Josh Craddock, 22, is a liaison for Personhood Education at the United Nations and a recent graduate of The King’s College in New York City. He is actively participating in negotiations for developing the UN post-2015 agenda.
Viewers can probably guess where the stars of 19 Kids and Counting stand on abortion. Heck, you could probably figure that out from just reading the title of TLC’s hit show. But for some reason, TLC thinks pro-life speech is too offensive for their audience to handle.
In the past, the Duggar kids have worn Stand True’s pro-life t-shirts on the show which simply say “I survived Roe v. Wade, but Roe v. Wade will not survive me.”
But on a recent episode, the shirt was blurred out on the program. Can you believe it? A simple statement of opposition to Roe v. Wade was deemed too offensive for viewers of the show to handle.
A survey released this week by Pew Research Center indicates that 56% of people in countries around the globe believe abortion is morally unacceptable. The study, which surveyed 40,117 respondents across 40 different countries, found widespread opposition to abortion, with a significant majority of respondents calling it morally wrong.
In fact, not a single nation in the 40 countries surveyed had a majority who believed abortion to be morally acceptable.
Twenty years ago, diplomats from around the world met in Cairo to draft a platform of action for encouraging economic development and meeting the needs of the global population. At that conference, radical special interest groups–including the International Planned Parenthood Federation–sought to establish an internationally-recognized “right to abortion” and impose population control programs upon developing populations. Despite some gains in the outcome declaration, these pro-abortion groups failed to achieve their ultimate goals.
Since 1994, the United Nations has held review conferences to evaluate progress on the Cairo platform for action. Each conference on population and development is basically the same: every year, the same developed regions such as the United States and the European Union try to push population control on developing regions by threatening to withhold aid money or otherwise twisting their arms; the same pro-abortion lobbyists show up to U.N. headquarters to push for more abortion around the world; and the same U.N. agencies themselves are activelycomplicit in this desperate and deadly enterprise.
In a statement released Saturday, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) announced that Georgia Right to Life would no longer represent them as their Georgia state affiliate, despite their massive pro-life successes over the past 12 years.
National Right to Life welcomed the Georgia Life Alliance as its new affiliate in the state. Georgia Life Alliance is backed by RedState.com’s Erick Erickson and others who hold that legislative exceptions for rape and incest are acceptable political compromises. Last summer, Erickson called Georgia Right to Life the “Westboro Baptist Church” of the pro-life movement because they encouraged their Georgia representatives in Congress to withdraw support for the federal Fetal Pain Act once exceptions for rape and incest were included by Rep. Eric Cantor.
Georgia Right to Life is one of the most staunchly pro-life organizations in the country. Their political track record has been so successful on the state level that other Right to Life organizations in Ohio, New Hampshire, and Alaska are beginning to follow their example. So why is their effectiveness being challenged by the upstart Georgia Life Alliance and National Right to Life?
In 2000, only 3% of Georgia state legislators identified as pro-life without exception. Something was going terribly wrong in the Peach State for the culture of life, and an energetic vision was needed to set things right. That’s when Georgia Right to Life decided to change their strategy. They adopted a 100% pro-life strategy that refuses to compromise on the inalienable, God-given right to life. They instituted twin educational and political action programs and refused to endorse candidates that held “abortion exceptions” for cases of rape and incest.
Within 8 months, Georgia Right to Life had changed the hearts of the state GOP executive board. That change had a waterfall effect, putting pressure upon key stakeholders and causing the party to return to their pro-life roots and declare legal recognition of personhood for the unborn as the goal of their pro-life legislation.
Fast-forward 14 years. Today, Georgia Right to Life is one of the most successful pro-life organizations in the nation—in fact, Americans United for Life ranked Georgia at #2 in their 2013 state “All-Star” list for achieving significant pro-life legislative victories. There are at least 8 reasons that state pro-life groups should emulate Georgia Right to Life’s effective, no-compromise strategy:
During the 2012 election cycle, 89% of Georgia Right to Life’s primary candidates (113 candidates in all!) won their nominations, making their PAC one of the most successful in the nation. All of these candidates adopted a pro-personhood, 100% pro-life standard.
