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Amnesty International Supports Abortion

It's Official: Amnesty International Joins the Culture of Death

By John Mallon

It's official. Amnesty International (AI) has betrayed its mission.

AI's executive committee decision of last April, to treat abortion as a human right, was ratified by delegates to their international meeting in August.

In so doing, they have departed the civilization they were founded to uphold and joined the Culture of Death.

Western civilization has, until recently, been based on the 4,000-year-old Judeo-Christian ethic expressed in the Ten Commandments. Human rights are derived from this tradition, which its adherents believe come from God. The Western legal tradition is based largely on this. While not without difficulties, it has worked remarkably well.

The Culture of Death has emerged as various elites of society discarded elements of the Judeo-Christian ethic in the name of expediency, convenience, and most ironically, "being realistic."

Whether one is a believer or not, it is clear that the traditional moral code, including - especially - those elements regarding sexual behavior, make for a better ordered, more sane and balanced society. Believers know that sin leads to death. Lots of sin leads to a culture of death.

The claim is that AI is "protecting women" with this move. Rather than focusing resources on making and enforcing laws against rape and other forms of violence against women, especially in wartime and the developing world, AI instead sides with destroying the innocent "products" of sexual violence - not to mention further traumatizing the woman. Once again, life is made easier for criminal men who abuse women.

So, in reality, with AI's decision the world is now not a safer, more just, place to live, but a much more dangerous place, not only for women but for all people, because AI has used its reputation and credibility to place a truly helpless group of people - the unborn - outside the purview of human rights. No one is safe because as history shows, once the blood starts flowing it is hard to stop. No one should know this better than AI, but now they have joined the enemy. They have become their own enemy. They are now complicit in genocide.

Of course, the feminist blogosphere is touting this as a "victory" over the Catholic Church. That clarifies the battle lines doesn't it?

Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and former Vatican Observer to the United Nations, has called this move a betrayal and called on Catholics to stop supporting AI.

In a July 10th letter to William S. Skylstad, Bishop of Spokane, Washington, and sitting president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Larry Cox, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, writes that the Bishops' Conference "incorrectly asserted that AI has adopted a 'pro-abortion stand'." Cox defends the policy saying it merely "seeks to ensure that women and men can exercise their sexual and reproductive rights free from coercion, discrimination and violence."

Mr. Cox objects to the U.S. bishops calling Amnesty International's new pro-abortion policy a "pro-abortion stand," invoking, rather "sexual and reproductive rights."

"Sexual and reproductive rights" means basically the "right" to commit fornication, sodomy, and abortion. Throughout history the major world religions have condemned these acts, and with good reason. The misuse and perversion of the sexual faculty leads to death.

In reality, sin kills whether you believe in the concept or not.

Simply put, "sexual and reproductive rights" are ideologically manufactured "rights" and therefore not "rights" at all.

AI has thrown in with the abortion lobby - the angels of death like population controllers, the United Nations Population Fund, Planned Parenthood, Marie Stopes, and others, human rights abusers all.

By its actions Amnesty International has shown that in today's world what determines a "human right" is based on ideology rather than human dignity.

   * No Amnesty for the Unborn?
   * Political Prisoners in the Womb

John Mallon is Contributing Editor for Inside the Vatican magazine and does public relations for Human Life International.
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"For the second time in a matter of months, we see a senior Republican
leader in the Senate disparaging an entire group of Americans," said
Human Rights Campaign spokesman David Smith. "While we welcome
his spokeswoman's clarification that he has no problem with gay people,
it's analogous to saying, 'I have no problem with Jewish people or black
people, I just don't think they should be equal under the law.'"

           Since the early 1990s gay activists have been conducting a
massive campaign using their allies in the media and in the educational
establishment to convince the world that negative attitudes toward
homosexual are the equivalent of racism. They claim to be fighting "hate"
which leads to violence, but the real goal is to create a situation in
everyone who does not accept that homosexuality is in every way the
equal of heterosexuality is label as a bigot whose attitudes are the
equivalent of racism.

           Those who don't accept the gay agenda are labeled homophobic
or heterosexist and guilty of "hate." So-called diversity education is
making people believe that negative attitudes about race are the same as
negative attitudes about same-sex attraction.

           The goal is to create a situation under which all those who
that same-sex sexual acts are always morally wrong and can never be
considered as the equivalent of the union between husband and wife in
marriage and all those who are convinced based on massive evidence
that same-sex attraction is a preventable and treatable disorder will be
treated in the same way as racists.   

           In our society racists are second class citizens, who can be
pilloried in the media, run out of office, fired, sued, or convicted of
crimes Gay activists want this treatment extended to every person of faith
who is not willing to surrender to their agenda. The perfect example of
is the attack on Rick Santorum.  

           In order to strengthen the link in the public's mind between
and heterosexism, gay activists continue to claim - contrary to all
evidence -
that homosexuality is a hereditary, unchangeable characteristic.

           The campaign for various gay rights, for hate crime legislation
all the other activities of gay right activists are not about righting
but about achieving equality - which in their minds means never having to
be told they are doing something wrong. The furiousness with which gay
rights activists attack their opponents causes many to retreat in fear. Gay
anger is not, however, a healthy reaction to injustice, but an unhealthy
defense against the truth. Deep inside themselves they know that
something is wrong. Persons with same-sex attraction desperately want
to believe that if everyone would accept their homosexuality their
self-doubt and difficulties would disappear.  

           We must keep speaking the truth with love: Same-sex sexual acts
are always wrong; same-sex attraction is a preventable and treatable
developmental disorder.

Gay Rights Activists Lie

How have the gay rights activists achieved so much in such a short time? By

Gay rights activist lied when they said 10% of the population was "gay."
They now admit that less than 2.8% of males and 1.4% of females are
"gay." It is probably significantly less than that.

Gay rights activists lie about what the Bible says about sex between
persons of the same sex.

Gay rights activists quote John Boswell who fabricated a story about how
Catholic Church supposed sanctioned gay marriages in the middle Ages.

Gay rights activists lie when they claim to have found a genetic cause for
same-sex attraction.

Gay rights activists lie when they say change was impossible.

Gay rights activists lie when they say homosexuals are as psychologically
healthy as heterosexuals.

Gay rights activist lie about the number of gay teens that committed
suicide. The study they quote is a fraud.

Gay rights activists lie when they say children with homosexual parents
no different than children raised in by married male/female couples.

Gay rights activists lie when they say persons with same-sex attraction are
no more likely to engage in sexual abuse than heterosexuals.

Gay rights activists lie when they claim that condom education had reduced
the rate of new HIV infections among men who have sex with men. This lie
has had devastating effects because a failed condom education program
was sold to Africa as the scientifically proven way to stop the epidemic.
gay rights activists prevented the implementation of tested public health
measures in Africa and millions have become infected.

The media never researched the claims made by gay rights activists. If they
had, they would have discovered that the claims were not back up by
scientific research. On the other hand, the media always challenges well
documented statements which contradict the gay rights activists' claims.
Because the media passes on the gay rights activists' claims unchallenged,
the public believes the lies and believes that science supports the lies.

At least some of the activists must know that the claims are untrue, but
many men and women suffering from same-sex attraction are as deceived
as the general public.

Source: Dale O'Leary (heartbeatnews1@cox.net)

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Pro-Abortion Movement Has "Choice" Problems
by David Limbaugh

One thing is strikingly clear: the pro-abortion lobby still wields veto
power over the Democratic presidential nomination process.

I have never seen such a panoply of panderers as when I watched, with
horror, the six Democratic presidential candidates groveling before the
gods of National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) in
a unanimous display of homage at a pro-abortion fund-raising dinner
Tuesday. (Watch the tape; it was disgraceful.)

"The fact that this is the first major gathering of the announced
presidential hopefuls on the Democratic side demonstrates the importance
and power of this issue," said Kate Michelman, the president of NARAL. No,
Kate, actually, it shows the stranglehold you feminists have on an entire
political party.

This stranglehold is ironic given recent evidence suggesting that this
glorified anti-life movement is losing favor among the American people. So
much so, in fact, that NARAL just changed its name to Naral Pro Choice
America, in a frantic effort to rescue its faltering image. "Through our
name change we are underscoring that our country is pro-choice, said
Michelman. "It's the right name for this moment in history." Oh?

A brand-new Wirthlin Worldwide poll shows that 68 percent of American
adults favor restoring legal protection for unborn children." Nearly the
same percentage -- 66 percent -- said they favored Supreme Court nominees
"who would uphold laws that restore legal protection to unborn children."

Pro-abortionists can spin these numbers any way they want, or complain
that the polling questions were loaded, but if the pollsters wanted to
fudge their findings, they could have asked whether people have any
problems with abortion, or some other nebulous question. But they didn't.
They asked about legal protection and judges who would offer it. That's
pretty hard to explain away.

Sure, the poll doesn't provide specifics as to what type of legal
protection or to what stages of the baby's development it should apply.
But the mere support for legal protection at all speaks volumes about the
public's awareness that we are dealing with live human beings, not
impersonal, unviable tissue masses or lifeless zygotes. As Janet Folger,
president of Faith2Action, a pro-life and traditional values organization,
said, "The bottom line is, 30 years of chanting 'choice' cannot overshadow
what it is that's being chosen."

And the more we advance scientifically, the more acute our awareness will
be. Research by the National Institute of Family Health and Life Advocacy
(NIFLA) indicates that up to 90 percent of women who see their unborn
child using new "3-D" ultrasound technology, which shows the unborn
child's body and facial features in detail, choose to carry the baby to

These developments, pardon the pun, have the abortionists quite concerned.
So do many of the other leading indicators on the health of the abortion
movement. They can't be pleased, for example, that the number of U.S.
abortion providers has fallen to its lowest level in 30 years. Nor that 35
states are seeing a downward trend in abortion rates.

But what worries them most is Republican control of the presidency and
congress with no signs of relief on the horizon. (Human Events reported
that NARAL went 1-for-20 in its congressional election picks in November.
That is, all but one of the 20 House and Senate candidates it chose to
support and endorse -- all Democrats -- lost.)

The abortionists say they are going to have to shift their focus to
politics because they can no longer rely on their obstructionist powers to
control the court with judges receptive to vague penumbras and phantom
constitutional privacy rights. But with their declining electoral clout
it's inevitable they will oppose President Bush's judicial nominations
even more fiercely, if that's possible.

But all their noise won't conceal that the abortion movement is
experiencing hard times. The abortionists' fundamental problem is that
they don't have truth on their side. They aren't even honest about their
real agenda, which is why they are forever playing semantic games and
changing their name.

If they were truly pro-choice and not pro-abortion, how do you explain the
nearly 700,000 surgical and chemical abortions Planned Parenthood admitted
to performing in 2001 alone? Or that they hide information from pregnant
women contemplating an abortion, such as the objectively identified
medical and psychological risks involved? Or that they don't encourage
them to get a 3-D ultrasound?

I'm not saying the abortion movement is dead. Far from it. But it's
ailing. Please don't tell the Democratic presidential hopefuls.

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Subject:   Pro-Abortion Movement Has "Choice" Problems
Source:   TownHall; January 25, 2003

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Connecting the Dots:  Sanctity of Life Threatened on Many Fronts
By Wesley J. Smith

Jack Kevorkian shocked consciences and turned stomachs a few years ago
when he advocated using assisted-suicide victims as subjects of medical
experimentation, a process he planned to call "obitiatry."

Even though Kevorkian is now in prison in Michigan, it appears that his
idea of medically experimenting on the bodies of dying people is gaining
adherents in the bioethics and medical research communities. Indeed, if a
story in the January 19 Pittsburgh Gazette is true, it appears that such
research is already being conducted.

Gazette science editor Byron Spice's story primarily concerned the recent
use by medical researchers of the bodies of persons who had been declared
"brain dead." Many may be shocked at the idea, but assuming a proper
diagnosis, a "brain dead" person is as dead as someone whose heart and
lungs have permanently ceased functioning. However, unlike other cadavers,
the body of a person declared dead by neurological criteria -- meaning the
whole brain and each of its constituent parts have permanently ceased all
brain function -- is kept functioning temporarily, usually to permit time
to procure organs for transplantation. Since these are the bodies of the
dead and not the living, assuming proper regulation, it would seem this
research would be as appropriate as that using other corpses.

The real bombshell in Spice's story concerned the potential that
catastrophically ill or injured people are also being used in research,
the "very sick people whose life support or drug therapy is about to be
withdrawn." Indeed, according to Spice, the bodies of "nearly dead
patients" have already been used in researching a new cancer drug. But
nearly dead isn't dead. Someone who is very sick, whose life support is
about to be withdrawn, isn't dead -- he's living.

To understand the full import of this story we need to connect some
important dots by considering the context in which it arises. Unbeknownst
to many, the sanctity-of-human-life ethic is under sustained attack.
Indeed, the predominant view of contemporary bioethics rejects the view
that life is sacrosanct simply and merely because it is human. Rather,
what matters morally is whether a life -- be it animal, human, space
alien, or machine -- is a "person," a status that must be earned by
possessing relevant cognitive capacities.

This subjective view of life -- as opposed to the objective approach
contained in the sanctity-of-life ethic -- strips some humans of their
moral equality and threatens to transform them into the moral equivalent
of a lab animal or a natural resource. This was the very point made by
Georgetown University bioethicist Tom L. Beauchamp in the December 1999
Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, one of the most influential bioethics
publications in the world. Since "many humans lack properties of
personhood or are less than full persons," Beauchamp wrote, they are
"equal or inferior in moral standing" to some animals. As a consequence,
such "unlucky humans" might be available for use in the same ways as are
"relevantly similar nonhumans. For example, they might be aggressively
used as human research subjects and sources of organs."

In a similar vein, philosopher and bioethicist R. G. Frey, of Bowling
Green University, has explicitly asserted that, for humans as well as
animals, the "value of life is a function of its quality." This the
so-called quality-of-life ethic leads to very dark conclusions. "Because
some human lives fare drastically below the quality of life of normal
(adult) human life," Frey writes, "we must face the prospect that the
lives of some perfectly healthy animals have a higher quality and greater
value than the lives of some humans. And we must face this prospect, with
all the implications it may have for the use of these unfortunate humans
by others" including "the use of defective humans in [medical] research."

This kind of thinking is even more common in the organ-transplant
community. In order to increase the number of vital organs available for
transplantation, some bioethicists and transplant professionals want to
redefine death to include a diagnosis of permanent coma or
unconsciousness. If that were done, the thousands of people in comas at
any given time could have their organs procured. Pending such a
redefinition, some have suggested that non-vital tissues and organs be
procured, such as corneas and single kidneys.

Meanwhile, Norman Fost, director of the Program in Medical Ethics at the
University of Wisconsin at Madison, has opined that we should be able to
take vital organs from the living, even if doing so would kill them: "My
contention is that that there is ample precedent in the law and good moral
justification for removing [vital] organs from persons who are not legally
dead," Fost wrote. Such procurement would not be limited to the
unconscious -- it could also include conscious people who are terminally
ill, whose organ harvesting before dying would be considered "part of
their terminal care."

These same attitudes drive much of the thinking of bioethicists and
medical researchers in the embryonic-stem-cell and human-cloning debates.
Since embryos are not sentient, the thinking goes, the fact that they are
human is not morally relevant. Indeed, it is their very membership in the
human species that makes them so attractive for use in medical research
and as a source of what could be a very profitable commodity: human
embryonic stem cells.

The desire to harvest embryonic stem cells has led bioethicists, patient
groups, ill and disabled movie stars, and politicians to seek the
legalization of human cloning for biomedical research. At present, most of
these cloning advocates would require all human clones to be destroyed
while still in the embryonic stage of development. But this seems
primarily a political expedient rather than a never-to-be-violated moral
boundary. Indeed, to the applause of the biomedical research community and
cloning advocates, the New Jersey state senate recently passed S. 1909, a
radical human-cloning-for-biomedical-research legalization bill.

Tellingly, S. 1909 would not prohibit the implantation of cloned embryos
into women's wombs. It would not outlaw their gestation into fetuses. In
fact, it only requires human clones to be killed before they reach the
"newborn" stage of life, meaning that New Jersey is, quite literally, on
the verge of permitting the creation of -- and experimentation upon --
cloned human babies through the ninth month of pregnancy.

Throughout life's spectrum -- from the beginning to the end -- the value
of human life is increasingly being measured through a distorting,
utilitarian prism. This is happening a little bit here, and a little bit
there, by small steps. But just as a roaring river is created by the
coming together of many streams, our current piecemeal deconstruction of
the sanctity-of-life ethic is leading toward an explicit hierarchy of
human life that would permit some to be exploited and destroyed for the
benefit of others deemed to have superior moral worth. Seen in this light,
research on the near-dead as if they were already corpses is but one short
chapter in a much longer book.

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Subject:   Connecting the Dots:  Sanctity of Life Threatened on Many Fronts
Source:   National Review; January 24, 2003

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How The Media Spun The March
by Deal Hudson  (CRISIS Magazine - e-Letter)
January 24, 2003

Dear Friend,
Where were you 30 years ago?

You may not remember. In fact, you might not have even been born. But
whether you recall January 22, 1973 or not, you and I are living in its dark

As you may have seen on the news, things here in DC were hopping over the
past few days as people geared up for the event. Both pro-life and pro-death
(oops, "pro-choice") forces were hoping to get their voices heard. If you
read about the events in any of the newspapers, you might have thought that
the march was dominated by belligerent "anti-choicers." The Washington Post
ran a cover photo yesterday with the caption, "Anger-Filled Anniversary."
Other articles highlighted the pro-abortion demonstrations in detail, making
them sound widespread, while the March for Life was made to seem like a
lesser fringe event.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Let me give you a better idea of
what happened, from someone who actually lives here and saw it first hand.

Commemorations of the day actually began the night before. At the Basilica
of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, a "Mass for Life" was
attended by five cardinals, 36 bishops, 250 priests, and 7,000 people from
across the country to begin what Archbishop Anthony Bevilacqua called "a day
of mourning."

"Most anniversaries are causes for celebration," Bevilacqua said. "This one
is not. It is a day of mourning. Mourning for this immoral, unjust,
illogical decision." Following the mass, the archbishop led an all-night
vigil at the shrine to pray for the 40 million children aborted since 1973
and all other people who have been affected by abortion.

While Catholics were mourning at the shrine, on the other side of town,
NARAL Pro-Choice America was throwing a party. The gala event attracted many
prominent figures in the pro-abortion cause, including all six of the
declared Democratic presidential candidates.

What followed was an evening of self-congratulatory pats on the back for
"protecting the rights of women" and a side-show event featuring the
Democratic presidential hopefuls tumbling stooge-like over one another to be
seen as the greatest protector of abortion.

The Rev. Al Sharpton said, "This is about human rights. This is about human
dignity." (Earth to Al...your spaceship is cleared for landing.)

Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri claimed temporary insanity as he told stories
about his naïve early days as a pro-lifer in Congress. Now, of course, he
has seen the light: "I did not fully understand the consequences of my
action and my beliefs. Over the next decade, my eyes were opened...."

Probably the most disturbing comment came from Sen. John Kerry of
Massachusetts -- a self-proclaimed Catholic -- who vowed to take on the
president over the abortion issue. "One of the first things I'll telll him
is, 'There's a defining issue between us. I trust women to make their own
decisions. You don't.'"

