Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Allen County Right to Life Banquet

My wife and I attended the Allen County Right to Life dinner and fundraiser last night. This event was attended by about 800 people and was their largest such event to date. This group is a vibrant, growing, and passionate group. I was extremely surprised by the age of those who attended; I expected a much older crowd then was present.

The event was held at the Grand Wayne Center. The catered dinner was good and the company was even better.

We saw quite a few people that we knew at the event:
Three clients (Two of which are related to the Tippman family)
Two past Republican candidates for City Council who unfortunately did not win the
Councilman Didier
City Council candidate Mitch Harper.
Allen County Libertarian Chair Jennifer Jeffrey
Local blogger Dan Turkette
Local attorney Mark Garvin
Fred Rost, head of the Board of Allen County Right to Life
Republican Mayoral candidate Matt Kelty

The speakers were fairly good and my favorite was actually the MC; Charlie Butcher. His opening about how he was pro-choice for much of his life; however, changed his stance a few years ago is fairly similar to my experience.

I am glad I attended the event and Allen County Right to Life put on a very nice event.

As most of the readers of this blog know for the vast majority of my life I felt abortion was wrong; however, I felt that it was a woman's right to choose. Almost five years ago my son was born, he was born 7 weeks early. Both he and my wife nearly died the night he was born; it was very close. My son was yanked out of my wife 44 minutes after we entered the hospital by a desperate ER surgeon. I was in the room and I will never forget the experience. I was scared out of my wits. The experience changed my views on abortion.

I currently think that the vast majority of abortions that occur are wrong. Here are my current views on abortion:

1. I think Roe v Wade should be overturned. I believe in the rights of the 50 states and the Federal government has NO RIGHT to even be involved in this issue at all. I think abortion should be regulated by each of the fifty states.
2. If abortion were up to each of the fifty states I would be in favor of Indiana having a law that
severely limited abortion. I would be in favor of something along these lines:
a. I think that life begins when the baby has the ability to live outside of the womb. I would be in favor of a law that limited abortions to the first three months of pregnancy; unless the life of the mother was at risk. As far as I am concerned the health of the mother is paramount.
b. I would further require that mother's considering abortions get information about other options available to them; especially adoption.

I think that 80% - 95% of the abortions that occur are wrong and should be avoided.

I think that abortion should not be used a birth control.

That being said; there are a couple of places I disagree with some of the right to life supporters:
1. I believe in stem cell research. I think that stem cell research will lead to great medical advances and save a large number of lives.
2. I do not believe that life begins at conception. I believe a baby is a person when they can survive outside of the womb.
3. I have no problem with the morning after pill in cases of rape.

Mike Sylvester


david said...


I am pro-choice, but I agree with you on this. I am pro-choice within the first trimester and only after that if the mother is at risk of death. I agree with your definition of life. The problem is that pro-lifers would not agree with allowing the first trimester abortions. Most believe life starts at conception which even out rules the day after pill and other forms of birth control. So given your comments, I would think you are partially pro-choice - like me.


Anonymous said...

So the definition of when life begins is dependent upon scientific advancement?

LP Mike Sylvester said...


There are many pro-lifers who would say I am pro-choice. There are many in the pro-choice movement who say I am pro-life.

I think I am pro-life because I think that 80-95% of the abortions that currently occur should not occur.


You bring up a good point; however, in my mind life begins when you can live on your own outside of the womb... That is just the way I see it...

Mike Sylvester

Anonymous said...


The turn of events for our family was not as traggic as yours and I wish no one had to through such. My wife suffered a massive misscarage at our home when she was seven months along. If it had not been for the local fire fighters my wife had died also.

I consider myself pro-life but not to the extreme, so I guess that puts me in the pro-choice camp by some people. I have and encourage everyone to carry a child to term if not for the mother's health or being part of a crime.

I also believe we all will answer to God in the final. He will decide and not me.

Jeff Pruitt said...


I agree with most of what you (and David) say on this and I find it interesting that your viewpoints are acceptable to the RTL organization...

