July 2016 Newsletter

Posted By on July 15, 2016

Life Affirming News

 

Human, Without Exceptions

by Kim Laube / LifeDate / Summer 2106

Subsets of humans have been marginalized throughout human existence, but despite all the efforts for personal freedoms, there is still a group being marginalized, being made to feel less than human, and it’s happening in legislatures all over the United States!

The vast majority of “pro-life” legislation comes with a bitter pill to swallow for many who are left to believe that their lives are not worth sparing—those who were conceived in rape and incest. By the measure God provides, these sons and daughters are no doubt human beings that God designed, adores, and sent His Son to die for.

Offering up a rape or incest exception in legislation has become standard protocol with many groups citing the concept that saving some is better than none—but is it? By allowing exceptions into our belief, aren’t we truly agreeing with our opponents that some human life is worthless? Is that the argument God would have us make?

Consider Matthew 18:10-14 (NIV): “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.”

A child conceived in rape or incest is not just “The Child of a Rapist,” he or she is the Child of a Rape Survivor, and more importantly, he or she is a Child of God. Society, by allowing these exceptions, is telling the rape victim that there is no value in her son or daughter’s life, and we expect she will want to have the baby killed! What an incredibly disheartening message to send to the victim of a crime—a crime which by nature leaves many victims doubting their own self-worth in the first place. We compound the wound to the victim by expecting she will want to kill the child she now carries—a child that is a part of her.

To make matters even more pressure-filled, many states allow a rapist to use his parental rights as leverage to get criminal charges dropped. Can you imagine? A rape victim’s choices become: kill her baby and pursue a rape charge, give birth to her baby and attempt to place the child for adoption just to have her rapist intervene and leverage his voluntary termination of parental rights in turn for her dropping any charges, or give birth and parent her child, in which case the rapist could try to trade his visitation and custody rights in exchange for her dropping the rape charge. Is there any justice?

In Iowa, Lutheran Family Service has been working on legislation that would terminate the parental rights of rapists and would not allow them to use their paternity as leverage for dropping criminal charges. Many other states around the nation are enacting similar laws! The Iowa bill unanimously passed the house and senate and was signed by the governor. This law allows a woman both a clear path to choose life for her child without the threat of her rapist having visitation, custody, or any part of their lives and a clear path to seek justice.

We are proud to have been a part of legislation that protects rather than marginalizes the sons and daughters of rape victims. They are our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and their lives are not exceptions!

 

The Physician-assisted Suicide Assault

by Virginia Flo / LifeDate / Summer 2016

By now you have probably heard about the many states that are being targeted with potential bills to legalize physician-assisted suicide. What you may not have heard is that many of those states have had their bills withdrawn or defeated—at least eight states since January 1 of this year. I want to share this because sometimes things seem inevitable and unstoppable when there is a full-scale assault on our religious beliefs.

I live in Minnesota, and our bill was recently withdrawn from a senate hearing by the senate author when support seemed insufficient. We know that probably isn’t the end of it and it could show up again. Yet, we praise the Lord for the heartfelt testimonies of church leaders, pro-life advocates, doctors, nurses, hospice caregivers, lawyers, educators and, most importantly, people with terminal illnesses who shared their stories and pleaded with the senators to set this proposed bill aside.

I had never before sat in on a senate hearing. I went to see how the process works and better understand why people want to legalize physician-assisted suicide. It was clear who was on what side that day as the people from Compassion & Choices—a successor to The Hemlock Society and the group supporting the bill—all wore yellow, while the people against it wore red as a message to “STOP” it. I stood in line for about a half hour and during that time could see groups of people wearing yellow and red talking amongst themselves. It was uplifting to see so many more people dressed in red than yellow that day.

I thought for a bit and then decided to approach a couple of people in yellow standing just a little way away from me. I introduced myself as being from Lutherans For Life, gave them my card, and asked them why they were there. The man immediately said he was a retired internist and was there to support the bill and give testimony. The lady volunteered that she too was Lutheran. She then shared that she was in the final stages of terminal leukemia, which she stated was beyond treatment. She described what she might go through at the very end of her life, saying she wanted to avoid that.

I continued to listen to the woman’s story as she shared that she didn’t know if she would actually use the 90 pills required to induce death. She just wanted them in her medicine cabinet to bring her comfort. She then asked that I not tell her pastor she was there that day supporting the bill. That saddened me, as I would hope everyone would turn to God through his or her pastor to receive comfort through God’s Word which promises He will be with us to the very end.

