December 16, 2014

Abstinence education gets a shot in the arm … and it’s working

The just-passed federal omnibus spending bill gives added funds to states for abstinence education programs, which is great news for many pro-family organizations.

This is something the National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA) has been wanting for a long time.

NAEA Executive Director Valerie Huber says some states refused to offer abstinence education teaching, and she says the unused Title V abstinence education state block grant money in the past just lay fallow and did not get used.

“This new provision will redistribute those funds to states who want to give young people the skills and information to wait for sex,” Huber explained.

With the midterm elections giving control of the House and the Senate to Republicans, Huber is hopeful more gains can be made for abstinence education.

“There are key leaders in committees and in caucuses of influence who care about this issue,” Huber insisted. “More than that, they care about the future of young people, the importance for our culture in general and they are motivated to really make some great gains in this area.”

Huber is very optimistic that abstinence education is doing its job and that America’s youth is seeing the value of saving themselves until marriage.

"Nearly 75 percent of 15- to 17-year-olds have not had sex, so it makes sense that sex education policy would reinforce those healthy decisions."

By: Bob Kellogg, OneNewsNow

December 15, 2014

Potential scam: calls requesting donations to NRLC

The National Right to Life Committee warns that a potentially bogus group is soliciting donations in their name.

National Right to Life Committee reports they have been by contacted by people who have received calls asking for contributions to a right to life committee. Carol Tobias is president of the national organization and she clarifies that these calls are not from the NRLC.

“It is certainly not National Right to Life doing it,” she tells OneNewsNow. “If we do phone calls, we are asking people to donate to National Right to Life Committee, National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund, National Right to Life Pac, the National Right to Life Victory Fund. We make sure that our name is in there so that people know who they are giving to.”

Tobias says people who do receive the calls should ask the caller to send a letter verifying the request for a donation.

“They should check out who the group is before they send their money,” she says. “I would encourage people not to give money with a credit card over the phone unless they are sure that they know who will be getting the money. And if someone did get the phone call, we would really appreciate it if they would let us know any information they found out.”

NRLC is looking for information in order to track down the source of the calls. At this point Tobias says they don't know who is making the calls, or whether it's a legitimate cause or a fraud.

By: Charlie Butts,

Infanticide Now “Debatable” in Bioethics

The late Richard John Neuhaus famously wrote of bioethicists:

    Thousands of medical ethicists and bioethicists, as they are called, professionally guide the unthinkable on its passage through the debatable on the way to becoming the justifiable until it is finally established as unexceptionable.

In my over 20 years engaged in trying to push back against the bioethics movement, I have found that to be an absolutely accurate formula.

Take, as one example, dehydrating the cognitively devastated to death–a slow and potentially agonizing death. That was once unthinkable, it became debatable in the 1980s, and is now unexceptional.

Allowing infanticide has now reached the “debatable on the way to justifiable” stage–with some of the world’s most prominent bioethicists and medical/bioethical journals publishing apologies for infanticide. (Remember the “after-birth abortion” article in the Journal of Medical Ethics two years ago?)

Latest example: The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery hosted a debate on infanticide–See!–in which the prominent Canadian bioethicist Udo Schuklenk​ argues in favor of the propriety of infanticide.

Killing severely ill or dying babies is okay, don’t you know, because human beings don’t have intrinsic dignity. What matters is the “quality of life ethic.” From, “Physicians Can Justifiably Euthanize Certain Severely Impaired Neonates​:”

    A quality-of-life ethic requires us to focus on a neonate’s current and future quality of life as relevant decision making criteria. We would ask questions such as: Does this baby have the capacity for development to an extent that will allow him or her to have a life and not merely be alive?  If we reach the conclusion that it would not, we would have reason to conclude that his life is not worth living.

That is an entirely subjective question, isn’t it? It’s in the eye of the utilitarian beholder.

Schuklenk might say–I don’t know–that only a baby that would never be conscious should be killed. But the authors of Journal of Medical Ethics article opined that Down babies could be killed because they can be aborted.

Netherlander doctors have killed babies with spina bifida and other physical disabilities. Once human value becomes subjective, the extent of the right to life is reduced to who has the power to decide.

Sometimes when this issue comes up, opponents yell, “But that’s what the Nazis did!” NO. That is what the Nazis allowed doctors who wanted infanticide to do.

German infanticide was driven by doctors and what we would now call bioethicists. Indeed, the very first infanticide, Baby Knaur, would almost surely receive the Okay-to-Kill rubber stamp from Schuklenk. From my book Culture of Death, quoting three notable history books that focused on the case:

    The first known German government-approved infanticide, the killing of Baby Knauer, occurred in early 1939. The baby was blind and had a leg and an arm missing.

    Baby Knauer’s father was distraught at having a disabled child. So, he wrote to Chancellor Hitler requesting permission to have the infant “put to sleep.” Hitler had been receiving many such requests from German parents of disabled babies over several years and had been waiting for just the right opportunity to launch his euthanasia plans.

    The Knauer case seemed the perfect test case. He sent one of his personal physicians, Karl Rudolph Brandt, to investigate. Brandt’s instructions were to verify the facts, and if the child was disabled as described in the father’s letter, he was to assure the infant’s doctors that they could kill the child without legal consequence. With the Fuhrer’s assurance, Baby Knauer’s doctors willingly murdered their patient at the request of his father. [Burleigh, Death and Deliverance, pp. 95-96; Lifton, Nazi Doctors, pp. 50-51; Gallagher, By Trust Betrayed, pp. 95-96.]

Brandt was hanged at Nuremberg. These crimes came from a rejection of intrinsic human dignity and accepting a subjective quality of life ethic.

Schuklenk also spills the beans that infanticide will be about money:

    The question of whether it would be a wise allocation of scarce health care resources to undertake the proposed surgical procedures invariably arises in circumstances such as this.
    Continuing life-prolonging care for the infant would be futile, it would constitute a waste of scarce health care resources.

    Health care resources ought to be deployed where they can actually benefit patients by improving their quality of life. This cannot be achieved in the scenario under consideration.