According to GRTL’s candidate surveys from 2012, 68% of GA Senators are pro-life without exception (38 of 56), and 9 out of 9 statewide officials—including the Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, and Secretary of State—support a personhood amendment to the state constitution.
Although other pro-life groups said it could not be done, Georgia became one of only two states in the nation that has no rape or incest exceptions in any of its state laws!
In 2012, two-thirds of Georgia’s Republican voters cast ballots in favor of a personhood amendment to the Georgia constitution. That’s approval by a 2-1 margin!
Just two weeks ago, the Georgia Senate voted 66% and the House voted 61% to pass a robust Taxpayer-Funded Abortion Ban that left no exceptions, including in cases of fetal anomaly, rape, or incest. Pundits predict that the strongly pro-personhood Governor will sign it.
NARAL gives Georgia an “F” for protecting access to abortion services. (We’ll take that report-card as a sign of victory for life!)
Americans United for Life has consistently ranked Georgia among the Top Fifteen “Most Protective” states in the nation because of their success at passing no-compromise pro-life legislation.
Georgia Right to Life-endorsed Representative Paul Broun holds a double-digit lead in the race for U.S. Senate over other GOP candidates who maintain exceptions for rape and incest and believe life does not begin at fertilization. GRTL’s track record shows that 100% pro-life candidates are very electable when given the proper support within a political culture that does not tolerate exceptions.
How did Georgia Right to Life achieve such encouraging results? They adopted a principled position that educated and only endorsed candidates who were 100% pro-life.They removed politicians who did not support the right to life without exception and replaced them with pro-life statesmen. Their principled approach actually achieved the best pragmatic results!
But now, some moderate Republicans and national pro-life groups feel threatened by Georgia Right to Life’s success, including National Right to Life and the Susan B. Anthony List. These outside groups have intervened in Georgia politics because they believe our movement should give pro-life credentials to candidates who think it should be legal to kill children conceived in rape and incest; and even candidates who do not believe that life begins at fertilization! They believe Georgia Right to Life should endorse legislation which exempts children conceived in rape and incest from the protection of the law.
These groups are concerned that GRTL’s effectiveness at ensuring their Congressional legislators’ opposition to rape and incest exceptions (the goal of the whole pro-life movement) endangers specific NRLC legislative goals (such as passing the Pain Capable Act that includes those exceptions, or the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Bill that includes those exceptions).
Shouldn’t candidates affirm that all human beings should be protected, regardless of the circumstances of their conception, before being touted to voters as truly pro-life? Shouldn’t politicians who have made strong pro-life commitments be held to them?
Pro-life groups should take a lesson from Georgia Right to Life that it does not profit the children to waver or bend in the face of opposition. In fact, the experience of Georgia Right to Life shows that this principled approach is not only our moral obligation, but also the pragmatic path to victory for the culture of life!
Please keep Georgia Right to Life in your prayers and encourage your state right to life group to emulate their successful strategy.
Correction: An earlier version of this column indicated that New Jersey was among the states following the Georgia model. Right to Life in Alaska, not New Jersey, is among the states adopting the Georgia model.
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According to El Salvador’s high court, “the rights of the mother are not privileged over those of the unborn child (who is to be born) and vice versa.” Every person has an equal right to life. Shouldn’t every country extend equal protection to all human beings?
Some abortion activists don’t think so. In last Friday’s Denver Post, Kathy Bougher vilified El Salvador’s pro-life laws and suggested that introducing a similar equal rights approach in Colorado would create an invasive regime where women are investigated for miscarriages on a whim.
