Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Alex, I'll take Cowardly Canadian Colleges for $400.

This public Canadian university is threatening to arrest and discipline students for showing images of aborted children alongside images of victims of the Holocaust.

What is the University of Calgary?

This display and the conversation it brings could probably help the level of discourse if Heather Dunphy's pathetic prolifers-are-wrong-because-they're-all-men letter to the editor is any indication of the kind of arguments pro-choicers are bringing to the table. I mean, who cares if the images are true and innocent, developing human beings are being killed if most of people against killing them are men? Ms. Dunphy's letter certainly isn't the best advertisement for parents hoping their children will learn basic reasoning skills at the University of Calgary.

And what's with this nonsensical quote from Moira McQueen of the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute at the end of the National Post article?
"It's such a different reality," said Ms. McQueen, who opposes abortion. "The Holocaust was so specific and dreadful. And abortion is international and not a society choice. I do know there are some people who think of abortion as a compassionate act. I don't [think] anyone would agree that killing Jewish people was a compassionate thing to do."
If this is an accurate quote, I'm wondering if the CCBI might need someone with a greater ability to think clearly on staff. I'm struggling to see why anything of what she says would lead someone who opposes abortion to think it's inappropriate to put pictures of aborted children next to Holocaust victims. How does the fact that some people think abortion is a compassionate act void its comparison to the Holocaust and other genocides?

Monday, November 24, 2008

It will take more than a week

Russia Today notes that the Russian city of Novorossiysk will implement policies intended to stop abortions for a week.
From the 24th to the 28th of November the city will conduct a "week without abortion". This means that doctors will not conduct termination operations, apart from "the most extreme cases".

At the same time, Novorossiysk's maternity welfare centre will hold open days during which information seminars on family planning will take place and "educational" films will be shown. Psychologists and gynaecologists will work with pregnant women in order to fully prepare them for motherhood. The city's universities will screen films, demonstrating the detrimental effects abortions may have.

A representative of the city's administration said that "doctors will do everything they can to stop women from doing the irreparable".
Russia has one of the highest abortion rates in the world and its government has been attempting to lower the number of abortions and increase births.
In 2004 the number of abortions in Russia surpassed the number of births by 100,000. According to the statistics published by the national centre of gynaecology and midwifery, around 10-15% of abortions in Russia have complications, leaving 7-8% of operated women sterile. In Western Europe there is, on average, 12 abortions per 1,000 women a year, UN statistics say. In Russia that number stands at 54.

Future abortionist? Or not?

The Washington Post has a very long article on Lesley Wojcik and other medical students who are thinking of becoming abortionists. I suggest you read the whole thing if you have the time but here are a few snippets in case you don’t.
The everyday pressure of being an abortion provider can be grating: the self-censorship, the disapproving stares of fellow doctors, the social repercussions in small communities. So perhaps it's not surprising that among doctors who said they wanted to provide abortions when they entered their residencies, only 52 percent did so once they were working, according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology by Jody Steinauer, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, and a co-founder of Medical Students for Choice....

There isn't anything nice about abortion, Lesley said, but she does not equate it with murder. "I think it's a necessary evil, no, unpleasant service, we have to provide for the sake of" women's lives and health. But she wouldn't call herself passionate or driven to provide abortions. "I don't have a gut drive. It's more like an intellectual drive. A woman's control over her body is representative of her freedom. I feel the obligation to make sure that service is available and not stigmatized."...

In her e-mail, Christina had hoped to attract participants by suggesting that they'd have fun learning the procedure: "You'll get the opportunity to be shown how to use manual vacuum aspirators using papaya models (apparently papayas bear a striking resemblance to a uterus. Who knew?)" But some of the students who received the invitation didn't see it that way. "This is a serious matter," one told Christina. Those offended by her tone demanded to be dropped from any future Medical Students for Choice e-mails. After consulting a dean, the women didn't remove any names from their list, but they decided to word future missives more carefully....

Now it was the students' turn to try the procedure in the lab next door. Imagining herself working on a real woman, Lesley looked tentative as she pushed up her sleeves and reached for the razor-sharp tenaculum.

