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Pro-Life Today |

HEADLINES

Groundbreaking In-the-Womb Photos Now Improved and Republished
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/oct/09101502.html
Life Site News
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but for more than fifty years Lennart Nilsson has taken photographs that the pro-life movement has found priceless: the earliest and most compelling visual images that give intimate detail and clarity to the humanity of unborn children in the womb.  The stunning images published in 1965 have now been remastered with the help of the latest photographic technology and "A Child is Born" has been republished in a fifth and final edition.

Miracle Baby: Mother Successfully Battles for Right to Deliver Healthy Baby Despite Terminal Cancer
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/oct/09101601.html
Life Site News
Carlos explained to me that his wife and mother of five children, named Nereyda, was in the abortion mill because their H.M.O. insurance company would not treat her for her serious stage 4 sarcoma cancer - unless she aborted her 5-month-old unborn child.

Swiss Woman's Death Linked to Hormonal Contraceptive
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/oct/09101605.html
Life Site News
The Swiss government is linking a woman's death to the popular birth control product Yaz made by Bayer Pharmaceuticals.  The woman died of a pulmonary embolism in June, just 10 months after starting the hormonal contraceptive.  The government agency, Swissmedic has launched an investigation into the death.

Over a Billion Abortions Committed Worldwide Since 1970: Guttmacher Institute
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/oct/09101604.html
Life Site News
A new report by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, entitled "Abortion Worldwide:  A Decade of Uneven Progress," shows that over a billion abortions have been committed since 1970.  The report says that the annual number of abortions have declined over the period from 1995 to 2003.  Nevertheless, in 2003 approximately 41.6 million abortions were committed worldwide.  On average, this works out to more than one death by abortion for each second of the year.

For more headline news, click here for ALL's Daily News Summary.

 


MEDIA RELEASE
http://all.org/article.php?id=12494

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
27 January 2010
CONTACT: Katie Walker
540.659.4942| kwalker@all.org 

 

GUTTMACHER STUDY SHOWS DEVASTATING CONSEQUENCES OF SEX-ED

Washington, DC (27 January 2010) – New numbers from the group’s own Guttmacher Institute show Planned Parenthood-style sex education is having a dramatic impact on the rise in teen pregnancy rates.

The study released today shows that the teen pregnancy rate among American teens rose three percent in 2006, teen birth rates rose four percent, and abortion rates were up one percent.

While Planned Parenthood rushes to paint the devastating statistics as an indictment against the Bush administration’s abstinence policy, the timeline points to a different culprit: Planned Parenthood.

“This is not rocket science,” said Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League. “When you don’t tell kids to remain abstinent, they have more sex and more of them get pregnant. Pregnancy rates go down when kids don’t have sex.”

- Prior to 1990, teen pregnancy rates were increasing just about every year as Planned Parenthood’s sex-ed programs dominated public and even private school sex-education courses.

- In the early 1990s, it became popular to teach the abstinence message to teens and preteens. Teen pregnancy rates began to fall.

- By 1995, the federal government was funding an abstinence-only message while pregnancy rates continued to fall.

- By 2000, Planned Parenthood began lobbying the various states to refuse abstinence money and reduce abstinence programs and, predictably, in 2006, the teen pregnancy rate increased for the first time in 15 years.

- Today, partnering with President Obama, Planned Parenthood lobbying has succeeded in virtually cutting off abstinence-only funds.

"We can only imagine how high the teen pregnancy rates will go," Sedlak said. “Planned Parenthood’s reach extends far beyond their vice grip on the nation’s classrooms. Their work can also be felt in pop culture, the internet, advertising and television – all excellent vehicles in their long-term goal to sexualize our children. Sadly it’s working.”

American Life League was cofounded in 1979 by Judie Brown. It is the largest grassroots Catholic pro-life organization in the United States and is committed to the protection of all innocent human beings from the moment of creation to natural death.  For more information or press inquiries, please contact Katie Walker at 540.659.4942.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

American Life League: STOPP International
http://www.stopp.org/

Catholic News Agency: Critic Denounces Guttmacher Teen Pregnancy Study as 'Terribly Simplistic'  (26 January 2010)
http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/critic_denounces_guttmacher_teen_pregnancy_study_as_terribly_simplistic/

ABC News: Teen Pregnancies on the Rise Again (27 January 2010)
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/ReproductiveHealth/teen-pregnancies-rise-experts-debate-reasons/story?id=9668045

 


                                             


From Associates

Pro-Life Wisconsin
Pro-Life Wisconsin continues to oppose late-term abortions at the Madison Surgery Center (a joint partnership between Meriter Hospital, UW Hospital and Clinics and the UW Medical Foundation). An online petition and contact information for its board of directors can be found at
www.NoUWabortions.com. Additionally, PLW is encouraging Wisconsin state employees to switch insurance this month. The Madison Surgery Center has been feeling the financial impact of the boycott, and if 100 families switch their insurance away from UW, that will amount to a loss of over $1.5 million. Spread the word to everyone you know in Wisconsin!


Tip of the month – Parent Power
From Parent Power!! By Jim Sedlak

STOPP has often painted Planned Parenthood as a very patient organization and has emphasized that parents have to be especially diligent when fighting its programs. A group of parents in School District #6 fought a Planned Parenthood inspired sex ed program proposal which is a prime example of both this patience on Planned Parenthood’s part and the diligence of the parents.

In this instance, it took five years from the initial concept of introducing a Family Life Education program in the schools to goal setting and the plan to actually implement the program was scheduled to take another three years. The planning had been going on for two years before the Advisory Board was formed (usually handpicked people who support the philosophies of Planned Parenthood) and before the first school board vote on the issue (which is the time, in many communities, that parents first realize what is going on). This is typical and requires that citizens opposed to the program organize early for a long fight!

Parents in this school district were very involved in community activities and became involved in the Advisory Board early in the process. However, they were repeatedly told by FLE pushers that “nothing was happening.” Yet, they found an entire set of goals presented to the school board and even found themselves in a position of having to fight a program that had been slipped through in the name of the “committee” of which they were a part!

To begin this fight, parents collected a great deal of information on FLE programs and spent time going through the teacher’s reference section of the school library (they found many objectionable texts).  Then the parents held an informational meeting.  It was pointed out, as we have learned previously, that while FLE programs are invariably put in place to “reduce teenage pregnancy,” they consistently result in an INCREASE of teen pregnancies. Sex ed pushers do not have a single scientific report which demonstrates that their programs work.

Parents were warned that there is no good sex ed program because there is no way to control what the teacher does in the classroom. Even the best curriculum and texts can be negated by a teacher that believes the Planned Parenthood line. And, since Planned Parenthood spends much time and money educating teachers and health departments, there is no effective way of knowing exactly what all the teachers will actually teach.  Sex ed is the responsibility of the parents and must be left that way.

With letters to the editor and groups showing up at every school board meeting, these parents forced the school board to reconsider its initial approval of the program objectives. The board finally had to recognize the strength of the parents’ position and voted to rescind their approval of the FLE program!

But, FLE pushers did not give up. They convinced the school board to conduct a survey of the entire community to see if sex education was wanted in the schools. The FLE supporters began holding closed sessions and even decided to change the FLE vocabulary, calling FLE programs “Human Development” subject matter. Local parents immediately challenged the legality of the closed sessions – even to the point of appealing to the state committee on open government which sided with the parents. 

While the debate over the survey was going on, Planned Parenthood started to push another program on the school district – “peer counseling,” which would have children counseling other children. The parents wasted no time in mounting a fight against this program and after they had, again, raised the community consciousness, school district officials decided to postpone any action on the program “indefinitely.” Although many parents had hoped to see the program rejected outright, the action of the board effectively killed the program.

The lessons that we should learn from the activities in School District #6 are:

1. Planned Parenthood is a very patient organization. In this case, they laid out a seven-year plan to get Family Life Education into the school district. This is not unusual.  When fighting Planned Parenthood, we must understand it is a long-term fight and we must be willing to stay the course.

2. Part of the “modus operandi” of these programs is to pretend to get community involvement and to tie parents up in committee meetings while the program pushers work to get their programs adopted.

3. When trying to find out what is going on in your school district, one good source is the teacher’s reference section of the school library. These are the books intended for teacher use in preparing lessons and most of the hard core texts can be found here.

4. The community survey is an often-used ploy. Most people understand that you can make a survey say anything you want by how you phrase the questions. These people get professionals with strong credentials to use the survey to achieve the preconceived results.

5. Planned Parenthood is a mast at name games. It used to refer to its programs as sex education. When that didn’t work, it changed the name to Family Life Education. Now that parents are beginning to catch on to this terminology, program titles are being changed to Human Growth and Development or something similar. The programs haven’t changed, just the names have changed to protect the guilty and fool the public.

Next month – School District #7


News

When is a “fetus” a baby? Meet twice-born Macie
Technology is a double-edged sword. As history attests, it can be used for both good and evil. For destroying the lives of preborn babies or for healing them. Here’s a story that shows the positive side of advances in fetal surgery techniques that incorporate sonogram imaging.
http://www.americanvision.org/article/when-is-a-fetus-a-baby-twice-born-macie/


When man plays God
When ultrasound technology (sonogram) became readily available to physicians, it was a boon to the medical profession, which quickly realized its practical applications. Relatively inexpensive, portable and un-invasive, ultrasound scans soon became one of the first tests to be performed in the routine examination of a patient’s heart, liver, lymph nodes, etc.
http://newsrealblog.com/2009/10/05/when-man-plays-god/


Birth control pills might alter mate selection
Could birth control pills be taking human evolution in a whole new, and possibly detrimental, direction? A review of past research finds that, by altering hormonal cycles, the pill might affect choice of mates among members of both genders in a way that could hinder successful reproduction in the future.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/hsn/20091007/hl_hsn/birthcontrolpillsmightaltermateselectionstudy


Komen for the Cure races as research shows abortion-breast cancer link
With October as breast cancer awareness month, Komen for the Cure is sponsoring races and events across the country to raise awareness of the potentially fatal disease. However, Komen isn't providing women with information on a way to help prevent breast cancer by not having an abortion. Although abortion advocates, and Komen, dismiss the research, experts have clearly shown an abortion-breast cancer link.
http://www.lifenews.com/nat5550.html#


Closing Thought

“The Lord is near; have no anxiety. The Lord is always near to all who call upon His help with sincerity, true faith, sure hope, and perfect love. He knows what you need, even before you ask Him. He is always ready to come to the aid of all His faithful servants in every need. There is no reason for us to be in a state of great anxiety when evils threaten; we must remember that God is very near to us as our protector.”

—From a treatise on the letter to the Philippians by St. Ambrose, Bishop, Liturgy of the Hours, IV:334

 

 


 

Pro-Life Today | 09 December 2009

HEADLINES

Evidence of counseling abuse at Planned Parenthood continues to surface in undercover student video
http://www.liveaction.org/index.php/projects/rosaacuna
Live Action Films
New undercover footage from an Appleton, WI Planned Parenthood abortion clinic shows clinic staff, including the abortion doctor, lying to two young women about fetal development and encouraging the one who is pregnant to obtain an abortion because "women die having babies." In the undercover video, when the two women ask a Planned Parenthood counselor if the pregnant woman's 10-week-old unborn child has a heartbeat, the counselor emphasizes "heart tones," and answers, "Heart beat is when the fetus is active in the uterus--can survive--which is about seventeen or eighteen weeks." On the contrary, embryologists agree that the heartbeat begins around 3 weeks. Wisconsin informed consent law requires that women receive medically accurate information before undergoing an abortion.

Senate blocks abortion amendment in health bill
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2009/12/09/MNQL1B14PS.DTL#ixzz0ZCfi8pWy
SF Gate
The Senate on Tuesday blocked a hotly controversial amendment to restrict abortion coverage in health care legislation, but the emotional two-day debate demonstrated the rising difficulty Democrats face in passing the overall measure by Christmas. The Senate tabled Nelson's amendment by a 54-45 vote, with seven moderate and conservative Democrats supporting it. The amendment mirrored a similar provision in the House legislation essential to its passage last month.

Another major problem with the Senate health care bill: Sex ed
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/dec/09120903.html
Life Site News
It's funny, the things that never make the news.  Take the recent amendment to the Senate health care plan by Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D-MT). This language allocates hundreds of millions of dollars of your money toward "Personal Responsibility Education for Adulthood Training." What can this possibly mean? Here we come to the nub of the matter. The "personal responsibility education" referred to in the Baucus amendment is actually sex education. The Senate health care plan is going to teach kids about sex. Graphically, and early. With heaps of tax dollars.

For more headline news, click here for ALL’s Daily News Summary.

Register NOW for Training and Activism Week, 2010!!!

Join American Life League at our 10th Annual Training and Activism Week and Personhood Conference, January 20-23, 2010, at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C. Registration is FREE!  The event includes three days of educational workshops given by pro-life experts on basic human rights legislation, euthanasia, nationalized health care, abortion, human personhood, youth activism and more!
 
In the evenings, relax and enjoy two FREE music concerts featuring a half-dozen pro-life bands of various styles! After you wake up with a renewed sense of purpose and your new knowledge of hands-on activism, join us on the streets of Washington, D.C., at a Planned Parenthood facility and on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.
 
Before the big march on Friday, you can also attend a one-day, internationally acclaimed pro-life conference hosted by Human Life International.
 
Visit
www.all.org/taw to see a complete list of activities and register today! For concert information, visit www.rockforlife.org/taw. Seats for all sessions are limited, so register early!



FEATURE STORY

HUMAN PERSONHOOD AND ILL-ADVISED CATHOLIC BISHOPS
By Judie Brown

The Montana Catholic Conference has released a statement critical of the efforts of state’s pro-lifers who are seeking recognition of human personhood via a state constitutional amendment. In their statement, the bishops declare, 

We have been advised by leading pro-life attorneys that the strategy to pass a state constitutional amendment declaring personhood is problematic, in part, because of its heavy reliance on unpredictable courts and dependence on future legislative actions to define and implement the law. They have also expressed concerns that state personhood amendments might trigger an appellate process that could strengthen Roe v. Wade.

