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LIFEalerts: 14 September 2018

Abortion


USA - Government Speeds Up Process to Defund Planned Parenthood
USA - Texas Abortion rates at record lows
USA - A Third of Prolife Conservatives Leave Facebook over Censorship
Guatemala - Protest forces Guatemala to cancel Bill to Legalize Abortion
South Korea - Doctors doing Illegal Abortions Threatened with Suspension

Alternative Medicine

[No news today]

Euthanasia


Australia - Queensland Premier asks for inquiry into aged care and euthanasia

IVF and Surrogacy

[No news today]

Medical Ethics


USA - Healthcare workers and the duty to treat Ebola patients
Japan - Expert committee recommends no regulation for some gene editing
USA - Should all babies have their genomes sequenced?

Pedophilia


USA - Google’s new Artificial Intelligence tool to fight pedophiles

Pornography


India - Ola taxi driver showed porn to passenger
USA - New court ruling could encourage child pornography
USA - Religious male students less sexually aggressive
USA - Porn Fuels Loneliness, Research Finds

Same Sex Attraction


Chile - Transgender Bill successfully stalled
USA - Why I De-Transitioned
USA - I regret transitioning

Sexual Exploitation


Ireland - The sex trade in Ireland affects over 1,000 women

Substance Abuse


USA - Horrible child abuse death in Texas highlights links to marijuana
USA - Governor Won't Rule Out Recriminalizing Marijuana in Colorado
USA - There's No 'Safe' Level of Alcohol Consumption, Global Study Finds
USA - Drinking Alcohol Really Does Raise Your Cancer Risk, Doctors Warn
Canada - Marijuana Company gets $4 Billion Investment by Corona-Beer

Abortion

USA - Government Speeds Up Process to Defund Planned Parenthood

The US Administration has put forward new rules to prohibit abortion companies like Planned Parenthood from receiving Family Planning funds under the title 10 program. The Trump Administration shortened the length of the Family Planning grants to just 7 months from 3 years. That makes the grants awarded to Planned Parenthood expire much sooner and they have to go through the process again and obey the new rules. The move ensures there is an opportunity to defund Planned Parenthood of one of its major funding streams before the end of President Trump’s first term.
https://www.lifenews.com/2018/08/29/trump-admin-speeds-up-process-of-defunding-planned-parenthood-abortion-biz/

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USA - Texas Abortion rates at record lows

The Texas Department of State Health Services has published abortion statistics for 2016, the most recent year of data available.  This newly released data marks the lowest annual number of abortions in Texas since 1977. The decrease further proves that Texas Right to Life’s incremental and prudent strategy to save lives and overturn Roe vs. Wade is working to change hearts, minds, and laws about the dignity of every human life -born and unborn.
https://www.lifenews.com/2018/09/04/texas-abortions-drop-to-their-lowest-number-since-1977-as-more-babies-saved-from-death/

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USA - A Third of Prolife Conservatives Leave Facebook over Censorship

The Media Research Centre (MRC) released a new poll conducted by McLaughlin & Associates gauging self-described conservatives’ attitudes toward Facebook and other social media companies. According to the poll, 32% of self-described conservative Facebook users have left or are considering leaving Facebook due to political censorship. MRC President Brent Bozell said “These numbers are devastating to any CEO responsible for addressing the concerns of his customer base.” The question Facebook and other social media companies need to ask themselves is this: Do you want to be seen as an open platform for all political beliefs or would you rather be considered a left-wing public interest group that censors free speech worldwide?
https://www.lifenews.com/2018/08/29/one-third-of-pro-life-conservatives-have-left-facebook-over-its-political-censorship-bias/

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Guatemala - Protest forces Guatemala to cancel Bill to Legalize Abortion