I asked both of them why they felt death is the only answer to end-of-life issues. The doctor said he felt it was a right. Later, in his testimony, he described how doctors could be over-medicating terminally ill patients and needed the option of assisted suicide. I have to admit that it gave me a shiver down my spine to hear that a doctor wanted to end lives rather than focus on other treatment or pain-relief options in an effort to do no harm.

Many doctors have said they cannot accurately pinpoint when a life will end and refuse to put a timeline on end of life as that could cause undue distress. Bless them for their position and acknowledgement that diagnosing can be inaccurate. God’s timing is perfect, and only He can predict when life ends.

Each of the people who testified that day on behalf of passing the legislation seemed quite sincere. Yet, as I saw this picture unfold, it was apparent there was something horribly wrong when people wanted to use a law to justify the taking of a life or look to a bottle of pills as security to bring comfort. Where is God in this picture?

It was uplifting to hear the side opposed to the bill testify on a need to focus on providing better palliative and hospice care to avoid suffering. When suicide is the first priority, anything that can be done to avoid suffering takes a back seat. Second priorities generally don’t get the same attention as first priorities, and this situation is no different.

When assisted suicide becomes legal, it is deemed a medical treatment. Since the pills are far less expensive than other medical options, it creates a whole new environment in the world of medicine. Doctors have to weigh the advancement of death as an option to other treatments, as will insurance companies.

I thank the Lord that we still have many faithful state legislators who value life, are not fearful of sharing their beliefs and turning back such incredibly harmful legislation. We need to pray for each and every one of them, including those who support these potentially dangerous laws. I am also thankful for the many medical professionals who have spoken up against assisted suicide and who promise not to prescribe lethal drugs that will harm their patients.

As Christians, we have a responsibility to provide comfort to the sick, as we do not want anyone to suffer. That is why we promote work to improve palliative care so doctors will have better means to relieve suffering at life’s end until God calls us home to heaven where there is no suffering.

Let us put our trust in Him.

 

June 2016 Newsletter

Posted By on June 28, 2016

 

Life Affirming News

 

Happy Father’s Day to all Fathers!

“Fathers can do no better work and do nothing more valuable either for God, for Christendom, for all the world, for themselves, and for their children than to bring up their children well…For bringing up their children properly is their shortest road to heaven.”

“Now tell me, when a father goes ahead and washes diapers or performs some other menial task for his child…God, with all his angels and creatures, is smiling-not because that the father is washing diapers, but because he is doing so in Christian faith.” (Martin Luther)

 

Finding their voice: Men speaking out about Abortion

NRL News Today / by Olivia Gans Turner / June 1, 2016

Editor’s note. Father’s Day is June 19. Over the next two and a half weeks I’ll be running some new stories, some older stories about one of the most neglected subject areas in the entire abortion debate: a father’s role and responsibility. The following appeared in the January 2008 edition of National Right to Life News.

The phrase that has been used by American Victims of Abortion (AVA) since our early days in the 1980s as an outreach mission of NRLC has been, “We are the mothers, the fathers, the families. They were our children.”

What does this recognize? That every abortion is truly a death in the family and, often, of a family. This grim reality is at the forefront of the message shared by those that told their stories.

But to help people understand that there is a ripple effect from every abortion that extends out beyond the mother and her child has been a rough row to hoe. It was not really until this past November that a professional conference met to address the pain fathers of aborted children feel.

Sponsored by the National Office of Post-Abortion Recovery and Healing, the conference in San Francisco, California, brought together some of the outstanding men and women it has been my privilege to work with since I entered the pro life movement back in 1982 as well as new faces. The synergy between the veterans and the newcomers meant there would be a wider, more free-wheeling discussion.

The presenters were for the most part physicians, therapists, and researchers committed to engaging our culture. We must reach beyond the commonplace but tragically mistaken notion that women have the sole voice in deciding what happens to a child who has a father, two grandfathers, uncles, and, often, siblings.

As highlighted in the June and September 2008 editions of NRL News, pro-abortion forces are terrified that men might actually find their voices and then discover that they have a platform in the pro-life movement to share their pain.

Although it was not yet called that at the time, the first person I ever heard speak about Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS) was Dr. Vincent Rue, at the 1982 National Right to Life Convention. He articulated perfectly what women like me were living though.

He was also daring enough to suggest, even then, that men as well as women were likely candidates for post-abortion emotional problems. It only made sense if one looked at the reality of the life-and-death nature of the decision being made and how men were completely shut out.

Now 35 years later Dr. Rue is still ahead of the curve. He explained that since 1973 only three major studies have ever been conducted to try to determine the effects of abortion on men.

Three-and-one-half decades post-Roe, men are still truly the forgotten players in the story of every abortion.