I am well aware of the opinions of the “leading pro-life attorneys” who are giving these bishops bad advice. I have found their arguments flawed on several levels. In fact, I recently addressed those of one such attorney, Clarke Forsythe of Americans United for Life, who has insisted that those of us who are working toward human personhood are “heading toward a brick wall.” 

Sadly, his arguments, along with those of
James Bopp Jr., Bopp, Coleson & Bostrom’s senior partner and the National Right to Life Committee’s general counsel, appear to have resonated with Catholic bishops for reasons I find both disturbing and antithetical to Catholic teaching.

I am not a theologian nor am I an attorney, but I do know what the Catholic Church teaches about the identity of the human person and the dignity inherent in each. This is neither a political nor a legal question. It's a question of whether one accepts or rejects the fundamental principle that human beings all deserve to be equally recognized as human persons endowed with human rights.

For nearly 40 years, the American legal system has been morally imprisoned by a set of U.S. Supreme Court decisions (Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton) that deny the humanity of the child prior to birth by setting aside all scientific evidence, not to mention common sense. The inanity of these decisions is clear, but apparently to some, how to go about undoing the damage they have done is not.

This is where the human personhood movement comes in, and it’s about time Catholic bishops thought about this from a perspective not clouded by the politics of false prudence, legal positivism or incrementalism. Too many dead bodies lie on that road; it’s time to change course!

There is no reliance within the human personhood movement on unpredictable courts, Your Excellencies. There is a firm, undeniable reliance on exact scientific evidence, which leads to the philosophical conclusion that a human being, from his or her beginning, is a human person. This is proven beyond doubt by studying the facts, not by fearing or misrepresenting court decisions. As a matter of fact, the human personhood movement does not address Roe v. Wade or Doe v. Bolton, for obvious reasons.

Pro-life Americans, including Roman Catholic bishops and their associates in the various state Catholic conferences, have to move beyond the politics and understand that Roe and Doe are symptomatic of a culture that long ago set out on the path of dehumanizing vulnerable persons. Roe and Doe were the result of a permissive attitude toward denying the personhood of human beings deemed “inconvenient” or “undesirable.”

If we honestly examine the Supreme Court’s infamous Dred Scott decision, we learn a valuable lesson. The Supreme Court never recanted or overturned the prejudice on display in that decision. Citizens took it upon themselves to correct the injustices being perpetrated throughout society and by government against members of the human race. The result was a movement to renew the culture and restore justice by way of a constitutional amendment.

Similarly, it is not the human personhood movement’s goal to overturn Roe and Doe. Our goal is to restore recognition of personhood to all human beings. We do not need the court’s permission to do that.

It occurs to me that this fact flies in the face of all that the so-called leading pro-life attorneys have been saying to Catholic bishops nationwide. First and foremost, there is no human being who exists because of the Supreme Court, Congress or any other body of individuals. Each exists by the grace of God, His creative power and His endowment of personhood at the instant a human being is created. There is no doubt about this, particularly if one is a person of deep religious faith, as is each Catholic bishop.

Further, the human personhood movement relies heavily on a two-pronged educational strategy. We share the science and then we share the reasoning behind the movement. This is why we can state unhesitatingly that not only is legal recognition of human personhood the right goal for pro-life Americans, it is only logical way for society to once again acknowledge the truth of who the human being is and why each is so precious.

We encourage the Catholic bishops of Montana and elsewhere to set aside the disingenuous argument that the passage of a personhood amendment to a state constitution "
might trigger an appellate process that could strengthen Roe v. Wade.” There is absolutely no way that anyone knows whether or not such a trigger would be pulled, but we all know that maintaining the status quo is unthinkable.

We cannot be satisfied, as servants of life and, more importantly, servants of God, with the “
common sense" restrictions on abortion that seem to be the standard fare offered by many, including those leading pro-life attorneys relied upon by Montana’s bishops. It has never been the pro-life movement’s goal to restrict the killing so that it happens less. If one knows that the act of abortion is murder, then how could we ever defend the argument that restricting acts of murder so that fewer people are murdered is a worthy goal? What sort of twisted idea is that?

Also contained in the
Montana Catholic Conference statement is the following strategic recommendation: 

The key to advancing the culture of life in Montana is addressing the privacy provision in our state constitution which provides a right to abortion. Therefore, we are working with constitutional experts to develop an amendment which would exclude abortion from the privacy provision in the state constitution.

Passing such a constitutional amendment would open the way to addressing real change in the state. We could then pass laws to enact restrictions such as requiring short waiting periods before an abortion can be performed and requiring parental notification in cases when the person seeking an abortion is under age. These restrictions have been noted in a recent study as being effective in reducing abortion. Passage of such laws would save numerous lives on the way to changing hearts and minds as we work to achieve our ultimate goal of overturning Roe v. Wade.

This statement confirms my worst suspicions. Let me be perfectly clear.

There is no legitimate right to privacy in matters of life and death. No one can in good conscience argue that a “right to privacy” permits murder. Further there is no right to abortion, as Pope John Paul II reminded us in Evangelium Vitae (#20) when he taught what the consequences of such an argument are: 

To claim the right to abortion, infanticide and euthanasia, and to recognize that right in law, means to attribute to human freedom a perverse and evil significance: that of an absolute power over others and against others. This is the death of true freedom: “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin” (Jn 8:34).

There is no doubt that the type of amendment that the Montana Catholic Conference is proposing would lead to a recognition of aborting a human being as a legitimate practice as long as such a practice was restricted in some way. The skewed thinking behind such a proposal is too inconceivable to even contemplate.

It is my fervent hope and prayer that Most Rev. George Leo Thomas, bishop of the Diocese of Helena, and Most Rev. Michael W. Warfel, bishop of the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, will reexamine why they would endorse a flawed policy and oppose human personhood efforts in their state.

The unity of purpose that once made the pro-life movement in America so great was that we understood that unless and until every innocent human being was equally protected under the law and in the culture, there would be no end to the senseless murder of the innocent. That unity of purpose appears to have died, and we strive to revive that as well.

We are praying that our Catholic bishops will lead the way toward this lost unity of purpose, for as Saint Thomas Aquinas explained,  “[H]uman law is law inasmuch as it is in conformity with right reason and thus derives from the eternal law. But when a law is contrary to reason, it is called an unjust law; but in this case it ceases to be a law and becomes instead an act of violence” (
Evangelium Vitae #72).

Human personhood now!

Contact Montana’s Catholic bishops:

Bishop George Thomas
Diocese of Helena, Montana
(406) 442-5820
 
Bishop Michael Warfel
Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, Montana
(406)727-6683

 


 

Pro-Life Today | 08 December 2009

HEADLINES

Analysis: Health Care, Politicians and the Catholic Conscience - A Troubling New Development Appears in American Politics
http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=99282
EWTN
For decades, Americans have been subjected to the arguments of certain Catholic politicians who argued that while "personally opposed" to unjust policies like abortion, they were nonetheless unwilling to "impose" that view on the rest of the country. The argument was disingenuous, premised on the fact that somehow a "Catholic" conscience had to be put to the side in the public square. Now, the very people who argued that they couldn't bring their private conscience into a secular public square are poised to use the law to impose a particular view on their fellow Catholics.

Attempted Murder Suspect May Have Been Trying to Steal Unborn Child
http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local-beat/Attempted-Murder-Suspect-May-Have-Been-Trying-to-Steal-Unborn-Child-78715617.html
NBC Washington
A woman charged with attempted murder in the stabbing of a pregnant woman may have been trying to remove the child with a box cutter, Prince George's County investigators said. Veronica Deramous, 40, allegedly met the victim, who was near full term, last week at Queen of Peace Missionaries of Charity, a soup kitchen and shelter for pregnant women on Wheeler Road in southeast D.C., according to D.C. police. Deramous convinced the pregnant woman to go to her Suitland, Md., apartment, authorities said.

First 3D MRI Scans of Unborn Babies
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8366326.stm
BBC
A new technique to get the first 3D images of unborn babies from MR (magnetic resonance) scans has been developed by Imperial College Healthcare. A team led by Prof Mary Rutherford, a neonatal neuroradiologist at Hammersmith Hospital, is using the images to find out how foetus' brains develop in the womb.

For more headline news, click here for ALL’s Daily News Summary.

 

Register NOW for Training and Activism Week, 2010!!!

Join American Life League at our 10th Annual Training and Activism Week and Personhood Conference, January 20-23, 2010, at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C. Registration is FREE!  The event includes three days of educational workshops given by pro-life experts on basic human rights legislation, euthanasia, nationalized health care, abortion, human personhood, youth activism and more!
 
In the evenings, relax and enjoy two FREE music concerts featuring a half-dozen pro-life bands of various styles! After you wake up with a renewed sense of purpose and your new knowledge of hands-on activism, join us on the streets of Washington, D.C., at a Planned Parenthood facility and on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.
 
Before the big march on Friday, you can also attend a one-day, internationally acclaimed pro-life conference hosted by Human Life International.
 
Visit
www.all.org/taw to see a complete list of activities and register today! For concert information, visit www.rockforlife.org/taw. Seats for all sessions are limited, so register early!

 

FEATURE STORY

 HUMAN RIGHTS VERSUS THE RIGHT TO MURDER
By Judie Brown

The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood have filed lawsuits in several states, including Nevada, to stop personhood initiatives. As the ACLU puts it in the Nevada complaint, personhood proposals are designed to “ban a range of reproductive health services.” The complaint is based on the long-held opinion of abortion proponents that there is no good reason to take an action that would interfere in a woman’s decision to abort her own child. Of course, the ACLU does not use those words, but rather states in its press release:

“Supporters of the so-called 'Personhood Initiative' intend this provision to eliminate a woman's right to make personal, private health care decisions," said Emmily Bristol, one of the plaintiffs. "We need to preserve a woman's right to make decisions about her reproductive health with her doctor and family without governmental interference."

The Initiative attempts to re-define the term "person" to include a fertilized egg and all subsequent stages of prenatal development. According to the Initiative's proponents, the newly defined "persons" would have full constitutional rights under the Nevada Constitution.

The Initiative seeks to ban all abortions and commonly used forms of birth control. It could also interfere with doctors' ability to treat life-threatening pregnancies, miscarriages, and infertility, as well as ban some stem cell research and other life-saving therapies and cures. In addition, the Initiative seeks to reach far beyond health care. As today's legal papers warn, the Initiative fails to explain to voters its intent and impact on Nevada law.

There is something quite revealing in some of the statements made in this November 12 press release. If we compare the rhetoric here with that of statements issued over time, we discover that the pro-aborts have been using the same arguments for nearly 40 years. They have gained some ground, with the help of the Supreme Court and lawmakers, and they have enshrined in the Constitution of this country, in their opinion, a so-called right to abortion.

The position of our opposition has always been that a woman is the only one who should have the right to decide whether she wishes to affirm her child’s life or pay to have it killed or even kill it herself. While they never use the word “child,” as that would be a clear admission of what the act of abortion actually accomplishes, they know all too well what abortion does and how much money they are raking in by denying the obvious. 

Just ask Abby Johnson, the former Director of Planned Parenthood in Bryan, Texas, who recently quit her job because she experienced “a profound change of heart” regarding abortion. Abby Johnson grew in her ability to discern the truth and abandoned the lie that kept her at Planned Parenthood for eight years. But she is unique, not typical of those who market killing.

Among such people there has never been a deviation from the core principle that every woman has a “constitutional right to privacy” which guarantees her the ability to end the life of her child, if that is what she desires.

This is why the ACLU and its compatriots consistently describe personhood efforts in the context of endowing “fertilized eggs” with characteristics that pro-aborts would choose to protect from anybody prior to birth. But as Dr. Dianne Irving and other honest people have taught for years, the use of the term “fertilized egg” to refer to the new single-cell human being/organism is formally rejected by the international nomenclature committee in human embryology. In other words, it is a bogus term specifically designed to dehumanize the person in his earliest state of existence. 

Unsurprisingly, “fertilized egg” is a popular term among those who deny that a preborn child is actually even alive, let alone a human being. This is the specific reason why personhood efforts, not only in Nevada but Missouri, Alaska and elsewhere, are always met with strident, deceptive opposition.  This is also why these proponents of prebirth execution will clamor about birth control, doctors who won’t be able to protect their patients’ lives and so on, ad nauseam. Any argument they can use—whether based in fact or fiction—that suits their bottomline is exactly what they will pursue. And sadly, far too many judges, lawmakers, reporters and talking heads seem to agree. It is as if the entire idea of a preborn human being as a person is so frightening to them, so foreign to their understanding, that they are appalled, shrinking from it in the way one might run from a monster! 

While I find this distressing and feel sorrow for their lack of common sense, I also believe strongly that they are and have always been among the chief servants of the evil one. There is nothing they will not say in order to have their way with killing; there is nothing they will not do to convince the population that they are indeed looking out for the most vulnerable whom they consider to be their patient base. Such thinking is wicked to the core, but what’s new!

The most disingenuous of their statements, however, is the claim that abortion is health care; that contraception is health care; that any act that protects a man or a woman from that dreaded complication of a child for whom they would have to be responsible is health care. If you think I am joking then you have not paid close attention to the health care reform debate either.  For right there, in front of everyone’s eyes, is proposal after proposal designed to enshrine sexual gratification at any cost as health care.

Even now as the U.S. Senate considers the Women’s Preventive Care Amendment, the brainchild of pro-abortion Senator Barbara Mikulski, there are those who warn that the amendment is really just a backdoor way of including abortion in health care reform. Those dedicated to abortion don’t find total honesty something that appeals to them, whether in the U. S. Senate or in the employ of the ACLU.

