Month Archives: October 2009

NARAL Petition Supports Biblical Account Abraham and Sarah

by Tony Perkins

October 23, 2009

The radical National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) began circulating a petition this week attacking the Family Research Council for its opposition to the government takeover of healthcare. That of course is nothing new; theyve been attacking us for months. But what is new, is that the petition suggests NARAL may actually support the biblical account of Sarah giving birth to Isaac when she was over 90 years old:

Anti-choice extremists at the Family Research Council are launching an outrageous media and lobbying campaign claiming that Congress’ health-care reform bills will deny seniors the medical care they need in order to pay for abortion.

On second thought, suggesting NARAL supports Scripture might be a stretch. But I am sure that if Planned Parenthood and NARAL had been around in Sarahs day they would have been right there, on our dime, helping Sarah end the life of her baby.

In the Know…

by Krystle Gabele

October 22, 2009

News fans unite. I am back with another segment of In the Know…. Here’s today’s articles of the day.

Lack of Truth in Advertising at IVF Clinics

by David Prentice

October 21, 2009

A paper published in the journal Fertility and Sterility by researchers at Columbia University finds that most IVF clinics fail to mention negatives associated with genetic testing of embryos.

Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is used to test for various genetic disorders, as well as to choose the sex of an infant. However the eugenic procedure, which involves removing one or two cells from an early embryo for the genetic testing, is not completely reliable and can harm or destroy the embryo. The researchers looked at websites of 83 IVF clinics that offered PGD; 22 of the clinics were hospital- or university-based, while 61 were private clinics. Only 1/3 of the clinic websites mentioned the possibility of misdiagnosis, and only 14% mentioned the risk to the embryo.

The lead author, Dr. Robert Klitzman, noted that “The information that clinics offer on their websites is, in essence, advertising, and should be seen as such by consumers.”

Fetal Cell Experiments on Patients: Not Learning Their Lessons

by David Prentice

October 20, 2009

The journal Science reports that scientists in Europe, in collaboration with American researchers, are planning new trials using aborted fetal tissue in an attempt to treat Parkinson’s disease, despite what is termed a “growing scepticism” among the scientific community about the wisdom of such fetal cell trials.

Scepticism indeed. Perhaps they need to be reminded of the last few times when fetal cells were used in attempts to treat patients for neurological conditions, especially Parkinson’s. Most prominent was the 2001 published report of the clinical trial showing that Parkinson’s patients not only did not improve, but a significant number of the transplants were deleterious to the patients. The New York Times story called the outcome “devastating”; “the patients writhed and jerked uncontrollably.” Or there was the other large clinical trial published in 2003, showing similar results, with significant numbers of patients with worsened conditions. Or the followup report on some of the patients who did not worsen immediately, published in 2008, showing that those fetal grafts had developed Parkinson’s characteristics. And then there are the papers showing “graft overgrowth” (interesting euphemism) in a Parkinson’s patient and a Huntington’s patient, both treated with injections of fetal cells into their brains.

According to the story in Science, even the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research has become much more cautious about cell therapy, noting the foundation is now funding new drug development and very little stem cell research.

Another feature of the “graft overgrowth” that has been seen is tumors. In February 2009 the story broke that a young Israeli boy had developed tumors, from a fetal stem cell transplant.

All of this endangering of patients with fetal cells, while adult stem cells already have shown real promise. An Australian group has successfully treated Parkinson’s in mice using adult stem cells. And in February 2009, Levesque et al. published a case study showing a Parkinson’s patient’s own adult stem cells ameliorated his symptoms for almost five years. It would seem the payoff is already coming from adult stem cells.

It Has Been Worse

by Robert Morrison

October 19, 2009

I’ve been on travel the past week, visiting with college administrators, staff, and students. I’m often asked by concerned young people: “Has it ever been this bad before?”

Oh, my yes. When I was your age, I tell them, 300 American cities went up in flames after Dr. King was assassinated, riots in the streets turned huge areas of America’s cities into no-go zones. Bob Kennedy was assassinated en route to a likely presidential nomination. Three hundred young Americans were dying in Vietnam every week, with no strategy for victory and no end in sight. Inflation was rampant and few Americans could see our country healing after such terrible divisions.

But heal she did. Last week, I witnessed American troops coming home from Iraq in two of our major airports. Welcoming committees cheered them wildly. What a great improvement on the sullen indifference that greeted too many of our returning Vietnam vets. One of my pool pals—guys I swim with every morning—was one of those Vietnam vets who came home to no welcome. Today, he joins the welcomers in applauding our magnificent troops. God bless you, Bob Hogan!

Even worse than that “annus horribilis” of 1968 was Washington in 1861. A book by Ernest Furgurson, Freedom Rising, describes the scene in the Capital. “Panic seized the people and the previous emigration [from Washington] was child’s play to the present hegira,” wrote a young man of that time of civil war. He was obviously educated before we had a federal education department. Furgurson’s narrative goes on: “Property is valueless, business is dead,” wrote a 19th century observer. “To feed incoming troops, the federal government confiscated all the flour in the mills of Georgetown and aboard schooners about to sail. Residents of Georgetown were awakened by what they feared was cannon fire; it was [instead] 3,000 barrels of flour being rolled out of one of the town’s thirty-three canalside warehouses, to supply ovens being built for the army in the basement of the Capitol. Within fifteen minutes of the confiscation order, the public price of a single barrel of flour more than doubled.”

Check out your local super market: the price of bread has not doubled. Yes, it has been worse, much, much worse.

