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The Roman Catholic World

June 11, 2010

THE CHRONICLES OF AVE MARIA ©:  Plunging into Compromise

by Marielena Montesino de Stuart

THE JACKSON LABORATORY - PROVIDES RESOURCES FOR HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH - PROPOSED OPENING IN AVE MARIA, FLORIDA

During  perilous economic and political times, it is easy to see how quickly many members of society begin to set their sights low.

It seems as if a state of pragmatism overtakes them– which leads to the justification of  actions, no matter how unwise these may be.

This is how society falls.    Individuals begin to compromise over material issues, which is  always followed by questioning and devaluing their principles.  Some even justify their actions with intellectual pretentiousness.

Anyone who has the courage to criticize their pragmatic material decisions, while reminding them of  their moral proclamations and the commitment these require– is suddenly branded as out-of-touch and unreasonable– and is often the subject of vicious ad hominem attacks.

Ave Maria is simply a microcosm of  society.

In the past few months, Ave Maria has witnessed the honoring of Tom Golisano at Ave Maria University.  Golisano is a billionaire / politician who has given breathtaking financial support to pro-choice institutions and to NARAL-endorsed, hard-core pro-choice politicians– including Barack Obama.

Now, Ave Maria is witnessing the welcoming of The Jackson Lab– whose services include  “workshops” and  “resources”  for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research.

No public opposition to the honoring of Golisano, nor to the welcoming of The Jackson Lab has been noted from the Catholic faculty at Ave Maria University, nor from the students at AMU, or the residents of Ave Maria.

In contrast,  tremendous opposition to The Jackson Lab has been voiced from outside  Ave Maria, by experts, business leaders, and by the general public.

Ave Maria was once promoted by Tom Monaghan as a town that would respect Catholic sensibilities.  It is a town where the overwhelming majority of residents are Catholics.  The question is– is Ave Maria a town of modern tolerance to scientific activities that are against natural law?

This is a valid question– considering that Mr. Monaghan stated  in a deposition dated February 20, 2008– “Well, I thought that a disproportionate amount of the people that moved there would be Catholics, serious Catholics.”

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The following is Part II of a commentary written by Randy Engel, a pro-life veteran of more than 40 years, and the founder and Director of the U.S. Coalition for Life (www.uscl.info), the oldest pro-life research agency in the United States.  Engel is also the co-founder, with Dr. Jerome Lejeune of Paris, of the Pittsburgh-based International Foundation for Genetic Research/Michael Fund (www.michaelfund.org), the pro-life alternative to the March of Dimes.  The Michael Fund, created in 1978, combines a pro-life philosophy with a truly therapeutic research program centering on treatments and cures for chromosomal disorders, especially Down syndrome.

A U.S. Coalition for Life Commentary

by Randy Engel 

Part II – Ave Maria, Jackson Laboratory and Mass Eugenic Killing 

Introduction

In Part I of this series (April 26, 2010) “Eugenics Meets the Pizza King – Ave Maria in the Shadow of Auschwitz,” I presented the basic facts on plans to construct a $710 million Jackson Laboratory biotech satellite facility in the Ave Maria Stewardship Community District, near the campus of Ave Maria University. The 50 acre site (with more to come) was donated by Barron Collier Companies after BCC’s business partner, Domino pizza magnet and Chancellor (CEO) of AMU, Tom Monaghan agreed to the transaction following a brief phase of “due diligence.”

Part I also provided biographical data on Jackson Laboratory founder C.C. Little’s dark connections to the eugenic, birth control and euthanasia movements of the 20th century. Interestingly, at its 78th annual meeting on August 18, 2007, Jackson Laboratory launched its promotional “National Council” project in Maine, Boston, New York, Philadelphia — and a short while later, in Naples, Florida, and selected as president, C.C. Little’s grandson, architect Sam Little, the patriarch of the Jackson Laboratory’s “first family.”

Part I also included information on current anti-life programs of the Jackson Lab’s Bar Harbor, Maine-based research facility, which involve human embryonic stem cell research programs and international workshops. These programs and workshops offer hands-on training for investigators wishing to learn how to culture, manipulate, and differentiate human embryonic stem cells from in vitro. The Jackson Laboratory is also involved in male contraceptive research and its seminars and lectures promote medical genetics, a.k.a., eugenics.

Further involvement in anti-life programs was noted by AveWatch http://avewatch.com/?p=794,  when in September 2009, Terry Magnuson, chair of the Jackson Laboratory’s Board of Scientific Overseers, was appointed to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) new advisory panel: the Working Group for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Eligibility Review.

