Category Archives: Adoption

Natural Child Birth

Jane Jimenez

Jane Jimenez

December 5, 2005

Setting out the Christmas decorations, a child in the manger, watched over by mother and father, honored by shepherds and wise men, welcomed with love…it gives rise to thoughts about the wonder of life.

Those of us in the boomer generation have lived through a time of great human experimentation.  It has focused on the foundational definition of life itself, with stunning implications for our children and grandchildren.  We stand on the brink of the brave new world we read about in high school English.  And we have a solemn duty.  We must bear witness to the changes we have made to a thread of life that will trail behind as we leave this earth.

Once upon a time, a man and a woman fell in love.  They committed to a lifetime together and gave birth to children.  As each baby grew in the womb, local wives tales served to predict whether the child was a boy or a girl.  In the end, couples went to the delivery room with one prayer, “Let our baby be healthy.”

Today, babies are ordered up according to specifications, like picking out a Beanie Baby off the shelf, ready-made.  The variations on designing babies is endless:

  • In 2002, the story broke about a lesbian couple, both of them deaf, who chose to create a deaf baby.  Their son Gauvin was the second deaf child fathered for them by a sperm donor with five generations of deafness in his family.
  • Recent debate has focused on whether technology should be used to eliminate congenital diseases or disabilities. Many disability and gay organizations have felt threatened by the concept of pursuing “perfect” children.
  • In Britain, the legal barriers preventing a couple from creating a designer baby to help save the life of an existing sick child were eliminated in 2001.  Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis on embryos not only promises a baby free of certain identifiable diseases, but also allows “embryo selection” to determine the sex of a baby.
  • Chinese demographers warn that the nation’s social fabric could unravel based on sex selection that eliminates girl babies.  Figures published in Chinese media reveal 116.86 boys are born for every 100 girls in China. Since the 1970s, when China instituted its strict birth control policy, couples have sought ways to guarantee a son.
  • Sex selection in India and China is achieved chiefly through ultrasound scans followed by the selective abortion of female fetuses. In the United States, the Genetics and IVF Institute in Fairfax, Virginia, is pioneering preconception sex selection by means of a system that segregates sperm that will produce girls from those that will produce boys.
  • In England, Jamie Whitaker was designed by and born to his parents for the purpose of providing a genetic match to four-year-old brother Charlie who suffers from leukemia. Called “test tube baby treatment”, Jamie’s father defends the process by saying he didn’t select his baby for insignificant reasons like color of eyes or sex.  The Whitaker’s doctor Mohammad Taranissi says he is aware of dozens of other couples who want to undergo this same procedure.
  • Faced with high rates of infertility and a declining number of infants available for adoption, infertility treatment has become big business in the United States.  “Success” at producing pregnancies has given rise to the “problem” of increasing multiple births.  Twin births have risen 52% and triplet and greater births have quadrupled since 1980.  Multiple births increased by nearly 400% for women in their 30s and by more than 1,000% for women in their 40s.
  • In 2004, researchers in South Korea created 30 cloned embryos that grew to about 100 cells in size – further than any verified experiment so far. This meant they were able to harvest embryonic stem cells from one of the embryos. Internationally, scientists expressed concern that maverick scientists learning from this experiment will soon attempt to clone a baby. For the South Korean experiments, scientists used 242 eggs donated from 16 healthy women.
  • In 2005, the key South Korean doctor admitted to paying these women for “egg retrieval” in violation of ethical assurances the eggs had been donated.  Bioethicists warn of the dangers such payments pose for coercing poor women into risky medical procedures.
  • Insurance companies are coming closer to dictating gene profiling of unborn babies.  Many anticipate a day when insurance carriers will enforce abortion on parents with a “choose or lose” policy that refuses medical coverage for babies born with problems diagnosed in the womb.

With so much recent attention on creating babies, we must remember this is all taking place at the same time we are aborting over 1.2 million babies each year in the United States.  The reason?  No room at the inn…we can’t find a way to make a place for these babies in our lives.

Two thousand years have passed since the birth of the baby in the manger.  In the past forty years we have prided ourselves on modern progress.  We are busy manufacturing a world to leave our children, where babies are products of human design that can be destroyed like all products when they fail to meet manufacturer specifications.

It seems particularly important this year to look up at the sky and wonder at the majesty of babies created by the great Creator.  If we are dissatisfied with His grand design, how can we feel any greater satisfaction at our own handiwork?

Perhaps we would be better off accepting all babies that arrive at the doorstep, giving praise for their blessing to our lives, opening the door, and making one more bed in the inn.

