Seattle Storm Will Hold “Planned Parenthood Night” Tomorrow

When the Seattle Storm take on the Connecticut Sun tomorrow night at Key Arena, basketball won’t be the only activity on the agenda.

The Storm have declared tomorrow’s game “Planned Parenthood Night.” A rally in support of the notorious abortion corporation will be held before the game, and the basketball team will also donate $5 from the sale of each ticket and the proceeds from a silent auction to Planned Parenthood.

Auction items will include autographed and game-worn gear. In total, Planned Parenthood will likely bring in over $100,000 from the night’s events.

The rally begins at 5:15 p.m. The game, which will be nationally televised on ESPN2, will tipoff at 6:00 p.m.

This marks the first time a professional sports franchise has officially partnered with Planned Parenthood. Any attempt on the part of a professional sports franchise to intentionally associate with the abortion corporation is significant, but the Storm have gone above and beyond in their endorsement of the nation’s abortion provider.

The Storm released a PSA last week to raise awareness for “Planned Parenthood Night.” The PSA features some of the team’s basketball players declaring, “We stand with Planned Parenthood.”

In terms of timing, this move is unsurprising. Money might soon be in short supply for Planned Parenthood if Congress is able to pass legislation to defund them. Without government aid, Planned Parenthood will need corporate financial support to stay afloat.

The fact that the Storm are willing to ally with Planned Parenthood is bad news for preborn children. In North Carolina, the NBA and NCAA effectively held the state hostage over HB 2, the common sense state law that protected the privacy rights and safety of women and children in locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms. North Carolina legislators repealed the law earlier this year to appease the NCAA and keep college sports championships in the state.

If the Storm’s partnership proves profitable, other franchises in progressive areas will likely follow suit. Ownership groups around the country are watching Seattle intently to see what kind of response the Storm get from the community and what happens to the Storm’s brand as a result of their decision to partner with the abortionists at Planned Parenthood.

This is bigger than just Seattle. Pro-life supporters need to make sure every sports franchise in America understands that funding Planned Parenthood will result in damage to both their brand and bottom line.

There will be a pro-life presence outside the arena. To make a powerful statement on behalf of preborn children, pro-life people need to get involved. Email me at j.silberman@ymail.com for more information.

If you oppose the killing of preborn children in violent and bloody fashion and you’re able to attend this protest, please make every effort to join us tomorrow afternoon.

Corporations are teaming up to bail out the abortion industry. Without a response from the pro-life community, they will likely succeed. Don’t let that happen. Be outside the arena at 5 p.m. on July 18th to protest the Storm’s support for Planned Parenthood and bring your friends and family with you.


James Silberman is a guest contributor to the FPIW Blog. He is a pro-life activist from Gig Harbor, WA, and a student at Whitworth University.


 

Is abortion constitutional? Let’s ask the founders

Is abortion constitutional? The Supreme Court concluded in Roe v. Wade (1973) that an expectant mother has a “fundamental right to abortion.” According to Supreme Court logic, this right to abortion is protected under the penumbral right of privacy supposedly guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

To see whether the Roe decision is an accurate interpretation of constitutional rights, it is important to understand the intentions of the authors of the Constitution. Did they advocate legal abortion protected by the Constitution?

One of the most authoritative sources for learning law during the founding era was William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England. Blackstone, a distinguished English jurist, was so well-liked by the founding fathers that he was the second most frequently cited thinker in the American political writings of the founding era. American law students studied his work so religiously that Thomas Jefferson wrote to a friend that “Blackstone is to us what the Koran is to the Muslims.”

Blackstone affirmed in his Commentaries that an individual’s right to life is an “immediate gift of God.” This right to life is legally binding “as soon as an infant is able to stir in the mother’s womb.” Per Blackstone,

“For if a woman is quick with child, and by a potion, or otherwise kills it in her womb; or if any one beat her, whereby the child dies in her body, and she is delivered of a dead child; this, though not murder, was by the ancient law homicide or manslaughter. But at present it is not looked upon in quite so atrocious a light, though it remains a very heinous misdemeanor.”

