Oct 23

They’ve been evident lately on most major league baseball and football teams. And their advertising. They’re so ubiquitous, those pink ribbons are seemingly on most products in the stores right now.

So I’m grocery shopping and every aisle features food products that have somehow worked the pink ribbon onto its packaging. In fact, nearly every aisle I turn the cart into has a special display of these products to catch shoppers’ attention. Caught mine, because I write about this every year at this time. And interview people on radio in between Octobers…

I stop at one display and really look at it. ‘Okay, I’ll pay the attention you ask for. What is it you’re promoting?’ I think…

The signs all say the same thing. ‘Breast Cancer Awareness Month’. I looked at that and wondered, what does that mean?

Okay, we’re aware. But being aware of this dreaded disease is just the beginning, as it is with any form of cancer or any other affliction.

What needs an awareness campaign is the link of breast cancer to abortion.

A microbiologist says there are so many published studies confirming the link between induced abortion and breast cancer that he plans to publish one every day on his blog until he’s mentioned them all. It will take Dr. Gerard Nadal so many weeks to cover them all, the blogging will continue until early next year.

Nadal, who has a has a PhD in Molecular Microbiology from St John’s University in New York, has spent 16 years teaching science, most recently at Manhattan College.

He will report on one abortion-breast cancer study daily until he has exhausted all of the abortion-breast cancer studies and he anticipates he may be reporting on these studies as late as January or February of 2011.

“Today begins the inexorable presentation of the scientific literature on the abortion/breast cancer link,” Nadal writes. “Women’s lives depend on us getting the truth out to them. In short order we’ll generate plenty of pros armed with the simple truth of science!”

Yes, let’s have awareness.

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Aug 22

Time is a gift. Especially in a hospital urgent care setting where final determinations are made in more haste these days.

So another story emerges…

Aaron Denham was lying motionless in his hospital bed after suffering a broken neck, smashed pelvis and punctured lung.

Doctors were within hours of turning off the 22-year-old carpenter’s life support machine.

But now, just a few months later, he is making a rapid recovery and can even walk unaided.

The first sign that talk of Aaron’s funeral was premature was when his hand flipped over at Southampton General Hospital. His mum, Deborah, ran from the intensive care unit in disbelief as the unexpected movement sparked dreams that he may survive the ordeal.

She had been preparing for the worst – even beginning the heart-breaking task of choosing music for the funeral with his sister Leanne.

What a dreadful scenario.

But Aaron, from Fair Oak, near Southampton, Hants, has done more than just survive. And despite initial fears he would be paralysed for life he is now on the road to recovery.

Doctors described Aaron’s turn-around as “miraculous”.

Note in the story that doctors seemed to give it just hours, determing that if there were no sign of recovery in that short time, they would have to switch off life support. Thankfully, in this case the tunraround happened within that time. The medical ethics clash is, in part, over the unaffordability of the gift of time in health care. I understand the arguments. I just rejoice that cases like this still prove human truths beyond the calculations of medical science.

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Aug 03

Let’s count the ways…

So why is the federal deparment charged with the health and human services of its citizens suddenly requiring a massive implementation of an ideologically based scheme to cover birth control, sterilization and morning-after pills at great cost to insurers and taxpayers, and at a time when the federal government is in a budget crisis already?

To say this makes no sense is to state the obvious.

Go back for a moment to that AP report on the HHS announcement in the post below. The one that refers to this as a “broad expansion of coverage for women’s preventive care under President Barack Obama’s health care law.” Let’s parse this, according to the story as it originally appeared, because it’s gone through so many revisions and renditions, it no longer says the same thing at that same link.

Here’s what the AP said Monday:

Indeed, a government study last summer found that birth control use is virtually universal in the United States, according to a government study issued last summer. More than 90 million prescriptions for contraceptives were dispensed in 2009…Generic versions of the pill are available for as little as $9 a month. Still, about half of all pregnancies are unplanned. Many are among women using some form of contraception, and forgetting to take the pill is a major reason.

So. It’s not a matter of availability. And there’s no need for the government to provide this form of active population control under the guise of ‘women’s health preventive services’ or some variation therof. Why does the government see a need to provide what’s already available cheaply or freely, and allegedly being used by the vast majority of women? Which, important to note, is not preventing pregnancies in a large percentage of cases.

