“Immediatist v Incrementalist” debate analysis: Prologue

aha-debate-e1430057755276He asked for it, he got it.

Several months ago Abolish Human Abortion’s T. Russell Hunter issued an open challenge to anyone from the pro-life community to debate him on the topic of “immediatism,” which he supports, versus “incrementalism,” which the so-called “establishment” generally supports. His description of the debate frame:

I would argue for the abolitionist position – that all people who are opposed to abortion ought to unify around abolishing all forms of intentional prenatal destruction regardless of the age of the human being in question – and my opponent could argue for the pro life establishment’s position that we should focus our time and energy on regulating abortion while it remains legal and seek incremental gains against it.

Gregg Cunningham of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform eventually accepted Hunter’s challenge, and the debate was held this past Friday, April 25.

(Cunningham also rejected Hunter’s premise that incrementalism is an “either/or” thing, a concept it is actually immediatists who espouse. I find it inexplicable that they not only ignore opportunities but block attempts to save children from abortion now, thinking it is only principled to work to stop all abortions at one time in the future. But as Cunningham stated more than once, “We don’t do one or the other, we do both.”)

You can view video of the debate here. It totals almost three hours, but I think the last hour of Q&A could be skipped without missing much. Otherwise, it’s an interesting thing to watch.

14abA bunch of us around the country and Canada viewed it “together,” so to speak, via live stream, and the consensus was Cunningham won the debate hands down. How hands down? Nixon’s stunning debate defeat to Kennedy comes to mind. Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform’s Jonathon Van Maren called it an “out-and-out mauling.”

Hunter came ill-prepared to support his actual premise, that pro-life incrementalism hasn’t and doesn’t work, and Cunningham quickly disproved Hunter’s claim that immediatism is buttressed by historical figures like William Wilberforce, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, Jr. None of the aforementioned were immediatists in practice. They were incrementalists.

Which is where Hunter’s thesis fell apart. He quoted their writings, which expressed an absolutist view against slavery and segregation, but ignored their work, which demonstrated an incremental approach.

By example, someone looking back at my writings some day will readily conclude I abhor all abortions, oppose the rape/incest exception, and think abortion clinics come from the pits of hell.

Yet in practice I support a 20-week abortion ban, some legislation with rape/incest exceptions, and abortion clinic regulations. These are means to get to the end: stopping all abortions. Again, incrementalists work to stop all abortions while at the same time working to save the babies we can along the way.

The reason I’m taking the time to dissect this debate here, and in another post or two or three, is because I believe AHA and Hunter’s immediatist view is not only wrong, it’s dangerous and deadly, resulting in the senseless deaths of children.

So if you consider this mere internecine bickering, I don’t. In my opinion, lives hang in the balance.

This was exemplified clearly in the debate, which I’ll get to in my next post.

But we weren’t the only ones who thought Hunter fared poorly. He thought so, too. Some of his initial Facebook comments:

  • Wish I did better in last nights debate and kept the focus on immediatism instead of letting it run all over the place and of course, there were a lot of things I wanted to say or shoulda woulda could have said….
  • Definitely my first [debate]….
  • I was getting pretty rilled up at times and actually holding a lot back.
  • I was dead tired and dealing with all sorts of strange spiritual warfare issues and family difficulties so I was not anywhere as sharp as I needed to be.
  • Because it is quite difficult to explain the difference between immediatism and incrementalism while someone is constantly calling you a pharisee, accusing you of hating babies and repeatedly telling you that they regulate abortion better than you do, I have decided to finish this powerpoint presentation and put it up in its entirety for people to evaluate and assess.
  • I’m a better drawer than debater….
  • I didn’t get to half of [my arguments] and was to rushed and distracted to nail Gregg where I should have.
  • Then Gregg got up, said that he and his organization were awesome and uncompromising and that I was a meanie head on Facebook…. Greg then said that I was stupid and that he was awesome…. He held up that paper again and said that I completely disregarded the lives of all children ever saved from abortion and that I was a monster (but that he loved me and respected my work etc etc).

buttercupAs an aside, even a cursory viewing of the debate will show Gregg was strong but behaved like a gentleman. Apparently, for all the verbal bombs he throws online, Hunter can’t handle hand-to-hand combat.

But as someone wrote to NYC Mayor de Blasio, who recently complained people are mean to him at baseball games, “Toughen up, buttercup.”

At any rate, by last night Hunter had recovered his mojo, writing, “I’m starting to realize that the debate went far better than I realized,” this, he said, because he’d heard people like me were ‘totally freaking out and making promises to write articles.”