In the state of Alaska, where the ACLU has filed suit against the personhood initiative, the Anchorage Daily News took up the banner for the ACLU and opined “Whether life begins at conception is a question for individual conscience, not for the ballot box.”

Such a statement is ignorant of basic scientific fact. The writers appear to be lacking in the ability to think in a critical manner. Clearly, those who wrote this editorial have probably never considered the fact that, as individuals, they were created and should be grateful to their parents for welcoming them into the family rather than searching for a devious excuse to kill their own child! As a matter of fact I have never met an abortion advocate who was aborted … oxymoronic? Of course it is, but then again, so is the suggestion that the union of two cells that result in the creation of a new human being is a matter of conscience rather than a matter of simple biology!

The ACLU describes itself as the nation’s “guardian of liberty,” and yet the ACLU has been involved, since its founding, in defending the fallacious principle that the strong have the right to eliminate the weak if that is their choice. That is, after all, the principle that buttresses the argument that a mother has a right to kill her own child. The ACLU’s founder, Roger Baldwin, was a hero to many including Planned Parenthood’s founder herself, Margaret Sanger. She said of Baldwin: "The name Roger Baldwin and Civil Liberties are synonymous in the minds of all people in the United States. You have fought the good fight, Roger."

The ACLU has dedicated itself to denying the obvious with the convoluted  argument that abortion and contraception are rights that must be guaranteed by the Constitution. One can only imagine how our founding fathers would view such blather, for it was none other than Thomas Jefferson who asked, “Can the liberties of a nation be sure when we remove their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people, that these liberties are a gift from God?”

Lest we forget, it is God Who commands, “Thou shalt not kill.” And it is God Who says in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you...”

The ACLU is not God, nor is the United States Congress or any other person or group that has assigned unto itself the mission of assuring that murder is a human right. It is not.

The quest for personhood for all people, born and preborn, is an effort seeking justice for all, equal rights for all, human rights for all. For these reasons, it will prevail. If it does not, the liberties of this nation will never for sure. Of that, there is no doubt.

  


 

Pro-Life Today | 12 December 2009

HEADLINES

Senate Health Care Amendment Would Fund Planned Parenthood
http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=99245
EWTN
A pro-life leader has criticized the Senate’s addition of the Mikulski Amendment to the proposed health care bill, voicing concerns that the provision’s sponsor herself has admitted it would fund some of Planned Parenthood’s services. The amendment’s required coverage of “preventive care” could also include abortions. The Mikulski Amendment, passed on Thursday by a vote of 61-39, requires group health plans and health insurance issuers to provide coverage for “preventive care” for women and bars them from imposing cost sharing requirements on such care.

Abortion Is a ‘God-Given Right,’ Liberal Leader Declares
http://cnsnews.com/news/article/57957
CNS News
Rev. Carlton Veazey, president and CEO of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, told a small crowd of pro-abortion protesters that women have a “God-given right” to abortion and that opposition from pro-life congressmen and religious leaders would never take it away.  Veazey, closing speaker at a “Stop Stupak” rally on Capitol Hill staged by major pro-abortion groups such as Planned Parenthood, NARAL-Pro Choice, and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) told the crowd that not only did they have a constitutional right to abortion, but that they had a God-given one as well.

Carhart Abandons Plans for Kansas Late-term Abortion Clinic
http://www.operationrescue.org/
Operation Rescue
Operation Rescue has confirmed that late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart will not be opening a late-term abortion clinic in Kansas to replace Women’s Health Care Services, which closed after the death of George Tiller.

For more headline news, click here for ALL’s Daily News Summary.

Register NOW for Training and Activism Week, 2010!!!

Join American Life League at our 10th Annual Training and Activism Week and Personhood Conference, January 20-23, 2010, at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C. Registration is FREE!  The event includes three days of educational workshops given by pro-life experts on basic human rights legislation, euthanasia, nationalized health care, abortion, human personhood, youth activism and more!
 
In the evenings, relax and enjoy two FREE music concerts featuring a half-dozen pro-life bands of varied styles! After you wake up with a renewed sense of purpose and your new knowledge of hands-on activism, join us on the streets of Washington, D.C., at a Planned Parenthood facility and on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.
 
Before the big march on Friday, you can also attend a one-day, internationally acclaimed pro-life conference hosted by Human Life International.
 
Visit
www.all.org/taw to see a complete list of activities and register today! For concert information, visit www.rockforlife.org/taw. Seats for all sessions are limited, so register early!


FEATURE STORY

HUMAN PERSONHOOD IS IMPERATIVE IN THE DEFENSE OF LIFE
By Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.

Pope John Paul the Great made the proclamation of the Gospel of life one of the central aspects of his papacy. It is little wonder that the theme of the 1993 World Youth Day, celebrated in Denver, Colorado, was “I came so that they might have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

Pope John Paul II was painfully aware of the moral depravity into which Colorado had plunged our nation and the world when, in 1967, it became the first state to decriminalize the killing of innocent children in the womb and thus deprive them of their human personhood. He never shied away from proclaiming the truth and taught us, “In the proclamation of this Gospel, we must not fear hostility or unpopularity, and we must refuse any compromise or ambiguity which might conform us to the world's way of thinking (cf. Rom 12:2). We must be in the world but not of the world (cf. Jn 15:19; 17:16), drawing our strength from Christ, Who by His death and resurrection has overcome the world (cf. Jn 16:33)” (Evangelium Vitae, #82)

As a proponent of Colorado’s 2010 Personhood Amendment and a Catholic, I feel called to fight a battle that, except for the light of Christ, is filled with discouragement, division, uncertainty and darkness. I ask you to join me in the fight against the culture of death by getting personally involved in gathering signatures to put the amendment on the ballot for the November 2010 election.

A personhood amendment is an ideal approach for carrying the Gospel of life to our brothers and sisters. There are several reasons why this is so: It is a vehicle for educating our fellow citizens; it requires the direct participation of the faithful; it restores the proper relationship between divine law, the government and the people; and it directs our hope not to a politician or judges, but to Christ on the cross as we entrust this effort to Him.

In order to achieve these important goals, we need you to reach out to your fellow Catholics and help us collect 76,047 signatures by February 2010.

Personhood is truth

Personhood is a philosophical fact, rooted in fundamental scientific evidence, which holds that from “the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person—among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2270). Why do we insist on using the word “person” in our fight against the attacks on human dignity? Why not define when life begins or what a human being is? To understand this, we must first understand the meaning of the word “person.” The word “person” has different meanings, depending on the context in which it is used.

In a theological context, the word “person” refers to the union of the physical and the spiritual, in other words, body and soul. In Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II asks the rhetorical question, how could a human individual not be a human person? In other words, the Catholic teaching that a human individual is also a human person is a self-evident truth.

Within the context of an atheistic philosophy, the term “person” is defined by a set of utilitarian qualities: Is the human being self-aware? Does he or she have the capacity to reason? Can he or she live independently and develop relationships? All of these are the complete opposite of what our faith teaches. Human dignity comes not from our differing abilities and qualities, but from God Himself, Who is the Author/Creator of every human individual’s life.

In a legal context, a proper definition of the word “person” is of extreme importance.The United States Constitution uses the word “person” 49 times. On the other hand, it never uses the word “human being” or “human life” or even just “human.” The reason is quite simple: The Constitution is primarily concerned with rights, and the term for one who is recognized by law as having rights and duties is “person.”

In the case of Colorado v. Lage (2009), a man who crashed his car head-on into a car driven by an eight-and-a-half months expectant mother, was able to avoid being charged with killing the child in the womb because the court felt “compelled by the legislature’s definition of a 'person,'” which only considered a human being to be a “person” after birth. Clearly, the constitutional definition of the word “person” is critical to the defense of preborn children.

Personhood is not a question of practicality

Questions have been raised regarding the practicality of a human personhood amendment. Typical arguments against personhood are the following: 1) We need to wait until we have more supportive justices on the Supreme Court; 2) the amendment already lost in a popular vote once, and such efforts divert attention and resources away from more achievable measures; and 3) even if the amendment were to pass, it would have a negative legal effect.

A detailed refutation of each of these arguments is available on Personhood Colorado’s web site.  I encourage all of you to read them. But more eloquent than all of the rational and legal arguments that I can offer are the deeply insightful and inspired words of our beloved John Paul the Great. This great defender of life wrote, “[W]hen freedom is detached from objective truth it becomes impossible to establish personal rights on a firm rational basis; and the ground is laid for society to be at the mercy of the unrestrained will of individuals or the oppressive totalitarianism of public authority” (EV, # 96).

These words answer all the arguments against personhood. They highlight the need to disengage from corrupt and unjust laws, and establish a solid foundation for real freedom based in truth.

The great defender of life also points out, “No less critical in the formation of conscience is the recovery of the necessary link between freedom and truth” (EV, # 96). In other words, focus on education; focus on the principle.

The Personhood Amendment first and foremost aims at a cultural transformation that will form consciences “with regard to the incomparable and inviolable worth of every human life” (EV, #96). In that light, the pessimistic arguments against the Personhood Amendment are transformed into the very reasons why we must participate in it. The darker our culture, the greater the need for the bright light of truth.

Although personhood is about principle, it also has a solid legal basis. While some lawyers disagree on the practicality of personhood amendments, prestigious Catholic law firms such as the Thomas More Law Center and renowned Catholic legal scholars such as Charles Rice, professor emeritus of law at the University of Notre Dame, strongly support personhood efforts, describing them as “prudent, timely and positive.” Professor Rice explains that personhood amendments are “an affirmation of the federalism embodied in the general structure of the United States Constitution as well as in the Tenth Amendment.”

Pro-lifers should know that the state personhood amendment approach to prohibiting abortion has never been tried and thus has never failed. Isn’t it worth a shot?

Yet, apart from all the legal strategizing, personhood is fundamentally about principle, a Catholic and universal principle that all human beings must have the rights of a person from the very first moment of his or her existence. Unless we instill this principle, no legal strategy will ever set our hearts straight, and unless our hearts are changed, the law will be devoid of meaning.

Personhood is faith in action

“But He was wounded for our iniquities, He was bruised for our sins: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His bruises we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

Approaching a complete stranger in public and talking to him about abortion is one of the most uncomfortable things you can ask a person to do. Even door-to-door salesmen are treated better than pro-life missionaries. Yet, as Christians, we know that our calling is to follow in the steps of Jesus Christ, Who was rejected and despised but was faithful even unto death!

John Paul the Great asked us “to bring the Gospel of life to the heart of every man and woman and to make it penetrate every part of society” (EV, #80). Taking a petition and engaging everyone, regardless of their appearance or station in life, is an act of faith. We are entrusting what we do to Christ and accepting the various reactions we receive as God’s will.

While gathering signatures at the Colorado State Fair, I learned the value of approaching every person, regardless of their appearance. Many people who wore large crucifixes “had no time” or would “do it another day.” Yet young men and women with tattoos and immodest clothing would stop and talk about abortion, and often they would sign our petition.

Having an active presence in the legislature to represent Catholic moral beliefs is important, but it is no substitute for the personal evangelical calling of every Catholic. Changing laws does not necessarily change hearts, but personal example and personal sacrifice does.

The campaign for the Colorado Personhood Amendment illustrates the Catholic principle of subsidiarity in action. This principle holds that functions of government, business and other secular activities should be as local as possible. Individual Catholics, Catholic families and Catholic parishes should not leave to larger organizations what they themselves can do. The initiative process affords individuals the power to shape their own constitution, which is both a privilege and a responsibility. Subsidiarity encourages personal responsibility and, consequently, a concurrent personal transformation.

Gathering signatures to put this amendment on the ballot has been one of the most transformative experiences of my life. By making myself an advocate for the voiceless preborn child and accepting the occasional rejection of friend and foe alike, I have grown closer to Christ, experiencing that redemptive suffering that makes us grow in our love for God.

The battle against the culture of death is a difficult one. “To be truly a people at the service of life we must propose these truths constantly and courageously from the very first proclamation of the Gospel, and thereafter in catechesis, in the various forms of preaching, in personal dialogue and in all educational activity” (EV, #82) These words are John Paul the Great’s. His life was an example of living out the Gospel of life.

It is our calling as Catholics to follow Christ’s example as faithfully as have our beloved popes, John Paul II and Benedict XVI. I believe the Colorado Personhood Amendment offers us, as Catholics, an unrivaled opportunity to do so. As Mother Teresa said, we are called to be faithful, not to be successful, for the way of the faithful Christian turns defeat into victory and death into life.

“Death with life contended: combat strangely ended! Life’s own Champion, slain, yet lives to reign” (Roman Missal, "Sequence for Easter Sunday").

Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D., graduated from the George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C., and is director of Personhood Colorado and founder of Colorado Catholics for Personhood. This article is printed with his kind permission.

  


 

Volume 6, Number 46                                                                        Monday, December 7, 2009


Life of the Mother Declaration
American Life League drafted a declaration in 2005 entitled "Protecting the Life of the Mother," which is located on our web site at
http://www.all.org/article.php?id=10682

The declaration states "there is never a situation in the law or in the ethical practice of medicine where a preborn child's life need be intentionally destroyed by procured abortion for the purpose of saving the life of the mother."  This declaration has been signed by almost 500 physicians (the list can be viewed at http://www.all.org/article.php?id=10682).

Associates are invited to review this declaration, mention it to physicians and encourage them, if they have not already done so, to sign on to this statement at http://www.all.org/article_printerfriendly.php?id=10683.


From Associates

Pro-Life Wisconsin
With the proceeds from a huge volunteer effort (more than 500 hours!) this summer, Pro-Life Wisconsin has been able to purchase a full-size pro-life billboard which will be displayed in different locations throughout Milwaukee for the next six months. More than 27,000 cars will pass by the first location each day. PLW will be tracking the number of calls that are made to the pro-life hotline, which directs women to crisis pregnancy centers. For a picture of the billboard, visit PLW’s web site at
http://www.prolifewisconsin.org/MONUPD_files/November3009monupd.htm.


