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Pro-Life Infonet Weekly 8/1/02

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  • right2life@aol.com
    This Week s Headlines Senate Committee Passes Pro-Abortion Treaty Family Research Council Forum Shows Abortion Hurts Women China Increases One-Child Rule
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2002
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      This Week's Headlines

      Senate Committee Passes Pro-Abortion Treaty
      Family Research Council Forum Shows Abortion Hurts Women
      China Increases One-Child Rule Violation Fines
      Senate Committee Changes Pro-Life International Abortion Policy
      Self Magazine Accused of Bias on Abortion-Breast Cancer Link
      New Research Shows More Adult Stem Cell Success

      --------------------
      From: The Pro-Life Infonet Weekly <infonet@...>
      Reply-To: Steven Ertelt <infonet@...>
      Subject: Senate Committee Passes Pro-Abortion Treaty
      Source: AP, Reuters, Natl Right to Life; July 30, 2002

      Senate Committee Passes Pro-Abortion Treaty

      Washington, DC -- A Senate panel on Tuesday recommended ratifying a
      pro-abortion international treaty supporters claim promotes equality for
      women.

      The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 12-7 to approve the treaty,
      known as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
      Against Women (CEDAW). Republicans Gordon Smith of Oregon and Lincoln
      Chafee of Rhode Island joined the panel's 10 Democrats in favoring the
      treaty.

      The Bush administration had asked the committee to delay the vote, saying
      other treaties pending before the Senate were more pressing and that it
      wanted more time to review the treaty for problems.

      But pro-abortion committee chairman Joe Biden (D-DE) said that if the
      committee didn't act now, there was little hope of getting the full Senate
      to ratify it before Congress ends this year. He said any changes
      recommended by the Bush administration could be considered when the treaty
      goes to the Senate floor.

      The treaty urges nations to remove barriers to equality for women in
      education, employment, marriage and divorce, health care, and other areas.
      It has been ratified by 170 countries.

      Biden called the treaty ``a tool which strengthens the ability of the
      United States as well as women's advocates around the world to press
      nations to expand rights for women.'' He said the treaty won't affect the
      U.S. legal system because it isn't enforceable in U.S. courts.

      Having passed the committee, the treaty can now be brought before the full
      Senate for ratification. A two-thirds majority, or 67 votes, would be
      required to ratify the treaty. No action is required in the House of
      Representatives.

      Pro-life observers expect CEDAW to be brought up for a vote prior to the
      November mid-term elections, in an attempt to embarrass the Bush
      administration for its reservations about the pro-abortion language and
      paint him as anti-women.

      The committee's top Republican, pro-life Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), had
      wanted to delay the vote and said the traty could be used to advocate
      abortion.

      "There can be no doubt that CEDAW supporters are attempting to use this
      treaty to advance their radical abortion agenda," Helms explained. "This is
      evident in [CEDAW] committee reports directing Ireland to legalize
      abortion, and criticizing Ireland for the Church's influence in public
      policy."

      Biden and pro-abortion Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) dismissed Helms' point
      in a recent opinion letter: "Opponents warn that the treaty's call for
      universal access to family planning is really a disguised call for a right
      to abortion services. That is a charge with no basis in fact."

      However, diplomats at recent UN meetings have affirmed that family planning
      includes abortion.

      Biden and Boxer also added: "In 1994, the State Department certified that
      the treaty is abortion-neutral; that same year, the Committee on Foreign
      Relations agreed to a proposal, sponsored by Sen. Jesse Helms, making clear
      that nothing in the treaty shall be construed as creating any right to an
      abortion."

      But Helms chastised the two for invoking his name inaccurately.

      "I strongly disagree," he said, referring to the claim that CEDAW is
      "abortion neutral" because of his amendment. "The negotiated provision of
      my proposal was so watered-down, that the amendment would not result in
      CEDAW's radical abortion agenda being eliminated."