"This just seems so awful," she exclaimed as she tried to grab the papaya with it. "Do [patients] feel this?"

Her look turned to fright when the nurse practitioner at her station answered that they do.

After helping to perform a first trimester abortion, Lesley then asked to sit in on a second trimester abortion.
This time, the procedure took 10 minutes instead of five. The dilator was bigger; there was more tissue to remove; and the patient, although sedated, was awake and moving with discomfort. Lesley watched as the doctor counted the parts of the fetus, and, to her surprise, she didn't find it jarring. To her, the parts appeared doll-like.

"It was definitely gruesome," she said. "You could make out what a fetus could look like, tiny feet, lungs, but it didn't look like a person." She knew this abortion was an act that her friend Litty considered tantamount to murder. She herself expected to be very upset. She'd felt that way at her first autopsy, that of a teenage boy who'd shot himself in the head. For weeks, she could not shake the image of the boy. But this was different. She didn't regard the fetus as a person yet. She said she was happy to help the woman: "I feel like I was giving [her] a new lease" on life.

Later that morning, though, while conducting a pelvic exam, Lesley noted that she wasn't her usual slow, gentle self. That evening, discussing the second-term abortion with her mother, Lesley described a process that she found disturbingly brutal, especially the stretching of the vagina.

"It's a lot more invasive than I thought," she said. "A papaya doesn't bleed and scream." Women do.

Lesley didn't want to have to steel herself emotionally to perform abortions, and she was coming to realize that that's what she'd have to do....

The things she cared about -- taking care of women, seeing them through the process -- hadn't happened. It was the nurse practitioner who cared for the patient. Vacuuming out a uterus and counting the parts of the fetus did not seem like a desirable way to spend her work days. It took a unique person to do that on a daily basis, she said.

Lesley still believed passionately in abortion rights and was proud of what she'd accomplished at Maryland with her activism. She didn't want to let people down. Even so, she had to follow her heart. Somebody else -- maybe Laura Merkel, the new chapter president of Medical Students for Choice -- would become an abortion provider. But it wouldn't be her.

Life Links 11/24/08

I wonder what prolife Obama supporters think of him appointing Ellen Moran , executive director of EMILY’s List, to be his White House communications director. Is Moran’s appointment, as Doug Kmiec might put it, a way “to use compassion and assistance, not condemnation and prohibition to promote human life.” I guess we'll just have to wait and get the know President-elect Obama as well as Kmiec knows him.

Dr. D. Joy Riley has an op-ed in the Tennessean about the numerous changes in how a human embryo is treated in Britain since the inception of IVF.

Nat Hentoff has a column in the Washington Times on Obama and his pledge to sign the Freedom of Choice Act.

There’s a notable editorial in the Sacramento Bee on the problems with California’s embryonic stem cell agency.
The most striking testimony came from Kenneth Taymor, executive director of the UC Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy.

Taymor, who has been watching the institute's operations for three years, noted that nearly everyone on the institute's governing board – medical school deans, university officials – has some sort of financial interest in the grants being awarded.

Even with officials recusing themselves, the board's deliberations, he said, have the feel of "a club that was allocating money among themselves" based on preordained decisions.

Wesley Smith on the whining of researchers intent on getting human eggs for human cloning.
But I digress: What's ridiculous is scientists expecting women to line up and risk their health, fecundity, and even their lives in order for "the scientists" to potentially gain world fame and huge dollars from their biotech companies from human cloning.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Life Links 11/20/08

Michelle Malkin provides an update on Haliegh Poutre.

New Yorker blogger Hendrik Hertzberg seems to be unable to tell the difference between being descriptive and proscriptive.
What this (ed. - calling Sarah Palin’s decision to give birth to Trig a “choice”) demonstrates is that even in the minds of anti-abortion zealots, abortion is now implicitly viewed in the same light as divorce: an unfortunate choice, a reprehensible choice, a choice that may even contravene the will of God, but still a choice. And, again implicitly, the choice that Sarah Palin had every right to make. In both directions.
Uhh... what? How does the fact that prolifers recognize the reality women that can currently legally choose to have an abortionist end the lives of their unborn children mean we think that women should have the right to make that choice? I guess, according to Hertzberg attempt at reasoning, because I have a “Choose Life” sticker on my car that means I think women should be allowed to choose death.

