Friday, July 30, 2010

Bio-scaffolds with growth protein help adult stem cells regrow joints in rabbits

Researchers at Columbia University have used bio-scaffolds and growth protein to help encourage stem cell in rabbits to regrow joints in rabbits who had their joints surgically removed.

Today's titanium replacement joints work very well for 10 to 15 years, but replacing them after they've worn out is a challenge for both patient and surgeon. A team of researchers from Columbia University proposes a way around that problem: by implanting a scaffold that encourages the patient's own stem cells to regrow the joint....

Thanks to the added growth factor protein, the rabbit's own stem cells naturally migrated into the scaffold and regenerated both the cartilage and the bone beneath it.

The success is somewhat surprising. "I wouldn't have thought in a normal weight-bearing joint that you could [replace the newly forming] cartilage while the joint is being loaded," says Howard Seeherman, chief scientific officer for tissue repair at Pfizer. Seeherman says he would have expected the cartilage to just wear off when weight was put on the joint.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

National Right to Life: New Obama Regulation Proves Health Care Reform Law Doesn't Prevent Abortion Funding

National Right to Life Committee has issued a press release describing a new regulation imposed on states' federally subsidized high risk insurance pools. This regulation prevents abortion funding in one of the numerous new programs created by the health care reform law. Only after National Right to Life showed that some states were planning on covering abortion in these insurance pools, did the Obama administration make this regulation. While making the regulation, an Obama administration official also noted that this policy won't necessarily be applied to other health care programs.
"Without blinking, the Obama Administration had approved high-risk pool plans submitted by at least three states that would have funded virtually all abortions – until NRLC raised the alarms starting on July 13," said NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson. "In the regulation issued today, the Administration tells states that elective abortions may not be covered in the high-risk pool program – but simultaneously, the head of the White House Office of Health Reform, Nancy-Ann DeParle, issued a statement on the White House blog explaining that this decision 'is not a precedent for other programs or policies given the unique, temporary nature of the program . . .'"

"This entire episode demonstrates what National Right to Life said in March – there is no language in the new health care law, and no language in Obama's politically contrived March 24 executive order, that effectively prevents federal subsidies for abortion on demand," Johnson said. "This means that unless Congress repeals the health care law or performs major corrective surgery on it, there will be years of battles, as each new program is implemented, over how elective abortion will be covered – and the White House is suggesting that today's policy will not necessarily be applied when implementing the other programs, some of which will cover far larger populations."


Abortion Coverage not Prohibited in High Risk Pools, says Congressional Report

A Congressional Service Report issued on July 23 found the health care reform law and President Obama's executive order do not explicitly prohibit government subsidized high risk insurance pools from covering abortion.
Thirteen senators wrote a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Wednesday urging her to "act immediately" to bar states operating the high-risk pools from covering elective abortions.

"Absent such contractual requirements, it will be necessary for Congress to modify the current law," they wrote, asking for a response by Friday.

The senators referenced a Congressional Research Service report dated July 23 that found the health care law, the subsequent executive order on abortion restrictions and the contracts themselves do not explicitly prohibit the high-risk pools from covering abortions with federal money.

The high-risk program, called the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, was meant to help those denied coverage over pre-existing conditions until the broader provisions of the law go into effect in 2014. The law set aside $5 billion in federal subsidies for the program, which is supposed to be either administered by the state or the Health and Human Services Department.


Will you be voting in the primary election?

The Michigan Primary Election is Tuesday, August 3. Historically, less than 20 percent of registered voters have cast ballots in past primary elections. Less than 20 percent! A few people will be deciding who will be on the November ballot.

The Right to Life of Michigan Political Action Committee is proud to endorse Mike Cox for governor. Mike Cox defended Michigan's ban on partial birth abortion to the U.S. Supreme Court despite the governor's opposition. Mike Cox defied Governor Granholm by immediately filing a lawsuit challenging the national health care law which includes federal funding of abortion. Mike Cox and his staff have been the most responsive Attorney General's office to our prolife goals in the post Roe era. Mike Cox has won two state-wide campaigns. Most importantly, Mike Cox is passionately and proudly prolife!