Interestingly, Blackstone also explains that fetuses “in the mother’s womb” are legally considered “to be born.” Thus, the law considered a fetus to be his or her own person, independent of the mother.

From these commentaries, the founding fathers learned that any abortion perpetrated after the stirring of an infant in the mother’s womb was a “heinous misdemeanor.”

American courts upheld this traditional common law approach in characterizing abortion as a misdemeanor. Founding father James Wilson, a signatory of the Declaration of Independence and original U.S. Supreme Court justice, taught his law students that,

“With consistency, beautiful and undeviating, human life, from its commencement to its close, is protected by the common law. In the contemplation of law, life begins when the infant is first able to stir in the womb. By the law, life is protected not only from immediate destruction, but from every degree of actual violence, and, in some cases, from every degree of danger.”

Similarly, St. George Tucker, a Madison judicial appointee and professor of law at the College of William and Mary, explained in his celebrated legal treatise on American law that it is  “a great misprision [misdemeanor]” to “kill a child in its mother’s womb.”

Laws in American states criminalized abortion from the beginning. For example, Virginia law outlawed the practice of using “potion” to “unlawfully destroy the child within her [womb].” These laws were crafted by many of the same individuals who framed the Constitution.

It is therefore inconceivable that the framers intended constitutional protections for abortion as a “fundamental right.” Indeed, the framers believed the opposite. From their perspective, the unborn child has a fundamental right to life, a right that would be infringed by an abortion that ends his or her life.

A “fundamental right to abortion” does not exist in the Constitution or its amendments. It is the height of intellectual dishonesty to argue that the authors of the Constitution and its amendments intended to protect abortion under some vague and unwritten “right to privacy.” That so many courts and judges have for so long upheld a legal doctrine antagonistic to the Constitution reveals the rogue nature of the modern judiciary.


Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and research fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.


 

The Charlie Gard Story is the Fruit of a Terrible, Progressive Tree

Charlie Gard is a British baby who has a genetic illness that is probably terminal. He has been on life support, but the British doctors wanted to remove life support.

Not wanting to give up hope, Charlie’s parents raised over a million dollars to bring their child to the US for an experimental treatment that might save his life, though likely wouldn’t prevent him from being disabled.

But the hospital refused to release him to his parents so they could try.

The parents sued, but the courts agreed with the hospital that it was time for Charlie to die.

If you’re a parent, this probably makes you angry.

If you’re human, it should make you angry.

But this is more than an isolated, sad story about a sick baby.

This outcome is what progressives have been fighting so hard for. Even if they didn’t know it.

This isn’t merely parents and doctors with a difference of opinion.  It isn’t parents refusing to accept the inevitable.  It’s the state seizing custody from parents in order to hasten the death of a baby because they believe its in the child’s best interest to die.  It’s the state denying parents the opportunity to try, slim as the chance may be.

When you take the position that human life has value only to the extent it helps other humans, this is what you get.

When the power to make life and death decisions about health care is taken away from families and given to government, this is what you get.

When you are convinced that government is better at determining what is good for a child than the parents, this is what you get.

You get laws that give a mother the right to kill her child but prohibit her from trying to keep him alive.

Is everyone left-of-center happy that Charlie Gard has been taken from his parents so the state can facilitate his death?  Certainly not.  But if  you don’t like the fruit, stop watering the tree.

This is Europe.

This is progressivism.

Don’t let it happen here.

 

Why We Cannot Stop Fighting for Life

Western society has truly become a “culture of death.” Three recent news stories illustrate this unfortunate development:

 

1. Charlie Gard is a ten-month-old with a rare genetic disorder that has put him in a coma. An American doctor offered the family a potentially life-saving experimental treatment for Charlie, and the family soon raised over $1.6 million to cover the expenses.

Charlie’s story took a turn for the worse when his London hospital refused to permit his parents to take him across the Atlantic for treatment. His doctors believed that since he would likely be disabled if the treatment were successful, “it is in Charlie’s best interests to permit Charlie to die with dignity,” a sentiment echoed by a British judge after Charlie’s parents sued.