But alas, Monaghan & Co, have decided to stonewall the Jackson Lab anti-life issue, with the exception of one of their advance public relations scouts, a Father Robert Garrity, who e-mailed me that I was “confused” about the situation — as “Jackson does not plan to do anything which is morally wrong, such as embryonic stem-cell research, at the lab being proposed for Ave Maria Town. …” Never mind that Jackson Vice President Charles Hewett has publicly stated that his firm is “not willing to rule out human embryonic stem cell research.” http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2010/apr/10/jackson-lab-biomedical-research-and-ave-maria-neig/

So it’s time once again to “praise the Lord and pass the ammunition,” and give Mr. Monaghan, and Ave Maria Town residents – as well as the administration and faculty of Ave Maria University a second warning salvo before the Jackson Lab land deal reaches the point of no return. But before examining the proposed Jackson Lab’s Institute of Personalized Medicine, I think it necessary to expand upon the extent of the corporation’s financial involvement in human embryonic stem cell research and experimentation which involves the mass killing of the tiniest of our kin, the human embryo – a practice repeatedly condemned by the Roman Catholic Church.

Jackson Laboratory West – Sacramento

 In 2001, the Jackson Lab established JAX-West, a small facility in West Sacramento, California, for the purpose of expediting the shipment of Jax Mice & Services to West Coast universities, pharmaceutical and biotech companies and Pacific international research centers. California houses the world’s largest biomedical research community.

In November 2004, California voters passed Proposition 71 which made stem cell research, predominantly, human embryonic stem cell research, a state constitutional right. Proposition 71 also authorized the creation of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) with a budget of   $3,000,000,000 over a 10-year period.

In late 2008, Jackson Laboratory relocated and expanded its Sacramento facility with a new emphasis on developing new mouse models of human disease that can be used to test various stem cell treatments. On May 5-6, 2009, Jackson Lab celebrated the new lab’s Grand Opening.

Surprise! One month later, on June 22, 2009, Jackson Labs announced that its spanking-new Sacramento facility had received a $3.4 million grant from the CIRM to develop mouse models which can support long-term transplantation with human stem cells and can be used in stem cell research. This means that human embryos are being used by Jackson Lab researchers to produce immune-deficient mouse models of human diseases that can be used for testing human stem cell therapies.

Why have Jackson executives been so conspicuously silent about their Sacramento CIRM-funded project in their conversations with the Collier County and Florida secular and religious press?

Geneticists as Mass Murderers

Among the featured speakers at the May 2009 Sacramento Grand Opening was Mahendra Rao, M.D., Ph.D. Although hardly a recognizable household name, Rao is famous in international biotech circles for his defense of human embryonic stem cell research. In October 2005, Rao quit his prestigious post as head of the federal NIH Institute on Aging, Stem Cell Biology Unit/Laboratory of Neurosciences, in Washington, D.C., to pursue ‘unfettered’ human embryonic stem cell research in the private sector at Invitrogen and the Buck Institute for Age Research.

In the Jackson Lab promotional video available at http://jaxmice.jax.org/california-facility/symposiumRao.html, Rao uses the euphemistic term “fertilized embryo” to casually describe a very young human being who is being methodically killed in the spic and span hell of a genetic laboratory in order to develop mouse HuES cell lines:

So what was done was, you took human cells out, you know, from a fertilized embryo, you grow them on mouse feeders, you use the same combination of growth factors, and you culture them in much the same way, and you got mouse ES cell lines (emphasis added).

A fertilized embryo? You’ve got to be kidding. You can’t fertilize an embryo. It’s a non-sequitur. It appears that researchers like Rao just cannot bring themselves to admit the ugly truth – that their work involves the cold-blooded calculated killing of individual living human beings at the very earliest stages of their existence – so they hide behind artful language to anesthetize their consciences.

But they are not the only culprits on the eugenic block.

Take, for example, medical geneticists who perform BABI, the incredibly facetious acronym for Blastomere Analysis Before Implantation, the latest and most lethal prenatal diagnosis package on the market today.

The preferred method of initiating the BABI process is to use in vitro fertilization (IVF), a procedure favored by the Jackson Lab but condemned by the Catholic Church.  Following artificially induced super-ovulation of the woman, mature eggs are collected and fertilized in test tubes in order to produce multiple human embryos. At the 8-cell stage, a single cell is excised from each human embryo and these are screened for markers indicating a gene anomaly. One, two or three of the “normal” embryos are implanted into the hormonally prepared womb of the mother. “Affected” embryos or “rejects” are destroyed. “Spare” or “orphaned” embryos are stored in frozen concentration cans or donated or sold to research labs.

According to the U.S. Public Health Service, BABI is a form of “family planning” which permits “genetically disadvantaged people” to have children free of serious birth defects without the “family nightmare” of late abortion. According to Dr. Robert G. Edwards, the father of IVF, BABI is the “preclinical abortion of blighted ova.” Not known as a eugenic wallflower, Edwards says that BABI eliminates the need for both the treatment and care of handicapped children and adults.  Health by Death – now that’s a consoling thought!

