Reversing Roe

by Roger Resler

I’m a little late to the game but I just discovered a 2018 documentary on Netflix called: “Reversing Roe.” Intrigued by the title, I dove in. It was well produced, although obviously slanted in favor of the pro-choice position. While it clearly couldn’t be described as “fair and balanced,” at least for the most part it wasn’t overt, over-the-top pro-choice propaganda. The majority of the views presented were from those in favor of Roe v. Wade, but a few pro-life proponents were also given time to make their case – or at least to make various pro-life counter points while the film was making its case. And, as the producers themselves point out on a separate Q & A session, the term “pro-life” is used often rather than “anti-choice” or “anti-abortion” out of respect for the fact that that is the term pro-lifers use to describe themselves. Kudos for that.

That said, however, there are still some major flaws.

First, – and this is one of my pet peeves – the pro-life position is taken for granted as being fundamentally religious in nature while the pro-choice position is assumed to be factually and scientifically based. This is a serious skew. While it is obviously true that many pro-life proponents are deeply religious people, it is also true that there are plenty of religious people who are pro-choice – ironically, as casually revealed in the film itself. Case in point: the film features several comments from Rev. Tom Davis of the United Church of Christ, who was a member of the Clergy Consultation Service in the years prior to Roe v. Wade and identifies himself in the film as an “abortion counselor.”

It is also true that various religious groups are opposed to abortion to one degree or another while others are in favor of it to one degree or another. But the pro-life point of view itself is not based on religion; it is based on morality. The same is true for the pro-choice position. In both cases, the relevant question is whether or not abortion is morally acceptable, not whether it is religiously acceptable. Even prominent members of various pro-life groups recognize their opposition to legalized abortion doesn’t ultimately rest on the positions taken by their various churches, but on the broader notion that legalized abortion (in most cases) is simply morally wrong. Yet, just as many individual pro-choice proponents are in the habit of doing, Reversing Roe characterizes the pro-life position as being integrally tied to religion. If you were only going off information presented in the film, you might easily come to the conclusion that it is impossible to be pro-life without also being religious. Try arguing that with pro-life atheist Kelsey Hazzard or the members of Feminists For Life.

If the abortion debate is framed as religion vs. science or dogma vs. facts (with science and facts residing on the pro-choice side), it doesn’t take a genius to see who’s going to win. OBGYN and Missouri abortionist, Dr. Colleen McNicholas is featured prominently in the film, at one point arguing that there are allegedly “factual inaccuracies” in pro-life legislation. The irony is this: biological facts and science in general support the pro-life position, not the pro-choice position. And what is even more ironic, the pro-choice position is actually founded on ignorance of scientific facts and it must perpetuate that ignorance in order to remain viable.

I realize if you’re pro-choice you may find that offensive. But it’s true and the film itself proves it.

Sarah Weddington is the attorney who argued in favor of the pro-choice position in Roe v Wade. While giving the history of Roe in the film, Weddington makes the following statement:

“At one point a Justice had said to me, ‘When do you believe human life begins?’ And I said, ‘Well, your honor, we did not try to say exactly what moment that was.’ There is no one answer to that. Different religions have different answers to that question. But there is no legal standard that said at this point the fetus becomes a human. So the question is: who gets to make the decision? Is it the woman or is it the government? And my position has always been: it’s not the government.”

So here we have multiple factual inaccuracies resting on one another and ultimately resting on an appeal to ignorance. When does human life begin? “We did not try to say exactly what moment that was.” That, of course, is lawyer mumbo-jumbo for: “We don’t know.” But the truth is we do know. And in fact we knew in 1972 when Sarah Weddington was presenting oral arguments in Roe v. Wade. There are many sources that could be cited to prove this easily researched fact. For example:

“…upon fertilization, parts of human beings have actually been transformed into something very different from what they were before; they have been changed into a single, whole human being. During the process of fertilization, the sperm and the oocyte cease to exist as such, and a new human being is produced.”

When Do Human Beings Begin?
“Scientific” Myths and Scientific Facts
Dianne N. Irving, M.A., Ph.D.
(copyright February 1999)

This excellent paper is only one, but I cite several other sources in my book (Compelling Interest: The Real Story Behind Roe v. Wade). So the first “inaccuracy” in Sarah Weddington’s statement is the implication that in 1972 science did not know when human life begins and apparently she wants us to believe it still doesn’t. This, of course, is utter nonsense. But notice Weddington’s phraseology. She does not even mention the words “science” or “biology” or “embryology.” Pretty sure that’s intentional. Not surprisingly, what she does mention is religion. And her point in bringing up religion is to muddy the waters. Religions disagree on when human life begins? So what? If there were consensus among all religions that human life begins at fertilization, would Sarah Weddington then be willing to give up a woman’s right to choose abortion? I seriously doubt it. So her use of alleged disagreement among religions as to when human life begins is purely a red herring and is completely irrelevant.