Several years ago at Princeton, I castigated the university for giving infanticide proponent Peter Singer one of the most prestigious endowed chairs in the world. He was brought to Princeton not in spite of believing in the moral propriety of killing babies (because they are supposedly not “persons”) but because of it.

In the Q and A part of the presentation, one professor objected, saying he liked academic freedom and the interplay of ideas. In reply, I asked if Princeton would ever bring the racist Noble Laureate William Shockley to the university, regardless of his expertise in physics. He said, honestly, “No.”

Exactly. Racism is beyond the pale–and properly so. The fact that Shockley’s expertise would have had nothing to do with racial politics wouldn’t have mattered. He would have been unemployable at any major university.

Infanticide is the same bigotry aimed at different victims. It is now considered a respectable and debatable proposition in bioethics.

If we don’t keep pushing back very hard, it will, one day, become unexceptional.

By Wesley J. Smith, Human Exceptionalism

December 13, 2014

Driving Pro-Lifers Out of Medicine

Fifty years ago doctors were prohibited by the Hippocratic Oath–and most laws–from assisted suicide and abortion.

Now, we see the opening stanzas of forcing doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals to be complicit in such killing actions or be driven out of their professions.

The Canadian province of Ontario is the latest example. Today, rules permit dissenting doctors from having to participate in abortions. New rules will force all doctors to be complicit in abortion by either forcing them to do the deed or refer to an abortionist they know will make the unwanted fetus dead. From the Brandon Sun story:

    The regulator, which oversees, licenses and regulates some 28,000 physicians, is also updating its guidelines on how to balance the charter rights of doctors and patients. The proposed changes mean doctors who refuse to perform certain procedures — such as abortions — on moral grounds would have to refer patients to another doctor.

    Physicians were previously allowed to withhold treatment that clashed with their religious and moral beliefs but had no obligation to provide a referral, said Dr. Marc Gabel, the regulator’s former president.

Should assisted suicide/euthanasia become legal throughout Canada–which its Supreme Court may impose soon–doctor-prescribed death will be quickly included in the complicity mandate. That’s already the law under Quebec’s new euthanasia legalization.

Similar laws already exist in Victoria, Australia. In my last national speaking tour there I met doctors who picked up stakes and moved to another state to keep from being complicit in abortion. But what will they do if the NO CONSCIENCE ALLOWED! law goes national?

The Dutch Medical Association (KNMG) has proposed a similar rule for doctors and euthanasia. Meanwhile, doctors are allowed there to teach their patients how to commit suicide.

The Culture of Death brooks no dissent! The time is coming–and is already here–when willingness to kill or be complicit in killing, will be a prerequisite to entering or practicing the medical professions.

No Hippocratic-value believers or pro-lifers allowed!

By: Wesley J. Smith via Human Exceptionalism

Illinois euthanasia group pushes pro-death agenda with documentary screening

 An advocacy group is holding a Chicago screening of a documentary propagandizing that people diagnosed with terminal illnesses should be allowed to kill themselves.

The documentary "How to Die in Oregon" will be shown Saturday with a discussion afterward.

The group Compassion & Choices organized the free screening. Oregon was the first state to allow individuals diagnosed by a doctor as terminally ill to kill themselves using lethal medications prescribed by a doctor.

The issue has gained attention because of the recent death of 29-year-old brain cancer patient Brittany Maynard, who moved from California to Oregon to make use of the Oregon law.

Exploiting Maynard's death, Compassion & Choices has launched a media campaign urging Illinois lawmakers to pass a similar law.

Source: Illinois Review

December 11, 2014

Loving Them Both


In an article in the American Medical News (Diane M Gianelli, “Abortion Providers Share Inner Conflicts,” American Medical News, July 12, 1993), a counselor at a Dallas abortion clinic talked about how she deals with the stress of doing her job. In her own words:

“This may sound like repression: however, it does work for me. When I find myself identifying with the fetus, and I think the larger it gets, that’s normal… then I think it’s okay to consciously decide to remind ourselves to identify with the woman. The external criteria of viability really isn’t what it’s about. It’s an unwanted pregnancy and that’s the bottom line.”

This clinic worker is struggling with her conscience. Deep down, I suspect that she knows that the “fetuses” her clinic aborts are actually babies. You don’t “identify with” tissue, products of conception, or collections of cells. You identify with human beings. This clinic worker is struggling to silence her conscience, which tells her that these babies are more than just tissue or uterine growths. They are people.

As the developing child grows bigger and begins to look more and more like a newborn, it becomes harder and harder to deny his or her humanity. This forces the clinic worker to rationalize what she is involved in. In order to cope, she blocks out the reality of the child and focuses only on the woman as her patient, making the woman her only concern.

Pro-choice arguments almost always focus solely on the woman involved in the pregnancy. The baby is completely disregarded.

The pro-life movement, on the other hand, is at its best when pro-lifers are concerned about both the child and the mother. Countless post-abortion support groups and organizations exist to help women cope with their past abortions. Groups like Silent No More and crisis pregnancy centers, which outnumber abortion clinics, help women through their pregnancies and try to meet their needs. More and more, it’s becoming clear that women are physically and psychologically harmed by abortion. In opposing abortion, pro-lifers are not simply helping the baby – they are helping the mother as well. It is important that we do not deny that there are two people involved in each pregnancy – the woman, and her unborn baby. Both are important. Both require our support and compassion.

It is important that we never allow ourselves to see only the baby and disregard the woman who also needs our help and support. It is of course the baby whose life is at stake – but the woman obviously has a pivotal role and should never be forgotten.

Pro-lifers are here to support both people involved in the pregnancy. We don’t exclude either one from our help and care.

By Sarah Terzo via NRL News Today

Editor’s note. This appeared at secular prolife.

Abortionist arrested after selling abortions to non-pregnant women

Abortionist Naresh Patel

More facts are being revealed about the arrest of an Oklahoma City abortionist.

On Tuesday, authorities from three Oklahoma police agencies arrested abortionist Naresh Patel, also raiding his office and home to seize information. Operation Rescue president Troy Newman tells OneNewsNow the indictment and arrest came after months of Operation Rescue providing authorities with information about Patel’s underhanded activities.

“We have been hand delivering to authorities a series of information on the real criminal activity that this man has been participating in,” the pro-life leader explains.

