LIFEalerts – IVF & Surrogacy

IVF & Surrogacy

USA – Study shows IVF babies are at greater risk for cancer

According to a study published in the journal JAMA Network Open this week, when compared to children conceived naturally, Children conceived with in vitro fertilization (IVF)  have a higher risk of developing cancer which authors of the study say is at a 2-fold increased risk. IVF-conceived children were also at a one-third greater risk of birth defects compared to their naturally-conceived counterparts. The study covered more than a million children conceived naturally and approximately 53,000 conceived by IVF. “With IVF births rising worldwide, further investigations into these associations are warranted,” the authors write. Read more

Japan – MP promotes IVF to boost birth rate

Japan’s biggest long-term problems are a low birth rate and a shrinking population. Incoming Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has pledged to provide insurance coverage for infertility treatments. He will also promote paternity leave for working fathers to ease the burden on working mothers. He has promised more help for single-parent households, more than half of which are living in poverty. Suga’s predecessor, Shinzo Abe, regarded the rapidly ageing population and falling number of births as a “national crisis,” and introduced free preschool education and day-care services. Read more

LIFEalerts – Alternative Medicine

Alternative Medicine

South Africa – Warning Over Bogus Beauty Treatment

Oxygen chamber therapy is a popular procedure in which users climb into an ozone pod with their head out of the top of the pod, while steam and oxygen mixture circulates inside the unit. It’s often punted as an anti-aging and detoxifying treatment. Typically, the marketing will claim that ozone therapy helps with everything from weight loss to skin rejuvenation, however medical doctor, Doctor Harris Steinman, Director – food and allergy consulting & testing Services says ozone therapy is a scam which can have harmful health consequences, not just to the skin, on inhalation, it can cause lung damage and there have been reported deaths from ozone therapy, he warns that unqualified people are administering ozone and making false health claims without any regulatory oversight. Read more

Australia – Immunity, stress relief vitamin                                                                                                                                 

The country’s chief group of general practitioners is warning consumers to treat alternative and complementary medicine products with a “great deal of caution.” Prof Shenouda said “Many alternative treatments lack any scientific evidence base of effectiveness to support their use. These products might have no beneficial effect and could even cause harm,” “My advice for anyone stressed or concerned about COVID-19 and their mental health is to avoid ‘quick fix’ products with no scientific basis, and instead contact your GP. “Your GP can give you expert medical advice on a whole range of treatment options, both medical and non-medical, that are right for you and your situation.” Read more

India – Ayurveda claims have no scientific basis  

Despite years of research and backing from the Indian government, as well as mainstream scientists speaking out about the misguided belief in “cow-pathy” which is faith in the protean curative properties of cow products – milk, cow urine, and dung. Currently, no cow product-based cure exists yet for any specific disease. This hasn’t however, prevented the Hindu government from using the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to promote the pseudoscience of AYUSH which stands for Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy. Ayurveda has no scientific basis grounded in rigorous research. No evidence exists to make such claims. Yes, it is ancient, and it is uniquely Indian. But none of that makes it remotely scientific. Science is a set of ideas, hypotheses and results that are testable and tested, and either accepted or discarded depending on the objective evidence gathered in research studies that meet certain standards of reproducibility and repeatability. read more

Britain – Delaying cancer treatment, even by a month, sharply raises death risk                                                    

Researchers found that delays in treatment – whether for surgery, radiotherapy or other treatments such as chemotherapy – for seven types of cancers had a significant impact on patient mortality “There has never been a systematic attempt to look at all the evidence on what delays in different types of treatment mean for cancer patient outcomes,” said co-author Ajay Aggarwal, a clinical oncologist and associate professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “Because we know this is happening to cancer patients during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is essential to understand the real impact. “The study found that even a month postponement could mean a patient had a 6-13% higher risk of dying. Read more

Philippines – Integrative Medicine Vs Patent Medicine

Testimonials seem to show that alternative medicine works. However, medical testimonials are unacceptable in scientific journals, and court as well as for Food and Drug Administration approval, for three reasons. First, since some conditions are self-limiting, the improved condition may not be due to the intervention. For example, common colds disappear in about one week. Some cancers simply disappear without intervention.

