December 10, 2010
Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Tex.)
At the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Tex.) said he believed that Jesus Christ had the right to life from the moment of conception.
CNSNews.com asked Rep. Hall, "Do you believe that Jesus Christ had the right to life at the moment of conception?"
Hall said, "I believe in the right to life," and then added that, "yes," he believed that Jesus had the right to life at the moment of conception.
On Tuesday, the lighting ceremony for the Capitol Christmas Tree took place on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. At that event, both Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) said they believed that Jesus received the right to life at the moment of conception.
Click here for the video.
Contact: Chris Johnson
Publish Date: December 10, 2010
The Population Research Institute (PRI) just released the fourth episode of their highly popular YouTube cartoon series. The series, which has to date garnered more than a half-million views, is designed to humorously refute the idea of overpopulation with stick figure animation.
The latest video, available to watch at www.overpopulationisamyth.com, is about two and a half minutes long. It tackles the root causes of poverty and how to alleviate it. All of this, while retaining the wry, humorous tone of its predecessors.
"Reducing the number of people in the world would not make those who remain any wealthier," says Joseph Powell, the creator and animator of the series. "But, as we show in our video, that's not how it works, and population control won't change that."
"We set out to be entertaining," adds Colin Mason, PRI's Director of Media Production and the video's editor. "The idea is to enthrall the viewer, who at the same time effortlessly absorbs certain demographic truths, chiefly, that people in their numbers create wealth, not poverty."
"The fight against the myth of overpopulation does not have to be a bare-knuckled brawl," says Steven Mosher, PRI's president. "These videos are funny and easy to digest, the very opposite of Al Gore's boring pronouncements on the 'dangers' of too many people. Our viewers end up considering the science that supports our pro-people position, often for the very first time. We say to our skeptics: watch, laugh, and learn."
Click here to view the latest video.
Contact: Colin Mason
Source: Population Research Institute
Publish Date: December 9, 2010
Stanford researchers have identified muscle stem cells as a root problem in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a fatal disease which results from severe muscle wasting and weakness. About one out of every 3,500 boys in the U.S. is affected, though very few girls because the gene lies on the X-chromosome; males only have one X chromosome, while females have two and so have a "spare" for the affected gene. In this genetic disease the dystrophin gene, associated with the muscle fiber, is mutated.
Under normal circumstances, muscle stem cells replace damaged muscle. Interestingly, in the usual mouse model for muscular dystrophy ("mdx mice"), the muscle stem cells do seem to keep up, but with human DMD the muscle stem cells can't seem to keep up and the muscle degenerates. The scientists found that in human DMD, the muscle stem cells experience what they termed "exhaustion". All cells have short sequences of DNA on the ends of their chromosomes, called "telomeres", and as cells divide repeatedly and age, these telomeres get shorter, like little fuses burning down. Because of the continuous need to cycle and replace damaged muscle, the DMD muscle stem cells burn down their fuses rapidly. To test their theory, the scientists developed a new mouse model that had both the dystrophin mutation and a problem with the telomeres in the muscle stem cells. The new mouse model showed the same problems as seen in human DMD.
The authors note that this is the first time that muscular dystrophy has been shown definitively to be a stem-cell-based disorder. One co-author, Dr. Jason Pomerantz, said:
"If a treatment does not replenish the stem cell compartment, it will likely fail; it would be like pushing the gas pedal to the floor when there is no reserve."
Sure enough, the scientists were able to ameliorate the problems in the mouse model by transplanting normal muscle adult stem cells.
Other research shows that embryonic stem cells are unsuitable for this type of repair, and that adult stem cells are needed.
Previous results, including from the Stanford group, have show that adult stem cells can be useful for muscle regeneration.
Click here to read the new study published online early in the journal Cell.
Contact: David Prentice
Publish Date: December 10, 2010
December 9, 2010
December 8, 2010
Rep. Dan Lipinski Rep. Chris Smith
Today, U.S. Reps. Chris Smith (NJ-04) and Dan Lipinski (IL03) announced that they will serve as Co-Chairs of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-life Caucus in the 112th Congress.
"Protection of unborn children must be a legislative priority in the 112th Congress and I look forward to leading this bipartisan coalition of pro-life Members with Chris Smith as we continue our work to protect innocent human life," said Lipinski, a long time pro-life leader in the House who is the prime cosponsor of H.R. 5939, the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," H.R. 877, the "Patients First Act," and H.R. 5111, the "Protect Life Act."