Last week, Kerry showed his true colors when he flatly rejected the
Vatican's document on the responsibility of Catholic politicians to support
life. This week, he seems ready to sell his soul to become the next

Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut topped off the speeches by saying, "If you
believe in choice, there is only one choice, and that is the next Democratic
nominee for president." (Why do so many people think this guy is a
"different kind of Democrat"?)

Of course, this leaves no choice at all for pro-life Democrats who have now
been left high-and-dry by their party -- one that's increasingly proud to be
known as the party of death. (See our story on the sad plight of pro-life
Democrats herre: http://www.crisismagazine.com/may2002/feature1.htm)

But as revealing as the warm-up events were, Wednesday was the big day for
everyone. Anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 pro-lifers gathered by the
Washington Monument for the March for Life, a procession that made its way
down Constitution Avenue to the steps of the Supreme Court. Young and old
both -- but an especially encouraging number of young -- carried signs and
banners declaring their dedication to life, singing and  praying as they
went. It certainly was a change of pace from the usual marches that come
through DC: No arrests, no violence or vandalism, and no clownish chanting
of "Free Mumia!"

You might be wondering where the pro-abortion demonstrators were during the
march. To be honest, so was I. Apparently, a handful showed up at the
Supreme Court, but I never saw one myself. They must have been lost in the
masses of pro-life supporters.

Of course, the papers make it sound like there was a showdown between the
two groups on the steps of the Supreme Court. Both the Washington Post and
Times ran different pictures of pro-life marchers arguing with some
pro-abortion demonstrator. Funny thing is, both papers had pictures of the
same pro-abortion guy. It kind of makes you wonder if the papers had to
plant him to get their "anger-filled" angle on the day.

So don't be fooled by the reports -- the march was a huge success. Maybe it
won't change legislation overnight, but it rededicated millions of Americans
across  the nation to the support of the sanctity of human life, a battle
we'll fight to the end.

Helping lead that fight is Sacramento Bishop William Weigand. You may not
have heard his name in the news before, but you'll want to remember it now.
Weigand gave what is arguably one of the strongest statements on our duty to
defend life that I have ever heard.

In a homily delivered on Wednesday, Weigand praised Monsignor Edward
Kavanaugh for confronting California Governor -- and "Catholic" -- Gray
Davis for his pro-abortion position. The bishop said, "I applaud Monsignor
Kavanagh for his strong aand consistent witness. People need to understand t
hat you cannot call yourself a Catholic in good standing and at the same
time publicly hold views that are contradictory to the Catholic faith. Thank
you, Monsignor Kavanagh, for standing up for the unborn, for your dedication
to truth and for your pastoral concern for souls, including the Governor's."

When was the last time you heard a bishop -- let alone a priest -- standing
up to their political leaders on abortion?

Weigand went on to say, "As your bishop, I have to say clearly that
anyone -- politician or otherwise -- who thinks it is acceptable for a
Catholic to be pro-abortion is in very great error, puts his oor her soul at
risk, and is not in good standing with the Church. Such a person should have
the integrity to acknowledge this and choose of his own volition to abstain
from receiving Holy Communion until he has a change of heart."

I would quote his entire homily here if I had the space, but there's just
too much to say. You can read it for yourself at
http://diocese-sacramento.org/bishops/bishop.prolife.homily.2003.htm. Please
take a look. It's a blueprint for what EVERY bishop should be saying.

Finally, a bishop with the courage to lead and the integrity to do the right
thing! Bishop Weigand reminds us of our duty, not just to commemorate an
anniversary once a year, but to live our Christian lives fully, every day,
and without fear.

If this sounds like too great a task for one small person, remember the good
bishop's words: "As the U.S. bishops remind us: 'We are not powerless. We
can make a difference. We belong to the Lord; in him is our strength and
through his grace, we can change the world.'"

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Why Don't We Talk to Our Kids About Abortion?
By Susan Konig

Kids ask the darndest things. Especially when they hit six, seven, eight
years old. That's when parents get to tackle, "Where did I come from?" and
"How do babies get here?" As any parent (and anyone who's watched a sitcom
on TV over the past 50 years) knows, these parent/child facts-of-life
talks can be awkward, wonderful, and even comical.

"Was I ever this little?" They hold their little fingers together to show
a tiny size.

Yes, you were once. And they're delighted at the concept that they were
once just "this little."

So how do we explain to them that some people consider a developing baby
"this little" to be only a clump of cells, a pregnancy condition,
disposable and forgettable?

For kids, abortion would never be a choice that they could conceive of on
their own. Not that children are sheltered these days. They know parents
can die unexpectedly, like on 9/11. Sadly, they even know children can
die. But by choice?

How do you explain this to a kid?

Kids can understand this: a woman so desperately needs help that, in an
act of love, she gives up a baby to someone else who can provide for the
baby. Or maybe there is a sad accident and a baby needs new parents.

How does abortion fit into this picture? What if the pregnancy is
inconvenient? Or the woman is too poor?

Children, who tend to see an order to the universe might ask: "Then why
did God give that person a baby?" And that's not a rhetorical question.
It's a challenge and they expect an answer. And they won't be satisfied
with interpretations of reproductive health, rights, or choice. For them,
it's all about babies.

Kids don't want to hear about a woman's right to choose. As far as they
know, mothers were put here to care for them (moms don't even need
uninterrupted time in the bathroom) and it's not about what makes a
woman's life easier.

And with so many women these days exploring fertilization techniques, many
children probably know at least one woman who is essentially asking
doctors to help "put a baby in her tummy." But how does the woman who
doesn't want the baby in her tummy fit in here? Do we explain that a
doctor can take it out so it isn't alive anymore?

This is a moot point, one might protest. Why would adults whether they
support or oppose abortion even venture to explain the concept to

Several reasons. First of all, abortion is about children in the
most-acute way.

Next, are we prepared to simply hand these same kids condoms when they hit
puberty, implying that we don't believe they are smart enough to do
anything else except go out and engage in risky behaviors?

Finally, in a few short years, these children will be able to have
abortions, without parental consent if a judge deems them to be mature
enough. So before the judge gets to make the decisions for our children,
while we still have them in our control, we'd better figure out a way to
explain this 30-year old decision.

Is it our pride or our shame? Bet a kid could tell you.

From: The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Reply-To: Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Subject: Why Don't We Talk to Our Kids About Abortion?
Source: National Review; January 24, 2003

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Staying Power:  Abortion Battle May be Won Later Rather than Sooner
By Charles Colson

[Pro-Life Infonet Note:  Chuck Coleson is the founder of Prison Fellowship

Is it time to give up on our battle to stop the legalized murder of unborn
children? After all, Roe v. Wade will have been the "law of the land" for
three decades this coming January. Americans are used to it.
Isn't it time to move on? No.

When we get discouraged, it's time to remember the lessons of
history—specifically, the lessons of eighteenth-century England.

It was in 1787 that William Wilberforce, a member of Parliament and a
Christian, decided he would take on one of the most entrenched moral evils of
the day: the British slave trade.

Wilberforce knew from the start that this would be no easy task. The British
empire depended heavily on the slave trade. Wilberforce knew that in order to
succeed, he would have to go about the matter in the right way.

First he educated himself thoroughly, learning all about slavery and
conditions on slave ships. Then he began working with a small but influential
group of friends who were equally committed to abolition,
known as the Clapham sect. They supervised government inquiries into the
horrors of the slave trade and exposed it. Wilberforce and his allies then
began educating the public about these horrors.

The first victory was a small one, but it proved that the slave industry was
vulnerable. It was a vote in 1788 that restricted the number of slaves that a
ship could be allowed to carry based on the ship's tonnage.

For the next nineteen years, Wilberforce introduced bills banning the slave
trade. And year after year, his opponents found ways to defeat them, often
playing dirty. As Kevin Belmonte writes in his great new
book, Hero for Humanity, Wilberforce faced "a constant stream of false
accusations and vitriol, death threats, [and] a challenge to a duel."

But after nearly two decades of hard work, it became clear that the logjam
was breaking. The public would no longer tolerate commerce in human misery.
This change in attitude, writes Belmonte, grew directly
from "the sustained campaign to convince the public of the slave trade's

Finally in 1807—twenty years after Wilberforce began his battle—the House of
Commons voted by an overwhelming majority to abolish the slave trade.

What is the lesson of Wilberforce's life? Despite repeated losses, he kept
working. By God's grace, his cause made incremental gains. He didn't demand
all or nothing, but eventually carried the day. He then
continued his labors, and eventually slavery was outlawed three days before
he died in 1833.

This is what we have to remember when we become discouraged over abortion:
We're making progress. More college students now say they're pro-life than
pro-abortion. Ultrasound machines in crisis pregnancy
centers are leading more mothers to bear their babies instead of aborting
them. Congress recently passed the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, and
we've come close to passing a ban on partial-birth abortion.

Wilberforce understood that while people may ignore the truth, they still
recognize it when they see it. So he looked for ways to remind people of what
they already knew in their hearts.

You and I need to do the same. Gradually, slowly, we're winning the hearts
and minds of the next generation.

Give up on the abortion fight? Not a chance.

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Subject:   Staying Power:  Abortion Battle May be Won Later Rather than Sooner
Source:   Prison Fellowship Ministries; November 11, 2002

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Kid's Play:  NARAL's Incredible Spin
By Amy Drake

I guess nothing is beneath the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights
Action League.

Not even using baby faces to sell abortion. One of their latest TV ads --
part of their "Choice for America" campaign -- features several little kids
playing Red Rover. While we watch these happy little children running
around, a voice-over asks us to consider their future -- a future that
might not include abortion. "And what will we tell them, the children in
front of us now? What will we say? Will we tell them that once we were free
but now they are not? That we had the right to choose but that right is

Does NARAL, one of the most militant pro-abortion groups around, think that
by using little kids and patriotic overtones we will suddenly forget what
they really represent? If anything, this ad shows just how low NARAL will
go. Children -- who just a few years ago were considered worthless in the
womb -- are now being used to push NARAL's abortion agenda forward. And,
ironically, NARAL chooses to focus on a game of Red Rover, which like so
many childhood games, is more fun when more kids play. In a NARAL world,
where abortion is commonplace, there would be a lot fewer kids playing Red
Rover and a lot more playing solitaire.

Sadly, the real-life mothers of the children in these ads also see nothing
wrong with using their sons and daughters to advocate the killing of babes.
You can't help but think that the children in this ad are lucky to be
alive. Any parent willing to use her child in a NARAL commercial can't
think abortion is all bad -- and in fact, might consider it an option for
herself. Fortunately, the kids on screen were not selected for termination,
but even they will feel the pain of abortion. It will end the lives of
their brothers and sisters, potential playmates, and little boys and girls
who could have brought greatness to their generation.

The Red Rover ad is not NARAL's only commercial to use children. Another
one features a little girl, maybe six years old, learning to ride a bike,
and what is assumed to be a mother's voice saying, "I want every good thing
in the world for you. I want you to know, right down to your toes, that all
of life's choices are open to you." Watching a child pedal away for the
first time may indeed inspire a parent to start thinking about what else is
possible for her child, but I doubt that includes her baby's future right
to abort.

It is simply unsettling to see children used in ads that promote the
killing of other children. Certainly, the boys and girls in these
commercials don't understand what NARAL is advocating -- as far as they're
concerned, they are just being kids, playing Red Rover and riding bikes.
Most of them probably don't even know what abortion is. If they did, it
might make them cry -- and well, that wouldn't be good for TV.

Not surprisingly, NARAL has no problem taking advantage of these children's
ignorance. NARAL neither respects children in the womb, or children who
made it out alive. But, somehow, while watching these commercials, NARAL
expects us to believe that they care about our children's futures.

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Subject:   Kid's Play:  NARAL's Incredible Spin
Source:   National Review; September 23, 2002

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Disposable Children:  Abortion is the Cause for What Ails Us
By Leslie Carbone

[Leslie Carbone is the author of Slaying Leviathan: The Moral Case for Tax Reform (forthcoming).]

Another summer has ended. America's children are reluctantly returning to
school. For most of them, summer is understandably the best time of the year,
those precious carefree months away from difficult homework assigned by
demanding teachers in dreary classrooms.

This summer, perhaps more than any other, reminds us that childhood has lost
much of the freedom from care that it once promised, for this summer might be
called the Summer of Missing, Molested, and Murdered Children.

On June 5, 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped at gunpoint from her
Salt Lake City, Utah, home; she's still missing, and police say that the Aug.
30 death of suspect Richard Albert Ricci, 48, might make it even more
difficult to find the girl.

Also in June, U.S. Catholic Bishops met in Dallas to cope with the
decades-old scandal of priests molesting children that continues to rock the

The District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency has been plagued in
recent weeks by reports of foster children being sexually assaulted in
city-funded group homes.

On Aug. 21, seven-year-old Danielle van Dam's 50-year-old San Diego neighbor
David Westerfield was convicted of her kidnapping and murder, as well as of
possession of child pornography; Danielle's little naked body, found nearly a
month after her Feb. 1 disappearance, was too decomposed to provide evidence
on whether she had been molested as well.

Within a week, the remains of Miranda Gaddis and Ashley Pond, both 13, were
unearthed in the Oregon City, Ore., back yard of prime suspect Ward Francis
Weaver III.

The list goes on. Children appear to be unsafe at school, on playgrounds,
even in their own beds. Those who escape molestation and murder nonetheless
grow up in an increasingly coarsened culture. The factors that contribute to
this coarsening no doubt are many, but surely one of the most significant is
the 1973 legalization of the ultimate child abuse -- abortion -- which many
believe holds up the sanctity of life up to public scorn and reduces reduces
children to something less than human status.

Alan Guttmacher, then president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of
America, hailed the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 verdict in Roe v. Wade as
bringing the nation "a step further toward assuring the birthright of every
child to be welcomed by its parents at the time of its birth".

The experience of the last 30 years refutes Guttmacher's bizarre notion that
abortion protects children's rights. His noble-sounding vision of a society
where all children are wanted and welcomed simply masks the selfishness that
has flourished over the last several decades.

Of course, all children should be wanted and welcome, but public policy that
sanctions destroying those who aren't makes adults' desires paramount as it
reduces children to the objects of those desires. Is it really any wonder
that child molestation and murder plague a society with so vacuous an
understanding of their value and their rights?

The law is a teacher; legalized abortion teaches that children are, from the
moment of conception, something akin to second-class citizens without the
same basic rights accorded to humanity.

It teaches that adults who don't want children, or don't want handicapped
children, or don't want female children, or don't want children right now are
morally free to reject them or terminate them. The Guttmacher vision teaches
that children exist for adults' enjoyment. It follows that they may be
disposed of when they are no longer needed for or provide that enjoyment.

While most people can at least stumble through the moral minefield of a
society that treats children as objects for enjoyment without molesting and
murdering them, for some, particularly those who are mentally unbalanced or
who were themselves abused, the lines between acceptable and unacceptable
behavior are more blurry.

Law exists to protect the vulnerable from those who would place their selfish
desires over others' rights.

When it instead sanctions the selfishness of the powerful over the lives of
the powerless, it perverts its own function and compounds the moral confusion
of those who lack regard for the rights and dignity of others.

A nation cannot uphold selfishness as a virtue supreme over life without
seeing increasing numbers of its citizens refusing to control their own
immediate felt desires, including those to injure or exploit the vulnerable.
It cannot treat children as disposable objects before birth without suffering
the scourge of people who treat them as such after birth.

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Subject:   Disposable Children:  Abortion is the Cause for What Ails Us
Source:   United Press International; September 14, 2002

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
Valuing Human Life and Liberty
by David Limbaugh

[Pro-Life Infonet Note:  David Limbaugh is author of Absolute Power: The
Legacy of Corruption in the Clinton-Reno Justice Department.]

The Judeo-Christian tradition underlying Western and American civilization
distinguishes itself by the incalculable value it places on human life. That
is why President Bush is wise in drawing a line in the sand over the life

Two major events in the news this week will showcase the acrimonious debate
between pro-lifers and those who would devalue life. The Bush Administration
has indicated that it will withhold $34 million in funding for the United
Nations' Population Fund because it believes the Fund helps to perpetuate a
"one-child" policy in China involving compulsory abortions and

Women's groups have cried foul over Bush's funding decision, claiming that it
is "an excuse for the administration to do what it's wanted to do all along
-- which is to defund family planning."

Can we all agree that "family planning" is a euphemism for "abortion"?
Regardless, Planned Parenthood is being disingenuous. The administration will
still spend the $34 million but shift it to other international aid efforts
on behalf of population programs that aren't abortion-favoring. "We'll keep
the funding at the same level, but we're just not going to fund people who
are involved in abortions," said an official administration official.

But that won't satisfy Planned Parenthood President Gloria Feldt and her
colleagues, according to the Washington Post, due to their concern that
support of these other agencies could "subsidize limited family-planning
approaches ... that emphasize sexual abstinence before marriage."

May I ask what could possibly be objectionable about programs that emphasize
premarital abstinence, unless it is that they detract from the militant
pro-abortion agenda?

Also this week, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold confirmation
hearings over Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen, who President Bush
recently nominated for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth
Circuit. The pro-abortion lobby, as usual, is pulling out all the stops in
opposing Justice Owen, in the name of protecting the integrity of the

Astonishingly, pro-abortion special interest groups, whose legal cause has
depended on one of the most flagrant examples of judicial activism in this
nation's history (Roe vs. Wade), are shamelessly opposing Owen's confirmation
on the basis that she is a judicial activist.

These pro-abortion groups have got to be guffawing behind closed doors as
they publicly pretend to abhor judicial activism, which they have vigorously
defended over the years on philosophical, as well as legal grounds.

The truth is that Owen is anything but a judicial activist. Her judicial
legacy is one of scrupulous adherence to the principle of judicial restraint.
C. Boyden Gray, who served as Counsel to President George H. W. Bush,
systematically refutes the false charge of Owen's judicial activism in a
recently published paper on the subject, in which he refers to Owen as "a
restrained, principled jurist."

Reasonable people (at least on one side of the argument) could argue all day
over the merits of the U.N. funding and the Owen nomination, but that's
beside the larger point, which is that those on the other side of the
argument know they are fighting a culture war. Their aim, mostly
accomplished, is to supplant our system of moral absolutes with moral

The defining issue in this war is the value we assign to human life. If
relativists prevail across the board in their contention that human life is
no more sacred than all other forms of life, then the primary pillar of
Western Civilization will have fallen. And that's not just some sentimental
lament from a conservative columnist.

With the disintegration of this pillar will follow, in time, the implosion of
our freedom. Why? Because in the absence of allegiance to the Biblical
principle that human beings are created in God's image and entitled to
dignity above other beings and forms of life, there will no longer remain any
institutional obstacle to the oppression of human beings by other, more
powerful ones. If humans are deemed just evolved versions of random
collections of molecules, we will have removed the transcendent basis upon
which our liberties depend.

That is why President Bush is to be applauded and encouraged for not avoiding
these controversial issues. By drawing the line he has signaled that he is
aware that the culture war is raging, that the value of human life is its
pivotal battle and that nothing less than our liberty is at stake. And if the
rest of us care about our liberty, we can't afford to sit this one out.

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Subject:  David Limbaugh:  Valuing Human Life and Liberty
Source:   Town Hall; July, 24 2002

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
Brave New Clarity:   What the Kass Commission got right.
By Wesley J. Smith

Last Thursday, the President's Council on Bioethics issued its first
public-policy recommendations on the issue of human cloning. The report was
thorough, well articulated, and exhibited a refreshing moral clarity. That
stated, however, my view of the report is mixed. My first impression is
that the news is mildly bad, somewhat indifferent, but also very good. Let
me explain.

