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NEW! More Younger People are Winding Up in Nursing Homes
NEW! Supreme Court Justice Scalia: Roe v. Wade Not in Constitution
NEW! After 41% Abortion NYC Statistic, Pro-Life Advocates Target Anti-CPC NYC Bill
NEW! Tip of the Month – Talk to Your Pharmacist and your Doctor
NEW! As Roe Abortion Case Turns 38, Millennials Join Pro-Life Side
NEW! Homicides — United States, 1999–2007
NEW! Drug-Induced Deaths — United States, 2003–2007
NEW! Cigarette Smoking — United States, 1965–2008
NEW! Suicides — United States, 1999–2007
NEW! Mass Grave of Nazi Euthanasia Victims Uncovered
NEW! Commentary: Where Did I Come From? – It’s No Longer a Simple Question
Commentary: Statistics from Walter Hoye
'Abortion is Worse Than al-Qaeda,' says Duke of Kent's Son Lord Nicholas Windsor
Experts: Mystery Contrail was from Chinese Missile
British Abortion Rates for Under-20s Shoots Up
Birthrates Decline Across the Nation
Announcements: National Folic Acid Awareness Week…
More Younger People are Winding Up in Nursing Homes
Quadriplegic Adam Martin, right, works with physical therapist Wes Bower at a nursing home. More photos »
AP – In this photo taken Dec. 13, 2010, quadriplegic Adam Martin, left, works with physical therapist Wes …
Adam Martin doesn't fit in here. No one else in this nursing home wears Air Jordans. No one else has stacks of music videos by 2Pac and Jay-Z. No one else is just 26.
It's no longer unusual to find a nursing home resident who is decades younger than his neighbor: About one in seven people now living in such facilities in the U.S. is under 65. But the growing phenomenon presents a host of challenges for nursing homes, while patients like Martin face staggering isolation.
"It's just a depressing place to live," Martin says. "I'm stuck here. You don't have no privacy at all. People die around you all the time. It starts to really get depressing because all you're seeing is negative, negative, negative."
The number of under-65 nursing home residents has risen about 22 percent in the past eight years to about 203,000, according to an analysis of statistics from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
That number has climbed as mental health facilities close and medical advances keep people alive after they've suffered traumatic injuries. Still, the overall percentage of nursing home residents 30 and younger is less than 1 percent.
Martin was left a quadriplegic when he was accidentally shot in the neck last year by his stepbrother. He spent weeks hospitalized before being released to a different nursing home and eventually ended up in his current residence, the Sarasota Health and Rehabilitation Center. There are other residents who are well short of retirement age, but he is the youngest.
The yellow calendar on the wall of Martin's small end-of-the-hall room advertises activities such as arts and crafts. In the small common room down the hall, a worker draws a bingo ball and intones, "I-16. I-one-six." As Martin maneuvers his motorized wheelchair through the hallway, most of those he passes have white hair and wrinkled skin.
"It's lonely here," Martin says, as a single tear drips from his right eye.
Martin exchanges muted hellos with older residents as he travels down the hall to smoke outside. His entire daily routine, from showering to eating to enjoying a cigarette, is dictated by the schedules of those on whom he relies for help.
He usually wakes up late, then waits for an aide to shower him, dress him and return him to his wheelchair. He watches TV, goes to therapy five days a week and waits most days for his friend to bring him meals.
He mostly keeps to himself, engaging in infrequent and superficial conversations with his elders.
Martin's parents are unable to care for him at home. His father is a truck driver who is constantly on the road, and his stepmother is sick with lupus. Medicaid pays his bills; it could take a lawsuit for him to get care outside a nursing home.
Advocates who help young patients find alternatives to nursing homes say people are often surprised to learn there are so many in the facilities. Abou
t 15 percent of nursing home residents are under 65.
"When I tell people I try to get kids out of nursing homes, they have no idea," says Katie Chandler, a social worker for the nonprofit Georgia Advocacy Office.
Federal law requires states to provide alternatives to institutional care when possible, though its implementation varies from place to place. Navigating the system can require a knowledgeable advocate and, sometimes, litigation.
Not all younger nursing home residents are there for good. Some nursing homes are seeing an increase in patients who come to recover there instead of in a hospital, because it is cheaper for their insurance company.
Like Martin, many younger residents have suffered a traumatic injury. Others have neuromuscular diseases such as multiple sclerosis, or have suffered a stroke.
Brent Kaderli, 26, of Baytown, Texas, became a quadriplegic after a car accident in 2006. He hopes rehabilitation will help him gain enough strength to move into an assisted living facility and eventually, to an apartment with his girlfriend.
He shares his nursing home room with an older man who suffers from dementia. It is not ideal, but because his parents' home is not modified to accommodate his wheelchair, he thinks it's the only option right now.
"Just knowing that one day I will be better, I'm still hoping and praying for that. In the meantime, I think about my family and my friends, what I used to be able to do, and I stay sad a lot," he says. "This is probably the best that I could have at this point."
The same generational tensions that exist outside nursing homes are inside them as well, and are sometimes exacerbated by the often close confines.
Older residents complain about loud music and visitors, younger residents complain about living with someone with dementia or being served creamed spinach. Many nursing homes try to house younger residents together, though in many cases their small numbers make that difficult.
For young people who find themselves newly disabled, the psychological and social needs are often even more challenging than their physical demands. That presents a challenge for nursing homes that are used to serving people near the ends of their lives.
At Bayshore Health Center in Duluth, Minn., 34 of the 160 residents are younger people, all living in private rooms in their own wing. The staff has found that subtle changes can improve their lives.
