abortion: ABORTION ONLINE, COMPARING METHODS, WHAT IS ABORTION?
bioethics: MADE TO ORDER BABIES, SHOW ME THE MONEY!
birth control pill: CARDIOVASCULAR RISK IN TEENS
depo-provera: DISCONTINUATION RATES
misoprostol (cytotec): PREGNANCY TREATMENT?
planned parenthood: TARGETING MINORITIES
prenatal surgery: BRITAIN
ru-486 (mifepristone): SIDE EFFECTS
salvation army: OFFICIAL POSITION ON ABORTION
zinger: AMERICA’S MORAL BLINDNESS
reflection for prayer: THOMAS a KEMPIS
ABORTION ONLINE: Planned Parenthood of New York City provides online guidance to centers where surgical and chemical abortions can be obtained.
COMPARING METHODS: Abortionist Mitchell Creinin evaluated differences between medical and surgical abortion methods by studying expectant mothers whose babies’ gestational ages did not exceed 49 days. Creinin concludes that women should always be counseled to understand that there are two options so that they can have a choice of methods.
(Reading: “Randomized Comparison of Efficacy, Acceptability and Cost of Medical Versus Surgical Abortion,” Contraception, 62 (2000), pp. 117-124; must be a paid subscriber to access the article. )
WHAT IS ABORTION? A recently released Zogby poll found that 51% of Americans believe that abortion is manslaughter.
COMMENT: Comparing this to the June 2000 Los Angeles Times poll which found that 57 percent of those polled considered abortion murder while two-thirds of the same group said “the highly personal decision to obtain an abortion should be left to a woman and her doctor,” it is clear that a great deal more must be done to focus attention on the personhood of the child from conception (fertilization). The conflict in opinions points to a moral blindness that requires basic education in scientific fact.
MADE-TO-ORDER BABIES: Scientists Gregory Stock and Lee Silver predict that within twenty years or so, parents will be able to special order children through human germline engineering. Silver says, “There’s nothing beyond tinkering.”
(Reading: “Building a Better Baby,” Associated Press, 3/8/00)
SHOW ME THE MONEY! A joint venture by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the Georgetown University Law Center is being funded by a $900,0000 grant from the federal government’s Centers for Disease Control. The “Center for Law and Public Health” will work to “strengthen the contribution law makes to improved health.”
COMMENT: Or, stated another way, this diabolical marriage will result in more of the ideological legal perspectives that have brought America abortion on demand, deadly human embryo research and other decriminalized acts of human destruction!
(Reading: “Center for Law and the Public’s Health Established by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Georgetown University Law Center,” news release, 11/20/00)
birth control pill
CARDIOVASCULAR RISK IN TEENS: Researchers have found “significant relationships between OC [oral contraceptive] use and cardiovascular risk factors, i.e. high total cholesterol and smoking. The first implication is a need for further research on lipoprotein profile in young OC users. Secondly, the combined use of OC and smoking in teenagers calls for preventive actions.” The study was conducted in Belgium.
(Reading: “Oral Contraception and Cardiovascular Risk Factors During Adolescence,” Contraception, 62 (2000), pp. 113-116; must be a paid subscriber to access the article. Contraception is the official journal of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals)
DISCONTINUATION RATES: Researchers in Thailand found that among those adult women who use the injectible abortifacient, depo-provera (DMPA, depot medroxyprogesterone acetate), the discontinuation rate is high due to irregular bleeding. Among the 108 adolescents studied, the reasons for discontinuation also included weight gain.
(Reading: “Use of Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate in Thai Adolescents,” Contraception, 62 (2000), pp. 137-140; must be a paid subscriber to access the article.)
PREGNANCY TREATMENT? Researchers analyze the data pertinent to the use of misoprostol as a precursor to induced abortion, as a cervical ripening agent and as a part of the RU-486 (Mifepristone/ Mifeygyne) regimen, lauding it in the conclusion as “one of the most important medications in obstetrical practice” while decrying the fact that the FDA persists in withholding approval.
On its web site, the FDA posts a letter from Searle, the manufacturer of Cytotec, that warns of maternal death and serious side effects.
In a second editorial comment, members of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynocologists blast Searle for the warning, claiming that ACOG should have been contacted and the pharmaceutical company’s decision discussed in advance of the warning.
And in a letter, Searle responds, stating that they were guided by “our desire for the safe use of our products, and by our respect for health caregivers and their patients.”
