Fight for Life Updates

Abortion: New, Improved, More Convenient

Researchers have developed a new abortion technique that facilitates abortions as early as eight to ten days after conception.

According to reports in the (Nashville ) Tennessean, December 21, 1997, abortionists can utilize highly sensitive ultrasonic imaging technology that locates the gestational sac, permitting removal with a syringe.

The technique was developed by Dr. Jerry Edwards, the medical director at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Houston, Texas. Because early pregnancy tests can now detect pregnancy within eight to ten days of conception, a mother can have an abortion before missing her menstrual cycle.

Dr. Michael Burnhill, vice president for medical affairs at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, observed, "With these very early abortions, we're talking about a whole gestational sac that's the size of a matchstick head. It's nobody's picture of a little baby sucking its thumb."

Neonaticide: A Parent's Right?

M.I.T. Professor Steven Pinker, in a November, '97 New York Times article, raised the prospect of neonaticide as a parental right. Under this proposal, parents would have one week after giving birth to decide whether to keep or kill their neonate (newborn), since the immature entities "do not possess the morally significant traits that entitle them to a right to life."

The Pastor's Weekly Briefing, January 16, 1998, published by Focus on the Family.


• More than 50 percent of pregnancies among American women are unintended; half of these are terminated by abortion.

• At current rates, an estimated 43 percent of women will have at least one abortion by the time they are 45 years old.

• Two-thirds of all abortions are obtained by never-married women.

• Fifty-five percent of U.S. women obtaining abortions are younger than 25. Women ages 20-24 obtain 33 percent and teenagers obtain 22 percent of all abortions.

• On average, women give at least three reasons for choosing abortion: three-fourths say that having a baby would interfere with work, school, or other responsibilities; about two-thirds say they cannot afford a child; and half say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner.

• Each year, an estimated 50 million abortions occur worldwide — 30 million legally and 20 million illegally.

• Fifteen thousand women have abortions each year due to pregnancy after rape or incest.

• Nearly four of ten teen pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion.

• Women who report no religious affiliation are about four times as likely to have an abortion as women reporting some affiliation.

The Pastor's Weekly Briefing, January 16, 1998, published by Focus on the Family.



The United States or the Twilight Zone?

Cultic Misgivings

Heng-ming Chen says shining, golden balls of light floated down from the sky and told him God was coming to suburban Dallas.

According to Associated Press reports, God supposedly promised to descend from heaven on March 31 at 3513 Ridgedale Drive in Garland.

In preparation for the big event, up to 140 Taiwanese followers of God's Salvation Church bought about thirty houses and moved to the quiet suburb.

"This will happen, I would stake my life on it," Chen said through an interpreter according to AP. "God has given us many miracles and signs to show us this will happen."

But we know the rest of the story.

The city of Garland was prepared for the media onslaught that ensued. They issued its own media guide to Judgment Day: portable toilets, ample parking and — in case no deity showed — directions to the International House of Pancakes.

A Feminist Defense of Porn

Anti-porn laws are a threat to the feminist agenda, according to the fall issue of Free Inquiry, published by the Council for Secular Humanism at the Center for Inquiry.

In what appears to be a blatant contradiction of ideologies, feminist author Wendy McElroy asserts that giving pornography a free rein protects the advance of feminism.

In the same article, feminist author Cherie Matrix observed, "women's liberation is about opening possibilities for women. Pornography represents one of those possibilities — we should never participate on trying to shut it down."

Belief in the Beyond

Belief in many of these phenomena has grown sharply since the 1970s. Adults today vs. 1976 who say they believe "somewhat" in:



Gay Rights Updates

Boy Scouts Under Attack

California Boy Scouts will not be forced to include homosexuals and atheists in their ranks, according to the state Supreme Court.

After a highly publicized court battle in which the Boy Scouts were charged with violating California's anti-discrimination laws, the state's highest court ruled in April that the Boy Scouts are not a business bound by such laws, and can exclude homosexuals and boys who don't believe in God.

On the opposite side of the nation, a New Jersey appeals court ruled in March that expulsion of a homosexual assistant Scoutmaster violated the states anti-discrimination law.