I’m way late on this (I just got a chance to finish listening to it) but here’s a conversation/debate between Scott Klusendorf and Tony Jones regarding the election and whether it makes sense for prolifers to vote for Obama. While Tony Jones certainly seems like a nice person he really can’t square his prolife beliefs with Obama’s positions on abortion. His whole position (which is similar to Doug Kmiec’s) seems to based on some weird, incoherent faith in Obama’s ability to reduce abortions while completely ignoring Obama’s pro-abortion promises which if implemented would greatly increase the number of abortions performed in the United States.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Life Links 11/19/08

A Columbian woman living in Spain with tuberculosis whose airway had been damaged received a new windpipe which was created from her own adult stem cells.
A series of complex steps pushing the boundaries of medical science led to the transplant operation, performed on 12 June by Professor Paolo Macchiarini at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona.

A section of windpipe was taken from a female donor who had died and the trachea was stripped of its cells, leaving only connective tissue. Stem cells from Ms Castillo's bone marrow were then grown in the laboratory. Next, the donor trachea had to be "seeded" with two different kinds of cells – those made in the laboratory and those derived from tissue taken from Ms Castillo's nose and healthy airways.

The trachea graft was placed into a rotating "bioreactor" and the machine allowed the cells to migrate to the correct locations, where they began to grow naturally.

Finally the trachea, now covered in cartilage and lined with cells all bearing the patient's own genetic hallmark, was cut to shape and slotted into place. Without the pioneering operation, the lung would have had to be removed.

Today, Ms Castillo is living an active, normal life, and is once again able to look after her children, Johan, 15, and Isabella, four. Yesterday, she said: "I was scared at the beginning because I was the first patient but had confidence and trusted the doctors. I am now enjoying life and am very happy that my illness has been cured."

So far, doctors have seen no sign of her immune system rejecting the transplanted organ, even though she received no immunosuppressive drugs.
Even the New York Times had to cover this story, though not without their own added and completely unnecessary note about Obama's plan to "reverse the Bush Administration’s restrictions on stem cell research." I think they meant "the Bush Administration's federal funding restrictions on human embryonic stem cell research.

Arigul Tursun, the woman in China who was almost forced to have an abortion at 6 months has been released by Chinese authorities according to ABC News. Apparently, she wasn't released because Chinese population control officials suddenly realized forcing women to have abortions is a gross violation of human rights.
The local population control committee chief reportedly said Tursun was released because "she wasn't in good enough health to have an abortion."

Both Scott Klusendorf and Ramesh Ponnuru comment on yesterday's Washington Post article on the "shift in focus" towards abortion reduction vs. banning abortion of some evangelicals and Catholics, most of whom seem to have always been more focused on abortion reduction via social programs as opposed to abortion reduction via abortion restricting legislation.

Also, how long will we told that Doug Kmiec was once denied communion for supporting Obama? Will it be in his obituary? On his tombstone?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Life Links 11/18/08

Attempts to convict abortionist George Tiller for breaking Kansas law continue as former attorney general Phill Kline defends his investigation during questioning from Tiller's attorney.
Assistant Attorney General Barry Disney said Tiller's attorneys have a high burden in trying to show that Kline's conduct warrants suppression of the evidence. If they're trying to show that the prosecution of Tiller is selective, Disney said, they face the reality that Tiller is "uniquely situated" because he performs late-term abortions.

The Washington Post has a long article on how some evangelicals and Catholic (many of whom are Obama supporters) are going to try to reduce abortion by encouraging Congress to pass legislation to provide more social help to pregnant women.

The Salt Lake Tribune is has a story on a University of Utah adult stem cell clinical trial to treat patients with two types of heart failure.
The one-year Cardiac Repair Cell Treatment of Patients with Dilated Cardiomyopathy study -- the first trial of its kind in the country -- will provide "patients who have limited to no other options with a viable treatment," said Patel. "By using a patient's own cells, we eliminate the concern of rejection and the need for potentially harmful immunosuppressive drugs."

