Friday, December 16, 2005

Pro-Life Objectivity

The posted about South Dakota's Abortion Task Force Report a few days ago:

South Dakota's abortion task force has completed its report. Its introduction states that "the unborn child from the moment of conception is a whole separate human being."

And it gets worse. Because, of 17 task force members, only two were pro-choice (State Sen. Stan Adelstein and Planned Parenthood's Kate Looby). Among the other members are a representative of the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls, seven anti-choice state legislators, and a chiropractor whose wife runs the largest "crisis pregnancy center" in the state. The pro-choicers were not allowed to submit a minority report.

So what does the task force recommend the state legislature do to reduce the number of abortions?

* Amend the State Constitution to provide the unborn child, from the moment of conception, with the same protection of the law that the child receives after birth and also provide protections for the mother-child relationship. (In other words, criminalize abortion.)

The other recommendations are similar or worse, and equally poorly thought out. To give an example of the problems, note that this recommendation could get a woman sued for child abuse if she gets treated for some serious illness while pregnant (giving a minor illegal drugs). She might also be legally banned from entering any space in which children are not allowed (bars, casinos and places of work where children are not allowed).

The whole report makes interesting reading. Here is what it says about rape and incest in the context of abortions:

Since abortion advocates so often explain the need for legalized abortion by pointing to the pregnancies that result from rape and incest, the Task Force finds that it is appropriate to address this issue briefly.

Dr. J.C. Willke, founder of the Right to Life organization and President of the International Right to Life, testified before the Task Force on September 21, 2005. Dr. Willke noted that only approximately 0.01% of rapes result in a pregnancy. In his book, he writes: "We must approach this with great compassion. The woman has been subjected to an ugly trauma, and she needs love, support and help. But she has been the victim of one violent act. Should we now ask her to be a party to a second
violent act - that of abortion? Reporting the rape to a law enforcement agency is needed." (Willke, Why Can't We Love Them Both, p. 263, 2003). (See Section III of this report for suggested legislation in regarding reporting illegal sexual activity.)

Dr. Donald Oliver is a pediatrician who has practiced in Rapid City, South Dakota, for 25 years and who is board certified with the National Board of Medical Examiners and American Board of Pediatrics. In telephone testimony to the Task Force, Dr. Oliver said, "I was asked to share some genetic information with you regarding the issue of incest. As many of you are aware, the union of two closely related people may result in an infant with genetic deformities or retardation. That is why in the United States we have laws against close relatives marrying. What you may not be aware of is that deformities and/or retardation occur in the smallest minorities of these instances. Ninety-seven percent of the time, these children are normal."
"Just two months ago, I personally took care of a baby boy born to a very young teenage mother who was allegedly raped by her brother. So here we have the two scenarios brought forth most often by those on the pro-abortion side, rape and incest. This brave young lady carried her child to term and delivered a healthy normal boy. Here is an interesting fact that you may not be aware of. Just as two bad genes might pair up and lead to an unfortunate outcome, two good genes can pair up, and the infant of this incestuous relationship, may become the brightest person in the family—sometimes in the genius range of intellect. They are normal children at least 97 to 98 percent of the time. This young teenage mother that I just spoke of, when she found out she was pregnant, felt that besides herself, the only other really innocent person in this sad situation was her baby, and he certainly didn't deserve capital punishment for her brother's sins. What great insight for someone so young! I wonder how many employees of Planned Parenthood would have encouraged and supported this young lady's courage to choose life for her newborn son."

Wow. I never realized that I could have created a genius by having sex with my brother. What you learn from an abortion report! I also didn't realize that getting raped is almost like automatic contraception!

