Monday, January 18. 2016
It was very cold and very wet, but it was worth it. This weekend I spoke alongside Walter Hoye at the Walk for Life Northwest. He and his wife are amazing witnesses for life. I am so privileged that I got to met them.
The organizers likely asked me to speak because of my work with biotechnology, but I threw them a curve ball. Instead of talking about my normal fare, I decided to the crowd about my experience with unplanned pregnancy. Here is the video.
Friday, December 11. 2015
Tuesday, August 4. 2015
The Scientist recently ran commentary by John D. Loike questioning the ethics of transplanting human brains cells into other species. The piece entitled "When Does a Smart Mouse Become Human?" begins describing the research at the University of Rochester where mice were injected with glial cells from human fetuses. Glial cells are cells that support neurons in the nervous systems. The mice incorporated these glial cells into their brain and "outperformed normal mice almost fourfold in a variety of cognition tests."
The researchers stressed that the mice still had mouse brains, saying “This does not provide the animals with additional capabilities that could in any way be ascribed or perceived as specifically human. Rather, the human cells are simply improving the efficiency of the mouse’s own neural networks. It’s still a mouse.”
But the mixing of human brain cells with those of other species, especially those of other primates, raise serious ethical considerations. These issues are important and Loike discusses them.
What Loike does not discuss is ethical implications of the source of the human brain cells used in this research. The paper in Journal of Neuroscience clearly states that the glial cells came from second trimester abortions:
For xenograft of human fetal GPCs, cells were extracted from second-trimester human fetuses (18–22 weeks gestation age) obtained at abortion. The forebrain ventricular/subventricular zones were dissected from the brain, the samples chilled on ice, minced and dissociated using papain/DNase, as described previously (Roy et al., 1999, 2000), always within 3 h of extraction. The dissociates were maintained overnight in minimal media of DMEM/F12/N1 with 10 ng/ml bFGF. Samples were deidentified and obtained with the approval of the University of Rochester Research Subjects Review Board.The explosive Center for Medical Progress videos have exposed the market in aborted baby parts. This is where some aborted babies have ended up: dissected, minced up and transplanted into mice.
I can confidently say that the mice did not need the human brain tissue as much as the baby did.
It is time to take our heads out of the sand. There is plenty of research that is being performed with aborted fetuses. In this case, scientists hope that this model model will help illuminate the contribution of glial cells to human neurological disorders. It is a noble goal, but the source of the glial cells morally taints all their research. They could have used cells from ethical sources like a natural miscarriage, but they did not.
We need to stop using tissue from abortion in research. If we don't there will likely be medical advancements that pro-lifers cannot in good conscience use because they are tainted with the blood of innocents.
Thursday, April 9. 2015
Just when I think I have seen it all, something like this flies up and hits me right between the eyes. A California company, Ganogen Inc., started by some very young medical students, is trying to end the shortage of organs for transplant. It is the way they are going about trying to solve this problem that is horrifying.
Ganogen takes organs from aborted fetuses and transplants them into rats so that the organs can continue to grow to a size where they can be transplanted back into humans.
Its like an early version of The Island with a splash of The Island of Dr. Moreau sprinkled in for good measure.
Continue reading at Creative Minority Report>>
Wednesday, January 15. 2014
Everyone knows that sex-selection is rampant in the places like China and India where ultrasound and legalized abortion mean that roughly 160 million women are "missing." What many people do not know, or refuse to acknowledge, is that the practice of aborting girls just because they are girls is growing in the West as well.
A study done by Douglas Almond and Lena Edlund, of UC Berkeley that looked at U.S. 2000 Census data. They found that among U.S.-born children of Chinese, Korean, and Asian Indian parents there is a male bias especially in third children. They report, "If there was no previous son, sons outnumbered daughters by 50%." And they concluded, "We interpret the found deviation in favor of sons to be evidence of sex selection, most likely at the prenatal stage."
A study of 2 abortion clinics in the San Francisco Bay area that service a high South Asian immigrant population found shocking evidence of sex selection. Forbes reported that not only did 89% of pregnant women who were carrying girls abort their child during the study period, but there was evidence of coercion, sometimes violent, by husbands and in-laws to do so.
This is would be expected in the United States where sex selection is completely legal in most states. But in the UK, sex selective abortion is illegal. Surely, the law is enough of a deterrent.
It does not seem so. The Independent looked at the UK's recent census data and found that in certain immigrant groups, girls have gone "missing."
Continue reading at Creative Minority Report>>
Tuesday, April 9. 2013
There is a war on women being waged all over the world. It is not the fictional war on women that the Democrats keep prattling on about. It is a real war that takes the lives of millions of females every year. This real war is fueled by abortion.
Sex-selective abortion, along with the less prevalent infanticide, kills more girls in China and India every year than are born in the United States. The number of girls "missing" in Asia is equivalent to the entire female population of the United States, the majority due to sex-selective abortion.
This real war on women has been going on for decades and is now beginning to get the attention it deserves. The National Catholic Register reports on Reggie Littlejohn, a lawyer who founded Women’s Rights Without Frontiers (WRWF). Littlejohn addressed the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women bringing to light the horrible consequences of the mass gendercide. From the Register:
“There are 37 million more men than women living in China today,” Littlejohn told the U.N. gathering in New York. “This gender imbalance drives human trafficking and sexual slavery. And China has the highest female suicide rate of any country in the world. This is the true war against women.”And recent study of Census data indicates that sex-selection is happening here in the United States. Immigrants who come to America with gender bias and want to abort their girls have the benefit of having the law on their side. While sex-selection is illegal in many countries including India and China, only a handful of states in the U.S. address the issue. Kansas is the latest to outlaw abortions on the basis of sex.
