Archive for the ‘Stem Cell Research’ Category

Varia

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

The following are some of the highlights from the daily email briefing about news and events, which I send out to some of my friends and contacts (if you’re interested in subscribing to the daily mailing, leave your email address in the comments box):

  • Two lawsuits have now been filed challenging NYC’s crisis pregnancy center law:  here and here.
  • Pro-lifers continue to make progress in state legislaturesSouth Dakota enacts a 72-hour waiting period that also requires a woman to receive counseling about alternatives, and Arizona moves forward on a ban on sex- and race-selection abortions.  New York, clueless as always, continues to mire in the Culture of Death.
  • A UN report shows that changing sexual attitudes and behavior — particularly reducing promiscuity and adultery — actually does reduce HIV transmission, as evidenced by the experience of Zimbabwe.  Apologies to the Holy Father (who was pilloried in the press for pointing this out) will no doubt be forthcoming.
  • The real (i.e., eugenic) effects of pre-natal testing can be found in the abortion rate for handicapped children.
  • When Illinois’ civil unions bill was being considered, Cardinal George warned that it would threaten Catholic programs, and was derided for it. Well, what do you know — he was right, and Catholic Charities will probably be forced out of the foster care field: .
  • Bishop Tobin of Providence calls for an end to “Catholic apathy” on the defense of marriage, and strongly denounces efforts to legalize same-sex “marriage”.
  • The Vatican is investing in a company that specializes in adult stem cell research.
  • There are substantial concerns about the new Irish coalition government, and its policies on life and marriage.
  • Scholars crunch the numbers and find that Christians who attend church actually divorce less often than those who don’t.
  • A very nice profile of Maria McFadden Maffucci, editor of the indispensable Human Life Review. She denies it, but she really is a pro-life “hero”.
  • (Please note that these links will take you to websites that are not affiliated with the Archdiocese.  We neither take responsibility for nor endorse the contents of the websites.)

    Varia

    Friday, December 3rd, 2010

    The following are some of the highlights from the daily email briefing about news and events, which  I send out to some of my friends and contacts (if you’re interested in subscribing to the daily mailing, leave your email address in the comments box):

  • The Holy Father conducted the first-ever world-wide Vigil for All Nascent Human Life.  Here’s an early, unofficial translation of the homily.  And here’s an unofficial translation of the special prayer written by the Holy Father for the Vigil.
  • Opponents of same-sex “marriage” — like the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage — have now been labeled as “hate groups” by a prominent advocacy group.  The “sit down and shut up” phase of the debate over marriage continues.  Next will come prosecutions for “hate crimes” and “human rights” violations, based solely on politically-incorrect speech.  Oh, wait — that’s happening already in Mexico.
  • Maggie Gallagher and Robert George respond to having pro-marriage organizations — and traditional Christianity — branded as “hate groups”.
  • The indispensible Kathryn Jean Lopez puts the Holy Father’s condom and sex comments in the context of the importance of marriage and true human sexuality and interviews Fr. Robert Williams and sheds some clear light on the Holy Father’s condom comments.
  • More good news on the stem cell front.  A child has been fully cured from leukemia thanks to treatment by adult stem cells from umbilical cords.  And scientists have “tricked” cells to convert from one kind to another, which may make stem cell research unnecessary.  Reaction from the media:       .
  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (and Abortionists) is once again trying to force doctors to refer or perform abortions, under the rubric of “professional ethics”.  Hence the need for a federal comprehensive conscience protection statute.  GOP leaders, are you listening?
  • I’m a Mac, iPod and iTunes user, so it’s nice to know that in return for all the money I’ve given them, the Apple Corporation thinks I’m a bigot, merely because I subscribe to the principles in the Manhattan Declaration.  For a reminder of what’s in this “hate speech” declaration (which is all about defending life, marriage, and religious liberty), go here.  While you’re there, join over 34,000 others in signing the petition protesting Apple’s intolerance.
  • It has become ever more clear that the Administration is failing in its duty to defend the Defense of Marriage Act from attack by same-sex “marriage” advocates.
  • The perfect proof that reproductive medicine treats human life as a commodity:  they’re putting bar codes on IVF embryos.
  • A terrible story about the modern sex slave trade, right here in New York City.  Why is this not a high priority for law enforcement?
  • Interesting how the Times buries a story about how Cardinal Ratzinger tried, as far back as 1988, to streamline the procedures to punish abusive priests.  No room for the story on the front page, where they’ve previously put the “exposes”, although they manage to squeeze in a story about obesity surgery.  It’s not so newsworthy if it’s favorable to the Holy Father, I guess.
  • The Bishop of Springfield, Illinois, publicly rebukes the Catholic governor for his comments that his faith impels him to sign a bill legalizing same-sex “civil unions”.  The governor replies, in classic modern fashion, “I follow my conscience. I think everyone should do that. I think that’s the most important thing to do in life, and my conscience is not kicking me in the shins today.”  He needs a new, authentically Catholic conscience.
  • When the world throws God out the window, there’s no stopping the descent into madness.  A “family law expert” in the UK says that sex offenders should be allowed to work with children, and even adopt or serve as foster parents.  As the Safe Environment Director of the Archdiocese, all I can say is, “over my dead body”.
  • Astonishing — A Judge Who Does the Right Thing

    Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

    I have frequently written some strong criticisms of judges who take matters in their own hands, inventing new law out of the penumbras, emanations and miasmas of their own imaginations.  Judges like Justice Blackmun of Roe v. Wade infamy, or the most recent example, Judge Walker, who struck down Proposition 8.

