Friday, April 29, 2011

Conscience Rights: The New Frontline in the Culture War

Conscience Rights: The New Frontline in the Culture War | The Foundry: As new Heritage research points out, increasing government overreach through regulations and nondiscrimination policies poses serious threats to citizens’ conscience rights and religious liberty. From health care to institutional religious freedom to legalizing same-sex marriage, threats to conscience rights are emerging in many sectors of society.

State of Health Insurance Abortion Coverage in the States

In an effort to reflect the will of the people, 9 state governments have passed laws (and at least 16 more have pending legislation) prohibiting the coverage of abortion in any of the state insurance exchange programs instituted by Obamacare. Several states have gone beyond this and restricted or proposed legislation restricting abortion coverage in all health insurance plans (public and private) except through the optional purchase of a rider. In addition, several states which have not completely restricted abortion coverage in all insurance plans have restricted it in state-funded (read: taxpayer-funded) insurance plans.

The following map will give you a clear picture of the state of abortion coverage in insurance across the states:

The bearable lightness of dignity

Article | First Things: As the bioethicist Adam Schulman poses the question: “Is dignity a useful concept, or is it a mere slogan that camouflages unconvincing arguments and unarticulated biases?” Today, controversies about the meaning and value of the concept are more intense than ever, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to evade the question of whether “dignity” can support the enormous weight it has been asked to carry in moral and political discourse.

Compassionate Conservatism: A Primer

Compassionate Conservatism: A Primer | Hoover Institution: What was 'compassionate conservatism'? Was it ever a viable idea? Does it remain one today?

U.S. court refuses asylum to husband of Chinese forced abortion victim

U.S. court refuses asylum to husband of Chinese forced abortion victim | A US appeals court ruled that a Chinese man whose wife underwent a forced abortion and IUD insertion is not eligible to asylum, despite US law to the contrary. Even though the court recognized the couple’s clear desire to have additional children, it reasoned that with only one child currently, the couple was not in violation of China’s one-child policy, and any future threat of persecution was “too speculative.”

Chinese President: one-child policy stays

Chinese President: one-child policy stays | China’s National Bureau of Statistics released the results of the country’s first census in a decade, revealing that its population growth was cut to almost half the pace of the previous decade. Some experts are saying the figures could increase pressure on the government to relax its tight thirty-year-old population control policies, which in many cases have been enforced through forced abortion and sterilization, imprisonment, and fines many times greater than a family’s annual income.

But in advance of the data’s release, President Hu Jintao said the country would “uphold and perfect reproductive policies [to] earnestly stabilize a low birth rate,” according to Xinhua news agency. According to the government’s statistics head, Ma Jiantang, the census results actually vindicate the government’s draconian policies.

One Step Closer to Designer Babies

One Step Closer to Designer Babies: A new approach to testing the genes of early-stage fetuses could radically alter the experience of pregnancy and parenting. And we’d better start thinking about it now—before hype, fear, and the polarized politics of abortion distort the discussion.

The technique being developed analyzes fetal DNA that is collected from women’s blood as early as five weeks into a pregnancy. So-called “noninvasive prenatal diagnosis,” or NIPD, may hit the market as a test for Down syndrome later this year. Soon after, refinements are likely that will allow identification of fetal genes at thousands of sites.

Because NIPD would be less invasive, less risky, and less expensive than the kinds of fetal gene tests now available, and because it relies on a simple blood draw so early in pregnancy, it is poised to become a prenatal game changer.

Editor: Let me just say, the "refinements" are not talking about the tweaking of fetal genes in the womb. We're not talking about making babies better, but about aborting those who fail to make the grade. So the author is fooling herself that "thinking about it now" will allay the "hype, fear, and polarized politics of abortion." Abortion is at the very heart and soul of the discussion.

California ponders cell-banking venture

California ponders cell-banking venture : Nature News: Investigators creating a wealth of adult-derived stem-cell lines may soon get new banks for storing them. Unlike stem cells derived from human embryos, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells face few political and ethical hurdles because they can be produced from adult tissue. As a result, investigators have created a rash of iPS-cell lines representing a huge range of genetic variations. Now, one of the biggest funders of stem-cell research, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) in San Francisco, is contemplating ways to organize these efforts.

Editor: CIRM was created to study embryonic stem cells, but now their turning to use ethically created cells. Hmmmm.

Selecting for Sons: Indian Women in the US

CGS : Selecting for Sons: Indian Women in the US: Sex selection technologies and sex-selective abortion are legally prohibited in India, where their use in the service of son preference has produced dramatically skewed sex ratios. But Indian immigrants to the US face no official barriers to using new technologies to ensure the births of sons. Sunita Puri conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews between 2004 and 2009 with 65 Indian women living in the US who had sought sex selection services. More than 40% of these women had attended college or graduate school; nearly a quarter worked as skilled professionals. More than three-quarters had terminated pregnancies following ultrasound determination of fetal sex; 15% had used sperm sorting and 6% pre-implantation genetic diagnosis.

Declining Chinese Birth Rate Could Doom One-Child Policy

Declining Chinese Birth Rate Could Doom One-Child Policy - ScienceInsider: Preliminary results from China's census, released today at a press conference in Beijing, reveal a population that is older, rapidly urbanizing, and growing more slowly, with a widening gap between male and female births. Those demographic changes, combined with comments Tuesday by President Hu Jintao, suggest the country's controversial one-child policy is under review and may be, at least in its current form, on its way out.

The census results reveal China's population grew 5.8% since 2000, from 1.27 billion to 1.34 billion. That's a significant slowdown from a rate of 11.7% in the 2000 census. At the same time, the proportion of Chinese ages 14 and under has fallen to 16.6%, compared with 22.9% in the previous census. Those statistics point to a fertility rate below 1.5 children per couple.

NIH Wins Appeal of Stem Cell Injunction

NIH Wins Appeal of Stem Cell Injunction - ScienceInsider: A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said that an existing law that bars federal funding for research that harms or destroys embryos should not block research using cells derived from embryos.

ReNeuron confirms it does not use human embryonic stem cells

ReNeuron confirms it does not use human embryonic stem cells - Proactiveinvestors (UK): ReNeuron Group confirmed it does not utilise human embryonic stem cells in its own research and development programmes, responding to developments in an ongoing European legal case involving a German party. The company cited press coverage today regarding a European legal case concerning the patentability of human embryonic stem cells.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Five Truths about Planned Parenthood

Anyone who believes PP is primarily concerned with the health of women and girls needs to look at the record. National Review

No taxpayer funding for abortion needs your action!

The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to take up a major pro-life bill -- the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 3) -- on or about Wednesday, May 4, 2011. National Right to Life urges you to promptly contact the office of your representative in the U.S. House, to urge him or her to support H.R. 3, and to oppose all amendments that may be offered by opponents of the bill. To see an always-current list of co-sponsors of the bill, click here.

Currently, there is a patchwork of different federal laws that restrict federal funding of abortion. However, many of these restrictions (such as the well-known Hyde Amendment, which applies to the federal Medicaid program) expire every year -- which forces the pro-life side to re-fight the same battles in Congress, year after year. Moreover, in a number of federal programs -- notably, some major new programs created by the massive Obama health care law in 2010 -- federal subsidies for abortion are currently permissible under law. H.R. 3 would replace this leaky patchwork with a permanent, government-wide prohibition on federal funding of abortion and federal subsidies for health plans that cover abortion. To contact your representative, click here.

