Thursday, March 31, 2011

Life Links 3/31/11

Numerous media outlets are carrying this AP story about prolife efforts to prevent people from deducting the cost of an abortion from their taxable income.
The House Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to vote on a bill Thursday that would prevent taxpayers from deducting the cost of an abortion from their taxable income. It would also prevent small businesses and taxpayers from using tax credits in the new health care law to provide or pay for insurance policies that cover the procedure.

If women pay for an abortion using tax-free income that had been set aside in a heath savings account, the money would have to be reported as taxable income.....

By law, taxpayers can deduct medical expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of their adjusted gross income, a threshold that increases to 10 percent in 2013. They can also set side tax-free money in health savings accounts, and spend it on approved medical expenses. The Internal Revenue Service currently lists the cost of an abortion as an approved medical expense.

Advocates of human cloning for research in Minnesota are claiming opponents of human cloning are being deceptive because the opponents of human cloning are calling a ban on human cloning a ban on human cloning. As usual, reporter Jenna Ross has some difficulty explaining what human cloning actually is.
Actors in this scientifically complex debate define "human cloning" differently.

The U emphasizes that it has not and will not attempt to clone a human being, a process called reproductive cloning. Think Dolly the sheep, the first cloned mammal. "We have been crystal clear on this," said Dr. Aaron Friedman, the U's vice president for health sciences and medical school dean.

Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life's broader definition of "human cloning" also includes one kind of stem cell research called therapeutic cloning. In that process, a scientist would extract stem cells from a 5-day-old embryo and then destroy it in a test tube. This bill would ban that too.
Why doesn't Jenna mention how the 5-day-old embryo is created? Is it through human cloning?

In the Dominican Republic, a 59-year-old woman has been carrying the remains of a dead unborn child for at least 30 years.
The mummified remains of the fetus, which weighed 3 pounds and 12 ounces, were found during an X-ray exam of the woman. Miladys Roman, the chief gynecologist at Luis Eduardo Aybar Hospital in Santo Domingo, said the woman told doctors she had long experience pains but never received adequate medical attention.

A new study on horses reveals that female horses often abort their pregnancies if they are impregnated by a horse from another stable and not allowed to have sex with horses from their home stable.
The strange sexual behaviour may have evolved because of the risk of infanticide - seen in many species that live in male-dominated social groups, where a male will kill offspring of other males in a struggle for dominance.....

He believes that zebras and domestic horses have both evolved similar "abortion strategies". He thinks it is possible that horses "make the decision" to terminate their own pregnancy.

Natural chemically triggered abortion is a well-known phenomenon in biology. It is known as the Bruce effect, and has been observed mainly in rodents, where the scent of male urine causes a pregnant female to abort.

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