Category Archives: sex selection

Encouraging news on the prolife front…

The New Pro-Life Surge
Political gains by U.S. conservatives unleash waves of
anti-abortion legislation.
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra | posted
6/10/2011 09:24AM

The summer before Katey Tryon’s senior year of high school, she
got pregnant. Recently split from her boyfriend, she was sad and vulnerable when
she hooked up with her older brother’s friend. They had sex once. Six weeks
later, she was tired and her period was late.

“It was terrifying,” Tryon said. “I’m from a small town in Oregon.
My parents are pillars in the community. I was born and raised here, fourth
generation. So my sin was very apparent.” Tryon’s parents, both believers,
rallied around her. Abortion was out of the question. Two days before high
school graduation, Tryon gave birth to a girl and gave her up for adoption.

Tryon enrolled in a Christian college in Portland, determined to
turn her life around, but still felt vulnerable. “I started dating a guy who
embraced me for what I had just gone through, who understood that I didn’t want
to have sex until I got married,” she said.

But they started sleeping together, and one night the condom
didn’t work. Over spring break, at an intercollegiate softball tournament, Tryon
found out she was pregnant again. Her daughter was nine months old. “My world
came crashing down tenfold from the first time,” she said.

Abortion was never a serious option, she said, although “trust me,
it went through my mind. I recognize why other women go there. You want to get
away from your situation. We want to cover up our mistakes and have them all go
away.”

Tryon found support at a local pregnancy center, which sparked in
her a fresh sense of purpose. She gave birth to a boy and gave him up for
adoption. She went back to college, double majoring in social work and
sociology. Eventually she became the development director at Lane Pregnancy
Support Center in Eugene, Oregon.

In April, Tryon testified before the Oregon State Legislature
about how a pregnancy center changed her life for the better. A Senate committee
was considering a bill to force pregnancy centers to publicly post on doors, in
waiting areas, and in brochures that they are not abortion providers. If centers
did not post these notices in five days, they could be fined up to $1,000, up to
$5,000 if not posted in two weeks.

This is one of many new legislative initiatives on abortion, but
the majority of them are working in the other direction.

Flood of LegislationThe Oregon bill is one of 576 measures related to abortion that
have been introduced so far in 2011 in 48 states, according to Elizabeth Nash,
public policy associate for the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute.

Like the Oregon bill, many of them will never pass committee. Yet
by early April, 142 abortion-related provisions had passed at least one chamber
of a state legislature, compared with 67 in 2009. More than half of the 142
bills (57 percent) introduced this year seek to restrict abortion access,
compared with 38 percent in 2010.

About 40 new anti-abortion laws were on the books by mid-April.
They include:

  • expanding the waiting period requirement in South Dakota from 24
    hours to 72 hours, and requiring women to visit a crisis pregnancy center in the
    interim.
  • requiring a physician who performs an abortion in South Dakota to
    provide counseling on all risk factors related to abortion.
  • allowing any hospital employee in Utah to refuse to “participate
    in any way” in an abortion.
  • making it a felony in Arizona to perform or provide money for
    abortions sought because of a baby’s race or sex.
  • prohibiting insurance plans that participate in the state
    insurance exchange from including abortion coverage in Virginia, Arizona, Idaho,
    Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.
  • prohibiting the abortion of a fetus capable of feeling pain in
    Nebraska, Kansas, Idaho, and Oklahoma. The organization National Right to Life
    has drafted a model bill for pro-life lawmakers to use.

Republican victories in the 2010 mid-term elections account for
much of the legislative surge. Republicans won control of the House of
Representatives and made gains in the Senate. But their success at the state
level was more significant. They took 29 governorships and 680 seats in state
legislatures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

It’s the largest gain in modern history. The previous record was
held by Democrats in the post-Watergate 1974 election, in which they picked up
628 seats. Republicans now control the governor’s office and both legislative
chambers of 21 states, according to the National Conference of State
Legislatures.

“The November elections brought huge change in the state houses,”
said Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life. “But we’ve been
tilling this ground for a while.”

The forward momentum began, Yoest said, when the Supreme Court
upheld the federal ban on partial-birth abortion in 2007.

‘My life and the life of my unborn baby were forever
changed the minute I called for help.’—Katey Tyron, a director at Lane Pregnancy
Support Center

“They chipped away at the absolute right to abortion,” Yoest said.
“The Supreme Court said that states do have the right to limit abortion. That
was a seismic shift.” Pro-life advocates began to see how far they could get
with restrictions, such as parental notification and informed consent laws, she
said.

