Tue, 11 March 2014
Josh interviews Jojo Ruba, former staff member of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform and Executive Director of Faith Beyond Belief.
After talking about the pro-life presentations that have been protested and censored by Canadian pro-choice activists, Jojo answers the 9-question Life Report Questionnaire that has been answered by many other pro-life leaders in the past. I altered it a little for this interview, taking out the questions on stem cell research and euthanasia to focus more on the graphic pictures debate and how pro-lifers should treat pro-choice people.
I love this quote from Jojo, in regards to what he does when he's talking to a pro-choice person: "I say a little prayer, and the prayer is this: 'Father, show me how I can love this person today.'"
What did you get in trouble for as a child?
What is your favorite movie, and why?
What has been the pro-life movement’s greatest victory (or victories) so far?
What has been the pro-life movement’s greatest failing or weakness?
Graphic Pictures: Should we use them, and if so, how, when, and where?
Is there a difference between showing non-graphic but disturbing images in public (like the human trafficking truck) and showing graphic images of abortion in public?
How should pro-lifers interact with those who are pro-abortion-choice?
What kind of tips are you offering students you train on how to treat pro-choice people with respect?
What single thing should pro-lifers be doing that most are NOT doing right now?
Wed, 5 March 2014
It's Gabi's farewell show! So for something special, Josh and Gabi discuss the 21 most important lessons she's learned about abortion dialogue while working with Right to Life of Central CA and Justice For All.
Fri, 14 February 2014
After shooting the Life Report episode on arguments for embryonic stem cell research, Dr. Buratovich graciously stuck around 37-minutes to answer more questions! This audio includes my new favorite fact about early human development!
1: Ronald Bailey has argued that since somatic cell nuclear transfer can transform a nucleus from an adult cell into an embryo, then every cell in our body is a potential embryo. Since we do not get upset about all those cells we lose when we sneeze or scrape our knees, we shouldn’t get upset about the death of a bunch of embryos. I train people to respond to that by saying they’re confusing parts with wholes and talk about what an organism is. How do you respond?
2: Some argue that embryos are like acorns as opposed to oak trees. The loss of a majestic oak tree is a genuinely sad, but an acorn? We trample hundreds of those while playing with our kids at the park and think nothing of it. So people argue that embryos are similar, in that they only become valuable when they grow up. How do you respond to that argument?
3: Respond to the more intelligent pro-choice argument that would say that sentience or some other capacity is a necessary condition for being valuable.
4: But if self-awareness really is what's important, then it seems like the pro-choice person could respond by agreeing that the threshold of self-awareness isn't epistomologically knowable, but that doesn't mean that that threshold doesn't ontologically exist. Then they could do what Boonin and Singer do and just draw the line several weeks before that threshold could possibly exist. How would you respond to that person?
5: The early church made a distinction between abortion after quickening (the maternal sensation of fetal movement), which was viewed as murder, and abortion before quickening, which was not viewed as murder. Is the pro-life movement inconsistent with early church teaching?
6: How would you argue that the unborn is a living, human organism?
7: Clarify how the mother's uterus communicates with the embryo, signalling it to the optimum location to implant.
8: Can we use dead embryos to ethically make embryonic stem cell lines?
9: Should people freeze their baby’s umbilical cord blood as a deposit on future research?
Tue, 11 February 2014
Join the discussion at http://ProLifePodcast.net/187
Dr. Michael Buratovich is Professor of Biochemistry at Spring Arbor University and the faculty advisor for the SAU Students for Life club. Josh interviews him on what stem cell research is and how to respond to common arguments for embryonic stem cell research.
Purchase "The Stem Cell Epistles: Letters to my Students about Bioethics, Embryos, Stem Cells, and Fertility Treatments:" http://amzn.to/1f2rM3b
Read Dr. Buratovich's blog at http://BeyondTheDish.wordpress.com.
01:09 - How did this book come along?
04:10 - Can you explain for our listeners what a stem cell is, and why they are sought after in research for regenerative medicine?
11:03 - Can you talk about the differences between embryonic stem cell research, adult stem cell research and induced pluripotent stem cell research?
17:18 - Many people argue that the embryo is just a tiny clump of cells with no nervous system; no heart, no consciousness, no ability to feel pain. They think it's crazy to call that an intrinsically valuable human being. What do you say to them?
18:49 - Some people think we should use cloned embryos to solve the practical issues with embryonic stem cell research? Do you believe that to be an ethical alternative?
21:08 - Some people make a utilitarian argument that all those millions of embryos in storage units are going to die anyway. They argue that we should put them to good use instead of wasting them in a cold storage unit or flushing them down the drain. How would you respond to that utilitarian argument?
24:39 - What should pro-lifers be doing about stem cell research?
