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Saturday, April 30, 2005
ACLU to Fight for Thirteen-Year-Old’s Right to Abortion
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 9:54 am

Via the BBC: Florida girl has abortion blocked

A pregnant 13-year-old girl in Florida has been told she cannot have an abortion because she lacks the maturity to make such a decision.

A state court granted an injunction which prevents the girl from terminating her pregnancy.

She is three months pregnant and had planned to have an abortion on Tuesday of this week.

The American Civil Liberties Union says it will launch an urgent appeal against the ruling.

This is sad on so many levels. It also underscores why I often have a very hard time with the ACLU. Nothing like vehemently beig in favor of terminating innocent life.

And we should all mark this case down in our mental notebooks, as I predict it will become part of the ongoing judicial wars:

Florida’s department of children and families intervened and took the matter to court, arguing the teenager, who is under the care of the state, is too young and immature to make an informed medical decision. Judge Ronald Alvarez in Palm Beach accepted that argument and has granted a temporary injunction and psychological evaluation, which effectively blocks her from terminating the pregnancy.

It is a case which, once again, plays into the heated and divisive debate about abortion in America.

The judge’s ruling comes in spite of Florida state law which specifically does not require a minor to seek parental consent before an abortion.

Filed under: Abortion, Courts/the Judiciary | Comments (9) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here

Don Singleton linked with 13 year old Florida girl has abortion blocked
Monday, April 25, 2005
Tales of the Hideously Sad
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 8:29 am

Via OTB: Twin Survives Abortion, Mother Suing.

James Joyner has a lengthy excerpt and a link to the actual story via the link above. The basics: a 16 year-old in Britain had an abortion, but it ends up that they only terminated one of two babies. The “mother” is now suing for lost wages to be associated with the fact that instead of training to be a nurse she has to care for her child.

Much could be said about this, but one thought immediately comes to mind, like the Amy Richards story in which two of three babies were selectively aborted, what does one tell the surviving child? And in this case it is worse, because the woman in this story originally tried to kill the baby she now has. Tragic and almost unbelievable.

Filed under: Abortion | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Thursday, March 3, 2005
More on Judicial Nominations
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 9:04 am

Along the same topical lines as the post below, James Joyner notes an editorial concerning the nomination of Bill Pryor and also a proposal to limit the tenure of federal judges.

All of it is worth reading.

James notes, correctly, I would argue, the following about Pryor (who, like James, I have met on a few occassions-indeed, mostly the same occassions, I think)):

The fact that the likes of Pryor are being fillibustered belies the argument that President Bush is sending up crazy ideologues who must be stopped by the most drastic means available.

I ma convinced that in the case of Pryor the only issue for the Democrats is abortion, given that Pryor is a devote Cathlolic. His record does not support the thesis that he would be an ideological activist on the bench.

Filed under: US Politics, Abortion, Courts/the Judiciary | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Odd Ad/Story Juxtaposition
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 6:56 am

In reading the NYT piece on abortion and the Democrats (commented upon below), I noted the following rather odd/unfortunate juxtapostion of advertisement with the story:

Filed under: Abortion | Comments (1) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
The Democrats and Abortion
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 6:49 am

The NYT has an intersting piece on abortion and the Democratic Party this morning: For Democrats, Rethinking Abortion Runs Risks

Since its defeats in the November elections, nothing has put the fractured soul of the Democratic Party on display more vividly than abortion. Party leaders, including Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and the new chairman, Howard Dean, have repeatedly signaled an effort to recalibrate the party’s thinking about new restrictions on abortion.

Adding to that, Congressional Democrats named a professed opponent of abortion rights, Harry Reid of Nevada, as the leader in the Senate. Some Democrats supported another abortion opponent, Timothy J. Roemer, for the party’s chairmanship.

Of course, so far Clinton and Dean appear more focused on changing how the party talks about abortion moreso than how it votes on the topic. A real test will be whether there is compromise on any of Bush’s appeals court nominees, as the stumbling block for most, if not all of them, is the abortion issue.

Certainly it would behoove the Democrats to moderate on the topic, such as on issue like partial birth abortion, parental notificaiton, etc.

The question becomes, can they go from talking about maybe talking about the subject differently and actually transform the party’s image on this topic?

It would appear that some supporters aren’t too thrilled:

Emily’s List and other groups have also sounded alarms about the direction the party leadership is taking over all. During the search for a national Democratic chairman, Ms. White posted a rallying cry on the group’s Web site: “We fought like mad to beat back the Republicans. Little did we know that we would have just as much to fear from some within the Democratic Party who seem to be using choice as a scapegoat for our top-of-the-ticket losses.”

