Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Valuable Life in Every Circumstance

Everyone can agree, finding a cure for a disability or illness is a reason to celebrate. When Lauren Schaidt saw a headline announcing the elimination of Down syndrome in Denmark, she thought it would be a celebratory article.

“I thought great, they must have found a way to prevent it,” Lauren said.

However, a terrifying trend in society today is eliminating the disabled instead of the disability. As she read the full article, Lauren had a very different reaction.

“I read that it was because they had been aborting the babies who were diagnosed in the womb—I was horrified,” she said.

Abortion rates for babies with Down syndrome in Denmark have reached nearly 100%, eliminating nearly every child with Down syndrome in that country. The problem is not just contained to Denmark. A 2012 University of South Carolina study looked at 25 separate studies about the number of Down syndrome abortions and found an average of 67 percent of children diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb are aborted.

Even though there are endless examples of people living joyful and fulfilling lives with Down syndrome, it is still difficult for today’s culture to see a human person as more than just their disability.

Lauren has her own experience of being seen only for her disability. She was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) as a baby. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is a type of arthritis usually appearing in children under 16 and has varying degrees of severity. It’s also referred to as juvenile idiopathic arthritis. In Lauren’s case, she had to use a wheelchair or crutches throughout most of her childhood and teenage years.

Lauren is now a Spanish teacher at Lutheran High School North in Macomb, Michigan. Several surgeries eventually helped Lauren to walk without assistance. Though she is still affected by arthritis, she can do so many more things than she could have imagined as a child.

Throughout her childhood, Lauren said many people would only focus on the things she could not do, not all the things she can do. People would give her pitying looks or comments as they walked by her. Once she was asked to be a part of a television ad to support research for her condition. She was only five years old, but she remembers how she felt about the experience.

“I had to sit there as someone talked about all the things I was unable to do,” she said. “The intention was good: to support research for this cause. But I didn’t like the way they were portraying my life. I thought, this is not me.”

Lauren remembers telling her mom how she felt about it, and her mom made sure they didn’t run an ad with her in it.

 “Disability itself is a negative, but I didn’t equate that with my life,” Lauren said. “I didn’t want that to be my story. There are so many good parts about my life, too.”

Lauren enjoys telling her story of hope to encourage other people with disabilities and their parents, showing there is more to the story than the disability itself.

“Discovering a disability can be a scary thing, but I want people to know that it can be okay, your child can be okay,” she said. “The big question people ask is: what quality of life do disabled people have? Well, I have a great quality of life. Some people can’t imagine that, but I want to show it to them.”

Suffering, Lauren explained, is poorly understood by our culture that seems to believe the lives of the disabled aren’t worth living, including children with Down syndrome.

“People don’t realize the joy you can experience through pain and suffering,” Lauren said. “Yes, you hope to make it through, but there are also so many blessings along the way.”

Lauren attributed her faith in God as a huge factor in helping her deal with suffering. She said the Bible verse Romans 8:28 is a powerful inspiration for her, because it says that God will bring good out of every circumstance.

Lauren hopes that the many people who are faced with life and death decisions relating to children with Down syndrome or other disabilities can come to realize the important truth: their life always has value.

“Life is always a gift from God,” she said. “In every circumstance or stage.”

Monday, March 25, 2019

Top 10 Abortion Myths: #10

So much of the abortion debate is based on myths, bad assumptions, bad logic, or outright gaslighting through deception. For the rest of 2019 we will highlight one common abortion myth every month. 

#10: Late-term abortions are only for health problems 

The Bottom Line: The Abortion Industry’s own researchers are forced to admit most late-term abortions are for elective reasons.

This myth is highly relevant given current debates over late-term abortion bans and legislation to protect children who survive botched abortions.

Here’s an example of this myth, from the online publication Quartz: “Abortions that happen after the 20th week are typically a medical necessity, research shows, and in most cases, third-trimester abortions are due to severe health danger for the mother, or the fetus.”

The article’s writer, Annalisa Merelli, provides one true citation for her claim, a 1999 study that looks at results of late-term abortions in France. There’s one glaring problem with this citation if you look at who was included in the study: “A consecutive series of 956 terminations of pregnancy performed for fetal anomalies in singleton pregnancies.”

