French National Assembly Approves Abortion up to Birth

The French National Assembly has approved a number of amendments to the nation’s bioethics law, one of which would legalize abortion-on-demand up to birth.

By a vote of 60 in favor and 37 opposed, the legislators agreed to permit abortion at any time for a mother undergoing “psycho-social distress,” a nebulous term that allows healthcare workers total leeway to approve the procedure.

French law distinguishes between l’Interruption volontaire de grossesse (voluntary abortion), which must take place no later than the twelfth week of pregnancy, and l’interruption médicale de grossesse (medical abortion), which may be performed without restrictions up to birth.

Currently, late-term abortions require medical approval limited to cases of severe malformation of the fetus or when a pregnancy puts the mother’s life in danger, but the new law would expand this second form of abortion to include cases where the mother suffers “psycho-social distress.”

In its late-night vote last week to revamp the country’s bioethics law, the National Assembly also approved taxpayer-funded artificial procreation for lesbian couples, genetically modified embryos, and chimeras.

The French pro-life group Alliance Vita underscored that psycho-social distress is an “unverifiable criterion,” which opens the door for women to have a medical abortion for any reason.

“Those who know that it has NEVER been possible to verify distress, which was the former motive for voluntary abortion, will understand where the trap lies,” wrote Tugdual Derville, founder of Alliance Vita.

Commenting on the results of the vote, Bishop Bernard Ginoux of Montauban tweeted that “this is the way that civilizations die and the genius of peoples is annihilated,” adding that future generations “are in great danger.”

The bishops also expressed his dismay that out of 577 deputies in the National Assembly, just over 100 showed up for the vote, for a law that sanctions “major ethical transgressions” that have been rejected by the General Assembly of Bioethics.

At present, some 220,000 legal abortions take place every year in France but many fear the number will increase with the new amendments that would expand access to late-term abortions.

There were further objections over the lack of time taken to properly assess the Bill. Only 25 hours were given to discussion, while the amendment on artificial procreation was introduced a few hours before the vote on the whole text.

After its approval by the National Assembly, the Bill will now return to the Senate for a second reading.

A joint committee of the two houses will vote on the law later this year, but if no consensus is reached the National Assembly’s decision will be considered final.

Judicial Watch Obtains Records Showing FDA Paid for ‘Fresh and Never Frozen’ Human Fetal Parts for Use In ‘Humanized Mice’ Creation

Judicial Watch announced today it received 165 pages of records from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) showing the FDA between 2012 and 2018 entered into 8 contracts worth $96,370 with Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) to acquire “fresh and never frozen” tissue from 1st and 2nd trimester aborted fetuses for use in creating “humanized mice” for ongoing research.

ABR is a non-profit firm which has been the subject of criminal referrals from House and Senate committees investigating whether Planned Parenthood or any other entity was illegally profiting from the handling of fetal tissue from aborted babies.

Federal law regulates the purchase and acceptance of human fetal tissue for research purposes. It is unlawful to knowingly transfer fetal tissue for profit.

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department Health and Human Services (No. 1:19-cv-00876)) after HHS failed to respond adequately to a September 28, 2018, FOIA request seeking:

  1. All contracts and related documentation between FDA and Advanced Biosciences Resources (ABR) for the provision of human fetal tissue to be used in humanized mice research.
  1. All records reflecting the disbursement of funds to ABR for the provision of human fetal tissue to be used in humanized mice research.
  1. All guidelines and procedural documents provided to ABR by FDA relating to the acquisition and extraction of human fetal tissue for its provision to the FDA for humanized mice research.
  2. All communications between FDA officials and employees and representatives of ABR related to the provision by ABR to the FDA of human fetal tissue for the purpose of humanized mice research.