The legislation has been snowballing since the Republican sweep:
“Just in the first three months of this year, we’ve provided testimony on 17
life-related legislative matters,” she said. In previous years, the average
number of testimonies provided was two or three for the entire year.

Public Opinion ChangesRestricting abortion through new state laws seems to be highly
effective in reducing abortion rates.

“We see that the number of abortions has gone down by 22 percent
between 1990 and 2005,” said Michael New, political science professor at the
University of Alabama. “An important reason is the restrictions that more and
more states are passing.”

New examined the effects of three laws on abortion rates. Opting
not to fund abortions through Medicaid was most significant, dropping state
abortion rates by about 9 percent, he said.

“That’s a strong consistent finding,” he said, pointing to a
Guttmacher report that 20 of 24 peer-reviewed studies found that public funding
restrictions reduced the number of abortions. The second is informed-consent
laws, which require abortion providers to inform a woman about the potential
risks to her health, fetal development, and available assistance before an
abortion is performed. Those laws were connected with in-state abortion
reductions of 5 to 7 percent, he said.

New also analyzed parental involvement laws, which require minors
to either tell or get permission from their parents before having an abortion.
While these laws don’t have a large impact on the overall abortion rate, they
correlate with a 15 percent decline in in-state abortions obtained by
minors.

Recent pro-life legislation is changing gears, pushing for laws
that give women the opportunity to view an ultrasound before an abortion or
banning abortion after the fetus can feel pain. Fetal-pain laws have been a big
goal of National Right to Life. Director of state legislation Mary Spaulding
Balch told Christianity Today, “The Pain-Capable
Unborn Child Protection Act very clearly talks about the humanity of the unborn
child.” So far, abortion supporters have not initiated court challenges to the
new fetal-pain laws.

The effect on the abortion rate from pain-related or ultrasound
laws may not be dramatic, New said. Requiring ultrasounds can be tricky because
abortion providers have to self-enforce, and relatively few abortions are
performed after the second trimester, when the fetus begins to feel pain, he
said.

But those laws are still important, New said. “You have to make
progress incrementally. We have made more progress than we think. We’ve
convinced a lot of people that abortion is wrong. Most doctors and hospitals
want nothing to do with it.”

Indeed, public opinion now lines up against abortion for the first
time since Gallup began asking the question in 1995. In 2010, 47 percent of
Americans called themselves pro-life, while 45 percent identified as
pro-choice.

The pro-life advantage held through three surveys, prompting
Gallup to label it a “real change in public opinion,” one that’s showing itself
at the polls.

Last year’s health care debate put abortion back on the national
stage, and President Obama had to issue an executive order strengthening the
limits on abortion to get the health care reform bill passed.

In addition, the House of Representatives passed a bill this
spring that would defund Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in
the country. The bill failed in the Senate, but the victory in the House was
historic, Yoest said.

‘We see that the number of abortions has gone down by 22
percent between 1990 and 2005. An important reason is the restrictions more and
more states are passing.’—Michael New, political science professor at the
University of Alabama

“I absolutely think this is a swelling tide, regardless of what
happens in this particular skirmish. There is very much a future in terms of
bringing more and more attention to the massive federal subsidy of the abortion
industry.”

CounteroffensiveAll this leaves the pro-choice movement “definitely defensive,”
said Nash of the Guttmacher Institute. “We need to make the case for why these
services are important.”

The public questioning of Planned Parenthood is “a major shift,”
said Melinda Delahoyde, president of Care Net, a network of more than 1,000
pregnancy centers.

Care Net’s pregnancy centers are among the targets of the
pro-choice counteroffensive. New York City’s new disclosure law is “the most
difficult thing we’re facing,” she said. The law, like the one Tryon testified
against in Oregon, requires all pregnancy centers to post in waiting rooms and
in all literature whether they offer or make referrals for abortions,
contraception, and prenatal care. The American Center for Law and Justice is
challenging the constitutionality of the law in federal court.

In January, a federal judge struck down a similar disclosure law
in Baltimore, calling it an unconstitutional violation of free speech and
“viewpoint-based discrimination.”

