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

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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.


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.

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):


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.

October 13, 2014

Stop Suicide Advocacy to Halt Suicide Epidemic

We are in the midst of a “suicide epidemic.” Yet, rather than look at causes, many commenters go shallow to focus on methods.

For example, most suicides are by gun. Thus, at Real Clear Science, Alex B. Berezow advocates gun control. From, “To End Suicide Epidemic, Make Guns Harder to Get:”
A sensible policy to lower the suicide rate in America would be to make gun ownership more difficult. But given our current political climate, that idea is almost certainly dead in the water.
Please. The country is awash in guns. Absent a total confiscation, making guns more difficult to buy–whatever the worth of such a policy–won’t materially impact suicide rates.

Let’s connect some dots: The problem isn’t means, but culture. Media, popular entertainment, and societal decadence are making suicide increasingly acceptable. More, I believe that we are fast becoming a pro suicide culture

Think not? Look at the media tripping over themselves to extol Brittany Maynard! I mean, good grief, she has become an international celebrity–not for anything she has done in life but because she is young and pretty and has announced plans to commit assisted suicide!

Look at the terms used ubiquitously to describe her plan: “Courageous;” “in control;” “on her own terms,” “the only reason to oppose is religious,” etc..

You can’t applaud one person’s planned suicide and then tut-tut about other suicides. It won’t resonate.

And look what is not being said in her case: “Suicide prevention;” “medical care can preserve quality of life,” “suicide is wrong,”etc..

The suicide virus is catching, particularly when the media make it glamorous and turn a suicidal woman into a heroine.

If we want to reduce suicide, we need a societal milieu in which it is a distinctly disfavored action–not for some, but for all. 

Absent that, we had better get used to high suicide rates–both of those approved of by the zeitgeist, and those which all still find appalling.

October 12, 2014

Couple celebrates brief life of baby born with anencephaly, gave him a lifetime of memories –his “bucket list”–before he was born

Priceless hours with son ... Jenna Healy with Shane. His every move inside her womb was followed by more than 794,800 people on Facebook. Picture: Prayers for Shane Source: Facebook
Priceless hours with son … Jenna Healy with Shane. His every move inside her womb was followed by more than 794,800 people on Facebook. Picture: Prayers for Shane Source: Facebook
Okay, before you read this, please make sure you have a box of Kleenex nearby. The story of Jenna Gassew and Dan Healy and their son Shane Michael will make you cry but it will also make you marvel that a couple this young could be so wise beyond their years.
Perhaps you’ve already heard something about Shane Michael. Forgive me if you have, but most have not heard about a little baby whose parents shared with him a lifetime of joy—“memories,” as Dan said–before he was even born.
Imagine being happily pregnant, and then finding out that your baby has a brain malformation so severe he will live just a few hours, a day or two, at best? That’s exactly what happened when Jenna was three months pregnant.
She was in a minor car accident, went to the hospital to check up, just in case, and then got the news.
“I got a text from her saying ‘call me.’ I knew something was wrong,” Dan told WPVI in Philadelphia. Shane had anencephaly, a severe malformation of the baby’s skull and brain in which much of the brain is missing. The couple told Lauren Enriquez:
“We were in shock to say the least and didn’t want to believe that all of this was happening. It was in the car that day that we both agreed that God was blessing us with such a special baby for a reason greater than we could understand and that no matter how hard it was to feel the way we did, that we had to keep the faith and believe in His plan for our lives. We wanted people to never question how proud we were to be Shane’s parents and that we were thankful and felt blessed that God chose us to bring him into the world. Shane is our son and we are so proud of him and he’s had such a positive impact on the lives of so many people that have heard his story.”
“He’s still our little boy and even though he’s been given such a short life expectancy … we wanted to make sure that we gave him a lifetime worth of adventures and love while he’s with us,” Dan told ABC last month. “One thing we would want people to take away is that each human life is so valuable and that it’s important to live each day to its fullest potential.”
baby-shane-2Their hundreds of thousands of followers (they have nearly 900,000 “likes” on Facebook) were then given continued updates on the “bucket list” of activities they intended to complete (#shanesbucketlist updates). Besides being taken to the top of the Empire State Building, the couple took their unborn son to some of their favorite childhood places, from New York City to sports games, concerts and classic Philadelphia landmarks such as Geno’s Steaks. They completed their list on Sept. 6.
Shane was born Thursday; Jenna’s labor was chronicled by Dan. First, “Baby Shane is here!!.. Mom and Baby are doing well! .. more details and pictures to come!”
“Today at 6:15AM, after meeting his entire family and being baptized into the Catholic faith, baby Shane died peacefully in his Mother’s arms .. we are so grateful for the time that we were blessed to hold and hug our son .. the support and prayers we have received from all of you have been amazing and we want to thank each of you with all our hearts .. Shane spent his entire life in the arms of people that loved him unconditionally and I don’t think you could ask for a more beautiful life than that .. he is home now with the Lord and will forever be our little miracle!”
Back in September, Dan told ABC 13, “Most families wait until their baby is born to start making memories and traveling to places with them.” He added, ‘We understood what it was and knew that our time with our son could be very limited, so we wanted to make the most of the time that we had with him.”
What a reminder to all of us, whether we are the parents of a baby who will live only a brief time or the parents of adult children building their own lives. Time is limited, but don’t use that brevity as an excuse not to continue to make memories.
Injured—severely injured—Shane was no less their son. Why would he not be? Was he not “one of us” because he was less than perfect?
Jenna and Dan certainly didn’t think so. Shane will always be a member of the family, a contributor to the family’s history.
Finally, when couples like Jenna and Dan are told their unborn baby suffers from a catastrophic malady, they are routinely told they have the “option” of “termination.” The implication is that somehow everyone—even the baby—is “better off” if the child is killed immediately rather than allowed to be born and die in his or her parents’ arms.
But it’s not better…for anyone.
Thanks to Jenna and Dan for reminding us that each of us counts; that each of us is a member of the family; that the bond we forge during the months a baby like Shane is carried will last a lifetime; and that we can blessed in ways we could never imagine.
By Dave Andrusko, NRL News

