in this issue:
bioethics: WESLEY J. SMITH
bush watch: ABORTION PROMOTION AT USAID; DESTROYING EMBRYONIC PEOPLE
birth control pill: RISK OF BREAST CANCER: ARCHIVES
call to care: GOV. ENGLER OF MICHIGAN
catholic bishop unequivocally defends life: THANK YOU!
catholics for a free choice: TRUTH?
catholic hospital association: ORGAN DONATIONS
morning-after (abortion) pills: CANADA; OVER THE COUNTER IN VIRGINIA?
victory: NEW YORK
zinger: WHO (WHAT) DO YOU FAVOR
reflection for prayer: THOMAS A KEMPIS
EXCEPTIONS/LIFE OF THE MOTHER: 454 physicians have signed a statement declaring “there is never a situation in the law or in the ethical practice of medicine where a preborn child’s life need be intentionally destroyed by procured abortion for the purpose of saving the life of the mother.” See “Protecting the Life of the Mother“
EXCEPTIONS/RAPE AND INCEST: Concerned Women for America has published “Abortion’s House of Cards,” by Pamela Pearson Wong, debunking exceptions for rape and incest.
WESLEY J. SMITH: For those who have not yet acquired a copy of “Culture of Death: The Assault on Medical Ethics in America,” by Wesley J. Smith, the review by Mary Walsh in Human Events may whet your appetite for the book itself. Read “If You Can’t Heal Them, Kill Them.” An interview with Smith, “The Betrayal of Hippocrates,” published by World Net, is also available online.
birth control pill
RISK OF BREAST CANCER/ARCHIVES: American researchers confirmed that a woman of 35 years of age or older who has used or is using oral contraceptives is at increased risk of breast cancer, though the data is not conclusive. Of the 969 breast cancer victims chosen to participate in the study, 744 agreed. In concluding the report, the researchers call for “further studies on breast cell proliferation in OC [oral contraceptive] users and non-users” and “cell proliferation studies of women both with and without” breast cancer mutations.
(Reading: “Use of Oral Contraceptives and Risk of Breast Cancer in Young Women,” Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 7/98, p.175-184; not available on the internet.)
ABORTION PROMOTION AT USAID: USAID doctor James Shelton has re-evaluated data on the intrauterine device and its alleged association with pelvic inflammatory disease. He is recommending “more women should be offered the IUD as a realistic contraceptive choice.” He does not state the scientific fact that the device aborts tiny persons whose lives begin at conception.
COMMENT: Will president Bush stop all foreign support for abortion, including those advocated by Shelton?
(Reading: “Coil Disease Risk Overstated,” BBC News, 2/11/01; contact U. S. Agency for International Development and register your concerns: USAID, Ronald Reagan Building, Washington, D.C. 20523-1000; phone 202-712-4810; fax 202-216-3524, or e-mail “>President George W. Bush)
DESTROYING EMBRYONIC PEOPLE: Pro-lifers continue to wonder why President Bush has not taken substantive action to stop destructive embryo research conducted to acquire stem cells from these human beings who are persons at conception. For a detailed analysis of the problem, most recently stated by Republican National Coalition for Life, see “Will Bush Allow Taxpayer-Funded Embryonic Stem Cell Research to Begin?”)
call to care
GOV. ENGLER OF MICHIGAN: In his state of the state address, Gov. John Engler said, “Michigan voters wisely rejected assisted suicide, but every Michigan family still faces the difficult realities of death and dying. I established the Commission on End of Life Care to help families receive compassionate care for their loved ones confronting death.
“Today modern medicine can relieve even the most severe physical pain. Tonight, I propose that we increase access to effective pain management throughout Michigan. I will work with this legislature to remove barriers to pain relief so that the end of life can be dignified, and the physical and emotional suffering can be eased.”
(Reading: “Building the Next Michigan,” Gov. John Engler’s 2001 State of the State address, 1/31/01; you may submit comments to the governor)
catholic bishop unequivocally defends life
THANK YOU! Most Reverend Thomas G. Doran, D.D., J.C.D., Bishop of Rockford, Illinois, writes, “Following the constant teaching of our Church from the time of its foundation by Jesus Christ, I have no alternative as a Catholic Bishop other than to oppose all abortion, at any time, for any reason. Human life is sacred and entitled to the protection of all men and women of good will from the time of conception to the time of natural death.”
