Planned Parenthood foiled again

If a picture is worth a thousand words an undercover video may eventually be worth hundreds of millions of withdrawn taxpayer dollars. At least that’s the hope of Lila Rose of LiveAction. As a result of her diligence, Planned Parenthood finds itself in yet another sticky situation. Each time LiveAction comes out with another video exposé, I think: surely this must be the last one. You know, fool me once, shame on you, fool me six times… ? How slow can a multi-million-dollar non-profit trans-national conglomerate actually be?

This latest sting brings the total up to something like six P.R. nightmares for the abortion behemoth with no apparent counter-strikes. Just as the buzz begins to subside from the previous debacle caught-on-camera, yet another accommodating Planned Parenthood employee unwittingly provides LiveAction with enough unscripted moral bankruptcy for a juicy sequel – and is promptly fired for it.

This time, a Planned Parenthood counselor is caught red-handed aiding and abetting a young woman (a LiveAction actor) who says she’s pregnant and wants a boy but will have an abortion if the baby turns out to be a girl. Yesterday’s release is apparently only the first in what LiveAction indicates will be a series of videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s willingness to participate in sex-selective abortions.

You have to wonder what the damage-control meetings at PP headquarters must be like with each new LiveAction release. Upper level P.R. directors have got be getting a bit annoyed at what has become a persistent thorn in their side; no doubt keenly aware that a sympathetic media can only repair so much self-inflicted destruction,

In a valiant effort, Laura Bassett, for example, with the Huffington Post, parrots Planned Parenthood’s preferred script by characterizing the operation as a “hoax investigation” leaving the impression that the whole thing was something of a joke. If so, LiveAction continues to get the last laugh, leaving Planned Parenthood and the media to clean up a tarnished public image.

Commenting on the video, Bassett suggests that:

The staffer answers all of the woman’s questions honestly and makes it clear that Planned Parenthood will not deny the woman an abortion despite her reasons for wanting to have one. At the end, she directs the woman to an ob-gyn for an ultrasound and says, “Good luck, and I hope you do get your boy.”

Which then prompts this response from a Huffington reader:

Honest answers = encouragement? No wonder they are scared of decent sex ed!
Seriously, for the staffer to give other than honest answers is unethical. For her to chastise a patient would be equally unethical. – been2there

Hence, the classic rock and hard place. What tends to get lost in the hubbub is the fact that it is the very logic on which pro-choice doctrine rests that leads to the conundrum Planned Parenthood finds itself wrestling with in this and other LiveAction videos.

The simple reality is that if pro-choice logic is correct, then sex-selection abortion should be as morally permissible as any other abortion – which is exactly how the now famous PP staffer responds to the situation. If the human fetus lacks some significant moral quality (let’s call it “personhood”) that a baby possesses then abortion should be morally acceptable for any reason. If not, then pro-choice proponents have a problem. LiveAction videos demonstrate the latter in a way that the spin-meisters at Planned Parenthood can’t figure out how to effectively deal with.

According to Planned Parenthood Vice President Leslie Kantor, the staffer “did not follow our protocol for providing information and guidance when presented with a highly unusual patient scenario.” Kantor’s statement goes on to note that:

Within three days of this patient interaction, the staff member’s employment was ended and all staff members at this affiliate were immediately scheduled for retraining in managing unusual patient encounters. Today opponents of Planned Parenthood are promoting an edited video of that hoax patient encounter.

No information is given in the statement regarding what specific “protocol” the now unemployed staffer violated or how “retraining” will correct the problem. Nevertheless, the statement suggests that LiveAction is “now using edited videotapes to promote false claims about our organization and patient services” – a difficult claim to support in light of what the staffer is clearly seen doing and saying in the video.

Regardless, Kantor suggests that:

Gender bias is contrary to everything our organization works for daily in communities across the country. Planned Parenthood opposes racism and sexism in all forms, and we work to advance equity and human rights in the delivery of health care. Planned Parenthood condemns sex selection motivated by gender bias, and urges leaders to challenge the underlying conditions that lead to these beliefs and practices, including addressing the social, legal, economic, and political conditions that promote gender bias and lead some to value one gender over the other.

