UNBORN WORD of the day


“But in the end, it is the childlike spirit that is stronger than all the powers of hell”
July 11, 2008, 10:46 pm
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders, Pro-life

Madonna House is a beautiful and faithful Catholic community in Canada. This community recently returned the Order of Canada medal given to their foundress Catherine Doherty in 1976 to protest the medal being given to abortionist Henry Morgentaler.

“But in the end, it is the childlike spirit that is stronger than all the powers of hell, and Our Lady is the most childlike of us all.” From the “The Most Childlike of Us All” by Father David May.

Why are these words newsworthy? Well, just this week, Father May – Director General of Priests at Madonna House – returned the Order of Canada awarded to their foundress, Catherine Doherty.

From an article in City News we learn the reason for this protest.

“Susanne Stubbs, one of three directors of the House, says Doherty died in 1985 but wrote a letter to staff stating the medal belonged to all of them. ‘The motto on the medal is in Latin and it means, “For the good of the homeland,” Stubbs said Tuesday in Ottawa. ‘We do not believe that Dr. Morgentaler’s life work of promoting abortion is good for Canada.’ Madonna House’s Father David May seconded Stubbs’ sentiments. ‘(We’re returning the medal) as a gesture of our distress over the recent decision to award the Order of Canada to Dr. Morgentaler.'”

Madonna House is a wonderful Catholic Community in Ontario. George and I both were fortunate enough to visit Madonna House when we were in College.

On their website they describe their apostolate:

“The Madonna House Apostolate is a family of Christian lay men, women, and priests, striving to incarnate the teachings of Jesus Christ by forming a community of love….They have in common a desire to serve God in a very humble way of life, as summarized in our Little Mandate. Our spirit is that of a family – modeled on the holy family of Nazareth, which was a community of perfect charity and love.”

That pretty well describes what I encountered when I visited. It is truly a remarkable community. They welcome guests – when you visit you get to live their life with them…work, prayer, joy. One of the little things I remember about Madonna House was the joyful laughter at the dinner table.

In the article “The Most Childlike of Us All” quoted above Father May reflects on the Gospel of Life and speaks about the reality of abortion:

“There is a holy sorrow that refuses to look the other way or to ignore the plight of God’s innocent ones…The world today needs people who mourn at its fate, whose tears of prayer will wash away some of the accumulated debris in so many souls….Of course, there is the question of: what can be done? There are people on the front lines of the medical world, the political world, education, the pro-life movement in its various forms.”

But he also reminds us:

“Today the battle for Life must take many forms. I have come to understand that the Madonna House way of life itself is one of the means God is using to restore people’s minds and hearts to the truth of their infinite dignity. This restoration will only happen where there is community, ‘family,’ because the wounded and broken heart and mind can only be restored in such a context. It is the way we are made, and the breakdown of family life today is the main reason that so many place so little value on their own lives or the lives of others.”

In another article entitled “Becoming Small Enough to Think Big” Father May ends with these words:

“Are you wearied enough of your own ideas to listen anew this year to the great thoughts God has about your future and the future of our world? Are you tired out enough by the futility of your own efforts to “make things better” to turn to God like a little child, the smallest of little children, and to lean on him at last, moment by moment by moment?”



“I don’t have much, you know… So, I have given them my life. And my life is all that I had.”

JEROME LEJEUNE
June 13, 1926 – April 3,1994

Jérôme Jean Louis Marie Lejeune (Montrouge, France; June 13, 1926-April 3, 1994) was a French Catholic pro-life pediatrician and geneticist, best known for his discovery of the link of diseases to chromosome abnormalities. He developed the karotype, and discovered the link between inadequate intake of Folic Acid by pregnant women and neural tube defects.

Lejeune had made his career specializing in the treatment of children with Down’s syndrome. He discovered that children with Down’s syndrome have an extra copy (called a trisomy) of chromosome 21. He spent the remainder of his life researching a cure for Down syndrome. He said, “it would take less effort to find a cure for Down syndrome than to send a man to the moon.” He also diagnosed the first case of Cri du chat syndrome, or 5p deletion syndrome, in 1963.

In an article entitled Professor Jerome Lejeune a moving account of his last days can be found: “ On Good Friday , he confided to a priest who was giving him last rites : ‘I have never betrayed my faith. This is all that counts before God…’ He told his children who were asking him what he wished to bequeath to his little patients : ‘I don’t have much, you know… So, I have given them my life. And my life is all that I had.’ Then, moved to tears, he murmured, ‘O my God! I was supposed to have cured them, and I am leaving without having found … What will happen to them?’ Then, radiant with joy, he spoke to his loved ones: ‘My children, if I can leave you a message, this is the most important of all : we are in the hands of God. I have experienced this a number of times.’ ”

In her book,Life is a Blessing, Clara Lejeune (Jerome’s daughter) tells us that Pope John Paul II spoke these words after Jerome’s death on Easter Sunday to her sister Anouk: “Humanly speaking we need him so much. But maybe this is a gift he has given us for the Academy and for all this pro-life work. Didn’t Christ die on the cross to save us?”

