Friday, September 28, 2007

Woman Dies from Abortion

An unfortunate and sad story coming out of Massachusetts, in addition to her child, a woman has died as a result of having an abortion:
Reports are coming out of Massachusetts that a 22-year old woman died on September 13, 2007, from hemorrhaging caused by an abortion obtained at Women Health Center in the Cape Cod town of Hyannis.

This isn't the first time a woman has died from an abortion, and it won't be the last.

Justice Thomas Interview

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, a reliable pro-life vote who knows that the right to life exists in the United States Constitution, did an interview with CBS. It will air this Sunday, September 30 at 7:30 PM.

Thomas, whose Supreme Court positions on abortion issues have been conservative, says the confirmation hearings in which he was accused of sexual harassment by a former employee -- allegations he continues to deny -- were really about abortion. "That was the elephant in the room ... That was the issue. That is the issue that people are apparently so upset about," he tells Kroft. "[That is the issue] that you determine the composition of your Supreme Court and your entire federal judiciary, it seems now," says Thomas.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Hope Lies in Adult Stem Cell Research

While advocates of destructive embryonic stem cell research like to traffic in false hope without any proven research or facts to back them up, new research has found that the real hope may lie in bone marrow stem cells:
PrimeCell™ Therapeutics LLC announced that it provided research support and pre-clinical studies for a clinical trial that involved the implantation of autologous adult bone marrow stem cells into spinal cord injury (SCI) patients - resulting in some restored function for patients who have been paralyzed for an average of four years, some up to 22 years.

Dr. Luis Geffner presented a preliminary report on September 17 at the 2007 Congress of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting in San Diego. From May 2006 to August 2007, 38 patients with SCI were treated at Luis Vernaza Hospital in Guayaquil, Ecuador. They were treated with autologous bone marrow stem cells - meaning the cells were extracted from the patients' own bone marrow, taken from the hip bone (iliac crests).

Of the 25 patients who provided more than three months and up to 14 months follow up: 15 gained the ability to stand up, 10 could walk on the parallels with braces, seven could walk without braces and five could walk with crutches. Three patients recovered full bladder control, and 10 patients regained some form of sexual function. No adverse events or abnormal reactions to implantation were observed.

(from Medical News Today)

Looking at the Abortion Debate

Nicholas Frankovich has a good piece looking at some common arguments and assumptions of the abortion debate and examines it in a historical context.

From the piece:
Most people who support abortion rights want to be morally serious partisans in the world-historical contest between good and evil, or if they object to what they regard as the theological provenance of the terms good and evil, they may prefer to say justice and injustice. The important thing is that they subscribe to the Golden Rule. If you ask them, they will tell you, because the logic of their position requires them to say this, that they affirm their parents’ right to have aborted them. They may swallow that point and pass over it hastily or try to make light of it, because it’s awkward, but it is a necessary implication of their belief, and if you press them on it they will, to their credit, duly acknowledge it. It’s like a gene that is present from the moment of conception but not fully expressed until decades later. It was introduced into the deepest recesses of their minds at the moment of their decision to be pro-choice. And it is likely to have remained hidden away there until someone engaged them in a bit of Socratic dialogue and exposed to them the suicidal aspect of their moral reasoning.

And he later touches on the importance of controlling language in the debate:
I mean the official insistence on delicate language rules. Killing became evacuation, special treatment, the radical solution, the final solution. The gassing of the mentally ill was construed as benevolence, while the gassing of Jews was felt to indicate the regime’s capacity for moral adjustment and refinement—the prevailing method in earlier years had been to round people up and shoot them in the head. Now the stress was on the putatively humane nature of the new and improved method, gassing, a modern medical advance issuing from the scientific progress that distinguished northern Europe.

Read the whole thing here.

How Abortion Disrupts Society

The Guardian has a story that looks at one of the consequences of China's brutal 'One Child Policy' - Child Kidnappings.