Another serious problem with Weddington’s “logic” is that the decision to have or not have an abortion is only a valid decision if both options are equally morally acceptable. Weddington takes for granted that the decision is morally acceptable because, as she freely acknowledges, people disagree about when human life begins (despite the lack of disagreement among embryologists). Her position makes no attempt to resolve the question (as doing so would be self destructive). Therefore, even according to Weddington’s way of thinking, it’s still quite possible that each legal decision for abortion her advocacy in Roe has permitted is the killing of an innocent human being. Her appeal to ignorance on the central question leaves her position glaringly vulnerable to this line of criticism.

But then Weddington’s “logic” devolves even further into the absurd when she asserts that: “…there is no legal standard that said at this point the fetus becomes a human.” Sheer and utter nonsense. A human fetus is always a human. Humans can only reproduce other humans. Therefore the notion that there needs to be a “legal standard” declaring that at a certain point in human development a “fetus becomes a human” is patently ridiculous. Yet here is the most prominent advocate for a woman’s right to choose abortion resting her case on both ignorance of genuine scientific facts and rhetorically twisting those facts into absurdity.

The fact is the notion of personhood became the gold standard for Roe v. Wade. It was recognized that the scientific question of “when does human life begin” would not provide the desired answer on which to base the legalization of abortion on demand. Accordingly, the science was ignored and the debate shifted into the metaphysical realms of philosophy and religion. The new question became: “When does a living human become a ‘person’?” As I point out in my book, the ambiguous concept of personhood was then easily manipulated to accommodate the pre-existing desire for legalized abortion. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Slavery and Abortion: A Legitimate Comparison

by Roger Resler

When the pro-abortion left finds something particularly annoying I take notice. It usually means they’ve encountered a solid argument they don’t want to (or can’t) confront with sound logic and reason and must therefore resort to emotional attacks, logical fallacies and name-calling. Case in point: the analogy between abortion and slavery. Most pro-abortion/pro-choice proponents find the comparison particularly bothersome. Take this article by Imani Gandy for example. The title alone: Abortion Is Not Like Slavery, So Stop Comparing the Two, conjures Shakespeare’s famous adage: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”  

Holding nothing back right out of the gate, Gandy describes the comparison between slavery and abortion as “nonsense, devoid of fact and logic, stripping women of agency and co-opting this country’s brutal racial history to score a political point against ideological foes.” To support this thesis, Gandy begins with a bold half-truth: “Abortion is not slavery, nor is it comparable to slavery.” While obviously correct that abortion is not slavery, the idea that the two are not legitimately comparable is wishful thinking. It is precisely the legitimacy of the comparison that annoys pro-choice proponents.

Gandy writes: “An abortion is a medical procedure that results in the termination of a pregnancy,” while, “slavery, on the other hand, was the centuries-long system under which Black men and women were treated not as human beings, with attendant freedom and liberty, but as chattel—human property owned by other humans, stripped of their freedom and cruelly forced to work under inhumane conditions.”

No doubt the irony of Gandy’s prose escapes her. Nevertheless, it’s striking that she correctly identifies a key injustice of slavery – that human beings were treated as non-humans – while simultaneously employing exactly the same treatment to the primary victims of abortion and then stepping it up a notch by ignoring their very existence. By Gandy’s definition abortion merely terminates a pregnancy, whereas slavery oppresses human beings. The irony becomes even clearer when you consider that slave owners used the same type of “reasoning” to justify their actions: slaves were not humans, they were property. There were therefore no human victims of slavery and consequently no injustice. Similarly, the unborn are not humans, they are instead “a pregnancy” – a mere condition occurring within the body of a pregnant woman – and therefore there is no human victim of abortion and consequently no injustice.

The purpose of an argument from analogy is to consider similarities between a non-controversial situation and a controversial one with the hope that insight can be gleaned as to how best to proceed or react to the controversy. Gandy seems to understand this when she writes:

“Comparisons between abortion and slavery are popular among the anti-choice crowd because most people agree that slavery is morally wrong. If anti-choice forces can equate slavery and abortion, and draw parallels between an “unborn” person and an enslaved person, then surely no morally righteous person could continue to defend abortion as a medical procedure that enables women to retain some modicum of control over the [sic] physical selves and their economic realities.”

So Gandy herself acknowledges that if parallels can be drawn between “an ‘unborn’ person and an enslaved person,” then it logically follows that “no morally righteous person could continue to defend abortion.” Hence the frustration. This begs the question: Can unborn humans legitimately be compared to enslaved humans? Obviously Gandy doesn’t think so. But what reasonable grounds does she offer to reject the comparison? She continues:

“Such arguments are the bread and butter of the rabid anti-choice crowd—who ignore any discussion of the hostile birthing environment that exists for women of color and low-income women to this day. Moreover, such arguments ignore the horror that slavery was for Black people, and the unique ways in which Black women in particular suffered under slavery.”

