Thursday, December 31, 2009

Life Links 12/31/09

Senator Ben Nelson is attempting to defend his health care vote via television commercials. It doesn't appear that the article gives the full transcript and abortion isn't mentioned in the part they provide.

In a long article on embryonic stem cell research, the Detroit Free Press reports that researchers at the University of Michigan, Michigan State and Oakland University all plan on killing human embryos for their stem cells in the near future.

Chinese researchers have found that Vitamin C helps increases the efficiency of reprogramming adult cells into induced pluripotent cells.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Life Links 12/30/09

The Colorado Spring Independent is reporting that Focus on the Family may be planning to have a prolife ad during the Super Bowl. The ad would supposedly feature Pam Tebow, the mother of Florida Gators' quarterback and former Heisman winner Tim Tebow.
The Focus ad supposedly features the story of University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother. Pam Tebow and her husband were Christian missionaries in the Philippines in the '80s, and during her pregnancy with Tim she developed amoebic dysentery. Doctors told her the strong drug they used to kill the infection had likely damaged the fetus, and they suggested an abortion. Pam refused. Tim was born healthy, won the Heisman Trophy in 2007, led Florida to the national championship a year ago and is a likely top draft pick in next spring's NFL draft.....

Focus isn't confirming anything about the ad, though it's not a secret inside the organization. Reached by phone Tuesday, Focus media relations director Gary Schneeberger said: "I decline comment. Let's just say that. I have nothing to say."

But then he added: "If there is a Super Bowl commercial from Focus on the Family, I guess you'll just have to wait and see it during the Super Bowl. I can say Tim Tebow does not appear in any Focus on the Family ad." Schneeberger didn't say anything about Tebow's mother.

Two Chief Rabbis is Israel are speaking out against abortion and claiming that abortions "delay the redemption."
In a letter sent out on Monday, Chief Rabbis Shlomo Amar and Yona Metzger encourage local rabbis to devote their Shabbat sermons to speaking against abortions, distributeanti-abortion literature to couples registering for marriage at religious councils, and work in coordination with the pro-life organization Efrat to encourage grassroots opposition to abortions.....

Reference made in the rabbis' letter to the connection between abortions and the final redemption is based on the Babylonian Talmud in Tractate Niddah which states that each baby that is born bringsthe redemption closer. "The redemption does not take place until all the souls are brought out of their storing place," states the Talmud.

CBS News is covering the controversy over the tripling of Art Torres salary at the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, California's stem cell agency.
Just this month, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine voted to triple the salary of Art Torres. He's not a scientist, but a former State Senator from Los Angeles, who later became California's Democratic Party chairman. He was making $75,000 a year working part time at the stem cell institute, but now he'll be making $225,000 working full time, while state workers are facing furloughs and a resulting 14% pay cut.

The UK's Daily Mail has an article on repeat abortions among teenagers in the UK.
Nearly 1,500 of the 19,000 girls under 18 who had a termination last year had previously undergone one earlier abortion for an unwanted pregnancy – and in at least one case a teenage girl had her eighth abortion.

Department of Health data for 2008 reveals 74 teenagers had their third abortion and a further 15 girls under the age of 18 had previously had between three and six earlier abortions.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Life Links 12/29/09

A man from Seattle named Daniel Hicks was arrested in California yesterday. Hicks is accused of killing his girlfriend Jennifer Morgan and their infant daughter Emma. He allegedly wanted his girlfriend to have an abortion and apparently killed his daughter because she wasn't a boy.
Through interviews with Morgan's mother, Hicks' brother and half-sister, and one of Morgan's co-workers, detectives learned Hicks had been depressed and suicidal for some time — and his condition worsened when he learned his girlfriend of nine years was pregnant, charging papers say. He wanted Morgan to have an abortion, claiming she "was just trying to trap him with the pregnancy," the papers say.

According to charging documents, Morgan told her mother Hicks was upset the baby was a girl instead of a boy. He also "became very jealous and suspicious of Jennifer," and questioned if he was the baby's biological father, the papers say.

The Catholic News Service is reporting that there isn't any disagreement between the U.S. Catholic Bishops and the Catholic Health Association on health care reform after a New York Times article claiming there were differing opinions.
Sister Carol said Times reporter David D. Kirkpatrick based his Dec. 26 story on a Dec. 17 CHA statement which noted that CHA had not reviewed the language of various amendments on the table at the time but was "encouraged by recent deliberations and the outline" Sen. Robert Casey, D-Pa., was developing.

At that point, "I felt they were making progress and were getting where we needed to be," she said.

"I understand that it doesn't make a good story to say (CHA and the USCCB) are working together," Sister Carol added. "But it would have been an honest story."

A man in Dubai has been sentenced to only 6 months in jail after forcing his wife to take Cytotec pills to induce an abortion.
The woman also told the prosecution that her husband became angry when she told him about her pregnancy in April 2008. Instead of congratulating her he said he did not want the baby.

When the woman insisted on keeping the baby, her husband pleasantly coaxed her to accompany him to his father’s farm in Haat. Once there, he asked her to stop eating and forced her to take the drugs.

She tried to escape from the farm, but finally she surrendered to his wish for the fear that he might beat her up severely or kill her which he threatened to do. The woman told prosecution that the foetus was aborted immediately after taking the pills.

A woman in Minnesota has been charged with three counts of criminal vehicular homicide after she allegedly drove drunk, went the wrong way on a street and crashed into another car, killing an unborn child and critically injuring two other passengers.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Stupak claims to have votes to stop health care reform

In a New York Times article about the position of the Catholic Health Association on abortion and health care reform, Congressman Bart Stupak is quoted as saying he commitments from 10 House members who voted for the House health care bill but won't for the final bill if it loosened the abortion restrictions.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Detroit Free Press plays race card to promote tax-funded embryo killing

The Detroit Free Press (which apparently writes an editorial whenever embryonic stem cell researcher Sean Morrison asks them to) is now calling for the removal of the Dickey Amendment and federal tax dollars to be spent on research which kills human embryos. Of course, they don’t explain the law and provide good arguments for why it should be repealed. We’re just told about Congress’ "continuing restrictions (not providing tax dollars) on the development of stem cell lines" (killing human embryos) after being told that most embryonic stem cell lines come from Caucasian embryos.
But long term, this makes Congress' continuing restrictions on the development of stem cell lines look silly. Stem cell research is important and has life-saving implications for millions of people. Lawmakers are standing in the way of its full potential, and also its fairness, as the dearth of non-European stem cell lines demonstrates. It's hard to see how extending America's historically shameful racial health care gap into the future of medicine serves anyone's interests.
Congress is standing in the way of full potential of embryonic stem cell research and the creation of embryonic stem cell lines from African-American embryos because our federal government doesn’t pay scientists to kill embryos? Please.

How will government funding of killing embryos create embryonic stem cell lines from African-American embryos? Has that happened in California where state funds are available for the killing of human embryos and the creation of embryonic stem cell lines?

There’s no argument or even a thought process for how one would lead to the other. The reason most embryos killed for stem cell research are Caucasian is because the embryos come from IVF research and the vast majority of people getting IVF treatments and then donating their embryonic children to research are white. Government funding of embryo killing has nothing to do with it. Providing federal funds for the actual killing of embryos isn’t going to magically change the ethnicity of the embryos which parents donate for research. It isn't going to encourage more African-American to try IVF or encourage more African-Americans who've tried IVF to donate their embryonic children to research.

So why is the Free Press making this ridiculous assertion?

Either the editorial board members of the Detroit Free Press are complete idiots (and think providing federal funds for killing embryos will change the ethnic make-up of available embryos) or they are intentionally trying to mislead African-Americans readers into thinking that federal-funded embryo-killing will somehow bridge the racial health care gap.

That's vile.

Life Links 12/24/09

Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI) tells National Review that he’s not going to get bought off.
Stupak tells us that he’s disappointed that Democratic leaders have offered him legislative favors in exchange for supporting Obamacare. “This shouldn’t be a bill where you use hush money,” says Stupak…..

On abortion, Stupak says that the language of the health-care bill must be crystal clear. “There cannot be, in any way, public funding for abortion,” says Stupak. “What the Nelson compromise does is recognize abortion for the first time as a benefit in a federal health plan. It mandates that at least one plan has abortion coverage. Those are drastic changes to the current law.”

