Posts belonging to Category Abortion



Senator Lankford Speech on Planned Parenthood Video [Transcript]

Powerful words from Senator James Lankford on the Planned Parenthood video:

Senator Lankford Speaks about Planned Parenthood Video on Senate Floor

Transcript:

“Mr. President, I’d like to take just a moment to be able to speak about a subject that’s very, very difficult for me to speak about, and quite frankly difficult for a lot of Americans to talk about and hear about. It connects to all of us, in extremely personal ways. Let me set some context. Not long ago a group of animal rights activists gathered around a research facility, a research facility that was using animals for their testing. The activists gathered around the facility and chanted and has signs that they held up saying ‘it’s not science, it’s violence.’ And other signs that said ‘animal lives are their right, we have just begun to fight.’ As they protested to protect the lives of the animals that were being used in that facility for research.

Now, I understand their frustration there. But let me put it into context of some things that came out this week. We learned that this week an organization called Planned Parenthood is using children that are aborted and sending the bodies of those aborted children to research facilities, sometimes for sale, different body parts, to be used in research. These are not mice, these are not lab rats, these are children. Children that have gone through the process of a horrific abortion.

This morning in an Appropriations hearing, that the President and I both were in, we had extensive conversation about the rights of orca whales. And this protracted conversation went on and on, that many people were also connected to, about the rights of orca whales and the care for them. Then we had a protracted conversation about horse slaughter and how horses would be humanely put down. But in the middle of all that conversation happening today, there were children still being aborted with an instrument reaching into a mother, tearing apart a child but carefully protecting certain organs because those organs would be valuable to sell.

Now, the challenge that we have on this as a nation is, the argument is for that baby. That baby’s really not a baby, it’s just a fetus, it’s tissue. That’s not a human baby is what everyone is told. That’s just tissue and it’s up to the mom to determine what happens to that tissue. And then on the flip side of it moments later they take that tissue and then sell it because it’s human organs that are needed for research. You can’t say in one moment that’s not a human and then sell it for the next moment as a human organ and say now suddenly it is. It was a human all the way through. There was never a time that wasn’t a child, never a time that wasn’t a human, and it seems the ultimate irony to me that we spend time talking about humane treatment of animals being put down like in horse slaughter and we completely miss children being ripped apart in the womb and their body parts being sold.

So here’s how it happens. A mom comes into a facility, gives consent to have an abortion, makes that request. After that request is made, to some moms — and we don’t know exactly how they choose which moms — to some moms they then ask consent for their child after it’s aborted to be used for research purposes. From the video that was put out this week, they said that was actually comforting to some moms that they would know how traumatic the abortion is, at least some good would come out of it, that those body parts would then be used for research to hopefully save other children, which again comes back to this ultimate irony that we would literally tear one child apart in an abortion with the assumption that hopefully would help some other child in the future, missing out on the significance of the child that’s right there that could be helped by protecting their life.

And then the doctor in this particular video gives the details of how once they get that consent from the mom, they would be careful to reach in and actually crush the head of the child to kill the child in the womb so they could preserve the rest of the organs because the kidney has value, the liver has value, because the lungs have value, because the muscles in the legs have value. I would tell you that child has value. And that every single adult that can hear me right now was once 20 weeks old in the womb and we can look at each other and understand the difference between that child in the womb and any of us now is time. That’s a human being we’re talking about.

And it doesn’t bring me comfort to know that one child is torn apart so that maybe they can do research on the child’s organs to in some future moment help a different child. Not every woman is being asked that her aborted child would be used for research and we really don’t know the whys. Maybe they’re looking for particularly healthy moms. Maybe they’re looking for very mature, healthy babies. Maybe it’s a situation where a particular mom couldn’t afford to have the abortion procedure and so they swap off and say if you can’t afford to have the abortion procedure maybe we can cover the cost by then possibly selling some of these organs then. We don’t know. But I think maybe the question needs to be asked.

Why this Congress would spend time today debating horse slaughter and debating orca whales, but yet we’ve become so numb to children that the other debate doesn’t seem to come up. Maybe we need to start again as a nation, asking a basic question. If that’s a child, and in our Declaration [of Independence] we said every person that we believe is endowed by our Creator to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, maybe we need to ask as a nation again, do we really believe that?

Let’s start with some basic things. How about a child at 20 weeks that we know scientifically can feel pain? We cannot have their limbs ripped apart in an abortion. There are only seven countries in the world that allow that. We’re in a prime group like North Korea and China with nations that still allow abortions that late. We should ask that question again – is that really who we are as America? Maybe we need to ask the question again with Planned Parenthood, who we give half a billion dollars in funding to, maybe this is not a good idea. And other organizations that serve people all over the country who raise their funds separately, and don’t do it by federal funds. Maybe that’s a legitimate question that we need to ask?

