Let’s celebrate?: Estimated 30 million lives sacrificed for 5 million ‘test tube babies’
ISTANBUL, Turkey, July 4, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – While some doctors are celebrating an estimated 5 million living people created through Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART includes IVF and ICSI) since the world’s first ‘test tube baby’, Louise Brown, was born 34 years ago, one prominent critic has slammed the technology for what he says is an unethical treatment of human life and a chimerical solution to women suffering from infertility.
“If 5 million babies have been born as a result of in vitro fertilization, then at least six times that many human lives have been aborted in the earliest and most vulnerable stages of development in the womb,” said Dr. Thomas W. Hilgers in a statement to LifeSiteNews.
Hligers, senior medical consultant in obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive medicine and surgery at the Pope Paul VI Institute and a clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Creighton University School of Medicine, was referring to the fact that in a typical IVF procedure, many more embryos are created than will ultimately be implanted in the mother’s womb - while the rest are either frozen indefinitely or simply destroyed.
The estimated figure of living humans created through ART was presented at the 28th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), which took place over the weekend in Istanbul, Turkey.
Current data indicates that about 1.5 million ART cycles are performed globally each year, producing about 350,000 babies. These figures indicate that 1.15 million procedures are not effective, resulting in a huge loss of nascent human life. According to the data, the two most active ART countries in the world are the USA, followed by Japan.
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Commenting on what the ESHRE calls a “remarkable milestone”, Dr David Adamson, chairman of the International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ICMART), told the ESHRE that ART technology has “improved greatly over the years to increase pregnancy rates.”
“The babies are as healthy as those from other infertile patients who conceive spontaneously,” he said.
However, a variety of research published in recent years has painted a different picture.
One recent study titled “Birth defects in children conceived by in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection: a meta-analysis” concludes that infants conceived by ART, whether through ICSI or IVF, have a “significantly increased risk of birth defects” when compared to infants conceived through natural/spontaneous conception.
So well-established has the link between ART and birth defects and other health problems become that in 2009 the British government’s embryo research authority warned potential parents that children conceived artificially through in vitro fertilization have a thirty percent higher risk of genetic abnormalities.
But supporters of the technology have not been deterred by such findings.
“Five million babies are a clear demonstration that IVF and ICSI are now an essential part of normalised and standardised clinical therapies for the treatment of infertile couples,” said Dr Anna Veiga, Chairman of ESHRE, and Scientific Director, Dexeus University Institute, Barcelona. She added that “many aspects have changed since the early days of IVF, especially the results in terms of babies born, but there is still room for improvement.”
Dr Simon Fishel, Managing Director CARE Fertility, UK, and a member of the Edwards and Steptoe group in Cambridge responsible for the birth of Louise Brown said that the “5 million milestone … justifies all the legal and moral battles, the ethical debates and hard-fought social approval” that has surrounded ART.
Professor André Van Steirteghem, ICSI pioneer, said, “at 5 million babies and counting, I think we can now fairly say that the vast majority of fertility problems - whether of male or female origin - can be successfully and safely treated by IVF or ICSI.”
However, Dr. Hilgers, the creator of NaProTechnology, a natural approach to women’s fertility-care that does not does not involve abortifacient or otherwise ethically problematic methods, told LifeSiteNews that in the U.S., ART has “only served one half of 1% of the infertile women suffering from a myriad of reproductive health anomalies,” adding that the assisted reproductive solutions do not “heal the woman or relieve her of her diseased state in any way.”
NaProTechnology (Natural Procreative Technology), based on thirty years of research into the fertility cycle of women, monitors the occurrence of various hormonal events during a woman’s menstrual cycle. The method works cooperatively with a woman’s procreative and gynecologic systems.
When used to treat infertility alone, NaProTechnology is reportedly 1.5-3 times as successful as IVF in assisting couples to achieve pregnancy – and without the enormous financial cost and adverse emotional and other psychological effects of in vitro fertilization.
“Not only is NaProTechnology more effective in achieving pregnancy, it also gets to the root of the disease problem to cure the illness, not just temporarily cover up symptoms,” said Dr. Hilgers. “For those concerned about the ethics of these artificial technologies, it’s good to know there is an alternative solution.”
‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’
AUSTRALIA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- A 26-year-old Australian mom has given birth to five healthy babies, all conceived naturally, after refusing the doctor’s advice that she must abort three of them in order to give the remaining two a better chance at life.
“After my initial ultrasound I was told I could consider the selection method to give 2 babies the best chance in life,” wrote mom Kim Tucci in a Facebook post last September.
“I watched a YouTube video on the procedure and I cried. I could never do that! Was I selfish for not giving two the chance of 100% survival? All I knew is that I already love them and that every heart beat I heard I connect with them more. For me life starts when a heart starts beating and all I know for sure is that I will do whatever it takes to bring them into this world healthy,” she wrote.
Last Thursday Kim and her husband Vaughn welcomed the five new members into their family — one boy and four girls —increasing the number of their children from 3 to 8. The babies were born at 30 weeks, 10 weeks early, due to insufficient space in Kim’s womb. They weighed on average about 2.5 pounds.
The quintuplets’ story began last March, after Kim and Vaughn had been trying for six months to conceive just one more child for their family. Due to health complications, Kim wondered if she would ever become a mother again.
After what she thought was an extra long cycle, she decided to take a pregnancy test.
“I was feeling tired and a little nauseated and thought I would take a pregnancy test just to get the ‘what if’ out of my head. To my shock and utter excitement it was positive,” she wrote on a Facebook post.
The parents got the shock of their lives when doctors confirmed in an ultrasound examination that there was not one baby, but five.
“After a long wait for the ultrasound we finally went in. The sonographer told me there were multiple gestational sacks, but she could only see a heart beat in two. I was so excited! Twins!”