All this wetted my curiosity. I had to find out more about this South Dakota Abortion Task Force and its members. Here is Dr. Allen Unruh, a chiropractor whose wife runs a crisis pregnancy center:

What I have found interesting is the people who are abortion advocates have tried to suppress testimony from women who have had abortions calling it anecdotal evidence. But that's where the rubber meets the road: how abortion affects real people. Hitler said, "One death is a tragedy, a million is merely a statistic." We're not just compiling statistics. The evidence is overwhelming on the devastating effects of abortion on this great country. Let us pray that the SD Legislature will weigh this evidence and do their duty according to principle in the best interest for the people of SD.

You will hear from those on the task force who are pro-abortion that they are a minority on this committee. I would remind you that the purpose of the legislature was to research and discover, based on new evidence what the consequences of abortion really are. It was not to weigh this committee with a majority who would purposely deny, and discredit the evidence every way they know how. Only the truth will gain freedom for the unborn and all those who have been victims of abortion.

This committee has taken its job very seriously and the report will represent a painstaking effort which is unprecedented on this issue. It has been an honor to be on this committee to hear this testimony. It is a huge responsibility to make sure this report reveals the truth about abortion and how abortion has affected this country.

For the sake of South Dakotans I hope that Dr. Unruh is a better physician than he is a writer or a thinker, though to be fair to Dr. Unruh, he never argues that the report was objective, only that it was "painstaking" in revealing the "truth" about abortion.

What about the two pro-choice members of the Task Force? One of them, Stan Adelstein, tells us a little more about what took place during the Task Force meetings. Here he is discussing the issue with Elizabeth Kraus, the only woman (!) who was involved in writing the Report, and an avid pro-lifer:

Adelstein supported two resolutions offered by Dr. Marty Allison, chairwoman of the panel, which were defeated.

One would have supported a ban on abortion except in cases where there was "undue and serious risk to the health or life" of the women; where the child "would have no medically accepted possibility of surviving birth or early infancy;" and in cases of rape and incest.

"I tried to do exactly the same thing," Adelstein said, referring to legislation he has proposed in the past. "I just wish I had used her words. She did it as a doctor, and I did it as an engineer."

Kraus said the question of health of the woman has become "too broad." She also said that instances of rape and incest "are extremely rare." And she said, "There are so many people waiting to adopt."

The other resolution called for a "comprehensive sex- education curriculum … with a strong emphasis on abstinence" with the goal of preventing pregnancies.

"This was a wonderful amendment," Adelstein said. "There is not a single reference to sex education and reductions of abortions. Abortions could be reduced through education," he said.

Kraus characterized the proposal as "not bad" but said that there is no definition of comprehensive.

"We all agree with abstinence as a message," she said. "I'm not against sex education that is within boundaries that parents can agree on. … Parents need to be involved in sex-education material in the schools."

Adelstein said that a walk-out last week by some task force members — including him — in protest of the defeat of several amendments might not have happened "if a minority report had been allowed."

"They basically weren't going to listen to anything," he said.

Kraus said the proposals were "out of the reasonable thinking of most people of South Dakota."

This, my dear readers, might be the new definition of objectivity in the faith-based society. A painstaking and careful attempt to present one-sided information and to stomp the opposition into silence. You might be interested in learning that the possible health risks of abortion are widely discussed but delivering a child is apparently without any risks whatsoever. Or that all the "victim statements" of abortion sufferers came through one person in Texas. Or that the Report argues for abstinence-only education in the Brave New World that would be created if its other recommendations are followed. Imagine that: you can give birth to a baby because your brother raped you but you can't learn about condoms.

Not all South Dakotans are crazy, of course. Those who are not have inquired about the obvious lack of objectivity in the Report. Here is how Brock Greenfield, another Task Force member, responds to such worries:

Sen. Brock Greenfield, R-Clark, another member of the task force, said the report accurately reflects the testimony and written evidence the panel received during its meetings in recent months.

"As I took in the testimony and made many, many notes, it was evident to me the act of abortion has significantly hurt women and families," said Greenfield, who is also director of South Dakota Right to Life.

"For people to suggest there was no objectivity, that it was a preconceived or predetermined outcome, is a little disingenuous to the process," Greenfield said.