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Detailed Human Embryology Drawings

UNICEF: Daycare is 'A High-Stakes Gamble with Today's Children and Tomorrow's World'

New Study: Children Who Live with Biological Parents and Go To Church Fare Best Developmentally

Planned Parenthood, Tiller Criminal Cases Collide; Court Records Indicate Their Effort to Work Together

Second Planned Parenthood Abortion Center Staffer Suspended After Rape Coverup Indianapolis: Probe, De-Funding Sought

Planned Parenthood Begins Performing Abortions at Sarasota Business

Not Enough Business [that is, Money] Going Into Yuma Planned Parenthood: Drum up Business by Handing Out PP Condoms Rated Dead Last by Consumer Report

Planned Parenthood No Longer in TX Panhandle

Brazilian Court Convicts Homeschooling Family Despite Evidence of Success

New York Subway Riders Respond to Ad & Share Their Post-Abortion Grief, Suffering

Parents: Positive Youth Development: The Five Cs

Mother Has Healthy Baby Boy Despite Pressure from Doctor to Abort

Baby Born at 23 Weeks Defied UK Abortion Laws

Mysterious Rise of Autism

Who Cares about Third World Mothers? The Hidden Scandal of Unsafe Childbirth

Teva completes acquisition of Barr

Too Much Television, Internet Linked to Long-Term Health Problems for Children

170 Arrested in Global Child Porn Investigation

Internet Attacks Are a Real and Growing Problem

Child Exploitation Throughout the USA

Who Cares about Third World Mothers?

Home Schooling

Teacher’s Union Chief Pushes Preschool for Three-Year-Olds

Study Links Water Pollution from Contraceptives, Chemicals with Declining Male Fertility

Detailed Human Embryology Drawings

A surprising new document from UNICEF puts the spotlight on the possible fallout of the decreasing role of the family in raising young children, and the proliferation of daycare in affluent western nations.

“What we are now witnessing across the industrialized world,” says the UNICEF report, “can fairly be described as a revolution in how the majority of young children are being brought up."

The report observes that "most children in the developed world are spending their earliest years in some form of care outside the home.” According to the organization, “80 per cent of children aged three to six are in some form of early childhood education and care outside the home,” and “about one in four under the age of three are also cared for outside the home — with the proportion rising to one in two in some countries.”

The report concludes that, "To the extent that this change is unplanned and unmonitored, it could also be described as a high-stakes gamble with today's children and tomorrow's world."

Martha Friendly, director of the Toronto-based Childcare Resource and Research Unit, commented on the UNICEF study in a CBC report, saying, "The child-care transition," that is, the transition from children being raised by their parents to being raised by state-run institutions, “is being facilitated by public policies in most countries."

There remain significant unanswered questions, however, about the wisdom of implementing policies that encourage parents to turn towards daycare out of necessity, rather than caring for them in their own homes. LifeSiteNews has reported on many studies that have shown the negative consequences of daycare and preschool environments on young children.

The most comprehensive study done in the US was released last year and found that the more time children spent in center-based care before kindergarten, the more likely their teachers were to report such problem behaviors as "gets in many fights," "disobedient at school," and "argues a lot." (See "Largest US Child Study Finds Early Child Care Linked to Aggression and Disobedience":

Other studies have found everything from increased frequency of illness to impaired social and emotional development in children attending preschool centers.

“The biggest eye-opener is that the suppression of social and emotional development, stemming from long hours in preschool, is felt most strongly by children from better-off families,” said UC Berkeley sociologist and co-author Br

uce Fuller, who performed research on the question in California in 2005.

A study released in 2006 of universal daycare as currently offered in Quebec revealed that children in daycare were 17 times more hostile than children raised at home, and almost three times more anxious.

The researchers of the Quebec study, led by University of Toronto economist Michael Baker, also found a negative effect on parents. “Our analysis also suggests that the new childcare program led to more hostile, less consistent parenting, worse parental health, and lower-quality parental relationships,” they said.