Although others may be adopting a more pragmatic view:

Another large abortion rights group, Naral Pro-Choice, is reversing course, saying it will drop its opposition to the proposed Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, a bill that would require doctors to offer anesthetic for the fetuses of women seeking abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Nancy Keenan, president of Naral Pro-Choice, said the organization was saving its ammunition to fight judicial nominees who might overturn Roe v. Wade. “We are standing strong in the next Supreme Court battle,” Ms. Keenan said.

There are “bigger issues to fight,” she added, “to draw attention to the broader issue of reproductive health.” For example, in this week’s edition of the conservative Weekly Standard, Naral placed an advertisement asking abortion rights groups to “please, help us prevent abortions” by increasing access to birth control.

Note that the court fight remains in play, as one would expect.

The problem for the Democrats on this issue is multi-layered. First is the aforementioned talk v. action problem, second is the clear fact that much of their base, especially as manifested by key interest group support, is rather intensely pro-choice, and third this is the kind of issue where moderation may not lead to an actual increase in votes.

Of course, threats like this one are meaningless:

But abortion rights advocates warn of a bigger revolt within the party if its members start compromising on new abortion restrictions like parental notification laws or the fetal-pain bill. Karen Pearl, interim president of Planned Parenthood, said some of her allies were saying that “to the degree that the Democrats move away from choice, that could be the real birth of a third-party movement.”

Abortion rights alone is insufficient to sustain a whole party. Such a move would create an anemic third party, cripple the Democrats and empower the Republicans. As a result the pro-choice position would be further weakened.

Also, I would note that for all the hand-wringing amongst pro-choice advocates, abortion remains quite legal and quite easy to obtain and the likelihood is that that fact won’t change anytime soon-even if George W. Bush got to replace the entire Supreme Court tomorrow.

Filed under: US Politics, Abortion | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Wednesday, February 2, 2005
Headline Reaction
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 6:32 am

Who hasn’t?

Planned Parenthood Chief Criticizes Kerry

Filed under: US Politics, Abortion | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Roemer, the DNC and Abortion
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 4:46 pm

Via CNN we find that Roemer lashes out in DNC chairman race

The campaign for Democratic chairman turned contentious over the weekend when Tim Roemer lashed out at criticism of his views on abortion and accused opponents of negative campaigning.

The candidate told a gathering in St. Louis that he wanted to have “a conversation” on issues but that he is “having trouble doing this because of negative campaigning and litmus tests.”

As much as I oppose abortion, I must admit, Roemer has to know that he is fighting a losing battle (and was from the begininng). He has the same chance of becoming DNC chair as I do.

As such, Oliver Willis gets it right:

Dogmatically being anti-choice, combined with a sad habit of voting against Democratic economic policies but in favor of Republican ones may be necessary to hold on to a House seat, but for a guy who’s supposed to keep the party together, that’s a non-starter.

In the same post, Oliver makes the following comment:

I, and most Democrats, do not believe in abortion on demand anyplace, anywhere, and any time - but the right of a woman to choose what she does with her own body is a fundamental bedrock of the values of the Democratic party.

He is quite right: abortion is a foundational issue for the Democratic Party and hence Roemer has no chance (any more than a pro-choicer has a shot at being RNC chair).

However, while I will take him at his word as to his position on abortion, and even that it may reflect a signficant portion of the Democratic Party’s view of the subject, but (and this is a big but) the voting record of Democrats in Congress (en masse) and of the rhetoric that comes out of the Democratic estalblishment is that the abortion on demand in the standard. And it is this area that the Democrats have a serious problem-there appears to be no reasonable restriction on abortion that the party will support-the most striking example being partial birth abortion, or whatever you want to call it. There is also the fact that Democrats tend to oppose fairly moderate reforms, such as waiting periods, parental notification or promotion of adoption. It is also clear that despite generic fulminations from Senators about “mainstream” nominees, that the main issue that blocked every one of Bush’s Appeals Court nominees last term was abortion.

While President Clinton did speak of making abortion “safe, legal and rare” is it unclear to me that any actual action by the Democratic Party has moved the country in that direction. And if anything, from a wholly political/PR point of view, the Democratic Party has an image of being for any and all abortions, any time, any place. I do think that that image is one they need to rectify, if such is even possible.

Filed under: US Politics, Abortion | Comments (12) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here

Gay Orbit linked with Abortion and Politics
Dean's World linked with A Rant On Abortion (Michael Demmons)
Outside The Beltway linked with Abortion on Demand?
Pajama Hadin linked with Motion to overturn Roe vs. Wade
Gay Orbit » Abortion and Politics linked with [...] dy is a fundamental bedrock of the values of the Democratic party. Exactly right. To which Stephen Taylor replies: the voting record of Democrats in Congress … is that the abortion on de [...]
Monday, November 1, 2004
The Uncomfortable Politics of Stem Cells and Donor Eggs
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 1:51 pm

Slate asks the provocative question: Did Elizabeth Edwards Use Donor Eggs? - All signs point to yes.