From the story:
"The government doesn't want to talk about it because it's a short step from fully acknowledging the kidnappings to having to address why they're happening. Which means entering dangerous territory - a root cause of such large numbers of children being snatched is the fact that having a son in China is a necessity. He carries the family name, he is the child who will provide for his parents as they age. A daughter will leave the family to marry into another name, passively obliterating her own family line and leaving her relatives without the assurance of help in old age. The One Child Policy - which Save The Children calls a 'mass, live experiment in family life which is unique in the history of the world' - has resulted in prohibitive family-planning laws in China: prospective parents must have a birth permit before conceiving, and while rural families are allowed a second child if their first is a girl, urban families must pay a fine for flouting the one-child rule. And if you haven't had an abortion to get rid of your female child (although it is now illegal, around 40m girls have been selectively aborted since the One Child Policy was instituted in 1979), how can you be sure to get a son? Sometimes the only choice seems to be to buy a stolen child, gender already determined.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Star Parker on Steve Gill

Star Parker, the special guest at our benefit dinner this year, was on Steve Gill this morning. She discussed some of the issues of the day, and spoke at length about race and abortion:
"Al Sharpton, if he were really a friend of the African-American folk, he would be up in arms about this: 2 in 3 black pregnancies end in abortion. That's 1400 a day."

Listen to the whole thing here.

International Trends

The Slovak Health Ministry has rescinded a law that forced hospitals to provide abortions. Now they will have a "choice" as to whether to provide abortions. From the story:
For Slovakia, 2007 marks the 50th anniversary of the legalisation of abortion beginning under communism. Since then, nearly 1.37 million unborn children have been aborted - 14,000 killed per year - a staggering loss as Slovakia's current population is only 5 million. "Right to Life" advocates launched Pravo Na Zivot as the first phase of a new national campaign to break the national silence over the issue of abortion.

Jana Tutkova, a spokeswoman for the Centre of Bioethical Reform (CBR Europe), earlier described abortion as "the most important human rights issue facing Slovakia today" and expressed her conviction that the law would be reformed once the public was exposed to the horrible reality of abortion.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Dr. King calls abortion a civil rights issue, compares it to slavery

Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke to an audience in Florida where she told her personal life story. Pointing to abortion as a modern day civil rights issue, she compared today's abortion rhetoric to the rhetoric used to justify slavery:

"Dr. King said, 'The Negro could not win if willing to sacrifice the future of his children for immediate personal comfort and safety,' " she said.

[King] believes unborn children have a "right to life." Just as in slavery, blacks were considered two-thirds human, giving owners the justification for using blacks as slaves. Now, women are being told fetuses are "just a blob of tissue," and not a human being. The situations are parallel, she said.

"There have been 17 million abortions in the black community since Roe versus Wade," King said. "How can the dream survive if we murder the children?"

Friday, September 21, 2007

Celebration of Life

It's not too late to join pro-life advocates from across Tennessee for the Celebration of Life Dinner and Auction. Special guest is Star Parker, commentator, writer and president of Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education.

Before her transformation, Star had several abortions and says they led to promiscuous, destructive relationships, "I used abortion as birth control until after my fourth abortion...abortion destroys self-worth and dignity."

Don't miss this historic event as pro-life Tennesseans meet to celebrate recent gains and to be encouraged for the struggles still ahead.

Celebration of Life Dinner and Silent Auction
Benefiting the statewide work and outreach of
Tennessee Right to Life

Saturday, September 29, 2007
6:30 General Reception
7:00 p.m. Dinner Seating

Franklin Marriott Cool Springs Conference Center

Click here for more information or to order your tickets.

Support the Ultrasound Informed Consent Act

Senator Sam Brownback has introduced a bill that would require a woman to see an ultrasound image of her child before having an abortion:

“It is necessary and right to provide a woman seeking an abortion with all the available information so that she may make the most informed decision possible,” Brownback said in a statement. “The Ultrasound Informed Consent Act would ensure that women have access to important information.”

