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Archive for February, 2010

Abortion and abortion’s apologists have succeeded in twisting and distorting even a once-objective, just-the-facts, and statistically-oriented discipline as Public Health. In the not-so distant past, pregnancy was defined in medical textbooks as the result of fertilization of egg by sperm. Now it’s defined as implantation of the embryo in the uterus. Semantics? Hardly.

This represents a fundamental shift that protects the in vitro fertilization industry. If pregnancy is defined by implantation, then there is hardly an ethical hurdle when it comes to sifting through dozens of embryo’s in search of the ‘most fit’. Some might call them ‘keepers’. The rest may simply be discarded.

The in vitro fertilization industry and its related embryonic stem cell research industry, which makes use of ‘leftover’ embryos in frozen storage, serve as a bulwark for abortion, appealing to utilitarian sentiments regarding the alleviation of emotional and physical suffering, respectively.

Even defining something as simple as infant mortality has become a semantic three-ring circus.

Case in point: CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics released a study this past November entitled, Behind International Rankings of Infant Mortality: How the United States Compares with Europe. The Bottom line is that the U.S. ranks 30/31 nations in the study in infant mortality rates.

A look at figure #1 in the study doesn’t inspire confidence as the study bills itself as a comparison between the U.S. and Europe, but goes on to include Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Cuba.

Table #1 inspires even less confidence as it details what constitutes ‘live births’ in the countries under study. The following countries take the most expansive definition of ‘live birth’ to include any birth of a living baby without regard to gestational age:

Austria, Denmark, England and Wales, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Scotland, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, United States.

Norway, Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland are listed as having varying reporting criteria, including a 500 gram birthweight, gestational age, and in the Czech Republic, the added requirement that the infant survives the first 24 hours.

No mention at all of the remaining 12 countries in the study.

Additionally, the study claims, “Differences in national birth registration notwithstanding, there can also be individual differences between physicians or hospitals in the reporting of births for very small infants who die soon after birth.”

It’s difficult to compare nations to one another when the very definition of ‘live birth’ is up for grabs, when different nations take a more or less aggressive approach to saving the life of the neonate.

These approaches also have much to do with who is paying the bill. Governments with socialized medicine and flat economies have a powerful disincentive to attempt aggressive, costly life-saving measures, and may well be more apt to recommend abortion in cases where fetal anomalies are detected, further skewing the data.

Of course this study neglects to mention those realities.

They’re not politically correct.

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By Popular Demand

Quite a few people have asked if we could use the book EMBRYO: A Defense of Human Life, by Robert P. George and Christopher Tollefsen, for our Pro-Life Academy. Beginning March 16, we’ll discuss a chapter per week from this extraordinary book. Written in plain language, it gives an excellent biological description of development, as well as the philosophical and ethical arguments in favor of the embryo’s personhood. Check it out at Amazon. Order soon!

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File photo of unknown event. Copyright © L'Osservatore Romano - Tutti i diritti riservati

REPOST AS WE DIG OUT FROM THE LATEST SNOW

From the Encyclical Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life) #99:

“I would like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly.”

“If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You will come to understand that nothing is definitely lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child, who is now living in the Lord.”

“With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone’s right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life.”

~Pope John Paul II

I’ve included a side-bar panel titled Healing Post-Abortion for post-abortive women and men, or those who know them. There are wonderful ministries linked to there.

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THIS BLOG IS A GOOD FRIEND OF KAREN MALEC, PRESIDENT AND COFOUNDER OF THE COALITION ON ABORTION/BREAST CANCER. SHE DOES GREAT WORK WITH THE COALITION, AND DOES NOT OFTEN ASK DIRECTLY FOR SUPPORT. IF ANYONE WHO VISITS THE SITE IS AS IMPRESSED AS I HAVE BEEN AT THE REPOSITORY OF LIFE-SAVING INFORMATION THERE, THEN I ASK THAT YOU CONSIDER SUPPORTING THE COALITION’S WORK. THE FOLLOWING WAS IN MY EMAIL TODAY.

Dear Friends:

We are sharing with you four stories in our Abortion-Breast Cancer News Headlines (below) concerning the link between abortion and breast cancer. All but one discusses the latest findings from the study, Dolle et al. 2009, whose authors included National Cancer Institute branch chief Louise Brinton.