While condemning “gender-bias,” an unnamed Planned Parenthood spokeswoman (apparently Kantor) reportedly told the Huffington Post, that Planned Parenthood’s policy:

…is to provide “high quality, confidential, nonjudgmental care to all who come into” its health centers. That means that no Planned Parenthood clinic will deny a woman an abortion based on her reasons for wanting one, except in those states that explicitly prohibit sex-selective abortions (Arizona, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Illinois).

If Planned Parenthood will not “deny a woman an abortion based on her reason for wanting one,” it would seem that “gender-bias” is as good as any other reason.

What is most remarkable in all this is the fact that Planned Parenthood is no slouch when it comes to buttressing and embellishing its public persona. One need only look at the speed, precision and level of coordination in the recent Susan G. Komen shakedown to see how ruthlessly effective the Planned Parenthood revenge Juggernaut can be when firing on all cylinders. So why the lack of an effective counter-attack in the face of what is by comparison a tiny pro-life group?

Apparently, even millions of taxpayer dollars have a hard time erasing what hidden cameras reveal.

More from Amplify: the religious fallacy

by Roger Resler

Continuing with my responses to “10 Arguments in Favor of Pro-Choice Policy” from Amplify Your

7. Religious ideology is no foundation for any law. Freedom of religion is guaranteed to any citizen in the United States; so why would the beliefs and values of one religion mandate actual laws for all citizens? It would be unfair, unjust and immoral. We do not have laws against eating fish, nor do we have laws that declare it is legal to sell one’s daughter, rape someone, or keep a person as a slave—all things that are promoted in religious text.

This argument will receive special attention. I apologize in advance for the length of this post. This is one of my pet peeves. It is an especially egregious falsehood because it is doubly wrong. It falsely accuses its opposition of what it is guilty of itself.

Ironically, pro-choice proponents are rarely challenged on their hypocritical use of this argument, despite resorting to it often.

Let’s start with the silly stuff first. Amplify suggests that:

“We do not have laws against eating fish, nor do we have laws that declare it is legal to sell one’s daughter, rape someone, or keep a person as a slave—all things that are promoted in religious text.”

No pro-life leader or organization promotes or propagates these things which explains why Amplify doesn’t support this allegation with citations. To blithely declare that these are all “things that are promoted in religious text” is a dishonest attempt to associate pro-life people with archaic and barbaric practices that have nothing to do with a pro-life position. This  argument is patently dishonest on its face and should be abandoned.

Such tactics will likely backfire since the real hypocrisy of painting one’s opponents in a false light is difficult to conceal.  Why the need to define one’s opposition as something they are not? I suspect it’s because the actual reasons for being pro-choice aren’t very good reasons.

On to the more important allegation.

Amplify suggests that a good reason to be pro-choice is that “Religious ideology is no foundation for any law.” In the first place, the assertion is simply false. Whether or not pro-choice proponents approve, laws in western culture have been founded on the Judeo-Christian ethic and go back to the Ten Commandments.

But the more important point is that the implication that being pro-life is unequivocally religious is also false. While many pro-life people are religious, it is a mistake to assume the pro-life position is inherently religious or necessarily bound to religious ideology, much less that of a specific religion. It is not. Ultimately the pro-life position is based on observable biological data; whereas the pro-choice position rests on controversial, metaphysical dogma. Yet the pro-choice community is fond of claiming that science is on its side in a battle with the “religious right.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

Here is a classic example of pro-choice deception from the Pro-choice Action Network of Canada:

Personhood at conception is a religious belief, not a provable biological fact.

Religious communities have differing ideas on the definition of “person” or when abortion is morally justified. In the Canadian courts, however, a fetus has consistently been found not to be a person with legal rights. – PCAN, Canada

Notice how the burden of proof regarding the ambiguity of personhood is implied to lie with the pro-life community? Personhood, whether beginning at conception or not, is indeed “a religious belief, not a provable biological fact” (!) but the pro-life position does not rest on it! The pro-choice position does! Unfortunately, this backwards reasoning has become widely accepted to the point where it is now being taken for granted by many people.

Amplify suggests that, “It would be unfair, unjust and immoral” for the law to be founded on “the beliefs and values of one religion.” In a pluralistic society that might be true if the law required something out of the ordinary for purely religious reasons, such as making it illegal not to recite a certain number of Hail-Mary’s. That would be an unacceptable form of religious imposition. But the same religion that believes in reciting Hail-Mary’s also promotes the idea that murder is wrong or that stealing is wrong. Should we eliminate laws against murder and stealing because religious people who recite Hail-Mary’s believe it is wrong to murder and steal? Of course not.

