Friday, March 15, 2013

Where were you when.....

After a nearly two-year hiatus, I am back. Well, for now. Just to answer the important question: Where were you on March 13th, 2013, at 19:07 (GMT+1)?

I was at work, with ears plugged in to a live camera feed pointing at the chimney of the Sistine chapel. Just earlier that afternoon, there was a seagull (with his own Twitter account too @SistineSeagull) perched happily.

At about 19:07, the background noise from the live camera feed suddenly became a swelling raucous crowd cheering. I had to bring up the window. Out came smoke pouring from the Sistine Chapel's chimney. It was dark; I had doubts if it were white, or any other shade.

"Parece blanca" - I texted to my group in Whatsapp.

"Blanca como la nieve!" was the reply.

"Habemus Papam!"

So it ends, the long wait - the brief period where we Catholics were orphans. I ran all the way home and stayed glued to the telly to see who it is and what name he will assume as Pope.

"No matter who he is, we love him already!" - I tweeted.

At 20:15, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, left his former life forever, and stepped out to the world as Pope Francis.


A toast to the new pope, new shepherd in the Barque of Peter.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Quo vadis?

Hello, hello!!!! It's been, what, almost a year since I last wrote something on this blog, and boy, how time flies!! A year in tech world is like a lifetime (iPad, iPhone 4, rise of FB & Twitter & Netflix). I haven't quite lost interest in the world yet, but most of the interesting links I found go to Facebook now after Yahoo! announced' early demise. And along with dwindling attention span - it's down to 140 characters thanks to a previously mobile startup called Twitter - I find writing anything more than a couple of soundbites, a tad too tedious.

Anyway, it's good to be able to write a good length piece once in a blue moon. And today is such a day.

Our late beloved pope, John Paul II, was officially beatified this morning. Although in the eyes of many he's already a saint, the church does what is in her purview - trust but verify - and declare it official after a process of investigation. Papa BXVI did dispense with the 5 year waiting period, but did not decide to declare his predecessor Santo subito ('immediately') without due process. We're in the age of reason after all, or post-rational, as some'd prefer to say..

If you haven't caught the fever of enthusiasm and joy yet, read on as I'd like to share a bit of my conversion that I believe I have JP 'the great' to thank for. (Have I got any of my old readers left? No? Doesn't matter, I only hope to cheer on a random soul searching for anecdotes about lives touched by JPII)

It started back in 2004, when I just left a serious relationship, and found myself searching for "what's more" in life. I found Choice program - which markets itself precisely to capture this audience. It was good though it wasn't what I was meant for. Got involved running the program, and the community was truly like my second family back in Singapore. That's where I first encountered Theology of the Body, a teaching about love & sexuality made popular by JPII. It was like, who's this brilliant, charismatic, pastoral, and truly paternal figure?? Before this encounter he was only a remote leader figure in the Catholic Church living far away in Rome, and for whom we pray each day even if only out of common piety (or so as not to lead us astray!! How presumptuous I must've sounded...). From then on I began to read his biographies, his works, his encyclicals (yes, even those...), eager to know where'd this guy get all that wisdom, charisma, and above all, the peace & joy that could only come from knowing you're doing exactly what God has made you to do. From one thing to another, I found myself reading tons of blogs (St Blogs, in the words of a wise Catholic blogger), learning stuffs about Catholic doctrine that I never knew existed.

When he passed away in 2005, the whole world's interest in him was renewed. Then I came across a blog post about volunteering for the World Youth Day in Cologne, the first one without JPII. I didn't know what the WYD was, but I signed up and haven't look back since. From there on, one thing leads to another, one encounter after another, one session after another, and two years after his death, I found myself signing a blank cheque of my life to God. (Those of you who know me in real life know what I'm referring to).

So, here I am four years later, in a place I never dreamt of visiting, doing things I'd never dream of doing if not for the yes JPII has inspired me to do. (It's kind of hastily written - but I just had to write something you see...)

