Saturday, December 29, 2007


The December 28th issue of the Colorado
Statesman reports that Rep. Borodkin has formed
the Rocky Mountain Regional Pro-Choice Caucus.

Claiming the group is being formed to "focus on sex
ed and preventing unwanted pregnancies in the
first place," Borodkin states the group isn't
about abortion. Partnering with NARAL (National
Abortion Rights Action League) should make that
mission tough! No pre-born child is too developed for
NARAL to deny the "right" to dismember.

Abortions after 21 weeks, they say, are "complicated."
Although at least 15% of babies can survive a c-section
with medical support at that stage, if continuing the
pregnancy isn't possible, NARAL suggests the baby
can be destroyed.

Denver citizens should ask Rep. Borodkin why she
doesn't believe in the God-given, inalienable, right
to life and why she won't work to ensure that
evil organizations like Planned Parenthood and
NARAL stop killing innocent babies in their
mother's wombs for financial gain.

Capitol Phone: (303)866-2910

Planned Parenthood launches anti-Mitt clothing line
By Jessica Fargen | Friday, December 28, 2007 | | 2008 Campaign News

Photo by Angela Rowlings
Less than a week before the neck-and-neck race to finish first in the Iowa caucuses, Planned Parenthood has launched a line of “multiple choice Mitt” clothing including bibs, baby onesies and T-shirts that blast GOP candidateMitt Romney’s “flip-flop” on abortion rights.

The collection, for sale online, includes $20 doggie T-shirts, $6 baby bibs, a $15 mug, as well as bags and hats, all bearing a photo of the former governor and the logo “Multiple Choice Mitt: Flip-Flopper from Massachusetts.”

“This was more than just a flip-flop, this was an extreme makeover,” said Angus McQuilken, spokesman for the Massachusetts chapter of Planned Parenthood, which has aggressively dogged Rommey for his reversal on abortion rights.

Romney’s spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, said the candidate is not shocked at the campaign.

“Mitt Romney is pro-life. It’s not surprising that abortion rights advocates are opposed to him. Every action Mitt Romney took on legislation sent to him as governor he came down on the side of protecting life. As president, he will do the same,” Fehrnstrom said in a statement to the Herald.

When Romney ran for Massachusetts governor in 2002, he supported abortion rights, but in recent years has become an anti-choice candidate and tried to paint himself as the authentic conservative in the tight GOP race.

The Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts launched the Multiple Choice Mitt: Flip Flopper from Massachusetts campaign in February.

Article URL:

Thursday, December 27, 2007


To view a dramatic new 1 minute ad
revealing the truth behind the fallacy
of "emergency contraception!"

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Roe v. Rabbis

Chief Rabbinate: Abortions are grave sin

Rabbinic Council of Chief Rabbinate to establish committee to lobby against abortions in Israel. Rabbis: Abortions delaying coming of messiah
Neta Sela

Israel's Chief Rabbinate decided over the weekend that it would establish a special committee that would work to reduce the amount of abortions carried out in Israel.

Both Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger supported the Rabbinical Council's decision.

Women's Right to Choose
Religious party proposes outlawing abortions after 22nd week / Amnon Meranda
Knesset to vote on Shas bill proposal to amend current abortion law, outlaw terminations towards end of second trimester. MK Zahava Gal-On (Meretz) slams bill as offense to women's rights, says
Full Story
The council made the decision after Dr. Eli Schussheim, director of the anti-abortion organization Efrat, presented the rabbis with facts and figures on the amount of abortions carried out in Israel yearly.

According to Dr. Schussheim, 50,000 abortions occur in Israel every year, only 20,000 of which are legally performed.

The Rabbinic Council, which is made up of the Chief Rabbi of Haifa, Rabbi Shaar-Yeshuv Cohen, the Chief Rabbi of Rehovot, Rabbi Simcha HaCohen Kook and Beersheba’s Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Yehuda Deri, has decided to have the new committee begin work this coming Saturday.

