Jivin J's Life Links 6-28-10

web grab.jpgby JivinJ, host of the blog, JivinJehoshaphat

  • National Right to Life has responded to the paper by the UK's Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists which claimed unborn children can't feel pain before 24 weeks:
  • Ironically, the article concedes the evidence that by 20 weeks pain receptors are present throughout the unborn child's skin, that these are linked by nerves to the thalamus and the subcortal plate, and that these children have coordinated aversive reactions to painful stimuli, and experience increased stress hormones from it....

    This article is an effort by acknowledged abortion promoters to mislead the public at-large - and most tragically women considering abortion - about the increasing evidence demonstrating the unborn child's sensitivity to pain.

  • The Boston Globe has an editorial criticizing the NIH and its director Francis Collins for not allowing federal funds to be used for experimenting on human embryos created by an IVF clinic which used objectionable language on their informed consent papers. It's a great example of the desire of some to dismiss any regulation which prevents something scientists want:
  • Collins' refusal wasn't without regret. He said it was "frankly rather painful" for his advisory committee to recommend against approval of the cell lines, but that "rigorous guidelines are only meaningful if they are rigorously applied."

    That sentiment is admirable, but in this case a "rigorous'' application of the consent rules worked against the greater good.

    Leslie Reagan.jpg

  • In a new book, University of Illinois historian Leslie Reagan (pictured left) argues that German measles played a large role in the shift of public attitude on abortion:
  • Where abortion had been illegal and shameful, it became a subject of open public discussion and debate....

    In the midst of a German measles epidemic, the most "respectable" women - married, middle-class, white mothers - began to openly speak of their pregnancies, their concern about having a child with severe malformations, and their need for abortions, she said.

    Joining them with vocal support for reforming the abortion laws was a diverse coalition difficult to imagine today - including, for instance, the PTA, Republicans, unions, medical associations and a long list of Protestant churches.

    But that history, like German measles (also known as rubella), has largely been forgotten, according to Reagan, a professor of history, of law and of women's studies.

    [Reagan photo by Bonnie Fortune via News Bureau]


    testing - accepting comments?

    Posted by: Chris Arsenault Author Profile Page at June 28, 2010 10:10 PM


    So Roe v. Wade really was never about women allegedly dying from back alley abortions but rather eugenic elimination of those born with disabled because of problems like German measles (as Ruth Bader Ginsburg hinted).

    Posted by: Stephen Mendelsohn at June 29, 2010 12:38 AM

    What is so "shameful" about abortion???!!

    Couldn't be that it ends the life of an innocent human child now could it?? Nah.

    Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at June 29, 2010 6:59 AM

    Off-topic a little bit, but I thought this was interesting, from the Feministing community section: We Need Feminist Crisis Pregnancy Centers. This seemed like the best place to post it.

    It asks what a "feminist" crisis pregnancy center would look like and entail. More than one commenter reports finding many of those things - or at least not-entirely-bad experiences - with Catholic crisis pregnancy centers. Some commenters maintain that PP already covers the bases; others take issue with accepting traditionally pro-life language. A few comments also express negative experiences with abortion, or with being unhappy that they felt coerced into abortion (admittedly my interpretation of their words, but just barely) and having alleged feminists disregard their experiences.

    A handful of the comments I found interesting:

    We're fighting so hard for the right to not be a mother, our rhetoric doesn't always reflect the right to choose motherhood.


    While many commenters below were able to point to local PP's that have these services, the ones I utilized were never so comprehensive. Not to be down on them, they fulfilled the exact need I had (free health care and birth control), and I'm eternally grateful, but if I had been pregnant and wanted someone to help me through any of the processes, they just wouldn't have the staff/volunteers/infrastructure to do it.[...]

    Again, nothing I say is to put down the good work of PP clinics and abortion and reproductive health providers. I've utilized PP clinics and have done clinic defense. But, anti-choice CPCs are able to pull people in because women facing unintended pregnancies in sometimes dire circumstances are in need of community, compassion, and support. I'd like to see feminists running the show and actually providing the comprehensive services that CPCs purport to (though very rarely actually do) provide, because I think feminists can do it way better.


    "What would a feminist crisis pregnancy center look like?"

    Planned Parenthood


    I did, unfortunately, have an abortion-- which I do regret because it is a decision I only made because of serious financial desperation. But I'm glad to know that CPCs similar to the one I envision exist somewhere.


    ultimately i dont regret the abortion, it was the best thing and it seemed like our fortunes changed with a week of the abortion, but it was something i had to work through for several months, especially when shortly after the abortion and permanent jobs fell in our laps, i found all the support and resources i would have needed. that was just salt in the wound. and when it felt like feminist circles werent sympathetic, that was a stab in the back.


