Monthly Archives: July 2014

Obama Nominates “Religious Freedom” Ambassador Who Called Protecting Hobby Lobby “Deeply Troubling”

by Steven Ertelt | | 7/28/2014

President Barack Obama has nominated a new “Religious Freedom Ambassador,” but his nominee opposes protecting the religious freedoms of the owners of Hobby Lobby, who don’t want to be forced to pay for drugs for their employees that cause abortions.

davidsaperstein2Obama announced that he will nominate Rabbi David Nathan Saperstein as Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom at the State Department. Saperstein is a longtime pro-abortion advocate whose group has opposed pro-life legislation.

“I am grateful that Rabbi Saperstein has chosen to dedicate his talent to serving the American people at this important time for our country. I look forward to working with him in the months and years ahead,” he said. Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, is subject to Senate confirmation.

Secretary of John Kerry also introduced him at a press briefing late Monday morning, saying that religious freedom is an “integral part of our global diplomatic engagement.”

However, Saperstein is strongly opposed to the Supreme Court’s decision protecting Hobby Lobby’s religious freedoms and, in an interview, Saperstein called the decision “deeply troubling.”

DavidSaperstein-marqueedavidsapersteinThe Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism has also been a long-time abortion supporter and officially co-sponsored a pro-abortion march in 2003. The Union for Reform Judaism and its Washington-based Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism have agreed to be co-sponsors, as have the American Jewish Congress’s commission for women’s equality and Hadassah. Continue reading


Will Doctors Be Forced To KILL?
by Wesley J. Smith | 7/25/2014 | FirstThings

The wailing and gnashing of teeth in some quarters over the modest Hobby Lobby decision has me worried. Apparently, many on the political port side of the country believe that once a favored public policy has been enacted, it immediately becomes a “right” that can never be altered or denied. More, once such a “right” is established for the individual, others should have the duty to ensure access—even at the cost of violating their own religious consciences.

If such thinking prevails, medical professionals could be forced to participate in the taking of human life, for example in abortion, assisted suicide, and (given the research trends in regenerative medicine) providing treatments derived from the intentional destruction of human embryos or fetuses.

That certainly seems to be the direction in which the ACLU wishes to take the country. Recently, the ACLU of Washington State began trolling for potential clients to sue medical professionals or facilities that refused to participate in certain legal procedures or transactions based on religious objection:

Have you or members of your family been denied reproductive health care or end-of-life services by a religiously based medical facility? The ACLU believes that everyone in Washington has the right to receive health care that is not restricted by the religious beliefs of others.

MyHealthCare_618x267_2The solicitation listed specific procedures—some of which involve the taking of human life—that presumably a patient should have a right to receive. They include:

  • Abortion
  • Information about Washington’s Death with Dignity Act [the law permitting doctor-assisted suicide for the terminally ill];
  • Referral to support organizations or cooperating providers to assist a patient in using Washington’s Death with Dignity Act;
  • Medical providers permitted to participate in Washington’s Death with Dignity Act;
  • Palliative care/nursing support for patients who choose to stop eating and drinking to allow natural death (e.g., participation in suicide by starvation, not a natural death)
  • Pharmacy dispensary (e.g, forced dispensing of drugs used in assisted suicide, RU 486 abortions, etc.)

Some might think that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the law that protected Hobby Lobby, could also protect medical professionals and facilities. Nope. That law only applies to cases involving federal statutes. Unless a state has its own equivalent law, RFRA protections do not apply. (In Washington doctors cannot currently be forced to participate in assisted suicide, but pharmacists do not enjoy equivalent conscience rights.)

But what about the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of religion? Religious health professionals and religiously-operated health facilities may be out of luck on that score, too. Indeed, the RFRA was passed by a near unanimous Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton to overcome a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that deprived individuals of religious protection against a law of “general applicability,” e.g., one not aimed at chilling religious practice but which merely has that ancillary impact. Continue reading

Alveda King speaks about her abortions—voluntary & involuntary

What Would Martin Luther King Jr Say About Abortion? He Would “Defend Life”

by Maria Vitale Gallagher | Washington, DC | | 7/23/2014

Pondering what the legendary civil rights figure might communicate in 140 characters or fewer on the social networking site Twitter is among the highlights in his niece Alveda King’s new book, King Rules.

