Fox News contributor Father Jonathan Morris is weighing in on the controversy involving Notre Dame inviting pro-abortion President Barack Obama to be its commencement speaker and to receive an honorary degree:
“Now, while President Obama has achieved great things, his views and actions are in direct conflict with the Catholic Church’s teaching on the universal obligation to defend the dignity of human life at all stages. He is, by any rational account, the nation’s most public and powerful promoter of abortion rights.
“The university has responded to boisterous and prolonged criticism of the invitation by saying it in no way signifies support of all of the president’s views and by reiterating its adherence to the Church’s teaching on respect for life. That’s a relief. But as university officials surely knew, this defense would be insufficient to calm the storm.
“And for good reason! The Catholic Church teaches the defense of the unborn is not just one value among many others, but rather the irreplaceable cornerstone of human rights and social justice. Once you rationalize the killing of an entire class of human beings, all the jumping up and down about other rights should seem rather insincere.”
You can also watch some interesting video of Father Morris debating Notre Dame grad Phil Donahue about the controversy.
The 40 Days for Life campaign has apparently led to the temporary closing of some abortion operations.
As reported by LifeNews.com, abortion centers in Austin, Texas and Jacksonville, Florida, have shut their doors rather than face the peaceful, prayerful witness of 40 Days for Life volunteers:
“‘I’ve heard from numerous 40 Days for Life vigil coordinators that on certain days, every one of the abortion center’s patients left without having an abortion,’ 40 Days director Shawn Carney told LifeNews.com.
“How does he know the abortions didn’t take place?
“‘Because the clinic was closed. Locked tight — nobody home,’” he said.”
To learn more about the innovative 40 Days for Life campaign, visit http://www.40daysforlife.com/.
LifeNews.com is reporting that Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix as well as some members of Congress are criticizing Notre Dame for its selection of pro-abortion President Barack Obama for an honorary degree.
In an e-mail to the President of Notre Dame, Bishop Olmsted stated:
“I am saddened and heavy of heart about your decision to invite President Obama to speak at Notre Dame University and even to receive an honorary degree.”
LifeNews.com goes on to say:
“Olmsted called the selection of Obama ‘a public act of disobedience to the Bishops of the United States,’ and a ‘grave mistake.’“
Meanwhile, Congressman Pete King of New York offered this comment:
“It would be appropriate for Notre Dame to invite the president of the United States to deliver the commencement address, provided that the university made it absolutely clear how strongly it disagreed with President Obama’s stand on abortion.
“It is wrong, however, for Notre Dame to award President Obama an honorary degree, because this will be seen as tacit acceptance of the president’s abortion views, which are so antithetical to Catholic moral teaching on the sanctity and value of human life.”
To sign a petition to Notre Dame asking the university to rescind the invitation to President Obama, visit http://www.notredamescandal.com/.
The Associated Press is running a report which states that more women are choosing abortion because of the recession:
“Planned Parenthood of Illinois clinics performed an all-time high number of abortions in January, many of them motivated by the women’s economic worries, said CEO Steve Trombley, who declined to give exact numbers. Abortions at Planned Parenthood’s St. Louis-area clinics were up nearly 7 percent in the second half of 2008 from a year earlier — ending a stretch in which the numbers were dwindling.”
But the jury is still out, as far as whether national abortion figures will rise in 2009:
“Planned Parenthood said it has no up-to-date national abortion figures, nor do other private or government agencies. However, Stephanie Poggi of the National Network of Abortion Funds, which helps women in need pay for abortions, said calls to the network’s national helpline have nearly quadrupled from a year ago.”
Research indicates that a perceived inability to afford a child is one of the reasons that women give for having abortions. But an interesting survey of post-abortive women found that 80 percent said they would have chosen life for their child had just one person offered support for that decision.
As the group Feminists for Life states, when women feel as if they have no choice but to abort, it shows that we as a society are failing women. In tough economic times like these, pregnancy resource centers, which provide both material and emotional support for pregnant women, become more important than ever.
