Aborting girls

In many countries–especially China and other Asian nations–the preference for a boy baby is so strong that girls are routinely aborted.  But this is happening in the United States also!  The births among Asian-American populations are also heavily skewed to having more boys than girls.  Arizona has passed a law forbidding abortion for gender selection.

Why aren’t feminists supporting laws like this?

Arizona and the War on Baby Girls » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog.

Targeting Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Crisis pregnancy centers do a lot of good, giving women with an unwanted pregnancy an alternative to abortion and giving tangible, material help to women in need.  But now pro-abortion forces are starting to target them.  In apparent retaliation for pro-life efforts to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood and to require abortion centers to follow hospital standards, pro-abortion activists have pushed through a measure in New York City to regulate crisis pregnancy centers and to make them inform their clients up front that they are pro-life organizations.  From a (very biased) news story:

On the heels of a decision by the U.S. House of Representatives to cut funding for Planned Parenthood, and following an outcry regarding a controversial pro-life billboard ad, the City Council yesterday passed (39 to 9) a bill — Intro-371-A — that hopes to strengthen protections for women seeking reproductive healthcare in New York City.

The goal of Intro-371-A is to eliminate misinformation at women’s pregnancy centers citywide and also clearly identify those centers that are pro-life organizations with no licensed medical provider on staff.

The bill will help draw a clear distinction between the two types of centers so clients can make an informed choice during their time of pregnancy or family planning.

Specifically, the bill will require pregnancy service centers in New York City to inform their clients whether or not they have a licensed medical provider on staff; disclose the kind of pregnancy-related services provided by the center; and provide confidentiality protections for clients’ personal and health information.

“Our goal here is not to shut down these pregnancy service centers. We just want to keep them honest and tell women the kind of services they provide,” said City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn.

“We want women to make an informed decision about the health care services they are seeking and not duped by false advertising. Nobody has the right to prevent a woman from taking care of her health. Women will now feel confident in their personal and legal health care decisions – and know that no one will be allowed to stand in their way.”

Additionally, this bill will require pregnancy services centers disclose whether they provide or refer for prenatal care; provide or refer for abortion; and provide or refer for emergency contraception.

Notices will be required to be in both English and Spanish in the form of a posted sign visible at entry and in waiting areas as well in any advertising of services published.

“This bill is a truth in advertising measure.  To be clear, it only regulates centers that are deliberately trying to deceive women into thinking they are in a medical facility when they are not.  What those centers are doing is not only dishonest, it is incredibly dangerous,” Council Member Jessica Lappin said, sponsor of the bill.  “We are passing this bill to protect women and their health.”

Comments Susanne Metaxas, who directs a crisis pregnancy center in New York:  “With 41% of all viable pregnancies in New York City ending in abortion, you would think the city council would be looking to us to help women and mothers find a way to make the choices they really want to make!”

HT:  Cathy


Pro-abortionists seek new arguments

As evidence that pro-lifers are winning the arguments, consider how pro-death activist Frances Kissling is recognizing that her movement needs to make some adjustments:

We can no longer pretend the fetus is invisible. We can no longer seek to banish the state from our lives, but rather need to engage its power to improve women’s lives. We must end the fiction that an abortion at 26 weeks is no different from one at six weeks.

These are not compromises or mere strategic concessions, they are a necessary evolution. The positions we have taken up to now are inadequate for the questions of the 21st century. We know more than we knew in 1973, and our positions should reflect that.

The fetus is more visible than ever before, and the abortion-rights movement needs to accept its existence and its value. It may not have a right to life, and its value may not be equal to that of the pregnant woman, but ending the life of a fetus is not a morally insignificant event. Very few people would argue that there is no difference between the decision to abort at 6 weeks and the decision to do so when the fetus would be viable outside of the womb, which today is generally at 24 to 26 weeks. Still, it is rare for mainstream movement leaders to say that publicly. Abortion is not merely a medical matter, and there is an unintended coarseness to claiming that it is.

We need to firmly and clearly reject post-viability abortions except in extreme cases. Exceptions include when the woman’s life is at immediate risk; when the fetus suffers from conditions that are incompatible with a good quality of life; or when the woman’s health is seriously threatened by a medical or psychological condition that continued pregnancy will exacerbate. We should regulate post-viability abortion to include the confirmation of those conditions by medical or psychiatric specialists.

Those kinds of regulations are not anti-woman or unduly invasive. They rightly protect all of our interests in women’s health and fetal life.

