The Department of Health statistics, which go back almost a decade, were released after a six-year legal battle. They reveal that between 2002 and 2010 there were 17,983 terminations on the grounds that there was a “substantial risk” that the babies would be “seriously handicapped” — known as Ground E abortions. Of these, 1,189 were aborted after 24 weeks, after which there must be such a serious risk for an abortion to be legal if the mother is not in danger. Last year 147 foetuses were aborted after 24 weeks, a rise of 29 per cent since 2002.26 of the Ground E abortions (one past the 24 week limit) were for cleft palate.
In the Wall Street Journal, Bill McGurn discusses Mara Hvistendahl's book on sex-selection abortion.
For her part, Ms. Hvistendahl offers a compelling indictment of the cult of expertise that has inflicted tremendous human damage around the world, from the Western development agencies that told women in places like Asia and Africa that their babies were the reason their nations were poor—and supported sometimes brutal efforts to stop them from having those babies. Or the many folks who never tire of preaching, no matter how much history refutes them, that babies are just plain bad: bad for the environment, bad because they increase competition for limited resources, bad because, in this view, each new life is but a new burden on everyone else.
The Wall Street Journal also has an article on fetal programming, where researchers in the UK are attempting to make children healthier by making their environment as unborn children healthier.
In the study, which is taking place at five sites across the U.K., pregnant women who are obese but nondiabetic will be given a drug used to treat type-2 diabetes called Metformin over the course of their pregnancy. Obese women, even those who don't have diabetes, tend to have higher blood sugar during pregnancy, the researchers say. The glucose passes through the placenta to the fetus, causing the fetus to work harder to produce more insulin to deal with the higher levels of sugar. The babies tend to be born larger and to produce more insulin because their bodies expect to take in higher levels of glucose, Dr. Norman says.
The researchers expect that the diabetes drug will lower the mothers' blood sugar, which in turn should reduce the amount of glucose passed to the fetus. The hoped-for outcome is that the babies are smaller at birth and have metabolisms that don't come out churning insulin and aren't predisposed towards obesity.
In the LA Times, Jack Dolan discusses the high salaries at the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine.
With his $400,008 salary, Thomas joins institute President Alan Trounson — who made $490,008 last year — high on the list of the state's top paid, non-university employees.....
In a written statement to the board after his election, Thomas told his new colleagues they were in a "communications war" in which "the world seems to be focused on internal issues instead of the grand big picture" of the institute's mission to cure disease.
His solution? In late June the agency posted an ad for a new public relations director who will make as much as $208,520 per year.
Abortion protester Flip Benham has been found guilty of misdemeanor stalking.
Prosecutors said Benham distributed photos with the names and photos of several Charlotte doctors who perform abortions and the words “Wanted ... By Christ, to Stop Killing Babies.”