What is ultimately “unfair, unjust and immoral” is to kill innocent human life. Atheists can agree with that assertion. So then, the relevant question becomes: does abortion kill an innocent human life? Without question, the answer is yes. There is no disputing this; at least not rationally.

Instead, what most often occurs is that pro-choice proponents attempt to separate the metaphysical concept of “personhood” from the tangible reality of a living human being. Without scientific support (as admitted by the Canadian article just cited), they suggest that the concept of being a “person” is the critically absent factor in a living human fetus that justifies abortion on demand. Abortion is perfectly acceptable, they inform us, because the fetus is not yet a “person.” Well there you go! Moral conundrum solved! All we need to know is when does a fetus become a “person” and the abortion controversy is history! So when, according to brilliant pro-choice thinkers, does that magical point occur? Answer: They don’t know and can’t agree. The result is that the answer varies depending on whatever point happens to suit their purposes at the moment. For Sarah Weddington, arguing in Roe v. Wade, the magical point occurred at birth. Justice Blackmun, writing the majority opinion, was much more ambiguous, suggesting that viability – which is not really a point – had more significance.

However, by noting in Roe v. Wade, that “the unborn have never been recognized in the law as persons in the whole sense,” pro-choice Justice Blackmun inadvertently implied that the unborn are at least persons in a partial sense.

This is an amazingly tenuous line of reasoning. In the first place, it can’t be demonstrated that such a thing as a “human non-person” exists in reality, yet Roe v. Wade collapses if not. To make matters worse, Justice Blackmun implies that “personhood” might be acquired by humans in degrees. Extending the benefit of the doubt to this wild speculation begs the question of how much “personhood” is required in order to justify laws against intentional destruction of actual human fetuses? This, in turn, raises the absurdity of how to measure quantities of “personhood.”

Any answer is, of course, arbitrary and subjective. Not surprisingly, Justice Blackmun didn’t attempt an answer. As a consequence, pro-choice proponents rest their logic on the unproven and unprovable, metaphysical dogma of “personhood” in order to justify the position they take on abortion – ironically the very thing they falsely accuse pro-life proponents of doing. The concept of “personhood” becomes critical to the morality of their position – but not the pro-life position!

The pro-choice crowd, aided by the power of the media, Hollywood and academia has legitimately hoodwinked the public on this point for forty years! We’ve bought into the ridiculous notion that the pro-life position depends on the twisted logic that was developed by pro-choice proponents in an effort to bring their own desired position closer to some semblance of coherence. It doesn’t. “Personhood” is the mess created by Sarah Weddington, Justice Harry Blackmun and their pro-choice disciples. It’s their bed. They have to sleep in it. Not pro-lifers.

The problem for pro-choice proponents is that personhood is an inherently metaphysical and subjective idea developed with fluctuating and arbitrary criteria that can’t even be universally agreed upon among pro-choice proponents. For example, radical philosopher Michael Tooley thinks that born babies aren’t persons until they acquire the ability to have “interests.” One-upping Tooley in the race of philosophers-gone-wild are Alberto Guibilini and Francesca Minerva who argue for what they casually refer to as “After-birth abortion.” The abstract from their 2011 Journal of Medical Ethics article says it all:

Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.

After the initial jolt, incredulous observers suspected a devious pro-life attempt at parody in this unusually sterile defense of premeditated, postnatal murder. Yet these philosophers were chillingly serious. In a classic case of pathological lack of empathy, the pair weren’t terribly concerned with whether or not the tangible, living newborn has any actual “interests” (like continuing to live) but whether he or she is capable of cognitive awareness of any interests he or she might possess:

We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her.

Having moved sufficiently beyond the suddenly dangerous neonatal stage themselves, Guibilini and Minerva retroactively define and then arbitrarily deny their younger peers “moral status as actual persons” while also candidly admitting “it is hard to exactly determine when a subject starts or ceases to be a ‘person.'” Undaunted by the difficulty of pinpointing the presence of personhood (as they define it) and the annoying moral implications accompanying the resulting ambiguity, they, nonetheless, reason that since neither newborns nor fetuses possess this elusive but critical quality (or at least, one presumes, a sufficient amount of it) then “killing a newborn” is perfectly acceptable.