October 11, 2014

Ezekiel Emanuel’s Latest Rant

Editor’s note. This essay appeared at truedignityvt.org.

Ezekiel Emanuel, an architect of ObamaCareEzekiel Emanuel, an architect of ObamaCare
Ezekiel Emanuel has spent his life building an impressive resume and now, at age 56, he wants the world to know that by 75 he plans to stop working so hard. In fact, he says that if he is still alive at 75, his master plan is to “stop all medical treatment” with the goal of avoiding such horrors of old age as frailty and forgetfulness. Emanuel told Judy Woodruff on PBS News Hour October 3 that he doesn’t believe in assisted suicide or euthanasia, and yet he also said he doesn’t want his grandchildren to “remember me as frail, or demented, or repeating myself—that would be a tragedy.” One wonders what he will do if stopping medical treatment doesn’t bring the hoped-for results.

It is very hard to take nonsense like this seriously, even when it comes from a bioethicist –physician with impressive credentials—and one who helped develop the Affordable Care Act. His views are fleshed out more clearly, though no more reassuringly, in an Atlantic Monthly article published last month.
Unfortunately, his position has a following and must be taken seriously. Emanuel claims that he has heard from scores of people who agree with his views, and says that “at least 50 percent of them are in the health care professions.” (Now that is something to take seriously, especially if you are looking for a health care provider after age 75.)

Although he stops short of saying he thinks all people should eschew medical care after age 75, the implication is clear. In Emanuel’s opinion, once you are no longer a creative, contributing member of society, you owe it to yourself and others to check out, sooner rather than later. His definition of creative and contributing, by the way, appears to be narrow and limited. It could be argued that many of today’s able-bodied Americans would not meet his criteria, never mind those who are physically or mentally challenged in some way.

He told Woodruff that he disagrees with those who have “made a religion” out of pursuing longevity, through obsessive diet and exercise regimens, as if that extreme is the only alternative to his approach.
What about a third way? What about re-thinking the way we look at aging, and more than that—the way we treat the aged and disabled? To hear the Ezekiel Emanuels of the world tell it, the post-75 years are a frightening morass of physical and mental disability best avoided if at all possible. And yet it is easy to find countless examples in everyday life of people who live meaningful lives with the “frailties” that Emanuel wishes to avoid.

