Friday, October 30, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Aborted Fetal Material Used in Anti-Wrinkle Creams
TENNESSEE, Oct. 27, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Children of God for Life announced today that Neocutis, a bio-pharmaceutical company focused on dermatology and skin care, is using aborted fetal cell lines to produce several of their anti-aging skin creams.
For years Children of God for Life has been a watchdog on pharmaceutical companies using aborted fetal cell lines in medical products and they have received thousands of inquiries from the public on the use of aborted fetal material in cosmetics.
However, the group says that this is the first time they have encountered any company bold enough to put the information right on their own website and product literature.
"It is absolutely deplorable that Neocutis would resort to exploiting the remains of a deliberately slaughtered baby for nothing other than pure vanity and financial gain," stated Executive Director Debi Vinnedge. "There is simply no moral justification for this."
Neocutis' key ingredient, known as "Processed Skin Proteins," was developed at the University of Luasanne from the skin tissue of a 14-week gestation electively-aborted male baby donated by the University Hospital in Switzerland. Subsequently, a working cell bank was established, containing several billion cultured skin cells to produce the human growth factor needed to restore aging skin. The list of products using the cell line include: Bio-Gel, Journee, Bio-Serum, Prevedem, Bio Restorative Skin Cream and Lumiere.
Vinnedge is calling for a full boycott of all Neocutis products, regardless of their source.
"There is absolutely no reason to use aborted babies for such selfish motives," Vinnedge said. "It is anti-life, anti-woman and counter-productive as Neocutis is about to find out!"
Children of God for Life is advising women who are using Neocutis products to throw them in the garbage and to contact the company to express their concerns.
The pro-life group has also said that they will give free publicity to cosmetic companies who are not using immoral ingredients in their products.
"We know there are companies using moral sources for collagen and skin proteins. We intend to publicly promote these other cosmetic companies competing with Neocutis that are willing to step forward and contact us."
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009
By James Tillman
WASHINGTON, DC, October 26, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Last Friday's episode of Law & Order on NBC, entitled "Dignity," has infuriated pro-abortionists while pleasantly surprising pro-lifers with an unexpectedly even-handed treatment of the issue of abortion.
Ripping its plot from recent headlines, "Dignity" begins with the murder of late-term abortionist Dr. Walter Benning (Matthew Boston) during a church service. Although the episode has a disclaimer stating that the story is fictional, its initial outline closely matches the case of the late-term abortionist Dr. George Tiller, who was shot and killed in a church in Wichita, Kansas, on May 31st.
After the murderer, Wayne Grogan is captured and confesses to the crime, while his defense attorney, Roger Jenkins (Richard Thomas), argues that the killing was justified because Grogan was acting in defense of someone else - namely, an unborn infant whom Benning was going to abort.
In the end Grogan is found guilty of the murder; but over the course of the episode a host of the arguments and issues surrounding abortion are covered in a manner unusually sympathetic to the pro-life cause.
As Dave Andrusko writes on the NRLC's website: "What makes the Law & Order episode so riveting is that virtually every pro-life argument you knew you would never hear on a network program is a part of 'Dignity.'"
"More important, it occurred to me as I listened in utter astonishment that each of these observations could have been presented in a way that was artificial, forced, or (as so often is the case with network portraits of pro-lifers) something that you would expect from an idiot. None of that was the case. These were real flesh-and-blood people, not caricatures."
Early in the episode, for instance, Detectives Lupo and Bernard argue with each other over abortion. Lupo says that forcing an 11-year old rape victim to give birth is unthinkable, to which Bernard responds: "You got it backwards, man! The horrible thing is the rape! Not the bringing of a life into the world."
He continues by pointing out that he himself was born to an unwed mother, and that Lupo very nearly had another partner.
Similarly, when Executive Assistant District Attorney, Michael Cutter argues with District Attorney Jack McCoy about whether they should give Grogan a plea bargain, Cutter compares abortion to slavery and Grogan to John Brown. He continues by arguing that Roe v. Wade conformed but to the science of its day, and that it deserves another look.
When witnesses begin to take the stand, however, the contrast between the pro-abortion and pro-life position only grows.
One abortionist, called as witness for the prosecution, says that the life of the disabled child Benning was going to abort would be without dignity. He continues to say that even if politicians make abortion illegal and "bow to the hypocrites and fools" of the pro-life movement, he would continue to perform abortions despite the law.