As a rule, BABI specialists will create a minimum of ten human embryos, per cycle, in order to be assured of getting one ‘take home baby.’ Sometimes they produce more. For example, in one celebrated case, BABI was used to produce a baby that could provide stem cells to a sibling born with Franconi’s anemia. In the end, after 4 IVF cycles, the body count stood at 29 dead in order to produce the single child who would act as the donor for his affected sibling.

The Institute of Personalized Medicine

This bring us to the all-important question as to what type of research, clinical studies, and “preventative” health care will be carried out at the proposed Jackson Lab’s Institute of Personalized Medicine (IPM)  and the satellite medical research facilities and hospitals surrounding the Institute.

According to the Jackson Lab (http://genetichealth.jax.org/personalized-medicine/what-is/benefits.html):

Personalized medicine means that one day, doctors and genetic counselors will be able to craft a lifelong health maintenance strategy tailored to a person’s unique genetic constitution. It will be possible to predict susceptibility to diseases and to prevent, delay or mitigate those diseases with precisely chosen medicines, therapies and customized lifestyle advice.

The key words here are “doctors and genetic counselors,” and the prevention of diseases.

It is a well-publicized fact that Jackson Lab was a major force in the creation in 1990, of the $3 billion, 10-year Human Genome Project of the NIH and the Department of Energy.

What is less known and appreciated by the average American is that the tax-funded Genome Project is fundamentally eugenic, both in its heart of hearts and in the clinical and public health practices that flow from it. To date, genetic tests for more than 1,200 diseases have been developed, although the frenzied search for genetic markers for the prenatal diagnosis of cystic fibrosis and autism has still evaded NIH-funded researchers.

The first step of eugenic killing is genetic counseling, which the Jackson Lab says will be part of its IPM program. Now genetic counseling and its auxiliary medical partners, prenatal diagnosis and abortion of affected children, eviscerates the Hippocratic Oath. For, whereas, traditional medicine seeks to treat, heal, cure and console patients, the object of prenatal diagnosis is to seek out and destroy affected unborn patients in utero.

Logically, among the clientele seeking reproductive advice at the IPM will be “at-risk” or “high-risk” patients who wish to have a child or additional children unaffected by serious genetic or metabolic disorders. They will be advised of the availability of various prenatal diagnostic techniques including Chorion Villus Sampling, Alpha Fetal Protein Testing, mid-trimester Amniocentesis, Fetoscopy, (and newer IVF/BABI). Affected children will be destroyed.  But where will the killing take place?

Probably not at the IPM, but in a specialized medical facility or hospital in the vicinity of Jackson Lab’s IPM, which must be willing and able to carryout eugenic abortion in the first, second and even third-trimester of pregnancy.

On May 20, 2010, Michael Hyde, Vice-President for Advancement and External Relations for the Jackson Laboratory, was interviewed by members of the press at the Naples Harbor Yacht Club. One of the questions concerned the issue of human stem cell research. According to Hyde, nobody from Ave Maria or elsewhere had ever asked Jackson Laboratory to give its assurance that it would refrain from human embryonic stem cell research on its property. Nor, it was insinuated by Hyde, would Jackson officials and researchers likely agree to any infringement of their right to pursue whatever scientific course they desired to pursue.

All this, and yet we have heard nothing from the officials, faculty and staff of Ave Maria University including its Chancellor, Tom Monaghan, and the Ave Maria Stewardship Community District – where the Jackson Institute and its auxiliary medical facilities will be located. Nor have we heard a word of opposition from the residents of the Ave Maria Town, except for Catholic journalist and resident, Marielena Montesino de Stuart. https://romancatholicworld.wordpress.com/category/the-chronicles-of-ave-maria-%C2%A9/

For God’s sake– why?

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Media Contact for U.S. Coalition for Life (USCL) Office:  rvte61@comcast.net or call 724 327-8878 or write Box 315 Export, PA 15632.

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Marielena Montesino de Stuart

© Marielena Montesino de Stuart

You may also read Marielena Montesino de Stuart’s commentaries through: RenewAmerica, USAToday, The Dallas Morning News, U.S. Politics Today (an EIN Service for Political Professionals-*) Poynter Online, Spero News, Daily Estimate, The New Liturgical Movement-Poland, The Naples Daily News, Les Femmes-The Truth, Culture War Notes,  ProLife Blogs,  The Wanderer, etc.

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Notice to readers

TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION:  Ave Maria University + The Jackson Laboratory + Workshops and Resources for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research + Eugenics + Margaret Sanger + Tom Monaghan + Tom Golisano +  Nicholas J. Healy Jr., President of AMU + Barron Collier Companies + The Ave Maria Stewardship Community District.

 

The views and opinions expressed by the U.S. Coalition for Life are those of the USCL author only, not of Marielena Montesino de Stuart.