“Our once great western Christian civilization is dying. If this matters to followers of Jesus Christ, then we must set aside our denominational differences and work together to strengthen the things that remain and reclaim what has been lost. Evangelicals and Catholics must stand together to re-establish that former Christian culture and moral consensus. We have the numbers and the organization but the question is this: Do we have the will to win this present spiritual battle for Jesus Christ? Will we prayerfully and cooperatively work toward a new spiritual revival ― or will we choose to hunker down in our churches and denominationalisms and watch everything sink into the spiritual and moral abyss of a New Dark Age?” - Mark Davis Pickup
Monday, November 17, 2008
Your National Daily News Wrap from American Life League! American Life League is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in the United States and is committed to the protection of all innocent human beings from the moment of creation to natural death. For more information or media inquiries, please contact Katie Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alleged Chemical Attack on Pro-lifers at Abortion Clinic Sickens Two
Life Site News
Two pro-life volunteers participating in a round the clock prayer vigil were sickened last week, after being exposed to fumes from an oily substance that had been spilled across the driveway at George Tiller’s late-term abortion clinic. Operation Rescue, citing a similar incident that occurred in 2007, alleges that the spilling of the substance in such close proximity to where pro-life volunteers were participating in the 40 Days for Life campaign was an intentional “chemical attack.”
Admiral opens pregnancy counseling center
After earning several honors and awards during an extensive career in the U.S. Navy, retired Rear Admiral Al Kelln can soon add a new accomplishment to his list: opening a pregnancy counseling center. To many, it seemed an unusual choice for the man who has worked in several positions in Naval headquarters, founded the Naval Submarine League and provided his submarine and intelligence expertise to Washington, D.C., clients. “I really don’t like anyone telling me ‘no’ or ‘it can’t be done,’” he said. “There isn’t anything that can’t be done if you pray and believe.”
New International Planned Parenthood Document Tells States to Guarantee Sweeping “Sexual Rights”
Life Site News
The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has issued a new document that declares that governments are obligated to guarantee a sweeping definition of “sexual rights,” including abortion, “sexual freedom” and “comprehensive sexuality education,” as an integral component of human rights. The IPPF declaration defines sexual rights as “an evolving concept that encompasses sexual activity, gender identities, sexual orientation, eroticism, pleasure, intimacy and reproduction.” IPPF differentiates “sexual rights” from “reproductive rights,” a term that it equates with abortion, specifying that “sexual rights encompass more than entitlements related to health” and that “many expressions of sexuality are non-reproductive.”
American Life League's www.Canon915.org
There are many politicians who appeal to their Catholic constituents by flaunting their faith, but simultaneously support wildly anti-Catholic positions, such as abortion, contraception and euthanasia. In response, American Life League has compiled the most comprehensive and up-to-date information on pro-abortion Catholic politicians, to inform the clergy and the public on who they are and where they stand.
Be sure to visit www.Canon915.org!
REPRODUCTION . . . AND WE DON'T MEAN CHICKENS
By Judie Brown
I have always been fascinated by the manner in which our opponents couch their arguments. This is particularly true in the "field" of reproductive health, which is a fairly new area of medical specialty and is fully supported and encouraged by every anti-life scientist known to man.
Just before this past election, a small group led by Alta Charo and guided by the philosophy of the now-deceased Dr. Allan Rosenfield, wrote the following in a commentary for the New England Journal of Medicine, on the subject of how a new administration might deal with this all-important specialty:
Reproductive health policy has been mired in debates over abortion and sexuality, leaving unresolved a cluster of reproductive health problems. For a country of such wealth and technical prowess, the United States has long fared poorly in this key public health domain. The litany of grave public health problems is as familiar as it is long: elevated rates of pregnancy-associated deaths, infant deaths, low-birth-weight newborns and preterm births, adolescent pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, and unintended pregnancies. Some of these rates have actually increased in recent years, and all are far higher than those in other developed countries. Moreover, these problems are concentrated among disadvantaged groups, and the disparities have persisted or worsened in the past three decades.
This introductory paragraph sets the tone for a screed aimed at disqualifying those who believe in personhood from entering into a professional-level debate on the value of the human person versus the mechanized practice of sexual relations without consequences. Note the use of terms such as "key public health domain" and "grave public health problems." Of course, they go on to make wild claims about the need to give attention to a host of questions, each of which is supposedly best addressed by increased federal funding of the sex-without-consequences agenda.
