Life Advocacy Briefing

August 29, 2016

Tainting High School Students, Too? / Stung & Stinging Back / ‘Life’ Prevails
Stigmatize Away! / True Life Medicine

Tainting High School Students, Too?

MORE EVIDENCE HAS SURFACED concerning the University of New Mexico’s (UNM’s) complicity in baby-body-parts harvesting, and this report has shock value of its own.

When UNM’s chancellor of Health Sciences, the dean of the university’s School of Medicine, Dr. Paul Roth, was questioned after a UNM meeting, reports Operation Rescue (OR), “where the disposition of human fetal remains was apparently discussed,” his response was captured on video later posted on the Internet’s outlet by the New Mexico Alliance for Life (NMAL). And his response was disturbing, to say the least.

“‘Can I ask you to repeat what you said before,’” asked Marcie May in the video clip, “‘about the workshop with UNM fetal remains with high school students?’”

The dean’s response: “‘Yes, we had a faculty member who obtained some tissue, and during one of these summer workshops, uh, dissected I think one or two fetal brains,’ Dr. Roth replied,” reports OR. He “refused to mention the source of the fetal brains or exactly how they were procured,” notes OR, which goes on to report: “NMAL noted that one meeting observer described Roth’s demeanor during the meeting as ‘cold, clinical and dismissive.’”

New Mexico law “prohibits the use of aborted baby remains in medical research,” notes OR. That is why, OR reports, the Albuquerque pro-life group Protest ABQ “filed a formal complaint in July 2015 with [New Mexico] Attorney General [Hector] Balderas seeking an investigation into the illegal use of aborted baby remains for research” and naming the University of New Mexico. The US House Select Panel on Infant Lives has lately followed up with its own referral to Mr. Balderas, based on evidence presented to the Congressional panel investigating the baby-body-parts-trafficking scandal and has raised particular concerns about the involvement of high school students in the racket in his state. Silence so far from Mr. Balderas.


Stung & Stinging Back

IF ONE NEEDED MORE EVIDENCE to believe David Daleiden’s expose of Planned Parenthood’s involvement in baby-body-parts trafficking is deeply problematic for the abortion industry’s chief mogul, the outfit’s promulgation of a clearly unconstitutional proposal in Sacramento is proof enough.

“Planned Parenthood is now pushing a bill through the California state legislature,” writes Dr. Susan Berry for Breitbart News, “that would punish undercover journalists for publishing and distributing recordings of private communication with a ‘healthcare provider.’ …

“Spearheaded by Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D-LosAngeles), the bill comes,” writes Dr. Berry, “as Planned Parenthood is desperately attempting to suppress information regarding its ‘baby parts’ scandal. Last year, undercover journalists from the Center for Medical Progress released a series of videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s alleged practices of exchanging the tissues of babies it aborts for monetary consideration, and altering the position of babies during abortion in order to maximize the chance of harvesting intact organs,” a practice which adds risk to the aborting mother.

“Planned Parenthood has played a major role in designing the legislation,” writes Dr. Berry, citing California’s Courthouse News Service (CNS) as source.

The chief legal counsel for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, Beth Parker, “said,” the Breitbart reporter writes, “the bill would prevent undercover journalists from spreading their secretly recorded information on the Internet.” And that’s supposed to be something good? The whole point of undercover journalism is to expose what is true but not yet known, to a public which has the right to know – in this case, to taxpayers who are forced to invest a half-billion dollars every year in this clearly unethical, inhumane colossus.

Even the American Civil Liberties Union – usually a staunch Planned Parenthood ally – cannot abide the stench of this close-to-passage legislation. Writes Dr. Berry: “In this case, the civil liberties group is strongly opposed to the measure, citing its ‘potential for real harm,’ and arguing the legislation is unconstitutional,” an argument which ought to be obvious.

Even the California Senate’s Appropriations Committee analysis of AB-1671 “shows considerable concern about the measure,” writes Dr. Berry. “‘To the extent this measure contains language that could be challenged as unconstitutional,’” the analysis states, “‘this bill could result in potentially significant costs associated with litigation, both to the court and to the Attorney General.’” Such litigation is guaranteed, should the measure clear the Senate, where a vote is expected any day. It already passed the notoriously radical Assembly on May 31 by a vote of 52 to 26.


‘Life’ Prevails

PLANNED PARENTHOOD HAS LOST ANOTHER ABORTION SHOP. The Grand Chute Planned Parenthood of Appleton, Wisconsin, has, reports, “closed its doors for good.” For good, in more ways than one!

The outpost had shut down temporarily in the fall of 2015, while it struggled to find an abortionist willing to focus on the northern Wisconsin town. This time, according to Wisconsin Right to Life (WRtL), cited as source by LifeSiteNews, “it is permanently shut down.”

