Friday, December 31, 2010

Life Links 12/31/10

Gerard Bradley comments on the Washington Post's article on fetal pain legislation and notes that it is unlikely that the fetal pain legislation would lead to a rethinking of Roe.
That occasion is much more likely to be inspired by someone like Scott Peterson, the California man who killed his wife, Laci, and his unborn son, Connor. I think that someday soon, an angry young man convicted of murdering his unborn child is going to force an appellate court to seriously address the Equal Protection time bomb ticking away in abortion jurisprudence. He will say that he cannot be convicted of murdering a “person” (as the language of the feticide law under which he stands convicted will state) while his wife could not be touched for doing the same thing to the same child. Whatever one’s answer to the question of when a “person” begins, that answer cannot reasonably change depending on whether the man wielding a sharp scalpel is an angry father or the mother’s abortionist. And so, our angry young man will conclude, he is denied constitutional equality when the legislature arbitrarily calls his victim a “person” while hers is just, well, something very decidedly different.

Abortioneer Desembarazarme notes that some abortion clinics don't offer any pre-abortion counseling.
I actually took the counseling portion of the program for granted until I learned that some very compassionate, professional clinics don’t offer counseling to their clients. It could be a trick to save time (clients always complain about how long the process takes) or minimize cost (we ARE in a recession), and it could simply be what has worked and continues to work for individual clinics.

A doctor in favor of embryonic stem cell research admits in an editorial praising embryonic stem cell research that the "greatest effect" of embryonic stem cells won't be in the direct treatment of diseases but rather as a "scientific tool of discovery."
Although this trial is evaluating transplantation of hES cells, the greatest effect of these cells will not be as a direct treatment. It will be from the use of hES cells as a scientific tool of discovery, accelerating progress across multiple fields and leading to effective repair and recovery.

The Nevada Supreme Court has denied an appeal by the group behind Nevada's personhood initiative because they didn't get enough signatures to be placed on the ballot.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Responses to MTV's "No Easy Decision" abortion special

Pro-choicers and prolifers have responded with their thoughts on MTV's abortion special.

Pro-choice blogger Jessica Valenti wished the episode could have been longer but felt it "did a great job of showing the variety of experiences young women can have after abortion – from sadness to relief – and how harmful limitations like parental notifications and lack of health coverage can be."

Salon's Lynn Harris (a pro-choicer) thought MTV "nailed it."

Chloe Melas of the Hollywood Life thought the episode "felt rushed, it was highly edited, and at times seemed staged."

Prolife youth leader Bryan Kemper and Kristan Hawkins write,
We know that MTV is no bastion of decency or truth, but we did not think the show would actually go as far as it did. We were wrong......

Even after Markai has her abortion and is sitting with Dr. Drew in the studio, she still cannot say with certainty that she made the right decision. When asked about how she felt about the abortion, Markai responded that she is still confused and sad. Dr. Drew, being the ultimate abortion expert, just brushed her emotions off as something everyone goes through. Where is the compassion? Where is the counseling she needs?

Prolife writer Laura Echevarria notes the abortion industry's deception.
When she finally makes her decision to have the abortion, Markai says that she feels she needs to do it to give her daughter a better chance at life. What I found particularly troubling was that at six weeks of pregnancy, abortion clinic staff told her not to think of the baby as having “ten fingers, ten toes, a forehead” etc. Staff told her to think of the baby as a “clump of cells”—it would be less upsetting that way.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Life Links 12/28/10

Markai Durham, who will be featured tonight on MTV's No Easy Decision special on abortion, posted a question regarding abortion on her Facebook page at the end of October. One comment by Markai (on November 10 at 8:31 a.m.) shows she is depressingly ignorant about fetal development.
Telisia- This Is A Fault That Many People Have. Its Not A Baby At All Until I Think You 3rd Trimester (I Could Be Mistaken) Its Only A Fetus Which Means Its Only A GROUP OF CELLS TRYING TO FORM INTO SOMEONE.

As a likely result of Planned Parenthood's new policy to force all affiliates to provide abortions, Planned Parenthood of Southwest Oregon has just started offering RU-486 abortions. This has caused a Catholic charity in the area to sever ties with the United Way donations since the local United Way gives money to Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood of Southwest Oregon decided to provide the abortion pills at its Eugene and Ashland clinics because agency leaders could see that abortion would eventually be unavailable as doctors who perform surgical abortions near retirement, said Cynthia Pappas, CEO of Planned Parenthood.

The Washington Post has a long article on prolife legislation (focusing primarily on Nebraska's fetal pain law) which could test what abortion restrictions the Supreme Court will accept and how Gonzales v. Carhart has encouraged prolifers to continue in efforts to chip away at Roe v. Wade.
Some abortion rights supporters say privately that a challenge might come if another state adopts Nebraska's model, as seems likely. Those who were active in passing the law seem almost disappointed that the challenge has not arrived yet.

"We can't say with any certainty that this is going to meet constitutional muster," said Nebraska Right to Life Executive Director Julie Schmit-Albin. "But you know what, from our perspective, if we aren't bucking up against Roe, we're not doing our job.

"So we did our job in Nebraska and now it's time for the other states to do their job."

Authorities in Thailand continue to crack down on illegal abortion clinics.
The Soi Ramkhamhaeng 97 clinic, together with Ms Noknoi, faces three charges: opening illegal clinics, which carries a three-year jail sentence; providing medical services without licences (three-year jail term), and carrying out illegal abortions (two-year jail term).

Monday, December 27, 2010

Life Links 12/27/10

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Wesley Smith calls for the end of California's stem cell institute.

A leading rabbi in Jerusalem used his Saturday night sermon to speak out against abortion. The article mistakenly claims that EFRAT is a pro-choice organization.

The Times of India has a piece on Indian women travelling to Bangkok for IVF and pre-implantation genetic diagnoses to assure the birth of male children.
Indian couples want male heirs. Pooja from Delhi cites an example: "A Page 3 couple went for gender selection, but they won't tell anyone. They're embarrassed that although they're modern in every other way, well travelled, open-minded — she wears short skirts — they still want a son. There's a lot of money in the family, so they want an heir and to carry on the family name."

Michael Egnor replies to a variety of arguments from another science blogger.

The Kansas City star has an article on an ongoing federal investigation to whether there was so kind of conspiracy behind Scott Roeder's murder of abortionist George Tiller. According to the Star, it appears that the investigation was renewed after authoriites captured Justin Moose, a North Carolina man who was willing to share bomb-making techniques online.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Only at Planned Parenthood: Steal 5K, Get Promoted

Is the abortion industry so desperate for employees that they're willing to promote someone from Director of Finance to Chief Operating Officer because as Director of Finance they stole money from the organization and can't be trusted to be put in charge of finances?
An audit has discovered that the Director of Finance at the Planned Parenthood of Southwest Michigan abortion business used donations to pay for personal expenses.

Rene Davis used approximately $5,000 in abortion company money to pay for personal expenses but, instead of getting fired, she became the organization’s Chief Operating Officer. This wasn’t the first time Davis has used personal funds from her business and she had been made to take a diversion course after she did so on her last job.

WWMT News Channel 3 obtained a statement from Rev. Mark Pawlowski, the Planned Parenthood CEO.

“It came to our attention and we were duly diligent in investigating it. The employee faced disciplinary action and is no longer responsible for any financial duties within the organization,” he said.

But the television station indicates Davis was not fired but was named the COO of the abortion business at a time when other Planned Parenthood employees have been laid off because of economic reasons.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Life Links 12/23/10

The Daily Caller has picked up the story on Planned Parenthood's plans to require all affiliates to provide abortions and got a statement from a PP spokesperson.
When contacted by The Daily Caller, Lisa David, senior vice president of Health Services Support for Planned Parenthood, said that the organization is implementing a broad “new patient services initiative.”
She went on to say that abortion services will be offered in at least one clinic per affiliate. However, a waiver may be obtained in the case of “unique local circumstances.”

The federal government has filed suit against an abortion clinic protester named David Hamilton in Louisville who is accused of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act by using force against an abortion clinic escort and intimidating women seeking abortions. The suit seeks to prevent Hamilton from coming within "eight feet of anyone obtaining or providing services at EMW Women's Surgical Center, the only abortion clinic in Louisville."

