Mitochondrial Donation Raises Familiar Questions About IVF

IMG_0792Last week a story broke about the world’s first baby born via a new technique called mitochondrial donation. Mitochondrial donation is the newest version of in vitro fertilization (IVF), and creates babies who genetically have three parents.

This new technique involves taking an egg cell from the biological mother, extracting the nucleus of the egg, and placing the nucleus into a donor egg cell which also has the nucleus extracted. The new egg cell (which contains the nucleus of the biological mother’s egg and the rest of the cell from the donor mother) is fertilized with the father’s sperm, creating an embryo. The embryo is then implanted into the mother.

 The technique is viewed as beneficial because there are certain genetic disorders and abnormalities which reside in a biological mother’s mitochondrial DNA. The mitochondrial DNA exist outside of the cell’s nucleus and can thus be separated from the nuclear DNA in this procedure. In the particular story just released, the mother had Leigh Syndrome, a fatal disorder which affects the developing nervous system. Indeed, the mother had tragically already lost two children to this disorder.
Read the article here.

The Answer to Suicide Begins in the Family


September is National Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month. Suicide is a topic that we must always address with a sense of compassion. We must address it with a sense of compassion out of respect for those who struggle with the thoughts, for those who have completed the act, and for those who have lost family members and friends in this manner. It’s a tough topic, but it’s one that needs to be tackled.

According to the Center for Disease Control, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Between 42,000 and 44,000 individuals commit suicide each year, which comes out to about 115 per day, or one every 15 minutes. It is estimated that roughly 25 persons attempt suicide for each person that completes it, which means that well over half of a million people attempt suicide each year in the United States. Studies show that suicide is on the rise, particularly among those who are younger. There has also been a decline in the percentage of Americans who see suicide as morally problematic.

That means Americans are more likely to feel suicidal, and less likely to encounter someone who would tell them it’s morally problematic. Continue reading

Supreme Court’s Devastating Setbacks To Life, Religious Liberty

By Tom Venzor

The Supreme Court of the United States recently issued two devastating blows to life and religious liberty.

First, in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt (“Hellerstedt”), by a 5-3 opinion authored by Justice Stephen Breyer, the Court struck down a Texas law that had required abortion clinics to meet the safety standards of ambulatory surgical centers and required doctors performing abortions to have hospital admitting privileges.

Second, in Stormans, Inc. v. Weisman (“Stormans”), the Court denied review of a Washington State regulation requiring a pharmacy to deliver all prescription medications (including abortifacient contraceptives), even if the owner of the pharmacy has a religious objection. Continue reading

If You Oppose Tyranny, You Should Oppose Abortion

Photo credit: Priests For Life

Photo credit: Priests For Life

If one produces enough abortion-related content, he will notice certain trends and patterns among the pro-choice responses. Certain arguments are made repeatedly and become regular talking points in discussions. Here are some of the arguments I’ve noticed recently, and a brief response to each:

1. Zygotes, embryos and fetuses are potential human beings. They are no more complete human beings that an acorn is a complete oak tree.

To refer to zygotes, embryos and fetuses as potential human beings is biologically inaccurate. For starters, each of these terms describes a stage of development of a living organism.

Second, we know that a zygote, embryo, or fetus is a living human being because it is growing. If it’s growing, it’s alive, and if it’s alive, it must belong to a species. That species is homo sapiens. Further, if it’s growing, that makes the zygote, embryo, or fetus qualitatively different from an acorn, a single sperm, egg or any entity that is not a unique, growing organism.

Third, a human embryo has a beating heart 21 days after conception and measurable brain waves about 45 days after conception. By 42 days the skeleton is formed and the brain is controlling the movement of muscles and organs. All that happens before the unborn human being is even classified as a fetus. At varying times between the fifth and 12th week after conception, the preborn baby will be able to suck his thumb, smile, squint, kick, roll over, make a fist, curl his toes, and grasp an object placed in the palm.

Read the rest of the article here.

3 Takeaways From the SCOTUS Ruling on Abortion

1502554_1056710987677600_951892258143000359_nAs you’re probably aware, earlier this week the Supreme Court came down with its most important ruling on abortion in years. The ruling struck down a law out of Texas which required, among other things, that abortion facilities meet the same minimal health and safety standards as other ambulatory surgical centers and that abortionists have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

It was arguably the most sensible law ever enacted related to abortion. It meant that abortion facilities could not be filthy wastelands, needed to meet fire codes, and had to be capable of wheeling an unconscious person outside to an ambulance in the event of an emergency. It meant that if a woman suffered a ruptured uterus during the procedure, the abortionist would need to be able to admit her to a hospital as expediently as possible.

