Friday, February 28, 2003

Let's not forget the men.

Yesterday a friend told me a moving story about abortion's impact. His family friends recently noticed that their 17-year-old son's behavior was becoming erratic. This boy had never acted strangely before. Maybe it was just teen angst? But then this kid gets violent. He starts spewing nasty words, lashing out at everyone and everything around him. Things got so bad that they had to bring this boy in to a local hospital's psychiatric ward, where he remains. Thank G-d, he's improving.

So the parents are trying to figure out what happened. They think through the potential explanations. Drugs. Girls. Etc. So it comes down to the girl. They find out that their son impregnated the girl and didn't find out about his twins until after they were in the abortionist's sink.

We often forget about the horrible things abortion does to men. Not all men, so no e-mails about that, please. But some men. Horrible pain. Enough to put them in the psychiatric ward. Celebrate *that*.

National Cancer Institute to be told there's no ABC link

The WaPo reporter opines that "[t]he findings could help end a longstanding debate on the question." But I doubt her prognostication skills. NCI's constant revisions are a better guide:

The NCI Web site -- which posts 100 fact sheets on cancer for consumers, as well as a variety of information on cancer detection, prevention and treatments for both the lay public and health professionals -- first developed a fact sheet on the question of abortion and breast cancer in October 1994 and has revised it six times.

The battle of the methodologists and meta-analysts will continue. Kudos to Dr. Joel Brind, who headed up dissent despite the effect this is having on his reputation among fellow epidemiologists.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that an NCI panel, which will get the report Monday, still has to decide whether to approve it. It's not over.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Abortion's good for women, huh?

I think this is what the early feminists meant when they said abortion is the exploitation of women.

Harvesting corn, wheat, and nascent human life.

The presidents of Princeton and Caltech yesterday wrote in the WSJ (reg. req'd) that "therapeutic cloning is good for America." The following passage, likening recombinant DNA technology to the cloning research, stuck out:

Yet in the end, Congress and the administration worked with scientists to put in place a regulatory regime for recombinant DNA technology that protected against abuses while allowing society to benefit. The result: a harvest of knowledge...

Harvest of *what*?

Mourning-after abortion pill irony

Councilman Eric Gioia of Queens, who led the Council's investigation, said the bills would put an end to one of the most troubling findings: a greater difficulty by women outside Manhattan, especially in Staten Island and Queens, to find the drugs.

"A woman's reproductive rights can't be geographically based," Mr. Gioia said. "Those rights shouldn't diminish the moment a woman leaves Manhattan and crosses over the Verrazano or Queensboro Bridge."

We're agreed! Rights shouldn't be geographically based! Woohoo! That means the young human being's right to life isn't determined by his or her geographic location, whether inside the womb or outside! Common ground!

Michelman on Dem presidential hopefuls' flip-flopping: "I know these candidates don't change their position on a whim.''

That's right. They change their position on a dime. Your dime. And the pro-choice Republican soccer mom vote. Come on, Kate, give us a break.

Mea culpa

In response to my rant about Dr. Joel Brind's meta-analytic finding of an ABC link, a knowledgeable reader notes that I utterly failed to address some contradictory research, discussed here. I am going to get my hands on the study cited in the linked piece and blog on it ASAP. Again, sorry for the sin of omission -- I was ignorant of that article's existence.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Kudos to the Amphibious Goat

for knockout comments left on the I'm Not Sorry.net guestbook. It's the Goat vs. Katha Pollitt over there. Hmm... so many things to say, but this is a family-friendly blog.

Good week!

Thanks to Kat for alerting me to good news about the RICO case. That, on top of SCOTUS turning down the appeal of a right-to-know / full info law in Indiana on Monday. Every week should be like this!

Ideology trumps science: Part III

Beating a dead horse. I know. But I can't get over it, so I need to blog it. From today's LAT (reg. req'd):

Partisan Politics Yields Poor Medical Research

I was outraged to read "Health Research Being Politicized, Critics Charge" (Feb. 23), on the government's sponsoring a National Cancer Institute conference regarding the link between abortion and breast cancer. This is another example of the Bush administration's inserting its conservative anti-choice agenda into medical research. The 1997 Danish study of 1.5 million women found no connection between abortion and higher rates of breast cancer. The American Cancer Society sees no link between abortion and breast cancer, yet the Bush administration is funding this conference.

I have several friends who are survivors of breast cancer. I have seen the pure terror they experience upon receiving the diagnosis of breast cancer and the debilitating effects of the subsequent surgery and treatment. Government funds could certainly be better spent looking for improved ways to diagnose cancer and more effective treatment modes. Is there no end to the attempts by the anti-choice proponents to influence government policies and spending?

Susan Swan
Los Angeles

Didn't know that about the ACS. From the ACS site:

The largest, and probably the most reliable, study of this topic was conducted recently in Denmark. In that study, all Danish women born between 1935 and 1978 (1.5 million women) were linked with The National Registry of Induced Abortions and with the Danish Cancer Registry. So, all information about their abortions and their breast cancer came from registries, was very complete, and was not influenced by recall bias. After adjusting for known breast cancer risk factors, the researchers found that induced abortion(s) had no overall effect on the risk of breast cancer. In this very large group of women, 1,338 cases of breast cancer occurred in women who had terminated pregnancies. The size of this study and the manner in which it was conducted provides substantial evidence that induced abortion does not affect a woman's risk of developing breast cancer.

There are other, smaller studies pointing to the fact that abortion does not cause, nor contribute to, the development of breast cancer.

