Sunday, July 26, 2009
LTI Donor Letter, 7-09:
I did something fun at the end of the school year. I spoke to my daughter Emily’s 2nd grade class. Emily attends our local public school and her teacher thought the class would benefit hearing from a real life author. How could I resist?
Here's how I began: I held up a parchment copy of The Declaration of Independence (which the class had studied a bit) and read the following: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men."
I then asked, "What makes us equal? It can't be our body size, because some are larger than others. It can't be our intelligence, because some have good report cards while others have bad. It can't be our bellybuttons because some point out rather than in. So what makes us equal?”
From all over the room, tiny voices shot back “We’re all human!” Exactly. The only thing we all share equally is our humaness.
I then held up my book The Case for Life. The cover shows a picture of two tiny feet. “What’s this?” Without a moment’s delay, kids all over that room shouted, “a baby in the mommy’s tummy.”
“Right.” And what kind of baby is this?” Again, there was no delay. “It’s a human baby.”
Right again. “But how is this human in the picture different than us?” Hands shot up everywhere. “It’s smaller.” “It looks different.” “It can’t talk yet.” “You can’t see his eyes yet.”
“True. Do you think that any of those differences mean the baby in the picture is less human than any of us?”
A resounding chorus of voices shot back, “No!”
Notice the kids didn’t need a doctorate degree to grasp the obvious truth about our common human nature. I made a case for human equality (and thus, a case for the pro-life view) without mentioning the word abortion. More importantly, they understood perfectly what I was driving at.
Admittedly, I was having a blast with these kids. At the same time, they were teaching me an important lesson. The pro-life movement must find ways to reach kids earlier, before the surrounding culture talks them out of what they already know to be true. In many ways, these youngsters had better moral reasoning skills than many college students I meet!
That’s why here at Life Training Institute, we’re committed to reaching kids not only at the university campus, but long before they arrive. Now that my book The Case for Life is published, we’re stepping up plans to release additional speakers who connect well with middle school and high school students at Catholic and Protestant schools. I hope one day we’ll even have something for grade school kids--just like those at Emily’s school!
I can sum up the day this way. Making a case for the pro-life view to my daughter's 2nd grade class--fun! Hearing her tell the whole class, "I love my daddy"--priceless!
Grateful as always for your faithful support,
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Here is the complete article which I have finished reading and will be analyzing in my series on the medical literature in our next podcast. I believe you will find the results just as fascinating as I did.
A total of 2,371 teenagers deemed at risk of exclusion from school, drug abuse and teenage pregnancy took part in the YPDP over the three years it ran, at a cost of £2,500 each.
Of these, some 16% fell pregnant.
It didn't appear to reduce teenage pregnancy so we will not be taking it any further
Department of Health
This compared with 6% in other groups of youths deemed vulnerable but which were not taking part in the YPDP. These included for instance teenagers from Pupil Referral Units, who were being educated for various reasons outside of mainstream school.
The YPDP group had sex earlier, and reported a higher expectation of becoming a teenage parent.
The young women in the group were more likely not to have used contraception when they most recently had sex.