From the article, it sounds like the feds don't have much of a case or any reason to be filing suit.
In an interview, Hamilton, 26, said he moved to Houston in July and that the lawsuit “is out of the blue to me.”

Hamilton said that before he moved, he had regularly tried to counsel women as they entered the Louisville clinic, but never pushed or shoved anyone.

“I never touched the girl going into the clinic,” he said of the Jan. 30 incident, which led to his arrest. “I didn’t come close to touching her. I said what I had to say and kept walking.”

Hamilton acknowledged he moved the arm of one of the two escorts out of his way, as he talked with the woman walking inside, but didn’t try to hurt or stop anyone. He said the officer saw only the escorts’ reactions and charged him.

Clinic director Anne Ahola said she didn’t know about the suit or remember details about the January incident, but she said she wishes there was a buffer zone between the protesters and those trying to enter to ensure safety.

Harford County in Maryland and the prolife organization Defend Life have reached a settlement after prolifers sued when their free speech rights were violated during a 2008 protest.
“We have settled with the county revolving around the strip searches in the county detention center,” Matt Paavola, the lawyer for the anti-abortion organization Defend Life, one of the plaintiffs in the case, said Monday.

“It [the settlement] was very amicable and the county was very accommodating,” Paavola said, adding that the county was also apologetic in the matter.
The Town of Bel Air and the state of Maryland are still defendants in the lawsuit.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Life Links 12/22/10

Bishop Olmstead has declared St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix to be no longer Catholic. Here's Bishop Olmstead's statement in which he notes that the hospital had been failing to follow Catholic teaching for some time. The web site of the Arizona Catholic also has a variety of information on this situation.

On December 28, MTV will air a special program on abortion which will follow one of the moms from "16 and Pregnant" who will decide if she wants to abort her second pregnancy.

A Maryland man has been sentenced to life in prison for attempting to kill his pregnant girlfriend after she wouldn't get an abortion.
"I got my early Christmas present," Jodi Torok said after seeing her former boyfriend, Charles Brandon Martin, sentenced to life in prison by an Anne Arundel County judge.

"I believe you were willing to snuff both of them out because they were an inconvenience to you," Judge Pamela L. North told Martin, in a reference to Torok and her unborn child, before sentencing him.

A health worker in England could be fired after she gave a pamphlet on abortion's physical and psychological effects to co-workers.
Margaret Forester passed the booklet to family planning staff at the health centre where she works because she felt that the NHS was not offering patients enough information about the risks associated with terminating a pregnancy.

But Ms Forester, 39, said she was suspended from her job as a psychological wellbeing practitioner based in Westminster because managers at Central North West London Mental Health Trust disagreed with her personal beliefs.

She will appear in front of an internal disciplinary committee on Wednesday, charged with “distributing materials some people may find offensive”. Her supporters fear that she could lose her job.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Planned Parenthood requiring affiliates to provide abortions, at least one affiliate is out

The Corpus Christi Caller has a piece on how the Planned Parenthood affiliate in the Corpus Christi area is dropping their affiliation with Planned Parenthood because Planned Parenthood wants every affiliate to provide abortions. Instead of providing abortions, the affiliate will disaffiliate on January 1 and become Family Planning of the Coastal Bend.
Clients shouldn’t notice any changes in prices or services other than the office changing its name to Family Planning of the Coastal Bend, CEO Amanda Stuckenberg said.

Planned Parenthood wanted to standardize its operations at all of its agencies nationwide, Stuckenberg said.

That included a new requirement for all affiliates to perform abortions, something the Coastal Bend office didn’t see as necessary because of abortion services offered by local doctors, Stuckenberg said.

“We have never provided abortions,” she said. “Our position is that if that is a need in your community, fine. There are far greater needs in our area than abortion. We feel that women here have options. We don’t need to duplicate services.”

It’s unclear how many Planned Parenthood affiliates are following the local chapter’s lead. National officials couldn’t be reached for comment Monday.

Planned Parenthood spokesperson admits that prolife legislation lowers abortion rates

I can't remember how many times I've read pro-choice bloggers or employees of pro-choice organizations stating that prolife legislation doesn't do anything to reduce the number of abortions. Their arguments are usually wrapped up with something like, "If women want abortions, then they'll get them."

But today I came across this article in the Austin Independent which discusses prolife media organizations led by Brian Follett. In the article, Follett states his organization's media campaigns have been effective in lowering the abortion ratio in Austin area.

Not so says the local Planned Parenthood spokesperson. That reduction was caused by.....prolife legislation.
Sarah Wheat, spokesperson for Planned Parenthood in Austin, attributed the decline to state legislation passed in 2003 and 2005 that established a 24-hour waiting period before a woman can have an abortion, required parental consent before a teenager can have an abortion, and instituted severe restrictions on abortions after 16 weeks beyond conception.

“These laws had an immediate and direct impact on reducing abortions, as they were intended,” Wheat said. “It’s much harder to be a provider of abortions.”
Uh-oh. Somebody forgot to give Sarah Wheat the memo.

One of the last things pro-choicers want to admit is that prolife legislation reduces abortions.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Overheard - Veganism + Pro-Choice = Nonsense

Abortion Gang member ProChoiceGal attempts to explain how her veganism and her pro-choice views complete each other.
I am vegan for the many of the same reasons I’m pro-choice. I have a deep appreciation for life; my veganism and my pro-choice activism both stem from this appreciation. I believe that all sentient life has undeniable value and should be respected (unlike antis, who seem to believe that non sentient life has undeniable value and all sentient life must be disrespected). I respect non-human animal life as well as human life; this is where my veganism comes from. I see as pig as having as much value as a dog, a cat, or a human.

Life Links 12/20/10

CBS News has a video news story on Matt Hoffman, the college football player who donated his bone marrow stem cells to save a cancer patient's life.
In Division III football, Hoffman was the fearless star and leader of the Rowan University team.

But doctors told him that the drugs he needed to even donate stem cells would force an end to his junior year season. It was no contest.

"It's a football game. They come and go," Hoffman said. "You have a man's life. It was very easy for me to choose."

Is a prolife group "extreme" when more than 70% of state's lawmakers (including numerous Democrats) are endorsed by and/or agree with them? In her plea for Governor-Elect Rick Snyder to abandon his self-proclaimed prolife position, Sarah Scranton, the executive director of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Michigan, doesn't seem to understand the conflict between calling Right to Life of Michigan "extreme" and then in the next sentence noting that "more than 70 percent of the incoming state lawmakers either endorsed by Michigan Right to Life or known to hold anti-choice views."

The National Post has an article on a case in Canada where a woman named Melinda Morin was convicted of manslaughter for killing her boyfriend after he kicked her in the stomach when she wouldn't get an abortion.
At trial, Morin testified she had tried to leave her boyfriend, saying she would raise the baby herself, but that Mr. Godwin didn't want the drug-addicted prostitute to have a "crack baby." They got into a heated argument and Mr. Godwin kicked her in the stomach, put her in a choke hold and came at her with a knife.

"I told him I didn't want to go for an abortion. I'd keep the baby and I wouldn't bother him. I'd take care of it myself," Morin testified. "But he didn't want to know there was a kid out there that was his. He was upset and he wanted me to have an abortion. No way around it."

Wesley Smith catches Michael Kinsley inaccurately describing President Bush's policy on the federal funding of embryonic stem cells. Smith is too kind in the title when he says that Kinsley doesn't know what he's talking about. Unfortunately, Kinsley does know what Bush's policy was, he just prefers to continually to lie about it.

In the Irish Times, Breda O'Brien has an editorial which discusses the recent European Court of Human Rights case and pushes back against the idea that abortion is a good thing for women.
As a woman who still calls herself a feminist, it makes me furious that feminists seem to think that abortion is such a good thing for women, an absolutely necessary "right", when so often it is a somewhat brutal substitute for what they really need.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Life Links 12/17/10

William Saunders, Vice-President of legal affairs at Americans United for Life provides the good news and the bad news in the The European Court of Human Rights ruling in ABC v. Ireland.

Joanna Wagner has a piece in MercatorNet discussing sex-selection abortions.
Because this kind of abortion is based on intense gender discrimination, we Americans easily condemn the practice. It appears to be different from American abortion because it disproportionately targets female babies.