Senator Sam Brownback has an editorial in Politico on abortion and health care reform.
Even if the Democrats are able to ram this bill through the Senate, there is still hope that it may founder in the conference with House Democrats. Both abortion rights supporters and anti-abortion advocates  on the House side have pledged to vote against the current abortion-funding language in the Reid amendment and called it unacceptable. Since the Democrats are working with a thin margin of support for the bill in the House, it is just possible that the attempt to use health care reform to force taxpayer funding for abortion will end up killing the bill. This is now the central debate in reconciling the differences between the House and Senate Democratic bills. If the issue of abortion funding brings down this bill, it will be a victory for the cause of protecting innocent human life. That would be an irony that Henry Hyde would have greatly appreciated.

You would think that prolife evangelicals and Catholics would read the abortion language in the Senate’s health care reform bill before signing their names in support of it because of language they thought would be added. Unfortunately, numerous liberal prolife evangelicals and Catholics (including Doug Kmiec, Ron Sider and Brian McLaren) decided not to and signed a statement in support of Senator Casey’s amendment to the health care bill.
Casey’s alternative language, which we expect to be available in its final legislative form soon, could ensure that strong provider conscience protections passed in the House bill are maintained; no federal funds pay for abortions in any way; and no premium dollars from individuals who opt out of abortion coverage will be used to fund abortions.
None of the above is included in the final version of the Senate’s health care bill.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Celeb Cynthia Nixon attacks Stupak amendment

Isn't it great when ignorant celebrities try to act like they're experts on a political issue? My favorite part of the interview is when CNN says proponents of the Stupak amendment argue it mirrors federal law and Nixon responds by saying "That's patently false" and then lists a bunch of reasons why she favors abortion funding (many of which are factually wrong) which have nothing to do with whether the Stupak amendment mirrors federal law.

I also find it so odd that she would use her mother's illegal abortion of her sibling as a reason for why she supports legal abortion.

Life Links 12/23/09

At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey has a video in which Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius says that under the Senate plan, everybody in the government’s health insurance exchange will fund abortion.

So everybody in a government-subsidized insurance exchange will pay premiums to fund abortion but this isn’t the public funding of abortion?

The Washington Times has a scathing editorial on Senator Ben Nelson’s sell-out.
On Page 41 (lines 5-8) of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's manager amendment, the proposed rules mandate that everyone buying insurance through new exchanges or through the new government-run plan must pay a monthly abortion premium to be used for elective abortion services. This fee applies "without regard to the enrollee's age, sex or family status." That means that people who have no possibility of wanting an abortion themselves will pay for others to have them. On Page 43 (lines 1-7), insurance companies will be required to assess the cost of elective abortion coverage, and on Page 43 (lines 20-22) they are mandated to charge a minimum of at least $1 per enrollee per month to cover abortion…..

Many Americans wanted to believe Mr. Nelson was a decent man of his word, but the senator caved in when his vote could have made a difference for the lives of the unborn. A politician can't get any more despicable than that.

Scientists in the UK have used adult stem cells to help patients regain their vision.
Russell Turnbull, 38, had ammonia squirted into his right eye after he tried to break up a row on a bus. His attacker caused massive damage to his cornea and left him with Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency.

But Russell can finally see again after stem cells were taken from his good eye and grown in a lab. They were then implanted in the damaged eye and began to function as normal without any rejection.

A judge has ruled that Scott Roeder can’t use a necessity defense in his trial for the murder of abortionist George Tiller.
Scott Roeder, 51, has confessed to shooting the physician, George Tiller, on May 31 and said it was necessary to save unborn children. Roeder listened intently as the judge gave a lengthy recitation of case precedents that mostly undermined that contention.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Life Links 12/22/09

Here’s a Washington Post article detailing why both sides of the abortion debate aren’t fans of the abortion language in the Senate version of health care reform.
But serious questions are already being raised about how the new language would work in practice and whether it would even be feasible to implement.

"This is why it's being attacked by both sides -- not because it's so moderate but because it's crazy," said Richard Doerflinger, a spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Sara Rosenbaum, a George Washington University professor of public health and law who criticizes the language as too restrictive, echoes that conclusion: "None of how this is supposed to work is even remotely in the bill, so I don't know what people are thinking about it."

National Review’s editors on health care and abortion.
If this bill passes, abortion will become a cheaper option for millions of women. We know that the demand for it is sensitive to price. Abortion rates will increase. For almost two decades, many Democrats who favor legal abortion, including Presidents Clinton and Obama, have said that they want to see that rate drop. They have a funny way of showing it…..

Pro-lifers long ago learned not to trust anything that Democratic leaders say about where they stand on abortion. This week has brought definitive proof that they cannot trust two men who had claimed to be pro-lifers themselves: Sens. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Ben Nelson of Nebraska. Long after the Dick Durbins, Jesse Jacksons, and Dick Gephardts of the world had abandoned the unborn to get ahead in their party, Casey and Nelson ran for office telling anti-abortion voters that they could rely on them. One might have thought the promise would apply to this legislation, which may have a more direct effect on the abortion rate than anything else they have done. Perhaps Casey and Nelson believe that the legislation somehow keeps pro-lifers from having to subsidize abortion; it contains accounting devices to sustain that illusion. But there is no denying that the legislation makes abortion more accessible. It is hard to see how anyone seeking to stand in solidarity with the unborn would have supported it. That Nelson traded his vote for a modest increase in his state’s take from the federal government does not suggest that such solidarity was uppermost on his mind.

Last night on ABC’s World News, George Stephanopoulos told host Diane Sawyer that abortion would be the key issue with regards to whether health care reform passed or not.

Congressman Bart Stupak explains his opposition the Senate’s health care reform abortion language in an interview with the Detroit News.
Q . Why is the Senate compromise wording on abortion not acceptable to you?

A . Because it greatly deviates from current law. Current law says no public funding for abortions or insurance policies that provide abortion coverage.

And underneath the Senate language, number one, abortion is a recognized benefit paid for by the federal government; number two, in the exchange, at least one plan, could be 10 plans, but at least one plan must have abortion coverage; number three, you still have the $1 per month, per enrollee (that the Senate bill requires everybody to pay in plans offering abortion coverage) that goes to reproductive services, including abortion. ... Those are three good reasons to oppose this language.

There’s a new study out regarding how pregnant women in various occupations have a greater risk of giving birth to children with certain kinds birth defects.
The study published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine suggests that women working as biological and chemical scientists and pharmacists face an increased risk of giving birth to children with such defects as gastrointestinal, spinal and heart malformations compared to women in other occupations.
Janitors faced the highest risk while teachers had the lowest.

Congratulations to Pro-life Blog Award Winners

You can view the winners here.

A special congratulations to the Life Training Institute blog for their win in the Best Pro-life Apologetics category.

My only question is which of the Life Training Institute blog crew will get to keep the trophy?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Prolife and Pro-choice organization both opposed to Senator Nelson's abortion language

National Right to Life explains their opposition to the abortion language in the Senate version of health care reform.

Nebraska Right to Life is sharing its thoughts on Senator Nelson’s actions.
"Senator Nelson and his Chief of Staff, Tim Becker, called me last night at 7:30 p.m. Central time as a matter of 'courtesy', to let me know that he was pitching alternative language to Democratic leadership. We spoke for about 40 minutes." said Schmit-Albin. "When I asked them at the outset of the conversation to include National Right to Life in the call they declined and said they were going with the language. Senator Nelson claimed that their newly-drafted concepts/language was Stupak-plus and that it would pass pro-life muster. When I countered that we had no assurance of that because we were not allowed to review the language, I was reminded that this was merely a courtesy call, not a call for our input or approval."

Planned Parenthood, NARAL and NOW are also opposed to the new abortion language. NOW asserts that “abortion is health care” and that health care reform isn’t reform unless it includes abortion. Planned Parenthood thinks the legislation “essentially” requires an abortion rider like the Stupak amendment. It doesn’t. Apparently, having to write two checks for insurance coverage makes women second-class citizens.

