ROCK FOR LIFE: American Life League’s Bryan Kemper, founder of Rock for Life, is featured in the Christian rock magazine, Christian Music, with the headline: “Who is this man, and why should Planned Parenthood fear him?”
(Reading: Christian Music magazine online, http://christianmusic.org/cmp/hmmag/)
FLORIDA: Pro-life lawmakers will re-file two bills vetoed in 1998 by the late Gov. Lawton Chiles. One bill requires parents of minors to be notified before an abortion. The other bill establishes a “Choose Life” specialty license plate that would benefit agencies that encourage adoption. A new bill would require hospitals and doctors’ offices that offer abortion to be licensed as abortion clinics.
(Reading: “Legislature’s Plans on Abortion Unclear,” Tampa Tribune, 1/8/99)
LOUISIANA: A federal appeals court will hear arguments Feb. 2 on restoring a state law that allows women to sue doctors for physical or emotional trauma-even years after an abortion. Critics say the law is a “back-door attempt to stop abortion.” Supporters say they just want to be sure that women are informed of the risks before undergoing the procedure. A state judge invalidated the law last year, calling it unconstitutionally vague.
(Reading: “Hearing Set in Appeal of Ban on La. Abortion Law,” The [Baton Rouge] Advocate, 1/5/99)
STATISTICS: The Alan Guttmacher Institute has compiled two studies addressing the decline in surgical abortion rates, individuals performing the procedure and state laws regulating the practice. While finding that fewer surgical abortions were done, the Henshaw study concludes that “early medical abortion methods are too new to be a measurable factor in abortion access.”
Clearly, the numbers of children killed by various chemicals are not part of such studies and contribute to the false sense of hope some pro-lifers have expressed over the declining numbers.
(Reading: “Abortion Incidence and Services in the United States, 1995?1996, ” Family Planning Perspectives, 11?12/98, pp. 263?270, 287; “State Abortion Policy, Geographic Access to Abortion Providers and Changing Family Formation,” Family Planning Perspectives, 11?12/98, pp. 281?287)
BILLBOARDS: Pro-Life Action League has begun a national billboard campaign, with the first boards posted in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. The theme is “See the World Through the Eyes of a Child.”
(Reading: news release from Pro-Life Action League, 12/28/98)
DENMARK: A new memorial to the victims of abortion has been dedicated in the village of Vedersoe. The inscription mentions “the more than 500,000 Danish citizens whose lives have been stolen” in the 25 years that abortion has been legal. Abortion is said to be “not a major issue” in Denmark.
(Reading: “Denmark-Abortion Memorial,” Associated Press, 1/4/99)
MARYLAND: Pro-life activists demonstrated outside city hall in Annapolis to protest plans to charge the group $5,400 for police services during an annual state house march. The group said the fee would effectively violate their First Amendment rights. Marches have been held for the past 20 years.
(Reading: “30 Anti-Abortion Activists Criticize Bill in Annapolis on Fees for March Services,” Baltimore Sun, 1/5/99)
MISSISSIPPI: A new billboard campaign hopes to use messages featuring five teenagers to reach other teens. The teens either proudly proclaim their virginity, or express their regrets over engaging in premarital sex. Abstinence education is state policy in Mississippi, and schools are required to teach it. But one critical teen said the billboards are likely to be as ineffective as anti-smoking ads.
(Reading: “Billboards Incorporated in Teen Abstinence Campaign,” The [Biloxi] Sun Herald, 1/5/99)
RISKY SEXUAL BEHAVIOR: According to the most recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 48% of respondents in 1997 had ever had sex, compared with 54% six years earlier. This survey is done among high school students.
(Reading: “Some Teenagers Just Say No,” Family Planning Perspectives, 11?12/98, p. 255)
birth control pill
SAFE? News reports claimed that a current British Medical Journal study reveals that “the increased risk of cancer and other illnesses linked with contraceptive pill is canceled out ten years after women come off it.” However, a careful reading of the study by pharmacist John Wilks of Australia reveals the following findings that were not reported (and there are others as well):
“Within the first ten years of starting use of oral contraceptives there was a significant excess mortality from all causes of death, all circulatory diseases and cerebrovascular disease” (page 97); “there was also a significant trend of increasing mortality for all cancers combined and for cervical cancer in relation to duration of use” (page 98).
Why does the media insist on politically correct story-telling rather than the hard facts?
(Reading: “Mortality Associated with Oral Contraceptive Use: 25 Year Follow-up of Cohort of 46,000 Women from Royal College of General Practitioners’ Oral Contraception Study,” British Medical Journal, 1/9/99)
SOUTH KOREA: The South Korean Health and Welfare Ministry plans to approve the concept of brain death, and “if it passes, as expected, the law would recognise brain death as legal death, opening the way for transplantation of hearts, livers, lungs, and other organs.”
When death is not really dead.