According to the judge, “Although the parents have parental responsibility [in making medical decisions for their children], overriding control is vested in the court exercising its independent and objective judgment in the child’s best interests.”

Charlie’s parents fought valiantly for the right to secure potentially life-saving treatment for their child, appealing the decision to the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights. Justice was denied, however, when the ECHR refused to intervene earlier this week, allowing doctors to end Charlie’s life.

 

2. The parents of an Iowa boy (“Z.P.”) born with cerebral palsy successfully sued their doctor for failing to inform them that their baby would be born with the disability. They say they would have had their baby aborted if they had known about the disability.

Iowa’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of the parents. As James Silberman accurately notes, “If the right to kill unborn children exists, it follows that a doctor’s failure to inform the parents of an unborn child about the presence of an undesirable trait would indeed be a violation of that right.”

 

3. The Oregon Senate passed a bill (SB494) earlier this month that would have allowed nursing homes to starve disabled patients to death. The bill was introduced after Bill Harris sued the nursing home caring for his wife, Nora, who suffers from dementia. Harris wanted the nursing home to stop spoon feeding Nora.

Although Nora is dealing with advanced Alzheimer’s, she is still conscious and wants to eat. SB494 would have allowed the nursing home to withhold food and water from Nora until she starved to death.

Thankfully, the legislation recently failed in the House Judiciary Committee. Although the mere fact that the bill passed the Senate is remarkable and frightening, it is unsurprising, considering that Oregon was the first state to allow doctors to kill terminally ill patients who want to die.

 

Why We Must Keep Fighting 

Human life is sacred. Every person, regardless of his or her disabilities or circumstances, has dignity and is inherently valuable.

Human life is beautiful. Anyone who has met the inspiring and beautiful people living with disabilities knows this to be true.

Those with disabilities offer so much to the world; most importantly, they provide the opportunity for society to grow in its compassion for the weak and vulnerable.

Those who have disabilities are no less human than you or me. Their humanity demands the same natural rights we all share, the most important of which is the right to live.

We have not been given the authority to decide whose lives are “worth living.” Abortion, euthanasia, and suicide are so destructive because these things demean human life.

Our shared humanity enjoins us to fight against these evils. We must defend the defenseless. We must speak for Charlie, Nora, and “Z.P.” We must not permit judges and legislators to change and manipulate our laws to allow for the murder of the innocent.

Who will defend the most vulnerable if we do not? I pray that we may never forget that their lives are immeasurably valuable, and I pray that more good people rise up to restrain the evil that has convinced far too many people that some lives are more valuable than others.

Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito (Latin: Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it).


Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and research fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.


 

Planned Parenthood and the Media Should Stop Lying About CMP Videos

Come mid-July, it will have been two years since the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released their first in a series of undercover videos depicting conversations with high-level abortion industry executives. By giving the nation a peek behind the closed doors of the abortion industry, David Daleiden and his team at CMP have shifted the public discussion about abortion. Their undercover footage reached millions of people, many of whom were open to being swayed on the abortion issue, by giving them the opportunity to observe the depravity of the abortion industry for the first time.

For those who watched the tapes of Planned Parenthood and other abortion industry executives bartering over human body parts and speaking of crushing human skulls, there is little doubt that what the tapes show is evil.

With such damning video evidence showing their executives engaged in illegal behavior and nonchalantly talking about the horrors of abortion, Planned Parenthood knew it had to mount a defense. They couldn’t argue that bartering for human body parts wasn’t wrong and they couldn’t argue that the footage wasn’t real. They were left with only one excuse: they accused CMP of deceptive editing, a claim that has since been proven to be categorically false.

Two studies were done to determine the authenticity of the footage. One of the studies was commissioned by Planned Parenthood and conducted by Fusion GPS. The other was carried out by Coalfire Systems and commissioned by Alliance Defending Freedom.