But wait! The exact same practice takes place at a rate of more than a million abortions each year in our own country, down our own streets, with our own young women and their unborn girls and boys. In India, unborn women are reduced to the status of disposable things. In America, unborn women and men are both reduced to the same status. How is it socially acceptable here for Americans to abort the unborn of both sexes, while we see it as a grave evil when done just to one sex in India?

The National Post notes that Quebec policy of paying for IVF on the condition that only one embryo is implanted at a time has dramatically lowered the percentage of IVF pregnancies resulting in multiple births.
Industry figures to be officially unveiled Thursday indicate just 3% of IVF procedures done in the first three months of the new policy resulted in multiples, compared with the usual in-vitro rate of about 30% multiples. Quebec stipulated that just one embryo at a time could be implanted in most provincially funded cases.

Its goal was partly to reduce the occurrence of twins, triplets and other multiples, who are much more likely to face health problems and burden the health care system than singletons.
The article also includes this LOL quote:
She also said it would be unfair for governments to restrict IVF treatment to single-embryo transfers without footing the bill. That would be “getting a little communistic, getting a little dictatorial,” said Ms. Hanck.

The New York Times has an interesting piece on how an excellent Division III football player missed the final game of last year's season to donate blood stem cells. Rowan University defensive end Matt Hoffman invited stem cell recipient Warren Sallach and his family to Gagliardi Trophy (Division III's Heisman) award ceremony.

More details in the case of the Washington physician who aborted his own child

Christina at Real Choice has details on the Washington physician being fined which I didn't see in any stories I read. Apparently, John Eiland tricked his girlfriend/co-worker into signing a consent form for abortion by claiming she might have an ectopic pregnancy. He then put her under and ended the uterine pregnancy which was no risk to her health.
Eiland told investigators that he saw no evidence of a uterine pregnancy, so to rule out an ectopic pregnancy he decided to admit Amy to Providence Centralia. Eiland admitted that there was no medical emergency, and no medically valid reason to rush to treat Amy himself.

Amy was five or six weeks pregnant. Eiland said that he warned Amy that the anesthesia for the exploratory laparotomy he was about to perform carried a 20% miscarriage risk. He had her sign a consent form for the laparotomy and, if "necessary", a D&C.

If Amy did have an ectopic pregnancy, a D&C wouldn't constitute treatment because it wouldn't touch the pregnancy. On the other hand, a D&C would kill any embryo gestating in Amy's uterus. In other words, Eiland was tricking Amy into signing a consent form for an abortion under the guise of treatment for an ectopic pregnancy. He ordered an hCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin) test prior to the surgery; the results later showed an hCG level consistent with a normal uterine pregnancy.

Once Eiland had Amy put under, he performed the laparotomy, which revealed that Amy had a uterine pregnancy, not an ectopic pregnancy. There was no evidence that there was anything wrong with Amy's pregnancy. But Eiland performed a D&C anyway, killing their child, Amy's child.

Eiland insisted that he'd just performed the abortion to prevent Amy from suffering the physical and emotional trauma of a miscarriage. Evidently this story placated Amy, since she continued to have sex with him for two more years.

How she feels now, when it's come out that he tricked her into an unsought abortion, isn't a matter of public record.
How does this guy get to keep his license?

Planned Parenthood finally releases annual report

Planned Parenthood's web site finally has their 2008-2009 annual report. The financial information is on pages 28-29. The report doesn't include a listing of services and how many were performed in the last year like previous reports. Instead, on page 6 there is a small pie chart which lists 10.943,609 total services and then breaks the services up into slices.

The most notable information I found is that Planned Parenthood lost $78.1 million in one year on investments. The national office lost $10 million and the affiliates $68.1 million. If not for these bad investments, Planned Parenthood would have made a profit of $63.4 million.

In January of 2009, Crain's New York reported that Planned Parenthood laid off a large number of staffers because one of their funder's assets were managed by Bernie Madoff.
Part of Planned Parenthood’s funding declines stem from the closing of the Florida-based Picower Foundation, which shut down in December because its assets were managed by Bernard Madoff. The $1 billion foundation was one of the few major funders of reproductive rights issues.
I wonder if Planned Parenthood also invested money with Madoff.

The report also notes were PP's money comes from: Government grants and contracts totaled $363.2 million, clinic income was $404.9 million and private donations came to $209.2 million. Planned Parenthood's total revenue topped $1.1 billion.

Lamest pro-choice argument ever

"You're too young to argue about abortion."

That pretty much sums up Gabe's response at VideoGum to a video by Lia, a 12-year-old prolifer, who discusses how abortion isn't a personal preference.
Look, it’s not fair for an adult to pick apart the logic of a child’s argument, because the adult has a smart adult brain and the child has a stupid child brain....
I'd love to see Gabe's attempt to logically pick apart Lia's argument but I'm guessing that's never going to happen because his "smart adult brain" seems only capable of making incredibly obvious ad hominems.

Life Links 12/16/10

The European Court of Human Rights has ordered the country of Ireland to pay a woman approximately $20,000 for violating her human rights under the European Rights Convention. The woman was in remission of a rare form of cancer (which she felt my relapse during pregnancy) and went to the UK to have an abortion after unintentionally becoming pregnant and not getting the information about the possible risk to her life from her doctors.

The Court rejected the arguments of two other women who claimed they needed abortions for health reasons.
The court found in favor of Ireland in two other cases, brought by women whose lives were not at risk, saying the country has the right to restrict abortions given "the profound moral values of the Irish people in respect of the right to life of the unborn."
The BBC also has an informative Q and A on this case. There are a lot of ridiculous/inaccurate attention grabbing headlines about this case.

An abortion clinic in Kansas City has been training two physicians to perform abortions. The would-be abortionists Drs. Mila Means and Greg Linhardt, want to perform abortions in Wichita, the former home of George Tiller's abortion clinic but don't plan on performing late-term abortions.

In Canada, members of parliament voted down a bill designed to make coercive abortion illegal.
The bill was defeated with 178 votes against to 97 for it.

While Harper and many Conservatives voted against the bill, ten Liberals supported it.

"I'm disappointed that the Conservatives message here is somewhat contradictory," said Liberal MP Dan McTeague.

Roxanne's Law was named for Roxanne Fernando, a young Winnipeg woman who was killed after refusing demands from her boyfriend to have an abortion. The woman's brutally beaten body was discovered in a snow filled ditch outside of Winnipeg in February 2007.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


An Abortion Gang member describes how her co-worker (who has had two abortions) is received when she uses dehumanizing terms to describe her own unborn child:
She’s had some interesting experiences so far, aside from the normal morning sickness and food aversions. Everyone that she’s told (at work, when you’re puking, you sort of have to share that kind of information) has had a slightly different reaction. Most women hug her, or shriek excitedly. Most men have no idea what to do, and simply smile and say congratulations. Everything seems to go well until she calls it “her little sea-monkey.” No one, except for her and me, seems to think that this nickname is cute. We both have, I guess, a sick sense of humor, or so we are learning.

She calls it a sea-monkey because it had a tail (from week 5-week 9). It also doesn’t look much different from the embryo of any other animal (chicken, fish, dog, human), and we’ve referred to it by many names… “little lizard,” “baby grape” (referring to it’s size), and a few others. We kept those other names mostly private, especially since she got such a terrible reaction to her “sea-monkey” nickname. At the very least, most people look disgusted or confused when she calls it a sea-monkey. One person ever went so far as to yell at her, telling her that it’s a human and she should be treating it that way.....

I think, since my work-wife (as we lovingly refer to each other) and I are pretty liberal, that we are not bothered by the fact that this little fetus (as it is now, in week 10) was an undifferentiated ball of cells not long ago. Neither of us refers to it as a “baby” yet. We probably won’t until she’s into her second trimester, at the earliest.

Life Links 12/15/10

An ob/gyn in Washington will keep his license but has been fined and be required to attend ethics training after aborting his own child when he impregnated his co-worker.