The treatment is targeted at patients with two types of heart disease. Ischemic heart disease occurs when hearts don't get enough blood and oxygen because of heart muscle damage caused by coronary artery disease. Non-ischemic heart disease describes muscle damage caused by other means, including viruses or drug use, Patel said.

A subset of these patients has dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition that leaves the heart weakened, enlarged and unable to pump blood efficiently.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Life Links 11/17/08

Ross Douhat and Matthew Franck both comment on Ronald Bailey’s recent piece which provides suggestions for Obama’s embryonic stem cell funding policy. Franck writes,
By contrast, the many embryos Green now wants to exploit, with federal funding authorized by President Obama, are still alive. When he says that it "is true" of these embryos as well that "the life and death decision" has already been made in their cases, he is stating the exact opposite of the truth. A decision has not been made, but must be made, and Green knows how he wants it made. He wants them destroyed, if we can only talk people into the decision.

The government of China has ordered a woman who is currently 6 months pregnant to have an abortion. If she doesn’t, they’re threatening to take her home. The woman has 2 born children.
According to the Washington-based Uyghur Human Rights Project, Arzigul and her husband, Nurmemet, fled their village when she became pregnant, but returned after officials warned their house and property would be seized if Arzigul did not have an abortion.

"We considered our two girls," said Nurmemet. "If the house and properties were taken away, how would they live? So my wife came back and went to the hospital."
ABC News has an article on the story with this chilling quote.
A nurse at the Gulja's Water Gate Hospital told RFA that Tursun is at the hospital: "We will give an injection first. Then she will experience abdominal pain, and the baby will come out by itself. But we haven't given her any injection yet—we are waiting for instructions from the doctors."

Peter Suderman suggests prolifers could make headway on the public opinion on Roe v. Wade by working harder to frame Roe as a “barrier to compromise.”

I love it when embryonic stem cell researchers make comments about how the public doesn’t understand that any treatments from embryonic stem cells are a long ways away. Here’s Theresa Gratsch from the University of Michigan’s Center for Embryonic Stem Cell Research.
"I don't think the public realizes that basic research that leads to cures takes a heck of a long time. Until now we've been working with at least one hand tied behind our back," said Gratsch. "I'm not going to say it's going to happen overnight, but it will happen. Maybe not in five years but, yes, in their lifetimes, at least certainly for my niece.
Well, the reason the public doesn’t realize it’s going to take a long time (if it happens at all) is because for the last 8 years greedy scientists have been claiming cures from embryonic stem cells are right around the corner or will happen in 5-10 years.

Reporter Mimi Hall of USA Today can’t get President Bush’s embryonic stem cell funding policy correct. She calls the policy (where about $40 million a year of federal tax dollars are spent on human embryonic stem cell research) a “a ban on government funding for research using embryonic stem cells” and writes that President Bush “imposed the funding ban during his first prime-time televised address to the nation.” One would hope Ms. Hall would have learned something about embryonic stem cell research and its funding before having this story go to print.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Abortion Rates

JT at Between Two Worlds has a helpful post on abortion rates and the myths that Clinton presidency was responsible for the lowering of abortion rates while the abortion rate rose during the Bush presidency.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Private funding drying up for embryonic stem cell research?

The Associated Press has a long article on how the daunting economic climate could effect funding for embryonic stem cell research.
But even before this fall's financial meltdown, investment in early-stage stem-cell companies was steadily declining. Venture capital investment in biotech startups — which includes stem cell developers — has fallen more than 65 percent to $443 million in the most recent quarter, from a high of $1.3 billion in late 1999.

With a deep recession on the horizon and continuing doubts about the commercial viability of stem cell therapies, analysts say startup companies will be hard pressed to get funding. While adult stem cell treatments could be approved in the U.S. within five years, analysts don't expect embryonic stem cell therapies to become available for much longer.

"Even if one of these companies was going to be successful, I doubt you'd have a new embryonic stem cell product on the market in the next 20 years," Leerink Swann analyst Bill Tanner said. "In this kind of capital market, it's just going to be a struggle for them to get funding."
The article ends by noting that drug companies could be where embryonic stem cell researchers get their money in the future.