Mr. President… we have hard questions to deal with as a Nation. Budget, regulations, future direction that we’re going. Why don’t we add to the list, do we really care about children or not? And on a day that we passed an education bill, before we pat ourselves on the back saying how much we care about children, let’s make sure we’re dealing with a compassion for children at every age, not just at certain ages. Have we really become this numb? How do we turn it around? With that I yield back.”

HT: James Lankford

Brit Hume on Abortion (Video and Transcript)

I appreciated Brit Hume’s heartfelt words on abortion this past Wednesday.

Brit Hume’s Brutally Honest Rant On Abortion (Video length: 1:27)

Transcript: This is the 41st anniversary of the day the Supreme Court found that a generalized right to privacy it had basically invented, meant that a woman has a constitutional right to snuff out an unborn life, a human being with a beating heart. That’s what a fetus as young as six weeks is.

Small wonder these protesters still come every year to register their continuing objections. Some estimates are that as many as 55 million abortions — 55 million — have occurred since the Court acted. In that time, science has given us an ever clearer picture of just how much of a baby a fetus is. At 20 weeks, we now know, these tiny creatures can hear, even recognize a mother’s voice. Their toenails are growing and their hearts beat loud enough to be heard by a stethoscope.

The moral case for allowing such beings to be killed grows ever weaker and its advocates resort to ever more absurd euphemisms to describe what they support. They’re not really pro-abortion, they’ve long said, they’re pro-choice. This isn’t about killing unborn babies. It’s about reproductive health.

And the biggest chain of abortion clinics in the country refers to itself as Planned Parenthood. In 2012, this organization says it carried out — quote — “abortion procedures” 329,445 times. Whatever that number represents, it’s not parenthood. These protesters here today understand that there is something deeply false and wrong about all this. They come each year to remind the rest of us.

 
Related: The Sanctity of Human Life in the Womb (Sermon from Psalm 139)
Click here for more posts on the subject of abortion.

Judge Blocks Obama’s Executive Order on Stem Cell Research

This is an interesting development regarding the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research as reported by World Magazine:

A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked government rules on embryonic stem cell (ESC) research funding, a blow to the Obama administration which by executive order had lifted Bush-era restrictions and a victory for pro-lifers fighting to stop the destruction of human embryos.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth granted the preliminary injunction because he held opponents of Obama’s executive order had demonstrated they are likely to succeed at trial. Lamberth’s injunction is also important in that it rejects the government’s legal rationale for getting around federal law explicitly forbidding the use of taxpayer dollars to destroy a human embryo.

Last year I wrote a series of posts on the ethical implications of embryonic stem cell research. Here are the links if you want some more information on this subject:

    • Scott Klusendorf on Embryonic Stem Cell Research
    • Alternatives to Embyronic Stem Cell Research
    • They’re Going to Die Anyway

I would also direct you to Joe Carter’s excellent A Brief Primer on Stem Cell Research.

Abortion and The Health Bill

I know, more politics. But if not now, when? Charmaine Yoest in the Wall Street Journal provides a clear and succint explanation of why the health bill in its present form will lead to federal funding of abortions and how the White House can easily prevent this from happening.

It’s now becoming clear that Barack Obama is willing to put everything on the table in order to be the president who passes health-care reform. Everything, that is, except a ban on federal funding for abortion.

Last September, the president promised that “no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.” Yet the legislation most likely to move forward in Congress would be the single greatest expansion of abortion since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

The White House knows how to turn Mr. Obama’s September commitment into legislative action … Only adding a so-called Hyde Amendment to the health-care reform bills would fulfill the president’s promise to protect Americans from subsidizing abortionSimilar amendments have been added to health-care bills ever since [1976]. Without specific language prohibiting the practice, history has shown that the courts or administrative agencies end up directing government dollars to pay for abortions …

Over the past year, language similar to the Hyde Amendment was crafted by Reps. Bart Stupak (D., Mich.) and Joe Pitts (R., Pa.) and inserted into the health-care bill that passed the House. When asked about the Stupak-Pitts Amendment in November, Mr. Obama talked around the issue. He said that “there is a balance to be achieved that is consistent with the Hyde Amendment.” When asked if Stupak-Pitts struck this “balance,” the president replied “not yet.” That’s an odd reply. The question of abortion funding doesn’t have any Zen to it: The funding is either prohibited or it’s not …

The president’s latest proposal mirrors legislation that has passed the Senate, which doesn’t include a Hyde Amendment, and would inevitably establish abortion as a fundamental health-care service … The president’s plan goes further than the Senate bill on abortion by calling for spending $11 billion over five years on “community health centers,” which include Planned Parenthood clinics that provide abortions.

