Friday, August 31, 2012

Charges Dismissed

A nine-year battle to prosecute a Kansas Planned Parenthood facility comes to an end
By Les Sillars

(WNS)--A Kansas prosecutor last week dropped all remaining criminal charges against a Kansas City-area Planned Parenthood facility accused of performing illegal late-term abortions. The decision ended a nine-year legal battle initiated by then-Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline to prosecute the abortion giant in criminal court. (See “Vengeance on the prairie,” WORLD Magazine, May 21, 2011.)
Howe (Associated Press/Photo by Chuck France)
Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe announced that 32 misdemeanor charges against Planned Parenthood had been dismissed. Those charges were the last part of a criminal case Kline filed in 2007 that initially included 107 criminal charges, 23 of which were felony charges of “false writing” for faking abortion reports.
Howe said his decision to end the case came after consulting current Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt. All three are Republicans.
“I don’t think [the decision] is going to satisfy anybody, but that is the reality of what we have to deal with today,” Howe said during a news conference at his office at the courthouse in Olathe, Kan. “But ultimately, the decision should be about the law and the evidence.”
Most of the charges from 2007 have been dismissed over the previous 10 months, notably when Howe’s office revealed last fall that state officials in departments controlled by Democrat Kathleen Sebelius, then-governor of Kansas and now secretary of Health and Human Services under President Barack Obama, had years ago shredded documents that were key evidence against Planned Parenthood, a major Sebelius supporter. (See “Shredded evidence,” Oct. 25, 2011.)
The Kansas pro-life community has long complained that pro-abortion politicians have been protecting the Planned Parenthood facility, including two Democrats who followed Kline in the attorney general’s office before Schmidt won it in the 2010 election.
The just-dropped charges dealt with allegations that the Planned Parenthood facility had in 16 cases violated a state law that restricted late-term abortions after an unborn child was viable, or could survive outside the womb. The facility was accused of not properly determining whether an unborn child was viable, but Howe said “extensive research” by his office led it to conclude that Planned Parenthood had met the tests spelled out in the law.
But Kline, now a visiting assistant professor of law at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., said Howe’s statements indicated that “he doesn’t understand the case.” The evidence, Kline wrote in an article published at, suggested that the Planned Parenthood facility falsely reported the gestational age of the unborn child in order to claim the child was not viable.
The evidence available to Howe included a report from Dr. T. Murphy Goodwin, a prominent neonatologist, who analyzed pathology reports from the facility and, based on the weights of the aborted children, concluded that in all 29 cases he reviewed they were much later in gestation than Planned Parenthood claimed and, in fact, viable. In short, wrote Kline, the evidence suggested that the Planned Parenthood facility falsified the gestational age of the children to justify illegal late-term abortions, not whether the tests required after the 21st week were completed properly.
Howe’s statement therefore “misses the point,” Kline wrote. He also accused Howe of not following up other evidence that would have allowed him to continue to prosecute other charges because of “political fear.”
Pedro Irigonegaray, a Topeka, Kan., attorney representing Planned Parenthood, praised the decision: “Finally, the truth comes out.”
“Being found innocent and getting away with something are two completely different things,” said Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life.
“The truth also remains that no one has acted to ensure that the hundreds of child victims of sexual molestation taken to Kansas abortion clinics are safe,” Kline said. “This remains the most shocking and sorrowful fact emerging from this story of corruption and cover-up.”

Why we just can't let go of our last embryo

Jen Vuk, The Sydney Morning Herald

"We spent so many years dreaming of a family that we now find ourselves still catching up to the reality".
"We spent so many years dreaming of a family that we now find ourselves still catching up to the reality".
Photo: Michele Mossop
In the same week I read about a soaring demand for donated embryos, we received our quarterly storage invoice. There are more than 100,000 frozen embryos - including ours, our last one - in storage in Australia and yet demand is now ''outstripping supply by about 20 to one, meaning hundreds of people are on waiting lists at IVF clinics hoping for an embryo'', as Fairfax reported earlier this month.
It's a curious situation but, as researchers from the University of Technology, Sydney discovered, many Australian couples (more than 40 per cent) are simply refusing to donate their spare embryos.
Many who go through IVF and have stored embryos would appreciate what other infertile couples are going through (in fact, ''feeling compassion for others struggling with infertility'' remains high on the list of motives of those who do choose to donate). Bearing that in mind, things just don't seem to add up.
These latest reports hit a particularly raw nerve for us. While we may have completed our family, as time marches on, notions of donating the embryo - or blastocyst - for research (worthy) or having it destroyed (almost unthinkable) seem less and less viable.
Marco Rubio introduced the leader of his party to the nation Thursday night, but judging by the roar of the crowd, some initially wished it was the other way around at the Republican National Convention.
The freshman Florida senator had just 15 minutes as the warm-up act for Mitt Romney, and Rubio made the most of them.
Speaking occasionally in Spanish, Rubio’s address served three purposes: It branded him as a national Hispanic leader in the Republican Party. It played up the best parts of Romney’s biography. And it kept the focus on President Barack Obama.