Instead of bingo night, there are poker games and outings to nightclubs. For someone who stays up late watching a movie, breakfast can be served at 10 a.m., rather than 7 a.m. Pizza is offered in place of lasagna; Mountain Dew and Coke are poured instead of coffee and tea.
Still, many younger residents sink into depression because of their physical limitations, their loneliness and their nursing home surroundings.
"For them it's a life sentence. When you're 40 years old you know you're never getting out. This is the way your life will be forever and ever. Amen," says Diane Persson, a gerontologist who has written about the boom in younger nursing home residents.
Martin fears that may be true for him. He used to look forward to joining the Army and earning a college degree in science or engineering. Now he simply looks forward to visits from his friend Paul Tuttle, who on this day brings him nachos he feeds him along with sips of water.
"If I'm not here, he's got no one his age to talk to about football or anything," Tuttle says, wiping Martin's face.
Propped in his wheelchair, Martin says: "It makes you feel old. If that's all you're around, that's what you become."
(This version corrects Katie Chandler's affiliation to Georgia Advocacy Office, not state of Georgia.)
[7 Jan 2011, MATT SEDENSKY, Associated Press Matt Sedensky, Associated Press, Chris O'Meara,
SARASOTA, FL, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_nursing_homes_young;_ylt=Ak5ayI_JW2BvPPKiniRHmDlH2ocA;_ylu=X3oDMTMwYm5rMXBzBGFzc2V0A2FwL3VzX251cnNpbmdfaG9tZXNfeW91bmcEY2NvZGUDdmlld3NoYXJlBGNwb3MDMwRwb3MDMwRzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0b3JpZXMEc2xrA21vcmV5b3VuZ3Blbw ]
Supreme Court Justice Scalia: Roe v. Wade Not in Constitution
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia frequently talks about his views on abortion and the high court case that allowed for unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy for any reason.
As the nation looks to mark the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade later this month and 53 million abortions it has ushered in, Scalia said in a new interview that the case is an “absurdity.”
“You want a right to abortion? There’s nothing in the Constitution about that. But that doesn’t mean you cannot prohibit it,” he said in an interview with California Lawyer.
For those wanting to make abortion legal, “Persuade your fellow citizens it’s a good idea and pass a law. That’s what democracy is all about. It’s not about nine superannuated judges who have been there too long, imposing these demands on society.”
Scalia reiterated his position that the Constitution’s 14th Amendment doesn’t guarantee equal protection for women in a way that could be construed as allowing abortion on demand.
Scalia told the California Lawyer publication that, while the amendment doesn’t offer equal protection for women, state legislatures are free to legislate such protections. He said the amendment, when it was adopted, was not intended to offer legal protection for women. Abortion advocates have used it to constitutionally justify legal abortions.
“Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex,” Scalia said. “The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t. Nobody ever thought that that’s what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that.”
“If indeed the current society has come to different views, that’s fine. You do not need the Constitution to reflect the wishes of the current society,” he said. “If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, hey we have things called legislatures, and they enact things called laws. You don’t need a constitution to keep things up-to-date. All you need is a legislature and a ballot box.”
Scalia is considered to be one of the four justices most likely to support overturning Roe if a case reached the high court. Justice Clarence Thomas has also publicly expressed his desire to overturn the 1973 decision.
Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito have already issued one abortion opinion overturning a previous Supreme Court decision allowing partial-birth abortions and overturning a partial-birth abortion ban claiming it required a health exception. Their decision to reverse and affirm Congress’ findings that abortion is never necessary to protect women’s health is seen as an indication they may be willing to overturn Roe as well.
Together, the four comprise a minority of four justices compared with the pro-abortion majority for Roe, which includes Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has gone along with limits on abortion but has not shown any indication he would side with those favoring overturning Roe. [4 Jan 2011, Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com, http://www.lifenews.com/2011/01/04/supreme-court-justice-scalia-roe-v-wade-not-in-constitution/]
After 41% NYC Abortion Stat, Pro-Life Advocates Target Anti-CPC NYC Bill
After new statistics from the New York City health department revealed 41 percent of pregnancies in the Big Apple ending in abortion, pro-life advocates are
holding a rally against a bill that would hurt pregnancy centers trying to lower the figure.
The city council is considering a measure that would place stringent limits on the advertising pregnancy centers use and require them to post signs designed to dissuade women from seeking their abortion alternatives services.
Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who has had two abortions and now speaks up for the pro-life perspective, will speak at a rally this week.
The city Health Department’s latest statistics said 41 percent of pregnancies in the city ended in abortion in 2009, which is twice the national rate.
According to Health Department data, among African-American women the abortion rate was 59.8 percent and Hispanics had higher abortion rates as well.
Black women have a 59.8% abortion rate in NY compared to Hispanics with 41.3%, Asians 22.7% and Whites having 20.4% of the abortions.
Responding to those numbers, Dolan says the comprehensive sex ed message Planned Parenthood and other abortion advocates have pushed clearly hasn’t resulted in reducing abortions in New York City.
“My word, what have we done the last 30 years? There’s candy bowls on people’s desks with condoms, they’re dropping them from airplanes, yet nothing seems to improve, so they’ve been on the wrong track here,” Dolan said.
In a statement LifeNews.com received, King said she is attending the rally to urge members of the black pro-life movement top speak up more and to address the unprecedented targeting of minority women for abortion.
“It’s an outrage that there is an attempt to stifle the life-saving work of New York’s Crisis Pregnancy Centers,” she said. “We come together in a chorus of protest against Bill 371–legislation that would require pregnancy centers (CPCs) to post signage in front of their buildings that would discourage women seeking alternatives to abortion from entering their facilities.”
