October 23, 2014

There can be dignity in all states of life

Catherine FrazeeCatherine Frazee

In his article of Oct. 9, Desmond Tutu emphasizes the importance of language on the sensitive issue of medically assisted dying. In the spirit of advancing a respectful dialogue, I must urge him to consider the deeper meanings of dignity, and how our experience of human dignity leads disabled Canadians to a very different conclusion about end-of-life interventions.

Last week I had the opportunity to share my thoughts with a small group of parliamentarians on the subject of medically assisted dying.
I was not alone. Several friends and colleagues from the disability rights community were each given five minutes to present an argument against amending the criminal code to sanction medically assisted dying.

One spoke about the discriminatory implication of offering state-sanctioned assistance not for everyone, but only for persons who are frail, very ill, or seriously disabled. Another presented a chilling account of the “creep” of euthanasia in permissive jurisdictions.

Another spoke from personal experience, about the time someone said to him, “I don’t know how you do it; I’d rather be dead than in a wheelchair.” There were nods of recognition around the room. This is a common experience.

I spoke about dignity. The suffering that medically assisted dying is said to alleviate most often correlates with loss of dignity. I don’t believe that anyone should take a position on medically assisted dying without first understanding what dignity is, and what it is not.

I say this as a person whose naked body is handled daily by persons who love me, or persons employed by me, or perfect strangers with skills and capacities I myself lack. I say this as a person who considers immobility, incontinence, impairment and dependence to be routine conditions of life. I say this as a person who cannot bathe or breathe or swallow or feed without the aid of some device.

No one should argue that my life is undignified because of whatever tubes I had to be hooked up to this morning before I could settle down to write these words. The same, I submit, should be said of Craig Schonegevel [who committed suicide, a man whose life and death was chronicled by author Marianne Thamm].

Dignity does not spring from some extraordinary fortress of determination encoded within us. Dignity doesn’t work like that. Dignity is fragile and ephemeral.

Allow yourself to be consumed by all of the perceived misfortunes of my predicament, and suddenly, my dignity will be shattered.

See me as anything but your equal in human worth, and at that moment, in that glance, with that sorrowful sigh, you have robbed me of dignity. Speak of willful death as a reasonable choice for persons afflicted with the presumed indignity of physical incapacity, and my dignity is undermined.

This is not some trivial conceit. For my dignity is utterly bound up with your respect for my way of life. It is not abstract, and it is not a solitary attribute. Dignity is social.

It doesn’t come from inside of me. It comes from others, always, in relation to me.

In our opposition to legislative amendments that would permit medical assistance to end one’s own life, disabled citizens are seeking to advance a vital truth, one that is imperative for our fellow citizens to embrace as well. Our physical and cognitive powers are not the source of human dignity. As these powers attenuate, human life does not lose its inherent value.

At the heart of this debate, we must choose between competing visions of our social fabric. Shall we uncritically submit to the voracious demands of individual liberty no matter what the social cost? Or shall we agree that there are limits to individual freedom, limits that serve all of us when we are vulnerable and in decline?

Let us seize this moment in our nation’s history to affirm that all states of living are inherently dignified and worthy of our utmost respect.

Catherine Frazee is Professor Emerita at the School of Disability Studies at Ryerson University, and former chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

By Catherine Frazee, via NRL News Today
Editor’s note. This article was published in the Ottawa Citizen on October 15.

Make Our Founding Fathers Proud


National Right to Life President Carol TobiasNational Right to Life President Carol Tobias

Are you ready?? Are you as excited as I am to learn the results of the elections just around the corner?? Will Harry Reid be able to maintain his grip on a pro-abortion majority in the Senate, or will pro-lifers control both the House and the Senate??

Candidates and political parties and organizations have been hard at work to produce victory on election night. I daresay, none of them have been working as hard as the innumerable pro-lifers laboring on behalf of those candidates who believe in the dignity and preciousness of innocent human life.

I love history and enjoy reading about the people who banded together almost 250 years ago to create this wonderful new country called the United States of America. I am always amazed at the wisdom, the forethought, and the determination, of the men known as the “Founding Fathers.”

People of different backgrounds, different occupations and levels of education, different ideas of what is important, all came together with the common cause of freedom. Their ideals, their dreams, their values were summarized in the eloquent words that flowed from the pen of Thomas Jefferson. Read again these famous words:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

I marvel at the thought of all these amazing people being brought together in the same place, at the same time, in history. And their number one priority was Life.

…their number one priority was Life.

Fast forward to today’s America, where so many have forgotten the ideals of our founders. Would those founders have believed it possible that this country would allow the killing of more than 56 million of its children? Could they even fathom the idea of candidates and elected officials insisting that your tax dollars be diverted to facilitate that killing?

I firmly believe that pro-life people are the true descendants of our Founding Fathers. Why do I say that? Pro-life people understand the vision and the principles established for this great country. Pro-life people clearly see where our great nation has gone astray. And it is because we so love our country that we continue to move forward with perseverance and optimism.

Those who advocate for the killing of unborn children protest that we want to take the country “back,” as in “backwards” to a worse state of affairs than we have today. Rather, we want to bring back –to restore— the vision of our Founding Fathers. We want to restore the soul of our nation by proclaiming that each and every individual human being is precious.

