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American Life League 2009 - 4

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07 July 2009

HUMAN PERSONHOOD MOVEMENT LAUNCHES IN COLORADO, MONTANA

Washington, DC (07July 2009) – The human personhood movement took the national stage last week as Colorado and Montana became the latest states to join a nationwide campaign to legally recognize every human being as a human person from their biological beginning.

Led by grassroots activists in Colorado and Montana, and aided by American Life League and Personhood USA, the two new human personhood initiatives were launched on the steps of their respective statehouses. Sponsoring organizations seek the passage of state constitutional amendments that would define every human being as a human person under state law, from the beginning of their biological development.

Montana and Colorado are two of 17 states working toward full recognition of human personhood.

“Ultimately, the pro-life movement is about basic human rights,” said Judie Brown, president of American Life League. “We want to see the dream of the civil rights movement fulfilled once and for all: a society and a rule of law that affirms the dignity and equality of every human being as a person.”

Colorado Right to Life is leading Colorado’s personhood movement on the heels of last year’s Colorado for Equal Rights Movement, which thrust human personhood into the national spotlight.

In Montana, State Representative Wendy Warburton, working alongside the Montana Pro Life Coalition, announced the initiative on July 1.

In both states, activists are working with language developed by Dr. Dianne Irving, a noted medical ethicist, and promoted by Johanna Dasteel, American Life League's personhood project director.

“As American Life League works toward the passage of a Federal Human Personhood Amendment, we cannot underestimate the importance of every state working toward the full recognition of human personhood,” Brown said. “This isn’t about abortion; this isn’t about politics; this is about human rights and justice for all.”

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: Personhod
http://all.org/personhood/

Personhood USA: Montana and Colorado Initiatives Officially Launched (02 July 2009)
http://www.personhoodusa.com/

Christian Post: Pro-Lifers Launch Personhood Battles to Protect the Unborn (06 July 2009)
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20090706/pro-lifers-launch-personhood-battles-to-protect-unborn/index.html


Pro-Life Today | 29 June 2009

HEADLINES

Boston Catholic health-care agency withdraws from abortion-tainted state contract
http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=3366
Catholic Culture
Judie Brown, president of the American Life League, remarked: "Cardinal O'Malley's reaffirmation of the faith, when it would have been all too easy to compromise, is a sign of the vitality of United States Catholics commitment to human life and personhood."

Pro-life national headquarters attacked in broad daylight (video)
http://www.examiner.com/x-2359-Evangelical-Examiner~y2009m6d29-ProLife-national-headquarters-attacked-in-broad-daylight
The Examiner
Friday afternoon, June 26, a man on a bicycle attacked Operation Rescues national headquarters in Wichita, Kansas, and attempted to disable the security system. There were four people working in the office at the time.

Abortions double premature tot risk
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2009/06/29/abortions-double-premature-tot-risk-115875-21480051/
The Mirror
Women who have had an abortion or miscarriage are more likely to give birth to a premature baby, researchers have found.

FEATURE STORY

NO JOY ON FATHER'S DAY: ABORTION HURTS YOUNG MEN
By Erik Whittington

When talking about post-abortion experiences, one hears a lot about women hurting from abortion. At pro-life events, women usually make up the majority of those holding “I Regret My Abortion signs. Occasionally, a middle-aged man testifies as to how abortion affected him and holds an “I Regret Lost Fatherhood sign.

Rarely, however, do you hear from young men about how abortion has affected them. Statistically, 56 percent of women having abortions are in their twenties and 17 percent are teenagers, so it follows that roughly the same percentage (73 percent) of men involved in abortion are under 30 years old. Why don't we hear their stories?

This year, at Ichthus Festival, (a huge Christian music event held June 10-13 in Wilmar, Kentucky), when two young men told me their stories, I got a very close look at this mostly unrecognized pain.

The first young man told me that his now-ex-girlfriend informed him that she was pregnant and getting an abortion. He pleaded with her to not kill their child. He told her he would take care of the child. He called lawyers, judges, politicians anyone who would listen and might be able to help. All of them told him the same thing: You are a man and thus have no say in this matter. She went through with the abortion, and he was devastated! He told me, through tears, that he still has nightmares about his child being aborted.

The next day, another young man told me a similar story. His girlfriend had already made up her mind to abort when she first told him she was pregnant. He, too, had no say. He also cried as he told me about his nightmares and the year of depression, alcohol and drug abuse he endured after the abortion.  I was given the opportunity to record this young man's testimony in audio form, which we featured in a recent Rock for Life Netcast. Young men are generally less prone to showing their emotions, especially to a complete stranger. Nonetheless, these two couldn’t hold back their sorrow over their lost fatherhood.  I was able to listen to both men and pray for their continued recovery.

The trauma both young men have experienced has fired them up about joining the pro-life movement. One of them asked about starting a Rock for Life chapter in his community. The other told me that as a college freshman, he started a campus pro-life club and would now like to associate it with Rock for Life. You can see God working in their lives as they work through their abortion experience and give of themselves at the same time.

Keeping in mind that we recently celebrated Father's Day, if you wonder why so many men seem disinterested in caring for their children consider this: Maybe it's because they have absolutely no voice in a life-or-death decision when those same kids are in the womb.

Don't let the abortion advocates fool you! Abortion is not just "a women's issue." Abortion deeply wounds men too young and old. For more information on post-abortion healing for men, check out American Life League's Celebrate Life article "Men and abortion: Reclaiming lost fatherhood" (January–February 2009). 

Erik Whittington is director of Rock for Life, American Life League's youth outreach, which educates, actives and equips young people to put an end to the culture of death. For more information, visit www.RockforLife.org

 

 


 

Pro-Life Today | 23 June 2009


Tennessee Planned Parenthood loses government funding
http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=573906
One News Now
The Tennessee legislature has dispatched a strong message to Planned Parenthood.  About $1.1 million set aside for family planning in the state will now be distributed mostly to local health organizations and not the taxpayer-supported abortion provider. Susan Allen of Tennessee Right to Life was there for the vote. "In the House, the vote was 69-to-22," she notes, "and in the Senate, 25-to-7."

Senate (LA) okays bill to allow refusal of health care
http://www.ksla.com/Global/story.asp?S=10576485
KSLA
The Louisiana Senate agreed Monday to a proposal that would shield doctors and pharmacists from penalties for refusing to provide health care because of religious or moral objections. The bill would protect health providers from civil or criminal penalties, job loss or demotion because they refuse to provide certain services based on religious or moral beliefs. Those procedures include abortion, certain types of emergency contraception, human embryonic stem cell research, human embryo cloning, euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide.

Judging by her past ..
http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=WU09F15&f=PG07J01
Family Research Council
According to an op-ed in the Washington Times, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor has a history of extremism when it comes to inventing a "right" to abortion in the U.S. Constitution.  As the article, "Sotomayor worse than Souter," explains, she served for 12 years on the governing board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF), which filed six briefs in abortion cases at the U.S. Supreme Court. Charmaine Yoest details that each one "pushed aggressively for an interpretation of abortion rights that would eliminate most or all state and federal abortion regulations while requiring state and federal funding of abortion." In two of the six, the briefs "took positions more extreme than those of Justice Souter, who joined with the court's majority to uphold restrictions that PRLDEF wanted struck down." This is the strongest evidence to date that Sotomayor advocates unlimited abortion as a matter of judicial imposition--not just a legislative view.

I had to kiss my child goodbye
Rock for Life
http://www.rockforlife.org/action_tellyourprolifestory.php?storyID=485
In October of 2006 I found out I was going to be a Father. My girlfriend of 6 months was pregnant with our child. Neither of us planned this pregnancy, or had even talked about the possibility of getting pregnant. That was about to become my biggest regret. Like I said I wasn’t ready to have a child. She said she couldn't go forth in having a child and needed to abort. She went to the nursing staff at Boston College a week or two after she found out she was pregnant. The nurse at BC told her that she would be better off having an abortion, and told her where she could get one. I didn’t make a big deal of it at the time because I wanted her to stay calm and positive.

FEATURE STORY

REPROGRAMMING STEM CELLS “ OR PRO-LIFERS MINDS?

By Debi Vinnedge

In November 2007, two scientists Dr. Shinya Yamanaka and Dr. James Thomson published their studies describing a new stem cell technique that produced embryonic-like stem cells by simply reprogramming adult skin cells.[1]  Immediately, several bioethicists and pro-life leaders touted the iPS “or induced pluripotent stem cells to be an ethical alternative to embryonic stem cell research and human cloning.  For if one could produce embryonic stem cells without destroying innocent human beings that would end the ethics debates once and for all. Or would it?

Some have noted that the reprogramming methods were quite simple, but in reality the science is fairly complicated for the average reader to understand.  Perhaps that is just what some of the pundits were counting on, because unless one is skilled at recognizing the red flags raised in this research, they would never discover the dark secrets no one wants the pro-lifer community or politicians to know.  And so we will take you through this gently, in layman’s terms.

Both studies involved introducing genes into adult stem cells through what is known as lentivirus.  A lentivirus in and of itself is a serious safety quagmire since by definition it is a slow moving virus that persistently infects the target cells, often causing fatal diseases years after the initial infection. The HIV virus is an example of a well-known lentivirus that may take several years to progress into AIDS.  However, since the lentivirus, was a highly effective method of delivering the needed DNA to the target adult skin cells for reprogramming them to an embryonic state, scientists figured they would tackle the safety hazards in latter experiments.

So just how did this lentivirus produce the miraculous effect of turning an adult stem cell into an embryonic one?  Now think about it “this isn't magic, folks: How could a cell that is taken from a 20 year old suddenly return to an embryonic state?  In order to do that, the host adult skin cell would have to receive a huge influx of younger DNA that would cause the aged cells to regress in age.  Sort of like injecting a veritable “fountain of youth into the cells, because this DNA is normally only active in embryonic or fetal cells.  So, literally, a 20 year-old skin cell was coerced into activating genes not used since fetal life, and it became embryonic again, but not without the same host of problems inherent with all embryonic stem cells as you will shortly discover.

And just where did researchers obtain that DNA?  Why, from embryonic and aborted fetal cell lines of course!  Scientists used a technique known as PCR, or Polymerase Chain Reaction.  PCR is technique that allows production of large quantities of specific DNA using a simple enzyme reaction. The embryonic and/or aborted fetal DNA was "spliced" or added into the lentivirus DNA, which then delivered it to the adult skin cells.  As the aged cells DNA mingled with the new DNA and continued to replicate in petri dishes in the lab, they literally reversed their aging process to the embryonic state.  And voila!  Embryonic stem cells developed from the modified adult stem cells.

Researchers then claimed that these newly transformed cells would be genetically identical to the patient whose adult skin cell was modified, thereby eliminating problems with immune rejection.  This was in fact, the main purpose of so-called therapeutic cloning, whereby scientists claimed to produce genetically identical embryos for the purpose of harvesting patient specific stem cells. However, nothing could be further from the truth in either method.

In human cloning, the nucleus of a donor egg is replaced with the nucleus of an adult stem cell through a method called “somatic cell nuclear transfer.  But, since only the nucleus of the egg is removed, residual mitochondrial DNA from the donor egg is still present in the newly formed embryo. With the reprogramming method, foreign DNA from both the lentivirus and embryonic or fetal cells are also present in the newly formed iPS cells.  So, not only are there still immune rejection problems, scientists noted that just like embryonic stem cells, the iPS cells formed teratomas and cancerous tumors, another little annoyance they promised to deal with later.

So exactly where did the researchers get those aborted fetal and embryonic stem cells?  Different scientists used different sources, but the primary aborted fetal material used was HEK-293, that is, Human Embryonic Kidney, specimen number 293, as well as modified versions of this cell line, named PLAT-A, PLAT-E, 293FT and Phoenix cells.

Dr. Alex Van der Eb, of the Netherlands, obtained HEK from an electively aborted baby, and according to Van der Eb during 2001 FDA hearings, the information on the original abortion was lost and all he could remember was that it was a healthy fetus. He noted that the lack of family history also made HEK questionable for FDA standards of safety.[2] 

In addition to using the HEK cells, Dr. Thomson obtained his DNA sequences from human embryonic stem cells, some of which were part of President Bush's federally funded stem cell lines. Further, Thomson tested his reprogramming method using IMR-90 aborted fetal cell line, which was taken from the lung tissue of a 16-week gestation female baby. IMR-90 is a designer cell line specially produced by the NIH and Coriell Cell Repository as a future replacement for aborted fetal cell line WI-38, which is currently used in vaccine production.[3]

In February, 2008, two more studies were published on reprogramming adult stem cells: the first by UCLA's Dr. Kathrin Plath, using neonatal foreskin cells; the second by Dr. Yamanaka, using mouse liver and stomach cells, in which he claimed to overcome the problem of tumor formation. Interestingly enough, while none of his mice developed tumors, he admitted that several of them died for unknown reasons.  Once again, both scientists used aborted fetal cell lines as their DNA source and in addition, Plath then cultured her reprogrammed foreskin cells on embryonic stem cells. [4]  Since then, several more published studies continue to rely on both aborted fetal and embryonic stem cells in order to accomplish the reprogramming.  Well, why not?  After all, no one is complaining!

For despite the fact that the truth about the origins of the DNA has been revealed, many pro-life leaders are still salivating over this research as a means of ending the need for human cloning. But their reasoning falls short for several moral reasons. 

First, they argue that because the embryos and aborted children have already been destroyed, it is morally acceptable to use those cell lines. While it is quite true that the scientists involved in the reprogramming research may or may not have directly destroyed some of the embryos they used or participated in the original abortions, they did use cell lines taken from human beings that were deliberately destroyed specifically for research purposes.  And both the Vatican and the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB) have condemned such practices:

In their statement, Declaration on the Production and the Scientific and Therapeutic Use of Human Embryonic Stem Cells, the Pontifical Academy for Life answers the question:

"Is it morally licit to use ES [embryonic stem] cells, and the differentiated cells obtained from them, which are supplied by other researchers or are commercially obtainable?

"The answer is negative, since: Prescinding from the participation  formal or otherwise in the morally illicit intention of the principal agent, the case in question entails a proximate material cooperation in the production and manipulation of human embryos on the part of those producing or supplying them" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, p. 17).

In addition, the USCCB posted their response to President Bush’s August 2001 decision to provide federal funding for only those embryonic stem cells in which the embryos had already been destroyed.  They noted especially both the above citation from the PAFL and the following from Donum Vitae (Instruction on Respect for Human Life In its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation: Replies to Certain Questions of the Day, Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 1987):

"To use human embryos or fetuses as the object or instrument of experimentation constitutes a crime against their dignity as human beings having a right to the same respect that is due to the child already born and to every human person...The corpses of human embryos and fetuses, whether they have been deliberately aborted or not, must be respected just as the remains of other human beings...Furthermore, the moral requirements must be safeguarded, that there be no complicity in deliberate abortion and that the risk of scandal be avoided" (I.4). "It is a duty to condemn the particular gravity of the voluntary destruction of human embryos obtained 'in vitro' for the sole purpose of research..." (I.5).[5]

Clearly, there is nothing morally permissible in what these scientists have done, and thus one might assume that if our pro-life leaders knew how the reprogramming was accomplished, they would not have spoken out in favor of this research.  However, that is not necessarily the case.  Donum Vitae, an official Vatican instruction discussed direct use of the embryo or fetus. For example, taking tissue directly from an aborted baby and transplanting it was clearly defined as illicit. The Pontifical Academy for Life, which is considered a guideline, rather than an instruction, discussed using the cell lines that are produced from embryonic or fetal remains.  Because there was no official teaching on these cell lines some ethicists felt it would be morally permissible to use these cell lines in research since the scientists were not directly involved with the destruction of the embryos or fetuses. In fact, this is exactly what happened when Georgetown University scientists were using existing aborted fetal cell lines in government-sponsored research programs.[6]   And it is similar to what happened with arguments about the production of vaccines from aborted fetal remains, where researchers deliberately destroyed unborn children specifically for vaccine development.[7]  

In embryonic stem cell research, the embryo is destroyed when scientists extract the stem cells from the blastocyst.  In aborted fetal research, the abortions are pre-planned and arranged for immediate harvesting and preservation of organs and tissues.  Subsequently, cell lines are produced from the remains.  In both cases, once the cell lines are developed, they are then patented and frozen for future use in the hope of one day producing viable therapies and medical products.  In iPS cell research, in order to prove their findings, scientists must use  embryonic stem cells as a control comparison in order to validate that the newly created iPS cells are indeed embryonic-like. Thus, embryonic stem cells are an inherent part of both the reprogramming and the control studies.

In the April 2008 Ethics and Medics publication, Fr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, in commenting on the new iPS experiments pronounced the source of the reprogrammed cells to be “ethically pristine and that the new reprogrammed stem cells “were produced without destroying or using any human embryos.

There are two problems with this assertion.  First, the source “that is the original adult stem cell - was the only thing that was “ethically pristine, as it came from a living adult donor.  However, the source of the DNA used to reprogram those cells was from immoral sources, as was the finished product since it was dependent on using cells from deliberately destroyed human embryos and aborted fetuses.  The second problem is the assertion that the reprogrammed cell lines "were produced without destroying or using any human embryos."  In fact, the scientists do not say whether or not they did in fact use new embryos in some parts of the research.  But in any case, they did use existing aborted fetal and embryonic stem cell lines, meaning that someone else conveniently did the killing while these scientists reaped the benefits. And while many would say this was clearly wrong, others still felt it was morally permissible as long as there was sufficient distance between the actual destruction of innocent human beings and the researchers using the cell lines in present day research. Clearly, a definitive Church teaching was needed as confusion abounded.

Finally, in December 2008, the Holy See was about to end all dispute on the matter. In its new instruction from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith entitled Dignitas Personae, they emphatically asserted that the use of these "illicit biological materials" is prohibited.

"A different situation is created when researchers use 'biological material' of illicit origin which has been produced apart from their research center or which has been obtained commercially...In this regard, the criterion of independence as it has been formulated by some ethics committees is not sufficient. According to this criterion, the use of 'biological material' of illicit origin would be ethically permissible provided there is a clear separation between those who, on the one hand, produce, freeze and cause the death of embryos and, on the other, the researchers involved in scientific experimentation. The criterion of independence is not sufficient to avoid a contradiction in the attitude of the person who says that he does not approve of the injustice perpetrated by others, but at the same time accepts for his own work the 'biological material' which the others have obtained by means of that injustice...Therefore, it needs to be stated that there is a duty to refuse to use such 'biological material' even when there is no close connection between the researcher and the actions of those who performed the ..abortion."

End of discussion, case closed.  Or is it?  In the second article in the same issue of Ethics and Medics noted above, Richard Doerflinger of the USCCB Pro-Life Secretariat provides further insight as to why some may be falling silent on the not so pristine methods that were used in the reprogramming, stating that the research may affect the fortune of several pieces of legislation now before Congress. He cited the Human Cloning Prohibition Act and the Human Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act noting that it would be difficult to argue against the passage of these bills when there is now an “ethically sound alternative in iPS cell research.

And there you have it: Smoke and mirrors.  If attention can be averted toward using reprogrammed stem cells, there will be no need to advance embryonic stem cell research and human cloning. Unfortunately, that argument has already been tested with successful, moral adult stem cell therapies and has failed. Scientists will never agree to abandon immoral research especially if they can have the federal government funding it. Yet what is lurking around the corner may very well end the debate about using iPS cells to pacify those pushing embryonic stem cell research.

Aside from the ethical problems presented here, another glaring concern in reprogramming a stem cell back to the so-called iPS or pluripotent state is that those cells are not just pluripotent, but in fact, could become or already may be “totipotent. To explain: Pluripotent stem cells are those in the early embryonic stage that can form most of the cells, tissues and organs in the human body; totipotent cells can form all cells, tissues and organs plus, they can form entirely new embryos, something that happens in natural reproduction when twins form.  So what was to stop scientists from reverting the cells a little further back in the development stages of an embryo to the totipotent stage, which could provide them with an unlimited supply of human embryos?  Nothing. 

Coincidentally, in April 2008, the UK's Independent broke the news story: "Now we have the technology that can make a cloned child," by Steve Connor, science editor, in which he describes how reprogrammed skin cells were used to produce cloned mice, and perhaps in the near future, cloned human beings.[8]

Robert Lanza, of the American biotechnology company Advanced Cell Technology, admitted the technique was unethical and unsafe, but still noted that “the technology could be used to produce a child.  The method was touted as extremely desirable for infertile couples since the embryo would be produced with biological material from both parents.

"It raises the same issues as reproductive cloning and although the technology for reproductive cloning in humans doesn't exist, with this breakthrough we now have a working technology whereby anyone, young or old, fertile or infertile, straight or gay can pass on their genes to a child by using just a few skin cells," he said.

The article describes the reprogramming method used and goes on to state: Last year, when the breakthrough was used on human skin cells for the first time, it was lauded by the Catholic Church and President George Bush as a morally acceptable way of producing embryonic stem cells without having to create or destroy human embryos.

"At this point there are no laws or regulations for this kind of thing and the bizarre thing is that the Catholic Church and other traditional stem-cell opponents think this technology is great when in reality it could in the end become one of their biggest nightmares," he (Lanza) said. "It is quite possible that the real legacy of this whole new programming technology is that it will be introducing the era of designer babies.

So does the Catholic Church really think this is so great?  Hardly, because those in authority have not been informed as to what was really done in these studies. And lest one thinks that this latest rogue research is somehow confined to mad scientists in Great Britain, the National Institutes of Health recently awarded an $8.9 million dollar contract to scientists at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, the Genome Center of Wisconsin, the Morgridge Institute for Research and the Medical College of Wisconsin to further both embryonic stem cell and iPS cell research.[9]  It will only be a matter of time before the procedure is used here in the U.S. for full-blown human cloning. 

The truth is that if iPS cells are truly embryonic in nature, they will also carry the same dangers and clinical failures that have plagued embryonic stem cell research for years. Without question, if unwarranted focus is given to iPS cells, embracing this research as the panacea for the future, it will be utter folly for the pro-life camp. First of all, that's no better than proponents of embryonic stem cell research and so called "therapeutic cloning" who have given false hope to the weak, the vulnerable and the suffering by promising miraculous cures. And while the debates have, up to this point, focused primarily on the moral aspects, the only argument that can and does win the debate across political or moral or even medical ideology is the safety aspect. Because one can argue ethics until they are blue in the face, but one cannot argue against solid clinical results, which only exist in adult stem cell research.

Meanwhile, those who have steered religious and political leaders to support reprogramming in hopes of diverting attention and funding from human cloning may find that such tactics could backfire. Not only does their silence denote acceptance of immoral and clinically useless research, but also, by omitting the truth, they are hampering funding efforts for actual patient cures in adult stem cell research. That is both a travesty of justice and, ironically, a pro-life defeat for those who have worked so hard to promote moral avenues of research. Worst of all, it is a devastating blow to patients awaiting cures.

Debi Vinnedge is the founder and director of Children of God for Life, an American Life League Associate group. This article was published on Children of God for Life's web site (http://cogforlife.org) in January of this year, and is reprinted here with its kind permission.

 


Pro-Life Today | 25 June 2009

HEADLINES

NC remembering victims of sterilization program
http://www.shelbystar.com/news/state-39979-program-north.html
The Star
North Carolina recalled a regrettable side of its history on Monday by unveiling a roadside marker remembering poor people, mental patients and prisoners who were sterilized against their will by state officials. The cast aluminum sign in downtown Raleigh provides a permanent remembrance of the program intended to keep thousands of people considered mentally disabled or otherwise genetically inferior from having children. More than 7,600 people were sterilized by "choice or coercion" under the state's so-called eugenics program between 1933 and 1973, according to the marker's text. North Carolina was one of more than two dozen states that ran such programs after social reformers began advocating for the approach a century ago.

YouTube Removes New Undercover Student Video of Planned Parenthood without Explanation
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/1433210780.html
http://liveaction.org/monalisa/tucson/pp_says_not_real.htm
Christian News Wire
Without offering any specific explanation, the video-sharing site YouTube has removed a new video by the student group Live Action that shows dishonest counseling practices at Planned Parenthood. The video first plays undercover footage of a Planned Parenthood counselor from Tucson, AZ telling a patient that images of aborted fetuses "are not real" and then shows photographs of a completed abortion and documentation of their authenticity.

"Our Finest Hour": Chris Smith Invokes Churchill's Words in Keynote Pro-Life Address
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09062410.html
Life Site News
While the situation may look bleak for the pro-life movement, one Congressman has stated that the current time of crisis for pro-life advocates may actually be recorded in history as their "finest hour." In the United States, Smith said, the upcoming battle over universal health care will also become a battle to resist the imposition of taxpayer funded abortions and the forcing of physicians to perform abortions they are otherwise reluctant to provide. Smith said that under the current legislation shaping up under the Obama/Kennedy health care plan, a presidential advisory council will determine what services will be mandated under the new law, and, without any legislative guarantees, it will most certainly include abortion.

God "Rejoices" over Abortions Says Episcopal Priestess
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09062411.html
Life Site News
The Episcopal Church has to clarify God's official position on abortion  at least so says a priestess of the church, who claims that a proposed rite for post-abortive women conflicts with church theology and that the Deity "rejoices" when women elect to abort their children. Rev. Nina Churchman wrote a letter to Episcopal Life Online expressing her outrage upon learning that her church has developed a healing rite for post-abortion women sorrowful over their abortion that seems to have language alluding to "sin" and "guilt." Churchman said she "was sickened to discover that the rite for abortion is couched wholly in terms of sin and transgression."

FEATURE STORY

Did the bishops avoid ALL's message in USA Today?
By Michael Hichborn

Since 2003, American Life League has taken out a full-page ad in USA Today, to send a message to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at its annual spring three-day conference. The ads call on the bishops to obey Canon 915 by denying Holy Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians and other public figures. This year's ad, titled A Message of Salvation for the Shepherds of the Catholic Church, displays a 3-D ultrasound image of a preborn baby next to a quote from the Gospel of Matthew: Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me. The ad can be viewed here: http://www.all.org/pdf/LeastOfTheseAdUSAtoday.pdf.

ALL places these ads in USA Today because most hotels deliver it to their guests rooms. The ad is timed for delivery to the bishops on the first morning of the conference. On the first day of the conference, however, we were rather shocked to learn that the bishops had not seen the ad because USA Today was never delivered to the bishops rooms.

While the situation is somewhat complicated, the odd circumstances and strange responses to our questions cause us to ask, “Did the USCCB's leadership deliberately prevent the attending bishops from seeing ALL's ad on the first day of the conference?

An American Life League employee was on the ground in San Antonio, Texas, where the conference took place, and reported what could have been an attempt to prevent the ad from reaching the bishops rooms:

On Wed. morning, I woke up to find the New York Times at my door. I called the desk asking where USA Today was, and they said they had some at the desk and would send one up to me. I explained that it was our understanding from talking with hotel personnel that USA Today would be delivered to all the rooms. The person at the desk stated that they had stopped delivering USA Today a couple of weeks ago, but that they keep a small bundle for those who request it. She was surprised that I had received the New York Times, as that is not the paper they normally distribute.

I checked my copy of USA Today that was sent up to my room and found that the ad was indeed in it. I called the desk again and asked for a member of management. The person who answered was eager to please and said that it was no problem; he could run a list of the bishops and have USA Today delivered to their rooms. [American Life League offered to pay, if there was a fee for this service.] He thought he had enough copies, but if not, he would let me know.
 
Some time passed and I did not hear back from them, so I called again. This time, he had backed down, saying that the drop would have to be approved by the USCCB contact person. He referred me to Lisa, the event supervisor for the hotel, who was coordinating with the USCCB.

Lisa called me and said that we would not be able to make any drops of USA Today, due to security issues and because the bishops had approved only of having the New York Times dropped during their stay.

When an offer to pay for the hotel to distribute a newspaper they already have stocked is first accepted and then refused because the bishops stated that they only wanted the New York Times (one of the most liberal papers in the country), we can only conclude that the USCCB's leadership wished to prevent the attending bishops from seeing our ad during the conference. And given that this is the first time”in six years of placing such ads ”that something like this has happened, we can't help but think that this was a deliberate dodge.

However, upon their return to their own diocese, each bishop who attended the conference will find a copy of the ad waiting for them in the mail.

The sad conclusion to be drawn from all of this is that the ads we place must be tugging at the consciences of the bishops who see them. And with hardened hearts, the USCCB's leadership apparently wishes to altogether remove our reminder of the duty that most of the U.S. bishops still ignore.

But we still have hope that, through persistence, the U.S. bishops, as a whole, will finally realize their obligation to deny Holy Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians. In Luke's Gospel, Jesus tells a parable about a poor widow and an unjust judge. The judge "did not fear God, neither did he care for people." Nevertheless, he eventually agreed to do justice to a poor widow because she was so persistent in her pursuit of justice. And inspired by our Blessed Lord's own words, American Life League will continue to remind the bishops of their just duty, so that we will see eventually the day when all of the Church's shepherds have made it abundantly clear that you can't be both Catholic and pro-abortion.


Michael Hichborn is the director of American Life League’s Canon 915 project, which encourages Catholic bishops and priests to protect the Holy Eucharist from sacrilege

 


Pro-Life Today | 19 June 2009

HEADLINES

Study Shows Teen Contraception Use Declining, Level of Sexual Activity Unchanged
http://www.nationalpartnership.org/site/News2?abbr=daily2_&page=NewsArticle&id=18065&secur ity=1201&news_iv_ctrl=-1
National Parenership for Women and Families
After years of declining teenage pregnancy rates and improved teen contraception use during the 1990s and early 2000s, the trends appeared to have flattened or even reversed among some groups of teens in recent years, according to a study from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the Guttmacher Institute, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Researchers found that from 2003 to 2007, teens' contraceptive use declined by 10%, while their level of sexual activity did not change. The decrease in contraceptive use was particularly prevalent among black teens. The figures take into account the rate of contraception use as well as the types of contraceptives used, as methods vary in effectiveness. Teen condom use leveled off and in some cases declined, according to the study. The study also reported that the teen birth rate increased by 5% from 2005 to 2007.

Is Late-Term Abortion Ever Necessary?
http://www.frc.org/infocus/is-late-term-abortion-ever-necessary
Family Research Council
In the aftermath of the killing of George Tiller, the Kansas abortionist, on May 31, 2009, we have heard praises of his compassion and courage in performing late-term abortions.  But is late-term abortion (or any abortion) ever really necessary? Does the demise of a clinic performing late-term abortions leave a "void" that is harmful to women?

Death is upon us. "Us" being doctors.
http://www.worldmag.com/articles/15479
World Mag
Physicians who sign on to the Hippocratic Registry acknowledge the oath's six concepts: transcendence, which means submission to a higher authority; medicine as a moral, not just technical, activity; respect for life, meaning no abortion or euthanasia; a covenant between the physician and patient, not just a code of conduct; physician honesty and integrity; and collegiality between like-minded physicians.

'Baby Steps' DVD saves lives!


American Life League recently sent a survey to crisis oregnancy centers, asking about their use of the Baby Steps DVD, and the response is IMMENSE!  "Baby Steps saves lives!"

“I personally gave the video to one woman who was having trouble convincing the father of her baby to keep the baby. She took it home for him to watch and told me it really helped her get through to him and helped him bond with the baby (so early in her pregnancy).
                           -Shared Pregnancy in Lansing, MI

Mary Doe came to our center and she had made up her mind about having an abortion done since she was going through a situation with her baby’s father who is 30 years older than Mary. He was pushing her so hard to have an abortion. After Mary came and she had the chance to watch the DVD, she realized that what was inside of her was an angel sent by God. I am happy to say that her baby boy, now five months old, is the joy of her life! She tells me that she can’t picture her life without him.                          

