pro-choice

Gosnell: Exception Or Rule?

Twelve Philadelphians are now meeting to determine the fate of America’s most notorious abortion "provider," Kermit Gosnell, after weeks of hearing evidence alleging he murdered hundreds of born-alive babies and at least one woman. As we await the verdict, the conversation surrounding his "house of horrors" has centered around the question of whether or not Gosnell is an anomaly in an otherwise safe and health care-focused industry, or if the abortion industry has more Gosnells that simply have yet to be discovered. Obviously, the abortion industry and most in the mainstream media would have us believe that Gosnell is an aberration caused more by the lack of government (taxpayer) funding than unmitigated inhumanity and evil (what, you thought they'd actually admit the guy is evil?).

But facts surrounding that case, and the pattern that is developing in many states regarding the abortion industry's lack of concern for health and safety, not to mention its utter lack of recognition of human dignity and worth, have to lead any reasonable, thoughtful American to wonder just what the truth might be. Given that representatives of Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation knew what was happening inside Gosnell's clinic, knew of the despicable conditions and rumors of the murders, and did absolutely nothing about it, reasonable people should be questioning the abortion industry's claims.

We certainly know the media isn't going to do it for us.

Yesterday, the pro-life group Live Action released videos from two abortion centers, one in Washington, D.C., and one in New York City, that show doctors at those facilities admitting that they would do nothing to save the lives of born-alive babies, babies who are living, breathing human beings. This comes on the heels of disturbing testimony by a Planned Parenthood representative in Florida who, before a legislative committee, essentially defended euthanasia on the basis that the decision to keep a new born baby alive is "between a woman and her doctor."

Do these incidents represent the true philosophy of the entire abortion industry? Are they so callous to all human life that even those babies already born are viewed as disposable waste, nothing more than "products of conception" that can be flushed down a toilet or run through a garbage disposal? Do they care so little about the women that enter their facilities that they will keep quiet even when they know about horrifically unsanitary conditions that put lives at risk?

And perhaps worse, how can these incidents not elicit any kind of outrage from the public, let alone politicians? Or is it that the reality of what the abortion industry is really about forcing people to ask questions about their own "pro-choice" attitudes that they really never wanted to have to ask? Uncomfortable yet?

In Virginia, the abortion industry has been quick to dismiss Gosnell. Mind you, we have yet to hear anyone within the Virginia abortion industry, its defenders in the General Assembly, candidates for statewide office, or editorial pages utter a single word of criticism. Hysterical in all other ways, the Virginia abortion industry's silence on Gosnell is deafening. But maybe they know something we don't. After all, abortion operators like Steven Brigham and Diane Derzis — both of whom operate facilities in Virginia — have long records of health and safety violations in other states, and have had abortion centers closed by public health officials and their medical license revoked or suspended. Their abortion centers here, under inspections that were part of the emergency safety standards under the 2011 abortion center legislation, were found to have dozens of health and safety violations.

Are there Gosnells in Virginia? No one outside the abortion industry really knows. Virginia's facilities had weeks to clean up their act before announced inspections last year, after going two decades with no oversight at all. Despite the warning, nearly 300 deficiencies were found. And while the media continues to whine about construction standards, it remains silent on the blood stained patient tables, unsterilized equipment, expired drugs and untrained staffs. What was happening in those places before health inspectors gained access is anyone's guess.

Earlier this week the editorial writers at the Washington Post put to ink their tears over the closing of one abortion center in Virginia, allegedly because its owners don't have the money to upgrade the facility to meet Virginia's new health and safety standards. They were horrified at the thought that one out of 20 abortion centers is closing. Incredibly, the Post labeled the clinic a "victim," while the same newspaper for weeks did all it could to intentionally ignore the hundreds of true, human victims of Kermit Gosnell. The disconnect from basic humanity rendered in that dichotomy tells us all we need to know about how incapable too many in the media are at recognizing evil, at seeing human victims in the faces of tiny babies murdered at the hands of a profiteer.

God help us if the public feels the same way.

President Obama And Abortion: Not One Restriction

The following article was written by John McCormack at The Weekly Standard Blog:

At the end of the vice presidential debate Thursday night, Joe Biden and Paul Ryan lobbed charges of extremism at one another on the issue of abortion. "The Democratic party used to say they want [abortion] to be safe, legal, and rare," Ryan said. "Now they support it without restriction and with taxpayer funding, taxpayer funding in Obamacare, taxpayer funding with foreign aid. The vice president himself went to China and said that he sympathized or wouldn’t second-guess their one-child policy of forced abortions and sterilizations. That, to me, is pretty extreme."

Biden shot back, saying that Ryan has "argued that, in the case of rape or incest, it was still — it would be a crime to engage in having an abortion. I just fundamentally disagree with my friend." Debate moderator Martha Raddatz followed up with Ryan, asking if pro-choice Americans should be "worried" about Romney, but she didn't follow up with Biden.

In the spin room following the debate, I asked top Obama officials, as well as Planned Parenthood chief Cecille Richards, if Obama's position on abortion is as extreme as what Ryan claimed. The Obama campaign denied the president favored abortion without restriction, but top Obama officials Jim Messina, Stephanie Cutter, and David Axelrod could not name a single restriction the president supports.

TWS: Mr Messina, the issue of abortion came up tonight with both sides trying to paint the other as extremist. Can you say, are there any restrictions that the president supports at any stage of pregnancy on the issue of abortion?

MESSINA: Look, we have been absolute[ly] clear. I think as you saw an absolute difference between the president and Romney on this. Romney’s position has been on four different sides. But I take him at his word that he says he will be happy to sign a bill outlawing all abortions in the United States of America. That’s not our position that’s not where the American public is. And I think it’s going to be a very difficult position for them to defend in the battleground states. Swing women voters in places like Colorado and Virginia looked at that exchange tonight that you talked about and said we cannot support this guy.

TWS: So the president doesn’t support any restrictions on abortion?

MESSINA: Look, we’ve been very clear. You know our position on abortion.

TWS: No. I asked, can you say what it is?

