in this issue:
american life league: CONFERENCE / KEYES LUNCHEON / YOUTH FEST
activism: CROSSROADS / MAHONEY v. ASHCROFT / STOP PLANNED PARENTHOOD
chemical abortion: HAZARDS
miracle baby: TENNESSEE
stem cell research: ETHICAL ALTERNATIVE
commentary: PLANNED PARENTHOOD AND CHILD PREDATORS
reflection for prayer: 1 CORINTHIANS 1:27-29
american life league
CONFERENCE: American Life League’s Celebration of Life World Family Conference is scheduled for July 10-14 in New Orleans. Conference outlines and online registration information may be found online. The event features speakers such as Mark Crutcher, Joseph Scheidler and Judie Brown.
KEYES LUNCHEON: Former ambassador Alan Keyes is the keynote speaker at ALL’s conference. He will address a special luncheon on Friday, July 12, at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans. The talk will come the day after the final edition of “Alan Keyes is Making Sense” on MSNBC. Tickets are $35, and may be purchased separately. Online registration information may be found online.
YOUTH FEST: As part of the World Family Conference, ALL’s youth divisions are holding Vita Festival, two days of pro-life music and workshops, July 12-13 in New Orleans. An evening concert on July 12 will feature Contemporary Christian artists Jennifer Knapp, Earthsuit, Christafari, and Scarecrow and Tinmen. Ticket information is available online.
CROSSROADS: The two groups of young people walking to Toronto for World Youth Day are continuing to receive favorable coverage in local media along the route. American Life League’s Crossroads teams have been featured in both religious and secular publications.
(Reading: “Showing a belief step by step,” Savannah Morning News, 6/21/02; “Students take a walk on the ? child side,” Greeley [Colorado] Tribune, 6/20/02; “College students trek cross-country for life,” Florida Catholic)
MAHONEY v. ASHCROFT: Rev. Patrick Mahoney, arrested for praying outside an abortion mill, said, “If Mr. Ashcroft wants to incarcerate an American citizen for simply reading scripture on a public sidewalk, I would find that most troubling, particularly in today’s climate where America is facing terrorist attack.”
(Reading: “Minister arrested for praying, reading Bible in front of DC abortion clinic,” Conservative Press International, 6/21/02)
STOP PLANNED PARENTHOOD: An on-line petition drive designed to press Congress into action and further expose the evils of Planned Parenthood’s “child predator” status as reported by Life Dynamics Inc. can be found online. The most effective approach, as always, is writing or calling your elected representatives. For more about Life Dynamics’ investigation, please see the Child Predators site. Please note the commentary at the end of Communique this week to learn more from STOPP International’s Ed Szymkowiak.
HAZARDS: “Contraceptive Technology Update” is reporting problems with mifepristone (RU-486) but quotes Planned Parenthood’s claim that “less than one percent of women have had adverse events, and no one has died from medical abortion in our experience.” In the same report cautions are raised regarding the use of Micronor, the efficacy of Ortho Evra transdermal patch and birth control pill failure rates among women who weigh more than the average.
COMMENT: Accurate language requires that the pill never be described as contraceptive because the pill can abort little boys and girls.
(Reading: Contraceptive Technology Update, 7/02; paid subscription is required)
TENNESSEE: Olivia Grace Reimers was born on February 10 and weighed 12 ounces. She was born at 24 weeks. Olivia now weighs more than 5 pounds; she is at home and doing fine.
(Reading: “12-ounce baby’s survival leaves Centennial doctors amazed,” The [Nashville] Tennessean, 6/19/02)
DROLESKEY: If you really want to learn from a Catholic apologist what it means to be faithful to Christ versus the partisan view on matters of life and death, then you must read “Christ or Chaos,” a monthly newsletter designed to connect man’s spiritual life in Christ with his social life as a citizen. To order a subscription visit Christ or Chaos. Thomas Droleskey’s column, “Yes, it really is Christ or chaos,” is available online.
stem cell research
ETHICAL ALTERNATIVE: An Edinburgh research team claims that cells from adult bone marrow could provide an alternative to embryo cells to make brain, heart, muscle or any other type of cell for new treatments.
