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Home » News » Communique – Aug. 23, 2002

Communique – Aug. 23, 2002

in this issue:

birth control and health insurance: WASHINGTON
birth control pill: RISKS
end of life care: COMPASSION
euthanasia: OREGON
parental notice: BIRTH CONTROL FOR KIDS
personhood: QUOTING
preimplantation genetic diagnosis: WOMEN OF ADVANCED AGE
terminal sedation: CRITIQUE
reflection for prayer: THOMAS A KEMPIS


CALIFORNIA: State lawmakers have passed and sent to Gov. Gray Davis a bill that would forbid the state from outlawing abortion should the Supreme Court ever overturn its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

COMMENT: Please read this bill (link is provided below). It is extremely dangerous. If you think overturning Roe will end abortion in all of the US, you are wrong.

(Reading: “California abortion bill passes Assembly, heads to Davis’ desk,” Contra Costa Times, 8/20/02; “Reproductive Privacy Act,” California SB1301; “What does SB1301 do?” Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California)

MICHIGAN: Father “Doc” Ortman of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Plymouth, Mich., presented a homily defending a pro-abortion politician. The full report can be viewed online. may be reached by e-mail.

PENNSYLVANIA: In ruling that Tanya Meyers could go ahead with her abortion even though the baby’s father objected, Judge Michael Conahan said, “The delay in her procedure has inflicted significant and extreme emotional distress on Meyers, and she faces increased medical risks due to the delay in her procedure. Furthermore, the denial of her constitutional right to effectuate her abortion decision is in itself immediate and irreparable harm.”

(Reading: John Stachokus v. Tracey Curry, order lifting injunction barring Pennsylvania woman’s abortion, 8/5/02; “Women’s rights vs. responsibilities,” World Net Daily, 8/8/02)

SAFETY HOAX: Researcher Brent Rooney has written a report based on comparisons between a Finnish study on abortion risk and the statistics issued by the Centers for Disease Control. Entitled “Abortion ‘safety’ hoax chucks 16,000 women into caskets,” it is summarized on his web site. John Diggs, MD, has reviewed the paper and finds it worthy of study. Also see Mr. Rooney’s “Keep ‘Roe v. Wade’ Legal Contest” page.


MEDICAL STUDENTS: New Jersey Medical School announces NJMS Physicians for Life. For information contact .

TITLE X: Rep. David Vitter (R-La.) will offer an amendment to the 2003 Labor/HHS/Education Appropriations Bill that will prevent Title X “family planning” funds from going to private agencies that provide chemical or surgical abortions in the United States. This will come up in September in the Appropriations Committee. In the House, this amendment has a very good chance of passing. STOPP International is leading the drive to make sure the Vitter Amendment becomes law. Edward Szymkowiak, the national director of STOPP, says, “STOPP would like to see the entire Title X program eliminated and we urge you to convey that message to your representatives in Congress. While the Vitter Amendment does not eliminate Title X, it is a worthy effort to restrict the program and, thus, it deserves our support.”

(Reading: “Action needed now: Vitter amendment Title X,” STOPP release, 8/19/02)

birth control and health insurance

WASHINGTON: State Attorney General Christine Gregoire ruled that health insurance plans may not opt out of providing coverage for contraceptives (read: chemical abortion drugs and devices) on “religious or moral” grounds.

(Reading: “Heath plans must include birth control, Gregoire says,” Seattle Post Intelligencer, 8/13/02)

birth control pill

RISKS: Researchers find that women on the pill are more likely to suffer from vulvar vestibulitis.

(Reading: “More adverse effects of the pill,” Pharmacists for Life International of Canada news release, 8/8/02; “Use of oral contraceptive pills and vulvar vestibulitis: a case-control study,” American Journal of Epidemiology, 8/1/02, pp. 254-261, abstract)

end of life care

COMPASSION: In a point/counterpoint set of articles, one physician, who lost his wife to cancer on their son’s 17th birthday, expresses his disdain for those who would prematurely end the life of a patient. Dr. Stevens is opposed to physician-assisted suicide and says, “I have people say, ‘I’d rather die than have a colostomy or be in a wheelchair.’ But a person can be disabled or be dependent on others and still have great dignity in their lives. We have a great opportunity to relieve their suffering — and sometimes cure them. We shouldn’t be helping to do them in.”

(Reading: “How will the end come?” American Medical News, 8/12/02)


OREGON: Kaiser Permanente NW issued an electronic memorandum seeking those physicians who would participate in prematurely ending the lives of patients who request physician-assisted suicide, an act legal in the state of Oregon.

(Reading: “HMO seeks out assisted-suicide doctors,” Physicians for Compassionate Care Educational Foundation, 8/15/02)

parental notice

BIRTH CONTROL FOR KIDS: A study funded by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and others alleges that teens who are required to tell their parents about their desire to use birth control will delay treatment of sexually transmitted diseases including HIV, and potentially increase teen pregnancy and the spread of STDs. Ed Szymkowiak of STOPP points out the flaws in this study including the fact that the survey was conducted only with “sexually active Planned Parenthood teen clients.”

(Reading: “Effect of mandatory parental notification on adolescent girls’ use of sexual health care services,” Journal of the American Medical Association, 8/14/02, pp. 710-714, abstract; “Limiting confidentiality of adolescent health services — What are the risks?” Journal of the American Medical Association, 8/14/02; “Mandatory parental notice for contraceptives: new Planned Parenthood study seriously flawed,” STOPP news release, 8/15/02)


QUOTING: Professor Dianne Irving — “human ‘persons’ are defined in terms of the objectively known ‘kind’ of thing they are, not in terms of any currently expressed functions — mental or physical. Functions don’t just pop up out of thin air; they are ’caused’ by something else that is already there before them — the objective ‘nature’ of the thing. It is the inherent ‘capacity’ or ‘nature’ of human beings that cause them to be ‘what’ they are and to ‘do’ what persons do — whether or not that capacity is fully expressed or exercised at any particular point in time. Personhood, then, begins when the human being begins.”

(NOTE: words within single quotes are italicized in the original text)

(Reading: “Stem cell research: reductio ad Michael Kinsley,” 9/20/00, unpublished)

preimplantation genetic diagnosis

WOMEN OF ADVANCED AGE: Researchers are suggesting that mothers 37 years of age or older should be urged to request preimplantation genetic diagnosis so that only “normal” embryos are placed in the womb for possible implantation.

(Reading: “Preimplantation genetic diagnosis for advanced material age and other indications,” Fertility and Sterility, 8/02, pp. 234-236; must be paid subscriber)

terminal sedation

CRITIQUE: Nancy Valko, RN, has written an excellent analysis of what precisely is wrong with “terminal sedation.”


ANTS ARE PEOPLE TOO! Stephanie Boyles of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) allegedly told a Los Angeles Times reporter, “Ants are sentient beings, like we are, and have a right to life.”

(Reading: “Ants are people too,”

reflection for prayer

THOMAS A KEMPIS: How many perish in the world through vain learning, who little care for the service of God! And because they chose rather to be great than to be humble, therefore they are lost in their own imaginations. He is truly great who is great in charity. He is truly great who is little in his own eyes and holds as naught the pinnacle of honor. He is truly prudent who looks upon all earthly things as nothing that he may gain Christ (Phil 3:8). He is very learned indeed who does the will of God and renounces his own will.

(Reading: Imitation of Christ, Book I, Chapter 3, Section 6)