Month Archives: March 2011

Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women”

by Family Research Council

March 16, 2011

Last night on the House Floor, a number of pro-life congresswomen celebrated Women’s History Month with an incredible discussion of abortion, feminism, and women’s rights. Below are a few of my favorite quotes although it is definitely worth taking the time to read through the entire text:

In a letter to Julia Ward Howe in 1873, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the woman who shocked society, Mr. Speaker, by daring to leave her house proudly showing her pregnancy—because that was just not done—wrote: `When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women to treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.’” —- Rep. Jean Schmidt quoting Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Guilty? Yes. No matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed. It will burden her conscience in life; it will burden her soul in death.” —- Rep. Jean Schmidt quoting Susan B. Anthony

Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women.” —- Rep. Virginia Foxx quoting Alice Paul

The original feminists were, indeed, against abortion. These women believed that there was power in motherhood and in choosing life…

It is this exploitation by groups like Planned Parenthood that frighten me for the women of our country. It has been proven that a woman who has had an abortion is six to seven times more likely to commit suicide in the following year than a woman who chooses to deliver her child. We all know of the syndrome postpartum depression. Women who abort are 65 percent more likely than women who deliver to be at risk for long-term clinical depression. Sixty-five percent of U.S. women who had abortions experienced multiple symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, which they attributed to their abortions. In another study, 60 percent said they felt “part of me died.” Compared to women who deliver, women who abort are more than twice as likely to be subsequently hospitalized for psychiatric illnesses within 6 months and to subsequently require significantly more treatments for the psychiatric illnesses through outpatient care.

There are also numerous health risks that can occur after an abortion is performed. Reproductive complications and problems with subsequent deliveries can occur, one of these being pelvic inflammatory disease, which is a major direct cause of infertility. After an abortion, there is a 7- to 15-fold increase in placenta previa in subsequent pregnancies, which is a life-threatening condition for the mother and baby that increases the risk of birth defects, a still birth and excessive bleeding, leading to the possible loss of life of the woman.”

—- Rep. Renee Ellmers

So I am proud to stand here today, like my sisters before me—like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, like Susan B. Anthony and, yes, like Alice Paul—and say, enough’s enough. Women’s rights are women’s rights, and if a woman has rights, those rights are the child’s rights because everybody has the right to life.” —- Rep. Jean Schmidt

Sex Trafficking in America: from The Boulevard to Planned Parenthood

by FRC Media Office

March 15, 2011

A special live video webcast hosted by Family Research Council brought together leading experts to shed light on a growing problem that affects every corner of our nation — from neighborhoods, playgrounds, and malls to the local Planned Parenthood clinic. During the webcast, learn what actions you can take to help restore these victims, and stop those who prey on them.

Webcast participants:

  • Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
  • J. Robert (Bob) Flores, former Administrator of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJD)
  • Lila Rose, President, Live Action
  • Pat Trueman, CEO, Morality in Media and Founder, PornHarms.com
  • Samantha Vardeman, Senior Director, Shared Hope International
  • Tina Frundt, Founder and Executive Director, Courtney’s House
  • Lisa Thompson, Liaison for the Abolition of Sexual Trafficking at The Salvation Army

The Legal Errors in A.G. Holders Refusal to Defend DOMA

by Chris Gacek

March 14, 2011

Paul Linton has worked with the Family Research Council in producing amicus briefs defending Proposition 8 (Californias traditional marriage amendment) and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) (federal definition of marriage). He is one of the best writers on the constitutionality of one man-one woman marriage laws. Mr. Linton is Special Counsel with the Thomas More Society in Chicago.

Recall that Attorney General Holder announced on February 23rd that the Department of Justice would no longer defend DoMA from legal challenges going forward. On March 1st Mr. Linton completed a very powerful response to the arguments laid out by Attorney General in his letter to members of Congress. Lintons reply available below really knocks the props out from under the Administrations arguments.

Read and enjoy:

Linton_Resp to Holder-DoMA surrender_2011.03.01

State of Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation in the States

by Brianna Walden

March 14, 2011

Several state non-discrimination statutes include the phrases gender identity/gender expression and sexual orientation as factors in addition to race and sex against which alleged discrimination is prohibited. Other state legislatures have proposed legislation which would add these terms or further broaden them. Many bills would make it illegal to deny employment, housing and even public accommodations such as rest rooms and other traditionally sex-specific spaces to a person based upon what sex they perceive themselves to be any particular day.

The concept of gender identity/gender expression attempts to legitimize a persons wish, perception or belief that he or she is the opposite sex than his or her actual sex at birth. This type of legislation tries to normalize and mainstream transgendered behavior, cross-dressing, etc. Additionally if enacted, those measures that include public accommodations become a public safety concern. This occurs by creating legitimized access sought by predators to women and children in places such as public restrooms and gym locker rooms, where entitlement to privacy has always been recognized.

The map below will give you an idea of the state of gender identity/gender expression and sexual orientation in the states.