Pro-lifers celebrated as a bill to legalize abortion was rejected by the senate of Argentina .But in Guatemala, it didn’t even get to a vote, as pressure from the pro-life majority forced women’s groups to drop a clause that would legalize abortion in some circumstances. Guatemala only allows abortion when the mother’s life is at risk and has strongly opposed any moves to impose widespread abortion. The fight around the right to life for the unborn is continuing across Latin America with ongoing proposals for liberalizing abortion in Chile and Brazil. But the victory in Guatemala and the recent victory in Argentina show that a united pro-life effort can be enough to uphold the rights of the unborn.
https://www.lifenews.com/2018/09/05/massive-pro-life-protest-with-20000-people-forces-guatemala-to-cancel-bill-to-legalize-abortions/

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South Korea - Doctors doing Illegal Abortions Threatened with Suspension

The government has been cracking down on illegal abortions, of which there are as many as 3,000 per day. It recently amended a rule to punish doctors who do illegal abortions with a one-month medical license suspension. Abortions are illegal in South Korea except in limited circumstances such as rape, incest and threats to the mother’s health. However, abortion activists have been putting increasing pressure on the government to legalize abortions for basically any reason a woman wants.
https://www.lifenews.com/2018/08/28/south-korea-doctors-stop-doing-abortions-after-nation-threatens-to-take-their-medical-licenses/

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Alternative Medicine

[No news today]

Euthanasia

Australia - Queensland Premier asks for inquiry into aged care and euthanasia

Queensland premier Ms Palaszczuk told the Labor State Conference in Brisbane that a parliamentary review will examine the state’s aged healthcare sector. Voluntary euthanasia laws were passed by the Labor government in 2017 and a parliamentary committee launched the introduction of laws in Western Australia. According to Margaret K. Dore, president of ‘Choice is an Illusion’, an organization that opposes assisted suicide and euthanasia, the situation of palliative care and the elderly should be a concern. Even with so called “safeguard” regulations in place countries that have legalized euthanasia have statistics that reveal abuse of the legislation. Family members often take advantage of their guardian roles by exploiting financial situations regarding the patient. Elder abuse is hardly ever reported by victims due to the embarrassment of the situation they find themselves in.
Queensland premier Ms Palaszczuk told the Labor State Conference in Brisbane that a parliamentary review will examine the state’s aged healthcare sector. Voluntary euthanasia laws were passed by the Labor government in 2017 and a parliamentary committee launched the introduction of laws in Western

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IVF and Surrogacy

[No news today]

Medical Ethics

USA - Healthcare workers and the duty to treat Ebola patients

Do healthcare workers have a duty to treat Ebola patients? A hundred and five cases of Ebola have been confirmed in the latest outbreak in Northern Democratic Republic of Congo. One view says principles such as beneficence and justice mandate that doctors provide treatment to patients when they are in dire need. A Journal of Medical Ethics study summarizes the attitudes of 220 Guinean health care workers and 252 Guinean lay persons towards the duties of healthcare professionals to Ebola patients. The study found that 47% felt that the duty to care was not absolute but contingent on factors like working conditions and family responsibilities. A minority of participants (23%) felt that health care professionals did not have any duty to care at all.
https://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/healthcare-workers-and-the-duty-to-treat-ebola-patients/12784

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Japan - Expert committee recommends no regulation for some gene editing

An expert committee convened by the Ministry of the Environment recommended that only genetic editing involving exogenous genes (from outside the organism) should be regulated. Gene editing involving switching off or deleting genes already present in the genetic code of organisms should not require government approval. Consumer groups criticized the recommendations, saying that there is no difference between gene editing that turns off genes and gene editing that introduces new genes. “They (the committee) came to this conclusion after just two meetings. How can they say it's safe?” said Consumers Union of Japan secretariat chief Michiyo Koketsu. “We need a debate that includes a wide range of experts, not just a small section of the research community”.
https://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/japanese-committee-recommends-no-regulation-for-some-forms-of-gene-editing/1278

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USA - Should all babies have their genomes sequenced?