I have been involved in electoral politics for many years. Every election cycle, I think of John Adams, who wrote

“It has been the Will of Heaven, that We should be thrown into Existence at a Period, when the greatest Philosophers and Lawgivers of Antiquity would have wished to have lived: a Period, when a Coincidence of Circumstances, without Example, has afforded to thirteen Colonies at once an opportunity, of beginning Government anew from the Foundation and building as they choose. How few of the human Race, have ever had an opportunity of choosing a System of Government for themselves and their Children? How few have ever had any Thing more of Choice in Government, than in Climate? These Colonies have now their Election and it is much to be wish’d that it may not prove to be like a Prize in the Hands of a Man who has no Heart to improve it.”

The people of the United States are blessed with a system of government that gives us the opportunity to choose our leaders. Sadly, too many people don’t take advantage of that opportunity. They are too busy, they don’t like the candidates on the ballot, or even worse—they just don’t care.

Many should-be voters decide that their vote won’t make a difference so they don’t bother to vote. But when we vote, we are not only doing our duty as citizens. We are also making a statement. Use your vote to be a voice for the voiceless.

Pro-lifers across America have been working for many months to elect candidates who believe in Life; candidates who want to protect unborn children and their mothers. There are just a few days left until November 4, which means the last thing we can do is rest.

Use your vote to be a voice for the voiceless.

After the materials have been printed and distributed, and the phone calls have been made, and information posted on various social media outlets, there may still be a handful of people you haven’t spoken with yet. Make sure that the pro-life people you know are going to vote. Do they need a ride to the voting booth? Can you take them, or find someone who can?

We occasionally hear the idea of someone “turning over in his/her grave” because something they espoused is being turned completely upside down. Electing politicians who favor the disposal of innocent life, not its protection, is at odds with everything our Founding Fathers stood for.

In the remaining few weeks, let us do everything we can to advance the cause for life and make our Founding Fathers proud.

By Carol Tobias, President, National Right to Life

You can view and download the IFRL PAC Endorsements for the 2014 General Election at:
http://ifrl-blog.blogspot.com/p/ifrl-pac-endorsements-for-2014-general.html

“Repeat Abortions” versus “Multiple Abortions”: call them what you will, pro-abortionists defend them unwaveringly

Steph Herold

Steph Herold is the author of an article appearing on rhrealitycheck.org describing a “Special Issue” of Women & Health. The objective is to put an academic gloss on the notion that while abortion stigma “permeates every level of our culture,” that is only because the “belief that abortion is socially or morally unacceptable” is foisted on women.

To understand why Herold is the perfect choice to write a hosanna-filled puff piece, let’s look at one of her own articles—“Evidence based Advocacy: Expanding Our Thinking About ‘Repeat’ Abortions,” which also ran on rhrealitycheck.org. It’s a real corker for it is an unabashed defense of abortion as birth control and a Jeremiah against abortion “stigma.”

The crux of her case is found in her preferred term for women who abort more than one baby: “multiple” abortion over “repeat” abortion. [Notice “Repeat’ is in quotation marks in the title.] To anyone but the most feverish pro-abortion zealot, this must be a distinction without a difference, right?

In practice, yes, but in trying to erase the deep unease even many “pro-choicers” feel at a woman repeatedly taking the lives of unborn babies, it makes all the sense in the world. And it also might work for those attempting to finesse the fact that nearly half of the abortions procured are now to women who’ve had at least one prior abortion.

Let me try (emphasize try) to explain how Herold attempts to square the circle.

Right out of the gate Herold makes no bones about her absolutism. Even to try to intervene after a first abortion to prevent a second (or third, or fourth, or however many) abortion is to miss that each abortion must be seen “as a unique experience with its own set of complex circumstances.” That’s why these women are not “repeaters”: each abortion is, duh, unique. Get it?

(Each abortion IS unique in the sense that every baby lost is unique but that decidedly is not what Herold means.)

Herold tells us that “Tracy Weitz and Katrina Kimport, sociologists with Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), analyzed the interviews of ten women who’d had multiple abortions.” They’d had a total of 35 abortions and each was different, some easier/harder than others.

If you are going to “target” these women, understand that each abortion came with its own “unique emotional and social circumstances.” Okay (for purposes of following the argument), now what?

“Similarly, providers should not assume that a woman with a history of multiple abortions will have the same emotional or contraceptive needs after each abortion,” Herold writes. “In fact, Weitz and Kimport found that some women avoided going to the same provider for each abortion because they feared being judged for having multiple abortions or having to hear the same contraceptive-counseling script. 

Providers should not make assumptions about their patients’ needs based on the number of abortions they’ve had.” [my emphasis]

Am I missing something, or is Herold confirming that these women can’t be bothered with trying not to become pregnant—and they simply will shop around for a different abortionist[s] knowing that their cavalier attitude is hard to square with one pro-abortion talking point–that women “agonize” over their abortion?
If this group is representative, women who have multiple abortions want what they want when they want it. And “mainstream pro-choice organizations” ought not to be “worrying that discussing multiple abortions will rile up the anti-choice movement.”

What should they be worried about? “Focus[ing] on de-stigmatizing the experience of abortion, no matter how many times a woman needs to access this service,” Herold lectures. “Women who have had multiple abortions should not be viewed as a separate class of people from women who have had one abortion.” Chew on that one for a while.

Her conclusion?

“We should understand women who have had multiple abortions through their individual life experiences rather than judging them on their pregnancy history. If we want to better meet women’s emotional needs around abortion, we can start by using the phrase ‘multiple abortions’ instead of ‘repeat abortions,’ and moving away from policies that seek to prevent ‘repeat abortions.’ To support women who have had multiple abortions, we need to acknowledge that some abortions may be more difficult than others.”

