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Home » News » Communique – Nov. 18, 2005

Communique – Nov. 18, 2005

in this issue:

abortion alternatives: WEB HELP
alito watch: ABORTION
birth control patch: DEATHS
condoms: FLAWS
living will: WARNING
personhood: RIGHT TO LIFE ACT 
planned parenthood: TARGET
stem cell research / ethical: HOPE
stem cell research / unethical: CALIFORNIA
zinger: STRANGE?
reflection for prayer: THOU SHALT NOT KILL


DEPRESSION: David Reardon, PhD, has refuted a published claim that there is no significant difference in depression rates between mothers who carry the children to term and those who abort their children. Reardon, whose comments were published in the British Medical Journal, points out that the original study does not examine “the married among whom we found the greatest differences.”

(Reading: “Study fails to address our previous findings and subject to misleading interpretations,” British Medical Journal, 11/1/05)

WORDS OF CHOICE: Joseph Sobran examines the controversy surrounding Bush Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, and his position that fathers should be involved when their children are scheduled to be killed by abortion. He writes, “The less we talk about what’s actually being chosen the better. It’s just ‘choice.’ Maybe not as easy as a choice of wallpaper, but choice all the same.”

(Reading: “Words of choice,” Sobran’s, 11/8/05)

abortion alternatives

WEB HELP: Check out the National Life Center for toll-free hotline information, answers to difficult questions and more.

alito watch

ABORTION: In 1985, Judge Samuel Alito wrote in a federal job application that he wanted “to help to advance legal positions in which I personally believe very strongly … [including the position] that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion.”

(Reading: “Alito wrote that Constitution does not protect abortion,” Fox News, 11/14/05; “Reagan presidential records re: Samuel A. Alito, Jr.,” Ronald Reagan Presidential Library)

birth control patch

DEATHS: As Ortho-McNeil claims that “deaths and side effects caused by the patch are consistent with the health risks of the pill,” the Associated Press analyzed 16,000 adverse events and found that the risk of death from a blood clot is three times higher for women using the patch.

(Reading: “AP finds more fatalities from birth control patch than expected,” Associated Press, 11/11/05; “Are ‘reproductive rights’ replacing sound medicine,” Concerned Women for America)


FLAWS: The FDA is recommending new label information for condoms, acknowledging the fact that the condom does not provide effective protection against certain sexually transmitted diseases.

(Reading: “Chairman of drug policy subcommittee says FDA’s new condom label recommendations get it only half-right,” Congressional Quarterly, 11/10/05)


BAYLOR UNIVERSITY: A fertility clinic working under the ethics committee at Baylor College of Medicine is being permitted to do prenatal genetic diagnosis to determine the sex of human embryos so that couples are assured of the sex of their child before the embryo is placed in the womb.

(Reading: “Med school ethics board okays embryo gender selection study,” Agape Press, 11/9/05)

living will

WARNING: An interview points out, “The standard living-will documents that are advocated by those who support euthanasia have a general presumption of death.”

COMMENT: Do yourself and your loved ones a favor and get the Loving Will from American Life League.

(Reading: “Why Catholics should avoid secular living wills,” Zenit News Agency, 11/11/05)


RIGHT TO LIFE ACT: This bill (HR 552) states, “The terms ‘human person’ and ‘human being’ include each and every member of the species homo sapiens at all stages of life, including, but not limited to, the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.” See Right to Life Act for details.

COMMENT: Is your member of Congress a co-sponsor? If not, ask!

planned parenthood

TARGET: The Planned Parenthood Federation is out to make life miserable for Target stores because the company has chosen to permit pharmacists to refuse to fill requests for the morning after abortion pills.

(Reading: “Planned Parenthood protests Target’s Plan B policy,” Associated Press, 11/13/05)


AUSTRALIA: Health minister Tony Abbott announced the country’s ban on RU-486 will not be lifted due to ongoing health concerns and potential risks to women who use the abortion drug.

(Reading: “Abortion pill ban will stay: Abbott,” The Australian, 11/16/05)

stem cell research / ethical

HOPE: A young woman who had been paralyzed went to Portugal to have experimental surgery done using her own stem cells, taken from her nasal cavity and transplanted into her spinal cord. She is currently capable of taking steps without leg braces as long as a physical therapist assists her.

COMMENT: Why isn’t this Portuguese procedure, which has already been used with 36 patients, receiving more international attention? Is the culture of death so powerful that it will ignore good news simply because killing human embryonic children is so lucrative?

(Reading: “Iowan makes strides after spine surgery,” Des Moines Register, 11/6/05)

stem cell research / unethical

CALIFORNIA: A thorough and honest analysis of the deceptive tactics used in California to gain approval for the billions of tax dollars that will now be spent on killing human embryos in order to get their stem cells, states: “Is it ironic or merely predictable that while we were considering supporting a research agenda that would move us significantly closer to intervening in human evolution in ways reminiscent of those that troubled postwar geneticists, we were hearing less about it? In fact, science-entrepreneurs and Prop 71 backers deftly concealed the fact that questing for cures by cloning embryonic stem cells also carries us to the threshold of human reproductive cloning and there was scarcely a bioethicist around to put these concerns before the public.”

(Reading: “Intellectual capital and voting booth bioethics: A contemporary historical critique,” Center for the Study of Law and Society, 9/15/05)


WORDS TO LIVE BY: “Consensus negates leadership” and “Integrity is not occasional.”


STRANGE? Georgetown bioethicist Tom Beauchamp, who along with Peter Singer is an advocate of animal rights and absolute autonomy, commented recently on the appointment of Edmund Pellegrino to the President’s Council on Bioethics, claiming that he is often at odds with Pellegrino, but respects Pellegrino’s “fair-minded, even-handed” leadership. He claims that while Pellegrino has a “strong commitment to Roman Catholic beliefs,” he will not let that interfere with his new position.

COMMENT: We hope this is not another case of “Catholic in name only.”

(Reading: “Reflections on the appointment of Edmund Pellegrino to the president’s council on bioethics,” American Journal of Bioethics, 9-10/05)

reflection for prayer

THOU SHALT NOT KILL: Pope John Paul II wrote in his encyclical Veritatis Splendor, “But the negative moral precepts, those prohibiting certain concrete actions or kinds of behavior as intrinsically evil, do not allow for any legitimate exception. They do not leave room, in any morally acceptable way, for the ‘creativity’ of any contrary determination whatsoever. Once the moral species of an action prohibited by a universal rule is concretely recognized, the only morally good act is that of obeying the moral law and of refraining from the action which it forbids.”

(Reading: Veritatis Splendor, Section 67, 8/6/93)