Health Department Data Reflects No “Medically Necessary” Abortions in Arkansas

This week the Arkansas Department of Health will release its annual report on abortions performed in Arkansas last year.

The report is the result of state laws like the Woman’s Right to Know Act of 2001 and other pro-life laws. Each annual report provides valuable information about abortion in Arkansas.

Some of the data for 2014 has already been released by the Arkansas Department of Health, and it shows an interesting trend: Since its first standalone report under the Woman’s Right to Know Act in 2010, the Arkansas Department of Health has not indicated a single abortion performed to “avert death or substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function” of the mother.

Under the Woman’s Right to Know Act of 2001, doctors must obtain a woman’s informed consent before performing an abortion. That means the woman must be informed about, among other things, the abortion procedure, its risks, and its alternatives.

However, doctors are not required to obtain informed consent for abortions necessary to save the life of the mother or prevent substantial, irreversible damage to the mother’s body–what some call “medically necessary” or “emergency” abortions.

The reason for bypassing the informed consent requirements in these instances is that offering information and obtaining informed consent may jeopardize the woman’s well-being during an emergency. However, since 2010, the Arkansas Department of Health has not recorded a single instance in which the informed consent requirement was bypassed during an abortion.

This is significant for a few reasons. Any time laws related to abortion come up, people often bring up abortions performed to save the life of the mother. Many claim requiring doctors to provide detailed information about abortion could jeopardize a woman’s life during a medical emergency.

Assuming doctors are properly documenting the abortions they perform, these reports from the Arkansas Department Health would seem to indicate one of two things:

Either none of the more than 16,000 abortions performed in Arkansas during the past 5 years were necessary to save the life or health of the mother, or obtaining a woman’s informed consent prior to an abortion is feasible even under emergency circumstances.

You can see the reports from the Arkansas Department of Health below (See Sections 5, 5a, and 5b of each report):

Are Your Child’s Vaccines Made With Aborted Fetal Remains?

Earlier this week we wrote about medical treatments that use stem cells derived from aborted fetal remains. Today we want to focus on vaccines that utilize similar methods.

In order to produce a vaccine, scientists must first propagate large quantities of the virus against which the vaccine will be used.

One way to propagate the virus is to allow it to spread throughout a tissue culture in a lab. While any number of types of tissue or cells can be used—including animal cells or yeast cultures—for many viruses, sometimes researchers choose to use cells derived from human beings—specifically aborted fetal remains.

From the 1960s to the 1980s cells from various aborted human fetuses were obtained by scientists for the purpose of medical research. Researchers kept the cells alive to be multiplied under laboratory conditions. As the cell cultures multiplied, they were made available to other scientists for research and development.

In the U.S., vaccines for measles and rubella; chickenpox; and shingles are all manufactured using cells derived from aborted fetal remains. Other vaccines may be manufactured using cells derived from aborted fetal remains, depending on the methods used by the vaccine’s producers.

A Brief History Lesson with PepsiCo

In 2011 and 2012 PepsiCo was at the center of a controversy over the use of aborted human remains in testing Pepsi products. The allegations were that the company with which PepsiCo contracted for research and development tested flavor enhancers using cells known as HEK-293.

“HEK-293” stands for “Human Embryonic Kidney 293.” It is a cell line obtained from the kidneys of a baby aborted in 1973.


Aborted Fetal Remains Used to Treat Stroke Victims

USA Today released an article this week on stem cell therapies credited with helping two retired athletes recover from debilitating strokes.

According to the article, former NFL quarterback John Brodie and former NHL player Gordie Howe each sought treatment at clinics outside the U.S. The treatments they received involved the use of stem cells, and by all accounts, both men have recovered following the treatments.

Many have referred to the stem cells used in these stroke treatment as “adult stem cells.” There is a catch, however: Some of the “adult” stem cells actually were derived from aborted fetal remains.

Embryonic stem cell research is highly controversial—and rightly so. Embryonic stem cells—also known as pluripotent stem cells—can form into virtually any cell in the human body.

Theoretically, embryonic stem cells can be used to regrow cells or tissue missing in a person’s body. Some believe this could be used to treat or reverse permanent injuries, paralysis, and similar conditions, just to name a few. However, embryonic stem cell research requires doctors or scientists to create—and then kill—human embryos in order to harvest the embryos’ stem cells.

This amounts to murder of human beings—albeit very tiny human beings—in the name of science and medicine.