Pro-abortion forces are deeply troubled that men are beginning to find a place at the table of PAS concerns. They have long since tried to discredit efforts to discuss the degree of problems women may have after abortion, whether mental or physical.

The discussion about men and abortion threatens many on the pro-abortion side. If we do prove that abortion is not only deadly for our children but also damages mothers and fathers, then, as a society, we must ask ourselves, “Who is abortion good for?”

There were many, many outstanding speakers at the San Francisco conference. Greg Hasek is director of Misty Mountain Ministries and a frequent guest at NRL Conventions. He explored the lack of connectedness many men have to their own father and how this anticipates and aggravates the loss of fatherhood many men feel after an abortion.

Many women have shared with me how the apparent ambivalence shown by their baby’s father at the news of the pregnancy was viewed by them as abandonment. Yet the message given to several generations of young men has been, “Stand back and let her decide!” The results have been a recipe for disaster.

Dr. Catherine Coyle, another presenter, is committed to getting honest conversations started between men and women after an abortion. The best path to healing brings all parties together as they learn to remember their children rather than grieving alone.

Her book “Men and Abortion: A Path to Healing,” is the result of an online research project she initiated. It is an invaluable resource for those looking to expand or provide PAS support to men in their community.

Tom Golden presented wonderful insights into the different ways that men and women grieve. Men need to do something with their pain, so active grief tools need to be developed for them. Memorial project ideas are a good place to help men do something with the hurt.

This was not an Americans-only conference either. The sad facts are that abortion is a worldwide tragedy. Another presenter, Andrzej Winkler, M.A., is a therapist and president of the pro-life society in Poland.

A memory that I have of working in Poland during the 1990s was how often men approached us to talk about their abortion stories. That was something that surprised both of us.

Years of working alongside of good, committed, and compassionate people such as Mrs. Vicki Thorn, the executive director of the National Office of Post-Abortion Healing and Reconciliation, made me conscious of how hard it is to get the layers of complexity that surround abortion even discussed.

For many of the nearly 200 people in attendance, most of whom were male, some of the most powerful moments came when several fathers gave their own testimonies. The sincerity and courage with which they told their stories was the touchstone for the rest of the conference.

As it turned out, there were many other post-abortive fathers in attendance that had come only to find out what the whole thing was about. The fellowship that arose from the honest comments of their peers was heartwarming.

Our children have been forgotten by too many in our culture. Telling our stories whether told by men or by women is an important witness to their brief lives.

 

Dutch Pediatricians Seek Child Euthanasia

NRL News Today / by Michael Cook / May 2, 2016

The Dutch Health Minister, Edith Schippers, has earmarked almost 400,000 Euros for a study of whether to expand eligibility for euthanasia to children between 1 and 12. At the moment, children under 1 may be killed with the consent of their parents following criteria set out in the Groningen Protocols.

Children older than 12 are already eligible.

After neighboring Belgium passed legislation in 2014 enabling child euthanasia, doctors and activists in the Netherlands are keen to catch up.

The Dutch Pediatric Association (NVK) kicked off a debate on the topic last year. It strongly supports a change.

At the moment euthanasia of a child between 2 and 12 is only possible by invoking the doctrine of “force majeure” in the Dutch criminal code, which means that the doctor feels compelled to do it as an emergency measure. But this still leaves him open to prosecution.

The NVK believes that age is an arbitrary criterion and that euthanasia should be available for anyone with mental competence. Some children, even if they are under 12 and desperately ill, are astonishingly rational.

A roundtable discussion at the Dutch Parliament amongst experts in medical care for children in January showed that there is a range of opinions on the topic, although most of the participants were broadly in favor of a change. The Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG) is in favor of studying the issue further.

Not all organizations at the roundtable wanted to amend the law. A Christian group, the NPV, pointed out that “the suffering of the parents should not be a justification for a request for termination of life of the child.” Their position was that “A society that does not protect its children loses its dignity. Let us commit to good palliative care and guidance to children – and their parents – in the last phase of life”.

A spokeswoman for the Dutch Association of Educationalists (NRC), Dr. Miriam Vos, raised questions about what “hopeless and unendurable suffering,” the main criteria for euthanasia in the Netherlands, means for children.

“Children younger than 12 rarely or never speak in terms of hopeless and unbearable suffering. Their verbal and nonverbal expressions may suggest this, but this is always interpreted by their doctor, parents and other health care workers.”

 

Euthanasia Advocates Come Up With a Disgusting New Word to Describe Killing People

Opinion / by Wesley Smith / May 26, 2016  

The euthanasia movement has always been about finding words and terms to mask the harshness of killing as a response to suffering.