Second, the symptoms of some diseases vary. Thus, the cessation of a symptom may not be due to the intervention. Third, the cure may be due to the placebo effect. Accepting an untested medical cure has three dangers. First, if the cure does not work, you will have wasted money. Secondly, if you don’t avail yourself of or discontinue a mainstream cure, you might deteriorate. Thirdly, if the unconventional approach is dangerous, your life will be at risk. For example, some leaves used as herbal medicine may contain toxic alkaloids. Read more

LIFEalerts – Paedophilia

Paedophilia

USA – Pedophilia Is Overlooked in Popular Culture

“Call Me By Your Name” is just one of the latest pieces of media to subtly justify its portrayal of pedophilia. One of the biggest consequences of pedophilia in popular culture on young children is that they begin to view themselves as sex objects, believing that their self-worth is based on sex and attraction. Furthermore, it creates a distorted image of what love and relationships should look like because this viewpoint is based on women being controlled and dominated by men rather than being treated equally. Pedophilia needs to be resolutely and visually punished when presented in media. If it is not, this form of media needs to be boycotted and not treated as socially acceptable in any way. Read more

USA – Maxwell denies witnessing ‘inappropriate’ activities

Miss Maxwell had long fought to keep the testimony secret. She will go on trial in a criminal case next year and has pleaded not guilty.  She is accused of helping Epstein traffic and sexually abuse underage girls and of perjury for denying involvement in such a scheme when she gave her deposition under oath.  In the deposition, which spans more than 400 pages, she repeatedly denies and dismisses numerous allegations, and insists she never saw the financier have sex with anybody.  McCawley, a lawyer for Miss Giuffre, said the unsealing of the deposition was “a long time coming and a welcome step towards revealing the evidence of the scope and scale of the Epstein and Maxwell sex trafficking ring.” Read more

LIFEalerts – Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse

USA – Medical Reports contradicts popular view on safety of smoking marijuana

Regular consumers of recreational marijuana or those about to become one, would be wise if they first considered medical evidence which contradicts the view that smoking marijuana is safe. Especially people with underlying cardiovascular conditions. Compared with tobacco, marijuana smoking causes a fivefold greater impairment of the blood’s oxygen-carrying capacity. In a review of medical evidence, published in January in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers described a broad range of risks to the heart and blood vessels associated with the use of marijuana. Edible forms of marijuana have also been implicated as a possible cause of a heart attack, especially when high doses of the active ingredient THC are consumed.

Dr. Muthiah Vaduganathan, cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, was especially concerned about the increasing number of heart attacks among marijuana users younger than 50. In a registry of cases created by his colleagues, in young patients suffering a first heart attack, “marijuana smoking was identified as one factor that was more common among them.” A research team of the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute in New Orleans, wrote in the journal Missouri Medicine, citing case reports of inflammation and clots in the arteries of young adults who smoke marijuana. Another damaging effect that has been linked to marijuana is disruption of the heart’s electrical system, causing abnormal heart rhythms like atrial fibrillation that can result in a stroke. In one survey of marijuana smokers, the risk of stroke was increased more than threefold. These various findings suggest that a person need not have underlying coronary artery disease to experience cardiovascular dysfunction resulting from the use of marijuana. The researchers found that in an analysis of 36 studies among people who suffered heart attacks, the top three triggers were use of cocaine, eating a heavy meal and smoking marijuana. Read more

USA – Did legalizing cannabis prove to be a slippery slope to legalizing harder drugs?

Oregon state which has some of America’s highest rates of substance use and mental health problems has now has become the first US state to decriminalise possession of hard drugs, following a public referendum. People with small quantities of drugs including cocaine or heroin will escape prosecution, and may not even be fined. A statement signed by over two-thirds of Oregon’s District Attorneys said: “Decriminalization will lead to an increase in acceptability of dangerous drugs, normalizing hazardous experimentation for our youth and increasing accessibility, surging supply and lowering costs of dangerous street drugs.” The Oregon District Attorney’s Association warned that “this measure will tie the hands of law enforcement and prosecutors everywhere and lead to disastrous results for our communities”. more

Germany – Rejects recreational marijuana

A day after New Zealand voters rejected legalization of recreational marijuana, Germany’s Parliament does too. The German federal parliament soundly rejected a bill to legalize a “strictly controlled” adult-use cannabis market. The rejection came despite the fact that a majority of the members of the Bundestang belong to a political party that favors some type of reform. Read more here, and here

LIFEalerts – Sexual Exploitation

Sexual Exploitation

USA – Traumatic Brain Injury in prostituted women

In a 2010 study by Menon et al, Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as an “alteration in brain function, or other evidence of brain pathology, caused by an external force.” Violence is pervasive in prostitution and can cause TBI. The study showed that among 66 women and transwomen in prostitution, 95% had sustained head injuries, either by being hit in the head with objects and /or having their heads slammed into objects. The women described acute and chronic symptoms such as dizziness, depressed mood, headache, sleep difficulty, poor concentration, memory problems, difficulty following directions, low frustration tolerance, fatigue and appetite and weight changes. Screening for TBI is crucial to the care of prostituted women. more