First the mildly bad news: The council did not recommend that all human
cloning be permanently outlawed. This disappointing denouement after months
of very public work is contrary to the beliefs of the majority of Americans
who have been polled, legislation passed last year by the House of
Representatives in a strongly bipartisan vote, the strong policy position
of President Bush, and the terms of the splendid Brownback/Landrieu bill
(S1899) currently in limbo in the Senate. Instead, all 17 voting members
(one council member abstained) only agreed to recommend that human cloning
for purposes of bringing a live baby to birth be permanently prohibited.

On the all-important issue of research cloning the council was nearly split
down the middle. In an apparent compromise, a 10-7 council majority
recommended a four-year moratorium on research cloning. Meanwhile, the
minority urged that research cloning be permitted to proceed with all
deliberate speed, but under stricter regulatory control than currently
proposed in any pending federal legislation.

This is bad news for several reasons. First, the division within the
council permitted some in the notoriously pro-cloning media to spin the
report as if the majority had actually rejected the idea of a total ban

But that isn't true, which is a primary reason why the news is only mildly
bad. A stated purpose of a moratorium would be to permit "further
democratic deliberation." But I believe that a moratorium would actually
serve to buy enough time to permit the amazing breakthroughs in
adult-stem-cell research to demonstrate clearly that we don't need cloning
to obtain the medical advances in regenerative medicine for which everyone

Another problem with the compromise is that by implication the
moratorium-instead-of-a-ban approach papers over the reality that in the
great cloning debate there are no gray areas. Either cloning human life is
moral or it isn't. Either human cloning objectifies and commodifies human
life, or it doesn't (or doesn't matter). Either it is wrong to create human
life for the purpose of exploiting and destroying it, or the ends —
potential future medical treatments — justify the means. We can delay
confronting these crucial moral questions, but they will not go away.

Still, a moratorium is better than full-speed-ahead to Brave New World.
Thus, if given the chance most members of the loose anti-human-cloning
coalition would accept a legally binding moratorium in a heartbeat. Indeed,
Senators Brownback and Landrieu have agreed to accept a moratorium as a
compromise to the current impasse in the Senate.

Which brings us to why the impact of council's report on the legality of
cloning is indifferent. The cloning debate has been captured by the intense
gravitational pull of election year politics. Since it is perceived to
involve the all-pervasive abortion issue (even though abortion is factually
irrelevant in the debate), and is viewed by many as a symbol of the ongoing
struggle for cultural dominance between the science/rationalistic and
Judeo/Christian/moralistic perspectives in the public square, a moratorium
compromise is all but impossible. And since a moratorium would be viewed
widely — if mistakenly — as a "pro-life victory" (the anti-cloning
coalition is made up of both pro-life and pro-choice advocates), no matter
how well-documented and thorough the council's report, regardless of its
scholarship, whatever the logical impact of its arguments, even a
unanimously urged moratorium would not have changed enough votes in the
Democrat-controlled United States Senate to get past the cloture impasse.

Now the good news, and it is very good news indeed. One of the most
personally frustrating aspects of my involvement in this struggle has been
the easy abuse of language and definitions resorted to as an advocacy
tactic by pro-cloners. Knowing that a strong majority of the American
people oppose human cloning for any purpose, cloning advocates have
resorted to a never-ending word game, continually changing and shifting the
terms and definitions of the debate (aided by a compliant media) until
virtually all meaning has gone out of the discourse. Thus, living human
embryos have been transformed before our very eyes into mere "balls of
cells" or "fractured eggs." Even the descriptive labels have continually
shifted as pro-cloners desperately searched for terms that would overcome
the public's unease about human cloning. Research cloning was first labeled
"therapeutic cloning." When that word game didn't change the poll numbers,
proponents decided to lose the C-word altogether. Suddenly research cloning
was to be called "SCNT" (for somatic-cell nuclear transfer) while the
identical cloning technique that leads to a live birth was to remain
"reproductive cloning."

The council report took a great stride toward finally ending this
obfuscation. The council unanimously agreed that the life that is brought
into being via a successful SCNT cloning procedure is not some ambiguous
collection of cells but a "cloned human embryo." Better yet, the council
defined "human cloning" as the "asexual production of a new human
organism..." (My emphasis). Cloning intending to lead to a live birth is to
be called simply, "cloning-to-produce-children," and cloning for
experimentation is to be called, "cloning-for-biomedical-research." Ah, out
of the verbal smog and into the refreshing air of linguistic clarity!

Establishing precise terms and accurate definitions is a crucial victory
for opponents of human cloning. Why? Definitional clarity leads to
intellectual honesty, which is the one thing that cloning proponents have
avoided like the plague for the last six months. For example, read the
argument propounded by pro-cloning Senator Diane Feinstein (D, Calif.) on
the Senate floor on June 14, 2002 in support of her bill that would ban
cloning-to-produce-children while explicitly authorizing
cloning-for-biomedical research:

The beauty of our legislation is that …this most promising form of stem
cell research, somatic nuclear cell transplantation, [would] be conducted
on a human egg for up to 14 days only, under strict standards and federal
regulation. …The reason for 14 days is to limit any research before the
so-called primitive streak can take over that egg. The stem cell research
can only take place on an unfertilized egg. …An unfertilized egg is not
capable of becoming a human being. Therefore, we limit stem cell research
to unfertilized eggs.

What a howler! Stem cells cannot be obtained from an unfertilized egg,
which, after all, is only a single cell. No, as the name implies, embryonic
stem cells come from embryos, generally after about five days of
development. Moreover — and one wouldn't expect this concept to be so hard
to comprehend — an embryo is not an egg; it is a unique and self-contained
organism. Nor is it possible for a primitive streak to develop in an
unfertilized egg. The appearance of the primitive streak — which is the
nervous system coming into being — arises when the embryo has developed to
the point that its stem cells are transforming (differentiating) into
specific tissue types. And while it is unquestionably true that an
unfertilized egg is incapable of becoming a human being, a human clone
embryo could be so capable. Indeed, the potential of a human cloned embryo
to develop into a born baby is precisely why Feinstein's legislation seeks
to outlaw her so-called "unfertilized eggs" from being implanted into wombs.

Reading this and other similar Feinstein bromides (she assured the viewers
of February 24 Meet the Press that her bill would "clearly make it illegal
to inject one of these stem cells into a woman's uterus" to cause
pregnancy), I can only conclude that either the good senator is as dumb as
President Bush's critics pretend him to be or she is utterly disingenuous
in her advocacy.

Finally, the minority supporting the legalization of cloning-for-biomedical
research may have unwittingly performed a most valuable service to the
anti-cloning cause. Critics have long warned that research cloning reduces
human life to a mere natural resource. The minority tried to wiggle out of
this consequence by asserting that the promulgation of strong regulations
governing the scientific use of clone human embryos would prove our great
"respect" for the human lives that would be experimented upon and destroyed
biomedical research. Thus, rather than being a "natural resource," the
minority opined, these clones should be better considered a "human

But that is a distinction without any difference whatsoever. First, we
regulate the exploitation of natural resources, sometimes very strictly.
For example, we don't permit logging of old grown forests in some places.
The government may soon enact a strict moratorium in California on taking
ocean-bottom fish. The list could go on and on. Moreover, by the very use
of the term "human resource," the council minority is admitting that
cloning-for-biomedical-research involves the creation of one category of
human life that are only intended to serve the needs and desires of other
categories human life. In other words, the council minority advocates the
creation of an exploitable and expendable subclass of humanity.

There is a word that describes using humans as chattel, and that word is
"slavery." True, the "new slavery" of human cloning (a term I believe to
have been coined by Jeremy Rifkin), would take a different form than the
old slavery. But it too would be a great moral wrong. Thanks to the
obfuscation-clearing analysis of the President's Council on Bioethics,
cloning opponents are now in a much better position to make that case.

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Subject:  Brave New Clarity:   What the Kass Commission got right.
Source:   National Review; July 16, 2002

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
Abortion Does Not Benefit Women
by Pia de Solenni

"What women don't know does hurt them."  - Germaine Greer

She should know. When she published "The Female Eunuch" in 1972, Germaine
Greer advocated a life based on sexual license as the path to personal
fulfillment. Greer practiced what she preached in 1972. As a result, she
could no longer have a child because her several abortions left her
sterile and suffering from other gynecological health problems.

Almost 30 years later, at age 50, she wrote "The Whole Woman." While not
completely changing her pro-choice stance, Greer argues that abortion is a
sign, not of liberation, but of oppression.

Evidence of the abuses conducted within and by abortion clinics confirms
Greer's view.

In April 1998, Lou Anne Herron hemorrhaged to death three hours after the
abortion of her 26-week-old unborn child. She was still at the A-Z Women's
Center when she died. Clinic staffers waited until they could barely
perceive a heart beat to call 911. Dr. John Biskind, who had performed the
abortion, left the clinic earlier even though he knew his patient was
still bleeding excessively.

Prior to Herron's death, seven lawsuits filed locally named the clinic,
Biskind and clinic owner Dr. Moshe Hachamovitch. By this time, Biskind had
already miscalculated the fetal age of another unborn child and delivered
the 26-week-old girl alive.  Despite his history of incompetence, Biskind
was still performing abortions when Herron sought his services in 1998.

In another example, former abortion provider Carol Everett recalls the
time a 21-year-old patient "danced in" to get her "problem taken care of."
Everett was assisting in the abortion when the doctor punctured the
patient's uterus and pulled her bowel through.

ABC's "20/20" interviewed Dr. Brian Finkel in 1999. Although Dr. Finkel
himself performed abortions, he admitted that the majority of abortions
are done by doctors who have "as marginal a facility as possible to
maximize profit."

Later, Finkel himself was charged with 67 sex crimes against his patients.
After the first indictment, the district attorney's office received calls
from more than 100 women alleging abuse from Finkel.

Isolated incidents or just the tip of the iceberg? It might shock many
Americans to learn that such information is hard to find.  The U.S.
currently has no mandatory abortion reporting requirements, but anecdotal
evidence and personal testimonies increasingly portray a situation that is
anything but pro-woman. Despite the incidents of malpractice and abuse,
the $90 billion abortion industry remains largely unregulated.

Prior to Roe vs. Wade, abortion advocates argued that legalized abortion
would be safer for women because it would be regulated. But from the
beginning, the safety of women having abortions was not tracked.

One would think that after all the hype about safe and legal abortion,
abortionists would be ready and willing to prove how "safe" it is.
However, in 1978 - just five years after abortion was legalized - a
Chicago Sun-Times report on the Chicago-area abortion industry found that,
although the Illinois Department of Public Health gave statistics on the
age, race and marital status of every woman who received an abortion in
the area since 1973, it did not provide information on abortion-related
deaths. Thus, it was impossible to know whether Roe had actually made
abortion safe for women.

Between 1984 and 1994, IDPH was prohibited from mandating abortion
reporting by a temporary restraining order. Today, pursuant to court
order, IDPH cannot make public the number of abortion deaths per year
unless it is greater than 50.  Apparently, the needless deaths of 51 women
would be cause for concern, but 50 would not. It's impossible to judge
whether a procedure is safe if all deaths from the procedure need not be

Data collection for abortion-related deaths is not governed by a
consistent, uniform standard. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention collects abortion statistics on a voluntary basis from state
and local health departments and medical care providers. In a 2000
abortion surveillance report, complete information for key states like
California and Florida is not included. According to the pro-abortion Alan
Guttmacher Institute, about 20 percent of all abortions in the U.S. take
place in California. The "Morbidity and Mortality" report of the CDC data
gives no information on abortion-related deaths and injuries.

Currently, veterinary clinics in the state of New York are required to
follow more guidelines than abortion clinics. For instance, a woman who
decides to have an abortion will be attended by a clinic worker who may
not even satisfy the criteria necessary to handle her dog at an animal

The California Senate is currently considering a bill to remove the
provision that only a holder of a physician's and surgeon's certificate
may perform abortions. The bill sets no criteria for uncredentialed
abortion providers, putting women in danger yet again.

Despite the rhetoric that accompanied Roe vs. Wade, abortion today is
unsafe and unregulated, marked too often by injured and dying women,
unregulated clinics, and uncertified practitioners.

Abortion is legal - but Greer and others bear the scars, which show it
isn't safe. Like Greer, we should ask just how pro-woman abortion really
is if the industry isn't even subject to basic regulation.

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Subject:   Abortion Does Not Benefit Women
Source:   WorldNetDaily; June 4, 2002

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
When Liberals Could Oppose Abortion
By Sean Higgins

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, is a staunch left-liberal who has never
given up on the 1960s vision of politics. He's chairman of the House
Progressive Caucus. His pet issue is the establishment of a federal
"Department of Peace."

He's a fiery speaker too. Earlier this year he gave a stem-winder called
"A Prayer for America." In it, he lashed out at the White House for the
war in Afghanistan and the USA Patriot Act. He said the Bush
Administration had revoked the U.S. Constitution.

His righteous rhetoric was exactly the tonic liberals were looking for in
the wake of 9/11. Many began calling him the new moral leader of the left.
A few even spoke of a presidential campaign. But those dreams came
crashing to earth recently thanks to Nation columnist Katha Pollitt.
Kucinich cannot lead the left, she pointed out: He's opposed to abortion.

It's true. "He absolutely believes in the sanctity of life and that life
begins at conception," his press secretary Kathie Scarrah nervously told

This stance must have come as a shock to many liberals. How could a
serious progressive oppose abortion?

But Kucinich, whose political career began in 1969, is less a freak than a
simple throwback. As amazing as it may seem today, there were once many
liberals who opposed abortion.

In fact, the left's current hard-line pro-abortion stance is a relatively
recent phenomenon. As recently as two decades ago, it was still a
fiercely-debated issue among liberals. The pro-choicers won, of course,
and in the process redefined liberalism.

A sense of the debate liberals once had can be found in the September 1980
issue of the Progressive. Seven years after Roe vs. Wade, it could still
run pro- and con- articles on the issue.

The keep-abortion-legal article by Deborah Baldwin made many of the by-now
familiar feminist arguments. The pro-life article, however, declared, "The
Left has betrayed the sanctity of life." Its author, Mary Meehan, argued
that liberals cannot oppose war, the death penalty and support human
rights without also opposing abortion. "We don't ... have either the
luxury or the right to choose some types of killing and say they are all
right, while others are not," she wrote.

The articles were accompanied by this astounding editorial:
"The debate over current public policy toward abortion is one that divides
the Left, just as it divides others. To pretend otherwise -- or to
maintain that there is no room for differences on this within the Left --
is to divide us further and to weaken us in what must be our common
resolve to build a world in which freedom of choice and the right to life
can coexist."

The November 1980 issue reported that those articles brought an "almost
unprecedented" outpouring of mail from readers. Several enthusiastically
applauded Meehan.

One wrote, "I have found it quite hard to be active in the women's
movement lately because of the single-minded obsession of some activist
members with abortion."

What happened to shift the left to a firm pro-abortion stance? Ronald
Reagan's victory in 1980 was one obvious factor. A staunch opponent of
abortion, he forced many to choose sides.

Another factor may have been the failure to pass the Equal Rights
Amendment. Feminists, Baldwin complained in her article, were devoting all
of their energy to that and little to abortion. After ERA died, feminists
made abortion their central issue.

They succeeded in bringing the rest of left in line. Others had to get out
of town. One-time abortion foes such as Jesse Jackson and Al Gore switched
sides. Meehan now contributes to Human Life Review.

Today there remain some prominent liberals who are opposed to abortion,
but you can count them on the fingers of one hand: In addition to
Kucinich, there's former Democratic House Whip David Bonior, columnists
Mark Shields and Nat Hentoff. They oppose abortion on ethical grounds. Yet
they aren't very vocal about it. Presumably, they want to avoid fights
with their fellow left-wingers.

In a recent column, Hentoff revealed how his stance almost cost him a
lifetime achievement award from the National Press Foundation.

Kucinich, for example, doesn't mention abortion at all on his otherwise
comprehensive House website. But his support is there where it counts. "In
his two terms in Congress, he has quietly amassed an anti-choice voting
record of Henry Hyde-like proportions," Pollitt wrote. Although her column
is called "Subject to Debate," she made it clear there is no room on the
left to debate this topic.

Pundits tend to view the right's pro-life politics as an albatross
weighing it down. If it would only give up its obsession with the fetus,
they say, the right could attract more moderate voters. Rarely do those
pundits ask the inverse: Does the left's strident support of abortion turn
off people who would otherwise support liberal politics? How many
activists and leaders like Kucinich has that stance cost them?

Pollitt herself made that point in her article, albeit unintentionally:
"That a solidly anti-choice politician could become a standard-bearer for
progressivism, the subject of hagiographic profiles in The Nation and
elsewhere, speaks volumes about the low priority of women's rights to the
self-described economic left, forever chasing the white male working-class
vote," she wrote.

Maybe so. Or maybe it speaks to how little priority feminists give to any
issue other than abortion.

Sean Higgins is a writer in Washington, D.C.

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Subject:  When Liberals Could Oppose Abortion
Source:   The American Prowler; May 24, 2002

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    Back some years ago the Canon Law Society of America and the American Catholic Theological Association voted almost unanimously against a Vatican decision censuring a theologian for propagating views on sexual morality in
contrast to the teachings of the Catholic Church.  Many members of these two societies are still in positions on the faculties of Catholic Seminaries and Colleges as well as in offices of diocesan chanceries across America.

    Whatever may have been the negligence of the Bishops in handling accusations of sexual abuse by the clergy, even more ominous has been the behind the scenes influence of these "experts" from academia.

     One of the most notorious perpetrators of clerical abuse, confessed in court that he had been carried away by all the new thinking of the sexual revolution.  Indeed, it's a short step from expounding a new presentation of perennial sins to acting them out in reality.  Even before devout Catholics realized the lack of vigilance regarding the conduct of priests,
they knew that, in recent decades, there had been a lack of vigilance and widespread disregard if not contempt
regarding the teachings of our faith and morality.

    In the midst of the turmoil of this church scandal, a group of Boston priests called in no less than one of the most prominent critics of the Pope and traditional Catholic teaching in order that he might address them with words of reassurance and direction.

    Drawing heavily upon the membership of older groups of vocal dissent within the Church, many Catholics are
organizing for the purpose of outlining what they consider to be the changes that must now occur in the American
Catholic Church.

    Cardinal Law may be partly responsible, by his appalling lack of vigilance, for aggravating this scandal, but he is also,
as Providence would have it,  partly responsible for giving us a big part of it's solution: the CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.  Seminaries, parishes, Christian doctrine classes, colleges, Catholic families and individual members of the faithful should begin an attentive study of this official compendium of our holy faith. The "splendor of truth", as the Pope powerfully terms it, is one of Church's most precious and compelling gifts to her members, and also, in the form of a beacon, to the whole of humanity.  It shines brightly even when members of the Church have disgraced and damaged her mission and memory.  What is needed is a faithfulness to Catholic truth and the deposit of Faith.  The Pope has declared that the Faithful have a right to hear the Catholic Faith, in its authentic form, from those having teaching authority in the Church. The CATECHISM is the way that they can receive it, unfiltered, unsubverted, unsabotaged and undoctored by
many, unfortunately, still in teaching positions within the Church.

    The integrity and, in fact, the very identity of the Church requires that she define herself, not in the terms devised by an arbitrary and self appointed group, but in the terms of her divinely appointed mission.  

