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March for Life
January 21st, 2014
02:24 PM ET

Six surprising changes to the anti-abortion March for Life

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) - For decades, the March for Life has followed a familiar formula: Bus in thousands of abortion opponents. Protest in front of the Supreme Court. Go home.

But this year, in addition to braving snow and bone-chilling wind, the March will move in a different direction, says Jeanne Monahan, president of the anti-abortion group.

Long-winded political speeches? See ya.

An exclusive focus on Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that lifted restrictions on abortion? Gone.

A hipster Catholic musician, evangelical leaders and March for Life app? Welcome to the protest.

And those changes just skim the surface.

The March for Life, billed as the world’s largest anti-abortion event, is remaking itself in deeper ways as well, says Monahan.

For its first 40 years, the march was marshaled by Nellie Gray, an occasionally irascible Catholic who had little use for modern technology, political compromise or the mainstream media.

Gray died in her home office in 2012 at age 88. A short time later, Monahan was named her successor at the March for Life.

While abortion opponents praise Gray’s legacy, there’s a popular saying around the March for Life’s Washington headquarters: “We’re a brand-new, 41-year-old organization.”

The goal: to turn their annual, one-day demonstration into a potent political machine.

Abortion rights advocates say they’re skeptical that March for Life leaders can convince more Americans to join their cause. Since 1989, the percentage who want to overturn Roe has barely budged above 30%.

“It’s an impressive show,” Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, says of the March for Life. “But at the end of the day, they have failed dramatically at their goal.”

Still, even O’Brien expressed respect for his foes’ new plans. “It’s pretty clever, actually.”

With that in mind, here are six big ways the March for Life is changing this year:

1) 9 to 5

Since 1974, the March for Life has made a really loud noise every January 22, the anniversary of Roe. V. Wade.

Estimates of the crowd’s size vary, but it seems safe to say tens of thousands have attended the protest each year.

Organizers estimate that at least 50% of the marchers are under 18, as busloads of Catholic school kids descend on the capital from across the country.

But some abortion opponents complain the March for Life had morphed in recent years from a political demonstration to a photo op.

Ryan Bomberger, an anti-abortion activist who is speaking at march events, says the protest needs to find ways to harness its youthful energy throughout the year.

“You’ve got all these young people with energy and passion and the desire to do something about the injustice of abortion. But what do they do when they leave the march and go home?”

March for Life leaders want to turn its young protesters into citizen lobbyists, much like Tea Party partisans and the Obama campaign did with their troops.

The key to that, says March for Life's Chairman of the Board Patrick Kelly, is to keep them engaged throughout the year, including through social media. (More on that later.)

In addition to Monahan, an experienced Washington politico, the March for Life has beefed up its Washington office by hiring a full-time lobbyist and social media manager who will also lead outreach to evangelicals, a big and politically active constituency.

The focus this year will be combating the Obama administration’s contraception mandate, which requires most companies to provide free contraceptive coverage to employees. Abortion opponents say that some covered services are tantamount to abortion.

2) If You’ve Got the Money, We've Got the Time

For decades, the March for Life subsisted on a meager budget: Just $150,000 a year, according to tax filings from 2009-2011.

But new Washington offices, lobbyists and social media managers don’t come cheap. Fortunately for the March for Life, a donor who was a friend of Gray’s bequeathed $550,000 to the organization last year.

That, along with a more robust fund-raising campaign, has allowed the March to increase its budget from $252,000 when Monahan took over in 2012,  to $780,000 this year.

“We are professionalizing the March for Life,” said Kelly.

3) With Arms Wide Open 

Though various religious groups oppose abortion (many support abortion rights as well) the March for Life has come to be considered mainly a Catholic event.

Catholic clergy offer prayers, Catholic politicians make speeches and Catholic school kids fill out the rank-and-file.

Monahan says this year will different.

The March for Life has hired a full-time staffer devoted to bringing more Protestant evangelicals to the protest, and they hope to see that effort bear fruit this Wednesday.

They’ve tapped James Dobson, founder of the evangelical powerhouse ministry Focus on the Family, as a keynote speaker. Dobson and his adopted son, Ryan, will talk about adoption, an issue close to the heart of many evangelicals.

4) The Hardest Part

For the first time in its 41 years, the March for Life will focus on an issue besides abortion on Wednesday.

Through Dobson and other speakers, the march is also promoting the idea of “noble adoption” as an alternative to abortion.

“Adoption is a heroic decision for pregnant mothers who find themselves in a difficult situation,” says Monahan. “We want to eliminate the stigma of adoption and encourage women to pursue this noble option.”

The spotlight on adoption dovetails with new focus within the anti-abortion movement on crisis pregnancy centers, which urge women to carry their pregnancy to term.

Critics charge that the centers divulge false medical information about abortion and deceive unwitting patients into thinking they provide abortions, only to advise them otherwise. Supporters say they help women through financial assistance, counseling and adoption referrals.

5) Wish You Were Here

Despite the youth of many March for Life participants, the group’s website had been decidedly Web 1.0.

Under Monahan, that has changed dramatically.

The group posts Instagram pics of chilly protesters trudging through snow at past marches on Throwback Thursdays. They upload posts about prenatal development to Pinterest and tweet throughout the year, including this one about the difficult choices pregnant women sometimes face.

For the more technically advanced, the March has developed an app that connects to a 360-degree camera so folks can follow the protest from home. The app also has anti-abortion information, links to articles about adoption and tips for lobbying Congress.

“We have to find a way to take those boots on the ground and talk to them throughout the year,” says Kelly. “And with Facebook and Twitter and other social media we have the tools to do so.”

The March is also hoping for a high-profile social media endorsement on Wednesday: Monahan says she’s asked the Vatican to send a tweet from the Pope in support of the March for Life.

UPDATE: On Wednesday morning, Monahan got her papal tweet.

6) Yakety Yak

Imagine listening to politicians drone on for hours about their voting records in the chilly January air.

Fun, right?

Monahan didn’t think so either, so she’s trying to accomplish a minor miracle: limiting the speaking time of politicians at the pre-march rally.

Only a handful of politicians, including House Majority Leader Eric Canton, R-Virginia, and Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Illinois, have been invited to speak. They’ve all been asked to keep their speeches to a just a few minutes.

“In past years our rally has gone on for two or three hours and people lost interest,” Monahan says.

So, instead of boring speeches, the rally this year will feature a live concert by Matt Maher, a Catholic singer-songwriter with a huge following among young Christians.

So, will all this make any difference?

Clearly, changes are afoot this year at the March for Life. But what effect, if any, will they have on the larger anti-abortion movement?

Not much, says Ziad Munson, a sociologist at Lehigh University and author of the book “The Making of Pro-life Activists.”

The March for Life hasn’t really been politically influential since the early 1990s, says Munson. Meanwhile, other abortion opponents, like Catholic bishops and National Right to Life Committee, have led the charge.

“In effect, what we’re seeing is a new organization within a movement, not a new approach,” he says. “I don’t think the March for Life is likely to make inroads that haven’t already been made.”

