Volume 11 No. 6 OF THE CHURCH OF MAN WITH GOD August , 2001 A.D.
return to contents
~ ABORTION FACTS - WHAT ACTUALLY IS HAPPENING ~
To the flock entrusted into my care:
This issue of REUNION focuses on Abortion and Abortion related matters. We often favor or
oppose a position in the abstract, without knowledge of the actuality of the matter. If, after
reading these articles, a person remains pro-choice, or favors research using fetal tissue or stem
cells obtained from murdered babies, then such person must be presumed to be indefinably evil.
+ Paul, S.S.B.
return to contents
HARVESTING FETAL BODY PARTS
By Kelly Patricia O'Meara
[Copyright 1999 New World Communication, Inc. All rights reserved.]
Obtained From The National right to Life Committee, http://www.nrlc.org/
The distribution of fetal body parts to scientists is a million-dollar industry. Researchers claim it's a necessary evil, but others fear it may encourage some grim abuses.
Scientists depend on human body parts for research they believe may yield breakthroughs in a number of diseases, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, that affect millions of people. But the public largely is unaware of the way the laundry list of body parts for scientific research is filled. Those who oppose using human flesh for research wonder if knowing the gruesome details would make a difference to those who support the practice.
Actual requests for body parts such as a "whole intact leg, including the entire hip joint," come with special instructions that the body be dissected by "cutting through symphysis pubis (pubic bone) and include whole illium." Additionally, a request may specify the speed at which the dissection must occur - - in this instance, that the researcher would like the body part "to be removed from the cadaver within 10 minutes." Finally, the scientists specify whether "abnormalities" are permitted and under what conditions a body part will be shipped (such as in wet or dry ice) and by what mode of transportation (usually one of the well-known overnight-delivery services).
Of more than 50 such requests, or "protocols," submitted by scientists and reviewed for this article, none involved a deceased person more than 24 weeks old - - three weeks older than a fetus who could survive outside the womb. The "whole intact leg" protocol described previously was requested by a scientist who needed four to six "specimens (leg and hip joints) per shipment" from aborted fetuses 22 to 24 weeks old. Because the request called for the dissection to occur within 10 minutes of death, it is not difficult to imagine the required precision and speed of the dissection procedure occurring in a side room of an abortion clinic.
The men and women who perform these tasks are called " technicians" and are employed by companies that retrieve body parts, also known as "harvesters," such as the Anatomic Gift Foundation of Laurel, Md., and Opening Lines, headquartered in West Frankfort, Ill. These companies act as middlemen of sorts between the abortion clinic and the scientist.
Because the sale of human tissue or body parts is prohibited by federal law, the traffickers have worked out an arrangement to expedite the process from which they all benefit and still remain within current interpretations of the law. For instance, the harvesters receive the fetal material as a " donation" from the abortion clinic. In return, the clinic is paid a "site fee" for rental of lab space where technicians, employed by the harvesters, perform as many dissections as necessary to fill researcher manifests. The harvesters then "donate" the body parts to the researchers and, rather than pay the harvesters for the actual body parts, "donate" the cost of the retrieval (a service) via a formal price list.
The fiction is that under this mutually acceptable agreement, no laws are broken: No body parts from aborted fetuses are sold. In nearly all cases, the entire fetus is not needed. Rather, the fetus is dissected and the parts shipped to either the private corporation, university, or government agency where the research is being conducted. Any remaining skin, tissue, bones, or organs are ground up in the sink disposal or incinerated.
Brenda Bardsley, vice president of the Anatomic Gift Foundation, or AGF, tells Insight, "It's sad, but maybe it makes it [abortion] easier for us knowing that something good will come out of it." She adds, "We're doing our best in an unpleasant situation." Bardsley says the AGF's fetal-tissue retrieval accounts for "less than 10 percent of the company's business" and there are strict rules controlling when and under what conditions a technician may perform the procedures. "The decision to go ahead with the abortion," says Bardsley, "must be made before the woman is approached about donation, and we don't get access to the cadaver until the physician has firmly established death." Nearly 75 percent of the women who choose abortion agree to donate the fetal tissue, she says.
As part of AGF's services, it also runs serology (blood tests) on women who have elected to have an abortion and requires that the medical director of the clinic advise such women if they are shown by the tests to have other medical conditions such as AIDS, hepatitis B or C, or syphilis.
Along with its fetal-tissue harvesting, AGF also handles adult tissue. According to Bardsley, this is their main business, and they handle "only about five to 10 fetal-tissue procedures a week from two different clinics." AGF charges a flat fee of as much as $280 per specimen or individual body part. According to tax records provided to Insight by Bardsley, AGF's gross income has increased from a little more than $180,000 in 1994 to $2 million in 1998.
While AGF charges for "services" per specimen, competitor Opening Lines, a company that handles only fetal tissue, was unavailable for comment. According to a fee schedule provided to the pro-life organization Life Dynamics Inc., of Denton, Texas, Opening Lines does not confuse its customers by using the word " specimen" but openly lists charges by the body part. For instance, it may charge as little as $150 for the retrieval of a liver or $500 for a trunk (with or without limbs); a spinal cord goes for $325.
The sale of "services" in the acquisition of body parts exploded after President Clinton signed the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act of 1993, effectively lifting the moratorium on federally funded research involving transplantation of fetal tissue from spontaneous or induced abortions. The taxpayer-funded legislation specifically allows for "research on the transplantation of human fetal tissue for therapeutic purposes." Since then, a rare breed of entrepreneurs have battled for a foothold in the newly created market of organ harvesting.
Company pamphlets and paraphernalia from Opening Lines, for example, boast that it is their "goal to offer you and your staff the highest quality, most affordable and freshest tissue prepared to your specifications and delivered in the quantities you need when you need it." Their advertisements add such sales puffery as: "Our specimens vary widely in range including but not limited to those listed below: liver, spleen, pancreas, intestines, kidney, brain, lungs and heart block, spinal column and many more with appropriate discounts that apply if specimen is significantly fragmented." A veritable smorgasbord of human body parts is on the menu, and the researcher need only order what he or she wants.
How profitable is all of this? The consulting firm of Frost and Sullivan recently reported that "the worldwide market for cell lines and tissue cultures brought in nearly $428 million in corporate revenues in 1996. It further predicts that between now and 2003, the market will grow at an average annual rate of 13.5 percent and, by 2002, will be worth nearly $1 billion." That does not include profits from patents and products that come from tissue research.
The National Institutes of Health provides nearly $19 million in grants and awards for fetal-tissue research, an amount that many in the scientific community consider budget dust compared with the $15.6 billion total 1999 appropriations. Of the $19 million, $2 million goes directly to research that is connected with fetal-tissue transplantation.
Many pro-life advocates object to the use of taxpayer funds for fetal-tissue research. For instance, they say that scientists might become dependent on such tissue simply because of the availability of it. Furthermore, they say, because women who have made a decision to undergo an abortion now may donate their fetus for research, the social, ethical, and moral stigma attached to the act is reduced because the patients believe they ultimately are doing something good.
Supply and demand are factors. Robert Orr, a physician and director of clinical ethics at Loma Linda Medical Center in Loma Linda, Calif., says he understands the use of spontaneously aborted fetuses for research purposes, but "policymakers and researchers are looking at aborted fetuses because there is such a large supply. The basic problem is that we're at the cutting edge of research. We have something that looks good on paper - - something that may be very important to humanity. Before we go any further and rush into something, we need to step back and take a second look."
Orr notes the problem of intention: "If a woman thinks that something good is coming out of the abortion, it makes it easier for her to make the decision. It's theoretically impossible to separate the moral issue from the scientific issue."
Similar sentiments are voiced by Rep. Henry Hyde, an Illinois Republican who is a staunch pro-life advocate. Hyde tells Insight: "I deplore any medical procedure that treats human beings as chattel, as a subject fit for harvesting. The humanity of every fetus should be respected and treated with dignity and not like a laboratory animal." The fact remains, though, that it's legal, and 1.5 million abortions are performed every year in the United States.