  -Pregnancy Resource Center of Fort Bend County in Rosenberg, TX

After reporting at least 25 saves: In counseling, I present materials to clients and let them choose. The name Baby Steps is right for the moment and doesn't intimidate.  Please do more “ it is so helpful.
                            -Women's Center for Health, Hope, & Healing in Mankato, MN

The Baby Steps DVD is an excellent tool for saving lives! To get your own copy of Baby Steps or for more information, go to www.babystepsdvd.com.

FEATURE STORY

Is anyone really pro-abortion?
By Donald DeMarco

In his final debate with Senator McCain, Barack Obama declared, in his usual emphatic manner, No one is pro-abortion. Obama has an idealized notion of human beings (Republicans excepted), while perhaps feigning ignorance of what is really going on. Behind Obama's declaration is the seemingly plausible hypothesis that no woman would ever get pregnant for the sole purpose of having an abortion. The grim facts, nevertheless, refute this hypothesis.

Aborting for bonus money
Consider the current situation in Australia. In an attempt to reverse the country's plummeting birthrate, the government of Australia pays women $5,000 for each successful birth, as reported by LifeSiteNews.com (October 23, 2008). It also awards that same amount, on compassionate grounds, in the case of a stillbirth. However, since late-term abortions are registered as stillbirths, a woman choosing an abortion at this time in her pregnancy is also eligible for the $5,000. As a result, according to the Australia Associated Press, some women routinely conceive for the purpose of aborting late-term in order to collect the bonus money. One woman is reported to have had three such abortions.

˜Beautiful abortion
The Australian example is by no means unique. On February 1, 2002, LifeSiteNews.com reported that some female athletes were deliberately getting pregnant and having early abortions in order to improve muscle strength. In The Choices, an article appearing in the January/February 1994 issue of Mother Jones, a writer identifying herself as D. Redmanâl confesses that she felt almost heroical after obtaining a chemical abortion because the procedure was then experimental and thus made her a pioneer for other women. At last, she writes, “the blood I've been praying for. I look at the women around me and think how beautiful we are in our rebellion.

Abortion as religion, art and entertainment
Also consider Ginette Paris’ book, The Sacrament of Abortion, in which, from a purely pagan perspective, she describes abortion as sacred. Similarly, Brenda Peterson, writing for New Age Journal (Sister Against Sister: Re-Thinking Abortion Rhetoric, September/October 1993) refers to abortion as a sacrament and a sacred act of compassion.

Cold and callous indifference for unborn human life may have reached its absolute zero in the art project of Yale University student Aliza Shvarts.  On April 17, 2008 the Yale Daily News reported that Ms. Shvarts claimed to have artificially inseminated herself over a nine-month period as often as possible and then induced miscarriages by means of herbal abortifacient pills. The filmed record of her activities (we cannot be too specific here) constitutes her senior thesis presentation. The April 18, 2008 Yale Daily News reported that the Yale Women's Center defended Shvarts, stating, Aliza Shvarts body is an instrument over which she should be free to exercise full discretion.

The New York Times (November 10, 1985) reported that two abortions were committed on women at a feminist conference in Barcelona, Spain. When the bottled remains of the babies were presented to the audience of 3,000 feminists, according to Times reported Edward Schumacher, The hall rocked with cheers.

Indeed, there are women who are truly pro-abortion in the sense of getting pregnant for the sole purpose of having an abortion. They do it for money, to gain a competitive edge, because they think it is a sacrament or a sacred act, for arts sake or for the feminist cause.

A spreading plague
Abortion has radically dehumanized and devalued preborn babies. It has engendered attitudes of cold-heartedness, narcissism and violence. Who knows how far this contagion will continue to spread, how many people it will affect and in how many ways? Abortion is an evil, and it is the nature of evil to spread until it is checked. It is an unleashing of death that spreads like a plague throughout society in increasingly sinister ways. Abortion is a choice for death, and its long shadow haunts all of us.

In his 1968 novel, Couples, John Updike was being more prophetic than he realized when he noted the after-effects of abortion: Death, once invited in, leaves his muddy boot prints everywhere. Commenting on this episode in the novel, in which a character procures an abortion, constitutional lawyer John T. Noonan, Jr. writes, Symbolically the abortion seals a course of infidelity. Conclusively it becomes death personified. (How to Argue About Abortion, published by the Ad Hoc Committee in Defense of Life, 1974)

There is no middle ground between birth and abortion. The proper response to abortion is not to seek a middle ground that does not exist, but to end abortion and, in so doing, end the evils that follow in its wake.

Dr. Donald DeMarco is professor emeritus at St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and an adjunct professor at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut as well as Mater Ecclesiae College in Greenville, Rhode Island. He is also the author of 22 books and a corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

(This article was published in the March-April 2009 issue of Celebrate Life
, American Life League’s bimonthly publication.)

 


Pro-Life Today | 18 June 2009

HEADLINES

'Maafa 21: Black Genocide in 21st Century America'
http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/abbott/090618
RenewAmerica
Maafa 21 (the word "Maafa" is derived from a Kiswahili word and means "African Holocaust" or "Holocaust of Enslavement") is a well-researched and informative film that shows the connection between slavery/racism, the American eugenics movement — of which Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was an influential figure ” Nazi Germany, and legalized abortion.

Catholic College Leaders Lobby Bishops to Withdraw 2004 Policy Banning Pro-Abortion Speakers
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09061708.html
Life Site News
In the wake of the Notre Dame commencement scandal, Catholic college leaders representing some of the worst violators of the U.S. bishops 2004 ban on honoring public opponents of fundamental Catholic teachings are lobbying the bishops to withdraw their policy. Yesterday the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), which represents more than 200 Catholic institutions, released its summer 2009 newsletter, including a report on the ACCU's board of directors meeting last week.  The ACCU directors concluded “that it would be desirable for the [U.S. bishops] to withdraw their 2004 policy, according to the newsletter.

Church Must Prevent Repeat of Notre Dame Betrayal, Says Top American Prelate in Vatican
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09061707.html
Life Site News
Archbishop Raymond Burke, the highest ranking American prelate in the Vatican has given an interview in a Catholic magazine, in which he says that Notre Dame's decision to honor President Barack Obama was not only “profoundly shocking but also underscores a grave situation requiring action to ensure the incident is never repeated.

Medimmune Will Use Moral Sources for Swine Flu Vaccine
http://www.cogforlife.org/medimmuneswineflu.htm     
Children of God for Life
For nearly ten years watchdog organization Children of God for Life has alerted the public on existing and new vaccines and medical products under development using aborted fetal material, and to encourage the pharmaceutical industry to pursue moral avenues of research.

'Baby Steps' DVD saves lives!

American Life League recently sent a survey to crisis pregnancy centers asking about their use of the Baby Steps DVD, and the response has been overwhelming: "Baby Steps saves lives!"

I personally gave the video to one woman who was having trouble convincing the father of her baby to keep the baby. She took it home for him to watch and told me it really helped her get through to him and helped him bond with the baby (so early in her pregnancy).
                           -Shared Pregnancy in Lansing, MI

Mary Doe came to our center, and she had made up her mind about having an abortion done since she was going through a situation with her baby's father, who is 30 years older than Mary. He was pushing her so hard to have an abortion. After Mary came and she had the chance to watch the DVD, she realized that what was inside of her was an angel sent by God. I am happy to say that her baby boy, now five months old, is the joy of her life! She tells me that she can"t picture her life without him.                 

After reporting at least 25 saves: In counseling, I present materials to clients and let them choose. The name Baby Steps is right for the moment and doesn't intimidate. Please do more “ it is so helpful.
                            -Women's Center for Health, Hope, & Healing in Mankato, MN

The Baby Steps DVD is an excellent tool for saving lives!  To get your own copy of Baby Steps or for more information, go to www.babystepsdvd.com.

FEATURE STORY

Honest questions, haunting answers
By Nancy M. Kreuzer

(Editor's note: This story contains a graphic account of a second-trimester abortion and may not be suitable for young readers.)

I have asked myself what could have altered the events that led up to the murder of my child. What could anyone have said, what could anyone have shown me that would have changed my mind? How is it, I ask, that I, already a mother of a two-year-old”a good mother, a loving mother, who deeply understood what it was to love a child, could so calculatedly agree to end the life of a baby I already knew? These are all questions I have asked.

After all, I wanted this baby”a baby who already had a name; a baby whom I could feel moving in my womb; a baby with eyelids, eyebrows and fingernails grown to the end of her fingertips; a baby who could hear and distinguish my voice; a baby who could feel pain.
 
God has been very good to me. But the hard lessons always come. When I came to Christ, I had much to work through. And He has done a deep work in me. But I had been on this journey for two years before He set this on my heart. I believe He knew I had to learn to trust Him enough not to run from it. That's why the timing was so important. I had buried the memory of this baby in a grave so deep that I don't even know if I ever brought the nightmare of it to the forefront of my thinking. How could I? It would have killed me. It has been 15 years since it happened.

Dilation and extraction
I was five-and-a-half months pregnant ”my baby was at 22 weeks of gestationâl”when I was told that, most likely, she would not live to term. The ultrasound revealed severe edema about the head. I was still lying on the table, the audible heartbeat of my baby resounding in the examining room, when the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. I was given a choice of several methods of aborting my baby. I chose the procedure described below, which was recommended by my physician.

For a second-trimester abortion, my cervix needed to be sufficiently dilated, as the baby was too large to pull from the uterus using the suction device employed in first-trimester abortions. Approximately five narrow rods were inserted into my cervix, and I was sent home for the night to dilate. When sufficient dilation had occurred, the abortionist used a surgical instrument to rupture the amniotic sac.

Next, the abortionist used forceps to grab any part of my baby he could. He pulled until an arm or a leg was torn off and took my baby out, one piece at a time. In a second-trimester abortion, the baby's intact skull is too big to pull out of the cervix and must be crushed prior to removal. When the abortionist saw the brains spilling from my cervix, he knew my baby's skull had been successfully crushed. They call this the calvaria sign. At this point, the skull was removed.

Once the abortionist had pulled out all of the pieces he could, he used a curette to scrape the inside of my uterus to retrieve any remaining body parts. The pieces of my dismembered baby were then reassembled on a tray to be sure that all of her body had been successfully removed.
 
Answers for others
I have new questions these days. What could I say; what could I show someone contemplating abortion? Could I tell them that the damage to their soul would require such intense healing that no one, short of the Lord, could heal the depth of that wound?

Could I tell them that the pain of that decision would remain hidden like a heavy weight until one day, they would have to come to terms with it, one way or another? Could they comprehend the shame that eventually seeps into one’s consciousness and the shock that follows? Could they simply and blindly go forward with their lives for so many years without mention of the baby they had aborted?

Could I paint for them a picture of experiencing that sick feeling, deep in the gut, that eventually gives rise to words that sound more animal than human and the subsequent groan.  How could I have done this to my baby? Could I explain to them that one day, like me, they might find themselves driving along in their car or sitting quietly at home and suddenly remember sitting in the abortion facility’s waiting room, vividly recalling the fluttering, low, on the left side of their abdomen”the movement of their preborn child?

I went on to have another baby, what everyone called a perfect baby boy. But I remember, with a mother's grief, my little girl ”Melanie, I named her. I never talked about Melanie to anyone. No one knew her name. The anniversary of her death would pass silently each year and I honored her short life alone in the chambers of my heart.

I think about how much a not-so-perfect baby could have meant to me and to others who might have known her, had she lived. I think about the loss for the world”how she might have helped straighten out our twisted thinking”the perverse standard that defines who is good enough to keep and who we see as imperfect enough to throw away.

How the lie is fed
Abortion begins with a lie and is masked with an empty promise. The lie tells us that the new person growing in the womb is insignificant and dispensable. The empty promise tells us that the action of abortion is justifiable and without consequences”not for the mother, nor the child, nor the world. This lie permeates not only our courts, but our households as well. In the culture of death, it is being passed from generation to generation, thus living, moving and breathing among the people, deriving its energy from the multitudes who believe it. That is how the lie is fed, and this is how fallen we are.

I once broke down and cried as I stopped to view a five-month-old fetus floating in a jar at a museum. At first, I was surprised and a little shaken by my instantaneous display of emotion. So was my husband. But, of course, he knew why I reacted that way. And so did I, but we never spoke of it.

Christ says, "When you do this for the least of these, you do it for Me".  I ask myself, who are the least of these today?  Are they the homeless? Those dying alone in nursing homes?  Refugees? Drug addicts? The imprisoned? Surely they all are.

But what, I ask, about the innocent, unwanted preborn babies, who have no voice and no defense, who are helpless in the false security of their mother's womb? Surely, the least of these can be no more least than these.
 
Redeeming a bleeding heart
Of course, I never received any remains of my daughter. So there was no little body to bury, no doll-sized casket, no gravestone to adorn with flowers. My baby never got to smell her mother's skin, nor did she get to die in her mother’s arms, warm and loved. She never lay on her mother's belly, hearing the familiar heartbeat that would have been audible to her already-sensitive ears. There was no kiss goodbye, no tender tear to fall on her tiny cheek. I imagine she was just discarded in some garbage bag, along with the other babies who were aborted that day.

I carried nothing in my arms as I left the facility, vomited in the parking lot and rode home in silence while my husband tried hard not to look at me. The days that followed brought no sympathy cards, no meals to be shared and no flowers. There was no funeral service to honor a life cut short by a woman's choice and by the abortionist's blade. No one called.

So when my husband went back to work and the silence of the house closed in on me, I went to the florist and bought a plant”a bleeding heart”that I planted in a corner of the garden. It didn't survive the summer. How appropriate.

Of course, this is not the end of the story. What begins as tragedy can give birth to a life in which God takes the worst of all things and transforms it into something to be used for good.

The choice I made cannot be erased. I could never be sorry enough. But my story can be told as honestly and boldly as possible, with the hope that it will stir hearts, change minds and save lives. I can share it in an attempt to give voice to those who have no voice to raise”the least, the lost, the last”for Melanie, for all children who, even at the first instant of their lives, are children of God”wonderfully knit together by Him in their mother's womb.

Nancy M. Kreuzer writes from Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

(This article was published in the May-June 2009 issue of Celebrate Life, American Life League’s bimonthly publication.)

 


Pro-Life Today | 16 June 2009

HEADLINES

The science of sex
http://www.onenewsnow.com/Perspectives/Default.aspx?id=567964
One News Now
Thanks to medical science, we now know that casual sex is unhealthy. Not just because of the myriad of sexually transmitted diseases it can cause, to say nothing of the unwanted pregnancies it can create, but because of what it does to the human brain.

The First Christians Condemned Abortion as 'Among the Worst of Sins'
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09061505.html
Life Site News
David Brattston, a retired lawyer and judge, has written an article, published by LifeSiteNews, in which he explores the question of what early Christians had to say about abortion. The article comes in the wake of scandals involving Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who are both Catholic but who have claimed in interviews with media that the morality of abortion has been a question of debate throughout Christian history. Brattston shows that, on the contrary, abortion was unanimously considered sinful according to the earliest Christian thinkers. The author explores the writings of Christian thinkers from the time of Christ up until the first Church ecumenical council at Nicea in 325 A.D.

Brave New World – Woman Aborts IVF Baby after 'Wrong' Embryo Implanted
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09061509.html
Life Site News
A UK couple recently lost their last IVF embryo when it was mistakenly implanted in another woman, who aborted the baby when she discovered it was not hers. The couple, Paul and Deborah, who did not want their surnames published, have a six-year-old son conceived by IVF. They had wanted a sibling for him, but now they do not expect to be able to conceive again.

Baby Steps DVD Saves Lives!!!

American Life League recently sent a survey to crisis pregnancy centers asking about their use of the Baby Steps DVD, and the response has been overwhelming: "Baby Steps saves lives!"

I personally gave the video to one woman who was having trouble convincing the father of her baby to keep the baby. She took it home for him to watch and told me it really helped her get through to him and helped him bond with the baby (so early in her pregnancy).
                           -Shared Pregnancy in Lansing, MI

Mary Doe came to our center, and she had made up her mind about having an abortion done since she was going through a situation with her baby's father, who is 30 years older than Mary. He was pushing her so hard to have an abortion. After Mary came and she had the chance to watch the DVD, she realized that what was inside of her was an angel sent by God. I am happy to say that her baby boy, now five months old, is the joy of her life! She tells me that she can't picture her life without him.
                            -Pregnancy Resource Center of Fort Bend County in Rosenberg, TX

After reporting at least 25 saves: In counseling, I present materials to clients and let them choose. The name Baby Steps is right for the moment and doesn't intimidate. Please do more “ it is so helpful.
                            -Women's Center for Health, Hope, & Healing in Mankato, MN

The Baby Steps DVD is an excellent tool for saving lives!  To get your own copy of Baby Steps or for more information, go to www.babystepsdvd.com.

FEATURE STORY

The heart of Jesus and the culture of life
by Rev. James Kubicki, SJ

June is traditionally dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a symbol of Christ’s love for mankind and concrete reminder that Christ is truly man as well as God. Thus we bring you the following reflection.

We desperately need the heart of Jesus, the only answer to the culture of death, which sees people as objects. The culture of death begins in the human heart, in a heart that has become hard and unnatural because of sin. The prophet Ezekiel foretold a great conversion of heart with these words:  I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural heart (36: 26).

Where was this prophecy fulfilled? In Jesus. At the Annunciation, when Mary surrendered to Gods will with the words May it be done to me according to Your word (Luke 1:38) a new life, the likes of which the world had never known, was conceived and began to develop in her womb. Within 21 days, a new heart began to beat the human and divine heart of Jesus.

The Israelites understood the heart as more than a physical organ and more than the source of a personâl emotional life. The heart is the very center of a person, the source of ones thoughts, desires and deeds. It is the core reality of a person, ones deepest identity, the place where love begins and wisdom grows. Thus, it should be no surprise that the book in which heart appears most often is Proverbs, part of the wisdom literature of Israel.

True love
The world sees love as a feeling, as whatever makes me feel good. But the love of Jesus is something other than a feel-good sentiment. True love is something completely different from the world™s love. True love shifts the focus off of oneself and onto others. It’s willing to sacrifice and be pierced. In his encyclical God is Love, Pope Benedict XVI said that if we want to know true love, we need to look at the Cross:

This is love in its most radical form. By contemplating the pierced side of Christ (John 19:37), we can understand the starting-point of this Encyclical Letter: God is love (1 John 4:8). (Section 12)

The pierced side of Jesus leads to His pierced heart, the heart that fulfilled Ezekiels prophecy. God wanted to transform hearts hardened by sin into natural, human hearts capable of compassion and love.

How hearts are hardened
Behind the culture of death are hard hearts. Hard hearts dehumanize other people, viewing them as objects and not persons made in the image and likeness of God. We can see how sin dehumanizes people by reflecting on the sin of King David (2 Samuel 11).

David saw Bathsheba as an object for fantasy and pleasure, rather than a beautiful person reflecting the beauty of the Creator. Having objectified Bathsheba, now David also saw Uriah as a problem and not a person—one to be disposed of as quickly as possible. He wrote a note to Uriah's commanding officer, telling him, “Place Uriah up front, where the fighting is fierce. Then pull back and leave him to be struck down dead. (verse 15).

Sin begins in the heart. It hardens the heart. Sin has always been this way. Today, the media of the culture of death replay the story repeatedly. It's all about sex and violence.

The battle line between the culture of death and the culture of life runs across every human heart. All are tempted, at one time or another, to see others as less than human, as objects for pleasure or problems to be eliminated as quickly as possible. The pornography and sex industry sees people as objects to be exploited and used for pleasure. The abortion industry sees preborn children as a problem to be disposed of. And Christians are tempted to see pornographers, abortionists and certain government officials as the enemy, as vile, less-than-human creatures not made in the image and likeness of God, nor precious to God, forgetting that the precious blood of the Lamb of God was shed for all.

How hearts are softened
We all need the heart of Jesus. Since the heart is a universal symbol of love, artists have depicted Jesus with a heart visible to all. I once asked a fifth grader why the heart of Jesus was on the outside of His chest when our hearts are on the inside. She responded, Maybe He loves us so much, He can't keep it inside. The heart of Jesus is there, ready to be given to each of us. It's this love, this heart, that will transform the culture of death into a culture of life.

But where do we find the heart of Jesus? How can we be united to this heart so that our two hearts beat as one? How can our hard hearts be transformed into the natural, human heart that Ezekiel prophesied? I suggest two ways.

First, through lectio divina, the prayerful reading of sacred scripture. Statistics indicate that the average Christian spends more time in one evening watching television than the rest of the week reading the Word of God. Is it any wonder that the values of many Christians are formed not by the Gospel, but by the culture of death? By praying with the Gospels, we can enter into the mind and heart of Jesus.

Actor Bruce Marchiano discovered this while playing the role of Jesus in a movie version of the Gospel of Saint Matthew. He prayed and studied the life of Jesus, trying to enter into His thoughts and feelings, trying to become the character he was playing. He begged God to give him Jesus perspective. His prayer was answered in the following way:

And what I saw in that moment was not with my eyes”it was something in my heart.  It was a sea of people living lives in ways He didn't plan. People living lives away from His love, away from His care.  It was so awful a thing  I remember when it happened, it was as if the wind got knocked out of me and my heart just broke. It broke on a level I never knew existed, and I just started shaking and weeping. (In the Footsteps of Jesus, p. 116, emphasis in the original)

Our prayerful reading of the Word of God transforms us as we enter more deeply into the mind and heart of Jesus. We must see the world through His eyes, with His thoughts and feelings. We must see others as Jesus sees them.

A second way is through Holy Communion. At the Last Supper, Jesus said, “Take and eat; this is My body (Matthew 26: 26). In giving us His body and blood, Jesus gives us His entire self, including His heart. Through this union with Jesus, His heart becomes one with ours and transforms the hardness of our hearts.

In both these ways, we are able to say, as Saint Paul said, “I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me. (Galatians 2: 20).

The culture of life begins right here”in your heart and in mine, in our attitudes toward others. All of us, in one way or another, have hardness of heart and need conversion. We all need a new heart. Thank God, there's enough of the heart of Jesus to go around.

Father Kubicki is a Jesuit priest who has been the U.S. director of the Apostleship of Prayer since 2003. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, a conference speaker, retreat director and parish mission speaker. For more information, visit www.apostleshipofprayer.org.

(This article was published in the May-June 2009 issue of Celebrate Life, a bimonthly publication of American Life League. Visit www.CLmagazine.org.)

 


Pro-Life Today | 16 June 2009

HEADLINES

Planned Parenthood sues Montana for taxpayer-funded birth control
http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2009/06/17/news/mtregional/news09.txt
Missoulian
After years of running into a political brick wall at the Montana Legislature, Planned Parenthood of Montana is suing to overturn a law that prohibits the Children's Health Insurance Program from funding prescription birth control. Planned Parenthood filed its complaint Monday with the state Human Rights Commission, asking it to overturn the law because it discriminates against women.

Korena Roberts will not face murder charges in baby's death
http://wowktv.com/story.cfm?func=viewstory&storyid=61076
WOWK
A Washington County, Oregon grand jury charged Korena Roberts with four additional charges of aggravated murder and two counts of robbery. Roberts pleaded not guilty to each of these charges. Roberts is accused of killing 21-year-old Heather Snively of St. Albans, West Virginia. Snively had recently moved with the baby's father to Oregon when [he] got a new job. Investigators said Roberts cut Snively’s unborn baby boy out of her womb. Both the mother and the fetus died as a result. Roberts will not be charged in the death of Snively's child. Instead, she will be charged with robbery, when she allegedly cut the baby from Snively's body. Oregon laws do not protect the unborn child unless it can be proven the baby died outside the womb. The autopsy could not confirm that, Portland prosecutors said.

Catholic internships at pro-abortion organizations
http://www.speroforum.com/site/article.asp?idCategory=33&idsub=134&id=19616&t=Catholic+int ernships+at+pro-abortion+organizations
Spero Forum
According to a release from The Cardinal Newman Society, 10 Catholic colleges and universities that are promoting student internships with organizations whose missions or activities are directly opposed to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church, including on fundamental issues such as abortion and marriage. “This discovery validates the concerns of so many thousands of faithful Catholic parents and students, that public scandals at Catholic colleges are just the tip of the iceberg,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society. “Under what definition of ‘Catholic education’ do students receive academic credit to work for leading pro-abortion organizations?” Last week, CNS wrote to the presidents of these colleges and universities to inform them of the problems with their internship programs. None have yet indicated that they will take steps to remedy the problems.

'Baby Steps' DVD saves lives!

American Life League recently sent a survey to crisis pregnancy centers asking about their use of the Baby Steps DVD, and the response has been overwhelming: "Baby Steps saves lives!"

“I personally gave the video to one woman who was having trouble convincing the father of her baby to keep the baby. She took it home for him to watch and told me it really helped her get through to him and helped him bond with the baby (so early in her pregnancy).                           -Shared Pregnancy in Lansing, MI

Mary Doe came to our center, and she had made up her mind about having an abortion done since she was going through a situation with her baby's father, who is 30 years older than Mary. He was pushing her so hard to have an abortion. After Mary came and she had the chance to watch the DVD, she realized that what was inside of her was an angel sent by God. I am happy to say that her baby boy, now five months old, is the joy of her life! She tells me that she can’t picture her life without him.                         -Pregnancy Resource Center of Fort Bend County in Rosenberg, TX

After reporting at least 25 saves: In counseling, I present materials to clients and let them choose. The name Baby Steps is right for the moment and doesn't intimidate. Please do more "it is so helpful".                            -Women's Center for Health, Hope, & Healing in Mankato, MN

The Baby Steps DVD is an excellent tool for saving lives!  To get your own copy of Baby Steps or for more information, go to www.babystepsdvd.com.

FEATURE STORY

Reaching out to liberals
By Mary Meehan

A successful movement in America, like a great eagle, cannot fly on one wing alone. When the pro-life movement relies mainly on conservatives, sooner or later it is devastated by an election defeat like the one last November. One-wing efforts also fail to win over many people who could help the movement at all levels.

What's to be done? Pro-lifers must reach out to liberals and show them how the best liberal principles lead to a pro-life stance. To do this, it's important to avoid stereotypes of liberals or to assume that they are automatically on the other side. Some are stalwart pro-lifers already. Others have doubts about abortion and are willing to listen to a case against it. They are most likely to be persuaded when that case is squarely based on traditions and principles they trust.

A noble tradition
Liberals have a long and honorable history of defending little guys who are mistreated by the powerful. Early American liberals stood up for the right of slaves to be free. Later ones fought for the right of workers to organize, defended minorities from discrimination and harassment, and helped poor people in Appalachia and the inner cities. They sought better care for mental patients and the elderly, and they helped organize the disability-rights movement. This tradition should lead to defense of the littlest guys of all—preborn children.

Historically, liberals were the can-do people of American politics. They were optimistic about the future and the possibility of progress. Like most people in our society, they saw children as a sign of hope, and they celebrated the joy of life. Today’s liberals need to recapture the hope and joy of life.

Old-time liberals understood that the right to life underlies and sustains every other right we have. They knew that taking the lives of other human beings ends all of their rights and liberties. But in the mid-1900s, stampeded by predictions of scarce resources, many liberals accepted or even campaigned for population control. Then, without really thinking the issue through, many followed population-control groups down the bleak path to abortion.

Another key influence was liberals reverence for the U.S. Supreme Court because of its decisions for civil rights and civil liberties in the 1950s and 1960s. Partly because they trusted the Court, many went along with its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. They forgot other crucial times in our history when the Court sided with the powerful against the weak: against African Americans in Scott v. Sandford and Plessy v. Ferguson, against poor people and the allegedly feeble-minded in Buck v. Bell, and against Japanese Americans in Korematsu v. United States. In discussing Roe v. Wade with liberals, it's important to stress its kinship with those terrible decisions.

Lethal discrimination
We also must talk about abortion as lethal discrimination. African Americans make up only about 13 percent of the U.S. population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Yet the Guttmacher Institute reports that African American women have 37 percent of U.S. abortions. What the Institute doesn't tell us is that the late Dr. Alan F. Guttmacher, the man for whom it was named, did much to make this happen. A former vice president of the American Eugenics Society, Guttmacher was president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America from 1962 to 1974. Like other eugenicists”the people who try to breed a better human race—he helped lead the campaign to decriminalize abortion and provide it free to poor women.

When a country decriminalizes and also subsidizes abortion, it uses a big carrot to accompany the stick of economic pressures against poor people. That's exactly what happened in the United States, and it's a major reason why the abortion rate for minority and poor children is so high. Although Congress ended most federal funding of abortion many years ago, large states with sizable minority populations”California, New York and Illinois”still subsidize it.

Pro-life activist Ellen McCormack once said, Abortion is put forth as a solution for the poor, but I think the poor want better housing, more jobs and food on their tables. I don't think aborting their babies makes them any happier. I think it probably contributes to their misery.  Understanding this, the staff and volunteers of pregnancy care centers give substantial help to poor parents, thus saving the lives of many poor children. Many liberals need to hear about this work.

Many liberals also need to hear how eugenics leads to another kind of lethal discrimination: prenatal testing and abortion of children with disabilities such as Down syndrome. All of the founding officers of the American Society of Human Genetics were eugenicists. Many later leaders and members of this key professional group were also involved in eugenics, and many helped develop or promote prenatal testing for handicaps. No one should be too surprised by this, because the eugenics bias against people with disabilities is even deeper than its bias against minorities and poor people.

Some liberals are deeply troubled by the targeting of the handicapped preborn for destruction. After all, liberals usually side with those who have disabilities, insisting that they have the same rights as the rest of us. That's where they should be on the issue of eugenic abortion, too. They should remind everyone that virtually all of us have one or more disabilities”poor eyesight or back problems, for example”and that most of us will have more as we grow older. But as disability-rights activist Mary Jane Owen has said, we can retain the joy of life as we learn new functions and new ways of being.

Pro-life feminism
Too many people assume that virtually all feminists support abortion. In fact, the early American feminists strongly opposed it. Susan B. Anthony, the great feminist leader of the 1800s, once said she had helped bring about a better state of things for mothers generally, so that their unborn little ones could not be willed away from them.  Alice Paul, who cofounded the National Woman's Party in 1916 and was an activist for women's rights into the 1960s, called abortion “just another way of exploiting women. She emphasized that taking the lives of female babies before birth did not benefit women.

Feminists for Life of America, based in Alexandria, Virginia, continues this tradition today. FFL, as well as American Life League’s new Live Campus outreach, runs an energetic campaign to make college campuses more friendly and helpful to student parents. This fits right in with the can-do tradition of liberals.

Under Roe v. Wade, if a mother is determined to have an abortion, the father cannot save the child. While pro-lifers often mention this point, many fail to stress the other side of the coin: In many cases, the mother has an abortion because the father pressures her to have one or just walks away from his responsibility for the child. Feminists are keenly aware of this problem; it's a major reason why many of them support abortion. Pro-lifers especially men should place far more stress on the problem of male abandonment. This might do more than anything else to open the hearts of feminists to the pro-life position.

Psychological damage
We should stress another point that's too often overlooked: the psychological effects of abortion on born children who hear about it and feel threatened by it. There were early warnings about this problem, but our culture did not heed them. In his 1975 book, Pre-meditated Man, psychiatrist Richard M. Restak wrote about a woman whose son was mentally retarded. The mother had amniocentesis during a later pregnancy because she and her husband did not want another disabled child.  Upon returning home, Restak reported, she found her retarded son hiding in a closet. Over the next few days he had trouble sleeping because of nightmares that someone was trying to hurt him.