Bill 371 primarily targets the pregnancy centers in the city that are trying to provide women with tangible pregnancy assistance and abortion alternatives. Chris Slattery, who founded the first pregnancy center in New York City, now oversees 12 centers, including one across the street from Planned Parenthood at E. 149th Street.
“Since 1985, our CPCs have saved 38,000 babies through one-on-one counseling to over 100,000 women by providing education about fetal development and alternatives to abortion including parental support and adoption,” said Slattery.
Christine Quinn, the City Council speaker, and Councilwoman Jessica Lappin are behind the proposed ordinance. Should the measure be approved, one pro-life legal group is planning to sue the city over the law.
Slattery says the record of success at the centers proves how much they are needed in America’s largest city. They provide free services inside 12 centers and clinics in five counties and on the streets of the South Bronx with their mobile clinics including free ultrasounds, subsidized pre-natal care, supplies for moms and kids, ongoing care and love, adoption aid and spiritual guidance..
“EMC FrontLine Pregnancy Centers in New York City were able to Save close to 3,000 moms and their babies from a certain abortion in the abortion capital of America in 2010,” he said.
He estimates anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000 women will be helped at the centers in 2011 “who would otherwise fall prey to the largest concentration of abortion centers in the United States.”
“Without any changes in law we have been able to save over 38,000 children from abortion. EMC’s effective life-saving system is the best possible way to save the tens of thousands of children at great risk here,” he concluded.
Dr. Gerard Nadal of the Center for Morality in Public Life, Rev. Arnold Culbreath of Protecting Black Life, Rev. Clennard Childress and Pastor Stephen Broden of LEARN, Rev. Catherine Davis of the Network of Politically Active Christians, Rev. Walter Hoye of Issues4Life, and Rev. Dr. La Verne Tolbert, a national abstinence educator, are also expected to attend the rally. [10 Jan 2011, Ertelt, New York, NY, LifeNews.com, http://www.lifenews.com/2011/01/10/after-41-abortion-stat-pro-life-advocates-target-anti-cpc-nyc-bill]
Tip of the Month – Talk to Your Pharmacist and your Doctor
Cindy directs a large pregnancy-counseling center in the South. One type of call the center receives is from women seeking referrals to pro-life physicians.
Cindy’s center recently referred Ruth to what Cindy thought was a pro-life physician. Ruth, who had recently moved from out-of-state, made an appointment with the obstetrician. She asked if he performed abortions. He said he did not, and neither did he refer women for abortions.
But, during the examination he suggested [that] Ruth, who was 40, have an amniocentesis. “Why would you recommend that?” she asked. “Well,” he hesitated, “at your age you never know … If there’s anything wrong, well … it would be good to have a choice.” The strong implication, of course, was that if her baby was found to be “not perfect,” she may want to abort it.
Because she is strongly pro-life, Ruth shared her disappointment with him. Later, she called Cindy to ask for another referral. Sadly, Cindy says that after surveying the eighty-six doctors in their community, the center is able to refer women to only one physician whom they feel is committed to being pro-life.
What questions can you ask to be sure your pharmacist or doctor is pro-life?
• Do you dispense, counsel or perform chemical or surgical abortions?
• Do your partners/associates dispense drugs for or perform abortions?
• Do you ever refer patients to Planned Parenthood or other abortion clinics?
• Do your associates/partners ever refer patients to Planned Parenthood or other abortion clinics?
• Under what conditions would you recommend amniocentesis?
According to a pro-life physician we contacted, there are several pro-life reasons a physician may suggest amniocentesis. One legitimate reason for amniocentesis is to determine the maturity of the baby’s lungs in the event that an early delivery is indicated. Another reason would be for women whose babies are at high risk for RH disease to determine the severity of the risk. In some cases, an inter-uterine transfusion could be performed, while in severe cases, the risk of a premature delivery is less than the risk of carrying the baby to term.
A third, more controversial reason is when, like Ruth, a woman is in the high-risk category for delivering a Down syndrome baby. Many physicians, even those who are strongly pro-life, feel an obligation to discuss the possibility of amniocentesis to determine if the baby will have Down syndrome. While pro-life doctors would never recommend, refer or perform an abortion in such a case, many feel that not mentioning the test leaves them open to lawsuits. And some pro-life women, while they would not consider abortion, may want time to mentally prepare themselves and their families for such an eventuality.
Once you have surveyed the physicians in your area, consider printing a list and making it available to pregnancy resource centers, other pro-life groups and churches in the area.
PFLI provides the free service of listed CERTIFIED and VERIFIED pro-life phar
macies. We do not just "take their word for it". They have to be able to pass the rigorous standards of being certified as a pro-life pharmacy by PFLI. It is not necessary, but it helps, if they are active members of PFLI. This certification would include not dispensing or counseling for any drugs or chemicals whose primary intent is to destroy a nascent life, EVEN IF THE PRODUCT IS COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS A SO-CALLED 'CONTRACEPTIVE', as many such products are often abortifacients (e.g. the common oral "contraceptive", Plan B, Depo Provera, IUDs, Norplant, etc).
American Life League frequently refers callers seeking physician referral to the web site of One More Soul (www.onemoresoul.com). If your doctor is pro-life but not listed, provide him or her with the web site information so that he or she can be added.
Lastly, ALL also provides two different declarations that physicians can sign to affirm their pro-life positions. The first is the Declaration on Protecting the Life of the Mother, which states the following:
“I agree that there is never a situation in the law or in the ethical practice of medicine where a preborn child’s life need be intentionally destroyed by procured abortion for the purpose of saving the life of the mother. A physician must do everything possible to save the lives of both of his patients, mother and child. He must never intend the death of either.”
PFLI says dittos for pharmacists.
