Weekly Review


Warren Cole Smith

Chemical Abortions. According to neuroscientist Stephen Sammut, drug-induced abortions have negative impacts on rats. Sammut’s research was published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience. According to Sammut, rats who were administered abortion drugs show “a clear reduction in grooming, an unkempt coat, a reduction in exploratory behavior … a reduction in general activity, increased immobility and the assumption of a stooped/hunched posture in the corner of the cage.” Donna Harrison, executive director of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, told WORLD, “It raises concerns that there may be a biological basis for depression after abortion with Mifeprex. There needs to be a lot more research. It’s a serious question, and I think the academic community needs to take this question seriously, and answer it.”

Scouting Cover-up? The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has been unwilling to take a strong stand when it comes to homosexuality. That failure now threatens the very survival of the organization. Last week, a group called Abused in Scouting filed a lawsuit in Philadelphia on behalf of a former Scout who claims he was abused by a Scout leader. The BSA has long kept a list of “ineligible volunteer files” which could include as many as 7,800 names. Various lawsuits have pressured the Scouts to release the list, but the BSA has resisted, saying that to release a list of suspected abusers would violate their civil liberties and their rights to due process. But victims’ advocates say the BSA is reluctant for the public to know the extent of abuse within the organization. The Philadelphia lawsuit says, “It is apparent that the Boy Scouts defendants continue to hide the true nature of their cover-up and the extent of the pedophilia epidemic within their organization.”

Title X Deadline. The Trump administration announced changes to Title X funding back in February to great fanfare from pro-life groups. However, six months later, abortion groups are still receiving Title X funds, and they have until September to say they will comply with the new regulations and until March of 2020 to actually comply. The net result is that abortion providers are still getting federal money for abortions. The 9th District Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Administration in June, but other challenges could further delay implementation.

Milestones. Singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg was born on this day (Aug. 13) in 1951. Fogelberg is not known as a Christian musician. Raised in the church, Fogelberg turned to New Age and Native American spirituality as an adult and quickly burned through two marriages, even as his career flourished. But his quest for spiritual truth finally caused him to reject the vague New Age spirituality of his early adulthood. He said in a 1999 interview that he had converted to Catholicism. A heartfelt Christmas album he recorded in the final years of his life has seven original songs that reflected his newfound Christian faith…. Singer-songwriter Mark Heard died this week (Aug. 16) in 1992, after having a heart attack while performing onstage at the Cornerstone Festival. Heard has had a lasting influence. Three tribute albums – the most recent in 2017 – honor him and his music. In 2005, 13 years after his death, the Americana Music Association named him Songwriter of the Year.


Warren Cole Smith is the Vice-President of Mission Advancement for the Colson Center for Christian Worldview.


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