Monahan is more optimistic.

If the March can recruit even a slice of its youthful protesters into citizen activists, she says, it might be enough to tip the balance in a country deeply divided on the morality of abortion.

- CNN Belief Blog Editor

Filed under: Abortion • Bioethics • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church and state • Culture wars • Ethics • evangelicals • Politics • Women

soundoff (1,983 Responses)
  1. Dyslexic doG

    it occurs to me that religion is just an excuse for the part of human nature that makes many people unable to stop themselves judging others. The christian religion for example says that only their god can judge people but christian's lives are taken up with endlessly judging others and working out ways that these others are NOT doing the right thing according to their bronze age book and telling them that they are going to hell for these supposed errors but telling them that they will pray for the sinners in an effort to somehow feel superior to the ones they are judging.

    such infantile, bullying, self absorbed behavior

    January 22, 2014 at 11:42 am |
    • vtguy

      Murder is murder..... your long winded thesis seems to miss this point

      January 22, 2014 at 11:45 am |
      • ME II

        Murder is a legal definition, i.e. unlawful killing of another person.

        Legal abortion is not murder.

        January 22, 2014 at 11:48 am |
        • igaftr

          come on Me II, you are better than that.
          That is not even close to the legal definition of murder.
          No legal definition starts with "the unlawful" especially murder.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
        • franticred

          Since I can't reply to igaftr:

          murder
          /ˈməːdə/
          noun
          noun: murder; plural noun: murders1. the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.

          And here's the legalese definition: The unlawful killing of another human being without justification or excuse.

          See – http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/murder – you can read the historical common law definition as well. Still includes the word "unlawful", btw.

          Ergo, legally performed abortions are not murder.

          January 24, 2014 at 8:46 am |
      • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

        Murder is murder. How insightful.

        January 22, 2014 at 11:48 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        so if god controls everything, why does he murder so many innocent souls in pain, anguish and horror every minute?

        "murder is murder" apparently.

        January 22, 2014 at 11:48 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Their man Jesus did say that the Kingdom – their kingdom – is not of this world. He did not condemn slavery, for example, but wanted his people to focus on a different life beyond this one. So why do they get so involved in the affairs of this world?

      January 22, 2014 at 11:51 am |
  2. rhaj

    I wonder : why don't the Christians leave the fate of abortionists to... God, and stop pestering.

    Don't Christians trust God to do the right thing to these abortionists?

    January 22, 2014 at 11:36 am |
    • Wootings

      No. Like all religious people, they convince themselves that they are doing Gawd's work on Earth.

      Hence, they get to hate and kill whoever they want...because Gawd commands it.

      January 22, 2014 at 11:40 am |
      • rhaj

        I would like to ask someone to give me a (biblical) reference teaching Christians to "pester" people that do not follow the Bible.

        January 22, 2014 at 11:43 am |
    • vtguy

      Ok hotshot.... God put people like me on the earth to make this murder stop.

      January 22, 2014 at 11:46 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        did god make you out of dirt? or are you from a rib?

        Yep ... that's how he would have done it.

        January 22, 2014 at 11:51 am |
      • In Santa we trust

        Self-appointed vigilante is the reality.

        January 22, 2014 at 11:58 am |
    • Cody

      God is the God of both the supernatural and the natural, so while you want to say that Christians should just let God supernaturally intervene, God has throughout history used people to accomplish his will.

      January 22, 2014 at 11:49 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        retreat into mysticism is the first refuge of the cornered fool.

        January 22, 2014 at 11:52 am |
      • rhaj

        So... maybe His will is to have the foetus aborted, using the mother/doctor that did the abortion "to accomplish his will."

        January 22, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
  3. Mark Causey

    Why do some people insist on forcing others to abide by their religion based beliefs?

    January 22, 2014 at 11:34 am |
    • ea

      Because God judges nations.

      January 22, 2014 at 11:36 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        more hokey, greeting card sayings.
        like safety blankets for Christians.
        they can spit them out on demand.
        and somehow think that they proved a point.

        January 22, 2014 at 11:43 am |
      • sly

        Ho ho ho ... I know you are joking ea ... but just the thought of someone sitting up in the clouds with a report card making check marks brought a smile to my face.

        "lets see ... Somalia, D-, Cuba B+, Syria D, Israel C- ....Oh wait, some monk light himself on fire, Tibet drops from a C to a C- ..."

        January 22, 2014 at 11:50 am |
    • Cody

      Pro-life isnt just religious folks, theres solid scientific evidence that the fetus is an individual life, even if it requires sustenance from its mother.

      January 22, 2014 at 11:51 am |
      • Retrovirale

        So are muslims, jews, atheists, mormons etc. Yet, it is ok to kill them in adulthood because they live by different rules. Also, a bacteria is alive as well. Let people make their own decisions.

        January 22, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
  4. Dyslexic doG

    if god causes miscarriages, or by inaction allows them to happen, why would christians be so concerned with doctors just doing what the christian god already does?

    January 22, 2014 at 11:31 am |
    • Russ

      @ Dyslexic: the Author of Life alone has the prerogative of life.

      January 22, 2014 at 11:34 am |
      • In Santa we trust

        In which case an omnipotent, omniscient god could solve this with a snap of its fingers. Strange that that hasn't happened.

        January 22, 2014 at 11:36 am |
        • Russ

          @ Santa: "in which case..." if you're going to make such allowances (which is clearly contrary to your own view), isn't the life, death & resurrection of Jesus rather germane to that discussion? point being: in such a case, the "omniscient, omnipotent" God you are wanting to indict *has* acted rather definitively on the subject.

          as Dostoevsky put it:
          “I believe like a child that suffering will be healed and made up for, that all the humiliating absurdity of human contradictions will vanish like a pitiful mirage, like the desp.icable fabrication of the imp.otent and infinitely small Euclidean mind of man, that in the world's finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, for all the blood that they've shed; that it will make it not only possible to forgive but to justify all that has happened.”

          "if that is the case..." the resurrection is a strong declaration of what God is doing.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
      • Lol@Russ

        And who might that be?

        January 22, 2014 at 11:37 am |
        • Russ

          @ Lol: it's in Dyslexic's question. you seem to be objecting to the premise raised by the OP.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        so god can kill, or by inaction allow to die, billions of unborns every year, millions of born children by hunger, disease, abuse, war, accident ... but a man or woman cannot?

        January 22, 2014 at 11:38 am |
        • babies are beautiful

          Why on EARTH would you be so lacking in integrity as to equate mere men and women with the power of the Supreme CREATOR?
          Boy – THAT is Blasphemy at its worst.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:46 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          Blasphemy is an artificial defense of a god; there is no evidence of a supreme creator so blasphemy is not relevant.

          January 22, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Dyslexic: you are talking about different categories. the Creator (who defines life, made it and can end it at his prerogative) certainly is right to do as he pleases.

          however, you appear to be conflating the theist's Creator/creation distinction argument with the biblical notion of the Fall (wherein sin corrupts God's original design):
          a) much of what you are talking about is what we have done to ourselves.
          b) the life, death & resurrection speak rather clearly to God's benevolent intentions despite the mess we've made of things.