As the cost of genome sequencing decreases, researchers and clinicians are debating whether all newborns should be sequenced at birth, facilitating a lifetime of personalized medical care. But while sequencing the genomes of some infants may be appropriate in specific contexts, genome-wide sequencing of all newborns should not be pursued at this time, and health professionals should recommend against parents using direct-to-consumer genetic sequencing to diagnose or screen their newborns, states the lead article in The Ethics of Sequencing Newborns: Recommendations and Reflections, a new special report by the Hastings Center. "Genomics is a powerful tool, but the results it returns are still not fully understood and have not been proven to advance health outside of very specific clinical situations," said Josephine Johnston, director of research at The Hastings Center.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180815171100.htm onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/1552146x/2018/48/S2

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Pedophilia

USA - Google’s new Artificial Intelligence tool to fight pedophiles

Pedophilia is one of the world’s greatest and fastest growing curses on the Internet with pedophiles using children’s pictures posted online solely for the purposes of abuse. Google has taken an initiative to control online child abuse with an Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered tool called ‘Content Safety’ to identify more child abuse images and video uploads. Content Safety will identify online child sexual abuse material and reduce human reviewers from downloading pedophilic content, as well as reduce innocent internet users from accidental exposure. The tool will exclusively use AI to identify such material and constantly be improving its own knowledge of all possible images, thus creating an expanding and learning watch dog on the net.
https://ctovision.com/googles-new-ai-tool-to-fight-pedophiles-

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Pornography

India - Ola taxi driver showed porn to passenger

A taxi driver from the aggregator service Ola allegedly watched a pornographic clip on his cell phone and harassed a 22 year old female passenger. The woman later told the police that the driver held the phone in such a manner that she could see it and kept touching himself. She realised that she was not safe in the taxi and managed to get him to stop. Ola stated that the driver has been sacked and that they are cooperating with the police investigation.
https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/ola-driver-booked-for-harassing-woman-passenger/article24786394.ece

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USA - New court ruling could encourage child pornography

A federal court ruling scrapped important regulations on the pornography industry, a move anti-porn advocates say will likely increase the production and distribution of child porn. Gail Dines, author of Pornland: How Pornography Has Hijacked Our Sexuality, and University of Massachusetts Boston professor David L. Levy, explained that the court decision effectively dismantled U.S. Code Title 18 Section 2257. This section required producers of pornography to maintain strict records regarding the ages of the porn actors in their films and to allow government inspectors to review those records at any time. Although producing and distributing child porn is still against the law, without record keeping requirements the statute is essentially powerless.
https://www.christianpost.com/news/court-ruling-guts-key-law-child-pornography-now-more-likely-produced-scholar-227007/

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USA - Religious male students less sexually aggressive

Frequent participation in religious activities protects college men from engaging in sexually aggressive and coercive behaviours, according to new research. A survey of 795 men at a large public university published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion found that religiosity has a bearing on peer norms, pornography consumption, and promiscuity, and thereby also on sexual aggression and sexually coercive behaviour psychology and neuroscience news website PsyPost reported. Top of Form Their findings would suggest that colleges and policy-makers be open to allowing students to participate in religious groups and activities, as hostility to such groups may be counterproductive to reducing sexual violence on campuses.
https://www.christianpost.com/news/religious-male-students-less-sexually-aggressive-coercive-study-226485/

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USA - Porn Fuels Loneliness, Research Finds

Pornography and loneliness feed off of each other in a toxic way, creating a "vicious cycle" that erodes human relationships and the health benefits those relationships provide, according to Mark Butler, professor in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University and a marriage and family therapist and scholar. If loneliness can lead to pornography use and pornography use may bring about or intensify loneliness, these circular linkages may create a vicious cycle, pulling the user even further from health promoting relationship connections he writes in an essay on the Institute for Family Studies.
https://www.christianpost.com/news/porn-fuels-loneliness-research-225684/

