Pro-Life News: Abortion and Down Syndrome, Texas, Missouri Cloning, Nebraska

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 3, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life News: Abortion and Down Syndrome, Texas, Missouri Cloning, Nebraska Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 3
, 2006

Abortions on Down Syndrome Babies Still High, Maybe 85 Percent
Nashville, TN ( —
Abortions on babies with Down syndrome are still high and estimates show that as many as 85 percent of babies with the condition are victims of abortion. "To me it’s scary," Andrew Imparato, president and chief executive officer of the American Association of People with Disabilities, told the Tennessean newspaper. "It’s like trying to create a master race." Dr. Karen Summar, a pediatrician at the Vanderbilt children’s hospital’s Down syndrome clinic says she also thinks that more women are probably having abortions when tests show the baby has the condition. Still, she thinks more data is needed to prove it. Research shows only about half the expected number of babies with Down syndrome were born in 2001. The study in The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found a nationwide decline in Down syndrome births, even as more women are giving birth later in life, which greatly increases the risk of Down syndrome.

Texas Umbilical Cord Blood Bank Lacking in Donations From Clinics
Austin, TX ( —
In 2001, the state legislature established the Texas Cord Blood Bank in San Antonio to collect stem cells from umbilical cord blood to use in treatments. However, donations to the center are too low. Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen and in Brownsville, Medical City in Dallas and Methodist Hospital in San Antonio are the only four hospitals that are a part of the network sending adult stem cells to the center. More clinics are needed. At the end of the year, the bank’s inventory of cord blood, now just fewer than 1,000 units, will go online as a searchable database through the National Marrow Donor Program. But because there isn’t enough cord blood to go around, thousands of patients may die who would otherwise get a transplant. The Texas Cord Blood Bank wants to increase the number of facilities involved in banking. To build an adequate supply of cord blood for transplantations, the Institute of Medicine has said the nation needs about 100,000 donations, besides the usable 50,000 cord blood donations already in stock at public cord blood banks around the country.

Missouri Poll Claims Voters Backing Human Cloning Ballot Proposal
Jefferson City, MO ( —
A new poll sponsored by St. Louis Post-Dispatch and KMOV-TV claims 58 percent of Missouri voters back a November ballot initiative that would promote both human cloning and embryonic stem cell research there. The poll, conducted by the Maryland-based Research 2000 firm, found 37 percent opposed it and five percent were undecided. Research 2000 has come under fire before for biased bioethics questions in the case of Terri Schiavo. The firm polled 800 likely voters Aug. 28-31 and the poll had a 3.5 percent margin of error. Missouri residents who oppose the Amendment 2 proposal have outnumbered those attending pro-human cloning rallies. Opponents of the initiative have complained that backers don’t represent grassroots Missouri residents as the group heading up the initiative has received more than $16 million from a stem cell research firm, the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, that stands to gain from the referendum passing.

Nebraska Initiative Protecting Disabled Patients Doesn’t Qualify for Ballot
Lincoln, NE ( —
Despite the best efforts of pro-life advocates, a ballot initiative in Nebraska that would have protected disabled patients like Terri Schiavo won’t appear on the November ballot. Secretary of State John Gale announced Friday that it did not get enough signatures. The humane care petition fell about 4,000 signatures short of the 113,693 required. The initiative would have made sure patients who are unable to eat and drink on their own are not denied food and water, which pro-life groups consider basic necessities and not medical treatment. The initiative would have presumed that patients would have wanted food and water in cases when there is no advanced directive indicating one way or the other. It would ensure patients aren’t starved to death unless they previously said they don’t want the provisions. National Right to Life backed the measure and said food wand water "should be provided to all to the full extent necessary to preserve life and assure the optimal health possible."