Thursday, April 30, 2009

Justice Souter to step down; Obama will make first Court pick

Reportedly, U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter will retire after the current term ends in June. That means President Obama will make his first nomination to the Court -- something pro-life advocates have been dreading. The fate of the Court (and, with it, Roe v. Wade) was a major reason why the '08 presidential election was so consequential.

Most think that the Court is currently divided 5 to 4 in favor of upholding Roe v. Wade and a Constitutional right to abortion (Justices Scalia and Thomas are sure bets against Roe, and Roberts and Alito, I hope, would vote to overturn Roe). Souter is one of the five pro-Roe justices, so replacing him with another pro-Roe justice won't alter the balance on the Court. But it will put a (probably) young, probably very pro-Roe justice on the Court for perhaps the next few decades.

It will be interesting to see how far left the president chooses to go with his first nomination, and how the Senate will react in the confirmation hearings. Here's one early prediction for Obama's nominee -- a "scary liberal," of course.

President Obama's (devastating) first 100 days

100 days into the era of the most pro-abortion president in American history, the administration's key "achievements" include:

Still to come on the agenda for President Obama and his allies:

  • Stem cell research legislation (possibly soon) that would allow federal funds to be used for research with human embryos created by cloning, specifically for the purpose of being killed for research.
  • Health care "reform" (probably this summer) with mandates that all insurers cover abortion on demand, and which will also likely result in the rationing of care and lead to euthanasia for the most vulnerable.
  • Attempts to rid appropriations bills of pro-life provisions, like the Hyde Amendment prohibiting federal funding of most abortions, known to save many lives from abortion.
  • Federal judges and Supreme Court nominees utterly committed to the idea that the Constitution requires a nationwide policy of abortion on demand (Obama has already begun with nominee David Hamilton).
  • Ultimately, the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), the pro-lifer's worst nightmare.

Interestingly, last night the president was asked about FOCA. He promised during the campaign that signing FOCA would be the "first thing" he'd do as president, but now he says FOCA "is not my highest legislative priority." Reuters and Jill Stanek have more.

The president also said he had been "consistent" in his position on abortion. "In fact, it is the only position thus far that has not come with an expiration date," notes Erick Erickson. I think, given political and pragmatic considerations, Obama's presidential actions to date are exactly what one would expect from someone wholly, unequivocally opposed to respect and protection for human beings in their earliest stages of development.

Dave Andrusko at NRLC reflects on Obama's first 100 days, and Jill Stanek carefully tracks Obama's "100 days of death."

Update: In commenting on the first 100 days, the Susan B. Anthony List notes that Obama has already accomplished 10 of 15 goals laid out for him by abortion advocacy groups in a December report.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My debate reaction: Abortionist begged the question

Two weeks ago at the University of Minnesota, Stephanie Gray (a wonderful pro-life apologist from the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform) debated local Minnesota abortionist Dr. David Baram on the question of whether abortion is a human right or a human rights violation. In response to the event, I wrote the following short letter to the editor of the U of M's student newspaper, the Minnesota Daily, and it was published on April 19. The letter generated a good deal of online commentary and discussion, which you can find here.
I attended the campus event Wednesday night offering two perspectives on the abortion issue. During the question and answer period, I asked Dr. David Baram, representing the pro-choice side, to point to some morally relevant difference between unborn humans and humans who have already been born, such that we may kill the former but not the latter for the same reasons.

Rather than answer my question, he repeated a line he had used throughout the evening: “Abortion is a woman’s decision.”

But this commits a logical fallacy known as begging the question — it assumes the very point Baram needed to prove. Clearly, it is not “a woman’s decision” to murder her toddler; the question at hand is whether the unborn, like the toddler, deserves full moral respect and ought not to be killed for the convenience or benefit of another. Baram’s answer was “no,” but he never offered an argument for this position — not through the entire debate.

It is disappointing to see Baram — and, it seemed, the vast majority of his pro-choice debate cheerleaders — relying on such intellectually superficial rhetoric. It is not worthy of academia.

Press Release: Taxpayer funded abortions upheld in Minnesota House, Senate votes

The following news release was issued on April 27, 2009.

ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives today refused to ban taxpayer funded abortions. In separate votes, members of each chamber voted down legislation to ban taxpayer funded abortions, which cost taxpayers $1.58 million in 2007.

“State lawmakers failed to correct the abortion industry’s egregious misuse of taxpayer funds,” said MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. “Voting to force taxpayers to pay for elective abortions is not a middle-ground position for any lawmaker; it is extreme.”

Read the rest of this story.

Press Release: Legislature votes to ban funding for human cloning

The following news release was issued on April 22, 2009.

Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) today gave high marks to the Minnesota House and Senate for banning public funding of human cloning. The House today voted 71-60 to pass an amendment virtually identical to the Senate’s Apr. 17 voice vote to outlaw taxpayer funding of human cloning.

“The Legislature has wisely ruled it unconscionable to fund the cloning of human life,” said MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. “MCCL is pleased that state lawmakers have established a clear ethical boundary which upholds the integrity of the human embryo and opposes the commodification of the human body.”

Read the rest of this story.

MCCL launches pro-life weblog

Today Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL), Minnesota's oldest and largest pro-life organization, launches this weblog, which will serve as a new front in our mission to secure protection for innocent human life from conception until natural death through effective education, legislation and political action.

Myself and other MCCL staff members will contribute occasional links, commentary, analysis and so forth on issues and news stories pertaining to the right to life. MCCL press releases will be posted here, as will any videos we may post on our YouTube channel. During the legislative session, our lobbyists may provide details on key happenings at the state Capitol in St. Paul.

Here you will find the latest and most important developments regarding abortion, euthanasia, infanticide and embryo-destructive research. We hope this blog will be a forum for learning about and discussing these key issues and related political and legislative actions.

We welcome you to comment at, or you may email me directly at Click here for more contact information. Thank you!