in this issue:
abortion: DEATH TOLL, RISK OF SUBSEQUENT FETAL LOSS
bush watch: BUSH SAYS, HESITATION ON STEM CELL RESEARCH
congress: UNBORN VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE ACT
culture of death: NATIONAL ABORTION FEDERATION MYTHS
human experimentation: CLINICAL TRIALS AND THE RIGHT TO KNOW
hospice: MEDICAL KILLINGS
imposed death: ADVANCE DIRECTIVES, FLORIDA
morning-after abortion pill: ABORTION
personhood: BRAUER CASE
siamese twins: ENGLAND – JODIE and MARY REVISITED II
stem cell research: ETHICAL SOURCE
you: RANDY ALCORN
reflection for prayer: ST. CATHERINE OF SIENA
DEATH TOLL: Rock for Life tabulates the carnage: http://www.rockforlife.org/mainframe.html
RISK OF SUBSEQUENT FETAL LOSS: Independent medical researcher Brent Rooney focuses attention on the scientific fact that women who abort prior to carrying a pregnancy to termwill experience “fetal loss” at a higher rate than normal.
(Reading: “Having an Induced Abortion Increases Risk in Future Pregnancies,” British Medical Journal, 2/17/01, p. 429; for more info, contact “>Brent Rooney)
BUSH SAYS: It’s “unrealistic” to think America is ready to outlaw abortion. He says people have to understand “the preciousness of life” before that can happen. During the same interview, Bush claimed he would not use abortion as a litmus test for appointing Supreme Court justices.
(Reading: “Bush: America Not Ready to Ban Abortion,” Associated Press, 4/25/01; for additional insight from the principled pro-life perspective, see “Right to Life Policies Not a ‘Priority’ for Bush,” Republican National Coalition for Life FaxNotes, 4/27/01)
HESITATION ON STEM CELL RESEARCH: Employing a delay tactic, the Bush administration has stated that no final decision will be made on the topic of destructive embryonic stem cell research and experimentation until June.
(Reading: “Bush Administration Hesitates on Stem Cell Research,” CNS News, 4/26/01; “Thompson Says Review of Stem Cell Research Guidelines Likely to Be Completed by Early June,” Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report, 4/26/01)
UNBORN VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE ACT (HR503): Congress passed the measure 252-172. Contained in the bill is an explicit protection of abortion: “Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit the prosecution of any person for conduct relating to an abortion for which the consent of the pregnant woman, or a person authorized by law to act on her behalf, has been obtained or for which such consent is implied by law.”
(Reading: “House Passes Fetal Rights Bill,” 4/26/01; HR 503 text, go to U.S. Congress and search by bill number)
culture of death
NATIONAL ABORTION FEDERATION MYTHS:
They say HR 503 (Unborn Victims of Violence Act) “would establish in law that an unborn child is an individual separate from a woman, and elevate its status above that of a woman.”
The fact is that the bill recognizes unborn children as individuals only when the mother has chosen not to abort the child.
They say, “By granting full personhood to a fetus, embryo, blastocyst and zygote, the bill threatens to set the stage for overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that made abortion legal.”
The fact is that the bill states the following: “As used in this section, the term `unborn child’ means a child in utero, and the term ‘child in utero’ or ‘child, who is in utero’ means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.” The bill also protects a mother’s choice to abort her child; thus the definition of a “child in utero” applies in only particular situations. The actual impact of the bill could be deleterious to the personhood goal; only time will tell.
(Reading: NAF: “Roe v. Wade Threatened by Passage of ‘Unborn Victims of Violence Act,'” National Abortion Federation news release, 4/26/01)
CLINICAL TRIALS AND THE RIGHT TO KNOW: Regarding the extremes that exist in the field of clinical trials one news report presents a list of questions every person should ask prior to agreeing to be part of a clinical trial. That list can be found on the New York Post web site. In addition, a comprehensive list of questions, “Patient Right to Know,” is available from “>Citizens for Responsible Care and Research.
MEDICAL KILLINGS: Compassionate Healthcare Network is providing invaluable information on the activities of the Hospice Patients Alliance. Spokesman Ron Panzer writes, “We recognize that not every hospice performs medical killings and some would be horrified to even think about it. However, we regularly receive complaints from the families of former hospice patients about their loved ones being medically killed.”