Mother and Unborn Baby Care/WomanKind
MUBC’s 2009 Bowl for Life (an annual event since 1984!) was held at The 10th Frame in Appleton on October 12 and raised $22,000. A follow-up party and “awards ceremony” were held on November 6; prizes this year included gift cards, an autographed Green Bay Packers football and a Wii system. Proceeds from the Bowl for Life are used to assist clients of Mother & Unborn Baby Care and to cover operating expenses at WomanKind Medical Clinic. A feature article on MUBC’s Bowl for Life will be one of the first to appear when ALL launches the newest version of its web site soon!


Tip of the Month: “In the Beginning – the Origin of Life”
From Choices in Matters of Life & Death by Judie Brown with Paul Brown

An argument has been going on for years: What is abortion? And what happens to the baby during an abortion? I think what people really want to know is this: What is life? What is it all about?

Life is a continuum and each human being is a unique part of this cycle. Life passes on from one person to the next and from one generation to the next. The beginning of a brand new human life is nothing less than a miracle because that human person, now existing, will never again be created. Each person is unique and distinctly different from the next person.

The book of Jeremiah tells us that before we were created, God knew us. He had counted the hairs on our heads and He knew us even before our biological development began. In God’s master plan, He knows each and every human being who ever was or ever will be. And that reveals the most horrifying aspect of abortion: every abortion eliminates a unique, unrepeatable human person.

Every human being has a God-given right to live. This principle is stated in the Constitution of the United States; it is as basic as the very fact of our existence. The founders of our country wrote in the Declaration of Independence that we Americans consider this truth self-evident: all people are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.” In other words, human rights come from God and this is obvious to everyone. Among these rights, they said, is the right to life.

I would find it impossible to be deeply involved in the pro-life movement if I didn’t have religious convictions about when human life begins. If it were not for God and His power, there would be no creation of human life.  God tells us in the Bible that man was created in His image and in His likeness. Therefore, each time we destroy a brand-new human being through abortion, we are destroying a creation of God.

If I were a secular humanist and did not believe in God, but only in myself and my own powers, I would certainly not be motivated to work so hard in the pro-life movement to protect these tiny human beings who will never know me in this life nor know the work we have done to protect their right to life.

If we deny rationally or irrationally the existence of God as the creator of all human life, then it is possible for us as a society to treat ourselves and fellow human beings no differently than we treat animals. In fact, if animals were being annihilated at the same rate as human beings are today in our society, there would be massive outrage.

It is the responsibility of the pro-life movement to see to it that human beings are once again valued at a much higher level than any animal life, for we are in fact so different, unique and miraculous, because we are created in the image and likeness of God, that we human beings should be the top priority of our society, our government and every activity that goes on in our country and in our world today. Sadly, we are not.


News

Send Jailed Pro-Life Heroine Linda Gibbons a Christmas Card
Attention: Linda Gibbons
Vanier Center for Women
655 Martin Street, Box 1040,
Milton, Ontario
L9T 5E6, Canada

Please read the full article for background information and mailing guidelines.
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/nov/09113011.html


Man to Man: A Real Priest Speaks to Real Men about Marriage, Sexuality and Family Life
Father Farfaglia has taken a subject that is much maligned in today's sexually saturated culture, that of being a man's man, and has turned it back toward the Lord and His design in a way that is both captivating and challenging not only for men but for every Catholic. Understanding God's design for a union with Him through marriage is fundamental for a couple considering matrimony, but particularly for the male in this age of feminized masculinity.  That is perhaps the most important aspect of this book for it dignifies man because he is masculine, he is strong and he is Godly. It is my hope that every young Catholic considering marriage will read this with an open mind and a heart for truth.
http://www.mantomanbook.com/


Minority Report: Study Supporting Comprehensive Sexual Education over Abstinence Programs Flawed
A recent study by a task force of the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) led researchers to recommend comprehensive risk reduction programs (CRRs), which include instruction in contraceptive use, over abstinence education programs (AE). But two members of the study's external review team have released a minority report arguing that this conclusion is unjustified.
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/nov/09113002.html


It's Killing a Baby, Plain and Simple
What is abortion if not the ultimate predetermination of a child's future? It is a medical technology that allows us to pre-empt a human life – to stop a person from, inconveniently, appearing in our midst.
http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=116416


For the Vatican It's Clear - Pro-Abortion Politicians 'Must' Be Denied Communion
Since the controversy came to a head in 2004, the stance from the Vatican on the matter has been clear and consistent.  For the Pope and top Curial Cardinals in charge of the matter there is no question about the responsibility to deny Holy Communion to Catholic politicians who obstinately support abortion.
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/nov/09112709.html


The Significance of That Case of the Man Trapped in a "Coma" for 23 Years
Rom Houben, the Belgium man who was diagnosed as being in a permanent vegetative state (PVS) for 23 years, in fact had a condition known as Locked-in Syndrome. A person in locked-in syndrome is fully aware of all of their surroundings and they hear and remember the conversations that take place around them, but due to their cognitive disability they are unable to respond.
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/nov/09112405.html


Closing Thought

So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma. Immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be mentioned among you, as is fitting among holy ones, no obscenity or silly or suggestive talk, which is out of place, but instead, thanksgiving.

—Ephesians 5:1-4

  


 HEADLINES

Planned Parenthood 'Runs on Fear,' Former Director Charges
http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=98873
News Source
Abby Johnson, former Bryan, Texas Planned Parenthood director spoke with CNA on Monday about the restraining order her former employer filed against her following her Oct. 6 resignation. Johnson noted that while she was a little surprised by the injunction, she also knows that Planned Parenthood “runs on fear.”

CCHD Responds to Reform Movement
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/nov/09111710.html
News Source
The national office of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the USCCB's domestic anti-poverty arm, has responded to the movement calling for their reform in a new document posted to their website on Friday.  At the same time, new evidence implicating several more CCHD grantees in activities contrary to Catholic teaching has been reported by the reform movement.

For more headline news,
click here for ALL’s Daily News Summary.


Clarification on terminology in Vatican statement on human embryo's personhood:

The 11/16/09 edition of ALL Pro-Life Today featured an article entitled "If the Embryo is Human, It is a Person: Vatican Doctrine Official." The article quotes Archbishop Luis Ladaria as saying, "The Church's teaching is based on the now-scientifically proved fact that human life begins in its entirety at the moment of conception."

American Life League and its president Judie Brown, a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, are actively engaged in educating the pro-life movement, the clergy and the general public on the problems associated with using the word "conception," as illustrated in this article. ALL likewise rejects the use of the term “human life,” because it refers not only to human organisms, but can also refer to human cells that are not in and of themselves human organisms. The term “a human being’s life” is more accurate.
 
Although "conception" is commonly used by the general public, it is expressly and universally rejected as a scientific term by embryologists, scientists and medical professionals, and thus does not adequately support the concept of personhood. In addition, the term is not always understood to refer to the act of fertilization, the sexual reproductive process which is initiated upon first contact of the human sperm and human oocyte, and is often erroneously taken to mean “implantation,” the process by which a preborn child up to two weeks old attaches to the mother’s uterine wall.
 
 In many states, as well as in literally dozens of national and international medical and research organizations (including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists), the term "conception" is now erroneously defined as "beginning at implantation." ACOG adopted this new definition in 1965 in response to political pressures, not as a result of scientific discovery.

In this way, ACOG made it possible to avoid classifying hormonal birth control as an abortifacient: redefine "conception" to refer to "implantation" so that pregnancy – defined as beginning at conception – is now understood to begin at implantation. ACOG would have the general public believe that a human being does not exist prior to implantation, but it in reality, this organization is just playing a game of semantics. By changing the definition of conception, ACOG can now say that pregnancy is not interrupted by hormonal contraception, because its abortifacient effects take place before conception as defined by ACOG.
 
Untold millions of the youngest preborn children have been killed because of this redefinition.

ALL also does not use the word "fertilization" to describe the beginning of a human being's life because fertilization is now only one method of reproducing members of the human species. It is a medically accurate term but not sufficient, because human beings are now also created artificially, that is, by asexual means not involving fertilization. To use the term "fertilization" when referring to the moment that a new human being comes into existence would consequently exclude a whole class of people who are reproduced asexually.

For this reason, ALL uses the term "the biological beginning of development" to refer to the beginning of the life of a human being.


ALL Report: Catholic Campagn for Anti-Catholic Activities


The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is funding organizations that engage in activities or profess philosophies that are completely contrary to Church teaching, such as promoting same-sex marriage, abortion and contraception. American Life League reveals some of these organizations in its ongoing investigation.

For more details and documentation, be sure to visit 
http://www.all.org/cchd.

If you are Catholic, please download our "No Thank You!" statement for the upcoming (November 22) CCHD collection: http://www.all.org/pdf/cchd/nothankyou.pdf

FEATURE STORY

WORDS AND PHRASES TO DROP FROM OUR PRO-LIFE VOCABULARY
By Judie Brown

By Erik Whittington

As personhood advocates, it is critically important that we use the correct terminology to describe preborn babies, their mothers, the very act of abortion and even the facilities in which abortions are committed. It doesn’t matter if you are a full time pro-life advocate or a “normal” person who works, goes to school, takes care of your family, etc. We must all watch what we say in daily life—even in casual conversation.

So, the words we use are very powerful and can make the difference between life and death. You might be surprised to realize that even we pro-lifers often use terms and phrases that can be dehumanizing to the very people we are trying to save. That can cause confusion and can hamper our efforts to obtain recognition of the human rights of all human persons. As we educate the public and advocate for the rights of all human persons, born and preborn, we must seriously examine the language we use and make some changes, if necessary.

With that in mind, I am going to share with you this short list of terms and phrases that we should drop from our pro-life vocabulary:

1. Fetus, embryo—These terms are generally used by abortion supporters, but I also notice pro-lifers using these terms often. Fetus and embryo are actually terms referring to stages of development. Their use begs the question, which animal species, during its embryonic or fetal development, are you referring to? For human beings, embryo describes human development from the very beginning of a human being’s life through their eighth week of development. Fetus describes a human being’s biological development from the beginning of their ninth week of development until birth. We should replace these terms with “human embryo,” “human fetus” or “human being during their embryonic (or fetal) development.”

2. Fertilized egg—This is a dehumanizing term used as a form of pro-abortion propaganda. It is not a legitimate term, since it isn’t scientifically accurate. Women don’t carry eggs; they have oocytes. Upon first contact of a human sperm and a human oocyte, a newly created human person now exists who is in his/her first embryonic stage of development. This term has become popular with abortion advocates these days, in response to the state personhood initiatives cropping up around the country. We need to correct this whenever we see or hear it. Use correct terminology in its place, such as “human embryo.”

3. Mistake, accident, unwanted, unplanned— These terms have very negative connotations and are very demeaning, especially for the child who happens to overhear some mention of the circumstances in which he or she came into being. Every child is wanted by someone and no one is an accident. God creates every single person with a special purpose in life. A positive-sounding term such as “surprise” should be used instead of terms or phrases that imply that God’s creation of a baby is an unfortunate event.

4. Pro-choice—This term was developed by a marketing firm employed by the abortion lobby before abortion became decriminalized on January 22, 1973. It has been and still is a very effective term, but is very misleading. It begs the question, what is the choice? The child has no choice when threatened with an abortionist’s suction device, knives and forceps. Replace this term with “pro-abortion” or “abortion advocate.”

5. Pregnant woman—This term takes the child out of the equation and can make pregnancy sound like a disease. Abortion is often referred to as “terminating a pregnancy.” Instead, use terms such as “mother,” “pregnant mom” or “expectant mother.”

6. Health clinic/abortion clinic—“Health” gives the impression that health is being restored to an individual. Similarly, “clinic” normally denotes a respectable, morally legitimate health care facility. Abortion is murder, not health care, so we should not dignify it with such terms. Replace such terms with “abortion business,” “abortion mill,” “abortion facility,” “abortion center” and so forth.

7. The abortion issue—Taxes are an issue. Paying for education is an issue. Abortion is not an issue; it’s a tragedy. Abortion is a violent crime that kills a human person and leaves his/her mother scarred for life. You can also replace issue with terms such as “question,” “matter,” etc.

8. It—A baby boy or baby girl is not an it. Yet that is how many of us refer to children in utero or even at the moment of their birth. I hear this so often: “It’s a (boy/girl)!” Instead, say, “He is a boy” or “She is a girl” or “My/our/their/his/her/the baby is a (boy/girl).”

9. I’m going to be a ___!—This phrase usually ends with “mother,” “father,” “grandparent,” “aunt,” “uncle,” etc., But it’s inaccurate and dehumanizes the baby, because actually, it’s a done deal! The person speaking is already a mother (or father, grandparent, etc.). If you catch someone (or yourself) saying this, quickly correct it by reminding them (or yourself) that the child already exists, so they (or you) are already a mother (or father, grandparent, etc.).

This is in no way an exhaustive list. It has been compiled to get you thinking and to start a conversation that will hopefully result in pro-life advocates being more effective in changing minds and hearts, which will eventually result in legal recognition of human personhood for all, born and preborn. Let me know what you think!


Erik Whittington
 is director of Rock for Life, a project of American Life League. RFL is a network of bands, musicians, artists (over 800!) and their fans, who use their talents to provide life-affirming solutions to counter assaults on the right to life. RFL works to educate, activate, mobilize and unite pro-life youth to fight against the attacks made against the most innocent of all human beings. This commentary was originally published as a Rock for Life blog on November 4, 2009.

