By Jonathon Van Maren
As January begins, let’s take a look at some of the most important news for the pro-life movement.
In Ireland, the reptilian Health Minister Simon Harris, who is desperately hoping that everyone will be so pleased with their abortions that they’ll ignore the disaster he’s made of the healthcare system, is moving to ban pro-life protests outside medical facilities. First he worked to ensure that pre-born children have no rights under law, and now he’s working to make sure they have no advocates to speak for them during their final moments when death can still be averted.
The first Irish babies will be aborted this month, but four counties still do not have any doctors willing to commit abortions, and 95% of doctors are refusing to be involved. Not all those with a medical background, it turns out, are willing to cut the same bloody deal with the devil that Leo Varadkar embraced so enthusiastically. Not only that, but some Irish politicians are getting fed up with the relentless culture wars. From the Irish Sun:
Ireland’s sick and tired of a focus on the “culture wars” and issues like “gender-fluid toilets”, our newest party leader claims.
Peadar Toibin TD — who left Sinn Fein over its stance on abortion — hopes his new movement will have as many as six Oireachtas members by the end of this month.
In an interview with the Irish Sun, he said there is “something wrong” when people turn down good quality social housing, called for distance from Brussels and hit out at the “political bubble” inside Leinster House.
His party has already set up 20 cumainn, or local branches, and plans to have “a couple of hundred by the end of January”. Toibin has signed seven councillors, including four ex-SF members.
He hopes to formally launch the organisation in the coming weeks, although even its name is being kept under wraps for now. While it’ll be pro-life, Toibin says fighting for a row-back of the “extremities” of the abortion legislation will be just one of its policy goals.
In China, meanwhile, some experts are warning that the demographic policies of the last several decades, especially the One Child Policy, have resulted in an entirely foreseeable catastrophe. From The Independent:
China may have reached a “historical turning point” after some estimates suggested deaths outstripped births in the world’s most populous nation last year for the first time since records began.
Early data from local health departments across the country estimates no more than 15 million children were born in the country in 2018 – at least two million fewer than the previous year.
Some believe the actual figure may be much lower, with one expert claiming the Chinese population is now in decline despite the abolition of the government’s one-child policy in 2015.
In other news, it may not be just China restricting access to information on controversial topics soon: Abortion activists are complaining to social media platforms about videos and photos depicting the gruesomeness of the abortion procedure—and those complaints may be paying off. From the National Review:
YouTube has apparently changed the search results on its site for the term “abortion” after Slate writer April Glaser contacted the company last Friday to ask “why anti-abortion videos saturated the search results for ‘abortion,’ and if the platform thought accurate, health-focused information had a place there.”
Glaser reports that, by this past week, “anti-abortion content meant to enrage or provoke viewers was no longer purely dominating the results” on the site. According to Glaser, YouTube did not tell her whether or how it tweaked the results for “abortion,” but “stressed that the company is working to provide more credible news content from its search and discovery algorithms.”
It appears that Google has changed the algorithm, as well. When I searched the word “abortion,” nearly all of the results that came up were from abortion clinics or supporters of abortion. Pro-life information—that is, scientifically accurate information—has been spiked. It is incredibly concerning to consider that a handful of progressive and pro-abortion tech moguls in Silicon Valley may now possess the power to change how we access information and skew the debate in favor of their preferred position. Abortion activists want the Internet restricted because they know what a powerful tool it has been for pro-life activists: Videos that the organization I work for, the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, uploaded depicting abortion have received hundreds of thousands of hits, with dozens of people messaging to say that they cancelled their abortions after witnessing the ugly truth.
Abortion activists are also concerned because forty-five years after Roe v. Wade, the pro-life movement is consistently making inroads and winning legislative battles. From CNN:
Those engaged in the battle over abortion in the United States are looking out at the thorny landscape and gearing up for what is on the horizon in 2019.
What they see includes a more conservative US Supreme Court, 85 confirmed judges appointed by President Donald Trump who are reshaping the courts, and legislative bodies — both state and federal — transformed by a contentious midterm election.
Experts from four groups dedicated to protecting abortion access spoke with reporters on a conference call Monday afternoon to discuss what lies ahead from their perspective. On the call were representatives from the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Center for Reproductive Rights and the National Network of Abortion Funds.
They spoke of the more than 400-and-counting restrictions to abortion access that have been enacted at the state level since 2010 and vowed that this is not a time to stop fighting. Even though Roe v. Wade remains on the books, they said, some states forge ahead as if it has been overturned. They also discussed how barriers to abortion access effectively prohibit the procedure for many, especially for low-income populations, people of color and younger people.
We don’t yet know how the Supreme Court will rule on Roe v. Wade. Chief Justice John Roberts, who had a perfect pro-life record and was once considered a reliable anti-Roe vote, has given confusing signals over the past several years and has given grave cause for concern. The beleaguered Brett Kavanaugh is also a wild card, but we will be finding out whether he is a pro-life justice soon enough. In the meantime, Trump continues to appoint more judges, and may yet get the chance to appoint another justice to the Supreme Court.
For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.