    In Boston, the only ones standing with Cardinal Law, in this terrible time of trial, are  the only ones that he ever really had: practicing Catholics, angered at what has happened - yes, but  forgiving, anxious to restore true doctrine and
integrity in the Church, and shocked at how quickly sharks can close in on the smell of fresh blood.

    We owe our fidelity and loyalty, even - and especially -  in times of trouble and scandal, to the truths of the Catholic
Faith.  The gift of Faith  is not possessed by anyone in formal disagreement with the tenants of the Church's Faith.  It is time for Catholics to courageously profess their faith, the faith of our Fathers.

(Cruzada.net editorial, May 9, 2002)

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

    Today there are people gathering outside and around
Churches in the Boston area protesting abuse by priests
and demanding legal settlements.  The irony is that a great
number of them literally wouldn't exist if it were not for the
Catholic Church.  Yes, they owe, in the very strictest sense
of the word, their life to the Catholic Church.  For the
better part of the 20th century Catholic families continued
to have large families, while the size of the average
Protestant family steadily declined.  This difference was
due to the strong prohibition in Catholic morality against
artificial birth control.  

    The present generation, by contrast, was brought up to
believe that each individual is his own pope, deciding for
himself what is wrong and what is right; but Catholics in
former generations were more inclined to follow, often at
considerable sacrifice to their material comfort, the morality
of their religion.  The consequences of this new moral
posture in the present generation has even resulted in
millions, who, after being called to existence, then loose
their life at the hands of the very ones to whom they were
entrusted by the divine Creator and Source of all life.  

    Ours is not a culture that thinks in philosophical terms
regarding the mystery of existence verses non-existence.  
Today, for example, people can actually sue their mother's
doctor for not recommending abortion!  Naturally those
who have no moral problem with counseling abortion,
would similarly have no moral problem with correcting their
doctor's prior oversight, by a dramatic and irreversible
decision of their own, if, indeed, they truly felt so
persuaded.  The deep mystery of being called to existence
may seem to many to be an abstract question, but, in
practical terms, it translates into real people experiencing
life, with its joys, its sorrows and, yes, its seeming
contradictions.  Far more importantly, it translates, in the
Christian philosophy, into the even more mysterious and
somewhat incomprehensible call  to an eternal existence
and beatitude.  

    Among the millions of us who grew up in the shadows
of the Church, a small percentage, tragically, did fall into
the hands of a predatory priest, but, in general, we were
the lucky ones; for the next generation, growing up in the
shadows of today's culture, now posing as child advocates,
this call to existence was turned into a crap shoot - one in
three falling into the hands of a knife wielding  abortionist.  
Don't ever take the call to existence for granted.

    It doesn't help anyone to pass over this larger religious
context, simply because some people have an impatience
with philosophical truths, no longer believe in them, or
cannot easily fit them into the categories of their present
cultural milieux.  Not to be rigorously clear thinking when it
comes to the delicate and enigmatic circumstances of one's
call to existence is not merely myopic, but, within the plans
of God's providence, very dangerous.

    And so, thus it is that we are in the ironic position of
many people, who were saved by the Church, now suing
this Church.  It is a sad situation.  Thousands, in fact
hundreds of thousands, of  victims all of the country abused
by family members will never get paid for the violation
perpetrated against them.  The reason for this, in many
cases, is that these victims could not countenance filling
their own pockets at the expense of their family or their
own mother, not to mention dragging their family through
the humiliation of a public denunciation. These victims have
just as much of a right for closure or a settlement as those
victims violated by members of the clergy.   They have,
however, opted to heal in a different way.

    These considerations are not, by any means, meant to
diminish the horror of child abuse or the gross negligence of
those who, knowing the danger, did not take measures to
end it, but it does argue that the proper and honest
response, may not be attacking the mother, the Church
whose strict teachings, in many cases, brought into the
world the very ones now attacking her.

(Cruzada.net editorial, May 2, 2002)

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
Pro-Abortion PAC Emily's List Making a Name for Itself

Washington, DC -- In abortion politics there is an emerging political
juggernaut: EMILY's List. The pro-abortion political action committee is
quickly becoming one of the biggest payers financially in Congressional

"We are huge," declared Ellen R. Malcolm, president and founder of the
group, which backs pro-abortion-rights Democrats. "We are the biggest
fundraiser of 'hard money' other than the parties in the country."

EMILY's List doesn't just give money to candidates. It mobilizes 68,000
supporters to send individual checks; it does more polling than the
Democratic National Committee; it runs TV ads for and against candidates;
it staffs campaigns; it provides strategic advice.

Already a major player, EMILY's List will only gain in stature with the
enactment of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform act. While the
national parties are struggling to figure out how to survive without "soft
money" -- large donations often exceeding $100,000 from corporations,
unions and individuals -- EMILY's List is free to continue to raise both
hard and soft money, and to pursue its true specialty: the bundling of
small contributions into large packets of cash for favored candidates.

"We are the essence of campaign finance reform," Malcolm recently told
supporters. The new legislation "does absolutely nothing to change the way
we support our candidates. . . . It actually makes us even more powerful."

A candidate must meet three qualifications to be considered for an EMILY's
List endorsement: back abortion , including the right to late-term
abortions; be a Democrat; and, in primary elections, be a woman.

EMILY's List is the counterpart to political action committees on the
pro-life side such as the National Right to Life PAC and the Susan B.
Anthony List. However, EMILY's List has quickly risen to the top of the
list of PAC spending.

The NRA was the top political action committee fundraiser in the 1999-2000
election cycle, at $17.9 million. Emily's List was second, at $14.6
million, although Malcolm pointed out that her group raised an additional
$3.3 million for Democratic parties in 13 battleground states, making them
virtually equal.

The Democratic Party views EMILY's List as crucial in general elections.
In 2000, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee gave the group
$1.3 million in soft money. The ability of EMILY's List to mobilize
women's voters has been viewed by some Democratic activists as essential
to victory in close contests.

In recent months, however, as EMILY's List has flexed its muscles in
several Democratic primaries, its role has become increasingly
controversial. The group angered many Clinton loyalists when it backed
pro-abortion ex-state representative Nancy Kaszak (D) against former White
House aide Rahm Emanuel in a Chicago area congressional primary. Emanuel
supports abortion, but EMILY's List spent over $400,000 on ads attacking
him for his support of NAFTA.

"Washington insider Rahm Emanuel says he fights for working people," the
ads declared. "But Emanuel led the fight for the NAFTA trade agreement,
which cost Illinois more than 11,000 jobs."

Despite it's seemingly non-germane focus on NAFTA, Malcolm defended the
ad, contending that in the group's 17-year history, "this is not anything
new." She said EMILY's List endorsed then-Rep. Barbara A. Mikulski in her
1986 senatorial primary against then-Rep. Michael Barnes (D), who had much
of the party's establishment backing.

Emanuel defeated Kaszak, and now EMILY's List is in an uphill fight in
another primary against an abortion advocate -- this time pro-abortion
Rep. Nancy Rivers (D-MI) versus pro-abortion Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) in a
contest pitting two incumbents together because of redistricting in

Dingell, is a legendary Democratic icon and the former chairman and now
ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Dingell has
for the past two decades been viewed as one of the most powerful
Democratic figures in Washington. He has always had strong support from
his working-class Dearborn district.

Now, portions of Dingell's district have been merged with Rivers's,
including the precincts of Ann Arbor, where abortion is strongly backed by
Democratic primary voters. The district favors Dingell, but EMILY's List
contends that its polling -- which gives Dingell a 52 to 44 advantage over
Rivers -- also shows him vulnerable to attacks on abortion.

"Voters in this district are pro-choice," Diane Feldman, the pollster
wrote, contending that voters "move dramatically toward Rivers on
[abortion]." According to Feldman, voters sided with Rivers over Dingell
66 to 28.

For pro-life advocates, it's nice to see EMILY's List taking on their own
and spending money simply to simply replace one pro-abortion member of
Congress with another. However, not all contests EMILY's List enters will
feature supporters of abortion dueling each other. Pro-life advocates must
contribute to pro-life political action committies to help the pro-life
side remain competetive politically.

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Subject:   Pro-Abortion PAC Emily's List Making a Name for Itself
Source:   Washington Post; April 21, 2002

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

"It is always better to stick with a good man who made a mistake, than a bad man who didn't  -  for "The Lord will be his shield".

     Under consideration in Massachusetts is a law to establish "gay marriage"  and
the media in Boston, almost universally in favor of such laws, are hoping to blunt the Church's influence on this issue.  Cardinal Law has been a strong proponent of the family understood in the Judeo-Christian sense of a monogamous union between a
man and a women; that union being the natural and proper nucleus for the raising of children.  Any success in discrediting the Church and specifically Cardinal Law is believed to be helpful in the promotion of alternative forms of marriage and the traditional family.

    Very seldom does the BOSTON GLOBE report a child abuse story on the front page and even less often does it report the ugly crime in all its sordid details.  The paper  
has even covered up bad cases, felt embarrassing to its own agenda.  It  has, however, in the case of the Catholic Church, made an exception to its normal practice in order to serve up to the local people 40 years of past and current scandals involving priests, creating, by this type of concentrated attack, a kind of palpable hatred of the Catholic clergy. This manner of focusing so exclusively on a particular group, would in any other case be considered a "hate crime".   The GLOBE even provides a 24 hour toll free hot line, not to report sexual abuse nor even sexual abuse by organizations, but sexual abuse by priests.  The GLOBE, like other leftist papers, is usually very sensitive to "witch hunts" but, in its generous coverage of lawyers and law suits, is making sure that people know just how much money can be involved if they have a claim against the Church.   The waters have been poisoned.

    On might have the impression from all of this, that the BOSTON GLOBE is very concerned about child abuse.  Actually, to the contrary, when the Boy Scouts of America tried to put in place safety measures to help eliminate in its own organization just this type of tragic exploitation of youth,  the BOSTON GLOBE was among the outspoken critics of the Scouts, doing a huge amount of damage to the organization's fund raising efforts and its ability to utilize schools and other public resources in the area for its programs.   The GLOBE, likewise, has always been one of the chief apologists for the "sexual revolution" and "sex-ed" in even the lowest grades.  Promiscuity has reached such levels in America that an increasingly large percentage of the population are effectively removed from the nation's blood supply - a very dangerous situation.

    It would be interesting to see the local media parade in front of the people some of the angry parents of the hundreds of thousands of young people who died of AIDS, demanding to know why their children had to die in their twenties, thirties and forties.  Someone is responsible for this legacy of death and it's not the Catholic Church.

    The principal responsibility, make no mistake about it, for this terrible scandal must be clearly laid at the feet of the guilty priests and an irresponsible hierarchy that has not heeded clear warning signs.  In any case, one good effect of this crisis will be a purification of the Church.  For over three decades now, the American Church has paid little attention to the importance of sound Catholic doctrine and safe moral teaching.  In fact, heterodoxy has been allowed in the pulpits and seminaries of America.   Saint John Bosco prophesied that when heresy is taught in the seminaries, there will be blood in the streets.

    Hopefully Cardinal Law will be motivated to amend his sad misjudgment by a vigorous attention to the integrity, purity and sanctity of the Church.  Cardinal Law, for whatever may have been his tragic blind spot, is, in his heart, a good and honest man and all who know him well, recognize it.  It is always better to stick with a good man who made a mistake, than a bad man who didn't  -  for "The Lord will be his shield".
                                                              (Cruzada.net editorial)

Cardinal Law under Attack by the Pro-abortion Establishment

 Cardinal Law in his first statement upon taking office as the Catholic Archbishop of Boston, declared that "Abortion was the primordial evil of our time".  This affirmation placed him on a direct collision course with the BOSTON GLOBE, the chief organ in New England in the thirty year promotion of abortion, which has included the predictable endorsement of abortion politicians and judicial nominees and the ignoring or demonizing of anti-abortion candidates for public office.  In the hundreds of articles and editorials from the GLOBE on this subject, there is hardly a word of concern or even mention for the helpless victims of this barbaric and painful procedure.

    On the other hand Cardinal Law has been a true victims' advocate, a faithful and lonely voice in Boston for the victims of abortion.  In the Boston area these victims now number over a half a million!  Their tiny bodies are of course gone, but their souls are not gone.

    It is requested of all pro-lifers to pray to the Guardian Angels of these victims to come now to the assistance of Cardinal Law who has been under an already three month old campaign of daily attacks in the BOSTON GLOBE, the implacable and mortal enemy of children in the womb.  

    In truth, Cardinal Law, by some unexplainable blind spot, failed to understand the gravity of this immoral conduct and thus terribly mishandled the cases of sexual abuse of minors by clergy, something that he now, tragically so belatedly realizes, has admitted, has apologized for, and will have to pay dearly for in financial settlements; but he is an honest man who probably does not have a mean bone in his body.  On the other hand, most of his attackers are up to their necks in the innocent blood of unborn babies, and, far from admitting their error, have nothing in store for their defenseless victims except more slaughter and continued relentless persecution of the pro-lifers attempting to save these victims.  No newspaper, no politician, no prosecutor guilty of promoting, enabling or defending Nuremberg crimes against humanity, has, in principle, any title to our consideration.

    The diocese of Boston, for its part, has a grave and urgent need for the restoration of the daily parish Rosary, led personally by the pastors themselves, if it expects to receive heavenly protection from the forces now arrayed against it.

    The Cardinal was the chief inspirer of the new Catechism of the Catholic Church and hopefully this will ultimately be his true legacy.  By means of the supervised imposition of this very catechism, the Cardinal now must definitively rid the diocese of destructive errors that have been allowed for too long to insidiously undermine the faith of the people.
                                                                                              (Cruzada.net editorial)
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Why Can't the Media Consistently Say "Unborn Children?"
By Dean Karayanis

[Pro-Life Infonet Note:  Dean Karayanis, a former television producer at
Fox News Channel, is currently the content producer for Rush Limbaugh's
web site.]

Has the media turned radically pro-life since Daniel Pearl's murder? The
shocking answer is: "Yes." News writers routinely drum up sympathy for get
this Pearl's "unborn child," something they'd usually think of as "the
unviable tissue mass festering inside Mariane Pearl's abdomen." A Nexis
search for the Wall Street Journal reporter's name and the phrase scores
hundreds of hits, including ones from even the most liberal sources.

"Unborn child," you may recall, is the exact term pro-life Health and
Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson used in his fight to improve
health care for poor moms. The reaction when he described all children as
the media describes Pearl's? Outrage! Bob Herbert's Feb. 4 New York Times
column, "Sneak Attack," was a typical nugget of hypocrisy. "A guerrilla
attack on abortion rights" he whined, warned us to suspect all GOP
attempts to help the poor, and then reported: "under the new rules,
childhood would begin not at birth, but at conception."

Just like Daniel Pearl's wee one, eh, Bob?

So why are those who screamed "bloody murder"  over a perceived attempt to
scream "bloody murder"  over America's 1.5 million annual abortions
suddenly asking me to pity Fetus d'Pearl? Is it because every journalist's
sperm is sacred, as Monty Python might sing? Or is it because (like that
Bible Bill Clinton enjoyed waving around) a fetus makes a fabulous prop?

Either way, if Judy Woodruff can say "unborn child" to help increase poor
ratings, the secretary of HHS can say it to help increase health for poor
babies. OK, so Thompson has a position of power, but do more people listen
to a low-level cabinet secretary than to CNN, et al.? No way. So though it
surely wasn't the media's intention, their coverage had to make some
people wonder, "Wait a minute. That tiny ultrasound blur is alive?"

Is this a guerrilla attack? Hardly. On an issue where there's no
consensus, we can all agree that we'd like to start with a nation where
abortions are "safe, legal and rare" as Clinton envisioned in 1992. To
that end, making Americans think about this choice is great. So is getting
them to stop whining about the way condoms feel, push abstinence, or
somehow take responsibility for pregnancy before it leads to, yes, an
unborn child.

Who knows, maybe we'll think twice before we use abortion as a safety net
that lets men write a check (at most) while women risk lifelong ill-health
effects, guilt and emotional scars. Or maybe the bottom line is that,
until the media tells me so, I'm not sophisticated enough to understand
which fetuses I'm supposed to pity for never knowing their fathers and
which ones I'm supposed to pity for never knowing life at all.

So tell me, CNN: Are they unborn children or aren't they? It can't be one
when it makes good copy and one when it doesn't or can it?

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Subject:  Why Can't the Media Consistently Say "Unborn Children?"
Source:   World Net Daily; March 1, 2002

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The Winners of the Bioethics Smoke-and-Mirrors Awards
Wesley J. Smith

There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the media over the
Pentagon's proposal to establish a disinformation center. Journalists,
editorial writers, and talking heads waxed self-righteously eloquent,
warning that truth must not become a casualty of the war on terror.

Would that they were as adamant about resisting the disinformation
campaign still being waged by supporters of embryonic-stem-cell research
(ESCR) and human cloning. Rarely has so much disinformation been peddled
by so many as in this all-important moral and political struggle. But
rather than insisting on being told the truth, the media, patient-advocacy
groups, and many politicians have swallowed the obfuscation whole --
without even a trace of indigestion.

Such successful disingenuousness deserves special public recognition. So,
here are the winners of the first annual "Smoke-and-Mirrors Awards,"
awarded to those advocates who blow the thickest smoke and mount the most
confusing mirrors while advocating for Brave New World.

Propaganda Masking as Journalism Award of the Year: Joannie Fischer,
reporter for U.S. News and World Report

Joanne Fisher's fawning cover story in the December 3, 2001, U.S. News and
World Report -- reporting on Advanced Cell Technology's announcement that
it had successfully cloned the first human embryo -- lacked even the
pretense of objectivity or respect for moral and scientific arguments
against human cloning. Not only did Fischer shamelessly boost ACT's key
figures as worthy of inclusion in science's pantheon of historic heroes,
but in eight pages of text she failed to interview one anti-cloning
expert. (Fischer did briefly quote from a Wall Street Journal column by
Francis Fukuyama. Beyond that, however, she unquestioningly allowed ACT
spokespersons to depict cloning opponents as anti-abortion fanatics
threatening our heroes with assassination.) For wide-eyed reportage -- and
for swallowing whole the ridiculous assertion that there "is nothing else
in all of medical research that is anywhere near this promising" as human
cloning -- Fischer truly earned her Smoky. With reporters like her, who
needs a PR firm?

Political Double-Talkers of the Year: Sens. Tom Harkin and Arlen Specter

There are too many co-winners of this award to list individually, so the
judges decided to be bipartisan and present the award jointly to Senators
Tom Harkin (D., Iowa) and Arlen Specter (R., Pa.). Harkin and Specter have
cosponsored a bill designed to thwart S.1899 (Brownback, R., Kan.),
legislation that would outlaw all human nuclear-cell-transplant cloning.
(The Weldon bill, an identical measure, has already passed the House in a
strongly bipartisan vote. President Bush has promised he will sign the
measure should it reach his desk.) The Harkin/Specter bill would outlaw
human "reproductive cloning" -- that is, bringing a human clone to a live
birth. But it would explicitly legalize cloning for the manufacture of
human embryos for use in research.

This is gold-plated doubletalk. Whether used for reproductive or research
cloning, the cloning procedure is exactly the same.

Nuclear-cell-transfer cloning consists in removing the nucleus of an ovum
and replacing it with genetic material from a somatic cell, such as is
found in the skin. The genetically modified egg is then stimulated into
embryonic growth using an electrical charge. Once that is done
successfully -- whether the resulting embryo is used for reproductive or
research purposes -- the act of cloning is complete.

