Month Archives: October 2008

Post-abortion Mental Health Effects, Awareness, and Politics

by Moira Gaul

October 8, 2008

Thursday October 9th, 10 am to noon, FRC will host a panel discussion of distinguished researchers and clinicians on the topic of abortion and mental health. Challenging the recent special report findings of the American Psychological Association (APA), the panelists will present and discuss the scientific body of evidence which establishes a causal link between abortion history and subsequent mental health effects including post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression, and substance abuse. Clinicians will discuss direct, long-term psychological and psychiatric provision of professional care to women and men they’ve treated for post-abortion psychological sequelae.

Additionally, results from a recent poll commissioned by the Illinois-based Elliot Institute will be shared to highlight Americans’ views on post-abortion awareness and their political bent. FRC’s own Tom McClusky will then provide comment on how anti-women’s health policy, ignoring the negative mental health effects of abortion, could proceed and affect protections against coercive abortion, statutory rape, and general women’s and maternal health.

Please join us for what will be an eye-opening and in-depth review of the science, recent polling, and implications of the recent wreckless APA findings.

FRC Submits Comments to HHS on Conscience Protection

by Chris Gacek

October 5, 2008

      On August 26, 2008, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) asked the public for comments about rules it proposed to protect the rights of conscience of health care providers - in particular, to permit them to refuse to assist in, provide, or refer patients for abortions.  These conscience rights were created by three historic federal statutes known more commonly as the Church, Coats, and Weldon Amendments.

     The Family Research Council and several other groups filed comments on September 25th responding to HHS.  Get a copy of them here.

     Here is a summary of our main points:

  • HHS’s proposed rules (regulations) are needed because many participants in the health care system are violating the Church, Coats, and Weldon Amendments. Many intended beneficiaries of these landmark civil rights laws - intended to protect health care providers’ right of religious and moral conscience - do not know their rights under the law. HHS regulations are needed to clarify the extent of these statutory protections.
  • HHS should adopt a fertilization-based definition of pregnancy (and thus abortion) because that is consistent with the prevailing medical dictionary definitions, religious thought, and medical science on when life begins: these are, after all, conscience protections, so they should protect the conscience’s of the various health care providers.
  • Even if HHS does not adopt a fertilization-based definition of pregnancy, it should reject the implantation-based definition in HHS’s human-subject regulations for a number of reasons.

 o   For example, non-uterine, ectopic pregnancies demonstrate that uterine implantation cannot define the onset of pregnancy.

  • As a final alternative, HHS should recognize that the reasonable, subjective religious or moral conviction of the individual or institutional health care provider should govern, given the statutory focus on protecting conscience. Religious freedom and conscience in this country plainly reflect the views of the individual or institution, not the views of third parties.
  • Recognizing a right of conscience does not discriminate against women or violate any concepts mandated in Roe v. Wade and its progeny which do not purport to require any particular health care provider to participate in abortions.
  • HHS should enforce the Church, Coats, and Weldon Amendments in the same manner as it enforces other civil rights statutes, like Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
  • HHS’s Title X regulations, which require grant recipients to counsel and refer for abortions, appear to violate the law as set forth in the Church, Coats, and Weldon Amendments.



Homosexual TV Characters — Proportional Representation, or Propaganda?

by Peter Sprigg

October 2, 2008

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) reported in triumph last week that the number of “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)” characters on broadcast TV will more than double in the new TV season.

Of course, TV writers, producers, and networks are free to create whatever type of characters they want, but the public needs to look at those characters and programs with a discerning eye. Are they just there to reflect what America actually looks like (GLAAD’s claim)? Or are they really there for propaganda purposes, to promote a sociopolitical agenda demanding affirmation of homosexual conduct?

There are two ways to test this question. One is to ask whether the depiction of homosexual characters is accurate. Does it accurately reflect the higher rates of sexual promiscuity, STDs, mental illness, substance abuse, domestic violence, and child sexual abuse among homosexuals? If the homosexual characters are always depicted as the smartest, funniest, most noble characters on the show, on the one hand, or only as victims of persecution, on the other, then you know you’re seeing propaganda.

The other test is whether other groups are proportionally represented on TV as well. For example, how many evangelical Christian characters are there on TV series, and how are they portrayed? There are many times as many evangelical Christians in America as there are homosexuals, but I doubt you’ll find that reflected on TV.

[See also In Hollywood, sexuality is less secret, still can be big deal]

The Daily Buzz

by Brittany Smith

October 1, 2008

A few things we’re talking about today at FRC

Hitler, hate-mail, and hapless history

by Jared Bridges

October 1, 2008

Our friend Matthew Eppinette at Americans United for Life blogs about a particlularly interesting piece of hate mail that his group received.  In a response to an letter announcing their annual gala, the were greeted by a homemade flyer featuring a bizarre equation:

AUL President Charmaine Yoest + Ramesh Ponnuru = swastika

Now anyone who knows Charmaine (a former VP here at FRC) and Ramesh (author, speaker, and pro-life expert) know that they are as far removed from German National Socialism as one can get.  I doubt either of them is losing any sleep over this.  After all, the hip way these days to say “I don’t like you” is to call someone a Nazi or compare them to Hitler.  It’s the irony here that’s noteworthy.  As Eppinette observes:

I’m not sure I understand how it is that those of us who are working to protect life are to be equated with one of the most life-destroying regimes that ever existed. Some people just have too much time on their hands, I suppose.

Too much time on their hands indeed —- and too little time spent on their history homework.

Helping Kidneys with Adult Stem Cells

by David Prentice

October 1, 2008

Adult stem cells are being tested by a Utah research team for prevention and treatment of kidney damage in a Phase I clinical trial. Two patients recently underwent the treatment; a total of 15 patients will be recruited for this trial. This first trial is with patients who have had open-heart surgery, which can sometimes lead to acute kidney damage. The adult stem cells are obtained from healthy donor bone marrow and processed so that they are not recognized by the immune system, eliminating the need for tissue transplant matching. For treatment, the adult stem cells are injected into the bloodstream of the patient. Once in the kidney, the cells release signals that protect kidney tissue from damage and stimulate repair. The treatment is based on published work in animals showing that adult stem cells release signals in the kidney that lead to rapid, direct improvement of the tissue. The adult stem cells do not stay in the kidney but instead transiently provide the signaling that leads to a cascade of protective and repair mechanisms within the organ. This mechanism has been seen in other successful repair of tissues by adult stem cells.

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