Alveda King offers sample tweets taken from the speeches and writings of the heroic champion of non-violence and of harmony between the races.

“We are made to live together,” is among the quotes she envisions her uncle sending out into cyberspace. In Alveda’s view, the persons meant to live together would include unborn Americans.

In King Rules, Alveda King provides persuasive arguments for her contention that the ‘60s icon would have encouraged his followers to “defend life,” had he lived to see the 21st century. She maintains that her uncle never advocated for abortion. “I know this because I grew up with him and, more importantly, I grew up in the same values system that nurtured him and informs every word in this book,” Alveda King writes.

She further points out that in his 1958 book, Stride Toward Freedom, he stated, “The Negro cannot win…if he is willing to sell the future of his children for his personal and immediate comfort and safety.” Certainly, abortion eliminates a child’s future—and her present. Continue reading

When is Contraception Abortifacient? Speak Precisely.

Life Training Institute Blog

Be Careful Out There (When Discussing Emergency Contraception)

by Serge (Rich Poupard) | January 22, 2014

From “6 Resources on Whether or Not Birth Control Pills Cause Abortions

It is very important when discussing important and controversial issues to do everything in our power to find the truth and not overstate the evidence that we have supporting our conclusions.

contraceptionAbortifacientSpeakPrecisely-marqueeThis can be challenging when dealing with an issue such as emergency contraception, where the data and evidence is frequently either missing, confusing, or difficult to understand.

To this point, I believe that the evidence shows that Ella and IUDs have some sort of mechanism of action post-fertilization.

I believe that the evidence does not support a post-fertilization mechanism for Plan B, but its efficacy has been greatly overstated. Continue reading

Abortion for Fetal Anomaly: The Compassionate Choice for Mother and Baby?

Registered Nurse Lynn Smith presents an excellent overview on some key issues to consider when couples are counseled to abort their unborn child with a fetal anomaly:

pregnantUltrasoundIn considering the H 4223, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, people need to know that abortion is not a life saving, pain sparing medical procedure in the case of fetal anomaly.

At a recent conference, OB-GYN doctor, Byron Calhoun, presented a strong case for perinatal hospice instead of termination of pregnancy for fetal anomaly.  Not only is perinatal hospice safer for a woman and her family emotionally, but it is safer physically, for the mother.

There are 6-10,000 lethal fetal anomalies in the U.S. every year.  Traditional treatment for  lethal anomalies is termination of pregnancy, and the reasons for such treatment are not necessarily based on sound medical rationale, but on emotion:  obstetric providers’ well intentioned desire to spare the mother and the family a distressing experience, their need to “do something,” and their discomfort with bereaved patients.  On the physiological level, a prudent doctor is motivated to avoid maternal complications of pregnancy and childbirth, and fear of increased maternal mortality.

The doctors’ desire to be in control, and prevent suffering, is understandable, however research reveals that termination does not necessarily prevent maternal complications, mortality, or suffering but, in fact, pregnancy termination increases the risk of physical harm and prolongs suffering.  Grief after termination of a pregnancy is just as intense as after a spontaneous pregnancy loss, however, grief after termination for anomalies demonstrates prolonged consequences.  A study in the Netherlands of women with termination for anomalies reviewed psychological outcomes at monthly intervals. At 4 months 46% of women had pathological levels of post-traumatic stress symptoms.  At 16 months, 21% still had symptoms.  Grief after termination is intense and persistent, as shown in another Netherlands study.  Evaluated 2-7 years post termination, 2.6% had pathological grief and 17% had post traumatic stress.