The study only looked at late-term abortions involving children with disabilities; it did not look at all late-term abortions. That’s like claiming 100% of athletes are football players based on watching one football game. Did the journalist even read the brief summary of the study she referred to? Probably not. Also, why does she imply that abortion of children with disabilities is a “medical necessity”?

Where does this laziness originate from? Probably because when late-term abortions are discussed in the media, typically members of the abortion industry are called on and they only talk about children diagnosed with disabilities or extreme medical problems. People who personally profit from abortion are not unbiased, and journalists and others shouldn’t treat their citation-free claims as the gospel truth.

Here’s a prime example of this, from a Planned Parenthood tweet: “Abortion later in pregnancy is rare and often happens under complex circumstances—the kind of situations where a patient and doctor need every medical option available”

Notice the careful use of subjective language: "often." Often they might use the word "many." What do those words mean? There are more than 10,000 abortions every year in the United States after 20 weeks of pregnancy, is 10,000 "rare"? If 10,000 a year is "rare," can you say the smaller proportion of those due to disability can be called "many"? If only a small percentage of those late-term abortions are because of disability, can you describe that reason as "often"? The abortion industry doesn’t cite real statistics to back up their words.

You also won’t see the truly informed members of the abortion industry using the term “most.” That’s because their own research shows most abortions after 20 weeks are done for elective reasons.

The Alan Guttmacher Institute is the abortion industry’s gold standard researcher. Despite their abortion industry ties and former open affiliation with Planned Parenthood, they are often cited in the media as dispassionate, unbiased researchers. They’ve done a recent study on the topic: “Who Seeks Abortions at or After 20 Weeks?”

The study authors admit the topic of late-term abortion hasn’t been studied very well and that most commentary on it involves exceptional cases: “We do not know how accurately these narratives characterize the circumstances of women who seek later abortions for reasons other than fetal anomaly or life endangerment. But data suggest that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.”

Their study looks at that group of “most women” who have late-term abortions to determine their reasons, and their study found they fit one of five profiles:
  • Women raising children alone
  • Women who are depressed or using drugs
  • Women in conflict with a male partner or experiencing domestic violence
  • Women who had trouble deciding
  • Young women with several children 

While we can sympathize with the very real conflicts these women might be facing, the compassionate response is not to take the life of a child who can either survive outside of the womb or who is a week or two away from it. Those five reasons would never justify the infanticide of a preemie at the same age as a child in the womb facing abortion.

A comprehensive study on the reasons women have late-term abortions may never be forthcoming. Only the abortion industry has reliable access to these women, and putting direct numbers to the issue that can be cited in legislatures and the media will harm their mission of supporting abortion. It’s not in their interest to share a personal story about a young woman who already has two children who decided to have a late-term abortion.

Those purposefully spreading this myth are highly cynical, because they won’t condemn late-term abortions for elective reasons. If you proposed to Planned Parenthood that we should ban any late-term abortions that don’t involve a child with a disability, they will not agree. They support abortion for any reason and use people with disabilities as an excuse to distract people from their real intent.

There's one remaining problem for the abortion industry with this myth. Let's accept it at face value. Let's also ignore the fact that a diagnosis of disability may be mistaken or a health problem may not be as profound as doctors predict. Polling shows a majority of Americans do not think abortion should be legal in the third trimester if the child has a mental disability or even a life-threatening medical condition.

Let the voice of the people be heard!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Senator Stabenow: Stop Misleading Your Constituents!

Gaslighting is ugly. Gaslighting is when a person uses manipulative techniques to get another person to question their perception of the truth.

On February 25, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow voted to filibuster the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. The bill she voted against does exactly what the bill title suggests, and many of her upset constituents contacted her about her vote.

Senator Stabenow’s lackluster constituent responses have become a Michigan legend. Her prolife constituents are used to having their opinion be ignored or glossed over in her response. However, this time Senator Stabenow’s response crossed a line. She gets the legislation so wrong that people are now questioning their own basic understanding of the facts.

Many people have contacted us because of her response, asking if they understand the Born-Alive Act correctly. They do. Does Senator Stabenow?

