Friday, December 29, 2006

Overheard

"I have had many abortions. I have have many close friends who have had many abortions. Working at a clinic we have a lot of women who have had 10+ abortions."
- Commenter at LiveJournal AbortionInfo to a woman concerned about having a third abortion


"He's a serial murderer."
- Cindy Sheehan referring to President Bush


"When you have a 14 or 15-year-old with three little girls... she is doomed to poverty."
- John Edwards at a campaign stop.


"Working together, the teams started devising projects to analyse the genetics of human embryonic stem cells, with Dr Eggan's team generating the cells on one side of the bridge and their DNA being analysed on the other side.

But on August 9 2001 a metaphorical shutter came down that closed the bridge as effectively as if it had been bricked up. George Bush issued a presidential decree banning the use of federal funds for research on new human embryonic stem cell lines."
- Ed Pilkington completely forgetting to note there was no federal funding for any kind of embryonic stem cell research before the August 9 decision.

Life Links 12/29/06

Serge on another study which shows that increased access to Plan B and taking it more often doesn't significantly lower the pregnancy rate of the participants with increased access compared to participants without standard access.


Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood of Connecticut is selling "I heart EC" t-shirts. HT: Dawn Eden


The Associated Press has an article on outgoing pro-choice Republican Congressman Joe Schwarz and his plans after the end of his term. There is a classic quote from Schwarz. Note to Joe: No one's preventing you from promoting embryonic stem cell research. As usual, the article also gets what Michigan law does (it doesn't prevent embryonic stem cell research, it prevents the killing of human embryos for research) wrong. The article also mentions the Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research and Cures (Schwarz is on their advisory board) and notes the group "aims to persuade residents that the state is losing out on potential cures and economic benefits by restricting the practice."

The organization's web site takes a somewhat different approach, claiming their goal is "educating our state's residents about the stem cell research process and its potential for life-saving cures and treatments."

Friday Cat Blogging

The holidays (or a desire to sleep on top of a blanket) have brought Belushi and Johnny together.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

"The abortion to me was like death"

A young woman has started a blog to apparently talk about her abortion experience in February of 2006. She has two posts so far: I'm to blame and Part 1.
The difference is death you know is a part of life and has to be accepted because everyone dies but ABORTION... that's a different story. That blows up in your face, OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN and you don't just cry hysterically and weep for a little while I went into a zombie depression for 4 months straight. I'm sorry pulling out of it but as soon as I think I'm getting better it comes back. Kinda like now. I don't think I've ever cried so much before. It hurts, it hurts real deep because there's nobody to blame but yourself. And it never stops and I wonder if it will ever stop. I was 6 weeks and 6 days pregnant.

Life Links 12/28/06

A judge has ruled that Kansas Attorney General Phil Kline doesn't have the authority to charge abortionist George Tiller with performing illegal late-term abortions.


He's a story about an evangelical consultant for Democratic candidates named Mara VanderSlice. The story mentions how VanderSlice enlisted nuns to call Catholic and prolife voters and encourage them to vote for Democratic candidates in Michigan and Ohio. Some of the nuns making the case to vote for the Democratic candidate based their reasoning on religious arguments. It doesn't mention if the Democratic candidates were prolife or not.


There's a legal fight in Germany over patenting a method of turning embryonic stem cells into nerve cells.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Links

Criminal charges have been filed against infamous Kansas abortionists George Tiller. What he has been charged with isn't clear.


Ramesh Ponnuru discusses whether prolifers should care more about the sincerity or stability of a candidate's position on life issues. I would think that how sincerely one holds a position would influence the stability of that position.

I wonder if there was this much media noise back when Democrats like Al Gore, Jesse Jackson, Bill Clinton, Richard Gephardt and Dennis Kuchinich changed their positions on abortion.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Virgin Birth

Komodo style.

Life Links 12/21/06

A woman in Florida is upset that the Catholic school her daughter attends showed the class a video about abortion without her permission. The video, Eclipse of Reason, shows an abortion and the remains of aborted children.

I wonder what pro-choice people would say to this. Do mothers of minors have the right to have a say over whether their children see abortion videos but not the right to have say over whether their minor daughters have abortions?