Contact your U.S. Senators and urge them to co-sponsor the Ultrasound Informed Consent Act.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hopes of Federal Funding for Stem Cell Research

The National Institute of Health has announced that they will be expanding research on non-destructive embryonic stem cell research in hopes of gaining federal funding:

This announcement follows an Executive Order issued by President Bush on June 20, 2007, requiring that "The Secretary of Health and Human Services ... conduct and support research on the isolation, derivation, production, and testing of stem cells that are capable of producing all or almost all of the cell types of the developing body and may result in improved understanding of or treatments for diseases and other adverse health conditions, but are derived without creating a human embryo for research purposes or destroying, discarding, or subjecting to harm a human embryo or fetus."

ACT's groundbreaking Single Cell Biopsy technique was cited by the NIH as an alternative method in its implementation plan -- a technique successfully demonstrated by Robert Lanza, M.D., Vice President of Research and Scientific Development at Advanced Cell Technology, and his team. The NIH plan calls for "aggressively pursuing an assessment of the potential of alternative sources of pluripotent stem cell lines, including altered nuclear transfer; single cell embryo biopsy, and reprogramming, or dedifferentiation of somatic cells, such as skin cells."

Advances in Stem Cell Research

NPR has a good audio piece about potential adult stem cells from an interesting source...

Now, scientists in New York say they may have found cells that are just as promising [as embryonic stem cells], but do not start with an embryo.

A few years ago, scientists in Japan said they had found stem cells with remarkable properties in the testes of adult mice. Not only could the stem cells turn into sperm, but they could, under the right conditions, be turned into any cell you like — skin, muscle, brain, you name it.

Cells that make sperm make stem cells, too: study

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Poland challenges the EU on abortion and the death penalty

Poland is taking on the EU on their so-called definition of the "right to life". According to the EU, the death penalty is a violation of the right to life, however abortion and euthanasia are not:

According to a Polish Radio report by Joanna Najfeld, Polish diplomats are being pressured to back the EU death penalty proposal but are nonetheless remaining firm in their stance that euthanasia and abortion should be included in the "right to life" discussion.

Polish Radio quotes Krzysztof Bosak, of the League of Polish Right (LPR), who is also a member of the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly. "I think it is hypocritical on the part of the EU to promote abortion, destructive lifestyles and euthanasia and at the same time to pretend to care about the right to life in only one case - death penalty," he said.

"Death penalty is already illegal in the European Union. Maybe it is time to consider protecting the right to life of other social groups. Maybe it is time to establish a European Day of Life to protect also the weakest and most innocent - children before birth, especially those diagnosed with a disability, they are exterminated on a mass scale across Europe. But also to protect the disabled who are already born, the sick and the elderly - to save them from the tragedy of death on demand, or euthanasia," said Bosak.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

National News and Views

Dave Andrusko at National Right to Life has a good piece about the evolving abortion debate, touching on the role of men in that debate.

From the piece:
Ultrasounds also give pro-abortionists the willies. Why? Because they keenly understand the enormous toil it takes on nurses and support staff when ultrasounds are used to draw a bead on unborn children. With unmistakable clarity, the distinctly human characteristics of a human child is there to see just before the child is viciously, brutally obliterated.

But there is a new "danger" on the horizon: men. Yes, you read me right, men. Specifically, the millions and millions of men who are the fathers of the more than 48 million aborted children, who are now gradually beginning to deal publicly with the trauma of their own involvement in the deaths of their children.

Abortion Center Denied Opening

Scheduled to have its "grand opening" today, what was to be the largest abortion center in the country was denied permission:

A victory celebration will be underway tonight as citizens in Aurora celebrate the fact that they have at least delayed the opening of the largest abortion center in the United States. Today a federal judge stopped Planned Parenthood of Aurora from opening as scheduled tomorrow.