Fusion GPS is an opposition research firm that has been used for partisan purposes by Democrats on multiple occasions, most notably when they produced a wholly unsubstantiated dossier accusing President Trump of performing unseemly acts with Russian prostitutes. Coalfire Systems, on the other hand, is a highly respected forensic firm servicing Fortune 500 companies and analyzing evidence in civil and criminal investigations.

While there is certainly a credibility gap between these two organizations, both firms definitively concluded that there was no evidence of audio or video manipulation.

The Fusion GPS study found that although there were cuts in the footage, there was no signs of edits or manipulation that would alter the meaning of the dialogue “[Our] analysis did not reveal widespread evidence of substantive video manipulation,” the report says.

Fusion GPS researchers cleared CMP of two specific accusations of audio manipulation made by Planned Parenthood and their allies. Roughly one hour and twenty minutes into CMP’s fourth video, a Planned Parenthood nurse off-camera proclaims, “It’s a baby,” while picking through the remains of a dismembered child. Planned Parenthood claimed that the interaction was suspicious, insinuating that their nurse did not actually say what the video depicted her saying. But Fusion GPS researchers explicitly refuted this claim in their report: “Neither internal nor expert analysis found any artifacts of editing in or around this segment that would suggest the audio was inserted or manipulated using technical tools.”

Similarly, Planned Parenthood accused CMP of manipulating the footage audio to portray a nurse as saying, “It’s a boy!” as she discovered the gender of the dead child. Yet their own commissioned analysis categorically rejected their claim: “Again, neither internal nor external analysis found evidence that CMP inserted or manipulated this dialog post hoc. [Our forensic expert] found the audio spectrum to be consistent and continuous before, during, and after this dialog.”

The Coalfire report was even more unequivocal in its conclusion that the videos had not been altered in any way that would mislead the viewer. They ascertained that the footage is “authentic and show no evidence of manipulation or editing.”  Additionally, while there were cuts in the footage, the edits were only of time spent “commuting, waiting, adjusting recording equipment, meals, and [for] restroom breaks.”

It is extraordinarily rare that two forensic studies, commissioned by political opponents and dealing with such a politicized issue, would come to the same conclusion. In addition, CMP released the full and unedited footage of all their encounters to show that their videos were not deceptively edited. It should have been a slam-dunk victory for the Center for Medical Progress. Why then do so many people still believe Planned Parenthood’s utterly falsified claims?

Planned Parenthood is not fighting this battle alone. Below are articles from prominent “mainstream” publications following the forensic studies which, as we just went over, were nearly unequivocal in their rebuke of Planned Parenthood’s claims of “deceptive editing”:

“Planned Parenthood videos were altered, analysis finds” -The New York Times

“How Planned Parenthood hoax avoids the Truth” -CNN

“Republicans Look to Punish Planned Parenthood Without Any Evidence” -Washington Post

“Planned Parenthood videos: Deceptive edits found by report” -Politico

“Why the undercover Planned Parenthood Videos Aren’t Journalism” -Columbia Journal Review

“Planned Parenthood to House, Senate leaders: Videos manipulated” -The Hill

“Planned Parenthood takes us inside the anti-abortion video editing shop” -LA Times

“Planned Parenthood Says Experts Found Misleading Edits In Videos” -NPR

Although the headlines are misleading, the articles from which they are pulled are even worse. Media reports like these have been so astoundingly inaccurate that purposeful dishonesty with the intent of protecting Planned Parenthood is the only reasonable explanation.

For all intents and purposes, these “news” organizations are public relations firms providing pro-bono service to Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry. The shameless lying displayed by mainstream news seems to surpass that of Planned Parenthood’s own press releases. Even the usually reliable CNN host Jake Tapper cast aside his integrity to carry water for the nation’s largest abortion provider.

There is exactly zero justification for Planned Parenthood’s baseless accusations that the videos were misleadingly altered. Planned Parenthood’s own commissioned study discredits their claims. Anyone claiming otherwise is an intentional liar or a useful idiot.

Without social and alternative media, the truth about CMP’s videos would likely have been hidden from the American public. The information gatekeepers of traditional media have a small range of tolerable thought on the abortion issue, and they are willing to do what it takes to suppress the pro-life movement’s efforts to disseminate the truth about the abortion industry.