Read the related LSN reports:

Preschool Damages Children’s Social Skills and Emotional Development

Study Shows Canada’s Universal Daycare Plan Has “Strikingly Negative” Consequences

Study Finds Daycare Damages Babies Brain Chemistry

Study Links Child Aggression to Time in Day Care
[16Dec08, T. M. Baklinski,]


A new study from the Mapping America project, co-released by more than 30 state family policy councils, has fund that children have fewer problems at school and home when they live with both biological parents and frequently attend religious services. 

Dr. Nicholas Zill, the founding president of Child Trends, and Dr. Philip Fletcher, a research psychologist at Westat, co-authored the new study, which analyzes data from the National Survey of Children's Health.
Among their remarkable findings: children in this group are five times less likely to repeat a grade, less likely to have behavior problems at home and school, and are more likely to be cooperative and understanding of others' feelings.

Parents of these children report less stress, healthier parent-child relationships, and fewer concerns about their children's achievement. These differences hold up even after controlling for family income and poverty, low parent education levels, and race and ethnicity. See the full study here:
[WASHINGTON, December 17, 2008]

Planned Parenthood, Tiller Criminal Cases Collide; Court records show the two abortionists are working together to conceal their crimes

Second Planned Parenthood Abortion Center Staffer Suspended After Rape Coverup Indianapolis, IN. Planned Parenthood of Indiana has suspended a second abortion center staff member after a second video in two weeks shows the official covering up a potential case of statutory rape. In total, three videos — two in Indiana and one in North Carolina — have been released in recent weeks showing similar results.

Lila Rose, a UCLA student, is behind the two Indiana videos and her first one showed her portraying a 13-year-old girl who had become pregnant from a 31-year-old man.

The Bloomington, Indiana Planned Parenthood staff member told Rose she "didn't want to know any more" about the incident or the age difference between the two and, instead, urged Rose to seek an abortion in a neighboring state that didn't require parental notification.
The second video, taken at an Indianapolis abortion business, showed the exact same response and Planned Parenthood of Indiana said today that one of the staff members involved has been suspended.

In a statement, Planned Parenthood said its priority was the responsible treatment of its customers and it said it will be conducting an international investigation to determine if the video is accurate and the staff members made the statement depicted in it. []
PLANNED PARENTHOOD PROBE, DE-FUNDING SOUGHT AFTER SECOND RAPE COVERUP.  Indiana officials have been asked to probe and de-fund Planned Parenthood of Indiana after a second video showed a staff member covering up a potential case of statutory rape.

The videos also showed abortion business staff directing an underage girl to get a secret abortion out of state.
Responding to the two videos, Rep. Jackie Walorski, a Republican from Lakeville, sent a letter to Attorney General Steve Carter and to Family and Social Services Administration Secretary Mitch Roob asking them to investigate.

"I am writing you to request a full investigation of potential Medicaid fraud involving Planned Parenthood clinics across Indiana. I believe the recent events have brought us to the point of the need for a statewide investigation," she says.

"As you know, additional Planned Parenthood employees have been caught on tape violating state law. I believe this most recent video, aired nationally last night, shows the same kind of egregious disregard for our laws that protect minors," Walorski added.

Carter's office has already indicated he will probe the abortion center. Following the expose', the Indiana Department of Child Services came under fire for refusing to get involved in the situation. [18Dec08, Indianapolis, IN, #4496,,;]


PP BEGINS ABORTIONS AT NEW SARASOTA CENTER. Despite the efforts of dedicated pro-lifers in Sarasota, Florida, Planned Parenthood has opened its new abortion facility and did abortions for the first time last Friday – December 26.

PP was met by a group of prolifers who are dedicated to be present whenever babies are scheduled to die. Here are excerpts from a report we received on the activities at the PP killing center:

At least 11 people participated Friday between 9am and noon in the weekly abortion-day Prayer Vigil at Sarasota Planned Parenthood, 736 Central Avenue. A new participant was a fellow in a motorized wheelchair who heard about us. He said his dad had been quite an active pro-lifer.

It was the first abortion day in the new location.The abortionist arrived earlier than usual, around the 9am opening time. Abortions still were done, but likely they were fewer than average. PP client traffic was lower than usual.

