Thursday, July 15, 2010

Life Links 7/15/10

The New York Times has a long article by Emily Bazelon on abortion providers and efforts to make abortion more mainstream in the medical community. Efforts to provide medical schools with seed money for abortion training are being funded by Warren Buffett.
The tax records also show that most of the foundation’s spending goes to abortion and contraception advocacy and research. According to Access Philanthropy, a research institute that focuses on the giving preferences of foundations and corporate donors, family planning is one of the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation’s main purposes. The foundation’s nonprofit 990 tax form shows that in 2008, Planned Parenthood and its affiliates in the U.S. received about $45 million; the international arm of the organization got about $8 million. There is no line item for the Ryan program or the Family Planning Fellowship. But the foundation paid out around $50 million to universities with one or both of the programs.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has allowed an ultrasound bill in Missouri to become law without his signature.
Missouri abortion clinics will face new mandates to offer women ultrasound images and heartbeats of their fetuses as a result of legislation allowed to become law Wednesday by Gov. Jay Nixon.

The Democratic governor, facing his first decision on an abortion bill, sidestepped a direct endorsement of the new requirements by citing a Missouri constitutional provision allowing bills to become law without the governor's signature.

Police in Manilla are investigating how abortion pills are being smuggled into the Philippines from another country.

Jesse Reynolds (a proponent of embryonic stem cell research) comments on the ridiculousness that is Robert Klein's boostering of CIRM.
But Klein's arguments ring hollow. First, he cites an economic study that concludes the program has generated significant tax revenue. But that study's conclusions were controversial, and in any case $100 million is far less than the billion dollars the CIRM has already spent. The program is certainly not paying for itself, as he suggests now and as he claimed before the vote on Proposition 71.

Second, Klein cites reduced health care costs. He goes so far as to say, "First of all, we're saving lives." While I sincerely hope that embryonic stem cell research leads to therapies, that is not yet the case. Clinical trials are yet to begin. (Maybe next year? (1, 2)) Until there are genuine therapies, such savings remain hypothetical.

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