Cecile Richards on When Life Begins

Ms. Richards says at the end of the video that life begins at birth. If this is a true statement, then ending any pregnancy prior to delivery does not constitute killing an innocent life. Of course, this is the main point of contention that the pro-life camp has against Ms. Richards and all those who agree with her. If human beings are not persons in the womb, then it is arbitrary to say that they are persons at birth. When does a human being have dignity and worth as a person? Who makes that determination? What are the criteria for deciding when human beings are worthy as persons?

Those questions are not to be taken lightly. Human history is chock-full of example after example of human beings denigrating one another regardless of race, gender, religion, etc., etc. When a culture or society no longer bows the knee to its Creator, and accepts the truth that all humans bear the image of their Creator, then all bets are off when it comes to valuing human life. The worldview expressed by Ms. Richards in the above video is thoroughly godless and downright demonic. According to Jesus, the enemy is the one who steals, kills, and destroys. The enemy is the one who was a murderer from the beginning and the father of lies.

Abortion steals, kills, and destroys innocent life. Abortion is murder and a participation in the works and ways of the enemy. There are no two ways about it. One key deception in the West that makes abortion possible has to do with elevating personal autonomy over and above anyone and anything else. The individual is god almighty not God Almighty himself. Human beings are the arbiters of right and wrong. We determine the meaning and purpose of our lives. All of this is blasphemy and a recipe for eternal destruction. Ms. Richards reveals how deceived she really is by expressing that the question of when does life begin is irrelevant because it is a matter of opinion.

Ms. Richards is way off with that answer because her response puts another’s life in jeopardy: the unborn child. When she says that life begins at birth, her response has more to do with metaphysics and theology than it does with medical science. Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy that has to do with the nature of existence, or what makes something what it is. By saying that life begins at birth, Ms. Richards really means that the unborn are not persons until that point. This is a secular worldview, which removes the Lord from the picture. Now, it is every man for himself. Ms. Richards’ view is anti-human, anti-God, and evidence of the spirit of the antichrist (1 John 2:18-22).

My heart grieves for the millions of innocent lives lost due to abortion. I grieve for my nation and what lies ahead unless the atrocity of abortion comes to halt. There is a part of me that has anger toward Planned Parenthood and their affiliates. I see another part of me that aches for someone like Ms. Richards. She has no idea what lies ahead in her future. She might believe that this life is all that there is to human existence. Unfortunately, she is wrong, dead wrong. Unless she repents from her present life of sin and receives Jesus by faith, the lake of fire awaits her. It is a horrific fate, and I genuinely do not want to see her in that place. It is time to stand up and be accounted and intercede for the Lord’s mercy, compassion, and grace.

 

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Hiding Behind the Guise of Research

Many supporters of Planned Parenthood (PP) and its affiliates, either in Washington D.C. or the Media, have run to their defense saying that PP does not sell aborted baby parts. Several major, news outlets here, here, and here denounced these videos as misleading propaganda. The latest video from the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) has hit the airwaves, and it depicts a PP doctor discussing the sale of aborted, baby parts. The quotes below are from the transcript, which overturn the argument that PP and its affiliates do not sell aborted baby parts:

Quote #1 – Dr. Savita Ginde responds to a question whether she would prefer a flat rate for the entire tissue specimen or a rate per body part:

“I think a per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.”

 

Quote #2 – Dr. Ginde replies to a comment to assuage the buyers’ concerns about any legal fallout regarding their transaction. The He in her response refers to PP’s lawyer in its legal department:

“He’s got it figured out that he knows that even if, because we talked to him in the beginning, you know, we were like, ‘We don’t want to get called on,’ you know, ‘selling fetal parts across states.’” “I’m confident that our Legal will make sure we’re not put in that situation.”

The second quote is the most damning of all. It suggests at least two things: first, the existence of legal obfuscation by PP and its affiliates in order to harvest aborted babies for profit; and 2.) PP and its affiliates know what they are doing is against the law. Every PP facility and affiliate has aborted babies piling up on its premises. How do they dispose of them? Apparently, it is a real, practical problem for them. It is clear that PP and its affiliates will neither bury nor cremate them because those actions assign dignity and worth to the dead as persons.

Instead, they have chosen to earn a profit under the guise of scientific research. Here are Dr. Ginde’s own words to this effect:

Putting it under ‘research’ gives us a little bit of an overhang over the whole thing. If you have someone in a really anti state who’s going to be doing this for you, they’re probably going to get caught.