On the surface it would seem that Dr. Lejeune had failed but in fact he kept hope alive – he spoke truth to the world that these children with Downs syndrome are precious and that we should continue to seek a cure. In an article in the July 6-12, 2008 issue of the National Catholic Register, entitled The Legacy of Jerome Lejeune and the Resurgence of Down Syndrome Research , LETICIA VELASQUEZ details encouraging research developments in this field. To read the details about this research for Dr. Lejeunes beloved ‘patients’ click on the article above. I’m sure Dr. Lejeune is looking on from heaven with great happiness – researchers are carrying on his work and what he worked for may someday be a reality.

 

Thankyou to Cathlete for alerting us to the wonderful article by Leticia Velasquez .



What pro-life couple had lunch with the Pope the day he was shot?
July 1, 2008, 11:26 pm
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders, John Paul II, Pro-life

Answer: Dr. Jerome Lejeune and his wife, Birthe LeJeune.

On May 13, 1981, Jerome and his wife were in Rome. The Holy Father wished to receive them in a private audience. After the discussion, the Pope spontaneously invited them to stay for lunch. The same evening, on their way back to Paris, they learned about the attack on John Paul II, a few hours after they had left him. Jerome’s health was shaken by this news.

John Paul II later appointed Dr Lejeune to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. When he created the Pontifical Academy for Life, he made Dr. Lejeune president of that Academy, just prior to his death of cancer in Paris in 1994.

Jérôme Lejeune died on Easter Sunday, 1994. The day after Dr. Lejeune’s death John Paul II spoke these words:

“We find ourselves today faced with the death of a great Christian of the twentieth century, a man for whom the defense of life had become an apostolate. It is clear that, in the situation of the world today, this form of apostolate among the laity is particularly necessary…

In 1997 John Paul II visited his friend’s grave during World Youth Day in Paris. One of the French journalists commented on the event with the following pun: The Pope visited “the young” (“les jeunes”) and Lejeune.



ANOTHER FRIEND TO UNBORN CHILDREN WHO CHAMPIONS THEIR RIGHTS
June 8, 2008, 10:29 pm
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders, Pro-life

Archbishop John J. Myers led the Stations of the Cross for Life in Englewood. Participants walked in procession past a clinic that performs abortions while praying the rosary.

In our last post we discussed Archbishop Raymond Burke and a pontifical appointment he and Archbishop John Myers received. Today we will feature a few quotes from Archbishop Myers who was Bishop of Peoria, IL from 1987-2001 and has been Archbishop of Newark, NJ since 2001.

In June 1990 he wrote a Pastoral Statement on the Obligations of Catholics and the Rights of Unborn Children. Here are a few quotes:

“Public law wisely does not attempt to forbid every immoral act or require that citizens fulfill every one of their moral obligations. There are, however, certain evil acts which the law of any just society must forbid. One of the central purposes of public authority is to prevent injustices. Gravely unjust acts, especially acts of unjust killing, cannot be legally tolerated. Nor can public law permit the unjust killing of a whole class of human beings while protecting the lives of others.

“Let there be no doubt that striving for legal abortion is radically inconsistent with the Catholic faith. Any citizen or public official who helps to make abortion more widely available, or any priest, religious, or theologian who teaches that it ought to be made available, commits a grave injustice against the most vulnerable members of the human family.”

“There is, and can be, no such thing as an authentic “pro-choice” Catholic.”

“As voters, Catholics are under an obligation to avoid implicating themselves in abortion.”

In May 2004 he wrote another pastoral statement called: A Time for Honesty. In this statement he discussed the issue of abortion and conscience. Here are a few quotes:

…’respect’ for another’s conscience should never require abandoning one’s own properly formed conscience. Conscientious opposition to abortion, rooted in an understanding of the sanctity of human life, may not be sacrificed simply because others, whose consciences are gravely mistaken, would unjustly take the life of an unborn baby.”

“Human life is a gift from God and as Catholics we have a most grave obligation to defend all human life from the moment of conception until natural death. God help us if we fail in this most fundamental obligation.

A FUTURE POST WILL INCLUDE QUOTES FROM ARCHBISHOP MYERS’ 2004 WALL STREET JOURNAL ARTICLE titled “A Voter’s Guide“.



WHAT IS A BISHOP TO DO…WHEN CATHOLIC POLITICIANS OBSTINATELY PERSEVERE IN PROMOTING ABORTION?
June 3, 2008, 11:30 pm
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders, Pro-life, The Eucharist

Catholic politicians who vote for abortion

First, check out can. 915 of the Code of Canon Law.

