New Stanek WND column, "Pro-life movement: Both ends against the middle"

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I regret to report it was pro-life dissidents who caused the defeat of the South Dakota abortion ban initiative and worsened the lopsided trouncing of the Colorado personhood amendment. According to Medical News Today:

The defeat of abortion ballot measures across the country... may have been the result of divisions among anti-abortion groups....

Opposition to the measure in South Dakota came from the anti-abortion groups American Life League and South Dakota Right to Life....

In Colorado, the failed Amendment 48 measure... found opposition from Americans United For Life and National Right to Life....

Pro-lifers and pro-aborts on the same side? Hello?

The fact is groups at both ends of the pro-life ideological spectrum are actively sabotaging pro-life efforts with which they disagree, bound by a common fault: perfectionism....

Continue reading my column, "Pro-life movement: Both ends against the middle," on WorldNetDaily.com.


Comments:

Our differences are so deep, Jill, we are no longer on the same side.

Even if what you wrote were true, that 99% of legal abortions would have been prevented, it is still unacceptable.

Posted by: Dan H. at November 20, 2008 6:33 AM


Dan, although I think we're on the same side - we both want to save babies' lives from abortion - what you write is unfathomable to me.

You knowingly would approve of letting 99% die for the 1% we can't stop from dying anyway. I honestly don't get it.

I've actually seen these babies marked for death. That's likely "our differences" actually are. You're operating from a perspective of legalistic theory, not reality.

And I must say I think you're heartless. I can picture those 675 South Dakota babies in a room that you walked away from or perhaps even helped condemn to death by opposing the SD ban. You support their killing because we can't save 75 of their peers?

But it's worse than that. You support the killing of their entire family tree, all generations coming from them.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at November 20, 2008 6:39 AM


Can we say the Kiss of Judas?

Posted by: carder at November 20, 2008 6:43 AM


Jill, I admire your work but strongly disagree with your column about the South Dakota and Colorado pro-life initiatives.

Pro-life initiatives ALWAYS fail on Election Day. Anyone who spends just a little time analyzing this knows that initiatives are VERY HURTFUL to our pro-life cause. When the initiatives fail, as they always do, they bring down our pro-life candidates at the same time. People who vote against the initiatives tend to vote against our candidates.

Initiatives can raise a little money and attract attention to the group that pushes them, despite their failure. That is so short-sighted and self-interested. The folks pushing the S.D. initiative lost two years ago. Did they learn their lesson? No, they tried again with predictable results. The failure in Colorado was likewise predictable, and it brought down McCain and a superb pro-life candidate for Senate. Our cause was really hurt by that.

A couple more initiatives and there will be nothing left in terms of pro-life elected officials.

Please don't support pro-life initiatives.

Posted by: Andy Schlafly at November 20, 2008 6:53 AM


Andy,

Thanks for writing, but your blanket statement on pro-life initiatives and candidates is incorrect, as was your analysis in general.

South Dakota voters said in 2006 they would support a ban with a rape/incest exception. That vote failed 56-44%. In 2008 pro-life organizations told their members to oppose the imperfect ban. McCain won by 8% but the ban failed 55-44%. It would have passed if not for pro-lifers. So I don’t agree pro-life initiatives “ALWAYS” fail, at least if pro-lifers would work together.

In California Obama won while the marriage referendum passed that he and his party opposed. People don’t vote straight ticket on candidates and initiatives.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at November 20, 2008 6:55 AM


I am standing and applauding your commentary. I hope the attacks don’t come to hard at you because of this, I used to work for one of those hard line organizations and I can just see them foaming at the mouth when they read this. Good for you for telling like it is.

Posted by: anonymous at November 20, 2008 6:59 AM


With oppponents like you, who needs Planned Parenthood?

All Cecile has to do is kick back and watch the fur fly.

Posted by: carder at November 20, 2008 7:00 AM


Hi Anonymous. Please pick a name so that we know who we're talking to. Jill's policy.

Before being a regular at Jill's, I had no idea that there were self-proclaimed prolifers who would reject prolife measures!

Reminds me of the parable of the talents. Each was given an amount, and the guy with the smallest amount chickened out because he feared the wrath of his Master. So like a loon he buried it and did NOTHING.

Not only are you doing nothing, but you have the gall to get in the way of others trying to do the work that you refuse to do! And look how frutiful that's been: more dead children.

Listen, if you don't want to use your talents, give'em to Jill. I'm positive she'll put them to work.

Posted by: carder at November 20, 2008 7:09 AM


Even if what you wrote were true, that 99% of legal abortions would have been prevented, it is still unacceptable.

Dan H., how can you be willing to let hundreds of babies die each year - that could be prevented- while you wait for this perfect ban? Don't those children in the meantime matter too?

I would like to hear any of you address Jill's point about the Titanic. What would you do in that situation, with only half as many boats as needed for all the people? Would you get together and decide that every person on the ship should die because making the decision to save some would allow some people to die, and therefore it would be an imperfect decision? Would you allow all of the people to sink and die, rather than saving who you could?

Posted by: Bethany at November 20, 2008 7:10 AM


Gee, Bethany, looks like you're going to have to shut down that Crisis Pregnancy Center because by golly, you're not supporting every single woman out there who needs help, so it's really all a waste of time, you know. I want my baby formula back, thank you very much!

/end sarc

Posted by: carder at November 20, 2008 7:16 AM


Jill,

Although we have disagreed previously about exceptions, your commentary today about the defeat of the bills in South Dakota and Colorado not only persists with a position that has been problematic for the cause, but also, I believe, throws fuel on the fire by being divisive.

I respect you very much and appreciate the role you have had in fighting for the lives of the preborn. But the American Life League is 100% right in their position on exceptions. Your characterization of their, and my, position is not only incorrect, but damaging. We have been trying to win pro-lifers over to a "No Compromise" position for years, and this commentary marginalizes us as ones who sacrifice lives in our demand for perfection. The "No Exceptions" campaign is not perfectionism, it is about integrity, about consistency, and being faithful to God and the babies who will be killed.

I doubt I need to explain to you (again) the position and why we believe it is important. I have done so previously and I'm sure I am not alone. But, in a nutshell, we are not interested in championing legislation that will be ineffective in saving lives, and, more importantly, we are not willing to trade the lives of certain babies for others. It makes me think of Schindler's List. Which ones to save if we can't save them all? It isn't a position that opposes incrementalism. Incremental measures are great if they are effective and do not affirm the murder of certain babies to save others.

I respect that you have a different opinion about this, but I am disappointed in the way you have misrepresented our position.

Posted by: Shawn at November 20, 2008 7:24 AM


Shawn,

Your side did actual damage this election cycle. You stopped the SD Abortion Ban. This was not “ineffective legislation.” It would have saved 741 lives. (The last SD abortion statistics showed 748 were killed in 2006, and this ban would have saved 99% of them.)

By so doing it was not giving permission or “affirmed” the deaths of the other 7 babies. You give our side credit for power we don’t have. How much we care for those 7 doesn’t matter. They’re going to be legally killed anyway. Your side is now directly responsible for the deaths of all 750. Shawn, frankly you make no sense. You’re being “faithful to God and the babies who will be killed” by working to extend the mass killing of babies?

And our “integrity” is not at stake, whatever that means to you. Read your Bible. Your principles are legalistic and counterproductive. People constantly lied to save lives, and that was ok with God – the Israelite midwives, Rahab, Jonathan, Michal, etc.

Shawn, I have no problem with you pursuing your “No Exceptions” campaign. Go for it where you can. I won’t demonize your efforts. In fact, I support them. Read all my posts supporting the CO personhood initiative. But return the favor. Stop sabotaging efforts with which you disagree. That is so not pro-life. And stop whining that the movement would only win if it listened to you. It seems to me this is an excuse for you not to show success. Put your money where your mouth is and exert some effort and win somewhere instead of expending your energy to disparage incrementalists and their efforts. That is such a waste of your money and time.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at November 20, 2008 7:26 AM


Great article as usual. And welcome to pro-life reality. This crap has been going on since the beginning of the movement. "We have seen the enemy and they are us."

Fr Frank has always said the greatest detriment to the pro-life movement is division within.

In 2001, I was at a pro-life retreat hosted by Fr Frank and a debate broke out about "incrementalism" vs "all or nothing." Fr Frank gave a poignant talk showing that incrementalism is not abandoning our absolute moral principles.

I, of course, am an incrementalist. The Catholic Church has a doctrine that allows for incrementalism, (EV) but unfortunately many bishops use "all or nothing" to not support certain initiatives. But of course it is all about timidity - a rationalization.

Here is the reality.

Every pro-lifer is an incrementalist; even Judie Brown, the leader of the "all or nothing" crowd. Here is why...

Until someone is doing absolutely everything in their power to save every baby's life at every abortion mill or at every opportunity, bar none, that person is accepting less than "all or nothing," thus an incrementalist.

We are all incrementalists in some way shape or form because here is the absolute reality: THERE HAS NOT BEEN ONE PURE MARTYR IN THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT SINCE ITS INCEPTION. MARTYRDOM IS THE ONLY PURE "ALL OR NOTHING" POSITION!

The use of the "all or nothing" argument legislatively and not in all pro-life activism is sheer prideful hypocrisy and unfortunately the pro-life movement is full of prideful hypocrisy.

That is why if Christ appears today, the 2nd coming, with the remains of aborted babies at His feet as far as the eye can see (how I envision it) and asks us all, "What did you do about this," my answer is going to be "Forgive me Lord, for I did not do near enough. Please have mercy on me, I did not lay down my life for my friends."

Lord, have mercy on us all and grant me the courage and grace to be martyred some day for your babies.

KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK! YOU ARE THE BEST! Love you much. God bless you and all you do.

Posted by: Fr. Steve at November 20, 2008 7:33 AM


One of the best articles I've read from you. I'm sure it will be forwarded far and wide in the pro-life community. You did a GREAT job, and I'm sure it will help pro-lifers to see the big picture much more clearly!

Peace from an incrementalist who was A-OK with the South Dakota measure.

Posted by: JeffE at November 20, 2008 7:36 AM


I haven't heard it articulated this way, but it seems that the "purists" might believe that incremental legislation makes abortion more palatable and thus makes a complete ban less possible. In that view, therefore, these efforts that restrict but don't eliminate abortion might actually work against an eventual abortion ban.

Although there is some logic to that, I am one who doesn't think a total ban on abortion ever will (or should) come about. So, from my perspective, Jill's view seems more persuasive. My only disagreement with Jill's analysis is that these bans, like South Dakota's, won't "save" the number of lives you think. Some women will go to other states or Canada, and some will find a way to get around the law in South Dakota. I will agree, however, that some will decide not to abort if it were outlawed in their state. How many, I have no idea.

Posted by: hal at November 20, 2008 7:41 AM


"Lord, have mercy on us all and grant me the courage and grace to be martyred some day for your babies."

Forgive my ignorance, but what does this mean?

Posted by: hal at November 20, 2008 7:45 AM


But my problem is more with the purist hardliners. They're irrational. They ignore arguments comparing the incremental approach, with which I agree – saving babies when we can until we can save them all – to the Underground Railroad or the Oscar Schindlers and Corrie ten Booms of the Holocaust.

Jill, my question for you is with whom are we compromising?

Have pro-aborts ever told pro-lifers that they'd agree to abortion bans if they could only kill children conceived in rape or incest? The answer to that is obvious. Furthermore, have you ever seen pro-aborts waiver on their hard line approach to abortion at all? Again, the answer to that is also obvious. The problem is within the pro-life movement itself and our willingness to sacrifice, on the altar of political expediency, some innocent children for the sake of saving others. We are the ones who undermine ourselves -- no one else. Jill, the problem is NOT with those who recognize that all children are created in the image and likeness of God, and that everyone of them is worthy of protection -- no exceptions. The problem is that incrementalists, like yourself, endorse and encourage laws that would legally permit the slaughter of some innocent lives. How is this good? Would you endorse and celebrate a law that would allow for the execution of a criminal that might not be guilty of a capital crime? Of course not. But you would permit for the execution of innocent children under the auspices of saving others, when absolutely no one demands that of us except us. For that matter, no child has any control over the circumstances by which he is conceived, so why stop with children conceived in rape or incest? See www.rebeccakiessling.com for a story of a woman conceived in rape.

Thirty five years of incrementalists at the helm has proven to be a bloody failure. Let us purists have our chance to advance Personhood Amendments that will protect ALL children, regardless of how God brought them into the world. Can I count on your support in our Personhood Amendment efforts?

Posted by: Judy Z. at November 20, 2008 7:49 AM


Judy,

Did you not read my entire column? Have you not read my blog posts? I fully supported and encouraged CO’s personhood amendment. I condemned the incrementalist hardliners fighting it.

You don’t get it. Pro-aborts don’t have to “waiver on their hard line approach.” THEY HAVE THE UPPER HAND. Abortion is legal in the U.S. throughout all 9 months of pregnancy for whatever reason, Judy. Why in the world would you wonder aloud if pro-aborts will give up any of that willingly?

“Willingness to sacrifice on the altar of political expediency”? Sacrifice what? 100% of babies marked for abortion in SD are going to be aborted, Judy. Who are we sacrificing by trying to save 99% of them? You’re trying to say we have any control over the other 1%?

Judy, with all due respect, you need to get a grip with reality. Incrementalists are not “endors[ing] and encourage[ing] any laws that would legally permit the slaughter of some innocent lives.” U.S. LAW already permits the slaughter of all of them. Again, ALL those innocent lives are already slated for death, Judy.

Trying to save some when we can is rational and Scripturally sound. Was Moses’ parents hiding him an encouragement to kill the other Israelite boys? Should Jesus’ parents not have escaped with him to Egypt because doing so endorsed the killing of the rest?

Posted by: Jill Stanek at November 20, 2008 7:52 AM


I just don't get the purist angle. I like Mary's comparison to Oskar Schindler. He couldn't save all 6 million, so should he have not saved any at all?

His survivors and their descendents number more than the entire Jewish population in Poland.

"He who saves one life, saves the world entire."

Posted by: prettyinpink at November 20, 2008 7:57 AM


Hal,

I'll try to answer that question from my perspective. I do not claim to speak for Fr. Steve. It just so happens that I breathed the same prayer on the morning of Nov. 5.

Basically, if I have to die in the process of saving these children from dying, then so be it. The physical sense, yes, but also the in the sense of ruining my reputation, taking the insults, bearing the brunt for defending the most defenseless.

That takes courage. And I'm woefully weak. So I asked God to grant me the grace to accept His will in the process, to stop thinking "What's in it for me?". Rather, lay down my life for my friends.

Incidentally, Dr. Nathanson began re-entertaining the reality of God when he saw countless peaceful protestors being hauled off.

Posted by: carder at November 20, 2008 8:03 AM


Good morning everyone!

It's great to see such serious early morning discussion!

Okay - I've had my coffee.

"A house divided cannot stand"

My own take on the SD initiative is based on the moral principle of double effect - the reason to pass the legislation is not to condemn those who will die anyway from rape cases, but to save those individuals who are not the result of rape.

When facing a no-win situation, choose the greater good. Dividing the house is complicity with evil.

A mother facing an ectopic pregnancy is not destroying the life of her child, but saving her own life - because both will die if she doesn't. It's not elective abortion.

Neither was this an elective initiative.

Here's a similar argument:

http://lti-blog.blogspot.com/2008/11/imperfect-candidates-formal-vs-material.html


One last comment. Some purists, in the case of an ectopic crisis, might advocate to let the woman die, because it is God's will.

That same logic tends to nullify God's plan of salvation, because His will is that none should perish, but some are willfully disobedient, and he guarantees they will perish for their disobedience.

The converse - if voting for the SD initiative is a sin, then Christ has already died for that sin and we are forgiven. We could while away the hours arguing over who's sin was greater, but there is work to do.

We need to be united in Christ and work toward's His glory.

The only way that happens is if we stand together as One Body.


Posted by: Chris Arsenault at November 20, 2008 8:08 AM


Before being a regular at Jill's, I had no idea that there were self-proclaimed prolifers who would reject prolife measures!

Carder, that's exactly how it was for me too. I had never heard of this purist/incrementalist debate until I started posting here. I was astonished when I first started seeing other pro-lifers attacking us. I never would have expected it.


Posted by: Bethany at November 20, 2008 8:09 AM


Will D. may not have had a chance to see my last post in this thread, but I asked him a question and I hope that some of you other purists can answer it for me.

I was informed by someone the other day that you support the ban of ALL third trimester abortions. Is this true?

Posted by: Bethany at November 20, 2008 8:12 AM


Bethany at November 20, 2008 8:12 AM
-----

Bethany - to clarify, do you mean genuine life-threatening situations? (non-elective opinion)

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at November 20, 2008 8:21 AM


Another comparison:

a catholic priest (was it a bishop?) wrote letters to the German government that actually did stop their Euthanasia program. Should he have let it go on, not protested the government about it at all, since he couldn't close down Auschwitz?

Posted by: prettyinpink at November 20, 2008 8:23 AM


Fr. Steve at November 20, 2008 7:33 AM

Excellent comment!

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at November 20, 2008 8:25 AM


Chris, I mean all third trimester abortions.

I'm trying to see if they will tell me if this is true or not. I was told that they would support such a ban.

If it is true, then it would be hypocritical of them, as this would indeed be an incremental law.

Posted by: Bethany at November 20, 2008 8:28 AM


PIP, 8:23, good question.

Posted by: Bethany at November 20, 2008 8:29 AM


Nick, today- probably right at this moment- there are babies dying in South Dakota- that could have been saved- because of the actions of people like you.

Posted by: Bethany at November 20, 2008 8:32 AM


hal at November 20, 2008 7:41 AM

Hal - I agree with you that abortion should not be banned - but must severely qualify that - there is a substantial difference in our opinions regarding usage: I am okay with various procedures being used on a dead fetus, provided the child died of natural causes and poses a life threatening medical risk to the mother. In such cases abortion properly terminates the pregnancy while not terminating the life of the child.

You're also correct that abortions will be sought elsewhere, but I think this reveals the conditions of the heart in such cases - with shame and guilt paving that path.

The sad truth is, no matter where an abortion is obtained, the memory and consequences linger through a lifetime. Some people try to deny that, such as yourself, but you have to admit that your own life would have been different if your own (known) two were not aborted.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at November 20, 2008 8:37 AM


Bethany at November 20, 2008 8:28 AM
---

Okay - right: any supported legislative ban without the whole kit and kaboodle would indicate an incremental approach.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at November 20, 2008 8:39 AM


I don't think people deny consequences of abortion. They decided to have an abortion for a reason, after all. They might, as I do, deny negative consequences.

Posted by: hal at November 20, 2008 8:41 AM


"Lord, have mercy on us all and grant me the courage and grace to be martyred some day for your babies."

Forgive my ignorance, but what does this mean?

Posted by: hal at November 20, 2008 7:45 AM
-----

From a Christian perspective, a martyr is a "witness" who is persecuted to the point of death, for "speaking truth to power". Basically giving everything you have - nothing held back.

That's unlike Islamic martyrdom which calls for physical battle.

Acts 7 in the New Testament describes the 1st martyr to follow Christ - Stephen.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at November 20, 2008 8:48 AM


Thank you Jill for continuing to fight the good fight!!

Posted by: Carla at November 20, 2008 8:57 AM


They might, as I do, deny negative consequences.
Posted by: hal at November 20, 2008 8:41 AM
----
Actually, to be honest, it's probably a weighted measure good to bad, because even positive choices over time may have some negative consequences, but the positive outlook is that the good outweighs the bad.

What you are suggesting is that the death of two lives had a positive consequence for you.

From my perspective, that makes your children martyrs.

Interesting - didn't really think about it like that before.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at November 20, 2008 9:00 AM


That is interesting, Chris.

Posted by: Bethany at November 20, 2008 9:01 AM


In the later stages of the civil war, the south was losing many men because they had no uniforms, no clothes to keep them warm. North Carolina a a huge surplus of uniforms, but would not share them out of a dedication to the principle of "state's rights".

Jefferson Davis commented that the Confederacy many become a "cause that is lost due to a principle".

Some prolifers seem to think in the same way as did North Carolina, let the fight against abortion fail in order to adhere to a principle.

More strict measures can always be passed in the future, when public opinion supports it. We need to support any measures that improve the present situation.

Posted by: Doyle at November 20, 2008 9:09 AM


Second sentence in above post should read "North Carolina HAD a huge surplus"

Posted by: Doyle at November 20, 2008 9:10 AM


"What you are suggesting is that the death of two lives had a positive consequence for you."

Why do you think people get abortions?

Posted by: hal at November 20, 2008 9:15 AM


Why do you think people get abortions?

Fear of the unknown.

Posted by: Bethany at November 20, 2008 9:26 AM


The news report is patently false, of course. Those in support of the SD measure killed their own effort. Watered down efforts have never succeeded because voters are not stupid. There is absolutely no relationship between SD and CO, but people will always read items like this the way they want to depending on the lens through which they view the reason why pro-life people strugglefor the babies.

Congratulations on your award!

Posted by: Judie Brown at November 20, 2008 9:46 AM


Judie, I couldn’t disagree more with your analysis.

In 2006 the nonwatered down SD abortion ban failed 56-44%, with many voters saying they would support a ban with rape/incest exceptions.

The 2008 SD effort with those exceptions failed by 5%. McCain won by 8%.

Had pro-lifers not fought it, it would have won. This failure not only doomed a SD abortion ban for good but likely doomed others in other states watching.

Thanks very much for your congrats!

Posted by: Jill Stanek at November 20, 2008 9:49 AM


Greetings. Luke 16.8 is doing all right.

We can't vote on these things on an issue by issue basis in Britain because we just have to vote for the lump. However, this doesn't make what is going on and on and on in Colorado and South Dakota any the less disgraceful.

It is my experience that the pro-life movement couldn't organise a booze-up in a brewery.

Posted by: Gareth at November 20, 2008 9:57 AM


Posted by: reality at November 20, 2008 9:57 AM


Just looked up Luke 16:8. Interesting:

"The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light."

In context:

1 Jesus told his disciples: "There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. 2 So he called him in and asked him, 'What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.' 3 "The manager said to himself, 'What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I'm not strong enough to dig, and I'm ashamed to beg-- 4 I know what I'll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.' 5 "So he called in each one of his master's debtors. He asked the first, 'How much do you owe my master?' 6 "'Eight hundred gallons of olive oil,' he replied. "The manager told him, 'Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred.' 7 "Then he asked the second, 'And how much do you owe?' "'A thousand bushels of wheat,' he replied. "He told him, 'Take your bill and make it eight hundred.' 8 "The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at November 20, 2008 10:07 AM


Jill, your latest piece really struck home. The more I get involved in these issues, the more it becomes clear to me that there are real problems in how we are fighting the battle, ergo, all the things you mentioned, as well as the spectacular defeat on WA I-1000, and so on.

We are bereft of critical mass because of these incredibly fractured groups.

I have a little "inside baseball" on WA state, and it was clear, months ago, that we would lose - the infighting caused such a lack of purpose that the I-1000 opponents might as well have stayed home - if they had, I don't think the defeat would have been much worse.

Posted by: Mark at November 20, 2008 10:17 AM


Incremental pro-life laws cannot be generalized as right or wrong. It's all in what is written in the law that makes it good or bad.

When I say "all or none" I don't think everyone gets my meaning. If we are to believe a baby conceived in a sexual assault is disposable, then a child conceived by two careless teenagers must be disposable as well. In God's eyes they are both equal. And we must recognize that and stick to our principle that all life is valuable. To write a law that says they are not equal is wrong.

Furthermore, how will four exceptions in South Dakota's abortion ban save almost all babies when one exception in Texas led to the death of 49 million in every state?

