Posts Tagged ‘Abortion’

Leaving the industry

March 6, 2009

In conjunction with the March 10 event, here are links to testimonies by former abortion providers:

http://www.priestsforlife.org/testimonies/default.aspx

http://www.prolifeaction.org/providers/index.htm

There are probably other sites, but those will give you plenty to read for now.

Know More, so there can one day be No More

February 17, 2009

Fr. Frank Pavone sends out newsletters that also have text available online, at least for awhile. The past columns seem to be available only in podcast format, so I’ll paste the full text of the current one here in case its print format is eventually not available at the link:

http://www.priestsforlife.org/columns/columns2009/09-02-09-extreme-compromise.htm

Extreme Compromise

by Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

Newly-elected abortion advocates often try to paint their support for Roe vs. Wade [*1] and its companion case Doe vs. Bolton [*2] as mainstream. Some even think that the decisions constitute a “compromise” position on the divisive issue of abortion. After all, they say, our current national policy on abortion allows a woman to have a child if she wants, and to abort the child if she wants.

But Roe and Doe are about as far away from a “compromise” as you can find. The decisions allow for abortion throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy, and do not recognize any right of the unborn child to be spared death by abortion. With a nation divided about abortion, one might think that under a “compromise” solution one could find some reason to protect at least some unborn children. But in Roe and Doe, one searches in vain for any situation in which an unborn child is protected. As the University of Detroit Law Review pointed out, “The Supreme Court’s decisions…allowed abortion on demand throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy” (Paul B. Linton, Enforcement of State Abortion Statutes after Roe: A State-by-State Analysis, Vol. 67, Issue 2, Winter 1990).

In this framework, every unborn baby is disposable. Every. That’s hardly a “compromise” position.

“Leave it up to the woman to decide” sounds to many like a fair compromise. But this position completely destroys equality before the law, because it constitutes a complete removal of protection from the child. The lives of unborn children who are wanted and carried to term do not have any more protection from the law than the lives of unborn children who are unwanted and carried to the abortionist. The lives of the wanted are protected only by their “wantedness,” which, of course, can be subject to change at any time. As far as the law is concerned, they are all non-persons, regardless of circumstance. That’s hardly a “compromise.”

A “compromise” usually, and by definition, allows some accommodation to both sides in the dispute. But current abortion policy allows no accommodation to the claims that innocent human life makes upon us.

The more you know about the Roe and Doe decisions, the clearer this becomes. In fact, the Gallup polling company, in an extensive analysis of the opinions of Americans on abortion, admits that the level of support in surveys for Roe vs. Wade is lower if more information about the decision itself is offered in the question, and higher if less information is offered.

These are important points to bring up in communicating with pro-abortion elected officials.

In Judgment at Nuremberg, one of those responsible for the Holocaust says that he “never thought it would go that far,” and was told that it “went that far” as soon as a single innocent life was taken. There is no room for “compromising” about human life. Permitting one life to be destroyed is already extreme. Unless we’re all protected, we’re all in danger.

* links in the online version of the article:

[1] =
 http://www.priestsforlife.org/government/supremecourt/7301roevwade.htm

[2] =
http://www.priestsforlife.org/government/supremecourt/7301doevbolton.htm

The comments by Fr. Pavone regarding the polling results when people are properly informed about the Roe and Doe decisions reminds me of a site that has a “quiz” to identify what people really know about those court cases. Please go to the quiz site and see for yourself how well informed you already are, and what you need to learn better. Then encourage others to learn more, too, since the more people who KNOW more, the better the likelihood that more people will say NO more abortion!

http://www.roeiqtest.com/ui/index.php

You might also want to add the link to your own Web sites, to encourage more people to participate.

What is the Mexico City Policy?

January 26, 2009

I’ve just spent several days in the midst of our parish’s FOCA Postcard Campaign. Last week was rough, finishing the preparations. There is still some followup to do, but the most exhausting parts are past. My last post was one that I prepared for a delayed posting, so I’m not really sure when was the last day that I was actually here!