Shocking as this rightfully should be, this is exactly where pro-choice logic leads. Guibilini and Minerva may advocate barbarity, but at least it’s logically consistent barbarity.

One can sympathize with the unexpected dichotomy this forces onto unsuspecting pro-choice laymen who’ve mindlessly parroted the religious fallacy for decades as though it somehow supports their decision to be pro-choice. Perhaps inadvertently, or perhaps not, Guibilini and Minerva substantiate the pro-life assertion that there is no significant moral difference between a human fetus and a human baby:

In spite of the oxymoron in the expression, we propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion’, rather than ‘infanticide’, to emphasise that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus (on which ‘abortions’ in the traditional sense are performed) rather than to that of a child. Therefore, we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be.

Overlooking the nonsensical notion that a “newborn” could be “the individual killed” while simultaneously not a “child,” Guibilini and Minerva at least candidly acknowledge what other pro-choice proponents have emphatically denied since Roe first rolled off the presses: that a human fetus and a human baby are essentially the same thing from a moral standpoint.

The unintended upshot is that there is no longer any logical way to remain pro-choice without either resorting to arbitrary, metaphysical ideas that are contradicted by common sense or venturing into full-scale barbarism. Either abortion on demand is acceptable because there is something radically, morally different about the human in the womb as contrasted with a newborn (metaphysical concept), or there is no demonstrable moral difference but pro-choice proponents want the freedom to kill it anyway (barbarism) whether inside the womb or not.

Of course Guibilini and Minerva merely suggest that the magical point at which a sufficient amount of personhood is obtained occurs sometime after birth. Such theorizing illustrates the inherent problem with the “personhood” standard in the first place.

There is no question that humans in the womb are human. Humans can only reproduce other humans. There is no question that humans in the womb are alive. If abortion does not kill the occupant of the womb then pregnancy continues – which makes the debate over when human life begins an irrelevant side show. It doesn’t matter when human life begins since it obviously already began at some point before an induced abortion is required to kill it.

Pro-choice proponents tell us it’s okay to kill the living human in the womb because it either does not kill a “person” or it does not kill a “person in the whole sense” (they can’t agree on which). It’s time we challenge the purveyors of this metaphysical nonsense to conclusively prove it using the scientific method. No philosophical drivel. No semantic word games. No legal loopholes. Just documented, peer-reviewed, repeatable observation. Good luck with that.

It is the obligation of those who wish to retain the right to intentionally destroy human fetuses, under the moral assumption that they are not “persons,” to conclusively demonstrate the correctness of that critical premise of their argument.

Until then, pro-life people and independents who haven’t fallen for pro-choice propaganda will work to pass laws under the reasonable assumption that the pro-choice dogma of “personhood” is an unacceptable religious imposition designed to benefit one group of humans at the expense of another more vulnerable group of humans.

Roger Resler is an author, researcher & media producer for Truth In Depth Productions.

More from Amplify: Motive Fallacy

By Roger Resler

Continuing with my responses to “10 Arguments in Favor of Pro-Choice Policy” from Amplify Your

8. The politicians “pro-lifers” so ardently support are only after one thing: self-interest.The majority of them are not “pro-life” because they agree with you; they are because they know you will continue to vote for them—and they know that making women remain pregnant not only takes away their power, but it also keeps them busy, in line, controlled, as well as a baking factory for their failing economy. The more people they have to rule over, the more they have to work and buy. Period.

This is an example of a “Motive Fallacy” which attempts to shift the debate to a question of motives rather than the actual issue. Instead of actually defending the pro-choice position, this argument shifts attention to a mischaracterization of the opposition’s motives.

This is also the point where pro-choice arguments begin to lose any semblance of credibility. It is simply insanity to claim that pro-life politicians use the abortion issue as a means of controlling women and keeping themselves in office. It is demeaning to sincere, pro-life elected officials who care about innocent unborn children. It would be like arguing that abolitionists really didn’t care about the plight of slaves. It is simply disingenuous and, in my view, illustrates the weakness of the pro-choice case when these types of reasons are given as the best reasons to be pro-choice.

Beyond that, the logic makes no sense. In the first place, no one is “making women remain pregnant.” Pregnancy is always a temporary condition. Pro-life people just want it to end naturally, with a live baby rather than a dead one. Seems like a reasonable desire to me.