With one simple step the White House can keep its promise to keep federal funding of abortions out of the health bill. So why won’t the White House take that step? (HT: Denny Burk and Vitamin Z)

Related posts:
    • The Sanctity of Human Life in the Womb (Sermon from Psalm 139)
    • Barack Obama on Health Care Then and Now

Click here for more posts on the subject of abortion.

Focus on the Family’s Pro-Life Ad with Tim Tebow

Focus on the Family’s 30-second Super Bowl ad featuring 2007 Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow is stirring up attention all over the place — and it hasn’t even aired yet! Focus on the Family Vice President for Pastoral Ministries H.B. London shares the inside scoop:

Would you believe all the commotion and publicity the 30-second Super Bowl® ad sponsored by Focus on the Family has received?

By our estimates — and they are pretty accurate — the pre-Super Bowl hype of the “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life” ad has registered to date 2,265,490,170 impressions. That is “billion” with a “B.” Amazing!

The interesting thing about all of this is that no one in the media has seen the ad. And, unless there is a big leak before Sunday, no one will see it until it is shown during the Super Bowl pre-game show and the first quarter of the game itself.

Another interesting phenomenon is that, even those in the liberal media who have opposed us before — and disagree even now with most of what we stand for at Focus on the Family — are defending our right to run the Super Bowl ad.

On February 2, 2010, The Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins wrote, “I’m pro-choice and Tebow clearly is not. But based on what I’ve heard in the past week, I’ll take his side against the group-think, elitism and condescension of the ‘National Organization of Fewer and Fewer Women all the time’ (referring to the group NOW). They aren’t actually ‘pro-choice’ so much as they are pro-abortion.”

She continues, “If the pro-choice stance is so precarious that a story about someone who chose to carry a risky pregnancy to term undermines it, then CBS is not the problem.”

Interestingly enough — a little inside stuff here — our Super Bowl ad never mentions abortion. Also, as we have reported in other columns, not one dollar was spent from our regular operating expenses at Focus on the Family to underwrite the cost of the “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life” ad.

You can read the Sally Jenkins article mentioned here: Tebow’s Super Bowl ad isn’t intolerant; its critics are. And don’t forget to watch for the commercial during the Super Bowl on Sunday. It will air twice: once during the pre-game show and then again during the first quarter.

The Sanctity of Human Life in the Womb

This message takes a close look at the Hebrew text of Psalm 139 in order to affirm the sanctity of human life in the womb. I had the privilege of preaching at Plantation Community Church Sunday for National Sanctity of Human Life Day. The message was called The Sanctity of Human Life in the Womb, taken from Psalm 139:13-16.

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Click “►” button to listen to the message | Length: 29:08
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Click here for the full manuscript.

Here is a brief outline of the message:

Five reasons why we should affirm the sanctity of human life in the womb:
    1) God has ownership rights as Creator. (13a)
    2) Human life should be treated with special reverence and awe. (13b-14)
    3) God designed the womb as a place of nurture and protection. (15a)
    4) God personally fashions the baby in the womb. (15b-16a)
    5) God has a plan for each child’s life even before the child is born. (16b)

What can you do?
    1) Pray concerning the problem of abortion.
    2) Vote for people and policies which affirm life.
    3) Support mothers in crisis and those who give them aid.

Note: Click on the Sermons tab at the top of the blog for this and other messages.

Texas Planned Parenthood Director Leaves

The power of an ultrasound:

Planned Parenthood has been a part of Abby Johnson’s life for the past eight years; that is until last month, when Abby resigned. Johnson said she realized she wanted to leave, after watching an ultrasound of an abortion procedure. “I just thought I can’t do this anymore, and it was just like a flash that hit me and I thought that’s it,” said Johnson. …

According to Johnson, the non-profit was struggling under the weight of a tough economy, and changing it’s business model from one that pushed prevention, to one that focused on abortion … Johnson said she was told to bring in more women who wanted abortions, something the Episcopalian church goer recently became convicted about. …

Johnson now supports the Coalition For Life, the pro-life group with a building down the street from Planned Parenthood. Coalition volunteers can regularly be seen praying on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood. Johnson has been meeting with the coalition’s executive director, Shawn Carney, and has prayed with volunteers outside Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood has now filed a restraining order against Johnson contending that the organization would be irreparably harmed by the disclosure of certain information.

HT: First Thoughts

Click here for more posts on the subject of abortion.

Assuming Abortion

Gretchen Naugle shares a troubling story about what happened two years ago when she went for a 4-D ultrasound appointment.

The specialist doctor called me in after the ultrasound to go over the findings. The first words out of his mouth to me were “Well you will have to come in tomorrow for your abortion because of how far along you are.” I was utterly shocked and devastated. All I could do was mutter “What??????” He then proceeded to tell me that my baby had more “markers” for down syndrome and it didn’t look good. I was more shocked that his automatic assumption was that I would abort my baby. I almost couldn’t comprehend what he was telling me in that office. All I wanted to do was run as far away from that man as possible.

