Since July, 2015, The Center for Medical Progress has released six You Tube videos of Planned Parenthood doctors and staff discussing the sale of aborted fetuses and body parts of aborted fetuses. These discussions have involved Planned Parenthood personnel trying to get the highest price for the body parts. Under federal law, it is unlawful to profit from the sale of aborted fetuses or body parts of fetuses, such as lungs, hearts, etc. Representatives from The Center for Medical Progress argue that the videos show that Planned Parenthood is in the business of making a profit of selling aborted fetuses. Planned Parenthood claims that the videos are edited to present falsehoods, and that no illegal activity is taking place. At least nine states Attorneys General and members of Congress have begun investigation into the allegations against Planned Parenthood. Because Planned Parenthood receives hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money, the controversy involves morals, ethics, and government.
Planned Parenthood was co-founded by Margaret Sanger in the early 1900s as “American Birth Control League.” Ms. Sanger believed in selective breeding, the idea to make a better human race by preventing reproduction of the ‘unfit’. Sanger believed the unfit were people of color, racial minorities, and those who were not performing well in society economically. When Margaret Sanger began her work, abortion was illegal in most states. And, all major Christian Churches banned the use of artificial contraceptives. Margaret Sanger wanted people, especially non-whites, to use artificial contraception, and to have abortions.
In the early 1900s, the great majority of Christians believed that only God should have ultimate control over whether a married couple has children. From its beginning, Christianity was against artificial contraception and abortion. 1500 years of this tradition was continued by the great Reformer Martin Luther. Luther wrote, that this “inhuman attitude, which is worse than barbarous,” was found chiefly among the well born, “the nobility and princes.” Luther:
How great, therefore, the wickedness of [fallen] human nature is! How many girls there are who prevent conception and kill and expel tender fetuses, although procreation is the work of God! Indeed, some spouses who marry and live together…have various ends in mind, but rarely children.
In the 1900s, major Christian Churches turned from the teachings of traditional Christianity regarding procreation. In 1930, the Anglican Church voted to approve the use of artificial contraception at the Lambeth Conference. Very soon after, nearly all Christian churches in America changed their stance on contraception, as well. Over time, American society changed its stance not only on contraception, but abortion, as well. Children became to be seen as burdens, and parents were urged to be “responsible” in taking over the decision to have children.
Over time, more states approved the use of contraception and abortion. In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that abortion was a constitutionally protected right. (see article below). Since 1973, it is estimated that over 56,000,000 abortions have taken place in the United States, and today, American doctors perform 3,000 abortions every day. The largest abortion provider in the country is Planned Parenthood (PP). PP is responsible for 1 in every 3 abortions. It performed over 330,000 abortions in 2014. Proceeds from abortion account for 50% of PP health services revenue. The U.S. federal government gives hundreds of millions of dollars every year to Planned Parenthood. In 2013, PP received $540.6 million (45% of its revenue) from the U.S. government, for health services.
In August, the U.S. Senate voted whether the U.S. government will defund Planned Parenthood. According to Senate rules, at least 60 Senators had to approve to begin discussion on the bill. The vote was 53-46, in favor of beginning of discussion. This means that the bill to defund PP failed. Voting yes were 2 Democrats and 51 Republicans. Voting no were 42 Democrats, 2 Republicans and 2 independents.
1. What did the Center for Medical Progress released regarding Planned Parenthood?
2. What does the Center for Medical Progress claim PP is doing illegally?
3. What is Planned Parenthood’s response to the Center for Medical Progress?
4. Who was the original founder of Planned Parenthood and what did she want?
5. What was the position of every Christian church on contraception and abortion before the 1900s?
1. Five-Minute Video on the Morality of Abortion from Prager University
2. History of Contraception in the Protestant Church: http://bound4life.com/history-of-contraception-in-the-protestant-church/
3. Center for Medical Progress: http://www.centerformedicalprogress.org/
Planned Parenthood: http://plannedparenthood.org/
In January 2015, 51 individuals contracted measles at Disneyland in southern California. This outbreak has been the cause of many debates about vaccines, public health, the rights of parents, and the role of the state.