Second, read Archbishop Raymond Burke’s recently published article in the Canon Law journal Periodica de re Canonica, vol. 96 (2007) called, The Discipline Regarding the Denial of Holy Communion to Those Obstinately Persevering in Manifest Grave Sin.

We devoted a post to this topic on May 1, 2008, focusing on the denial of Eucharistic communion to Catholic politicians who, after being instructed by their pastor in the Church’s teaching about the sacredness of human life, persist in promoting abortion. But we wanted to give a little more information and also an update. The article by Archbishop Burke might be legitimately seen as a turning point in the Church’s efforts to discipline those who want to stand defiantly against human life within the womb and also want Catholics to vote for them in every election. These are the deceitful Catholic politicians who want their cake and want to eat it too, or in their case want you to abort your baby and want to kiss your baby on the campaign trail too!

With the aforementioned article Archbishop Burke is leading a nimble Canonical charge against Catholic politicians who want to aggressively promote the culture of death within our society. God bless him! Well, that is exactly what is happening. I subscribe to the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, and on the back page of my May 14, 2008 English Edition, under the “Roman Curia” heading I read the following news: Appointments by Pope Benedict XVI to the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. I see a blank expression on your face! This Pontifical Council is the official body which authentically interprets Canon Law. After naming six cardinals appointed as members the list ends humbly with two Archbishops: “Archbishop John Joseph Myers of Newark, U.S.A. and Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke of Saint Louis, U.S.A.

While Archbishop Burke is no stranger to the Vatican – years ago he served on the Roman Rota – yet this recent appointment following his publication of a somewhat controversial article on a very controversial subject suggests that the Vatican is on board with Burke and bored with the old approach of “letting sleeping dogs lie” (especially when they are really wolves in sheep’s clothing).

OUR NEXT BLOG WILL FEATURE ARCHBISHOP JOHN J. MYERS



Living Pro-life – 3 Politicians
May 24, 2008, 3:01 am
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders, Pro-life

Governor Sarah Palin is the current Governor of Alaska. She is pro-life and a member of Feminists for Life. She was told last December that the child she was carrying had Down Syndrome. On April 18 she gave birth to Trig Paxson Van Palin who is her fifth child.

This is the announcement that the family made after Trig’s birth:

“Trig is beautiful and already adored by us. We knew through early testing he would face special challenges, and we feel privileged that God would entrust us with this gift and allow us unspeakable joy as he entered our lives.”

Governor Palin also said about Trig:

“I’m looking at him right now, and I see perfection,” Palin said. “Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking, in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?”

What a beautiful pro-life example when you consider that at least 80% of children with disabilities are aborted in this country.

Another pro-life politician who recently had a baby with Down syndrome is Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rogers. U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Washington state Republican, has just celebrated the first birthday of her son Cole, her first child, who was born with Down syndrome. She is busy campaigning for a third term, and Cole often travels with her between Washington, D.C., and the Pacific Northwest.

Here is what she says about her son:

“Cole opened my eyes to the pain and trouble a lot of families endure,” Rodgers said. “He’s allowed me to see people and circumstance more deeply, and the generosity of people.”

“It’s in human nature to focus on the negative, on what the person can’t do. In our mind, we are focused on what he can do, what he will be able to do and do very well.”

She is also spearheading a new Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus:

“It’s the goal of the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus to allow every child with Down syndrome to reach their full potential. We’ll work to raise expectations and improve education, make it easier for people with Down syndrome to find jobs, and promote funding and research for effective treatments and therapies,” McMorris Rodgers said.

In an article entitled, Getting to Know John McCain, Karl Rove writes about Cindy and John McCain’s decision to adopt a child from one of Mother Teresa’s orphanages.

“…in 1991 Cindy McCain was visiting Mother Teresa’s orphanage in Bangladesh when a dying infant was thrust into her hands. The orphanage could not provide the medical care needed to save her life, so Mrs. McCain brought the child home to America with her. She was met at the airport by her husband, who asked what all this was about.

Mrs. McCain replied that the child desperately needed surgery and years of rehabilitation. “I hope she can stay with us,” she told her husband. Mr. McCain agreed. Today that child is their teenage daughter Bridget.

I was aware of this story. What I did not know, and what I learned from Doris, is that there was a second infant Mrs. McCain brought back. She ended up being adopted by a young McCain aide and his wife.

“We were called at midnight by Cindy,” Wes Gullett remembers, and “five days later we met our new daughter Nicki at the L.A. airport wearing the only clothing Cindy could find on the trip back, a 7-Up T-shirt she bought in the Bangkok airport.” Today, Nicki is a high school sophomore. Mr. Gullett told me, “I never saw a hospital bill” for her care.”

