Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Has our president caved on the $15B AIDS package?

The latest is here.

In rare defiance of the social conservatives within his own party, President Bush today urged Congress to fight AIDS internationally with a $15 billion plan that advocates condom use and in effect permits money to go to groups that promote abortion...

To help ensure that the bill passes, administration officials have promised they would permit AIDS money to go only to organizations that keep their AIDS and family planning programs, including abortion, separate. Nonetheless, that provision is not specifically written into the bill, because it was thought it would poison too many Democrats against it. [bold mine]

I'm not qualified to judge whether President Bush has caved. I'm guessing other readers aren't either, unless they're in the president's inner circle or have a thorough understanding of executive powers vis-a-vis legislative ones.

But that said, I'm concerned. And more importantly, people much more in the know than I are concerned. From a piece by William J. Bennett and Charles W. Colson on the Washington Times editorial page:

With the lives of hundreds of millions at risk, every cent spent on bureaucracy, or organizations advancing unrelated political agendas, is that much less that will reach those affected by AIDS. Funds should be directed to groups dedicated wholly to practices consistent with the preservation of life.

Compassion demands we tell the truth and fund what we know will save lives. Yet the global AIDS bill under consideration in the House falls short of this mandate. [bold mine]

We need to help the suffering people of Africa. Let's just pray that President Bush is as good as his word, and truly has the authority to direct these funds appropriately. Otherwise, as I've written here before, I fear we'll be freeing up funds for abortion in the process.

Bad times for unborn girls (and grown men) in India...

...as one in six Indian girls is aborted.

American women: Please thank G-d you aren't in India. American men: Please thank G-d you aren't in the Indian marriage market.

Link via Diotima.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Is SCOTUS coming to its senses about the Constitution's non-existent privacy clause?

The Supreme Court cleared the way Monday for health authorities in South Carolina to collect names, addresses and other information about women seeking abortions, a power doctors say violates a fundamental duty to protect patient privacy...

South Carolina wants abortion clinics to open all files, including patient medical records, if state investigators ask to see them. Supporters say the new regulations will improve state oversight of abortion providers, and are part of ordinary state record keeping.

Trey Walker, spokesman for the South Carolina attorney general's office, said he was pleased the legal challenges were over.

``The state regulations are reasonable health and safety measures that do not infringe on anyone's constitutional rights,'' he said.

Normally I'd want the state to have less access to our medical records. But for someone who considers abortion murder, restricting access to records on abortions is like restricting access to records on the murder of humans who've already emerged from the womb. This next segment sums it up nicely:

Patient medical records ordinarily are a private matter, although there are exceptions. Doctors, hospitals and insurers can share information among themselves, and police or other authorities can seek records in criminal investigations, public health emergencies or, for example, when child abuse is suspected.

Abortion is the ultimate form of child abuse, so kudos to SC.

Monday, April 28, 2003

Hopeful news for women who are infertile due to abortion

Bone Fragments Tied to Infertility

Unexplained infertility in otherwise healthy women may sometimes be caused by the presence of fetal bone fragments left embedded in the uterus after a previous abortion, according to a new report that offers a novel approach to resolving the problem...

The doctors describe a 36-year-old woman who ended a pregnancy 15 years earlier and was not able to become pregnant again. Her uterus appeared normal by hysteroscope. But when doctors conducted an ultrasound exam -- which uses sound waves to visualize dense objects in the body -- they saw bright white evidence of embedded bone fragments.

Using the ultrasound images to guide them, the doctors scraped the uterine lining and removed the fragments. Four months later, she became pregnant and went on to deliver a healthy boy.

Thank G-d doctors can help post-abortive women. But it's safe to conclude that this will only move women considering abortion in that sub-optimal direction by removing some risk from their calculations.

Army reservist to be court-martialed for protecting her reproductive system and any future children she might have

FORT DRUM — A 26-year-old Army reservist at Fort Drum faces a court-martial beginning today for her refusal to receive an anthrax vaccine.