Politico’s has some quotes from Senator Nelson on the reaction to the language he proposed.
"I put together what I thought was appropriate and I'm sorry that both sides didn't enjoy it," he said. "That's the way it works. I'm an independent type of person."

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Senator Nelson caves

Senator Ben Nelson has signed on to vote to end the filibuster of the health bill in the U.S. Senate giving Senator Reid and company the 60 votes they need to end the filibuster and get a vote on the Senate version of the bill.

Here’s how the Washington Post describes the “compromise” on the bill’s abortion language. I‘m surprised and disappointed Nelson accepted this.
Under the new abortion provisions, states can opt out of allowing plans to cover abortion in the new insurance exchanges the bill would set up, to serve individuals who lack coverage through their jobs. Plus, enrollees in plans that do cover abortion procedures would pay for the coverage with separate checks -- one for abortion, one for the rest of any health-care services.
Here’s the manager’s amendment. The language with regards to abortion starts on page 38.

Jill Stanek has more . So does the Corner.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Baby Blogging

Cat wrestling - "Rascal gets a hugdown" edition

Life Links 12/18/09

The Associated Press is reporting that Senator Nelson isn’t on boardwith new attempts to mollify his concerns about abortion funding in the health care reform bill.
Nelson, the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, was vague throughout the day about his intentions, eventually telling reporters, "I hope we're getting closer" to agreement.

"Without modifications, the language concerning abortion is not sufficient," he said earlier in the day in a written statement that summarized the results of days of private negotiations. The second-term Nebraskan opposes the procedure and wants tighter restrictions written into the overhaul.
The article also notes how liberals aren’t happy with changes being made to the Senate version of the bill.

ABC News has more on attempts to persuade Senator Nelson and briefly summarizes Senator Casey's "compromise" language.

Here’s Rick Santorum’s take on Senator Casey’s attempt to sway Senator Nelson on health care reform.
“It’s deeply disappointing that a man who ran in 2006 as a pro-life Democrat under his father’s banner now is leading the subterfuge on Capitol Hill,” adds Santorum. “It was remarkable how the late Governor Casey stood up to Bill Clinton on this important issue. Here we are again debating health care and there is nobody like him left. Bob Casey Sr. was for national health care. He was a liberal. But he didn’t compromise on his principles just to pass a bill. That’s what Senator Casey is doing.”

A woman who apparently has some mental health issues has been sentenced to two years (10 years minus 8 years suspended) in jail after giving birth on a toilet and letting the child drown in the toilet.

In Virginia, a man has been charged with attempting to kill “a pregnant woman, knowing that the victim was pregnant and with the intent to cause the involuntary termination of the pregnancy without a live birth."
The charge stems from a Dec. 4 incident in which U.S. Air Force Maj. Vanessa Stone was thrown from a BMW convertible when 41-year-old John Van Lease allegedly stomped on the gas as she tried to get out near the intersection of South Van Dorn and South Pickett streets in Alexandria, a criminal complaint filed in Alexandria General District Court said.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dehumanization 101

This Detroit News editorial shows us how dehumanizing human embryos is done.
Embryos, or spheres containing about 100 undifferentiated cells, are used. Couples can donate those not utilized as part of their effort to have babies.

Life Links 12/17/09

Michelle Malkin reports what Nebraska Right to Life is hearing from Senator Nelson’s office about “compromise” language which might be added to Senator Reid’s health care reform bill.

According to Politico, National Right to Life is opposed to the language.

The California Stem Cell Report has an interesting post on how much their stem cell institute’s loans are costing California taxpayers. Right now it’s $192,000 a day!! By the end of their ten-year run and $3 billion spent, it will be $600,000 a day!! They’re also advertising an administrative assistant position with pay level that tops off at $77,100 a year.

Bryan Kemper on pro-choicers who say, “I’m against abortion, but....”
My first response to them is always to ask them first why they are against abortion. What is it about abortion that would make you start your statement with "I'm against abortion"?

It amazes me when they start telling me how killing a baby is so wrong, life is so precious and we should respect it, and babies are innocent and don't deserve to die. It would seem they have a firm grasp on the pro-life perspective, but. There it is, that little three-letter word that destroys the very foundation of what they just explained to me.

Spanish lawmakers voted in favor of a bill to liberalize Spain’s abortion law.
The measure now goes to the Senate, where passage is expected some time early next year....

The vote Thursday in the 350-seat Congress of Deputies was 184 in favor, 158 against and one abstention.

Under the current law, which dates back to 1985, Spanish women could in theory go to jail for getting an abortion outside certain strict limits — up to week 12 in case of rape and week 22 if the fetus is malformed.

But abortion is in effect widely available because women can assert mental distress as sole grounds for having an abortion, regardless of how late the pregnancy is. Most of the more than 100,000 abortions carried out each year in Spain fall under this category.

The bill approved Thursday wipes away the threat of imprisonment and declares abortion to be a woman's right.

The Minnesota woman accused of holding a knife to a sidewalk counselor’s neck has pled not guilty to assault.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Obama trying to strong arm Nelson into voting for health care reform?

I hope this isn't true.
According to a Senate aide, the White House is now threatening to put Nebraska's Offutt Air Force Base on the BRAC list if Nelson doesn't fall into line.

Offutt Air Force Base employs some 10,000 military and federal employees in Southeastern Nebraska. As our source put it, this is a "naked effort by Rahm Emanuel and the White House to extort Nelson's vote." They are "threatening to close a base vital to national security for what?" asked the Senate staffer.

Life Links 12/16/09

In Florida, a naval officer has been indicted for the death of a pregnant woman. Zachary Littleton allegedly killed Samira Watkins after she refused to have an abortion.

This is truly odd. A woman in Virginia allegedly killed her newborn child by suffocation but authorities say they can’t charge her with a crime because the child was still attached to the mother via the umbilical cord.
“In the state of Virginia as long as the umbilical cord is attached and the placenta is still in the mother, if the baby comes out alive the mother can do whatever she wants to with that baby to kill it,“ said Investigator Tracy Emerson. “She could shoot the baby, stab the baby. As long as it’s still attached to her in some form by umbilical cord or something it’s no crime in the state of Virginia.“

The Campbell County Sheriff’s Office and Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office worked unsuccessfully to get the law changed after another baby died in the county in a similar case. Emerson said they asked two delegates and one state senator to take the issue up in the General Assembly. He says the three lawmakers refused because they felt the issue was too close to the abortion issue….

Emerson said the woman knew she was pregnant and had received prenatal care. He said the baby was full-term, due Tuesday. The medical examiner says the baby was born healthy. An autopsy is being performed. The baby’s body will then be released to the family.

A man from Eugene, Oregon has admitted to making a threatening phone call to a Planned Parenthood affiliate in December of 2008.
Freeman's threatening voicemail said in part, "I'm going to burn your abortion clinic down because you are a baby killer and you hate babies. Go back to Portland and get sick there... Or I'm going to blow your (expletive) abortion clinic up."

Planned Parenthood may not have been Freeman's only target, though he faces jail time for that single threat.

Authorities say Freeman may have made other threatening calls to a PeaceHealth Medical Group doctor and to Eugene's Masonic Lodge as well as to the home of former University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer.

The court recognizes Freeman as disabled partly because of brain injuries he sustained when he was struck by a train in 2005.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Life Links 12/15/09

A couple in South Texas have been arrested after police found a 7-month aborted child in a gift box placed under their Christmas tree. Authorities believe the couple induced an abortion using abortion pills, attempted to flush the child down the toilet, failed, and then placed the child in a gift box to hide the child because they called an ambulance because the mother was bleeding.
Ruby Lee Medina, 31, and Javier Gonzalez, 37, of Mission, have been charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. Bond was set Monday at $20,000 each.

A woman who answered the telephone at the San Juan city jail Monday night said she could not say whether Medina or Gonzalez had retained an attorney.

San Juan Police Chief Juan Gonzalez said police found the fetus inside the woman's trailer home Thursday after getting an anonymous tip.
Both the Monitor and MySanAntonio News have more information (some of it conflicting) on this story.

After a Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin was caught lying on tape to an undercover patient, one state lawmaker wants an investigation and is asking the district attorney to investigate. Also, note Planned Parenthood’s response to television station’s request for an interview.
Planned Parenthood refused our request for an on camera interview and would only release this statement, calling the claims "false and inflammatory."