So far Gandy’s logic suggests that one reason unborn humans can’t be compared to enslaved humans is because the “rabid anti-choice crowd” ignores discussions about the “hostile birthing environment that exists for women of color and low-income women to this day.” Needless to say, even if Gandy had offered concrete support to this fantastically broad claim (which she doesn’t), it would still be a completely irrelevant point. If it could be demonstrated, for example, that “the rabid anti-choice crowd” were actually paying attention to discussions about hostile birthing environments would Gandy then concede that comparisons between the unborn and slaves are now acceptable? I doubt it. So, in addition to being ridiculous on its face, the point is useless.

Gandy then moves on to offer support for the second part of her thesis which suggests that the slavery/abortion comparison ignores “the horror that slavery was for Black people, and the unique ways in which Black women in particular suffered under slavery.” To illustrate this point she criticizes Texas Federal Judge Lee Yeakel’s opinion, in Planned Parenthood et al. v. Abbott. According to Gandy, Judge Yeakel wrote: “almost as if he were apologizing to the anti-choice forces that worked so hard to ram HB 2 through the Texas legislature.” Here is the section Gandy quotes and finds particularly offensive (emphasis Gandy’s):

“Today there is no issue that divides the people of this country more than abortion. It is the most divisive issue to face this country since slavery. When compared with the intensity, emotion, and depth of feeling expressed with regard to abortion, the recent arguments on affordable healthcare, increasing the debt ceiling, and closing the government retreat to near oblivion. Sincere and caring persons of good will are found on both sides of the issue, but neither side will ever change the position of the other.”

Gandy’s primary objection to Judge Yeakel’s words is the inference she imposes on them that “sincere and caring persons of goodwill” could be found on opposing sides of the slavery issue. The glaring fallacy is that Judge Yeakel never suggested what Gandy infers from his statement. Nevertheless, Gandy takes Judge Yeakel to task by suggesting that:

“His characterization of slavery, well-meaning though it may be—is based on a romanticized notion of slavery that simply never existed. In Judge Yeakel’s hagiographic version of slavery, well-meaning white folks were to be found on both sides of the issue. This is simply not true.”

I’m sorry, but this is absurd. What is “simply not true” is the notion that Judge Yeakel expressed any view of slavery in the statement Gandy quotes, much less a hagiographic version of it. If Judge Yeakel has a particular view of slavery, he certainly didn’t express it in this quote. To be clear, he never claimed there were sincere and caring persons of good will on both sides of the slavery issue. He merely claims that there are currently sincere and caring persons of good will on both sides of the abortion debate. In Gandy’s apparently black and white world, she may not be able to agree with that. Judge Yeakel’s suggestion that abortion is the most divisive issue to face this country since slavery does not imply that he also believes there were sincere and caring persons of good will on the pro-slavery side of the issue. That is an illegitimate inference that cannot be derived from his statement. To suggest that slavery was divisive is not to suggest that good and caring people could be found on both sides of the issue. But that’s entirely what the rest of Gandy’s thesis rests on, which is why it fails.

To punctuate her error, Gandy asks: “We are talking about the same slavery, right?” and then proceeds as if the strawman she’s fallaciously erected is an accepted and necessary component of any comparison between abortion and slavery. She accurately describes the genuine evils of slavery such as “the slavery that saw human beings beaten into submission” and “the slavery that saw Black female slaves exploited as breeding mares and sexual objects ripe for rape” in an effort to contrast those genuine evils with her own illegitimately imposed inference of Judge Yeakel’s allegedly “romanticized notion of slavery.”

It becomes clear beyond doubt that Gandy either seriously misunderstands or is deliberating twisting Judge Yeakel’s words when she answers her own question:

“That is the slavery supported by ‘sincere and caring persons of good will’?


Utter nonsense. To reiterate, Judge Yeakel never said anything about slavery in the statement Gandy quotes other than the fact that it was divisive. The fact that a civil war was fought over the issue should provide adequate support for that assertion. Of course it’s true that slavery was evil. There’s no disagreement on that which is precisely why the analogy to abortion is perfectly valid.

Here’s the bottom line: If pro-choice proponents are correct that abortion merely “terminates a pregnancy” and there’s really no killing of any human involved in this otherwise safe and legal procedure, then they win. We can all pack up and move on to the next controversy. But suggesting something is true while ignoring clear evidence to the contrary is worse than merely acting out of ignorance. There is one thing that Gandy and I might actually agree on. Despite their condescending rhetoric, slave holders were well aware that black humans were human beings who suffered tremendous injustice because of their desire to own slaves. But because of her desire to be “pro-choice,” Gandy can’t agree with me that pro-choice proponents are well aware that unborn humans are human beings who suffer the ultimate injustice because of pro-choice proponents’ desire to keep abortion legal.

by Roger Resler

Having just posted the transcript for the bulk of the conversation between Chris Cuomo and Marco Rubio during the Rubio interview on CNN last week, let’s now take a closer look and see what insight might be gleaned from this conversation.

Chris Cuomo Interviews Marco Rubio on CNN, August 7, 2015.

Chris Cuomo: Why do you not see rape and incest as areas for potential carve-outs even if you are pro-life?