Newman says Patel had some abortion drug customers who were really undercover police officers.

“He was actually indicted for selling abortions to women who were not really pregnant, trying to sell them these medical abortions,” he explains. “Three different police agencies actually participated in this. Female undercover police officers went in seeking an abortion when they were not pregnant, and Patel sold abortion drugs to them.”

In the past, Patel has been disciplined on various counts including dumping aborted babies in the trash, dumping them in a field and setting them on fire, and the accusation of molesting a patient during an abortion procedure.

If Patel is convicted, Operation Rescue hopes his medical license will be permanently revoked. His abortion clinic has been closed since Tuesday.

By Charlie Butts via

Tonight Show: Carrie Underwood Sings to (Unborn) Baby

Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood

Baby Underwood’s musical training is starting early.

For his Dec. 8 “Tonight Show,” comedian Jimmy Fallon congratulated country star Carrie Underwood on her “little baby on its way.” At Fallon’s prompting, the mom-to-be revealed that she sings for her baby because “he’s listening” and “always in there.”

The “American Idol” singer, 31, and husband hockey player Mike Fisher, 34, announced the pregnancy in September – and expect their first baby’s arrival in the spring.

During his show, Fallon commented, “Now you said that you and your husband sing during the holidays.” He asked Underwood, “Are you singing for the baby?”

“Yes,” she responded. “I feel like he hears me singing whether he would like that or not. I mean, that’s what I do. He doesn’t have a choice.”

“If I’m just in my car, driving, I feel like I have to make it good because,” she continued in a hushed voice, “he’s listening. He’s always in there.”

She explained, “I just want to do a good job for him.”

Surprisingly, the (often abortion-sympathetic) media reported on the news. Outlets including E! Online, Bustle, Access Hollywood and Perez Hilton.

Underwood spoke more about her baby to “Today” hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb on Dec. 9. “Definitely my body’s not mine right now!” she said.

The star made big headlines last year after mocking Obamacare at the Country Music Association Awards show.

By Katie Yoder via NRL News Today

Editor’s note. You can watch Carrie and Jimmy talking at where this first appeared.

December 9, 2014

10 amazing things that happen to babies before birth

8 week old human fetus. All her organs are present.
8 week old human fetus. All her organs are present.

With today’s modern technology and medical information, we have a real-time window into the womb. What happens to babies before birth – all the ways they move, grow, and change – is nothing short of amazing.

Here are just 10 things that happen to babies before birth. These 10 things demonstrate their uniqueness, value, and of course, their humanity.

What’s more, each of these 10 things happen in the first trimester – when approximately 90% of abortions in the U.S. occur.

1) “On the first day following fertilization, the human embryo is identifiable as a specific individual human being on a molecular level.”

A South Dakota legislative task force, appointed to examine the science behind unborn life, found that “the new recombinant DNA technologies indisputably prove that the unborn child is a whole human being from the moment of fertilization, that all abortions terminate the life of a living human being, and that the unborn child is a separate human patient under the care of modern medicine.”

2) A Baby’s Heart Begins to Beat at 21 Days.

Here is a video of the baby’s heart beating at four weeks and four days, just a little over a week after it began beating.

According to The Endowment for Human Development, “[b]etween fertilization and birth, the heart beats approximately 54 million times…”

3) At 2 to 3 Weeks, a Baby’s Brain is the “First Organ to Appear.”

4) A Baby May Feel Physical Pain as Early as His Fifth Week.

After examining scientific resources and hearing medical testimony, the South Dakota Task Force found that “(the necessary pieces) for pain detection in the spinal cord exists at very early developmental stages.” Babies have also been documented moving away from unwanted or painful touch in their first few weeks of in utero life.

5) A Baby’s Kidneys are Present at Only 5 Weeks.

In fact, by eight weeks old, all of the baby’s organs are in place and only need to be fully developed.

6) A Baby’s Brainwaves Can be Measured at 6 Weeks Old.

See the brainwaves for yourself here.

7) At 6 Weeks, a Baby Will Move Away if His Mouth is Touched.

The Endowment for Human Development has a video of a six-week-old baby responding to touch here.

8) A Baby’s Ear Can Begin to be Seen Around 6 Weeks.

9) A Baby Has Fingerprints at 9-10 Weeks.

These fingerprints will be the same throughout the baby’s life. His permanent identification is already developing. Watch a video and see an unborn baby’s fingerprints here.

10) A Baby Can Suck Her Thumb and Yawn at 9 1/2 Weeks Old.

According to The Endowment for Human Development, most babies prefer their right thumb. At this age, plenty is going on. A baby’s vocal cords are forming, her bones are hardening, and her toenails and fingernails are emerging. See a video of a ten-week-old baby yawning here.

For more on prenatal development, go here.

Editor’s Note: The information here has, in large part, been studied and documented by The Endowment for Human Development (“a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health science education and public health” that has cooperated with National Geographic to put out a video about prenatal development) and The South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion.

By Kristi Burton Brown, via NRL News Today

December 8, 2014

Buried for two hours, newborn baby miraculously survives

Miracle baby: This yet-to-be-named baby girl survived being buried alive for two hours after her parents mistakenly thought she had been stillborn.

Miracle baby: This yet-to-be-named baby girl survived being buried alive for two hours after her parents mistakenly thought she had been stillborn.

Typically, when we report on ‘Miracle Babies” we are referring to either babies born months ahead of schedule who survive nonetheless or newborns who have been abandoned often in situations where their chance of survival was next to zero.

Out of China, via The Daily Mail in a story dated last Friday, comes something else: an absolutely incredible account of a baby who had been buried alive but survived!

Lu Xiaoyun, the mother of a seven year old daughter, went into labor on their farm in Dongdong, northeast China’s Liaoning Province. Convinced she was only four months pregnant, she and her husband, He Yong, were sure she must be experiencing a miscarriage, Sara Malm reported for MailOnline.

After experiencing sudden sharp stomach pains, Ms. Lu “gave birth to what she thought was a stillborn girl.” According to Malm

She called her husband, who rushed back from work to find her in a pool of blood.