James Silberman is a guest contributor to the FPIW Blog. He is a pro-life activist from Gig Harbor, WA, and a student at Whitworth University.


 

Culture of Death: Parents Successfully Sue Doctor For Wrongful Birth

Iowa’s Supreme Court recently ruled that the parents of a disabled child can sue their doctor for failing to warn them of the boy’s disability. Had Jeremy and Pamela Plowman known that their child, referred to as “Z.P.” in the lawsuit, had cerebral palsy, they say they would have had him aborted prior to birth.

Iowa is the 24th state to allow “wrongful birth” lawsuits through court decisions and the 25th overall. This decision is a logical extension of landmark abortion cases like Roe v. Wade (1973) and Casey v. Planned Parenthood (1992), which established that parents have the right to kill their children in the womb for any reason. If the right to kill unborn children exists, it follows that a doctor’s failure to inform the parents of an unborn child about the presence of an undesirable trait would indeed be a violation of that right.

This case reminds us that we find ourselves in a culture of death. This is the culture created by the abortion industry, along with help from Supreme Court decisions written by Justices Harry Blackmun (of Roe) and Anthony Kennedy (of Casey).

Short of overturning Roe and Casey, there isn’t much we can do in the legal realm. However, this case provides an opportunity for the pro-life movement to gain ground in the culture.

It’s difficult for most people to relate to the victims of abortion, in part because we can’t remember our lives in the womb. That’s why it’s so important for those engaged in pro-life apologetics to share the stories of those who have survived botched abortions.

There’s a reason that the abortion industry, abortion lobby, abortion supporters, and mainstream media pretend that survivors of abortion like Gianna Jessen and Melissa Ohden don’t exist. There’s a reason they react maliciously when we show images of children killed by abortionists. They do this because their culture of death can be perpetuated only if the victims of abortion remain faceless.

I don’t know Z.P. I don’t even know his full name. But I know that he is a human being with inherent worth and that it would have been an act of violence to kill him.

Thankfully, Z.P.’s disability was not recognized prior to his birth. Let’s hope the Plowmans eventually come to understand the beauty and value of their son.


James Silberman is a guest contributor to the FPIW Blog. He is a pro-life activist from Gig Harbor, WA, and a student at Whitworth University.


 

Oregon Legislation Would Allow Nursing Homes to Starve Dementia Patients

Nora Harris, 64, is in an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s. Although she is conscious, she can no longer use utensils to eat and drink.

Under current Oregon state law, so long as Nora is conscious, her caretakers must offer her food and water and help her to eat and drink.

Bill Harris, Nora’s husband, believes that Nora would rather starve to death. He sued to stop the spoon-feeding last year but lost the case.

Oregon lawmakers are now considering legislation that would allow nursing homes and hospitals to starve and dehydrate patients like Nora.

Oregon Right to Life says SB494, which passed the Senate last week, “would allow the starving and dehydrating of patients who suffer from dementia or mental illness.” David Kilada, Oregon Right to Life’s political director, explained the legislation in a post on ORTL’s blog:

“SB 494 removes current safeguards which prohibit surrogates from withholding ordinary food and water from conscious patients with conditions that don’t allow them to make decisions about their own care. Currently, patients like Nora are given help with eating and drinking when they cannot do it themselves. This is not tube feeding or an IV—this is basic, non-medical care for conscious patients.

“The way these safeguards are removed is subtle. A cursory look at SB 494 might lead you to think it merely updates the law regarding advance directive. This is true, but there’s more. If the bill passes, it could allow a court to interpret a request on an advance directive to refuse tube feeding to also mean you don’t want to receive spoon feeding! SB 494 would also create a committee, appointed rather than elected, that can make future changes to the advance directive without approval from the Oregon Legislature. This could easily result in further erosion of patient rights.”

The patients who would be affected by SB494 aren’t comatose. They aren’t relying on ventilators, tube feeding, or an IV to stay alive. Instead, these patients are fully conscious and aware; they are simply unable to feed themselves.

