Posts

“Pro-Choice” Should Be “Pro-Abortion”

In a recent discussion with an abortion supporter, I apparently made the mistake of calling her “pro-abortion.” She gasped and emphatically made me aware that she was not pro-abortion, just “pro-choice.”

This begs the question: what choice was she talking about? Was she talking about school choice? Health care choice? Where-to-go-for-dinner choice?

I support the Second Amendment. I think the right of an individual to choose whether they want to own a firearm for self-defense is crucial to the prevention of an abusive government. It would be reasonable to label my position pro-second amendment or pro-gun rights or simply pro-gun. Likewise, it would be very unreasonable and rather pointless to label my position “pro-choice.” That doesn’t explain what choice I am advocating.

The same goes for abortion. The phrase “I am pro-choice” is an incomplete sentence. To be intellectually honest, the speaker must specify what choice they are advocating. Just as I am pro-gun, pro-abortion is the appropriate term to describe the position of the abortion supporter.

When considering the nature of the debate, it’s easy to understand why abortion advocates so fervently demand to be called “pro-choice” rather than something which accurately defines their position: they do this because their position is ghastly.

In a legislative hearing in Florida in 2013, Planned Parenthood lobbyist Alisa LaPolt Snow opposed the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. It is Planned Parenthood’s position that children born as a result of botched abortions should be left alone on the table to die if still unwanted. When asked to defend this position, Snow’s response was, “We believe that any decision that’s made should be left up to the woman, the family, and the physician.”

Snow redirects the discussion to the issue of “choice” because no one can win a debate from a platform of “pro-leaving the baby to die on the table.” This goes for the killing of an unborn child as well. Pre-birth abortions entail the use of clamps to remove the child from the womb one limb at a time. Several other violent techniques are also used, including saline solution, which is used to dissolve away his or her skin. “Pro-human dismemberment” and “pro-burning the skin of a baby until his or her internal organs fall out” are not winning slogans.

It will be ‘game over’ for the abortion industry if the debate over abortion becomes focused on what abortion actually entails. That’s why they work so hard to make the debate revolve around euphemisms like “choice” without regard for the choice being discussed.

So, the next time someone tells you they’re pro-choice, ask them, “What choice?”

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.

Should Women Be Able to Sue Doctors for the Emotional Damage from Abortion?

It’s no secret that abortion can cause significant emotional damage to women who choose it.  But should women be able to sue their doctors if they experience emotional damage from an abortion?

Iowa State Senator Mark Chelgren thinks so and has introduced legislation that would do just that.

In an interview with Fox News, Sen. Chelgren explained the purpose of the bill.

“What we’re asking for is that individuals, doctors and clinics that make money off of women by giving them abortions are simply held accountable. That’s all this does. It protects women from people who would normally be trying to sell them something in a time when they are under the most stress that is kind of imaginable.”

The legislation allows a lawsuit regardless of how much time has passed since the abortion.

Despite the fact that emotional risks associated with abortion are well documented, no state currently has a law that specifically permits lawsuits for those harms.

Known side effects from abortion include regret, anger, guilt, shame, a sense of loneliness or isolation, loss of self confidence, insomnia or nightmares, relationship issues, suicidal thoughts and feelings, eating disordersdepression, and anxiety.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, AmericanPregnancy.org describes that the risk of side effects has a lot to do with the the mother’s beliefs about the baby.

“Those who believe it is not a baby until it is born have less of a chance of experiencing negative emotional consequences. However, those who believe it is a baby are more likely to experience negative emotional side effects.”

If passed, the legislation would likely create a deterrent to doctors performing abortions.

As a result, abortion industry advocates are describing the legislation as “anti-woman.”

Is this an appropriate way to limit the number of doctors willing to provide abortions? Comment below.

 

Klippert Bill Would Ban Sale, Use, Donation of Aborted Fetal Tissue

As the legislative session picks up steam, so does the ongoing debate over aborted fetal tissue in Washington State.