This "purist" sees that abortion-with-exception laws don't save lives but do the opposite... they affirm pre-born children as non-persons and thus, abortion is a legitimate procedure. If the law says some may die, the courts will review it and recognize that all may die. Knowing what happened in Texas helps me understand that exceptions, to put it bluntly, kill.

Posted by: Cranky Catholic at November 20, 2008 10:28 AM


When I say "all or none" I don't think everyone gets my meaning. If we are to believe a baby conceived in a sexual assault is disposable, then a child conceived by two careless teenagers must be disposable as well. In God's eyes they are both equal. And we must recognize that and stick to our principle that all life is valuable. To write a law that says they are not equal is wrong.

But what about those babies that are dying in the meantime? Why can't we have an imperfect law and continue to work towards a perfect law, so that SOME could be saved while we work towards saving them all? That law would have DEFINITELY helped at least a portion of the babies that are dying now in SD, if not a majority. And now ALL of those babies will die while we wait for this perfect law.

Why not save those that you can while you can and yet continue to work towards perfect laws? I just don't understand it.

Can you (or anyone) please answer my question at 7:10 AM, regarding Jill's point about the Titanic?

Posted by: Bethany at November 20, 2008 10:52 AM


I'm sorry but the Titanic and other analogies don't fit. In those situations you are not pointing out a specific group of people and telling them they aren't worth saving.

Here's an analogy that I think does fit the SD '08 abortion ban:

A terrorist takes over a daycare and holds the children hostage threatening to kill them all. We, the negotiators, tell the hostage-taker that we want to save all the little girls and that if he kills any of the boys in the process, we promise not prosecute him.

Posted by: Cranky Catholic at November 20, 2008 11:10 AM


I'm sorry but the Titanic and other analogies don't fit. In those situations you are not pointing out a specific group of people and telling them they aren't worth saving.

Actually, you are wrong, CC. They did point out a specific group (men) and say, "You wait. Women and children first".

Posted by: Bethany at November 20, 2008 11:11 AM


A terrorist takes over a daycare and holds the children hostage threatening to kill them all. We, the negotiators, tell the hostage-taker that we want to save all the little girls and that if he kills any of the boys in the process, we promise not prosecute him.

That is not analogous, because the terrorist has already killed 40 million children and counting.
He's not "threatening" to do anything. He's already doing it...and legally.

Posted by: Bethany at November 20, 2008 11:13 AM


A terrorist takes over a daycare and holds the children hostage threatening to kill them all. We, the negotiators, tell the hostage-taker that we want to save all the little girls and that if he kills any of the boys in the process, we promise not prosecute him.

Also, let's go with this analogy for a minute.

Would you tell the terrorist who is threatening to kill the children that if he wouldn't allow you to save ALL of the children, that he could kill all of them and you wouldn't do a thing to stop him?

Posted by: Bethany at November 20, 2008 11:23 AM


Until, of course, a future date at which you are able to save all of the future babies he is threatening to kill...

Posted by: Bethany at November 20, 2008 11:24 AM


And that would mean, he could kill ALL of the babies in the present time until you were able to save ALL of the FUTURE babies.

Posted by: Bethany at November 20, 2008 11:25 AM


I just don't get the purist angle. I like Mary's comparison to Oskar Schindler. He couldn't save all 6 million, so should he have not saved any at all?

His survivors and their descendents number more than the entire Jewish population in Poland.

"He who saves one life, saves the world entire."
Posted by: prettyinpink at November 20, 2008 7:57 AM
*****************************************

It's nice to be able to agree with you on something, PIP. ;)

And Jill, your comparisons to the lives saved in Scripture ring true, in my opinion. Thank you for your article.

Posted by: Kel at November 20, 2008 11:38 AM


All, sorry, our server had hardware problems. Chris and I have to reenter all comments between 10:28 and 10:52a. So some of your responses above will be to comments that come after. Sorry for the blip.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at November 20, 2008 11:48 AM


God calls us to do what we can.

Jesus said the poor we wil always have with us. Does that mean we shouldn't fight poverty?

Until Jesus comes back, nothing on earth will be perfect, not the pro-life movement, not anything. Why? Because satan is the ruler of this world and unitl he is eliminated we will always be in a fight.

Why does Paul admonish us to "fight the good fight of faith"?

Do you not believe that Jesus would have come to die for just one of us? Are all of us going to be saved?

Should Jesus not have come and lived and died and resurrect because He knew that not everyone would be saved?

May the Lord send the Holy Spirit to convict the hearts of purists to their extreme error and may He have mercy on their souls.

Posted by: HisMan at November 20, 2008 11:58 AM


Very thought provoking question, Hisman.

Posted by: Bethany at November 20, 2008 12:00 PM


How Many? How many pro-lifers are you all going to scare away before you get it. Its not about the law, its not about incremental or absolute. Its about you learning to lead people. Women running the pro-life movement causes more bickering than is rationally conceivable! Respect the dignity of the human person by respecting each other! Then get others to do the same. Motivate and Inspire, or Shut Up. Thank You.

Posted by: Pro-Life Newbie at November 20, 2008 12:00 PM


The absolutist position is irrational and immoral. We would try to save the lives of the 1% of children who are a product of rape or incest but cannot. The absolutists could save the other 99% of children but would refuse to do so. We would sacrifice no one whom we could save. They would sacrifice the 99% whom they could save. ONLY their position would needlessly sacrifice human beings who could otherwise be saved. We would save everyone we could; they would not. The absolutist position is therefore the one which is immoral and not pro-life.

Posted by: Joe at November 20, 2008 12:01 PM


Pro-life Newbie, bickering is for petty arguments. This is a very serious argument about actual human lives.

Posted by: Bethany at November 20, 2008 12:02 PM


The "purists" try to sound pragmatic by claiming that laws with exceptions make abortion more palatable and thus perpetuate it. But ask yourself this: if Roe v. Wade were overturned tomorrow, where do you think abortion would be more likely to be banned: SD, Louisiana, Mississsippi, or one of the other states which has piled up incrementalist law -- or states like California, New York, and New Jersey, where abortion has been preserved in its pristine state, untainted by any laws with exceptions? Duh. Not only does incremental legislation save lives now, but it lays the groundwork for further restrictions, by giving the lie to the pro-aborts' claim that women are going to be dying in the streets without abortion on demand. Do the purists really, REALLY, think we can go from over a million abortions a year to zero, literally overnight? That is what they are proposing: one day no restrictions, next day total ban. Do they REALLY believe that? Loved the post from Fr. Steve re Fr. Pavone. BTW, whatever happened to Evangelium Vitae #73?

Posted by: Florence at November 20, 2008 12:03 PM


And by the way if a person is scared away from being pro-life by hearing this discussion, then they were never pro-life for the right reasons.

Posted by: Bethany at November 20, 2008 12:03 PM


"BTW, whatever happened to Evangelium Vitae #73?" Great point, Florence. The following paragraph from paragraph 73 of Evangelium Vitae is most applicable: "A particular problem of conscience can arise in cases where a legislative vote would be decisive for the passage of a more restrictive law, aimed at limiting the number of authorized abortions, in place of a more permissive law already passed or ready to be voted on. Such cases are not infrequent. It is a fact that while in some parts of the world there continue to be campaigns to introduce laws favouring abortion, often supported by powerful international organizations, in other nations-particularly those which have already experienced the bitter fruits of such permissive legislation-there are growing signs of a rethinking in this matter. In a case like the one just mentioned, when it is not possible to overturn or completely abrogate a pro-abortion law, an elected official, whose absolute personal opposition to procured abortion was well known, could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality. This does not in fact represent an illicit cooperation with an unjust law, but rather a legitimate and proper attempt to limit its evil aspects."

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at November 20, 2008 12:03 PM


Joe 12:01, excellent post.

Posted by: Bethany at November 20, 2008 12:04 PM


You incrementalists are missing the point. Your approach has been a collosal, complete FAILURE after T-H-I-R-T-Y F-I-V-E (35) Y-E-A-R-S of trying your strategy. When you finally realize that we are on the same team, and stop working against us "purists" when we are trying to end abortion through a new strategy with personhood initiatives, then perhaps we will get somewhere. Until then, we can expect another 35 years of this holocaust.

Posted by: DeSoto at November 20, 2008 12:22 PM


The difference between pragmatists and absolutists: Pragmatists would save everyone and sacrifice no one; absolutists would save no one and sacrifice everyone.

Posted by: Joe at November 20, 2008 12:24 PM


Jill, before commenting on your purist/incrementalist column, congratulations on winning Ray Ruddy's $100,000 pro-life award. You note that one of the prize advisors was Denver's Archbishop Charles Chaput, who of course publicly opposed Colorado's personhood amendment that attempted to recognize in law that personhood begins at the moment of fertilization.

I'm going to write something indisputable here about the purist/incrementalist divide: The incrementalists have long opposed significant pro-life groups, legislation, and leaders *for tactical reasons* (wrong timing, wrong approach, too militant, etc.). The "purists" oppose incrementalists *for moral reasons* (we have no right to recognize permission to kill some kids in order to try to save others).

That's my indisputable observation. God gives us enormous tactical latitude, and no moral latitude. As succinctly as I can, I will list why groups like American Right To Life oppose regulations, and then I will apply these ideas to even the Born Alive Infant Protection Act that you championed. This may be hard for you to read.

Jill, you are wrong to report that the purists oppose incrementalism. As American Right To Life's widely reported full-page open letters have always stated, "Incrementalism is fine; compromised incrementalism violates God's enduring command, Do not murder. When you compromise on this fundamental law, you undermine the goal of re-establishing the personhood of the child, and you cannot possibly foresee all the negative consequences."

So ARTL opposes every law that regulates the killing of unborn children because, regardless of the intention, such laws:
- make abortion seem more palatable to the public and politicians, and so they
- merely prune the abortion weed and strengthen its root, while they
- violate God’s enduring command, Do not murder by re-authorizing abortion, and
- call upon judges to uphold laws that regulate killing the innocent, and thus
- turn conservative judges increasingly against the Right to Life of the unborn, and
- could end up authorizing a hundred million abortions of all kinds post Roe, for they
- will keep abortion legal if Roe v. Wade is merely overturned, and because they
- end with the meaning, “and then you can kill the baby.”

Now to contrasting the goals and practical results of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, the goals were too:
- save kids
- harm the political career of politicians who would oppose it.

Barack Obama, the most visible opponent of the Born Alive act, was elected president.

The practical results of the Born-Alive Act, and six of these bullets are also indisputable, are that:
- the abortionist now makes absolutely certain that he kills the baby
- it cleans up the image of the abortion industry
- it enabled pro-abortion politicians to vote Yes to improve the abortionist's reputation
- it provides cover for liberal politicians who support it to show they are not extreme
- NARAL gives no opposition because this pro-life action improves abortion's survivability
- it squandered the blood of children killed after birth by passing a law that saves no kids
- distracts from the essential effort to recognize the God-given right to life of the unborn
- the baby's death now is quicker and likely more violent
- fewer kids live with BAIPA because those who would survive now have no chance

A number of slave holders actually advocated regulating slavery to make it more tolerable for the public. That's of course why NARAL went neutral on the Born Alive Act, and why so many pro-abortion politicians voted Yes, not only to make themselves look humane to the gullible masses, but also to remove the second greatest vulnerability to legalized abortion. The single greatest vulnerability to legalized child killing was the brutality of partial-birth abortion, which opportunity was squandered wasting 15 years on a PBA ban that never had the authority to stop even a single abortion, but did raise a quarter of a billion dollars for the pro-life industry.

Jill, your website has this text from the Born Alive Act: "(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affirm, deny, expand, or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any member of the species homo sapiens at any point prior to being 'born alive.'"

Any statement that equivocates on a fundamental truth (there is a God; He made us; our rights come from our Creator; etc.) will likely be counterproductive despite any perceived tactical advantage. The 'purists' support saving one of a hundred when only one can be saved; we support parental consent for surgery on all minors (but not laws that regulate abortion that end with, 'and then you can kill the baby;' we support laws that defund abortion providers; we support laws that end abortion here or there; but not compromised incrementalism, because it is immoral and counterproductive.

Thanks Jill,

Bob Enyart
Spokesman, American RTL

Posted by: BobEnyart at November 20, 2008 12:27 PM


Need I remind you that the personhood amendment in Colorado was CRUSHINGLY defeated? The margin was 73% to 27%!

How do we EVER overcome a deficit like that? I think it is the worst possible way to advance our cause. An amendment such as Amendment 48 in Colorado would be defeated in ALL fifty states. It certainly would be defeated in more conservative South Dakota. And how about abortionist states like California? The parental notification amendment could not get above 50%. Personhood might get under 25%. There is no way I can see that such a measure could succeed anywhere.

The reason we haven't succeeded is because we allowed Republican Presidents to bungle and blunder Supreme Court appointments, among other strategic mistakes our movement has made in the last forty years.

Posted by: Joe at November 20, 2008 12:35 PM


Have pro-aborts ever told pro-lifers that they'd agree to abortion bans if they could only kill children conceived in rape or incest?

All due respect, Judy Z., I have definitely heard people who identify as pro-choice say this. I do know people who are only pro-choice because they harbor some sadness about forcing a rape victim to carry a pregnancy to term. They say things like, "I don't agree with abortion being used as birth control but if I were raped I would want to make the choice." It may not be the most well thought-out position, but it is a belief that many people share.

Incidentally, a lot of the people like this that I know initially called themselves pro-life until they were basically pushed out of the pro-life movement for their logical fallacies. And there are the pro-choicers, with open arms, saying, "Don't you see, pro-lifers are too extreme for you. You want the choice in SOME circumstances, so you're pro-choice." So these people consider themselves pro-choice, and vote pro-choice. I think you'd get a whole heck of a lot of them if you cast out a moderate pro-life net, to be honest.

By narrowing your definition so that the fewest possible people can consider themselves pro-life, you doom your efforts to failure until some massive cultural shift occurs independent of legislative efforts. Whether you find the views of the majority abhorrent is another issue altogether; you need their numbers to accomplish your goals.

By contrast, the pro-choice side has brilliantly accepted all the people who harbor varying degrees of discomfort with abortion. They don't say, "You're not pro-choice unless you support every abortion in the history of the world;" they say, "If you support abortion in one circumstance, you're pro-choice, and if you take away abortion in other circumstances then it's just a slippery slope until somebody takes it away in your acceptable circumstance." It's how they've got people who only think abortion SHOULD be legal in rape/incest cases supporting elective abortions after viability. And it could be how the pro-life movement eventually gets people who are uncomfortable with 16-year olds having abortions on their own to support complete and total bans on abortion.

Of course, as someone who has no desire to see abortion banned, I'm more than happy to have the mushy middle voting pro-choice.

Posted by: Alexandra at November 20, 2008 12:37 PM


I don't oppose incrementalism. But some of you are not only making incrementalism synonymous with abortion-with-exceptions, but making it sound like incrementalism is in opposition to purism.

Let's get it straight, folks. There's moral incrementalism and immoral incrementalism.

Posted by: Cranky Catholic at November 20, 2008 12:44 PM


Hi Pastor Bob, and thanks for the congrats on the award.

I had heard chatter you added Born Alive to your list of moral grievances. Another place to take the moral higher ground.

On your approach, you and I simply disagree that saving 99 babies is morally inferior to killing 100 babies.

I'd seriously like to ask about the promised ARTL autumn conference this year. Your team now has 11 years left to stop abortion. What difference have you made this past year - 1/12 of the time you allotted?

Posted by: Jill Stanek at November 20, 2008 12:46 PM


I found the document. It was a bishop.

"Regarding the report submitted on July 16 by the Chairman of the Fulda Bishops' conference, Cardinal Dr. Bertram, I consider it my duty to present the following as a concrete illustration of destruction of so called "useless life."

About 8 kilometers from Limburg in the little town of Hadamar, on a hill overlooking the town, there is an institution which had formerly served various purposes and as of late had been used as a nursing home. This institution was renovated and furnished as a place in which, by consensus of opinion, the above mention Euthanasia has been systematically practiced for months-approximately since February 1941. This fact is, of course, known beyond the administrative district of Wiesbaden...

Several times a week buses arrive in Hadamar with a considerable number of such victims. School children in the vicinity know this vehicle and say "here comes the murder-box again." After this arrival of the vehicle, the citizens of Hadamar watch the smoke rise out of the chimney...

The effect of the principles at work here that children call each other names and say "you're crazy; you'll be sent to the baking oven in Hadamar"...

All God-fearing men consider their destruction of helpless beings a crass injustice...

Officials of the State Police, it is said, are trying to suppress discussions of the Hadamar occurrences by means of several threats...

I beg you most humbly, Herr Reich Minister, in the sense of the report of the Episcopate of 16 July of this year, to prevent further transgressions of the Fifth Commandment of God."

The Euthanasia program was discontinued by August 1941.


I am wondering if this was not a good action to take, seeing as this bishop could only save a portion of the old, sick, and mentally ill. Does this mean the bishop felt that the rest of the victims weren't worth saving? Or did he feel that he could begin the process of chipping away at the regime?

Posted by: prettyinpink at November 20, 2008 12:46 PM


Ms. Stanek,

JDid you not get involved in the pro-life movement because you saw ONE baby die a brutal death after not being murdered by abortion? Yet you believe that some children can be acceptable collateral damage for incrementalism. Never should we accept the incrementalist mentality that some children can die and must die for our failed strategy. As the 100% pro-life community has had to stand by while the pro-abortion with life exception incrementalists have designated themselves leaders, it's time for the 100% pro-life leaders to lead the pro-life community while the incrementalists stand aside for 36 years. It's been 36 years of a failed pro-life incrementalist strategy since Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. And it's been 44 years of failed incrementalist pro-life strategy since Griswolv vs. Connecticut. A failed business plan should be scrapped for another. Step aside, Jill.

Oremus!

Posted by: Darla M. at November 20, 2008 12:47 PM


It is precisely for that one aborted baby I saw die that I fight to save every single one we can when we can.

Had you seen that baby perhaps you wouldn't be arguing theories that his life wasn't worth saving for the greater good.

I simply cannot fathom how you can coldly stand aside and watch babies like him die for your legalistic principle. You don’t get it. Of course we don’t find the deaths of all others acceptable, but they’re going to die no matter if we do or not. IT’S LEGAL.

You ask me to step aside while you stand aside. Interesting.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at November 20, 2008 12:50 PM


Forgive me, but I am somewhat confused by the arguments being put forward here. Many seem to suggest that anti-abortion propositions will always or usually lose the popular vote, so focus should be on the courts. But as George Will has pointed out, if Roe v. Wade was overturned, it would just send the issue back to those same states that have, or in the opinion of many on this chain, would vote to keep abortion legal. The Pro-Life movement has had more than 30 years now to make it's case, if it's losing in the marketplace of ideas, what exactly is your goal?

Posted by: JohnS at November 20, 2008 12:51 PM


Why do you have "no desire to have abortion banned"? Do you not recognize that we human beings have a fundamental natural right to live a human lifespan in accordance with our nature? Have you ever tried following the abortionist mentality to its proper conclusion?

If all human beings can be destroyed in the first nine months of our lives and each one of us can be deprived of our entire human lifespans, it follows that we do not have a right to that lifespan and therefore can be killed AT ANY TIME throughout our lives, all the way to old age and death.

Remember, opponents of unborn human rights believe in depriving us of our ENTIRE human lifespans, not just the unborn stage. They MUST believe that we do NOT have a right to that existence or ANY part of it.

Even if abortionists were to try to argue that they ONLY want to deprive us of the unborn stage, because while we do have a right to all other stages of life, for some reason we do NOT have a right to this stage, it would still not be sound. Since the unborn stage is an intrinsic and necessary part of human existence, and this is precisely why we have a right to all other stages, why would we not then have a right to the unborn stage? Without the unborn stage, none of us can possibly live.

We are placental mammals and have a fundamental right to live according to our nature. This means we have a fundamental and absolute right to live through both the born and unborn stages of our lives.

Supporters of prenatal homicide MUST believe that they have NO rights and that their lives have NO value.

Posted by: Joe at November 20, 2008 12:56 PM


CrankyCatholic and BobEnyart get it.

CrankyCatholic - "Let's get it straight, folks. There's moral incrementalism and immoral incrementalism."

BobEnyart - "The incrementalists have...opposed...*for tactical reasons*, The "purists" oppose incrementalists *for moral reasons*"

Why won't Jill or other "compromised incrementalists" respond to these incremental laws that would save babies, and in one case, save 99% of them?

-A law limiting women to only 1 abortion in their lifetime.
-A law tripling the price of abortions.
-A law limiting the number of abortions that occur each year in the US.

And the devil's favorite...

-A law making it illegal to kill any unborn children as long as one Christian would have one abortion.

Posted by: Will D at November 20, 2008 12:59 PM


Jill,

Maybe these people are procrastinators in other parts of their lives. It is usually a result of perfectionism. They should ask themselves, why is it all or nothing? You know the feeling when you need to clean the house but just don't know where to begin? Here, we're trying to tell them where to begin but they refuse to get started. What you end up with is a dirty house.

Posted by: Janet at November 20, 2008 1:00 PM


Will,
Because they are irrelevant and totally illogical to the question at hand, IMO.

Posted by: Janet at November 20, 2008 1:07 PM


Janet, don't runaway like the others. If this ONLY about saving babies when we can and however we can, why wouldn't you support one of those incremental laws? Your answer will be telling...

Posted by: Will D at November 20, 2008 1:10 PM


Jill, the quest for perfectionism is the conservative disease. As Grover Norquist observed, "The perfect is the enemy of the good."

Posted by: George at November 20, 2008 1:12 PM


The goal of the unborn human rights movement is to protect ALL human beings from lethal violence throughout our lives.

It is unfortunate that because of the weaknesses of human nature the pro-life position is not as popular as it should be. Unlike postnatal homicide which everyone has an interest in stopping and almost no one has an interest in committing, no one has a self interest in stopping prenatal homicide but instead we have an interest in being able to commit it to make our lives easier. Purely from a self interest and incentive standpoint, it is much harder to get people to oppose the killing of the unborn than the born.

You will find that all the injustices of history have been supported by a lot of people if they had an interest in doing so. Many other people did not care less either way since it did not affect them. Only a minority of people have been unselfish enough through the ages to care about the rights and wellbeing of others. This is a tragic aspect of the human condition.

In theory, ALL former unborn children should value and respect the rights of the unborn, but unfortunately our species does not operate on that moral level. Our terrible history shows us what moral level we actually operate on.

Whether popular or not, we must try to protect ALL human beings from violence because it is the right thing to do.

Posted by: Joe at November 20, 2008 1:15 PM


Jill,

On this, we do not disagree! You are incorrect:

JS: "you and I simply disagree that saving 99 babies is morally inferior to killing 100 babies."

American RTL fully agrees that we should save one, or 99, when that is all we can save. That is called incrementalism. If Colorado passes and upholds personhood, that is incremental since the rest of the country will still be killing kids. I gave you undeniable examples in my post that the 'purists' support incrementalism, just not immoral incrementalism. I realize it's easier for you to gloss over that moral distinction, but you confuse the entire debate when you do so, and confusion aids falsehood and harms truth.

Scripturally, Judy Zabik quoted the Lord showing that you leave the 99 to save the one; from America's better influence, it's one for all, and all for one; it's never: if you let us save these, we'll agree you can kill her. That is wrong, and it backfires as Will D pointed out in a recent post:

Will D:
"Points I would like refuted:
2. When Bush came out against the South Dakota abortion ban, he was saying, "If I can't kill these few babies, I'd rather it be legal to kill them all." [JILL, you should add GWB to the list of folks who oppose pro-life efforts.]

