Voices For Life

Voices for Life is an e-publication dedicated to informing and educating the public on pro-life and pro-family issues. We cover issues from conception until natural death, as well as all family life issues.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pro-Life Reflections for March 1


REFLECTION:

The word "compassion" comes from the Latin words meaning "to suffer with." Love brings us closer to people, and when they are in  pain, love wants to come closer still.  Love gladly suffers for and with the one who is loved.  The so-called "right to die" is really a cleaver disguise for the "right to kill."

PRAYER:

Lord, free us from the selfishness that wants to run away from the suffering of others.  Instead, fill us with true compassion so that we may suffer with them.

Philadelphia Catholics to join march for marriage in Washington


By Lou Baldwin

Five busloads of Catholics who believe marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman are scheduled to travel to Washington, D.C., on March 26 to participate in Marriage March 2013 from the National Mall to the Supreme Court followed by a rally on the National Mall.

March 26 is the date the United States Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments to determine if California’s Proposition 8, passed by the state’s voters in 2008 to protect the sanctity of marriage, is constitutional or not.

The march is sponsored by the National Organization for Marriage, alongside a broad coalition of pro-family organizations and groups.

The archdiocesan effort is being organized by the Office for Life, Family and Laity and has been endorsed by Archbishop Charles Chaput.

“The Church understands marriage as a unique relationship with a unique definition,” the archbishop said in a Feb. 18 letter to pastors, asking them to promote the Marriage March in their parish.

“By its very nature, marriage is ordered not only to companionship and mutual support, but also – and even more fundamentally – to the procreation and education of children.

article, including locations for buses, continues here 

New York Times Makes False Claim About Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave




National Organization for Marriage (NOM) Stands With Marilyn Musgrave After New York Times Makes False Claim About Her Signing On To Anti Prop-8 Brief

Washington, D.C. — After the New York Times was forced to retract its false claim that former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave had signed on to an Anti-Proposition 8 brief to the Supreme Court, Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage responded:

"Congresswoman Musgrave is a hero for marriage and was the lead sponsor of the original Federal Marriage Amendment in 2003. The fact that the New York Times would falsely claim above-the-fold that she now supports repealing a law to protect marriage without even checking with her shows the desperation of some in the media to push this absurd notion that Republicans support the repeal of laws passed by Americans to protect marriage."

Brown continued: "Just last week a Human Rights Campaign-led campaign was forced to remove a picture and quote of former First Lady Laura Bush after they used her reputation without permission to push the untrue idea that she supports the repeal of laws protecting marriage. This is the latest example of gay marriage advocates and the media desperately attempting to create the illusion that Republicans support gay marriage."

Brown went on to say, "Of the much-touted so-called 'Republicans' named in the New York Times article, only two are currently holding seats in Congress. These two lawmakers, Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Richard Hanna of New York, may claim to be Republicans but they are certainly not conservatives — and NOM will be sure to let their constituents know that these two office holders have abandoned the Republican platform which is strongly pro-marriage."

Brown concluded: "If Republicans actually supported gay marriage — an absurd claim — the Human Rights Campaign would not have to spend millions of dollars claiming they do and the New York Times would not have to falsely claim the support of stalwart pro-marriage Republican figures such as Marilyn Musgrave."

 

The False Promise of Contraception






by Keith Riler



"Contraception reduces unintended pregnancies" has joined its fantastic make-believe friends "death with dignity," the "efficacy" of embryonic stem cells, the "certainty" of man-made global warming, and the "positive" multiplier effect in the leftist vernacular.  Hopeful that repetition supplants truth, choirs of liberal faithful are singing:

Most importantly, broadening access to birth control will help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions - Jeanne Shaheen, Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray

Covering contraception saves money for insurance companies by keeping women healthy and preventing spending on other health services - White House Fact Sheet on Contraception Coverage

Now consider, instead, reality.

The Science 

 The results are in: contraception availability does not reduce unintended pregnancies.

Many adolescent males will wholeheartedly affirm a connection between the availability of contraception and sexual activity, and scientific data supports the link.  Studies have shown that contraception increases sexual activity -- i.e., that more contraception means more sex. 

One study, based on Centers for Disease Control data, established clear links between birth control and increases in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).  STD increases are a very reliable indicator of increased sexual activity and show that contraception is wrongly perceived as low-cost insurance -- a perception that motivates increased sexual activity.

And more sex means more pregnancies.  Why?  Because contraception is far from 100% effective, and with mass distribution of contraception comes a commensurate increase in sexual activity.  More pregnancies will result because contraception fails in predictable percentages.

It is noteworthy that failure rates are highest in Planned Parenthood's customer base:

Failures are highest among cohabitating and other unmarried women, among low income, African-American and Hispanic women, among adolescents and women in their 20s.  For example, adolescent women who are not married but cohabitating experience a failure rate of about 47% in the first year of contraceptive use.