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Same Sex Attraction

Chile - Transgender Bill successfully stalled

A group called Mass Resistance (MR) has started a chapter in Chile to advocate against a bill that would allow children as young as 14 to have sex-change procedures without the consent of their parents. In June the Chilean Parliament was about to vote on a Bill that is unscientific, by stating that transgenderism is not a disease, so medical exams or psychotherapy before this life-altering procedure are not needed. When the vote on the bill was scheduled to take place, 50 activists arrived holding signs and distributing information to the members, and their efforts successfully halted the bill in its tracks. Pro-family Chileans are determined to protect families from misleading information about transgenderism.
http://www.massresistance.org/docs/gen3/18c/MR-CHILE-vs-trans-bill/index.html

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USA - Why I De-Transitioned

A man living as a woman for a year and taking oestrogen hormones shared his regrets on YouTube with almost 3 million viewers! Upon learning of people that didn’t like him, Frank developed a complex he didn’t know how to deal with. Other people told him that he would be more confident living as a female but when he embraced the idea, he soon felt anxious realizing what it involved. Taking pills for the rest of his life which would damage his organs in the long run and force his body to function in an unnatural way became too stressful for him. He decided to abandon the transition and embrace his true identity.
https://youtu.be/v4IR2dGhiXM

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USA - I regret transitioning

Cari Stella tried living as a male transgender person since she was seventeen. Her video on YouTube got around 53 000 views as she talks about her regrets. Cari realized her Trans desires were because of her obsessive fault finding with her body and feeling inferior as a female. She tried coping with her depression and her views of herself by changing her body into what she perceived was better. Every step she took towards changing herself relieved her stress but would soon appear in another form which she claims is common in the transgender circle. She says therapists should not make transitioning the only solution to gender identity problems but they should instead be encouraged not to take their feelings at face value and to be critical towards those thoughts and where they come from.
https://youtu.be/Q3-r7ttcw6c

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Sexual Exploitation

Ireland - The sex trade in Ireland affects over 1,000 women

Ruth Breslin, Policy and Communications Manager at an NGO called Ruhama spoke about the sex trade in Ireland. She explained that the advance of the new age of technology and the rise of the internet has significantly changed the sex trade in Ireland. "Previously you just had small pockets of prostitution on the street, at specific street locations, primarily in the big cities," she explained." Now the vast majority of the sex trade in Ireland takes place in what is known as off-street locations. There are still women on the street selling sex, but in very small numbers." Ruhama worked with up to 60 women a year on the street in Dublin through their outreach service, but it is estimated that there are about 1,000 women involved in Ireland's off-street sex trade at any one time.
https://www.rte.ie/lifestyle/living/2018/0824/987215-over-1-000-women-in-ireland-are-affected-by-the-sex-trade/

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Substance Abuse

USA - Horrible child abuse death in Texas highlights links to marijuana

A Texas man fatally stabbed his 16-month-old son in Lewisville Dallas. Police found “fresh burnt marijuana as well as a haze of smoke in the apartment” of 27 year old Blair Ness who is charged in the death of his toddler. The incident suggests a marijuana-induced psychosis; a problem in about 10% of child abuse deaths says Parents Opposed to Pot (POP) who has been tracking this trend. POP found news reports of 113 child deaths directly linked to Marijuana use in 31 states since 2012. In Vermont a father in psychosis jumped four stories with his 6-year-old son.  Anxious and suicidal, Tyler Denning had been smoking marijuana and claimed God made him do it.  Fortunately both survived. Texas released its report on child abuse deaths with half the 172 child abuse deaths in 2017 coupled with substance abuse.  Marijuana was the most used substance connected to child abuse and neglect deaths, followed by alcohol, cocaine and methamphetamine.  In one terrible case last year, Cynthia Randolph left her 2 toddlers in the car while she smoked pot.  Both children died. According to the report, of the deaths caused by parent or caregiver abusing substances, 56 used marijuana; 23 used alcohol; 16 cocaine; 14 were linked to methamphetamine, 2 involved opiates and 1 was connected to heroin. Many abusers were co-abusing substances such as combining marijuana and cocaine. In 2017, Arizona also published a report showing that marijuana was the substance most often linked to child abuse deaths in 2016.
1) https://www.texastribune.org/2018/03/20/texas-drugs-alcohol-child-abuse-deaths/ 
2) https://www.dfps.state.tx.us/About_DFPS/Reports_and_Presentations/PEI/documents/2018/2018-03-01-Child_Fatality_Annual_Report-FY2017.pdf 
3) https://www.necn.com/news/new-england/Vermont-Father-Accused-of-Jumping-From-4th-Floor-Window-While-Clutching-Child-433906923.html