Ms. Lu was taken to hospital, but Mr. Ye told ambulance staff there was no point to check on the baby as it was dead.

In the meantime, Ms. Lu’s mother buried the baby under a tree in the yard.

But fortunately when a hospital doctor asked the father about the baby, the physician suggested “that the body should be checked properly first as there might be a chance the girl was alive.” That’s the important first part of the “miracle,” but what happens next is even more stunning.

Malm reports that Mr. Ye was shocked when he learned that his mother-in-law had already buried his baby girl. Incredibly, when he rushed over to the yard and dug up his daughter—who had been buried for two hours! —she was still breathing! He rushed his daughter to the hospital.

Sure enough, doctors established that Lu Xiaoyun was six-months pregnant, not four. But the family only had enough money to have their tiny preemie treated for three days after which she was discharged.

And then comes Phase Three of the Miracle Baby story. Malm writes

However, after Chinese media picked up the story of the miracle baby, news of their plight spread and people began to donate money.

Thanks to then able to return their daughter to hospital where she is being kept in an incubator.

By Dave Andrusko, NRL News Today

Illinois hits lowest abortion levels since 1974


On November 25, 2014, the Illinois Department of Public Health released the 2013 abortion statistics for the state of Illinois. The report shows Illinois abortions fell 5.7% in 2013 to their lowest rate since 1974, with 40,750 abortions. Abortions in every age category, except the 45+, showed a decline in 2013.

Most notably, in August of 2013, the Illinois Parental Notification Law went into effect requiring children under the age of 18 to notify one parent or guardian before obtaining an abortion. With that law in effect for only the last four months of 2013, we see a dramatic 20% decrease in the number of minors obtaining abortions pointing to increased parental involvement and a positive effectiveness of the law. In 2013, 1,762 abortions were performed on minors 17 years old and younger in contrast to the 2,213 in 2012. The number of abortions performed on girls 14 years old and younger dropped 31.6% in 2013 to 149 – the lowest number in at least 18 years.

The most abortions in the state occurred in Cook County with 23,896 in 2013. This number is down about one thousand less abortions since 2012. DuPage County had the second highest number of abortions in the state with 1,786. This number is down about 200 abortions from the previous year. Will County’s number of abortions declined by about 70 from the previous year with 1,460 abortions in 2013. Kane County’s number of abortions declined by about 250 with 1,036 abortions in 2013.

The full report can be viewed here.

By Emily Zender, Illinois Right to Life via Illinois Review

December 4, 2014

Mitosis, a short pro-life film, is now available on YouTube


MitosisfilmOne decision can change everything. Mitosis, a short film from 18-year-old director Hannah Victoria (Worth Saving), aims to prove that. It may seem that the choices we make for ourselves will affect us and us alone, but it simply isn’t true. There is always a ripple effect, whether small or large.

Mitosis tells the story of a young doctor, who after making a promise to a childhood friend, sets out to find a cure for cancer. The film, from Victoria’s company Expressionistic Studios, was released on YouTube this week and promises to shine a light on the magnitude of damage each and every abortion could have on the world Victoria explains:

As young people, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, society’s popular opinion on the sanctity of life is directly affecting our lives in huge ways. Just thinking about how profoundly different our world would be if the millions of lives lost were present is mind boggling!

The film was funded by generous donations through a Kickstarter campaign. When it reached its goal of $5,000, Victoria announced it would be released for free. The total raised through Kickstarter has now reached $5,200.

Victoria, who received a Best Young Filmmaker award for her work on Small Talents, says she has always been passionate about the sanctity of human life and wanted to create a film that showcases the potential that each and every life holds. She also wants pregnancy resource centers to be able to use the film in any way they can to support their work. In its first few days on YouTube, Mitosis has been viewed nearly 1,000 times.

“It is amazing to see the impact it is having just in the few days it has been released,” says Victoria, “I’ve gotten e-mails from people who have had multiple abortions, people who want to thank me for making a film about what their baby could have done, and pro-life supporters who are excited to have this tool to show to those who need to see the message!”

As we know, those who support abortion believe that the only person who is affected by a pregnancy or an abortion is the pregnant woman. Her decision should, they say, have no bearing on the rest of us.

Except it does. And Victoria shows us how in Mitosis.

Here is the video:

By Nancy Flanders, via NRL News Today

Editor’s note. This first appeared at

Nicki Minaj opens up about abortion in new song

Rapper Nicki Minaj has opened up about having an abortion in a new song, "All Things Go"

She revealed that the child she terminated would be a teenager now.

"All Things Go", goes public with details about an unwanted pregnancy, according to

MSN Entertainment reports:

In the track, she raps about the drama, adding she believes her unborn baby is an angel looking over her younger brother, Micaiah. 

She raps, "My child with Aaron would have been 16, any minute/So in some ways I feel like Caiah is the both of them/It's like he's Caiah's little angel, looking over him."

Here is the video of the song with lyrics:

Sources: MSN Entertainment and

December 3, 2014

Demographic Data Adds Detail to CDC’s Abortion Drop


Unlike Guttmacher, the CDC does not directly survey abortion providers, thus its totals will always be substantially lower than Guttmacher’s. But its data is very helpful as well, as Dr. O’Bannon explains today. If one examines demographic data on method, gestation, race, marital status, previous abortions, etc., they tell us more about how and why these changes are happening – and where there may be more work to do.


Not surprisingly younger women, those 29 and younger, have most abortions. This group accounted for 71.7% of abortions reported by the CDC in its 2011 report. Almost exactly a third (32.9%) involved women between the ages of 20-24.

It may be surprising, though, to those who have not followed recent trends, that teens accounted for just 13.9% of all abortions. Thirty years ago, in 1980, teens represented 29.2% of the total.

In raw numbers, the drop is even more dramatic. The 29.2% share of the nearly 1.3 million abortions the CDC reported in 1980 represented some 378,900 abortions. Though some teen abortions from California, Maryland, and New Hampshire are missing from current totals, the 13.9% of the CDC’s 2011 total equals less than a hundred thousand (89,613)!

While changing public attitudes towards abortion, the outreach of pro-life pregnancy care centers, and legislation like waiting periods, ultrasound, and right to know laws have impacted abortion totals across the board, the influence of parental involvement laws on this particular group should never be minimized.