The former location was on a little-used side street. Here, more pedestrians and more vehicles come by, thus noticing our pro-life signs. Our presence now is more visible. Most passersby and passing vehicles were supportive. 

Our method is to try to be non-confrontational.
PP's regional CEO was watching the operation at her new location closely. For at least 3 hours, she spent most of her time standing around the entrance or sitting on the entry steps. She didn't interact with the pray-ers, but did nod when greeted. She did talk with a few inside staff or volunteers, and with the few clients who walked in the front entrance. She varied her time: standing watching us, sitting on the steps while working on a pile of papers in her lap, talking on her cell phone.

At one point, she got a spray bottle and a roll of paper towels to clean the windows on the entrance door. Later, she did the same at the back entrance door. Not enough help on the holidays, or "pride of ownership"? Is this what the organization pays her more than $100,000 a yea

r for?

At the entrance of this 3-story modern-style green monster (2nd largest PP in the nation) was an easel with a large hand-drawn sign on a paper pad, "Parking in Rear." It wasn't too visible to passing traffic. Considering that millions of dollars went into this structure, a crude sign seemed quite incongruous.

Some PP clients parked across the street in a furniture store parking lot. Eventually, a patrolman notified the PP CEO that the store owner doesn't want anyone parking there except his customers.

PP apparently had called police, as if there might be problems. PP's policy appears to be to use police as a means of trying to intimidate pro-lifers. Our people generally didn't act as if they were intimidated. At 2 different times, officers talked with us after speaking with the PP CEO. They told us they found no reason for concern with our group.  Help is needed to bring the message of life to all who pass near the PP killing center. [STOPP Report, 31Dec08]



NOT ENOUGH BUSINESS [READ: MONEY] IS GOING TO YUMA PLANNED PARENTHOOD. Planned Parenthood of Arizona runs 20 clinics throughout the state. Eleven of those clinics perform medical or surgical abortions, while the remaining nine sell products that cause chemical abortions and refer customers for the medical or surgical abortions.

One of the facilities that sell abortifacient products is located in Yuma, Arizona. That facility was the subject of a short report on KSWT (channel 13) in Yuma.
According to the report, the Yuma PP office is having trouble convincing local residents to use its services. Specifically, “The clinic has had a tough time meeting patient goals …”

According to the report. PP “sees about 2,000 patients every year, but that's only half of their patient goal.  If they manage to make more money, workers will finally buy a sign for their building …”

WHAT!! Planned Parenthood made over $100 million in profit nationally last year and the Arizona affiliate has a budget of around $15 million, but it cannot afford a sign for its Yuma office?

Well, you see, PP is a business. Every clinic MUST cover its own costs. If Yuma can’t make enough money to buy a sign, then Yuma doesn’t get a sign. The statewide income and the national profits are for the executives to use. Why would they buy a sign with it?

To try and drum up new business, Planned Parenthood is passing out free condoms. Remember that the PP condoms were rated dead last in a Consumer’s Report study of condoms in the United States. PP spokesperson Heather George told the station, "We're going to try to go to local establishments that are aware and support planned parenthood and hopefully their customers will talk to other people."

Planned Parenthood blames local pro-life efforts, and specifically a demonstration outside its facilities last September, for its woes. This is more testimony to the effectiveness of pro-life educational efforts in letting people know the truth about Planned Parenthood.  [quoted from STOPP Report, 31Dec08]




PLANNED PARENTHOOD BOOTED OUT OF TEXAS PANHANDLE. Planned Parenthood prepares to completely withdraw from the Texas Panhandle. Using American Life League's STOPP project to defeat Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion chain has been completely eradicated from the diocese of Amarillo, Texas.
"Once again we see that the STOP Planned Parenthood plan works – even on a grand scale," said Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League and director of the STOPP project. In 1997, Planned Parenthood operated 19 clinics in the Texas Panhandle. As of Jan. 1, 2009, the local affiliate with its two remaining clinics will change names and sever ties with the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
 "As the result of our 23 years of directly confronting Planned Parenthood, STOPP has developed a plan of action that is closing Planned Parenthoods across the nation," Sedlak said. "Our plan needs local activists to do the hard work of implementing it in a consistent and persistent manner until victory is won. The dedicated people of the Texas Panhandle did just that and God has granted this victory."
"The stunning success is an inspiration to all who fight against Planned Parenthood across the nation," Sedlak concluded. "It is a wonderful Christmas present for all who have been so faithful for so long." [Washington, 22Dec08,]



BRAZILIAN COURT CONVICTS HOMESCHOOLING FAMILY DESPITE EVIDENCE OF SUCCESS: Refuses to review test scores, psychological reports proving effectiveness of homeschooling.

