Monthly Archives: February 2016

Nature Journal on Embryo Gene Manipulation: “It’s Time to Give Patients a Voice”

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

As the international debate continues on the use of CRISPR gene-manipulating technology on human embryos, Nature journal this week gave serious consideration to concerns about its societal consequences. In a news feature entitled, “Should you edit your child’s genes?” author Erika Check Hayden takes a refreshingly humane approach by asking people with disabilities what they think of the real-life prospect of “editing out” genes responsible for disability before a person is even born.

AAPLOG on Zika and Abortion: An “Abuse of Power”

Charles A. “Chuck” Donovan  

The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) has issued a helpful statement on the Zika virus and the effort by the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights to exploit its spread to promote abortion and repeal of national laws against the practice. The statement contains a number of useful links regarding what is known about the virus and the recommendations of responsible agencies. Footnotes are supplied by Charlotte Lozier Institute. The AAPLOG website can be accessed at www.aaplog.org.

Testimony of Dr. James Sherley, M.D., Ph.D. in Support of Missouri Bills regarding Humane Treatment of Aborted Fetal Remains

James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D.  

On February 23, the Missouri House Children and Families Committee heard five bills on issues stemming from the Center for Medical Progress’s undercover video exposé of Planned Parenthood, including: the sale and final disposition of aborted fetal remains, post-abortion tissue reporting requirements, and employee protections for whistleblowers.

Among those who testified in support of the bills was Dr. James Sherley, M.D., Ph.D., a physician scientist with expertise in biomedical research, cancer biology, and adult stem cell engineering. Dr. Sherley is founder and director of Asymmetrex, LLC, which develops new technologies for ethical adult stem cell medicine and drug discovery.

States Consider Assisted Suicide in 2016 as New JAMA Study Raises Concerns

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

Already this year, at least eight states are considering bills to legalize physician-assisted suicide. Of these, Colorado, Maryland, and Utah have renamed their bills, formerly titled “Death with Dignity,” as “End of Life Options” bills – the name under which California legalized assisted suicide last October.

Yet, the deceptive title, which now eliminates all reference to death, seemingly seeks both to legalize and normalize assisted suicide as “just another medical option.” A new study published last week in JAMA Psychiatry, however, raises afresh ongoing concerns with assisted suicide, especially as it relates to those with mental illness or distress.

Written Testimony of David A. Prentice, Ph.D.: Update on Progress of Kansas’ Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center Research

David Prentice, Ph.D.  

In this testimony before multiple Kansas state Senate and House committees, Dr. David Prentice briefs legislators on the progress of the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center. The Kansas stem cell center is focused on patients, with an emphasis on therapy, dissemination of information, and comprehensive view to fulfilling its mission. The MSCTC only works with non-controversial stem cell sources—adult stem cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells; embryonic and fetal sources are not used, in keeping the focus on the patient and deliverable therapies.

Fact Sheet: Government Funding Sources for Planned Parenthood

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

Thanks to a data point in Planned Parenthood’s annual report for 2013-2014, it’s public knowledge that the organization received $528.4 million in funds from all levels of government in that fiscal year. This fact sheet provides a chart of total government funding sources for Planned Parenthood from prior years, according to a 2015 report by the Government Accountability Office.

Charlotte Lozier Institute Letter to Congressional Budget Office regarding Defunding Planned Parenthood Estimates

Charles A. “Chuck” Donovan  

On November 9, 2015, the Charlotte Lozier Institute, at CBO’s invitation, submitted a detailed letter to CBO describing six ways in which its analysis leads to misleading conclusions about the federal budget impact of the Planned Parenthood cutoff. In fact, among other points CLI argues that rechanneling funds from Planned Parenthood to primary care providers will lead to budget savings in Medicaid, that CBO underestimates Planned Parenthood’s private sector fundraising resilience, that CBO uses an incorrect (too high by 20%) figure for Planned Parenthood’s contraceptive client base, and that the 10-year budget window analysis artificially shows new costs for Medicaid enrollees but neglects the contributions human beings make to sustain government programs in the second decade of their lives and beyond.

Rest in Peace, Dr. Carolyn Gerster

Charles A. “Chuck” Donovan  

A great champion of the unborn, Carolyn Gerster, M.D., a founder of both Arizona Right to Life and the National Right to Life Committee, has passed away. Dr. Gerster truly was a woman of valor. She was trained as a cardiac electrophysiologist and she understood with a passion the medical truths about the beginning of human life and its transcendent value. I first met her when I was hired as a legislative assistant by NRLC in 1978. Tall, graceful, brilliant and blessed with the ability to move audiences, everyone from laypeople to legal experts to legislators, Dr. Gerster was a natural choice to lead NRLC during years when it grew dramatically in size and influence. She ultimately served as NRLC’s international vice president, traveling the globe and reaching audiences on six continents. And she did so with a modesty of approach that ultimately could not disguise her knowledge and accomplishment.