It's legal, and tens of thousands of body parts from aborted babies are used in scientific research. It's true, too, that our laws provide no human-being status to an unborn baby. But despite this, unborn babies are considered human for the purpose of scientific experimentation." Suzanne Rini, author of Beyond Abortion, says this is an issue "that never ceases to shock me. Fetal-tissue harvesting is a very lucrative industry, and just a small percentage of research could yield huge profits. Billions are involved in fetal-tissue research and harvesting, and the federal government participates in it in a big way. But it's also very shielded, and one has to try to understand the everydayness of it - - the foundational step in the process of abortion and fetal harvesting."
What are the ethics of this? Rini laughs dryly. "If they're doing it, there is no ethics."
return to contents
A NEW GROWTH INDUSTRY IN BABY BODY PARTS
By Susan Wills
Obtained From The National right to Life Committee, http://www.nrlc.org/
Disposing of fetal remains poses a perennial challenge to abortion clinics. The last thing owners want is dumpsters filled with mangled bodies that look all too human. Solutions to the disposal dilemma run the gamut from the truly repulsive to ... the unbelievably repulsive.
There is, for example, Mayfair Women's Clinic in Aurora, Colorado, where former owner-operator Dr. James J. Parks, M.D., reached what one had thought was the nadir of disposal practices: grinding buckets full of 15 to 22 weeks' gestation babies through a hand-cranked, old-fashioned meat grinder until they took the consistency of "multiple tubes of pink toothpaste," able to be flushed down sink drains. (Source: Affidavit of Curtis E. Stover, M.D., dated June 15, 1992, corroborated in depositions of Dr. Parks and clinic staff.)
However, Mayfair Women's Clinic is once again at ground zero for controversy over its disposal practices because now, it seems, the children aborted there are no longer "unwanted." They are, in fact, very much wanted by one of about five U.S. organizations which provide fetal organs and tissues to researchers.
According to World magazine, Mayfair is under contract with an intermediary called Anatomic Gift Foundation (AGF), headquartered in Laurel, Maryland, as a source and site for the harvesting and preparation of baby body parts for shipment to researchers.
An article in World (Lynn Vincent, "The Harvest of Abortion," Oct. 23, 1999, which can be found at www.worldmag.com/world/issue/10-23-99/cover_1.asp), illustrates the gruesomeness of the daily grind of AGF "technician" Ms. Ying Bei Wang, who works on-site at Mayfair harvesting fetal body parts:
As Monday morning sunshine spills across the high plains of Aurora, Colo., and a new work week begins, fresh career challenges await Ms. Ying Bei Wang. On Monday, for example, she might scalpel her way through the brain stem of an aborted 24-week pre-born child, pluck the brain from the baby's peach-sized head with forceps, and plop it into wet ice for later shipment. On Tuesday, she might carefully slice away the delicate tissue that secures a dead child's eyes in its skull, and extract them whole. Ms. Ying knows her employer's clients prefer the eyes of dead babies to be whole. One once requested to receive 4 to 10 per day.
The following article--and several other stories appearing in, for example, Insight (reprinted with permission in NRL News, October 12, 1999), The American Enterprise, and Alberta Report--relies heavily on evidence uncovered in a Life Dynamics, Inc. (LDI), into unsavory and possibly illegal practices in fetal tissue trafficking by AGF and others, which has attracted not only the attention of the media, but also that of Congress. (See story, page 12).
A further examination of the evidence accumulated, conversations with several key figures and experts, and documented facts about fetal tissue procurement and research published in the last decade raise many serious concerns.
For example, are abortionists who participate in tissue and organ "donation" altering procedures to best accomplish retrieval of the desired "fresh" organs, without regard to what is safest for the mother?
Are procedures ever delayed (at greater risk to the mother) to obtain more fully developed (thus usually more valuable) organs?
To what extent is the profit motive driving this business (despite a federal law that supposedly restricts profiteering in organs)?
Is the need for "fresh" and intact specimens being met, in some cases, by partial or complete delivery of live premature infants?
Can a mother ever properly consent to the donation of all or part of a child she has chosen to abort?
Are current practices for obtaining "consent" to donate informed, unpressured, and solicited apart from consent to the abortion or subsequent to the abortion?
Will published claims of potential research benefits from the use of aborted babies become a significant, or even a deciding, factor among women conflicted over the abortion decision?
Will the research demand for a steady supply of baby body parts "legitimize" abortion and further degrade the dignity of human life?
How big is the current and anticipated demand?
Will continued research using fetal organs and tissues outpace the supply available in the U.S., driving up demand in developing countries where the economic pressures on the world's poorest populations could lead to even greater exploitation of their bodies and their children?
Specifically, in light of the following passage from the October 23 edition of World magazine, what deficiencies in current law, or the enforcement thereof, need to be corrected?
Money paid by fetal-tissue providers to abortion clinics is termed a "site fee," and does not, Mr. [Brent] Bardsley [AGF executive director] maintains, pay for baby parts harvested. Instead the fee compensates clinics for allowing technicians like Ms. Ying to work on-site retrieving and dissecting dead babies - - sort of a Frankensteinian sublet.
"It's clearly a fee-for-space arrangement," says Mr. Bardsley. "We occupy a portion of their laboratory, use their clinic supplies, have a phone line installed. The site fee offsets the use of clinic supplies that we use in tissue procurement."
Before looking into these concerns, here is a precis of some of the evidence that has surfaced:
(1) a videotaped conversation with "Kelly" (a pseudonym) who claims to have been on the AGF payroll, working inside an unidentified abortion clinic, performing duties similar to AGF technician's Ms. Ying;
(2) excerpts of recorded telephone conversations allegedly with Mrs. Brenda Bardsley (AGF president and co-founder with her husband James Bardsley) and with Dr. Miles Jones, founder and president of AGF competitor Opening Lines (OL), late of West Frankfort, Illinois;
(3) a collection of about 50 "protocols" or purchase orders from medical researchers which list the fetal organs and tissues needed, frequency needed, and the details of retrieval, preparation for shipment, and delivery;
(4) copies of AGF's and OL's fee-for-services schedules; and
(5) OL's aggressively (some might say ghoulishly) cheerful marketing brochure, explaining to prospective parts suppliers in the abortion industry "HOW YOU CAN TURN YOUR PATIENT'S DECISION INTO SOMETHING WONDERFUL."
Kelly's descriptions of her job and the business of AGF seem credible and are corroborated on some points in the protocols. Some of them stipulate that organ retrieval must be accomplished within 10 to 20 minutes of the cessation of blood circulation. This makes it reasonable to assume that some methods of "abortion" are preferred over others.
She also describes the process of ruling out children with congenital anomalies or exposure to sexually transmitted diseases to satisfy the requests for perfect tissue often spelled out in the protocols.
Kelly also gives an eyewitness account of an abortionist drowning newly delivered, still-living twins (at 24 weeks' gestational age) after she refused to begin harvesting their organs before they were dead. She referred to other children brought for dissection while their hearts were still beating and others, up to 30 weeks' gestation, who were killed after full delivery. However, there is no independent proof that these episodes occurred.
The recorded telephone conversation with Mrs. Bardsley was apparently genuine (although she maintains that some of her answers were misunderstood) and discusses how the system of fetal purchasing works with AGF paying a "site fee" for the use of space inside a source clinic, as well as a flat fee for gross dissection, preparation of fetal specimens (based on trimester gestational age), and serology testing and how to avoid problems in overnight shipping by using intentionally vague descriptions of contents.
She confirmed these details in a conversation with NRL News. They are consistent with the printed fee schedule, as well as with past statements by her husband which had been reported by the media.
Many of the recorded comments allegedly made by Dr. Miles Jones to an investigator, whom he assumed was a potential research client, relate to Opening Lines's fee schedule, financial arrangements with abortion clinics, and Jones's aggressive search for sources of fetal organs and tissue in Mexico and Canada. The conversation is also consistent with OL's brochure and minutely detailed fee schedule ranging from, on the low end, spleens, ears, and eyes for as little as $50 ("40% discount for single eye"), to the pricey gonads for $550, "Intact trunk (with/without limbs)" for $500, "Intact embryonic cadaver (>8 weeks)" for $600, and a "Brain (>8 weeks)" for $999, but "30% discount if significantly fragmented."
