in this issue:
abortion: CALIFORNIA / CANCER / HR4691 AND S2008
brain death: ENEMY OF LIFE AND TRUTH
depo-provera: BLOOD VESSEL IMPAIRMENT
disability rights: CALIFORNIA
ectopic pregnancy: PRESUMED DIAGNOSIS
hemlock society: KEVORKIAN
morning-after abortion pills: OVER THE COUNTER
pro-life media: ARIZONA / EWTN
planned parenthood: FACT SHEET
stem cell research: AMERICAN DIABETES ASSOCATION / JUVENILE DIABETES RESEARCH FOUNDATION
reflection for prayer: POPE PIUS XI
CALIFORNIA: An inquiry that began when Monrovians Against Planned Parenthood started asking questions may lead the state’s attorney general to rule on whether Planned Parenthood is required to report sexual activity involving adults and underage children. Citizen Link reports that Planned Parenthood of California “did issue a memorandum to California affiliates on June 26 stating that PP staff ‘must report all known or suspected abuse of a child under 18’ and incidents of suspected statutory rape. However, PP also contends that it is ‘not legally obligated’ to ask the sexual partner’s age.”
Pro-lifers are asking Attorney General Bill Lockyer to require all abortion clinics to follow state reporting laws concerning child sexual abuse and statutory rape.
(Reading: “California eyes exempting abortion clinics,” Focus on the Family Citizen Link, 9/17/02; see Office of the Attorney General to offer comments)
CANCER: Australian pro-life heroine Babette Francis has written, “Cancer malpractice law suits will bankrupt many clinics.” For a copy please e-mail or independent medical researcher .
HR4691 AND S2008: Abortion Non Discrimination Act — Congress is considering legislation that would protect hospitals from being forced to do abortions. HR4691 can be viewed at Library of Congress by searching the bill number. The bill amends the Public Health Service Act by expanding conscience protection to include not only physicians but also hospitals, provider sponsored organizations, HMOs, health insurance plans and “any other kind of health care facility, organization or plan.” The bill’s Senate companion, S2008, is currently in committee. Pharmacists for Life is calling on all pro-lifers to request that members of Congress include the same protection for pharmacists.
(Reading: PharmFacts E-News, 9/17/02; to subscribe to the Pharmacists for Life International e-mail alert list, contact )
ENEMY OF LIFE AND TRUTH: A succinct statement signed by more than 120 people from 19 nations exposes the fallacy of the “brain death” criteria.
(Reading: “Statement opposing brain death criteria,” International Network for Life Studies)
BLOOD VESSEL IMPAIRMENT: Researchers found that a major artery in the arm did not open as wide in women using Depo-Provera for more than one year, as compared to those who did not use this birth control chemical. The finding raises the question of whether Depo-Provera could increase the long-term risk of cardiovascular disease. Since the study sample is small, more work is needed.
(Reading: “Injectable contraceptive may affect vessel function,” Reuters Health, 9/4/02)
CALIFORNIA: The Alliance for Human Research Protection has announced that 19 nationally known disability rights organizations, activists and scholars have joined efforts to oppose California Assembly Bill 2328. This proposal would give researchers the right to conduct medical experiments on disabled people without legally authorized informed consent. AHRP is circulating “A Declaration in Opposition to California Assembly Bill 2328.”
(Reading: “Stop California AB 2328,” Alliance for Human Research Protection action alert, 7/26/02)
PRESUMED DIAGNOSIS: Researchers warn that the use of methotrexate for a presumed ectopic pregnancy can be dangerous due to the drug’s side effects. They also note that “presumed diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy is inaccurate in almost 40% of cases.”
(Reading: “Presumed diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy,” Obstetrics and Gynecology, 9/02, pp. 505-510)
KEVORKIAN: The Fall 2002 issue of the National Capital Area Hemlock News and Views comments on an opinion piece from Detroit Metro Times editorial writer Jack Lessenberry: “Lessenberry bewails the fact that Dr. K has been largely forgotten by the media and the U.S. public, and observes ‘Oregon voters even enacted — twice — a law allowing the terminally ill to ask their doctors for a lethal dose, a law which remains in force, despite the best efforts of Ayatollah Ashcroft and the religions nuts to take away their freely chosen right.”
