(Prolifer)ations 3-12-10

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by Susie Allen, host of the blog, Pro-Life in TN

  • Dr. Gerard Nadal has posted an incredible comparison between Planned Parenthood and Allstate at his blog, Coming Home. In a recent ad in the Wall Street Journal, Allstate informed readers about the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain which "plays a critical role in teens' decision-making, and understanding of future consequences. Problem is, it doesn't fully develop until their 20s." This is a significant factor in the high rate of teen car accidents. Dr. Nadal writes...
  • Allstate tells us what has been widely known in neurophysiology and psychology for years: The center in the brain responsible for forming judgments about behavioral consequences does not form fully until the early 20's. Allstate cites sobering statistics about the accident-prone nature of 16-year-olds, while [PP] is pushing aggressively for teaching children as young as 10 to be sexually active and to use contraceptives.

    If giving a 16-year-old the keys to the car gives us pause, what sane adult would hand condoms to those of similar age, much less 10-year-olds? The medical folks at [PP] are all too aware of the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex and its developmental timeline. In fact, they're banking on it, literally.

  • ProWomanProLife takes us back to the time when even Planned Parenthood understood abortion. From a 1952 PP pamphlet, 1st spotted by David Schmidt at LiveAction.org:
  • Is [birth control] an abortion? Definitely not. An abortion requires an operation. It kills the life of a baby after it has begun. It is dangerous to your life and health. It may make you sterile so that when you want a child you cannot have it....
    Today they claim the "products of conception" are not a baby. So were they wrong then, or are they wrong now?

  • I always say the young people will clean up the mess my generation started. Be inspired and encouraged... our youth are pro-life. Check out the Pro-Life Youth Congress:

  • Vital Signs links to a speech by Lord Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury and current President of the London School of Theology. Carey challenges Christians to become more assertive in living and proclaiming their faith or watch their heritage dismissed and their religious freedoms further curtailed. "If we behave like doormats," he warns, "don't be surprised if we are treated as though we are. It is time to return to the public square."

  • Wesley Smith has an article on the Netherlands, where a movement for doctor-assisted suicide based solely on age is gaining strength.

  • Not Dead Yet highlights Jacob Appel's mini-rant in the Huffington Post and his recently published essay which supports allowing parents of seriously ill or disabled children to request that their children be killed. Even more alarming is his advocacy that fear of potential suffering rather than parental consent should be the determining factor.

  • Comments:

    Okay, I can't let that misinformation stand unchallenged. There is very limited evidence to support the notion that the prefrontal cortex doesn't fully develop until the early 20's. This is nowhere near accepted neuroscience. Most studies find reasoning ability fully developed by 15 and begins its very slow decline at about 18.

    Psychologically speaking 15 year olds who have to suffer the consequences of bad decisions, wise up fast. The reason young people act irresponsibly is that in our culture they know they will be shielded from the consequences.

    Posted by: hippie at March 12, 2010 2:39 PM

    I find it funny how, when you're born, having a brain that's still growing is what makes you a human but, when you're unborn, having a brain that's still growing is what makes you subhuman.

    Posted by: Vannah at March 12, 2010 4:01 PM

    Don't discount all of this hippie. There is an excellent book out "Hooked, New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting Our Children" by Dr. Joe S. McAlhaney and Dr. Freda McKissic Bush (Northland Press) who are both MDs who have been studying the physiological, emotional, hormonal along with the neuroscience effects of sexual activity. Pretty impressive stuff with 20 pages of extensive research at the end of the book. Like I have said before on this blog "marriage" was created to unite two distinctly different human beings with two distinctly different reproductive systems who fit together and become "one" anatomically, hormonally, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually, even the neuroscience backs up what the benefits are of "becoming one flesh" in the covenant of marriage and how badly we mess it up when we destroy God's plan. We can do what we want but we will pay consequences, unfortunately our teens and young people are paying horrible consequences. "Condoms don't protect the heart."

    Posted by: Prolifer L at March 12, 2010 4:06 PM


    There is actually a good amount of compelling data on the developmental timeline of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in the databases. It is far from 'misinformation', as you have characterized it.

    As for your observation that learning ability declines at 18, those studies were horribly limited in their scope and populations.

    You also confuse learning with the development of reasoning (which is what is at stake here in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex). That's a big error that I can't let slip by.

