New on Live Action – Has the OK Supreme Court Inadvertently Put the "Right to Choose" on the Fast Track to Oblivion?

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Pro-aborts may have declared victory in the wake of the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate the Oklahoma Personhood Act, but according to Personhood USA President Keith Mason, pro-lifers are the ones who should be celebrating, since the decision puts personhood on the fast track to the highest court in the land:

The Oklahoma Court’s decision relied heavily on Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and in moving to deny the people’s right to petition on behalf of the preborn, they have turned this case into a federal issue, deciding “the only recourse available to this Court is to follow…the United States Supreme Court.” The ruling has set us up for a direct challenge to Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
The Oklahoma Court ruling has, inadvertently, propelled the Personhood movement several years forward!
The implications of this case are enormous! Not only will the Personhood movement receive more exposure, which results in an unmatched opportunity for education and saving babies’ lives, but there is a very real chance for victory. The Oklahoma case could be the first to directly and successfully challenge Planned Parenthood v. Casey, dismantling the abortion stronghold in America, and demanding basic human rights for every single human being. This is cause for celebration!

The Oklahoma high court called the measure “clearly unconstitutional,” claiming the Supremes’ prior rulings on abortion have settled the issue. If the Supreme Court were to hear the case, they’d be taking the explosive step of reconsidering Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey’s central proposition: that the Constitution protects the “right to choose” abortion. That’s a high-risk/high-reward proposition, to put it mildly.
Read the rest at Live Action.

New at Live Action – Re-Evaluating Pro-Life Strategies

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Every now and then, pro-lifers need to step back and reassess the effectiveness of their tactics. Laura Ingraham Show associate producer Dustin Siggins offers just such a critique at leading conservative blog Hot Air. His advice is well worth considering, though not every point hits home.
First, he suggests eschewing mandatory ultrasound laws in favor of restrictive medical standards like Mississippi recently passed:

[U]ltrasound legislation can be deemed as guilting mothers into not aborting their children or invading personal privacy. However, it is more difficult to argue against raising the standards of medical clinics so that women have a more sterile, more professional environment in which to be treated. Yes, the left will still attack these standards, as the owner of the abortion clinic in Mississippi has, but the inherent controversy will be far less.

Clinic standards may very well have more strategic potential than ultrasound laws, but we should be careful not to fall into the habit of letting our foes define the terms of the debate. Conceding by silence that mandatory ultrasounds are demeaning to women or any more invasive of privacy than the abortion itself will only embolden the pro-aborts. If you give ‘em an inch…
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New on Live Action – Rethinking the Intersection of Church, State, and the Right to Life

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When pro-aborts can’t win the argument with biological shell games and character assassination, they usually resort to disqualifying pro-life opinions from consideration by labeling them violations of America’s separation of church and state. So it’s worth spending some time on a broader look at the way abortion politics intertwine with religion.
Contrary to the insistence of abortion defenders, the case against abortion is not exclusively theological. It has two core factors: the empirical observation that individual human life begins at fertilization, and the moral/philosophical proposition that all human beings have an equal claim to live.
Clearly, the former point has nothing to do with religion. Admitting that zygotes, embryos, and fetuses are live human beings is simple biology. If protecting the right to life after birth isn’t “imposing religion,” then neither is concluding that such shared humanity entitles the pre-born to be included in that same protection. Indeed, pro-lifers are just advocating for a broader, more consistent application of the general right-to-life principle the rest of society already accepts, albeit selectively.
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New at Live Action – "I Don’t Want This Child": NY Times Columnist Unintentionally Reveals the Cultural Corruption of Abortion

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Abortion does more than kill; it corrupts. It’s impossible to participate in or support the practice without its twisted morality rubbing off.
Case in point: on April 14, New York Times columnist Susan Heath wrote about an allegedly better time in American history, when she was able to get an abortion without fear of bombings, excessive regulation of “constitutionally protected procedures,” or slut-shaming.
For the record, she’s wrong on each point – anti-abortion violence is practiced only by an infinitesimal sliver of abortion opponents and overwhelmingly condemned by the rest; abortion is judicially protected but not protected by the actual text of the Constitution; and regrettable though it was that Rush Limbaugh called contraception activist Sandra Fluke a “slut” (which he apologized for), it had nothing to do with abortion, but rather Fluke’s testimony implying that college students were having so much sex they were going broke, which she demanded be alleviated through government intervention.
She goes on to describe why in 1978, after becoming pregnant with her fifth child, she decided she simply didn’t want another – “I’ve got other things to do, and I don’t have it in me to be a good enough mother to a fifth child” – and how nice it was to get an abortion without the torment of “pickets shouting at me” or counselors “showing me pictures of fetuses.” No muss, no fuss, no “judgment.”
Good for her. Too bad her son or daughter wasn’t so lucky.
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New at Live Action – Why "Viability" Is a Meaningless Standard for Human Rights

