“34% of ‘Pro-Choice’ Women Who See This Viral Video Turn Against Abortion”

After my daughter Karen who had both Down Syndrome and a severe heart defect died in 1983, I never discouraged people from asking questions. Any questions. I felt the answers to the questions could educate people about the enormous gains made by people with Down Syndrome and how families and their children with disabilities could not only survive but thrive.

But one day when a nice woman asked if I had prenatal testing and what I would have done if I knew about my daughter’s conditions before birth, I changed my answer.

Instead of talking about Down Syndrome, I asked the woman if she knew how abortions are done. When she answered no, I asked her if she would want to know. Very tentatively, she said yes.

So I simply described the basic procedures as they were then done in the 1980s in each of the 3 trimesters of pregnancy. I just used simple clinical terms to describe each procedure in a short period of time.

However, this woman’s reactions were stunning. She was totally horrified and blurted out “You couldn’t do that to your baby!” She admitted that she had no idea how abortions were done before this.

Exactly the point. The real issue is not how wanted a baby is or how “perfect” he or she must be but rather how a baby must be horribly killed to “solve” a problem.

This woman’s reaction opened my eyes to the power of the truth, even if that truth is considered “politically incorrect.”

Today we have the power of the internet and other social media. Now a former abortionist is changing minds and hearts through a video about abortion on the internet that has been watched over 42 million times so far.

Please see the LifeNews.com article and video titled “34% of “Pro-Choice” Women Who See This Viral Video Turn Against Abortion”. And please share this article and video with others. Doing this could not only change other minds and hearts but, most importantly, even help save a life!

“Flash of light” Not Needed to Prove Conception

 

In a May 23, 2016 National Catholic Register article ” Contrary to Reports, There is No Flash of Light at Conception”, writer Stacy Trasancos takes some people who wrote about the amazing research article and video to task  for exaggerations:

“At conception, there is no flash of light, no burst of fireworks, no sparks flying, no fiat lux, no scientific proof of ensoulment, no vindication of doctrine by this research. There is a misunderstanding.”

She is right that claims of ensoulment  or actual “fireworks” in the mother are wrong and inaccurate.

But while I understand Ms. Trasancos’ point about  the over excitement by some writers, the phenomenon itself actually is a pretty big deal.

I am a nurse, not a scientist, but I read the scientific article myself  before I wrote a recent blog on the research.

The researchers were not trying to make a theological or philosophical point but rather reporting a testing phenomenon:

“We monitored calcium and zinc dynamics in individual human eggs using selective fluorophores following activation with calcium-ionomycin, ionomycin, or hPLCζ cRNA microinjection. These egg activation methods, as expected, induced rises in intracellular calcium levels and also triggered the coordinated release of zinc into the extracellular space in a prominent “zinc spark.”

The truly relevant point is that there IS a moment of  “human egg activation”. Using fluorescence to show a chemical reaction accompanying that moment of activation enhances the reality of  when life begins-a fact that Justice Blackmun in the Roe v. Wade abortion decision said was unresolvable because so many people disagreed.

As I wrote about years ago,  the photos of the “sperm injection” mode of IVF  (in vitro fertilization) developed over 20 years ago and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD)  before implantation of the new life back into the mother should have been proof enough of when life begins, even for a Supreme Court justice.

No fluorescence or sparks necessary.

 

 

 

 

Could Brittany Maynard Have Been Saved?

This week, CBS’ “60 Minutes” TV show reported that FDA has just granted “breakthrough status” for an innovative treatment for glioblastoma brain cancer that was first reported by 60 Minutes on March 29, 2015.

Brittany Maynard had glioblastoma and died by physician-assisted suicide on November 1, 2014, just 5 months before the original TV segment aired.

Brittany Maynard was a young newly wed who, with enormous media publicity and the support of the pro physician-assisted suicide group Compassion and Choices, announced her intention to commit assisted suicide and asked for donations to the Brittany Maynard Foundation to raise money to help Compassion and Choices fight for legalization of physician-assisted suicide throughout the US.

Using Brittany’s story and foundation, Compassion and Choices was finally successful after years of failed attempts to get a physician-assisted suicide law passed in California.

Did Brittany, her doctors or Compassion and Choices know about the promising clinical trials for glioblastoma reported by “60 Minutes” before Brittany took her life with a physician ordered lethal overdose?

Although reported medical breakthroughs are frequent and often over-hyped or prove disappointing, information is available at ClinicalTrials.gov, a registry and results database of publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants conducted around the world. This service was developed by the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration and made available to the public in February 2000.

The Decision to Forego Treatment

According to Brittany’s own words:

After months of research, my family and I reached a heartbreaking conclusion: There is no treatment that would save my life, and the recommended treatments would have destroyed the time I had left…

And

I probably would have suffered in hospice care for weeks or even months. And my family would have had to watch that.

No one is ethically obligated to try any experimental or unduly burdensome treatment for such conditions but many people do so not only for a possible cure but also to potentially gain more time or to advance medical research. I saw this when I was an oncology nurse and also in my personal life.

For example, a few years ago, a friend developed a usually terminal lung cancer and agreed to try  an unusual and massive combination of chemotherapy and radiation. As explained by her doctors, the side effects were very tough on her but today she is happy, active and enjoying her life and her grandchildren. Her cancer continues to be in remission. Success stories like this were unimaginable of when I first became a nurse.