U.S. Bishops wary of abortion legislation

The U.S. Catholic Bishops aren't going to allow the passage of the Freedom of Choice Act lying down. From the Washington Post article:
The nation's Catholic bishops Tuesday approved a statement declaring that if the Democratic-controlled Congress and the incoming Obama administration enact proposed abortion rights legislation, they would see it as an attack on the church.

The statement, to be formally issued Wednesday by Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, assails the proposed Freedom of Choice Act, which would remove most state and federal restrictions on abortion.

The Boston Globe article on the same meeting notes that an article by Cardinal Francis George should be on the the U.S. Bishops' website today.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Life Links 11/10/08

The first acts of the Obama presidency? It looks like they’ll be the removal of funding restrictions on embryonic stem cell lines and allowing tax dollars to go to organizations which provide and promote abortions overseas. Not all change is good.

Wesley Smith has a piece in First Things on the assisted suicide movement.
Frustrated advocates adopted an “Oregon-plus-one” strategy, believing that if only a second state legalized assisted suicide, it would put the winds back into their sails. That theory is about to be tested.

The “future of the prolife movement” is losing personhood ballot initiatives by nearly 3-1 margins? I hope not. I also wonder on what grounds Judie Brown would oppose the Freedom of Choice Act. Since the legislation would remove the incremental restrictions to abortion which she opposes, I’m wondering why she thinks removing those “unprincipled” restrictions is a bad idea.

A woman in Florida named Stephanie Collins has been charged with murder after allegedly killing her newborn son and then throwing his body in the trash.
Investigators say 26 year old Stephanie Collins single-handedly delivered a healthy baby boy in the bathroom at her home on Rollohome Road. She then allegedly smothered it to death and dumped the body in a trash can out back.

Collins allegedly told authorities she planned the act during her pregnancy. Collins already has a nine-year-old son and has reportedly had an abortion, but told investigators she didn’t want to go through another procedure like that.
Another article notes that Collins knew about Florida’s Safe Haven law yet still decided to kill her son instead of dropping him off at a safe location.

John McCormack notes the numerous problems with the latest Palin smears printed by Newsweek. Reporters are now apparently too lazy to check if a politician is prolife or not.

The Washington Post has an article on Osiris’ two new drugs developed from adult stem cells.

Jesse Reynolds is sounding the death knell for stem cells as a political issue.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Friday Baby/Pumpkin Blogging

The baby in her costume

This year's pumpkins. Mine on the left. The wife's on the right (if you can't tell from the poorly taken picture, it's a cat face).

Ross Douhat on Doug Kmiec

I think he pretty much hits the nail on the head.
What I don't understand at all is Kmiec's position, which seems to be that the contemporary Democratic Party, and particularly the candidacy of Barack Obama, offered nearly as much to pro-lifers as the Republican Party does. I am sure that Kmiec is weary of being called a fool by opponents of abortion for his tireless pro-Obama advocacy during this election cycle, but if so, then the thing for him to do is to cease acting like the sort of person for whom the term "useful idiot" was coined, rather than persisting in his folly......

There may have been reasons for anti-abortion Americans to vote for Barack Obama in spite of his position that abortion should be essentially unregulated and funded by taxpayer dollars. But Kmiec's suggestion that Obama took the Democrats in anything like a pro-life direction on the issue doesn't pass the laugh test. (And nor, I might add, does his bizarre argument that because the goal of placing a fifth anti-Roe justice on the court is somehow unrealistic, the pro-life movement should pursue a far more implausible constitutional amendment instead.)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Life Links 11/6/08

JT at Between Two Worlds interviews Scott Klusendorf about prolife advocacy in an Obama presidency. I hope Scott is wrong about Obama’s ability to sell the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) to the American public.

The Americans United for Life blog breaks down how many seats prolifers have in Congress and also notes other races.

Progress using adult stem cells continues. According to the web site of the Scrip World Pharmaceutical News,
Genzyme is to pay Osiris Therapeutics $130 million upfront and up to $1.25 billion in milestones to develop and commercialise two late-stage adult stem cell treatments, Prochymal and Chondrogen, outside the US and Canada.