Ohio case against Planned Parenthood resolved

Judge Jody Luebbers ruled that the doctor for PP of Southwest Ohio breached her legal duty by not having an "informed consent" meeting with Jane Roe 24 hours in advance of her abortion, and by failing to obtain written informed consent from Jane and at least one of her parents since Jane was a minor at the time. In addition to the lack of informed consent, the plaintiffs sought compensatory and punitive damages against PP for failure to comply with their statutory duty to inform Jane Roe's parents of her intended abortion. Jane, at age 14, had been impregnated by her 21-year-old soccer coach, also the man who brought her in for the abortion. Instead of notifying Jane's parents, as required by Ohio law, PP phoned the sexual predator. PP's failure to notify Roe's parents and to gain informed consent resulted in Jane not only undergoing the abortion, but also in the continued cover-up of the sexual abuse. Christian Newswire

Planned Parenthood puts up a controversial billboard

Planned Parenthood has a controversial, new billboard on Route 352 in New York.The billboard has some concerned because it promotes same-sex relationships and was paid for with a state grant. It says: "someone you know is in love" and shows two men embracing. Planned Parenthood officials said the billboard is not meant to offend. It's meant to educate about love and acceptance. WETM

Defending the faith biblically and scientifically

Free audio download from Answers in Genesis

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Trump talks about exceptions, embryonic stem cell research

Trump said he believes abortion should only be legal in the very rare cases when a woman is pregnant by rape or incest or when the life of the mother is jeopardized by the pregnancy. “Ronald Reagan had the same basic stances I had, and I absolutely believe in the three instances” of exception, he said. “I hope that I can convince Iowans that I will be the best to save our country, and the fact is, I am pro-life.”

Trump also commented on the issue of embryonic stem cell research. He told the Register he’s undecided on the controversial science and he wants to investigate it further before formulating an official position. He also appeared to recognize the controversial nature of embryonic stem cell research by assuring the newspaper he has not funded it in his business enterprises. LifeNews

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sin has been put away!

The Daily Spurgeon: Sin has been put away!: There is only one sacrifice for sin, there never was another and there never can be. All those offerings under the Aaronic priesthood which were presented because of sin were only representations of the One Sacrifice; they were that and nothing more. Jesus far excels them all. . . . The blood of Jesus once presented has for ever put away sin, and no further sin offering can be brought.

Earth Day: Abortion Has Killed 1-2 Billion Worldwide in 50 Years -- Shocking Statistics!

Earth Day: Abortion Has Killed 1-2 Billion Worldwide in 50 Years | The 20th century was violent by any measure. Thirty-seven million people were killed in World War I. Over 60 million perished in World War II. Six million Jews and another six million Catholics died in Hitler’s death camps. Twenty million died at the hands of the Soviet authorities. Sixty-five million Chinese were killed by the Communist Party, while forty-two million more starved to death during Mao’s Great Leap Forward. And so on. But these numbers are dwarfed by the sheer volume of children who have been killed this past half-century.

New abortion laws show Christian Right's continued power

New abortion laws show Christian Right's continued power – CNN Belief Blog - Blogs: So maybe the Christian Right isn't so dead after all. At a moment when the Republican Party has reclaimed power in the House, has taken control of most state legislatures, and is set to begin the process of choosing its next presidential nominee, the Christian Right is playing an increasingly influential role in the party.

Oklahoma now 4th state to ban aborting children who feel pain

Oklahoma now 4th state to ban aborting children who feel pain | A measure banning abortion after 20 weeks on the basis that the unborn child can feel pain at that age was signed by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin Wednesday, making Oklahoma the fourth state to approve fetal pain legislation.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Young mother faces the ultimate test

LifeSiteNews: In August of last year Jessica Council – a beautiful, 30-year-old mother of one – noticed she had a sore throat. At around the same time, she also began to suspect she was pregnant. Around November 15th, Jessica began having trouble breathing. On November 21st she landed in the emergency room. Then, on November 22nd, her throat closed up so tightly she could not breathe, at which point doctors managed to insert a tube down her throat, and put her on a ventilator. The following day, November 23rd, Jessica was informed she had cancer. By then, she also knew for certain she was with child.

Thus began a journey that would put the faith and pro-life convictions of Jessica and her husband, Clint, to the ultimate test. Read more about their test of faith here.

Big abortion fight may not happen

Big abortion fight may not happen - Republican legislatures across the country are passing tough new anti-abortion laws - and while abortion rights advocates believe the new laws are unconstitutional, they're not rushing to court to stop them. The reason: There's a decent chance they'd lose.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Three-parent IVF needs more research, review says

BBC News - Three-parent IVF needs more research, review says: Mitochondrial transfer aims to replace a faulty part of a mother's egg with healthy material from a donor. This means a baby would have a small amount of the donor's genetic material, and therefore three biological parents.

The Relevance of Genesis to Today's World

The Relevance of Genesis: Homeschool Talks - Answers in Genesis free audio downloads to a number of major talks Ken Ham usually gives in churches, Christian colleges, homeschool conferences, etc., across America and around the world. This first presentation in the series is entitled, The Relevance of Genesis to Today’s World.

Pro-Life Resource for Church Leaders

Grace Reformed Church – Library » Blog Archive » Pro-Life Resource for Church Leaders: Pastor Christian McShaffrey wrote this material in 2005 as part of a “Pro-life Resource Packet for Churches ” published by the Wisconsin Right to Life (Sauk Co. Chapter) and distributed to all the churches in central and south-central Wisconsin.

Editor: This looks like a great resource. Just about everything you need in one place!

Is your church safe for sad people?

Guthrie on Sad People, Safe Churches – The Gospel Coalition Blog: Most of us are uncomfortable with sadness, as individuals and as churches. We want to fix people and help them to feel better, and we are far less patient than God is with the process he uses to bring healing.

But making a church a safe place for sad people is about much more than providing personal and practical support. A social club can do that. The gospel is what provides the solid truth that grieving people need to inform their feelings and undergird their hope. For a church to be a safe place for sad people does not merely mean that we offer comfort and acceptance. Sometimes it means that we gently but boldly challenge misbeliefs or misunderstandings of Scripture.

Pure desire

Dr. Gary Inrig of Trinity Church in Redlands, CA, says appeals to traditional morality or to moralistic self-effort to resist the tide of our sex-saturated society are not only futile; they miss the power and purpose of the gospel. Pure Desire sermon files

Doctor who refuses to refer women for abortions denied ‘conscientious objector’ status in Spain

Doctor refused ‘conscientious objector’ status for not referring for abortions in Spain | The unnamed family doctor from a public medical centre in Antequera in southern Spain applied for privileges under the country’s Abortion Act to be free from being required to refer women for abortions based on his conscience objections. However, the judge in the Malega court rejected the physician’s request, maintaining that his “duty to provide adequate health care prevailed over that of conscience.”

Trump Falters on Question Over Privacy, Abortion

Donald Trump Falters on Question Over Privacy, Abortion | NBC's Savannah Guthrie asked Donald Trump how his newfound pro-life view “squares” with the so-called privacy right and Trump replied to the question with an answer that made it appear he doesn’t understand the legal arguments underpinning the abortion debate.

He said, “Well, that’s a pretty strange way of getting to pro-life. I mean, it’s a very unique way of asking about pro-life. What does that have to do with privacy? How are you equating pro-life with privacy?”

Guthrie then said, “well, you know about the Roe v. Wade decision” and Trump appeared to finally understand the context of the question. “Yes, right sure,” he said. “Look, I am pro-life. I’ve said it. I’m very strong there.”

Genesis: The Key to Reclaiming the Culture - FREE Audio Download

Genesis: The Key to Reclaiming the Culture - Audio Download - Answers Bookstore: Ken Ham’s most popular talk on the relevance of Genesis, this presentation is a challenge to the church that explains why a belief in a literal Genesis is so important. A must for Christian leaders, youth leaders, homeschools, Sunday schools … in any class at all. It is a vital message for today’s church explaining why Genesis is the key to bringing reformation.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Abortion in the case of a terminal prenatal diagnosis

Abortion in the case of a terminal prenatal diagnosis |: Extreme disability or deformity does not justify killing the unborn any more than it justifies killing those (disabled or deformed people) who are already born. Rather, to justify abortion, one would have to demonstrate that the unborn human being does not merit the kind of basic regard each of us (you, me, a terminally-ill teenager, etc.) merits — the kind of regard that precludes intentional killing. The fact of a terminal diagnosis is simply not ethically relevant.

Second, choosing abortion when a child has a fatal defect probably does not best serve the pregnant woman’s emotional and psychological health (as those advocating for abortion assume). She seems better served when her unborn child is treated as a real patient deserving care, and that is what the option of perinatal hospice and palliative care is all about.