The new production of records shows a June 28, 2017, email exchange with the subject line “FDA RFQ” (Request for Quotation) between a redacted FDA contract specialist and an ABR official named Ms. Larton, in which the FDA official tells the ABR official, “I am tasked with the purchase of tissues suitable for HM [humanized mice] research. I would like to request a quote. Please review the Statement of Work and quote your pricing as outlined.” She then includes a table for 16 “Human Fetal Tissue – Liver”, 16 “Human Fetal Tissue – Thymus”, 16 HIV, HepA, HepB, HepC tests, and shipping and delivery. The Statement of Work notes:

The Division of Applied Regulatory Science (DARS) OCP/OTS/CDER is conducting a research program to evaluate the usefulness of humanized mice (HM) for regulatory purposes. The HM are created by surgical implantation of human tissue into mice that have multiple genetic mutations that block the development of the mouse immune system at a very early stage. The absence of the mouse immune system allows the human tissues to grow and develop into functional human tissues. As part of this process DARS needs to repeatedly acquire the proper type of tissues. In order for the humanization to proceed correctly we need to obtain fetal tissue with a specific set of specialized characteristics.

Among the specific characteristics are that the tissue be “Age range 16-24 weeks” and “Tissue must be fresh and never frozen.” An ABR official responds, saying “Your quote is attached.

In a June 12, 2017, email thread related to a “contract closeout” of a $24,500 contract between the FDA and Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) in a project titled “Human Tissue”. An FDA official emails an ABR official asking to “confirm all the items/services requested under this order were delivered and all payments processed, so that I may close out this contract…. Our records indicate funds in the amount of $15,090.00 to be de-obligated as a result of this closeout.” A screen shot of a database (called UFMS) print-out indicates a “Matched Amount” of $9,410. The difference between the “matched amount” and the contract value is $15,090. An ABR official responds on June 26, 2017, saying, “I confirm there are no outstanding invoices or [redacted] P.O. #HHSF223201510746P, and it is my understanding that there are no pending requests for tissue procurements on this P.O. at this time.”

In an email thread beginning July 14, 2017, an FDA contracting specialist advises ABR that “In order to properly document pricing, I require some documentation of your prices as offered to the public.” They ask for either redacted invoices or “a place on your website that lists prices”. An ABR representative responds:

We do not have a website, and we dont allow the public’ to request tissueIt is only sent to verified researchers whhave applied and have beeapproved to receive tissue.

As we are not selling items, we do not have prices. We assess fees for ouservices. Thonldocument provided then to qualified recipients woulbe our Fees For Services Schedule. I ve attached another copy of oucurrent Fee Schedule foyoureference. We’re small non-profit company, and the fees are the same foeveryone.

I hope this fulfills your requirement. Weve done business witthe F.D.A. fomany years and weve not experienced such rigorous procedures for the production of purchase orders. Will thiprocess be necessary for each P.O. created now?

The “Fees for Services Schedule” provided by ABR lists “Fetal Cadaverous Specimen Procurement” that includes pricing for “2nd trimester specimen (13 – 24 weeks)” and “1sttrimester specimen (8 – 12 weeks),” with the pricing amounts redacted. Under a section titled “Special Processing/Preservation” are fees for “Specimen ‘cleaning’”, “Snap freezing (LN2)”, “Passive freezing (dry ice)” and “Foreign shipments.”

A July 25, 2018, FDA “Order for Supplies or Services” to ABR called for the purchase of “humanized mice” for the period July 26, 2018, to July 25, 2019, for a contract amount of $15,900. The contract called for the provision of 15 sets of second trimester livers and thymuses, along with associated “HIV/HA/HB blood testing,” and shipping.

In a September 17, 2018, email from the FDA to ABR notifying ABR of the “Closeout” of for “Tissue procurement for humanized mice”, the FDA notes the contract value was $9,900, and that remaining funds for the purchase order existed of $2,430. The FDA asks ABR to “confirm if all the items/services requested under this order were delivered so that I may close out this contract.” The responding ABR official notes that although the FDA said that no invoices were submitted under the purchase order, and the ABR official adds that the FDA acknowledged that “there is a $7,470 difference between the noted Contract Value of $9,900 and REMAINING FUNDS of $2,430.” ABR further advises they would submit nine invoices under the contract, all of which were paid.

On September 24, 2018, the FDA terminated a contract with ABR to provide fetal tissue, saying: “[T]he Government is not sufficiently assured that the human tissue provided to the Government to humanize the immune systems of mice will comply with the prohibitions set forth under 42 U.S.C. § 289g-2.” The letter adds that “[T]he Government has concerns with the sufficiency of the sole-source justification.”