Gretchen’s daughter was born several months later with no physical problems.

George Tiller – Murder is not Pro-Life

Whereas I have spoken out freely against abortion on this blog in the past, I thought it was important to share my view on this weekend’s murder of Dr. George Tiller. Dr. Tiller, who built a reputation for his willingness to perform late-term abortions, was shot and killed Sunday while serving as an usher at his church. Although details have not yet been released, it is most likely that he was killed because of his work in the abortion trade.

Murder is not pro-life. It is wrong to take the life of the unborn child in the mother’s womb, and it is wrong to take the life of the late-term abortionist who takes the life of the child in the womb. There is no justification for murder. Pro-life leaders across the nation have rightly denounced Sunday’s murder as an evil deed that stands directly opposed to the values of the pro-life movement. Please pray for the family of George Tiller even as we continue to work and pray for the protection of human life within the womb.

President Obama’s First 100 Days and Abortion

Question: If President Obama’s policies are supposed to reduce abortions (as my pro-life Democrat friends keep telling me), then why is NARAL Pro-Choice America celebrating Obama’s first 100 days in office?

Related:
President Obama’s Statement on the 36th Anniversary of Roe v Wade
See also Kevin DeYoung: Does Rhetoric Reduce the Number of Abortions?

They’re Going to Die Anyway

The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture, by Scott Klusendorf Today we are continuing our series of posts on the ethics of Embryonic Stem Cell Research (ESCR). One of the arguments raised in favor of using leftover embryos in fertility clinics for research is that they are going to die anyway. So why not put them to good use saving lives? Scott Klusendorff in his interview with Crossway Publishers offers the following interesting thought experiment to help us see what is wrong with this argument.

There are moral considerations that call into question “they’re going to die anyway” argument. Suppose you oversee a Cambodian orphanage with 200 toddlers that are abandoned. The facility cannot care for them any longer. Water levels are critically low and food supplies are exhausted. It’s only a matter of time before starvation and disease set in. A scientist has offered to take the toddlers off your hands and use them for grisly medical research designed to cure cancer. He confronts you with the hard facts: Many of these children will die soon and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it, so why let all those organs go to waste? Nonetheless, you refuse. You could never, even for a moment, consider turning the kids over to the scientist on grounds that “these kids are going to die anyway so let’s put them to good use.” True, given your impoverished circumstances, you are powerless to save them, but you would never be complicit in actively killing vulnerable human beings, which is what ESCR does.

Related posts:
    • Scott Klusendorf on Embryonic Stem Cell Research
    • Alternatives to Embyronic Stem Cell Research

Alternatives to Embyronic Stem Cell Research

The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture, by Scott Klusendorf Yesterday I posted part of an interview with Scott Klusendorf, author of The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture. Here is a later part from the same interview where Scott talks about some of the alternatives to Embyronic Stem Cell Research (ESCR). The bottom line is that there are positive ways to continue stem cell research without destroying human embryos in the process.

Not only is embryonic stem cell research immoral, but it may be unnecessary. First, numerous peer-reviewed studies indicate that adult stem cells are more effective at treating disease than previously thought. Unlike embryo stem cell research, we can extract these adult cells without harming the donor. Critics of the pro-life view, like the late actor Christopher Reeve, insist that these adult cells won’t work. However, the evidence suggests just the opposite. So far, adult stem cells are outperforming their embryonic counterparts.

Second, new research suggests we can pursue embryo cell treatments in morally acceptable ways. Altered Nuclear Transfer (or ANT) is one new technology which seeks a morally acceptable means of producing pluripotent stem cells (the functional equivalent of embryonic stem cells) without the creation and destruction of human embryos. Instead, researchers will use biological entities that have some of the properties of embryos, but are not living organisms. In 2007, researchers in Japan and the United States, using slightly different methods, successfully coaxed ordinary adult skin cells to function just like pluripotent embryonic ones. This remarkable breakthrough demonstrated that pluripotent cells can be obtained without destroying human embryos. This should come as thrilling news for everyone in the cloning debate intent on using embryo cells.

Here is an interesting video clip from Oprah where Doctor Oz proclaims the stem cell debate closed and explains the benefits of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Research (IPS Cell Technology) to Oprah and fellow guest Michael J. Fox. This new technology takes skin cells and makes them embryo-like, thus avoiding both the moral problems of destroying embryos for research as well as the practical problems involved with using embryonic stem cells, such as the risk of tumors in the recipient. (Video length: 3:13)

Related posts:
    • Scott Klusendorf on Embryonic Stem Cell Research
    • They’re Going to Die Anyway