      Helms noted that, despite the inclusion of a weakened version of his
      amendment, he voted against ratification of CEDAW in 1994 because of the
      pro-abortion nature of the treaty.

      In a statement released following the vote, the National Right to Life
      Committee said it "strongly opposes ratification of CEDAW because it has
      been construed by U.N. agencies, by the European Parliament, and by
      pro-abortion activists in the United States to be inconsistent with any
      limitations on abortion."

      The "resolution of ratification" approved by the Senate committee contains
      language expressing an "understanding" that the treaty does not "reflect or
      create any right to abortion," but the NRLC statement explains language is
      a "sham," because such an "understanding" has no effect on the actual legal
      requirements of the treaty.

      Ratification of the treaty is supported by the National Abortion and
      Reproductive Rights Action League
      (NARAL), Planned Parenthood, and other pro-abortion groups.

      ---
      Please support the Pro-Life Infonet Weekly with a donation to: Women and
      Children First, P.O. Box 523143, Springfield, VA 22152



      --------------------
      From: The Pro-Life Infonet Weekly <infonet@...>
      Reply-To: Steven Ertelt <infonet@...>
      Subject: Family Research Council Forum Shows Abortion Hurts Women
      Source: Pro-Life Infonet; July 25, 2002

      Family Research Council Forum Shows Abortion Hurts Women

      Washington, DC -- If the recent debate over partial-birth abortion is any
      indication, abortion advocates are sticking to the mantra that abortion is
      beneficial for a woman's health.

      Not so say Elizabeth Shadigian and Joel Brind, two leading researchers on
      abortion's effects on women, who say women can suffer a range of short and
      long-term complications from abortion.

      As part of a series of lectures designed to highlight the Family Research
      Council's "Building a Culture of Life," a broad-based action plan for
      reducing abortion, the two focused on the much ignored dangers of abortion
      to the lives and health of women. The symposium is also a part of the Women
      Deserve Better campaign, an effort by FRC and several pro-life
      organizations to emphasize the pro-woman message.

      Abortion can take a tragic toll on the physical health of a woman, but none
      greater than the loss of her life. Unfortunately, accurate data on the
      incidence of maternal death as a result of a botched abortions is perhaps
      one of the least-known and most obstructed health figures in the U.S.

      Dr. Elizabeth Shadigian, a clinical associate professor in the department
      of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan Medical Center,
      told the audience maternal death following abortion is not monitored
      closely by the Centers for Disease Control in the same way it monitors
      deaths from other surgical procedures.

      "There is no mandatory reporting of any abortion complications in the
      United States, including maternal death," Shadigian explained. As a result,
      "publications on maternal mortality are not accurate."

      Shadigian said the CDC has an 8 year lag time between an incident of
      maternal death and its report. The CDC data is also not comprehensive.
      Researchers in a 1990 report in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
      found 19 unreported abortion-related deaths from 1979 to 1986. Shadigian's
      own research has uncovered more newspaper articles recounting legal
      abortion deaths than the numbers reported by the CDC for the same given
      time.

      Shadigian says better reporting could take place if doctors and medical
      professionals more thoroughly asked about abortion.

      "No one asks a woman, when seeking her medical history, if she's had an
      abortion," said Shadigian. "Women are also scared to tell their doctor
      they've had an abortion."

      Long-term health risks following abortion are a very real consequence for
      women who've had one. Such risks include an increased possibility of
      contracting breast cancer, ectopic pregnancies, placenta previa, secondary
      infertility, and subsequent miscarriages or premature births in later
      pregnancies.

      Unfortunately, Shadigian notes, abortion advocates have omitted studies on
      these complications in publications they produce.

      "If people care about women's health, we'll find all the data that's
      accurate."

      One risk factor, suicide, directly correlates with the choice a young woman
      makes about abortion. If she chooses to have an abortion, she faces a three
      times greater risk of taking her life. If she carries the pregnancy to
      term, she cuts her risk in half.

      "That's a six-fold overall increased risk," Shadigian explained.

