National Catholic Register

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National Media Watch

Keeping an eye on the news around the Nation

BY John Lilly

August 6-12, 2006 Issue | Posted 8/7/06 at 9:00 AM

 

Rings Producer Donates to Immoral Research

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, July 14 — Christian fans of the novel and film The Lord of the Rings face a dilemma. Peter Jackson, producer of the film version of the trilogy, which was released between 2001 and 2003, has donated more than $300,000 to efforts to find clinical uses for human embryonic stem cells.

Jackson and his longtime girlfriend, writer-producer Fran Walsh, gave $311,000 to neurobiologist Hans Keirstead at the University of California at Irvine to create two scholarships for students who will specialize in stem-cell work, The Orange County Register reported.

Jackson, who also produced the 2005 remake of King Kong, said he was impressed with the promise of embryonic stem cells because they would get at the root causes of disease, rather than treat symptoms.

Embryonic stem-cell research, which involves the destruction of a unique human being in an attempt to cure different diseases, has proven not only destructive and costly, but has not produced a cure. Adult stem-cell research, which utilizes cells from adult tissues or umbilical cords, does not require the destruction of human life. It has proven successful in treating different kinds of cancers and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

 

Plaintiffs in Homosexual ‘Marriage’ Case Separate

THE WASHINGTON TIMES, July 22 — Their name will always be associated with same-sex “marriage,” but now Hillary and Julie Goodridge are no longer a “couple.”

The Goodridges, lead plaintiffs in the 2001 lawsuit that led to legal homosexual “marriage” in Massachusetts, Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, have separated, said the Times. A friend acting as spokeswoman said the two parted ways “amicably,” two years after being among the first same-sex couples in the Bay State to “marry.” The state Legislature in 2004 allowed marriage licenses to be issued to homosexual couples.

The Goodridges’ spokeswoman declined to say why they broke up. But she put a good spin on it, saying that now that same-sex “marriage” was legal in Massachusetts, the couple has “all of the security and clear rules that married couples benefit from when they do divorce.”

The Goodridges have a 10-year-old-daughter, and Jan LaRue of Concerned Women for America said the case “demonstrates again why we are so concerned for children in inherently unstable relationships.”

Women Turning to Eastern Medicine for Fertility

CLARION-LEDGER, July 18 — Proponents of human embryonic stem-cell research say there is such an abundance of “leftover” embryos at fertility clinics that many could be used for research.

Opponents say it’s wrong to destroy them, and faithful Catholics say they should not have been created in the first place. Now, alternative methods to help infertile couples are emerging, in addition to natural family planning, which the Church says is a licit way to not only delay pregnancies (for serious reasons) but also to increase the chance of getting pregnant.

But the Jackson, Miss., daily reports that an increasing number of American women are turning to “Eastern medicinal arts” for problems with fertility. Many are taking herbal medicine, and even in vitro specialists are recommending acupuncture treatments as a way to increase fertility.

The paper said one woman’s acupuncturist found that the natural “killer cells” in the patient’s immune system were elevated, which meant that her body might attack a nascent embryo. Once viewed with suspicion by the medical establishment, acupuncture now is even covered by some insurance plans.