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BY John Lilly
Cells for Continence
SENTINEL, May 22 — Doctors say they were
able to cure urinary incontinence in the vast majority of patients who were
treated with injections of their own stem cells, according to the Wisconsin
The finding is the latest
accomplishment in a promising — and morally sound — area of research: using
adult stem cells derived from patients’ own tissue. In this case, they are
being used to treat a troubling condition that affects more than 15 million
NOTIVIDA, May 30 — The Spanish language news agency reports that
the Supreme Court of Costa Rica has ruled “gay marriage” unconstitutional. The
court ruled that the constitutional “concept of marriage” is understood to be
“between a man and a woman.”
The suit was brought by an
activist who argued that Catholic and generally pro-life Costa Rica must comply
with international human-rights agreements that tend to support the notion of
The court rejected the argument
that outside organizations can impose their pro-abortion and pro-homosexual
standards. The court similarly ruled in 2000 that the practice of in vitro
fertilization is unconstitutional.
THE EVENING BULLETIN, June 7 —
At least five health insurance companies in Switzerland give discounts to
thousands of women who refuse abortions, in vitro fertilization, and prenatal
diagnosis, reported the Philadelphia daily.
Under an agreement since 2004 with
the pro-life association Swiss Aid for Mother and Child, the companies provide
rate reductions of 10% to 40% to eligible women.
While the Popular Workers Party
has pressed to ban the practice, federal authorities have so far refused to
BY Jim Cosgrove
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, June 18 — As long as it's viable (capable of surviving outside the womb) a fetus should be considered a person, according to the Kentucky Supreme Court.
The court ruled June 17 that the wrongful killing of such a fetus should also be considered a homicide, the Associated Press reported.
Justice William Cooper, writing for the majority, noted medical advancements have shown fetal viability is as provable as birth or stillbirth, thereby throwing out the “born alive” rule that previously existed.
The new law defines an unborn child as a member of the human species “from conception onward.”
Pryor Dismissal Halted
THE MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER (Alabama), June 12 — Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., tried to argue that pro-life Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor's recess appointment to the federal appeals court in Atlanta was unconstitutional. But Pryor's fellow judges have ruled against Kennedy.
Kennedy's argument “is untimely, and we decline to grant leave for a late filing,” Chief Judge J.L. Edmondson wrote June 10, noting the deadline had expired April 28, the Montgomery Advertiser reported.
President Bush appointed Pryor to the bench Feb. 20, ducking a Democratic filibuster in the Senate.
THE VALLEY MORNING STAR (Texas), June 16 — A Harlingen, Texas, city commission has voted not to include Planned Parenthood for funding by a community-development block grant.
More than 20 people, including the president of Stand Up and Be Counted, a coalition of pro-life church members, doctors and citizens, voiced their support for current block grant funding that does not include Planned Parenthood, the Valley Morning Star reported.
The executive director of the local Planned Parenthood tried to argue that the $6,000 it applied for would be to help teen mothers, not for abortions. The commission denied her application anyway.
Bishop Leads Vigil
EPPING FOREST GUARDIAN (U.K.), June 17 — A bishop in the United Kingdom is speaking out against abortion.
Bishop Thomas McMahon of Brentwood, England, led a police-escorted prayer vigil outside a Marie Stopes abortion site in Buckhurst Hill on June 12.
More than 100 showed up to support the vigil, organized by the pro-life group Helpers of God's Precious Infants, the Epping Forest Guardian reported.
“The first victim of abortion is the unborn child whose life is ended deliberately,” Bishop McMahon said. “The mother, in a secondary sense, is also a victim, for she loses her child but is unable to grieve effectively.”
BY Jim Cosgrove
Shorter Gap, Healthier Babies
REUTERS, June 30—Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have found that mothers who separated their children by an interval between one and three years were 50% less likely to have a stillborn child, compared with women who waited at least six years between children.
The findings, which appeared in the Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, were drawn from a review of the outcomes of two consecutive deliveries of 410,021 women who gave birth in Sweden between 1983 and 1997.
THE BOSTON HERALD, July 3—A former abortion-clinic guard has filed an affidavit in federal court supporting a challenge to the state's restrictions on pro-life activities outside clinics.