Pvt. Kamila Iwanowska said she resisted receiving the shots on religious and medical grounds. Military prosecutors will try her for refusing to obey a lawful order.

The Army said Pvt. Iwanowska, of New York City, refused an anthrax shot at Fort Drum after reporting for pre-deployment processing with her unit in January.

Pvt. Iwanowska said she considers the shot medically dangerous to any children she might have, saying the long-term effects of the anthrax vaccine are not known. She also said she could not take the vaccine because of her Roman Catholicism and the respect it accords unborn infants. [bold mine]

The Pentagon says the vaccination is safe, with severe adverse reactions developing in about one in 100,000 cases.

In her usual brilliant way, Phyllis Schlafly wrote about this late last year on TownHall.com:

Now, after scores of resignations and hundreds of careers destroyed by court-martial, we discover that our brave servicemen and women were right to resist the anthrax orders, and the government was fatally and corruptly wrong. A lawsuit filed by two Connecticut Air Force Reserve pilots asserted that the vaccine used on the military was never properly tested, and the Food and Drug Administration's recent response was to halt use of existing stocks of the vaccine.

Several months earlier, the FDA had ordered that a warning be included on the vaccine's package insert stating that the vaccine can harm people with immunity disorders, can cause a host of serious long-term adverse reactions, and could already be responsible for six deaths and a number of birth defects. These warnings were based on complaints by military vaccine users since 1998 and show an injury rate that far exceeds casualty rates in combat.

The FDA warning also states that adverse reactions are expected in 5 percent to 35 percent of people who get the injection. That is an absolutely shocking danger difference from the advertised 0.2 percent rate when Clinton ordered everyone in the military to be given the vaccine...The anthrax vaccine, which was imposed on servicemen and women alike, was never tested for harm to unborn children. [bold mine] Clinton's feminist advisors would never permit treating women differently from men, even for the sake of avoiding birth defects.

The number of deaths that the FDA now concedes could have been caused by the anthrax vaccine exceeds the casualties from the anthrax itself when the mails and office buildings were contaminated last year. The postal workers showed good common sense when 98 percent of them rejected the government's hard sell to be voluntarily injected with the vaccine.

We are waiting for the Department of Defense to do the right thing: restore the careers, with rank and pay, of the hundreds of servicemen and women who were punished for refusing a corrupt order to be injected with the unsafe, untested and unnecessary vaccine. One reason we elected George W. Bush was to remedy Bill Clinton's mistakes, and this is a good place to start.

To court-martial someone who puts country above self, and G-d above country, for resisting the public health tyrants in gov't and seeking to protect herself and future generations of her family the best way she knows how? It's nothing short of abhorrent.

In the deadtree version of my local paper, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, there's a little more info about Pvt. Iwanowska and a similar case. Turns out Iwanowska was demoted from the rank of specialist as a result of her refusal to take the vaccine. And just last month, Pvt. Rhonda Hazley was in jail for two weeks for something similar: refusing the vaccine b/c she thought it might hurt her breast-feeding baby.

Please don't get me wrong. I love the military. G-d bless the military. But this situation is disgusting.

The Army should take care of its people, including its future people. This is from the Army's official site:

Army readiness is inextricably linked to the Well-Being of our People. Our success depends on the whole team -- Soldiers, civilians, families -- All of whom serve the Nation. Strategic responsiveness requires that our support structures provide soldiers and families the resources to be self-reliant both when the force is deployed and when it is at home. When we deploy, Soldiers will know that their families are safe, housed, and have access to medical care, community services, and educational opportunities. We have a covenant with our Soldiers and families, and we will keep faith with them.

General Eric K. Shinseki
Chief of Staff of the Army
June 22, 1999

"Soldiers will know that their families are safe," huh? I guess we define "families" differently.