At the same time, women over 30 were responsible for 28.3% of abortions. Abortion rates among this group, unfortunately, have not shown the same kinds of massive drops seen in the younger groups and in some cases went up.

Thus while the abortion rate for women 30-34 did drop in the past ten years (2002-2011) by 7.9%, this was against drops of 33% or more for teens, or drops of at least 16% for women in their 20s for the same time period.

But abortion rates for women 35-39 went up 1.4%, and women over 40 experienced a 7.7% increase in their abortion rate.

Explanation? This could be part of a generational attitude difference, reflecting more pro-life attitudes among the younger population. Or it could be the result of increased pre-natal genetic testing, with couples aborting upon receiving a negative diagnosis.

Gestation and Method

An increasing percentage of abortions now occur at 8 weeks or less gestation. [1] While just over a third of abortions (36.1%) of abortions were performed at 8 weeks or less in 1973, nearly two thirds (64.5%) were performed at this stage in 2011.

Over a third (36.1%) are now performed at 6 weeks gestation or less. A large part of this is likely the vast increase in the use of chemical abortion methods.

The precise drugs involved are not specified in the CDC report; other sources indicate most involve the abortion pill RU-486 and prostaglandin misoprostol, though use of misoprostol alone is increasing. But there were 107,804 “medical” abortions at 8 weeks of less gestation representing 19.1% of abortions among the states listing this category on their forms in 2011.

Though there is some use of chemical abortifacients at later gestations, these abortion techniques were initially developed to be used early on in pregnancy. High use of these methods has obviously had an impact. To get some perspective, only 11,384 (1.7%) of these were in the CDC’s “medical” or “other” category in 2000, the first year RU-486 went on the market.

Most (79.4%) abortions still employed what the CDC calls “curettage,” a broad category which includes manual vacuum aspiration, suction aspiration, D&E (dilation and evacuation) and other surgical methods. About 71.9% of the abortions the CDC counted involved curettage employed at 13 weeks or less gestation, while another 8.6% used curettage for second or third trimester abortions.

Roughly one in 11 (8.7%) of abortions the CDC tracked were performed at 14 weeks gestation or more. The CDC does not identify which of these were third trimester, but about 1.4% (7,325) of those were performed at 21 weeks or more.

Race and Ethnicity

Different states track and report race and ethnicity differently; some do not appear to have reported such data at all. As a result it is difficult to pin these factors down precisely. The CDC has several different charts reporting this data with various numbers of states and definitions so that there are not any singly definitive percentages.

Analysis is also complicated by the fact that minority population is not evenly distributed in the U.S. Several states with large minority populations (e.g., California) are not included in CDC totals.

The CDC chart with data on ethnicity from the most states or “reporting areas” (30) found Hispanics with an abortion rate (abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age in that category) of 16.1, a couple of points above the national average.

However their abortion ratio (the number of abortions for every 100 live births) is 201, below the national ratio of 219. This means that while there were slightly more abortions among this population than the national average, Hispanic pregnant women as group were more likely to give birth than abort.

A different CDC chart covering fewer states but looking at ethnicity over the past 10 years, shows a piece of encouraging news: abortion rates and ratios for Hispanics dropped more than those for non-Hispanic.

The CDC does not give a number here for 2011 for what percentage of the population African Americans represent. But in “Black or African American Populations” (, the CDC estimated that in 2012, African Americans made up 14.2% of the U.S. population. In 2011, African Americans accounted for between 36% and 38% of all abortions in America.

Abortion rates and ratios for African Americans did also go down over the last ten years (-16.8% and -17.6%, respectively), although they are still much higher than those reported for other groups.

Still, the black abortion rate remains more than three times what the white rate is (25.8 for blacks versus 7.8 for the whites in the chart covering the most states). Likewise the black abortion ratio–381 abortions for every 1000 live births for black Americans versus 126 abortions for every 1,000 live births for white Americans.

It is hugely encouraging that the numbers of abortions, the abortion rate and abortion ratio are declining across the board. Yet given the disproportionate number of abortions among African Americans and Hispanic, there clearly needs to be a larger pro-life outreach to minority communities.

Marital and Maternal Status

Overwhelmingly, most abortions (85.5%) continue to involve unmarried women. That percentage has always been above 70% since the earliest days of Roe, but has crept up and has been consistently above 80% since 1996.

A high number of abortions are repeat abortions. We learn that 46.4% of aborting women in states reporting this data in 2011 had at least one previous abortion. Most (25.5%) had only had one previous abortion, but 11.6% of women had had two abortions, while 9.3% reported having three or more.

Six in ten (60%) aborting women reported having had at least one previous live birth. About two in ten (19.6%) had given birth to at least two children, nearly one of seven (13.9%) had given birth to three or more.

Taken together with the drop in the number of teen abortions, this data serves as an indicator that we may need to invest the same level of effort to reach the young, single mom struggling to make ends meet as we did the high school teenager afraid to tell mom or dad she might be pregnant.

Lack of Safety

The abortion industry has assured us for years that abortion is safe and getting safer every year, but CDC numbers do not reflect that.

Despite huge drops in the number of abortions over the past twenty years, women are still dying from abortion in America. Ten women are known to have died in 2010 (CDC abortion mortality figures are always an extra year behind). This makes the eleventh year in a row that at least six women have died from abortions.

Whether these numbers reflect the women who died at the hands of licensed butchers like Gosnell or from yet another “safe” chemical abortion gone awry, the numbers do not say. However it should be noted that risk of death from abortion figures reported by the CDC for the past decade are actually higher than it was for the previous one.

The numbers show that we’ve made great progress, but also show that a lot of significant opportunities to save unborn babies and their mothers remain.

[1] Some states reporting to the CDC specified that this was based on a clinician’s estimate or calculated from a woman’s last menstrual period, others did not.

By Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., NRL Director of Education & Research via NRL News Today

December 2, 2014

Map shows Obamacare Makes Illinoisans Pay for Abortions

(Click image to enlarge)

Pro-life Americans long have criticized the Obama administration for failing to disclose coverage of abortion under the Affordable Care Act. Now, taking matters into their own hands, they’ve come up with a solution.