Richard Seron, who has filed suit against his former employers at the now-closed Pre-Term Health Services and Planned Parenthood, claims his bosses reprimanded him for advising a clinic escort not to confront pro-lifers outside the clinic.
“They also instructed me to tell incoming clients to not listen to the sidewalk counselors,” said Seron, who claims he was told to confiscate all pamphlets.
Three sidewalk counselors claim the buffer zone law passed in 2000 tramples their free speech rights by barring them from coming within six feet of patients who are within 18 feet of a clinic.
No Planned Parenthood Funds
LIFENEWS.COM, June 26—By a vote of 16 to 10, the Louisville city council has scrapped $6,000 earmarked in the city budget for an “abstinence” program at Western Middle School sponsored by Planned Parenthood.
Pro-life advocates appealed to the city council to oppose funding the local affiliate of the largest abortion business in the country—whether the funds were used for abortions or not.
“Taxpayers understand that by funding Planned Parenthood, this council will participate in freeing other resources that will be used to promote abortion,” explained Joyce Daugherty, vice president of Right to Life of Louisville.
Fetal Homicide Law in UK
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH (New South Wales, Australia), June 27—A woman whose unborn son was killed in a road-rage incident has convinced the New South Wales government to change a 103-year-old law.
Shields' anger over her son's death turned to determination to have the law changed so no other mother would suffer as she had.
Her emotional written submission to a review board was instrumental in the state government creating a new law for the killing of an unborn baby. The law will come into effect by the end of the year.
BY Jim Cosgrove
Adult Stem Cells vs. Diabetes
BBC NEWS, March 15 — Re -searchers have reported that stem cells drawn from bone marrow can be converted into insulin-producing beta cells, then transplanted to the pancreas. While preliminary, the finding holds out exciting prospects for insulin-injecting diabetics.
“Transplantation of bone-marrow stem cells already is a routine procedure for treating cancer and other diseases, and we could build on that experience,” lead investigator Mehboob Hussain of the New York University School of Medicine told the British Broadcasting Corp. The re searchers’ full report was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Did Concert Cure Coma?
REUTERS, March 12 — A young German woman, left comatose for six years after she collapsed at school, has begun to respond to the world around her. The awakening occurred while she was at a concert in Regensburg featuring pop singer Bryan Adams, of whom she has been a fan.
Christiane Kittel, now 24, was left in a vegetative state after her collapse on June 12, 1997. Doctors believe her condition was caused by a combination of hot weather, a hereditary hemophilia condition and side effects of a contraceptive pill.
Karl-Gunther and Adelheide Kittel, Christiane's parents, said that, during the concert, Chris tiane started to move in her wheelchair and seemed fascinated by the music and the singer, saying the word “Mama” quite clearly. Chris -tiane's doctor says she has taken the first steps toward recovery.
Nebraska Abortions Drop
OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, March 17 — The number of abortions in Nebraska has dropped — again.
Gov. Mike Johanns was quoted in the Omaha daily newspaper saying that the 5.2% decline in 2002 — the fourth consecutive year the state has seen abortion decline — demonstrates the public's growing opposition to abortion. He noted that, since 1998, the number of abortions performed in the state has dropped by 27%.
Nebraska recorded 3,775 abortions last year, compared with 3,982 in 2001, according to figures from the Nebraska Health and Human Services System.
Have a Baby, Halve a Debt
THE GLOBE AND MAIL, March 15 — Bernard Landry, leader of the Parti Québécois, has pledged that, if he is elected, he will move to write off half of university graduates’ student loans — if they have a child within five years of getting their degrees.
The legislation would be aimed at reversing the rapid evaporation of Quebec's workforce. It would cost about $50 million annually, reported the national Canadian newspaper based in Toronto.
BY Jim Cosgrove
Adult Stem Cells' Benefits
REUTERS HEALTH, Oct. 3—New research has raised hopes that adult stem cells may one day be used to treat brain injuries.
In a study led by Dr. Tracy McIntosh of the Head Injury Center at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, mice with brain injuries were injected with neural stem cells. The treated mice showed significant improvements in motor skills.
Colorado Abortion Drop
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Oct. 4—Abortions in the Centennial State have dropped precipitously.
According to the Denver daily newspaper, Colorado saw 9,384 abortions in 1995; five years later that number dropped to 4,215—a decline of 63%.