As our readers know, Jessica Dolle, Louise Brinton and their colleagues reported that “…abortion and oral contraceptive use were associated with increased breast cancer risk.” The increased risk for an aggressive, deadly form of breast cancer – triple-negative breast cancer – among users of oral contraceptives was astounding. Users under age 18 multiply their risk by 3.7 times. Recent users within the last one to five years multiply their risk by 4.2 times.

Try finding a report concerning the study, Dolle et al. 2009, on the websites of the pro-hormonal steroids for women crowd. We could not find any mention of it. You know what groups I mean – those who talk a good talk about being “pro-woman” and “caring about women’s health,” like the Feminist Majority and the National Organization (supposedly) for Women.

We cannot find any mention of the study, Dolle et al. 2009, on the websites of the American Cancer Society (which downplays the link between oral contraceptives and breast cancer) and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Nor do they display the least concern about the U.S. National Cancer Institute’s evident misconduct in covering up the abortion-breast cancer link at its infamous workshop in 2003.

Even though the agency’s position on the abortion-breast cancer link is clearly at odds with its branch chief’s (Louise Brinton’s) position. Even though the agency’s videocast shows that only studies showing no risk elevations for women with abortions were permitted to be examined at the workshop.

But wait, ladies! Be encouraged! Komen is teaming up with yet another new breast cancer foundation called the Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Foundation. And guess what! Together, they will “fight” triple-negative breast cancer and “find a cure” by raising funds for “breakthrough, life-saving research.”

Research is necessary, but it would not be as necessary if they would just tell the truth about how to avoid highly carcinogenic exposures, such as abortion and use of oral contraceptives.

Our January 2010 press releases broke the news about the Dolle team’s findings, and they generated many news stories about it. If you want us to continue our important work of protecting women’s lives, then please send us a contribution today.

Don’t forget to read the news stories below.

Sincerely,
Karen Malec
Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer

ABORTION-BREAST CANCER NEWS HEADLINES

“Correcting the bs on the abortion-breast cancer link”
By Dennis Byrne
ChicagoNow
February 12, 2010
Available at: http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/dennis-byrne-barbershop/2010/02/correcting-the-bs-on-the-abortion-breast-cancer-link.html

“Ignatieff’s abortion push unhealthy”
By Ian Gentles
Calgary Herald
February 15, 2010
Available at: http://www.calgaryherald.com/entertainment/Ignatieff+abortion+push+unhealthy/2565292/story.html

“Politically correcting the abortion-breast cancer link”
By Gerard M. Nadal, PhD
Headline Bistro
February 22, 2010
Available at: http://www.headlinebistro.com/en/columnists/nadal/index.html

“Medicine and the true cost of being in denial”
By Rev. Tad Pacholczyk, PhD
Director of Education, National Catholic Bioethics Center, http://www.ncbcenter.org
Colorado Catholic Herald
January 15, 2010
Available at: http://www.abortionbreastcancer.com/download/Medicine&truecostofdenialsm.pdf

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If you missed Part I last week, read it here.

In the past lesson we saw that the hormones estrogen and progesterone are responsible for normal breast development in an adolescent girl’s menstrual cycles. Birth control pills have extremely high levels of these hormones which mimic the elevated levels of the hormones during pregnancy. In either case, the breasts are stimulated to develop numerous extra cancer-prone Type-1 and Type-2 lobules with doubling of the number of ductules on each lobule. Today we consider the mechanism (we love that word in biology), or how, these situations give rise to cancers.

In past lessons we covered mitosis. During mitosis, DNA is replicated. When this happens, errors in DNA synthesis occur. Sometimes the errors escape the notice of a proofreading molecule that corrects these errors. When the repair crews come in they can make mistakes which lead to permanent mutation. If such a mutation occurs in certain cancer-causing genes, as illustrated in the diagram to he left, that cell is in danger of becoming cancerous.

Type-1 and Type-2 cells have greater numbers of receptors to bind estrogen and progesterone, which precipitates the DNA synthesis. The more these cells are stimulated, the greater the chance that the requisite number of mutations in a cell will be reached leading to cancer, as shown below right.

The conversion of 85% of these cells to cancer-resistant Type-4 cells at the end of a first full term pregnancy (FFTP) is the good news of pregnancy. The younger a woman is when she has a FFTP, the less cancer-prone cells she has developed over time. One Harvard study puts the risk of breast cancer at 3.5% elevation per year after the age of 24 until a woman has a FFTP. After a FFTP, the number of Type-4 cells produced from the remaining 15% of Type-1 and Type-2 cells increases.