What is a Vaccine?
A vaccine is a product that produces immunity from a disease and can be administered through needle injections, by mouth, or by aerosol. A vaccination is the injection of a killed or weakened organism that produces immunity in the body against that organism. Vaccines attempt to spur the body to make anti-bodies that will fight the weakened strain of the disease, so that if the body is attacked by a stronger strain later in life, it will be able to fight the disease.
What are Vaccines Made Of?
Vaccines are made from bacteria of infected animals or people. There are also at least 23 vaccines that are created from cells of aborted fetuses. Vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, hepatitis and rabies are created from aborted fetuses.
A History of Vaccines
As early as A.D. 1000, Chinese used a vaccine to fight smallpox, and as early as 1661, a Chinese Emperor decreed that all Chinese should receive a smallpox vaccination. During the American Revolution, a smallpox epidemic broke out among Bostonians when British soldiers occupied the city. The British had been inoculated against smallpox. Later that same year, George Washington ordered mandatory inoculation for every American soldier of the Continental Army. In 1796, British doctor Jenner discovered that he could make a person immune from smallpox by inoculating a person with matter from a cowpox sore.
In the 1800s and 1900s, most developed countries of the world adopted laws that made vaccination against certain diseases mandatory. In the United States of America, the Supreme Court ruled in 1905 in Jacobson v. Massachusetts that states had the right to pass vaccination laws. A “well-ordered society” must be able to enforce “reasonable regulations” in responding to “an epidemic disease which threatens the safety of its members,” wrote Justice John Marshall Harlan. The Constitution did not protect “an absolute right in each person to be, in all times and in all circumstances, wholly free from restraint.” The findings of this case have been looked at as the guiding principle in relations of individuals and their state to vaccinations.
Arguments in Favor or Vaccination
The main argument in favor of vaccination appears to be that it works. In 1962, before the measles vaccine was licensed, over 500,000 American children came down with the disease, 48,000 required hospitalization, and 450 died. In 1997, under 100 American children came down with measles. Similar examples exist regarding polio. Polio is a contagious viral illness that causes paralysis, difficulty breathing, and sometimes death. Before the creation of the polio vaccine, the U.S. experienced 20,000 cases per year, primarily in children. After the creation of the polio vaccines in 1952 and 1955 and mandatory vaccinations, polio has been eradicated in the United States, with the last known case occurring in 1979. After a world eradication program of eradicating polio, the numbers of polio illnesses dropped from 350,000 cases in 1988 to 223 cases in 2012.
Arguments Against Vaccination
There are a number of arguments against forced vaccination. One involves the materials used to create the vaccines. In at least 23 vaccines, cells from aborted fetuses are used to create the vaccines. For those who are against abortion and believe that the unborn life should be protected, the use of materials from the aborted fetuses presents a moral problem of great magnitude.
Another argument against forced vaccination involves the great number of vaccinations that each child attending an American school is supposed to have. Each vaccination has its own possibly grave side effects. As the number of required vaccinations grow, the number of individuals hurt by these side effects will grow, as well. According to the Center for Disease and Control (CDC), the U.S. federal agency charged with America’s health, there are 14 diseases that young children under 6 need to be vaccinated for. For 7-18 year olds, the CDC recommends at least 14 more vaccines. Many parents question the need for each of the vaccines. One vaccine is for a disease that is spread through sexual activity.
What is Herd Immunity?
Herd immunity is a belief, or theory, that states when a certain percentage of people in society are vaccinated, then there is a lower chance of a disease spreading. Because some people are unable to be vaccinated against some diseases, either because they are too young, or too weak, many doctors believe that it is essential that most are vaccinated so that herd immunity be maintained. However, there are also those who disagree with the validity of the idea of herd immunity.
