Thursday, January 28, 2010

Adventures in Plasma Donation

Ok, so since I'm strapped for cash right now and I've been a blood donor before, I'm considering donating plasma. I've already looked into the whole process and the place where I'd be going and it looks clean and the process appears to be safe, and there is a strict screening process for donors. Apparently these places are regulated by the FDA and an independent regulatory organization and are basically operated by pharmaceutical companies, which then use the plasma to manufactor medications for those with clotting disorders, immune disorders, burns, etc. But I have some concerns because donating plasma seems to carry stigma based on some of the cientele they receive and because you receive money in return. I have an appointment this Monday and am a bit nervous.

Update 2/02:
Ok, it's Monday and my first appointment. I wasn't able to get anyone else to go with me, both my best friend and my parents are firmly against selling plasma for ethical reasons. So I borrowed a family member's pickup truck (remember, I'm still without a vehicle since my car accident in December) and went to my appointment by myself. I made sure to have the required identification documents (letter of proof of social security number from the social security office, driver's license, and a piece of mail for proof of mailing address), a book to read, and my CD player with a book on CD to pass the time during the wait and procedure. The first thing I noticed when I walked in was 1) How busy they were 2) All the staff handling clients apeared to be phlebotomists and other medical professionals (including those operating the front desk) and were using universal precautions and wearing lab coats, 3) How clean and ultra-modern the place looked, and 4) They have a nice supervised playroom for the children of clients. After a short wait, they got my information put into the computer, my finger print scanned (to login each time), took me back to the procedure area and had a phlebotomist check my veins, then took me back up front and showed me how to do the automated medical history questionare on a self-service computer. After I filled out the history questionare, I was then taken into a small private office to review my history questionare with one of the medical staff. She reviewed my prescription medications and asked what condition they were for, and how long I've been taking them, but seemed particularly interested in the medication I'm on for depression. Uh oh, I thought, something's wrong, that isn't on the medication deferral list (I know from being a whole blood donor). She then took me back to her office/examine room for a short physical examination to make sure that donating won't adversely affect my health, a part of the normal screening process. On the way back, out of curiousity, I asked what her titled was and she told me licensed nurse practioner, with a bit of an attitude (like, "Why'd you ask that?") but over all was professional. Once we were in her office, she explained that I couldn't donate today, that I'd need to be on my medication for 30 days to make sure the medication was at its peak dose in my blood stream, because the medication is present in plasma and when a person donates plasma, it can temporarily lower the amount of medication in ones blood stream. Because of this, she explained, for certain medical conditions, where a patient needs to have their medication consistantly in their blood stream, they would need the prescribing doctor's approval before they can let the person donate, and such as my case and they would need my physician's approval before they can let me donate.

She then had me fill out a release of information form and handed me a form to have my primary care physician, who's been treating me for my depression, to fill out and to fax back to the plasma center. Then the medical director of the plasma center has to review what my physician wrote to determine whether or not I'm eligable to donate. Well, that was that. I need to get a physical because I'm going back to school and I'm due for an annual medication review for my depression anyways, so after leaving the plasma center, I headed over to my primary care physician's office to drop off the form and to schedule an appointment. So I have an appointment at my primary care physician next Monday and may have to wait until I've been on my medicine for 30 days before I can donate, depending on what my primary care doc writes on the form for the plasma center and if the plasma center director approves me. Darn! I was hoping I could start donating today, not to mention I've been drinking like a liter and a half of Gatorade (sports drink electrolyte replacement) over the last 24 hours so I'm adequitely hydrated in anticipation of donating and really had to pee! So that was my initial experience and the place I'm going to looks clean and safe and as you can see, it's a thorough screening process, not just anyone off the street can donate plasma. Despite all lengthy screening process and challenges which have arose, if I'm approved, I'd like to still donate.

Update 2/9:
It's been a week and so I followed up with the plasma center via a phone call to see if they had received the form back from my physician's office and if my physician had given the ok for me to donate and apparently he had. Now I just have to wait until I've been on my medicine for a month before I can make the actual appointment to donate.

Update 3/10:
I had an actual donation appointment today, but because I hadn't ate an actual meal beforehand (meal replacement shakes don't count I guess) and they prefer you do as to minimize side effects, they deferred me until tomarrow, but went ahead and took a test tube of blood to test for any blood-borne pathogens (such as HIV and viral hepatitis) which might make my blood and blood products unsafe to use, a normal part of the screening process. Normally the screening process, the physical, medical questionare, and test tube of blood are all done in one appointment, but because I had to have a physician's ok, it was a bit more drawn out.