The United States needs federal law prohibiting sex-selective abortions. Last year, Congress had the opportunity to do just that by passing the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA), but failed to do so because the political ramifications of putting limits on the progressive's sacred cow, abortion. The Register reports:
Littlejohn scoffed at the federal political footballing of the issue. “Are they really for women’s rights?” she asked. “Or do they have a different agenda?”Indeed. "Pro-choice feminists" seems more concerned with the mythical "reproductive right" than the lives of actual women. They deal with sex-selection in the U.S. by pretending it doesn't exist and calling it "a problem rampant only in its rampant nonexistence."
The damage continues in Asia. The East cannot get back the millions of women (and counting) sacrificed in abortion. But we can prevent what Steven Mosher from the Population Research Institute calls the “ugliest form of misogyny” here in the United States. It is past time for America to say loud and clear that we will not permit the killing of innocents simply because they lack a Y chromosome.
Thursday, April 4. 2013
On the New York Times parenting blogs, a mother of a girl with Down Syndrome argues against North Dakota's new law that outlaws abortion in cases of genetic abnormality. Alison Piepmeier says that “Outlawing Abortion Won’t Help Children with Down Syndrome.” The premise is that parents abort babies with Down Syndrome because their child will face untold challenges. Piepmeier writes about her conversations with women who aborted their children:
Repeatedly women told me that they ended the pregnancy not because they wanted a “perfect child” (as one woman said, “I don’t know what ‘perfect child’ even means”) but because they recognized that the world is a difficult place for people with intellectual disabilities.This thinking is so prevalent in our society. And it is so backward. Instead of improving the lives of those with intellectual disabilities, we choose to kill them instead. And not just some of the time, 90% of the time.
Putting aside the data that shows that 99% of adults with Down Syndrome report being happy, I ask, "How can we improve the lives of those with Down Syndrome enough to not kill them if we keep killing them?" How will research into improving the cognitive effects of Down Syndrome proceed if there are no patients left to treat?
This is the same backwards approach to medicine that fuels the assisted suicide movement. Instead of controlling the pain of terminal illness, the plan is to kill the patient. I guarantee that the more killing becomes the treatment plan, the less research into end-of-life pain control will advance.
When death is the treatment of choice, all other options fall by the wayside and wither.
Continue reading at LifeNews >>
Wednesday, January 23. 2013
As the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade dawns, my friends that have adopted children have been posting pictures on Facebook of their beautiful families and thanking the birth mothers for their courage and sacrifice. These adoptive mothers asked everyone to choose adoption over abortion. As I contemplated praising my friends for telling their story, I remembered I had a story to tell as well. I had forgotten.
This month, my husband and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary. My oldest daughter turned 17 a few months ago. You do the math.
Eighteen years ago, I was staring at two blue lines in the bathroom, and I felt my world crashing in around me. I was a senior in college, but, because of my year abroad, I had three semesters left before I could graduate. I had just received a grant for research in organic chemistry with toxic chemicals that no doubt would cause birth defects. My now husband was nowhere near graduating and I feared my conservative Catholic family would never forgive me for getting pregnant out of wedlock.
It was the textbook definition of a crisis pregnancy. My situation was exactly the hard case that everyone talks about when they say they are "pro-choice." I could have been the poster child for Planned Parenthood.
Continue reading at Creative Minority Report >>
Wednesday, May 30. 2012
This week Congress votes on PRENDA, the Prenatal Non-discrimination Act which would outlaw sex selective abortion in the United States. As I have written before, this would bring the United States in line with a long list of other countries around the world, including China and India, that have banned sex-selective abortions. I gave exhibits A, B and C to prove that sex selection is happening in the U.S. despite the claims of pro-choice feminists that the problem is "non-existent." Live Action has given me exhibit D. Here is there video clearly showing that Planned Parenthood is ready and willing to abort a girl simply because she is a girl:
Of course false feminists would rather protect the elusive idea of "choice" and not actual females being targeted by gender discrimination. They will continue to insist that sex selection against their fellow sisters just isn't happening despite all the evidence to the contrary. That seems to be the "pro-choice" modus operandi. I don't think it will work forever.
Make sure to call or write your Congressional representative and tell them you want the United States to catch up with the rest of the world and make sex-selective abortion illegal. Tell them to support PRENDA.
Wednesday, May 23. 2012
This is just horrific. Abortion is horrific. Gendercide is horrific. And so it is no surprise that these practices breed more horror. I really hope this report is not true. From India Today:
Some doctors in Beed are disposing of female foetuses by feeding them to dogs in order to destroy evidence of female foeticide.Continue Reading at Creative Minority Report>>
Tuesday, April 24. 2012
Many countries around the world have banned sex selection. They have banned the abortion of a fetus biased on gender and/or they have banned the practice of using IVF and then preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to determine the sex of embryos. Often the only exception is for sex-linked genetic disorders. These countries have said loud and clear that choosing which children get to live and which ones are slated to die based simply on their gender is a evil their society will not tolerate. According to the Center for Genetics and Society's BioPolicyWiki page, the following countries have banned sex selection, either for non-medical reasons or altogether:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and Vietnam.You won't find the United States on that list. Why? Likely because we have mythical "reproductive rights" that ensure we can abort any fetus or toss out any IVF embryo for any reason. Only a handful of states have laws on the books that outlaw sex selective abortion.
There is proposed federal legislation that would bring the whole United States at least partly in line with other nations around the world. It is called the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act and it has been reintroduced recently to the U.S. Congress by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ). The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, called PRENDA for short, would punish medical providers that perform abortions or accept funds for abortions when the reason for the abortion is the gender or race of the fetus. Unfortunately, it leaves sex selection through IVF and PGD untouched.
Of course feminists everywhere must be cheering this legislation because the majority of victims of sex selection around the world are girls. But the pro-abortion feminists are not. In the pro-abortion mind, "reproductive rights" trump every other right, even the right to life of other females. They prefer legislation that protects "choice" instead of legislation that protects actual women in the womb.
