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RNC for Life REPORT
A Publication of the Republican National Coalition for Life September/October 2003 - No. 50
Healing the Human Heart 
Medical Advances Using Adult Stem Cells Show Great Promise

By Daniel P. Coyne

Evidence continues to mount that medical techniques using adult stem cells show greater promise in treating diseases than techniques using stem cells extracted from destroyed human embryos.

Researchers at a recent meeting of the European Society of Cardiology in Vienna report success in their experimental adult stem cell treatments of heart disease patients. The scientists injected adult stem cells that had been extracted from the patients' own bone marrow into the patients' hearts. The stem cells then helped to regenerate damaged heart tissue.

One of the physicians involved in the research stated that four of his five patients "had such a marked improvement in blood supply after stem­ cell treatment that they were removed from the list of those needing a heart transplant."Another scientist claimed that "This is the first approach where you have an opportunity to actually heal a heart."

A study just published in Nature Medicine provides additional confirmation that adult bone marrow stem cells can work wonders on damaged or diseased hearts. The researchers utilized stem cells from the bone marrow of rats and genetically modified the cells to survive longer than usual. They injected the cells into the hearts of rats that had heart attacks and found that the adult bone marrow stem cells restored eighty to ninety percent of the hearts' volume, and completely normalized the contracting functions of the heart.


At the same time, research using stem cells extracted from fetal tissue has been largely unsuccessful, even damaging to patients. A study just released in the scientific journal Annals of Neurology reports that recent experiments in treating Parkinson's disease by using brain cells taken from aborted fetuses have failed.

After the fetal cells were injected into the brains of patients with Parkinson's disease, fifty­six percent of the patients developed unanticipated dyskinesia, a condition involving potentially­disabling repetitive movements. In three of the patients, the dyskinesia was "disabling, necessitating a surgical intervention when the study was completed." The authors of the study concluded that they could not recommend fetal brain cell transplantation as a therapy for Parkinson's disease at this time, though they called for continued experimentation using cells derived from aborted fetuses.

These results mirror the results of a March 2001 study from the New England Journal of Medicine. In that study, cells from human embryos and fetuses were injected into the brains of Parkinson's patients. A number of the patients later experienced severe uncontrollable movements, like jerking of their heads and swinging or writhing of their arms.

As competition continues over limited research grants, such reports of experimental failure or success could prove decisive in funding decisions.

Copyright - Culture of Life Foundation. Permission granted for unlimited use. Credit required. Culture of Life Foundation ­ Phone: (202) 289­2500 ­ Fax: (202) 289­2502 ­ Website: http://www.culture­of­life.org


Pro-Life STATE WATCH TEXAS — Texas Governor Rick Perry has signed the newly­enacted Pre­Natal Protection Act which recognizes the unborn baby as a human being under the law. The law, SB 319, co­authored by Republican Representative Ray Allen, and Senator Ken Armbrister, a Democrat, allows the law to view an unborn baby who is harmed or killed during the commission of a violent crime as a victim separate from his or her mother. Heretofore, Texas law did not recognize the murder of an unborn baby as a crime. For example, in the case of the murders of Laci and Conner Peterson, the state of California did recognize Conner as a victim despite the fact that he was killed prior to birth.

The Pre­Natal Protection Act recognizes the unborn baby as a human being under the law, and that is a very good thing.


FLORIDA — The Florida Supreme Court has struck down the state's parental notice law. Florida Supreme Court Senior Justice Leander Shaw, writing for the majority, said the court had based its decision to overturn the 1999 law requiring the notification of parents 48 hours prior to a minor's abortion on Florida's privacy guarantee, which is considered more extensive than rights provided by the U.S. Constitution. It was a 5­1 decision by the same court that favored Al Gore in the 2000 election; two new justices appointed by Governor Jeb Bush had not yet taken their seats.

Carole Griffin, president of the Capital Chapter of Florida Eagle Forum, comments in the July edition of her newsletter: "Everyone can talk about parental responsibility and yet here we have the court driving a wedge between parent and child. Other than in a life saving medical procedure emergency, there is no other medical surgical procedure that a minor can receive except an abortion without parental permission. Of course, if there is a complication to the abortion, then her privacy is no longer valid and the parents are handed the medical bill or the dead body of their daughter." [Emphasis added]


KANSAS — Doctors who perform abortions on girls under 16 must report the pregnancies to authorities as instances of suspected child abuse, Phill Kline, the state attorney general said Wednesday, June 18, 2003. Kansas law prohibits sex with a child under 16, making a pregnancy evidence of child abuse. Mr. Kline said doctors who fail to report such cases could face misdemeanor charges punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of $1,000. They also could face disciplinary action from the State Board of Healing Arts, which licenses them.

While the Lawrence chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) called the opinion an attack on abortion providers, Kansans for Life, the state's largest pro­life group said, "Obviously, any organization or any individual who harbors pedophiles and conceals the sexual abuse of children, deserves to be prosecuted."

Last year, 88 of the 11,844 abortions reported in Kansas, or 0.8 percent, were performed on girls 14 or younger, according to the Department of Health and Environment. Mr. Kline said that a girl under 16 who is pregnant is either a victim of rape, indecent liberties with a child, or unlawful voluntary sexual relations, all felonies.


