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More Like a School Than a Soup Kitchen

Dec 06, 2016 / By: Michael Spielman
Category: Ministry Updates

For many years now, donors and charities alike have been conditioned to value (and demand) financial efficiency. And the way we have come to define financial efficiency is by measuring program expenses against administrative expenses. In other words, we compare the percentage spent on administrative costs (like salaries and fundraising) against the percentage spent on actually helping those in need. The lower the first number and the higher the second number, the more efficient a charity is considered to be. 

Here's the problem. This metric doesn't work at all for Abort73. In fact, my salary makes up the majority of Abort73's entire budget, which may well trouble some potential donors. Since we're launching our year-end donation drive today, it seems a good time to address this elephant in the room. To do so, I'm going to make three assertions and explain them as best I can.

1. Program expenses and administrative expenses can be indistinguishable

When evaluating the financial efficiency of Abort73, I'd…

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The Pragmatic Case for Legal Abortion (Part Two)

Aug 31, 2016 / By: Michael Spielman
Category: Responses to Readers

In the first installment of this article, I introduced a list of pragmatic assertions that were made in defense of legal abortion. They came to us through a series of Instagram comments and can be summarized as follows:

  1. Mississippi’s state-level abortion restrictions provide a window into what an abortionless America would look like.
  2. Legally restricting abortion increases poverty and crime but does not diminish abortion.
  3. Federally outlawing abortion would not decrease its frequency but would cause an increase in crime, poverty, and unwanted births.

Having already argued that the intrinsic evil of abortion makes the pragmatic "gains" entirely inconsequential, I now want to focus on the assertions themselves. Is it really true that restrictive abortion laws have no impact on the abortion rate? Does decreasing the abortion rate actually increase crime and poverty? Before we get there, you may have already noticed that the listed assertions are self-refuting. Look at them again if you…

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The Pragmatic Case for Legal Abortion (Part One)

Aug 26, 2016 / By: Michael Spielman
Category: Responses to Readers

If abortion is outlawed in the future, how will we care for the "extra" kids? Abort73 has a page dedicated to answering that question, and last week I posted the link to our Instagram profile. Not surprisingly, the reaction was mixed. Of all the comments made in defense of legal abortion, only one commenter stuck to the topic at hand—that is, the potential social impact of outlawing abortion. His basic assertions were as follows:

  1. Mississippi's state-level abortion restrictions provide a window into what an abortionless America would look like.
  2. Legally restricting abortion increases poverty and crime but does not diminish abortion.
  3. Federally outlawing abortion would not decrease its frequency but would cause an increase in crime, poverty, and unwanted births.

I call this the pragmatic case for legal abortion. Notice that it entirely avoids any discussion of right and wrong. In fact, the inferred assumption is that abortion is a necessary expedient. The author goes so far as to say:…

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Saving Babies or Feeding Children?

Feb 11, 2016 / By: Michael Spielman
Category: Abortion Arguments

I recently came across a meme in my Facebook feed that depicted a sad, small, dirty child with a plastic spoon in his mouth. The tag read, “Imagine a world where ‘pro-life’ efforts included feeding hungry children.” The implication of course is that those who oppose abortion don’t care about feeding hungry children. This isn’t the first time I’ve encountered such sentiment, and I’m sure it won’t be the last, but it always manages to grieve me afresh—for two reasons. First, I can imagine the sort of smug moral satisfaction it provides to those trying to justify (or ignore) the violence of abortion. Second, it reminds me of our sad propensity to speak right past each other, on this issue and so many others.

A wordier version of the same general opinion came to Abort73 a couple months back, via our online submission form. The author, a 20-something woman from Georgia, writes:

Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don’t want to know…

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The State of Abortion

Jan 22, 2016 / By: Michael Spielman
Category: Abortion News

Earlier this month, President Obama delivered his final State of the Union address. He never mentioned abortion, but he did have a lot to say about the future—“the kind of future our kids and our grandkids deserve.” I found much of it to be fairly inspiring, with one enormous caveat. Though our commander in chief speaks admiringly of the “movements to expand civil rights,” he has been a stalwart opponent of all efforts to expand civil rights to the most innocent and helpless members of the human community. Think about his unwavering commitment to abortion in the context of the following remarks, all of which came from his address:

How do we give everyone a fair shot at opportunity and security in this new economy?

In today’s world, even a handful of terrorists who place no value on human life, including their own, can do a lot of damage.

“We the People.” Our Constitution begins with those three simple words, words we’ve come to recognize…

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