Of course, these are scare tactics. The 2014 Brady Amendment is designed to protect pregnant women and their unborn children from criminal acts. It simply acknowledges that unborn children like 8 pound, 2 ounce Brady, who was killed by a drunk driver, deserve justice. The amendment would not seek out women who tragically experience miscarriage; rather, it would equip prosecutors to charge violent criminals who harm pregnant women and their children. Moreover, invasive police investigations for miscarriage did not occur prior to Roe v. Wade, when abortion was illegal.
Just over a week ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo went on a tirade against “extreme conservatives who are right to life,” telling them that they “have no place in the state of New York.” Since then, pro-life groups and other prominent New Yorkers have denounced the Governor’s comments, calling them “morally wrong” and even tyrannical.
“Governor Andrew Cuomo’s widespread call for the banishment of all New Yorkers who don’t toe his liberal line sounds like something we might hear from the mouth of a tyrant condemning those who sit on the wrong side of his throne,” said Bronx Senator Rubén Díaz. “I must ask our beloved Governor, where are all those talks about tolerance?”
Lake Of Fire (2006) Documentary, Rated R Directed by Tony Kaye Featuring Noam Chomsky, Peter Singer, Alan Dershowitz, Flip Benham, Randall Terry
“There are still things I need to do before I have a child, like finish college, and have a job … and a marriage.” The camera doesn’t show her face. The rumbling machine makes a sudden scream, like the sound of a drill bit when it comes to a screeching halt.
“In just a few minutes, we’re able to facilitate her decision to not be a parent,” the doctor says jauntily. “Now it’s just a matter of piecing the fetal tissue back together.” He sifts through the machine’s contents, holding up a tiny human arm, a splintered leg, and a ghoulish head. The bulging, empty eyes stare into the camera.
In his New York Times op-ed on Oct. 5, Professor Gregory Berns asserts that “Dogs Are People, Too” because of the canine brain’s capacity for emotion. He never defends, however, why this kind of sentience should be the criterion for ascribing moral value to life. Not only is this standard arbitrary and unsubstantiated, but it is dogged by disturbing conclusions about the value of human life.
Setting brain function as a standard for personhood implies that individuals with higher capacity for cognition have greater moral value. If this is so, why should creatures with higher intellect or with more numerous and noble aims not be considered more persons than those with fewer long-term aims or less brain capacity?
By this criterion, individuals suffering from severe Alzheimer’s disease or under general anesthesia, whose caudate nuclei are incapacitated or greatly impaired, could no longer be considered moral persons. We know, however, that the patient under general anesthesia retains his identity despite his temporary lack of sentience, so his personhood must cohere in some other underlying nature.
On Wednesday, Buzzfeed published a community contribution from Personhood USA which prominently featured Live Action’s undercover investigations of Planned Parenthood. The article, titled “8 Outrageous Things Planned Parenthood Was Caught Doing,” was ‘liked’ by more than 10,000 people on Facebook by Friday evening.
Some expressed shock and surprise to see what Planned Parenthood was covering up. Others, including several pro-abortion journalists, were indignant that Buzzfeed allowed the pro-life article to be published and demanded that it be removed. Hillary Kelly of The New Republiccalled the pro-life article “insane,” but had no comment about Planned Parenthood telling a 13-year-old girl to keep the age of her 31-year-old boyfriend a secret.
We need to firmly and clearly reject post-viability abortions except in extreme cases. … Abortions in the second trimester, especially after 20 weeks, need to be considered differently from those that happen early in pregnancy.
In 2011, Frances Kissling, the founding President of the National Abortion Federation, penned a Washington Posteditorial supporting the very abortion regulations that many pro-life groups are celebrating today. Kissling defended such regulations saying:
If the choice movement does not change, control of policy on abortion will remain in the hands of those who want it criminalized. If we don’t suggest sensible balanced legislation and regulation of abortion, we will be left with far more draconian policies – and, eventually, no choices at all.