(Reading: “Concept of Brain Death to Be Accepted in South Korea,” The Lancet, 12/19?26/98, p. 1996)
CONNECTICUT: The state legislature may again consider a bill requiring insurance companies that pay for prescriptions to cover birth control, including some forms that are abortifacient. One lawmaker announced bipartisan support for the bill, which could come up for discussion in March or April. A similar bill was defeated in 1998.
(Reading: “Connecticut Considers Birth Control Pill Bill,” A.M. Best Company, Inc. news release, 1/5/99)
LNG ROD: Studies are underway using a “two-rod” implant system, described as “equivalent to the six Norplant capsule implants with respect to safety and efficacy parameters, but permit easier and more rapid implant removal.”
(Reading: “Contraception with Two Levonorgestrel Rod Implants,” Contraception, Vol 58, 1998, pp. 275?282)
NORPLANT: A Philadelphia Inquirer article examines the plight of Norplant. The report calls Norplant a drug with impressive medical credentials that has been tarnished by excessive litigation. The article relates that the drug’s manufacturer, Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, has won nearly all the product safety lawsuits filed against it, but “the litigation has nearly driven the contraceptive from the market.”
(Reading: “How a Promising Contraceptive Fell Victim to Lawsuits,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/30/98, p. 1)
THIRD WORLD: The Population Council published a “Consensus Statement” on the use of chemicals to abort among the poor nations of the world, stating: “Medical abortion can be used safely in even the most basic settings, so long as back-up care is available to treat women who experience complications or method failure. The techniques typically employed to manage such complications are similar to those used to manage spontaneous abortion. Therefore, established services for routine elective surgical abortion are not a prerequisite for introducing medical abortion into a given setting . . . in settings where the consequences of unwanted pregnancy are sufficiently severe, medical abortion methods may represent a critical advance in women’s health even if optimal conditions for its introduction are not present. The perfect should not be the enemy of the good.”
(Reading: “Medical Methods of Early Abortion in Developing Countries,” Contraception, Vol. 58, 1998, pp. 257?259)
WASHINGTON: The state’s “emergency contraception” pilot program is expanding. The pills will be available without a doctor’s prescription at Southwest Washington Medical Center’s 24-hour pharmacies. A hospital spokesman insisted that one of the pill’s modes of action, preventing implantation, is not abortion.
(Reading: “Medical Center OKs Emergency Contraception,” The [Vancouver, Wash.] Columbian, 1/6/99)
COLOMBIA: AIDS activists gave their message a carnival-like theme by parading a giant condom through the streets of Bogota. It was large enough for a troupe of dancers to prance around inside. The parade had a police escort-the organizers were afraid spectators might try to puncture the $13,000 display, which was paid for by a condom company and a Colombian university.
(Reading: “Colombia-Giant Condom,” Associated Press, 12/27/98)
CHINA: Shandong Province has banned ultrasound testing because too many parents are opting for abortion if they learn that their child is female. The ruling does not mention China’s official one-child-per-family policy. But it did acknowledge that couples often prefer to have a son, who would be better able to care for them in their old age. Male births outnumber female births in China.
(Reading: “Shandong Bans Ultrasound Tests,” Agence France Presse, 12/7/98)
MICHIGAN: A new law makes it a felony to assault a pregnant woman, if the intent is to cause a miscarriage or stillbirth. A person convicted of this crime could be sentenced to life in prison. The ACLU is concerned that the law “establishes a fetus as a separate person.” Other critics say the law “undermines a woman’s right to choose.”
(Reading: “Michigan Launches Fetus Assault Bill,” United Press International, 12/31/98)
CALIFORNIA: Former heavyweight boxer Jerry Quarry died recently after the family decided to “take him off life support when they were told he would probably be bedridden.”
(Reading: “Former Heavyweight Boxer Jerry Quarry Dies,” Potomac News, 1/4/99, p. B4)
COLORADO: An 80-year-old retired judge may appeal a court decision that denied his request to establish a right to die. Robert Sanderson wants to draw up a legal document granting his wife permission to obtain a lethal injection for him when the “time comes when life is no longer worth living.” Colorado’s solicitor general argued that “authorization of euthanasia could constitute manslaughter under state law.”
(Reading: “Healthy Ex-judge Loses Right to Die Bid,” United Press International, 12/30/98)
BOLDNESS: Outspoken Lee County, Fla., Sheriff John McDougall didn’t like the judge’s ruling that invalidated New Jersey’s “partial-birth” abortion law. So he wrote the judge and told her. Said McDougall, “your ruling . . . is nothing more than a defense of evil.” Federal District Judge Anne E. Thompson wrote back-to tell McDougall he shouldn’t be writing such letters on official letterhead. McDougall notes that the judge’s response was written on her official letterhead.