The Right to Life of Michigan Political Action Committee made 386 endorsements, ranging from governor to county commission. There are 38 state senators and 110 state representatives to be elected in November, but the August 3 primary election will in many cases be the determining election. Find out who the Right to Life of Michigan Political Action Committee prolife endorsements are for your area by generating a personalized prolife ballot.



Monday, July 26, 2010

Mike Cox speaks about his religious beliefs and his position on abortion

Below is a video of Michigan prolife Attorney General Mike Cox speaking about his religious beliefs and his position on abortion. Mike Cox is the only candidate endorsed for governor by the Right to Life of Michigan Political Action Committee.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Staying Vigilant for Life: RLM Ensures that Federal Tax Money Will Not Fund Abortion in Michigan

The media is abuzz with the troubling news that several states originally included federal funding of abortions in their new state high risk insurance pools. The high risk insurance pools have been authorized by President Barack Obama’s health care reform law. Right to Life of Michigan is working to make sure federal tax money will not cover elective abortions in Michigan's new high risk pool.

On Wednesday, July 21, prolife legislators at the Capitol alerted RLM’s lobbyists to a legislative initiative creating a $141 million high risk insurance pool. Right to Life of Michigan Legislative Director Ed Rivet and Public Affairs Associate Mollie Schweppe spoke face-to-face in the Capitol rotunda with two top officials in the Granholm administration, the State Insurance Commissioner and the Director of the Department of Community Health.

Both of these cabinet-level officials assured RLM that the insurance plan being developed would not cover elective abortions. Furthermore, a reference was made that state Medicaid law was providing guidance in this area.

More than 20 years ago, the people of Michigan in a state-wide vote prevented state Medicaid money from paying for elective abortions. This victory established in law and in principle that Michigan is one state where taxpayer funding of abortion will not be tolerated, even during administrations that are hostile to the prolife cause. Decades later, RLM remains vigilant ensuring that the ground the prolife people of Michigan won for life will never be ceded.

Putting lifesaving laws on the books, establishing prolife principles in state government and holding leaders accountable is part of Right to Life of Michigan's daily work. Thank you for supporting this mission to protect all human life in Michigan.

Mike Huckabee endorses Mike Cox for Governor

Listen to the radio ad featuring former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee endorse Mike Cox for governor of Michigan.

Hispanic Reporting Law will Collect Additional Abortion Data

Building a culture of life continues in Michigan with a new prolife law on the books. Right to Life of Michigan supported HB 4406, Hispanic Ethnicity in Abortion Reporting, which was signed into law on July 13, 2010. The Michigan Department of Community Health will now make plans to adjust the official abortion reporting form to include data on Hispanic origin.

Better understanding abortion demographics provides the necessary information Right to Life of Michigan needs to help mothers facing untimely pregnancies.

This demonstrates why electing prolife men and women makes a difference. With prolife lawmakers in place, we step-by-step build a culture of life in our state while striving to eliminate the scourge of abortion.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Indiana Planned Parenthood caught misleading patient

Live Action, a youth-led prolife organization headed by Lila Rose, has released another undercover video showing a Planned Parenthood employee in Indiana misleading a woman pretending to be considering an abortion.
When the woman, purportedly 10-weeks pregnant, asks the clinician, named "Sarah," when her baby's heart begins to beat, Sarah replies, "It's around I think the 8th or the 9th week that you can hear the heartbeat." The heart actually begins beating 3 weeks and 1 day after conception, according to Moore and Persaud's well-known textbook The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology. The Planned Parenthood clinician also insists, "It's not a baby, it's a fetus," which, she claims, is "not like a person."