National Right to Life has put together a listing of pro-abortion actions which constitute President Barack Obama’s record on life. You’ll find the flyer on the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation website.
It’s amazing how, in just a matter of months, President Obama has made policy and personnel decisions which threaten the lives of preborn children and could expose women to irreversible harm.
President Obama revoked the Mexico City Policy, meaning that taxpayer dollars could be used for organizations that perform and promote abortions overseas. He opened the door to federal funding of research which requires the killing of human embryos. He’s also announced that he’ll rescind a conscience-protection rule preventing health care providers from being penalized if they refuse to perform abortions.
He’s also made numerous pro-abortion appointments to the highest levels of government.
Please download the Obama Record on Life flyer and distribute it to your friends and family members. People need to know the anti-life actions that the President has taken during his brief time in office.
National Right to Life, the national organization of which the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation is an affiliate, is calling on the University of Notre Dame to rescind its invitation to President Barack Obama to speak at its May 17th commencement:
“Notre Dame’s invitation to the most pro-abortion president in U.S. history is a betrayal of the University’s mission and an affront to all who believe in the sanctity and dignity of human life,” said Anthony J. Lauinger, National Right to Life Vice-President (and father of seven Notre Dame alumni and one current student.) “We call upon Father Jenkins to rescind the invitation and stand up for the millions of unborn children who face death under Obama Administration policies.”
In a letter to the university president, Lauinger talked about the pain Notre Dame’s decision has caused his family:
“I apologized today to my eight children for the poor guidance I provided them when I encouraged them to enroll at Our Lady’s University, and for having misled them, and myself, about what I believed to be the core values of Notre Dame.”
To sign the petition to Notre Dame asking the university to disinvite President Obama, go to http://www.notredamescandal.com/ .
Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation Education Director Maria Vitale has posted a column on LifeNews.com about the University of Notre Dame’s decision to invite pro-abortion President Barack Obama to give the commencement address and to receive an honorary degree:
“Despite pleading by America’s Catholic bishops, Obama has become the abortion President.
“He has reversed the Mexico City policy, meaning that our tax dollars will be used for organizations that perform or promote abortions overseas. He is trying to wipe out a conscience rule that prevents health care professionals from being forced to take part in abortions. And he has lifted common sense restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research—research in which a human embryo is killed.
“Moreover, the President has promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would wipe out virtually all restrictions on abortion, including parental consent, informed consent, and 24-hour waiting periods. It would also mean the return of the heinous practice of partial-birth abortion, and could even cause Catholic hospitals to shut down rather than comply.
“By giving Obama the podium, Notre Dame is offering a platform to someone who espouses the culture of death, both in word and in deed. This is an affront to Catholicism and to those everywhere who subscribe to the Catholic Church’s teaching on life.”
The Cardinal Newman Society has posted an online petition to rescind the invitation to Obama. Thousands of concerned alumni and others have already signed on.
Fox News is reporting that some Catholics are disappointed with President Barack Obama because of his decisions to fund organizations that perform and promote abortions overseas and to lift federal funding restrictions on destructive embryonic stem cell research.
“He garnered the majority of Catholic votes in the 2008 election, but a number of Catholic groups now say President Obama is showing a complete lack of regard for their beliefs.
“They count his decisions to lift restrictions on abortion and stem cell research among the most offensive.
“‘As far as the Catholic church goes, there’s no bigger priority for Catholics than human dignity and human life,’ said Cathy Ruse, senior fellow at the Family Research Council said. “And the Obama administration has just been an assault on those values again and again in just two months.”
But the disappointment with the President’s policies is not limited to some Catholics. People of all faiths–and even those with no religious conviction–are also likely to be upset with the President’s decision to attempt to remove a conscience rule which ensures that health care workers are not forced to perform abortions.
As Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation Executive Director Michael Ciccocioppo has said, some voters appear to be experiencing “buyer’s remorse” with Obama. They did not elect him to expand abortion and life-assaulting embryonic stem cell research.