Update 3/11:
Yea, I was able to donate today! I made sure to eat a good breakfast this time before my appointment. I got there a little early and got logged in at the front desk and because I was a first time donor, I got a bag of gold-fish crackers and a bottle of water to drink. Once I finished my snack, I filled out an automated medical history questionare on a self-service computer. I then was called to chair along a large round counter where a phlebotomist (or lab tech) weighed me (to determine how much plasma can be donated), took my blood pressure and temperature, and took a finger-prick of blood to check the iron and protein levels in my blood. Everything was good, so next I proceeded to a large room where the actual plasma donation would take place, and took a seat in a recliner next to a plasmapheresis machine. Donating plasma is similar in many ways to whole blood donation. First a blood pressure cuff is put around my arm and then the tech hooked up the disposable tubing. Then the tech will felt for a vein in the bend of my arm and marked it, my skin was cleaned well with betadine, and a needle is inserted into the vein. I know having a needle inserted interveinously isn't fun, but honestly I think the finger prick hurt more than having the needle inserted. The machine was then set for the amount of plasma to be collected and the process begain. In the first cycle, blood is drawn through the needle and into tubing, up into a spinning tube which seperates the plasma from the rest of the blood products, the blood products then run out of the tube, down a line where it mixes with an anticoagulant (to keep it flowing) and collects in a small resevoir. Once a pint of blood has been collected in the resevoir, the machine stops and enters the next cycle, in which the blood and is then pumped back into the body. The anticoagulant used (citric acid) gave me an awful metallic taste in my mouth and made my lips tingle at first. Once the resevoir is empty again, the first cycle begins again and this continues until 520 to 820 ml of plasma is collected. Once the process is complete, the machine automatically switched off, with the machine chirrpring and moniter screen showing the process is complete. Then the phlebotomist then changed the settings so that an infusion of normal saline drip was given to help rehydrate me and prevent dizziness; however at normal room temperature (15 to 20 degrees below normal body temperature), the saline feels cold and made me shiver, I think next time I'll bring a blanket! The tape holding the tubing in place on my arm was removed (and I got free hair removal on my arm :p) and the needle was removed and a piece of colorful elastic bandage was wrapped around my arm. I got a purple one, only my favorite color. I felt well with no side effects and so was released. I then checked out on the finger scanner, receiving $20 credited a a debit card I received, a worthy incentive I might add. Overall, the process wasn't that bad nor that big of a deal and I look forward to donating again in the near future.

Also, the following is a pretty thorough, honest, and informative article about plasma donation:
Pimping For Plasma - The Truth Behind Plasma “Donations”

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Legal but No Safer - Shoddy Abortion Practices Continue in the U.S.

This article will be addressing continuing unsafe abortion practices in the United States. Let me start out with an excerpt of an article:
"Although thousands of abortion procedures are performed every year without incident, the procedure does carry risks, and some complications of abortion can be extremely serious, even life-threatening. In certain cases, negligence on the part of a medical professional can cause or contribute to complications of abortion. Women who have procedures performed incorrectly or incompletely may suffer complications of abortion including perforation of the uterus, infection, and endotoxic shock. Some complications of abortion are long-term, such as the possibility of an increased risk for certain cancers and ectopic pregnancies. Patients should be warned of the risk of complications of abortion before deciding to go ahead with the procedure, but surgical mistakes and medical negligence are not considered acceptable risks." 

Despite legalization, women are continuing to experience and die from abortion complications; however, women are dying from foreseeable and preventable complications due to inexcusable poor clinic conditions and carelessness and neglect on the part of abortion providers, which is supported by the following statistics and actual cases.

According to the CDC Abortion Surveillance taken during the years 1972 to 2002, the total number of deaths due to legal induced abortion were highest before the 1980s (despite widespread legalization in 1973) and during the years 1972 to 2002 there were more deaths due to legal abortions than illegal abortions, with a steady trend of of  12.6 abortion deaths average  a year in the United States (see table 19), however the CDC admits that because these data are reported voluntarily, several limitations and under-reporting exist (see Limitations). Medscape's continuing medical education website, E-Medicine, features the following complication and mortality statistics for abortion:
Abortion Complications: complications of spontaneous and therapeutic abortions include (1) complications of anesthesia, (2) postabortion triad (ie, pain, bleeding, low-grade fever), (3) hematometra, (4) retained products of conception, (5) uterine perforation, (6) bowel and bladder injury, (7) failed abortion, (8) septic abortion, (9) cervical shock, (10) cervical laceration, and (11) disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Frequency of complications depends on gestational age at time of abortion and method of abortion. Reported complication rates according to gestational age at time of abortion are as follows: for 8 weeks and under - Less than 1% or less than 17,300 women will experience complications, for 8-12 weeks - 1.5 to 2% or 25,950 to 34,600 women, 12-13 weeks - 3 to 6% or 51,900 to 103,800 women, Second trimester - Up to 50% or 865,000 women, possibly higher.

Mortality and morbidity depend on gestational age (GA) at time of abortion. In the US, mortality rates per 100,000 abortions are as follows: (1) fewer than 8 weeks - 0.5; (2) 11-12 weeks -2.2; (3) 16-20 weeks - 14; and (4) more than 21 weeks- 18. Let me put this into perspective for you. Consider that in 2002, 1.3 million abortions were preformed and and 430,000 spontaneous abortions occured in the United States, (source: Unintended Pregnancy Statistics) for this purpose, a total of 1.73 million, correlating the number of total spontaneous and elective abortions to the above mortality rates for spontaneous and elective abortions,  this translates to the following statistic number of mortalities (or deaths) which occur for spontaneous and elective abortions (but keep in mind the actual numbers may be higher or lower), (1) fewer than 8 weeks, 8.7 deaths, (2)11-12 weeks, 38 deaths, (3) 16-20 weeks, 242 deaths, 4) more than 21 weeks, 311 deaths.

Cases of Legal Abortion Deaths from 2000-201

Abortion Reportedly Kills Woman in New York at A1 Medicine Abortion Center
The below news reporting agencies also confirm LifeSite's news report
Woman Dies While Undergoing Apparent Abortion - WPIX TV New York
New York Daily News: Queens clinic A1 Medicine probed after Alexandra Nunez is fatally injured

New York, NY -- A New York woman has apparently died as a result of a failed abortion done at the A-1 Women's Care abortion center located in the Jackson Heights section of Queens. Reports indicate emergency officials responded to an emergency call from the A1 Medicine facility at 95-45 Roosevelt on Monday afternoon.

