Life Advocacy Briefing

June 23, 2008

Bishops Reject Embryo Killing / ‘Complication’ Implicates Planned Parenthood
/ Insufferable Elitism / Good Question / Determined to Cross the Line? / Following Up / Another Follow-Up / Sidelining Fathers

Bishops Reject Embryo Killing

THE U.S. CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS VOTED 191 to 1 on June 13 to “‘[reject] attacks on the lives of embryonic human beings for any reason, including medical research,’” said Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Nauman, quoted by Tim Waggoner for The statement adopted by the USCCB, he said, “‘also responds to several arguments used to justify such killing and explains how an initial decision to destroy so-called “spare” embryos for this research leads to far broader abuses, including human cloning and new risks to women.’ …

“The document also criticizes the push by some,” writes Mr. Waggoner, “to have embryonic stem cell research publicly funded, which would make American citizens ‘complicit’ in the murder of human lives for the sake of science.”

The statement is copyrighted and may be ordered via the Internet by clicking on “New Titles” at or through telephoning USCCB at 1-202/722-8716 or, tollfree, 1-800/235-8722.


‘Complication’ Implicates Planned Parenthood

A STUDY ON RU-486 DEATHS HAS BEEN PUBLISHED in the Journal of Immunology, implicating off-label use of Cytotec in eight reported deaths of RU ingesters. Cytotec, also known as “misoprostol,” is the second drug in the two-drug cocktail approved by the federal Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for the chemical killing of a developing baby. It is Cytotec which causes expulsion of the remains after RU-486 kills the prenatal child.

In tying the deaths to what amounts to improper use of Cytotec, the University of Michigan study effectively implicates Planned Parenthood in the deaths, as at least four of the deceased mothers took Cytotec vaginally rather than orally. FDA protocol for the chemical abortion regimen calls for oral administration of Cytotec, but until 2006, notes Thaddeus Baklinski for, Planned Parenthood policy called for vaginal administration of the drug.

“When five patients died from the drug combination,” writes Mr. Baklinski, “PP quietly changed the policy to fall in line with FDA protocol.”

“‘Misoprostol appears to impair the immune response of cells in the reproductive tract,’” explained Dr. David Aronoff, who led the study, quoted by LifeSiteNews citing Michigan Messenger as source.  Dr Aronoff noted that impairment “‘might explain the fatal outcome of the cases in which women used the drug vaginally. When the drug is given orally,’” he said, “‘it does not appear to have a suppressive effect on reproductive tract immunology.’” But although Cytotec was originally developed as an ulcer drug, it does have an expulsive effect on a developing human being when used in chemical abortion according to unethical FDA protocol, we at Life Advocacy Briefing note.

American Life League’s Jim Sedlak was appropriately quick to tie the news to Planned Parenthood’s involvement. “‘This is scandalous, if not criminal,’” he said in the LifeSiteNews story. “‘It’s time people stopped viewing Planned Parenthood as a responsible healthcare organization and saw it for what it is: a money-making, social engineering group that plies its trade of sex and abortion without regard to human life, born or preborn.’”

Family Research Council also weighed in, advising, writes Mr. Baklinski, “that although PP changed its guidelines for dispensing RU-486 in 2006, its defiance of FDA protocol continues in other ways as well. In addition to altering the suggested dosage,” reports LifeSiteNews, “PP urges women to take one of the drugs at home, disregarding the FDA’s warning that the second portion of the pill regime ‘should be done in a medical office to monitor women for complications.’”

Among those complications can be incomplete effect from the Cytotec drug, leaving some of the dead baby’s remains inside the mother – a major cause of lethal infection.

The post-mortem examination in the recent death of an 18-year-old British subject, reports Mr. Baklinski, “revealed Miss Jones died of hypovolemia, an abnormal decrease in blood volume and shock caused by what officials termed the ‘retained products of conception.’” Miss Jones had “bled to death,” writes Mr. Baklinski, “two weeks after having a legal chemical abortion.”