Sex Trafficking in America: from The Boulevard to Planned Parenthood

by Rob Schwarzwalder

March 14, 2011

On Tuesday, March 15, Family Research Council will Webcast a gripping presentation, hosted by FRC President Tony Perkins, titled “Sex Trafficking in America: From the Boulevard to Planned Parenthood“.

Tony will be joined by leading experts to discuss this growing scourge and what concerned citizens can do to stop it. Included will be:

  • J. Robert (Bob) Flores, former Administrator of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJD)
  • Tina Frundt, founder and executive director of Courtneys House, which provides specialized housing for sex-trafficked girls
  • Lila Rose, Live Action
  • Lisa Thompson, Liaison for the Abolition of Sexual Trafficking at the Salvation Army
  • Pat Trueman, president, PornHarms.com and former Chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Criminal Division, U. S. Department of Justice
  • Samantha Vardaman, senior director, Shared Hope International

You can register to watch this live Webcast by going to http://www.frc.org/traffic

As recently shown by Live Action, Planned Parenthood has been willing to provide sexually-trafficked girls and women not only with contraception but even abortion, without reporting the plight of the victims to law enforcement authorities.

This is only one aspect of the problem. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as many as 17,500 people — the overwhelming majority of them young women and girls — are “trafficked” as sexual slaves in the United States annually.

That number well could be low. As cited in the text of the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005, a study issued by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania in 2001 (found that) as many as 300,000 children in the United States are at risk for commercial sexual exploitation, including trafficking, at any given time.

What is not in dispute is the horror undergone by the victims of this abominable trade — nor that it strikes very close to home. Just a few miles outside of the nations capital, 42 year-old Derwin Smith of Glen Burnie, Maryland, a few days ago pleaded guilty to prostituting a 12 year-old girl he had “picked up on the street.” This girl was raped repeatedly by many men while held by Smith, who now faces the possibility of life in prison without parole. U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Blake will announce his sentence on May 11.

Many of the victims of sex trafficking are trapped in run-down brothels or cheap hotels. Some are found in so-called “health spas” or massage parlors. Of course, many others are simply thrust onto the street, and others are used in child pornography. All are sexually and physically abused and carry deep psychological scars.

If you have observed a young woman or girl in a situation that suggests she is involved in prostitution or pornography, or even that she simply is in need of help, call the 24/7, toll-free Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

This coming Tuesday, be sure to watch “Sex Trafficking in America: From the Boulevard to Planned Parenthood” and let your friends know about this important broadcast.

Update On Obamacare and Womens Preventive Services

by Family Research Council

March 14, 2011

Since November, 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), contracted through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has hosted three expert committee meetings in Washington, D.C., to discuss and make decisions regarding the Mikulski Amendment mandate on specific womens preventive services to be included with no cost-sharing in Obamacare. The final meeting was this past Wednesday, March 9th.

Meeting attendees have included the committee a largely pro-abortion group who for the most part actively work in the field of reproductive health, a senior staffer from U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulskis (D-MD) office, HHS representatives, invited panelists, and other interested groups. Attendance was approximately 50-75 people, depending on the session.

Invited presenters included the following pro-abortion groups and/or representatives: the Guttmacher Institute; John Santelli, the National Womens Law Center, National Womens Health Network, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Sara Rosenbaum, who recently represented the pro-abortion side in the committee hearings on the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act and the Protect Life Act. No pro-life advocates were invited to present at any workshop, despite asking for formal presentation time. By far the topic that received the greatest amount of attention was contraception coverage; inclusion of contraception for no co-pay was suggested by most invited speakers.

Each meeting allowed opportunity for public comment. Family Research Council, which I had the privilege of representing, joined with other pro-life, pro-family groups at each of the three sessions to request that embryocidal contraceptives, including Plan B which can cause an abortion prior to implantation, and the more recently approved drug, ella, which can cause an abortion after implantation, not be included in the recommended list for no co-pay. We pled that the conscience rights of insurance issuers, participants and providers be respected in matters related to life. For a more in-depth look at FRC comments, see here.

The committee recommendation process will be complete, with recommendations provided to HHS, at the latest by August, 2011.

Treating Traumatic Brain Injuries in Children Using Adult Stem Cells

by David Prentice

March 11, 2011

Use of adult stem cells to treat traumatic brain injury in children appears safe and effective. .Scientists at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston have published preliminary results of a Phase I clinical trial showing the safety of bone marrow adult stem cells in treating traumatic brain injury in children. A total of ten children between the age of 5 and 14 years old were treated within 48 hours of their injury with their own adult stem cells; the cells were collected from their bone marrow, processed and returned to them intravenously. Using the patient’s own adult stem cells avoids potential complications of cell rejection, graft versus host disease, and blood-borne disease transfer.

Over 2.5 million Americans live with the devastating consequences of traumatic brain injury, and children who survive such an injury often have serious long-term problems. Six months after their adult stem cell treatment, all of the children showed significant improvement and seven of the 10 children had a “good outcome,” meaning no or only mild disability. The medical team is also testing use of cord blood stem cells for treatment of traumatic brain injury.