August 1, 2005 – Signs of Life

January 17, 2005 – The Pregnant Elephant in the Room

June 25, 2004 – Unplanned Joy

See Archives for more past editorials.

Succeeding at Failure

Jane Jimenez

Jane Jimenez

September 5, 2005

Timken High School in Canton, Ohio, has succeeded in setting a new record.  Sixty-five of the girls attending Timken are pregnant.

This record is matched by another startling local statistic.  According to the Canton Health Department, out of 586 babies born through July at local hospitals, 104 of the babies had mothers between the ages of 11 and 19.

Nationally, last week, radio and television talking heads picked up this story and ran with it.  Outrageous, they shouted.  Outrageous!  What a dismal record of failure!

Failure?  Really?

Think about it.  Timken girls and boys have succeeded at one thing.  They have succeeded in absorbing the messages of modern American culture and incorporating those messages into their lives.

Reality television validates casual sex between “consenting” guys and gals.  So Timken guys and gals consented.

Popular entertainment idols jump in and out of bed so fast that we lose count.  So Timken teens played like they are stars of the silver screen.

“Sexperts” insist that teens are incapable of resisting sexual temptations.  So Timken teens didn’t.

“Sexucators” go into classrooms and use false promises of “protection” and “safe sex” to downplay the true failure rates of condoms.  Sex is fun, not risky.  So Timken teens reach for promises of good times.

Rap and sports heroes brag about the number of women they conquer…and leave.  So Timken males fade into the background as the girls are counted by statisticians.

And sadly, American culture runs away from defining marriage as an expected standard for raising children.  So Timken teens will be unmarried parents.

If you consider what we are teaching our children, it appears that Timken teens have simply excelled at learning what they have been taught.  They are not alone.

Stella is a pregnant teen who doesn’t attend Timken.  She and her boyfriend were really “serious.”  So they had sex.  Now he’s gone and Stella is pregnant.

Sure, her feelings are hurt at being dumped by her boyfriend.  But Stella likes being pregnant.  She looks forward to being a mother and having a baby to hold.  And maybe, just maybe, her boyfriend will come back.

Next week, Stella’s friends and family are throwing her a baby shower.  Her aunt has brought over a baby bed and stroller.  And everyone is getting excited, anticipating her approaching due date.

Statisticians will count Stella as an unfortunate unwed pregnant teen.  But in the real world where Stella lives, she is making a family using the pattern she has been given.

She had sex because she was serious with her boyfriend.  And she is having a baby because she is pregnant.  Stella has grown up in a world where babies enter our lives as casually as new cars and prom dresses.

If you talk with Stella and her friends…and I suspect the young girls of Timken high…they have the same eternal dream of women going back thousands of years.  They long to be mothers and raise children.   And they are.

They have learned what “sexucators” have been teaching.  Babies are no longer the expected product of a married couple committed to each other for life.  Marriage, sex, love, infatuation, fun, babies and families…all of it is up for grabs…depending on the mood of the day and the luck of the dice.

Is it failure when 65 girls at Timken High School are pregnant?  Not if they have succeeded in learning what we have been teaching them.


October 29, 2004 – Food for the Brain

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Planning to Have an Emergency

Jane Jimenez

Jane Jimenez

August 29, 2005

It is called emergency contraception.  By any other name, Roget’s Thesaurus calls it a crisis, a highly volatile, dangerous situation requiring immediate remedial action.

We’re all familiar with emergencies.  The water pipe that breaks and floods the house…

…the car brakes that fail, sending you sailing through the intersection right under a red light…

…the flames erupting from the skillet on the stove, burning oil popping onto wood cabinets and kitchen curtains…

…the category four hurricane bearing down on your coastal home…

…the tight chest pains making you collapse onto the snow bank you’ve been shoveling…

…all of them…dangerous situations requiring immediate remedial action.

It used to be called emergency contraception for a good reason.  It implied that thoughtful, careful people were going about their lives, following prudent actions, taking care to avoid emergencies…when all of a sudden…an emergency happened…totally out of the blue…unexpected…unanticipated…and outside of our control.

Emergency contraception?  Where is the emergency?

The campaign to provide emergency contraception over the counter to all women, and the girls who would one day be women, belies the very essence of its name.  The Morning After…in the light of day, with both feet on the ground, when it comes to mind that we had an emergency last night…there’s a better remedy for this type of emergency than taking a little pill

The remedy for the morning after is engaging the brain on the night before.  Yet, the biggest fans of emergency contraception are those who oppose abstinence education, who reject the idea that children should learn sex is best inside marriage.