The massive Planned Parenthood facility applied for a building permit under false pretences and outraged the community. Led by the Pro-Life Action League, thousands have protested outside the yet-to-be opened facility for the last month attracting the attention of the international media.

The issue was first brought to light by Sean Hannity in this brilliant expose.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Forward for Life with Fred

Pro-Life Tennesseans were out in force for Fred Thompson's Lawrenceburg homecoming on Saturday.

Thompson, who had a 100% Pro-Life voting record as a United States Senator and received the endorsement of Tennessee Right to Life in his bids for the United States Senate, spoke, among other things, about the need to preserve sanctity of human life.

More on the event:
Tennessee Politics
Tennesseans for Thompson

The Court of International Opinion

In an interesting poll from our neighbors across the pond, support for abortion on demand is waning. Britain, which actually had stricter limits on abortion than the United States did up until the recent Partial Birth Abortion ban, may be on track to further limit access to abortion:

The majority of people in Britain would support drafting new legislation concerning pregnancy termination, according to a poll by Communicate Research for LifeUK. 68 per cent of respondents would back a measure to reduce the time limit on abortion from the current 24 weeks to 12 weeks.

Friday, September 14, 2007

ASC Research

The Miami Herald has a good story about continuing advances in adult stem cell research. From the article:

Today, stem cells from bone marrow are considered the 'gold standard' for treating leukemia, many immunologists say. But that may be changing.

"I think it's likely that cord blood will become the standard in the future," says Deborah Banker, vice president of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

In 2006, 17.5 percent of the transplants coordinated by the National Marrow Donor Program were from cord blood, said spokeswoman Shauna Sheffer. "That is up 4.2 percent from last year and that number continues growing," she said.

Nicaragua Renews Ban on Abortion

The Nicaraguan National Assembly, in a vote of 66-3, reaffirmed the fundamental right to life that exists in their constitution. From the article:

The Nicaraguan constitution, like almost all of the constitutions of Latin America, recognizes the right to life from the moment of conception. However, most Latin American countries provide exceptions in their penal codes, exempting certain types of abortion from punishment. The penal code of Nicaragua, along with that of El Salvador, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic, penalizes all abortions, although medical procedures to save a woman's life that might threaten the life of the fetus are not penalized.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Breakthroughs in Stem Cell Research

Science Daily has an article today detailing advances in Mesenchymal stem cell research, a type of stem cell research which does not result in the destruction of a human embryo. From the article:
They then investigated the properties of the MSC to discover whether they really were stem cells, capable of differentiating into a variety of different cell types. They found the cells were able to produce clones to form colonies of new cells at a rate that was 15 times greater than produced by the other endometrial cells. Furthermore, the MSC were able to differentiate into fat, bone, cartilage and smooth muscle cells in the culture dish. The MSC also appeared to be located around blood vessels in the endometrium (perivascular region).

Dr Gargett, a senior scientist at the Centre for Women's Health Research, Monash Institute of Medical Research, Monash University, Victoria, Australia, explained: "Colony-forming ability is a property of adult stem cells, as is the ability to differentiate into different cell types. The fact that the cells expressing the two markers were located in the perivascular region strengthens our case that we have isolated mesenchymal stem cells, because mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow and fat are found around blood vessels too. It also gives us clues as to how they might function in repairing and regenerating new endometrium each month."

This is the first time that researchers have been able to use markers to isolate MSC from the endometrium and also the first study to show that the properties of these cells mean they are highly likely to be stem cells.

In related news, scientists at UCSF have reprogrammed mouse cells into their embryonic state which could revolutionize stem cell research:
Scientists are interested in reprogramming because of its potential for developing human embryonic stem cells that contain the genetic makeup of individual patients. In theory, any patient's cell, say, a skin cell, could be reprogrammed. If the resulting embryonic stem cell could then be prompted in the culture dish to specialize into one of the various cell types of the body, such as of the heart, lung and brain, the resulting cells could provide the starting point for a host of clinical-research strategies.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Truth of Planned Parenthood