A list of the more than 450 physicians who have signed this declaration can be found at http://www.all.org/faq/index.php?id=2635
The second is A Declaration of Life by Pro-Life Physicians, which concerns the abortifacient nature of hormonal contraceptives. That statement and the list of over 200 physicians who have signed it can be found at http://www.all.org/article.php?id=10678&search=declaration%20of%20life.
[Adapted From 52 Simple Things You Can Do to Be Pro-Life by Anne Pierson and Carol Rissor ]
[PharmFacts E-News Update — 10 Jan 2011]
As Roe Abortion Case Turns 38, Millennials Join Pro-Life Side
Twenty-three-year-old Pennsylvanian Abigail Kiehl has never known a time when abortion wasn’t legal. Yet, when she’s not planning parties, making jewelry, or writing, she’s working within her church to educate members of her congregation about what she views as the civil rights struggle of her generation: Ending abortion.
“I used to think that I was too young to be involved with pro-life,” Abigail says. “But I have seen how abortion affects every age, race, and gender. Therefore I have given it my face and voice.”
Abigail has been motivated to lend her talents to a local pregnancy resource center and become involved in grassroots pro-life advocacy. She’s seen first-hand the heartache and tears which, she says, “shroud abortion.”
“I cannot bring back life that is gone, but I can be a voice of truth,” Abigail points out.
Andrew Bair, also 23 and also from Pennsylvania, is into the TV shows “Glee” and “The Office,” and spends a fair amount of time posting political news on Twitter. But he is also passionately pro-life. And he and Abigail have plenty of company. “As a generation we are keenly aware of human rights causes and are more willing to lend our support,” Andrew says. “Look no further than the ubiquitous ‘Save Darfur’ T-shirts worn by young people or the large number of fundraisers for Haiti sponsored by student groups. The 50 million unborn children that have lost their lives since Roe v. Wade are no exception. Many young people are speaking out for the right to life of all people.”
Research indicates a majority of the Millennials — those young people born between the late ’70s and the ’90s — are strongly pro-life.
A Knights of Columbus/Marist poll conducted last year found that 58 percent of people age 18 to 29 believe abortion is morally wrong.
Students for Life of America chapters on college campuses have skyrocketed from 181 in 2006 to the current total of more than 570.
It’s also been estimated that at least half of the thousands of people who participate each year in the March for Life in Washington, D.C., are under the age of 30.
Why are these students, who grew up in an era when abortions are more common than liposuctions, pro-life? The answer may be more personal than political. With one in five pregnancies ending in abortion, these young people realize there are brothers, sisters, and cousins who are not here today solely because of Roe.
As Andrew notes, “Tragically we have never met many of our peers, classmates, and friends because they were aborted. Our generation is saying enough is enough.”
To a large extent, the pro-life story of the Millennial Generation is being told in pictures — ultrasound pictures which depict the development of the child in the womb. It’s hard to look at an ultrasound post on a social networking site and not recognize that you’re seeing an actual baby.
“Young people do not buy the pro-abortion myth that an unborn child is just a blob of tissue,” Andrew says. “When friends on Facebook post the ultrasound pictures of their little babies in the womb, it could not be clearer that the only difference between an unborn child and a born child is geography.”
Many of these young people have also heard the tearful testimony of women who have had abortions who experience profound regret, in addition to physical and emotional complications such as sterility, depression, and flashbacks. It has become clear that abortion not only ends an innocent life, but it can scar a woman for life.
For pro-life members of the Millennial Generation, ending abortion is not just a distant dream. They view it as a critical step in restoring a culture of life in their communities.
As Abigail Kiehl says, “There is an urgency for this generation to take a stand for life. We cannot let the fire for life die down.”
LifeNews.com Note: Maria Vitale is an opinion columnist for LifeNews.com. She is the Public Relations Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and Vitale has written and reported for various broadcast and print media outlets, including National Public Radio, CBS Radio, and AP Radio.
[Maria Vitale | Harrisburg, PA | LifeNews.com | 1/10/11, http://www.lifenews.com/2011/01/10/as-roe-abortion-case-turns-38-millennials-join-pro-life-side/]
Homicides — United States, 1999–2007
During 1991–2007, homicide was ranked as one of the top four leading causes of death each year for persons aged 1–40 years living in the United States (1). Furthermore, vast disparities in homicide rates have been reported between males and females and among different age and racial/ethnic groups (2–6). For example, previous studies have indicated that rates of death from homicide are particularly high among males (4–6), persons aged 15–34 years and <1 year (5), and blacks (2,3,5,6).
Homicide rates for males are estimated to be approximately 3–4 times higher than that for females (4,5); among persons aged 20–24 years, the male homicide rate is 6 times higher than that for females (1,5). In addition, minority racial/ethnic children and young adults in the United States are disproportionately affected by homicide. During 1999–2002, among persons aged 10–19 years, the homicide rate for blacks was estimated to be 17.8 per 100,000 population, a rate 10 times that of whites (1.8 per 100,000) and higher tha
n the rates reported for American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) (6.0 per 100,000), Asian/Pacific Islanders (A/PIs) (2.9 per 100,000), and Hispanics (8.0 per 100,000) (2)…
During 2007, homicide rates were highest among persons aged 15–34 years, and the overall unadjusted rate for males was approximately 4 times that of females (9.8 versus 2.5 deaths per 100,000 population, respectively) (Table 1). Unadjusted homicide rates were highest among blacks (23.1 deaths per 100,000), followed by AI/ANs (7.8) and Hispanics (7.6), then whites (2.7) and A/PIs (2.4) (Table 1).