Just like pro-aborts justify ending life in the womb by pretending there is no life in the womb, those opposed to PRENDA just pretend that sex selection in the United States does not exist. One writer at Jezebel called sex selection in the U.S. "a problem rampant only in its rampant nonexistence." Nancy Northup, President of Center for Reproductive Rights, called PRENDA a "trumped up bill for a trumped up problem."
And yet there is evidence that sex selection is alive and well in the United States. Exhibit A: a study done by Douglas Almond and Lena Edlund, of UC Berkeley that looked at U.S. 2000 Census data. They found that among U.S.-born children of Chinese, Korean, and Asian Indian parents there is a male bias especially in third children. They report, "If there was no previous son, sons outnumbered daughters by 50%." And they concluded, "We interpret the found deviation in favor of sons to be evidence of sex selection, most likely at the prenatal stage."
Exhibit B: A study of 2 abortion clinics in the San Francisco Bay area that service a high South Asian immigrant population found shocking evidence of sex selection. Forbes reported that not only did 89% of pregnant women who were carrying girls abort their child during the study period, but there was evidence of coercion, sometimes violent, by husbands and in-laws to do so.
Exhibit C: Advertisements for sex selection services in the Canadian press, where such services are illegal, by United States doctors. The Washington Center for Reproductive Medicine in Bellevue, Washington has been placing ads saying they can provide Canadians "the family they want, boy or girl." The advertisements have caused concern because of recent study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal showing that South Korean and Indian-born women who have immigrated to Canada have an unnaturally high proportion of boys as second and third children.
Continue reading at LifeNews >>
Tuesday, March 13. 2012
Recently there has been a lot of reporting about the use of cells from aborted fetuses to test or develop products. Specifically, LifeNews has been reporting on Senomyx, the California company that uses HEK 293 cells to test compounds as possible flavor enhancers. HEK 293 is a cell line taken from the kidneys of a fetus aborted in the 1970s. This cell line has since been genetically engineered with viral DNA and sold for various uses by common chemical supply companies. Senomyx was reported as having contracts with giants like Pepsi to test possible flavor enhancers.
I recently posted about Neuralstem which has likely developed a new drug for depression by testing compounds on a cell line that originated from an elective abortion.
In the past, I have argued for labeling on products where cells from aborted fetal cells were used in either the production or development so that we consumers could know about what unethical practices went into making what we buy. With the increasing media coverage, now is the time to make the push for labeling.
I did not realize that I was behind the times.
Children of God for Life, which broke the Senomyx-Pepsi story and exposed other companies like Neocutis, already has proposed legislation that would do just that. It is called the The Fair Labeling and Informed Consent Act. It would, among other things:
Friday, February 24. 2012
Oklahoma state Sen. Ralph Shortey has introduced a bill to the Oklahoma Legislature that has caused quite a stir. S.B. 1418 says it would ban any product for human “consumption” that contains aborted human fetal tissue or where the research or development of any of the ingredients required the use of aborted fetal tissue.
Continue reading at the National Catholic Register
Monday, February 20. 2012
We westerners like to think sex-selection is an Asian problem. We tell ourselves that girls are being aborted in the millions because of China's one-child policy. But if there is one thing the reader takes away from Mara Hvistendahl's ground breaking book, Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men, is that sex selection is not just an Chinese problem. It is prevalent in other Asian nations without a one-child policy, like India.
And it is spreading into Europe.
Continue reading at Creative Minority Report
Monday, February 13. 2012
Wrongful birth and wrongful life lawsuits are just plain wrong.
The wrongful birth suit is brought by the parents of a sick or disabled child against a physician that, the parents say, was negligent. The wrongful birth lawsuit does not say that the doctor caused the disease or disability, which would be a valid reason to sue. Instead the wrongful birth lawsuit claims the that doctor failed to inform the parents of the illness or disability of the child and that had they known, they would have aborted their child. In other words, the parents are saying we wish our child was dead. Because he or she is not, the doctor has to pay.
The parents often use the excuse that they love their child; they are simply suing to acquire funds to care for their sick or disabled offspring. But to get those funds they have to insist that, had they known, they would have killed that very same child.
The wrongful life lawsuit differs from the wrongful birth lawsuit in that in the wrongful life suit, it is the child that sues the doctor insisting they never should have been born.
These lawsuits are pernicious for many reasons, the first is the assumption that the sick and disabled are better off dead.
The second is that in states where this kind of lawsuit is allowed, it puts tremendous pressure on doctors to conduct a seek-and-destroy mission against fetuses with disease or disability. Otherwise, the doctor may be sued for doing his or her job: bringing a live child into the world.
Arizona is attempting to join a handful of other states in outlawing wrongful birth lawsuits after a wrongful birth lawsuit was successful in Florida. From AZCapitolTimes:
An Arizona legislator wants to shield doctors from so-called “wrongful birth” lawsuits, which can arise if physicians don’t inform pregnant women of prenatal problems that could lead to the decision to have an abortion.The reality is that these lawsuits put undue pressure on doctors to find any manner of possible diseases or genetic conditions, even if there is no real treatment available. (Killing the patient with abortion is not treating disease or disability.) They also send the message loud and clear that the lives of those who are sick or disable are worth less than those who are "healthy."
Cathi Herrod, president of Center for Arizona Policy, which proposed the bill to Arizona legislators is 100% right :
[Herrod] said she opposes the lawsuits because they give the impression that “the life of a disabled child is worth less than the life of a healthy child.”The other states that prohibit this perversion of malpractice law are Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota Pennsylvania, and Utah.
