Blogs4Life has begun and is being shown live over the internet at the Family Research Council's Website. Click here.
I've had a late start live blogging and will try to fill in details as the conference progresses.
9:00 am - We had a great introduction by Charmaine Yoest, one of the conference founders and Vice President of Communications of the FRC. [note - thanks Charmaine and the FRC for hosting Blogs4Life!]
9:05 am - Tony Perkins, President of the FRC, commemorates the 34th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade and provides encouraging signs for the future.
9:15 am - Bobby Schindler revealed the untold story about how he and a blogger from Florida began publicizing his sister's fate. He makes a good point that the media has now re-written his sister's story, erroneously referring her to as "brain dead". Bobby calls bloggers to publish the facts of his sister's case.
9:35 am - Thanks for Rep. Duncan Hunter from California for stopping by and committing to take a stand for life.
9:45 am - Jill Stanek is giving a live demonstration involving the use of this blog to communicate over the internet. Click here for her presentation. Check out her blog entry referred to in her presentation - infanticide soften by referring to a born baby as a "fetus".
We ran into a small glitch with Jill's video, which is actually available online (click here).
Jill has given a great case for why Blogs are becoming a key element of the new media. She suggests that individual bloggers pick up a specific life issue and become a topic expert.
Comments provide a means to interact with others and answer questions, especially by those who support abortion.
10:10 am - Peter Samuelson from Americans United for Life is giving a great speech on how bloggers can make a difference in the political process. Every year 1,000 pro-life bills are considered by the states and individual bloggers can make a difference by choosing a niche. "State Laws Save Lives."
I appreciate his point on human dignity. When it is no longer considered intrinsic our society begins down the path of organ harvesting from those lacking "adequate" cognitive abilities.
Peter referenced an excellent resource for pro-life bloggers called "Defending Life" - if you blog you can get it free - I'll post the details after the break .
Back from the break....
10:55 am - Sen. Sam Brownback (who is now a presidential candidate) gave a powerful speech, centered on life issues. Among the many points he revealed 80% of unborn children with Down Syndrome are aborted Ė a staggering figure that ought to be unacceptable in any society. Sen. Brownback passionately addressed those with an unborn Down Syndrome, pleading with them to use adoption rather than abortion. Today, he and 25 colleagues are filing the fetal pain awareness act - unborn children are given anesthesia - informing woman considering abortion makes sense.
The Senator ended his speech thanking bloggers for making a difference.
11:15 am - I was hoping we'd get to hear from Jonathan and Debrorah Flora, creators of a Distant Thunder. They are on the podium now speaking about the grassroots efforts by the bloggers that have helped the movie penetrate the significant barriers put up by the mainstream media.
Here is a picture of the Flora's with Jill Stanek
11:30 am - we're off to the March for Life!!!!
2:30 pm - Back from the March: The March for Life was massive, bigger than last year.
Ramesh Ponnuru's talk was fantastic - I'll link to the video when it's available. One, of many items, I appreciated was his evaluation of pro-life bloggers. We're not doing a very good job responding to the mistakes of the mainstream media on abortion, stem cell research and euthanasia. He suggests we network, divide the field of life issues and major media sources, and begin to respond appropriately to inaccurate reporting.
Panel Discussion - great job by Charmaine asking the right questions to provoke discussion - check out KatieFavazza's summary.
4:20 - Blogs4Life is presently in its final session with Dr. David Prentice teaching Stem Cells 101. He's actually bringing the topic down to the level his audience can appreciate.
We often hear embryonic stem cells have properties (flexibility), not available in adult stem cells. This, is simply not the case. The same characteristics are present in stem cells taken from the placenta and amniotic fluid, but without the negative propensity for tumor formation.
Right now, there are 72 successful therapeutic applications for adult stem cells with many more waiting in the wings. One individual shown by Dr. Prentice had a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed. Adult stem cells gave her the ability to walk. And there are many, many more examples (where is the MSM!).
There are no successful applications involving embryonic stem cell research.
5:00 pm - The conference is drawing to a close. Peter Shinn (prolifenews.tv) gave some final thoughts about pro-life activism and Joe Carter concluded the conference.
I want to thank the Family Research Council for their support, which made this conference a reality.