"Dan Lipinski and I have -- and will continue to -- work hard together to provide needed protection for unborn children and their mothers,' said Smith, the Republican Co-Chair of the Pro-life Caucus since 1982. "We have an aggressively prolife legislative agenda for the new Congress which includes rolling back federal funding for abortion and the abortion industry starting with H.R. 5939 the 'No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,' which Dan and I introduced in August of 2010, and H.R. 5111, the 'Protect Life Act,' which Dan introduced with Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA-16)."
The Pro-life Caucus "is a bipartisan organization of House Members which provides information to Members of Congress on legislation and issues related to pro-life concerns. We understand that the taking of innocent human life must be stopped and that all persons -- regardless of age, health, sex, race, stage of development or condition of dependence -- must be guaranteed their full constitutional safe guards." (from the Pro-life Caucus Statement of Purpose)
Contact: Jeff Sagnip
Publish Date: December 8, 2010
Embryonic Stem Cell Research
We have previously discussed the injunction issued by U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, who ruled that President Obama's embryonic stem cell funding policy violated federal law. That funding cutoff was stayed on appeal, the oral arguments of which were heard yesterday. From the story:
U.S. funding of human embryonic stem cell studies violates the law and must be stopped, a lawyer for two scientists who sued the Obama administration told a federal appeals court. The attorney, Thomas Hungar, sought today to persuade a three-judge panel in Washington to halt the flow of federal funds for research on stem cells where human embryos are injured or destroyed. A lower-court judge, ruling the research violated the 1996 Dickey-Wicker Amendment limiting stem-cell research, temporarily barred funding during the case. The U.S. appealed.
"There's no question they are trying to, and are, incentivizing the destruction of embryos in violation of the amendment," Hungar said. A lawyer for the Justice Department, Beth S. Brinkmann, said the spending is legal because the government isn't paying for the destruction of embryos. The stem-cell lines used in the research were created outside the government, she said. Without the ability to support research on embryonic stem- cell lines, the government said, years of progress toward finding cures for diseases and disorders will be lost and scientists will look to other countries such as Singapore and China to continue their work.
Hardly lost. It's not as if scientists would have to shred their findings. They would just have to rely on non federal money, which isn't exactly in short supply: Even during the Bush years, ESCR researchers received more than $2 billion in the USA.
Moreover, the question isn't what China or Singapore will do. That is–or at least, should be–irrelevant. The question is whether ESCR violates current federal law. And that boils down to whether embryo destruction and stem cell line derivation is one transaction–as Lamberth concluded–or whether embryo destruction can be distinguished from the research that follows, and thus, does not violate the Dickey Amendment's prohibition on the Feds funding research that destroys embryos. It's a close question, and I think the appellate court could go either way.
However the appeal is decided, will the Supreme Court will take the case? That depends on which side wins the appeal, but more on that later.
Contact: Wesley J. Smith
Source: Secondhand Smoke
Publish Date: December 8, 2010
Neuhaus is accused of providing improper late-term abortion referrals
Abortionist Kris Neuhaus
The Kansas State Board of Healing Arts has announced that hearings in the disciplinary case against Ann Kristin Neuhaus, who provided illegal late-term abortion referrals for the notorious George Tiller, have been delayed.
Hearings scheduled for December 20 and January 11 have been reset. Instead, a preliminary hearing is scheduled to be held on April 12, 2011, at 9:00 AM. It is likely that the preliminary hearing will take place telephonically.
The full disciplinary hearing, which will be conducted in a trial-like format with testimony expected from witnesses, has been rescheduled for May 3, 2010, at 9:00 AM. That hearing is scheduled to last four days.
Operation Rescue's Cheryl Sullenger filed the original complaint against Neuhaus and Tiller in 2006 for what appeared to be an illegal financial affiliation.
Tiller was criminally charged and tried for having an illegal financial relationship with Neuhaus, who was the only physician providing the legally mandated second opinion verifying that a pregnancy met the strict exceptions to the Kansas ban on post-viability abortions. Tiller was acquitted of criminal charges in March, 2009, but the KSBHA was pursuing an 11-count disciplinary petition against Tiller based on Sullenger's complaint at the time of his death.
Neuhaus' petition, also based on Sullenger's complaint, does not allege an illegal financial affiliation with Tiller, but it does allege that in eleven cases of post-viability pregnancies she breached the standard of care in several ways, including:
* Failure to perform adequate patient interview
* Failure to obtain adequate patient history
* Failure to adequately evaluate the "behavioral or functional impact" of the patient's condition and symptoms
* Failure to meet the standard of care to the degree of constituting ordinary negligence
* Failure to keep adequate medical records
Neuhaus is an abortionist who was previously disciplined by the KSBHA in 1999 and 2000 after committing numerous abortion abuses, including an incident where Neuhaus sedated a woman and forced an abortion upon her after she had withdrawn her consent. At that time the Board deemed Neuhaus a danger to the public. It was after this discipline that Neuhaus went to work for Tiller providing the second physician referral for post-viability abortions.