South Africa – The truth about human trafficking in South Africa

Whereas most crimes are generally reported to the police, trafficking is not, mainly because victims fear retaliation. Professor Beatri Kruger is a research fellow in the Centre for Human Rights at the University of the Free State and her research spans a decade. She sees more cases are coming to the forefront. For the past five years, the annual US Trafficking in Persons Reports has classified South Africa as a country of origin, transit and destination for trafficking. According to police statistics, 2 132 cases were reported to the SAPS from 2015 to 2017. Also the reality is confirmed by an increasing number of trafficking convictions.  If you need information or help, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 0800 222 777. more

UK – Headteacher fears for students’ safety in Leeds prostitution zone

A headteacher in Leeds has called for the scrapping of England’s only legal ‘red-light district’ because students have been approached for sex and he fears for their safety. A draft report from 227 pupils and residents have documented concerns about safety and fear of abduction while witnessing prostitutes doing business that have also brought drug dealers to the scene. A survey of 45 local parents by Voice of Holbeck found 53% did not feel safe themselves and 69% did not feel safe for their children. more

South Africa – A study that child trafficking definitely exists in our country.

A peer-reviewed academic paper published in a South African Journal called Child Abuse Research responds to claims made by SWEAT (Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce) and other interest groups. The author of the academic paper is Marcel van der Watt from the Department of Police Practice in the University of South Africa. SWEAT has claimed, among other things, that deception and force used in recruiting persons into prostitution is uncommon, they deny that many child prostitutes exist, and call it a myth to believe that the sex industry is dominated by organised criminal groups, and they also deny that Sex workers are typically controlled through drugs and addiction. However, Marcel’s research lays out numerous studies and statements from SAPS and other experts that brings SWEATs research and statements into question.

While SWEAT convinces the general public and other groups that “there’s nothing to see here” and legalizing prostitution would somehow be a good thing for South Africa (SA), many victims of trafficking stuck in a cycle of forced prostitution are at risk of never being rescued. Why would SA seek to rescue victims of trafficking if they are told there’s no such thing and that all women in prostitution are there because they want to be there? If SWEATs research is swallowed, then criminal activity is free to flourish unhindered. What woman would willingly choose to put herself at risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections with no prospect of retiring or being promoted (assuming prostitution was a real job)? What message would legalised prostitution send to our youth? Would it even let the youth in on everything they can expect from such a ‘profession’?  The fact is, “Over the past 30 years, however, the constellation of successfully prosecuted child trafficking cases, investigative reporting and documentaries, media reports, academic publications, masters and doctoral research, and a number of research reports has suggested, quite convincingly, that child trafficking and children in the sex trade is an indisputable and systemic reality in South Africa.” Read more

South Africa – Beware of human trafficking

Captain Linzi Smith urges young girls and boys to seek advice and do proper research before accepting any offers that seem too good to be true.  In keeping with Human Trafficking Awareness Month, Hillcrest SAPS communications officer, Capt. Linzi Smith has once again warned the public to not become victims. “The community, students, learners and parents should be aware of the dangers of trusting strangers who offer them lifts; offer them fast paying jobs or free scholarships. People need to guard themselves and know that if it seems too good to be true, it’s because most often they are,” said Smith.  She encouraged the community to work hand in hand with police in combating the increase in this crime. Read more

LIFEalerts – Pornography

Pornography

Thailand – Pornhub Has Been Blocked

According to Thailand’s cybercrime laws, internet pornography is illegal, which is why the country recently blocked some 190 websites inside the nation’s borders, preventing citizens from gaining access to them. Thailand has specifically blocked one of the biggest sites called PornHub and other online porn sites.  In recent news was the case of 22 women who were deceived and coerced by Michael Pratt, owner of GirlsDoPorn, into performing sex acts on film that were subsequently uploaded to Pornhub. Pornhub is being accused by hundreds & thousands of people around the globe of complicity in the mass sex trafficking and exploitation of women and girls and profiting from the worst kinds of sexual abuse. Read more here, and here

USA – Ending twin pandemics: COVID-19 and the sexual exploitation of children

Child online exploitation beyond the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an added level of horror for families trying to protect their children from Internet-related harms and parents. Prior to COVID-19, the online sexual exploitation of children was already at pandemic proportions. Online activity has now increased for kids due to virtual learning and an increased time indoors. Parents are concerned about the dangers associated with the use of digital tools and social media, where savvy sexual predators, traffickers and pornographers are aggressively preying on vulnerable children. By July of this year, Google Trends reported an 80% increase in parents searching for online help in dealing with cyberbullying. Alarmingly, kids under 10 years old comprise 22% of the online porn use. Read more

Russia – Illegal content removed from 188,000 websites with extremist information