Just so we’re clear about what’s going on here, as I pointed out earlier, this is side B of the catch-22 set-up pro-choice proponents adore employing. Side A: You believe life begins at conception? How can you support rape and incest exceptions for abortion? Side B: You don’t support rape and incest exceptions? You’re obviously a backwards thinking misogynist barbarian who’s out of touch with modern women. Classic no-win. Enter Rubio.

Marco Rubio: First, I think both of those instances are horrifying and fortunately they’re extremely rare. It happens. And any time it happens it’s horrifying. It’s a tragedy. But I personally and honestly and deeply believe that all human life is worthy of protection irrespective of the circumstances in which that human life was created. I personally believe that you do not correct one tragedy with a second tragedy. That’s how I personally feel very strongly about. I believe all human life – irrespective of the circumstances in which it came into being is worthy of the protection of our laws. And I recognize this is a tough question. It’s a very difficult question. And I understand that. Believe me, I do.

But by the same token, if I have to weigh the two equities here, I’m always going to err on the side of life. And that’s, that’s how – and I think that’s a timeless principle. Certainly our economy has evolved. But when it comes to issues like the value of every human life I think that’s a timeless principle. It was true before, it’s true now and it will be true in the future.

You do not correct one tragedy with a second tragedy. Bingo. To develop Marco’s point a bit further, pro-choice proponents love to sell abortion as though it solves the problem of unwanted pregnancy resulting from rape or incest. It doesn’t. That’s the glaring fallacy here very few people take the time to think through. Abortion doesn’t solve the problem. The woman is already pregnant and the rape already occurred. Nothing can change that. Abortion can’t put her in a time machine and transport her back to a time before the rape and then let her live her life from that point forward as though she had never been raped.

No. What abortion does is bring violence to her body a second time and rips up the developing child in the process. Sure, it will end the pregnancy, but it won’t change anything about the fact that she was raped against her will yet made the decision to respond in a way that guarantees a dead child.

I can hear my critics now – oh, what an outrageous thing to say! So what is your solution? Must I believe (naively) as you do that abortion does not kill a child, when all the evidence says you’re wrong? Must I not speak the truth because it’s not nice to call things as they are when a rape has taken place? As Marco points out both rape and incest are horrible things that should never happen. Period. They are tragedies and the perpetrators should be punished to the full extent of the law. But just because one tragedy has occurred doesn’t mean a second tragedy is morally acceptable.

It would only be morally acceptable IF the unborn child really were nothing more than a blob of tissue. This, of course, is what many pro-choice proponents want to believe (because it makes their stand on abortion so much more reasonable), but they’re simply dead wrong. IF they were right about that, then there would be no controversy over abortion. We wouldn’t be having this discussion. It would be a no-brainer. But they’re not right about that. And sometimes the truth is painful. One unplanned tragedy does not justify a planned tragedy. Only if the child in the womb is really just a blob of tissue is abortion not a tragedy; and in that case abortion would be morally acceptable at any time for any reason.

But Cuomo is looking to set a trap for Rubio and he’s confident he’s got the perfect trap:

Chris Cuomo: It’s interesting that you draw distinctions about the old and the new in certain regards but in this one you say, “It’s timeless,” because as you know, cultural mores in this country and certainly the opinions of women are not in step with what you’re saying right now. You’re comfortable with that?

Marco Rubio: But the value of life is timeless. No, no, no, the value of life is timeless. The idea that a human life is worthy of the protection of our laws is not something that over time anybody should evolve on. I mean you can change your economic policies…

Chris Cuomo: right but the idea – you’re, you’re deciding…

Marco Rubio:   …to address the fact that the economy’s different. You can [inaudible] changes… The idea that human life is worthy of protection is a timeless principle. I don’t care how much the world changes.

Don’t you realize you’re out of touch with women, Marco? Doesn’t that bother you? As the guy who wants to look to the future, why do you want to go back to the past? More fallacious drivel.

Marco didn’t comment on it, but the premise of Cuomo’s question was flawed from the start when he suggested that Rubio’s position is “out of step” with the opinions of women, as though every woman in the United States disagrees with Rubio. It would be about the same to accuse a female who is not a fan of the Denver Broncos of being out of step with the opinions of men. Not all men are Bronco fans (sad to say) and certainly not all women are pro-choice. So Cuomo’s question was illegitimate from the start.

No matter. Rubio defeats the question anyway. The value of life is timeless and that value should not change over time. Period. Grand Slam. No disagreement about that from Cuomo.

Chris Cuomo: I know but you’re deciding when it is human life. Let me ask you something, you… Uh…   When you’re looking at the future…

Did you catch that? “I know,” says Cuomo. What does he know? He knows Rubio is right when he says a human life is worthy of protection under the law and that’s a timeless principle that doesn’t or shouldn’t change. Cuomo has no choice but to agree, and he does; but then quickly moves on to: “but you’re deciding when it is human life.”  Ah! So there we go! Finally. There’s the crux of the issue. Cuomo really wants to believe that Marco Rubio (and in essence everyone who is pro-life) is deciding when it’s a human life. And of course, the implication is that we’re deciding incorrectly.

