Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Free Pro-Life Handbook

To anyone who is interested:

The Pro-Life Action League is giving out a pro-life handbook to anyone who requests it, for free!

The book is called "Sharing the Pro-Life Message" and it's packed with information about abortion, life in the womb, responding to pro-choice arguments and more.

You can order your free copy at the link below:
Free Pro-life Handbook

H/T Bethany at Precious Infants

Inexpensive and Practical Charity

Blogger Keep Calm and Carry On has a series of great ideas for being charitable and helping others, which are both inexpensive and practical. I wish I would of thought of this! I recommend checking out their whole series of blog posts on this topic:

Charity, Cheaply: Part 1
Care Packages for Soldiers Across Seas
Charity, Cheaply: Part 2
Donating Blood, Plasma, and Bone Marrow Can Save a Life

Charity, Cheaply: Part 3
Comfort and Joy: writing letters and creating care packages for children with a terminal illness

Charity, Cheaply: Part 4
Toiletry Kits for the Homeless: practical uses for hygiene item samples we tend to accumulate and a great way to serve those less fortunate.

Charity, Cheaply: Part 5
Time and Service: Sometimes, the most needed gift is the gift of time and service for friends, neighbors, and in the community.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy Birthday A.A. Milne (Author of Winnie the Pooh)

Anyone who knows me well knows I'm a fan of the children's Winnie the Pooh series. Today is the birthday of A. A. Milne and not coincidentally, it's also Winnie the Pooh Day. Happy Birthday A. A. Milne!

For Fun: Which resident of Pooh Corner do you identify with the most?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Family in Need of Help...Not Just an Abortion

Dawn Eden alerts us to a story featured by abortion provider "Nell" at the abortionclinicdays blog, discussing an African-American woman with the name of DaShay, a hysteric mother who called to inquire about getting Plan B for her mentally disabled 17-year-old daughter, Alia. In the discussion with abortion provider "Nell" DaShay comes to the realization that her daughter is 9 weeks pregnant and insists her daughter has an abortion.

The story is a that of single mother living at poverty level and end the end of her rope, caring for her mentally disabled daughter and for her daughters son as well.  And now the daughter is pregnant again. Because of the nature of her disability, this raises the question of whether or not the sex is consensual and whether or not she is the victim of statuatory rape. Also, there is the issue of the financial and living situation in which she and her mother are living in.

Nell describes what happened after DaShay, who was "pretty angry, cursing her daughter up and down for having sex," put her daughter on the phone:
Alia answered my questions slowly, but kept confirming that she did not want to be pregnant. Even though she was 17, she sounded younger. Mom was in the background shouting lots of questions, so I asked to speak to DaShay again. "Look--my daughter has one baby and I got her baby. I adopted him because she can't care for him. She's got a disability, she can't care for herself, she can't learn, she was in special classes but went and dropped out. I been laid off. We only get a little bit of money for her disability. She can't have another baby! We are on welfare--do you hear me? WEL...FARE. WELFARE! Understand? We got nothing. Now what's this gonna cost? Thirty? Fifty dollars for the pills?"Because of where she lived, DaShay's welfare would not cover the cost of an abortion. "Actually, it's going to be closer to $350," I explained again why it was different than needing Plan B. She started screaming at her daughter, "$350? What am I supposed to do! Where we gonna get money? Where'd that little boy go who said he's gonna help you?"
The abortion provider Nell seems short-sighted, focusing on raising the funds to end the girl's pregnancy, but does not seemed concerned of the living situation of Alia and her mother, nor of Alia's disabilities:
When DaShay calmed down again, we went over her finances. She was right--they were just barely surviving. I don't know how she was making it work. We went through the steps to get her some emergency help from the National Abortion Foundation, but still weren't able to get the whole cost covered. We made a plan where she would try to come up with a portion and I would start calling around to some other emergency abortion funds to find part of it. We scheduled Alia's appointment for two weeks in the future, to give each of us a chance to try to come up with some more money. I'm still waiting for phone calls back from the emergency funds and I don't know what's going to happen.
Following readers concern for Alia, the abortion provider, Nell, added a postscript to the entry:
Because several readers have been distressed at the possibility that Alia may have been sexually abused or that she did not have the intellectual capacity to understand what was happening for her. I'm glad that our readers are concerned for her welfare. No woman should be forced or coerced into having an abortion, continuing a pregnancy or giving a child up for adoption. It is very important that women with special needs get extra time and care to ensure that they make decisions that they are comfortable with. For an example of how a counselor can work with a minor to ensure that she is not being abused, that she understands the medical care she will recieve and that her medical team and family come together to help support her, please see this entry that Lou wrote a few weeks ago.
Ok, so they talk about how wrong coercion is and blah, blah, blah, but do they actually take the time to sit down and talk with the women and actively listen to what the woman really is saying? Eventhough she may be saying yes, she is crying, and her abusive boyfriend or parent is waiting for her out in the waiting room or the car. And I wonder, with how hysterical and demanding the mother in this situation is being, if the daughter is under pressure or being coerced to have the abortion? And what, I wonder, is Nell and Lou's idea of counseling for Alia? Having her hysterical mother sit with her and hold her hand while they describe her pregnancy and the abortion procedure in run-of-the-mill medical descriptions and pro-choice euphemisms which she may or may not understand? Will the abortion providers refer the family for community and support services or do their services only extend to the abortion?