      Perhaps the most controversial abortion risk involves breast cancer.
      Abortion activists and pro-life advocates have fiercely debated the
      legitimacy of the abortion-breast cancer link. The evidence, however, is
      very clear to Dr. Joel Brind, a professor of biology and endocrinology at
      Baruch College of the City University of New York.

      According to Brind, since 1981, 28 of 37 studies worldwide have shown an
      increased risk of contracting breast cancer following induced abortion and
      13 of 15 U.S. studies have confirmed the link.

      Brind said the first study to reveal the link was performed by researchers
      in Japan in April 1957. Following the legalization of abortion in the
      United States, researchers at UCLA conducted a full-scale study of the link
      and found that women have almost a two and a half times higher chance of
      contracting breast cancer.

      Because of abortion politics, the National Cancer Institute has refused to
      acknowledge the abortion-breast cancer link. Moreover, the NCI web site
      claimed no link existed.

      Brind reported that 28 pro-life members of Congress wrote to the cancer
      awareness group and asked the organization to remove the web site.
      Following the letter and pressure from pro-life advocates, the cancer group
      removed the erroneous web page earlier this month.

      --
      You can help women with crisis pregnancies choose life-affirming
      alternatives to abortion. Please put a link on your web site to Pregnancy
      Centers Online at http://www.pregnancycenters.org


      --------------------
      From: The Pro-Life Infonet Weekly <infonet@...>
      Reply-To: Steven Ertelt <infonet@...>
      Subject: China Increases One-Child Rule Violation Fines
      Source: London Telegraph; July 30, 2002

      China Increases One-Child Rule Violation Fines

      Beijing, China -- A Chinese province that has carried out forced abortions
      under the draconian one-child policy has raised fines for second children
      to eight times an offending couple's annual income.

      Rising incomes in Guangdong, one of the country's richest provinces, have
      allowed more couples to have unauthorized pregnancies and legitimatize the
      births by paying a fine to register the child. Reforms that will take
      effect in September give officials new powers in the fight against
      pregnancy.

      The penalty for couples who have a second child without permission will
      rise from twice combined income to eight times, while poor residents with
      extra children will be subject to an annual social levy.

      Attempts to limit family size in Guangdong have been embroiled in
      controversy in recent years. Visitors to the province report families of
      four or more are common away from the big cities.

      Villagers say family planning officials operate by terror in many counties,
      forcing women to have abortions and imposing penalties on families, most
      commonly demolishing their homes.

      President Bush last week withdrew $34 million of funding for the United
      Nations Population Fund partly in response to reports that forced abortions
      were common in Sihui county in Guangdong. China and the UN rejected charges
      that Population Fund officials directly colluded in forced abortions.

      But the claim was backed by a State Department fact-finding team that
      visited Sihui in May, and Secretary of State Colin Powell said that China's
      use of fines to force women to terminate pregnancies was also a key factor
      in the decision.

      Beijing rejects accusations that coercion and the use of quotas are
      widespread, pointing to UN estimates that less than three percent of women
      of childbearing age undergo abortions, roughly the same as in the U.S.

      However, brutality and corruption plague attempts to portray a system
      becoming more humane over time. In the worst cases, saline solution is
      injected into the womb to induce a stillborn child as late as
      eight-and-a-half months into the pregnancy.

      The Communist authorities are proud that 330 million births have been
      prevented since the early 1980s.

      The Chinese Family Planning Agency is attempting to transform its role into
      a modern provider of advice and information but it still remains
      responsible for administering an uncompromising drive to limit the
      population to 1.6 billion by 2050.