If Harkin and Specter really want to prevent the live birth of a human
clone, they must support the Brownback bill. Here's why: Cloning advocates
argue that "therapeutic cloning" must remain legal so that researchers can
learn how to clone embryos to the "blastocyst" stage, when their stem
cells can be extracted. Not coincidentally, in vitro embryos are generally
implanted in IVF fertility procedures at the blastocyst stage. Once
researchers learn how to maintain human-clone blastocysts, they will be
ready to try implantation. At this point, reproductive cloning would be
quickly relabeled by cloning advocates as just another "reproductive
technology." Soon, lawsuits would be filed to overturn the
reproductive-cloning ban as an unconstitutional restriction on the
fundamental right to procreate. Meanwhile, intense efforts would be made
to change the law to allow clone live births. And in any event, a
scientist would eventually defy the law and implant a clone embryo in the
womb of a woman wishing to go down in history as the birth mother of the
first clone baby. Thus, merely outlawing reproductive cloning would almost
without question lead to the birth of the first human clone.

Of course, Harkin, Specter, and the other legislators who support this
duplicitous approach know this perfectly well. But voting to ban
reproductive cloning while legalizing research cloning allows them to be
all things to all people. On one hand, their vote against reproductive
cloning would please the majority of their constituents who, polls show,
oppose cloning human life. But since they would actually be voting to
legalize human cloning -- on condition that the clone be killed rather
than implanted -- they would please high rollers in the biotech industry,
as well as patient-advocacy groups.

Political Science Award of the Year: National Academy of Sciences

Modern scientists portray themselves as objective seekers after factual
truth. Thus, when a scientific organization issues an opinion, it is
typically presented as being above politics, or (in the words of Joe
Friday of Dragnet fame) as presenting "just the facts."

In the cloning debate, that presumption can be pure poppycock. Often,
allegedly scientific research reports are actually thinly disguised
political-advocacy texts. And no organized scientific group has been so
overtly political in the cloning debate as the National Academy of
Sciences, which recently issued a report calling for a legal ban on
reproductive cloning but urging that research cloning be made expressly
legal. Moreover, even though the act of cloning is the same for both
research and reproductive cloning, the NAS urged that the research cloning
no longer be called cloning but rather "nuclear cell transplant to produce
stem cells." Why? By doing away with the C-word and replacing it with a
mind-numbing phrase, the NAS hopes to overcome popular resistance to
cloning. But calling the same procedure "cloning" in one context and
"nuclear cell transplant to produce stem cells" in another isn't science.
It's propaganda.

Creator of the False Distinction of the Year: Sen. Orrin Hatch

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) claims to be "pro-life." The fundamental
principle of pro-life advocacy is that human life begins at conception.
But last year, during the embryonic-stem-cell debate, Hatch came out in
support of ESCR because, he said, "life begins in a womb not a

The idea that a human can begin only in a womb is plainly wrong from a
scientific perspective. Biologically, an individual human life created
through fertilization commences as soon as sperm has merged with egg. This
is true whether the "conception" occurs in a woman's Fallopian tube or a
lab petri dish.

Once the embryo exists, it is a new member of the human species,
possessing a unique genetic makeup and its own gender. Whether that human
life will live long enough to become a born baby is a matter of
environment, time, and development. But basing life's existence on
geography -- as Hatch does -- is the falsest of false distinctions.

Biological Sciences Dunce of the Year: Sen. Dianne Feinstein

Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) is pushing a bill that would not only
explicitly legalize human cloning for use in experiments, but would
prevent the states from banning research cloning in their respective
jurisdictions. On February 24, 2002, Feinstein defended her bill on Meet
the Press, stating that the legislation would "clearly make it illegal to
inject one of these stem cells into a woman's uterus" to create a
pregnancy. But implanting a stem cell in a uterus would no more make a
woman pregnant than implanting a skin cell would. However, implanting a
cloned embryo -- likely to occur if research cloning remains legal --
could make a woman pregnant. It's time to go back to Biology 101, Senator


For the complete article, please see:

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Subject:  Wesley J. Smith Gives the Bioethics Smoke-and-Mirrors Awards
Source:   National Review; March 11, 2002

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
Forbidden Grief
by Father Frank Pavone

In her book to be released in 2002, my friend Dr. Theresa Burke writes,

"There is no social norm for dealing with an abortion. There are no
Hallmark cards for friends who have had an abortion, declaring either
sympathy or congratulations. We don't send flowers. We don't have any
ceremonies, either joyous or mournful. We have no social customs or rules
of etiquette governing acknowledgment of an abortion. Instead, we all try
to ignore it."

The book, "Forbidden Grief," with which Dr. David Reardon also
collaborated, demonstrates that grief after abortion is neither expected
nor permitted in our society. Drawing from their vast experience of
post-abortion counseling, the authors illustrate some of the ways that
this "disenfranchised grief" eats away at the personality, and results in
harmful and bizarre behavior.

As a graduate student, Theresa Burke led a weekly support group for women
with eating disorders. The meeting exploded out of control one night when,
unexpectedly, the topic of abortion arose. Six of the eight participants
had had abortions. This led Theresa to begin exploring the connections.
One woman explained, "I am never hungry when I bingeI eat because I am
full. Full of anger, hurt, sadness, and loneliness. I throw up because
that is the way I empty myself of those feelings."

Every thought and emotion we have is connected to other thoughts,
emotions, and memories. Connections to the negative memories associated
with abortion are often overlooked, even by professional therapists.

Forbidden Grief reveals many of the connections. For example, those who
undergo a trauma often re-enact that trauma, in a subconscious effort to
articulate, understand, and master it. One client became obsessed with
pregnancy after her abortion. She explains, "I used to go to the maternity
section in department storesI usually had a towel stuffed in my pantyhose
to make it look like I was pregnantbut as soon as I'd get in my car I
would cry my head offI'd rip the towel out of my belly to dry my tears.
I'd tell myself, you're not pregnantthis is just a stupid towel."

Another rode horseback regularly without padded pants, until she bled
profusely, hence re-enacting the abortion.

One way or another, we ritualize our grief.

We also sometimes try to trivialize it when we know it's too much to bear.
Dr. Burke describes a dorm party in which the students, many
post-abortive, played "Baby Soccer." The broken heads of dolls were kicked
around the room gleefully, their eyes gouged out with darts, their cheeks
burned with cigarette butts.

Other post-abortive individuals increase their risk-taking behavior,
hoping they will get caught or hurt. After all, they know they are guilty,
and may seek an experience to confirm that.

When society trivializes abortion, people suffering from it will, cry out
by their actions, "I'm not OK! I'm in tremendous pain! Can anyone help
me?" We need to tell them we know that pain, and that it makes sense to
grieve. Only then can healing begin.

The Post-Abortion Coverup
By Jenny Tyree
[Jenny Tyree is a freelance writer in Colorado Springs, Colorado]

There are some who claim that most women who abort their children do not
suffer. Ms. magazine makes such a claim in its September issue saying that
post-abortion stress (PAS) is a "made-up term" and a "bogus infliction
invented by the religious right." Planned Parenthood liked the article so
much that it appeared on the main page of the group's Web site.

To whom are abortion advocates listening?

Not to Carrie Gordon Earll, bioethics analyst for Focus on the Family.
"Having an abortion is not like having your tonsils removed," Earll said.
"A woman is forever changed by pregnancy regardless of how that pregnancy

Not to Teri Reisser, author of A Solitary Sorrow: Finding Healing and
Wholeness After Abortion, and a therapist who, with her husband, has
counseled hundreds of post-abortive women.

Not to Julie Parton, manager of Focus on the Family's Crisis Pregnancy
ministry. "PAS affects women regardless of cultural setting and religious
background," Parton said. "Abortion violates the natural maternal instinct
of a mother wanting to protect her offspring."

And not, apparently, to many women who have experienced abortion.
Although the Ms.article gives statistics and cites studies to support
their theory, the greater evidence says that abortion not only kills an
unborn child, but also hurts the women those advocates seek to help.

Abortion advocates point to the fact that neither the American
Psychological Association (APA) nor the American Psychiatric Association
identify PAS as a diagnosis. They also cite the independent studies of
Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and the APA in the late 1980s, and the
conclusion of both that abortion did not contribute to psychological
problems in women.

Another study conducted by Brenda Major at the University of California at
Santa Barbara in August 2000 is singled out as further research supporting
this theory. The Major study found that only one percent of post-abortive
women suffered extreme psychological distress. This study also reported
that the greatest emotion women experienced after abortion was relief.

There is, however, information that has been overlooked by the Ms. article
and abortion advocates. Reisser said the process by which the American
Psychiatric Association adds a diagnosis to the body of disorders is
notoriously slow. The process is even slower when an issue is politically

In addition, the reports made by the Surgeon General and the American
Psychological Association both acknowledged the fact that most of the
studies used to draw their conclusions were flawed scientifically.
Furthermore, while many pro-life authorities agree that relief is the
strongest emotion experienced immediately following an abortion, Earll
said the Major study also found that as time passed the women surveyed had
an increased dissatisfaction with their abortion decision, and an increase
in negative emotions.

More recent statistics reflect troubling information for abortion
advocates who would champion the cause of women's emotional and physical

In Finland, researchers identified suicide rates among aborted women were
higher (35 percent) than women who gave birth (six percent).

According to research in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse,
women who abort their first pregnancy are five times more likely to report
subsequent substance abuse than women who gave birth, and four times more
likely than women whose pregnancies ended through miscarriage or

In the United States, 13 out of 14 studies found more breast cancer among
American women who had chosen abortion. The link between the two is so
strong that The New England Journal of Medicine listed abortion as a risk
factor for breast cancer.

The Ms. article does relate the testimony of some women, but once again
seems to neglect the whole truth. Words such as "sadness," "grief, "
"regret," "loss," and "guilt" are listed as emotions experienced by women
after abortion, but they are not attributed to the death of a child.
Instead, abortion advocates say women are recovering from making the
abortion decision, grieving the loss of another relationship, or perhaps
suffering from the stress induced by "antiabortion movement" protesters.

"You would think that abortion advocates who claim to be pro-woman would
want women who were hurt or injured by abortion to have access to
information to help them," Earll said. "With this article, the
pro-abortion extremists show their true colors: they're more committed to
a political agenda than to women."

Women who have experienced the pain of an abortion can find a friend to
talk to at http://www.pregnancycenters.org. Click on "Help After

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org
Subject:   The Post-Abortion Coverup
Source:   Focus on the Family Citizen; September 2001

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
The Power of the Sonogram
by  Nat Hentoff  

A woman I know, a pro-lifer, recently came up with the idea that the
number of abortions could be reduced if every pregnant woman were required
by law to first have a sonogram so she could see the unborn child. I told
her that the government forcing a woman to have a sonogram would be an
unconstitutional violation of privacy.

But her idea reminded me of a man I've known a long time who is a strong
supporter, as is his wife, of abortion rights. One day, looking rather
startled, he had seen a sonogram of their child in progress. "I saw the
fingers move," he told me, "and the legs." He sounded somewhat awed.

After the child was born, his memory of the sonogram faded, and he resumed
his celebration of Roe vs. Wade. One evening, during a vigorous debate on
abortion, my friend snapped at me, "If you're really pro-life, why don't
you go out and kill doctors performing abortions!"

"I couldn't," I explained, "because I am pro-life."

Recently, I saw in a Detroit pro-life publication, Lifespan News, a report
on a "new high-tech ultrasound device -- a $175,000 scanner." The
manufacturer, said the news story, says the imaging is so precise that "it
produces crystal-clear photographs" of the face and body of the evolving,
not-yet-born life.

There is another dimension of this and similar devices. Not only will
there be available, at the patient's bedside, such detailed images of the
fetus, but doctors will be able to detect pre-birth abnormalities more

As a result, some parents might decide, depending on the nature of the
abnormalities, on an abortion rather than take on the emotional and
financial expenses of dealing with his or her care for what could be many

But other parents might -- on seeing in front of them an actual human
being -- not just, as some pro-choicers maintain, "a clump of cells" or a
"product of conception" -- decide to keep the child.

In a formal debate some years ago with an activist in the abortion-rights
movement, my opponent used exactly that "clump of cells" description to
scoff at my assertion that the fetus is a human being, with
characteristics, including DNA, distinctly its own. Sitting behind us, as
the debate continued, was another pro-choicer who, however, had recently
given birth. Spontaneously, she whispered, "But it is a baby."

My own choice to become pro-life had nothing to do with religion. It was
hastened by a letter in the Feb. 18, 1990 issue of the Journal of the
American Medical Association by North Carolina physician Joel Hylton: "Who
can deny that the fetus is alive and is a separate genetic entity? Its
humanity also cannot be questioned scientifically. It is certainly of no
other species. That it is dependent on another makes it qualitatively no
different from countless other humans outside the womb."

"It strikes me," Dr. Hylton continued, "to argue one may take an innocent
life to preserve the quality of life of another is cold and carries
utilitarianism to an obscene extreme. Nowhere else in our society is this
permitted or even thinkable -- although abortion sets a frightening

Since that 1990 comment, this prospect has increasingly become thinkable
-- with the rise of support for euthanasia and eugenics, the latter
especially having become more thinkable. In her important new book,
"Future Perfect: Confronting Decisions About Genetics," Lori B. Andrews of
the Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago points

"In large measure, the history of eugenics (improving the human race) is a
history of brutality against the disabled. People who were mentally
disabled were involuntarily sterilized in the United States -- by the
thousands." And the Supreme Court approved this perfectibility of the
human race in a 1927 decision, Buck vs. Bell, written by the
much-respected Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes.

As Supreme Court expert Tony Mauro has noted in the Legal Times, "Buck vs.
Bell has never been fully overturned." The Catholic bishops are correct,
in my view as an atheist, when they link capital punishment, euthanasia
and abortion as devaluations of human life. So too is eugenics.

[Pro-Life Infonet Note:  Nat Hentoff is a columnist for The Washington
Times and the Village Voice and is a leading pro-life Democrat who
addresses the pro-life perspective from a liberal point of view.]

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Subject:  Nat Hentoff:  The Power of the Sonogram
Source:   Washington Times; September 3, 2001

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
Why Catholics Should Oppose ESCR
by Father Frank Pavone

The teaching of the Catholic Church about the human person respects the
rightful autonomy of science and the fact that all truth, whether
scientific or religious, comes from the same God. While pro-abortion
people, and others who seek to manipulate and use the human person for
their own gain, often obscure the clear evidence of science, the Church
and the pro-life movement defend the fact that the existence of a unique
human being, from the moment of fertilization, is a verifiable fact.

The human embryo, therefore, must be treated with the dignity due to the
human person. The Charter of the Rights of the Family published by the
Holy See affirms: "Respect for the dignity of the human being excludes all
experimental manipulation or exploitation of the human embryo."

Priests for Life believes that a strongly practical response is necessary
in the midst of the ongoing debate about embryonic stem cell research. The
elements of such a response include but are not limited to the following:

1. We should build upon the positive aspects of the President's decision
to exclude funding for the destruction of embryos. He quoted a key moral
principle, rooted in Scripture (Romans 3:8), that "even the most noble
ends do not justify any means." The moral teaching that takes place in our
parishes and schools must return with ever greater emphasis to an
extensive analysis of that principle.

2. The moral and practical dangers of funding research on existing stem
cell lines should be countered by increasing scientific research, and
public education, on legitimate ways to obtain such cells.

3. In 1987, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a key
document, Instruction on Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and on the
Dignity of Procreation (Donum Vitae). Any parish or school that has not
had study groups, bulletin inserts, homilies, or other educational efforts
to explain this document to their people should begin such efforts at

4. The scientific basis for asserting that there is a unique human
individual from fertilization needs renewed attention and emphasis. The
President's remarks reveal the contradictory assertions of "experts" in
this area, whereas in reality there is room for only one conclusion. The
work and writings of people like the late Dr. Jerome Lejeune should be
given wide exposure.

5. The Church and the pro-life movement need to emphasize the fact that
the destruction of the embryo is of one and the same cloth with
partial-birth abortion and live-birth abortion. All the attention on the
stem cell decision should not distract us from bills such as the
Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. This bill counteracts the idea that a
tiny human being -- despite his or her location -- has no value simply
because he or she has been targeted for destruction. We should lead people
from what is easier to grasp (that born babies should not be killed) to
what is harder to grasp (that microscopic embryos should not be killed),
showing that the same moral principle is at stake.

The Second Vatican Council taught eloquently that the human person is the
only creature God has created for its own sake (See Gaudium et spes, no.
24). A person is not a thing, may not be used, and may not be destroyed.
There has never been a time at which rediscovering and applying this truth
has been more essential to the very survival of our civilization.

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Subject:   Father Frank Pavone:  Why Catholics Should Oppose ESCR
Source:   Priests for Life; August 21, 2001

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
Bush Should Stick to Pro-Life Position on Embryo Stem Cell Research
By Terence P. Jeffrey

Little Hannah Strege, two and a half years old, is coming to Washington
this week to prove that President Bush made the right decision when he
said he would not support federal funding for research that involves the
destruction of human embryos.

A few years ago, Hannah was sitting frozen in a vat of liquid nitrogen in
an in vitro fertilization clinic

Meanwhile, John and Marlene Strege were undergoing fertility treatments.
When they first discovered that they would not be able to conceive a baby
of their own, they weighed various options, including in vitro
fertilization (IVF). But when they learned that they would have to secure
donor eggs to undergo IVF, they rejected the procedure because of
religious scruples.

Then they struck upon a novel idea -- an idea that would be good for them,
good for Hannah, and good for Hannahs genetic parents, but bad for certain
scientists and pharmaceutical companies that would prefer to see little
girls like Hannah carved up as embryos so their so-called stem cells can
be used in highly speculative medical experiments.

Three Living Witnesses

IVF clinics in America today are stocked with anywhere from 150,000 to
250,000 little human beings like Hannah. These are embryos who were
conceived in a test tube, quick-frozen at a few days of age, and not
immediately "transferred" into the wombs of their genetic mothers.

Generally, such embryos have been destined for one of four outcomes: 1)
They might eventually be transplanted into their genetic mothers. 2) They
might be stored in liquid nitrogen for as long as their parents pay the
rent. 3) They might be "donated" anonymously to other prospective parents
who want to undergo IVF but cannot produce their own embryos. 4) They
might be thawed and destroyed by the IVF clinic itself.

The Streges came up with another alternative: Why not legally adopt
embryos and implant them in Marlene?

To do this, the Streges decided to follow the same procedures required for
adopting any other child, even though there are no laws specifically
governing the adoption of embryos.

They brought the idea to Nightlight Christian Adoptions, an organization
in Fullerton, Calif. Nightlight contacted Hannahs genetic parents, who
were happy to give their frozen embryonic children a chance to develop and
be born. The embryos were flown to Southern California, where the Streges
live. In two separate procedures, all of the embryos were thawed, and
those who survived the process (about half generally do not) were
implanted in Marlene. On the second try, one of the embryos took. Nine
months later, on Dec. 31, 1998, Hannah Strege was born.

All of Hannahs siblings were given the same chance to live that she was
given. As per Nightlights strict policy, no embryos were deliberately
killed -- either in or out of the uterus.

