Wednesday, November 17, 2004

The March of Dimes and Abortion

March of Dimes Exposé
Exposing the Hidden Link
(Reprinted with permission from "Lifelines, newspaper of the Pennsylvania
Pro-Life Federation")

For years the March of Dimes (MOD) has been boycotted by pro-life groups
for its involvement in the abortion industry. Unfortunately, many
well-meaning pro-life citizens continue to support MOD, not knowing one of
the group's methods of preventing what it calls "Birth Defects" is to
promote abortion.

MOD was one of the major forces behind the development and widespread use
of amniocentesis in the second trimester of pregnancy. Amniocentesis is a
test commonly used to determine if an unborn child has a congenital
abnormality, knowledge of which can facilitate the decision to abort
"defective" children.

Pat Robertson of CBN and the Christian Coalition asked those with this
philosophy, "Would we have been better off if there had never been a Helen
Keller or Beethoven or Einstein -- all of whom had "birth defects?"

Henry Foster, who was rejected by the Senate as President Clinton's
nominee for Surgeon General, served on the March of Dimes' Medical Service
Advisory committee. While on the committee, Foster admitted doing nearly
700 abortions following the results of amniocentesis,. Foster also
defended fetoscopic prenatal research as "clearly therapeutic" since "it
was done for the same reason that we do amniocentesis, to decide whether
or not the pregnancy should continue, and to provide a therapeutic

Dr. David Nathan, Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard University, MOD
grantee, and National MOD adviser, explained that one particularly
elaborate international prenatal testing arrangement involving scientists
in London, New Haven, and Boston was done in order that "knowledge go on,
vital clinical testing go on, and when necessary, abortions go on."

In a letter to Congress in 1978, MOD president Charles Massey wrote in
favor of legislation to fund this genetic screening. Massey notes, "The
financial cost of treating and institutionalizing our severely affected
survivors is staggering; we cannot begin to measure the cost."

MOD has given several grants for developing tests that can detect
abnormalities in the first trimester. Prostaglandin abortionists Dr.
Maurice J. Mahoney of Yale received $35,000 for research on chorionic
villi sampling and for developing a prenatal diagnostic technique that
would permit the first-trimester abortion of affected pre-born children.
>From 1989 to 1990, MOD gave $50,000 to Dr. Haig H. Kazazian of Johns
Hopkins University, a staunch advocate of eugenic abortion, to perfect
methods to detect, early in pregnancy, disorders such as beta-thalassemia,
hemophilia A, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and cystic fibrosis - none of
which is treatable in the womb.

MOD has also funded fetal experimentation and fetal tissue use for more
than two decades. In the early 1970's, MOD gave $19,000 to Dr. John F.S.
Crocker of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to study
congenital kidney abnormalities. This study involved "60 pairs of
embryonic kidneys . . . obtained from human therapeutic abortions after
five to twelve weeks gestation."

In 1973-74, MOD gave $9,420 for appallingly grotesque fetal brain
metabolism studies in Helsinki, Finland on living, human babies aborted by
hysterotomy and still attached by the umbilical cord to the mother. The
babies were then decapitated and their heads were mounted on perfusion
equipment. Arthur A. Galloway, MOD Vice President for Development,
defended this research, saying it was "done legally and ethically" under
Finnish law; that "the investigators did not participate in the decision
to terminate pregnancy;" and "they were concerned with the ethics of
discarding such fetal issue without seeking to find ways to improve the
life and health of live born premature infants."

In the 1970's, a MOD grant was awarded to Dr. A. de la Chapelle of the
University of Helsinki for research on maternal and fetal blood cells to
detect genetic conditions early in pregnancy. Some cell sources for the
experiment were obtained "by open-heart puncture of 10 week fetuses that
had been aborted for various reasons, not connected with fetal diseases."
(Healthy babies)

MOD published Strategies in Genetic Counseling: Reproductive Genetics and
New Age Technologies in 1990. The book states the March of Dimes'
viewpoint that, "There is no substitution for a constitutional right to
abortion which protects our fundamental rights." Fortunately, pro-life
leaders say, many Americans still recognize the fact that pre-born
children, perfect and imperfect, are among those with fundamental rights
to be protected.

Thankfully, there is a pro-life alternative for those wishing to support
prenatal research. Those wishing to support life-supporting-birth defect
prevention research may send donations to the Michael Fund, a pro-life
genetic research foundation seeking to protect both unborn children with
defects and children and adults with defects.

Because Down Syndrome babies are often among those innocent babies killed
by abortion, the Michael Fund places special emphasis on Down Syndrome
research. Columnist Rich Hinshaw says, "It is one of the triumphs of
modern society that the life of the average person with Down Syndrome has
become strikingly normal - except that, unlike normal people, people with
Down Syndrome have been targeted for elimination."