The law 42 USC 289g-2 involves “Prohibitions regarding human fetal tissue.”

HHS said in a statement on September 24, 2018, it was “conducting an audit of all acquisitions involving human fetal tissue to ensure conformity with procurement and human fetal tissue research laws and regulations.”

“These documents are a horror show,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These records show that the FDA was trafficking in human fetal parts. Incredibly, there continues to be a push to reopen these monstrous experiments!”

In February, Judicial Watch uncovered 676 pages of records from NIH showing that the agency paid thousands of dollars to California-based ABR to purchase organs from aborted human fetuses to create “humanized mice” for HIV research.

Source: Judicial Watch

Wikipedia Co-Founder Publishes Blog Post: Wikipedia Is Badly Biased

Dr. Lawrence M. Sanger, a world-renowned technologist, respected information expert, an in-demand public speaker, and co-founder of the online non-profit encyclopedia Wikipedia, wrote a blog on his website titled ‘Wikipedia Is Badly Biased.’

Wikipedia’s “NPOV” is dead.1 The original policy long since forgotten, Wikipedia no longer has an effective neutrality policy. There is a rewritten policy, but it endorses the utterly bankrupt canard that journalists should avoid what they call “false balance.”2 The notion that we should avoid “false balance” is directly contradictory to the original neutrality policy. As a result, even as journalists turn to opinion and activism, Wikipedia now touts controversial points of view on politics, religion, and science. Here are some examples from each of these subjects, which were easy to find, no hunting around. Many, many more could be given.

Wikipedia’s favorite president?

Examples have become embarrassingly easy to find. The Barack Obama article completely fails to mention many well-known scandals: Benghazi, the IRS scandal, the AP phone records scandal, and Fast and Furious, to say nothing of Solyndra or the Hillary Clinton email server scandal—or, of course, the developing “Obamagate” story in which Obama was personally involved in surveilling Donald Trump. A fair article about a major political figure certainly must include the bad with the good. The only scandals that I could find that were mentioned were a few that the left finds at least a little scandalous, such as Snowden’s revelations about NSA activities under Obama. In short, the article is almost a total whitewash. You might find this to be objectively correct; but you cannot claim that this is a neutral treatment, considering that the other major U.S. party would treat it differently. On such a topic, neutrality in any sense worth the name essentially requires that readers not be able to detect the editors’ political alignment.

Not Wikipedia’s favorite president

Meanwhile, as you can imagine, the idea that the Donald Trump article is neutral is a joke. Just for example, there are 5,224 none-too-flattering words in the “Presidency” section. By contrast, the following “Public Profile” (which the Obama article entirely lacks), “Investigations,” and “Impeachment” sections are unrelentingly negative, and together add up to some 4,545 words—in other words, the controversy sections are almost as long as the sections about his presidency. Common words in the article are “false” and “falsely” (46 instances): Wikipedia frequently asserts, in its own voice, that many of Trump’s statements are “false.” Well, perhaps they are. But even if they are, it is not exactly neutral for an encyclopedia article to say so, especially without attribution. You might approve of Wikipedia describing Trump’s incorrect statements as “false,” very well; but then you must admit that you no longer support a policy of neutrality on Wikipedia.

I leave the glowing Hillary Clinton article as an exercise for the reader.

Wikipedia can be counted on to cover not just political figures, but political issues as well from a liberal-left point of view. No conservative would write, in an abortion article, “When properly done, abortion is one of the safest procedures in medicine,” a claim that is questionable on its face, considering what an invasive, psychologically distressing, and sometimes lengthy procedure it can be even when done according to modern medical practices. More to the point, abortion opponents consider the fetus to be a human being with rights; their view, that it is not safe for the baby, is utterly ignored. To pick another, random issue, drug legalization, dubbed drug liberalization by Wikipedia, has only a little information about any potential hazards of drug legalization policies; it mostly serves as a brief for legalization, followed by a catalog of drug policies worldwide. Or to take an up-to-the-minute issue, the LGBT adoption article includes several talking points in favor of LGBT adoption rights, but omits any arguments against. On all such issues, the point is that true neutrality, to be carefully distinguished from objectivity, requires that the article be written in a way that makes it impossible to determine the editors’ position on the important controversies the article touches on.