MESSINA: Look, don’t put words in my mouth. I’ve been very clear about our position. And that’s what it is.

TWS: Can you name one restriction?

Messina ended the exchange and moved on to another question.

Stephanie Cutter also said Obama supports some restrictions on abortion, but wouldn't say what they were:

TWS: Are there any restrictions he supports at any stage of pregnancy? Or there's no restrictions whatsover? Is that the president's position?

CUTTER: No, that’s not his position.

TWS: Then can you name one restriction that he supports on abortion?

CUTTER: He has several votes on this. We can get them to you.

David Axelrod similarly ducked questions. So I turned to Cecille Richards, the head of Planned Parenthood. "There already are restrictions on the books," she told me. But does the president support any of them? Richards said she didn't know. "I haven’t spoken to him about those," she replied.

In 2003, Barack Obama was asked if he was "all situations including the late term thing?" He answered in the affirmative.

The record doesn't appear to show that the president has ever supported any restriction on abortion. He opposes the Hyde amendment, which means he favors taxpayer funding of abortion. He opposed the ban on partial-birth abortion. And he opposed parental consent laws. We'll let you know if the Obama team is able to come up with any evidence showing that Obama's position is anything short of taxpayer-funded abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy.

The Pro Choice Crisis?

It's been interesting to watch the pro-choice movement over the years. Admittedly, I wasn't around to do much watching in the 1970s right after Roe v. Wade. However, it appears that the general perspective was that the unborn child, as I would refer to him or her, was considered little more than a blob of tissue pretty much until it was born and wanted. That belief has been shown to be fiction over time as science has proved what I've always known as a matter of my faith — that it's a human being much earlier than that, as in from conception. The first shift in discussing abortion that I recall started with the concept of viability. The earlier a baby could be born and survive, the more folks on all sides had to acknowledge that it must be more than a blob at some point, though defining that particular point was difficult for pro-aborts. Currently, this once-called blob can survive outside the womb at 21 weeks.

To make matters worse for the abortion movement, Time magazine and others started reporting on fetal surgery and how the unborn child would react to stimuli doctors used in the womb. Then GE launched the 4D ultrasound. Now, the non-biased viewer saw things a lot clearer than the black and white skeletal image to which people had grown accustomed.

These scientific advances have caused a change in dialogue (and a change in opinion?). Of late, one mostly hears groups such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL talk not in terms of who's in the womb, but in terms of the circumstances the woman faces that merit her taking of human life: the pregnant mom is in poverty, a victim of rape, wouldn't be able to complete her education, "health care." These are real situations and not ones to make light of. However, recent news is bringing to light other circumstances that result in abortion — sex selection and extra embryos.

Not long ago we reported on sex selective abortions. While most associate this problem with India or China's one-child policy (something Joe Biden "understands," see Lisa Graas at LiveAction Blog), the use of sex selection is alive and well in the U.S (see New York Times). Unlike the UK and other places where such a practice has been banned, here it is perfectly legal. It can be done through abortion or one can simply fly to Las Vegas and pay $20,000 to choose an embryo by gender to implant through in vitro fertilization. Even if one doesn't choose to implant a specific sex but implants multiple embryos, one can engage in "twin reduction." This is the process whereby IVF clients implant multiple embryos and when they thrive in the womb, the “parents” then choose one embryo to eliminate through abortion. Given two healthy babies, sex selection can be the basis for that decision. After all, according to Gallup, 45 percent of respondents would choose a boy if they could have only one child, a number nearly double those choosing a girl (27 percent cited no preference).

Couple this practice with recent news of a 95-percent-plus accurate blood test that determines the sex of an unborn child at seven weeks (at least seven-13 weeks earlier than the oft-used ultrasound method, see CBSNews.com), and you see where this is leading. Much like the 4D ultrasound, used only for high-risk pregnancies but available commercially, some in the medical community use this blood test to detect sex-related genetic disorders, but it also is available for purchase by customers of all stripes. In a largely meaningless gesture, the primary seller of the kit, Consumer Genetics, Inc., does require an agreement from purchasers stating that the purpose of testing is not sex selection before it processes the results.

Both "twin reduction" and "sex selection" do appear to be causing some heartburn among "pro-choicers (see William Saletan at Slate.com).When the movement was focused on a blob of tissue, no discussion of motivation was necessary. Since scientific advances have forced proponents of abortion to turn the discussion into a balance between the needs of the mother and the value of the unborn child, motivation becomes relevant. Is abortion acceptable under any and all circumstances? Should someone be able to create a child, implant it and then choose to extinguish its perfectly healthy life as a result of it being one more than was intended? Doesn't the fact that they consciously attempt to create a child prove it is a life? Is it acceptable to society that a woman may choose to get pregnant as frequently as she chooses and abort any number of times to get the desired "boy" result on the seven week blood test?

Interestingly enough, we may have discovered a point where feminism contradicts itself. Can feminism hold onto the view that a woman has a "right to choose" in all circumstances, even if it results in legalized inequality between sexes in the womb?

While this blood test tragically may increase abortion, it has potential fatal ramification for the "pro-choice" movement: This once-called blob of tissue now not only has a discernable heartbeat at six weeks, its sex can be determined at seven. Those defending abortion on demand continue to run headlong into the great words of Dr. Suess: "A person's a person, no matter how small."

Common Ground On Abortion?

Last week, Gallup released some very encouraging polling numbers regarding abortion regulations. Since the poll didn't relate to homosexual activity or signal growing support of abortion, the national news media decided you didn't need to know. We did. The poll, conducted in July and released last week, shows that even self-identified "pro-choice" Americans are more likely to support laws prohibiting abortion after the first trimester except for the most extreme circumstances. A majority polled also stated that abortion should be illegal in all or most circumstances. Support was overwhelming for laws such as parental consent, informed consent and bans on partial birth abortion, all of which we have successfully passed in Virginia.

