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Home » News » Communique – Aug. 9, 2002

Communique – Aug. 9, 2002

in this issue:

activism: MTV EXPOSED
bush watch: UNFPA OR USAID
human embryo: FERTILIZATION
morning-after abortion pill: WHEN WORDS KILL
organ transplantation: DONORS AND HEARTBEAT
stem cells: ETHICAL SOURCE
terminal sedation: SEDATED TO DEATH?
reflection for prayer: THOMAS A KEMPIS


MTV EXPOSED: Rock for Life recently protested at the MTV studios in New York City. Erik Whittington, one of Rock for Life’s founders, said, “If America’s youth want something to rebel against, their search is over. Everyone does what MTV says, so why don’t you be truly rebellious and join our side? Choose life, choose abstinence, choose chastity — that’s rebellion. Choosing abortion, choosing promiscuity — that’s the norm.”

(Reading: “Christians protest MTV, offer up alternative programming,” Cybercast News Service, 7/30/02)

birth control pill

AGING OF CERVIX: Did you know that the birth control pill contributes to aging of the cervix? To learn more, see Ageing of the cervix.

IMMUNE SYSTEM RISKS: In evaluating a recent study, John Wilks, B. Pharm, says, “In a study comparing the effects of the pill on the function of critical aspects of the female immune system, Auerbach and co-workers reported that Marvelon or Cileste caused ‘significant differences in the lymphocyte levels of suppressor/cytotoxic and NK (natural killer) cell function.’ The results for the pill-using group were compared to the levels of these immune system cells for women who do not use the pill. The authors noted that their results ‘need cautious interpretation regarding changes of the immune system and possible risks of disease.”

(Reading: “Influence of low-dose oral contraception on peripheral blood lymphocyte subsets at particular phases of the hormonal cycle,” Fertility and Sterility, 7/02)

NO WEIGHT INCREASE, BUT … Researchers find that teenagers who use the pill will not gain weight or experience increased body fat, but do develop less favorable blood lipid patterns. The researchers admit that the long-term effects of this alteration in blood lipids is unknown.

(Reading: “Oral contraceptive use by teenage women does not affect body composition,” Obstetrics and Gynecology, 8/02)

bush watch

UNFPA OR USAID? $34 million was withheld from UNFPA because of alleged UNFPA support for Chinese coercive abortion policies. The funds were given instead to a USAID program known as the Child Survival and Health Program Fund, a project dedicated to “family planning” and “reproductive health” programs.

COMMENT: To learn the facts, go to Library of Congress and search for HR 2506 to read legislation on the program.

(Reading: Daily Press Briefing, U.S. State Department, 7/22/02; “Redirection of $34 million a ‘stab in the back,'” American Life League news release, 7/23/02)


MARKETING A DISEASE: Are pharmaceutical firms creating diseases so that they can sell new drugs? According to Brendan Koerner’s report, a “hidden epidemic” identified as “generalized anxiety disorder” crept into the news in 2001. Afterward, the FDA approved a new drug called Paxil.

COMMENT: The report is ugly, but if you consider how the FDA has failed for more than 35 years to admit that abortion occurs at least some of the time when the birth control pill is taken, Koerner’s report makes perfect sense.

(Reading: “First you market the disease … then you push the pills to treat it,” The Guardian (UK), 7/30/02)

human embryo

FERTILIZATION: Scientists have discovered the “sperm-specific trigger” needed for conception/fertilization to occur. The discovery could also have implications for treating male infertility and developing male contraceptives. “It could also advance research into therapeutic cloning [sic] and embryonic stem cells.”

(Reading: “PLC: a sperm-specific trigger of Ca2+ oscillations in eggs and embryo development,” Development, 8/1/02, pp. 3533-3544; “British scientists find key to fertilization,” Reuters, 7/17/02)

morning-after abortion pill

WHEN WORDS KILL: In an article purportedly describing the facts about so-called emergency contraceptive pills, fashion magazine Marie Claire reports the pills work “by making the uterine environment unfavorable for implantation.” The magazine does not, however, call this abortion. A health magazine, Prevention, says the pills can “stop a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. It does not stop a pregnancy that has already started.”

COMMENT: Pregnancy begins when the human being begins — at conception. But these wordsmiths will not admit that fact when abortion is the goal. See the facts at Morning After Pill.

(Reading: “Morning-after pills, what you don’t know,” Marie Claire, 7/02, p. 217; “Birth control emergency,” Prevention, 8/02, p. 152)

(Contact: Marie ClairePrevention)

organ transplantation

DONORS AND HEARTBEAT: Based on concerns that a growing number of patients are waiting on kidney transplants, and aware of the possibility that patients whose hearts have stopped beating would be ideal for harvesting, Swiss researchers studied 122 patients without a heartbeat (according to the Maastricht protocol). Resuscitation was attempted, and 56 of the patients failed to be revived; cardiac arrest occurred before brain death, a decision to continue life support was made and the kidneys were removed for transplant. An accompanying editorial states “cardiac death is common, yet the public’s perception that resuscitation after the cessation of a heartbeat is a routine practice makes necessary the establishment of a very clear definition of cardiac death.”

(Reading: “Kidney transplantation from donors without a heartbeat,” New England Journal of Medicine,” 7/25/02, pp. 248-255; “Donors without a heartbeat,” New England Journal of Medicine, 7/25/02, pp. 281-282)

stem cells

ETHICAL SOURCE: Researchers report that the mesenchymal stem cells from adult bone marrow (multipotent adult progenitor cells) are pluripotent and provide promise because of their ability to differentiate beyond expectation.

(Reading: “Pluripotency of mesenchymal stem cells derived from adult bone marrow,” Nature, 6/20/02, pp. 1-9; “Evidence that adults stem cells differentiate like embryonic stem cells published in ‘Nature,'” Science Daily, 6/18/02)

terminal sedation

SEDATED TO DEATH? Pro-life ethicist Nancy Valko, RN, has written an analysis of what the term “terminal sedation” means and why it is another tool of the euthanasia movement.

(Reading: “Sedated to death? When ‘comfort care’ becomes dangerous,” Voices, 5/02; pro-death groups defending the practice include the Hemlock Society) and World Right to Die.


RIGHT TO CHOOSE … TO DIE: Faye Girsh of the Hemlock Society writes, “Those of us who defend a person’s right to choose a peaceful, quick, and certain death, preferably with the help of a physician, do not mean to imply that a hastened death is the only way to achieve dignity at the end of life. But the dignity of all individuals is minimized if they are not allowed to make their own choices.”

(Reading: “Dignity-conserving care at the end of life,” Journal of the American Medical Association, 7/10/02, p. 162)

reflection for prayer

THOMAS A KEMPIS: Blessed is that simplicity that leaveth the difficult ways of dispute, and goeth on in the plain and sure path of God’s commandments.

(Reading: Imitation of Christ, Book IV, Chapter 18, Section 2)