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 30:  U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (FL) speaks during the final day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 30, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate during the RNC which will conclude today.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
“Our problem with President Obama isn’t that he’s a bad person,” Rubio said. “By all accounts, he, too, is a good husband, and a good father … and thanks to lots of practice, a pretty good golfer.”
The crowd laughed.
The killshot followed the punch line.
“Our problem is that he’s a bad president,” Rubio said.
The crowd roared.
Short on policy specifics, Rubio’s speech was long on biography, rhetorical flourishes, references to God and paeans to the dreams of America that helped put the convention crowd in a swoon. A few grew misty-eyed, especially Cuban Americans moved by his opening line to remember the tyranny in Cuba.
Some murmured that Rubio or Romney’s running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan, should headline the ticket — a refrain heard frequently in Republican circles during the primary.
But Romney’s speech — crisp, clear and sometimes emotional — put an end to that talk at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Rubio’s speech made clear that he’s unequivocally behind Romney, who almost chose him as a running mate. The address came at the close of three days of re-branding by a Republican Party and a presidential ticket that has taken a beating from Democrats over Romney’s likability.
Rubio’s mere presence in primetime was a rebuttal to Democratic charges that the GOP’s policies — chiefly over immigration — are bad for Hispanics, who overwhelmingly back Obama, polls show.
Rubio never mentioned immigration.
Instead, he spoke of the immigrant experience, of how he’d sit and listen to his Cuban grandfather puffing on Padron cigars and holding forth on history, politics and baseball.
“I don’t recall everything we talked about, but the one thing I remember, is the one thing he wanted me to never forget. The dreams he had when he was young became impossible to achieve,” Rubio said.
Rubio said his father, a bartender, worked 16-hour days and that his mother, a maid and K-Mart stock clerk, often worked overnight shifts.
“My Dad used to tell us: ‘ En este pais, ustedes van a poder lograr todas las cosas que nosotros no pudimos,’ ‘In this country, you will be able to accomplish all the things we never could,’ ” Rubio said.
Rubio compared his family’s struggles with those of Romney’s family, which had briefly fled to Mexico.
“His family came to America to escape revolution. They struggled through poverty and the Great Depression. And yet he rose to be an admired businessman, and public servant,” Rubio said.
“And in November, his son, Mitt Romney, will be elected President of the United States,” Rubio said.
The attempt to re-fashion Romney as the heir to immigrants and the scion of a family with once-humble roots comes after months of withering assaults from Democrats on Romney’s business background. At issue: Bain Capital, a private-equity firm run by Romney that sometimes shuttered factories and laid off workers. But Bain also helped turn companies around.Earlier in the evening, a founder of Staples office company roused the crowd as he credited Romney with boosting his business and creating jobs. Another business man, who founded a steel company, said Bain made it possible to expand and hire more workers.
A third speaker, Ray Fernandez, credited Bain for ultimately helping him build his company, Vida Pharmacy, in Hialeah.
“Mitt Romney knows America’s prosperity didn’t happen because our government simply spent more,” Rubio said. “It happened because our people used their own money to open a business.”
Rubio, echoing the candidate’s wife and other speakers, also played up Romney’s personal side, which has also taken a beating from Democrats over his refusal to release multiple years of his tax returns.
“Mitt Romney’s success in business is well known. But he’s more than that,” Rubio said.
“He’s a devoted husband, father, and grandfather — a generous member of his community and church.”
Rubio faulted Obama for all the attacks, which stood in stark contrast to the president’s hope-and-change themed campaign in 2008.
“Hope and change has become Divide and Conquer,” Rubio said. “Under Barack Obama, the only ‘change’ is that ‘hope’ has been hard to find … instead of inspiring us by reminding us of what makes us special, he divides us against each other.”
But Rubio made sure the speech didn’t end on sour and bitter notes. “The story of our time will be written by Americans who haven’t yet been born. Let’s make sure they write that we did our part,” he said. “And because we did, the American Miracle lived on for another generation to inherit,” Rubio said.
But Rubio made sure the speech didn’t end on sour and bitter notes (though he flubbed a line, accidentally calling for “more government instead of more freedom”)
“The story of our time will be written by Americans who haven’t yet been born. Let’s make sure they write that we did our part,” he said. “And because we did, the American Miracle lived on for another generation to inherit.”

Read more here:

Mom Who Refused Cancer Treatment to Save Unborn Baby Recovers

by Steven Ertelt | London, England | | 8/29/12 5:13 PM

Out of England comes a miraculous story of a courageous mother, 41-year-old Jo Powell, who discovered a lump on her breast days after finding out she was pregnant with first child. Powell refused to start treatment until later in her pregnancy so she would not harm or kill her unborn child.
In similar cases, doctors suggest an abortion, but, as studies show, there is no need for women to destroy the life of their unborn child to save their own.
The London Daily mail has this touching story:
It is a decision no expectant mother should have to face. After years of trying for a baby, Jo Powell finally discovered that she was pregnant.
But her delight turned to despair days later when doctors found she had breast cancer and advised her to sacrifice her unborn child’s life in order to save her own by beginning chemotherapy.
Mrs Powell defied the doctors, however, and refused to start the treatment until much later in her pregnancy, in a gamble that could have cost her her life. Miraculously, she and her husband Richard are now celebrating with their young son, Jake, after being told that she has beaten the cancer.
Mrs Powell, 41, an office administrator, said yesterday: ‘When I heard the word cancer my first thought was, “I’m going to lose my baby.”
“It was like I was in a living nightmare. We had been trying for a baby for years, and we were convinced it wasn’t going to happen for us, so Jake was so special. I knew we couldn’t give up on our baby. There was no way I was going to sacrifice him to save myself.”
“I knew that even if I didn’t make it, I would have brought a life into the world.”
Mrs Powell was told that if she chose to keep her unborn child she would have to delay chemotherapy until later in her pregnancy when her baby would be strong enough to survive it. The doctors advised her to consider an abortion, explaining that her cancer was aggravated by her hormones and that the pregnancy could help the disease grow faster.
However, LifeNews, in April covered a collection of stories from The Lancet, a prominent British medical journal, showing pregnant women don’t need to have an abortion in order to get treatment for cancer. The information shows chemo treatment does not harm the unborn baby and mothers can treat themselves for cancer without worrying about effects on the unborn child.
In 2009, reported on a new studyshowing doctors don’t need to suggest an abortion to pregnant women who want cancer treatment. The study involved a concept called pregnancy associated breast cancer — breast cancer that is diagnosed when a woman is pregnant or within a year after delivery.
The mainstream media highlighted the study as if it showed a new concept, somehow finally dismissing the notion that pregnant women undergoing breast cancer treatment should have an abortion. But Dr. Joel Brind, a Baruch College professor says studies have shown that for decades.
“Actually, this finding has been reported many times in the last 15 years,” Brind explained.
“Unfortunately, many doctors still recommend abortion for women diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant, so that they can treat the cancer more aggressively. This is despite worldwide research going back as far as the 1930’s that shows that so-called ‘therapeutic abortion’ substantially shortens lifespan, whereas carrying the pregnancy to term makes long-term cure more likely,” he said.
Brind says that a 1976 review of all studies published to that point, conducted by French doctor P. Juret, reported that, “The futility of therapeutic abortion is now certain.”
Although the study isn’t the revelation the mainstream media claimed, Brind says it is quite useful.
“What the new story out of MD Anderson shows is that women in this particular situation — which are only about 3% of all breast cancers — have no worse a prognosis than women with the same stage of breast cancer who are not pregnant,” he said.
“But what is most important about the current report is the absence of any data about abortion, i.e., a difference in prognosis as a function of whether or not the pregnant patient aborts the baby,” he explained. “To their credit, doctors at MD Anderson have, for at least the last several years, been very good at treating both patients: Mom and her unborn child.”
“Hopefully, the current report will be yet another nail in the coffin of ‘therapeutic abortion,’” he told

St. Louis Rams' Quarterback Is 'Catholic by Blood'

Kellen Clemens looks beyond football for his deepest identity.

08/29/2012, NC Register 
Kellen Clemens has been playing football as far back as he can remember. After learning the game from his father on their cattle ranch, he went on to set high-school records for the state of Oregon in passing yards and touchdowns. At the University of Oregon, he set single-season passing records and ended his collegiate career as the school’s No. 3 man in both passing yards and touchdowns.
After being chosen in the second round of the 2006 NFL draft, Clemens has served as a backup quarterback for the New York Jets, Washington Redskins and Houston Texans. He is heading into the 2012 preseason in that same position with the St. Louis Rams.
Newman Lowrance
Kellen Clemens
– Newman Lowrance
Despite his long connection with football, Clemens explained to Register correspondent Trent Beattie that the sport is something he does, while being Catholic is who he is.

How did you start playing football?
My dad played in high school as a quarterback, and then as a defensive back at Portland State. I learned all about football from him on our cattle ranch in southeastern Oregon. However, we didn’t have a Pop Warner League where I’m from, so instead of playing on organized teams, I’d play at recess with my friends on the playground. Then, in seventh grade, we jumped right into playing with pads — playing for real, you could say. I’ve been playing “real” football ever since seventh grade.

What are some of your top football memories?
Playing football in high school was a lot of fun because I was at a small school. That made it possible to play with the same group of guys for four consecutive years. Each year a class would graduate, and a new one would come in; but as far as my own class, we got to play together the whole way through. That’s far less likely to occur at a larger school, where a class can be divided up among different-level teams, and then one year someone might get cut. At a small school such as the one I attended, it’s more like a family of brothers. We would practice, play games and even do off-season workouts together. We just enjoyed being around each other.
That’s something that matters more than the actual game itself: the camaraderie formed among the guys. If you talk with retired players about what they miss from their playing days, they’ll tell you they miss the teams they were on and the relationships they formed, rather than win-loss records or awards. The satisfaction of awards doesn’t last. Trophies end up collecting dust, but the satisfaction of the relationships does last.

What is most difficult about playing professional football?
The fact that it’s a business. It’s not the same as playing in high school, where you have a family type of atmosphere and cohesion that endures for a long period of time. While it still is possible to form lasting relationships, it’s more of a challenge. You can get cut or traded very quickly, so there’s less time to bond.
You have to mentally separate the game from the business aspect. On the one hand, you enjoy the game, but on the other hand, you realize there’s the constant pressure to perform with perfection. So many eyes are on you, and everything you do is analyzed. There are certain expectations of you, and this is due in part to the fact that a lot of money changes hands between the fans and the owners, and then between the owners and the players.