It seems that the extreme abortion industry, led by Planned Parenthood and NARAL, have seen that they are rapidly losing ground in the area of public opinion. Rants on NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia's blog chastise the General Assembly for passing the most reasonable and widely supported abortion measures, such as parental consent and informed consent. As public opinion continues to move toward life, the pro-abortion rhetoric gets more desperate — and peculiar. In Arizona, for example, Planned Parenthood argued against a requirement that abortions be performed by a licensed doctor, calling it an "undue burden." Luckily, the state appeals court last week unanimously rejected its argument. (See another Planned Parenthood deception, here, at LiveAction.org. You won't believe the new low road it's taken.)

Clearly outside the mainstream, these organizations continue to advocate abortion on demand throughout pregnancy with no restrictions and no oversight — and support forcing you to pay for it. Except for a very few, such thinking is clearly beyond the values most Virginians share and explains why pro-abortion candidates that take these extreme positions are fewer and fewer in number.

We understand that, as with polling on homosexual behavior and marriage, opinions on abortion often are confused and conflicting. One isolated media poll does not the truth make. For example, within a few days earlier this summer two separate polls came to opposite conclusions on the issue of same-sex marriage. Regardless of the polling, all that really matters is that the 31 times the issue has been put to a vote, traditional marriage has won. Plus, Virginians continue to send pro-marriage legislators to Richmond.

The same holds true for the issue of abortion. Virginians have been sending more and more pro-life legislators to Richmond in recent elections, indicating that the abortion polling numbers may be on to something. As we've said for years, more and more Americans — and Virginians — are becoming pro-life every day. The results are the passage of reasonable, common sense measures, such as abortion center safety regulations. Consequently, we look forward to having more pro-life advocates in the General Assembly this coming January.

Saslaw: "80 Out Of 81 Ain't Bad" Unless Your The Unborn

Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw (D-35, Springfield) is known for his bluntness. Sometimes that's refreshing in politics. But there's a fine line between blunt and crude. Today, on Washington station WAMU-FM's The Politics Hour, he offered this braggadocio when asked about the abortion center regulation amendment to SB 924 that the Senate approved on a 21-20 vote, as reported by Rosalind Helderman of the Washington Post's Virginia Politics blog:

"Let me just say this: Over the last decade, it's no secret. I happen to be pro-choice. I've been pretty much responsible for bottling up or killing 80 bills."

He noted that most of those anti-abortion bills have died in the Senate's Education and Health Committee, whose pro-abortion rights membership, he said, he'd helped "engineer."

"One finally got through through circuitous means," he said. "Eighty of 81 ain't a bad batting average."

Not bad at all, senator, unless you're one of the hundreds (even thousands) of unborn babies who've died because of your obstruction. On the other hand, he didn't try to fool anyone — no pretense of "safe, legal and rare," so many liberals try to effect to appease some voters as a sensible position. He gladly took credit for the out of proportion stacking of the Education and Health Committee, as well. But it was nice to see Ms. Helderman's equally frank, fair and accurate description of Senator Saslaw as "pro-abortion," a term we expound upon here as the true motivation of many who call themselves "pro-choice."

Speaking of stacking committees, he was equally blunt on redistricting, saying he expected to redraw district lines in an effort to elect more liberals. The interview also included a surprise caller that sparked real fireworks. It's worth a listen. You can find the audio here.

Finally, NARAL Gets Honest

It’s refreshing when our opponents are honest about what they’re actually trying to do. A pro-life legislator forwarded me a recent blog post by NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia that proved to be especially revealing. Reporting on its recent "Legislative Debriefing 2010" meeting in which it discussed its successes and failures of the 2010 General Assembly session, NARAL's blogger writes:

In the last part of the evening, we had an enlightening impromptu discussion about ceding battles of language to anti-choicers. Although we know that they are not "pro-life" (as one attendee said, we are pro-life, we are the ones who care about saving lives), we often use other anti-choice word choices without realizing it or considering the consequences.

Here comes the interesting part. Read carefully. NARAL's blogger continues:

There is no such thing as a "partial-birth" abortion. Humans are not "babies" until they are born alive. We are PRO-CHOICE, not "abortionists." Pregnant women are women who happen to be pregnant, they are not "mothers" until they have children. When we allow the anti-choicers to shift the debate using words like "life" and "unborn," we give them power. If you haven’t before, it's time to become more cognizant of the words you use.

Did you get that? "Humans are not 'babies' until they are born alive." Interesting that NARAL even used the word "human"! Then, this gem: "Pregnant women are women who happen to be pregnant, they are not 'mothers' until they have children." What an insult to expectant mothers!

Can you imagine a pregnant woman going in for an 8-month check up only to be told, "The human inside you is not yet a baby and you're not yet a mother. But be sure to take your pre-natal vitamins and go to a Lamaze class just in case that human becomes a baby and just in case you become a mother." Is a woman only a "mother" if she chooses to want her child?

This is the mindset our opposition operates under. Planned Parenthood is no different from NARAL. In an e-mail alert sent to their constituents, Planned Parenthood advertises a training they're offering that teaches "how to talk the pro-choice talk." No wonder it necessitates training — you have to learn to set aside logic and reality and take on a nonsensical language!

No matter how NARAL and Planned Parenthood redefine their terms and massage their language, the truth is still the truth. We still know what their intent is no matter how they adorn their words. But just as important, another thing that won't change — The Family Foundation will remain committed to being your advocate in the General Assembly and in the public square to defeat NARAL and Planned Parenthood's anti-life goals.

Tebow Super Bowl Ad Follow-Up

Speaking of television ads, it wasn't that long ago when the abortion-on-demand crowd was howling at the pro-life Super Bowl ad from Focus On The Family that featured star college football quarterback Tim Tebow and his mom. The fact that they tried to block it gave up the lie (if we needed any proof) that they are not "pro-choice" (having a baby, of course, being a choice), but rather pro-abortion at all costs. So, what was the outcome of it all? If this was an ad promoting a secular progressive cause, the mainstream media would have produced all sorts of follow-ups, documentaries, blog posts, etc., detailing how successful it was, whether or not it really was. That it was a pro-life campaign, we didn't expect any subsequent media, positive or otherwise. But new Focus President Jim Daly issued a letter the other day with some interesting notes about the ad's success:

. . . the network would not permit the word "abortion" to even be mentioned. So, if we didn't want to play by their rules, we couldn't run the spot. ... there had always been a two-part strategy surrounding the ad campaign. Our main goal was to drive viewers to FocusOnTheFamily.comwhere the full story of Mr. and Mrs. Tebow was featured. Over 1.5 million people have viewed the online movie.

