Print Edition: Feb. 22, 2015
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BY John Lilly
French Incentives Work
BBC, April 3 — Efforts to increase
the birth rate in France
are beginning to have an impact on the nation’s population levels. With a birth
rate of 1.9, France
has reached second place in the rates of European countries — second only to
At least some of the credit for
a tenuous hold on a rising birth rate goes to the gamut of financial incentives
provided by the government for parents.
A graduated income-tax rate
means the more children parents have, the less tax they pay. In addition, the
government pays a monthly allowance of $314 for families with three children.
The “large family” card gives a
30% reduction on train fare and half price for riding the metro. The
Paris-family card gives families free entrance to swimming pools and other
venues, as well as an annual stipend for extra-curricular arts and sports.
EL TIEMPO, April
4 — Hundreds of thousands of Colombians took to the streets in the capital
earlier this month to demonstrate against a possible ruling by nation’s Constitutional Court
that could legalize abortion, reported the Bogotá daily.
The campaign, launched under the
leadership of the city’s archbishop, Cardinal Pedro Rubiano,
has included an appeal to the international pro-life movement to join in a
massive prayer effort to stop the spread of abortion.
“The loss of one country will
substantially weaken the pro-life fabric of all of Latin America,” wrote
Cardinal Rubiano to pro-life organizations throughout
Central and South America.
While pro-lifers say El Tiempo is
often hostile to their cause, the newspaper published an aerial shot of the
vast number of demonstrators, conceding that their number exceeded 100,000.
Informed in Florida
MIAMI HERALD, April
7 — The Florida Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the Women’s
Right to Know Act, a statute prohibiting abortion without the informed and
voluntary consent of the patient.
A state appeals court ruled last
year that the informed consent law violates Florida’s right to privacy contained in the
The Florida Supreme Court said
“the doctrine of informed consent … is grounded in the common law and based in
the concepts of bodily integrity and patient autonomy.”
The court said, “as with any other medical procedure, the state may require
physicians to obtain informed consent from a patient prior to terminating
No Suicidio Asistido
LEAGUE OF UNITED LATIN AMERICAN
6 — The U.S. Latin American community does not support assisted suicide,
according to a statement from the league, known by the acronym Lulac.
The oldest and largest Latino
organization in the U.S., Lulac says its national board had voted unanimously to
oppose doctor-assisted suicide in California
in response to a request from its branch in California, which is now considering a law
to legalize doctor-assisted suicide.
In doing so, Lulac
said it was joined by organizations that defend people with disabilities, the
poor and the uninsured.
DAKOTA VOICE, April 10 — Thousands of women
across the United States
are going to crisis-pregnancy centers rather than abortion businesses, thanks
to a successful TV ad campaign by Arizona-based VirtueMedia,
The company began airing the
commercials last fall. The spots show “abortion-vulnerable” young women
expressing their fear and confusion over finding themselves pregnant. Viewers
are then directed to the Option Line, a toll-free crisis helpline managed by
Care Net and Heartbeat International. The Option Line directs callers to local
In one city alone, Atlanta, some 2,646 calls
were prompted by the ad’s January run. VirtueMedia is
online at virtuemedia.org.
BY Jim Cosgrove
Right to Know
ASSOCIATED PRESS, Sept. 11 — The Missouri House has voted to override Gov. Bob Holden's veto of a bill providing a 24-hour waiting period to women considering abortion.
The House vote sent the bill to the state Senate, where supporters face a more difficult task in achieving the two-thirds majority needed to make the measure law without the governor's signature.
Hundreds of pro-lifers watching from the House galleries erupted in applause when the successful 120-35 override vote was announced on the abortion bill. Although Republicans have majorities in both chambers, they needed support from some Democratic legislators to override the veto.
Governor for Abstinence
WORLD-HERALD (Omaha, Neb.),
Sept. 8 — Nebraska Gov. Mike Johanns has kicked off a five-city educational tour to promote sexual abstinence among teens at the state capitol in Lincoln.
Johanns signed a proclamation declaring September to be “Teen Abstinence/Life Control Month.”
Shelly Donahue, an abstinence education teacher, presented the program, “Why am I Tempted?” to challenge teens to think through the choices and consequences of being sexually active before marriage.
The tour was planned to go to four other cities including Omaha. Parents, teens and educators were the tours' intended audiences.
No ‘Medicaided’ Abortions
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, Sept. 4 — A Florida appeals court has decided in favor of protecting life, ruling that the state can ban Medicaid payments for abortions.
The 3rd District Court of Appeals decided that the state has legitimate and rational interests in protecting life and containing health care costs.
The rules against abortion funding are “rationally related to the legitimate government objective of protecting potential life,” and Florida is allowed to limit services to contain Medicaid costs, said the unsigned opinion from a three-judge panel.
Stem Cells for the Heart
REUTERS, Sept. 1 — Four out of a group of five seriously ill Brazilian heart-failure patients no longer needed a heart transplant after being treated with their own stem cells, the doctor in charge of the research said.
