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Pro-Life Today | 04 December 2009
Michigan Abortion Facility Advertises Abortion as "Sacred Work"http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/dec/09120402.htmlLife Site newsNorthland "Family Planning Centers" of Michigan are now advertising their services with a video calling abortion "sacred work." Set to soft, upbeat piano music and themed with pink pastel shades, a recently uploaded video entitled "Every Day, Good Women Choose Abortion," assures prospective customers that deciding "to have an abortion is a normal experience," and that the decision is a good decision.
Openly Lesbian 'Catholic' Woman Is Member of USCCB Subcommittee For Health Care and Workhttp://www.pewsitter.com/view_news_id_26776.phpPewsitterMichael Hichborn of American Life League, commenting upon CCHD funding controversy last month stated, “Given how easily we discovered CCHD funding going to anti-Catholic causes, the only two possibilities are that the CCHD is incompetent or complicit.” Mr. Hichborn’s quote would seem to apply here, to the present association between Mary Henry and the USCCB, as well.
Senate Passes Amendment that Could Mandate Abortion Coverage in Insurance Planshttp://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/dec/09120302.htmlLife Site NewsThe Senate on Thursday approved the Mikulski amendment by a vote of 61-39. All Republicans except Senators Vitter, Snowe and Collins voted against the amendment, and all Independents and Democrats except Senators Nelson (NE) and Feingold voted for it. Pro-life leaders opposed the amendment over concerns that it provides authority that could be used to mandate abortion coverage in private insurance plans. For more headline news, click here for ALL’s Daily News Summary.
Register NOW for Training and Activism Week, 2010!!!
Join American Life League at our 10th Annual Training and Activism Week and Personhood Conference, January 20-23, 2010, at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C. Registration is FREE! The event includes three days of educational workshops given by pro-life experts on basic human rights legislation, euthanasia, nationalized health care, abortion, human personhood, youth activism and more!
In the evenings, relax and enjoy two FREE music concerts featuring a half-dozen pro-life bands of varied styles! After you wake up with a renewed sense of purpose and your new knowledge of hands-on activism, join us on the streets of Washington, D.C., at a Planned Parenthood facility and on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Before the big march on Friday, you can also attend a one-day, internationally acclaimed pro-life conference hosted by Human Life International.
Visit www.all.org/taw to see a complete list of activities and register today! For concert information, visit www.rockforlife.org/taw. Seats for all sessions are limited, so register early!
GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED HEALTH CARE WILL INVALIDATE LIFEBy Judie Brown
For all those doubting Thomas-types who refuse to accept the fact that we live in a culture steeped in all kinds of euphemisms designed to deny that every human being has dignity and integrity, this is a wake-up call. America is not ready to have health care reform imposed on us by political fiat because America is not ready to die.
Whether one is discussing abortion, fertility treatments, human embryonic stem cell research or care for the dying, the news is quite disturbing.
For example, on November 2, this headline caught our attention: “Down Syndrome Births are Down in U.S. – More than 90 Percent of Women Carrying a Child with Down Syndrome Choose to End Their Pregnancies, but Parents Raising These Kids Say They’re a ‘Gift.’”
The report addresses several aspects and concerns of those who work in health care and those who have had Down syndrome children or chosen to abort their children. While this is interesting, the question is, once government-controlled health care is in place, will it be easier for a couple learning that their preborn child has a congenital problem to receive information that will encourage them to affirm life or easier to exercise the alleged constitutional right to kill? Which way will the cost cutters lean?
One month later, almost to the day, the Washington Post added fuel to this fire by publishing “A woman who had little choice enlightens health-care debate.” You guessed it … another report about an expectant mother who was told that her preborn baby had a problem, in this case, anencephaly. The reporter claims that such a condition can be dangerous to the mother’s life, a claim that is false and unethical. But when the commitment is to convince the public that America needs to accept taxpayer funding for abortion, what’s a little error here and there?
Last month, there were also reports from several media outlets about the dilemma faced by the fertility industry. One such report, entitled “The Maybe-Baby Dilemma” discusses “unused embryos,” described as “a byproduct” of fertility treatments and acknowledges that the parents confronted with this “problem” can choose “a research program or a fellow patient to accept a donation, discarding the extra embryos or doing absolutely nothing.” Such language is designed to deny the value of the human person. And there’s a reason for that. Buried in the article is this revealing statement:
In March, President Obama signed an executive order paving the way for more couples to donate their embryos to stem-cell research, but because embryo use was so recently limited by law, few labs are in a position to receive donations. A patchwork of state laws means that patients around the country have varying degrees of access to the three choices that the American Society for Reproductive Medicine deems ethically acceptable for spare embryos: thawing and discarding them (typically, they go into a clinic’s biohazardous-waste container), donating them to medical research, or donating them to another patient.
Clearly if one of the national health care reform proposals becomes law, there will an instant solution for all states’ laws because the White House is enamored with using those “spare babies” for research and experimentation. This is why, in my opinion, the report dehumanizes these children on purpose by using terms such as “unused,” “byproduct,” “spare” and “extra.” If the reader didn’t know it, he would think he was reading about car parts, not embryonic children.
The Chicago Tribune ran a similar report nearly a month ago entitled “Embryos’ fate: a fertile debate” in which the reporter again used demeaning language, encouraged the acceptance of human embryonic stem cell research and promoted cultural acceptance of killing the preborn human embryonic child by telling a story:
The freedom to make that decision [to donate extra embryos] without condemnation is one of the many factors Adriana finds appealing about the Methodist church, where the couple will baptize their children right before Christmas. Raised Roman Catholic in Brazil, Adriana began to drift after a heart-wrenching divorce.
She cannot imagine her offspring raised by another family without any control over their upbringing. By devoting them to research, she as their mother would have the final say about their greater purpose in life.
There is no suggestion in this entire report that the act of “donating” a human embryo to science is tantamount to execution of an innocent person. God forbid that the media tell the truth, especially when national health care reform hangs in the balance. Playing on the heartstrings of America is the better choice, right?
As if dealing with the preborn and excusing them from life were not enough for the media subservient to the Obama agenda, we find the same disastrous reporting techniques applied to the born. When the news broke that Indiana had proposed an “Altered Standards of Care” guideline in the event of an H1N1 flu outbreak, there was nary a whisper of horror. Even though the proposal would result in “Some cancer patients, heart attack sufferers and burn victims” being taken off ventilators and left to die so that saving the most lives possible could be achieved as an ultimate goal, nobody mentioned triage, intentional killing or rationing as a threat to the community. In fact, no follow up investigative reporting has been done on these proposed guidelines, no public polling to see how the potential victims of such guidelines might react, nothing at all!
But perhaps that is also a planned oversight, for Ron Panzer, long-time patient advocate, told RenewAmerica.com recently,
What we do know is that the pharmaceutical industry is a huge donor to the campaigns of many elected officials. Their lobbyists are very active and have great access to both sides of the political aisle. Billions of dollars are being made through the big push to vaccinate everyone.
The elected officials are pushing for expanded powers of the government through many means. The health care system becomes a tool of the government in times of crisis, whether real or created/manipulated. Health care workers in hospitals and elsewhere will be told to follow the government (U.S. Public Health Department policy) and will have to do so if they are to retain their jobs.
As if by coincidence, in Chicago, the latest investigations regarding nursing home patients and the doctors who treat them is quite similar to those Indiana guidelines that nobody wants to discuss. As Sam Roe reports in the Chicago Tribune, “When physicians or psychiatrists prescribe a drug for a patient, facilities must administer it as long as the order is consistent with state and federal nursing home regulations. If inspectors determine a violation occurred, they cite the nursing facility, not the doctor.”
In other words, a prescribed drug overdose, administered according to doctor’s orders could render the patient near death or dead but the physician is not held accountable. How will this sort of patient abuse be accelerated once health care reform and the cost-cutting aspects of it go into motion?
If you think this question relegates Judie Brown to the wacko division of commentaries on health care reform, consider the words written by Nancy Valko, R.N., more than 10 years ago in her "No Blank Bullets" commentary:
Few people would seriously consider legalizing relative- or family-assisted suicide. The inherent dangers of this type of private killing are much too obvious. Thus, the goal must be physician-assisted suicide or, more accurately, health care professional-assisted suicide, since nurses also must necessarily be involved when the assisted suicide occurs in a health facility or home health situation. We doctors and nurses are the ones society is now considering asking to perform the act of terminating lives, but unlike the firing squad or the lethal injection team, we will know and have to live with the certain knowledge that we caused death.
It is doubly ironic that when a convicted murderer tries to discourage efforts by lawyers to stop his or her execution, this is considered as a sign of stress or mental disorder, while a sick person's willingness to die is considered an understandable and even courageous decision! How do we reconcile the two views that killing is the ultimate punishment for a convicted murderer and, at the same time, the ultimate blessing for an innocent dying or disabled person?
When one considers the fact that Valko wrote this in 1996, what has happened in those intervening 13 years should be a sobering exercise for even the most liberal in our midst.
In summary, pro-life Americans must be vigilant during these health care reform discussions. We must be the ones to consistently remind our elected officials, news reporters and pundits that we are not merely discussing ways to provide health services to the indigent and the uninsured. Rather, America is considering permitting others—namely politicians and career bureaucrats—to make life-changing and life-ending decisions on our behalf. Throw into this mix the clear and undeniably fact that this is the same government that willingly turns a blind eye toward killing the innocent prior to birth and the vulnerable after birth, and one is left with only one choice or mode of action …
Just say no! Obviously, we can all live without government-controlled health care.