"...Planned Parenthood's standard is to provide honest, medically accurate information. That is what the physician in this case did."

Kathryn-Jean Lopez has a column discussing Senator Barbara Boxer’s abortion-Viagra comparison.

According to a USA Today blog, the National Institutes of Health has approved an additional 27 human embryonic stem cell lines for federal funding. The lines are only eligible for funding into diabetes research because that's what the parents of the embryos believed they would be used for.

Show your favorite prolife bloggers some love

Voting in this year’s Pro-Life Blog Awards is now open. You have until the 20th to vote for your favorite prolife blog.

Some readers have been kind enough to nominate this blog in both the Best News and Reporting category and best Pro-life Apologetics category. Thank you.

Also, take the time to check out some of the nominated blogs you may have not read before.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Life Links 12/14/09

The UK’s Telegraph reports on a the success of a treatment using a breast cancer patient’s own stem cells to help replace lost or damaged breast tissue.
For the latest study, one of the largest of its kind, a team led by Dr Eva Weiler-Mithoff from Glasgow Royal Infirmary, gave 32 cancer patients the stem cell treatment.

Their results, presented at a breast cancer conference this weekend in Texas, show no dangers with the treatment and that the vast majority of patients were happy with the results.
The treatment also reduced the pain that patients felt.

Around six months after the treatment 73 per cent of patients said that they were satisfied with the result.

A man in Australia with multiple sclerosis is walking again after being treated with his own stem cells.
Ben Leahy, 20, was diagnosed with the disease in 2008 and ended up in intensive care at one point with respiratory failure after his condition deteriorated rapidly.

He was in a wheelchair and also had sight problems when he underwent the procedure earlier this year but today he is walking and recovering well.

University of Pittsburgh’s student government has reversed a previous decision and will now provide funds for the campus’ students for life group to attend the March for Life.

A married couple in Pennsylvania are suing the Milton Hershey School because they were fired from being house parents after telling the school they were pregnant with their fourth child.

New Jersey abortion clinic pays out $1.9 million to settle lawsuit

Metropolitan Medical Associates, an abortion clinic in New Jersey, has settled a lawsuit by paying $1.9 million to Rasheedah Dinkins. Dinkins was in a coma for three weeks along with suffering a host of other injuries after abortionist Keith Gresham botched her second-trimester abortion.
Newark Beth Israel filed a formal complaint with the state, saying it was concerned the abortion may have been done improperly. That led to a state inquiry of Metropolitan Medical, which performs more than 10,000 abortions a year.

"We learned from the case that their volume of procedures was one factor that led to this problem," said Roseland-based lawyer Adam Slater, who represented Dinkins. "When you do too many procedures, you start to lose sight of the fact that these are all separate patients and separate procedures.”

Dinkins had "greater-than-expected bleeding, they couldn’t stop it, they eventually took extraordinary measures to stop it, and then they sent her home," Slater said. "They should have sent her to Englewood Hospital, which is less than a mile away, where they would have examined her and found she had a uterine rupture. They would have treated her, and she would have been fine. But the damage from her excessive bleeding led to catastrophic injuries."
In 2007, the state of New Jersey temporarily shut down Metropolitan Medical Associates, a member of the National Abortion Federation, after an inspection found dirty equipment and infection control problems. Also in 2007, two other women (besides Dinkins) came forward about injuries they suffered at MMA and at least one of them had filed a lawsuit.

Friday, December 11, 2009

National Enquirer claims one of Tiger's mistresses had an abortion

According to the UK's Independent, the National Enquirer is apparently claiming that one of Tiger Woods' mistresses had an abortion.
Meanwhile, The National Enquirer is reporting that Woods may have fathered a love child and that one of his mistresses had an abortion.
I hope this isn't true. His actions have already hurt numerous people, let's hope they didn't lead to the destruction of another life.

Life Links 12/11/2009

Via the RH Reality Check blog, I learned that rebel nun Donna Quinn is now using Mary, the mother of Jesus, as a hero of “Choice.” From a Chicago Tribune blog,
Despite a public reprimand from her religious order last month, Chicago’s pro-choice Roman Catholic nun, Sister Donna Quinn, is not backing down from her support of abortion rights, applauding the defeat of an amendment today that would have added restrictions to the health care bill for women seeking abortions….

Citing a poem about the Virgin Mary, Quinn noted the providential date of the amendment’s defeat.

“I was reminded of being with men and women from the Unitarian faith tradition last year as they celebrated Mary who by her assent, they believed, was one of the first women in the New Testament to express Choice,” Quinn said.

The Baltimore Sun has an editorial by a woman named Dana Weinstein who decided to abort her nearly 8-month unborn child because the child had a serious unnamed brain defect (from Weinstein’s description it sounds like encephaly).
Never in my worst nightmare did I imagine I would need to have an abortion - and certainly not late term.
Weinstein didn’t need an abortion and this becomes crystal clear later in her piece where her and her husbands “wants” are mentioned. I can never understand it when pro-choicers who glorify “choice” try to act like their abortion was needed and they didn‘t have a choice. It’s like they don’t even believe their own rhetoric.
We did not want our child's existence to depend solely on feeding tubes and machines. We did not want to bring a child into this world who would only be here in a vegetative state, never knowing his or her big brother or parents. For this child, for our son and for our family, my husband and I made the heartbreaking decision to terminate. We did the most loving, humane act a parent could do - put an end to our baby's suffering.
No. You put an end to your baby’s life, not your baby’s suffering. Killing is not the answer to human suffering.

AUL’s blog notes how the Omnibus funding bill allows the District of Columbia to use tax dollars to pay for abortions.

Travis County in Texas has renewed government contracts with two abortion clinics to pay for abortions performed on poor women. How’s this for muddled thinking?
Board member Clarke Heidrick, who is an attorney, says in his view and in most instances, “abortion is wrong.”

But Heidrick says abortions are legal and that continuing the contracts will support the district's mission of providing health services to those who can't afford to pay for care.

Uganda has dropped a clause from a bill which would have sentenced homosexuals to the death penalty or life imprisonment.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Life Links 12/10/09

Lila Rose and Live Action have posted another undercover video taped at a Planned Parenthood in Appleton, Wisconsin. The video exposes a Planned Parenthood counselor who lies about fetal heartbeats and how employees answer a potential client who wonders if the child she is caring is a baby. The abortion counselor claims the child isn’t a baby until birth while the abortionist says the fetus becomes a baby at 6 or 7 months.

The National Institutes of Health has a press release on an adult stem cell study which found that sickle cell disease could be effectively reversed using modified adult stem cells from donors.

A pro-choice blogger at the International Women’s Health Coalition claims attempt to permanently repeal the Mexico City policy have been taken off the table.

Wesley Smith makes his annual predictions for what will happen next year in bio-ethics.

The bill set to liberalize Spain’s abortion laws will now require parental notifications for 16 and 17-year-olds who want to have abortions.
The new bill proposes unrestricted abortion up to the fourteenth week of pregnancy, as opposed to stricter limits currently in place.

The amendment says also that young women who could demonstrate that having to inform a parent — or their legal guardian — would cause serious problems for them can be exempted from this obligation.

Bonnie Erbe has lost her mind

In a column focusing on abortion and health care reform, she writes (my emphasis),
The Hyde Amendment was one thing. First passed in 1976 and sponsored by its eponymous author, arch conservative (Rep.) Henry Hyde, it prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion. Since its original passage some 33 years ago, there has been no effort by pro-abortion rights activists to overturn it. It's almost as if they understood immediately that where public funds were involved, they were never going to regain the power to force anti-abortion taxpayers to subsidize something they fervently opposed.
What? Just because pro-abortion rights activists have failed miserably in their attempts that doesn’t mean they haven’t tried.

Here’s what Planned Parenthood has to say about their continuing efforts to overturn the Hyde Amendment.
Although Planned Parenthood and other groups vigorously fight in Congress and the courts for a continuation of funding, anti-abortion restrictions are added and tightened in subsequent years, continuously reducing the number of poor women eligible to receive federal assistance for abortions.
Or does anybody remember this wish list sent from pro-choice groups to President Obama and post on his web site? You know, the wish list which says,
“The President’s budget should strike language restricting abortion funding for (i) Medicaid-eligible women and Medicare beneficiaries (Hyde amendment); (ii) federal employees and their dependents (FEHB program); (iii) residents of the District of Columbia; (iv) Peace Corps volunteers; (v) Native-American women; and (vi) women in federal prisons.”

