ABORTION/BREAST CANCER HEARINGS: Congressman Tom Bliley (R-Va.) wants answers about the link that has been scientifically shown to exist between abortion and breast cancer. Please write to the following members of the House Appropriations Committee asking that fairness be provided and hearings held in order to establish the threat to women that is created by the possibility of breast cancer due to induced abortion.
(Write to: Rep. C.W. Young [R-Fla.], 2407 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515; Rep. John Porter [R-Ill.], 2373 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515; Rep. Marcy Kaptur [D-Ohio], 2366 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 ; Rep. Kay Granger [R-Texas], 435 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515)
(Additional information available at Dr. Joel Brind’s web site: http://www.abortioncancer.com)
(The members of the appropriations committee are listed at http://www.house.gov/appropriations/members.htm)
HUMAN EMBRYO FUNDING BAN: Ask your members of Congress to make absolutely certain that the funding ban on human embryo research is sustained. Also ask them to condemn all destructive research committed against human embryos from fertilization forward.
(Background material available from ALL upon request)
ARIZONA: A joint legislative committee unanimously approved a plan that would require better training for clinic staffs and an affiliation agreement with a local hospital. An additional provision would require that a physician remain on the premises as long as any patients remain in the recovery room.
(Reading: “Tougher Rules Proposed for Abortion Clinics,” Arizona Republic, 1/22/99)
FLORIDA: A legislative plan would require any doctor’s offices where abortions are performed to be licensed as abortion clinics and be subjected to regulations from the state healthcare administration. Opponents say it’s an attempt to restrict “a woman’s right to choose.”
(Reading: “Foes: Plan Places Limits on Abortion,” South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 1/20/99)
NARAL: The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League gives the U.S. a grade of “D+” for efforts to restrict abortion. NARAL’s Kate Michelman laments the election of “anti-choice” governors and legislators in many states, “jeopardizing the health of the 11.5 million women there who are at risk for unintended pregnancy.”
(Reading: “Abortion Activists Give U.S. a Low Grade,” Reuters, 1/14/99)
VIRGINIA: A bill filed by Delegate Robert Marshall would force abortion clinics to comply with state hospital regulations. Marshall says it’s designed to improve safety, because clinics are currently not licensed and not monitored. A Planned Parenthood spokesman says the bill would require clinics to do extensive remodeling, which would “increase the cost of an abortion and eliminate it as an option.”
(Reading: “Abortion-Clinic Bill Stirs Ire,” The [Norfolk] Virginian-Pilot, 1/21/99)
ARIZONA: Dr. John Biskind, whose abortion patient Lou Anne Herron bled to death, is not the only physician under investigation in connection with this case. The Maricopa County Attorney’s office also wants to know more about Dr. Moshe Hachamovitch, who owns the clinic where Herron died. Reports concerning Hachamovitch’s other clinics show a record of six deaths and 28 lawsuits.
(Reading: “History of Trouble at Clinics,” Arizona Republic, 1/17/99)
WISCONSIN: Abortionist Neville Duncan faces a 30-day jail sentence following his no-contest plea to charges of disorderly conduct and possession of cocaine. Said Judge Maxine Aldridge White, “if he is to continue as a medical professional, he needs to remain absolutely drug-free.”
(Reading: “Doctor Sentenced to 30 Days in Jail,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1/15/99)
FLORIDA: The Center for Bioethical Reform’s exhibit comparing abortion to the Nazi holocaust and Ku Klux Klan violence has received its usual negative response, this time at the main campus of the University of Florida in Gainesville. Says Greg Cunningham, the center’s director, “abortion is a settled issue in the minds of most in the university community, and we’re trying to unsettle their minds on that issue.”
(Reading: “Abortion Display Sparks Campus Protest,” Miami Herald, 1/12/99)
MINNESOTA: Pro-lifers, who already own property across the street from an abortion center, are now buying the building next door to the center. Pro-Life Action Ministries of St. Paul wants to establish a memorial chapel as “a place of prayer for the pro-life movement in the area.” Dr. June Fahrmann, the clinic owner, responds that she is not worried because she has 24-hour security.
(Reading: “Abortion Foes’ Robbinsdale Purchase in Line with Other Cities,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, 1/21/99)
PENNSYLVANIA: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a pro-life group whose posters were pulled out of Philadelphia-area subways, buses and stations. The posters, which emphasized the link between abortion and breast cancer, were deemed “unduly alarming.” However, abortion centers were allowed to continue advertising. Attorney Mathew Staver of Liberty Council says the campaign’s sponsor, Christ’s Bride Ministries of McLean, Va., will resume its efforts.
(Reading: “SEPTA Loses Antiabortion Group’s Case,” Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/12/99)
SOUTH CAROLINA: Clarification: Steve LeFemine of Columbia Christians for Life is encouraging state legislators to re-file a “personhood” bill which cites the South Carolina constitution as its authority. The measure would vest legal personhood at fertilization, and effectively ban abortion. The essence of the bill is contained in one sentence: “The right to due process, whereby no person may be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, and the right to equal protection of the laws, both of which rights are guaranteed by Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution of this State, vests at fertilization.”