Rosenfield and Charo have a long history of anti-life activity. It was the late Dr. Rosenfield whose efforts inspired such leading abortion and birth control advocates as Frances Kissling, of Catholics for a Free Choice, and Sharon Camp, CEO of the Alan Guttmacher Institute, to remember him fondly for the contributions he made in the reproductive health arena. Some say that Rosenfield paved the way for the current push to indoctrinate young women, in particular, with information that equates sexual well-being with "accurate information," such as denying the clinical fact that many forms of contraception can actually cause abortion by interfering with implantation. Camp said this about Rosenfield:
Allan Rosenfield was a giant in our field and his death feels almost like the end of an era. He led in so many ways on so many issues. He was the only person ever to chair the boards of both Planned Parenthood and the Guttmacher Institute. There will never be another like him.
Indeed, Rosenfield did frame the debate, which many of us believe will now rage forward at breakneck speed if the Obama-Biden administration delivers on its promises. It is abundantly clear that the discussion will be ignited and sustained by using words that portray sexuality as a mechanical function rather than part of the whole person. This is how Planned Parenthood and its allies have long framed the debate, and the most recent discussion in NEJM carries it one step forward.
But before I show you what I mean, let's remember that animals reproduce and human beings procreate. However, when our foes discuss this subject, human beings are relegated to the status of animals with reproductive functions.
The article's tenor is that of sincere concern for women in all situations. Indeed, we are led to believe that their concern for those facing infertility is as great as it is for women who want to be sexually active while disregarding possible consequences. The authors want the government to address the needs of families who have to balance work and family, and they argue that because the government has allegedly ignored the needs of such mothers, many women delay their first pregnancy, which leads to higher rates of material morbidity and mortality. I am positive that much of what is in the article is true, but I am equally convinced that there is a method to the madness. The authors tell us,
We know how to improve the reproductive health of Americans: base policies on evidence, not ideology; improve clinical research and post marketing drug-safety studies; make accurate, comprehensive information about sexual health and family planning available to everyone, regardless of age; protect the privacy of patients; ensure access to reproductive health products and services; and adopt social policies that promote good health and facilitate individual choice about when to have children. As noted in the consensus documents from the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, care that promotes all these aspects of reproductive health is not just good policy, it is a human right.
"Ideology," according to the authors, refers to those individuals who understand, based on basic biology, that a preborn human being is a person from his or her beginning while those who deny it are the only ones to be trusted with framing the question and doling out the proper phrases – all for the purpose of promoting their own agenda, of course.
The "regardless of age" phrase tells us that these people want anyone, from kindergarten onward, to receive information that will make their sexual health as good as it gets, or should I say, only improves their ability to divorce moral absolutes from behavior.
Individual choice is and always has been the code word for unfettered abortion. Let's not forget that we are supposed to believe that even Obama is not really pro-abortion but, rather, "pro-choice"!
And finally, the proponents of the sexual freedom/reproductive health agenda write and speak in terms of human rights, while at the same time making an entire class of human beings subject to the whims of an ideology that equates human rights with giving a license to every expectant mother to have her own baby killed, unless she "wants" her preborn child – by "choice."
Human rights run amuck? Indeed, but will this be business as usual – at an accelerated pace – under the Obama-Biden administration? I think you can count on it.
Judie Brown is president of American Life League and a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.
Respond to Judie
Sunday, November 2, 2008
LaRee Pickup, provincial Director, Tel: (780) 421-7747, email: email@example.com
Woman wants court to open sperm donor records
A B.C.-born journalist, Olivia Pratten, has launched a lawsuit to have medical records of anonymous sperm donors opened so that she, and other children born through sperm donations, can learn the identity of her biological father. This is a class action lawsuit which would require doctors who do artificial insemination procedures to keep the medical records permanently and make them available once the children turn 19 or in medical emergencies. Right now, the records must be kept for six years. Ms. Pratten told the Globe and Mail that she wants to know her genetic origins. “"The child is the one who lives with choices that were made for them before they were born and who bears the consequences of these adult decisions," she said. Her lawyers will argue that Ms. Pratten’s equality rights—and those of other sperm donor children—are violated. Adoptive children now have access to records to help them trace their biological parents. Ms. Pratten has won support from Dwight Jones, a B.C. man who says he donated his sperm 300 or 400 times. He told the Globe and Mail that he would like to know who his offspring are. This week the B.C. Supreme Court issued an injunction ordering doctors not to destroy the records of sperm donors until this case can be heard.