A few things not mentioned in Karl Rove’s article about Cindy McCain is that after earning a Masters in Special Education at the University of Southern California she became a special needs teacher. She has also founded and supported many very worthy charities including American Voluntary Medical Team (AVMT) which brought emergency medical relief to countries all over the world. Another organization she founded is the Hensley Family Foundation, which donates monies towards children’s programs in Arizona and nationally. And she has been a longtime active volunteer in an organization called Operation Smile, a nonprofit organization that has been repairing child and young adult cleft palates and cleft lips in countries around the globe.



eucharistic consistency and the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia
May 1, 2008, 9:52 pm
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders, Pope Benedict XVI, Pro-life

Kelly Clark had an interesting post concerning the recent discussion in the news about pro-abortion politicians receiving communion. Her title was: Bishops: I know you were busy with the Papal visit and all but Communion is…serious

We thought the following quotes and links would contribute to the ongoing discussion:

The following two quotes are taken from a memorandum sent by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in his capacity as Prefect for the Sacred Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, in June 2004 to Cardinal Theodore McCarrick (who at that time was exercising leadership in the U. S. Conference of Bishops concerning matters of domestic policy). The memorandum is entitled Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion – General Principles:

Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.”

Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

In Sacramentum Caritatis an Apostolic Exhortation issued by Pope Benedict on February 22, 2007 we find this:

“Here it is important to consider what the Synod Fathers described as Eucharistic consistency, … Evidently, this is true for all the baptized, yet it is especially incumbent upon those who, by virtue of their social or political position, must make decisions regarding fundamental values, such as respect for human life, its defense from conception to natural death, the family built upon marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one’s children and the promotion of the common good in all its forms (230). These values are not negotiable. Consequently, Catholic politicians and legislators, conscious of their grave responsibility before society, must feel particularly bound, on the basis of a properly formed conscience, to introduce and support laws inspired by values grounded in human nature (231). There is an objective connection here with the Eucharist (cf. 1 Cor 11:27-29). Bishops are bound to reaffirm constantly these values as part of their responsibility to the flock entrusted to them (232).”

Bishop Rene Henry Gracida, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, in an essay entitled A Twelve Step Program for Bishops said:

If the Penal Canons of the Code are now to be dusted off and brought out of the cupboard within which they have lain dormant for almost half-a-century, it is because the balm of mercy and discretion of measure have failed to heal the growing infection of error and scandal inside the Church and the genocide increasing daily in the world around us. The time for half-measures and fear of reprisal, loss of position, temporal advantage, or career opportunity is over – the time for action in now.”

To bring into focus the application of canon law to this topic, we highly recommend the recent scholarly article by Archbishop Raymond L. Burke entitled The Discipline Regarding the Denial of Holy Communion to Those Obstinately Persevering in Manifest Grave Sin (Periodica De Re Canonica, Vol. 96, 2007) and the interview with Archbishop Burke conducted by Barbara Kralis entitled: Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, the new ‘John Fisher’ by Barbara Kralis August 5, 2004.



“EXPELLED” THE MOVIE – PROMOTES RESPECT FOR HUMAN LIFE!
April 27, 2008, 11:18 pm
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders, Pro-life

Ben Stein in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”

Ben Stein vs. Big Science! Ben’s new movie “Expelled” is worth going to see. First of all, he presents a serious subject with a lot of humor which makes it quite enjoyable. But more importantly, Ben is trying to promote a culture of life from an unusual perspective.

It is a thought provoking movie aimed at generally promoting “freedom of thought” and specifically within the scientific community. Many influential scientists promote their own aggressive agendas based on “freedom of choice” but are opposed to “freedom of thought”. Watch to see how Ben links the culture of death mentality with narrow-minded Darwinism and a culture of life approach with openness to Intelligent Design theory.*

I first saw Ben Stein speak at a Pro – Life conference around 1986 when I was the Education Director for the Right to Life League of Southern California. He was our featured speaker and did a great job. I just saw his new movie – which begins with him giving a speech to a crowd – and it brought back fond memories. Ben entertains while he educates, inspires while he informs – what a concept!

*Others have made this same connection between the Culture of Death mentality and Darwin. For a readable scholarly look at the bigger picture see Architects Of The Culture Of Death by my former Philosophy professor, Donald DeMarco and his co-author Benjamin Wiker. In this book they have exposed its roots by introducing its “architects.” In a scholarly, yet reader-friendly delineation of the mindsets of twenty-three influential thinkers, such as Ayn Rand, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Jean-Paul Sartre, Alfred Kinsey, Margaret Sanger, Jack Kevorkian, and Peter Singer, they make clear the aberrant thought and malevolent intentions that have shaped the Culture of Death.



At Mass today, Pope Benedict praises the heroic pro-life efforts of the late Cardinals Cooke and O’Connor
April 19, 2008, 4:00 pm
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders, Pope Benedict XVI, Pro-life

Pope Benedict XVI celebrates Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York on Saturday. Shannon Stapleton / AP

Stating that the Church is called to “proclaim the gift of life, to serve life, and to promote a culture of life” at St. Patrick’s Cathedral today Pope Benedict paid tribute to two great Pro-life leaders, Cardinal Cooke and Cardinal O’Connor.