Several years later, psychiatrist Edward J. Sheridan told an interviewer, I have had children who suffer from night terrors and who fear to fall asleep because they overheard their parents discussing an abortion they had or planned to have. These children fear they may be gotten rid of the next time they make their parents angry. Now, though, it's not just a matter of what children overhear or suspect. Some parents tell their children that one or more of their siblings were aborted.

The ultimate unjust war
Liberals tend to be antiwar and against violence in general. Yet abortion is a type of warfare”one that does not even pretend to abide by just-war standards. It kills civilians only”and the most innocent of all. People who support peace should be in the front ranks of the pro-life movement. Some are there already, but far more are needed. A key question to ask them is this: Wouldn't you prefer a nonviolent solution, if one can be found? Then we can describe pregnancy care centers, the Nurturing Network, Feminists for Life's campus program and the Live Campus program. Most important, we can invite them to “join us in this life-saving work!


Mary Meehan, a Marylander widely published on life issues, gives pro-life talks to college students and others. Her web site is www.MeehanReports.com
 
(This article was published in the May-June 2009 issue of
Celebrate Life, American Life League’s bimonthly publication, available online at
www.clmagazine.org.)

 


Pro-Life Today | 15 June 2009

HEADLINES

Women Must be Told about Risks of Abortion: Pro-Abortion Columnist
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09061112.html
Life Site News
The proven risk of having a premature birth caused by previous abortions has lead Barbara Kay, a supporter of abortion availability and columnist for the National Post, to state that abortionists must tell these risks to women seeking an abortion, so that they may make a truly informed decision. Kay says that “researchers in the field of human reproduction have been quietly beavering away on mounting epidemiological data around IA [Induced Abortion] and its link to preterm birth (PTB) in a future pregnancy. Recent findings in their research remind us of a ‘right’ generally observed in the breach: the right of women seeking safe abortions to informed consent.

Abortion Provider To Expand Services
http://www.ketv.com/news/19754515/detail.html
KETV
A Bellevue physician who provides abortions, Dr. Leroy Carhart, said he will start performing third-trimester abortions. Carhart said he made the decision following the fatal shooting of Dr. George Tiller, who performed abortions at his clinic in Wichita, Kan.

Indian Government: Sex Education Has Absolutely No Place in Our Schools - It Promotes Promiscuity
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09061202.html
Life Site News
The Indian government has rejected western-style sex education programs, saying they do nothing to solve the problem of teenage pregnancy but only exacerbate the problem by promoting sexual promiscuity. According to the government, the curriculum prepared with material from UNICEF, had “shocked the consciences of the country and was described as quite frightening. If implemented, the report said, it would “promote promiscuity of the worst kind.

Baby Steps DVD Saves Lives!!!

American Life League recently sent a survey to crisis pregnancy centers asking about their use of the Baby Steps DVD, and the response has been overwhelming: "Baby Steps saves lives!"

I personally gave the video to one woman who was having trouble convincing the father of her baby to keep the baby. She took it home for him to watch and told me it really helped her get through to him and helped him bond with the baby (so early in her pregnancy).
                           -Shared Pregnancy in Lansing, MI

Mary Doe came to our center, and she had made up her mind about having an abortion done since she was going through a situation with her baby’s father, who is 30 years older than Mary. He was pushing her so hard to have an abortion. After Mary came and she had the chance to watch the DVD, she realized that what was inside of her was an angel sent by God. I am happy to say that her baby boy, now five months old, is the joy of her life! She tells me that she can't picture her life without him.
                            -Pregnancy Resource Center of Fort Bend County in Rosenberg, TX

After reporting at least 25 saves: “In counseling, I present materials to clients and let them choose. The name Baby Steps is right for the moment and doesn’t intimidate. Please do more – it is so helpful.                            -Women's Center for Health, Hope, & Healing in Mankato, MN

The Baby Steps DVD is an excellent tool for saving lives!  To get your own copy of Baby Steps or for more information, go to www.babystepsdvd.com.


FEATURE STORY

BOSTON'S HOUR OF ACCOUNTABILITY DRAWS NEAR

By Judie Brown

The furor over the July 1 deadline facing Sean Cardinal O'Malley, of the Archdiocese of Boston, has been newsworthy for many weeks. Meanwhile, however, the clock is ticking and the fear is that Caritas Christi’s agreement with CeltiCare will go into effect with nary a whimper from the decision makers at the chancery. That would indeed be a tragedy of no small proportions.

As we said in our statement of this past Friday,

While Catholics and pro-lifers around the country await a definitive statement from the Archdiocese of Boston indicating that it will not participate in or facilitate abortions or other procedures contrary to Catholic teaching, Cardinal O'Malley's latest statement raises even more questions.

The archdiocese has acknowledged that an agreement has been reached with Celtic Group, Inc. a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Centene Corporation  for a joint healthcare venture. We know that CeltiCare includes abortion and “family planning services in its coverage and has promised to continue this policy after July 1.

The archdiocese's statement also acknowledged that the agreement requires modification. This is a positive step, but certainly not acceptable as a final answer.

What is disconcerting is that Cardinal O'Malley and the Boston archdiocese have thus far failed to clearly explain how abortion and “family planning services will not occur in Catholic healthcare facilities. The terms of CeltiCare's contract with the state government specifically require coverage for abortions and other reproductive health services. How then could Caritas Christi “ which owns 49 percent of the for-profit CeltiCare “ justify its involvement and direct connection with this business while adhering to the Catholic Church's unequivocal teachings on abortion, contraception and sterilization?

Even if patients seeking abortions or contraception will be outsourced to a third-party referral service, this does not remove the archdiocese's culpability for involvement in procedures that violate the Church's fundamental moral teachings.

Most concerning of all is the following quote from Mr. Ralph de la Torre, president of Caritas Christi: ˜When a patient seeks such a procedure, Caritas health care professionals will be clear that (a) the hospital does not perform them and (b) the patient must turn to his or her insurance for further guidance [emphasis added].

Boston Catholic commentator Carol McKinley responded well to this statement:  When the patient “turns to his or her insurance company, they are turning to the HMO [of] which the Cardinal and Caritas are co-owners, [CeltiCare]. Therefore, the Cardinal and Caritas are providing these services

With the exception of removing family planning, abortion, sterilization, embryonic stem cell research and other moral evils covered under the HMO the Cardinal has an ownership interest in, there is no conceivable modification to the arrangement that could ever be in compliance with Catholic moral teaching.

Incrementally separating the Boston archdiocese from committing an abortion or from the provision of contraception, sterilization and other such services does not negate the fact that, through this agreement, Catholic hospitals will ultimately be referring mothers to abortion and/or contraception facilities such as Planned Parenthood, if the deal between Caritas Christi and CeltiCare remains as it is now written.

Cardinal O'Malley can stop this today with one word. We beg Cardinal O'Malley and the Boston archdiocese to prevent yet another scandal by providing a clear defense of Catholic moral teaching, rather than a pact driven far more by financial interests than fidelity to the Catholic faith.

Further, McKinley, who is no stranger to controversy or making sure all the facts add up, wrote this last Saturday: 


Can a Catholic Cardinal bid on a contract that includes performing abortions, give written assurances they will either perform them or contract with people outside of their network to perform them, create an entity to send the women to the abortionists and take 49% ownership in that entity who then hires subcontractors to perform abortions, hires bilingual phone operators who will give the woman the number of the abortionists they've subcontracted, tell their employees at the hospital to give the number out of their 49% owned corporation?

What level of ownership interest can they take in the set up that would make the arrangement consistent with the Gospel of Life and Catholic theology?

After they have set this all up, can they then submit a revision of a partnership agreement to reduce their interests to 3% ownership in the arrangement?

1% ownership in the arrangement?

After you bid on a contract that compels you to promise to perform abortions and you promise in writing to perform them - what is the structure in a corporation that the Cardinal can claim his arrangement meets compliance with Catholic ethics?

When the Cardinal placed members of NARAL as his Advisory Board Members in his new business venture, what kind of advice to you suppose he is seeking? What are the ramifications of such advice?


McKinley and the majority of those concerned about this grave situation in the Boston archdiocese have asked how, in God’s name, this agreement with the secular corporate structure of CeltiCare could possibly concur with the teachings of the Catholic Church, as set forth in Humanae Vitae and Evangelium Vitae. Try as we might, we cannot find a statement in either encyclical letter that justifies accepting a little bit of evil in exchange for an allegedly greater good. As a matter of fact, Pope John Paul II taught, 

The moral conscience, both individual and social, is today subjected, also as a result of the penetrating influence of the media, to an extremely serious and mortal danger: that of confusion between good and evil, precisely in relation to the fundamental right to life.

The condition the Holy Father described is so evident in so many corners of the culture today that we have to ask ourselves if perhaps, in his quest to aid the poor and needy in his archdiocese, the cardinal and his advisors felt pressured into making this deal for altruistic reasons. Perhaps they feel compelled to act without seriously considering the questions we and so many others have raised. While serving the poor is indeed a noble goal, this plan’s consequences are so serious that we have adamantly called for a reexamination of the agreement and dissolution of the contract before July 1.

Phil Lawler, a well-known Catholic commentator and reporter, examined the matter and wrote,

While pro-life activists in Boston have pleaded for Caritas Christi to withdraw from the CeltiCare initiative, abortion advocates have also been watching the situation closely and demanding reassurance that the new state-funded agency will impose no restrictions on access to abortion. The efforts of abortion advocates-- unlike those of pro-life activists-- have been successful. The Boston Globe reported: 

Brian Delaney, a spokesman for CeltiCare, said an abortion rights group, NARAL Pro-Choice of Massachusetts, will serve on an advisory group for the health plan but he did not know whether any Catholic groups would be on the panel.

Boston archdiocesan officials have stressed that no abortions will be performed at the hospitals of the Caritas Christi chain. That claim is not in dispute. The question is whether Caritas Christi, through its partnership in CelticCare, will provide-- and perhaps even profit from-- abortions performed at other facilities. CeltiCare advertisements indicate that Planned Parenthood will be enlisted to provide "reproductive services."

The bottom line is that NARAL and Planned Parenthood's involvement is the proverbial straw that has finally broken the camel’s back and thus the Archdiocese of Boston is officially ending the charade. But, as of this moment, neither the word abortion nor the abortion cartel's involvement have been mentioned in a single archdiocesan document or statement. How can that be?

What is it going to take for the Archdiocese of Boston's officials to take definitive action? Please keep them in your prayers and continue to communicate your concerns to them. The clock is ticking; the hour is late; the Boston Massacre of 2009 could be just around the corner ...

CONTACT:

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM, Cap.
Cardinal Archbishop of Boston
Office of the Cardinal
66 Brooks Drive
Braintree, MA 02184-3839
617-782-2544

 


Volume 6, Number 24                                                                                                            Monday, June 15, 2009


From Associates

Iowans for L.I.F.E.
Iowans for L.I.F.E. is sponsoring an excellent pro-life educational opportunity this summer: “Pro-Life Iowa – 2009 and Beyond” on July 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hope Lutheran Church in Des Moines.  Speakers include ALL’s Director of Canon 915 project, Michael Hichborn, Marian Bourek of Dubuque County Right to Life (another ALL Associate group) and Mary Gansen of Four Seasons for Life (also an ALL Associate group).  If you’re living in or visiting Iowa, or you know of others there, spread the word!  Contact Iowans for L.I.F.E. at
Iowansforlife@msn.com for more information and to register.


Pro-Life Wisconsin
In addition to the on-going prayer vigils outside of the Madison Surgery Center (
www.noUWabortions.com), Pro-Life Wisconsin is making the pro-life community aware of a new Planned Parenthood facility coming to the community.  The 4,500 square foot “health center” will be located at the Villager Mall on South Park Street in Madison along with the new Madison Public Library and just blocks from the Madison Surgery Center.  Included in the list of companies working on the construction of the new building is Findorff Construction, reportedly owned by a Catholic family.  See PLW’s web site at http://www.prolifewisconsin.org/MONUPD_files/June0809monupd.htm for more information.


Tip of the month – Parent Power
"School District #3" continued, The Final Battle
From Parent Power!! By Jim Sedlak

The school board vote to stop all funding of the Family Life Education Program was a tremendous victory for the parents.  It was, however, not a complete victory.  The board also voted to continue funding, through the state, of the Wellness Center and, although there would be no funding, the text books and material for the FLE program were still in the schools.

Knowing that their children would not be safe until this school based clinic and all remnants of the FLE program were removed, the parents resumed their weekly pickets of the high school and promised to continue activity at every school board meeting.  The parents stated they would not rest until FLE, the in-school clinic and Planned Parenthood were thrown out of their schools forever!

In January of the following year, the state health department issued a statement highly critical of the Wellness Center operation.  In short, the health department was upset because of all the “compromises” which had to be made to get the clinic opened to begin with.  The health department wanted the clinic to do more prescription and follow-up services.  And it was particularly upset over the “absence of on-site reproductive health services.”  The state was not happy that the existing school staff did not embrace and push the clinic, particularly school nurses who were not being “cooperative” in referring children to the Center. In summary, the state health department threatened to remove all funding for the Center unless these problems were resolved!

In an effort to protect the Center, the school board establish a special sub-committee which was responsible for bringing Joy Dryfoos, head of the Center for Population Options (the largest school based clinic advocacy group in the country) and former official with Planned Parenthood, to the city to make a pitch for the continuation of the Wellness Center.  The parents were able to attend this meeting and ask embarrassing questions about the lack of success of school based clinics and to point out a recent article in a nationwide publication demonstrating that the clinics don’t work. 

The parents also managed to get two of its own on the sub-committee and informed both the school board and the public precisely what the proposed changes would mean.  They produced a flyer that revealed, among other things, that the Wellness Center was planning to do pelvic exams on teenage female students.  The parents also revealed that prescriptions were being dispensed at the Wellness Clinic by a physician’s assistant, not an M.D., and that a high school health teacher passed out condoms to his health class.

The parents then discovered that clinic proponents were trying to “sneak through” funding for the clinic under the name of “The Community Service Project.”  With short notice, the parents turned out 18 people to the school board meeting where this funding as to be considered.  The school board held a long meeting, discussed the funding and then adjourned to executive session.  When they emerged at 1:00 a.m., they found the 18 parents waiting for their response.  Then, in a dramatic vote, the school board DEFEATED the clinic funding by a vote of 6 to 1!!

Next month:  Wrap-up analysis of School District #3


News

Smallest baby to survive at Pittsburgh women's hospital weighed same as pop can
At birth baby Taylor Rideout weighed just 12.5 ounces and was just 10 inches long, making her the smallest baby ever to survive at Magee Women's Hospital.
http://www.wpxi.com/news/19625212/detail.html


Adult stem cells found to cure blindness – three patients cured
Medical researchers at the University of New South Wales have used simple contact lenses cultured with stem cells from a patient’s own eye to return sight to sufferers of corneal disease.
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09060411.html


Adult stem cell research helping Autism
A woman from New York has written an open letter to President Obama saying that stem cell research using adult stem cells has helped her daughter’s autism. Judy DiCorcia is reporting that her daughter, Lauren, a 10-year-old girl with autism has improved significantly after the stem cell treatment and therapy in Germany in January 2009.
http://www.catholic.net/index.php?option=dedestaca&id=3084&grupo=News%20%20Media&canal=News


"Love really can make suffering bearable": Woman with Spina Bifida grapples with the answer to "unbearable suffering"
Amid the euthanasia and assisted suicide debate, the objection is frequently raised: what about those who suffer what can truly be called "unbearable pain"?
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09060506.html


Closing Thought

“Lord, open this heart of mine and place your law within it; teach me to walk by the road of your commandments.  Grant that I may know what your will is; grant that my mind may dwell with great reverence and careful attention upon all your blessings, both those common to all men and those which are your gift to me; so may I be enabled to thank you in the future as you deserve. I love you, Lord.”

Thomas aKempis, Imitation of Christ, III:22

 


Pro-Life Today | 12 June 2009

HEADLINES

Boston Archdiocese Reaffirms Hospitals' Commitment to Catholic Morals, ALL Responds
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09061105.html
Life Site News
However, the American Life League says that it is still opposed to the arrangement, saying the explanation from the archdiocese and its hospitals is "absolutely not" acceptable.

Abortion protesters irked at city over parking restrictions
http://www.bakersfield.com/news/local/x820007994/Abortion-protesters-irked-at-city-over-pa rking-restrictions
Bakersfield.com
A local pro-life group is petitioning the Bakersfield City Council to remove new 30-minute parking restrictions at 25th and H streets, where protesters frequently gather outside a family planning clinic. "We need to park in this area for more than 30 minutes at a time when we exercise our First Amendment rights by participating in activities such as prayer vigils," reads the petition submitted by Tim Palmquist of Lifesavers Ministries to the City Council at Wednesday's meeting. It had 658 signatures, said Palmquist, who later gathered an additional 125.

Documentary Explores Debate over Stem Cell Research
http://www.citizenlink.org/CLNews/A000010220.cfm
Citizen Link
A new documentary from The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network addresses the controversy over life-destroying human embryonic stem cell research versus ethical, adult stem cell research.
In "Lines That Divide," prominent scientists from both sides of the debate discuss the details surrounding modern-day research.

Baby Steps DVD Saves Lives!!!


American Life League recently sent a survey to Crisis Pregnancy Centers asking about their use of the Baby Steps DVD, and the response is IMMENSE!!!  "Baby Steps Saves Lives!"

I personally gave the video to one woman who was having trouble convincing the father of her baby to keep the baby.  She took it home for him to watch and told me it really helped her get through to him and helped him bond with the baby (so early in her pregnancy).
                           -Shared Pregnancy in Lansing, MI

Mary Doe came to our center and she had made up her mind about having an abortion done since she was going through a situation with her baby’s father who is 30 years older than Mary.  He was pushing her so hard to have an abortion.  After Mary came and she had the chance to watch the DVD, she realized that what was inside of her was an angel sent by God.  I am happy to say that her baby boy, now five months old, is the joy of her life!  She tells me that she can’t picture her life without him.                            -Pregnancy Resource Center of Fort Bend County in Rosenberg, TX

After reporting at least 25 saves: “In counseling, I present materials to clients and let them choose.  The name Baby Steps is right for the moment and doesn’t intimidate.  Please do more – it is so helpful.”
                            -Women's Center for Health, Hope, & Healing in Mankato, MN

Baby Steps DVD is an excellent tool for saving lives!  To get your own copy of "Baby Steps" or for more information, go to www.babystepsdvd.com.

FEATURE STORY

THE WAGES PAID TO THE CULTURE OF VIOLENCE
By Judie Brown

A friend reminded me of some rather startling numbers that I would like to share with you.  According to a 2002 report, one man was fined $2,500 for taking paddlefish eggs out of the state of Oklahoma. In addition to the fine, the individual could have spent 450 days in jail for smuggling the eggs.

Felony violations involving the destruction of various endangered species and their eggs, according to the
Migratory Bird Treaty Act can amount to as much as $250,000 in fees for individuals and $500,000 for corporations and up to six months in prison.

A violation of the
Eagle Act can result in a fine of up to $100,000 and imprisonment of up to one year. Penalties for subsequent offenses are significantly higher. 

In all three of the examples provided, we are talking about laws that are on the books in our nation and are designed to protect the rights of wildlife including those belonging to endangered species.  These are, I hasten to point out, not considered crimes against human beings, but rather crimes against various types of birds and animals.

Now compare these fines with those leveled against individuals who kill children who reside in the womb, in a Petri dish, or are newly conceived and on their way to implanting themselves.  Regardless of which category of preborn child you consider, there are no fines and there is no jail time to be served when one of them is killed. 

If this doesn't make sense to you, then we are on the same page.  But the point I want to make in this regard is far more serious than merely the incongruity of our laws when it comes to protecting wildlife versus protecting innocent human beings.  What we have in America right now is a legal system that places more value on a bird's egg or a fish's egg, than on a human being's life.  Because of this disconnect with logic and common sense, very bad things happen, and they are happening in our communities on a daily basis.

Take the case of the child found in a dumpster in
Las Vegas on Wednesday of this week.  Investigators think the child was between the age of 18 months and [two] years old. The coroner says the baby's death is the result of a homicide.  In other words, this child was brutally murdered by someone.  At this time, “Detectives want to question 20-year-old Darrean Williams and 37-year-old William Marshall. Police believe Williams is the mother of the child and Marshall is her boyfriend.

Consider the case of the five Arizona police officers who are currently on paid leave because a criminal probe is being conducted following the
flushing of a preborn child down a toilet.  Yes, that's right. 

Four officers responded to a call of a possible miscarriage Monday at the Motel 6 in Mesa where they arrested a man on suspicion of drug-related offenses and discovered a woman in the room apparently had miscarried a [four]-inch fetus that was an estimated 12 to 14 weeks old, according to [Police Chief] Gasc.

Although both Mesa fire and police were present in the motel room, Lt. Lynn Young told the officers and fire personnel over the phone not to take the fetus but to flush it down the toilet, according to Gasc once this child was, according to our laws, not considered to be a full-fledged person, will the policemen go on about their daily lives as if nothing had happened?  Will any charges be recommended in this case?  Nobody knows at this point.  The question in my mind is whether or not the public will want to know what would have possessed anyone to tell the officers to flush a preborn human being down the toilet rather than give him a proper burial.  My guess is nobody will care!

Finally there's the case of
Arnold Ross, a Louisiana teen charged with rape and the murder of an infant.  The report explains that Ross is suspected of having raped the eight-month-old baby boy Da-Von Lonzo and then beating the baby to death.  The investigation in this case is ongoing, but as Mary Ann Kreitzer, founder of Les Femmes “The Truth", so aptly observed in her blog when she wrote about this tragic case:

The comments following the story express horror over what happened to this poor little baby. But I imagine some of the same individuals calling for the blood of the killer would describe themselves as pro-choice and excuse a similar crime provided the baby was murdered nine months earlier at eight months in utero.

That's what George Tiller did every day: injected saline solution to scald babies and burn off their skin, stabbed them in the neck and sucked out their brains, thrust a needle full of digoxin into their hearts to stop its [sic] beating “ his methods changed over the years, but all guaranteed delivery of a battered and dead baby. Yet Tiller is a hero to the pro-abortion mob while Ross, no doubt, they would consider a monster. Tiller didn't rape the babies; he performed a mechanical rape on their mothers using sterile instruments to violate the sanctuary of the uterus. But he, we are told, was a brave man wielding his murderous instruments against the little ones. He was eulogized at his funeral  as a "
passionate and generous man who repeatedly overcame difficult challenges." A friend described him as "Mr. Enthusiasm," which was certainly true of his attitude toward killing children.

Well, Mr. Enthusiasm, meet your philosophical twin, Arnold Ross, a young man raised in a culture that allows the dismembering of near term babies in utero. He never knew a time that pornography wasn't rampant, fornication wasn't encouraged, and child killing wasn't legal. He grew up in an age where liberal policies destroyed the black family driving fathers from the home, encouraging mothers to replace them with Uncle Sugar and his welfare checks.

How can anyone be surprised when the young treat life as cheap and expendable? They've learned the lessons of the culture too well, perhaps. One can do whatever he likes and eliminate the consequences. The young find out too late that some killing is more equal than others.

There's precious little difference between little Da-Von Lonzo and the babies killed at Tiller's abortuary “about ten pounds, in fact. But Tiller performed respectable murders that left him awash in money that he shared with liberal politicians. His politically correct killing filled Kathleen Sebelius' campaign chest and those of other liberal politicians. As the Bible says, "Love of money is the root of all evils" and it can buy a lot of approval from those who lust after it.

As for me, I can't see much difference between George Tiller, mass child killer, and Arnold Ross, killer of one. They were philosophical twins. The pro-abortion "martyr" and the child abusing "monster" had more in common than our society is likely to admit.

Kreitzer has hit the nail on the head.  And while, at this moment, we do not know what sort of sentence will be handed down in the case involving 17-year-old Arnold Ross, we do know that Da-Von is dead.

And we also know that whether it is the Ross case, or the Mesa Arizona police case or the Las Vegas dumpster case, the bottom line is that we are living in a culture of violence.  For more than 36 years, America has denied that aborting a child prior to birth is the moral equivalent of murder; in fact many have glorified abortion as a human right and charged those who know otherwise with disrespectful, dishonest allegations such as fanaticism, terrorism and anti-feminism.  But the results of this disconnect between the price one has to pay for stealing a duck egg and the price one has to pay for killing a preborn child are all around us.

It's time America woke up and saw the brutality that is spawned on a daily basis by America's violent culture; a culture dedicated to denial, betrayal and sexual saturation.  We are paying the price daily in human lives tossed on the trash heap of our inability to face reality.

How many more will have to die?
 

 


Pro-Life Today | 11 June 2009

HEADLINES

Free Abortions in Honor of Tiller Denounced as 'Sick'
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09061008.html
Life Site News
Philadelphia Women's Center gave away free abortions on Tuesday as a means of "honoring" slain late-term abortionist George Tiller.

Two sentenced for abortion clinic arson
http://www.krqe.com/dpp/news/crime/crime_krqe_albuquerque_two_who_torched_abortion_clinic_ sentenced_200906102218
KRQE
Two men who burned down an Albuquerque abortion office have been ordered to serve more than three years in prison and to pay every penny of the nearly $800,000 in damage they caused. On Dec. 6, 2007, Sergio Baca, then 22, and Chad Altman, then 26, broke a window of Dr. Boyd's office, poured gasoline inside and lit a match destroying the office. The motive was revealed to be a woman carrying Baca's unborn child was scheduled to have an abortion at the clinic the next day. Baca and Altman were arrested 11 days later after investigators found a glove at the scene that had Altman's DNA in it. Baca's roommate also reported that Baca smelled heavily of gasoline that night.

Caritas insurance deal faces changes
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/06/11/cardinal_omalley_seeks_ to_modify_insurance_venture/
The Boston Globe
Judie Brown, president of the American Life League, an antiabortion organization, said she does not believe there is any way to modify the arrangement that would make it acceptable.

Baby Steps DVD Saves Lives!!!


American Life League recently sent a survey to Crisis Pregnancy Centers asking about their use of the Baby Steps DVD, and the response is IMMENSE!!!  "Baby Steps Saves Lives!"

I personally gave the video to one woman who was having trouble convincing the father of her baby to keep the baby.  She took it home for him to watch and told me it really helped her get through to him and helped him bond with the baby (so early in her pregnancy).
                           -Shared Pregnancy in Lansing, MI

Mary Doe came to our center and she had made up her mind about having an abortion done since she was going through a situation with her baby’s father who is 30 years older than Mary.  He was pushing her so hard to have an abortion.  After Mary came and she had the chance to watch the DVD, she realized that what was inside of her was an angel sent by God.  I am happy to say that her baby boy, now five months old, is the joy of her life!  She tells me that she can’t picture her life without him.
                            -Pregnancy Resource Center of Fort Bend County in Rosenberg, TX

After reporting at least 25 saves: “In counseling, I present materials to clients and let them choose.  The name Baby Steps is right for the moment and doesn't intimidate.  Please do more – it is so helpful.                            -Women's Center for Health, Hope, & Healing in Mankato, MN

Baby Steps DVD is an excellent tool for saving lives!  To get your own copy of "Baby Steps" or for more information, go to www.babystepsdvd.com.

FEATURE STORY

CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC DIOCESE UNDER ATTACK
By Judie Brown

On September 27, 2007, the Connecticut Catholic Conference announced its decision to allow the state's Catholic hospitals to provide the morning-after pill, Plan B, for rape victims. A letter was issued by the three bishops: Archbishop Henry Mansell, Bishop Michael Cote and Bishop William Lori. At the time, the CCC issued a statement, which included these words:

The four Catholic hospitals in the State of Connecticut remain committed to providing competent and compassionate care to victims of rape. In accordance with Catholic moral teaching, these hospitals provide emergency contraception after appropriate testing. Under the existing hospital protocols, this includes a pregnancy test and an ovulation test. Catholic moral teaching is adamantly opposed to abortion, but not to emergency contraception for victims of rape.

This past spring the Governor signed into a law An Act Concerning Compassionate Care for Victims of Sexual Assault, passed by the State Legislature. It does not allow medical professionals to take into account the results of the ovulation test. The Bishops and other Catholic health care leaders believe that this law is seriously flawed, but not sufficiently to bar compliance with it at the present time. We continue to believe this law should be changed.

At the time, the CCC argued that the Catholic Church's magisterium has not definitively resolved this matter and since there is serious doubt about how Plan B pills work, the Catholic Bishops of Connecticut have stated that Catholic hospitals in the State may follow protocols that do not require an ovulation test in the treatment of victims of rape.

In the aftermath of the CCC decision,
American Life League, Human Life International and noted moral theologian Fr. Peter Damian Fehlner agreed that the CCC decision was fraught with error. All to no avail.

As
Fr. Fehlner pointed out at the time, "The fact is, if we have any doubt about whether a given action would directly risk someone's life, entail a violation of justice or threaten the salvation of a soul, we may not act on the basis of a scientific probability. That means even if the pill in Plan B is only 'dubiously' abortive, we simply may not use it at all."

We understood that the Connecticut state law mandated that the abortive drug be provided, but we also encouraged the bishops of Connecticut to stand their ground and argue that their hospitals had every right under the law not to participate in any action that was contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church. The pleas we and many others made had literally no effect. Bridgeport
Bishop William Lori wrote in 2007 regarding Catholic hospitals’ administration of Plan B to rape victims,  

The administration of Plan B pills in this instance cannot be judged to be the commission of an abortion because of such doubt about how Plan B pills and similar drugs work and because of the current impossibility of knowing from the ovulation test whether a new life is present. To administer Plan B pills without an ovulation test is not an intrinsically evil act. 

That was then and this is now. As I write, Connecticut's Office of State Ethics is putting unbelievable pressure on Bishop William Lori and the priests of his diocese. But this time, Bishop Lori is fighting back. American Life League first learned of this from the Creative Minority Report, which explains: 

The state government of Connecticut might just be the epicenter of state sponsored anti-Catholicism in the country right now. The state is seeking to silence the Catholic Church. Again.
 
Ever since the Church's stance supporting traditional marriage or at least for a conscience clause for religious organizations, many in state government have sought to punish the Church or at least silence it.
 
If you'll recall a few months ago two
Democrat state legislators proposed a bill targeting Catholic parishes by instituting elected boards to oversee parishes. This, of course, caused an outrage as the government had no right to intervene in the Church's affairs.

Tim Carney, of the Washington Examiner reports:

Church officials mobilized against the bill, with the Bridgeport Diocese web site again asking Catholics to call their lawmakers. But then the church committed the cardinal offense, the act that compelled the Office of State Ethics to crack down: The diocese rented buses to bring parishioners to the state Capitol in Hartford for a rally against the bill on the day of the public hearing.

The public uproar spurred the bill's sponsors to withdraw it and cancel the hearing the night before. But the church-sponsored rally went on anyway, making the diocese a renegade lobbyist.

Bishop Lori does not for a minute believe that his actions in decrying state efforts to step in and control Catholic parishes should be legitimately or logically defined as “lobbying.” He wasted no time in issuing a public statement against the state’s assault on religious freedom:

We believe firmly that it is unconstitutional to apply the state lobbying statute to our Diocese for having exercised its constitutional rights by participating in a rally at the State Capitol and posting information on its website, to protest an unconstitutional attempt by the State to reorganize our Church.

We are pursuing this matter through the judicial system Fundamental constitutional rights include the responsibility to express our views in a civil and lawful manner.  