The topic of abortion and breast cancer highlights many of the most challenging aspects of epidemiologic studies of human populations and how those studies do or do not translate into public health guidelines. The issue of abortion generates passionate personal and political viewpoints, regardless of any possible disease connection. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women, and it can be a life-threatening disease that most women fear. Still, the public is not well-served by false alarms, even with both the exposure and the disease are of great importance and interest to us all. At the present time, the scientific evidence does not support a causal association between induced abortion and breast cancer.

I wouldn't have expected such a one-sided take from ACS. They don't even mention Dr. Joel Brind's meta-analysis of ABC studies, published in 1996 in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Meta-analysis is a way to synthesize the findings of all methodologically sound studies of some relationship, whether they find a significant relationship or not. Brind's meta-analytic conclusion is that induced abortion is a statistically significant risk factor for breast cancer. ACS also doesn't mention, let alone rebut, Brind's stinging critique of the Danish study, which is found on the "Rotten in Denmark" page on his site.

In any event, I'm glad a more neutral group of doctors, funded by our tax dollars, is investigating the link. I pray to G-d that it helps women and unborn children both.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Ideology trumps science: Part II

The most widely used and respected embryology texts *all* define conception as fertilization, not implantation, and they have for decades. Find cites compiled by Dr. Wilbur Rose here. Yet folks still refuse to accept the clear scientific consensus:

Albany Puts Contraceptives Center Stage

By WINNIE HU

ALBANY, Feb. 24 — Thirty-three years after New York became the first state to repeal the ban against abortion, it is emerging as the latest battleground over reproductive rights, with city and state lawmakers divided over whether emergency contraceptives should be made widely available to women.

These contraceptives, also known as the "morning-after pill," are concentrated doses of birth control pills that can prevent pregnancy by stopping an egg from becoming fertilized or by stopping a fertilized egg from becoming implanted in the uterus.

There's a clear pattern here. The most vocal pro-choicers refuse to accept embryologists' definition of conception and the AMA's conclusion that PBA is never medically indicated. They don't want women considering abortion to see ultrasound images and they don't want to investigate a potential ABC link. Etc.

The stereotype is wrong. We pro-lifers don't need to base our position on religion, even if that's where it comes from. Pro-choicers do. The religion of *denial*.

But I'm hopeful that the truth found in both G-d and science will win out in the end.

Monday, February 24, 2003

Ideology trumps science. Women and children die.

The abortion issue may be popping up in an unexpected place:

"Advocates for women's health are usually delighted when the government spends time and money to explore the causes of breast cancer," says the Los Angeles Times. "But some of them are charging that abortion politics, not science, is behind a conference starting Monday at the National Cancer Institute that will consider whether women who terminate a pregnancy also face a higher risk of breast cancer.

"The critics say the conference is the latest case of the Bush administration's skewing the nation's medical research agenda to please its conservative allies.

"There is hardly a breast cancer activist group around that can say that they're happy this conference is happening, or that this is a high priority, or that they've called on the NCI to do more on this topic," said Cynthia Pearson, executive director of the National Women's Health Network, a Washington-based watchdog group.

Note: the conference has not even *concluded* that there's a link, but is just looking into it. And even that's too much for the ideologues of the left.

So, let's ask again, *who's* elevating politics above science?

We don't know Estrada's position on abortion, says White House counsel

SNOW: Now, you mentioned a moment ago that judges have lifetime tenure. There are important questions. Are you telling us that you don't know, or the president does not know, what Miguel Estrada thinks personally about abortion?

GONZALES: I'm telling you I don't know, and I'm quite confident the president does not know. We do not ask those questions.

And I'll tell you another thing, Tony, we have not looked at those internal memos in the Solicitor General's Office. We don't know what's in those memos. Quite frankly, we looked at other information to make a very informed decision, in my judgment, in terms of his qualifications and his abilities to serve on the D.C. Circuit.

But we don't ask their personal feelings about an issue, because we think it's irrelevant whether or not you support or oppose abortion, when you go on the bench your job is to follow precedent.

I strongly support the Bush administration, but this is an absurd response. Sure, they looked at other information, but *of course* they know this guy's position on abortion. Come on.

And the idea that judges are obliged to just go along with bad precedent is downright stupid. You think brilliant, *conservative* jurists like CJ Rehnquist and AJ Scalia wouldn't overturn Roe in a second if given the chance, and rightfully so? When liberal interpretationists mangle the Constitution as they did in 1973, it is the job of good judges -- good *conservative* judges -- to un-mangle it.

Saturday, February 22, 2003

More on abortion's impact in Russia

According to Vladimir Serov, chief gynecologist at the Health Ministry, abortions are one of the primary causes of infertility in a country that is desperate to raise a plummeting birth rate.

About 5 million -- or 13 percent -- of Russian married couples are infertile, and doctors report that diagnoses of infertility are on the rise. In nearly three out of four cases, infertility is attributed to the woman, typically because of complications from one or more abortions, according to Serov and other health experts.

The abortion rate has been declining rapidly for 15 years because of the availability of contraceptives. Still, it remains five times higher than that of the United States. The Health Ministry reports that for every live birth there are 1.7 abortions, compared with more than three births for every abortion in the United States.

Excellent piece on the power of ultrasound

Bravo to MC Cliff Stearns (R-FL), who's pushing federal funding for non-profits that provide ultrasound for free. Read: PP isn't eligible, and this upsets some folks:

"They don't want women to go to Planned Parenthood, where they'll get their full range of options," said Alison Herwitt, director of government relations for NARAL Pro-Choice America in Washington. "They just want them to go to crisis pregnancy centers, where women will be exposed to this weapon at taxpayers' expense."

Which is more of a weapon -- a machine that gives women full information, or the abortionists' vacuum? Gee, that's a no-brainer. And if taxpayers are forced to pay for the latter, why not the former?