Pro-Life Today | 03 December 2009
Property Taxes Fund Abortionshttp://www.myfoxaustin.com/dpp/news/local/120209-Property-Taxes-Funds-AbortionsMy FOX AustinFor the past several years property taxes in Travis County have been funding abortions through the Travis County Health Care District. Some taxpayers, including the Catholic Diocese of Austin, want the practice to stop. The Diocese only recently discovered that their property tax dollars were paying for abortions that are funded through the Travis County Health Care District. "The Travis County Health Care district inherited these contracts from the city of Austin and they've been renewed since the district's inception," says Christie Garbe with the Travis County Health District.
The Bad Business of Planned Parenthoodhttp://insidecatholic.com/Joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=7285&Itemid=48Inside CatholicDespite profits of $85 million in 2008, Planned Parenthood is facing serious financial difficulties, according to a recent Harvard Business School case study. Internally, Planned Parenthood's difficulties stem from the uneven strength of its affiliates, and President Cecile Richards is worried. According to the Harvard case, her organization faces "tough economic times, a hostile political environment, and limited ability to raise philanthropic dollars in a resource constrained area of the country."
Christian Coalition Defends Affiliation with Pro-Abortion UNFPAhttp://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/dec/09120209.htmlLife Site NewsAfter the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) praised an international Christian health care coalition for providing networking opportunities among its members, the leader of the coalition has defended the cooperation, in spite of several investigations concluding that the UNFPA is complicit in China's coercive one-child policy. CCIH lists as members the Christian health or medical associations of several countries, including Kenya, Malawi, Sudan, and India, as well as the HIV initiative of the International Christian Medical and Dental Association. Two Catholic groups, Catholic Relief Services and the Catholic Medical Mission Board, were also listed.For more headline news, click here for ALL’s Daily News Summary.
WHY THE PRINCIPLE OF SUBSIDIARITY NEGATES GOVERNMENT-DICTATED HEALTH CAREBy Judie Brown
Earlier this year, I wrote a blog about health care reform and the Catholic Church’s principle of subsidiarity. In the essay, several Catholic bishops who had raised the same question in relationship to health care reform were quoted. Shortly thereafter, several readers wrote to say that they had never heard of the principle of subsidiarity before. They asked if I could explain it in a fundamental way that would be easy to understand.
I agreed to do this but moved on to other topics of concern and immediately forgot my promise. But then a brick bat struck me in the head (not literally) as I began to absorb the totality of what government-mandated health care reform would really do to the one fundamental structure that operates best in our society—the human family.
If the family itself is placed at the service of the government, chaos results. And in the United States, we have the statistics to prove that. Just what has the welfare program done for families, for example?
Statistics readily available to anyone show that the welfare system has contributed directly to the breakdown of the family unit. As family research expert Patrick Fagan, Ph.D., has testified regarding what states and the federal government have done to assist families, we learn something remarkable about our tax dollars at work:
If we include all the monies spent or budgeted by the states that have moved on this issue they amount to less than one cent spent to shore up marriage for every thousand dollars spent to support single parenthood through welfare.
Imagine it! One penny to affirm the family; one thousand dollars to support single parenthood … and we want this government to control health care?
Additionally, the record shows that this is not a new phenomenon. As early as the 1990s, pro-family organizations were exposing the problematic nature of government involvement in the family. Coral Ridge Ministries’ 1997 publication, Issues Tearing Our Nation’s Fabric, sheds light on the “Breakdown of the Family” in chapter three:
Many other social problems, from illegitimacy to drug abuse, and from child poverty to welfare dependency, trace their roots to the breakdown of the family. Today, one child in five in this nation lives in poverty, and Bureau of Justice Statistics data indicate that of all age groups, children are the most likely to be poor.
There is no way in which any advocate for healthy families can convince me that there is a reason to entrust health care to the same government that has enslaved expectant mothers, become financial supporters of promiscuity and rewarded those who bear children as a result.
This is why the principle of subsidiarity rings so true in the current health care reform discussions. As Pope John Paul II expounded regarding the nucleus of society, the human family, in Familiaris Consortio:
[F]amilies should be the first to take steps to see that the laws and institutions of the State not only do not offend but support and positively defend the rights and duties of the family. Along these lines, families should grow in awareness of being "protagonists" of what is known as "family politics" and assume responsibility for transforming society; otherwise families will be the first victims of the evils that they have done no more than note with indifference. (44)The family and society have complementary functions in defending and fostering the good of each and every human being. But society—more specifically the State—must recognize that "the family is a society in its own original right" and so society is under a grave obligation in its relations with the family to adhere to the principle of subsidiarity. (45)
[F]amilies should be the first to take steps to see that the laws and institutions of the State not only do not offend but support and positively defend the rights and duties of the family. Along these lines, families should grow in awareness of being "protagonists" of what is known as "family politics" and assume responsibility for transforming society; otherwise families will be the first victims of the evils that they have done no more than note with indifference. (44)
The family and society have complementary functions in defending and fostering the good of each and every human being. But society—more specifically the State—must recognize that "the family is a society in its own original right" and so society is under a grave obligation in its relations with the family to adhere to the principle of subsidiarity. (45)
Expanding on this principle of subsidiarity, Father David Bosnich wrote recently in the Acton Institute newsletter:
One of the key principles of Catholic social thought is known as the principle of subsidiarity. This tenet holds that nothing should be done by a larger and more complex organization which can be done as well by a smaller and simpler organization. In other words, any activity which can be performed by a more decentralized entity should be. This principle is a bulwark of limited government and personal freedom. It conflicts with the passion for centralization and bureaucracy characteristic of the Welfare State.
This proposal of a limited government that serves rather than controls applies in a particular way when one compares the unique nature of the human person to the overt efforts of the American government to extinguish such persons. The government has the capacity—and has the record to prove it—to deny, deconstruct and otherwise disparage the fundamental respect due to the human being through a process of dehumanization. The government has already made it clear that individuals are disposable when other agendas serve a “greater good.”
In other words, the government is already deeply immersed in a philosophy that is not based on respect for the individual person, but is based on a utilitarian ethic into which such things as rationing and abortion meld perfectly.
While the government has a proper role to play, according to the Constitution, in defending and protecting the people of this nation, this same government should not be establishing in law or regulation policies alleged to make health care more efficient when, in fact, such policies are based on a flawed concept of what it means to respect the dignity of the human being and the fundamental structure of the human family.
If I therefore take the principle of subsidiarity and apply it, so as to discover the best governing body possible for accepting the responsibility of protecting the most vulnerable and the most dependent members of society, a startling conclusion becomes self-evident. It is only in the context of the family unit that a vulnerable human being can be assured that health care is given when needed, based on the wellbeing of the human person.
The cost/benefit ratios being promoted by the Obama Administration under the guise of health care reform will not reinforce the family unit, but will further tear it down by pitting the healthy against the weak.
There will be more abortions, not less. There will be more money for Planned Parenthood and its allies, not less. There will be more money for destructive clinical research such as human embryonic stem cell research. And the list goes on.
This is why we continue to emphasize the fundamental truth that the family itself is the most reliable and the most natural locus for the task of providing health care to a loved one in need. There can be no federally mandated health care reform due to the current federal philosophy of death. The current atmosphere makes it inconceivable that the federal government would preserve and protect the family, reinforce that family and move out of the way to enable the family to function as it should. The principle of subsidiarity is at odds with what the government is all about, pure and simple.
The principle of subsidiarity is based on respect for the ability of the family to function without government interference. Alternatively, current federally mandated health care reform proposals are based on big brother government doing the choosing when it comes to health care, including life-terminating procedures such as abortion and euthanasia.
The two concepts—government control and the principle of subsidiarity—are mutually exclusive.
As Pope Benedict XVI so wisely reminds us in Deus Caritas Est (God Is Love), issued in 2006:
The State which would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person—every person—needs: namely, loving personal concern. We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need. (Section 28)
Pro-Life Today | 02 December 2009
Be scared: Obamacare endangers our life spanshttp://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=117643World Net DailyMuch of the press coverage of the Democrats' health-care legislation, now fiercely embattled in Congress, focuses on the public option, the actual long-term costs and tax increases, and the amendment barring funding for abortions, but the cold heart of Obamacare is its overpowering of the doctor-patient relationship – eventually resulting in the premature ending of many Americans' lives for being too costly.
Woman arrested after alleged threats against abortion protestershttp://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/11/25/duluth-abortion-clinic-incident/MPR NewsA woman on her way into a Duluth building that houses a clinic where abortions are performed threatened two abortion picketers with a knife, police said. The 25-year-old woman from Superior, Wis., was arrested following the incident Tuesday outside the Building for Women, which houses the clinic along with several other organizations.
Police arrest town-haller demanding Rep. Kennedy explain abortion supporthttp://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/dec/09120115.htmlLife Site NewsRep. Patrick Kennedy, a Rhode Island Democrat, and son to the late "Lion of the Senate" Ted Kennedy, made clear to his constituents this past Monday that demanding how he could support anti-life measures in health-care reform and call himself a Catholic was a bridge too far to cross. In fact, one citizen who dared to ask that question at a town-hall event found himself dragged off by police, while Rep. Kennedy ignored all questions related to abortion or his faith.For more headline news, click here for ALL’s Daily News Summary.
Video: ALL Explains Personhood is Key for Growing Number of Young Pro-Life Women
Today, American Life League's communications director, Katie Walker, took on both Dylan Ratigan of MSNBC's Morning Meeting and the U.S. managing editor of the Financial Times, Chrystia Freeland, to explain why more young women today consider themselves to be pro-life. While faced with hostile opposition, Walker maintained focus on the heart of the matter, which is the personhood of every human being from their biological beginning.