Disturbing statistics from the UK about teens and repeat abortions. According to mythology, having contraception widely available should dramatically lower abortion rates, right? And certainly prevent young women from having three abortions by the time they're 24, right?


The CDC has released its 2003 abortion statistics.

For unto us a child is born

Isaiah 9:6:

For unto us a child is born,
unto us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.

With accompanying YouTube video.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Denying the Holy Spirit for a DVD

The Blasphemy Challenge

And they'll get a DVD which Joe Carter describes as a "slightly amusing work of fantasy."

How sad.

Stem cell news

The FDA has approved a major clinical trial for a medical therapy developed by Australian researchers who use adult stem cells to "create a spinal fusion in 40 patients who suffer severely from degenerative disc disease." The Australian company uses "off the shelf" adult stem cells which don't come from the patients. These cells avoid the immune rejection because they are a rare form of cell that isn't recognized by the patient's immune system.


A girl from India was helped when doctors used stem cells from her father to help her heart ailment.

Rights for R2D2?

An article in the Financial Times discusses a paper which was sponsored by the UK's chief government scientist and written by "Outsights, the management consultancy, and Ipsos Mori, the opinion research organisation" which talks about the possibility of giving right to robots in the future.

According to the article, the paper argues that if humans are able to create conscious robots in the future then there may be push for those robots to receive human rights. I guess they couldn't be accurately called human rights if robots had them, could they?
The Horizon Scan report argues that if ‘correctly managed', this new world of robots' rights could lead to increased labour output and greater prosperity.

"If granted full rights, states will be obligated to provide full social benefits to them including income support, housing and possibly robo-healthcare to fix the machines over time," it says.
Welfare for robots?

The argument makes sense if you think that consciousness and/or other instrumental properties are what should gives us our rights. If those instrumental properties are what make humans valuable and worthy of rights then it seems to follow that other entities (animals, robots, etc.) which also have the same level of those instrumental properties should be just as valuable and just as worthy of receiving the rights humans have.

I wonder what Peter Singer (he calls people who think humans are special "speciesists") would call someone who doesn't think conscious robots should have rights? An organismist, maybe?

HT: World

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Life Links 12/19/06

The Detroit News has a story on the biological mothers of adopted children who gave birth during the 1960's. Many of them were sent away during their pregnancies and pressured or coerced into adoption since it wasn't the norm at the time for unwed middle-class mothers to keep their children.

In a lot of ways their stories remind me of the stories of women who had abortions and now regret them.


The body of a 14-week unborn child was found at sewage treatment facility in New York state.


The battle over human cloning in Missouri doesn't seem to over just yet. And don't miss the obvious bias of Kit Wagar in this story in the Kansas City Star.
The ball of cells becomes an embryo if it attaches to the wall of the uterus.
Unbelievable. Then why are they called "embryonic" stem cells if they didn't come from an embryo.


Researchers have used the stem cells in the brains of rats to try to study why the human brain ages.

We're still nowhere near a plethora of cures

Maureen Condic has a long and worthwhile article in First Things discussing where embryonic stem cell research is in solving the scientific problems (immune rejection, tumor formation and making the embryonic cells capable of repairing adult tissue) which have prevented these cells from coming anywhere close to being used in humans.
The mysteries of embryonic development have been plumbed for more than a hundred years by some of the most brilliant biologists of history, and yet, despite the clear progress we have made, we are nowhere near the point of having a "recipe book" for cooking up cellular repair kits to treat human disease and injury. Immune rejection, tumor formation, and embryonic development have proved themselves to be profoundly serious scientific challenges, and they are likely to remain so for decades into the future.....

Millions of dollars have been consumed, and hundreds of scientific papers published, and yet the problems still remain. The promised miraculous cures have not materialized even for mice, much less for men.
HT: Wesley Smith

Monday, December 18, 2006

Butchering babies for stem cells?

The UK's Daily Mail has a follow-up report on the BBC story about the harvesting of stem cells from children in the Ukraine.
Officially, the cells are taken from aborted foetuses with the mothers' consent, but according to Tatyana, there could also be hundreds of babies stolen to order, to feed demand for stem cells from around the world.

