Thursday, August 30, 2007

Life Links 8/30/07

A man in West Virginia has been charged with breaking the state's Unborn Victim of Violence law after he killed his pregnant girlfriend and her 4-year-old son.

One alderman in Aurora is hoping to draft an ordinance which will require the new Planned Parenthood facility in Aurora to obtain parental consent before performing abortions on minors.

Researchers in Thailand have used adult stem cells to treat chronic foot wounds of individuals with diabetes.

"Insurgency" wants cloning banned in Missouri, professor enraged

David Rosman is a very confused human being.

In an editorial for the Columbia Missourian, he calls individuals working to place an initiative to ban human cloning on the ballot the following names: "radical right-wing extremists," "anarchists," "radical fringe" and "an insurgency." He claim efforts (thru a ballot initiative) to change Missouri's Constitution to provide an accurate definition of human cloning are "an overt mutiny" and an "open rebellion, an insurgency, against our constitution, our government and the American legal system." The people behind it, while just short of the "American Taliban," "seek to overthrow the government."

Apparently, a ballot initiative (like the Amendment 2) which Rosman favors is alright but a group behind another ballot initiative (working through the democratic process) which attempts to change another ballot initiative is an anarchist group looking to overthrow the government. That's right. Looking to overthrow the government by using the democratic provisions to change Missouri's constitution.

Rosman calls the arguments of those hoping to put an accurate definition of human cloning into Missouri's constitution "common and perilous fallacies of logic and rhetoric" (a Carl Sagan phrase). Yet nowhere in his name-calling filled attack piece does he actually cite and refute a single argument from them.

Rosman goes on to say the Missouri Constitution already bans cloning because "Section 38(d), paragraph 2 (1) says, 'No person may clone or attempt to clone a human being.' Period!" He unfortunately never provides the intentionally deceptive and scientifically inaccurate definition of human cloning in Amendment 2. Here it is
(2) "Clone or attempt to clone a human being" means to implant in a uterus or attempt to implant in a uterus anything other than the product of fertilization of an egg of a human female by a sperm of a human male for the purpose of initiating a pregnancy that could result in the creation of a human fetus, or the birth of a human being.
The saddest thing about all of this - Rosman's bio says he's an instructor at Columbia College. This guy should be in a mental hospital not teaching at a college. Imagine how crazy someone has to be to write and submit an editorial like this.

Rosman, the people of Missouri aren't stupid but large numbers of them were fooled by a slick PR machine backed by $30 million from the Stowers family.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Aurora City Council Packed with Prolifers

Jill Stanek has a slide show.

There was also an article in the Aurora Beacon News about the meeting. According to Jill, there were only two pro-choicers who spoke at the meeting in favor of Planned Parenthood moving in and more than 100 prolifers who signed in to speak against Planned Parenthood and abortion.

Guess who got a quoted for more than 75 words in the story?

The Chicago Tribune needs to get a clue on cloning

A recent article in the Chicago Tribune by Monique Garcia discusses Governor Rod Blagojevich's signing of legislation to allow the public funding of all kinds of stem cell research. The article claims the legislation (SB4) also "bans human cloning."

Unfortunately, the legislation does no such thing. It allows for the public funding of the derivation (the process which kills human embryos) and research on stem cells "from any source, including somatic cell nuclear transplantation." Everyone who knows anything about this topic knows that somatic cell nuclear transplantation (or transfer) is the scientific terminology for cloning.

Here's the part where cloning is supposedly banned:
(a) No person may clone or attempt to clone a human being. For purposes of this Section, "clone or attempt to clone a
human being" means to transfer to a uterus or attempt to transfer to a uterus anything other than the product of fertilization of an egg of a human female by a sperm of a human male for the purpose of initiating a pregnancy that could result in the creation of a human fetus or the birth of a human being.
It's all in the deceptive definitions, isn't it? So cloning isn't cloning but rather it's the transfer of a human being already created by cloning into a womb for the purpose of bringing a cloned child to birth?

Plus, depending on what the Illinois legislature's definition of "human fetus" is, couldn't this language even allow the implantation of a human embryo as long as the purpose of that implantation wasn't to bring the cloned embryo to the stage of fetal development or birth?

Notice how the Tribune article doesn't have a single word from someone opposed to this legislation. It has one sentence about how some groups oppose the legislation.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

"the baby that we decided not to have will never be replaced"

See my story, hear my words is the blog of a post-abortive woman from Canada who, in various entries, discusses her abortion, her feelings after the abortion and her relationship with the father. From the entries, it appears she had the abortion in January. In one entry she writes,
I am conflicted because although I know I made the right decision, more so now than ever, I believe abortion to be one of the most unnatural things a woman can do to herself. It feels inherently wrong. It contradicts our biological determinism, which might be the most powerful of our driving forces in life.