Be sure to watch and spread this video, which is posted here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8tjwPwMkog
MAMMOGRAMS, BREAST CANCER AND THE POLITICS OF MEDICAL PRACTICEBy Judie Brown
As I listened to Senator Harry Reid discussing health care reform over Thanksgiving weekend, it occurred to me that something is amiss. There is a fundamental problem underlying the fact that we are even having the health care debate now occurring in the halls of Congress, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ headquarters and the White House. Simply put, I have never met anyone who has elected a physician, and entrusted him or her with his health and well-being.
Americans don’t vote for their doctor; they identify a good doctor as someone who can help them when they are ill and keep them healthy when they are not ill. On the other hand, I have never met a politician who reminded me of a kindly family doctor. While I am aware that there are a few physicians who have become elected officials, they are a rarity, not the run-of-the-mill elected official. And, I might add, they don’t see patients during their tenure in office. The two professions are absolutely dissimilar … or at least they used to be. But things are changing these days and, I daresay, not for the better.
Many members of America’s political class are now, quite literally, injecting themselves into the life-and-death situations confronted by families. Such politicians are acting as if they know what is best for us all and assuring us that even if they bankrupt the country, they are only doing what is best for everyone. Sounds pretty ridiculous, doesn’t it? Well, it would make a great comedy if it weren’t so deadly serious right now.
Clearly, there is a whole lot more to this than merely my humble opinion. For example, look at the controversy over mammograms and breast cancer prevention.
A couple of weeks ago, the Washington Post opined regarding the new recommendations issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The task force claims that women in their 40s really would be better off not having an annual mammogram because “the impact of false-positive readings, such as anxiety and the pain associated with biopsies and multiple reexaminations” has been harmful to many women. On the other hand, the task force did recommend that women between the ages of 50 and 74 get a mammogram every couple of years and encouraged physicians to promote such screening.
Right away, some denounced the task force’s report as a perfect example of how the government is preparing the public for rationed health care, while others disagreed. One commentator, Tracie Walker, explained it this way: “Some see these new mammogram recommendations as a real problem, but others think this is a tempest in a teapot, heightened by the current tense political climate, and not a real threat to women after all.”
Well, maybe. But another Washington Post editorialist provided insights that raise the bar a bit. Steven Pearlstein, an Obamacare supporter, alleges that Sebelius ran for political cover, “undermining the move toward evidence-based medicine [Obamacare] with her hasty and cowardly disavowal of a recommendation from her department’s own task force that women under 50 are probably better off not getting routine annual mammograms.”
At least Pearlstein was honest enough to admit, “I have no idea of who should and should not get routine mammograms.” He then asserted, “I know enough about statistics to say that the issue is not settled just because you know of someone in her 40s whose breast cancer was detected by a mammogram and cured.” However, most of us understand that mammograms have saved lives and, for many women, are a necessity. We know that when breast cancer runs in a family, a mammogram becomes preventive medicine, don’t we?
Conservative commentator Ken Blackwell’s assessment of Pearlstein’s comments and the Obama-Pelosi-Reid health care prescription should help us think this entire matter through with clarity and honesty:
President Obama’s chief adviser on health care is Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel, brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel. Dr. Emmanuel thinks the problem with burgeoning health care costs is that pesky Hippocratic Oath. Too many doctors are too concerned about their own patients; they’re not looking at the bigger picture. In a world of scarce resources, wouldn’t it be better to take our chances that some women 41-50 will get breast cancer than to devote a disproportionate share of society’s total resources to MRI’s for them. We could treat a lot of diabetics for what it costs to save a few women from breast cancer. Do the math. That’s the Zeke approach.
It’s probably really convenient that Zeke and Rahm are brothers. That way we can apply Chicago-style politics to your health care needs. You won’t have many choices under ObamaCare. But you don’t have many choices for Mayor in Chicago, either. And they like it that way.
If you ascribe to current inside-the-Beltway political correctness, you might think Blackwell is being too sarcastic and critical of the Obama administration, but I would disagree.
Blackwell exposes scientific evidence that, as one might expect, is being ignored by the brothers Emmanuel and a whole lot of others. In fact, what really caught my eye were not Blackwell’s barbs but his focus on abortion and its connection to breast cancer. He reports,
One thing not being mentioned in this week’s battle over early detection for breast cancer is the abortion-breast cancer connection. Abortion can increase the likelihood of a woman developing breast cancer. So can use of the contraceptive pill.
These are not things you are likely to hear in this debate. Why? Because the fight to defend human life has already politicized medical care in this country.
In this commentary, Blackwell doesn’t address the underlying reason for the politicization of “medical care” (i.e., the deadly aspects of so-called reproductive health). Abortion is not a lifesaving surgery; it is an act of killing. A pregnant woman is one of two patients for whom a physician must provide care. And until both parties receive full recognition of their human personhood, this subject is not going to go away, because we are talking about an act of murder committed under the guise of medicine. But I digress. Blackwell continues,
Drs. Joel Brind and Angela Lanfranchi are highly educated medical researchers. They head the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute. Note their emphasis on prevention. It’s a word we rarely hear in politicized discussions of breast cancer. …
We need to pay greater attention to prevention strategies. Drs. Brind and Lanfranchi offer common sense recommendations, including these: 1. Reduce exposure to estrogen (such as that included in birth control pills, patches and injectable or implantable hormones). 2. Don’t smoke. 3. Exercise. 4. Maintain early body weight. 5. Have children earlier in life. 6. Breast feed your children. 7. Avoid induced abortion. 8. Avoid induced premature deliveries.
You can get more detailed information from the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute at 1.866.622.6237 (1.86NO CANCER) or by going online to www.bcpinstitute.org. Most of the debate over ObamaCare has focused too narrowly on some select issues—subsidies for abortion, the so-called public option (government health care), or coverage of illegal immigrants.
These are important questions, to be sure, but they’re only three of the hundreds of reasons why we should resist ObamaCare. We need to see how politicized medicine is simply bad medicine. We need to understand that politics is not the best place for decisions about your health care needs. We need to encourage those doctors, nurses, and pharmacists who uphold the Hippocratic Oath. They are not working for all of society. They hold their obligation to you, their patient, as a sacred trust. Isn’t that what you really want in a health care provider?
Indeed, Blackwell is on the right track, and Drs. Brind and Lanfranchi are thus not alone in pointing out the major health risks created by induced abortion and the ingestion of contraceptive chemicals. As is the case with anything that might give aborting a child a bad name, such research is rarely, if ever, acknowledged as credible, at least not by the “mainstream” media. Perhaps that is why the Washington Post avoids the obvious in its coverage of breast cancer prevention.
The debate over breast cancer screening guidelines serves as yet another harbinger of what might await us under Obama-style “health care reform”—wherein government bureaucrats, rather than you and your doctor, would decide how much and what kind of health care you would receive.
The next time Senator Harry Reid or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi show up on your television screen or are quoted in a local newspaper during their quest to pass Obamacare, don’t throw a shoe or light a match … send a message! Let them and your own members of Congress know exactly how you feel about the politicization of medicine.
To my mind, it is ridiculous, it is dangerous and it is just plain wrong.
Pro-Life Today | 13 November 2009
Church officials, critics clash over Catholic Campaign for Human Developmenthttp://www.renewamerica.com/columns/abbott/091113 Renew AmericaThe CCHD has never attempted to contact American Life League regarding our campaign. In fact, American Life League sent a letter with documentation to Bishop Morin regarding one of the organizations being funded by the CCHD and never received a response.
Planned Parenthood and ACLU Sue to block personhood initiativehttp://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/nov/09111302.htmlLife Site NewsPlanned Parenthood (PP) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have filed a lawsuit against the sponsors of a Nevada ballot initiative that would explicitly define "person" as pertaining to all human beings, including the unborn. The ACLU and PP filed the challenge this week in Carson City District Court on behalf of feminist blogger Emmily Bristol, physician Dr. William Ramos, and pharmacist Mindy Hsu. The lawsuit claims the initiative violates state law by not explicitly stating the possible effects of the amendment on the legal status of abortion, emergency contraception, and fertility treatment.
Cape Cod abortion buzz baselesshttp://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=765278One News NowThe National Abortion Rights Action League's (NARAL) plea that five abortion clinics in Cape Cod have been closed because of the pro-life movement is not true. Anne Fox of Massachusetts Citizens for Life says the story which has shown up in three newspaper blogs generated by the abortion group, complaining that Cape Cod is now undeserved for abortions, is bogus. For more headline news, click here for ALL’s Daily News Summary.
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is funding organizations that engage in activities or profess philosophies that are completely contrary to Church teaching, such as promoting same-sex marriage, abortion and contraception. American Life League reveals some of these organizations in its ongoing investigation.
For more details and documentation, be sure to visit http://www.all.org/cchd.If you are Catholic, please download our "No Thank You!" statement for the upcoming (November 22) CCHD collection: http://www.all.org/pdf/cchd/nothankyou.pdfFEATURE STORY
HOW TO CONVERT A NATION DESPITE OUR HUMAN FRAILTYBy Judie Brown
Recently, a powerful letter from a grassroots Catholic pro-lifer, Gregory Gollnick, came to my personal attention. I reviewed what he opined in his letter and asked for his permission to share it in this commentary.
I have added information here and there to flesh out Gollnick’s message. By and large, however, he has really put into proper perspective the entire matter of how we have reached this crisis in America.