WPIX-TV indicates a woman in her 30s was reportedly undergoing heavy bleeding and was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital Center where she was later pronounced dead.

The television station indicates an investigation into the failed abortion is ongoing and that one question officials are examining is whether the center was licensed to do abortions.

Another local media outlet, 1010 WINS, indicated the abortion practitioner severed an artery during the abortion procedure.

The A-1 Women's Care abortion business does abortions but advertises gynecology and plastic surgery on the sign located outside the building.

No one from the abortion business answered the phone when contacted it for information or a quote about this story.

The New York state department of health lists A1 Medicine as a facility for plastic surgery accredited by The Joint Commission on July 13, 2009.

Other media reports indicate the second-floor office specializes in plastic surgery, laser wrinkle surgery, skin depigmentation and liposuction but does abortions as well.

Local news agencies indicated the center was still taking appointments for abortions.

This failed abortion comes after a California medical board said an abortion practitioner who killed a woman last year in a botched abortion must stop doing them. However, to the chagrin of pro-life advocates, a judge did not revoke the medical license of Andrew Rutland, as happened years ago before reinstating it.

Rutland surrendered his license in October 2002 after a two-year state investigation that resulted in accusations of negligence, misconduct and incompetence in his treatment of 20 pregnant women, newborns and gynecological patients

Rutland faced a Thursday hearing in front of the California Medical Board at a hearing in San Diego after documents showed Rutland killed a woman during an abortion by administering anesthesia to her and not knowing the proper dosage.

A judge ordered Rutland to stop doing abortions until a more thorough hearing on the case could be held.
Also late-term abortion provider Pierre Renelique's FL medical license was revoked following his part in the alleged murder of neonate, Shaunice Williams. Renelique was the abortion provider on call when in 2006, Sycloria Williams delivered a live baby girl, who she named Shaunice, during a botched abortion. A Gyn Diagnostics clinc owner Belkis Gonzalez allegedly then killed the neonate and threw her body in a biohazard bag and onto her Hialeah, FL, clinic roof to hide the evidence from police. Pierre Renelique preformed a D&E on the client and then falsified the records to cover Renelique's mistake. On February 16, 2009, the State of FL revoked Renelique's medical license and a lawsuit against him is pending. Pierre Renelique then moved and began to practice medicine again, this time in NY. However his past caught up with him and NY officials put Renelique on a 2-year probation.
(sources: here, here, and here)

Also this follows Abortion practitioner Alberto Hodari, based in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, fined $10,000 in 2009, by a state board in connection with a woman's botched abortion death (source). Hodari is facing civil and possibly criminal charges after he allegedly had a staffer hold a teen down and performed an abortion on her against her will (source). Also Hodari was implicated in the death of Tamia Russell, a 15 years old girl who died in January of 2004, after an abortion at over 26 weeks gestation. The abortion was arrainged by her boyfriend's sister and paid for by her 24 yrs old boyfriend, who paid Hodari $2,000 in cash. Tamia died from complications of the abortion less than 24 hours after the procedure at Hodari's Womancare clinic of Southfield/Lathrup Village (source). Most recently, a lawsuit filed January 28, 2010, is accusing Hodari of assault and battery for committing a intrauterine abortion on a woman who was actually carrying an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy. Hodari and the clinic failed to inform the woman of the ectopic pregnancy and to properly treat the ectopic pregnancy, instead preforming an unncessary intrauterine abortion (source). Hodari and/or his Womancare clinic have a number of lawsuits against them: All cases can be accessed by visiting the county’s circuit court office (from which the case was filed), just present the case number. Current Oakland County files may be sent to a personal e-mail address for a charge of $1 per a page at:

The following are other client cases as well as disciplinary action against doctors and clinics; evidence of the continuing medical malpractice and neglect occuring within the practice of abortion services.

Kimberly K. Neil : Date of Death: May 22, 2000. Place of Death: Family Planning Associates, Los Angeles, California. Abortionist: Kenneth L. Wright. "Fresno Abortion Practitioner Sued for Abortion Death, Botched Abortion." Fresno Bee, August 18, 2001; "Kenneth Wright Loses Abortion Patient.", August 22, 2001.

Nicey Washington, age 26, : Date of Death: June 6, 2000. Place of Death: Ambulatory Surgery Center, Brooklyn, New York. Abortionist: Unknown. "City, State Probe Patient Death at Abortion Clinic." New York Post, June 9, 2000.

L'Echelle Renee Head, 21,  died October 11, 2000. Place of Death: Dayton Women's Services, Dayton, Ohio. Abortionist:

Brenda A. Vise : Date of Death: September 12, 2001. Place of Death: Volunteer Women's Medical Clinic, Knoxville, Tennessee. Abortionist: RU-486 death. Christine Hall. "Lawsuit Alleges Medical Malpractice in RU-486-Related Death.", September 3, 2002. Jane Roe of Vancouver, BC : Date of Death: August 31, 2001. Place of Death: Vancouver, British Columbia. Abortionist: RU-486 death. Celeste McGovern. "Woman Dies in Canadian Abortion-Pill Testing." National Catholic Register, October 7-13, 2001.