Visiting the Diocese of Bridgeport's web site provides an opportunity to review the history of this case, the relevant legal documents and additional background material.

Carney's report, which is based on his investigation of this matter, is revealing:

I asked the Office of State Ethics about the ramifications of dubbing the diocese a lobbying organization. Would priests need to fasten LOBBYIST badges to their vestments whenever speaking from the pulpit about the death penalty, abortion or future state attempts to micromanage parishes? Who would enforce this? Would the state deploy ethics officers to regulate Masses so that no unauthorized lobbying occurred?

Would the diocese Web nerd need to clock in as a lobbyist for the time it takes him to write, Tell the Governor to Repeal the Death Penalty and upload that message to the site? A spokeswoman said, “We really don't have opinions that specifically address those matters.

The diocese has sued in federal court to block the state from enforcing the lobbying laws against it.

Connecticut recently ramped up its ethics enforcement in response to government corruption and abuse of power by former Republican Gov. John Rowland. Today, the lobbying laws look like another tool for government to use to control meddlesome priests who resist the politicians agenda. 

The stark contrast between the 2007 joint decision of three Catholic bishops regarding Plan B and this latest turn of events in the Bridgeport diocese is interesting. How can it be that the 2007 state requirement met with hesitant but willing agreement, while this latest state action is meeting total, absolute opposition? We pray the answer is that Bishop Lori is not going to let the State ramrod him into accepting an agenda that compromises Church policies or moral principles ever again!

One has to wonder if, in retrospect, the little bit of evil which the Connecticut Catholic Conference accepted in 2007 by choosing to accommodate the State, rather than Catholic teaching, has permitted and even encouraged the evil that the State is now attempting to impose on Bishop Lori. Only time will tell.

The more fundamental issue is that if it succeeds, Connecticut's current move against the Bridgeport diocese could have a chilling effect on Catholic parish priests and bishops elsewhere in that state and the country.

There are political agendas at work in the current situation, but they are no different today than they were in 2007. The State pressed the bishops in 2007 and won; this time around, it is our prayer that they don’t even come close. We pray that Bishop Lori continues his courageous resistance and that he succeeds in convincing the State of Connecticut that Catholics have the same rights and freedoms to which all Americans are entitled.

Bishop Lori said recently, "I believe that an order from the Court barring Mr. Jones and his colleagues at the (OSE) Office of State Ethics from applying the lobbying laws to the Diocese in this manner is necessary to enable the Diocese to continue to carry out its mission without fear of incurring civil penalties, exposure to possible criminal prosecution, burdensome administrative requirements, and intrusive oversight by the State.

Please encourage Bishop Lori via mail or phone:

Most Rev. William Lori
Diocese of Bridgeport
Catholic Center
238 Jewett Ave.
Bridgeport, CT 06606

(203) 416-1364

 


Pro-Life Today | 05 June 2009

HEADLINES

Award-winning essay: Sexting is sin
http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=100171
World Net Daily
A teenager from Missouri has won a contest with her essay that concludes besides being a huge problem for those who choose to participate, "sexting"  the practice adopted by some teens of sending nude or partially nude photographs of themselves to others  is a sin. The winner of the contest sponsored by the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families was Christiana Zipay, a junior at Lutheran High School South in the St. Louis area.

Notre Dame Not Seeking Leniency for Arrested Pro-Life Protesters: Thomas More Lawyers Now on the Case
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09060406.html
Life Site News
Thomas More Society attorneys appeared in St. Joseph County Criminal Court to defend two prominent pro-life advocates against trespass charges brought this morning by local prosecutors in the wake of protests at the University of Notre Dame. The attorneys join the fight with pro-life attorney Tom Dickson, who is representing dozens more pro-lifers arrested at the campus.

Pro-Obama Catholic Rewarded, Named Director under Sebelius
http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=95874
EWTN
Alexia Kelley, Executive Director of "Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, one of the pro-Obama Catholic organizations that strongly supported the appointment of the former Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has been named Director of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships for the HHS. Kelley co-founded Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (CACG) in 2005 and co-authored with Chris Korzen, "A Nation for All: How the Catholic Vision of the Common Good Can Save America from the Politics of Division." Both Kelley and Korzen have supported controversial political decisions and appointments made by the Obama administration, including the suspension of the Mexico City Policy and the decision to allow federally-funded embryonic stem cell research. Kelley and Korzen lent their support despite both measures drawing criticism from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Baby Steps DVD Saves Lives!!!

American Life League recently sent a survey to Crisis Pregnancy Centers asking about their use of the Baby Steps DVD, and the response is IMMENSE!!!  "Baby Steps Saves Lives!"

I personally gave the video to one woman who was having trouble convincing the father of her baby to keep the baby.  She took it home for him to watch and told me it really helped her get through to him and helped him bond with the baby (so early in her pregnancy).                           -Shared Pregnancy in Lansing, MI

Mary Doe came to our center and she had made up her mind about having an abortion done since she was going through a situation with her baby's father who is 30 years older than Mary.  He was pushing her so hard to have an abortion.  After Mary came and she had the chance to watch the DVD, she realized that what was inside of her was an angel sent by God.  I am happy to say that her baby boy, now five months old, is the joy of her life!  She tells me that she can't picture her life without him.
                            -Pregnancy Resource Center of Fort Bend County in Rosenberg, TX

After reporting at least 25 saves: In counseling, I present materials to clients and let them choose.  The name Baby Steps is right for the moment and doesn't intimidate.  Please do more “ it is so helpful.
                            -Women's Center for Health, Hope, & Healing in Mankato, MN

Baby Steps DVD is an excellent tool for saving lives!  To get your own copy of "Baby Steps" or for more information, go to www.babystepsdvd.com.

Protest the Pill Day ’09: The Pill Kills Women!

On Saturday, June 6, pro-lifers across the country will be participating in the largest protest ever against the birth control pill and other birth control products. Join American Life League and protest the pill. Help us unmask the truth and hopefully save lives. You can do this by having a presence outside of doctors offices, pharmacies, Planned Parenthood centers and other family planning facilities, or even out on the sidewalk at a busy intersection. Wherever it is help get the word out!

For more information, go to http://thepillkills.com/.

FEATURE STORY

GET A GRIP: SOTOMAYOR IS NOT PRO-LIFE
By Joe Giganti

The guest commentary today is by Joe Giganti, a Roman Catholic and principal of GigantiHQ. He is the executive director of Close to Home and a media fellow at the John Paul II Bioethics Commission. He is the former communications director of the American Life League and has been defending faith, family and freedom for almost two decades. For more information, visit GigantiHQ.com. First published on World Net Daily on June 4, 2009, this commentary is reprinted here with full permission.

A very disturbing trend has developed since President Obama's nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court: a growing fantasy from pro-lifers that she may be a "closeted" pro-lifer.

These stirrings center around the fact that she is a Latino who was "raised Catholic." Her heritage apparently is important because of the generally accepted belief that Latino Catholics tend to be more anti-abortion than the average person. This flame has been further stoked by Rush Limbaugh's recent comments, including that her Puerto Rican Catholic heritage may be a factor in her beliefs: "[Sotomayor] hasn't said a word about [abortion], which could mean that her private feelings are she's pro-life." Having been a steady Rush listener over the past two decades, I suspect he is acting strategically to force the nominee to set the record straight, rather than actually believing she might be pro-life. And I agree completely with Rush that the life issue is of paramount concern over all others.

But, to the heritage question, Rep. Nydia Velzquez, D-N.Y., chair of the Hispanic Congressional Caucus; Reps. Linda, D-Calif., and Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif.; and Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., are all Hispanic Catholics and all are virulently pro-abortion.

And as to being a Catholic, Sens. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., John Kerry, Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., are all self-proclaimed Catholics who have never let their faith get in the way of supporting the murder of the innocent unborn.

Then came murmurings that some of her judicial opinions might reflect that she is not a strident abortion supporter. Wonderful. Perhaps we can celebrate the possibility that 1 in 4 babies will die from abortion rather than the current [one] in [three].

Most disturbing in this whole debate is how readily pro-lifers are willing to accept these scraps as a sign of hope. This reaction is exactly why pro-life conservatives fail to advance the cause time and again. It reminds me of what a good friend (and one of the most effective pro-life activists I know) calls the "Dungeons and Dragons dilemma." He contends that all too often our side is more comfortable playing out fanciful what-if scenarios in their mind's eye rather than dealing with the political realities they currently face.

We do ourselves a great disservice if we consider only that she was baptized into the Catholic faith without applying reason to properly discern the role it plays in her public life. Reason requires that we consider the facts in a given situation to reach a conclusion.

So let's begin with the most basic fact pertinent to this situation: Barack Obama is the most egregiously and aggressively pro-abortion president in this country's history. One would think we could forego the litany of examples to substantiate this point, but just in case:

    As an Illinois state senator, he opposed the Infants Born Alive Act five times over three years. 

    A cornerstone to Obama's campaign promise of a new socialist utopia was his unflinching support for a "women's right to choose" and the promise to sign the
Freedom of Choice Act into law. 

   To demonstrate his audacity and disrespect for the Catholic faithful and pro-lifers alike, he delivered the commencement address at the once-Catholic college of Notre Dame. This in spite of the fact that no less than 62 Catholic bishops publicly stated that it would be scandalous for Obama to do so and asked that he decline the invitation; not to mention a frenzy of additional grass-roots opposition. 

    At this address, he stated, in part: "Maybe we won't agree on abortion … the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable." Finally there's something on which the president and I agree. It is hard to reconcile those who believe murdering an unborn child is wrong with those who refuse to even acknowledge that child's humanity. 

   In his
first 100 days, Obama has overturned virtually every pro-life policy of the previous administration and appointed operatives from every major pro-abortion group to key positions, including one of the lawyers responsible for the dehydration murder of Terri Schiavo.

Hardly strikes me as a man who might "forget" to confirm that his nominee will toe the line on abortion.

Then there's the New York Times article, "
On Sotomayor, Some Abortion Rights Backers Are Uneasy," which claims that some in the abortion lobby are concerned that the first Latino Supreme Court nominee might not be the pro-death ideologue they demand.

OK, the first (huge) red flag? Consider the source. It's not exactly breaking news that the Old Gray Lady has reduced itself to little more than a shill for the far left's propaganda machine. This story is nothing more than misinformation designed to weaken opposition to the nomination.

The Times points to four cases that only tangentially touch upon abortion law. In 2002, Sotomayor upheld a Supreme Court precedent that an administration can withhold funding for abortion if it so desires. Let's be very clear here: This had nothing to do with the morality or legality of abortion; it was simply procedural.

In 2004, she apparently recognized that the Constitution's guarantee of free speech and peaceably assemble actually includes pro-lifers. Well, let's give her the Cardinal O'Connor Pro-Life Award for that.

In 2007 and 2008, she sided with Chinese women whose legal argument for asylum was based, in part, on the harsh treatment they would receive if deported, including forced abortions. In the 2007 case, Sotomayor wrote the following: "The termination of a wanted pregnancy under a coercive population control program can only be devastating to any couple, akin, no doubt, to the killing of a child."

Incredibly, this statement has actually excited some pro-lifers. Really, are we that easy? How many pro-lifers do you know who use phrases like, "termination of a wanted pregnancy"? And no, Ms. Sotomayor, abortion isn't "akin" to murder – it IS murder.

This is not the language of someone who recognizes, respects and defends the inherent dignity of the human person.
           
Furthermore, this opinion is consistent with the feminist mindset exemplified by Gloria Allred, Susan Estrich and Patricia Ireland – not because they are "secretly pro-life," but because they view it as a women's rights issue.

As to the thought echoed by Rush that "there may be something lurking here beneath the surface that we are all unaware of," specifically that she's a closet pro-lifer because she's a Puerto Rican raised Catholic: This would mean her belief is subjective and based upon an emotional tie to her upbringing as opposed to a reasoned belief that is based upon objective truth. Therefore, such an emotional response could be easily undermined by a court that is famous for moving justices to the left, not the right.

Ultimately though, there is only one way to be sure. She must be asked – respectfully, but explicitly – if she believes the Constitution provides a right to abortion. And she must answer such a question clearly without equivocation.

Now if we can only find a Republican senator with the intestinal fortitude to ask. Fortunately, in this situation, the Democratic caucus has no problem seeking absolute clarity on a nominee's position regarding abortion. The only reason they would forego asking this question would be because they already know she is an abortion rights devotee.

Joe Giganti is the executive director of Close to Home and a media fellow at the John Paul II Bioethics Commission.

Respond to Joe
http://www.all.org/newsroom_judieblog_response.php?id=2631

 


Pro-Life Today | 04 June 2009

HEADLINES

Senator Feinstein Assures Pro-Aborts: Sotomayor "Respects Precedent" Set by Roe v. Wade
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09060314.html
Life Site News
Judiciary committee member Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Tuesday told reporters that Judge Sonia Sotomayor had satisfied her concern that the nominee to become the next Supreme Court judge would uphold liberal access to abortion as founded in Roe v. Wade.

L’Osservatore Romano Won’t Let me Defend Myself Says Brazil Archbishop
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09060309.html
Life Site News
The Archbishop of Olinda and Recife, Jose Cardoso Sobrinho, is asking that the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano publish his response to Archbishop Salvatore "Rino" Fisichella, who criticized him on its pages on March 15 for having announced the excommunication of the doctors who assisted in a now-famous abortion on a nine-year-old girl. "It seems to me important that L'Osservatore Romano should publish my response," Cardoso told the French newspaper Present in a recent interview. "This is what we are trying to obtain, as we have been from the start.  We sent the archdiocese's response to Mgr. Fisichella's article to Rome. It's a natural right to be allowed to respond if someone has been publishing false information, for who knows which motive: the readers of L'Osservatore should also be in a position to know the other point of view."

"Obsessional” Fear of Suffering Ushering in Euthanasia Culture: Prominent Bioethicist
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09060306.html
Life Site News
A culture that seeks to escape suffering and inconvenience at all costs will end by eliminating not only pain, but by ending the lives of those suffering or whose condition burden their families, warned bioethicist Wesley J. Smith this weekend. "If we're going to defeat euthanasia and assisted suicide, we're going to have to recognize that for a lot of people, the principle of right and wrong don't matter anymore," said Smith. "What matters is making sure there isn't suffering. And that can lead to some very bad and dark places."

Baby Steps DVD Saves Lives!!!


American Life League recently sent a survey to Crisis Pregnancy Centers asking about their use of the Baby Steps DVD, and the response is IMMENSE!!!  "Baby Steps Saves Lives!"

“I personally gave the video to one woman who was having trouble convincing the father of her baby to keep the baby.  She took it home for him to watch and told me it really helped her get through to him and helped him bond with the baby (so early in her pregnancy).  -Shared Pregnancy in Lansing, MI

“Mary Doe came to our center and she had made up her mind about having an abortion done since she was going through a situation with her baby's father who is 30 years older than Mary.  He was pushing her so hard to have an abortion.  After Mary came and she had the chance to watch the DVD, she realized that what was inside of her was an angel sent by God.  I am happy to say that her baby boy, now five months old, is the joy of her life!  She tells me that she can’t picture her life without him.                            -Pregnancy Resource Center of Fort Bend County in Rosenberg, TX

After reporting at least 25 saves: In counseling, I present materials to clients and let them choose.  The name Baby Steps is right for the moment and doesn’t intimidate.  Please do more – it is so helpful.
                            -Women's Center for Health, Hope, & Healing in Mankato, MN

Baby Steps DVD is an excellent tool for saving lives!  To get your own copy of "Baby Steps" or for more information, go to www.babystepsdvd.com.

Protest the Pill Day ’09: The Pill Kills Women!

 

On Saturday, June 6, pro-lifers across the country will be participating in the largest protest ever against the birth control pill and other birth control products. Join American Life League and protest the pill. Help us unmask the truth and hopefully save lives. You can do this by having a presence outside of doctors offices, pharmacies, Planned Parenthood centers and other family planning facilities, or even out on the sidewalk at a busy intersection. Wherever it is – help get the word out!

For more information, go to http://thepillkills.com/.

FEATURE STORY

LOGICAL THINKING REQUIRES RIGHT REASON: THE TILLER CASE
By Judie Brown

In a commentary for the Time web site, Nancy Gibbs addressed a subject that is difficult to understand without the proper grounding in right reason. She attempted to contrast the words of those who have survived as Dr. Tiller lay dead with the politics that are confronting us as a nation, not to mention the pro-life versus pro-death movements. Though she never used the phrase, “culture of violence,” I think it would have been a good idea if she had.

For as Pope John Paul II taught in
Veritatis Splendor

Once the idea of a universal truth about the good, knowable by human reason, is lost, inevitably the notion of conscience also changes. Conscience is no longer considered in its primordial reality as an act of a person's intelligence, the function of which is to apply the universal knowledge of the good in a specific situation and thus to express a judgment about the right conduct to be chosen here and now. Instead, there is a tendency to grant to the individual conscience the prerogative of independently determining the criteria of good and evil and then acting accordingly. Such an outlook is quite congenial to an individualist ethic, wherein each individual is faced with his own truth, different from the truth of others. Taken to its extreme consequences, this individualism leads to a denial of the very idea of human nature.

Viewed in this context, a person who reasons with natural law as a basis for his life actions would think twice before arguing in defense of late term abortions, as Gibbs points out in Tiller's case, "
Dr. Tiller, like others before him, represented a challenge to both sides. Late-term abortions have always been the hardest to defend, but he and his supporters would point to cases when the procedure, however morally troubling, was medically necessary."

Gibbs is accurate in her portrayal. However, she avoids mentioning that Dr. Tiller and others like him, including Dr. Martin Haskell, who devised the dilation and extraction method of taking the lives of preborn children, do not think of their action as the equivalent of direct killing. Rather, as Haskell wrote in the conclusion to his 1992 paper,

Dilation and Extraction is an alternative method for achieving late second trimester abortions to 26 weeks. It can be used in the third trimester.

Among its advantages are that it is a quick, surgical outpatient method that can be performed on a scheduled basis under local anesthesia.

Among its disadvantages are that it requires a high degree of surgical skill, and may not be appropriate for a few patients.

Medical practitioners like Tiller and Haskell have convinced themselves that the action they are taking is nothing more than a type of surgery and they sincerely believe that their practice is a service to women.

Of course, people like me know that this is ridiculous. We understand the reality that the outcome of any abortion is a dead child. But if the practitioner does not see that child as a human being deserving of life, what then? What does he see and how has he convinced himself that nobody dies during such an action?

When the partial-birth abortion debate, which was actually about dilation and extraction abortions, occurred, there were many abortionists who claimed that the procedure was at times “medically necessary. Such a statement provided further justification that their actions are, to people like me, nothing short of heinous crimes. However, as the
Guttmacher Institute reported in October 2004,  “According to Judge Richard G. Kopf in the Nebraska decision, ˜the overwhelming weight of the trial evidence proves that the banned procedure is safe and medically necessary in order to preserve the health of women under certain circumstances. In the absence of an exception for the health of a woman, banning the procedure constitutes a significant health hazard to women.’”

In contrast, the
Justice Department filed a statement:

The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 “bans a late term abortion procedure that Congress found is gruesome, inhumane, never medically necessary and, indeed, poses serious health risks to the mother. The Act bars the killing of a living fetus that is deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivered until it is largely outside the body of the mother either head-first or, in the breech position, to at least the navel and, at that point, killed before delivery is completed. The banned procedure is one in which a living fetus is mere inches from a completed birth, and an autonomous existence, before it is killed at the last moment.

In addition here is an excerpt from a statement by four physicians entitled “Partial-Birth Abortion is Bad Medicine,

Consider the dangers inherent in partial-birth abortion, which usually occurs after the fifth month of pregnancy. A woman's cervix is forcibly dilated over several days, which risks creating an "incompetent cervix," the leading cause of premature deliveries. It is also an invitation to infection, a major cause of infertility. The abortionist then reaches into the womb to pull a child feet first out of the mother (internal podalic version), but leaves the head inside. Under normal circumstances, physicians avoid breech births whenever possible; in this case, the doctor intentionally causes one – and risks tearing the uterus in the process. He then forces scissors through the base of the baby's skull – which remains lodged just within the birth canal. This is a partially "blind" procedure, done by feel, risking direct scissor injury to the uterus and laceration of the cervix or lower uterine segment, resulting in immediate and massive bleeding and the threat of shock or even death to the mother.

None of the risk is ever necessary for any reason. We and many other doctors across the U.S. regularly treat women whose unborn children suffer the same conditions as those cited by the women who appeared at Mr. Clinton's veto ceremony. Never is the partial-birth procedure necessary. Not for hydrocephaly (excessive cerebrospinal fluid in the head), not for polyhydramnios (an excess of amniotic fluid collecting in the woman) and not for trisomy (genetic abnormalities characterized by an extra chromosome). Sometimes, as in the case of hydrocephaly, it is first [sic] to drain some of the fluid from the baby's head. And in some cases when vaginal delivery is not possible, a doctor performs a Caesarean section. But in no case is it necessary to partially deliver an infant through the vagina and then kill the infant.

What a difference! The kernel of truth between the two sides is that the reality of what abortion is and what it does to someone has been divorced from the politically-charged claim that because it is a woman's right, it is legitimate to perform such acts on a child not yet born. This is, indeed, the core problem that confronts those who favor abortion and those who oppose it. The central difference between the two worldviews is exactly as Pope John Paul II explained. Those who favor aborting preborn children have discarded the universal knowledge of what is good and can be known by reason alone in favor of a personal perspective on what is good for them as individuals without regard for the common good, for justice or essentially for truth itself.

This past week has presented us with this clash of worldviews in a tragic way. It has shown us the ugly side of the culture of death, of the crazed world of the unstable and of the sad reality that killing people is all about headlines, politically charged statements and irrational rants. Somewhere in all this rhetoric, the real reason why we abhor abortion and all the brutal acts that this culture of violence has spawned has vanished.

The dignity of the human being is not addressed and yet it is the central truth about which we should be speaking. Those who do not acknowledge it, who avoid it or who disagree with it are already thinking illogically. Sadly, the tragedy is that they do not realize it. Until this situation changes the culture of violence will flourish because a denial of the very idea of human nature persists.

  


Pro-Life Today | 03 June 2009

HEADLINES

Smallest Baby To Survive At Magee Weighed Same As Pop Can
http://www.wpxi.com/news/19625212/detail.html
WPXI
At birth baby Taylor Rideout weighed just 12.5 ounces and was just 10 inches long, making her the smallest baby ever to survive at Magee Women's Hospital.

University of Minnesota says stem cell research complaint isn't valid
http://www.twincities.com/allheadlines/ci_12505616?nclick_check=1
Pioneer Press
The University of Minnesota is proceeding with human embryonic stem cell research, despite an pro-life group's claim that it is illegal under a new ban on the use of state tax dollars for human cloning.  Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life called on the university Tuesday to "cease its pursuit of human cloning and to end its violation of state law through its ongoing destruction of human embryos." The organization cited the new cloning ban, along with legislative testimony from a U executive that the ban would stifle "ongoing" research if passed.

Ethicists Warn Against Human Eggs for Cash Plan
http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=95836
EWTN
The state of New York is considering several proposals which would pay women who donate their eggs for research purposes, leading some Catholic ethicists to worry the move would induce poorer women to risk their health and become involved in unethical human embryo research. New York state funds may be awarded to researchers who pay women to harvest their egg cells for research purposes if a recommendation of the ethics committee of the Empire State Stem Cell board is accepted. Writing in National Review Online, Fr. Thomas Berg reported that the May 12 vote to recommend the practice passed overwhelmingly. He said the state is also considering using state funds to reimburse women directly for their egg donations, possibly paying several thousand dollars per donor.

Baby Steps DVD Saves Lives!!!


American Life League recently sent a survey to Crisis Pregnancy Centers asking about their use of the Baby Steps DVD, and the response is IMMENSE!!!  "Baby Steps Saves Lives!"

I personally gave the video to one woman who was having trouble convincing the father of her baby to keep the baby.  She took it home for him to watch and told me it really helped her get through to him and helped him bond with the baby (so early in her pregnancy).                          -Shared Pregnancy in Lansing, MI

Mary Doe came to our center and she had made up her mind about having an abortion done since she was going through a situation with her baby's father who is 30 years older than Mary.  He was pushing her so hard to have an abortion.  After Mary came and she had the chance to watch the DVD, she realized that what was inside of her was an angel sent by God.  I am happy to say that her baby boy, now five months old, is the joy of her life!  She tells me that she can’t picture her life without him.                            -Pregnancy Resource Center of Fort Bend County in Rosenberg, TX

After reporting at least 25 saves: In counseling, I present materials to clients and let them choose.  The name Baby Steps is right for the moment and doesn't intimidate.  Please do more it is so helpful.                            -Women's Center for Health, Hope, & Healing in Mankato, MN

Baby Steps DVD is an excellent tool for saving lives!  To get your own copy of "Baby Steps" or for more information, go to www.babystepsdvd.com.

Protest the Pill Day ’09: The Pill Kills Women!

On Saturday, June 6, pro-lifers across the country will be participating in the largest protest ever against the birth control pill and other birth control products. Join American Life League and protest the pill. Help us unmask the truth and hopefully save lives. You can do this by having a presence outside of doctors offices, pharmacies, Planned Parenthood centers and other family planning facilities, or even out on the sidewalk at a busy intersection. Wherever it is help get the word out!

For more information, go to
http://thepillkills.com/.

FEATURE STORY

OBAMA'S RECORD IS CLEAR: PRO ABORTION TO THE CORE
By Michael Hichborn

The guest commentary today is by Michael Hichborn, director of American Life League's Canon 915 Project.

Recently, Gian Maria Vian, editor-in-chief of the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, said in an interview that he does not believe Barack Obama is a pro-abortion president.  In discussing the president's speech at the University of Notre Dame, Vian said: 

The [p]resident said that the approval of the new law on abortion is not a priority of his administration. The fact that he said that is very reassuring to me. It also underlines my own clear belief: Obama is not a pro-abortion president. 

Regardless of what the new president says, actions speak louder than words, and even though Barack Obama claims that he is not making the approval of a new law on abortion a priority, his own cabinet appointments belie a completely different reality.  In fact, not only has Obama chosen to surround himself with pro-abortion radicals, but also a good percentage of those are “Catholic.  The following are members of the Obama administration who are well known for their active support for abortion, the Catholics are marked with an*:

 Vice President Joseph Biden*
Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton 
Deputy Secretary Of State
James B. Steinberg 
Secretary of Homeland Security
Janet Napolitano
Secretary of the Interior
Ken Salazar
Labor Secretary
Thida [Hilda] Solis*
Central Intelligence Agency Director
Leon Panetta
Secretary of Agriculture
Tom Vilsack
Deputy Attorney General
David Ogden 
White House Office of Legal Counsel
Dawn Johnsen 
Assistant Deputy Attorney General
Thomas Perrelli 
Solicitor General
Elena Kagan 
Secretary of Department of Health and Human Services
Kathleen Sebelius
Director of White House Office for Health Reform
Nancy-Ann De Parle 
White House Chief of Staff
Rahm Emanuel 
White House political advisor
David Axelrod 
Director of Communications
Ellen Moran 
Director of Domestic Policy Counsel
Melody Barnes 
Ambassador-At-Large for Global Women’s Issues
Melanne Verveer*  
White House Council on Women and Girls Director
Tina Tchen

In addition to surrounding himself with radical advocates for abortion, Barack Obama, who proved his abortion agenda in Illinois by refusing to protect even those babies who survive an abortion attempt, has continued to carry his agenda to the whole country as president.

During his brief time in the highest office in the country, Obama has worked hard to further entrench the culture of death in the United States and throughout the world. 

Pro-Abortion Acts This Year

January 5- Obama selects pro-abortion “Catholic Virginia Governor Tim Kaine to be the chairman of the Democratic Party.

January 6- Obama appoints
Thomas Perrelli as an associate attorney general. Perrelli spearheaded the effort to have Terri Schiavo killed by starvation and dehydration.

January 22- Releases statement supporting
Roe v. Wade. He said:

On the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we are reminded that this decision not only protects women's health and reproductive freedom, but stands for a broader principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman's right to choose. 

January 23- Overturns the Mexico City Policy. This reversal makes available hundreds of millions of dollars to fund abortion in other countries.

January 26- Obama's Deputy Secretary of State,
James B. Steinberg, tells members of the Senate that the Mexico City Policy is an unnecessary restriction that, if applied to organizations based in this country, would be an unconstitutional limitation on free speech.

January 29- President Obama appoints pro-abortion
David Ogden as deputy attorney general.  Ogden represented Playboy and Penthouse, fought against requiring filters on library computers and successfully defended the right of pornographers to produce material with underage children.

February 12- Obama picks pro-abortion
Elena Kagan to be solicitor general. She was the legal director of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League.

February 27- Begins working on overturning
pro-life conscience protections intended to protect medical staff from being forced to commit abortions.

February 28- Friend of late-term abortionist George Tiller,
Kathleen Sebelius, is nominated for the position of secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

March 5- Pro-life groups are not admitted to a
White House-sponsored health-care summit while Planned Parenthood, The Human Rights Campaign, National Council of La Raza, The Children's Defense Fund, The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force are in attendance.

March 9- Obama signs executive order, “
REMOVING BARRIERS TO RESPONSIBLE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN STEM CELLS, now forcing taxpayers to fund human embryonic stem cell research.

March 10- Obama creates the new
Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues position and names pro-abortion Melanne Verveer  to the post.

March 11- Obama creates a new agency called the
White House Council on Women and Girls. Obama appoints Tina Tchen, a former vice-president of NOW, as the agency's director.

March 17- Obama nominates pro-abortion federal judge
David Hamilton to serve on the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

March 26  Obama's Dept. of State announces
$50 million for the UNFPA, the UN agency known to be complicit in China's coercive population control tactics.

April 7 - Obama nominates three
Vatican ambassador nominees, all believe in abortion.

April 7 - Obama selects
pro-abortion law professor Harold Hongju Koh to be the State Department's top lawyer.

April 7 - The
White House Faith-Based Advisory Council is completed. The list includes more abortion advocates.

April 8 - Obama nominates pro-abortion
Ron Weich for assistant attorney general for legislative affairs.

April 14 - Obama administration releases document claiming that
pro-lifers may engage in violent acts.

April 17 - Obama administration releases the proposed guidelines for human embryonic stem cell research.

April 23 -
Secretary of the State Hillary Clinton admits before the House Foreign Relations Committee that as far as the new government is concerned, the term "reproductive health" includes abortion. "We are now an [a]dministration that will protect the rights of women, including their rights to reproductive health care."

May 8  Obama's new budget allows the
Legal Services Corporation to conduct litigation involving abortion.

This list of appointments and actions regarding abortion is certainly not exhaustive, but it clearly illustrates that Barack Obama has every intention of securing birth control and abortion as protected acts in this country.  While he may say that he wishes to reduce the number of abortions or the need for abortions in this country, and even though he claims that abortion is not a “priority for him, his words bear the worth of their weight … which is nothing.  President Obama has surrounded himself with pro-abortion radicals, has created new offices and agencies devoted to so-called reproductive health, which Secretary of State Clinton tells us includes abortion, and has done everything within his power to give more money to those organizations devoted to killing preborn children. 

One would expect that the editor-in-chief of the Vatican newspaper would be better informed than to make such a blunder as claiming that Barack Obama is not a pro-abortion president. 

Michael Hichborn is American Life League's Director of the Canon 915 Project.