Did you grow up in a devout family?
I’m a cradle Catholic, with four sisters, and the faith was always an integral part of our lives. I went to confession, received holy Communion and was confirmed. We were taught the difference between right and wrong and enjoyed the stability that brings. We also benefited from being so close to nature on our family’s cattle ranch. That encourages you to be humble and also to respect and work with God’s creation.
Then I left my small southeastern Oregon town of Burns to attend the University of Oregon in Eugene, which is the second-largest city in the state. That was a big transition period, where I left almost everything I had previously known. There was a void that needed to be filled, and it became very clear that I had a decision to make: I could either drop the faith and pursue other things, or I could lay claim to it and become the man God wants me to be.
It would have been easy to decide in favor of the first choice, because you don’t have your parents telling you when to go to Mass. You’re on your own and have to make your own decisions about what you’ll pursue. That can be a challenge because there are things in college which seem like fun on the surface but aren’t in harmony with the dignity of the human person and don’t provide lasting happiness.
I knew that my relationship with Jesus Christ was more important than anything else in college. I made a conscious effort to deepen that relationship, in part by attending daily Mass. I really started to take the faith as my own, rather than simply relying on others to keep it going. That was a key time in my life, and I look back with gratitude for the grace God gave me to make the right decision. Everything else flows from that decision of how you respond to God’s call.
I knew being Catholic was important, but what I’ve come to realize more deeply since college is that being Catholic means everything to me. It’s what I am in my very essence. Football is something I do, but being Catholic is who I am. I’m Catholic in my bones, in my blood — however you want to say it.
That is a great way to describe it — Catholic by blood — since Jesus gives us his body and blood in every Mass we attend. One of my favorite passages in the Bible is from John 6: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” Jesus wants us to be completely united to him forever, and this unity begins here on earth, primarily through the holy Eucharist.
I like to expand my knowledge of the Mass, so one of the most recent books I’ve read is
7 Secrets of the Eucharist by Vinny Flynn. The first chapter is about how the Eucharist is alive. In other words, the Eucharist is not just a symbol, but the very Person of Jesus Christ. When you get to know that better, it really changes how you see Mass and how you receive Jesus in holy Communion.

Other than your collegiate years, are there specific times that come to mind when reflecting on your Catholic faith?
There are so many good things to think about, but the first one that comes to mind is from April of 2008. My wife, my daughter (who was only 6 weeks old at the time) and I had the honor of being at Pope Benedict’s Mass in Washington, D.C. We even got to sit right next to the aisle where he would be processing. On his way out after the Mass, Pope Benedict stopped and kissed our daughter, and he traced the sign of the cross on her forehead. That was a very special moment we’ll always remember.

What do you enjoy most about family life?
I really enjoy being married. It’s exactly what I thought of the sacrament as being when I was younger. Sometimes you can look ahead in life and then the reality can be a lot different from what you expected, but with marriage, it is exactly as good as I thought it would be.
The Holy Family is our model, as far as how to live our lives. That’s really raising the bar, because Jesus, Mary and Joseph are the ultimate in how a family should function. The Holy Family is an image of the Trinity, with Joseph in the role of God the Father, Mary in the role of the Holy Spirit, and Jesus actually being the Son. This is a beautiful thing to think about and attempt to pattern your own family after. It’s striving for that perfect interaction of the Trinity.
There’s a lot of pressure in the business of football, so when you come home to your family, it’s quite a relief. My kids (we now have a son and a baby on the way) accept me unconditionally. They don’t care how well or badly I played that day, or if I played at all. They just want a hug and to be told they’re loved. Family life puts the business of football in the proper perspective, in large part because of the simplicity of kids.
We gave our son Michael as a middle name, after St. Michael the Archangel. I’ve always been appreciative of St. Michael’s protective role in driving out Satan. That protection is something I wanted to pass on to my firstborn son, so that if anything happens to me, he can be the guardian of the home.
I also appreciate St. Sebastian’s patronage for athletes and Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s patronage of the whole Church. I wear a brown scapular in order to connect to that patronage.

This is an election year, so how are you voting?
You have to vote for the candidate who is most pro-life. That’s the fundamental issue that underlies everything else. Without life, there are no other issues to discuss. Some people say that other issues are just as important as being pro-life. Being for the poor is mentioned as one of them. Well, who is more poor than a baby? Who has less power to care for himself? Obviously, being pro-life is being for the poor.
Beyond that, if you take an adult poor person, the best way to help him is not through a remote bureaucratic system, but through local and personal assistance. Individuals, churches and private charities help the poor much better than the government can. They’re more effective, efficient and enduring. Not to mention, more compassionate.
Being for lower taxes and less regulations is compassionate as well, because then you allow private citizens to follow their dreams and carve out their own paths. The less government interference there is, the more job growth you get. It’s really quite simple. You allow businesses to grow by getting out of their way, and then everyone benefits, especially the poor.
We don’t need so-called “investment” from the government, which is only taking more of our tax money and pumping it into programs that don’t work. We need real investment, which means less taxation and regulations on private citizens, so they can start or expand their businesses, which in turn means more jobs. This is the truly compassionate thing to do, because then each individual can develop his God-given talents and contribute to the common good.
Mitt Romney is the presidential candidate who gets my vote — and in every other race, it will also be the person who is most pro-life, who respects the dignity of the human person and wants to see each of us have the opportunity to succeed.
Register correspondent Trent Beattie writes from Seattle.