Such “regenerative medicine,” in which stem cells extracted from patients' own bone marrow are used to rebuild tissue, may one day become commonplace for patients with damaged or diseased hearts, some doctors believe.
BY Jim Cosgrove
Cloneless in Carolina
SOUTH CAROLINA LEGISLATURE
ONLINE, June 6 — Without opposition, the Prohibition of Human Cloning Act (H 3819) has passed the South Carolina House of Representatives and moved to the State Senate. Passage of the bill, which bans all cloning of human embryos, is believed to mark the first time pro-life legislation has ever made it through the chamber uncontested.
THE GRAND ISLAND INDEPENDENT, June 5 — Nebraska's assistant attorney general has cried foul over the granting of money from the state's health department to Planned Parenthood and another “familyplanning” organization, reported the Nebraska daily newspaper.
The state Department of Health and Human Services applied for the $100,000 grant in 2002 to establish a “Teen Clinic Pilot Project” with Lincoln Planned Parenthood and Hastings Family Planning. The clinics were to hold “Teen Nights,” during which youths would receive information about birth control, pregnancy tests, pap smears and tests for detecting sexually transmitted diseases.
In a written opinion, Assistant Attorney General Jason Hayes said the grants conflicted with a state law that says “no funds appropriated or distributed under this act shall be used for abortion, abortion counseling, referral for abortion [or] school-based health clinics. … Nebraska Health and Human Services System did err in awarding the grant … and the grant is void as a matter of law.”
Marrow Cells Boost Immunity
CANADA.COM, June 9 — Researchers have uncovered a type of stem cell in bone marrow that could strengthen immune systems weakened by cancer treatments or transplants, according to a study published in the journal Nature Medicine.
Instead of shooting stem cells into the bloodstream, which is the standard method, scientists at the University Health Network in Toronto injected a bone-marrow stem cell directly into the bone marrow of mice. These stem cells began to produce new white blood cells about two weeks sooner than blood-producing stem cells injected into the bloodstream.
People undergoing chemotherapy or recovering from transplants are at high risk following treatment because their medications severely impair their immune system. “If you can reduce the amount of time that a patient is without a functioning immune system, that is an important discovery,” said Dr. Michael McBurney, director of research for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Center.
Pediatric Heart Patients Live
THE HERALD (Glasgow, Scotland), June 9 — Thanks to medical and surgical breakthroughs over the past 40 years, three in five children born with a complex heart defect — including some forms of “hole in the heart” or serious valve defects — now live to at least 16 years of age, reports the British Heart Foundation. In 1960, only one in five babies lived beyond childhood.
BY Jim Cosgrove
Canada: Remember the Unborn
CANADA's PARLIAMENT, May 29 — Legislation is pending in Canada's Parliament to create a Children's Memorial Day — and one representative has proposed that unborn children be included among the memorialized.
“About 100,000 unborn children die in Canada each year by way of abortion,” said Maurice Vellacott, a member of the Canadian Alliance party, in a statement posted on the Web site of Canada's Parliament, http://www.parl.gc.ca .1C;Sadly, the rhetoric and the politics involved in the issue have not allowed people to recognize the emotional trauma women face when it comes to abortion. … Canadians want to remember the deaths of those unborn children rather than having them dismissed as insignificant and meaningless.”
Consensus: Life at Conception
WORLD NET DAILY, June 2 — The percentage of Americans who consider a fertilized egg human life has reached 58%, according to a Newsweek online survey. The survey also found that a comfortable majority of Americans — 66% — believe that a fetus should have the same legal rights accorded children and adults.
Dangerous Bias Exposed
U.S. NEWSWIRE, June 4 — A medical journal has exposed bias against the epidemiological evidence of the link between abortion and breast cancer.
The president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, Karen Malec, announced the publication of her article, “The Abortion-Breast Cancer Link: How Politics Trumped Science and Informed Consent,” in the summer issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.
“[O]ur opponents can't dismiss the [Association of American Physicians and Surgeons] and their efforts to protect the health of women as ‘pro-life scare tactics,’” said Malec in a statement. “The article demonstrates that the abortion-breast cancer link is not a dead issue in the medical community, despite the false-hearted efforts of the National Cancer Institute's leaders to put it to rest.”
Methodists for Life
CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, June 2 — United Methodists from across eastern North Carolina are considering three resolutions at their annual meeting that attempt to change the denomination's decades-old statement of support for abortion, reports the North Carolina daily.
If approved, the resolutions would be forwarded to the national denomination's top legislative body, the General Conference. Though the General Conference might not approve the resolutions when it meets in Pittsburgh next year, the number of pro-life resolutions in the N.C. Conference signals a growing disenchantment with the denomination's support for legal abortion.
Rev. Paul Stallsworth, a pastor who edits a pro-life Methodist newsletter, submitted a resolution calling on the denomination to delete a sentence from the denomination's “Social Principles” that says, “We support the legal option of abortion under proper medical procedures,” and a resolution calling on two agencies within the denomination to withdraw their membership from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights.
