Weekend reading, 5/27/16: target the mosquito, not the baby

I end each week by offering you three of my favorite recent posts from other blogs. Have a wonderful weekend, and remember why we observe Memorial Day. 

Chuck Donovan: “The enemy remains the disease-ridden mosquito, not the vulnerable baby.” (lozierinstitute.org)

Chuck Donovan of the Lozier Institute introduces us to blogger Ana Carolina Caceres, born with microcephaly. Concerns about how the mosquito-borne Zika virus might cause microcephaly in children exposed to the virus in utero have led to some calls for abortion as a solution. Caceres and Donovan point in another direction: access to treatment for microcephaly. “Born with purportedly grim prospects, [Caceres] is today an accomplished woman, who plays the violin and writes compelling prose. The world needs more people like her, and more people like her mother and other family members, who stayed calm and chose life. Similar to the global response to the polio crisis, the medical community should continue its fight against the Zika virus by refining treatments, decreasing transmission pathways, and ultimately developing a vaccine against Zika.” Read the whole post.


Jay Hobbs: Illinois Bill Forcing Pro-Lifers to Refer for Abortion Sent to Governor’s Desk (pregnancyhelpnews.com)

Business at abortion facilities is apparently so bad that abortion promoters want to co-opt pro-life pregnancy care centers into advertising for them. California has already gone this route (and is now in court over it). Illinois is on the same path.  “While pregnancy help organizations counsel clients and patients on such facts as the baby’s development, and the physical and psychological dangers of abortion, the proposed legislation’s inclusion of a requirement to counsel on the ‘benefits’ of abortion has also raised concern among pro-life opponents to the bill. Although the bill requires pro-life healthcare providers and organizations to participate in abortion, it does not include stipulations that healthcare professionals, institutions, or organizations counsel patients on alternatives to abortion such as parenting or placing for adoption. Similar government-sponsored speech for pregnancy centers has been struck down as unconstitutional in Austin (TX), Baltimore and Montgomery County (MD) and New York City.” Read the whole post. 


Alex Schadenberg: soon-to-be-released film carries better-dead-than-disabled message; “disability death porn”

“The movie Me Before You will be released in theatres across North America on June 3. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is urging its supporters to boycott Me Before You to not give any money to the production of movies that perpetuate the ideology that death is better than living with a disability. This is not a campaign to obstruct free speech, this is a campaign to oppose the ‘disability death porn’ that this movie promotes.” Read the whole post.


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For Greater Glory

About Time: an Alternative to Guttmacher Institute

I note with great pleasure the rollout of the Charlotte Lozier Institute. The Lozier Institute is the education and research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List, which promotes the election of pro-life women and men to Congress. The Lozier Institute looks to me like a breakthrough in policy research.

For years, the Guttmacher Institute has been relied upon by policymakers at all levels for statistical information about abortion and reproductive health care (which are two different things – repeat after me: abortion is not health care). Formerly an arm of Planned Parenthood, the organizations allegedly split in the late 1970s. However formal the split may be in a legal and financial sense, Guttmacher is hand-in-glove with PP on policy.

Guttmacher’s statistics and findings are given entirely too much credence at the State House, as I’ve seen through the years. I have to remind lawmakers from time to time that any “statistics” Guttmacher reports about New Hampshire are based on voluntarily-reported information from abortion providers, since the state of NH does not collect abortion statistics. Most of the NH statistical information reported to Guttmacher about abortions comes from PPNNE. PPNNE then sends its lobbyist to Concord to fight efforts to enact a bill to require the state to collect statistics. PP-reported figures go to Guttmacher, which bases policy research on those numbers, and then the research is used by PP to advance its mission. Fuzzy math, cozy relationship.

I am looking forward to learning what the Lozier Institute is able to do to provide a clearer picture of how abortion is affecting us as individuals and as a community. It’s encouraging to know that the parent organization, SBA List, has been extremely supportive of efforts in NH and elsewhere to require public health authorities to gather accurate information. How many abortions in NH? How old are the mothers? At what gestational age are pregnancies terminated? What about morbidity and mortality for the mothers, both short- and long-term? Who’s doing these procedures? Where?

I recommend supporting the Lozier Institute’s research. It will take time, but I hope legislators and public health officials will soon see that Guttmacher isn’t the only kid on the block.