Yesterday, we wrote about a new effort in Congress to eliminate federal funding from entities that traffic in aborted fetal tissue.

The effort picked up steam in Washington State as well as Rep. Brad Klippert, from Kennewick, introduced House Bill 1243 to ban the sale, use, and donation of aborted fetal tissue.

The legislation comes on the heals of a Final Report by the Select Panel on Infant Lives, commissioned by the House of Representatives, which discovered that the largest bank of aborted fetal tissue in the United States was the Birth Defects Research Lab (BDRL) at the University of Washington.

According to the final report, BDRL has procured aborted fetal tissue from thirteen separate abortion providers in Washington State and distributed aborted fetal tissue to forty different entities around the country.

All of that would become illegal under the proposal.

In addition to banning the use of aborted fetal tissue, the legislation would also require the remains of an aborted baby “be decently buried, or cremated within a reasonable time after death.”

The legislation has thirteen co-sponsors in addition to Rep. Klippert.

The bill has been assigned to the House Health Care and Wellness Committee but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.

You are encouraged to contact your legislators about this legislation through the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 or email them by clicking here.

Who Else, Besides Planned Parenthood, Should Lose Federal Funding?

Planned Parenthood has received a lot of public scrutiny lately.  Even before the Center For Medical Progress released videos that revealed how intricately Planned Parenthood is involved in the trafficking of aborted baby parts, they were already the nation’s number one provider of abortions with a very troubling past.

President-elect Trump has promised to stop federal funding of Planned Parenthood, and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said that effort is included in a critical reconciliation bill.

But Planned Parenthood isn’t the only entity deserving of losing its federal funds.

Last week we wrote about the Birth Defects Research Lab (BDRL) at the University of Washington and its refusal to cooperate with federal subpoenas.

Their refusal to cooperate with subpoenas or respond to public records requests means there are many things we do not know about the BDRL.

But the things we do know raise serious concerns about the wisdom of giving them federal tax dollars.

In response to the disturbing videos from the Center for Medical Progress, the House of Representatives created a Select Panel on Infant Lives to investigate whether baby body parts were being sold for a profit.

The Select Panel’s final report was released on December 30th. 

Along with fifteen recommendations for criminal charges for Planned Parenthood and related entities, the Select Panel’s final report identified the BDRL at UW as the largest bank of aborted fetal tissue in America.

They have received aborted fetal tissue from thirteen different entities around the country (though all but one are in Washington State) and they have provided aborted fetal tissue to more than forty entities throughout the world.

They are also funded by federal tax dollars. In 2015, they received a $600,000 grant from the National Institute for Health to fund general operations.

In addition, the doctors who work at the Birth Defects Research Lab are also abortionists who perform abortions at some of the same abortion clinics that provide the BDRL with aborted fetal tissue.  Others BDRL doctors have focused their research on abortion.

When the Select Panel subpoenaed documents from the BDRL, the documents they provided concealed much of the information the Panel was actually requesting. They described UW’s cooperation with their subpoena in this way:

“The invoices either do not specify what clinic services are involved or, when they apparently elaborate on the nature of such services, those elaborations are redacted—rendering it impossible for the Panel to conduct a forensic analysis of UW’s financial arrangements with clinics. UW’s incomplete production raises more questions than it answers and demonstrates the need for further investigation” [1]

Setting aside the nature of the work taking place at the BDRL, there is something people of every political persuasion should be able to agree upon.

Entities subject to public records laws that do not want the public to know what they are doing should not be funded by the taxpayers. If you want to do something privately, do not ask for public money to do it.

Regardless, there is simply no good reason tax dollars should ever be used to fund those who traffic in aborted baby parts.

The Hyde Amendment is a federal law prohibiting the use of federal funds for abortion.  It is a recognition of the fact that hundreds of millions of Americans do not want their money being used to pay for abortions.

Since we have the decency to honor the Hyde Amendment, why would we require federal tax dollars to be used to fund the dissection of aborted babies?