What about articles on religious topics? The first article I thought to look at had some pretty egregious instances of bias: the Jesus article. It simply asserts, again in its own voice, that “the quest for the historical Jesus has yielded major uncertainty on the historical reliability of the Gospels and on how closely the Jesus portrayed in the Bible reflects the historical Jesus.” In another place, the article simply asserts, “the gospels are not independent nor consistent records of Jesus’ life.” A great many Christians would take issue with such statements, which means it is not neutral for that reason—in other words, the very fact that most Christians believe in the historical reliability of the Gospels, and that they are wholly consistent, means that the article is biased if it simply asserts, without attribution or qualification, that this is a matter of “major uncertainty.” In other respects, the article can be fairly described as a “liberal” academic discussion of Jesus, focusing especially on assorted difficulties and controversies, while failing to explain traditional or orthodox views of those issues. So it might be “academic,” but what it is not is neutral in the original sense we defined for Wikipedia.

Of course, similarly tendentious claims can be found in other articles on religious topics, as when the Christ (title) article claims,

Although the original followers of Jesus believed Jesus to be the Jewish messiah, e.g. in the Confession of Peter, Jesus was usually referred to as “Jesus of Nazareth” or “Jesus, son of Joseph”.[11] Jesus came to be called “Jesus Christ” (meaning “Jesus the Khristós”, i.e. “Jesus the Messiah” or “Jesus the Anointed”) by later Christians, who believe that his crucifixion and resurrection fulfill the messianic prophecies of the Old Testament.

This article weirdly claims, or implies, a thing that no serious Biblical scholar of any sort would claim, viz., that Jesus was not given the title “Christ” by the original apostles in the New Testament. These supposed “later Christians” who used “Christ” would have to include the apostles Peter (Jesus’ first apostle), Paul (converted a few years after Jesus’ crucifixion), and Jude (Jesus’ brother), who were the authors of the bulk of the epistles of the New Testament. “Christ” can, of course, be found frequently in the epistles.3 Of course, those are not exactly “later Christians.” If the claim is simply that the word “Christ” does not appear much in the Gospels, that is true enough (though it can be found four times in the book of John), but it is also a reflection of the fact that the authors of the Gospels instead used “Messiah,” and quite frequently; the word means much the same as “Christ.” For example, he is called “Jesus the Messiah” in the very first verse of the New Testament (Matthew 1:1). Clearly, these claims are tendentious and represent a point of view that many if not most Christians would dispute.

It may seem more problematic to speak of the bias of scientific articles, because many people do not want to see “unscientific” views covered in encyclopedia articles. If such articles are “biased in favor of science,” some people naturally find that to be a feature, not a bug. The problem, though, is that scientists sometimes do not agree on which theories are and are not scientific. On such issues, the “scientific point of view” and the “objective point of view” according to the Establishment might be very much opposed to neutrality. So when the Establishment seems unified on a certain view of a scientific controversy, then that is the view that is taken for granted, and often aggressively asserted, by Wikipedia.

The global warming and MMR vaccine articles are examples; I hardly need to dive into these pages, since it is quite enough to say that they endorse definite positions that scientific minorities reject. Another example is how Wikipedia treats various topics in alternative medicine—often dismissively, and frequently labeled as “pseudoscience” in Wikipedia’s own voice. Indeed, Wikipedia defines the very term as follows: “Alternative medicine describes any practice that aims to achieve the healing effects of medicine, but which lacks biological plausibility and is untesteduntestable or proven ineffective.” In all these cases, genuine neutrality requires a different sort of treatment.

Again, other examples could be found, in no doubt thousands of other, perfectly unexciting topics. These are just the first topics that came to mind, associated as they are with the culture wars, and their articles on those topics put Wikipedia very decidedly on one side of that war. You should not be able to say that about an encyclopedia that claims to be neutral.