 

Respond to Judie
http://www.all.org/newsroom_judieblog_response.php?id=2845

 


 

<Previous Page

 

Pro-Life Today |

HEADLINES

Groundbreaking In-the-Womb Photos Now Improved and Republished
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/oct/09101502.html
Life Site News
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but for more than fifty years Lennart Nilsson has taken photographs that the pro-life movement has found priceless: the earliest and most compelling visual images that give intimate detail and clarity to the humanity of unborn children in the womb.  The stunning images published in 1965 have now been remastered with the help of the latest photographic technology and "A Child is Born" has been republished in a fifth and final edition.

Miracle Baby: Mother Successfully Battles for Right to Deliver Healthy Baby Despite Terminal Cancer
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/oct/09101601.html
Life Site News
Carlos explained to me that his wife and mother of five children, named Nereyda, was in the abortion mill because their H.M.O. insurance company would not treat her for her serious stage 4 sarcoma cancer - unless she aborted her 5-month-old unborn child.

Swiss Woman's Death Linked to Hormonal Contraceptive
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/oct/09101605.html
Life Site News
The Swiss government is linking a woman's death to the popular birth control product Yaz made by Bayer Pharmaceuticals.  The woman died of a pulmonary embolism in June, just 10 months after starting the hormonal contraceptive.  The government agency, Swissmedic has launched an investigation into the death.

Over a Billion Abortions Committed Worldwide Since 1970: Guttmacher Institute
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/oct/09101604.html
Life Site News
A new report by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, entitled "Abortion Worldwide:  A Decade of Uneven Progress," shows that over a billion abortions have been committed since 1970.  The report says that the annual number of abortions have declined over the period from 1995 to 2003.  Nevertheless, in 2003 approximately 41.6 million abortions were committed worldwide.  On average, this works out to more than one death by abortion for each second of the year.

For more headline news, click here for ALL's Daily News Summary.

 


MEDIA RELEASE
http://all.org/article.php?id=12494

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
27 January 2010
CONTACT: Katie Walker
540.659.4942| kwalker@all.org 

 

GUTTMACHER STUDY SHOWS DEVASTATING CONSEQUENCES OF SEX-ED

Washington, DC (27 January 2010) – New numbers from the group’s own Guttmacher Institute show Planned Parenthood-style sex education is having a dramatic impact on the rise in teen pregnancy rates.

The study released today shows that the teen pregnancy rate among American teens rose three percent in 2006, teen birth rates rose four percent, and abortion rates were up one percent.

While Planned Parenthood rushes to paint the devastating statistics as an indictment against the Bush administration’s abstinence policy, the timeline points to a different culprit: Planned Parenthood.

“This is not rocket science,” said Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League. “When you don’t tell kids to remain abstinent, they have more sex and more of them get pregnant. Pregnancy rates go down when kids don’t have sex.”

- Prior to 1990, teen pregnancy rates were increasing just about every year as Planned Parenthood’s sex-ed programs dominated public and even private school sex-education courses.

- In the early 1990s, it became popular to teach the abstinence message to teens and preteens. Teen pregnancy rates began to fall.

- By 1995, the federal government was funding an abstinence-only message while pregnancy rates continued to fall.

- By 2000, Planned Parenthood began lobbying the various states to refuse abstinence money and reduce abstinence programs and, predictably, in 2006, the teen pregnancy rate increased for the first time in 15 years.

- Today, partnering with President Obama, Planned Parenthood lobbying has succeeded in virtually cutting off abstinence-only funds.

"We can only imagine how high the teen pregnancy rates will go," Sedlak said. “Planned Parenthood’s reach extends far beyond their vice grip on the nation’s classrooms. Their work can also be felt in pop culture, the internet, advertising and television – all excellent vehicles in their long-term goal to sexualize our children. Sadly it’s working.”

American Life League was cofounded in 1979 by Judie Brown. It is the largest grassroots Catholic pro-life organization in the United States and is committed to the protection of all innocent human beings from the moment of creation to natural death.  For more information or press inquiries, please contact Katie Walker at 540.659.4942.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

American Life League: STOPP International
http://www.stopp.org/

Catholic News Agency: Critic Denounces Guttmacher Teen Pregnancy Study as 'Terribly Simplistic'  (26 January 2010)
http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/critic_denounces_guttmacher_teen_pregnancy_study_as_terribly_simplistic/

ABC News: Teen Pregnancies on the Rise Again (27 January 2010)
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/ReproductiveHealth/teen-pregnancies-rise-experts-debate-reasons/story?id=9668045

 


                                             


From Associates

Pro-Life Wisconsin
Pro-Life Wisconsin continues to oppose late-term abortions at the Madison Surgery Center (a joint partnership between Meriter Hospital, UW Hospital and Clinics and the UW Medical Foundation). An online petition and contact information for its board of directors can be found at
www.NoUWabortions.com. Additionally, PLW is encouraging Wisconsin state employees to switch insurance this month. The Madison Surgery Center has been feeling the financial impact of the boycott, and if 100 families switch their insurance away from UW, that will amount to a loss of over $1.5 million. Spread the word to everyone you know in Wisconsin!


Tip of the month – Parent Power
From Parent Power!! By Jim Sedlak

STOPP has often painted Planned Parenthood as a very patient organization and has emphasized that parents have to be especially diligent when fighting its programs. A group of parents in School District #6 fought a Planned Parenthood inspired sex ed program proposal which is a prime example of both this patience on Planned Parenthood’s part and the diligence of the parents.

In this instance, it took five years from the initial concept of introducing a Family Life Education program in the schools to goal setting and the plan to actually implement the program was scheduled to take another three years. The planning had been going on for two years before the Advisory Board was formed (usually handpicked people who support the philosophies of Planned Parenthood) and before the first school board vote on the issue (which is the time, in many communities, that parents first realize what is going on). This is typical and requires that citizens opposed to the program organize early for a long fight!

Parents in this school district were very involved in community activities and became involved in the Advisory Board early in the process. However, they were repeatedly told by FLE pushers that “nothing was happening.” Yet, they found an entire set of goals presented to the school board and even found themselves in a position of having to fight a program that had been slipped through in the name of the “committee” of which they were a part!

To begin this fight, parents collected a great deal of information on FLE programs and spent time going through the teacher’s reference section of the school library (they found many objectionable texts).  Then the parents held an informational meeting.  It was pointed out, as we have learned previously, that while FLE programs are invariably put in place to “reduce teenage pregnancy,” they consistently result in an INCREASE of teen pregnancies. Sex ed pushers do not have a single scientific report which demonstrates that their programs work.

Parents were warned that there is no good sex ed program because there is no way to control what the teacher does in the classroom. Even the best curriculum and texts can be negated by a teacher that believes the Planned Parenthood line. And, since Planned Parenthood spends much time and money educating teachers and health departments, there is no effective way of knowing exactly what all the teachers will actually teach.  Sex ed is the responsibility of the parents and must be left that way.

With letters to the editor and groups showing up at every school board meeting, these parents forced the school board to reconsider its initial approval of the program objectives. The board finally had to recognize the strength of the parents’ position and voted to rescind their approval of the FLE program!

But, FLE pushers did not give up. They convinced the school board to conduct a survey of the entire community to see if sex education was wanted in the schools. The FLE supporters began holding closed sessions and even decided to change the FLE vocabulary, calling FLE programs “Human Development” subject matter. Local parents immediately challenged the legality of the closed sessions – even to the point of appealing to the state committee on open government which sided with the parents. 

While the debate over the survey was going on, Planned Parenthood started to push another program on the school district – “peer counseling,” which would have children counseling other children. The parents wasted no time in mounting a fight against this program and after they had, again, raised the community consciousness, school district officials decided to postpone any action on the program “indefinitely.” Although many parents had hoped to see the program rejected outright, the action of the board effectively killed the program.

The lessons that we should learn from the activities in School District #6 are:

1. Planned Parenthood is a very patient organization. In this case, they laid out a seven-year plan to get Family Life Education into the school district. This is not unusual.  When fighting Planned Parenthood, we must understand it is a long-term fight and we must be willing to stay the course.

2. Part of the “modus operandi” of these programs is to pretend to get community involvement and to tie parents up in committee meetings while the program pushers work to get their programs adopted.

3. When trying to find out what is going on in your school district, one good source is the teacher’s reference section of the school library. These are the books intended for teacher use in preparing lessons and most of the hard core texts can be found here.

4. The community survey is an often-used ploy. Most people understand that you can make a survey say anything you want by how you phrase the questions. These people get professionals with strong credentials to use the survey to achieve the preconceived results.

5. Planned Parenthood is a mast at name games. It used to refer to its programs as sex education. When that didn’t work, it changed the name to Family Life Education. Now that parents are beginning to catch on to this terminology, program titles are being changed to Human Growth and Development or something similar. The programs haven’t changed, just the names have changed to protect the guilty and fool the public.

Next month – School District #7


News

When is a “fetus” a baby? Meet twice-born Macie
Technology is a double-edged sword. As history attests, it can be used for both good and evil. For destroying the lives of preborn babies or for healing them. Here’s a story that shows the positive side of advances in fetal surgery techniques that incorporate sonogram imaging.
http://www.americanvision.org/article/when-is-a-fetus-a-baby-twice-born-macie/


When man plays God
When ultrasound technology (sonogram) became readily available to physicians, it was a boon to the medical profession, which quickly realized its practical applications. Relatively inexpensive, portable and un-invasive, ultrasound scans soon became one of the first tests to be performed in the routine examination of a patient’s heart, liver, lymph nodes, etc.
http://newsrealblog.com/2009/10/05/when-man-plays-god/


Birth control pills might alter mate selection
Could birth control pills be taking human evolution in a whole new, and possibly detrimental, direction? A review of past research finds that, by altering hormonal cycles, the pill might affect choice of mates among members of both genders in a way that could hinder successful reproduction in the future.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/hsn/20091007/hl_hsn/birthcontrolpillsmightaltermateselectionstudy


Komen for the Cure races as research shows abortion-breast cancer link
With October as breast cancer awareness month, Komen for the Cure is sponsoring races and events across the country to raise awareness of the potentially fatal disease. However, Komen isn't providing women with information on a way to help prevent breast cancer by not having an abortion. Although abortion advocates, and Komen, dismiss the research, experts have clearly shown an abortion-breast cancer link.
http://www.lifenews.com/nat5550.html#


Closing Thought

“The Lord is near; have no anxiety. The Lord is always near to all who call upon His help with sincerity, true faith, sure hope, and perfect love. He knows what you need, even before you ask Him. He is always ready to come to the aid of all His faithful servants in every need. There is no reason for us to be in a state of great anxiety when evils threaten; we must remember that God is very near to us as our protector.”

—From a treatise on the letter to the Philippians by St. Ambrose, Bishop, Liturgy of the Hours, IV:334

 

 


 

Pro-Life Today | 09 December 2009

HEADLINES

Evidence of counseling abuse at Planned Parenthood continues to surface in undercover student video
http://www.liveaction.org/index.php/projects/rosaacuna
Live Action Films
New undercover footage from an Appleton, WI Planned Parenthood abortion clinic shows clinic staff, including the abortion doctor, lying to two young women about fetal development and encouraging the one who is pregnant to obtain an abortion because "women die having babies." In the undercover video, when the two women ask a Planned Parenthood counselor if the pregnant woman's 10-week-old unborn child has a heartbeat, the counselor emphasizes "heart tones," and answers, "Heart beat is when the fetus is active in the uterus--can survive--which is about seventeen or eighteen weeks." On the contrary, embryologists agree that the heartbeat begins around 3 weeks. Wisconsin informed consent law requires that women receive medically accurate information before undergoing an abortion.

Senate blocks abortion amendment in health bill
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2009/12/09/MNQL1B14PS.DTL#ixzz0ZCfi8pWy
SF Gate
The Senate on Tuesday blocked a hotly controversial amendment to restrict abortion coverage in health care legislation, but the emotional two-day debate demonstrated the rising difficulty Democrats face in passing the overall measure by Christmas. The Senate tabled Nelson's amendment by a 54-45 vote, with seven moderate and conservative Democrats supporting it. The amendment mirrored a similar provision in the House legislation essential to its passage last month.

Another major problem with the Senate health care bill: Sex ed
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/dec/09120903.html
Life Site News
It's funny, the things that never make the news.  Take the recent amendment to the Senate health care plan by Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D-MT). This language allocates hundreds of millions of dollars of your money toward "Personal Responsibility Education for Adulthood Training." What can this possibly mean? Here we come to the nub of the matter. The "personal responsibility education" referred to in the Baucus amendment is actually sex education. The Senate health care plan is going to teach kids about sex. Graphically, and early. With heaps of tax dollars.

For more headline news, click here for ALL’s Daily News Summary.

Register NOW for Training and Activism Week, 2010!!!

Join American Life League at our 10th Annual Training and Activism Week and Personhood Conference, January 20-23, 2010, at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C. Registration is FREE!  The event includes three days of educational workshops given by pro-life experts on basic human rights legislation, euthanasia, nationalized health care, abortion, human personhood, youth activism and more!
 
In the evenings, relax and enjoy two FREE music concerts featuring a half-dozen pro-life bands of various styles! After you wake up with a renewed sense of purpose and your new knowledge of hands-on activism, join us on the streets of Washington, D.C., at a Planned Parenthood facility and on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.
 
Before the big march on Friday, you can also attend a one-day, internationally acclaimed pro-life conference hosted by Human Life International.
 
Visit
www.all.org/taw to see a complete list of activities and register today! For concert information, visit www.rockforlife.org/taw. Seats for all sessions are limited, so register early!