I am sad just because I am. Sometimes I miss what I barely ever had.

In another:
I will not allow my feelings to be invalidated anymore, by myself or by others. I am not wrong or out of line. I have been strong. There was life inside of me and we chose to take it away. Although a swift decision, it is not, nor should it be, an easy one. Trying to be "tough" and deal with it on my own was to my own detriment.....

Who in their right mind would ever treat abortion so callously? It is not something to be forgotten in a matter of days, weeks or even months. It is something that doesn't need to make or break you, but that will and should be with you forever. And as a man, even though it may feel far removed, or even if your romantic interests are waning, it was still you implanted inside of me. It was your genes mixing with mine to create another. Grasp that concept. Consider its magnitude. Think about it in the reality that it exists. Does it still not require your attention? Your time? How many things are more important in life than facing the consequences of terminating an extension of you?

I couldn't help but read the entire blog.

Life Links 8/28/07

Bloomberg has a story on forced abortions in China.
Jin Yani was nine months pregnant on the night of Sept. 7, 2000, when, she says, six family-planning officials came to her home in northern China's Hebei province and forced her to go to a local abortion center.

They injected her fetus with a drug, she says, and two days later extracted what would have been a baby girl. While the pregnancy was illegal because Jin conceived the child five months before marrying the father, forced abortions are also against China's laws.

While news of embryonic stem cells treating rat hearts may get more headlines and articles, adult stem cells are quietly treating the hearts of human beings.

Judge Ortrie Smith has temporarily enjoined Missouri's law to regulate abortion facilities like ambulatory surgical centers. A hearing will be held on September 10th before the judge provides a further ruling.

"I'm not pregnant. It's a cyst."

That's what one woman in Livonia, Michigan supposedly said about her enlarged waist before she strangled her newborn son shortly after birth and put his body in a garbage can. Her boyfriend's threats may have played some role in this killing.
Garris said she heard the woman and her boyfriend fighting numerous times and recently heard a vicious threat.

"He (the boyfriend) threatened to kill her if she had another baby and told her she better not be pregnant or you're out of here," she said.

Monday, August 27, 2007

What's up with this headline?

"Embryonic Stem Cells Repair Human Heart"

Ummm.... No, they didn't. Unless rats are now have human hearts.

Also of note, this article in the Seattle Times states,
To make the breakthrough, Murry and his colleagues used the so-called "presidential lines" of stem cells. Those cells are generated from a group of embryos that already had been destroyed before the Bush administration limited research on embryonic stem cells.

Aborting the "wrong" twin

In Italy:
The San Paolo hospital in Milan yesterday confirmed a report of the blunder in the daily Corriere della Sera. A statement from the hospital said the twins had changed places inside the womb between the first ultrasound scan and a second one carried out shortly before the operation, which took place in the 18th week of the pregnancy. It said it had handed the case notes to the "competent authorities"....

Italian news agencies said the woman subsequently returned to hospital to have the remaining, deformed foetus aborted. She then reported the doctors to police.
According to a South African newspaper, the condition in question was Down Syndrome.

I wonder how authorities will proceed on this case. What could the doctors who accidentally killed one fetus when they were attempting to kill another be charged with? Mistaken identity homicide? Is it really their fault unborn twins can shift positions in the womb? It seems we've reached a place in some societies where intentionally killing innocent human beings isn't wrong in and of itself, but it is wrong when you accidentally kill the wrong innocent human being.

I'm not horrified that the "wrong" twin was accidentally aborted. I'm horrified that a mother would intentionally try to have one of her twins killed because the child was diagnosed with Down Syndrome and that someone with a medical degree would agree to do it.

"Everywhere, like, such as..."

Kind of a dumb question (though pretty much all pageant questions are) but I have trouble even understanding what the answer was supposed to sound like. South Africa and Iraq also seem like two fairly random countries to throw in together.

We've all answered dumb questions with even dumber answers. Unfortunately, Miss South Carolina's was on national television.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Archbishop Hart on Abortion

Denis Hart, archbishop of Melbourne, has an editorial in the Herald Sun on whether abortion should be a crime.
There is a link between helping women and the child within and the health of our society.

Protect suffering pregnant women and you protect society.

Offer cheap abortion options and you cheapen the society we share.

UPDATE: The Herald Sun also has three other editorials on the abortion issue.

Peter Singer admits that "abortion ends a human life" but argues that since the unborn don't have the arbitrary properties Singer holds in such high regard (such as self-awareness, consciousness, the ability to feel pain, etc.), it should be legal to kill them. He also argues that birth is an arbitrary line to when we should be allowed to kill some human beings but since criminal law requires dividing lines, birth is the best we have.

One by Julian Burnside is the typical editorial where the writer assumes pregnant women haven't already reproduced, say abortion is a difficult decision (but never explains why it is so difficult) and argues that women should have more say in the abortion debate than men.