Meanwhile life goes on. I still make mobile apps in my spare time (look out for WYD companion app coming soon for your iPhones!!), I am still struggling to keep awake in those Gethsemani moments in my life, I'm still struggling against the old man in me, and I still carry the hope that at the end of it all, our lives are not the sum of our successes and failings, but the sum of God the father's love for us.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


When I left on Friday afternoon for Pamplona, I confessed I had no idea what'd transpire this weekend. Sure I'd heard that this weekend would be 'The Javierada', where many people would walk from Pamplona, or surrounding villages, or anywhere along the route between Pamplona to Javier, the village where St Francis of Xavier (Francisco de Javier) was born.

Having vaguely said yes to an invitation someone made some months back, I gamely signed up to go on this 'hike' (or so I thought) although the original person who invited me backed out because she had a class to attend on Saturday morning. So we set out, 4 brave cats (cuatro gatos), at 5:15 in the morning, finding for ourselves a lovely weather, not cold at all for March, taking into account that just last week it snowed pretty heavily.

On the way to Noain, the airport of Pamplona, we met a middle aged man who regaled us with stories of his various journeys of Camino Santiago and countless Javierada. We walked with him up to Monreal; I was marveled by the witness of his faith. He went this year, he told us, to pray for his two daughters who are self-professed atheists. He is asking for the gift of faith.

At this point (it was 8:10 in the morning when we arrived at Monreal - about 12km from Pamplona) I had not felt fatigue setting in, although a brief pause while a friend took a pee, was a welcome respite. I thought about his remark that "everybody had something to ask", and thought, what'd I have to ask from God? Let me say that I made up my mind to do this Javierada, only in this past week, when something reminded me that my father is baptized Fransiskus Xaverius (that's Latin-- or rather, Indonesian-- spelling of the saint's name) and it seemed like a great pity if, being in his homeland now, I do not take advantage to seek his intercession. So that's what I have come to ask.

An hour and a half from Monreal, I began to realize that I have a problem. We were walking on perfectly paved roads (which some said are bad for the knees). My friend was telling me that I'm dropping my pace, while I was perfectly sure that I am walking at a constant pace. Soon she left me, and I realized everyone else was overtaking me... even children and the elderly pilgrims were walking faster than me. At this point, my legs felt kinda stiff but there was no pain yet. At 11, we passed by "La Venta de Judas", an oasis under a flyover, where volunteers were offering us food & drink. We thirstily drank Aquarius and picked up some goodies for the journey. That was our brief stop, and my company left me behind for the rest of the journey. Soon one hour became two and two became three. We didn't even stop for lunch. I drank liquids, although I wasn't so thirsty. After all the weather was good. We had good fortune: the wind was blowing (mostly) from behind us. The sun was in my eyes (which for most people here is what constitutes good weather) and I felt not the least bit cold.

At about 2 o'clock we "regrouped" at Yesa, to decide whether to stop to eat or continue. We continued, and my company soon left me behind. The last few hours were hellish. I started the day praying the Via Crucis, and realizing for the first time, the fundamental reason why man, does penance and suffers voluntarily, when I said the closing prayer (a la Española) "Señor, pequé." This was the closing prayer that I never quite heard clearly before (having only prayed the Way of the Cross in English, privately of course).

"Señor, pequé." Lord, I have sinned. This is why Javierada attracts thousands of people. The next day I read in the paper that not less than 20,000 people did the Javierada this weekend. I was impressed to see many young people, while expecting to see only the most pious and perhaps, the older population. I think there is something deeper than a simple tradition handed down from generation to generation and it being a good day to 'walk a bit' with friends: there is a deep sense that we ought to make reparation for some thing that we have done wrong against ourselves, against some people, and ultimately, against that Someone.

We prayed countless rosaries, both together and in feverish silence. All that thought, many prayers, and mumbling the names of each one for whom I pray at every excruciating step, was what got me there. St Francis of Xavier, of course, interceded for us. Here is a saint who inspired, and continued to inspire thousands of people to rise above their own comfort and dare to venture out to spread the love of God. My last prayer, I'm a little embarrassed to say, was for us (well, I know my company was ahead of me) to arrive there before the Mass starts. How glad I was to see the huge sign "Bienvenida a Javier (2006)". Little did I know that the castle of Javier, which is right now a basilica, was at least 2km further and up the hill.