Sunday, April 27, 2003

Provision vs. prescription of the "morning-after" pill at JMU: a distinction without a difference

RICHMOND (AP) — James Madison University stopped providing "morning-after" contraceptives despite guidance weeks earlier from the attorney general to defer action on the pills until he could craft a statewide position on them.

A senior assistant to Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore sent e-mails April 4 to lawyers in his office assigned to public colleges and universities notifying them about letters the General Assembly's most stalwart abortion foe sent to JMU criticizing distribution of the pills.

"We asked all of the [state-supported] schools to wait to respond until we could look at the legal questions on this. We didn't want 10 different schools having 10 different reactions," Mr. Kilgore's press secretary, Tim Murtaugh, said yesterday.

JMU's board of visitors voted April 18 to stop selling the pills to its students after Delegate Robert G. Marshall, Prince William County Republican, wrote to JMU President Linwood H. Rose on March 19 saying the school could face liability problems if it continues to distribute the pills on campus.

Mr. Kilgore's assistant sent the e-mail after the Attorney General's Office learned of Mr. Marshall's letter March 31, Mr. Murtaugh said.

Mr. Marshall said in the letter that JMU had misnamed the pill "emergency contraception" when the medication could cause an abortion.

Mr. Marshall, who is not a lawyer, called the school's attention to Virginia's informed-consent law. It requires an abortion provider to offer information about abortion and alternatives 24 hours before the procedure, and to obtain informed, written consent from a woman before she undergoes the procedure.

Mr. Murtaugh said the Attorney General's Office will decide whether the drug falls under the state's informed-consent law.

Physicians at JMU's health center still prescribe the drug, but the students must now go off-campus to buy it.

[Bold mine]

So JMU doesn't provide this easy murder method, but its physicians still prescribe it? And how far outside the campus do pregnant women have to travel to get to a pharmacy? Harrisonburg ain't exactly a mecca of civilization. I've been there. But any women with an emergency called a baby won't have far to travel. How utterly ridiculous.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

JMU: Take Two

Lots of JMU students really want this emergency "contraception" pill.

[S]tudent Travis White said: "To me, a bunch of old men sitting around a big table shouldn't be able to decide what the health center can do. Or what women can do."

Senior Jessica Holmdahl walked up behind him to sign [a petition to reverse JMU trustees' decision to discontinue offering the emergency "contraception" pill]. "Freshmen, especially, are young and dumb," she said. Four years ago, she made a mistake, she said, and the health center provided morning-after pills and counseling "without making me feel like I was an idiot."

Evil patriarchy. Indiscretions of youth. Same old lines.

And this:

A sophomore who asked not to be identified said she went to the health center last year after being sexually assaulted by several young men late at night. "I figured a school this conservative wouldn't have anything to help me," she said, calling it "a huge relief" when she found out differently.

Exceptional cases make bad law, ma'am. Just ask attorney Rebecca Kiessling, whose talk, "Daughter of Rape, Child of G-d," would give you some new perspective as it did for me.

BTW, note that JMU's offerings included Plan B, whose potential abortifacient qualities have not been sufficiently studied (see previous post below):

Ann Simmons, a health center nurse, argued that eliminating the chance of pregnancy early prevented later, more dangerous alternatives, including abortion. She noted that the pills -- which contain hormones such as progestin and include brands such as Plan B and Preven -- are classified as contraceptives by the federal Food and Drug Administration, distinct from abortive agents such as RU-486.

Stem cells in baby teeth...

...rather than dead babies. Melikes.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

JMU & the "morning-after" pill

Should VA taxpayers and students really have to fund a method of early abortion? Thank G-d there's somebody on James Madison University's board who thinks not:

[Board member Mark D.] Obenshain said that causing the discharge of a fertilized egg constitutes a type of abortion. A public university should not support the use of such a drug through mandatory student fees, he said.

"One of the effects of the pill is to cause the destruction of a fertilized egg," he said. "Do people categorize that as having an abortion effect? Yes. Do I? Yes."

