Fetal Pain

British doctors have come up with further proof that the unborn experience pain. An article which appeared in the July Lancet explains that babies release “stress hormones” as well as reacting with “vigorous body and breathing movements” when doctors pushed a needle into them for prenatal blood transfusions. When the needle was placed in the abdomen for 10 minutes or more, as in the typical transfusion, the babies released stress hormones which children and adults release when they feel pain. When blood was taken from a nerve-free site on the umbilical cord, no stress response was recorded. The doctors concluded that the findings “raise the possibility that the human fetus feels pain in utero.” The team from London’s Centre for Fetal Care recommended giving painkillers to babies before transfusions and abortions.

CIDA pushes abortion

REAL Women reports that the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), which delivers $1 billion annually in foreign aid, is using its money “to promote abortion and the failed feminist agenda in developing countries.” In addition to siding with the US in promoting abortion as an international “human right,” CIDA funded the publication of Terra Vida, a newspaper which attacked the Vatican and promoted the “women’s caucus” at the recent Cairo Conference on Population and Development. REAL Women’s national Vice President Gwen Landolt, just returned from the Cairo Conference, laments the fact that, since 1968, CIDA has been “operating without any legislative mandate, to promote controversial programs…contrary to the views of the majority of Canadians.”

Button furore

General Motors in Toledo, OH has suspended a tool and die maker for wearing a pro-life button. The button portrayed a picture of an aborted baby with the words “Freedom of Choice?” John Stasa, a 17-year employee of GM has been wearing the button for five years but was recently asked to remove it. He refused and was subsequently suspended. When he returned to work, he again put the button on and was sent to a UAW disciplinary hearing where it was ruled that the button he was wearing was not a “protected” button. The UAW is an extremely powerful union which, like many of its Canadian counterparts, endorses politicians who support abortion. Many of Stasa’s co-workers were shocked that the union would not step in and block GM’s actions. Stasa has filed a $50.5 million civil lawsuit against GM.

Off the wire

New Zealand’s pro-life paper Humanity reports that in 1993, the country’s abortion rate increased to its highest ever level, 11,713. Repeat abortions make up 25% of that total. ****Sears, “the family store,’ has joined the list of companies who are extending benefits to homosexuals. These include the Globe and Mail, Northern Telecom, the United Church of Canada and the Hudson Bay Company. ****Ottawa City Hall celebrated The Year of the Family this October by putting on an architectural display for alternative (gay, lesbian) families. ****The Month in Review reported in August on a pregnant woman who had argued that, because she was carrying an unborn child, she should not have been ticketed for driving alone in the car pool lane. This month, MIR sadly reports that Mary Ellen Keppler has lost her case. ****Abortionist Steven Brigham, who is replacing abortionist Britton in Pensacola, has already been banned from practicing in Georgia and Pennsylvania and his license is under review in California and New Jersey. Even Planned Parenthood has issued a consumer advisory that he injured several women during abortions and failed to provide adequate follow-up. ****Illinois abortionist Richard Ragsdale and his wife have been accused by the State Attorney’s office of child pornography involving their three-year-old foster daughter. ****Richard Mahoney, a pro-life activist, was shot at while demonstrating outside of the Delta Women’s Clinic in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Ernest Robertson, 22, has been charged with second degree attempted murder after firing his gun at the pro-life counselor. He missed with the first shot and his gun jammed on the second, allowing Mahoney to escape without injury. Robertson has been charged with second-degree attempted murder. ****The expansion of abortion regulations by Spain’s Socialist Party has drawn harsh criticism not only from the Catholic Clergy but also from half of the country’s top judges.