Here’s Senator Stabenow’s description of the Born-Alive Act: “S. 311, which was recently before the Senate, addressed much more narrow circumstances when there is a medical tragedy late in a woman’s pregnancy. These are circumstances where a woman wants her baby and faces a heart-wrenching medical decision because something went wrong late in her pregnancy—not because of a ‘botched abortion.’ In these rare incidences, I believe a woman, her family, and her doctor are the appropriate people to make critical medical decisions, not politicians in Washington.”


The bill addresses any circumstance where an attempted abortion results in the birth of a live infant, regardless of the infant’s health status.

Is Senator Stabenow suggesting that every late-term abortion involves a “wanted” baby who is diagnosed with a disability or fatal medical disorder? Even pro-abortion researchers are forced to admit that most abortions after 20 weeks don’t involve the infant having a disability or medical condition.

The critical section of the Born-Alive Act is short enough for anyone to read: “Any health care practitioner present at the time the child is born alive shall exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age; and following the exercise of skill, care, and diligence required under subparagraph (A), ensure that the child born alive is immediately transported and admitted to a hospital.”

That’s simple. A child born-alive after an abortion at, say, 24 weeks deserves the same treatment as a preemie born at 24 weeks. Who could disagree with that?

Well, the abortionist could. The abortionist is paid to make the baby dead, not end the pregnancy with a live birth. The prolife movement is aware of situations where the abortionist just lets an infant die, whether it’s denying life-saving care or even basic humane comfort care to the now-dying infant. Under the federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act of 2002, the abortionist can simply say it was decided that the child wasn’t worth saving, and that’s that. It’s difficult to hold the abortionist legally accountable for his unequal treatment of a child marked for death by abortion.

Senator Stabenow didn’t object to the 2002 version. When her response says the abortionist and the woman should decide the fate of the child, she means there should be no real penalty if the abortionist ignores his medical training to opt to let the child die of neglect. When an older infant—disabled or healthy—is left to die of neglect, society takes that seriously and calls it out for what it is: infanticide.

Senator Stabenow’s response is so bad that people are becoming less informed by reading it.

The Born-Alive Act doesn’t force dying infants to be put on ventilators, as some claimed during debate on the bill. All the bill does is require an abortion survivor to be treated with the same dignity and care as other preemies would. If a preemie would receive a treatment in a certain case, so should the infant who survived the botched abortion. The bill says the infants must be transferred to a facility equipped to provide proper medical care, which a Planned Parenthood abortion facility generally isn’t equipped to provide.

If the pro-abortion senators thought the legislation was sloppily-worded, they could have proposed a clarifying amendment. When confronted with the real problem of infants who might survive the abortion attempt being left to die, pro-abortion senators like Debbie Stabenow choose to ignore it, lest any abortionist be held accountable.

Is Senator Stabenow purposefully gaslighting her constituents, cynically hoping they won’t do something simple like look up the text of the bill online, or look up real statistics on reasons women have late-term abortions? Maybe. Our best guess is she is clumsily repeating talking points handed to her by Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry. Has she even taken the time to read the bill?

So often, the response from the abortion industry to important issues involves lies and deception, to the point that their own supporters—as well as members of the media and elected officials—believe the talking points rather than facts and reality. These aren’t honest mistakes, but a concerted effort to turn otherwise intelligent people into incompetent people dependent on the abortion industry for their views, even on cut and dry issues like saying infanticide is bad or believing babies deserve equal medical treatment.

This leads us to ask one more important question: who does Senator Stabenow really believe she answers to? The people of Michigan, or the abortion industry? If she can’t agree with most of her constituents on an issue like protecting actually born infants, the least she can do is stop misleading them.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Dismemberment Abortion Ban Introduced in Michigan

***Editor's Note: The bills were introduced in the Michigan Senate on March 19—SB 229 & SB 230***

Legislation to ban dismemberment abortions in Michigan was introduced today in the Michigan House.

House Bills 4320 and 4321 would amend Michigan’s 2011 ban on partial-birth abortions by including the dismemberment abortion procedure, also known as a dilation and evacuation abortion (D&E).