Do the math, and it’s not hard to figure out that Edwards gave birth to Emma Claire at age 48 and Jack at 50. And yet if Edwards used her own eggs, this is all but impossible—a woman’s ovaries completely stop producing viable eggs by age 45 in all but a tiny percentage of women.

Edwards has publicly stated that she “used fertility treatments” and “took hormone shots” in order to have Emma Claire and Jack. (She wouldn’t comment for this story.)


Alas, no one but the Edwards family and their doctor—and maybe an egg donor, though most remain anonymous—can say for sure if donor eggs were used in the creation of Emma Claire and Jack. But reproductive endocrinologists agree that having babies with your own eggs at 48 and especially 50 is, well, just not going to happen: “The probability [that she used donor eggs] is 99.9 percent,” said David Adamson, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based reproductive endocrinologist and clinical professor at Stanford University’s School of Medicine. “If she hadn’t, she’d probably say, ‘No, I didn’t use donor eggs.’ ” Adamson, who sits on the medical advisory board of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, added that in the 25 years he’s spent treating thousands of infertility patients, he’s only seen one woman of 45 and one of 46 give birth using their own eggs. Fecundity starts to drop off long before that, he says. At 35, one in four women trying to have a baby will run into difficulties. At 40, about half will fail to conceive naturally. Above 45, there are so few births using one’s own eggs that no one keeps records of it, said Adamson. When it happens, you’re in miracle territory.


But if Edwards-who mothered two children before Emma Claire and Jack (Catharine, now 22, and Wade, who died in a car wreck in 1996 when he was 16)-did go vocal, it’s likely she would provide all manner of fodder for the religious right. Many organized religions have serious misgivings about the use of donor eggs or sperm, not to mention the very concept of conception taking place outside the womb. And then there’s one question that might really trouble the right: If Edwards did use IVF-a procedure one must undergo when employing donor eggs-what did she do with the embryos that weren’t transferred back to the uterus? If she and Sen. Edwards discarded them or donated them to science (read: stem cell) instead of freezing them for later use or donating them to another couple, the right-wingers would have an absolute field day. It’s no wonder Edwards has kept her lip tightly zipped.

While my initial reaction to this was that it was a crass question (and in many ways, it clearly is), the degree to which the Kerry campaign has made stem cell research such a big deal, it does beg a question: if Edwards does believe that better stem cell research would result in people like Christopher Reeves walking again, would he ben willing to donate any remaining embryos to science?

That sounds like a “gotcha” question, but if one finds that question rude or distateful, is it because there are, in fact, some serious ethical and moral questions concerning the usage of these embryos for medical research? If it really is no big deal, or nothing more than a non-scientific worldview to suggest that these embryos oughn’t be considered more than lab fodder, then why not ask the question? At a minimum, why consider it a crass question?

Now, granted, discussing the biological parentage of two small children on the national stage would be highly problematic, but if the stakes are as high as Edwards and Kerry claim they are, perhaps that isn’t too high a price to pay to allow the lame to walk and the blind to see. That is what Edwards, Kerry and Ron Reagan have all suggested in the last several months. If it really is that clear-cut, why not donate and then crow about it?

Filed under: US Politics, Abortion, 2004 Campaign | Comments (4) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here

Outside The Beltway linked with Beltway Traffic Jam
Friday, October 8, 2004
Kerry VII
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 9:24 pm

In re: the abortion question-by his logic (”I can’t take an article of faith and legislate from it”) we can’t legislate against human sacrifice either.

And again, on this type of issue the statement of “respect” rings hollow.

Filed under: General, Abortion | Comments (2) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here

Bob's Place linked with Debate:Abortion
Thursday, September 9, 2004
Yet Again: Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Struck Down
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 6:47 am

Judge Finds Abortion Ban Unconstitutional

U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf of Lincoln ruled against the measure Wednesday, saying Congress ignored the most experienced doctors when it determined that the banned procedure would never be necessary to protect the health of the mother-a finding he called “unreasonable.”

I have no problem with a provision that protects the life of the mother-this is only logical, as if a choice has to be made and in such a sad circumstance the life of the mother takes precedence. However, the idea that “health” should be taken into consideration is overly broad, as it strikes me as a sufficient loophole as to allow the procedure to be performed at the discretion of the doctor, which would mean the ban would have no effect, because any doctor willing to perform this rather gruesome procedure would no doubt be willing to state it was in the best interest of the “health” of the mother.