Dr. Jones is currently unreachable. Soon after The Daily American, the local paper in West Frankfort, Illinois (where Opening Lines was headquartered), devoted a banner headline and front-page treatment to his business (on September 10, 1999), Dr. Jones disappeared, OL phone lines were disconnected, and the doors padlocked.
An employee of OL, who was a longtime resident of the small town, also left, as did the managing editor of The Daily American (no forwarding number on his residential phone). Apparently, almost the entire editorial staff left as well. In an interview, the new editor, only three weeks on the job, claims to have no information about any of them.
According to sources, Dr. Jones has sent letters to clients and former clients soliciting their continued patronage at a new location.
Just how bizarre the uses of baby parts can be is illustrated by this passage from the aforementioned World magazine article:
For example, R. Paul Johnson from Massachusetts's New England Regional Primate Research Center requested second-trimester fetal livers. His 1995 protocol notes that the livers will be used ultimately for "primate implantation," including the "creation of human-monkey chimeras." In biology, a chimera is an organism created by the grafting or mutation of two genetically different cell types.
Additional New Details Add to Picture
By making a number of telephone calls and by conducting a vigorous search on the Internet, new information of great interest was uncovered.
ITEM 1: A copy of a seven-page "Application and Agreement for Human Tissue Research/ Education," dated November 10, 1998, between Anatomic Gift Foundation and Gary J. Miller, professor of pathology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. For his research in human prostate cancer, Dr. Miller ordered "1st and 2nd trimester prostates" in the quantity of "approximately 12 from each trimester per year."
Under "Condition of Tissue Requested," Dr. Miller specified, "To be removed and prepared within 5 minutes ... after circulation has stopped." Other specifications state that they are to be "preserved on wet ice," "picked up immediately by applicant," have "low risk no IV drug abuse or known sexually transmitted diseases," and no prescription medications used by "donor" mother. The contract is signed both by Dr. Miller and, for the Regents of the University of Colorado, by "Sharon Frazier, Director of Purchasing," (emphasis added).
The AGF satellite office is just down the road from Dr. Miller.
ITEM 2: A person who identified herself as AGF President Brenda Bardsley, reached by phone at the AGF office in White Oak, Georgia, and a man who said he was 13-year employee Joe Paparo (who works out of AGF's Laurel, Maryland, office) said they were eager to set the record straight.
Both estimate that about 10% of AGF's current business involves fetal tissue, the balance being in adult organ donation. They claim to have been using only two abortion clinics as sources for some time - - the Mayfair Women's Center and an unnamed clinic in Kansas, but they now use only Mayfair. They both asserted that AGF plans to phase that operation out and do only adult organ donation.
AGF's annual revenues have climbed to $2 million in 1998 from $180,000 in 1994. Mrs. Bardsley attributes the windfall to expansion of their adult organ donation business. Both insist that AGF's dealings in fetal tissue are a break-even proposition at best.
They both explained that a significant decline in their fetal tissue business followed the firing of a former "technician" who, they said, left with AGF's client list and expertise. In the past few months, several researchers who had been longtime customers of AGF switched over to OL. Mrs. Bardsley said they had told her that OL supplies their needs much more consistently.
Mrs. Bardsley takes this to mean that OL has secured many sources for organs and tissues from second-trimester abortions. The World article quotes an estimate by Dr. Jones that OL's parent company, Consultative and Diagnostic Path-ology, "processes an average of 1,500 fetal-tissue cases per day" - - a figure also found in OL's own brochure.
ITEM 3: Alan G. Fantel, Ph.D., of the University of Washington (Seattle) Department of Pediatrics and Central Laboratory for Human Embryology is listed on a National Institutes of Health (NIH) web site as the contact person in charge of the government's clearinghouse for "human embryonic and fetal tissues." Since the fetal tissue procurement story broke, Dr. Fantel has been inundated with inquiries about the nature of NIH involvement.
The clearinghouse is still operating, but business has dropped to only about 10-15 embryos or fetuses per week. Dr. Frankel's office has a grant from NIH to accept tissues from hospitals and abortion clinics and to distribute tissues to grant-funded sites (excluding for-profits, such as pharmaceutical companies).
Dr. Fantel explained that there is a non-profit corporation in California that is "supplying pharmaceutical companies" with fetal organs and tissues. Over the past 35 years, the Central Laboratory for Human Embryology (CLHE) has supplied several hundred laboratories.
Many researchers now, however, are seeking older fetuses and few of these are being sent to CLHE. Those they get, he said, are "completely fragmented. Almost everything into the 2nd trimester have tissues that are macerated from potassium chloride."
CLHE business may have been redirected to suppliers like Opening Lines, whose brochure promises "a convenient and efficient way for researchers to receive fetal tissue without a lot of bureaucracy" (emphasis added).
Opening Lines' sales may account in part for the declining business fortunes of two major players in the fetal tissue supply field--Anatomic Gift Foundation and the Central Laboratory for Human Embryology. But the market demand seems to be growing.
One industry analyst points to a projected annual growth of 13.5% in the demand for fetal tissue and cell lines. The consulting firm of Frost and Sullivan put corporate revenues in 1996 from the global market at $428 million and estimated that they'll reach $1 billion annually by 2002.
ITEM 4: The identity of other baby body parts wholesalers has long puzzled outsiders. Apparently one is Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc. (ABR). A woman who identified herself as Linda K. Tracy, the founder and president of ABR, conceded that her company acts as an intermediary in the acquisition of fetal organs and tissues from abortion sites and delivery to researchers.
Beyond that, Ms. Tracy refused to elaborate on the business. All the "hoopla," she said, is because of the abortion issue - - people "think donations of fetal tissue will encourage abortion, as if women made up their minds on that basis." She declined further invitations to comment, which made it impossible for us to ask her to explain how/whether ABR's practices comport with federal law.
There remaining points should be briefly addressed. First, might abortionists alter the way they do abortions to obtain fresh tissue even to the detriment of the women undergoing the abortion? It's surely not unthinkable.
Reported procedures performed in Sweden (O. Lindval and A. Bjorkland) and Mexico (I. Madrazo et al. in Archives of Neurology 47, 1281-2) describe precisely how women were given abortions under general anesthesia rather than local, and with techniques that took three to four times longer than usual. At least in the case of the Swedish team, the extraction of fetal brain tissue was the event that killed the then-living child in utero. A Florida doctor (who wished to remain anonymous) has discussed an abortion procedure he uses to obtain the best and freshest tissue. It takes four to five times longer to perform than the normal vacuum aspiration, increasing the likelihood of pain, discomfort, and infection.
Dr. Kathi Aultman, who emerged in recent years as an articulate and tireless opponent of partial-birth abortion, explained that her decision to speak out was prompted by a fear that the demand for fetal tissue would push more and more abortion doctors into using this far riskier procedure.
Second, could the knowledge that one's aborted child might allegedly "further research to find a cure for a debilitating disease" influence a woman's decision to abort and therefore increase the number of abortions? Certainly, that would rarely be the primary reason why a woman would choose to abort her child.
But a 1995 Canadian study found that 17% of respondents who said they might consider having an abortion if pregnant agreed that they would be more likely to have an abortion if the tissue of their aborted child could be used for fetal transplant research. (D.K. Martin et al., "Fetal Tissue Transplantation and Abortion Decisions: A Survey of Urban Women," Canadian Medical Association Journal, Sept. 1, 1995, p. 545.)
Lastly, in The Human Body Shop, [Harper San Francisco, 1993), author Andrew Kimbrell offers evidence of a vast and growing worldwide demand for adult and fetal organs, particularly for transplantation. It is easy to imagine a scenario where the number of abortions in the U.S. can no longer supply the needs of researchers.