Pardon? I guess that means there really is no such thing as a “repeat” abortion, only a series of discreet, separate, don’t-connect-the-dots abortions that are multiples of one.

Why? Because some abortions are easier than others and because the circumstances under which a woman has abortion “c” are different than the circumstances for abortion “a” and abortion “b.”

It’s hard to know what to say to someone who reasons like this. However, my guess is that even some in the Sisterhood might swallow hard at this indigestible excuse for unlimited abortion.

By Dave Andrusko, NRL News Today

October 21, 2014

Obama’s sagging fortunes among women voters dragging down vulnerable Democrats

Pro-abortion President Barack Obama
Pro-abortion President Barack Obama

Two weeks from today we vote in the mid-term elections. Survey results from a number of hotly contested Senate races show the difference at a point or two.

In two states—Louisiana and Georgia—that require the winner to have 50%, there is a likelihood that there will be subsequent runoffs after November 4. (The presence of a third candidate could easily drain off enough of the vote to prevent anyone from reaching the magically 50%.)

Message? Be sure to vote, and be sure that all your pro-life friends, family, and acquaintances do likewise.
Meanwhile, President Obama remains an albatross around the neck of vulnerable Democrats. Yesterday he once again did his best to wipe away the pretence Democrats who vote with him 95%-99% of the time are somehow independent agents.

You remember a couple of weeks ago when after talking about his economic policies, the President ad-libbed: ‘Now, I am not on the ballot this fall . . . but make no mistake, these policies are on the ballot — every single one of them.”

Monday, he did himself one better in the candor category. Interviewed by the Rev. Al Sharpton, Obama went out of his way to defend those Democrats who have not welcomed him to come into their state to campaign with them. (Some, of course, refuse even to say if they voted for Mr. Obama!)
“The bottom line is, though, these are all folks who vote with me; they have supported my agenda in Congress,” Obama said.

One other intriguing fact that is coming out in the surveys. To be sure, with his approval ratings at around 40%-41%% and disapproval figures around 53% to 55%, you wouldn’t expect his approval numbers to be particularly high among any category except among African-Americans.

Even so a headline in POLITICO—“Obama’s standing with women hurts Senate Dems”—was a bit surprising. Manu Raju writes with two weeks to go, “the president’s diminished standing with women is quickly becoming one of the biggest liabilities facing Democrats as they struggle to hang onto the Senate majority.”

He mentions in passing what everyone already knows—that Democrats in key Senate races are taking a beating among men. Thus these incumbents cannot do well if they do not enjoy a strong advantage among women.
Raju uses Alaska as an example of the possible spillover effect of Obama’s unpopularity. Obama lost Alaska soundly in both 2008 and 2012, In Alaska, for instance, Obama lost soundly in 2008 and 2012. But, according to Raju

“he’s only gone downhill from there, especially among female voters, only 29 percent of whom give him high marks. Obama’s unpopularity could be having a spillover effect on Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), who is fighting for his political life against Republican Dan Sullivan. In one recent CNN/ORC poll of likely voters, Begich was losing women to Sullivan by 7 points.”

Sullivan, who is firmly pro-life, says he “has done well with women by promoting local issues that resonate with them,” Raju reports. Said Thomas Reiker, a spokesman for Sullivan, “Mark Begich continues to run the same tired ‘war on women’ campaign straight out of Harry Reid’s playbook, but he can’t run from his failed record in Washington, D.C.”

Raju also cited Colorado, where incumbent Mark Udall has so obsessed on abortion and “reproductive health issues” one reporter dubbed him “Senator Uterus.” A Quinnipiac poll this week showed NRLC-endorsed Rep. Cory Gardner beating Udall among men by 19 points and behind among women by only 9 points.

The President’s “sharp decline in Colorado,” Raju writes, “has made life much harder for Udall. The CNN poll showed 60 percent of white women disapproving of Obama’s job performance — and 56 percent of nonwhite women also holding negative views.”
The same phenomenon is seen in other Senate races.

By Dave Andrusko, NRL News Today

Bustos and Illinois Dems Attempt to Paint Schilling as "Pro-Rape"

Rape is rape 1 (1) copy

EAST MOLINE, IL - Most Republican candidates expect the usual pro-abortion, "coat hanger" ads to hit their constituents' mailboxes as Democrat groups attempt to confuse voters by gining up baseless fear just prior to an election.

However, Democrat Congresswoman Cheri Bustos and the Illinois Democrat Party may have sunk to a new low in putting out a mailer accusing her opponent - former Congressman Bobby Schilling - of trying to redefine rape.

Shocked by the audacity of Bustos and the Dems, and angry about the deliberate deceit, Schilling spokesman Jon Schweppe told Illinois Review the mailer is "completely false."

"The bill in question about 'redefining rape' was H.R. 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," said Schweppe. "Bobby co-sponsored this bill and voted for it when it passed the House. It contained exceptions for cases of rape, incest, and when the mother's life was at risk. It had nothing to do with rape. To say so is shamelessly misleading and false."

"Bobby did not vote against the Violence Against Women Act. He voted for it," argued Schweppe. "This is simply untrue."

And the accusation that Schilling voted to restrict women's access to mammograms? "Ridiculous," says Schweppe. "They are referring to a vote to repeal Obamacare."