Following Nell's post, abortionclinicdays posted a follow-up telling readers how they could finance Alia's abortion:
One organization that helps women nationally is WRRAP. They are wonderful, just wonderful. I could tell you so many stories of women they have helped! Pregnant women who have lost their jobs, women who are homeless, women whose personal finances are committed to their children. Even working women sometimes earn too little to be able to pay for an abortion and still pay their rent. WRRAP's staff is volunteer so whatever you donate goes right to the clinics for a specific woman whose situation we present to them. Whenever WRRAP has money, they immediately spread it around! And I have never seen such an increase in requests! These days, with so many women losing their jobs, losing hours at work, losing their homes, the requests are greater than ever. As a result, WRRAP is always short of funds. Any amount you care to send will be so appreciated, is so needed!
It's not amazing the number of individuals who are so quick to jump in and offer financial donations for the abortion, but I wonder if the same individuals would also be willing  to jump to the aid and support of women who chose to carry to term, to assist a single mother afford daycare while she works, to help a poor family who is struggling make rent, to open their home to a young mother and her child, or be willing to drive a woman to well-care doctors appointments, etc.

What will become of Alia, her son, and her mother after the abortion? And why is the PREGNANCY the only thing the mother and the abortion clinic staff care about? This family needs help on so many levels and Christina from Real Choice addresses these issues:

1. They need to consider whether or not Alia's sex was consensual and whether or not it is statuatory rape, due to her age and disabilities.

2. The girl has special needs that obviously aren't being met. How is an abortion going to fix that?

3. Her mother is obviously past the end of her rope, totally decompensating, stressed out to where she can't cope any more. That girl needs to be out of that situation and her mother needs intervention to get her life on a decent track.

All an abortion will accomplish is ending the life of Alia's unborn baby and a bunch of elitists patting themselves on the back for what? For “helping “ another woman by providing her an abortion, even while this girl and her family remain in a miserable situation.

Take Action:

- Pray for DaShay and Alia, that they have a change of heart and for their home situation.

- Learn about your local pregnancy resource centers, non-profit organizations, and assistance programs so that you may be able to refer those in need.

- Donate to your local pregnancy resource center's Earn While You Learn Program. Through this program, women participate in parenting and life skills (finances, budgeting, time management, etc) courses which empower them to become more independent and break the cycle of poor parenting, neglect, and abuse while earning vouchers for supplemental baby hygiene items, furniture, maternity and infant/toddler clothing,  car seats, infant bedding, etc, with diapers and formula given out on an emergency basis.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

When Does a New Human Life Begin?

This is a hotly debated question among those in the abortion debate. Many on the pro-choice side argue that a new human life doesn't begin until viability, quickening, or until birth. Also many people say that this is a philosophical or religious question..But what is the right answer?
The values of legal rights, personhood, and worth are philosphical and sociological values not to be confused with the scientific classification of a human being. However in my experience in debate and discussions, many individuals confuse philosophical ideas (like the concept of “person”) with the scientific/biological definition of “human being (a living organism of the human species)” or “a human”. Let's turn to science and medical embryology for clearification. The sciences of embryology and genetics reveal that a zygote, embryo, and fetus are members of the genius homeo sapiens (human beings) and rather these terms describe developmental stages, rather than species. Let's look at more of what embryologists have to say:

First, Let's Look at Newer Embryology Textbooks:"Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoo developmentn) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual."
"A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo)."
Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003. pp. 16, 2.

"Development begins with fertilization, the process by which the male gamete, the sperm, and the femal gamete, the oocyte, unite to give rise to a zygote."
T.W. Sadler, Langman's Medical Embryology, 10th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006. p. 11.

"[The zygote], formed by the union of an oocyte and a sperm, is the beginning of a new human being."
Keith L. Moore, Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2008. p. 2.

"Although life is a continuous process, fertilization (which, incidentally, is not a 'moment') is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte."
Ronan O'Rahilly and Fabiola Müller, Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001. p. 8.

"Human embryos begin development following the fusion of definitive male and female gametes during fertilization... This moment of zygote formation may be taken as the beginning or zero time point of embryonic development."
William J. Larsen, Essentials of Human Embryology. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1998. pp. 1, 14.