A few words come to mind: ghoulish, travesty, evil.

 

(Dr. Savita Ginde, MD, Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains VP Medical Director)

“Many people will put up with anything in religion, if they may only have a quiet life. They have a morbid dread of what they call ‘controversy.’ They are filled with a morbid fear of what they style, in a vague way, ‘party spirit,’ though they never define clearly what party spirit is. They are possessed with a morbid desire to keep the peace, and make all things smooth and pleasant, even though it be at the expense of truth. So long as they have outward calm, smoothness, stillness, and order, they seem content to give up everything else. I believe they would have thought with Ahab that Elijah was a troubler of Israel, and would have helped the princes of Judah when they put Jeremiah in prison, to stop his mouth. I have no doubt that many of these men of whom I speak, would have thought that Paul at Antioch was a very imprudent man, and that he went too far!

“I believe this is all wrong. We have no right to expect anything but the pure Gospel of Christ, unmixed and unadulterated, – the same Gospel that was taught by the Apostles, – to do good to the souls of men. I believe that to maintain this pure truth in the Church men should be ready to make any sacrifice, to hazard peace, to risk dissension, and run the chance of division. They should no more tolerate false doctrine than they would tolerate sin. They should withstand any adding to or taking away from the simple message of the Gospel of Christ.”

 

(J.C. Ryle, Warnings to the Churches, “The Fallibility of Ministers,” Chpt. 6, original publication date: 1858, reprint 1967 by Banner of Truth)

J. C. Ryle on Contending for the Gospel of Christ

“Many things combine to make the present inroad of false doctrine peculiarly dangerous.

  1. There is an undeniable zeal in some of the teachers of error: their ‘earnestness’ makes many think they must be right.
  2. There is a great appearance of learning and theological knowledge: many fancy that such clever and intellectual men must surely be safe guides.
  3. There is a general tendency to free thought and free inquiry in these latter days: many like to prove their independence of judgment, by believing novelties.
  4. There is a wide-spread desire to appear charitable and liberal-minded: many seem half ashamed of saying that anybody can be in the wrong.
  5. There is a quantity of half-truth taught by the modern false teachers: they are incessantly using Scriptural terms and phrases in an unscriptural sense.
  6. There is a morbid craving in the public mind for a more sensuous, ceremonial, sensational, showy worship: men are impatient of inward, invisible heart-work.
  7. There is a silly readiness in every direction to believe everybody who talks cleverly, lovingly and earnestly, and a determination to forget that Satan often masquerades himself ‘as an angel of light’ (2 Cor. 11:14).
  8. There is a wide-spread ‘gullibility’ among professing Christians: every heretic who tells his story plausibly is sure to be believed, and everybody who doubts him is called a persecutor and a narrow-minded man.

“All these things are peculiar symptoms of our times. I defy any observing person to deny them. They tend to make the assaults of false doctrine in our day peculiarly dangerous. They make it more than ever needful to cry aloud, ‘Do not be carried away!’”

(J. C. Ryle, Warnings to the Churches, “Eight Symptoms of False Doctrine,” original pub date: 1858; reprint 1967 by Banner of Truth)

Good Ole 19th Century Wisdom

Initial Rumblings in the US

The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) has released its third video (the first of a two-parter) regarding Planned Parenthood’s practice of supplying “tissue specimens” or “products of conception” for advanced medical research. I use those two phrases in honor of Dr. Jen Gunter, who bemoans the pro-life camp’s use of incorrect terminology with respect to abortion and its associated procedures.

By the way, this latest video is downright horrifying, and I have a strong stomach. For example, I can eat spaghetti and meatballs with no problem during the alien, birth scene from Ridley Scott’s classic movie, Alien. Earlier this morning, I had to stop eating my yummy bowl of steel cut oats because I could not handle the subject matter. Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. What goes on right now in PP facilities is a travesty of justice.

Today, I learned through Facebook’s trending, activity feed that there are protests against PP in fifty US cities. In fact, these had been organized on the basis of the first two videos released by CMP. Now that the third video has hit the internet this will only fuel these protests even more. If you want to learn more about this full-blooded expression of the 1st Amendment, then take a gander at the following websites here and here.