WaTimes editors hit a home run today.

My favorite paragraph:

Few dispute that at some point, while still in the womb, unborn infants become alive. Connor Peterson was, by any reasonable measure. He had brain activity; he could respond to pain; he had a heartbeat. As a normally developing child, he would have had the use of taste and touch, hearing and vision. He would have been able to recognize Laci's voice. Had he been born prematurely or delivered by a Caesarean section, no one would have disputed his personhood. Connor may have even had a soul — certainly he had been touched with the fingertips of the eternal.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Fetal homicide laws, NOW, the Peterson case, & more, all at After abortion

Emily's done great research and made some very nice comments about this case & all the issues it raises. If you haven't yet seen her posts, check 'em out!

A bad sample at the NYT

Likely Ban on Abortion Technique Leaves Doctors Uneasy
By MARY DUENWALD

As a ban on a procedure that opponents call partial-birth abortion makes its way through Congress, many of the doctors who provide abortions say they remain confused about what will be banned and fear it will apply to other procedures used in the second trimester of pregnancy.

The procedure at issue — what doctors now call intact dilatation and extraction, or intact D&X — involves pulling the fetus's legs and torso out of the uterus and then crushing its skull before removing it entirely. It is not known how often it is performed in the United States, but its use is limited to the latter weeks of the second trimester. Even then, it is not always the procedure doctors choose.

In fact, it is practiced very rarely. Many doctors who perform abortions say they do not use the technique at all. Yet they agree that in certain situations, it may be the safest way to perform an abortion.

I wonder whether the Newspaper of Record took a biased sample of OB/GYNs. I see Tiller quoted, but not Levantino. Hmmm. I also don't see anything in the article from the AMA's policy H-5.982 Late-Term Pregnancy Termination Techniques. Here are a few excerpts that Ms. Duenwald might have checked:

According to the scientific literature, there does not appear to be any identified situation in which intact D&X is the only appropriate procedure to induce abortion, and ethical concerns have been raised about intact D&X. The AMA recommends that the procedure not be used unless alternative procedures pose materially greater risk to the woman. The physician must, however, retain the discretion to make that judgment, acting within standards of good medical practice and in the best interest of the patient...

Except in extraordinary circumstances, maternal health factors which demand termination of the pregnancy can be accommodated without sacrifice of the fetus, and the near certainty of the independent viability of the fetus argues for ending the pregnancy by appropriate delivery.

The right to choose, or the right to a dead child. The Newspaper of Record did Peter Singer proud today.

Monday, April 21, 2003

Murder on a shelf

The makers of the emergency contraceptive sold under the name "Plan B" want their product to be available on drugstore shelves alongside the cold remedies and toothpaste, and they are planning to petition the Food and Drug Administration today for the right to sell it without a prescription.

If the application is approved, the drug would be the first "morning after" contraceptive to be sold over the counter, and its distributor says a major advertising campaign to increase its use would likely follow.

This next part should be reason enough to scrap the plan:

Similar morning-after contraceptives are available without prescriptions in Europe, where they are increasingly popular.

And then, of course, there's the shaky claim:

[T]he makers of Plan B say their product prevents conception, rather than aborting an egg that has been fertilized.

But go the Women's Capital Corporation site and you find this:

If ovulation has occurred, there is still time to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg or to interfere with the fertilization process. The fertilization process can take up to 24 hours. If all these modes of action fail, Plan B may prevent a newly fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus, although there is no scientific evidence that Plan B works this way.[bold mine]

Do me a favor: find the scientific evidence first, before you put a really easy abortion method on pharmacy shelves.

New blog!

Check it out. Nice abortion-related post on the Peterson baby, just up today.