"The vast majority of abortions are unnecessary and strictly forbidden according to halacha because they are carried out even when the pregnancies do not endanger the mother's health," the rabbis wrote in their decision.

The rabbis believe that these types of abortions are a grave sin which may even delay the coming of the messiah. They base this assumption on an expression uttered by the Jewish sages which can be construed as signifying that the messiah will not arrive until all souls meant to be born to Jewish mothers are in fact born.

The halachic basis for the rabbis anti-abortion position is articulated in Genesis 9:6 which reads: "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man."

The rabbis see fetuses as constituting a "man" based on a Gemara passage which states that a fetus in its mother's womb should already be considered a human being.


Another Pro-life film - not for the
little ones.

The following article is located at:

Review by Peter T. Chattaway | posted 12/05/07

Who could have foreseen that 2007 would be the year of the unplanned pregnancy at the multiplex? And who could have foreseen that, as the year progressed, the films dealing with this topic would be increasingly bold in expressing their implicitly pro-life—not "anti-choice," but certainly pro-life—sensibilities?

First there was Waitress, which starred 30-ish Keri Russell as a married woman who learns that she is bearing the offspring of her neglectful, even abusive, husband; deeply ambivalent about the pregnancy itself, she simply states that she recognizes the child's "right to thrive," and that is that. Then there was Knocked Up, in which Katherine Heigl played a single up-and-coming journalist in her 20s who keeps her baby partly because she is repulsed by her mother's suggestion that she "take care of" the pregnancy now and have a "real baby" at some point in the future. And then there was Bella, in which a struggling single woman ends up with an unplanned pregnancy and intends to abort, only to end up reconsidering after a concerned friend offers to help.

Ellen Page as Juno, Michael Cera as Paulie Bleeker

And now, there is Juno, which is arguably the funniest and most meaningful of the lot. The film stars Ellen Page as the youngest mother of them all, a whip-smart high-school student named Juno MacGuff who discovers that she is in the family way after a single sexual experience with her best friend and bandmate, a semi-dorky track star named Paulie Bleeker (Superbad's Michael Cera).

The film's early scenes play on the idea that teenagers these days have become quite casual about sexual matters—Juno's friend Leah (Olivia Thirlby) offers to call the abortion clinic for her, just like she did for one of their friends—but things take an unexpected turn when Juno shows up at the clinic itself. Standing outside is a classmate named Su-Chin (Valerie Tian), who holds a pro-life placard and chants, insistently but not aggressively, "All babies want to get borned!"

Juno shrugs Su-Chin off at first, but as she sits in the lobby, something else Su-Chin said—that her baby has fingernails—sticks in Juno's mind, underscoring the humanity of the unborn fetus. In fact, it sticks in her mind so much that, before long, Juno stands up and walks right back out of the clinic—much to the delight of Su-Chin, who beams, "God appreciates your miracle!"

Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman as the hopeful adoptive parents

This is the one and only time that we see Su-Chin, and what with her bad grammar and earnest sloganeering, she may come across as a bit of a stereotype. But the story hinges on her, so it is worth noting the small but significant part she plays in convincing Juno to carry her baby to term—a decision that becomes the first step on a humorous, confusing, and ultimately moving path towards Juno's greater maturity. Put simply: because Juno accepts her pregnancy, she grows up.

Juno recognizes, however, that she is not ready to raise the child, so she looks in the classifieds for a couple that wants to adopt, and she finds one in the comfortably middle-class Mark and Vanessa Loring (The Kingdom co-stars Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner). But there are hints, too subtle for Juno, that the Lorings might not be on quite the same page. Vanessa desperately wants a child, but Mark doesn't seem to share her enthusiasm. And when Juno discovers that Mark is a musician too, he strikes up a friendship with her that threatens to cross a boundary or two.