The abortion debate has been going on for many years now. Unfortunately, I believe the Catholic Church in America inadvertently had a great deal to do with setting the stage for the passing of Roe v. Wade/Doe v. Bolton and also has been guilty of actions that have made the repeal of this law so difficult.
When Pope Paul VI signed Humanae Vitae, the reaction by a great number of Catholic priests and theologians was signed protests that appeared in prominent newspapers the following day.
Here it is incumbent upon me to add to Gollnick’s analysis, because of the fact that James Cardinal Stafford knows the facts about this firestorm from the inside. In his remarkable reflection on how the dissent affected holy priests and the Church (“In 1968, something terrible happened in the Church”), Cardinal Stafford pulls no punches. One of the most powerful portions of his article concerns his own ecclesial superior at the time, Lawrence Cardinal Shehan, the sixth archbishop of Baltimore. As Cardinal Stafford relates it, Cardinal Shehan, in his memoirs, recalled,
[A]fter receiving the first news of the publication of the encyclical, the Rev. Charles E. Curran, instructor of moral theology of the Catholic University of America, flew back to Washington from the West where he had been staying. Late [on the afternoon of July 29], he and nine other professors of theology of the Catholic University met, by evident prearrangement, in Caldwell Hall to receive, again by prearrangement with the Washington Post, the encyclical, part by part, as it came from the press. The story further indicated that by nine o’clock that night, they had received the whole encyclical, had read it, had analyzed it, criticized it, and had composed their six-hundred-word “Statement of Dissent.”
Then they began that long series of telephone calls to “theologians” throughout the East, which went on, according to the Post, until 3:30 a.m., seeking authorization to attach their names as endorsers (signers was the term used) of the statement, although those to whom they had telephoned could not have had an opportunity to see either the encyclical or their statement. Meanwhile, they had arranged through one of the local television stations to have the statement broadcast that night.
…The first thing that we have to note about the whole performance is this: so far as I have been able to discern, never in the recorded history of the Church has a solemn proclamation of a pope been received by any group of Catholic people with so much disrespect and contempt.
In his article, Cardinal Stafford affirms Gollnick’s premise.
I believe this sign of revolt by many in the American Church was one of the signals that paved the way for the passing of Roe v. Wade/Doe v. Bolton shortly afterwards. This catastrophic mistake was never acknowledged or regretted by the signers, with the exception of one lone voice who wrote to Father Tom Euteneuer, sharing his sorrow over what he had done.
Later, the Catholic Church was involved in a sex scandal that went on for years before it was even acknowledged by Church authorities. Then, a painful and hurtful charade was carried on before our eyes that tried to minimize the massive extent of this scandal to the Church and deny the homosexual nature of the scandal, which was exposed in the bishops’ own report. Over two billion dollars later, the pathetic attempt to deny the truth to the nation and to its own embarrassed laity has failed.
The result of this is that no amount of protest by the official Catholic Church will convince anyone, because the credibility the Church once had was completely destroyed. Still, many Catholics continue to protest against abortion and are the heart of the anti-abortion movement, even though they have the albatross of their Church’s scandal around their necks.
Since the practice of abortion has gone on for so long now, I believe a shift or change in some of the language we use might help to make points that will be useful at this time. I have included three points for your thoughts.
In closing, I ask where are the protests that one should expect from those organizations that seem to catch every word that has racist or sexist connotations? And what about the uproar caused by every incident of discrimination that occurs in the workplace or in public? I guess that murder doesn’t seem to measure up to these types of occurrences.
And why don’t people seem to notice the horror of over one million surgical abortions every year in the United States? I believe our capacity to judge ourselves as civilized people has been impaired by the concessions we have made to the truth and to our language, as we have tried to come to grips with the awful facts and implications of the regularization of abortion in our land. And we are not going to get better until the truth is recognized and abortion is acknowledged as the evil it is and banned once again, by an informed conscience, from our land.
Mr. Gollnick has written one of the most thought-provoking commentaries we have seen in quite some time. We hope it spurs you on to rethink the status quo and challenge it daily. Each of us is putty in the hands of God, and each of us has the potential, with His grace, to make a difference. Mr. Gollnick did that for me today. What are his words going to inspire you to do?
Every human being’s life is precious, so let’s act like it, today and every day. Thank you, Mr. Gollnick!
Pro-Life Today | 12 November 2009
PRI's Stephen Mosher Expresses Serious Concern Over Amended Health Care Bill http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/nov/09111108.htmlLife Site NewsSays, "A Stupak Amendment is clearly not enough. It includes no conscience protection, and does nothing to prohibit hastening death." "The House bill..., permanently funds pornographic sex education for all students. It sets up an Institute of Medicine..., which may be the Trojan Horse to introduce rationing into the health care system."
Senate Dems Plan for Floor Fight on Abortion Coverage in Health Reform Billhttp://www.nationalpartnership.org/site/News2?abbr=daily2_&page=NewsArticle&id=21907&security=1201&news_iv_ctrl=-1
National Partnership for Women and FamiliesSenate Democrats are preparing for a fight over abortion coverage when floor debate begins on the chamber's version of health care reform legislation, CQ Today reports. According to CQ Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) version of the bill, which is yet to be released, is not likely to include restrictions on abortion coverage that will be strong enough to satisfy antiabortion-rights members. Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said they have not decided if they will offer an antiabortion amendment to Reid's bill. Nelson on Tuesday said, "I think the Hyde Amendment is fairly clear and it ought to be carried over into any legislation here." He added that the "question of how you do it is of course going to be open. That'll probably be a big debate on the floor."
Hodari Abortion Clinic up for Sale as Lawsuit Ongoinghttp://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/nov/09111109.htmlLife Site NewsAt least one abortion clinic owned by abortionist Alberto Hodari in Flint, Michigan is now up for sale. Flint Right to Life president Judy Climer told LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) that she spotted the sign advertising the Feminine Health Care Clinic building at 2032 S. Saginaw St. for rent when she arrived to pray at the site today. For more headline news, click here for ALL’s Daily News Summary.
Tell the CCHD, "No thank you!"
ALL is conducting a “No Thank You!” campaign, asking Catholics to withhold donations from the November 22 annual collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Develpment because current CCHD grantees support the following:
“Family planning” services
"Comprehensive" sexuality education
Emergency contraceptionAnd even though the CCHD chairman, Bishop Roger Morin, defunded two organizations for supporting these agendas, there are many more that MUST be removed!
Go to www.all.org/cchd for comprehensive information on CCHD grantees.
Once you get the facts, download the "No Thank You!" statement and explain to the CCHD that this year, you will be giving to an authentically Catholic organization instead!ALL Report: 'Planned Parenthood's Declaration of Debauchery'International Planned Parenthood Federation has released a declaration of "sexual rights," seeking to impose its twisted view of human sexuality on all nations. The declaration, if ever fully realized, would remove all legal, social and religious barriers to all forms of sexual perversion in virtually any situation, including public areas.
To view the full analysis, go to www.all.org/ippf
WHY THE CONSEQUENCES OF STUPAK MATTER—AND WHAT YOU CAN DO!By Judie Brown
I have been detailing the problematic nature of the Stupak Amendment, the politicization of killing the preborn, the architects of this compromise in so-called health care reform legislation and what it has done to undermine genuine pro-life principle. When I wrote “The Case of the Missing Moral Authority,” facts regarding the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ bureaucrats calling the shots were presented. Like it or not, the facts are there. My subsequent commentary dealt with the National Right to Life Committee’s contribution to the current confusion.
But in case there is some doubt about what Stupak’s exception-filled, compromising language does to effectively continue the abortion status quo, I would like to give you a few examples of what the status quo is. The first is Texas abortionist Curtis Boyd:
Now, the doctor has made a jarring admission. “Am I killing?” Boyd said. “Yes, I am. I know that.” Boyd said he is an ordained Baptist minister who has now turned Unitarian. He said he prays often. “I’ll ask that the spirit of this pregnancy be returned to God with love and understanding,” he said.
Note that this man is numb to the very idea of the preborn child as a person, describing him or her as “the spirit of this pregnancy.” What sort of man talks like that? A man who has, for more than 36 years, plied a trade that results in bloody death while he gets paid to do it and is protected by our nation’s laws. Boyd exemplifies the status quo.
Next, we have ex-policeman Bobby Cutts in Ohio, who was convicted of a double murder last year after he brutally murdered his nin-months-pregnant girlfriend. This man aborted two people out of his life, just as Boyd aborts a single human being. The difference is that Cutts was found guilty of a crime, but in a culture that condones some murder as acceptable, couldn’t we argue that escalating violence against born human beings is one of the inevitable by-products? In my view, we certainly could and Cutts is but one example.
Actions such as his and those of numerous others represent what happens when abortion and its progeny are defined in political terms: regulated but never condemned as the direct acts of violence that they are.
Violence exemplifies the status quo.
In a stunningly insightful commentary, Dr. Mark Hendrickson takes note of this trend as well. Citing the Ohio case as one of many, he opined,
Apparently, this particular crime is not rare. One expert interviewed for the report I saw averred that homicide is the second-most common cause of death for pregnant women in America. …
The increasing incidence of men killing their pregnant lovers coincides over the last 36 years with abortion having received legal sanction as a legitimate form of birth control. Legalizing the killing of unwanted babies was our first repudiation of the principle of the sanctity of life, a rejection of God’s plan. “Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the Lord” (Isaiah, 66:9).