What About the UNwelcome Babies?
It's getting tiresome. Pro­life leaders, commentators, and especially Republican politicians, repeat the same convenient mantra — they're looking for the day when "every child will be welcomed in life and protected in law."What's wrong with that? It sounds so good. Isn't that the goal we are seeking?

NO. The goal we are seeking is for every nascent child (a.k.a.— unborn baby) to be protected in law regardless of whether he is welcome or wanted! The UNwelcome babies are the very ones who most need our protection! If we're going to be satisfied with politicians who recite this mantra, telling us to wait until society is ready to "welcome"every baby from the moment of conception so that laws respecting and protecting their lives can finally be enacted, we're going to have a very long wait.


2004 Republican
National Convention
a Target for Radicals
 
Not only are we expecting the quadrennial intra­party battle against pro­abortion forces over the pro­life plank in the Republican National Platform, but now we have learned that an outfit calling itself the Republican Unity Coalition, which was instigated by Charles Francis, the homosexual brother of Jim Francis, a close friend of President Bush, and Mary Cheney, the lesbian daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, has formed to engage in a different, but related anti­family effort. The goal of the organization, whose membership includes former President Gerald Ford, Bush administration advisor Mary Matalin, and former U.S. Senator from Wyoming Alan Simpson, is to "make sexual orientation a non­issue" in the Republican Party.

The Republican National Platform has historically stated the support of the Republican Party for the "traditional definition of marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman." It further states that "federal judges and bureaucrats should not force states to recognize other living arrangements as marriages." In addition, the Platform says, "we support the First Amendment right of freedom of association and stand united with private organizations, such as the Boy Scouts of America, and support their positions."

Sexual orientation is definitely NOT a "non­issue" among Republicans. Pro­family groups are gearing up for what may turn out to be some very contentious Platform Committee hearings in New York.

Added to that, a report by Jennifer Harper in the Washington Times (9/3/03), says, "the motley Manhattan population of liberals, feminists, performance artists, environmentalists and self­styled anarchists who oppose the Bush administration for one reason or another are already in full cry. Plans to disrupt the convention are in motion a year in advance."

RNC/Life will be there once again to fight for the pro­life principles held by the Republican Party since 1976, when the first convention post­Roe v. Wade adopted a platform plank endorsing "the efforts of those who seek enactment of a constitutional amendment to restore protection of the right to life for unborn children."

Because we know that family life based on Judeo­Christian tradition must remain the foundation of public policy and law in America, we will link arms with other pro­life, pro­family groups and individuals to ensure that the Republican National Platform remains the standard­bearer for respect for life and for marriage as the bedrock institution of our society.

We need your help and financial support to carry out our mission. The 2004 Republican National Convention is less than a year away. Please remember RNC/Life as you consider recipients of your charitable giving.


UK's Tiniest Baby Unveiled  
A baby weighing just 12 ounces at birth has defied doctor's predictions to survive — and is believed to be the smallest to do so in the UK. Tiny Aaliyah Hart fitted into the palm of her mother Lorraine's hand when she was born on May 27 at Birmingham City Hospital. She was born three months early. Mrs Hart, 37, said: "I literally cried and cried. I could not believe that something that small could survive. She was so tiny but she was so active. Her hands were going, she was her own little person and I cried for a long time. She was surviving — that was my main concern." The sheer size of Aaliyah means that her survival is miraculous, says the consultant in charge of her care. Dr. Jeff Bissenden said: "Usually they are miscarriages, but she pushed out this little girl who wriggled around, waved her legs and said, 'I want to live."' It is amazing that this baby did not die. The smallest on record is a U.S. baby who weighed just 11 ounces at birth.
(BBC) Irish Pro­Life News, No. 119, July 7, 2003 http://www.familyandlife.org


"Dr. Death" Runs for President 
The current front­runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, Governor Howard Dean of Vermont, is the focus of a September 4, 2003 guest column by Wesley J. Smith entitled "Dr. Death" Runs for President published by National Review Online.

Mr. Smith relates that Governor Dean, himself a physician, had this to say when asked by a reporter for Oregon Public Broadcasting, "In general where do you stand on physician­assisted suicide and Oregon's vote on that issue?" :

"I think states have to make up their own mind. It's a very difficult moral problem. I as a physician would not be comfortable administering lethal drugs, but I think this is a very private, personal decision and I think individual physicians and patients have the right to make that private decision. I am very amused by the Right Wing — including the president and administration — who talk about liberty but then decide they're going to scrutinize everyone's behavior and tell them what they can and cannot do. There can't be a much more personal decision an individual makes than how to die and I think that is a personal decision left to individuals, their physicians and families."

Mr. Smith further points out that Dean not only agrees with assisted suicide but appears to support doctors being allowed to personally administer lethal drugs (i.e. active euthanasia) — an act that even the radical Oregon assisted­suicide law currently prohibits.

What a scary thought — that a man who is pro­abortion and pro­euthanasia is considered a serious contender for the presidency of the United States!



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