    I like to call them, derisively, our “Black-Robed Platonic Guardian Rulers on the Courts”, to highlight their high-handed disregard of the rule of law, their replacement of their own political views for the plain meaning of statutes or the Constitution, and their establishment of a virtual judicial oligarchy in place of our constitutional republic.  I’m a bit cynical when it comes to judges.

    But all is not hopeless, because occasionally, a judge will actually come along and do what judges are supposed to do.

    Namely, read the law, and interpret its plain meaning.

    And so, we come to a decision handed down today by Judge Royce Lambert of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.  A case was brought before him, challenging the Obama Administration’s much-heralded relaxation of restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.  The basis for the challenge was a law called the Dickey-Wicker Amdendment, after its original sponsors.  This law is passed annually by Congress as part of the budget process, and it bans federal funding for any “research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death.”

    The wily lawyers representing the Administration claimed that their new regulations didn’t violate that law, because they only paid for research after the embryos were destroyed.  In another context, it would be like arguing that the stolen property received by a fence was legitimately his own property, because somebody else had stolen it.

    Now, many creative judges would undoubtedly have bought into the “logic” of that argument, and upheld the Administration’s position.  But not Judge Lambert.  He actually read the law, saw what it meant in its plain language, and discerned the undeniable scientific fact that any research on stem cell lines derived from human embryos necessarily and always relies upon the destruction of a human embryo.  As a result, Judge Lambert logically and sensibly concluded that the Administration’s policy violates the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, and had to be put on hold for further review.

    I would expect that, in the next few days, we will hear and read all the usual denunciations of opponents of embryonic stem cell research as being “anti-science”, even though we all support research with adult stem cells, which is producing cures and therapies virtually every week.  We will also likely read criticisms of the judge for alleged ideological bias — from those who never find a voice to say anything about courts that routinely substitute their opinions for the duly-enacted laws of our land.  No matter what, the struggle to defend the value of human life at its earliest stages — the embryonic stage — will go on.

    But for one day we can take some satisfaction that there is at least one judge who does not hold himself out to be one of our unelected rulers, and who did the right thing.

    Exploiting Women with Our Tax Dollars

    Friday, June 12th, 2009

    If you’ve been on a college campus in recent years, or if you’ve picked up a college newspaper, you’ve seen the ads: “Donate Your Eggs”, they read, and they offer large amounts of money to donors. Some are awful enough that they specify the traits that they’re looking for, like particular looks, or minimum SAT scores.

    A very tempting proposition for struggling college women, laden down with school loans. An even more tempting idea for poor women, struggling to make ends meet.

    Of course, the ads don’t explain the process very well. The multiple doses of medicine to stop the normal menstrual cycle – to shut down the woman’s ovaries. Then the high doses of medicine to hyperstimulate the ovaries so they can “harvest” multiple eggs. Then even more drugs to prepare the eggs for harvesting. And finally a surgical procedure in which they stick needles far into the donor’s reproductive tract to retrieve the eggs.

    Nor do the ads mention the side effects. Mild effects like mood swings, abdominal pain, pressure, swelling. Severe effects like infections, blood clots, kidney failure, fluid build-up in the lungs, shock, loss of the ovaries, or even death. Nor do they mention future potential risks, like ovarian cancer.

    Nor do the ads mention the psychological and social side effects of treating women as if they were farm animals.

    The payment of large amounts of money to egg donors is cloaked in lies. They claim that they are not buying eggs, but are merely compensating donors for their time, effort and discomfort. Yeah, right – it’s all about reimbursing them for babysitting. The IRS certainly understands what’s going on, because they count these payments as income.

    Now we are moving into a new phase of the Brave New World. Our state government, acting through the New York State Stem Cell Board, will now be financing the purchase of human eggs for up to $10,000 per “retrieval” (which could involve the extraction of up to 12 eggs). Oh, I’m sorry, I mean to say that up to $10,000 our tax money will be used to reimburse women for their time, effort and discomfort in donating eggs. No other state does this. In fact, other states actually ban any kind of payments for human eggs.