I’m totally freaking out, all right, for the babies Hunter and his followers fight to leave in the hands of abortionists.

Stay tuned for “Part II: Let babies die today, we can save the rest later.”

And meanwhile, watch the debate and tell me what you think.

[HT for research help: Tom H.]

Pro-life vid of day: Couple refused to abort any of girl quints

by Hans Johnson

Adam and Danielle Busby had success using intrauterine insemination (IUI) to have daughter Blayke, so several years later they used the same method to try for another child. But they didn’t expect to have five at once.

They were prodded to selectively reduce three of the girls, but put their faith in God instead, and the babies had strong heartbeats throughout the pregnancy and were born in Houston as the first surviving all-girl quintuplets in the U.S.

KHOU reported the births:

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The Busbys appeared on Fox News with daughter Blayke.

Email dailyvid@jillstanek.com wih your video suggestions.

[HT: LauraLoo]

The Geneva Declaration on Perinatal Care


I’ve just signed something important called the Geneva Declaration on Perinatal Care. It reminded me of why I came involved in the pro-life movement in the first place.

logoThe Declaration, which can be signed by medical practitioners and researchers, is part of a new initiative by a group of parents under the banner Every Life Counts. They want medics (and everyone else) to stop using the phrase “incompatible with life” when giving a diagnosis of a life-limiting condition for an unborn baby – and with good reason.

They argue that the phrase is not a medical diagnosis, and they are right, it’s not. It doesn’t tell the parents anything about the baby’s condition, and it doesn’t inform families or help them deal with this devastating diagnosis.

As these parents point out, the phrase has become a label, and they compellingly argue that attaching this “incompatible with life” label to an unborn baby with a severe disability can have “lethal consequences.”

The lethal consequence before birth is an often relentless push towards abortion when conditions such as anencephaly and Trisomy 13 are diagnosed. Every Life Counts spokeswoman Tracy Harkin quotes research published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics that shows almost two-thirds of parents in these situation felt under pressure to abort their babies. She also refers to the findings of the Bruce Inquiry in Britain, which found parents felt pressure to abort after a disability was diagnosed, and they were not given information about palliative care and support for them and for their baby.

downloadThere can really be no disputing these findings when we consider the horrific reality of the percentages of babies with a disability who are aborted before birth – and these are almost always late-term abortions. Up to 90% of unborn babies with Down Syndrome are aborted and the numbers are depressingly similar for babies with conditions such as anencephaly.

These shocking rates may be, as Harkin says, because more positive alternatives such as perinatal hospice are not shared with families, and the most up-to-date research on these conditions is not relayed to them, such as the study published in Pediatrics which showed that 97% of families who brought their children with Trisomy 13 or 18 to term described their children as a happy children. Parents also reported these children enriched their families irrespective of the length of their lives.

Every Life Counts argues that language matters, and that late-term abortion is often justified as a “treatment” for these babies, whose short lives should be filled with love and their parents given support.

I know that’s true. I’ve seen how this sort of language – and the attitude that accompanies it – has changed medical practice for the worse.

Many of the second and third trimester abortions I observed or heard about at Christ Hospital were for reasons of disability. I have no doubt some of the children who survived abortion and were left to suffer and die in the soiled utility closet had been described as “incompatible with life.”

But they were alive and kicking when they received that diagnosis. Abortion, not their condition, is what took their lives away.

Some 380 medical practitioners and 37 disability and advocacy NGOs have already signed on to the Geneva Declaration on Perinatal Care, presumably because they know that medical professionals need to get behind this initiative for change if we are to bring about an end to lethal discrimination against unborn babies with disabilities.

I’m glad to be one of them.

If you are a medical professional or researcher you can sign the Declaration here.

Pro-life vid of day: The central issue in the abortion debate

by Kelli

Ratio Christi-Wilmington shares a YouTube video of Dr. Mike Adams, a former liberal pro-choicer and current Townhall columnist and UNCW professor, giving his defense of the pro-life position:

Dr. Mike Adams… makes the case that most arguments for abortion beg the question on the central issue in the debate, which is: What are the unborn? He argues that there is no essential difference between the adults present in the room and the unborn babies they once were, which would justify terminating their lives at any earlier stage of development.

In his talk, he shows a 1-minute clip of the victims of abortion. The video is lengthy but engaging and well worth watching:

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Email dailyvid@jillstanek.com with your video suggestions.