Respond to Michael
http://www.all.org/newsroom_judieblog_response.php?id=2628

 

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07 July 2009

HUMAN PERSONHOOD MOVEMENT LAUNCHES IN COLORADO, MONTANA

Washington, DC (07July 2009) – The human personhood movement took the national stage last week as Colorado and Montana became the latest states to join a nationwide campaign to legally recognize every human being as a human person from their biological beginning.

Led by grassroots activists in Colorado and Montana, and aided by American Life League and Personhood USA, the two new human personhood initiatives were launched on the steps of their respective statehouses. Sponsoring organizations seek the passage of state constitutional amendments that would define every human being as a human person under state law, from the beginning of their biological development.

Montana and Colorado are two of 17 states working toward full recognition of human personhood.

“Ultimately, the pro-life movement is about basic human rights,” said Judie Brown, president of American Life League. “We want to see the dream of the civil rights movement fulfilled once and for all: a society and a rule of law that affirms the dignity and equality of every human being as a person.”

Colorado Right to Life is leading Colorado’s personhood movement on the heels of last year’s Colorado for Equal Rights Movement, which thrust human personhood into the national spotlight.

In Montana, State Representative Wendy Warburton, working alongside the Montana Pro Life Coalition, announced the initiative on July 1.

In both states, activists are working with language developed by Dr. Dianne Irving, a noted medical ethicist, and promoted by Johanna Dasteel, American Life League's personhood project director.

“As American Life League works toward the passage of a Federal Human Personhood Amendment, we cannot underestimate the importance of every state working toward the full recognition of human personhood,” Brown said. “This isn’t about abortion; this isn’t about politics; this is about human rights and justice for all.”

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: Personhod
http://all.org/personhood/

Personhood USA: Montana and Colorado Initiatives Officially Launched (02 July 2009)
http://www.personhoodusa.com/

Christian Post: Pro-Lifers Launch Personhood Battles to Protect the Unborn (06 July 2009)
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20090706/pro-lifers-launch-personhood-battles-to-protect-unborn/index.html


Pro-Life Today | 29 June 2009

HEADLINES

Boston Catholic health-care agency withdraws from abortion-tainted state contract
http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=3366
Catholic Culture
Judie Brown, president of the American Life League, remarked: "Cardinal O'Malley's reaffirmation of the faith, when it would have been all too easy to compromise, is a sign of the vitality of United States Catholics commitment to human life and personhood."

Pro-life national headquarters attacked in broad daylight (video)
http://www.examiner.com/x-2359-Evangelical-Examiner~y2009m6d29-ProLife-national-headquarters-attacked-in-broad-daylight
The Examiner
Friday afternoon, June 26, a man on a bicycle attacked Operation Rescues national headquarters in Wichita, Kansas, and attempted to disable the security system. There were four people working in the office at the time.

Abortions double premature tot risk
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2009/06/29/abortions-double-premature-tot-risk-115875-21480051/
The Mirror
Women who have had an abortion or miscarriage are more likely to give birth to a premature baby, researchers have found.

FEATURE STORY

NO JOY ON FATHER'S DAY: ABORTION HURTS YOUNG MEN
By Erik Whittington

When talking about post-abortion experiences, one hears a lot about women hurting from abortion. At pro-life events, women usually make up the majority of those holding “I Regret My Abortion signs. Occasionally, a middle-aged man testifies as to how abortion affected him and holds an “I Regret Lost Fatherhood sign.

Rarely, however, do you hear from young men about how abortion has affected them. Statistically, 56 percent of women having abortions are in their twenties and 17 percent are teenagers, so it follows that roughly the same percentage (73 percent) of men involved in abortion are under 30 years old. Why don't we hear their stories?

This year, at Ichthus Festival, (a huge Christian music event held June 10-13 in Wilmar, Kentucky), when two young men told me their stories, I got a very close look at this mostly unrecognized pain.

The first young man told me that his now-ex-girlfriend informed him that she was pregnant and getting an abortion. He pleaded with her to not kill their child. He told her he would take care of the child. He called lawyers, judges, politicians anyone who would listen and might be able to help. All of them told him the same thing: You are a man and thus have no say in this matter. She went through with the abortion, and he was devastated! He told me, through tears, that he still has nightmares about his child being aborted.

The next day, another young man told me a similar story. His girlfriend had already made up her mind to abort when she first told him she was pregnant. He, too, had no say. He also cried as he told me about his nightmares and the year of depression, alcohol and drug abuse he endured after the abortion.  I was given the opportunity to record this young man's testimony in audio form, which we featured in a recent Rock for Life Netcast. Young men are generally less prone to showing their emotions, especially to a complete stranger. Nonetheless, these two couldn’t hold back their sorrow over their lost fatherhood.  I was able to listen to both men and pray for their continued recovery.

The trauma both young men have experienced has fired them up about joining the pro-life movement. One of them asked about starting a Rock for Life chapter in his community. The other told me that as a college freshman, he started a campus pro-life club and would now like to associate it with Rock for Life. You can see God working in their lives as they work through their abortion experience and give of themselves at the same time.

Keeping in mind that we recently celebrated Father's Day, if you wonder why so many men seem disinterested in caring for their children consider this: Maybe it's because they have absolutely no voice in a life-or-death decision when those same kids are in the womb.

Don't let the abortion advocates fool you! Abortion is not just "a women's issue." Abortion deeply wounds men too young and old. For more information on post-abortion healing for men, check out American Life League's Celebrate Life article "Men and abortion: Reclaiming lost fatherhood" (January–February 2009). 

Erik Whittington is director of Rock for Life, American Life League's youth outreach, which educates, actives and equips young people to put an end to the culture of death. For more information, visit www.RockforLife.org

 

 


 

Pro-Life Today | 23 June 2009


Tennessee Planned Parenthood loses government funding
http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=573906
One News Now
The Tennessee legislature has dispatched a strong message to Planned Parenthood.  About $1.1 million set aside for family planning in the state will now be distributed mostly to local health organizations and not the taxpayer-supported abortion provider. Susan Allen of Tennessee Right to Life was there for the vote. "In the House, the vote was 69-to-22," she notes, "and in the Senate, 25-to-7."

Senate (LA) okays bill to allow refusal of health care
http://www.ksla.com/Global/story.asp?S=10576485
KSLA
The Louisiana Senate agreed Monday to a proposal that would shield doctors and pharmacists from penalties for refusing to provide health care because of religious or moral objections. The bill would protect health providers from civil or criminal penalties, job loss or demotion because they refuse to provide certain services based on religious or moral beliefs. Those procedures include abortion, certain types of emergency contraception, human embryonic stem cell research, human embryo cloning, euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide.

Judging by her past ..
http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=WU09F15&f=PG07J01
Family Research Council
According to an op-ed in the Washington Times, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor has a history of extremism when it comes to inventing a "right" to abortion in the U.S. Constitution.  As the article, "Sotomayor worse than Souter," explains, she served for 12 years on the governing board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF), which filed six briefs in abortion cases at the U.S. Supreme Court. Charmaine Yoest details that each one "pushed aggressively for an interpretation of abortion rights that would eliminate most or all state and federal abortion regulations while requiring state and federal funding of abortion." In two of the six, the briefs "took positions more extreme than those of Justice Souter, who joined with the court's majority to uphold restrictions that PRLDEF wanted struck down." This is the strongest evidence to date that Sotomayor advocates unlimited abortion as a matter of judicial imposition--not just a legislative view.

I had to kiss my child goodbye
Rock for Life
http://www.rockforlife.org/action_tellyourprolifestory.php?storyID=485
In October of 2006 I found out I was going to be a Father. My girlfriend of 6 months was pregnant with our child. Neither of us planned this pregnancy, or had even talked about the possibility of getting pregnant. That was about to become my biggest regret. Like I said I wasn’t ready to have a child. She said she couldn't go forth in having a child and needed to abort. She went to the nursing staff at Boston College a week or two after she found out she was pregnant. The nurse at BC told her that she would be better off having an abortion, and told her where she could get one. I didn’t make a big deal of it at the time because I wanted her to stay calm and positive.

FEATURE STORY

REPROGRAMMING STEM CELLS “ OR PRO-LIFERS MINDS?

By Debi Vinnedge

In November 2007, two scientists Dr. Shinya Yamanaka and Dr. James Thomson published their studies describing a new stem cell technique that produced embryonic-like stem cells by simply reprogramming adult skin cells.[1]  Immediately, several bioethicists and pro-life leaders touted the iPS “or induced pluripotent stem cells to be an ethical alternative to embryonic stem cell research and human cloning.  For if one could produce embryonic stem cells without destroying innocent human beings that would end the ethics debates once and for all. Or would it?

Some have noted that the reprogramming methods were quite simple, but in reality the science is fairly complicated for the average reader to understand.  Perhaps that is just what some of the pundits were counting on, because unless one is skilled at recognizing the red flags raised in this research, they would never discover the dark secrets no one wants the pro-lifer community or politicians to know.  And so we will take you through this gently, in layman’s terms.

Both studies involved introducing genes into adult stem cells through what is known as lentivirus.  A lentivirus in and of itself is a serious safety quagmire since by definition it is a slow moving virus that persistently infects the target cells, often causing fatal diseases years after the initial infection. The HIV virus is an example of a well-known lentivirus that may take several years to progress into AIDS.  However, since the lentivirus, was a highly effective method of delivering the needed DNA to the target adult skin cells for reprogramming them to an embryonic state, scientists figured they would tackle the safety hazards in latter experiments.

So just how did this lentivirus produce the miraculous effect of turning an adult stem cell into an embryonic one?  Now think about it “this isn't magic, folks: How could a cell that is taken from a 20 year old suddenly return to an embryonic state?  In order to do that, the host adult skin cell would have to receive a huge influx of younger DNA that would cause the aged cells to regress in age.  Sort of like injecting a veritable “fountain of youth into the cells, because this DNA is normally only active in embryonic or fetal cells.  So, literally, a 20 year-old skin cell was coerced into activating genes not used since fetal life, and it became embryonic again, but not without the same host of problems inherent with all embryonic stem cells as you will shortly discover.

And just where did researchers obtain that DNA?  Why, from embryonic and aborted fetal cell lines of course!  Scientists used a technique known as PCR, or Polymerase Chain Reaction.  PCR is technique that allows production of large quantities of specific DNA using a simple enzyme reaction. The embryonic and/or aborted fetal DNA was "spliced" or added into the lentivirus DNA, which then delivered it to the adult skin cells.  As the aged cells DNA mingled with the new DNA and continued to replicate in petri dishes in the lab, they literally reversed their aging process to the embryonic state.  And voila!  Embryonic stem cells developed from the modified adult stem cells.

Researchers then claimed that these newly transformed cells would be genetically identical to the patient whose adult skin cell was modified, thereby eliminating problems with immune rejection.  This was in fact, the main purpose of so-called therapeutic cloning, whereby scientists claimed to produce genetically identical embryos for the purpose of harvesting patient specific stem cells. However, nothing could be further from the truth in either method.

In human cloning, the nucleus of a donor egg is replaced with the nucleus of an adult stem cell through a method called “somatic cell nuclear transfer.  But, since only the nucleus of the egg is removed, residual mitochondrial DNA from the donor egg is still present in the newly formed embryo. With the reprogramming method, foreign DNA from both the lentivirus and embryonic or fetal cells are also present in the newly formed iPS cells.  So, not only are there still immune rejection problems, scientists noted that just like embryonic stem cells, the iPS cells formed teratomas and cancerous tumors, another little annoyance they promised to deal with later.

So exactly where did the researchers get those aborted fetal and embryonic stem cells?  Different scientists used different sources, but the primary aborted fetal material used was HEK-293, that is, Human Embryonic Kidney, specimen number 293, as well as modified versions of this cell line, named PLAT-A, PLAT-E, 293FT and Phoenix cells.

Dr. Alex Van der Eb, of the Netherlands, obtained HEK from an electively aborted baby, and according to Van der Eb during 2001 FDA hearings, the information on the original abortion was lost and all he could remember was that it was a healthy fetus. He noted that the lack of family history also made HEK questionable for FDA standards of safety.[2] 

In addition to using the HEK cells, Dr. Thomson obtained his DNA sequences from human embryonic stem cells, some of which were part of President Bush's federally funded stem cell lines. Further, Thomson tested his reprogramming method using IMR-90 aborted fetal cell line, which was taken from the lung tissue of a 16-week gestation female baby. IMR-90 is a designer cell line specially produced by the NIH and Coriell Cell Repository as a future replacement for aborted fetal cell line WI-38, which is currently used in vaccine production.[3]

In February, 2008, two more studies were published on reprogramming adult stem cells: the first by UCLA's Dr. Kathrin Plath, using neonatal foreskin cells; the second by Dr. Yamanaka, using mouse liver and stomach cells, in which he claimed to overcome the problem of tumor formation. Interestingly enough, while none of his mice developed tumors, he admitted that several of them died for unknown reasons.  Once again, both scientists used aborted fetal cell lines as their DNA source and in addition, Plath then cultured her reprogrammed foreskin cells on embryonic stem cells. [4]  Since then, several more published studies continue to rely on both aborted fetal and embryonic stem cells in order to accomplish the reprogramming.  Well, why not?  After all, no one is complaining!

For despite the fact that the truth about the origins of the DNA has been revealed, many pro-life leaders are still salivating over this research as a means of ending the need for human cloning. But their reasoning falls short for several moral reasons. 

First, they argue that because the embryos and aborted children have already been destroyed, it is morally acceptable to use those cell lines. While it is quite true that the scientists involved in the reprogramming research may or may not have directly destroyed some of the embryos they used or participated in the original abortions, they did use cell lines taken from human beings that were deliberately destroyed specifically for research purposes.  And both the Vatican and the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB) have condemned such practices:

In their statement, Declaration on the Production and the Scientific and Therapeutic Use of Human Embryonic Stem Cells, the Pontifical Academy for Life answers the question:

"Is it morally licit to use ES [embryonic stem] cells, and the differentiated cells obtained from them, which are supplied by other researchers or are commercially obtainable?

"The answer is negative, since: Prescinding from the participation  formal or otherwise in the morally illicit intention of the principal agent, the case in question entails a proximate material cooperation in the production and manipulation of human embryos on the part of those producing or supplying them" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, p. 17).

In addition, the USCCB posted their response to President Bush’s August 2001 decision to provide federal funding for only those embryonic stem cells in which the embryos had already been destroyed.  They noted especially both the above citation from the PAFL and the following from Donum Vitae (Instruction on Respect for Human Life In its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation: Replies to Certain Questions of the Day, Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 1987):

"To use human embryos or fetuses as the object or instrument of experimentation constitutes a crime against their dignity as human beings having a right to the same respect that is due to the child already born and to every human person...The corpses of human embryos and fetuses, whether they have been deliberately aborted or not, must be respected just as the remains of other human beings...Furthermore, the moral requirements must be safeguarded, that there be no complicity in deliberate abortion and that the risk of scandal be avoided" (I.4). "It is a duty to condemn the particular gravity of the voluntary destruction of human embryos obtained 'in vitro' for the sole purpose of research..." (I.5).[5]

Clearly, there is nothing morally permissible in what these scientists have done, and thus one might assume that if our pro-life leaders knew how the reprogramming was accomplished, they would not have spoken out in favor of this research.  However, that is not necessarily the case.  Donum Vitae, an official Vatican instruction discussed direct use of the embryo or fetus. For example, taking tissue directly from an aborted baby and transplanting it was clearly defined as illicit. The Pontifical Academy for Life, which is considered a guideline, rather than an instruction, discussed using the cell lines that are produced from embryonic or fetal remains.  Because there was no official teaching on these cell lines some ethicists felt it would be morally permissible to use these cell lines in research since the scientists were not directly involved with the destruction of the embryos or fetuses. In fact, this is exactly what happened when Georgetown University scientists were using existing aborted fetal cell lines in government-sponsored research programs.[6]   And it is similar to what happened with arguments about the production of vaccines from aborted fetal remains, where researchers deliberately destroyed unborn children specifically for vaccine development.[7]  

In embryonic stem cell research, the embryo is destroyed when scientists extract the stem cells from the blastocyst.  In aborted fetal research, the abortions are pre-planned and arranged for immediate harvesting and preservation of organs and tissues.  Subsequently, cell lines are produced from the remains.  In both cases, once the cell lines are developed, they are then patented and frozen for future use in the hope of one day producing viable therapies and medical products.  In iPS cell research, in order to prove their findings, scientists must use  embryonic stem cells as a control comparison in order to validate that the newly created iPS cells are indeed embryonic-like. Thus, embryonic stem cells are an inherent part of both the reprogramming and the control studies.

In the April 2008 Ethics and Medics publication, Fr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, in commenting on the new iPS experiments pronounced the source of the reprogrammed cells to be “ethically pristine and that the new reprogrammed stem cells “were produced without destroying or using any human embryos.

There are two problems with this assertion.  First, the source “that is the original adult stem cell - was the only thing that was “ethically pristine, as it came from a living adult donor.  However, the source of the DNA used to reprogram those cells was from immoral sources, as was the finished product since it was dependent on using cells from deliberately destroyed human embryos and aborted fetuses.  The second problem is the assertion that the reprogrammed cell lines "were produced without destroying or using any human embryos."  In fact, the scientists do not say whether or not they did in fact use new embryos in some parts of the research.  But in any case, they did use existing aborted fetal and embryonic stem cell lines, meaning that someone else conveniently did the killing while these scientists reaped the benefits. And while many would say this was clearly wrong, others still felt it was morally permissible as long as there was sufficient distance between the actual destruction of innocent human beings and the researchers using the cell lines in present day research. Clearly, a definitive Church teaching was needed as confusion abounded.

Finally, in December 2008, the Holy See was about to end all dispute on the matter. In its new instruction from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith entitled Dignitas Personae, they emphatically asserted that the use of these "illicit biological materials" is prohibited.

"A different situation is created when researchers use 'biological material' of illicit origin which has been produced apart from their research center or which has been obtained commercially...In this regard, the criterion of independence as it has been formulated by some ethics committees is not sufficient. According to this criterion, the use of 'biological material' of illicit origin would be ethically permissible provided there is a clear separation between those who, on the one hand, produce, freeze and cause the death of embryos and, on the other, the researchers involved in scientific experimentation. The criterion of independence is not sufficient to avoid a contradiction in the attitude of the person who says that he does not approve of the injustice perpetrated by others, but at the same time accepts for his own work the 'biological material' which the others have obtained by means of that injustice...Therefore, it needs to be stated that there is a duty to refuse to use such 'biological material' even when there is no close connection between the researcher and the actions of those who performed the ..abortion."

End of discussion, case closed.  Or is it?  In the second article in the same issue of Ethics and Medics noted above, Richard Doerflinger of the USCCB Pro-Life Secretariat provides further insight as to why some may be falling silent on the not so pristine methods that were used in the reprogramming, stating that the research may affect the fortune of several pieces of legislation now before Congress. He cited the Human Cloning Prohibition Act and the Human Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act noting that it would be difficult to argue against the passage of these bills when there is now an “ethically sound alternative in iPS cell research.

And there you have it: Smoke and mirrors.  If attention can be averted toward using reprogrammed stem cells, there will be no need to advance embryonic stem cell research and human cloning. Unfortunately, that argument has already been tested with successful, moral adult stem cell therapies and has failed. Scientists will never agree to abandon immoral research especially if they can have the federal government funding it. Yet what is lurking around the corner may very well end the debate about using iPS cells to pacify those pushing embryonic stem cell research.

Aside from the ethical problems presented here, another glaring concern in reprogramming a stem cell back to the so-called iPS or pluripotent state is that those cells are not just pluripotent, but in fact, could become or already may be “totipotent. To explain: Pluripotent stem cells are those in the early embryonic stage that can form most of the cells, tissues and organs in the human body; totipotent cells can form all cells, tissues and organs plus, they can form entirely new embryos, something that happens in natural reproduction when twins form.  So what was to stop scientists from reverting the cells a little further back in the development stages of an embryo to the totipotent stage, which could provide them with an unlimited supply of human embryos?  Nothing. 

Coincidentally, in April 2008, the UK's Independent broke the news story: "Now we have the technology that can make a cloned child," by Steve Connor, science editor, in which he describes how reprogrammed skin cells were used to produce cloned mice, and perhaps in the near future, cloned human beings.[8]

Robert Lanza, of the American biotechnology company Advanced Cell Technology, admitted the technique was unethical and unsafe, but still noted that “the technology could be used to produce a child.  The method was touted as extremely desirable for infertile couples since the embryo would be produced with biological material from both parents.

"It raises the same issues as reproductive cloning and although the technology for reproductive cloning in humans doesn't exist, with this breakthrough we now have a working technology whereby anyone, young or old, fertile or infertile, straight or gay can pass on their genes to a child by using just a few skin cells," he said.

The article describes the reprogramming method used and goes on to state: Last year, when the breakthrough was used on human skin cells for the first time, it was lauded by the Catholic Church and President George Bush as a morally acceptable way of producing embryonic stem cells without having to create or destroy human embryos.

"At this point there are no laws or regulations for this kind of thing and the bizarre thing is that the Catholic Church and other traditional stem-cell opponents think this technology is great when in reality it could in the end become one of their biggest nightmares," he (Lanza) said. "It is quite possible that the real legacy of this whole new programming technology is that it will be introducing the era of designer babies.

So does the Catholic Church really think this is so great?  Hardly, because those in authority have not been informed as to what was really done in these studies. And lest one thinks that this latest rogue research is somehow confined to mad scientists in Great Britain, the National Institutes of Health recently awarded an $8.9 million dollar contract to scientists at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, the Genome Center of Wisconsin, the Morgridge Institute for Research and the Medical College of Wisconsin to further both embryonic stem cell and iPS cell research.[9]  It will only be a matter of time before the procedure is used here in the U.S. for full-blown human cloning. 

The truth is that if iPS cells are truly embryonic in nature, they will also carry the same dangers and clinical failures that have plagued embryonic stem cell research for years. Without question, if unwarranted focus is given to iPS cells, embracing this research as the panacea for the future, it will be utter folly for the pro-life camp. First of all, that's no better than proponents of embryonic stem cell research and so called "therapeutic cloning" who have given false hope to the weak, the vulnerable and the suffering by promising miraculous cures. And while the debates have, up to this point, focused primarily on the moral aspects, the only argument that can and does win the debate across political or moral or even medical ideology is the safety aspect. Because one can argue ethics until they are blue in the face, but one cannot argue against solid clinical results, which only exist in adult stem cell research.

Meanwhile, those who have steered religious and political leaders to support reprogramming in hopes of diverting attention and funding from human cloning may find that such tactics could backfire. Not only does their silence denote acceptance of immoral and clinically useless research, but also, by omitting the truth, they are hampering funding efforts for actual patient cures in adult stem cell research. That is both a travesty of justice and, ironically, a pro-life defeat for those who have worked so hard to promote moral avenues of research. Worst of all, it is a devastating blow to patients awaiting cures.

Debi Vinnedge is the founder and director of Children of God for Life, an American Life League Associate group. This article was published on Children of God for Life's web site (http://cogforlife.org) in January of this year, and is reprinted here with its kind permission.

 


Pro-Life Today | 25 June 2009

HEADLINES

NC remembering victims of sterilization program
http://www.shelbystar.com/news/state-39979-program-north.html
The Star
North Carolina recalled a regrettable side of its history on Monday by unveiling a roadside marker remembering poor people, mental patients and prisoners who were sterilized against their will by state officials. The cast aluminum sign in downtown Raleigh provides a permanent remembrance of the program intended to keep thousands of people considered mentally disabled or otherwise genetically inferior from having children. More than 7,600 people were sterilized by "choice or coercion" under the state's so-called eugenics program between 1933 and 1973, according to the marker's text. North Carolina was one of more than two dozen states that ran such programs after social reformers began advocating for the approach a century ago.

YouTube Removes New Undercover Student Video of Planned Parenthood without Explanation
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/1433210780.html
http://liveaction.org/monalisa/tucson/pp_says_not_real.htm
Christian News Wire
Without offering any specific explanation, the video-sharing site YouTube has removed a new video by the student group Live Action that shows dishonest counseling practices at Planned Parenthood. The video first plays undercover footage of a Planned Parenthood counselor from Tucson, AZ telling a patient that images of aborted fetuses "are not real" and then shows photographs of a completed abortion and documentation of their authenticity.

"Our Finest Hour": Chris Smith Invokes Churchill's Words in Keynote Pro-Life Address
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09062410.html
Life Site News
While the situation may look bleak for the pro-life movement, one Congressman has stated that the current time of crisis for pro-life advocates may actually be recorded in history as their "finest hour." In the United States, Smith said, the upcoming battle over universal health care will also become a battle to resist the imposition of taxpayer funded abortions and the forcing of physicians to perform abortions they are otherwise reluctant to provide. Smith said that under the current legislation shaping up under the Obama/Kennedy health care plan, a presidential advisory council will determine what services will be mandated under the new law, and, without any legislative guarantees, it will most certainly include abortion.

God "Rejoices" over Abortions Says Episcopal Priestess
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09062411.html
Life Site News
The Episcopal Church has to clarify God's official position on abortion  at least so says a priestess of the church, who claims that a proposed rite for post-abortive women conflicts with church theology and that the Deity "rejoices" when women elect to abort their children. Rev. Nina Churchman wrote a letter to Episcopal Life Online expressing her outrage upon learning that her church has developed a healing rite for post-abortion women sorrowful over their abortion that seems to have language alluding to "sin" and "guilt." Churchman said she "was sickened to discover that the rite for abortion is couched wholly in terms of sin and transgression."

FEATURE STORY

Did the bishops avoid ALL's message in USA Today?
By Michael Hichborn

Since 2003, American Life League has taken out a full-page ad in USA Today, to send a message to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at its annual spring three-day conference. The ads call on the bishops to obey Canon 915 by denying Holy Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians and other public figures. This year's ad, titled A Message of Salvation for the Shepherds of the Catholic Church, displays a 3-D ultrasound image of a preborn baby next to a quote from the Gospel of Matthew: Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me. The ad can be viewed here: http://www.all.org/pdf/LeastOfTheseAdUSAtoday.pdf.

ALL places these ads in USA Today because most hotels deliver it to their guests rooms. The ad is timed for delivery to the bishops on the first morning of the conference. On the first day of the conference, however, we were rather shocked to learn that the bishops had not seen the ad because USA Today was never delivered to the bishops rooms.

While the situation is somewhat complicated, the odd circumstances and strange responses to our questions cause us to ask, “Did the USCCB's leadership deliberately prevent the attending bishops from seeing ALL's ad on the first day of the conference?

An American Life League employee was on the ground in San Antonio, Texas, where the conference took place, and reported what could have been an attempt to prevent the ad from reaching the bishops rooms:

On Wed. morning, I woke up to find the New York Times at my door. I called the desk asking where USA Today was, and they said they had some at the desk and would send one up to me. I explained that it was our understanding from talking with hotel personnel that USA Today would be delivered to all the rooms. The person at the desk stated that they had stopped delivering USA Today a couple of weeks ago, but that they keep a small bundle for those who request it. She was surprised that I had received the New York Times, as that is not the paper they normally distribute.

I checked my copy of USA Today that was sent up to my room and found that the ad was indeed in it. I called the desk again and asked for a member of management. The person who answered was eager to please and said that it was no problem; he could run a list of the bishops and have USA Today delivered to their rooms. [American Life League offered to pay, if there was a fee for this service.] He thought he had enough copies, but if not, he would let me know.
 
Some time passed and I did not hear back from them, so I called again. This time, he had backed down, saying that the drop would have to be approved by the USCCB contact person. He referred me to Lisa, the event supervisor for the hotel, who was coordinating with the USCCB.

Lisa called me and said that we would not be able to make any drops of USA Today, due to security issues and because the bishops had approved only of having the New York Times dropped during their stay.

When an offer to pay for the hotel to distribute a newspaper they already have stocked is first accepted and then refused because the bishops stated that they only wanted the New York Times (one of the most liberal papers in the country), we can only conclude that the USCCB's leadership wished to prevent the attending bishops from seeing our ad during the conference. And given that this is the first time”in six years of placing such ads ”that something like this has happened, we can't help but think that this was a deliberate dodge.

However, upon their return to their own diocese, each bishop who attended the conference will find a copy of the ad waiting for them in the mail.

The sad conclusion to be drawn from all of this is that the ads we place must be tugging at the consciences of the bishops who see them. And with hardened hearts, the USCCB's leadership apparently wishes to altogether remove our reminder of the duty that most of the U.S. bishops still ignore.

But we still have hope that, through persistence, the U.S. bishops, as a whole, will finally realize their obligation to deny Holy Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians. In Luke's Gospel, Jesus tells a parable about a poor widow and an unjust judge. The judge "did not fear God, neither did he care for people." Nevertheless, he eventually agreed to do justice to a poor widow because she was so persistent in her pursuit of justice. And inspired by our Blessed Lord's own words, American Life League will continue to remind the bishops of their just duty, so that we will see eventually the day when all of the Church's shepherds have made it abundantly clear that you can't be both Catholic and pro-abortion.


Michael Hichborn is the director of American Life League’s Canon 915 project, which encourages Catholic bishops and priests to protect the Holy Eucharist from sacrilege

 


Pro-Life Today | 19 June 2009

HEADLINES

Study Shows Teen Contraception Use Declining, Level of Sexual Activity Unchanged
http://www.nationalpartnership.org/site/News2?abbr=daily2_&page=NewsArticle&id=18065&secur ity=1201&news_iv_ctrl=-1
National Parenership for Women and Families
After years of declining teenage pregnancy rates and improved teen contraception use during the 1990s and early 2000s, the trends appeared to have flattened or even reversed among some groups of teens in recent years, according to a study from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the Guttmacher Institute, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Researchers found that from 2003 to 2007, teens' contraceptive use declined by 10%, while their level of sexual activity did not change. The decrease in contraceptive use was particularly prevalent among black teens. The figures take into account the rate of contraception use as well as the types of contraceptives used, as methods vary in effectiveness. Teen condom use leveled off and in some cases declined, according to the study. The study also reported that the teen birth rate increased by 5% from 2005 to 2007.

Is Late-Term Abortion Ever Necessary?
http://www.frc.org/infocus/is-late-term-abortion-ever-necessary
Family Research Council
In the aftermath of the killing of George Tiller, the Kansas abortionist, on May 31, 2009, we have heard praises of his compassion and courage in performing late-term abortions.  But is late-term abortion (or any abortion) ever really necessary? Does the demise of a clinic performing late-term abortions leave a "void" that is harmful to women?

Death is upon us. "Us" being doctors.
http://www.worldmag.com/articles/15479
World Mag
Physicians who sign on to the Hippocratic Registry acknowledge the oath's six concepts: transcendence, which means submission to a higher authority; medicine as a moral, not just technical, activity; respect for life, meaning no abortion or euthanasia; a covenant between the physician and patient, not just a code of conduct; physician honesty and integrity; and collegiality between like-minded physicians.

'Baby Steps' DVD saves lives!


American Life League recently sent a survey to crisis oregnancy centers, asking about their use of the Baby Steps DVD, and the response is IMMENSE!  "Baby Steps saves lives!"

“I personally gave the video to one woman who was having trouble convincing the father of her baby to keep the baby. She took it home for him to watch and told me it really helped her get through to him and helped him bond with the baby (so early in her pregnancy).
                           -Shared Pregnancy in Lansing, MI

Mary Doe came to our center and she had made up her mind about having an abortion done since she was going through a situation with her baby’s father who is 30 years older than Mary. He was pushing her so hard to have an abortion. After Mary came and she had the chance to watch the DVD, she realized that what was inside of her was an angel sent by God. I am happy to say that her baby boy, now five months old, is the joy of her life! She tells me that she can’t picture her life without him.                          