This new post  is something I put together in a hurry. Hope it is helpful to you!

Perhaps you are confused by news reports about the MCP. The Catholic Church supports the policy and opposes the recent overturning of it. Here are some details to help you understand the situation.

From www.nchla.org (with additional links there):

At an international population conference in Mexico City in 1984, the Reagan Administration announced that the United States would no longer contribute to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) “which perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations.” This policy became known as the Mexico City Policy. The policy was upheld in court as constitutional. It remained in place until overturned by President Clinton on January 22, 1993. Congress engaged in extensive debates thereafter as pro-life Members sought to restore the policy through legislation. For one year only – Fiscal Year 2000 – a compromise version became law.

On January 22, 2001, President George W. Bush issued an executive memorandum directing the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to reinstate the Mexico City Policy in full. A February 15, 2001 USAID implementation rule was subject to a challenge under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). Since executive memoranda are not subject to challenge under the CRA, the president on March 28, 2001 issued a second executive memorandum that included the content of the February USAID rule.

According to the USAID rule, abortion as a method of family planning excludes abortions to save the mother’s life or in cases of rape or incest. It also excludes the treatment of injuries or illnesses caused by legal or illegal abortions. Promoting abortion includes abortion counseling, lobbying a foreign government to change its laws, and conducting public information campaigns.

On August 29, 2003, President Bush extended the Mexico City Policy to all population planning funds, whether furnished by USAID or by other components of the State Department.

From www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2009/09-022.shtml statement released Jan. 23, 2009:

The decision by President Barack Obama to reverse the Mexico City Policy is “very disappointing,” said Cardinal Justin Rigali, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

He made the statement January 23, after President Obama issued the executive order restoring U.S. funding to organizations that perform and promote abortion in developing nations. Cardinal Rigali’s statement follows.

“It is very disappointing that President Obama has reversed the Mexico City Policy, which prevents U.S. funding of organizations that perform and promote abortion as a family planning method in developing nations. An Administration that wants to reduce abortions should not divert U.S. funds to groups that promote abortions.

“Cardinal Francis George, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote to President-elect Obama last week urging him to retain this policy. As Cardinal George said in his letter:

“‘The Mexico City Policy, first established in 1984, has wrongly been attacked as a restriction on foreign aid for family planning. In fact, it has not reduced such aid at all, but has ensured that family planning funds are not diverted to organizations dedicated to performing and promoting abortions instead of reducing them. Once the clear line between family planning and abortion is erased, the idea of using family planning to reduce abortions becomes meaningless, and abortion tends to replace contraception as the means for reducing family size. A shift toward promoting abortion in developing nations would also increase distrust of the United States in these nations, whose values and culture often reject abortion, at a time when we need their trust and respect.'”

There are other sources that could be cited, but this is probably enough for now!

Our Help is in the Name of the Lord …

January 20, 2009

… who made Heaven and Earth! ( Psalm 124:8 )

Remembering that is what will get us through this day of mourning. Mourning not for the loss of an election, but mourning for the lives of the babies who are now at much greater risk than ever before. Mourning for the women (and girls) who will be misled by the rhetoric of “choice” rather than be properly advised about the truths of what abortion is and will do in their lives. Mourning for the families and friends of those women and girls, who won’t always know how to help. Mourning for the country of my birth, that is now being led by people who don’t value the sanctity of human life and who won’t uphold marriage as the sacred union of one man and one woman. May God have mercy on us all!

Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  ( Philippians 2:9-11 )

The following article ( “Alien Nation” by Doreen Truesdell ) has some good points, as do some of the comments made at the source site: http://catholicexchange.com/2009/01/20/115155/

The universal struggle between good and evil, between Christ and His enemies has now taken center stage in this nation. For decades most American Catholics have lived relatively comfortably by accepting shades of gray. Little by little the grays became darker as more of the Church’s moral teachings were questioned, ignored and rejected. Now, the gray areas have turned to blackness. It is no longer possible for lukewarm Catholics to remain faithful. The gray areas are gone. American Catholics will either embrace the white light of Truth or accept the darkness.