(Reading: “Sheriff Criticizes Federal Judge’s Abortion Ruling,” Associated Press, 12/30/98)
in vitro fertilization
OHIO: The Health Alliance, based in Cincinnati, reporting on new treatments for infertility, quotes Dr. Sherif Awadalla, a specialist: “Over the years in vitro fertilization has improved and become more predictable. We have also wanted to reduce the number of multiple pregnancies with these procedures. This is now possible through the selection of fewer high quality embryos for transfer.”
We know what happens to those little boys and girls who fall below the standard!
(Reading: “New Treatments in Infertility,” Health Alliance Good Health Report, Fall 1998, p. 4)
ETHICS: The American Medical Association’s ethics council is examining the “rights of condemned prisoners to donate organs and the use of newly dead patients for training.”
(Reading: “Ethics Forum Mulls Prisoners as Donors,” American Medical News, 12/21/98, pp. 8, 10)
PENNSYLVANIA: An auditor general’s report concludes that “public funds were misused and lawmakers were misled” when an ad for Planned Parenthood was sent in a welfare department mailing of 56,000 brochures. The report says the mailing was not connected to “the accomplishment of a proper governmental purpose.”
(Reading: “Welfare Agency Faulted for Mailing,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/24/98)
ELIZABETH DOLE: Pro-Life Infonet reports that though Dole is currently silent about her position on abortion, previous statements reflect her support for the exceptions of rape, incest and life of the mother. She reportedly favored a constitutional amendment containing these exceptions in 1996.
(Reading: “Where Does Elizabeth Dole Stand on the Right to Life?” Pro-Life Infonet, 1/9/99)
sexually transmitted disease
FACTS: According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation report, “of the STDs that are diagnosed, only three-gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia-are nationally reportable diseases, meaning that health care providers are required to report cases to state health departments and the CDC. There is no national reporting requirement for the other five major STDs-genital herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis B, HIV and trichomoniasis. Further, reporting practices differ between public and private health care sources, as well as among states and individual providers.”
(Reading: “Sexually Transmitted Diseases in America: How Many Cases and at What Cost?” Kaiser Family Foundation, 12/98, http://www.kff.org/archive/repro/policy/std/std_rep.html)
GLAMOUR: The magazine marks the 26th anniversary of Roe v. Wade with a look at “legal obstacles . . . that make the procedure increasingly difficult to obtain.” The feature is centered around Michelle Lee, the Louisiana woman who went to Texas for “a lifesaving option” (abortion) when doctors in her home state determined that her pregnancy did not threaten her life. Glamour tells how Lee and her mother, described as a “devout Pentecostal Christian,” fought the system.
(Reading: news release from Glamour, 1/5/99)
COMPLICATIONS: “Women who are sterilized are more than four times as likely as nonsterilized women whose husbands undergo vasectomy to have a hysterectomy within five years after the procedure,” reports Family Planning Perspectives.
(Reading: “The Risk of Hysterectomy Quadruples After Women Undergo Sterilization,” Family Planning Perspectives, 11?12/98, p. 297)
INDIA: Population control advocates are interested in reversing a government ban on quinacrine, a sterilization agent that has been linked to cancer. However, in noting that the drug is exported to Asian countries by U.S. doctors allegedly linked to anti-immigration groups, Dr. Mohan Rao of Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi said that quinacrine “should first be used on white women in the First World” for testing.
(Reading: “The Politics of Pregnancy,” Associated Press, 1/7/99)
PERU: According to the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, forced sterilizations in Peru are supported by the UNFPA, which committed eleven million dollars to be spent in that country through the year 2001. “The 1998 quota for sterilizations actually grew from 130,000 to 165,000 in 1997.”
(Reading: “UNFPA Continues Involvement in Peru Despite New Evidence of Coerced Sterilizations,” Friday Fax, 1/8/99)
AMA ON VIOLENCE: Reed Tuckson, M.D., the American Medical Association’s senior vice president, commenting on the murder of abortionist Barnett Slepian, said, “This is not about abortion. This is about violence.”
(Reading: “Medicine’s Plea to Federal Law Enforcers: Stop Violence Aimed at Physicians,” American Medical News, 11/16/98, pp. 1, 35)
PRAY AND FAST . . . PRAY AND FAST . . . PRAY AND FAST
Yet time will prove where wisdom lies.
Let the truth of God sink into your soul to be its foundation stone.
God is One, without beginning and without change. There was no one before him who caused him to be, and he will not have anyone after him. He has not had a beginning and he will not ever have an end. He is good and just.
He knows what will happen in the future.
He is more powerful than anyone.
He knows everything and does everything in accordance with his own will.
He is not subject to the vicissitudes of time; he does not depend on others; he is not the victim of destiny.
He is perfect in everything and possesses all the virtues in their fullness.
He it is who has prepared a crown for the righteous.
-St. Cyril of Jerusalem [386 AD]
(Reading: “Where Wisdom Lies,” Magnificat, Vol. 1, No.1)
Lord, we are nothing without you. As you sustain us with your mercy, receive our prayers and offerings. Amen.