Friday, January 18, 2008

Life Links 1/18/08

Is it me or does Gerard Bradley's endorsement article in the National Review today certainly makes it sound like Senator John McCain has changed his position on expanding the funding of embryonic stem cell research. This would be good news if it is accurate.
McCain has said — it is true — that he approved embryo-destructive research in the limited case of so-called "spares"— those embryos "left-over" after couples have exhausted their interest in IVF. I disagree with him.In face-to-face conversation with McCain I said not only that such research was wrong, but that it would never be limited to "spares." I said that big biotech needed a far larger supply of research subjects than "spares" could provide. McCain asked to continue that conversation, to hear more. Now he realizes that there is no need to exploit "spare" embryos, in light of recent successes with adult cells. And so he has been telling South Carolinians over the last few days.

Britain's fertility non-regulator Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority says, Yes! Yes! Yes! to allowing scientists to attempt to create cloned human-animal hybrid embryos.

Dawn Eden defends Wendy Wright and points to a gaping flaw in the "abstinence-education-is-to-blame" meme.
To hear Planned Parenthood's spokespeople tell it, the increased incidence of STDs can be blamed on one thing: government-funded abstinence-education programs that fail to promote condom use.

There's just one problem with that argument: According to the state's Department of Education website, a 2003 statewide survey found that 96 percent of California school districts provided comprehensive sexual health education (read: condom instruction) and all its schools have been required to teach HIV/AIDS prevention education (read: more condom instruction) since 1992. Planned Parenthood's educators have long been welcome in school districts across California, and in 1996 the state became the first to reject federal funding for abstinence programs.

In other words, in the state that best models Planned Parenthood's brand of "comprehensive sexual education," the approach has failed to do one of the main things it is supposed to do: prevent disease.
I've never seen a pro-choice advocate ever try to honestly defend how in some states (such as California and New York) where their prescribed policies (no prolife laws, tax-funded abortions, comprehensive sex education, great contraception rankings from NARAL) are put in place, the effects they claim to desire (fewer STDs, abortions, and unplanned pregnancies) don't occur.

A patient in StemCells, Inc.'s clinical trial using a type of neural stem cells (labeled HuCNS-SC by the company) from the brains of human fetuses to treat Batten disease has died.
The nine-year-old patient was transplanted with the cells in January 2007 and was due to return to Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), the trial site, for a 12-month follow-up.

However, she was hospitalized with a viral infection, seizures and respiratory distress two weeks ago and died earlier this week.

The principal investigators at OHSU, the company's medical experts and the independent Data Safety Monitoring Committee agree the death was most likely the result of the disease's natural progression, and not because of the implanted stem cells.

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