Friday, April 18, 2003

A medical doctor sets the record straight on CPCs

In defense of crisis pregnancy counseling

Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, accuses personnel at crisis pregnancy centers of lying to pregnant women because they inform them of the negative medical and psychological effects of abortion, including the possibility of increased risk of breast cancer, which she denies ("License for life?" Letters, Monday).

Yet, David C. Reardon, director of the Elliott Institute, has done extensive research on the harmful physical and psychological effects of abortion (see www.afterabortion.org). He says "pro-choice" is a misnomer that attempts to equate abortion and childbirth as equally viable options. After reviewing all the harmful effects of abortion and beneficial effects of childbirth, he declares that abortion must be called the "poor" choice.

Mr. Reardon says just one of the reasons abortion is a poor choice is that nearly 50 published studies have shown that abortion places women at significantly higher risk of premature and low-weight babies in subsequent pregnancies. This condition is the cause of many infant deaths and debilitating problems, including cerebral palsy.

With regard to the link between abortion and breast cancer, many medical studies dating to the 1950s show a positive correlation between the two. The most comprehensive study — commissioned by the National Cancer Institute and performed by Janet Daling, et al. — was published in 1994. Miss Daling, who favors the right to abortion, found an overall 50 percent increased risk of breast cancer in women who had abortions.

The results of the Daling study were called erroneous by some because of a supposed "reporting bias" — i.e., women who did not have breast cancer would underreport their abortions. However, the same team that did the 1994 Daling study did another study — reported in the June 2000 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology — to address the supposed reporting bias. The team found none that would invalidate the original study.

While the medical-community debates continue on whether abortion — which abruptly terminates the body's preparation for lactation — increases the risk of breast cancer, there is no room in it to call someone a liar, as Miss Northup did. There are many illustrious physicians who hold that abortion does increase the risk of breast cancer. For example, an article in this January's issue of the medical journal Obstetrics and Gynecology Survey — which reviews a study on abortion complications conducted at the University of North Carolina's School of Public Health — concluded that a woman who aborts a pregnancy not only increases her risk of breast cancer, but also depression, attempted suicide and premature births.

Until the medical debate is settled, women deserve to be informed of the possibility of dire medical consequences before they have abortions.

DR. WILLIAM F. COLLITON JR.
Clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology (retired)
George Washington University Medical Center
Bethesda

It's odd that giving women full medical risk assessments would be so unpopular among those who profess to be their champions.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Passover & abortion

As I try to work through my Mogen David-inspired hangover, I wonder about the relationship b/t this holiday and abortion. An analogy pops into my cloudy head: the same way pharaohs treated the Hebrew slaves like property, so many of my fellow Jews treat unborn children as property.

The cantor who led the seder I attended last night drew a different, more popular analogy -- liberation of Hebrew slaves akin to liberation of the Iraqis. It's a fine analogy. Don't get me wrong. I just wish more of my religion's clergy and laity would wrap their minds around the analogy I draw above, which the early feminists championed long ago.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Steve Chapman on Estrada & Roe

The claim that the court is divided 5-to-4 on keeping Roe rests on a wild misrepresentation of what the court did in a landmark decision three years ago, when it struck down a Nebraska law banning partial-birth abortion. In that case, it's true, the court did rule by 5-4. But the opinions of the justices, far from heralding the downfall of abortion rights, actually confirmed Roe's secure status.

Three justices in that case voted to uphold the Nebraska law on the grounds that Roe was a mistake and should be undone immediately. "Although a state may permit abortion," wrote Clarence Thomas, in a dissent signed by William Rehnquist and Antonin Scalia, "nothing in the Constitution dictates that a state must do so."

Five justices, on the other hand, said the law was invalid because it conflicted with Roe. "The Nebraska law imposes an undue burden upon a woman's right to make an abortion decision," they concluded, and therefore had to be junked.

So eight justices are accounted for. What about the ninth? That was Anthony Kennedy, who agreed with the dissenters that the Nebraska ban on partial-birth abortion was not unconstitutional — making the vote 5-to-4. But Justice Kennedy didn't share their view of Roe. In fact, he went out of his way to reaffirm his support for it.