3. Bush is not pro-life and did nothing to save babies during his 8 years as President.
If Bush was Chancellor of Germany, where Hitler made it legal to kill Jews, here is the equivalent of what Bush did for babies in the US:
He signed a law making it illegal to re-heat the ovens in Auschwitz, if a child survived the first baking.
He funded the grisly medical research on little Jewish boys and girls, but only from 60 particular families. (He also never [tried to outlaw] the grisly medical research on other Jewish boys and girls.)
The last thing he did in Germany as Chancellor was to oppose a state who tried to make it illegal to kill Jews, because he didn't believe Jews were persons and wanted it to remain legal to kill some of them.
Is that pro-Jew?"

Secondly Jill, you wrote: "I'd seriously like to ask about the promised ARTL autumn conference this year. Your team now has 11 years left to stop abortion. What difference have you made this past year - 1/12 of the time you allotted?"

You refer to the self-imposed term limits of 12-years to end 'legalized' abortion at AmericanRTL.org/us after which their leaders would acknowledge they have failed and turn the leadership of the organization over to others. And I will answer your question of what difference we have made in our first year, only because you asked, here's a quick list:

1. Unfurled world's largest protest sign condemning the DNC child killers
2. Historic first: provided the on-the-ground muscle to get a personhood amendment on a state ballot
Before Kristi Burton's personhood amendment was filed, attorney Mark Meuser who wrote the language met with Brian Rohrbough who is now ARTL president, and they agreed on the strategy and that Colorado's growing personhood movement would withstand opposition from entrenched pro-life groups and fully support getting on the ballot. The personhood campaign's press conference to announce that the Colorado Supreme Court authorized the ballot text was held at American RTL's first summit meeting, during which many national pro-life leaders had successful opportunity to speak to the media. For the first time in history, a no-exceptions personhood amendment got on the ballot in part because of ARTL's leadership that turned in tens of thousands of signatures while fending off pro-life opposition.
3. Proved wrong: those pro-lifers who said that a principled no-exception initiative would only get 10% support, whereas in liberal, pro-abortion Colorado that upheld even partial-birth abortion a few years back in a state-wide vote, we almost tripled the supposed baseline on our first time out of the gate with 585,000 Yes votes.
4. Documented the Supreme Court: has not a single justice, including Scalia, who have ever held that an unborn child has a right to life, to better base ongoing pro-life strategy on reality

Thanks for asking Jill. There's so much more, but no time right now…

-Bob Enyart
Spokesman, American RTL

Posted by: BobEnyart at November 20, 2008 1:21 PM


Washington State’s I-1000 ballot initiative on legalizing assisted suicide passed because behind the scenes we were in disarray.

I've also heard that the organizers of the Right to Life March in DC refuse to allow participation of pro-life gay groups, etc. Big mistake, I think. We have a great need for rejuvenation, youth, and putting forward those who understand communication and "spin" in this media-savvy age.

On each issue we find to be absolute (in this case abortion) we should be joining with ALL groups who are with us on this issues. For example, some of our most prominent allies on this issue are Muslims. We should reach out to them on this issue. Clearly, on any other issues, we might strongly disagree and therefore wouldn’t join with them there.

All-or-nothing is nice. It’s also incredibly politically naïve and, in the end I think, self-destructive.

When we are in a position to enforce all or nothing, then well and good. Until then, we move one point at a time toward our goal.

Posted by: Mark at November 20, 2008 1:25 PM


As I read these comments I am heartbroken about our pro-life movement that I have given so many years of my life too. I admit there was a time when I would have spoken out against the SD legislation. I would have stood strong in my own self righteousness and told the babies who might of been saved, tough luck it is all or nothing. I would have been willing to sacrifice any chance of saving some lives until such a time as we can save all of them at the same time. Shame on me for ever being so pompous.

Imagine if at the beaches of Normandy the commanding officer said we will not attack here because it is not a complete victory for all of Europe. It is wrong to have pulled troops from other battle fronts to attack here, we have compromised others to take on this attack. This plan is not complete, it will not end all of the war at once so we must wait until we can stop the Germans completely with once fell swoop.

The fact is that we need to win as many battles as possible. I know that Jill would never want a single baby to die, ever. She also knows that more than 4,000 will die today, and if a law can pass that will save some of them, lets get it passed and then keep fighting for the rest.

The troops at Normandy knew that the Germans needed to be stopped and the attack there would not win the whole war at once, but it was a step closer.

Imagine looking over your fence because you hear screaming from your neighbors pool. His three kids have fallen in and are drowning. You know that by choosing which one you are going to save first at least one of them will die for sure. Do you let them all die or jump in a save who you can. Remember they are all going to die if you don't do something. Will you stand by and watch them all die because you can't trade one life for another? Or will you save who you can at that moment?

I along with most of my pro-life activist friends believe there is never a case when abortion should be allowed. We will fight until the day we die for the lives of every single innocent child.

I believe in no Exceptions. I will never compromise my 100% pro-life stance. I will also save as many babies as I can.

Jill Stanek -You go girl!!!

Posted by: Bryan at November 20, 2008 1:26 PM


An absolutist football team on its one yard line with 99 yeards to go would only throw one long bomb to the opposite end zone and would NEVER try to gain five yards on a running play or throw a short pass. That would be considered immoral.

How likely is it that such a football team would ever win even a single game?

Posted by: Joe at November 20, 2008 1:29 PM


Joe:

Nice speech but unforunately wrong. The "injustices of history" were almost always corrected once a popular consensus that there were indeed injustices arose. Slavery had been in almost every other Western nation when, in defiance of the Supreme Court and Dred Scott case, the U.S. elected the abolisionist Republican Party in 1860. Women got the right to vote because the sufferagettes won over popular opinion. The Civil rights movement and MLK got us the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965. As Dred Scott showed, you can't hold back the tide of popular opinion on a rights issue by just a Supreme Court case.

Posted by: JohnS at November 20, 2008 1:30 PM


Sorry I meant slavery had been outlawed in every other western nation.

Posted by: JohnS at November 20, 2008 1:31 PM


Bryan 1:26 TERRIFIC!!!

Posted by: Bethany at November 20, 2008 1:43 PM


Pastor Bob, 1:21p:

American Right to Life has given itself 12 years to stop abortion. One year is now up.

I asked you what you'd done in that year.

You listed as your accomplishments unfurling a very large sign for 2 hours in 1 large US city, getting 25% of a peronshood amendment vote rather than 10% in 1 state of 50, and documenting there are no pro-life Supreme Court justices.

With all due respect, you're all bluster, Pastor. You've got a lot of nerve railing against the rest of us.

Again, what happened to your fall conference?

Posted by: Jill Stanek at November 20, 2008 1:57 PM


I was working on an article with a pro-life group I admire AND STILL ADMIRE. A key point of my article was that 'suction' abortion, in violation of the 1947 Nuremberg Code, has never been validated via PUBLISHED animal studies of 'suction' abortion!

The Nazis were infamous for bypassing animal testing of new drugs and new surgeries. So, clearly, my point was that the abortion supporters should have validated the safety of 'suction' abortion on animals, and since no such testing has been done, 100% of 'suction' abortions are experimental and unproven, i.e., women are guinea pigs.

The editor of this organization assigned to this article absolutely objected to animal testing and thus, wanted no part of this argument that 'suction' abortion should have been tested on animals before humans.

This and other disagreements led to the collapse of that project, but the ending is very happy. A superb version of that article will be published on 1 Dec. 2008 in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

Etch this on thine memory cells: The Price of Perfection is Prohibitive.

Posted by: Brent Rooney at November 20, 2008 2:04 PM


The rationale and defense given by Bob Enyart and Will Duffy is vastly superior to Jill Stanek's and the other incrementalists.

I would love to hear Jill Stanek go on Bob Enyart LIVE and defend her position that immoral incrementalism is something that God approves of.

And my worst suspisions over the past couple years about the immoral incrementalists seems to have been confirmed - they lack the faith and trust in God to boldly go forth upholding the absolute sanctity of life of the preborn because they think that if they obey God and do not compromise that things will be WORSE as a result of their believing and obeying God.

Its all about trusting that God knows best when it comes to morality. And the immoral incrementalists don't believe that God knows best. They think that their immoral incrementalism is superior to God's standard of no compromise.

Posted by: Ezek13:19 at November 20, 2008 2:09 PM


Jill Stanek said:

"You listed as your accomplishments unfurling a very large sign for 2 hours in 1 large US city, getting 25% of a peronshood amendment vote rather than 10% in 1 state of 50, and documenting there are no pro-life Supreme Court justices.

With all due respect, you're all bluster, Pastor. You've got a lot of nerve railing against the rest of us."

Compared to what YOU HAVE DONE over the last year Jill, Enyart and American Right To Life have done far more to save and protect the unborn than yourself.

Enyart said at the end that he could list much more, but he didn't have the time to include more. So, let me include at least one more thing he could have mentioned that he didn't.

ARTL is very involved with sidewalk counseling in Colorado and in other states as well. They have saved easily 100+ babies from being violently slaughtered over the last year.

So, the way I score it, it looks like this:

PURISTS - 100+
STANEK  -      0

Posted by: Ezek13:19 at November 20, 2008 2:18 PM


Ezek, I'm not the ones who a year ago bragged they would stop abortion in 12 years. You oppose accountability?

Posted by: Jill Stanek at November 20, 2008 2:29 PM


Jill,

Actually, the saddest thing is South Dakota COULD have passed a total ban on abortion this year, but they chose instead to compromise with people who think some abortions are okay.

In Colorado, we're celebrating that we now have 27% of the voters supporting a total ban on all abortions, always! Now, we work to increase that number.

South Dakota HAD 44% of their voters supporting the very same thing. With a little education, and a little harder push, they could have turned that into 50% this year, and won with a total ban. That would have been the victory that would resound across the country.

Instead, they gave in to fear, and, knowing they would lose the votes of everybody who couldn't bear to vote to kill some children (i.e. to sacrifice rape babies), they decided the sqishy moderates who are against "bad" abortions, but not against "good" abortions were the people they wanted to vote for their initiative.

So they made a measure that would kill some children and allow the "good" abortions, so moderates wouldn't have their feelings hurt thinking about how bad it was women couldn't "choose" in cases of rape and incest.

Think about it, Jill, in South Dakota they gave in to the murderers, and said "Okay, you can murder some. Just not as much as you have. We'll pass a law saying you can murder, and we'll call it pro-life."

Jill, how can you not understand the consciences of those of us who WILL NOT vote to kill any babies? Even if the killing continues, I'm not myself at fault for it because I didn't support the murderer's law.

Bob Kyffin

Posted by: Bob Kyffin at November 20, 2008 2:39 PM


Who will be able to stand in Judgement?

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at November 20, 2008 2:42 PM


It appears death is easy to agree upon, but life....that's the hard part isn't it?

Takes me right back to the original sin in the garden where the two had it perfect with their Maker, and yet they agreed upon Death.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at November 20, 2008 2:44 PM


Oh wait - I have that wrong - they were ONE.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at November 20, 2008 2:45 PM


Joe: The difference between pragmatists and absolutists: Pragmatists would save everyone and sacrifice no one; absolutists would save no one and sacrifice everyone.

Hey Joe, that's interesting.

Posted by: Doug at November 20, 2008 2:49 PM


This thread is a pleasure to read.

Jill: Ezek, I'm not the ones who a year ago bragged they would stop abortion in 12 years. You oppose accountability?

Jill, coincidentally, it was 12 years ago - 1996 - that I first got a computer and had my first abortion argument. Heck, I remember people saying it'd only be 8 or 10 years.

It was only 2 years after the "Republican Revolution" and many people thought that Clinton would be defeated in the next election. So, increasing Republican control of Congress was assumed, as was a Republican President in office in 1997 with the corresponding Supreme Court appointments. It only seems like 5 or 6 years to me, but just goes to show that you never know....

FWIW I think that for Pro-Lifers, incrementalism is the only way to go. Nothing else remotely makes sense, given reality. In the long run, I wouldn't give up on overturning the Roe decision, either.

Posted by: Doug at November 20, 2008 3:01 PM


Bob, 2:39p: The SD ban failed because pro-life organizations opposed it, not because the masses opposed it. It lost 55-45% while McCain won by 8%. SD RTL even put out mailers. If you're a purist, then accept responsibility - or credit - whatever you want to call it, for the defeat.

The ban didn't "allow" some children to be killed. You give credit where it's not due. The law already is that these kids will be killed. It's not anything we can allow. The ban attempted to stop the killing of 99%.

You wrote, "Even if the killing continues, I'm not myself at fault for it because I didn't support the murderer's law."

You make no sense, but nevertheless, 741 babies will die next year in SD who would have been saved by this law, and I'm sorry, but the blood is on your hands.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at November 20, 2008 3:12 PM


Can someone explain to me how four exceptions in South Dakota's abortion ban (rape, incest, mother's life, mother's health) will save almost all babies in one state when one exception (life of the mother) in Texas led to the death of 49 million in every state for the last 36 years?

Posted by: Cranky Catholic at November 20, 2008 3:13 PM


Jill - Ezek, I'm not the ones who a year ago bragged they would stop abortion in 12 years. You oppose accountability?

Jill, this is getting out of hand. They never bragged they would end abortion in 12 years. According to their website: "Our charter gives the founding leaders (directors and officers) twelve years in which to end abortion in America. At that time, if they have not, they are required to turn over ARTL to an entirely new slate of leaders, their leadership coming to an end, either because they have succeeded, or failed."

What is going on with you? ARTL gets Personhood on the ballot in their first year in existence, something that has never been done in this country's history. One of ARTL's biggest accomplishments was showing the country that McCain (like Bush) is not pro-life. If we can't look to our pro-life leaders to, at the very least, be honest about those who are not pro-life, can we look to them for anything?

Posted by: Will D at November 20, 2008 3:14 PM


In case you haven't noticed, there is less love and mercy being shown to the Lord here, in the form of partisan in-fighting than there is unity in Christ.

Considering that's how we got into the fallen condition in the first place, we might think that the first principle of a real pro-life strategy would be to become One Body.

Otherwise, the devil is just slicing and dicing everyone's efforts just as surely as he slices up the unborn.

The sin is on those who've made the actionable offense, because Laws may teach others what is and isn't permissible, and retain those who aren't compliant, but they are only imperfect deterrents.

The only perfect Law is Christ. Do you uphold him? Do we forgive with His grace and mercy?

If anything, that we must pass any law about such a fundamental as human life clearly indicates too many people are already lost for lack of knowledge.

Why should anyone keep any human passed law, when we don't even keep the perfect Law of Love among ourselves?

None of the glory is ours.

That's undebatable.

May only Christ be glorified, because we aren't worthy.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at November 20, 2008 3:16 PM


Cranky Catholic, everyone with a brain knows that a "health exception" is the open door to have an abortion for any reason.

Posted by: Will D at November 20, 2008 3:17 PM


Jill - I'm sorry, but the blood is on your hands.

Jill, would you oppose this law? (Remember that it's already legal to kill through all 9 months and that Christians are having abortions.)

-A law making it illegal to kill any unborn children as long as one Christian would have one abortion.

If you opposed this Jill, according to your words, their blood would be on your hands. Will you respond, or can we assume that you would support this law so their blood won;t be on your hands?

Posted by: Will D at November 20, 2008 3:26 PM


Jill,

In 2006, the SD Ban (a real ban) might even have passed if Geo. Bush hadn't stood against it, and had instead campaigned for it. Other pro-life groups helped kill it then, too. If they hadn't it probably would have passed -- that's the real tragedy you should have written about. George Bush and these pro-life groups so hated the idea of banning all abortions that they said no babies may be saved (this is by your logic).

In 2008, numbers for numbers, yes, the SD regulation (it wasn't a ban - mind your terms) lost because about 10% of the voters listened to SDRTL and ALL and ARTL and realized that you don't go place even one baby on the fire to be sacrificed, even to save 700 (absurd figures you've made up).

Instead, they picked up 10% of voters who won't support a ban on abortion, they'll only support a compromise solution. All in all, it was an even trade.

But it's too bad they didn't spend all that money and effort convincing just 6% more voters to support the full ban. Why didn't they do that, Jill?

And I notice Pres. Bush wasn't out there campaigning for it -- the compromised version HE demanded! I wonder why that is.

No, Jill, if I don't place a baby on the flaming pyre, then I didn't kill that baby. I've already been appalled that some of your readers actually SAID they would place a baby on a sacrificial altar with their own hands if it would save a hundred babies. Ick. Disgusting. Would you, Jill? Please say no.

Let's just agree not to murder any children at all (and not tell others it's okay to), not even to "save" 100 babies. Or 700 or whatever. I don't want that blood on my hands. Let it be on the murderers' while we try every PRINCIPLED means to stop them.

Posted by: Bob Kyffin at November 20, 2008 3:26 PM


Will - CC is on your side.

A big part of our problem is clarity in communications.

With so much activity across the US, I was unaware that SD's law had a "health" exception.

Does anyone have a reference to the actual legal document?

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at November 20, 2008 3:29 PM


Will, please deal with realities not weird what ifs.

And you wrote, "ARTL gets Personhood on the ballot in their first year in existence, something that has never been done in this country's history."

No, Will, Kristi Burton fronted the personhood amendment, and Keith Mason helped run the show. ARTL helped but could only do so behind the scenes. ARTL alienated too many groups to be out front.

Chris, you're right. This conversation has taken a hateful turn and I'm likely part of that. I'm putting myself in time out.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at November 20, 2008 3:37 PM


An act to protect the lives of unborn children, and the interests and health of pregnant mothers, by prohibiting abortions in except in cases where the mother's life or health is at risk, and in cases of rape and incest.

Posted by: Cranky Catholic at November 20, 2008 3:45 PM


Most people tend to overlook that the first aspect of sin wasn't the woman eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (and isn't that what we have here on earth!), but that she paid attention to the serpent at all!

Therein lies our problem.

A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.


Posted by: Chris Arsenault at November 20, 2008 4:00 PM


Chris - Will - CC is on your side.

I know, I was agreeing with him/her.

Posted by: Will D at November 20, 2008 4:01 PM


Jill - Will, please deal with realities not weird what ifs.

Jill, Jesus spoke in parables. Why are you afraid to answer the question?

Posted by: Will D at November 20, 2008 4:03 PM


Cranky Catholic at November 20, 2008 3:45 PM

Whereabouts did that come from?

I'm not doubting the authenticity, but I prefer to have a referral link to government documents or in this case the referendum. I've grown to distrust sites such as Wikipedia/Ballotpedia etc.


Posted by: Chris Arsenault at November 20, 2008 4:06 PM


Jill - No, Will, Kristi Burton fronted the personhood amendment, and Keith Mason helped run the show. ARTL helped but could only do so behind the scenes. ARTL alienated too many groups to be out front.

It wouldn't have gathered enough signatures without ARTL. Everything has strategy. Kristi was the face, Keith the brains, and everyone worked extremely hard to get the signatures and could not have done it without ARTL.

Posted by: Will D at November 20, 2008 4:06 PM


Jill, this is getting out of hand. They never bragged they would end abortion in 12 years.

Heck Will, I heard people ten and fifteen years ago saying the End Times and the Rapture, etc., would have been here by now (2008).

Posted by: Doug at November 20, 2008 4:09 PM


Cranky,

http://tiny.cc/2xEuG

Health exception of ban:

"necessary because there is a serious risk of substantial and irreversible functioning of a major bodily organ of the pregnant woman should the pregnancy be continued"

Posted by: Jill Stanek at November 20, 2008 4:11 PM


Chris, you're right. This conversation has taken a hateful turn and I'm likely part of that. I'm putting myself in time out.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at November 20, 2008 3:37 PM
-----

That's what moderators are for... ;-)

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at November 20, 2008 4:12 PM


Jill,

Kristi Burton wasn't exactly the whole campaign. She had a few people helping her. ;)

In fact, Colorado Right to Life (the state affiliate of American Right to Life) was basically the largest and most effective of all the major organizations that supported Amendment 48.

It's a fact that Amendment 48 would never have happened without Colorado Right to Life.

Most major ministries and organizations (including Focus on the Family, National Right to Life, Colorado Catholic Conference, etc.) were opposed to the measure in the first place. Only Focus on the Family came around, once it was already on the ballot (after the 135,000 signatures were turned in), and started supporting it. But even then, their support was tepid and half-hearted compared to the full-blitz they put forth on behalf of 3-4 gay marriage issues.

Colorado Right to Life gave Kristi most of her circulators, and gave her the voice in those critical early days, to get it on the ballot.

Keith Mason and Cal Zastrow were instrumental in coordinating everything for the Amendment, but even they couldn't have done it without CRTL/ARTL.

Furthermore, probably 20,000 or 30,000 (maybe more) of the signatures were gathered by people who attend Bob Enyart's church -- that's what Bob has contributed to the Right to Life movement this year (just a small part of it, actually).

Posted by: Bob Kyffin at November 20, 2008 4:26 PM


Jill Stanek at November 20, 2008 4:11 PM

Thanks Jill - it appears as though that's for life of mother because of impending physical danger.

Technically, while it's not exhaustive, that covers ectopic pregnancies, which makes sense.


Posted by: Chris Arsenault at November 20, 2008 4:46 PM


I've already been appalled that some of your readers actually SAID they would place a baby on a sacrificial altar with their own hands if it would save a hundred babies. Ick. Disgusting. Would you, Jill? Please say no.

Posted by: Bob Kyffin at November 20, 2008 3:26 PM
**************************************

I appreciate much of what you've said, Bob, but this is simply not true. No one has said this. You've just chosen to interpret it that way to make those of us who disagree with you seem "disgusting" as you put it.

Posted by: Kel at November 20, 2008 4:52 PM


"necessary because there is a serious risk of substantial and irreversible functioning of a major bodily organ of the pregnant woman should the pregnancy be continued"

Wow, thanks for clarifying that, Jill. I was scared there for a minute.

Posted by: Bethany at November 20, 2008 4:53 PM


Kel,

Respectfully, yes someone actually did say that.

In round 5 or 6 of a long discussion, I finally put the question to her baldly -- would you sign it with your name if it would save more lives than it would kill, and she affirmed that yes, she would sign the death warrant of several babies if it would save lives of dozens more.

And, frankly, not alot of people disagreed with her. Certainly no one on her side.

But I think we need to be careful what we're really "saying" when we say things like "if it would save 90% of the babies". There are consequences to ideas, and to words. Words speak of ideas, and the ideas spoken of by incremental legislation are evil at their core, even if no single person supporting those laws will admit or recognize it.

Jill,

On those "serious health risk" issues, you of all people should know they'll widen that crack into a canyon and still kill 70% of the babies as "necessary because of possible organ failure". Come on!

Posted by: Bob Kyffin at November 20, 2008 4:59 PM


Bob, apparently in this large thread, I missed that. I will have to look for it.

The death warrant of babies has already been signed, Bob, years ago. Passing a law to save the majority of them, in my view, is doing something. I do not believe that children conceived in rape should be eliminated, but until the stigma is removed (one day I pray), then why can we not save the lives of the other 99% of children while we can?

I don't know. I'm just trying to understand. I am a principled person, but I also feel that in an imperfect world, we need to do what we can to save as many lives as we can. I haven't yet found a perfect law, other than the Law of Christ, to govern an imperfect people. Have you?

Posted by: Kel at November 20, 2008 5:07 PM


Wow, 2 moderators of Jill's blog didn't even know that the SD regulation had a health exception? This issue is too important not to research thoroughly.

Bethany - Wow, thanks for clarifying that, Jill. I was scared there for a minute.

You still should be. All a girl would have to do is claim she would commit suicide if she had the baby and ALL her bodily organs would then be threatened, and then she could kill the baby.