Perhaps the most surprising issue the episode raised is the connection of abortion with infanticide. Over the course of the case, the defense, desiring to show that Benning was a murderer, calls a witness to testify how a breathing, born-alive infant was killed by Dr. Benning.
"The boy was crying a little cry, moving his arms and legs," she says. "Dr. Benning cut the umbilical cord; then he took the surgical scissors and inserted it into the base of the baby's skull."
Several similarly gruesome, real-life cases of infanticide involving abortionists have occurred in recent years. In one case that drives close to home, an abortionist working for George Tiller, Shelley Sella, was accused of stabbing a born-alive infant in the ribcage until the baby died. In addition, former nurse turned pro-life activist Jill Stanek has also related that while working at a hospital in Illinois, numerous babies born alive after failed abortions were simply left to die in the "soiled utility room."
Pro-abortion groups have responded to the Law & Order episode with outrage that the show would feature an abortionist modeled on Dr. Tiller in a less than beatific light.
Charlotte Taft writes that "NBC cannot hide behind the words" by stating that the story is fictitious. For the media to make a negative story so blatantly ripped off the death of "St. George," as she dubs Tiller, is to murder him again. "There is no balance here," she says.
Kate Harding complained on Salon.com that the episode features only two groups: "Anti-choicers, who believe fetuses' rights trump women's, and the pseudo-pro-choicers, who are conveniently persuaded to agree with them by the end of the episode."
"Dignity" may be watched on iTunes.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I have chosen to do my 300th post on St. Joseph, to help increase devotion to him, and to give him the honour that is his due as the Spouse of the Virgin, Foster-father of Jesus, and role model for all who seek to do God's Will.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
By Peter J. Smith
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 16, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Both the family and the Church stand in the way of socialism's triumph, former US Senator Rick Santorum told Christians gathered for the 17th International Week of Prayer and Fasting last week. The pro-life champion warned attendees, however, that both institutions are under heavy attack from Obama-administration policies.
"We are under a great assault with this President and this Congress on the issue of life. We are under a great assault, maybe even greater assault, on the foundational issue of the family," Santorum told those gathered for the October 11 dinner at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.
Santorum said that the left's policies, especially those policies aggressively set forward by the Obama administration, target the family and Christian churches for "destruction," because these institutions provide local social networks and support for individuals that take away the need for total dependence on central government. To eliminate these social networks means the triumph of socialism, and that means attacking marriage and Christian churches.
"There will be an assault on the institution of marriage," Santorum promised his audience. "Why? Because the left knows that they can't really have government come in and take control of everything unless they destroy the family. Unless you destroy the family and destroy the Church they cannot ultimately be successful in getting socialism to be accepted in this country and that's what their objective is."
Santorum asked everyone to pray in these times for those in public office, for those discerning whether to run for office in 2010, as well as "for those who are out protesting and understand that there is something foundationally wrong with what's been going on here."
But Santorum added that Christians must pray hard for the United States in the current battle over health-care, because the proposed reform has grave problems that go beyond the "major issues" of abortion coverage and the lack of conscience protection clauses.
"There is another huge issue out there and that's just the whole concept of socialized medicine," said Santorum.
Santorum argued that Obama's reforms will transform health-care into "an account in the federal government" in which "accountants" or Congress will determine how much healthcare an individual gets "as part of our budgetary process."
Once the health-care of individuals is totally dependent on the central government, the left has secured power, Santorum explained.
"You say, 'well the Catholic bishops are for that,'" continued Santorum. "Well, I'd say a couple of things. Number one, shame on them."
At that moment, a round of applause erupted from the dinner guests.
Although a handful of Catholic bishops have taught that the government reform violates Catholic social teaching for the reasons Santorum mentioned, the US Catholic bishops conference in general has indicated that it would be willing to support government-run health-care, so long as the reform does not subsidize abortion or violate conscience protections for health-care workers.
But the former Pennsylvania senator concluded that the individual - when covered by government insurance - loses real health-care, the treatment he needs, in the name of cutting costs.
Santorum pointed out that the course of socialized medicine in Europe, and the Netherlands in particular, give an opportunity to "see what happens to the value of human life in those countries."