The US media outlets have reported nary a peep about the protests. Instead, they report here and here how the Department of Justice and the state of California have launched investigations with respect to the CMP, the company behind the videos. There are other US states that have announced investigations into PP and its tissue donation protocol. What we are witnessing before us on Capitol Hill are the initial rumblings of something greater.

These CMP videos have highlighted just how partisan the abortion issue is in our nation’s capital and among the populace. The divide between the sides is one of worldview rather than science. Each side attempts to demean the other’s scientific basis for its position on abortion. Personally, I find those arguments dishonest. The differences come to down to worldview and philosophy/theology. In layman’s terms, the two sides disagree on the human condition and origins. This is why it does not matter what the US Supreme Court has ruled on this matter. The legality of a practice does not justify the morality of it.

 

A Cold-blooded View of Human Development

On 23 July 2015, The Federalist and Politico announced that the Department of Justice has launched an investigation into the legality of the two videos released by the Center for Medical Progress. The Washington Post reported that two states and one Congressional committee have started their own. I mentioned in an earlier post that this back and forth by the pro-choice and pro-life camps comes as no surprise. There is plenty at stake for all concerned, especially with next year being an election year. Of course, that is a slightly cynical view of things, but it does have warrant. It is also true that the ethical and moral grounds for PP and its affiliates are the shakiest in their history.

Some of PP’s defenders have advanced views that illustrate a mind-numbing inconsistency. The most recent example of this is Dr. Jen Gunter, who is a practicing OB/GYN. She operates her own blog while being a frequent writer for The New Republic, which published one of her pieces on 23 July 2015. The gist of Dr. Gunter’s article is that the videos released by the Center for Medical Progress are medically misleading or false. Here is the good doctor in her own words:

These are not “baby parts.” Whether a woman has a miscarriage or an abortion, the tissue specimen is called “products of conception.” In utero, i.e. during pregnancy, we use the term “embryo” from fertilization to ten weeks gestation and “fetus” from ten weeks to birth. The term baby is medically incorrect as it doesn’t apply until birth. Calling the tissue “baby parts” is a calculated attempt to anthropomorphize an embryo or fetus. It is a false image—a ten to twelve week fetus looks nothing like a term baby—and is medically incorrect.

I want to call our attention to the general tone of this quotation, which is representative of Dr. Gunter’s entire piece. She refers to the developing embryo and fetus as a “tissue specimen” or “product of conception.” To Dr. Gunter’s credit, the latter word phrase is a medical term; however, her carefully chosen words come off cold and dehumanizing toward the embryo and fetus. The impact of Dr. Gunter’s words create the idea that what develops in a woman’s womb for nine months is an inanimate object. Of course, this is all very ironic given the fact that the medical term fetus is a Latin word, which literally means offspring. Another way to say offspring is baby or child. I find this to be a major oversight by Dr. Gunter and The New Republic editor, who approved her piece.

If the previous paragraph illustrates Dr. Gunter’s rational inconsistency, then what I’m about to get into magnifies it to the nth degree. Again, the point behind my current is to demonstrate the importance of word choice in writing. I honestly believe that Dr. Gunter chose her words carefully, but she wields them like a toddler holding a gun. Now, let us examine her use of the word anthropomorphize. According to the English dictionary, anthropomorphize means to ascribe human form or attributes to (an animal, plant, material object, etc.) anything that is not human in nature or character. In the above quote, Dr. Gunter claims that these videos released by the Center for Medical Progress falsely attribute human form to a developing embryo and fetus. Once again, this is a major oversight on her part, but it is an egregious one committed by the editor.

It seems pretty clear to me that Dr. Gunter objects to describing the developing entity in a woman’s womb in human terms. I get the fact that the terms embryo and fetus are medical ones. What she fails to realize is that these prove too much, which defeats her argument. Because of Dr. Gunter’s extensive medical training, she knows that every mammalian species starts out as an embryo of its kind. For example, chickens start out as chicken embyros, and lions begin as lion embryos, and so on and so forth. According to genetics (something Dr. Gunter knows very well), the union of a woman’s egg with a man’s sperm is called a zygote. This “product of conception” or zygote comes into existence because of human DNA uniting as one. In fact, from the point of fertilization (zygote) and onward, this “product of conception” has its own discreet DNA, which exhibits differences from the mother and the father regardless of its gender.

