Stephen Zunes on Blog Talk Radio

Professor Stephen Zunes, co-editor with Rachel MacNair of Consistently Opposing Killing: From Abortion to Assisted Suicide, the Death Penalty, and War is on the
Shared Sacrifice show on Blog Talk Radio right now. I’ve submitted a question about the consistent life ethic, and one of the hosts said he’d ask. I believe the show will be archived for later listening.

Improved social support leads more to choose life in UK

Encouraging news from the UK: parents whose unborn children are diagnosed with Down Syndrome perceive that there is greater social support for their families and a better chance for a good life for their children than ever before. As a result, they are increasingly choosing life over abortion.

The Down’s Syndrome Association surveyed 1,000 parents to find out why they had pressed ahead with a pregnancy despite a positive test result.

A fifth said they had known somebody with Down’s, a third cited religious or anti-abortion beliefs and 30% felt life had improved for people with Down’s.

Almost one in five said they simply did not believe the results of the test.

Most respondents said they felt supported by their family and friends and considered that the future was far better today for those with Down’s syndrome.

They pointed to integrated education in particular and a greater acceptance of what it means to be different.

BBC, “Many Opting to Keep Down’s Babies

The Obama administration-to-be has put up a web site at They’re soliciting feedback from citizens in various ways:

Share Your Story

Start right now. Tell us your story in your own words about what this campaign and this election means to you. Share your hopes for an Obama Administration and a government for the people.

Share Your Vision

Start right now. Share your vision for what America can be, where President-Elect Obama should lead this country. Where should we start together?

Of the People, By the People

Tell us your ideas and help us solve the biggest challenges facing our country

You can even submit photos or video.

I’d like to use this space to let people share their responses, and take inspiration from each other. What’s your vision? Tell the new administration about your longing for justice for both women and their children, about your work toward a consistent life ethic, about the steps you expect them to take toward their stated goal of abortion reduction — and tell us too.

Post-election link roundup

Some thoughts upon the election of Barack Obama, and what happens next:

How the World Goes: “Voting is hard for me. My ethical orientation is best described as a version of the consistent life ethic, or “seamless garment” ethic, articulated most forcefully and cogently by certain Catholic thinkers. But (a) there has never been nor is there ever likely to be a political candidate at a level above dogcatcher who embodies that stance, and (b) I have some serious libertarianish reservations about whether the government — especially in a pluralistic society — is the institution best suited to implementing such an ethic.”

Abortion Reduction Key to Common Ground: “You have said you want to unite us as a nation. An excellent place to work for such unity would be for you to put your full support behind the Democrats for Life initiative known as the Pregnant Women Support Act.”

Obama and the Beautiful Day: Obama is a good man, and he will make a good president, even if he isn’t nearly as sensitive as he ought to be to tragedy of abortion in our midst. As much as I suspect my religious beliefs ought to incline me in such a direction, I just can’t find it in myself to make such sensitives the primary measure of a candidate, at least not this candidate, on this wonderful day.

Outlawing the Symptom: Our Broken Abortion Strategy: If we as followers of Christ truly believed in the agenda of life, why have we not taken seriously the proven correlation between poverty and increased abortion rates? Why have we not spoken out on supportive health care for women and children? Why have we not cried out about preventative education to minimize unplanned pregnancies that frequently lead to termination? And why, oh why, do we not see war, torture, creation care, or the death penalty also as fundamental issues of life? The question is, will evangelicals expand their understanding of social influences and actually work towards healing the causes, or just wait around to outlaw the symptom?”

Jim Wallis on Holding Obama Accountable: “There are a lot of evangelicals who are willing to engage with an Obama presidency on global poverty, the environment, Darfur, on trafficking, on war and peace in Iraq. The life issue has been defined very narrowly. […] Barack Obama will be held accountable on a serious commitment to abortion reduction. He called for that, his campaign platform said that, and he should be held accountable to that.”

Eliminating Abortion From The Ground Up: “To have an immediate impact to reduce abortions, it seems that a more effective way is to fight the battle from the bottom up. It all starts with the hearts and minds of the people involved in the abortion decision. The woman who is considering having the baby aborted and the father of that child need to be reached at their core. When their hearts and minds are convinced that what is being killed is a human, then the rest of the pro-life fight will be easier.”

Hope and Politics: “Perhaps trying to stop evils committed by our nation through voting is misguided. After all politicians only enable us to do the injustices to our fellow man that we have already decided as a society that we wish to allow.”