Diana Lopez, age 25 : Date of Death: February 28, 2002. Place of Death: Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles, California. Abortionist: Mark Maltzer. Sandra Schmerz. Diana Lopez, a 25-year-old Huntington Park woman, bled to death after her cervix was punctured during the procedure.
Los Angeles County Coroner's Report #2002-01721

Cherry Hill Women's Center; Dr. Charles Benjamin

Cherry Hill, New Jersey - 2003
Failure to obtain parental consent and informed consent

Settled out of court
Holly Patterson : Date of Death: September 17, 2003. Place of Death: Planned Parenthood of Hayward, California. Abortionist: RU-486 abortion pill fatality. Kara Platoni. "The Making of a Martyr." East Bay Express, December 17, 2003; Julian Guthrie. "Pregnant Teen's Death Under Investigation." San Francisco Chronicle, September 19, 2003; "Parents of Abortion Drug Victim Sue Drug Company and Planned Parenthood." Culture & Cosmos [Culture of Life Foundation], December 28, 2004 [Volume 2, Number 22].

Leigh Ann Stephens Alford, age 34, died November 26, 2003 of complications of an abortion preformed by Malachy DeHenre and Andy Kanengiser at Summit Medical Center, Birmingham, Alabama, which resulted in the suspension of the license of one of the abortion providers.
"Abortion Death Cited in Action Against Doctor: Ala. Suspends License of Jackson Abortion Practitioner." The Clarion Ledger, August 14, 2004; Associated Press, August 19, 2004.

Oriane Shevin, age 34 : Date of Death: June 14, 2005. Place of Death: Eve Surgical Center, Los Angeles, California. Abortionist: Unknown. Maria L. La Ganga. "FDA Warns Patients." Los Angeles Times, August 15, 2005.
Christin Gilbert, a young woman with Down Syndrome, died January 2005 as results of complications of an abortion procedure preformed by George Tiller at Women's Health Care Services, Wichita, Kansas. "Woman's Death After Abortion Not a Crime, Jury Finds." The Wichita Eagle, August 1, 2006.

Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio Region

Ohio - 2005
Failure to obtain parental consent; failure to report statutory rape
Case status not known

Dr. Deborah Levich - Medical license suspended

Alabama - 2006 Use of early-term abortion pill on late-term patient
Erica Goode, died February 14, 2007 Planned Parenthood, Riverside, California.  Edrica Goode, 21, went to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Riverside for an abortion Jan. 31 and that a nurse inserted cervical dilators, used to gradually expand the cervix in preparation for second-trimester abortions, despite the fact that the nurse noted Goode had a vaginal infection. Goode then became feverish and disoriented and did not report back to the abortion clinic for the removal of the dilators. Goode's mother, Aletheia Meloncon, was unaware of the abortion. She described her daughter as having become "mentally unstable." She took her to a Moreno Valley hospital where, due to a lack of knowledge about the abortion, proper treatment was delayed and she eventually died.,0,885364.story?coll=la-home-local

Smith, Laura Hope : Date of Death: September 13, 2007. Place of Death: Women's Health Center, Hyannis, Massachusetts. Abortionist: Rapin Osathanondh. Gail Besse. "Abortion Business Death Raises Questions." National Catholic Register, October 21-27, 2007; Steven Ertelt. "Mainstream Media Finally Reports Massachusetts Woman's Abortion Death.", October 22, 2007.
Abortion Malpractice: Exploring the Safety of Legal Abortion

Metropolitan Medical Associates: Dr. Keith Gresham & Dr. Nicholas Kotopoulos
Englewood, New Jersey - 2007
Medical malpractice
Settled out of court

Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri
Overland Park, Kansas - 2007
Providing unlawful late-term abortions
Case Status: Ongoing,2933,302919,00.html

Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California - 2008 Medicaid fraud
Case status not known

Dr. Hamid Hussain Sheikh
Lexington, Kentucky
2008 Unsanitary abortion facility, Medicaid fraud
Case Status: Ongoing, medical license suspended

James Pendergraft
Orlando, Florida - 2008
Medical malpractice
Medical license suspended

Dr. Rapin Osathanondh
Massachusetts - 2008
Medical negligence resulting in maternal death
Case Status: Ongoing. Medical license revoked.

Planned Parenthood of Nebraska and Council Bluffs; Dr. Meryl Severson
Lincoln, Nebraska - 2007
Botched abortion: perforated uterus
Case status not known

South Dakota Planned Parenthood
Sioux Falls, South Dakota - 2009
Failure to comply with informed consent law

Planned Parenthood of San Antonio
San Antonio, Texas - 2009
Performing abortions without a license

Planned Parenthood of the Inland Northwest
Spokane, Washington - 2009
Medicaid fraud, drug distribution by unauthorized personnel

Gentilly Medical Clinic for Women
New Orleans, Louisiana
2010 Violation of state health standards
Medical license revoked

James Pendergraft, medical license suspended according to a order on the Florida board of medicine website
365 Women Who Have Been Killed by "Safe" and Legal Abortion

Abortion Deaths Prior To and After Legalization

Abortion Lawsuits Archive

It's time to put women's safety first. It's time for abortion-rights activist to also step up to the plate and demand better care for women.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

March for Life 2010

For over 35 years, on the anniversary of Roe V. Wade, hundreds of thousands of pro-life Americans participate in the March for Life.
In 1974 the first March was held on the West Steps of the Capitol and the numbers have gradually risen through the years. These growing numbers give testimony to the increasing ranks of pro-life Americans and to the importance of the March's work.
Widely considered the most attended annual march in Washington, DC, the March for Life has become the pro-life movement's signature event. The pro-life movement is culturally diverse and is represented by a variety of indivudals of all races, creeds, nationalities, sexual preferences, and spiritual beliefs.