In the second place, pregnancy may keep a woman “busy” (or better stated, “tied down”) for a few months, but it certainly can’t control her. Even if she decides to raise the child herself, there are still ways to pursue a career while raising children. Many women do so and to suggest that pregnancy forces women into subjection is demeaning to women.

Suggesting that pro-life politicians want abortion to be illegal so they can control women is about as ridiculous as suggesting that Mothers Against Drunk Driving want stiff DUI laws because they secretly want to control alcoholics. It’s a ridiculous allegation.In both cases, the concern is to save human lives. What a radical notion!

Bottom line? Pro-life people do not force women to get pregnant. Pregnancy is temporary. And pregnancy is not an effective means of controlling women.

This “reason” to be pro-choice is about the goofiest reason I’ve seen yet. If you’re pro-choice, do you really believe this stuff? Maybe it’s time to grow up.

Roger Resler is an author, researcher & media producer for Truth In Depth Productions.

More from Amplify: It’s not about contraceptives

by Roger Resler

Continuing with my responses to “10 Arguments in Favor of Pro-Choice Policy” from Amplify Your

9. If people want to stop abortion, they should turn to methods that do work. These include comprehensive sex education and safe, affordable contraceptives. Unfortunately, as illogical as it sounds, the people who are most against abortion are also often most against these preventative measures. If they truly wanted to reduce the number of abortions that occur, they would embrace these methods.

Many pro-life people are against contraceptives for religious reasons. I am not one of them but I respect the rights of those who are. Pro-choice people often preach tolerance. They should practice it when it comes to those who avoid contraceptive use for religious reasons. People who are opposed to contraceptives on religious grounds are usually not the ones having abortions. If they oppose contraceptive use, then they nearly always oppose abortion.

So why do pro-choice people make a big deal about it? It’s part of a tactic to paint pro-lifers as backward, religious hypocrites whose real goal is to control women. But this is ridiculous. Contraceptives are widely available and no one is complaining or trying to ban them. Some churches discourage their use among their membership, but that’s about it.

Margaret Sanger – Founder of Planned Parenthood

Ironically, Margaret Sanger, champion of birth-control, darling of many modern feminists and founder of Planned Parenthood, was opposed to abortion. That was not a typo. The founder of Planned Parenthood believed abortion is morally wrong! In typical fashion, she didn’t mince words:

Although abortion may be resorted to in order to save the life of the mother, the practice of it merely for limitation of offspring is dangerous and viscous I bring up the subject here only because some ill-informed persons have the notion that when we speak of birth control we include abortion as a method. We certainly do not. Abortion destroys the already fertilized ovum or the embryo; contraception, as I have carefully explained, prevents the fertilizing of the ovum by keeping the male cells away. Thus it prevents the beginning of life. – Margaret Sanger, “Birth Control Advances: A Reply to the Pope,” 1931, Margaret Sanger Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College MSM S71-243.

Today’s Planned Parenthood execs would do well to follow the logic of their founder when it comes to abortion. Sanger lived at a time when contraceptives were illegal. She advocated for the legalization of contraceptives as a means of reducing or even eliminating abortion. It’s ironic that birth control has been legal for many decades and yet we’re still talking about how it is supposedly the magic cure for abortion. Radical idea: maybe the real cure for abortion is abstaining from sex until marriage. Borrowing the stated logic of Amplify Your Voice: if pro-choice folks “truly wanted to reduce the number of abortions that occur,” perhaps they should consider the efficacy of just saying no.

Parents may also oppose sex-education in school because they want to instruct their children on such a personal matter and believe that sex-education in schools sends a message to kids that pre-marital sex is okay, which is often contrary to their religious beliefs, not to mention the related health risks. There is nothing sinister or hypocritical in the desire to educate one’s own children in the matter of sex and in adherence to one’s religious beliefs and health concerns, yet that’s the impression given by the Amplify article.

As far as contraceptives go, I and many other pro-life proponents would say, if it’s impossible for you to abstain from sex outside of marriage (which it isn’t, by the way), then, by all means, use contraceptives. But don’t attempt to use the fact that some religious groups oppose the use of contraceptives among their own membership as an excuse for the fact that you are now pregnant and want an abortion.

Roger Resler is an author, researcher & media producer for Truth In Depth Productions.

