American Life League Associates Newsletter
February 14, 2005
Vol. 2, No. 7
Please join me in welcoming another new Associate group from Texas! Texans Opposed to Planned Parenthood (TOPP), founded and directed by Daniel Vinzant, exists to oppose Planned Parenthood in a six county area surrounding Dallas. Specifically, TOPP volunteers pray and demonstrate outside of a Dallas Planned Parenthood abortuary five days a week. They also monitor the local newspaper and plan events to counter Planned Parenthood functions within the community. TOPP has a guest speaker each month to discuss "Theology of the Body" and also supports two local groups that teach abstinence in the public schools. TOPP is available to assist other groups throughout the state of Texas. We welcome TOPP and look forward to assisting them in any way we can!
- Children of God for Life
Children of God for Life’s executive director, Debi Vinnedge, has issued a consumer warning that a new flu vaccine in early human testing is being produced by Vaxin, a Birmingham, Alabama biotech firm, using aborted fetal cell lines.
“There are ethical alternatives to aborted fetal cell lines for use in vaccines,” said Vinnedge. “None of the current flu vaccines on the market today use objectionable sources. Why should we start now? Why even one of Vaxin's competitors for a new flu vaccine, Protein Sciences, is using caterpillar cell lines! Certainly no one has a problem with that!"
Ronald Brus, the CEO of Crucell, the company that created PER C6, was quoted as saying the cell line, which was taken from the retinal tissue of an 18-week gestation baby, is not problematic because the mother donated the fetus and no further abortions would be needed to sustain production. “Mr. Brus is being disingenuous by glossing over the fact that these cell lines came from babies killed by abortion,” said Vinnedge. “The truth is abortion violently takes the life of a living human being and is always wrong. Therefore, using cell lines obtained from aborted babies is always wrong as well.”
Children of God for Life urges you to voice your complaint! Debi also asks that you copy her on any correspondence so that she can track and prove public response. Call or write to complain:
Vaxin Inc. / ATTENTION: Francis R. Cano, Ph.D., CEO / 500 Beacon Parkway West / Birmingham, AL 35209-3108 / Phone: 205-943-8740 / FAX: 205-943-8565
Copy your correspondence via email, US Mail or fax to: Children of God for Life / 943 Deville Drive E. Largo, FL 33771-1122 / Fax: 727-530-7564.
- Pro-Life Waco: From Agape Press – Monday February 7, 2005
A Texas pro-life group wants people to know that a group that raises money for breast cancer research also donates money to an abortion provider, even though medical evidence points to a link between abortion and the disease. For 21 years, the Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation has staged its "Race for the Cure," which -- according to the group's website -- raises significant funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer and celebrates breast cancer survivorship. Numerous studies have shown a link between abortion and the occurrence of breast cancer. That is why John Pisciotta of the group Pro-Life Waco cannot understand why his city's "Komen Race for the Cure" makes a $35,000 grant to Planned Parenthood each year. "Abortion is a widely recognized risk factor for breast cancer," the pro-life activist explains. "[T]his is an organization that is not only killing the unborn babies, but leaving women with an increased risk of breast cancer." Pisciotta adds that people should also be concerned about the Komen Foundation because it refuses to recognize and acknowledge abortion as a risk factor for breast cancer. According to Pisciotta, Planned Parenthood in other Texas cities has also been the recipient of the Komen Foundation grant.
Pro-Life Waco also wants you to know about McLennan County Court-at-Law Judge Tom Ragland who dismissed charges Monday February 7 against 18 defendants in a case that pitted preachers and other abortion opponents against a year-old city ordinance regulating the time, place and manner of demonstrations in school zones.
Ragland deliberated less than one hour after a daylong retrial of the case before dismissing the charges against three preachers, their followers and other community activists opposed to Planned Parenthood's Columbus Avenue clinic, where abortions are performed each Wednesday morning.
From ALL Headquarters:
- American Life League's National Pro-life T-shirt Day
American Life League's third annual National Pro-life T-shirt Day is Tuesday April 26. Last year hundreds of thousands of people participated and we are looking for another huge turnout. We encourage you to wear your pro-life shirt anywhere and everywhere you go this April 26.
If you have a pro-life T-shirt, wear it. If you need one, we have a special National Pro-life T-shirt Day shirt specifically designed for this year’s event. Official shirts are available here. Shirts are only $5.00, plus shipping and handling.
- Rock for Life's March for Life wrap-up video
When you have some time, check out this awesome one-minute video that staff members here at ALL produced as a wrap up to the March for Life weekend.
- ALL's Crusade for Life 2005
This summer, from May 23 to July 31, 50 Catholic college students will embark on three separate walks to bear witness to the sanctity of life and spread the pro-life message. To volunteer, sponsor a Crusader or find out about other ways to help, contact David Dufresne by e-mail or call 888-546-2580.