But the law was struck down. The ruling – aside from being one more example of the federal government infringing on the rights of states to govern themselves – served to demonstrate just how entrenched abortion is in the modern political sphere.

There is no shortage of takeaways that one could glean from this, but here are three of the most important.

Read the rest of the article here.

What Happens When People Share Their Abortion Stories

securedownloadIn April 2011, I began working with the post-abortion ministry Rachel’s Vineyard. The ministry hosts weekend retreats for men and women who have chosen or been a part of an abortion. Over the years I have witnessed many amazing transformations in the lives of retreatants. Not only that, I have learned an incredible amount about faith, forgiveness, and the pain that abortion can cause in a person’s life.

The retreat weekends have a unique way of helping men and women come to know forgiveness and experience the loving acceptance of others who have also chosen to abort their children. The weekends offer a safe, non-judgmental, non-politicized environment for post-abortive persons to tell their stories, examine how abortion has affected their lives, and be heard.

But what makes the weekends so effective at bringing about healing and peace in a person’s life? Perhaps the secret lies in the importance of storytelling.

Read the article here.

If Abortion Is Just Another Medical Procedure, What’s With All the Adverse Reactions?

Photo credit: Priests For Life

Photo credit: Priests For Life

The story of Jade Rees was making its way around the internet last week, and rightfully so. It was a tragic story of depression complicated by abortion that ultimately ended in suicide.

As the original story acknowledged, Rees was far from mentally stable before the abortion, having suffered from a history of depression and eating disorders. The abortion, by all accounts, is what pushed her over the edge. The story maintained that she was listening to an Ed Sheeran song about miscarriage while she penned her suicide note.

Unfortunately, suicidal thoughts, gestures, and attempts are not uncommon in post-abortive women. The tragedy of abortion often leads to other problems in the lives of women and men who lose children because of it. While advocates love to insist that abortion is just another medical procedure, that claim ignores the myriad psychological and behavioral problems that can arise after the choice has been made.
Abortion does differ from other medical procedures in that no other procedure takes an innocent life without consent of any kind. But perhaps equally important are the studies that show adverse reactions in post-abortive women.
Read the rest of the article here.

Why I’m a Single Issue Voter

The other day a dear friend of mine (who also happens to be a Hillary Clinton supporter) and I were discussing the presidential candidates.  She was saying that she doesn’t understand why so many people are supporting Donald Trump.  She and I are on the same page as far as supporting the poor and the immigrant and Mr. Trump’s views do not seem to be in line with ours.  I told her though, that if it comes down to Trump and Clinton, I will vote for Trump.  I told her that I will always vote pro life which means I would never vote for Hillary Clinton, a person who supports abortion even into the third trimester.

My friend and I went back and forth having a civil discussion about it (a breath of fresh air in itself in this hot political environment).  After our talk was all said and done, there was one thing lingered in my mind.  She had asked, “Could you put the abortion issue aside and vote for the person who would be better for society in general?” Continue reading

In Case You Forgot, Hillary Clinton’s Abortion Stance Is Extreme And Dangerous

11203106_1125628847452480_992075471862934104_nLast week, the two remaining Democratic presidential candidates met in a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, making last ditch efforts to appeal to the state’s voters.

As Hillary Clinton was taking questions on issues of importance during the upcoming election, the topic turned to the nomination of Supreme Court justices. She was asked if she would employ any litmus tests for Supreme Court nominees, and embedded in her response was this:

“We’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed.”

There you have it.

One of the most important considerations Clinton will give to a Supreme Court nomination is whether the person in question will continue to support a woman’s right to dispose of her child. She wants someone “rooted in the real world” who will continue to support abortion. This would be amazing if it weren’t so predictable.

It bears noting that this would have been a perfect time for Clinton to bring up the Constitution, freedom, or liberty. Unsurprisingly, none of those words appeared anywhere in the entire transcript from the Democratic town hall event, much less in her answer regarding the nomination of Supreme Court justices.

Read the rest of the article here.