So where does this leave aliens like me? Totally reliant upon God, and for many of us it will be the first time in our lives. I used to define myself as an American Catholic, but now I realize I am a Catholic in America. The nation I used to depend upon to accept my spiritual composition is gone. No longer does our citizenship agree that our laws are, and should be, based on Judeo-Christian concepts. No longer can a Christian assume his moral beliefs will be given fair representation or even toleration in the public forum.

As aliens, we have an important role to play as keepers of the faith on hostile soil. Here’s our opportunity to get off the fence on every controversial issue that offends God and start pulling our weight as Catholics in America. Many Catholics already are very publicly defending Christ and His Gospel truths. Most aren’t. Are you defending Christ in America? Am I?

This era, just beginning, represents our time in the long history of the Catholic Church to accept suffering, offer prayers and penance, and do battle in the public forum so that the voice of Christ can be heard. It is our turn to live as Catholics who look only to the magisterium of the Church for instruction on true human dignity and authentic social justice.

We will join Catholics from around the world who “lost” their countries long ago — Italians, Greeks, Slavs, Chinese, Russians and others who have already inured themselves to the agonies of living in an atheistic nation, one that they used to love with patriotic fervor but now are estranged from. We will lean on the rich Catholic tradition of the Church Militant and go on living in an alien nation while fortifying ourselves with the Word Made Flesh, He who makes His dwelling among aliens the world over.

Are you up to this challenge? As Americans, we’ve grown undisciplined, flabby and unused to suffering. We can’t bear the pain of unpopularity; how will we bear persecution? And it is coming. With this new administration we have the makings of unprecedented Christian persecutions in our nation that will make martyrs and saints of many who stand up for Truth. You won’t have to be a political activist to have it thrust upon you: parents, clergy, health care providers, teachers, workers of all kinds will find themselves facing moral issues that assault the foundations of the Catholic faith. Which issue will be the one that forces Catholics like you and me to confront how shallow our relationship with Christ has been? Which issue will finally inspire us to make the commitment to “put out into the deep,” whatever the cost?

Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta, after visiting our great nation years ago, said she pitied us our “poverty.” She understood the seriousness of the spiritual poverty that the U.S. suffered. We may be on the brink of changing that poverty, one Catholic, one Christian at a time.

The history of the Church is one of suffering and triumph. From that perspective, the Obama presidency could be the beginning of a great renewal of Christianity in America, if each of us lives the faith the way Christ calls us to. So in an important way, this article is not about losing a nation, so much as gaining a deeper relationship with Jesus, the King of all nations. We, who have always assumed that our nation would validate our faith, now find it must be validated only by God.

“[T]he new age has begun; and…much must now pass away,” Gandalf says in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Let it pass. With prayerful renewal and faithful responses, we can find that God alone will suffice. Then maybe, in small ways that have great power, we can work to bring our beloved nation back to God.

It seems fitting to insert here the prayer often referred to as St. Teresa of Avila’s “Bookmark” prayer:

This thought was found after St. Teresa’s death on a prayer card in her breviary.

Let nothing disturb you;
Let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing.
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
Nothing is wanting to him who possesses God.
God alone suffices.

(I didn’t find a definitive version of that prayer. Nearly every site I checked has different wording. The one I’m including is found at
http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=874.)

One of many miracle babies

January 10, 2009
23-Week Old British Premie
Spared Abortion, Goes Home with Family

By Hilary White
Thursday January 8, 2009

LONDON, January 8, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A baby girl born at 23 weeks gestation who was brought home recently by her mother, has re-opened the debate in the UK over the legal gestational age limit for abortion. Sarah Slater, the child’s mother, told media, “We’re so glad to have Lexie home with us at last and it just shows how outmoded our laws on abortion are.”

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Slater said, “Some mothers-to-be would be able to legally terminate their pregnancy at 23 weeks – yet my Lexie is living proof babies can survive being born so prematurely.” Under British abortion laws, a child who is deemed healthy can be killed by abortion at the request of the mother up to 24 weeks gestation. If the child is judged to be potentially disabled, she can be killed at any time up to full term.