      --
      You can make a donation to support the Pro-Life Infonet Weekly with your
      credit card. Please go to http://www.womenandchildrenfirst.org/creditcard


      --------------------
      From: The Pro-Life Infonet Weekly <infonet@...>
      Reply-To: Steven Ertelt <infonet@...>
      Subject: Senate Committee Changes Pro-Life International Abortion Policy
      Source: Pro-Life Infonet; July 27, 2002

      Senate Committee Changes Pro-Life International Abortion Policy

      Washington, DC (ProLifeInfo.org) -- Abortion advocates in the U.S. Senate
      have changed a pro-life law that the Bush administration relied on to deny
      $34 million in taxpayer funds to the UNFPA, which has been accused of being
      involved in China's coercive abortion and sterilization campaign.

      Congressman Chirs Smith (R-NJ), a leader on pro-life issues in the House of
      Representatives, said the Senate Foreign Appropriations Committee is trying
      an end-run around President Bush's decision. .

      "It is shocking that the Senate is now attempting to change the law to
      allow for the funding of coercive programs," Smith said. "By attempting to
      change the law, they are conceding that the UNFPA may never meet human
      rights standards. Instead of seeking to weaken the law, they should help
      women who have been victimized and pressure the UNFPA to divest itself of
      programs that rely on coercion."

      Doug Silva, with the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, a pro-life
      group that lobbies the UN on international abortion issues, said the Senate
      committee attempted to gut the Kemp-Kasten Human Rights Amendment -- the
      pro-life law preventing taxpayer dollars from going to groups that support
      or participate in coercive abortions and sterilization.

      "Any attempt to weaken Kemp-Kasten would be an outrageous effort to spread
      abortion all throughout the world," Silva said.

      He said this attempt is another example of just how pro-abortion the Senate
      has become.

      "The motivation with certain members of Congress that are extremely
      pro-abortion is, 'Abortion at all costs, abortion all the time, abortion in
      every country and abortion for any reason,' " Silva said.

      Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life
      Committee, said not only did the committee counter the president, they
      raised the amount.

      "Predictably, pro-abortion senators are proposing legislation that would
      overturn the Bush administration policy and force the funding, at $50
      million a year, of the U.N. Population Fund," Johnson said.

      John Cusey of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus explained to the Pro-Life
      Infonet the particulars of the change.

      "[Kemp-Kasten] has made it illegal for the U.S. government to fund any
      organization that supports or participates in the management of a program
      of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization," Cusey said. "The
      Committee tossed all of that out the window by changing the language to
      allow funding of organizations unless there is "direct participation" in
      coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization."

      The committee also reversed President Bush's Mexico City Policy, which
      prohibits funding for any group that promotes or performs abortion in
      foreign countries. The pro-life policy got its name when President Reagan
      first enacted it during a conference in Mexico City.

      They are so wedded to the idea of giving money to the UNFPA that they are
      even willing to effectively eliminate any human rights protections that get
      in their way. They have made a bold, and reprehensible, move in favor of
      oppressors and against those who are oppressed. The word needs to be spread
      on this amazing development," Cusey concluded.

      Fortunately, the bill's passage is not a "lock." The legislation first must
      be voted on by the full Senate. If it passes there, it would face
      considerable opposition in the House and -- if it gets to his desk -- the
      president could veto it.

      It is not clear when the foreign aid bill will come up for a vote on the
      Senate floor.

      --
      Please refer a friend to the Pro-Life Infonet. Anyone can sign up by going
      to http://www.roevwade.org/roeform.html


      --------------------
      From: The Pro-Life Infonet Weekly <infonet@...>
      Reply-To: Steven Ertelt <infonet@...>
      Subject: Self Magazine Accused of Bias on Abortion-Breast Cancer Link
      Source: Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer; July 25, 2002

      Self Magazine Accused of Bias on Abortion-Breast Cancer Link

      Chicago, IL -- The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer denounced Self
      Magazine for having published an article misrepresenting 45 years of
      research which implicate abortion as a risk factor for breast cancer. In
      an August 2002 article entitled, "Abortion and breast cancer: The truth on
      trial," Barry Yeoman attempted to persuade women that the abortion-breast
      cancer link is nothing more than a "controversial theory."

