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Socialism Kills More Babies than War 

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Chelsea Follett writes: Recent reports that infants now die at a higher rate in Venezuela than in war-torn Syria were, sadly, unsurprising – the results of socialist economics are predictable. Venezuela’s infant mortality rate has actually been above Syria’s since 2008.

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The big picture, fortunately, is happier. The global infant mortality rate has plummeted. Even Syria and Venezuela, despite the impact of war and failed policies, saw improvements up to as recently as last year. From 1960 to 2015, Syria’s infant mortality rate fell by 91% and Venezuela’s by 78%.

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[Read the full story here, at Foundation for Economic Education]

This year (not reflected in the graph above or below), Syria’s rate rose from 11.1 per 1,000 live births to 15.4, while Venezuela’s shot up from 12.9 to 18.6. Meanwhile, infant mortality rates have continued to fall practically everywhere else, and have declined even faster in countries that enjoy more freedom and stability. Consider Chile.

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Chile’s infant mortality rate in 1960 was actually above that of both Venezuela and Syria. It managed to outperform Syria by the mid-1960s, but was still woefully behind its richer northern cousin, Venezuela. Read the rest of this entry »

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BABY BOOM: Rich Chinese Paying California’s Surrogates $200,000 to Have Their Babies

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Top fertility agencies scramble to meet foreign demand for the States’ surrogate moms as new wealth and the end of one-child laws bring baby seekers willing to spend $200,000.

Kalee Thompson reports: The first time Dianna Barindelli carried a baby that wasn’t her own was in 2012. “We were done having kids, but I still wanted to be pregnant,” says the Modesto, Calif., stay-at-home mom, whose own daughters are 6 and 9. Barindelli signed up with the Center for Surrogate Parenting in Encino, one of the most exclusive surrogacy agencies in the world. In 2014, she matched with a Chinese couple.

“If they can afford to, they’ll demand a California surrogate because they’ve heard they are the best. It’s a supply-and-demand issue and has raised the prices of surrogacy in California.”

— Sam Everingham, founder of nonprofit Families Through Surrogacy

Unlike many agencies, CSP first shows parent applications to the surrogates, rather than the other way around. “It’s little things that you’ll connect with people over,” says Barindelli, who was attracted to pictures of the couple’s extended travels and their traditional wedding photos.

[Read the full story here, at Hollywood Reporter]

The embryo transfer took place in late 2014. Barindelli emailed the mom weekly, sending updates and ultrasound pictures with WeChat, an app that offers instantaneous translation. The intended parents (IPs) planned to be there for the birth, but the baby boy arrived two weeks early, 24 hours before they arrived. Says Barindelli: “I texted and made sure [the mom] was OK with him staying in my room. I cleared everything with her. I didn’t want her to feel bad that she wasn’t there.”

Courtesy of Dianna BarindelliBarindelli currently is a surrogate for a Taiwanese couple: she is due to give birth Feb. 1, 2017.

“We’ve seen a surge. There’s a lot of money in China that’s being put into the second child.”

— Christene Anthony, who matches Chinese IPs with American gestational carriers

Barindelli, who used her surrogacy fees to set up a college fund for her girls, is pregnant again, this time with the baby, due Feb. 1, of a Taiwanese couple. She may not be done: Her first Chinese couple emailed her recently, soon after their son’s first birthday. They still have frozen embryos and hope that Barindelli, now 40, will carry their second child.

[Read the full text here, at Hollywood Reporter]

Commercial surrogacy is banned in most parts of the world, as well as in many U.S. states. Until recently, infertile couples, singles and gay would-be dads had a handful of options to turn to when it came to finding a surrogate, among them India, Thailand, Nepal and Mexico, where surrogacy services have cost a quarter of the $100,000 to $200,000 bill typical in the U.S. But in the past few years, those countries have started enforcing laws banning international surrogacy. Meanwhile, China — the world’s most populous country, with a growing wealthy elite and where some doctors believe infertility is more common than in the U.S. — lifted its decades-long one-child policy. The result is a soaring Chinese demand for U.S. surrogacy services, one that is flourishing particularly in California, with its culturally friendly enclaves, excellent physicians and favorable state laws that regard IPs as a baby’s legal parents even before birth, if proper court documents are filed. “We have more legal firepower in terms of the statue and case law than anywhere else,” says Lesa Slaughter of The Fertility Law Firm in Woodland Hills, whose own twins were born via California surrogate.

