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January 8, 2007

Blogs4Life Online Symposium

Topics: Action items

Those of us who reject the culture of death hail from a variety of backgrounds, faiths, and walks of life. We often approach the pro-life issues from different perspectives rooted in our beliefs and priorities. Although united in defense of life, we often have differences of opinions that can affect how we communicate our message and pursue our objectives.

For the next few weeks we'll be hosting an online symposium to explore these issues. The online symposium will culminate in a capstone seminar at the upcoming Blogs for Life Conference. The three symposium topics are:

Defining our Movement: Redefining “Pro-Life” for the 21st Century

Over the past thirty years the term “pro-life” has often been almost completely associated with the issue of abortion. How can we use weblog technology to argue for a more robust definition that includes opposition in such areas as euthanasia, assisted suicide, and embryo destructive research? Also, where do we draw the line between essential, nonnegotiable elements (e.g., opposition to abortion) and matters on which disagreements and differences of opinion should be respected allowed (for example, IVF or capital punishment)?

Defining our Approach: Choosing between Absolutism and Incrementalism

Should we approach pro-life issues on an incremental basis, gradually achieving our goals by compromise and exceptions? Or, should we settle for nothing less than full legal recognition of the sanctity for life? What are the merits for these positions? What are the drawbacks?

Defining our Future: Making Life, Taking Life, Faking Life

The pro-life cause can be divided into three broad areas of concern: Making Life (genetic engineering, embryonic stem cell research, cloning); Taking Life (abortion, assisted suicide, euthanasia); and Faking Life (transhumanism, eugenics). What areas are we making the most progress? What areas will be of most concern over the next decade? How can bloggers have an impact in defending human dignity in these areas?

To include your post in the symposium, send us the following information:

  • Name
  • Name and URL of blog or website
  • Title and URL of post
  • Brief summary

Links to the symposium entries will be posted on Blogs for Life. The questions, concerns, and issues raised in these entries will be discussed during capstone panel session. All entries should be sent to jpc@frc.org.

Posted by jpcarter at January 8, 2007 5:25 PM

Articles Related to Action items:

Comments

1) The only "legal" choices should be adoption (for an unwanted pregnancy) or a legal and anonymous "Safe Haven" relinquishment for an unwanted newborn. Legal abortion, like legal slavery, is a violation of unalienable human rights. Financial assistance and adoption counseling and support should be available to pregnant women who choose not to parent an unwanted child. 4,000 abortions every day should be 4,000 adoptions or safe haven relinquishments.
2) the US should follow the lead of Germany in preventing human embryo experimentation and embryo eugenics: Germany was the first nation in the world to ban the freezing of human embryos in 1990 with the "1990 Embryo Protection Act". In 2003, Spain also banned the freezing of human embryos, and in 2004, Italy (in collaboration with the Vatican) also banned the freezing of human embryos. A married couple in Italy may implant up to three embryos but may not create or freeze additional "spare" embryos. Pre-implantation diagnosis (for genetic screening) is also prohibited. All frozen embryos are to be implanted in their genetic parents or "adopted" by adoptive parents and the frozen depositories are to be closed. Embryos, fetuses, newborns are children and children should not be frozen, aborted or abandoned. This is child abuse/endangerment and children deserve the same legal protections as adults.

Posted by: Dr. Elizabeth Rex at January 19, 2007 9:35 AM

Joe - you don't mention contraception as a pro-life issue. My thesis is that contraception -which was once banned by all denominations - is what began the slippery slope. Hope you will consider publishing this;

http://www.mommylife.net/archives/2007/01/contraception_w.html

Posted by: Barbara Curtis at January 21, 2007 2:41 PM

AMERICANS ON CALL

What is Americans on Call?
Americans on Call is a nation-wide, non-profit organization that strives to decrease the number of women who visit abortion clinics by connecting women to local pregnancy resources.

Mission:
Bringing aid to pregnant women in need, one woman at a time, through nation-wide awareness, community, and personal relationships.

Our Vision:
To create a society where difficulties never end pregnancies, and where the help women need always comes from a friendly face.
What does it mean to be an American on Call?
Being an American on Call means that you support motherhood over abortion, and that, should a woman in a crisis pregnancy or grieving from an abortion seek your assistance in meeting her financial or spiritual needs, you will make a loving and personal effort to connect her with a local pregnancy resource or abortion grief counseling center that will provide her with that assistance.