In the video, Sarah assures the woman that "having an abortion is safer than carrying to term." The woman asks, "The abortion won't hurt me from having more kids in the future, will it?" and the counselor replies, "Nope." But a 2009 study from the Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey recently found that a previous abortion increased a woman's risk of pre-term birth by 20%, and a 2003 report from the Shanghai Institute of Planned Parenthood Research notes a 55% increased risk of future miscarriages for women who have abortions.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Senator Stabenow gets award from Planned Parenthood

On July 15, 2010, Senator Debbie Stabenow, along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, received "Champions of Women's Health" awards from Planned Parenthood. America's #1 abortion provider gave Senator Stabenow the award for her "efforts to support women and their reproductive health" and working behind the scenes to pass health care reform which includes government subsidized coverage for abortions.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Despite Poor Economy Michigan's Abortions Decreased in 2009

The number of abortions performed in Michigan decreased in 2009, according to recently released statistics from the Michigan Department of Community Health. The report from the Michigan Department of Community Health states that 22,357 abortions were performed in Michigan during 2009 compared to 25,970 Michigan abortions reported in 2008, a drop of 13.9 percent or 3,613 abortions. Since 1987, there has been a 54.4 percent decrease in the number of abortions performed in Michigan annually. Abortions in Michigan have decreased in four of the last six years and the number of abortions performed in 2009 represents the lowest annual total of reported abortions in Michigan since abortion providers were required to start reporting information in 1979.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, "We are extremely grateful for the continuing decrease in Michigan abortions despite the hard economic times we've faced in Michigan. The fact that fewer mothers are having abortions in Michigan shows more and more women are coming to the realization that abortion is not the answer for an unplanned pregnancy."

Recently released polls from CBS and Gallup show our nation is turning its back on the idea that abortion is the solution to unplanned pregnancy. A CBS poll, conducted in April of 2010 found that 61percent of Americans favor either stricter limits on abortion (38 percent) or that abortion should not be permitted (23 percent). A Gallup poll, released in May 2010, found that a plurality of Americans consider themselves "prolife." For two years in a row, more Americans have called themselves "pro-life" than "pro-choice."

Listing said, "There are far too many women who enter an abortion clinic thinking abortion is their only choice. Thinking abortion is your only choice is equivalent to having no choice at all. Unfortunately, not enough women know that there are more than 150 pregnancy centers in Michigan which are here to help. All women deserve real, life-affirming options for themselves and their children. Right to Life of Michigan's toll-free phone number, 1-800-57WOMAN, and online outreaches are designed to connect women to these essential resources."

Mike Cox, the Governor We Need

Here's a link to a PDF flier which highlights RLM-PAC endorsed candidate Mike Cox and his prolife efforts as Michigan's Attorney General.

Message from Barbara Listing

On the front page of the Right to Life of Michigan web site,, there is an audio message from Barbara Listing. This is a short message which addresses the RLM-PAC endorsement of Mike Cox for governor and highlights how Rick Snyder is making deceptive prolife claims. Please take 4 minutes and listen to the message at You may need to refresh the home page to see the audio message update.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

National Right to Life: HHS approves plan to allow federal funded insurance pool to cover abortion

According to the National Right to Life Committee, the Department of Health and Human Services has approved a plan to give $160 million to the state of Pennsylvania to set up a "high risk" insurance program which includes the coverage of abortion.
The high-risk pool program is one of the new programs created by the sweeping health care legislation (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) that President Obama signed into law on March 23. The law authorizes $5 billion in federal funds for the program, which will cover as many as 400,000 people when it is implemented nationwide.

"The Obama Administration will give Pennsylvania $160 million in federal tax funds, which we've discovered will pay for insurance plans that cover any legal abortion," said Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of right-to-life organizations in all 50 states. "This is just the first proof of the phoniness of President Obama's assurances that federal funds would not subsidize abortion -- but it will not be the last."