Obama Easter Breakfast Hosts Religious Leaders Who Enable Abortion

Obama Easter Breakfast Has Religious Leaders Who Enabled Abortion | Pastor Joel Hunter of Northland Church in Florida, was in attendance at today’s event. He had became one of the leading apologists for Obama during the 2008 presidential election campaign and went so far as accusing pro-life advocates of lying about Obama’s pro-abortion record after the election. Hunter blamed the pro-life criticism of Obama’s growing pro-abortion record not on Obama’s own actions but on pro-life groups not understanding his intentions. Read President Obama's remarks.

Saving babies from abortion puts them in danger of hell?

Blogger Bryan Kemper recently engaged in a vigorous debate over the value of pro-life ministry. Here's what his correspondent said:
Let us assume for a moment that eventually through what you and others like you are doing, abortion is outlawed. The murders have stopped and every abortion mill in the world is shutdown. And then what? What have you accomplished? You have allowed babies that would otherwise die to be born. Great! And…? What happens now? 
What you have accomplished is only momentary. It will only last so long as this world lasts. And that is not a very long time in the scope of eternity. If all you do is save babies from being aborted, than you have accomplished nothing. In fact, I would go so far as to say you may make it even worse for them. If those children are killed within the womb, they will be welcomed with open arms into Heaven. If they are born, there is the chance that they will reject God their entire life and die and go to hell. Kind of sobering when you put it in that light. 
You see, Bryan, I see now that all you and many other pro-life ministries are doing is trying to make a better world for people to go to hell from. Saving unborn children will accomplish nothing if that is all you do. That is what I am trying to get you to understand. Your goals need to become more eternity minded or nothing you do will matter for anything.
Bryan did a good job defending pro-life ministry. It's disheartening, however, to think this is an argument we're up against. I have heard it myself, in Baptist circles. 

The Roe effect in prevails in Wisconsin

A Star Is Born - Roe v. Wade legalized abortion nationwide in 1973. The Wisconsin Department of Health has statewide figures on the annual number of abortions going back to 1975. Tot up the numbers through 1992, and you come up with 316,457.

Scott Walker won the governorship last year by a margin of 124,638. That may not be within the margin of abortion; after all, some of the missing 316,457 would have voted Democratic had they existed, and many would not have voted.

But JoAnne Kloppenburg, the left-liberal state Supreme Court candidate who was supposed to save Wisconsin's labor monopolies from Walker's reforms, lost by just 7,316 votes, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. It's almost inconceivable that the Roe effect alone is insufficient to account for Justice David Prosser's victory.

Editor: I have trouble with double negatives. I think this means he's saying the Roe effect is enough to account for Judge Prosser's victory.

Where does life begin?

Call2 life
View more presentations from Baptists for Life, Inc.. This is an oldie but goody from our archives.

What pro-life ministry can mean for your church members

Joanne Osterle "I was Born for This" from Crisis Pregnancy Centers of Phoe on Vimeo.

Romanian hospitals queasy over abortion at Christmas, Easter

Claim: Romanian hospitals queasy over abortion at Christmas, Easter | The Croatian Times reports that only 18 out of 68 hospitals (27 percent in all) said they performed abortions around the time of the Christian holidays. Even then, many doctors at the hospitals carrying out abortions had religious qualms about performing them. Romania has one of the highest rates of abortion in the European Union, with a ratio of 3 abortions per every birth.

UK Dept. of Health sues to hide eugenic abortion stats

UK Dept. of Health sues to hide eugenic abortion stats | Since the publication of the cleft palate statistic, the DoH has been increasingly restricting information available to the public on the number of abortions performed under "ground E." They will no longer reveal the numbers of abortions in categories where the figures fall below 10 cases, arguing that where the number of cases is so low, there is a risk of identification of the women involved.

Fact Checking the Fact Checker

FRC Blog » Fact Checking the Fact Checker: Last week on the day that the House and Senate were set to take a vote on defunding Planned Parenthood, Christianity Today writer Tobin Grant authored a “fact checking” piece on the debate over tax funding for America’s primary abortion provider. The author dedicated much of the article to “fact checking” one of Family Research Council’s pieces about the abortion giant. Trouble is, he didn't do so well on his facts.

Great new song: You Named Me No One

Politico notices pro-choice side's inability to articulate what the choice is

Planned Parenthood message war goes on - Sarah Kliff and Jennifer Haberkorn - "Supporters of Planned Parenthood on both sides of the aisle say the vote was, and will continue to be, an issue of protecting the preventive services Planned Parenthood provides. On the more politically volatile issue of abortion, however, they have stayed mum."

No ‘social issues’ at Tea Party event

California Catholic Daily - No ‘social issues’: Bud Reeves attended the Sacramento area gathering of the Tea Party to hand out prolife tracts. “Given that the Tea Party purports to be an organization promoting the U.S. Constitution and all that it stands for, I thought my handing out of a small prolife tract promoting the most important civil right, the right to life, would be welcome. I was wrong."

Nation's largest abortion provider: Planned Parenthood

YOEST & FRANZONELLO: Nation's largest abortion provider: Planned Parenthood - Washington Times: Planned Parenthood always has been selectively proud of its abortion affiliation. But throughout the congressional debate over its funding, Planned Parenthood has worked hard to keep under wraps the fact that it is increasingly synonymous with abortion.

FRC University Library

Family Research Council: FRC University is a unique website featuring resources for use by pastors, professors, students, and concerned citizens about the issues critical to our country's social fabric. You can view lectures by leaders in their fields and find downloadable publications that will better equip you to make public arguments, advance public policy ideas, and persuade those with whom you are debating. We hope you will enjoy using the resources we are providing through our FRC University site.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Over 4,000 saved from abortion through 40 Days for Life

40 Days for Life campaign ends: Over 4,000 saved from abortion since 2007 | More than 4,000 babies and their mothers have been saved from abortion since 40 Days for Life began in 2007, according to 40 Days Board Treasurer Shawn Carney. Carney made the announcement on the final day of the latest 40 Days for Life campaign, which wrapped up Sunday. “Through your prayers, God has spared enough human beings to fill a whole town. I can only wonder what our Lord will do next!”

Youth Culture Update: Good Girls Are In

Youth Culture Update: Good Girls Are In | Glamour magazine recently featured up-and-coming starlets Ashley Greene, Emma Stone and Freida Pinto on its cover, chosen specifically because 'they are positive role models with passion and dedication,' according to the magazine's editor Rebecca Sinn.

Stem cells used to create 'fetal kidneys'

BioNews - Stem cells used to create 'fetal kidneys': Scientists at Edinburgh University have grown kidney structures in the laboratory in a step they hope will lead to organs being grown for transplant patients from their own stem cells. The researchers were able to reconstruct the complex structures that form a functional kidney by combining human stem cells extracted from amniotic fluid with mouse fetal kidney cells.

Government review of embryo research laws

Government review of embryo research laws | mitochondrial disease: Scientists and IVF experts have called for the lifting of a ban on the creation of human embryos containing DNA from three people. The controversial research could benefit families affected by mitochondrial disease, which is inherited via the mother's egg and can lead to severe disability and early death in children.

Born in the USA

Born in the USA - Chicago Tribune: No one tracks how many of the estimated 1,400 babies via surrogacy in the U.S. each year are carried for international parents, but one of the larger U.S. agencies, the Center for Surrogate Parenting in Encino, Calif., estimates that about half of its 104 births in 2010 were for international parents. In Illinois, which has had one of the most surrogacy-friendly laws in the nation, at least two dozen international babies were born to surrogates in 2010, according to a Tribune survey of major agencies. The only other states that explicitly allow contracts for paid surrogacy are Arkansas, California and Massachusetts.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Stem cells from embryos "God's will"?

A sense of destiny propelled Timothy Atchison when he faced another shock just seven days later: Doctors asked him to volunteer to be the first person to have an experimental drug made from human embryonic stem cells injected into his body. “We were just stunned,” said Atchison, who was with his mother and grandfather when researchers approached him. “We were like, ‘Woo, really?’ We were all just kind of in awe.”