IDAHO: Planned Parenthood and other groups are lobbying state legislators to approve the “pill bill” as a matter of fairness to women. A novel statistic is offered by Planned Parenthood’s Nicole Prehoda-the typical woman will spend 25 years of her life trying to avoid pregnancy.
(Reading: “Coverage Urged for Birth Control,” Associated Press, 1/10/99)
TRICK OR TREAT: Researchers say if they can isolate a chemical that tricks a woman’s unfertilized egg into behaving as if it were fertilized, they could develop a very effective contraceptive. Once an egg is fertilized, its outer coat changes, repelling sperm. If the chemical can trigger that reaction in an unfertilized egg, pregnancy would not occur.
(Reading: “New Birth Control May Block Sperm/Egg Interaction,” Reuters, 1/21/99)
CLINTON: The administration marked the 26th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision by sending Hillary Rodham Clinton to NARAL’s annual luncheon. A new proposal offers $4.5 million in federal tax money to pay for bulletproof glass, closed-circuit cameras, motion detectors and other security equipment at privately-owned abortion centers.
(Reading: “Clinton Seeks Funds for Abortion Clinic Security,” Washington Post, 1/22/99, p. A21)
NEW YORK: A proposed state law would require state and local police to offer additional protection to people subjected to taunting and violence while attempting to enter abortion centers. State penalties for blocking entrances would also be increased if legislators approve this bill.
(Reading: “Measure Would Aid Abortion Providers,” Albany Times Union, 1/12/99)
FALWELL: Rev. Jerry Falwell expresses strong condemnation for human cloning experimentation. Falwell, noting that some forms of cloning would involve the destruction of a single-celled human embryo, says his opposition is rooted in his faith “as a Christian who believes that life in fact does begin at conception.”
(Reading: “Falwell Opposes Cloning; Says It Has Basis in Abortion,” Associated Press, 1/16/99)
WILMUT: The scientist who gave the world Dolly, the cloned sheep, is now ready to move into human experimentation-for therapeutic research aimed at finding cures for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. As for ethical concerns, Dr. Ian Wilmut observes that he’s aware of opposition, but believes that the research must go forward “because these are frightening diseases.”
(Reading: “Dolly Pioneer Moves on to Human Embryo Clones,” PA News, 1/19/99)
culture of death
EXPERIMENTS WITHOUT CONSENT: With the issuing of new regulations regarding incompetent human beings who may be the subject of research trials despite their inability to give their consent, the supporters of newly-revised regulations realize that “they have repealed a principle that dates back to the Nuremberg trials of Nazi doctors after World War II.”
(Reading: “U.S. Ban on Medical Experiments Without Patient Consent Is Eased,” New York Times, 11/5/98)
DEBATE: Ethicists Fleming and Pike from Southern Cross Bioethics Institute argue that “withdrawing or withholding treatment because that treatment is not beneficial to the patient is not euthanasia. In such cases the doctor has no intention to kill the patient. The doctor’s intent is not to impose on a patient futile treatment, or treatment that is burdensome disproportionate to benefit, or treatment that will merely prolong the dying process when there is no prospect of remission; this is morally and legally quite different from removing treatment with the intention to cause the death of the patient.”
Professors from London argue, however, that, “our definition of passive euthanasia has been used before, but Fleming and Pike seem to misinterpret it by introducing the notion of beneficence. Whether or not a treatment is beneficial is irrelevant to our definition. Therefore we maintain that ‘withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment’ is passive euthanasia.”
Intent is in the human mind, not in textbooks. Thus the wise opinion is advocacy of preserving the life of God’s child until God chooses the exact time of death.
(Reading: “Psychiatrists’ Attitudes to Euthanasia,” The Lancet, 1/16/99, pp. 242?243)
DNR: Dr. Terence Verman, a Canadian physician, says he hasn’t written a single “Do Not Resuscitate” order in 36 years of medical practice. “DNR orders do not take into account the immense power of recovery that the human body possesses,” he writes. Dr. Verman complains that young doctors are taught science, but not ethics, and that “humility is not being impressed upon medical students. . . . Most doctors would benefit from joining in prayers with a minister or priest rather than writing a DNR order and walking away.”
(Reading: “Letters to the Editor: Possible Reasons for the New ‘Craze’ of Writing DNR Orders,” The Medical Post, 1/12/99)
HEMLOCK SOCIETY: A new cadre of trained volunteers, “Caring Friends,” ensures that Hemlock members “do not die alone, do not make failed attempts, and have explored all alternatives.”
(Reading: “Caring Friends Now Available to Hemlock Members,” TimeLines, Fall 1998, p. 1)
KEVORKIAN I: Hemlock Society USA’s newsletter, TimeLines, editorializes, “Hopefully, his [Kevorkian’s] crusade will elevate the debate regarding physician aid in dying and encourage a change in the law to provide this compassionate choice for the terminally ill.”