Juno is the first film written by Diablo Cody, a blogger and former stripper who knows how to come up with hip, clever lines and so-old-they're-cool-again pop-culture references ("Thundercats are go!" cries Juno when she goes into labor). But even better than that is the way the film goes beneath the hipster surface and gives many of its characters an extra dimension that goes beyond Juno's perception of them. In short, this is a film that empathizes with all of its main characters.

J.K. Simmons and Allison Janney as Juno's parents

Vanessa, for example, seems rather uptight when we first meet her, so much so that you wonder if you would really want to give your child to her; but later on, Juno bumps into Vanessa at a shopping mall and offers to let Vanessa feel her belly—and there is genuine, sympathetic suspense as we wait to see whether the baby will kick and, in some sense, begin to bond with its would-be future adoptive mother.

On the flip side, we can also appreciate that Mark, who used to play in a rock and roll band before he turned to writing commercial jingles, feels constricted by Vanessa's need to form a proper suburban domestic family unit. His music, his comics, and his horror movies are all confined to a single room while Vanessa seeks his opinion on which shade of yellow to color the baby's room. Mark makes at least one very bad decision because he feels so stifled, but we can understand why he does.

And then there are Juno's parents. As Juno's father, J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man's J. Jonah Jameson) lets the love and concern he has for his daughter show through his usual gruff exterior. And as Juno's stepmother, Alison Janney (who has played her share of caricatures, most recently in Hairspray) has moments of genuine warmth and compassion. Remarkably, while the film is clearly told from Juno's point of view, and while Juno's taste in music and knack for witticisms mark her as an alter ego of sorts for screenwriter Cody, the film is smart enough and broad-minded enough to recognize that Juno really is a naïve child in some ways, and that sometimes the adults—including those that Juno taunts—really do know better than her.

Juno and best friend Leah (Olivia Thirlby)

Juno is directed by Jason Reitman, whose last film was the scathingly brilliant satire Thank You for Smoking. The new film is, if anything, even better than his previous effort, and it works equally well as a story of pre-mid-life crisis—when, exactly, did Gen-Xers like Mark abandon the mosh pit for mortgages and families?—and as a straightforward high-school comedy, with hints of possible romance as Paulie shyly suggests that he and Juno should get back "together" on a long-term basis.

Note to those who may be drawn to the movie by the pro-life elements: It would be a stretch to say that Cody or Reitman intended this to be a "socially conservative" film. Juno and her friends are still teenagers, with all that that implies, though the jokes they tell never stray outside PG-13 territory. (This isn't a crass Judd Apatow film, in other words.) Also, it is worth noting that, when all is said and done, neither Juno nor her child end up in a traditional family, as such. But in a way, that just underscores the film's implicit pro-life sensibility. Life is life, and deserves to be nurtured, even—if not especially—when everything around it is broken.

The Family Corner For parents to consider
Juno is rated PG-13 for mature thematic material (a high school girl gets pregnant and goes to an abortion clinic, where she meets a pro-life classmate), sexual content (brief flashbacks to the moment when Juno and Paulie had sex, though without explicit nudity) and language (about half-a-dozen four-letter words). There are also a couple of brief and mildly irreverent, but not hostile, references to God and Jesus.
Copyright © 2007 Christianity Today International

Thursday, December 20, 2007

killed in 06

Protest Victory!

Greenwood Village, CO ( -- Pro-life advocates in the Denver area can continue protesting outside the home of a contractor who is leading the building of a new Planned Parenthood abortion business. Members of the city council of this suburb voted to allow the protests as long as they occurred only during the daytime.

The city council also limited the size of the signs so they wouldn't be an eye sore in the neighborhood.

Jo Scott, one of the pro-life people involved in the protests, told 7-News TV that they're letting area residents know information that Planned Parenthood won't divulge.

"Not only are our unborn children being killed, but our mother's are being damaged," she said. "When you kill in the womb, it leads to bloodshed on the streets."

Some local residents in the neighborhood said they were upset by the protests and Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said the contractors involved are "heroes."

"The contractors are heroes. (They) are helping us to build better access to health care," Cowart told the television station.