    Your statements only work if your definition of "choice" is "abortion". Many feminists wouldn't choose abortion for themselves, and many form strong attachments to their pregnancies.
    Maybe my embryo wasn't a baby, but it was something beautiful that my partner and I created when we didn't think we could. We'll never be able to do it again. It was probably out only chance.
    And I'm infuriated that so many of my fellow feminists fail to see why I would have been hurt by the situation. "Unplanned" isn't "unwanted," especially when infertility is involved.
    I can support every other woman's right to choose without wanting abortion for myself.

    Posted by: Alexandra at June 29, 2010 7:26 AM


    Those would all be good "quotes of the day".

    The woman who said she found all the support and resources she would have needed, shortly after aborting....so so sad.

    * * * *

    I assume the feminists referred to here are "pro-choice feminists. I don't think any woman entering a CPC for help with her pregnancy wants to hear about abortion so a feminist CPC isn't going to work. What will they do, put a sign on the door that says "We refer for abortions"? Oh happy day.

    Posted by: Janet at June 29, 2010 10:43 AM

    Leslie Reagan writes:

    "Joining them with vocal support for reforming the abortion laws was a diverse coalition difficult to imagine today - including, for instance, the PTA, Republicans, unions, medical associations and a long list of Protestant churches."

    I don't understand why Reagan finds this so difficult to imagine. Many a person and group has sold their soul to support abortion.

    Posted by: Janet at June 29, 2010 11:01 AM

    It never fails to amaze me, the language used, and the semantics and delusion and denial needed in order to adhere to the pro-abortion philosophy.

    I'm so sad for these women, who are in pain, but what really stands out is that they don't want to feel GUILT. They don't want to feel that there is something WRONG with aborting their child. These women are trying to justify their "choice" by telling themselves lies, which are fed to them by the pro-abortion community. If these women can wake up and see that standing against abortion is the true feminist position, and the only truly just position, then the pro-abortion movement will implode.

    Taking a stand against abortion is not taking a stand against women's rights to control their bodies. It is demanding that everyone treat their bodies and the bodies of their children with love and respect. It is not okay to abort your child. It is even WORSE to feed lies to women who are in a vulnerable position. There is nothing good about abortion. I don't care if someone's "fortunes" turn around---at what cost? The cost of your child's life?

    As for the fetal pain argument.....It's just more obfuscation and justification by the pro-abortion community. The truth is, the unborn children move away from the abortionist's tools. They want to live. Even then, they have a "will." If someone loses feeling in their arm, do we have the right to cut it off, since they won't feel it? Does a doctor have a right to take advantage of patients who are under anesthesia? Give me a break.

    Posted by: MaryLee at June 29, 2010 11:05 AM

    I don't think any woman entering a CPC for help with her pregnancy wants to hear about abortion so a feminist CPC isn't going to work.

    The vibe I got from most of those comments, including the ones who felt coerced by circumstance into abortion, was that they wouldn't necessarily be offended if abortion were mentioned as an option - they simply want support if that's not the option they want. Obviously a pro-life woman will feel differently and will be insulted by the presentation of abortion as even an option, but I know lots of pro-choice women who are not bothered by the existence of abortion as a possibility for their situation.

    But I do think that the vibe of most of the comments, including the original post, was that a "feminist crisis pregnancy center" was being thought of specifically as a place for women who are choosing to continue their pregnancies - thus abortion would not generally be part of it. Which implies (and which was explicitly stated, in the comments) that even pro-choice women are coming to terms with the unfortunate reality of Planned Parenthood's lack of pragmatic support for pregnant women who are not aborting. They are saying, they want a place for women who are not offended by the legality of abortion, but who simply do not choose it. That they feel the need to say that indicates that even pro-choice women are coming to terms with the failures of their movement to support ALL pregnant women - which is pretty encouraging and long overdue, in my opinion!

    Posted by: Alexandra at June 29, 2010 11:11 AM

    It's true, Alexandra, it's pretty encouraging.

    But to demand an abortion-free feminist crisis pregnancy center seems a little ludicrous to me. They are against "anti-choice" crisis pregnancy centers, because abortion isn't supported as a right? But they want a center that offers the SAME options as a pro-life CPC? That seems rather ignorant. They might find that pro-life CPCs aren't telling women lies about abortion, they might find that we simply want to HELP them. They should suck it up and get used to it. A "feminist" CPC? That's a pro-life CPC. These women need to open their eyes.

    Posted by: MaryLee at June 29, 2010 11:32 AM

    I agree, MaryLee! That's why I was encouraged to see that, while there was a lot of dismissing of pro-life CPCs, more than one commenter spoke up in favor of the Catholic CPCs they had experience with.

    I know that the CPC issue was the first time I ever had a BIG ideological rift with the pro-choice movement. It was the first time that things got so explicitly ridiculous that I had to step back and be like, "What, exactly, are you so opposed to about this?" Because, if you are legitimately pro-choice, you should support CPCs, which fill in the areas that Planned Parenthood and other explicitly pro-choice care centers too often let fall by the wayside.

    Posted by: alexandra at June 29, 2010 11:46 AM

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