“We’ve seen a surge,” says Christene Anthony, who matches Chinese IPs with American gestational carriers for CSP, which has facilitated more than 2,300 births since 1980 and is responsible for helping Elton John, Elizabeth Banks, Angela Bassett and Mitt Romney’s son Tagg become parents. “There’s a lot of money in China that’s being put into the second child,” she adds, noting that it has become common for reproductive endocrinologists, fertility attorneys and surrogacy agencies to hire Mandarin-speaking staffers to cater to Chinese clients. Despite CSP’s Southern California location, 51 percent of its clients now are foreigners, up from 15 percent a decade ago. Rival agency Growing Generations (clients have included Sarah Jessica Parker and 30 Rock director Todd Holland) also sees half of its clients coming from overseas, as does Gifted Journeys, a boutique agency in Pasadena. At San Diego’s Expect Miracles Surrogacy, international clients account for 80 percent of IPs. And of foreigners participating in this permutation of California’s birth tourism, the number of Chinese IPs is growing the fastest, making up the most common single foreign nationality for many agencies right now. Read the rest of this entry »


America Coping with Kardashian Pregnancy

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Hollywood Life


[VIDEO] Barstow Police Wrestle Pregnant Woman to the Ground in Arrest Caught on Police Body Cameras

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Body-worn camera footage released by the Barstow Police Department (recorded: 01/26/15) reveals the unlawful arrest of Charlena Michelle Cooks, who at the time was eight months pregnant and dropping off her second-grade daughter at school.

 


Are Today’s Millennials a New Victorian Generation?

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Michael BaroneBarone-3 writes: Public policymakers and political pundits tend to focus on problems — understandably, because if things are going right they aren’t thought to need attention. Yet positive developments can teach us things as well, when, for reasons not necessarily clear, great masses of people start to behave more constructively.

“What accounts for this virtuous cycle? …I think what we are seeing is a mass changing of minds.”

One such trend is the better behavior of the young Americans of today compared to those 25 years ago. Almost no one anticipated it, the exception being William Strauss and Neil Howe in their 1991 book Generations, who named Americans born after 1981 the Millennial generation and predicted that “the tiny boys and girls now playing with Lego blocks” — and those then still unborn — would become “the nation’s next great Civic generation.”

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The most obvious evidence of the Millennials’ virtuous behavior is the vast decline in violent crime in the last 25 years. The most crime-prone age and gender cohort — 15-to-25-year-old males — are committing far fewer crimes than that cohort did in 1990.

Statistics tell the dramatic story. In two decades the murder rate fell 49 percent, the forcible rape rate 33 percent, the robbery rate 48 percent, the aggravated assault rate 39 percent. Government agencies report that sexual assaults against 12-to-17-year-olds declined by more than half and violent victimization of teenagers at school declined 60 percent.

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Binge-drinking by high school seniors is lower than at any time since 1976, sexual intercourse among ninth graders and the percentage of high school seniors with more than three partners has declined. Read the rest of this entry »


China: Expectant Mother Decorates Her Baby Bump with Works of Art 

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A young expectant mother named Luo Qianxi has painted pictures on her growing bump to record her pregnancy, the Chengdu Evening News reported.

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Each painting takes three to five hours, and Luo uses a mirror to see what she is painting on her bump. The paints she used are specially made and don’t contain any harmful chemicals.

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Painting on Luo’s belly. [Photo: Luo’s Sina Weibo page]

“With painting enriching the pregnancy, I have gotten rid of fear and am ready for my baby,” she said. Now friends have invited her to paint on their bellies.

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An expectant mother named Luo Qianxi shows her works of art on the stomach featuring her unborn baby. Luo, a painter by profession, has painted pictures on her growing bump to record her pregnancy. [Photo: Photo: Luo’s Sina Weibo page] Read the rest of this entry »


And They Wonder Why Everyone Isnt with Them

Here’s just two of the super-classy, super-clever signs abortion rights activists are carrying around in Texas.

More here.

This is a fundamental disadvantage that pro-choice activists have in the public debate. Most of the pro-lifers I know have the moral imagination to at least understand where pro-choice women are coming from (I still wrestle with the issue of very early abortions myself). Every pro-lifer I’ve ever talked to has understood that unwanted or unexpected pregnancies can pose a real crisis for women (and men). That’s one reason pro-lifers invest so much in counseling efforts. I haven’t been to too many pro-life protests, so maybe I’ve missed the signs belittling pregnant women who want to have an abortion. But something tells me that if such signs existed, MSNBC & Co. would hype them relentlessly.

Regardless, when you see these people cheerfully making terrible puns and rhymes about fetuses and embryos, like it’s all a big joke,  it’s hard not to conclude that they lack a moral imagination of any kind. Even most pro-choice women understand that there’s some moral significance to a fetus, which is why they tend to support some restrictions on late-term abortions. It is also why, when they decide to have a baby, they treat their in-utero child as something truly precious. Meanwhile, these activists trivialize what to most Americans is not trivial. I’m sure they have their giggles and someone writes them a check. But it’s no way to persuade the unpersuaded.

via  National Review Online.