Idaho law states:
“A cause of action shall not arise, and damages shall not be awarded, on behalf of any person, based on the claim that but for the act or omission of another, a person would not have been permitted to have been born alive but would have been aborted."There is similar language in many of the states that reject wrongful life or wrongful birth suits. Pennsylvania law argues that prohibiting wrongful birth lawsuits prevents:
medical personnel “from being coerced into accepting eugenic abortion as a consideration for avoiding” lawsuits.More states need to have prohibitions on both wrongful life and wrongful birth lawsuits. Rejecting these suits protects doctors from being coerced into the prenatal seek-and-destroy mentality. It also reinforces the principle that all life has value. The lives of sick or disabled children are just as valuable as those who do not have special needs. State law needs to reflect this reality.
Sunday, January 22. 2012
Thirty-nine years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in Roe v. Wade, that the laws outlawing abortion in Texas were unconstitutional because a woman had a right to privacy, guaranteed by the Constitution. Suddenly, the unborn had no legal protection in the United States. But Roe v. Wade did not just deny legal protection to the unborn, it catapulted the United States toward all manner of unethical biotechnology.
Abortion obviously produces aborted fetuses. The taboo of using aborted fetal tissue for research is not a deterrent for some researchers; such tissue is just another tool in their toolbox. Michael West, formerly of Advanced Cell Technology, freely admits that he has used aborted fetal tissue to advance his research. In his book, The Immortal Cell: One Scientist's Quest to Solve the Mystery of Human Aging , he wrote, “By scrambling around and persuading, I found a means of getting early human fetal testes and tried to grow the human embryonic germ cell in a dish.” But, for his research, those germ cells were too old. In his words, “I needed five week old fetuses. But where could I get those? Women do not abort fetuses that early, when they are just learning they are pregnant.”
It is not just testes from aborted male babies that researchers want. Some want eggs from aborted female babies as well. The much-ignored reality of therapeutic cloning is this: to become a viable commercial therapy, an enormous amount of human eggs are required. So, researchers are looking to harvest eggs from aborted fetuses. All of a woman’s eggs come to be during her fetal development. A 20-week-old female has about 7 million eggs, the most she will ever have. Lori Andrews, a reproductive rights lawyer, makes the connection. She wrote in her book Clone Age: Adventures in the New World of Reproductive Technology, “With over a million abortions a year, some scientists have begun to think the unthinkable—using female fetuses as a source of eggs…."
Researchers also use aborted fetus to further embryonic stem cell research. Elaine Dewar, an investigative reporter, in her book The Second Tree: Stem Cells, Clones, Chimeras, and Quests for Immortality, asks a stem cell researcher about how he grows his embryonic stem cell lines:
So I asked, what do you grow these [embryonic] cell lines on now? On minced up human embryos, he replied. I cringed. "Isn't there an ethical issue in that?" "You can take it from abortions. In the human you can use earlier embryos, from the first trimester," he said.Companies Like ReNeuron, Neuralstem, Neocutis, and Senomyx are using tissue that came from aborted fetuses to develop drugs, treatments, flavor enhancers, and even beauty products. Some of the these companies do not publicly disclose where they got their tissue and so well-meaning pro-lifers and now faced with a world where the products they use were made possible by the deliberate killing of an innocent. A fact that thanks to Roe v Wade, companies feel they do not need to reveal.
In addition to opening the door to the destruction of innocent human life for parts, Roe v. Wade gave legitimacy to something called “reproductive rights.” Roe v. Wade states that an individual, married or single, has the right “to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child.”
These mythical "reproductive rights" found somewhere in the Constitution mean that the United States has an out of control and unregulated fertility industry. If reproductive rights include terminating a pregnancy, then do they also apply to those who want to get pregnant by any means possible? There are many who believe so. Today anything goes because we somehow have a "right" to reproduce. Many other countries have laws regulating their fertility industries, limiting the number of embryos that can be created and/or transfered into a woman. Thanks to Roe vs. Wade, the United States has wild west human manufacturing that gives rise to Octomom and likely upwards of a million human embryos on ice waiting for a chance to finish their lives. Embryos stem cell researchers cannot wait to rip apart for the stem cell "gold" inside.
Those “reproductive rights” are also fueling the push for reproductive cloning. John A. Robertson, law professor at the University of Texas, contends that, with the absolute right to abort a fetus, women also have an absolute right to any “non-coital technology” they need to bear children, including reproductive cloning. This sentiment is echoed in the words of Randy Wicher, a cloning activist:
“My decision to clone myself should not be the government’s business, or Cardinal O’Connor’s, any more than a woman’s decision to have an abortion is. Cloning is highly significant. It’s part of the reproductive rights of every human being.”Lee M. Silver, Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton, when discussing the potential outcomes of the marriage of reproductive biology and genetics what he calls reprogenetics. Reprogenetics includes the genetic engineering of offspring according to parental wishes. Silver wrote in his book Remaking Eden: How Genetic Engineering and Cloning Will Transform the American Family:
“Indeed, in a society that values individual freedom above all else, it is hard to find any legitimate basis for restricting the use of reprogenetics. And there in lies the dilemma. For each individual, use of the technology can be viewed in the light of personal reproductive choice….”While not illegal in the U.S., reproductive cloning is considered unsafe at present because of the possibilities of genetic abnormalities arising from the cloning process. Abortion would be an essential component of making reproductive cloning a reality. Gregory Pence, Philosophy professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, in his book, Cloning after Dolly: Who’s Still Afraid?, proposes the following solution:
If the primary moral objection to reproductive cloning is that it will likely result in genetic errors in reprogramming, then of course we want research to prevent that kind of problem. But how do we do that? The best way is to see how cloned embryos develop and to study them, gestating them in female chimpanzees, artificial wombs, or human volunteers, then aborting them to see which are normal and which are not, then experimenting to see how to create only normally developing embryos/fetuses.