Current Oregon administrative rules require that nursing homes offer their patients three meals and snacks each day. The facilities must also provide “assistance with eating (e.g., supervision of eating, cueing, or the use of special utensils).”

Patients can refuse to eat the food they are given, but Nora still expresses a desire to eat. SB494 would allow Nora’s nursing home to withhold food and water from her, even if she wants to eat and drink.

With its passage in the Senate, SB494 now moves to the House of Representatives. Oregon was the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide in 1997 for terminally ill patients. Since then, a total of 1,127 patients have died from doctors giving them prescription medication to end their lives, according to a 2017 report by the Oregon Public Health Division.

When Doctors and Judges Turn Murderous

Update (06/14/2017): The European Court of Human Rights will allow Charlie Gard to be kept on life support while they consider the case.


Doctors and judges in Great Britain may kill an innocent baby boy today.

Charlie Gard is ten months old. Like many baby boys, he likes holding his stuffed animal monkey.

Sadly, Charlie has mitochondrial disease, an extremely rare genetic disorder affecting the part of cells that create the energy needed for life. Although Charlie has been on life support for months, a doctor in the United States has offered the family an experimental treatment that might save his life. Tens of thousands of people have donated $1.6 million to pay for the treatment.

Even with the possibility of successful treatment across the Atlantic, Charlie’s doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London refused to let his parents take him to America for treatment. Specialists then petitioned a British Court for permission to end his life, despite pleas from the his parents to keep him alive.

Justice Francis, the High Court judge who heard Charlie’s case, ruled that “it is in Charlie’s best interests” for the hospital “to permit Charlie to die with dignity.” In his ruling, Justice Francis rejected the objections of those who ask why courts should make these decisions and override the rights of parents:

“The duty with which I am now charged is to decide, according to well laid down legal principles, what is in Charlie’s best interests. Some people may ask why the court has any function in this process; why can the parents not make this decision on their own? The answer is that, although the parents have parental responsibility, overriding control is vested in the court exercising its independent and objective judgment in the child’s best interests.”

According to Connie Yates, Charlie’s mother, the American doctor says there is no reason why the treatment wouldn’t work for her baby boy. Yet the British doctors and judges steadfastly refuse to budge.

Connie posts regular updates on her Facebook page. Her timeline is filled with pictures of her holding her son, alongside captions like “We won’t give up on you baby boy” and “If he’s still fighting, we’re still fighting.”

Throughout the ordeal, her social media posts have kept a positive tone. At times, though, her vexation seeps into her posts. “We have had the money for over 2 months but we are NOT allowed to take OUR OWN SON to a hospital that want to try and save his life!” Connie wrote last week.

“Why can’t we be trusted as parents?? I would never sit by my Sons side and watch him suffer, I’m not like that! Why can’t the drs in America be trusted either?? Why why why can’t we try and save our Sons life??”

Connie and Chris (Charlie’s dad) are heroes. When doctors told them their son’s life wasn’t worth saving, they kept fighting. When a judge unilaterally decided it’s better to kill the baby than to allow them to seek treatment elsewhere, they kept fighting.

The Telegraph, an English newspaper, even published an insensitively written editorial by a mother who had lost a son. Her advice to Charlie’s young parents? “Sometimes in life things just don’t go as you want them to… Sometimes you have to let go.”

But these heroes keep fighting. They know the immeasurable value of their baby boy’s life.

On the other hand, if Charlie is killed, the doctors and judges involved in his case will be nothing less than murderers, perversely justifying their senseless slaughter with the fallacious claim that their murderous act will be merciful and in the best interest of their victim.

What about the parents? Don’t their wishes and beliefs count for something? Are they not ultimately responsible for their child?

We cannot stand silent as this innocent baby boy is murdered by the government that is supposed to protect him and the doctors who swore an oath to “do no harm.” This is the fruit of the culture of death. This is the fruit of the “death with dignity” movement. We have devalued life to the point that doctors and judges think they can decide whose lives are worth living.

