in this issue:
abortion: BREAST CANCER / CALIFORNIA / NONE DARE RISK MURDER / ZIMBABWE
bush watch: HUMAN EMBRYO ADOPTION
congress: ABORTION NON-DISCRIMINATION ACT
euthanasia: MINIMALLY-CONSCIOUS STATE / OREGON / UNITED KINGDOM
human subjects: CALIFORNIA
march of dimes: TENNESSEE
organ “donation”: INCENTIVES
politics: NEW YORK / NORTH CAROLINA
vaccines: PER C6
zinger: MALE FISH HAVING BABIES
reflection for prayer: ST. THERESE OF LISIEUX / NONE DARE RISK MURDER
BREAST CANCER: A new resource outlining risks and prevention strategies for avoiding breast cancer, written by Angela Lanfranchi, MD, FACS can be acquired from Breast Cancer Prevention Institute by calling toll free 86-NO CANCER.
CALIFORNIA: In our last issue (Communique, 8/23/02) we failed to point out that the recently passed “Reproductive Privacy Act” (SB 1301) couldn’t negate the effects of overturning Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton IF the overturning occurs by amending the Constitution of the United States. Should such an amendment be passed by Congress and ratified by 38 states, abortion would end across the country. Attorney Richard Collier points out to us that the same would be true if “Roe is overturned by the Supreme Court on the ground that the unborn baby is a ‘person’ for purposes of the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments. As Roe itself acknowledged, such a holding would prevent abortion in the states because it would be an interpretation of the Constitution and the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, preempting all contrary state laws. The comment made in the 8/23 Communique is accurate only if Roe is overturned in the way advocated by Scalia, Bork and others, who say that abortion is not mentioned in the Constitution and therefore the states should be free to legislate on abortion in any way they want. They see Roe as an improper barrier to a political/democratic solution to abortion — let the people decide. Thus, if their theory is used to overturn Roe, states like California will be free to continue their current regime of state-sponsored slaughter of the innocents.”
(Reading: note from attorney )
NONE DARE RISK MURDER: The Vatican’s Declaration on Procured Abortion makes clear a point many pro-lifers have forgotten: abortion is murder. See the quote at the end of this issue.
ZIMBABWE: The Guadalupe Association of Zimbabwe is working to educate women about the health dangers associated with abortion. Delegates from the organization, affiliated with Human Life International, have testified at United Nations meetings and elsewhere. The e-mail contact isr the director, .
VOTE: Register your opinion on the question, “Should the FDA halt sales of the abortion pill Mifeprex (RU-486)?”
HUMAN EMBRYO ADOPTION: The Bush administration has announced a campaign to promote awareness regarding the adoption of frozen human embryos whose parents have chosen not to have them discarded or donated to research. American Life League has developed a position paper on this topic, and opposes the Bush plan because, once again, the fate of a child is dependent upon the “choice” of his parents. See “Frozen embryo adoptions.”
ABORTION NON-DISCRIMINATION ACT (HR 4691): An amendment to the Public Health Service Act, this bill would expand conscience clause protection to a wide range of health-care providers including “health professionals,” hospitals, organization, HMOs, and other facilities, organizations or plans. Pro-lifers argue that pharmacists who object to participating in the killing of babies by not wishing to fill prescriptions for abortive chemicals like morning after pill regimens deserve the same protections as anyone else.
(Reading: HR 4691, search Library of Congress by bill number; “Fact sheet: ACLU’s misrepresentations about the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act,” US Conference of Catholic Bishops; “Move grows to protect pro-life pharmacists,” PharmFacts E-News, Pharmcists for Life International, 8/26/02)
MINIMALLY-CONSCIOUS STATE: Derick Wade writes, “Death was once easily recognized by the absence of breathing and heart beat because such people inevitably went on to putrefy. Now pre-death states are recognized. For example, in brain-stem death, the patient has a beating heart but cannot breathe; and in the permanent vegetative state the patient has spontaneous breathing and maintained heart beat but no awareness. In both circumstances medical treatment may legally be withdrawn (after due process), knowing that the patient will then complete the process of death. Now another boundary is being explored, that between the complete absence of awareness and the presence of some awareness. The boundary state has acquired a name, the minimally conscious state….”
(Reading: “The dis-integration of death,” The Lancet, 8/10/02, p. 425)
OREGON: A survey of hospice nurses and social workers indicates that hospice patients requesting assisted suicide desire control over when and how they die; 45 percent of those responding to the survey had a request from a patient for a prescription for lethal medication; 82 patients received such a prescription. The disability rights group Not Dead Yet pointed out that “according to the fourth annual report on assisted suicides, the main reasons given for assisted suicide differ sharply from those listed in the current survey…What this means is that no one really knows what is going on in Oregon.”
(Reading: “Experiences of Oregon nurses and social workers with hospice patients who requested assistance with suicide,” New England Journal of Medicine, 8/22/02, pp. 582-588, abstract; “Disability activists blast latest Oregon ‘spin,'” Not Dead Yet news release, 8/22/02, contact )
UNITED KINGDOM: British doctors can rely on new guidelines issued by the General Medical Council when making decisions regarding the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment.
