Monday, June 28, 2010

Life Links 6/28/10

National Right to Life has responded to the paper by the UK’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists which claimed unborn children can’t feel pain before 24 weeks.
Ironically, the article concedes the evidence that by 20 weeks pain receptors are present throughout the unborn child’s skin, that these are linked by nerves to the thalamus and the subcortal plate, and that these children have coordinated aversive reactions to painful stimuli, and experience increased stress hormones from it.

This article is an effort by acknowledged abortion promoters to mislead the public at-large – and most tragically women considering abortion – about the increasing evidence demonstrating the unborn child’s sensitivity to pain.

The Boston Globe has an editorial criticizing the NIH and NIH director Francis Collins for not allowing federal funds to be used researching human embryonic stem cell lines created by an IVF clinic which used objectionable language on their informed consent papers. It’s a great example of the desire of some to dismiss any regulation which prevents something scientists want.
Collins’ refusal wasn’t without regret. He said it was “frankly rather painful” for his advisory committee to recommend against approval of the cell lines, but that “rigorous guidelines are only meaningful if they are rigorously applied.”

That sentiment is admirable, but in this case a “rigorous’’ application of the consent rules worked against the greater good.

In a new book, University of Illinois historian Leslie Reagan argues that German measles played a large role in the shift of public attitude on abortion.
Where abortion had been illegal and shameful, it became a subject of open public discussion and debate, Reagan said. In the midst of a German measles epidemic, the most "respectable" women - married, middle-class, white mothers - began to openly speak of their pregnancies, their concern about having a child with severe malformations, and their need for abortions, she said.

Joining them with vocal support for reforming the abortion laws was a diverse coalition difficult to imagine today - including, for instance, the PTA, Republicans, unions, medical associations and a long list of Protestant churches.

But that history, like German measles (also known as rubella), has largely been forgotten, according to Reagan, a professor of history, of law and of women's studies.

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