Representative Stearns sums it up nicely:

"Information is knowledge and knowledge is power and that's why this is a threat to Planned Parenthood."

It's the Republicans' fault. Naturally.

Thanks to the reader who sent this in. It's Kucinich's letter to the Celeveland Plain Dealer explaining his abortion flip-flop, published yesterday.

At this very moment, members of Congress are preparing to dismantle this constitutional protection. I refuse to participate in this effort. The law has the potential to keep abortion legal and safe - or make it more expensive and more dangerous.

This guy needs a little coaching -- the pro-choice line is "safe, legal, *and rare*."

Anecdotes vs. studies -- LOTS of studies

For anyone comparing the I'm Not Sorry.Net stuff to all the evidence of abortion's ill effects, and thinking maybe those harms are not all that widespread, check out Detrimental Effects of Abortion: An Annotated Bibliography with Commentary, edited by Thomas W. Strahan, in its third edition (2001). This book and updates are available on the Elliot Institute's web site here.

Friday, February 21, 2003

I'm Not Sorry.Net, where women celebrate their abortions

Anecdotes tell us a bit about any situation: that there's at least *some* of X going on. So if we can trust that these stories are truthful, then that's all it tells us. Some women truly do celebrate their choice, just as PP and NARAL counsel them to do. What it doesn't tell us is the frequency of these celebrations.

We do, however, know from peer-reviewed studies in prestigious journals that there's a strong link between abortion and various ill effects, both emotional and physical, and that ill emotional effects often accompany the ill physical ones (e.g., the emotional impact of breast cancer). Lots of these references are over at After abortion.

Thanks to Kat for pointing out I'm Not Sorry.Net.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

PBA ban has passed both houses of VA leg by veto-proof margins

To reduce the likelihood of a SCOTUS strike-down, the legislators redefined the ban to protect a child who's in the process of being born. Think that'll do it? That plus the coming federal law we've been promised? Plus new attempts in other states, which you can be sure are coming? Plus the tide of public opinion to which SCOTUS justices, too, are privy, and which might factor into their decision making?

Yeah, you're probably right. I'll pray, too.

Keep thy mouth shut, lest they know thee for thy idiocy

Like Slick Willie, Dick Gephardt coincidentally changed his pro-life stance to a pro-choice one prior to running for president. Listen to Tricky Dick today, from AP, courtesy of the Pro-Life Infonet:

Other pro-abortion Democrats seeking the presidency have been quick to point out Gephardt's flip-flop in an attempt to gain favor with abortion advocates. However, Gephardt attended a NARAL dinner in January in an effort to shore up his pro-abortion credentials.

At the dinner, Gephardt explained how he changed his position after 10 years in Congress. He said his Baptist upbringing taught him the procedure was morally wrong, but some women who had had abortions convinced him it was a choice for them to make with G-d.

``There is nothing moral in strong-arming a personal belief, and there is nothing moral to a presidency that imposes personal morality through acts of government power,'' he said.

Who's talking about strong-arming a personal belief? I'm talking about strong-arming behavior. Let people believe whatever they like. Let Dick Gephardt believe unborn children should live only at the whim of their mothers. Just don't let those unborn children be murdered according to those whims.

BTW, does Gephardt thinks the government shouldn't be able to strong-arm his would-be assassin into believing in the morality of "thou shalt not murder"? How is this different?

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Los casos excepcionales hacen ley mala.

Hopefully there are Hondurans saying this right now: exceptional cases make bad law. From CW News, which requires a subscription:

Pregnant 9-Year-Old Being Used To Push Nicaragua Abortion Legalization

MANAGUA, Nicaragua, Feb 19, 03 (LSN.ca/CWNews.com) - The president of the Hispanic Division of Human Life International has warned that an exceptional abortion case in Nicaragua is being exploited by feminist organizations to press for abortion legalization.

Nicaraguan public opinion is facing a controversy over a 9-year-old girl diagnosed pregnant and with two sexually transmitted diseases. Supposedly the girl was raped in Costa Rica by a 20-year-old male, although her stepfather is also suspected because he refused DNA tests.

Heartbreaking.

In interviews with local television stations, she said she did not want to have a baby because she didn't want to share her toys with other children.

It's also heartbreaking that some would rather tear out the innocent life inside this girl than love and support them both.

Jewish women strike back against evil Christian oppressors

The following is an e-mail currently making the rounds among liberal "Jewish" women near you. I can't divulge my source, or she'll be thrown out of the Sisterhood!

SEND THIS TO EVERY PERSON WHO IS CONCERNED ABOUT WOMEN's RIGHT'S

President Bush has announced his plan to select Dr. W. David Hager to head up the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee. The committee has not met for more than two years, during which time its charter has lapsed. As a result, the Bush Administration is tasked with filling all eleven positions with new members.

This position does not require Congressional approval. The FDA's Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee makes crucial decisions on matters relating to drugs used in the practice of obstetrics, gynecology and related specialties, including hormone therapy, contraception, treatment for infertility, and medical alternatives to surgical procedures for sterilization and pregnancy termination.

Dr. Hager's views of reproductive health care are far outside the mainstream of setback for reproductive technology. Dr. Hager is a practicing OB/GYN who describes himself as "pro-life" and refuses to prescribe contraceptives to unmarried women. Hager is the author of "As Jesus Cared for Women: Restoring Women Then and Now." The book blends biblical accounts of Christ healing
women with case studies from Hager's practice. In the book Dr. Hager wrote with his wife, entitled "Stress and the Woman's Body," he suggests that women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome should seek help from reading the bible and praying. As an editor and contributing author of "The Reproduction Revolution: A Christian Appraisal of Sexuality, Reproductive Technologies and the Family," Dr. Hager appears to have endorsed the medically inaccurate assertion that the common birth control pill is an abortifacient.