Repackaging “the morning after pill” as emergency contraception is a public relations game of the first order.  Sheila, the director of a pregnancy clinic, attests to this.  As the media blitz first put emergency contraception on the front page, calls to her clinic skyrocketed…calls from men.  Over three-fourths of the questions for Sheila about using the “emergency” pill came from men.

Like professional hucksters, proponents for over-the-counter access to emergency contraception point to the married woman whose birth control failed.  They point to rape victims.  Yet for these emergencies, we can create effective access to emergency contraception.  It doesn’t require putting this pill in easy reach of teen girls.

Truth is, if you think you might be planning to have an emergency, there’s a better way.  Plan to not have an emergency.  Plan sex for the right time and with the right person.  The Centers for Disease Control says the healthiest time for sex should be in a lifelong, monogamous, faithful relationship.  Mom and dad call it marriage.

Plan B, for emergencies, works best when we know what a real emergency is.  And anyone who wants to give us a plan for emergencies owes us the best plan of all…a plan for avoiding them.  Plan A.  Abstinence until marriage.


June 6, 2005 – Planned Parenthood’s War Against Choice

See Archives for more past editorials.


Signs of Life

Jane Jimenez

Jane Jimenez

August 1, 2005

On the one hand, mankind has been engaged in an eternal quest for the explanation of human existence…where did we come from?  And this debate eventually gets reduced to the basic test…looking for signs of life in the primordial soup.

Where did the first living cell come from, the building block of life?  In the 1950s, a doctoral student at the University of Chicago was busy researching early earth.  Bringing together the work of several scientists, Stanley Miller created a chamber with only hydrogen, water, methane, and ammonia to simulate the possible atmosphere of the first earth.

To speed up “geologic time,” Miller boiled the water.  Then, instead of exposing the mix to ultraviolet light, he used an electric discharge to simulate lightning. After just a week, Miller had a residue of compounds. He analyzed them and the results were electrifying: Organic compounds had been formed, most notably some of the “building blocks of life,” amino acids.

Miller’s experiment and his small collection of amino acids were instantly heralded as the first evolutionary sign of life.  At the same time, other scientists were beginning to break into the DNA code to unravel the chemical design of life.

Their claims of support for evolution have not gone unchallenged.  One of the most striking discussions on the possible origins of life is Michael Behe’s book, Darwin’s Black Box.  A biochemist at Lehigh University, Behe explains complex chemical concepts in plain English, disputing the probability of evolution by chance.

Miller and Behe are two of the many experts at the center of raging debates about human life.  Amazon posts 477 reviews from Behe’s readers alone. On the one hand, peering millions of years into the past, we are feverishly seeking the first sign of life.

On the other hand, with evidence in front of us in the here and now of the most perfectly designed living beings, we are engaged in another feverish battle to ignore signs of life.

Delivering the decision of the Supreme Court in 1973, Justice Blackmun recorded the history of “attitudinal change” regarding the “potentiality of human life.”  For the Pythagoreans, “the embryo was animate from the moment of conception, and abortion meant destruction of a living being.”  In other words, they saw signs of life.  And for Blackmun, this was evidence of their backward thinking and inflexible dogma.

As a modern Intellectual, Justice Blackmun wrestled with “the raw edges of human existence,” looking for signs of life.  But this was hard for him because of the distraction of pollution.  Pollution?  Yes, pollution…it’s right there in Blackmun’s decision.  The Supreme Court can’t find signs of life because of pollution, even as Stanley Miller claimed signs of life in theoretical primordial soup?

For Justice Blackmun, the science of life was not a concrete matter based on fact.  It was a problem with “racial overtones,” complicated, fraught with emotion and subject to “attitudinal change.”  For Stanley Miller, either it was an amino acid, or it wasn’t.  Attitude and emotion had nothing to do with signs of life.

In 1973, Blackmun struggled to find even “the potentiality of human life.”  In 2000, Justice Breyer evaluated a pile of evidence demonstrating more than life’s “potentiality” and declared for the court… “We don’t care.”

Reading through the Court Decision of Stenberg v. Carhart, a truly civilized human must cringe at the signs of life described.  Clinical details of the doctor’s procedure describe  instrumental disarticulation or dismemberment of the fetus or the collapse of fetal parts to facilitate evacuation from the uterus.  The Court writes of problems in the dismemberment of life that can result in a ‘free floating’ fetal head that can be difficult for a physician to grasp and remove.

On the one hand, thousands of the brightest minds in science are intent on defending the evidence of life implied in a simple amino acid.  On the other hand, hundreds of the most educated minds in America are intent on denying absolute signs of life inside the womb.

