in this issue:
abortion: RAPE AND INCEST EXCEPTIONS
bush watch: IN HIS OWN WORDS; MEXICO CITY POLICY; OPPOSING WHAT?
chemical abortion: INTERNET AS PRACTITIONER; METHOTREXATE + MISOPROSTOL, RU-486 + MISOPROSTOL
condom mom: WISCONSIN
imposed death: FRANCE
in vitro fertilization: OPTIMUM NUMBER OF EMBRYOS
morning-after (abortion) pills: FACTS MATTER, WEB SALES
new england journal of medicine: CASH COW
pharmacists: BRAUER VICTORY
stem cell research: PARALIZED VETERANS OF AMERICA II
trafficking in body parts: BODY BAZAAR
web news: EXCOMMUNICATION
zinger: KILLING AS A SERVICE
reflection: 1 TIMOTHY 6:11-12
RAPE AND INCEST EXCEPTIONS: Jennifer E. Bowman writes, “I am an adoptee who was conceived in rape.” And Jennifer has put up a web site (Stigmatized) to fight for those who are excused from life because of pragmatism manifested in political and legislative exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother.
HIS OWN WORDS: On NBC Today (1/20/01) — “Roe v. Wade is not gonna be overturned by a constitutional amendment because there’s not the votes in the House or the Senate.”
CBS News (1/20/01): “What my agenda will be is to try to reduce abortions … There’s going to be abortion in America and the fundamental question is are they going to be safe, will they be numerous or not.”
(Reading: Confirmation of both statements received by ALL and available upon request from our “>media office)
MEXICO CITY POLICY: In restoring the 1984 “foreign aid for abortion” policy, President Bush did not affect the $425 million for family planning that includes chemical abortion pills. Recall that in Kosovo foreign aid provided morning-after abortion kits, but not basic penicillin. And, the appropriation was increased by $52 million for alleged HIV prevention (i.e. condoms — see “Clinton administration proposes bogus solution to AIDS pandemic“).
COMMENT: So why are some pro-lifers claiming a huge success?
(Reading: Facts about the expenditures from Edward Szymkowiak, director of Stop Planned Parenthood Intl.; also see the STOPP statement on domestic funding of pro-Planned Parenthood programs)
OPPOSING WHAT? President Bush told the media, “I do not support research from aborted fetuses.” He did not say whether he would block taxpayer support for research in this area, though his aides say he will take action of some sort in the future.
COMMENT: Bush only mentioned research using aborted fetuses. We hope the president is aware that stem cell research uses cells that are taken not from aborted fetuses, but from embryonic children, thus causing their demise in the earliest days of their lives. It’s an important distinction. Any action that Bush would take must use language carefully crafted to protect ALL the children!
(Reading: “Bush Won’t Fund Stem Cell Research,” Associated Press, 1/26/01)
INTERNET AS PRACTITIONER: Researchers studied 200 web sites to locate sites where birth control pills and other “contraceptive supplies” could be ordered. They were not able to order the so-called emergency contraceptive “Plan B” at any web site, but could “obtain high-dose levonorgestrel pills from Australia for free and with no prescription, but they took up to 18 days to deliver.”
(Reading: “Internet Availability of Contraceptives,” Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1/01, pp. 121-125)
METHOTREXATE + MISOPROSTOL: The Planned Parenthood Federation of America sponsored a study on the introduction of “early medical abortions” where the gestational age of the preborn was 49 days or younger. The researchers found that the 13% curettage rate (surgical intervention after incomplete abortion) “could be reduced with the following changes: increasing site experience in patient selection and support, starting medical abortion at earlier gestational ages.”
(Reading: “Early Medical Abortion with Methotrexate and Misoprostol,” Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1/01, pp. 11-16)
RU-486 + MISOPROSTOL (Mifeprex + Cytotec): 900 women were enrolled over a four-year period in rural India to determine whether or not “medical abortion” was reasonable for such women. Success rates exceeded 91% and the researchers estimate that facilities in urban and rural areas “not now offering surgical abortions could probably provide medical abortions.”
(Reading: “Mifepristone Abortion Outside the Urban Research Hospital Setting in India,” The Lancet, 1/13/01, pp. 120-121, subscribers only)
WISCONSIN: A mother who talked with her 13-year-old son about having sexual relations with a 15-year-old girl, and provided him with condoms, is being charged with a felony because she “failed to prevent her child from being sexually abused.”
(Reading: “DA Prosecutes Mom Who Gave Son Condoms,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1/14/01)
FRANCE: No guidelines exist in France to address when and if to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatments. Thus researchers discovered that the practice is widespread and “the lack of an official statement from French scientific bodies may explain several limitations on the various steps of the decision-making process.” Researchers included, in the list of “life-support therapy” ventilators, IV fluids, further surgery and nutrition (enteral or parenteral).
(Reading: “Withholding and Withdrawal of Life Support in Intensive Care Units in France: A Prospective Survey,” The Lancet, 1/6/01, pp. 9-14, subscribers only)
in vitro fertilization
OPTIMUM NUMBER OF EMBRYOS: In suggesting that the reproductive technology industry must take action by approving guidelines to avoid multiple pregnancies, the writers comment that “IVF allows more control over the multiple-pregnancy rates by allowing the patient and physician to determine the optimum number of embryos to transfer.”
COMMENT: Meaning that all those excess embryos (little boys and girls) are doomed.
