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Home » News » Communique – Dec. 15, 2000

Communique – Dec. 15, 2000

chemical (medical) abortion: MIRENA
contraception: OVERVIEW
human embryo: PERSON OR OBJECT?
imposed death: BELGIUM; CHRONOLOGY
population: HELP FOR YOU
zinger: AUSTRIA
reflection: ST. ANSELM


ARCHIVES — COMPLICATIONS: Researcher Brent Rooney has resurrected a 1993 study by Australian Judith Lumley indicating that induced abortion may be a cause of premature birth. For a copy of the citation, and an excerpt, contact Brent Rooney .

STATISTICS: The Centers for Disease Control has published the 1997 data on surgical abortions reporting 1,186,039 total or 306 abortions per 1,000 life births.

(Reading: “Abortion Surveillance ? United States, 1997,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 12/8/00; pdf format download available)


GERMAN PRO LIFE INTERNET CAMPAIGN: Aktion Lebensrecht fuer Alle is suggesting banners all over the web as “a visible sign against the unbearable scandal of killing millions of unborn children every year.” See Little Feet for details. For information or a copy of the full release, e-mail “>Dr. Claudia Kaminski or “>Aktion Lebensrecht fuer Alle.

GRAPHIC? Scotland’s pro-life group Precious Life has come under attach by Scottish National Party spokeswoman Linda Fabiani, who argues that “psychological damage to someone who wants advice and thinks this web site will give it to them.” The web site presents the picture of a child killed by abortion. Fabiani calls the web site “disgusting, offensive, and horrible. This sort of intimidation is not what you would expect in a democracy.”

COMMENT: Nor would one expect to see a law that protects the killing of innocent children by abortion in a democracy.

(Reading: “Scottish MP not Intimidated by ‘Disgusting’ Pro-life Web Site,” Catholic World News, 12/4/00; also see the Precious Life web site.)

WHITE RIBBONS FOR LIFE: Louisiana Right to Life Federation recommends tying large loops of white ribbon anywhere and everywhere they can be displayed or tied, including on trees, buses, cars, door knobs, mailboxes, and so on, for the entire month of January. The white represents the sacredness of human life and man’s call to respect life in each and every case. Thanks for this idea to Dr. W. “Al” Krotoski, president of LRTLF.

(Reading: 12/1/00 La. Right to Life Federation news release, available by fax or postal mail from Communique office.)


PRE-IMPLANTATION EMBRYO TESTING and MORAL RELATIVISM: Italian pediatricians, commenting on selecting embryos free of disease and discarding others, write, “Therefore, the unceasing advances of medicine must mean that thoughts about what is or is not ethically acceptable should be constantly revised.”

(Reading: “Ethics of Creating Programmed Stem-cell Donors,” The Lancet, 12/2/00, pp. 1868-1869, subscriber only)

chemical (medical) abortion

MIRENA: With little fanfare, the Food and Drug administration approved Berlex’ intrauterine system, Mirena. For details on the modes of action, which include “stopping implantation” (abortion), see Mirena.

(Reading: “Schering’s Berlex Says FDA Approves Mirena Contraceptive,” Reuters, 12/7/00; also see Berlexinformation on Mirena.)


OVERVIEW: Dealing with all forms of so-called contraception, including abortion-causing drugs like the pill, researchers present an review of reproductive medications and devices, hormonal and nonhormonal, including sterilization.

(Reading: “Contraception,” The Lancet, 12/2/00, pp. 1913-1919)

human embryo

PERSON OR OBJECT? Commenting on the need to create fungible agreements, currently described as advance directives, with parents of frozen embryos, ethicist George Annas writes, “At the time the embryos are created, a couple could agree that if both of them thereafter die, abandon the embryos or cannot be located, the embryos can be used for a specified research project.”

(Reading: “Ulysses and the Fate of Frozen Embryos,” New England Journal of Medicine, 11/30/00, pp. 1657-1658.)

imposed death

BELGIUM: Cry for Life is providing comprehensive action items for pro-lifers world-wide who want to assist Belgian pro-lifers in stopping the legalization of euthanasia. For the Belgium update and suggested letters to politicians, contact . Ask for the Belgium e-mail alert.

CHRONOLOGY: Cry for Life’s Piet Huurman has translated a comprehensive history of the German euthanasia movement. For a copy of the computer file, contact and request “Chronological Survey of Euthanasia: Thinking and Practice in Germany from 1920 until 1945.” Visit the Cry for Life web site for more information on the group.


60 MINUTES’ CATHOLIC BIGOTRY: The December 10 edition featured ex-Catholic Francis Kissling and her cohorts, discussing Catholic hospitals and the fact that they do not provide “reproductive health services” such as abortion and sterilization. The program was filled with anti-Catholic rhetoric and misinformation. To register a comment go to the 60 Minutes page. You may recall Kissling’s comment, when asked about the Catholic bishops and Catholic hospital directives, “Unless this pope dies before this issue settled, there is very little chance that the Vatican is going to back down.”