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

More of Abby Johnson's story has a piece by Bonnie Pritchett of the Baptist Press which includes more of former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson's story.
Shortly after marrying Doug, she became pregnant. It was an unplanned but not unwanted pregnancy. Johnson thought it would be awkward for her, as a pregnant woman, to give abortion counseling.

On the contrary, her then-director replied, "It will be good for them to see what they don't want," Johnson recalled being told.

Workers at all Planned Parenthood facilities are forbidden to use the word "baby," Johnson said. During her pregnancy Johnson began to see the disconnect between the philosophy of the ardent pro-choice movement and a woman's choice to carry a pregnancy to term. She quoted a liberal clergywoman as stating, "It's a baby when you decide you want to be a mother."

The Johnsons choice resulted in the birth of a little girl they named Grace.

Life Links 12/9/09

After the defeat of the Nelson amendment in the Senate, National Right to Life issued this press release noting their opposition to health care reform legislation in its current form.
A majority of senators today voted to keep abortion covered in the proposed federal government insurance program, and to subsidize private insurance plans that cover abortion on demand. Now, the vote on cloture on the bill itself will become the key vote on whether to put the federal government into the abortion business. We will oppose cloture on the bill, which would require 60 affirmative votes. In addition, a number of pro-life Democrats in the House, who supported passage of health care legislation on November 7, will not vote for the Senate bill in its current form. So, this is a long way from over.

Towanda Wimms is going public with her disappointment that her pregnant daughter’s alleged murderer isn’t also being charged for the death of her unborn grandchild. Niasha Delain was allegedly stabbed 6 times in the stomach by her boyfriend Derrick Redd after refusing to have an abortion.
"It's like this baby is not being looked at as a victim and that's ridiculous," said Wimms, 43. "There were two victims here. This baby was intentionally stabbed."

The New York Times has published an editorial by Bart Stupak regarding his health care amendment.
Some opponents of the amendment have tried to argue that it would effectively end health insurance coverage of abortion in both the private and public sectors. This argument is nothing more than a scare tactic.

The language in our amendment is completely consistent with the Hyde Amendment, which in the 33 years since its passage has done nothing to inhibit private health insurers from offering abortion coverage. There is no reason to believe that a continuation of this policy would suddenly create undue hardship for the insurance industry — or for those who wish to use their private insurance to pay for an abortion.

For example, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program provides health insurance through a variety of companies to more than eight million Americans — but it does not allow abortion coverage in any of its policies. Yet the same companies that offer these abortion-free plans to federal employees also offer plans with abortion coverage to non-federal employees. Given that insurance companies are able to offer separate plans with and without abortion coverage now, it seems likely that they would be able to continue to do so on the newly established health insurance exchange.

For some reason, Barbara Boxer think this is a good argument for why abortion should be covered in a public health insurance plan.
If healthcare reform covers Viagra, it should cover abortion services, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said yesterday.

Wesley Smith notes a scary development in Uganda where the government is thinking about imposing the death penalty on HIV-positive homosexuals.

Nelson amendment fails, Senate may dump the public option

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate voted 54-45 to table the Nelson amendment and prevent it from being add to health care reform legislation. The roll call vote is here. All Republicans (Update - Correction -Snowe and Collins voted to table it and Dorgan (D-ND) voted against tabling) voted against tabling the bill along with Democratic Senators Nelson (NE), Pryor (AR), Bayh (IN), Casey (PA), Conrad (ND) and Kaufman (DE).

The article also notes that it appears the public option may be jettisoned to help the bill pass the Senate.
A potential alternative was taking shape, several officials said, including a private insurance arrangement to be supervised by the federal agency that oversees the system through which lawmakers purchase coverage. Additionally, Medicare would be opened up to uninsured Americans beginning at age 55, a significant expansion of the large government health care program that currently serves the over-65 population.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Life Links 12/8/09

The Detroit Free Press reports that the U.S. Senate could vote on the Nelson amendment today.

NARAL is airing deceptive ads in Michigan attacking Bart Stupak.

Stupak has a press release responding to their ad.

Amanda Marcotte for some reason can’t understand why prolifers like it when people (like Sarah Palin) choose life. She writes,
But what Ben Smith fails to note in his article describing this rather silly Sarah-and-Trig-Palin-worship is the deep irony of it. Despite the fact that the anti-choice movement is organized around the desire to deprive women of choice and force them to bear children against their will, to celebrate Sarah and Trig Palin is to celebrate choice.
Wrong! We don’t “celebrate choice.” We celebrate it when someone makes the right choice and doesn’t have an abortion. Only fools who think every choice has the same moral value celebrate choice.

Prolifers recognize that Sarah Palin could have aborted Trig. We understand that abortion is legal in this country and that many people abort their unborn children when they find out their child has Down Syndrome. There’s no contradiction between recognizing this reality and being glad Palin choose life and working for another reality in which it is illegal to intentionally kill unborn human beings.

For example, in some societies female genital mutilation is widely practiced and those who practice it aren‘t prosecuted. If someone opposed to female genital mutilation is glad a father decides against mutilating his daughter genital that doesn’t mean they’re contradicting themselves if they call for laws against female genital mutilation.

On a Newsweek blog, Sarah Kliff writes about how the Senate debate on abortion may be inconsequential.
That means, what will matter most is not today's Senate debate, but rather where the Nelson/Stupak language ends up in the reconciliation process. And that depends on how many supporters majority leader Harry Reid has when he heads to the negotiating table. The situation will unfold one of two ways, both of which depend on whether Reid can sway one (or more) centrist Republicans:

If Reid can get Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins to vote for health care reform, then he no longer needs Nelson’s vote. In this situation, Nelson's filibuster threat becomes irrelevant and his amendment gets dropped. Moreover, dropping the Nelson/Stupak language would probably be fine by the two centrist Maine Senators since both generally support access to abortion issues. Chances are Reid would only need one Republican vote to pull this off, since Bob Casey (the other Democrat sponsor of the Nelson Amendment) has said he’ll support Nelson but won’t necessarily filibuster the bill if it does not pass.

Monday, December 07, 2009

What happened to the stem cell hype?

Dr. Robert White explains why the hysteria over embryonic stem cells seems to be quieting down, especially with regards to Parkinson's.
First of all, this chronic neurological condition has been found to be far more complex than originally thought. Yes, it is still characterized by the death of specific nerve cells which produce a neurotransmitter called "dopamine." The majority of these cells are located deep within the brain in an area called the "midbrain" (which is sort of a crossroad between the cerebral hemispheres and the brain stem/spinal cord). What has recently been documented is that, Parkinsonism, also known as PK, is a far more complex tissue abnormality involving other areas and circuits of the brain.....

Secondly, the analysis of two clinical studies on injecting fetal stem cells directly into the brain that were conducted during the 1990s unfortunately demonstrated that many of the patients in the control who did not receive injections did better neurologically than those who had been injected with fetal cells. Some young injected patients tragically developed "dyskinesia" (painful uncontrolled movements). Thirdly, new difficulties were encountered in the cell culture growth of primitive cells in converting them into dopamine producing neurons.

Life Links 12/7/09

Politico has the latest on the abortion debate in the health care reform bill.
“We are going to defeat it,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) of Nelson’s amendment, which is expected to closely mirror the Stupak language.

Asked if he believed abortion could derail the health care bill, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) didn’t hesitate: “Yes, absolutely.”

The Wall Street Journal has an article which calls abortion the “top threat” to health care reform legislation.

The Los Angeles Times reviews “South Dakota: A Woman's Right to Choose,” a “dramumentary” film which follows the story of two pregnant teenagers in South Dakota.
Isacson said his movie's purpose is to edify, inform and not take sides, but some may view "South Dakota," intentionally or not, as subtly weighted against abortion. The film's emotional highlight, after all, is the rescue of 14-year-old Barb by her boyfriend from an abortion clinic exam room and its grossly insensitive nurses.
Included in the article is the thought from one pro-choice professor who thinks the film is “prolife” because it includes images of an unborn child at 22 weeks.