The change was reported to the Newsby Liz McDonough, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Human Services. McDonough also reported that, although the numbers of live births to Colorado teen-agers aren't declining, fewer Colorado teens are getting pregnant.
Pro-Life Doctor to Advise FDA?
KENTUCKY POST, Oct. 9—A pro-life gynecologist from Lexington, Ky., is in line for a position on an FDA women's-health advisory committee.
According to the Post, the Bush administration is considering Dr. W. David Hager for an appointment to the Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee—the same panel that recommended the approval of the abortion pill RU-486.
In August, Hager was one of several physicians in the Christian Medical Association who petitioned the FDA to shelve RU-486 pending a review of the approval process and complications attributed to the drug.
School Okays Pro-Life T-Shirt
SHEBOYGAN PRESS, Oct. 5—A Wisconsin high-school student has been cleared to wear a controversial pro-life T-shirt to school.
On Sept. 27 Aaron Kaat, a senior at Sheboygan South High School, arrived at school wearing a T-shirt bearing the words “Abortion is homicide” on the front. The message on the back read: “You will not silence my message. You will not mock my God. You will stop killing my generation.” According to the Sheboygan Press, he was sent to the associate principal's office.
Kaat said he was warned he would face disciplinary measures if he wore the shirt to school again, but a spokesperson for the school district said school officials changed their decision. “The more we thought about it, the more we thought that it was just a political statement” allowed by the district dress code, co-superintendent Joe Sheehan told the newspaper.
BY Jim Cosgrove
Cardinal Maida on Prolife Politics
THE DETROIT NEWS, Sept. 29 — Detroit Cardinal Adam Maida has told his flock that Catholic public officials have “a special moral obligation” on the abortion issue that supersedes the laws of the land.
The reminder follows protests by prolife activists aimed at Attorney General Jennifer Granholm, the Democratic candidate for governor, who is Catholic and proabortion, reported Detroit's largest daily newspaper.
“Ultimately, there is a higher law, the law of God,” the cardinal said in a statement that was read at all Masses in the Detroit area Oct. 5 and 6.
The article also quoted Monica Migliorino Miller, a theology professor at St. Mary's College and leader of a group that has picketed Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Plymouth, where Granholm worships. “It is reasonable to conclude that his remarks are made with Jennifer Granholm in mind,” said Migliorino Miller, “and that he seeks to blunt the effects of a scandal that [Granholm] has caused within the diocese.”
No Room for Abortions
ERIE TIMES NEWS, Oct. 1 — Steven Brigham's plans to open an abortion business in downtown Erie may have ended Sept. 30 at the annual Erie County tax sale.
According to the daily newspaper, local businessman Jerry Uht Jr. bought an office suite in the building formerly owned by Brigham's company, Peach Street Real Estate. Uht bought the office suite for just $2,400 after Brigham failed to pay overdue taxes on the property.
The office Uht purchased is the largest of Brigham's six suites in the building — and the likely locale of the abortion business he had hoped to open. Legal abortions have not been performed in Erie County in more than 20 years.
Stars Defend Life in Prime Time
LIFESITE DAILY NEWS, Oct. 3 — Former supermodel Kathy Ireland and Emmy-award-winning actress Patricia Heaton of “Everybody Loves Raymond” have taken their pro-life views to the TV news-show circuit.
Appearing Sept. 30 on Fox News Channel's “Hannity and Colmes,” Ireland told co-host Alan Colmes: “If you can show me evidence that the unborn is not a human being, I will gladly join the prochoice side.” Regarding the pro-abortion atmosphere in Hollywood, she said, “I know it's not a popular issue. … I have no choice but to defend the most vulnerable among us.”
On Oct. 1, Heaton told Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly that she has felt disdain at times from colleagues. “I wore a Quayle-Bush button,” she said, “and literally people would stop and look at the button, and look at me and give me dirty looks and, you know, say nasty things to me.”
BY Jim Cosgrove
Pro-Life Photo Now Free
LIFESITE DAILY NEWS, Sept. 23—Remember the photo of baby Samuel's hand reaching out from his mother's uterus during fetal surgery? The image has turned the veteran photojournalist behind the shot into a pro-life activist.
Michael Clancy, who snapped the photo for USA Today after seeing the baby's hand jut out of the hole in the womb made by the surgeons, now offers his image free of charge to pro-life groups.
