ARIZONA: An investigation shows that on the day abortion patient Lou Anne Herron bled to death, a doctor refused to respond to requests for help because he was eating lunch. Abortionist John Biskind offered this advice when he was told his patient was in trouble: “Call 911.” The administrator called a distant hospital rather than the one across the street.
(Reading: “Report Details Clinic Chaos,” Arizona Republic, 12/15/98)
CONNECTICUT: HealthSouth Corporation wants to drop elective abortions at the surgery centers it has recently purchased. Pro-abortion advocates are pressuring the attorney general to investigate, saying that because the move would affect women’s “right to choose,” it would be illegal for HealthSouth to quit.
(Reading: “Company Criticized for Move,” Hartford Courant, 12/17/98)
ILLINOIS: The father of a child who was aborted at a Chicago hospital is suing the county for failing to obtain his consent. Attorney Robert Dargis says, “given the fact that someone is taking the life of his child, does he have any say so in that?”
(Reading: “Lawsuit Alleges Hospital Violated Dad’s Rights in ’95 Abortion Case,” Chicago Tribune, 12/22/98)
KENTUCKY: A judge has upheld the state’s abortion conscience law, clearing the way for a lawsuit filed by Kimberly Mills, a nurse who was fired for distributing a pro-life pamphlet.
(Reading: news release from American Center for Law and Justice, 12/22/98)
NEBRASKA: An Omaha abortion center has gone out of business. Owners closed the Women’s Medical Center for financial reasons.
(Reading: “Omaha Abortion Clinic Closes,” Reuters, 12/3/98)
OKLAHOMA: The state has given up efforts to enforce a law requiring all second- and third-trimester abortions to be done in hospitals rather than clinics. The law mandating hospital treatment was described as “unconstitutional and medically unnecessary.”
(Reading: “State Concedes in Abortion Law Court Battle,” Associated Press, 12/16/98)
WISCONSIN: Abortionist Neville Duncan faces trial in Milwaukee on battery and drug-possession charges. Police reports say officers arrested Duncan for punching his wife. When they searched him, investigators say they found crack cocaine in the doctor’s pockets.
(Reading: “Doctor Who Performs Abortions Faces Battery, Drug Charges,” Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 12/10/98)
ARGENTINA: President Carlos Menem has proclaimed March 25, 1999, as the “Day of the Unborn Child.” His decree notes that “under our constitution and our civil legislation, life begins at the moment of conception.”
(Reading: “‘Day of the Unborn Child’ to Be Celebrated in Argentina,” LifeSite Daily News,12/14/98)
NEW YORK: An appeals court upheld the acquittal on contempt charges of Catholic Bishop George Lynch and Brother Christopher Moscinski. However, the court also ruled that a district judge, who let the men off the hook because their actions were the result of “conscience-driven religious belief,” was wrong. The two were arrested for blocking the driveway at a Dobbs Ferry abortion center.
(Reading: “Judges Criticize ‘Conscience’ Acquittal of Abortion Protesters,” Associated Press, 12/16/98)
OHIO: An appeals court has thrown out parts of a Columbus zoning law used to prosecute a pro-life demonstrator. John Bricker was hauled into court for displaying a three-foot-high “Choose Life” poster outside an abortion center. The court said the zoning law was designed to limit visual clutter, but not free speech.
(Reading: news release from American Center for Law and Justice, 12/21/98)
SOUTH CAROLINA: Steve Lefemine of Columbia Christians for Life is encouraging legislators to add a personhood amendment to the state constitution. The measure would vest legal personhood at fertilization, and effectively ban abortion.
(Contact: Columbia Christians for Life, P.O. Box 50358, Columbia, SC 29250; phone: 803-765-0916)
VIRGINIA: Legislator Richard Black has kicked off a campaign for a “Choose Life” specialty license plate. Pregnancy care centers that encourage women to place their babies for adoption would get $15 from the sale of each plate. In reacting to the proposal, Ken Willis of the state ACLU chapter called Black an “extremist.”
(Reading: “Va. License Plate Plan Runs Into Abortion Fight,” Washington Post, 12/19/98, p. B1)
UNITED KINGDOM: The British Authority of Human Fertilization and Embryology recommends that human cloning be allowed in order to foster growth of new organs for transplantation. Cloned embryos would not be allowed to develop beyond a week or ten days. “Arbitrarily, the scientists have decided that-more or less-human identity is defined on the fifteenth day.” Bishop Elio Sgreccia of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life calls the recommendation “a crime against humanity. This type of experiment takes us back to the German concentration camps.”
(Reading: “Should Human Beings Be Cloned for Organ Transplants?” Zenit News Agency, 12/13/98)
MEDICAL ABORTIONS: A study by the Alan Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood’s research arm, found that 4,300 medical abortions (the institute’s term for abortions using RU-486 and other pill combinations) were done in the first half of 1997-more than the number done during the entire year in 1996.
We suspect that the actual total is much higher, but lack of recordkeeping and reporting requirements makes it impossible to determine the actual number of babies who’ve lost their lives because of these chemicals.