German doctors are claiming they have cured a American man with HIV and leukemia three years after performing an adult stem cell transplant.
In 2007, a 44-year-old American named Timothy Ray Brown, who had both HIV and leukemia, was set to undergo stem cell therapy in Berlin to fight his leukemia. But Dr. Gero Huetter and colleagues at Charite-University Medicine Berlin decided to perform a stem cell transplant that also might help against his HIV.

They used stem cells from a donor who had an inherited gene mutation that left his body without the gene receptors involved in contracting HIV, making him naturally resistant to the virus......

The treatment in Brown's case couldn't be used for the general population, Fischl said, because he first had to undergo intense chemotherapy and full-body radiation to fight his leukemia. The treatments nearly destroyed his immune system _ but also left his body receptive to the new, HIV-resistant stem cells.

A Washington Post blog has a story on a recent study by pro-choice researchers attempting to debunk a study which found that women who have abortions are more prone to having mental health issues. Priscilla Coleman, the author of the original study has a long, first comment.

In the United Arab Emirates, 5 individuals (4 women and one man) are being investigated on charges of throwing a newborn child in a trash can after attempting to assist in an abortion which led to the death of a girl.
According to the head of the Khor Fakkan public prosecution, Mubarak Bin Abbad, the case details date back to the time when the eastern region police department had received a tip-off from a lady reporting the finding of a dead body of a girl in one of the buildings in the city of Khor Fakkan.

The public prosecutor and the criminal investigators rushed to the scene where the body was found. They ordered that the dead body be taken to the Khor Fakkan hospital for examination by the forensic team in order to determine what caused the death of the girl.

Investigations revealed that the deceased had undergone an abortion and that 4 compatriot women and a man were involved. They were duly arrested and upon being interrogated, they confessed that they helped the deceased to abort and get rid of her baby.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Life Links 12/14/10

An Alaskan judge has upheld Alaska's parental notification law while stripping the law of its teeth.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock wrote in his decision Monday evening that physicians should not go to jail for failing to comply with the new law, which requires doctors to notify a parent before performing an abortion on girls younger than 18.....

But groups that support the original law, like the Alaska Family Council say the judges ruling makes the law worthless because people who violate it can't be punished.

"What's the incentive for a physician? It's basically a suggestion. It's an Alaska State Suggestion now, under the judge" says Jim Minnery with the Alaska Family Council.

The University of Wisconsin has scrapped its plan to provide late-term abortions.
"This is a threat to women's health in our state," said Teri Huyck, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.

Politico has a piece about the likelihood of prolife legislation at the state level.
“We did see, as a result of the election, a significant change in the composition of statehouses,” said Donna Crane, policy director for NARAL Pro-Choice America. “Our state affiliates are definitely expecting to be in for the fight of their lives.”
Here's what a Center for Reproductive Rights spokeswoman had to say about fetal pain laws which are being introduced left and right.
“We are looking for the right case and will file a challenge when the circumstances are appropriate,” Dionne Scott, a spokeswoman for the Center for Reproductive Rights, wrote in e-mail. Scott declined to comment on why the group has not challenged the Nebraska law because the center does not discuss legal strategies of specific cases.

Monday, December 13, 2010


From an article in the Wall Street Journal about international surrogacy:
Mike Aki and his husband, a Massachusetts couple, confronted this question. The couple planned on having two children. But their two surrogate mothers in India each became pregnant with twins.

At 12 weeks into the pregnancies, Mr. Aki and his husband decided to abort two of the fetuses, one from each woman. It was a very painful call to make, Mr. Aki says. "You start thinking to yourself, 'Oh, my god, am I killing this child?'"

He didn't think of his decision as an abortion, but as a "reduction," he says. "You're reducing the pregnancies to make sure you have a greater chance of healthy children," Mr. Aki says. "If you're going to bring a child into this world, you have an obligation to take care of that child to the best of your abilities."

Egnor v. Rosenau on abortion

Michael Egnor continues his attempts to reason with ScienceBlogs writers. This time with Josh Rosenau, who provides a variety of poor, unscientific arguments for abortion.

This is especially unmoving from Rosenau:
We know, intuitively, that there must be a distinction between an egg cell gone wild and a baby. That it's hard to come up with a clean, uncomplicated distinction shouldn't persuade us that there's no distinction at all. But it should give us pause whenever someone claims that it's easy to draw a line between human life and everything else. And if that line is hard to draw, we may have to accept that fertilized eggs and embryos and fetuses fall on that border, and that there are a range of plausible ways to handle the cases on the border, and that this is a choice best left to individuals.
For one, the line isn't that hard to draw (is the entity an organism and if yes, is the organism human?), Rosenau just prefers the law discriminate against tiny, less developed human beings.

Second, why do only fetuses and embryos fall on the border? Why not infants? Rosenau provides no reasoning here. His same poor reasoning, (the line is difficult to draw, let women decide) could just as easily be used to defend infanticide and the killing of other dependent human beings. In reality, Rosenau is drawing his own line (at birth or late in pregnancy) but never provides any solid argument for why his line is clearer.

I'd also like to point out how important it is to provide and agree on definitions for words. In the arguments above, it's clear that Egnor and Rosenau are using different definitions of the word "discrete." Rosenau seems to be equating "discrete" with being "independent" which is clearly not what Egnor intended. Egnor appears to be using it to mean "distinct."

Life Links 12/13/10

The National Post in Canada has a story on the growing trend to abort via selective reduction one child in a pregnancy with twins for purely elective reasons.
Like so many other couples these days, the Toronto-area business executive and her husband put off having children for years as they built successful careers. Both parents were in their 40s — and their first son just over a year old — when this spring the woman became pregnant a second time. Seven weeks in, an ultrasound revealed the Burlington, Ont., resident was carrying twins. "It came as a complete shock," said the mother, who asked not to be named. "We're both career people. If we were going to have three children two years apart, someone else was going to be raising our kids. ... All of a sudden our lives as we know them and as we like to lead them, are not going to happen."

She soon discovered another option: Doctors could "reduce" the pregnancy from twins to a singleton through a little-known procedure that eliminates selected fetuses — and has become increasingly common in the past two decades amid a boom in the number of multiple pregnancies......

Most obstetrician-gynecologists she and her husband contacted wanted no part of a twin reduction. They were about to use Dr. Evans' New York clinic, where the procedure and related tests would have cost at least $8,000, when they discovered a physician at Sunnybrook would do the reduction, funded by medicare.

"I do believe people should have the choice, given the cost of raising children today," she said. "You want to be able to provide for your children ... to give them the things they need to become the best adults they can become."

In another piece on selective reduction, the Huffington Post has a post by Shira Hischman Weiss about how she "reduced" triplets to twins by aborting the child who they couldn't get genetic results from.
Despite being a busy mother of four boys ranging from one year to eight, I have time to think and reflect: We had been able to see one thing about the reduced fetus on the screen prior to reduction: He was also a boy. While I'm glad to have known that about him, I am sad that I never got to know him. What would he have been like? Did I do something terrible or did I save my other two children?

After the twins' premature arrival, doctors had said not to regret the reduction. They explained that triplets would have arrived even earlier. Many triplets have not made it for this reason, and severe prematurity can lead to severe problems, such as lung issues and extreme learning disabilities. But then I think, well, maybe the doctors would've taken the right measures to ensure that I carried them as long as possible. I would have been given special medicines or my cervix would have been sewn up...

While there are so many possibilities, I have to stop myself from this vicious loop-de-loop of over-thinking. I can not wonder "what if?"

Stem cell researchers have transformed immature human sperm stem cells into cells which produce insulin in mice.
Ian Gallicano and colleagues used germ-derived pluripotent stem cells, which are made from the spermatogonial stem cells. They nurtured these cells in the lab with compounds designed to make these cells start acting like pancreatic beta cells, which produce insulin.

When transplanted into diabetic mice, these cells produced insulin, acting like the pancreatic beta cells that the body mistakenly destroys in type-1 diabetes, Gallicano's team told a meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in Philadelphia.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Life Links 12/10/10

Convicted abortionist Rapin Osathanondh was released from jail after spending 3 months behind bars. He accepted a plea deal for involuntary manslaughter after Laura Hope Smith died at his abortion clinic. Operation Rescue's web site has a statement from Laura's mother, Eileen Smith, in which she says that the parole board denied parole because Osathanondh showed no remorse but the judge allowed him home anyway.
Even though the Parole Board recently denied his parole because they said he was NOT remorseful for what he did, and he was the most “arrogant and callous person to ever ask for parole in their experience serving on the parole board”, the Judge disregarded the parole board’s comments and decision and granted him freedom to go home.