I find it hard to believe that Dr. Gunter fails to realize these facts; although, it is true that her medical credentials have nothing to do whatsoever with being an etymologist. Neither does Dr. Gunter’s medical training equip her to make metaphysical and/or philosophical claims about the unborn. In her zeal to defend PP and its practices, she has revealed herself to be no defender of the defenseless. Dr. Gunter resorts to a cold-blooded view of human development in order to maintain the legal right to end it. I may step on toes with what I am about to say; however, the view expressed by Dr. Gunter is cold and downright evil. May the Lord have mercy on us for the shedding of innocent blood:

“…because they have filled this place with the blood of innocents, and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind–therefore, behold, days are coming, declares the Lord, when this place shall no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter” (Jeremiah 19:4d-6, ESV).

 

 

Go Away…Play With Your Toys.

By now, everyone knows about the undercover video exposing the donation, exchange, or sale of aborted baby hearts, livers, and heads by Planned Parenthood (PP) facilities and their affiliates. It was released by an organization called the Center for Medical Progress, which has a history of critiquing PP and its practices. Dr. Deborah Nucatola is the “star” of the video, who serves as PP’s senior director for medical services. Her explanation of the best way to extract an unborn child in order to preserve the vital organs has drawn the most ire from anyone who has watched the video. Dr. Nucatola expresses these things while sipping red wine and munching on salad.

I have not watched the edited version because I chose to view the longer, unedited one after discovering its existence on You Tube. My reason is strictly a matter of principle. If any video, article, book, poem, or movie exists in two versions, then my default practice is to get my hands on the complete or unabridged one. I want the whole enchilada so to speak. This helps me to come to my own conclusions. The responses from those who support PP and those against it have been predictable. This is my initial observation from 10,000 feet up.

No matter how anyone slices it, abortion says that the unborn child does not deserve to live. Instead the rights of the adult mother supersede those of the unborn. Throughout the video, I kept marveling at the depravity of the human heart. There are sectors of the medical, research community that see more value in the aborted baby parts than bringing that child to full term. It seems to me that abortion devalues human life at its most basic level while arbitrarily assigning it value at some later point yet to be determined.

After watching the video, it seems like Dr. Nucatola, PP and their affiliates have come up with a solution for finding value with the unborn: the field of advanced, Biomedical research*. After all, PP and its affiliates must deal with a nasty, practical consequence of abortion: the disposal of aborted fetuses/babies. Around the one hour mark, Dr. Nucatola responds to a question about estimating how many remains are leftover in one day. She guesstimates about 18 liters, which failed to hit home for me until I divided the number by two, i.e. nine, two liter bottles worth of aborted babies. It goes without saying that neither PP nor its affiliates would bury these aborted babies because that affords them dignity and worth as persons. Cremation is not an option for the same reason. The solution seems to be donation for medical research purposes.

A whole host of questions bubble up to the surface at this point: Is the unborn child alive only at birth? How far along the pregnancy is the baby a viable human being? The core question at the center of the abortion debate is very simple. When does life begin for a human being? If the answer is at conception, then that settles it. If the answer is no, then choosing a point after conception is quite arbitrary. Who decides the criteria for determining the viability of the unborn? Our nations’ medical community? The US Supreme Court? The latter seems to be the preferred option over the last forty-two years.

In 1973, the US Supreme Court made abortion legal in the landmark case Roe v. Wade. Last month, the highest court in America imposed its redefinition of marriage upon all fifty states based upon its 5-4 decision in the Obergefell v. Hodges case. In effect, these two Supreme Court rulings have etched into stone that the rights of adults take precedence over the rights of children. This does not mean that I am for children’s rights. What I mean is that Roe v. Wade codified the view that unborn, developing babies have no right to live. The Obergefell v. Hodges decision advocates that the rights of two adults trump their responsibility to provide a child with a mother and a father.

Basically, our nation seems to be telling our kids that they really do not matter until they reach eighteen. I imagine that the conversation between a child and one of our social elites would sound something like this: “We do not believe that you are worth living for nine months in the womb. When you are born, it does not matter who parents you. We have not figured out how to correct the public education system; however, we blame private schools, charters, and vouchers for funneling money away from you in order to give you a decent education.  One more thing, we think it is unhelpful for you to use the words boy or girl, male or female. Those are vague abstractions without any meaning.” The child may say, “So what am I?” “You’re a person. Isn’t that enough? Now go away. Play with your toys.”

* Note: According to Dr. Nucatola, two of the most prominent companies that procure aborted, baby, body parts from PP and its affiliates are Novagenix and StemExpress.