Life Advocacy Briefing

June 02, 2008

Defending the Indefensible / Crossing the Line / Inhumanity / Consequences
Temporary Fix / Fighting for Conscience / Putting Life First

Defending the Indefensible

A DOZEN G.O.P. MEMBERS OF CONGRESS SENT A LETTER to Pres. George W. Bush on May 21 urging him to “maintain the current, well-established regulations that govern funding for the Title X [Ten] family planning program.”

The letter was organized by Rep. Mark Kirk (IL), who proudly wears his political endorsement by Planned Parenthood and who vowed last week to “urge the leaders of the American Medical Assn., American Hospital Assn. and American Nurses Assn. to join with [him] to defend” Planned Parenthood’s pet program, through which the abortion colossus draws hundreds of millions in taxpayer funding.

“We read with interest in a recent Hill article,” reads the Kirk crowd’s letter, “that a number of advocacy organizations have urged you to modify Title X regulations. Changing the long-upheld regulations in a way that would restrict access to basic health care would be detrimental to many Americans.”

Those “long-upheld regulations” were adopted by the Clinton regime, replacing Reagan-era regulations barring federal funding from contraception operations which share space with abortuaries and from “family planning” outfits which counsel or refer for abortion. Whether by ignorance or deception, the Kirk letter claims the Clinton-era rules have governed the program “successfully … for nearly four decades, serving millions of Americans with complete, accurate and unbiased information from their physicians.” (Former victims of Planned Parenthood’s “services” would, we suspect, hotly dispute that characterization.) Do these House Members not acknowledge the Presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush?

Rep. Kirk’s co-signers were Representatives Christopher Shays (CT), Michael Castle (DE), Judy Biggert (IL), Wayne Gilchrest (MD), Jim Ramstad (MN), Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ), Charles Dent (PA) and Kay Granger (TX), as well as Ohio GOP Representatives David Hobson, Deborah Pryce & Ralph Regula, Republicans all.

 

Crossing the Line

BRITAIN’s PARLIAMENT HAS TAKEN THE U.K. ACROSS YET ANOTHER LINE in biological experimentation, with passage of a bill to legalize experiments fusing human and animal embryos. The bill has been the subject of rancorous debate for several weeks and was backed by the ruling Labor Party.

Dr. David Stevens of the Christian Medical Assn. called the move a “‘Frankenstein’ approach,” reports Jim Roberts in the National Ledger, and declared, “‘Scientists combining human DNA and animal DNA is grossly unethical. It blurs the line between humans and animals,’” he said, quoted by Mr. Roberts. “‘It blurs male and female, parent and child. It’s an assault on human dignity,’” he said, “‘and on the integrity of the human species.’”

British bioethicist Josephine Quintavalle sharply criticized the Parliament’s move and the plans by scientists advocating the new Human Fertilization & Embryology Law. “‘Crossing the species barrier in this way,’” she told CNN, quoted in the National Ledger, “‘is deeply, deeply reprehensible, undesirable.’ …

“Researchers want to produce ‘cytoplasmic’ hybrids that are 99% human and 1% animal,” writes Mr. Roberts. “Scientists believe,” he reports, “they could provide an invaluable source of embryonic stem cells for use in research on human diseases,” though stem cells harvested from embryos have yet to produce safe or effective therapy for a single disease or condition.

The new law facilitates the next development in a long line of envelope pushing by British scientists. The first “test-tube” baby was conceived in a British petri dish, and Dolly the cloned sheep was cobbled together in a UK lab.

Lest we in America view the British policy with a sense of moral superiority, though, it is wise to reflect that here everything is legal until the law says it is not, and the US Congress has repeatedly refused to enact a ban on human cloning or on other Frankensteinian experiments in this new day of scientific excess. Even the limit on embryo killing bars only taxpayer subsidy of the practice, not the experimentation itself.

 

Inhumanity

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY IS PLAYING FRONT MAN for Planned Parenthood in Sarasota, Florida, despite Habitat’s humanitarian image.