Update 1/23/10:

The March was not very well covered by the mainstream media, and even those who did cover the March were misinformed and seem confused, as demonstrated when at the 3p ET hour of CNN's Rick's List on Friday, host Rick Sanchez started coverage with the statment, "Abortion rights supporters and opponents hit the streets of the nation's capital Friday to mark the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade...." followed by "It's the 37th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade case....both sides being represented today, but it does appear to me, as I look at these signs that - which side is represented the most....Do we know?"

The Washington Times reports "Thousands of pro-lifers storm D.C." and writes 'Organizers estimated the crowd at the March for Life to number at least 200,000. A "virtual" march on Washington, hosted by Americans United for Life at, attracted 74,925 "avatars" by late Friday afternoon.'

In additionOne News Now and Catholic News Agency estimate 250k to 300k in the crowd at the March for Life, while tthe Washington Post vaguely reports "tens of thousands." In contrast to the 200-300,000 pro-lifers marching, the best the pro-choice movement could come up with was 50-60 counter-protestors, according to National Infozine, a liberal/pro-choice publication, which writes, "A group of about 60 abortion rights demonstrators faced off against a much larger crowd of anti-abortion demonstrators during the annual March for Life, held on the anniversary of the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision."

Russia Today of all things that produced the best mainstream news story on the 2010 March for Life

Fallible Dogma, a pro-life Catholic blog, features Pictures and Video from March For Life Dallas 2010

1-22 Marcher has linked to 2 more good person-on-the-street March videos, here and here

The Campus Progress website, a liberal and pro-choice organization, features pictures from the March for Life. While their captions are from their point of view, the pictures capture the diversity and positive attitudes of pro-life individuals at the March.

The March for Life begins this Friday, January 22, 2010 in Washington D.C. There's a lot going on. Specific details can be found at the March for Life website and Life News Site as well as here at my blog below.

Thursday, January 21:

Cardinal O'Connor Conference on Life
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Georgetown University, Washington D.C.
LSN Reporter Peter Smith will be speaking at 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
See full schedule.

March for Life Convention
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Hyatt Regency Hotel, Washington D.C.
LSN's John-Henry Westen, Tim Waggoner, Matthew Anderson, Kathleen Gilbert, Peter Smith and Hilary White will rotate their presence at the LSN booth in the displays area on Thursday afternoon and evening and Friday morning and afternoon. Stop by to say hello!
See the above link for more details.

American Life League - Personhood Conference
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Washington Court Hotel, Washington D.C.

March for Life White House Mini-Rally - flashlight program
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Lafayette Park, Washington D.C.

Opening mass for National Prayer Vigil for Life
6:30 p.m.
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.
All night prayer vigil to follow. See schedule for details.

Rock for Life Concert
8:00 p.m.
Washington Court Hotel

Friday, January 22:

Human Life International Mini-Conference
8:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Washington Court Hotel, Washington D.C.
LSN Editor in Chief John-Henry Westen will be giving a few remarks to introduce HLI's President, Fr. Thomas Euteneuer.

Rock for Life Concert
7:00 p.m.
Washington Court Hotel
Also, LSN's U.S. Coordinator and journalist Matthew Anderson will be at the concert to get the word out about LifeSiteNews.

Giant 2010 Youth Rally and Mass for Life
7:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Verizon Wireless Center - Washington, D.C.

Closing mass for National Prayer Vigil for Life
7:30 a.m.
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington D.C.

Blogs4Life Conference 2010 (Scroll down  for more details)
8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Family Research Council Headquarters
801 G Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

You can still register to attend in person. Or make plans to view online. Bloggers can live stream the conference on their sites. You will be able to watch the event live here at my blog below:

Here is the tentative speakers' schedule for the Blogs4Life Conference, which even as late as yesterday changed. So it's by no means written in stone.

8:30 - 8:35a Jill Stanek, emcee introduction
8:35 - 8:45a Kristen Day, Democrats for Life
8:45 - 9:00a Joseph Farah,
9:00 - 9:20a PANEL: "Hosting a winning pro-life blog, " American Life League's Katie Walker and ALL's Pro-life Blog Contest winners
9:20 - 9:33a Carol Clews, Executive Director, Center for Pregnancy Concerns, Baltimore, MD
9:33 - 9:35a Kristin Hansen, VP of Communications, Care Net
9:35 - 9:45a Marjorie Dannenfelser, President, Susan B. Anthony List
9:45 - 10:05a Rep. Michele Bachmann Todd Akin, R-MO
10:05a - 10:15a Break
10:15 - 10:25a Charmaine Yoest, Ph.D (pictured right), President and CEO, Americans United for Life
10:25 - 10:45a Rep. Jim Jordan, R-OH
10:45a - 11:05a PANEL: Emerging Online Technologies, Molotov Mitchell, Illuminati Pictures; Peter Shinn, President, Pro-Life Unity; Founder, Blogs for Life; Krystle Weeks, Web Editor, Family Research Council
11:05 - 11:15a Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
11:15 - 11:30a David Prentice, Ph.D, Senior Fellow for Life Sciences, FRC,

Lutherans for Life worship service
9:00 a.m.
Immanuel Lutheran Church
1801 Russell Road
Alexandria, VA 22301

Rally for Life
12:00 p.m.
National Mall and 7th Street
Washington D.C.