After only 22 weeks gestation, Lexie Slater-Folksman weighed only 1 lb, 8 oz. at delivery and was cared for by neo-natal experts with treatments including laser surgery for her underdeveloped eyes and a respirator to help her breathe. Lexie is now five months old and is at home with her parents.

“I never realized a baby would be so well developed at 23 weeks and they do have a chance of life,” Slater continued.

To read more of that article, go to
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jan/09010803.html

Abortion Changes You

January 8, 2009

Sometimes people forget that men also suffer from abortion.  Here’s a story on a Web site from a guest on EWTN’s “Life on the Rock” episode that aired tonight. (The guest is the one who has the Web site http://www.abortionchangesyou.com/home. The following story is one of many submitted by her readers.)

http://www.abortionchangesyou.com/explore is the link for the specific story included below:

I was 18, my girlfriend was 17

(Author is unidentified on the site.)

I was 18, my girlfriend was 17.  I was in my first relationship.  We were using birth control.  I was stunned when I found out we were pregnant.  Looking back, I like to believe I would have kept our baby, but we had both been accepted at very good colleges in different parts of the country.  We talked ourselves into it “rationally,” reviewing all the impacts a baby in our lives would have.  We reviewed all the “upsides” and “downsides.”  It was very selfish.  It seemed like it would be so inconvenient to have a baby at this point.  How would we be able to complete our years at college?  I didn’t want to let my mom down.  We didn’t want to be judged by others for being so stupid as to get pregnant while still in high school.  We were a couple of the best students in our school.  I brought her to the unmarked clinic, and we never discussed it again.  We broke up a year later and while we occasionally touched bases over the years, we never spoke about it again.

I tried to forget about it, and largely succeeded, until I finally met my wife and we got married.  We were both in our mid-30s, and were worried that we might have trouble having babies like so many of our friends.  When our first son was born 9 months after we were married, I couldn’t help but think about my first son.  He would be 20 years old now.  I confessed to my wife about the abortion, and she admitted to me that she had one as well several years before we had met.  Four years after we were married, we have four beautiful children (including twins), and we thank God for them every day.

However, when we were pregnant with the twins, our “healthcare providers” tried to convince us that “selective termination” of one of the twins would be something we should consider because some tests came back that were “concerning.”  One in two chance of Down’s Syndrome.  The CVS test showed a chromosomal abnormality.  We were not going to have an abortion again, for any reason, but we were really put under some pressure.  I was pretty stunned.  We had both been down that road before.  Despite the pressure and suggestions we felt from these medical “professionals,” we had both twins, and they turned out to be healthy in every way.  I couldn’t believe we had been pressured like that.  It brought up all the old memories.

Please be sure to vist the site and read other stories. But more importantly, be familiar with the site so that whenever you learn of someone suffering from the effects of abortion, you can refer that person to the site which may offer the person the exact type of help he or she needs.

And yes, there are other sites to help with this kind of healing. The heading “Help and Healing” in the sidebar of this blog has links to such sites. It’s not a comprehensive listing, but is surely a starting place for anyone who is pregnant or has been touched by abortion.

Postcard campaign to fight FOCA

January 5, 2009

The time is nearing for the postcard campaign sponsored by the USCCB and NCHLA. The national dates are January 24-25, but some dioceses may use a different weekend. NCHLA’s site will guide you to the resources and the USCCB’s site includes letters (filed under “Testimony and Letters”) from Cardinal Rigali describing why the campaign is needed now:

www.nchla.org

http://usccb.org/prolife/issues/FOCA/postcard.shtml

The NCHLA page is a little bit confusing about where to click for the fullest information. Presently, there are three links labeled for FOCA.

  • The first two each mention the postcard campaign and go to the same page (to order materials). If you go to the order page, that seems to be all you can do there. Then click in the sidebar on the link to the Freedom of Choice Act. The resulting page will have many more options for you to learn about FOCA and what you can do to help stop it. 
  • Or, from the home page, you can click the third link referencing FOCA, and you will go directly to the page that has the most information indexed (including the order form link).

