REPRODUCTIVE SPECIALIST WARNS THAT IVF IS CREATING INFERTILE CHILDREN
It’s no secret that there are ethical problems with IVF. There is the destruction of life, the commodification of children, and the abortion of babies conceived through IVF if they’re “defective” or not the kind of “product” the parent wants. It’s not unusual for IVF babies to be conceived using donor eggs and/or sperm, and donor children have begun to speak out about how this affects them. The Anonymous Us Project, for example, aims to give a voice to children born through egg or sperm donations, and frequently criticizes the assisted reproductive technology industry for its lack of oversight or regulation. While technology such as IVF may give infertile couples the children that they so wanted, what is the cost? And are children something that people have a right to, or are they a privilege?
In Australia, University of Newcastle laureate professor John Aitken works as a reproductive biologist. And he is sounding a warning about how the children being born through IVF are suffering unforeseen consequences – and speaking up about how IVF is not a magic fix for infertility. According to Dr. Aitken, children conceived from IVF are at a higher risk of being born infertile. In addition to infertility, he says that boys conceived from IVF are also at higher risk for various cancers. Currently, 1 in 6 Australian couples uses IVF, with 1 in 25 Australian children born from IVF. Dr. Aitken worries that the number is only going to get higher. Research has begun to show that there are health consequences for IVF babies, particularly among boys whose fathers smoked and used assisted reproductive technology.
“We should guard against marching into a future where we use too much assisted conception in order to compensate for our loss of fertility,” Dr. Aitken said. ” We are taking recourse to IVF in increasing numbers and the thing we have to remember as a society is that the more you use assisted conception in one generation, the more you’re going to need it in the next.” This works out perfectly for the assisted reproductive technology industry, by manufacturing IVF babies, they’re ensuring that they will be needed. It wasn’t planned this way, but it works out well for them regardless. Couples are being blessed with children through IVF, but, at what cost? “There is a negative pay-off,” Dr. Aitken said. “If you have a son from this process it is possible that he will have the same pathology that you had.”
He also warns that IVF isn’t a magic wand that cures people of their infertility. “We cannot change their fundamental biology,” he explained. “The average age of women in IVF is 36/7 years. If you’re contemplating a family when you’re close to the edge, IVF cannot fix you up. IVF live birth rates decline from 35 to 42 exactly the same way in naturally conceived population. The unfortunate thing is that the biology doesn’t understand that narrative.” Dr. Aitken is not the first doctor to speak out against IVF. Last year, Dr. Anthony Caruso, an OB/GYN who specialized in IVF, eventually stopped performing the procedure and now warns that it turns children into “manufactured goods.”
“I left there firmly believing that God has shown me this way,” Dr. Caruso said. “It’s a harder road going about talking about contraception and IVF because when you talk about it, the first thing they say is, ‘Well it’s kids’, right? You need to tell an IVF mother, ‘Bless her children,’ they’re children of God. No question about it. But how is the mother going to explain to her children, when they come of age, how they came to be?” And how, Caruso wondered, can they explain to their children that they potentially have countless brothers and sisters left frozen? “That’s an attitude that I think is prevalent in the IVF people,” he said. “That this is something that can be manufactured at will.”
IVF may seem like something positive, because it helps create life. But should we really have the right to play God, to manufacture children, dispose of them when they’re inconvenient or unwanted or “defective”? Should we have the right to unnecessarily saddle children with preventable health risks just so that we can have the children we always wanted? Children are human beings, not products we are owed, to be created on demand whenever we want them, no matter the cost or repercussions.
When we think of Iran, scenes of mobs shouting “death to America,” blindfolded hostages, and radical leaders demanding nuclear technology come to mind. But there’s another side of the country: Iranians who love America, Israel, and Jesus Christ. CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell met and talked with some of these Iranian Believers outside of their country in central Turkey. When someone gets baptized in this house church, people clap and cheer like fans at a World Cup match. While they’ve suffered persecution and often fled for their lies, they still possess an infectious and joyous faith like Iranian Believer Raizal. “Growing up I wanted to say I grew up with]Jesus Christ,” Raizal told CBN News. “Every time, His name was in my mind. And the next moment I started liking Christianity.”
“It was really sweet to me, the feelings, the stories, everything. So by the time I was 15, I believed in Him and I said I wanted to be a Christian,” he said. Many Iranian refugees have fled Iran and come to Turkey where they can seek refugee status with the United Nations. Some say it’s just like coming out of the darkness. “It’s totally different from Iran,” Iranian Christian Afshin told CBN News. “I can speak about God’s Word to other guys. I can freely praise the Lord. I can easily go to church. It’s completely different.” Afshin attended the church led by American Pastor Saeed Abedini, who languished for years in an Iranian prison. Following his arrest in the summer of 2012, the church disbanded.