"It is not just an abortion clinic, it is comprehensive reproductive health care for women," Cowart claimed.

Colorado Families Against Planned Parenthood has been targeting contractors involved in building the facility since the construction of the new abortion center began.

Planned Parenthood has come under fire for hiding its identity during the building approval process by creating a front business to file paperwork under and using the name of the company that sold the land to it.

It purchased the land its using to build the new abortion center from United Airlines. During the approval process for starting the building project, Iowa-based contractor Weitz Company listed United as the owner of the property to hide Planned Parenthood's ownership of the land.

Furthermore, the web site reports, Planned Parenthood set up a front group called Fuller 38 to set up all of the operations.

No one knew until August that the new facility will house the pro-abortion group's headquarters and an abortion facility in the same 50,000-square foot space.

Colorado pro-life advocates met with representatives of the building firm and hoped to persuade the firm to boycott the project and refuse to build the abortion center, but found considerable resistance.

Leslie Durgin, a Planned Parenthood senior vice president, previously admitted to the Denver Post that she hoped the abortion center could be built secretly.

Planned Parenthood purchased the property, located down the street from Martin Luther King park, under a different name to keep the purchase secret, she said. Now that construction is set to begin, the abortion business is changing tactics.

"We changed that several months ago. We just decided that wasn't right for us," Durgin said. "We anticipate we will have protests."

Planned Parenthood began using the secret tactics when pro-life groups successfully got construction workers and firms to boycott building an abortion center in Austin, Texas. The abortion center eventually opened but the tactics delayed that for several months.

The abortion business is slated for completion by the summer of 2008 and it is located at 7155 E. 38th Ave.

Planned Parenthood of the Rock Mountains did 8,000 abortions last year on women from Colorado, Wyoming and other nearby states.

Printed from:

PP worker harasses woman at bus stop

The following is from an e-mail that we received from a young woman who was harassed by a Planned Parenthood employee while she was waiting at a bus stop in Pennsylvania.

My name is Samantha and I am 20 years old. I work full time in downtown Pittsburgh, Pa. I had an interesting conversation with someone who worked for Planned Parenthood the other day and I felt like sharing.

I was at my bus stop about 4 pm waiting for my bus to go home when someone who worked for Planned Parenthood came up to me and asked if I would like to make a donation to help support Planned Parenthood's efforts.

Now, knowing what I know about PP and having been pro-life since I first learned what abortion was, I POLITELY declined and told her that I was sorry but I did not support PP. This lady became irate. She asked what kind of person I was that did not support an organization that was committed to helping women and young girls. Once again, I politely told her that I was pro-life and I could not and would not support an organization that not only supports, but provides, abortions. She then told me that I had no clue what I was talking about and that I need to get my facts straight before I assumed things and get myself into trouble. It was at that point that I felt threatened, excused myself, and walked away to another bus stop.

I was appalled and at one point, even frightened for my safety. It was my first face to face with someone from PP and I hope to never have to go through that again.


PP clinic in Alabama no longer performing surgical or medical abortions

We have learned that Planned Parenthood in Huntsville, Alabama is no longer offering surgical or medical abortions. Thanks to the hard work of pro-lifers in Alabama, and with God’s help, we are happy to pass along the following e-mail:

I am writing to let you know that the Planned Parenthood in Huntsville, Alabama that we have been protesting has now stopped performing abortions. They are still open, but they are no longer performing any type of abortion. They have removed their license from the health department and are finished with that part! Thank you for your help! What a great Christmas present!

Protesting works! The peaceful protests in Huntsville did not close down the clinic (yet), but it did affect the business enough that they no longer do medical or surgical abortions. We encourage every one of our readers to find the nearest Planned Parenthood clinic and establish a presence outside it at least once a week. To find the clinic nearest to you, visit our map room.

From: STOPP (Stop Planned Parenthood)

Monday, December 17, 2007

An African Tale

Thompson and big sister!!