But while treatment of a serious or terminal condition can be a personal choice, killing oneself-with or without medical assistance-must not be treated as just another valid treatment “option”.

Hard Cases Make Bad Law

“Hard cases make bad law” is an old legal adage that means that an extreme case is a poor basis for a general law that would cover a wider range of less extreme cases. This is particularly true when it comes to physician-assisted suicide where the slippery slope expanding the pool of potential victims has become a superhighway.

I also remember when AIDS, not glioblastoma, was the “hard case” used to justify physician-assisted suicide in the 1990s because it was also considered terminal.

But by 1998, the CDC issued the first national treatment guidelines for the use of antiretroviral therapy in adults and adolescents with HIV  Today, AIDS is no longer considered an automatic death sentence and those with AIDS can even achieve normal lifespans.

But how many despairing people in the 1990s resorted to suicide, assisted or not, when the treatment for AIDS was so close?

Conclusion

Hope can be life-enhancing as well as life-saving.

Sadly, as one brain tumor expert poignantly wrote, Brittany Maynard’s “suicide was a blow to fellow brain tumor patients who were living in hope”.

 

My Most Memorable Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day has always been special to me since my children were born although I always thought I should be thanking my children for making me a mom instead of them thanking me.

However, Mother’s Day 1998 was my most memorable for another reason.

My oldest daughter Marie had just started college and dating the first boy she said she loved when she found out she was pregnant. The young man offered to marry her but she thought about some serious problems they both had and felt she had to refuse.

Over the next several months, Marie was torn between keeping her baby and choosing adoption. When she considered the most important question of what would be best for the baby, she finally decided on open adoption. It was not an easy decision and we were both heartbroken by the realization that Marie would not be raising the baby herself.

Unfortunately, due to the unwed pregnancy, there was almost no support from extended family members. In addition, most of Marie’s friends supported her rejection of abortion but not her decision for adoption. However, I was proud and awed by Marie’s heroic determination to give her baby the best life possible.

It was a difficult time but then on Mother’s Day that year, a card came in the mail from a priest friend of mine that brought a big ray of sunshine and truth to the situation. 

It was a beautiful Mother’s Day card for Marie!

Marie and I both smiled and cried because it was such a wonderful acknowledgement of Marie’s eternal motherhood as well as the gift of life. I can never thank that priest enough for his timely encouragement.

Four months later, Marie’s daughter was born and released to a wonderful couple who sent pictures every month.

Later on, when Marie’s daughter grew older, she called Marie every Mother’s Day and because of the generosity of her parents, she saw Marie often until Marie’s untimely death in 2009.

This thoughtful priest’s kindness in 1998 should remind us all that Mother’s Day should always be special whatever the circumstances and whether or not our children are in our arms or just in our hearts.

 

Sparks Fly at Conception-Literally

I remember the shock I felt when I first read these words in the 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision:

“We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.”

I could not believe that anyone could deny the obvious: life begins at conception.

Just 5 years later, the first child conceived through in vitro fertilization was born. While I recognize the several ethical problems with this procedure, I thought that at least this obviously proved that life begins at conception since the process was monitored from the beginning. Unfortunately, not to the pro-abortion movement that then pivoted to we don’t know when human personhood begins.

Ironically, presidential candidate Hilary Clinton recently revealed the hypocrisy of this pivot when she said “The unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights” on NBC’s Meet the Press TV show. (Emphasis added)

Flash of Light

But now researchers at Northwestern University have discovered a flash of light that occurs at the moment of conception To see the video of this phenomenon, go to the link at LifeNews.com.

Here is the science behind this:

“The bright flash occurs because when sperm enters and egg it triggers calcium to increase which releases zinc from the egg. As the zinc shoots out, it binds to small molecules which emit a fluorescence which can be picked up my camera microscopes.

Over the last six years this team has shown that zinc controls the decision to grow and change into a completely new genetic organism.

In the experiment, scientists use sperm enzyme rather than actual sperm to show what happens at the moment of conception.

“These fluorescence microscopy studies establish that the zinc spark occurs in human egg biology, and that can be observed outside of the cell,” said Professor Tom O’Halloran, a co-senior author.”

And

Dr. Teresa Woodruff, a professor at Northwestern said, “We discovered the zinc spark just five years ago in the mouse, and to see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking. It was remarkable.”

An Ethical Downside

Regrettably, the scientists say that the intensity of the flash of light also appears to indicate the egg’s quality and the embryo’s future health. This could allow more in vitro fertilization embryo selection with the destruction of embryos thought to be of lesser “quality”.

Therefore, instead of celebrating this physical proof of conception, Dr. Eve Feinberg, who co-authored the study, said

 “Often we don’t know whether the egg or embryo is truly viable until we see if a pregnancy ensues… If we have the ability up front to see what is a good egg and what’s not, it will help us know which embryo to transfer, avoid a lot of heartache and achieve pregnancy much more quickly.”

However, real heartache comes with infertility, desperate medical procedures to obtain a baby by any means possible, and the termination of life both inside and outside the womb.

But in the meantime, we can still rejoice in the apparent discovery of a true “spark of the Divine”.