It is time for Wikipedia to come clean and admit that it has abandoned NPOV (i.e., neutrality as a policy). At the very least they should admit that that they have redefined the term in a way that makes it utterly incompatible with its original notion of neutrality, which is the ordinary and common one.4 It might be better to embrace a “credibility” policy and admit that their notion of what is credible does, in fact, bias them against conservatism, traditional religiosity, and minority perspectives on science and medicine—to say nothing of many other topics on which Wikipedia has biases.

Of course, Wikipedians are unlikely to make any such change; they live in a fantasy world of their own making.5

The world would be better served by an independent and decentralized encyclopedia network, such as I proposed with the Encyclosphere. We will certainly develop such a network, but if it is to remain fully independent of all governmental and big corporate interests, funds are naturally scarce and it will take time.

  1. The misbegotten phrase “neutral point of view” is a Jimmy Wales coinage I never supported. If a text is neutral with regard to an issue, it lacks any “point of view” with regard to the issue; it does not take a “neutral point of view.” My preferred phrase was always “the neutrality policy” or “the nonbias policy.”[]
  2. On this, see my “Why Neutrality?“, published 2015 by Ballotpedia.[]
  3. Both in the form “Jesus Christ” (e.g., 1 Peter 1:1, Jude 1:1) and in the form “Christ Jesus” (1 Corinthians 1:2).[]
  4. That it was Wikipedia’s original notion, see the Nupedia “Lack of Bias” policy, which was the source of Wikipedia’s policy, and see also my final (2001) version of the Wikipedia neutrality policy. Read my “Why Neutrality?” for a lengthy discussion of this notion.[]
  5. UPDATE: In an earlier version of this blog post, I included some screenshots of Wikipedia Alexa rankings, showing a drop from 5 to 12 or 13. While this is perfectly accurate, the traffic to the site has been more or less flat for years, until the last few months, in which traffic spiked probably because of the Covid-19 virus. But since the drop in Alexa rankings do not seem to reflect a drop in traffic, I decided to remove the screenshots and a couple accompanying sentences.[]

Source: https://larrysanger.org/2020/05/wikipedia-is-badly-biased/

Fox Stonewalls Pro-life Group from Running ‘Abortion Survivors’ Ad on Super Bowl Sunday

(LifeSiteNews) – The pro-life group that created the powerful abortion survivor TV ad played at the March for Life last week is calling out Fox Sports Network for stonewalling them and refusing to approve their ad to run in a slot on Super Bowl Sunday this coming weekend.

Faces of Choice, a new non-profit whose ad featuring 14 survivors of abortion was shown at the March for Life, say they have been “given the runaround” by the network for six months.

The ad, which features the faces and stories of abortion survivors, is designed to raise awareness of the survivors of abortion who all univocally make it clear that they are persons and not a “choice.” Faces of Choice applied to run a 30-second version of the ad. The ad doesn’t mention abortion. Faces of Choice says it has been carefully produced so that it is appropriate for the Super Bowl audience.

Lyric Gillett, founder of Faces of Choice, told LifeSiteNews she has invested thousands of dollars and hundreds of working hours after the network approved her storyboard for the advert months ago.

Gillett told LifeSite that the application was originally made in July, but that over the following months, members of the Fox legal department made a series of further inquiries without ever approving the application. Gillett said that they had answered every question the legal team asked and provided all necessary documentation.

“We were one of the very first people to submit anything to them. We met every single stipulation that they asked for and every time we met the line they moved the line further to request something else,” Gillett told LifeSite.

Gillett says that she was initially advised that they would be informed if the application was successful in October 2019. But no answer was given. “We were told over and over again ‘you’re going to get an answer’, but we never got anything,” she said.

Gillett told LifeSite that at one stage, they were told by the Fox legal department that they wanted to know everybody who was donating towards or sponsoring the ad. She told LifeSite that although this was “really an untenable request,” they nevertheless provided information on major figures who had supported the effort.

In November last year, Gillett said that she wrote to the legal team saying that the delay in approving the ad meant that they risked going past the time of year when potential sponsors would commit to making financial donations. She says that she was then told on a Friday that they would be given an answer on the following Monday, because the relevant personnel at Fox didn’t work over the weekend. The following Monday Gillett says she was informed that the advertising slots had sold out.