Cleber and Bernadeth Nunes have been convicted by a second civil court in Brazil for homeschooling their children, despite passing government-imposed tests that teachers admitted they could not pass themselves.

The three judge panel in the court of second instance refused even to examine the test results, which give a passing grade to both of their sons for a series of highly rigorous tests on a variety of subjects, including mathematics, geography, science, history, Portuguese, English, arts, and physical education.

"We cannot even allow the examination here of the quality of education that is being given at home, because homeschooling never can be substituted for regular instruction," said Judge Almeida Diniz, a member of the panel.  The tests were ordered by a criminal judge who is trying the same case in his own court.

The civil court also refused to receive into evidence an assessment showing that the children are psychologically healthy, have a good relationship with their parents, and have friendships outside the home.  Both tests were ordered by a criminal court that is also trying  the Nunes' case.

Despite national assessments showing abysmal results from the Brazilian public education system, one of the three judges claimed in his written verdict that "the quality of our education is undeniable.  If we compare ourselves, for example, average Brazilian citizens with average North American citizens, the conclusion is devastating.  North Americans know little…in comparison to Brazilians.  Our schooling is, to the contrary, very good in comparison to other countries."

Joao Senna dos Reis, an opinion columnist with the Diario do Aco newspaper, mocked the statement, noting that "a simple official verification that 70% of Brazilians don't know how to read and interpret five lines of banal text represents a shocking confession of how our education system is going."

"At some point the magistrates had to act in bad conscience before invoking absurdities like selling the false image that we have an education system at the level of First World countries," he added. "As we are in December and every kind of list of notable events begins to appear, it won't be a surprise if this court is listed in the category of the best joke of the year."

Cleber Nunes told LifeSiteNews that he intends to appeal the case to the Superior Tribunal of Justice, a federal appeals court, and if necessary he will appeal the case to the Supreme Federal Tribunal, the nation's highest court.
"I don't think the court even wanted to examine the case, just because th

ey don't want more families to do the same (homeschool their children)," Nunes told LifeSiteNews.

"It was clear that the kids are doing well, that there is no intellectual abandonment, but they keep defending their position, defending the law and forgetting that the focus of the law is the children," he said.

Contact Information:

Cleber Nunes (he speaks English) can be contacted at: [email protected]

To contact the Brazilian Embassy:

Embassy of Brazil in the USA
3006 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC
Phone: (202) 238-2700
Fax: (202) 238-2827
Email: [email protected]

Embassy of Brazil in Canada
450 Wilbrod Street
Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 6M8
Phone: (613) 237-1090 or (613) 755-5160
Fax: (613) 237-6144
E-mail: [email protected]

Embassies of Brazil to other Nations:

Previous LifeSiteNews Coverage:

Brazilian Homeschoolers Score Surprise Victory in Showdown Against Government

Brazilian Homeschool Couple May be Jailed if Their Children Fail Harsh Government Tests

Homeschooling Showdown in Brazil: Children to be Tested by Court in Battle Over Educational Rights of Parents

Brazilian Government Prosecutes Homeschooling Family, Threatens to Remove Children
[23Dec08, MC Hoffman, Brazil,]


NEW YORK SUBWAY RIDERS RESPOND TO AD AND SHARE POST-ABORTION GRIEF, SUFFERING. A subway advertising campaign in New York City reaching out to men and women who suffer from abortions or experienced the pain of an abortion through a loved one is yielding results.

The woman behind the campaign said thousands have responded with their own post-abortion grief and agony.