Atchison’s story reveals provocative insights into one of the most closely watched medical experiments, including what some may see as an irony: that a treatment condemned on moral and religious grounds is viewed by the first person to pioneer the therapy, and his family, as part of God’s plan. “It wasn’t just luck, or chance,” said Atchison, who thinks, six months after the treatment, that he may be feeling the first signs that the cells are helping him. “It was meant to be.”

Atchison, whose Sept. 25 crash occurred while visiting home during his second semester at the University of South Alabama College of Nursing, had heard about embryonic stem cells’ potentially revolutionary power to morph into almost any tissue in the body, as well as their infamy because days-old embryos were destroyed to get them. “I didn’t know as much about it then as I know now. I did know that stem cells could be used to cure all kinds of things.”

Raised Baptist in a small town where the main road has more churches than fast-food restaurants, Atchison nonetheless has no moral qualms about launching the first U.S. government-sanctioned attempt to study a treatment using embryonic stem cells in people. The cells implanted into his spine were obtained from embryos being discarded at fertility clinics, he notes. “It’s not life. It’s not like they’re coming from an aborted fetus or anything like that. They were going to be thrown away,” he said. “Once they explained to me where the stem cells were coming from, once I learned that, I was okay with it.” Washington Post

Related: Previous story

Editor: He is woefully mistaken and his awe is misplaced.

Civil discourse amid Planned Parenthood debate

Civil discourse amid Planned Parenthood debate - Daily Record: Top Story: Every Tuesday since March 8, two groups of Ellensburg area residents have quietly gathered outside the Planned Parenthood Health Center to represent opposing viewpoints. One group wants an end to abortion services in the nation and hopes to share its message that life begins at conception. The other stresses its support. There’s no name calling, no finger pointing and no sneering. Yet a definite distance is kept between the two groups.

Petals in the Dust: Abortion in India

Pray for our representative in Calcutta, India who has a wonderful opportunity to make a pro-life presentation tomorrow in her church, together with a young Indian gynecologist. Pray they soon can begin a pregnancy center. Interest and the conviction of need is growing. Pray that men and women will join the effort. Watch this video about the problem.

Eugenics fear as UK report backs pre-pregnancy genetic screening

Eugenics fear as report backs pre-pregnancy genetic screening | News | The Christian Institute: Pre-pregnancy genetic testing should be made available for all prospective parents so that they produce ‘healthy’ offspring, according to a controversial new report. Those found to be carrying inherited conditions could be offered IVF, in which case they could destroy embryos carrying genetic flaws, or have the chance to adopt. But critics have warned that the contentious proposal by the British Human Genetic Commission is tantamount to eugenics – the pursuit of genetic ‘perfection.’

DC Pastors Challenge Mayor Gray's Abortion Advocacy

DC Pastors Challenge Mayor Gray's Abortion Advocacy, Send Open Letter - Christian Newswire: In response to Mayor Vincent Gray's protest and arrest for the right to use taxpayer dollars on abortion, a coalition of Washington, D.C. pastors are challenging the Mayor to stand up for 'the tiniest of constituents who truly cannot speak for themselves' -- the unborn.

We Have Seen All This Before: Rob Bell and the (Re)Emergence of Liberal Theology – We Have Seen All This Before: Rob Bell and the (Re)Emergence of Liberal Theology: As it turns out, theological liberalism is not only a rejection of biblical Christianity — it is a failed attempt to rescue the church from its doctrines. At the end of the day, a secular society feels no need to attend or support secularized churches with a secularized theology. The denial of hell did not win relevance for the liberal churches. It simply misled millions about their eternal destiny.

This brings us to the controversy over Rob Bell’s new book, Love Wins. As its cover announces, the book is “about heaven, hell, and the fate of every person who ever lived.” Reading the book is a heart-breaking experience. We have read this book before. Not the exact words, and never so artfully presented, but the same book, the same argument, the same attempt to rescue Christianity from the Bible.

Editor: I would quibble with Mohler's assertions that Bell is a good communicator and loves his congregation. He was probably just being nice.

An abortion survivor speaks out When my parents told me that my mother had had an abortion it built up some malice towards my birth mother in me. But I have since gotten over that and come to a place where I have forgiven her, thanks to the Lord. But it also gave me an appreciation for life. God saved me from dying a horrible death before I was even born.

I was adopted by a family living in a completely different country. This is for those of you saying “well what will happen to the children if we don’t abort them? Their mothers don’t want them.” Trust me, they will be adopted. My adopted family has twelve children, ten of which were adopted! They will be adopted! I mean, if we would stop funding the stuff to do abortions and put it towards making adoption fees lower, many would adopt because many who want to adopt can’t afford the high adoption fees and therefore can’t adopt. So those children will be adopted.

The Pro-Abortion Party

The Pro-Abortion Party - There's no escaping the conclusion that Democrats are more dogmatically pro-abortion than Republicans are antiabortion. It was the Democrats, not the Republicans, who were willing to shut down the government over subsidies to Planned Parenthood.

Why? No doubt there is an element of cynical posturing (and that's true on both sides). Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, for instance, said in a statement Friday: 'The Tea Party is trying to sneak through its extreme social agenda. . . . They are willing to throw women under the bus, even if it means they'll shut down the government.' Reid used to be against abortion; in 1999 he was one of only two Senate Democrats to oppose a nonbinding resolution saying rah-rah to Roe v. Wade. It's always possible that his conscience led him to the politically expedient position, but we're more inclined to think expediency is its own explanation. There's also a financial angle.

Stem cells 101

Stem cells 101 | A bill making its way through the Minnesota Legislature, the Human Cloning Prohibition Act, has created quite a stir among those who say its passage would hinder research and treatment. I respectfully disagree. As someone who stands to benefit from cutting-edge research, I'd like to clear up some common misunderstandings.

Stem Cells: The Scientists Knew They Were Lying?

Public Discourse: Prominent bioethicists Arthur Caplan and Robert P. George on the danger of discounting ethics and overselling science.

AC: I think what science does, relative to the religious discourse, is it tries to protect its self-interest. So scientists generally have a very strong commitment to freedom of inquiry, no matter what the heck they’re doing. I have to say it’s not quite my view. Freedom of inquiry is a great thing. But most scientists also want NIH money, or tax money. Science needs public funds; it’s a hugely expensive public endeavor. So scientists have to make their case to the public. They’re used to doing what they want, under the idea that freedom of inquiry will bring the public the most returns. . . . But at the end of the day, they’ve got to convince the polity and the religious traditions. Sometimes, if you’re trying to make room for scientific advance, you try to play into the divisions of religious opinion.

RG: If scientists knew that what they were doing was hyping it, then—even laying aside the ethical question about the status of human embryos—it seems to be deeply dishonest, clearly wrong.

AC: Here’s an assertion that you hear all the time: “Stem-cell research will help Alzheimer’s.” But stem cell research has no possibility of helping Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is a gunk-up-the-brain disease, where every cell is affected. You can’t fix it by any sort of stem cell research. Model it? Maybe. Cure it? Never.

RG: In 2003 or 2004, a major Washington Post article quoting the central authorities on this made exactly the same point. Now that’s the kind of dishonesty that threatens to alienate the public from science. Because even if the public buys it in the beginning, and the scientists win the political debate, when they can’t deliver on the promises they made, people’s faith in scientists—crucial for the funding of science—is placed in jeopardy.

AC: I think it’s worse. There’s a clinical trial going on in California with private funding, for a spinal cord study. That study is poorly designed, shouldn’t go on—I’ve said so. The model that you want to use on stem cells is in your eyes: if you wreck one, you still have the other, and they’re easy to access. But trying to shoot cells—and you don’t know what they’re going to do—into someone’s spinal cord on the basis of a few rat experiments… If that goes wrong, the hype has been such that when critics come in and say, “it shouldn’t have been done,” it will set the field back to zero. I’ve tried to tell my science colleagues, “If you make a mistake on this first trial, and kill somebody? You can hang it up.” . . .

