Incoming Florida State Senate Leader Mike Haridopolos needs to step it up when it comes to explaining and educating the public on why Abortion is such a huge issue, and should be made a top priority in Florida and the rest of America.
It may not be common knowledge, but the next Speaker of the House, John Boehner, has been an ardent foe of abortion since entering Congress in 1991, and a leader in the fight. As indicated in the video above, while accepting the Henry Hyde award from Americans United for Life earlier this year, for Boehner this is an emotional issue, and he is heart and soul on our side. A refreshing change from Nancy Pelosi. Read the rest of this entry »
In Florida Today Newspaper today 10-31-10, my short version explanation for why I left the Democratic Party for No Party Affiliation (NPA), is currently on view online. Please feel free to read the letter entitled “Democratic Party Has No Space For Pro-Lifer”, and add commentary if you wish. Follow this link (click on page 2): http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20101031/OPINION/101029024/1004/Your+views++Heading+into+the+homestretch+(Oct.+31)
Last Friday, John Finnis, whom I and many others consider to be one of the foremost living Catholic intellectuals, debated philosophers Peter Singer and Maggie Little at the Princeton conference Open Hearts, Open Minds and Fair Minded Words (Mirror of Justice‘s own Rick Garnett discussed the constitutionality of legalized abortion on Saturday). My friend, Ryan Anderson, over at Public Discourse has published a revised version of Prof. Finnis’ opening remarks, which are well worth the read. Here are two snippets from the piece (be sure to read the whole thing at Public Discourse):
The thing about moral status is, if you believe in morality at all, that it is not a matter of choice or grant or convention, but of recognition. If you hear anyone talk about conferring or granting moral status, you know they are deeply confused about what morality and moral status are. The very idea of human rights and status is of someone who matters whether we like it or not, and even when no one is thinking about them; and matters, whether we like it or not, as at bottom an equal, because like us in nature as a substantial kind of being.
About the moral status of the fetus, it’s clear, I suggest, beyond doubt, after forty years of intense philosophical discussion, that there’s no credible halfway house between, on the one hand, acknowledging that whether we like it or not the fetus—indeed the embryonic baby from the outset—has the same radical equality of nature that we all have despite myriad differences, and on the other hand joining Peter and Jeffrey in denying two things: (1) denying that the primary question is one of fact—shared nature as beings all having or capable of developing (given only food and protection) rational characteristics and activities, and (2) denying equality or ethical or moral entitlement to rights such as life until some time after birth (and here I think Reiman’s position will prove more stably defensible than Peter’s in making that years after birth; but of course neither of them can limit their denial of human equality to conditions of infancy; the denial extends to various sorts of disablement and decay). And each of them goes wrong from the outset in making “moral status” the fundamental predicate in the discussion, instead of predicates of the form “person,” “rational nature,” “kind of being.”
Notre Dame Law School is very blessed to have both John Finnis and Rick Garnett on board.
Dr. Mildred Fay Jefferson, tireless crusader for the unborn, died on Saturday October 16, 2010 at age 84. Born in Carthage, Texas in 1927, she overcame all the disadvantages of being black in the Jim Crow South to be the first black woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School in 1951 and, additionally, the first female surgeon to graduate from that school. She was professor of surgery at Boston University. After Roe she helped found the National Right to Life Committee and was President of the Committee for three terms. She never ceased to speak out for the unborn. Read the rest of this entry »
In case you missed the terrible news…
…the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. lifted the The District Court for the District of Columbia’s injunction on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research (from NPR):
Court: Stem Cell Funds Can Continue For Now
by Julie RovnerSeptember 28, 2010
The Obama administration can continue funding embryonic stem cell research for now, a federal appeals court ruled.
Tuesday’s ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington makes permanent, for the time being, the overturning of an injunction imposed last month by a lower court judge.
The scientific community was stunned when U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ordered a temporary halt to embryonic stem cell research while he considered a lawsuit filed by two scientists who study adult stem cells. The scientists say the Obama administration’s stem cell research policy violates an existing congressional ban on research that harms human embryos.
But a federal appeals court earlier this month temporarily lifted the injunction to give the administration time to make its case that even a temporary halt to the research could set back promising science.
The argument apparently succeeded. Now research funded with federal dollars can proceed pending a full appeal of the lower court judge’s ruling.
Prayer and fasting.