FEATURE STORY

HUMAN PERSONHOOD AND ILL-ADVISED CATHOLIC BISHOPS
By Judie Brown

The Montana Catholic Conference has released a statement critical of the efforts of state’s pro-lifers who are seeking recognition of human personhood via a state constitutional amendment. In their statement, the bishops declare, 

We have been advised by leading pro-life attorneys that the strategy to pass a state constitutional amendment declaring personhood is problematic, in part, because of its heavy reliance on unpredictable courts and dependence on future legislative actions to define and implement the law. They have also expressed concerns that state personhood amendments might trigger an appellate process that could strengthen Roe v. Wade.

I am well aware of the opinions of the “leading pro-life attorneys” who are giving these bishops bad advice. I have found their arguments flawed on several levels. In fact, I recently addressed those of one such attorney, Clarke Forsythe of Americans United for Life, who has insisted that those of us who are working toward human personhood are “heading toward a brick wall.” 

Sadly, his arguments, along with those of
James Bopp Jr., Bopp, Coleson & Bostrom’s senior partner and the National Right to Life Committee’s general counsel, appear to have resonated with Catholic bishops for reasons I find both disturbing and antithetical to Catholic teaching.

I am not a theologian nor am I an attorney, but I do know what the Catholic Church teaches about the identity of the human person and the dignity inherent in each. This is neither a political nor a legal question. It's a question of whether one accepts or rejects the fundamental principle that human beings all deserve to be equally recognized as human persons endowed with human rights.

For nearly 40 years, the American legal system has been morally imprisoned by a set of U.S. Supreme Court decisions (Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton) that deny the humanity of the child prior to birth by setting aside all scientific evidence, not to mention common sense. The inanity of these decisions is clear, but apparently to some, how to go about undoing the damage they have done is not.

This is where the human personhood movement comes in, and it’s about time Catholic bishops thought about this from a perspective not clouded by the politics of false prudence, legal positivism or incrementalism. Too many dead bodies lie on that road; it’s time to change course!

There is no reliance within the human personhood movement on unpredictable courts, Your Excellencies. There is a firm, undeniable reliance on exact scientific evidence, which leads to the philosophical conclusion that a human being, from his or her beginning, is a human person. This is proven beyond doubt by studying the facts, not by fearing or misrepresenting court decisions. As a matter of fact, the human personhood movement does not address Roe v. Wade or Doe v. Bolton, for obvious reasons.

Pro-life Americans, including Roman Catholic bishops and their associates in the various state Catholic conferences, have to move beyond the politics and understand that Roe and Doe are symptomatic of a culture that long ago set out on the path of dehumanizing vulnerable persons. Roe and Doe were the result of a permissive attitude toward denying the personhood of human beings deemed “inconvenient” or “undesirable.”

If we honestly examine the Supreme Court’s infamous Dred Scott decision, we learn a valuable lesson. The Supreme Court never recanted or overturned the prejudice on display in that decision. Citizens took it upon themselves to correct the injustices being perpetrated throughout society and by government against members of the human race. The result was a movement to renew the culture and restore justice by way of a constitutional amendment.

Similarly, it is not the human personhood movement’s goal to overturn Roe and Doe. Our goal is to restore recognition of personhood to all human beings. We do not need the court’s permission to do that.

It occurs to me that this fact flies in the face of all that the so-called leading pro-life attorneys have been saying to Catholic bishops nationwide. First and foremost, there is no human being who exists because of the Supreme Court, Congress or any other body of individuals. Each exists by the grace of God, His creative power and His endowment of personhood at the instant a human being is created. There is no doubt about this, particularly if one is a person of deep religious faith, as is each Catholic bishop.

Further, the human personhood movement relies heavily on a two-pronged educational strategy. We share the science and then we share the reasoning behind the movement. This is why we can state unhesitatingly that not only is legal recognition of human personhood the right goal for pro-life Americans, it is only logical way for society to once again acknowledge the truth of who the human being is and why each is so precious.

We encourage the Catholic bishops of Montana and elsewhere to set aside the disingenuous argument that the passage of a personhood amendment to a state constitution "
might trigger an appellate process that could strengthen Roe v. Wade.” There is absolutely no way that anyone knows whether or not such a trigger would be pulled, but we all know that maintaining the status quo is unthinkable.

We cannot be satisfied, as servants of life and, more importantly, servants of God, with the “
common sense" restrictions on abortion that seem to be the standard fare offered by many, including those leading pro-life attorneys relied upon by Montana’s bishops. It has never been the pro-life movement’s goal to restrict the killing so that it happens less. If one knows that the act of abortion is murder, then how could we ever defend the argument that restricting acts of murder so that fewer people are murdered is a worthy goal? What sort of twisted idea is that?

Also contained in the
Montana Catholic Conference statement is the following strategic recommendation: 

The key to advancing the culture of life in Montana is addressing the privacy provision in our state constitution which provides a right to abortion. Therefore, we are working with constitutional experts to develop an amendment which would exclude abortion from the privacy provision in the state constitution.

Passing such a constitutional amendment would open the way to addressing real change in the state. We could then pass laws to enact restrictions such as requiring short waiting periods before an abortion can be performed and requiring parental notification in cases when the person seeking an abortion is under age. These restrictions have been noted in a recent study as being effective in reducing abortion. Passage of such laws would save numerous lives on the way to changing hearts and minds as we work to achieve our ultimate goal of overturning Roe v. Wade.

This statement confirms my worst suspicions. Let me be perfectly clear.

There is no legitimate right to privacy in matters of life and death. No one can in good conscience argue that a “right to privacy” permits murder. Further there is no right to abortion, as Pope John Paul II reminded us in Evangelium Vitae (#20) when he taught what the consequences of such an argument are: 

To claim the right to abortion, infanticide and euthanasia, and to recognize that right in law, means to attribute to human freedom a perverse and evil significance: that of an absolute power over others and against others. This is the death of true freedom: “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin” (Jn 8:34).

There is no doubt that the type of amendment that the Montana Catholic Conference is proposing would lead to a recognition of aborting a human being as a legitimate practice as long as such a practice was restricted in some way. The skewed thinking behind such a proposal is too inconceivable to even contemplate.

It is my fervent hope and prayer that Most Rev. George Leo Thomas, bishop of the Diocese of Helena, and Most Rev. Michael W. Warfel, bishop of the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, will reexamine why they would endorse a flawed policy and oppose human personhood efforts in their state.

The unity of purpose that once made the pro-life movement in America so great was that we understood that unless and until every innocent human being was equally protected under the law and in the culture, there would be no end to the senseless murder of the innocent. That unity of purpose appears to have died, and we strive to revive that as well.

We are praying that our Catholic bishops will lead the way toward this lost unity of purpose, for as Saint Thomas Aquinas explained,  “[H]uman law is law inasmuch as it is in conformity with right reason and thus derives from the eternal law. But when a law is contrary to reason, it is called an unjust law; but in this case it ceases to be a law and becomes instead an act of violence” (
Evangelium Vitae #72).

Human personhood now!

Contact Montana’s Catholic bishops:

Bishop George Thomas
Diocese of Helena, Montana
(406) 442-5820
 
Bishop Michael Warfel
Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, Montana
(406)727-6683

 


 

Pro-Life Today | 08 December 2009

HEADLINES

Analysis: Health Care, Politicians and the Catholic Conscience - A Troubling New Development Appears in American Politics
http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=99282
EWTN
For decades, Americans have been subjected to the arguments of certain Catholic politicians who argued that while "personally opposed" to unjust policies like abortion, they were nonetheless unwilling to "impose" that view on the rest of the country. The argument was disingenuous, premised on the fact that somehow a "Catholic" conscience had to be put to the side in the public square. Now, the very people who argued that they couldn't bring their private conscience into a secular public square are poised to use the law to impose a particular view on their fellow Catholics.

Attempted Murder Suspect May Have Been Trying to Steal Unborn Child
http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local-beat/Attempted-Murder-Suspect-May-Have-Been-Trying-to-Steal-Unborn-Child-78715617.html
NBC Washington
A woman charged with attempted murder in the stabbing of a pregnant woman may have been trying to remove the child with a box cutter, Prince George's County investigators said. Veronica Deramous, 40, allegedly met the victim, who was near full term, last week at Queen of Peace Missionaries of Charity, a soup kitchen and shelter for pregnant women on Wheeler Road in southeast D.C., according to D.C. police. Deramous convinced the pregnant woman to go to her Suitland, Md., apartment, authorities said.

First 3D MRI Scans of Unborn Babies
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8366326.stm
BBC
A new technique to get the first 3D images of unborn babies from MR (magnetic resonance) scans has been developed by Imperial College Healthcare. A team led by Prof Mary Rutherford, a neonatal neuroradiologist at Hammersmith Hospital, is using the images to find out how foetus' brains develop in the womb.

For more headline news, click here for ALL’s Daily News Summary.

 

Register NOW for Training and Activism Week, 2010!!!

Join American Life League at our 10th Annual Training and Activism Week and Personhood Conference, January 20-23, 2010, at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C. Registration is FREE!  The event includes three days of educational workshops given by pro-life experts on basic human rights legislation, euthanasia, nationalized health care, abortion, human personhood, youth activism and more!
 
In the evenings, relax and enjoy two FREE music concerts featuring a half-dozen pro-life bands of various styles! After you wake up with a renewed sense of purpose and your new knowledge of hands-on activism, join us on the streets of Washington, D.C., at a Planned Parenthood facility and on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.
 
Before the big march on Friday, you can also attend a one-day, internationally acclaimed pro-life conference hosted by Human Life International.
 
Visit
www.all.org/taw to see a complete list of activities and register today! For concert information, visit www.rockforlife.org/taw. Seats for all sessions are limited, so register early!

 

FEATURE STORY

 HUMAN RIGHTS VERSUS THE RIGHT TO MURDER
By Judie Brown

The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood have filed lawsuits in several states, including Nevada, to stop personhood initiatives. As the ACLU puts it in the Nevada complaint, personhood proposals are designed to “ban a range of reproductive health services.” The complaint is based on the long-held opinion of abortion proponents that there is no good reason to take an action that would interfere in a woman’s decision to abort her own child. Of course, the ACLU does not use those words, but rather states in its press release:

“Supporters of the so-called 'Personhood Initiative' intend this provision to eliminate a woman's right to make personal, private health care decisions," said Emmily Bristol, one of the plaintiffs. "We need to preserve a woman's right to make decisions about her reproductive health with her doctor and family without governmental interference."

The Initiative attempts to re-define the term "person" to include a fertilized egg and all subsequent stages of prenatal development. According to the Initiative's proponents, the newly defined "persons" would have full constitutional rights under the Nevada Constitution.

The Initiative seeks to ban all abortions and commonly used forms of birth control. It could also interfere with doctors' ability to treat life-threatening pregnancies, miscarriages, and infertility, as well as ban some stem cell research and other life-saving therapies and cures. In addition, the Initiative seeks to reach far beyond health care. As today's legal papers warn, the Initiative fails to explain to voters its intent and impact on Nevada law.

There is something quite revealing in some of the statements made in this November 12 press release. If we compare the rhetoric here with that of statements issued over time, we discover that the pro-aborts have been using the same arguments for nearly 40 years. They have gained some ground, with the help of the Supreme Court and lawmakers, and they have enshrined in the Constitution of this country, in their opinion, a so-called right to abortion.

The position of our opposition has always been that a woman is the only one who should have the right to decide whether she wishes to affirm her child’s life or pay to have it killed or even kill it herself. While they never use the word “child,” as that would be a clear admission of what the act of abortion actually accomplishes, they know all too well what abortion does and how much money they are raking in by denying the obvious. 

Just ask Abby Johnson, the former Director of Planned Parenthood in Bryan, Texas, who recently quit her job because she experienced “a profound change of heart” regarding abortion. Abby Johnson grew in her ability to discern the truth and abandoned the lie that kept her at Planned Parenthood for eight years. But she is unique, not typical of those who market killing.

Among such people there has never been a deviation from the core principle that every woman has a “constitutional right to privacy” which guarantees her the ability to end the life of her child, if that is what she desires.

This is why the ACLU and its compatriots consistently describe personhood efforts in the context of endowing “fertilized eggs” with characteristics that pro-aborts would choose to protect from anybody prior to birth. But as Dr. Dianne Irving and other honest people have taught for years, the use of the term “fertilized egg” to refer to the new single-cell human being/organism is formally rejected by the international nomenclature committee in human embryology. In other words, it is a bogus term specifically designed to dehumanize the person in his earliest state of existence. 

Unsurprisingly, “fertilized egg” is a popular term among those who deny that a preborn child is actually even alive, let alone a human being. This is the specific reason why personhood efforts, not only in Nevada but Missouri, Alaska and elsewhere, are always met with strident, deceptive opposition.  This is also why these proponents of prebirth execution will clamor about birth control, doctors who won’t be able to protect their patients’ lives and so on, ad nauseam. Any argument they can use—whether based in fact or fiction—that suits their bottomline is exactly what they will pursue. And sadly, far too many judges, lawmakers, reporters and talking heads seem to agree. It is as if the entire idea of a preborn human being as a person is so frightening to them, so foreign to their understanding, that they are appalled, shrinking from it in the way one might run from a monster! 

While I find this distressing and feel sorrow for their lack of common sense, I also believe strongly that they are and have always been among the chief servants of the evil one. There is nothing they will not say in order to have their way with killing; there is nothing they will not do to convince the population that they are indeed looking out for the most vulnerable whom they consider to be their patient base. Such thinking is wicked to the core, but what’s new!

The most disingenuous of their statements, however, is the claim that abortion is health care; that contraception is health care; that any act that protects a man or a woman from that dreaded complication of a child for whom they would have to be responsible is health care. If you think I am joking then you have not paid close attention to the health care reform debate either.  For right there, in front of everyone’s eyes, is proposal after proposal designed to enshrine sexual gratification at any cost as health care.

Even now as the U.S. Senate considers the Women’s Preventive Care Amendment, the brainchild of pro-abortion Senator Barbara Mikulski, there are those who warn that the amendment is really just a backdoor way of including abortion in health care reform. Those dedicated to abortion don’t find total honesty something that appeals to them, whether in the U. S. Senate or in the employ of the ACLU.