Live Action Films has released a new videotape on YouTube providing evidence that Planned Parenthood works to conceal sexual abuse of minors. The undercover video was shot at two Planned Parenthood centers in Phoenix, Arizona. As the Live Action press release states:
“Lila Rose and Jackie Stollar, both college students posing as 15-year-old girls, entered two Phoenix Planned Parenthood clinics undercover and told employees at one clinic that Stollar needed an abortion because her adult ‘boyfriend’ had impregnated her, giving his age as 27-years-old at the second clinic.
“Arizona state law requires law enforcement to be contacted immediately if an adult-child relationship is revealed. Failure to report incidents of sexual abuse are punishable under this law.
“After Stollar explains that her boyfriend is ‘a lot older than me,’ a staffer at the first clinic states: ‘we don’t ask any questions.’ At the second clinic, upon hearing that the boyfriend is 27-years-old, the employee reassures the girls that ‘everything is confidential.’ She also tells the girls she will not intervene: ‘I can’t say ‘Don’t’ you know or ‘I’m gonna go and do this.’ I cannot be that way, it’s not me.’”
Rose, who is president of Live Action, stated, “By keeping information about rapists confidential, Planned Parenthood enables sexual predators to continue violating young girls. If Arizona state authorities investigate Planned Parenthood’s statutory rape reporting practices, they can help bring an end to these crimes.”
A disturbing headline emerged today on the Fox News website:
The story discusses Kurt Perry, a 26-year-old who has lived with a painful neurological disease since he was a child. Perry was to become the youngest person to die with the “aid” of a pro-euthanasia organization called the Final Exit Network.
Perry has now changed his plans for suicide. However, he intends to speak out on behalf of the so-called “right to die.”
According to the Associated Press report, the president of the Final Exit Network and three other members have been arrested after an eight-month probe in which an undercover agent posed as a “suicide-seeker.”
Advocates for people with disabilities worry that assisted suicide sends a disturbing message–that certain people are expendable. Stephen Drake is with a group called Not Dead Yet:
“ ’What you’ve done is you’re saying that group of people, their lives have less value,’ Drake said.”
Advocates for assisted suicide are clearly misguided. Rather than focusing their efforts on finding cures and treating depression, they push for death. It is up to pro-life advocates to spread the message that life is worth living, and that people with disabilities deserve support, not a death warrant.
Columnist Kathleen Parker observes that President Barack Obama seems to be ignoring certain scientific facts in lifting restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.
As Parker notes, “In fact, every single one of the successes in treating patients with stem cells thus far — for spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis, for example — have involved adult or umbilical cord blood stem cells, not embryonic stem cells. And though federal dollars still won’t directly fund embryo destruction, federally funded researchers can obtain embryos privately created only for experimentation. Thus, taxpayers now are incentivizing a market for embryo creation and destruction.”
Backers of embryonic stem cell research point to the fact that embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, meaning that they can morph into all different kinds of cells. However, Parker points out, “That superior claim no longer can be made with the spectacular discovery in 2007 of ‘induced pluripotent stem cells’ (iPSs), which was the laboratory equivalent of the airplane. Very simply, iPS cells can be produced from skin cells by injecting genes that force the cells to revert to their primitive ‘blank slate’ form with all the same pluripotent capabilities of embryonic stem cells.
“But ‘induced pluripotent stem cells’ doesn’t trip easily off the tongue, nor have any celebrities stepped forward to expound their virtues. (If only Angelina Jolie would purse those pouty lips and say ‘pluripotent.’) Even without such drama, Time magazine named iPS innovation No. 1 on its ‘Top 10 Scientific Discoveries’ of 2007, and the journal Science rated it the No. 1 breakthrough of 2008.”
There are scientific experts who say that embryonic stem cell research has quickly become obsolete. In expanding federal funding of the practice, the President is not acting in the best interests of patients, or of science.
