Media ignores study linking crime and abortion

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Despite widespread media attention in recent years of a dubious study linking falling crime rates and the availability of abortion, there was scant media coverage of a study that illustrates abortion increases the crime rate. In May, a study by John R. Lott of Yale Law School and John Whitley of the University of Adelaide School of Economics in Australia concluded that legalized abortion in the United States resulted in higher crime rates, by approximately 5-7 percent. Their research suggests that abortion creates a social climate that encourages out-of-wedlock births and single-parent families, which in turn tend to produce children more likely to commit crime. The two researchers also expose the flawed methodology of the earlier headline-grabbing study by John Donohue and Steven Levitt.

Couple battle over embryos

TRENTON, N.J. – The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that a man identified as “M.B.” cannot have the frozen embryos he and his ex-wife “J.B.” created while married implanted in another woman. J.B. said she did not want to become a parent again against her will and sought to have the embryos destroyed so they could not be donated or implanted in someone else. In a unanimous 7-0 decision, the court said the man may decide whether the seven “pre-embryos” (in Chief Justice Deborah Poritz’s words) be kept in storage or destroyed. M.B.’s lawyer said he has decided to keep the embryos in storage, at least until they appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The embryos were neglected as part of their 1998 divorce settlement.

Lesbian scout leader endangers minor

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Former girl Scout leader Mindy Lorenz, 19, has been given a 90-day suspended sentence for French kissing a 12-year-old girl at a troop sleepover. Lorenz pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a minor, following a February incident in which the victimized girl was kissed for 15-20 seconds by her caretaker in a dark, locked room during a sleepover in the hall of St. John the Baptist Church. According to court documents, Lorenz admitted to police that she kissed the girl and told the child about her own sexual experiences with other women and asked the girl if she needed help in experiencing a sexual encounter with another female.

Doctors’ group opposes assisted suicide

PHILADELPHIA, Penn. – The American College of Physicians, the nation’s second-largest medical organization behind the American Medical Association, joined the AMA in officially opposing assisted suicide. A paper published in an August issue of Annals of Internal Medicine said doctors should “solve the problems of inadequate care at the end of life, not avoid them through practices such as assisted suicide.” The paper, written by Dr. Daniel Sulmasy, said assisted suicide would damage the patient-physician relationship, jeopardize the medical profession’s role of healing, and lessen the value placed on life.

Kevorkian appeal

DETROIT, Mich. – A state appeals court panel heard arguments on whether to grant euthanasia activist Jack Kevorkian a new trial. Kevorkian’s lawyer Mayer Morganroth argued that Kevorkian would not be serving his 10-25 year sentence for the 1998 injection death of Thomas Youk, if Kevorkian had not represented himself in the case. Oakland County assistant prosecutor Anica Letica responded, “Kevorkian wanted a public forum for public acceptance of euthanasia. It’s ludicrous to blame ineffective counsel.”

Adult stem cells treating Crohn’s disease

CHICAGO, Ill. – The latest breakthrough using ethical adult/somatic stem cells was made at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in treating patients with Crohn’s disease using stem cells derived from the patients’ own blood. Two patients have been treated and results were very encouraging, according to Dr. Richard Burt who is leading the study. Burt noted that results of similar procedures on patients with multiple sclerosis and lupus have also shown progress. Burt said “If you’re able to use your own stem cells, the embryonic stem cell issue is not just ethically moot, it’s practically moot.”

Legal challenge over clinic’s denial of ABC link

FARGO, N.D. – The case of Amy Jo Mattson v. Red River Women’s Clinic is under way, which will decide whether the Red River Women’s Clinic pamphlet claiming there is no link between abortion and breast cancer (ABC link) is false advertising. The clinic’s pamphlet states: “A substantial body of medical research indicates that there is no established link between abortion and breast cancer.” Lawyers for Mattson note the pamphlet intentionally quotes from an outdated statement by the National Cancer Institute despite the fact that 28 out of 37 studies on the issue find some ABC link. ABC expert and endocrinologist at City University in New York, Dr. Joel Brind will testify at trial that these studies have shown that once pregnant, abortion robs a woman of the body’s natural protection against breast cancer.

Alaska court upholds anti-assisted suicide law

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Alaska Supreme Court ruled unanimously there is no constitutional right to assisted suicide when it upheld a state law that says helping someone else kill themselves is manslaughter. (Killing oneself without another’s assistance is not illegal.) The decision, written by Justice Alex Bryner, found that “the terminally ill are a class of persons who need protection from family, social, and economic pressures, and who are often particularly vulnerable to such pressures because of chronic pain, depression, and the effects of medication.”