(Reading: “Kevorkian Challenges Michigan Law,” TimeLines, Fall 1998, p. 2)
KEVORKIAN II: The editor of the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care writes that “what Kevorkian has done with his latest act [re: 60 Minutes] was to cross the line from physician assisted suicide to euthanasia.”
What does that mean? Is the editor in favor of physician assisted suicide? Is that part of hospice care? Is hospice care determined by poll results?
(Reading: “Jack Kevorkian: ‘Too Much!’” American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care, 1?2/99, pp. 375?376)
OREGON: A 30-member Task Force on Pain and Symptom Management has recommended that the state create an office to improve pain management and serve as a resource for doctors who treat patients with both terminal and chronic pain.
(Reading: “Oregon Task Force Calls for Better Pain Care,” American Medical News, 1/18/99, pp. 9?10)
CALIFORNIA: An ethical question has arisen over a man who donated a kidney to his daughter. The daughter’s body later rejected the kidney, and now the man wishes to donate his second kidney. Such a donation would render him solely dependent on dialysis. He argues that since he is a prisoner, he should be allowed to do this for his 16-year-old daughter. One ethicist opined, “there are special rules for doing medical research with prisoners because we recognize they are subject to special pressures.”
Bottom line: is this a privacy issue?
(Reading: “Ethical Questions in Father-Daughter Transplant,” American Medical News, 1/18/99, pp. 29, 31)
VASECTOMY SALE: Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida is advertising, “Give him the gift that stops giving. A holiday vasectomy gift certificate from Planned Parenthood . . . only $200.” The ad shows a man holding an infant, feeding the child from a bottle.
(Reading: Planned Parenthood ad, West Coast Woman, 12/98, p. 23)
BIRTH CONTROL AND BURGERS: A wide-ranging report on United Nations population control programs is replete with undocumented assertions, including the following:
? Most women, if given the option, have fewer children than their mothers did.
? Of the 260 million women aged 15 to 19 world wide, some 11 percent (29 million) do not have access to effective contraceptive protection.
? Every 20 minutes, the world gets another 3,500 human babies but loses at least one entire specie of animal or plant life, an unprecedented scale of extinction.
? The average person in the United States consumes 260 lbs. of meat per year, most of it hamburgers. In Bangladesh, the average is 6.5 lbs. [Beef production was slammed as a waste of energy.]
The report notes positive response to U.N. programs in North Africa, but it acknowledges that Islamic countries objected to sections “related to abortion, responsible sexual behavior, adolescents’ sexual education . . . and to the use of the terms ‘couples’ or ‘unions’ when referring to persons of the same sex.”
(Reading: “U.N.-Population,” IPS news service, 1/15/99)
BETTER THAN NATURE? Researchers say a combination of hormone treatment and artificial insemination increases the odds of success for infertile couples. The down side-an increased chance of ovarian cancer, and a “risk” of multiple pregnancy. However, two researchers note that many couples jump at high-tech methods too quickly, underestimating their chances of conceiving a child the natural way.
(Reading: “Fertility Treatment,” Associated Press, 1/21/99)
FOR THE GREATER GOOD? In a People magazine feature examining the downside of high-tech fertility treatments (such as multiple pregnancies), Boston University’s George J. Annas observes that “the last thing any prospective parents want to do is terminate some of their fetuses. But if their goal is to have healthy babies, sometimes you have to do it.”
(Reading: “Going too Far?” People, 1/18/99)
MAKE UP THE RULES AS YOU GO: An Italian judge has given the go-ahead for a widow to have a frozen embryo implanted in her womb. The couple had three embryos frozen at a clinic in Palermo, but the clinic refused to implant them following the father’s death. The case highlights the current Italian debate over how to structure laws involving high-tech fertility enhancements.
(Reading: “Italian Judge Allows Woman to Implant Embryo After Husband’s Death,” Catholic World News, 1/15/99)
TOLERANCE: Writing on the hypocrisy of polling data, Russell Shaw comments, “Thus it is essential to affirm and defend the sanctity of life in all contexts and all conditions: ‘from conception [fertilization] to natural death.’”
Why, then, is there an exception in the so-called Partial Birth Abortion ban? Let’s be consistent, never be tolerant of child killing, and get that exception out of the bill!
(Reading: “Americans and Abortion: What the Polls Say,” Lay Witness, 12/98, pp. 27?29)
The unfortunate characteristic of our day is that propaganda has taken the place of personal influence. Politics has become so primary in modern life, that the masses are more moved by promises than by fulfillments. . . . Our world is slow to learn that those who turn out the lights of heaven, by that very act turn out the lights of earth. Influences are born of moral stamina but promises, like spider webs, are woven from the bellies of materialism.”
(Reading: The Way to Inner Peace, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, p. 71)
God of power and mercy, teach me to reflect your Word, to be strong in your will so that I never bend to the whims of worldly influence. Amen.