          SUM: you take the Christian God as a given in your argument, but seem to avoid the broader implications & claims the Bible makes.

          January 22, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        and even with his "prerogative of life", why would a loving god kill, or by inaction allow to die, billions of unborns every year, millions of born children by hunger, disease, abuse, war, accident?

        January 22, 2014 at 11:40 am |
        • Russ

          @ Dyslexic: answered above

          January 22, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
      • babies are beautiful

        Bravo Russ. Great comment.

        January 22, 2014 at 11:43 am |
      • ME II

        @Russ,
        That's 'special pleading', I think.

        January 22, 2014 at 11:52 am |
        • Russ

          @ ME II: clarify your remark – because the critique seems to equally be arguing God is uniquely responsible. how is that not also "special pleading" from the opposite end? and that's not even to begin to address the competing philosophical / metaphysical claims underlying...

          January 22, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
    • vtguy

      Doctors are not god dummy

      January 22, 2014 at 11:47 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Dyslexic doG : why would christians be so concerned with doctors just doing what the christian god already does?

      Did you see my post below? How are women treated when a spontaneous abortion occurs vs. a forced abortion?

      spontaneous : "I'm sorry honey. We can try again."

      vs.

      forced: "Great, now I can use you some more!"

      <><

      January 22, 2014 at 11:51 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        Sir, you have a very disturbed view of the world.

        January 22, 2014 at 11:54 am |
      • ME II

        @Live4Him,
        "forced: "Great, now I can use you some more!""
        1) No one advocating anyone be forced to have an abortion.
        2) If a woman is treated this way, then we should be addressing the treatment of women, which might reduce the need for abortion.

        January 22, 2014 at 11:56 am |
        • Live4Him

          @ME II : 1) No one advocating anyone be forced to have an abortion.

          Really? And what do YOU think normally happens when two college students wind up in the situation where the woman is pregnant?

          A) That is okay, because we're getting married anyway!
          B) Guy: What are YOU going to do about the pregnancy? I cannot deal with a child at this time.

          Of course! It is the latter option. And while it isn't direct force, it is indirect force.

          @ME II : 2) If a woman is treated this way, then we should be addressing the treatment of women, which might reduce the need for abortion.

          Which is why I'm posting this stuff. Women ARE treated this way – all the time. Just because they are strong-armed into the decision doesn't mean they made the decision they would choose under different circumstances.

          <><

          January 22, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
        • Pete

          Where I live when two college students find themselves pregnant there is usually a shotgun wedding in the near future.

          January 22, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
  5. K. A.

    It should be called March for Death. If women didn't have access to a safe, legal abortions, many would have a illegal, back alley abortions that would cause them fatal complications.

    January 22, 2014 at 11:29 am |
    • Dilapidated Emu

      Yeah, let's make sure that we provide a safe outlet for people to commit infanticide. We wouldn't want them to feel any reprocussions for ending a human life.

      January 22, 2014 at 11:48 am |
    • babies are beautiful

      53_ MILLION abortions and rising by 3,500 a DAY in America says you're talking rubbish.

      Why would a moral, decent, intelligent person applaud the mutilation, dismemberment [while still alive!] and murder of this holocaust? It beggars belief.

      January 22, 2014 at 11:49 am |
      • In Santa we trust

        Nearly 21000 people die of starvation alone daily. Aren't those people worth saving? I don't see a "pro-life" campaign against hunger (or any of the other causes of avoidable death).

        January 22, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
  6. Robert

    I always go to the question, "Why, when a mother-to-be and her fetus is killed, is the killer charged with killing both, but, when the mother-to-be decides to terminate the pregnancy, is she not charged with killing the baby?" It seems that the status of the fetus (whether it is a true being or not) is determined only by whether the mother-to-be wants it, or not.

    It appears that pro-choicers want to have it both ways.

    January 22, 2014 at 11:24 am |
    • Alias

      That's because you don't understand the legal issues involved.

      January 22, 2014 at 11:26 am |
      • Delilah

        Perhaps you can enlighten us?

        January 22, 2014 at 11:27 am |
        • Alias

          Read below:
          The legislation that supports abortion is almost exclusively based on women's rights.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:36 am |
        • jfk

          Liberalism describes it best. Abortion is liberalism at its best, mankind at its worst.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:50 am |
      • vtguy

        Here let me help you understand the legal issues as we see them.... murder is murder.

        January 22, 2014 at 11:49 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          But we're talking about abortion.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:50 am |
      • ea

        " If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's [i.e."Roe" who sought an abortion], of course collapses, for the fetus' right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment." – 1973 Roe Vs. Wade
        Science has since established that life begins at conception when a unique human being with unique D.N.A. is created.
        Jesus forgives and heals.

        January 22, 2014 at 11:55 am |
    • WilltheFree

      I think you miss the inherent logic. The choice as to whether or not to have the child rests exclusively with the mother. And to deprive that mother of her choice (which might have been to have the child) is the same as a double homicide.

      The legislation that supports abortion is almost exclusively based on women's rights.

      January 22, 2014 at 11:33 am |
      • Winston

        Yes, but what about the unborn child's rights? That's the problem.

        January 22, 2014 at 11:36 am |
        • WilltheFree

          First, it is not clear that an unborn child has rights. Rights in the US are granted to citizens. To be a citizen one must be born in the US. A fetus has not been born by definition, and therefore doesn't have rights per se. That said, there is plenty of legislation that seems to recognize some rights for fetuses.

          However, the underlying principle here is that the rights of the mother supersede the rights of an unborn fetus, especially since the fetus isn't viable immediately. You cannot tell anyone that they must support what is essentially a parasite in their body (parasite in the scientific definition). And when you think about this, it makes sense – a person who is uncontestably a person and certainly a citizen, versus a fetus.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:42 am |
        • Winston

          "You cannot tell anyone that they must support what is essentially a parasite in their body (parasite in the scientific definition). And when you think about this, it makes sense "

          It strikes me that that sort of thinking only makes sense to people who really want it to make sense, so they don't have to consider any ethical issues that might complicate the women's rights issue.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:52 am |
    • Lee

      Agree. How about if the mother doesn't want the baby, its HER BODY, and the father does, he has no rights. But if she wants the baby, and the father doesn't, then its NOT HER BODY, but both theirs and the father pays child support. Not for deadbeat Dads, just you can't have it both ways. Makes no sense

      January 22, 2014 at 11:38 am |
      • WilltheFree

        Not sure I follow – are you saying that a father should have a say in whether or not a mother can/can not have an abortion?

        January 22, 2014 at 11:45 am |
        • paul

          If the mother doesn't want it she doesn't have to pay for it.

          If the father doesn't want it he has to pay for it.

          She makes the decision to have the child, the father is forced to go along with it, even it the child was a result of birth control failure.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:52 am |
    • paul

      Because it adds a feel good charge the DA can tack on to the defendant to get good publicity and for bargaining purposes or to make sure there are enough charges that one sticks.