(Reading: “Misoprostol and Pregnancy,” New England Journal of Medicine, 1/4/01, pp. 38-47, complete text available only to subscribers; “Use of Misoprostol in Pregnancy,” New England Journal of Medicine, 1/4/01, pp. 59-60; “Manufacturer’s Warning Regarding Unaproved Use of Misoprostol, New England Journal of Medicine, 1/4/01, p. 61; Searle warning letter)
TARGETING MINORITIES: A visit to the Planned Parenthood of New York City’s Margaret Sanger Center International web site is most revealing.
ATTITUDES: Some 482 physicians responded to a recent questionnaire involving eight different actions currently disallowed by the American Medical Association. “Despite medical society policies, the majority of physicians surveyed approved of most disallowed actions involving capital punishment, indicating that they believed it is acceptable in some circumstances for physicians to kill individuals against their wishes. It is possible that the lack of stigmatization by colleagues allows physicians to engage in such practices.”
(Reading: “Physicians’ Attitudes About Involvement in Lethal Injection for Capital Punishment,” Archives of Internal Medicine, 12/22/00, pp. 2912-2916, must be a subscriber to access complete text.)
BRITAIN: A seven-week-old boy’s parents rejoice at the fact that he is alive and well. When he was 16 weeks gestational age in his mother’s womb, doctors gave him a blood transfusion. Over the following weeks, they repeated the process nine times. He was delivered at 34 weeks of age and is thriving. The little boy’s mother developed rhesus haemolytic disease, which allows antibodies “to cross the placenta and attack the baby in the womb.”
(Reading: “Womb Injections Save Baby,” BBC News, 01/03/01)
SIDE EFFECTS: In India researchers studied 893 women in a multi-center evaluation of the side effects and effectiveness rates of chemical abortion caused by using RU-486 with either mifepristone or misoprostol. The researchers identified common side effects with both combinations including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, high fever and severe abdominal pain. In addition, six patients required intravenous infusion of glucose and saline, and two patients required transfusions due to profuse bleeding.
(Reading: “A Multicentre Randomized Comparative Clinical Trial of 200 mg RU486 (Mifepristone) Single Dose Followed by Either 5 mg 9-methylene PGE2 Gel (Metenprost) or 600 mg Oral PGE1 (Misoprostol) for Termination of Early Pregnancy Within 28 Days of Missed Menstrual Period,” Contraception, 62 (2000), pp. 125-130; must be a paid subscriber to access the article.)
OFFICIAL POSITION ON ABORTION: The Salvation Army adopted a position on abortion, excerpted here: “The Salvation Army believes in the sanctity of all human life and considers each person to be of infinite value and each life a gift from God.” A further statement on family planning reads, in part, “It is recognized, however, that many married couples will find it necessary to limit the number of their children for reasons of health, economics and other factors. Any such decision, including the contraceptive means to be used, should be taken responsibly and where necessary under medical advice.
“Abortion should not be obtained, except in those rare instances where in the judgment of competent medical and allied staff the pregnancy poses a serious threat to the life of the mother or could result in irreversible physical injury to the mother; and in those instances of proven rape or legally defined incest or where reliable diagnostic procedures determine that a fetal anomaly is present which is incompatible with post-natal survival for more than a few weeks, or where there is total or virtual absence of cognitive function.
“There may be instances where a husband or wife may submit to sterilization, but as with abortion this should be performed only on competent medical advice.”
(Reading: “Abortion,” “Family Planning,” Salvation Army web site)
AMERICA’S MORAL BLINDNESS: A perspective from the archives — Anthropologist Penni Carmosino, published by California State University, writes of the history of eugenics, “genetic testing is not able to predict whether an individual will exhibit a trait that they might carry. In addition, do we have the right to discriminate against people with disabilities? In January of this year (1996) the Chicago Tribune ran an editorial comment on ‘China’s new law that will “advise” abortion for any woman carrying a fetus showing abnormalities and require premarital screening for genetic disorders, calling it a repellent expression of super-race thinking.’ This new law reinforces China’s already existing policy which regulates the number of children a couple may have in addition to requiring abortions and sterilization to prevent births of children with disabilities. It is astounding that our media and government criticize China’s policies, yet they are blind to the policies our country is gearing up to make.”
(Reading: “From Darwin to the Human Genome Project“)
reflection for prayer
THOMAS A KEMPIS: Imitation of Christ, Book 2, Chapter 6:
To glory in tribulation is not hard to him that loves, for so to glory is to glory in the cross of Our Lord.
That glory is short-lived which is given and taken by men.
The glory of this world is always accompanied by sorrow.
The glory of good men is in their own consciences not in the mouths of men.
The joy of the just is from God and in God, and they rejoice in the truth.
He that desires true and everlasting glory values not that which is temporal.
And he that seeks after temporal glory or does not heartily despise it, shows himself to have but little love for that which is heavenly.
That man has great tranquility of heart who cares neither for praises nor dispraises.