Illegal content was removed from 188,000 websites publishing extremist materials like child pornography and the promotion of drugs and suicide according to Russia’s communications watchdog Roskomnadzor. The watchdog backs a bill on the introduction of administrative fines for failures to ensure secure and stable functioning of the internet over the territory of the Russian Federation. For these purposes, the law envisages that providers are to submit technical information to Roskomnadzor, so the agency could promptly take necessary measures in case of communications emergencies. The lawmakers believe the bill will close some legislative gaps available currently for the subjects of the regulations introduced in certain laws on communications, and protection of information, and informational technologies. more

Pakistan – Google, Twitter and Facebook threaten to leave Pakistan over new content rules

Global tech giants Google, Facebook & Twitter among others, have banded together and are threatening to leave Pakistan because of the country’s latest censorship laws. Under the new regulations, social media companies or internet service providers face a fine of up to $ 3.14 million for failing to curb the sharing of content deemed defamatory of Islam, promotion of the terrorism, hate speech, pornography or any content considered to endanger Security. Critics say the move was aimed at restricting free speech in the conservative Islamic nation. Previously Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan granted the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority the power to remove and block digital content that “harms, intimidates or excites disaffection with the government” or harms “the ‘integrity and security of Pakistan’. more

LIFEalerts – Same Sex Attraction

Same Sex Attraction

South Africa – Transgender affirmation | what it means for the children of SA

In a democratic process initiated by the Western Cape Education Department (WCED), stakeholders were invited to comment on the Draft Guidelines on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (Guidelines). The Guidelines take the affirming approach which means gender confused youth will be encouraged to dress according to the gender they feel they are and use corresponding toilet & changing room facilities. Transgender activists were also present at this meeting and seem to be promoting this as the solution to beat bullying and discrimination. At the same event Dr Sybrand de Vaal, presented a medical viewpoint with evidence based on various international academic and medical research studies on the medical response to gender dysphoria specifically in children. Dr de Vaal’s facts are supported by published, peer-reviewed scientific studies which, as a result, questions the efficacy of gender affirming approach. Transgender activists, feeling threatened by the presented evidence, responded by spreading the false hype about Dr de Vaal that promoted dangerous and ineffective therapy for transgender children. It didn’t end there, transgender activists are now pressuring the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and the University of Cape Town to bar Dr de Vaal from Psychiatric Practice. An online petition is also circulating titled “Protect Trans Kids” against the doctor. Media bodies like Cape Times didn’t help the situation much by uncritically publishing the same false narrative spread by transgender activists, the impoverished piece by Nicola Daniels said the Doctor was allegedly “promoting harmful psychiatric practices with respect to transgender children” without mentioning or describing to the readers why the views of the doctor were so-called dangerous. Dr de Vaal and his legal team are currently preparing to respond to the HPCSA.

Liesl Pretorius, a Legal Advisor & Parliamentary Liaison at Cause For Justice (CFJ), said in a radio interview in June this year that the guidelines put forth by the WCED were lacking and that the strategy of preventing discrimination & bullying would actually worsen the situation. CFJ’s main concern is that the guidelines seemed to sidestep the parents, and that public participation on community level, especially with the community it will effect, was not widespread enough and even doubtful to have been attempted. CFJ emphasized the importance of involving the community because involving the community is a protective mechanism that guards against ideological & other discriminatory interventions in schools as has happened in the past. It was also noted that the curriculum, in terms of the South African School Act, was unlawfully drafted since it falls within the purview of the National Department of Social Development and the Provincial department cannot interfere with curriculum. CFJ said that important stakeholders should also be included from backgrounds such as medical, psychology, education, social work etc.

Medical institutions abroad and now trending in South Africa, are accepting without question for fear of losing their position at work and reputation, the radical idea that gender and sexual orientation confused children must receive the affirming approach. The controversial talk therapy which aims to help an individual feel comfortable and accept their biological reality, is highly criticised by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) activists, to the point where they sensationalise the so-called dangers of the same therapy method used to treat people with problems like depression, and anorexia etc. There have been LGBT individuals with unwanted attractions and unwanted gender dysphoria who have achieved change due to talk therapy – one can understand why LGBT activists who vehemently resist talk therapy would find this offensive.

If we encourage and promote the idea that the youth are “born that way” and that being confused about their gender identity is normal, how would we help those who feel confused but don’t want to transition? Will these guidelines follow the same trend seen in the USA and UK where teens are surgically and chemically transitioning?  Is the answer to gender dysphoria really found in surgical mutilation of healthy and functional body parts? Is the best solution for a transgender child to put them on a lifelong path of dependency on puberty blocking and hormones drugs?  