Rape is rape 1 (1) copy  Rape is rape 2 copy

Illinois Review

October 20, 2014

A Focus on Abortion in the 2014 Election

Vote Depend on It Banner
A study in contrasts. Unlike, for example, the pro-abortion group EMILY’s List, which is largely avoiding even mentioning the word “abortion,” the Democrat Party is prominently focusing on the issue as its primary strategic challenge to many pro-life candidates.

This dichotomy would be fascinating in any case, but especially so given that the worn-out “war on women” meme is rapidly showing its age. The Democratic incumbent senator in Colorado, Mark Udall is so tunneled visioned on abortion and “reproductive health,” that one reporter from a highly pro-abortion newspaper dubbed him Mark Uterus.

Ultimately, I believe it will hurt the pro-abortion, out-of-mainstream candidates so favored by media outlets, especially when the public finds out what the Democrat Party supports.

EMILY’s List, Planned Parenthood, and NARAL Pro-Choice America are avoiding the “a” word like the plague in traditionally “red” states – especially EMILY’s List. They are focusing on “fluff” issues, unrelated to abortion, and their candidates are pretty mum on the issue, too. I believe they “get it.” They realize their extreme positions on abortion hurt their ability to win so they disguise it and sugarcoat their rhetoric.

The truth is all but a handful of congressional Democrats support legal abortion for any reason.
Tools on the National Right to Life Political Action Committee website (nrlpac.org) will help you determine which candidates support your values. You can download comparison flyers and share them with your pro-life friends and family.

If you were to pop by the National Right to Life office right now, you would find that it has been quite busy –and it will continue to be so until about mid-November. We are working our hearts out because we know that abortion stops a beating heart. 

Currently, well-deserving pro-life candidates from across the nation are receiving their endorsement letters from National Right to Life. If you are interested in knowing which candidates National Right to Life has endorsed in the 2014 election cycle, go to nrlpac.org for that, too.

To view the IFRL-PAC Endorsements, please visit: http://ifrl-blog.blogspot.com/p/ifrl-pac-endorsements-for-2014-general.html

In fact, every day, more information is being provided on the website. So use it. Then vote, because not to vote, is to vote. It’s a decision to allow Obama’s pro-abortion policies to continue unabated.
Samuel Adams, in 1781, said, “Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that [...] he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.”

Be accountable. Vote.

By Karen Cross, National Right to Life Political Director

October 16, 2014

Susan G. Komen Has Two Moral Problems


Last week, the National Catholic Register published an article by Judy Roberts discussing the moral dilemma that the breast cancer fundraising organization, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, is facing.[1]

The article illustrates that Komen’s moral problems are really two-fold. They arise from Komen’s complete surrender to the unbending demands of secular society’s politically correct, civil religion which insists the sexual revolution must continue, regardless of the costs to human life.

In late January of 2012, when Komen decided it would stop giving grants to Planned Parenthood, it folded within only three days after the abortion giant exercised its political muscle by subjecting the charity to its bully tactics.[2]

The other half of Komen’s (and other cancer groups’) moral deficiency has to do with its failure to warn women on a timely basis about breast cancer risks associated with induced abortion and use of steroids, i.e. the birth control pill—also known as combined (estrogen plus progestin) oral contraceptives—and combined hormone replacement therapy (HRT) used for menopausal symptoms.

Abortion & Breast Cancer

The so-called charity denies the abortion-breast cancer (ABC) link, although delayed first full term pregnancy, small family size, childlessness and little or no breastfeeding are listed as accepted risk factors for the disease in standard medical texts. There is nothing charitable about misleading women about deadly health risks, so we hate to call Komen a charity.

Two lists of epidemiological studies on the ABC link are available on our website, but not on Komen’s website. To give our readers a sense of the impact the link the link is expected to have on women, our science adviser, Professor Joel Brind (Baruch College, City University of New York) reported to us in June, 2014 that:

“Since 2007, there have been published, for example, 17 studies in Asia in addition to those 36 Chinese studies summarized by (Dr. Yubei Huang and his colleagues in 2013). All 17 show increased risk, one as high as 20-fold, with an average risk increase exceeding fourfold. Just the recent data alone is totally compelling....At this rate, the abortion-breast cancer link will kill millions in India and China alone.” (emphasis added)

The Birth Control Pill & Breast Cancer

Evidence supporting a link between the pill and breast cancer dates from at least 1975 when Fasal and Paffenbarger reported that users of the pill for 2-4 years significantly increased their breast cancer risk by 1.9 times. If they were still using the pill when they entered the study, the 2-4 year users’ risk elevation climbed to 2.5-fold.[3]

Lees’ team reported in 1978 that recent users of the pill with a prior breast biopsy increased their risk by five times; but among women with a prior breast biopsy who’d used the pill for more than five years, their risk increased nine-fold.[4]

Concerns about a pill-breast cancer link were discussed in the British Medical Journal as early as 1964 when a physician, JJ. Shipman, wrote a letter to the journal about patients who’d been taking the pill and later developed the disease.[5] Another correspondent responded in his letter that health authorities had been concerned about a possible connection between use of estrogens and breast cancer since approximately 1939.[6]

Combined Hormone Replacement Therapy & Breast Cancer

Evidence for the HRT-breast cancer link dates from 1987 when Hunt’s team found that “Breast cancer incidence was also significantly increased” by 1.59 times in users of menopausal therapy.[7]

Mills’ team reported in a 1989 study for the journal, Cancer, a statistically significant 1.69-fold risk increase among HRT users.[8]

In their 1988 study published in the European Journal of Cancer and Clinical Oncology, esteemed scientists T.J. Key and M.C. Pike explained that women reduce their breast cancer risk when they go into menopause at a young age. That happens because the ovaries decrease their production of estrogen and progesterone.[9] These are hormones known to stimulate the division of breast cells. The authors argued that:

“The protective effect of early menopause shows that ovarian hormones increase the risk of breast cancer: it is likely that this is because they stimulate breast cell division.”[9]

So it made good biological sense that HRT use would raise breast cancer risk. When physicians prescribed HRT to women who’d entered menopause at a young age, they deprived their patients of the risk-reducing effect of early menopause.

