Babies are now living before they are legally “viable”

Legally, a fetus is not considered “viable” until 24 weeks, at which time certain protections may kick in.  But now, according to a new study, a baby may very well be viable–that is, able to survive outside the womb–at 22 weeks, and possibly earlier, especially as medical technology keeps getting better. [Read more...]

“Editing” embryos

Researchers are crossing the line into direct “editing” of human embryos, amounting to genetically modifying human beings.

Some of those who don’t approve of genetically modifying vegetables may not mind doing the same thing to babies.  But the new research is stirring up controversy in the scientific community. [Read more...]

ACLU gets Catholic hospital to sterlize a woman

The ACLU threatened to sue a Catholic hospital for refusing to perform a sterilization procedure requested by a woman.  So it gave in, violating Catholic teachings.

I suspect the hospital could have won that legal battle.  But now not only lawsuits but the threat of lawsuits–with their huge financial toll even in a winning case–have become cudgels to extort compliance with ACLU demands.  I know of small towns that have removed religious imagery from their logos for similar threats.

Honest question:  Doesn’t the American Civil Liberties Union consider religion to be a civil liberty? [Read more...]

Why there is heroin in the heartland

Heroin used to be a plague in the big cities, but today heroin addiction is rampant in the small towns of America’s heartland.  Rod Dreher reviews what sounds like an important book, Sam Quinones, Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic.  It is a tale of a peaceful network of illegal immigrants, a new marketing strategy featuring personal deliveries and customer service, and the legacy of pain pill addiction.  Underlying it all is the goal of avoiding all pain and of attaining a state of “permanent pleasure.” [Read more...]

Planned Parenthood fights back against defunding

We taxpayers give Planned Parenthood a half-billion dollars a year, something a measure that goes before the Senate as early as this evening would end.  So the abortion-industrial complex has issued talking points for its followers (see this and this in a single issue of the Washington Post) arguing that to defund Planned Parenthood would be a pro-abortion bill.  The reasoning being that if the organization can’t give give out contraceptives, then there will be more abortions.

But even if you accept the premise that contraceptives are a good thing, Obamacare makes them free from any drug store!  And even those who don’t have health insurance, even the government-subsidized plans, can get them free from community health clinics.  There are 9,059 of those, compared to 669 Planned Parenthood offices.  Even taking abortion off the table, why should taxpayers give all that money to Planned Parenthood AND the community clinics AND the insurance companies in Obamacare? [Read more...]

The power of feeling what someone else feels

Empathy is an important virtue–”rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15)–but there is also a neurological condition in which individuals actually do feel what those around them feel.  It’s called “mirror touch synesthesia.”   This is the first I’ve heard of it, coming across the article excerpted after the jump, but supposedly 1%-2% of the population has it.

Which means that out of every hundred people, one or two people have this power.  Which means that of you readers, who number in the thousands, there are lots and lots of you who can do this.  If any of you have mirror touch synesthesia, please tell us about it.

Another curious thought is that this is also reportedly the percentage of people who have same sex attraction (2%)!  So there are as many people with mirror touch synesthesia as are gay!  And yet I’ve never heard of it.  My impulse is to be skeptical, but it is apparently legit.  Here is the Wikipedia article on this mysterious yet common super power. [Read more...]