“It puts onerous regulations on pregnancy centers,” Delahoyde
said. “It opens centers up to costly lawsuits—a right to action by aggrieved
persons. There are very harsh restrictions put up all over against pregnancy
centers, and we know their goal is to shut us down.”

But most of the bills targeting pregnancy centers fail to pass.
Two bills in Virginia—one that proposed to limit the revenue pregnancy centers
receive from license plates, the other to require disclosure that abortions are
not offered at the centers—were withdrawn in March. A resolution praising the
work of pregnancy centers was passed instead. Another disclosure bill in
Washington made it out of committee but failed in the House of
Representatives.

When pro-choice groups can’t get bills passed at the state level,
they look for local municipalities where they can get propositions passed,
Delahoyde said.

Care Net prepares their centers for the legislation, she said. “We
send our public relations and legal people on the road. We provide a united
front at the state house, and that’s very effective.”

Alliance Defense Fund also provides legal help through hundreds of
attorneys connected to local pregnancy centers, she said.

“We train extensively,” Delahoyde said. “We are pressing forward.
Look, there are so many encouraging signs. The pro-choice brand is
eroding.”

Pendulum SwingsWhen Tryon gave birth to her second baby in December 1992, she was
part of a trend. U.S. teen pregnancy rates had swelled to their all-time
high—almost 12 percent of teenage girls—in 1990, according to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Abortion rates peaked at the same time, with 1.4 million abortions
performed in 1990, according to the CDC. Public support of abortion was also
high, with 56 percent of Americans labeling themselves pro-choice, according to
Gallup. Just 33 percent self-identified as pro-life.

Some 20 years after Tryon was a pregnant teenager, the pendulum is
swinging the other way. She is now an articulate leader at a pregnancy center,
wife of a worship pastor, and mother of three school-age children.

“As a teenager, finding myself in an unplanned pregnancy was scary
at best. Thankfully, I turned to a pregnancy resource center that provided not
only free and confidential services to me, but treated me in a fair and
professional manner, provided me life-giving options when I needed them most,
and eased my fears,” she testified before an Oregon Senate committee.

“My life and the life of my unborn baby were forever changed the
minute I called on them for help. After being educated about all of my options,
I chose an adoption plan that not only gave my baby a hope and a future, but it
also gave it to me.

“It is devastating to think that the vital services I received so
many years ago could be torn from those that so desperately need them today. I
urge you to vote ‘No’ on this bill.”

That bill in Oregon never came to a vote. But neither did another
bill calling for a ban on abortions after 19 weeks.

Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra is a journalist based in the Chicago
area.

Copyright © 2011 Christianity Today. Click
for reprint information.

Related Elsewhere:Previous coverage related to abortion legislation and life
ethics
includes:

State Laws That Lower Abortions | Examining legal measures
enacted to lower abortion rates. (April 4, 2011)

Live Action, Planned Parenthood, and a Year of Change|
Surveying two months of dramatic news on the abortion front in the U.S.
(February 24, 2011)

Abortion Case: Womb vs. Egg | Ethical issues abound in case of
British Columbia couple who wanted surrogate mom to terminate pregnancy after
baby was found to have Down Syndrome. (October 15, 2010)

CT covers more political developments on the politics blog.

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The Miracle of Life

8 cell embryo

Newly conceived baby

At conception the gender of the child is determined by the father’s sperm.  So our tiny human being is a boy named Chris.

Chris has not implanted into the wall of the uterus yet, so no one but God knows of Chris’ existence.  God has known Chris before He created the Universe.  God has known all of us and loved us all from all eternity.

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.”  Jer. 1:5

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More news from around the country and the world

Only One Pro-Life Issue on the Ballot in Entire U.S. – ‘Personhood Amendment 62′ is Best Hope for Babies in November

September 14, 2010

Arvada, CO (MetroCatholic) – Pro-life voters will have only one pro-life measure to vote on this November, and that is only if they are registered to vote in Colorado. Colorado’s Personhood Amendment, Amendment 62, is the only pro-life ballot issue to make it to the November polls this year in the United States.

Continue reading here.