A next step after abortion on the slippery slope toward death is the killing of women bearing unwanted babies. (A quick aside here: The pro-abortion assertion that a fetus is just a growth inside a woman’s body, not a life, receives a strong rebuke when our laws treat the murder of a pregnant woman as a double homicide.)
Roughly coinciding with the period of legalized abortion has been the insidious error, propagated by pagan environmentalism, that there are too many people, that having children is irresponsible, that a human being is just another mouth to feed, rather than an intelligent, creative, productive being whose life can glorify the Creator of the universe. God’s first command to man—”be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis. 1:28)—was contradicted by green theologians who proclaimed procreation a sin against mother earth.
Also feeding an anti-life culture has been the common “baby boomer” desire to remain young and carefree for as long as possible. Raising kids is hard work and ties one down, right? True, but millions of us who have opted for parenthood have found raising children to be the greatest joy in this world. But the fact remains that many boomers have preferred consumption to investment, immediate gratification to long-term, greater rewards. We’d rather partake of the pleasures of this world (exotic vacations, fancy cars, luxury goods) than sacrifice some of our immediate wants for the long-run benefit of our familial and societal posterity.
Another powerful anti-life undertow was generated by the “sexual revolution.” For many, the Judeo-Christian concept of sex for procreation was eclipsed by the philosophy of sex as recreation. Procreation or recreation: Is sex about creating life or having fun? Is it about giving life and love, or is it about taking pleasure—a self-indulgence so devoid of love that in extreme cases it culminates in murder. Is it life-affirming or life-destroying?
To the extent that sex as fun has eclipsed sex for life, we have trivialized sex and devalued life. The result: Soaring divorce rates, the emotional trauma of broken families, and even men murdering their lovers and unborn children. Clearly, being “liberated” from traditional sexual mores isn’t as progressive—individually or socially—as the proponents of sexual “liberation” promised. …
Indeed, it is difficult to conceive of a more demoralized society and one riper for the loss of self-government than one in which men choose to kill their pregnant lovers and wives.
As is always the case with life’s great issues, the Bible provides the best guidance: “Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward” (Psalm 127:3) and “choose life that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).
What Dr. Henderson describes are the ultimate consequences of maintaining the status quo, what eventually happens when political machinations replace the principle that no human being's human rights should be denied, including those of the most silent among us: the preborn.
When a woman wrote me yesterday and asked why it was that American Life League has been nearly a voice in the wilderness, decrying our peers’ shameful support for the Stupak Amendment, it took no time at all for me to reply,
Young pro-lifers, and that’s most of our staff and supporters, are simply sick of being told to wait to end abortion, wait for the right time to fight for human rights. They want personhood now. To them, the personhood movement is a positive; it’s about fulfilling John Paul II’s dream of a culture of life. They’ve grown up hearing about abortion, birth control, embryonic stem cell research, etc., and that can be so overwhelming. But personhood ignites their passion by cutting at the very root of all of these offenses against the dignity of the human person, using the positive sword of truth: Every human being is a human person, from the beginning of their biological development.
So many in the older generation of the pro-life movement have succumbed to defeatism. We hear about “abortion neutrality” and “regulation of abortion.” The young people driving the personhood movement don’t see “abortion neutrality” as the goal. They see respect for the human rights of all human beings, from their biological beginning, as the goal.
The beauty of the personhood movement is that it is both a legislative and a cultural movement. Anyone who has had a serious debate about abortion knows that the issue isn’t whether the child in the womb is alive, but whether the child in the womb has the same intrinsic value as you or me.
... Personhood very simply recognizes that all human beings are persons and deserve equal protection under the law. It is, literally, the fulfillment of the civil rights movement.
There are several substantive actions pro-life Americans can take right now to assure that a final federal health care reform bill either respects the dignity of every human person—without exception—or dies in Congress due to its moral duplicity:
1. Contact your Catholic bishop and ask him to get personally involved in further negotiations, rather than merely allowing USCCB bureaucrats to speak for him. You can find contact information for every Catholic bishop by clicking here.
2. Contact the National Right to Life Committee and ask it to step away from Stupak-type compromises and press for personhood principles in health care reform:
3. Contact your members of Congress and inform each of them that you are not willing to compromise on a single human being’s right to life for the sake of reaching a consensus on health care reform. Explain that if they vote for such a deal, you will work for their defeat in the next election.
4. Pray for the courage to defend what you know is right, regardless of the consequences. Take these profound words to heart:
Be constant in practicing every virtue and especially in imitating the patience of our dear Jesus, for this is the summit of pure love. Live in such a way that all may know that you bear outwardly as well as inwardly the image of Christ crucified, the model of all gentleness and mercy. For if a man is united inwardly with the Son of the living God, he also bears His likeness outwardly by his continual practice of heroic goodness, and especially through a patience reinforced by courage, which does not complain either secretly or in public. Conceal yourselves in Jesus crucified, and hope for nothing except that all men be thoroughly converted to His will. (Saint Paul of the Cross,1694–1775)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
07 October 2009
A.L.L. 'MAP ROOM' PROTESTS COVER PLANNED PARENTHOODS IN 40 OF 49 STATES
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
American Life League: Map Roomhttp://www.stopp.org/maps/
Pro-Life Today | 28 September 2009
Groups call for more sex ed, insurance for birth control
Ohio is one of the least accommodating states when it comes to access to birth control, and nearly half of the babies born in Ohio are from unintended pregnancies, according to a report from the Coalition for Family Health. A coalition of 31 women's groups and health organizations wants to change those statistics by getting schools to embrace comprehensive sex education and forcing insurers to pay for contraceptives.
http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/ohio-news/groups-call-for-more-sex-ed-insurance-for-birth-control-320075.html?cxtype=ynews_rssPlanned Parenthood Deserves the ACORN Treatment
For James O'Keefe, the sequel has been a blockbuster. As almost everyone knows by now, the investigative journalist and a friend secretly filmed themselves posing as a pimp and prostitute while ACORN workers advised them how to obtain a mortgage for a brothel of Latin American sex slaves. But lost in the deserved attention to the ACORN sting film has been O'Keefe's first release, a 2007 expose of the systemic corruption at another liberal activist organization, Planned Parenthood.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) today released draft guidelines that permit federal funding for research on stem cells from human embryos set to be discarded by fertility clinics. Under the new regs, the agency would fund studies on embryos created in test tubes but no longer needed for reproductive purposes, adult stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells (skin or other adult cells that are nudged back into their pluripotent state, when they have the potential to become any cell type). Fertility patients would have to consent to their leftover embryos being donated for research.
For more headline news, click here for ALL's Daily News Summary.
Volume 6, Number 36 Monday, September 21, 2009
Pro-life Memorial Day
Have you started planning for Pro-life Memorial Day? There is still time, but Monday, October 5 is only three weeks away! Here’s what you can do:
Register at http://www.prolifememorialday.com/register.php. We’d like to know who's participating and where they’re from.
Promote the day. Tell your family, friends and colleagues about the event and encourage them to participate and register.
Send the promotional video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjFiiEiZJyQ) to everyone on your e-mail list!
Print fliers! (http://www.prolifememorialday.com/images/PLMD09eventC.pdf)
Print posters! (http://www.prolifememorialday.com/images/PLMDposterColor.pdf)
Download a web banner! (http://www.prolifememorialday.com/images/PLMDprofile.jpg)
Order the official PLMD T-shirt! (http://americanlifeleague.stores.yahoo.net/20prmedayt1.html)
Finally, host a prayer vigil! On October 5, or the night before, get your group together outside of the local abortion mill, Planned Parenthood facility or courthouse. All you need are some candles and prayerful hearts.
Pro-Life WisconsinWhile plans were approved last February, the Madison Surgery Center still has not begun performing late-term abortions. PLW continues to monitor activities at the Center, sponsor prayerful protests, run local television ads and encourage pro-life activism in order to prevent abortions at the center. For updates and further information, please visit the web site at www.noUWabortions.com.
Tip of the month – Parent Power
From Parent Power!! By Jim Sedlak
Having taken a look at Planned Parenthood philosophies, let us again see what it takes to get these philosophies out of our schools. Previously, we described a long three-year battle that was successful. Not all sex-ed fights are that long. Sometimes, the issues are clear and the response immediate.
Activity began in School District #4 after a mother became suspicious when she received a note from school that her child was to participate in a “mandatory” sex-ed program. She began to look into the program which school officials admitted was not mandated by the state. Although unable to get a lot of information, she did manage to learn that the text being used to create the course was an FLE guide published by Planned Parenthood.
This district had never been a problem one, so the mother called the school superintendent and asked for a meeting. At the meeting, she informed him about the use of Planned Parenthood material and about the evil of Planned Parenthood.
The superintendent told the mother that he was well aware of Planned Parenthood and that it was against district policy to use Planned Parenthood material. He said he would straighten out the situation.
Two days later, the mother talked again with the teacher and asked to see the resource material. The teacher informed the mother that she had discovered that using Planned Parenthood materials was not allowed and she no longer had the book.
Although the mother was still concerned with what was going to be taught, she was buoyed by the fact that she was able to get the Planned Parenthood material out of the school.
In School District #5, the County Junior League decided to get Planned Parenthood-type sex education classes into the local schools. In order to make the entry as painless as possible for the school district, the Junior League secured some $10,000 in funding to pay the costs of the program. They then approached the school district and offered to put the course into the schools.
Parents became aware of these efforts and started a campaign to educate the school officials about the evils of Planned Parenthood’s programs. They found the school principal very knowledgeable on the negative effects of these types of programs. As a result, the school district turned down the program and the children were spared.