(Reading: “Study Estimates Frequency of Controversial Abortion Method,” New York Times, 12/11/98)
MISOPROSTOL I: Doctors for Life of South Africa is concerned because OB/GYNs are being pressured by referral hospitals. Misoprostol patients from smaller hospitals “come in bleeding to the casualty department of the bigger hospital. It strikes us as unethical that the doctor who prescribes the abortifacient and then refers the patient for the ‘mopping up procedure’ superimposes his ethical and moral value system on another.”
(Reading: Doctors for Life news release, 11/25/98)
MISOPROSTOL II: Professionals from the Population Council write that even though previous studies have linked misprostol’s failure to abort a child with the child’s subsequent suffering from M�bius’ syndrome [see 10/2/98 communiqué] and other fetal malformations, such concerns are “misplaced, and the drug’s safety and efficacy for the woman should be the chief issue.”
Terminating the baby is the primary goal.
(Reading: “Use of Misoprostol During Pregnancy and M�bius’ Syndrome in Infants,” The New England Journal of Medicine, 11/19/98, pp. 1553?1554)
NICARAGUA: Questions have arisen over the “morning after” pill’s legality. Backers say the pill does not cause abortion, because the Panamerican Health Organization defines pregnancy as beginning at implantation. However, Nicaraguan law defines pregnancy as beginning at fertilization.
(Reading: “Abortifacient Pill Raises Concern in Nicaragua,” Catholic World News, 12/3/98)
RU-486 I: Following the German government’s decision to allow the sale of RU-486, Catholic bishops commented that this “abortion pill is murder.” Cardinal Joachim Meissner compared the pill to the use of gas in the Nazi Holocaust.
(Reading: “Head of Catholic Church in Germany Calls RU-486 ‘Murder,’” LifeSite Daily News, 12/21/98)
RU-486 II: Members of the Population Council International Programs Division react to a study that cited difficulties women have with using RU-486 and the multiple office visits required: “Many women apparently were not discouraged by the regimen itself or by its side-effects but rather by the required three clinic visits. Subsequent research, in fact, suggests that US women can administer part or all of the mifepristone-misoprostol regimen safely at home.”
One wonders how death certificates will read when women die “safely” at home.
(Reading: “Mifepristone-Misoprostol Medical Abortion: Who Will Use It and Why?” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 11/98, p. 1376)
UNITED KINGDOM: A British researcher has concocted a “fit-and-forget” birth control gadget that he claims will act for up to five years. John Guillebaud of University College in London says his device contains a hormone that “acts directly on the inner wall of the uterus . . . [and] reduces the likelihood of implantation.”
Such action is not contraception; it is abortion.
(Reading: “New Contraceptive Said to Work for Five Years,” The Irish Times, 12/16/98)
culture of death
CALIFORNIA: The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles rejected an Anglican Communion resolution that condemns homosexual activity as incompatible with scriptural doctrine. Bishop Frederick Borsch says he did not regard the resolution as “wholly guided by the Holy Spirit.”
(Reading: “California Episcopalians Oppose Policy on Homosexuality,” Catholic World News,12/7/98)
NETHERLANDS: The Vatican blasted a government decision allowing legal unions involving homosexuals, calling the move “a law in opposition to man” that constitutes a “moral disorder.”
(Reading: “Vatican Paper Condemns Dutch Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Policy,” Catholic World News, 12/16/98)
OREGON: An appeals court ruled that the state must offer “spousal” benefits such as health and life insurance to the “domestic partners” of homosexual government employees. These benefits had only been offered to married employees, but the court said that because “homosexual couples may not marry . . . the benefits are not made available on equal terms.”
(Reading: “Oregon’s Gay Workers Given Benefits for Domestic Partners,” New York Times,12/10/98)
NEW ZEALAND: A court gave doctors the authority to switch off the support systems for a severely handicapped newborn, even though the parents wished to keep the baby alive.
(Reading: “Court Overrules Parents to Let Palsy Baby Die,” London Daily Telegraph, 9/26/98)
BRAVE NEW WORLD: “Biotech firms . . . are using anonymous ‘gamete donors.’ These are men and women who provide sperm or eggs. The company fertilizes the latter with the former. Presto: embryos to order, and the beginning of Orwellian ‘embryo farming.’”
(Reading: “Eyeing the Fetal Future,” Newsweek, 12/14/98)
NEW BRUNSWICK: Five-year-old Ryan Dobson is suing his mother for injuries he sustained while in her womb. She was involved in a car crash that resulted in his being disabled. Pro-abortion groups have already registered their concern that if a child in utero can sue his parents, the abortion law would be in jeopardy.
(Reading: “Can an Unborn Child Sue His Mother?” National Catholic Register, 12/20/98)
ULTRASOUND: Commenting on the use of prenatal ultrasonography to identify potential birth problems, Robin Heise Stenhorn of the State University of New York at Buffalo opines that “a lethal anomaly will be lethal whether the death occurs after early termination in utero or after birth.” However, in one study “two normal pregnancies were terminated against the recommendations of the caregivers, because of parental concern about fetal anomalies based on sonographic findings.”