Has the best of human intellect and the purest of the human spirit reduced us to this level?  Pushing aside the facts, we find signs of life when we want to?

Supreme Court Decision:  Stenberg v. Carhart

Decision Issued June 28, 2000

December 10, 2004:  The Best Part of Snuggling

Abortion Recall

Jane Jimenez

Jane Jimenez

July 4, 2005

Six hours in the airport…

Surrounded by restless, cranky children and their restless, cranky parents…

Our flight is delayed again…and I have finished my book.

This is the time when boredom overtakes good manners, and I begin to read the newspaper in the hands of the woman across the aisle.  My eyesight is just good enough to pick up the headlines:

Massive Drug Recall Spurs Questions

I have two hours in the airport to find a way to move into the seat next to the woman and finish reading the story over her shoulder.  It only takes five minutes.  Next to her, a restless business executive rises, checks his watch, and heads for the nearest lounge.  I slip into his seat and begin reading.

The massive drug recall announced on the front page of USA Today papers is actually spawned in a small New Jersey community.  Able Laboratories has suddenly pulled off the market millions of doses of drugs.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced “serious concerns” that drugs produced by Able Laboratories “were not produced according to quality assurance standards.”  Over 295 products are included in the recall.

Drug recalls…food recalls…medical device recalls…the FDA website list of recalls, withdrawals and alerts in the last 60 days is five pages long.  Consumers are told to beware of bed systems, sulfites in dried vegetables, Mariani brand fancy golden raisins, undeclared soy nets in Catherine’s Finest Pecan Caramel Clusters, BetacTM, pet treats, implantable cardiac defibrillators, Elegant Gourmet cookies, Xigris, almonds…and more.

A recall of raw almonds due to reports of Salmonella Enteriditis in 2004 alone necessitated the recall of over 40 products from companies around the world:  Royal Food International, GKI Foods, Sahadi Fine Foods, Apple Valley, Fort Fudge Shop, Jeppi Nut and Candy Company…and more.

And it should be no surprise that recalls can launch a flurry of lawsuits.  At consumers are told “Lawyers Investigating.”  You can click on the link and “find out about the drug recall.  You may be able to get Cash back!”  The list of “cash cows” over the years is extensive:  Accutane, Celebrex, Ephedra, Fen-Phen, Lamisil, Viagra, Vioxx…and more.

Whole industries have collapsed as their products are challenged.  Cigarettes, once the chic statement of Bogart and Bacall, after a twenty year campaign succeeded in uncovering the truth of research hidden and denied by tobacco companies, are now called “cancer sticks” on late night television.

Protecting billions of dollars of corporate profit, the temptation to hide product defects is enormous.  Yet, truth does eventually surface…as Ford found out.  Court cases documented that between 1971 and 1978, the Ford Pinto was responsible for a number of fire-related deaths.  Ford puts the figure at 23; critics say the figure is closer to 500. The auto manufacturer did manage to survive the litigation, but not before being ordered by a California jury to pay a record-breaking judgment of $128 million.

With such an extensive record of drug and product recalls in America, one must wonder why discussions of abortion remain so simplistic.  “Are you for abortion?  Or against it?”  Did we ever ask, “Are you for tobacco?  Or against it?”  We simply laid out the facts about tobacco and let people enforce the truth, if needed, through the courts.

Are you for the Pinto?  Or against it?  How can you know the answer to the question unless someone tells you the truth about the design flaw in the fuel tanks that causes them to rupture and explode into fire, killing the people you love?

Abortion is more than politics.  It is a product.  It is a product that has survived without question over thirty years in America.  It is sold to consumers as a wonderful solution to their problems.

Yet, when a courageous editor is willing to challenge the liberal bias of his industry, stories expose the underbelly of abortion that many wish to deny.  Women die from abortion, both surgical and chemical.  Babies survive from abortion, even if maimed.

Abortion is linked to high rates of infertility, fueling a billion dollar industry for women who finally do wish to bring their pregnancies to term.  And battles over the link of abortion to breast cancer are clouded by the knowledge that even scientists and researchers can hide the truth about products for the sake of the corporate bottom line.

Don’t be surprised if one day, when we are able to discuss abortion and the complexities of what it means to have courts protect the sale of this surgery because they are “for abortion”…don’t be surprised if one day, the truth rises from the ashes of people who suffered because we failed to ask the right questions.

An abortion recall…it’s not as far-fetched an idea as you might think.

June 25, 2004:  Unplanned Joy

January 15, 2005:  The Pregnant Elephant in the Room