      January 22, 2014 at 11:49 am |
    • babies are beautiful

      Excellent question Robert. But the supporters of the murders of 53+ MILLION of American babies [rising by 3,500 every DAY!] will waffle on with their apologetics for an American holocaust without any informed judgement to back it up – just propaganda!

      January 22, 2014 at 11:52 am |
  7. L.S.B.

    We kill huge number of innocent lives every second, e.g., chickens used in Chick-fil-A.

    January 22, 2014 at 11:22 am |
    • carlin123

      And Chickens are good people. You never hear about a chicken beating his Hen, or getting drunk. My heart weeps for those poor eggs! I pray to God the killing stops.

      January 22, 2014 at 11:27 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      I blame those damn cows on billboards and tv telling us to eat mor chicken!

      January 22, 2014 at 11:33 am |
    • ea

      Aren't you missing your cartoon show?

      January 22, 2014 at 11:40 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        oooh ... you're right ... thanks ... brb!

        January 22, 2014 at 11:45 am |
  8. Science Works

    #And the pope twitted his ethical side above ? – but how will god help really ?

    January 22, 2014 at 11:20 am |
  9. Reality # 2

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    I have been to a number of Marches and consider them a great life experience. I no longer go because the March fails to address the major issue as noted here many times before but once again to get the word out there:

    The reality of se-x, abortion, contraception and STD/HIV control: – from a male atheist who enjoys intelligent se-x-

    Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

    The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

    : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

    Added information before making your next move:

    "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

    See also: http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/26/opinion/bolan-se-xual-health/index.html?hpt=hp_t4

    And from:
    "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about (even though is becoming a major cause of throat cancer)," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (Maybe it should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

    Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

    The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":

    - (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
    – (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)

    Followed by:

    One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
    Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
    The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
    Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
    IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)

    Every other method ranks below these, including Withdrawal (4.0), Female condom (5.0), Diaphragm (6.0), Periodic abstinence (calendar) (9.0), the Sponge (9.0-20.0, depending on whether the woman using it has had a child in the past), Cervical cap (9.0-26.0, with the same caveat as the Sponge), and Spermicides (18.0).

    January 22, 2014 at 11:16 am |
    • WilltheFree

      Maybe I miss the point of your post... however the success or failure or birth control relative to unwanted pregnancy or the spread of S.TDs is irrelevant to the discussion of whether abortion should be legal or not. The current legislation doesn't say that a woman can have an abortion only if she used birth control and it failed.

      January 22, 2014 at 11:36 am |
      • Reality # 2

        The point is that if many men and women were not so stupid, abortion would not be an issue.

        January 22, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
  10. sonny chapman

    Anybody for Supporting Life After Birth ?

    January 22, 2014 at 11:12 am |
    • Boger

      BullSHlT!

      January 22, 2014 at 11:13 am |
    • Lee

      Yeah, I worked with street kids in South America for 5 years, saw medical clinics, shelters for homeless, help in finding jobs etc run by religious people. What are you doing to support life after birth? I hope a lot, or you're a hypocrite.

      January 22, 2014 at 11:41 am |
  11. Live4Him

    Abortion kills a child
    1) Given that 99% of all abortions occur after the 7th week
    2) Given that unique DNA is generated at conception
    3) Given that the child's heartbeat begins in the 5th week
    4) Given that the child's brainwaves begin in the 6th week
    5) Given that America's courts identify a person as being alive based upon the criteria of a) unique DNA (exception: twins), b) existence of a heartbeat, and c) existence of brain activity
    Therefore, the fetus must be a child by the end of the 6th week

    Abortion/birth control encourages promiscuity
    1) Given that sexual activity is enjoyable
    2) Given that an abortion helps minimize personal responsibility
    3) Given that birth control helps minimize personal responsibility
    Therefore, the natural consequences of promiscuity are mitigated

    Promiscuity dehumanizes women
    1) Given that women desire to be loved, rather than used and cast aside
    2) Given that promiscuity is the act of using another before moving on
    3) Given that women will try to work within the system to fulfill their needs
    4) Given that rejection by another after bearing one's soul to that person is destructive to one's self esteem
    Therefore, engaging in sexual activity without a lifelong commitment is an activity that treats women as objects to be used and disposed of afterward

    January 22, 2014 at 11:07 am |
    • Lol@Live4Him

      Given that your view on women is skewed and mysogynistic and totally your own OPINION. Given that, your list is bunk. You're forced birth and don't give a sh!t about what happens afterward.

      January 22, 2014 at 11:16 am |
      • Delilah

        What are you doing to improve what happens afterward?

        January 22, 2014 at 11:21 am |
        • Lol@Delilah

          I am a foster parent, work at a women's/children's shelter, and counsel rape victims.

          You?

          January 22, 2014 at 11:57 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Something I will agree with you on: having unprotected se x with abortion in the back of your mind as a possible way out of the unententended, yet totally preventable pregnancy disgusts me. To me it's more of an issue of how dumb people can be when only listing to thier other head. Some of these kids, and full grown adults, seem to act like they forgot where babies come from. My wife and have been together for 13 years now, almost all of the time using birth control. In the few rare instances we did not, we had a very in depth discussion about the possibility of pregnancy.

      January 22, 2014 at 11:17 am |
      • Live4Him

        @lunchbreaker : having unprotected se x with abortion in the back of your mind as a possible way out of the unententended, yet totally preventable pregnancy disgusts me.

        I doubt that most couples approach it from this perspective. Rather, they just 'trust' it will happen to the other couple, rather than to us. In short, they don't really think about it – too caught in the moment to think.

        @lunchbreaker : To me it's more of an issue of how dumb people can be when only listing to thier other head.

        Isn't this the root issue? Self-indulgent nature?

        @lunchbreaker : seem to act like they forgot where babies come from.

        You don't see this issue in the movies, and (unfortunately) this is where most young people get their view of 'love'. They live for the moment.

        @lunchbreaker : My wife and have been together for 13 years now

        This is the true definition of love : a commitment to see things through REGARDLESS of the obstacles encountered.

        <><

        January 22, 2014 at 11:31 am |
    • Doris

      "birth control encourages promiscuity"

      I don't see that that unrealistic attitude is helping:

      The 50 most violent cities in the world:

      http://www.businessinsider.com/the-most-violent-cities-in-the-world-2013-11?op=1

      The pictures there tell the story of what happens when people worry more about procreation than planning for the results.

      By far, most of these crime-ridden cities are in predominantly fundamentally Christian countries.

      January 22, 2014 at 11:17 am |
      • Live4Him

        Non-sequitur

        January 22, 2014 at 11:32 am |
        • Doris

          The correlation is pretty obvious. That you choose to ignore it is obvious too.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:38 am |
    • Reality # 2

      And also involved are the Brutal Effects of Stupidity. Scroll up the page for details.

      January 22, 2014 at 11:18 am |
    • myweightinwords

      As a woman, I am telling you again that this is bull. Your views of women are so skewed and wrong and apparently based on some Harlequin romance novel with a bad ending.

