Jewish Group Opposes Alito, Adult Stem Cells Work, Parents Prefer Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 21, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Jewish Group Opposes Alito, Adult Stem Cells Work, Parents Prefer Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 21, 2005

Jewish Group Votes to Oppose Samuel Alito Supreme Court Bid
Washington, DC ( —
The largest branch of the Jewish faith in North America has come out in opposition to Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito in part because he opposes abortion. More than 2,000 delegates of the Union for Reform Judaism adopted a resolution saying Alito would "shift the ideological balance of the Supreme Court on matters of core concern to the reform movement” on abortion. The vote came at the end of the group’s national convention. According to an Associated Press report, Jeff Wasserstein, a former law clerk for Alito and a self-described liberal Democrat, argued in favor of Alito’s nomination, while Elliot Mincberg, vice president of People for the American Way, argued against it. PFAW has been running television commercials slamming Alito on abortion. The Union for Reform Judaism represents about 900 synagogues in North America with an estimated membership of 1.5 million and is considered the most tolerant of abortion.

Adult Stem Cells Derived From Heart Cells Can Repair Heart Damage
Baltimore, MD ( —
Stem cells derived from human heart tissue develop into multicellular, spherical structures called cardiospheres that express the normal properties of primitive heart tissue, smooth muscle and blood vessel cells, according to a study by Johns Hopkins researchers. In a related study, cells grown in the laboratory from these cardiospheres and injected into the hearts of mice following a lab-induced heart attack migrated straight to damaged tissue and regenerated, improving the organ’s ability to pump blood throughout the animal’s body. Results from both studies were presented Nov. 14 at the American Heart Association’s annual Scientific Sessions in Dallas. "The findings could potentially offer patients use of their own stem cells to repair heart tissue soon after a heart attack, or to regenerate weakened muscle resulting from heart failure, perhaps averting the need for heart transplants," says Eduardo Marbán, M.D., Ph.D., senior author of both studies and professor and chief of cardiology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and its Heart Institute. "By using a patient’s own adult stem cells rather than a donor’s, there would be no risk of triggering an immune response that could cause rejection."

Parents Want Australia Courts to Allow Wrongful Birth Lawsuits
Canberra, Australia ( —
Their parents say Alexia Harriton and Keeden Waller should never have been born. They took their cases to the Australia High Court this month in an attempt to make the medical profession pay for their births. Harriton, now 24, is blind, deaf, spastic and mentally retarded. Her mother, Olga, contracted rubella during her pregnancy and says she would have had an abortion if her doctor had informed her of the problems. Keeden, who turned five in August, suffers permanent brain damage, cerebral palsy and uncontrolled seizures. His father, Lawrence, had the blood disorder AT3 but doctors failed to screen for it. he and his wife would also have chosen an abortion had they known. Chief Justice Murray Gleeson says the cases may not be victories because "to recognize that kind of action would be to recognize a duty to have an abortion."

South Korea Police Arrest Man Illegally Selling Human Eggs
Seoul, South Korea ( —
South Korean police arrested a man suspected of illegally selling human eggs to infertile couples in South Korea and Japan. Police raided four hospitals earlier in the month following the arrest of a 28-year-old man identified by his family name Kim, who tried to entice women to sell their ova to help them pay off debts such as massive credit card bills. It is the first arrest under a new bioethics law enacted in South Korea to bolster stem cell research while raising the bioethical standards, reports Reuters. The law allows for therapeutic cloning for embryonic stem cell research and bans cloning to produce humans. It also prohibits the commercial trade in ova or sperm, providing punishments of up to three years in jail for brokers and up to two years in jail for donors. Police also charged, but did not detain, two university students and a housewife suspected of illegally selling their ova through Kim. In addition, police are investigating cases involving 10 other people suspected of using the Internet to act as brokers to sell ova from South Korean women to infertile women in Japan.

Christine Todd Whitman: GOP Won’t Back Abortion Advocate in 2008
Des Moines, IA ( —
Former Bush cabinet member Christine Todd Whitman told a meeting of abortion advocates in Iowa that she doubts the party would back a pro-abortion candidate for president in 2008. That bothers the pro-abortion former New Jersey governor. "Not right now," Whitman, who is a Republican, said in a Des Moines Register interview. "To write off people who are proven vote getters, proven leaders, well respected, because they are not absolutely pure on a couple issues is ridiculous." Whitman was in Iowa as the invited speaker at a noon fundraiser for Planned Parenthood of Iowa. In her 2005 book, entitled "It’s My Party Too," Whitman criticizes the Republican Party for drifting too far to the right on abortion. The party hasn’t nomination an abortion advocate since President Ford in 1976.

Republican Congressman Claims Backlash for GOP if Abortion Overturned
Washington, DC ( —
A Republican congressman and former head of the party`s congressional fundraising effort, warns reversing Roe vs. Wade could create a backlash. There will be ‘a lot of very nervous suburban candidates,’ Congressman Tom Davis of Virginia told reporters at a breakfast meeting last week, the Boston Globe reported. Davis has a mostly pro-life voting record but officially backs legal abortion. Davis said as long as Roe remains a binding precedent, pro-abortion Republican voters and independents have not seen the party’s pro-life stand as a threat, he claimed. Pro-life groups say that line of thinking forgets the tremendous amount of support from pro-life Democrats because of the pro-life stance.

Louisiana Woman Arrested for Abandoning Newborn Baby
Bossier City, LA ( —
Police in Louisiana have arrested a 22 year-old woman for abandoning a newborn infant. Donielle Lynette Goree was issued a citation to come to court to answer charges of criminal abandonment was not booked into jail, KTBS-TV in Shreveport reported. Police say Goree admitted she delivered the baby girl herself and left it on the doorstep of a house last month. They did not disclose why the baby was allegedly abandoned. Investigators got a break in the case came when Goree’s boyfriend, who had seen news reports about an abandoned baby, contacted them and said his girlfriend told him she had an abortion. Police say he didn’t believe her. Criminal abandonment is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to one-thousand dollars. The baby remains in the hospital in good condition.

Iowa Democrat Gov Candidate Wants to End Stem Cell Research Ban
Des Moines, IA ( —
Iowa Democrat Patty Judge, who is running for governor, wants to repeat the state’s law that prohibits embryonic stem cell research. She said she wants to create a state university research institute. Judge, Iowa’s secretary of agriculture, said she would seek to establish the Iowa Center for Regenerative Medicine within the university system, which she argued would attract scientists but upset pro-life groups because some of the research would destroy human life. The 2002 law makes Iowa one of the few states to prohibit human cloning for both research and reproductive purposes.