This would further drive up demand for tissue and organs from impoverished developing
countries. "Pro-choice" feminist researcher Janice Raymond cites this possibility as a reason to
prohibit fetal tissue research.
return to contents
By Paul Ranalli, M.D.
Obtained From The National right to Life Committee, http://www.nrlc.org/
The hugely unimpressive outcome of a four-year-long clinical trial that injected brain tissue harvested from aborted babies in an attempt to treat Parkinson's disease was well hidden in recent reports in the mainstream media. Indeed, just reading the headlines of the findings, presented in Toronto at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, the reader could altogether miss how abysmal were the results of the controversial surgery.
For example, Parkinson's is a disease in which the overwhelming majority of patients are senior citizens. Yet the controversial fetal transplants were found to be ineffective for anyone over 60 years of age. Even among the younger patients in the study, the claimed benefits are limited and qualified.
However, these bottom-line outcomes were well hidden in the rose-tinted press coverage. "Hints of success in fetal cell transplants" (New York Times) and "Parkinson's progress" (Medical Post) stretched the minimally positive results to the breaking point. The Washington Post's statement "Fetal cell implants may benefit younger Parkinson's patients" was at least slightly more realistic.
In fact the supposed benefits were extremely marginal. Were the claims of proponents treated more uncritically, these fetal tissue results could represent the beginning of the end of this unethical chapter in neurological research. Unfortunately, the message may take some time to reach the public, given years of unjustified hype and falsely elevated expectations.
FIRST TIME VIGOROUSLY TESTED
The results were announced in April, 2000, 11 years after President Ronald Reagan first banned taxpayer support of fetal tissue transplants from aborted babies and six years after Bill Clinton lifted the ban. The long-awaited study funded to the tune of $5.7 million by the National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke (NINDS) was the first time the much-hyped fetal tissue transplant experiments were subjected to what scientists call "placebo control." Previously, reports of patient benefits lacked a control group against which to measure alleged improvements.
The four-year study was led by Dr. Curt Freed of the University of Colorado in Denver and Dr. Stanley Fahn of Columbia Presbyterian Center in Manhattan. It was highly controversial, not only because of the use of tissue from aborted babies, but also because only half of the patients received the fetal brain tissue.
Once chosen for the study, the 40 patients with advanced Parkinson's disease were assigned randomly to either of two groups. For the "treatment group," the team of doctors from New York and Colorado implanted brain tissue from four aborted fetuses deep in the patients' brains.
A second group (the "placebo" group) underwent a "sham" operation, in which holes were drilled in their skulls. Going in, each patient knew he or she had only a 50-50 chance of actually receiving a fetal tissue implant.
Once the patient's scalp was sewn up and the head bandage applied, there was no outward difference in the appearance of the two groups, ensuring an equal distribution of the "placebo effect." (By this scientists mean the powerful positive benefit on the mind and motivation of a patient who has the belief that an effective treatment has been applied.)
As it turns out, a number of patients from both the placebo group (sham surgery) and the group that received a fetal tissue transplant felt remarkably better after the operation. Dr. Fahn told the New York Times (April 22, 2000), "They got this placebo surgery and immediately they felt better." He noted that the feeling of well-being lasted throughout the year of follow-up.
In addition to self-assessment scores in which patients rated how they were doing, a series of thorough examinations were carried out by a team of neurologists who, like the patients, were "blinded" from knowing whether the patient actually received fetal tissue.
Patients were followed for one year, after which the blinding was broken and they were informed whether they had fetal tissue or a sham procedure actually received.
At that point the placebo patients were offered the opportunity to have the fetal transplant at a second operation. Fourteen of the 20 patients who underwent the sham surgery elected to have the surgery.
According to the New York Times, a second team, led by Dr. C. Warren Olanow of the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York, has also received a grant. This group's results will be reported on in two years.
Parkinson's disease is generally thought to be caused by the death of cells that make dopamine, a chemical that transmits messages in the brain. It is a slowly degenerative disorder characterized by body tremor, slowness of movement, muscle rigidity, and loss of balance, with onset generally between age 50 and 70, with a peak onset in the early 60s.
For patients over 60, no difference was observed in the tests between the placebo group and the group who received fetal tissue, either on the neurologists' examinations or the patients' own perception of how they were doing. In other words, for the group with the worse cases of Parkinson's, fetal tissue transplantation is a complete failure.
Although there is yet no cure for the disease, which affects an estimated one million Americans, symptoms are initially mild, and can be well treated by a variety of medications, especially for the first five years. Eventually symptoms progress, requiring larger doses of drugs, which are eventually used in combination. Ultimately, the drugs begin to lose their efficacy, and the larger doses required cause unwanted side effects.
It is at this stage that surgical treatments have recently been considered. Aside from the unproven fetal transplants, in fact there are other ethically sound surgical procedures (pallidotomy, deep brain stimulation) which have high success rates, demonstrated in a number of published reports.
A small number of Parkinson's disease patients, like actor Michael J. Fox, first develop symptoms at a much younger age. Mercifully, only an estimated 10% of patients present with symptoms below age 50, half of which (5%) begin below age 40. It usually takes 12-14 years before a patient declines to the stage where drugs afford only limited benefit.
In the NINDS fetal transplant trial, participants had suffered from Parkinson's disease for an average 13.4 years. Thus it is likely that no more than 5% of patients (one in 20) might ever progress to the stage where surgery would be considered below age 60.
And what of the touted "success" of this trial in patients under 60 years of age? When one looks at the scant data presented, which has still not been subjected to peer-reviewed publication, a magnifying glass is required to discern any functional benefit.
Improvement was noted only in bradykinesia (slowness of movement) and rigidity (stiffness of muscles). Consider the following results in the younger group for whom the fetal transplants are reported to have "worked":
No change in "freezing," a sudden, disturbing loss of all movement.
No improvement in initiating walking.
No improvement in tremor, one of the hallmark signs of Parkinson's disease.
No improvement in walking balance.
No lessening in the number of falls.
No improvement in dyskinesias, the troubling extra body movements that appear in advanced patients.
And this was for the younger group of patients, the group reported as showing benefit. However, even among the younger patients, individual outcomes were unpredictable. "There's enormous individual variation," stated Dr. Gerald Fischbach, director of the NINDS (which funded the study), to the Washington Post (April 22, 2000). "This is not a yes or no thing."
Also putting a brave face on the results was Dr. Curt Freed of Colorado, co-director of the study with Dr. Fahn. "We need to reduce the variability of the transplant response," Dr. Freed told the New York Times. Others were more direct. Dr. J. William Langston, president of the Parkinson's Institute, told the Times, "I'm disappointed the results were not more dramatic."
Two patients who received the fetal transplants later died from causes stated to be unrelated to the implant surgery. Autopsies of their brains showed survival and growth of the transplanted fetal cells, at seven months and three years after surgery, respectively.
Proponents of the study used these results to claim the transplant concept is a viable one. However, it turns out that the presence of strong regrowth did not correlate with improvement in function.
Patients in the study were given PET brain scans, which can indicate how much of the depleted brain chemical dopamine is being secreted in various parts of the brain. Two-thirds of patients had at least a 20% improvement in dopamine signal from the transplanted area, in both the older and younger groups. Yet the older patients showed no functional improvement at all.
This led Long Island's Dr. David Eidelberg, who performed the scans, to ask rhetorically, "So why didn't the older group show the improvement the younger group did?" (Medical Post, May 4, 2000).
Fortunately for patients with Parkinson's disease, the present and future looks promising along other therapeutic avenues. The sources come either from non-human sources or from within the patient's own brain.
A multi-center human trial utilizing brain tissue from embryonic pigs is underway. Just recently, a startling result was announced from Spain, where researchers working with monkeys extracted cells from a site near the carotid artery in the neck and transplanted them into the monkey's own brain, where they produced the key neuro-chemical dopamine at 35 times the rate of fetal cells. This raises the possibility of a Parkinson's patient being able to be his own donor, utilizing a group of cells with potentially far greater efficacy.