The campaign relies on the tag line "abortion changes you" and the ads have been seen by hundreds of thousands of New York subway riders during the past month.

To date, more than 1,400 New Yorkers have responded by visiting the Abortion Changes You web site.

In one ad, an Asian female shares: "I thought life would be the way it was before," while a tattooed male on another says: "I often wonder if there was something I could have done to help her."

Michaelene Fredenburg, author of Changed: Making Sense of Your Own or a Loved One's Abortion Experience, and the creator of the ads, shared some of the responses with

One woman wrote: "I would like to thank you for listening to my story. I thought and at times felt like I was the only one who was going through this."

Another wrote, "I'm 24, confused and alone… I felt like I was the only one suffering until I found this web site on the train."

Another woman carried her secret for two years and didn't seek help. She experienced depression and difficulty in school until she told friends about her abortion.

Family members shared experiences as well and one ad respondent shared the loss of two siblings because of abortion: "It hurt me deeply to know that I had a brother and/or sister who was taken from me… My mother spent many years grieving and healing."

Fredenburg told in response to the stories, "I am glad that the ads have resonated with New Yorkers.

"Knowing that you are not alone and being able to talk about your experience is so important. Reaching out after my abortion was a turning point for me," she added.

New Yorkers also participated in other areas of the site and men and women are able to select from a range of emotions and indicate their feelings about the abortion.

The top feelings submitted in the last month were "ashamed", "angry", "alone", and "changed."
[11Nov08,; Ertelt, New York City, NY]


PARENT'S CORNER : POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT: THE FIVE Cs. The PYD movement encourages families to be intentional in their child-raising, educating parents on what they call the Five Cs: competence, confidence, connection, character and caring.

Psychiatrist Patricia Kincare reminds parents: “Research consistently shows that the best way to prevent teens from engaging in risky, negative behavior is to help them achieve their full potential.

The ‘how’ has many possibilities. Basically, any activity that helps teens develop knowledge and skills, a sense of usefulness, belonging to a broader community and a voice in their future will help.” [“How to raise good teenagers,”, 11-11-08,; 11Dec08]


Gaynor Purdy was warned her first child could have a fatal chromosome defect and a life threatening heart condition.
But she rejected two suggestions to terminate the pregnancy and she and her husband Lee are celebrating life with their "perfect" ten-month-old son. Mrs Purdy, 28, a quality control inspector, said: "We refused to give up on him, and decided throughout the pregnancy that as long as he was fighting, we would continue fighting with him."
 [31Dec08. ALL Pro-Life Today]

Daily Mail
When Lexie Slater-Folksman was born at 23 weeks  –  an age at which babies can still be aborted  –  she weighed just 1lb 8oz.  She was put on a life support machine and her parents were warned their daughter might not pull through.

She was so premature her eyes hadn't even developed properly. At a month old she underwent laser surgery on her eyes and then spent week after week on ventilator machines after she suffered collapsed lungs.  But Lexie defied the odds and gradually gained strength.

Now, six months after her birth, she weighs a healthy 8lb and has finally been allowed home, to the joy and relief of her parents. [31Dec08. ALL Pro-Life Today]

Mysterious rise of Autism; Genetic Mutations may be at the base of an increase in Autism Cases, says a report.

Who Cares about Third World Mothers? The Hidden Scandal of Unsafe Childbirth and the Hope that a new Professional Initiative is Bringing to Mothers.

Teva completes acquisition of Barr: The $9 billion acquisition will boost revenue, market share.

Quick – name the pharmaceutical company that m

akes more pills than any other U.S. firm, has the ear of President-elect Barack Obama, and yesterday completed a $9 billion acquisition.
A hint: It employs 1,600 people in Pennsylvania, and its name probably brings to mind sandals, not drugs.
Answer: Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., whose North American headquarters are in North Wales. That the Israeli company is not a household name like Pfizer Inc. or Merck & Co. Inc. speaks to its primary business, generic drugs. It also develops its own drugs.

Teva Pharmaceutical mostly makes copycats of other companies' products that have lost patent protection, so consumers who take its drugs are not bombarded with marketing and advertising.