Next week, New Hampshire Republicans, and probably some irritating Democrats, will decide who the Republican Nominee is for the Republican New Hampshire Senate Candidacy. It appears to the best of my knowledge that Ovide Lamontange is the only consistent pro-life and limited government candidate on the ticket. I urge anyone you know who lives in New Hampshire to vote for Ovide. No, he’s not a genius, but he’s principled, more than the others. Primaries should be about principles. Playing Machiavelli can wait until November. We have to choose the right people to put up for office, and the right people are principled people who think that government is more than simply another way to stimulate the economy. We have a debased and corrupt form of politics that only recognizes the material dimension of our lives. We need candidates who understand that material life is not the only good, and that material well-being is in some way really dependent on our spiritual well-being. Our spiritual well-being is in a real way determined by our laws, and our politicians create our laws, not just “our jobs” (which is ridiculous, politicians don’t create jobs). We need to look for politicians who have but an inkling of an understanding of this countercultural idea. Our laws are not just about money; they are about truth and justice and goodness and even beauty.
Republicans are upset about not being in power. Republicans are not in power because they have failed to live up to their principles, and everyone knows it. Republican principles are good principles, and we should not concede them because we have hopes of winning an election. Republicans have won elections, and they have acted frivolously and ignorantly with their power because they were not principled. We need to elect politicians who will behave responsibly with their power, and not just win the election. Elections don’t matter; justice and truth do.
My old employer, the Susan B. Anthony List, has launched a new initiative encouraging the GOP to include Pro-Life legislation in it’s latest Contract for America.
SBA List President, Marjorie Dannenfelser, explains why this initiative is needed:
“The Republican Party must show what it is made of this time around. They can do so by acting on their convictions and those of their party, and by making a commitment to passage of common-sense, life-saving legislation. Missing from the GOP’s original Contract in 1994 was any emphasis on policies protecting the unborn. Pro-life legislation was not made a priority in the following Congress. With the support of a vibrant pro-life movement that understands the urgency of addressing the tragedy of nearly 4,000 abortions per day coupled with the vast majority of Americans who support a commonsense pro-life agenda, enacting that agenda would not require a heavy lift.”
Check out the SBA List’s petition for more information and to join their cause.
Before the Charlie Weiss era I used to root for Notre Dame as my Number 2 selection after my childhood religion The Ohio State University. After discovering that Weiss was seemingly proud of being an excessive abuser of profanity ( an entire 60 Minutes piece seemed to revolve around how cute everyone thought it was that Notre Dame’s coach loved to heap profanity out in liberal portions- including the school’s priest-president), I decided to drop cheering for Notre Dame football- for what would it be for Our Lady University to succeed on the field but lose her soul in the locker-room.
On my personal blog, I discuss a disturbing video I saw on YouTube of a pro-choice “reporter” confronting pro-life protesters with some rather simple questions.
An inspiring scene of Ramon refusing to cater for the new super abortion mill in Houston.
To help eliminate the world’s largest abortion mill in Houston contact the following groups:
Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
— Holy Gospel of Saint Luke 23:34 cf.
Ora pro nobis!
A nice reminder of all the positives in the Catholic priesthood- why we need our priests, and why we can’t throw them under the bus when they fail our expectations. (hattip Domenico Bettinelli of BettNet blog).
I had a thought a while back- what if a large percentage of priests went over to the nearest abortion clinic, and just camped out there, praying a silent protest? If Catholics wanted Mass they would have to go to where the priests were; and if the authorities told the priests to move on, and the priests refused, then they would all go to jail, and so the laity would not have Eucharist. Forget about denying Communion to this or that politician- why shouldn’t the priests deny all of us Communion- except for those in prison- until we got serious about stopping abortion. The priest is not ordinarily a zealot, but when a genocide of the unwanted, unborn children gets so little notice by a very distracted society- well it would seem time for Jesus’ priests to overturn some spiritual tables outside the temples worshipping the cult of consumer choice for the life or death of innocent children.
The priest is perfectly suited for such a protest- he isn’t a businessman, he doesn’t have a wife and children depending on his securing money for the day. Yet, he is needed by every Catholic who knows his/her duty to participate in a weekly Mass- what if the priests said – “hold on a minute- you, the laity, need to fulfill some minimal requirements yourselves- you have a primary responsibility to set the temporal order straight- you can’t keep up this killing of our children on America’s Main Street- get hold of yourselves, and take care of these women and children- for God’s sake as well as your own.” The priests and bishops have had their problems- but the laity have a greater scandal to deal with- our lack of seriousness in seeing to it that all children are able to live and thrive- inside the Superpower and in all the world.