  -Pregnancy Resource Center of Fort Bend County in Rosenberg, TX

After reporting at least 25 saves: In counseling, I present materials to clients and let them choose. The name Baby Steps is right for the moment and doesn't intimidate.  Please do more “ it is so helpful.
                            -Women's Center for Health, Hope, & Healing in Mankato, MN

The Baby Steps DVD is an excellent tool for saving lives! To get your own copy of Baby Steps or for more information, go to www.babystepsdvd.com.

FEATURE STORY

Is anyone really pro-abortion?
By Donald DeMarco

In his final debate with Senator McCain, Barack Obama declared, in his usual emphatic manner, No one is pro-abortion. Obama has an idealized notion of human beings (Republicans excepted), while perhaps feigning ignorance of what is really going on. Behind Obama's declaration is the seemingly plausible hypothesis that no woman would ever get pregnant for the sole purpose of having an abortion. The grim facts, nevertheless, refute this hypothesis.

Aborting for bonus money
Consider the current situation in Australia. In an attempt to reverse the country's plummeting birthrate, the government of Australia pays women $5,000 for each successful birth, as reported by LifeSiteNews.com (October 23, 2008). It also awards that same amount, on compassionate grounds, in the case of a stillbirth. However, since late-term abortions are registered as stillbirths, a woman choosing an abortion at this time in her pregnancy is also eligible for the $5,000. As a result, according to the Australia Associated Press, some women routinely conceive for the purpose of aborting late-term in order to collect the bonus money. One woman is reported to have had three such abortions.

˜Beautiful abortion
The Australian example is by no means unique. On February 1, 2002, LifeSiteNews.com reported that some female athletes were deliberately getting pregnant and having early abortions in order to improve muscle strength. In The Choices, an article appearing in the January/February 1994 issue of Mother Jones, a writer identifying herself as D. Redmanâl confesses that she felt almost heroical after obtaining a chemical abortion because the procedure was then experimental and thus made her a pioneer for other women. At last, she writes, “the blood I've been praying for. I look at the women around me and think how beautiful we are in our rebellion.

Abortion as religion, art and entertainment
Also consider Ginette Paris’ book, The Sacrament of Abortion, in which, from a purely pagan perspective, she describes abortion as sacred. Similarly, Brenda Peterson, writing for New Age Journal (Sister Against Sister: Re-Thinking Abortion Rhetoric, September/October 1993) refers to abortion as a sacrament and a sacred act of compassion.

Cold and callous indifference for unborn human life may have reached its absolute zero in the art project of Yale University student Aliza Shvarts.  On April 17, 2008 the Yale Daily News reported that Ms. Shvarts claimed to have artificially inseminated herself over a nine-month period as often as possible and then induced miscarriages by means of herbal abortifacient pills. The filmed record of her activities (we cannot be too specific here) constitutes her senior thesis presentation. The April 18, 2008 Yale Daily News reported that the Yale Women's Center defended Shvarts, stating, Aliza Shvarts body is an instrument over which she should be free to exercise full discretion.

The New York Times (November 10, 1985) reported that two abortions were committed on women at a feminist conference in Barcelona, Spain. When the bottled remains of the babies were presented to the audience of 3,000 feminists, according to Times reported Edward Schumacher, The hall rocked with cheers.

Indeed, there are women who are truly pro-abortion in the sense of getting pregnant for the sole purpose of having an abortion. They do it for money, to gain a competitive edge, because they think it is a sacrament or a sacred act, for arts sake or for the feminist cause.

A spreading plague
Abortion has radically dehumanized and devalued preborn babies. It has engendered attitudes of cold-heartedness, narcissism and violence. Who knows how far this contagion will continue to spread, how many people it will affect and in how many ways? Abortion is an evil, and it is the nature of evil to spread until it is checked. It is an unleashing of death that spreads like a plague throughout society in increasingly sinister ways. Abortion is a choice for death, and its long shadow haunts all of us.

In his 1968 novel, Couples, John Updike was being more prophetic than he realized when he noted the after-effects of abortion: Death, once invited in, leaves his muddy boot prints everywhere. Commenting on this episode in the novel, in which a character procures an abortion, constitutional lawyer John T. Noonan, Jr. writes, Symbolically the abortion seals a course of infidelity. Conclusively it becomes death personified. (How to Argue About Abortion, published by the Ad Hoc Committee in Defense of Life, 1974)

There is no middle ground between birth and abortion. The proper response to abortion is not to seek a middle ground that does not exist, but to end abortion and, in so doing, end the evils that follow in its wake.

Dr. Donald DeMarco is professor emeritus at St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and an adjunct professor at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut as well as Mater Ecclesiae College in Greenville, Rhode Island. He is also the author of 22 books and a corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

(This article was published in the March-April 2009 issue of Celebrate Life
, American Life League’s bimonthly publication.)

 


Pro-Life Today | 18 June 2009

HEADLINES

'Maafa 21: Black Genocide in 21st Century America'
http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/abbott/090618
RenewAmerica
Maafa 21 (the word "Maafa" is derived from a Kiswahili word and means "African Holocaust" or "Holocaust of Enslavement") is a well-researched and informative film that shows the connection between slavery/racism, the American eugenics movement — of which Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was an influential figure ” Nazi Germany, and legalized abortion.

Catholic College Leaders Lobby Bishops to Withdraw 2004 Policy Banning Pro-Abortion Speakers
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09061708.html
Life Site News
In the wake of the Notre Dame commencement scandal, Catholic college leaders representing some of the worst violators of the U.S. bishops 2004 ban on honoring public opponents of fundamental Catholic teachings are lobbying the bishops to withdraw their policy. Yesterday the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), which represents more than 200 Catholic institutions, released its summer 2009 newsletter, including a report on the ACCU's board of directors meeting last week.  The ACCU directors concluded “that it would be desirable for the [U.S. bishops] to withdraw their 2004 policy, according to the newsletter.

Church Must Prevent Repeat of Notre Dame Betrayal, Says Top American Prelate in Vatican
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09061707.html
Life Site News
Archbishop Raymond Burke, the highest ranking American prelate in the Vatican has given an interview in a Catholic magazine, in which he says that Notre Dame's decision to honor President Barack Obama was not only “profoundly shocking but also underscores a grave situation requiring action to ensure the incident is never repeated.

Medimmune Will Use Moral Sources for Swine Flu Vaccine
http://www.cogforlife.org/medimmuneswineflu.htm     
Children of God for Life
For nearly ten years watchdog organization Children of God for Life has alerted the public on existing and new vaccines and medical products under development using aborted fetal material, and to encourage the pharmaceutical industry to pursue moral avenues of research.

'Baby Steps' DVD saves lives!

American Life League recently sent a survey to crisis pregnancy centers asking about their use of the Baby Steps DVD, and the response has been overwhelming: "Baby Steps saves lives!"

I personally gave the video to one woman who was having trouble convincing the father of her baby to keep the baby. She took it home for him to watch and told me it really helped her get through to him and helped him bond with the baby (so early in her pregnancy).
                           -Shared Pregnancy in Lansing, MI

Mary Doe came to our center, and she had made up her mind about having an abortion done since she was going through a situation with her baby's father, who is 30 years older than Mary. He was pushing her so hard to have an abortion. After Mary came and she had the chance to watch the DVD, she realized that what was inside of her was an angel sent by God. I am happy to say that her baby boy, now five months old, is the joy of her life! She tells me that she can"t picture her life without him.                 

After reporting at least 25 saves: In counseling, I present materials to clients and let them choose. The name Baby Steps is right for the moment and doesn't intimidate. Please do more “ it is so helpful.
                            -Women's Center for Health, Hope, & Healing in Mankato, MN

The Baby Steps DVD is an excellent tool for saving lives!  To get your own copy of Baby Steps or for more information, go to www.babystepsdvd.com.

FEATURE STORY

Honest questions, haunting answers
By Nancy M. Kreuzer

(Editor's note: This story contains a graphic account of a second-trimester abortion and may not be suitable for young readers.)

I have asked myself what could have altered the events that led up to the murder of my child. What could anyone have said, what could anyone have shown me that would have changed my mind? How is it, I ask, that I, already a mother of a two-year-old”a good mother, a loving mother, who deeply understood what it was to love a child, could so calculatedly agree to end the life of a baby I already knew? These are all questions I have asked.

After all, I wanted this baby”a baby who already had a name; a baby whom I could feel moving in my womb; a baby with eyelids, eyebrows and fingernails grown to the end of her fingertips; a baby who could hear and distinguish my voice; a baby who could feel pain.
 
God has been very good to me. But the hard lessons always come. When I came to Christ, I had much to work through. And He has done a deep work in me. But I had been on this journey for two years before He set this on my heart. I believe He knew I had to learn to trust Him enough not to run from it. That's why the timing was so important. I had buried the memory of this baby in a grave so deep that I don't even know if I ever brought the nightmare of it to the forefront of my thinking. How could I? It would have killed me. It has been 15 years since it happened.

Dilation and extraction
I was five-and-a-half months pregnant ”my baby was at 22 weeks of gestationâl”when I was told that, most likely, she would not live to term. The ultrasound revealed severe edema about the head. I was still lying on the table, the audible heartbeat of my baby resounding in the examining room, when the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. I was given a choice of several methods of aborting my baby. I chose the procedure described below, which was recommended by my physician.

For a second-trimester abortion, my cervix needed to be sufficiently dilated, as the baby was too large to pull from the uterus using the suction device employed in first-trimester abortions. Approximately five narrow rods were inserted into my cervix, and I was sent home for the night to dilate. When sufficient dilation had occurred, the abortionist used a surgical instrument to rupture the amniotic sac.

Next, the abortionist used forceps to grab any part of my baby he could. He pulled until an arm or a leg was torn off and took my baby out, one piece at a time. In a second-trimester abortion, the baby's intact skull is too big to pull out of the cervix and must be crushed prior to removal. When the abortionist saw the brains spilling from my cervix, he knew my baby's skull had been successfully crushed. They call this the calvaria sign. At this point, the skull was removed.

Once the abortionist had pulled out all of the pieces he could, he used a curette to scrape the inside of my uterus to retrieve any remaining body parts. The pieces of my dismembered baby were then reassembled on a tray to be sure that all of her body had been successfully removed.
 
Answers for others
I have new questions these days. What could I say; what could I show someone contemplating abortion? Could I tell them that the damage to their soul would require such intense healing that no one, short of the Lord, could heal the depth of that wound?

Could I tell them that the pain of that decision would remain hidden like a heavy weight until one day, they would have to come to terms with it, one way or another? Could they comprehend the shame that eventually seeps into one’s consciousness and the shock that follows? Could they simply and blindly go forward with their lives for so many years without mention of the baby they had aborted?

Could I paint for them a picture of experiencing that sick feeling, deep in the gut, that eventually gives rise to words that sound more animal than human and the subsequent groan.  How could I have done this to my baby? Could I explain to them that one day, like me, they might find themselves driving along in their car or sitting quietly at home and suddenly remember sitting in the abortion facility’s waiting room, vividly recalling the fluttering, low, on the left side of their abdomen”the movement of their preborn child?

I went on to have another baby, what everyone called a perfect baby boy. But I remember, with a mother's grief, my little girl ”Melanie, I named her. I never talked about Melanie to anyone. No one knew her name. The anniversary of her death would pass silently each year and I honored her short life alone in the chambers of my heart.

I think about how much a not-so-perfect baby could have meant to me and to others who might have known her, had she lived. I think about the loss for the world”how she might have helped straighten out our twisted thinking”the perverse standard that defines who is good enough to keep and who we see as imperfect enough to throw away.

How the lie is fed
Abortion begins with a lie and is masked with an empty promise. The lie tells us that the new person growing in the womb is insignificant and dispensable. The empty promise tells us that the action of abortion is justifiable and without consequences”not for the mother, nor the child, nor the world. This lie permeates not only our courts, but our households as well. In the culture of death, it is being passed from generation to generation, thus living, moving and breathing among the people, deriving its energy from the multitudes who believe it. That is how the lie is fed, and this is how fallen we are.

I once broke down and cried as I stopped to view a five-month-old fetus floating in a jar at a museum. At first, I was surprised and a little shaken by my instantaneous display of emotion. So was my husband. But, of course, he knew why I reacted that way. And so did I, but we never spoke of it.

Christ says, "When you do this for the least of these, you do it for Me".  I ask myself, who are the least of these today?  Are they the homeless? Those dying alone in nursing homes?  Refugees? Drug addicts? The imprisoned? Surely they all are.

But what, I ask, about the innocent, unwanted preborn babies, who have no voice and no defense, who are helpless in the false security of their mother's womb? Surely, the least of these can be no more least than these.
 
Redeeming a bleeding heart
Of course, I never received any remains of my daughter. So there was no little body to bury, no doll-sized casket, no gravestone to adorn with flowers. My baby never got to smell her mother's skin, nor did she get to die in her mother’s arms, warm and loved. She never lay on her mother's belly, hearing the familiar heartbeat that would have been audible to her already-sensitive ears. There was no kiss goodbye, no tender tear to fall on her tiny cheek. I imagine she was just discarded in some garbage bag, along with the other babies who were aborted that day.

I carried nothing in my arms as I left the facility, vomited in the parking lot and rode home in silence while my husband tried hard not to look at me. The days that followed brought no sympathy cards, no meals to be shared and no flowers. There was no funeral service to honor a life cut short by a woman's choice and by the abortionist's blade. No one called.

So when my husband went back to work and the silence of the house closed in on me, I went to the florist and bought a plant”a bleeding heart”that I planted in a corner of the garden. It didn't survive the summer. How appropriate.

Of course, this is not the end of the story. What begins as tragedy can give birth to a life in which God takes the worst of all things and transforms it into something to be used for good.

The choice I made cannot be erased. I could never be sorry enough. But my story can be told as honestly and boldly as possible, with the hope that it will stir hearts, change minds and save lives. I can share it in an attempt to give voice to those who have no voice to raise”the least, the lost, the last”for Melanie, for all children who, even at the first instant of their lives, are children of God”wonderfully knit together by Him in their mother's womb.

Nancy M. Kreuzer writes from Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

(This article was published in the May-June 2009 issue of Celebrate Life, American Life League’s bimonthly publication.)

 


Pro-Life Today | 16 June 2009

HEADLINES

The science of sex
http://www.onenewsnow.com/Perspectives/Default.aspx?id=567964
One News Now
Thanks to medical science, we now know that casual sex is unhealthy. Not just because of the myriad of sexually transmitted diseases it can cause, to say nothing of the unwanted pregnancies it can create, but because of what it does to the human brain.

The First Christians Condemned Abortion as 'Among the Worst of Sins'
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09061505.html
Life Site News
David Brattston, a retired lawyer and judge, has written an article, published by LifeSiteNews, in which he explores the question of what early Christians had to say about abortion. The article comes in the wake of scandals involving Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who are both Catholic but who have claimed in interviews with media that the morality of abortion has been a question of debate throughout Christian history. Brattston shows that, on the contrary, abortion was unanimously considered sinful according to the earliest Christian thinkers. The author explores the writings of Christian thinkers from the time of Christ up until the first Church ecumenical council at Nicea in 325 A.D.

Brave New World – Woman Aborts IVF Baby after 'Wrong' Embryo Implanted
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09061509.html
Life Site News
A UK couple recently lost their last IVF embryo when it was mistakenly implanted in another woman, who aborted the baby when she discovered it was not hers. The couple, Paul and Deborah, who did not want their surnames published, have a six-year-old son conceived by IVF. They had wanted a sibling for him, but now they do not expect to be able to conceive again.

Baby Steps DVD Saves Lives!!!

American Life League recently sent a survey to crisis pregnancy centers asking about their use of the Baby Steps DVD, and the response has been overwhelming: "Baby Steps saves lives!"

I personally gave the video to one woman who was having trouble convincing the father of her baby to keep the baby. She took it home for him to watch and told me it really helped her get through to him and helped him bond with the baby (so early in her pregnancy).
                           -Shared Pregnancy in Lansing, MI

Mary Doe came to our center, and she had made up her mind about having an abortion done since she was going through a situation with her baby's father, who is 30 years older than Mary. He was pushing her so hard to have an abortion. After Mary came and she had the chance to watch the DVD, she realized that what was inside of her was an angel sent by God. I am happy to say that her baby boy, now five months old, is the joy of her life! She tells me that she can't picture her life without him.
                            -Pregnancy Resource Center of Fort Bend County in Rosenberg, TX

After reporting at least 25 saves: In counseling, I present materials to clients and let them choose. The name Baby Steps is right for the moment and doesn't intimidate. Please do more “ it is so helpful.
                            -Women's Center for Health, Hope, & Healing in Mankato, MN

The Baby Steps DVD is an excellent tool for saving lives!  To get your own copy of Baby Steps or for more information, go to www.babystepsdvd.com.

FEATURE STORY

The heart of Jesus and the culture of life
by Rev. James Kubicki, SJ

June is traditionally dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a symbol of Christ’s love for mankind and concrete reminder that Christ is truly man as well as God. Thus we bring you the following reflection.

We desperately need the heart of Jesus, the only answer to the culture of death, which sees people as objects. The culture of death begins in the human heart, in a heart that has become hard and unnatural because of sin. The prophet Ezekiel foretold a great conversion of heart with these words:  I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural heart (36: 26).

Where was this prophecy fulfilled? In Jesus. At the Annunciation, when Mary surrendered to Gods will with the words May it be done to me according to Your word (Luke 1:38) a new life, the likes of which the world had never known, was conceived and began to develop in her womb. Within 21 days, a new heart began to beat the human and divine heart of Jesus.

The Israelites understood the heart as more than a physical organ and more than the source of a personâl emotional life. The heart is the very center of a person, the source of ones thoughts, desires and deeds. It is the core reality of a person, ones deepest identity, the place where love begins and wisdom grows. Thus, it should be no surprise that the book in which heart appears most often is Proverbs, part of the wisdom literature of Israel.

True love
The world sees love as a feeling, as whatever makes me feel good. But the love of Jesus is something other than a feel-good sentiment. True love is something completely different from the world™s love. True love shifts the focus off of oneself and onto others. It’s willing to sacrifice and be pierced. In his encyclical God is Love, Pope Benedict XVI said that if we want to know true love, we need to look at the Cross:

This is love in its most radical form. By contemplating the pierced side of Christ (John 19:37), we can understand the starting-point of this Encyclical Letter: God is love (1 John 4:8). (Section 12)

The pierced side of Jesus leads to His pierced heart, the heart that fulfilled Ezekiels prophecy. God wanted to transform hearts hardened by sin into natural, human hearts capable of compassion and love.

How hearts are hardened
Behind the culture of death are hard hearts. Hard hearts dehumanize other people, viewing them as objects and not persons made in the image and likeness of God. We can see how sin dehumanizes people by reflecting on the sin of King David (2 Samuel 11).

David saw Bathsheba as an object for fantasy and pleasure, rather than a beautiful person reflecting the beauty of the Creator. Having objectified Bathsheba, now David also saw Uriah as a problem and not a person—one to be disposed of as quickly as possible. He wrote a note to Uriah's commanding officer, telling him, “Place Uriah up front, where the fighting is fierce. Then pull back and leave him to be struck down dead. (verse 15).

Sin begins in the heart. It hardens the heart. Sin has always been this way. Today, the media of the culture of death replay the story repeatedly. It's all about sex and violence.

The battle line between the culture of death and the culture of life runs across every human heart. All are tempted, at one time or another, to see others as less than human, as objects for pleasure or problems to be eliminated as quickly as possible. The pornography and sex industry sees people as objects to be exploited and used for pleasure. The abortion industry sees preborn children as a problem to be disposed of. And Christians are tempted to see pornographers, abortionists and certain government officials as the enemy, as vile, less-than-human creatures not made in the image and likeness of God, nor precious to God, forgetting that the precious blood of the Lamb of God was shed for all.

How hearts are softened
We all need the heart of Jesus. Since the heart is a universal symbol of love, artists have depicted Jesus with a heart visible to all. I once asked a fifth grader why the heart of Jesus was on the outside of His chest when our hearts are on the inside. She responded, Maybe He loves us so much, He can't keep it inside. The heart of Jesus is there, ready to be given to each of us. It's this love, this heart, that will transform the culture of death into a culture of life.

But where do we find the heart of Jesus? How can we be united to this heart so that our two hearts beat as one? How can our hard hearts be transformed into the natural, human heart that Ezekiel prophesied? I suggest two ways.

First, through lectio divina, the prayerful reading of sacred scripture. Statistics indicate that the average Christian spends more time in one evening watching television than the rest of the week reading the Word of God. Is it any wonder that the values of many Christians are formed not by the Gospel, but by the culture of death? By praying with the Gospels, we can enter into the mind and heart of Jesus.

Actor Bruce Marchiano discovered this while playing the role of Jesus in a movie version of the Gospel of Saint Matthew. He prayed and studied the life of Jesus, trying to enter into His thoughts and feelings, trying to become the character he was playing. He begged God to give him Jesus perspective. His prayer was answered in the following way:

And what I saw in that moment was not with my eyes”it was something in my heart.  It was a sea of people living lives in ways He didn't plan. People living lives away from His love, away from His care.  It was so awful a thing  I remember when it happened, it was as if the wind got knocked out of me and my heart just broke. It broke on a level I never knew existed, and I just started shaking and weeping. (In the Footsteps of Jesus, p. 116, emphasis in the original)

Our prayerful reading of the Word of God transforms us as we enter more deeply into the mind and heart of Jesus. We must see the world through His eyes, with His thoughts and feelings. We must see others as Jesus sees them.

A second way is through Holy Communion. At the Last Supper, Jesus said, “Take and eat; this is My body (Matthew 26: 26). In giving us His body and blood, Jesus gives us His entire self, including His heart. Through this union with Jesus, His heart becomes one with ours and transforms the hardness of our hearts.

In both these ways, we are able to say, as Saint Paul said, “I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me. (Galatians 2: 20).

The culture of life begins right here”in your heart and in mine, in our attitudes toward others. All of us, in one way or another, have hardness of heart and need conversion. We all need a new heart. Thank God, there's enough of the heart of Jesus to go around.

Father Kubicki is a Jesuit priest who has been the U.S. director of the Apostleship of Prayer since 2003. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, a conference speaker, retreat director and parish mission speaker. For more information, visit www.apostleshipofprayer.org.

(This article was published in the May-June 2009 issue of Celebrate Life, a bimonthly publication of American Life League. Visit www.CLmagazine.org.)

 


Pro-Life Today | 16 June 2009

HEADLINES

Planned Parenthood sues Montana for taxpayer-funded birth control
http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2009/06/17/news/mtregional/news09.txt
Missoulian
After years of running into a political brick wall at the Montana Legislature, Planned Parenthood of Montana is suing to overturn a law that prohibits the Children's Health Insurance Program from funding prescription birth control. Planned Parenthood filed its complaint Monday with the state Human Rights Commission, asking it to overturn the law because it discriminates against women.

Korena Roberts will not face murder charges in baby's death
http://wowktv.com/story.cfm?func=viewstory&storyid=61076
WOWK
A Washington County, Oregon grand jury charged Korena Roberts with four additional charges of aggravated murder and two counts of robbery. Roberts pleaded not guilty to each of these charges. Roberts is accused of killing 21-year-old Heather Snively of St. Albans, West Virginia. Snively had recently moved with the baby's father to Oregon when [he] got a new job. Investigators said Roberts cut Snively’s unborn baby boy out of her womb. Both the mother and the fetus died as a result. Roberts will not be charged in the death of Snively's child. Instead, she will be charged with robbery, when she allegedly cut the baby from Snively's body. Oregon laws do not protect the unborn child unless it can be proven the baby died outside the womb. The autopsy could not confirm that, Portland prosecutors said.

Catholic internships at pro-abortion organizations
http://www.speroforum.com/site/article.asp?idCategory=33&idsub=134&id=19616&t=Catholic+int ernships+at+pro-abortion+organizations
Spero Forum
According to a release from The Cardinal Newman Society, 10 Catholic colleges and universities that are promoting student internships with organizations whose missions or activities are directly opposed to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church, including on fundamental issues such as abortion and marriage. “This discovery validates the concerns of so many thousands of faithful Catholic parents and students, that public scandals at Catholic colleges are just the tip of the iceberg,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society. “Under what definition of ‘Catholic education’ do students receive academic credit to work for leading pro-abortion organizations?” Last week, CNS wrote to the presidents of these colleges and universities to inform them of the problems with their internship programs. None have yet indicated that they will take steps to remedy the problems.

'Baby Steps' DVD saves lives!

American Life League recently sent a survey to crisis pregnancy centers asking about their use of the Baby Steps DVD, and the response has been overwhelming: "Baby Steps saves lives!"

“I personally gave the video to one woman who was having trouble convincing the father of her baby to keep the baby. She took it home for him to watch and told me it really helped her get through to him and helped him bond with the baby (so early in her pregnancy).                           -Shared Pregnancy in Lansing, MI

Mary Doe came to our center, and she had made up her mind about having an abortion done since she was going through a situation with her baby's father, who is 30 years older than Mary. He was pushing her so hard to have an abortion. After Mary came and she had the chance to watch the DVD, she realized that what was inside of her was an angel sent by God. I am happy to say that her baby boy, now five months old, is the joy of her life! She tells me that she can’t picture her life without him.                         -Pregnancy Resource Center of Fort Bend County in Rosenberg, TX

After reporting at least 25 saves: In counseling, I present materials to clients and let them choose. The name Baby Steps is right for the moment and doesn't intimidate. Please do more "it is so helpful".                            -Women's Center for Health, Hope, & Healing in Mankato, MN

The Baby Steps DVD is an excellent tool for saving lives!  To get your own copy of Baby Steps or for more information, go to www.babystepsdvd.com.

FEATURE STORY

Reaching out to liberals
By Mary Meehan

A successful movement in America, like a great eagle, cannot fly on one wing alone. When the pro-life movement relies mainly on conservatives, sooner or later it is devastated by an election defeat like the one last November. One-wing efforts also fail to win over many people who could help the movement at all levels.

What's to be done? Pro-lifers must reach out to liberals and show them how the best liberal principles lead to a pro-life stance. To do this, it's important to avoid stereotypes of liberals or to assume that they are automatically on the other side. Some are stalwart pro-lifers already. Others have doubts about abortion and are willing to listen to a case against it. They are most likely to be persuaded when that case is squarely based on traditions and principles they trust.

A noble tradition
Liberals have a long and honorable history of defending little guys who are mistreated by the powerful. Early American liberals stood up for the right of slaves to be free. Later ones fought for the right of workers to organize, defended minorities from discrimination and harassment, and helped poor people in Appalachia and the inner cities. They sought better care for mental patients and the elderly, and they helped organize the disability-rights movement. This tradition should lead to defense of the littlest guys of all—preborn children.

Historically, liberals were the can-do people of American politics. They were optimistic about the future and the possibility of progress. Like most people in our society, they saw children as a sign of hope, and they celebrated the joy of life. Today’s liberals need to recapture the hope and joy of life.

Old-time liberals understood that the right to life underlies and sustains every other right we have. They knew that taking the lives of other human beings ends all of their rights and liberties. But in the mid-1900s, stampeded by predictions of scarce resources, many liberals accepted or even campaigned for population control. Then, without really thinking the issue through, many followed population-control groups down the bleak path to abortion.

Another key influence was liberals reverence for the U.S. Supreme Court because of its decisions for civil rights and civil liberties in the 1950s and 1960s. Partly because they trusted the Court, many went along with its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. They forgot other crucial times in our history when the Court sided with the powerful against the weak: against African Americans in Scott v. Sandford and Plessy v. Ferguson, against poor people and the allegedly feeble-minded in Buck v. Bell, and against Japanese Americans in Korematsu v. United States. In discussing Roe v. Wade with liberals, it's important to stress its kinship with those terrible decisions.

Lethal discrimination
We also must talk about abortion as lethal discrimination. African Americans make up only about 13 percent of the U.S. population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Yet the Guttmacher Institute reports that African American women have 37 percent of U.S. abortions. What the Institute doesn't tell us is that the late Dr. Alan F. Guttmacher, the man for whom it was named, did much to make this happen. A former vice president of the American Eugenics Society, Guttmacher was president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America from 1962 to 1974. Like other eugenicists”the people who try to breed a better human race—he helped lead the campaign to decriminalize abortion and provide it free to poor women.

When a country decriminalizes and also subsidizes abortion, it uses a big carrot to accompany the stick of economic pressures against poor people. That's exactly what happened in the United States, and it's a major reason why the abortion rate for minority and poor children is so high. Although Congress ended most federal funding of abortion many years ago, large states with sizable minority populations”California, New York and Illinois”still subsidize it.

Pro-life activist Ellen McCormack once said, Abortion is put forth as a solution for the poor, but I think the poor want better housing, more jobs and food on their tables. I don't think aborting their babies makes them any happier. I think it probably contributes to their misery.  Understanding this, the staff and volunteers of pregnancy care centers give substantial help to poor parents, thus saving the lives of many poor children. Many liberals need to hear about this work.

Many liberals also need to hear how eugenics leads to another kind of lethal discrimination: prenatal testing and abortion of children with disabilities such as Down syndrome. All of the founding officers of the American Society of Human Genetics were eugenicists. Many later leaders and members of this key professional group were also involved in eugenics, and many helped develop or promote prenatal testing for handicaps. No one should be too surprised by this, because the eugenics bias against people with disabilities is even deeper than its bias against minorities and poor people.

Some liberals are deeply troubled by the targeting of the handicapped preborn for destruction. After all, liberals usually side with those who have disabilities, insisting that they have the same rights as the rest of us. That's where they should be on the issue of eugenic abortion, too. They should remind everyone that virtually all of us have one or more disabilities”poor eyesight or back problems, for example”and that most of us will have more as we grow older. But as disability-rights activist Mary Jane Owen has said, we can retain the joy of life as we learn new functions and new ways of being.

Pro-life feminism
Too many people assume that virtually all feminists support abortion. In fact, the early American feminists strongly opposed it. Susan B. Anthony, the great feminist leader of the 1800s, once said she had helped bring about a better state of things for mothers generally, so that their unborn little ones could not be willed away from them.  Alice Paul, who cofounded the National Woman's Party in 1916 and was an activist for women's rights into the 1960s, called abortion “just another way of exploiting women. She emphasized that taking the lives of female babies before birth did not benefit women.

Feminists for Life of America, based in Alexandria, Virginia, continues this tradition today. FFL, as well as American Life League’s new Live Campus outreach, runs an energetic campaign to make college campuses more friendly and helpful to student parents. This fits right in with the can-do tradition of liberals.

Under Roe v. Wade, if a mother is determined to have an abortion, the father cannot save the child. While pro-lifers often mention this point, many fail to stress the other side of the coin: In many cases, the mother has an abortion because the father pressures her to have one or just walks away from his responsibility for the child. Feminists are keenly aware of this problem; it's a major reason why many of them support abortion. Pro-lifers especially men should place far more stress on the problem of male abandonment. This might do more than anything else to open the hearts of feminists to the pro-life position.

Psychological damage
We should stress another point that's too often overlooked: the psychological effects of abortion on born children who hear about it and feel threatened by it. There were early warnings about this problem, but our culture did not heed them. In his 1975 book, Pre-meditated Man, psychiatrist Richard M. Restak wrote about a woman whose son was mentally retarded. The mother had amniocentesis during a later pregnancy because she and her husband did not want another disabled child.  Upon returning home, Restak reported, she found her retarded son hiding in a closet. Over the next few days he had trouble sleeping because of nightmares that someone was trying to hurt him.

