Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Life Links 4/13/10

Kelly Parland on opposition to sex-selection abortions in Canada.
Many Canadians see this as wrong. The official policy of professional groups such as the Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Canada (SOGC) condemns sex selection. Brendan Leier, a bio-ethicist at Edmonton's Stollery Children's Hospital, and Dr. Allison Thiele, an obstetrics and gynecology resident at the University of Saskatchewan, suggest in the current issue of the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Canada that physicians should delay imparting information on a baby's sex until it is too late for the woman to have an abortion with no questions asked. Doctors in British Columbia already follow that practice, refusing to reveal the sex until 20 weeks into a pregnancy.

But how does that make sense? In order to support "a woman's right to choose," you have to believe that a fetus is not human in the moral sense. This judgment -- or lack thereof -- is encoded in Canadian law, which permits abortion for any reason, or no reason at all.

If you believe a fetus is not a human life, the fetus becomes no different from any other unwanted appendage on a woman's body. There is no moral difference to removing it than there is to removing an unwanted mole, or an unsightly wart. It's just a bunch of flesh, with no human soul or spirit to it, so what's the difference

The Nebraska legislature has a passed a law requiring abortionists to screen women to see if they've been pressured into abortion and for risk factors.
The bill requires a doctor or other health professional to screen women to determine whether they were pressured into having abortions. The screenings also would assess whether women have risk factors that could lead to mental or physical problems after an abortion.

Doctors would have to tell patients whether they had any of the risk factors but could perform abortions even if they existed. If a screening was not done, a woman could file a civil suit.

Doctors would not face criminal charges, nor would they lose their medical licenses.

CQ Politics notes that abortion may be an important issue in the Democratic primary for retiring Congressman Bart Stupak's seat.

A Phase I clinical trial by Celgene using a treatment derived from placental stem cells to treat Crohn's disease was successful enough to move into a Phase II trial.
The 12 patients with active moderate-to-severe Crohn's who were unresponsive to at least one prior therapy were given two infusions of PDA-001 one week apart. Six patients received a lower dose of the cells and six received a higher concentration, or high dose, of PDA-001.

The study met its primary safety goal and demonstrated encouraging signs of clinical benefit, including clinical remission among four patients in the low dose group, Celgene said.

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