Good reasons to be pro-choice?

by Roger Resler

For this post and several future posts I will respond to pro-choice arguments presented on a website called Amplify Your Voice. I welcome comments and feedback from anyone so long as they stay within the “good exchange of ideas” realm. Fair warning: as the unimpeachable blog dictator, I will mercilessly exercise omnipotent control over content on this site. Essentially, if I like your comment, it will see the light of day. If not, it will be forever banned to outer darkness (followed by maniacal laughter). So… with that in mind, let’s get started.

The voices wishing to be amplified at Amply Your are no doubt backed up by sincerely held beliefs. The problem is, “sincerely held” does not necessarily equate to rational. Case in point:  “10 Arguments in Favor of Pro-Choice Policy.” Let’s begin with the first point which is actually #10:

10. Laws against abortion do not stop abortion; they simply make it less safe. The number of women who get abortions does not change when it goes from being legal to illegal, or vice versa. The only thing that changes is more women die. Every year, 78,000 women die from unsafe abortions.

With all due respect, this is propaganda. The 78,000 figure is cited with no supporting data, but it’s interesting to note that Amplify is claiming this number while abortion is legal. If legal abortion is safe (for the mother) and abortion is currently legal, then why are 78,000 women dying from abortion “every year” according to Amplify?

In 2006 I had a phone conversation with ex-abortionist turned pro-life advocate Dr. Bernard Nathanson who stated that the popular pre-Roe figure of 10,000 annual maternal deaths was simply manufactured out of thin air by the pro-choice community (of which Nathanson was then an active participant). The truth is no one knows how many illegal abortions took place (for the obvious reason that no one was reporting illegal abortions) but the pro-choice “estimate” of abortion related maternal deaths has now obviously inflated by a factor of 7.8! This is an absurd number; useful only for pro-choice propaganda.

Although we don’t know how many illegal abortions took place, we do have a reasonable estimate of how many maternal deaths were attributed to illegal abortion in the years leading up to Roe.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, there were roughly 1,350 such deaths in 1941. Due to the introduction of Penicillin in the 1950’s the figure had dropped dramatically to less than 200 by 1965 and continued to drop to under 50 by the time Roe v. Wade was argued. Did you catch the disparity? Those interested in keeping abortion legal are now casually claiming that 78,000 maternal deaths occur annually due to illegal abortions, when, in reality, the number was well under 50 by the time Roe was argued!

“Law’s against abortion do not stop abortion.”

Obviously true. Hardly surprising. Laws against speeding do not stop Mario-Andretti-wanna-be’s from flying past me on the freeway.

Laws against murder have not put serial killers out of business. If we could stop vice simply by passing laws, then we should be living in utopia.

The number of women who get abortions does not change when it goes from being legal to illegal, or vice versa. “

This is where a “my-stats-are-better-than-your-stats” tit-for-tat begins – except that Amplify provides no stats to support their claims. I deal with this topic in my book Compelling Interest (which will be released in the Fall of 2012 – the link, by the way, is for an earlier version audio book). It comes down to whose stats are we going to believe?

In his exhaustive book, Dispelling the Myths of Abortion History, (Carolina Academic Press, 2006) Villanova law professor Joseph W. Dellapenna methodically shreds this and other abortion myths that have been promoted as fact by the pro-choice movement for decades. Dellapenna’s research demonstrates that the modern origin of many of these now popular abortion myths goes back to the pro-abortion-agenda-driven research of a New York University law professor named Cyril Means Jr.

Over the course of more than 1,200 pages, Dellapenna shows that Means’ research was “seriously deficient even based on the evidence Means himself presented.” (Dellapenna, p. xi) Factual inaccuracy did not stop Sarah Weddington from relying heavily on Means’ research, however, in her pro-abortion arguments before the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade. And it also did not stop Harry Blackmun from perpetuating Means’ errors as he wrote the Roe majority opinion.

Obviously numbers are easy to inflate and the pro-choice community has been busily inflating.The important question is: does society wish to promote abortion as a public good which should be legal? Most people agree that at best abortion is a necessary evil. The debate becomes a matter of: when is it necessary?

The way Amplify frames the issue is revealing: “Laws against abortion do not stop abortion; they simply make it less safe.” While the actual number of maternal deaths is much lower than Amplify would have us believe we should keep in mind that abortion is never safe for the unborn child.

The idea that laws force women into back alleys is also flawed. Women choose to have abortions. They are almost never forced, and certainly not by anti-abortion laws.