Hillary Clinton’s “guns and religion” moment on abortion

Clintonby Carder

Regardless of how one feels about gay rights or the abortion debate, it is interesting that liberals are finally getting around to openly confessing something all of us sort of know — yet few will say out loud: Achieving a liberal social agenda will necessarily require first extirpating many “deep-seated” Christian values and tenets.

~ Matt Lewis, analyzing presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s recent pro-abortion speech to the Women in the World Summit in which she states, “Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will, and deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed,” via The Daily Caller, April 24

[HT: Hot Air]

Stanek Sunday quote: Jesus the pragmatist

shrewdsnakes_1x-1Then the Pharisees met together to plot how to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested. They sent some of their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod, to meet with him.

“Teacher,” they said, “we know how honest you are. You teach the way of God truthfully. You are impartial and don’t play favorites. Now tell us what you think about this: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

But Jesus knew their evil motives. “You hypocrites!” he said. “Why are you trying to trap me? Here, show me the coin used for the tax.” When they handed him a Roman coin, he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?”

[Read the rest of this entry...]

Sunday funnies 4-26-15

Good morning, and Happy Sunday! Here were my top five favorite political cartoons this week. Be sure to vote for your fav in the poll at the bottom of this post!

by Lisa Benson at GoComics.com
 by (liberal) Nick Anderson at GoComics.com

[Read the rest of this entry...]

Pro-abortion politician called out for contradictory statements on value of life

Minister-Lisa-Hanna-Official-Web-471x600Only two hours apart, last week, the minister of youth and culture contradicted herself and rendered her empathy empty, hollow and superficial.

She chastised the killing of the three teenage boys in Clarendon, stating the act shows that the perpetrators “[had] no feelings, compassion or love and do not value human life, especially that of our children”. Laws and regulations alone cannot help to address violence against children, she said.

Yet only two hours before… she vociferously called for the country to murder children by changing our anti-abortion laws. As if speaking from a feminist perspective, she stated that the anti-abortion laws perpetuate poverty among women and children.

~ Letter to the editor, The Gleaner, calling out Jamaica MP Lisa Hanna (pictured right), also that country’s Minister of Youth and Culture, for contradictory statements on the value of human life, April 25

Pro-life blog buzz 4-24-15

pro-lifeby Susie Allen, host of the blog, Pro-Life in TN, and Kelli

  • Saynsumthn’s Blog writes of another 911 call from an abortion clinic – this time in Bakersfield, California. The abortionist on duty at the time was Karen Mann, who is also believed to have been the doctor on duty in March when a husband “was forced to call 911 to get help for his wife after her abortion at that facility.”
[Read the rest of this entry...]

Pro-life vid of the day: The real bloodiest day in America

by Kelli

Stand to Reason discusses apologetics and issues in our society from a Christian perspective. On his February 17, 2015 podcast, STR founder Greg Koukl, who is an adoptive father, shared his thoughts on abortion and adoption. Greg shares something that those of us who have worked at pregnancy resource centers have personally experienced:

Many women would rather kill their child than give their child up for adoption…. Those of you who are working in this business know the girls that will say, “Oh no, I could never do that to my child!” (speaking of adoption) but would readily consider abortion.

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Email dailyvid@jillstanek.com with your video suggestions.


Who Is Jill Stanek?

Jill Stanek is a nurse turned speaker, columnist and blogger, a national figure in the effort to protect both preborn and postborn innocent human life.

Read Jill's full bio »
What the Media says »

by Kelli


The other reason the GOP’s presidential nominee should go on the offense on abortion is that the Democratic Party’s abortion platform is extreme — and its likely presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is no exception. Democratic presidential candidates typically support abortion measures that a majority of Americans find extremely distasteful, like late-term abortions, federal abortion subsidies, abolishing parental notifications, and so on.

Now, of course, the media will never let voters know this. But this is all the more reason to turn the tables on them. That’s what ads are for. That’s what debate stages are for.

The next GOP presidential nominee should therefore adopt the following strategy. First, he or she should give a speech that, while emphasizing his or her strong pro-life views, acknowledges the profound division of Americans on the issue and commits to only supporting abortion restrictions that are supported by a majority of the public.

Then, he or she should attack Hillary Clinton for her extreme positions on abortion. Phrases like “in the pocket of the multibillion dollar Planned Parenthood abortion business” should be used as a matter of course. The key is to refuse to back down or prevaricate during the ensuing media firestorm: the GOP candidate is the moderate candidate on abortion, but Hillary Clinton has extreme positions on abortion, and the American people have a right to know it.

~ Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, The Week, April 27

[Photo via winteryknight.wordpress.com]

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