Thursday, November 17, 2005

Uplifting Article on Abortion Survivor

Every so often, we hear an account of a baby who is unwilling to succumb to the hands of the abortionist. Whether by the intervention of God Almighty or simply the refusal of a few little human beings to give in, some aborted babies have thumbed their noses at their abortionists and have triumphed over death itself.

In Mark Pickup's short article, "She was aborted - but she lived!....My Glass is Half Full," we read of Gianna Jessen's victory over her attempted saline abortion 29 years ago. Jessen suffers from cerebral palsy associated with oxygen deprivation during delivery, but that does not stop her from sharing her message and her talents with the world.

According to Pickup, "she is a gifted and inspiring speaker, accomplished, talented and moving singer, a charming woman and a devout Christian."

Gianna Jessen's story is definitely uplifting and encouraging.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Redefining and Reshaping the Debate

The following quote is from "Postmodern Self-assessment: Pretending Doesn't Make It So" by Steve Singleton.

Abraham Lincoln once asked a stubborn disputant, "How many legs does a cow
have?" "Why, four, of course!" was the reply. Lincoln leaned forward and looked
the man in the eye, "Well then, how many would it have if we called its tail a
leg?" With a sneer, the man answered, "Five!" "Nope!" said Lincoln. "It would
still have four, because calling a tail a leg doesn't make it so."

During my time as a member of the South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion, I have come to find that one thing the pro-abortion side is particularly adept at is redefining terminology and changing the complexion of the debate. I began compiling a list of some of the phrases discussed by abortion advocates. Allow me to share some of them with you.

One phrase I was not familiar with prior to the task force proceedings was that of "abortion care." Abortion care....oxymoron? I think so.

The task force discussion oftentimes turned to the reasons why women seek abortions, or "abortion care," as some would call it. Answers ranged from "unplanned pregnancies" to "unwanted pregnancies" to "unintended pregnancies" to "accidental pregnancies." I wonder, what is the genesis of an "accidental pregnancy."

When Planned Parenthood ushered in some college students from USD for the public testimony portion of the proceedings, a common theme was the need for "comprehensive sexuality education" in the schools. They said such a program was one answer to cutting down on unplanned, unwanted, unintended pregnancies. During their testimony, I learned that nowadays some people talk about "STI's" instead of "STD's". STI is short for Sexually Transmitted Infection.

It wasn't long ago when "Venereal Diseases" were renamed "Sexually Transmitted Diseases." Now we've ushered in a new day. Apparently the enlightened individuals in the abortion industry are shifting the conversation to minimize the reality that there are consequences to engaging in promiscuous sexual activity outside marriage. Either that, or maybe I haven't received the latest update. Can we now write off the cancer caused by HPV? Has somebody discovered a cure for herpes? How about HIV/AIDS?

Could it really be true that the venereal diseases of old have become mere infections that can be cleared up with a visit to the doctor when the contraceptives marketed by Planned Parenthood fail to protect against them? Well, since we know that isn't the case, then why is there such a concerted effort to change the tone of the conversation?

The task force heard testimony from post-abortive women that when they had their abortions, they were told it was nothing but a blob of tissue being removed. Of course, the advent of ultrasound technology proved that theory wrong, so the conversation shifted over the years. In a video Kate Looby brought from the Planned Parenthood office, abortion is described as emptying the contents of the uterus.

In other committee discussion, I heard abortion advocates speak of a "potential baby" and "potential children." (I wonder when the doctor listens to the heartbeat of an unborn child if the doctor refers to it as a potential heartbeat. Further, when a cat is pregnant, why do people say she's going to have kittens, rather than suggesting that she's carrying potential kittens? A better question, yet, is why are there laws forbidding people from destroying the eggs of bald eagles? What sets apart (and requires protection for) "potential bald eagles" still inside their eggs from unborn human babies as they grow and develop in the womb?)

Dr. Marvin Buehner, an OB/GYN from Rapid City testified that he has spent the last eighteen years of his life "basically dedicated to women's health care. At this time, the vast majority of my practice is obstetrics." He was called upon by the pro-abortion side of the debate to share his expertise with the task force. He stated, "While I respect the opinions and positions of those who believe that life begins at conception, for me the question of when meaningful human life begins is a difficult one." When asked to clarify his position, he said that he has "respect for those who believe that--and are convinced that--life begins at conception. I don't necessarily share that view, cuz I'm--I don't know."

Seeking further clarification, task force member Dr. John Stransky asked whether Dr. Buehner's testimony was that "human life does not begin with the fertilization of the ovum and the creation of a zygote."