In the Jones case, her mother testified at inquest that her daughter and she were both traumatized by her passing the remains into a bedpan at home. At six weeks, the dead baby was already recognizable as what the mother now realizes was her grandchild.


Insufferable Elitism

THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSN. IS PICKING A FIGHT with the nation’s pharmacists. The AMA board, at its annual meeting June 11-14, “told members,” reports American Life League in an ALL news release: “‘AMA supports legislation that would require individual pharmacists and pharmacy chains to fill legally valid prescriptions or to provide immediate referral to an appropriate alternative dispensing pharmacy without interference.’”

Getting down to its real agenda, the AMA, according to ALL, “further stated the following: ‘A pharmacist’s deliberate refusal to dispense a drug on religious, moral or ethical grounds (i.e. pharmacist conscientious objection) has been most often associated with Plan B, the emergency contraceptive, and has received considerable attention in both the lay media and in medical journal commentaries. Of all of the reasons why a pharmacist might not dispense a legally valid prescription, conscientious objection is the only one that places a pharmacist’s personal views in potential conflict with the best interests of the patient.’”

Language like that could be applied next, by the nation’s elitist physicians’ union, to the exercise of conscience by the physician him- or herself. If the AMA Board of Trustees, for example, comes to consider abortion to be in the “best interests of the patient,” as the abortionist members of AMA claim, the board would logically advocate abandonment of the widespread legislation protecting the consciences of physicians and medical students. Whether or not the AMA slides down that slope, it has slipped down a considerable trough in excluding pharmacists from the conscience protection afforded to medical professionals.

“‘All citizens of the United States have First Amendment rights to exercise their conscience,’” retorted C.J. Kahler, spokesman for Pharmacists for Life, quoted by Charlie Butts for, a division of American Family News Network.  Mr. Kahler called the AMA’s adoption of the 2007 report endorsing pharmacist conscience rights stripping “‘a direct infringement on their constitutional rights.’”

Dr. David Stevens, executive director of the Christian Medical Assn., pointed to the hypocrisy of the AMA Board in a report by Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink, and added, “‘It’s elitist because they’re acting as if the pharmacists aren’t professionals like they are.’”

An increasing number of pharmacy owners, reports the Washington Post, are establishing businesses which do not dispense contraceptives at all, as a matter of conscience. Notes Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins in the FRC Washington Update, “If customers don’t like it, they are free to take their business elsewhere.”


Good Question

A VALPARAISO UNIVERSITY LAW PROFESSOR SENT A GREAT QUESTION to as a letter to the editor earlier this month. Responding to a report on questions for candidates posted by Priests for Life director Fr. Frank Pavone, Prof. Richard Stith wrote, “My favorite remains the simple and straightforward question composed some years ago by Elise Rose: ‘Are you for or against pre-natal dismemberment?’” Bingo!


Determined to Cross the Line?

OHIO GOV. TED STRICKLAND HAS VETOED a provision barring the executive branch from spending $100 million on human cloning experimentation. The Democrat used a line-item veto to cut the prohibition out of an “economic stimulus bill,” reports Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, in FRC’s Washington Update.

A state senate committee chairman had earlier blocked a bid by State Sen. Steve Buehrer (R) to outlaw human cloning outright. The spending ban was Mr. Buehrer’s fallback attempt to protect Ohio citizens from complicity in such an enormity.


Following Up

LAST WEEK WE REPORTED on a 14-year-old girl in Poland who was being pressured by her parents and the country’s most prominent Planned Parenthood operative to abort her child despite the illegality of abortion in the country. At the time of our report, she was being sheltered by a priest under order of a judge. No details are available to us as to how the tragedy has unfolded, but we thought our readers should be informed that the girl’s 11-week-old prenatal child has been aborted.


Another Follow-up

ACTUALLY, A CORRECTION. Some weeks ago, we reported the British Parliament had enacted its Human Fertilization & Embryology bill, a sweeping rewrite of legislation governing reproductive and biomedical experimentation which, among other horrors, expressly legalizes animal-human hybrids.