RG: [O]n the embryonic stem-cell debate, there were people on my side of the ethical question who contended that there was absolutely no reason to pursue embryonic stem-cell research even if the stem cells could be obtained without destroying embryos, because (they said) everything that could be done with embryonic stem cells could be done with adult stem cells and we knew it. Well, I knew that we knew no such thing. To admit the truth that there very well may be uses for embryonic stem cells—not therapeutic uses at any time soon or perhaps ever, but in basic science, or perhaps in the construction of disease models—one needn’t abandon one’s principled position against the destruction of embryos.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

CORRECTED: House passes budget gutting D.C. abortions

CORRECTED: House passes budget gutting D.C. abortions | LSN incorrectly reported at 2:30 this afternoon that the House had passed the separate measure defunding Planned Parenthood based upon information from Planned Parenthood. However, that vote has not yet taken place.

FDA Questions Sex Selection for "Family Balancing"

CGS : FDA Questions Sex Selection for "Family Balancing": The Virginia-based fertility clinic that holds an exclusive license to a sperm-sorting sex selection technique has announced that the Food and Drug Administration will no longer allow its use for 'family balancing' - that is, to bring 'the number of children of each gender [sic] in a family closer to equal' because that's what the parents want.

Multiple Births and In-Vitro Fertilization Video

Multiple Births and In-Vitro Fertilization Video - ABC News: Dr. Karen Boyle discusses artificial fertility procedures.

Nine Kids, Two Parents In 'No Biking In The House'

Nine Kids, Two Parents In 'No Biking In The House' : NPR: Melissa Fay Greene and her husband began by adopting a small boy from Bulgaria, an experience she describes in sometimes chilling detail, recounting her profound post-adoption depression. But she rebounded and went on to adopt a daughter and three more sons. She's upfront about the challenges: the epic sibling battles, culture clash, ongoing attempt to keep the household feeling like a family rather than a 'group home.' But Greene is such an open and self-deprecating narrator she makes every addition to her family seem like the most natural and beautiful move in the world, 'each child — whether homemade or foreign born — a revelation, a treasure.'

Family Planning as a Social Vaccine?

Family Planning as a Social Vaccine? : Turtle Bay and Beyond – International Law, Policy, and Institutions: What is it about an “unwanted” pregnancy that makes it dangerous? Pregnancy itself is de-facto dangerous if a woman does not have access to quality obstetric care, and this situation almost exclusively arises among the poor in developing nations. Is family planning suggested in order to prevent these sorts of pregnancies? If so, it is a pitifully misguided response to the real needs of pregnant mothers.

How cloning works

How cloning works: Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer is the scientific term for cloning. The media [and science] don’t want you to think that SCNT is really cloning, but don't be fooled.

This is a God-issue We hate abortion because we love women. We love people because we love God. I am not a woman. I am a sinner who has been redeemed by His grace. I am theologically motivated. I am an abolitionist.

Editor: There are many reasons to oppose abortion, but the pre-eminent one is God's glory.

Bioethicist Art Caplan now off the embryonic stem cell hype truck he was driving

JivinJehoshaphat: Bioethicist Art Caplan is now off the embryonic stem cell hype truck he was driving: For years, Arthur Caplan was one of the leading hype ringleaders on embryonic stem cell research and human cloning. Over and over again, he misled people about President Bush's embryonic stem cell funding policy. . . . Over and over again, he hyped the importance of human cloning for research, claiming that it would 'repair damaged hearts, severed spinal cords or worn out parts of the brain that lead to Parkinson's disease.' But now that President Obama is in office and has expanded the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, Caplan suddenly comes completely clean. Isn't that nice?

The doctor who saw what he did

Paul Greenberg: "When Roe v. Wade was first pronounced, I welcomed it. As a young editorial writer in Pine Bluff, Ark., I believed the court's assurances that its ruling was not blanket permission for abortion, but a carefully crafted, limited decision applicable only in some exceptional cases. Which was all a lot of hooey, but I swallowed it, and regurgitated it in editorials.

"The right to life need not be fully respected from conception on, I explained, but grew with each stage of fetal development until a full human being was formed. I went into all this in an extended debate in the columns of the Pine Bluff Commercial with a young Baptist minister in town named Mike Huckabee."

Dutch consider banning religious animal slaughter

Dutch consider banning religious animal slaughter - Friday, April 8, 2011 | 2:40 a.m. - Las Vegas Sun: In the Netherlands, an unlikely alliance of an animal rights party and the xenophobic Freedom Party is spearheading support for the ban on kosher and halal slaughter methods that critics say inflict unacceptable suffering on animals.

The far right's embrace of the bill, which is expected to go to a parliamentary vote this month, is based mostly on its strident hostility toward the Dutch Muslim population. The Party for the Animals, the world's first such party to be elected to parliament, says humane treatment of animals trumps traditions of tolerance.

Jewish and Muslim groups call the initiative an affront to freedom of religion.

Editor: This is the country that says it's okay to "euthanize" mentally incompetent patients and severely disabled newborns.

Pro-life foibles

In the state of Alabama a human personhood measure has been introduced that contains flawed language. The bill in question, SB 301 states, “The term ‘persons’ as used in the Code of Alabama 1975, shall include any human being from the moment of fertilization or the functional equivalent thereof.”

This language uses the phrase “moment of fertilization” which is inaccurate. As Professor Dianne Irving haspointed out repeatedly, fertilization is a process over time and, according to the Carnegie Stages, (updated annually since 1942) there are three very different sub-stages (phases) of human embryonic development during the process of fertilization. . . . Precise language is necessary if we are to assure total protection in the law for every human being at every stage of his biological development commencing from the beginning. This is why words are so important and need to be chosen with such great care. It is for this reason that the term “functional equivalent” is also erroneous. It is well known among honest scientists that there is no functional equivalent between the reproductive processes of sexual and asexual reproduction.

There is absolutely nothing to be gained by distorting science or logic. Shooting ourselves in the foot on our way to hoped-for victory is actually a step back, not a step forward—which brings me to the second strategic problem confronting pro-lifers today.

A bill introduced in the state of Ohio’s legislature is popularly referred to as the “heartbeat” bill. This bill is designed to protect a preborn baby once that child’s heartbeat is detected. . . . [P]ro-life Americans must not set forth proposals that define who should live and who should die based on detectable signs of life. Terri Schiavo was killed because some claimed that she was not exhibiting signs of a meaningful life. The same mentality could be employed if the “heartbeat” proposal moves forward. Headlines describe the “heartbeat” bill as a direct assault on Roe v. Wade, and as an actual abortion ban, even though the bill does not ban the act of abortion. American Life League

The Coverup of Abortion's Real Risks

American Thinker: The Coverup of Abortion's Real Risks: Just as tobacco companies once deep-sixed any negative research on the smoker's health and well-being, abortionists and their extensive lobbying web of far-left, social-engineering 'feminists' now scamper to squelch every new research study which demonstrates elevated risk associated with their killing-field business model. In this diabolical scheme, abortionists are far, far worse than tobacco companies could ever have been, if only for the single reason that abortion is controlled not by known capitalistic corporations, but by the very people whom the public trusts for its healthcare.

In Budget Battle, Church Officials Fast against Cuts, Silent on Planned Parenthood

In Budget Battle, Church Officials Fast against Cuts, Silent on Planned Parenthood - Christian Newswire: In announcing a Lenten fast 'for a moral budget,' many Religious Left officials are arguing against federal budget cuts but are silent about ongoing federal support for organizations like abortion provider Planned Parenthood.

No Halt to Planned Parenthood Fight

No Halt to Planned Parenthood Fight - House Republicans may have lost their battle against Planned Parenthood in the compromise with Democrats on a spending bill agreed to last Friday, but they will continue to fight the war. On Tuesday, the House majority leader, Eric Cantor, said Republicans would continue to try to strip Planned Parenthood of all of its federal funding, and suggested that the matter could be used as a bargaining chip in debate over a budget for the 2012 fiscal year and the question of whether to lift the federal debt ceiling.

Editor: Hmmm. "Bargaining chip" doesn't have the heft of a "line drawn in the sand."