Women add substantially to their risks when they delay FFTP, take oral contraceptives and/or have induced abortions, as these leave the breasts with an ever-increasing number of cancer-prone cells over a greater period of time in which cancer can develop.

Again, miscarriages are the exception to this rule, as it is precisely the lack of elevated estrogen and progesterone that led to the miscarriage.

Next time: Lies, damned lies, and more damned lies (from pro-choice hacks in lab coats).

Illustrations from the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute

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In the great struggle between the Culture of Death and the Culture of Life, a propaganda war against the Church and her view of women has been waged with great success in many quarters. Several lies have become the food of feminists, a grotesque bread of life for their disciples to feed upon. Chief among these lies are:

The Church teaches that women are servile.

The Church teaches that sex is only for making babies.

The Church teaches that women have no place in the work force.

The Church teaches that men are dominant in marriage.

We also know that war has been declared by these lost souls on motherhood, fatherhood, babies, family and sacramental union in marriage.

This is the first of several articles that will systematically deconstruct the tissue of lies fabricated by the feminist radicals. We begin with the writings of Pope John Paul II, who loved women and was loved by them in return. From:

APOSTOLIC LETTER
MULIERIS DIGNITATEM
OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF
JOHN PAUL II
ON THE
DIGNITY AND VOCATION
OF WOMEN
ON THE OCCASION
OF THE MARIAN YEAR

“Motherhood involves a special communion with the mystery of life, as it develops in the woman’s womb. The mother is filled with wonder at this mystery of life, and “understands” with unique intuition what is happening inside her. In the light of the “beginning”, the mother accepts and loves as a person the child she is carrying in her womb. This unique contact with the new human being developing within her gives rise to an attitude towards human beings – not only towards her own child, but every human being – which profoundly marks the woman’s personality. It is commonly thought that women are more capable than men of paying attention to another person, and that motherhood develops this predisposition even more. The man – even with all his sharing in parenthood – always remains “outside” the process of pregnancy and the baby’s birth; in many ways he has to learn his own “fatherhood” from the mother. One can say that this is part of the normal human dimension of parenthood, including the stages that follow the birth of the baby, especially the initial period. The child’s upbringing, taken as a whole, should include the contribution of both parents: the maternal and paternal contribution. In any event, the mother’s contribution is decisive in laying the foundation for a new human personality.

“In God’s eternal plan, woman is the one in whom the order of love in the created world of persons takes first root…

“Unless we refer to this order and primacy we cannot give a complete and adequate answer to the question about women’s dignity and vocation. When we say that the woman is the one who receives love in order to love in return, this refers not only or above all to the specific spousal relationship of marriage. It means something more universal, based on the very fact of her being a woman within all the interpersonal relationships which, in the most varied ways, shape society and structure the interaction between all persons – men and women. In this broad and diversified context, a woman represents a particular value by the fact that she is a human person, and, at the same time, this particular person, by the fact of her femininity. This concerns each and every woman, independently of the cultural context in which she lives, and independently of her spiritual, psychological and physical characteristics, as for example, age, education, health, work, and whether she is married or single.

“Therefore the Church gives thanks for each and every woman: for mothers, for sisters, for wives; for women consecrated to God in virginity; for women dedicated to the many human beings who await the gratuitous love of another person; for women who watch over the human persons in the family, which is the fundamental sign of the human community; for women who work professionally, and who at times are burdened by a great social responsibility; for “perfect” women and for “weak” women – for all women as they have come forth from the heart of God in all the beauty and richness of their femininity; as they have been embraced by his eternal love; as, together with men, they are pilgrims on this earth, which is the temporal “homeland” of all people and is transformed sometimes into a “valley of tears”; as they assume, together with men, a common responsibility for the destiny of humanity according to daily necessities and according to that definitive destiny which the human family has in God himself, in the bosom of the ineffable Trinity.”

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“The first casualty when war comes is truth.”

So said Senator Hiram Johnson a century ago, and remains true today in the war declared on Christian Civilization. The pivotal battle in this war is the issue of abortion, as abortion strikes at the very sanctity of human life, of motherhood, fatherhood, family, and the very essence of who we are, in Whose image we are made. So desperate are abortion’s proponents to present it as an absolute good, that clear and consistent data establishing a link between abortion and breast cancer have been actively denied by some of the very authors who discovered them, as they drafted a National Cancer Institute policy paper denying the existence of fifty years of data linking abortion and breast cancer.