Continue reading

Science Ignored: Dissecting Pregnancy as a Disease

Life is not a “Disease” for which Death is “The Cure”

By Anne Roback Morse | Population Research Institute | July 1, 2014

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court decided Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, and ruled the federal government could not require closely-held corporations to provide no-cost contraception for their employees. Although that was the question before the Supreme Court, there were many things the Supreme Court didn’t have the jurisdiction to rule on yesterday. And the most important of these issues–the basic premise at the root of the case’s ideological divide–was not up for debate: that contraception is preventive health care.

Yes, contraception prevents pregnancy–that’s the whole point–but why is pregnancy considered to be a disease? It is an odd disease that is frequently welcomed by women.

Every Child IS a Wanted Child, 'Cause, If God Didn't Want Them, He Wouldn't Have Made Them

Every Child IS a Wanted Child,
‘Cause, If God Didn’t Want Them,
He Wouldn’t Have Made Them

Contraception as preventive care was not actually written into the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA simply states that health insurance must cover ‘‘such additional preventive care and screenings” as are ordered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The HRSA didn’t define contraception and sterilization as preventive care either. Instead, they consulted the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which wrote a 250 page report entitled “Clinical Preventive Services for Women.” This report recommended that the HRSA adopt contraception and sterilization as preventive care to be provided under the Affordable Care Act.[1]

The 250 page IOM report included a page on the “prevalence/burden” of unintended pregnancy and concluded with: “Recommendation 5.5: The committee recommends for consideration as a preventive service for women: the full range of Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for women with reproductive capacity.”

Noticeably, the report doesn’t consider all pregnancies as an ailment to be avoided. The report doesn’t mention hemorrhaging, pre-eclampsia, or any significant maternal health problems. Ignoring legitimate maternal health issues, the IOM only considers unintended pregnancies an ailment. Their prescription? Contraception and sterilization.

Women whose pregnancies are unintended, the report states, “are more likely than those with intended pregnancies to receive later or no prenatal care, to smoke and consume alcohol during pregnancy, to be depressed during pregnancy, and to experience domestic violence during pregnancy.”


I Will Give You a New Name
I Will Wipe Away Every Tea

The IOM ignores the fact that many women who experience unintended pregnancies belong to demographics that disproportionately suffer from domestic violence. No amount of condoms in the world will end domestic violence. Nor is synthetic progesterone a magic pill that will prevent immoral men from harming their partners. No matter–the Institute of Medicine has prescribed contraception and sterilization to those women suffering from domestic violence.

The report also blissfully ignores the fact that sex can result in pregnancy even if partners are using contraceptives. According to a study published in Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health: “Contraceptives were used during the month of conception for 48% of the unintended pregnancies that ended in 2001”[2]. That is, almost half of all unintended pregnancies in the United States occur among women actively using contraception during the month of conception. This puts the IOM report in the awkward position of recommending as a remedy the contraceptives that allowed half the unintended pregnancies in the first place. (Ironically, this study is selectively cited several times in the Institute of Medicine’s report.) Continue reading

“Billy’s Soliloquy” From Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Carousel” (Gordon MacRae)

[Carousel, 1956, Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones, Cameron Mitchell. A carnival barker finds a wife, dies in a robbery, and gets to return to Earth for one day to guide his teenage daughter.]

I wonder what he’ll think of me
I guess he’ll call me the “old man”
I guess he’ll think i can lick
Ev’ry other feller’s father
Well, i can!
I bet that he’ll turn out to be
The spittin’ image of his dad
But he’ll have more common sense
Than his puddin-headed father ever had
I’ll teach him to wrestle
And dive through a wave
When we go in the mornin’s for our swim
His mother can teach him
The way to behave
But she won’t make a sissy out o’ him
Not him! Not my boy! Not bill! Continue reading


Sex Selective Abortion at 8 Months Stopped by Women’s Rights Without Frontiers’ “Save a Girl Campaign”

BaoYuWhen Bao Yu’s mother was 8 months pregnant, she went to the hospital to determine the sex of the child. Her mother already had a three-year old daughter, and her family was determined that this second child would be a son. (In the countryside, where your first child is a girl, you can have a second child. Many regard this second child as their last chance to have a son.) When the doctor told Bao Yu’s mother she was carrying a girl, her family tried to force her to abort. The family wanted a boy, and because of the coercive enforcement of the One Child Policy, they knew they could not have a boy if they kept baby Bao Yu. Even though Bao Yu’s mother couldn’t see her daughter in the womb, she knew that she loved her and felt her growing day-by-day. Still, because of the intense pressure from her family, she felt like she had no other option but to abort her full-term pregnancy – just because her baby was a girl.