Hattip to commenter restrainedradical. Nick Vujicic is a living refutation of the pro-abort lie that some lives are not worth living. The joy and energy with which he embraces life with what most people would view as horrifying disabilities reminds me of the behavior of my son with autism. Life with a physical or mental disability can be very difficult. Having seen my son deal with autism has given me some of the worst times in my life. However, witnessing his courage, joy and love has also provided me with the best moments in my life. God gives us life and he gives us courage. With those two assets it is marvelous to see what we mere mortals can accomplish in the time God allots us.
Hat tip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air who is on a pro-life role today. Sarah Palin in her address to the Susan B. Anthony Celebration of Life Breakfast. Go here to see a video of Palin’s speech. In her speech Palin made it clear that she understands the temptation of abortion.
Speaking at the Susan B. Anthony List Celebration of Life breakfast, Palin said that when she learned during her pregnancy that Trig would be born with Down syndrome, she “had no idea how I was going to handle the situation of raising a special needs child.”
She said she was struck by “not knowing if my heart was ready, not knowing if I was patient and nurturing enough.”
While she had previously believed that “God will never give me something I cannot handle,” she said, she was left thinking, “I don’t think I can handle this. This wasn’t part of my life’s plan.”
As a busy mother who already had four kids and who was serving as Alaska governor, she wondered how she would handle raising the child, she said. She wondered if her sister, who has a child with autism, would have been better equipped to raise him.
Palin said the experience helped her understand how a woman would consider “even for a split second” having an abortion, “because I’ve been there.”
Hat tip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. For a second year in a row Gallup finds that more Americans call themselves pro-life than pro-choice.
The conservative shift in Americans’ views on abortion that Gallup first recorded a year ago has carried over into 2010. Slightly more Americans call themselves “pro-life” than “pro-choice,” 47% vs. 45%, according to a May 3-6 Gallup poll. This is nearly identical to the 47% to 46% division found last July following a more strongly pro-life advantage of 51% to 42% last May.
While the two-percentage-point gap in current abortion views is not significant, it represents the third consecutive time Gallup has found more Americans taking the pro-life than pro-choice position on this measure since May 2009, suggesting a real change in public opinion. By contrast, in nearly all readings on this question since 1995, and each survey from 2003 to 2008, more Americans called themselves pro-choice than pro-life.
According to two-year averages of these results since 2001, Republicans have become more likely to call themselves pro-life since polling conducted in 2003/2004, as have Republican-leaning independents since 2005/2006. Independents who lean to neither party also became more likely to call themselves “pro-life” between 2003/2004 and 2005/2006, but have since held steady.
Democrats’ self-identification with the pro-life position has moved in the other direction, declining from 37% in 2003/2004 to 31% in 2009/2010. Among independents who lean Democratic, there has been no movement in either direction.
Just last week the Nebraska state legislature by a vote of 44-5 passed landmark legislation—The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act—setting a demarcation line on abortion services based on a substantial body of biomedical research that indicates unborn children can feel pain at 20 weeks. Governor Dave Heinemen (R-NE) signed the bill into the law, which will take effect this October. Once the law is enforced, abortion services will be illegal at and after 20 weeks gestation with exceptions only in cases of the threat of death to the mother or a serious risk of “substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.” Rape and incest are not included as valid exceptions. It is clear from this that there is a dual effort to skirt around the requirements of Roe and avoid the very broad exception of a woman’s “health” that in practice acts as a smokescreen for all elective abortions.
This law is the first of its kind in the United States, basing its restriction on abortion on fetal pain and not on arbritrary notion of fetal”viability.” Without any surprise, pro-choice lobbyists and lawyers are going to challenge the law in court as unconstitutional because it sets the abortion limit prior to the prevalent judgment that “fetal viability” falls between 22 and 24 weeks and the law allegedly violates several judicial precedents post-Roe, such as the intentionally neglect to include rape, incest, and broad “health-related” clauses as valid exceptions to have an abortion.
Technically there are no judicial precedents for the pro-life Nebraska law because the newness of the standard that is the basis of the law. This will be a first-test case. There is reason to be optimistic that the U.S. Supreme Court—if the case makes it that far—might very well uphold the law. In the best case scenario, there are at least fives justices (the same five that upheld the ban on partial-birth abortion) who would seriously consider a persuasive case of state interest in preserving unborn human life given the considerable amount of medical evidence that unborn children are capable of feeling pain at 20 weeks during an abortion.