Monday, April 14, 2003

Check out Dan Coyne's latest

It hits the mark. Essential snippets:

Martha Burk recently stated, "When the KKK comes on your side, you have officially lost all argument."...

Burk is chairman of a radically pro-abortion outfit called the National Council of Women's Organizations. Planned Parenthood is one of the member organizations of the NCWO. In 1926, Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was a guest speaker at a KKK rally in Silverlake, New Jersey. Yes, it appears the KKK has been on the side of Burk and the radical feminists for quite some time. Applying the Burk Principle, the feminists have "officially lost all argument" since at least 1926.

But check out the whole piece for maximum impact. Thanks to a reader for the link.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Patronizing pols will perform poorly

When I worked for US Public Interest Research Group in the DC area during my, umm, slightly politically different youth, PIRG brought in Sen. Kerry to give us a talk. He impressed me with his intelligence then. Although my politics have diverged from his since, I never lost my respect for his intellect. Until now.

Kerry's litmus test

Sen. John Kerry vowed yesterday to choose only pro-choice candidates for the U.S. Supreme Court if he is elected president.

The Massachusetts Democrat made the pledge yesterday to female Democrats in Des Moines, Iowa, where the nomination battle will kick off in January, the Boston Globe reported...

In making his pledge about Supreme Court nominees, Mr. Kerry denied he was establishing his own litmus test, an accusation that congressional Democrats routinely level against Republicans who say they favor appointing only judges who oppose abortion. The difference, Mr. Kerry said, is that Roe v. Wade has become settled law since the court rendered the decision in 1973 and now defines a constitutional right.

A litmus test is a litmus test, plain & simple. That's true no matter the administrator of the test. Apply the test, but please don't look down your nose at us, the teeming masses, and expect we'll buy your silly line. Come on now.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

American Psychological Association & abortion over at After abortion

Looking forward to Emily's follow-up posts on this. The APA, which has declared its support for abortion rights, claims to be an objective scientific professional association. The claim is prima facie incredible, with the possible exception of the last term.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Good news day in the abortion arena

From the Pro-Life Infonet:

In order to challenge the assumption that abortion is a good choice, the Elliot Institute, directed by Dr. Reardon, has launched a new web site [find it here]. The site offers comprehensive post-abortion educational and healing resources, personal testimonies and original research showing why the "pro-choice" position should more accurately be referred to as the "poor-choice" position.

This game is *all* about rhetoric, so I like Reardon's intention. But I'm pretty sure it will do more to offend pro-choicers than change their minds. Still, it's nice to see some effort out there.

Also from the Infonet:

San Salvador, El Salvador -- A girl of nine years and three months of age has given birth to a healthy baby boy, and is herself doing well after the Caesarian section birth. The very young mother says she was repeatedly abused by her stepfather but says the birth of her son has made her happier than she has been in a very long time.

Exactly. Lock up the criminal, children not responsible for the sins of their parents (in this case, the father), and all that jazz. Hurrah for this brave young girl.

Monday, April 07, 2003

Help wanted: pro-life U.S. Senate candidate in GA

It has been three months since Sen. Zell Miller (D-Ga.) announced that he would not seek another term in 2004, but, thus far, only one candidate for his seat -- from either party -- has emerged: Rep. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)... Some Republican activists who oppose Isakson -- as a moderate, he once ran an ad noting his support for abortion rights -- are shopping around for a more conservative candidate.

Come on, Georgians, this is a big one. Too big to let a pro-choice Republican [sic] hog the media:

The 2004 race will also likely have national implications. Miller's departure will create one of what will probably be only a handful of open Senate seats next year, when the closely divided chamber will again be up for grabs.