News of this travesty arose in a late-May news release from American Life League, whose vice president Jim Sedlak issued a call for “everyone to contact Habitat for Humanity and demand they break this agreement,” which, the news release notes, “has not been finalized.” Habitat’s Sarasota outfit may be reached via telephone at 1-941-365-0700 or via electronic mail at tsouza@sarasotahabitat.com. The international organization’s complaint line is 1-800-461-9330, according to the news release.

Planned Parenthood has set its sights on a location in Sarasota which falls outside its zoning classification, explained Mr. Sedlak. Because of Sarasota regulations, he said, “Planned Parenthood cannot build their abortion facility in the planned location without the presence of a multifamily liner building. Unfortunately,” he said, “PP found a creative solution to its problem and is using Habitat for Humanity to achieve its objective. PP plans to sell land to Habitat for $10 so it can meet city requirements.”

The scheme was approved by the Sarasota City Commission on May 5, reports the news release. In requesting the city nod, PP filed a letter with the commission proclaiming, according to the news release, “‘We are excited to have Habitat be a part of the Planned Parenthood team.’” No doubt.

Habitat claims the arrangement is “only a real estate transaction,” said Mr. Sedlak. But, of course, it actually puts Habitat in the position of directly abetting abortion. “Planned Parenthood,” said Mr. Sedlak, “could not open its abortion facility without Habitat’s help.” What is more, it ensures that the killing center will operate in a neighborhood of homes, homes built for PP’s chief targets, financially distressed people.

 

Consequences

A WASHINGTON, DC, AREA WOMAN is suing Planned Parenthood Metropolitan for injuries suffered by her then-13-year-old daughter in a botched abortion on Sept. 7, 2006.

Emma Jean Butler had taken her daughter to Planned Parenthood to abort her grandchild, who, reports Tim Waggoner for LifeSiteNews.com, was conceived in rape.

“During the abortion,” writes Mr. Waggoner, the girl “sustained severe abdominal bleeding, severe vaginal injury, severe injury to the cervix, significant uterine perforation and a small bowel tear. In addition,” he reports, “parts of the child were found inside [the aborted mother’s] abdomen” the next day. As a result of the injuries, reports LifeSiteNews, the girl “will be infertile for the rest of her life.

“Planned Parenthood Metropolitan has denied the injuries suffered,” writes Mr. Waggoner, and denied the girl’s resulting infertility. And then “they state in their answer that [Emma Jean] Butler’s claims are barred by the doctrines of informed consent and assumption of risk. …

“‘In no other medical profession would this be acceptable,’” said Students for Life of America’s executive director Kristan Hawkins, quoted by LifeSiteNews. “‘How ironic is it that the pro-abortion movement claims they want abortions to be “safe, legal and rare” when in this poster case for abortion, [the 13-year-old girl] was permanently injured, resulting in infertility for the rest of her life.’” Some people are incapable of shame.

 

Temporary Fix

THE RED CHINESE GOVERNMENT CLAIMED LAST WEEK TO BE EASING its brutal one-child policy in the wake of the massive May 12 earthquake, which took the lives of many children, killed by the collapse of the roofs of their poorly constructed schools.

For most of the bereaved families, the children lost were, thanks to the inhumane government policy, their only progeny.

In its supposed benevolence, the Communist government now is reportedly re-opening the potential for these grieving families to bring a second child into the world – provided they apply for a permit and provided, of course, they have not already suffered forced sterilization. The temporary easing of the pogrom applies only in the province struck by the quake.

 

Fighting for Conscience

IN THE FACE OF PENDING LITIGATION, the US Coast Guard has reversed course and permitted an officer to claim religious exemption from being injected with a Hepatitis A vaccine which was produced using  cells from the lung tissue of a baby who was aborted at 14 gestational weeks.