There are technology junkies that want to take these mythical "reproductive rights" even further and call them "somatic rights." They believe these "somatic rights" give them the power to modify their bodies with any kind of enhancement that they want. These are transhumanists. They are not happy to be simply human, they want to be "posthuman" or "superhuman" using technology like genetic engineering, cognitive enhancing drugs, artificial limbs and intelligence to go beyond healing, transforming humanity into something else entirely. They want to be able to chop off perfectly good limbs and replace them with artificial ones. They want to genetically engineer themselves and their offspring to be superior than the average human. Transhumanism would necessarily create a two-tiered society where those that can afford or have access to enhancements would rule over those that can't or don't.
Transhumanists are already using the foundation of "reproductive rights" to build their technological utopia. Kyle Munkittrick, in his piece When Will We Be Transhuman? Seven Conditions for Attaining Transhumanism, argues that for transhumanism to thrive the following must be embraced:
Actions such as abortion, assisted suicide, voluntary amputation, gender reassignment, surrogate pregnancy, body modification, legal unions among adults of any number, and consenting sexual practices would be protected under law.... Transhumanism cannot happen without a legal structure that allows individuals to control their own bodies. When bodily freedom is as protected and sanctified as free speech, transhumanism will be free to develop.Roe v. Wade did more than just legalize abortion across the Unites States. By denying the human embryo any rights, it has enabled the current practices of embryonic stem cell research and therapeutic cloning. These, in turn, are just stops on the way to reproductive cloning. With legalized killing of human embryos in the womb, we have no moral grounds upon which to object to killing them in a test tube; no way to object to the use of aborted fetal tissue in research and manufacturing. Without Roe v. Wade would there be no fictitious "reproductive right" that seems to trump all others in our society. "Reproductive rights" have become "somatic rights" that will be used to justify invasive enhancements of healthy men, women and children in the future. If Roe v. Wade had upheld the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception, the practice of human beings being created and destroyed for their parts would not be possible. Nor would there widespread human manufacturing in the fertility industry. Nor would there be, I believe, so much ammunition to use technology to change the very nature of man into something "posthuman." Roe v. Wade has a legacy far beyond abortion. We will feel its reverberations for generations and beyond.
Tuesday, January 17. 2012
I have four children. With three of them, I found out their gender at my routine 20 week ultrasound. From the moment we discovered that our child was a boy or a girl, my husband and I began referring to our unborn baby by his or her name. We prepared the older siblings for the impending birth of the new baby by using his or her name. We even signed our unborn child's name in family correspondence. Finding out the gender of our children was a choice we made because we thought it better prepared the whole family for the life that was going to join us. Other families make other choices. Some like to be surprised. I admire their patience. That just was not us.
There was nothing inherently wrong with finding out the sex of our children. It would only have been wrong if our intent was to abort based on gender. Sex-selective abortion is a hot topic these days. Ever since Mara Hvistendahl courageously brought it to the attention of the world in her ground breaking book Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men, the devastation of sex selective abortion has been in the consciousness of both sides of the abortion isle. New legislation introduced to the U.S. Congress in 2011 would ban abortions in the United States if the abortion is based on the gender or race of the fetus. In this legislation, it would be the abortion provider that is punished for knowingly providing an abortion based on race or gender. I think this is a good first step.
And while I am encouraged by the attention sex-selective abortion is now receiving, I am troubled by some other suggestions on how to curb the practice. Some would like to prevent sex-selective abortion by preventing couples from finding out the sex of their child in utero. It makes sense: if the results of an ultrasound are the reason some couples abort, then limiting access to the information in the ultrasound is the solution.
And yet this "solution" disturbs me because it is like rearranging the furniture and picking up the dung all the while ignoring the giant elephant in the room. It is the abortion that kills not the information gathered in routine ultrasounds. Without legalized abortion, the ultrasound would simply be a way to find out more about the life growing inside the womb. It is legalized abortion that makes finding out the gender, or any other information about a fetus, lethal.
As a pro-life community, we could call for the restriction of access to the information uncovered by prenatal testing as the way to deal with sex-selective abortion. If we go down that road we will likely have some strange company. Namely pro-abortion feminists who would rather restrict information from ultrasounds than the procedure that does the actual killing, abortion. Even after her expose of sex-selection in Asia, Mara Hvistendahl remains "pro-choice" suggesting that it is not access to abortion that is causing millions of Asian girls to go "missing" but instead the access to cheap ultrasound machines.
In India it is illegal to find out the sex of your unborn child. This is a response to widespread abortion of female fetuses as families limit their size, an allowed reason to have an abortion in India. It has not worked. In some districts, sex-selective abortion is as rampant as ever. This approach to curbing sex-selection by restricting gender information from prenatal testing has not worked in India and it will not likely work in the West. The only way to protect girls in the womb is to protect all life in the womb. Abortion is the problem and it is the abortion that needs to remain our focus.
I am for protecting the life in the womb in anyway possible. If we decide as a pro-life community to attack sex-selective abortion by restricting access to the information revealed in prenatal testing then we must do so with the understanding that for the majority of couples there is nothing inherently wrong with finding out the sex of an unborn child. While we chip away at the evils of abortion, we need to stay focused on where the evil lies, in the deliberate killing of innocent life. We must not forget to keep our eye on the prize: an end to all abortion, sex-selective or not.
Wednesday, December 28. 2011
In a recent conversation, my sister-in-law commented on how many girls we have in our growing family. I have three girls, my brother has three girls and my husband's brother has three girls. I responded by saying that while boys are great too, it is a good thing that we are having so many girls. With 163 million "missing" girls in Asia, which is the equivalent to the entire female population of the United States, someone needs to be having girls. Lots and lots of girls.