Did you hear that? Unless abortion-advocates advocate for “common-sense” regulations of their murderous industry, abortion will not survive. Kissling’s argument makes sense, when viewed from an international perspective. European countries are known for their broad access to legal abortion. Few have the vibrant pro-life base America does. Indeed, many European countries have tiny or slumberous pro-life contingents seeking to ban abortion entirely.
When a dozen Swedish reporters visited Denver in 2008 to report on the total abortion ban under consideration, they suggested that “America would not have so much opposition to abortion if the procedure were more humane and regulated as it is in Europe.”
You see, abortion-tolerant Europeans view the American abortion business as barbarous. In most European countries, abortions are only ever performed in the first trimester (except in cases of rape, incest, “fetal abnormality,” or threat to the mother’s health). The Swedish journalists were shocked that America allows butchers like Colorado’s Dr. Warren Hern to kill babies just days away from delivery.
But that’s precisely the point. Late-term abortions are visually shocking. They are obviously barbarous. And they are just as deadly as the more subtle abortion in the first trimester. By banning late-term or partial-birth abortions, the pro-life movement simultaneously robs itself of its most grippingly obvious visual argument against abortion and subdues public outrage against the most common kind of abortion – that is, first trimester abortion. Abortion is protected with a veneer of legitimacy since it only kills a fetus in early development, a fetus which cannot feel pain and doesn’t appear to be all that human.
The problem with so-called “fetal pain” legislation is that it obscures the real issue: the personhood of the unborn child from the moment of fertilization. Instead, it teaches that abortion is bad because it’s painful. It then prescribes a remedy by allowing only abortions that are not painful for the baby, as if that is a panacea. Some “pro-life” lawmakers have even gone so far as to propose abortion anesthesia for the baby!
These measures do exactly what Kissling wants most: creating a painless, sanitized abortion that will be accepted by the American public. That’s why some pro-abortion authors suggested more regulation of the abortion industry in response to Kermit Gosnell! Only increased regulation can quell the public criticism of those who perceive abortion to be barbaric. Only increased regulation will ensure the abortion industry’s survival.
The proposed fetal pain legislation before Congress also makes exceptions for babies conceived in rape or incest. This exemption is unprincipled even on its own terms: don’t pre-born children conceived in rape feel agony just as painfully as any other? Rebecca Kiessling (not to be confused with Kissling) artfully points out the internal contradictions and regressive nature of such a “pro-life” position. Georgia Right to Life rightly opposed the bill for this very reason. This is a pro-choice bill, with exceptions.
I’m willing to admit that this legislation could save some lives if enacted (though, from experience with similar legislation, others suggest that it will not). Will you, my reader, be willing to admit that fetal pain legislation may actually encourage some mothers to have early-term abortions because they believe it to be humane – because they’ve been taught that their babies won’t suffer or feel pain before 20 weeks?
Instead of spending years and millions of dollars pushing this shortsighted bill through Congress, let’s get back to our mission: abolishing abortion. Perhaps that time and money would be better spent supporting something like Rand Paul’s “Life at Conception” act or a total moratorium on funding to abortion providers (without Hyde exceptions for rape and incest).
If we intend to convince legislators to end abortion, we must hold them to a higher standard. We must not be placated with bills riddled with the bodies of “exceptions”; we must play harder to get. If we intend to educate the public about the humanity of the unborn child, we cannot raise an inconsistent standard that OKs the killing of some unborn children (those conceived in rape or incest, those prior to 20 weeks, those who cannot feel pain, etc.). That will be rejected as a defense of all unborn human life, as it was in Roe v. Wade. It will be welcomed by abortion-advocates like Francis Kissling who know that sanitizing abortion is the key to keeping abortion legal. The public will, however, follow a principled standard, so let’s work together to advance one. Instead of trying to mend abortion, let’s end it.
Editor’s Note: This article is the opinion of the author, not the official position of Live Action on H.R. 1797.
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Covering Human Rights, Abortion, & the Right to Life