adolescents: ATTITUDES TOWARD SEX
bioethics/stem cell research: CELLS WITHOUT END
birth control pill: ABORTS PERSONS
bush nominees: JOHN ASHCROFT; TOMMY THOMPSON
catholic health care: STEVEN BECKER CASE ANALYZED
cytotec: MATERNAL DEATHS
emergency contraception (morning-after abortion pill): OVER THE COUNTER ABORTION; PLANNED PARENTHOOD
euthanasia: FEAR OF LIVING?
fetal tissue research: HUNTINGTON’S DISEASE TREATMENT; PARKINSON’S INSTITUTE
health care: ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION
web news: LIFE RESEARCH INSTITUTE
you: GOOD HEALTH; HELP WANTED; POST-ABORTION HEALING
reflection for prayer: ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS
PETITION: Bill Clinton signed untold numbers of anti-life executive orders during his eight years in office, including several pro-abortion initiatives he approved on his second full day as president. Pro-life activists are circulating an online petition, encouraging George W. Bush, the day he is sworn in, to immediately rescind Clinton’s actions. The petition requests, among other things, that Bush restore the Mexico City policy. You may access the petition at Conservative Petitions.
ATTITUDES TOWARD SEX: The Alan Guttmacher Institute recently stated, “Anecdotal reports suggest that adolescents are increasingly engaging in noncoital sexual behaviors (oral sex in particular) which avoid the risk of pregnancy but leave them vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases.”
(Reading: “Scattered Evidence Indicates Oral Sex Becoming Increasingly Common Among Teens,” Alan Guttmacher Institute news release; “Oral Sex Among Adolescents: Is It Sex or Is It Abstinence?” Family Planning Perspectives, 11-12/00)
ETHICAL? Bioethicists, including National Bioethics Advisory Commission member Ronald Green, Princeton’s Lee Silver and Arthur Caplan, analyze the ethics of “therapeutic cloning” and state, “The early embryo’s lack of organs also makes it unreasonable to believe that it is in any way capable of having thoughts, feelings, or experiences. This leaves the embryo’s potential for development into a human being as the sole consideration justifying according it significant moral weight.”
COMMENT: Fake science leads to dead people, including embryonic persons.
(Reading: “The Ethical Validity of Using Nuclear Transfer in Human Transplantation,” Journal of the American Medical Association, 12/27/00, pp. 3175-3179)
bioethics – stem cell research
CELLS WITHOUT END: In an attempt to present an unbiased viewpoint on the future of embryonic stem cell research, commentators suggest that a “developmental view” of the moral status of the human embryo would help analyze the ethical questions involved in destroying the embryo to obtain her stem cells. They say the developmental view is that “each individual acquires different moral interests, rights and roles as he/she develops sentience, consciousness, and relationships justifying these protections. At every stage, by virtue of this developmental trajectory, and the ‘symbolic’ value of embryos as human beginnings, human embryos deserve ‘profound respect.’ What this means in the case of the use of embryonic stem cells for therapeutic means remains open to debate.”
COMMENT: Human beginnings or human beings?
(Reading: “The Ethics of Embryonic Stem Cells-Now and Forever, Cells Without End,” Journal of the American Medical Association, 12/27/00, pp. 3180-3184)
birth control pill
ABORTS PERSONS: For a comprehensive article on the subject by Irish pharmacist/pro-life leader Patrick McCrystal, see Beginnings.
JOHN ASHCROFT: Bush’s nominee for attorney general faces opposition. A visit with your senator to discuss the Ashcroft record is in order. If you wish to learn more, or review the Ashcroft record, see the Republication National Coalition for Life’s FaxNotes.
TOMMY THOMPSON NOT PRO-LIFE: The Bush nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services, Gov. Tommy Thompson, supports destructive embryonic stem cell research. He wrote to American Life League, “As for the embryonic stem cell research, the work of Dr. [James A.] Thomson deserves commendation. Dr. Thomson’s research was conducted according to strict ethical and legal standards and offers significant potential for human life.”
COMMENT: Ethical? Embryonic persons die. Their human lives are intentionally destroyed for scientific progress.
(Reading: 3/8/99 letter to American Life League signed by Wisconsin Gov. Tommy G. Thompson; for background on the ghoulish research of James A. Thomson, see Communiqué 2/19/99 and 3/3/00. You may also consult materials from Thomson’s home base at the University of Wisconsin)
catholic health care
STEVEN BECKER CASE ANALYZED: For a comprehensive diagnosis of the state of Catholic health care, see “Steven Becker and the Fight for the Soul of Catholic Health Care,” by Nancy Valko, R.N. This article outlines the case of a man in an alleged “permanent vegetative state” condition who was starved to death.