Even abortions in the second trimester, especially after 20 weeks, need to be considered differently from those that happen early in pregnancy. Women who seek abortions in the second trimester generally have special needs and would be helped by more extensive counseling than that available at most abortion clinics. Women who discover their fetuses have anomalies, teens who did not recognize they were pregnant, women who could not make up their minds – these are not routine circumstances. Mandating and funding non-directive counseling on all options is a good thing.

Finally, the abortion-rights movement needs to change the way it thinks about the state. Right now government is mainly treated as the enemy – and it does neglect women’s needs. The new ultra-conservative members of Congress are fighting to get rid of the legal right to choose abortion. The public is ambivalent about abortion. It wants it to be legal, but will support almost any restriction that indicates society takes the act of abortion seriously. For the choice movement to regain popular support and to maintain a legal right to abortion, it has to work with the state. Society and the state do have a stake in abortion policy. Reproduction is a private matter with public consequences. Women get to decide, but we all get to weigh in on what the policy should look like.

via Abortion rights are under attack, and pro-choice advocates are caught in a time warp.

March for Life, 38 years after Roe v. Wade

Yesterday was the annual March for Life in our nation’s capital:

Thousands of bundled-up abortion opponents rallied Monday on the Mall, encouraged by recent federal and state GOP wins and hopeful about proposed measures that would further tighten bans on federal funding for abortions.The Youth Rally and Mass for Life, hosted by the Archdiocese of Washington, marked the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. Annual events tend to focus on mobilizing the young, and Catholic high schools, youth groups and colleges were out in force Monday in Washington. . .  .

“The greatest difference between other civil rights movements and this one is that most of the people affected by Roe v. Wade can’t march on Washington,”[Rev. Mark] Ivany said. “They can’t give great speeches.”. . .

Advocates on both sides of the debate say that the number of governors and legislatures opposing abortion rights grew after last year’s elections. Abortion rights activists say that conservative candidates focused on their economic policies during campaigns and that the wins were not about the public wanting to limit access to abortion. Political experts say it’s unclear how central the issue of abortion will be for new lawmakers in Washington, particularly those with tea party backing.

Lawmakers cheered the crowds Monday in temperatures that hovered in the 20s. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said the new Republicans in Congress are the “biggest and the most pro-life freshman class in memory.”

via Thousands of abortion opponents rally in march on Mall.

What do you think the prospects are for the Pro-Life movement?  Don’t you think they are winning the debate?

Gestational carrier

Movie star Nicole Kidman and her husband, country singer Keith Urban, both of whom hail from Australia, had a baby.   They are the child’s biological parents, but their fertilized egg was implanted into another woman, thus farming out the  task of bearing the baby and giving birth.  I don’t know if some medical condition made this process necessary–if so, I’m not criticizing them, not being sure what I think of that.   Or if it is an example on another plane of the wealthy exploiting workers for their “labor.”

At any rate, what I want us to notice is a word that I haven’t heard before for the woman who had the baby.  Not “mother” but “gestational carrier.”  From the couple’s statement:

“Our family is truly blessed, and just so thankful, to have been given the gift of baby Faith Margaret. No words can adequately convey the incredible gratitude that we feel for everyone who was so supportive throughout this process, in particular our gestational carrier.”

via Nicole Kidman’s Baby — Kidman and Keith Urban Welcome New Baby through Surrogate | TMZ.com.

We may be hearing that term more and more as “reproductive engineering” proliferates.  Being a “gestational carrier”  may become a profession, with  women who can afford that service opting out of pregnancy altogether, while still getting to be moms.

So, all of you Solomons. . . .Does a “gestational carrier” have any claims to motherhood?  Do you see any ethical problems with this as a medical procedure for a woman who is unable to carry a child to term?  At least the married couple’s “one flesh union” is preserved and extended to the child, since no extra-marital semi-adulterous  egg donor or sperm donor were used.

Do you think this might catch on, not just with women who cannot carry a child, but with women who want a child but don’t want to go through pregnancy?  Mothers, would you have been open to this option if it were available and if you could afford it?

A pound of flesh

Mississippi governor and would-be GOP presidential candidate has released two sisters from prison, after they served 16 years of a life-sentence.  One condition, though, is that one of the sisters donate her kidney to the other.

The mandated organ donor says she’s glad to do it, that she was going to do it anyway, but still. . . .What are the medical ethics of imposing a condition like that?

Freedom’s cost? One kidney | hattiesburgamerican.com | Hattiesburg American.