hot button issue
BOB DORNAN: Former Congressman Robert K. Dornan is joining American Life League’s efforts to protect and defend the lives of preborn children. Dornan’s primary mission as a member of the American Life League team will be refocusing attention on the Right to Life Act (http://www.righttolifeact.com).
(Reading: "Bob Dornan, Congressional veteran, to lead ALL’s efforts on Capitol Hill," American Life League news release, 10/11/05, http://www.all.org/news/051011.htm)
CONSPICUOUS BY ITS ABSENCE: A news release from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops lists highlights of the bishops’ November meetings in Washington. The release says the bishops will discuss the death penalty, lay ministry, immigration reform, the Church in Africa, and children’s liturgy. The brief posting does not mention abortion.
(Reading: "USCCB Annual Meeting, November 14-17, Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill," United States Conference of Catholic Bishops media advisory, 10/3/05, http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2005/05-227.shtml)
abortion and business
AMERICAN GIRL: Columnist Grant Swank points out a “follow the money” trail regarding the Mattel toy company’s American Girl brand. The American Girl web site is selling “I can” wristbands. For every wristband sold, 70 cents goes to Girls, Inc., “a national organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.” A visit to the Girls, Inc. web site shows what that means to this group: “Girls Incorporated supports a woman’s freedom of choice, a constitutional right established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 in Roe vs. Wade.” The Girls, Inc., resource list includes the book “It’s Perfectly Normal,” an item distributed by Planned Parenthood.
ACTION: Write to American Girl online (http://www.americangirl.com/emailus/index.html) and express your dissatisfaction with the company’s decision to partner with and raise money for a pro-abortion organization.
(Reading: “Mattel’s ‘American Girl’ pro-abortion,” MichNews.com, 10/12/05, http://www.michnews.com/artman/publish/article_9856.shtml; “I can,” American Girl, http://store.americangirl.com/shop/ican.php; “Girls have the right to accept and appreciate their bodies,” Girls, Inc., http://www.girlsinc.org/ic/page.php?id=4.3.4; “Girls Incorporated Resource,” Girls, Inc., http://www.girlsinc.org/ic/content/sexualityresourcesgirls.pdf)
abortion and rape
COSTA RICA: In a national bishops conference statement on abortion and rape, Bishop Jose Francisco Ulloa Rojas writes, "if in the worst case scenario the mother who conceived through rape continues to reject her child after he is born, prudence and proportionality seem to indicate that the best thing would be to legislate in favor of the helpless and the innocent and not in favor of accepting homicide as something legal."
(Reading: “Protect mother and baby, say Costa Rican bishops,” Catholic News Agency, 10/12/05, http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=5130)
HURRICANE KATRINA: Louisiana’s attorney general is investigating reports that critically ill hospital patients were put to death following Hurricane Katrina. After the storm, 45 bodies were removed from Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans.
(Reading: “Staff at New Orleans hospital debated euthanizing patients,” CNN, 10/13/05, http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/10/12/katrina.hospital/index.html)
in vitro fertilization
IGNORING GUIDELINES: The Wall Street Journal, in a review of in vitro fertilization practices, reports, "Many clinics are implanting more than the recommended number of embryos in their patients, raising the risks for women. The reasons include demand from patients desperate to get pregnant and competition in the field to achieve the highest success rates."
(Reading: "Baby boom: Multiple births persist as doctors buck guidelines," Wall Street Journal, 10/7/05, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB112864760943162390.html?mod=home_page_one_us)
WRONG: Insight from researcher John P.A. Ioannidis, with implications for the popular reporting of medical "findings": "There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false…. Moreover, for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias."
(Reading: "Why most published research findings are false," Public Library of Science / Medicine, 8/05, http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124)
morning-after abortion pill
CONGRESSIONAL ENDORSEMENTS: A letter signed by 62 members of Congress asks the acting head of the Food and Drug Administration to permit Barr Pharmaceuticals to sell Plan B, a morning-after pill, over the counter without a doctor’s prescription. Barr’s request has been on indefinite hold since August. In additions, senators Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) are launching a petition seeking over-the-counter approval for Plan B.
(Reading: “Lawmakers call for morning-after pill approval,” Reuters, 10/11/05, http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051011/hl_nm/congress_contraceptive_dc_1; “Senators Clinton and Murray launch Plan B petition,” Clinton news release, 10/12/05, http://clinton.senate.gov/news/statements/details.cfm?id=247226)
RIGHT TO LIFE ACT OF 2005: This bill (HR 552) states, "The terms ‘human person’ and ‘human being’ include each and every member of the species homo sapiens at all stages of life, including, but not limited to, the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being." See http://www.RightToLifeAct.org for details.
COMMENT: Is your member of Congress a co-sponsor? If not, ask!
stem cell research / ethical
JAPAN: A team working with Japan’s health ministry has developed technology that can reproduce stem cells from umbilical cord blood safely and effectively.
(Reading: "Cord blood stem cells reproduced," Japan Times, 10/10/05, http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?nn20051010b3.htm)
KOREA: The Archdiocese of Seoul is ready to raise millions to fund adult stem cell research. Father Joseph Kim Yong-tae said this ethical form of research proves that science does not have "to sacrifice a human life (the embryo) to save the life of a patient."
(Reading: "Korean church to finance research on adult stem cells," AsiaNews.it, 10/10/05, http://www.asianews.it/view.php?l=en&art=4315)
stem cell research / unethical
FRIST: The Senate majority leader continues to insist that his support of human embryonic stem cell research is a “pro-life” position. Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), a transplant surgeon, told reporters, "If the destiny of an embryo is to be discarded, or buried the next day, or thrown away, whatever words are used, in the same way that I take a heart out of one individual to give another potential life, doesn’t it make sense to take three or four cells out of that embryo that would buried the next day, in order to give potential healing?"
COMMENT: No, senator, it doesn’t make sense to sacrifice one human being’s life to benefit another.
(Reading: “Frist stumps for embryonic stem cell research,” Focus on the Family Citizen Link, 10/11/05, http://www.family.org/cforum/news/a0038206.cfm)
PROQUAD: The FDA has approved Proquad, a new Merck vaccine combining the tainted MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and Varivax (chickenpox) vaccines. "Rather than producing an entirely new vaccine free of aborted fetal cell lines, Merck has opted to ignore the public’s demand for clean vaccines," said Debi Vinnedge of Children of God for Life (an American Life League associate group). "But with the tacit approval of some of our own Catholic institutions like the National Catholic Bioethics Center, why should the pharmaceutical companies change?"
(Reading: "U.S. FDA approves Proquad, a one-shot MMR and chickenpox vaccine," Vaccine Weekly, 10/5/05)
(Background: "Aborted fetal cell lines and ethical alternatives," Children of God for Life, http://www.cogforlife.org/fetalvaccines.htm)
reflection for prayer
ISAIAH 55:6: Seek the Lord while he may be found, call him while he is near.
Christ’s peace to you! JB
©2005 American Life League, Inc.
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