Posted by: Will D at November 20, 2008 5:09 PM


Okay, Bob, I've been looking for that quote, or something like it, and the only one I found was one by Judy Z., arguing your point of view.

Maybe a mod could help me out when you have the time?

Posted by: Kel at November 20, 2008 5:14 PM


Kel - The death warrant of babies has already been signed, Bob, years ago. Passing a law to save the majority of them, in my view, is doing something. I do not believe that children conceived in rape should be eliminated, but until the stigma is removed (one day I pray), then why can we not save the lives of the other 99% of children while we can?

Kel, thanks for your input. Should we do evil that good may come of it? Voting, supporting, signing a petition, etc. that explicitly states, "a woman may kill her child if the baby's father is a criminal" is in effect advocating that principle, no?

To explain moral vs. immoral incrementalism, something Jill will not be honest about, I use this hypothetical incremental law, guaranteed to save 99% or more of the babies:

-A law making it illegal to kill any unborn children as long as one Christian would have one abortion.

Would you support this law Kel? Nobody, including Jill, will answer me. They won't because they are afraid to where it would lead. You can apply all their arguments (abortion is already 100% legal, Christians get abortions, we need to save 99%, etc.) to this law, but they're still afraid to answer the question. This is telling.

Posted by: Will D at November 20, 2008 5:19 PM


Will, 5:09p: Picking on the moderators goes a step too far. These are my posts, not theirs.

And as for your pestering on your hypothetical, may I remind you you're my guest here. No one wants to enter into an argument with you that will end up going nowhere.

We've been friends a long time and I've supported and publicized everything you do. It's time to remember that.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at November 20, 2008 5:39 PM


It is a very sad commentary on human nature that we even have to have this debate about how we are going to stop people killing their unborn children. We shouldn't have to spend years trying to end this violence. No one should support this killing.

What does it say about the level of moral and spiritual development of those human beings who believe in killing their own kind, their own children?

We in this movement need to find a way to achieve some sort of common ground so we can all work together to end violence against unborn children.

The abortionists are the only ones who benefit when we are attacking and condemning each other like this. Let us try to keep in mind who our real opponents are.

Posted by: Joe at November 20, 2008 5:51 PM


Kel,

To answer your question is that the "stigma" of rape and incest babies -- the thing that keeps them on the chopping block -- will never go away if even pro-lifers agree that they're the least valuable of humans!

And that's what this really is -- it's a measure of who's most valuable or not. So long as the pro-aborts get us pro-lifers to bicker among ourselves as to which babies are more important to save (or which are most likely to be saved -- same thing, really), then they win the argument that some babies are more valuable than others.

If it's these rape and incest babies who are "less equal than others", then they will always be sacrificed. Once they're the only abortions happening, then we lose all the momentum we had to end all abortion. We lose the people (some of whom are on this board -- self-described "pro-lifers" like Pres. Bush) who believe rape and incest exceptions are where it should end. We lose moderates who just wanted to stop the "icky" abortions like PBA, but don't much care about embryos. We lose the people who voted for our laws sincerely, because they believed we were speaking for "truth", but then they get confused when our "truth" changes from year to year -- "Did you really want to end all abortions? Last year you said rape and incest exceptions were okay! What do you really want, or are you just jerking my chain?"

Sadly, there are some hard core people here who would stand up for rape & incest babies, and there are the rape/incest survivors, but other than they, who will stand up for the most unwanted humans? Who wouldn't find something better to spend their time on, once 99% of abortions have been ended?

Significantly, the founder of the Facebook group, Pro-Lifers Against the SD Abortion "Ban", was a woman whose mother was raped, and who decided not to end her life.

Are we to tell people like Rebecca, and like Julie (who spoke at CRTL's March for Life this year), and Bethany (the 18 year old girl who spoke at CRTL's banquet this year), that "we're not going to protect your people yet -- we have more important people to protect. We'll get to you later."?

Posted by: Bob Kyffin at November 20, 2008 5:53 PM


There is an easy solution to this endless banter. The fact is that after 35 years, the incremental approach has failed to end abortion. Throughout these years, all of us have worked tirelessly and incrementally, but to no avail. Now, some of us you call "Purists", believe it's time for the new strategy of Personhood. All we ask is that you support us the way we supported you for those 35 years. What could be more reasonable?

Posted by: DeSoto at November 20, 2008 6:52 PM


Bob and Will, I in no way believe that children of rape or incest are any less valuable. I think they should be protected by law just like any other unborn child. The problem is, society isn't there yet. Society still attaches the violent act to the life of that child. Is it wrong and twisted? YES.

You put words in pro-lifers mouths when you say we believe that these children are less worthy of protection. WE do not think that. SOCIETY thinks that. Problem is, society is not going to do a 180 and change its thinking...we have to work within the confines of "the system" to get protection for ANY children who are condemned to death through abortion.

And guess what? I am on the "fringe" of societal belief because I am "extremely" pro-life. Society views those of us who believe that even children of rape be allowed to survive as "cruel." "How dare you force those mothers to carry to term?" they say. They are not focusing on the child's life at all, except to project the violence of the child's father upon him/her.

Did you support the right of Terri Schiavo to live? Why? Was it because her one life mattered? Was it because you knew that the decision made in HER case could affect that of others like her??
I feel this way about the issue of abortion...one life matters. If we can get laws passed to save 99% of the children, then logic dictates that there is a greater chance the rest of the laws will soon follow. (If children NOT conceived in rape or incest are persons, then naturally there is no difference between them and those who are.)

Do you not think that it would be easier to pass a personhood amendment if indeed the unborn child is SEEN as a human being by society as we educate the mothers seeking abortion, 24 hour waiting periods, the help of CPCs, parental notification (so that parents can educate and support their children away from making the horrid choice of abortion), etc?

What grieves me is that NO babies will now be saved, because there is no law to save them ALL. It certainly makes it difficult to "rescue those being led away to death."

I really do see the point of view on this, and we have the same ultimate goal. What is upsetting is that more babies will die right now because these "incremental" laws were not passed. We have rescued NONE who were being led away to death. Zero. All of those children that could have been saved will now be ripped limb from limb. And what will we have? We will have our PRINCIPLES intact. What a comfort.

I wish we could change the hardened hearts overnight, but that isn't going to happen, and in the waiting, more children are slaughtered. I think that's where we are coming from. Can you understand our frustration? All we can think about are the babies that could have been saved who will now share the same fate as the other 1%. A violent death. No minds changed with a 24 hour waiting period, or an intervention by parents (since there will be no notification). Just death, and more hardened hearts.

And Will, if anyone besides you ever invented such a "law" it would clearly be discriminatory against Christians, and a means of persecution. Why a Christian, Will? Why not an atheist? See how ridiculous we could get? There is no point to it.

Posted by: Kel at November 20, 2008 9:11 PM


It is a very sad commentary on human nature that we even have to have this debate?

Joe, it's a sad commentary that you have to pretend that "your way" is the only "right" way, period.

Posted by: Doug at November 20, 2008 10:06 PM


Jill, you asked Pastor Bob Enyart what he has done this past year. As members of Denver Bible Church (pastored by Bob) my family and I gathered signatures for the personhood amendment in Colorado (as most members of the church did). Gathering signatues was an excellent opportunity to witness for our Lord Jesus Christ. For He is the author of life and the ONLY foundation that drives us to protect the most innocent. Thousands of people were witnessed to during this six-month ministry. I believe some were brought to the Lord, and that Jill is VICTORY!

Bob, as members of your church, my family and I thank you for your wisdom and leadership, and most of all for your commitment to honor God.

Posted by: Donna B. at November 20, 2008 10:15 PM


To the Purists, in general,

You are worried about blood on your hands? Your hands are clean. God KNOWS the hearts of pro-lifers - they are against killing babies.

Have you ever heard of sins of omission? Wouldn't your desire for "all or nothing" put you in the category of committing those sins? Putting even MORE blood on your hands than ours??

We're all fighting the same battle. These little tiffs are tiresome and illogical at best.

Posted by: Janet at November 20, 2008 10:23 PM


By the way, since when is operating on an ectopic pregnancy an abortion? Someone mentioned it above. It's a non-elective surgical procedure and although it's done for the health of the mother (which most surgical procedures are, except cosmetic surgery), it would NOT be called an abortion on a medical chart, would it?

Colloquially, it would certainly not be an "abortion", IMO.

Posted by: Janet at November 20, 2008 10:30 PM


If you don't mind some language, I think most of you will love to read this blog, or at least the most recent 3 posts, which are baby stories. The woman is HILARIOUS

http://blog.nataliedee.com/

Posted by: prettyinpink at November 20, 2008 11:23 PM


Will D @ 12:59 PM

CrankyCatholic and BobEnyart get it.

CrankyCatholic - "Let's get it straight, folks. There's moral incrementalism and immoral incrementalism."

BobEnyart - "The incrementalists have...opposed...*for tactical reasons*, The "purists" oppose incrementalists *for moral reasons*"

Why won't Jill or other "compromised incrementalists" respond to these incremental laws that would save babies, and in one case, save 99% of them?

-A law limiting women to only 1 abortion in their lifetime.
-A law tripling the price of abortions.
-A law limiting the number of abortions that occur each year in the US.

And the devil's favorite...

-A law making it illegal to kill any unborn children as long as one Christian would have one abortion.

. . . . . . .
Will D 12:59 PM.

Janet, don't runaway like the others. If this ONLY about saving babies when we can and however we can, why wouldn't you support one of those incremental laws? Your answer will be telling..."

I've been out most of the day, I'll give it a try and play your game. Remember I'm pro-life and never even heard of purists until I came to this blog.

"A law limiting women to only 1 abortion in their lifetime." -
Not a bad idea actually from a pro-life point of view since there are so many repeat aborters.

"A law tripling the price" -
Don't even try. This wouldn't pass because abortions are targeted at poor women who can't afford more children. It wouldn't be fair or compassionate according to most PC'rs. Why reward the abortionists with higher salaries as well?

"A law limiting number of abortions in US per year."-
Abortion quotas? The PC'rs wouldn't go for it. "Not fair" in their eyes. Abortionists would find a way...

The last example you give -
"A law making it illegal to kill any unborn children as long as one Christian would have one abortion."-
Are you assuming a Christian mother's life is more valuable than another? I don't know why the religion would matter unless you are a eugenicist, which I'm sure you are not. Let's not even go there... The problem here, is who would pick the "unlucky" or "lucky" mother (depending on how they see it)? Would this be annually? There is probably a Christian who would volunteer to be the first and only, and then no more abortions, one per year isn't bad, but I certainly wouldn't say who that would be. It would have to be voluntary. (I'm sure I'll get in trouble for that comment.)

So, after all that, these are hypotheticals. They don't represent the reality of our laws today.

Posted by: Janet at November 20, 2008 11:23 PM


Will: "Would you support this law Kel? Nobody, including Jill, will answer me"

Thats because your analogy is stupid. No abortion law forces an abortion. Let me fix it for you and then I will answer the question.

"A law making it illegal to kill any unborn children as long as one Christian would be allowed to have one abortion."

Hell yeah I would support that law.

I think everyone here would except the morons on the "purist" side.

Your stunning inability to phrase a comparison in even the remotest of analogous terms is quite revealing. It lets me know that you do not truly understand the idea behind the incremental approach. Our goal is not to sacrifice babies in order to save more. Our goal is to further restrict access to abortion in as many ways currently feasable so that abortion slowly is phased out of existance. Also, as we restrict the numbers of abortions, more children are saved. Your analogy again is quite preposterous. We do not advocate the FORCED abortion to prevent other abortions.

Posted by: Oliver at November 20, 2008 11:26 PM


Father Pavone wrote this about voting for a presidential candidate, but this can just as easily apply to voting on incremental issues. More on sins of omission (excerpt):

"And What I Have Failed To Do..."

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

What’s this I hear from some people that they might “sit out” the Presidential election because they aren’t comfortable with the likely choice of candidates?

Since when are elections supposed to make us “comfortable?” Since when do we exercise that right to vote, for which people fought and died, only when it’s easy and clear-cut, and our choices are just the way we want them to be?

At Mass we pray, “I confess to Almighty God…that I have sinned…in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do…”

What we fail to do can make us just as guilty as what we do. A sin is a wrong choice, and to decide not to do something is just as much of a choice as to decide to do something.

A sin of omission is still a sin – and we are still responsible for the results.

What, then, makes us think that we are more responsible for the results of voting than for the results of not voting?

A vote is not a philosophical statement. It is a transfer of power. It is a pragmatic act to preserve, as much as possible under the circumstances, the common good, and to limit the evils that threaten it.

Posted by: Janet at November 20, 2008 11:31 PM


How could any strategy that effectively ends with "...and then you can kill the unborn child" be an effective and moral strategy, whether it be 99 out of 100 or 1 out of 100?

Posted by: wholearmor at November 21, 2008 12:08 AM


Janet, thanks for being the first to respond. I want to use you as an example to show where we're at in this country. Please don't take it personal, it's not. It's completely in love.

Your answers are actually very shocking and I'm sure many pro-lifers would say the same thing. To even contemplate these wicked laws is sad. Imagine if we were talking about killing Jews.

"A law limiting people to only kill one Jew in their lifetime." -
Your answer: Not a bad idea actually from a pro-life point of view since there are so many repeat killers.

Isn't that a wrong way to think?

Your next answers read: "It wouldn't pass." Huh? Is this about only doing what will win? Sounds like NRTL. Leaders don't only fight wars they know they will win. They always do what's right, even when they know we'll lose.

"A law making it illegal to kill any unborn children as long as one Christian would have one abortion."-

The fact that you even contemplated this is not good Janet. I think your conscience told you that.

Jill, please read Janet's comments and take them to heart. She's confused and so are others. The pro-life movement has lost the ability to think and I don't think you're helping.

Posted by: Will D at November 21, 2008 12:14 AM


Oliver - Thats because your analogy is stupid. No abortion law forces an abortion.

It doesn't force an abortion. If no Christian is willing to volunteer to have an abortion, then abortion would remain legal. If a Christian would have an abortion (they have thousands a year) then abortion would become illegal.

Oliver - We do not advocate the FORCED abortion to prevent other abortions.

Neither do I. You misunderstood. Please reply again:

If one Christian would volunteer to have one abortion, all abortion would become illegal.

Would you support that?

Posted by: Will D at November 21, 2008 12:17 AM


While we're on the topic and since Jill won't be honest about Bush and McCain, I will. If "compromised incrementalists" are Camp 1 and "purists" are Camp 2, Bush and McCain are in Camp 3.

Camp 1 - People oppose stopping ALL abortion because it's not the right time or we have the wrong court. (NRTL, Ertelt, etc.)
Camp 2 - People oppose stopping some abortion when they feel it would be doing it in an immoral way. (ARTL, Purists, etc.)
Camp 3 - People oppose stopping ALL abortion because they don't believe an unborn child is a person and they want to keep child-killing legal in some circumstances. (Bush! McCain!)

Which one is obviously most evil? Camp 3 of course. Yet Jill only praises them on her site, gives them a free pass and dedicates a lot of time condemning Camp 2.

When you're sold out to the Re-Publican party, this is what happens. The Re-Publicans left God a long time ago. Why do the pro-lifers follow then?

Posted by: Will D at November 21, 2008 12:25 AM


Will: "If one Christian would volunteer to have one abortion, all abortion would become illegal."

Man you are dense.

We are not asking anyone to volunteer an abortion either. Your analogy is completely incorrect.

Here is the correction.

"If one person a year is allowed to choose whether or not to have an abortion, abortion will be illegal for everyone else."

I would support this law. The one person can be persuaded by discussion or through information. They may not choose abortion. However, for SURE even if that one person a year chose and abortion, we would have saved thousands upon thousands of babies each year. Why would you oppose that?

Posted by: Oliver at November 21, 2008 1:18 AM


Quick responses to a number of things:

Janet: No, there's nothing wrong with saving a mother's life in case of an ectopic pregnancy (though there was a woman recently who survived one to term -- I don't know the details) - you save the mother's life and try to save the baby's life too. That's not always possible, so sometimes the baby dies. The determining factor is whether causing the baby to die was the doctor's intent when trying to save the mother's life -- in that case it would be wrong.

Janet: The "all or nothing" lie about "purists" is wrong. We've never said that -- that's just what people who dislike us say about us. We're against "compromised incrementalism" -- we'd be against a law which says an abortion clinic must be licensed, because that inherently says abortion is okay (like saying if you have a "murder license", then it's okay to murder), however we'd be for a law which says all clinics where medical procedures are performed must meet these standards, because that affects abortion clinics, but doesn't imply abortion is okay.

Kel: I know you don't believe those lives are any less valuable. What I mean is that the public gains a perception from society in general that a baby that "looks" human is more valuable than a baby that looks like an embryo, and they think rape victims should have abortions because they think it's the compassionate thing to do.

Our problem, as pro-lifers, is that if we try to pass laws which have rape/incest exceptions, then we are REINFORCING that perception of a difference in value in THEIR minds, and REINFORCING a perception that rape/incest exceptions are compassionate in THEIR minds. That really kills any concept, in their mind of Personhood -- of a Right to Life.

Only by reinforcing a Right to Life, and the Personhood of the unborn child, can we knock down that misperception in the public mind that it's okay to kill babies if the mother was raped.

While circulating petitions, I had many conversations with people who'd never heard any of these things discussed in detail -- your "average voter" who is kind of pro-life, but believes in a "right to choose" because that's the only sound bite they've ever heard.

It only took a few moments of conversation to get them to understand the concept of a Right to Life, and get them to understand that rape/incest exceptions are wrong. It was EASY!!! And most of those people, who moments before would have unknowingly supported rape/incest exceptions, or even "a woman's right to choose", instead SIGNED the Personhood petition to declare a baby a person from the moment of fertilization!

My approach is this: I explain that the concept of Personhood is how we saved the slaves from bondage. The law protects all "persons" from bondage or murder -- the Right to Freedom and the Right to Life! The law, though, in 1860, defined black people as non-persons. We saved them from slavery by declaring in the Constitution that all people, regardless of race, are persons! It's NEVER okay to enslave a person, right? And by that same logic, it's NEVER okay to kill an innocent person, right? And so, despite the tragedy of a woman having been raped, that person growing inside her still has a Right to Life, and to kill that innocent person inside her only re-victimizes the mother, and punishes the baby. Right?

At that point, most of the sincere, previously "wishy-washy" people I spoke to would nod, with a little frown on their face because they were thinking about it for a first time, and then they'd say, "I understand!". Then they'd sign the petition!

Most "average voters" only need to hear that message clearly, and sincerely, before they will understand inherently that it's a correct principle.

Our average voter is out there, waiting to be convinced! All we pro-lifers have to do is take the time to tell them about a Right to Life, and compare Personhood to how we saved the slaves from bondage, and many will scrap those sound bites in favor of a strong pro-life position!

All we have to do is STOP talking about half-measures like "exceptions" and "waiting periods" and start talking about an ACTUAL Right to Life. People will understand!

Posted by: Bob Kyffin at November 21, 2008 2:42 AM


DeSoto, 6:52p, wrote: "There is an easy solution to this endless banter. The fact is that after 35 years, the incremental approach has failed to end abortion. Throughout these years, all of us have worked tirelessly and incrementally, but to no avail. Now, some of us you call "Purists", believe it's time for the new strategy of Personhood. All we ask is that you support us the way we supported you for those 35 years. What could be more reasonable?"

It is incorrect to say the incremental approach has not worked. Studies show 24-hour waiting period laws, parental notification laws, etc., WORK.

Purists have lamented for 25 years that the Human Life Amendment wasn't pushed more. Get over it. Look around. We live no longer even in a post-Christian nation. We live in an anti-Christian nation. It could be said your efforts have abysmally failed. But you'll blame us for that.

And you just stopped one of the most conservative states in the union from passing an abortion ban, defeating your own purposes. You are all frankly crazy.

Whatever failures there are on incremental efforts in part can be blamed on purists for sabotaging them, such as the SD abortion ban. You have most certainly NOT "all... worked "tirelessly and incrementally."

I wholeheartedly support your efforts. I guarantee you'd see more cooperation if you showed cooperation. Instead you malign incremental efforts and people's motivations.

Look in the mirror. One year ago ARTL set a goal of stopping abortion in 12 years. I asked earlier in this post what it had accomplished in the past year.

Pastor Bob said it had unfurled a very large sign over a major city for 2 hours, got 25% of the vote rather than 10% for a personhood amendment in 1 state of 50, and documented none of the Supremes are pro-life.

What kind of strategy is that? How far did those efforts move the bar?

ARTL also bragged it would host annual countdown conventions from 12 backward. Yet it didn't even pull one off its first year. Someone wrote earlier on this post ARTL was busy. Well ARTL wasn't too busy to picket Dr. Dobson or crash NRLC's convention this year. It had time to sit in the midst of and demean another pro-life organization's convention but not host its own? Shows where the priorities are.

Try showing cooperation and good will toward your fellow pro-lifers and their efforts and you'll be surprised at not only the reciprocative good will you receive back but that more babies will be saved, the more important goal.

My heart is broken over the babies purists helped kill in SD. You've done real damage this time.

Your purist theory has now led to the actual deaths of babies while you wait for that perfect but impossible day when every single politician you need on the local, state and federal level, and every single judge you need on the local state and federal level, and every single prosecutor you need on the local, state, and federal level, and every single organization on the local, state, and federal level, and every single law on the local, state, and federal level all line up perfectly for you to save all those babies.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at November 21, 2008 6:47 AM


Will D at November 20, 2008 5:09 PM

- I didn't write the post - Jill did.

- I'm not a resident of SD - and was not involved in the political dialogue about this issue. It's flattering you believe Jill's moderation team is fully informed about all pro-life issues, but if that was a true expectation, then where's your respect when you find out we're not?

- my volunteer efforts during this election cycle have been helping Jill inform people re: Obama's stance on IL BAIPA. That has seen a great measure of success with awareness reports coming back to me from secular and church acquaintances who didn't even know of my involvement. Even high school teens were discussing the issue - but even with knowledge people voted for Obama anyway. Abortion is a head/heart issue - people divorce themselves from the idea that it could impact them in any way. It says the pro-life movement has yet to effectively connect head ideas to people's own hearts. When it does, such as with an ultrasound, it changes them, sometimes dramatically.

- I also dedicate considerable volunteer effort - both time and money to my local pregnancy assistance medical center, where I sit on the board, the marketing team, and provide web services. Bethany also volunteers at her local PRC.

Look, I'm glad you're passionately involved in highly visible political initiatives, but political movements are like ocean waves - what you see on the surface isn't really the momentum that carries the wave forward.

One final thought for your consideration - our opposition is not other human beings - it is a condition of the heart and mind. Don't fall into the trap of letting your own mind and heart split when it comes to loving others because you'll find the first divided house is yourself.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at November 21, 2008 7:27 AM


Jill says:

Purists have lamented for 25 years that the Human Life Amendment wasn't pushed more. Get over it. Look around. We live no longer even in a post-Christian nation. We live in an anti-Christian nation. It could be said your efforts have abysmally failed. But you'll blame us for that.

Jill, sadly, you have forgotten your first love.

Posted by: Jenna R. at November 21, 2008 8:00 AM


Jenna R, what is that supposed to mean?

Posted by: Bethany at November 21, 2008 8:02 AM


Cranky Catholic, you brought up the analogy of a terrorist who was threatening babies. I responded but never received a response to my question.

I still want to know, from either you or any other purist here:

If a terrorist was threatening to kill thousands of babies, would you as negotiator tell the terrorist that if he did not let you save ALL of the babies, that you would let him kill ALL of the ones at this PRESENT TIME, until a future date at which you could save ALL FUTURE babies?