Indeed, the word “euthanasia”–good death–did not originally refer to killing. Rather, it meant dying peacefully in a state of grace.

Now, the suicide fanatic Faye Girsh–former head of the Hemlock Society–reporting from a convention of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies, says the psychiatrist that brought euthanasia to the mentally ill in Netherlands has coined an obscuring word to replace “euthanasia” in the movement’s lexicon.

From her summary:

Boudewijn Chabot (de Einder) disclosed the name of the patient whose death 25 years ago brought him into conflict with the Dutch  Supreme Court and opened the way for help for psychiatric patients. He  is now using the term ”dignicide” (which my spell checker is rejecting)  as the word promoted by some to describe a self-selected rational and  dignified death.

You can call a dung beetle a butterfly–but it is still a dung beetle.

LifeNews.com Note: Wesley J. Smith, J.D., is a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture and a bioethics attorney who blogs at Human Exeptionalism. Hospital Stops Abortions After Every Single Doctor Signs Pledge Refusing to Do Them

 

International News: Warsaw, Poland

Steven Ertelt / May 31, 2016

A hospital in Poland has stopped doing abortions after every single physician there signed a pledge refusing to do them. This good news is a lesson for the United States and other countries where abortion is legal — that getting doctors to stand up for life and the Hippocratic Oath is a method of protecting women and unborn children even within the confines of legalized abortion.

A hospital in Rzeszów, Poland has stopped doing abortions after its doctors signed a clause that allows them to opt out because of conscience.

The Specialist Hospital Pro-Familia has become notorious for performing abortions when a midwife named Agata Rejman exposed its activities two years ago.

In January 2014, Rejman spoke at a press conference and testified to the abortions that were being done in the hospital. She said she and others working there cited the conscience clause and said that they refused to be involved in abortion, Rzeszow News reported.

The management responded by demanding that Rejman retract her statements, especially those saying that Pro-Familia “kills children.” Rejman was asked to pay 50,000 zlotych for Podkarpackie Hospice for Children and was threatened with a lawsuit if she failed to do this.

In the U.S. regarding doctors and abortions, the Obama Administration looks like it’s on a mission to trample religious and conscience protections and force as many people as it can to promote and pay for abortions.

Breitbart reports the pro-abortion administration issued a new nondiscrimination policy in the name of “equity” on Friday that pressures doctors and hospitals to promote and perform abortions. Those that don’t would not be eligible for federal funds including Medicare and Medicaid, according to the report.

The “Final Rule” on Obamacare Section 1557 came from the Department of Health and Human Services on Friday, and it largely had to do with discrimination and “gender identity.” While the rule summary does not mention abortion specifically, it explains that the rule “requires that women be treated equally with men in the health care they receive and also prohibits the denial of health care or health coverage based on an individual’s sex, including discrimination based on pregnancy, gender identity and sex stereotyping.”

David Christensen, vice president of government affairs for the Family Research Council, told Breitbart that the new rule mandates that federally funded health care providers offer abortion, among other services.

“Despite concerns raised by FRC and others that the proposed rule also included abortion, the administration chose instead not to exclude it,” Christensen said. “This action erodes Americans’ freedom to believe and act in accordance with their beliefs, not only as it relates to the privacy of the bathrooms but also now when it comes to the taking of innocent human life.”

The rule also does not include any new religious exemptions. According to the rule summary, “the final rule on Section 1557 does not include a religious exemption; however, the final rule does not displace existing protections for religious freedom and conscience.”

 

Making a Persuasive Case for Life

Posted By on May 14, 2016

 

Dr. Christina Francis of the Life Training Institute will illustrate how we can make a reasoned case for the humanity of the unborn.

 

MAKING A PERSUASIVE CASE FOR LIFE Christina Francis

 

Join Dr. Christina Francis of the Life Training Institute as she shows how we can make a reasoned case for the humanity of the unborn. While Christians can point to Scripture which teaches us that children in the womb are fully human and deserve protection, it’s often more difficult for us to make this case in the public square, as we speak to people who do not recognize the truth of God’s Word in Scripture. Dr. Francis will show us how medical science and good reason will lead us to the conclusion that unborn humans are fully human.

Dr. Christina Francis is a board-certified OB/GYN who currently works in Fort Wayne. She completed medical school at IU in 2005, and her residency at St Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis in 2009. As a speaker for Life Training Institute, Dr. Francis offers her medical expertise, knowledge of bioethics, and pro-life reasoning both here in the U.S. and around the globe. She has a passion for human rights and has worked with women and orphaned children in Romania and Burma, university students in Israel, and in a mission hospital in rural Kenya. Dr. Francis left Kenya in 2014 to work on behalf of women and children in her home state and beyond who are often victims of the abortion industry, and to educate people on the greatest social injustice of our time.