Hannahs adoption and birth gave rise to what Nightlight calls the
Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program. The name was inspired by the
realization that just as God makes each and every snowflake unique and
beautiful so does He also make each and every human being unique and
beautiful from the moment of conception -- even those who are frozen in
IVF clinics.

Since Marlene Strege gave birth to Hannah, 19 other mothers have undergone
adoptive embryo transfers arranged by Snowflake. Eight babies have been
born, and five more are on the way.

On Tuesday, July 17, Marlene, John and Hannah Strege are to testify before
the House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human
Resources, which is chaired by Rep. Mark Souder (R.-Ind.). They will be
accompanied by John and Lucinda Borden, and their twin sons, Mark and
Luke, who were born September 27 after being adopted as frozen embryos
through the services of Snowflake.

Hannah, Mark and Luke, by their very existence, let alone by their
presence in a congressional committee, will provide living, breathing
evidence for the pro-life position that President Bush took on embryo
research during his campaign, and that he repeated as recently as May in a
letter to the Culture of Life Foundation (see page 3). "I oppose federal
funding for stem cell research that involves destroying living human
embryos," wrote Bush in an unambiguous statement of principle.

Just as importantly, Hannah, Mark and Luke will rebut the argument now
being made by Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah that U.S. taxpayers
ought to be forced to fund research that involves killing innocent human
beings at their most vulnerable stage of development.

Hatch has been all over network television in recent days arguing that
President Bush should flip-flop on this fundamental issue. He believes
that the frozen embryos being stored at IVF clinics -- human beings like
Hannah, Mark and Luke -- should be dismembered alive for government funded

This is how Hatch made the argument on the June 20 edition of CNBCs
"Hardball": "I personally believe that life begins in a mothers womb, not
in a refrigerator. And look, these cells are discarded in the end, and,
you know, if theyre not discarded, they do replicate themselves. Look, we
take peoples hearts out of brain-dead people and we transplant them into
other people to assist them and extend their lives. Why cant we take
totipotent cells, which are not full human embryos, and use them, since
theyll just be discarded anyway . . . to create remedies for these great
maladies of heart disease and Parkinsons, Alzheimers. . . . I mean, why
wouldnt we do that in the best interest of extending life for other
people? I think thats a true pro-life position."

This argument starts with a factual error, runs directly into a false
analogy, proceeds to a second factual error, and concludes with an
Orwellian redefinition of what it means to be "pro-life."

When Hatch says he "personally believe[s] that life begins in a mothers
womb, not in a refrigerator" he is arguing, first, that the question of
whether a human life has been created is not an objective scientific fact
but a matter of subjective personal opinion, and, secondly, that in his
subjective personal opinion whether or not a human life has been created
is not dependent on any inherent characteristic of the life in question
but on where that life happens to be located in physical space.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D.-Calif.) used a similar fallacy to defend
partial-birth abortion. In a famous Senate floor debate with Sen. Rick
Santorum (R.-Pa.) two years ago, Boxer refused to pinpoint precisely where
in the process of physical transit from its mothers womb to a bassinette a
nine-month-old fetus was transformed from something that was not a human
life, and therefore not deserving of human rights, into something that was
a human life, and therefore deserving of all the rights of every other
human being. Boxer was simply sure that when a baby was killed in a
partial-birth abortion, the crown of her head still in her mothers womb,
she was not a human life, but that in the bassinette she was.

Hatch reverses Boxers construction and applies it to the earliest, rather
than the latest, phase of pre-natal development. A living human embryo, he
contends, is a human life in the womb, but not outside the womb. But his
determinant of whether you are a human life entitled to human rights is no
different from Boxers: It is where you are located in space.

Call this the geographical theory of human rights: They are not inherent
in what you are, but in where you are. This theory is in direct
contradiction to the scientific fact, undisputed among human embryologists
(click here for related story), that at conception a unique individual
life is created that is fully human. After that, human life ceases only
when the person dies a natural death, or is killed.

Next Hatch argues that removing and transplanting the heart of a
"brain-dead" person is the same as killing a human embryo to retrieve its
stem cells. But this is not so. For a scientist in a lab to kill a human
embryo to strip out his stem cells is like a doctor in a ward killing a
patient to rip out his heart.

Then Hatch says that researchers ought to be able to use "totipotent
cells, which are not full human embryos." He may have simply confused
terms here, but this statement is not true either (see coverbox story).
"Totipotent cells" are, by definition, embryonic cells that can develop
into a fully formed infant. "Totipotent cells" that divide in a womans
uterus form identical twins. But the only way "totipotent" stem cells, or
any other type of stem cells, can be removed from a human embryo is to
kill the embryo. A scientist doing research with human embryonic stem
cells is using cells derived from the taking of an innocent human life.

Then Hatch says that "theyll just be discarded anyway" or "replicate
themselves." Tell that to Hannah, Mark and Luke. They were not discarded.
Nor did their "totipotent cells" "replicate" themselves in some
researchers petri dish. Recognized for what they are -- human beings --
they were nurtured, loved and treated with all the dignity and respect
that ought to be accorded human beings. They have become toddlers, someday
they will be teens, and with luck, in a civilized society, they stand a
good chance of progressing to that advanced stage of human life now
attained by Hatch himself.

Clearly, the parents of frozen human embryos who do not want them can
choose adoption over destruction. Hatch would provide a federal subsidy
for their destruction -- or what he calls, with hopefully unintended
irony, the "true-pro life" position.

Fortunately, a number of Republicans in both the House and Senate have
come forward to defend President Bushs position. Sen. Sam Brownback
(R.-Kan.) has followed Hatch onto the Senate floor as well as the
television networks to restate the truth that human life begins at
conception. He is echoing candidate George Bush, who, when asked by Tim
Russert on NBCs "Meet the Press" on Nov. 21, 1999, whether he believes
"life begins at conception," affirmed the scientific truth without
hesitation or qualification by replying, "I do."

Fourteen members of the House, led by Majority Whip Tom DeLay (Tex.), have
written to President Bush urging him to continue his opposition to federal
funding for research that destroys human embryos and inviting him to meet
with Hannah, Mark and Luke when they visit Washington.

"No human embryo is spare or leftover, " Delay and his colleagues told
Bush. "Based upon a conservative figure of only 150,000 frozen human
embryos in IVF clinics (some reports indicate there are more than
250,000), a conservative thaw survival rate of 50%, and a pregnancy rate
of between 16% (the rate published by the Snowflakes Program) to 30% (the
national average), between 11,000 and 22,000 children could be placed for
adoption and born into the families of the two million infertile married
couples in America who seek to raise children."

Beyond the reassuring availability of adoption for these most vulnerable
of human beings, the logic and moral decency of President Bushs position
is unassailable: Life begins at conception, you cannot deliberately take
an innocent human life, therefore the government should not force
taxpayers to subsidize scientists to do research that involves the
deliberate killing of human embryos.

In fact, since 1996 the law has banned federal funding for "research in
which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded or knowingly
subjected to risk of injury or death." To flip-flop on his position, Bush
would either have to sign a new law specifically funding such research or
embrace a Clintonesque evasion of the law that was suggested by the
Clinton Department of Health and Human Services: Federal funds can go to
research on stem cells derived from killing human embryos if the actual
killing is done with private money.

Those who suggest that Bush take such a position would be complicit not
only in the destruction of innocent lives but in the destruction of the
Presidents integrity. Bush should brush their suggestions aside and
proudly stand by his true pro-life position.

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Subject:   Bush Should Stick to Pro-Life Position on ESCR
Source:   Human Events; July 16, 2001

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
Putting a Price on Life: The Risks of Moral Compromise
by Charles Colson

If you were asked to name the most influential figures in American public
policy, who would you choose? The president? Your congressman? A writer or
reporter? How about television and film actors?

Well, actors like Michael J. Fox, Mary Tyler Moore, and Christopher Reeve
-- who respectively suffer from Parkinson's, Diabetes, and spinal-cord
injury -- seem to be the most influential figures in shaping one of the
most important public policy questions in America today. In making their
personal battles public, they're calling on government to fund embryonic
stem- cell research to find a cure for their own afflictions.

And their advocacy is having an impact. A recent ABC News poll reported
that 60 percent of Americans -- including a majority of evangelicals and
Catholics -- favor government support of embryonic stem-cell research.
We're told that scientists are hoping this research may pave the way for
cures to diseases that afflict millions of us -- so the reason for the
enthusiasm is understandable.

The only problem with using embryos for such research is, of course, that
they have to be destroyed -- which is why Christians must emphatically
oppose any such proposals.

Unfortunately, in recent days we've also heard that some otherwise
stalwart pro-life advocates have come out in favor of funding destructive
embryo experimentation. They justify support for the research by saying
that unused embryos from in-vitro fertilization will just be wasted if
they're not used for research. The problem with this logic is that embryos
are humans, bearing the image of God. We can't sacrifice them simply
because they might be useful.

Before he was put in jail, Jack Kervorkian, aka "Dr. Death," proposed a
similar bargain. He offered to make his victims' organs available for
transplantation, on the grounds that they shouldn't just be "wasted."

Well, no one took Kervorkian up on his ghoulish offer. And the universal
revulsion at his proposal was rooted in our understanding that human
beings are not reducible to commodities. But that's precisely the way that
human embryos are being looked at today: as a resource to be tapped.

Michael J. Fox and others who suffer from debilitating diseases deserve
compassion and the best science can do. Christians have always been the
first to offer acts of mercy. But, it's no mercy and no advance in science
if innocent life must be destroyed.

In recent months, scientists have found that research involving stem cells
from other sources may provide the same benefit hoped for from embryonic
cells. Before we should even contemplate destroying embryos for their
research potential, these alternatives must be explored. It would be
irresponsible, indeed grossly immoral, to destroy life for research
purposes when there are viable alternatives.

During the last presidential campaign, then-candidate Bush expressed his
commitment to defend even the tiniest humans from a publicly funded
assault. He will be soon announcing an administration policy. What a
tragic irony it would be if our tax dollars are spent on vivisecting these
little human beings under the watch of a pro-life president and encouraged
by pro- life senators.

And that's why we need to make our position clear and our voices heard.
Because no human life is expendable.

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org
Subject:   Putting a Price on Life: The Risks of Moral Compromise
Source:   Prison Fellowship Ministries; July 11, 2001

*     *   *    *     *     *     *     *
Science Turning Unborn Into Patients
by George Will

The voices of compassion have again been raised in alarm against the Bush
administration. Its offense this time is a desire to increase access that
low-income pregnant women have to prenatal care.  The problem began when
the Department of Health and Human Services sent a letter to state health
officials of the states, notifying them of "a new opportunity to provide
health care coverage to low-income children through the State Children's
Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)." The letter said the administration
would propose that "an unborn child may be considered a 'targeted
low-income child.' "

"Pro-choice" forces are alarmed by this attempt to expand medical choices.
Laurie Rubiner, vice president of the National Partnership for Women and
Families, a pro-abortion lobby, said the administration's "real goal is to
establish a legal precedent for granting personhood to fetuses."

But the real problem for pro-abortion forces is that medical advances are
neither dependent on, nor waiting for, the law to recognize the new facts
that science is creating. The fetus is, in many and multiplying ways, a

Prenatal medicine is a rapidly expanding facet of today's astonishing
advances in diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities. Obstetricians
increasingly speak of there being two patients in every pregnancy. An
expanding range of acquired distresses or genetic disabilities of "the
patient within" can be treated by a growing array of pharmacological and
surgical measures. For more than 700 pages about this, consult "The Unborn
Patient: The Art and Science of Fetal Therapy," which had its genesis at
the University of California's Fetal Treatment Center in San Francisco.

This summer's argument about embryonic stem-cell research has been,
inevitably, recondite regarding the science involved. But it is directly
related to the more familiar abortion debate because both force decisions
about how to think about life at early stages. And the fundamental fact
about abortion is not at all complex or uncertain. It is that abortion

How we should describe - which means how we should regard - what abortion
kills is the vexing question that the Supreme Court improvidently thrust
into the center of American politics 28 years ago. But it is an
indisputable scientific fact, not a theological or philosophical opinion
or speculation, that abortion kills something, just as unambiguously as
insecticides kill insects and herbicides kill weeds.

A new inconvenience - an annoyance, probably - for pro-abortion forces is
"volumic sonography," which is three-dimensional ultrasound technology
that provides "a window into the womb." Although this technology is still
evolving, it already provides pictures of living beings that look
remarkably like babies. Imagine that. And this technology, which makes
visible such deformities as spina bifida and cleft lip and palate, will
speed the development of medical interventions for fetuses - patients - in

It is estimated that at least half the women who currently discover they
are carrying a child with spina bifida - caused by a failure of the spine
to close during development - choose abortion. That choice will become
less compelling and more morally problematic as new technologies make the
reality of the baby more visible, and as new medical techniques make
therapeutic interventions in utero more successful.

Which will please everyone, except, perhaps, pro-abortion forces.

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Subject:  George Will:  Science Turning Unborn Into Patients
Source:   New York POst; July 26, 2001

*     *   *    *     *     *     *     *
Beware of Ethics and False Science
By Dianne N. Irving.

[Pro-Life Infonet Note:  Dianne N. Irving, a former research biochemist,
is a PhD philosopher who has taught medical ethics at Georgetown and
Catholic Universities.]

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer calmly assures us that President
George W. Bush's decision on stem cell research will be based on a
thorough, nonpartisan consideration of the "ethics" and "science"

But, which "ethics" and which "science"?

Most of us equate "ethics" in this situation with "bioethics" - the
academic field whose specialists write articles, appear on television,
teach courses, and advise hospitals and presidents about issues in
medicine and biomedical research. Bioethicists are buzzing about the White
House at this moment, and the president is said to be taking their advice
very seriously.

For 30 years, bioethics has been touted as the perfect, "neutral" ethics
for a multicultural, pluralistic, democratic society where no one person's
or group's opinions should be forced on the rest of us.  But all ethical
theories, including bioethics, take a stand on what is right or wrong.
They can never be neutral. And this particular ethics contains an agenda
that is leading us down a very chaotic path.

Bioethics was born in 1978, in a report by the National Commission for the
Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, which
had been mandated by Congress to identify basic ethical principles to
guide research involving human subjects. The commission established three
principles: respect for persons (meaning autonomy, respect for individual
choice), justice (fair distribution of risks and benefits of research) and
beneficence (defined, contradictorily, both as the "good" of an individual
patient and as the "greatest good for society"). An ethical decision would
need to satisfy all three principles at once. In practice this is
impossible, but this fact didn't stop the government from using these
principles as the basis for federal regulations, beginning in 1981.

If no one of the three principles can outweigh another, it is impossible
to resolve the conflicts that inevitably arise in real life.  For example,
if a patient has the absolute autonomy to demand all medical procedures,
even in the most hopeless case, how can we weigh that claim against the
principle of justice, which requires a fair allocation of scarce medical
resources, or against the principle of beneficence, which refers to
achieving the greatest good? We can't.

The fact is, bioethics is only one ethical theory alongside dozens of
others, and different theories can lead to different ethical conclusions.
We have choices of ethical theories we can make.

Compare bioethics with natural law ethics, for instance. Bioethics
concludes that euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide and high-risk
experimental research using persons with mental illness are all ethical.
Natural law ethics concludes the opposite. Bioethics defines the "common
good" in mathematical terms: The government must achieve the "greatest
good for the greatest number." Natural law ethics defines the "common
good" in human terms: The government exists to protect the goods, such as
food, water, shelter and life, that all humans share in common by virtue
of their shared humanity. That's a very different set of values, and not
the one in use by the U.S. federal government.

How prophetic was the early comment by Hastings Center scholar Robert
Morison: "What one fears is that the commission may become the mechanism
whereby the speculations of the ethicists become the law of the land. It
is already far too easy for abstract notions of right and wrong to emerge
as rules which begin their life as 'guidelines' but culminate in the force
of law." Is "bioethics" the ethics on which President Bush wants to base
his stem cell decision? Or any of us?

And what "science" is the president going to use - the precise tradition
of human embryology, or the fake science that has marred bioethics'
history from the start? Note that the National Commission (and the
National Research Act of 1974 that created it) by its own admission used
scientific "definitions which, in some instances, differ from medical,
legal or common usage."

Take their definitions of "pregnancy" and "fetus" - both falsely defined
as "beginning at implantation." It has been accepted scientific truth
since the 1880s, with the publication of Wilhelm His' "Human Embryology,"
that pregnancy begins at fertilization, with the formation of the
single-cell embryonic zygote in the woman's fallopian tube. And "fetus" is
accurately defined as "the developing human being from 9 weeks until

Then there was the scientifically fake term "pre-embryo," used by
bioethics from the beginning to preclude the early human embryo from
protection against research abuses. This decision was especially lucrative
at the time for the emerging techniques of in vitro fertilization. A
"pre-embryo" supposedly had a reduced moral status, as less than human,
and therefore could be used and destroyed in experimental research for the
greater good. These tiny cells, defined in embryology as human beings -
there is no pre-embryo at fertilization but rather a real, live human
embryo, an embryonic person - were thus linguistically reduced to research
objects rather than humans with inherent rights.

The term "stem cell" is itself a fake term - the replacement in the
current debates for "pre-embryo." In scientific terminology, once removed
from the intact embryo, stem cells are no longer "stem cells." They can
undergo what is called "regulation" and become new, whole embryos. This is
what happens naturally in monozygotic twinning. In embryology, these cells
are defined as "totipotent" - having the capacity to develop into bigger
human beings, complete with all tissues and organs. The reason that these
cells can develop into the many different kinds of human tissue that
medical researchers feel can help treat certain diseases is because they
are living human beings to being with.

The current stem cell debate, then, is just the latest chapter in the
bioethics phenomenon. An ethical and scientific fog now surrounds the

Last Tuesday, Bush met with several bioethicists, indicating, The
Washington Post reported, "a new level of personal attention to the
matter." Polls show that Americans are confused about stem cell research.
No wonder.

Bush's decision can move us forward by standing up to the flawed, murky
principles of bioethics and fake science, or it can leave us where we are
- facing irreversible chaos, conducting research on human cells and human
beings, with no clear idea of right and wrong, human and nonhuman. It will
depend on which ethics and which science he chooses to use. Best of all,
he might just use his common sense and stop the confusion before it gets

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Subject:   Beware of Ethics and False Science
Source:   Newsday; July 15, 2001

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
A Stem Cell Alternative for President Bush
By Kathryn Jean Lopez
[Pro-Life Infonet:  Kathryn Jean Lopez is the Deputy Managing Editor for the National Review.]

President Bush is not to be envied. As Jonah Goldberg indicated yesterday
on NRO, the issue of federal funding for embryonic-stem-cell research is
not a winnable one, in public-relations terms, for the president. Today,
in fact, the president is deepening his predicament: He is at St.
Patrick's Cathedral to confer the Congressional Medal of Freedom
(posthumously) on John Cardinal O'Connor. And it will get even worse later
this month, when he goes to Rome to meet with Pope John Paul II. Every
single event of this kind builds the public perception that if the
president decides to protect the human-life interests of embryos, he is
"caving to Catholic pressure."