And another by Susie Allanson is the kind of editorial you'd expect from someone who works at a place where abortions are performed.

Life Links 8/24/07

David Freddoso on human cloning in Missouri.

Missouri blogger Rodney Albert on how Missouri papers recently addressed a press conference regarding efforts to ban human cloning. Albert does make a mistake claiming Associated Press reporter David Lieb doesn't describe the cloning process but he does run down and discuss how many words were given to each side in various articles.

A district court in Ohio has ruled a Planned Parenthood in Cincinnati doesn't have to turn over the records of the abortions they performed on girls under 18 in a civil case. Planned Parenthood is being sued by the family of a teenager who was taken to an abortion by her then 21-year-old boyfriend for an abortion. According to the lawsuit, Planned Parenthood never notified the teen's parents.

A judge in Missouri has set Monday as the date he will decide to delay the enforcement of a Missouri law which requires abortion providers to meet the requirements for ambulatory medical facilities.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Probably one of the worst researched articles on stem cell research ever

This one is by Naomi Havlen and is in the Aspen Times. It's an article about a woman who was supposedly treated with human embryonic stem cells in India. Other embryonic stem cell researchers are very skeptical of Dr. Geeta Shroff's claims that she is using human embryonic stem cells (supposedly all from a single human embryo) to successfully treat patients from a variety of ailments. The mainstream pro-embryonic stem cell research community basically thinks Dr. Shroff is quack. Yet, that is never once mentioned in the article.

But the most inaccurate sentence has to be when Havlen writes,
Use of embryonic stem cells is illegal in the United States, primarily because of ethical arguments about whether developing the cells means destroying human embryos.
How little research do you have to put into an article to claim the use of embryonic stem cells is illegal in the United States?

Life Links 8/23/07

Canada's the Globe and Mail has an article about umbilical cord stem cell transplants taking place in China. There are some positive testimonials but some researchers are skeptical.

The Cadillac News and reporter Matt Whetstone basically provide a press release for the Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research and Cures. They fall for every one of the MCSCRC's lies (they want to strengthen the ban on human cloning, researchers can go to jail for 10 years for conducting certain types of stem cell research, etc.) and the headline declares the "Stem Cell Debate is coming to Cadillac" when both presenters are in favor of embryonic stem cell research.

Daniel Allott: Presidents and abortion

After listing a number of things the President can do with regards to abortion, Allott concludes,
This is not an exhaustive list, but you get the picture. If Rudy Giuliani, or any other presidential candidate, believes his ability to win pro-life votes depends solely on promises about what sort of judges he would nominate, he is mistaken.

Scott Klusendorf provides Mitt Romney with some advice about speaking about his views on abortion.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Not so safe

Michelle Gress discusses how RU-486 abortions aren't quite as safe for women as the media headlines recently portrayed them to be.
RU-486 has caused a tremendously high rate of adverse events relative to the number of women who have taken the drug. As of last year, when the FDA provided information to the Subcommittee for its investigation, RU-486 had caused the deaths of at least eight women, nine life-threatening incidents, 232 hospitalizations, 116 blood transfusions, and 88 cases of infection. In total, we knew of more than 1070 adverse event cases associated with RU-486, out of only 575,000 prescriptions at most. This is even more alarming in light of the fact that adverse event reporting is notoriously low for any drug, much less a drug associated with abortion, for which reporting is expected to be even lower.

Life Links 8/22/07

Wesley Smith on cloned monkey fetal farming

A prolife group in the Show Me State is fighting back against human cloning for research. As usual, the headlines don't match the story (which actually describes the cloning technique). The story in the Kansas City Star by Kit Wagar and the descriptions ("cloning of human cells" and "research technique used to grow early stem cells") of what opponents are hoping to ban are awful. Kit has been writing this kind of garbage for a while.

More pro-choice tolerance.
Shawn R. Pawlak, 24, and Kelly L. Mahan, 27, who live on the 100 block of North Oakhurst Drive, blocks from the clinic, confronted abortion protesters early Sunday outside the construction site, police said. They shouted obscenities at protesters and kicked small white crosses that had been placed in the parkway, police said.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Watch out for those rightwing pill snatchers!!

Cristina Page has an editorial in the Baltimore Sun which borders on the delusional. Supposedly "contraception is the ultimate corruptor" in the eyes of the prolife movement and the "unspoken rule" among prolife candidates is they also must be "anti-contraception." All this because Mitt Romney told the crowd at National Right to Life's convention he vetoed a bill to make emergency contraception over-the-counter and he thinks pregnancy begins at conception not at implantation.

Cristina also uses Fred Thompson's campaign's original disavowal of his lobbying for the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association and label's them a "contraception advocacy group" without ever mentioning they wanted help with abortion related issues. Toss in Brownback's effort to defund America's largest abortion provider and McCain not wanting tax dollars to pay for contraceptive programs and Cristina comes to the obvious conclusion (at least for someone not taking their meds) that it's all about contraception.