      January 22, 2014 at 11:19 am |
      • Live4Him

        @myweightinwords : As a woman, I am telling you again that this is bull.

        Where's your evidence?

        <><

        January 22, 2014 at 11:22 am |
        • myweightinwords

          Me. The other women I know. Life.

          Women are not so fragile a creature mentally and emotionally as you make them out to be. We don't need a big strong man to come into our lives and promise to be our protector forever and always and fill our bellies with babies to carry on his name.

          We aren't devastated beyond repair and lose any and all self esteem when a relationship ends. We don't "why me" ourselves into hysterics if a guy (or girl) dumps us. Sure, it hurts, and we might briefly have that reaction. But we're grown women. We deal with it, we move on. Just like men do.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:29 am |
        • Live4Him

          @myweightinwords : Women are not so fragile a creature mentally and emotionally as you make them out to be.

          I never said they were 'fragile', so why this tangent? Why are you so defensive on this?

          @myweightinwords : We don't need a big strong man to come into our lives and promise to be our protector forever and always and fill our bellies with babies to carry on his name.

          God designed people to need relationships. With a good relationship, comes contentment.

          @myweightinwords : We aren't devastated beyond repair and lose any and all self esteem when a relationship ends.

          Strawman logic fallacy. Again, why so defensive?

          @myweightinwords : We deal with it, we move on. Just like men do.

          This statement reveals how little you know about men. Women do the 'moving on' (i.e. file for divorce) more often than men. So, men want to hang on. However, most men are shallow (use 'em and leave 'em), just like women are becoming.

          <><

          January 22, 2014 at 11:41 am |
        • Pete

          You have a pretty messed up view of the world.

          January 22, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
    • Mark

      Probably the stupidest remarks in this entire posting. Probably from some GOP old man who believes women can't think for themselves. As for reason # 5, it is laughable! It is not a person (show me the birth certificate you idiot) it is a fetus and should be sucked out and disposed of like garbage!!!!

      January 22, 2014 at 11:31 am |
    • Sungrazer

      "It has been estimated that 50 percent of all human conceptions end in spontaneous abortion, usually without a woman even realizing that she was pregnant. In fact, 20 percent of all recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage. There is an obvious truth here that cries out for acknowledgment: if God exists, He is the most prolific abortionist of all."

      -Sam Harris, "Letter to a Christian Nation"

      January 22, 2014 at 11:36 am |
      • Live4Him

        @Sungrazer : There is an obvious truth here that cries out for acknowledgment

        The most obvious truth is using women for the satisifaction of your 'needs' without regard for their well-being.

        <><

        January 22, 2014 at 11:46 am |
        • Sungrazer

          So, you sidestepped my point and threw out a red herring that seems to be saying that abortions are a result of man's needs for women, which is strange.

          January 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
    • Alias

      Posts like this remind me why you are here all day.
      You are so out of touch that I don't believe you can handle life in the real world.

      January 22, 2014 at 11:40 am |
    • Grinning Libber

      BUNK!

      January 22, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      1) Given that 99% of all abortions occur after the 7th week
      Not quite.
      62% of abortions are performed during the first 7 weeks of pregnancy.
      88% of abortions occur in the first tri-mester.

      2) Given that unique DNA is generated at conception
      3) Given that the child's heartbeat begins in the 5th week
      4) Given that the child's brainwaves begin in the 6th week
      5) Given that America's courts identify a person as being alive based upon the criteria of a) unique DNA (exception: twins), b) existence of a heartbeat, and c) existence of brain activity
      Therefore, the fetus must be a child by the end of the 6th week

      To get scalp or surface potentials from the cortex requires three things: neurons, dendrites, and axons, with synapses between them. Since these requirements are not present in the human cortex before 20-24 weeks of gestation, it is not possible to record "brain waves" prior to 20-24 weeks.

      Abortion/birth control encourages promiscuity
      1) Given that se.xual activity is enjoyable
      2) Given that an abortion helps minimize personal responsibility
      3) Given that birth control helps minimize personal responsibility
      Therefore, the natural consequences of promiscuity are mitigated

      Does the 2nd Amendment encourage armed robbery?
      Does the 1st Amendment encourage hate speech?
      Does the legality of alcohol encourage drunk driving?
      Access to something does not necessitate negative usage.

      Promiscuity dehumanizes women
      1) Given that women desire to be loved, rather than used and cast aside
      2) Given that promiscuity is the act of using another before moving on
      3) Given that women will try to work within the system to fulfill their needs
      4) Given that rejection by another after bearing one's soul to that person is destructive to one's self esteem
      Therefore, engaging in se.xual activity without a lifelong commitment is an activity that treats women as objects to be used and disposed of afterward

      And here you are projecting your own feelings and insecurities on all women.
      EVERYBODY desires to be loved and not used and cast aside.
      As we've discussed before, I've been in what you think is the "female" role wherein the woman I was with wanted a purely physical, casual relationship whereas I wanted commitment.
      Even today, I've been with the same person for a decade and we aren't married – not becuase I am afraid of commitment or that I'm using her like an object, but becuase SHE doesn't want marriage. She is the one who initiated our relationship ten years ago, she is the one who began the physical aspects of that relationship, she is the one who doesnt' want marriage.

      January 22, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
  12. Science Works

    And Steve where do morals/ethics come from – the supposed moral majority ?

    January 22, 2014 at 11:04 am |
    • Science Works

      Dang for Steve below.

      January 22, 2014 at 11:05 am |
  13. Steve

    Regardless of one's position, Roe vs. Wade made a decision regarding fetal viability. However, successful in vitro fertilization (going full term), proves the zygote is an unique life-form at the moment of conception. Just because we do not have the technology to successfully transplant the fetus, does not mean it is not a viable life-form. I have the utmost sympathy and respect for a woman with an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy; it is something a man truly cannot understand. The answers will never be simple. I hope they always cause us to pause and reflect on the moral and ethical considerations. I do not profess to have the answers, and will not judge. That is not up to me or you, only the people directly involve.

    January 22, 2014 at 10:56 am |
    • Thad

      Viable outside the body?

      January 22, 2014 at 11:03 am |
    • tallulah13

      Absolutely the decision belongs to those directly involved. Priests, politicians and opinionated strangers have no business interfering.

      January 22, 2014 at 11:06 am |
      • Russ

        @ tallulah: do you make the same argument when a mother & father murder what you would fully agree is a "child"?

        January 22, 2014 at 11:11 am |
        • tallulah13

          Russ:
          An embryo is not a child. It cannot exist independently without a body to provide life support. It is not a functioning human being. It is only a potential human being.. A child is an independent unit that can survive without another physical body to provide life support. I believe that a living child is protected by the law.

          So why do you think that a pregnant women is nothing more than an incubator? Why do you think that a pregnant woman should automatically lose the right to determine what happens to her own body and life? Do you honestly think that getting pregnant automatically grants you the mental and material resources to carry to term? Or can you concede that it's possible that a woman might be more knowledgable about her own situation than you, and might be better qualified to make her an choices?