In many areas, Planned Parenthood has realized that it cannot get programs into the schools if its name is associated with them. They try to use other organizations to get the programs in, often changing the names of the programs so they will not be recognized. So, parents have to be alert to any of these types of programs, no matter whose name is associated with it.
These two quick victories illustrate how parents can head off problems IF they are aware of what is going on in the schools. It is important for parents to be involved with the schools even if there is not an identifiable problem. By attending school board meetings and talking with teachers, parents can keep their finger on the “pulse” of the school and are likely to find out early if an offensive program is being considered. In general, it is easier to stop a program before it starts than to remove it after it has gained a foothold.
Next month – School district #6
Study: Abortion, hormonal contraceptives influence breast cancer riskA paper published this week in the journal, The Linacre Quarterly, by Angela Lanfranchi, M.D., shows how different pregnancy outcomes influence breast cancer risk. According to Lanfranchi, 52 years of research has pointed to the fact that abortion, as well as hormonal contraceptives, can significantly increase the risk of breast cancer. http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/sep/09090807.html
Women who have just one abortion face 35 percent increased risk of having a premature babyWomen who have abortions could be posing a risk to future children, according to research published last week. A Canadian medical study found that those who abort a pregnancy could run the risk of giving birth to premature or low-weight children in subsequent pregnancies.
It discovered that women who had undergone more than one abortion had a 72 percent increased risk for low birth weight and 93 percent risk of prematurity. It also found that women who had an abortion in the first or second trimester had a 35 percent increased risk of giving birth to a low-weight birth baby and a 36 percent increased risk of having a premature baby.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1213784/Abortions-pose-risk-future-babies-says-study.html#
Obamacare gives Planned Parenthood entry to schools?The House's proposed health care plan would establish "school-based health clinics" on campuses, and one group is warning it could give Planned Parenthood direct access to American schoolchildren at taxpayer expense. The American Family Association is warning that Section 2511 of H.R. 3200, titled "School-Based Health Clinics," allows a "non-profit health agency" to serve as a "sponsoring facility" for health clinics that operate during school hours. http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=109450
Rape victim says God granted a 'rush of love' for her unborn child moments before abortionA British policewoman and born-again Christian says it was a sudden and unexpected "rush of love" that in her mind transformed her preborn child, conceived in a date-rape, from "an alien" to a beloved daughter on the day of her scheduled abortion. http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/sep/09091108.html
Two thousand schoolgirls suffer suspected ill-effects from cervical cancer vaccineThousands of schoolgirls have suffered suspected adverse reactions to a controversial cervical cancer vaccine introduced by the government.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6178045/Two-thousand-schoolgirls-suffer-suspected-ill-effects-from-cervical-cancer-vaccine.html
Paralyzed artist launches WillWalk Foundation to cure paralysis with breakthrough stem cell research
WillWalk, an Austin-based non-profit organization has committed itself to be at the forefront of ending paralysis. WillWalk will raise $3 million to help fund the first non-controversial human stem cell trials for people with spinal cord injury. http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/press-release/paralyzed-artist-launches-willwalk-foundation-to-cure-paralysis-with-breakthrough-stem-cell-research-116211.php
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lamp stand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father."
Pro-Life Today | 11 September 2009
Pro-Life Leaders Lament the Violent Death of a Friend and Ally - Jim Pouillonhttp://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/sep/09091102.htmlLife Site NewsThis morning at 7:20 a.m. James Pouillon, an elderly Michigan-area pro-life activist, was gunned down in front of Owosso High School while protesting abortion with a large sign depicting a baby and the word "Life." A second man was also killed shortly thereafter - Mike Fuoss, the owner of a local gravel pit. It is so far unknown what the motives for the two killings were.
Pro-Life Leaders Warn Obama Still Not Honest About Health Care Abortion Fundinghttp://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/sep/09091008.htmlLife Site NewsPresident Obama told a joint session of Congress Wednesday night that "no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions" in his proposed health care overhaul. Pro-life leaders across America, however, immediately slammed the claim, pointing to the testimony of independent analysts who have asserted that the current legislation will in fact open government funds to abortion.
Obamacare Gives Planned Parenthood Access to Schools?http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=109450World Net DailyThe House's proposed health national health plan would establish "school-based health clinics" on campuses, and one group is warning it could give Planned Parenthood direct access to American schoolchildren at taxpayer expense. The American Family Association, or AFA, is warning that Section 2511 of H.R.3200, or the House plan, titled "School-Based Health Clinics," allows a "non-profit health agency" to serve as a "sponsoring facility" for health clinics that operate during school hours. AFA has provided a document with actual language from H.R.3200 that outlines requirements for the program. For more headline news, click here for ALL's Daily News Summary.
WANT TO BE THE COOL AUNT?By Kortney Blythe
The National Sexuality Resource Center, a far-left, radical, sex-peddling project of San Francisco State University, recently launched a web site called coolaunt.org.
This site's purpose is to encourage adults to be the â€œcool aunt in a child's life. The cool aunt, it says, is someone who isn't afraid to answer the hard, funny and perplexing questions about sex.
To some, this may sound harmless or even helpful. But beware. If you dig deeper, you'll find that this cool aunt is really someone who would undermine a childâ€™s parents by teaching intimate sexual details and answering questions about sexual morality â€œwhen parents, teachers, ministers and other mentors couldn't or wouldn't deliver answers.
Still, maybe you're thinking this cool aunt figure could be a good supplementary guide for a child with questions about sex. Think again. The words and phrases used to describe people who teach their children traditional moral values and chastity reveal coolaunt.org's true intent: to counter the â€œfear-mongering forces that stigmatize sex.
Fearmongering? Really? According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, a fearmonger (also known as scaremonger) is one inclined to raise or excite alarms especially needlessly. I'd say that when one in four people have a sexually transmitted disease, one-third of women get pregnant before age 20 and over 3,000 children are slaughtered daily (all of which is the result of unbridled sex), the alarm needs to be sounded. Children should have a healthy fear of premarital sex. To assuage these godly fears is irresponsible, unrealistic and just plain evil.
The web site continues its attack on righteousness by claiming that a cool aunt is needed to confront abstinence-only education myths at a time when years of shaming young people about sex have led to a dramatic rise in the rates of STI [sexually transmitted infections] and teen pregnancies.
Confront abstinence-only myths? What myths? That abstinence is the only 100-percent effective way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases? That's an undeniable fact, not a myth. Come on!
And shaming has led to an increase in disease and pregnancy? What shame? Have these people watched TV lately? Sit through five minutes of a teen drama series and it's obvious we have no shame! You're cute. I like you. Cut to next scene: Teenager 1 and teenager 2 are rolling on a bed, removing clothing; it is implied that they have intercourse. And that's a tame example.
Plus, there should be shame attached to sin. If the NSRC spent more time teaching sexual purity and less time fighting for a made-up right of every person to healthy and pleasurable sexuality, maybe then we'd see fewer disease-ridden, depressed and lonely kids.
Speaking of what the NSRC's priorities are, one of the themes it emphasizes is teaching young people sexual literacy.
Sexual literacy? America's public schools can't even teach basic literacy, but the NSRC thinks sexual literacy should be a priority? Give me a break! Picture this: A teacher says to a classroom of children, Since we couldn't get you to master the traditional subjects of reading, writing and arithmetic, this year we are switching to sexual literacy, abortion rights and gender issues.
Think this is far-fetched? Think the NSRC is a fringe group that has no impact on society as a whole? Wrong. Just read the United Nations recently released International Guidelines on Sexuality Education, which advocate teaching masturbation to five-year-olds.
As for being the cool aunt, you may not be viewed as cool any longer when the young person ”whom you assured that sex is fun and no big deal ”comes to you with herpes and a broken heart.
Telling a young person in this day and age to be chaste may result in rolling eyes and mockery, earning you labels such as prude or goody-goody. But is it such a bad thing? When I looked up the definition of prude, I found a description that I would wear proudly: â€œa person who is greatly concerned with seemly behavior and morality, especially regarding sexual matters.
But Kortney, thinking kids aren't going to have sex is unrealistic. Noooooo, thinking that giving kids so-called comprehensive sex education will protect them from the consequences of premarital sex is unrealistic. How many years of unaffected (or increasing) statistics will it take before we wake up? Teaching sexual purity and the life-altering consequences of the alternative is the only thing that works.
Kortney Blythe is the chapter and street teams coordinator for American Life League's Rock for Life project, which brings the human personhood message to youth through music, education and human rights activism. This commentary originally appeared in the September 3, 2009 issue of the RFL Report.
Pro-Life Today | 10 September 2009
WWII Pales in Comparison to the Death-Toll of Abortion: U.K. Pro-life Leaderhttp://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/sep/09090902.htmlLife Site news"The death-toll of World War II was a tragic prelude to the far greater slaughter by abortion and euthanasia that has happened since," John Smeaton, Britain's leading pro-life advocate, told a national pro-life conference last weekend.
Religion Professor at Fredericton Catholic University Moonlighting as Abortion Clinic Escorthttp://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/sep/09090904.htmlLife Site NewsDr. Christopher Levan, a first year religious studies professor at St. Thomas University, told LifeSiteNews.com in an interview today that he has only done escorting once so far, but plans on continuing.
FDA Panel Recommends Approval of HPV Vaccine Cervarix for Women, Gardasil for Male Wartshttp://online.wsj.com/article/SB125251962265296471.htmlWall Street JournalAn FDA panel on Wednesday recommended that the agency approve GlaxoSmithKline's human papillomavirus vaccine, Cervarix, to prevent cervical cancer, as well as expand approval of Merck's HPV vaccine, Gardasil, to include use in men ages nine to 26 for the prevention of genital warts. Though FDA is not obligated to follow the panel's guidance, it typically does. For more headline news, click here for ALL's Daily News Summary.