Marco Rubio: No, science has decided when it is human life.

Chris Cuomo: Science has not decided it’s at conception.

Marco Rubio: No, no, let me correct you. Science has, absolutely it has.

Chris Cuomo: Not at conception.

Marco Rubio: Science has decided that… science has concluded. Absolutely it has. What else can it be? It cannot turn into an animal; it can’t turn into a donkey.

Chris Cuomo: No, but you know that the law has perused this. The fact that it…

Marco Rubio: The only thing it can become is a human being.

Chris Cuomo: Look, of course, I understand the logic but it’s a little too simple that…

Marco Rubio: Everything – it’s a human life, it can’t be anything else.

Rubio is, of course, correct. There is no question about it. This is basic biology. The only thing humans can reproduce is other humans. Period. A human zygote is simply a human at his or her earliest stage of development. Period. There’s no question here. There’s no doubt. It can be nothing else.

Now, of course, astute abortion proponents are quick to point out (although Cuomo didn’t) that not all zygotes develop into babies. That is correct, but that merely means something went wrong. What they’re describing is an abnormal situation, not a normal one. If something goes wrong then a zygote may not be able to develop any further, but virtually every human alive or who has ever existed – as in 100% – began as a zygote. Period. End of discussion.

So human life does indeed begin at conception. Look at any reputable embryonic textbook. There is no question. Biologists are not in doubt. Have I emphasized this enough yet? To be honest, it’s ridiculous we’re even having this debate. It’s like debating whether or not you can fall off the edge of the flat earth. The only reason the illegitimate “debate” persists in popular culture is because a substantial number of people want to be pro-choice and a debate over the beginning of human life greatly facilitates that desire. Take (as merely one example) this White Paper report for instance which concludes:

Based on universally accepted scientific criteria, a new cell, the human zygote, comes into existence at the moment of sperm-egg fusion, an event that occurs in less than a second. Upon formation, the zygote immediately initiates a complex sequence of events that establish the molecular conditions required for continued embryonic development. The behavior of the zygote is radically unlike that of either sperm or egg separately and is characteristic of a human organism. Thus, the scientific evidence supports the conclusion that a zygote is a human organism and that the life of a new human being commences at a scientifically well defined “moment of conception.” This conclusion is objective, consistent with the factual evidence, and independent of any specific ethical, moral, political, or religious view of human life or of human embryos.

–  “When Does Human Life Begin? A Scientific Perspective,” Maureen L. Condic, Westchester Institute, Volume 1, Number 1 October 2008

There are no competing theories over the beginning of human life that are being debated by biologists. It’s settled science. As the paper aptly points out the question is not about when a human life begins but rather “at what point and for what reasons do we have an obligation to respect and protect that life.”

In other words, at what point do we get to the point where even Cuomo agrees that “human life is worthy of protection.” But Cuomo wants to have it both ways. He wants to suggest that the actual beginning of human life is legitimately questionable yet he can’t – or won’t – offer any other rationally acceptable possibility, 1. because there are none, and 2. because doing so would require him to rationally defend such a point, and 3. identifying any point defeats the useful ignorance that is central to pro-choice philosophy.

So Rubio is simply correct and Cuomo is simply incorrect. Cuomo, however, proceeds with the interview as though he’s perfectly and uniquely correct. We will, accordingly, continue to analyze this conversation in the coming blog posts. Stay tuned.

CNN ‘Gotcha’ Interview Backfires

by Roger Resler

Every now and then I run into (or have) a conversation on abortion (I know, not a typical topic of conversation for normal folks) that – how do I put this… uh… makes my blood boil. Current Exhibit A: CNN’s Chris Cuomo interviews Presidential candidate, Senator Marco Rubio on the heels of the first Republican National debate of the 2016 Presidential race. During the debate, Fox’s Megyn Kelly (who is awesome, but, nevertheless) mischaracterized Rubio’s stance on abortion as allowing for exceptions in cases of rape and incest.

Rubio corrected the record, indicating his position on abortion does not now nor has ever included allowances for rape and incest. After hearing this exchange – and sensing Republican red-meat – the ever-vigilant yet under-performing CNN felt compelled to investigate the accuracy of Rubio’s claim and invited the unsuspecting Senator to appear on the network the following morning to clarify things. In other words: CNN was prepared to unleash a typical liberal “gotcha” interview on the topic of abortion with a high-profile Republican they view as a real threat to the Democratic status quo. Knowing that whenever abortion can be discussed within the context of rape and incest it’s a win-win for pro-choice liberals, how could CNN resist? They couldn’t.

Armed with undeniable evidence that Rubio had indeed voted for a bill that (gasp!) included: “a carve-out for rape and incest,” the ever-confident Cuomo, suggested that Rubio had his own record wrong and asked if that were something he’d like to correct. Unfortunately for Cuomo, that’s as far as the ‘gotcha’ part of Plan A went. Rubio noted that virtually every pro-life senator supported the bill in question, exceptions and all, (double-gasp!) and, for that matter, so did every major pro-life group because the bill prevents abortions. Oops.