(Reading: “‘Stem cell’ studies may end embryo research,” Telegraph (U.K.), 6/21/02)
ABORTION? During a recent Kentucky battle to get the local health board to defund Planned Parenthood, news reporters pointed out that “not all abortion opponents have joined the cause. The National Right to life Committee has taken no position. And not all of the health board’s anti-abortion members support giving up the family-planning money.”
COMMENT: So, when is abortion not really abortion? The fact is that the battle was waged against Planned Parenthood based on the clinical fact that the pill can kill a human being during her first few days of life. But, not all pro-life groups agree that the pill can kill, even though the pill does alter the lining of the womb, making it impossible for the human being to implant herself in her mother’s womb.
(Reading: “Politics: Kentucky health agency to vote on birth control funding,” Associated Press, 6/18/02)
PLANNED PARENTHOOD and CHILD PREDATORS: By Ed Szymkowiak, national director of STOPP International, a division of American Life League, Inc.
Most pro-lifers are already aware of the shocking study released by Life Dynamics, Inc., a Denton, Texas, based pro-life research organization headed by Mark Crutcher, which shows that Planned Parenthood is routinely violating state laws which require the reporting of child sexual abuse and statutory rape. The report is available for free online. How can the average pro-lifer put the results of this study to good use? Here are a few suggestions.
Locally, pro-lifers can ask their district attorney and health department officials to launch an investigation of the local Planned Parenthood affiliate. In Monrovia, Calif., John O’Neill, president of Monrovians against Planned Parenthood, contacted both the health department and his local county supervisor and asked, “What objective evidence is there that the mandated reporting laws are being followed by Pasadena Planned Parenthood and all abortion facilities in Los Angeles County?” John also asked for the number of suspected child abuse reports made by Planned Parenthood over the last two years and asked whether such reports are sent to child protective health services.
Another local means of putting the LDI study to good use is to make sure your school board and school administrators have a copy of the LDI study. Send a personal letter along with it noting that as a school taxpayer you do not want your school system to have anything to do with Planned Parenthood. Point out that if a school district facilitates contact between Planned Parenthood and underage students it might find itself involved in a lawsuit because Planned Parenthood fails to report instances of child abuse as mandated by law.
On a state level one can demand an investigation of Planned Parenthood as well. Bob Blank, president of Nebraskans United for Life, sent a complaint based upon the LDI study to Nebraska Attorney General Don Stenberg. Stenberg in turn asked the Health and Human Services System to determine if an investigation is warranted. In his letter, Stenberg pointed out that medical personnel in that state must report child abuse, including sexual contact between a child 14 or younger and a perpetrator 19 or older. Stenberg’s request referred to news reports about the LDI taped conversations with clinic workers (Lincoln Journal Star, 6/6/02).
On a federal level several things can be attempted. First, we must realize that the single largest federal program that funds Planned Parenthood is Title X. Currently Planned Parenthood stands to get about $60 million in one year from just this program. A federal appropriations act for 2002 (Public Law 107-116), which governs the funding of Title X, says the following:
SEC. 212. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no provider of services under title X of the Public Health Service Act shall be exempt from any State law requiring notification or the reporting of child abuse, child molestation, sexual abuse, rape, or incest.
Pro-lifers can use this provision, in a law signed by President Bush himself, to demand that the president immediately order an investigation by Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson with an eye toward revoking Title X funds from Planned Parenthood. President Bush can also be asked to direct Attorney General John Ashcroft to launch a criminal investigation to determine if Planned Parenthood is conspiring on a national level to encourage its clinics to ignore state laws regarding the mandated reporting of child abuse and statutory rape.
Pro-lifers should also contact their Congressman and Senators on this issue. Remember that they will soon be deciding how much money will be allocated in next year’s budget for programs that fund Planned Parenthood. Tell them that you do not want your federal dollars going to an organization that facilities child abuse and refer to the results of the LDI investigation to back up your point.
You can write to your members of the Senate at: United States Senate, Washington, DC 20510. Senators’ phone numbers can be found online. You can write to your member of the House of Representatives at: United States House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515. House members’ phone numbers are also online.
reflection for prayer: 1 Corinthians: 1:27-29
1 CORINTHIANS 1:27-29: It was to shame the wise that God chose what is foolish by human reckoning, and to shame what is strong that he chose what is weak by human reckoning; those whom the world thinks common and contemptible are the ones that God has chosen — those who are nothing at all to show up those who are everything.