    Reasoning is a skill that aids one's capacity to learn. It is not the learning itself. Your observation that a 15 year-old wises up fast when held to account for their behavior in no way contradicts the trajectory of my argument.

    That 15 year-old lacks a fully developed capacity to assess the consequences of their actions. However, when presented with severe punishment (20 strokes with a bamboo cane on their backside in Singapore), other centers in the brain become involved in the system of reward/punishment and MEMORY. These are entirely different centers in the brain that have fully formed and govern behavior by alternative means.

    Until one has been severely punished, there is no memory to help guide behavior. Those centers of the brain lack input into decision making, leading to a greater reliance on the immature prefrontal cortex to shape the process of deciding.

    When neurological memory of severe punishment is created, then reasoning consequences takes a back seat to memory of physical and psychic discomfort.

    If you are relying on thousands of studies to make the case, that's bad methodology. It's a common mistaken assumption, and employed even by some scientists when they seek to cast suspicion on data that challenge their particular orthodoxies. What's out there is very strong. I'll close with an anecdote from Albert Einstein.

    When Hitler came to power, it galled him that Einstein, a Jew, could have gotten relativity theory and the Nobel Prize for his discovery regarding the photoelectric effect. Hitler commissioned 100 scientists to refute Einstein. Their work was bundled and presented under the title, "100 Authors Against Einstein". When asked his thoughts on the matter, Einstein replied:

    "Why 100 authors? If I were wrong, then one would have been enough!"

    Posted by: Gerard Nadal at March 12, 2010 5:36 PM

    I agree we need to be open to new ideas. The main problem with so many studies is that they lack control groups. My point is not that they have no evidence, rather that their conclusions don't account for the many other variables.

    Posted by: hippie at March 13, 2010 5:08 AM


    That may be true in other studies, such a Simon Levay's attempts to prove a genetic link to homosexuality, but not in the studies that I've reported here. These are rigorous NIH studies.

    God Bless

    Posted by: Gerard Nadal at March 13, 2010 8:51 PM

    "The Big Black Lie" by Kevin Jackson...great book...tells how this black man discovered Democrats were the party of racists and the descendants of the southern white slave owners! How they were the ones who voted against civil rights...etc...

    VERY GOOD BOOK. I recommend highly even if it does have typos. :-)

    Posted by: Sydney M. at March 13, 2010 9:03 PM

    while [PP] is pushing aggressively for teaching children as young as 10 to be sexually active

    A complete lie. It is shocking enough to see studies showing that the average age of first vaginal intercourse has gone down from 17 to 14 in the last 30 years. But to point the finger at family planning services and Planned Parenthood in particular is simply emotionally-charged finger pointing and does not reflect reality (reality includes the very large Generation Y baby boom of the 80s and 90s, the record number of children with single parents, America's growing population, the sexually charged and conflicted culture we live in, etc.).

    PP does not promote underage sex. Go to one of their sex ed sessions yourself and ask where they stand. Just leave your guns at home.

    Posted by: Dhalgren at March 14, 2010 5:42 PM

    Dhalgren, have you ever heard of the Mona Lisa Project? Are you actually expecting us to believe you? Anyway, what Planned Parenthood says is one thing; what they actually do is another. I'm quite sure Planned Parenthood is in favour of "sex education" in the schools, and that's the same thing as encouraging sexual promiscuity in children. (Was Planned Parenthood ever in favour of teaching sexual abstinence? I can't remember.)

    You said, "Go to one of their sex ed sessions yourself and ask where they stand." Planned Parenthood doesn't stand; it only lies. And it encourages the children to lie too. Or it forces them to lie by aborting them. Planned Parenthood is already in the pit of hell, so it has no place further to fall.

    Posted by: Jon at March 15, 2010 12:18 AM


    I can top you on your dare!

    Go to my article linked in this post and READ IT!! I link to the PP documents themselves. PP, in Stand and Deliver states that they use the terms Youth, Young Person and Adolescent INTERCHANGeABLY to mean ANYONE FROM 10-24 YEARS OF AGE.

    They then go on in all of their publications to promote sex and contraception for those in this age group.

    I admit that it sucks having to defend that, which is why I invite you to join us on the dignity bandwagon. Stop trying to defend the indefensible, and telling us that PP means something other than what their own publications say.

    Posted by: Gerard Nadal at March 15, 2010 9:55 AM