The section on abortion (see page 14) asserts that "elective abortions are not covered." However, that statement proves to be a red herring, because the operative language does not define "elective." Rather, the proposal specifies that the coverage "includes only abortions and contraceptives that satisfy the requirements of" several specific statutes, the most pertinent of which is 18 Pa. C.S. § 3204, which says that an abortion is legal in Pennsylvania (consistent with Roe v. Wade) if a single physician believes that it is "necessary" based on "all factors (physical, emotional, psychological, familial and the woman's age) relevant to the well-being of the woman." Indeed, the cited statute provides only a single circumstance in which an abortion prior to 24 weeks is NOT permitted under the Pennsylvania statute: "No abortion which is sought solely because of the sex of the unborn child shall be deemed a necessary abortion."


Friday, July 9, 2010

National Right to Life: Obama appointee is one-man death panel

National Right to Life Committee has a press release in which they explain how Donald Berwick is a "one-man death panel." President Obama used a recess appointment to make Berwick the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Berwick is an outspoken advocate of rationing health care.
“The Obama recess appointment of rationing advocate Donald Berwick to head the key government agency that will apply the new health care law is disastrous news for the vulnerable, especially the elderly and the sickest of American patients,” said Burke Balch, J.D., director of National Right to Life's Powell Center for Medical Ethics.

Confirmation of Berwick would have faced strong opposition from pro-life Republican senators appalled by his open advocacy of government-imposed rationing of medical treatment. In a June 2009 interview with the journal Biotechnology Healthcare, Berwick said, “The decision is not whether or not we will ration care – the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”

In an article in the May/June 2008 issue of Health Affairs, he called for “rational collective action overriding some individual self-interest” so as to “reduce per capita costs.” Lamenting that “[t]oday’s individual health care processes are designed to respond to the acute needs of individual patients,” Berwick wrote that instead government should “approach new technologies and capital investments with skepticism and require that a strong burden of proof of value lie with the proponent.”


Listen to RLM President Barbara Listing

Yesterday, Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing provided an update on RLM-PAC endorsements. Hear why the RLM-PAC is proud to stand with prolife Attorney General Mike Cox in his campaign to be the next governor of Michigan. In addition, RLM Legislative Director Ed Rivet provides an update on state legislation.

Listen to the Right to Life of Michigan Teleseminar.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Detroit News gets facts on Proposal 2 incredibly wrong

On July 7, the Detroit News published a story by reporter Jim Lynch which focused on an early stage study using fetal stem cells (from an aborted child) to treat patients with ALS. The story contained this completely inaccurate statement about Proposal 2 and Michigan's now-overturned stem cell law.
A few years ago, this kind of work would not have been possible in Michigan. But two years ago, state voters approved a ballot measure allowing stem cell research.
Both of these sentences are factually incorrect. First, there was no law in Michigan a few years ago which prevented research using fetal stem cells. None. Research using fetal stem cells has never been banned in Michigan. Second, the ballot measure didn't allow stem cell research. All types of stem cell research were already occurring in Michigan before Proposal 2. Proposal 2 just allowed researchers to kill human embryos for research in Michigan instead of importing embryonic stem cells from other states.

Unfortunately, proponents of Proposal 2 have been increasingly dishonest about the results of their proposal. During the campaign to legalize the killing of human embryos for research, proponents of Proposal 2 promised cures to a wide variety of diseases. No cures have yet to be found and no suffering patients are any closer to being treated because of Proposal 2's passage.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Kagan questioned on partial-birth abortion memos

During her confirmation hearings on June 30, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan was questioned by Senators on memos she wrote regarding partial-birth abortion. Recently released memos show that Kagan added language to a statement by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists on partial-birth abortion.
As a Republican-controlled Congress in the 1990s debated whether to ban the controversial procedure, Kagan wrote a memo in which she expressed concern about a statement that the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologist was going to release that revealed its panel of experts found no circumstances in which the procedure was the only option for saving the life of the woman.

"This, of course, would be a disaster," she wrote.

Kagan revised the language so the final statement in 1997 said that the partial-birth abortion "may be the best and most appropriate procedure in particular circumstances to save the life or preserve the health of the woman."

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, told Kagan on Wednesday "that's a very different spin and obviously a more politically useful spin."