Additional analyses by age, race/ethnicity, and sex revealed that black males aged 15–34 years were at greatest risk for death by homicide (Table 2). Based on the available data, black females also had the highest homicide rates compared with females in other racial/ethnic groups within each age category, with the exception of women aged 30–49 years (Table 2). Within this age group, a statistical difference between the rates of black and AI/AN women could not be determined. Both rates were significantly higher than those of white, Hispanic, and A/PI women. (All comparisons were significant at the p<0.05 level.)…
…Each year, the rate among blacks was approximately 2–3 times higher than among AI/ANs and Hispanics and at least 5 times higher than A/PIs and whites….
…Although the 1999–2007 homicide rates were highest among blacks, their rate for 2007 represents a substantial decrease compared with the early 1990s. In 1991, the homicide rate among non-Hispanic blacks peaked at 38 deaths per 100,000 population (1), which was nearly twice the rate reported in 2007. Similar decreases from the early 1990s to the mid-2000s were observed among the other racial/ethnic minorities (1).
[14 Jan 2011, CDC, MMWR Supplements, 60(01);67-70, http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/su6001a14.htm?s_cid=su6001a14_e&source=govdelivery]
Drug-Induced Deaths — United States, 2003–2007
Drug-induced deaths include all deaths for which drugs are the underlying cause (1), including deaths attributable to acute poisoning by drugs (drug overdoses) and deaths from medical conditions resulting from chronic drug use. A drug includes illicit or street drugs (e.g., heroin or cocaine), as well as legal prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs; alcohol is not included. The majority of deaths are unintentional drug poisoning deaths, with suicidal drug poisoning and drug poisoning of undetermined intent comprising the majority of the remainder (2). Adverse effects from drugs taken as directed and infections resulting from drug use are not included. In 2007, drug-induced deaths were more common than alcohol-induced or firearm-related deaths in the United States (1)…
During 2007 (the year in which the latest national NVSS mortality data are available), a total of 38,371 drug-induced deaths occurred in the United States (Table). Drug-induced mortality rates increased during 2003–2006 and declined slightly in 2007. During all years, rates for males exceeded those for females. During 2007, rates for non-Hispanic white males (18.7 per 100,000 population) were 64.0% greater than those for non-Hispanic white females (11.4 per 100,000)…
During the 1980s and 1990s, when the majority of drug-induced deaths were attributable to illicit drugs (e.g., heroin and cocaine), drug-induced mortality rates were higher among blacks than whites (2).
However, in 2002, rates for whites surpassed those for blacks (2). This change occurred as prescription drugs, especially prescription opioid painkillers and psychotherapeutic drugs, were prescribed more widely by physicians. Prescribed drugs eventually supplanted illicit drugs as the leading cause of drug-related overdose deaths (3). Members of racial/ethnic minorities might have been less affected by this change because they are less likely to use prescription drugs and therefore might have been less likely to misuse such drugs (4). Studies of primarily white populations report that drug-related overdose death rates are highest among low-income persons; however, the reasons are unclear (5,6)…
[January 14, 2011, CDC MMWR Supplements 60(01);60-61, http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/su6001a12.htm?s_cid=su6001a12_e&source=govdelivery]
Suicides — United States, 1999–2007
Injury from self-directed violence, which includes suicidal behavior and its consequences, is a leading cause of death and disability. In 2007, suicide was the 11th leading cause of death in the United States and the cause of 34,598 deaths (1).
In 2000, the estimated cost of self-directed violence (fatal and nonfatal) was $33 billion ($32 billion in productivity losses and $1 billion in medical costs) (2). Suicide rates are influenced by biological, psychological, social, moral, political, and economic factors (3). Self-directed violence in the United States affects all racial/ethnic groups but often is misperceived to be a problem solely affecting non-Hispanic white males (4)…
In 2007, a total of 34,598 suicides occurred in the United States; 83.5% of suicides were among whites, 7.1% among Hispanics, 5.5% among blacks, 2.5% among A/PIs, and 1.1% among AI/ANs (Table).
Although AI/ANs represented the smallest proportion of suicides of all racial/ethnic groups, they shared the highest rates with whites. Overall, the suicide rate for males (18.4 per 100,000 population) was approximately 4 times (383%) greater than for females (4.8 per 100,000 population). In each of the racial/ethnic groups, suicide rates were higher for males than for females, but the male-female ratio for suicide differs among these groups. Among whites, the male-female ratio was 3.8; among Hispanics, 5.0; among blacks, 5.0; among A/PIs, 2.4; and among AI/ANs, 3.7. During 2007, 4,754 (13.7%) suicides occurred in the Northeast, 7,515 (21.7%) in the Midwest, 8,940 (25.8%) in the West, and 13,389 (38.7%) in the South (Table). Regional crude suicide rates were significantly higher for persons living in the West (12.8 per 100,000 population), followed by the South (12.1), Midwest (11.3), and Northeast (8.7). An assessment of trends for the years 1999–2007 showed increases for AI/ANs (p<0.001) and whites (p<0.001) and decreases for blacks (p<0.001); no significant changes occurred in trends for rates among Hispanics and A/PIs…
Prevention efforts and resources also should be directed toward adults aged 40–54 years, the population that recently has had increases in suicides but often is overlooked as a specific group for prevention efforts (14).
[14 Jan 2011, CDC, MMWR Supplements, 60(01);56-59, http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/su6001a11.htm?s_cid=su6001a11_e&source=govdelivery]
Cigarette Smoking — United States, 1965–2008
Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality in the United States, resulting in an estimated 443,000 premature deaths and $193 billion in direct health-care expenditures and productivity losses each year (1). The prevalence of cigarette smoking among youth and adult smokers has declined, but that decline has stalled during the past 5 years among adults (2,3). Despite overall declines in cigarette smoking, disparities in smoking and other tobacco use still persist among certain racial/ethnic minority groups, particularly among American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) (4).
