Kristi Burton Brown

‘How late is too late for an abortion?’

Kristi Burton Brown
By Kristi Burton Brown

October 5, 2012 (LiveActionNews.org) - “How late is too late for an abortion?” xoJane’s writer, Lesley, wonders. In her September 19 article, Lesley shares her own personal experience at a Catholic high school. She claims that “Bloody Baby Week” is, at least in part, responsible for her extreme pro-abortion stance today. Lesley explains “Bloody Baby Week”:

One year, it culminated in a film on the realities of abortion that was so gruesome and gore-riddled that it might have rivaled Faces of Death for most talked-about maybe-snuff-film ever. It showed recorded footage of actual abortions, the narration making sure we noted the way the blurry and ghost-faced fetus grimaced and recoiled in horror (the power of suggestion is a hell of a drug) as the vacuum aspiration apparatus drew near. Did the terrified unborn emit terrified screams as it was torn limb from limb, the film wondered? Who can say, certainly they would be drowned out by the roar of the death machine.

Lesley claims that she felt “such helpless rage that I sat on my hands to prevent myself from lunging at and punching our invited pro-life guests.” Anyone is left to wonder why she felt rage at the pro-life guests instead of the abortionists committing the atrocities she was witnessing. Certainly, some within the pro-life movement would agree with Lesley that high school students should not be shown videos of real abortions or photos of bloody, cut-up babies. Others would say that these true images are vital to any civil rights movement. Regardless, Lesley nowhere claims that she disbelieved the video and images she was shown.

How a person can look straight at photos of torn-apart babies and still believe that abortion is a “right,” I will never understand. In the same way, I will never understand how the Iranian president can see photos of the Holocaust and yet claim it never happened. I will never understand how neo-Nazi racists can see photos of the scars on a black slave’s back and still believe in white supremacy. To deny the truth you hear is bad enough. But to deny the truth you see is absolutely unacceptable.

Lesley of xoJane went on to discuss the case of Sarah Catt, a British woman who self-aborted her baby just a week before his due date. The baby boy was 39 weeks old, and because of the drug Catt ingested, he was stillborn. Her entire purpose was to kill him. Catt refuses to reveal to authorities where she put her dead baby. She has been sentenced to eight years in prison because, according to British law, elective abortions may not be performed after 24 weeks. At that point, the birth of the child is imminent, and a woman cannot have an abortion simply because she does not want to keep her baby.

Lesley opines, however, that Catt should have had the right to end her pregnancy at any time. According to Lesley, it should probably never be too late for an abortion. She’s a stickler for consistency, apparently. If a woman has the right to have an abortion, by golly, she has that right ’til the very end of time – no matter that her baby could easily live outside the womb on his own. No matter that he technically no longer needs his mother for sustained life. Catt’s baby could have been delivered at 39 weeks and very likely been the picture of health and given to someone else to raise. But instead, because Catt believed, just like Lesley, that it’s never too late to kill a child as long as his body hasn’t touched outside air yet, another little boy is dead, murdered at the hands of his own mother.

In her article, Lesley attempts to appeal to fellow abortion supporters:

f Catt’s actions were unacceptable even from a pro-choice standpoint, then where is the line drawn? This is why government regulation of individual morality — which is what abortion laws ultimately are — is so problematic. Viability is not always an exact science, and “personhood” is barely a spiritual notion of the moment at which the special reproductive magic happens and a clump of cells transforms into an independent (if not fully sentient) being.

In the end I am left to wonder if — in spite of all the discomfort of cases like Sarah Catt’s — we can afford not to be hard-line about a woman’s right to choose up right until the moment that she and her offspring are permanently separated. We are losing so much ground to pro-life concessions and compromises already. Maybe it’s time to stop backing down and making apologies; maybe it’s time to enforce the “personhood” of pregnant women first.

She’s wrong on quite a few points. Government regulation of individual morality is not limited to abortion, and it never has been. Our laws against murder and rape and robbery and kidnapping and child molestation are all “regulations of individual morality.” And yet they couldn’t be more necessary to a civilized society. Until Lesley comes out against our murder and rape laws, she has no ground to stand on with this argument.

She’s absolutely correct, however, that viability is not always an exact science. But what ever happened to taking a stand on the side of life, if we have to err one way or the other? Why are so many abortion supporters consumed by giving women an extra week here or an extra month there to kill their children? While viability is certainly a better standard than birth for the right to life, it’s not the standard we should have. A baby is either a living human being or he’s not. And the ever-earlier moment of viability does not suddenly transform a growing human being into a baby. That little growing human has always been a baby – from the moment of his earliest beginnings. And that’s what science has told us for years.

Here’s the problem with Lesley’s assertions about personhood. Personhood is not a “spiritual notion.” There is no transformational moment where a “clump of cells” becomes a human being. Instead, that supposed “clump of cells” has always been, in reality, a human being who is simply less developed than an adult – in the same way that a newborn is less developed than an adolescent. Since when have we believed that our level of development ought to define our personhood status?