Women Learned the Truth from the Press, Not Cancer Groups

Nevertheless, women only learned of the breast cancer risk associated with the use of HRT accidentally when a story broke in the national news in 2002 that the Women’s Health Initiative study had been stopped prematurely because study subjects using HRT were dying of heart attacks and strokes.[10]

That’s when journalists learned about a 26% increased risk of invasive breast cancer associated with use of HRT. Cancer “charities” weren’t the first to reveal that simple, but deadly, fact that scientists had known for years. The national press did.

Nearly one-half of all HRT consumers in the U.S. stopped using those menopausal hormones and breast cancer incidence declined markedly within a year. Scientists reported a 7% decline in breast cancer rates for 2003.[11]

Once HRT “fell,” the pill necessarily had to “fall” as well—although that was a bitter pill for the sexual revolution’s devotees to swallow. Both include the same type of drugs, but the pill contains a larger dose. Therefore, cancer “charities” were forced to acknowledge the pill as a risk factor on their websites, although they did so quietly, without the same fanfare associated with the news about HRT; and they downplayed the risk.

Save a life during Breast Cancer Unawareness Month by sharing our newsletter with your family and friends.

References:

1.“Susan G. Komen’s moral dilemma,” by Judy Roberts, National Catholic Reporter, October 5, 2014. Available at: <http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/susan-g.-komens-moral-dilemma/>.
2.“Did Komen reverse its position to stop funding Planned Parenthood?” by Karen Malec, newsletter, Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer. February 3, 2012. Available at: <http://www.abortionbreastcancer.com/news/120203.htm>.
3.Fasal E, Paffenbarger RS Jr. Oral contraceptives as related to cancer and benign lesions of the breast. J Natl Cancer Inst 1975;55(4):767-773.
4.Lees AW, Burns PE, Grace M. Oral contraceptives and breast disease in premenopausal Northern Albertan women. Int J Cancer 1978;22(6):700-707.
5.Shipman JJ. Oral contraceptives and breast cancer. Br Med J 1964;2(5409):629.
6.Stoll BA, Oral contraceptives and breast cancer. Br Med J 1964;2(5413):875.
7.Hunt K, Vessey M, McPherson K, Coleman M. Long-term surveillance of mortality and cancer incidence in women receiving hormone replacement therapy. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 1987;94(7):620-635.
8.Mills PK, Beeson WL, Phillips RL, Fraser GE. Prospective study of exogenous hormone use and breast cancer in Seventh-day Adventists. Cancer1989;64(3):591-597.
9.Key TJ, Pike MC. The role of oestrogens and progestagens in the epidemiology and prevention of breast cancer. Eur J Cancer Clin Oncol 1988;24(1):29-43.
10.Writing group for the Women’s Health Initiative Investigators. Risks and benefits of estrogen plus progestin in healthy postmenopausal women. Principal Results from the Women’s Health Initiative Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA2002;288(3):321-333.
11.Schneider AP, Zainer CM, Kubat CK, Mullen NK, Windisch AK. The breast cancer epidemic: 10 facts. The Linacre Quarterly 2014;81(3):244-277. Available at:<http://www.maneyonline.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1179/2050854914Y.0000000027>.

By Karen Malec
Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer

October 15, 2014

Developing Ebola Vaccines Use Aborted Fetal Cell Lines - Moral Options Exist


Children of God for Life announced today that several Ebola vaccines in development for use worldwide are made using aborted fetal cell lines despite the fact that moral alternatives are reported as equally effective.

Glaxo SmithKline (GSK) and NIAID are jointly developing their ChAd3 vector for delivering the Ebola virus gene using HEK-293 (human embryonic kidney) cells.  Likewise, NewLink Genetics of Iowa used HEK-293 cells for their VSV-EBOV Ebola vaccine in Canada, while Johnson and Johnson/Crucell developed theirs using PER C6 cells, derived from retinal tissue of an 18 week gestation aborted baby.

"There is absolutely no reason to use aborted fetal cell lines," stated Debi Vinnedge, Director of Children of God for Life.  "At least two other Ebola vaccines in development by the University of Texas and GeoVax are using either Vero cells or chicken eggs.  Likewise, there are therapeutic products such as ZMapp (LeafBio) and TKM-Ebola (Tekmira) that are using plant or Vero cells."

Vinnedge wrote to the Department of HHS, the NIH, the FDA and NIAID pointing out that even the US Department of Health listed other options such as yeast, insect, plant, bacteria, CHO, BHK, heLa and COS cells, in their own patent, stating, "The attenuated [ebola]virus can replicate well in a cell line that lacks interferon functions, such as Vero cells."  

"It is completely irresponsible of this Administration to put these problem vaccines on fast-track for approval and ignore the fact that a massive number of people may very well refuse them.  Why not fast track a product that everyone can use in good conscience?" asked Vinnedge.

Children of God for Life is urging the public to contact US government agencies and their members of Congress requesting that they expedite the morally acceptable alternatives.