Not willing to let a perfectly good ‘gotcha’ moment slip away, Cuomo shot back: “But it included the exception.” Rubio conceded the point and reminded Cuomo that, “Any bill that reduces the number of abortions is a bill that I’m going to support.”

Here, playing out in living color (see the video – here – thanks to the Blaze who I’d rather link to than CNN), is the classic rape-incest tactic pro-choice proponents are so fond of employing. ‘You say life begins at conception, so how can you support rape or incest exceptions?’ And on the flip side: “You don’t allow for rape or incest exceptions?? Barbarian!’ Like the race-card, it’s the same old song and dance they’ve been playing for decades. And for good reason – it usually works.

But Rubio was having none of it. In an admirable attempt to respond in good faith (as though the entire exchange thus far had merely been a case of Cuomo’s legitimate lack of understanding) Rubio suggested that Cuomo could: “Think about it this way. I’m in favor of a 20 week abortion ban. Does that mean I’m in favor of abortions at 19 weeks? No. Any bill that reduces the number of abortions is a bill that I’m going to support.”

Bam! So simple a caveman could understand it! This is where a reasonable journalist concedes to the water-tight logic, realizes his gotcha tactic didn’t work and moves on. Instead the now visibly agitated pro-choice proponent who also moonlights as an objective CNN anchor doubled down: “I don’t think it’s an analogy. But the bill did have that carve-out and you said you’ve never been near it.”

Really?! This is where I realize how much better a man Rubio is than me. Rubio had just finished explaining – and in rather simple and eloquent terms – that Cuomo was committing a basic non-sequitur fallacy wherein Cuomo’s desired conclusion doesn’t follow from his premise. In caveman terms: Just because one votes for an abortion bill that allows for rape and incest exceptions does not mean that one must advocate for those exceptions as part of his own stance on abortion.

Politics has been described as the art of compromise. Both Rubio and Cuomo understand that. Rubio voted for the bill because he – and every other pro-life senator and group – understood it was a reasonable compromise that would prevent abortions and had no chance of passing otherwise. That’s reality. The exception clauses had to be put in the bill in order to satisfy the other side of the PC rape-incest argument that cries “barbarian” without it. There’s no doubt Cuomo knows this (stay tuned). There’s no question about it. He’s not stupid. But he, like many other PC proponents, sees the whole tragic rape-incest phenomenon as the perfect means of forcing pro-life proponents into a no-win, catch-22 scenario.

Make no mistake about it. Cuomo and his PC cronies have no more compassion for rape and incest victims than do pro-life proponents like Marco Rubio. In fact, I suggest they have less compassion because they are the ones who are all too eager to exploit the tragedies of rape and incest simply to benefit their own political agenda – which is keeping abortion legal at any stage of pregnancy for any reason.

Want proof? Exhibit B: After failing to trap Rubio in what instead turned out to be his own non-sequitur fallacy, Cuomo predictably reverted back to plan B, which, in a nutshell, states that if your pro-life opponent admits to not allowing for rape and incest exceptions, suggest he’s holding on to a backwards, barbaric position: “But let’s take your position as you’ve presented it this morning. To not have a carve-out for rape and incest is also something that seems very backward looking in terms of the cultural mores that we have today. Why do you not see rape and incest as areas for potential carve-outs even if you are pro-life?”

Blood boiling yet? Rubio, as usual, proceeded with poise and grace. Me? Not so much. This is the point where I need to take a break or I might say something I’ll regret later. My next blog entry will continue with analysis of this – shall we say – fascinating exchange.

Planned Parenthood Exposed. Again.

by Roger Resler

I applaud the Center For Medical Progress on the release of their latest undercover video exposing Planned Parenthood’s sale of baby body parts. My understanding is that there are more videos to come and the hope is that the impact of these videos will create enough ruckus for Congress to finally discontinue its annual multi-million-dollar donation to the abortion behemoth.

Still, it’s frustrating that it takes something like this to get people’s attention and spur action. Unfortunately the old adage, “out of sight, out of mind,” remains true. Nevertheless, thanks to the CMP, we now not only have the optics, we have the disturbing audio (and transcript) to solidify the deal.

It comes as no surprise that Planned Parenthood is profiting from baby body parts. They profit from killing them in the first place, so why not double-dip? What is surprising – shocking even – is the cavalier language used in the video by Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services at Planned Parenthood, as she casually describes the destruction of unborn humans over lunch.

In the video, actors posing as buyers from a human biologics company meet with Nucatola at a busy restaraunt to discuss how they might acquire specific human body parts from Planned Parenthood. According to CMP’s press release, Nucatola “has overseen medical practice at all Planned Parenthood locations since 2009. She also trains new Planned Parenthood abortion doctors and performs abortions herself at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles up to 24 weeks.” So when Nucatola callously mentions that:

 “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”

she knows what she’s talking about.