The Associated Press has noticed that prolifers are pushing for more state laws which will restrict late-term abortions. Here's a ha! quote from the article:
Jordan Goldberg, the legislative counsel for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said lawmakers had more serious issues than abortion — such as the economy — to worry about and should not “waste state time” on fetal pain legislation not backed by medical science.
Yes, because I'm sure the Center for Reproductive Rights is encouraging stonrgly pro-choice lawmakers to focus solely on the economy.

In what could become the next new way to find whether unborn children have genetic diseases, researchers have been able to map the genome of a human fetus using blood from the mother. As the story about the research in The Australian notes, this seems to be an earlier and fancier way for couples to determine if they want to abort a child with a genetic diseases.
The test could potentially be performed in the eighth week of pregnancy, up to seven weeks earlier than existing diagnostic procedures, giving women longer to decide whether to proceed with an affected pregnancy.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Another episode in really thoughtless college columnists

This one comes from David Zuckerman of the Towerlight, the paper of the Towson University.

While Zuckerman recognizes that the unborn are living human organisms, he argues that they aren't "persons" and it's okay to kill unborn human beings in the first trimester because they aren't aware of what is happening to them.
During the first trimester, a fetus has no idea what is happening, as its brain is not developed enough for such advanced forms of awareness, thought and emotion. In the first trimester, a growing fetus cannot possibly understand what life is. It does not understand that it is being deprived of anything when an abortion is taking place. If my parents aborted my birth, I would not have been upset, as I could not have experienced any emotions during those early weeks of life.

Where to start?

First, a newborn child isn't self-aware and wouldn't know what was happening if someone pointed a gun at her and pulled the trigger. Does that mean it's okay to kill newborn children? Individuals who are under anaesthesia and severely cognitively disabled adults have no idea what's happening to them. Can we kill them?

Second, why is self-awareness the proper criteria to decide whether we can kill something or not?

Zuckerman then proposes this absurd idea:
Aside: If, for example, a wife cheats on her husband, but the husband never becomes aware of the affair, I would argue that this duplicity is not bad for the husband.
That's idiocy, folks. In Zuckerman's insane world of ethics, if you found out your buddy's wife was cheating on him and you told him, you'd be hurting your buddy, not his wife.

Or to cite another example borrowed from Serge at the Life Training Institute, if you saw a doctor sexually violating a patient while she was under anaesthesia you'd be morally obliged not to tell her because since she wasn't aware of the sexual violation she hasn't been hurt and you telling her would likely bring her pain and emotional suffering.
If the wife is still loving and the husband is still happy, and if no one that knows about this affair negatively alters their behavior toward this man, he is unaffected. Yes, those aware of this affair would say that their relationship is not as strong because of this lie, but the man is still happily oblivious to it all. According to this train of thought, a fetus early in development, oblivious to everything, surely cannot emotionally suffer from an abortion.
And your point is? What? That if an organism can't emotionally suffer from being harmed or killed, then there's nothing morally wrong with hurting or killing them. I guess it's open season on newborns, individuals in comas, people who are unconscious, etc. etc.
And even if I was aware of what was happening, I do not think I would want to exist if my life was a mistake. I would not want to be a burden on a young woman still in high school. I would not want to limit the freedom of a young couple, one that may not want a child yet and may be financially unstable. And I would certainly not want to be the resulting reward of rape.
Well, that's certainly much easier to boldly assert when your life isn't on the line.

Pro-choice research institute finds abortionists can "feel safe" not using ultrasounds before prescribing abortion pills

Reuters has an article on a study by Gynuity Health Projects which finds that physicians without ultrasound equipment should "feel safe" prescribing abortion pills to women. Gynuity's president and founder is Beverly Winikoff, who is also a founding member of the Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health.

Ultrasound equipment is the only sure-fire to know how far along a woman is in her pregnancy and if she has an ectopic pregnancy. Never mind those facts, the study says. Since most women in the study were good at remembering when their last period was and Planned Parenthood doesn't really care that much if a woman is mistaken and ends up taking the pill beyond 9 weeks (if the pills don't work they'll always be there with the suction machine), who needs to ultrasounds?

The study certainly points to the abortion industry's focus - getting more abortion providers - and shows how women's health certainly isn't their top focus.

Life Links 12/9/10

An Ohio judge has ruled that Planned Parenthood breached their legal duty when they failed to meet with a teenage girl 24-hours before her abortion. Planned Parenthood also failed to report statutory rape as the girl was only 13-year-old at the time.
Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Jody Luebbers ruled Tuesday that the doctor for Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio breached a legal duty by not having a meeting with the teen 24 hours in advance of the abortion to explain her options, something called an "informed consent" meeting.

"I think it's the first time ever Planned Parenthood has been in breach of that order," Brian Hurley, the attorney representing the teen, said.

"The question now is what (money) damages do we get?"

Not a dime, yet, said Daniel Buckley, the attorney for Planned Parenthood.

The law that required the "informed consent" meeting with the girl, Buckley said, was the subject at the time of a federal court injunction and therefore didn't apply in this case.

But the judge's Tuesday order clearly noted the Ohio law at the time – and not that federal injunction – applied in this case.

According to a Wall Street Journal blog, Hungary may move to ban abortion in their constitution.

Yesterday, Planned Parenthood opened up a second abortion clinic in Omaha, Nebraska.

A hospital in Germany has taken MRI images of a woman giving birth.
The hospital used a specially built "open" MRI scanner — unlike the typical tube-shaped MRI machines — to take images of the baby as it moved through the mother's birth canal to the point where its head emerged. The scanner is also designed so it can monitor the baby's heartbeat throughout the birth....

The hospital says they plan to use the new MRI scanner to try to learn why about 15% of pregnant women need a Caesarian section because the baby does not move properly into the birth canal.

The NFL is ruining football

During last week's Bears-Lions game, Lion defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh was penalized for putting both hands Bears' quarterback Jay Cutler's back and shoving him down after he scrabbled for 8 yards. Referee Ed Hochuli thought he saw Suh use his forearm to knock Cutler down and penalized him for "a non-football act." Replays clearly show otherwise but moving at full speed one can understand how Hochuli missed the call.

What's not understandable is how the NFL can fine Suh $15,000 for a perfectly legal shove in the back.

The officials messed up and instead of admitting their mistake, the NFL is doubling down. Suh has appealed the fine and any body of reasonable individuals will overturn this fine. The fine is just symptom of a cancer that is haunting the NFL; the league's willingness to defend and even support bad officiating.

I think Eric Edholm nails it on the head,
Allow me to rephrase: The NFL is hiding behind the auspice of wanting to protect players, when all it really is doing is trying to protect the referees, who blew a call.....

The league has helped create this mess. It wants to curb violence to protect itself and avoid public scrutiny, but what it has done is open to the door even wider to that exact thing. Now every hit that happens is scrutinized and dissected, and when Suh is fined for this kind of thing — as well as numerous other hits this season — there is a reaction: good, bad or otherwise.

It has become the story in the NFL this season, and players no longer know how to play the game the way they have been taught to play it.
If there's a lockout I think the NFL players should lobby for a new policy in which after each game, each team is allowed to submit one bad call or bad no-call to the NFL for review (I'm not talking about close calls here but calls which are obviously missed) and if that call is found to be especially egregious, then the official who either made or missed the call should be required to submit a video admitting his mistake and apologizing.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Life Links 12/8/10

In North Carolina, the Wake County board of commissioners has voted to remove coverage of elective abortions from the county's health insurance plan.

At a CNN Health blog, Elizabeth Landua discusses a recent study which found that frequent use of cell phones by pregnant women may lead to behavioral issues in their children up to the age of seven.
Children who had exposure to cell phones both in the womb and after birth, up to age 7 had a higher likelihood of behavioral problems than those who had no exposure, researchers said in a new study in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

The behavioral problems include hyperactivity and attention and social issues.....