Bolivia proposes UN treaty to recognize ‘rights’ of Mother Earth

‘Utter madness’: Bolivia proposes UN treaty to recognize ‘rights’ of Mother Earth | Earlier this year, Bolivia enacted the Law of the Rights of Mother Earth in the country, calling the earth’s resources “blessings” with their own rights. Now, Bolivia aims to push for the UN to pass a similar measure, recognizing the earth as a living entity that humans have sought to “dominate and exploit” to the point that the “well-being and existence of many beings” is threatened.

The global treaty would recognize that humans have caused “severe destruction ... that is offensive to the many faiths, wisdom traditions and indigenous cultures for whom Mother Earth is sacred.” It would enshrine 'Mother Earth's' rights to life, water and clean air, and the right to be free of pollution.

Editor: I'm not making this up.

China cracks down on religious freedom

Family Research Council: On Sunday, in a brutal display, more than 100 members of an underground church in China were taken into custody for trying to worship in public. Officials say the raid is part of a broader crackdown that's been taking place across the country for weeks. . . . This is just the latest wave of persecution in China, as the government tries to disband the church. Rev. Jim Tianming says the threats to men and women of faith have never been greater. America, which has always rushed to defend the persecuted Church, has been unusually silent. Could it be that we've lost our leverage in the battle for human rights because America is a debtor to China? Is our ability to speak on behalf of our Christian neighbors stymied by all the money we owe to the country at fault? NY Times

Get to Know: The Case For Life

Case For Life - Only One Issue: The abortion controversy is not a debate between those who are pro-choice and those who are anti-choice. It's not about privacy or trusting women. To the contrary, the debate turns on one key question.

Radical Environmentalism: Scientist Calls Humans “Cancer”

Radical Environmentalism:Scientist Calls Humans “Cancer” on the Earth » Secondhand Smoke | A First Things Blog: It's one thing when an Earth Liberation Front anarchist spouts the old misanthropy. But when educated scientists do it, things are heading for a very unpretty pass. From the blog Killing Mother:
Humans are exceptional in one respect – in their ability to sequester all the resources for themselves. In nature, when a virus or bacterial infection spreads unchecked, it is called a disease. When an organism multiplies without restraint, it is referred to as a biological nuisance. When cells grow out of control, it is cancer. Within nature, people are a cancer upon the planet.

Miracle baby

Truth TV: Megan was born with a cleft palate and diagnosed with Hydrocephalus. She is one of just seventeen children worldwide with the condition of Holoprosencephaly, which prevents the foetal brain from growing forward and dividing, as it is supposed to during early pregnancy.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

First patient to get stem cell therapy comes forward

In the six months since scientists announced they had infused a drug made from human embryonic stem cells into a partially paralyzed patient’s spine, the identity of the recipient has been shrouded in secrecy. Now, a 21-year-old Alabama nursing student who was paralyzed from the chest down in a car crash in September has come forward to identify himself as the volunteer.

“I was the first patient,” Timothy J. Atchison of Chatom, Ala., said in a telephone interview with The Washington Post on Wednesday evening. “I’m doing well.” The trial is primarily assessing safety, but doctors are also testing whether the cells restore sensation and movement.

Atchison’s father said that his son has maintained a positive attitude, beginning when he was in the emergency room after the accident, and that he understood how seriously he was injured. “He said, whatever the Lord leaves him with, he’ll do the best he can with it.”

Surgeons used specially designed equipment to infuse into the first patient’s spine about 2 million “oligodendrocyte progenitor” cells, which Geron scientists had created in the laboratory from embryonic stem cells obtained from days-old embryos left over from fertility treatments. The hope is that the cells will form a restorative sheath around the damaged spinal cord. In tests in hundreds of rats, partially paralyzed animals regained the ability to move, according to Geron. Washington Post

Guatemalans sue over 1940s US syphilis experiments

Guatemalans sue over 1940s US syphilis experiments - Health - Sexual health - Guatemalans subjected to U.S. syphilis experiments in the 1940s are suing federal health officials to compensate them for health problems they have suffered. The lawsuit comes after revelations that U.S. scientists studying the effects of penicillin in the 1940s deliberately infected about 700 Guatemalan prisoners, mental patients, soldiers and orphans. None was informed or gave consent.

2 states consider embryonic stem cell research bans

BioNews - Two US states consider 'ban' on embryonic stem cell research: Minnesota and Oklahoma are both in the process of passing legislation that will criminalise certain embryonic stem cell research procedures.

Gov. Brownback Signs Fetal Pain-Abortion Ban

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback Signs Fetal Pain-Abortion Ban | Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed into law bills including one that will ban late abortions based on the scientific evidence showing unborn children can feel pain beginning at 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Niece became surrogate to help aunt with fertility problems

BioNews - Niece became surrogate to help aunt with fertility problems: A British woman has given birth to her cousin, as part of a surrogacy arrangement to help her aunt. The 29-year-old mother of three became pregnant from sperm donated by her aunt's husband, to whom she was not related by blood. This resulted in the birth of a baby girl who is both her biological daughter and cousin.

Senate to Vote Thursday on De-Funding Planned Parenthood

Senate to Vote Thursday on De-Funding Planned Parenthood | The next step in the battle to de-fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business came when pro-life House Speaker John Boehner forced pro-abortion Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid to do something he swore he wouldn’t do: allow a vote. The Senate will vote on Thursday.

Trump claims pro-life conversion ‘years’ ago

Trump claims pro-life conversion ‘years’ ago - despite endorsing Hillary Clinton | Trump said that “one of the primary reasons” he changed was from hearing the story of a friend who didn’t want a baby but chose to keep it. “He ends up having the baby and the baby is the apple of his eye. It’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to him. And you know here’s a baby that wasn’t going to be let into life,” he said. “And I heard this, and some other stories, and I am pro-life.” However, as late as 2007, Trump endorsed top pro-abortion personality Hillary Clinton as well as pro-abortion former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani for the Democrat and Republican 2008 presidential tickets, saying that they “both would do a good job.”

Nearly 350 babies saved from abortion during 40 Days for Life

Nearly 350 babies saved from abortion during 40 Days for Life | The spring 2011 40 Days for Life campaign has now entered its 34th day, and with just a week left to go, stories of the incredible fruits of the international pro-life initiative are pouring in.

China to end one-child policy in 2015

China to end one-child policy in 2015 because of labor shortages! (but not really) | Did the Party leadership finally begin to regret the massive and ongoing human rights violations that the one-child policy entailed? Hardly. It takes a pretty hardened leadership cadre to send mobile abortion squads to hunt down pregnant women, to arrest them for violating the one-child policy, and then to abort and sterilize them against their will. This has been going on for 30 years. It is highly unlikely that Hu Jintao simply woke up one morning wracked by guilt and said to himself, “This is wrong.” No, the reason that the policy may be ended has nothing to do with human considerations at all, but with cold dollars and cents calculations.

A Rocky Dating-and-Mating Road for Twenty-Something Grads

CBLPI A Rocky Dating-and-Mating Road for Twenty-Something Grads: Kay Hymowitz’s “Neo-Traditional” category of modern college graduates marry and settle into a satisfying family lifeafter a decade or so of intense personal and career development. This group’s ‘life story’ has a better chance at a happy ending, suggests Hymowitz in her book, Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys, than many of their college peers, who are crashing over the guard rails of the rocky, unmapped dating-and-mating road paved by the pill, feminism, and the Knowledge Economy.

Political roundup

Editor: Quite a nice little kick-back system the Democrats have going here.

France rules against children of surrogate mothers

The Associated Press: France rules against children of surrogate mothers: France's top court refused to allow French citizenship for 10-year-old twin girls born to a surrogate mother in the United States, in a ruling that affirmed France's legal ban on surrogacy. The ruling exposes the legal limbo that many would-be parents find themselves in because of inconsistencies on surrogacy between countries like the United States, which legally recognizes it, and France, which does not. Other countries, like Belgium, are largely silent on the subject, leaving the door open to different interpretations and leaving an international legal void in many cases.