Prochymal, a preparation of mesenchymal stem cells formulated for intravenous infusion, is currently in two Phase III trials for graft vs host disease, a Phase III trial for Crohn's disease and Phase II trials for type 1 diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Results from the Phase III trials are expected next year and a Phase II trial in acute myocardial infarction is expected to begin soon...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Sad Day for Prolifers

Last night various attempts to restrict abortion failed, Washington became the second state to legalize assisted suicide, Michigan voters approved a constitutional amendment to legalize the killing of human embryos for research purposes and our nation elected a candidate with a more strident pro-abortion record than any U.S. presidential candidate in history.

I hope and pray that Obama's presidency will be marked by the moderacy on abortion he conveyed to evangelical and general audiences and not the full-throated advocacy for abortion he conveyed to abortion advocates. I truly fear the legislation a heavily pro-choice House and Senate could pass and what a President Obama would sign.

Elections have consequences. I just don't want innocent human beings to be the ones who suffer them.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Life Links 11/4/08

Public Discourse shares a letter Hadley Arkes wrote to a liberal student regarding abortion and infanticide.
This is a problem for liberalism. I was a liberal and a Democrat years ago, but this issue turned me, for it has to call into question everything that a liberal would claim under the name of liberalism. With this matter of abortion, the liberals have backed themselves into the old principle of the Rule of the Strong. Those who have power over others are more real than the ones who are at the mercy of their power. The interests of the strong, in this setting, claim precedence over the interests of the weak. Step by step liberals have stripped themselves of any claim to be the party of liberal generosity, expanding the circle of those who are protected. It has happened so subtly that people may not be aware of it any longer. But now we look up--as Aaron looked up--and say, in candor, Yes, that is who we are, and what we have become. We cannot tell you any longer, as Democrats and liberals, that we reject infanticide, because we cannot reject it without calling into question that which we have come to care about more than we care about anything else.

Ed Morrisey and Elizabeth Scalia have a final plea to Catholic voters.
Even beyond this, though, consider why the Church supports social-justice issues. Our faith does not emphasize fighting poverty and oppression as mere Boy Scout merit badges, or to give Catholics something to do on the weekends. The emphasis on social justice springs from the foundational belief that all human life is sacred, anointed by God for His purposes, and not ours. The need for social justice is for us to recognize the spark of divinity in all of us.
What does abortion says about human life? It reduces it to commodity, and values it based on convenience. If that is what we think about human life, then that rejects the entire idea that God created humankind at all, let alone for any divine purpose. Without that fundamental understanding of the faith, then all kinds of horrors become possible — abortion, euthanasia, genocide on massive scales, war for acquisition, and the exploitation of the poor.
Why care about the poor if humans have no divine purpose? If we can kill millions of our offspring without a second thought, why not leave the poor to their own devices? Abortion represents the ultimate rejection of God and God’s plan.....

Barack Obama - inconsistent though he be - is no Hitler, or a Stalin or a Pol Pot. However, developing a fanciful notion of Obama’s ability to do and be more than man has ever done or been before - based on nothing more than a bit of charisma and an highly overprotective press - is to surrender, rather than apply, one’s use of reason.

The Wall Street Journal has an article on Michigan's Proposal 2. Unfortunately, reporter Suzanne Sataline starts by writing,
Seven years after the ban on federal funding of further embryonic stem-cell experiments, the issue has moved onto state ballot proposals for financing and expanding this research.
Another sentence says,
Since the Bush administration banned further federal funding of stem-cell research in 2001, states have wrestled with the issue.
It would really would be nice if reporters could correctly describe Bush's 7-year-old embryonic stem cell policy. Is it really that hard? Or are journalists really that lazy and/or biased? Providing approximately $40 million in federal funds a year for human embryonic stem cell research (not to mention the additional millions in adult and animal stem cell research funding) can hardly be described as banning "further federal funding of stem-cell research."