The emerging field of stem cell research (involving stems cells from sources other than human embryos) also looks exciting. Stem cells are developmentally "young," capable of "differentiating" into a number of specialized body cells, such as bone, muscle, and brain cells. While early research found these cells in embryos, new evidence reveals they may lurk in various regions of adult humans.
Parkinson's disease expert Dr. Mark Guttman of the University of Toronto points out that up to 3% of brain cells in a person's gray matter may actually be a form of neural-based stem cell. A pool of these cells can be extracted from brain tissue removed from humans for a variety of therapeutic reasons, then cultured, stored, and eventually encouraged to mature into dopamine-producing cells, suitable for transplant.
Finally subject to the stringent placebo-controlled standards of the rest of medical research, fetal transplantation in Parkinson's disease has been found sorely lacking, even among those for whom there is no ethical dilemma. The research world has largely moved on, turning the page on yet another attempt by abortion advocates to fashion an altruistic spin on modern medicine's most shameful ongoing practice.
Dr. Ranalli is a neurologist at the University of Toronto, and a member of the Advisory Council
of the deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research.
return to contents
Derived from article by The National right to Life Committee, http://www.nrlc.org/
WASHINGTON On August 23, The National Institutes of Health (NIH) released final guidelines for sponsoring research that will kill human embryos in order to obtain their stem cells. In response, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) issued the following statement: "The Clinton-Gore Administration is preparing to violate the law by funding research that will kill human embryos," said NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson. "We believe these funds instead should be used for research on stem cells taken from adults, an area in which there have been many recent breakthroughs."
Since 1996, federal law (the "Dickey Amendment") has prohibited federal funding of any "research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death . . . " Yet, under the guidelines released August 23, 2000, researchers would obtain advance approval from NIH for projects that require the obtaining and killing of numerous human embryos. The Administration says that this is legal as long as non-federal funds are used to actually kill the embryos a claim dismissed by NRLC. "If a law said that no federal funds may support 'research in which porpoises are destroyed,' and a federal agency then told its grantees to arrange for porpoises to be caught and killed for use in federally approved experiments, everyone would recognize this as illegal," Johnson commented.
For information on recent advances in stem cell research that does not require the killing of human embryos, see http://www.nccbuscc.org/prolife/issues/bioethic/factsheets.htm.
return to contents
13. Jesus Teaches the People, and Heals the Sick
ON a Sabbath day Jesus was teaching in the synagogue in Capharnaum. From the
synagogue He went to the house of Simon Peter and Andrew, his brother. Peter's
mother-in-law was suffering from a dangerous fever, and they asked the Lord to cure her.
Jesus drew near to her bed, took her by the hand and commanded the fever. Immediately
she arose being cured of the sickness and waited on Jesus and His disciples.
2. After sunset, the sick and infirm of the whole city were brought to Jesus. He laid His hand on
every one of them and healed them.
3. Jesus wandered about in the whole land of Galilee and preached. He said to the people:
"Do penance and believe." All those that were suffering from sickness or disease were
brought to Him, and He cured them all.
1. Who was sick in the house of Peter and Andrew?
2. What did Christ do after sunset?
3. What did Jesus preach in Galilee?
14. Jesus Raises from the Dead the Son of the Widow of Naim
IT came to pass one day, that Jesus went into a city called Naim. And there went with Him
His disciples, and a great crowd of people. As He came near the gate of the city, behold! a
dead man was carried out, the only son of a widow. The poor mother, full of sorrow,
walked after the bier, and a great many people of the city accompanied her.
2. Jesus, seeing the bereaved mother, was moved with compassion towards her, and said:
"Weep not !" Then He made a sign to the bearers to stop, and coming up, He touched the
bier and said: "Young man, I say to thee, arise." And he that had been dead sat up, and
began to speak. And Jesus gave him to his mother.
3. All those who witnessed this great miracle were seized with fear. They glorified God,
saying: "A great prophet is risen up amongst us, and God has visited His people."
1. What did Jesus meet in the gate of the city of Naim?
2. What did Jesus say to the mother?
What to the dead man?
3. What did the people say?
return to contents
Q. 216. What are angels?
A. Angels are pure spirits without a body, created to adore and enjoy God in heaven.
Q. 217. If Angels have no bodies, how could they appear?
A. Angels could appear by taking bodies to render themselves visible for a time; just as the
Holy Spirit took the form of a dove and the devil took the form of a serpent.
Q. 218. Name some persons to whom Angels appeared.
A. Angels appeared to the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph; also to Abraham, Lot, Jacob,
Tobias and others.
Q. 219. Were the angels created for any other purpose?
A. The angels were also created to assist before the throne of God and to minister unto
Him; they have often been sent as messengers from God to man; and are also appointed
Q. 220. Are all the Angels equal in dignity?
A. All the Angels are not equal in dignity. There are nine choirs or classes mentioned in the
Holy Scripture. The highest are called Seraphim and the lowest simply Angels. The
Archangels are one class higher than ordinary Angels.
Q. 221. Mention some Archangels and tell what they did.
A. The Archangel Michael drove Satan out of heaven; the Archangel Gabriel announced to
the Blessed Virgin that she was to become the Mother of God. The Archangel Raphael
guided and protected Tobias.
Q. 222. Were Angels ever sent to punish men?
A. Angels were sometimes sent to punish men. An Angel killed 185,000 men in the army of
a wicked king who had blasphemed God; an Angel also slew the first-born in the families of
the Egyptians who had persecuted God's people.
Q. 223. What do our guardian Angels do for us?
A. Our guardian Angels pray for us, protect and guide us, and offer our prayers, good
works and desires to God.
Q. 224. How do we know that Angels offer our prayers and good works to God?
A. We know that Angels offer our prayers and good works to God because it is so stated in
Holy Scripture, and Holy Scripture is the Word of God.
Q. 225. Why did God appoint guardian Angels if He watches over us Himself?
A. God appointed guardian Angels to secure for us their help and prayers, and also to show
His great love for us in giving us these special servants and faithful friends.
Q. 226. Were the angels, as God created them, good and happy?
A. The angels, as God created them, were good and happy.
Q. 227. Did all the angels remain good and happy?
A. All the angels did not remain good and happy; many of them sinned and were cast into
hell, and these are called devils or bad angels.
Q. 228. Do we know the number of good and bad Angels?
A. We do not know the number of the good or bad Angels, but we know it is very great.
Q. 229. What was the devil's name before he fell, and why was he cast out of heaven?
A. Before he fell, Satan, or the devil, was called Lucifer, or light-bearer, a name which
indicates great beauty. He was cast out of heaven because through pride he rebelled against
Q. 230. How do the bad Angels act toward us?
A. The bad Angels try by every means to lead us into sin. The efforts they make are called
temptations of the devil.
Q. 231. Why does the devil tempt us?
A. The devil tempts us because he hates goodness, and does not wish us to enjoy the
happiness which he himself has lost. He also hates God and does not want God to achieve
God's goal of having us be happy with God for all eternity.
Q. 232. Can we by our own power overcome the temptations of the devil?
A. We cannot by our own power overcome the temptations of the devil, because the devil is
wiser than we are; for, being an Angel, he is more intelligent, and he did not lose his
intelligence by falling into sin any more than we do now. Therefore, to overcome his
temptations we need the help of God.
return to contents
Congress has begun to take notice of the growing controversy over trafficking in baby body parts.
In late October, during Senate consideration of the Partial - Birth Abortion Ban Act, pro-life Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) offered an amendment to require detailed reporting on transactions involving the body parts of babies killed by abortion. The amendment failed on a close vote, 46-51. The roll call on the Smith Amendment appears at the end of this article.
Two weeks later, the House of Repre-sentatives adopted an NRLC - backed resolution (H. Res. 350), sponsored by Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-Co.), calling for Congress to hold hearings next year "and take appropriate steps if necessary, concerning private companies that are involved in the trafficking of baby body parts for profit."
Senator Smith told the Senate that he drafted his amendment after reviewing leaked documents and other materials regarding firms that collect and sell fetal tissue and organs to medical researchers. (For a fuller report on these matters, please see the article "A New Growth Industry in Baby Body Parts," by Susan Wills.)