Yesterday, Charlie’s parents were able to enjoy their first picnic with him. “Charlie was awake the whole time. It was wonderful for him to feel the sun on his face and the wind in his hair,” Connie said. “We put on some music and Chris and I lay down next to Charlie. For the first time in months we felt like a normal family.”

Charlie’s fate now rests in the hands of the European Court of Human Rights. It will likely decide today whether Charlie’s life is “worth living.”

No matter how the Court decides, we cannot give up fighting for the most vulnerable. We must keep defending life.


Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and research fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.

New Undercover Video: Abortion Industry Insiders Concede That Abortion is Violent Killing

Even abortionists now admit that they are contract killers.

Abortion is a violent act that ends the life of a human being. The pro-life movement has spent countless hours attempting to convince the public of this truth.

The latest undercover video from inside the world of abortion indicates that the abortion lobby is getting ready to concede that abortion is murder.

At a National Abortion Federation conference, Lisa Harris, director of Planned Parenthood of Michigan, tells a crowd of abortion industry insiders that the pro-life argument accurately represents the nature of abortion:

“Given that we actually see the fetus the same way, and given that we might actually both agree that there’s violence in here… Let’s just give them all the violence, it’s a person, it’s killing, let’s just give them all that.”

Although this development will likely come as a surprise to many, the abortion lobby doesn’t have much of a choice. As our scientific capabilities grow, the argument that the unborn child is not a living human being becomes progressively less tenable.

Modern ultrasound technology has been a boon for the pro-life movement, and in the not-too-distant-future, 3-D printing technology will allow doctors to place exact models of unborn children in the arms of their mothers and fathers. Incubation and artificial womb technology will continue to push viability earlier and earlier into the pregnancy. New media innovations and technologies are allowing the pro-life movement to display the humanity of the unborn on a large scale.

Excluding the most dogmatic of abortion zealots, these technological developments have effectively ended the debate over whether an unborn child is human.

The abortion lobby’s admission that abortion involves killing an unborn person will be an extraordinarily difficult position to defend. As pro-life individuals, this is a huge opportunity. We are now able to show the humanity of the unborn child without any pushback on the issue. We must take advantage.

Get out and make the argument. Use images and winsome arguments to illustrate the humanity of the unborn child. And if someone wants to argue the child’s humanity further, refer them to this video.

Editor’s Note: The shocking video has been pulled by YouTube. YouTube claims the video violates the video-sharing website’s terms of service.  A copy of the video is available here: http://www.mrctv.org/videos/center-medical-progress-video.


James Silberman is a guest contributor to the FPIW Blog. He is a pro-life activist from Gig Harbor, WA, and a student at Whitworth University.

4 Reasons Suicide Is Increasing Among Young Adults

Suicide is back in the news again.

After seven of its students committed suicide, a Colorado school district last month temporarily pulled from its libraries 13 Reasons Why, the young adult fiction book turned Netflix television teen drama that critics say glamorizes suicide.

The book chronicles the suicide of Hannah Baker, a high school junior who leaves behind thirteen cassette tapes explaining her reasons for committing suicide.

Like Hannah Baker, many young adults are turning to suicide as an escape from the pressures of life. From 2000 to 2015, the suicide rate increased 27% among those aged 20 to 35 (the U.S. average suicide rate among all age groups increased by almost 21% during the same time period). Washington State’s suicide rate is 16% higher than the national average.

 

Two Factors That Fail To Explain The Increasing Suicide Rate

Many experts blame increased economic hardship and inadequate mental health services for the recent rise in suicide. However, these easy explanations misrepresent available data and fall short of adequately explaining the troubling trend.

From a material perspective, life on earth has never been better. Thanks to global trade and extraordinary technological advances, Americans today enjoy a higher standard of living, greater economic security, longer life expectancy, less crime, and more leisure than any other people throughout history. Even the poorest among us live far more prosperous lives than our richest grandparents could have imagined. And let us not forget that Americans living in poverty still boast a higher living standard than the average European.