That point came up in a debate on radio this week between bioethics nurse Nancy Valko and a Planned Parenthood director. She went on to cite statistics from the Guttmacher Report online (a research arm of Planned Parenthood).

Fifty-four percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant. Among those women, 76% of pill users and 49% of condom users report having used their method inconsistently.

Forty-six percent of women who have abortions had not used a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant…according to this report, cost was not a factor in not using contraceptives.

Valko went on to say “fertility is not a disease and powerful hormones are not vitamins, and many women are not aware of the sometimes life-threatening complications. She cited two cases of healthy young women hospitalized in the past year for life-threatening blood clots in their lungs. “Doctors attributed this to the pill,” she said. She went on to note the irony that women are choosing hormone-free food but don’t think about taking powerful hormones to “treat” fertility.

Furthermore

The Health and Human Services Department commissioned the report from the Institute (of Medicine), which advises the federal government and shut out pro-life groups in meetings leading up to the recommendations.

“These historic guidelines are based on science and existing literature and will help ensure women get the preventive health benefits they need,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, an abortion advocate, said…

Science? What science?

Here’s some science, which another nurse concerned with women’s issues made available, since most media won’t. And Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, has plenty of science Sebelius should be aware of.

This is not health care. It’s blind ideology.

And it’s a threat to healthcare providers with religious believes and moral convictions that oppose that ideology, convictions that have long been protected by law. This new mandate requires a new law, and two congressmen co-authored one that deserves attention. The Respect for Rights of Conscience Act started in the House and has now been introduced in the Senate. This is a good time to remind elected representatives what the people do not want, and cannot afford. In more ways than one.

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Jul 21

There’s a lot in the news about contraception and health care and Planned Parenthood right now. And a lot more that should be.

The scope of this is staggering.

Let’s go through just a few of the many stories.

Contraceptives are now recommended to be required in health care law.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is praising a recommendation from the Institute of Medicine that insurance companies be required to offer free contraceptives to all women in a report she called ” historic,” suggesting she may make the recommendation an official policy.

The prospect of free, government-ordered contraceptives and even agents to induce abortion, has ignited a national debate. Some are clearly pleased.

Many are clearly not.

After the Institute of Medicine (IOM) this week publicly backed government-mandated birth control coverage, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is standing in the breach against what would prove a massive victory for abortion giant Planned Parenthood…

“Pregnancy is not a disease, and fertility is not a pathological condition to be suppressed by any means technically possible,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Tuesday.

Like other conservative leaders, the USCCB pro-life chairman noted that the mandate would violate the conscience rights of Americans morally opposed to birth control, and objected to coverage of “emergency contraception” such as ella, a chemical functionally identical to the abortion drug RU-486.

But the cardinal’s challenge did not stop there: DiNardo noted that the IOM report was so radical as to have indicated interest in recommending full abortion coverage as well. The report stated that, “despite the health and well-being benefits to some women,” abortion was outside of the project’s scope given federal legal restrictions.

“But most Americans surely see that abortion is not healthy or therapeutic for unborn children, and has physical and mental health risks for women which can be extremely serious,” wrote the cardinal, who noted the celebration of Planned Parenthood, “the single largest abortion provider in the United States,” over the report.

“I can only conclude that there is an ideology at work in these recommendations that goes beyond any objective assessment of the health needs of women and children,” he said.

That’s an understatement.

Let’s go back to some coverups by federal agencies for the abortion industry. Like this one that would have been called famous had it been reported by the media.

Though it did get reported.

Less than two months since the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force issued new guidelines recommending against routine mammograms for women in their forties, a second breast cancer scandal involving a U.S. government panel of experts has come to light which has implications for healthcare reform.

An April 2009 study by Jessica Dolle et al. of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center examining the relationship between oral contraceptives (OCs) and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) in women under age 45 contained an admission from U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) researcher Louise Brinton and her colleagues (including Janet Daling) that abortion raises breast cancer risk by 40%.

(emphasis added)

“Although the study was published nine months ago,” observed Karen Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, “the NCI, the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and other cancer fundraising businesses have made no efforts to reduce breast cancer rates by issuing nationwide warnings to women.”