. . . new research data that indicated the Super Bowl ad caused over 5 million viewers to reconsider their view of the legality/morality of abortion.

Those impressive numbers spell success. Congratulations to Focus for a good strategy and a well played hand.

There Are Pro-Life Dems Just As There Are "Pro-Choice" Republicans

Democrats For Life of America, Inc.
DFLA -The pro-life voice within the Democratic Party
_____________________________________________________________
FEDERAL ADVISORY BOARD
U.S. Representative
Jerry Costello (D-IL)
U.S. Representative
Licoln Davis (D-TN)
U.S. Representative
James Langevin (D-RI)
U.S. Representative
Alan B. Mollohan (D-WV)
U.S. Senator
Ben Nelson (D-NE)
U.S. Representative
James Oberstar (D-MN)
U.S. Representative
Tim Ryan (D-OH)
U.S. Representative
Bart Stupak (D-MI)
U.S. Representative
Gene Taylor (D-MS)
NATIONAL ADVISORY BOARD
Helen Alvare (DC)
Nat Hentoff (NY)
The Honorable Chris John (LA)
The Honorable John LaFalce (NY)
The Honorable Charlie Stenholm (TX)
The Honorable Tim Roemer (IN)
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Alabama
Joe Turham
California
Paul Contino
Georgia
Silvia Delamar
Massachusetts
Brian Keaney (Secretary/Treasurer)
Minnesota
Janet Robert (President)
Missouri
Joan Barry (Vice-Preisent)
New York
Carol Crossed (Vice-President
Chapter Development)
Ohio
Lou Koenig
Pennsylvania
Pat Casey
Texas
Lois Kerschen (Secretary/Treasurer)
March 3, 2010 Dear Chairman Houck and Members of the Committee,
Democrats For Life of America supports HB 393 and urges you to support this important legislation.
Abortion can be a divisive issue. We, at Democrats For Life of America, have worked to find areas of agreement where, regardless of one’s position on abortion, people can agree on good policy.
While we oppose abortion, we have worked for over five years on our 95-10 Initiative with the goal of reducing abortion by providing women who experience unplanned pregnancies with assistance so they will have the resources and support to bring their child to term. But some women will still see abortion -- a surgical procedure -- as their only option. So it is essential that we protect their health and safety under proper standards of care.
HB 393 is good policy, which provides for only three basic provisions any facility that performs invasive surgery should be asked to accommodate: an annual inspection, a license and having life-saving equipment on location. Certainly, we can agree that these are reasonable for anyone who thinks abortion should be legal, but safe. HB 393 is an opportunity both sides of this issue to come together to do what is best for Virginia’s women.
If this were any other procedure, the facility would be licensed by the Commonwealth and subject to reasonable regulations. We should not think of this as an infringement on abortion rights, but a good bill to protect Virginia women from potentially unsafe situations.
We urge the Committee to vote for this common-sense measure to protect the women of Virginia.
Sincerely,
Kristen Day

This morning was the Senate Education and Health Committee's annual "Black Thursday" — each session, the committee hears the pro-life bills passed by the House of Delegates on the last Thursday of its calendar and promptly kills them. It did this under Republican control and continues to do so under Democrat control. Under Democrat control, however, the committee was stacked in a way out of proportion 10-5 majority despite only having a two-seat advantage in the chamber (see "Senate Math" here).

This year, it did no less. It killed HB 393 and HB 334 on 11-5 votes, with Republican Fred Quayle (R-13, Suffolk) joining the 10 Democrats in not being able to bring himself to vote for life-saving equipment in abortion centers nor providing women considering abortion accurate information about the risks of future pregnancies and births. It left HB 1042 to die without a hearing when Delegate Kathy Byron (R-22, Lynchburg) was unable to attend the meeting.

However, just as not all Republicans are not pro-life (Senator Quayle and others), not all Democrats are "pro-choice." For several years now, we have been proud to ally ourselves with Democrats For Life of America, a national organization of pro-life Democrats, with chapters in several states. It works to bring the pro-life philosophy to the Democrat Party and boasts several high-profile elected officials, such as U.S. Representative Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), author of the Stupak Amendment in the House version of the health care "reform" bill. The amendment bans federal funding of abortion or mandates on insurance companies to cover abortion. DFL issued a letter last night in support of HB 393. It is below in its entirety, including its Board members. We salute the continued good work and success of Democrats For Life of America.

______________________________________________________________

Democrats For Life of America, Inc.

DFLA - The pro-life voice within the Democratic Party

_____________________________________________________________

March 3, 2010

Dear Chairman Houck and Members of the Committee:

Democrats For Life of America supports HB 393 and urges you to support this important legislation.

Abortion can be a divisive issue. We, at Democrats For Life of America, have worked to find areas of agreement where, regardless of one’s position on abortion, people can agree on good policy.

While we oppose abortion, we have worked for over five years on our 95-10 Initiative with the goal of reducing abortion by providing women who experience unplanned pregnancies with assistance so they will have the resources and support to bring their child to term. But some women will still see abortion -- a surgical procedure -- as their only option. So it is essential that we protect their health and safety under proper standards of care.

HB 393 is good policy, which provides for only three basic provisions any facility that performs invasive surgery should be asked to accommodate: an annual inspection, a license and having life-saving equipment on location. Certainly, we can agree that these are reasonable for anyone who thinks abortion should be legal, but safe. HB 393 is an opportunity both sides of this issue to come together to do what is best for Virginia’s women.

If this were any other procedure, the facility would be licensed by the Commonwealth and subject to reasonable regulations. We should not think of this as an infringement on abortion rights, but a good bill to protect Virginia women from potentially unsafe situations.