According to Dr. Charles S. Cox, Jr., lead author:

Our data demonstrate that the acute harvest of bone marrow and infusion of bone marrow mononuclear cells to acutely treat severe TBI in children is safe.”

The results are published in the journal Neurosurgery.

Plan B Linked to Greater Risk for Heart Disease

by Family Research Council

March 10, 2011

This week there have been a number of media outlets reporting on a link between taking over-the-counter contraceptives (Plan B) and an increased risk for heart disease. The bottom line is that too much estrogen in a woman’s body is harmful for her heart. In particular, young women and girls are reportedly suffering from these heart problems.

Here are quotes from one such story out of India:

A vascular disease called deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is on the rise and doctors say it has a lot to do with the increase in sales of over-the-counter contraceptive pills.”

Any amount of estrogen that is not required by the female body is harmful for her. The pills tend to increase the hormone level, resulting in pain and swelling caused by blood clot formation in the veins, explained Nutan Agrawal, professor of gynaecology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). ”

The reason that the problem of DVT and contraceptives is serious is that we are seeing a lot of young girls in their 20s coming up with cases of the disease, points out Parakh, who said he gets over 15 cases of DVT in a month.

Agrawal cautioned on how over-the-counter contraceptive drugs have dominated birth control measures for the teen population: Because of the availability of drugs with retailers, these contraceptives have become the quick fix to abortions in a very short span of time. There is certainly a need for awareness among young girls about sexual health.

Sadly, Teva Pharmaceuticals recently began the FDA process to make Plan B available OTC for girls of any age; currently it is OTC for those 17 and older. Especially with this new information about the link between Plan B and heart disease, I can’t help but wonder if once again young women’s health is being sacrificed on the altar of a liberal, pro-abortion agenda.

Holding Effective Oversight Hearings Chairman Issa Puts Things in Order

by Chris Gacek

March 10, 2011

It may seem like inside baseball, but the order in which witnesses appear at a Congressional oversight hearing can be extremely important. It appears that several committee chairmen including Darrell Issa (House Oversight and Government Reform Committee) have learned to make hearings more challenging for agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In its story, the Politico (3/8/2011) also noted that the Natural Resources Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee are acting similarly on occasion.

EPA wants its staff to appear on only a first panel of government witnesses only. This way the government witnesses can say what they want and then leave the hearing before things get rough.

By telling the government witnesses they will appear on later panels they then are required to listen to the testimony of members of the regulated public who may not like their policies and may have pointed criticisms. Issa put it this way in a letter to the EPA (as quoted in the Politico):

In light of the troubles facing our nation, it is disturbing that EPAs highest priority is to secure assurances that the witnesses will not have to engage with the regulated community and the order in which the agency witnesses will appear, Issa wrote. Moreover, EPAs disdain for having to sit through and listen to or respond to the concerns of individuals affected by EPA regulation is shameful.

I completely agree with Issa. It is important to make the government witnesses follow other witnesses because then they can be compelled to respond to points raised. Typically, the government witnesses would have left the hearing by the time private citizen complaints were heard.

Another variant of this might be to have two hearings: a Part A and Part B. The regulated community would testify in the first hearing and a transcript or tape would be given to the agency witness. The agency staffers would testify at a later date in a Part B hearing and could be cross-examined with the earlier testimony. Unfortunately, the Part A witnesses probably would not attend the second hearing. Just an idea another way to try skin this cat. Also, this might make logistically harder for the congressional staff who would have to put together two hearings rather than one.

New Urethras Engineered Using Patients’ Own Cells

by David Prentice

March 8, 2011

Scientists from Wake Forest and from Mexico have collaborated to grow new, functional urethras for five boys in Mexico. The team is the first in the world to use patients’ own cells to build tailor-made urinary tubes and successfully replace damaged tissue. Five boys, ages 10 to 14, had new urethras made using their own cells; three patients had injury due to trauma and two patients had previous urethra repairs that had failed.

The scientists isolated smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells from a small snip of tissue from each patient and grew the cells in the lab for 3-6 weeks. The cells were then used to coat a 3-dimensional scaffold shaped like a urethral tube and sized for each individual patient, made from the same material as used for dissolvable sutures. Senior investigator Dr. Anthony Atala of Wake Forest University School of Medicine said the process was “very much like baking a layer cake.” According to Atala, with the engineered urinary tubes, “It’s like they now just have their own urethras.” He noted that similar techniques might be used for more complicated tubular structures in the body. Previously, Atala and his colleagues had created functional bladders for patients, using the patients’ own cells, eliminating any possibility of transplant rejection.

The cell-coated scaffolds were incubated for seven days in the lab, allowing the cells to cover the entire surface area of the new urethral construct, and then surgically implanted into patients, replacing the damaged urethras. Engineered urethras were functional for at least a six-year follow-up period.

The results are published online in The Lancet.

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