Would you not try to save as many of the PRESENT babies as you could? Or would you still 'keep your principles intact' by telling the terrorist that he either had to give you ALL of the babies, and if he didn't, you wouldn't bother to save SOME of them?

Posted by: Bethany at November 21, 2008 8:11 AM


11 If you forbear to deliver them that are drawn to death, and those that are ready to be slain;

12 If you say, Behold, we knew it not; does not he that ponders the heart consider it? and he that keeps your soul, does not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?

Posted by: Bethany at November 21, 2008 8:15 AM


Pro-life: "We want all abortion to be illegal immediately." Pro-death: "We want all abortion to be legal forever." Pro-life: "OK then, we still want all abortion to be illegal immediately, but since you pro-death folks won't cooperate, we'll compromise and feel we've somehow gained a victory while what we hate, the killing of unborn children, continues to happen every single day, ad nauseum.

Posted by: wholearmor at November 21, 2008 8:19 AM


This is quite the website....

Posted by: michael veves at November 21, 2008 8:31 AM


Whole armor, anytime even one baby is saved, that is a victory for pro-life.

Posted by: Bethany at November 21, 2008 8:33 AM


Bethany, any time even one baby is killed, it is a setback for pro-life.

Posted by: wholearmor at November 21, 2008 8:47 AM


Setback means you go back a step. How can you go BACK a step from every child being allowed to die? That makes no sense!

Every time that we prevent of of those legal killings, it is a victory! It is a step FORWARD.

Posted by: Bethany at November 21, 2008 8:53 AM


We could have had one step forward with the South Dakota abortion ban, but you pushed us two steps back by fighting it.

Posted by: Bethany at November 21, 2008 8:55 AM


When a child is killed and, according to you, it's not a setback for pro-life, what is it?

Posted by: wholearmor at November 21, 2008 8:59 AM


In case you hadn't noticed, it was a setback for America 35 years ago! Anything we do to overcome it, inch by inch, is a victory!

Posted by: Bethany at November 21, 2008 9:01 AM


Wholearmor, please answer my question at 8:11.

Posted by: Bethany at November 21, 2008 9:07 AM


Jill, you are right. This "all or nothing" is garbage. It's better to save the lives of 1.2 million children every year than none at all. In time, we will save them ALL.

Posted by: Dr. Frank at November 21, 2008 9:12 AM


I notice that at least three people answered Will's hypotheticals. Come on, let's hear your answers to this hypothetical about the terrorist. Or the Titanic. Anyone?


Posted by: Bethany at November 21, 2008 9:25 AM


Malthusian Infection

A culture infected by neo-Malthusian ideas was reshaping the clerical family. Please note: As in England, so in America, the change in clerical family behavior came before the change in doctrine.

Meanwhile, mainstream American Protestants embraced contraception directly. In 1931, the Committee on Home and Marriage of the old Federal Council of Churches issued a statement defending family limitation and arguing for the repeal of laws prohibiting contraceptive education and sales. Some member churches—notably the Southern Methodists and the Northern Baptists—protested the action, and the Southern Presbyterians even withdrew their membership from the Federal Council for a decade, but they were the minority and even their protests did not last.

In only three decades, the Lambeth Conference’s qualified approval would turn into full celebration. At the astonishing and deeply disturbing 1961 North American Conference on Church and Family, sponsored by the National Council of Churches (successor to the Federal Council), population-control advocate Lester Kirkendall argued that America had “entered a sexual economy of abundance” where contraception would allow unrestrained sexual experimentation.

Wardell Pomeroy of the Kinsey Institute for Sex Research explained how the new science of sexology required the abandonment of all old moral categories. Psychologist Evelyn Hooker celebrated the sterile lives of homosexuals. Planned Parenthood’s Mary Calderone made the case for universal contraceptive use, while colleague Alan Guttmacher urged the reform of America’s “mean-spirited” anti-abortion laws.

Not a single voice in the spirit of Luther or Calvin could be heard at this “Christian conference.” Indeed, the conferees saw the traditional Protestant family ethic focused on exuberant marital fertility as the problem and the act that Luther, Calvin, and others had condemned as the obvious answer.

In a way, though, this celebration of such a diversity of sexual practices followed the Protestant acceptance of contraception, which followed from the defection of the Protestant clergy from the Protestant Family Ethic. Rejecting both lifelong celibacy and contraception, classic Protestant theology required family-centered and child-rich pastors. When those clerical leaders, in the privacy of their bedrooms, broke faith with their tradition, when pastors and their wives consciously limited their families, the Protestant opposition to contraception faced a crisis.

Typical of a less radical development was the 1981 decision of the Missouri Synod’s Commission on Theology and Church Relations, which argued that although “Be fruitful” is “both a command and a mandate,” “in the absence of Scriptural prohibition” contraception was acceptable “within a marital union which is, as a whole, fruitful.” And if contraception is acceptable, “we will also recognize that sterilization may under some circumstances be an acceptable form of contraception.”

A later, additional development only increased the appeal of contraception to the pastors of these churches. The ordination of women by a number of Protestant groups, commonly initiated in the late 1960s and 1970s, struck a nearly fatal blow to the informal Protestant institution of the Pastor’s Wife.

By upending and confusing sexual differences and by granting to women the religious functions long held exclusively by men, the ordination of women marginalized the special works and responsibilities of clerical wives, including their task of being model mothers with full quivers of children. Even more than before, contraception became their answer.

Posted by: yllas at November 21, 2008 9:37 AM


Another thing I'd like to know.

Why is it that these purists have to lie and put forth half truths in order to try to sway others to their side?

Aren't lying and deception sins? I'm sure these absolutists understand that a half truth is no less than a whole lie.

When Chris asked this question:
"With so much activity across the US, I was unaware that SD's law had a "health" exception.
Does anyone have a reference to the actual legal document?"

Cranky Catholic replied by posting this quote from the document:
An act to protect the lives of unborn children, and the interests and health of pregnant mothers, by prohibiting abortions in except in cases where the mother's life or health is at risk, and in cases of rape and incest.

Will added,
"Cranky Catholic, everyone with a brain knows that a "health exception" is the open door to have an abortion for any reason."

This was a lie by omission on both Will's and Cranky Catholic's part, and they know it.

The health exception does NOT allow an abortion for ANY reason, and it is quite specific that a woman could not get an abortion for anything other than physical jeopardy to her life.

Here is the part that Will and Cranky Catholic intentionally left out when mentioning the health exception: "necessary because there is a serious risk of substantial and irreversible functioning of a major bodily organ of the pregnant woman should the pregnancy be continued"

That is a BIG deal and makes a LOT of difference! There are indeed some health exceptions that have been very vaguely worded and could easily become loopholes which would allow abortion for any reason, but this is not one of them!

Not only this, but I was shocked when Bob Kyffin made this statement:

"I've already been appalled that some of your readers actually SAID they would place a baby on a sacrificial altar with their own hands if it would save a hundred babies. Ick. Disgusting. Would you, Jill? Please say no"

No one ever said what he is stating here! He deliberately twisted the words of pro-lifers in an attempt to demonize them. This was an outright lie, and was a horrible thing to do.

So why should I or anyone ever trust a person who intentionally tells half truths or lies in order to try to get me to see things their way?

Posted by: Bethany at November 21, 2008 9:47 AM


The Evangelical Turn

It would be the eventual turn by Evangelical Protestants to the pro-life position on abortion that would for some also reopen the contraception question. When in 1973 the US Supreme Court, in its Roe and Doe decisions, overturned the anti-abortion laws of all fifty states, relatively few Protestants voiced opposition. Indeed, some mainline denominations had already endorsed liberalized abortion.

The prominent Southern Baptist Pastor W. A. Criswell openly welcomed the decision. Representing a position many Evangelicals then took, he claimed: “I have always felt that it was only after the child was born and had life separate from its mother that it became an individual person.” Others drew the line at some point before birth, but few rejected the decisions outright.

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) itself had in 1971 urged its members to work for legislation that will allow the possibility of abortion under such conditions as rape, incest, clear evidence of severe fetal deformity, and carefully ascertained evidence of the likelihood of damage to the emotional, mental, and physical health of the mother.

However, reflecting the movement of Evangelicalism as a whole (though not mainline Protestantism), in 2003, the SBC declared that this and the 1974 resolution “accepted unbiblical premises of the abortion rights movement, forfeiting the opportunity to advocate the protection of defenseless women and children” and that “we lament and renounce statements and actions by previous Conventions and previous denominational leadership that offered support to the abortion culture.”

An early sign of this shift occurred in 1975 when a young editor at Christianity Today, Harold O. J. Brown, authored a short anti-abortion editorial. From his home in L’Abri, Switzerland, the neo-Calvinist Francis Schaeffer mobilized Evangelicals against abortion with books such as How Should We Then Live?. This campaign grew through the founding of new Evangelical organizations with pro-life orientations, including Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, and Concerned Women for America.

At first, this pro-life Evangelicalism avoided the issue of contraception. However, over time, it has become ever more difficult for many to draw an absolute line between contraception and abortion, because—whatever theological distinctions they made between the two—the “contraceptive mentality” embraces both, and some forms of “contraception” are in practice abortifacients

Alan Carlson. Touchstone Mag.


Posted by: yllas at November 21, 2008 9:49 AM


"I've already been appalled that some of your readers actually SAID they would place a baby on a sacrificial altar with their own hands if it would save a hundred babies. Ick. Disgusting. Would you, Jill? Please say no"

No one ever said what he is stating here! He deliberately twisted the words of pro-lifers in an attempt to demonize them. This was an outright lie, and was a horrible thing to do.

Posted by: Bethany at November 21, 2008 9:47 AM
**************************************

Bethany, I pointed that out as well, but Bob has insisted that someone said that. I could not find it in my search of the thread, except in Judy Z.'s post, and she was arguing for their point of view.

Posted by: Kel at November 21, 2008 10:55 AM


Jill 6:47a wrote to DeSoto 6:52p: "It is incorrect to say the incremental approach has not worked. Studies show 24-hour waiting period laws, parental notification laws, etc., WORK."

Our American RTL report on regulation results disputes that claim. Here's an excerpt:
"Colorado enacted no child-killing regulations during the years of the Heritage Foundation report, yet saw one of the largest drops in reported abortions according to the State Health Department, from 12,679 in 1990 to 4,215 in 2000."

The full report might be too long to post, it's three pages, but I'll see if I can post it in this thread and if Jill allows it to appear here. I've discussed the findings personally with the author of the Heritage Foundation study.

-Bob Enyart
American RTL

Posted by: BobEnyart at November 21, 2008 10:56 AM


Kel, I think Bob Kyffin needs to produce the quote or admit he lied.

Posted by: Bethany at November 21, 2008 10:57 AM


Bob, I'm not sure how that quote refutes Jill's point.

Jill said that incremental laws work...not that there are not other methods that can work as well.

Posted by: Bethany at November 21, 2008 11:13 AM


Bethany, if it's ok, I'll answer your question with this 3-page report:

Surgical Abortions Down:
Pro-Life Regulations Wrongly Cited

National Right To Life, leading the abortion-regulation movement, promotes the erroneous findings of Michael J. New, Ph.D., who writes reports published by the Heritage Foundation that claim a positive pro-life result from laws that regulate the killing of unborn children. Abortion regulations may even increase the total number of children killed by surgical abortion. And factors accounting for significant reductions in abortions included increased effectiveness of front-line intervention; the explosion of lesbian experimentation; and still other factors causing a drop in overall pregnancy rates.

Disputing Pro-Life Claims for Regulations: Hundreds of pro-life laws, which are child-killing regulations, undermine personhood and the God-given right to life. As such, American RTL rejects them as immoral, and as counterproductive to the goal of eventual legal protection for the unborn. Further as attested by Professor Charles Rice of the Notre Dame Law School, stalwart legal authority of the pro-life movement, these laws can keep abortion legal for years or decades after Roe v. Wade is eventually merely overturned (see the Focus on the Strategy II DVD). The pro-life movement has a vested interest in claiming these regulations save lives, thus we cannot document any attempts by National RTL to quantify the potential short and long-term negative consequences of these laws. Child-killing regulations prune the abortion weed, and strengthen its root. They make abortion look more reasonable and even humane to millions of women, and voters, and to countless politicians and judges, and even to those many Christians who are apathetic about abortion.

Granted, it would be difficult to quantify the number of children who will be killed after Roe v. Wade is merely overturned, as pro-life laws become the nails that hold open the abortion clinic doors. Dr. Rice has stated:

"If the court says the states can regulate abortion, then to protect the right to life, you'd have to get rid of the 'pro-life' abortion laws."

For example: Indiana Code Title 16, Section 34, Chapter 2. Requirements for Performance of Abortion... 1. (a) Abortion shall in all instances be a criminal act, except... if ...the woman submitting to the abortion has filed her consent…"

Dr. Michael New’s research ignores enormous potential negative effects of abortion regulations as shown above and is therefore fundamentally flawed and gives the pro-life industry a false sense of confidence. This undue confidence could further a pro-life strategy which may result in millions of children killed over years or decades by the permissive authority of the pro-life movement's own regulations.

Now consider the current effect of child-killing regulations, some of which have been considered by Dr. New, but most of which have not. Dr. New recognizes the difficulty in quantifying what is really happening regarding the influence of child-killing regulations because of complex over-lapping influences, and also, because of inadequacies in the abortion statistics themselves. These numbers originate with the abortionists themselves, and abortionists are liars; and pro-abortion forces often seek to under-report, as in during the 1990s to make the Clinton administration appear better than Republicans at reducing abortion. Further, abortionists will under-report, or even completely refuse to report even when mandated by law, as in Planned Parenthood’s systematic refusal to comply with mandatory reporting laws regarding suspicion of child molestation. Thus in states where political attention and pressure is brought upon the abortion industry for, say, abortions on girls under age 16, abortion chains can simply underreport to make the concern appear overblown and to deflect attention.

Some factors affect the number of annual abortions, and others that lower the ratio of abortions as a percent of pregnancies. Back in 1989, during a Saturday protest at Denver’s Planned Parenthood clinic, we prayed and asked God to help us make the commitment to have Christian sidewalk counselors at the mill five days a week, during killing hours, to offer help and hope and the Gospel, to the women scheduled to kill their children. Since then, there has been a five-day presence at that killing center, and for about ten years that we have been counting, over 100 children are confirmed as saved from death by these efforts, and there are probably far more than a hundred more not confirmed, but saved annually. Being at the clinic gives these activists a better understanding of the dynamics of the abortion reality. When the Heritage Foundation reports that child-killing regulations significantly reduce the incidence of abortion, the pro-life industry accepts that without question, because they want to believe it, and also, there has been a large reduction in the raw numbers of children being killed annually. Here are the major factors:

Homosexuality: Compared to fifteen years ago, pregnancy itself is way down, and one reason is that out of all annual sexual encounters, today many millions more than in the past are lesbian encounters, all of which is immoral, but which has also reduced pregnancies, which in turn reduces abortion numbers.

Stigma: The stigma for unwed pregnancy has greatly faded, which can reduce the abortion ratio, that is, women who get pregnant who may have aborted fifteen years ago to avoid the social stigma, have far less stigma to be concerned about, and this stigma dropped sooner in more liberal states, and more recently in Bible-belt states, and that effect is one of many ignored by the latest Heritage Foundation report.

Economic Growth: Dr. New does consider the effect of economic growth at some level, and this can reduce the perceived need to abort, and thus can lowers the abortion ratio.

CPCS, Ultrasound, Sidewalk Counseling: Crisis pregnancy centers have become extremely more effective over the past fifteen years, as has ultrasound technology (3D & 4D), as has sidewalk counseling (often working as a referral service to thousands of CPCs), all of which has reduced the abortion ratio, and which is ignored by the Heritage report even though the influence of these significant factors can vary state-by-state in ways that could undermine Dr. News efforts at covariant analysis.

Pregnancies Down: The pregnancy rate has been plummeting among some age groups, and especially among teens. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there has been an explosion of birth control use, and especially so among young women. Today, moms give their own daughters the pill, and condom use has skyrocketed among teens since the late 1980s, and so among teenagers for example, the subject of Dr. New’s February 2007 report, the pregnancy rate has plummeted over 30%, and that greatly reduces the number of abortions. So, when the pro-life industry sees abortion numbers plummet, and the Heritage Foundation tells them what they want to hear, “it’s because of your abortion regulations,” no one seriously challenges the results (except for the American Right To Life coalition from their Open Letter to Dr. James Dobson.)

Chemical Abortions: Pro-life studies that claim success with child-killing regulations often ignore chemical abortions, like RU-486 which has grown in use through the 1990s and especially over the last few years.

Abortion Lowers Abortion: Abortion itself makes women infertile, and so as the fertility of young women drops, the number of abortions drop, not because of our regulations, but because women who waited 24 hours, or who signed informed consent forms, now are injured and perhaps can never again conceive a child.

Many pro-life street activists know the fallacies of unchallenged studies that tell the pro-life industry what it wants to hear: that regulating child killing is effective.

Partial-birth Abortion: PBA bans have no authority to prevent even a single abortion, and while Dr. New indicates that the raw data is insufficient to give much confidence, he still optimistically reports that PBA bans have saved children from being killed, and completely ignores the potential negative consequences of the bans themselves (that is, how more children may die as a result of PBA).

Relying on Abortionists: Abortionists lie. And they are the primary source for the data. The Heritage Foundation reports employ abortion statistics which are themselves notoriously unreliable, with states reporting numbers of abortions than can double or halve themselves in a year’s time. Vermont enacted no child-killing regulations and yet reports a 44% drop through the 1990s. If National Right To Life had passed child-killing regulations in Vermont, the pro-life industry, enabled by the Heritage Foundation, would hype their fundraising, claiming great credit for that drop, when in reality other factors produce whatever reduction actually occurred (the numbers themselves being unreliable).

Relying on Clinton: Democrats in places of influence, health department regulators, abortion clinic administrators, etc., preferred lower numbers of reported abortions during the Clinton years (roughly during the time of Dr. New’s study) to deny claims that Republicans reduce abortion more than Democrats. The Heritage Foundation, normally astute politically, somehow completely missed this major political factor that lowered abortion reporting. The Colorado Department of Health reported abortion statistics for 2000 (see their Induced Terminations of Pregnancy, apparently not online, but the CRTL office has a photocopy of some pages). In their report, the Colorado Dept. of Health indicated that the Clinton administration cut off funding used for collecting abortion statistics: “funding for states to sustain reporting systems was eliminated in 1995, and Colorado has had very limited resources available to maintain or improve the reporting system for induced terminations of pregnancy.” Thus: “these numbers significantly underestimate” actual abortions, and use these statistics with quote: “great caution.”

Look to Colorado: Colorado enacted no child-killing regulations during the years of the Heritage Foundation report, yet saw one of the largest drops in reported abortions according to the State Health Department, from 12,679 in 1990 to 4,215 in 2000 (adding, “reporting… not… consistent over time”). This two-thirds drop in abortions reported by the state (none of which, remember, is reliable), is greater than the average drop nationwide in abortion among teenagers of 50% that Dr. New concludes occurred in significant part due to child-killing regulations. Yet in Colorado we had no such regulations during the years of his study! So how about Colorado’s drop? If we had enacted informed consent, waiting periods, and parental involvement in killing their grandchildren, what? Would our abortion rate have dropped to about zero? The way that the pro-life industry is going, they may end up passing a law prohibiting abortion reporting, and then when zero abortions are finally reported, the Heritage Foundation can declare victory in the war against the unborn!

Deflecting Attention: When state legislators pass laws prying into the incidence of teen abortions, the abortion chains in those states can simply underreport to deflect attention. Planned Parenthood does not obey mandatory reporting laws for child molestation; and it easily misreports abortion numbers because this service is mostly a cash business; and many young women don’t want their parents to find out what they have done; and many adult customers don’t want a paper trail of their shame; and according to their own websites, Planned Parenthood abortion mills don’t even accept checks for this service. And since an abortionist commits murder, it’s not surprising that whenever convenient, he also lies.

Sidewalk counselors may not have degrees in statistics, but killing kids is more about right and wrong than numbers. And while statistics can easily mislead, right and wrong are simple enough for a child to understand. When you compromise on Do not murder, the results easily backfire, and abortion can become more entrenched. But don’t expect the pro-life industry to seriously examine its claims of success, nor any harmful consequences of its strategy, like promoting moral relativism and legal positivism, and like further eroding the child’s personhood in the mind of the public and among governing officials. All Christians, and all pro-life ministries, should read and sign Colorado Right To Life’s 40 Years / 50 Million Dead / One Commitment pledge to never compromise on God’s enduring command, Do not murder!

-American RTL

Posted by: BobEnyart at November 21, 2008 11:30 AM


Bob Enyart: "yet saw one of the largest drops in reported abortions according to the State Health Department, from 12,679 in 1990 to 4,215 in 2000."

And back up to 11,425 in 2004, which indicates there is something really weird with abortion reporting in Colorado.

Posted by: Flroence at November 21, 2008 11:36 AM


And up to 16,210 in 2006, according to AGI, further confirming that the numbers Bob is relying are suspect. (Not that it's his fault; just that the data gathering and reporting is unreliable for some reason.)

Posted by: Florence at November 21, 2008 11:39 AM


Uncompromised Incrementalism

Bethany, I'll respond to the Titanic and burning building analogies soon. But as you think them through, please re-consider this point, that National Right To Life, Jill, and other abortion regulators are incorrect to report that the "purists" oppose incrementalism.

The "purists" SUPPORT saving only one of a hundred when only one can be saved, but we oppose CONSENTING to the killing of one to save others. Examples of incremental efforts that "purists" support in principle that are not immoral include:

- parental consent laws that apply to all surgeries on minors (but not laws that regulate abortion that end with, "and then you can kill the baby");
- laws that defund abortion providers;
- laws that end abortion in a particular state or country, even though such a law doesn't end "legalized" child killing everywhere.

American Right To Life's widely reported full-page open letters have always stated, "INCREMENTALISM IS FINE; compromised incrementalism violates God's enduring command, Do not murder. When you compromise on this fundamental law, you UNDERMINE the goal of re-establishing the personhood of the child, and you CANNOT possibly foresee all the negative consequences."

Many in the personhood wing of the movement have never objected to being labeled purists (1 Timothy 1:5), but it is harmful to turned that biblical concept into a pejorative. The puritans must be turning in their graves (after all, even though they committed their share of injustice including with slavery, still, the colony they founded, Massachusetts, outlawed slavery before the current U.S. Constitution was written).

So the "purist" Personhood wing of the pro-life movement opposes child-killing regulations like waiting periods and informed consent because they are immoral in that they end with the meaning, "and then you can kill the baby," and only secondly, because they are counterproductive by reinforcing the "exceptions" strategy that the abortionists themselves used in 1966 in Mississippi and 1967 in Colorado to pry open the floodgates of shed blood.

So, incrementalism is fine. Compromised incrementalism is not. If our position is wrong, you'll have to accurately represent it in order to prove your case.

That should help you re-think your Titanic and burning building analogies.

Posted by: BobEnyart at November 21, 2008 12:32 PM


Florence, I appreciate you clarifying that you are not claiming I am mis-reporting, but that the numbers are WRONG. YES, you're correct, and that's the point of the report above, that the numbers that Jill and NRTL rely on to prove regulations WORD are invalide.

Florence, you wrote that, "there is something really weird with abortion reporting in Colorado."