Brinton was the chief organizer of the 2003 NCI workshop on the abortion-breast cancer link, which falsely assured women that the non-existence of the link was “well established.”

(emphasis added)

Brinton has been out of reach of the media since the 2009 report that abortion raises breast cancer risk by 40 percent. Even liberal pro-choice writers checking on this incongruity have found the NCI website to only answer inquiries by linking back to the faulty and biased 2003 report.

The founders of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute have abundant resources on their site detailing the scientific studies and medical evidence linking contraceptives and abortion to breast cancer.

Which is why it’s crazy to think that the Susan G. Komen For the Cure Foundation would be linked in any way with Planned Parenthood. They ought to extend their considerable resources to researching prevention before a cure is necessary. But that would direct them back to Planned Parenthood…

Which is why some U.S. bishops have finally called on Catholic institutions to redirect their charitable contributions and fundraising for breast cancer prevention and cure to other organizations without any morally objectionable connections. Toledo Bishop Leonard Blair issued this letter, for instance. Here’s a snip:

For some time, moral questions have been raised from various quarters about the research funded by the Komen Foundation. The Bishops of Ohio have discussed this and have looked into the matter. As best we can determine, at present the Komen Foundation does not fund cancer research that employs embryonic stem cells. However, their policy does not exclude that possibility. They are open to embryonic stem cell research, and may very well fund such research in the future. They are also contributors to Planned Parenthood, which, though it may claim to provide needed medical services to poor women, is also the largest provider of abortions in our country.

But they got that way by being extremely industrious and aggressive in their lobbying and political activism. Which gets back to the top and latest news story in this cycle…

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May 22

I have been an avid follower of the NASA program and followed its missions since childhood. So I found this last one particularly poignant.

So did Pope Benedict.

The shuttle Endeavour and space station crews gathered on Saturday for an unprecedented conversation with Pope Benedict, who asked how the space program could promote peace and if the astronauts prayed while in orbit.

“I think it must be obvious to you how we all live together on one Earth and how absurd it is that we fight and kill each one,” the Pope said.

“When you are contemplating the Earth from up there, do you ever wonder about the way nations and people live together down here, about how science can contribute to the cause of peace?” he asked via a televised link from the Vatican.

This is a sweet story. The pope spoke with members of the crew about their own personal dramas as they carry out this universal one. (funny…the word catholic means universal…but I was referring to the nature of the space mission) Personal dramas like commander Mark Kelly’s, whose wife, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, is still recovering from being shot in January. Kelly thanked Benedict for thinking of her.

The Pope also had a personal message for space station flight engineer Paolo Nespoli, whose mother died on May 2.

“How have you been living through this time of pain on the International Space Station? Do you feel isolated and alone, or do you feel united amongst ourselves in a community that follows you with attention and affection?” the pope asked, speaking in Nespoli’s native Italian.

“Holy Father, I felt your prayers and everyone’s prayers arriving up here,” Nespoli replied in Italian.

“My colleagues aboard the space station were very close to me at this important time, for me a very intense moment,” Nespoli said. “I felt very far but also very close.”

Astronaut Roberto Vittori, also from the Italian Space Agency, demonstrated microgravity by flipping a coin given to him by the Pope, a symbol of the Vatican’s involvement in the mission, the next-to-last for NASA’s space shuttle program.

The coin will be returned to the Pope after Endeavour lands, now scheduled for June 1.

“To live aboard the International Space Station, to work as an astronaut is extremely intense, but we all have an opportunity when the nights come to look out and, more, to look down at Earth. Our planet, the blue planet, is beautiful,” Vittori said.

“I do pray,” he added. “I do pray for me, for our families, for our future.”

This story is amazingly human, and global, and larger than each of us. Because it’s about what holds together all of us. And I know that sounds corny, but….

I’ve said it here on this blog before, a while back, that a long time ago I was thinking about ‘fanhood’ and loyalty to a small town school or sports team, then a larger one…and how the rivalries disappear and new alliances form when those circumferences spread to wider territories. The ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ grows into much larger bodies of individuals the bigger the contest and state or nation. Then my thoughts rolled forward to an odd idea….that one imaginable force that would cause otherwise hostile factions on earth to suddenly unify as a planet and work together (imaginable thanks to science fiction) is if earth were attacked by aliens from another planet and we faced destruction unless we were able to fend them off.