Dr Michelle Cretella from the American College of Paediatricians, a national organization of paediatricians and other healthcare professionals dedicated to the health and well-being of children, opposes the idea of affirming children into Transgenderism. For example, Lupron (the puberty blocking drug which transgender activists in the US are promoting) has neuropsychological effects that can worsen the condition of the transgender child. The drug label warns users about side-effects such as emotional lability, mood changes, nervousness, anxiety, agitation, confusion, delusion, insomnia, and depression. And says to “Monitor for development or worsening of psychiatric symptoms.” Tavistock Gender clinic for children in the UK documented that children who were on Lupron reported greater self-harm and that Girls exhibited more behavioral & emotional problems, & greater dissatisfaction with their body while on blockers. A study last year by Kaiser 2019 conducted a review of medical records of thousands of transgender identified youth and it found, that compared to their peers who are not trans-identified, transgender youth were seven times more likely to have had psychological disorders before identifying as transgender. Shouldn’t these findings cause us to pause, test and examine the best possible solutions for children? Would it not be better to suggest underlying causes be examined first, if it means that it could help the child accept and feel comfortable with their biological body, before encouraging them to transition? more at: CFJ Radio interview, Cape Times, FOR SA, Dr Cretella presentation

USA – Transgender kids often reject parents, and not the other way around

LGBT activists and the media have accepted the narrative that kids are living with parents who reject them based on morality or intolerance. A piece in Psychology Today revealed that often it is LGBT kids who reject their parents for not cheering or agreeing with their cross-dressing, name-changing, hormone-treatment and life-altering surgeries. Children often parrot what they’ve learned from activists by calling their parents transphobes and treating them like the enemy for being concerned. Yes, some trans children have suffered abuses at the hands of their families, but trans kids have also use the “I was abused” phrase to describe a home life where their gender choice was simply not embraced. more

USA – Federal Court of Appeals strike down ban on reparative therapy

The Federal Court of Appeals have struck down laws that ban counsellors from providing minor clients with help to reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviours, or gender confusion. The case of Otto, et al v. City of Boca Raton, FL et al, found that the laws were both content and viewpoint based and violate the First Amendment right to free speech. Under the laws that were struck down, a counselor could encourage a client to take life-altering hormone drugs or even undergo invasive surgery to remove healthy body parts, but could not help a client who seeks to overcome unwanted same-sex attractions, behavior, or confusion. 

Judge Grant wrote: “The First Amendment does not protect the right to speak about banned speech; it protects speech itself, no matter how disagreeable that speech might be to the government. And what good would it do for a therapist whose client sought SOCE [sexual orientation change efforts] therapy to tell the client that she thought the therapy could be helpful, but could not offer it? It only matters that some words about sexuality and gender are allowed, and others are not… But speech does not need to be popular in order to be allowed. The First Amendment exists precisely so that speakers with unpopular ideas do not have to lobby the government for permission before they speak,”

The court also said, “The local governments are not entirely wrong when they characterize speech-based SOCE as a course of conduct. SOCE, after all, is a therapy, and plaintiffs say they want to ‘engage’ in it. But plaintiffs have the better of the argument. What the governments call a ‘medical procedure’ consists—entirely—of words. As the district court itself recognized, plaintiffs’ therapy ‘is not just carried out in part through speech: the treatment provided by Drs. Otto and Hamilton is entirely speech.’ If SOCE is conduct, the same could be said of teaching or protesting—both are activities, after all. Debating? Also an activity. Book clubs? Same answer. But the law does not require us to flip back and forth between perspectives until our eyes hurt.” more

UK – Government admits that allowing men into women’s toilets places them at a disadvantage

The UK government has admitted that it places “women at a significant disadvantage” when permitting gender neutral toilets – as if there actually were a thing as being gender neutral – you’ll always have either men or women using the same toilet, and this reality will never change. Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick is investigating the recent and harmful trend of swapping female-only facilities for ‘gender neutral’ toilets. The review will also challenge the myth that equality legislation requires the removal of sex-specific toilets. Jenrick’s focus is to maintain the safety and security of women. LGBT lobby group Stonewall has been campaigning for gender neutral toilets and signage for a number of years. However, opposition is growing. In a debate in the House of Lords earlier this year, Lord Lucas questioned whether ending sex-specific facilities was “desirable”. He asked: “Has there been research into why this is a good idea? Have needs been identified? Have women been consulted?” The Peer called upon the Government to “get a grip” and for Stonewall to “settle down to the idea that maybe it needs to modify its rather extreme views.” Read more

USA – New poll shows vast majority of Americans oppose gender transition for kids