(Reading: “UK council advises doctors on stopping life support,” Reuters Health, 8/21/02; “Withholding and withdrawing life-prolonging treatments: good practice in decision-making,” General Medical Council)
CALIFORNIA: AB2328 is a bill which, according to the Alliance for Human Research Protection, would overturn the ethical principles mandated under the Nuremberg Code, and would give California researchers an escape hatch from federal regulations which prohibit experimentation on individuals who are incapacitated and cannot exercise their right to refuse to be research subjects.
(Reading: “University of California seeks to ease curbs on patient protection in research,” Alliance for Human Research Protection news release, 8/7/02)
march of dimes
TENNESSEE: Thanks to Tennessee Right to Life, we have confirmation that the March of Dimes in Tennessee works in coalition with Planned Parenthood, including the provision of grant money to Planned Parenthood affiliates. A letter bearing the logo for March of Dimes and signed by the MOD state director of communications is on file or may be requested via email.
INCENTIVES: Citing a song from “Cabaret” about money making the world go ’round, an AMA editorial writer opines that previous initiatives to increase organ donation are failing, and perhaps it is time for “financial incentives” to be used as a way of enticing family and friends to agree when a loved one is near death. The writer suggests a study is in order.
(Reading: “Time has come for study of incentives,” AMA News, 8/19/02)
NEW YORK: This session the New York legislature passed A04945, a bill “to prohibit the slaughter of dogs and cats for food, etc.,” and A08466, a bill authorizing guardians of persons with mental retardation “to withhold or withdraw life sustaining treatment under limited and restricted situations.”
NORTH CAROLINA: Elizabeth Dole, a contender for U.S. Senate, cannot be described as 100 percent pro-life, based on statements she has made in the past. Currently, she favors a “ban” on partial birth abortion.
COMMENT: Why has North Carolina Right to Life given her a platform? Ask .
(Reading: “Senatorial candidates debate,” Greensboro News-Record, 4/21/02)
PER C6: Despite inherent risks in many vaccines and a public protest against the use of aborted fetal tissue, a new aborted fetal cell line PER.C6 has been licensed by Crucell, NV to numerous pharmaceutical companies to develop new vaccines, including Ebola, HIV and Flu. Despite the fact that it has never been used in any US vaccines and is not currently FDA approved, it also presents new risks. The father of this 18 week aborted baby is listed as unknown and therefore, there is no way to identify latent DNA traits. In addition it introduces AD5 – a vector known to have carcinogenic potential in animal testing. Children of God for Life is asking the public once again to voice their protest.
(Reading: “Using the body to cure the body,” International Reports; “‘Designer’ cells as substrates for the manufacture of viral vaccines,” U.S. Food and Drug Administration; “Girl gets $4.7 million for vaccine injuries,” Bergen Record, 8/16/02)
MALE FISH HAVING BABIES: An ongoing study in Canadian waters by Karen Kidd of Canada’s Fisheries and Oceans department indicates that hormone irregularities downstream from water treatment plants are caused by the excretion of hormones from women on the birth control pill or hormone replacement therapy. “Can makes with eggs in their testes reproduce effectively?” asks Kidd. The 3-year study may provide answers.
(Reading: “Wavelengths,” Fisheries and Oceans Canada newsletter, 3/02; “Flushed hormones change sex of fish,” Ottawa Citizen)
reflection for prayer
ST. THERESE OF LISIEUX: For me, prayer is an aspiration of the heart, it is a simple glance directed to heaven, it is a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trial as well as joy; finally, it is something great, supernatural, which expands my soul and unites me to Jesus.
NONE DARE RISK MURDER: “The right to life is no less to be respected in the small infant just born than in the mature person. In reality, respect for human life is called for from the time that the process of generation begins. From the time that the ovum is fertilized, a life is begun which is neither that of the father nor of the mother; it is rather the life of a new human being with his own growth. It would never be made human if it were not human already.
“To this perpetual evidence-perfectly independent of the discussions on the moment of animation-modern genetic science brings valuable confirmation. It has demonstrated that, from the first instant there is established the program of what this living being will be: a man, this individual man with his characteristic aspects already well determined. Right from fertilization is begun the adventure of a human life, and each of its capacities requires time-a rather lengthy time-to find its place and to be in a position to act. The least that can be said is that present science, in its most evolved state, does not give any substantial support to those who defend abortion. Moreover, it is not up to biological sciences to make a definitive judgment on questions which are properly philosophical and moral, such as the moment when a human person is constituted or the legitimacy of abortion. From a moral point of view this is certain: even if a doubt existed concerning whether the fruit of conception is already a human person, it is objectively a grave sin to dare to risk murder. ‘The one who will be a man is already one'”
(Reading: “Declaration on procured abortion,” Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 11/18/74)