Yes, specifically from the above report: Relying on Clinton: Democrats in places of influence, health department regulators, abortion clinic administrators, etc., preferred lower numbers of reported abortions during the Clinton years (roughly during the time of Dr. New’s study) to deny claims that Republicans reduce abortion more than Democrats. … The Colorado Department of Health reported abortion statistics for 2000 (see their Induced Terminations of Pregnancy… that the Clinton administration cut off funding used for collecting abortion statistics:
“funding for states to sustain reporting systems was eliminated in 1995, and Colorado has had very limited resources available to maintain or improve the reporting system for induced terminations of pregnancy.” Thus: “these numbers significantly underestimate” actual abortions, and use these statistics with quote: “great caution.”

[Abortion] numbers originate with the abortionists themselves, and abortionists are liars; and pro-abortion forces often seek to under-report… abortionists will under-report, or even completely refuse to report even when mandated by law [to their own benefit]. Thus in states where political attention and pressure is brought upon the abortion industry for, say, abortions on girls under age 16, abortion chains can simply underreport to make the concern appear overblown and to deflect attention.

Posted by: BobEnyart at November 21, 2008 12:42 PM


Jill,

Here's the problem: We all claim to want to stop abortion, yet when a new idea is attempted by some of us, the "Incrementalists" literally work AGAINST us. Case in point - when the Michigan human life amendment was attempted in 2006, NRTL, RTL Michigan (RTLM), and the Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) worked against us. Both RTLM and MCC sent letters to Michigan elected officials and to every Catholic Church in Michigan respectively, urging NOT to support this amendment. RTLM also posted a letter signed by Father Pavone on RTLM's website to urge the same. NRTL convinced him and the MCC to see it their way.

THIS IS THE HEART OF THE PROBLEM! These organizations and others, REFUSE to support a new approach even after 35 years of being unsuccessful in stopping this atrocity.

It is obvious who started this useless battle from within the prolife ranks, and who is refusing to support who. Keep in mind that for 35 years, ALL of us had been working in earnest trying to accomplish the end to abortion using incrementalism. Now it is appropriate for ALL of us to get behind Personhood Initiatives, but each time it is attempted, the "Incrementalists" are gone, and worse, they work against us.

The WAR against abortion is a FAILURE because it is still with us! It is not a question about whether or not incrementalism worked, it did work to a degree. Rather, it is a question of doing WHATEVER IT TAKES BY ALL PROLIFERS to get the job finished. This means purely and simply, DO NOT WORK AGAINST PERSONHOOD AMENDMENTS, as this is just another tool in the bag to defeat abortion, and we need your help.

I will send you 3 documents via email, prepared by the Thomas More Law Center with regard to Michigan and South Dakota efforts, and incrementalism strategy of NRLC, if you would be so kind as to publish them on your website. I don't know how to incorporate them into this blog.

Posted by: DeSoto at November 21, 2008 12:46 PM


Bob, I understand what you are saying, but that really did not help with the Titanic analogy.

On the Titanic, a certain group of people was selected to stay on board, while the other groups of people were allowed to go on the lifeboats.

The men were ordered to stay behind, while the women and children were selected to go onto the boats.

Officers actually held men back as they let women and children through to the boats.

It was a desperate time and this was the choice that was made, because of the number of lifeboats on the Titanic.

This very clearly is analogous for this very reason: because it was ordered that a group of people was NOT to be saved. But in those circumstances, it is obviously understandable.

So can you please answer the question directly. What would you do on the Titanic. Would you say that NO one should be saved, unless the order said that men, women, and children could all go onto the boats? That way the order would not have ended with "and then you can let all the men drown"? That way, if anyone died after that, at LEAST you would still have your principles in tact?

Bob Enyart, we tried to pass the perfect law, and it failed. The Titanic should have had enough lifeboats but it didn't.

The people on the Titanic had to save the people they could. We wanted to save the people we can. They had to make choices that I am definite they did NOT want to make. But they were NOT evil choices.

That second SD law may not have been perfect, just as the Titanic's stock of boats was not perfect, but it would have saved many from death, just as those lifeboats saved many from death.

Now, the Titanic has sunk, but instead of saving half of the people on the ship, we have sunk the ship with all of the people on it- for principle's sake.

That is the tragedy.

Posted by: Bethany at November 21, 2008 12:51 PM


DeSoto...

Jill wrote earlier in this post:
"I fully supported and encouraged CO’s personhood amendment. I condemned the incrementalist hardliners fighting it."

Posted by: Bethany at November 21, 2008 12:54 PM


Pastor Bob, 12:42: Your/ARTL's analysis of pro-life regulations is unscientific and self-fulfilling. Here are analyses by Dr. Michael New:


http://www.heritage.org/Research/Family/CDA04-01.cfm
http://www.heritage.org/Research/Family/CDA06-01.cfm
http://www.heritage.org/Research/Family/CDA06-05.cfm
http://www.heritage.org/Research/Family/CDA07-01.cfm

Here are links to his Family Research Council Study which specifically looks at pro-life parental involvement laws.

http://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF08I28.pdf

If people want to read Dr. New's debate about data with the authors of the Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good study, go here:

Pro-life legislation and abortion

Abortion public policy response

Faulty methodology and presentation

Interesting that once again we see Pastor Enyart/ARTL/purists on the same side as pro-aborts.

If some readers are skeptical of Dr. New's research, here is a good study of the TX Parental Consent law that appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine. The authors have been skeptical about the effects of pro-life laws, but they find good evidence here that the TX law worked.

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/354/10/1031

Posted by: Jill Stanek at November 21, 2008 1:00 PM


Bethany 12:51. Thank you.

Posted by: Kel at November 21, 2008 1:01 PM


I don't have time right now to look and see if all the other states have similar anomalies to Colorado's in terms of abortion reporting during the '90's (but I do plan on looking at that.) My sense based on the national numbers is that they did not. However, while recognizing that AGI errs on the low side overall, how do you explain the fact that, even using AGI's numbers, looking state by state, those states with no or very weak parental involvement laws show up almost exclusively among the states with the highest teen abortion rates, while the 2/3 of states with parental involvement laws all show up in the lower end. See: http://www.yeson4.net/newsrelease.aspx (the press release about AGI data) Please note that these figures are based on state of residence of the minor, so they take into account minors travelling to other states.

Posted by: Florence at November 21, 2008 1:16 PM


Janet responded to Will's hypothetical questions demonstrating the crisis, and I think also, demonstrating why others intuitively hesitated to reply. The pro-life movement is operating as though there are no relevant moral principles other than statistics; and it operates as though the end justifies the means. Janet answered correctly by NRTL's strategy, since there is no qualitative (moral) consideration, but only a quantitative consideration (how many lives; and ignore ALL possible negative consequences of regulations). So, Janet answered by the regulations strategy, statistically, that Yes, because it would quantitatively save more lives, she would agree to what Alan Keyes calls the Devil's Game. Satan would happily end all abortions in the world if he could get all Christians to consent to just one per year. To the Rebellion, it's not as much about killing the child as it is about getting God's people to disobey Him. What Janet agrees to is blatant child sacrifice. I can hear regulators thinking: Yes, but ABORTION IS ALREADY LEGAL!! That doesn't mean you have the latitude from God to consent to killing a single child. What does it profit if you gain the whole world, and lose your soul? Don't fear those who can kill the body, but fear Him who can destroy the body in hell. It's the "consenting" that is immoral and in the long run counterproductive, which lead us to the year 2008. After a quarter century of Republican presidential victories, and majority appointments to the Federal Courts including the Supreme Court, the Federal Judiciary is overwhelming pro-abortion (the undeniable FRUIT of OUR labor), and not a single Supreme has ever held that the unborn has a right to life.

Posted by: BobEnyart at November 21, 2008 1:21 PM


Oliver - Man you are dense.

No, you are. I'm not comparing this to anything. It's just another pro-life incremental law idea. Here is Jill and other's arguments:
Abortion is already legal. The babies will die anyway. Save as many as you can, at all costs.

Okay fine. Abortion is already legal. Christians are already killing their kids. Christians will kill these babies anyway if we don't do something. Let's make it illegal to kill >99% of them as long as one Christian (who would already have the abortion under our current laws) has an abortion. Janet's on board. Jill, you and others won't respond. Why?

Oliver - "If one person a year is allowed to choose whether or not to have an abortion, abortion will be illegal for everyone else."

I would support this law. The one person can be persuaded by discussion or through information. They may not choose abortion. However, for SURE even if that one person a year chose an abortion, we would have saved thousands upon thousands of babies each year. Why would you oppose that?

If I consent that it's okay for one person to kill one child, that's wrong before God. My vote is that consent. Oliver, if you were the baby of the one person that got to "choose" to have an abortion, would you support this law? If it were Mary, would you support this law?

Posted by: Will D at November 21, 2008 1:43 PM


Bob, were the officials and men in charge on the Titanic evil and/or anti-man because of the choice they made, to save women and children, and leave most men behind? Were they compromising on principles and allowing evil? Were the passengers who allowed this to happen complicit in the evil decision to decide to allow the men to perish while the women and children were saved? OR was the decision actually a moral good because of the circumstances? I really want to know what you think.

Will, maybe you can help.

Posted by: Bethany at November 21, 2008 1:50 PM


Jill, it is those very Heritage Foundation reports by Michael New that we dispute.

He opened one of his widely cited reports (I was at his presentation of these numbers in Kansas City) with this line: "Between 1990 and 1999, the number of reported legal abortions declined by 18.4 percent."

I've enjoyed the amicable but direct conversations I had with Michael about our claim that his research was biased, and that his research was uncritically accepted by his pro-life Republican market, Heritage, Nat'l RTL, etc., that was looking to him to tell them what they wanted to hear.

To show that Michael was biased, I pointed out to him that his report should have identified that in Colorado, the official statistics for the period of his report:

http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/hs/Websummary99.pdf

showed one of the greatest decreases in abortions of any state, and his reporting that would have given his readers some objective information, which instead he withheld. Further, we talked about the Clinton administration cutting off funding for abortion reporting, to make it look like the numbers went down during the years of Michael's report. And we talked about the nationwide practice of abortionists failing to comply with mandatory reporting where they see it to their benefit (Tiller; PP re: mandatory reporting of suspected child rape, etc.), and that abortionist murderers are also liars, and that all his analysis begins with his trusting PP's numbers. And we talked about the other factors listed above. And Michael did not admit to bias, but I recall that he could not defend withholding information about Colorado's drop, and the Clinton strategy, and intentional and systematic abortionist mis-reporting. Further, I recall we discussed that Michael New made NO EFFORT to quantify ANY negative effects of the regulations. He could not possibly produce an accurate assessment of the results of regulations with these glaring omissions.

So Jill, if you take Michael's research uncritically, then yes, it shows that regulations have reduced surgical abortions in the short term. If you critically evaluate his data, you will be the first in the pro-regulation camp to do so (those welfare vs. regulations debates you linked to notwithstanding). Welcome aboard!

Posted by: BobEnyart at November 21, 2008 1:57 PM


Jill - Pro-lifers and pro-aborts on the same side? Hello?

Uh...Jill. How about the Partial Birth Abortion ban? Pro-lifers and pro-aborts on the same side. How about the Born Alive Infant Protection Act? Pro-lifers and pro-aborts on the same side.

Hello Jill?

You will always find a pro-abort to agree with a regulation, you will never find ONE pro-abort on the same side as us on Personhood. Not ONE.

Posted by: Will D at November 21, 2008 1:57 PM


BTW, that report I quoted from is:
A Report of The Heritage Center for Data Analysis:
ANALYZING THE EFFECT OF STATE LEGISLATION ON THE INCIDENCE OF ABORTION AMONG MINORS
MICHAEL J. NEW, PH.D.

Posted by: BobEnyart at November 21, 2008 2:04 PM


Jill - It is incorrect to say the incremental approach has not worked. Studies show 24-hour waiting period laws, parental notification laws, etc., WORK.

Jill, kidnapping women so they give birth works too. Why don't you do it? Is the blood of their babies on your hands?

There are countless ways to save babies. No one is disagreeing with you on that. This win at all costs mentality is devastating to read. Why can't you admit that there is "compromised" incrementalism that should not be practiced, even if it would save 99% of the babies? That's all I'm trying to prove with my proposed incremental laws.

The Bible says, "Do not do evil that good may come from it." That means, YOU CAN DO EVIL THAT GOOD MAY COME OF IT. Your regular bloggers are even considering killing kids to save others. Don't you see what's happening?

Until you can admit that some incrementalism is wrong, can we debate whether these laws are right and wrong. The problem is the trail you've created leading up to this. The mentality of "it's already legal, they will die anyway" gets you into huge trouble when you finally admit that A or B is a wrong approach. So you punt...

Posted by: Will D at November 21, 2008 2:07 PM


Bob, were the officials and men in charge on the Titanic evil and/or anti-man because of the choice they made, to save women and children, and leave most men behind? Were they compromising on principles and allowing evil? Were the passengers who allowed this to happen complicit in the evil decision to decide to allow the men to perish while the women and children were saved? OR was the decision actually a moral good because of the circumstances? I really want to know what you think.

Will, maybe you can help.
Posted by: Bethany at November 21, 2008 1:50 PM

Posted by: Bethany at November 21, 2008 2:35 PM


Will said @ 12: 14 AM
:
Janet, thanks for being the first to respond. I want to use you as an example to show where we're at in this country. Please don't take it personal, it's not. It's completely in love.

Your answers are actually very shocking and I'm sure many pro-lifers would say the same thing. To even contemplate these wicked laws is sad. Imagine if we were talking about killing Jews.

"A law limiting people to only kill one Jew in their lifetime." -
Your answer: Not a bad idea actually from a pro-life point of view since there are so many repeat killers.

Isn't that a wrong way to think?

Your next answers read: "It wouldn't pass." Huh? Is this about only doing what will win? Sounds like NRTL. Leaders don't only fight wars they know they will win. They always do what's right, even when they know we'll lose.

"A law making it illegal to kill any unborn children as long as one Christian would have one abortion."-

The fact that you even contemplated this is not good Janet. I think your conscience told you that.

Jill, please read Janet's comments and take them to heart. She's confused and so are others. The pro-life movement has lost the ability to think and I don't think you're helping.

Posted by: Will D at November 21, 2008 12:14 AM


Will, Of course my answers are shocking. The "wicked laws" are your own hypotheticals. You're twisting everyone's arms to comment and when I do, it's a "gotcha" moment which proves nothing except that the laws were ridiculously wrong and unrealistic from the start.

I explained the Christian (or Jewish or whatever) religion was irrelevant already.

You said:" Leaders don't only fight wars they know they will win. They always do what's right, even when they know we'll lose."

What in the world? Leaders fight with a vision. Are you going to tell an army General he's got to send his troops to a battle he KNOWS he'll lose? So your strategy for the pro-life movement is to go for it, fight the way you want although it'll kill innocent babies - because you are justified to define your battle whatever the cost?

What's so noble or moral about that?

Again, I only contemplated these questions because you asked me to. As I said, they are unrealistic. I agree with Jill that we are living in an anti-Christian country. We need to try to relate to the real world as it is today. It's not the same one we knew in 1973. You probably weren't even alive then.

Don't even try to use my post as an example to Jill that you are right and she is wrong. I played your game. That's all it was. My hypothetical answers do not reflect my true feelings about abortion. I believe one or a million abortions are wrong. ALWAYS WRONG.


Posted by: Janet at November 21, 2008 3:40 PM


Will @ 2:07,

Your regular bloggers are even considering killing kids to save others. Don't you see what's happening?

YOU KNOW THIS IS NOT TRUE! THIS IS A PRO-LIFE SITE, OR DID YOU FORGET?

Posted by: Janet at November 21, 2008 3:43 PM


The Titanic, Burning Buildings, and Terrorists

Bethany, thank you for insisting on a reply to the Titanic analogy, so that perhaps we can get you and Jill to acknowledge in the future that purists like those at American Right To Life SUPPORT saving only one of a hundred or as many as possible, but OPPOSE "consenting" and "re-authorizing" the drowning, burning, shooting, or dismembering of other innocents.

First I'll give the principles and then I'll apply them to the Titanic analogy, and then reply to Christina, John K. Walker, Jill, and you specifically.

Principles:
- "We must obey God rather than men" Acts 5:29
- You save those you can save Proverbs 24:11 "Rescue those drawn toward death"
- You never "kill the innocent" Exodus 23:7
- You "put away the guilt of innocent blood *when you do what is right*" Deut. 21:8
- You never defend, consent to, or re-authorize killing Ex. 23:7; Acts 5:29; Dt. 21:8 the innocent
- You do not "do evil that good may come of it" Romans 3:8

Because the Titanic, like a typical burning building, is an accident and not intentional, it is a weaker analogy. But I'll respond anyway, and then apply these principles to the stronger analogy of terrorists threatening to kill students.

Titanic Analogy: applying the above principles...
- You save as many as you can
(giving precedence as you pointed out Bethany, to women and children for biblically the man
is the "covering," protector, and provider, for the woman who is the "weaker vessel" 1 Pet. 3:7
and of course for her children)
- You don't "consent" to someone actively drowning some kids to make room to save others
(even though, hey, they're going to die anyway; you don't consent to that because it is wrong)

Terrorist in a School Analogy: as has actually happened in history, terrorists are trying to kill 100 kids (and more) in a school.
- You attempt to rescue those drawn toward death Prov. 24:11
- If you can only save one, to 99, you save them; as many as you can
- Whatever murders occur, you make sure you do not put your "hands [to] shed this blood" Dt. 21:7
(otherwise, God will not put away the guilt of innocent blood from you, your mission, etc. Dt. 21:8)
- If the terrorist offers (which he may to bloody your hands): if you let me kill this child,
I will let you save the others, you refuse.
(And then do all you can to stop him, but even if failure is a virtual certainty, you must never "consent,"
defend, offer, authorize in negotiations, or re-authorize, the killing of an innocent child to save others;
such behavior is child sacrifice, it disobeys God, it undermines the moral high ground of the rescuers,
it works out of fear of those who can kill the body rather than fear of God Mat. 10:28 and it ignores
the command to obey God rather than men; "Hey, if these men, in robes, require me to acknowledge in
law legal consent to kill others in order for me to save some, then so be it, I have to follow their rules.")

Christina 3:26p Nov. 11, 2008: The "purists" ought to answer me these questions: Should Oskar Schindler simply have turned the Jews who worked in his factory over to the Nazis to be gassed, since he couldn't save all the Jews?"

No Christina, your question shows a misunderstanding of the purist position. ARTL unequivocally SUPPORTS saving only those you can, like through sidewalk counseling, uncompromised incrementalism, etc., but OPPOSES "consenting" to the killing of other innocents because it is immoral, and secondly, because it backfires, as for example in destroying the very concept of personhood among even our own conservative judges, and see the 60 percent of the federal judiciary appointed by pro-life Republican presidents, which judiciary is overwhelmingly pro-abortion.

Christina: "When the Titanic was sinking, should they just have jettisoned the lifeboats empty, since they couldn't save everybody on board?"

No. As another example of child-killing regulations being counterproductive, realize that our Republican presidential nominees have been increasingly pro-choice as the moral foundation of the party crumbles, such that George W. Bush refuses to support South Dakota's abortion ban, with or without exceptions. He commented to ABC News in 2006 that because the ban then didn't allow for some kids to be killed, he would not support it, in effect preferring all kids to be killed: if you don't let me kill 1%, I'd rather they kill them all. That's how "compromised" incrementalism works in practice. We don't save 99% and go back for the 1%. Our very own efforts re-enforce our leaders anti-personhood beliefs, and then we make excuses for them and even call them great pro-life heroes.

Christina: "In what other situation is your all-or-nothing, 'if I can't save them all, then I won't save any' thinking okay?"

None. Another example of child-killing regulations backfiring is that "pro-lifers" like John McCain take increasingly pro-choice positions, whereas at one time he favored a ban of abortion with exceptions, now he says, along with Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, that states like California and New York have the right to regulate abortion. Many of our pro-life leaders do not even realize that change has been taking place, where "pro-life" Republicans who favored bans with some exceptions have now punted, the buck stops there, and claim it's a state's right to legalize killing Jews, raping women, and dismembering children. States' rights do not take precedent over human rights; but what's telling is that Nat'l RTL and the pro-life industry has stood by impotently as this enormous pro-choice shift is occurring among their "pro-life" heroes. By the way, a few years ago Nat'l RTL's report on John McCain concluded that he was a "threat" to the pro-life movement (and notice, they said, to the "movement," rather than to the kids that he to this day advocates killing).

John K. Walker 7:04p: "So on this basis I generally agree with Jill, and vehemently oppose the 'purist' approach… the 'Titanic' analogy raised earlier has always seemed undeniable to me…"

John, I hope after reading the above you can see that not only is the analogy deniable, it misunderstands the purist position. ARTL SUPPORTS saving one or as many as possible while OPPOSING consent given to the killing of one to save others.

John K. Walker: "…meaning that we should always do what is possible at any one time to advance the cause of ending this holocaust" [it is wrong to advocate shooting all abortionists, something that is possible, but immoral] "… if anyone has a cogent argument to the contrary, by all means express it."

John, I have changed the minds of many who had argued that it is justifiable to kill abortionists. If my standard was a statistical one, I'd struggle with those who claim this would reduce the number of abortions and it's not "perfection" but it will "save some." Our Abortion Vigilantism Worksheet at KGOV.com/writings/abortion_vigilantism_worksheet is based on Scripture and recognizes the civilian right to use force to save lives while also powerfully demonstrating the immorality of civilian pro-life vigilantes. In my experience, it is us "purists" who have had great success in converting vigilante-wannabes. Whereas, compromised incrementalist make a show of saying they will not work with those who advocate abortion violence, but they bend over backwards campaigning for and praising the most extreme "pro-life" violence of Republicans like the Bush men (the Bush women are all openly pro-abortion; grandma, wife, and daughters) with the justification that: "We'll yes, if you put it that way, George W. Bush does support abortion violence, of killing countless thousands of children, but by supporting his limited abortion violence, we improve our chances of victory." No we don't. Instead, Bush promises to disregard abortion when nominating judges, and in truth, he stacked the Texas courts with pro-choice judges and has done the same to our Federal and Supreme courts.

Jill Stanek 4:23a (wow, A.M., working at ALL HOURS), Nov. 12: Supporting a strategy to save 99% of babies when the strategy to save 100% of babies failed is not to support the killing of the remaining 1%. There are unlimited examples to demonstrate your logic is so faulty - the Underground Railroad, the Holocaust underground, even the Titanic, where there weren't enough boats to save all.

Jill, in the future, I pray you stop saying that purists like those at American RTL oppose saving some babies. As you now know beyond doubt, American Right To Life's widely reported full-page open letters have always stated, "INCREMENTALISM IS FINE; compromised incrementalism…" is wrong because it actively "consents" "to killing some to save others, and that is disobedient to God and counterproductive for the unborn. Jill, you can't imagine what the nation would be like if, over the last forty years our Christian leaders had taught us to obey God rather than man and to never compromise on God's enduring command, Do not murder. Instead, we've been deceived and even taught to make excuses for unrepentant child killers. And forget about the Republican Party, the moral foundation of the Body of Christ itself has crumbled, with millions of sincere churchgoing Protestants and Catholics getting divorces (I know); and believing that abortion is often acceptable; and that homosexuality is acceptable; etc., etc. If we are willing to compromise on God's command, Do not murder, there is no logical place to stop compromising (except for Republican party politics).

Bethany 1:50p Nov. 21: Bob, were the officials and men in charge on the Titanic evil and/or anti-man because of the choice they made, to save women and children, and leave most men behind? Were they compromising on principles and allowing evil? … OR was the decision actually a moral good because of the circumstances? I really want to know what you think.