Later Afshin found himself on the run. “As a result, I came out of Iran because day-by-day it was more difficult and it was more risky for me also,” he explained. “I had to change our home because I was sure that one day they would realize my home as an underground house church,” he continued. “They would recognize it; the intelligence services would recognize it.” Others, like Raizal and Reza, her brother, fled for their lives. “It was really a bad situation there,” Raizal recalled. “I couldn’t pray to God with all my heart because all trouble was there. Even if I say ‘Jesus Christ,’ they may kill me.” “It become a problem for my job and my health,” Reza said. “They tried to kill me and then I start to run away.”
Despite the constant threat, danger, and risk, these Believers keep the faith. Now they’ve found a church home and family. Their pastor leads house churches in Iran, as well as the United States, Canada, Germany, and Malaysia, all via Skype. “The main church is my house, and through the Internet I connect to everybody,” Reza said. “That’s why it’s become like an Internet church.” He says a great revival is underway within the Islamic Republic of Iran. “Right now you can see the results of the Holy Spirit,” he said. “From 1994, there were about 100,000 Believers. Right now, there are 3 million. You can see what the Holy Spirit is doing with the people.”
Many came to faith through a dream or a vision. “I had a dream long time back and every time Jesus was with me,” he continued. “And in all of my life, He was helping me and I didn’t know who was this Person. Suddenly Jesus Christ was over there and He said, ‘Come to Me.’ And I came to that side and He accepted me.” Despite all the hardship and being forced from their homeland, these Believers exude joy. Many hope to achieve refugee status one day and immigrate to other countries. In the meantime, they want Believers in the West to pray for the Church in Iran. “And I’m just begging, really, from the other Believers, from other sisters and brothers from all over the world, to pray for Iran and to all the people of Iran to find new God and be familiar with God, with Jesus Christ,” he said.
CHAOS IN INDIA AS GOVERNMENT WITHDRAWS 86% OF CASH IN CIRCULATION
A new strain of economics has been spawned by a decision to withdraw the bulk of India’s banknotes by the end of this year. As holders of now-useless 500-and 1,000-rupee ($15) notes rushed to deposit exchange them for new notes, an e-commerce site offered helpers, at 90 rupees an hour, to queue outside banks in order to save the well-off the bother. Elsewhere, a chronic shortage of banknotes in a cash-dominated economy has left most trades depressed. Seventy per cent of family owned businesses have suffered a decline in trade, according to a survey. Supply chains, in which wholesalers and truckers deal mostly in cash, have fractured. Some 30% less farm produce reached markets in the days after the reform. City folk are hoarding the 100-rupee note, the largest of the old notes to remain legal tender.
Taxi drivers refuse to break the new 2,000-rupee note. Road-tolls were suspended to prevent queues. Beggars have disappeared from parts of Delhi; no one has spare change. India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, is gambling that this temporary pain will be worth it. His goal is to flush out “black money”, stores of wealth that bypass the tax system, finance election campaigns and grease the wheels of high-level corruption. An enforced swap of high-value notes acts as a tax on holders of illicit wealth. The element of surprise is disruptive but without it, there would be time for black-money holders to launder their funds by purchasing gold, foreign currency or property. A tight deadline makes it hard for holders of large stashes of notes to swap or deposit them without alerting the tax authorities.
Aside from cases where hyperinflation has rendered a currency worthless, such swaps generally take place over long periods to avoid disrupting commerce. GDP growth might be as much as two percentage points lower this quarter and next before returning to normal as the money stock is replenished, said the HSBC bank. Much depends on how quickly new cash can be swapped for old. It has not been a smooth process so far. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which issues notes, waited for six days before setting up a task force to ensure ATMs could dispense the new 2,000-rupee note. Only a quarter of ATMs in four big cities are full according to Goldman Sachs. Yet there are signs that the reform is nudging Indians out of cash and into bank deposits and plastic, where money can be tracked.
In the days after the announcement, bank deposits were up by 5.1trn rupees, due to an influx of old notes and restrictions on withdrawals of new ones. Despite the distress, and protests, the reform seems to have widespread support. Bashing the rich is popular even if the poor are inconvenienced. Some may hope it will bring new state benefits for the poor and make housing more affordable. Indian real estate is expensive because it is a store of illicit funds. In theory, whatever black money cannot be laundered will be worthless, yielding a gain for government’s finances and perhaps for poorer Indians. The Reserve Bank of India has not yet formally said that old notes will be cancelled for good and it may be loath to do so. No central bank likes to say it no longer stands behind the paper it issues.