I would never have shared that, but then I heard one day that Ronald Reagan one time said the same thing! (or something similar, though more eloquently, to be sure)

Anyway, that thought came back to me while reading this story, and I found this conversation between the astronauts and the pope very touching.

The Pope asked the astronauts about the environmental health of the planet, as viewed from space.

“On the one hand, we can see how indescribably beautiful the planet that we have been given is, but on the other hand we can really clearly see how fragile it is,” said NASA astronaut Ron Garan, a member of the live-aboard station crew.

“For instance, the atmosphere, when viewed from space, is paper-thin. And to think that this paper-thin layer is all that separates every living thing from the vacuum of space and is all that protects us is really a sobering thought,” Garan said.

What the astronauts find hopeful, Garan added, is the space station itself, a $100 billion project of 16 nations that took more than a decade to build 220 miles above the planet.

“That just shows that by working together and cooperating, we can overcome many of the problems that face our planet,” he said.

Now, how to apply that here

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Apr 29

Sometimes, the best scientific argument over a controversial bioethical issue is just dry and uninteresting to anyone but the science and medical comunity.

So Dr. Gerard Nadal does this thought experiment.

Imagine one is dining in a family restaurant and there are three different families, each with five children. Family A has children who are engaged in a food fight, screaming and jumping about.

Family B has children who are generally very well behaved but are given to bouts of restlessness and need to be spoken to by their parents.

Family C has children who are models of decorum, and who on their own have even taken it upon themselves to quietly clean up some of the mess left by other patrons.

That’s the stem cell war in a nutshell.

Clever. He explains how the analogy works in each case.

Now, back to our analogy. Imagine a reporter comes to the restaurant looking to do a story on children’s manners in restaurants but spends 90% of her time interviewing the father of Family A. He makes not one mention of his children’s recklessness and destructiveness, not one mention of the exemplary behavior of the children in Family C, but instead he holds forth on the dire future of the children in Family B, whose behavior is merely in need of periodic tweaking.

If that sounds unbalanced and bizarre, that’s the essential structure and trajectory of a recent Reuters article by Julie Steenhuysen, entitled “Imperfections mar hopes for reprogrammed stem cells.”

The core of the article is built around the father of Family A, Dr. George Daley of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.

In other words, intellectally dishonest and obviously tendentious.

…Dr. Daley makes no mention at all of Family C, the adult stem cells, which have over one hundred therapeutic applications. In so doing, he fails to grasp the essential reason why induced pluripotent stem cells were sought after. It’s because biologically, embryonic stem cells are wild and untamable, while adult stem cells have gone through the process of cellular maturation naturally and are remarkably stable. They are also expensive to isolate, which is an economic limitation to their widespread use. Also, as embryonic stem cells come from another person, there is the issue of tissue rejection by the recipient.

And that’s happening, time and again. But we aren’t hearing that from the proponents of embryonic stem cells, because they’re too invested in the biotech industry that relies those unruly cells.

That famous line from Jurassic Park comes to mind again. Life finds a way.

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Apr 22

According to the Bible, it quaked. Something to recall this year as Earth Day falls on Good Friday.

Except in the Philippines, where they’ve moved the date to honor the holiness of the Triduum.

Acton has some good perspective on this.

Remember when, in 2005, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) declared that 50 million people could become environmental refugees by 2010, as they fled the effects of climate change? They’d rather you didn’t. It turns out that the climate refugee problem is only the latest disaster-movie myth to be shattered. AsianCorrespondent.com reported earlier this month that “a very cursory look at the first available evidence seems to show that the places identified by the UNEP as most at risk of having climate refugees are not only not losing people, they are actually among the fastest growing regions in the world.”

John Couretas addresses the issue of religious leaders involved in a World Council of Churches climate change conference and a certain apocalyptic vision afoot these days, not based on scientific credibility.

Religious leaders should celebrate Earth Day 2011 by showing more humility in the face of the exceedingly complex scientific, public policy, and political questions bound up in environmental stewardship. A good start would be to drop any attempt at interpreting deep climatological data, which like complex policy or economic questions, is outside the usual competency of seminary training. Instead, religious leaders should focus on advancing an understanding of environmental stewardship that has a place both for productive economic activity and the beauty of God’s creation — without the Manichean split.