Cristina, for some reason, fails to mention any actions by National Right to Life with regards to contraception. But then again, it's a "quiet campaign" which she somehow has found all this (less than solid) evidence for.

What I'm wondering is - what does Cristina mean by "anti-contraception?" Does she mean "wanting to make the use of contraception illegal?" Does she mean "being opposed to tax-dollars being used to fund contraceptive programs?" What does "anti-contraception" mean?

Life Links 8/21/07

The Press of Atlantic City and reporter Michael Clark continue to look into abortion facilities in New Jersey and the lack of inspections.
But a statewide records request by The Press of Atlantic City shows the problem extends throughout the state. Inspections are sporadic at best and, when they do occur, discovering serious violations is common.
I've still yet to see one pro-choice blogger or a single pro-choice organization mention the horrible conditions in the two New Jersey abortion clinics which were shut down.

A Biblical Mandate to Something about Abortion (in PDF) from's Michael Spielman.

Planned Parenthood is suing to prevent the implementation of a Missouri law which requires facilities "that perform more than five first-trimester abortions a month, or any second- or third-trimester abortions, to meet the licensure requirements for an "ambulatory surgical center."

Friday, August 17, 2007

Life Links 8/17/07

An Australian Health Services Commissioner is discussing her abortion in an attempt to persuade members of Australia's parliament to overturn the country's law against abortion (the law isn't currently in effect because of a court ruling). Note this part,
"That doesn't mean that I don't have any regrets or that it wasn't awful. Back in those days, though, because we were fighting hard for women's legal right for abortion, you weren't really allowed to admit that you had suffered any distress or trauma … because we were engaged in a social and political battle."
An admission that some supporters of legal abortion didn't mention their traumatic experiences with legal abortion because they were in a political battle.

Anthony Powell, the judge who was set to hear the case against George Tiller has recused himself because "the statements he had made about the defendant while he was a Kansas legislator could give the appearance of a lack of objectivity."

A British man suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS) is undergoing an adult stem cell transplant tomorrow in the hopes that it will help treat him. He is part of a 5-person clinical trial.
The hospital's MS specialists will drill into his bone marrow, extract the stem cells, which act as a repair system for the body, and re-inject them into his veins.

Friday Cat Blogging

Rascal in a onesie.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Another man tries to kill his unborn child

This time by spiking his girlfriend's beverage with a cattle hormone which can cause cows to miscarry.
Tucker felt sick to her stomach and vomited after drinking a 20-ounce soda Sutton gave her that "tasted nasty and burnt her throat," according to court records. She went to the hospital Aug. 9, and the hospital reported a possible poisoning to police.

The unborn child survived. Tucker, who was treated and released, is now 15 weeks pregnant....

Tucker told authorities Sutton tried to get her to drink more of the soda, "telling her that soda helps an upset stomach," according to charging documents. She told police that Sutton is the father of her child and that he wanted her to have an abortion, the records said. Sutton was charged with reckless endangerment, assault and knowingly and willingly contaminating Tucker's drink by adding poison or poisonous matter.

Life Links 8/16/07

I wonder why FoxNews' felt the need to include "(as yet unstarted)" in this article describe the life of Bubba Waring, an unborn child with a FaceBook page. HT: Reflections of a Paralytic

Alfonzo Price (a 15-year-old) has been charged with murder and a judge recently ruled there is probably cause to go ahead with murder charges after Price and a friend allegedly beat Price's then-girlfriend Kerria Anderson, who was 8-months pregnant, and killed her unborn child. According to Anderson, Price told her, "You should have got an abortion; now your baby is going to die," during the attack.

"Your baby?" Price didn't seem to realize at the time of the assault that he was killing his own child.

Canadian researchers have found that there are "multiple subtypes of blood stem cells." This discovery could lead to more customized adult stem cell transplants.
Understanding more about the different subtypes will mean that eventually, patients diagnosed with leukemia -- a blood cancer -- will be treated with transplants of stem cells that are matched to their own needs.

Aberrant, or mutated stem cells, will be removed and replaced with healthy types of stem cells that patients need more of. Transplanting such tailored stem cell subtypes would potentially make bone marrow transplants more effective, he said.

Wesley Smith on the "Feed Me" attitude of embryonic stem cell researchers.
I would also note that if billions have gone into the research so far, with limited progress due to ESCR's difficulty and complexity, imagine the cost of trying to bring this form of regenerative medicine to the clinical setting. And the time it will take.

Should this headline, "Study Finds Abortion Pill Safe", really be there when the article states,
The current data show that women who use mifepristone are no better or worse off than those who choose surgical abortion, but the study didn't measure either group against women who have never had an abortion.
Wouldn't a more appropriate headline be something like, "Study Finds Abortion Pill as Safe as Surgical Abortion?"