“The Coast Guard allows religious exemptions,” reports LifeSiteNews.com, “for those who hold a ‘religious tenet or belief contrary to immunization,’” but the objection of Lieutenant Commander Joseph Healy was not to the concept of vaccination but to the requirement that he subject himself to using a product tainted by the stain of abortion.

Lt. Comm. Healy had “submitted a memo,” reports LifeSiteNews, “requesting religious exemption based on his Catholic faith and strong opposition to abortion. In response,” reports LifeSiteNews, “a higher ranking officer denied the request, because he disagreed with [Mr.] Healy’s theology, claiming that Catholic teaching ‘does not state that these immunizations are against the religious tenets of the Catholic Church.’”

In mid-May, the Coast Guard advised the US District Court for the District of Columbia that it would grant Lt. Comm. Healy’s religious exemption, and the officer’s attorneys from the Alliance Defense Fund announced plans to dismiss the lawsuit which had been filed in January.

 

Putting Life First

May 27, 2008, PRI Weekly Briefing by Colin Mason, Media Production Director, Population Research Institute

Late last year, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops put out its strongest statement yet about the need for American voters to avoid voting for candidates who refuse to defend the sanctity of human life. The document urged Americans to involve their consciences in politics, a novel concept for some folks.

The document, entitled Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, was released by the USCCB as a sort of “open letter” to American Catholics, advising them on the morality of certain important political issues. The document urged them not to submit to the moral pluralism that has infected so many otherwise sensible people.

The guidelines put in place by the American bishops are relentlessly clear, so specific that even the most committed loophole-searcher would be hard-pressed to dodge them. “Conscience is the voice of God resounding in the human heart,” the document declares unequivocally, “revealing the truth to us and calling us to do what is good while shunning what is evil. … A legal system that violates the basic right to Life on the grounds of choice is fundamentally flawed.”

Some issues are more important than others, say the bishops, and the Life issues are the most important of all. In the bishops’ own words:

  • “[34] A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or racism, if the voter’s intent is to support that position. In such cases a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity.
  • 35. There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil.
  • 36. When all candidates hold a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, the conscientious voter faces a dilemma. The voter may decide to take the extraordinary step of not voting for any candidate or, after careful deliberation, may decide to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position and more likely to pursue other authentic human goods.
  • 37. In making these decisions, it is essential for Catholics to be guided by a well-formed conscience that recognizes that all issues do not carry the same moral weight and that the moral obligation to oppose intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions. These decisions should take into account a candidate’s commitments, character, integrity and ability to influence a given issue. In the end, this is a decision to be made by each Catholic guided by a conscience formed by Catholic moral teaching.
  • 38. It is important to be clear that the political choices faced by citizens not only have an impact on general peace and prosperity but also may affect the individual’s salvation*. Similarly, the kinds of laws and policies supported by public officials affect their spiritual well being. …
  • 41. Catholic voters should use the framework of Catholic teaching to examine candidates’ positions on issues affecting human life and dignity as well as issues of justice and peace, and they should consider candidates’ integrity, philosophy and performance. It is important for all citizens to see beyond party politics, to analyze campaign rhetoric critically and to choose their political leaders according to principle, not party affiliation. …
  • 42. As Catholics we are not single-issue voters. A candidate’s position on a single issue is not sufficient to guarantee a voter’s support. Yet a candidate’s position on a single issue that involves an intrinsic evil, such as support for legal abortion or the promotion of racism, may legitimately lead a voter to disqualify a candidate from receiving support.

Although the document mentions genocide and torture as human rights abuses that Catholics must oppose, the issue of abortion stands paramount in their thinking. Abortion is the central human rights issue in the US today. While the United States is not guilty of institutionalized genocide or torture, over 4,000 abortions take place within her borders each day.

Remember, when election time rolls around, that the pro-life issue is always paramount. Consistently voting for life does not make Catholics and other Christians single-issue voters. Rather, it makes them sensible ones. Without the right to life, all other human rights are meaningless.

*According to a doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church.

 

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