But we made it.

And just in time for the Mass. I arrived at the grounds outside the Castillo at 4:30pm. I was truly surprised to see a mass of people. It turned out that groups from Madrid had come to celebrate a stage of the journey of the World Youth Day cross. So I was there, reliving memories from the World Youth Day in Cologne, although exhausted and could barely stand (thanks to the huge blisters in my feet and stiff legs). The bishops of Pamplona—Tudela and San Sebastian were there, and said homilies which clearly showed their zeal for souls— encouraging young people to not be afraid to open their hearts to Christ and to pray, concretely, for 3 people around us, to 'bring them up' in the paten at the Mass.

The Mass, although outdoor, was reverently celebrated and the people were absolutely pious. I couldn't stand up nor kneel for the consecration, although fortunately, I could see everything as I was situated just in front of the outdoor altar.

Another friend from Pamplona 'rescued' me at the end of the mass, held my arm as I limped down to where the car was parked. It was only 50-odd kilometres from Pamplona to Javier. The WYD Cross was brought to the chapel of San Fermin in Pamplona, where an overnight vigil was held. Close to 2000 people came to pray before it, reported the paper the next day.

I am glad to have gone, although am still suffering the aftermath with sunburnt lips, swollen legs and limps. This Spanish tradition speaks volume about the Spanish culture and deeply rooted Christian identity. I will go again, given the opportunity. And this time I hope to see the basilica, at least.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Waiting this advent

Despite the fact that I have always loved the season of Advent, and despite the fact that this year Advent in my life has all the characteristics of waiting, I don't feel at all ready to hear, much less live, the message of Advent. It makes me a little sad how frigid (well, the weather doesn't help) my attitude has been this advent. The birth of Christ, lovingly awaited by thousands of faithful, seems more than a million miles away from me. Even as I helped to put up several Christmas crib scenes around the residence, I wish, I just wish, I could feel a little more enthusiastic, more affectionate, more recollected, to welcome this great mystery of the God who was made man and dwelt amongst us.

For 'cultural' Catholics, this would be easy to identify with. After all, they have grown up surrounded by the myth, (but not quite the mystery) of Christmas, ever since they could remember. All that gifts and warm fire and general atmosphere of festivities may be all Christmas means for many. I count myself amongst them, although neither my family is culturally Catholic nor am I a cradle Catholic.

This year I have the unusual privilege of having nearly two weeks of 'relatively free' time to think (and prepare) about what Christmas means, or should mean.

Struggling to get back 'on track', I tried to imagine being on 'the other side', being the One who is coming to a people who has kind of forgotten him, or is growing tired of waiting for him. How suitably post-modern it is to try to understand a situation from the 'other' point of view.. well. Anyway, as I was saying, I read and prayed, and those exhortations to get prepared, to get ready to welcome God made man, God-made-child, could not lift me up through the thick stupor of routine.

But just imagine: how it'd be like for you, if you were the one waiting to be born, waiting to enter into time, waiting to walk amongst us, His ungrateful creatures, waiting to save us, since... since the beginning of mankind, since the fall of our first parents. Talk about waiting! Our 4-week long advent, or even a lifetime of waiting, is nothing, compared to the thousands of years (millions or trillions, if you are an ID-and-evolutionist like me) that He has been waiting to come into our lives.

Imagine His enthusiasm, His joy, and most humbling of all, His need, to be with us. As omnipotent God who made everything out of nothing, it is unimaginable, inconceivable (indeed, a folly to the Greeks and a stumbling block to the Jews), that God would 'lower' Himself to save creatures who sadly, do not always recognize Him and even when they do, do not always reciprocate, nor even appreciate, the magnitude of this gesture of love. It is mind-boggling, to think that, God's gesture to us almost says "I need you, I want your love", when it is us who should be saying all that to the One who brought us to existence. And He did come, two thousand years ago, and since then, waiting to come anew into our lives, every Christmas.

