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Friday, December 16, 2011

The pervasiveness of abortion

There's a group on Facebook called Pro-lifers Talking About Non-Abortion Related Things.  It was intended as a means to allow pro-lifers the chance to "take a break" from the battle to save the pre-born, but there were a couple of threads dealing with dating and relationships that did evolve into a discussion of abortion. It's a closed group, so unless you're a member you'll have to take my word for this, which only goes to show how unavoidable the issue is. Life News and Live Action have also reported on attempts by the pro-choice side to trivialize abortion for which I in all honesty can't find words to describe.  The reader will have to check out the links. 



"Love can be seen as the answer, but nobody bleeds for the dancer"--Ronnie James Dio (1942-2010)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Some unwelcome personal developments

In an earlier post on my blog I described how my dad succumbed to a neurological disorder called multiple system atrophy. Now comes news that my mom has had a recurrence of angiosarcoma, a type of cancer that arises in blood and lymph vessels.  They're going to do a scan to see if the recurrence is localized or not, but they described it as a "glimmer of hope".  It comes on top of my having to take time off from work after being diagnosed with shingles, and the restaurant where I've been working being re-located while I was still on sick leave.  I got Mom a Blackmore's Night CD for Christmas because she always listens to a Celtic music program.  The last Christmas present I gave Dad was a reaching device to help pick up objects without having to bend over.  I'd actually gotten that for both of them, but Dad made more use of it in his final months before going to the nursing home.

An update, December 15:

They did the scan and did not find metastases in any vital organs, just in the skin.  They're going to remove the skin and replace it with a graft on Jan. 4.
"Love can be seen as the answer, but nobody bleeds for the dancer"--Ronnie James Dio (1942-2010)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Some news items

Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sibelius had nixed an effort by the Food and Drug Administration to make Plan B available to girls of any age, and the Associated Press reports that President Obama has supported his secretary's decision.  Whatever we may think of Sibelius or Obama, this was definitely the right thing to do. If Plan B were available on the shelf, all sexually active teens would have to do to avoid talking to their doctor would be to buy Plan B on a regular basis.  If there's cause for concern on the health risks of prescription birth control, what would routine use of Plan B do? 

Speaking of Planned Parenthood, seven of its former employees have accused the abortion giant of misuse of government funds and failing to act on instances where statutory rape or coercion was suspected. 

In other news, a 19-year-old Houston man who wanted his pregnant girlfriend to have an abortion has been charged in her death

A lawsuit filed by some nurses over being forced to assist in abortions is headed back to court earlier than expected.


"Love can be seen as the answer, but nobody bleeds for the dancer"--Ronnie James Dio (1942-2010)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

on the beginning of life

After coming under fire from established pro-life activists for his stance that life begins at implantation, Newt Gingrich has recanted this and stated that fertilization is the moment when life begins.  At least one pro-life veteran is skeptical of this sudden change.

Traditionally pregnancy has been dated from the first day of the mother's last menstrual period, which typically occurs about two weeks before fertilization.  The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists years ago decided pregnancy started with implantation, in part to avoid some questions being raised about birth control methods, specifically hormonal birth control and intra-uterine devices. (IUDs) These are questions that needed to be addressed a long time ago, and pro-lifers are as guilty of failing to address this as the pro-choice side.  When pro-lifers say that life begins at conception, they need to look at whether a given birth control method is abortive. Pro-life women and men need to know there's speculation that the birth control pill may cause early abortions.  By the same token they also have a right to know there's much room for doubt that this takes place.

The belief that the pill causes early abortions is based on the observation that the endometrium is thinned out while a woman is on oral contraceptives, and this is believed to hinder implantation.  Beginning around the 1990's, however, some pro-life physicians began to challenge this, arguing that implantation can take place in environments far more hostile than an endometrium thinned by oral contraceptives, such as the Fallopian tube in ectopic pregnancy. Moreover, implantation is known to take place directly in the uterine muscle, which leads to a condition called placenta accreta requiring surgery. This suggests the uterine lining's purpose is as much to protect the mother as to nourish the child. Some other physicians have challenged this with their own papers.  This became such a source of division that the American Association of Pro-life Ob-Gyns decided to shelve the debate and concentrate on other pro-life matters. They have a page that links to both papers.

There is also some disagreement over how methods of emergency contraception work, at least within the medical community as a whole.  If, as some studies suggestlevonorgestrel (Plan B) does not disrupt post-fertilization events, it would seem unlikely that the much smaller doses of hormones in ordinary contraceptives would have this effect. 

At this point I might add that I am not trying to encourage emergency contraception. There are indications that its effectiveness is overstated, and it has not been shown to reduce abortion.  Moreover, both the mini-pill and Plan B have been linked to ectopic pregnancies.

With the IUD there's not as much doubt that it can act abortively.  The progesterone IUD is believed to thicken the cervical mucus to impede sperm transport, while the copper IUD is believed to have a spermicidal effect.  The latter is also used as emergency contraception, however, and in this setting is considered much more effective than pills.  Those who argue the effectiveness of Plan B and even ella can be accounted for by actions that occur before fertilization admit the IUD's very high effectiveness means it must be able to act post-fertilization.  A moment's reflection can help to explain this. Pills alter the growth of endometrial linings, while the IUD acts as a foreign object and an irritant.
"Love can be seen as the answer, but nobody bleeds for the dancer"--Ronnie James Dio (1942-2010)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A tale of two clinic protesters

LifeNews and LifeSiteNews recently ran stories on two separate clinic protesters and the subtle and not-so-subtle hostilities they were greeted with because of their beliefs.


Both sites reprinted a blog entry by Susan Tyrel in Bound4Life, in which a woman describes her own experience with Planned Parenthood.  When Alisha, 23, went there for her pregnancy test a few years ago, the clinic seemed to automatically assume that her husband and family were forcing her to keep the child against her will. She was so outraged by their presumptuousness that she left the place.  The experience led her to do some research on Planned Parenthood's activities, which ultimately led her to take part in vigils outside Planned Parenthood clinics.


LifeNews also reports on a woman who was assaulted by the manager of an abortion clinic in Kansas because of her activities.  Kansas, it should be remembered, was where an attempt to investigate wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood was thwarted because crucial documents were destroyed.


"Love can be seen as the answer, but nobody bleeds for the dancer"--Ronnie James Dio (1942-2010)