SAY WHAT? A PERSONHOOD PRIMERBy Judie Brown
Recently, a pro-life gentleman asked this question about the language of American Life League's Federal Human Personhood Amendment (FHPA) and the 2010 Colorado Personhood Amendment (CPA):
I am wondering greatly at the wording of the personhood initiative[s]. Why these words from the beginning of their biological development [FHPA], or [from the] beginning of the biological development of that human being [CPA], which seem so confusing, uninformative and subject to perversion by the pro-aborts? What do they mean anyway?
Fortunately, the question went to Dr. Dianne Irving, who has been the chief scientific and philosophical consultant on not only our FHPA language, but the language for human personhood initiatives in California, Colorado, Florida, Montana and elsewhere. Dr. Irving has always warned that if you can't accurately define the material aspect of when a human being begins to exist, then you can't correctly define when the human person begins to exist.
Dr. Irving wrote the following response:
I am very grateful for your important question and will do my best to answer it “without getting too scientific or philosophical. However, please keep in mind that the fundamental problem with the issue of personhood today is and has been that false science and very problematic contemporary bioethics philosophy has confused a great many people in this country today.
The words beginning of the biological development of that human being specifically bypass all the falsehoods of the pro-abortion and pro-human embryo research propaganda just noted, and instead do guarantee the personhood of each and every human being, leaving no one out "legally".
Let me start with the legal concern “and this has to do with how unethical legal loopholes are purposefully created. Many people do not realize that in legal documents (as distinct from normal conversation or other literature), usually the words chosen as the language for those legal documents are understood in the law to be exclusive. That is, usually, those things that fall out of the formal definition used in the legal document are not covered by the document. For example, if a legal document were to define bears as being brown, then that legal document would not apply to those bears that are white or black. Here, the term brown is used in an exclusionary way, and the courts will later usually rule according to the exclusionary language found in the formal definitions in the legal document. Thus, in this example, the use of an exclusionary term in the formal definition can be used as a loophole "so that the legislation does not apply to white or black bears".
Legal loopholes can also be forged by means of misdefining something in a legal document. For example, if a legal document misdefines a bear as a member of the species Homo sapiens, then that misdefinition could also be used as a legal loophole that would actually render the entire law concerning bears inapplicable, even unconstitutional, due to vagueness, etc.
I point to these legal problems, especially the formal definitions used in legal documents, because this is precisely how so many laws and regulations have been passed in this country for so long that are inherently unethical, and which especially leave many innocent living human beings out of legal protection.
For example, if you legally define person as beginning at fertilization (i.e., the use of sperm and oocyte), then you have legally left out of personhood all human beings who did not begin to exist by means of fertilization, e.g. those human beings asexually reproduced (i.e., without the immediate and direct use of sperm and oocyte). This would include one of every pair of naturally occurring human monozygotic twins reproduced within the body of the woman, as well as those human beings asexually reproduced in IVF [in vitro fertilization], ART [assisted reproductive technology] and other â€œfertility laboratories and clinics. This constitutes a legal loophole that would then allow the abortion of one of two twins within the woman's body, as well as all human beings reproduced asexually in laboratories and clinics, as well as human embryonic research, human cloning and other genetic engineering research.
If you legally define person as beginning at fertilization in the woman's womb, then in addition to those innocent human beings asexually reproduced [that I] just mentioned, that would leave out of personhood even those human beings resulting from fertilization but still in the woman's fallopian tube (that is, fertilization does not take place in the woman's womb or uterus, but rather in her fallopian tube); the new human being then must travel for about 5-6 days down the fallopian tube before he/she enters the woman's womb). This would constitute a legal loophole that would allow the use of abortifacients, prenatal genetic diagnosis, even embryo flushing in order to obtain embryos for all manner of destructive research purposes.
If you legally define person as beginning at conception, and if conception means fertilization, then the same consequences would follow as noted above. Even worse, the term conception is now formally legally defined in many state laws as beginning at implantation. This is, of course, scientifically absurd, but that is their law, and [this] would also constitute a legal loophole that would endanger many of the innocent human beings noted above and preclude them from personhood.
I would also note that, for years, the false definitions used at the beginning -of-life issues have been transferred to the end-of-life issues, and even issues throughout the life spectrum “especially the definition of person. Thus, many human adults who are elderly, mentally ill or retarded, comatose, disabled, etc., have been deemed nonpersons “legally providing for euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, organ removal and transplantation, used as research subjects, etc."
I would suggest you take a look at my article Neither, Nor: Bryne [Byrne's] and Willke's Pseudo-Battle Over Human Embryonic Stem Cells (June 19, 2008) at: http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/irv/irv_129bryneandwillke.html.
In it, I provide several important references documenting what I have noted above.
Clearly, those who are anti-life have taken advantage of many legal loopholes over the years, rendering many laws essentially unethical and preventing true legal protection for all human beings as persons at both ends of the life spectrum (and in between). Usually, they get away with this by using false scientific definitions. Instead, the current Colorado personhood mission uses scientific language which is accurate, universally documented and accepted scientifically, which would apply to all human beings and which could not be used to create unethical legal loopholes. That is, all living human beings, whether sexually or asexually reproduced, whether in vivo or in vitro, would be legally protected as persons.
Dr. Irving's focus on scientific accuracy has created many challenges to American Life League's position, including the argument that we place too much emphasis on the scientific facts and far too little on the philosophical aspect of the human person, including his dignity and identity as a member of the human race. This is incorrect. As Dr. Irving has written,
The issue of when a human being begins to exist is strictly a scientific one, and has been known scientifically internationally for over 125 years (Wilhelm His 1883-5). The scientific details of human embryonic development have been internationally systematized for almost 70 years now, as consistently and continuously documented in the Carnegie Stages of Early Human Embryonic Development (see all 23 stages itemized at: http://nmhm.washingtondc.museum/collections/hdac/anatomy.htm)...
The issue of personhood is not a scientific question, but rather a philosophical one.
The two aspects of the human person are not mutually exclusive; they are complementary. However if the facts of human existence are confused on one level, then clearly human persons can be dismissed from existence as nonpersons. That is the point.
Most recently, the case of the Department of Veterans Affairs booklet Your Life, Your Choices made this painfully clear. There is no such thing as a life unworthy of living. Therefore, there must not be a flawed approach to human personhood. This is why American Life League demands the right mix of accurate scientific evidence and philosophical truth.
This is the only way to assure the respect proper to the dignity of the human person. And that, in turn, will ultimately result in a culture that will stop the senseless rush toward killing the helpless, the inconvenient, the aging and the preborn. Let's get it right. Human beings lives depend on it.
Volume 6, Number 35 Monday, September 14, 2009
New Associate Group
Please join me in welcoming the newest addition to our network: the Respect Life Committee of Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Hawthorne, New York! As the name implies, the Respect Life Committee of Holy Rosary Catholic Church is the parish's pro-life apostolate, and its primary mission is to educate parishioners and the surrounding community on life matters. In addition, the Respect Life Committee coordinates with other local pro-life organizations to carry out pro-life activities. Its current president is John LoGiudice. We are very pleased to have RLC of Holy Rosary as an Associate group and look forward to working with its members in future endeavors!
Fast Facts and Frequently Asked Questions
Editor's note: In addition to our ongoing monthly features addressing specific topics of interest to the pro-life community, this feature, "Fast Facts and Frequently Asked Questions," will highlight some of the most frequently quoted and sought-after facts and statistics pertaining to life matters, as well as answer some of the questions most frequently asked of our office (and probably yours too). If you have specific questions or topics you’d like mentioned, please send them to LTignor@ALL.org.
Abortion and Catholics
We are frequently asked, at what rate do Catholic women abort as compared to women in the general population? The Alan Guttmacher Institute, which is the research arm of Planned Parenthood Federation, reports that Catholic women have an abortion rate that is 29 percent higher than that of Protestant women. (See http://www.guttmacher.org/media/nr/prabort2.html.)
Other research centers and polling organizations report that Catholic women abort at the same rate as the general population. (See http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/do_catholic_women_get_abortions_more_frequently.html.)
One can only conclude, after reading the many reports available, that Catholic women have abortions at approximately the same rate as the rest of the population, perhaps even more! The reasons why this is so are rooted in the acceptance of contraception.
Recently, Father Tom Euteneuer, president of Human Life International, spoke on this very subject at the "Contraception Is Not the Answer" conference in Chicago. You can find out more about this, including how to obtain a copy of his remarkable presentation, by visiting http://www.prolifeaction.org/cinta/.
Contraception and abortion
There are two very important health reasons for American Life League’s opposition to the birth control pill, in addition to the moral reasons why we oppose them. The first is that, contrary to popular thought, the birth control pill does not cut down on the number of abortions, and even those who support the pill admit to this. It is extremely dishonest to promote the theory that the pill curtails abortion per se when, in fact, the pill can and does work in three different ways, one of which is abortion. When the pill works by thinning the lining of the uterus, the embryonic child dies, and this is known as an early chemical abortion. Therefore, to suggest that the pill "keeps abortions from happening" is not accurate.
The second reason is that the birth control pill is known to be carcinogenic and can also cause a series of other health problems for women and their future children. It has been linked to cancer, heart conditions, thromboembolisms and more. Most recently, it has also been tied to negative effects on the environment, particularly in the waterways.