But what about the lost opportunity to cure diseases? Significantly, the Select Panel’s Final Report noted that there is more than enough tissue from babies who die naturally through miscarriage to support all current research.

Selling the parts of aborted babies isn’t necessary for science and it isn’t something civilized people do.  Moreover, entities that refuse to allow the public to inspect their activities should not be funded by the public.

Last week I was in Washington DC discussing the appropriateness of tax dollars being used to fund the BDRL and others who traffic in aborted body parts.  For the most part, Congress was unaware that this was happening and they were universally unaware of how hard the BDRL is working to keep their publicly funded work from being seen by the public.

But when they learned, they were as concerned as you are.

While there is a great deal of sympathy, that will translate into action when the public demonstrates it matters to them.  That’s why they need to hear from you on this issue.

To contact your U.S. Representative about this issue click here.

For contact information for your U.S. Senators click here.

Additionally, proposed just today in Olympia, House Bill 1243 would prohibit the sale, donation, or use of aborted fetal body parts in Washington State.  Please contact your legislators here to share your thought on that legislation.

[1] Select Panel on Infant Lives Final Report pg. 259-260

Stop Using Religion to Justify Your Abortion

America is not and should not be a secular society, but we do have a secular government. The idea of theocracy is horrifying to nearly all Americans on all sides of every political divide; as well it should be. Theocracy strips citizens of freedom and often of their decency.

Because of this, convincing the public that your political opposition is advocating laws which are theocratic in nature is the easiest way to win the battle of ideas. This is exactly what the abortion lobby has done.

The talking points of Planned Parenthood and NARAL have been wholly mainstreamed by the education system, Hollywood, and the news media.  Their claim is that pro-life individuals seek to impose their religious views on the parents of a preborn child. Abortion supporters are the freedom fighters and pro-lifers are the theocrats. This could not possibly be further from the truth. In fact, the opposite is true.

In a debate with a pro-abortion individual, you will hear the following arguments:

“The child isn’t human until he or she can survive on their own.”

“The child isn’t human until he or she can feel pain.”

“The child isn’t human until he or she has brain activity.”

“The child isn’t human until he or she goes through the birth canal.”

“The child isn’t human until a few months after birth.”

These beliefs are all well and good for an individual to hold. This is a free country. But it’s important not to mistake these claims for science and instead call them what they are: philosophy and religion.

It is a scientific reality that conception was the beginning of all of our lives. The child, even in the earliest stages, meets every scientific requirement for being human (full set of human DNA) and every scientific requirement for being alive (metabolism and growth). It is objective fact that we have all been human and alive since the moment we were conceived.  Anything added to the discussion beyond these basic truths is either religion or philosophy.

If one wishes to ascribe to a different set of beliefs from what science tells us about the pre-born, that’s fine. But you can’t impose that arbitrary, unscientific belief system on another human being in order to take their life away. No one may use their personal philosophy or religion to legally strip the human nature from someone who is scientifically human.

The pro-life position is not one of religious legalism. It is one of science and of basic human decency. One does not have to appeal to a higher power to say, “Hey, don’t dismember that preborn child.” It should be clear to everyone with a functioning conscience and a shred of attachment to scientific reality that dismembering a preborn child is terrifyingly immoral.

The pro-abortion position is one that requires a denial of scientific realities and a silencing of the conscience. It is a movement of dehumanization and violence. And despite its advocates accusing everyone else of being the religious legalists, the pro-abortion position is one of violently imposing arbitrary belief systems on innocent human beings, in violation of every rule of pluralism and tolerance.

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.

What’s Next for the Abortion Industry?

Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry are facing some major challenges after the November election, including the revelation that groups in several states, including the University of Washington, have indeed been profiting from the sale of fetal body parts.