In addition to racial/ethnic disparities in cigarette smoking, other groups have higher prevalence of cigarette smoking, with higher use reported among persons with low socioeconomic status;
persons with histories of mental health and substance abuse conditions; the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community; and persons living in the South and Midwest regions of the United States (5–7). [ED. and those with abortion in their past]
Each day in the United States, approximately 3,900 persons aged 12–17 years smoke their first cigarette, and an estimated 1,000 adolescents become daily cigarette smokers (8). The vast majority of persons who begin smoking during adolescence are addicted to nicotine by age 20 (9). Among youth, factors associated with smoking include low socioeconomic status, low academic achievement (e.g., poor grades and absenteeism), high-risk sexual behavior, and use of alcohol and other drugs (9,10). As with adult smoking, racial/ethnic differences in cigarette smoking exist among youth smokers, with AI/ANs having the highest prevalence of cigarette smoking, particularly among females. In comparison, youth smoking among black females has consistently been lower and has declined during past years. These declines have contributed to the overall lower prevalence of cigarette smoking among black youth smokers (2)…Data from the 2006–2008 NSDUH indicate that among youths aged 12–17 years, smoking was highest for AI/AN females (17.8%), AI/AN males (16.7%), non-Hispanic white females (12.4%), and non-Hispanic white males (11.3%) (Table 1). Smoking was lowest for Asian* females (2.9%), Asian males (5.2%), non-Hispanic black females (5.6%), and non-Hispanic black males (6.1%). Declining trends in smoking were observed for male and female youths of all racial/ethnic backgrounds, but AI/AN youths had the sharpest declines from 2002–2003 to 2007–2008, followed by non-Hispanic white youths. Smoking among non-Hispanic black youths, although low, neither increased nor decreased from 2002–2003 to 2007–2008.
NHIS data for 1965–2008 indicate declines in smoking among both male and female non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black adult smokers aged ≥18 years (Figure). Although the disparity in smoking between non-Hispanic black men and non-Hispanic white men has diminished substantially, non-Hispanic black men smoked at slightly higher rates than non-Hispanic white men during 2008 (25.6% versus 23.5%, respectively; p<0.001). The disparity in smoking between non-Hispanic black women and non-Hispanic white women has demonstrated a reversal for longer than a decade, with non-Hispanic black women smoking at statistically significant lower rates than non-Hispanic white women during 2008 (17.8% versus 20.6% respectively; p<0.001)… [January 14, 2011, CDC, MMWR Supplements, 60(01);109-113, http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/su6001a24.htm?s_cid=su6001a24_e&source=govdelivery]
Mass Grave of Nazi Euthanasia Victims Uncovered
The Hall hospital in the state of Tyrol where the bodies were found [photo]
A mass grave believed to contain the remains of 220 Nazi euthanasia victims has been uncovered in Austria, according to international media sources.
The grave, which is located on the grounds of the Hall hospital in the state of Tyrol, was discovered by construction workers who were building a new facility on the property. Although tests must still be done to verify the cause of death, the corpses are believed to be those of mentally and physically disabled individuals whom the Nazis deemed “unworthy of life,” and who were often killed with injections of potassium chloride, the same drug used to kill unborn children in hospitals today.
Although it was known that approximately 100 individuals had been killed at the facility, the number of bodies discovered is “exorbitantly large,” according to Horst Schreiber, a history professor at the University of Innsbruk. In an interview with the Austrian television broadcaster ORF, Schreiber said that the additional bodies may verify a long-existing suspicion that the Nazis had locked hundreds more patients into the facility and left them to starve.
Austrian officials are now in the process of excavating the site and testing the remains to determine the precise cause of death. The results are expected to offer a final verification that, despite Nazi claims to the contrary, the facility was used as part of the regime’s massive euthanasia program.
It is believed that 200,000 handicapped people were executed by the Nazis as part of their racial “purification” program, which also included the killing of millions of Jews, Poles, Gypsies, and other groups regarded as undesirable by the regime. [3 Jan 2011, Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Vienna, http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/mass-grave-of-nazi-euthanasia-victims-uncovered?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=e5660102ea-LifeSiteNews_com_US_Headlines03_03_2011&utm_medium=email
Commentary: Where Did I Come From? – It’s No Longer a Simple Question
by Albert Mohler
At some point, anticipated and even feared by some parents, every child asks the inevitable question: “Where did I come from?” That question is endemic to humanity. The question of our own biological origins is eventually inescapable. Our existence requires an explanation, and the question takes bold form. The answer used to be easy.
That is, the answer was easy in terms of biology. In some form, the answer took the shape of a story about two people, one male and one female, who came together and made a baby. Mommy and Daddy made a baby. That story was both true and universal. For most of human history, there was no alternative account. The answer given by parents in 1960 was the same as that given in 1060 or in any previous year.
All that changed with the biological revolution and the emergence of new reproductive technologies. The development of In Vitro Fertilization technologies [IVF] came only after human beings grew accustomed to reproductive control through The Pill. If medical technologies could be harnessed to avoid pregnancy, surely new technologies could allow couples to have long-wanted children who had not come by natural means.
The public was assured that the use of these technologies would not bring about a moral revolution, since the availability of these new technologies would be limited to married couples. But, of course, this was a false promise, and it should have been seen as such from the start. The Pill was at first prescribed only for married couples, but the plain fact is that a far greater demand for contraceptives existed among the non-married. By the early 1970s, The Pill was available to all.