Can she be right? Alarmed by her claims, I decided to launch my own investigations for a special BBC report, to be broadcast tomorrow.

My inquiries took me around the world, from a private clinic in the Caribbean to the desolate back streets of the Ukraine. What I uncovered is a disturbing tale involving claims of murder, conspiracy . . . and a sickening new beauty treatment.

Scary stuff.

Let the medical research go forward.....

Unless it doesn't require the killing of human embryos, that is. Governor Jennifer Granholm is opposed to a bill which would provide tax incentives to individuals who donate to an umbilical cord blood bank. The bill mentioned is one of 4 bills (H.B. 6291-6294) which would create a statewide network of cord blood stem cell banks. H.B. 6294, the bill which would have provided $5 million in funding, wasn't taken up by the Senate because of the state's budget problems.

The comments by Granholm's spokesperson Liz Boyd seem to indicate Governor Granholm's office doesn't have the slightest clue what they're talking about when it comes to stem cell research.
"Cord blood cells are helpful, but nowhere to the extent of stem cell research. In these tough budget times, we have to get the most bang for our buck, and this doesn't meet that test"

Guess what Liz? There are stem cells in umbilical cord blood and those stem cells have done much more for human beings than stem cells from embryos.

Life Links 12/18/06

A stem cell quiz - it'd be nice if we could have some reporters take this quiz. Maybe we need a Michigan-specific quiz for the editorial board at the Detroit News which still claims Michigan has a ban on stem cell research even though they ran a story in November discussing how embryonic stem cell research was occurring at the University of Michigan.


Here's probably one of the saddest editorials I've seen all year. Here's a hint for Elisa Gonzales Clark: Your friends don't think you're immature because you don't have kids. Your friends probably think you're immature because you still put flirting with Johnny Depp and getting Kiefer Sutherland to ask for your friend's digits on some kind of best-experience-of-my-life-pedestal.


South Koreans researchers are still cloning dogs and it appears they're getting more efficient.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Life Links 12/15/06

Someone should mail or e-mail the students on the board of the Carleton University Students' Association the following editorial by Greg Koukl: The Intolerance of Tolerance.


Wesley Smith shares how one individual helped to change some misleading language in reports about Jack Kevorkian. The question remains: why did the national AP office insert the language of "terminally ill" into the story about Jack Kevorkian?


Malachy DeHenre, an abortionist who formerly worked in Alabama, (before his license was suspended) has again been arrested for the murder of his wife. He was previously tried for the same crime but the last trial ended with a hung jury. He's also been indicted for the rape of one of his patients.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

"I have to get rid of the blood inside me...."

A woman named Angela has decided to have an abortion.

"Yes I do feel a little guilt but I won't be changing my mind. I have to get rid of the blood inside me now and live with this guilt."

If you choose to leave a comment at Angela's blog please be caring and respectful.

Life Links 12/14/06

The Center for Bioethical and Culture has YouTube videos of Peter Singer on the Colbert Report. You have to wonder about a man who thinks it's immoral to kill a shrimp but not immoral to kill an infant with a disability.


Kevorkian's lawyer is hoping Governor Granholm will grant Kevorkian early release before his scheduled release in June. Kevorkian says he's looking forward to doing some writing and possibly speeches when he's released. The Detroit Free Press has a timeline of events surrounding Kevorkian which chronicles how the majority of the individuals he assisted in killing weren't terminally ill and how some didn't even have diagnosed health issues.


The National Review has an interview up with Governor Mitt Romney where he discusses among other things his change of heart/mind on the abortion issue.


Here's the story of a brave Vietnamese woman who left here abusive Taiwanese husband after her husband and mother-in-law tried to get her to have an abortion.


Support for embryonic stem cell research has declined according to a survey from Virginia Commonwealth University.


In completely unrelated news, Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Joel Zumaya's injury during the baseball playoffs this year was reportedly caused by him playing a guitar video game.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Jack "Dr. Death" Kevorkian to be paroled in June

He's promised he won't assist in any suicides if released.