Bao Yu was very fortunate that Women’s Rights Without Frontiers’ (WRWF) learned that her mother was being pressured to abort her at eight months. A WRWF undercover fieldworker visited Bao Yu’s mother and told her about the “Save a Girl” program. Our fieldworker reassured her that we are helping other families keep their girls too because we believe that girls matter just as much as boys. We offered to give the family a monthly stipend for a year, to help them support their new daughter. With our help, Bao Yu’s mother was able to stand against the cultural tide of son-preference and give birth to precious baby Bao Yu.

Bao Yu’s story is repeated all over China millions of times each year. Families who already have a daughter will routinely abort their second pregnancy if it’s a girl. Because of this brutal practice, there are 37 million more men living in China than women. And this gender imbalance is driving human trafficking and sexual slavery.

Read More…

She is What Abortion Looks Like, When It Doesn’t Work
by Sarah Zagorski | Washington, DC | | 7/2/2014

melissaohden10Nearly thirty-seven years ago, Melissa Ohden survived a saline infusion abortion. Now she is the founder of The Abortion Survivors Network, an organization that exists to educate the public on abortion survivors and to offer support to those who’ve survived failed abortions.

Last week, Ohden shared her testimony at the National Right to Life convention in Louisville, Kentucky. She began by explaining the abortion procedure that was intended to take her life.

salineAbortionDiagramDuring a saline infusion abortion, the abortionist inserts a needle through the mother’s abdomen and withdraws amniotic fluid. Then the fluid is replaced with a salt solution, which typically causes the unborn child to die within three days. Ohden said that children who die from saline abortions are sometimes referred to as “red-skins” or “candy apple babies” because the salt solution turns their skin bright red and peels it away as it moves into the internal organs.

For some unknown reason, Ohden soaked in the poisonous solution two days longer than usual, but was born alive on the fifth day. She weighed almost three pounds. Like many others, a family member coerced her biological mother into having the abortion. While intense pressure to abort often comes from husbands and partners, Ohden’s maternal grandmother was the family member demanding the abortion.

Since her grandmother was a prominent nurse and knew a local abortionist, she was able to bypass hospital procedures to facilitate a “secret abortion”. Ohden said, “My mother wasn’t just coerced, she was forced to have an abortion that was meant to end my life and changed her forever.” While the pro-abortion movement always talks about abortion as a “choice” and as a “right”, many don’t realize that 64% of women are victims of coerced abortion.

When Ohden was born alive, someone at the hospital insisted that she should be left to die. Originally, she thought the abortionist was the one who gave the order. However, this past year Ohden learned that it was actually her grandmother who demanded her death. Thankfully, despite her grandmother’s persistence, two nurses provided medical care that ultimately saved her life.

She continued by explaining how her mother’s forced abortion ruined relationships in her family. After the abortion, her mother and father split up and her mother severed contact with her grandparents. When Ohden finally found her mother and father, she wrote them each a letter extending forgiveness and love. She also said that if they ever wanted to reach out to her, she would be waiting.

Sadly in 2008, Ohden’s father passed away. He never did respond to her letter, but eventually she was able to connect with some members of her father’s family. She also established a relationship with her biological mother. To this day, her mother is still healing from the pain of her forced abortion.

Ohden said, “Her greatest regret as a woman in her fifties is that she never ran away from her own family. I always have to point that out to those who are pro-abortion. Where is the empowerment in that for a women, for that to be her greatest regret?”