The same story applied to the use of IVF, as well. If there were thousands of potential users among married couples, these were vastly outnumbered by non-married persons and non-heterosexual couples. The development of IVF and the revolutions made possible by egg and sperm donation and surrogate motherhood made parenthood, though redefined, now available to virtually any adult and any couple.
This revolution is portrayed movingly in the January 2, 2011 cover story of The New York Times Magazine. In “Meet the Twiblings,” Melanie Thernstrom provides an account of how she and her husband became parents to babies Violet and Kieran, who appear adorably on the cover of the magazine. The cover text also contains this teaser: “How four women (and one man) conspired to make two babies.”
As Thernstrom acknowledges, this is a complicated story. The two babies were born five days apart. They shared a common egg donor (obtained commercially) and a common sperm do
nor (Thernstrom’s husband, Michael). But they were carried by two different surrogate mothers. Genetically they are siblings, but they emerged from two different wombs. They were born five days apart, but they are not really twins. Thernstrom calls them “twiblings.”
She writes movingly of her efforts, with Michael, to have a child. After six IVF rounds and clear medical advice, the Thernstroms moved to develop a new plan, but the plan required a great deal of thinking. The pull of the new reproductive technologies was clear, as was the revolution these technologies represent. She writes, “Reproductive technology fills an important — and growing — need. Gay couples are increasingly choosing to have families. Eight percent of women between 40 and 44 identify themselves as involuntarily childless or hoping to become pregnant, according to a Pew report. Most women in that age bracket will be able to become pregnant only by using donor eggs.”
Melanie and Michael wanted siblings of about the same age to grow up as companions. IVF twins were more dangerous, so Michael came up with the idea of using two surrogates to deliver two babies at about the same time.
Thernstrom’s account of the complexities of the decision-making process is fascinating, but what many readers may miss is the basic fact that virtually all of these decisions were absolutely unknown to previous generations of humanity. Would they choose an egg donor who looked like Melanie? The Thernstrom’s were more interested in personality attributes, even if these are hard to define in genetic terms. They eventually chose a donor with a “delightful” personality.
They also chose the surrogate mothers with care. Melanie noted that moral concerns about surrogacy came from both liberals and conservatives, if on different grounds. She chose two women who, made pregnant with the embryos created by the donor eggs and Michael’s sperm, carried the Thernstrom’s reproductive hopes, as well.
Melanie and Michael referred to these babies as “drafts.” In her words, they did this “to remind ourselves that they were notes toward the children we wanted, but if they died, they were just beginnings like all the embryos had been, and we would start again.”
Kieran was born first, with Violet arriving five days later. Both are adorable and healthy. The roles of the surrogate mothers did not end with the births, however, for the Thernstroms — against the prevailing advice — chose to maintain a relationship with the surrogates and the egg donor.
Interestingly, Melanie Thernstrom seems to see the complexity of these births as somewhat advantageous. “I wanted to avoid what I think of as the claustrophobia of the nuclear family,” she explains. She refers to the web of relationships required by this process as “a kind of extended family.”
She also acknowledges the ambiguities created by these new technologies. “Third-party reproduction creates all kinds of relationships for which there are not yet terms,” she explained. “For example, there is no word to describe the relationship between our children and the carriers’ children, but it feels to me that they are, somehow, related. They are gestational siblings; they don’t share a mother, father or genes, but they were carried in the same body and they learned its fathomless chemical language.”
There is also no word to describe our children’s relationship with each other. Our children were born five days apart — a fact that cannot be easily explained. When people press me about their status (“But are they really twins?”), the answer gets long. The word “twins” usually refers to siblings who shared a womb. But to call them just “siblings” instead of “twins” also raises questions because full genetic siblings are ordinarily at least nine months apart. And our children could be considered the same age because they were conceived at the same time (in the lab) and the embryos were transferred at the same time. If the person continues to quibble about whether they really qualify as twins (as, surprisingly, people often do), instead of asking why it matters, I announce airily that they are “twiblings.”
Barely a week before, pop icon Elton John and his partner, David Furnish, “had” a baby boy. The Guardian [London] explained that the baby came “with the help of an anonymous Californian surrogate and a separate egg donor.” The birth of the baby boy, named Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, created something of a stir in the British press, but the main issue of concern seemed to be the fact that Elton John is 62 and David Furnish is 48. The issue of homosexuality was so politically incorrect that age appeared to be the only factor of interest. Zoe Williams of The Guardian went so far as to proclaim that the whole event added up to the fact that “homophobia is dying.”
It is as if we are now living on a new planet — one in which all the natural boundaries of sex and reproduction have been left behind. The technologies of reproduction are redefining sex, marriage, relationships, family, and the human story.
Humanity is rushing headlong into a world in which the answer to the question, “Where did I come from?,” can be endlessly complicated. We have no adequate categories for explaining the relationship of little Kieran and Violet and all those who “conspired” to bring them to be. We read the birth announcement of Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, and we know that the most important moral questions are already off-limits.
An entire industry now operates with a global reach, offering these reproductive technologies to virtually anyone with the cash to pay. You can count on reproductive technologies expanding as a growth industry.
The theological and moral implications of all this are endless and urgent, but the technologies rush ahead. For Christians, the most urgent issue is the total separation of natural marriage from the process of human reproduction that is made possible by these technologies.
The moral complexities surrounding Kieran and Violet Thernstrom and their “extended family” are vexing. We naturally sympathize with a married couple who so desperately desires a child, but the discussion of the life choices that lead so many couples of advanced age to desire to have children now, rather than earlier, are culturally off-limits.
And the birth of Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John to an aging pop singer and his same-sex partner is just a sign of things to come. The question, “Where did I come from?,” may well emerge as one of the most haunting questions of our times.