Contact:
Sylvia M. Burwell, Secretary
Dept of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue
Washington, DC  20201     

Dr Francis S. Collins, Director 
National Institutes of Health
9000 Rockville Pike    
Bethesda, MD  20892 
 
Dr Anthony Fauci, Director
NIAID Office of Communications and Government Relations
5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9806
Bethesda, MD 20892-9806

Margaret A. Hamburg, Commissioner
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
10903 New Hampshire Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20993

View the letter sent to NIAID

List of all aborted fetal products and moral alternatives: www.cogforlife.org/vaccineListOriginalFormatEbola.pdf

Contact: Children of God for Life

October 14, 2014

Molestation, nine abortions drove Fonda’s mother to suicide



While speaking at a recent Hollywood fundraising charity event for rape victims, pro-abortion activist Jane Fonda divulged that her mother committed suicide after having suffering from depression brought upon by nine abortions and from her sexual abuse that started at the age of eight.

The 76-year-old actress addressed how her father, Henry Fonda, was a brutal and shameless womanizer, who she believed was partly responsible for her mother, Frances Fonda’s, suicidal and manically depressed state. Describing him as a cold bully, Fonda blamed her father for her parents’ divorce to the audience of philanthropists.

Finding the roots of the tragedy

Fonda said that when she discovered her mother’s horrific secret after searching through her medical records, it was like a revelation. She now understood why her mom was so withdrawn and melancholy.

“The minute that I read that, everything fell into place,” Fonda revealed. “‘I knew [the reason for] the promiscuity, the endless plastic surgery, the guilt, the inability to love or be intimate, and I was able to forgive her and forgive myself."

According to a number of Jane Fonda’s friends, the traumatic suicide of her mother was undisputedly the most impacting event that took place during her tumultuous life as a Hollywood star. Frances ended her own life when she was 42, when her daughter, Jane, was just 12. While staying at Craig House, which was a sanitarium in Beacon, New York, Frances fatally slit her own throat with a razor.

As a child, Fonda witnessed her mother’s abuse at the hands of her father, Henry, who Frances met in 1936 on the set of the British film, Wings of the Morning. Shortly after, Frances and Henry were married. But the abuse did not start here, as Fonda shared with friends that a piano tuner likely sexually abused and traumatized her mother, spurring her promiscuous lifestyle that eventually led to her nine abortions before Jane was born. Frances was savagely beaten in her first marriage to businessman George Brokaw, who was much older than her and a notoriously violent alcoholic.

With all of the abuse and relationship problems, Frances’ nine abortions are believed to have been a major contributing factor in her decision to ultimately take her life.

Abortion clinically linked to heightened suicide rates?

But is there a definitive correlation between abortion and depression, which can lead women to commit suicide?

Research divulged by the National Institute of Health and many other studies show that there is a definitive link between abortion and depression, which often goes hand-in-hand with suicide. According to an NIH report, suicide is number three when it comes to causes of young Americans’ deaths. In fact, the study indicated that in a quarter century between 1979 and 2004, the suicide rate tripled. Shockingly, during this same time period, the general suicide rate in America dropped, showing that abortion could very likely be a major cause of the heightened number of suicides in the age group when abortions are most likely to take place.

"Given the fact that more than half of all women having abortions are under the age of 25, and more than 20 percent of women having abortions are teenagers, the increased suicide rate among teens and young women is sadly not a surprise," said Elliot Institute Director Dr. David Reardon

A study conducted by the Elliot Institute in 2004 showed that women who had abortions were seven times more likely to commit suicide than women who gave birth to their babies. Reardon points out that teens and younger women oftentimes experience pressure from their parents and boyfriends to abort their children. Reardon also points out that one out of six abortions was coerced by such pressure. Furthermore, the institute found that 80 percent of women who had post-abortion problems say that they would not have gone through with their abortion if they had the support they needed.

Corroborating Reardon’s findings, British Journal of Psychiatry’s A.C. Gilchrist reported in his 1995 study of women (with no prior psychological problems) that women who had an abortion registered a 70 percent higher rate of inflicting deliberate self-harm upon themselves than those who give birth to baby. In the same breadth, the suicide rate was found to be approximately six times as high for women who have had abortions, as opposed to women who gave birth, according to a 1996 study conducted by Finnish pro-choice researcher Mika Gissler of the British Medical Journal.  Reaching a similar conclusion, it was found that women (controlled earlier for mental illness) who had abortions registered a suicide rate that was 154 percent higher than women who to carried their babies to term.

And the takeaway from the research on abortion conducted over the years?

"It’s a recipe for tragedy," Reardon concluded. "Statistics like these should serve as a wake-up call that after [decades] of abortion on demand, abortion is harming women, not helping them."

Source: OneNewsNow, by Michael F. Haverluck

Diana Rauner and other abortion supporters run pro-Rauner ad in Tribune

CHICAGO - The "social issues" agenda took center stage in the Rauner campaign today when his wife and several other abortion supporters ran a full-page ad in the Chicago Tribune touting the Republican candidate's position on the issue of life.

Late last week, Illinois Review was sent a copy of an email circulating about the upcoming ad. The email requesting signatories for the letter read:

Subject: Bruce Rauner - Pro Choice

"Hi, Bruce Rauner is in favor of a woman's right to make her own her reproductive choices. Bruce’s wife, Diana has asked me to gather a group of people to sign the attached letter to that effect. The letter will be published in the Chicago Tribune. If you would like to participate in this endorsement, please email me back saying you would join the list. There will be no need to sign anything formally.