Dr. Andrew Wakefield, Vaccination, and Autism
In 1998, British Dr. Wakefield wrote an article in The Lancet that claimed there was a link between measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and autism. In the western world, many believed this claim to be authoritative, and in the United States, some parents chose not to have their children inoculated. In California, politically liberal citizens living in areas that tend to vote Democrat were the most affected, including Marin County, Santa Monica, and Beverly Hills, as parents chose a philosophical exemption to vaccinating their children.
Dr. Wakefield’s study was shown to be fraudulent, he was on the payroll of attorneys wanting to sue the government, and in 2010 he lost his medical license. Great Britain’s medical regulator ruled that Dr. Wakefield acted dishonestly and irresponsibly. It appears that Dr. Wakefield based his entire study on 12 children, and he misrepresented these 12 children, as well. However, the effects of his study still are being felt.
An outbreak of measles in January 2015 at Disneyland, California, has been the cause of great discussions involving disease, vaccination, and the role of government and public safety. Americans argue over the importance of vaccinations and the power of the state.
1. What is a vaccine and how do doctors believe it works?
2. What is the first known use of a vaccine?
3. What do people who support vaccines say is the main reason all should be vaccinated against certain diseases?
4. What are the main reasons people have against forced vaccination?
5. What role do you think the government has in mandating vaccination?
On January 22, 2015, from tens of thousands to 200,000 mainly young people marched in Washington, D.C. to demand the end of abortion in the United States of America. It was the 42nd anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade that mandated legal abortion nationwide. The pro-life march, which happens every year, was not covered by the major news networks, NBC, ABC, CBS, even though it is an annual event that draws large numbers of people. The history of abortion rights in the United States is one of deception and racism.
Before 1973, the legal issue of abortion was an issue that was determined by each state. When the American Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution, they included the first ten amendments, which are explicit (stated in writing) guarantees of rights for the people and to the states. The framers of the Constitution did not want the U.S. federal government to become too powerful, as they believed Great Britain’s king was. The tenth amendment reserves all power that is not explicitly granted to the federal government to the states and the people. There is no power in the Constitution that refers to medicine or health. It is because of this, that from 1789 to 1973, health was considered a power that was specifically a state issue.
The Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade (1973) changed the relationship between Americans, their health, and the federal government. In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court justices created a right to privacy that had not before existed and is not found in the Constitution, claiming that a woman had the right to end her pregnancy with an abortion, because she had a right to privacy. The justices argued that since Congress had not yet declared when human life begins, the unborn does not yet enjoy the right to life. The justices ordered that in every state, abortion would be legal. From then on, issues of health became a federal issue.
Jane Roe, the plaintiff in Roe v. Wade (1973), was really Norma McCorvey. The court called her Jane Roe to hide her identity. Ms. McCorvey had a challenging childhood and great difficulties in the first part of her life. In 1970, she was pregnant and was not married. Under Texas law, a person could not have an abortion unless they were raped. Ms. McCorvey went to two lawyers, who had been seeking a pregnant woman who wanted an abortion to challenge the Texas law, and worked with them to file a lawsuit against the state of Texas. In the lawsuit, the lawyers argued that “Jane Roe” had been gang raped, and that the Texas law against abortion hurt women. Ms. McCorvey gave birth to a baby, who was adopted. The case went to the Supreme Court, however, and the lawyers won, making abortion legal throughout the U.S.A.
Ms. McCorvey worked in an abortion clinic for years, but eventually, she converted to Christianity. In 1995 McCorvey was baptized by evangelical minister Filip Benham in a Texas swimming pool filmed for national television. She became a vocal proponent in the pro-life movement and joined the Roman Catholic Church. In her book, Won by Love, she writes, “Abortion wasn't about 'products of conception'. It wasn't about 'missed periods'. It was about children being killed in their mother's wombs. All those years I was wrong.”