How fitting it is that December is filled with various feasts of Mary; from the 8th, her Immaculate Conception, to 10th, Our Lady of Loreto, to the 12th, Our Lady of Guadalupe. She knew all about waiting for the One. She knew He has waited much longer, with much more longing, than she, or anyone else, had.

Well. This is my short reflection this Advent. This has helped me a lot; this Christmas, I am going to try to be a little bit more conscious of this wonderfully stupefying fact, that God has waited for me first. May this Advent bring you truly closer to Christ.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Misdiagnosed PVS for 23 years

This man was extraordinarily lucky to be alive to tell his story: that for 23 years, they thought he was in PVS state, not realizing that he was actually paralysed but fully conscious of everything that happened around him. This news didn't come from a particularly pro-life publication; it just reiterates how flimsy are the criteria for brain death. It is particularly interesting to me as we now have classes about anatomy, pathology, and inevitably, organ transplant and the polemic around it.

This one is from LifeNews with some commentary on how this episode affects debate about PVS determination and ethical implication.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cada vida importa (17 Oct)

Tomorrow, in Madrid, there will be a pro-life rally "Cada Vida Importa" (Every life matters). Most of my friends who can squeeze time into their schedule are heading there to show their support. It is especially relevant in Spain, where there is currently an ongoing battle to liberalize abortion, seeing it as a 'necessary step' to be fully modernized like the rest of Western Europe. I, like a few others, won't be able to make it but will support them with prayers and ask you for yours.

More info here and here (in Spanish).

Just to recap on the topic of the scourge of abortion:
Last year abortion killed 41.6 million (report by Guttmacher!!!)

And last, but not least, you have to read this profoundly sad but hopeful reflection by an abortionist, Lisa Harris, who aborted 18-week baby even as she felt her own 18-week baby kicking. Excerpts (read in full here):

With a quick tug, I separated the leg. Precisely at that moment, I felt a kick - a fluttery "thump, thump" in my own uterus. It was one of the first times I felt fetal movement. There was a leg and foot in my forceps, and a "thump, thump" in my abdomen. Instantly, tears were streaming from my eyes - without me - meaning my conscious brain - even being aware of what was going on. I felt as if my response had come entirely from my body, bypassing my usual cognitive processing completely. A message seemed to travel from my hand and my uterus to my tear ducts. It was an overwhelming feeling - a brutally visceral response - heartfelt and unmediated by my training or my feminist pro-choice politics. It was one of the more raw moments in my life.


I thought to myself how bizarre it was that I could have legally dismembered this fetus-now-newborn if it were inside its mother's uterus - but that the same kind of violence against it now would be illegal, and unspeakable.


[...] the psychological burdens second trimester abortion care lays upon its providers, including "serious emotional reactions that produced physiological symptoms, sleep disturbances (including disturbing dreams), effects on interpersonal relationships and moral anguish."


Harris conjectures that the needs of abortionists in this regard are not met because "frank talk like this is threatening to abortion rights." "While some of us involved in teaching abortion routinely speak to our trainees about the aspects of care I've described, we don't make a habit of speaking about it publicly. Essays like this bring the inevitable risk that comments will be misinterpreted, taken out of context and used as evidence for further abortion practice restrictions," she writes.

"We might conclude at this point that a provider who feels that abortion is violent is simply ambivalent, conflicted, is not really committed to women's abortion rights, and just shouldn't be doing this work," Harris writes. "'Pro-life' supporters may argue that the kind of stories and sentiments I've relayed spell the end of abortion - that honest speech acts regarding the reality of abortion will weaken the pro-choice movement to the point where it cannot sustain itself any longer.

As you may very well imagine, my first response was, "How could this woman not see?!" All that she wrote was contradicting each other; how can she maintain that the pro-choice position is tenable for the well-being for women when it must be obvious even to her:
(1) the incongruous, injustice of born-alive protection and legal status of abortion, and
(2) her own 'visceral response' which she tried to rationalize and explain away, and (3) the 'psychological burdens' suffered by 'second-trimester providers' is precisely because our consciences know the action cannot be defended morally ever. EVER.