“The Church, as “a people made one by the unity of the Father, the Son and the Spirit” (cf. Lumen Gentium, 4), is called to proclaim the gift of life, to serve life, and to promote a culture of life. Here in this cathedral, our thoughts turn naturally to the heroic witness to the Gospel of life borne by the late Cardinals Cooke and O’Connor. The proclamation of life, life in abundance, must be the heart of the new evangelization. For true life – our salvation – can only be found in the reconciliation, freedom and love which are God’s gracious gift.”

HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
St Patrick’s Cathedral, New York
Saturday, 19 April 2008

We would like to document some of the pro-life efforts of these two great men who were early and courageous defenders of the unborn.

Terence Cardinal Cooke

In a May 22, 1972 article in Time magazine, entitled, The Abortion Issue, Cardinal Cooke’s early efforts to repeal the abortion law in New York are detailed. Issuing his own letter in New York against abortion from all of the pulpits in 1972, he supported New York citizens who were fighting this law. He also published a pro-life letter that President Nixon sent to him. The letter, endorsing the repeal (pro-life) movement and calling it a “noble endeavor,” was released by the Cardinal’s office-with tacit, if not explicit, White House approval. In 1972, Terence Cardinal Cooke was one of the first to describe abortion as “slaughter of the innocent unborn”.

Cardinal Cooke’s final letter read on October 8 and 9th, 1983, the weekend after his death was a letter on the sanctity of the gift of life.

And as many of you know, his successor, Cardinal O’Connor took up the pro-life cause and became another hero for the pro-life movement.

John Cardinal O’Connor

EWTN has a wonderful tribute to Cardinal O’Connor on his death which details many of his wonderful efforts on behalf of the unborn.

1. He was committed to the right to life and showed his concern by wearing on the lapel of his black clerical suit a tiny red rose with its stem spelling out “life“.

2. He participated at the annual Right to Life March held in Washington, DC.

3. He formed a religious community, the Sisters of Life who are dedicated to protecting the sacredness of all human life beginning with the infant in the womb to those vulnerable to the threat of euthanasia.

4. In addition, he repeated an offer many times to any woman in need: “go to him for help rather than abort her child”. The Archdiocese of New York and Catholic charities responded by providing hundreds of women with medical assistance, housing, adoption and legal services, as well as, the Cardinal himself counseling women in difficult situations.

These are the two men whom Pope Benedict held up as authentic pro-life heroes when he called on the Church to “proclaim the gift of life, to serve life, and to promote a culture of life”.



The next generation advancing the pro-life cause
March 3, 2008, 9:10 pm
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders, Medical/Bioethical Issues

Two interesting pieces of pro-life news really highlight how the next generation is advancing the pro-life cause.

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A few years ago a Harvard student, Brian Skotko, did research about the lack of support that woman who were given a diagnosis for Down’s Syndrome received from their doctors. Student’s study fosters bipartisan legislation.He found that most woman had been given very little information and none of it positive from their doctor after being prenatally diagnosed with a Down’s Syndrome baby. It is no wonder that 90% of these children are now aborted. Mothers: Doctors Too Negative When Diagnosing Down Syndrome.

This study was so convincing that Senator Sam Brownback introduced the Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act into the Senate on 7/18/2007. Just last week,the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee approved the Pre-natally and Post-natally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act on a unanimous vote. The bill now moves to full Senate consideration– For more information click here.

The proposed legislation would require that families who receive a diagnosis of Down syndrome or any other condition, prenatally or up until a year after birth, be given up-to-date information about the nature of the condition and connection with support services and networks that could offer assistance. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) is a co-sponsor.

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The second story is about the pro-life students at UCLA and the unique ways they have of unmasking Planned Parenthood. Last year a UCLA student Lila Rose posed as a pregnant 15 year-old and entered a Santa Monica Planned Parenthood. She told them that the father of the child was a 23 year old. Instead of reporting the incident to the proper authorities, “The abortion facility staff encouraged her to “figure out a birth-date that works,” to obtain the abortion and avoid getting the man in trouble with the police.”

These great UCLA students have a new expose of the abortion industry which is making headlines around the country. Here is a description of their latest venture (from Kelly Clark): They arranged for an actor to call Planned Parenthood “development centers” in seven states and pretend to be a donor asking that his donation go specifically to aborting black babies to reduce the black population.

Sure enough, the Planned Parenthood staffers didn’t bat an eye at the caller’s sickening, overt racism; they were happy to process his donation. One PP staffer in Idaho even called a racist statement “understandable.”