The Appleton closing, according to Calvin Freiburger, writing for LiveActionNews, leaves “only two abortion facilities in the entire state of Wisconsin.” Five other Planned Parenthood shops have closed in Wisconsin in recent years, notes Mr. Freiburger. “The shuttered [Appleton] location,” he writes, “was responsible for approximately 600 abortions in 2014. The loss will hopefully help continue the 10% decline Wisconsin abortions saw that year,” writes Mr. Freiburger, “following Gov. Scott Walker’s 2013 signing of a mandatory ultrasound law.”

The prominent group Pro-Life Wisconsin “cheered the news,” reports LifeSiteNews, “and credited God with closing the abortion center.”

Apparently the shop was facing financial challenges, which Planned Parenthood claimed stemmed from the costliness of “desired security upgrades.”

But the executive director of WRtL, Heather Weininger, attributed Planned Parenthood’s cost concerns to a diminishing market for their activities. “‘As more and more women choose life every year in the state of Wisconsin,’” she said in the LifeSiteNews report, “‘Planned Parenthood’s profit margin suffers. Ultimately,’” she declared, “‘that is why Planned Parenthood of Appleton’s abortion facility is closing, and for that reason, we celebrate.’”


Stigmatize Away!

Aug. 11, 2016, commentary by Daniel Payne in The Federalist

The pro-abortion Left is attempting to normalize abortion. This was not always the case: the Democratic Party platform for a number of years claimed abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.” But the Democratic Party is no longer interested in limiting the number of abortions. Indeed, these days they are more interested in funding abortions with taxpayer dollars, a sure-fire way to drive up the number of unborn killed every day.

There are similar grassroots attempts to remove all ignominy surrounding abortion. A “storytelling and leadership initiative” known as “We Testify,” launched by the National Network of Abortion Funds, wants to “eliminate stigma” and “build community” through a normalization campaign. One “storytelling” example: A young woman, Kelsea McLain, forgot to take her birth control pill, had sex and subsequently became pregnant. She consequently “battled internalized stigma” over the decision to abort her child, something she equates with being “punished.”

The We Testify project is rife with this kind of language. Kristine Kippins had an abortion and subsequently suffered “emotional repercussions” from a “self-imposed stigma.” Amanda Williams said making abortion a “stigmatized … offense” is “cruel.” Samantha Romero was “ashamed” to have an abortion; now she wants to “minimize the shame and stigma surrounding abortions, a common medical procedure.” The project itself laments that the “rich history of abortion storytelling” is often silenced by “shame and stigma.”

If the Democratic Party’s own political contortions are any indication, this campaign is directly over the target. The feminist movement, ever-more single-minded and fanatical about killing the unborn, has recognized that even the slightest whiff of moral opprobrium when it comes to abortion – even the tiniest acknowledgment that abortion really isn’t all that great or desirable – could open the door to a set of thorny and uncomfortable questions, namely: Why isn’t abortion desirable? Why should it be rare?

To answer these questions is invariably to make the case against abortion itself. The old Democratic Party knew abortion is in actuality the killing of an innocent human being – murder – so they were rightly uncomfortable with supporting it. The new Democratic Party knows this, but they are just too cowardly to admit it, so that “rare” had to go.

This new abortion philosophy is a grinding machine that allows for no dissent. The Democratic Party’s own Vice Presidential candidate has publicly admitted that he believes abortion is the murder of innocent human life. Yet he too recently came out in favor of taxpayer funding for abortion. In a healthy society, such a moral monster would be driven out of political office by crashing waves of scorn and revulsion. Instead, we joke about his ham-handed propensity for dad jokes. Such a society deserves precisely what it will get for this behavior.

Here is the truth: Abortion should be stigmatized. It should, in fact, be illegal. But so long as it is legal, we should not pretend it is worthy of anything less than total stigmatization. It is an objectively bad thing. It is not a “common medical procedure” so much as it is the intentional killing of a defenseless, innocent human being. Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine knows this; Hillary Clinton knows it; the Democratic Party knows it; “We Testify” knows it. Everyone knows it: The unborn are innocent human beings, and abortion kills them. This is not a political opinion so much as it is unvarnished scientific fact.

If we are not going to stigmatize the intentional killing of defenseless, innocent human beings, we cannot possibly hope to stigmatize much of anything else.

Stigmatization does not necessarily equate to shaming. Some women are driven to acquire abortions out of paralyzing fear, others through terrible pressure from boyfriends, parents and employers. Such women surely do not deserve to be publicly demeaned. Others, like Rana Barar – a woman who killed a child she could have cared for because she would have “resented” her baby for “draw[ing] resources” away from her family – surely deserve as much shame as our society is capable of producing.