PEOPLE IN SAME-SEX “MARRIAGES” 3 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO COMMIT SUICIDE
Homosexuals who “marry” each other are almost three times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual counterparts, even in very homosexual-friendly Sweden, according to a study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology. The authors of the study noted that social intolerance of homosexual behaviour could not so easily be blamed for increased suicide risk, given that Sweden is known for its accepting attitude towards same-sex relationships. “Even in a country with a comparatively tolerant climate regarding homosexuality such as Sweden, same-sex married individuals evidence a higher risk for suicide than other married individuals,” the authors note.
The study, “Suicide in married couples in Sweden: Is the risk greater in same-sex couples?” used the government of Sweden’s detailed databases to compare a population of over six thousand homosexual “married” couples to the larger population of heterosexual couples who married during the period between 1996 and 2009, following them until 2011. The study found that participants in homosexual marriages had an overall 2.7 times greater chance of suicide than participants in heterosexual marriages, with the true value having a 95% probability of falling somewhere between 1.5 and 4.8. Homosexual men in same-sex “marriages” were found to have a higher elevated risk (2.9) than women (2.5).
The study’s results are similar to numerous other studies in recent years that have found a strong relationship between homosexual behaviour and a variety of negative psychological outcomes, even in countries that are very accepting of homosexual behaviour. Studies done of homosexuals in the Netherlands, which is the country most accepting of homosexual behaviour in the world, have found that homosexuals suffer from significantly higher rates of mood, anxiety and substance abuse disorders, suicide attempts, eating disorders, and panic attacks. The high levels of promiscuity and instability in homosexual interpersonal relationships, results in rates of 15% HIV infection of homosexuals living in urban areas, as well as elevated incidence of herpes and the cancer-causing viruses, syphilis, and anal cancer.
UK PRIME MINISTER’S LEADERSHIP IS ANCHORED ON CHRISTIAN PRINCIPLES
Britain’s Home Secretary Theresa May bravely admits that she finds guidance in her Christian principles to help her make crucial decisions and helps her stay grounded as she leads a great nation. Just like any devout Christian, the prime minister defended her manner of leadership for one that counts on Divine Intervention, especially with current issues affecting Great Britain, including the Brexit. “I suppose there is something in terms of faith, I am a practicing member of the Church of England, that lies behind what I do. It’s not like I’ve decided to do what I’m going to do and I’m stubborn,” says May, who is a daughter of a church leader. She points out her growing up years helped mould her personality and character.
She also said that thinking things though can be difficult at times, considering the magnitude of her decisions affect a great number of people. She also said matters have to be carefully weighed by looking at all the evidence, arguments and every possible effect that may arise before coming to a decision. She points out her biggest challenge to date is how to steer Britain to become “a country that works for everyone.” “It is a moment of change. It is a hugely challenging time. And we need to get on with the deal in terms of Brexit. And I’m very conscious of that. I want to make sure that everything we do ensures Britain is a country that works for everyone and that we really get out there and forge a new role in the world post-Brexit. We will make a success of it, but these are really complex issues,” May adds.
Some Christian sectors, however, expressed scepticism as May claims to support same-sex marriage. Nonetheless, many Christian communities believe that the British Prime Minister would represent Christianity in public service. May also took flak months back for stating that Britons ‘benefit greatly’ from Sharia Law, which she points out the possibility that the Sharia Law may have been ‘misused or exploited.’ Her statement sparked many negative reactions, especially from the Muslim communities. May is also reputed to be a no-nonsense leader and has even signified that her Christian upbringing does not allow her to involve in gossip. She is an active pro-life advocate and voted for the reduction of the abortion limit in the United Kingdom.
Jesus was named the King of the country at a recent ceremony attended by Poland’s president Andrzej Duda. The ceremony coincided with the end of the Catholic Church’s Jubilee Year of Mercy and the 1050th anniversary of Polish Christianity. “In our hearts, rule us, Christ! In our families, rule us, Christ! In our schools and universities, rule us, Christ,” the ceremony’s prayer said. “Through the Polish nation, rule us, Christ! We pledge to defend your holy worship and preach Thy royal glory, Christ our King, we promise. We entrust the Polish people and Polish leaders to you. Make them exercise their power fairly and in accordance with your laws, rule us, Christ! Reign in our homeland and reign in every nation – for the greater glory of the Most Holy Trinity and the salvation of mankind.”
Bishop Andrzej Czaja said after the ceremony: “It is not a declaration of Christ the King, because he is king. It is not a declaration of Christ the King of Poland. His kingdom is not of this earth, and his dominion is over the whole universe.” The declaration of Jesus as king of Poland comes after the Polish nurse Rosalia Zelkova claimed in the early 20th century to have received a divine revelation that Jesus should become king. More than 350 years ago, a previous King of Poland declared Mary the honorary queen of Poland.