Hagar's mission is religiously motivated. He has an ardent interest in revoking approval for mifepristone (formerly known as RU-486) as a safe and early form of medical abortion. Hagar recently assisted the Christian Medical Association in a "citizen's petition" which calls upon the FDA to revoke its approval of mifepristone in the name of women's health. Hager's desire to
overturn mifepristone's approval on religious grounds rather than scientific merit would halt the development of mifepristone as a treatment for numerous medical conditions disproportionately affecting women, including breast cancer, uterine cancer, uterine fibroid
tumors, psychotic depression, bipolar depression and Cushing's syndrome.

Women rely on the FDA to ensure their access to safe and effective drugs for reproductive health care including products that prevent pregnancy. For some women, such as those with certain types of diabetes and those undergoing treatment for cancer, pregnancy can be a life-threatening condition.

We are concerned that Dr. Hager's strong religious beliefs may color his assessment of technologies that are necessary to protect women's lives or to preserve and promote women's health. Hager's track record of using religious beliefs to guide his medical decision-making makes him a dangerous and inappropriate candidate to serve as chair of this committee.

Critical drug public policy and research must not be held hostage by antiabortion politics.

Members of this important panel should be appointed on the basis of science
and medicine, rather than politics and religion. American women deserve no less.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

1. SEND THIS TO EVERY PERSON WHO IS CONCERNED ABOUT WOMEN's RIGHT'S

2. OPPOSE THE PLACEMENT OF THIS MAN BY CONTACTING THE WHITE HOUSE AND TELL THEM HE IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE ON ANY LEVEL.

Please email President Bush at president@whitehouse.gov, or call the White House at (202) 456-1111 or (202) 456-1414 and say "I oppose the appointment of Dr. Hager to the FDA Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee. Mixing religion and medicine is unacceptable. Using the FDA to promote a political agenda is inappropriate and seriously threatens all women's health."

Ah, it makes me proud to call them my co-religionists. Their reasoning is sound: don't mix religion and politics, or religion and medicine -- unless you're Jewish and you've abandoned G-d. Then, mix all you like.

One other thing. The chain letter writer has the audacity and utter scientific ignorance to claim that uterine cancer and uterine fibroid tumors disproportionately affect women. What a schmuck. Why, just the other day my urologist was telling me about the risk factors...

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Dems might get a pro-life presidential candidate in Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich

[Ohio Democratic Chairman Dennis L.] White called Kucinich "kind of a unique Democrat." He heads the Congressional Progressive Caucus, made up of the House's most liberal members, but he is opposed to abortion and voted for a constitutional amendment barring desecration of the U.S. flag.

Interesting. This guy says he wants "to return the Democratic Party to its roots." There are lots of roots to which he wants to return, many of which don't thrill me, but if one of them is the pro-life root, I could at least consider voting for him.

Before getting too excited about another pro-life option, though, check out Katha Pollitt's astute observation from May of 2002:

[I]f he plans to run for President, Kucinich will have to change his stance, and prove it, or kiss the votes of pro-choice women and men goodbye. It won't be enough to present himself as low profile or, worse, focused elsewhere (he voted to take away abortion rights inadvertently? in a fog? thinking about something more "important" than whether women should be forced to give birth against their will?).

The tone of Pollitt's piece is unappealing, but it contains a concise summary of the congressman's abortion voting record.

The WaPo gets the Estrada situation exactly right

Perfect, in fact:

The arguments against Mr. Estrada's confirmation range from the unpersuasive to the offensive... Mr. Estrada stonewalled the Judiciary Committee by refusing to answer questions -- though his answers were similar in nature to those of previous nominees, including many nominated by Democratic presidents...

Underlying it all is the fact that Democrats don't want to put a conservative on the court...

It's long past time to stop these games and vote.

Monday, February 17, 2003

PP makes a good point about our new AIDS policy

You'll probably never read that again here, but give credit where credit's due.

Outlined by a senior White House official and in a State Department memo, the policy deals with disbursement of federal money under Bush's proposed new $15 billion global AIDS relief program to social service agencies that promote or perform abortions. To receive the money, they would have to administer AIDS programs separately from family planning, the official said.

Not all the conditions for acceptable compliance were immediately clear.

AIDS and birth control programs run by an organization in different countries probably would meet the test if the program finances were separate, the official said. Also probably OK would be a group's programs operated at distinct sites in a single country.

And then here's the good point made by a PP minion:

But Planned Parenthood's Sherk [Kirsten Sherk, spokeswoman for international programs at Planned Parenthood] argued the policy is unworkable. Women, especially in poor countries, are unlikely to visit separate facilities to meet different health care needs. Additionally, the costs of setting up separate facilities would be prohibitive for cash-strapped nongovernmental organizations.

Another important point that shouldn't get lost in the debate: monies are fungible. I.e., once an organization that was already spending to fight AIDS gets US dinero, it can shift resources originally earmarked for AIDS fighting to abortion promotion and provision. A modest proposal: give the money to the organizations only if they agree to freeze their old AIDS spending at its current level, to then be supplemented by the new US monies.

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Amazing piece on selective infanticide

The author, a disabled woman herself, accepted professor and infanticide enthusiast Peter Singer's invitation to speak at Princeton. Some Q&A concerning the event:

Q: Was it emotionally difficult for you to take part in a public discussion of whether your life should have happened?

A: It was very difficult. And horribly easy.

Q: Did he get that job at Princeton because they like his ideas on killing disabled babies?

A: It apparently didn't hurt, but he's most famous for animal rights. He's the author of ''Animal Liberation.''