"We know that the Board does not file disciplinary petitions if it is not completely convinced that violations have occurred," said Sullenger. "We look forward to the resolution of this case and pray it results in the revocation of Neuhaus' medical license."
Click here to read Neuhaus' current disciplinary petition.
Contact: Troy Newman
Source: Operation Rescue
Publish Date: December 8, 2010
The Maryland Board of Physicians announced December 2 that it permanently revoked the medical license of George J. Shepard Jr., an abortionist who worked at the Maryland clinic of Steven Chase Brigham. The board found Shepard "guilty of unprofessional conduct and that he had practiced medicine with an unauthorized person," according to the Courier-Post.
Brigham, who did not have a Maryland medical license, has been accused of operating a secret abortion clinic that performed late abortions in a two-step process that took place in New Jersey and Maryland, the Newark Star-Ledger reported. Shepard assisted Brigham in the Maryland clinic two days a week, according to the Courier-Post.
Brigham had a medical license in New Jersey, which was suspended in October and is currently being considered for revocation by the state board of medical examiners, the Associated Press (AP) reported. A complaint filed by New Jersey officials in September detailed Brigham's abortion procedure. In a typical incident, a pregnant woman went to Brigham's Voorhees, New Jersey, clinic, where he dilated her cervix and "administered a drug that killed the fetus," according to the AP. The woman was told to drive to Elkton, Maryland, the next day, where the now-dead baby was dismembered and removed.
After the scheme was discovered, investigators searched the Elkton clinic, "where a chest freezer held about 35 late-term fetuses," the Courier-Post reported. Maryland officials suspended the licenses of Shepard and Utah abortionist Nicola Riley, who also assisted at the clinic. The board decided October 28 to extend the summary suspension of Riley's license, according to a document on the board's web site. Riley now has the opportunity to request a full evidentiary hearing before an administrative law judge.
The Maryland board's order to revoke Shepard's license, dated November 18, details his involvement with Brigham and the two-state abortion process. The board ruled that Shepard "practiced with an unlicensed individual, Dr. Brigham, or aided an unlicensed individual, Dr. Brigham, in the practice of medicine in Maryland."
It added, "This arrangement potentially places patients at grave risk for harm or catastrophic outcomes." Brigham's clinic, the board asserted, "poses a threat to the public, to the patients who undergo procedures there, and to the profession of medicine."
Contact: Liz Townsend
Source: National Right to Life
Publish Date: December 7, 2010
If you've had a chance to scan the newspaper, watch a little television, or surf the web even briefly, you know that pro-abortion President Barack Obama is now maneuvering to reset the button--aka, rebound from a devastating defeat ("thrashing") at the polls last month. He is getting lot of either/or advice.
Washington Post reporter Dan Balz summarized the convention wisdom in a column that ran Saturday. "What is the right strategy for Obama to regain the political initiative and put his presidency back on track?" Balz asks rhetorically.
"Should he hold firm, push a liberal agenda and provoke fights with the Republicans, as Truman did? That would reenergize his liberal base and sharpen his profile with the public. Or should he be a conciliator, as Clinton tried to be, cooperating when possible with congressional Republicans but resisting when he believes they have gone too far right? That might show the Republicans as obstructionists and bring independents back to his side heading toward 2012."
Let me offer a couple of thoughts. First, as Balz subsequently makes clear, it's not necessarily one or the other. Besides, you may never actually know what strategy Obama is employing until well after the dust has settled.
Second, Obama's modus operandi always is to look directly into the Teleprompter and insist that no matter how much it's been "my-way or the highway," in fact he's been working feverishly to find common ground. "Who are you going to believe?" Obama asks in effect, "Me or your lying eyes?"
I mention this (a) because his posturing on ObamaCare is the best possible example of Obama's saying one thing while doing the exact opposite, and (b) because there is no reason to believe he would be any the less resolutely pro-abortion in the next two years.
We will be lectured a hundred times that the "new" Obama "understands" that he must "change" on a host of issues--including abortion--and that if we don't bite when he comes back with still another pro-abortion proposal, it will be because we are opposing him just to oppose him.
But that's fine. We won't be fooled, you won't be fooled, and we will work against President Obama each and every time he works to advance the anti-life agenda.
Contact: Dave Andrusko
Source: National Right to Life
Publish Date: December 7, 2010