- Destroyed embryo deemed human
A frozen embryo destroyed in a Chicago fertility clinic was a human being whose parents are entitled to file a wrongful-death lawsuit, a Cook County judge ruled Friday February 4. Attorneys on both sides of the abortion issue said it was the first such ruling they had heard of as the country debates whether stem cells derived from embryos can be used in research and medicine.
Judge Jeffrey Lawrence II said "a pre-embryo is a 'human being' ... whether or not it is implanted in its mother's womb" and the couple is entitled to seek the same compensation awarded to other parents whose children are killed. "Philosophers and theologians may debate," he wrote, "but there is no doubt in the mind of the Illinois Legislature when life begins. It begins at conception."
- Child with cerebral palsy who could not see or speak does both following umbilical cord stem cell therapy
During December 2004 the Sinclair Broadcast Group produced and aired a 5-minute video news segment concerning the promise and utility of umbilical cord stem cell therapy. The video focuses on Adam Susser and his father, prominent Florida consumer affair's attorney, Gary Susser. Adam was cortically blind and could not speak prior to receiving human umbilical cord stem cells. He now can both see and speak.
This 5-minute segment is now available online for viewing at no charge(drop down to item 12).
Dr. Payne at Steenblock Research Institute wants those who elect to view the video to be aware of this:
“In the video the FDA raises two issues: (1) potential disease contamination of stem cells; and (2) rejection. The human umbilical cord stem cells (hUCSC) used by physician Fernando Ramirez in Mexico (shown in the video) are rigorously screened and certifiably free of major disease pathogens like Hepatitis A, B, C, HIV, cytomegalovirus and such. Also, as no blood antigens get into the hUCSC mix used by Ramirez et al, the likelihood of rejection is nil. And indeed, in over 100+ cases I've followed over the last 2 years and in the hundreds of documented cases worldwide involving use of pure cord blood-derived stem cells, rejection is so rare (and so mild when it does crop up) as to be virtually a non-issue.”
New Mexico state senator introduces legislation promoting umbilical cord donation for stem cell treatment
New Mexico state Senator Nancy Rodriguez introduced legislation on February 2 that would require doctors to inform pregnant women about umbilical cord blood donations and compel hospitals to allow such donations in an effort to promote stem cell treatment in the state. The Umbilical Cord Blood Banking Act would provide the state's Department of Health with $25,000 to publish and distribute pamphlets with information concerning umbilical cord blood donation. According to Rodriguez, approximately 400 cord-blood transplants take place annually in New Mexico. Florida, Illinois, Texas and Maryland currently have laws promoting cord-blood donations, and another four states are considering similar laws.
Editorial Note: Unfortunately, President Bush's fiscal year 2006 budget proposal would eliminate $9.9 million for a program that collects umbilical cord blood cells after childbirth.
Pro-lifers outraged as Britain grants Dolly's doc license to clone; U.S. ethicists urge abandoning ESCR for superior adult stem-cell study
The British government’s Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority has granted approval and given a license to clone human embryos for medical research to Professor Ian Wilmut of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute. Wilmut, the scientist behind the cloning of the sheep known as “Dolly,” will use the bodies of these cloned human beings to harvest embryonic stem cells.
According to Reuters news reports, Wilmut plans to obtain embryonic stem cells for use in his investigations into Motor Neuron Disease (MND). This is only the second time such a license has been granted in Great Britain, where human reproductive cloning is against the law, but where creating embryos as a source of stem cells to treat or cure disease, is allowed on approval.
However, there are those who dispute both the value and ethics of embryonic stem-cell research (ESCR) and therapeutic cloning of embryos. While leaders in the scientific community tout human embryonic research in the interest of scientific and medical advancement, pro-life groups like the American Life League call human cloning "an evil step that should never be taken."
Many opponents of ESCR and therapeutic cloning feel the creation of human embryos just to harvest their stem cells amounts to farming and then slaughtering unborn children. The dehumanizing process is viewed as all the more offensive to these pro-life advocates in light of their contention that research into the use of adult stem cells has made ESCR unnecessary.
American Life League, the Christian Medical Association, and other pro-family and pro-life advocates identify the battle to stop human cloning as an important opportunity to turn the tide against what they term the "culture of death" in America. ALL's Judie Brown warns against a practice that would turn human beings into commodities and treat unborn babies as guinea pigs. "Human beings should never be brought into existence for the sole purpose of having their lives destroyed in the name of science," she insists.
When I caught sight of Him, I fell down at His feet as though dead. He touched me with His right hand and said, "Do not be afraid. I am the first and the last, the one who lives. Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever. I hold the keys to death and the netherworld."