National Catholic Register

Culture of Life

Life Notes

BY Jim Cosgrove

October 28 - November 3, 2001 Issue | Posted 10/28/01 at 2:00 PM

 

New Role for Amniocentesis?

NEW SCIENTIST, Oct. 11 The medical journal reports that researchers at Boston's Children's Hospital have found early-stage stem cells floating in the amniotic fluid of a pregnant woman.

The stem cells were detected through amniocentesis, a procedure that has been used mainly as a method to find fetal disorders, with abortion used as a “solution” if a problem is discovered. The new research could give amniocentesis a distinctly life-affirming purpose. If scans suggest a baby may have defects, doctors could isolate cells from this fluid that could be grown into tissue to correct the defects.

Medical Conscience Clause

THE SENTINEL, Oct. 15 — Michigan State Rep. Stephen Ehardt, a pharmacist, has introduced a bill that would allow all medical professionals, including pharmacists and others, to say “no” when a procedure or a prescription runs contrary to their religious or moral beliefs.

Curbing prescriptions for birth control, the abortion pill and the morning-after pill are not the purposes of the legislation, said Ehardt. He simply wants to protect employees from pressure to violate their consciences.

Greg Baran of the Michigan Pharmacists Association said current protections are not always viewed as covering pharmacists, nurses and clerical staffs.

Abortion Regs Upheld

ASSOCIATED PRESS, Oct. 15 — A federal appellate court has denied a request by abortion providers to temporarily halt new state restrictions on abortion clinics in South Carolina.

The Center for Reproductive Law and Policy filed a lawsuit on behalf of abortion facilities in Greenville and Charleston, calling the pro-life regulations burdensome and an attempt to undermine abortion. The regulations were passed in 1996 and took effect in August.

The regulations govern a variety of activities, from bookkeeping to air flow in offices. They also require that a list of counselors, including clergy, be provided to women considering abortions.

Parents Block Sex Book

ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS, Oct. 9 — Bowing to a groundswell of parental opposition and criticism from a number of teachers, the Anchorage School Board voted 6-1 to restrict access to a sex education book that includes explicit drawings.

Instead of serving as a required textbook, It's Perfectly Normal, may now be checked out of school libraries by elementary and middle school students, but only with their parents' permission.

More than 100 people attended a school board hearing on the book. Parent Tammy Hogge said, “I do not need my 7-year-old to know how to use contraceptives. I need him to learn how to write and read and do math.”