 

The event is open to all and there is no charge. If you are attending as a group, please RSVP to the church office at 436-4474 or swlc@southwestlutheran.org.

 

TIME AND PLACE: Sunday, May 15th at 1:00pm

Southwest Lutheran Church

5120 Homestead Rd

Fort Wayne IN 46814

 

 

May 2016 Newsletter

Posted By on May 14, 2016

 

Life Affirming News

 

Happy Mother’s Day

“Lutherans For Life humbly and heartily thanks God our Heavenly Father for all our mothers whose love for their children serves as one of the strongest and sweetest Gospel-motivated voices For Life. Mothers, you have not labored in vain, since in belief of God’s Word and appreciation of His gifts, you are serving the Lord Christ …” To learn more about Lutherans For Life please visit www.lutheransforlife.org.

 

Sperm Bank Sued

Center for Bioethics and Culture  / April 22, 2016

A civil lawsuit has been filed against Xytex Cryo International, a Georgia-based sperm bank. Three families in the lawsuit allege that the sperm bank failed to properly vet their donors, which led to a schizophrenic college dropout with a felony conviction being allowed to donate sperm. The man in question, donor #9623, was profiled as a man with an IQ of 160, multiple degrees in neuroscience, and a clean bill of health.

 

PAS in the Empire State

New York State hosted a debate on a bill, which, if passed, would legalize Physician Assisted Suicide in the state. While it is promoted as the “Death with Dignity” act, it uses the practice of medicine to intentionally take the life of a human being.

 

 3D Printed Ovaries

Scientists at Northwestern University have created a prosthetic ovary in mice, using 3D printing technology. This engineered ovary implant restored the fertility of mice, allowing them to reproduce new life. Perhaps this will have positive impact for women who have compromised fertility.

 

Capturing the moment that life begins

Sarah Knapton, science editor, The Telegraph /  April 26, 2016

Human life begins in bright flash of light as a sperm meets an egg, scientists have shown for the first time, after capturing the astonishing ‘fireworks’ on film.

An explosion of tiny sparks erupts from the egg at the exact moment of conception.

Scientists had seen the phenomenon occur in other animals but it is the first time is has been also shown to happen in humans.

“To see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.”

Professor Teresa Woodruff, Northwestern University

Not only is it an incredible spectacle, highlighting the very moment that a new life begins, the size of the flash can be used to determine the quality of the fertilized egg.

Researchers from Northwestern University, in Chicago, noticed that some of the eggs burn brighter than others, showing that they are more likely to produce a healthy baby.

Eggs flash as they meet sperm enzyme, capturing the moment that life begins could help fertility doctors pick the best fertilized eggs to transfer during in vitro fertilization.

“It was remarkable,” said Professor Teresa Woodruff, one of the study’s two senior authors and an expert in ovarian biology at Northwestern.

“We discovered the zinc spark just five years ago in the mouse, and to see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.

“This means if you can look at the zinc spark at the time of fertilization, you will know immediately which eggs are the good ones to transfer in in vitro fertilization.

“It’s a way of sorting egg quality in a way we’ve never been able to assess before. “All of biology starts at the time of fertilization, yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human.”

“This is an important discovery because it may give us a non-invasive and easily visible way to assess the health of an egg and eventually an embryo before implantation,” said co-author Dr Eve Feinberg, who took care of the patients who provided eggs for the basic science study and collaborated with the research team.

“There are no tools currently available that tell us if it’s a good quality egg. Often we don’t know whether the egg or embryo is truly viable until we see if a pregnancy ensues.

“That’s the reason this is so transformative. If we have the ability up front to see what is a good egg and what’s not, it will help us know which embryo to transfer, avoid a lot of heartache and achieve pregnancy much more quickly.”

 

Legislators Seek Answers from FDA on New Chemical Abortion Standards

LifeWire / April 27, 2016

Lawmakers ask for documents behind FDA change in protocols for administering drugs for chemical abortions.

On Monday, Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Senator James Lankford (R-OK) sent a letter to the federal Food and Drug Administration questioning the agency’s recent move to relax its protocols for administering the RU-486 abortion drug.

The letter, which was signed by a total of 75 members of Congress, says the signatories are “deeply disappointed to learn that you have loosened FDA standards governing use of the abortion drug mifepristone,” which “has been associated with serious adverse events including hemorrhaging, severe infections and even deaths of mothers who have taken it.”