In his business's mission statement, according to the Canadian Web service, Clancy says he wants to “print the picture of Samuel on posters for donation to Crisis Pregnancy Centers.” Billboards, he adds, are next on the agenda.
S.C. Records Law Upheld
ASSOCIATED PRESS, Sept. 19—A South Carolina law allowing state inspectors access to all abortion-clinic records does not violate patients' privacy rights, a federal appeals court has ruled, Associated Press reported.
The 2-1 decision by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower- court ruling on the privacy issue, said the report.
Two clinics had challenged the regulations, arguing the confidentiality of patient information is vital because women seeking abortions could face harassment. However, the appeals court noted that the state is required to keep patient records confidential, said the news service.
The court upheld other provisions in the law stating that abortionists must have admitting privileges at a hospital in case of emergency, clergy must be available for counseling if requested by a patient and abortion clinics must meet a variety of building standards, for example, to insure proper air flow.
Peruvian Cardinal Denounces Pill AGENCIA EFE, Sept. 20—Peruvian Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani has denounced the use of the morning-after pill, calling it a crime because it causes a “chemical abortion,” reported the service.
In a speech inaugurating a debate on bioethics sponsored by Peru's Catholic Church, Cardinal Cipriani said the morning-after pill was “an attack on life.”
Present at the conference was Health Minister Fernando Carbone, who has been accused of basing the government's family-planning policies on Catholic ideas. Carbone suspended the distribution of the morning-after pills at public clinics in the country.
End Of Contraceptive Dumping LIFESITE DAILY NEWS, Sept. 25—The Agency for International Development (USAID) says it will end its supply of contraceptives to the Philippines within two years, reported Lifesite.
Agence France-Presse reported that USAID will continue to push $3 million worth of contraceptives in 2003 and 2004 on the largely Catholic country but will end the supply afterward.
BY Jim Cosgrove
LIFESITE, Sept. 16 — Three former University of British Columbia students who stood up for life are seeking damages from the Alma Mater Society, which, the former students say, suppressed their rights to free speech.
The dispute began in the fall of 1999, when Alma Mater condemned “the tactics of the Genocide Awareness Project,” which was invited on campus by a pro-life club called Lifeline. Alma Mater's specific objection was to the display of pictures of aborted babies in the student union.
The current Alma Mater censorship resolution is very broad and even prevents the images from being shown in the private meetings of pro-life clubs. Alma Mater has continued to enforce this policy by requiring the removal of snapshots and, only two weeks ago, preventing the showing of an abortion documentary on the UBC campus.
Physicians See Cancer Link
LIFESITE, Sept. 16 — The National Physicians Center for Family Resources released a CD in which increased breast-cancer risk is cited as a long-term medical complication resulting from abortion.
The CD is intended to be a resource for parents and health educators to assist them in answering children's questions about puberty, reproduction and sexual health.
It says: “During a normal pregnancy, the female's body produces high levels of the hormone estrogen. This causes the milk-producing glands in the breast tissue to become active, a process that is completed during the third trimester of pregnancy. … Elective abortion interrupts these changes in the breast tissue, which makes the cells more likely to become cancerous.”
Swiss in Assisted-Suicide Cases
REUTERS, Sept. 13 — An assisted-suicide organization based in Switzerland is being investigated by public prosecutors over cases where it helped foreign nationals end their lives.
Assisted suicide is tolerated under Swiss law, as long as the drugs are self-administered and the person is making a rational decision to die. The organization, Dignitas, is based in Zurich and says it has a membership of 1,625 people from all around the world.
It pledges to help anyone who wants to “die with dignity” and says that last year it helped 50 people to kill themselves, 31 of whom were Swiss citizens. “We are investigating cases where Dignitas has helped Austrian, Dutch, French and German nationals to kill themselves,” Zurich public prosecutor Andreas Brunner told Reuters Health.
Parents Block Video
FREE PRESS, Sept. 16 — Parents on the Rochester, Mich., school district's sex-education advisory board thought a tape titled What Kids Want to Know About Sex was too explicit for 12-year-olds. In the video, a boy asks a doctor frank and graphic questions. Teachers argued the same questions are heard in hallways, cafeterias and classrooms almost every day. The concerned parents won and the video was shelved.