Spry Strategies in a new poll found that a majority of likely voters in the 2020 election, regardless of their political affiliation, object to “gender identity” policies, and support the preservation of single-sex spaces and women’s sports as female-only. Sampled nationally from all 50 states, the 3,500 likely voters were comprised of different races, ethnicities, and political affiliations. Regarding transgender-identifying males being allowed to compete in girls’ and women’s sports, nearly 67% of respondents indicated that they either disagreed or strongly disagreed with it. Just under 60% of likely voters opposed allowing males to enter women’s restrooms and changing facilities. The poll showed that the wealthiest American are the most likely to support these policies which are largely unpopular with middle-class voters. Read more

LIFEalerts – Abortion

Abortion

South Africa – Marie Stopes offers DIY abortions

Marie Stopes South Africa (MSSA) has been sending out emails offering to send abortion pills via Telemedicine. MSSA calls this practice safe and seems to be taking many precautions in the “check your eligibility” section of the email, but it is not enough to help women in dangerous situations like when they are being trafficked. How would MSSA detect possible coercion from an abuser? With multiple studies demonstrating the negative emotional, psychological, and long term physical implications women suffer, can this be the support SA women need? Is aborting the baby addressing the real problem? Read more

Scotland – Scottish doctor opposes extension of DIY home abortions

A leading Scottish doctor has voiced opposition to the proposed extension of ‘DIY’ home abortions in Scotland. Since the coronavirus lockdown, women in Scotland and across England and Wales have been able to take both pills required in a medical abortion at home. Despite serious and mounting safety concerns, the Scottish Government launched a public consultation on whether ‘DIY’ home abortions should continue once there is no longer a significant risk of COVID-19 transmission. Dr Antony Latham, chairman of the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics, is strongly opposed.

Chief among the doctor’s concerns was the possibility of women being coerced into an unwanted abortion. “One danger is that the woman is under pressure to have an abortion in an abusive relationship or from relatives who will not support her,” he said. Another concern is that women may be unaware of the risks involved. “Significant bleeding and sepsis are not uncommon,” he says. “Another danger is she may not fully understand the trauma of having an abortion, potentially all alone, at home.” And he has further fears that without any examination women may be getting the abortion pills for a pregnancy that is beyond the legal limit for such DIY abortions. “There is already a report of a case where a woman at 28 weeks’ gestation took the pills and delivered a baby which subsequently died.” Sadly, Dr Latham’s concerns have been amplified by real life cases of women who have suffered complications and traumatic experiences after taking ‘DIY’ home abortion pills. This week, a nurse revealed that she was left fearing for her life and needing emergency surgery after taking ‘DIY’ home abortion pills. The woman is now considering legal action against Marie Stopes UK, who supplied her with the abortion pills, for clinical negligence after they failed to provide requested counselling and “rushed” her through the abortion process. Read more

USA – Abortion vendors distance themselves from racist founders but still continue the work

Both International abortion vendors: Marie Stopes (MSI) and Planned Parenthood (PP) have renounced their eugenicist founders Marie Stopes and Margaret Sanger. Both, Stopes in Britain in the early 20th century and Sanger in America in the 1930’s were advocates for contraception for the purpose of “selective reproduction” and to weed out “unfit” races and individuals. The global abortion conglomerate has only distanced themselves from the reputation of their founders, not the work of the founders. According to their annual report of 2019, both MSI and PP have committed abortions in mostly impoverished areas around the world. Actions speak louder than words, it means nothing to renounce their founders but continue in their practices. more

UK – MPs attend webinar on fetal pain

A large number of Members of Parliament (MP) recently attended a webinar with the purpose to raise awareness of the science behind fetal pain and how current UK abortion law affects the treatment of preborn human beings. This included a U.S. Army physician assistant and Dr. Stuart WG Derbyshire, Associate Professor in Psychology. Bockmann and Derbyshire shared evidence showing preborn children may feel pain as early as 12 weeks gestation. Other studies have shown they may actually feel pain as early as eight weeks. “We have divergent views regarding the morality of abortion, but have come together to address the evidence of fetal pain,” they wrote. Despite the debate over fetal pain, abortion deliberately takes the life of a human being. Whether or not that human feels pain while being killed is of secondary importance to the fact that killing innocent human beings through abortion is wrong. more

Guatemala – President rejects Planned Parenthood Agreement

Guatemala’s president promised to scrap an official agreement allowing US-based abortion industry Planned Parenthood to set up an office, denouncing it as a promotor of abortion. President Alejandro Giammattei posted on Twitter saying, “I am a faithful defender of life and I am emphatic in indicating that in my government I will not endorse the creation, registration or start-up of any organization that goes against life,” Abortion in Guatemala is punishable by fines and jail sentences up to three years, and is only authorized if the life of the mother is in danger.  Read more