Some days sidewalk counseling can be tedious, other days it can be dangerous and in extremely hot or cold weather it can be physically taxing. But some days are just indescribably delicious. Wednesday was one of those days for this sidewalk counselor in Denver.

The day started out as usual, I was up and working at the computer before daylight, out the door by 8:00 A.M., and in front of Planned Parenthood abortion mill by 8:30 A. M. The young women walking into the mill were hard hearted and calloused. I wasn’t able to reach even one of them. My cell phone rang at 9:45 A.M.; it was Angie, calling from a nearby hospital to tell me that she was in labor. Several months ago I was able to talk her out of her abortion appointment at the Planned Parenthood abortuary. She needed emotional, Spiritual and financial help to continue her pregnancy and by the grace of God, we were able to provide it.

I was privileged to coach her through her labor and help her to usher little baby Thompson into the world. I can’t explain the overwhelming feelings of thanksgiving and humility that enveloped me when I looked into his precious little face and remembered back to the day that I confronted his mom with what she was about to do. I imagine that it is the same overwhelming experience that all sidewalk counselors have when they are so blessed as to hold the fruit of their ministry in their arms.
BUT, that is not all that happened on Wednesday. About four years ago a young woman from Liberia, Africa was scheduled for an abortion in September at the same Planned Parenthood death camp. Oretha and her one and a half year old son, Emanuel, had just arrived in the United States; she was afraid that she would be sent back to her war torn country by the United Nations if she were pregnant. When I met her she had no money and no food at home. To make matters worse her oldest son, Ephesian, was still in Africa somewhere, the war had separated them. She was frightened that she would never see him again unless she was able to work to raise the money to find him and bring him here. She was convinced that abortion was her only choice.
Fortunately, Oretha was a Christian, so when I talked to her about Jesus she listened. I reminded her that Jesus would not let her down, nor would we, the protesters and sidewalk counselors let her down. I promised her that we would stand with her and help her to find her oldest son, Ephesian. Oretha decided not to abort her child.

Saved baby Isaiah:

That evening, the phone rang, when I answered, Oretha was frantic, she cried, “You said that you would help me.” I was able to calm her down and convince her that we would help her and then she told me of her plight. The following day when I met with Oretha and I was able to provide her with the food that she needed and through God’s word inspire hope for the future. Although Ephesian was still in Africa, in time, Oretha began to believe that she would see him again. It has been about four years since the day that I met Oretha, who is now my beloved friend and sister in Christ.

On Wednesday evening, while little baby Thompson was being born, at long last, Ephesian landed at Denver International Airport. He walked off the plane and into his mother’s arms for the first time in over four years.

I met Ephesian the next morning, Thursday, December 13, 2007 at the United Nations office in Denver. I will never forget the look on Oretha’s face when I walked into that office. She had leaned on Jesus through the darkest of nights and now, sitting beside her was Ephesian her oldest son, holding his little brother Isaiah’s hand. (Emanuel was in school.) Oretha was radiant, her joy tangible and everyone in the room was caught up in the moment.

Mother & Son reunited:

There is not enough time in this short story to recount everything that Oretha and her people endured in Africa before they were able to make their way to America and freedom. And yet she has remained sweet, thankful and brimming with joy. We all could learn from her. Americans have more wealth than most of the world, our children live better than King Solomon could even dream of living and yet we have very little faith. I thank God everyday that I met Oretha and her family. She has taught my husband Ken and I more than we could teach her in two lifetimes and all because we stood at the gates of hell proclaiming the love of Jesus.

God Bless,
Ken and Jo Scott

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Playing God?

How sad and ironic that Representative
Degette doesn't recognize the grave danger
to her eternal soul by her advocacy of destroying
some innocent human lives for the benefit of others.

The Creator of the universe implores us to protect
and revere the innocents; not use them as a means
to an end. Killing a human being for the potential
of an enhanced quality of life, for those suffering illness,
is evil.

Playing God, indeed.