Life Links 12/13/06

A way to stop brain cancer in mice - force certain stem cells to lose their stemcelliness.


Bill O'Reilly interviewed a young woman who discusses her late-term abortion at George Tiller's abortion clinic. She claims she was told to push her baby out into a toilet after Tiller injected her with a saline solution. It's under "other features."


A researcher at Indiana University has been treating peripheral artery disease ("a painful circulatory problem in the legs") with adult stem cells.


An abortion clinic is Seattle will close down next month.


An article about how adult stem cells have successfully treated patients with the "bubble-boy" disease.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Harvesting stem cells from newborns?

The BBC claims to have video evidence which suggests that killing infants for their organs and stem cells may be occurring in the Ukraine.

Links

Eric Cohen: The Human Difference


A boy with Batten's disease has received a transplant of stem cells from aborted children. This story appears to be getting a large amount of news coverage for a treatment which hasn't proven effective.


The Charlatan has a lot of coverage (including student response) of Carleton University Students' Association (CUSA) vote to prevent prolife groups from receiving funding.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Life Links 12/7/06

Human cloning for research will now be legal is Australia, not to mention using eggs extracted from aborted female fetuses in the cloning experiments. Can't find enough eggs? "No problem. We'll just get some the remains of aborted children." Ughh.....


Looks like New Jersey is about to go the way of using $500 million in state tax dollars on embryonic stem cell research and probably human cloning for research.


The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act didn't get the 2/3 required votes to pass in the House . Is anyone else wondering why the Republicans didn't bring this issue up for a vote before the elections when a mere majority of votes (instead of 2/3) would have worked?


It looks like some pro-choicers aren't too happy with NARAL's decision not to oppose the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act. Some prolifers are calling this legislation "inherently evil," while some pro-choicers are disappointed with NARAL for not condemning and lobbying against it. It's a crazy world we're living in.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Life Links 12/6/06

Fool's gold rush in California HT: Wesley Smith


Here's a debate between Colorado Right to Life's Brian Rohrbough and Wyoming Right to Life's Steve Ertelt on the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2006. During the interview, the radio host and Rohrbough interrupt the debate to say Ertelt was wrong to say that Planned Parenthood is opposing legislation and use a story on Ertelt's web site against him. It appears that Steve's story is wrong and what he says on the radio interview is correct. Planned Parenthood's web site SaveRoe.com has a take action update which encourages individuals to oppose this legislation. Planned Parenthood is opposed to the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2006.

The radio host, Bob Enyart, is also quite ignorant about how abortion laws work and what would happen if Roe v. Wade were overturned. He thinks this law would legitimize and authorize abortion if Roe v. Wade were overturned.

Goodness. Not only do prolifers have to deal with pro-choice arguments. We have to deal with prolifers who think laws which restrict abortion are bad.

A sad day for intellectual honesty at one Canadian university

The Carleton University Student's Association has voted overwhelmingly to not fund groups who think that abortion shouldn't be legal and advocate making abortion illegal. It seems that Canadian students now have the right not to be offended. There's also this article from the CBC. Note the utterly ridiculous quote from graduate student John Baglow. So is there "mutual respect" when the prolife views of Carleton students are compared to the views of the KKK and the student's association bars them from receiving funding? Sounds like complete disrespect to me.

Mr. Baglow doesn't seem to understand that "mutual respect" doesn't mean prolifers have to agree with his view. It means prolifers and pro-choicers must both treat each other's views with respect and treat the individuals expousing those differing views as you would like to be treated.

Both Suzanne and Deborah Gyapong attended the meeting.

Isn't it great to know that some pro-choicers are so tolerant that they'll let prolifers receive funding for a prolife group as long as the prolife group is pro-choice? Gee, thanks.

Remember this whole motion seems to have been started after some pro-choicers got creamed in a debate.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Pregnancy as a punishment for sex?

One argument against prolifers which always seems to mystify me is the assertion that prolifers think women should be punished for having out-of-wedlock sex and that this punishment is staying pregnant and/or rearing children. Examples here, here, here and here.