The virtue of prudence should lead us all to do more to reduce destructive man-made effects on the environment, with an eye toward improving the overall health of the air, water, and land that sustains us. De-carbonizing the economy, over time and in an orderly fashion, without wrecking economic life that likewise sustains us, is the reasonable way to do that. A strong market economy that creates the sort of wealth that can lead to practicable and affordable energy alternatives, free of the waste, abuse and cronyism that accompany government subsidies, will get us to a cleaner future faster than more “expert” management from Washington, the UN, or the WCC.

Meanwhile, on Easter Monday in the Philippines

the government has scheduled tree and mangrove-planting events.

It will also encourage communities in Manila to “adopt a waterway”, and clean up the capital city’s creeks, canals and storm drains.

Do whatever you can, putting first things first.

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Jan 27

Jarring headline. Not that abortionists don’t end human lives every day. But startling to see that law enforcement and media actually noticed.

It took a particularly gruesome example to get their attention.

A Philadelphia doctor performed thousands of illegal late-term abortions and murdered newborns after inducing labour, prosecutors have said.

Dr Kermit Gosnell, 69, was charged with murder and other offences in the deaths of a patient and viable babies born as late as the eighth month of pregnancy.

Prosecutors said he made millions of dollars treating and sometimes maiming mostly poor minority women.

Nine clinic workers are also charged with murder and other counts.

Lawyers on both sides tried to find the right words to put to this horror, given abortion’s legality and all. The defense attorney called the allegations “very, very serious.” The DA started his statement acknowledging that abortion is “a hot-button topic.” He also said…

“A doctor who knowingly and systematically mistreats female patients, to the point that one of them dies in his so-called care, commits murder under the law.

“A doctor who cuts into the necks severing the spinal cords of living, breathing babies, who would survive with proper medical attention, is committing murder under the law.”

Horrible. But wait….that’s what happens in partial-birth abortions, which the pro-choice movement refers to as the ‘so-called partial-birth abortion’ procedure which they prefer to call ‘late-term abortions.’ And to look at this even more closely and clearly…living, breathing babies who survive abortion attempts would be protected under the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, which a certain Illinois senator could not support when it came up for a vote….because it would confer constitutional protection on a fetus and render abortion illegal….

See how entangled this becomes when we follow an idea or argument through to its logical conclusion?

Justice Anthony Kennedy was so firm in his written opinion about the Carhart (partial-birth abortion) ruling that he spelled out clearly for the record what grisly things happen when a doctor performs one.

The New York Times stated flatly in its headline Doctor is Charged in Killing of Newborns. Here’s the lede:

An abortion doctor who served minority and immigrant women in his clinic in Philadelphia was charged with multiple counts of murder on Wednesday in the deaths of a woman and seven newborn babies whose spinal cords had been cut with scissors, the district attorney’s office said…

When labor was induced and a baby was born, Dr. Gosnell would kill it by cutting into its neck and severing its spinal cord in a process he referred to as “snipping.”

But the difference between that and the ‘late term abortion’ the pro-choice movement has vigorously defended is a matter of inches  and minutes. When the baby is in the middle of being born and the scissors are plunged into the base of his or her skull etc…it’s still called abortion. When the scissors end the life of that child moments later outside the birth canal, it’s murder.

That should generate a vigorous debate. As well as the obvious question raised in the grand jury report, noted by the Philadelphia Archdiocese.

The 262-page jury report, available at the Web site of the Philadelphia Office of the District Attorney, devotes considerable attention to the question, “how did this go on so long?”

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Jan 10

Abby Johnson’s story spread rapidly back when she went from being a leader in Planned Parenthood and one of their clinic directors, to a committed pro-life advocate, in short order. After witnessing the horrifying sight of one abortion on an ultrasound screen. Now, she tells her compelling and dramatic story in unPlanned, a new book about to be released. Great title, heart-stopping drama. It should certainly be a debate changer.