I feel very sad reading the article, but at the same time hopeful that she, like many other abortionists, will come to see the inconsistencies in her position and recant from this kind of work.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Short Update: Prayerbook now in ITALIANO, DEUTSCH & RUSSIAN

Just a short update: I've been down with cold lately and swamped with work.

An update to the Catholic Prayerbook is now available in iTunes (for iPhone users) or HERE (for Java users)

With this update, it is now available in English, Español, Latin, Bahasa Indonesia, Deutsch, Italiano, and Russian.

Also, there are now up to 28 prayers in each language. New additions include more thanksgiving prayers and novenas. Update your copy or Download it NOW here.

Any comments and suggestions are always welcome!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Open-Source Math Tool: Sage

So life as a student has begun.

But not quite the same. For instance, I still have work pending; I still have people chasing after me, I still have products in the pipeline while several hours daily, I am usually in class.

Several days ago, professors from maths class that I'll take next semester (next semester, mind you!!!), emailed us 4-pages "diagnostic" test of our level of mathematics. I swear cold chills descended upon my spine. Not that I hate math or anything like that, but it kinda reminded me of those days of math homeworks which took me hours to finish, not to mention those blasted complicated sums which sometimes, unfinished, crept into my sleep...

So I turned to wikipedia to refresh my 'math memory' - if there's such a thing, and lo and behold, it didn't turn out as difficult as I thought. Differentiation, all kinds of techniques to arrive at it, etc. wasn't quite as horrible as I thought. And then I discovered "Sage". After unsuccessful attempts to use Maple or Mathlab or something without paying thousands of dollars (hey I'm only a poor student), I discovered an open-source alternative. Somewhat thankful, I'd like to see how it compares to other packages. After several frustrating download attempts with a download speed in the range of 5Kbps, I finally found a mirror closest to where I am, that allowed the download (almost 400MB) to finish in about 20 minutes.

It's good enough for me to start writing this blog post :) Let's just say it appeals to the geeky part of me - it requires a mini-webserver to run at port 8000, and requires one to have accounts to 'log in', and its worksheet, was clean enough that I could verify my answers to a complicated differentiation in half an hour. Intuitive words such as "diff" and "sin" and "cos" simply work. Well, they need brackets. And I suppose a few helpful buttons wouldn't hurt. But hey, engineers love command-line interface, right? This package has all that we can ask for...

Just thought to recommend this nifty package.

Now back to the books...

Friday, September 11, 2009

iPhone scare: black screen

These past few days, the iPhone I use had a black screen. For all purposes, it looked like it's dead, or switched off. But the alarm, which is set to go off at 6 everyday, made it ring and vibrate like crazy every morning and I couldn't turn it off. Calls were still going in, but I could see nothing. I could still use the cable to charge it and to sync it with the laptop and I'd hear the "clink" noise coming. So it wasn't dead, but neither was it functional.

They say Google's your best friend, and today it proved to be. A quick search on "iphone black screen" returns this page: (The author had written, in his following post, that some site leeched off his post—I'm not going to do the same thing.. hence the link). But it basically says that you should hold down the "Home" round button at the bottom and the "Wake/Sleep" button on top, and the phone should reboot itself nicely.

It worked for me. Hope it saves someone the anguish, or having to find a pile of clothes or blanket in which to hide the vibrating iPhone. Read the comments in the link to amuse yourself :)

Thursday, August 06, 2009

How to explain yourself when asked about abortion

I've been intrigued by the whole abortion-prolife businesss since I first encountered it in 2003. At that point of time I was nominally Catholic, and held the view that choice is good, very good indeed, for a woman to choose whether she wants to abort her child or not. "Who's the state to say whether a woman should have a child or not?". I was also, at the same time and unsurprisingly, a nihilist. This learning about the arguments of prolife movement, based on natural law and then from the point of view of the Catholic Church, kind of "brought me back" to rediscover the joy of life within the Church. Hence this topic holds a special place in my heart.

