Monday, October 20, 2008

Life Links 10/20/08

Robert George and Yuval Levin critique Barack Obama’s latest attempt to explain away his votes against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act.
Obama's case against the bill did not revolve around existing state law, as he seemed to suggest last night. The law Obama referred to in the debate was the Illinois abortion statute enacted in 1975. But at the time of the debate about the Born Alive Act, the Illinois Attorney General had publicly stated that he could not prosecute incidents such as those reported by nurses at Christ Hospital in Chicago and elsewhere (including a baby left to die in a soiled linen closet) because the 1975 law was inadequate. It only protected ''viable'' infants-and left the determination of viability up to the ''medical judgment'' of the abortionist who had just failed to kill the baby in the womb. This provision of the law weakened the hand of prosecutors to the vanishing point. That is why the Born Alive Act was necessary-and everybody knew it.....

(Obama) seemed to realize that the logical implication of protecting the child born alive after an attempted abortion is that abortion involves taking the life of a child in the womb, and that acknowledging that, even at the extreme margins of the practice of abortion, could put the legitimacy of abortion itself in question. Therefore, Obama chose to defend the widest possible scope for legal abortion by building a fence around it, even if that meant permitting a child who survives an abortion to be left to die without even being afforded basic comfort care.

Public Discourse also has the text of Archbishop Charles Chaput’s speech entitled “Little Murders” which he recently gave at an ENDOW dinner.
The truth is that for some Catholics, the abortion issue has never been a comfortable cause. It's embarrassing. It's not the kind of social justice they like to talk about. It interferes with their natural political alliances. And because the homicides involved in abortion are ''little murders'' - the kind of private, legally protected murders that kill conveniently unseen lives - it's easy to look the other way.....

So I think that people who claim that the abortion struggle is ''lost'' as a matter of law, or that supporting an outspoken defender of legal abortion is somehow ''prolife,'' are not just wrong; they're betraying the witness of every person who continues the work of defending the unborn child. And I hope they know how to explain that, because someday they'll be required to.

Ramesh Ponnuru highlights what is arguably a pro-choice argument in Doug Kmiec’s most recent editorial highlighting his endorsement of Obama. It’s particularly sad for me to see people who claim to be prolife abandon or water down their opposition to abortion because the candidate they’ve chosen to endorse favors legal abortion.

The Detroit News has an article on a couple (the Kovacs) who attempted to get pregnant via IVF and now want to donate their 10 embryonic children for research. There is also a sidebar video where Robyn and Larry Kovacs claim that donating their embryos to be killed in research is “the most selfless thing” they could do as people and their way of “paying it forward.”

They seem like nice people who just aren’t very thoughtful. How sickening is it to think that donating your children to be killed in medical experiments is “selfless” and your way of “paying it forward?” It’s repulsive. It gives me the chills that we have people who are just so blatantly thoughtless they think allowing their children to be used as research materials “would be the best thing that could ever happen.”

The News also have videos on the side bar where researcher Sean Morrison tries to explain why embryonic stem cell researchers should be allowed to kill human embryos in Michigan and State Senator Tom George explains how Proposal 2 would prevent any restrictions on this type of research. There will also be an article tomorrow on couples looking to adopt frozen embryos.

Meanwhile, another week and another induced pluripotent stem cell advance.
Now, a team of researchers led by Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, succeeded in boosting the reprogramming efficiency more than 100-fold, while cutting the time it takes in half. In fact, they repeatedly generated iPS cells from the tiny number of keratinocytes attached to a single hair plucked from a human scalp.

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