On October 20 and 21, Smith gave two lengthy floor speeches regarding his amendment, detailing allegations of trafficking in baby body parts by firms such as Opening Lines and the Anatomical Gift Foundation.
During these discourses, Smith displayed various order forms that were reportedly leaked by a former employee of the Anatomical Gift Foundation. He also displayed a poster-size reproduction of the current price list for baby body parts allegedly published by Opening Lines, which includes such entries as "Brain (>8 weeks) $150," "Skin (>12 weeks) $150," "Gonads $550," and "Intact Trunk (with/without limbs) $550."
"I want to try to paint you a picture of what happens," Smith said. "A girl walks into a clinic and sits down to wait. A fax comes in, and the fax contains a list of what body parts are needed for that day. . . . He [the abortionist] looks out into the waiting room and stares at her stomach, and knows this [tissue order] is [for] the very same child who is very much alive now, perhaps even moving and kicking. He knows that child will be dead in a few moments, and they already have the work order. . . . After her abortion, in a matter of 10 minutes . . . that baby can be shipped to researchers across the country - - just like going into a supermarket and buying a piece of meat."
Smith's amendment would have required persons who receive fetal tissue to file reports with the Department of Health and Human Services, specifying the gestational age of the fetus, the abortion method used, the fees paid to the abortion clinic, and other information.
The amendment also would have limited the amount of "site fees" paid by tissue vendors to abortion clinics to amounts "reasonable in terms of reimbursement for the actual real estate of facilities used." There have been indications that vendors pay inflated "site fees" in order to circumvent a federal law that theoretically prohibits profiteering on human tissue.
Smith's amendment explicitly excluded information that might identify an abortionist or a woman procuring an abortion. However, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Ca.) opposed the amendment, arguing that it would allow people to learn the names of clinics at which fetal tissue is being collected, "which I fear could escalate violence at health care clinics all over this country."
No other senator responded directly to Smith's speeches, but the amendment failed narrowly, 46-51. Smith vowed that he would continue to pursue the issue during the congressional session that begins in January.
House Approves Hearings
In the House, several key pro-life lawmakers decided that a fuller investigation of the facts would be advisable before proposing remedial legislation. On November 2, Congress-man Tancredo introduced a resolution urging hearings on the issue, with the backing of Congressman Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), who chairs a conservative alliance known as the Values Action Team, and Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), the co-chairman of the House Pro- Life Caucus.
The 1999 congressional session was already in its closing days, and ordinarily there would not have been time for the resolution to reach the floor before adjournment. But with the authorization of pro-life Congressman Tom Bliley (R-Va.) - - who is chairman of the powerful House Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over the issue -- the House Republican leadership brought the resolution to the floor on November 9 under a special fast-track procedure called "suspension of the rules."
Because of the "fast track" procedure under which the bill was considered, debate was limited to 40 minutes. The floor time in support of the resolution was managed by pro-life Rep. Vito Fossella (R-NY), a member of the Commerce Committee. Also speaking in support of the resolution were Reps. Tancredo, Pitts, Smith, and Tom Coburn (R-Ok.).
Rep. Tancredo compared the recently reported practices of baby body parts vendors to "the gro-tesque deeds carried out in Communist China, where buyers can place orders for specific organs from bodies of certain blood types. Prisoners matching the specifications are then slaughtered and their organs harvested and sold."
Pro-life lawmakers said that one of the issues that should be investigated is whether abortionists are altering the timing or method of abortions in order to obtain baby body parts of the desired stage of development and condition. "We're inducing, through the profit motive, abortionists to put the life of their patients at risk for monetary gain," said Rep. Coburn, who is a physician.
Opposition to the resolution was led by Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Co.), who lamented "the use of inflammatory and imprecise language" such as "baby body parts."
"Fetal tissue research has already resulted in significant advances in the treatment of Parkinson's disease and even in more potential advances for Alzheimer's, diabetes, and many other serious medical conditions," she asserted.
"We have other options than buying and selling dead children's body parts for research," said Rep. Pitts. "Don't believe the lie that medical progress hinges on this cruel commerce. The issue we focus on today is not research, but the buying and selling of baby body parts for profit."
Pro-abortion Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) said that sponsors "are attempting to corrupt medical research with the politics of abortion." Others expressing opposition to the resolution were Reps. Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Henry Waxman (D-Ca.).
Because of the fast-track procedure under which the resolution was being considered, it would have been defeated if it had been opposed by just one-third-plus-one of the House. But opponents, apparently fearing that they would fail to muster even that level of opposition, did not demand a roll call, so the resolution was approved on a voice vote. No Senate action is required.
In a letter to the House urging approval of the resolution, Gail Quinn, executive director of the
Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, referred to
"recent disturbing reports, presenting credible evidence that private companies are working
directly with the abortion industry in the trafficking and sale of fetal body parts, often harvested
moments after an abortion to obtain 'fresh' tissue for researchers. This raises a serious question:
Are abortion procedures being tailored to obtain the most useful tissue or parts, regardless of
federal legal standards or the safety of the mother?"
NRLC Letter to U.S. House Asks for Hearings on Baby Parts Trafficking
As explained in the story that appears on this page 12, on November 9, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted a resolution calling for Congress to "conduct hearings, and take appropriate steps if necessary, concerning private companies that are involved in the trafficking of baby body parts for profit."
The resolution, sponsored by Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-Co.), was actively backed by NRLC. Shown below is the text of a letter faxed to House offices by NRLC on November 8, urging support for the measure.
Although several pro-abortion House members (led by Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Co.) spoke against the resolution, it was adopted on a voice vote. No Senate action is required.
TEXT OF NRLC LETTER TO U.S. HOUSE IN SUPPORT OF TANCREDO RESOLUTION
November 8, 1999
Dear Member of Congress:
The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) urges you to support H. Res. 350, authored by Congressman Tancredo, when it comes before the House tomorrow (Nov. 9) on the suspension calendar. The resolution expresses the sense of the House that Congress should hold hearings regarding "the trafficking of baby body parts for profit."
A number of respected publications have recently published troubling articles based on documents that have leaked out of the baby body parts industry, and interviews with officials of firms that collect and sell baby body parts. We would in particular direct your attention to "The Harvest of Abortion" by Lynn Vincent, the cover story for the October 23 edition of World, a highly regarded evangelical newsweekly. (See www.worldmag.com/world/issue/10-23-99/cover_1.asp.)
We would hope that H. Res. 350 will receive overwhelming support, since a vote against this modest resolution is in effect a vote to endorse the unsavory status quo. A vote in favor of the resolution, however, does not prejudge what changes in law may be warranted in this area, since the resolution merely urges that Congress hold hearings "and take appropriate steps if necessary, concerning private companies that are involved in the trafficking of baby body parts for profit."
Douglas Johnson Legislative Director
Susan Muskett, J.D. Policy Analyst
X Vote for the Smith Amendment (pro-life)
O Vote against the Smith Amendment (pro-abortion)
? Absent or not voting
Alabama: Shelby (R) X; Sessions, J. (R) X
Alaska: Stevens (R) O; Murkowski (R) X
Arizona: McCain (R) X; Kyl (R) X
Arkansas: Hutchinson, T. (R) X; Lincoln (D) O
California: Feinstein (D) O; Boxer (D) O
Colorado: Campbell, B. (R) X; Allard (R) X
Connecticut: Dodd (D) O; Lieberman (D) O
Delaware: Roth (R) O; Biden (D) O
Florida: Graham, B. (D) O; Mack (R) ?