USA – Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers served 2 million people in 2019

The Susan B. Anthony List research arm Charlotte Lozier Institute (a hub for research and public policy analysis on the most pressing issues facing the United States and nations around the world.) shared findings of a robust study of approximately 2,700 U.S. pregnancy centers. The new report, “Pregnancy Centers Stand the Test of Time,” shows two million people were served in ways that included: more than 486,000 free ultrasounds, 160,200 STI/STD tests, more than 21,000 clients received after-abortion support, more than 881,000 students attended sexual risk avoidance education presentations, and nearly 1.3 million packs of diapers. This report shows that they exist to serve and support mothers who choose life to their unborn, even under the most difficult circumstances. more

USA – Manhattan abortion facility injures 36th patient

Another woman has been injured at an abortion facility in Manhattan and is believed to be the 36th woman injured at this particular facility. In 2019, there were 13 ambulances spotted at the Manhattan facility, and during the spring, there were five women injured in seven weeks. This Planned Parenthood (PP) is the same facility which changed its name earlier this year, removing PP’s eugenicist founder, Margaret Sanger. PP of Greater New York acknowledged that the name change was due to Sanger’s “racist legacy.” Yet as Senator Ben Sasse pointed out, removing a name to combat a racist history is meaningless as long as PP continues to profit from the notion that lives are disposable if powerful people say so. Read more

USA – Louisiana passes “love life” amendment

For the first time, Louisiana voters had the opportunity to vote directly on the issue of abortion in any context. Voters were asked whether they support an amendment claiming no specific wording should be found in the state constitution protecting the right to an abortion. The amendment, also known as the “love life” amendment, passed with more than 60-percent of the vote. Ben Clapper with Louisiana Right to Life says the amendment does not ban abortions today but it protects pro-life laws, such as “inform consent”, ultras-sound laws which the vast majority supports, and also bans taxpayer funding of abortion, from judges who might want to usurp the power of our legislators and declare their own policy. Read more

USA – New report shows pro-life 2020 gains

Pro-Life group called Live Action and Americans United for Life have released a 2020 State Legislative Sessions Report which highlights pro-life gains and losses in state laws and policies throughout the year. According to the report, in 2020, state legislators enacted 17 life-affirming laws and two pro-life resolutions. Two pro-life measures were vetoed and two pro-abortion measures were enacted while two others were defeated. According to AUL, Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, and Kentucky are pursuing either pro-life ballot initiatives or constitutional amendments in 2021 and 2022. Read more

LIFEalerts – Euthanasia

Euthanasia

South Africa – Dignity SA lies to Minister of Health about Euthanasia

DignitySA (DSA) is a group that advocates for physician assisted suicide on patients that seek to end their life. DSA makes their case about “intolerable suffering” which should be the reason for anyone to choose to die by euthanasia. In a petition to the Minister of Health, DSA states that “Twenty-five years of incontestable data prove that the safeguards to protect the vulnerable in Oregon have never been breached.” A recent study from Oregon however, shows that most Americans do not choose euthanasia because of pain and suffering, but rather that they choose euthanasia because they fear pain and suffering. Dr Benoit Beuselinck MD, PhD, Oncologist, from Belgium says that “We can manage All pain with palliative care, including palliative sedation where we can manage all symptoms.” The American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, The World Medical Association, all reject Doctor Assisted Suicide. There is no reason for South Africa to believe killing someone at their lowest point in life should constitute the right to die, bottom line is, pain can be managed.

Evidence suggests that in countries where euthanasia was legalized, so-called safeguards indeed were breached for example; In Canada, a wife lost a lawsuit to prevent her husband’s death by euthanasia, another incident described a psychiatrist in Oregon who determined that an elderly woman with dementia was mentally unable to consent to assisted suicide, and believed her daughter was pushing for it, but it happened anyway. In USA, Texas a disabled, 46-year old African American man named Michael Hickson, was euthanized without his consent or that of his wife. The doctor said it was better to euthanize Michael because he is paralyzed and not like “walking and talking people.” In Belgium, nurses admitted to euthanizing patients without their consent. Safeguards were breached wherever euthanasia was legalized, South Africa can expect the same result when learning from those countries who have gone before us. DignitySA, wife looses lawsuit to prevent husbands euthanasia, doctors didn’t try to save a black covid-19 patient who was paralyzed, Belgian euthanasia nurses admit to killing without consent.