The press, of course, is already buzzing. Not only on NRO, but across the
entire media spectrum, the issue dominates: Newsweek cover stories,
talking-heads shows, what have you. Bush's allies and Cabinet secretaries
are giving the president no aid, spouting off instead about how destroying
embryos is the genuinely pro-life position. Meanwhile, there are a few
stories here and there, mostly ignored or downplayed, about the promise of
adult stem cells, which may be more flexible and are certainly more
abundant, not requiring an endless stream of human lives sacrificed to

The press buzz has done a very good job of relaying the confusion that
surrounds this issue. On Friday, a piece in the Los Angeles Times reported
on a compromise position that leading Catholic intellectuals, sometime
advisers to the president, were ready to accept from the White House; in
fact, the rumors of a compromise position were highly exaggerated. In a
statement released over the weekend, the Catholic advisers in question --
Princeton's Robert P. George, Crisis magazine editor Deal Hudson, and
Acton Institute President Rev. Robert Sirico -- made clear that they do
not favor a compromise. Their statement came as a relief to activists
struggling against the media tide. As Richard Doerflinger, a point man for
the National Conference of Catholic Bishops on stem cells and now a
regular on the talking-heads circuit, has said, the fact that no one is
pressing for an all-out ban on embryonic-stem-cell research is the
compromise position. The preferred position would be to prohibit the
embryo-destroying research entirely, not just reroute federal dollars to
research with adult stem cells and let private researchers destroy all the
embryos they want.

As Fred Barnes points out in the current issue of The Weekly Standard,
President Bush would have been a lot better off had he done what many
proposed he do upon being sworn in: immediately issue an order barring
federal funding for stem-cell research destroying human embryos, and
simultaneously propose increasing federal funds for research on adult
cells. Needless to say, Bush did not; and now he is faced with a vicious
media spotlight on a painful issue that not many Americans, or reporters,

So what's a president to do? One possibility might be to wait a while. On
Friday, we saw yet another story -- in Science magazine -- about the
potential dangers of working with the heralded panacea of stem cells. It
was not long ago that activists claimed fetal tissue, which has to be
harvested, would bring a cure to diseases like Parkinson's. But as they
have tested those utopian claims on human beings, some of the results have
been tragic, as the New England Journal of Medicine recently reported.
Every story of this kind will increase public doubts about
embryonic-stem-cell research.

There's another reason the president should wait: The summer's no time to
do something unpopular, because the media vacuum is waiting to devour
anyone that passes by. Imagine what the vulture would do, juxtaposing
President Bush kissing the Papal ring in the Vatican City -- days after or
before announcing a ban on federal funding of embryo-destroying stem-cell
research -- with heartbreaking pictures of Morton Kondracke's wife Millie,
devastatingly handicapped by Parkinson's disease.

President Bush should let the summer black hole devour Gary Condit. In the
fall, he should do the right thing, the thing he promised to do in his
presidential campaign: Prohibit once and for all the federal subsidy for
the killing of innocent human beings.

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Subject:   A Stem Cell Alternative for President Bush
Source:   National Review; July 10, 2001

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
Abortion:  A Dirty Industry

Pro-life legislators and activists in several states are beginning to win
the war over regulating abortion clinics.

By Karla Dial
(Karla Dial is a freelance writer in Colorado Springs, Colo.)

It started in 1992, when two Charleston abortion-clinic workers went to
the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control with a
horrific tale.

The doctor for whom they worked didn't just abort babies-he ground their
tiny bodies in a kitchen garbage disposal, flushing what was left down the
drain and into the public sewer system.

Because first-trimester abortion clinics weren't regulated in South
Carolina, the state could only investigate possible violations of the
Hazardous Waste Management Act. But when state Sen. Glenn F. McConnell,
R-Charleston, saw a television station's three-part expos on the problem,
he turned his outrage into action.

"There's more regulation now in a veterinarian's clinic than an abortion
clinic," McConnell said in launching hearings into the matter. During
those hearings before the General Assembly in 1994, women told what they
saw while undergoing abortions: bloody sheets, bloody cots, dirty
bathrooms- even a dog in the operating room. The bill that emerged from
those hearings- proposing to regulate abortion clinics' sanitation, staff
qualifications and disposal procedures-was signed into law in January

But that law has yet to be enforced. For the last six years, the abortion
industry has fought regulation in court, claiming that imposing even
minimal standards of care on clinics is unconstitutional and medically

The need for regulation doesn't just exist in South Carolina. To date, 16
states have some type of law on the books regulating abortion clinics;
seven others have introduced legislation to do so this year. In at least
two of those states-Arizona and Texas-regulations are still tied up in

But time is running out for South Carolina abortion clinics. Last August,
the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the state
regulations "serve a valid state interest" of ensuring appropriate care
for women and neither restrict a woman's right to abortion nor make it too
expensive. Though the abortion industry appealed the decision to the U.S.
Supreme Court, the justices turned it away in late February without
comment, allowing the Fourth Circuit decision to stand. South Carolina's
abortion clinics now have until July 1 to comply with the 27 pages of
regulations handed down by the Department of Health and Environmental

South Carolina provides a model for other states to follow-and the Supreme
Court's decision provides hope for those attempting to regulate their
local abortion clinics while running a gauntlet of legal challenges.

"The abortion industry, on this issue, keeps saying the regulations
interfere with a woman's right to choose. That's just not the case," said
Kevin Caiello, interim president of the Palmetto Family Council in South

"[This Supreme Court decision] makes it clear that the regulations are not
putting limits on abortion, they're not unconstitutional, and the
arguments against them have not passed judicial muster. The abortion
industry has really been getting a free ride for a long time, and I think
this court decision says that's just not going to be tolerated."

Drawing the line

One would think the statewide attention drawn to the case of LouAnne
Herron-who bled to death after Dr. John Biskind punctured her uterus in a
Phoenix abortion clinic in 1998 (see "She didn't have to die," June 2001)-
would have effected some kind of substantive change in Arizona. Though a
law regulating Arizona abortion clinics was passed in 1999, the New York-
based Center for Reproductive Law and Policy immediately sued to block it
from taking effect. As a result, Arizona women are still receiving
abortions in unlicensed, unregulated clinics-and state Sen. Sue Gerard,
chair of the Senate Health Committee, doesn't see that changing any time

"There are multiple reasons why it's being held up in court, but one of
them is equal treatment under the law," Gerard said. "There's all kinds of
health care taking place in doctors' offices without regulation, and that
needs to be addressed as well. Problem is, we couldn't figure out how to
do it. We don't want to make every pediatrician and ophthalmologist be
licensed as a hospital. So that's the problem-where to draw the line."

But to Holly Gatling, executive director of the Columbia-based South
Carolina Citizens for Life, that line is obvious.

"Our response to that is when there's a crying need within the family
practice for these minimum standards, the Legislature can deal with that,"
she said. "The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals says it's not a violation
of the Constitution to regulate one type of clinic. What you can't do is
regulate one facility and not the entire industry. It's all or none."

Skip Hulett, a former district judge and president of the Texas Justice
Foundation in San Antonio, agreed.

"Every state has a legitimate interest in protecting women who undergo
such a dangerous procedure as abortion. How often do we see a patient of a
podiatrist who can no longer have children, who suffers emotionally for
the rest of his life and needs blood transfusions? When you have an
industry that depends so much on secrecy, I think there's a greater need
to ensure the safety and health of the patients."

Hulett knows what he's talking about. The Texas Justice Foundation has
represented women injured by abortionists since the state's licensing and
regulation laws became tangled up in the judicial system in 1999.

Texas passed laws in 1998 requiring doctors' offices to be licensed as
abortion clinics if more than 51 percent of their yearly business was
dedicated to pregnancy termination-licenses that cost each of them a
$2,500 application fee and force them to meet strict rules on equipment,
credentialing and training of personnel while undergoing surprise
inspections. Doctors caught running unlicensed facilities could be
punished by a $4,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

But that "51 percent" clause provided a huge loophole abortionists
shamelessly exploited, said Teresa Collett, a professor at South Texas
College of Law in Houston. By performing a urinalysis on a pregnant woman
her first visit, a blood test the second and an abortion on the third,
abortionists could claim that only 33 percent of their business practice
was dedicated to abortions and thus avoid licensure. So the Legislature
instead set the limit at 300 abortions per year.

"That number, interestingly enough, was suggested by one of the Texas
family-planning groups," Collett said. "The initial legislation proposed a
smaller number-10 abortions per year [per office]. But the abortion
providers complained that was far too low, that you could do that many and
not even be an abortion provider. So the Texas Family Planning Association
provided the 300 number, and the Legislature relied on their expertise.
The New York City lawyers who flew in to challenge our law attempted to
characterize it as nothing more than political compromise, when in fact it
came from the providers themselves."

Around the circuit

The Center for Reproductive Law and Policy helped several Texas
abortionists challenge the law in 1999, and the trial court blocked its
enforcement. Three amendments-requiring abortionists to "enhance patient
dignity, maintain and enhance the patient's self-esteem and provide
quality of care which meets or exceeds the expectation of the
patient"-also were enjoined.

On April 13, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals heard the case
regarding the preliminary injunctions. While the three "self-esteem"
amendments were struck down as too vague, the court found that the state
does not violate the Constitution by licensing clinics performing more
than 300 abortions per year and that states can regulate the training of
abortion-clinic workers.  The case has been returned to the lower court
for a full trial, the date of which had not been set at presstime.

"I think it's very clear the Fifth Circuit is saying there's a legitimate
state interest to protect the health and safety of Texas women, and this
licensing requirement is rationally related to that interest," Hulett
said. "It's constitutional. The trial court is going to have to follow

"If you look at the regulations, they're requiring people who do
[abortions] to have written infection-control procedures, to have
qualified staff, to be subject to annual on-site inspections by state
inspectors. If they don't have anything to hide, they wouldn't be fighting
these regulations."

Aborting for dollars

Running a sanitary, aboveboard business might not seem like such a hard
thing to do. But in the case of abortion clinics, said Carol Everett, who
once owned several in Texas, doctors stand to lose money by changing the
way they do things-a lot of money.

Everett, founder of an Austin crisis pregnancy center called The Heidi
Group, pocketed $25 for every abortion performed in her clinics in the
late 1970s. During her last month as a clinic owner, in 1983, she cleared
$13,625. And prices have gone up since then.

According to data provided by The Heidi Group, first-trimester abortions
in the United States average about $300, of which the abortionist pockets
$100. The goal is to perform 10 to 12 abortions per hour-a rate that will
allow him to earn between $1,000 and $1,200 in the time it takes most
people to take a lunch break. And for second- and third-trimester
abortions, the fee is higher-an average $3,000, of which the abortionist
keeps half. Though they take longer-he can only squeeze in three each
hour-that's still $4,500 an hour.

"You put the woman on the bed, pad beneath her," Everett said. "You never
change the hose [in the suction machine]. You don't wash your hands. You
just run in, do the abortion, then literally run across the hall to do the
next one. At the end of the day, the clinic pays the abortionist in cash,
leaving it entirely up to him what he reports to the IRS."

After Texas' abortion-clinic regulations became law in 1998, the number of
abortions performed in the state dropped 9 percent in 1999-the largest
one- year drop in state history. It is unclear whether that drop is a
result of the regulations or just consistent with the national trend of
fewer abortions being performed that year; however, it is clear that while
83 abortion clinics were operating in Texas in 1998, there are currently
only 52, according to the Heidi Group.

"We believe that when you start protecting the health of women, abortion
clinics start going away," Everett said.

The final conflict

For South Carolina, Texas and any other state with abortion-clinic
regulations, the toughest battles remain on the horizon-enforcing the law.
To be truly effective, every agency in the state has to be committed to
the law; this, too, is far from universally assured.

"Passing regulations is a great idea, but it's only important to the
extent that you enforce them," said Mark Crutcher, founder of Life
Dynamics, a group that brings malpractice suits against abortionists
around the country. "We've seen a lot of cases in the past where states
pass a bill, but the enforcement is left up to an agency that's very
pro-abortion. So you never know what the impact of it is going to be until
you know whether they're going to enforce it, or what the penalties for
violation are.

"If it's a $200 fine, it was a complete waste of time to do it."

So what can pro-life citizens do to ensure that their state's laws are
reasonably enforced?

Holly Gatling suggests they get on the phone.

"Politicians do respond to constituent calls," she said. "Call your state
senator and representative and say you're interested in this. Contact your
local crisis pregnancy centers, see what kind of information they have. Go
to your pastor. Ask him to authorize a Respect Life committee in your

Carol Everett talked to everybody who'd listen-framing the issue in a
context that couldn't be ignored as right-wing religious fanaticism.

"We talked about the abortion problems in Texas," she said, "people not
being licensed, janitors doing abortions. We talked about protecting the
health of women."

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Subject:  Abortion:  A Dirty Industry
Source:   Citizen Magazine; July 2001

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
William F. Buckley on Bush and Embryo Stem Cell Research

Yesterday an old and revered friend in casual conversation over the
telephone said that President Bush will soon be ruling on the matter of
embryonic-stem-cell research. "Of course, I'm for it, and you're against
it." His wife suffers from aggravated Parkinson's disease, and the planted
axiom of his enthusiasm for embryonic-stem- cell research was that it
carried the hope that other women in future times would not suffer from
what his wife, to whom he is so devoted, has borne. In such situations one
maneuvers to change the subject; but you can't do that when at the opinion
bar, which prompts from this quarter some pragmatic observations.

Embryonic-stem-cell research (ESCR) is going to take place. There are
three policies our government could take on the matter. 1) The president
could direct federal money to research centers that could proceed with the
experimentation. 2) The president could veto the use of federal money for
ESCR. 3) Congress could pass a law prohibiting ESCR within the borders of
the United States.

If Bush says okay, use federal money, a body of Americans will be morally
affronted. If Bush says no, ESCR will proceed in private laboratories at a
lesser speed. If Congress prohibited the research, ESCR would struggle on
in less sophisticated laboratories, and the benefits of successful
embryonic manipulation would not inure to American embryology until
complicated interactivity was effected across national medical frontiers.

Mr. Bush could temporize without moral ignominy if he reasoned as follows:
We live in a society in which abortion is permitted. That being so, we
have come to civil terms with the termination of fetal life every day,
routinely. However much pro-lifers disapprove of the woman's decision to
abort, they do not treat her as a pariah. If termination of fetal life is,
under the law, permitted, then ESCR, which deals with pre-fetal life,
cannot reasonably be denied without vitalizing a new moral consensus on
the issue of the integrity of the unborn. But what Mr. Bush needs to avoid
is the quandary of encouraging federal participation in ESCR, which
translates to federal participation in the embryonic equivalent of
abortion. The distinction here is vital.

The moral difficulty lies in presidential association with one or the
other body of thought on embryonic-stem-cell research. The learned and
quick-witted Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review is unyielding on the rigors
of the slippery-slope argument. "Slippery slopes are slippery because the
logic that starts you down them will lead you further down. During the
stem-cell debate, people have said that it's okay to use embryos for
research because we already 'discard' plenty of embryos as a byproduct of
in vitro fertilization; they could with equal validity say that we should
allow research on five-month-old fetuses because we allow them to be
aborted." And he reminds us of diminished sensibilities. "In 1973, not
even pro-abortion lawyers were challenging Texas's law against
partial-birth abortion. Back then, embryo-killing research would have
seemed monstrous."

Richard Brookhiser, the historian and essayist, writing in the New York
Observer, acknowledges that in the Clinton years there was crystallizing
resistance to partial-birth abortions. "With the debate over ESCR, the
empire strikes back. On one side, the public is given to understand, are
the opponents of abortion, certainly fanatical and probably religious,
keening over lumps of cells. On the other is the research arm of the
medical profession, asking only to be allowed to discover cures for
Parkinson's disease. Should Mr. Bush swallow an existing evil to ban a new
and growing one? The scientific supporters of ESCR, and their political
allies, want research untrammeled by any restrictions. If that involves
what pro-life author Wesley J. Smith calls 'strip-mining human life,' so
be it. They strip- mine mountains in Pennsylvania; they can strip-mine

So then the political question is, really, whether there should be
evidence of passive resistance by George W. Bush. Leadership here requires
him to formulate ways of saying that opposition to the use of federal
money for embryonic-stem-cell research is not the equivalent of
indifference to the pain suffered by victims of Parkinson's disease. "It's
too late in the day to be taking polls," Mr. Brookhiser concludes. "All
they would show is that there is nothing to be gained, whatever he does.
Senator Specter won't love President Bush even if he supports ESCR;
Catholic voters, lazy and indifferent, won't support him if he agrees with
the Pope. The only standard that can possibly guide Mr. Bush is to do the
right thing. We will see if he knows what that is." That is the challenge,
to know what is the right thing.

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Subject:   William F. Buckley on Bush and ESCR
Source:   National Review; July 27, 2001

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
When the Media is Pro-Abortion, Not Pro-Choice
By Tim Graham,

[Pro-Life Infonet Note:  Tim Graham is a White House correspondent for
World magazine and the former director of media analysis at the Media
Research Center.]

Allegedly on vacation in the suburbs of Minneapolis, I picked up the
latest issue of City Pages, the area's alternative weekly newspaper.
Alternative weeklies thrive on the notion that they are a lonely island of
countercultural dissents giving voice to the voiceless, but the mission's
a little harder when the area is already served by two largely
indistinguishable liberal newspapers (the Star Tribune and the Pioneer
Press). On this week, the only way City Pages stands out is by never
pretending to ask for or care about the truly contrarian conservative
point of view.

On its pink cover is a naked white woman with red hair imprisoned in a
bird cage with the headline "No Choice: What good is the right to an
abortion when no one will perform one?" (Inside, the tabloid's hackneyed
activists decorated the story with surprise?  a coat hanger.) Writer
Myleah Maynard spent most of her article in the company of her heroine,
77-year-old Mildred Hansen, a purportedly charming, yet intense
abortionist who grows flowers in between bouts of destroying other living
things. Maynard's story includes a few neutral public-relations types, but
it never stoops to interviewing anyone actually opposed to abortion.

As she observed the young couples shuffling around in the waiting room,
Maynard reported: "This office is one of only seven places in Minnesota
where women can have an elective abortion. And Hanson is one of only 12
doctors in the state who will perform them."

This argument is also common in other, less "alternative" media outlets,
and it marks when the media has a pro-abortion, not a "pro-choice" bias.
"Pro-choice" is an adjective best reserved for people who find abortion
personally distasteful, even repulsive, but wouldn't want to prevent
others from having that choice. "Pro-abortion" defines advocates or
reporters who not only believe women have the choice of abortion, but that
society has a duty to provide this social good as widely as possible.

"Of Minnesota's 87 counties, only three have at least one abortion
provider," Maynard protested, all in the metropolitan area. Other women
wanting an abortion have to drive 100 or 200 miles to acquire one. But
there's a difference between a right to something and demanding that this
right be honored, as well as unopposed, and made available in every
county. Is the right to plastic surgery or chemotherapy worthless because
the providers are found mostly in big cities? Do those patients have a
right not to drive for a few hours?

Let's take this logic and apply it to something else, like smoking. If
someone argued that smokers not only have the right to smoke, but that
tobacco farms should be placed in every county and non-smokers should not
infringe on smokers' rights by objecting to smoking in public places,
would they be described as "pro-choice" or pro-smoking? But liberals find
smoking more distasteful than abortion. One's a filthy habit, and the
other's a constitutional right.

Maynard made her contempt for the idea of having a choice about abortion
clear in this early passage:

Just six months after it became legal to end a pregnancy in the United
States, Congress struck the first blow against Roe v. Wade. The Church
Amendment created a federal law exempting individuals or institutions with
religious or moral objections from performing abortions and
sterilizations. Later, states began enacting their own versions of the
Church Amendment, paving the way for hospitals, insurers, HMOs, and
pharmacists to refuse to provide women with everything from abortion
counseling to prescriptions and health insurance coverage for common
procedures. Access to abortion has been shrinking ever since.