Q: How can he put so much value on animal life and so little value on human life?

That last question is the only one I avoid. I used to say I don't know; it doesn't make sense. But now I've read some of Singer's writing, and I admit it does make sense -- within the conceptual world of Peter Singer. But I don't want to go there. Or at least not for long.

A long stay in Singer's world is worse than one at the Bates Motel: you lose your soul.

Dolls: the new front in the culture war

Abortion dolls?

"A line of dolls was introduced into toy stores last year, called the 'Ghetto Kids.' The seamy underside of the Cabbage Patch Kids, they wore clothes with holes and each came with a small garbage can and sticker reading: 'Ghetto Kids live on the street. Provide them with the home they need.' Their attached bios included: 'Hi. I'm New York Sammy. My father was a drug dealer peddling Ecstasy to kids,' and 'I'm East L.A. Lupe. My mommy abandoned me after daddy died in a gang shooting.' There was also Confederate Tammy, homeless after being sold by her mother, who had become pregnant after a fling with a truck driver. And San Juan Carmen, abandoned in a crack house by her heroin-addicted prostitute mother.

"Toy executives said it's a good idea because it gets kids thinking about issues of substance abuse, homelessness and single parenthood. Well, I thought, if these dolls made it to market, shouldn't they be selling an Abortion doll, too? Talk about child abuse! That would be a kid with issues, no? ... Where is that doll? Did it not make it to market because it only had potential for dollhood?

"As a former fetus and recovering near abortion, I believe that we are worth the trouble of rehabilitating into humanity."

— Julia Gorin, in "30 years of Roe vs Wade: A Near Abortion Speaks Out," posted Jan. 22 on www.jewishworldreview.com

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Extreme interpreters endanger nation

"The Republicans bring up their extreme interpretation of late-term abortion all the time and members will vote their conscience on it," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat.

Pro-women, pro-life

You may be familiar with Feminists for Life, the nation's premier pro-life, pro-women organization, which has been saying this type of thing for quite a long time. It's also nice to see other folks saying it:

"I find it incredibly insulting that people have characterized women in a monolithic way or universally supportive of abortion," Miss Cobb [Victoria Cobb, director of legislative affairs for the Family Foundation] said. "It is possible to be pro-women and pro-life."

You go, girl.

Hey Blogger.com, you okay?

The post I wrote this AM, which included a letter to the editor in today's WaPo, is listed on the blog as being published yesterday afternoon. Blogger.com -- free web publishing and highly accurate predictions. Maybe I should start a gambling blog.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Catholic U student pines for Ms. Holmes Norton

Censorship on Campus

Thursday, February 13, 2003; Page A30

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton supports abortion rights and is one of the most liberal members of Congress. When the College Republicans and Students for Life found out she was to appear at a book signing at Catholic University, they led a campaign to prevent her visit. Without consulting the rest of us students, the university canceled Ms. Norton's appearance [Metro, Feb. 3]. Yet Democratic National Chairman Terence R. McAuliffe, a graduate of Catholic University who holds the same views on abortion as Ms. Norton, was wined and dined by the university at an alumni dinner this month.

It is a sad day when a university situated in the heart of American democracy arbitrarily censors guest speakers.

MATTHEW MASON
Washington

First, as to a *Catholic* institution banning a pro-choice speaker... Far be it from a regular 'ole Jew boy like me to question the letter writer's wisdom. But it just rubbed me all kinds of wrong. So I went to CUA's web site and found among its list of aims the following:

As a Catholic university, it desires to cultivate and impart an understanding of the Christian faith within the context of all forms of human inquiry and values. It seeks to assure, in an institutional manner, the proper intellectual and academic witness to Christian inspiration in individuals and in the community, and to provide a place for continuing reflection, in the light of Christian faith, upon the growing treasure of human knowledge... Faithful to the Christian message as it comes through the Church and faithful to its own national traditions, The Catholic University of America has unique responsibilities to be of service to Christian thought and education in the Catholic community as well as to serve the nation and the world.

Again, perhaps I'm speaking out of turn, but there seems to be an emphasis on *Christianity* and, more specifically, *Catholicism,* at the *Catholic* University of America. Although I'm Jewish, I'm pretty sure I've read in lots and lots of places *something* about the Catholic Church being, oh, I don't know, AGAINST ABORTION. I'm pretty sure the letter writer wasn't around to *be* consulted when this decision was made.

Maybe this letter writer needs a refresher. He could get it in lots of places. From the rockin'-and-rollin' CUA students who spoke out against Holmes Norton, for instance. From books, priests, *real* Catholics, and heck, even from a regular 'ole Jew boy like me.

Second, as to the arbitrariness of banning one pro-choicer and "wining and dining" another, I must admit to being a bit confused. A little help from St. Blog's, por favor?

Translation attempt of the day

WHAT THEY SAY: The Bush Administration's opposition to the UN Population Fund hurts women all over the world.

WHAT THEY THINK?: Coercive abortion in China is good for the US. Oila: smaller Chinese army. Fewer Chinese brains to develop advanced weapons systems.

MORAL: The vacuum is mightier than the sword.

Estrada mess offers clear juxtaposition of the sensible and the Senate Democrat

On the sensible side, we have lawyer Bruce Cain:

Sen. Charles Schumer, New York Democrat, berated the nominee for resisting answers to case-specific questions, for example, his view of Roe vs. Wade (1973), the landmark abortion precedent, or his listing of Supreme Court decisions with which he disagreed. According to Mr. Schumer's thinking, a nominee should be compelled during Senate confirmation to telegraph his judicial votes on crystallized issues. But such interrogation is thrice-cursed: enlightened judging relies on the clashing and clarifying arguments of adverse parties; answers would stumble on a nominee's natural desire to propitiate opponents or gladden supporters; and, the appearance of justice for both litigants and the public would be shattered by judges who, under oath before the Judiciary Committee, had pre-committed their interpretations, affirmations or disapprovals of dispositive precedents.