Two leading pro-life organizations, the Charlotte Lozier Institute and the Family Research Council, teamed up to design a state-by-state map that clearly tells Americans whether the Obamacare plan they’re considering covers elective abortions.

Source: Illinois Review

Pro-choice researcher admits that aborting imperfect children creates disability rights conflicts


Years ago, Rayna Rapp discovered that her baby would be afflicted with Down syndrome. She and her partner chose for her to have an abortion. Ever since then, she has been writing about fetal testing and abortion. A supporter of legal abortion who has herself worked in an abortion clinic, the reader can be assured that she writes with no pro-life bias.

In her book, Testing Women, Testing the Fetus: the Social Impact of Amniocentesis in America, she interviewed women and couples who were waiting for the results of an amniocentesis to discover whether their babies would have down syndrome or another genetic disability.

Most intended to abort if the test indicated a problem, though Rapp did describe one or two who spared their disabled babies’ lives. I have cited Rapp’s book before, presenting quotes from some of the men and women who intended to abort a baby with Down syndrome.

Another article I wrote based on Rapp’s book described how some genetic counselors had qualms about sex selection abortions. Since the same tests that would detect genetic disabilities could also detect the sex of babies, some couples were aborting girls that they did not want, planning on trying again for the desired son. The genetic counselors all felt that this was not a good reason to have an abortion, but they put their feelings aside and assisted these couples anyway.

It seems that Rapp, despite her strong pro-choice stand, may have some qualms of her own. In the passages below, she discusses how tests aimed at eliminating babies with disabilities are not compatible with promoting rights among “born” disabled people. One obvious conflict is between advocating women’s choice to abort disabled children and providing disabled children who are allowed to be born with costly services in the community.

Over the years of this study, I learned a great deal about two related and tension fraught issues. The first is the need to champion the reproductive rights of women to carry or refuse to carry to term a pregnancy that would result in a baby with a serious disability. The second is the need to support adequate, non-stigmatizing, integrative services for all the children, including disabled children, that women bear. The intersection of disability rights and reproductive rights as paradoxically linked feminist issues has emerged as central to my political and intellectual work.

Here Rapp recognizes what pro-lifers have known all along – that there is an inherent “paradox” in allowing “search and destroy missions” against disabled children and at the same time advocating for civil rights and special services for the disabled who survive to be born. Disabled adults advocate for themselves, lobbying for changes in the law, everything from requiring public buildings to have wheelchair ramps to prohibiting employers from firing qualified disabled people.

When society is asked to make concessions that allow disabled people to live independent, constructive lives, they are forced to act against the message that disabled people are expendable. The allocation of funds and manpower to help disabled children (and, ultimately, adults) begins to take on less of a priority as public attitudes shift in subtle ways.

Ultimately, the cheapening of life that claims the unborn extends to already born disabled people in the community. When women are expected to abort disabled unborn children, it becomes that much easier to refuse services to these children after birth – after all, the woman had “a choice”- she should be solely responsible for her baby. Why should society help? She made her bed, and now let her lie in it.

The much easier, cheaper answer of eliminating disabled babies eventually becomes the default position, leading more and more people to decide that parents who choose to give birth to their disabled children should be on their own, and, by extension, when these children grow up, resources shouldn’t be wasted on them.

In a second passage, Rapp discusses how the technology that is aimed at destroying disabled unborn babies cannot be “neutral”:

It is hard to argue for the neutrality of a technology explicitly developed to identify and hence eliminate fetuses with problem causing chromosomes (and, increasingly, genes): the biomedical and public health interests behind the development and routinization of the technology itself evaluate such fetuses as expendable. Ethicists and counselors are surely right to respond that parents of such potentially atypical fetuses have a right to know as well as not to know about the chromosomal status of their fetus, and to use the information however they may wish, whether that means preparing for the birth of a child with special needs or ending the pregnancy. But the very existence and routinization of the technology implies anything but neutrality. It assumes that scientific and medical resources should be placed in the service of prenatal diagnosis and potential elimination of fetuses bearing chromosome problems.

This ties in with what I said before. A technology specifically aimed at destroying a whole class of people cannot ultimately be considered a neutral tool. The message it gives, both to the pregnant women and their partners and society in general, is going to be negative towards all disabled people, despite what pro-choice advocates may or may not intend.

Rayna Rapp Testing Women, Testing the Fetus: the Social Impact of Amniocentesis in America (New York: Routledge, 1999) 8, 59.

By Sarah Terzo via NRL News Today

Editor’s note. This appeared at

Message in a Movie: Open before Christmas


When I was attending graduate school in Chicago, I marveled at the electric blue beauty of Lake Michigan. My dorm sat on Lake Shore Drive, right across from this marvelous body of water. I thought about lounging by the lake for a series of days, writing about my impressions of the waterway daily, thinking that I could capture a different element each day. I wanted to be like a painter who revisits a scene again and again, drawing new inspiration each time.

In that spirit, I am returning this Christmas season to the topic of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The movie, which became a hit only in retrospect, after years of being re-run on television, poses the existential question: What if the main character had never been born?

We see a sweet town turn into sin city…the cantankerous Mr. Potter without a protagonist to stem the tide of his greed… a maiden named Mary who never has an opportunity for marriage and motherhood. And we learn of the tombstone of a 9-year-old boy whose brother was not around to save him. Remember this discussion between the angel Clarence and good old George Bailey?

Clarence: Your brother, Harry Bailey, broke through the ice and was drowned at the age of nine.

George Bailey: That’s a lie! Harry Bailey went to war! He got the Congressional Medal of Honor! He saved the lives of every man on that transport!

Clarence: Every man on that transport died. Harry wasn’t there to save them, because you weren’t there to save Harry.

I think of desperate women walking into abortion facilities, and I wish they could hear an angel, talking about their babies, telling them that their lives can be wonderful, too. And I reflect on people on the verge of assisted suicide, and I think, if only they could remember this line from the film:

Clarence: You see, George, you’ve really had a wonderful life. Don’t you see what a mistake it would be to throw it away?