Bishop Henry on Gardasil
Calgary Bishop Fred Henry wrote a column in the Calgary Herald this week to answer critics of the decision by many Catholic schools boards to refuse permission for Gardasil, the HPV vaccine, to be administered in their schools. The Alberta government has decided to provide the vaccine, which protects against four of the over 100 strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a sexually transmitted disease and the cause of most cases of cervical cancer. Alberta Health has recommended mass inoculation for girls in Grades 5 and 9 and most school boards in Alberta have agreed to accommodate the program. Bishop Henry’s column explains the ethical, moral and health implications behind the decisions of 10 Catholic boards who have refused to go along with the plan. He points out that parents of these children can still make their own decisions about whether to have their daughters vaccinated and the province will provide the vaccine through health units. Gardasil was tested primarily on girls and women aged 13 to 25. Girls in Grade 5 are 10 years old. The outspoken Catholic bishop questions the underlying assumptions of the program. “The popular wisdom these days insists that because we can't stop our children from engaging in premarital sex, and because such sex can be dangerous and have bad effects, we should do everything we can to protect our youngsters by vaccinating them against the HPV virus. The vaccine, we are assured, will decrease cervical cancer in a simple, straightforward way. If parents love their children, they will surely see to it that they have ‘protection’….. Arguments in favour of widespread availability of the HPV vaccine are emblematic of a collective loss of nerve in the face of powerful libertine pressures within our culture." You can read a similar version of his column at the Calgary diocese website: http://www.rcdiocese-calgary.ab.ca/.
British court denies woman right to assisted suicide
A British woman, who wanted assurance from the courts that her husband would not be prosecuted for helping her to commit suicide, lost her case this week. Debby Purdy is 45 and has multiple sclerosis. She went to court seeking an order to force the Director of Public Prosecutions to assure her that her husband would not be charged if he took her to Switzerland to commit suicide. The court said that her rights were not violated by the DPP and that only Parliament could change the law. Justice Scott Baker did express sympathy for her and for others "who wish to know in advance whether they will face prosecution for doing what many would regard as something that the law should permit, namely to help a loved one go abroad to end their suffering when they are unable to do it on their own." However, Ms. Purdy was given leave to appeal because of the “public interest” in the issue. More than 100 people in Britain have gone to the assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland. Earlier this year, Baroness Mary Helen Warnock, a moral philosopher and advocate of legal euthanasia for Britain, said that “If you’re demented, you’re wasting people’s lives – your family’s lives – and you’re wasting the resources of the National Health Service,” she said. She has written an article, “The duty to die” which will be published later this year in a Norwegian medical journal. Charles Colson commented on her remarks in a Breakpoint column this week. It’s at: http://www.informz.net/pfm/archives/archive_674708.html.
Edmonton Archbishop launches Nothing More Beautiful series
Archbishop Richard Smith has announced a series of “encounters” for his “Nothing More Beautiful” evangelization series. The first year of this five-year project will be devoted to “The beauty of the human person, created by God and saved by Jesus Christ.” Each of the four encounters will include a catechist and a lay witness. The program will be launched on Dec. 12 at St. Joseph’s Basilica in Edmonton at 7 p.m. Speakers for this first encounter will be Archbishop Smith as catechist and Lea Singh, Assistant Director of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family, as witness. You can learn more about “Nothing More Beautiful” at http://www.edmontoncatholic-church.com/index.shtml. Archbishop Charles Chaput of the Denver Archdiocese will be the catechist for the third session in April. Archbishop Chaput has been an outstanding defender of life and has recently written a book called “Render Unto Caesar” about the melding of Catholic faith and politics. Archbishop Chaput spoke about the book and his reasons for writing it at a conference earlier this month. You can read a condensed version of his speech at:
Have you signed the petition for the Unborn Child yet?
Last month, the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, C-FAM, launched its Petition for the Unborn Child to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, Human Rights Day around the world. As C-FAM president Austin Ruse explained then, “This will be a very big deal at UN headquarters in New York. The opponents of the unborn child will be out in force. We expect they will present petitions to the General Assembly asking for an explicit right to abortion. Those agitating for this are the largest, richest and deadliest abortion groups in the world: International Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International.” The groups have been collecting signatures for two years and recently removed the counter from their website. At that point, they had slightly over 600 signers. The C-FAM petition, on the other hand, as of October 31, has attracted over 56,000 signatures. Mr. Ruse hopes to hit 100,000 before presenting it on December 10. Download the petition from C-FAM and get it signed by friends, neighbours, church communities, youth groups and anyone else you can think of and encourage others to do the same. Go to http://www.c-fam.org/publications/id.95/default.asp.
Support the Back Porch and get free ice cream!
Come and celebrate National Child Day of Canada on Thursday, November 20th, with make-your-own sundaes for the whole family! The Back Porch, an Edmonton-based ministry across from the Morgentaler Clinic, is hosting this fundraiser to support their work helping women who are reconsidering their decision to abort. Join us in the Holy Family Parish hall at 75 Poirier Ave, St. Albert. The fun will begin at 6:30 p.m., with face painting for the kids, a presentation for parents, and ice cream for all. Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted. For more information call 780-421-9941.