Also, since there seems to be no labeled link for “Home,” you can click the NCHLA log in the upper left corner to return to the site’s home page.

If you have not yet heard about this postcard campaign in your diocese, be sure to start asking about it! First, check with your parish priests and staff, and depending upon how much you learn there, check at the diocesan level.  Even if your parish can’t participate Jan. 24-25, there are later options so it is important to act quickly in order to not miss the window of opportunity to show solidarity across the country.

This isn’t restricted to Catholic churches! Please encourage family, friends, and anyone else you can talk with about this subject to implement the postcard campaign in their places of worship and in some cases maybe even places of employment. The postcards are worded to be non-denominational, even non-religious, so anyone who opposes FOCA would likely be satisfied with the message on them.

This campaign is especially important in states with Senators and/or Representatives who sponsored the most recent version of the bill. For a complete list of sponsors, go to
http://www.nchla.org/docdisplay.asp?ID=191. Some of the states with the largest number of sponsors include:

  • California,
  • Florida,
  • Illinois,
  • Maryland,
  • Massachusetts,
  • Montana,
  • New Jersey,
  • New York,
  • Washington.

(That list does not take into account the ratio of sponsors to total seats in the state’s two legislative houses. I made the list by looking at the number of sponsors as shown on the NCHLA site.) Of course, with the new Congressional membership and the expected re-introduction of the bill, the exact sponsorships will change, but the present list is definitely a starting place for the constituents of those Senators and Representatives. When the bills are re-introduced, you can go to the official governnment site to see the new list of sponsors as it develops: http://thomas.loc.gov.

You might even want to take your research and action further, by finding out which of the sponsors is Catholic and which diocese he or she considers as home. Then write to the person specifically from a Catholic standpoint! We must do all we can to make sure that soon-to-be President Obama, the Congress, and Planned Parenthood know we won’t sit still for the loss of the protections that have been so strongly fought for during the nearly four decades following the Roe v. Wade ruling.

One more thing to pay attention to: Prevention First Act.  I’m just beginning to learn about this and it sound like a bill that could go through much more easily than FOCA would. Here are some places to read about it:

http://www.nchla.org/legissectiondisplay.asp?ID=667

http://www.usccb.org/prolife/publicat/lifeissues/050406.shtml

Last but certainly not least: PRAY!

Health care meetings near you

January 5, 2009

Hm, never thought I’d advocate going to an Obama meeting, but this article has given me reason to do precisely that!

http://www.lifenews.com/nat4695.html

Pro-Life Advocate Urges Going to
Obama Health Care Mtgs to Oppose Abortion

by Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com Editor
January 2, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A Planned Parenthood watchdog is urging pro-life advocates to attend meetings that the Barack Obama transition team is sponsoring about health care. Jim Sedlak of Stopp International says the meetings are a good opportunity to urge Obama to oppose promoting abortion in his health care plan.

The Obama team is holding small meetings all across the country to get input from ordinary citizens on health care concerns.

Sedlak tells LifeNews.com this is an excellent opportunity to oppose both pro-abortion health care as well as the so-called Freedom of Choice Act that would make unlimited abortions a national law and overturn pro-life laws nationwide.

“As part of the efforts to defeat Planned Parenthood, we are encouraging as many of you as possible to attend one of these meetings in your area and voice your opposition to FOCA, the Prevention First Act and all of the Planned Parenthood agenda,” he said.

Sedlak says the Obama transition team web site has a list of local meetings across the country and that the events go by different names such as “health care discussion group,” or “health issues round table.” All of the meetings should be open to the public.

He also says this is not a request for protests, but for involvement — for pro-life advocates to raise their voice about the impending Obama pro-abortion agenda.

“Many of these meetings are being held in private homes. These meetings are not the time for demonstrations,” he said.

They represent an opportunity for local pro-lifers, especially community leaders and medical professionals to have civilized discussions and influence what is fed back to the Obama team,” he added.