Listen to today’s podcast here:

Why Planned Parenthood is Suing FPIW

 

Two days ago, FPIW’s communications director, Zach Freeman, was served legal papers naming him as a defendant in a lawsuit. The suit was filed by 10 unnamed plaintiffs, identified only as “Jane and John Does”, asking the court to prohibit the University of Washington from releasing public records that had been requested by Mr. Freeman.

Those asking for their personally identifying information to be withheld include four current or former employees of Planned Parenthood, one employee of Cedar River Clinic (a controversial late term abortion clinic) as well as an employee of Evergreen Hospital and the University of Washington.

David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, was also named as a defendant because he made a similar public records request.

Mr. Daleiden made national news last year with the release of videos showing Planned Parenthood and abortion industry executives discussing how to harvest the organs of aborted babies and maximize revenue.

Shortly after those videos were released, a group of Washington State legislators wrote two letters to Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson asking him to investigate whether the parts of aborted babies were illegally being sold for a profit. (A copy of those letters can be found here and here).

After a couple of months had passed, the Attorney General wrote a memorandum to the legislators notifying them that he had done an investigation and Planned Parenthood had done nothing wrong. (A copy of that memorandum can be found here).

It is no secret that Bob Ferguson is a strong political ally of Planned Parenthood. Therefore, we thought it would be wise to verify that the evidence supported the Attorney General’s office conclusion that nothing illegal had taken place.

As a result, Mr. Freeman filed a public records request seeking information relevant to the AG’s investigation into Planned Parenthood.  That request provided a number of documents, including an interaction between the AG’s office and the University of Washington from September 2015 that caught our attention.

In that correspondence, Deputy Attorney General Paige Dietrich asked Ian Goodhew, Government Relations Director at the University of Washington for “the contract you mentioned”.

Mr. Goodhew responded to this request by seeking assurances that “You will hold those confidential and not share with anyone without consent?”

In response, Ms. Dietrich said, “I don’t think we’ll need copies of the agreements.” (A copy of this correspondence can be seen here.)

While we don’t know what this contract they were referring to is, it seems plausible given the context that it would be an agreement UW had with an outside entity to procure aborted body parts.

The fact that the Attorney General’s office rescinded their request for information after UW expressed concern about that information becoming publicly available was interesting enough to warrant further investigation.

That, in addition to other things, is the reason Mr. Freeman filed the public information request with the University of Washington. Even if the Attorney General was not interested in those contracts, we decided we were.

Since they are public records, the public is has the right to inspect them.

It is entirely possible that those records are innocuous and/or irrelevant to the investigation. We simply don’t know.

Still, the response to our request for those records as well as others has done nothing to dampen our curiosity.

While the requests were not intended to gather information about any individual, it is inevitable that public records will reveal the identity of people involved in public work. As a general matter, if you are having conversations with public entities you can expect that the public might discover that through public records.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim that their safety would be in jeopardy if their identities became public. They argue that because Mr. Freeman and Mr. Daleiden are pro-life that they intend to harass and/or commit violence against the individuals who might be identified in these documents.

Coming from an industry built on violence to others, this is deeply ironic. But that is beside the point.

The conversation about who is a bigger threat to whom is irrelevant to the legal question about whether anyone in Washington was illegally profiting off the sale of baby body parts.

It is possible that all relevant information will be turned over once this distraction is resolved and the public will be able to see if anything illegal is happening. It also possible that this is just an initial attempt to keep information away from the public.

We don’t know. Yet. But we intend to find out.

We anticipate a hearing to be scheduled soon.   We will be sure to let you know what happens.

One more thing.

Thank you for your support that allows us to ask important questions like these. The abortion industry in Washington has been operating free of accountability for decades and Planned Parenthood is a billion dollar tax-payer funded giant.

We are still a ways away from our first billion and receive no money from taxpayers. Friends like you make it all possible.  If you want to support this effort, please consider partnering with us.

Thank you for standing with us so we can continue to fight for what is good, true, and beautiful. When the dark side is agitated, you know you’re doing something right.

Opinion: NARAL Should Pay for My Guns

NARAL should pay for my guns.  And ammunition, regardless of its members’ moral or ethical objections.