This all makes perfect sense to anyone who knows that Planned Parenthood plants most of its abortion chambers in minority neighborhoods. PP thinks the way to get rid of poverty is to get rid of poor babies. They aborted more than 264,000 babies in their most recent reported year.

For more information read the following – Student Magazine Says Planned Parenthood Probe Finds Abortion Racism.



“And What I Have Failed To Do…” Father Pavone on the Election
February 29, 2008, 10:47 am
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders, Pro-life

As anyone who reads this blog knows we have a lot of respect for Father Pavone. Recently (Feb. 11, 2008) Father Pavone wrote the following on the upcoming election (8 months away). We felt it was an important statement and would clear up some of the questions and concerns that many people have posed during this election cycle. Here are links to both this particular statement as well as to Father’s blog.

 

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“And What I Have Failed To Do…”

by

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

 

What’s this I hear from some people that they might “sit out” the Presidential election because they aren’t comfortable with the likely choice of candidates?

Since when are elections supposed to make us “comfortable?” Since when do we exercise that right to vote, for which people fought and died, only when it’s easy and clear-cut, and our choices are just the way we want them to be?

At Mass we pray, “I confess to Almighty God…that I have sinned…in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do…

What we fail to do can make us just as guilty as what we do. A sin is a wrong choice, and to decide not to do something is just as much of a choice as to decide to do something.

A sin of omission is still a sin – and we are still responsible for the results.

What, then, makes us think that we are more responsible for the results of voting than for the results of not voting?

A vote is not a philosophical statement. It is a transfer of power. It is a pragmatic act to preserve, as much as possible under the circumstances, the common good, and to limit the evils that threaten it.

And in the pragmatic matter of elections, what matters is not how closely a candidate measures up to my preferences and convictions. Instead, it’s a question of who can and will actually get elected. It does little good if the person I felt most comfortable supporting doesn’t get to actually govern and implement those positions I like so much.

The vote can be used just as much to keep someone out of office as to put someone in.

If we fail to use that tool, however, and as a result the person who gets elected is far worse and does far more damage than the other person we did not like, then we still share responsibility for the damage that will be done.

Elections have seasons. In the earliest phases, the field is wide open. We can recruit candidates, or decide to run ourselves. We build up the name recognition and base of support for the person or people who would make the best candidate. This takes years of work.

Then the season of primaries arrives, during which voters choose between the candidates who have been recruited and who have been building up their strength.

Then the general election season arrives, and we may find that we don’t like any of the names on the ballot. At that point, we have to shift our thinking and focus on “better” rather than “best.” The reality usually is that one of several unsatisfactory candidates will in fact be elected. So we use our vote to create the better outcome and to limit the damage. That’s the shift that some fail to make.

And we are still responsible for what we fail to do.



An Example of Biblical Resistance for Pro-life Professionals Today

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Pharaoh’s Daughter Finds Baby Moses. Nicolas Poussin 1638

“In the Old Testament, precisely in regard to threats against life, we find a significant example of resistance to the unjust command of those in authority. After Pharaoh ordered the killing of all newborn males, the Hebrew midwives refused. “They did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live” (Ex 1:17). But the ultimate reason for their action should be noted: ‘the midwives feared God’. ” #73 Evangelium Vitae

Pro-life professionals are increasingly being put in positions similar to these Hebrew midwives. Many are taking courageous and principled stands for life.

In the past year one doctor in England was censured for persuading women not to have abortions. There is a chance that Dr. Tammie Downes may be forced out of her profession because she saved the lives of these children.

British Doctor Under Investigation for Persuading Patients against Abortion

Dr Tammie Downes: Why I’m so passionately against abortion

Doctor’s are not only fighting abortion but they are also having to resist groups that are trying to force them to refer women to have abortions.

LIFE DIGEST: U.S. medical group wants doctors forced to refer for abortions.

Pro-life doctors fight for conscience rights (Canada)

EU says Catholic Doctors Must be Forced to Abort

In an article on the Physicians for Life website we see that this is an ongoing fight.

Right of Conscience From Abortion – Federal Legislation Compared to UK (as of 5/07)

Many courageous pharmacists are also resisting and working to ensure their right of conscience when it comes to dispensing the Morning After Pill and birth control.

Pharmacists’ Rights at Front Of New Debate
Because of Beliefs, Some Refuse To Fill Birth Control Prescriptions

Pharmacists fired for denying ‘morning after’ pill

Catholic Hospitals are increasingly being forced to administer Plan B – one Bishop in Colorado has taken a courageous stand against this:

Colorado Springs Bishop Says He Does Not and Would Not Permit Plan B in Catholic Hospitals : Would likely have the Church pull out of hospitals than compromise the faith

These courageous pro-life professionals are continuing the tradition of the midwives in the Old Testament – they are resisting the pressure of those in authority because they fear God and love the life that He has created.