Thanks for your consideration. Please pass on to others as you see fit. The more the better on this letter. Deadline for this is noon tomorrow. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

I really hope you will join me in this effort. Thanks again."

The author of the email is unknown, and it was followed by a copy of the letter that appeared on page 5 of the Tribune Tuesday (below):

RaunerProChoiceAd

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 1.27.33 PM

Source: Illinois Review

Pro-Life Film '40' is Now Available on DVD from Ignatius Press

40 Is A Wakeup Call For America That Investigates The Aftermath Of Legalized Abortion Over The Last 40 Years 

GLENVIEW, Ill., -- One of the most compelling pro-life documentaries ever produced is now available on DVD through Ignatius Press. 40 is a must-see movie that examines the effects of abortion on our nation over the last 40 years since Roe v. Wade.

The film showcases interviews with dozens of pro-life leaders and presents abortion as the most important human and civil rights issue of our time.  The 40 film gives voice to both sides fairly and lets women speak for themselves through experience on the reasons for their firm convictions about abortion.  40 highlights well-reasoned secular arguments against the pro-choice position and provides heartfelt testimonies from post abortive women and men. 40 also reports on the youth at the annual March for Life as the generation that will end abortion.

40 has already been screened in nearly 80 theaters, universities, high schools, and churches across our nation. The 40 film was an Official Entry in the John Paul II International Film Festival in Miami, Florida and the ecumenical Arcangel Film Festival in San Gabriel, CA. 

40 is directed by the co-producer of the award winning Champions of Faith: Baseball Edition, John Morales, and from Executive Producer and Movie to Movement Founder, Jason Jones. The production team of photojournalist Rob Kaczmark and Spirit Juice Studios bring years of film making experience to the project. Actress Jennifer Cadena, (The Roommate, Crescendo, and Little Boy), lends her beautiful and youthful voice in the narration of the 40 film. Award winning media composer Sean Beeson wrote the original music scores for 40. 

"40 is destined to become the premiere film for educating youth on abortion." -- Rebecca Kiessling - Conceived in rape and Director of Save the 1
 
40 features  many of the biggest names in the Pro-Life movement, such as:  Lila Rose, the President of Live Action, Abby Johnson, Former Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinic Director and Founder of "And Then There Were None," Rebecca Kiessling, Pro-life Speaker and Conceived in Rape, Jeanne Monahan, President of March for Life Education and Defense Fund, Dr. Day Gardner, President of the National Black Pro-Life Union, Ryan Bomberger, Founder of Radiance Foundation, Keith Mason, Co-founder of Personhood USA, Joe Scheidler, Founder of the Pro-Life Action League, David Bereit, National Director of 40 Days for Life, Kelsey Hazzard, President of Secular Pro-Life and many more!

"40 is an emotionally powerful and intellectually stimulating must-see movie." -- Movieguide, The Family Guide To Movie Reviews

To order 40 on DVD call Ignatius Press at 1-800-615-3186 or visit  www.The40Film.Com 

Contact: Cindy Morales, 847-803-4003, 773-835-0455 cell,info@the40film.com 

Washington Post editorial hypes embryonic stem cells again, caught up in latest “big payoff”

Felicia Pagliuca, Ph.D.Well, you have to give the Washington Post’s editorial lauding the supposedly now-realized “potential” of embryonic stem cells, this much: they did spell the most prominent author’s name correctly. After that, not so much.

Last Thursday Dr. David Prentice explained what a group of Harvard researchers, led by Dr. Douglas Melton, actually found, as opposed to the reckless hyperbole cranked out by in-house media at Harvard and sympathetic outlets, like the Washington Post. We’ll weave his insights into our rebuttal of some of the many misrepresentations of what the Post labeled a “big payoff” in treating Type I (juvenile) diabetes.

It is true, as the Post writes, that Melton et al. “painstakingly exposed stem cells to various chemicals until they figured out which ingredients to use and in which order, finally inducing undifferentiated stem cells to become beta cells, which specialize in detecting rises in blood sugar and releasing insulin in response.”

However, as Dr. Prentice explained, there was only an incremental improvement in producing these insulin-producing cells–what Melton’s team called SC-ß cells. They produced batches of these cells from both “human embryonic stem cells (hESC, which require the destruction of a young human being) and from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC, the stem cells created from normal skin cells, without using embryos),” Prentice wrote.

Now besides not even acknowledging that there were sources other than embryonic stem cells, the clear implication of the editorial is the results from stem cells from human embryos were superior. Not so.
Dr. David Prentice
“The results were equivalent no matter the starting cell type,” Dr. Prentice explained. “So for any future production of SC-ß cells, the authors have shown that no embryonic stem cells are necessary” (my emphasis).

The Post editorial, of course, took its obligatory shot at former President George W. Bush.

After the Harvard team reported its findings in the journal Cell, its leader, Doug Melton, pointedly thanked the philanthropists who donated to his project. The George W. Bush administration, he noted, had ruled out federal funding for embryonic stem cell research except on a few lines of cells that were already in use. The Obama administration correctly reversed that policy shortly after coming to office.

Just so we’re clear. As columnist Charles Krauthammer explained back in 2009 when Obama reversed the Bush policy, seven and a half-years before President Bush had delivered a national address on embryonic stem cells that was scrupulously fair, giving the best case for both proponents of their use and opponents. (This, by the way, was during a period of time when the hyperbole about what embryonic stem cells could supposedly do was everywhere. Opponents were depicted as heartless zealots.)