Moral opprobrium directed towards human beings is in no way a one-size-fits-all undertaking. Moral opprobrium towards certain actions in and of themselves, however, is – and one of those actions that deserves universal stigmatization is the targeted killing of innocents.

It is up to the pro-life movement to create a culture that respects, honors and values each and every individual human life. Part of this involves passing laws to protect the unborn; part of it involves funding and staffing crisis pregnancy and resource centers; for those who are capable, it may involve adoption and other forms of direct involvement.

But the starting point of all these undertakings is recognizing that abortion is awful and worthy of being stigmatized as such. If we cannot fight against so simply and so patently obvious a conclusion, we will lose this fight, and we will deserve to lose it.


True Life Medicine

Commentary by Dr. David Prentice, research director for Charlotte Lozier Institute, reprinted from the Aug. 23, 2016, National Right to Life News Today, originally published by the Daily Caller

Stemcell therapies and their lifesaving results are arguably the best-kept medical secret. Stem cells are currently being used in several thousand FDA-approved clinical trials, are treating tens of thousands of patients every year, and cumulatively over 1.5 million people have been treated to date.

Yet these numbers – and the lifesaving results from stem cells for dozens of conditions – are unknown to most. Why the information blackout? Perhaps for lack of an adjective.

You see, those heartening numbers are all due to adult stem cells. Long ignored by the media and disparaged even by many in the scientific community, adult stem cells – those not dependent on the destruction of embryos – are the true gold standard for stem cells, especially when it comes to treating patients.

A recent New York Times piece provides a perfect example of the disinformation campaign. Early on, the author, Gina Kolata, discusses the theoretical nature of stemcell treatments and bemoans the fact that “progress is slow,” almost all research “is still in mice or petri dishes,” and “the very few clinical trials that have begun are still in the earliest phase.”

Whether through ignorance or bias, the sole focus is clearly on embryonic stem cells. Such writing, however, serves to confuse, not illuminate, the facts about stem cells and therapies.

Contrary to the blinkered portrayal of stem cells in the article, there are in fact almost 3,500 ongoing or completed clinical trials using adult stem cells, listed in the NIH/FDA-approved database. Moreover, large numbers of patients have been treated with adult stem cells.

In 2012, there were almost 70,000 patients treated around the globe in that year alone, and almost 20,000 patients treated in just the US in 2014. Cumulatively, it’s been documented that as of December 2012, there had already been over one million adult stemcell transplants. This means that now, over 1.5 million patients have had their lives saved and health improved by adult stemcell transplants.

Our focus is indeed on adult stem cells, both because they are efficacious for patients, as well as because adult stem cells are derived without the destruction of the stemcell donor, unlike embryonic stem cells and fetal stem cells. Both positions are based on the facts of biology.

The New York Times’ Kolata criticizes various “stemcell clinics” within the US, primarily via a paper by two long-time proponents of embryonic stem cells (though this is not disclosed in the article or in the paper), but paints a broad brush across clinics operating legally and ethically as well as the shady operators. It then juxtaposes the critique of US stemcell clinics with the tragic story of a patient who traveled to three different overseas clinics to receive “stemcell injections” and developed a growing mass of cells on his spine from at least one of the injections.

The implied warning is that all US adult stemcell clinics are using similar methods, and, by extension, their patients may experience similar problems. Indeed, many clinics are offshore to avoid FDA rules, but yet again the article drops adjectives and sows confusion.

The New England Journal of Medicine’s source on the case notes that the patient supposedly received proliferating cells including embryonic and fetal stem cells. Certainly all clinics should operate within appropriate ethical and legal boundaries, and patients should receive all information, including published background and whether the cells being used are adult, fetal or embryonic; this is simply a matter of getting full informed consent.

But fearmongering and misinformation help neither the patients nor the science.

The stemcell science deniers continue to denigrate adult stem cells, denying their successes or even at times their existence, by dropping the necessary descriptive adjective [“adult”]. But for patients, adult stem cells are the true gold standard for stem cells. The hope of adult stem cells is being realized right now for thousands of people around the globe. Those stories, those doctors, those patients who have been helped by adult stemcell treatments, deserve to be heard.

People like Cindy Schroeder, who thought she was given a death sentence when she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. But Cindy’s doctor was informed on the facts of modern medicine and was able to inform Cindy and her family that there was hope – from adult stem cells. Over a year after her “stemcell treatment,” Cindy leads a full, active life, and her family is closer than ever. Her story, like that of thousands of others, is not theoretical; it’s real adult stemcell science.