Perhaps the experience of aging is as much colored by the attitudes of the people that surround an individual as it is by that person’s objective physical and mental condition. When the people who love you actually love you and not your resume alone, when the people around you treat you as an individual of worth and not primarily a life to be judged, a burden to be carried, or a problem to be solved, you are more likely to tread more easily into the twilight years.

Each stage of life brings challenges different from the one before, and the last stages of life certainly can bring the physical and mental declines Emanuel talks about. But, not unlike the fall colors that are quickly disappearing from our landscape today, being “past peak” doesn’t mean being without value.

Discovering that meaningful life continues even when you aren’t the center of attention can be a difficult lesson for high achievers like Emanuel, but it’s one worth learning.

Journal of Clinical Nursing: Abortions of babies with “very human form” is “distressing”

In 2009, there was a crisis in New Zealand when a number of nurses refused to assist in second-trimester abortions. In the article “More nurses opting out of abortion ops,” one person interviewed commented:

[It is] an issue of nurses expressing an unwillingness to continue contributing to this particular service. It’s not an area of practice where many staff choose or are comfortable to work.

An article in the Journal of Clinical Nursing sheds light on why. According to the article:

Second trimester terminations require the woman concerned to go through an induced labour, the result of which is a fetus in a very human form. (1)

Indeed, babies in the second trimester have a “very human form.” In these abortions, the baby is injected with poison to kill him or her, and then labor is induced. The woman in effect “gives birth” to a dead baby. In the U.S., third-trimester abortions are almost always done this way – by injecting the baby with poison (usually digoxin) and then inducing labor. (This method is also used in the second trimester in the U.S., although many second-trimester abortions here are done by D&E, where the baby is dismembered in utero.)

The nursing journal article goes on to say:

This event  requires sensitive management as it has the potential to cause a great deal of distress for the women involved due to the psychological and physical impact of the procedure. However, health professionals involved can also find this a distressing clinical event due to the complex nature of the management and care required. (1)

One can imagine that coming face-to-face with the baby you just had killed could be a distressing experience. The image of one’s own child, killed by one’s own choice, can haunt the woman for the rest of her life. Indeed, this is what happened to NancyJo Mann, who had a similar type of abortion, and later started Women Exploited by Abortion, one of the first groups in the country to reach out to post-abortion women.

In her testimony, she describes being lied to and given a sanitized description of the abortion procedure by her doctor:

After a quick examination, my abortionist told me that I would have to have the abortion done within the next 24-hours or I would be outside the limit of the law. Of course this wasn’t true, but I didn’t know that then. Abortions are legal throughout all three trimesters, right up to the day before birth, and I was still well within the second trimester. He just used this little lie to pressure me into making a quick decision.

The second lie [the abortionist told me] came during my “counseling session,” when I asked, “What are you going to do to me if I have this abortion?” All he did was look at my stomach and say, “I’m going to take a little fluid out, put a little fluid in, you’ll have severe cramps and expel the fetus.” “Is that all?” I asked. “That’s it.” “O.K.,” I said. It was only later, after the abortion had begun, that I was to learn that what he described as “cramps” was actually the labor process. These “severe cramps” were not just going to make my pregnancy magically disappear. Instead, I was going to go through all the motions of normal childbirth–water breaking, labor pains, etc. The only difference was that the baby I would deliver would be dead….

I was so naive. I trusted him. After all, he was a doctor. A respected and educated man. And like everyone else, I had always heard that legal abortion was “safe and easy.” It wasn’t until he had me on the table that I began to question these illusions. It wasn’t until he pulled out an enormous syringe that I became scared. The needle alone was four inches long. Suddenly I realized that this was not going to be as easy as he had implied.

Then NancyJo describes what happened to her and her daughter:

The first thing he did was withdraw 60 cc’s of amniotic fluid. At that point I started to feel afraid for my baby. I could feel her thrashing about, scared by this intrusion. I wanted to scream out, “Please, stop. Don’t do this to me!” But I just couldn’t get it out. I was petrified with fear.