In Sweden, between 1995 and 2001, teen abortion rates grew 32% during a period of low-cost condoms, oral contraceptives and over-the-counter emergency contraception.  Similarly, National Review recently reported  that "out of 23 studies on the effects of increased access to ECs, not one study could show a reduction in unintended pregnancies or abortions." 

A recent ten-year study in Spain was reported to have found the same thing:

[C]ontraception use increased by about 60%, the abortion rate doubled. In other words, even with an increase in contraception use, there weren't fewer unwanted pregnancies, there were more.

Planned Parenthood's own affiliate, the Guttmacher Institute, showed simultaneous increases in both abortion rates and contraceptive use in the U.S., Cuba, Denmark, the Netherlands, Singapore, and South Korea.  Guttmacher cites other countries as evidence of the opposite relationship, but it is noteworthy that many of those countries already had high abortion rates, often as part of existing coercive government policies.

Testimony

Abortion industry regulars admit the truth.  Guttmacher regularly reports that 55%-60% of women having abortions are on contraception.  Other industry insiders concede:

Alan Guttmacher Institute researcher Stanley K. Henshaw: "Contraceptive users appear to have been more motivated to prevent births than were nonusers."

Planned Parenthood's Frederick S. Jaffe, in Abortion Politics, admitted that "...even if everyone were to practice contraception, and use the most effective medically prescribed methods, there would still be a very large number of unwanted pregnancies."

Abortionist and international contraception promoter Malcolm Potts [former director of Planned Parenthood of England] 1976 (even as early as 1973) quoted in Sex and Social Engineering by Valerie Riches.- "As people turn to contraception, there will be a rise, not a fall, in the abortion rate...".

In Abortion, he noted, "...those who use contraception are more likely than those who do not to resort to induced abortion..."

Alfred Kinsey, 1955: "At the risk of being repetitious, I would remind the group that we have found the highest frequency of induced abortions in the groups which, in general, most frequently uses contraception."

Sociologist Lionel Tiger, 1999: "With effective contraception controlled by women, there are still more abortions than ever...[C]ontraception causes abortion."

British Abortionist Judith Bury, Brook Advisory Centres, 1981: "...women...have come to request [abortions] when contraception fails. There is overwhelming evidence that, contrary to what you might expect, the provision [availability] of contraception leads to an increase in the abortion rate."

Guttmacher's Mistake.  Recent Guttmacher analysis of the declining teen pregnancy rate was widely cited as proof that contraception works:

The majority of the decline in teen pregnancy rates in the United States (86%) is due to teens' improved contraceptive use; the rest is due to increased proportions of teens choosing to delay sexual activity.

As the real-world data suggests, there are problems with this analysis.  The original Santelli study on which the above statement is based relied heavily on 1995-2002 changes in contraceptive usage to postulate a cause for the reduction in unintended births.  According to Santelli, this reduction came about as a result of more reliable contraception usage by sexually active teens.  However, after 2002, those changes in usage slowed to a halt.  As a result, although teen pregnancy rates have continued to decrease, their correlation with Santelli's hypothesis has vaporized.

The Santelli analysis was a hypothetical modeling exercise that assumed its hypothesis (contraception is increasingly effective, therefore contraception is increasingly effective).  When half of the tautology was made untrue by post-2002 contraception usage trends, the conclusion was also rendered invalid.

The irrelevance of the Santelli study suggests that Michael New's explanation is increasingly credible:

... that parental involvement laws and public funding restrictions are effective in reducing the incidence of abortion among minors. Specifically, the passage of a parental involvement law correlates with a 16 percent decline in the minor abortion rate, and the passage of Medicaid funding restrictions correlates with a 23 percent decline in the minor abortion rate.

Conclusion

 Real-world studies show that contraception has not reduced, but has instead increased unintended births.  Therefore, President Obama's recent HHS edict has a very questionable basis in fact.  It has also alienated a large swath of the electorate and is in all likelihood unconstitutional.   

It seems that in this case, science has taken a backseat to ideology, and as a result, Catholics and other faiths are being systematically mistreated as a result of their religious beliefs.  That makes this a case of bad science and religious bigotry.

Three Babies Saved in One Day at Georgia Abortion Facility






From Shawn Carney, Campaign Director



When we pray at the 40 Days for Life vigil, we all yearn to be there when a baby is saved from abortion. Sometimes, we get to see it happen. On occasion, two babies are saved in one day. In one local campaign, though … THREE babies were saved recently on the same day!



It’s just a reminder that God can work through us … in what can, at times, feel like a hopeless effort.




COLUMBUS, GEORGIA


“We had never had three babies saved in one day!” said Rachael in Columbus. “Praise the Lord!”



The first took place when a woman pulled in right next to where one of the prayer volunteers was standing. It didn’t take long for her to show the woman that there were far better options for both her and her baby.



A bit later, a volunteer noticed a woman sitting alone in a red SUV. The woman explained she was waiting for her sister, who was in for an abortion. And she herself was a single mom – pregnant and considering abortion.



The volunteers prayed. The woman in the truck never went into the building – and her sister came out. She didn’t have the abortion.