Every person now has an unalienable constitutional right to an affordable health insurance plan, which means that, pursuant to leftist logic, society has a moral obligation to provide this right to everyone at no cost.  Quality healthcare, they say, includes access to contraception free of cost to the patients, which must be provided by the employer.

The tradition of abortion rights is loosely found in the right to habeas corpus, which originates with the idea that one has the right to one’s own body. Of course, according to leftists, this right to habeas corpus includes any entity within the body, living or nonliving, attached or unattached.  We knew that this is Roe v. Wade’s interpretation because Planned Parenthood v. Casey confirmed as much a decade later.

This new “right” to affordable health insurance – derived indirectly from such fluid concepts like “body,” “person,” and “pursuit of happiness” – has been now deemed as “unalienable.”  The ability to utilize this sacred, “unalienable right” to obtain contraceptives and abortion is seen by many as paramount, superseding the rights of others to conscientiously object from participating in such programs. And because it’s an unalienable right, according to leftist reasoning, society has an obligation to provide it to everyone, free of cost.

Let’s be consistent with our logic.

The U.S. Constitution directly and explicitly guarantees every person the right to “keep and bear arms” – in fact, it was once interpreted as a mandate unto itself! By extending the logic of requiring employers to provide abortions or birth control in the interest of health and wellness, regardless of their objections to abortions and birth control, we should also mandate the distribution of personal firearms to ensure “the security of a free state.”

Any common man knows that enabling an armed citizen to shoot a madman before his work is finished can effectively prevent loss of life or limb, and resulting depression for hundreds of others.  The founders who guaranteed that right with specificity had the foresight to see what might happen if citizens were left unarmed.

Yet, because it doesn’t match the inviolability of the right to an abortion, the right to keep and bear arms is often ratcheted down by leftists in the aftermath of crimes.

The government has mandated coverage of ever-increasing abortion and contraceptive rights while suppressing the right to keep and bear arms.  Why must my tax dollars be used to provide health care, abortion, and contraception, but NARAL is not compelled to pay for my guns?

Christopher Fossedal is a guest columnist at FPIW.  

Opinion: Abortion is Murder and This Proves It

An Ohio judge handed down a life sentence to 20-year old Emile Weaver this week, with no chance for parole.

Just over two months ago, Weaver gave birth to a little girl — which she named Addison Grace — in the downstairs bathroom at her Muskingum University sorority house.  Weaver’s sorority sisters had speculated that she was trying to hide a pregnancy, and that her activities were both suspicious and, if pregnant, very harmful to a developing child. They would later testify that, in the months leading up to the birth, Weaver had drunk excessively, taken large quantities of pills known to cause birth defects, smoked marijuana, and played semi-violent contact sports on a regular basis.

On the morning Addison Grace was born, sorority sisters discovered blood all over the bathroom floor.  Though initially unsure of where it came from, they soon discovered Addison Grace’s little body in a dumpster outside the house, and they immediately knew.  Investigators determined that Weaver had given birth, cut the umbilical cord with a pair of scissors, and thrown away the baby she didn’t want.  Addison Grace died from asphyxiation in the plastic bag in just a few short minutes.

A jury found Emile Weaver guilty of aggravated murder, abuse of a corpse, and two counts of tampering with evidence.  Emile Weaver will spend the rest of her life in prison for a heinous crime, committed against an innocent child.  Her friends, forever haunted by finding a bloodied, dead little girl in a dumpster, will never be able to forget what they saw.  Weaver deserves prison.

But, as columnist Matt Walsh suggests, perhaps Weaver’s worst crime was just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

What if, 24 hours earlier, Weaver had bought a cheap plane ticket to Washington, D.C., or Oregon, Vermont, New Mexico, Alaska, Colorado, New Hampshire, or New Jersey?  These jurisdictions have no limits on the point at which a woman can obtain an abortion.  Emile Weaver could have shown up at an abortion clinic, had a late-term abortion, flown home, and never have seen a judge, faced a jury, or gone to prison.  She would have been, in the eyes of even the exact same jury, completely innocent of any crime.