A Legal Review of Sherley v. Sebelius and Obama’s Embryonic Stem Cell Research Policy

PDF

by Margaret Datiles, Esq.   

datiles_new.jpgI.    IntroductionIn his August 24, 2010 order in Sherley v. Sebelius [1],  U.S. district court Judge Royce Lamberth declared that the Obama Administration’s new embryonic stem cell research policy is illegal because it violates the plain language and intent of the Dickey-Wicker Amendment.  For a short time, all federally-funded embryonic stem cell (ESCR) research was halted. With the Sherley v. Sebelius case pending, a possible appeal on the horizon, and congressmen introducing legislation to override Dickey before the November elections, the existence of a ban on the use of federal funds for destructive ESCR appears to hang upon a thread.  However, the solid legal reasoning behind Judge Lamberth’s preliminary injunction, the overall public opposition to taxpayer funded ESCR, and other factors may indicate the opposite. Continue reading here. . .

Dr. Rapin Osathanondh Sentenced in Abortion Patient Case (09-14-10)

BARNSTABLE, MA — The doctor who performed an abortion on Laura Hope Smith and admitted that his actions led to her death while she was under his care was led out of Barnstable Superior Court in handcuffs this afternoon. In addition to receiving a jail sentence for pleading guilty to the criminal…

www.ajc.com

More than six weeks after her feeding tube was removed, Trisha Duguay continues to hold onto life. While her health continues to decline, Trisha, in a coma since late May, sometimes blinks her eyes or moves her fingers.

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Gov. Mike Huckabee Endorses GA Senate Bill 529 and Asks Georgians to Call Their Georgia House Members

Lawrenceville, GA – Today Governor Mike Huckabee announced his support for SB 529 in a message that is going out to Georgia constituents asking for their support for SB 529. Governor Huckabee noted the importance of this bill, “SB 529 is a simple bill that prevents a woman from being forced to have an abortion against her will and prohibits the use of abortion as a means of race or gender discrimination. I’m asking you to support SB 529 and to ask your representative to support SB 529.”

Two weeks ago the Georgia Senate passed SB 529 with overwhelming support. On Tuesday, April 13, 2010, SB 529 had a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee, but no vote was taken.

SB 529 was drafted by some of the leading pro-life attorney’s in the nation and was reviewed positively by the American Center for Law and Justice, Liberty Counsel, the Thomas Moore Law Center, Americans United for Life, and Focus on the Family.

SB 529 has also received support from the Georgia Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Color People (NAACP), the Georgia Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Dr. Alveda King, of King for America, and other prominent Georgia ministry leaders in the African American community.

“We are grateful for the support of Governor Huckabee and other national and state leaders both in the faith community and in the African American community who see why we have to do more to protect women from being forced to have abortions against their will,” stated Dan Becker, President of Georgia Right to Life.

Becker also noted, “We need the help of every Georgian to get this bill passed. We have to let our representatives know that in Georgia we belive that discrimination is wrong in the womb and in the workplace.”

Georgia Right to Life (www.grtl.org) promotes respect and effective legal protection for all human life from its earliest biological beginning through natural death. GRTL is one of the numbers of organizations that have adopted Personhood (www.personhood.net) as the most effective pro-life strategy for the 21st century.

For More Information, Please Contact Mike Griffin 706-436-2646

To listen to the message from Governor Huckabee, click here. ( Windows Media Player might be needed or media player to listen to the file.)

Please call your representative and tell him or her to support SB 529 by asking for a vote in committee and on the house floor.

To Find your representative, visit http://www.congress.org/congressorg/state/main/?state=GA

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Gendercide:What Happened to 100 Million Baby Girls?

This article was featured  in the March 4, 2010 print edition of The Economist. The UN also released a report last week confirming these numbers. What is interesting is that while this is a worldwide problem, this article clearly states that this problem of gender selection is happening in America as well. What are your thoughts: should someone be able to kill a child because it’s a girl and he or she wanted a boy?

Gendercide: The War on Baby Girls

Killed, aborted or neglected, at least 100m girls have disappeared—and the number is rising

Mar 4th 2010 | From The Economist print edition

IMAGINE you are one half of a young couple expecting your first child in a fast-growing, poor country. You are part of the new middle class; your income is rising; you want a small family. But traditional mores hold sway around you, most important in the preference for sons over daughters. Perhaps hard physical labour is still needed for the family to make its living. Perhaps only sons may inherit land. Perhaps a daughter is deemed to join another family on marriage and you want someone to care for you when you are old. Perhaps she needs a dowry.

Now imagine that you have had an ultrasound scan; it costs $12, but you can afford that. The scan says the unborn child is a girl. You yourself would prefer a boy; the rest of your family clamours for one. You would never dream of killing a baby daughter, as they do out in the villages. But an abortion seems different. What do you do?