We urge the Committee to vote for this common-sense measure to protect the women of Virginia.

Sincerely,

Kristen Day

Executive Director

A Real Choice, An Informed Choice

In the House today, HB 1042, patroned by Delegate Kathy Byron (R-22, Lynchburg), which would require a woman seeking an abortion to see an ultrasound of her baby, was reported from the House Courts of Justice Civil Sub-committee to the full committee on a 7-3 vote, with only the predictably liberal pro-abortion members voting no. Delegate Byron calmly refuted claims by Planned Parenthood and NARAL and their chief legislative ally on the sub-committee, Delegate Jennifer McClellan (D-71, Richmond). Interestingly, Planned Parenthood and NARAL claimed ultrasounds would cost several hundred dollars, much more than the $400 they claimed abortions cost. In fact, ultrasounds can cost as little as $30 and are free at crisis pregnancy centers. As Delegate Byron said, if "pro-choice" advocates truly want "choice" then why not get a good look at the "choice" and make "a real choice, an informed choice"?

Delegate Kathy Byron asks what's wrong with making a real choice, an informed choice?

NARAL, Abortion Allies Bully PRCs, But Not For The First Time

If anything exposes the utter fallacy of the "pro-choice" (i.e., pro-abortion-on-demand) industry, it is its constant attack on pregnancy resource centers — places where women in a crisis pregnancy, or just considering all options, can go for advice and counsel. Instead of fostering information and "choice," though, organizations such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL try to bully these very non-political, keep-to-themselves non-profits. It also reveals that the abortion industry is exactly that — a ruthless industry trying to snuff out competition. Liberals rail against unethical anti-competitive big business all the time. Where's the outrage over these bullying tactics by the billion-dollar-plus abortion industry? An outrage did occur today, but it wasn't directed at the abortion industry. Rather, it was directed by the abortion industry against pregnancy resource centers at a capitol news conference. These non-profits do not engage in politics, do not endorse candidates, do not lobby the legislature. The abortion industry does all of that. Pregnancy resource centers simply try to help pregnant women make informed decisions — only to be demonized by national abortion-on-demand organizations backed by millions in big money elitists and liberal special interests.

My word! Have a baby? That's one less abortion fee! An underage girl pregnant by a 30-year-old? No worries. We'll take care of it (see videos at LiveAction).

In Richmond, today, an all-star cast of liberal lawmakers came out swinging, introducing legislation that would stifle pregnancy resource centers and issued a "report" impugning PRCs that is about as accurate as the typical Weekly World News. But it's not the first time. In October, NARAL released a letter attacking PRCs — and they tried to capitalize on our response.

We have no doubt it will continue to these hard ball tactics. It truly reveals who they are and what they actually do. So, we have a message to the abortion industry. Pick on someone your own size.

The big abortion lobby lobbing grenades at pregnancy resource centers. What are they afraid of? Babies being born?

Pew Poll Confirms Tide Has Turned In Abortion Debate

In late August, Democrat gubernatorial hopeful Creigh Deeds took what most political analysts said was a gamble when he began hammering Republican Bob McDonnell on the issue of abortion — and in contradiction of his pledge to leave social issues out of the campaign. Many thought Deeds' lackluster campaign was looking for an issue that would motivate his base, but at the risk of alienating independent voters. Thursday, the Pew Research Center for People & the Press released a national survey (see Pew) that might indicate the Deeds move was the wrong one. Said Pew:

Recently, Americans have become more opposed to legal abortion.

In fact, the division between those who believe abortion should be illegal in almost all cases is nearly even with those who believe it should be legal in most cases, a significant shift. Plus, the number of those who think abortion should be more difficult to obtain also increased (see U.S. News & World Report).

But what should worry Deeds the most is that liberal Democrats polled have lost an extraordinary amount of intensity on the issue. According to Pew:

There has been a 26-point drop since 2006 in the proportion of liberal Democrats who say abortion is a critical issue, from 34 percent to 8 percent.

Ooops! So much for energizing the base.

As with any abortion poll, the news is mixed, but it discloses many positive trends. For example, it indicates an important shift in public opinion away from abortion on demand. It confirms a Gallup poll from May (see Gallup) that shows more Americans consider themselves pro-life than "pro-choice" for the first time in that poll's history.

So, we are winning this issue on a daily basis by changing hearts and minds. It is nearly impossible to look at the beauty shown by an ultrasound and not recognize the humanity that exists. Any woman who has heard the heartbeat of her unborn child for the first time and then sees the image of that child inside her is drawn naturally to the conclusion that it is a human life worth defending.

More and more people are drawn to that defense, too. Virginians and Americans are joining together for the next several weeks for 40 Days for Life. We urge you to join with them (see how, here) in praying for more hearts and minds to change. Also, call your local pregnancy resource center and lend a hand. Reach out to a woman in crisis and provide for her needs. Together, through prayer and action, and through God’s blessing, we will one day live in a nation that respects all human life — born and unborn.

NARAL-Virginia Attacks Pregnancy Resource Centers

On September 24, Family Foundation of Virginia President Victoria Cobb e-mailed an alert to our thousands of grassroots activists informing them of the harsh measures Planned Parenthood and NARAL-Virginia have undertaken to weaken Pregnancy Resource Centers — clinics that offer choices to pregnant women other than abortion. (Right, I know you got the irony there.)

Below is the alert, but what I haven't had time to report was the hysterical response from NARAL and PP. Within a few hours of sending the e-mail, NARAL was up with this out-of-breath-huff (click here or not). I noticed it when I saw a pingback to the blog (NARAL linked to one of our posts, here). It accused us of "fundraising" at their expense. We did ask for money, but asked that people give it to the PRCs! These helping-hand, non-political clinics, which threaten no one and try to foster life, apparently send shivers up the spine of pro-abortion, uhhh, "pro-choice" radicals.

NARAL's response was headlined, “Family Foundation using us as a fundraising tool,” with the words, “Read this solicitation. Get angry. And get involved in the upcoming election cycle!”