Lesley is also incorrect in her assumption that personhood is defined as a sort of “independent” status. Personhood is more accurately defined as the distinct individuality that all human beings possess from the moment of their earliest beginnings – when their own unique DNA comes together at the moment of fertilization:

The state or condition of being a person, especially having those qualities that confer distinct individuality

Being a person, where person is defined as a human being

Personhood truly isn’t that complicated. Every human being – no matter his or her level of development – should automatically be granted the inherent status of “person.” Human and person should be interchangeable in a civilized society that recognizes basic human dignity.

There is definitely a time when it’s too late for an abortion –  a time that’s specific, unchangeable, and measured in science. It’s the moment when a new, unique person has been created.

Reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews.org

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A Planned Parenthood facility in Denver, Colorado
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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Colorado judge tosses suit alleging Planned Parenthood used state funds to pay for abortions

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By Dustin Siggins

Alliance Defending Freedom "will likely appeal" a Monday court decision dismissing their suit alleging Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains illegally used state funds to pay for abortions, an ADF lawyer told LifeSiteNews.

The ADF lawsuit claims that $1.4 million went from state government agencies to a Planned Parenthood abortion affiliate through Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.

Denver County District Court Judge Andrew McCallin dismissed the case on the basis that ADF could not prove the funds paid for abortions. But ADF maintains that funding an abortion facility is indirectly paying for abortions, which violates state law.

ADF senior counsel Michael Norton -- whose wife, former Colorado Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton, filed the lawsuit – told LifeSiteNews that "no one is above the law, including Colorado politicians who are violating our state’s constitution by continuing to fund Planned Parenthood’s abortion business with state taxpayer dollars."

"The State of Colorado even acknowledges that about $1.4 million of state taxpayer dollars flowed from Colorado government agencies through Planned Parenthood to its abortion affiliate. The Denver court seems to have agreed with that fact and yet granted motions to dismiss based on a technicality," said Norton.

According to Colorado law, "no public funds shall be used by the State of Colorado, its agencies or political subdivisions to pay or otherwise reimburse, either directly or indirectly, any person, agency or facility for the performance of any induced abortion." There is a stipulation that allows for "the General Assembly, by specific bill, [to] authorize and appropriate funds to be used for those medical services necessary to prevent the death of either a pregnant woman or her unborn child under circumstances where every reasonable effort is made to preserve the life of each."

According to court documents, the Colorado law was affirmed by state voters in 1984, with an appeal attempt rejected two years later. In 2001, an outside legal firm hired by Jane Norton -- who was lieutenant governor at the time -- found that Planned Parenthood was "subsidizing rent" and otherwise providing financial assistance to Planned Parenthood Services Corporation, an abortion affiliate. After the report came out, and Planned Parenthood refused to disassociate itself from the abortion affiliate, the state government stopped funding Planned Parenthood.

Since 2009, however, that has changed, which is why the lawsuit is filed against Planned Parenthood, and multiple government officials, including Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

According to ADF legal counsel Natalie Decker, the fact that Planned Parenthood sent funds to the abortion affiliate should have convinced McCallin of the merits of the case. "The State of Colorado and the Denver court acknowledged that about $1.4 million of state taxpayer dollars, in addition to millions of 'federal' tax dollars, flowed from Colorado government agencies through Planned Parenthood to its abortion affiliate," said Decker.

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"Without even having the facts of the case developed, the Denver court seems to have granted motions to dismiss filed by the State of Colorado and Planned Parenthood on grounds the term 'indirectly' could not mean what Ms. Norton and Governor Owens said it meant in 2002 when they defunded Planned Parenthood."

"That, of course, is the plain meaning of Colo. Const., Art. V, § 50 which was implemented by the citizens of Colorado, and the reason for Ms. Norton’s lawsuit."

Decker told LifeSiteNews that "Colorado law is very clear," and that the state law "prohibits Colorado tax dollars from being used to directly or indirectly pay for induced abortions."

She says her client "has been denied the opportunity to fully develop the facts of the case and demonstrate exactly what the Colorado tax dollars have been used for." Similarly, says Decker, it is not known "exactly what those funds were used for. At this time, there is simply no way to conclude that tax dollars have not been used to directly pay for abortions or abortion inducing drugs and devices."

"What we do know is that millions of Colorado tax dollars have flowed through Planned Parenthood to its abortion affiliate, which leads to the inescapable conclusion that those tax dollars are being used to indirectly pay for abortions."

A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains did not return multiple requests for comment about the lawsuit.

The dismissal comes as Planned Parenthood fights an investigation by the state's Republican attorney general over a video by Live Action, as well as a lawsuit by a mother whose 13-year old daughter had an abortion in 2012 that she alleges was covered up by Planned Parenthood. The girl, who was being abused by her stepfather, was abused for months after the abortion.

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Steve Weatherbe

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Fledgling high-tech pro-life group marks 2,000 babies saved: 2-3 saved per day

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Online for Life, the Dallas-based pro-life marketing agency, saved its two-thousandth unborn baby earlier this year and is well on its way to saving its three thousandth by 2015.

“We are getting better all the time at what we do,” says founder Brian Fisher. “It used to be one baby saved every four to six weeks and now its two or three a day.”