[Jan 03, 2011, Albert Mohler, President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, from AlbertMohler.com; http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/where-did-i-come-from-its-no-longer-a-simple-question?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=e5660102ea-LifeSiteNews_com_US_Headlines03_03_2011&utm_medium=email ]
Pastor Walter Hoye
Pastors: New York City Blacks in 2008 had 1,260 abortions for every 1,000 live births, representing a race in decline; contrasted with 512 abortions per 1,000 live births for Whites.
Now the NYC Council is THREATENING TO SHUT DOWN the City’s CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTERS (CPC) with Bill #371. THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS! Visit (http://bi
t.ly/hfZsW6) and spread the word. Every CPC in the country is next. Brothers, we need to talk.
Everyone: With Blacks and Hispanics having 79% OF ALL ABORTIONS IN NEW YORK CITY there have been between 3.0 million and 3.3 million aborted Black and Hispanic babies over the past 40 years.
This number represents 40% of the current estimated population of NYC's 8.4 million citizens. These data indicates a demographic winter for communities of color in New York. EMC in NYC is asking for my help. Help me get there.
Everyone: With 4.3 MILLION ABORTIONS performed in New York City in the past 40 years, NEW YORK IS THE "ABORTION CAPITAL OF AMERICA," with approximately 250 ABORTION PROVIDERS, according to NARAL, NY.
According to New York Vital Statistics data, in the last ten-year period (1999-2008), OF THE 922,272 ABORTIONS PERFORMED, 726,845 (79%) WERE BLACK AND HISPANIC babies.
'Abortion is Worse Than al-Qaeda,' says Duke of Kent's Son Lord Nicholas Windsor
Lord Nicholas Windsor, the son of the Duke of Kent, claims that Islamic terrorism is not such a big threat to Europe as abortion.
Lord Nicholas Windsor with his wife Paola Photo: Tim Rooke / Rex Features
Tim Walker. Edited by Richard Eden 6:30AM GMT 20 Dec 2010
The Duchess of Kent has withdrawn from public life to such an extent that she is often described as a recluse, but her son Lord Nicholas Windsor is determined to speak out over causes that he believes in.
Lord Nicholas, 40, who lost his place in the line of succession when he became a Roman Catholic, has written a controversial article in which he claims that abortion is a bigger threat to Europe than al-Qaeda and Islamic terrorism.
He describes abortion as "the single most grievous moral deficit in contemporary life" and calls for a "new abolitionism for Europe" in which abortion, like the slave trade, can be abolished.
While the threat of terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda calls for "robust and, where necessary, lethal response", he claims in the American religious journal First Things that "these are not threats that appear existential and have not as yet provoked a real sense of public crisis".
In 2006, Lord Nicholas, whose father, the Duke of Kent, is a cousin of the Queen, became the first member of the Royal family to marry in the Vatican since the Reformation. His wife, Paola, gave birth to their first child, Albert, in 2007, and the couple had a second son, Leopold, last year. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/theroyalfamily/8212980/Abortion-is-worse-than-al-Qaeda-says-Duke-of-Kents-son-Lord-Nicholas-Windsor.html ; MLF, 20Dec2010]
Experts: Mystery Contrail was from Chinese Missile
Muted response’ was decision ‘made by the president himself’
British Abortion Rates for Under-20s Shoots Up
The number of young people having an abortion has shot up over the last decade, according to official statistics which suggest that four out of ten women under the age of 20 who become pregnant abort their child.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics indicated 42.4 per cent of all pregnancies to women under the age of 20 ended in a legal abortion in 2008. This compares with 37.8 per cent a decade ago.
The popular belief that women's minds turn to mush during pregnancy and birth is wrong and their grey matter actually increases
Experts said that though some progress had been made in halting Britain's alarming rate of teen pregnancies, abortion was increasingly seen as the major method of contraception for many young women.
Nearly two-thirds, 61.5 per cent, of all pregnancies to girls under the age of 16 ended in abortion, up from 52 per cent a decade ago.
Some of the highest rates of teen abortions were in the most affluent areas in the country. Richmond upon Thames, Windsor & Maidenhead, Westminster all witnessed rates of 70 per cent or more of all pregnancies to women under the age of 18 ending in abortion. [23 Nov 2010, Harry Wallop, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/family/8155092/Abortion-rates-for-under-20s-shoots-up.html]
Birthrates Decline Across the Nation
[ED. No one mentioned the important role that ABSTINENCE EDUCATION has played…]
A recent CDC report shows the teen birth rate is now the lowest it has been in 70 years, with the overall birth rate for adults in their 20s and 30s down as well. Experts cite numerous causes, ranging from the recession to successful public health initiatives and even popular culture.
Guests on the radio program were Sarah Brown, CEO of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and Kathi DiNicola, Spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota.
[Broadcast: Midmorning, 12/28/2010, 9:06 a.m., http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/12/28/midmorning1/]
Announcements: National Folic Acid Awareness Week
January 2–8, 2010, is National Folic Acid Awareness Week.
In 1998, the Institute of Medicine recommended that, to reduce their risk for a pregnancy affected by neural tube defects, women capable of becoming pregnant should take 400 micrograms of synthetic folic acid daily from fortified foods or supplements, or a combination of the two, in addition to consuming food folate from a varied diet (1).
Health-care professionals should encourage every woman who can become pregnant to consume 400 micrograms of folic acid daily. More information about folic acid, including free education materials and CDC activities, is available at http://www.cdc.gov/folicacid.
1. Institute of Medicine. Dietary reference intakes for thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin b6, folate, vitamin b12, pantothenic acid, biotin, and choline. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 1998.
[CDC, MMWR Weekly, December 24, 2010 / 59(50);1656]