LIFE DIGEST: IVF babies being aborted
The stunning news that a sizable number of women who go through expensive fertility treatments choose to abort their children caught even some fertility specialists off guard. "These women can't be surprised to be pregnant; you can't have an IVF pregnancy by accident," Bill Ledger said, according to The Times of London. Ledger is an HFEA member and head of reproductive and developmental medicine at Sheffield University.
The statistics from Britain's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) show an increasing number of women are choosing abortion for "social," rather than medical reasons after becoming pregnant by IVF, The Times reported June 6.
Some women chose abortion because of problems in their marriages, according to the report.
Victoria, a London secretary, aborted her IVF child when it became obvious her marriage was falling apart. "I couldn't cope with bringing up a child on my own and I didn't want any link that would force me to stay in touch with my husband," she told The Times.
Ann Widdecombe, formerly a Conservative Party member of Parliament, said women who abort for "social" reasons are treating their unborn children like "designer goods," the newspaper reported. "If the law was being applied properly, people wouldn't be able to get an abortion just because they changed their minds," she said.
R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said the news demonstrates human beings are increasingly practicing self-idolatry. "We are witnessing the elevation of personal autonomy, personal happiness, and personal fulfillment to levels that can only be described as idolatry," he wrote on his weblog June 9.
"Americans should take note -- we can be virtually assured that this scandal is present in this nation to a degree exceeding even what has been revealed in Britain," Mohler wrote. "This nation lacks some of the protections and regulations found even in Britain. The United States is, as some foreign observers have noted, the 'wild, wild West' of fertility treatments. Add to that fact the reality that women in the U.S. can demand an abortion for any reason or for no stated reason at all.
"One might think that the most welcome place in the world for an unborn child would be the womb of a mother who would be so intent on getting pregnant that she would seek and undergo IVF fertility treatment. It turns out that in a significant number of cases, that assumption is proved wrong. How do we take the measure of that tragedy?"
KANSAS GOVERNOR AIDS P.P. -- Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson used a line-item veto to restore funding to Planned Parenthood in a blow to pro-life efforts in the state.
The Democratic governor struck a legislative provision that required all Title X funding to go to comprehensive health clinics and hospitals instead of family planning clinics. Title X is the federal government's family planning program. Parkinson's veto means two Planned Parenthood clinics in Kansas will receive $375,000 in Title X funds.
Title X money is not to be used for abortions, and Parkinson said the two Planned Parenthood clinics do not perform abortions.
Planned Parenthood, however, is the country's leader abortion provider. Its affiliates performed more than 305,000 abortions in the United States in 2007, the most recent year for which statistics are available. Planned Parenthood received about $350 million in government grants and contracts in 2008.
"Governor Parkinson is out of step with the public, which doesn't want to be linked with this abortion business.... It's a sad day in Kansas when the Governor insures a politically motivated group like Planned Parenthood gets our taxpayer dollars while state health clinics are left wanting," said Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life, in a written statement after Parkinson's May 27 action.
GIRL DOES SELF-ABORTION -- A 13-year-old Pennsylvania girl performed a self-abortion, and her 30-year-old boyfriend buried the dead child, according to a newspaper report June 7.
The girl, who lives in Monroe County in the eastern part of the state, told police she initiated the abortion at home June 2, according to The Express-Times in Lehigh Valley. During the next three days, she became ill, had contractions and delivered the child at her home. The unnamed girl contacted Michael James Lisk, whom she believed to be the baby's father, and he buried the body in the woods between their homes.
Lisk, who police reported had been involved in a sexual relationship with the girl for about a year, was charged with rape and concealing a child's death, according to The Express-Times. No charges had been filed against the girl, the newspaper reported.
IPPF'S INCOME SOARS -- The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) reported an increase in total revenue of more than $20 million in 2009.
The IPPF's income grew from $119.7 million in 2008 to $140.7 million last year, according to a financial statement released in May. More than $97 million of the 2009 total came in the form of government grants.
The statement showed massive growth in some of IPPF's services, including a rise in "abortion-related services" from 219,229 in 2005 to 1.1 million in 2008 and an increase in the number of condoms distributed from 97.9 million in 2005 to 139.8 million in 2008.
PAID NOT TO ABORT -- Low-income women in northern Italy can receive $6,600 over 18 months to not abort their babies.
Roberto Formigoni, president of the Lombardy region, said June 2 he set aside funds to fulfill a campaign pledge that no woman should feel as if she had to choose an abortion because of financial need, The Australian reported.
Tom Strode is Washington bureau chief of Baptist Press.