Monday, November 03, 2008

New, misleading commercials from the Proposal 2 proponents

The “Hope” commercial says, “Yes is the only way to unlock cures thru stem cell research. For Alzheimer’s. For Juvenile Diabetes. Only yes can mean the hope of finding cures for cancer, sickle-cell anemia, spinal cord injuries.”

The “Act” commercial says, “Do you want to say yes to finding a cure to cancer? Do you want to say yes to finding a cure for Parkinson’s? Do you want to say yes to finding a cure for juvenile diabetes? Because when you vote yes on Proposal 2, that’s exactly what you’re saying.”

Words can’t describe how evil these ads are. Unfortunately, the Detroit media is so in the tank for Proposal 2, I don’t expect any outlet to call them out on these obviously deceptive commercials. Allowing the destruction of human embryos in Michigan instead of importing out-of-state cell lines isn’t the magical solutions to cancer. The folks in charge of “Cure Michigan” know Proposal 2 won’t help researchers in Michigan get anywhere closer to cures. They don’t care if they give false hope to millions of families because they really don’t care that much about people who are suffering. They just want to use them.

Look at this video message from a paralyzed young woman named Laura Jackson. This poor girl has been completely fooled into thinking Proposal 2 has the answer for her paralysis. If the people at Cure Michigan really cared about Laura they wouldn’t be filling her head with false promises and using her injury to promote their desire to experiment on human embryos.

What’s going to happen if Proposal 2 passes and the “cures” to cancer, Alzheimer’s, juvenile diabetes, spinal cord injuries and Parkinson’s are no where to be found? Will Michigan residents remember how they were fooled?

Hopefully Doug Kmiec's last poor editorial defending Obama

Doug Kmiec’s latest attempt to defend Barack Obama and Obama's position on abortion is absolutely destroyed by Ryan Anderson and Sherif Girgis. They open by noting,
Doug Kmiec is at it again. His most recent Obama propaganda piece is titled ''Why Archbishop Chaput's Abortion Stance Is Wrong.'' As far as we can tell, Kmiec, a legal scholar who identifies as pro-life, has never written an article titled ''Why Senator Obama's Abortion Stance Is Wrong.'' We await such an article. In the meantime, Kmiec has offered a pro-Obama reply to Archbishop Chaput's wise counsel that Catholics vote with a view to securing the equal protection of the law for all people, born or unborn. Kmiec's answers to the Archbishop can be divided without remainder into three categories: the irrelevant, the false, and the fallacious.
and conclude by saying,
Professor Kmiec's response to Archbishop Chaput is a textbook study in shoddy reasoning. He has placed red herrings, baseless factual claims, and glaring non sequiturs in the service of a conclusion whose logic would be laughable if it did not threaten countless innocent lives: that the most pro-abortion politician in American history would be a blessing for the unborn. Barack Obama offers the unborn no hope to believe in but much change to deplore. Doug Kmiec offers Barack Obama cover for his assaults on the sanctity of human life.
What I found surprising was that Kmiec actually mentioned Obama’s support for the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), though in a water downed way (more on this below). I don’t recall him doing this in the past. He writes,
To conclude, let me just briefly address one further label Archbishop Chaput affixes upon Senator Obama: "the most committed 'abortion-rights' presidential candidate of either major party since the Roe v. Wade abortion decision in 1973." While not stated explicitly by the Archbishop, such allegation is typically premised on the Senator's promise to sign the so-called Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) which has been sitting around Congress for two decades or so.
Ummm... no - it’s typically premised on Obama votes against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, legislation which passed the U.S. Senate 98-0. Being in favor of legislation (and promising to sign it as your first act as president) to get rid of every state-level abortion restriction and require tax-funded abortion certainly doesn’t help. Numerous U.S. Senator and Congressmen are in favor of FOCA but only one current senator has voted against giving basic rights to infants who survive abortions.
There is much dispute over FOCA's intended effect. Its opponents (including me) argue that it will roll back important policies like waiting periods; its supporters (including the Senator) think it more a non-discrimination principle, allowing restrictions on abortion but only when they exist on other comparable medical procedures. Either way, is this an independent reason for Catholics to disregard Obama's commitment to social justice?
Could Kmiec downplay FOCA’s “intended effects” anymore? Yes, it would roll back waiting periods. It would also roll back parental consent, restrictions on taxpayer funding of abortion, partial-birth abortions laws, etc., etc. Plus, the view that FOCA will roll back prolife legislation isn’t the subject of “much dispute.” It’s held by proponents of FOCA like Planned Parenthood and NARAL.