No. No. And yes, the decision was a moral good: to save as many as you can. But to consent to someone drowning the kids of immigrants bunking down in the steerage of the ship, perhaps to reduce the confusion on deck and thereby save more children since there were not enough lifeboats, and so those kids were going to die anyway, now that Bethany, would have been wrong.

-Bob Enyart
American RTL

Posted by: BobEnyart at November 21, 2008 6:53 PM


Good grief, Will...

Posted by: Chris at November 21, 2008 6:54 PM


Bob Enyart,

Don't confuse circumlocution with answering the question.

Posted by: Bethany at November 21, 2008 7:12 PM


Bethany:
In response to my last post, you replied:

"Jill wrote earlier in this post:
"I fully supported and encouraged CO’s personhood amendment. I condemned the incrementalist hardliners fighting it."

So kudos to Jill, but where is her support and the support of everyone on this blog, and the support of NRTL, and RTLM and MCC for the next personhood amendment... and the next... and the next?

I would really appreciate Jill's answer, and your answer to my last blog which was -
Posted by: DeSoto at November 21, 2008 12:46 PM

Posted by: DeSoto at November 21, 2008 7:55 PM


Bethany,

I am grossly offended at your charge of lying. Forgive my impertinence, but hasn't Jill charged you with the role of keeping this blog from having ugly charges like that?

I have searched far and wide, and no, the search function on this site and on Google does not show the post I referenced, nor the post I know for a fact I made (because I kept a copy) which prompted the admission by your poster. I am 90% certain the poster in question was Patricia. So, I'm left strongly suspecting that the posts in question have been removed by the moderators for some reason. The postings would have been made on or around either April 8 or May 14. Do you keep records of such removed posts?

Without such records, you'll have to take my word for it. I am certainly not in the habit of lying. Or, for that matter, of accusing others of intentionally lying.

This place was once a place for sincere discussion, and I regret that it has become somewhat different over the bitterness from the election.

My conscience is clear. So is yours. Continuing to accuse each other of killing babies, intentionally or not (I've never charged, except for that one case, that any pro-lifers here ever defended killing some babies to save others), is stupid.

Let me just explain my perspective, so you can understand how I see it (and Bob, and Will, etc.). I don't ask that you'll agree with me -- I've now pretty much given up hope of that. But at least maybe you can understand why we think what we do so passionately, and maybe (just maybe) it will cause you to stop questioning our motives and your accusations will stop.

I've made this analogy before on this blog. No one (actually, one person) listened to me then, and so I have no hope it will change anyone's mind. But let me just try.

On the other (more recent) thread, someone proposed that your compromised incremental stands (save as many babies as you can now, the rest later) is like a fireman planning to rescue people from a burning building (a similar analogy to the Titanic). You try, he says, to save as many people as you can, even if you know you can't possibly save them all.

Sure, that sounds good, and if the situation WERE that, I'd agree with the goal of saving as many as you can.

But from my perspective, that is NOT the analogy.

A better analogy, closer to how I see things, is this:

A building is burning, and there IS a possibility you could save all the people if you concentrated on the principle and just fight the fire. Most firefighters don't think it's possible, and so they mock you. But you insist there's a way, and you begin to marshal the firefighting resources to put the fire out, thereby saving all the people. But some of the mockers are so against you that they try to stop you. Meanwhile, other, nobler, firefighters who nevertheless disagree with you, but who wish you the best, are busy planning a strategy for rescuing the people without really trying to put out the fire (they don't think addressing the principle of fighting the fire is going to be productive, so they focus only on rescuing whoever they can). Here's the sad part -- rather than say, "Go in and rescue as many as you can," they're instead negotiating as to who can and can't be saved, and determining that their policy will be to allow some to burn because "they can't realistically be saved". They think they're trying to save as many as they can, but they're really only trying to save as many as they realistically can -- they lack the hope that more can be saved right now, and so they don't have any intention to try to save them all -- not just yet. Next fire, maybe they'll try, but it's just not a realistic goal now.

Here, I'm NOT accusing you of intentionally trying to kill people. I'm accusing you of not having the hope it would take to even consider it's possible to save all the people. I'm accusing you of not having the will to save all the people, because you believe it's an impossible goal.

And if that were all, I could morally just let you do your thing -- you try your way, I'll try mine. I'd shake my head and wish you agreed with my philosophy, but I wouldn't try to stop you because there's nothing (aside from your lack of commitment to my strategy) that's harming my own plans -- you, if this were where the analogy stopped -- would not be making my own strategy more difficult except by your lack of commitment.

However, sadly, it doesn't end there. Because your strategy is so bound up in planning which people can be saved, and which can't, and because it takes a while to figure all that out, you're letting the building burn while you quibble -- you're failing to address the principle of the fire, which is what's killing people in the first place. You don't believe it's even possible to put the fire out completely, so why try to fight it? You're only trying to fight the fire enough to rescue those people you can "reasonably expect" to save, because you are convinced that the fire will eventually win.

From my perspective, your defeatist attitude -- thinking that ending all abortion is not a realistic goal now (or in 12 years -- Jill was mocking about the 12 year goal -- impossible, right?) is what's holding our movement back. It's not a question of two successful strategies. It's a question of two strategies which are necessarily contradictory and counterbalancing to each other. The more energy you put toward your strategy, the more you undermine the Personhood strategy. And, you might say, the more effort we put into our strategy, the more it undermines YOUR efforts. But, we say, you're heading in the wrong direction.

It's not just our moral obligation to convince you to turn around and go in the right direction (the direction which I'm confident the Bible holds out as right and principled). It's our moral obligation to stand in your way, to keep you from "advancing toward the rear", as we firmly believe you're doing. You're harming the cause of Life, even as you're totally convinced you're right and proper in your strategy (and have been for 35 not-very-successful years).

In one respect, Jill is right -- we all should be pulling together in one direction. However, where we diverge is about WHICH direction. I maintain that incrementalists are taking the long way around, and are spending as much energy moving away from the real goal of ending all abortions as they spend moving toward it. Therefore, their progress is slow.

Those of us of the Personhood/Life at Conception wing are arguing for heading in the correct direction -- heading straight for our goal, rather than going the long way. Why are so many people opposed to us? Let us try, and quit trying to ridicule and mock us! You've had your 35 years. Let us have 12. Better yet, help us (and, Jill, I appreciate that you did in the past, though you seem to be taking that back, now).

Better even still, join us and reject the failed strategies and let's spend our efforts fighting the fire, so that the danger is gone and no more need fear death!

Posted by: Bob Kyffin at November 21, 2008 8:01 PM


So Bob,

Do you have a game plan for the next year? Could you share your noble plan with us, please?

Posted by: Janet at November 21, 2008 8:29 PM


Our strategy is very simple.

Proclaim the Right to Life (no exceptions) from every hilltop of every land.

Make people understand there IS no middle ground worth having. There is a principle at stake, not some regulatory middle ground where we can quibble about where to draw the line -- which babies to save, and which not.

Spread the concept of Life at Conception to as many states and as many pro-life groups as possible, so that the Life at Conception laws and initiatives predominate, and compromised regulatory efforts decrease.

Get pro-lifers off the one-track-mindset of "save as many babies as we can, save only the babies we can" and give pro-lifers hope that we CAN save all the babies, and CAN end ALL abortions IF we adopt the principle of Life at Conception, and tell everybody who will listen.

Life at Conception is a COMPELLING PRINCIPLE, which many people will understand and agree with. A principle has SO MUCH MORE POWER to inspire and convince people than does a regulation which can be set here or there.

Whenever we're out there saying there's a middle ground (which is what pro-aborts argue), then we've already lost the battle. We're arguing on their terms -- we're arguing about "bad abortions" versus "good abortions". We'll lose that fight. And despite certain flawed statistics, I maintain that the incremental fight IS losing, and has been for decades.

Thankfully, I believe we can have 5-10 states get Life at Conception measures on their ballots, or even in their legislatures in 2 years. Already this year, we had about 3-4 states try it, and Colorado was the first state ever to succeed!

And it's no defeat to get 27% of voters to agree to Life at Conception, which even pro-lifers believed held sway with only 10-15% of the population. That 27% this year could be 35-45% in 2 years, and might reach 50% almost as soon.

We must have faith that principle, and God's help, will cause us to prevail!

Posted by: Bob Kyffin at November 21, 2008 8:45 PM


Remember, Janet, South Dakota had 44% of voters support Life at Conception just 2 years ago.

They chose to compromise, instead, which gained them nothing (and shook the faith of many principled voters).

If they had only tried again, tried harder, and educated the population that THERE IS NO COMPROMISE WITH LIVES, they actually could have succeeded this year with a 100% ban on abortions.

Unfortunately, they didn't even try. They gave up at their first defeat. How could they possibly have won, with that attitude?

Posted by: Bob Kyffin at November 21, 2008 8:47 PM


Bob Kyffin - Your game plan is a gift to all the babies from the Holy Spirit!

Posted by: DeSoto at November 21, 2008 9:16 PM


Bob K,
If your plan is to work, shouldn't the most accurate wording be "Life at Fertilization", instead of Conception? Conception has been redefined by the pro-choice movement to mean the same as Implantation which is not the same as Fertilization.

OK, this sounds like it might be a plan, but how do you answer all those who fear that once abortion is taken away (made illegal), that birth control will follow? Some forms of birth control are abortifacients after all. I don't advocate anything but natural methods of BC but the majority of Americans probably don't agree with my views.

Have you thought about this next step?

What percent of Americans do you need to draw to the pro-life side before "the powers that be" rule that abortion should be illegal?


Posted by: Janet at November 21, 2008 9:52 PM


Janet, thank you!

Actually, we in Colorado claim victory on that point too.

It's not just that 27% of Coloradans agreed we should end all abortions, for any reason, forever. We also had 27% of Coloradans agree to end all forms of abortifacient birth control, and end all forms of embryonic homicide (including some methods of In Vitro fertilization). The scares were brought out -- way beyond that, even -- but we maintained that yes, some forms of IVF or birth control were going to be affected by the measure.

But, if we're arguing for Personhood, or Life at Conception, then it becomes an easy argument to shut down some forms of birth control and some forms of IVF -- people understand! -- because it's obvious, once the foundation of Life Begins at Conception is established, that you cannot kill an innocent human being, even by means of birth control or by killing "extra" embryos from IVF.

So long as we establish Life at Conception, we've established the preeminence of the Right to Life OVER the practices of birth control or IVF.

And, yes, you're certainly correct about the fact of fertilization (and that's how Amendment 48 was worded), but we'd have a harder road calling for Life at Fertilization than Life at Conception, simply because fertilization is not as well understood by the population. The wording of the legislation would, of course, contain appropriate wording for fertilization.

Use of the word "conception" would also circumvent the media's or pro-aborts' attempts to lie to people about it being "just a fertilized egg" rather than "a conceived human being." People would see through the word games easier.

Fortunately, whereas crafty pro-aborts may quibble about when "conception" happens, 95% of the general public understand that conception happens when egg and sperm meet. If one side or the other needs to convince 95% of the public they have the correct definition of a certain word, let it be the pro-aborts who have that battle to fight, not us. Just my take.

Posted by: Bob Kyffin at November 21, 2008 10:20 PM


Chris - Good grief, Will...

What?

Posted by: Will D at November 22, 2008 12:11 AM


Can anyone give me Biblical justification for pro-lifers (most, well-meaning) to stand on the very foundation that the abortion industry was built on: rape, incest, and life of the mother?

Posted by: Donna B. at November 22, 2008 12:26 AM


Bethany - Bob Enyart,

Don't confuse circumlocution with answering the question.

Bethany, I feel like he did answer the questions. You don't? What about this?

"If the terrorist offers: if you let me kill this child, I will let you save the others, you refuse."

Would you refuse?

Look at it this way. What is the SD law telling women? It's this:

It's okay to kill your child under these circumstances.

That's what the law says to women. That's undeniable. The law doesn't say, "We're truly against you having your abortion, but we have to do this to save the others. It simply tells women:

It's okay to kill your child under these circumstances.

Now compare that to the terrorist analogy. Your YES vote on the SD law, is like the terrorist saying, "I will only let the women and children go if I can kill the men," and you say "YES, that's fine." Now you don't personally believe it's okay to kill the men, but you're doing what you have to, to save some lives.

A YES vote for the SD 2008 ban, is saying to a woman in SD: pro-lifers passed a law telling me it's okay to kill my child under circumstances. That's the message, Bethany. That's the message being sent by those who voted YES.

I'll say it again: The good news is that the SD ban failed. Now, the only message we sent the women in SD is this: It's not okay to kill your child, it's NOT OKAY, under any circumstances.

Posted by: Will D at November 22, 2008 12:33 AM


I am so happy to actually see this conversation played out because it's about time!

A further explanation of the purist position would be to clarify that purists are "purist" when it comes to legislation. When it comes to grassroots action, it is always moral to save as many as you can even if it is not possible to save them all. When it comes to legislative action, the situation is different. Law must be as accurate as possible, as extensive as possible. It must past muster and severe argument. Law must be void of loopholes so as to prevent obfuscation of any of its intended purposes. Exceptions to laws are windows to obfuscation of meaning and intent, they are weak points in the law that will not past any challenges and appeals in courts, and they allow for an undermining of principle - as is what happened in Roe v. Wade. The Texas law that was in question in Roe had only 1 exception. It was because of that one exception that the Supreme Court Justices could claim that the personhood of the preborn child was not established and therefore not relavent to their decision. They said that because of that exception (for the life of the mother), Texas law did not admit to the personhood of the preborn for true persons would never be permitted by law to be intentionally killed under any circumstance. Therefore, they ruled instead that the abortion restriction law (as it undermined any notion that the preborn are persons thus leaving a void of personhood precedent) was unconstitutional in that it violated the woman's right to privacy in marital matters (found in the shadows of the constitution - another blunder). We really don't need more laws that will add to the precedent that Roe established. What we do need are personhood amendments that fill the void left by Roe. The right to life of persons always trumps a right to privacy, so Roe could even stand while abortion is recriminalized, but not in the way it does now as killing preborn people would be unconstitutional with a federal personhood amendment - this is something that I would invite any lawyer following this stream to investigate more and comment on.

Also, with regard to the terms "conception" and "fertilization." Conception is a theological and philosophical term that is rejected (and also its meaning is obfuscated) by the medical community. Fertilization is an accurate term used to describe the biological beginning of a human being, but unfortunately is inadequate as its use in legislation would not be inclusive of human beings who are produced asexually. Yes, humans are produced asexually! Weird, huh?! In fact, in every pair of identical twins, one of those naturally occurring twins did not come into existence by the process of fertilization, but by a naturally occurring cloning process. So, our terminology with personhood amendments needs to adjust to be inclusive of all people, which of course is the intent of personhood. Judie Brown of American Life League has already unveiled such an amendment with this inclusive language.

That Federal Personhood Amendment (not yet introduced, but predicted to be introduced in the 111th congress) will not only undermine any "right" to abortion, but will also protect people from being killed by embryonic stem cell research," abortifacient contraceptives, having to suffer the indignity of artificial reproductive technologies and scientific experimentations, infanticide, euthanasia, and whole host of other horrors that plague people of our country. Pretty radical, eh?

Posted by: just saying at November 22, 2008 1:32 AM


Bethany,
I am grossly offended at your charge of lying. Forgive my impertinence, but hasn't Jill charged you with the role of keeping this blog from having ugly charges like that?


Bob, I thought that what you said was quite ugly and without my seeing the evidence that this was said (I've been reading this whole discussion and never saw anything to that effect at all), all I was asking for was some evidence of what you had said. I do not see how my asking you to back up what you had said is grossly offensive. I wasn't trying to be offensive- I was in fact offended by the insinuation that we pro-lifers would support sacrificing babies with our own hands in order to make abortion illegal! What a horrible thing to accuse someone of. How would you feel if it had been you being accused of such a thing without evidence that you had said it?

I have searched far and wide, and no, the search function on this site and on Google does not show the post I referenced, nor the post I know for a fact I made (because I kept a copy) which prompted the admission by your poster. I am 90% certain the poster in question was Patricia. So, I'm left strongly suspecting that the posts in question have been removed by the moderators for some reason. The postings would have been made on or around either April 8 or May 14. Do you keep records of such removed posts?

I believe that there may have been a post that you interpreted to say what you said, but I think that you were twisting that person's words- maybe unintentionally. I think it is possible that you sincerely believe that this is what they were saying.

Without such records, you'll have to take my word for it. I am certainly not in the habit of lying. Or, for that matter, of accusing others of intentionally lying.

I'll take your word for it that you believe what you are saying, but I cannot and will not believe that any of our pro-lifers would sacrifice any child with their own hands in order to make abortion illegal. That is just horrible.

This place was once a place for sincere discussion

I'm sincere as anyone can possibly be!

and I regret that it has become somewhat different over the bitterness from the election.

This bitterness is not over the election but over the babies who could have been saved and were not because people who are supposed to be pro-life were fighting against a law that would have saved babies.

Let me just explain my perspective, so you can understand how I see it (and Bob, and Will, etc.). I don't ask that you'll agree with me -- I've now pretty much given up hope of that. But at least maybe you can understand why we think what we do so passionately, and maybe (just maybe) it will cause you to stop questioning our motives and your accusations will stop.

I believe that you are passionate and probably are very sincere. But one can be passionately and sincerely wrong...(and yes, I realize that could apply to myself as well).

But from my perspective, that is NOT the analogy.
A better analogy, closer to how I see things, is this:
A building is burning, and there IS a possibility you could save all the people if you concentrated on the principle and just fight the fire. Most firefighters don't think it's possible, and so they mock you. But you insist there's a way, and you begin to marshal the firefighting resources to put the fire out, thereby saving all the people. But some of the mockers are so against you that they try to stop you. Meanwhile, other, nobler, firefighters who nevertheless disagree with you, but who wish you the best, are busy planning a strategy for rescuing the people without really trying to put out the fire (they don't think addressing the principle of fighting the fire is going to be productive, so they focus only on rescuing whoever they can). Here's the sad part -- rather than say, "Go in and rescue as many as you can," they're instead negotiating as to who can and can't be saved, and determining that their policy will be to allow some to burn because "they can't realistically be saved". They think they're trying to save as many as they can, but they're really only trying to save as many as they realistically can -- they lack the hope that more can be saved right now, and so they don't have any intention to try to save them all -- not just yet. Next fire, maybe they'll try, but it's just not a realistic goal now.

Okay, let's go with that analogy. I want to know how you can see yourself as the firefighter who is actually putting out the fire in the present building? From where I am standing, you are a firefighter who has decided that you have a way to save them all, and you see other firefighters trying to go in and save the babies they can, but instead of continuing to do your job and spray down the building, you spray the other firefighters, in an attempt to keep them from pulling children out of the fire. In doing so, you have lost focus on getting rid of the fire, and the entire building goes down, and every single child is killed, when some could have been saved by those other firefighters.
Meanwhile, you are concocting a plan that will save babies in all of the FUTURE buildings. All of THESE babies, you say, since they died, are not my fault, because I was actually trying to save all of them. It is not my fault that they were not saved. I still have my principles in tact.
Meanwhile, the other firefighters look at you, sobbing, and say "Why didn't you let me pull those children out of the building? Why did you prevent me? I could have saved at least a few."

And the interesting thing is that you could have continued trying to put out the fire in your way, and you could have allowed the other firefighters to go in and save children one by one, and it might have turned out that the children could have all been saved that way.

Why can't we do both? Why can't we focus on incremental AND perfect laws, simultaneously?

Posted by: Bethany at November 22, 2008 8:30 AM


Will, 12:33: Neither he nor anyone else here has actually responded to my analogy. Bob responded to HIS analogy, but not mine.

Posted by: Bethany at November 22, 2008 8:39 AM


"If the terrorist offers: if you let me kill this child, I will let you save the others, you refuse."Would you refuse?

Answer my question about the terrorist and I'll try to answer yours.

Here it is again:

Quoting Cranky Catholic: A terrorist takes over a daycare and holds the children hostage threatening to kill them all. We, the negotiators, tell the hostage-taker that we want to save all the little girls and that if he kills any of the boys in the process, we promise not prosecute him.

Also, let's go with this analogy for a minute.

Would you tell the terrorist who is threatening to kill the children that if he wouldn't allow you to save ALL of the children, that he could kill all of them and you wouldn't do a thing to stop him?
Posted by: Bethany at November 20, 2008 11:23 AM

Until, of course, a future date at which you are able to save all of the future babies he is threatening to kill...
Posted by: Bethany at November 20, 2008 11:24 AM

And that would mean, he could kill ALL of the babies in the present time until you were able to save ALL of the FUTURE babies.
Posted by: Bethany at November 20, 2008 11:25 AM

Posted by: Bethany at November 22, 2008 8:55 AM


Will,

Please understand this.

The analogy is not "we allow the terrorists to kill the men to save the woman", the analogy is that they will ALL DIE unless we rush in there and attack the terrorist head on. Some will die, but they were dead already. So we have effectively saved people who were dead, not killed people who were alive.

Posted by: Bethany at November 22, 2008 9:03 AM


just saying at 1:32 am stated "...When it comes to grassroots action, it is always moral to save as many as you can even if it is not possible to save them all..."

It's not possible to save one if you are not in front of the killing center ready to witnes to the mother about to murder her pre-born child.

Knowing you can possibly help save one stems from the belief that the murder of even one is wrong and against God's enduring command Do Not Murder!

Does the right to life come from God, or government?

Posted by: GODISNOWHERE at November 22, 2008 9:45 AM


Janet: "So Bob, Do you have a game plan for the next year? Could you share your noble plan with us, please?"

Janet, there is much to share. Perhaps though even in disagreement, even in rebuke, we can be more gracious with each other.

Posted by: BobEnyart at November 22, 2008 10:43 AM


Jill, what is the difference between the SD initiative and the Texas law that was challenged in Roe v Wade? How many babies would be saved before the SD law was overturned by the same prinicple that overturned the Texas law? Justice Blackmun, in the Roe decision cited the exceptions as proving that Texas wasn't treating the unborn as persons. He said that if personhood could be established, Roe wouldn't stand.

The "Personhood" movement is a poison arrow aimed at the Achilles heel of the Roe. If personhood is established (as in Colorado, without the mention of abortion) - either by an ammendment to the US consitution or by state constitutional amendments or laws being appealed to the Supreme Court) , then Roe can be out flanked. Winning the battle this way won't send the issue back to the states. It does not belong there. States should not have the right to decide that killing people is lawful.

I worked on Colorado's Personhood campaign. Talk about being shot down by fellow pro-lifers (AUL, NRTL, USCCB, CCC, even Focus only "supported" by didn't "endorse"). Their lack of "endorsement" dried up all the money. The grassroots stood agape. Huh? These guys think the wording is wrong but won't suggest better wording. These guys think it's not the right time? So, it will be better in 50 years, when Obama's Supreme Court is dead and the idea of the sancity of human life is as old-fashioned as hoop skirts?

People with a strategic sense get the point of the personhood approach. Grassroots people collecting signatures witness what happens when you ask someone outside of Walmart - "Shouldn't the law protect everyone?" They see wheels turning that have been stuck for 35 years. The personhood approach may not win immediately, but the campaigns will begin the process of taking down those mental road blocks that have allowed us to rationalize killing our own. I won't risk my life for a zygote if I think it's a blob (even Fetal Homicide laws don't go down to this level). Roe will stand as long as that "blob" can be killed by abortifacient contraceptives, experimented on in the lab, frozen in IVF clinics and other even more viscious inventons dreamed up by latter day Dr. Frankensteins. The spawn of Roe is becoming more and more embedded in our culture each day. In Colorado, the first arguments against us were "they want to outlaw IVF and contraception". Get it?