Which is why I support the Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act or PRENDA for short. It would make aborting a girl just because she is a girl illegal in the United States. You would think that making it illegal to abort a girl just because she is a girl would be a feminist's dream. The feminists must be rallying in support of such legislation, right? They are not. They say that sex selection in the United States is non-existent. They call sex selective abortion a "trumped up bill for a trumped up problem."
That seems like the only play in the pro-abortion play book. Just pretend. First, pretend a fetus is not a living human organism. Now, pretend that sex selection does not happen in America. Except there is evidence that Asians are practicing sex-selective abortions here in the United States. A study done with data from the 2000 U.S. Census shows a clear son preference in Chinese, Koreans, and Asian Indians. The normal male to female ratio is 1.05 to 1. Researchers found that for third children where the older siblings were girls the ratio of boys to girls in these populations was an grossly unnatural 1.5 to 1. The researchers concluded that sex selection is occurring and it is likely in the prenatal stage.
Richard Miniter wrote in Forbes that a study in the San Francisco Bay Area, two clinics that service a high Asian population reported that 89% of women carrying girls aborted. Miniter also reported coercion:
And, too often, it wasn’t their choice. South-Asian women, pregnant with daughters, reported incredible pressure by in-laws and husbands to produce sons and not daughters. Husbands threatened divorce or abandonment, others struck, choked or kicked their wives in the abdomen in the hopes of preventing a daughter. One woman said that her Indian mother-in-law threatened to take poison if she could not produce a son.So feminists opposed to PRENDA are not only opposed to protecting girls in the womb from discrimination but are also opposed to giving women legal protection against pressure from their husbands and in-laws to abort their girls.
See feminists that oppose PRENDA really do not want to protect women. They want to protect ideas instead. Ms. Magazine called PRENDA "an affront our rights to privacy, to bodily autonomy, and to mobilize in concert to create change and solidarity in our communities—based on our priorities and experiences, our visions for the future and our agency." Some feminists would rather protect the elusive and vague ideas of "experiences," "visions" and "agency" than protect actual girls from being exterminated just because they don't have a Y chromosome.
Do I think PRENDA will solve all of the sex selection abortions in America? No. Only getting rid of legalized abortion all together will do that. But it is important that the United States has laws on the books that state we will not stand for aborting girls just because they are girls. In the meantime, I, along with true feminists that support PRENDA, will continue to celebrate the birth of girls everywhere knowing they are desperately needed in today's world.
Friday, December 2. 2011
The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act reintroduced recently to the U.S. Congress by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) is a step in the right direction. But it is only a step. The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, called PRENDA for short, would punish medical providers that perform abortions or accept funds for abortions when the reason for the abortion is the gender or race of the fetus.
Franks is responding to a growing trend of sex selective abortions around the world where girls are being aborted in the millions just because they are female. He is also responding to the the fact that minority babies in the United States are being aborted at five times the rate of white babies.
It is a good idea. But if passed will PRENDA actually save the lives of girls and minorities? I doubt it. Knowing Planned Parenthood's penchant for skirting the mandatory reporting laws, I am sure they will go on ahead killing babies for any reason regardless of what the law says.
Many other countries also have laws against sex selective abortions. Believe it or not sex selective abortion is illegal in India. It is even illegal to find out the sex of a fetus. But it hasn't helped. Sex selection in India is as alive and prominent as ever prompting some places to pay parents to have girls.
Laws that punish abortion providers for killing because of gender or race are nice and they are a step in the right direction but they will not stop sex or race based abortions. The ONLY way to do that is to ban abortions all together. Protect girls and minorities in the womb by protecting ALL life in the womb. It truly is the only way.
Abortion is evil and we cannot put limits to or control its devastating effects. We cannot dance with evil, expecting to confine it to a nice waltz, and then wonder why we are suddenly being trampled in a crushing mosh pit.
And thankfully Franks knows that his PRENDA legislation is only a step. He is quoted in The Daily Caller:
“People will say I have a greater agenda — and they are right — I hope for a day when all children, regardless of race or color, all children because they are children will be protected,” he said.I look forward to day we can all agree that aborting ANY child is wrong.
Sunday, October 23. 2011
Many people think that sex selective abortion is only a problem in China where the one-child policy forces couples to limit themselves to one child. Unfortunately sex selective abortion is rampant in other countries that do not have a one-child policy. In places like India where girls are often seen as a burden to the family, the ratio of girls to boys born is appalling. Some places in India are even paying couples to have girls because the excess number of single men is a demographic nightmare.
I often wonder how beautiful girls that grow up to be life-giving women could be seen as a detriment instead of the wonderful asset that they are. I don't understand a culture that does not value women and the procreative power that we hold. I also do not understand how parents could name their girl a name that means "unwanted." Apparently, in India it happens and Associated Press reports on a ceremony where Indian girls are changing their names:
More than 200 Indian girls whose names mean "unwanted" in Hindi have chosen new names for a fresh start in life.Good for these girls. I hope their attitude begins to change their culture's view of women. Forget "sugar and spice and all that's nice," I like "prosperous, beautiful and good" because that is exactly what little girls are!
Tuesday, August 16. 2011
There is a lot of buzz lately about "selective reduction." Ever since the New York Times published "Two-Minus-One Pregnancy" about aborting one twin for parents who only want one baby at a time, born triplets, twins and singletons alike stand horrified. Like so many unethical practices that slide down a very slippery slope, "selective reduction" was never intended to be used to kill a twin. It began as a response to the multiple pregnancies created by the fertility industry in their attempt to boost success rates. They would implant 3, 4, 5, even 12 embryos (in the case of Nadya Suleman) in hopes that one would take. When more than the desired fetuses resulted, doctors would recommend eliminating some to make the pregnancy more manageable.