      Self Magazine, whose masthead claims it's the "founder of the pink ribbon,"
      sells advertising space to pharmaceutical companies which manufacture
      abortifacients. "I'm not surprised that Self Magazine wants to jump on the
      disinformation bandwagon," argued Mrs. Malec, president of the coalition.
      "History has a way of repeating itself. In the 1950's, newspapers and
      magazines were disinterested in informing the public about risks associated
      with tobacco because of the hefty revenues received from tobacco
      advertising. Only Readers Digest informed smokers about the risks because
      it didn't accept advertising at that time. It published an article
      entitled, "Cancer by the Carton,' and accused the tobacco industry of
      covering up the link between tobacco and lung cancer."

      Yeoman assured his readers that the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the
      World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) "have
      reviewed the claims (about abortion as a risk factor) and declared them
      flawed." Yet, early this month, the NCI removed from its website an
      erroneous fact sheet discussing the abortion-breast cancer link. Most of
      the 15 American studies exploring a link were funded, at least in part, by
      the NCI, and 13 of them found increased risk. Mrs. Malec asked, "Does
      Yeoman really expect women to believe that these scientists, whose research
      was paid for by U.S. taxpayers, don't really practice science?"

      Let's review the facts. Research published in 1997 and authored by a
      scientist working for the ACS, Phyllis Wingo, showed increased risk, but
      she refused to say so in her conclusions. In 1986 she worked for the
      Centers for Disease Control when she co-authored a letter to the British
      journal, Lancet, and said "Induced abortion before first term pregnancy
      increases the risk of breast cancer."

      The WHO published a widely recognized landmark study in its journal,
      Bulletin of the World Health Organization, in 1970 which found that the
      earlier a woman had a first full term pregnancy (FFTP), the lower her risk
      for breast cancer is. The WHO study also found a "suggested increased risk
      associated with abortion - contrary to the reduction in risk associated
      with full term births."

      Mrs. Malec said, "WHO denies that abortion causes breast cancer, but
      acknowledges that early FFTP reduces risk. That is not only illogical, but
      also disingenuous."

      Just recently, Lancet published what was touted as a landmark study by
      Valerie Beral et al., although their findings were nothing new. It was
      reported that women who bear more children and who breast feed longer
      reduce their risks for breast cancer.

      "Scientists and anti-cancer organizations have long acknowledged this,"
      said Mrs. Malec, "yet they've been completely silent for three decades
      while a war has been waged on women's health - an aggressive marketing
      campaign promoting sales of abortions and abortifacients and funded by our
      nation's wealthiest entrepreneurs, corporations and foundations. Although
      early age at FFTP has long been considered the strongest protective factor
      against the disease, our nation's cancer watchdogs did nothing to initiate
      a nationwide public health awareness program for married women. Instead,
      they watched women's breast cancer rates surge to unprecedented levels and
      concealed the fact that abortion was being studied as an independent risk
      factor for the disease throughout the last half of the 20th Century. Now
      they expect us to believe them when they say that abortion doesn't cause
      breast cancer, although they never wanted women to know about the research
      in the first place."

      Yeoman offered quotes from officials at several organizations which can be
      expected to deny a link, including: 1) Planned Parenthood, the nation's
      largest abortion provider; 2) Family Health International, a family
      planning group which, the Population Research Institute reported, was given
      funds to develop quinacrine hydrochloride pills for use in developing
      nations (The pills are inserted into a woman's uterus, usually
      surreptitiously, and cause a severe chemical burn that scars shut her
      fallopian tubes); and 3) Breast Cancer Action in San Francisco, some of
      whose board members are self-described "reproductive rights" and gay and
      lesbian activists.

      "Apparently, Yeoman thinks women shouldn't worry their pretty little heads
      about the safety of abortion," Mrs. Malec asserted. I wonder whether he'd
      choose to have an optional surgical procedure - a vasectomy, for instance -
      if strong biological evidence and 28 out of 37 studies published over
      nearly a half century in peer reviewed journals supported a causal
      relationship between vasectomies and prostate cancer? Would he hesitate to
      get a vasectomy if a medical text cited the procedure as a risk factor for
      prostate cancer and if four medical organizations recognized a link?
      Wouldn't he want to be told the truth about the research by physicians and
      men's magazines? Why are women deserving of anything less?"