The concern about Obama’s national health care plan covering abortions is a real one for pro-life groups.

As LifeNews.com reported in October, Obama’s campaign answered a survey from a pro-abortion web site that makes it clear abortion will be included the taxpayer-funded plan.

“Senator Obama believes that reproductive health care is basic health care,” the campaign said, using the phrase that abortion advocates employ to refer to abortion.

“His health care plan will create a new public plan, which will provide coverage of all essential medical services. Reproductive health care is an essential service,” the Obama campaign added.

The Obama camp also made it clear that any private insurance companies wanting to participate would also be required to provide abortion coverage.

“And private insurers that want to participate will have to treat reproductive care in the same way,” the Obama campaign responded.

Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, says the answers make it clear to him that Obama would fund abortions with federal taxpayer dollars and make people in private insurance plans pay for abortions because insurance companies would pass on the additional costs to customers.

Please go to the Obama transition team Web site

http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/search_simple?source=sidenav

and find out if there are any of these health care meetings near you. Then go to the meeting and be a voice for the unborn, as well as for the women and girls who will suffer serious consequences if the new administration’s proposed policies take effect. And be sure to encourage your pro-life family and friends around the country to do the same.

Where morality and media meet

December 29, 2008

(Yes, I’m intentionally playing off the title of one of my previous posts!)

Thanks to Jayme at “Being Fed” (http://beingfed.wordpress.com) for these two stories that were catalysts for me to do more exploring recently.

http://beingfed.wordpress.com/2008/12/22/saving-lives-through-better-television/

http://beingfed.wordpress.com/2008/12/19/shocking-revelation-abortion-bad-for-women/

I happened to find them at a time when I could spend A LOT of time working on my blog, hence the new links, images, and arrangements in the sidebar. I won’t even try to recall exactly how her posts led from one thing to another, I just thought I’d make note of the connection so that if I look back in wonder I’ll have some vague recollection.

And I also want to draw attention to the great work of “Virtue Media” that I recently heard about on EWTN. The following two links are in one of Jayme’s posts, and they are part of what led me on interesting adventures in enriching my blog with new resources.

http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/16789/

http://www.virtuemedia.org/

More about Our Lady of Guadalupe

December 17, 2008

Here is another view of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is a photograph (i.e., rather than a painting) of the tilma. The photo is found at

http://www.sancta.org/cgi/display.nor?image=imagen_pic_300w.jpg.

 imagen_pic_300w 

That site has much information and many freely downloadable images. But one caution: there is a page that does have two images of babies after abortion. The images are about midway down (i.e., when you scroll) the page at this address:
http://www.sancta.org/patr-unb.html#prayer

They are shown with an article that describes the parallels between the human sacrifice happening in Mexico prior to Our Lady’s appearance there, and the modern day human sacrifice of abortion.

Here are tips to help you avoid seeing those images if you want to read the article and prayers on the page. (You will have to skip reading the end of the article, unless you cover the right-hand side of the screen while scrolling down.)

  • The title of the page is “Protectress of the Unborn: Our Lady of Guadalupe Versus the Culture of Death”.
  • Below the images is a section of the page with two of the many prayers available on the site. So if you click (i.e., in one of the indexes) to view the prayers named “A Prayer for Abortion Victims” or “Prayer of John Paul II for Life”, be cautious about scrolling upward on the page, if you prefer not to look at the images.

I am not aware of anywhere else on the site where you might run into that kind of graphic image. The site is definitely worth visiting, but wasn’t included in the list on Dec. 12 because it needs this caution to be stated.

Be assured that I will always try to warn you of such images when I’m aware of them. Please let me know of any that I miss. In general, though, I will avoid such sites.

But since the site sancta.org has so much beneficial material, I think the link  is worth sharing despite the portion that is difficult for some people to see. Among other reasons, I really wanted you to see as authentic an image of Our Lady on the tilma as I can possibly share with you. There are many painted representations of it and (other than visiting the actual basilica in Mexico) the only way to see it is with a photograph.