What exactly is in the alert that would make someone angry? Perhaps the part about women choosingan alternative to abortion? Or the fact that PRCs take paying clients away from Planned Parenthood? No one's been able to tell us, but it reveals a bit of the pro-abortion movement’s mentality. Here's the text of the alert:

Information Alert: Pro-abortion advocates attack pregnancy centers

It should come as no surprise that Planned Parenthood and NARAL-Virginia are attacking Pregnancy Resource Centers in Virginia. The fact that women now have a real choice of where to go when they face a crisis pregnancy must send shivers down the spine of the pro-abortion movement. Imagine women hearing that there are better alternatives to abortion in a warm, non-judgmental, and safe medical environment.

That, my friends, is Planned Parenthood and NARAL’s worst nightmare.

So before the paint was dry on the first "Choose Life" license plates that were made available this year, with revenue going to PRCs, our "choice" advocates immediately sought to eliminate that choice. Pro-abortion special interests set up an online petition to urge the General Assembly to cut off the funding stream from the license plates to PRCs. This is part of an overarching national strategy to shut down PRCs, ensuring that women have no place to go but abortion centers. In other states they’ve gone so far as to push legislation to simply outlaw PRCs!

Unfortunately, too few people understand the incredible role that PRCs are playing in the lives of women across America, and many fall for the lies of the abortion movement. The fact is, that PRCs are far safer and more woman-friendly than any abortion center.

According to a recent report entitled "A Passion to Serve, A Vision for Life," there are approximately 2,300 PRCs serving women in the United States, with most regulated by one of three organizations — Care Net, Heartbeat International and the National Institutes of Family and Life Advocates. The report states, "Every day in the United States PRCs assist an average of 5,500 Americans, female and male, young and old, with sexuality-and-pregnancy related concerns." Services include assisting women, counseling couples, providing goods and services, and offering free and confidential pregnancy care. Approximately 660 of these facilities are medical clinics, offering pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and more.

The medical clinics meet local, state and federal guidelines and where ultrasounds are offered they follow the strict guidelines issued by the American Institute in Ultrasound Medicine, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Radiology.

Most interesting is the fact that the annual income at these clinics is estimated at $200 million, with less than ten percent of that coming from government sources. Compare that to the $350 million in taxpayer subsidies that Planned Parenthood clinics received last year alone; that translates to more than one-third of their billion-dollar income.

The Family Foundation will fight with all of our energy and resources to protect the incredible services being provided by PRCs. From ensuring that the revenue from Choose Life plates continues going to these well-regulated and effective organizations, to educating Virginians on their positive impact, to exposing the lies of Planned Parenthood and NARAL, we won’t stop.

But we can all help in other ways as well. Purchase a Choose Life license plate. Click here to visit the DMV Web site where you can order your personal Choose Life license plate. Once 1,000 Choose Life license plate registrations are received, $15 of the $25 plate fees will be given to Virginia’s qualifying Pregnancy Resource Centers.

Additionally, find the PRC in your community and volunteer your time and treasure to them. They are on the frontlines, giving women in crisis a positive alternative to the detestation of abortion. They need your help.

Unborn Memories

A new study published in the July/August edition of the journal Child Development says that unborn children have short-term memory capabilities at 30 weeks gestation. Researchers also found that 34-week-old unborn children are "able to store information and retrieve it four weeks later." 

Science advances the pro-life cause yet again. 

Once again, science is proving what pro-life Americans have always known — that unborn children "are members of the human family." According to the Washington Times, NARAL Pro-Choice American did not respond to requests for comment. Of course, as with the science that shows that unborn children feel pain, they will dismiss the science as irrelevant or misleading. 

But reasonable, thinking Americans everywhere are catching on. Science is advancing the pro-life cause faster than any politican could dream. The question is, will the politicans ever catch up with the science?

Profiling

I was interviewed this morning on WRVA-AM's popular Richmond's Morning News with Jimmy Barrett about the murder of abortionist Dr. George Tiller in Kansas (click here to listen). Jimmy is a very good-natured host and I always enjoy his show.  He started out by saying about the alleged killer, Scott Roeder: "He's probably the poster child for what a lot of liberals think pro life people are . . . there are gonna be people out there who are going to take a look at Scott Roeder and say, 'Well, this is what the pro-life movement is all about.'"

Jimmy then went on and described Scott Roeder's profile like this:

"Called himself a citizen of the Republic of Kansas; didn't believe in income taxes, social security taxes; refused to register his car car; has a history of mental illness issues, etc. So this guy is a nutjob."      

Jimmy then said that this is obviously not what most pro-lifer's look like, but liberals are going to try to make it seem that way, and he's right.

As I pointed out with Jimmy on his show, there are "nutjobs" that claim all types of causes. There will always be people to take things to unimaginable extremes and frankly shame the rest of the movement.

Sadly, a perfect example of a leftist "nutjob" surfaced just one day after the murder of Dr. Tiller. In a case that has not received as much Mainstream Media coverage, a man named Carlos Bledsoe, who converted to Islam and now goes by Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad, shot two people at an Army recruitment center in Arkansas (see RedState.com, here). 

So far, the profile of this shooter reads:

"Peace activist;" "One who had a 'disagreement over the military operations;'" "Opened fire 'with the specific purpose of targeting military personnel;'" and, "Held 'political and religious motives.'" 

My point is: the left best be very careful accusing all pro-lifers as being like Scott Roeder and the right better be careful not to claim all Muslims or peaceniks are like Carlos Bledsoe. Both sides need not exploit the tragedies to push extreme agendas.  

These are both incidents of extreme hatred perpetrated by cowards.  Hopefully, justice will prevail in both cases. In the meantime, it will be interesting to see if the profiling by the left continues.

Abortion Schizophrenia

For the first time since Gallop began asking the question over a decade ago, a majority of Americans now consider themselves "pro-life" when it comes to the issue of abortion, according to the results of a new Gallop poll released this week. In a near reversal from Gallop's Values and Beliefs survey from a year ago, 51 percent of Americans questioned now call themselves "pro-life," while just 42 percent claim the "pro-choice" label. Interestingly, 23 percent of those polled said abortion should be illegal in all circumstances, with 22 percent saying it should be legal in all circumstances — a dramatic shift from past polls. The majority, 53 percent, still support abortion under limited circumstances.