In this study, the researchers looked at more than 28,000 children. More than 10 percent of children who had prenatal exposure to cell phones had mothers who said they spoke on their cell phones four times a day or more. Nearly 50 percent of mothers said they had a cell phone turned on at all times. Again, these figures are based on self-reporting by the mothers who participated in the study.

They found that, as with the previous study, the more frequently a mother used a cell phone, the greater the risk that her child would have a behavioral problem.

Japanese researchers have used induced pluripotent stem cells to successfully treat small monkeys who were paralyzed.
The team planted four types of genes into human skin cells to create the iPS cells, according to Kyodo News.

The injection was given on the ninth day after the injury, considered the most effective timing, and the monkey started to move its limbs again within two to three weeks, Okano said.

"After six weeks, the animal had recovered to the level where it was jumping around," he told AFP. "It was very close to the normal level."
A story about the research in the Mainichi Daily News notes that it would be difficult to use human iPS cells in human treatments.
One challenge to providing the treatment to humans is timing. It takes six months or more to create iPS cells -- not nearly quick enough for timely transplants to recent accident victims. To overcome this problem, the research group is also partnering with Osaka National Hospital to study the creation of an iPS cell bank that would make the stem cells available on demand.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Life Links 12/7/10

Both the Washington Post and the Washington, D.C. area NBC affiliate covered the prolife protest at the abortion clinic in Maryland which is employing late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart. The Post estimated the crowd at around 300. I would be interested in seeing this video mentioned in the NBC story if it ever gets posted:
One camera crew from an anti-abortion web outlet tried to engage a pro-choice minister in a debate about when life begins and whether his support for Carhart was tantamount to defending a murderer. But the Rev. Carlton Veazey leaned on decisions by the Supreme Court that guard a woman's right to make personal determinations about reproductive issues.

A Brazilian soccer player Bruno Fernandes has been sentenced to more than 4 years for kidnapping and assaulting a former girlfriend.
The 25-year-old goalkeeper was found guilty of abducting Ms Samudio in October 2009, physically assaulting her and forcing her to take abortion-inducing drugs before releasing her.
Samudio's child survived and she gave birth. She later disappeared and Fernandes is facing additional charges for her alleged murder.

The Wall Street Journal covers the latest development in Sherley v. Sebelius, the court case to decide whether President Obama's embryonic stem cell funding policy violates the Dickey-Wicker Amendment.
Under the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, Congress prohibited taxpayer dollars from going toward the destruction of embryos. President Barack Obama, citing the scientific value of stem cells, has said federal dollars should fund embryonic stem-cell research, so long as the private sector paid for the embryos' destruction.

The government's argument "rises or falls" on whether stem-cell research is intertwined with deriving stem cells, Judge Thomas Griffith said Monday. The judge peppered Ms. Brinkmann with questions on whether the federal money encourages embryo destruction.

The panel also questioned Mr. Hunger's contention that the federal government was breaking the law.

"There's research into making laboratory equipment," said Judge Douglas Ginsburg. "And then there's research into using laboratory equipment."

Mr. Hunger responded, "We're not talking about equipment, we're talking about subjects."

Monday, December 06, 2010

Michael Egnor v. P.Z. Myers on abortion

The Discovery Institute's Michael Egnor and blogger P.Z. Myers are in the midst(?-not sure if Myers will respond again) of an argument regarding abortion. The back and forth started with a post by Myers (who is also a biology professor) in which he described himself as pro-abortion, called an unborn child at 17 weeks "a mere embryo," claimed the unborn wasn't a human life, and noted that he voted for the couple behind to abort.

Egnor commented on Myers' statements. Myers responded and essentially argued that treating the unborn like human beings devalues other human beings. Interestingly, although he's a biology professor, Myers didn't provide a single scientific argument for why the unborn aren't human beings. He provided a photo of an egg being fertilized and what I believe is a human embryo alongside a photo of a group of young women. He concluded,
Maybe when Egnor graduates to something beyond the 101 level, he'll learn that human cells are not equivalent to a full human life. An "unborn child" (what a silly euphemism!) is not suddenly a person at conception: development is a gradual process of epigenesis, in which information and complexity expand over time, and the person does not form in an instant. There is no black-and-white boundary between non-personhood and personhood — it's an arbitrary line drawn in a continuum.
Note how Myers can't seem to separate the biological question (is the unborn a human being?) from the philosophical question (is the unborn a person?).

Egnor posted a response in which he attempts to separate the above questions and see what criteria Myers believe instills human beings with the right to life.
Myers asserts that personhood is a continuum, and that some human beings on that continuum are not persons with the right to life, and some are. What is the inflection point? What minimal characteristic(s) of a human being entitle that human being to a right to life? Please note that I am not asking about age (28 weeks of gestation, full term infant, etc), but rather about the characteristics of a human being at a particular age that represent the threshold for the right to life.

To reiterate, here's my view:

The right to life depends only on being human.

Myers disagrees.

So here's my question for Myers:

What characteristic(s) must a human being have (awareness, rationality, independent existence, etc) for that human being to have a right to life?

Life Links 12/6/10

Prolifers are planning on protesting at the Maryland abortion clinic where abortionist LeRoy Carhart will begin performing late-term abortions.
Organizers said they plan to stage regular, peaceful demonstrations as long as Carhart is working at the clinic. By holding regular protests, they hope other businesses in the office park will put pressure on Carhart to leave, Mahoney said.

Secular Prolife's blog has a quick logic lesson.

Canadian women who live on Prince Edward Island are apparently choosing to pay for their abortions out of pocket instead of getting tax-funded abortions because they are concerned for their privacy. They supposedly don't want their names on government documents.

Two researchers have published a paper in the pro-choice journal Reproductive Health Matters which claims that 47,000 women died worldwide in 2008 from the complications of unsafe abortion. This is a notable decrease from the most recent estimate from the World Health Organization which claims that approximately 70,000 women died from unsafe abortion complications in 2005. Also, there's a decrease in estimated abortion-related deaths despite the WHO estimating a nearly 2 million rise in the number of unsafe abortions. I guess this is just another piece of evidence that having pro-choice advocates estimate how many women die from unsafe abortions is hardly a sound science.

Apparently, the country of Georgia has the highest abortion rate in the world.
Even worse looks the data collected in the Reproductive Health Surveys conducted in 1999 and 2005 by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention which assigns 3.1 abortions per woman in Georgia (2005), the highest in the world.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Life Links 12/3/10

The state of Maryland has permanently revoked the medical license of George Shepard Jr., an abortionist who helped abortionist Steve Brigham perform abortions in Maryland even though Brigham wasn't licensed there.
The Maryland board on Thursday said Shepard was guilty of unprofessional conduct and that he had practiced medicine with an unauthorized person. The consent order said Brigham, who does not have a medical license in Maryland, "has been observed performing surgical procedures on approximately 50 occasions" in Elkton this year.

The News and Observer has a story about abortion protesters in North Carolina who have been displaying graphic images of aborted children outside of area high schools.
Morgan Richardson, 17, an Enloe senior, said it wasn't right for the protesters to be near the school. She argued that their presence disrupted the school day.

"Enloe is a very diverse place," Richardson said. "We're very open-minded. If you have a different opinion, we're very accepting. But they shouldn't be coming on campus."

Another day and another story of conflict of interest shenanigans at CIRM, California's stem cell agency. This time, Alan Bernstein drops out of the race to be CIRM's high-paid (over $500,000 a year) chairman. Bernstein was nominated for the job after he led a panel of experts (who were paid by CIRM) to make an "impartial" appraisal of the CIRM's performance. Amazingly, the report which CIRM paid for and was led by a guy who became next in line to lead CIRM finds that CIRM is really great.
The 19-page report, issued last week, offered praise for an agency that has been criticized by legislators and government watchdogs for its high salaries and slow progress toward finding promised cures for fatal diseases using stem cells.

Two men in California were sentenced to life in prison for the contract killing a pregnant woman and her unborn child.
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Roland Candee on Wednesday sentenced 24-year-old Khae Saephan and co-defendant Xeng Saetern for fatally shooting 28-year-old Si Saeturn, who was five-months pregnant, in December 2005 in Sacramento.