I remain vexed at the fervor with which this procedure is defended by the pro-choice contingent. If any abortion procedure can be described as infanticide, it is this one.

Having gone through three pregnancies with my wife, two of which had complications, I have an rather difficult time envisioning a scenario in which the best thing to do for the mother would be the partially birth the child, and then take the time to puncture its skull, remove its brains, and then deliver the now deceased child.

If the fact that banning such a procedure isn’t one of the great insanities of our time, I don’t know what is.

Certainly I have heard no evidence given, aside from that which is most nebulous, to suggest that this procedure should be legal and is a medical necessity. All I can figure is that any acknowledgement that a fetus in utero is a child is to undercut the abortion argument, and therefore something not to be allowed if at all possible by the pro-abortion sector of our society.

Filed under: Abortion, Courts/the Judiciary | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Thursday, August 26, 2004
And Where Does it Say That in the Constitution?
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 2:44 pm

Judge Strikes Down Partial Birth Abortion Ban

A federal judge on Thursday ruled against the government’s ban on so-called partial birth abortions, saying the measure was unconstitutional because it failed to provide an exception to protect a mother’s health.

I am unaware of the “Women’s Health” (or anyone’s health, for that matter) clause in the constitution. Too bad there is no “health of the baby” clause.

Filed under: Abortion, Courts/the Judiciary | Comments (9) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Thursday, August 5, 2004
More on Amy Richards and Her Sojourn in the Pages of the NYT
By Steven Taylor @ 9:33 am

Joe Carter provides yet another Amy Richards puzzle. He came across an Filed under: Abortion | Comments (2) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here

Wednesday, August 4, 2004
The Amy Richards Saga Continued
By Steven Taylor @ 9:48 am

Tim Worstall has an e-mail to and one from Ms. Richards in regards to her “selective reduction” (i.e., abortion of two of her three triplets-my original posts are both here).

There is some discussion of health reasons for not carrying triplets, as well as of income and music lessons. However, the part of Ms. Richards’ e-mail that struck me the more was this sentence:

Also, I personally believe that the long term physological impact on my child would be more negative if he knew that he had “siblings” out there whom he didn’t know.

This logic floors me: she believes that the long-term psychological damage would be greater if her child found out that two of his siblings had been adopted out by his mother, while finding out that his mother had two of his siblings aborted won’t be any big deal comparatively speaking.

Utterly amazing.

Michelle Malkin and Bryan of Arguing with signposts, and others, also respond (check out the trackbacks at the bottom of Tim’s post).

Filed under: Abortion | Comments (3) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here

Arguing with signposts... linked with Amy Richards Update part 2
Sunday, July 18, 2004
Amy Richards
By Steven Taylor @ 9:15 pm

I am guessing this has to be the Amy Richards from the NYT story below. The essay notes she “freelances” and “speaks at colleges and universities” and the graduate date of 1992 comports with the age of 34 cited.

An unimportant, but odd fact in the story: if she is a freelane author, why is the essay an “as told to”?

Clearly she is the product of the philosophy she expounds.

Indeed, according to this piece in The Nation, she also had an abortion when she was 18. Ironically, the article seems to think that if abortion restrictions were associated with real people like Ms. Richards, that there would be less of them:

If abortion were connected to actual women-people like my friend Amy Richards, who had an abortion at 18 and a selective reduction last year when she found she was pregnant with triplets, or Nancy Flynn, who was a single mom finishing her BA at Cornell when she had an abortion and who told me she would “never have been able to have the rich life I’ve had and help my son as much as I have if I’d been the single mother of two children”-perhaps the mounting restrictions wouldn’t pass so handily. To paraphrase the late poet Muriel Rukeyser: What if women told the truth about their abortions? Even if the world didn’t split open, this paralyzing issue might.

So we see more narcissism: she wouldn’t have been able to have as “rich” a life, had she not had an abortion.

Filed under: Abortion | Comments (2) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here

the evangelical outpost linked with Selectively Reducing the Facts: Abortion and Bias in the New York Times
A Picture of Narcissism
By Steven Taylor @ 4:32 pm

This is one of the most nauseating and sad things I have read in some time: Filed under: Abortion | Comments (19) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here

Flynn Files linked with The Casualness of Baby Killing
Arguing with signposts... linked with Limbaugh on Richards
Obsidian Wings linked with Numb.
Sha Ka Ree linked with This Just Makes Me Want to Weep
The Bemusement Park linked with BORN UNDER A BAD SIGN
Outside The Beltway linked with Lives: When One Is Enough
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