In the state of Alaska, where the ACLU has filed suit against the personhood initiative, the Anchorage Daily News took up the banner for the ACLU and opined “Whether life begins at conception is a question for individual conscience, not for the ballot box.”

Such a statement is ignorant of basic scientific fact. The writers appear to be lacking in the ability to think in a critical manner. Clearly, those who wrote this editorial have probably never considered the fact that, as individuals, they were created and should be grateful to their parents for welcoming them into the family rather than searching for a devious excuse to kill their own child! As a matter of fact I have never met an abortion advocate who was aborted … oxymoronic? Of course it is, but then again, so is the suggestion that the union of two cells that result in the creation of a new human being is a matter of conscience rather than a matter of simple biology!

The ACLU describes itself as the nation’s “guardian of liberty,” and yet the ACLU has been involved, since its founding, in defending the fallacious principle that the strong have the right to eliminate the weak if that is their choice. That is, after all, the principle that buttresses the argument that a mother has a right to kill her own child. The ACLU’s founder, Roger Baldwin, was a hero to many including Planned Parenthood’s founder herself, Margaret Sanger. She said of Baldwin: "The name Roger Baldwin and Civil Liberties are synonymous in the minds of all people in the United States. You have fought the good fight, Roger."

The ACLU has dedicated itself to denying the obvious with the convoluted  argument that abortion and contraception are rights that must be guaranteed by the Constitution. One can only imagine how our founding fathers would view such blather, for it was none other than Thomas Jefferson who asked, “Can the liberties of a nation be sure when we remove their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people, that these liberties are a gift from God?”

Lest we forget, it is God Who commands, “Thou shalt not kill.” And it is God Who says in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you...”

The ACLU is not God, nor is the United States Congress or any other person or group that has assigned unto itself the mission of assuring that murder is a human right. It is not.

The quest for personhood for all people, born and preborn, is an effort seeking justice for all, equal rights for all, human rights for all. For these reasons, it will prevail. If it does not, the liberties of this nation will never for sure. Of that, there is no doubt.

  


 

Pro-Life Today | 12 December 2009

HEADLINES

Senate Health Care Amendment Would Fund Planned Parenthood
http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=99245
EWTN
A pro-life leader has criticized the Senate’s addition of the Mikulski Amendment to the proposed health care bill, voicing concerns that the provision’s sponsor herself has admitted it would fund some of Planned Parenthood’s services. The amendment’s required coverage of “preventive care” could also include abortions. The Mikulski Amendment, passed on Thursday by a vote of 61-39, requires group health plans and health insurance issuers to provide coverage for “preventive care” for women and bars them from imposing cost sharing requirements on such care.

Abortion Is a ‘God-Given Right,’ Liberal Leader Declares
http://cnsnews.com/news/article/57957
CNS News
Rev. Carlton Veazey, president and CEO of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, told a small crowd of pro-abortion protesters that women have a “God-given right” to abortion and that opposition from pro-life congressmen and religious leaders would never take it away.  Veazey, closing speaker at a “Stop Stupak” rally on Capitol Hill staged by major pro-abortion groups such as Planned Parenthood, NARAL-Pro Choice, and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) told the crowd that not only did they have a constitutional right to abortion, but that they had a God-given one as well.

Carhart Abandons Plans for Kansas Late-term Abortion Clinic
http://www.operationrescue.org/
Operation Rescue
Operation Rescue has confirmed that late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart will not be opening a late-term abortion clinic in Kansas to replace Women’s Health Care Services, which closed after the death of George Tiller.

For more headline news, click here for ALL’s Daily News Summary.

Register NOW for Training and Activism Week, 2010!!!

Join American Life League at our 10th Annual Training and Activism Week and Personhood Conference, January 20-23, 2010, at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C. Registration is FREE!  The event includes three days of educational workshops given by pro-life experts on basic human rights legislation, euthanasia, nationalized health care, abortion, human personhood, youth activism and more!
 
In the evenings, relax and enjoy two FREE music concerts featuring a half-dozen pro-life bands of varied styles! After you wake up with a renewed sense of purpose and your new knowledge of hands-on activism, join us on the streets of Washington, D.C., at a Planned Parenthood facility and on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.
 
Before the big march on Friday, you can also attend a one-day, internationally acclaimed pro-life conference hosted by Human Life International.
 
Visit
www.all.org/taw to see a complete list of activities and register today! For concert information, visit www.rockforlife.org/taw. Seats for all sessions are limited, so register early!


FEATURE STORY

HUMAN PERSONHOOD IS IMPERATIVE IN THE DEFENSE OF LIFE
By Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.

Pope John Paul the Great made the proclamation of the Gospel of life one of the central aspects of his papacy. It is little wonder that the theme of the 1993 World Youth Day, celebrated in Denver, Colorado, was “I came so that they might have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

Pope John Paul II was painfully aware of the moral depravity into which Colorado had plunged our nation and the world when, in 1967, it became the first state to decriminalize the killing of innocent children in the womb and thus deprive them of their human personhood. He never shied away from proclaiming the truth and taught us, “In the proclamation of this Gospel, we must not fear hostility or unpopularity, and we must refuse any compromise or ambiguity which might conform us to the world's way of thinking (cf. Rom 12:2). We must be in the world but not of the world (cf. Jn 15:19; 17:16), drawing our strength from Christ, Who by His death and resurrection has overcome the world (cf. Jn 16:33)” (Evangelium Vitae, #82)

As a proponent of Colorado’s 2010 Personhood Amendment and a Catholic, I feel called to fight a battle that, except for the light of Christ, is filled with discouragement, division, uncertainty and darkness. I ask you to join me in the fight against the culture of death by getting personally involved in gathering signatures to put the amendment on the ballot for the November 2010 election.

A personhood amendment is an ideal approach for carrying the Gospel of life to our brothers and sisters. There are several reasons why this is so: It is a vehicle for educating our fellow citizens; it requires the direct participation of the faithful; it restores the proper relationship between divine law, the government and the people; and it directs our hope not to a politician or judges, but to Christ on the cross as we entrust this effort to Him.

In order to achieve these important goals, we need you to reach out to your fellow Catholics and help us collect 76,047 signatures by February 2010.

Personhood is truth

Personhood is a philosophical fact, rooted in fundamental scientific evidence, which holds that from “the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person—among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2270). Why do we insist on using the word “person” in our fight against the attacks on human dignity? Why not define when life begins or what a human being is? To understand this, we must first understand the meaning of the word “person.” The word “person” has different meanings, depending on the context in which it is used.

In a theological context, the word “person” refers to the union of the physical and the spiritual, in other words, body and soul. In Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II asks the rhetorical question, how could a human individual not be a human person? In other words, the Catholic teaching that a human individual is also a human person is a self-evident truth.

Within the context of an atheistic philosophy, the term “person” is defined by a set of utilitarian qualities: Is the human being self-aware? Does he or she have the capacity to reason? Can he or she live independently and develop relationships? All of these are the complete opposite of what our faith teaches. Human dignity comes not from our differing abilities and qualities, but from God Himself, Who is the Author/Creator of every human individual’s life.

In a legal context, a proper definition of the word “person” is of extreme importance.The United States Constitution uses the word “person” 49 times. On the other hand, it never uses the word “human being” or “human life” or even just “human.” The reason is quite simple: The Constitution is primarily concerned with rights, and the term for one who is recognized by law as having rights and duties is “person.”

In the case of Colorado v. Lage (2009), a man who crashed his car head-on into a car driven by an eight-and-a-half months expectant mother, was able to avoid being charged with killing the child in the womb because the court felt “compelled by the legislature’s definition of a 'person,'” which only considered a human being to be a “person” after birth. Clearly, the constitutional definition of the word “person” is critical to the defense of preborn children.

Personhood is not a question of practicality

Questions have been raised regarding the practicality of a human personhood amendment. Typical arguments against personhood are the following: 1) We need to wait until we have more supportive justices on the Supreme Court; 2) the amendment already lost in a popular vote once, and such efforts divert attention and resources away from more achievable measures; and 3) even if the amendment were to pass, it would have a negative legal effect.

A detailed refutation of each of these arguments is available on Personhood Colorado’s web site.  I encourage all of you to read them. But more eloquent than all of the rational and legal arguments that I can offer are the deeply insightful and inspired words of our beloved John Paul the Great. This great defender of life wrote, “[W]hen freedom is detached from objective truth it becomes impossible to establish personal rights on a firm rational basis; and the ground is laid for society to be at the mercy of the unrestrained will of individuals or the oppressive totalitarianism of public authority” (EV, # 96).

These words answer all the arguments against personhood. They highlight the need to disengage from corrupt and unjust laws, and establish a solid foundation for real freedom based in truth.

The great defender of life also points out, “No less critical in the formation of conscience is the recovery of the necessary link between freedom and truth” (EV, # 96). In other words, focus on education; focus on the principle.

The Personhood Amendment first and foremost aims at a cultural transformation that will form consciences “with regard to the incomparable and inviolable worth of every human life” (EV, #96). In that light, the pessimistic arguments against the Personhood Amendment are transformed into the very reasons why we must participate in it. The darker our culture, the greater the need for the bright light of truth.

Although personhood is about principle, it also has a solid legal basis. While some lawyers disagree on the practicality of personhood amendments, prestigious Catholic law firms such as the Thomas More Law Center and renowned Catholic legal scholars such as Charles Rice, professor emeritus of law at the University of Notre Dame, strongly support personhood efforts, describing them as “prudent, timely and positive.” Professor Rice explains that personhood amendments are “an affirmation of the federalism embodied in the general structure of the United States Constitution as well as in the Tenth Amendment.”

Pro-lifers should know that the state personhood amendment approach to prohibiting abortion has never been tried and thus has never failed. Isn’t it worth a shot?

Yet, apart from all the legal strategizing, personhood is fundamentally about principle, a Catholic and universal principle that all human beings must have the rights of a person from the very first moment of his or her existence. Unless we instill this principle, no legal strategy will ever set our hearts straight, and unless our hearts are changed, the law will be devoid of meaning.

Personhood is faith in action

“But He was wounded for our iniquities, He was bruised for our sins: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His bruises we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

Approaching a complete stranger in public and talking to him about abortion is one of the most uncomfortable things you can ask a person to do. Even door-to-door salesmen are treated better than pro-life missionaries. Yet, as Christians, we know that our calling is to follow in the steps of Jesus Christ, Who was rejected and despised but was faithful even unto death!

John Paul the Great asked us “to bring the Gospel of life to the heart of every man and woman and to make it penetrate every part of society” (EV, #80). Taking a petition and engaging everyone, regardless of their appearance or station in life, is an act of faith. We are entrusting what we do to Christ and accepting the various reactions we receive as God’s will.

While gathering signatures at the Colorado State Fair, I learned the value of approaching every person, regardless of their appearance. Many people who wore large crucifixes “had no time” or would “do it another day.” Yet young men and women with tattoos and immodest clothing would stop and talk about abortion, and often they would sign our petition.

Having an active presence in the legislature to represent Catholic moral beliefs is important, but it is no substitute for the personal evangelical calling of every Catholic. Changing laws does not necessarily change hearts, but personal example and personal sacrifice does.

The campaign for the Colorado Personhood Amendment illustrates the Catholic principle of subsidiarity in action. This principle holds that functions of government, business and other secular activities should be as local as possible. Individual Catholics, Catholic families and Catholic parishes should not leave to larger organizations what they themselves can do. The initiative process affords individuals the power to shape their own constitution, which is both a privilege and a responsibility. Subsidiarity encourages personal responsibility and, consequently, a concurrent personal transformation.

Gathering signatures to put this amendment on the ballot has been one of the most transformative experiences of my life. By making myself an advocate for the voiceless preborn child and accepting the occasional rejection of friend and foe alike, I have grown closer to Christ, experiencing that redemptive suffering that makes us grow in our love for God.

The battle against the culture of death is a difficult one. “To be truly a people at the service of life we must propose these truths constantly and courageously from the very first proclamation of the Gospel, and thereafter in catechesis, in the various forms of preaching, in personal dialogue and in all educational activity” (EV, #82) These words are John Paul the Great’s. His life was an example of living out the Gospel of life.

It is our calling as Catholics to follow Christ’s example as faithfully as have our beloved popes, John Paul II and Benedict XVI. I believe the Colorado Personhood Amendment offers us, as Catholics, an unrivaled opportunity to do so. As Mother Teresa said, we are called to be faithful, not to be successful, for the way of the faithful Christian turns defeat into victory and death into life.

“Death with life contended: combat strangely ended! Life’s own Champion, slain, yet lives to reign” (Roman Missal, "Sequence for Easter Sunday").

Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D., graduated from the George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C., and is director of Personhood Colorado and founder of Colorado Catholics for Personhood. This article is printed with his kind permission.

  


 

Volume 6, Number 46                                                                        Monday, December 7, 2009


Life of the Mother Declaration
American Life League drafted a declaration in 2005 entitled "Protecting the Life of the Mother," which is located on our web site at
http://www.all.org/article.php?id=10682

The declaration states "there is never a situation in the law or in the ethical practice of medicine where a preborn child's life need be intentionally destroyed by procured abortion for the purpose of saving the life of the mother."  This declaration has been signed by almost 500 physicians (the list can be viewed at http://www.all.org/article.php?id=10682).

Associates are invited to review this declaration, mention it to physicians and encourage them, if they have not already done so, to sign on to this statement at http://www.all.org/article_printerfriendly.php?id=10683.