While I'm guessing there are some individuals who think women should be punished for having out-of-wedlock intercourse and that pregnancy and childrearing should be the "punishment" for this action, I can't imagine a sizeable percentage of prolife people feel this way. Yet I see this charge leveled time and again, usually by pro-choicers who are very adamant about their position and who like to take digs at prolifers.

But I think this assertion shows how badly informed some pro-choicers are about prolifers and their motives. Here's why:

Prolife people, at least for the most part, don't view pregnancy/childrearing as a punishment. Quite the contrary, they often view pregnancy/childrearing as a blessing. While prolifers understand that experiencing an unplanned pregnancy isn't a walk in the park, they'd probably point to the joys of raising children before telling a woman "this is what she deserves" as if bearing children was God's judgement upon here.

So why does it seem like I hear this argument over and over again? Do some pro-choicers really see all or at least the majority or a high percentage of prolifers as people who want to punish women for having sex?

Is it easier to see prolifers as evil sadists who want to punish sexually active women as opposed to seeing prolifers as people who are truly concerned about both the woman and the child?

If we want to punish women for having sex then why is it that prolifers are the ones who work to provide free services and assistance to women in unplanned pregnancies who don't have abortions? Is giving women baby clothes, car seats, strollers, etc., etc., and helping them find medical care another way to punish them?

Life Links 12/5/06

An article on stem cell research in National Geographic.


Life Ethics compares coverage of two recent studies using stem cells to treat Parkinson's-like symptoms in rodents. One used embryonic stem cells, the other adult neural stem cells. The study using embryonic stem cells also caused tumors. Surprise, surprise. When I checked the stories had evened out to 10 and 10.


Tim Carney: Election Aborted Careers of Many Pro-Choice Republicans

I wonder though if this has more to do with what kind of congressional districts those Republicans were in. Were they purple districts where a pro-choice Republican could win in years where the GOP didn't perform so badly in general?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Quote of the week

Father Tad Pacholczyk:
"What is so special about that bald eagle’s egg? What is inside that egg? The answer is very simple. It is an embryonic eagle. It is the very same creature that flies gloriously in the sky. Even an atheist can appreciate the cogency of such a law. We are eager to protect all sorts of animal life.

Yet when it comes to our own humble embryonic origins as humans, we go through sophisticated mental gymnastics to tell ourselves that we were never embryos. We are all too willing to sacrifice young humans on the altar of stem-cell research. There is a profound double standard here that people really need to assess and confront."

Florida? Are you kidding me?

How can a team that beat South Carolina by one point at home, beat Vanderbilt by only 6 points, squeeked out game after game and lost to Auburn by 10 (the same Auburn team that lost to Georgia by 22 points and lost to Arkansas by 17) be considered better than a team who dominated every team they played with the exception of the #1 ranked team in country whom they lost to on the road by 3 points?

Shame on every single voter (coach or sportswriter) who voted to leapfrog Florida above Michigan because they "didn't want to see a re-match" or thought "Michigan already had their shot." You've used a broken system to engineer a national championship game you personally prefer instead of doing your job. You've embarrassed yourselves and your votes should be taken away.

The two best college football teams in the country are Ohio State and Michigan. Every person with an IQ that isn't more than two standard deviations below the norm and a decent knowledge of college football knows this.

The two best teams in college football should play for the national championship. That's who should be playing in the national championship game regardless of whether they've played before. The real national championship game was played on November 18 in Columbus, Ohio. This event on January 8th is a farce.

For more commentary on how you can read Pat Forde's take or the opinion of Gene Wojciechowski.

The call for a playoff will only get louder and louder.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Life Links 12/1/06

Adult stem cells are treating type 2 diabetes but I doubt you'll read that in your local paper. HT:Mary Meets Dolly


You might also miss that British researchers are hoping adult stem cells will be used to treat chronic back pain in 3 years.


The Michigan State Senate unanimously passed a bill to encourage the creation of umbilical cord blood banks in Michigan.


The new issue of the New Atlantis is out including this review of Ian Wilmut's new book by Caitrin Nicol.


Kathleen Parker: "The Elephant and the Embryo."