Advised by her experienced media buyer that additional slots always become available at a later date, Gillett asked the Fox legal team to authorize the application so that they would be eligible to secure any slots that might become available. That request for authorization was refused. When Fox announced last week that more slots had become available, Gillett re-submitted the application but has had no response thus far.

“I think it’s very clever what they’re doing. If they directly said ‘no’ then we could say ‘this is asinine, look at the suitable ad that Fox rejected’, but they haven’t directly said ‘no,’ they’ve ignored us, wasted our time, refused to give an answer and refused to either give us clearance or simply say ‘no,’” Gillett said.

Gillett told LifeSite that the abortion survivors featured in the ad “have been ignored their whole lives and that they now faced being ignored again.”

LifeSite has contacted Fox to ask why the Faces of Choice application has not been approved or if they can provide any comment on the claim that Faces of Choice have “been given the runaround” by the network. Fox did not respond by the time of publication.

In a press statement, Gillett stressed the potential positive impact the ad could have for the pro-life movement and unborn babies.

“Every great human rights movement in history has been anchored in the stories and the faces of its victims,” she said. “That’s what we aim to do; we simply want to tell their forgotten stories and there’s no larger mega-phone than the Super Bowl. After months of correspondence with the Fox Sports Network, we are asking for a definitive answer immediately.”

Faces of Choice is now working on a campaign with My Faith Votes to run a petition and email campaign asking Fox Sports Network to approve and air the ad.

“Fox Sports needs to hear from thousands of pro-life Americans, today,” said CEO of My Faith Votes, Jason Yates. “There’s no time to wait. Go online now and sign the petition.”

Americans who want the ad accepted and played during the Super Bowl are encouraged to sign the petition and join the email campaign being run by Faces of Choice and My Faith Votes.

Last year’s Super Bowl reportedly averaged over 100 million viewers. Yesterday, NBC News reported that two drag queens would feature in an ad for the hummus brand Sabra during the broadcast.

Sourcehttps://www.lifesitenews.com/news/fox-network-stonewalls-pro-life-group-from-running-abortion-survivors-ad-on-super-bowl-sunday

42 Million Babies Aborted in 2019, Now the Leading Worldwide Cause of Death

According to the tracking service, Worldometers, 42 million abortions were carried out around the world in 2019. For another year, abortion became the leading cause of death in the world.

As of December 31, Worldometers recorded 42.4 million abortions, which represented more than half the total number of deaths by every other cause (58.6 million). Lifesite News reported that abortions “dwarfed every individual cause of death, including overall deaths due to disease (13 million).”

However, the true total number of abortions is murky because Worldometers uses statistics on health and mortality from the World Health Organization (WHO), which then relies on figures from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute.

“(O)f the 56.3 million global abortions Guttmacher estimates annually, no more than 10 percent can be officially accounted for and only 23 percent have any basis in empirical evidence,” Abort73’s Michael Spielman wrote. “The other 77 percent are assumed based upon a complex statistical model that estimates” a number of factors. Furthermore, Guttmacher “assume(s) a constant abortion rate that is unaffected by the legality of abortion,” potentially to skew the numbers in a way that favors the abortion lobby’s assertion that pro-life laws are ineffective.

Worldometers found similar figures last year, which prompted left-wing outlets such as Snopes to try to downplay the news not by challenging the numbers but by claiming that abortion should not be classified a “cause of death.” However, science shows that embryos and fetuses destroyed in the abortion process are living human beings.

Worldometers does real time tracking on a wide variety of topics relying on data from sources such as the United Nations, WHO, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and more.

As of January 2, Worldometers has already tracked more than 190,000 worldwide abortions so far in 2020.

The right to life is sacred and is clearly not being respected across the globe.

Last year pro-life activists were able to score some big wins in states like Alabama and Georgia by passing heartbeat legislation.

If pro-lifers want to see abortion numbers drop in 2020, they will need to take their activism to the next level.

Source: Big League Politics