Georgia: Coverdell (R) X; Cleland (D) O
Hawaii: Inouye (D) O; Akaka (D) O
Idaho: Craig (R) X; Crapo (R) X
Illinois: Durbin (D) O; Fitzgerald (R) X
Indiana: Lugar (R) X; Bayh (D) O
Iowa: Grassley (R) X; Harkin (D) O
Kansas: Brownback (R) X; Roberts (R) X Kentucky: McConnell (R) X; Bunning (R) X
Louisiana: Breaux (D) X; Landrieu (D) O Maine: Snowe (R) O; Collins, S. (R) O Maryland: Sarbanes (D) O; Mikulski (D) O Massachusetts: Kennedy, E. (D) O; Kerry, J. (D) O
Michigan: Levin, C. (D) O; Abraham (R) X
Minnesota: Wellstone (D) O; Grams, R. (R) X
Mississippi: Cochran (R) X; Lott (R) X Missouri: Bond (R) X; Ashcroft (R) X Montana: Baucus, M. (D) O; Burns (R) X
Nebraska: Kerrey, R. (D) O; Hagel (R) X Nevada: Reid, H. (D) O; Bryan (D) O New Hampshire: Smith, R.C. (R) X; Gregg (R) ?
New Jersey: Lautenberg (D) O; Torricelli (D) O
New Mexico: Domenici (R) X; Bingaman (D) O
New York: Moynihan (D) O; Schumer (D) O
North Carolina: Helms (R) X: Edwards, J. (D) O
North Dakota: Conrad (D) O; Dorgan (D) O
Ohio: DeWine (R) X; Voinovich (R) X Oklahoma: Nickles (R) X; Inhofe (R) X Oregon: Wyden (D) O: Smith, G. (R) X Pennsylvania: Specter (R) O; Santorum (R) X
Rhode Island: Reed, J. (D) O; Chafee, J. (R) ?
South Carolina: Thurmond, S. (R) X; Hollings (D) O
South Dakota: Daschle (D) O; Johnson, T. (D) O
Tennessee: Thompson, F. (R) X: Frist (R) X
Texas: Gramm, P. (R) X; Hutchison, K. (R) X
Utah: Hatch (R) X; Bennett (R) X Vermont: Leahy (D) O; Jeffords (R) O Virginia: Warner (R) O; Robb (D) O Washington: Gorton, S. (R) X; Murray (D) O
West Virginia: Byrd (D) O; Rockefeller (D) O
Wisconsin: Kohl (D) O; Feingold (D) O
Wyoming: Thomas, C. (R) X; Enzi (R) X
return to contents
Obtained From The National right to Life Committee, http://www.nrlc.org/
The following is the text of a press release issued on Monday, March 6, 2000, by ABC News 20/20 in New York.
A three-month "20/20" hidden-camera investigation has uncovered an industry in which tissue and organs from aborted fetuses, donated to help medical research, are being marketed for hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars.
"20/20" has investigated one businessman whose company issued a price list charging what many call exorbitant prices for fetal tissue. In addition, ABC News "20/20" chief correspondent Chris Wallace has an exclusive interview with a whistle-blower who says two tissue retrieval companies he worked for went so far as to, on some occasions, encourage him to take fetal tissue obtained from women who had not consented to donate their fetuses to medical research. The report will air on "20/20 Wednesday," March 8 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.
Many say that fetal tissue is vital in scientific research that may provide dramatic medical breakthroughs, and federal law permits the donation of tissue from aborted fetuses for that purpose. But the law says companies that transport fetal tissue to medical research labs may only charge a reasonable fee to recover costs of collecting and shipping human tissue. "20/20's" investigation found some companies are charging high fees -- fees that critics say are not based on recovering costs; for example, the price list for one company, Opening Lines, includes listings of $325 for a spinal cord, $550 for a reproductive organ, $999 for a brain.
How are these prices determined? One "20/20" producer went undercover as a potential investor to meet Dr. Miles Jones, a Missouri pathologist whose company, Opening Lines, obtains fetal tissue from clinics and ships it to research labs. "It's market force," Dr. Jones told the producer about how he sets his prices. "It's what you can sell it for." He says he hopes to run his own abortion clinic in Mexico where he says he could get a greater supply of fetal tissue by offering cheaper abortions: "If you control the flow -- it's probably the equivalent of the invention of the assembly line."
"That's trading in body parts. There's no doubt about it," said Arthur Caplan, director of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Bioethics.
Representative Thomas Bliley (R-VA), who chairs the United States House Commerce Committee, says his committee is now investigating four companies after finding evidence they may be selling tissue for a profit. He says the committee is interested in ensuring that people transporting fetal tissue only recover their legitimate costs. "It appears that it's more than that. That it comes down to trafficking in tissue parts," he tells Mr. Wallace. Rep. Bliley's committee expects to hold hearings on this issue later this week. [Note: The House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health and the Environment has scheduled a hearing on Thursday, March 9, at 2 p.m., on the subject, "Fetal Tissue: Is It Being Bought and Sold in Violation of Federal Law?"]
The issue has outraged both pro-life and pro-choice advocates. "Where there is wrongdoing, it
should be prosecuted and the people who are doing that kind of thing should be brought to
justice," said Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood.
(Ed - Apparently Planned Parenthood believes selling baby parts is bad press for Planned
Parenthood's baby killing business - that selling baby parts just might give the baby killing
business a "bad name", and thus cut Planned Parenthood's revenues.)
return to contents
We can not present the pictures of aborted babies, and the descriptions as to how babies are
murdered in abortions. Why? We simply can not bear to.
But anyone who thinks something good can come from killing babies, and anyone who thinks
any type of research should be done using baby parts, must first know what they are thereby
Picture, written procedures, and even videos, of abortions and babies murdered by abortion, are available on the World Wide Web, at:
The advocates of abortion and of research using murdered babies should look at these pictures,
read the descriptions of the procedures, and watch the videos. If, after so doing, the advocates
continue to be advocates, then the general public should be wary of these individuals.
return to contents
A pastoral agreement between the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa and the Coptic Church was signed on Thursday, April 5th, 2001 regarding the Sacrament of Matrimony and mixed marriages.
The pastoral agreement was signed by the Heads of the two Churches, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa and His Beatitude Shenouda III, Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church at the See of the Coptic Patriarchate in Cairo.
The pastoral agreement is a result of the bipartite talks and was accepted by the Holy Synods of both Churches, the dialogue having started between the family of the Orthodox Churches and the family of the traditional East Churches. The agreements achieved in 1989 in Egypt and in 1990 in Geneva related to Christology issues and restoration of the communion between the two families and finally the recognition of the Sacrament of Baptism.
This pastoral agreement recognizes the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony that takes place in any of the two Churches. In more detail, if a member of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa marries a member of the Coptic Orthodox Church it is not necessary, any longer, for the service to take place in both Churches. For as long as it has taken place in either Church then the other is obligated to recognize it. This, is hoped, will tighten the relationship between the two Churches and will assist the faithful of either Church who live in Egypt and very often take to mix marriages.
His Beatitude on this occasion was accompanied by H.G. Alexios, Patriarchal Vicar in Cairo and the Very Revd. George El Samaa.
The two Patriarchs, among everything else, wished this pastoral agreement to help and nurture
the growth of cooperation between the two sister Churches.
From the Press Office of the Patriarchate,
Alexandria, April 6th, 2001
return to contents
ORTHODOX-CATHOLIC CONSULTATION CONTINUES STUDY OF THE
From: ORTHODOX WORLD NEWS
New York, NY The sixtieth meeting of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation was held at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, NY, from May 29 to 31, 2001. The meeting was chaired on the Orthodox side by His Eminence Metropolitan Maximos, Presiding Bishop of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Pittsburgh. The Catholic Co-Chairman, Archbishop Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee, was unable to attend because of pressing matters in his Archdiocese.
At this session the Consultation continued its study of the problem of the filioque, the insertion by the Western Church of the phrase, "and the Son" into the article of the Creed dealing with the Holy Spirit. This practice, which was first sanctioned in Spain at the Council of Toledo in 598 but was not accepted in Rome until the 11th century, has for many centuries been the object of dispute between the Orthodox and Catholic churches. Along these lines Rev. George Berthold presented a paper entitled "The Procession of the Holy Spirit in Some Greek Fathers," which studied those texts frequently cited by Latin authors in defense of the filioque. Professor Robert Haddad read his paper, "The Stations of the Filioque," which surveyed the evolution of the filioque controversy in its political and ecclesiological context. Rev. James Dutko presented an article by Theodore Stylianopoulos entitled, "The Filioque: Dogma, Theologoumenon or Error?" that had been read at a 1985 consultation on the Holy Spirit sponsored by the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA.