(Reading: National Capital Area Hemlock News and Views, Fall 2002; “Kevorkian’s issue is still alive,” Detroit Metro Times, 8/21/02)
morning-after abortion pills
OVER THE COUNTER: The Food and Drug Administration is being pressured to authorize over-the-counter distribution of mega-doses of birth control pills (so-called emergency contraception). Last year more than 70 organizations, including the American Public Health Association, petitioned presented the FDA. Today, researcher David Grimes contends that the provision of the compound over the counter “will improve public health ? is safe for self-medication,” will not cause serious harm if inappropriately used, and women can independently determine the need to use it. Grimes further states that further study is “neither appropriate nor in the public interest.”
COMMENT: When prestigious medical journals publish inflammatory rhetoric suggesting that a baby is a threat to public health, what can we expect next? Lest we forget, Grimes is the man who wrote, in 1978, “Pregnancy is a sexually-transmitted condition, which if unwanted can lead to sociopathic outcomes” (see Communique, 2/6/98).
(Reading: “Switching emergency contraception to over-the-counter status,” New England Journal of Medicine, 9/12/02, pp. 846-849, paid subscribers only)
KENTUCKY: A three-judge panel rejected the “argument that life begins at fertilization and said there was no firm legal basis for determining life based on whether a fetus could live outside the womb. Instead, the court said a fetus must be born alive to qualify as a person in the criminal statutes.”
(Reading: “Fetus not a person, appeals court says,” Lexington Herald, 9/14/02)
ARIZONA: Arizona Right to Life has joined forces with Virtue Media to provide television viewers with a 60-second educational commercial entitled “Humane Humanity.” Local versions of the spot are being offered to pro-life groups nationwide. Just call the toll free number: 877-7-VIRTUE.
(Reading “Arizona Right to Life and Virtuemedia expand partnership in Humane Humanity,” Arizona Right to Life news release, 8/13/02; contact is )
EWTN: “To be or not to be — the human family” will air on EWTN Oct. 5 at 8 p.m., Oct. 8 at 3 a.m. and Oct. 10 at 1 p.m. This video features Mark Pickup, an internationally known disability rights activist, who speaks forcefully in defense of human dignity. Pickup suffers from chronic progressive multiple sclerosis and is disabled and incurably ill. The video can also be purchased by calling toll free 877-205-4602 ($19.95 + $5 S/H in the United States).
(Reading: Advisory from Mark Pickup)
FACT SHEET: STOPP International has developed a fact sheet on Planned Parenthood that is a must for those interested in discrediting and removing this vile organization from the community.
stem cell research
AMERICAN DIABETES ASSOCIATION: The ADA supports so-called therapeutic cloning, claiming that the promise held by human cloning is “too important to ignore.”
COMENT: The ADA fails to point out that there is truly no difference between reproductive human cloning and therapeutic human cloning other than the fact that therapeutic human cloning means “clone and kill.” Both are, however, immoral.
(Reading: “American Diabetes Association calls for enactment of legislation to protect access to the promise of stem-cell research and therapeutic cloning,” ADA news release, 6/16/02)
JUVENILE DIABETES RESEARCH FOUNDATION: Pro-Life Wisconsin received a fax from the JDRF that clearly spells out their position on human embryonic stem cell research and human cloning. One quote: “It would be unfortunate for the United States to completely ban a technology that may one day provide enormous benefits to millions of Americans. JDRF opposes a permanent ban on therapeutic cloning research.”
(Reading: “Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation,” Pro-Life Wisconsin Monday Update, 9/9/02)
reflection for prayer
POPE PIUS XI: Men today do not act as Christians, as brothers, but as strangers, and even enemies. The sense of man’s personal dignity and of the value of human life has been lost in the brutal domination begotten of might and mere superiority in numbers. Many are intent on exploiting their neighbors solely for the purpose of enjoying more fully and on a larger scale the goods of this world. But they err grievously who have turned to the acquisition of material and temporal possessions and are forgetful of eternal and spiritual things, to the possession of which Jesus, Our Redeemer, by means of the Church, His living interpreter, calls mankind.
(Reading: Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, Pope Pius XI, 1922)