So how is it that Emile Weaver is guilty of aggravated murder and sentenced to life in prison for suffocating a child in a plastic bag in Ohio, but completely innocent if she had flown to Denver and had a doctor remove it piece by piece just a few hours earlier? I’m completely convinced that there is no justifiable answer to that question.

The only thing separating murder from abortion is a thin, half-inch piece of skin and tissue, separating the inside from the outside.  We should, as Americans, at least be able to come to an understanding that setting boundaries, at least in the case of late-term abortions, is common sense.

It doesn’t matter if you think Emile Weaver would have been a horrible mother.  It doesn’t matter if you think Addison Grace would have had a horrible life.  We’ll never know the answer to either of those questions.  What we do know is that murder is wrong.

For a world so interested in social justice, we sure have some big blinders on.

Conzatti: Supreme Court Disregards Own Standards in Abortion Ruling

 

In a devastating 5-3 loss for pro-life advocates, the Supreme Court just overturned two provisions of Texas’ HB 2 law that placed restrictions on abortion providers. The law was designed to improve the safety of women by requiring abortion providers to meet surgical center health and safety standards and maintain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

The Supreme Court’s decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt struck down both of the law’s provisions, saying they placed an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to have an abortion.

In his dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the “decision exemplifies the Court’s troubling tendency ‘to bend the rules when any effort to limit abortion, or even to speak in opposition to abortion, is at issue,’” quoting the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Texas legislators had been careful to ensure that their law conformed to the ‘undue burden standard’ proposed by the Court in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992). According to a summary by Public Discourse, the undue burden standard allows legislators to “regulate pre-viability abortions for the health and safety of the woman, provided the regulation does not create a substantial obstacle to the abortion right.”

In its decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the Supreme Court has now disregarded its own undue burden standard. According to Justice Thomas, the scrutiny applied by the majority to the Texas law “bears little resemblance to the undue-burden test the Court articulated” in Casey.

Since Texas law requires physicians performing surgical births like caesarean sections to maintain admitting privileges at local hospitals, applying this standard to physicians that perform abortions should not be controversial. Even the prochoice National Abortion Federation (NAF) recommends that “[i]n the case of emergency, the doctor [performing the abortion] should be able to admit patients to a nearby hospital (no more than 20 minutes away).” HB2 mandated doctors to have hospital admitting privileges at hospitals no more than 30 minutes away – a standard even lower than the one advocated by NAF.

By overturning the health and operating standards required by HB2, the Supreme Court has not only overruled the will of the Texas legislature, but it has also made abortion less safe for women.

An estimated 3,180 women were hospitalized for complications resulting from an abortion in 2011. Requiring abortion clinics to comply with the same medical standards for other forms of surgeries ensures that women will receive necessary medical care when complications arise.

“Our main concern is the safety of Texas women. We will continue to stand for women to keep them safe so they are not maimed or die in abortion clinics,” Jonathan Saenz, President of Texas Values, said in a statement.

The plaintiff in the case, abortion provider Whole Woman’s Health, had repeatedly been cited for safety and health violations in its clinics. In its yearly inspections of Whole Woman’s Health clinics, the Texas Department of State Health Services noted reoccurring safety violations, including the staff’s failure to maintain sterile surgical instruments, expired supplies and medication, rusty machines used on patients, dilapidated facilities, and concerns of rodents. It concluded that “the facility failed to provide a safe and sanitary environment,” remarking that the staff, which had not been trained in CPR, “did not know what a sterilization indicator was” and did not know how to properly use equipment.

Whole Woman’s Health’s terrible record of unsanitary and unsafe conditions demonstrates the importance of laws like HB2. Unfortunately, by siding with unscrupulous abortion providers, the Supreme Court disregarded the best interests of women.

Women deserve better.