Creative Minority Report posts on a Michigan abortion clinic attempting to pass killing unborn children off as “sacred work” via video. The videos have now been removed from their web site and YouTube.

Wesley Smith discusses how Rom Houben’s faulty diagnosis hasn’t changed the minds of bio-ethicists in favor of removing nutrition and hydration from patients with cognitive impairments.
In any case, why the sour response to a good news story? It is hard to shake the feeling that the emotional crosscurrents stirred by Terri Schiavo have been stirred again. Time reported that Schiavo-type "legal fights are likely to become more common as classifications of brain-injury severity are revised." According to ABC, Schiavo's family "felt both heartbreak and vindication" about the story.

Predictably, activists on both sides have weighed in. Much-quoted bioethicist Art Caplan, who strongly backed Michael Schiavo quest to end his wife's life, sniffed after viewing a video of Houben that it all looked like "Ouija Board stuff" to him. The Huffington Post's resident bioethicist, Jacob Appel, argued that people in Houben's condition should be considered for euthanasia: "Rather than offering a compelling reason to keep such patients alive," Appel wrote, "the horrors of enduring such a petrified existence may offer a compelling reason to let them die."

Abortionist Leroy Carhart admits to CBS News that a good deal of the late-term abortions he performs are for the mother’s mental health.
Carhart says half the abortions he performs between the 22nd and 28th week are due to fetal health issues. The other half are for the mother's mental health. After the 28th week, 90 percent of the abortions he performs are for fetal health.

Women like Sue, an unmarried 28-year-old mother of three, come from around the country. She's somewhere between 21 and 23 weeks pregnant. She's aborting because she put her last baby up for adoption and had a nervous breakdown. She waited so long because she didn't have the money.
UPDATED:The article formerly had a typo which said Carhart said the quote below. It's now been updated to note that a local prolife activist Larry Dolan gave the quote.(end update) Also note Carhart’s response to the question of whether he’s going to hell.
"Is Dr. Carhart going to hell?" Axelrod asked.

"I don't know," Carhart said. "It does not look good."

In New York City, a woman has been arrested after allegedly tricking her husband’s pregnant mistress into taking drugs to cause an abortion. The child was born 2 months premature.
Police say Kisha Jones of Brooklyn used a doctor's prescription pad to order the medication, then phoned the victim pretending to be from her obstetrician's office and told her to pick up the drug at the pharmacy and take it.

The woman fell for the trick, took the drug and went into labor, authorities said. The baby was born two months early, but survived.

Jones then tried again, according to prosecutors.

They say that, posing as the baby's mother, she sent a man to the hospital with two bottles of tainted liquid, saying it was breast milk, and instructed nurses to feed it to the baby.

Hospital staff grew suspicious and called police.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Friday Baby Blogging

She loves her Elmo.

Life Links 12/4/09

Ross Douthat notes a double standard with regards to pro-choicers who oppose the governmental funding of crisis pregnancy centers.
Again, I can see why the pro-choice side dislikes crisis pregnancy centers, and especially dislikes the idea of public dollars being funneled their way. But if we don’t want to fund ideologically charged organizations that cut ethical corners in the counseling they provide to pregnant women, there’s a case to be made for taking a look at Planned Parenthood’s millions as well.

AUL’s blog discusses the passage of the Mikulski amendment.
Today the Senate accepted the Mikulski (D-Md) amendment to the Senate health care bill by a vote of 61-39. The amendment does not explicitly require abortion coverage, but it also fails to explicitly exclude it. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) could categorize abortion as “preventive care,” and would therefore recommend coverage for abortion by all private plans. The recommendation would force private plans to offer abortion coverage, furthering the abortion lobby’s agenda of mainstreaming abortion as health care.
The Murkowski amendment, which would have explicitly excluded abortion from being included as preventative care, was defeated 41 to 59.

Abortionist LeRoy Carhart has admitted to the New York Times that he is performing abortion past 24 weeks at his Bellevue abortion clinic. The article also notes that some of Carhart’s employees supposedly quit because he announced he would start performing later term abortions at the Bellevue clinic.
Dr. Carhart declined to provide specifics on how late in a pregnancy he would be willing to perform an abortion. Dr. Tiller performed them, in some cases, as late as in the third trimester of pregnancy. Dr. Carhart’s fee schedule lists prices for abortions up to 22 weeks and 6 days (at that point, $2,100 in cash or $2,163 on a credit card), but notes that abortions after 23 weeks are available “after consultation with our doctor,” and that abortions after the 27th week may take four days.

A woman from Garden City, Michigan has been arraigned for attempted murder after allegedly abandoning her newborn baby girl in a trash can. Television station WXYZ has an interview with 4 six-graders who heard the child crying and helped save her life.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Life Links 12/3/09

Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) plans to offer an amendment to Senator Reid’s health care reform legislation (with Stupak-like language) and will vote to block health care reform if the language in the bill regarding abortion isn’t changed.
“My Senate amendment would ban any public funds from paying for abortions under a new health care reform bill,” the Nebraska Democrat said Wednesday.

The amendment would be among dozens expected to be offered.

Nelson said he will vote to block the bill if the abortion language in the bill is not changed.

According to a National Journal blog, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) isn’t sounding as reassuring.
One of Nelson's anti-abortion colleagues is showing some flexibility on the cloture vote. Sen. Robert Casey, D-Pa., told CongressDaily that the lack of an abortion provision may not prevent him from moving the bill along to a final vote. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., will need both Casey and Nelson to reach the 60-vote threshold to push the bill to a final vote.

In the Harvard Crimson, Nicolas Lewine discusses pro-choice complaints against the Stupak amendment.
However, let us discuss for the sake of argument the small subset of women for whom the Stupak amendment would make abortions prohibitively expensive. The claim that this fact deprives them of their “right to choose” merits further inspection. First, it implies that abortion is the kind of thing that women not only have a right to obtain, but also that they have a right to obtain regardless of whether they can pay for it. To illustrate the difference, this argument likens abortion to the right to an attorney; if you cannot afford one, one will be provided for you. Contrast this with my right to ride the subway—I certainly am entitled to ride the subway however often and for however long I want, but only provided that I can pay for it. In either case, abortion is considered permissible, but only in the former case would the government be right in funding it. The anti-Stupak arguments do not provide any reason why abortion should become one of the former, stronger kinds of rights.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

NIH approves 13 more embryonic stem cell lines for federal funding, more to follow

The National Institutes of Health today approved 13 more human embryonic stem cell lines for federally funded research and is reviewing 96 other lines. Note this from the NY Times article.
Dr. Daley said that private financing had been drying up and that he was eager to start research on the now-approved cell lines with the help of his federal grant money.
Now why would private financing for embryonic stem cell research be drying up?

Oh yeah, that's right. Everyone interested in stem cell research who hasn't been living in a cellar for the past couple of years knows that the creation of iPS cells has kind of blown a gaping hole in the whole "we need to kill more human embryos for research" baloney.

Here's a quote from NIH director Francis Collins in the ABC News story that makes me thinks less of him.
"The scientific community breathed a huge sigh of relief and said, 'Yay, now we can continue with the science,'" said Dr. Francis S. Collins, director of the NIH. "What we are talking about today is just the beginning of what is going to be an interesting series of approvals."
'Cause science has just up and stopped for the last 8+ years because there were minor restrictions on which embryonic stem cell lines could get funding for the U.S. federal government? It's like some of them really have this ideology that they shouldn't be told what they can or can't do by anyone (except maybe other scientists).

"Nobody's pro-abortion."

Are you a pro-choicer who kind of doesn't like the term "pro-abortion?" Seem a bit too extreme for you? Well, I'm not one of those pro-choicers. I actually strongly prefer the term "pro-abortion" and have for some time. I know some pro-choicers who say, "Well, no one is really pro abortion!" I am. Completely. Whole-heartedly. And absolutely unapologetically pro-abortion. For whatever reason.

Life Links 12/2/09

Mauricio Roman summarizes a Harvard Business School case study on Planned Parenthood.
Internally, Planned Parenthood's difficulties stem from the uneven strength of its affiliates, and President Cecile Richards is worried. According to the Harvard case study, her organization faces "tough economic times, a hostile political environment, and limited ability to raise philanthropic dollars in a resource constrained area of the country….."