So, what does it all mean? Has there been a deep, philosophical change in the minds of Americans when it comes to abortion? Do these numbers signal a backlash against the in-your-face abortion happy Obama administration?Will these numbers mean anything on election day?

Good questions and, as with any poll, the answers are difficult to pinpoint. One thing is certain, Americans continue to be schizophrenic when it comes to abortion. Most consider abortion "immoral," but most approve of its legality at least in very rare circumstances (rape, incest). At the same time, they just elected the most pro-abortion President in the history of the country. (Did they really believe this guy was a moderate?)

Perhaps the dirty little secret of abortion in America is that Americans prefer it to be a dirty little secret. Most clearly are uncomfortable with the concept of killing unborn babies. We just don't want to talk about it. And we don't want our politicians talking about it. Perhaps its because talking about it forces us to face the duplicity of our reasoning on the issue.

Here's hoping that the minds of Americans are finally catching up with the evidence. More and more of us have seen into the magnificent world of an unborn child through modern 3-D and 4-D ultrasounds. Only the most cold-hearted can see those pictures and deny the humanity. Unfortunately, one of them happens to occupy the nation's highest office.

Virginia News Stand: February 25, 2009

The News Stand is up and ready for a morning read. The first article, from the Post, quotes us on the Choose Life License Plate bill. It also quotes "pro-choicers" who are against choice. Go figure. Does that mean they give lie to their mantra when they can't support choice? 'Choose Life' Plate Advances (Washington Post

Fairfax Senator's Unlikely Stand (Washington Post)

State lawmakers' budget talks will continue (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot

Democrats' Slim Victories In Va. Build GOP's Hopes (Washington Post)

Bobby Jindal's Big Night and the Future of Religious Conservatives in the GOP (U.S. News & World Report)

More On Life From Nat Hentoff

As we posted last week, liberal and pro-life columnist Nat Hentoff wrote an insightful column about liberal politicians' pro-abortion views. That column ("Democrats and abortion") is very well worth the read (click here). This week, he's followed up with another brilliant piece ("Abortion wars crescendo")  which we cannot  recommend highly enough for you to read as well (click here). In it, Hentoff highlights some astounding — and very unfortunate — shifts in the Democrats' national platform. In a telling sign of just how far left those who controlled the levers of power at its convention are, the party even eliminated the Bill Clinton abortion platform plank of "safe, legal and rare." (Wonder if Hillary would've left that in?)

It also is "strongly and unequivocally" supportive of Roe v. Wade and opposes  any attempts to "weaken or undermine it." (Which shows more than a sad policy position. It shows weakness and hypocrisy at best, and ignorance at worst. Most liberals think an overturn of Roe would ban abortions. It would not. It would return the decisions to the states. If the country is so supportive of abortion on demand, what are pro-aborts afraid of? A little democracy? Why so afraid of a little voting here and there?)

Here are some other jaw droppers from Hentoff: 

» Barack Obama is a co-sponsor of the "Freedom of Choice Act" that would make partial-birth abortion legal, contrary to a Supreme Court decision. (Why is it okay for pro-aborts to try to change a Supreme Court decision, but not for pro-lifers?)

» For you libertarians who don't think abortion is an issue, Obama is leading the way repeal the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion. (Joe Biden also supports taxpayer funding of abortion despite what he said to Tom Brokow per his September 7 Meet The Press interview. Click here for the record. In fact, Hentoff notes from The Nation, that Biden has a perfect 100 percent rating from Planned Parenthood.)

» Obama voted in the Illinois Senate to block a bill requiring the notification of at least one parent of a minor from another state seeking an abortion in Illinois.

» The well know fact, by now, that Obama voted to deny life-saving treatment to babies born despite surviving an abortion.

» Hentoff cites from an August 24 Washington Times editorial, "Planned Parenthood Targets Blacks," (read here) that one-third of all its abortions in 2007 were performed on blacks and a majority of its facilities are in minority neighborhoods.

Speaking of Planned Parenthood's apparent racial profiling, Hentoff ends by citing a black leader, a prominent Democrat, who once was fiercely eloquent in his defense of life. Until he, too, ran for president. Said this man several years ago:

"Don't let the pro-choicers convince you that a fetus isn't a human being. That's how the whites dehumanized us. ... The first step was to distort the image of us as human beings in order to justify that which they wanted to do and not even feel like they had done anything wrong."

That man is the Reverend Jesse Jackson.

Is Mark Warner Afraid Of Barack Obama?

A couple of nights ago, as I nervoulsy was cheering on whatever American individual or team on the brink of elimination or medal at the Olympics, I got a call with a pleasant sounding woman on the other end. She wanted to know if I'd participate in a survey regarding the presidential campaign. I obliged, but wanted to know who was conducting it. She said she could tell me at its completion, and so we started. Here are the question predicates pretty much verbatim (they each had a scale or a modifier at the end, which isn't relevant here). I scribbled them down as soon as I hung up:

  1. Are you following the presidential campaign closely?
  2. Who are you likely to vote for?
  3. How likely are you to vote for that candidate?
  4. If not, would you vote for Barack Obama?
  5. In the U.S. Senate race, are you more likely to vote for Jim Gilmore or Mark Warner?
  6. Are your neighbors ready for a black president?
  7. Is experience or change more important in a presidential candidate?
  8. (This was a long winded push-poll question about the evils of pro-life candidates ruining women's lives versus the freedom loving pro-abortion, uhhhh, "pro-choice" candidates.)

I live in a very liberal, pretty upscale area, smack dab in the middle of Governor Tim Kaine's former fiefdom of Richmond's Fan District (when he was a Richmond city councilman just a few years ago; you know, at the same time Obama was an Illinois state senator). So I found the question about my neighbors' attitudes on a potential black, pro-abortion president, interesting. Surely the pollsters know what neighborhoods they are calling.