Several years later, psychiatrist Edward J. Sheridan told an interviewer, I have had children who suffer from night terrors and who fear to fall asleep because they overheard their parents discussing an abortion they had or planned to have. These children fear they may be gotten rid of the next time they make their parents angry. Now, though, it's not just a matter of what children overhear or suspect. Some parents tell their children that one or more of their siblings were aborted.

The ultimate unjust war
Liberals tend to be antiwar and against violence in general. Yet abortion is a type of warfare”one that does not even pretend to abide by just-war standards. It kills civilians only”and the most innocent of all. People who support peace should be in the front ranks of the pro-life movement. Some are there already, but far more are needed. A key question to ask them is this: Wouldn't you prefer a nonviolent solution, if one can be found? Then we can describe pregnancy care centers, the Nurturing Network, Feminists for Life's campus program and the Live Campus program. Most important, we can invite them to “join us in this life-saving work!


Mary Meehan, a Marylander widely published on life issues, gives pro-life talks to college students and others. Her web site is www.MeehanReports.com
 
(This article was published in the May-June 2009 issue of
Celebrate Life, American Life League’s bimonthly publication, available online at
www.clmagazine.org.)

 


Pro-Life Today | 15 June 2009

HEADLINES

Women Must be Told about Risks of Abortion: Pro-Abortion Columnist
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09061112.html
Life Site News
The proven risk of having a premature birth caused by previous abortions has lead Barbara Kay, a supporter of abortion availability and columnist for the National Post, to state that abortionists must tell these risks to women seeking an abortion, so that they may make a truly informed decision. Kay says that “researchers in the field of human reproduction have been quietly beavering away on mounting epidemiological data around IA [Induced Abortion] and its link to preterm birth (PTB) in a future pregnancy. Recent findings in their research remind us of a ‘right’ generally observed in the breach: the right of women seeking safe abortions to informed consent.

Abortion Provider To Expand Services
http://www.ketv.com/news/19754515/detail.html
KETV
A Bellevue physician who provides abortions, Dr. Leroy Carhart, said he will start performing third-trimester abortions. Carhart said he made the decision following the fatal shooting of Dr. George Tiller, who performed abortions at his clinic in Wichita, Kan.

Indian Government: Sex Education Has Absolutely No Place in Our Schools - It Promotes Promiscuity
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09061202.html
Life Site News
The Indian government has rejected western-style sex education programs, saying they do nothing to solve the problem of teenage pregnancy but only exacerbate the problem by promoting sexual promiscuity. According to the government, the curriculum prepared with material from UNICEF, had “shocked the consciences of the country and was described as quite frightening. If implemented, the report said, it would “promote promiscuity of the worst kind.

Baby Steps DVD Saves Lives!!!

American Life League recently sent a survey to crisis pregnancy centers asking about their use of the Baby Steps DVD, and the response has been overwhelming: "Baby Steps saves lives!"

I personally gave the video to one woman who was having trouble convincing the father of her baby to keep the baby. She took it home for him to watch and told me it really helped her get through to him and helped him bond with the baby (so early in her pregnancy).
                           -Shared Pregnancy in Lansing, MI

Mary Doe came to our center, and she had made up her mind about having an abortion done since she was going through a situation with her baby’s father, who is 30 years older than Mary. He was pushing her so hard to have an abortion. After Mary came and she had the chance to watch the DVD, she realized that what was inside of her was an angel sent by God. I am happy to say that her baby boy, now five months old, is the joy of her life! She tells me that she can't picture her life without him.
                            -Pregnancy Resource Center of Fort Bend County in Rosenberg, TX

After reporting at least 25 saves: “In counseling, I present materials to clients and let them choose. The name Baby Steps is right for the moment and doesn’t intimidate. Please do more – it is so helpful.                            -Women's Center for Health, Hope, & Healing in Mankato, MN

The Baby Steps DVD is an excellent tool for saving lives!  To get your own copy of Baby Steps or for more information, go to www.babystepsdvd.com.


FEATURE STORY

BOSTON'S HOUR OF ACCOUNTABILITY DRAWS NEAR

By Judie Brown

The furor over the July 1 deadline facing Sean Cardinal O'Malley, of the Archdiocese of Boston, has been newsworthy for many weeks. Meanwhile, however, the clock is ticking and the fear is that Caritas Christi’s agreement with CeltiCare will go into effect with nary a whimper from the decision makers at the chancery. That would indeed be a tragedy of no small proportions.

As we said in our statement of this past Friday,

While Catholics and pro-lifers around the country await a definitive statement from the Archdiocese of Boston indicating that it will not participate in or facilitate abortions or other procedures contrary to Catholic teaching, Cardinal O'Malley's latest statement raises even more questions.

The archdiocese has acknowledged that an agreement has been reached with Celtic Group, Inc. a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Centene Corporation  for a joint healthcare venture. We know that CeltiCare includes abortion and “family planning services in its coverage and has promised to continue this policy after July 1.

The archdiocese's statement also acknowledged that the agreement requires modification. This is a positive step, but certainly not acceptable as a final answer.

What is disconcerting is that Cardinal O'Malley and the Boston archdiocese have thus far failed to clearly explain how abortion and “family planning services will not occur in Catholic healthcare facilities. The terms of CeltiCare's contract with the state government specifically require coverage for abortions and other reproductive health services. How then could Caritas Christi “ which owns 49 percent of the for-profit CeltiCare “ justify its involvement and direct connection with this business while adhering to the Catholic Church's unequivocal teachings on abortion, contraception and sterilization?

Even if patients seeking abortions or contraception will be outsourced to a third-party referral service, this does not remove the archdiocese's culpability for involvement in procedures that violate the Church's fundamental moral teachings.

Most concerning of all is the following quote from Mr. Ralph de la Torre, president of Caritas Christi: ˜When a patient seeks such a procedure, Caritas health care professionals will be clear that (a) the hospital does not perform them and (b) the patient must turn to his or her insurance for further guidance [emphasis added].

Boston Catholic commentator Carol McKinley responded well to this statement:  When the patient “turns to his or her insurance company, they are turning to the HMO [of] which the Cardinal and Caritas are co-owners, [CeltiCare]. Therefore, the Cardinal and Caritas are providing these services

With the exception of removing family planning, abortion, sterilization, embryonic stem cell research and other moral evils covered under the HMO the Cardinal has an ownership interest in, there is no conceivable modification to the arrangement that could ever be in compliance with Catholic moral teaching.

Incrementally separating the Boston archdiocese from committing an abortion or from the provision of contraception, sterilization and other such services does not negate the fact that, through this agreement, Catholic hospitals will ultimately be referring mothers to abortion and/or contraception facilities such as Planned Parenthood, if the deal between Caritas Christi and CeltiCare remains as it is now written.

Cardinal O'Malley can stop this today with one word. We beg Cardinal O'Malley and the Boston archdiocese to prevent yet another scandal by providing a clear defense of Catholic moral teaching, rather than a pact driven far more by financial interests than fidelity to the Catholic faith.

Further, McKinley, who is no stranger to controversy or making sure all the facts add up, wrote this last Saturday: 


Can a Catholic Cardinal bid on a contract that includes performing abortions, give written assurances they will either perform them or contract with people outside of their network to perform them, create an entity to send the women to the abortionists and take 49% ownership in that entity who then hires subcontractors to perform abortions, hires bilingual phone operators who will give the woman the number of the abortionists they've subcontracted, tell their employees at the hospital to give the number out of their 49% owned corporation?

What level of ownership interest can they take in the set up that would make the arrangement consistent with the Gospel of Life and Catholic theology?

After they have set this all up, can they then submit a revision of a partnership agreement to reduce their interests to 3% ownership in the arrangement?

1% ownership in the arrangement?

After you bid on a contract that compels you to promise to perform abortions and you promise in writing to perform them - what is the structure in a corporation that the Cardinal can claim his arrangement meets compliance with Catholic ethics?

When the Cardinal placed members of NARAL as his Advisory Board Members in his new business venture, what kind of advice to you suppose he is seeking? What are the ramifications of such advice?


McKinley and the majority of those concerned about this grave situation in the Boston archdiocese have asked how, in God’s name, this agreement with the secular corporate structure of CeltiCare could possibly concur with the teachings of the Catholic Church, as set forth in Humanae Vitae and Evangelium Vitae. Try as we might, we cannot find a statement in either encyclical letter that justifies accepting a little bit of evil in exchange for an allegedly greater good. As a matter of fact, Pope John Paul II taught, 

The moral conscience, both individual and social, is today subjected, also as a result of the penetrating influence of the media, to an extremely serious and mortal danger: that of confusion between good and evil, precisely in relation to the fundamental right to life.

The condition the Holy Father described is so evident in so many corners of the culture today that we have to ask ourselves if perhaps, in his quest to aid the poor and needy in his archdiocese, the cardinal and his advisors felt pressured into making this deal for altruistic reasons. Perhaps they feel compelled to act without seriously considering the questions we and so many others have raised. While serving the poor is indeed a noble goal, this plan’s consequences are so serious that we have adamantly called for a reexamination of the agreement and dissolution of the contract before July 1.

Phil Lawler, a well-known Catholic commentator and reporter, examined the matter and wrote,

While pro-life activists in Boston have pleaded for Caritas Christi to withdraw from the CeltiCare initiative, abortion advocates have also been watching the situation closely and demanding reassurance that the new state-funded agency will impose no restrictions on access to abortion. The efforts of abortion advocates-- unlike those of pro-life activists-- have been successful. The Boston Globe reported: 

Brian Delaney, a spokesman for CeltiCare, said an abortion rights group, NARAL Pro-Choice of Massachusetts, will serve on an advisory group for the health plan but he did not know whether any Catholic groups would be on the panel.

Boston archdiocesan officials have stressed that no abortions will be performed at the hospitals of the Caritas Christi chain. That claim is not in dispute. The question is whether Caritas Christi, through its partnership in CelticCare, will provide-- and perhaps even profit from-- abortions performed at other facilities. CeltiCare advertisements indicate that Planned Parenthood will be enlisted to provide "reproductive services."

The bottom line is that NARAL and Planned Parenthood's involvement is the proverbial straw that has finally broken the camel’s back and thus the Archdiocese of Boston is officially ending the charade. But, as of this moment, neither the word abortion nor the abortion cartel's involvement have been mentioned in a single archdiocesan document or statement. How can that be?

What is it going to take for the Archdiocese of Boston's officials to take definitive action? Please keep them in your prayers and continue to communicate your concerns to them. The clock is ticking; the hour is late; the Boston Massacre of 2009 could be just around the corner ...

CONTACT:

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM, Cap.
Cardinal Archbishop of Boston
Office of the Cardinal
66 Brooks Drive
Braintree, MA 02184-3839
617-782-2544

 


Volume 6, Number 24                                                                                                            Monday, June 15, 2009


From Associates

Iowans for L.I.F.E.
Iowans for L.I.F.E. is sponsoring an excellent pro-life educational opportunity this summer: “Pro-Life Iowa – 2009 and Beyond” on July 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hope Lutheran Church in Des Moines.  Speakers include ALL’s Director of Canon 915 project, Michael Hichborn, Marian Bourek of Dubuque County Right to Life (another ALL Associate group) and Mary Gansen of Four Seasons for Life (also an ALL Associate group).  If you’re living in or visiting Iowa, or you know of others there, spread the word!  Contact Iowans for L.I.F.E. at
Iowansforlife@msn.com for more information and to register.


Pro-Life Wisconsin
In addition to the on-going prayer vigils outside of the Madison Surgery Center (
www.noUWabortions.com), Pro-Life Wisconsin is making the pro-life community aware of a new Planned Parenthood facility coming to the community.  The 4,500 square foot “health center” will be located at the Villager Mall on South Park Street in Madison along with the new Madison Public Library and just blocks from the Madison Surgery Center.  Included in the list of companies working on the construction of the new building is Findorff Construction, reportedly owned by a Catholic family.  See PLW’s web site at http://www.prolifewisconsin.org/MONUPD_files/June0809monupd.htm for more information.


Tip of the month – Parent Power
"School District #3" continued, The Final Battle
From Parent Power!! By Jim Sedlak

The school board vote to stop all funding of the Family Life Education Program was a tremendous victory for the parents.  It was, however, not a complete victory.  The board also voted to continue funding, through the state, of the Wellness Center and, although there would be no funding, the text books and material for the FLE program were still in the schools.

Knowing that their children would not be safe until this school based clinic and all remnants of the FLE program were removed, the parents resumed their weekly pickets of the high school and promised to continue activity at every school board meeting.  The parents stated they would not rest until FLE, the in-school clinic and Planned Parenthood were thrown out of their schools forever!

In January of the following year, the state health department issued a statement highly critical of the Wellness Center operation.  In short, the health department was upset because of all the “compromises” which had to be made to get the clinic opened to begin with.  The health department wanted the clinic to do more prescription and follow-up services.  And it was particularly upset over the “absence of on-site reproductive health services.”  The state was not happy that the existing school staff did not embrace and push the clinic, particularly school nurses who were not being “cooperative” in referring children to the Center. In summary, the state health department threatened to remove all funding for the Center unless these problems were resolved!

In an effort to protect the Center, the school board establish a special sub-committee which was responsible for bringing Joy Dryfoos, head of the Center for Population Options (the largest school based clinic advocacy group in the country) and former official with Planned Parenthood, to the city to make a pitch for the continuation of the Wellness Center.  The parents were able to attend this meeting and ask embarrassing questions about the lack of success of school based clinics and to point out a recent article in a nationwide publication demonstrating that the clinics don’t work. 

The parents also managed to get two of its own on the sub-committee and informed both the school board and the public precisely what the proposed changes would mean.  They produced a flyer that revealed, among other things, that the Wellness Center was planning to do pelvic exams on teenage female students.  The parents also revealed that prescriptions were being dispensed at the Wellness Clinic by a physician’s assistant, not an M.D., and that a high school health teacher passed out condoms to his health class.

The parents then discovered that clinic proponents were trying to “sneak through” funding for the clinic under the name of “The Community Service Project.”  With short notice, the parents turned out 18 people to the school board meeting where this funding as to be considered.  The school board held a long meeting, discussed the funding and then adjourned to executive session.  When they emerged at 1:00 a.m., they found the 18 parents waiting for their response.  Then, in a dramatic vote, the school board DEFEATED the clinic funding by a vote of 6 to 1!!

Next month:  Wrap-up analysis of School District #3


News

Smallest baby to survive at Pittsburgh women's hospital weighed same as pop can
At birth baby Taylor Rideout weighed just 12.5 ounces and was just 10 inches long, making her the smallest baby ever to survive at Magee Women's Hospital.
http://www.wpxi.com/news/19625212/detail.html


Adult stem cells found to cure blindness – three patients cured
Medical researchers at the University of New South Wales have used simple contact lenses cultured with stem cells from a patient’s own eye to return sight to sufferers of corneal disease.
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09060411.html


Adult stem cell research helping Autism
A woman from New York has written an open letter to President Obama saying that stem cell research using adult stem cells has helped her daughter’s autism. Judy DiCorcia is reporting that her daughter, Lauren, a 10-year-old girl with autism has improved significantly after the stem cell treatment and therapy in Germany in January 2009.
http://www.catholic.net/index.php?option=dedestaca&id=3084&grupo=News%20%20Media&canal=News


"Love really can make suffering bearable": Woman with Spina Bifida grapples with the answer to "unbearable suffering"
Amid the euthanasia and assisted suicide debate, the objection is frequently raised: what about those who suffer what can truly be called "unbearable pain"?
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09060506.html


Closing Thought

“Lord, open this heart of mine and place your law within it; teach me to walk by the road of your commandments.  Grant that I may know what your will is; grant that my mind may dwell with great reverence and careful attention upon all your blessings, both those common to all men and those which are your gift to me; so may I be enabled to thank you in the future as you deserve. I love you, Lord.”

Thomas aKempis, Imitation of Christ, III:22

 


Pro-Life Today | 12 June 2009

HEADLINES

Boston Archdiocese Reaffirms Hospitals' Commitment to Catholic Morals, ALL Responds
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09061105.html
Life Site News
However, the American Life League says that it is still opposed to the arrangement, saying the explanation from the archdiocese and its hospitals is "absolutely not" acceptable.

Abortion protesters irked at city over parking restrictions
http://www.bakersfield.com/news/local/x820007994/Abortion-protesters-irked-at-city-over-pa rking-restrictions
Bakersfield.com
A local pro-life group is petitioning the Bakersfield City Council to remove new 30-minute parking restrictions at 25th and H streets, where protesters frequently gather outside a family planning clinic. "We need to park in this area for more than 30 minutes at a time when we exercise our First Amendment rights by participating in activities such as prayer vigils," reads the petition submitted by Tim Palmquist of Lifesavers Ministries to the City Council at Wednesday's meeting. It had 658 signatures, said Palmquist, who later gathered an additional 125.

Documentary Explores Debate over Stem Cell Research
http://www.citizenlink.org/CLNews/A000010220.cfm
Citizen Link
A new documentary from The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network addresses the controversy over life-destroying human embryonic stem cell research versus ethical, adult stem cell research.
In "Lines That Divide," prominent scientists from both sides of the debate discuss the details surrounding modern-day research.

Baby Steps DVD Saves Lives!!!


American Life League recently sent a survey to Crisis Pregnancy Centers asking about their use of the Baby Steps DVD, and the response is IMMENSE!!!  "Baby Steps Saves Lives!"

I personally gave the video to one woman who was having trouble convincing the father of her baby to keep the baby.  She took it home for him to watch and told me it really helped her get through to him and helped him bond with the baby (so early in her pregnancy).
                           -Shared Pregnancy in Lansing, MI

Mary Doe came to our center and she had made up her mind about having an abortion done since she was going through a situation with her baby’s father who is 30 years older than Mary.  He was pushing her so hard to have an abortion.  After Mary came and she had the chance to watch the DVD, she realized that what was inside of her was an angel sent by God.  I am happy to say that her baby boy, now five months old, is the joy of her life!  She tells me that she can’t picture her life without him.                            -Pregnancy Resource Center of Fort Bend County in Rosenberg, TX

After reporting at least 25 saves: “In counseling, I present materials to clients and let them choose.  The name Baby Steps is right for the moment and doesn’t intimidate.  Please do more – it is so helpful.”
                            -Women's Center for Health, Hope, & Healing in Mankato, MN

Baby Steps DVD is an excellent tool for saving lives!  To get your own copy of "Baby Steps" or for more information, go to www.babystepsdvd.com.

FEATURE STORY

THE WAGES PAID TO THE CULTURE OF VIOLENCE
By Judie Brown

A friend reminded me of some rather startling numbers that I would like to share with you.  According to a 2002 report, one man was fined $2,500 for taking paddlefish eggs out of the state of Oklahoma. In addition to the fine, the individual could have spent 450 days in jail for smuggling the eggs.

Felony violations involving the destruction of various endangered species and their eggs, according to the
Migratory Bird Treaty Act can amount to as much as $250,000 in fees for individuals and $500,000 for corporations and up to six months in prison.

A violation of the
Eagle Act can result in a fine of up to $100,000 and imprisonment of up to one year. Penalties for subsequent offenses are significantly higher. 

In all three of the examples provided, we are talking about laws that are on the books in our nation and are designed to protect the rights of wildlife including those belonging to endangered species.  These are, I hasten to point out, not considered crimes against human beings, but rather crimes against various types of birds and animals.

Now compare these fines with those leveled against individuals who kill children who reside in the womb, in a Petri dish, or are newly conceived and on their way to implanting themselves.  Regardless of which category of preborn child you consider, there are no fines and there is no jail time to be served when one of them is killed. 

If this doesn't make sense to you, then we are on the same page.  But the point I want to make in this regard is far more serious than merely the incongruity of our laws when it comes to protecting wildlife versus protecting innocent human beings.  What we have in America right now is a legal system that places more value on a bird's egg or a fish's egg, than on a human being's life.  Because of this disconnect with logic and common sense, very bad things happen, and they are happening in our communities on a daily basis.

Take the case of the child found in a dumpster in
Las Vegas on Wednesday of this week.  Investigators think the child was between the age of 18 months and [two] years old. The coroner says the baby's death is the result of a homicide.  In other words, this child was brutally murdered by someone.  At this time, “Detectives want to question 20-year-old Darrean Williams and 37-year-old William Marshall. Police believe Williams is the mother of the child and Marshall is her boyfriend.

Consider the case of the five Arizona police officers who are currently on paid leave because a criminal probe is being conducted following the
flushing of a preborn child down a toilet.  Yes, that's right. 

Four officers responded to a call of a possible miscarriage Monday at the Motel 6 in Mesa where they arrested a man on suspicion of drug-related offenses and discovered a woman in the room apparently had miscarried a [four]-inch fetus that was an estimated 12 to 14 weeks old, according to [Police Chief] Gasc.

Although both Mesa fire and police were present in the motel room, Lt. Lynn Young told the officers and fire personnel over the phone not to take the fetus but to flush it down the toilet, according to Gasc once this child was, according to our laws, not considered to be a full-fledged person, will the policemen go on about their daily lives as if nothing had happened?  Will any charges be recommended in this case?  Nobody knows at this point.  The question in my mind is whether or not the public will want to know what would have possessed anyone to tell the officers to flush a preborn human being down the toilet rather than give him a proper burial.  My guess is nobody will care!

Finally there's the case of
Arnold Ross, a Louisiana teen charged with rape and the murder of an infant.  The report explains that Ross is suspected of having raped the eight-month-old baby boy Da-Von Lonzo and then beating the baby to death.  The investigation in this case is ongoing, but as Mary Ann Kreitzer, founder of Les Femmes “The Truth", so aptly observed in her blog when she wrote about this tragic case:

The comments following the story express horror over what happened to this poor little baby. But I imagine some of the same individuals calling for the blood of the killer would describe themselves as pro-choice and excuse a similar crime provided the baby was murdered nine months earlier at eight months in utero.

That's what George Tiller did every day: injected saline solution to scald babies and burn off their skin, stabbed them in the neck and sucked out their brains, thrust a needle full of digoxin into their hearts to stop its [sic] beating “ his methods changed over the years, but all guaranteed delivery of a battered and dead baby. Yet Tiller is a hero to the pro-abortion mob while Ross, no doubt, they would consider a monster. Tiller didn't rape the babies; he performed a mechanical rape on their mothers using sterile instruments to violate the sanctuary of the uterus. But he, we are told, was a brave man wielding his murderous instruments against the little ones. He was eulogized at his funeral  as a "
passionate and generous man who repeatedly overcame difficult challenges." A friend described him as "Mr. Enthusiasm," which was certainly true of his attitude toward killing children.

Well, Mr. Enthusiasm, meet your philosophical twin, Arnold Ross, a young man raised in a culture that allows the dismembering of near term babies in utero. He never knew a time that pornography wasn't rampant, fornication wasn't encouraged, and child killing wasn't legal. He grew up in an age where liberal policies destroyed the black family driving fathers from the home, encouraging mothers to replace them with Uncle Sugar and his welfare checks.

How can anyone be surprised when the young treat life as cheap and expendable? They've learned the lessons of the culture too well, perhaps. One can do whatever he likes and eliminate the consequences. The young find out too late that some killing is more equal than others.

There's precious little difference between little Da-Von Lonzo and the babies killed at Tiller's abortuary “about ten pounds, in fact. But Tiller performed respectable murders that left him awash in money that he shared with liberal politicians. His politically correct killing filled Kathleen Sebelius' campaign chest and those of other liberal politicians. As the Bible says, "Love of money is the root of all evils" and it can buy a lot of approval from those who lust after it.

As for me, I can't see much difference between George Tiller, mass child killer, and Arnold Ross, killer of one. They were philosophical twins. The pro-abortion "martyr" and the child abusing "monster" had more in common than our society is likely to admit.

Kreitzer has hit the nail on the head.  And while, at this moment, we do not know what sort of sentence will be handed down in the case involving 17-year-old Arnold Ross, we do know that Da-Von is dead.

And we also know that whether it is the Ross case, or the Mesa Arizona police case or the Las Vegas dumpster case, the bottom line is that we are living in a culture of violence.  For more than 36 years, America has denied that aborting a child prior to birth is the moral equivalent of murder; in fact many have glorified abortion as a human right and charged those who know otherwise with disrespectful, dishonest allegations such as fanaticism, terrorism and anti-feminism.  But the results of this disconnect between the price one has to pay for stealing a duck egg and the price one has to pay for killing a preborn child are all around us.

It's time America woke up and saw the brutality that is spawned on a daily basis by America's violent culture; a culture dedicated to denial, betrayal and sexual saturation.  We are paying the price daily in human lives tossed on the trash heap of our inability to face reality.

How many more will have to die?
 

 


Pro-Life Today | 11 June 2009

HEADLINES

Free Abortions in Honor of Tiller Denounced as 'Sick'
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09061008.html
Life Site News
Philadelphia Women's Center gave away free abortions on Tuesday as a means of "honoring" slain late-term abortionist George Tiller.

Two sentenced for abortion clinic arson
http://www.krqe.com/dpp/news/crime/crime_krqe_albuquerque_two_who_torched_abortion_clinic_ sentenced_200906102218
KRQE
Two men who burned down an Albuquerque abortion office have been ordered to serve more than three years in prison and to pay every penny of the nearly $800,000 in damage they caused. On Dec. 6, 2007, Sergio Baca, then 22, and Chad Altman, then 26, broke a window of Dr. Boyd's office, poured gasoline inside and lit a match destroying the office. The motive was revealed to be a woman carrying Baca's unborn child was scheduled to have an abortion at the clinic the next day. Baca and Altman were arrested 11 days later after investigators found a glove at the scene that had Altman's DNA in it. Baca's roommate also reported that Baca smelled heavily of gasoline that night.

Caritas insurance deal faces changes
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/06/11/cardinal_omalley_seeks_ to_modify_insurance_venture/
The Boston Globe
Judie Brown, president of the American Life League, an antiabortion organization, said she does not believe there is any way to modify the arrangement that would make it acceptable.

Baby Steps DVD Saves Lives!!!


American Life League recently sent a survey to Crisis Pregnancy Centers asking about their use of the Baby Steps DVD, and the response is IMMENSE!!!  "Baby Steps Saves Lives!"

I personally gave the video to one woman who was having trouble convincing the father of her baby to keep the baby.  She took it home for him to watch and told me it really helped her get through to him and helped him bond with the baby (so early in her pregnancy).
                           -Shared Pregnancy in Lansing, MI

Mary Doe came to our center and she had made up her mind about having an abortion done since she was going through a situation with her baby’s father who is 30 years older than Mary.  He was pushing her so hard to have an abortion.  After Mary came and she had the chance to watch the DVD, she realized that what was inside of her was an angel sent by God.  I am happy to say that her baby boy, now five months old, is the joy of her life!  She tells me that she can’t picture her life without him.
                            -Pregnancy Resource Center of Fort Bend County in Rosenberg, TX

After reporting at least 25 saves: “In counseling, I present materials to clients and let them choose.  The name Baby Steps is right for the moment and doesn't intimidate.  Please do more – it is so helpful.                            -Women's Center for Health, Hope, & Healing in Mankato, MN

Baby Steps DVD is an excellent tool for saving lives!  To get your own copy of "Baby Steps" or for more information, go to www.babystepsdvd.com.

FEATURE STORY

CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC DIOCESE UNDER ATTACK
By Judie Brown

On September 27, 2007, the Connecticut Catholic Conference announced its decision to allow the state's Catholic hospitals to provide the morning-after pill, Plan B, for rape victims. A letter was issued by the three bishops: Archbishop Henry Mansell, Bishop Michael Cote and Bishop William Lori. At the time, the CCC issued a statement, which included these words:

The four Catholic hospitals in the State of Connecticut remain committed to providing competent and compassionate care to victims of rape. In accordance with Catholic moral teaching, these hospitals provide emergency contraception after appropriate testing. Under the existing hospital protocols, this includes a pregnancy test and an ovulation test. Catholic moral teaching is adamantly opposed to abortion, but not to emergency contraception for victims of rape.

This past spring the Governor signed into a law An Act Concerning Compassionate Care for Victims of Sexual Assault, passed by the State Legislature. It does not allow medical professionals to take into account the results of the ovulation test. The Bishops and other Catholic health care leaders believe that this law is seriously flawed, but not sufficiently to bar compliance with it at the present time. We continue to believe this law should be changed.

At the time, the CCC argued that the Catholic Church's magisterium has not definitively resolved this matter and since there is serious doubt about how Plan B pills work, the Catholic Bishops of Connecticut have stated that Catholic hospitals in the State may follow protocols that do not require an ovulation test in the treatment of victims of rape.

In the aftermath of the CCC decision,
American Life League, Human Life International and noted moral theologian Fr. Peter Damian Fehlner agreed that the CCC decision was fraught with error. All to no avail.

As
Fr. Fehlner pointed out at the time, "The fact is, if we have any doubt about whether a given action would directly risk someone's life, entail a violation of justice or threaten the salvation of a soul, we may not act on the basis of a scientific probability. That means even if the pill in Plan B is only 'dubiously' abortive, we simply may not use it at all."

We understood that the Connecticut state law mandated that the abortive drug be provided, but we also encouraged the bishops of Connecticut to stand their ground and argue that their hospitals had every right under the law not to participate in any action that was contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church. The pleas we and many others made had literally no effect. Bridgeport
Bishop William Lori wrote in 2007 regarding Catholic hospitals’ administration of Plan B to rape victims,  

The administration of Plan B pills in this instance cannot be judged to be the commission of an abortion because of such doubt about how Plan B pills and similar drugs work and because of the current impossibility of knowing from the ovulation test whether a new life is present. To administer Plan B pills without an ovulation test is not an intrinsically evil act. 

That was then and this is now. As I write, Connecticut's Office of State Ethics is putting unbelievable pressure on Bishop William Lori and the priests of his diocese. But this time, Bishop Lori is fighting back. American Life League first learned of this from the Creative Minority Report, which explains: 

The state government of Connecticut might just be the epicenter of state sponsored anti-Catholicism in the country right now. The state is seeking to silence the Catholic Church. Again.
 
Ever since the Church's stance supporting traditional marriage or at least for a conscience clause for religious organizations, many in state government have sought to punish the Church or at least silence it.
 
If you'll recall a few months ago two
Democrat state legislators proposed a bill targeting Catholic parishes by instituting elected boards to oversee parishes. This, of course, caused an outrage as the government had no right to intervene in the Church's affairs.

Tim Carney, of the Washington Examiner reports:

Church officials mobilized against the bill, with the Bridgeport Diocese web site again asking Catholics to call their lawmakers. But then the church committed the cardinal offense, the act that compelled the Office of State Ethics to crack down: The diocese rented buses to bring parishioners to the state Capitol in Hartford for a rally against the bill on the day of the public hearing.

The public uproar spurred the bill's sponsors to withdraw it and cancel the hearing the night before. But the church-sponsored rally went on anyway, making the diocese a renegade lobbyist.

Bishop Lori does not for a minute believe that his actions in decrying state efforts to step in and control Catholic parishes should be legitimately or logically defined as “lobbying.” He wasted no time in issuing a public statement against the state’s assault on religious freedom:

We believe firmly that it is unconstitutional to apply the state lobbying statute to our Diocese for having exercised its constitutional rights by participating in a rally at the State Capitol and posting information on its website, to protest an unconstitutional attempt by the State to reorganize our Church.

We are pursuing this matter through the judicial system Fundamental constitutional rights include the responsibility to express our views in a civil and lawful manner.  