MATERNAL DEATHS: The RU-486 (mifepristone/mifeprex) abortion regimen involves the use of a second chemical, Cytotec, a drug that is also used to induce labor. When used for that purpose, the drug was recently reported to be the cause of several deaths and other complications, according to a lengthy article in Mother Jones.
COMMENT: How many women will die from this chemical abortion cocktail?
(Reading: “Forced Labor,” Mother Jones, 2/01)
emergency contraception (morning-after abortion pill)
OVER-THE-COUNTER ABORTION: A consortium of groups is working to promote over-the-counter distribution of “emergency contraception,” claiming “EC prevents pregnancy.” The argument is that a “confirmed pregnancy” begins at implantation, and destruction of the embryo prior to that time is, therefore, not abortion.
(Reading: “Emergency Contraception – Direct from the Pharmacist,” Contraceptive Technology Update, 1/01, p. 1; “Make the Distinction: EC Prevents Pregnancy,” Contraceptive Technology Update, 1/01, p. 4; for further reading from proponents, see Reproductive Health Technologies Project)
PLANNED PARENTHOOD: Reporting on EC in Britain, reporters focused on the US and cited Planned Parenthood, which argues, “if emergency contraceptive methods were available and widely adopted in the USA, roughly 1.7 million unintended pregnancies and 800,000 abortions could be prevented.”
COMMENT: Of course, Planned Parenthood does not recognize the human person as beginning at conception/fertilization, but rather prefers revisionist science.
(Reading: “UK Improves Access to ‘Morning-After Pill,'” The Lancet, 12/16/00, p. 2071; must be subscriber)
ARCHIVES: John Hunt, reviewing the history of the eugenics movement, insightfully writes, “I would also mention from my own observations, the recent attempt by the managed health care industry to rush treatment for mastectomies and women giving birth to children. If enough people sign living wills, and there is an increase in the popularity of physician-assisted suicide, is it not possible for the managed health care industry to harass those who disagree with suicide and euthanasia? With a low birth rate, a high abortion rate, and increasingly aging population, there are enough elements in America for a frightening scenario. One does not need Hitler to have a horror.”
(Reading: “Perfecting Humankind: A Comparison of Progressive and Nazi Views on Eugenics, Sterilization and Abortion,” Linacre Quarterly, 1997)
FEAR OF LIVING? Canadian columnist Kevin Yuill opines, “Behind the calls for freedom, civil rights and autonomy lies a pervasive fear of life and living. Generations past felt able to face any challenge, including disease and death. Today, many feel abandoned by God, alienated from humanity, mistrustful of doctors and unable to cope with the realities of life. Assisted suicide is the comforting arsenic pill to take behind enemy lines for those who view human society as the enemy.”
(Reading: “Death Is no Solution to the Problems of Life,” National Post [Canada], 12/8/00, p. A18)
fetal tissue research
HUNTINGTON’S DISEASE TREATMENT: Researchers, using human fetal neuroblasts (embryonic cells from which nerve cells develop) from 7- to 9-week-old fetuses, transplanted the cells to Huntington’s sufferers and claimed that such grafting “could be associated with functional, motor and cognitive improvements ” in such patients. Five patients were involved in the initial studies.
(Reading: “Motor and Cognitive Improvements in Patients with Huntington’s Disease after Neural Transplantation,” The Lancet, 12/9/00, pp. 1975-1979; “First Steps Towards Cell Therapy for Huntington’s Disease,” The Lancet, 12/9/00, pp. 1945-46; must be subscriber)
PARKINSON’S INSTITUTE: The web site features research articles and commentary, including support for the position taken by actor Michael J. Fox in favor of embryonic stem cell research.
ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION: A comprehensive analysis of the influential RWJ foundation in matters pertinent to health care in the state of Colorado can be reviewed at the Capital Research Center web site. “Foundation Watch” is a monthly publication.
QUINACRINE: A two-part study examining the effects of quinacrine on Vietnamese women addresses efficacy and potential side effects.
(Reading: “Long-term Follow-up after Quinacrine Sterilization in Vietnam,” parts I and II, Fertility and Sterility, 12/00, pp. 1084-1101, subscription only)
LIFE RESEARCH INTISTUTE: For detailed information on funding sources for the pro-abortion, sex ed movement in America, see this site.
GOOD HEALTH: Pro-life pharmacist “>Frank Mingo, R.Ph., has a wealth of information on vitamins, and more. For details, contact him via e-mail.
HELP WANTED: Austin Ruse announces an immediate job opening for “a right hand person” at C-Fam, the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, and requests resumes be sent to “>Austin Ruse or by fax to 212-754-9291.
POST ABORTION HEALING: For details on the Rachel’s Vineyard leadership training retreat, or other aspects of the ministry, visit their web site.
reflection for prayer
ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS: Our most important task consists in remaining silent before this great God … who understands only one language, that of silent love.