Posted by: Michaela Dasteel at November 22, 2008 11:31 AM


IF the eradication of abortion-on-demand is indeed "losing in the marketplace of ideas," as has been postulated, will the compromise of "purist" principles ever accomplish the goal?Fighting Relativism with the principles of Relativism is like trying to put out a fire by directing hoses, spewing gasoline, at the flames.

God is unchanging and unchangeable. For those who refuse to believe in God, this will never make any sense. A quest to convert the Atheist through compromise is doomed to failure. God IS in control. As Believers, we are called to do our duty to uphold His Principles. We are not responsible for the results. The results are God's domain.

This nation was founded by Believers. All the rights we have, were given to us by our Creator, God. The Constitution is a template that assures the protection of those unalienable rights. If Believers are being overtaken by Secular Humanism and Legal Positivism, and forfeiting the Objective Truth of Natural Law, the antidote is not more Relativism, but adherence to the Unchanging Principles of God.

The Republic will not survive if we succumb to tolerance for Atheism. We can abide individual Atheists, if they are willing to concede that the gestalt of the nation is Belief.

If the "worldview" of 99.9% of the population of the United States becomes that of Atheism, the remaining .1% will still be "RIGHT" according to the heart of God. The problem is that the "tolerators" of Atheism-the sin (not Atheists-the sinners)insist that the favor of God rests 100% on them, no matter what they do.

Posted by: groovsmyth at November 22, 2008 12:35 PM


Bethany,

I try to be pretty exact with my language and my charges, and if I don't know something for a fact, I don't normally place it forward as fact.

You say: "Bob, I thought that what you said was quite ugly and without my seeing the evidence that this was said (I've been reading this whole discussion and never saw anything to that effect at all), all I was asking for was some evidence of what you had said. I do not see how my asking you to back up what you had said is grossly offensive."

Now you're lying. Or perhaps being deceptive, or self-delusional.

You first said: "Not only this, but I was shocked when Bob Kyffin made this statement: 'Not only this, but I was shocked when Bob Kyffin made this statement. I've already been appalled that some of your readers actually SAID they would place a baby on a sacrificial altar with their own hands if it would save a hundred babies. Ick. Disgusting. Would you, Jill? Please say no'
No one ever said what he is stating here! He deliberately twisted the words of pro-lifers in an attempt to demonize them. This was an outright lie, and was a horrible thing to do."

Here, you insist that you know for a fact that no one ever said such a thing (something you cannot know for sure), and then you said I DELIBERATELY TWISTED the words in an attempt to demonize them.

That's more than "asking for some evidence" of what I had said.

Then you said, "Kel, I think Bob Kyffin needs to produce the quote or admit he lied."

This is an outright charge that I lied, and from the context it's clear you're charging that I INTENTIONALLY lied (to demonize).

That's not "I was merely asking for evidence! Oh, how could you possibly think I was accusing you of lying?" Come on.

Bethany, you, as a Moderator, have a higher responsibility than a normal poster. Your words speak more loudly than do others. So YOUR calling me an outright, intentional liar carries more weight than someone else's posting the same offensive charge.

Please understand your position, and your responsibility.

The evidence has been removed from your site, for reasons I can't say, but I know for a fact that I posted certain things that I also cannot find, which preceded the conversation in question. I know it was here once, I don't know why it's not here now.

And, no, I did not deliberately twist her words. I was having trouble getting her to understand my point, and so I posed a very specific question to her (this is approximately what I said -- I don't have the exact words):

So, would you sign a death warrant that read: "I, Patricia, hereby allow and authorize you to kill 7 children, provided I get to save the other 93 children. I do this not approving your "right" to kill them, but rather to save the lives of those precious children who I can."

And so Patricia said, "Yes, I would sign that death warrant if it would save lives and so all 100 children wouldn't have to die."

I was as appalled as you, Bethany. But no one else who was on the incrementalist side stopped to say, "Hey, that's not appropriate." They just shut up.

Now is your opportunity to say, explicitly, that you denounce anybody who would claim such a thing -- that it's okay to sign the death warrant of some, so that others may live. Then we can go on with trying to teach you that that's metaphorically exactly what supportes of incremental laws are doing (albeit, unintenionally and unwillingly -- though verging into willful ignorance at times).

Posted by: Bob Kyffin at November 22, 2008 1:12 PM


So, would you sign a death warrant that read: "I, Patricia, hereby allow and authorize you to kill 7 children, provided I get to save the other 93 children. I do this not approving your "right" to kill them, but rather to save the lives of those precious children who I can."

And so Patricia said, "Yes, I would sign that death warrant if it would save lives and so all 100 children wouldn't have to die."

_______


That craziness ignores the fact that it's not "signing a death warrant" anyway.

The "purists" will have it end up that all 100 will die. That's reality. Their advocated thing is not going to take place. You have to have exceptions for the life and health of the woman, for rape and incest.

The "incrementalists" are advocating saving the 93. Either way, 7 die, and it's not due to the incrementalists.

What is in question is the 93.

Posted by: Nathan at November 22, 2008 2:22 PM


Nathan, concisely stated, and that's one of the best posts!

Posted by: Constantine at November 22, 2008 11:01 PM


"Janet: "So Bob, Do you have a game plan for the next year? Could you share your noble plan with us, please?"

Janet, there is much to share. Perhaps though even in disagreement, even in rebuke, we can be more gracious with each other.

Posted by: BobEnyart at November 22, 2008 10:43 AM

I was addressing Bob Kyffin - sorry for the confusion.


Posted by: Janet at November 22, 2008 11:21 PM


Nathan,
The law may not SAY it's "signing a death warrant" and the intent of the law may not BE to "sign a death warrant." Nevertheless, the outcome of the law is to approve the deaths of those 7 children, which is an evil outcome, even if the law also saves 93.

We are not called to "do evil that good may come" -- that is SPECIFICALLY condemned in the Bible.

Consider this -- we're in Hitler's Germany, where ALL Jews are condemned (very similar to abortion where every unborn child could be condemned). Are you to "improve" the situation of the Jews by proposing and recommending to your friends, and signing your name to "Nathan's Law" which will save 93% of the Jews, but will allow all the Jews over the age of 80 (which happens to be 7%) to be killed?

What do you say to "Nathan's Law"? It would SAVE 93% of the Jews! Would you sign it? It's a net good, right?

We're not talking Oskar Schindler here -- that's an inequivalent analogy. We're talking about passing a law that will save 93% of the Jews, for the "cheap" cost of approving the killing of 7%. What do you do?

Posted by: Bob Kyffin at November 22, 2008 11:22 PM


Sorry... Let me correct my analogy to be more specific:

Consider this -- we're in Hitler's Germany, where ALL Jews are condemned (very similar to abortion where every unborn child could be condemned). Are you to "improve" the situation of the Jews by proposing and recommending to your friends, and signing your name to "Nathan's Law" which will save 93% of the Jews, but will SAY "all the Jews over the age of 80 (which happens to be 7%) shall be killed"?

What do you say to "Nathan's Law"? It would SAVE 93% of the Jews! Would you sign it? It's a net good, right?

We're not talking Oskar Schindler here -- that's an inequivalent analogy. We're talking about passing a law that will save 93% of the Jews, for the "cheap" cost of approving the killing of 7%. What do you do?

Posted by: Bob Kyffin at November 22, 2008 11:26 PM


Bob Kyffin @ November 21, 2008 10:20 PM,

But, if we're arguing for Personhood, or Life at Conception, then it becomes an easy argument to shut down some forms of birth control and some forms of IVF -- people understand! -- because it's obvious, once the foundation of Life Begins at Conception is established, that you cannot kill an innocent human being, even by means of birth control or by killing "extra" embryos from IVF.

Obvious? Maybe to you and me...... I've heard the pro-abort groups are going to start using the "scare people into thinking the pro-lifers want to take away our birth-control" tactic to garner more support.

So long as we establish Life at Conception, we've established the preeminence of the Right to Life OVER the practices of birth control or IVF.

I don't understand your point.

And, yes, you're certainly correct about the fact of fertilization (and that's how Amendment 48 was worded), but we'd have a harder road calling for Life at Fertilization than Life at Conception, simply because fertilization is not as well understood by the population. The wording of the legislation would, of course, contain appropriate wording for fertilization. Use of the word "conception" would also circumvent the media's or pro-aborts' attempts to lie to people about it being "just a fertilized egg" rather than "a conceived human being." People would see through the word games easier.

Why not call a spade a spade? I think there is no doubt what fertilization means for most people. The pro-aborts have hi-jacked the meaning of conception and now equate it with "implantation". If you use the word "conception" you'll look like you are playing word games, not the other way around, IMO. There's no ambiguity with "fertilization".

Fortunately, whereas crafty pro-aborts may quibble about when "conception" happens, 95% of the general public understand that conception happens when egg and sperm meet.

I disagree about your high percentage, but of course I could be wrong. On this blog, I see a lot of PC'rs arguing incorrectly that life begins at implantation.

If one side or the other needs to convince 95% of the public they have the correct definition of a certain word, let it be the pro-aborts who have that battle to fight, not us. Just my take.

Posted by: Janet at November 22, 2008 11:56 PM


Janet,

I don't have actual figures, but you can be pretty certain that the largest percentage of people understand conception the way you and I understand it (the traditional definition) -- when the sperm fertilizes the egg. That's just a basic biology concept which most people know. They may not know much more than that, but people generally understand conception the way we do.

Fertilization is a much harder concept, and requires explanation. As a pro-life friend pointed out, "Fertilization is what you do to your yard." And I think he's right that most people understand it that way, not the way you or I would use it.

More obscure still is the term "implantation." One has to get deep into biological descriptions to carry that concept for the first time into someone's mind, and most people don't have the interest or patience to understand that any more than they'll have patience to understand what fertilization means.

You may be right, but my gut tells me it's better to use Life at Conception as the definition of the movement, and let the actual language define conception as equivalent to fertilization. Just as 95% of the population understand gay to mean homosexual, not happy, I'd bet 75-95% of the population understands conception to mean as we believe. This one, unlike "gay", is a word battle we can win.

My point about establishing the Right to Life is this -- in my experience (and logically this is so, also) once someone understands that an unborn embryo is a person with rights, then all else becomes clear. They suddenly understand what no one (not even pro-lifers, per my argument against incrementalism) has brought them to understand before -- Life at Conception means they have rights, starting from that point.

The pro-aborts DO intend to use "they're taking away your birth control" argument against us, but for two reasons I don't think we should let them daunt us with that tactic. First, we're going to have to face it at some point. We might as well take it on now, instead of pretending the issue doesn't exist. THEN the public would think we're trying to trick them, or play word games.

Second, it actually puts Planned Parenthood and NARAL in a bad paradoxical situation. They've claimed for decades that no forms of birth control cause a baby to die. Now, now that we're trying to establish rights at the point of fertilization, Planned Parenthood claims "Well, that could make birth control illegal!" So, the public will think, does that mean that birth control kills a conceived human being? That's not what I'd been told! It becomes a teachable moment for the general public that (as American Life League teaches) The Pill Kills!

So the line becomes, "Were they lying then, or are they lying now?" Either way, however the public perceives the answer to that question, Planned Parenthood looks bad for them, and relatively good for us!

In my experience, establishing the concept of a Right to Life from Conception first makes the concept of making abortifacient birth control illegal an easy second step.

Posted by: Bob Kyffin at November 23, 2008 12:23 AM


Bob, I apologize for assuming that your intent was to deliberately twist someone's words.

I shouldn't have jumped to those conclusions until I had talked to you about it first.

Posted by: Bethany at November 23, 2008 8:58 AM


Consider this -- we're in Hitler's Germany, where ALL Jews are condemned (very similar to abortion where every unborn child could be condemned). Are you to "improve" the situation of the Jews by proposing and recommending to your friends, and signing your name to "Nathan's Law" which will save 93% of the Jews, but will SAY "all the Jews over the age of 80 (which happens to be 7%) shall be killed"?

Bob, that analogy is nonequivalent because the South Dakota law was not saying that any babies shall be killed.

Posted by: Bethany at November 23, 2008 11:53 AM


"Why do you think people get abortions"?

Fear of the unknown.

Posted by: Bethany at November 20, 2008 9:26 AM

Amen.

Posted by: Janet at November 23, 2008 1:00 PM


Good observation, Bethany.


Bob, 11:22 p.m.

--"Nevertheless, the outcome of the law is to approve the deaths of those 7 children, which is an evil outcome, even if the law also saves 93."

"Approve" does not matter. They are going to die anyway. It's not the "outcome" of the law. It happens no matter what. It's not dependent on the law.

***


--"We are not called to "do evil that good may come" -- that is SPECIFICALLY condemned in the Bible."

Nothing is altered, nothing is "done." Your way, my way, the 7 die. All that is in question is the 93.

***


--"Consider this -- we're in Hitler's Germany, where ALL Jews are condemned (very similar to abortion where every unborn child could be condemned). Are you to"improve" the situation of the Jews by proposing and recommending to your friends, and signing your name to "Nathan's Law" which will save 93% of the Jews, but will SAY "all the Jews over the age of 80 (which happens to be 7%) shall be killed"?

--What do you say to "Nathan's Law"? It would SAVE 93% of the Jews! Would you sign it? It's a net good, right?

--We're not talking Oskar Schindler here -- that's an inequivalent analogy. We're talking about passing a law that will save 93% of the Jews, for the "cheap" cost of approving the killing of 7%. What do you do?"

There too - the only difference is whether the 93% live or die. My way they live.

Posted by: Nathan at November 23, 2008 1:11 PM


Bob Kyffin,

Thank you for your comments. God bless you.

Posted by: Janet at November 23, 2008 1:30 PM


Thank you for listening, Janet! God Bless You!

Bethany,

Thank you. I'm sorry for being so hard on you!

To explain about the SD law...

The initiative title contains the language "by prohibiting abortions except in cases...". From a legal/court standpoint, that means abortions are prohibited EXCEPT for those which are legal. Language like that is throughout this law, and anytime you see language like that, it's inherently "respecting the right to abort."

To give you some language that is more explicit about the intent of the law (call it the EFFECT of the law, if you want -- that's true too, but INTENT is pretty certain here because these words were written by the supposedly pro-life proponents of the law...) look at this line:

(Section 17) "Nothing in this Act authorizes a physician to perform an abortion unless..." By the corrolary logic of legal/courtspeak, that means that IF these conditions are met (the exceptions) then it DOES AUTHORIZE a physician to perform an abortion!

And so, by signing petitions, voting for, and especially for drafting this language in the first place, those responsible ARE approving a law which authorizes physicians to perform abortions in certain cases.

Nathan,

You say, then, if I understand you correctly, that saving the 93% of Jews is ALL you care about? So you would (correct me if I'm wrong, but you were pretty clear) gladly sign your name to "Nathan's Law", which (in order to do what you want it to do) would have to be written this way:

"Nathan's Law does not authorize the killing of Jews unless they are over the age of 80."

Would you sign your name to Nathan's Law, authorizing the government to kill 7% of Jews (those over 80) in order to save 93% of Jews? It's a net "improvement" right? Which you said is all you care about.

If so, you've confirmed my initial claim, which Bethany doubted.

Posted by: Bob Kyffin at November 23, 2008 4:27 PM


If so, you've confirmed my initial claim, which Bethany doubted.

Bob, sadly...this is precisely what I am talking about. You are putting words in Nathan's mouth when you say this about him.

He has never, ever said that he would willingly sacrifice a baby with his own hands, in order to save others. You seem to be so insistent that we want this, and that is NOT what we want at ALL. And it is NOT effectively what we are accomplishing with incremental laws.

You don't seem to be understanding the points we are trying to make. I don't know if it's because you truly do not understand or if you are purposely missing our point, but either way it is really frustrating and hard to take.

This is exactly why I assumed you were taking Patricia's words and spinning them. I don't know whether it's intentional or not, but you are definitely not stating our positions in an accurate way.

Regarding Nathan's law...I don't actually know what that is. But if it's either 93 percent die, or they ALL die, I choose to do what I can for 93 percent to live..then I work towards saving the other 7 percent. There's nothing I can do about that 7 percent in the meantime- because according to the law- they are dying no matter what I do- either 7 percent or 100 percent. I can continue working towards that point where I can save them as well. But I don't just forget those 93 percent while I work on the perfect law. I don't let 100 percent die so that I can keep my principles. I save the ones I can and I CONTINUE working to save the rest.
Don't you see?

Posted by: Bethany at November 23, 2008 6:07 PM


Bethany,

I haven't YET accused him of backing such a law.

His last message seemed to indicate he would be willing to sign one, and so I've now asked him (and you've not given him time to respond before jumping all over me).

If it's all the same to you, I'd like to hear HIS answer, not your answer for him.

And, no, I haven't twisted anyone's words. Patricia actually DID say she would sign "Patricia's Law" authorizing the killing of some children in order to save others.

I'm asking Nathan if he would sign "Nathan's Law" which would authorize the killing of 7 already condemned Jews for every 93 condemned Jews he saves. Seemingly, it's the net gain he's concerned about, not whether he actually must sign their death warrants himself by passing his own law which says 7% should be killed (in return for saving the 93%).

Did you read the ACTUAL LANGUAGE from the SD law, explaining how it only authorizes abortion IF...? Do you understand? Are you even trying?

Bethany, I sense that you're trying very hard to get me to understand what you're saying, and I do (I used to believe it passionately myself!). I concluded I was wrong when I believed that, and I've switched my position to one which I'm confident is better in accordance with God's wishes that we never participate in evil as a means so that "good may come."

Posted by: Bob Kyffin at November 23, 2008 6:49 PM


So what say you, Nathan?

Will you sign "Nathan's Law"?

Or will you turn away, and let someone else kill 100 Jews without your help or authorization?

Posted by: Bob Kyffin at November 23, 2008 6:52 PM


Bethany - Will,

Please understand this.

The analogy is not "we allow the terrorists to kill the men to save the woman", the analogy is that they will ALL DIE unless we rush in there and attack the terrorist head on. Some will die, but they were dead already. So we have effectively saved people who were dead, not killed people who were alive.

The SD law told women it's okay to kill some kids. Compare the SD law to the terrorist. Did the SD law "rush in" to "attack" abortion to save "ALL"? No. The SD law said it was okay to kill some kids. You can't deny this. SD wanted to save all the kids, the voters wouldn't let them, so they said, "Okay you can kill these" to save others. So instead of fighting the terrorist head on to try to save them all, they told the terrorist, "it's okay to kill these" to save others.

Posted by: Will D at November 23, 2008 7:40 PM


Nathan - What do you say to "Nathan's Law"? It would SAVE 93% of the Jews! Would you sign it? It's a net good, right?

Nathan's law is evil. Laws extend authority. God never said we could help extend authority to kill the innocent. Nathan's law says, "It's okay to kill these certain Jews." Compromise is missing from the Bible. It's not there. We can't agree that "it's okay to kill these certain Jews" to save others. If we can say that a vote for something does not mean we are in complete agreement of it, then we can't prove that Obama is really for killing born babies. Maybe he voted on it, but doesn't agree with it. Nonsense.

Posted by: Will D at November 23, 2008 7:46 PM


Good point!

Posted by: Bob Kyffin at November 23, 2008 7:55 PM


I think I'll continue discussing this on the other thread since this one has been bumped down.

Posted by: Bethany at November 24, 2008 10:24 AM


Hi Bob,

The 93% is not all I care about. But I do care about them, and your way they die, my way they live.

That they are protected is not saying that the remaining 7% will be killed - Bethany is correct about wanting to save them too. But realizing that in the real world some of the 7% may die doesn't constitute a valid reason for accepting the death of the 93%.

You seem to be seeing what I advocate as "authorizing" the killing of the 7%, but that's not true, "Nathan's Law" would not be addressing the 7%. At the worst, they would all die, yes, but same for your position. So, worst case with my way is that 7% die, and with your way it's 100% that die.

Or, best case my way is that none die, while with your way 93% are dying.

Posted by: Nathan at November 24, 2008 11:28 AM


Nathan,

You're not understanding what I'm saying.

I'm saying that YOUR law would HAVE TO authorize the killing of the 7% in order to set them aside from those it protects -- the 93%.

MOST pro-life legislation does this, and ALL of them which select some to protect MUST ALSO select those (by implication) who are NOT protected.

Witness the S.Dakota law -- This cannot be construed, it said, as authorization for abortion "UNLESS..." (in which case it DOES authorize THOSE abortions).

Your law would be no different.

And, so, knowing that, WOULD YOU SIGN NATHAN'S LAW, knowing it would authorize the killing of just 7%, and also knowing it would "save" 93%?

It's an IMPORTANT ethical question, and I wish you would just answer me yes or no, so we can establish where you stand.

The different between you and I and Bethany is that I understand that we're asked to make this choice every time we're asked to sign onto a compromised incrementalist initiative, like the one in S.Dakota. You apparently still don't.

Posted by: Bob Kyffin at November 24, 2008 12:14 PM


Bob: "Nathan, You're not understanding what I'm saying."

"I'm saying that YOUR law would HAVE TO authorize the killing of the 7% in order to set them aside from those it protects -- the 93%.

"MOST pro-life legislation does this, and ALL of them which select some to protect MUST ALSO select those (by implication) who are NOT protected."

**

Bob, I do understand - you want me to say that it's worth the 7% in order to save the 93%. However, you are neglecting the fact, as Bethany noted, that "authorization" is already in place, if you want to look at it like that, and your approach, which has 100% dying, would do the same thing for the 7%. What I advocate wouldn't change anything there, and it doesn't address the 7%.

Will makes the same argument you do: "How is voting for a law that says, "You can kill these babies" not consenting to it?"

My point is that the law doesn't say that, any more than it says you can kill born babies, 50 year olds, or baboons.

Saving the 93% leaves it open to try and save the 7%. The 7% is no worse off my way than it is under your way. Meanwhile, your way the 93% die, while they live my way.

Posted by: Nathan at November 24, 2008 8:01 PM


The only reason you don't think the laws say that is because you haven't read them. READ them.

The SD law clearly says "does not authorize abortion UNLESS...", which means that if those conditions are met, it DOES authorize abortion. Read Section 17.

Posted by: Bob Kyffin at November 24, 2008 8:39 PM


They're already "authorized" in South Dakota, Bob. (and if we go that way with "authorize" then your approach gives the green light to kill all 100% because that's what's going to occur).

My way doesn't authorize that any more than it does for born babies, 40 year olds, or baboons. My way leaves it open to work to save them, too, while your way has 100% dying.

Posted by: Nathan at November 24, 2008 9:18 PM


This "it's already legal" business is garbage. You can't wash your hands of evil because someone made it legal before you. This is called moral relativism. Voting for any law at anytime that says, "it's okay to kill these innocent people" is wrong. The determining factor making it wrong has nothing to do with the current state, it as to do with voting for a law that says, "it's okay to kill innocent people." If it was legal to rape 100% of women, and you voted for a law that said, "it's okay to rape 100% of women" that's still wrong even though it's already legal.

Posted by: Will D at November 26, 2008 12:03 AM


Nonsense, Will. Not fighting one evil just because you cannot cure all evil isn't a bad thing.

You're spinning your wheels, worrying about what other Pro-Lifers are doing, but they are doing and you're on a course to achieve nothing.

Posted by: Chris at November 26, 2008 9:41 AM


Chris - Nonsense, Will. Not fighting one evil just because you cannot cure all evil isn't a bad thing.

You're right, not fighting one evil because you cannot cure all evil, is nonsense. Good thing nobody is saying that.

Chris, is it right or wrong to vote for a law that says it's legal to rape 100% of women, if it's already legal to rape 100% of women? If you say it's wrong, you've successfully defeated Jill's position that it's okay to vote for an evil if it's already legal.

Posted by: Will D at November 28, 2008 2:14 PM