The new standards issued last month allow Mifeprex (one of the two pills RU-486 entails) to be prescribed in 200 milligram doses instead of 600, 70 days after the start of a woman’s last menstrual period instead of 49, and with one fewer trip to an abortionist’s office.

Pro-lifers suspect the change was made for political reasons rather than sound medicine because chemical abortion drugs have been linked to several deaths by sepsis and many personal accounts of negative experiences, particularly in a 2011 study finding that chemical abortions carry substantially higher rates of medical complications than surgical abortions.

 

U.S. Suicides Increasing at Alarming Rates

Live Action News  / April 26,2016

Assisted suicide advocacy is at least partly to blame.

There has been a huge and alarming increase in the U.S. suicide rate. From the CDC announcement:

From 1999 through 2014, the age-adjusted suicide rate in the United States increased 24%, from 10.5 to 13.0 per 100,000 population, with the pace of increase greater after 2006…

Suicide is increasing against the backdrop of generally declining mortality, and is currently one of the 10 leading causes of death overall and within each age group 10-64…

This report highlights increases in suicide mortality from 1999 through 2014 and shows that while the rate increased almost steadily over the period, the average annual percent increase was greater for the second half of this period (2006-2014) than for the first half (1999-2006).

Color me decidedly not surprised.* We are becoming a pro-suicide culture.

I believe the assisted suicide movement bears partial responsibility. Suicides have increased at the very time the assisted suicide movement has been vigorously and prominently promoting self-killing as a proper means to alleviate suffering.

 

 

April 2016 Newsletter

Posted By on April 7, 2016

 

Life Affirming News

 

Please join us in welcoming our new Fort Wayne Lutherans for Life officers :

President: Karen Blank

Vice President: Harriet Stennfeld

Secretary: Dennis Brink

Treasurer: Vicki Layman

We would also like to thank our outgoing president Dennis Brink for his dedication and service to our commitment in affirming and preserving life. And also keep him in your prayers during his recovery from hip surgery.

 

 

Women’s Care Center

Anne Koehl, Fort Wayne Director

Looking back on another busy year we would like to share with you the impact of your generosity and kindness. We were able to serve nearly 2,500 women last year and they made over 12,000 visits. Earning their coupons from attending parenting classes and birth preparation classes allowed our moms to have more than 5,400 shopping visits. In the next few months we will welcome nearly 800 new babies.

 

Adult Stem Cells Cure Blindness

LifeWire / March 30, 2016

Scientists at the University of California San Diego successfully use ethical stem cells to cure cataracts.

If this human breakthrough had occurred with embryonic stem cells, the front page stories would have screamed around the world.

But it was adult stem cells and so the reporting was muted. You see, the media still – after all these years – tend to judge the newsworthiness of a story based on whether a breakthrough is embryonic.

The story is sensational, nonetheless. Adult stem cells have cured blindness and may provide a splendid treatment for cataracts. From the Telegraph story:

“Cataracts can be cured by using a patient’s own stem cells to regrow a ‘living lens’ in their eye, restoring sight in just three months, scientists have shown. In research described as ‘remarkable,’ surgeons reversed blindness in 12 infants born with congenital cataracts by removing the damaged lens and coaxing nearby cells to repair the damage.”

This is great news. And the potential is really exciting…

 

First U.S. Uterus Transplant Fails:

Cleveland Clinic plans to continue with nine other womb transplants

National Review / March 9, 2016

The first womb transplant to take place in the U.S. has failed – under dramatic circumstances. The recipient of the transplant, who was operated on last month, appeared smiling and healthy with doctors at a media conference on Monday (March 7). Yet just a day later there was a sudden complication that required specialists to remove the transplanted uterus.

The clinic released a statement about the emergency operation:

“There is a known risk in solid organ transplantation that the transplanted organ may have to be removed should a complication arise. The medical team took all necessary precautions and measures to ensure the safety of our patient.”

The woman, known only as Lindsey, 26. of Texas said she was recovering well after the womb removal.

 

Irish Looking Abroad for Surrogacy

Since 2011, surrogacy has been on the rise in Ireland with over 80 children born by means of this practice. Of that number, over 60 were born via international surrogacy in India. The recent passage of same-sex marriage in Ireland will doubtlessly expand the surrogacy practice.

 

California Legislator Introduces Bill to Pay for Eggs for Research

A California state assembly leader has introduced new legislation that would compensate women to sell their eggs for research. Such attempts have been introduced in the past, but Governor Jerry Brown vetoed the last bill in 2013.

