would even quit my job and find another career. I would do all of this, if and only if she could present conclusive scientific and/or philosophic evidence to show that the preborn child is not human. As you may be aware, no such evidence exists.

To rebut the myth that the unborn child is not human (or that life doesn’t begin at conception), I quoted both medical textbooks and pro-abortion sources:

Zygote. This cell results from the union of an oocyte and a sperm during fertilization. A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo). … [The zygote] marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual. (Keith L. Moore and T.V.N. Persaud, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th ed., Philadelphia: Saunders, 2003, pp 2,16)

It is the penetration of the ovum by a spermatozoan and resultant mingling of the nuclear material … that constitutes the culmination of the process of fertilization and marks the initiation of the life of a new individual. (Bradley M. Patten, Human Embryology, 3rd ed., New York: McGraw Hill, 1968, p 43)

We of today know that man is born of sexual union; that he starts life as an embryo within the body of the female; and that the embryo is formed from the fusion of two single cells, the ovum and the sperm. This all seems so simple and evident to us that it is difficult to picture a time when it was not part of the common knowledge. (Alan F. Guttmacher. Life in the Making: The Story of Human Procreation. New York: Viking Press, 1933. p 3.) [Alan Guttmacher is a former president of Planned Parenthood.]

Perhaps the most straightforward relation between you and me on the one hand and every human fetus from conception onward on the other is this: All are living members of the same species, homo sapiens. A human fetus, after all, is simply a human being at a very early stage in his or her development. (David Boonin, A Defense of Abortion, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002, p 20)

In the top drawer of my desk, I keep [a picture of my son]. This picture was taken on September 7, 1993, 24 weeks before he was born. The sonogram image is murky, but it reveals clear enough a small head tilted back slightly, and an arm raised up and bent, with the hand pointing back toward the face and the thumb extended out toward the mouth. There is no doubt in my mind that this picture, too, shows [my son] at a very early stage in his physical development. And there is no question that the position I defend in this book entails that it would have been morally permissible to end his life at this point. (David Boonin, A Defense of Abortion, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003, p xiv)

Case closed, but if you want more proof, check out this article: When does life begin?

More coverage to follow in Part 4.