Later, a man told prayer volunteers he was there with his ex-wife, who was pregnant with another man’s child. Abortion was a possibility – but he admitted that she might consider adoption.



The volunteers directed him to a local group that could help. So he went into the abortion center and came out with his ex-wife. No abortion!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Call Congress to Protect Religious Freedom!





As you know, there are major threats looming against people and groups that are opposed in conscience to providing insurance coverage for sterilizations, contraception, or abortifacient drugs, or to participating in or facilitating an abortion.

Now is the time to act!  Congress will soon be considering a "must-pass" bill that will fund the federal government.  Congress can include conscience protection as part of that bill and solve this problem now.

Can you spare 5 minutes to contact your Members of Congress and ask them to support conscience protection for EVERYONE?    Cllck here for numbers to call or click here to email your two Senators and Representative.


Please join with us in calling on Congress to protect the right of all people and groups to participate in life-affirming health care -- without violating their consciences!
Not sure what to say?  Here are some suggestions:
  • The administration has issued a mandate requiring virtually all insurance plans to include sterilization and contraception, even including the morning-after and week-after pills.  People who run secular charities, or religious or secular businesses, are being forced to buy insurance coverage for "services" to which they have a deeply held moral or religious objection -- with no exceptions.  I oppose forcing people to participate in, fund, or provide things they believe are wrong or immoral.
  • Though churches themselves are exempted from the mandate, religious ministries of service -- such as charities, schools, and hospitals -- are given second-class status under the law, in the form of a still-murky "accommodation."  But these ministries are integral to our religious community and deserve the same exemption as our houses of worship.  I oppose government action that defines our religious community narrowly and inaccurately, reducing freedom of religion to freedom of worship only.
  • Freedom of religion is a bedrock principle on which our nation was founded.  It is referred to as our "First Freedom" -- first on the list in the Bill of Rights, and first in priority among human freedoms.  I support religious freedom as a fundamental human right of every person. 
  • A distinct blessing of being an American is that we are free to choose our faith, and live by the dictates of that faith throughout our lives -- at home, at church, and in the public square.  Other countries may force faith underground, but in America we can follow our conscience while also participating fully in society.  I support policies that allow Americans to live their faith in their jobs and in their everyday life. 
  • In the words of Cardinal Dolan, "In obedience to our Judeo-Christian heritage, we have consistently taught our people to live their lives during the week to reflect the same beliefs that they proclaim on the Sabbath.  We cannot now abandon them to be forced to violate their morally well-informed consciences."  I support the right of all men and women who work in health care -- whether providing services or providing insurance -- to live and work in harmony with their faith and convictions.
Please contact your Congressional representatives today and urge them to take whatever action is necessary to protect religious freedom and the moral convictions of all!


Stop Public Funding of Abortion in Pennsylvania






From Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation



We need to stop public funding of abortion in Pennsylvania! Here's how you can help:

1.  Call your state Senator with this message:  "I don't want public funds to pay for abortion in Pennsylvania.  Please support Senate Bill 3, which would ensure that Pennsylvania opts out of abortion funding under the health insurance exchange which will operate in Pennsylvania under the federal health care law."

2.  Call your state Representative with this message: "I don't want public funds to pay for abortion in Pennsylvania. Please support House Bill 818, which would ensure that Pennsylvania opts out of abortion funding under the health insurance exchange operating in Pennsylvania under the federal health care law."

If you don't know who your state Senator and state Representative are, please go to http://www.house.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/#address and type in your street address, city, and zip code.  A window will then pop up with the names and contact information for your state Senator and state Representative  (Please note:  This is a state issue, not a federal issue, so U.S. Senators Pat Toomey and Bob Casey are not involved in this legislation.).

Background:  The Affordable Care Act, also known as the federal health care law, contains a provision which allows states to opt out of abortion funding in the new health insurance exchanges operating in their state as a result of "health care reform."  Twenty-one states have already passed legislation to opt out of this abortion funding.

Senate Bill 3 and House Bill 818 simply continue Pennsylvania's long-standing policy of banning public funding of abortion.  National public opinion polls have consistently shown that the vast majority of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.  Research has also shown that abortion rates rise dramatically when public funding of abortion occurs.

If you have any questions, please call Legislative Director Maria Gallagher at 717-541-0034.

Thanks for making these critical calls!  

 

I Can’t Undo My Mistake: A Post-Abortive Woman’s Letter








by Arland Nichols, 2/9/12


The following unsigned letter was received by a priest friend of mine following a pro-life homily. Her message is a powerful one that deserves to be heard by and shared with all young women and parents in a similar situation. I am happy to share her witness with you:



Do you ever hear a homily or Bible verse and feel as if God is directly speaking to you?



This weekend I wasn’t sure if I would go to church or skip it for the week. I was tired, I had a long week and frankly, I didn’t want to be out in public dealing with arguing and talkative children who have to go potty just to get out of their seats.



In spite of my brain saying to skip Sunday Mass, my heart forced the keys into the ignition and I found my way to church.

 

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