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “These bills are Michigan’s response to New York’s abortion law and other states seeking to explicitly allow abortions through all nine months of pregnancy for any reason.”

Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy accurately described dismemberment/D&E abortions in his opinions in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions on partial-birth abortion in Gonzales v. Carhart (2007) and Stenberg v. Carhart (2000).

In Gonzales, Justice Kennedy wrote, “The doctor, often guided by ultrasound, inserts grasping forceps through the woman’s cervix and into the uterus to grab the fetus. The doctor grips a fetal part with the forceps and pulls it back through the cervix and vagina, continuing to pull even after meeting resistance from the cervix. The friction causes the fetus to tear apart. For example, a leg might be ripped off the fetus as it is pulled through the cervix and out of the woman.”

In Stenberg, Justice Kennedy wrote, “The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn from limb from limb. The fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off.”

Listing said, “In his opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy rightly said that dismemberment abortions are ‘laden with the power to devalue human life.’ Tearing the arms and legs off children in the later stages of pregnancy is not a good reflection of our Michigan values.”

The dismemberment abortion procedure is the most frequently-used late-term abortion procedure in America and Michigan. In 2017, there were 1,777 dismemberment abortions in Michigan reported to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Of those, 98 percent occurred in the second trimester, between 13 and 24 weeks of pregnancy.

In published research on reasons women have abortions, the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute has stated that most late-term abortions are done for elective reasons.

In a 2013 study, the authors admitted, “But data suggest that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.”

Listing said, “Opinion polls routinely show a majority of Americans believe late-term abortions should be illegal. Dismemberment abortions are obvious violence and that’s not how we should be treating our own children.”

Background Information

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Missing Women's History

Susan B. Anthony, prolife lady
(photo courtesy of
Women’s history month was instituted to celebrate the important role women have had in building history. This month celebrates women who have made famous impacts in fighting for justice and equality like Susan B. Anthony and Harriet Tubman, as well as the many unrecognized efforts of women throughout history whose names are unknown.

During this month, we cannot forget the group of women who have been by far the most unrecognized and undervalued in all of history: the nearly 30 million women in America whose lives were taken from them in the womb since 1973.

Many speak about abortion as if it liberates women. In reality, abortion is a tool for discriminating against women. According to one estimate, more than 160 million women around the globe were denied the chance to impact the world because of sex-selection abortions and infanticides in recent decades. Women's organizations should be outraged; it's alarmingly unjust that tens of millions of women’s lives ended simply because they were female instead of male.

Several cultures have strong social or economic forces that lead to a preference for having sons rather than daughters. Some of these cultures have strict population control policies that encourage or even coerce parents to limit the number of children they have (for example, China’s two-child policy). This leads to birth rates in many countries being higher for boys than for girls as families strive to make sure that first or second child is a boy. China’s 2005 census data showed a sex-ratio at birth of 1.18 boys.

India’s 2011 census showed a ratio of 1.09 boys for every 1 girl aged 0-6. The problem has become so stark it's a crime in India to use an ultrasound to learn the sex of your unborn child.

Abortion makes it easy for parents to pick and choose which lives are worth keeping; in many millions of cases the lives of females are not the ones chosen to keep alive.

Sadly this is not a new issue, and for many years before abortion became widely available, baby girls would often be tragically left to die by many parents who felt they needed a boy instead. This still occurs in some countries today with alarming regularity. Some may see that as more horrifying than having an abortion, but both options end the child’s life.

In recent weeks, many U.S. politicians including 44 U.S. Senators have sent the message that they too see no difference in ending a child’s life before or after birth. If the child is unwanted by the birth parents and targeted for abortion—as is the case for many millions of baby girls around the world— they see no problem with infanticide through neglect if the abortion happens to fail and results in a live birth.

So many politicians, celebrities, and of course, Planned Parenthood, widely praise abortion as the foundation of women’s rights, but by doing so they ignore the stories of hundreds of millions of women who were denied the most basic right to life. Abortion is a tool used over and over for discrimination and targeting of vulnerable lives deemed "unwanted." So much more women's history would be made if we simply valued the life of every little girl.