 



“Abortion need not be an ‘answer’ in this Archdiocese”
January 14, 2008, 12:30 am
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders
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I was born in Maryland so I have a special fondness for the state. Maryland has a unique history.

In early March 1634, the Ark and Dove (the two ships the Catholic settlers used to travel from England) reached Chesapeake Bay, bound for the Potomac River and Maryland. The Ark and Dove arrived at Maryland on March 3, 1634. On March 25, they came ashore on St. Clements Island to celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation (with a Mass). Consequently, March 25 is the ‘State Day’ holiday in Maryland. A Memorial Cross was built on St. Clements Island in 1934 dedicated to the memory of the first landing of the Maryland Colonists.

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On July 12, 2007 Most Rev. Edwin Frederick O’Brien was appointed the new Archbishop of Baltimore, Maryland. Here is an inspiring excerpt from a homily he gave at his Mass of Installation on October 1, 2007.

“The right to life is the greatest civil rights issue of our time. This is the issue that will determine whether America remains a hospitable society – committed to caring for women in crisis and their unborn children, committed to caring for those with special needs, committed to caring for the elderly and the dying – or whether America betrays our heritage and the truths on which its Founders staked their claim to independence.

In addressing these issues of life over the past four decades, the Catholic bishops of the United States have not – repeat, not – made “sectarian arguments.” The bishops have made moral arguments that can be known by anyone willing to think through the first principles of justice. It is worse than a tragedy, it is a scandal, that too many of our fellow-citizens, including our Catholic fellow-citizens, seem not to have grasped these first principles of justice or have turned their backs on them.

I pledge that I shall make every possible effort to continue and intensify the defense of the right to life that has been waged by my predecessors.

And I pledge more. No one has to have an abortion. To all of those in crisis pregnancies, I pledge our support and our financial help. Come to the Catholic Church. Let us walk with you through your time of trouble. Let us help you affirm life. Let us help you find a new life with your child, or let us help you place that child in a loving home. But please, I beg you: let us help you affirm life. Abortion need not be an “answer” in this Archdiocese.”



Hyde Amendment was “the rockets’ red glare” showing pro-lifers “that our flag was still there”!
November 30, 2007, 10:21 pm
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders

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I’m not sure how many people in my neighborhood know anything about Republican Congressman Henry Hyde, but this morning I looked out my front window after hearing the news of his death yesterday and I wished I could make a dignified statement to my community about the life of this great man – flying the nation’s flag at half-mast.

To millions of us he carried the pro-life ball for decades, looking downfield – and struggling – towards the ever elusive touchdown line. Perhaps those who are new to the pro-life movement don’t realize what he accomplished in those earlier decades but those who were involved in it all back in the seventies and eighties remember it too well. It was bleak. There were almost no victories, the leaders who should have led did not, and many who we expected to care didn’t.

Enter the freshman congressman from Illinois. He introduced an amendment to ban the use of Medicaid funding for abortion – now called the Hyde Amendment – which passed, and still stands today as one of the few great victories of the movement that suffers onward, much maligned as was he, towards a more child-friendly day in the not too distant future.

I was living in Canada from 1973 to 1982. Once the Hyde Amendment passed in 1976, Hyde was a household name in Canada too – that is, in Pro-Life households. After 1976, he championed on – as so many other lesser-knowns – so his struggle on the political stage was embraced by the rest of us on our own mundane – but still important – stages.

I met Henry Hyde in the late eighties when I was the Director of Education for the Right to Life League of Southern California and he was a keynote speaker at our annual conference. Two of us met him at the airport and we quickly realized that he was a dignified down-to-earth guy. Even his political rivals saw this in him.

Today, the online National Review called the Hyde Amendment “the most important piece of pro – life legislation ever to pass congress”. One reason – but not the main reason – is that after the 1973 Roe v. Wade Decision, the national conscience was sort of shell shocked and the national moral will was sapped. Those who cared sensed a long hard bitter battle ahead to restore what had been lost. The passage of the Hyde Amendment was that “rockets’ red glare” showing pro-lifers “that our flag was still there”! And still worth fighting for. At some point, I’m not sure when, the tide began to turn.



Ordinary people can change the course of history
November 29, 2007, 10:02 pm
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders

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Last year at a dinner I attended for the Life Centers of Ventura County, Sister Paula Vandegaer* told this story:

“California was one of the first states to legalize abortion and Ronald Reagan was involved in the situation in 1967. Anthony Bielensen authored a bill in California that allowed abortion in cases of rape, incest and health of the mother. The original bill also included deformity of the child as a reason to justify abortion. The governor of California at that time was Ronald Reagan who refused to sign it if it included handicapped babies. This particular clause was deleted and the bill went to the Governor’s desk.

The day that Governor Reagan signed the bill he was visited by two pro-life people. Doctor Bill Walsh from Camarillo and Libby Goodwin, a social worker from Los Angeles.