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Life Links 8/15/07

According to the Boston Herald, Mitt Romney has a blind trust which owns stock in companies which do embryonic stem cell research. Now that he is no longer blind to these investments, will he get rid of these stocks?

Terrence Jeffrey on Britain's debate over "inter-species embryos."

Christianity Today discussed the "How much time should women serve?" question with some prolife leaders.

Rich Lowry on why U.S. Senator Sam Brownback should quit his campaign for president.

Evidence please?

National Abortion Federation (NAF) President Vicki Saporta is claiming a campaign sponsored by the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR) using trucks to display photos of aborted children is "graphic and misleading." I'm personally not a huge fan of driving around town with the pictures of aborted children on trucks but I can't find anything from Saporta explaining how these images are misleading. Are the images fake? Are the gestational ages incorrect? If so, could you then provide the public with accurate images of aborted children?

Dawn Fowler, NAF Canadian Policy and Outreach Director, and CCBR's Stephanie Gray discuss this issue during separate segments on a Canadian radio station last night from approximately 7:05 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. You can listen by clicking on "Audio Vault" on the left hand side. You can register under your own name or use my registration (Bobsmith17) and password (bobsmith17).

I think Stephanie does a very good job of answering the radio host's questions. Dawn at first tries to avoid talking about the pictures and claims that what's misleading about the CCBR's web site is the site claims there is a link between abortion and breast cancer. When directly asked why her group claims the pictures are misleading, Dawn questions where the pictures come from and claims most abortions occur when there is "no formation." Talk about misleading, eh?

I just can't fathom that people still believe this "no formation," "clumps of cells" nonsense.

The host seems to not know very much about abortion (he thought must early abortions were medication abortions) and fetal development (he was surprised to learn the pictures are of children aborted in the first trimester) but I think he asked fair questions and lets the respondents answer.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Killing them softly for stem cells

ABC News is the first big media outlets I've seen to cover the story of StemLifeLine. StemLifeLine is a company which parents (who have gone through IVF) can pay to kill their embryonic children and store their children's embryonic stem cells for themselves. ABC News phrases what StemLifeLine does by saying,
StemLifeLine allows families to "develop" remaining embryos into "personalized stem cell lines," the first theoretical step in creating cures for a host of debilitating and deadly diseases.
StemLifeLine's defense of itself doesn't quite hold water.
StemLifeLine is keen to point out that only remaining embryos would be used to create stem cell lines and no embryos would be created solely for the purpose of making lines.
So killing your embryonic children for their stem cells is okay as long when you created them you didn't intend to kill them for their stem cells. "We didn't mean to kill them for our own selfish reasons when they were conceived so killing them is okay, right?"

Monday, August 13, 2007

What has happened to Midland?

Midland Daily News Editor Jack Telfer has a column this week addressing objections to his previous column on embryonic stem cell research. His second column on this subject has led some of the individuals he addressed to comment online.

Some of the people commenting on the editorial seem to like using the Caps Lock button. I have the hardest time understanding people who use Caps Lock for certain sentences or paragraphs. Do they think capitalizing entire sentences adds to the validity of their argument? Do they think display of online emotion makes their message more persuasive?

Also, notice how those opposed to Telfer's view that human embryos are living human beings (and that human beings in embryonic stage of development have value) attack this as a religious belief (seemingly because they think religious beliefs are wholly subjective) when I see nothing in either of Telfer's column arguing this belief based on religion or scripture.

William Bohnow even claims, "ONLY a person using religion buys into" the idea that the life of a human being begins at conception "(or) would even bring it into a discussion."

Another commenter, Kathy Lentz, asserts that "sperm and ova are living organisms" after claiming that "(u)ntil a fetus reaches the stage where it can survive outside the body of it's parent, it is essentially a parasite."

I wonder if Serge has any thoughts on the views of some of his fellow area residents?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Life Links 8/10/07

Some prolife groups in Michigan are suing Governor Jennifer Granholm for using the state of Michigan's web site to promote her political agenda to legalize the killing of human embryos in Michigan. The link to the deceptive petition (which never mentions what the legislation would legalize human cloning for research or the killing of human embryos) was formerly (at least as late as May 2) at the homepage of state of Michigan's web site on the left hand side but is no longer there. I have no clue when it was taken down or if it was taken down in response to this lawsuit. The introduction to the petition is no longer found on the server either. But here's the cached copy in case you're interested. The petition which is still online though the web address may have changed.

I also wonder if "Christian activist organization" is fair way to describe the Thomas More Law Center. It's almost as if the reporter, Chris Christoff, might have a bias.

The Health Systems Trust in South Africa has a new way of not "neglect(ing)" pregnant women with HIV. Make a greater effort to promote abortion.