(Reading: Hospice Patients Alliance, Compassionate Healthcare Network)
ADVANCE DIRECTIVES: “Advance directives should incorporate a clause warning patients that their physicians may not feel ethically able to comply with the provisions of the directive, and that in such a case, their care will be transferred to another physician. Neurology departments and hospitals need to recognize that physicians have a right to follow the dictates of their conscience and provide an easy mechanism for transfer of care to alternative residents or attendings. An established, institutionally recognized mechanism for this transfer of care is important, since for a neurologist who is opposed to withdrawal of nutrition and hydration to actively seek out a physician who is prepared to do this, makes the referring physician a moral accomplice to bringing about the patient’s death.”
(Reading: “The Advance Directive: A Morally-sanctioned Document or an Ethical Stumbling Block,” Neurology; Dr. Pullicino is the founder of Physicians Against Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide and Withdrawal of Nutrition
FLORIDA: Terri Schiavo’s case is drawing national attention now that the US Supreme Court has ruled that she could be starved to death, while a subsequent circuit court decision has ordered the feeding to begin again. There is a pending lawsuit Schiavo’s parents have filed against Schiavo’s husband. The entire history of this case is being tracked at Terri’s Fight.
morning after abortion pill
ABORTION: A.A. Yuzpe discovered the original formulation of the morning-after regimen, and writes, “when treatment is administered early in the cycle, there is enough effect upon the endometrial stroma to cause it to become prematurely mature as evidenced by the large number of shortened cycles, the menstrual phase stroma and the less mature endometrial glands. In this situation, a fertilized ovum would likely not be accepted for implantation.”
(Reading: “Post-coital Contraception – A Pilot Study,” Journal of Reproductive Medicine, 8/74, article cited at “ACOG References,” available only from library, not on line)
BRAUER CASE: Pharmacist Karen Brauer, who was fired by Kmart in 1996 because she refused to fill prescriptions for the abortive morning after pill, has a legal case headed to trial. The impact on personhood for every human being from conception could be historic. For an update on the case and background, see “Pharmacist’s Conscience Clause – In the News.”
ENGLAND – JODIE and MARY REVISITED: (see Communique 4/25/01) Legal researcher Christine Ross comments, “It is regrettable that no one seems to remember Queen v. Dudley, which established a precedent one hundred years ago in English common law. Most English, Canadian, and American attorneys are familiar with this case.
“In Queen v. Dudley, the Crown charged a group of shipwrecked Englishmen with capital murder. The group had been stranded in a lifeboat and decided upon the cabin boy as their victim because he was single and they deemed his life to be less worthy than theirs. After murdering the helpless cabin boy, they ate his flesh and drank his blood. Upon their return to England, they were arrested and their defense of their crime was rejected.
“I think the judges and physicians who perpetrated this crime against the innocent child should also be charged with capital murder. I am amazed at the silence of the British legal establishment on the case of Queen v. Dudley in comparison to this crime. The only thing that can be said in the defense of the criminals in this case was they might not have been driven to such a horrible crime if they had not been hungry. There is no such excuse for the monsters who murdered the little baby girl.”
(Reading: e-mail from Christine Ross, 4/26/01; Queen v. Dudley)
stem cell research
ETHICAL SOURCE: Anthrogenesis Corp. has announced its ability to “collect 10 times as many cells from a single post-birth placenta as have been gathered from other sources.”
(Reading: “Company Finds Stem Cell Source in Placentas,” Reuters Health, 4/12/01)
RANDY ALCORN: The newly revised “Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Questions” is now available from Eternal Perspective Ministries, and discounts are available to pro-life groups or book stores. For details visit Eternal Perspective Ministries.
PRO-LIFE CONFERENCE: American Life League and Population Research Institute are sponsoring the first major international pro-life conference of the new millennium. A Celebration of Life World Family Conference is scheduled June 20-24 in Bloomington, Minn. The event will include a banquet honoring Fr. Paul Marx, OSB, for his lifetime of pro-life activism. For complete schedules, speaker lists and registration information, see Celebration of Life World Family Conference or call 888-546-2580.
reflection for prayer
ST. CATHERINE OF SIENA (1347-1380): From “Dialogue on Divine Providence”:
Eternal God, eternal Trinity, you have made the blood of Christ so precious through his sharing in your divine nature. You are a mystery as deep as the sea; the more I search, the more I find, and the more I find the more I search for you. But I can never be satisfied; what I receive will ever leave me desiring more. When you fill my soul I have an even greater hunger, and I grow more famished for your light. I desire above all to see you, the true light, as you really are.