For those who’ve researched and studied the barbaric phenomenon known as legal abortion for decades, the idea that large, for-profit abortion providers consciously strategize on how best to preserve specific fetal body parts while killing unborn humans is nothing new. What is new is the fact that CPM has managed to expose the casual dialogue we always knew went on behind closed doors.

Predictably, Planned Parenthood insists that it has done nothing wrong. Eric Ferraro, Vice President of Communications for Planned Parenthood Federation of America suggests that the transfer of fetal body parts is done “with full, appropriate consent from patients and under the highest ethical and legal standards.”

Ferraro goes on to suggest that the CPM is a “well-funded group established for the purpose of damaging Planned Parenthood’s mission and services” and describes the video as “heavily edited,” and “secretly recorded.” The “heavily edited” allegation falls apart immediately since CPM has also released the complete, hours-long video. As far as “secretly recorded” is concerned, yeah, that’s the whole idea. The point is that Nucatola obviously doesn’t know she’s being recorded, otherwise she wouldn’t be casually talking about her proficiency at selective destruction and preservation of various fetal body regions during abortions.

This video is shocking and revealing in more ways than one. Obviously Planned Parenthood abortionists understand what pro-life proponents have been trumpeting for years. Newsflash: Unborn humans slated for abortion have human body parts. Sort of makes it a bit more challenging to continue promoting the notion that what is destroyed in an abortion procedure is just “a cluster of cells.”

That, of course, is still the pro-abortion party line. “Move along folks, no real humans are being destroyed here. Just cell clusters that resemble human body parts that we donate to science.” This time, however, thanks to the hard work and tenacity of CPM, the world can see behind the smoke and mirrors.


We knew it was bad, but…

by Roger Resler

I’ve been writing and producing media content on the subject of abortion for decades. I’ve debated “hard-core” pro-abortionists in online discussions who were either born without a conscience or have numbed what they were born with into irrelevancy. I think I’ve seen and heard it all. And then along comes another Live Action undercover video. It’s not easy to watch, but everyone – whether you’re pro-life, pro-choice or have no opinion on abortion – everyone needs to watch this video: click here to watch.

How does one describe what Lila’s organization repeatedly captures on video? Stomach turning comes to mind, yet seems inadequate. The only analog I can think of would be a slave-trader who treats the human beings under his charge as commodities while still recognizing their humanness. Used to be – back in the good ‘ole days – that pro-abortionists knew they couldn’t gain public approval for abortion while simultaneously acknowledging the humanity of the unborn. It was merely a “fetus” they reassured us, not a baby.

As late as 2001 pro-choice cheerleader Marian Faux  adamantly insisted that while “The fetus may be like a baby in some respects,” it is “emphatically not a baby.” (Faux, pg. 149). In 1991, during a live Phil Donahue taping in Wichita, Kansas, when asked about the fate of babies who survive abortion (see for example the story of Melissa Ohden), Faye Wattleton, then president of Planned Parenthood answered: “I do not accept that a fetus is a baby. It is a fetus.” Apparently Wattleton missed the point of the question which was concerned with babies who survive abortions. But for Wattleton and Faux, and the host of other pro-choice proponents they speak for, abortion is morally acceptable because a fetus is “emphatically not a baby.”

Yet here, in the latest Live Action undercover video, we have an abortionist (how much more pro-choice does it get?) brazenly acknowledging that he’s killing babies on a routine basis and does so as casually as roasting meat in a crock-pot. Has the world gone completely insane?

What is it going to take to get Americans upset about abortion? If the only way to change things were to mobilize an army and fight a civil war, I could see how that might present a difficult challenge. But the fact of the matter is, all we really need to do is vote pro-life en masse. The problem is it’s going to take a lot of us getting so upset that we remember these videos every time we go to the ballot box.

Another sorry testament about this – beyond, of course, the fact that Dr. Carhart and other abortionists routinely kill unborn babies – is that if this and other Live Action videos had instead exposed evil gun lobbyists casually talking about the effectiveness of semi-automatics on school children or oil barons yucking it up on their private jets en route to a New York country club you can bet they would be receiving multiple plays on every major media outlet across the country with bold headlines demanding action and guest appearances on late-night talk shows. As it is, it’s up to us, Live Action, a few good bloggers and Fox News to pique the conscience of a nation.

The video closes with the definition of “inhuman” as follows:

  1. Lacking human qualities of compassion and mercy; cruel and barbaric.
  2. Not human in nature or character

After giving the matter some additional thought, I may have a phrase that captures the essence of what Live Action has captured on video: civilized barbarity.

A person’s a person, even if Dr. Seuss threatens to sue

by Roger Resler

The recurring maxim expressed by “Horton” the elephant in Dr. Seuss’s classic story Horton Hears a Who, goes like this: “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” So certain is this truth to Horton, that he takes it as being self-evident. His actions throughout the story are admirably consistent with this assertion and the moral implications that accompany it.