In particular, those who suffer denial of treatment or rationing of care under socialized medicine are "those on the margins of life." These include those born "premature with disabilities … those who are at the end of life" and "those who have complex diseases or chronic care."
"These people, their lives are not valued," stated Santorum. "Why? Because of agencies that determine how much money is spent and based on how long you're going to live or the quality of life you are going to live. That's how accountants do these things. That's how members of Congress will have to do these things. Is this a good expenditure of our money or not? This happens every day in Europe."
Santorum explained that Americans need to wake up to the fact that nothing in the American DNA insulates them from committing the same moral evils as the Europeans.
The Netherlands, "the most liberal country in Europe" today, Santorum said, is the only country that "did not go along with the Nazi doctors in doing sterilizations and abortions" and suffered persecution for it.
"And yet, within two generations, as a result of socialized medicine and the government's attempt to contain costs, doctors were turned into accountants," said Santorum.
Now in the name of cutting costs, Dutch doctors counsel assisted suicide, deny care to premature-born babies under 25 weeks, and euthanize children born disabled.
"This is the custom and the practice in socialized medicine countries, who have limits on budgets. It is simply too expensive to do it any other way," reiterated Santorum.
"And so I say again to the Catholic Bishops: 'what are you thinking when you support government medicine?'"
Earlier in the evening, Santorum accepted on behalf of him, his wife Karen, and his family the "Family for Life Award."
Santorum is no stranger to fighting for the right-to-life and for these rights in health-care: both on political and personal levels. Last year, he and his wife welcomed into their family their now 17-month-old daughter "Bella," who was born with Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder which is fatal before birth in 90 per cent of cases. Along the way, the Santorums fought to guarantee Bella's health-care against health-care providers hostile to her right to life, because she was born with a disability.
Santorum was asked recently if he would consider seriously a run for US President in 2012. Santorum revealed that while he was indeed "thinking about it," he was "not sure" and asked for continued prayers while he discerns.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Today is the feast day of my patron saint, Teresa of Avila. I wish I could say that I knew a lot about her, but there are only a few things I have learned. She was a Carmelite., a Doctor of the Church, devoted to St. Joseph, a contemporary of St. John of the Cross and St. Peter of Alcantra, and developed a method of mental prayer. I have read a book by William Thomas Walsh about her; she was certainly outspoken and not afraid to stand up to authority figures. I am blessed to have her on my side! I pray often to her, usually at the conclusion of my daily rosary I ask her to pray for me. Do you pray to your patron saint? What influence has your patron saint had on you? I firmly believe that my growing devotion to St. Joseph is all her doing! Her two books, The Way of Perfection, and The Interior Castle, are on my wish list of books to read.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Joe Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League called Obama's receiving the award "tokenism," agreeing with others that he has not done anything to merit the prize. "It cheapens the award to the point that it means nothing, it's just a token," he said. "He hasn't done a thing except talk. ... So it demeans the prize to the point that it has no significance. And it's a shame because it belittles all those people that went before."
Agreeing with Mother Teresa that abortion is "the greatest destroyer of peace today," he said, "That's right. That's right. And this man is one of biggest promoters of abortion. Consequently, ... it's just an aberration.
"I am utterly shocked," said Judie Brown of American Life League. "It just seems to me this is one of the most political moves ever made and that it justifies the fact that Obama can be pro-abortion, in favour of killing millions of people, and still be recognized as a leader of peace, which is simply ridiculous."
"In awarding the prize to Obama, the Nobel Committee is announcing that abortion is the cornerstone of a hellish 'peace'," she said, "- the damning silence of 51 million aborted children in the United States alone. The Nobel Committee has bestowed the 'Peace Prize' on a man dedicated to war in the womb."
Last year, after it was announced that Canada's highest civic award was to be awarded to the nation's leading abortionist, Henry Morgentaler, ten previous recipients of the award eventually returned their medals to the Governor General of Canada. In their comments, it was indicated that the award had become debased by the presentation of the same high recognition to a prolific abortionist.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Do you ever reflect on what it must have been like for St. Joseph, married to the Virgin Mother of God, and responsible for the well-being of the Son of God? Imagine being in their Presence for thirty years, watching Jesus grow into manhood, loving them, working for them, sitting down to meals with them, providing for them, praying with them, living a life of grace with them. Oh most blessed of men! What graces God must have given him!