For millions of couples, the answer is: abort the daughter, try for a son. In China and northern India more than 120 boys are being born for every 100 girls. Nature dictates that slightly more males are born than females to offset boys’ greater susceptibility to infant disease. But nothing on this scale.

For those who oppose abortion, this is mass murder. For those such as this newspaper, who think abortion should be “safe, legal and rare” (to use Bill Clinton’s phrase), a lot depends on the circumstances, but the cumulative consequence for societies of such individual actions is catastrophic.

China alone stands to have as many unmarried young men—“bare branches”, as they are known—as the entire population of young men in America. In any country rootless young males spell trouble; in Asian societies, where marriage and children are the recognised routes into society, single men are almost like outlaws. Crime rates, bride trafficking, sexual violence, even female suicide rates are all rising and will rise further as the lopsided generations reach their maturity (see article).

It is no exaggeration to call this gendercide. Women are missing in their millions—aborted, killed, neglected to death. In 1990 an Indian economist, Amartya Sen, put the number at 100m; the toll is higher now. The crumb of comfort is that countries can mitigate the hurt, and that one, South Korea, has shown the worst can be avoided. Others need to learn from it if they are to stop the carnage.

The dearth and death of little sisters

Most people know China and northern India have unnaturally large numbers of boys. But few appreciate how bad the problem is, or that it is rising. In China the imbalance between the sexes was 108 boys to 100 girls for the generation born in the late 1980s; for the generation of the early 2000s, it was 124 to 100. In some Chinese provinces the ratio is an unprecedented 130 to 100. The destruction is worst in China but has spread far beyond. Other East Asian countries, including Taiwan and Singapore, former communist states in the western Balkans and the Caucasus, and even sections of America’s population (Chinese- and Japanese-Americans, for example): all these have distorted sex ratios. Gendercide exists on almost every continent. It affects rich and poor; educated and illiterate; Hindu, Muslim, Confucian and Christian alike.

Wealth does not stop it. Taiwan and Singapore have open, rich economies. Within China and India the areas with the worst sex ratios are the richest, best-educated ones. And China’s one-child policy can only be part of the problem, given that so many other countries are affected.

In fact the destruction of baby girls is a product of three forces: the ancient preference for sons; a modern desire for smaller families; and ultrasound scanning and other technologies that identify the sex of a fetus. In societies where four or six children were common, a boy would almost certainly come along eventually; son preference did not need to exist at the expense of daughters. But now couples want two children—or, as in China, are allowed only one—they will sacrifice unborn daughters to their pursuit of a son. That is why sex ratios are most distorted in the modern, open parts of China and India. It is also why ratios are more skewed after the first child: parents may accept a daughter first time round but will do anything to ensure their next—and probably last—child is a boy. The boy-girl ratio is above 200 for a third child in some places.

How to stop half the sky crashing down

Baby girls are thus victims of a malign combination of ancient prejudice and modern preferences for small families. Only one country has managed to change this pattern. In the 1990s South Korea had a sex ratio almost as skewed as China’s. Now, it is heading towards normality. It has achieved this not deliberately, but because the culture changed. Female education, anti-discrimination suits and equal-rights rulings made son preference seem old-fashioned and unnecessary. The forces of modernity first exacerbated prejudice—then overwhelmed it.

But this happened when South Korea was rich. If China or India—with incomes one-quarter and one-tenth Korea’s levels—wait until they are as wealthy, many generations will pass. To speed up change, they need to take actions that are in their own interests anyway. Most obviously China should scrap the one-child policy. The country’s leaders will resist this because they fear population growth; they also dismiss Western concerns about human rights. But the one-child limit is no longer needed to reduce fertility (if it ever was: other East Asian countries reduced the pressure on the population as much as China). And it massively distorts the country’s sex ratio, with devastating results. President Hu Jintao says that creating “a harmonious society” is his guiding principle; it cannot be achieved while a policy so profoundly perverts family life.

And all countries need to raise the value of girls. They should encourage female education; abolish laws and customs that prevent daughters inheriting property; make examples of hospitals and clinics with impossible sex ratios; get women engaged in public life—using everything from television newsreaders to women traffic police. Mao Zedong said “women hold up half the sky.” The world needs to do more to prevent a gendercide that will have the sky crashing down.

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