It is a wonderful life…despite dreams that can crumble like Zuzu’s petals…despite sickness and sacrifice…pain and poverty. For where there is life, there is hope — and joy that can come from knowing you’re on the right path, the path of helping people, as George Bailey did.

So, this Christmas, I am looking at “It’s a Wonderful Life,” not only with nostalgia, but with fresh eyes. Because this year, and every year, we need to remember Clarence’s message. It is always a mistake to throw a life away.

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation via NRL News Today

A look back at CBS Evening News’ coverage of Roe v. Wade on January 22, 1973


When we flip the calendar over to December, even more than usual, we come to think about the anniversary of an earth-shattering event that will be only seven weeks away: January 22, 1973.

Last year attention focused a great deal around the obvious—that it had been 40 years since seven Supreme Court justices turned abortion jurisprudence upside down in what dissenting Justice Bryon White called this “act of raw judicial power.”

Between now and January 22, 2015, we will run many old and many new posts about a genuinely revolutionary decision. If you don’t mind, I’d like to begin with a 4-minute long, grainy kinescope of “CBS Evening News” from January 22, 1973. (You can watch it here.)

The video begins with anchor Walter Cronkite looking up for the cue when he will be on camera as we hear the roll call of the names of all the correspondents who would be reporting from around the world. (Pretty impressive list, by the way, not only of journalists but also of the breadth of coverage.)

Cronkite announced that an unnamed “landmark decision” that day had “legalized abortions,” a moment later adding, “during the first three months.” Correspondent George Herman took it from there to explain the details.

In light of the ancient technology (and the over four decades that have passed), I couldn’t help thinking of Cronkite’s “You are There” series which used real network correspondents to tell historical stories as if those stories were being televised live. Only this, of course, was not a re-enactment from the past, but living history.

Needless to say Herman, like Cronkite and all correspondents, only partially described the decision[s] accurately. Herman alluded to a second case but did not clarify that it was Roe’s companion case—Doe v. Bolton—that fleshed out the expansionary impact of what Roe meant.

Three things stood out in Herman’s report, besides the initial error of reporting Roe as if it limited abortion to the first trimester.

One was a reference that later in pregnancy “the states may take legal action to protect the unborn child”! “Child”?

Second, the decision[s] “thus sets limits on the right to abortion on demand,” which, in fact, they did not.

Third, and this is key to understanding where Justice Harry Blackmun, the author of Roe and Doe, was in 1973 (he became much more of an ardent feminist in later years), Herman reported, “In effect the court made abortions subject only to the decision of the pregnant woman’s doctor.” Not the woman, but “the pregnant woman’s doctor.”

Two guests were briefly interviewed. The first was Alan Guttmacher, “president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and a leader in the International Planned Parenthood Federation in the 1960s and early 1970s,” according to the Guttmacher Institute (GI), formerly known as the Alan Guttmacher Institute. GI was spun off from PPFA in 1968 and has ever since earned the misbegotten reputation as a non-partisan source of abortion-related information.

Guttmacher told CBS Evening News, “I think to raise the dignity of a woman and give her freedom of choice in this area is an extraordinary event.” January 22, 1973, he accurately predicted, would be seen as a “historic day.”

Father James McHugh gave the pro-life response. At the time McHugh was executive director of the U.S. Bishops’ Office for Pro-Life Activities. McHugh (who later became Bishop McHugh) spoke of the decision having withdrawn “human rights” from the unborn.

“The judgment of the court will do a great deal to tear down the respect previously accorded human life in our culture,” he accurately predicted.

In case you think our Movement has not made a difference, consider this. Near the end Herman remarks, “New York State, among others, already has liberalized abortion. Now the rest of the country must follow suit.”

He concludes by remarking matter-of-factly, “If the experience of New York State is any guide, America will eventually have one abortion for every two births.”

Just yesterday we reported on the continued decline in the number of abortions, the abortion rate, and the abortion ratio. Tremendously encouraging news.

And why this has come to pass—and not a fulfillment of Herman’s prophecy? For one reason and one reason only: you.

By Dave Andrusko, NRL News Today

December 1, 2014

Planned Parenthood’s Pastoral Letter: God’s fine with abortion

Wanting to expand the abortion industry into the faith community, Planned Parenthood has come up with a letter to expectant mothers, assuring them that God is fine with abortion.

The newly posted letter penned by “religious leaders” targets women considering abortion and tells them that abortion will not affect their relationship with God.

However, the latest letter is not Planned Parenthood’s first — or even second — attempt this year geared to persuade women that the Bible is okay with abortion.

The first such letter was detected in May, when Planned Parenthood’s “Pastoral Letter to Patients” used God’s name to bring in more women from faith backgrounds to purchase abortions. This message was used to assure biblically minded women and girls in crisis pregnancy situations that the Bible says nothing about abortion being wrong and that many clergy believe that having an abortion is perfectly fine and a scripturally sound decision.

Planned Parenthood’s second-round letter to pregnant women was discovered a month later in June by LifeNews. This pastoral letter was distributed via one of the abortion giant’s political action committees (PAC) and went a step further by using the Bible to justify abortions. Here, the Planned Parenthood Clergy Advocacy Board told women that 1) “many people wrongly assume that all religious leaders disapprove of abortion,” 2) “abortion is not even mentioned in the Scriptures, 3) “there are clergy … from all regions who support women making this complex decision, and that 4) “[Planned Parenthood] will refer you to someone who will be supportive of you and your [abortion] decision.”

A new and ‘improved’ message?

Not to be outdone by their previous persuasive letters, Planned Parenthood was discovered last week by LifeNews to be at it again, this time putting together a “Religious Affairs Committee,” — complete with a dozen reverends and a Rabbi — to speak with a more authoritative voice assuring women that abortion will not threaten their relationship with God.

Planned Parenthood’s most recent plea for women of faith to pay for abortions begins by attempting to establish trust in their religious group and distrust toward conservative Christians.

“If you are reading this letter, you are probably pregnant or close to someone who is,” the letter begins. “The people who have signed this letter below come from a variety of religious communities. Our purpose in writing this letter is to support you in whatever course you choose. The presence of the ‘religious right’ has been very strong in its refusal to accept abortion as one of the choices before a woman. We represent religious traditions which all have different opinions about abortion, but we do have some basic understandings that we would like to share with you.”