In other words, it is a ghastly mistake to give people the right to act on
moral or religious objections to abortion. Maynard's article rehashes
every Planned Parenthood sad-sack story. Not enough clinics are offering
chemical abortions with RU-486. Abortion is too controversial for
corporate health care providers. Too many hospitals are being ruined by
merging with Catholic-affiliated medical centers. Medical schools have
failed to make abortion training mandatory. Tying all these inconveniences
together is the premise that all these private-sector objections are in
desperate need of another all-encompassing judicial mandate making all
these obstacles illegal.

To complete her pro-abortion complaint list, Maynard also offered the
common caricature that the only opponents to a regime of sweet
abortion-friendly reason are apostles of intimidation and fear. Poor
Mildred Hansen has to buy bulletproof glass for the receptionist and wear
a bulletproof vest. Maynard blamed Operation Rescue's nonviolent protests
blocking clinic doors. Of course, no Operation Rescue protester was ever
linked to violence against abortionists, but "members' angry rhetoric was
often blamed for inciting violence." It's been five years since the last
unfortunate outbreak of violence against abortionists, but they are always
the victims of violence, and never the perpetrators. One side's rhetoric
was deadly, while a thousand suction pumps on the other side were not.

All these coddling cliches, all these profiles in pity, obscure what the
liberal media, whether "alternative" or "mainstream," cannot bear to
report. Many doctors feel that abortion violates their Hippocratic oath to
do no harm. Many women who consider abortion now see a first-trimester
sonogram and find abortion unthinkable. Many insurers won't subsidize
abortions which are lifestyle choices instead of medical necessities. Many
religious believers find taking the lives of the unborn to be one of the
most egregious sins. Many of these people will never be interviewed by
reporters like Maynard who give to Planned Parenthood at the office with a

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Subject:   When the Media is Pro-Abortion, Not Pro-Choice
Source:   National Review; July 5, 2001

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
Michael Novak on Embryo Stem Cell Research, Principle and Pragmatism

  Never let is be said that Michael Novak isn't a man of principle --
  and the debate over ESCR is no different. For pro-life advocates,
  opposing ESCR is clearly a principled stand.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
Who Are the Real Fanatics on Abortion?
by Charles Colson

Last week, the Bush administration proposed a policy change to expand the
number of poor women and children eligible for Medicaid. Now you might
think that prenatal care for poor women would delight most liberals and
feminists. But where some see compassion, others only see a Trojan horse.

The proposed change came from Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy
Thompson and was set forth in a letter to state healthcare officials.
Under this policy unborn children would qualify as "targeted low-income"
children -- making them eligible for the federal government's Children's
Health Insurance Program.

According to a department spokesman, the goal of the proposal is to
"increase access to prenatal care for pregnant women . . . [with] the
ultimate goal being healthier babies and healthier children. It could help
many pregnant women who are not eligible for Medicaid or the children's
health program."

Now scarcely a week goes by that we don't see a public service
announcement or news report about the importance of good prenatal care.
So, you might expect universal praise for Thompson's proposal. Well, you'd
be wrong.

The ink on the letter was barely dry when Kate Michelman, head of NARAL,
went into declaim-and- denounce mode. She accused the president of
"seeking to score political points with . . . those who want to
criminalize legal abortion by any means possible."

Michelman wasn't alone in her condemnation. Laurie Robinson, of the
National Partnership for Women and Families, called the proposal a
"backdoor attempt by the Bush administration to perpetuate its opposition
to abortion rights." She told the New York Times that the "real goal" of
the policy "is to establish a legal precedent for granting personhood to

For years reporters covering the abortion debates have given the
impression that the extremists and fanatics are all on the pro-life side.
Well, this controversy shows who the real fanatics are. For the
pro-abortion crowd, the right to any abortion, any time, for any reason,
trumps everything else -- even things they claim are important.

Well, if mothers can't get healthcare for their children, so what? Better
a woman go without prenatal care than expose the right to an abortion to
the slightest risk. Even to recognize the needs of unborn children for
healthcare -- in the eyes of these zealots -- is to encroach on
reproductive rights. Remind me again: Who are the fanatics here?

In standing up for the sanctity of life, it's no longer enough to present
the biblical case. We have to also deny the other side the rhetorical high
ground it has falsely occupied. We must not allow them to masquerade as
the champions of "reproductive health" while at the same time they oppose
prenatal care. The abortion-rights lobby's irrational reaction to this
compassionate step to help poor women exposes the dishonesty and hypocrisy
of their position.

This is a good example, by the way, of how Christians must practice
apologetics in this age. Force the other side to take the logic of their
position to its ultimate conclusion. And when you do, the absurdity of
their position is made obvious. And, in this case, we can force them to
admit that a healthy unborn child in a healthy mother-to-be is a good
thing, not a Trojan horse.

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Subject:   Who Are the Real Fanatics on Abortion?
Source:   Prison Fellowship Ministries; July 11, 2001

*     *   *    *     *     *     *     *  
Adoption:  The Neglected Option
by Michael J. McManus

[Pro-Life Infonet Note:  Michael J. McManus is a self-syndicated columnist
and president of Marriage Savers, a nonprofit group devoted to reducing
the divorce rate.]

The adoption rates of crisis pregnancy centers are "commonly are below one
percent," according to a new report, "The Missing Piece: Adoption
Counseling in Pregnancy Resource Centers."

These agencies, which profoundly believe in the importance of the life of
a baby conceived out of wedlock, have been utterly unable to persuade even
the 390,000 pregnant teen-agers who gave birth in 1998, that their child
would fare better in the home of a married mother and father.

Why not? Certainly the data are clear. A child born out of wedlock is 6
times likelier to be in poverty than a child of a married mother and
father, 3 times as apt to repeat a grade or to become pregnant as a
teen-ager, and a staggering 22 times more likely to be incarcerated than a
child from an intact home.

Yet pro-life counseling centers have no better adoption record than family
planning clinics, which typically advise young women to have an abortion.

Not long ago, adoption was not a neglected option. In 1970 when there were
400,000 babies born out-of-wedlock, 71,500 were adopted, reports the
National Council for Adoption. That's nearly 1 baby in 5.

Illegitimacy has soared to 1.3 million, yet only 23,537 infants were
adopted in a recent year. That's not even 2 percent of babies of unwed
parents. Why has adoption become the neglected option?

The Family Research Council undertook a major study to identify underlying
factors that either inhibit or motivate the consideration of adoption in
both single, pregnant women and by pregnancy counselors. Fifty-one single
women, who had experienced one or more pregnancies were interviewed along
with 12 pregnancy counselors.

"The Missing Piece" by Rev. Curtis Young reports results. Adoption has a
negative image due to stories in the media of adopted children desperate
to be reunited with their mother. A key image: adoption equals abandonment
of a child. As one put it, "Think about who would give up a child. What a
mean person. It's like your mommy doesn't want you any more."

Adoption is also seen as "The Big Lie." It involves secrets or deceptions
they think can hurt a child, and evoke "pity on the one who was adopted
and condemnation of the mother who 'gave the child away.' " It is seen as
an unbearable sacrifice, the breaking of maternal trust.

Pregnant women go through a two-stage decision-making process. First, they
decide whether to have an abortion, which can be quickly implemented and
protects women from being judged by others and public shame.

But there are 250,000 fewer abortions now, as more women have gone to the
3,000 crisis pregnancy centers that have persuaded many to preserve the
child's life. "Once they decide to give birth, it is, in effect, a choice
to keep their babies," writes Mr. Young. who once directed the Christian
Action Council (now CareNet), 650 centers that have 300,000 client visits
a year.

However, the second stage of the decision about what to do with the baby,
stretches over months. It is here that most crisis pregnancy centers fail.
Neither do they make a case to marry the father the best option for many
women nor to relinquish the child for adoption.

What I found shocking is that "the psyche of the counselor" is the same as
the women coming for help, for whom adoption equals abandonment and an
unbearable sacrifice. Many counselors are volunteers who had a baby while
unwed. Most will not even bring up the adoption option, fearful "their
clients will no longer see them as trustworthy."

Counselors lack crucial information. Children adopted as babies actually
do better than average children, according to Patrick Purtill, president
of the National Council for Adoption.

Only 7 percent of adolescents adopted in the first year of life repeated a
grade in school compared to 12 percent of those living with both birth
parents and 30 percent of kids with a single parent, according to a study
by Nicholas Zill. Children living with single parents are 3 times as
likely to be suspended from school (17 percent) vs. those with adoptive
parents (6 percent).

Adopted adolescents have higher self-esteem than a national sample of
teen-agers (55 to 45 percent), and are much less likely to see their
parents divorce (11 percent vs. 28), reports the Search Institute.

Further, mothers who relinquish their children for adoption are more
likely to graduate, be employed, and to marry.

The National Council for Adoption should publish this data in pamphlets
for pregnancy counselors. Pro-lifers interested in helping the child and
mother should learn to be pro-adoption.

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Subject:   Adoption:  The Neglected Option
Source:   Washington Times; July 22, 2001

*     *   *    *     *     *     *     *    
The Press and its Blind Spot on Abortion
By Mark Shields

[Pro-Life Infonet Note:  Mark Shields is a nationally syndicated columnist
and a regular on the CNN political debate show "Crossfire." We do not
necessarily endorse every point in the following column.]

When columnist Robert Kuttner writes on politics and economics, I pay
attention. Kuttner, a liberal, acknowledges that the vaunted Invisible
Hand can indeed produce a booming economy, but he is quick to point out it
is no guarantee of a humane and just community.

But even the most sensible of men can be wrong, which is exactly what Bob
Kuttner was, recently, when he wrote about the language of abortion: "All
of us can be described as pro-life. Most Americans don't like abortion but
don't consider it as murder ..." That's just not right. In fact, it's dead

In a June 2000 Los Angeles Times poll of 2,071 adults nationwide, the
question was asked, "Do you agree or disagree with this statement:
'Abortion is murder'?" Pretty straightforward, you would have to agree.
The answer: 57 percent of those surveyed agreed that "abortion is murder,"
while 36 percent disagreed. Among women (abortion, we are regularly told,
is a woman's issue from which men would do well to butt out), 61 percent
judged abortion to be murder.

That result jibed with an earlier New York Times national poll, which
reported the nation's turmoil over the abortion issue: "At base, the
country remains irreconcilably riven over what many consider the most
divisive American issue since slavery, with half the population
considering abortion murder." Add to the findings of the two Times polls
the Newsweek magazine survey of late 1998, which asked, "Do you personally
believe that abortion is wrong?" In our relentlessly non-judgmental
society, a solid majority -- 56 percent to 36 percent -- admitted they
personally judged abortion to be wrong.

Because of the three organizations that published those poll results --
all certified in the American press establishment -- the numbers cannot be
ridiculed as right-wing propaganda.  Still, the findings are largely
ignored by most of my brothers and sisters in the Washington press corps,
many of whom do not know well anyone professionally or socially who is
pro-life on abortion. This is not because most Washington journalists are
two-timing, liberal double agents conniving to elect more pro-choice
Democrats to office. Instead, it is because -- regardless of whether they
favor or oppose tax cuts or a patients' bill of rights -- an almost
unanimous majority of the Washington press corps is culturally to the left
of most of the country on abortion, gay rights and sexual freedoms.

The Washington press corps qualifies for membership in the contemporary
secular elite, which while not blatantly anti-faith, does harbor a strong
preference for a national leader with a religion that is so private he
wouldn't even impose it upon himself. Unfettered self expression and
unlimited individual economy, neither of which imposes any inconvenient
civic obligations, constitute the organizing dogma of the secular elite.

Americans remain profoundly ambivalent about abortion. Lydia Saad, the
respected managing editor of the Gallup Poll, has just completed a
definitive study of all major and minor polls conducted over the last five
years on abortion. She has found Americans almost equally divided on
whether they call themselves pro-life or pro-choice. But what Saad sees is
a definite consensus among both groups on when abortion ought to be
acceptable or unacceptable.

Saad notes that, "One-sided majorities -- including most pro-choice people
-- decisively oppose abortion in the second trimester and third trimester,
and all groups are emphatically opposed to partial birth abortion." At the
same time, large majorities, including pro-life people, favor legal
abortion in the cases of rape or incest, or the life or physical health of
the mother. "On all of these," says Saad, "there exists a solid consensus
of both pro-life and pro-choice Americans."

My own preferred formulation: Americans are pro-choice but antiabortion,
showing an unwillingness to prosecute as a criminal a woman who after
consultation with her conscience, her pastor and her physician, might make
that painful and awful decision. But no semi-sane office seeker will run
this year or next on the pledge: I will fight for more and more abortions.

We all have our blind spots. The Washington press corps is mostly blind
about abortion and about the fact that most of their fellow citizens
strongly oppose what is called abortion on demand, that is surgical
termination of the pregnancy at any time for whatever reason. Most also do
favor a waiting period and parental consent before the serious surgery of

What we have now, it must be obvious, is "a minority imposing its will
upon the majority."

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Subject:  The Press and its Blind Spot on Abortion
Source:   Pro-Life Infonet; July 23, 2001

*     *  *    *     *     *     *     *    
HHS Secretary Thompson Draws Pro-Life Ire on Embryo Stell Cell Research

Washington, DC -- - If stem cell research has become a defining issue for
President Bush, the same can be said for his top health official, Tommy

Thompson has been the most eager advocate inside the administration for
funding embryonic stem cell research, suddenly the hot-button battle of
Bush's first year.

That has placed the former Wisconsin governor in the cross-fire of the
debate and won him both grateful fans and unforgiving critics.

"His has been an invaluable contribution," said Senate Republican Gordon
Smith of Oregon, who has pushed for government funding.

Those who decry the research wish Thompson had never been appointed.

Early on, the secretary's comments on the issue got him in trouble with
the White House. Yet, now it's possible that Bush, who had flatly opposed
funding, could land on Thompson's side of the debate.

For both men, the issue has flowered into a bigger, fiercer fight than
they could have anticipated, grabbing headlines, prompting packed
congressional hearings and dominating the political dialogue. Lawmakers
heard testimony last week from chronically ill children pleading for the
government to fund the research. They heard protests against funding from
the parents of infants "adopted" as frozen embryos.

Bush, whose soul-searching has been prolonged and out of character, is
widely expected to decide before the end of August.

"He views this as something that will impact mankind for generations,"
White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said.

Thompson declined to be interviewed for this story and has tried not to
say too much about the matter lately. Although his views are no secret, he
has not made them explicit in public.

"He likes to take on tough, difficult issues and try to find answers,"
said his chief spokesman, Kevin Keane, who added that Thompson finds the
fierce debate "invigorating."

In one example of the cross-pressures, Thompson was blasted last week by
an ally on the issue, Senate Republican Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who
accused Thompson of withholding scientific information. Thompson's office
disputed the charge.

Feeding this political fire are questions of ethics and morality.
Embryonic stem cells can only be extracted by destroying embryos, normally
those produced by in vitro fertilization and frozen and unused at
fertility clinics. Critics, including many pro-life advocates, say that is
immoral and unethical. They would rather see federal money used only to
continue research on adult stem cells.

Thompson is anti-abortion. But as governor, he backed work on embryonic
stem cells at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Former aides say his
interest date backs to the mid-'90s, when he was promoting the state's
biotechnology sector.

He met and talked several times with university researcher James Thomson,
who was among the first to isolate embryonic stem cells. There was a
reception for the scientist at the governor's mansion. Thompson singled
the researcher out for praise in his 1999 state of the state speech.

"I've talked to him a lot, and I think his view is that no political party
ought to be against research," said Mark Bugher, who left the Thompson
administration after 13 years to take over the UW Research Park in 1999.

Many who follow Thompson think his position is best explained by his
widely known pro-development boosterism.

"He was a huge promoter of economic development in Wisconsin and had long
seen biotechnology as one of the major sectors that would be the ticket to
economic development in the state," said R. Alta Charo, a law professor
and bioethicist at the university who met with Thompson on the issue when
he was governor. "I can't help but think his desire to promote economic
development led him to look very, very energetically for a way to justify
this kind of research taking place on campus," Charo said.

During his campaign, Bush opposed funding for research that involves the
destruction of embryos. He could have acted quickly as president to
prevent federal grants. When he didn't, Thompson helped keep it an open
issue, say activists on the pro-funding side.

"He was the catalyst for taking this from the campaign trail into the
thoughtful corridors of power," said Smith, the Oregon senator.

But while Thompson's role has gratified one side, it has dismayed the

Richard Lessner, of the conservative Family Research Council, said
Thompson's early comments on the issue as cabinet secretary alarmed
opponents of the research and catalyzed supporters. Combined with the
president's delay in taking action, that helped make this "a much larger
issue than I think the White House imagined it would be," Lessner said.

"We would have preferred he would have been given Transportation, and he
could have gone off and played with the trains," Lessner said, referring
to Thompson's onetime desire to head Bush's Transportation Department
instead of Health and Human Services. "It would have taken him out of this
dilemma he's in."

Asked what he makes of Thompson's thinking, Doug Johnson, legislative
director of National Right to Life, said, "I think, and this is just my
idea, he may be looking at the news media's rather relentless
propagandizing on behalf of federal funding for embryo-destructive
research and feeling that has to be accommodated some way politically.
What we think he should be looking at is the ethical principle and the
fact that this is really Pandora's box."

He and allies reject a "compromise" Thompson has pushed at the White House
to limit grants to a certain number of existing cell lines.

"I think it gives up the moral principle," said Richard Doerflinger of the
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. His side believes the issue is
already compromised, he said, because it believes the research, public or
private, should be illegal.

Wisconsin Right to Life, which has long supported Thompson, is "deeply
disappointed" in him, said Barbara Lyons, executive director.

But she concedes that Thompson's role in the debate is not a huge
surprise. The group was taken aback two years ago when Thompson so
publicly praised James Thomson's stem cell work. There was an uproar in
the pro-life movement.

Thompson told the state's pro-life community that "as a strong Catholic
and right to life governor, on this issue they were just going to have to

In a March 1999 letter to a pro-life advocate from outside the state,
Thompson wrote that James Thomson's work "deserves commendation. Dr.
Thomson's research was conducted according to strict ethical and legal
standards. . . . The potential applications and benefits of this research
are enormous," he wrote.

Thompson opposed lawmakers who floated a proposal that would have banned
the university from working with embryonic stem cells. Later, as chairman
of the GOP platform committee at the 2000 Republican National Convention,
he squelched an effort to include language hostile to the research.

But until recently, pro-life advocates still were trying to change
Thompson's mind.

Lyons said she organized a sit-down in January with Thompson and a Jesuit
priest and geneticist who opposes embryonic stem cell research, Father
Kevin Fitzgerald of Loyola University in Chicago. Thompson's cabinet
appointment had not yet been confirmed.

Thompson's reaction to the session? "I thought it was very positive,"
Lyons said. "But we left with caution in our minds."

In his new job, Thompson has had to deal with a different wrinkle on the
stem cell issue. As Charo points out, Thompson the governor had to
consider whether the research should be allowed at a state university. The
current debate is whether taxpayer funds should be used to pay for it.

At a House hearing last week, one parent opposed to the research pleaded
with lawmakers not to "force millions of Americans like me to participate
in another form of genocide."

From:  The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
Subject:   HHS Secretary Thompson Draws Pro-Life Ire on ESCR
Source:   Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel; July 22, 2001