Medical oaths less of a moral compass for physicians

amednews: Medical oaths less of a moral compass for physicians :: April 1, 2011 ... American Medical News: Nearly 80% of 1,032 practicing physicians surveyed in 2009 said they took part in a medical school oath ceremony using the original or modified version of the Hippocratic Oath, the Osteopathic Oath, the Prayer of Maimonides or the Declaration of Geneva. However, only 26% said the oath they took significantly influenced their practice of medicine or provided moral guidance in their medical careers.

Dems yield on everything but abortion

At one crucial moment in the game of chicken over a looming shutdown of the United States government, President Obama and the House speaker, John A. Boehner, faced off in the Oval Office. Mr. Boehner, a Republican heavily outnumbered in the room by Democrats, was demanding a provision to restrict financing to Planned Parenthood and other groups that provide abortions. Mr. Obama would not budge.

“Nope. Zero,” the president said to the speaker. Mr. Boehner tried again. “Nope. Zero,” Mr. Obama repeated. “John, this is it.” A long silence followed, said one participant in the meeting. “It was just like an awkward, ‘O.K., well, what do you do now?’" That meeting broke without an agreement. NY Times, Washington Examiner

The "baby daddy" study

Conflict Of Interest: According to Cassandra Dorius, a Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan's Population Studies Center and Institute for Social Research, Black women were most likely to have a non-marital birth (62%) followed by Hispanics (32%) and then Whites (25%). Additionally, this study also reported that fifty-nine percent (59%) of African-American mothers, thirty-five percent (35%) of Hispanic mothers and twenty-two percent (22%) of white mothers reporting children with more than one father.

African Bishops Plead for Help Defending Unborn Babies

VirtueOnline - News - News - African Bishops Plead for Help Defending Unborn Babies: The rich and powerful based at the UN and in anti-life groups are fanned out across Africa coercing Africans into accepting abortion as a way of life. These poor people are largely defenseless against the immense power of Planned Parenthood, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the UN Population Fund and the rich European countries. But these are precisely the organizations that are coming after unborn African babies.

Planned Parenthood's 'Truth Team' Forgets Its Abortions

Planned Parenthood's 'Truth Team' Forgets Its Abortions | Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) has dispatched a “Truth Team” to rally opposition to the Pence Amendment (H.R. 1, sec. 4013), a measure to stop federal funding of PPFA and its 102 affiliates. But not everything said by PPFA officials and sympathetic media has been the whole truth and nothing but the truth. In the interest of an informed debate about taxpayer funding of PPFA, a few omissions and potentially misleading statements are addressed below.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Get to Know: Not This Girl

Not This Girl - A community that supports those affected by sexual and domestic violence through empowerment, offering a bridge to resources, creating awareness, and advocating for change.

Editor: While they seem to advocate spiritual healing, I don't know where this group stands on abortion. Anybody?

Bristol Palin's Abstinence Campaign Payday

Bristol Palin's Abstinence Campaign Payday: Her Latest Teen Pregnancy Outrage - The Daily Beast: America has come to fetishize pregnancy to an unprecedented degree. Magazines obsessively track celebrity baby bumps. Paparazzi stalk famous toddlers. Reproduction has turned nobodies like Kate Gosselin and the girls on MTV’s Teen Mom into stars. Palin is the apotheosis of this phenomenon. She might say that pregnancy is something to be avoided, but the story of her life speaks louder. If you’re cute and lucky, it says, getting pregnant can be a way to get paid lots of money for doing nothing at all.

Men Also Impacted by Coercion

Men Impacted by Coercion, Too: One Man’s Story | Church Awareness Project: "My role in two abortions has been long-lasting. I can tell you that the mental and emotional effects on a man are real and devastating. I really don’t let anyone get close to me because I don’t want to let them down. I’ve had a divorce, no current relationship with my two living sons, countless unfinished projects, and several jobs left before true success–mainly because I never felt I deserved it.

"Where am I today? After hearing a woman’s personal story in our church of how abortion affected her, I felt like a hammer hit me between the eyes. I knew then it was time to start dealing with my past. Jesus Christ has forgiven my past and continues to strengthen me."

Chinese Family Planning Official Kills Man Over Forced Sterilization

Chinese Family Planning Official Kills Man Over Forced Sterilization | On March 21, family planning officials entered the home of Xu Shuaishuai to seize his sister for a forced sterilization. Unable to find her, they beat Xu’s father and when Xu defended his father from the attack, one of the Chinese population control officials stabbed him twice in the heart with a long knife. Xu died on the way to the hospital.

Court rules for pharmacists on morning-after pill

RNS: Court rules for pharmacists on morning-after pill - Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life: Pharmacists with religious objections to 'morning-after' emergency contraceptives cannot be compelled to sell the product, an Illinois Circuit Judge ruled April 5. The Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act was passed in 1998 to shield health care workers from going against their own beliefs. In 2005, then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich issued a ruling to force 'pharmacies to fill prescriptions without making moral judgments.' Two pharmacists sued for the right to not dispense the pills.

One Teen’s Story of Coerced Abortion

One Teen’s Story of Coerced Abortion | Church Awareness Project: As a Christian, I know God was with me all the way, wanting to give me His strength to help me make it through my pregnancy. I was just too scared to reach out for His hand. I still should have gotten better professional help from those agencies. At the age of eighteen, the law says one is an adult. But emotionally, many eighteen-year-olds are not strong enough on the inside to stand up for what they really want.

US House to vote -- in May -- on No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act

Federal Legislation - Legislative Action Center: The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 3) was originally scheduled for action on the floor of the House of Representatives on April 12-13, but this consideration has now been postponed due to ongoing action on various appropriations bills. House action on H.R. 3 is now expected to occur during May.

Faith and Pro-life Leaders Calling for Congress to Defund Planned Parenthood

Faith and Pro-life Leaders to Hold Demonstration and News Conference Calling for Congress to Defund Planned Parenthood - Standard Newswire: Leaders are planning to display 'white sheets' to draw attention to the fact that Planned Parenthood Founder, Margaret Sanger, supported the Ku Klux Klan and their racist agenda and even spoke at a Klan rally. White sheets are a longtime symbol of the KKK. Clergy to say not one penny of public money should be given to an organization founded by a racist and Klan supporter.

Editor: I'm sorry, but I don't think this is a good idea. I think it will backfire.

National Pro-Life T-Shirt Week

. . . and Photo Contest. Going on now! For teens!! Details.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

GOP 2012 hopefuls united against Planned Parenthood funding

GOP 2012 hopefuls united against Planned Parenthood funding - The Hill's Ballot Box: The rumored field of 2012 presidential hopefuls is uniting behind a plan to cut all federal funding for Planned Parenthood, aligning them with a group of House conservatives who are insisting that any final budget deal includes a policy rider to defund the organization.

U.S. House Moves to Cut Tax Breaks for Abortion

U.S. House Moves to Cut Tax Breaks for Abortion: The Republican-controlled House Ways and Means Committee has approved a measure that would take away the tax incentive for abortion. H.R. 1232, which is a companion bill to the much lauded “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” sponsored by Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL), passed through the committee on a party-line 22-14 vote on March 31, and now heads to the full House of Representatives. The measure would prevent individuals from deducting the cost of an abortion from their taxable income, using tax credits to pay for health plans that cover abortions, or even spending funds in tax-free health savings accounts to pay for the procedure.

Scaife’s Planned Parenthood Arguments Fall on Deaf Ears

Scaife’s Planned Parenthood Arguments Fall on Deaf Ears | RedState: Planned Parenthood took out a full-page ad in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal featuring an op-ed written by billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife entitled, “Why Conservatives Should Oppose Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood.” His arguments fall on deaf ears in conservative circles.

Not only is defunding Planned Parenthood of the hundreds of millions of tax dollars it receives annually the number one priority of social conservatives, but 29 fiscal groups led by Americans for Tax Reform have come out in favor of the effort as well. So have ten of the prospective 2012 GOP presidential candidates.

