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Nov. 21, 2006
GIVING THANKS

The pro-life movement has much to be grateful for as we look ahead to the opportunities and challenges awaiting us next year and beyond. Of course, the best thing we have going for us is the knowledge that God is in control of His creation and no matter what man tries to do to thwart His plan, he will not succeed.

So, despite the fact that Missouri voters passed a ballot initiative allowing human cloning and embryonic stem cell research and New Jersey is already engaged in the same unethical and immoral practices at taxpayers’ expense, we believe their efforts will fail. We continue to be encouraged by the tremendous progress being made with non-embryonic stem cells in the treatment of dozens of serious and life-threatening diseases and conditions. Absolutely no benefit has been accomplished from the killing of human embryos for research and we are confident that none will be achieved. Marvelous progress is coming through scientists engaging in ethical, non-embryonic stem cell research.

An Associated Press story (11/16/06) by Lindsey Tanner reports that “Scientists for the first time have grown human heart valves using stem cells from the fluid that cushions babies in the womb—offering a revolutionary approach that may be used to repair defective hearts in the future.”

“The idea is to create these new valves in the lab while a pregnancy progresses and have them ready to implant in a baby with heart defects after it is born. The Swiss experiment follows recent successes at growing bladders and blood vessels and suggests that people may one day be able to grow their own replacement heart parts—in some cases, even before they’re born.” The procedure uses cells the fetus sheds in the amniotic fluid that surrounds him in-utero, so the cells can be obtained without killing the tiny donor.

The story further reports that, “Japanese researchers said they had grown new heart valves in rabbits using cells from the animals’ own tissue. ‘It’s the first time replacement heart valves have been created in this manner,’ said lead author Dr. Kyoko Hayashida.” “It’s very promising,” Dr. Ziyad Hijazi, a university of Chicago cardiologist, said of the two studies. “I don’t doubt” that it will be applied one day in humans, he said.

And in the UK . . .

Irish and British Scientists have grown the world’s first artificial liver from umbilical cord stem cells in a breakthrough described as a “Eureka Moment” by the Newcastle University researchers. The technique that created the “mini-liver” will be improved to create a full-size functioning liver. The head of this research, done in collaboration with experts from the U.S.A., is an Irishman, Colin McGuckin, Professor of Regenerative Medicine at Newcastle University.

For these and the many other positive and life-affirming advances in medical technology, we give thanks.

We are thankful that the newly appointed chief of family-planning services at the Department of Health and Human Services is Dr. Eric Keroack, medical director for A Woman’s Concern, a Christian pregnancy-counseling organization. Dr. Keroack will oversee $283 million in annual family-planning grants. The appointment does not require Senate confirmation. We are thankful that the newly-elected Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has a 100% pro-life voting record during his Senate career, and that nearly all of the newly-elected Republicans in the House are pro-life and that Democrats For Life of America considers six of the new Democrat Members of the House to be pro-life, according to post-election press reports.

We thank you for your faithful and generous support of our work throughout the year.

Happy Thanksgiving!!


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