After Pearl Harbor, there was a real, sinking feeling that the West Coast of the U.S. was defenseless. With the Pacific fleet crippled, what was there to stop the Japanese from seizing Seattle and San Francisco? These fears, we now know, were exaggerated. And they led to the unjustifiable internment of thousands of Japanese-Americans. Nonetheless, they did not seem irrational or unrealistic then.

But because things have been much, much worse than now does not mean that we should relax our strenuous efforts one bit. What is being proposed —- and seriously planned in Washington today —- is a grave threat to our future. The health care takeover is menacing. Robert Reich, Bill Clinton’s former labor secretary, and a real bellwether for liberalism, wrote boldly to seniors: “We will let you die.” Sarah Palin was publicly pilloried for saying they would do that. Reich, from Harvard, says it and gets away with it.

Rush Limbaugh was blackballed by the NFL over racist comments he never made. Yet Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg boasts about her lovely office at the Supreme Court. It faces an interior courtyard, where she won’t have to see or hear those raucous protesters out in front. She can don her $3.000 Paris-made judicial robes and never have to answer for her genocidal comments about public funding for abortions. She told the New York Times she thought the Supreme Court missed the whole point of Roe when it upheld the Hyde Amendment that bans federal funding of abortion back in 1980. She always thought, she confessed, that public funding of abortion was necessary to get rid of “populations we don’t want too many of.” No more heinous statement has been made by a Supreme Court justice since Roger B. Taney said “the black man has no rights which the white man is bound to respect.”

Another huge threat is the debt being piled upon our children’s generation and our grandchildren’s. The government announced on Friday that this year’s deficit had climbed to $1,400,000,000,000. President Obama has managed, in just nine months, to exceed the debt run up by all 43 of his predecessors. The media likes to print it as “$1.4 trillion.” Sounds small. There’s a decimal, after all. But it really should be reported as $1.4 TRILLION! George W. Bush is no innocent in this regard. But if he ran up a mountain of debt, Barack Obama has answered with a Mountain Range of debt. It’s Pike Peak versus the Rockies.

Can we survive? Can we come back? Yes. During that horrible year of 1968, many of us college students were pretty down. Our wonderful diplomatic history prof at University of Virginia—Norman A. Graebner—had not given up on this country. He concluded his final lecture of the year by urging us to understand the incredible unused resources of these United States. The U.S. was like the boxer, Joe Louis, he said. The Brown Bomber always had “power to spare.”

The man we called “Graebner the Great” was right. America does have power to spare. That power stems ultimately from the American people’s reliance on God. In God we Trust. As long as that is so, I say power to the people.

Adult Stem Cells Help Patients With Spinal Cord Injury

by David Prentice

October 19, 2009

A new report by researchers in Portugal and at Wayne State University shows adult stem cells increased mobility and quality of life for spinal cord injury patients. Dr. Jean Peduzzi-Nelson collaborated with Dr. Carlos Lima and colleagues for the study, published in the journal Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair.

The study follows 20 patients with severe chronic spinal cord injuries. All of the patients had total paralysis below the level of their spinal cord injury before the treatment, with treatment 18 months to 15 years after the injury. Patients received a combination of partial scar removal, transplantation of nasal tissue containing adult stem cells to the site of the spinal cord injury, and rehabilitation. All patients had no use of their legs before the treatment, while after treatment 13 patients improved in the standard measures used to assess functional independence and walking capabilities.

Dr. Peduzzi-Nelson noted:

This may be the first clinical study of patients with severe, chronic spinal cord injury to report considerable functional improvement in some patients with a combination treatment. Normally, in people with spinal cord injuries that happened more than 18 months ago, there is little improvement.

Lima and Peduzzi-Nelson had also published earlier results on 7 spinal cord injury patients; Lima also recently published a review on olfactory mucosa, the source of the cells for this treatment.

Dr. Peduzzi-Nelson and Dr. Jay Meythaler of Wayne State are seeking FDA approval to perform the procedure in the United States.

Plan B: A Failure to Meet Falsely Inflated Predictions

by Moira Gaul

October 16, 2009

A recent article published in the journal Contraception, discusses the failed “effectiveness” of the drug Plan B (a form of emergency contraception or “EC”) on a population level. The author of the articles concedes:

Our expectations for EC’s effectiveness were biased upwards by an early estimate that expanding access to emergency contraception could dramatically reduce the incidence of unintended pregnancy and subsequent abortion. This estimate made a compelling story and is likely a key reason why donors and other were willing to support efforts to expand access to EC.

The falsely inflated predictions noted above were —- in order to dramatically decrease the incidence of unintended pregnancy and subsequent abortion —- touted as valid estimates during the lead up to and the drug’s change to over the counter status to women 18 years and older in 2006. The admission of failures at a population level following expanded access is poignant. Additionally, it is clear that Planned Parenthood has been a primary profiteer through the increased marketing and sales process.

The article goes on to deflect from valid flags raised by the continued self-administration of Plan B and ignores salient women’s health issues surrounding drug usage including: the lack of medical oversight by a licensed clinician during usage to screen for contraindications; the lack of medical studies to determine safety for repeated and long-term usage; and, the failure to inform women of the potential abortifacient action of the drug —- a violation of informed consent.

Additionally, the non-medical provider oversight during drug usage ignores a 2008 study release by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stating that young women most at-risk for contracting sexually transmitted infections and disease are not being referred for testing and treatment. The self-administration of Plan B knocks out a critical link in the care and referral chain for many women at-risk for disease. Such a link is vital for both secondary prevention or screening efforts and thus, the protection of women’s reproductive health.

Expanded access of Plan B to both women and adolescent girls are not in the best interest of either adolescent or women’s health promotion and disease prevention.

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