Wrong to Use Prenatal Genetic Testing to Push for Abortion

Wrong to Use Prenatal Genetic Testing to Push for Abortion | In a January Nature magazine article the head of Stanford’s Center for Law and Biosciences, Hank Greeley, said within five years, genetic testing kits will be available over the counter that will predict not only whether a preborn baby has Down Syndrome, Cystic Fibrosis, or Tay Sachs disease, but also the baby’s sex and eye color.

Greeley estimates that the number of genetic tests performed on preborn babies will jump from the current 100,000 to over 3 million and that abortions will be viewed as a way to save money from being spent on “high cost children.” Because who really wants “to bring a child into the world who will suffer and cause their family undue burden and emotional and financial hardship?”

Addressing Pro-Life Excuses: I Don't Want to Offend Anyone

Addressing Pro-Life Excuses: I Don't Want to Offend Anyone on Abortion | We have allowed this evil act to be diminished to just a “tough decision” that a woman has to make. I am sorry but this is not a decision anyone should have the right to make; it is an act of homicide that cannot be justified. I don't set out to offend; I set out to tell the truth. In doing so, I know people will be offended and feelings will be hurt. This is true of almost every evil we confront.

5 Simple Things You Can Do For Coerced Abortion Awareness Week

5 Simple Things You Can Do For Coerced Abortion Awareness Week | Church Awareness Project: April 3-10 is Coerced Abortion Awareness Week, which helps raise awareness that most abortions are unwanted or coerced and that abortion hurts women, men and families in our churches and communities. Here are five easy things you can do to take part in Coerced Abortion Awareness Week.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Latest Life Matters features pro-life ministry in South Africa

Is AIDS a death sentence or a life opportunity? Find out what missionaries Kyle and Heather Farran are doing to meet the challenge in South Africa. Life Matters

The economy and abortion: it’s worth paying attention

The economy and abortion: it’s worth paying attention | Let’s get rid of the “need” for abortion. Pro-life advocates have made enormous ground on in the legal battle to restrict and abolish abortion, and those praying on the spiritual front, have helped change hearts and minds by their loving example. But pro-life advocates also need to pay more attention to the problem of “want” that drives this “need” among so many women for abortion. Perhaps the middle of the most serious world recession since the Great Depression is an excellent time for pro-life people to re-examine how restoring economic health to a nation, helps give it more confidence to embrace a culture of life, over a culture of death.

Unfit to foster: Christianity an ‘infection?’

Unfit to foster: Christianity an ‘infection?’ | For 15 years, Owen and Eunice Johns served as foster parents to British children. Social workers praised them as “kind and hospitable people” who “respond sensitively to” children. But London’s High Court has just ruled that the Johnses are unfit to foster. The reason: The Johnses are devout Christians, and their views about homosexuality may harm the children in their care.

Abortion prominent in UN agenda

The theme of this year’s commission is “Fertility, Reproductive Health and Development.” The initial draft of this year’s outcome document was released last week and as expected, the text is rife with references to sexual and reproductive health, family planning and contraceptives. Statements by International Planned Parenthood Federation, Family Care International, Ipas and Advocates for Youth are included and call for increased funding for family planning and contraceptives, decriminalizing abortion, as well as comprehensive sexuality for young people, including the “removal of legal barriers that restrict young people’s access to essential services, such as parental and spousal consent, age of consent and issues of confidentiality.” LifeNews

Monday, April 4, 2011

Message From an Unknown Chinese Mother

Book Review - Message From an Unknown Chinese Mother - By Xinran - This book gives a voice to some of the poorest women in Chinese society, whose stories would otherwise never be heard. Among them are women like Kumei, a dishwasher who twice tried to kill herself because she'd been forced to drown her baby daughters. When a child is born, Kumei explains, the midwife prepares a bowl of warm water -- called Killing Trouble water, for drowning the child if it's a girl, or Watering the Roots bath, for washing him if it's a boy.

Study shows 'identical twins' are not genetically identical

BioNews - Study shows that 'identical twins' are not genetically identical: If one twin develops schizophrenia it does not mean the other will. This suggests the disease is not purely genetic or that the identical twins might not have the same genes as each other after all.

Molecular geneticist Dr Shiva Singh of the University of Western Ontario's Faculty of Science said in a statement: 'Cells are dividing as we develop and differentiate. More importantly, these cells may lose or acquire additional DNA. The genome is not static. Our results have really forced everyone to rethink the idea that identical twins are actually identical. The implication would be that there is nobody with the [same] human genome sequence, everybody is different'."

U-M creates new stem cell lines

U-M creates new stem cell lines | | The Detroit News: Scientists were able to create the new stem cell lines because of the 2008 voter-approved Michigan constitutional amendment, and embryo donations facilitated by Dr. Mark Hughes, president of Genesis Genetics in Detroit.

Hughes is a pioneer in pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, a test that helps couples have a healthy baby if they have had a child with an inherited genetic disorder.

The test requires all couples to go through in vitro fertilization -- a reproductive technology normally used by infertile couples wanting to have children by creating embryos in a petri dish. Before the embryos are implanted in the mother, Hughes tests one cell in each to see if they're at risk of carrying genetic mutations responsible for inherited diseases.

Embryos that test positive for genetic abnormalities typically have been discarded as medical waste since couples do not want to use them. But now Hughes is asking couples if they want to donate them to science.

Editor: Finally an article that tells what's actually going on.

Planned Parenthood praises POTUS

Planned Parenthood praises POTUS - Print View: After taking flak from Planned Parenthood during the health care debate last year, President Barack Obama has returned to its good graces, garnering praise from a group whose federal funding is at stake in the heated budget debate with Republicans on Capitol Hill. Obama has said he does not want a federal budget that includes provisions to slash funding for several organizations that social conservatives, including many Republicans, oppose. Members of the Obama administration have also had low-profile meetings with abortion rights advocates, according to sources who have knowledge of the talks. And groups like Planned Parenthood that have been targeted by conservatives largely feel reassured by the positive signals the White House has thus far shown on protecting their funding.

Indiana House passes major pro-life abortion overhaul

Indiana House passes major pro-life abortion overhaul | Indiana House lawmakers have approved legislation overhauling laws regulating abortion that could make Indiana one of the most pro-life states in the U.S.

The Rise of Animal Law

The Rise of Animal Law: Some legal scholars have proposed strategies for advancing animal rights through steppingstone cases that erode the notion of animals as property and grant them some of the same protections people have. Others, drawing inspiration from the antislavery and civil rights movements, advocate a more direct effort to establish fundamental rights for animals -- at least for more cognitively sophisticated species such as great apes and cetaceans (see sidebar). No one is arguing that orangutans should be given the right to vote, but some legal scholars see no reason why apes shouldn't have rights similar to those of a child or a person in a coma. Read more

China may drop one-child policy, but coercive abortion likely would continue

Baptist Press - China may drop one-child policy, but coercive abortion likely would continue - News with a Christian Perspective: Reggie Littlejohn says a switch to an urban, two-child policy will not soften China's population control program.
'The problem with the One Child Policy is not the number of children allowed,' Littlejohn said in a written statement to Baptist Press. 'Rather, it is the fact that the policy is enforced through forced abortion, forced sterilization and infanticide. Even if some couples will eventually be allowed to have two children, the Chinese Communist Party has emphatically not stated that they will cease their appalling methods of enforcement.'

Friday, April 1, 2011

Research wants to ask 11-year-olds if they are gay

Ask 11-year-olds if they are gay, says equality report | News | The Christian Institute: Children as young as eleven should be asked about their sexual orientation and parents need not know, research for the [UK] Equality and Human Rights Commission says. The contentious proposal, which is likely to alarm many parents, has been branded as “sinister.”

Abortion and African Americans

Abortion and African Americans, Christian News, The Christian Post: Truth does have a place in the public square, and the Church must never be silent when it comes to defending the life and dignity of “all of God’s children.”

The Sanctity of Human Life: David P. Gushee

The Sanctity of Human Life : David P. Gushee: It is assumed that “everyone” knows what “sanctity of life” means. Yet the concept is actually much more complex in its origins and its implications than is commonly understood. And it won’t be sufficient for Christians to continue mouthing a slogan without thinking through what it means and how it really affects our worldview.