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USA - Governor Won't Rule Out Recriminalizing Marijuana in Colorado

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper says he doesn’t rule out recriminalizing marijuana, as the crime rate has been rising since recreational use of the drug was made legal in 2014. We saw spikes in overall crime, now some people are looking for that bottle and figuring out how we get the genie back in,” he said. Hickenlooper wasn’t in favor of legalizing marijuana but went along with it when constituents made it clear they were. Colorado has seen crime rise as the national average has fallen. This is the first time Hickenlooper acknowledged he might consider recriminalisation, even if it’s a very long shot. The news comes days after Sen. Chuck Schumer announced his support of nationwide decriminalization of the drug.
http://fortune.com/2018/04/20/colorado-marijuana-legalization-law-governor-hickenlooper/

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USA - There's No 'Safe' Level of Alcohol Consumption, Global Study Finds

A study funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation found drinking alcohol in moderation is more harmful than previously thought. The study concludes there's no "safe" level of alcohol consumption. The study analyzed information from millions of people in nearly 200 countries and found that alcohol is tied to nearly 3 million deaths globally each year, with about 1 in 10 deaths linked to alcohol use. Furthermore, any protective health effects of alcohol were offset by the drink's risk, including between alcohol consumption and risk of cancer and injuries such as from car accidents. "The widely held view of the health benefits of alcohol needs revising," the researchers wrote in their paper published in the The Lancet. "Our results show that the safest level of drinking is none." The study analyzed information from nearly 700 previous studies to estimate how common drinking alcohol is worldwide, including a total of 28 million people to investigate the health risks tied to alcohol. The researchers found that globally 1 in 3 people (32.5 percent) drink alcohol, which is equivalent to 2.4 billion people, and that drinking alcohol was the seventh leading risk factor for early death in 2016 worldwide. Researchers said that public health campaigns should consider recommending abstinence from alcohol. The Lancet called the work the "most sophisticated global study of the impact of alcohol on human health ever conducted." The study confirms that alcohol is one of the world's leading causes of disability, disease and death.
https://www.livescience.com/63420-alcohol-no-safe-level.html

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USA - Drinking Alcohol Really Does Raise Your Cancer Risk, Doctors Warn

Drinking alcohol, even a light or moderate amount, increases the risk of several common cancers. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) issued a statement identifying alcohol as a "definite" risk factor. "People typically don't associate drinking beer, wine with increasing their risk of developing cancer ", Dr. Bruce Johnson, the president of ASCO, said. Indeed, a recent survey from the organization found that 70 percent of Americans didn't know that drinking alcohol is a risk factor for cancer. "However, the link between increased alcohol consumption and cancer has been firmly established," Johnson said. It's estimated that worldwide, about 5 percent of new cancers and 6 percent of cancer deaths each year are directly attributable to alcohol consumption.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/even-light-drinking-may-raise-cancer-risk-doctors-warn/

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Canada - Marijuana Company gets $4 Billion Investment by Corona-Beer

Corona beer maker Constellation Brands will pay $4 billion to increase its stake in global medical cannabis company Canopy. Canopy CEO Bruce Linton answered questions about the Constellation deal, strategies for international expansion and whether big alcohol companies should be afraid of marijuana. “We’re going all in on medical,” Linton said, because research on those products has the potential to pay off worldwide. For example, if the company works on trials to develop a product that helps people in Canada sleep better he said. Canopy is focused on research and bringing new offerings to the market. Recreational Cannabis in Canada is legal ss the government voted to legalize marijuana becoming the first G20 nation to do so.
http://fortune.com/2018/08/16/canopy-growth-ceo-constellation-brands-marijuana/

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Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International