Meanwhile, the city of Chicago cut off its sponsorship of twenty-eight Scout programs in response to an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit. The ACLU cited the group's ban on homosexual participation and requirement of a religious oath.

African Americans Addressing Congress and Catching Flak

Reggie White, all-star defensive lineman for the Green Bay Packers, stunned Wisconsin lawmakers when he announced that he was offended by gay and lesbian references to civil rights.

According to reports in the (Nashville) Tennessean, March 26, 1998, White, an ordained minister, had been invited to address the state assembly for ten to twelve minutes about his recent trip to Israel and his community work. Instead, White addressed them for an hour, and challenged homosexuals who compare their struggle for civil rights to the struggle of African Americans.

According to White, homosexuals have not experienced the persecution that generations of African Americans endured. "Millions of them never died. Homosexuality is a decision. It's not a race," he said.

Consequently, gay rights groups have targeted White. He was once being considered for a commentator position with CBS, but the network has since indicated that they are reconsidering. Homosexual activists have also called upon Nike and Campbell Soup to sever their ties with White.

Two additional noted African Americans continue to be the object of gay activist aggression. As reported in SBC LIFE, January 1998, Angie and Debbie Winans recorded Not Natural, a song that challenges the homosexual lifestyle. In March, the sisters of recording artists Bebe and Cece Winans lobbied in Washington against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (S-869), which would include "sexual orientation" to the list of protected groups.

According to the (Nashville) Tennessean, March 29, 1998, Angie Winans indicated that the two of them are engaged in "spiritual warfare." She said that gay people can be classified into three groups:

• Repentant gays who "don't want to be that way"

• Moderate gays, who take a live-and-let-live attitude

• Militant gays, whom she described as violent

Since the recording of Not Natural, the Winans have been faced with gay picketers outside churches where they perform. They also say they have received more than thirty death threats since the release of the song.

Pro Gay Public Service Announcements

Anti-smoking ads. Charity work. Blood drives. These are the usual fare for radio and TV "public service announcements" (PSAs). Now, if the homosexual group Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has its way, homosexual propaganda will be added to the list. HRC has produced a TV ad featuring Ellen DeGeneres' mother, Betty, in which she says, "For too long, gay Americans have suffered discrimination. As long as our sons and daughters are excluded from the basic protection of the law, we must share the burden as a family."

HRC is distributing the ads as free PSAs to ABC, Fox, and independent television stations, hoping to reach millions of viewers. According to HRC Quarterly, a "dream team" of openly homosexual Hollywood professionals donated their time and talents to produce the spot.

Culture Facts, February 25, 1998



Ukrainian Baptists

The Baptists of the Ukraine have experienced unprecedented freedom in the last eight years, allowing them to increase their churches from 900 in 1990, to more than 1,800 in 1998. With 125,000 members, they form the largest convention of the former Soviet Union.

BWA News, April 1998




… to the Bible League, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. Founded by William Chapman in 1938, the Bible League has since placed more than 530 million copies of Scripture in ninety countries.



TV and Religion

An annual study sponsored by the Alexandria, Va.-based Media Research Center found religious topics made their way into prime time 551 times in 1997, almost double the number of references in 1995 and about a fivefold increase since the organization began doing the study in 1993.

Researchers from the Parents Television Council, the Hollywood project of the Media Research Center, watched 1,800 hours of prime-time programming, nearly all of the original programming on the six broadcast networks. They evaluated every treatment of religion, from plot lines to isolated quips.

For the most part, this new prime-time religion portrays faith in a positive light, according to the Media Research Center study.

Overall, positive treatments of religion outnumbered negative treatments by a two-to-one ratio.

However, when television goes beyond general expressions of spirituality and into devout expressions of a particular faith, the negative stereotypes of ruler-wielding nuns and crazed fundamentalists return, the study found.

Mark Honig, executive director of the Parents Television Council, said many people who produce television programs cannot relate to the lives of religiously committed Americans.

"I think they spend too much time in Hollywood and New York, and don't get out much among the public," he said.

Still, his group's study found no show to be outstandingly hostile, and no network portrayed religion negatively as much as a third of the time it dealt with the topic.

RNS, April 21, 1998

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