While enjoying a bath in a river, Horton’s large ears pick up on a tiny voice emanating from a speck of dust as it flutters by. While Horton never sees the person producing the voice – since that person is too tiny to be seen by an elephant – he, nevertheless, realizes that there must be a person there since he can clearly hear the voice coming from the speck of dust. In fact, there is apparently an entire city – if not a planet – consisting of many “Who’s” living on that speck of dust.

Trouble enters the story when Horton’s animal friends reject the foolish notion that there could be any kind of life, much less a person, living on a speck of dust. They accordingly ridicule Horton for believing in such nonsense. Eventually, in an effort to relieve Horton of his delusions, it is decided that the dust speck should be boiled in oil. Knowing that this would mean a sudden and violent destruction of Who civilization (resisting the desire for a Roger Daltrey joke here), Horton does everything in his power to save the dust speck from such a terrible fate; because, “after all, a person’s a person, no matter how small.”

In the end, the Who’s concerted effort at noise-making generates enough decibels to register in the ears of Horton’s skeptical friends. Once they realize they had been wrong in their criticism, their mood changes dramatically and, once again, in accordance with the truth that “a person’s a person, no matter how small,” they cease their attempt to destroy the dust speck (which they now realize would be immoral) and everyone lives happily ever after – that is until pro-life advocates wanted to express the same truth to a skeptical world.

The irony is that the creator of Horton, the Who’s and Whoville itself, the late Theodore Geisel, apparently preferred to identify with the skeptics rather than those advancing the same truth his hero expresses when it comes to the controversy surrounding the morality of abortion. My introduction to this bizarre turn of events came a few days ago from someone who commented on the trailer for my book Compelling Interest. In both the book and the trailer, we quote this phrase of Dr. Seuss (or more precisely Horton) because we agree with it.

While commenting on the trailer, smitelystacey, asks if we are aware that Dr. Seuss, “never intended his quote to be used in this manner” and that, “he threatened to sue an anti-abortion group for using his quote [on their letterhead] before he died, and his widow has also spoken out against people hijacking his work to support their own agendas.”


I’m sorry but this is one of those things that just takes the cake. No, in fact, I was not aware of Dr. Seuss’s antipathy toward the pro-life agenda, nor would I ever have imagined such a thing. Admittedly, I’ve seen some strange things in my near half-century on this earth, but the irony of Dr. Seuss threatening to sue a pro-life group for using the phrase “A person’s a person, no matter how small,” when they agree with the premise, is certainly unexpected. Upon further investigation I learned that Dr. Seuss was apparently quite liberal and – it would appear – was either pro-choice on abortion or at least opposed to the pro-life agenda.

Of course threatening to sue and actually being able to sue are two different things. I’m reasonably confident that Dr. Seuss had no exclusive copyright on the phrase “A person’s a person, no matter how small” nor – more importantly – on the moral truth behind the phrase. Even if that had been the case, it’s still quite legal for anyone to quote the phrase provided they properly attribute it to Dr. Seuss. Even skeptics who don’t believe that “a person’s a person no matter how small” are free to quote the phrase. But the idea that Geisel would threaten to sue a pro-life group for using the phrase, and that his widow has “spoken out against people hijacking his work to support their own agendas” is jaw dropping in light of the moral implications behind Horton’s sudden awareness of the existence of microscopic human life.

If pro-life people wanted to misuse the quote or twist it to mean something different from the truth expressed by Horton, I could understand the Geisel’s righteous indignation. As it is, pro-lifers use the quote precisely because they agree with it! It would be like the police department threatening to sue security guards for suggesting their job also exists “To protect and to serve.”

There is abundantly more objective evidence supporting the fact that human life exists long before it can be registered by adult sensory perception than there is for the existence of barely audible Who’s living on a speck of dust. If the Geisel’s don’t/didn’t believe that human fetuses or embryos are persons, they are free to disbelieve, but such skepticism is perfectly analogous to the villains in the Horton story who also don’t believe human life could exist at a microscopic level. The truth expressed in the phrase: “A person’s a person no matter how small” remains valid in both cases. The irony is beyond palpable.

smitelystacey closes her remarks (I’m assuming a female gender here, my apologies if I’m mistaken) by suggesting that we should: “Keep your personal opinions away from women’s bodies, and don’t steal a dead man’s work in order to gain support for your erroneous life views,” – as though the assertion that: “A person’s a person, no matter how small” only represents my (erroneous!) “personal opinion” and only infringes on “women’s bodies” when it’s expressed by me and other pro-life proponents rather than by Horton the elephant in a children’s book. Apparently Horton knew how to use the phrase in a non-erroneous manner.

After the dust settles (pun intended, feel free to roll eyes) pro-lifers, like Horton, will continue to operate under the self-evident truth that a person’s a person, no matter how small and will consistently recognize the moral implications of that truth to human life at any stage of development regardless of Theodore Geisel’s political views or pre-mortem threats of imminent lawsuits.