Buehner replied, "I'm saying that I don't know when meaningful human life, from the standpoint of the question of abortion or other ethical issues regarding prenatal care occurs. I don't know the answer...."

That seems to be a lot of confusion and uncertainty expressed by a gentleman whose livelihood has been women's health care and obstetrics for 18 years. Maybe he has never seen the reaction of a couple who has found out they are expecting their firstborn baby. Perhaps he has never witnessed the response of somebody who has lost her baby. Whether or not the pregnancy is planned or unplanned, it will certainly illicit a response. Obviously, at the point the individual or couple learns news about a pregnancy, the little life has some sort of meaning to them. It is curious how an 18-year veteran in the field has failed to pick up on the significance (or "meaningful"ness) of life.

Retired Methodist Pastor Dick Pittinger also testified on the pro-abortion side of the debate. He weighed in on the topic of the beginning of life, saying, "Immediately after life does begin--at conception--that's a fact. Now, human life in its fullness is another matter, and its at that point, of course, where we have a difference of opinion." He continued that another matter "is the endless debate as to when a human--or when a being--receives a soul."

Since the 1970's, science has improved by leaps and bounds. As science has changed, so, too, have the arguments of the pro-abortion side, in order to protect its interests in keeping the business of abortion legal. Unborn babies used to be called "blobs of tissue," but when science proved otherwise, the paradigm shifted. Now abortion activists have to come up with new terms and ideas to espouse to the public. Contents of a uterus; fetus; potential baby; potential children; meaningful life; organic life that is not yet life in its fullness or that which lacks a's all smoke and mirrors. All the while, the pro-abortion interests continue to spread their message of sex without consequences....and when consequences arise, they'll take care of them.

Word to the wise....Call them what you will. Unborn lives are still lives, and sexually transmitted infections are still diseases.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

In testimony heard by the South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion back on September 21, 2005, expert witness Dr. J.C. Willke, who has lectured on and written about the issue of abortion for more than 30 years, provided the committee with a historical account on abortion. As I revisited that testimony, something struck me.

Dr. Willke first took the committee back to the earliest abortions.

"...We hear constantly that abortion was common in the ancient world. I haven't found it to be so. One method of abortion was to feed her poison...a concoction of crocodile dung and a few other things. Now, the idea here was to kill the baby before the mother died of the poisoning. Sometimes that worked, and sometimes they both died."

He described another method which involved trying to "dislodge" the baby, thus causing a miscarriage. However, this resulted in many complications, and often even death. Dr. Willke asserted that because of such negative consequences, abortion was not commonly practiced.

Dr. Willke testified that in those earliest of days, the role of the "doctor" was to both cure and to kill. He spoke of the fact that people would seek the services of the medicine man for remedies to what ailed them. However, if a person's enemy had previously gone to the medicine man and offered a higher payment, the doctor would provide a poison rather than a remedy.

That was prior to the arrival of the Greek physician named Hippocrates, from whom the Hippocratic Oath derives its name. Hippocrates lived roughly from 460 B.C. until around 370 B.C. According to Dr. Willke, "Hippocrate's great contribution to medicine was that he separated the healing and the killing function of the physician." Over the next several centuries, the standard was for physicians to cure only, and not to kill.

An internet search for the Hippocratic Oath shows that it has been modified over the years. It is notable that in a translation of the original version, the following language was present.
"I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and in like manner I will not give to a woman a pessary to produce abortion."
With the legalization of abortion, the Hippocratic principle (separating the healing and killing functions of the physician) was undone.

Now, we live in a time when physicians are able to provide "safe and legal" abortions. One method by which they perform abortions is chemical in nature. Such an abortion utilizes two different pills. The first, mifeprex (a.k.a. mifepristone or RU-486) essentially cuts off the child's nutrition source. The second, misoprostol, causes contractions and results in the miscarriage of the child.

The more I read about RU-486, the more horror stories I encounter. I've read of one woman's violent reaction that rendered her bedfast for several days. She literally thought she was going to die. Still others have died (including four California women) from this chemical abortion procedure.

Doesn't this seem strikingly similar to the above-mentioned abortion method from the days of yore when physicians attempted to feed women enough poison to kill their babies, but not enough to kill the women they served? Perhaps following the lead of those who choose to thumb their noses at the "Father of Medicine" by turning back the clock 2400 years isn't such a good idea, after all.

For more on the very real side-effects of RU-486, there is some good information at the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life website. Here is a direct link to one article entitled "RU-486: A risky and deadly abortion drug."