In addition, Fr. Paul Schnierla presented a brief paper on Archbishop John Quinn's 1999 book, "The Reform of the Papacy: The Costly Call to Christian Unity," and the members examined a number of developments in the lives of their respective churches and the relations between them. The Consultation's study of the filioque problem will continue at its next meeting, scheduled to take place from October 11 to 13, 2001, in Washington, DC.
The members of the Consultation were honored on May 30 with a visit from His Eminence Iakovos, retired Former Greek Orthodox Archbishop of North and South America, one of the founders of the North American dialogue. In his extemporaneous remarks, His Eminence recalled events early in his life that caused him to become firmly committed to the effort to reestablish full communion between the Orthodox and Catholic churches. He encouraged the members to continue in the same spirit in which the dialogue had begun, and thanked them for not growing tired with its slow pace, especially on the international level. While some have lost hope that the goal of unity will be achieved, it is nevertheless the will of Christ, his Eminence said. The Archbishop advised patience and fervent prayer that the Holy Spirit will reanimate the old fire in our hearts for unity.
The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation is sponsored jointly by the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of America and the Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. It was the first official dialogue between the two churches, founded in 1965 and predating the international dialogue by 15 years. Another body, the Joint Committee of Orthodox and Catholic Bishops, has been meeting annually since 1981 to discuss pastoral issues between the two churches.
In addition to the two co-chairmen, the Orthodox members of the Consultation include Rev. Thomas FitzGerald (Secretary), Archbishop Peter of New York, Rev. Nicholas Apostola, Prof. Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Rev. Alkiviadis Calivas, Rev. James Dutko, Prof. John Erickson, Rev. Alexander Golitzin, Rev. Emmanuel Gratsias, Dr. Robert Haddad, Prof. Lewis Patsavos, Rev. Paul Schnierla, Rev. Robert Stephanopoulos, and Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos (staff). The additional Catholic members are Rev. Brian Daley, SJ (secretary), Msgr. Frederick McManus, Rev. George Berthold, Prof. Thomas Bird, Rev. Peter Galadza, Rev. John Galvin, Sr. Donna Geernaert, SC, Rev. Sidney Griffith, ST, Rev. John Long, SJ, Rev. David Petras, Prof. Robin Darling Young, and Rev. Ronald Roberson, CSP (staff).
return to contents
If you do not forgive, then you carry the burden of the wrong which has been done. One who
forebears still seeks a final recompense, and bears the burden of seeking that recompense.
But forgiveness loves the wrongdoer and is heartbroken at the wrongdoer's self destruction to
what ever the extent that self destruction is caused by the evil done, and rejoices at the
wrondoer's repentance because repentance stops the self destruction imposed on the
wrongdoer by the wrongdoer. + Paul, S.S.B.
return to contents
(The Editors reserve the right to reject any submissions, and to edit as necessary. Letters must be typed, single space, signed, and include the sender's name address, and day and evening telephone numbers - If your typed letter is acompanied by an ASCII DOS Text copy on a floppy, we will thank you with extra prayers - Ed.)
WORLD WIDE WEB:
The direct connection to computer which functions as the message, file, and communications center for The Society of Clerks Secular of Saint Basil, is:
Issues of REUNION, in color, in Adobe PDF and HTML, are available at:
Dial-up WWW acess: Basilian Clergy and Parishioners have free access to the WWW (keep
it clean or you will be locked-out) using WinServer Navigator (WildCat Navigator) through
the Basilian central communications system at Holy Innocents Orthodox Church BBS (504)
On Line Chat Room: at the main web site log-in http://www.reu.org Clergy "chat schedule"
is posted on the "Chat Room" log-on page.
return to contents
return to contents
Rev. Fr. Dcn. Peter Angasan
P.O. Box 70123
South Naknek, Alaska 99670-0123
What is it like being a Deacon in Alaska, trying to feed your family and take care of the people
God has entrusted to your care? Excerpts edited from a letter from Fr. Deacon Peter, written 3
June 2001 A.D., give an inkling:
What is the news? I have been getting ready for fishing but the prices do not look too good -
about three dollars a fish. They are running weights about six to seven per fish. The weather
has been very hot here in South Naknek, Alaska the land of the free where the land is untouched -
ah, ah, but the winter is a different story. It is very cold: sixty below zero with a North wind
and you wear six layers of clothing. People in our villages are in a world of hurt due to bad
fishing and our churches . . . Alcohol and drugs are everywhere. From our children to the
parents, most use something and because of that their faith in God is what gets hurt. What they
need is a friend to talk to and just listen. Hey I got my first fish today so our fish are coming.
return to contents
DIVINE LITURGY "MASS" CARDS
Commonly called "Mass Cards", these 4 1/4" by 5 1/2 " (folded) Icon cards feature the
above Icons, and open to reveal prayer intentions for the living and for those who have
Fallen Asleep in The Lord.
ICON # 4 ICON # 7 ICON # 11 ICON # 19 ICON # 26 SOUFANIEH
For those who have Fallen Asleep in The Lord, Icon # 19 graces the cover, with the following text (reduced here to fit in this column) inside:
General Intentions For the Living, for weddings, illnesses, general need, and for the sake of prayer itself, etc., cards, have Icons nos. 4, 7, 11, and 26, and a photograph of the Icon of Our Lady of Soufanieh showing the olive oil dripping from the bottom of the Icon's frame, are available on the covers. All the Icons are full color printed cards, except Our Lady of Soufanieh, which is a color photograph.
The text on the inside of the cards for the living is given above, again reduced here to fit inside the column.
These cards are very beautiful, light gray or bamboo in color, but they are only a product - something to induce you to make a donation which we use to support the various works we provide, including publication of REUNION.
To have a person included in our prayers and at Divine Liturgy, send us a note, or fill out the form in the right column of this page and send it to us. There is no fee for the prayers and Masses, that would be Simony. These cards are also available without prayer intentions, and can be used for regular note or religiously oriented note stationery.
Consider obtaining a small supply, and send the prayer request slip which accompanies the cards when you actually use the card.
Like Monasteries which obtain donations for their Icons, or sell Icons and other items, the donations we receive from these cards are of great use to us. Your help is always appreciated.
If you wish someone to be included in our payer and Divine Liturgy intentions, please just fill in the form below and send it to us - but do not send any money. Prayers are free, the cards cost money.
ITEM QUANTITY REQUESTED TOTAL
Mass Cards: Each
Icon # 4 _________ $2.00 $____________
Icon #7 _________ $2.00 $____________
Icon #11 _________ $2.00 $____________
Icon #19 (Deceased) _________ $2.00 $____________
Icon #26 _________ $2.00 $____________
Soufanieh _________ $3.00 $____________
Icon Stationery Cards: (same as Mass cards but without inside inscription, packs of 10
cards and 11 envelopes)
Icon #4 _________ $15.00 $____________
Icon #7 _________ $15.00 $____________
Icon #11 _________ $15.00 $____________
Icon #19 _________ $15.00 $____________
Icon #26 _________ $15.00 $____________
Soufanieh _________ $22.00 $____________
Liturgical Calendars: (may contain errors, we try to correct them as we receive notice)
General Calendar _________ $6.00 for one $____________
(55 pages +/-) _________ $2.00 for each $____________
at same time
For Year 2000 _________ $6.00 for one $____________
(49 pages +/-) _________ $2.00 for each $____________
at same time
Western Rite Divine Liturgy with rubrics:
Pew Size _________ $5.00 for one $____________
_________ $2.00 for each $____________
at same time
8 1/2" x 11 " pages _________ $9.00 for one $____________
_________ $4.00 for each $____________
at same time
PLEASE PRINT ! ! !
REQUEST PLACED BY:
There are no shipping charges. Propriety requires the total requested donation amount accompany your products request. Send product request with donation to:
return to contents
return to contents