Saephan has no chance of parole, while Saetern received 100 years to life.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Life Links 12/2/10

Emergency contraceptive ella is now available in the United States. Various prolife groups and individuals believe that ella, which has a similar chemical make-up to the RU-486 abortion pill, could work to prevent the implantation of a human embryos or cause abortions. Ella is currently only available with a prescription unlike Plan B which women can get without a prescription.

Creative Minority Report shares that scientists in Spain have developed microscopic bar codes which they've implanted into mouse embryos and been given approval to use in human embryos created via IVF.

The Bay Citizen has new information on the continuing troubles at the former Planned Parenthood Golden Gate.
Dian Harrison, the former chief executive of Planned Parenthood Golden Gate, has filed suit against the organization, now known as Golden Gate Community Health, for more than $180,000 in severance. The lawsuit, which was filed Nov. 22, comes as the struggling nonprofit organization is making a major fundraising push to stay afloat....

Under Harrison's leadership, the nonprofit lost $2.8 million during the 2008-2009 tax year, according to tax filings. It had not broken even since the 2005-2006 tax year, tax records show....

Meanwhile, Bay Area Planned Parenthood affiliates are racing to get services up and running in the counties where Planned Parenthood Golden Gate had operated, including those where Golden Gate Community Health continues to operate.

Frances Kissling, former president of Catholics for Free Choice, replies to Amanda Marcotte's charge that prolifers are liars and dialoguing with them is a waste of time.
When dialogue participants, including those at Princeton, hold back it's not because they are "liars" as Amanda scoldingly calls them, but because dialogue requires restraint. Setting up through words old reactive patterns is not helpful. In this regard, I am glad Amanda was not there. I wouldn't put my worst enemy in the room with someone who talked the way Amanda writes when she gets wound up about the "evil" antis.

Amanda also says you can't "have a dialogue without agreeing on the facts." In fact, you probably wouldn't need a dialogue if you agreed on the facts. Fact fights dominate the life choice debate.
Kissling also tore to shreds another RH Reality Check poster's assertions about the circumstances leading to late-term abortions.
Factually, we have no data to support these assertions. After a web search did not reveal confirmation, I emailed Guttmacher. Here is the response "[we do not] know of any data to support these assertions about reasons for abortions post 20 weeks. Reasons for second-trimester abortions may be very different than reasons for post-20-week abortions, but again there's no info. We do know that young women (minors in particular) take longer to realize they are pregnant."

Because I am prochoice I give Catherine Epstein some latitude. Some of what she speculates is reasonable. Some of it is the desire of an advocate to put the best foot forward but in my opinion strays from a rigorous approach to the "facts." We do not know if there are more late abortions due to severe fetal abnormality or to denial and fear. We have no idea if denial by young women is the result of sexual abuse, none whatsoever. Claiming that lack of funding for a first trimester abortion is resolved with finding six times more money later in the pregnancy is highly speculative.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Abortionist Carhart not opening new D.C. area clinic, just getting job at an old one

Who's surprised that infamous late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart was lying when he claimed he was going to open up a new late-term abortion clinic in Maryland but wanted/needed donations? Not me.

He apparently is just going to be paid to provide late term abortions at an already established abortion clinic in Germantown, Maryland.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Life Links 11/30/10

Scott Klusendorf provides a sample of how he would structure a basic prolife seminar to help equip Christians persuasively defend the unborn.

In Canada, Robert Latimer has been granted full parole to return to his home. Latimer claimed his act of murdering his disabled daughter in 1993 with carbon monoxide was a mercy killing. For the last 2 years, he'd been living in a halfway house.

Barbara Bush recently claimed that she didn't put her miscarried child in a jar and show it to President George W. Bush when he was a teen. She claims a housekeeper did.

Having an abortion in the United Arab Emirates can have severe consequences.
BM, a Syrian, appeared on Sunday before the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance and was charged with illegal sex, facilitating prostitution and assisting in an abortion. The court also addressed four women from Uzbekistan, who were charged with prostitution and being in the country illegally.

SD, one of the four, was accused of aborting her pregnancy and having sex with BM. She pleaded not guilty to the sex charges but admitted to being in the country illegally.

SD initially confessed to taking abortion pills and to having sex with BM, but she retracted that after the Chief Justice told her she faced stoning if she confessed. She then pleaded not guilty and said she aborted the foetus naturally.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pediatricians not happy having abortionist as a neighbor

Dr. Steve Brinn, M.D. submitted this letter to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The three pediatricians of Liberty Sharonville Pediatrics have practiced in Sharonville for 31 years, caring for infants and children since 1979. Our present building was built in 1985. Imagine our shock and disbelief, when we learned that an abortion clinic was opening in the building 50-feet from our front door. Why would a clinic performing abortions be so insensitive to a group practice treating children for 31 years?

To have a group of OB/GYN doctors terminating fetuses just outside our door, to force our mothers and their babies drive through a common driveway, driving by the front of an abortion clinic, in order to park in our lot to have their babies cared for is an atrocity. We are here to prevent infant diseases, and they are here to end infant lives. We may not have the legal right to get them to move but we will do anything in our power to vocalize our personal disgust with their mission.

Life Links 11/29/10

Frances Kissling discusses the Open Hearts abortion conference and her thoughts on it.
Surely something subtle changed for each of us. Perhaps, as Peter Singer, another of the organizers, had hoped, it was one on those moments when those on different sides of the issue learned that not everyone who disagrees with them is either "stupid or evil." Or simply that we are all human and things are complicated.
Amanda Marcotte disagrees because she believes prolifers are all liars who are really just anti-woman and anti-sex.
Part of the problem is that it's impossible to have a dialogue with someone who refuses to speak honestly about their positions. As long as anti-choicers continue promoting the fraudulent idea that they're in this for "life", when they are clearly in it to oppose sexual liberation and women's rights, there cannot be any dialogue. Talking to liars isn't a dialogue.
Back to Kissling, who thinks the pro-choice movement should embrace the seriousness of abortion.
Not even the reproductive justice movement, the newest and best of abortion rights frames, adequately addresses the fact that abortion is a serious decision precisely because it involves how we, as humans, will foster respect for life, even if ending it is justified and not the same as taking the life of a person. Can we acknowledge that abortion is not just a medical procedure like having one's tonsils out but entails many losses, including the inability to bring life one has created to fruition?

Is it possible that such acknowledgments might result not in greater restriction of abortion, but in a public that trusts us, and trusts women, even more?

The Globe and Mail has published a piece by a woman going by the name L. Allen who says she has forgiven herself for her abortions.
For 10 years I had tried to forget it happened. I had buried it all deep down – the guilt, the memories, everything – and convinced myself that the abortions didn't affect me. It wasn't until I came across Ms. Lamott's story and reflected on my own that I realized I'd been clinging to a whole pile of unresolved guilt for my decisions.

Perhaps it is the upcoming birth of my child that has propelled me into confronting my past. What better time to purge the wounds that have festered so long within? Silent, unspoken pain that begged to be noticed and dealt with, but which I chose to ignore.

More than 2,000 people took part in a ceremony to "send off the souls" of more than 2,000 aborted children found in a Buddhist temple in Thailand.
The ceremony started at 7am when Phrakhru Wijit Sorakhun, the abbot of Wat Phai Ngern Chotanaram, performed religious rites in the main chapel of the temple.

A prayer was given and alms were offered to 100 monks and novices to make merit for the souls of the unborn babies.

The names of the 2,002 unborn babies written on pieces of paper were put in a coffin, which was carried around the crematorium three times.

Participants placed dokmai chan, or sandalwood flowers, at the crematorium site and poured ceremonial water as an act of offering merit to the unborn babies. Similar merit-making rituals will also be organised in the next seven days, 50 days and 100 days.

In the Kansas City Star, one parent writes about answering her child's question about abortion.
Recently, my parenting skills were tested with the question, "What is an abortion?" This question was difficult enough to answer, but the follow-up question of "why" was nearly impossible.

Another gem from Amanda Marcotte

This one showing her complete lack of knowledge about fetal development and when abortions take place.
Never mind that pretty much every pro-choicer is quite aware what a fetus is, thank you very much. And never mind that most abortions happens well before the period where a fetus looks like much at all, since it's tiny and doesn't resemble a person.
Here's what the unborn child looks like at 8 weeks of pregnancy (6 weeks after conception) which is the stage of development when most U.S. abortions are performed at or after).

