in this issue:
abortion: NIGERIA, STATISTICS
activism: CATHOLIC BURIAL, FATHER NORM WESLIN
bush watch: JOHN D. NEGROPONTE, STEM CELL MURDERS
contraceptive practice: FAILURE RATES
eugenics expert: MARY MEEHAN
human cloning: CRIME, VIRGINIA
human experimentation: LATIN AMERICAN GUINEA PIGS
personhood: KENTUCKY, VALUABLE RESOURCE
pill bill: NEW YORK
rock for life: CHERONE II
victory: TARGET SAYS NO TO PLANNED PARENTHOOD
zinger: WHEN ABORTION ISN’T
reflection for prayer: BALDWIN OF CANTERBURY
NIGERIA: Christian Association of Nigeria Youth Division: “the inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and political authorities, and such fundamental rights include the right to life from the moment of conception until death.”
(Reading: “Nigerian Women: Catholic Women Register Opposition to Abortion,” Catholic World News, 2/20/01)
STATISTICS: The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) has compiled useful statisticson abortion including state-by-state analyses.
CATHOLIC BURIAL: Msgr. Edward Kavanaugh, president of St. Patrick’s Home for Children and pastor of St. Rose Church in Sacramento was assisted by four altar boys as he performed a Rite of Catholic Burial outside the city’s sewage treatment center, which is the final resting place for tens of thousands of aborted babies flushed down area drains and sewers during the past 28 years since Roe v. Wade.
(Reading: “Catholic Burial Rite at Sewage Treatment Center,” The Wanderer, 2/1/01, p. 7)
FATHER NORM WESLIN: Friends of this great priest (and that includes ALL) are asking all interested parties to contact Attorney General John Ashcroft, asking him to drop all federal charges against Father. The U.S. attorney filed charges against Father Weslin last month. Thanks to Mary Jane Ziola for alerting us.
(Contact: U.S. Department of Justice. For details about Father Weslin’s dedication to life, see “Obeying a Higher Court,” Nov./Dec. 2000 issue of Celebrate Life magazine, available by request from “>American Life League; also see Lambs of Christ, Father Weslin’s ministry)
JOHN D. NEGROPONTE: President Bush’s new U.N. ambassador, John D. Negroponte is not known or identified as a pro-life American. He does have associations with the Council on Foreign Relations, is a Yale graduate, and has years of government service.
STEM CELL MURDERS: The White House still has not condemned, out of hand and without apology, the destructive research that takes the lives of embryonic human beings, who are persons in every sense of the word. The March 15 deadline is fast approaching. To contact President George W. Bush and request his public condemnation of this practice, and his promise to work for legislation that will ban the practice nationwide, write to The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC 20500, call 202-456-1414, fax 202-456-2461 or e-mail “>President George W. Bush.
FAILURE RATES: Researchers studied contraceptive use and “accidental pregnancy” from statistics gathered by the 1988 and 1995 National Surveys of Family Growth. “The average failure rate for all reversible methods, adjusted for abortion underreporting, declines from 13% to 8% from the first year of method use to the second year … The chance of accidental pregnancy does not differ significantly between method users younger than 18 and those aged 18-19.” The study also found higher failure rates among Hispanic women and black women. But below the poverty level, white and black women experienced the same level of failure.
(Reading: “Contraceptive Failure in the First Two Years of Use: Differences Across Socioeconomic Subgroups,” Family Planning Perspectives, 1-2/01, pp. 19-27)
MARY MEEHAN: With years of writing experience, and other talents to draw on, Mary Meehan would love to come and speak to your group on any number of topics, including eugenics, population control and the history of the pro-life movement. If interested, direct your inquiries to “>Mary Meehan.
CRIME: The Exploratory Initiative on the New Human Genetic Technologies comments, “Human cloning is a crime against human dignity and humanity. It is a step toward the commodification and brutalization of human life. We must not allow ourselves to be pushed any further down this road. If we can’t stop human beings from being cloned, try to imagine what we won’t be able to stop next.”
(Reading: Exploratory Initiative Bulletin No. 1, 1/30/01; a subscription to this valuable e newsletter can be obtained by contacting “>Exploratory Initiative)
VIRGINIA: State senators and delegates and been selected to work out differences in two versions of a bill that would ban the cloning of humans. For details on HB 2463 see Virginia Legislature and search by bill number.