BY Jim Cosgrove
Miracle Baby Grew in Liver
BBC NEWS, May 23 — A South African baby has survived after developing in her mother's liver instead of in her womb. The baby, Nhlahla, whose name means “luck” in Zulu, is only the fourth baby ever to survive such a pregnancy. In all, there have only been 14 documented cases of a child developing in this way.
Nhlahla was born after specialists performed a difficult operation to deliver her. She had to be put on oxygen after her birth but was breathing without aid within two days.
Doctors said Nhlahla and her mother, Ncise Cwayita, were both doing well.
As an embryo, Nhlahla must have implanted in the fallopian tube and fallen out, implanting in the liver, which is a rich source of blood.
BBC NEWS, May 24 — Boldly defending unborn life, Argentine Judge Cristina Garzon de Lascano has ruled that oral contraceptives and intrauterine devices are “abortive” and banned their production and sale. She has also ordered the destruction of existing supplies. Abortion is illegal in Argentina and can be punishable by prison.
The Argentine health minister attacked the decision as “absurd,” saying it went against international norms.
In 2001, the same judge defended life when she banned the so-called “morning-after pill.”
Baby Survives Illegal Abortion
THE VALDOSTA DAILY TIMES, May 21 — Despite being born prematurely after his mother tried to have him aborted illegally, a baby born in Valdosta, Ga., is alive in a Florida hospital's critical care unit.
The baby's mother was 30 weeks pregnant. On May 9 she paid an obstetrician, Dr. Charles Rossmann, for an abortion. Rossmann apparently induced labor and left the woman all alone in the office. She delivered her son and then called 911.
Police have tried to serve a warrant on a charge of criminal abortion to Rossmann, but he cannot be found. Georgia law states that a third-trimester abortion may only be done when the mother's health is at risk.
UNFPA Takes a Hit on the Hill
CATHOLIC FAMILY & HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTE, May 22 — The U.N. Population Fund tried to halt pro-life ads from running in an influential political publication, but pro-life forces have prevailed.
In April a global coalition of pro-life and pro-family groups sponsored advertisements in CQ Today, the daily news brief published by Congressional Quarterly. The ads detail the population fund's involvement in coercive population-control programs in the developing world.
In a letter to CQ Today, the fund challenged the claims in the ads and called on CQ to print a retraction. The publication refused to do so when its legal advisers determined that the charges laid out against the fund in the ad had been sufficiently substantiated.
BY Jim Cosgrove
Parishes Pray for Clinics
PRIESTS FOR LIFE, May 19 — The organization Priests for Life has matched the nation's 19,000-plus Catholic parishes with its 700-plus freestanding abortion facilities so that every parish in America can focus on praying for the closing of one specific facility.
“This focuses the spiritual energy of the Church on the deadly energy of the abortion mills and brings our strengths against their weaknesses,“ explained Father Frank Pavone, director of Staten Island-based Priests for Life and architect of this project.
Some suggested activities for parishes are prayer vigils, sidewalk counseling and supporting alternatives to abortion. More information, including the specific clinic each parish is asked to pray for, can be found at www.priestsforlife.org/mills.
Right to Know in Alaska
ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS, May 16 — Women deserve to know about the development of their unborn child and the risks of abortion at least 24 hours before having an abortion, according to a bill approved by the Alaska Senate.
If the bill passes into law, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services will be required to prepare a packet of information on abortion, childbirth, assistance available to pay for prenatal care and for an abortion, and a statement that the father of a child is legally responsible to support the child. Women would receive the information in person or via fax, mail or the Internet.
Tennessee Won't Fund Abortion
KNOXNEWS.COM, May 16 — Pro-lifers
have successfully cut funding for abortions from the Tennessee state budget.
While state officials insisted the government funds abortions only rarely, prolifers maintain that occasions may arise where the state might do so, such as when a female inmate becomes pregnant while in prison.
The House approved the amendment, which was sponsored by Rep. Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville), on an unrecorded voice vote. It states plainly: “No state funds shall be used to fund abortions.“
In-Utero Surgery Saves Lives
THE THOMASTON TIMES, May 14 — Surgery carried out in utero has saved the lives of twins Grace and Camille Mercer, who were dying from Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome, reported the Georgia newspaper.
At 19 weeks into her pregnancy, Carrie Mercer learned from a sonogram that her twin daughters were suffering from the syndrome, which causes an unbalanced flow of blood between two babies who share a placenta. One baby receives too much blood and nutrients; the other doesn't receive enough.
The Mercers contacted a fetal surgeon who had successfully treated TTTS, Dr. Ruben Quintero of the Florida Institute for Fetal Therapy and Diagnosis. During the laser surgery, Quintero severed veins and arteries connecting the twins — only those channels causing the transfer.
Mercer carried the babies to term, delivering two healthy girls who weighed within two ounces of one another and were the same length.
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