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Penetrating the Abortion-Safety Smokescreen

Dec 05, 2017 / By: Michael Spielman
Category: Abortion in the News

Earlier this fall, The Lancet published a new study on the safety of abortion around the globe. According to their report, approximately 25 million unsafe abortions occur each year, which represents 45% of the estimated worldwide total. Dr. Bela Ganatra, a World Health Organization (WHO) scientist in the Department of Reproductive Health and Research, is the study's lead author. Her bio on the WHO website says that she is "working on preventing unsafe abortion." With the exception of one word, her job description is identical to my own. Dr. Ganatra is working to prevent unsafe abortion; I am working to prevent abortion. Of course, the insertion of that one word—unsafe—places us on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum. For all its talk of prevention, the World Health Organization is dedicated to nothing less than the complete and unequivocal mainstreaming of abortion, as inferred by the conclusion to which the study comes:

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The Apostasy of Silence: Lessons from Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Oct 14, 2017 / By: Michael Spielman
Category: Miscellaneous

After finishing Eric Metaxas' biography on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, it occurred to me that though I'd long admired the German pastor and martyr, I'd never actually read any of his published works. To remedy that, I began with Life Together—on the recommendation of Charles Marsh—and followed it up with Ethics. The Cost of Discipleship is still on my "to read" list, but the first two books have given me plenty to think about in the meantime. 

Even…

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The Most Dangerous Place in the World

Sep 30, 2017 / By: Michael Spielman
Category: Miscellaneous

Statistically, Caracas, Venezuela is the most dangerous city in the world. The homicide rate in Caracas is 120 homicides per 100,000 people. That means that everything else being equal, residents of Caracas have approximately a .12% chance of being murdered in any given year. However, if we were to plot that percentage on a pie chart, it would barely show up. One tenth of one percent amounts to little more than a straight line. That's not to diminish the very real danger of living in Caracas, but to point out that even in the most dangerous city in the world, residents have a 99.88% of not being murdered this year.

In the United States, St. Louis holds the dubious distinction of being America's most dangerous city. Its homicide rate is 60 per 100,000 people, exactly half of that in Caracas. Everything else being equal (which I know it isn't), people in St. Louis have a 99.94% chance of not being murdered this year. On the one hand, that doesn't sound too bad. On the other hand, imagine that homicide rate on the average high school campus. In a school of 2,000 students, two would be murdered each year. How many parents would feel comfortable sending…

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Are Planned Parenthood Supporters Ashamed of Abortion?

Aug 24, 2017 / By: Michael Spielman
Category: Abortion in the News

Earlier this summer, Duplass Brothers Productions released "Protect Our Access"—a 5-minute film helmed by college intern Lauren Budd. According to the filmmakers, this project "underscores the vital role Planned Parenthood health centers play in Alaska and the impact that so-called 'defunding' could have ... on rural communities nationwide." Lest there be any confusion regarding the film's political agenda, it begins and ends with the same declaration: #istandwithPP. 

Though there's a good chance you've never heard of the Duplass brothers, there's also a good chance you've seen something they've made. Over the last decade, Duplass Brothers Productions has independently produced more than 20 feature films and television shows, prompting Wired magazine to call them "Hollywood's unlikely new juggernaut." I've…

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The Advantage of Disadvantages

Jul 31, 2017 / By: Michael Spielman
Category: Miscellaneous

In my last post, I talked about the significant social and economic disadvantages of growing up in a single-parent home. The basic premise was this: single parenthood is infinitely preferable to abortion, but it is almost never preferable to living with a mother and father. The article was not meant to be an indictment against single moms, many of whom become so against their will. Rather, it was intended to be a word of caution for anyone who would simply choose single parenthood over getting married or placing for adoption.

As things turned out, the completion of that post directly preceded my reading of Malcolm Gladwell's 2015 book, David and Goliath. If you're not familiar with Malcolm Gladwell, you should be. He's made a career out of challenging long-held cultural assumptions, and this volume is a worthy addition to his growing canon. Using Samuel's famed narrative…

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