The New York Times and reporter Monica Davey should really try to get a better grasp of what "therapeutic" cloning is.
Supporters of the amendment outspent opponents by a wide margin. Within hours of the vote, opponents said they would fight on, focusing their attention narrowly on one element of the research, known as therapeutic cloning or somatic cell nuclear transfer, in which the nucleus of a mature cell is transplanted into an egg cell, which would then produce stem cells.
Would it produce stem cells or would it produce a cloned human embryo which could then be killed for her stem cells?

Meanwhile, the adult stem cell company Mesoblast is continuing to see good results with heart patients.

How's this for a headline?

Bite from beheaded rattlesnake sends man to hospital
Anderson and his 27-year-old son, Benjamin, pinned the snake with an irrigation pipe and cut off its head with a shovel. A few more strikes to the head left it sitting under a pickup truck.

"When I reached down to pick up the head, it raised around and did a backflip almost, and bit my finger," Anderson said. "I had to shake my hand real hard to get it to let loose."

Friday Cat Blogging

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Life Links 8/9/07

Father Frank Pavone discussed why he believes Gonzales v. Carhart was an important victory for prolifers about a week ago. HT: Jill Stanek

Reason's Radley Balko reviews Anne Hendershott's The Politics of Abortion

A man in Florida is under arrest after his wife filed a criminal complaint against him after he beat her so severely she started hemorrhaging and lost their 4-month-old unborn child.
"I had a feeling I might be losing a child," the 33-year-old wrote in a victim affidavit she filed Aug. 2. "But it was beyond my reach of comprehension."

When she told her husband around 1 a.m. that the bleeding would not stop, he told her to "shut up, stop crying," the affidavit read.

The arrest report said that even while Amy Turner was holding the aborted fetus in her hands, her husband kept yelling "shut . . . up" and "quit bothering me."

"At this point she did not know what to do, so she flushed her unborn child down the toilet," the report read.

Why certain pro-choice blogs shouldn't be your primary source of info

One of the Nation's writers is defending George Tiller against accusations that Tiller broke a Kansas law 19 times by performing abortions when the unborn child was viable without getting "documented referral from another physician not legally or financially affiliated" with him saying "(1) The abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman; or (2) a continuation of the pregnancy will cause a substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman."

The article by Peter Rothberg describes abortions on viable unborn children as "any late-term abortion procedure." Rothberg also describes the law as a "new law" when the last time this legislation was updated was 1998.

It appears Rothberg's main source of information about this law wasn't the law itself but a blog post at Feministing which notably doesn't link to the law it attacks.

The Feministing post also attacks the motives of current Attorney General Paul Morrison by claiming "Kansas Attorney Generals have a history of baselessly attacking Dr. Tiller" without noting that Pro Kan Do (a pro-choice group in Kansas) spent $95,000 attacking Morrison's opponent, Phil Kline, in the last election in the hopes of getting Morrison elected.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Life Links 8/8/07

Americans United for Life has a amicus brief regarding abortionist George Tiller's challenge to the constitutionality of the Kansas law he's been charged with breaking 19 times.

A prolife Harry Potter? I haven't read the final installment yet but Chelsea at Reflections of a Paralytic notes what could be considered some prolife themes.

Serge on the latest pro-embryonic stem cell editorial in a Michigan newspaper. It would really be nice if proponents of killing human embryos for research in Michigan could at least try to not be completely deceptive.

Stand to Reason's Steve Wagner has provided his thoughts on the question of how women who have abortions should be punished.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Adult stem cells help amyloidosis patients survive long term

From this press release:
Researchers from the Stem Cell Transplant Program and the Amyloid Treatment and Research Program at Boston University Medical Center (BUMC) have found that high-dose chemotherapy and blood stem cell transplantation can result in long-term survival for patients diagnosed with primary systemic light chain (AL) Amyloidosis....

AL amyloidosis occurs when plasma cells in bone marrow produce proteins that misfold and deposit in tissues, leading to organ failure and death. Between 1,200 and 3,200 new cases are reported each year in the United States, although researchers believe the disease is highly underdiagnosed.

Defending the Killing of Partial-Born Children Ain't Easy

Just ask Judith Warner. In her recent column in the New York Times (available to select customers) kindly reprinted at the Free Democracy Blog, Warner sets out to attack the Supreme Court of the United States ruling on the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. She starts by arguing the ban won't prevent other forms of abortion which are also gruesome.
What's clear, however, as the ban has become a reality, is that fetuses will be spared no brutality. Second trimester abortion is still legal and the most common method for it — dismembering a fetus inside the womb before removing it in pieces — is no less awful to contemplate than the outlawed procedure, in which an intact fetus's skull was punctured and collapsed to ease its removal.
I don't understand how pro-choice people think pointing out how other abortion techniques are also horribly brutal is a good reason to keep partial-birth abortion legal. It seems to me to be a good reason to ban those other brutal techniques. It also seems to be a rather dumb public relations technique. "Hey, that banned procedure may be disgusting and grotesque but other late term abortion techniques are just as sickening" doesn't seem to be something which will persuade people to want to keep partial-birth abortion legal. Instead it might point readers to the idea that the hideousness of partial-birth abortion tells us something about the hideousness of abortion in general.