Monday evening, Johnson is participating in a webcast originally reserved for 3,000 total participants and has now grown to over 14,000. The webcast provider is maxing out its server to provide a bandwith capable of carrying this load. Promotions promise the crowd who signs on that they’ll hear Johnson talk about the following:

• What initially attracted Abby to volunteer and then work for Planned Parenthood — America’s largest abortion chain — even after being raised in a faithful Christian home
• The hidden personal secret that Abby had kept buried for years
• The shocking discovery that suddenly caused Abby to question everything Planned Parenthood had told her over eight years
• Planned Parenthood’s confidential plans to expand its biggest money-maker – abortion – all across America
• The abortion industry’s furious reaction when Abby decided to quit her job and join local and national pro-life efforts
• What Abby’s court battle brought to light about Planned Parenthood’s REAL agenda
• The single most effective way to reduce Planned Parenthood’s abortion business and change the hearts and minds of clinic workers

I had an advance copy of unPlanned, and interviewed Abby Johnson last week. We never got past chapter one, “The Ultrasound.” When I read it the evening before the interview, I was thunderstruck. After the final sentence of that chapter, I perceptibly exhaled. And realized I had been holding my breath. It was captivating.

Without giving anything away here, I just want to point out her preface, ‘A Note from Abby Johnson’, brief as it is. She says:

…I’ve spent years on the front lines of the face-off between pro-choice and pro-life advocates. Which side? Both sides…

I reveal my story not because I am proud of it. I am not. But my thinking and choices are not unlike those of so many people I have encountered. And until we each set aside our own preferences for how we wish others would think and behave, or how we assume others think and behave, we won’t be able to understand those with whom we differ in order to engage in real dialogue and discover truth.

People have asked her things like how she could have been so naive, or gullible, or inconsistent in holding Christian values but not acting on them, etc…  She understands the difficulty in understanding this whole business, on both sides.

To this day I have friends on both sides of this polarizing debate. We all long for a story that shows that “our” side is right and good, and “their” side is wrong and bad, don’t we? But…we have far more in common with the “other” side than we might imagine.

She’s singing my song. For years and years, I’ve tried to generate a conversation between those who disagree on the big life issues, with the presumption of goodwill that probably, people on both sides are acting on what they believe to be what’s best for women and/or children and/or other groups of human beings in the life debate (the impaired or dying, if the debate is euthanasia, for instance…). But after years of this, I’ve found precious few advocates of the most permissable abortion laws willing to talk to anyone who doesn’t share their views. It’s one thing to have friends on both sides, and I agree with Abby that I do as well. It’s another to generate that conversation, both talking and listening, engaging reason and charity toward the person and the argument.

So I asked her if she’s been able to do that with some of her former colleagues in the abortion business. She paused, and slowly said ‘No, I’m sorry to say that hasn’t been possible…’

The promotion from Ignatius Press says

Planned Parenthood took Johnson to court in an attempt to keep a lid on her story. Johnson won. unPlanned is the result.

The book is going to make a lot of people squirm. “If so,” she says, “welcome to my journey.”

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Dec 03

It took all of three seconds after hearing Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly respond to one particular viewer’s email to know I had to write…something.

I’m not given to writing letters or email to show hosts or celebrities or well-known personalities ever about anything. I might talk back to the radio or tv, but I just write here. Or in my radio commentaries. Which is why this is here and will wind up there. I’ll follow up with Mr. O’Reilly, but my instinct is to address my readers and listeners about media handling of fundamental issues of life.

At the end of the O’Reilly Factor on Fox, Bill O’Reilly always runs through a handful of emails from viewers, culling from what is no doubt a glut of mail with viewpoints across the spectrum. He does a good job, fitting quite a few into a short time, giving a cross-section of views. Someone is probably always provoked by something, but this did it for me.

Referring to an appearance on his show this week by regular contributor Margaret Hoover, a viewer took O’Reilly to task for agreeing with her statement that a fetus is a “potential human being” instead of making the correction that a fetus is an already existing human being. Though O’Reilly doesn’t respond to most emails, he did stop and address this one.

Mr. O’Reilly said the position the viewer stated in the email was ’the pro-life position’, which, he acknowledged, was indeed the position he took. But he said ‘we can’t argue with people who are pro-abortion unless we can find common ground’, and the statement “that this is a potential human being takes away all the doubt.” We can all agree on that, he said.