Black Pro-Lifers Demand an Investigation of Planned Parenthood for Woman's Death

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | | 8/29/12 7:04 PM

The National Black Pro-Life Coalition (NBPLC), a coalition of African-American pro-life leaders from across the United States, is demanding an investigation of Planned Parenthood for criminal negligence in its killing of a young black woman in a failed abortion.
Planned Parenthood was responsible for the death of Tonya Reaves — a 24 year-old pregnant mother who entered the Planned Parenthood Loop Health Center abortion unit in Chicago, Illinois on Friday, July 20th, 2012. Tonya Reaves died later that evening following the botched abortion that reportedly perforated her uterus.
The following is a statement from the group, seeking an investigation:
For five hours, Ms. Reaves hemorrhaged at Planned Parenthood’s abortion facility. When an ambulance was finally called, this mother of a one-year-old son was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, a renowned level one trauma center. But emergency-room doctors were given insufficient information about the cause of Ms. Reaves’ bleeding. Subsequently, they reportedly performed an ultrasound that indicated an incomplete abortion and found that the source of her excessive bleeding was a severely perforated uterus.
It appears, from the evidence made public thus far, that Planned Parenthood is guilty of criminal negligence, depraved indifference, and gross medical incompetence. According to Planned Parenthood, their abortion clinics are described as “free-standing, non-medical units” which are independent of hospitals. {1}
That’s the problem. These non-medical abortion facilities are ill-equipped to address the adverse medical complications inherent in and arising from abortions, especially late-term, second trimester abortions such as the one that claimed the life of Tonya Reaves.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) originally sub-contracted Planned Parenthood to limit the number of babies born to Black women as a result of President Nixon’s Commission on Population Growth and the American Future. {2}
In a country of 200 million, a growth rate of one percent per year produces enough additional people to populate a new Washington metropolitan area every year. And we are feeling the impact — in the crowding of cities, the sprawl of suburbia, the vanishing wilderness, the trespass of pollution. Every one of us feels it where it hurts most — in the quality of our lives….
And what is most tragic and most ironic is that we, who need it least, have readily accessible to us and to our wives the means of deciding how many children shall share our large and well-spaced houses and our trips to the beach. Those who lack our ways of buffering the pressure of population on their lives also lack the means to decide how many shall share their lot. {3}
Title X grants, which are the primary means by which the federal government reduces birth rates among the poor, were two-fold: to provide black women with contraceptives and for birth-control. (According to Planned Parenthood, contraceptives prevent conception; birth-control prevents the birth of a baby.) {4}
Although Title X funds may not be used to pay for abortions, DHHS considers the provision of abortion as an integral part of its birth-control efforts through Planned Parenthood for minority communities. Consequently, no firewalls have been erected to ensure that monies are not fungible.
Planned Parenthood has been subcontracted by DHHS to advance the government’s population control efforts, which is why abortion services remain largely unregulated. Illinois law, for example, does not require Planned Parenthood abortion clinics to be inspected and certified by the state’s Department of Public Health. This lack of oversight and neglect of monitoring contributed to the premature death of Tonya Reaves.
According to the national Vital Statistics data, over 20 million Black American babies have been aborted since Roe v. Wade. {5} For example, 60% of Black pregnancies end in abortion in New York according to the vital statistics record. This is not surprising because by design 78% of Planned Parenthood clinics are strategically located in communities of color.
With Nixon’s Commission on Population and the American Future’s recommendation to the Supreme Court to legalize abortion and to eliminate parental notification and consent laws, {6} abortion has been promoted as a (poor, black) woman’s right and marketed to the Black community as health-care. And, more convincingly, abortion is sold as a civil right. However, the exercise of that “right” coupled with substandard “care” from lack of monitoring resulted in Tonya Reaves’ death.
In addition to the criminal investigation, the NBPLC urges full disclosure of the intrinsic risks of abortion – including suicide rates which are three to five times higher in post-abortive women than in women who carry to term. {7} Suicide rates are six times higher one year following an abortion compared to women who give birth, miscarry, or who do not get pregnant. {8} In Ms. Reaves case, the intrinsic risk of abortion especially included death from hemorrhage due to a perforated uterus.
The NBPLC urges a nationwide implementation of the July ruling by the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Planned Parenthood v. Rounds which ruled that abortion providers can be required to disclose the many risks associated with abortion, even if the attending doctor believes the associated risk is only incidental to the abortion and not a direct result of it. This reform requires abortion providers to practice all of the steps normally involved in medical decision-making, including respecting women’s patient autonomy as well as their right to fully informed consent.
Advising women of the risks of abortion, including and especially death, may have saved the life of Tonya Reaves. Doctors would have informed her that a second trimester abortion dramatically increases serious complications and the risk of death. Additionally, requiring abortion facilities to meet the same medical standards required by other outpatient surgical centers so that they are equipped for medical emergencies may well have saved this young mother’s life.
To allow a young woman to bleed for five hours before seeking professional medical help is unconscionable. “We are demanding a criminal investigation,” says Walter Hoye, a NBPLC spokesperson.

{1} Planned Parenthood of New York City (1970). Family planning in New York City: Recommendations for action. Family Planning Perspectives, 2(4), 25-31; Gobble, F. L., Vincent, C. E., Cochrane, C. M., & Lock, F. R. (1969). A nonmedical approach to fertility reduction. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 34, 888-891.
{2} Commission on Population Growth and the American Future (1971). Population growth and America’s future. Family Planning Perspectives, 3(2), 45-52; Farley, R. (1970). Growth of the Black population. Chicago: Markham Publishing; Guttmacher, A. F., & Pilpel, H, (1970). Abortion and the unwanted child. Family Planning Perspectives, 2(2), 16-24; Scheyer, S. C. (1970). DHEW’s new center: The national commitment to family planning. Family Planning Perspectives, 2(1), 22-24;;
{3} Scheyer, S. C. (1970). DHEW’s new center: The national commitment to family planning. Family Planning Perspectives, 2(1), 4-10.
{4} Tolbert, L. (1996). Condom availability through school-based clinics and teenagers attitudes regarding premarital sexual activity. (Doctoral dissertation, Talbot School of Theology, 1996). Dissertation Abstracts International, 57/08A, 3409; Tolbert, L. (2007). Keeping You & Your Kids Sexually Pure: A How-To Guide for Parents, Pastors, Youth Workers, and Teachers.
{5} TABLE 14. Reported legal abortions, by known race, age group, and marital status of women who obtained abortions — United States, 1995
{6} Population and the American future. (1972). New York: Signet.
{7} All Abortion Risks Must Be Disclosed, Appeals Court Rules
{8} Reardon, D. (August, 2002). Deaths associated with pregnancy outcome. Southern Medical Journal, 95/8, 834-41; Gissler, M. (1997). Pregnancy associated deaths in Finland 1987- 1994. Acta Obsetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 76:651-657.