Surprise! At its conclusion the nice woman identified the poll as being paid for and authorized by . . . drum roll, please . . . "The Democratic Party of Virginia."

Well, I'lllllllllllllllllllll be. If it's all such a slam dunk, why are Tax Governor Warner and his apparatchiks so concerned?

Update On Medical Conscientious Objectors

At the beginning of this month we wrote about efforts the Bush administration is making to protect the rights of people in the medical profession who do not want to be forced to participate in any way, shape or form in providing, aiding or abetting abortion. Of course, all the predictable howling was heard from the wolves on the left who reserve choice (so-called) for one thing and one thing only — abortion. (School choice? Nyet! Social Security choice? Nyet! Choice in joining a union? Nyet! Type of car you drive, food you eat and medical treatment you get: Nyet! Nyet! Nyet! Or at least if they get their way. But you get the picture.)

But there is some good news to report. In late July, the Virginia Catholic Conference faxed letters to members of the U.S. House of Representatives asking them to sign a letter by Representatives Dave Weldon (R-Florida) and Lincoln Davis (D-Tennessee) that supports the conscience rights for health care providers and the new proposed regulations by the Department of Health and Human Services. (For more information about the issue, click here.)  

Before the fax went out, only 60 Representatives had signed the Weldon-Davis Letter, none of them from Virginia. However, within a few days, 72 more Congressmen signed on, including Virginians Eric Cantor (R-7), Thelma Drake (R-2), Randy Forbes (R-4), Virgil Goode (R-5), Bob Goodlatte (R-6), Rob  Wittman (R-1), and Frank Wolf (R-10).

Unfortunately, Congressmen Rick Boucher (D-9), Tom Davis (R-11), Jim Moran (D-8) and Bobby Scott (D-3) inexplicably did not sign the letter. Mostly predictable. Still Disappointing. The hypocricy abounds: The left wants to force people who don't agree with — in polite terms we'll call an elective procedure — to provide support for it. What country is this?

We applaud the Virginia Catholic Conference, Representatives Weldon and Davis, the Virginia Congressmen who signed their letter, the Bush administration, and all who work diligently to ensure this most basic right to those in the medical profession.

Would You Kill This Child?

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin gave birth to her fifth child, Trig Paxson Van Palin, on April 18. According to the 2-1 ruling earlier this week on Virginia's partial-birth abortion law by a three judge panel of the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Governor Palin had every right to take the life of Trig in the final days of her pregnancy. You see, Trig has Down Syndrome. Considering that many of the late-term abortions that two members of the Fourth Circuit ruled to protect are performed when the child is diagnosed with health complications, Trig is lucky to be alive.

According to Governor Palin, "Trig is beautiful and already adored by us. We knew through early testing he would face special challenges, and we feel privileged that God would entrust us with this gift and allow us unspeakable joy as he entered our lives."

Prenatal testing alerted the Palin's to Trig's condition during the second trimester. At that point, the "procedure" done to "terminate the pregnancy" is called a "Standard Dilation and Evacuation (D&E). According to testimony given the Fourth Circuit's three judge panel, a "Standard D&E" abortion:

Is by far the most common method of pre-viability second trimester abortion, used approximately ninety-five percent of the time. In this procedure the doctor dilates the woman's cervix and uses suction and forceps to remove the fetus. The doctor also uses instruments to hold the vagina open and to gain access to the cervix and uterus. As the doctor uses forceps to pull the fetus out of the cervix during a D&E, friction usually causes parts of the fetus to break off or disarticulate. As a result of disarticulation the fetus is removed in pieces. Throughout the process, the fetus may show signs of life, such as a heartbeat, although disarticulation ultimately causes fetal demise.

However, if Trig's mom and dad had a difficult time deciding what to do, and waited until the final days of pregnancy (right up until the day of birth), and then decided to "terminate," the "procedure" used would have been an "intact D&E":

A doctor intending to perform an intact D&E uses certain methods, such as serially dilating the cervix or rotating the fetus as it is pulled out of the uterus, to increase the likelihood of intact delivery. In an intact D&E, as generally described, the fetal skull is typically too large to pass through the cervix, and the doctor compresses or collapses the skull to complete the abortion.

This is the procedure that just two judges yesterday decided is "Constitutional." 

We do not share these descriptions with you in an attempt to inflame passions. We do so to share them with you simply because many of you may not be aware of what is done to an unborn child in a second or third trimester abortion — many of which take place well after the moment of "viability." We also share them so that you understand that despite this graphic testimony, two judges still voted to allow the second procedure to go on!

We issued a statement the day of the Fourth Circuit's decision that said:

The fact that pro-abortion forces continue to defend the heinous act of partial-birth infanticide with such vigor reveals their extremism. It must be noted that the procedures being discussed, a "dilation and evacuation" abortion and an "intact D&E" both require the dismemberment of an unborn child past the known date of viability.

The vicious hate e-mails we have received as a result of interviews we've done with newspapers and television stations reveal an extremism that shocks even us, who are no strangers to vile and threatening letters from extremists. Pro-abortion forces, such as Planned Parenthood, are vicious in their advocacy for this brutal procedure. But this is yet another opportunity for us to educate our friends, co-workers and neighbors on the reality of abortion. By continuing to defend this procedure, pro-abortion forces give us more opportunity to expose them for who they are.

As you talk to people around you, I urge you to share the story of Trig, a Down Syndrome baby who is a blessing to his family in ways that many cannot comprehend. It is this type of child that is daily being destroyed by "partial-birth abortion." 

For more details on Virginia's ban on partial-birth abortion, which became law in 2003 when the General Assembly over rode then-Governor Mark Warner's amendments, read the following news stories in the:

Richmond Times Dispatch: 4th Circuit panel again strikes down Virginia's partial birth abortion ban

The Washington Post: Va. Abortion Law Overturned Again 

CNN/Associated Press: Court strikes down late-term abortion ban

The New York Times: Virginia Law on Abortion Is Struck Down