    This is happening despite herculean efforts by Fr. Thomas Berg and Br. Dan Sulmasy, leading bioethicists who are members of the Stem Cell Board’s Ethics Committee, to warn about the moral minefield into which we are stepping. The New York State Catholic Conference has said:

    The New York State Stem Cell Board is poised to facilitate the exploitation of low-income women by using taxpayer funds to pay for the retrieval of eggs. This is a grossly unethical, dangerous and exploitative move that treats women’s body parts as commodities… No other state in the union allows eggs-for-research payments, and for good reason.

    But does the Stem Cell Board care about ethics? Not really. Today, the leader of a lobbying group in favor of embryonic stem cell research extolled the general work of the Board, saying:

    With the Empire State Stem Cell Trust we have made a scientific environment free from politics, and a funding mechanism that has the best science with the most potential as its only criteria. That, in the end, is the only thing that matters – putting science first.

    Nice of her to admit openly that ethics aren’t part of the mix at all.

    Why is this happening? Because the biotech industry wants it, and wants it badly. Why do they want it?

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    There is potentially big money in the business of producing new therapies. That’s a good goal, but the end does not justify the means. The biotech industry wants human eggs because there aren’t enough human stem cell lines to do the necessary tests, or produce the drugs. The only way to get those cells is to do human cloning (which they conceal by using cloning’s fancy medical term, “somatic cell nuclear transfer”). You can’t clone without getting more and more eggs. That’s what’s going on here.

    So make sure you get this straight. Our tax money will now be used to induce poor women to undergo serious medical risks, so that rich biotech companies can buy their eggs, which will be used to clone new human beings, who will then be destroyed so that their cells can be used to make more money for the companies. All this wrapped in euphemism and lies.

    Yes, the Brave New World is upon us.

    So he really is anti-life after all

    Monday, November 10th, 2008

    So, it appears that the 100% anti-life Senator, who became the 100% anti-life candidate, is now going to become the 100% anti-life President. Let me explain.

    While serving in the Illinois Senate, and then in the United States Senate, our President-elect amassed a voting record and public record that was assessed at 100% by the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL), the most ardent and infamous pro-abortion lobby in the United States. His record was given similar “approval” by the Temple of Moloch, er, I mean Planned Parenthood. This much is clear, and it’s all in the public record — the Senator had a 100% anti-life, pro-abortion record.

    During the campaign, the 100% anti-life Senator did little to conceal his positions. On his website, it stated plainly that “he has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women’s rights under Roe v. Wade a priority as President.” In one infamous statement, he said that determining at what point an unborn baby receives human rights was “above my pay grade”. He also said that if his daughters were to become sexually active, he didn’t want them to be “punished with a child”. He said that signing the iniquitous Freedom of Choice Act would be “the first thing I do”. You get the idea. The 100% anti-life Senator had seamlessly become the 100% anti-life candidate.

    Now, less than one week after the election, it has already become clear that the 100% anti-life candidate will in fact govern as a 100% anti-life President.

    A report over the weekend in the Washington Post stated that the President-elect “himself has signaled, for example, that he intends to reverse Bush’s controversial limit on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research… The new president is also expected to lift a so-called global gag rule barring international family planning groups that receive U.S. aid from counseling women about the availability of abortion.”

    Let’s be clear about what this means. President Bush issued an executive order in 2001 limiting federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. This order has been the only thing standing against the American taxpayer paying for the dismemberment of tiny members of the human family. It is also prevented taxpayers paying for the horrific practice of human cloning. With the sweep of the pen, the 100% anti-life President-elect will pay people to move us into the Brave New World where human beings are objects to be manufactured and destroyed for profit and for the use of their body parts. And we’re going to pay for it.

    The “so-called global gag order” (now there’s a great illustration of a neutral, unbiased media report) is actually a reference to a policy of the United States government known as the Mexico City Policy. That policy, which originated with President Reagan, bans American taxpayer funding for organizations that promote abortion in foreign countries. The principal non-governmental organization that does so is, of course, the Temple of Moloch, er, I mean Planned Parenthood. Remember, the Temple of Moloch was founded by the notorious racist and eugenicist, Margaret Sanger, who had no problem talking about “more of the fit, less of the unfit”, and referring to people as being members of “inferior classes”. The organization she founded lives on in her spirit, pushing for the extermination of the poor and disadvantaged around the globe. This Mexico City Policy is the only thing that stands against the American taxpayer paying that evil organization to advocate for killing the unborn babies in developing countries. Yet this is precisely what the 100% anti-life president-elect is going to make us pay for.

    This would be a great opportunity for those Catholics, and those pro-lifers, who supported the 100% anti-life candidate, to step forward and denounce these proposals. You remember them, the people who cared so much about the cause of human life that they tried to convince us that he would be the best choice for pro-life interests.

    Here’s the reality — if you pay for something, and if you pay for someone to encourage something, you’re in favor of it. That’s Logic 101. And if you intentionally pay for or knowingly advocate for something that’s intrinsically evil, that’s a very gravely immoral act. If you stand by silently while something like that is going on, you’ve committed a serious sin of omission. Not a good way to start off a Presidency.