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Viability. For those trying to justify abortion, it almost seems like a magic word, the quality that singlehandedly determines whether or not a baby has any rights. If a baby can’t survive outside his or her mother’s womb, they say, it doesn’t count as a real person; it’s just a part of the mother’s body.
But like all magic, the viability standard is a mere trick, a rhetorical sleight-of-hand directing the audience’s attention away from the truly relevant facts about a baby’s humanity. In truth, “viability” has no real ethical relevance.
How could it? Surely the protection of the womb and the nourishment of the umbilical cord can’t be morally significant, since these needs – shelter, nutrients, oxygen – are not at all different from the needs of adults; only the delivery method is different. None of us are “viable” without external aid of some sort.
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Pro-Life Hero Jill Stanek Endorses Mitt Romney

It’s been a good day for Mitt Romney, as he won the pro-life seal of approval from the National Right to Life Committee and the Susan B. Anthony List, but for my money the biggest get is Jill Stanek’s endorsement. In a great post, Stanek stresses the importance of embracing pro-life converts and reminds people that a Romney presidency holds much more pro-life promise than the naysayers suggest:
There are also many intangibles a pro-life president brings to the table. Just imagine a president whose Justice Department allows states to defund Planned Parenthood without suing, for instance?
But as to the most consequential duty of our next president, choosing 2-3 Supreme Court justices, Romney has already started down the path he promised. In August 2011 Romney formed a Judicial Advisory Committee, with two of the best pro-life minds agreeing to serve as chairpersons: Judge Robert Bork and Professor Mary Ann Glendon, former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See.
As for lingering pro-life complaints against Romney, Glendon was part of a group of pro-life leaders from Massachusetts, which also included Kris Mineau, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Family Institute, and Ray Ruddy, President of the Gerard Health Foundation (which biannually awards Life Prizes), who corrected the record in a statement in January, posted on LifeNews.com:

Governor Romney vetoed bills to provide access to the so-called “morning-after pill,” which is an abortifacient, as well as a bill providing for expansive, embryo-destroying stem cell research.  He vetoed the latter bill in 2005 because he could not “in good conscience allow this bill to become law.”
We do not agree with the claims that Gov. Romney is responsible for tax payer funded abortion under the Massachusetts health care system. That blame lies solely on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court who ruled in 1981 that the Massachusetts Constitution required payment for abortions for Medicaid-eligible women. In 1997, the Court reaffirmed its position that a state-subsidized plan must offer “medically necessary abortions.”
In 2006, under Governor Romney’s leadership, Massachusetts’ public schools began to offer a classroom program on abstinence from the faith-based Boston group Healthy Futures to middle school students.  Promoting the program, Governor Romney stated, “I’ve never had anyone complain to me that their kids are not learning enough about sex in school. However, a number of people have asked me why it is that we do not speak more about abstinence as a safe and preventative health practice.”
We are aware of the 1994 comments of Senate candidate Romney, which have been the subject of much recent discussion.  While they are, taken by themselves, obviously worrisome to social conservatives including ourselves, they do not dovetail with the actions of Governor Romney from 2003 until now – and those actions have positively and demonstrably impacted the social climate of Massachusetts.
Since well before 2003, we have been laboring in the trenches of Massachusetts, fighting for the family values you and we share.  It is difficult work indeed – not for the faint of heart.  In this challenging environment, Governor Romney has proven that he shares our values, as well as our determination to protect them.

I agree with the sentiments express by Eric Scheidler, who wrote in an email (as a private citizen and not as Executive Director of Pro-Life Action League):

Now that Santorum is out, it’s this man’s opinion we all need to cowboy up and help Romney beat Obama.

And that starts, now, with avoiding all disparaging remarks about “holding one’s nose” and the like, which I’ve been seeing on Facebook these last few hours. From now on, I’m nothing but thrilled I’ve got a good man to rally behind, and I’ll leave it to Team Obama to make Romney look like anything less.

New at Live Action – What "Pro-Life" Does – and Doesn’t – Mean

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“If you’re so pro-life, where are you for people after they’re born?”

It’s a challenge pro-aborts routinely pose to pro-lifers, the implication being that our concern for the unborn must be insincere because we don’t support this or that government program allegedly meant to help the poor, sick, or otherwise disadvantaged.