 

Adult Stem Cells Used to Create Human Heart

LifeWire / March 30, 2016

Scientific team uses scaffolding concept, combining it with ethical skin stem cells, to provide a foundation for new heart cells to be grown onto.

Scientists announced that they had successfully grown a human heart using stem cells. That in itself is a major development. But to the surprise of many these stem cells did not come from embryos, but rather skin cells, making this not only a major development, but an ethical one too.

The ability to create a human heart using stem cells could significantly benefit the over 4,000 people in the United States waiting for a heart transplant. According to the report:

After just two weeks, the networks of lab-grown heart cells already resembled immature but intricately structured hearts. The team gave them a burst of electricity, and the hearts actually started beating.

What was once thought of as a mere dream could very possibly become a reality.

 

Belgium Combines Organ Donation Presumed Consent, Euthanasia

Center for Bioethics and Culture / March 22, 2016

Possibility of donating organs following euthanasia raises ethical concerns with respect to the potential donor’s motivation.

A just published article in the Journal of Medical Ethics argues for allowing killing by organ removal as a form of euthanasia and organ donation.

The authors mention that Belgium has “presumed consent” for organ donation. From the piece:

When a patient is determined dead on the basis of either circulatory or neurological criteria, the treating physician is legally allowed to remove his organs for transplantation.

In case of donation, three non-treating physicians, who are not involved in the transplantation procedure, should independently determine death.

The law explicitly states that relatives should be enabled to say farewell to the deceased as soon as possible after the donation procedure.

In the immoral utilitarian milieu that now reigns in Belgium, this means that doctors could look upon all “suffering” patients as potential organ suppliers.

 

There are 471 reasons to celebrate now that this 40 Days for Life campaign has drawn to a close! That’s how many babies have been saved from abortion – that we know of!

LifeNews / March 16, 2016

Here are more reasons to celebrate – 40 Days for Life locations where abortion centers have closed!

Jacksonville, North Carolina celebrates the closing of an abortion facility that had been in business for decades.

Earlier in the campaign, two facilities in Georgia – in Augusta and Marietta – also shut down.

This was the 16th 40 Days for Life vigil outside the Women’s Pavilion in South Bend – and it should be the last.

In the final days of the campaign, it was announced that the business would shut down on March 18 – Day 38 of this campaign. And it did!

This center had been open for more than 30 years … and had been accused of having “little regard for health standards and women’s safety.” Abortions had stopped at this location, but they were still referring women to other centers for abortions.

Three years ago, pro-life groups bought the building next to the abortion facility and housed a chapel and several other pro-life ministries. All of that prayer certainly had an impact.

“It’s a good day,” Shawn Sullivan, the 40 Days for Life director in South Bend told the media. “There won’t be anybody going next door to get abortions anymore.”

Praise God!

 

Gov.Pence Signs Bill

Washington (CNN) / March 31, 2016

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on Thursday March 31 signed a bill that bars women from seeking an abortion because the child will be born with a disability, a controversial restriction that is one of the tightest abortion laws in the country.

Indiana already has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation, and Pence called the bill, House Enrolled Act 1337, a “comprehensive pro-life measure.”

“HEA 1337 will ensure the dignified final treatment of the unborn and prohibits abortions that are based only on the unborn child’s sex, race, color, national origin, ancestry, or disability, including Down syndrome,” he said in a statement. “Some of my most precious moments as Governor have been with families of children with disabilities, especially those raising children with Down syndrome.

We thank Rep. Casey Cox for authorizing the bill.

 

Assisted Suicide Law Set to Take Effect in California

Center for Bioethics and Culture / March 11, 2016

California will begin permitting assisted suicide this summer. The state’s so-called “End of Life Option Act” green-lighting physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill individuals will go into effect June 9, 2016.

 

 

March 2016 Newsletter

Posted By on March 15, 2016

 

Life Affirming News

 

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand . . . Ephesians 6:12-13

 

Reflection from Carmen Pate

40 Days For Life / March 1, 2016

I am confounded to see how the battle over the issue of life is perceived more often in churches today as political rather than spiritual. Ironically, the enemy has used this twisted perception to silence many in the body of Christ.

We must see the battle for what it is and if we are to be prepared to face the spiritual enemy on the issue of abortion, we must daily “put on” the armor God has given us: Gird your waist with Truth. Put on the breastplate of Righteousness. Shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace. Taking the shield of faith. Taking the Helmet of salvation. Taking the sword of the Spirit.