          January 22, 2014 at 11:33 am |
        • Russ

          @ tallulah:
          1) you didn't answer my question. i'll take that as a concession that you see the problem with your previous logic (especially in terms of contributing to this debate).

          2) on what basis are defining life? or child, for that matter? your underlying premise is question begging.

          3) at no point did i argue that a woman is nothing more than an incubator. that was your own over-simplification (i'm guessing because it serves to caricature my position so you can more readily dismiss a straw man i was not advocating in the first place). you are moving the goal posts.

          a woman is a human being. we agree on that.
          what we don't agree upon: the child inside her is also a human being.
          that is the central divide of the debate.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:42 am |
      • Winston

        It seems you view abortion as a women's rights issue. On the other side are those who view abortion as an unborn child's rights issue. They don't deny that women have rights to their own bodies, but recognize it gets more complicated when there is another body involved.

        January 22, 2014 at 11:11 am |
        • Thad

          Until the fetus is born, they have no individual rights. I agree that it is a complicated question, but well-meaning strangers aren't the ones going through it and will disappear once baby is here. It's a highly personal issue, and one that the individual must make for themself.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:26 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          Putting aside the issue of actually carrying the baby, who should care for the child born against the wishes of the mother? It's not cheap to care for and educate a child.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:27 am |
        • Winston

          " It's a highly personal issue, and one that the individual must make for themself."

          Only while the fetus has no rights.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:28 am |
        • Winston

          "who should care for the child born against the wishes of the mother?"

          I don't understand why that's relevant, if the child has rights.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:30 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          The fetus really has no say in anything related to its future. It didn't choose to be conceived, it cannot communicate, it doesn't participate in the choice of hospital to be born, if born it doesn't choose where it lives, where it goes to school, etc.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:32 am |
        • Winston

          "The fetus really has no say in anything related to its future. It didn't choose to be conceived, it cannot communicate,"

          I don't understand why that should imply it should have no rights.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:34 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          You say that the mother should only choose what you want; I was pointing out that a fetus never has a choice. A mother also has rights.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:38 am |
        • Winston

          "You say that the mother should only choose what you want;"

          I'm not saying that at all. Our laws recognize rights. The question becomes at what point does an unborn child get its own rights. After that point, the mother does not have the only say in things, just like after the child is born.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:41 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          What rights does the law provide for a fetus? And do those rights supersede the rights of others?

          January 22, 2014 at 11:44 am |
        • Winston

          "What rights does the law provide for a fetus?"

          I believe that varies from state to state. It can't be helped that women are the only gender capable of giving birth; if providing rights to an unborn child after a certain point in development infringes on a woman's otherwise unquestioned right to make decisions about her body, that can't be helped, either.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:49 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          Be specific.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:53 am |
        • Winston

          "Be specific"

          Do you mean about fetal rights? Again, it varies between states, but a quick search provided the following example of a state protecting an unborn child.

          Wisconsin is one of four states, along with Minnesota, Oklahoma and South Dakota, with laws specifically granting authorities the power to confine pregnant women for substance abuse.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:58 am |
        • Winston

          Also, at least 38 states have fetal homicide laws–the state acknowledging fetal rights.

          January 22, 2014 at 12:10 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Winston
          So when a women becomes pregnant, she should be required to cede her right to self-determination?
          You'll note that there are no laws in place mandating that she must do everything possible to promote normal foetal development.
          The government can't force a pregnant woman to eat right, quit smoking or even abstain from alcohol, despite indisputable evidence that it adversely affects embryonic development.

          January 22, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
        • Winston

          "So when a women becomes pregnant, she should be required to cede her right to self-determination?"

          When a woman is pregnant, there are two bodies involved, not one. Once the child's has reached a point of development that ent-itles it to its own rights (which varies between states), it's no longer a question about only the rights of the woman and her body, but also about the rights of the child and its body. Is it complicated? Of course. Does the woman lose all rights to her body at that point? Of course not, but she certainly loses the right to have an abortion at that point, but can have one before.

          January 22, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
        • Delilah

          I like how you put it–"unborn child rights". Takes away all the one-dimensional arguments like "the government needs to keep out of my body" or "what if they don't want the child" or "it's just a parasite until it's born" and promotes a real ethical discussion.

          January 22, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Explain how it would be viable.

      January 22, 2014 at 11:24 am |
  14. Dyslexic doG

    the simple truth for most pro-choice americans is that we would rather live in a free country than in a theocracy.

    January 22, 2014 at 10:44 am |
    • tallulah13

      Yep.

      January 22, 2014 at 10:56 am |
  15. Colin

    A simple risk analysis means that Christians should favor abortion. According to them, aborted fetuses are human beings with a soul. Upon their abortion they die and go to heaven. By not being born, they achieve instant immortality in heaven where they live happily ever after and there is zero chance they will end up in hell.

    If Christians REALLY believed the nonsense of heaven and hell, they would abort their own children in droves to avoid any risk of the child growing up, committing sins and going to hell. In fact, abortion would be a sacrament. The ultimate act of selfless love for one's blastocyst.

    January 22, 2014 at 10:35 am |
    • Russ

      @ Colin: you mean like "pro-choice" & "anti-choice"? it's a two way street.

      January 22, 2014 at 10:45 am |
      • Russ

        sorry. posted in the wrong place.

        January 22, 2014 at 10:45 am |
        • Russ

          @ Colin: but to be clear – child sacrifice is repeatedly denounced in the Bible.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:31 am |
    • devin

      A simple risk analysis means that many in the scientific community ( specifically those involved in vivisection) should be tried and punished for mur der. In that we share 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees, the experimentation that has, is and will be done on our ancestors, is nothing short of Josef Mengele's atrocities.

      Do you see how you can distort and misrepresent pretty much any idea? Christians are informed to " Do not kill", your rambling aside.

      January 22, 2014 at 11:14 am |
      • Madtown

        You're anti-war, then? That's good.

        January 22, 2014 at 11:30 am |
  16. Tony

    You can tell the slant immediately because the author categorizes the event as "ANTI-abortion" and not "PRO-life".

    January 22, 2014 at 10:33 am |
    • ME II

      @Tony,
      Slant?
      I thought the article was very neutral and simply reported the changes to annual event.

      January 22, 2014 at 10:36 am |
    • Colin

      That's because the term "pro-life" is pregnant with the assumption that those who support a woman's right to chose are "anti-life", which is not so.

      January 22, 2014 at 10:37 am |
      • Russ

        @ Colin: you mean like "pro-choice" & "anti-choice"? it's a two way street.

        January 22, 2014 at 10:44 am |
        • Colin

          No, it actually isn't. Abortion foes ARE against giving a woman a choice. The pro-choice movement is NOT pro abortion, just pro choice.

          January 22, 2014 at 10:55 am |
        • igaftr

          not really russ.
          Those who want to ban abortion, want to remove the choice, so the term is accurate.
          Because I am pro-choice, does not mean I want any abortions, I am very much against abortion as a form of birth control, and am certainly not anti life....just history shows the safest thing for society is safe choices.