"It is the penetration of the ovum by a spermatozoan and resultant mingling of the nuclear material each brings to the union that constitues the culmination of the process of fertilization and marks the initiation of the life of a new individual."

Now Let's Look at Older Embryology Textbooks:

Clark Edward Corliss, Patten's Human Embryology: Elements of Clinical Development. New York: McGraw Hill, 1976. p. 30.

"The term conception refers to the union of the male and female pronuclear elements of procreation from which a new living being develops."

"The zygote thus formed represents the beginning of a new life."

J.P. Greenhill and E.A. Friedman, Biological Principles and Modern Practice of Obstetrics. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 1974. pp. 17, 23.

"Every time a sperm cell and ovum unite a new being is created which is alive and will continue to live unless its death is brought about by some specific condition."

E.L. Potter and J.M. Craig, Pathology of the Fetus and the Infant, 3rd edition. Chicago: Year Book Medical Publishers, 1975. p. vii.

Gravatar "Every baby begins life within the tiny globe of the mother's egg... It is beautifully translucent and fragile and it encompasses the vital links in which life is carried from one generation to the next. Within this tiny sphere great events take place. When one of the father's sperm cells, like the ones gathered here around the egg, succeeds in penetrating the egg and becomes united with it, a new life can begin." - 13

Geraldine Lux Flanagan, Beginning Life. New York: DK, 1996. p. 13.

"Biologically speaking, human development begins at fertilization."

And What Educational Videos Have to Say:
The Biology of Prenatal Develpment, National Geographic Video, 2006.

"The two cells gradually and gracefully become one. This is the moment of conception, when an individual's unique set of DNA is created, a human signature that never existed before and will never be repeated."

In the Womb, National Geographic Video, 2005.
Science tells us an individual human life begins at conception. There has even been acknowledgement from the pro-choice side that life begins at conception.

Zygote, embryo and fetus don't refer to non-humans, but humans at a particular stage of human development.

Quotes compiled and documentation completed by Abort73, if in doubt you can borrow the above textbooks from your local public or university library and verify the above quotes yourself.

What the Pro-Choice Side Has to Say:

"I think we have deluded ourselves into believing that people don't know that abortion is killing. So any pretense that abortion is not killing is a signal of our ambivalence, a signal that we cannot say yes, it kills a fetus..."
Faye Wattleton. former president of Planned Parenthood, as quoted in Salon Magazine, June 27, 1997
"Clinging to a rhetoric about abortion in which there is no life and no death, we entangle our beliefs in a series of self-delusions, fibs and evasions. And we risk becoming precisely what our critics charge us with being: callous, selfish and casually destructive men and women who share a cheapened view of human life...we need to contextualize the fight to defend abortion rights within a moral framework that admits that the death of a fetus is a real death."
Naomi Wolf, prominent feminist author and abortion supporter, as quoted in Our Bodies, Our Souls, The New Republic, 1995).
"In the top drawer of my desk, I keep [a picture of my son]. This picture was taken on September 7, 1993, 24 weeks before he was born. The sonogram image is murky, but it reveals clear enough a small head tilted back slightly, and an arm raised up and bent, with the hand pointing back toward the face and the thumb extended out toward the mouth. There is no doubt in my mind that this picture, too, shows [my son] at a very early stage in his physical development. And there is no question that the position I defend in this book entails that it would have been morally permissible to end his life at this point."
David Noonin, in his book, A Defense of Abortion, p. xiv

Quotes Compiled by Sarah Terzo at Abortion Clinic Quotes

Some Other Interesting Arguments the Pro-choice Side Makes:

The pro-choice side often compares the similiarities of developing human to other mammals or amphibians, pointing out gills along the neck and the tail of the developing human.

What are mistaken for gills are actually known as the pharyngeal arches. By the end of week 4, 6 pairs of pharyngeal arches are present, although only 3 are visible. (The word pharyngeal stems from the word pharynx, which refers to the area in the back of the throat.) These arches have been thought to resemble a fish's gills; however, it should be noted that they do not function as gills. Pharyngeal arches, on the other hand, are tissue folds which will develop into head and neck structures. The 1st arch will develop into parts of the upper and lower jaw, the ear, the mouth, the teeth, and the nose. The 2nd arch will help to form the tongue, the neck, the tonsils, and the ear. The 3rd arch will help to form the tongue, the parathyroid gland, the thymus gland, and the neck. The 4th, 5th, and 6th arches will all work together to form parts of the larynx, commonly referred to as the "voicebox," and the trachea, as well as contributing to the parathyroid and thymus glands.

Also, what is believed to be a tail is not a tail at all, but is the continuation of the spinal cord, caused by the spine growing in length faster than the rest of the trunk

Visible Embryo

University of New South Wales Embryology Website