LATIN AMERICAN GUINEA PIGS: Public Citizen’s health research group alleges that the Food and Drug Administration is set to approve unethical clinical trials that could result in the deaths of at least 17 premature infants. Discovery Laboratories of Pennsylvania would conduct the study to prove the effectiveness in using the drug Surfaxin to treat pediatric respiratory distress syndrome. Some of the children in the study would not be treated, but would be given placebos instead. FDA spokesperson Janet Woodcock says that if the FDA “concludes the [study] design is unethical, the drug’s developers could legally perform the trial outside the United States.”
(Reading: “Group Claims FDA Set to Approve Unethical Study,” Reuters, 2/23/01; “Pa. Firm Asks FDA to Back Experiment Forbidden in U.S.,” Washington Post, 2/23/01, subscription only)
KENTUCKY: A senate committee recently approved SB157, which defines the unborn child from fertilization onward as “person.” The bill applies to cases where injury is inflicted on the mother. The bill also says that if a woman freely consents to an abortion, the stipulations do not apply. And, in commenting on the bill, Sen. Elizabeth Tori (R-Radcliff) explained that fertilization occurs “48 hours after the sperm and egg have met.”
COMMENT: This is an error since fertilization/conception occurs WHEN the human male sperm and the human female ovum (egg) meet.
(Reading: “Bill Would Restrict Chemical Abortions, Define Life,” Messenger-Inquirer, 2/21/01; text of SB 157; for correct embryology on when the person — the human being — begins, see “When Do Human Beings Begin? ‘Scientific’ Myths and Scientific Facts“)
VALUABLE RESOURCE: The Pontifical Academy for Life has published the proceedings of its 1997 meeting on the topic of the status and identity of the human embryo. This invaluable resource confirms the personhood of the human being at conception, and is available on line for $33.00 from IXT Media.
NEW YORK: The New York Times reports Cardinal Edward Egan of New York will “thwart a bill that would require Catholic hospitals and schools to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives for their female employees.” Some fear that the Catholic lobbying arm will settle for a simple “conscience” clause provision.
COMMENT: Action is needed to stop the bill, period.
(Reading: “Egan To Fight Coverage of Contraceptives in Women’s Health Bill,” New York Times, 2/21/01, on line with paid subscription only; “Study Boosts Push for Birth-control Options,” New York Post, 2/12/01; “Catholic Conference Urges Senate/Assembly Conference Committee to Support Religious Freedom of Conscience“; to contact the New York State Catholic Conference and urge total opposition to the bill, write “>Dennis Poust.)
rock for life
CHERONE II: Rock star Gary Cherone has again challenged Eddie Vedder on his position in favor of abortion. The Cherone challenge may be found at “What About the 98.6 Degree Angle.”
TARGET SAYS NO TO PLANNED PARENTHOOD: Douglas Scott of Life Decisions International is reported to have announced that Target Corp. has agreed to end its sponsorship of Planned Parenthood.
(Reading: Life Advocacy Briefing, e-version, part B, 2/26/01, available via paid subscription from “>Life Advocacy Alliancee)
WHEN ABORTION ISN’T: Columnist Judy Freeman reports “the National Right to Life Committee, which strenuously opposes RU-486 (the abortion pill), takes no position on prevention of fertilization. Like standard birth control pills, emergency contraception (EC) pills, better known as morning-after pills, are hormones that act, at least in part, by blocking ovulation, which occurs before fertilization.”
COMMENT: But the morning-after abortion pills do prevent the embryonic baby from implanting, as verified by manufacturers and proponents alike. So, what type of abortion is it that NRLC opposes?
(Reading: “These Pills Meet Approval of Some Staunch Abortion Foes,” [Minneapolis] Star Tribune, 2/4/01; queries may be sent to the “>National Right to Life Committee)
reflection for prayer
BALWIN OF CANTERBURY: Bishop, 1186 AD
In the sphere of action, a right thought is one ruled by the will of God, and intentions are holy when directed single-mindedly toward Him. In a word, we could see clearly through any action of ours, or into our entire lives, if we had a simple eye. A simple eye is an eye, and it is simple. This means that we see by right thinking what is to be done, and by our good intention we carry it out with simple honesty, because deceitful action is wrong. Right thinking does not permit mistakes; a good intention rules out pretense. This then is true discernment, a combination of right thinking and good intention.
Therefore, we must do all our actions in the light of discernment as if in God and in His presence.