March for Life
1:00 p.m.
Washington D.C. National Mall
See details and route map.

Silent No More Awareness Campaign - testimonies
4:00 p.m.
Steps of the Supreme Court, Washington D.C.
Immediately following the March women from the Silent No More Awareness Campaign will be giving testimonies of their experiences with abortion.

International Culture of Life Awards Reception
Honoring Arizona Congressman Trent Franks
4:00 p.m.
Special invited guests - Congressman Chris Smith and many others
Phoenix Park Hotel, Across from Union Station
520 North Capital St. NW, $40 per person donation
Information and to register on line 

March for Life Rose Dinner
6:00 p.m.
Hyatt Regency Hotel, Washinton D.C.
At least four of the LSN team will be there.

Saturday, January 23:

Students for Life of America National Conference
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
The morning's events will include a series of speeches from representative of Operation Outcry, Silent No More, and Alliance Defense Fund.
Pryzbyla Center, Catholic University of America, Washington D.C.
More information

American Life League Training and Activism Week - Rock for Life
9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Washington Court Hotel, Washington D.C.
Speeches about pro-life activism.

For More On the Schedule, Go Here

EWTN To Air 2010’s Historic “March for Life/Walk for Life

Pro-life people won’t want to miss any of EWTN’s pro-life shows in January. Highlights include:

March for Life 2010:” On the East Coast, Doug Keck (Host of EWTN’s “Bookmark”) will anchor the Network’s live coverage with Fr. Joseph. They will be joined in studio by EWTN Radio Hosts Jim and Joy Pinto. In Washington, D.C., Teresa Tomeo (host of EWTN’s daily radio news and feature program “Catholic Connection”) and EWTN Series Host Damon Owens will interview the newsmakers and pro-lifers from around the country.

Solemn Vigil Mass for Life airs 6:30 p.m., Jan. 21 (live); Solemn Mass for Life airs 7:30 a.m., Jan. 22 (live); March for Life 2009 airs 11 a.m. Jan. 22 (live) and encores 10 p.m. Jan. 22.

Walk for Life West Coast 2010:” On the West Coast, Father Mark and Doug Barry, hosts of EWTN’s “Life on the Rock,” will cover the walk whose fabulous speakers include former Planned Parenthood Clinic Director Abby Johnson; UCLA Student Activist and Filmmaker Lila Rose; 40 Days for Life National Director David Bereit; Silent No More Speakers Irene Beltran and Georgette Forney, and Jim Garlow, a San Diego-based evangelical pastor. In addition, Rev. Clenard Childress, director of LEARN and, a speaker since the Walk’s inauguration in 2005, will rally the walkers.
Airs 1 p.m. Jan. 23 (live) and encores at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 24.

Other Information:

Down syndrome advocates will March for Life again in 2010
Families of children with Down syndrome will walk together for the 2nd year in a row at the March for Life in D.C. on January 22, 2010.
KIDS (Keep Infants with Down Syndrome) was formed by Eileen Haupt and Leticia Velasquez, parents of children with DS, for the purpose of gathering families to walk together in the March for Life, raise awareness of the tragically high abortion rate of DS babies, and to share the joys that their children bring into their lives....

Abby Johnson featured on Focus on the Family radio shows today and tomorrow
In conjunction with the 36th anniversary of the US Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, former Planned Parenthood employee Abby Johnson will be featured on Focus on the Family's radio programs today and tomorrow. This show will air on 2k radio outlets in the US and will also be available for online listening.
To learn more about today's broadcast - and find a station you may listen on - click here.

For tomorrow's broadcast of the second half of the discussion, click here.
If there's no station near you - or you just don't have a chance to listen - recordings of both programs will be posted after they are broadcast here.

If you're not able to attend the March for Life in person, you can join the over 42,000 Americans represented in the Virtual March for Life.

While I won't be able to go to D.C. this year due to financial constraints, my thoughts will be with those marching, especially my post-abortion friends in Silent No More Awareness, and I will be representing myself at the March through the Virtual March for Life

H/Ts to Jill Stanek and Big Blue Wave Canada

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haiti Hit by Magnitude-7.0 Earthquake with Devastation - How You Can Help

Thousands feared dead in Haiti quake; many trapped
By JONATHAN M. KATZ, Associated Press Writer
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Haitians piled bodies along the devastated streets of their capital Wednesday after a powerful earthquake flattened the president's palace, the cathedral, hospitals, schools, the main prison and whole neighborhoods. Officials feared thousands — perhaps more than 100,000 — may have perished but there was no firm count.

Death was everywhere in Port-au-Prince. Bodies of tiny children were piled next to schools. Corpses of women lay on the street with stunned expressions frozen on their faces as flies began to gather. Bodies of men were covered with plastic tarps or cotton sheets.

President Rene Preval said he believes thousands were killed in Tuesday afternoon's magnitude-7.0 quake, and the scope of the destruction prompted other officials to give even higher estimates. Leading Sen. Youri Latortue told The Associated Press that 500,000 could be dead, although he acknowledged that nobody really knows.

"Parliament has collapsed. The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. Hospitals have collapsed," Preval told the Miami Herald. "There are a lot of schools that have a lot of dead people in them."
Even the main prison in the capital fell down, "and there are reports of escaped inmates," U.N. humanitarian spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said in Geneva.