Additionally, the recent increase in suicide cannot be blamed on undersupplied mental health services. Both federal and state governments have progressively increased mental health funding over recent decades (paradoxically, the inefficient and inflexible bureaucracy created to administer mental health programs and treatments may make it more difficult for those struggling with mental health conditions to receive the care they need).

In exclusively focusing on economic circumstances and mental health funding, we ignore profound cultural shifts that better explain rising suicide rates.

 

Four Reasons Suicide Is Increasing Among Young Adults

Here are four factors likely contributing to the significant increase in suicide among young Americans:

Delayed Marriage: More than ever before, young people are choosing to delay marriage or forgo it entirely. In 1960, the median age at first marriage was 22.8 for men and 20.3 for women, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Today, the median age at first marriage has increased to 29.5 for men and 27.4 for women. Almost half of 34-year-olds have never been married.

These unmarried millennials sacrifice the benefits that come with being united to a committed partner in marriage. A survey of scientific literature conducted by the Marriage and Religion Research Institute found that married individuals are healthier, happier, and more financially secure than their unmarried peers. They experience greater emotional and psychological well-being than those who are unmarried. Notably, married individuals are less likely to commit suicide.

Increased Worker Mobility: Americans move for work more often than Europeans. Although greater worker mobility boosts the economy and results in better matching of employees and jobs, it can also cause individuals to become detached from communities that help provide belonging, happiness, and emotional and financial support.

Researchers have discovered a link between residential mobility and suicide. “Indeed, residential mobility can be associated with higher levels of stress, crime, poor health, and what sociologists call ‘social disorganization,’” writes Ryan McMaken for the Mises Institute.

Decreased Religiosity: Young Americans have increasingly disconnected from religious institutions over the last few decades, choosing instead to live according to their own “personalized spirituality” or rejecting religion entirely.

A Pew Research Center study published two years ago found that only 28% of millennials born between 1981 and 1996 attend religious services weekly, significantly less than 51% of the Silent Generation (those born between 1928 and 1945). Younger millennials are also less likely to believe in God (80%) and consider religion to be an important part of their lives (38%).

Unfortunately, by eschewing involvement in religious communities, millennials sacrifice the kinship and solidarity those communities provide. Religion helps provide meaning to life, and religious communities equip individuals with the relationships and support necessary to withstand life’s treacherous seas.

Unsurprisingly, religiously unaffiliated individuals had “significantly more lifetime suicide attempts” than their religiously affiliated peers, according to a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. The study’s authors also concluded that “subjects with no religious affiliation perceived fewer reasons for living, particularly fewer moral objections to suicide.”

Postmodernism: Millennials attain higher levels of education than previous generations. This makes them more susceptible to postmodernism, the prevailing worldview taught in higher education.

Postmodernism posits that reality is unknowable and meaningless. In attempting to overthrow traditional values, postmodernism dispenses with objective and transcendent truths that provide individuals with a realistic framework through which to perceive the world. Postmodernists sort everyone into one of two groups: the oppressors and the victims, the latter of which suffer from systemic societal and cultural oppression at the hands of the former.

Survey data indicate a considerable number of millennials have bought into the postmodern worldview propagated by their colleges and universities. Only 40% of those under age 35 believe “right and wrong never change,” and just 4% of millennials hold to a biblical worldview.

Philosopher Richard M. Weaver observed decades ago that “ideas have consequences.” Teaching the next generation that life is meaningless, truth is unknowable, and that tradition and conventional wisdom must be discarded yields predictable results. Such a corrosive worldview will only produce rotting fruit.

 

There Is No Easy Fix

Suicide is increasing because our culture has lost its moorings. We need to acknowledge that the exploding suicide rate among Americans and Washingtonians will not be solved through a growing economy or greater mental health funding. As long as individuals continue to disconnect from the relationships, communities, and truth that provide meaning to life, suicide will continue becoming more prevalent.

There is no easy fix. Reversing the trend depends on effectively confronting the lies accepted by culture and society fueling hopelessness and social disorganization. We must also work to ensure our communities can successfully provide for the material, emotional, and spiritual needs of their members.


Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and research fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.