A better question would be: Is the fact that Obama thinks tax dollars should fund the killing of innocent human beings be an independent reason for Catholics disbelieve Doug Kmiec’s claims about Obama’s commitment to social justice?

Hopefully, most Catholics would understand it’s tough to be committed to social justice when you think tax dollars should fund the killing of innocent human lives.
Not really. At the Democratic convention, leading members of the House and Senate publicly expressed the view that FOCA is so deeply flawed - some scholars believing it unconstitutional and most lawmakers finding it unacceptable as a matter of policy - that it will never reach the president's desk. This is a fact that has some plausibility given its history, but of course, one that may change with the composition of the new Congress. This is more fairly an issue regarding the election of others, and not primarily Obama or McCain.
Kmiec reasons away Barack Obama’s promise to sign FOCA by stating it is unlikely to reach the president’s desk. Most current lawmakers find it unacceptable but if the Democrats have large majorities in the House and Senate, “most” could become past tense. The last sentence is simply ridiculous. It’s like Kmiec thinks we should ignore Obama’s position on this issue because the legislation is supposedly unlikely to reach his desk but it should be an issue for the election of congressional candidates so we can ensure it doesn’t reach Obama’s desk. So we need a prolife Congress to make sure Obama (he of such high commitment to social justice) doesn’t get to fulfill his promise to Planned Parenthood to sign hideous legislation? I wonder if Kmiec would make the same argument for John McCain if McCain favored some legislation which, though unlikely to pass, would force taxpayers to fund spousal abuse. Probably not, eh?

There is a reason Doug Kmiec never brings up Obama’s position on tax-funded abortions in these numerous Obama-praising-editorials.

Life Links 11/3/08

Gerard Bradley discusses Barack Obama’s position on the “other life” issue: embryo-destructive research (EDR).
When we turn to EDR and take a serious look at what Obama is determined to do, we are looking into the abyss. The express and unequivocal aspiration of embryonic-stem-cell researchers is to create a bank of cell lines that are both diverse genetically (for purposes of avoiding immune-rejection issues) and disease-specific (for purposes of studying all avenues of regenerative therapies). Realizing these aspirations will require the use and destruction of millions — and perhaps tens of millions — of human embryos. All of these tiny people will be created in a laboratory, experimented upon, and killed.....

Obama also cosponsored the misleadingly titled “Human Cloning Ban Act of 2005" which, if passed, would have protected cloning for bio-medical research, and would have required the destruction of all human embryos created by cloning, subject to federal criminal sanction for failing to do so. (As a member of the Illinois state senate Obama voted against a ban on all human cloning.) Most shocking, Obama voted against a bill in the United States Senate that would have increased funding for the new forms of stem-cell research that do not require the use and destruction of human embryos, despite the extraordinary promise of that research to do what proponents of EDR have said EDR will do. It should be emphasized that Obama opposed funding this humane alternative to EDR even though the bill did not decrease or any way preclude funding for EDR.

Robert George writes about when life begins and the political opposition to admitting the obvious answer.
In view of the established facts of human embryogenesis and early intrauterine development, the real question is not whether human beings in the embryonic and fetal stages are human beings. Plainly they are. The question is whether we will honor or abandon our civilizational and national commitment to the equal worth and dignity of all human beings — even the smallest, youngest, weakest, and most vulnerable.

Wonkette has a post which disgustingly jokes about Trig Palin and abortion after his parents dressed him up for Halloween as an elephant. Wesley Smith has the details.

A doctor in the UK named Edward Erin has been charged with “attempting to unlawfully administer a poison or other noxious thing” after allegedly putting abortion-inducing drugs into his girlfriend’s drinks. The attempts happened 9 months ago and the mother gave birth to a healthy boy about a month ago.