Difficulties such as these are driving down the number of Planned Parenthood affiliates, from 163 15 years ago to 91 in late 2009. And according to the Harvard case study, this consolidation is expected to continue with several of the remaining affiliates discussing mergers.

A 20-year-old woman in India has died from complications after having an abortion in a hospital. She was 5 months pregnant.

The New York Times says its unlikely that the U.S. Senate will vote on adding the Mikulski amendment to its health care reform legislation. Here’s National Right to Life’s letter explaining why they oppose the Mikulski amendment.

Scientists in Israel are using a new technique to turn adult stem cells into bone tissue and treat patients with severe bone loss.
Currently, the standard treatment for severe bone loss involves either amputation or a prolonged period of disability. The scientists said their new technology, called immuno-isolation, sorts mesenchymal stem cells from other cells residing in a bone marrow sample, using a specific antibody. The immuno-isolated cells then can be immediately used to form new bone tissue when implanted in laboratory animals, without a prolonged incubator growth period.

According to an ABC News blog, the National Institutes of Health will announce which embryonic stem cell lines have qualified for federal funding under its new guidelines.
NIH/STEM CELLS-The NIH is to announce the first approved lines under the new stem cell guidelines tomorrow at 12:30pm ET. Brian Hartman explains: “Back in March, President Obama announced the easing of limits on use of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. In July, the administration required researchers to prove stem cell lines had been derived ethically to qualify. That means, per NIH, the embryo ‘must have been created for reproductive purposes, via in vitro fertilization, must be in excess of clinical need, and must have been donated voluntarily.’ Also – the donor cannot have been paid for the embryos. Tomorrow, NIH will announce which lines have met that bar. So they’ll finally be able to start -- if not immediately, in the near future -- using federal money to work on the stem cells.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Life Links 12/1/09

The Los Angeles Times has an article about a former abortionist's efforts to restrict abortion in South Korea.
For nearly two decades, obstetrician Shim Sang-duk aborted as many babies as he delivered -- on average, one a day, month after month.

"Over time, I became emotionless," the physician said. "I came to see the results of my work as just a chunk of blood. During the operation, I felt the same as though I was treating scars or curing diseases...."

But Shim's campaign has triggered a rare public debate on abortion. Lawmakers now call for tougher enforcement of existing laws, and are asking parents to reassess the cultural value of childbirth.....

The country's birthrate is now among the lowest worldwide, with just 1.19 live births per woman.

Meanwhile, abortion rates have kept their pace, many say. Every year, 450,000 babies are born here; Health Ministry officials estimate that 350,000 abortions are performed each year. One politician says the number of abortions is actually four times higher -- nearly 1.5 million.

At the RH Reality Check blog, Elisabeth Garber-Paul is finally getting her own reality check and realizing that current pro-choice arguments are a little stale.
So what does this mean for Millennials? First, it means that we need our theory and rhetoric to catch up with the technology, and quick—otherwise, Roe v. Wade may soon be as obsolete as the tape deck. While we shouldn’t abandon other, more modern issues—such as GLBTQ rights, a distant dream in the 1970s—we should find ways to update our arguments.

Pro-chocers are still making incredibly silly comments about the Stupak amendment. In a letter to the Delaware County Daily Times, Ashley Baptiste thinks it should be illegal to even consider something like the Stupak amendment. Also, notice her idea that women who have children instead of abortions will be "stuck" in welfare programs. What a positive view of women, huh?

Congressman Patrick Kennedy has come out of hiding after going public with Bishop Toobin's 2007 request that he not present himself for commmunion and now he isn't going to comment on the controversy. Here's a quote from Kennedy in the Brown Daily Herald.
“In the final analysis, all of us are children of God,” he continued. “All of us have that spark of divinity. If any one of us is denied health care, it really is a threat to who we call ourselves as human beings.”
Kennedy, of course, didn't note if the unborn were "children of God." And I don't suppose liberal groups will be howling about "separation of church and state" after this comment.

Killed her child, gave her a stone

New York Times Magazine has a long piece on abortion by Jennifer Senior (an admitted pro-choicer) entitled,”The Abortion Distortion: Just how pro-choice is America, really?” It focuses on the recent shift in the debate over abortion and the inability of some pro-choicers to accept just how troubling abortion can be. It also includes snippets from abortionist Lisa Harris' paper regarding her difficulties with performing second trimester abortions. If I was pro-choice, I think I would find this to be a rather dispiriting piece. Some excerpts:
Generally, science is the friend of progressive political causes. Not this one. As fetal ultrasound technology improved during the nineties, abortion providers, conditioned to reassure patients that the fetus was merely tissue, found it much harder to do so once their patients were staring at images that looked so lifelike....

On partial-birth abortion:
The procedure was extremely upsetting to behold. In it, the fetus—or is it a baby?—is removed from the uterus and stabbed in the back of the head with surgical scissors. It’s a revolting image, one to which the public was ritualistically subjected on the evening news as the debate raged on the House and Senate floors. Defending it was a pro-choice person’s nightmare.

While visiting an abortion clinic in Pennsylvania and interacting with a counselor who consents to providing an abortion to a woman who is clearly having the abortion because her boyfriend wants her to.
Keyes knows that most women refer to the developing lives inside of them as “babies,” rather than fetuses, whether they’re conflicted about their abortions or not. She knows that occasionally women want to keep sonograms of the fetuses they’ve aborted and even ask to see their reassembled remains once the procedure’s through.....

A few minutes later, we leave the room. Keyes is shaking. I start to ask her a question, but she cuts me off. “Do I feel good about signing this? (Expletive), no.” She wipes her eyes. “And I could deny her. We do deny women abortions.”

Well, look, I say. You told her she has trouble acting for herself. That was valuable.

Keyes brushes it off. “She was here a year ago. She might have heard the same thing from the counselor then. In fact, let’s look.” She starts flipping the pages of her chart. “Oh my God.”


“I was her counselor.”

She covers the woman’s name, and together we peer at Keyes’s old notes: Certain of her decision … not prepared for a fourth child … may have a fourth later … gave her a stone.
She concludes with a rather negative assessment of the pro-choice movement's chances.
Given this demographic shift, plus the Stupak Amendment, plus the unavoidable fact that abortion’s essential nature is unchanging—it will always involve some brutal nexus of the heart and the mind—it’s hard for a pro-choice person like myself to see how the ball rolls forward.

Life Links 11/30/09

The CDC has released its 2006 abortion statistics compiled from state health department but missing a couple of states including California.
Results: For 2006, a total of 846,181 abortions were reported to CDC. Among the 46 areas that provided data consistently during 1996--2006, a total of 835,134 abortions (98.7% of the total) were reported; the abortion rate was 16.1 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15--44 years, and the abortion ratio was 236 abortions per 1,000 live births. During the previous decade (1997--2006), reported abortion numbers, rates, and ratios decreased 5.7%, 8.8%, and 14.8%, respectively; most of these declines occurred before 2001. During the previous year (2005--2006), the total number of abortions increased 3.1%, and the abortion rate increased 3.2%; the abortion ratio was stable.

LifeSite News has more information on the incident in which a woman entering an abortion clinic threatened a sidewalk counselor with a knife.
Duluth Police arrested the suspect, 25-year-old Mechelle Talluah Hall, inside the abortuary and found a knife in her purse matching Leah's description. She has been charged with second-degree assault. Hall told the judge considering the conditions of her release, "I know what I did was wrong."

Meghan McArdle on abortion in health care and the reactions of pro-choice group to the Stupak amendment.
But the number of people who are going to lose access that they currently have, and therefore be forced to carry a pregnancy to term, is not likely to be all that large. We're mostly talking about a modest number of women who will have to hand over several hundred dollars that they would really rather spend elsewhere. ....

So I don't get the outsized reaction to all this--I mean, outside the professional interest groups, who of course are contractually obligated to get outraged about everything. Fears that women will lose their current access to abortion often seem to be muddled together with frustration at not being able to expand access to abortion.