According to Libby, Dr. Walsh had succeeded in getting a 15 minute interview with the governor who was due to sign the abortion bill that day. The 15-minute interview turned into an hour and a half talk, with his staff continually reminding him that he had to leave immediately for a meeting in San Francisco.

They explained fetal development and that this was a human being. They discussed how this mentality would eventually lead to euthanasia. Dr. Walsh, who graduated from Standford University told the Governor about the fetal experimentation that was already going on there.

Reagan told them he had never thought of this. He promised the then powerful Democrat Jesse Unruh that he would sign this bill in exchange for the passage of the budget. He felt he had to sign it but he said, “I will never sign another such thing in my life. I will never support another abortion bill.” And he never did! Although he signed the abortion bill that day, still that historic meeting changed the course of history. He later became a President who resisted all further legalization of abortion worldwide. It is interesting to note the power of ordinary people to change the course of history.”

* Sister Paula Vandegaer, president and executive director of International Life Services, “has been involved in the pro-life movement since 1967, when abortion was legalized in California.” Then-Gov. Ronald Reagan (R.), who had not yet really studied the abortion issue, signed a bill that was part of a national trend toward liberalizing abortion laws that led up to the U.S. Supreme Court’s legalizing abortion on demand in Roe v. Wade (1973).



China’s Pro-life Hero
November 15, 2007, 12:59 am
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders

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We are highlighting two men who are real heroes for the unborn: Yesterday, we drew attention to Elias Biscet, today we will feature Chen Guangcheng.

 

On August 24, 2006 Chen Guangcheng was sentenced to four years and three months’ imprisonment. The official charge was for disrupting traffic and damaging property, charges his wife, Yuan Weijing, and critics say were concocted by officials angry at his exposure of forced late-term abortions in his hometown in Shandong province.

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Hannah Beech in her two articles Chen Guangcheng and Blind Justice describes the real reason pro-life hero Chen Guangcheng was arrested:

“He may have lost his sight as a child, but Chen Guangcheng’s legal vision has helped illuminate the plight of thousands of Chinese villagers. Last year officials initiated a forced abortion and sterilization campaign against women in Shandong province who were deemed ineligible to bear another child under China’s strict family-planning policy. Even though national regulations prohibit such brutal measures, no one except Chen was willing to confront local officials, who may have felt that lowering the number of extra births would help their political careers. By filing a lawsuit on the women’s behalf, he became a hero in Shandong and an important player in China’s nascent civil society. “Someone has to fight for people with no voice,” he said last fall. ‘I guess that person is me.'”

“Distraught citizens (had) asked him if he could do anything about the coerced abortions and sterilizations. At least two women had been forced to abort their babies just days before their due dates. Chen traveled to Beijing to see what he could do. His drumbeat advocacy prompted the usually reticent State Family Planning Commission to call for the arrest of any officials who break the law.”

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Since his arrest, his wife Yuan Weijung, has been harassed, detained and under 24 hour surveillance. Here she was attempting to fly to the Philippines to pick up a Magsaysay award – sometimes referred to as Asia’s Nobel prize – on behalf of her husband. She was not allowed to leave the country.

 

Let us keep Chen Guangcheng and his family in our prayers.

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Cuba’s Pro-life Hero!
November 14, 2007, 12:23 am
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders

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We would like to highlight two men who are real heroes for the unborn: Today we will highlight Elias Biscet, tomorrow we will feature Chen Guangcheng.

 

 

On November 5, 2007 the Presidential Medal of Freedom was awarded by President George Bush to pro-life activist, Dr. Elias Biscet. Elias Biscet is a doctor in Cuba who is presently serving 22 years in prison for his ‘anti-government views’.

The well known journalist, Jeff Jacoby, in a Boston Globe editorial, A Hero in Castro’s Gulag (11/4/07), describes one of the real reasons Biscet was thrown in prison:

“A prolife Christian physician, Biscet first ran afoul of the Castro regime in the 1990s, when he investigated Cuban abortion techniques – Cuba has by far the highest abortion rates in the Western Hemisphere – and revealed that numerous infants had been killed after being delivered alive.”

LifeNews.com elaborates:

“Biscet was arrested and served three years in a prison camp after publishing an article condemning abortion. After he was released, Biscet was again arrested and is serving 22 years in prison for ‘anti-government views’.”

He has been beaten and is living in a prison cell in Combinado del Este, a prison Jacoby describes as a “hellhole”.

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A replica of the solitary cell similar to the one Oscar Elias Biscet is kept in. (AFP/Getty Images via Newscom)

To learn more about Dr. Elias Biscet visit these websites:

Freedom for Dr. Biscet

Freedom for Dr. Biscet in Cuba!

Let us keep Dr. Biscet and his wife Elsa Morejon, who has also been persecuted by the Cuban government, in our prayers.