After the fluid was withdrawn, he injected 200 cc’s of the saline solution–half a pint of concentrated salt solution. From then on, it was terrible. My baby began thrashing about–it was like a regular boxing match in there. She was in pain. The saline was burning her skin, her eyes, her throat. It was choking her, making her sick. She was in agony, trying to escape. She was scared and confused at how her wonderful little home had suddenly been turned into a death trap.

… There was no way to save her. So instead I talked to her. I tried to comfort her. I tried to ease her pain. I told her I didn’t want to do this to her, but it was too late to stop it. I didn’t want her to die. I begged her not to die. I told her I was sorry, to forgive me, that I was wrong, that I didn’t want to kill her.

For two hours I could feel her struggling inside me. But then, as suddenly as it began, she stopped. Even today, I remember her very last kick on my left side.

She describes seeing her daughter:

When finally I delivered, the nurses didn’t make it to my room in time. I delivered my daughter myself at 5:30 the next morning, October 31st. After I delivered her, I held her in my hands. I looked her over from top to bottom. She had a head of hair, and her eyes were opening. I looked at her little tiny feet and hands. Her fingers and toes even had little fingernails and swirls of fingerprints.

Everything was perfect. She was not a “fetus.” She was not a “product of conception.” She was a tiny human being. The pathology report listed her as more than seven inches from head to rump. With her legs extended, she was over a foot long. She weighed a pound-and-a-half, more than many of the premature babies being saved in incubators in every hospital in the country. But these vital statistics did not mention her most striking trait: She was my daughter. Twisted with agony. Silent and still. Dead.

It seemed like I held her for ten minutes or more, but it was probably only 30 seconds because as soon as the nurses came rushing in, they grabbed her from my hands and threw her–literally threw her–into a bedpan and carried her away.

Having read NancyJo Mann’s story, one can easily see why nurses might not want to assist with these abortions, and why it would be extremely traumatic for the people who have to “clean up” after them. Disposing of fully formed aborted babies is not a job many nurses like to do.

The nursing journal article then makes reference to a bizarre practice:

…  nurses are frequently required to clean and dress the fetus, ensure transfer to an appropriate receptacle if the mother wants to see it, all the while supporting the woman as she goes through this process. This often occurs after a lengthy period when the women and nurses have been intimately connected, working through a range of decisions such as whether the mother wants to see, and perhaps name or photograph the fetus. Consequently, although women undergoing mid-trimester termination are ‘well’, this is a challenging clinical event that requires much from nurses in terms of physiological and psychological skill and expertise. (1)

Yes, some women like to see the baby in order to say goodbye to him or her. These women have come to terms with the fact that they have indeed killed their own children; they are not in any kind of denial and have even given their babies names. In some of these cases, the woman might be terminating a wanted pregnancy – wanted, that is, until it is discovered that the baby will be disabled.

Doctors can sometimes do a good job of convincing a woman that her disabled child will suffer a terrible life and that, therefore, abortion is the kindest choice. Sometimes doctors are affected by elitist beliefs that disabled children do not have lives worth living. Sometimes the coercion to abort can be blatant.
But nothing changes the cold hard fact that these abortions kill a fully developed child. The concept of taking fully formed aborted babies away from their mothers, who have just gone through a grueling process of labor, and either throwing them away like trash or dressing them in little outfits for a macabre ritual (and then throwing them away like trash) is disturbing to anyone who possesses a sense of right and wrong.

The fact that this is a “challenging clinical event” is an understatement. The emotional scars that these nurses must carry, dealing with this day after day, must be beyond belief.

(1) ANNETTE D. HUNTINGTON RGON, BN, PhD “Working with women experiencing mid-trimester termination of pregnancy: the integration of nursing and feminist knowledge in the gynaecological setting” Journal of Clinical Nursing, 2002, 11 273-279

By Sarah Terzo via NRLC

Editor’s note. Sarah Terzo is a pro-life author and creator of the clinicquotes.com website. She is a member of Secular Pro-Life and PLAGAL. This appeared at liveactionnews.org.