(Reading: 11/3/00 letter to Judie Brown from Bishop Doran; Contact info, should you wish to express gratitude to Bishop Doran, are found at the Rockford Diocese site)
catholics for a free choice
TRUTH? Investigations of the sources of CFFC funding have shown that the major contributors have no focus on Catholic philanthropy and, in fact, “state flatly that they don’t fund any religiously oriented programs.”
(Reading: “CFFC and Truth Advocacy,” Philanthropy, 1-2/01)
catholic hospital association
ORGAN DONATIONS: The Catholic Hospital Association has published an article that leads ethics expert Nancy Valko, R.N., to say, “When consensus rather than principle becomes the most important issue, we are usually in for a heap of trouble. Consensus and process are not safeguards.” See “Organ Donation and Prudential Deliberation“
FATAL: Roslin Institute’s H. D. Griffin, M.D., of Edinburgh, Scotland, told Spirit Daily that when animals are cloned, the success rate is between one and two percent. He claims that “the process is very inefficient” and that “attempts to clone humans are unconscionable and will lead in many cases to deformities, fetal death, and shortened life spans if indeed cloned humans are born.”
(Reading: “Top Expert Says Human Cloning Would Lead to Deformities and Death,” Spirit Daily, 2/6/01)
morning-after (abortion) pills
CANADA: Preven has been discontinued by Shire Canada due to lack of sales.
(Reading: “Discontinuation Notice: Preven Emergency Contraceptive Kit,” Pharmacy Bulletin Board, 1/29/01, not on the web; “Sales to Stop as Morning-After Pill Proves a Flop, Miniscule Demand,” National Post, 1/31/01)
OVER THE COUNTER IN VIRGINIA? The Virginia House voted 58 to 40 to allow pharmacists to sell these abortion pills without a prescription. The bill (HB 2782) is currently in the senate, and has been referred to the Committee on Education and Health. The Washington Post reports, “They [the pills] are high doses of the hormones in birth control pills given within 72 hours of intercourse to prevent ovulation or implantation of a newly fertilized egg. Opponents call emergency contraceptives an early form of abortion. Supporters argue that expanding access to the pills would reduce unwanted pregnancies and abortions.”
COMMENT: Excuse me, but the pills do abort persons whose lives begin at conception/fertilization. Facts do not change, regardless of political agendas.
(Reading: “N. Virginia Traffic Bills Headed for Full Senate,” Washington Post, 2/2/01, available by subscription only; for accurate information on these pills, see “Morning After Pill.”)
ARCHIVES: Amy Goldstein, an attorney in a 1998 frozen embryo custody case, said, “If you have the right to terminate a 24-week-old fetus, you certainly have the right to terminate four cells in a petri dish.”
(Reading: “Giant Legal Issues Hinge on Tiny Frozen Embryos,” [New Jersey] Star Ledger, 7/14/98)
NEW YORK: The justices of the New York State Appellate Division, Second Department, have fined an abortion clinic’s attorney $10,000 for misrepresenting facts before the court. The action comes in the wake of a lawsuit the clinic, Ambulatory Surgery Center of Brooklyn, filed against the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants (http://members.aol.com/infants1/). Helpers’ attorney Kathleen O’Connell said the court “sent a strong message to clinic operators that our system of justice is still based on truth.”
(Reading: “Court Sanctions Brooklyn Abortion Clinic,” The [Diocese of Brooklyn, New York] Tablet, 1/13/01, not on the web)
WHO (WHAT) DO YOU FAVOR: A nationwide online survey by Ohio-based Progressive Insurance found that 45 percent of married Americans ranked their cars as the thing they considered most important to them. In answer to separate questions regarding their preferences, only six percent rated their children as important and just 10 percent said their spouse was important.
(Reading: “Americans Favor Cars Over Kids,” Reuters, 2/1/01)
reflection for prayer
THOMAS A KEMPIS: Imitation of Christ, Book II, Chapter 11, Section 4:
Seldom do we find any one so spiritual as to be stripped of all things. For who shall be able to find the man that is truly poor in spirit and stripped of all affection to all created things? His price is from afar and from the uttermost coasts. [Proverbs 31:10] If a man give his whole substance, it is still nothing. [1 Corinthians, 13:3] And if he do great penance it is yet little. And if he has great virtue and exceeding fervent devotion there is still much wanting to him, namely, one thing which is chiefly necessary for him. [Luke 10:42] And what is that? That, having left all things else, he leave also himself and wholly go out of himself and retain nothing of self love. And when he shall have done all things which he knows should be done, let him think that he has done nothing.