The selective killing of multiples is a gruesome process described in an article by The Washington Post from 2007. "Selective reduction" is a euphemistic term referring to the aborting of multiple fetuses to reduce a pregnancy down to twins or even a single fetus. It involves injecting the unlucky fetus chosen to be eliminated with potassium chloride, the same chemical used in the death penalty, to stop the heart. The Washington Post story describes the procedure where two different fetuses, conceived with IVF, C and D, are selectively aborted by Dr. Mark Evans, a pioneer in selective reduction:
No one knows how pervasive selective reduction is in the IVF industry because practitioners are reluctant to discuss much less report the procedure. What started as a procedure to "reduce" the number of fetuses resulting from over zealous fertility treatments has become more commonplace for naturally conceived multiples. At first Evans would never have reduced either naturally conceived or IVF twins to a single fetus. The New York Times article quotes his as saying that reducing twins “crosses the line between doing a procedure for a medical indication versus one for a social indication.” But now his ethics have changed as the procedure becomes more common:
Evans also originally would not "reduce" for sex selection and now will do so to provide the parents with "the Holy Grail of the modern two-child family: one boy and one girl." A National Post article from 2010 also profiles Dr. Evan's selective killing of twins. A counselor speaks of the practice:
When do children become a commodity? They already have. It happened we bought the lie that a fetus was no more than a "clump of tissue" that was part of a women's body instead of a distinct human being onto itself. It happened when we began creating life outside the body. Life that is marginalized, bought, sold, frozen and handed over to be destroyed in research. Now it is life that maybe selected for elimination in the womb. Selective reduction is the fruit of the rejection of the Catholic Church teaching on procreation and the sanctity of life. Ever since Roe vs. Wade, unborn life is always in peril but now one twin maybe marked for destruction. Twins used to be a blessing, now they are endangered.
Wednesday, August 10. 2011
I love the Fixx's "One Thing Leads to Another." I found the video, with the white-lab coat doctor/scientist looking into his microscope, mildly prophetic. (I apologize in advance for the inappropriate Adidas ad that may proceed.)
Sometimes we can learn something from rock. (Mostly classic rock, because music nowadays is only about clubbing and hooking up, even from mothers who should have left that life behind once the pregnancy test was positive.) I digress. LifeNews reported that statistics from the UK show that for every 1 adoption there were 2,235 abortions. In the United States, Planned Parenthood has 1 adoption referral for every 333 abortions.
Add the lack of babies to adopt to the fact that couples are starting families later in life and you get a booming fertility industry that has created half a million frozen embryos waiting to continue their lives. That has fueled both embryo destructive research and the push for cloning. This in turn creates a market for human eggs that puts young women's health and lives at risk.
The lack of babies for adoption has also fed market in international surrogacy where rich Western couples rent a womb from a poor woman, usually in India. Never mind that many of these surrogates are kept under lock and key and forced to give birth by C-section.
A lack of babies for adoption also means there is a market for babies as well as wombs. Which leads to the selling of infants to unsuspecting couples. One San Diego lawyer just plead guilty to trafficking in babies. Theresa Erickson, a surrogacy lawyer and self-proclaimed "guide to IVF and third party family building," has been busted for paying women to travel to the Ukraine, become impregnated with IVF embryos and then come back to the United States and pretend they have a baby they want to give up for adoption. From the LA Times:
One thing certainly does lead to another. Just like sex-selective abortion creates a lack of women which then in turn makes women a valuable commodity to be bought and sold, abortion creates a lack of babies and turns them into commodities instead of the the God given gifts that they are. The Fixx? (Sorry I couldn't resist.) Stop aborting babies and put them up for adoption! Obviously there are couples out there willing to open their homes to new life and shouldn't have to pay $100,000 to a shady "reproductive rights" lawyer do it.
Monday, August 8. 2011
Just when I think I have seen every possible way a pro-choicer can perform mental gymnastics trying to convince themselves that somehow a fetus is not human, they surprise me. This one takes the cake. In the comments section on Salon.com:
I would love to say that this argument dropped like a rock, but others responded as if it was totally rational:
I feel I am stooping to a new low by actually addressing the insanity of comparing a fetus to a rock, but apparently it is urgently necessary. Unlike most pro-choicers, I like to use more scientific measures to discuss the nature of organisms. While they use "feelings," "beliefs," "plans," and "hopes" to qualify and categorize life, I will use more objective means to decide whether a human fetus is more like a rock than a human adult.
A human adult is a living organism that self-directs toward more mature stages and belongs to the species Homo sapiens. How does a human fetus compare? Well a human fetus is also living organism that self-directs toward more mature stages and belongs to the species Homo sapiens. And a rock? Well it belongs to the species...oh right it doesn't have a genus or species because IT IS NOT EVEN ALIVE!!!!!!
Now the pro-choicer would always argue that a fetus is not alive either because it doesn't have such non-quantifiable essentials to real life like "hopes" and "dreams." Again, I like more solid measures, you know like the ones scientists use to decide if something qualifies as "living." I have taught biology and know that there are four criteria that science uses to determine "life":
1. All life contains DNA: Rock-0 Fetus-1 (The entire prenatal genetic testing industry wouldn't exist without it.)
2. All life extracts energy from its environment and uses it: Rock-0 Fetus-2 (Any pregnant women who has eaten an entire half gallon of ice cream knows this is true!)
3. All life forms sense their environment and respond to those changes: Rock-0 Fetus-3 (Just ask any ultrasound technologist.)
4. All life forms can reproduce: Rock-0 Fetus-4 (And before you scream that a fetus cannot reproduce, just check out this story about using eggs from female fetuses for IVF treatments.)
Rock-0 Fetus-4 using objective criteria for life. So tell me again how prolifers are the unscientific ones?