Then there's the Senate Democrat take:

Senate Democrats say they will filibuster Washington lawyer Miguel Estrada's confirmation to the federal appeals bench because he stonewalled them last year when they asked him about his judicial philosophy...

Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota accused Estrada of refusing to explain what his judicial philosophy would be if he became a federal judge...

``Every nominee who comes before the Senate has the obligation to be forthcoming with information about his position [on choice], with information about his record [which we could have found if we'd get off our a***s long enough to do some research],'' said Daschle. ``Until he does, we don't believe that it is in the Senate's [, that is, the Party's] best interest to allow this confirmation to go forward [, given the massive amounts of sweet, sweet blood money we get from Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America, which let us keep our jobs, and which would disappear if we didn't protect this cherished American freedom!].'' [media-censored info in brackets]...

During Estrada's five-hour confirmation hearing last year, Democrats repeatedly contended that he lacked judicial experience. Estrada's refusal to answer questions about specific cases, including those on abortion rights, gave them little to review, Democrats complained.

If I'm just beating a dead horse here, please let me know and I'll stop. But this is outrageous and has me fuming. If I had one of those little faces in the sidebar about my mood, it would be red, with smoke coming out, and would say, "fuming: soon to have heart attack due to hostile thoughts towards Senate Democrats."

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

New synonym for position on abortion: "legal views"

In a major escalation of the increasingly bitter partisan fight over Bush's judgeship choices, Democrats announced they had enough votes to block an immediate vote on nomination of the conservative Hispanic attorney to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

While stopping short of saying they would kill the nomination, they said they would filibuster -- or delay a vote -- until Estrada more fully answers questions about his legal views and the Bush administration provides memoranda he wrote while he worked in the office of the solicitor general in the Justice Department. [bold mine]

One of every three Romanians: GONE

A devastating abortion rate of 70 percent has, during the past 12 years, claimed the lives of the equivalent of one-third of Romania's stagnant population of 24 million people.

One reason why social scientists don't have a lot of credibility on the Hill

Three letters: APA.

Excellent analysis on After abortion, especially concerning the utter lack of respect the APA has for women. Yeah, you read that correctly, APA.

While we're on the topic of abortion's psychological toll, be sure to check out "The Aftermath of Abortion" (1998, p.6), a great piece by former Feminists for Life of America VP Kerri-Ann Kiniorski.

New blog: After abortion

Thanks to Leslie Graves of Rachel's Vineyard and Kat Lively for the heads-up.

Translation attempt of the day

WHAT THEY SAY: The Bush Administration's opposition to the UN Population Fund hurts women all over the world.

WHAT THEY THINK?: Coercive abortion in China is good for the US. Oila: smaller Chinese army. Fewer Chinese brains to develop advanced weapons systems.

MORAL: The vacuum is mightier than the sword.

Monday, February 10, 2003

"Who's Afraid of Dolls?"

Following up on the story blogged below, a couple of common-sense Virginian gals got a super letter into the Wash Times:

Who's afraid of dolls?

We don't know whether to be amused or angry at your article, "Fetus dolls outrage Senate Democrats" (Metropolitan, Thursday). In this scientific age of 3-D ultrasounds and Web sites that clearly depict the marvels of the development of a human baby, it is hard to believe that Virginia lawmakers such as Senate Minority Leader Richard L. Saslaw of Fairfax County and Sen. Leslie L. Byrne, Fairfax County Democrat, are so uninformed as to be repulsed by a fetal model. What is even more disturbing is their apparent intent to remain uninformed and spread their ignorance.

The fetal model is an accurate representation of a fetus at 10 weeks to 12 weeks of gestation. At that age, all of the vital organs and body parts are fully developed. The fetal model is shown in books, videos and scientific and medical materials, including materials used to educate pregnant women about their pregnancies provided by the Virginia Health Department. There is nothing repulsive or shocking about it.

Perhaps their outrage is not directed at the scientific fetal model, but at the fact that the model represents the very age at which most abortions are performed. Perhaps hiding behind the pro-choice rhetoric of "fetal tissue," "blob of tissue" or "nonviable" life has enabled them to escape taking a hard look at what abortion really is.

Or is it a willful ignorance that keeps our society from seeing the obvious — that abortion is the killing of small human beings? Even small children in strollers seeing these fetal models displayed at pregnancy help center tables at county fairs instinctively say "baby" and reach for it. They are charmed, not repulsed. Perhaps, like the little boy who could tell the emperor had no clothes, children can see the truth that confounds adults.

It's time these outraged Democrats and their fellow pro-abortion advocates came out of their oh-so-sensitive closets and learned the facts. Not only have 44 million small babies been sacrificed in this country for the political "right" to abortion, but abortion has not been a good "choice" for the thousands of women who suffer physical, emotional and spiritual damage as a result of their abortions.

A recent study of the effects of abortion, whose target audience is obstetricians/gynecologists and family physicians, concluded that induced abortion increased the risk of subsequent preterm delivery (premature birth or low birth weight), depression and even maternal suicide. (Source: "Long-Term Physical and Psychological Health Consequences of Induced Abortion: Review of the Evidence" by Dr. John M. Thorpe Jr. and Dr. Katherine E. Hartmann of the University of North Carolina, and Dr. Elizabeth Shadigan of the University of Michigan. Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey, Vol. 58, No. 1.)