Warner then quotes from an article in Obstetrics and Gynecology where the authors (both with association to pro-choice organizations) don't seem to understand that the Supreme Court doesn't make law but merely rules if laws are constitutional or not.

Warner continues,
But in truth, dealing with the ban is no laughing matter. You see, as it turns out, the Supreme Court didn't just outlaw "partial-birth" abortions (known in the medical community as "intact dilation and extraction" or D & X,) when it upheld Congress's ban. It criminalized any second trimester abortion that begins with a live fetus and where "the fetal head or the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother."

The big problem with this, doctors say, is that, due to the unpredictability of how women's bodies react to medical procedures, when you set out to do a legal second trimester abortion, something looking very much like a now-illegal abortion can occur. Once you dilate the cervix — something that must be done sufficiently in order to avoid tears, punctures and infection — a fetus can start to slip out.
The big problem with this attack on the legislation is the legislation includes this phrase (my emphasis) "the person performing the abortion deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living fetus until..."

Warner tries to avoid the obvious intent of the "deliberately and intentionally" phrase by saying, "But as doctors now understand it, intent could be inferred by the degree of dilation they induce in their patients. What, then, do they do? Dilate the cervix sufficiently and risk prosecution, or dilate less and risk the woman's health?"

The reasoning or evidence for why abortionists understand it that way is never explained or provided. It also assumes not dilating the cervix to a distance where the entire fetal head or the entire lower half of the child is out of the womb would risk a woman's health without a hint of evidence to back this assumption. But for Warner, this proves the ban is really guessed it - punishing women.
It makes the true intent of the partial-birth abortion ban clear: the point is not (in the short term) to stop seemingly brutal fetal deaths, but rather to make all abortions as burdensome, as difficult and as emotionally and physically trying for women — and for doctors — as possible.
All abortions?? Really?? So abortion providers have to change how they perform abortions in the first trimester because they're scared they might deliberately and intentionally deliver a partial-born child at that stage of development? Please.

You gotta also love the throw in "- and for doctors -" line because we all know how difficult late term abortions are far people who make their living performing them. Excuse me if I fail to shed a tear for how this ban will make the performing of a late-term abortion "as difficult and as emotionally and physically trying" for Leroy Carhart.

It's as if Warner thinks prolifers should want abortions to be easy to obtain. She can't seem to fathom that prolifers might possibly have other reasons for pushing for a PBA ban like, I don't know - creating a line between abortion and infanticide, educating the public on the brutality of abortion, showing how extreme proponents of legal abortion are, taking incremental steps in the hopes of persuading the public, getting the public to understand and think about how abortion, as Warner says, "kill(s)" something.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Life Links 8/6/07

A surgeon in San Francisco has been accused of hastening a patient's death in order to harvest his organs. HT: Wesley Smith

Some ultrasound clinics in Canada are advertising in Canadian-based Indian newspapers saying, "You are told the sex immediately."

Jill Stanek lists some more of the problems at the Alternatives abortion clinic in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Abortionist at Daily Kos seems to have lost his mind

In his latest post focusing on religion at the Daily Kos, an abortion provider who goes by the pseudonym of Beket claims my blog is a "Roman Catholic ‘pro-life' site" (note to Beket - I'm not Catholic) and claims that someone at my blog and possibly even me (he links to my blog as the author) wrote:
"When dealing with the likes of Beket, you really aren't even speaking with people. These guys have been completely taken over by demons. Not influenced (like many people who are pro-choice), but actually taken when you are arguing with them, you are arguing with a preternatural being. Picture Screwtape. You're just a game to this guy. Just a demon passing time...and you are his little toy...they won't respond to logic, or conscience...what they need is an exorcism!

Except here are the links to the three posts on my blog where Beket is mentioned. I can see nothing in any of these posts or the comments to them where someone says what Beket claims someone says about him. I don't even see anything close. Maybe that's why he doesn't link to where someone supposedly said this about him.

But then again, this is same guy who said Mother Teresa was a "poverty pimp" and compared women having abortions to angels getting their wings.

In the comments of this post, Beket notes he made a mistake linking to my blog as the author of a above comment. The comment in question came from a commenter named MK at this post at Jill Stanek's blog (sorry - no direct links to comments - it occurred at July 24 at 2:28 p.m.). On July 25 at 7:12 a.m., MK notes in the comments of the same post that she sent an e-mail to Beket apologizing for that comment and others.