Anonymous said...

I think the RTL has many members like we think. Like all groups you have two ends of belief. I also think there are members of RTL that would not vote for the extreme rightwing side of the RTL movement. Confusing? Sure, but most things in life are not black and white.

Anonymous said...


I can't speak for the RTL. However, I am pro-life with the only exception being life of the mother, and I find Mike's ideas perfectly acceptable although obviously he doesn't goes as far as I would. Like the poster above, I believe the RTL has many different members and viewpoints.

Perhaps if the Democrats would get over their morbid fascination with infanticide (i.e. partial birth abortion) and be willing to compromise, this issue wouldn't be so polarizing.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised that Kelty went to the Grand Wayne...he thinks of it as a "failed public investment" according to his direct mail piece.

Not Tom Henry said...

Kelty was just doing his part to "see...the project through to the best possible conclusion." That included sponsoring a table at the banquet.

Anonymous said...

did rost loan him the money for the table or just give it to him?

LP Mike Sylvester said...


I actually met with the Executive Director of Allen County RTL last year when I was running for School Board.

She considered my stance pro-life.

That being said she thought I did not go far enough; however, she said that we agreed on 90% of the issues and could argue about the other 10% once the laws are changed.

I agree with many of the people leaving comments. I think there is some middle ground on abortion and I think the pro-life movement is often characterized by their more extreme members.

Mike Sylvester

gadfly said...

I think that RTL folks, in general, believe that the right to end viability to life is a decision reserved for God alone.

As for rights ...laws punish all murderers except those who kill tiny human offspring unable to escape the death sentence prescribed without a proper trial. Somehow that has to be wrong.

Andrew Kaduk said...

Mike and others,

Just to clarify, the "Morning After Pill" aka RU482 is NOT in any way a form of abortion. It is more like a chemical condom. It's primary function is to block the fertilization of the egg.

There is no evidence whatsoever that RU482 causes the uterus to reject an implanted blastocyst.

If that is abortion, so is a condom or any other oral contraceptive. Calling RU482 an "abortion pill" as RTL propaganda insists is at best a misnomer, at worst a blatant lie.

There is absolutely no need to reserve this drug for use by rape victims. Even people who are adamantly RTL oriented can certainly draw the distinction between ending a pregnancy and preventing one from occurring....right?

Good post, great thread (as usual, Mike).

Rachel said...


The morning after pill and RU486 (not RU482) are NOT THE SAME DRUG.

The morning after pill now sold over the counter is a concentrated dose of hormones, very similar to what is found in birth control pills. It prevents the release of a egg by the ovary or implantation of a fertilized egg.

RU486 (mifepristone) works chemically in an entirely different mechanism. It actually causes a pregnancy to end by interrupting the hormones that sustain the pregnancy. This would actually terminate a pregnancy, not prevent one.

Sorry for the science lesson here, but I think it's very important that two are not confused.

Andrew Kaduk said...

Touche, Rachel. If I would have Googled, I suppose that would have been more accurate in my response.

Too bad I'm not the only one confusing the two concepts. There are a lot of people who think that "emergency contraception" means un-doing a pregnancy. That's not what it means at all.

Andrew Kaduk said...

Here, from Wiki:

"Morning-after pills (ECPs) are not to be confused with the “abortion pill”, otherwise known as RU486, mifestone, or Mifeprex. According to the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, “EC is not an abortifacient because it has its effect prior to the earliest time of implantation.” Since they act before implantation, they are considered medically and legally to be forms of contraception."

Anonymous said...

I just have one point. You said that "1. I believe in stem cell research. I think that stem cell research will lead to great medical advances and save a large number of lives."

The large majority of Pro-Lifers support ADULT stem cell research but not EMBRYONIC stem cell research. usually people leave off the first part which totally skews the meaning.

There have been NUMEROUS science advancements with the Adult stem cells, but even after I believe over 10 years of embryonic stem cell research there has been no medical break through. Why don't we just put that money towards Adult stem cell research? more good has come out of that.

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