Stay tuned for bonus audio with Dr. Buratovich to be posted later this week at http://ProLifePodcast.net
Mon, 3 February 2014
Listen to Josh's speech at the Students for Life of America 2014 West Coast National Conference:
Josh responds to these four common statements:
Thu, 30 January 2014
We weren't able to cover everything I wanted to during the Life Report episode, but Dr. Poupard was gracious enough to spend some more time answering questions about this important topic.
1: How do birth control pllls and Plan B work, why do some people think that they are abortifacients and why do you think that they may not be?
2: Comment on article from Catholic Bioethics...Quarterly that cites studies indicating that Plan B is not an abortifacient and argues that the labels on Plan B may not mean anything. Is there a medical bias issue at play?
3: Question #1 from Dan: What about the studies cited in Randy Alcorn's book that breakthrough pregnancies while on oral contraceptives are more likely to be ectopic?
4: Question #2 from Dan: What is the state of the research on Progesterone-only pills like the mini pill and copper/hormonal IUD's?
Wed, 29 January 2014
We've been wanting to shoot an episode on this topic for several years, and it's finally done! It's sometimes a contentious topic among pro-life people, but it's an important one nonetheless. How should pro-life people think and talk about birth control, aside from the important religious debate about whether or not you should plan your family? Dr. Rich Poupard from Life Training Institute comes on the show to offer his expertise.
02:25 - Dr. Poupard summarizes what he's learned about the medical question of how birth control methods work.
04:55 - How does Plan B work according to the research and what does a woman's weight have to do with it's effectiveness?
08:45 - Do you think women are getting enough information about the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of Plan B?
09:25 - Why the new Plan B research will probably result in MORE abortifacient use, and not less.
12:32 - Were pro-abortion-choice advocates talking about the new Plan B/weight study when it came out, or have they been hesitant to discuss it publicly?
13:26 - What's the connection between abortifacient IUD's and implantables and Obamacare?
19:17 - Knowing everything you know, how would you train pro-life advocates to talk publicly about birth control?
23:24 - What should pro-lifers talk about when discussing the public policy side of this issue? Parental involvement?
26:05 - How would you answer in 60-seconds the direct question of whether Plan B causes abortions or not?
We'll be posting bonus audio with Dr. Poupard answering more questions about birth control pills and Plan B later this week at http://ProLifePodcast.net.
Life Training Institute:
Wed, 15 January 2014
We've got an unaired episode that was never published on YouTube for technical reasons that we recently resolved. Josh Brahm and Liz Goddard interview Bobby Schindler, the Executive Director of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network which works to protect the lives of the medically vulnerable and disabled from the threat of euthanasia.
Join the discussion at http://ProLifePodcast.net/185.
00:29 Can you give us a brief overview of your sister Terri's story?
04:18 Did Michael wait 30-45 minutes after Terri's collapse before calling 911?
05:27 Can you define "persistent vegetative state" for us, and whether you believe Terri was in a persistent vegetative state?
06:53 Is there an objective definition of PVS?
08:11 Did Terri fit that medical criteria for PVS?
09:04 What progress did Terri show in the first two years of rehab before Michael took her off of rehab?
10:15 What happened to the trust fund that was earmarked for Terri's therapy?
12:25 Why do you think that Michael refused to divorce Terri after moving in with Jody Centonze?
13:02 What is it that the medical professionals believed whom Judge Greer refused to allow to testify?
14:37 Is there anyway Terri could have survived without the feeding tube?
15:26 Do you know anything about recent research to determine the extent of someones brain injury?
17:01 Do you have any how often people are starved to death who are not in a PVS state?
18:30 What is the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network doing now, six years later?
19:49 What do you believe is still the number one misconception about Terri?
21:36 What kind of legislation could be passed that would prevent Terri's situation happening again?
22:21 How will the new healthcare law impact people with situations similar to Terri's?
23:36 Would you be in favor of legislation that would sever spousal rights on the behalf of an incapacitated person in the event where there's a clear conflict of interest, such as when the spouse acting as guardian begins a new relationship?
24:47 What would you say to people who try to frame Terri's situation as a "right-to-die issue?"
26:02 So the clear distinction for you is that food and water is basic care and that ventilators and respirators are medical care that in some cases can be stopped?
Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network:
Wed, 18 December 2013
Rebecca Hashke from Justice For All joins Josh Brahm and Gabi Vehrs to discuss a question that pro-lifers often struggle with.
After offering some thoughts on how pro-lifers should respond to this question, the discussion turns to another philosophical conundrum that pro-choice people often ask about: should the fact that abortion bans would be hard to enforce mean that we shouldn't try to make abortion illegal?
Tue, 10 December 2013
Our favorite Notre Dame Law grad John Gerardi joins us again, this time to discuss the Pope's recent confusing comments about abortion.
Note from Josh: We recorded this episode in October, 2013. I'm grateful that yesterday (December 9th) Pope Francis made a clear pro-life statement to the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, a pro-life group in Rome.