As part of the 60 Minutes segment, CBS also reported that a Catholic hospital in San Jose performed tubal ligations in “rare and special situations.” But CBS did not explain that those surgeries could only be performed “when their direct effect is the cure or alleviation of a present pathology,” according to the diocesan ethicist, Fr. Silvester McDermott. He said the primary purpose of any such procedure could not be sterilization “when the sole immediate effect is to prevent conception.” CBS did not report the whole story.

(Reading: “60 Minutes Promotes Anti-Catholic Bigotry,” ALL news release, 12/11/00; “Disturbing Developments over US Catholic Health Directives,” Catholic World News, 12/1/00)


COSTA RICA: In October the Costa Rican Supreme Court ruled that in vitro fertilization was unconstitutional because the human person exists at conception/fertilization. We have acquired and reviewed an English translation of this decision, which stated in part, “the right to life is inherent to the human person … the fertilized ova are human people” and “the status of person is being recognized from that moment (the conception.). Camille Murphy of ALL points out that even though the translation currently in hand is difficult, reading the original Spanish confirms that the court views practices like in vitro fertilization as direct threats to human person who exist at conception.

(Reading: Original Spanish text of the decision: Costa Rica government site; English translation with November 28 notes by Camille Murphy available from “>Communique office by e-mail)

SCIENTIFIC FRAUD: A recent publication discussed the case of the Nash family, who sought in vitro fertilization treatment, and then had the resulting embryos genetically tested prior to the selection of one who would have the best chance of providing the needed tissue needed by their 6-year-old daughter who was dying and in need of a transplant. In the article the publication stated, “the embryo that became Adam was specifically selected, using preimplantation genetic diagnosis testing, because it was a likely blood-and-tissue match for the Nashes’ older child.”

COMMENT: There are several errors in this quote.

  • The embryo WAS Adam, because a person is a human being who exists at conception/fertilization.
  • Preimplantation genetic diagnosis techniques helped scientists select Adam while he was yet in the petri dish; his embryonic brothers and sisters were apparently destroyed, yet no one mentions them.
  • The specific selection of one person over others, who are subsequently eliminated/killed, is eugenics: the destruction of the imperfect or undesirables.
  • The embryo WAS Adam, because a person is a human being who exists at conception/fertilization.
  • Preimplantation genetic diagnosis techniques helped scientists select Adam while he was yet in the petri dish; his embryonic brothers and sisters were apparently destroyed, yet no one mentions them.
  • The specific selection of one person over others, who are subsequently eliminated/killed, is eugenics: the destruction of the imperfect or undesirables.

(Reading: “Bringing Up Baby to Save a Sibling: How Far Should Preimplantation Go?” Medical Ethics Advisor, 11/00. pp. 121-124)


HELP FOR YOU! Population expert Robert L. Sassone, author and lecturer, has prepared a large number of commentaries, in various lengths and styles, for those concerned enough to communicate accurate population information to the media, politicians, U.N. delegations, fellow pro-lifers and others. E-mail “>Mr. Sassone to receive information on how he can help you.

stem cell research

PARALYZED VETERANS OF AMERICA: Responding to a supporter on the question of why PVA supports stem cell research using embryonic stem cells, resulting in the deaths of tiny boys and girls, research and education program coordinator Joan E. Napier writes, “Only tissues from legally aborted fetuses or extra, unneeded embryos from in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures should be considered for research purposes.”

COMMENT: Killing innocent people is always a heinous crime, whether the law protects the act or not.

(Reading: 11/7/00 letter to Carol Suhr; for the opportunity to respond to Ms. Napier personally, visit Paralyzed Veterans of America and leave your remarks.)


AUSTRIA: Politician Herbert Haupt proposes changing Austrian law to prohibit the aborting of babies suspected of suffering from a serious mental or physical handicap. He has argued that such abortions are no different than Nazi-era eugenics. Pro-abortion social democrat Barbara Prammer said, “This kind of person who pronounces judgment on a woman who knows that she must bring a severely handicapped child to the world and must make an incredibly difficult decision, is the kind of person who really understands nothing of women’s issues, or indeed anything about humanity.”

(Reading: Abortion Debate Gets New Lease on Life in Austria,” Agence France Presse, 12/3/00; for an overview of such practices, see “Perfecting Humankind: A Comparison of Progressive and Nazi Views on Eugenics, Sterilization and Abortion” by John Hunt, Ph.D.)

reflection for prayer

Insignificant man, escape from your everyday business for a short while, hide for a moment from your restless thoughts. Break off from your cares and troubles and be less concerned about your tasks and labors. Make a little time for God and rest a while in him. Enter into your mind’s inner chamber. Shut out everything but God and whatever helps you to seek him, and when you have shut the door, look for him. Speak now to God and say with your whole heart: I seek your face; your face, Lord, I desire.

-St. Anselm, 1109 AD