My Grandpa Is Dying From Parkinson’s & I Still Don’t Support Planned Parenthood
My Grandpa Is Dying From Parkinson’s & I Still Don’t Support Planned Parenthood
Hanging from my rear-view mirror is the silver Parkinson’s ribbon and a small charm that says, “For my Grandpa.” My Grandpa was diagnosed with this horrific disease, as well as Lewy Body Disease, years ago. The latter brings with it hallucinations and memory loss, because apparently tremors and pain weren’t enough. I’ve often wondered why such horrible things happen to such decent people. Such diseases should be spared for the murderers and pedophiles, not the gentle souls they attack so often. It wouldn’t feel so unfair if he had not given me a reason to miss who he was so much, and for that I am blessed.
Anyone that truly knows me is aware of how strong the bond is between my Grandpa and I; I even planned to one day have my Dad on one arm and my Grandpa on the other as I was walked down the aisle. These diseases stole that from me. He was strong, selfless, dependable, and would drop everything for anyone that needed him; I’m convinced he does not have an enemy in this world. Occasionally he’s alert, other days he’s far from it. Sometimes you can see that he recognizes your face, and other days he wouldn’t know the difference between you or the nurse. He’s confined to a bed or wheelchair at all times; he can’t feed himself, he can’t dress himself, and if he gets out a few words my family considers it a good day.
When I think back to when he was lively and singing to me on his back porch, only to be reduced to this 10 years later, it infuriates me. I remember following him around, fishing with him for hours at a time when I was little, and spending my lunch break with him when I got my first job. He even let me dye his hair pink after losing to me in penny poker. I grew up sitting on my Grandparent’s porch and he’d fill my mind with stories about hard work, relationships, the Navy, life, happiness, and most of all: baseball. I miss his sarcasm and silly stories, and I miss seeing the pride he has in his family; I’ve yet to meet a person that he knew who didn’t say, “Your Grandpa sure adores you.”
Now he’s slowly dying.
I hate it.
I hate Parkinson’s.
I hate Alzheimer’s.
I hate Lewy Body Disease.
And I hate what Planned Parenthood has done in the name of helping him, which brings me to the reason for this post.
Planned Parenthood has recently been touting fetal donations for the sake of disease research, and they’ve also said it is necessary for vaccines. Planned Parenthood released a story about a woman who was, in her words, “able to turn my pain into something that could benefit someone else.” After finding out that her unborn child had spina bifida and a tethered spinal cord, they made the decision to end the pregnancy at 22 weeks, and donate their child’s remains to medical research. She asks that others understand what it would mean to the research of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, and sickle cell disease, should the Planned Parenthood organ harvesting discontinue. She asks you to consider the family members of those suffering who no doubt want their loved ones to live “longer, fuller lives.”
I am one of those family members, and I have something to say about that.
Of course I want my Grandpa to live a longer and fuller life, who wouldn’t? However, I have two major issues with this thought process, and the thought process of many others who support such actions in the name of medical research, research they claim will someday save great men like my Grandpa.
1. The science does not point to necessity:
In an article on The Federalist, Amy Otto points out that needing fetal cells for vaccines is false:
The implication is that we need more abortions to make vaccines that were developed 50 years ago. We don’t. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “some vaccines such as rubella and varicella [were] made from human cell-line cultures, and some of these cell lines originated from aborted fetal tissue, obtained from legal abortions in the 1960s. No new fetal tissue is needed to produce cell lines to make these vaccines, now or in the future.”
Even a recent CNN article acknowledged such facts:
Today manufacturers of the polio vaccine use other types of human cells, which weren’t available in the mid-1900s. They also use monkey cells, which they originally avoided for fear that making the vaccine in animal cells could put people at risk of diseases from other species.
Many of our other common vaccines, such as chicken pox, rubella and shingles, have been produced in tissue derived from fetuses, particularly two electively terminated pregnanciesfrom the 1960s. Advances in how researchers work with cells have allowed them to grow fetal cells indefinitely in Petri dishes, thus not requiring samples from any newly aborted fetuses.
They also comment on possible alternatives for additional research concerning diseases:
“The use of fetal tissue may also be supplanted in some cases by cells from umbilical cord blood. Amy Hudson, associate professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at Medical College of Wisconsin.
A lot of research in the last 10 years has also focused on using fetal neuronal cells for Parkinson’s and another degenerative disease called Huntington’s. Although early research on this approach for Parkinson’s patients was not encouraging, a small subset of patients do appear to benefit from it.
Nevertheless, clinical research on tissue transplantation as a disease treatment may eventually be able to replace fetal tissue with stem cells, Hyun said.
In another Otto article, she points out that fetal tissue therapies are far from promising, due to the limited supply. If both sides of the aisle encourage women to abort sooner than later – as they do – the “parts” most usable in aborted infants are no longer usable, including fetal neural retina tissue.
In other words, they want to graft fetal neural retina tissue onto the eyes of elderly people with failing eyesight. If the study improves the eyesight of the elderly better or cheaper than laser surgery, supply is going to be an issue. This is where science and research meet supply and demand, i.e. reality. If you are going to fund and investigate a procedure that will never be scalable in the real world, unless our society decides to increase abortions and fetal harvesting to help improve the eyesight of the elderly, science is going to have to invent another way to solve these problems.
Those in the industry acknowledge the ethical and availability issues that make harvesting fetal organs for research an issue.
“Despite the long history of using fetal tissue in medicine and research, the practice could be on the way out. Even though it has led to important medical advances in the last several decades, ‘in the future, the need for fetal tissue will go down because of advances in stem cell [technology] that will take over,’ [Insoo Hyun, associate professor of bioethics at Case Western Reserve University, told CNN.]”
Even the CEO of StemExpress, which buys baby parts from Planned Parenthood, was quoted in March 2015 as saying “Stem cells and regenerative medicine are the future of medicine, and we’re doing that together, right here in El Dorado County.” The article discusses the benefits of cord blood donation and new techniques that use a patient’s own blood cells before chemotherapy to help treat cancer.
I believe it is abhorrent that some use “medical research” to justify the violence we see in the undercover videos. Which brings me to the second – most important – point of my post.
2. My Grandpa wouldn’t want this.
If my Grandpa knew that so many were taking the lives of innocent human beings so brutally, and using his illness and suffering to build their narrative, I firmly believe he would be revolted. The Planned Parenthood videos lean towards the fact that financial gain is the goal, but since they’re dragging out our family members to benefit their narrative, I feel the need to address the fact that my Grandpa was the most selfless human being I’ve ever known, and he would have laid down his own life before asking another to lay down theirs. He taught me that you stand for what’s right, even if what’s wrong would be a benefit to yourself. Don’t pin your research to his name, don’t take advantage of his suffering for your gain. Even if the research saved everyone from suffering, it would require that an innocent life be brutally taken to spare another, and this is not something my Grandpa would support. Period.