      --
      Looking for more pro-life information? Try the following web sites:
      Ultimate Pro-Life Resource List -- http://www.prolifeinfo.org
      Roe v. Wade: 27 Years of Life Denied -- http://www.roevwade.org


      --------------------
      From: The Pro-Life Infonet Weekly <infonet@...>
      Reply-To: Steven Ertelt <infonet@...>
      Subject: New Research Shows More Adult Stem Cell Success
      Source: Associated Press; July 29, 2002

      New Research Shows More Adult Stem Cell Success

      Washington, DC -- Adult stem cells taken from bone marrow can grow new
      blood vessels in the eyes of mice, a development researchers say raises the
      possibility of treating some diseases that often lead to blindness in
      humans.

      In tests in mice, the stem cells injected into the eye became incorporated
      into the eye's structure and formed new blood vessels.

      If the process turns out to work in humans, the scientists hope to use it
      to treat eye diseases affecting the blood vessels in the retina. They
      include diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration, two
      leading causes of blindness.

      By using adult stem cells, scientists could potentially avoid embryonic
      stem cell research, opposed by pro-life advocates because it involves the
      destruction of tiny human beings.

      Dr. Martin Friedlander, who headed the research team at the Scripps
      Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., said it may be possible to use the
      process to rescue sick blood vessels or, in modified form, inhibit the
      growth of abnormal vessels in the eye.

      His research will be published in the September issue of the journal Nature
      Medicine.

      Peter A. Dudley, director of the retinal diseases program the National Eye
      Institute, said it is ``extremely interesting'' that the team was able to
      take certain precursor stem cells that can form blood vessels and then
      target them.

      He said it seems reasonable this could lead to human treatments. But he
      cautioned that the work only involved mice and that many details need to be
      worked out before moving on to humans.

      Dr. John S. Penn, who teaches ophthalmology at Vanderbilt University, said
      the work adds to the fundamental understanding of biology, adding that the
      finding that the cells can home in on specific parts of the eye ``is pretty
      cool stuff.''

      Friedlander's team used a type of stem cell called an endothelial precursor
      cell taken from mouse bone marrow. When these cells were injected into the
      eyes of mice, they attached to cells in the retina called astrocytes and
      then formed new blood vessels.

      ``What's exciting about this, and surprising to us, is they don't target
      mature vessels, they go where vessels are going to form,'' Friedlander said.

      Newborn mice, for example, do not have blood vessels in their retina but
      have astrocytes forming a sort of template for future vessels, Friedlander
      explained.

      In adult mice, he said, if the retina is injured, it encourages the
      development of astrocytes. By injecting the stem cells, the researchers can
      help stabilize a degenerating blood vessel system.

      Friedlander said he was ``flabbergasted'' at the improvement when the stem
      cells were injected into the eyes of a type of mice that have eye
      degeneration and normally go blind within 30 days of birth.

      Friedlander said he believes that because the stem cells target astrocytes,
      genetically modifying the stem cells before injection may make it possible
      to block the growth of unwanted blood vessels, which are also a factor in
      some eye disease.

      He also suggested that the cells could be used as a drug delivery system
      for the eyes, something Penn said would be an exciting development.

      Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in working age
      Americans, and almost all people who have had diabetes for more than 30
      years will show signs of poor eyesight.

      Age-related macular degeneration is a common cause of vision loss among
      people over age of 60. Both conditions are caused by damage to blood
      vessels of the retina.

      --
      Please feel free to pass on the Pro-Life Infonet Weekly to pro-life
      friends and family. For more pro-life information, see
      http://www.prolifeinfo.org or http://www.roevwade.org
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