That theory is currently on display in Nebraska, as Republican senators are sharply divided on a bill “that would fund prenatal care for babies whose mothers may be in the country illegally.” Pro-life Republican Gov. Dave Heineman has pledged to veto the legislation, while pro-life Republican Sen. Mike Flood supports it “because it’s pro-life.”

And that raises the question of what pro-life means.
Is it just pro-birth?
Does it extend to life after birth?
If you’re pro-life, can other issues rise to the level of a higher concern?

Needless to say, what our country should do about illegal immigration is far beyond the scope of a pro-life website, but clearing up whether there’s a pro-life component to this particular bill is simple enough.

“Pro-life” simply means “supporting legal protection for every human being’s right to life, regardless of one’s stage of development.” Whether we should allow people who’ve entered this country illegally to stay and whether we should tax some people to pay for the health care of others are important questions, but they rest upon separate principles and circumstances, such as the rule of law and cost to taxpayers. Answering “no” to either question may be correct or incorrect, but in no way does it violate the right to life of anyone who stood to gain from a “yes” decision. There is no pro-life conflict or inconsistency to be resolved.

Read the rest at Live Action.

New at Live Action – States Burn Through Cash Defending Pro-Life Laws from Sore Losers with Lawyers

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Though the moral cost of abortion is rightly the primary focus of pro-life activists, it’s also worth noting that the “right to choose” and its various penumbras impose a more literal cost on society as well. The Kansas City Star reports that the state of Kansas has paid almost $597,000 this year to defend pro-life laws against legal assault:

The office says it paid nearly $317,000 to Foulston Siefken, a Wichita firm helping defend a budget provision denying federal family planning dollars for non-abortion services to Planned Parenthood. The group has a federal lawsuit against the measure.
The attorney general’s office paid almost $177,000 to Thompson, Ramsdell & Qualseth, of Lawrence, to help defend health and safety regulations for abortion providers. Two Kansas City-area physicians challenged the rules first in federal court and then in state court.
The same law firm also received nearly $104,000 for work in a federal lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union against a law restricting private insurance coverage for elective abortions.

This is insane. There is no reason why states should be legally compelled to accept federal taxpayer money for abortion providers. There is no reason why states shouldn’t be able to prefer to contract with medical service providers who aren’t involved with abortion. And especially considering how many government regulations we tolerate without litigation in everyand I do mean every – other aspect of our lives, there is no reason abortion clinics or insurance coverage regulations should stand out as grounds for legal conflict.

Read the rest at Live Action.

New at Live Action – British Abortion Provider Asks Pro-Lifers to Let the Fox Guard the Henhouse

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For those who are sick of those pesky pro-lifers picketing outside abortion mills, CNN feels your pain. They’ve given column space to Ann Furedi, head of U.K. abortion provider British Pregnancy Advisory Service, to explain “why anti-abortion activists should not intimidate women”:

The problem with the protests is this: the protesters oppose abortion in principle — but their actions are against women who want to consider abortion — not in principle — but as a private medical solution to a personal, individual problem.
Women attend our clinics for care or counseling because they need help. They do not come to demonstrate support for abortion. The protesters should leave them alone, to deal with their problems privately with those they have chosen to seek help from.

The mindset of abortion-seekers has no bearing on whether abortion destroys an innocent life, separate and distinct from his or her mother’s. It makes precious little difference to an unborn baby how political his or her mother is. Besides, aren’t the least politically aware the ones most in need of hearing both sides before “choosing”?

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New at Live Action – Wisconsin Pulls the Plug on Webcam Abortions

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Last night Wisconsin made modest yet meaningful strides toward a culture of life as the State Assembly passed a bill to prohibit so-called ‘webcam abortions’. The legislation, which has already passed the house and is expected to receive pro-life Governor Scott Walker’s signature, forbids doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing drugs without physically examining the patient and requires them to be with the patient when she receives the drugs, as well as requires doctors to ask women if they’re being coerced into aborting their child.

Most state Democrats voted nay, with Madison Representative Mar Pocan complaining that lawmakers “don’t trust the people of Wisconsin to make a decision with their doctor about their own health care.” And Jessica Pieklo of Care2.com is incensed:

In neighboring states like Iowa and Minnesota, patients living in rural areas are able to have mifepristone prescribed via online video conference. This would not be an option for women living in rural Wisconsin.
Finally, the bill requires a woman return to an abortion clinic for a follow-up visit 12 to 18 days after being given the drug. Women who take mifepristone already have a follow-up visit, but most see their primary care physician for that follow-up. This bill forces women to have that follow-up visit at an abortion clinic, putting yet another unnecessary burden on the backs of women trying to access health care services.

Unnecessary? Not quite. Pro-Life Wisconsin explains

Read the rest at Live Action.