Let’s go back to what prompted this, Ms. Hoover’s appearance on the O’Reilly Factor on December 2 about a couple conducting a poll on their blog about whether or not the wife should have an abortion. Here’s the transcript:

BILL O’REILLY, HOST: …Thirty-year-old Alisha Arnold, 19 weeks pregnant, is thinking about terminating her fetus because she’s in a bad emotional state, according to her blog. Husband Pete Arnold disputes some of this. But there is no disputing the fact the couple has asked Americans to vote on whether the abortion should take place, and two million people have….

No. 1, this is disgusting. This is a human life we’re talking about, is it not?

MARGARET HOOVER, FOX NEWS ANALYST: This is a potential human life.

O’REILLY: I don’t mind your description there. It’s a potential human being containing human DNA right at this moment.

HOOVER: Correct.

O’REILLY: So it’s disgusting that you would put this up for a vote on whether to execute it. Am I wrong?

HOOVER: The decision to have an abortion is a deeply personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, her God; not her government, and not the public at large.

O’REILLY: OK. So you’re with me on that.

What seems clear to me (or at least how I see it) is that Bill O’Reilly is trying to establish that common ground he spoke of (to the emailer), in order to gain some currency with Margaret Hoover in the larger argument (as he may possibly see it) that the decision about terminating nascent human life is not open for public debate or polling.

Okay, two things.

One, I think that from the top, O’Reilly made the mistake (if he is pro-life) of using the language of the abortion movement by saying a woman who is 19 weeks pregnant is “thinking about terminating her fetus.” Referring to a child in the womb, an unborn child, a developing child, a baby in the womb of a pregnant woman as a fetus dehumanizes the baby, making the abortion argument easier to market and promote as a ‘choice’ without making conscious the reality of what the choice is about.

Two, he was right the first time around when he stated the central debate was over a human life. And wrong when he backpedaled to agree with Ms. Hoover saying:

It’s a potential human being containing human DNA right at this moment.

Mr. O’Reilly is extremely intelligent. He’s also admirable in working hard to keep arguments grounded in facts and not hypotheses or speculation or euphemism or political agenda. So he surely should know that statement plays right into the whole abortion argument, one which has inflicted tremendous pain and trauma on post-abortive women and frankly, death on their children in the womb. It’s the scientific and medical truth, available in any major textbook, that when a doctor has a pregnant woman before him he is treating two patients. That when a woman becomes pregnant, from the moment of conception, what she is carrying is already a whole, unique, separate and living human being.

The South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion crafted an exhaustive 71 page report detailing this issue better than anything like it before. Frankly, there wasn’t anything like it before. Which led to the state’s informed consent law merely requiring abortion clinics to inform women seeking abortion what the procedure would do, as in any other medical procedure, which the abortion movement fought vigorously to stop. Because it informs women that the human life is already present, and the procedure would terminate it.

See, what even a lot of pro-lifers don’t realize is that many, many women who seek abortions have the misperception (aided by abortion clinic workers or abortionists themselves) that what they are removing is a ‘blob of tissue’ that will later become a baby. And when they do learn that it already was a human baby in development, they’re even more traumatized that they ended that life.

Two high profile legal cases made their way through the appeals process until we had, for the first time, two major courts and constitutions in conflict over the definition of human life and the obligation to inform pregnant women of a baby’s existence. The story, in summary, is here.

Look at the argument abortionist Dr. Sheldon Turkish foisted on Rosa Acuna, and the consequences of her lack of understanding of what she was doing at the time (through his procedure). That scenario is played out thousands of times over, millions, when the truth continues to be covered up or the terminology soft-pedaled so we can believe we’re finding ‘common ground.’

I agree with O’Reilly that the two sides aren’t generally making headway convincing each other of their arguments, and some new breakthrough has to be found. But the post-abortive women in Rachel’s Vineyard and Silent No More, among others, are the new breakthrough voices telling us that dialogue has to be based on truth.

It’s uncharacteristic of Bill O’Reilly to shy away from that. He’ll take on governments and nations and global bodies. But back down to what amounts to political correctness on the body they’re all built upon?

Bill….that doesn’t factor in to sound reasoning. Nor to your reputation for it.

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