Review of "Cosmic Origins" DVD
(Ignatius Press)

August 29, 2012, Hell Burns - Sr. Helena Burns' blog
Got atheists? Atheist friends or family, that is? The“stellar” new DVD “Cosmic Origins” might help! Today’s top scientists (many award-winning) weigh in on the mysterious origins of our universe (and a possible beyond). Old and new cosmological theories are presented, leading up to the possibility of an “intelligent Designer.” But the film—being mostly a scientific exploration/explanation--doesn’t harp on “intelligent design,”which, as Cardinal George tells us, belongs more to the realm of philosophy rather than either science or religion. Physics is juxtaposed with a brief consideration of metaphysics. One does not feel bamboozled or railroaded by a sudden “attack” of “religious thought” at the end, where Jesuit priest Robert Spitzer (Magis Institute for Faith & Reason) introduces the concept of a harmonious relationship between science and belief.
The tone is one of informative scientific updating (for the layperson, but without talking down to us). Definitely not an “apologetics”tone. I try to keep up with the latest scientific findings (especially regarding cosmology), but I learned a lot from this film.
The format is diverse: footage of the universe, graphics, interviews, more than one live host, “man-in-the-street” opinions, etc. “Cosmic Origins” never lags. There is a conspicuous presence of young adults (especially the “man-in-the-street” insets, but although it personalizes all the information, I will eat my veil if these AREN’T scripted actors which smacks of inauthenticity. Too bad the filmmakers couldn’t have gotten REAL reactions). Atheism is the fastest growing “religion” among young adults and the “New Atheism” movement is eagerly proselytizing these young minds and hearts. “Unaffiliated” is becoming the preferred category for young adults under “Religion” when filling out forms.
Carl Sagan wanted the average person to be informed about science and was frustrated by what he deemed Americans’ “celebration of ignorance!” Famous “new atheist,” Richard Dawkins, held the position of Oxford’s “Professor of Public Understanding of Science” from 1995 to 2008, which is a lovely-sounding title that I’m all for. However, scientists also need to understand that not everyone is interested in understanding how things work or even the scientific explanation of the origins of the universe. And it can be argued that the average person does not even NEED to know these things to flourish. It could be argued that the average person WOULD benefit much more from knowing what, say, another type of scientist, that is, a medical doctor, knows! Also, we all have our own specialties. Does Dawkins know what a mechanic knows? Can he fix his own car? Sometimes, scientists have a kind of hubris, demanding that everyone bow down to their discipline/field as THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ON EARTH.
The universal longing for love, meaning, fulfillment, self-understanding, connection with others, etc., trumps the desire for and acquisition of practical/functional knowledge every time. But this is still not an excuse to be a willful ignoramus. At least be curious about God’s astounding Creation, OK, believers? This might be the first bridge towards reaching atheistic scientists and their followers who ONLY have science (many eschew philosophy along with theology).
One scientist in the film sums it all up by stating that science MUST be open to ALL possibilities, so why not the possibility of a Designer? OR , as Scott Hahn says, at a certain point, a Creator/Designer IS the most logical answer, but because the atheistic-scientific bias and agenda is pre-set, we get the “anything but God” answers, theories, etc.
FEATURED SCIENTISTS: Lisa Randall, Jennifer Wiseman, John Polkinghorne, Owen Gingerich, Stephen Barr, Arno Penzias, Michael Heller
For more information and fancy screening packages: (distributed by Ignatius Press).
Full disclosure: This film is a production of Barbara Nicolosi’s (my good friend) production company, “Origins Entertainment.” But do you think she even told me about this project?


Two other (flawed) films that I highly recommend for those interested in the atheism/evolutionism/
creationism debates:
--“Expelled” documentary (Ben Stein’s sheer propaganda for the “creationist”position) My review:
--“Religulous” documentary (Bill Maher’s sheer propaganda to support his position which is that he really, really, really hopes there’s no God) My review:

And here are two very UNflawed DVDs:
--“Creation or Evolution?” VISION VIDEO Explains general theory of evolution, various particular theories of evolution, macro/micro- evolution. Protestant but consonant with Catholic understandings.
--“Theology of the Body and Evolution” Dr. Richard Sternberg