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Rebecca Kiessling's "Daughter of Rape/Child of G-d" talk at St. John Fisher College

Conceived in rape & in the dark about her biological father -- a serial rapist -- until adulthood, Kiessling is a miracle, in more ways than one. Her presence reminds me of Frederica Mathewes-Green. Both calmly and with with razor-sharp brains tear apart every pro-choice argument out there.

Kiessling has a special place in this debate. A pro-choicer asks, "what about rape?" She asks, "what about me?"

I've rarely been so affected. It is truly a gift from G-d that Kiessling is with us today, and such a major talent to boot.

Saturday, April 05, 2003

Superb letter to editor of WaTimes

Maryland Dems' addiction to abortion

Congratulations to the Michigan Democratic Party for being the first state Democratic Party to recognize that the pro-life position has become that of the majority of Americans.

As Nat Hentoff pointed out in his column, "Pro-lifers make their mark in the public square" (Op-Ed, Monday), a January CNN/Gallup poll revealed that 60 percent of those surveyed believe abortion should be legal in just a few circumstances or not at all. Just 38 percent said they believe abortion should be legal in most or all circumstances.

However, in Maryland, the pro-life view is far from being recognized by the Democratic Party, as seen in the Democrat-controlled state Legislature, where abortion is such a sacred cow that Democrats won't even let parents know if their minor daughter has an abortion, although the parents are liable for any follow-up medical treatment.

Incredibly, although minors need parental consent for any other type of medical treatment, including receiving an aspirin, parents need not be told if their minor child has abortion surgery.

Delegate John Hurson, Montgomery County Democrat and chairman of the House of Delegates' Health and Government Operations Committee, wouldn't even let the committee vote on a bill to require that parents be told of a minor child's abortion. The result is that girls as young as 13 can be sexually abused, be impregnated and get abortions, as already has happened in Maryland, and their parents need never know.

RICHARD A. RETTA
Rockville

Friday, April 04, 2003

Thank G-d for Rebecca Kiessling!

Last night I was at her talk, "Daughter of Rape/Child of G-d," at St. John Fisher College. I am in awe. Details later on today.

3/5: Make that, "Details later this weekend..." No time to do Kiessling's talk any sort of justice 'tall yesterday. But now it's the weekend, and icy. Perfect blogging time & weather.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

New link to your right: Good Counsel

This organization does great work. From their 3/03 newsletter, "Life at Good Counsel":

Looking at 2002 Numbers

Mothers Housed - 172

Children Housed - 131

Total Nights of Shelter - 37,493

Occupancy Rate in Our Homes - 100%

Average Length of Stay - 6 months

Births - 63

Mother Receiving Educational Advancement - 55

Toll-Free Helpline Calls Received - 2,344

Community Outreach Clients Receiving Service - 1,901

Exodus Mothers Receiving Continued Service - 458

G-d bless 'em.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Killing in this war is *not* morally equivalent to murdering unborn children

According to Bishop John Michael Botean,

Direct participation in this war is the moral equivalent of direct participation in an abortion.

I respectfully disagree.

In Judaism, as I'm sure in other religions, there is a sharp distinction between murder and killing. The former is prohibited, the latter allowed in some cases. Abortion is murder in every case unless the baby threatens the mother's life. Killing in this war is not murder, unless the victim is a civilian and the civilian's death could have been avoided without unreasonably jeopardizing our troops.

Just now, members of the U.S. military obviously have more important things on their minds than Bishop Botean, but if his quote -- or his message, more likely -- reaches any pro-life troops, especially Catholics, I pray they have the same certainty I have about this distinction. I'm guessing they do.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

"Specter, who is Jewish, supports abortion rights."

I don't like that sentence.

And this I don't like, either:

Abortion: Lieberman denounced the recent Senate vote banning the procedure that critics call "partial birth" abortion and said it was "a harbinger and a warning" of future threats against the legal right to abortion. "Women must have the right to choose, and we will continue to fight for that right," he said.

Arlen. Joe. You embarrass me.