But Teva has grown quickly by aggressively pushing to be the first to get rights to sell generic versions of drugs and by acquiring rivals. Teva completed a previously announced acquisition of rival Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc., which is based in Montvale, N.J., and employs about 70 people in Bala Cynwyd.

The deal gives Teva a stronger position in the market for generic oral contraceptives.

Barr makes Ocella, a generic version of Bayer Inc.'s contraceptive, Yasmin. Through the 12 months ended Sept. 30, the two companies reported $13.6 billion in revenue. Teva told analysts recently that it expected to report $20 billion in revenue by 2012.

 Bill Marth, chief executive officer of Teva North America, said the combined company would have about 16 percent of the U.S. pharmaceutical market, as measured by prescriptions written.

Marth said the two companies expected to cut about $300 million in costs over three years. Some of that likely will come through job reductions. Teva employs 6,050 people in North America and about 29,000 worldwide; it will have about 37,000 as a result of acquiring Barr.

Marth said it was too early to say how many jobs would be cut, but he noted that Teva's employment grew about 3,000 after its merger with Ivax Corp.

Marth said Teva employees had met recently with Tom Daschle, Obama's choice for secretary of health and human services, to discuss the future of the pharmaceutical industry.

"They are very interested in increasing access" to health care, Marth said, "and the generic industry is all about access. We think generics are really the answer there." Generic drugs generally cost pennies on the dollar compared with brand-name drugs.

Marth also said he was hopeful the Obama administration would allow an approval process for generic biologic drugs, which are made from living organisms and are more complicated to replicate and manufacture than traditional pills, which are made from chemicals.

The generic and branded industries have been arguing over how much exclusivity patented drugs should be allowed. Marth said he believed there was a good chance that biogeneric legislation would be passed next year.
[Dec. 24, 2008, Miriam Hill, Inquirer] 



Too Much Television, Internet Linked to Long-Term Health Problems for Children. Children who spend too much time watching television, playing video games, and surfing the Internet are at an increased risk for a plethora of health problems, concludes a survey of several studies published today.

The advocacy group Common Sense Media published the findings after scrutinizing 173 studies since 1980 that offered data on the effects of television, video games, Internet, films, music, and cell phones on children.  The review found that 80% of the studies showed that greater exposure to such media was linked to various health problems, particularly childhood obesity. 

Data also pointed to an increased risk factor for smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, poor school performance, and early sexual activity in children and teens with higher media exposure.  The survey was conducted by Yale University School of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, and California Pacific Medical Center.

“This review is the first ever comprehensive evaluation of the many ways that media impacts children’s physical health,” said Ezekiel J. Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D., National Institutes of Health and lead researcher on the study. "This study provides an important jumping-off point for future research that should explore both the effects of traditional media content and that of digital media – such as video games, the Internet, and cell phones – which kids are using today with more frequency.”

Emanuel said in a Reuters interview that he found the results surprisingly clear on the detrimental effects of too much media, and expressed concern over the fact that many of the health problems were "probably more a matter of quantity than actual content," something that parents will find difficult to rein in amid the "media-saturated" lifestyle of modern America.

One study cited showed that children at the age of three are more likely to be obese by the age of seven if they watch more than eight hours of television a week. Research shows, however, that American children, including toddlers, usually watch far more than eight hours a week. 

The study reports that the average American child spends nearly forty-five hours every week with media, including television, movies, magazines, music, the Internet, cellphones and video games. By comparison, the report says seventeen hours a week are spent with parents, and thirty hours a week in school.

James P. Steyer, Common Sense Media founder and CEO, urged parents and educators to "consider the effects of media" as a key component of protecting children's health in light of the survey's findings. 

"This report makes is clear that we need a bold new agenda on media and technology use," said Steyer.  "We hope this report will create a new sense of urgency in that regard."

Cover of Maclean's Magazine Notes Children as Young as 8 View Online Porn Regularly
[3Dec08, Kathleen Gilbert, San Francisco, CA,]

170 Arrested in Global Child Porn Investigation

Internet Attacks Are a Real and Growing Problem; A new report says cyberwar isn't science fiction.