The full text of the new abortion law can be found here.
Coincidentally, the same day the Republican governor also signed a separate law requiring health care providers to screen women seeking abortions for possible physical or mental risks before and after the procedure with failure to comply resulting in fines up to $10,000. He has stated his intention to defend these pro-life victories against legal challenges if necessary.
Hattip to Rich Leonardi at Ten Reasons. I have long thought that the way we will win the battle against abortion is by simple persistence. Pro-lifers will never give up until we prevail and abortion is banned. Tommy Behan is an example to us all:
T. ANDREW DEANERY — The White House staffers who open President Barrack Obama’s mail are likely well aware of Tommy Behan’s pro-life stance.
Behan, a member of St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish and a sophomore at Lakota East High School, has written the president every day since Obama’s inauguration asking him to change his position on abortion. The 16-year-old has handwritten and mailed more than 430 letters.
“His stance is the most radical pro-choice one for a president who has ever held office,” said Behan. “In the first letter I made a vow to never stop writing until he changed it or he’s out of office.”
The teen usually writes in the evenings. He avoids email, preferring to show his passion with the extra effort a handwritten letter requires. His parents supply the pens, paper and stamps. If Behan gets pressed for time and misses a day, he’ll write additional letters until he is caught up. The letters are sometimes mailed in batches.
Behan begins each letter by telling Obama how many times he has written before. Then the teen argues the constitutionality of abortion, talks about justice for the unborn and tells of the lives that have been lost. His stance is straightforward: Life begins at conception and comes before liberty, he said.
“I keep building on my argument,” Behan said. “It really upsets me how some people choose to have an abortion when others really want to have children.”
One of six children, Behan has seen his sister and her husband suffer miscarriages. That experience has made him more passionate and given him more resolve to try to get Obama to publicly change his position.
After about three months of writing Behan received a form letter from the White House. There have been about 17 more since. The generic replies thank him for writing and sometimes acknowledge the topic.
The teen also debated the issue in an editorial in Spark, a well-known student magazine at Lakota East.
“He’s always had a deep respect for life,” said Behan’s mother, Jude Behan. “We’re very proud of him. This was not initiated by us.”
She said her son is dedicated to the letter-writing campaign and is self-motivated. Read the rest of this entry »
The White House on Friday announced that Dawn Johnsen has withdrawn her nomination by Obama to head of the Office of Legal Counsel. This was after a year during which it became increasingly clear that Republicans in the Senate, joined by some Democrats, would never vote to confirm her, and that the administration lacked the votes to break a filibuster. Read the rest of this entry »
Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. It is one of the rich ironies of our time that colleges and universities which were once hailed as centers of independent inquiry and temples of freedom of thought are often now centers of frantic intolerance and temples of deadening ideological conformity. Case in point Duke University where, apparently, a pro-life point of view in regard to motherhood is considered to be beyond the pale.
Duke University’s Women’s Center has canceled an event about motherhood because the sponsor was engaging in pro-life expression elsewhere on campus. A Women’s Center representative told Duke Students for Life (DSFL) that “we have a problem” and an ideological “conflict” with the event, which was supposedly canceled to protect Duke women from encountering the event during the group’s “traumatizing” pro-life “Week for Life.” The group’s president has turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help.
“Duke appears to have an unwritten but officially enforced stance regarding abortion that has resulted in pro-life groups being shut out of the Women’s Center,” said FIRE Vice President Robert Shibley. “This treatment is a deeply hypocritical violation of the Women’s Center’s promise that it ‘welcomes discordant viewpoints from varied experiences.’”
As part of a “Week for Life” series of events held at Duke over March 15-19, DSFL had reserved a Women’s Center space for a “Discussion with a Duke Mother” on March 18. A Duke student and mother was to speak about motherhood and the challenges of being in both roles. But the day before the event, the reservation was abruptly canceled in a voicemail to the group.
Meeting with the group on March 18, Duke Women’s Center Gender Violence Prevention Specialist Martin Liccardo said that because the event was associated with the Week for Life and DSFL, the event could not be held at the Women’s Center.
Liccardo told the group that the prospect of holding a pro-life event in the Women’s Center during Week for Life was too upsetting for some students: “We had a very strong reaction from students in general who use our space who said this was something that was upsetting and not OK. So based on that, we said, OK, we are going to respond to this and stop the program.”