The biology behind the issue is relatively straightforward. During puberty, girls produce 15-25 lobes in the breast, which will produce milk after the births of their babies. Each lobe may be thought of as a main branch of a tree. These lobes branch into several lobules. Under the influence of the menstrual hormones estrogen and progesterone, immature and cancer-susceptible Type-1 and Type-2 lobules form.

During normal pregnancy the ovaries secrete elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone, which cause the Type-1 and Type-2 lobules to increase in number. By mid-second trimester the breast size has doubled and rapidly matures under the influence of human placental lactogen. By 40 weeks of pregnancy, 85% of all lobule cells will be cancer-resistant Type-4 cells.

After a woman is finished nursing, many Type-4 cells will revert to Type-3 cells with evidence existing that genetic changes in these cells leave them cancer-resistant.

The mechanism by which abortion, oral contraceptives and combined hormone replacement therapy leaves women susceptible to breast cancer becomes evident since the biological basis for all three risks is the same. In terminating a pregnancy before a first full term pregnancy, the breasts have drastically increased Type-1 and Type-2 cells (leaving the breasts with more places for cancers to start), but have been denied the maturational and protective benefits of the last trimester. The birth control pill mimics this process on a monthly basis.

Miscarriage is an exception, as most women never produce significantly elevated levels of estrogen in these pregnancies.

Dozens of studies dating to the late 1950’s have established links between abortion and breast cancer, ranging from over doubled risks in teens to an incalculably high breast cancer risk for women who have abortions before age 18 as well as family history of the disease. Most of these studies are retrospective. That is, they take breast cancer patients and a group of healthy control subjects and ask questions about past gynecologic and reproductive history, including answering questions about prior abortions.

Incredibly, Dr. Louise Brinton of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute (NCI), chaired a panel in 2003 that dismissed the findings of these peer-reviewed studies (including her own), claiming the women involved were subject to “recall bias”, as though women who have had abortions are likely to forget.

Scientists have tested for recall bias on many occasions, in several different countries, but no scientists today claim to have found credible evidence of it. Nevertheless, Brinton’s workshop produced a “Fact Sheet” which summarily dismissed all credible data establishing a link between abortion and breast cancer.

The NCI workshop looked at only a few prospective studies, those relying on medical records before a patient developed breast cancer, and which were subsequently shown in medical journals to be methodologically flawed. The depth and breadth of the methodological flaws exceeds the limits of this article, but may be found at the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer (ABC):

http://www.jpands.org/vol10no4/brind.pdf
and
http://www.abortionbreastcancer.com/Brind_NCBQ.PDF

ABC links to excellent articles by Joel Brind, Ph.D. of Baruch College, City University of New York, which critique the flaws in NCI’s workshop and in the prospective studies used.

Brinton was part of a research team led by respected cancer researchers Janet R. Daling and Jessica M. Dolle of the world-renowned Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, which published a paper last year: Risk Factors for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer in Women Under the Age of 45 Years, in the Journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

This 2009 paper, under known and suspected risk factors, reports a statistically significant 40% increased risk of breast cancer. That’s an astounding admission from coauthor Brinton, in light of her NCI denial of such a link, as is this quote from the results section of the paper,

“In analyses of all 897 breast cancer cases, the multivariate-adjusted odds ratios for examined risk factors were consistent with the effects observed in previous studies on younger women. Specifically, older age, family history of breast cancer, earlier menarche age, induced abortion, and oral contraceptive use were associated with an increased risk for breast cancer.”

The “previous studies” which Brinton’s study mentions include studies conducted in 1994 and 1996 by this same team of researchers. Brinton served as co-author in the 1996 study. Although Brinton and the NCI had said that studies relying on women’s reports of abortion histories were flawed, Dolle’s team (which included Brinton) relied on women’s self-reports of abortion histories.

This 2009 paper was picked up by the pro-life blogosphere in January of this year and created a firestorm. A notation was subsequently added to the NCI Fact Sheet that states: “Reviewed 1/12/2010”. No change in policy or the webpage was made.

Thus, there is a compelling incongruity between the NCI and its branch chief’s denial of the link between abortion and breast cancer on the one hand, and what its branch chief’s research has reported before and since.

Women are dying, and continue to contract breast cancer at frightening rates. Yet abortion’s proponents have engaged in scientific misconduct at the highest levels: reporting the truth in journals, then publicly dismissing those data in a Procrustean attempt to accommodate a political agenda, leaving millions of women’s lives compromised as a result.

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