Leslie Hanks
V.P. Colorado Right to Life

DeGette to continue pushing for stem-cell research
By: The Denver Post
Created 12/02/2007 - 10:14am

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado made news this past week by endorsing Sen. Hillary Clinton for president. She'll be back in the spotlight in coming weeks as she continues her fight for federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research in light of a promising new study that ordinary skin cells can be transformed into embryonic stem cells.

POST: What do you think about last week's developments?

DeGETTE: To take adult stem cells and make them essential to other kinds of cells is a big breakthrough. But I would also sound a cautionary note that this research is really still in its nascent stages, and it is not — certainly at this point — a substitute for other kinds of research, like embryonic stem-cell research.

The religious right and the White House, every time there's some other breakthrough, they want to say that's a substitute for embryonic stem-cell research. In fact, we don't know which of these types of research will end up being the research that will end up curing all these diseases.

What we do know is embryonic stem-cell research is almost 10 years ahead of this new type of discovery, and so there are a lot of advances coming, particularly out of Great Britain and some other countries, on skin regeneration on macular degeneration.

I expect you'll see some big announcement in the next few months about embryonic stem cell research or somatic cell nuclear transfer or some other technique. What this all points out to me is that Congress needs to stop playing God, Congress and the White House need to stop telling researchers what types of cell research they should be doing.

POST: Do you foresee yourself running another embryonic stem-cell bill?

DeGETTE: I certainly do intend to reintroduce the bill, but we may want to look at other ways to move the issue.

We are so close on the research with so many of these diseases. One of my colleagues, Jim Langevin of Rhode Island, he's been in a wheelchair since he had a gun accident. You know they're close to nerve regeneration, they're close with the islet cell regeneration with diabetics. What it's going to take is some serious attention and resources through the NIH to all of this research.

I'm not going to say it's embryonic stem-cell research or it's adult stem-cell research or it's somatic cell nuclear transfer. Everybody was really happy to see that research announced last week, but ... we've got to think really hard about the ethics of what we're doing.

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) speaks as Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) listens during a news conference on the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, January 9, 2007 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Getty Images / Alex Wong) DC.

I went to England a couple of years ago. They have a whole system that they set up around the time in vitro fertilization clinics were set up. A board reviews all research proposals, not just embryonic stem-cell proposals, but anything having to do with these kinds of research.

The board is composed of researchers who don't have a financial interest, lay people and elected officials. And before someone can do this research in Great Britain, they have to submit a proposal to this board. We don't have anything like that in this country, even for the federal-funded lines of embryonic stem-cell research. We don't have any code of ethics for that or any ethical review.

Posted: Tuesday December 4, 2007 at 11:59 am EST by Judie Brown

This morning I had the great joy of reading a commentary on Dennis Byrne's blog. Byrne is a Chicago newspaper columnist and he is a very clever fellow.

His blog entry deals with the most recent meta-analysis studies that has shown that the birth control pill is linked to breast cancer. He was astounded that the Mayo Clinic Proceedings which published the study went totally unnoticed by the mainline media, and so he wrote, in his blog, "Since it was published more than a year ago, I couldn't find a single reference to it in the archives of the New York Times, Washingnton Post, Los Angeles Times or this paper. the Associated Press appers not to have covered it."

In fact, Byrne found nothing at all in the mainstream media including no mention of it by the American Cancer Society.

It's one thing for someone like me, a known pro-life fanatic who will not condone contraception, to shed light on the dishonesty of the media, but quite another when a member of that illustrious group exposes the deception himself. We should be grateful to Byrne for that.

He's a gusty guy. His analysis of the silence is most noteworthy. He says there has been so little attention to this study because the pill has been so widely accepted and has become such a key part of feminist ideology! Let's not forget that the pharmaceutical companies make so much from it. So few folks are willing at this stage to talk about the pill's dangers.

Sad but true. His bottom line is actually the saddest part of all. "The truth is that I'd just as soon not write about it, for all the heat it generates. I just wish that someone else would."

Amen, Dennis! Thank God for you!