--“There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind” Anthony Flew
--“The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief” Francis S. Collins
--“Atheist to Catholic: How Scientists and Philosophers Led Me to the Catholic Church” by Kevin Vost
--“Answering the New Atheism” by Scott Hahn and Benjamin Wiker (written by Hahn and Wiker for 4 Franciscan Univ. Steubenville students led astray by Dawkins’ “The God Delusion.” It brought ‘em back.)
--“Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis (a very small book that has been giving atheists pause for decades!)
--“Atheist Delusions” by David Hart (Orthodox) goes deeply into the atheist mindset and assumptions
--“Can a Smart Person Believe in God?” by Michael Guillen, award-winning Harvard physics prof
--“Faith of the Fatherless—the Psychology of Atheism” by Dr. Paul Vitz
--“The Drama of Atheist Humanism” by Henri de Lubac. What has been atheism’s historical track record? (atheist regimes)
--“Philosophers Who Believe—the Spiritual Journeys of 11 Leading Thinkers”
--"God and Evolution--Science Meets Faith" by Dr. Gerard Verschuuren
Nancy Pearcey, John Polkinghorne, Stanley Jaki, Eric Cornell, Robert Augros, Lorenzo Albacete, Francis Collins

--“God Is Dead” Fr. Pontifex debunks certain atheism claims (with stats of millions killed by atheistic governments)
--Fr. Barron on the New Atheism:

--C.S. Lewis--British author, Oxford English professor
--Jacques & Raissa Maritain--French philosophers
--Alisdair MacIntyre—Scottish philosopher
--Anthony Flew—British philosopher (edits philosophical encyclopediae)
--Francis S. Collins—American physician-geneticist, head of the Human Genome Project, present head of National Institutes of Health (NIH)
--Sally Read—famous young British poet
--Leah Libresco--famous young American atheist blogger

Thursday, August 30, 2012

University of Texas at Austin Completes Inquiry into Allegations of Scientific Misconduct

Aug. 29, 2012, University of Texas, AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas at Austin has determined that no formal investigation is warranted into the allegations of scientific misconduct lodged against associate professor Mark Regnerus regarding his July article in the journal Social Science Research.
Associate Professor Mark Regnerus
As required by its Revised Handbook of Operating Procedures, the university conducted an inquiry to determine whether the accusations made by writer Scott Rose had merit and warranted a formal investigation. After consulting with a four-member advisory panel composed of senior university faculty members, the Office of the Vice President for Research concluded in a report on Aug. 24 that there is insufficient evidence to warrant an investigation.
Provost and Executive Vice President Steven Leslie accepted the report on Tuesday and deemed the matter closed from an institutional perspective.
As part of the inquiry, the university hired Dr. Alan Price to ensure that the inquiry was conducted appropriately and fairly. Price, a private consultant, is former associate director of the Office of Research Integrity in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Price found that the inquiry was handled in a manner consistent with university policy and indicated the process was “also consistent with federal regulatory requirements of inquiries into research misconduct.”
The allegations raised by Rose fall under the university’s definition of scientific misconduct, which states, in part, that “ordinary errors, good faith differences in interpretations or judgments of data, scholarly or political disagreements, good faith personal or professional opinions, or private moral or ethical behavior or views are not misconduct.”
As with much university research, Regnerus’ New Family Structures Study touches on a controversial and highly personal issue that is currently being debated by society at large. The university expects the scholarly community will continue to evaluate and report on the findings of the Regnerus article and supports such discussion.
Report to Provost Steven Leslie
Letter of response from Provost Leslie
Report by Alan Price
For more information, contact: Gary Susswein, Office of the President, 512 471 4945.

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" - August 31, 2012

Talking about the "things that matter most" on August 31

4:00 – Collin Raye: Catholic Convert, Country Music star, and Defender of Life
“I would just worship the ground that she walked on,” said country music legend Collin Raye, talking about his firstborn grandchild Haley Marie Bell. “Then eventually she didn’t walk. Then she couldn’t crawl. Then she couldn’t hold her hands up. She would fall over. She couldn’t control her head. She lost the ability to speak.” Haley had a neurological disorder that the best doctors in the country could not diagnose. Raye, a Catholic convert who has recorded five platinum albums sold eight million and has been nominated five times as country music’s Male Vocalist of the Year, is here to talk about his granddaughter, his faith journey and his new album of sacred music.

4:40 – Screwtape Teaches the Faith: A Guide for Catechists
Discover the power of the Catechism like never before with Screwtape! If you enjoyed C.S. Lewis Screwtape Letters, but need a guide book of defense strategies based in solid Church teaching, Marlon De La Torre is here to break down Lewis’ perennial classic chapter-by-chapter, identifying the devil’s specific temptation in each. Then, he provides you with solid references and explanations from the Catechism of the Catholic Church which highlight the opposite virtue, truth or good.

5:00 – Wrapped Up: God's Ten Gifts for Women
Wrapped Up: God's Ten Gifts for Women offers a healthy alternative to the false messages women hear today. Each chapter focuses on a different gift a woman is meant to discover and unwrap, ultimately leading to peace and fulfillment. Teresa Tomeo uses her media expertise to reveal how to counter the cultural messages that inundate women today. Teresa is here to provide a timeless and timely look at God's life-giving gifts.

5:20 – Ave Maria Press Announces a Imprint
Building on the popularity of Lisa Hendey’s The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms and her award-winning website, Ave Maria Press is has announced the launch of Books, an imprint of Ave Maria Press. Lisa joins us to discuss what the imprint will do

5:40 – The Catholic Tide Continues to Turn
In his first book, The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism, well-known blogger David Hartline let readers in on the good things happening within the Catholic Church that often go unnoticed. The result? Thousands of readers became aware of these good things and walked away with a much needed sense of hope. In The Catholic Tide Continues to Turn, Hartline again turns his gaze to subsequent trends within Catholicism and the secular world, helping us make sense of both. This book will give readers a better understanding of the very dark and sometimes threatening clouds hovering above us today. However, readers will also discover the many amazingly bright rays of hope and the many positive things happening within the Church. Better yet, they will learn how these developments are our best chance at building a better tomorrow for us all.