Don't you just love it when someone claims to be an expert about something and then proves they have no clue what they're talking about in the next sentence?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Life Links 11/24/10

Pete Arnold, the man behind admits to CNN that they never intended to have an abortion. He still claims his wife is pro-choice.
"My intent is not to deceive people, but at the same point, I do want people to talk about this. This seemed like a pretty good way to further the discussion, because people don't ever seem to want to talk about it for real if there's no name on it, no Baby Wiggles," he said.

Surprise, surprise. Planned Parenthood and two abortionists are challenging Alaska recently passed parental notification law.

Authorities in Thailand have seized approximately 100,000 pills used for inducing abortions.

I always find it so curious when pro-choicers think photos of aborted children are fake. For example, Brit Schulte writes about Justice For All display at North Texas in the Socialist Worker:
On the other side, the anti-choice demonstrators held their fabricated images of supposedly aborted fetuses.
What does Schulte imagine that aborted children look like?

Steve Wagner also posted a video of Justice For All's display at North Texas.

RH Reality Check's Robin Marty writes one of the most unintentionally hilarious sentences ever.
The effectiveness of embryonic stem cells over adult stem cells is a scientific fact that everyone except the most extreme of the anti-choice movement has recognized.
Yes, embryonic stem cells, which have yet to successfully treat a single human being of a single disease and have only been recently approved for two early stage clinical trialsm are more effective than adult stem cells, which have been successfully treating people with a myriad of diseases for years. That's just delusional. Marty's not claiming embryonic stem cells have "more promise" or "greater potential." She thinks they're more effective now.

Where does RH Reality Check find these people?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Life Links 11/23/10

The LA Times has a long article on the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine and their plans to ask California voters for more stem cell money. Wesley Smith comments,
So who cares about fiscal sanity? Who cares that ESCR is now funded without the Bush restrictions? Who cares that human cloning hasn’t worked out? Who cares that California is falling into the ocean fiscally? Who cares that our taxpayers are groaning under high taxes and an astonishing level of bond debt? Not the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine.

Prolifers in Council Bluffs came out to a city council meeting to show their opposition to LeRoy Carhart's plans to build a late-term abortion mill there.
Carhart, the Bellevue doctor who once performed late-term abortions in Nebraska, recently said he plans to open an abortion clinic in Council Bluffs.

If so, it won’t be on Avenue G and North 15th Street. At its meeting Monday, the council unanimously agreed to dispose of 24,393 square feet of vacant city ground near that intersection, but with the stipulation that an abortion clinic could not be built there.

A Harvard researcher has developed a new way to reprogram "mature endothelial cells—which line the interior of blood vessels" into flexible adult stem cells.
Medici’s study, published online earlier this week in the journal Nature Medicine, found a mutated gene that causes a disease known as Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva induced endothelial cells to become cells very similar to adult mesenchymal stem cells, which have the ability to differentiate into bone, fat, and cartilage cells.....

In addition, Medici said the new discovery is “a much safer alternative than induced pluripotent stem cells,” which also come from reprogrammed mature cells but can lead to cancer in patients.

American Idol Fantasia Barrino tells court she had abortion before suicide attempt

My FOX Orlando and a variety of celebrity tabloids are reporting that former American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino told the Mecklenburg County Court in North Carolina that she had an abortion before attempting suicide three months ago.

The father of the child was a married man named Antwaun Cook, whom Barrino claims she believed was separated from his wife.
The 26-year-old singer said she had gotten pregnant by Antwaun Cook and had chosen to terminate the pregnancy.

On August 9, she was admitted to Mercy South Hospital in Pineville, N.C. after swallowing a bottle of Aspirin and a sleep aid in a suicide attempt.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Life Links 11/22/10

The New York Times has an article on the illegal abortion controversy in Thailand where 2,000 aborted children were found in a Buddhist temple.
Lanchakorn Janthamanas, 33, has acknowledged that she made regular deliveries of fetuses to the temple after collecting them from several illegal clinics. She has also acknowledged having performed illegal abortions.

But her mother said it was not such a simple matter to place blame. "I am proud of my daughter for her contribution to society," said the mother, Sombat Sinotho, 60, speaking of the abortions she had performed. "Only those who have not faced the problem of an unwanted pregnancy tend to view her as evil."

Ms. Lanchakorn said she had rescued eight fetuses that had survived the procedure and was now raising them as her own adopted children. "I commit sin every day," she said, "so if the kids won't die, there's no need to kill them."

A Planned Parenthood in Columbia, Missouri, has resumed performing abortions after three months of no abortions because of staffing issues.

One of the leader's of Lansing's 40 Days for Life campaign shares his experience at the recent burial for 17 aborted children whose remains were found in an abortion clinic dumpster..

FDA gives ACT clearance for another embryonic stem cell trial

Advanced Cell Technology just announced via press release that the Food and Drug Administration has approved their application for the second clinical trial using cells derived from embryonic stem cells. They will test retinal cells created from human embryonic stem cells in patients with Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy, a juvenile eye disease which eventually leads to blindness.
The Phase I/II trial will be a prospective, open-label study that is designed to determine the safety and tolerability of the RPE cells following sub-retinal transplantation to patients with advanced SMD. A total of twelve patients will be enrolled in the study at multiple clinical sites.

Why would pro-choicers be against a site like if it wasn't a hoax?

Pro-choicer Jeff Fecke has done a fair amount of research into Pete and Alisha Arnold, the couple behind and it's clear as day that it's a hoax. But while I certainly don't condone what the Arnolds are doing, I think Fecke's conclusion is wrong. He writes,
But Pete and Alisha Arnold failed in their trolling, simply because they fundamentally misunderstood the pro-choice view. It's not surprising; being anti-choice means that you want to decide for others what they must do when faced with the decision to have a child. It's only natural for them to assume that pro-choicers must want to force women to have abortions against their will. After all, to an anti-choicer, "against their will" is how women should do pretty much everything; it's just a question of who's making the decisions for them.
First, they failed in their trolling because they didn't cover their tracks.

Second, who's Jeff Fecke to say that if a Alisha Arnold was actually considering an abortion and thought the viewpoint of the public would be helpful in making her decision that a web site like would be "wrong."

Fecke writes, "Anyone who's truly pro-choice would understand why putting a woman's right to choose up for a vote is wrong" but then never really explains why.

From a prolife perspective, I know why I think it's wrong but I'm struggling to see why the "Trust Women" caucus would think so. If a woman chooses to rely on the public's help in making an abortion decision, then what's wrong with that from a pro-choice perspective? For years we've heard that a woman should be allowed to make an abortion decision with "her doctor and family." Why (from a pro-choice perspective) would it be wrong to include the public in this realm of influence?

"You can see that it resembles a human..."

The Toronto Star has a long piece on abortion in Canada featuring the story of an abortionist-in-training who began struggling with performing abortions after he and his partner (they're gay) decided they wanted to adopt a child.
His belief that women had the right to do what they wanted with their bodies was steadfast during his medical training in London, Ont.

It solidified further after he spent a month learning how to perform abortions at the Morgentaler Clinic in Toronto. He found that he enjoyed the work and was not put off by a woman's tears or the tissue he extracted from her womb.....

As James's desire to have a family deepened, he began to think an uneasy thing: how could he terminate pregnancies when each abortion meant there would be one less child for adoption?

He also wondered how he would explain what he did for a living to his adopted child. After all, wouldn't his son or daughter have been born because the birth mother had not chosen abortion?
James remembers feeling a gentle shock each of those first few times. But even after viewing a second-term abortion, he was not haunted by what he saw.

"During the direct examination, you might see an arm or an umbilical cord or, even, the body. It doesn't all come out in one piece. With your imagination, you can see that it resembles a human.....

Though James recognizes that abortion kills something that "resembles a human" and every abortion means one less child available for adopted, he decides that being an abortionist (including doing later abortions) is his career path.
One year after questions started to swirl through his mind, he has made his choice.

James will be an abortion doctor.

Not only that, but James plans to do second-trimester abortions as part of his practice. He will step to the very front line, the place where there is greatest need — and greatest risk.