During Meet the Press, Pastor Rick Warren noted his disagreement with President Obama’s position on abortion.
He added, "Now, I don't understand the idea of it should be rare and, and less. Well, either you believe it's life or you don't. Why would you believe it should be rare? Because if it's not -- if a baby, a fetus is not a life, then why restrict it?"

The Flint Journal is covering Caitlin Bruce’s lawsuit against abortion Alberto Hodari, whose first name is apparently Abraham. The Journal article claims Bruce was 6 weeks pregnant while a previous story by a local Flint television station previously said she was 6 months pregnant but has now been corrected.
Bruce claims in a civil lawsuit that Hodari and an assistant held her down and covered her mouth as she screamed for them to stop while Hodari aborted her fetus.

A written statement reportedly provided by another worker in Hodari’s office and contained in the lawsuit, claims that the doctor told an upset Bruce “I’m not going to do this. I’m going to send you home” before going through with the abortion.

The employee wrote that Hodari grinned as he completed the procedure, according to court documents.
For some reason, the Journal article claims Hodari is a “nationally respected doctor.” Then they even use a quote from the infamous YouTube video where Hodari says he has a “license to lie” to his patients without mentioning the “license to lie” statement or that the video was secretly shot by prolifers.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Life Links 11/25/09

A sidewalk counselor at an abortion clinic in Minnesota apparently had a knife held to her throat by a woman going into the clinic.
The incident occurred at 7:47 a.m., according to demonstrators, who said the suspect was on her way into the building and exchanged words with them before pulling a knife. The suspect reportedly held the knife to the neck of one demonstrator and told her to stop speaking. When the second demonstrator reportedly went to help the first, the suspect allegedly threatened her with the knife as well.

Neither demonstrator was injured, and the suspect reportedly entered the building.

Duluth Police arrested the suspect inside and said they found a knife in her purse. She was taken into custody and sent to the St. Louis County Jail, where she is being held pending charges of second-degree assault.

Phillip Levine, a professor at Wellesley College points out in a New York Times editorial that the effects of the Stupak amendment have been exaggerated and thinks that health care reform could lower the number of unintended pregnancies because of contraceptive coverage.
The women whose abortion coverage would be at risk are those who are covered by private insurance — some 42 million women aged 15 to 44. Insurers could decide to drop all abortion coverage in order to ensure their eligibility to participate in public insurance exchanges, where many Americans are expected to purchase insurance if health reform legislation passes. But women who have private insurance are not as likely as women with no insurance or public insurance to have abortions. Privately insured women tend to be older, with higher family income, and women in these groups are much less prone to seek abortions.

A local ABC affiliate is covering Caitlin Bruce’s lawsuit against abortion Alberto Hodari.
Bruce was just 18 years old and 6 months (story corrected) weeks pregnant when she says walked into the Feminine Health Care Clinic in Flint last year.
"I was nervous and I really didn't have the moral support I needed. And I just didn't know what to do," Bruce said.

Bruce says she wrestled with her decision in the waiting room.

"They started the ultrasound. The lady turned the ultrasound toward me and said, 'This is your baby. This is the heart flicker,'" Bruce said.

Bruce says that's when she changed her mind. But she claims Dr. Abraham Hodari did the procedure anyway.

"He told his assistant, 'Hold her down.' They had my arm pinned," Bruce said….

"My client acted properly under the circumstance. This was an abortion that was consented to," said Steve Weiss, Hodari's attorney.
"When the patient first expressed misgivings about it, it was too far along for Dr. Hodari to stop."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Life Links 11/24/09

Time has an article on Senator Bob Casey’s concern about abortion in health care reform. It begins with this exchange that adds to the gathering mound of evidence that Senator Debbie Stabenow isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. It’s like she thinks she can convince people and Senator Casey that there is no problem by continually asserting, “There is no abortion funding.“
Across the room, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, a pro-life Catholic, listened in silence. But a few minutes later a reporter asked his opinion on abortion coverage in the Senate version of health reform. "We want to make sure that there is no federal funding of abortion," began Casey, but Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow quickly cut him off.

"We do not have funding for abortion services in these bills," she said. "Senator Casey doesn't need to worry about it. He can vote for health reform.”

Casey smiled patiently, but stood his ground. "We need more work done on this."

Shaking her head, Stabenow jumped in again. "This health care debate is not about changing current policy on abortion," she said. "There is no funding for abortion. So there should be no problem." Unfortunately for Stabenow and other Democrats, in the month since that meeting abortion has become very much a problem — if not the biggest hurdle — in passing health care reform.
The article also mentions that Senator Casey is working on an amendment help for pregnant women amendment which doesn’t really alleviate prolife concerns with the bill.

Father Roger Landry discusses Congressman Patrick Kennedy’s position on abortion and summarizing Kennedy‘s dispute with Bishop Tobin.
Congressman Kennedy’s position on abortion can be viewed as the confused fruit of the scandalous incoherence of his father’s generation with regard to the faith and the sanctity of human life. Since that scandal was inadequately addressed and corrected, the confusion in the second generation is much greater than in the first. That’s why the efforts of Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin to remedy that confusion are relevant not merely to Congressman Kennedy, but to the whole Church.

Richard Doerflinger, from the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ prolife office has a good quote in this Wall Street Journal article.
"We want everybody covered and nobody deliberately killed," said Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the group's secretariat of pro-life activities. "It doesn't seem to us an unreasonable request for health care."

Jessica Arons at the liberal Center for American Progress somehow thinks this chart shows that the Capps amendment is closer to the status quo than the Stupak amendment. Pro-choicers don’t seem to understand that if tax dollars are used to make insurance cheaper and that insurance includes abortion, then tax-dollars are subsidizing abortion, regardless of whether the abortion is paid for with tax dollars or with premium money. This is a grand departure from the current policy in which no federal tax dollars are used to pay for or subsidize abortion. One positive thing about the chart is that it does make it fairly clear that the Capps amendment doesn’t keep the status quo.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sharon Lerner: Clueless as can be?

Sharon Lerner has a piece in the Nation on health care reform which attempts to create this storyline featuring pro-choice organizations as poor, little babies who got bullied by the big, mean prolifers.
Stupak is even more of an insult to pro-choice groups when you consider what they really wanted: to have abortion be treated as an integral part of health care. Rather than being paid for with dollars that are practically fingerprinted at every turn, abortion, in this view, would be more like a vasectomy--a routine, if personally delicate, outpatient procedure. But hoping not to muddy the overall health reform process, advocates tried, at first, to leave abortion politics out of the legislation. The tack was eminently reasonable; health reform, after all, was a much bigger issue. Why did abortion have to get mentioned at all?
Ummm.... because if abortion wasn’t explicitly excluded from health care reform then it would be included. That’s what happened with Medicaid until the Hyde amendment. Knowledgeable prolifers and pro-choicers are both aware of this. That’s why pro-choicers didn’t want it mentioned. That was their strategy. They thought by not mentioning it, they could make it “an integral part of health care.”
By the end of June, they had their answer. Nineteen Democrats, including Bart Stupak, sent a letter to Pelosi announcing they would not "we cannot support any health care reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan," making it clear that the high-minded effort to keep a fight over abortion out of healthcare reform hadn't worked.
Huh?? The high-minded effort to keep a fight about abortion out of health care didn’t work because prolife Democrats wanted an amendment to keep abortion out of health care??
Though pro-choice and women's groups didn't like the Capps amendment, they, once again chose to be cooperative and agreed to the compromise.
Lois Capps has a 100% pro-choice voting record. Many pro-choice groups support the Capps amendment. No prolife groups do. How is that a compromise?
"It would have been perfect if an anti-choice member had authored" Capps, notes Laura Hessburg, Senior Health Policy Advisor at the National Partnership for Women and Families. Then, perhaps, the public might have seen it as the compromise it was.
Well, why then didn’t any prolife member author it? That’s right - because it’s a pro-choice amendment and it’s not a compromise.

Lerner laments the unwillingness of pro-choice groups never vocally and publicly fought to make abortion an integral part of health care but never seems to grasp that pro-choice organization were trying to make abortion part of health care but were doing so in a quiet, sneaky manner.

We also learn the U.S. Catholic bishop played dirty by “urging parishioners to call Washington and distributed talking points to be thrown into Sunday sermons.” I know. Deplorable.