Mr. Saslaw and Miss Byrne will be voting on such vital issues as partial-birth abortion and parental notification when a minor is seeking an abortion. This is not a time for squeamishness, but a time to face the facts and ensure that every woman who seeks an abortion and the parents of every minor who seeks an abortion are fully informed. Choice without knowledge is no choice at all.

LINDA PERRY
Annandale

CARRIE CLAYTON
Alexandria

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Pro-life chutzpah is alive & well

in Virginia. Where else?

Letter With 'Fetus' Angers Legislators

• Democrats in the General Assembly criticized Del. Richard H. Black (R-Loudoun) for sending all 40 state senators a small, plastic replica of a fetus. The "fetus" accompanied a letter urging votes against abortion and noting that the "struggling infants are chemically scalded or slashed apart with jagged knives."

But it seems Mr. Black's educational, pink plastic missive was not received well.

The dramatic gesture was a little too dramatic for some of his party's leaders.

"It does take the focus off the bigger, broader issues that we're doing, and I think that's regrettable," said House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford).

Bigger broader issues that innocent Virginians murdered every day, legally. Which issues are those? Thank G-d Black gets it:

"What gets people's attention is that they see the little, plastic doll and they recognize that it's a baby. It moves them away from thinking in ethereal terms and forces them to confront the reality," he said.

Black said that the progress during the session was "excellent" and that he thinks abortion eventually will be illegal.

"I lived through the collapse of segregation," said Black, who is 58. "I remember being the only white person who rode in the colored section of the bus. There was a time when you could sense the whole structure of segregation about to collapse. I believe we are approaching that point [with abortion] today."

Amen, and amen.


Pro-life black woman to fill next SCOTUS vacancy? Tough choice for Senate Dems

California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown... is a conservative African-American who’s ruled against affirmative action and abortion rights. Her nomination would let Bush add the court’s third woman and second African-American in one swoop.

Saturday, February 08, 2003

Life for Children

Check out this site dedicated to helping crisis pregnancy centers. From the man behind the site, Frank Stancato:

Over the years we have all heard the pleas for help, both financial and for more volunteers, from our local Crisis Pregnancy Centers. These centers are run by volunteers who provide help to women and their unborn children in their time of need and are always struggling to financially make it through the year. The constant fundraisers and letters not only emphasize the need, but also remind us of how much time these organizations spend on raising the funds necessary to keep these vital centers open and functioning.

Now there is another way to offer financial help to these centers, one that costs you nothing while allowing the CPC volunteers to spend their time fulfilling their mission.

Life for Children was established to provide financial aid to Crisis Pregnancy Centers. The simple act of performing an Internet search from our website raises cash for the CPCs across America and Canada. As of last month we have been providing financial aid to 12 centers in seven states and a Canadian province...

So please use our search engine and help us increase the funds available to assist women and children in their time of need!

What a great idea! Way to go, Frank.

Friday, February 07, 2003

Dems want "ample debate" on Estrada

Sen. Hatch tells it like it is...

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, Utah Republican and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said this week that the issue of abortion is underlying the whole fight over President Bush's judicial nominees and that some senators privately have made it their standard that only pro-choice candidates be confirmed to the federal bench.

...while, on the other side of the aisle...

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat and a pro-choice advocate, disagreed. She said "all kinds of things" are taken into consideration when evaluating nominees, including their views on civil rights and workers' rights.

Phew. For a second there I thought they were evaluating nominees based on judicial irrelevancies (e.g., respect for the law irrespective of personal agreement / disagreement with it, strict constructionism vs. judicial legislating, etc.).

Pro-choice Jews betray tenets of orthodoxy

That's the title chosen by the Democrat and Chronicle for my letter to the editor, published in today's paper. It didn't change much from the original. Pretty much all the letters editor did was remove a few quotations marks (which was proper) and decapitalize "Altar of Abortion."

Regarding the Feb. 1 letter "Saddened by stance of Jewish group," I want the writer to know that Judaism has plenty of pro-lifers in its ranks. This is not at all obvious, given the image presented by high-profile pro-choice "Jews" like Senator Joseph Lieberman and groups like the National Council of Jewish Women.

At the recent March for Life, Rabbi Yehuda Levin of Jews for Morality made Judaism's true position on abortion abundantly clear: "Senator Lieberman, I say to you: G-d forbid that you should be president. To be an Orthodox Jew is to be uncompromisingly pro-life. You are not an Orthodox Jew. You are an orthodox liberal." I share the letter writer's sadness that so many Jews have abandoned G-d in favor of worship at the bloody altar of abortion.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

U.S. politicians have never been bound by pleas from their own or other religious groups and it is becoming easier to ignore them.

Protestants enshrine individualism, and many Catholic officeholders reject the Vatican's insistence that they follow the church's anti-abortion teaching. Nor is presidential hopeful Joseph Lieberman bound by Orthodox Judaism's beliefs on abortion.

Two questions I was hoping you might help me with:

1. Is it true that ignoring the religious is becoming easier for our politicians?

2. Why?

Happy Birthday

to the Gipper (1911), a marvelous pro-lifer. He's in my prayers.

Our protectors at the NYT editorial page

I don't know about you, but I for one am glad *somebody* is watching out for us, making sure the US Senate uses its advise & consent role judiciously. BTW, filled in the subtext.

The new Senate Republican majority [a bastion of the Religious Right, full of evil *Christians* intent on invading our private lives] is ushering in an era of conveyor-belt confirmations of ["is our children learning?"] Bush administration judicial nominations. No matter which party holds the gavel [har], the federal courts are too important for the Senate to give short shrift to its constitutional role of [protecting the pregnancy termination industry, w/ its *oh*-so-luscious campaign contributions, and, oh yeah,] advice and consent.

