BioTalk

A Pro-Life Podcast


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BioTalk13: Aborted Fetal Body Parts in Scientific Research

In this episode of BioTalk, Chelsea spoke with chemistry and physics instructor, Dr. Stacy Trasancos.

Stacy reminds us that it really doesn’t take any undercover investigating to find proof that abortion providers have been supplying scientists with aborted fetal body parts — sometimes even whole, intact, live fetuses — for research, much of which, like Planned Parenthood, receives funding from the Federal Government.

One doesn’t have to just take the Center for Medical Progress’ word for it. This information is and has been widely available in scientific literature dating back decades. Trasancos gives a few specific examples:

Also available on Soundcloud, if you’re into that sort of thing:

“These (Planned Parenthood videos) are but strokes on a broader canvas,” Stacy notes. For decades the use of fetal material has been a research tactic that is 1) considered ethical and legal, 2) coordinated across continents if necessary, 3) funded by governments and private foundations, 4) demanded by industry, and 5) applauded by the scientific community.

“Planned Parenthood,” Trasancos has written, “could shut down completely tomorrow, but the use of aborted fetuses and fetal body parts will not stop.”

This goes far beyond Planned Parenthood. On a larger scale, it is actually a “controversy” of scientific/medical ethics. Tissue from elective abortions should not be being used in scientific research in the first place.

Public outcry is key. So far the CMP videos have done a good job of rousing some outrage over the suppliers of fetal body parts. That’s why I’m glad some of the later videos shows the buyer’s perspective and just how widespread this problem is.

“We’re working with almost like triple digit number clinics (not all PP) and we still need more,” said Cate Dyer, CEO of StemExpress. Which brings up a concern Rebecca and I will discuss in the next episode: as the scientific community continues to drive the demand for aborted fetal body parts — what happens when the demand outweighs the supply?

God help us.

For more information see Stacy’s articles:
The Trail of Fetal Body Parts in Scientific Papers
Experiments on Intact Whole Live Fetuses and the Connection to Infant Formula
Ganogen’s Aborted Human Fetal Kidneys and Hearts Living in Rats and Some Ethical Questions

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BioTalk14: Stem Cell Debate Not Dead Yet

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On the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2009, Dr. Oz declared that the stem cell debate was effectively “over”. He explained that embryonic stem cells were harder to control and touted the then brand new discovery of induced pluripotent (Ips) stem cells.

I know many in the pro-life movement who agree with Dr. Oz’ assessment and, in many ways, he was right. In terms of regenerative medicine, embryonic stem cells continue to be out-performed by their adult counterparts. And even Ips cells, as relatively new as the research is compared to ESCR, are showing much more promise.

That being the case, coupled with the fact that many high-profile scientists have abandoned cloning/ESCR for Ips cells, and certainly after the announcement a few years ago that one of the largest biotech companies in the US, and the first to start trials using embryonic derived stem cells in human patients was dumping its embryonic stem cell research program altogether, it’s tempting to think that the stem cell debate is, in fact, over.

But I’m afraid we may have gotten a little too ahead of ourselves here.

In the latest episode of BioTalk, Rebecca Taylor and I discuss why the stem cell debate is far from over.

The explosive Center for Medical Progress videos have exposed the market in aborted baby tissue/body parts to the general public and put heavy pressure on State and Federal politicians to defund and investigate PP for their role as a fetal tissue supplier.

But let’s not stop there!

We need to stop using tissue from abortion in research. The longer this remains a common, legal practice, the more the scientific community drives the demand for aborted fetal body parts — and what happens when the demand outweighs the supply?

In one video, Cate Dyer, CEO of StemExpress, already admitted that they were working with “almost like triple digit number clinics (not all PP) and we still need more.”

We should be treating this much like we treated the embryonic stem cell debate 10 years ago — putting pressure on 1. lawmakers to defund and outlaw this research and 2. scientists to pursue ethical alternatives. If we do not, we risk ending up with a medical system that is inextricably linked to the abortion industry.


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BioTalk12: The World’s First Head Transplant?

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No, this is not a joke or an onion parody. A man in Russia has actually volunteered to receive the world’s first human head transplant (or body transplant, depending on how you look at it).

head-transplant.pngValery Spiridonov, who suffers from a rare form of spinal muscular dystrophy, recently met with Italian Dr. Sergio Canavero who has agreed to perform the 36-hour operation. The procedure will also require Spiridonov to be put in a medically induced coma for 3-4 weeks.

Spiridonov and Canavero were recently in the United States — where Canavero has said he wants to do the surgery — presenting their case to the American Academy of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgeons (AANOS).

In the latest episode of BioTalk, Chelsea Zimmerman and Rebecca Taylor talk about the ethical considerations of this and and other extremely invasive medical procedures, our tendency to treat mental diseases as physical diseases, recent comments from the Vatican on plastic surgery and how it relates to transhumanism and the importance of “bodily integrity.”

Or audio only:

Movie suggestion: The Brain that Wouldn’t Die (with MST3K commentary, natch).


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BioTalk11: Three-Parent IVF — Make Your Voice Heard!

In the latest episode of BioTalk, Rebecca Taylor and Chelsea Zimmerman give an update on “three-parent IVF” (aka “midochondrial donation or replacement”) and genetic engineering, what it means for our human future and what you can do about it.

Or, if you prefer, you can listen to audio only:

There is a very real possibility that the United States may follow the UK’s lead here. The FDA is once again revisiting their policy on three-parent IVF here in the States, and have asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to conduct a consensus committee to evaluate the technology.

As part of their evaluation, the IOM Consensus Committee is holding open meetings for public comment on March 31, April 1 and May 19. If you are in the DC area, please consider attending and making your voice heard!

If you are unable to attend, you can submit feedback to the committee here by clicking on “Provide FEEDBACK on this project” or you can email MitoEthics@nas.edu. That’s what we plan on doing; I hope you will join us (Rebecca has posted a sample letter that you can use).

Let’s not sit idly by while the Brave New World advances. This technology is still new enough that we can influence public opinion — if we act now. If not, then it could take generations more to reverse what has been done.

Please let them know how you feel about the genetic modification of future generations.


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BioTalking With Dr. David Prentice

At the National Right to Life Convention last summer Chelsea caught up with Dr. David Prentice, former Senior Fellow for Life Sciences at Family Research Council now Vice President and Research Director with the Charlotte Lozier Institute, and chatted with him a bit about the current status of the great “stem cell debate”, how scientists are tinkering with human life these days and what, if any, positive signs he sees for trying to stop this train at some point.

Only audio this time:


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CGS Newsletter: Frozen Eggs, Rented Wombs, Gene Tests and More!

The latest newsletter for the Center for Genetics and Society is out.

Lots of good stuff in here — especially about the recent decision by Facebook and Apple to offer their female employees a $20,000 benefit to freeze their eggs for later use with in vitro fertilization.

Check it out!


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BioBytes

• Couples are flocking to Thailand, the last place in Asia where sex-selective IVF is available.

• The Medical Board of Australia has suspended the medical registration of Dr Philip Nitschke, aka: Australia’s “Dr. Death”, following allegations that he counseled a man who was not terminally ill to take his own life. The board found that he posed “a serious risk” to the health and safety of the public.

• The award-winning documentary Eggsploitation is now available for rental or purchase digitally on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, and Xbox Video.