Hattip to Michelle Malkin. When it comes to the lamestream media, their bias in favor of the pro-aborts is so manifest as to be laughable. The latest demonstration of this bias is to call pro-aborts “abortion rights supporters” and pro-lifers “abortion rights opponents”. NPR has jumped on this bandwagon:
NPR News is revising the terms we use to describe people and groups involved in the abortion debate.
This updated policy is aimed at ensuring the words we speak and write are as clear, consistent and neutral as possible. This is important given that written text is such an integral part of our work.
On the air, we should use “abortion rights supporter(s)/advocate(s)” and “abortion rights opponent(s)” or derivations thereof (for example: “advocates of abortion rights”). It is acceptable to use the phrase “anti-abortion”, but do not use the term “pro-abortion rights”. Read the rest of this entry »
In my previous post, I argued at length against both traditionalist Catholic and left-Catholic critiques of American history, and Catholicism’s place within it. Now I believe it is time to shift from the historical to the contemporary. A recent article in Politico by Ben Smith, “Tea parties stir evangelicals’ fears” (which might have been better titled, “Ben Smith seeks to stir evangelicals’ fears”), makes what I consider to be a rather weak attempt to stir the pot and inflame tensions between libertarians and evangelical Christians. You know he’s reaching when he’s hunting down “Christian conservatives” whose primary concern with the tea party is that it is unduly harsh on the noble personal character of President Obama, who, according to one of these evangelical leaders, “provides a tremendously positive role model for tens of millions of African-American men.”
My eyes were rolling so hard I could practically hear them squishing around in their sockets.
The more substantive claim worth addressing is that there is a secular libertarian streak in the tea party movement that is partially or wholly incompatible with the conservative Christian social agenda, which one of the evangelical critics claims has “a politics that’s irreligious”. When Smith was schooled by an article covering a poll that broke down, and dispelled some of the more ridiculous myths about the tea party movement, he continued to maintain that the tensions he pointed out could become problems in the future. So they may.
Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Gallup is out with a new poll on abortion which shows that the percentage of young adults who believe that abortion should be illegal under all circumstances has jumped from 14%-23%.
Two important changes are apparent. One is a significant drop in the percentage of seniors saying all abortions should be illegal. This fell from 32% in the earliest years of the trend to 16% in the first half of the 1990s, but has since rebounded somewhat to 21%. This long-term 11-point decline among seniors compares with a 9-point increase — from 14% to 23% — in support for the “illegal in all circumstances” position among 18- to 29-year-olds since the early 1990s.
As a result, 18- to 29-year-olds are now roughly tied with seniors as the most likely of all age groups to hold this position on abortion — although all four groups are fairly close in their views. This is a sharp change from the late 1970s, when seniors were substantially more likely than younger age groups to want abortion to be illegal. Read the rest of this entry »
There will come a day in this country when future generations will look back on legal abortion with the same shame and abhorrence that we now look upon slavery. In that future those who stood up for the unborn will be regarded as heroines and heroes. On that day no name will be more praised than that of Father Norman Weslin.
Father Weslin followed an extremely unlikely path to the priesthood. Born 80 years ago to Oscar and Hilma Weslin, he was the 16th of 18 children, the first ten of whom died in infancy. The family lived in Iron City in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. A tough land, it often produces tough people, and Norman Weslin was no exception. Always in trouble in school, a bright spot in his life was his future wife Mary Lou who he met in the fifth grade. She was Catholic and he was Lutheran, but that made no difference to him. As they reached high school age she became the center of his life.
At 17 he joined the Army and asked Mary Lou to marry him. She flatly refused unless he made something of himself. Perhaps to the astonishment of both of them he did. He graduated from Officer’s Candidate School in October of 1951 and was commissioned a second lieutenant. He went on to artillery and missile school at Fort Bliss, Texas. While there he converted to Catholicism and he and Mary Lou were married.
He then attended Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia which began his association with the 82nd Airborne. Unfortunately, it was here that he began to drink heavily and became, in the words of Father Weslin, for the next twenty years “a hopeless alcoholic”. While stationed in Panama in 1952 he almost killed Mary Lou while driving drunk. The doctor treating her after the collision told him that she had suffered a massive brain concussion and was going to die. A nurse gave him a green scapular and told him to pin it to Mary Lou’s pajamas and pray, “Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us, now and at the hour of our death.” He did so. Against the odds Mary Lou fully recovered and left the hospital three days later.