(Reading: “Prenatal Ultrasonography: First Do No Harm?” The Lancet, 11/14/98, pp. 1568?1569)
PAIN CONTROL: American Medical News provides information on types of pain management facilities currently in operation, the lack of adequate numbers of physicians properly trained in palliative care (pain control treatment) and the growing need to get very specific about pain so that patients are treated for their pain, and not subjected to physician-assisted suicide.
(Reading: “Painful Realities,” American Medical News, 12/14/98, pp. 20?22)
PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE I: Dr. William Sage argues that there is a question that must be asked pertinent to “potential cost savings from legalizing physician-assisted suicide.” Should people “be allowed to preserve their financial resources by forgoing protracted, expensive treatment and choosing assisted suicide.”
When money is god, such questions are always dominant.
(Reading: “Potential Cost Savings from Legalizing Physician-Assisted Suicide,” The New England Journal of Medicine, 12/10/98, p. 1789)
PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE II: British psychiatrists write, “The request for assisted suicide needs to be viewed as a form of communication between the patient and the doctor with respect to their fears of dying, loss of control, and hopelessness. Studies of suicide among patients with cancer have highlighted the need for better attention to the psychological needs of such patients. . . .” They further comment that difficulties can arise and real treatment options can be ignored “when the goal of euthanasia dominates clinical care.”
(Reading: “Euthanasia Legislation,” The Lancet, 12/5/98, pp. 1863?1864)
IOWA: A federal judge invalidated a “partial-birth” abortion law because it requires physicians “to guess at the act’s meaning,” following the rationale argued by Planned Parenthood attorneys, who claimed the law was unconstitutionally vague.
(Reading: “Judge Annuls Iowa’s Ban on Partial Birth Abortion,” Associated Press, 12/21/98)
NEW JERSEY: The judge who threw out the state’s “partial birth” abortion law said the measure is “so vague it could end up banning all abortion procedures.” Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey’s Phyllis Kinsler offered an ironic observation: “The rhetoric has blown away the facts repeatedly.”
(Reading: “Ruling Broadens Abortion Debate,” Asbury Park Press, 12/12/98)
ARKANSAS: North Little Rock’s city council has rejected a $20,000 block grant for the local Planned Parenthood clinic. The clinic does not do abortions, but one councilman said he’d much rather use the money to repair sidewalks.
(Reading: “NLR Board Rescinds Clinic’s Funds,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 12/15/98)
FELDT: The national leader of Planned Parenthood met recently with TV and film writers and producers, asking that popular media deal more frankly with sex and abortion. Gloria Feldt also wants to promote the “morning after” pill, which has an abortion-causing potential that Planned Parenthood denies.
(Reading: “Gloria Feldt,” Los Angeles Times, 12/13/98)
AMA: Among the American Medical Association’s “New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthier America in 1999” is: “Practice ‘safer’ sex.” The AMA suggests condom use for every sexual encounter, while also saying that “abstinence is the only method of contraception that is 100 percent safe.”
So abstinence is now a “method of contraception”?
(Reading: news release from American Medical Association, 12/21/98)
CLONING: In reporting on the South Korean researchers who engaged in human cloning experiments, two Philadelphia Inquirer staffers wrote: “The Korean team did not make a baby-just a microscopic, four-cell embryo that it later destroyed.”
How about, “The researchers brought to life, and then killed, a human being”?
(Reading: “Human Cloning Is Expected Soon,” Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/18/98)
FALSE SCIENCE: Canadian researchers insisted on referring to the tiny human being prior to implantation as a “preembryo,” somehow suggesting that the person at this stage of life is of less value than the one who is later implanted.
Using words like “fertilized oocytes” and “preembryos” suggests clinical cell matter rather than human beings.
(Reading: “Human Preembryo Development on Autologous Endometrial Coculture Versus Conventional Medium,” Fertility and Sterility, 12/98, pp. 1109?1113)
LIFE: Dr. Leon Speroff, commenting on pharmacists’ opposition to the abortifacient “morning after” pill, notes that discussion “revolves around the question of when life begins. Is it at conception, at implantation, or at a certain stage of development? It seems to me that, at this point, this is very much an individual decision.”
(Reading: “Emergency Contraception: Examining Pharmacists’ Right to Refuse,” Kaiser Daily Report, 12/8/98)
ABSTINENCE: Patricia Pearl, who teaches in Kansas City schools, believes if teens know the whole truth about premarital sex, they’re more likely to wait for marriage. “If we can teach our children the value in preserving rain forests,” she says, “why can’t we teach them the value in preserving themselves?”
(Reading: “Defying Conventional Wisdom, Teens Tune in to Message on Sexual Abstinence,” The Kansas City Star, 12/13/98)
PRAY AND FAST . . . PRAY AND FAST . . . PRAY AND FAST
God’s grace has been revealed, and it has made salvation possible for the whole human race and taught us that what we have to do is to give up everything that does not lead to God, and all our worldly ambitions; we must be self-restrained and live good and religious lives here in this present world while we are waiting in hope for the blessing which will come with the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. He sacrificed himself for us in order to set us free from all wickedness and to purify a people so that it could be his very own and would have no ambition except to do good.
Lord, help us to always and in every situation sing your praise, glorify your name and profess your Word. Amen.