Monday, December 03, 2007


Grand Valley residents seeking stem cell therapies that come with ethical questions

The Daily Sentinel
Friday, November 30, 2007

Rusty Leech wants to go to the bathroom on his own.

Jordanne Menzies hasn’t hugged her family or friends in nearly four years. She wants to, desperately, but she can’t lift her arms.

Improved quality of life has driven the paralyzed Grand Junction man and the Fruita woman to seek stem cell therapy to possibly help them regain some feeling and movement after a combined 13 years in wheelchairs.

Rusty and Jordanne call their ensuing treatments investments of hope, but both wish they didn’t have to fly thousands of miles for procedures they argue should be available in the United States.

But not everyone agrees that all forms of stem cell therapy have a place, here or overseas.

“We are opposed to anything making the sanctity of life into a utilitarian product,” said Leslie Hanks, vice president of Colorado Right to Life in Denver.


Rusty, 50, left Monday for India, where he and his wife Kathy will spend at least $35,000 for an embryonic stem cell therapy that might not work.

“I have to go there thinking this may not do it for me, but I hope it does,” he said.

Jordanne, 22, and her family plan to fly to San Jose, Costa Rica, in January for $17,000 of injections of stem cells taken from the umbilical cord of a healthy, live baby.

“I want this to work, so I’m going to try it at least,” she said.

Rusty and Jordanne researched numerous stem cell treatment options and potential risks and rewards before deciding to fly to India and Costa Rica, respectively. Both had to apply and be accepted by the therapy programs.

The medical procedures are not matters of life or death. They also are not guaranteed cures.

Stem cells are essentially the building blocks of the human body.

There are two types of stem cells: embryonic and adult.

Embryonic stem cells are found in human embryos as young as 5 days old and have the potential to become any type of cell or tissue, according to Teresa Coons, senior scientist at St. Mary’s Saccomanno Research Institute in Grand Junction.

When an embryo becomes a fetus, at about 8-weeks, stem cells typically have become coded for whatever cell or tissue they will become. They also contain antigen proteins genetically specific to the person they are from, Coons said.

Stem cells found in an umbilical cord have the ability to become many cell types, however, there are limitations.

Adult stem cells found in organs and tissue such as bone marrow of anyone — baby to grandmother — are coded and can only develop into a specific type of cell or tissue, Coons said.

The seemingly limitless potential of stem cells is why medical research is focused on developing them to treat diseases and terminal conditions such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and paralysis.

“Just within the last five years, there started being some therapies that had promise,” said Rusty, who has been a paraplegic for nine years.

About two weeks ago, in fact, two separate scientific teams — from the University of Wisconsin and Japan — claimed to have reprogrammed adult skin cells to take on the power of stem cells. Human embryos weren’t involved.

Research continues around the world. Both Michael J. Fox, of “Family Ties” and “Back To the Future” fame, and Christopher Reeve, known for his film role as Superman, have foundations to raise awareness for stem cell research. The Christopher Reeve Foundation “supports the responsible pursuit of human embryonic stem cell research.”

Reeve became a quadriplegic in a 1995 equestrian accident. He died in 2004.

Fox has Parkinson’s disease. His foundation tracks medical developments, including stem cell research, at It also supports embryonic stem cell research.

President George W. Bush, who has long taken a stance against embryonic stem cell research because embryos are destroyed in the process, praised the recent scientific findings in a statement.

“The president believes medical problems can be solved without compromising either the high aims of science or the sanctity of human life,” said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino in the statement. “We will continue to encourage scientists to expand the frontiers of stem cell research and continue to advance the understanding of human biology in an ethically responsible way.”

Colorado Right to Life and Focus on the Family, both based in Colorado, are just two organizations opposed to embryonic stem cell research but not necessarily against advancements in all stem cell medical research.

“It is never morally or ethically justified to kill one human being in order to help benefit another,” said a Focus on the Family statement on its Web site, “Opposing the willful destruction of human embryos for medical research does not mean that stem cell research cannot proceed. Focus on the Family encourages scientists to continue to explore stem cells found in other sources, including blood and skin cells, bone marrow and umbilical-cord blood.”