CHILD EXPLOITATION THROUGHOUT THE US. The availability and acceptance of porn in the US has created an atmosphere conducive to the widespread exploitation of children in neighborhoods from Portland, Oregon, to south Louisiana. An NBC news investigation found girls as young as twelve being pimped in Portland, and children as young as three were abuse

d to make internet porn found in a sting operation in Louisiana where seventeen people were arrested.

"We cannot expect a change until the culture as a whole puts an end to the mass marketing of pornography," said Daniel Weiss of Focus on the Family Action. "If we continue to allow pornographers to put out the message that humans are nothing more than sexual commodities, we cannot act surprised when children are abused, consumed and molested for someone’s sexual gratification.”
(Source: Children Exploited for Sex across the U.S.,, 11-12-08,; posted 12NOV08)

Who Cares about Third World Mothers? The Hidden Scandal of Unsafe Childbirth and the Hope that a New Professional Initiative is Bringing to Mothers.

From 1999 to 2003, the number of U.S. home schooled children increased from around 850,000 to roughly 1.1 million; today, around 2.5 million children are currently home schooled

Teacher’s Union Chief Pushes Preschool for Three-Year-Olds   




Study Links Water Pollution from Contraceptives, Chemicals with Declining Male Fertility. New research strengthens the link between water pollution and rising male fertility problems. The study, by Brunel University, the Universities of Exeter and Reading and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, shows for the first time how a group of testosterone-blocking chemicals is finding its way into UK rivers, affecting wildlife and potentially humans. The research was supported by the Natural Environment Research Council and is now published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

The study identified a new group of chemicals that act as ‘anti-androgens.’ This means that they inhibit the function of the male hormone, testosterone, reducing male fertility. Some of these are contained in medicines, including cancer treatments, pharmaceutical treatments, and pesticides used in agriculture. The research suggests that when they get into the water system, these chemicals may play a pivotal role in causing feminising effects in male fish.

Earlier research by Brunel University and the University of Exeter has shown how female sex hormones (estrogens), and chemicals that mimic estrogens, are leading to ‘feminisation’ of male fish. Found in some industrial chemicals and the contraceptive pill, they enter rivers via sewage treatment works. This causes reproductive problems by reducing fish breeding capability and in some cases can lead to male fish changing sex.

Other studies have also suggested that there may be a link between this phenomenon and the increase in human male fertility problems caused by testicular dysgenesis syndrome. Until now, this link lacked credence because the list of suspects causing effects in fish was limited to estrogenic chemicals whilst testicular dysgenesis is known to be caused by exposure to a range of anti-androgens.

Lead author on the research paper, Dr Susan Jobling at Brunel University’s Institute for the Environment, said of the study's findings: “We have been working intensively in this field for over ten years. The new research findings illustrate the complexities in unravelling chemical causation of adverse health effects in wildlife populations and re-open the possibility of a human–wildlife connection in which effects seen in wild fish and in humans are caused by similar combinations of chemicals.

“We have identified a new group of chemicals in our study on fish, but do not know where they are coming from. A principal aim of our work is now to identify the source of these pollutants and work with regulators and relevant industry to test the effects of a mixture of these chemicals and the already known environmental estrogens and help protect environmental health.”

Senior author Professor Charles Tyler of the University of Exeter said: “Our research shows that a much wider range of chemicals than we previously thought is leading to hormone disruption in fish. This means that the pollutants causing these problems are likely to be coming from a wide variety of sources. Our findings also strengthen the argument for the cocktail of chemicals in our water leading to hormone disruption in fish, and contributing to the rise in male reproductive problems. There are likely to be many reasons behind the rise in male fertility problems in humans, but these findings could reveal one, previously unknown, factor.”

In making their findings the scientists studied over 1000 fish sampled from 30 rivers in various parts of England.

The research took more than three years to complete and was conducted by the University of Exeter, Brunel University, University of Reading and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. The research team is now focusing on identifying the source of anti-androgenic chemicals, as well as continuing to study their impact on reproductive health in wildlife and humans.