(Reading: “Multiple Pregnancies: A Call for Action,” Fertility and Sterility, 1/01, pp. 11-17; abstracts only to non-subscribers)
morning-after (abortion) pills
FACTS MATTER: In a recent analysis of colleges and the morning-after regimen, the following is reported, “A lettercirculated by the anti-abortion American Life League, signed by 106 medical doctors, charges that ‘the FDA, which is supposed to protect consumers from drug fraud, has authorized such fraud by granting its permission to label drugs such as Preven, Planned Parenthood’s Plan B, etc. as contraceptives. These drugs achieve their primary anti-fertility effect by destroying a new and distinct human being — with a unique genetic code different from the mother’s and father’s – after the process of fertilization has taken place, but before the child has nestled into the mother’s womb. These actions of the FDA have, in fact, prevented consumers from learning they were pregnant – and that they may have been an unwitting party to an abortion.'”
The report goes on to say that for those students who “believe” that life begins at conception, there could be a problem. And the report cites a June 2000 Los Angeles Times poll that “found that 53 percent of Americans believe life begins at conception.”
COMMENT: A fact is not a belief.
(Reading: “The College on the Pill,” 1/25/01, The Dartmouth Review)
OVER THE COUNTER: In England, Baroness Young has come under attack for arguing against pharmacy distribution of the regimen. If she had succeeded with her proposal in Britain’s House of Lords, the health department would have been forced to order pharmacists to stop selling the “morning-after” pill. However, the Lords defeated the motion 177-95.
(Reading: “Lords Vote to Keep Pill Sales,” BBC News, 1/29/01; “Facts Fail to Halt Young’s Anti-Sex Crusade,” The Guardian, 1/29/01)
WEB SALES: The British Superdrug company announced plans to begin marketing the pill regimen on their web site, based on the new law that removes Levonelle from prescription-only status. But those plans were almost immediately rescinded by Britain’s health department. The department said Superdrug could not guarantee that the woman buying the pills fully understood what taking the drug meant.
(Reading: “Superdrug to Pioneer Selling Morning-After Pill on Internet,” The Guardian, 1/27/01; “Superdrug’s Internet Pill U-turn,” BBC News, 1/26/01; also see Superdrug web site)
new england journal of medicine
CASH COW: Public Citizen has published a letter written to the president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, which publishes the New England Journal of Medicine. The letter points out a mysterious get-rich-quick e-mail message that arrived to physicians subscribing to the NEJM list-serve email update. The writers suggest that this message may not be so odd after all, due to the magazine’s reputation “and the public’s interest” which they allege are now under threat as the publishers “make major concessions to the appetite of its cash cow,” which they identify as “drug companies and other advertisers.”
COMMENT: Perhaps an additional reason for obvious pro-abortion bias?
(Reading: 1/24/01 letter to Virginia T. Latham, M.D., president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, from Public Citizen)
TEXAS: State Representative John Longoria (D-San Antonio) has introduced House Bill 213 that defines the human being as beginning at the moment of fertilization. The bill is based on sound, scientific data.
(Reading: “Abortion Issues Expected to Roil Chambers,” Dallas Morning News, 1/23/01; search text by bill number at Texas Legislature site)
BRAUER VICTORY: U.S. District Judge Herman Weber ruled that a lawsuit filed against Kmart Corporation by pharmacist Karen Brauer can proceed even though Kmart filed a motion to dismiss. Brauer was fired for refusing to dispense birth control pills, which she argued cause abortion.
(Reading: “Judge Says Lawsuit Over Birth Control Pill Can Go to Trial,” Associated Press, 1/25/01; “ACLJ Gets Legal Victory in Lawsuit Against Kmart Involving Abortion Producing Drugs,” American Center for Law and Justice news release, 1/24/01)
stem cell research
PARALYZED VETERANS OF AMERICA II: (See Communique, 12/15/00) A past financial supporter advised the Paralyzed Veterans of America that she would no longer support them due to their support for destructive embryonic stem cell research. She received no response to her complaint, but has received further solicitations for financial support.
(Reading: Message to Communique, 1/27/01; also see Paralyzed Veterans of America; register your concerns via “>e-mail)
trafficking in body parts
BODY BAZAAR: A new book prompted the following comment by its reviewer: “The body-part trade has created a morass of legal and ethical issues that have yet to be confronted… The body bazaar is encouraging us to think of ourselves in purely utilitarian terms. ‘Body parts are extracted like a mineral, harvested like a crop or mined like a resource,’ observe the authors. We are in danger of becoming commodified and reduced to objects not people.” The book, by Lori Andrews and Dorothy Nelkin, is “Body Bazaar: The Market for Human Tissue in the Biotechnology Age.”
(Reading: Discover, 2/01, pp. 83-84, the current issue book reviews are not posted on this web site)
EXCOMMUNICATION: Check out the new site devoted to “two of the worst scandals faced by today’s Catholics” — those public figures who profess to be Catholic while vigorously promoting abortion, and Catholic institutions that give awards ad otherwise offer credibility to champions of abortion.
KILLING AS A SERVICE: The Lancet reports that in Canada “the courts have ruled that abortion is a ‘medically necessary’ service that must be covered by provisional health-insurance plans.”
(Reading: “Medically Necessary Abortions in Canada to Be Covered by Insurance,” The Lancet, 1/20/01, p. 208, subscribers only)
reflection for prayer
1 TIMOTHY 6:11-12: Man of God, you must strive for holiness, goodness, fidelity, love, patience and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, and win the prize of eternal life.