Evidently both the legislative process and the British news reporting are a challenge for us to decipher. The measure is still atrocious but is still pending despite earlier reports indicating it had passed. Thus prayers are still indicated for those of us over here “across the pond.”


Sidelining Fathers

June 17, 2008, PRI Weekly Briefing by Colin Mason and Steven Mosher for Population Research Institute

Last Wednesday, the British House of Commons decided that a father is completely and totally irrelevant to a child’s development.

The legislation, which dealt with in vitro fertilization (IVF), would have included a clause requiring a fertility doctor to “consider a child’s need for a male role model before giving women IVF treatment,” according to news site This Is London. Even though IVF already marginalizes fathers by effectively removing them from the procreative process, feminists would not allow even this bland and toothless reference to men to stand. The clause was voted down.

This Is London went on to add that “The Government argued that the law as it stood discriminated against single women and lesbian couples – although both these groups can already get fertility treatment on the Health Service. From now on, doctors will have to consider only a child’s need for ‘supportive parenting.’” Whatever that means.

Those of us who still celebrate Father’s Day should reflect on this not simply as an isolated event, but as the latest in a long string of attacks that fatherhood has suffered at the hands of feminists and abortionists.

Modern feminists maintain that their highest goal is equality and liberty, but their agenda runs far deeper than that. It is summed up in the phrase “bodily autonomy,” an idea first developed and promoted by Margaret Sanger in her 1914 book, The Woman Rebel. This old-new catchphrase is still used by her ideological descendants. For the sex-obsessed feminism that Sanger helped create, simple equality is not enough. Women need to free themselves not only from men but also from families, from religion and especially from pregnancy. They must be completely free to do what they wish, when they wish, with no responsibility to anyone else but themselves.

This goal of radical autonomy essentially views men as members of an alien species. It completely ignores the complementary nature of men and women as two halves of the same race, whose bonding in lifelong, monogamous relationships is necessary for the survival, happiness and salvation of both. For this brand of feminism, the feminine defines what it means to be human. It is all there is, and it is infinitely plastic. Folk singer Ani DiFranco gleefully calls it “self-determination, and it’s very open-ended; every woman has the right to become herself and do whatever she needs to do.”

In their quest to free themselves from the supposed bonds of male oppression, radical feminists have gone far beyond simply marginalizing and dehumanizing men. They have striven to form a world where every function that has historically been performed by men can be performed by women, with the aid of technology. Their goal is to render fathers and husbands not only unnecessary but completely superfluous. Even the terms “father” and “husband” are to be rendered out-of-style and obsolete, odd relics from a bygone age, snatches of a song no longer sung.

This predictably wreaks havoc on the family, whose structure follows an age-old reproductive logic: a man, a woman and the children that they procreate or adopt. If women are autonomous beings, answerable only to themselves, then the family loses its fundamental meaning. It must be redefined in non-biological ways and become infinitely inclusive.

Gender itself becomes fluid, as in California, where what bathroom one chooses to enter depends not upon one’s genitalia but upon what gender one has adopted that day. And, of course, ways must be found not only to exist but to procreate, without men. The Amazons of legend kept men in cages; the radical feminists, assisted by modern technology, keep only the biologically necessary germ cells in test tubes, with abortion as a backup in case the experiment goes awry.

If men attempted to build a society on such principles, it would rightly be considered insanity. But when radical feminists do it, it is merely “feminism.”

The pro-life movement faces multiple tasks. It is not enough simply to overturn bad laws and change attitudes about abortion, contraception and sex. The very fabric of the relationship between men and women must be stitched back together. What radical feminists do not realize is that by exploding the family, they are destroying the institution that has protected most women over most of human history from abuse. If men are not to be allowed to grow into their vital role as husbands and fathers, then they will simply use, violate and abandon women. The radical feminists are thus exacerbating the very attitudes and trends among men that they purport to be trying to escape.

One of the keys to ending abortion is to reinvigorate fatherhood. Intact, functioning and loving families protect their youngest and most vulnerable members. Isolated individuals – of either sex – do not.


Permission granted to quote with attribution. Reproduction rights granted only by express authorization.