There has been a great deal of research conducted on this subject, much of which is presented at www.thepillkills.com and www.morningafterpill.org. We strongly recommend independent study of the literature on the pill as well. The material we cite is of the same nature as that cited by pill advocates. Obviously, depending on which side you are on, you will emphasize the facts from that perspective, so we are not guilty of anything unique when it comes to discussing or debating the birth control pill.
ALL has never believed it is compassionate to deceive people by only telling them what they want to hear. There are very disturbing facts about the birth control pill and other hormonal contraceptives that rarely see the light of day. It is our responsibility to make sure we provide this information through our educational outreach, so that that regardless of what one’s opinion is, he or she has all the facts before making a decision one way or the other. Abortion and rape
Because ALL takes a no-exceptions position when it comes to abortion, we are often asked how pro-lifers are to deal with the delicate questions surrounding rape. On this subject, ALL refers inquirers to two expert web sites.
The first is Consecrated Children, which offers the testimony of mothers who have been raped and have chosen life for their babies: http://consecratedchildren.blogspot.com/.
The other is the web site of Rebecca Kiessling, a woman who was conceived in rape: http://rebeccakiessling.com/. Rebecca’s insights have helped hundreds of people understand how carefully this subject must be dealt with.
For rape victims who did not become pregnant, ALL recommends www.grieftograce.org for a healing program and http://www.hopeforhealing.org/christianlinks.html for information on recovery.
Study: Abortion, hormonal contraceptives influence breast cancer riskA paper published last week in the journal, The Linacre Quarterly, by Angela Lanfranchi, MD shows how different pregnancy outcomes influence breast cancer risk. According to Lanfranchi, 52 years of research have pointed to the fact that abortion, as well as hormonal contraceptives, can significantly increase the risk of breast cancer. http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/sep/09090807.html
World Apostolate of Fatima day of prayer for the sanctity of human life and world peaceOn Sunday, October 18 of this year, the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA will send 100,000,000 prayers to heaven for life and peace on Worldwide Fatima Sanctity of Life Day. WAFUSA is asking all of America and the rest of the world to join in listening to great speakers, hearing great music, celebrating Holy Mass and praying as EWTN TV broadcasts what will take place at the National Blue Army Shine of Our Lady of Fatima in Washington, NJ and other events from around the world. http://www.wafusa.org/
'The Butterfly Circus' movieThis inspiring 20-minute on line movie starring Eduardo Verástegui (Bella), Doug Jones (Pan's Labyrinth, Fantastic Four) and featuring the debut performance of Nick Vujicic is highly recommended.http://www.thedoorpost.com/hope/The%20Butterfly%20Circus/
FDA delays embryonic stem cell trial The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's postponement of a human trial using embryonic stem cells resulted from the development of cysts in animals undergoing tests. The Geron Corp. acknowledged the reason for the delay in an August 27 news release, saying cysts had developed at the injury sites in lab animals. The Menlo Park, California, biotechnology firm announced August 18 the Food and Drug Administration had placed a hold on the proposed trial on human beings with spinal cord injuries but did not provide details regarding the reason for the postponement.http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/BPnews.asp?ID=31179
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not; In all your ways be mindful of Him, and He will make straight your paths.
ARE CATHOLIC BISHOPS ABOVE THE LAW? By Judie Brown
According to recent news stories on the Obama administration's effort to investigate the Bush administration's authorization of certain interrogation techniques, Attorney General Eric Holder and other Obama administration officials have said that no one is above the law. Regardless of your view of CIA operations, the truth is that there should not be a question about anybody being above the law. Without a proper regard for the law, chaos would reign.
Carry this a step further but in a slightly different direction. If we consider the Code of Canon Law, which is the body of laws governing the Catholic Church, we have to ask if these laws are subject to personal interpretation or are they in fact laws that should be uniformly interpreted and obeyed?
Here is how the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, answers the question, â€œFrom where does the Church get the right to make laws?
Jesus Christ, the Founder of the Catholic Church, gave the right and duty to make laws to His Church (Matthew 16:19 and Matthew 18:18). The Church uses her power to bind and loose to legislate for her children. Some Church laws simply make clear and more specific those laws which are made directly by God Himself. Other Church laws are for the purpose of good order and for the protection of the [C]hurch and her children. The Church has no power to change, alter, or dispense anyone from God's laws. However, she can change, alter, or dispense from her own legislation in case of necessity or usefulness.
According to The Catholic Encyclopedia,
Contrasted with the imperial or Caesarian law (jus caesareum), canon law is sometimes styled pontifical law (jus pontificium), often also it is termed sacred law (jus sacrum), and sometimes even Divine law (jus divinum: c. 2, De privil.), as it concerns holy things, and has for its object the wellbeing of souls in the society divinely established by Jesus Christ.
Clearly then, â€œcanon law carries the full weight of actual law in the same way that civil law does. So, when it comes to the canon law known as Canon 915, we are confused by the apparent confusion among Catholic bishops regarding whether or not this canon law must be obeyed by them.
In order to answer that question respectfully but truthfully, we examined the rich history behind this particular canon law.
The Code of Canon Law reads,
Can. 915 Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.
Canon 915 is fundamentally a reflection of the obligation to defend the Catholic teaching that the body and blood, soul and divinity of Christ are fully present in the sacrament of Holy Communion. Canon 915 is designed to protect Christ from the sacrilege that would occur if someone obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin were admitted to Communion. In other words, that person's public actions would reveal that he or she was in defiance of Catholic teaching and therefore deemed unworthy to receive Christ. Canon 915 is not an opinion; it is a law of the Catholic Church that is based on infallible teaching and the wisdom of many Doctors of the Church, including Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Thomas Aquinas.
Saint John Chrysostom (347- 407 A.D.), wrote this regarding those who may receive Holy Communion:
What I am saying, I say to you also who minister, as well as to you who are ministered to. For it is necessary that I also address myself to you; that you may distribute the sacred gifts with great caution. For your punishment is not light should you, knowingly, admit anyone to the Communion of this Table whom you know to be unworthy of it. His blood will be required at thy hand (Ezech. xxxiii. 8). And even though he were a general, or a governor, or even he who wears the crown, should he draw near unworthy, forbid him: for higher is your authority than his. For if a spring of pure water were placed in your care for your flock, and you saw a sheep coming, with its mouth smeared with mud, you would not let it put down its mouth to dirty the well. Now you have been given charge of a well, not of water, but of Blood and the Spirit; and should you see someone draw near who is soiled with sin, a more grievous thing than clay or mud, and you are not moved to wrath, and you do not drive him away, how do you deserve to be forgiven? It was for this God honoured you with this dignity: that you might exercise judgment in these things. This is your office; this is your own security; this is your whole crown: not that you may go about clothed in a shining white habit.
And how, you may ask me, can I know about this person or that person? I am not speaking of those you do not know, but of those you do know. And shall I say something more serious? It is not as dreadful to be possessed by evil spirits, such as those of whom Paul speaks, as to tread Christ under foot, and to hold the blood of the testament unclean, and offer an affront to the spirit of grace (Heb. x, 29) He who has sinned, and comes to Holy Communion, is lower than one possessed by a demon. For those who are afflicted by an evil spirit are not on that account punished. But these others, should they come, unworthy, to the altar, they are handed over to everlasting punishment.
Further, Saint Thomas Aquinas answered the question, Whether the priest ought to deny the body of Christ to the sinner seeking it? In part by teaching,
A distinction must be made among sinners: some are secret; others are notorious, either from evidence of the fact, as public usurers, or public robbers, or from being denounced as evil men by some ecclesiastical or civil tribunal. Therefore Holy Communion ought not to be given to open sinners when they ask for it.
It is because of this consistent, clear teaching of the Catholic Church down through the ages that American Life League is able to say, without apology, that it is indeed a tragedy that there are so many Catholic bishops in the U.S. who, for a wide variety of reasons, refuse to abide by Canon 915 and protect Christ from sacrilege. Are these bishops above the law?
When Archbishop Raymond Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatua (the Church's highest court), recently wrote about the struggle to advance the culture of life, he emphasized once again the truths contained in Catholic teaching regarding Canon 915:
To ignore the fact that Catholics in public life, for example, who persistently violate the moral law regarding the inviolability of innocent human life or the integrity of the marital union, lead many into confusion or even error regarding the most fundamental teachings of the moral law, in fact, contributes to the confusion and error, redounding to the gravest harm to our brothers and sisters, and, therefore, to the whole nation. The perennial discipline of the Church, for that reason among other reasons, has prohibited the giving of Holy Communion and the granting of a Church funeral to those who persist, after admonition, in the grave violation of the moral law (Code of Canon Law, cann. 915; and 1184, Â§ 1, 3Âº).
There is no doubt whatsoever that Canon 915 is a law that must be obeyed by all those who are entrusted with the giving of the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ to Catholic people who approach the priest, deacon or extraordinary minister to receive Christ. As Archbishop Burke so compassionately said,
It is said that these disciplines which the Church has consistently observed down the centuries presume to pass a judgment on the eternal salvation of a soul, which belongs to God alone, and, therefore, should be abandoned. On the contrary, these disciplines are not a judgment on the eternal salvation of the soul in question. They are simply the acknowledgment of an objective truth, namely, that the public actions of the soul are in violation of the moral law, to his own grave harm and to the grave harm of all who are confused or led into error by his actions.
Are Catholic bishops above the law? My answer to that question is no, they are not. It is indeed a tragedy that that many individual bishops apparently believe they are.
Judie Brown is president of American Life League and a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.
Respond to Judie:http://all.org/newsroom_judieblog.php?id=2779