It's July 30th when I began writing this. Not a particularly special day, but as I helped some friends to find facts to prepare a prolife presentation, I realize that despite a mountain of information available about abortion -- from both its advocates and from those who says it is a mortal sin, I haven't found one that summarizes it comprehensively. I suppose sometimes it seems too much to compress thousands of years of learning that support some of the arguments brought forth by its most vocal defender, the Catholic Church.

So I'm going to attempt to write a little bit more systematically, specifically about why abortion is not reasonably acceptable, not even mildly tolerable. Despite numerous 'rationales' proposed by its proponents, I am firmly in the camp that believes that it is an atrocity against the human race.

One last note: this is not meant as an attempt to 'win' anyone over. My treatment of the subject of abortion will spread over many areas but I will not elaborate too much, since my primary audience will be those people who *already* believe that abortion is wrong, but need a quick primer in articulating *why* exactly it is wrong, and how to answer common straw-fish arguments thrown by 'the other side' about any possibly good reason to support abortion.

So here we go; below are the common polemical arguments presented from the Pro-Choice Camp:

1. Fetus != Baby
I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. Within a few weeks, possibly before the woman realizes she is pregnant, what is growing in her womb is not a blob of cells. There is no logical or mythical line that a fetus must cross in order to become a baby. You want to talk about dependence? Then most kids don't cross that line until they go to college!

2. Fetus != Person, therefore it has no protection of a person under the law
There's no logical 'beginning' of a person before or after fertilization. A day-old baby is the same person as he was a day before his birth, the same person as he was 2 days before his birth, and so on, until we come to a logical beginning, which is fertilization. During fertilization, a new creature with a complete set of DNA is created - even as a single-celled organism before the cells multiply.
Historically, personhood doesn't begin until after the person is born -- like in Roman times, when the father has to 'lift up' the baby to proclaim it as his son, if not, to reject it.
Philosophically, that's bosh. We've established that the fetus is a baby, and that baby is the same person, before and after birth. That baby cannot, at some point of time within its mother's womb, suddenly become a rabbit or a bird at birth. A human fetus grows to be a human person. A Person has human rights.

3. It's just a blob of cells, a part of a woman's body; she decides what she can do with her body.
Yes, a woman, or any free person for that matter, has the right to do what she wants to do with her body. A fetus isn't a part of a woman's body the way an arm or an eye is.

4. It's just a blob of cells; it's not murder.
We've established that the fetus is a baby, and a person. Premeditated, deliberate, involuntary termination of a person's life, in any sense, is murder. There's a law protecting the eggs of a bald eagle. Clearly, everybody knows that destroying an egg of a bald eagle destroys one more eagle. That which is growing in a pregnant woman's womb, is a baby. Clearly, to destroy it is to kill one more person.

5. Every child a wanted child
Boy, this is a slogan from the Clinton era. Pregnancy is never accidental, just as sex is never accidental. Pregnancy is an intended end of sex, biologically speaking. Every couple who has sex should keep in mind that their action indicates biologically that they want to conceive a child.

6. Abortion is a healthcare right, a woman's right
Several movements have begun to push for abortion to be proclaimed as a woman's right, cleverly stowed under the slogan of women's healthcare – which has become synonymous with abortion and contraception. Pregnancy is not a disease. Human rights can never, ever, include rights that deprive another of his basic human rights. Even in the case of a pregnancy that "endangers" the health of the mother, abortion is still not a right - it is only a tolerably evil consequence of saving the life of the mother. (More about this myth of dangerous pregnancy: only in very rare conditions make pregnancy hazardous to a woman, which are certainly not present in the majority of abortion-for-health cases)

7. Abortion should be 'safe, legal and rare'
Another Clintonesque legacy. Stats showed that abortion numbers spiked during the Clinton years. Relative safety, legal status and easy availability (sometimes subsidized or covered by insurance) does not exactly discourage its practice, you see.

8. Abortion has helped curb crime in dangerous neighborhood
There is higher density of abortion clinics at poorer neighborhoods. In New York, under Rudy Giuliani, abortion was used as part of the zero-tolerance strategy. It is a form of eugenics, or baldly put, genocide. It is saying that 'poor people' should not be encouraged to have children, and this slippery slope will lead to a situation where poor people will not have rights to have children. Social determinism: not all who grew up in poor neighborhood grew up to be criminals. Guess which ethnicity has experienced the greatest number of abortions? 37% of all abortions are done on African-American women, more babies (nearly 15 million -- PDF!) have died through abortion in the last 36 years than the number that slavery killed.