In other words, Americans on Call act as “ambassadors” for the pregnancy resource / abortion grief counseling centers in their area. Displaying the AOC symbol is an invitation to women to receive the help they need, and that your are willing to provide it. Wear it with pride!

Posted by: Maggie, Americans on Call at January 22, 2007 9:29 AM

It's amazing that most people in the United States are pro-life -- maybe not in all cases, such as rape and incest -- but regardless, most people in this country would be willing to help a woman in a crisis pregnancy get the help she needs, rather than get an abortion. There are so many women today who resort to abortion because they simply do not have the resources to bring their pregnancies to term, or because they feel pressure to have an abortion. In those cases, the majority of Americans would be willing to lend a helping hand to assist that woman bring her pregnancy to term, rather than see her resort to an abortion she is not 100% willing to have. Unfortunately, most people think that Americans are predominantly pro-choice, which is clearly not the case! Imagine what would happen if all the Americans who are willing to help women experiencing crisis pregnancies had some kind of light bulb over their heads blinking: "Hey, I'd love to help! Just ask, and I'll help you get connected with the great pregnancy resources in our area!" If that were the case, imagine how many women would turn to those people before making that phone call to the abortion clinic! The Americans on Call symbol functions as such a light bulb. It says, "Hey, I prefer motherhood over abortion, and if you need help in bringing your pregnancy to term, or if you have had an abortion and need someone to talk to, I'd love to help you get in touch with the resources in our area." The Americans on Call symbol has a dual function: first, it is an outward symbol that expresses your preference for motherhood over abortion; second, it tells people that you are willing to take action on that belief. It tells people that you are willing to help them, not judge them. Imagine the drastic reduction of abortions if everyone got involved in this -- students, parents, professionals, churches, universities! Then maybe, just maybe, America will finally realize that it is indeed a pro-life nation. Maybe then women will see that the majority of Americans welcome pregnancy and motherhood. Americans on Call strives to both reduce the number of women who visit abortion clinics; it also strives to start a cultural revolution. This cultural revolution will show women that pregnancy is not something to be afraid of or be ashamed of; rather, it is something even more than socially acceptable -- it is something to be treasured.

Posted by: Maggie at January 22, 2007 9:43 AM

It’s been a year since Americans On Call's official launch at the 2006 March for Life. We started with a bold vision of what Americans can accomplish through faith and the charitable actions it inspires. We started with a challenge—can we—We the People of the United States of America—eliminate the demand for abortion? Most Americans in the pro-life movement are believers in the God of the possible. So the question to us at the outset was not whether we could end abortion, but how quickly. Americans have accomplished the “impossible” before. We defeated slavery and Jim Crow. We have sent Americans to the moon. We won the Cold War.

In 2006 the pro-life movement had what some might call a few setbacks. We saw, for example, the passage of a South Dakota law outlawing abortion, only to see it struck down. We could look at this and other instances and be tempted to lose hope. But we at Americans on Call see this as a wake-up call. We see spelled out in these circumstances the fact that it is not the job of the legislatures or the Supreme Court to end abortion through laws or litigation. It is in the people’s hands to end it through action. And never has there been a people better prepared and better able to confront an evil than we are in the face of abortion.

This year, let’s resolve to do things differently. When you pray this year, pray that you will have the opportunity to bring a pregnant woman to the help she needs to bring her child to term, or to bring a person grieving over an abortion to healing. Pray that this will happen for all of us, all across America.

It is our calling to meet women in crisis pregnancies with love, charity, and healing. Let us turn clothes we wear, the car that we drive, and the looks on our faces into that invitation. Together in a spirit of faith, unity, and solidarity with each other and with those in need, We the People of the United States can end the Age of Abortion. We outnumber the women who will consider abortion this year. Our love is stronger than the fear or the grief they may experience. But we cannot shine that light on their hearts unless we make our intentions known—every. single. day.

All Americans involved in the pro-life movement are already Americans on Call. We are not a new effort; we are a universal symbol for the efforts that exist, and an effort to make all pro-lifers ambassadors for the excellent resources out there. We exist so that your efforts can be more effective. Next year, let’s make the March for Life a sea of purple flags. Let’s dot every community and workplace with this invitation to help. Together we can show the United States and the world that we are united under one common goal—to help others in need.

Abortion is a broken and outdated concept. Through our faith, our individual committed efforts, and God’s help, we can make abortion go the way of the 8-track. Our radical commitment to charity can—and will—bring that truth to fruition.

Posted by: Scott and Annie at January 22, 2007 9:47 AM

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