Do we create laws against abortion in the hopes that more women will die from illegal abortion? Of course not. The hope is that women will be discouraged from participating in abortion because society is saying abortion on demand is morally unacceptable, just like murder is morally unacceptable.

Well, I’ve managed to answer only one of Amplify’s 10 points. Thanks for bearing with me. I will continue with the second point on my next blog entry.

Roger Resler is an author, researcher & media producer for Truth In Depth Productions.

Pro-choice: Avoiding Inconvenient Truths

by Roger Resler

In sincere compassion, pro-choice proponents declare that the decision to “terminate a pregnancy” is an intensely personal one that should be made by the pregnant woman in consultation with her medical professional. Like all pro-choice logic, it sounds reasonable – so long as one doesn’t make the mistake of thinking too much.

In his book Surprised By JoyC.S. Lewis writes:  “A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading.” The same principle applies to sincere pro-choice proponents who wish to remain so. They should stay engaged passively; frequently voicing the tried-and-true slogans and buzzwords championed by the movement but, at all costs, restrain from actually giving the notion of “abortion” much thought on a deeper, pragmatic level. Giving heed to the popular wisdom of Hollywood starlets is always productive for sincere pro-choice proponents; mainly because actors are adept at memorizing and passionately delivering feel-good lines. These days, however, remaining sincerely pro-choice in the face of increasingly visible and annoying biological facts is becoming pitiably difficult.

The conflict between jargon and inconvenient truth is dramatically and eloquently illustrated in Naomi Wolf’s now classic article, originally appearing in an October, 1996 edition of the New Republic Magazine  entitled: “Our Bodies, Our Souls” wherein Wolf attempts to sincerely champion the cause of “the fight to defend abortion rights” yet ends up running headlong into the stark human reality her peers prefer to think of as “tissue.” To her credit, Wolf is too sincerely feminist to blindly follow useful pro-choice mantras without considering the practical implications. The result is the most morbidly candid pro-choice assessment of abortion reality I’ve ever seen in print.

“Of course it’s a baby!” Wolf admits, impatiently replying to an overly inquisitive pro-life conservative in reference to her own four-month-old fetus. Freely admitting to her readers that such blatant glasnost is well outside the typical, evasive PC response (as no doubt set forth in the standard pro-choice playbook®), Wolf consequently experiences “the great relief that is the grace of long-delayed honesty.” Expressing such honesty, however, while certainly a noble undertaking, leaves Wolf vulnerable to the paradox of how to remain loyal to the pro-choice cause in light of this new, liberating admission. Evasive answers would no longer work.

Wolf could simply have chosen not to write the article at all, however. While internal evasion was no longer possible, external evasion would have been. Pro-choice life as Wolf understood it, could have continued. Given her prolificity, Wolf could simply have chosen to write about a different facet of the abortion debate such as how bad things were before Roe v. Wade or how abortion is an intensely personal decision, etc. etc. When in doubt, stay on safe ground. Instead, Wolf chose to face the brutal truth head-on and expose the result to the world. Her candor, while attempting to remain sincerely devoted to the pro-choice cause, is therefore quite extraordinary.

The conclusion she draws is equally jaw-dropping:

War is legal: it is sometimes even necessary. Letting the dying die in peace is often legal and sometimes even necessary. Abortion should be legal; it is sometimes even necessary. Sometimes the mother must be able to decide that the fetus, in its full humanity, must die. But it is never right or necessary to minimize the value of the lives involved or the sacrifice incurred in letting them go.

Proving that brutality can be masked in eloquence, Wolf equates abortion with war and suggests that both are sometimes legal necessities. Had Wolf been referring to abortions performed to save the life of the mother, her logic would have had the force of rational but nonetheless tragic justification supporting it. As it is, she refers to abortion on demand. The resulting cognitive dissonance is difficult to reconcile with anything resembling rationality. With a few keyboard strokes, Wolf transforms the mindless mantras of pro-choice rhetoric into either full-scale schizophrenia or barely masked barbarity. The irrationality of such logic is adequately demonstrated by a postnatal application. Should mothers be endowed with state-sanctioned legal authority to determine whether their toddlers, in all their “full humanity, must die”? Even in a sincere attempt at brutal honesty, Wolf cannot help but appeal to euphemism to soften the blow. Intentional destruction of living humans – not unlike the “baby” she recognized in her own womb – is deemed: “letting them go.”