9. Abortion helps us to be ecologically friendly
(I must admit this is one of the more 'loco' arguments) Are human beings parasites? Is the earth overpopulated? 40 years ago, scientists say that at the rate human beings are propagating, there will not be enough food for everyone. Well, they've been proven wrong. Human beings are not only consumers but also producers whose creativity transcend conventional growth projection. As a side point, artificial engineering of population, made countries like China, and a large part of Europe experience demographic 'winter'.

10. Abortion is Pro "choice"
When the other side talks about 'pro-choice', this choice is never the choice of the baby, always of the mother. Thus the strong wins. This is pure discrimination, dictatorship of the powerful.

11. Abortion is legal
Today, in the US and in many parts of the world, yes, it is legal. But abandonment is not. Abandonment of a newly born child, say in a trash bin, is a crime. Abandonment of a child that survives abortion, say in an abortion mill, is a crime. Is it not inconsistent, not to mention absurd, given the legality of abortion? Have you ever given it any thought? For many in the prolife movement, these laws are seen as steps towards more prolife legislation.

12. Are you ready to support the baby born out of wedlock?
This is a form of ad-hominem attack, which moves the argument from the morality of the act, to the person who defends or opposes it. In reality, the Catholic Church, being one of the most vocal opponents of abortion, is also the greatest provider of social & medical service in the US (and I suspect in many other countries as well). She walks the talk.

13. Prevention is better than cure.
#1 – Abortion is NOT a disease!
#2 – Stats show that free availability of contraception does not correspond to lower rate of abortion. It stands to reason that increased false sense of security gave rise to promiscuousness.

14. Morning-after pills are not the same as abortion.
Morning-after pills contain hormones that prevent implantation of a fertilized embryo, often given to victims of rape, or those who have had 'unprotected' intercourse. In other words, a baby may (or may not) have been conceived but could not 'latch' onto the mother's womb and is subsequently killed. While it is intended to prevent ovulation and prevent fertilization, taking the morning-after pills may be an abortifacient act if fertilization has already occurred.

15. I don't agree with it, but I will protect the woman's right to choose...
This is like saying: I don't agree with slavery, but I wouldn't help my neighbor's slave escape and I certainly won't vote to end it either. Bull.

16. I don't agree with it because I'm “Catholic / Jewish / Muslim / Evangelical / <insert your own faith here>” but I won't impose my belief on others
Public square is where faith & reason meets, to throw it out of public square is a form of dictatorship of laicistic relativism. Should we hang our faith at the doors when we step into our offices? Should the Church not build hospitals and schools, because that reflects their belief that nurturing the body and the mind are good works? Should Bl. Damien not have served the leper community in Molokai? Should Mother Teresa not bother to help the poorest of the poor in Calcutta? All beliefs influence public decisions.

Additional reasons why abortion should not be seen as a normal part of our lives...
Loss of protection of conscientious objectors (eg. FOCA)
If abortion gains status as a right, then as a consequence, medical professionals need to protect these 'rights'. A pharmacist cannot refuse to dispense abortifacients, and doctors have to supply abortion service on demand, because they are seen as basic rights of the patients, which must be upheld by adherents of these professional standards.

Aborted fetus as a source of embryonic stem cells
Aborted fetus is a source of embryonic stem cells (ESC). As long as there is a steady supply of aborted fetuses, there is a steady supply of ESC, hence perpetuating this vicious cycle of supply-demand that extols their price in terms of human lives.

Aborted fetus as a source of donated organs
Aborted fetus can been seen as a source of donated organs. And why not? If abortion is seen as a right, and not a tolerable evil as it is seen today, then logically, a utilitarian end can be found for these unwanted consequences. What's stopping them from being used as a source of organs?

That's all I have for now, I hope it helps somebody out there.