Visiting the Diocese of Bridgeport's web site provides an opportunity to review the history of this case, the relevant legal documents and additional background material.

Carney's report, which is based on his investigation of this matter, is revealing:

I asked the Office of State Ethics about the ramifications of dubbing the diocese a lobbying organization. Would priests need to fasten LOBBYIST badges to their vestments whenever speaking from the pulpit about the death penalty, abortion or future state attempts to micromanage parishes? Who would enforce this? Would the state deploy ethics officers to regulate Masses so that no unauthorized lobbying occurred?

Would the diocese Web nerd need to clock in as a lobbyist for the time it takes him to write, Tell the Governor to Repeal the Death Penalty and upload that message to the site? A spokeswoman said, “We really don't have opinions that specifically address those matters.

The diocese has sued in federal court to block the state from enforcing the lobbying laws against it.

Connecticut recently ramped up its ethics enforcement in response to government corruption and abuse of power by former Republican Gov. John Rowland. Today, the lobbying laws look like another tool for government to use to control meddlesome priests who resist the politicians agenda. 

The stark contrast between the 2007 joint decision of three Catholic bishops regarding Plan B and this latest turn of events in the Bridgeport diocese is interesting. How can it be that the 2007 state requirement met with hesitant but willing agreement, while this latest state action is meeting total, absolute opposition? We pray the answer is that Bishop Lori is not going to let the State ramrod him into accepting an agenda that compromises Church policies or moral principles ever again!

One has to wonder if, in retrospect, the little bit of evil which the Connecticut Catholic Conference accepted in 2007 by choosing to accommodate the State, rather than Catholic teaching, has permitted and even encouraged the evil that the State is now attempting to impose on Bishop Lori. Only time will tell.

The more fundamental issue is that if it succeeds, Connecticut's current move against the Bridgeport diocese could have a chilling effect on Catholic parish priests and bishops elsewhere in that state and the country.

There are political agendas at work in the current situation, but they are no different today than they were in 2007. The State pressed the bishops in 2007 and won; this time around, it is our prayer that they don’t even come close. We pray that Bishop Lori continues his courageous resistance and that he succeeds in convincing the State of Connecticut that Catholics have the same rights and freedoms to which all Americans are entitled.

Bishop Lori said recently, "I believe that an order from the Court barring Mr. Jones and his colleagues at the (OSE) Office of State Ethics from applying the lobbying laws to the Diocese in this manner is necessary to enable the Diocese to continue to carry out its mission without fear of incurring civil penalties, exposure to possible criminal prosecution, burdensome administrative requirements, and intrusive oversight by the State.

Please encourage Bishop Lori via mail or phone:

Most Rev. William Lori
Diocese of Bridgeport
Catholic Center
238 Jewett Ave.
Bridgeport, CT 06606

(203) 416-1364

 


Pro-Life Today | 05 June 2009

HEADLINES

Award-winning essay: Sexting is sin
http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=100171
World Net Daily
A teenager from Missouri has won a contest with her essay that concludes besides being a huge problem for those who choose to participate, "sexting"  the practice adopted by some teens of sending nude or partially nude photographs of themselves to others  is a sin. The winner of the contest sponsored by the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families was Christiana Zipay, a junior at Lutheran High School South in the St. Louis area.

Notre Dame Not Seeking Leniency for Arrested Pro-Life Protesters: Thomas More Lawyers Now on the Case
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09060406.html
Life Site News
Thomas More Society attorneys appeared in St. Joseph County Criminal Court to defend two prominent pro-life advocates against trespass charges brought this morning by local prosecutors in the wake of protests at the University of Notre Dame. The attorneys join the fight with pro-life attorney Tom Dickson, who is representing dozens more pro-lifers arrested at the campus.

Pro-Obama Catholic Rewarded, Named Director under Sebelius
http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=95874
EWTN
Alexia Kelley, Executive Director of "Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, one of the pro-Obama Catholic organizations that strongly supported the appointment of the former Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has been named Director of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships for the HHS. Kelley co-founded Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (CACG) in 2005 and co-authored with Chris Korzen, "A Nation for All: How the Catholic Vision of the Common Good Can Save America from the Politics of Division." Both Kelley and Korzen have supported controversial political decisions and appointments made by the Obama administration, including the suspension of the Mexico City Policy and the decision to allow federally-funded embryonic stem cell research. Kelley and Korzen lent their support despite both measures drawing criticism from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Baby Steps DVD Saves Lives!!!

American Life League recently sent a survey to Crisis Pregnancy Centers asking about their use of the Baby Steps DVD, and the response is IMMENSE!!!  "Baby Steps Saves Lives!"

I personally gave the video to one woman who was having trouble convincing the father of her baby to keep the baby.  She took it home for him to watch and told me it really helped her get through to him and helped him bond with the baby (so early in her pregnancy).                           -Shared Pregnancy in Lansing, MI

Mary Doe came to our center and she had made up her mind about having an abortion done since she was going through a situation with her baby's father who is 30 years older than Mary.  He was pushing her so hard to have an abortion.  After Mary came and she had the chance to watch the DVD, she realized that what was inside of her was an angel sent by God.  I am happy to say that her baby boy, now five months old, is the joy of her life!  She tells me that she can't picture her life without him.
                            -Pregnancy Resource Center of Fort Bend County in Rosenberg, TX

After reporting at least 25 saves: In counseling, I present materials to clients and let them choose.  The name Baby Steps is right for the moment and doesn't intimidate.  Please do more “ it is so helpful.
                            -Women's Center for Health, Hope, & Healing in Mankato, MN

Baby Steps DVD is an excellent tool for saving lives!  To get your own copy of "Baby Steps" or for more information, go to www.babystepsdvd.com.

Protest the Pill Day ’09: The Pill Kills Women!

On Saturday, June 6, pro-lifers across the country will be participating in the largest protest ever against the birth control pill and other birth control products. Join American Life League and protest the pill. Help us unmask the truth and hopefully save lives. You can do this by having a presence outside of doctors offices, pharmacies, Planned Parenthood centers and other family planning facilities, or even out on the sidewalk at a busy intersection. Wherever it is help get the word out!

For more information, go to http://thepillkills.com/.

FEATURE STORY

GET A GRIP: SOTOMAYOR IS NOT PRO-LIFE
By Joe Giganti

The guest commentary today is by Joe Giganti, a Roman Catholic and principal of GigantiHQ. He is the executive director of Close to Home and a media fellow at the John Paul II Bioethics Commission. He is the former communications director of the American Life League and has been defending faith, family and freedom for almost two decades. For more information, visit GigantiHQ.com. First published on World Net Daily on June 4, 2009, this commentary is reprinted here with full permission.

A very disturbing trend has developed since President Obama's nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court: a growing fantasy from pro-lifers that she may be a "closeted" pro-lifer.

These stirrings center around the fact that she is a Latino who was "raised Catholic." Her heritage apparently is important because of the generally accepted belief that Latino Catholics tend to be more anti-abortion than the average person. This flame has been further stoked by Rush Limbaugh's recent comments, including that her Puerto Rican Catholic heritage may be a factor in her beliefs: "[Sotomayor] hasn't said a word about [abortion], which could mean that her private feelings are she's pro-life." Having been a steady Rush listener over the past two decades, I suspect he is acting strategically to force the nominee to set the record straight, rather than actually believing she might be pro-life. And I agree completely with Rush that the life issue is of paramount concern over all others.

But, to the heritage question, Rep. Nydia Velzquez, D-N.Y., chair of the Hispanic Congressional Caucus; Reps. Linda, D-Calif., and Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif.; and Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., are all Hispanic Catholics and all are virulently pro-abortion.

And as to being a Catholic, Sens. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., John Kerry, Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., are all self-proclaimed Catholics who have never let their faith get in the way of supporting the murder of the innocent unborn.

Then came murmurings that some of her judicial opinions might reflect that she is not a strident abortion supporter. Wonderful. Perhaps we can celebrate the possibility that 1 in 4 babies will die from abortion rather than the current [one] in [three].

Most disturbing in this whole debate is how readily pro-lifers are willing to accept these scraps as a sign of hope. This reaction is exactly why pro-life conservatives fail to advance the cause time and again. It reminds me of what a good friend (and one of the most effective pro-life activists I know) calls the "Dungeons and Dragons dilemma." He contends that all too often our side is more comfortable playing out fanciful what-if scenarios in their mind's eye rather than dealing with the political realities they currently face.

We do ourselves a great disservice if we consider only that she was baptized into the Catholic faith without applying reason to properly discern the role it plays in her public life. Reason requires that we consider the facts in a given situation to reach a conclusion.

So let's begin with the most basic fact pertinent to this situation: Barack Obama is the most egregiously and aggressively pro-abortion president in this country's history. One would think we could forego the litany of examples to substantiate this point, but just in case:

    As an Illinois state senator, he opposed the Infants Born Alive Act five times over three years. 

    A cornerstone to Obama's campaign promise of a new socialist utopia was his unflinching support for a "women's right to choose" and the promise to sign the
Freedom of Choice Act into law. 

   To demonstrate his audacity and disrespect for the Catholic faithful and pro-lifers alike, he delivered the commencement address at the once-Catholic college of Notre Dame. This in spite of the fact that no less than 62 Catholic bishops publicly stated that it would be scandalous for Obama to do so and asked that he decline the invitation; not to mention a frenzy of additional grass-roots opposition. 

    At this address, he stated, in part: "Maybe we won't agree on abortion … the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable." Finally there's something on which the president and I agree. It is hard to reconcile those who believe murdering an unborn child is wrong with those who refuse to even acknowledge that child's humanity. 

   In his
first 100 days, Obama has overturned virtually every pro-life policy of the previous administration and appointed operatives from every major pro-abortion group to key positions, including one of the lawyers responsible for the dehydration murder of Terri Schiavo.

Hardly strikes me as a man who might "forget" to confirm that his nominee will toe the line on abortion.

Then there's the New York Times article, "
On Sotomayor, Some Abortion Rights Backers Are Uneasy," which claims that some in the abortion lobby are concerned that the first Latino Supreme Court nominee might not be the pro-death ideologue they demand.

OK, the first (huge) red flag? Consider the source. It's not exactly breaking news that the Old Gray Lady has reduced itself to little more than a shill for the far left's propaganda machine. This story is nothing more than misinformation designed to weaken opposition to the nomination.

The Times points to four cases that only tangentially touch upon abortion law. In 2002, Sotomayor upheld a Supreme Court precedent that an administration can withhold funding for abortion if it so desires. Let's be very clear here: This had nothing to do with the morality or legality of abortion; it was simply procedural.

In 2004, she apparently recognized that the Constitution's guarantee of free speech and peaceably assemble actually includes pro-lifers. Well, let's give her the Cardinal O'Connor Pro-Life Award for that.

In 2007 and 2008, she sided with Chinese women whose legal argument for asylum was based, in part, on the harsh treatment they would receive if deported, including forced abortions. In the 2007 case, Sotomayor wrote the following: "The termination of a wanted pregnancy under a coercive population control program can only be devastating to any couple, akin, no doubt, to the killing of a child."

Incredibly, this statement has actually excited some pro-lifers. Really, are we that easy? How many pro-lifers do you know who use phrases like, "termination of a wanted pregnancy"? And no, Ms. Sotomayor, abortion isn't "akin" to murder – it IS murder.

This is not the language of someone who recognizes, respects and defends the inherent dignity of the human person.
           
Furthermore, this opinion is consistent with the feminist mindset exemplified by Gloria Allred, Susan Estrich and Patricia Ireland – not because they are "secretly pro-life," but because they view it as a women's rights issue.

As to the thought echoed by Rush that "there may be something lurking here beneath the surface that we are all unaware of," specifically that she's a closet pro-lifer because she's a Puerto Rican raised Catholic: This would mean her belief is subjective and based upon an emotional tie to her upbringing as opposed to a reasoned belief that is based upon objective truth. Therefore, such an emotional response could be easily undermined by a court that is famous for moving justices to the left, not the right.

Ultimately though, there is only one way to be sure. She must be asked – respectfully, but explicitly – if she believes the Constitution provides a right to abortion. And she must answer such a question clearly without equivocation.

Now if we can only find a Republican senator with the intestinal fortitude to ask. Fortunately, in this situation, the Democratic caucus has no problem seeking absolute clarity on a nominee's position regarding abortion. The only reason they would forego asking this question would be because they already know she is an abortion rights devotee.

Joe Giganti is the executive director of Close to Home and a media fellow at the John Paul II Bioethics Commission.

Respond to Joe
http://www.all.org/newsroom_judieblog_response.php?id=2631

 


Pro-Life Today | 04 June 2009

HEADLINES

Senator Feinstein Assures Pro-Aborts: Sotomayor "Respects Precedent" Set by Roe v. Wade
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09060314.html
Life Site News
Judiciary committee member Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Tuesday told reporters that Judge Sonia Sotomayor had satisfied her concern that the nominee to become the next Supreme Court judge would uphold liberal access to abortion as founded in Roe v. Wade.

L’Osservatore Romano Won’t Let me Defend Myself Says Brazil Archbishop
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09060309.html
Life Site News
The Archbishop of Olinda and Recife, Jose Cardoso Sobrinho, is asking that the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano publish his response to Archbishop Salvatore "Rino" Fisichella, who criticized him on its pages on March 15 for having announced the excommunication of the doctors who assisted in a now-famous abortion on a nine-year-old girl. "It seems to me important that L'Osservatore Romano should publish my response," Cardoso told the French newspaper Present in a recent interview. "This is what we are trying to obtain, as we have been from the start.  We sent the archdiocese's response to Mgr. Fisichella's article to Rome. It's a natural right to be allowed to respond if someone has been publishing false information, for who knows which motive: the readers of L'Osservatore should also be in a position to know the other point of view."

"Obsessional” Fear of Suffering Ushering in Euthanasia Culture: Prominent Bioethicist
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09060306.html
Life Site News
A culture that seeks to escape suffering and inconvenience at all costs will end by eliminating not only pain, but by ending the lives of those suffering or whose condition burden their families, warned bioethicist Wesley J. Smith this weekend. "If we're going to defeat euthanasia and assisted suicide, we're going to have to recognize that for a lot of people, the principle of right and wrong don't matter anymore," said Smith. "What matters is making sure there isn't suffering. And that can lead to some very bad and dark places."

Baby Steps DVD Saves Lives!!!


American Life League recently sent a survey to Crisis Pregnancy Centers asking about their use of the Baby Steps DVD, and the response is IMMENSE!!!  "Baby Steps Saves Lives!"

“I personally gave the video to one woman who was having trouble convincing the father of her baby to keep the baby.  She took it home for him to watch and told me it really helped her get through to him and helped him bond with the baby (so early in her pregnancy).  -Shared Pregnancy in Lansing, MI

“Mary Doe came to our center and she had made up her mind about having an abortion done since she was going through a situation with her baby's father who is 30 years older than Mary.  He was pushing her so hard to have an abortion.  After Mary came and she had the chance to watch the DVD, she realized that what was inside of her was an angel sent by God.  I am happy to say that her baby boy, now five months old, is the joy of her life!  She tells me that she can’t picture her life without him.                            -Pregnancy Resource Center of Fort Bend County in Rosenberg, TX

After reporting at least 25 saves: In counseling, I present materials to clients and let them choose.  The name Baby Steps is right for the moment and doesn’t intimidate.  Please do more – it is so helpful.
                            -Women's Center for Health, Hope, & Healing in Mankato, MN

Baby Steps DVD is an excellent tool for saving lives!  To get your own copy of "Baby Steps" or for more information, go to www.babystepsdvd.com.

Protest the Pill Day ’09: The Pill Kills Women!

 

On Saturday, June 6, pro-lifers across the country will be participating in the largest protest ever against the birth control pill and other birth control products. Join American Life League and protest the pill. Help us unmask the truth and hopefully save lives. You can do this by having a presence outside of doctors offices, pharmacies, Planned Parenthood centers and other family planning facilities, or even out on the sidewalk at a busy intersection. Wherever it is – help get the word out!

For more information, go to http://thepillkills.com/.

FEATURE STORY

LOGICAL THINKING REQUIRES RIGHT REASON: THE TILLER CASE
By Judie Brown

In a commentary for the Time web site, Nancy Gibbs addressed a subject that is difficult to understand without the proper grounding in right reason. She attempted to contrast the words of those who have survived as Dr. Tiller lay dead with the politics that are confronting us as a nation, not to mention the pro-life versus pro-death movements. Though she never used the phrase, “culture of violence,” I think it would have been a good idea if she had.

For as Pope John Paul II taught in
Veritatis Splendor

Once the idea of a universal truth about the good, knowable by human reason, is lost, inevitably the notion of conscience also changes. Conscience is no longer considered in its primordial reality as an act of a person's intelligence, the function of which is to apply the universal knowledge of the good in a specific situation and thus to express a judgment about the right conduct to be chosen here and now. Instead, there is a tendency to grant to the individual conscience the prerogative of independently determining the criteria of good and evil and then acting accordingly. Such an outlook is quite congenial to an individualist ethic, wherein each individual is faced with his own truth, different from the truth of others. Taken to its extreme consequences, this individualism leads to a denial of the very idea of human nature.

Viewed in this context, a person who reasons with natural law as a basis for his life actions would think twice before arguing in defense of late term abortions, as Gibbs points out in Tiller's case, "
Dr. Tiller, like others before him, represented a challenge to both sides. Late-term abortions have always been the hardest to defend, but he and his supporters would point to cases when the procedure, however morally troubling, was medically necessary."

Gibbs is accurate in her portrayal. However, she avoids mentioning that Dr. Tiller and others like him, including Dr. Martin Haskell, who devised the dilation and extraction method of taking the lives of preborn children, do not think of their action as the equivalent of direct killing. Rather, as Haskell wrote in the conclusion to his 1992 paper,

Dilation and Extraction is an alternative method for achieving late second trimester abortions to 26 weeks. It can be used in the third trimester.

Among its advantages are that it is a quick, surgical outpatient method that can be performed on a scheduled basis under local anesthesia.

Among its disadvantages are that it requires a high degree of surgical skill, and may not be appropriate for a few patients.

Medical practitioners like Tiller and Haskell have convinced themselves that the action they are taking is nothing more than a type of surgery and they sincerely believe that their practice is a service to women.

Of course, people like me know that this is ridiculous. We understand the reality that the outcome of any abortion is a dead child. But if the practitioner does not see that child as a human being deserving of life, what then? What does he see and how has he convinced himself that nobody dies during such an action?

When the partial-birth abortion debate, which was actually about dilation and extraction abortions, occurred, there were many abortionists who claimed that the procedure was at times “medically necessary. Such a statement provided further justification that their actions are, to people like me, nothing short of heinous crimes. However, as the
Guttmacher Institute reported in October 2004,  “According to Judge Richard G. Kopf in the Nebraska decision, ˜the overwhelming weight of the trial evidence proves that the banned procedure is safe and medically necessary in order to preserve the health of women under certain circumstances. In the absence of an exception for the health of a woman, banning the procedure constitutes a significant health hazard to women.’”

In contrast, the
Justice Department filed a statement:

The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 “bans a late term abortion procedure that Congress found is gruesome, inhumane, never medically necessary and, indeed, poses serious health risks to the mother. The Act bars the killing of a living fetus that is deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivered until it is largely outside the body of the mother either head-first or, in the breech position, to at least the navel and, at that point, killed before delivery is completed. The banned procedure is one in which a living fetus is mere inches from a completed birth, and an autonomous existence, before it is killed at the last moment.

In addition here is an excerpt from a statement by four physicians entitled “Partial-Birth Abortion is Bad Medicine,

Consider the dangers inherent in partial-birth abortion, which usually occurs after the fifth month of pregnancy. A woman's cervix is forcibly dilated over several days, which risks creating an "incompetent cervix," the leading cause of premature deliveries. It is also an invitation to infection, a major cause of infertility. The abortionist then reaches into the womb to pull a child feet first out of the mother (internal podalic version), but leaves the head inside. Under normal circumstances, physicians avoid breech births whenever possible; in this case, the doctor intentionally causes one – and risks tearing the uterus in the process. He then forces scissors through the base of the baby's skull – which remains lodged just within the birth canal. This is a partially "blind" procedure, done by feel, risking direct scissor injury to the uterus and laceration of the cervix or lower uterine segment, resulting in immediate and massive bleeding and the threat of shock or even death to the mother.

None of the risk is ever necessary for any reason. We and many other doctors across the U.S. regularly treat women whose unborn children suffer the same conditions as those cited by the women who appeared at Mr. Clinton's veto ceremony. Never is the partial-birth procedure necessary. Not for hydrocephaly (excessive cerebrospinal fluid in the head), not for polyhydramnios (an excess of amniotic fluid collecting in the woman) and not for trisomy (genetic abnormalities characterized by an extra chromosome). Sometimes, as in the case of hydrocephaly, it is first [sic] to drain some of the fluid from the baby's head. And in some cases when vaginal delivery is not possible, a doctor performs a Caesarean section. But in no case is it necessary to partially deliver an infant through the vagina and then kill the infant.

What a difference! The kernel of truth between the two sides is that the reality of what abortion is and what it does to someone has been divorced from the politically-charged claim that because it is a woman's right, it is legitimate to perform such acts on a child not yet born. This is, indeed, the core problem that confronts those who favor abortion and those who oppose it. The central difference between the two worldviews is exactly as Pope John Paul II explained. Those who favor aborting preborn children have discarded the universal knowledge of what is good and can be known by reason alone in favor of a personal perspective on what is good for them as individuals without regard for the common good, for justice or essentially for truth itself.

This past week has presented us with this clash of worldviews in a tragic way. It has shown us the ugly side of the culture of death, of the crazed world of the unstable and of the sad reality that killing people is all about headlines, politically charged statements and irrational rants. Somewhere in all this rhetoric, the real reason why we abhor abortion and all the brutal acts that this culture of violence has spawned has vanished.

The dignity of the human being is not addressed and yet it is the central truth about which we should be speaking. Those who do not acknowledge it, who avoid it or who disagree with it are already thinking illogically. Sadly, the tragedy is that they do not realize it. Until this situation changes the culture of violence will flourish because a denial of the very idea of human nature persists.

  


Pro-Life Today | 03 June 2009

HEADLINES

Smallest Baby To Survive At Magee Weighed Same As Pop Can
http://www.wpxi.com/news/19625212/detail.html
WPXI
At birth baby Taylor Rideout weighed just 12.5 ounces and was just 10 inches long, making her the smallest baby ever to survive at Magee Women's Hospital.

University of Minnesota says stem cell research complaint isn't valid
http://www.twincities.com/allheadlines/ci_12505616?nclick_check=1
Pioneer Press
The University of Minnesota is proceeding with human embryonic stem cell research, despite an pro-life group's claim that it is illegal under a new ban on the use of state tax dollars for human cloning.  Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life called on the university Tuesday to "cease its pursuit of human cloning and to end its violation of state law through its ongoing destruction of human embryos." The organization cited the new cloning ban, along with legislative testimony from a U executive that the ban would stifle "ongoing" research if passed.

Ethicists Warn Against Human Eggs for Cash Plan
http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=95836
EWTN
The state of New York is considering several proposals which would pay women who donate their eggs for research purposes, leading some Catholic ethicists to worry the move would induce poorer women to risk their health and become involved in unethical human embryo research. New York state funds may be awarded to researchers who pay women to harvest their egg cells for research purposes if a recommendation of the ethics committee of the Empire State Stem Cell board is accepted. Writing in National Review Online, Fr. Thomas Berg reported that the May 12 vote to recommend the practice passed overwhelmingly. He said the state is also considering using state funds to reimburse women directly for their egg donations, possibly paying several thousand dollars per donor.

Baby Steps DVD Saves Lives!!!


American Life League recently sent a survey to Crisis Pregnancy Centers asking about their use of the Baby Steps DVD, and the response is IMMENSE!!!  "Baby Steps Saves Lives!"

I personally gave the video to one woman who was having trouble convincing the father of her baby to keep the baby.  She took it home for him to watch and told me it really helped her get through to him and helped him bond with the baby (so early in her pregnancy).                          -Shared Pregnancy in Lansing, MI

Mary Doe came to our center and she had made up her mind about having an abortion done since she was going through a situation with her baby's father who is 30 years older than Mary.  He was pushing her so hard to have an abortion.  After Mary came and she had the chance to watch the DVD, she realized that what was inside of her was an angel sent by God.  I am happy to say that her baby boy, now five months old, is the joy of her life!  She tells me that she can’t picture her life without him.                            -Pregnancy Resource Center of Fort Bend County in Rosenberg, TX

After reporting at least 25 saves: In counseling, I present materials to clients and let them choose.  The name Baby Steps is right for the moment and doesn't intimidate.  Please do more it is so helpful.                            -Women's Center for Health, Hope, & Healing in Mankato, MN

Baby Steps DVD is an excellent tool for saving lives!  To get your own copy of "Baby Steps" or for more information, go to www.babystepsdvd.com.

Protest the Pill Day ’09: The Pill Kills Women!

On Saturday, June 6, pro-lifers across the country will be participating in the largest protest ever against the birth control pill and other birth control products. Join American Life League and protest the pill. Help us unmask the truth and hopefully save lives. You can do this by having a presence outside of doctors offices, pharmacies, Planned Parenthood centers and other family planning facilities, or even out on the sidewalk at a busy intersection. Wherever it is help get the word out!

For more information, go to
http://thepillkills.com/.

FEATURE STORY

OBAMA'S RECORD IS CLEAR: PRO ABORTION TO THE CORE
By Michael Hichborn

The guest commentary today is by Michael Hichborn, director of American Life League's Canon 915 Project.

Recently, Gian Maria Vian, editor-in-chief of the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, said in an interview that he does not believe Barack Obama is a pro-abortion president.  In discussing the president's speech at the University of Notre Dame, Vian said: 

The [p]resident said that the approval of the new law on abortion is not a priority of his administration. The fact that he said that is very reassuring to me. It also underlines my own clear belief: Obama is not a pro-abortion president. 

Regardless of what the new president says, actions speak louder than words, and even though Barack Obama claims that he is not making the approval of a new law on abortion a priority, his own cabinet appointments belie a completely different reality.  In fact, not only has Obama chosen to surround himself with pro-abortion radicals, but also a good percentage of those are “Catholic.  The following are members of the Obama administration who are well known for their active support for abortion, the Catholics are marked with an*:

 Vice President Joseph Biden*
Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton 
Deputy Secretary Of State
James B. Steinberg 
Secretary of Homeland Security
Janet Napolitano
Secretary of the Interior
Ken Salazar
Labor Secretary
Thida [Hilda] Solis*
Central Intelligence Agency Director
Leon Panetta
Secretary of Agriculture
Tom Vilsack
Deputy Attorney General
David Ogden 
White House Office of Legal Counsel
Dawn Johnsen 
Assistant Deputy Attorney General
Thomas Perrelli 
Solicitor General
Elena Kagan 
Secretary of Department of Health and Human Services
Kathleen Sebelius
Director of White House Office for Health Reform
Nancy-Ann De Parle 
White House Chief of Staff
Rahm Emanuel 
White House political advisor
David Axelrod 
Director of Communications
Ellen Moran 
Director of Domestic Policy Counsel
Melody Barnes 
Ambassador-At-Large for Global Women’s Issues
Melanne Verveer*  
White House Council on Women and Girls Director
Tina Tchen

In addition to surrounding himself with radical advocates for abortion, Barack Obama, who proved his abortion agenda in Illinois by refusing to protect even those babies who survive an abortion attempt, has continued to carry his agenda to the whole country as president.

During his brief time in the highest office in the country, Obama has worked hard to further entrench the culture of death in the United States and throughout the world. 

Pro-Abortion Acts This Year

January 5- Obama selects pro-abortion “Catholic Virginia Governor Tim Kaine to be the chairman of the Democratic Party.

January 6- Obama appoints
Thomas Perrelli as an associate attorney general. Perrelli spearheaded the effort to have Terri Schiavo killed by starvation and dehydration.

January 22- Releases statement supporting
Roe v. Wade. He said:

On the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we are reminded that this decision not only protects women's health and reproductive freedom, but stands for a broader principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman's right to choose. 

January 23- Overturns the Mexico City Policy. This reversal makes available hundreds of millions of dollars to fund abortion in other countries.

January 26- Obama's Deputy Secretary of State,
James B. Steinberg, tells members of the Senate that the Mexico City Policy is an unnecessary restriction that, if applied to organizations based in this country, would be an unconstitutional limitation on free speech.

January 29- President Obama appoints pro-abortion
David Ogden as deputy attorney general.  Ogden represented Playboy and Penthouse, fought against requiring filters on library computers and successfully defended the right of pornographers to produce material with underage children.

February 12- Obama picks pro-abortion
Elena Kagan to be solicitor general. She was the legal director of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League.

February 27- Begins working on overturning
pro-life conscience protections intended to protect medical staff from being forced to commit abortions.

February 28- Friend of late-term abortionist George Tiller,
Kathleen Sebelius, is nominated for the position of secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

March 5- Pro-life groups are not admitted to a
White House-sponsored health-care summit while Planned Parenthood, The Human Rights Campaign, National Council of La Raza, The Children's Defense Fund, The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force are in attendance.

March 9- Obama signs executive order, “
REMOVING BARRIERS TO RESPONSIBLE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN STEM CELLS, now forcing taxpayers to fund human embryonic stem cell research.

March 10- Obama creates the new
Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues position and names pro-abortion Melanne Verveer  to the post.

March 11- Obama creates a new agency called the
White House Council on Women and Girls. Obama appoints Tina Tchen, a former vice-president of NOW, as the agency's director.

March 17- Obama nominates pro-abortion federal judge
David Hamilton to serve on the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

March 26  Obama's Dept. of State announces
$50 million for the UNFPA, the UN agency known to be complicit in China's coercive population control tactics.

April 7 - Obama nominates three
Vatican ambassador nominees, all believe in abortion.

April 7 - Obama selects
pro-abortion law professor Harold Hongju Koh to be the State Department's top lawyer.

April 7 - The
White House Faith-Based Advisory Council is completed. The list includes more abortion advocates.

April 8 - Obama nominates pro-abortion
Ron Weich for assistant attorney general for legislative affairs.

April 14 - Obama administration releases document claiming that
pro-lifers may engage in violent acts.

April 17 - Obama administration releases the proposed guidelines for human embryonic stem cell research.

April 23 -
Secretary of the State Hillary Clinton admits before the House Foreign Relations Committee that as far as the new government is concerned, the term "reproductive health" includes abortion. "We are now an [a]dministration that will protect the rights of women, including their rights to reproductive health care."

May 8  Obama's new budget allows the
Legal Services Corporation to conduct litigation involving abortion.

This list of appointments and actions regarding abortion is certainly not exhaustive, but it clearly illustrates that Barack Obama has every intention of securing birth control and abortion as protected acts in this country.  While he may say that he wishes to reduce the number of abortions or the need for abortions in this country, and even though he claims that abortion is not a “priority for him, his words bear the worth of their weight … which is nothing.  President Obama has surrounded himself with pro-abortion radicals, has created new offices and agencies devoted to so-called reproductive health, which Secretary of State Clinton tells us includes abortion, and has done everything within his power to give more money to those organizations devoted to killing preborn children. 

One would expect that the editor-in-chief of the Vatican newspaper would be better informed than to make such a blunder as claiming that Barack Obama is not a pro-abortion president. 

Michael Hichborn is American Life League's Director of the Canon 915 Project.

Respond to Michael
http://www.all.org/newsroom_judieblog_response.php?id=2628

 

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