          January 22, 2014 at 10:57 am |
        • Russ

          @ Colin: you are only hearing your own assumptions. it's question begging.

          do you understand (whether or not you agree) how your opponents would argue you are "anti-child's choice"?

          January 22, 2014 at 10:57 am |
        • Russ

          @ igaftr: you are using words like "safe" & "choice", but – as i pointed out to Colin – it fails to hear your opponents' criticism. there is nothing safe here for the child, and it certainly is not giving that child choices.

          you are using semantics to dodge the substance of their critique.

          as i've argued before on this blog, there are substantive reasons both sides disagree here. the only fair thing to do is use each sides self-designation. to prefer to use one & only use the negative for the other side is journalistic bias.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:00 am |
        • Thad

          Not really...I don't know anyone one who wants the voices to be taken away completely...anti-abortionists want to limit the choice, tho.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:01 am |
        • igaftr

          Russ
          invalid argument...NO ONE thinks that an infant or fetus could possibly make any choices.
          That is just an attempt to show they are not anti-choice. They are against the WOMAN's right to choose.

          Are you going to ask the fetus if they want any choices? Ridiculous if you would expect a fetus to make a choice, so logic fail on "child's choice"

          January 22, 2014 at 11:02 am |
        • Russ

          @ Thad: as i said to Colin & igaftr:
          you are failing to hear your opponents' argument here. they *equally* (if not more, from their position) believe that a choice is being TAKEN away. so why use one side's self-designation & not the other?

          January 22, 2014 at 11:03 am |
        • Russ

          @ igaftr: now you've pressed your own position. does an infant equally forego the right to life because he "can't make choices"?

          January 22, 2014 at 11:05 am |
        • igaftr

          Russ.
          Another invalid argument...What makes you think a fetus has rights?
          A child is not a citizen until it is born. International law determines citizen ship partly on where the CHILD was BORN...since we are talking about UNBORN, YOU are pushing the position that a FETUS has rights, even though that is NOT accepted as a legal position.
          YOUR position is to give rights, where no legal right exists.

          I do agree that a human is a human from conception...if you can find ANY person alive today that at some point was NOT a single unique DNA human, then it may be true that they life does NOT begin at conception, but since it is OBVIOUS that ALL humans went through the single cell stage, and when ANY of those single cells are checked, you will see all of the signs of life within that cell, and that all of those single cell humans have the potential to grow into fully grown humans....it isn't even a discussion...it is biology.

          Would you give rights to that single cell organism? could you ask it what it wants? Of course not...so you DO have a voice that speaks for it...the mother...NO ONE BUT THE MOTHER has the right to speak for that child.

          Your arguments are INVALID that you simply decided that a single cell has right...or two cells, or four cells, or a billion cells, that still cannot speak or represent itself.
          The Mother has the right...no one else.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:40 am |
        • Russ

          @ igaftr:
          1) so you are basing your definition of a child upon legislation... but the legislation is *precisely* what we're debating? either you are openly embracing a catch 22 or you aren't being honest about your underlying foundations.

          a) if the former, would you have argued against MLK (since he went against legislation) & the press for civil rights?
          b) if the latter, on what basis do you define life or child?

          2) yes, we are giving rights to what you agree is *a human being* – namely, we are applying the rights of a human being to a human being. why is that so surprising?

          3) no, the mother is not the only voice for the child – especially when the mother is doing something *clearly* not in the best interest of the child. seriously, is there any debate here for you with an infant (also unable to make decisions)? *why* would you make such a distinction? it's certainly not on the basis of the child's ability.

          as for your argument about what i "simply decided"...
          a) i've been forthcoming about my basis for this belief. it's not *my* decision. what about you?
          b) even by your own logic, how is your argument not equally contingent on what *you* simply decided?

          January 22, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
        • igaftr

          Russ
          What I stated is the crux of it.Some claim the fetus has rights, other say not. THAT is the battleground for the issue.

          If the fetus has rights, you open the door to MANY issues of legality that NO legislator, or judge wants to have to go down. Imagine if a heart defect can be worked on while in the womb...are you going to ask the fetus if it wants the surgery, or are you going to get the ok or not from the mother?
          The mother has the rights, not the fetus, since the fetus cannot speak for itself.

          if in one case the mother has the rights, then the same applies in all cases.

          Attempting to legislate from the point of view of the fetus, means you MUST defer to the one who MUST speak for the child...NO ONE ELSE has the rights, and takinig rights away from the mother is just not legistlatable, nor enforceable without creating huge problems in the total scope of the issue.

          These people that are arguing from the fetus rights side are doomed to fail on that tactic. The fetus ultimately has the mother to speak for it, basically the same as a power of attourney that would be given for someone who cannot speak for themselves....no matter if you agree or disagree.

          January 22, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
        • Russ

          @ igaftr: again, your argument fails when applied to an infant (who equally has no ability to make an immediate choice for him/herself). if the mother of an infant *chooses* to attempt to murder her child, the court virtually ALWAYS intervenes in favor of the child (and normally would declare the mother's actions criminal).

          and again, your appeal to the fetus is question begging.

          January 22, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
    • Thad

      These same people are usually pro-gun, pro-war, and pro-death penalty...so are they really pro-life or pro-BIRTH? Semantics, I know, but someone like me will always be around to point that out.

      January 22, 2014 at 10:44 am |
      • Russ

        @ Thad: does everything fit into two neat little categories for you?
        it's always easier to dismiss your opponents when you make them into a caricature.

        January 22, 2014 at 10:56 am |
        • radar8

          "Pro-Life" is a lie. Anyone who is pro-life, by definition, should be anti-war, anti poverty and should be willing to financially help those poor souls that they stopped from getting aborted. But that's usually not the case. THey don't seem to care if the child is brought up in abject poverty to suffer and die at an early age.

          The average pro-life activist supports the GOP agenda, doesn't march to stop wars, complains about the poor wanting more and more. They simply do not care about the life that they "save".

          January 22, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
        • Russ

          @ radar8: here's what i wrote santa (who was making the same argument) below:

          *******

          @ santa: your categories are exceedingly shallow & anecdotal.

          look up world vision – one of the leading organizations in fighting world hunger. check out their founders' convictions.

          why are so many hospitals given religious names? they were founded by religious groups – many of whom believed life (including *after birth*) was worth fighting for & who are also found listed as pro-life in the above article.

          i myself am not "pro-guns", but even as i argue against it, i recognize my opponents claim that the second amendment actually brings greater safety, not less.

          SUM: your arguments lack a substantive basis. it's entirely anecdotal. you might as well be saying "well, all MY friends think..."

          January 22, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
      • Dave

        It's a "pro-life" rally? Are they going to lock arms and block the entrances to cemeteries? I just want to know how committed they are to this premise. h/t to the late Bill Hicks.

        January 22, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Dave: thank you. whether intentional or not, you have succinctly stated the main purpose of Jesus' resurrection.