Wednesday, August 3. 2011
163 million women are missing from Asia. That is the entire female population of the United States. The culprit is sex selective abortion according to Mara Hvistendahl's fascinating book Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men. Hvistendahl is not pro-life nor is she Catholic, but that is what, I believe, makes this book courageous. Of course in typical pro-choice fashion, she refuses to address the facts of when human life begins, but she does tackle the sacred cows at the root of the devastation that now faces Asia: widespread abortion and the population control movement of the West.
What I loved most about this book is that it goes beyond the typical reasons why Asians are aborting their girls in record numbers. We know they have a preference for boys and China has a one-child policy. But Asia has always prized their sons and only China has a one-child policy. Yet all over Asia, in the last few decades, millions of girls have gone missing. Why? Hvistendahl makes a compelling case that the Western world shoved population control down the throats of Asians and presented sex selective abortion as the "ethical" means to do it. The typical arrogant and fearful Western minds thought they had to control the growth of Asian populations and reasoned that if Asians kept having children until they got a boy, then providing sex selective abortion was the answer. They could just abort all their girls until they got a boy and then they would be happy with only one child. Hvistendahl writes:
In the 1960s and 1970s, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the World Bank, the United Nations and even Disney told couples all over Asia that they had to limit their family size or their children, and the rest of the world, would suffer. China took up the baton and implemented their one-child policy. This "reeducation" took the form of forced sterilization, forced contraception and even forced abortion. One sign in China read:
Eventually, decades later, the coercion was no longer needed and families are now voluntarily limiting themselves to one child. And with portable ultrasounds and legalized abortion, they can ensure that one child is a boy. Now they are faced with the fruit of the population control movement that came from outside their borders: a world full of men unable to marry because their brides were aborted.
This abundance of unmarried men is not a small problem. Unmarried men are more violent than their married counterparts. Crime is now on the rise:
And as women become more scarce, their value rises which one would think would mean that women would be treated better. But exactly opposite is true. Women have become commodities to be bought and sold. Parents all over Asia are guarding their girls against kidnappers who would sell them to rich families who want to guarantee a future bride for their son. Women are routinely kidnapped and dragged across boundary lines to be forced into the sex industry. Poor families, who could not afford sex selective procedures are selling their daughters to rich families who could. Some women are bought to be a wife to several men, usually brothers, a practice called polylandry. Sex selective abortion ensures that women are born only to poor families and then are treated as commodities. Hvistendahl points out the ugly truth:
And where are the feminists? The champions of women and their reproductive rights? They are mostly silent. They championed choice and now that choice is being used to kill millions of female fetuses and subjugate women, they have nothing to say lest the sacred abortion cow be slaughtered. The United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) thinks honor killings and domestic violence are more important issues than the killing of millions of women. Hvistendahl boldly declares:
Now Hvistendahl would argue that abortion is still a right. She believes there is a difference between aborting to not have a child at all and aborting to not have a girl. She would argue that it is the access to technology like ultrasound and lax enforcement of laws against sex selection that is the problem, not legalized abortion. I disagree. Ultrasounds are not inherently immoral. Without legalized abortion, they would be simply a way to peek inside the womb at the life growing inside. It is the abortion that is killing millions of female fetuses. If killing a female fetus is wrong then surely killing any fetus is wrong as well.
Hvistendahl falls into the same trap as the population control advocates did in the 60s and 70s. They thought that they could control the evil they inflicted on Asia because it was for the "greater good." Abortion is evil and we cannot control its devastating effects. We cannot dance with evil, expecting to confine it to a nice waltz, and then wonder why we are suddenly being trampled in a crushing mosh pit.
All in all, I applaud Hvistendahl for her work so far and recommend reading her book. She has done a great service linking the gendercide going on in Asia to the population control movement. I hope she takes that final step and realizes that abortion is far from the liberator of women that feminists say that it is. Abortion is the greatest deliberate killer of women in the world today. The sooner the women of the world wake up, the better our lives will be.
Friday, July 29. 2011
The New York Times has an encouraging article on Dr. Alberto Costa. He is a man on a mission to discover a drug to treat the cognitive issues associated with Down Syndrome. He has proven results in mice and now he is moving to patients:
This is real medicine. Unlike the process the Times suggests may cut this revolution in Downs treatment short: early prenatal diagnosis coupled with abortion or what I call eugenic abortion. Eugenic abortion does not fix or treat any disease and yet it is often described (even this article) as a way to "prevent" disease. Eugenic abortion does not prevent the occurrence of an extra chromosome 21, it just makes sure anyone with an extra chromosome 21 does not make it out of the womb. That is not medicine, that is "geneocide", the eradication of a population because of their genetics.
If the eugenic abortion way of "treating" disease was applied to cancer, all of the cancer patients would be identified early and then killed and the medical community would claim that they "eliminated cancer." Eugenic abortion does not treat or cure disease, it literally throws the baby out with the dirty genetic bath water. Dr. Costa's approach of treating people with Down Syndrome instead of getting rid of them is true medicine. With Dr. Costa there is hope. Eugenic abortion is inherently hopeless.
Another problem with eugenic abortion is that it reduces research funding and support for those with Down Syndrome that do make it out of the womb. The New York Times article points out that Down Syndrome research gets much less funding that other genetic disorders, and suggests this is because the medical establishment assumes that it is "treated" by eugenic abortion:
The "image problem" is that 90% of fetuses with Downs are aborted which means many people have never met someone with Down Syndrome and so do not know what wonderful people they truly are. This feeds the stereotype that so many have that a child is better dead than having to life a life with Downs. Representative Cathy McMorris-Rodgers echos the sentiment that maybe eugenic abortion is the reason funding for Downs is hard to come by:
I applaud Dr. Costa for taking the right approach. I truly hope his trial is a magnificent success. I encourage other medical professionals to see that what he is doing is real medicine geared toward treating disease. Eugenic abortion is the polar opposite. Dr. Costa treats the patient, eugenic abortion just gets rid of the patient and calls it good.
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