National Atheist Party Cancels Convention Due To Lack Of Funding

BOSTON (CBS Connecticut) — The National Atheist Party is canceling its secular convention due to a lack of funding. Troy Boyle, the party’s president, announced on its website won’t be holding NAPCON 2012 in Boston in October because it would bankrupt the group.
“After this year’s amazing Reason Rally, and flush with our successful recruiting and a spike in donations, we decided to hold our OWN secular event. NAPCON 2012 was supposed to be our biggest and best public event; our chance to show the U.S. that we could fund and organize a large, noteworthy and impressive ‘Secular Summit’ that would attract media buzz and even more interested members and donations. The reality is that we can’t,” Boyle said in the press release. “The donations simply aren’t there and if we went ahead with the event as planned, it would bankrupt us.”
Screen shot of the National Atheist Party's Facebook page. (credit: Facebook)
Screen shot of the National Atheist Party’s
Facebook page. (credit: Facebook)

The second annual convention was supposed to consist of several speakers and musical acts over two days, as well as giving away free prizes to fellow atheists.
Boyle blames a lack of donations and sponsors, along with several prominent people backing out of the convention.
“The plain fact of the matter is that we have to cancel the event and spend more time and careful planning to make our 2013 convention a solid and better organized success,” Boyle said. “I am disappointed and disheartened, certainly, as I’m sure you all are, but I’m also committed to learning the lessons of this ‘failure to launch.’”
The party – which was founded in March 2011 – states on its website that it “is a Constitutional movement dedicated to the preservation of the Founding Fathers’ vision of a secular nation.” Officials hope to develop it into a full-fledged political party.

Evangelical magazine Christianity Today turns critical eye to contraception

by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Life Site News, Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:16 EST

August 1, 2012 ( - Christianity Today, the flagship magazine of Evangelical Protestantism in the United States, has published a spate of articles questioning the practice of contraception in recent months, accentuating a trend against birth control among Evangelicals that has been accelerating during the last half-decade.
The publication’s latest installment on the topic is a review of “Adam and Eve and the Pill,” by Catholic writer Mary Eberstadt, which defends her thesis that contraception, and particularly the contraceptive pill, is the “Pandora’s box” of the sexual revolution.
“As Eberstadt sees it, the contraceptive pill has launched us into a new age in which responsibility has been divorced from sex. And while it is easy to point fingers at the secular world for embracing this reproductive technology, Christians are complicit in its hold on our culture. Most Christians do not want to be told what to do with their bodies any more than non-Christians, and the Pill has made that freedom possible,” writes doctoral student Sharon Hodde Miller.
Miller opines that “pastors cannot address the widespread sexual brokenness in our culture simply by encouraging married sex. They must also address the ideology and theology behind the brokenness, and contraception is Ground Zero for those discussions.”
Calling Eberstadt’s data on contraception and its consequences “undeniable,” Miller concludes that “if we want to think seriously and Christianity about sex, then we need to think seriously about contraception.”
The magazine took another swipe at contraception in an April opinion piece on “Why Churches Shouldn’t Push Contraceptives to their Singles,” which takes issue with the Evangelical “Q” conference held recently in Washington D.C., at which a majority expressed their support for promoting contraception among fornicating singles as a away to avoid abortion.
“In Romans 3:8, Paul establishes a standard that we ought not do evil in order to bring about good. ... The fellow who buys a condom or the woman who takes the pill does so for a specific reason: they do not trust themselves to remain chaste when presented with the opportunity,” wrote Matthew Lee Anderson. “They presumably have good reason for their doubt, if they have failed in the past. But the purchase of contraception reinforces their self-perception of their own captivity to their sexual desires and their own inability to remain continent.”
Anderson identifies the contraceptive “solution” as a way of fleeing from the suffering inherent in an authentic Christian life. “Communities where contraception is advocated as a solution (whether from the pulpit or in the counselors office) are communities free from the deadly burden of the cross, free from the sufferings and co-laboring that will inevitably come from caring for single mothers and their children,” he writes.
Other articles have addressed the growing alliance between Evangelicals and Catholics against President Barack Obama’s contraceptive mandate and other policies regarding human life and family issues, or have urged Evangelicals to enter into such an alliance. One recent article also noted that Evangelical groups were blasting the National Association for Evangelicals (NAE) for holding an anti-abortion conference that was primarily funded by a pro-contraception organization.
Only one recent article defended contraception, in the context of giving it to young Evangelicals who were already engaged in extramarital sexual behavior. Jenell Paris, author of “Birth Control for Christians,” recognizes that “Advocating contraception for unmarried churchgoers certainly is a compromise,” but adds that “Com- means with, and promise means to agree, or to make a pact. To compromise is to work toward agreement or commitment with another. Like compassion, community, or companion, com- is about being in relationship with others.”
The magazine’s new tendency to criticize artificial birth control is in sharp contrast to the position it began to take in the 1960s, when its editors sneered at the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae for condemning contraception, a position shared by founder Billy Graham. However, virtually all Evangelical groups were at one time opposed to artificial birth control, and Evangelicals were the last of all protestant groups to accept such practices, decades after the capitulation of “mainline” denominations in the 1930s.
According to a 2010 poll by the National Association for Evangelicals, 90% of its minister-members approve of contraception.