President Bush “restricted” federal funding for embryonic stem cell research to cells derived from embryos that had already been destroyed (as of his speech of Aug. 9, 2001),” Krauthammer wrote.
By contrast Obama’s address was unserious, unreflective, and showed total unawareness of where (in Krauthammer’s words) the “protean power of embryonic manipulation” could take us.

Finally, the Post concludes,

“Embryonic stem cells have been the ‘gold standard’ in research to date, lead study author Felicia Pagliuca explained. Scientists haven’t established that non-embryonic stem cells are as useful. ‘We don’t know what we don’t know’ about them, she said. Until they do, it is crucial that scientists preserve the flexibility to explore the huge potential of stem cell research.”

I’ll take the Post at its word that Pagliuca said (presumably to the Post), “We don’t know what we don’t know’ about them,” referring to non-embryonic stem cells; I couldn’t find that comment anywhere other than in the Post editorial.

Then there is the sentence that came before Pagliuca’s quote, which is presumably either a paraphrase of the thinking behind her quote or the Post’s own conclusion: “Scientists haven’t established that non-embryonic stem cells are as useful.” Let’s deconstruct that.

First, as the Post concedes in its opening paragraph, before the study results reported in “Cell,” while proponents have fallen all over themselves touting the great “potential” of embryonic stem cells, “[U]ntil now the scientists didn’t have many big payoffs to tout.”

But as we noted above, lost in the shuffle (as Dr. Prentice pointed out) is that Melton et al. had used bothhuman embryonic stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells. The results were equivalent no matter the starting cell type,” Dr. Prentice wrote. “So for any future production of SC-ß cells, the authors have shown that no embryonic stem cells are necessary.”

In combination with Dr. Pagliuca’s quote, this glaring omission in the Post editorial also implies that there have been no successes using human induced pluripotent stem cells. That simply isn’t true. 

Finally, the “gold standard” idiom. There are two problems.

I do not pretend to be a scientist, but I am familiar enough with Dr. Prentice’s work to know that the real “gold standard” is the capability to stop the underlying cause of Type I diabetes–your immune system attacking the insulin-secreting cells. This would allow for the regeneration of insulin-secreting beta cells by the normal pancreas.

As Dr. Prentice explained last week, the promise to date in this field is the use of adult stem cells, for example cord blood-derived adult stem cells.

In the meanwhile, the science is not just about dealing with diabetes, juvenile or adult. If we are talking about what is helping patients around the world now, the real gold standard among stem cells is neither embryonic stem cells nor human induced pluripotent stem cells. It is adult stem cells, isolated from many different tissues, including bone marrow, blood, muscle, fat, and umbilical cord blood.

As Dr. Prentice explained in an article written for NRL News, these cells come from a patient or a healthy donor and does not require harming or destroying the adult stem cell donor. “Over 60,000 people around the globe are treated each year with adult stem cells, because adult stem cells have a proven record at saving lives and improving health.”

You get my point. Too bad the Post—which is deeply invested in the hype over embryonic stem cells—couldn’t wait to pull the trigger.

By Dave Andrusko, NRL News Today

Bioethics Push Poll to Allow Killing for Organs

Wesley SmithTo donate vital organs, a donor must be dead.

This is known as the “dead donor rule, I have been warning that utilitarian bioethicists and transplant medical professionals want to shatter the DDR to permit killing living, living profoundly cognitively disabled patients for their organs.

Now, we see what appears to me to be a push poll type question in a study measuring popular support for such a change in the law.

A push poll seeks to obtain a desired answer by the way the question is framed. Here is the question from “Abandoning the Dead Donor Rule?” in the Journal of Medical Ethics:

Jason has been in a very bad car accident. He suffered a severe head injury and is now in the hospital. As a result of the injury, Jason is completely unconscious.
He cannot hear or feel anything, cannot remember or think about anything, he is not aware of anything, and his condition is irreversible. Jason will never wake up.

As we have seen in recent stories of awake and aware patients diagnosed in a persistent vegetative state–and perhaps, the Jahi McMath brain death case–this question sets up a false premise. Few, if any, cases are this clear cut, this sure. Indeed, the more we learn about the brain and consciousness, the less we know–as demonstrated by the proven brain interactivity in some patients thought to be completely unaware.

Thus, it seems to me that the question was posed in this unrealistic way to obtain a desired result of allowing the harvest.

Back to the question:

He also cannot breathe without mechanical support, but is on a breathing machine that keeps his lungs working. Without the machine, Jason’s heart and all other organs would stop within minutes. Although he will never wake up and cannot breathe without the support of the machine, Jason is still biologically alive.
In such scenarios, a patient can already be a donor by having life support removed, and IF–it doesn’t always happen as expected–he goes into cardiac arrest, be declared dead a few minutes later and obtain organs.

But that important fact isn’t mentioned in the question posed:

Before the injury, Jason wanted to be an organ donor. The organs will function best if they are removed while Jason’s heart is still beating and while he is still on the breathing machine. If the organs are removed while Jason is still on the machine, he would die from the removal of organs (in other words, the surgery would cause Jason’s biological death).

The question then asks how many people think that would be okay, and based on the push poll nature of the question, obtain a majority support for killing for organs.

Moreover, were the dead donor rule be killed, the patients harvested would not be limited to the relatively few cases such as described above.

Polling is like statistics, you can make them say anything.

By Wesley J. Smith via NRL News Today
Editor’s note. This appeared on Wesley’s great blog.