Republicans [or just Shaytans for short] on the Judiciary Committee held a single hearing last week for three [anti-choice, women-hating, 13th century-living, and thus] controversial appeals court nominees. There was no way, given the format, for senators to consider each nominee['s views on choice] with care. A fourth nominee had a hearing yesterday, and a fifth is likely to have one next week. During the Clinton years, the committee took six months or more to consider the number of appeals court nominees this committee is hearing from in two weeks[, showing first that only Democrats are concerned about filling the judiciary to keep the courts working, and second that only Democrats, Champions of Women -- whether standing, in stirrups exercising their inalienable right to reproductive freedom, or on their knees servicing adulterous presidents if they so desire -- fully understood the Framers' intentions in crafting the Senate's advise & consent role]...

The committee's new leadership showed similar recklessness when it waved Miguel Estrada[, the Shaytan Administration's token Hispanic,] through on a straight party-line vote. Mr. Estrada, a conservative lawyer with almost no paper trail, refused to answer senators' questions on crucial issues like [strict interpretation of the Constitution vs. legislating from the bench, federal vs. states' rights, and, well, what the hell, we really just mean] abortion. Meanwhile, the White House refused to hand over memos Mr. Estrada wrote as a government lawyer that could have shed light on his beliefs [and almost certainly implicate the current illegitimate president in many scandals of corporate greed and *evil-doing*].

A good veto threat

The White House has threatened to veto the 2003 omnibus spending bill if it exceeds the president's spending ceiling, micromanages the new Department of Homeland Security, weakens sanctions against Cuba or funds abortion overseas.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

The S.I.C.L.E. Cell

That's Self-Imposed Child Loss Experience. Incredibly moving stuff about women's post-abortion suffering, by one of the sufferers. The author is in my prayers.

Thanks to Kat Lively for alerting me to this new blog.

PBA banned and parental notification now req'd in Virginia

The VA Senate passed the bills by veto-proof margins, as the VA House had already done. SCOTUS will just knock down the PBA ban, but it's nice to see the message keeps going out. Makes me miss Virginia.

Interesting thing about the YAHOO article, is this little sin of omission:

A spokeswoman for the governor said that he's concerned... that the partial birth bill does NOT provide an exception for the of the mother.

Did we forget something, perhaps, between "the" and "of"? Is this is fill-in-the-blank thing? As in "health," which might be why the reporter left it blank in the first place. The reporter is making a subtle point, I'm convinced. Agreed?

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Walk the Walk, rebbe

Just learned from the Pro-Life Infonet that, in his letter to Senator Lieberman's rabbi, "Judicial Watch chief [Larry Klaman]... reminded Rabbi Freundel of his own statements at the 2000 National Right to Life Convention, where he contended that the majority of U.S. abortions were in conflict with Jewish Scripture." The situation calls for a little chutzpah on Freundel's part. Rein him in, rebbe, rein him in.

Letter to the editor: as submitted

My local rag just called and told me they're going to print my letter. Here's what I sent:

Regarding Michael Carnahan's Feb. 1 letter "Saddened by stance of Jewish group," I want Mr. Carnahan to know that Judaism has plenty of pro-lifers in its ranks. This is not at all obvious, given the image presented by high-profile pro-choice "Jews" like Senator Joseph Lieberman and groups like the National Council of "Jewish" Women. At the recent March for Life, Rabbi Yehuda Levin of Jews for Morality made Judaism's true position on abortion abundantly clear: "Senator Lieberman, I say to you: G-d forbid that you should be president. To be an Orthodox Jew is to be uncompromisingly pro-life. You are not an Orthodox Jew. You are an orthodox liberal." Mr. Carnahan, I share your sadness that so many Jews have abandoned G-d in favor of worship at the bloody Altar of Abortion.

When they run it I'll print the "post" version. We'll compare. It'll be fun!

Monday, February 03, 2003

Junior high student can wear pro-life shirt after all

It's time to add Thomas More Law Center to my donation list.

Hurrah for Catholic U students

who don't want DC's pro-choice delegate to Congress, Eleanor Holmes Norton, speaking at their university. From the WaPo article:

In 1993, she led a fight to overturn a congressional ban on the use of city funds to subsidize abortions for low-income women.

When I think about her and Barry, I'm almost forced to rethink my support for DC statehood.

But back to the point: kudos to students who speak truth to power.

Direct from the Moronic Analogies Department

This has been going on for a while now, but I was just reminded by FOXNews...

Tee Trouble

A student at a junior high school in Pennsylvania was told to remove the pro-life T-shirt he was wearing because the message was the equivalent of a swastika, reports the Thomas More Law Center.

The unnamed student wore a shirt reading: "Abortion is Homicide. You will not silence my message. You will not mock my God. You will stop killing my generation. Rock for Life."

The center says the principal of Anington Junior High School told the student to either cover the shirt or turn the shirt inside out because the message was inappropriate to be displayed in school. He said the shirt and message were the equivalent of a swastika being displayed on a shirt.

Sunday, February 02, 2003

With representatives like this...

Several times a year, local representatives of the National Council of Jewish Women -- which is vehemently opposed to banning partial birth abortion -- get pro-choice letters published in the local rag. Invariably, fine non-Jews follow up with letters expressing shock & amazement. How, they ask, could Jews, whose own humanity has so often been denied, be for such an affront to G-d? Yesterday another letter expressing shock appeared, so I sent in a letter explaining that these were perhaps not the best representatives of the true Jewish perspective. Might have gone overboard putting Jew in quotation marks when referring to these I-don't-know-what-kind-of-women, to borrow a line from Dr. Laura, but gotta be me. Maybe they'll take out the quotes and publish it. We'll see.