“I was moved to another machine for a clearer view and had the head doctor come in and double check the findings. She started to count, one, two, three, four, five. Did i hear that correctly? Five? My legs start to shake uncontrollably and all i can do is laugh. The sonographer then told me the term for five is ‘quintuplets,’” Kim wrote.
Even though Kim began to feel stretched to the limit with all those human lives growing inside her, she chose to focus on her babies, and not herself, referring to them as “my five little miracles.”
“It's getting harder as each day passes to push through the pain, every part of my body aches and sleeping is becoming very painful. No amount of pillows are helping support my back and belly. Sometimes I get so upset that I just want to throw my hands up and give in.”
“Sometimes my pelvis becomes so stiff I can barely walk and my hips feel like they are grinding away constantly. I'm finding it hard to eat as I basically have no room left in my stomach, and the way it is positioned it's pushed all the way back with the babies leaning against it.”
“My skin on my belly is so stretched its painful and hot to touch. It literally feels like I have hives! No amount of cream helps relieve the discomfort. I have a lot of stretch marks now. Dealing with such a huge change in my body is hard.”
“Is it all worth it? Yes!!!! I will keep pushing through,” she wrote in one Facebook post days before the babies were born.
The newborns' names are Keith, Ali, Penelope, Tiffany, and Beatrix. They were born at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco, Western Australia. Mother and babies are reported to be doing well.
UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react
GENEVA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- The United Nations, following the lead of international abortion activists, is now urging Latin American countries hit by the mosquito-borne Zika virus to lift restrictions on abortion for pregnant women who have contacted the virus and whose pre-born children may be at risk for birth defects, including having smaller than normal heads.
The UN human rights office said today that it is not enough for South American countries to urge women to postpone pregnancy without also offering them abortion as a final solution.
“How can they ask these women not to become pregnant, but not offer… the possibility to stop their pregnancies?” UN spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters.
UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that governments should make available contraception and abortion services.
“Laws and policies that restrict (women’s) access to these services must be urgently reviewed in line with human rights obligations in order to ensure the right to health for all in practice,” he said.
But Brazil’s bishops strongly asserted yesterday that efforts should be made to eradicate the virus, not the people who may be infected by it.
The disease is “no justification whatsoever to promote abortion,” they said in a statement, adding that it is not morally acceptable to promote abortion “in the cases of microcephaly, as, unfortunately, some groups are proposing to the Supreme Federal Court, in a total lack of respect for the gift of life.”
Honduras Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has also come out strongly against the notion of “therapeutic abortions” as a response to the problem. Unlike Brazil where abortion is legal in the case of rape or health of the mother, abortion remains entirely illegal in Honduras.
“We should never talk about ‘therapeutic’ abortion,” the cardinal said in a homily at a February 3 Mass in Suyap. “Therapeutic abortion doesn’t exist. Therapeutic means curing, and abortion cures nothing. It takes innocent lives,” he said.
While the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international public health emergency February 1 on account of concerns over the virus, critics have pointed out, however, that not one death as resulted from the virus. Even on WHO’s own website the virus is described in mild terms.
“It causes mild fever and rash. Other symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis. Zika virus disease is usually mild, with symptoms lasting only a few days,” the website states. “To date, there have been no reported deaths associated with Zika virus,” it added.
Critics suspect that the crisis is being manipulated to advance an anti-human agenda on the pre-born.
“Is Zika, actually, a hideous virus that threatens to spread uncontrollably across the world creating an army of disabled children with tiny heads and low IQ’s? Or might this be a willful misinterpretation of the scarce data to manipulate public opinion and legislatures?” wrote pro-life critic Mei-Li Garcia earlier this week.
“It becomes very clear that the publicity surrounding this story has a very little to do with medicine and a lot to do with a convenient crisis that is being used by those pushing for the legalization of abortion around the world,” she wrote.
Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’
DERRY, NH, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Hillary Clinton has a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees - several, in fact. At a Democratic event on Wednesday, Clinton unveiled her criteria in selecting a judge for the nation's highest court.
“I do have a litmus test, I have a bunch of litmus tests," she said.
"We’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed,” she said.
That echoes her recent call to arms speech before Planned Parenthood last month, when she stated that taxpayers must fund abortion-on-demand in order to uphold the "right" of choice.
“We have to preserve marriage equality,” Clinton said, referring to last summer's Obergefell v. Hodges case, a 5-4 ruling that redefined marriage nationwide. “We have to go further to end discrimination against the LGBT community."
Her views differentiate her from the Republican front runners. Ted Cruz has called the court's marriage ruling "fundamentally illegitimate," and Donald Trump told Fox News Sunday this week that he would "be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things." Marco Rubio has said he won't "concede" the issue to the one-vote majority.
All Republican presidential hopefuls say they are pro-life and will defund Planned Parenthood.
Her husband, Bill Clinton, raised the makeup of the Supreme Court early last month in New Hampshire, saying it receives "almost no attention" as a campaign issue.
On Wednesday, Hillary said "the next president could get as many as three appointments. It’s one of the many reasons why we can’t turn the White House over to the Republicans again.”
Clinton said her judicial appointees must also reverse the Citizens United ruling on campaign finance and oppose a recent decision striking down a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In 2013's Shelby County v. Holder, justices struck down Section 4(b) of the act, which said that certain states and jurisdictions had to obtain permission from the federal government before changing their voting laws.
At one time, most politicians frowned upon any "litmus test" for judicial nominees, emphasizing the independence of the third branch of government. "I don't believe in litmus tests," Jeb Bush told Chuck Todd last November.
But with the rise of an activist judiciary in the middle of the 20th century, constitutionalists have sought to rein in the power of the bench.