          January 22, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Well that's accurate – you don't see these people lining up to challenge the causes of death to people actually born: road safety, drug availability, drug safety, gun safety, water supply, water safety, food supply, food safety, etc., et.
      Look up how many children die of starvation each day (it's thousands).

      January 22, 2014 at 10:54 am |
      • Russ

        @ Santa: that's anecdotal.
        1) the percentage of people lining up for those *combined* causes is tiny (so the same critique could be leveled against virtually ANY group).
        2) if anything, the article points out the diversity within the pro-life movement.
        3) where are you statistics to back up that claim?

        January 22, 2014 at 11:08 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          Russ, My point was in the reference to the claim that it is a pro-life movement when in fact all it is is anti-abortion – it is not active in those areas that I listed (which of course is just a subset of causes of death).

          The statistics are widely available, here is one source: http://www.statisticbrain.com/world-hunger-statistics/

          January 22, 2014 at 11:23 am |
        • Russ

          @ Santa: you gave stats about world hunger. NONE of those stats support your contention that pro-life advocates are in any way less apt to fight world hunger.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:29 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          My point was they are only vocal in their anti-abortion stance not in any other fight that they may or may not be involved in. You don't hear of a religious right fight for gun safety, or against world hunger, etc. etc.
          Millions die each year from starvation alone – you'd expect a pro-life group to be very vocal and active in that cause and more.

          January 22, 2014 at 11:42 am |
        • Russ

          @ santa: your categories are exceedingly shallow & anecdotal.

          look up world vision – one of the leading organizations in fighting world hunger. check out their founders' convictions.

          why are so many hospitals given religious names? they were founded by religious groups – many of whom believed life (including *after birth*) was worth fighting for & who are also found listed as pro-life in the above article.

          i myself am not "pro-guns", but even as i argue against it, i recognize my opponents claim that the second amendment actually brings greater safety, not less.

          SUM: your arguments lack a substantive basis. it's entirely anecdotal. you might as well be saying "well, all MY friends think..."

          January 22, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
  17. Dyslexic doG

    as he is omnipotent and controls everything, the christian god must be deliberately killing billions of unborn babies every year via miscarriage. So as an abortionist himself, why would he be against doctors doing the same thing on a much smaller scale?

    And please remember that doctors stop at abortions. Your god keeps killing babies in their millions, even after birth. Illness. Starvation. War. Abuse.

    Oh what a loving god!

    January 22, 2014 at 10:20 am |
  18. Doc Vestibule

    It is ironic that those who most strongly oppose abortion are also often strongly against free access to contraception.
    As the UN pointed out when they declared access to contraception a basic human right last year, "Religious leaders and the politicians who cater to them would rather see women raise children they don’t want than provide access to birth control. Rather than a building block of a functioning society, they see birth control as an indication of loose morals.

    Religious groups are deeply opposed to ending unwanted pregnancies with abortion, and yet they don’t want women to have access to contraception that could prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place, and therefore prevent abortions.

    Addressing the unmet need for family planning worldwide would avert 54 million unintended pregnancies and result in 26 million fewer abortions. Research also shows that where family planning supplies, information and services are widely available, abortion rates are lower.”

    So which would you rather?
    Contraception or abortion?

    January 22, 2014 at 10:19 am |
    • Doris

      It is ironic, Doc, and here's one of the worst side-effects of shunning contraception.

      The 50 most violent cities in the world:

      http://www.businessinsider.com/the-most-violent-cities-in-the-world-2013-11?op=1

      By far, most of these crime-ridden cities are in predominantly Christian countries.

      January 22, 2014 at 11:02 am |
    • igaftr

      In my case Doc, I am very much against abortion, but only against it as a form of birth control ( when the woman decides the baby is inconvenient, or unexpected or unplanned).
      I would rather have proper contraceptives, and then counseling for all who have abortions, educate on how to avoid unwanted pregnancies, in an effort to stop as many decisions about abortions as possible

      So I am absolutely for contraceptives and education, but also very much against abortion. Since I don't have the right to force my beliefs on others, there are other ways to make an impact. Education, contraception and better support for those who choose to carry to term..

      It is a shame whenever a woman has an abortion...the aborted human could be the next great world leader, the next thrilling athelete, the next great poet...so much potential lost. Far better to prevent the pregnancy in the first place, no question, but better options also need to be available.
      right now for many, it is abortion or struggle on my own...lets change the way we all deal with the problem.

      January 22, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
  19. meadowlands

    Ever notice how all the people in favor of abortion are alive because their mothers chose life?

    January 22, 2014 at 10:16 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Ever notice how many unwanted children are never adopted and how they are far more likely to wind up homeless, in jail, in mental insti/tutions and/or dead before 30?

      January 22, 2014 at 10:23 am |
      • meadowlands

        Sounds like you speak from experience

        January 22, 2014 at 10:31 am |
        • Madtown

          He's exactly right.

          January 22, 2014 at 10:54 am |
    • WASP

      let's be clear, not in favor of abortion, i'm in favor of CHOICE.

      you know the thing everyone else has.

      January 22, 2014 at 10:23 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        I do so love how semantic choices betray bias.
        "Pro-life", "pro-choice", "pro-abortion", "anti-choice" etc etc.
        I've never encountered anyone who is "pro-abortion" – as if there are folk who actively encourage women to get pregnant and then have an abortion.
        I've yet to see an ad from Planned Parenthood with a 2 for 1 coupon – "C'mon down to Uncle Obama's Abortion Farm! No foetus can beat us!"

        January 22, 2014 at 10:29 am |
        • ME II

          Agreed. No one *wants* an abortion.

          January 22, 2014 at 10:32 am |
      • meadowlands

        What's the difference – if you "choice" is abortion than you are pro-abortion

        January 22, 2014 at 10:32 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          That's like saying that someone who supports the 2nd amendment is pro-armed robbery.

          January 22, 2014 at 10:48 am |
        • myweightinwords

          Not really. The choice isn't about abortion. Sometimes abortion is the product of that choice.

          No one walks around saying "YAY Abortion" or anything of the kind. The choice is about the woman. About her life. It's HER choice.

          It is never an easy one. Even when the pregnancy is the result of violence or violation it isn't easy. But the choice belongs to her and no one else. I've never been pro-abortion. I am pro-choice however and I've walked women to the clinic and held their hands.

          January 22, 2014 at 10:56 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      the simplest explanation is that we'd rather live in a free country than in a theocracy.

      January 22, 2014 at 10:26 am |
    • ME II

      Ever notice how many women and their children suffer in poverty because they had no choice?

      January 22, 2014 at 10:28 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Ever talk to someone who was unwanted, but the mother was forced to give birth, who was born addicted or with HIV, who lived a life of neglect and abuse and poverty, who suffered with diseases they didn't have the money to treat, who went to bed hungry every night, who ended up pregnant at 15 because mommy's boyfriend abused her and now she's stuck bringing another life into her miserable existence?

      They'll tell you it would have been better that their mother did abort them.

      January 22, 2014 at 10:59 am |
  20. michael walker

    Ah those pesky women haters are at it again!

    January 22, 2014 at 10:12 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.