But the most significant save? “It was the very first one,” he says, recalling the phone call from a crisis centre a month after OFL’s 2012 startup.  “And for me personally it was just a massive turning point … because [of] all the work and the money and testing and the volunteers and everything that led up to that moment. All the frustration of that was washed away in an instant because a child had been rescued that was about to be killed.”

Though increasing market savvy has led Online for Life to expand offline, the core of the non-profit, donor-financed operation remains SEO -- search engine optimization -- targeting young women who have just discovered they are pregnant and gone onto the Web to find the nearest abortion clinic.

Instead, they find the nearest crisis pregnancy center at the top of their results page. Since OFL went online it has linked with a network of 41 such centers, including two of its own it started this year, in a positive feedback loop that reinforces effective messaging first at the level of the Web, then at the first telephone call between the clinic and the pregnant woman, and finally at the first face-to-face meeting.

“Testing is crucial,” says Fisher. “We test everything we do.” Early on, Online for Life insisted the clinics it served have an ultrasound machine, because the prevailing wisdom in the prolife movement was that “once they saw their baby on ultrasound, they would drop the idea of having an abortion.” While the organization still insists on the ultrasound, its own testing and feedback from the CPCs indicates that three quarters of the women they see already have children. “They’ve already seen their own children on ultrasound and are still planning to abort.” So ultrasound images have lost their punch.

OFL has had to move offline to reach a significant minority who have neither computers, tablets, or cell phones.  Traditional electronic media spots as well as bus ads and billboards carry the message to them.

As well, says Fisher, “unwanted pregnancy used to be a high-school age problem; now that’s gone down in numbers and the average age of women seeking abortion has gone up to 24.” By that age, he says, they are “thoroughly conditioned by the abortion culture. Even before they got pregnant, they have already decided they would have an abortion if they did get pregnant.”

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What they need—and fast, in the first two minutes of the first phone call—is sympathy, support, and a complete absence of judgement. Online for Life is always gathering information from its network on what responses are most effective—and this can vary city to city. The organization offers training to clinic volunteers and staff that stresses a thorough knowledge of the services on tap. “Any major city has all sorts of services—housing, education, health—available,” says Fisher.

The problem that OFL was designed to address was the crisis pregnancy centers’ market penetration. Three percent of women with unwanted pregnancies were reaching out to the CPCs, and seven per cent of those who did reach out were having their babies. “So about 2.1 children were being saved for every 1,000 unwanted pregnancies,” says Fisher. “That’s not nearly enough.”

So Fisher and two fellow volunteers dreamed of applying online marketing techniques to the problem in 2009. Three years later Fisher was ready to leave his executive position at an online marketing agency to go full-time with the life-saving agency. Now they have 63 employees, most of them devoted to optimizing the penetration in each of the markets served by their participating crisis centers.

The results speak for themselves. Where OFL has applied its techniques, especially with its own clinics, as many as 15-18 percent of the targeted population of women seeking abortions get directed to nearby crisis pregnancy centers. “It depends on the centres’ budgets and on how many volunteers they have to be on the phones through the day and night,” he says. “But we are going to push it higher. We hope to save our 2,500th child by the end of the year.”

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Shock: UK mom abandons disabled daughter, keeps healthy son after twin surrogacy

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By Pete Baklinski

A UK woman who is the biological mother of twins born from a surrogate mom, has allegedly abandoned one of the children because she was born with a severe muscular condition, while taking the girl's healthy sibling home with her.

The surrogate mother, also from the UK — referred to as "Jenny" to protect her identity — revealed to The Sun the phone conversation that took place between herself and the biological mother over the fate of the disabled girl.

“I remember her saying to me, “She’d be a f****** dribbling cabbage! Who would want to adopt her? No one would want to adopt a disabled child,’” she said.

Jenny, who has children of her own, said she decided to become a surrogate to “help a mother who couldn’t have children.” She agreed to have two embryos implanted in her womb and to give birth for £12,000 ($20,000 USD).

With just six weeks to the due date, doctors told Jenny she needed an emergency caesarean to save the babies. It was not until a few weeks after the premature births that the twin girl was diagnosed with congenital myotonic dystrophy.

When Jenny phoned the biological mother to tell her of the girl’s condition, the mother rejected the girl.

Jenny has decided along with her partner to raise the girl. They have called her Amy.

“I was stunned when I heard her reject Amy,” Jenny said. “She had basically told me that she didn’t want a disabled child.”

Jenny said she felt “very angry” towards the girl’s biological parents. "I hate them for what they did.”

The twins are now legally separated. A Children and Family Court has awarded the healthy boy to the biological mother and the disabled girl to her surrogate.

The story comes about two weeks after an Australian couple allegedly abandoned their surrogate son in Thailand after he was born with Down syndrome, while taking the healthy twin girl back with them to Australia.

Rickard Newman, director of Family Life, Pro-Life & Child and Youth Protection in the Diocese of Lake Charles, called the Australian story a “tragedy” that “results from a marketplace that buys and sells children.”

“Third-party reproduction is a prism for violations against humanity. IVF and the sperm trade launched a wicked industry that now includes abortion, eugenics, human trafficking, and deliberate family fragmentation,” he said. 

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