Hanks said she personally doesn’t have an issue with stem cell therapy when adult stem cells or stem cells from umbilical cords are used as long humans were not harmed or killed in the process.

Jordanne, a quadriplegic for nearly four years, will receive four stem cell injections directly into the spot of her injury — the C-3, C-4 and C-5 vertebrae on her neck — at the Institute of Cellular Medicine in San Jose, Costa Rica.

She will be in Costa Rica for one week. At least one doctor and an nurse from the United States work at the institute.

Jordanne said she researched clinics around the world, but the Costa Rican clinic was the first one where she actually found the admission application to download. She took it as a sign. Jordanne was accepted into the program earlier this year.

“It feels right,” she said. “It’s the right timing, and it’s going to happen. ... The best case scenario? I don’t know. Getting everything back would be awesome, but getting an arm back would be very cool, too. I would probably give everybody a hug.”

The stem cells to be injected into Jordanne were harvested from the umbilical cords of healthy full-term babies after birth, which Jordanne said was important to her.

Although Hanks was unfamiliar with umbilical-cord stem cell therapy, she did not see any controversy in the method Jordanne selected.

“I can’t think of a drawback of umbilical-cord blood,” Hanks said.

However, Jordanne’s therapy does have an added risk because she is receiving umbilical-cord stem cells containing antigen proteins genetically specific to another person. She expects to have to take medication so her body doesn’t reject the stem cells.

There also is the possibility that tumors and cancerous lesions could form as her body fights the introduced cells.

Rusty considered flying to Turkey for a treatment using adult stem cells taken from bone marrow, but he changed his mind after reading an article by Dr. S. Laurance Johnston in August’s Paraplegia News magazine. It touted the embryonic stem cell therapy being conducted by Dr. Geeta Shroff, an Indian infertility expert.

The buzz about Shroff gave Rusty a glimmer of hope.

Shroff’s clinic is one of the first publicly known clinics in the world to use human embryonic stem cells for therapy, wrote Johnston, who is the former director of research and education at the National Office of Paralyzed of America. He now writes reviews of potential stem cell treatments for the magazine.

Embryonic stem cell therapy also has risks, but since the cells aren’t specifically coded Rusty won’t have to take anti-rejection medication.

By now, Rusty should be at Shroff’s Nu Tech Mediworld clinic in Delhi, India. He will be there until early February receiving daily stem cell therapy.

His treatment includes physical therapy to rebuild atrophied muscle and stem cell injections into his veins, muscles and the spinal site of his injury — the T-10 vertebrae.

“It is about six hours daily of injection and therapy,” he said.

The stem cells for Rusty’s treatment were harvested from a single embryo created from a human egg fertilized in a Petri dish.

Shroff developed stem cell lines from the embryo with permission from the donors, who likely would have discarded it as a excess embryo, according to Johnston’s article.

The stem cell lines target specific disorders such as spinal cord injuries.

The embryo was destroyed; however, the scientific procedure has been used to help approximately 300 people, Johnston wrote.

“That’s destroying a human life for somebody else’s benefit,” Hanks said. “God has not granted us the authority. Talk about playing God. That is absolutely wrong.”

Leech said he is aware of the controversy surrounding embryonic stem cell therapy.

He has not received flak from friends for his decision to receive the treatment. He is hopeful he will not receive any criticism for his choice.

“To me, you are limiting caring for people,” Rusty said of withholding certain medical treatments for moral reasons. “You have taken medical science away from trying to care for people. I’m tired of being controlled. How is that taking care of your people?”

Rusty has read about stem cell procedures using shark and pig stem cells. He admittedly has been skeptical of many treatments he has read about on the Internet.

“You have to take a leap of faith,” Rusty said. “This is the best I’ve found. I think I have to take a chance.”

Melinda Mawdsley can be reached via e-mail at

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