Wolf is to be commended for her unusually straightforward assessment of human life in the womb. But her very candor when relating that truth to abortion leads to a problematic end. Not surprisingly, open proclamation of unorthodox truths from a prominent, pro-choice feminist tends to earn scathing criticism from less candid pro-abortion peers. The harmonious coexistence of biological fact with “abortions rights” advocacy is not achieved when pro-choice proponents openly consider the brutal impact of the procedure they advocate on “the fetus, in its full humanity.”

If hard biological reality does not sit well with what is being advocated then perhaps its time for advocates like Wolf to switch sides. The point of her article was that continually denying the value of human lives ended by abortion would eventually rob the pro-choice movement of its very soul. Yet continuing to cling to irrational pro-choice ideology despite the resulting moral quagmire is as ignoble as intentionally evading difficult questions altogether – if not more so. Better to remain in mindless lock-step than to openly wander too close to the truth and refuse to be affected by it. As Mormon elder, Boyd Packer once infamously declared: “Some things that are true are not very useful.”

Roger Resler is an author, researcher & media producer for Truth In Depth Productions.

First Post

by Roger Resler

Everyone has to start somewhere. This is my starting point. Zero. The beginning.

The purpose of this blog will be to supplement, expand on, elaborate on, clarify, fix, enhance, shamelessly promote and any other relevant action regarding my publications at Truth In Truth In Depth is my media production company. I’ve been involved in media production (mostly radio/audio) for… well, let’s just say a long time! Not quite since live recordings were produced on wax, but I’ve known my share of analog reel to reel machines.

Since my background is audio production, in 2003 I decided to produce an audio book. A topic that interested me at that time was Mormonism. I had been visited by Mormon missionaries in 2001 sparking a crash research frenzy into Mormon history which, though cooling from time to time, is still active. There were not a lot of audio books available on the topic of Mormonism at that time, so without spending thousands on focus groups or product development, I decided to fill the void on a hunch. I was granted interviews with several ex-Mormons (including the famous great-great-great-grand-daughter of Brigham Young, Sandra Tanner) and combined their expert analysis with my own research to produce Mormonism’s Greatest Problems. It highlights five of what I consider to be the most problematic areas of Mormonism. Since then the audio book has been featured on radio programs such as The Bible Answer Man with Hank Hanegraaff and Out of Mormonism with Andy Poland.

About a year or two later I took the biographical portion of my interview with Sandra Tanner and produced another audio book that features her and her late husband Jerald’s life story. That production is called: Why They Left.

Another area of interest I’ve had for a long time is the topic of abortion. Not that I am interested in abortion itself (very few people are) but rather in exposing what I believe is a great injustice against unborn humans that began through the legalization of abortion in Roe v. Wade. I researched Roe v. Wade and the history of the pro-abortion cause and secured interviews with leaders in the pro-life movement such as National Right to Life Committee co-founders, Dr. Mildred Jefferson and Dr. Carolyn Gerster as well as pro-life author Randy Alcorn and professors, Dr. William Brennan and Dr. Gerard Magill. Dr. James Thorp also contributed his expertise as a perinatologist. Also providing his own fascinating story behind the life-changing Hand of Hope photograph he took was photographer, Michael Clancy. That research culminated in the release of Compelling Interest: Life After Roe v. Wade in 2007, in conjunction with Oasis Audio.

I was contacted by the publisher in 2011 and encouraged to convert Compelling Interest into a book. I have been working with eChristian to that end, with the manuscript currently immersed in the editing process as of this writing. The goal is to complete an updated and expanded print version as well as a revised audio book for release in the fall of 2012 – in time for the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade (January 22nd).

Another project that I have in mind is a book on Mitt Romney, who, as everyone knows by now, is (or at least will be) the GOP nominee for president of the United States. Romney is a devout Mormon and many conservatives are leery about supporting a Latter-day Saint for the presidency. The book will help educate people about Mormonism and Romney’s involvement in it.

I will be blogging on these topics in the coming days and weeks and would appreciate hearing from any and all who have an interest in them.

Truth In Depth will also continue to develop new books and audio books. There are several ideas currently in the planning stages, so stay tuned!

Roger Resler is an author, researcher & media producer for Truth In Depth Productions.