Since 1973, it is estimated that over 56,000,000 abortions have taken place in the United States, and today, American doctors perform 3,000 abortions every day. The largest abortion provider in the country is Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood was started by Margaret Sanger in the early 1900s as “American Birth Control League”. Ms. Sanger believed in selective breeding, the idea to make a better human race by preventing reproduction of the ‘unfit’. Sanger believed the unfit were people of color, racial minorities, and those who were not performing well in society economically. The U.S. federal government gives hundreds of millions of dollars every year to Planned Parenthood. In 2013, it received $540.6 million (45% of its revenue) from the U.S. government, for health services.
The March for Life that takes place in Washington, D.C., is an attempt to bring to light the truth behind abortion in the United States of America, and, to shed light on the abortion industry. Most Americans do not know the history of Planned Parenthood or the large amounts of money that taxpayers give to this industry.
1. What happens every year in January in Washington, D.C.?
2. Why does it take place in January?
3. What court case made abortion a mandated legal right?
4. Who started Planned Parenthood and what did she believe in?
5. Why do you think the major news networks do not cover this massive march?
The first-known case of Ebola on American soil was reported in late September in Texas. Liberian national Thomas Duncan contracted the Ebola disease when he was visiting Liberia and brought it to America. Ebola is an often fatal infectious disease that originated in Africa in animals. It spreads to humans when there is bodily contact, such as from eating an animal that has the disease. In humans, it spreads when there is contact between blood, secretions, bodily fluids of infected people, and when there is contact with surfaces and materials contaminated with these fluids. Symptoms of Ebola first resemble the flu but increase with severity over time. There is no vaccine against Ebola. Ebola was first known in 1976. Currently, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the worst ever, killing approximately 4,000 people.
Duncan helped people who had the disease, and then flew to the United States, taking at least three planes. He flew to Brussels, then to Washington, and then to Dallas. Reportedly, he told airport screeners that he had not been in contact with people infected with Ebola. After flying to Dallas, Duncan went to a hospital in Dallas with symptoms of fever. The doctors checked him, prescribed him antibiotics, and sent him home. A few days later, he returned in an ambulance. It was then he was diagnosed with Ebola.
Duncan lived with his partner, her son, and her two nephews. They are still in the apartment. The boys who had contact with Duncan went to school after he had been diagnosed with Ebola. School officials then sent the boys home.
Some countries, like Britain and France, have refused entry from those travelling from countries where there is an Ebola outbreak. The United States, however, has not done this. In 2005, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) proposed new rules to keep infectious diseases out of the United States. These rules involved the forced quarantine of travelers who exhibited symptoms of serious diseases while en route to the United States. In 2009, the Obama administration scrapped the rules, after groups like the ACLU complained the rules were discriminatory.
In mid-September, President Obama said, “The chances of an Ebola outbreak here in the United States are extremely low. We've been taking the necessary precautions, including working with countries in West Africa to increase screening at airports so that someone with the virus doesn't get on a plane for the United States. In the unlikely event that someone with Ebola does reach our shores, we've taken new measures so that we are prepared here at home.” Within two weeks, the first Ebola case in the United States was reported.
The apartment Duncan lived in went for at least one week from being sanitized after Duncan was admitted to the hospital. Disagreement between two federal bureaucracies how to handle the items within the apartment caused the delay. One bureau, the Center for Disease and Control, considered the items medical waste. A second bureau, the Department of Transportation, thought the waste was illegal to transport. Until this was resolved, no sanitation could happen of the apartment. Meanwhile, Duncan’s partner, her son, and two nephews are quarantined in the apartment.
1. Based on Duncan’s travelling, and the activities of those he lived with, about how many people do you think came into contact with him while he had the virus, before he was admitted to the hospital?
2. What are a few simple things everyone can do to ward off sickness?
3. Do you think the U.S. should ban travel from countries where there are Ebola outbreaks?
John De Gree
John De Gree writes the current events with a look at the history of each topic. Articles are written for the young person, aged 10-18, and Mr. De Gree carefully writes so that all readers can understand the event. The perspective the current events are written in is Judeo-Christian.
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