The head of the U.N. peacekeeping mission was missing and the Roman Catholic archbishop of Port-au-Prince was dead.

"The cathedral, the archbishop's office, all the big churches, the seminaries have been reduced to rubble," Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the apostolic envoy to Haiti, told the Vatican news agency FIDES.

The parking lot of the Hotel Villa Creole was a triage center. People sat with injuries and growing infections by the side of rubble-strewn roads, hoping that doctors and aid would come.

The international Red Cross said a third of Haiti's 9 million people may need emergency aid and that it would take a day or two for a clear picture of the damage to emerge.

At first light Wednesday, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter evacuated four critically injured U.S. Embassy staff to the hospital on the U.S. Naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where the military has been detaining suspected terrorists.

President Barack Obama promised an all-out rescue and humanitarian effort, adding that the U.S. commitment to its hemispheric neighbor will be unwavering.

"We have to be there for them in their hour of need," Obama said.

A small contingent of U.S. ground troops could be on their way soon, although it was unclear whether they would be used for security operations or humanitarian efforts. Gen. Douglas Fraser, commander of the U.S. Southern Command, said roughly 2,000 Marines as part of an expeditionary unit might be deployed aboard a large-deck amphibious ship. Fraser said the ship could provide medical help.

Other nations — from Iceland to Venezuela — said they would start sending in aid workers and rescue teams. Cuba said its existing field hospitals in Haiti had already treated hundreds of victims. The United Nations said Port-au-Prince's main airport was "fully operational" and open to relief flights.

The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson, is under way and expected to arrive off the coast of Haiti Thursday. Additional U.S. Navy ships are under way to Haiti, a statement from the Southern Command said.

Aftershocks continued to rattle the capital of 2 million people as women covered in dust clawed out of debris, wailing. Stunned people wandered the streets holding hands. Thousands gathered in public squares to sing hymns.

U.N. humanitarian chief John Holmes said it was possible that the death toll "will be in the thousands."

"Initial reports suggest a high number of casualties and, of course, widespread damage but I don't have any figure that I can give you with any reliability of what the number of casualties will be," Holmes said.

People pulled bodies from collapsed homes, covering them with sheets by the side of the road. Passers-by lifted the sheets to see if loved ones were underneath. Outside a crumbled building, the bodies of five children and three adults lay in a pile.

The prominent died along with the poor: the body of Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot, 63, was found in the ruins of his office, said the Rev. Pierre Le Beller of the Saint Jacques Missionary Center in Landivisiau, France. He told The Associated Press by telephone that fellow missionaries in Haiti had told him they found Miot's body.

Preval told the Herald that Haiti's Senate president was among those trapped alive inside the Parliament building. Much of the National Palace pancaked on itself.

The international Red Cross and other aid groups announced plans for major relief operations in the Western Hemisphere's poorest country.

Many will have to help their own staff as well as stricken Haitians. Taiwan said its embassy was destroyed and the ambassador hospitalized. Spain said its embassy was badly damaged and France said its embassy also suffered damage.

Tens of thousands of people lost their homes as buildings that were flimsy and dangerous even under normal conditions collapsed. Nobody offered an estimate of the dead, but the numbers were clearly enormous.

"The hospitals cannot handle all these victims," said Dr. Louis-Gerard Gilles.

Medical experts say disasters such as an earthquake generally do not lead to new outbreaks of infectious diseases, but they do tend to worsen existing health problems.

Haiti's quake refugees likely will face an increased risk of dengue fever, malaria and measles — problems that plagued the impoverished country before, said Kimberley Shoaf, associate director of the UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters.

Some of the biggest immediate health threats include respiratory disease from inhaling dust from collapsed buildings and diarrhea from drinking contaminated water.

With hospitals and clinics severely damaged, Haiti will also face risks of secondary infections. People seeking medical attention for broken bones and other injuries may not be able to get the help they need and may develop complications.

Dead bodies piled on the streets typically don't pose a public health risk. But for a country wracked by violence, seeing the dead will exact a psychological toll.

An American aid worker was trapped for about 10 hours under the rubble of her mission house before she was rescued by her husband, who told CBS' "Early Show" that he drove 100 miles (160 kilometers) to Port-au-Prince to find her. Frank Thorp said he dug for more than an hour to free his wife, Jillian, and a co-worker, from under about a foot of concrete.

An estimated 40,000-45,000 Americans live in Haiti, and the U.S. Embassy had no confirmed reports of deaths among its citizens. All but one American employed by the embassy have been accounted for, State Department officials said.

Even relatively wealthy neighborhoods were devastated.

An AP videographer saw a wrecked hospital where people screamed for help in Petionville, a hillside district that is home to many diplomats and wealthy Haitians as well as the poor.

At a destroyed four-story apartment building, a girl of about 16 stood atop a car, trying to see inside while several men pulled at a foot sticking from rubble. She said her family was inside.

"A school near here collapsed totally," Petionville resident Ken Michel said after surveying the damage. "We don't know if there were any children inside." He said many seemingly sturdy homes nearby were split apart.

The U.N.'s 9,000 peacekeepers in Haiti, many of whom are from Brazil, were distracted from aid efforts by their own tragedy: Many spent the night hunting for survivors in the ruins of their headquarters.

"It would appear that everyone who was in the building, including my friend Hedi Annabi, the United Nations' secretary-general's special envoy, and everyone with him and around him, are dead," French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said on RTL radio.