Jay has some comments regarding Beket's post on religion.

Korean Cloner Failed at SCNT, Succeeded at Parthenogenesis

Disgraced South Korean scientist Hwang Woo-Suk wasn't able to create a human embryo using the cloning technique somatic cell nuclear transfer but it appears parthenogenesis was what helped him create his stem cell line according to a new study from George Daley.

I wish this article would mention some of the other problems related to Woo-Suk's work including getting eggs from his female researchers, his lying about how many eggs his team used, and his embezzling of $3 million dollars.

Life Links 8/2/07

Authorities in the Phillipines have arrested a doctor named Teresita Ventura who was allegedly performing abortions at her residence.
Police said they received information that Ventura was allegedly performing abortion operations in her residence also in the capital.

The NBI then positioned one of its officers as a pregnant woman needing an abortion and approached Ventura. Ventura allegedly agreed to carry out the operation for a fee of $220.

Jared Bridges points me to an article on stem cell research which appeared in the LA Times and contained a "For the Record" correction because of the following erroneous paragraph:
Embryonic stem cell research typically begins with cloning. Scientists insert the genetic material from an adult human cell into a human egg that's been emptied of its own DNA. The cloned cell is then nurtured in the lab for several days, until it grows into a blastocyst, a microscopic clump of cells that could theoretically develop into a fetus if attached to a uterine wall.
Jared believes it's refreshing for a reporter to acknowledge the connection between cloning and stem cell reseach . I wonder if instead this just shows how little some reporters and editors know about stem cell research.

Here's a story about Accutane and the efforts to make it easier to access while at the same time trying to prevent pregnant women from taking because it causes birth defects. A large portion of the women who became pregnant while using Accutane had abortions.
All patients—men and women—who want the drug must enroll in the program, along with wholesalers, doctors and pharmacies. Women must meet additional requirements, including using two forms of birth control (or pledging abstinence) and passing pregnancy tests before each monthly refill.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Life Links 8/1/07

Good news: Snake-oil salesman Hans Keirstead doesn't need money so bad that he'd take it from the savings of a paralyzed young man.

I've asked Jill and the pro-choice commenters over at Feministe if there are any abortions they think should be illegal and if women should be punished for having those kinds of abortions. So far, everyone seems to be unable to find an abortion they think should be illegal.

Here's an another article on the case involving the stored bodies of pre-term children and Christy Freeman.

Jill Stanek lists some of the violations at the Alternatives abortion clinic in New Jersey.

How much time?

Ann Quindlen's recent column is entitled "How much jail time?" and starts off by describing an older video which is now on YouTube of a pro-choicer asking abortion protesters how women who have abortions should be punished. I had a post on this video and how pro-choice bloggers responded to it about two years ago.

In her column, Quindlen writes as if she were a logician,
But there are only two logical choices: hold women accountable for a criminal act by sending them to prison, or refuse to criminalize the act in the first place. If you can't countenance the first, you have to accept the second. You can't have it both ways.
National Review has a long symposium of responses to Quindlen's column and the question of whether women should be jailed for having abortions.

I fancy O. Carter Snead's submission:
Quindlen's argument is profoundly confused. At one moment, she demands indignantly that pro-lifers defend an imagined post-Roe law that condemns women to prison. In the next breath, however, she bitterly complains that current abortion bans regularly immunize women from criminal liability (thus rendering the question of "How much time?" unintelligible.). So, are pro-lifers authoritarian brutes who will throw women in jail, or paternalistic softies who treat women with kid gloves? As Quindlen says, "you can't have it both ways.

Quindlen's legal arguments are even more puzzling. There is no "logical necessity" that ties the hands of lawmakers from invoking the familiar concept of immunity. One can imagine several perfectly defensible reasons for pro-life legislators to target abortionists rather than women. For one thing, abortionists are arguably more culpable in principle: they directly perform the lethal action; they are more fully aware that they are snuffing out a human life in process; they are not laboring under any duress; and they perform abortions for profit. As a prudential matter, prosecuting abortionists seems a sufficient means to ending the practice of abortion. Also, abortion is like a vice crime in that there is not likely to be a complaining witness. Immunizing one of the parties removes a powerful disincentive for confessions. Finally, it does seem that the public is more willing to accept a law that punishes doctors rather than mothers. Pro-lifers can thus achieve their goal of ending abortion without provoking a political backlash. That is neither unprincipled nor unwise. Frankly, it seems like good politics for a pluralistic society."

Thinking about this I wondered if Anna Quindlen would hold other issues to same "legal logic." For example, should a mother who leaves her child in a hot car receive jail time? And how much? If you're not willing to lock these women up, then I guess leaving your child in a hot car shouldn't be criminal, right?

Wednesday Baby Blogging

My unborn daughter's feet at 19 weeks