UK – Over 50 palliative care doctors resist introducing assisted suicide

In a letter to media group called The Times, over fifty palliative care doctors called attention to a recent British Medical Association survey on assisted suicide which shows that 84% of doctors in palliative medicine would not be willing to perform euthanasia on a patient should the law ever change. The doctors pointed out that “Every legislature that allows ‘safeguarded’ assisted dying has seen its safeguards breached, starkly illustrating the gap between principle and practice.” In the Netherlands, for example, reports indicate that the requirement for explicit consent is frequently ignored, as is the required reporting of all instances of euthanasia. Motivations for assisted suicide as seen in countries that have already legalised the practice, are social and not medical. more

UK – Committing Suicide is reason enough to travel abroad

Britain has entered a second period of hard lockdown to avert a wave of Covid-19 patients swamping hospitals. Holiday travel overseas is banned. However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that visiting the Swiss assisted suicide clinic Dignitas will be permitted, as an exception. This forces people who need hope not suicide to believe that life is better if we’re dead. It is heart breaking to see how governments dismiss their citizens in desperate situations by affirming their misguided beliefs of being better off dead. This is no positive solution to any problem. Read more

Canada – Assisted Suicide saves money PBO Report suggests

Since Canada’s laws on euthanasia and assisted suicide became legal in 2016, health-care costs have dropped millions of dollars, according to a Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) report. Although this could sound grotesquely utilitarian, it stresses that these savings should “in no way be interpreted” to suggest that assisted dying be used to reduce health-care costs. But it does, and it sends a message to the elderly and disabled, or terminally ill, that being alive any longer would mean that they are costing their families money. In Belgium, deaths rose from 0.2% of all deaths to 2.4% in 16 years. Canada expects a rise from 0.3% to 2.6% in just five years. Read more

Canada – Euthanasia in prisons slammed by ombudsman

Canada’s prison ombudsman has recommended an absolute ban on providing euthanasia inside a federal penitentiary. Ivan Zinger acknowledged there have been three known cases of doctor-assisted death in federal prisons. The first case involved a “non-violent recidivist” serving a two-year sentence. It would seem that this man ‘chose’ euthanasia not because that was his ‘wish,’ but rather because every other option had been denied, extinguished or not even contemplated. Hopelessness, despair, lack of choice and alternatives are issues magnified in prison. Seeking euthanasia in the community and providing euthanasia behind prison walls is not the same and Zinger suggests that the government should set up an expert committee to consider the ethical and practical concerns in providing euthanasia in prisons. Read more

UK – Leading Palliative Care doctor opposes euthanasia

In a letter to The Times, Dr Carol Davis, Lead Consultant of Palliative Medicine at the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, criticised the conflation of assisted suicide and palliative care. She said that “most patients do ‘let go quietly’, dying peacefully of their illness. Their doctors know they have a duty of care to provide effective symptom control and care as life ends. But that’s a completely different matter from giving dying patients lethal drugs”. She emphasised that good “clinical care is a partnership between patient and doctor”, where they cannot simply impose demands on each other, adding: “Doctor-patient dialogue isn’t just another customer-supplier relationship”. Earlier this month, a survey revealed that a majority of doctors in the British Medical Association (BMA) do not want to give patients life-ending drugs. Read more

LIFEalerts – Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse

UK – Government urged to sell cocaine and ecstasy in pharmacies

A UK drugs liberalisation campaign group called Transform has recommended that Cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamines should be “nationalised” and sold legally in government-run pharmacies to undermine global drug-related crime. In a book the group sets out practical ways to sell the drugs in pharmacies: no over 18’s, health and risk warning labels on the packaging, and specially trained chemists. Sounds like the same failed recommendations proposed by marijuana activists, because none of what they said would happen actually undermined global drug-related crime – it only made the problem worse and marijuana usage among teens increased in states that legalised it compared to states that did not. Fortunately, Home Office spokesperson said that the government remained opposed to legalising cannabis “because it is detrimental to health and mental health”. Read more

South Africa – Marijuana use before surgery can worsen pain during recovery

According to a small recent study, smoking or ingesting it in the hope of managing your pain after surgery might end up doing quite the opposite. Early research suggests that Cannabis is not effective for “, acute pain such as for surgery of a broken leg,” said lead author Dr Ian Holmen, an anaesthesiology resident at the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, in a statement published by the American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA). Apart from an increase in acute pain, people who used marijuana before surgery also ended up requiring more anaesthesia during surgery, and used more painkillers during recovery. 

For their study, the research team studied the charts of 118 patients who had undergone surgery at the University of Colorado Hospital to repair a fractured tibia. They found that 30 (25.4%) patients had reported using cannabis prior to surgery. Comparing the two groups they found cannabis users used 58% more painkillers per day while in the hospital compared to non-users. Users also required an additional 12.4 millilitres of anaesthesia during surgery than those who did not use marijuana. The type and method of cannabis use, as well as how frequently it was used, were not known. Read more