From Associates

Pro-Life Wisconsin
With the proceeds from a huge volunteer effort (more than 500 hours!) this summer, Pro-Life Wisconsin has been able to purchase a full-size pro-life billboard which will be displayed in different locations throughout Milwaukee for the next six months. More than 27,000 cars will pass by the first location each day. PLW will be tracking the number of calls that are made to the pro-life hotline, which directs women to crisis pregnancy centers. For a picture of the billboard, visit PLW’s web site at
http://www.prolifewisconsin.org/MONUPD_files/November3009monupd.htm.


Mother and Unborn Baby Care/WomanKind
MUBC’s 2009 Bowl for Life (an annual event since 1984!) was held at The 10th Frame in Appleton on October 12 and raised $22,000. A follow-up party and “awards ceremony” were held on November 6; prizes this year included gift cards, an autographed Green Bay Packers football and a Wii system. Proceeds from the Bowl for Life are used to assist clients of Mother & Unborn Baby Care and to cover operating expenses at WomanKind Medical Clinic. A feature article on MUBC’s Bowl for Life will be one of the first to appear when ALL launches the newest version of its web site soon!


Tip of the Month: “In the Beginning – the Origin of Life”
From Choices in Matters of Life & Death by Judie Brown with Paul Brown

An argument has been going on for years: What is abortion? And what happens to the baby during an abortion? I think what people really want to know is this: What is life? What is it all about?

Life is a continuum and each human being is a unique part of this cycle. Life passes on from one person to the next and from one generation to the next. The beginning of a brand new human life is nothing less than a miracle because that human person, now existing, will never again be created. Each person is unique and distinctly different from the next person.

The book of Jeremiah tells us that before we were created, God knew us. He had counted the hairs on our heads and He knew us even before our biological development began. In God’s master plan, He knows each and every human being who ever was or ever will be. And that reveals the most horrifying aspect of abortion: every abortion eliminates a unique, unrepeatable human person.

Every human being has a God-given right to live. This principle is stated in the Constitution of the United States; it is as basic as the very fact of our existence. The founders of our country wrote in the Declaration of Independence that we Americans consider this truth self-evident: all people are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.” In other words, human rights come from God and this is obvious to everyone. Among these rights, they said, is the right to life.

I would find it impossible to be deeply involved in the pro-life movement if I didn’t have religious convictions about when human life begins. If it were not for God and His power, there would be no creation of human life.  God tells us in the Bible that man was created in His image and in His likeness. Therefore, each time we destroy a brand-new human being through abortion, we are destroying a creation of God.

If I were a secular humanist and did not believe in God, but only in myself and my own powers, I would certainly not be motivated to work so hard in the pro-life movement to protect these tiny human beings who will never know me in this life nor know the work we have done to protect their right to life.

If we deny rationally or irrationally the existence of God as the creator of all human life, then it is possible for us as a society to treat ourselves and fellow human beings no differently than we treat animals. In fact, if animals were being annihilated at the same rate as human beings are today in our society, there would be massive outrage.

It is the responsibility of the pro-life movement to see to it that human beings are once again valued at a much higher level than any animal life, for we are in fact so different, unique and miraculous, because we are created in the image and likeness of God, that we human beings should be the top priority of our society, our government and every activity that goes on in our country and in our world today. Sadly, we are not.


News

Send Jailed Pro-Life Heroine Linda Gibbons a Christmas Card
Attention: Linda Gibbons
Vanier Center for Women
655 Martin Street, Box 1040,
Milton, Ontario
L9T 5E6, Canada

Please read the full article for background information and mailing guidelines.
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/nov/09113011.html


Man to Man: A Real Priest Speaks to Real Men about Marriage, Sexuality and Family Life
Father Farfaglia has taken a subject that is much maligned in today's sexually saturated culture, that of being a man's man, and has turned it back toward the Lord and His design in a way that is both captivating and challenging not only for men but for every Catholic. Understanding God's design for a union with Him through marriage is fundamental for a couple considering matrimony, but particularly for the male in this age of feminized masculinity.  That is perhaps the most important aspect of this book for it dignifies man because he is masculine, he is strong and he is Godly. It is my hope that every young Catholic considering marriage will read this with an open mind and a heart for truth.
http://www.mantomanbook.com/


Minority Report: Study Supporting Comprehensive Sexual Education over Abstinence Programs Flawed
A recent study by a task force of the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) led researchers to recommend comprehensive risk reduction programs (CRRs), which include instruction in contraceptive use, over abstinence education programs (AE). But two members of the study's external review team have released a minority report arguing that this conclusion is unjustified.
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/nov/09113002.html


It's Killing a Baby, Plain and Simple
What is abortion if not the ultimate predetermination of a child's future? It is a medical technology that allows us to pre-empt a human life – to stop a person from, inconveniently, appearing in our midst.
http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=116416


For the Vatican It's Clear - Pro-Abortion Politicians 'Must' Be Denied Communion
Since the controversy came to a head in 2004, the stance from the Vatican on the matter has been clear and consistent.  For the Pope and top Curial Cardinals in charge of the matter there is no question about the responsibility to deny Holy Communion to Catholic politicians who obstinately support abortion.
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/nov/09112709.html


The Significance of That Case of the Man Trapped in a "Coma" for 23 Years
Rom Houben, the Belgium man who was diagnosed as being in a permanent vegetative state (PVS) for 23 years, in fact had a condition known as Locked-in Syndrome. A person in locked-in syndrome is fully aware of all of their surroundings and they hear and remember the conversations that take place around them, but due to their cognitive disability they are unable to respond.
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/nov/09112405.html


Closing Thought

So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma. Immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be mentioned among you, as is fitting among holy ones, no obscenity or silly or suggestive talk, which is out of place, but instead, thanksgiving.

—Ephesians 5:1-4

  


 HEADLINES

Planned Parenthood 'Runs on Fear,' Former Director Charges
http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=98873
News Source
Abby Johnson, former Bryan, Texas Planned Parenthood director spoke with CNA on Monday about the restraining order her former employer filed against her following her Oct. 6 resignation. Johnson noted that while she was a little surprised by the injunction, she also knows that Planned Parenthood “runs on fear.”

CCHD Responds to Reform Movement
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/nov/09111710.html
News Source
The national office of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the USCCB's domestic anti-poverty arm, has responded to the movement calling for their reform in a new document posted to their website on Friday.  At the same time, new evidence implicating several more CCHD grantees in activities contrary to Catholic teaching has been reported by the reform movement.

For more headline news,
click here for ALL’s Daily News Summary.


Clarification on terminology in Vatican statement on human embryo's personhood:

The 11/16/09 edition of ALL Pro-Life Today featured an article entitled "If the Embryo is Human, It is a Person: Vatican Doctrine Official." The article quotes Archbishop Luis Ladaria as saying, "The Church's teaching is based on the now-scientifically proved fact that human life begins in its entirety at the moment of conception."

American Life League and its president Judie Brown, a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, are actively engaged in educating the pro-life movement, the clergy and the general public on the problems associated with using the word "conception," as illustrated in this article. ALL likewise rejects the use of the term “human life,” because it refers not only to human organisms, but can also refer to human cells that are not in and of themselves human organisms. The term “a human being’s life” is more accurate.
 
Although "conception" is commonly used by the general public, it is expressly and universally rejected as a scientific term by embryologists, scientists and medical professionals, and thus does not adequately support the concept of personhood. In addition, the term is not always understood to refer to the act of fertilization, the sexual reproductive process which is initiated upon first contact of the human sperm and human oocyte, and is often erroneously taken to mean “implantation,” the process by which a preborn child up to two weeks old attaches to the mother’s uterine wall.
 
 In many states, as well as in literally dozens of national and international medical and research organizations (including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists), the term "conception" is now erroneously defined as "beginning at implantation." ACOG adopted this new definition in 1965 in response to political pressures, not as a result of scientific discovery.

In this way, ACOG made it possible to avoid classifying hormonal birth control as an abortifacient: redefine "conception" to refer to "implantation" so that pregnancy – defined as beginning at conception – is now understood to begin at implantation. ACOG would have the general public believe that a human being does not exist prior to implantation, but it in reality, this organization is just playing a game of semantics. By changing the definition of conception, ACOG can now say that pregnancy is not interrupted by hormonal contraception, because its abortifacient effects take place before conception as defined by ACOG.
 
Untold millions of the youngest preborn children have been killed because of this redefinition.

ALL also does not use the word "fertilization" to describe the beginning of a human being's life because fertilization is now only one method of reproducing members of the human species. It is a medically accurate term but not sufficient, because human beings are now also created artificially, that is, by asexual means not involving fertilization. To use the term "fertilization" when referring to the moment that a new human being comes into existence would consequently exclude a whole class of people who are reproduced asexually.

For this reason, ALL uses the term "the biological beginning of development" to refer to the beginning of the life of a human being.


ALL Report: Catholic Campagn for Anti-Catholic Activities


The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is funding organizations that engage in activities or profess philosophies that are completely contrary to Church teaching, such as promoting same-sex marriage, abortion and contraception. American Life League reveals some of these organizations in its ongoing investigation.

For more details and documentation, be sure to visit 
http://www.all.org/cchd.

If you are Catholic, please download our "No Thank You!" statement for the upcoming (November 22) CCHD collection: http://www.all.org/pdf/cchd/nothankyou.pdf

FEATURE STORY

WORDS AND PHRASES TO DROP FROM OUR PRO-LIFE VOCABULARY
By Judie Brown

By Erik Whittington

As personhood advocates, it is critically important that we use the correct terminology to describe preborn babies, their mothers, the very act of abortion and even the facilities in which abortions are committed. It doesn’t matter if you are a full time pro-life advocate or a “normal” person who works, goes to school, takes care of your family, etc. We must all watch what we say in daily life—even in casual conversation.

So, the words we use are very powerful and can make the difference between life and death. You might be surprised to realize that even we pro-lifers often use terms and phrases that can be dehumanizing to the very people we are trying to save. That can cause confusion and can hamper our efforts to obtain recognition of the human rights of all human persons. As we educate the public and advocate for the rights of all human persons, born and preborn, we must seriously examine the language we use and make some changes, if necessary.

With that in mind, I am going to share with you this short list of terms and phrases that we should drop from our pro-life vocabulary:

1. Fetus, embryo—These terms are generally used by abortion supporters, but I also notice pro-lifers using these terms often. Fetus and embryo are actually terms referring to stages of development. Their use begs the question, which animal species, during its embryonic or fetal development, are you referring to? For human beings, embryo describes human development from the very beginning of a human being’s life through their eighth week of development. Fetus describes a human being’s biological development from the beginning of their ninth week of development until birth. We should replace these terms with “human embryo,” “human fetus” or “human being during their embryonic (or fetal) development.”

2. Fertilized egg—This is a dehumanizing term used as a form of pro-abortion propaganda. It is not a legitimate term, since it isn’t scientifically accurate. Women don’t carry eggs; they have oocytes. Upon first contact of a human sperm and a human oocyte, a newly created human person now exists who is in his/her first embryonic stage of development. This term has become popular with abortion advocates these days, in response to the state personhood initiatives cropping up around the country. We need to correct this whenever we see or hear it. Use correct terminology in its place, such as “human embryo.”

3. Mistake, accident, unwanted, unplanned— These terms have very negative connotations and are very demeaning, especially for the child who happens to overhear some mention of the circumstances in which he or she came into being. Every child is wanted by someone and no one is an accident. God creates every single person with a special purpose in life. A positive-sounding term such as “surprise” should be used instead of terms or phrases that imply that God’s creation of a baby is an unfortunate event.

4. Pro-choice—This term was developed by a marketing firm employed by the abortion lobby before abortion became decriminalized on January 22, 1973. It has been and still is a very effective term, but is very misleading. It begs the question, what is the choice? The child has no choice when threatened with an abortionist’s suction device, knives and forceps. Replace this term with “pro-abortion” or “abortion advocate.”

5. Pregnant woman—This term takes the child out of the equation and can make pregnancy sound like a disease. Abortion is often referred to as “terminating a pregnancy.” Instead, use terms such as “mother,” “pregnant mom” or “expectant mother.”

6. Health clinic/abortion clinic—“Health” gives the impression that health is being restored to an individual. Similarly, “clinic” normally denotes a respectable, morally legitimate health care facility. Abortion is murder, not health care, so we should not dignify it with such terms. Replace such terms with “abortion business,” “abortion mill,” “abortion facility,” “abortion center” and so forth.

7. The abortion issue—Taxes are an issue. Paying for education is an issue. Abortion is not an issue; it’s a tragedy. Abortion is a violent crime that kills a human person and leaves his/her mother scarred for life. You can also replace issue with terms such as “question,” “matter,” etc.

8. It—A baby boy or baby girl is not an it. Yet that is how many of us refer to children in utero or even at the moment of their birth. I hear this so often: “It’s a (boy/girl)!” Instead, say, “He is a boy” or “She is a girl” or “My/our/their/his/her/the baby is a (boy/girl).”

9. I’m going to be a ___!—This phrase usually ends with “mother,” “father,” “grandparent,” “aunt,” “uncle,” etc., But it’s inaccurate and dehumanizes the baby, because actually, it’s a done deal! The person speaking is already a mother (or father, grandparent, etc.). If you catch someone (or yourself) saying this, quickly correct it by reminding them (or yourself) that the child already exists, so they (or you) are already a mother (or father, grandparent, etc.).

This is in no way an exhaustive list. It has been compiled to get you thinking and to start a conversation that will hopefully result in pro-life advocates being more effective in changing minds and hearts, which will eventually result in legal recognition of human personhood for all, born and preborn. Let me know what you think!


Erik Whittington
 is director of Rock for Life, a project of American Life League. RFL is a network of bands, musicians, artists (over 800!) and their fans, who use their talents to provide life-affirming solutions to counter assaults on the right to life. RFL works to educate, activate, mobilize and unite pro-life youth to fight against the attacks made against the most innocent of all human beings. This commentary was originally published as a Rock for Life blog on November 4, 2009.

 

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