Our armor is complete. We are ready to wage war, and the next verse tells us how, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit.” (Ephesians 6:18)

Prayer: Dear Lord, as you lead us into the spiritual battle of abortion may we be reminded that the battle is truly Yours. We thank you for equipping us with Your armor. Lead us daily to put it on! Thank you for allowing us to serve under your command, and for hearing our requests for direction and protection. Thank you for the victory that is ours because of Your Son, Jesus, Amen.

Indiana Right to Life statement on Senate passage of House Bill 1337

Indianapolis – Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter issued this statement following passage this afternoon of House Bill 1337 by a 37-13 vote in the Indiana Senate:

“Today’s Senate vote brings us one step closer to ending the disposal of aborted babies as medical waste in Indiana, to safeguarding against the harvesting of baby parts for experimentation, and to preventing discrimination against unborn babies because of disability, sex, or the color of their skin. We now urge the Indiana House to take swift action in bringing this important bill to Governor Pence’s desk.”

 

Cord Blood Donation Bill: The Backstory

Liz Brown and Senate Bill 315 / February 24, 2016

Meet Lydia (2 years old) and Samson (now 6 weeks old).

Their mom, Becky, a staffer of mine, brought the idea of a bill on umbilical cord donation to my attention last fall while she was pregnant with Samson.

Back when she was pregnant with Lydia, she received solicitations from companies to bank her unborn baby’s cord blood. If she had chosen this, she and her husband would have paid a cord blood bank thousands of dollars to store their child’s cord blood cells for a set number of years. Then, if a medical emergency arose in the family, such as a leukemia diagnosis, they would have the cells to use.

As a first-time mom, Becky set out to do a little research about banking. She spoke with stem cell research expert Dr. David Prentice, now of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, and author of this article: LifeNews – Save a Baby’s Life, Save Two Lives with Umbilical Cord Blood. Dr. Prentice shared how public cord blood donation offers an abundance of benefits. He explained if everyone donated, there would likely be a match every time cells are needed from the public bank. You see, cord cells don’t need to be an exact match in transplants like adult stem cells must be. Additionally, cord cells offer an ethical alternative to embryonic stem cells and they are used in medical research for a whole host of diseases from diabetes to cancer. Learn more in Dr. Prentice’s article here.

After hearing the benefits of donation, Becky talked to her doctor and her hospital before Lydia’s due date about her desire to donate her child’s cord blood. Unfortunately, she faced roadblocks because her hospital didn’t participate in cord blood donation (even though participation is completely free for hospitals). She even spoke with the local public donation collection organization, Life Line Stem Cell, in New Haven, Ind., but there was no way to get her child’s cord blood from the hospital to the bank. When Lydia came, her cord blood was thrown out.

As Becky and her husband approached their second child’s due date, things were different. This time they were set to deliver at a different hospital. They were assured that upon hospital admittance they would be offered the option to donate. And Becky tells me, that’s exactly what happened. The donation process was simple and completely free and harmless.

Now Samson’s cord blood has been donated to a public bank where it could be used for a transplant, to save a patient with cancer, or in medical research to find cures.

My cord blood bill, Senate Bill 315, doesn’t make cord blood donation mandatory by hospitals or mothers. Rather it raises awareness of this life-saving process by providing expectant mothers with information on cord donation. My bill passed two committees and the Senate and House chambers with all unanimous votes. It now awaits the Governor’s signature.

Cord blood donation recognizes that every life is a gift.

 

Operation Rescue : New Report Verifies Data: Abortion Clinics are Closing at a “Record Pace”

LifeWire / Feb. 24, 2016

One abortion clinic closes on average each week. Since 1991, number of surgical abortion facilities has fallen by 81%.

Already in 2016, there have been nine abortion facilities that have closed or announced imminent closures. Even given that two of the closures are expected to be temporary, abortion clinic closures continue on an average pace of one closure per week.

In a report released on December 22, 2015, Operation Rescue documented that 54 abortion facilities closed or halted all abortion services during that calendar year.

 

Quick Updates: from Center for Bioethics and Culture

February 19, 2016

Physician Assisted Suicide Debated in Iowa

The battle for physician assisted suicide has reached yet another state — this time Iowa — where it remains unclear whether or not it will move ahead from committee to the full Senate for full consideration.

 

Euthanasia Week Celebrated in the Netherlands

The Netherland’s Right to Die organization focused on 15 years of legalized euthanasia in the country by hosting an official “Euthanasia Week.” The week was marked with documentary films and a public awareness campaign — particularly geared toward the youth. To date, over 5,000 citizens die in the Netherlands each year utilizing the country’s euthanasia laws.

 

IVF Conceived Children Face Poor Health Outcomes

A new study in the journal, Human Reproduction, warns that IVF conceived children may suffer poor health outcomes such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.