Monday, September 20, 2010

Life Links 9/20/10

Who's more "extreme" on abortion - a candidate who favors partial-birth abortion and tax-funded abortion or a candidate who is against abortion except in cases of life, rape and incest? For some reason, Virg Bernero thinks it's the latter.

Adult stem cell researcher Jean Peduzzi Nelson writes about some of the adult stem cell success stories she shared with a Senate committee last week.

In the New York Times, Amy Julia Becker writes about why she decided not to screen her unborn child for Down Syndrome.
Our daughter, who is now 4½, has Down syndrome. She was born when I was 28. Although there is no known cause for Down syndrome (the presence of an extra 21st chromosome), as soon as I conceived Penny, my chances of having another baby with Down syndrome increased significantly, from 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 100. Those chances only increase further as I age.

But my dread as I walked into the doctor's office didn't come from the thought that this new baby might have an extra chromosome. My dread arose from the prospect of talking to a doctor about prenatal testing. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends prenatal screening for Down syndrome for all pregnant women, regardless of age. Screening tests can include an ultrasound to measure aspects of the baby's anatomy and blood tests to measure hormone levels in the mother. These tests accurately identify babies with Down syndrome 85 percent to 90 percenty of the time.

Peter and I know the statistics. We know the health complications associated with Down syndrome — heart defects, intestinal abnormalities, celiac disease, low muscle tone, developmental delays. We know that Down syndrome brings with it more intensive one-on-one attention in the early years and more doctor's visits throughout childhood. We know it brings with it more uncertainty as the child grows up.

But we also know that a textbook definition of a syndrome can never capture the reality of any particular human life......

I told myself that I wanted to know if the baby had a healthy heart. But the literature about the test explains that it is effective 90 percent of the time in detecting Down syndrome and only 40 percent of the time in detecting congenital heart defects. It wasn't offering me a chance to know the physical health of my baby so much as providing me a choice about whether to continue my pregnancy if the baby had Down syndrome....

We declined prenatal testing not because we assume this baby in my womb has the typical 46 chromosomes. We declined prenatal testing because we would welcome another child with Down syndrome.

FOX News has an article on the abortion amendment in the defense budget bill.
An amendment from Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill., to end a longstanding ban on abortions at U.S. military hospitals overseas is attached to the defense authorization bill set to come up for a vote in the Senate......

The Senate will meet Monday to resume consideration of the defense bill, with a vote to start formal debate set for the following day. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has indicated that even if the Senate clears that hurdle, which requires 60 votes, the defense bill likely will not come up for a final vote until after the November election.

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