Consisting of four main points, the first one emphasizes that Planned Parenthood’s so-called faith leaders declare the killing of preborn children as a morally upright practice that is justified by any difficult situations revolving around the pregnancy.

“We believe, as religious leaders in our faith communities, that abortion is a morally permissible choice for a woman facing a problem pregnancy,” the explanation excusing abortion asserts. “No one thinks abortion is an easy choice. If we lived in a perfect world there might be no problem pregnancies and therefore no difficult choices about abortion. We realize that there are many things that can make a pregnancy difficult. Abortion is chosen for medical, physical, emotional, economic and relational reasons. It is a choice made by women, often in consultation with partners, families and friends. We support you and your ability to choose what is best for you.”

The Pastoral Letter’s second argument for abortion begins with the premise that a woman’s preborn child is just another part of her body that she is free to dispose of as she wishes — as opposed to an individual person who belongs to God, as the Bible teaches.

“We believe, as religious leaders in our faith communities, that ultimately no one can make the choice for or against abortion except the woman herself,” the pastor-signed letter reads. “No one knows your life as you do. We trust that any decision you make will be made after serious thought and contemplation of the alternatives. You will make the best decision you can. We do not believe that it is appropriate for other persons or other faiths to judge you or the correctness of your decision. God gave us all the ability to think and pray and feel and choose. We are called to make the best decisions we can in our personal circumstances. If you have thoughtfully decided to have an abortion then you should be at peace with your decision.”

Next, Planned Parenthood attempts to speak with scriptural authority, declaring that God does not judge them or hold them accountable for many of their sins, and abortion is overlooked by God as just another hardship that will not result in any adverse consequences.

“We believe, as religious leaders in our faith communities, that the decision to have an abortion will not threaten your relationship with God,” the letter assures. “We believe that God is a participant in the struggles of human life. We believe that God is compassionate and does not expect any of us to lead perfect lives. We believe the biblical record shows us a God who loves human beings regardless of our strengths, skills and aptitudes, and loves us equally despite our failings, mistakes and choices. God is not angry with you and will not punish you for any choice you have or might make. In fact, we believe that God loves you and will be with you helping you find strength and understanding and comfort for living through days of doubt and distress.”

Finally, the Pastoral Letter promises women of faith considering abortion that there is no right or wrong choice, and that God will honor whatever they decide. This is considered by most Bible-believing Christians as having a huge conflict with Scripture, which teaches the moral absolutes of right and wrong, based on God’s inerrant Truth — not in the whimsical feelings of human nature.

“We believe, as religious leaders in our faith communities, that your life needs to go on from here, and that you are deserving of support and assistance,” the fourth and final point concludes. “We know that the decision to have an abortion is a difficult one. You may wonder from time to time if you made the right choice. You may be sorrowful, doubtful or depressed because of your choice. These are natural emotions. Experiencing this does not mean your decision was a bad one. It may mean that you are a sensitive person. Nevertheless these feelings may also mean that you could benefit from talking with someone about your decision. It is important for you to find peace. If you have bad moments, we encourage you to seek support from professionals. If you think that it would be helpful for you to talk to a minister, Planned Parenthood keeps a list of clergy who would be supportive of you and the decision you have made. They will see you for no charge and not pressure you to become part of their congregations. We want you to have a peaceful road ahead.”

Not failing to sound spiritual, with a blessing at the end, the letter’s farewell salutation revisits the main intent of the letter — to sell more abortions.

“Thank you for purchasing an abortion and God bless you,” the Planned Parenthood letter ends.

In an attempt to give authority to its assertions about faith and abortion, the letter highlights the names of 12 reverends and one rabbi as official backers of the message. Together, they stand as Planned Parenthood’s Religious Affairs Committee:

The listing of names includes: Reverend Debbie Pitney, Reverend Steve Carlson, Reverend Ken Henry, Reverend Ben Dake, Reverend Melanie Oommen, Reverend Gregory Flint, Reverend Danna Drum Hastings, Reverend Dan Bryant, Reverend Zane Wilson, Reverend Jonathan Weldon, Reverend Jan Fairchild, Reverend Bruce Cameron, and Rabbi Yitzhak Husbands-Hankins.

Their official designations and church affiliations were not mentioned.

Michael F. Haverluck,

Rate Down: Pro-Abortion Types Will be Unhappy

The CDC has issued a report noting a steep decline in the number of abortions. From the report:

For 2011, a total of 730,322 abortions were reported to CDC. Of these abortions, 98.3% were from 46 reporting areas that submitted data every year during 2002–2011, thus providing the information necessary for evaluating trends.

These 46 areas had an abortion rate of 13.9 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years and an abortion ratio of 219 abortions per 1,000 live births.

Compared with 2010, this represents a 5% decrease in the total number (from 753,065) and rate (from 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women) of reported abortions and a 4% decrease in the abortion ratio (from 228 abortions per 1,000 births). Because of the size of these decreases, combined with decreases from the previous 2 years (15,16), all three measures of abortion reached their lowest level for the entire period of analysis (2002–2011).

That would be good news under the old baloney trope of “safe, legal, and rare.” But pro-choice is fast becoming pro-abortion, whose adherents bristle at the very thought that fetus killing could be immoral or a less favored action than giving birth.

Planned Parenthood executives probably aren’t amused either, as fewer abortions cuts into its revenue stream.

Interesting to note: California has failed to provide detailed abortion statistics, for example, how many adolescents terminated pregnancies.  I guess the state knows what it doesn’t want to know; not surprising given that voters twice rejected proposals requiring that parents be notified–not consent, notified–if their minor daughters had an abortion.

The CDC credits fewer unwanted pregnancies as causing the dramatic decline. I hope that is true.

But I think the pro-life movement also deserves credit. These dedicated and often scorned activists have kept abortion at the forefront of America’s moral concerns and promoted laws that have led to fewer abortions.

In any event, there are thousands of people alive today who might otherwise have never seen the light of day.  To me, that is reason for applause.

By Wesley J. Smith, Human Exceptionalism

Speak Out Illinois 2015