But U.N. peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy would not confirm that Annabi was dead, saying he was among more than 100 people missing in its wrecked headquarters. He said only about 10 people had been pulled out, many of them badly injured. Fewer than five bodies had been removed, he said.

U.N. peacekeeping forces in Port-au-Prince are securing the airport, the port, main buildings and patrolling the streets, Le Roy said.

Brazil's army said at least 11 of its peacekeepers were killed, while Jordan's official news agency said three of its peacekeepers were killed. A state newspaper in China said eight Chinese peacekeepers were known dead and 10 were missing — though officials later said the information was not confirmed.

The quake struck at 4:53 p.m., and was centered 10 miles (15 kilometers) west of Port-au-Prince at a depth of only 5 miles (8 kilometers), the U.S. Geological Survey said. USGS geophysicist Kristin Marano called it the strongest earthquake since 1770 in what is now Haiti.

Video obtained by the AP showed a huge dust cloud rising over Port-au-Prince shortly after the quake as buildings collapsed.

Most Haitians are desperately poor, and after years of political instability the country has no real construction standards. In November 2008, following the collapse of a school in Petionville, the mayor of Port-au-Prince estimated about 60 percent of buildings were shoddily built and unsafe normally.

The quake was felt in the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, and in eastern Cuba, but no major damage was reported in either place.

With electricity out in many places and phone service erratic, it was nearly impossible for Haitian or foreign officials to get full details of the devastation.

"Everybody is just totally, totally freaked out and shaken," said Henry Bahn, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official in Port-au-Prince. "The sky is just gray with dust."

Edwidge Danticat, an award-winning Haitian-American author was unable to contact relatives in Haiti. She sat with family and friends at her home in Miami, looking for news on the Internet and watching TV news reports.

"You want to go there, but you just have to wait," she said. "Life is already so fragile in Haiti, and to have this on such a massive scale, it's unimaginable how the country will be able to recover from this."
Haiti is one of poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, with eighty percent of residents live in poverty, according to the CIA World Factbook (source). The country is in dire straits right now. If you wish to help out the Haitians, please consider making a donation to the following charitable relief organizations:

American Red Cross
Catholic Relief Services
Cross International
Doctors Without Borders
Food For the Hungry
Food for the Poor
Haiti Mission
Mercy Ships
Partners in Health
Samaritans Purse
Save the Children
The Salvation Army
World Vision

In addition, the Anchoress has complied a comprehensive and long list of news updates and charitable relief organizations. Also, please note that if people phone you up asking for donations, hestitate before giving out that credit card number. Unfortuantly there will always be those who use the tragedy of a natural disaster such as this, as an opportunity to scam the unsuspecting out of money. You are better off taking the initiative and contacting the agencies themselves, or donating online at a reptuable organization's website.

Update 1/13/10, 3:24 EST:

Massive aid effort begun for Haiti quake victims

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Pregnancy Center in Arizona Severely Burned in Apparent Arson Attack

Whiteriver, AZ. -- The Whiteriver Clinic, a pregnancy center and member of the Living Hope Women's Center group, in rural eastern Arizona, was severely burned in what appears to be an arson attack. The center serves a predominantly native American population and received 400-600 visits every month from the low-income individuals in the community, of which 2/3 of the visits were for the Earn While You Learn program. Read the rest here and here.

Why would anyone seek to damage this center when they provide beneficial community services such as their Fatherhood and Mommy Stores [part of the Earn While You Learn program] in which low-income residents earn the ability to "purchase" critically needed pregnancy and parenting items (such as maternity clothes, baby/toddler clothing, seasonal clothing, diapers, hygiene items, baby formula and bottles, crib sheets and blankets, and more) by attending classes which teach parenting and life skills. There is political opposition to pregnancy resource centers by pro-choice groups, but opposing these centers, who's primary services, include support programs for pregnant and parenting women, seems the anti-thesis of choice and removing these programs does a disservice the clients served and the community. You can help the center rebuild with a donation to Living Hope Women's Centers, 1000 E. Huning St., Show Low, AZ 85901
Unfortuantly, this is not the first case of arson, vandalism, or bomb threats at a pregnancy resource center. In July of 2009, a pregnancy center is Eugene, OR, was vandalized with spray-painted phrases "kill us now", "give us your eggs", "freedom", and a swastika on the windows at the front of the pregnancy center. In September of 2008, an arson fire caused total loss at Pregnancy Alternatives Center in Lebanon, Oregon. Also, according the Catholic Sentinel article, in 1999 bomb threats were called in to a California pregnancy center and others were vandalized with graffiti, messages included ``Abortion is a Right'' and ``Lies Told Here.'' and the building was also pasted with flyers for local pro-choice clinics and an epoxy-like substance was smeared over door locks, source: San Francisco Chronicle, 1/23/99. A Canadian center in Winnipeg was covered with graffiti in 2001. In 2004, two Maryland pregnancy centers were vandalized, with smashed windows and computers. In 2005, on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, another Maryland center was hit with smashed windows and graffiti that said “Choice” and “Womyn Haters.” When a ban on abortions was debated in South Dakota in 2006, the homes of pregnancy center directors were vandalized  with eggs, they received threatening phone calls, and the bodies of decomposing animals were left near their workplace. Terry Weaver, executive director of Birthright, recalls bomb threats at the organization’s Atlanta house. She hears about vandalism regularly from Birthright houses around the country — splattered paint, shot-out windows, dog feces in mailboxes. Sometimes, pro-choice activists call the Birthright hotline to heckle the organization.