The newest edition of the PA Pro-Life Online News is up and ready for viewing at http://www.paprolife.org/resources/e_news.html . You’ll find a great deal of information there about President Barack Obama’s tragic decision to expand federal funding for research that involves the killing of human embryos. If you’d like to subscribe to the PA Pro-Life Online News, send an e-mail with the word “subscribe” in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Columnist Cal Thomas offers some interesting insights into President Barack Obama’s decision to expand federal funding for research produced from killing human embryos.
Thomas suggests that Obama’s faith is serving his politics:
“President Obama wants a ‘faith’ unconnected to anything outside of himself to advance his policy on stem cell research, but he appears agnostic when it comes to abortion. Apparently, Obama’s ‘faith’ serves his politics, not the reverse. This places science in the place of the Divine, or ethics. Whatever can be done, should be done. Shifting moral sands will allow almost anything as soon as the public can be conditioned with images of a trembling Michael J. Fox, or an average American in a wheelchair pleading for the chance to walk again. The unborn have no voice except for those that cry out on their behalf. “
Thomas notes that, if science was really at the heart of the President’s decision, he should have been advocating for adult stem cell research, which does not involve embryo-killing:
“If science is to be supreme, why didn’t Obama advocate for the advances made with adult stem cells that do not require the destruction of a human life? At first, some scientists expressed doubt that adult stem cells would be able to achieve the goals they sought through embryonic stem cells, but now many of them think differently. My wife faced a rare ailment that was shut down after her own stem cells were harvested and re-introduced into her bone marrow following treatment. No life was destroyed and one life has been saved and enhanced.”
It appears that the President’s Executive Order is based on political expediency, rather than real scientific merit.
CNN recently conducted an eye-opening interview with former President Bill Clinton. In the segment on stem cell research, President Clinton falsely claims, over and over again, that embryos are not “fertilized.”
President Clinton’s misstatements show just how misinformed people are with regard to embryonic stem cell research. Unfortunately, such research involves the killing of living human embryos. The next time you see a poll touting public support for embryonic stem cell research, ask yourself: Do the respondents really understand what such research does?
Embryonic stem cell research is inhumane and unnecessary, given the advancements in adult stem cell research, which does not harm a single embryo. The more people learn about embryonic stem cell research, the less likely they will be to support it.
A Wall Street Journal column rightly points out how President Barack Obama is politicizing stem cell research, thanks to his regrettable decision to expand federal funding for research using stem cells produced by killing human embryos. The column, written by Princeton professor Robert P. George and The New Atlantis editor Eric Cohen, notes that the President’s plicy is far from middle of the road:
“‘Moderate’ Mr. Obama’s policy is not. It will promote a whole new industry of embryo creation and destruction, including the creation of human embryos by cloning for research in which they are destroyed. It forces American taxpayers, including those who see the deliberate taking of human life in the embryonic stage as profoundly unjust, to be complicit in this practice.”
Authors George and Cohen write that the Obama policy is blatantly political:
“It is red meat to his Bush-hating base, yet pays no more than lip service to recent scientific breakthroughs that make possible the production of cells that are biologically equivalent to embryonic stem cells without the need to create or kill human embryos. Inexplicably — apart from political motivations — Mr. Obama revoked not only the Bush restrictions on embryo destructive research funding, but also the 2007 executive order that encourages the National Institutes of Health to explore non-embryo-destructive sources of stem cells.”
Circulate this column among your family and friends. We need to educate people about what’s really at stake in President Obama’s decision on embryonic stem cell research.
The Weekly Standard is running a piece which explains how President Obama’s order on embryo-destroying research ushers in a new phase of the “stem cell war.”
Writer Ryan T. Anderson concludes that Obama’s decision represents bad ethics, bad science, and bad politics.
Anderson concludes that we shouldn’t be giving scientists a blank check; restrictions, especially where human life is concerned, are warranted:
“And this isn’t just some obscure pro-life worry. In 2007, when the great breakthrough of induced pluripotent stem cell technology was announced, both of the scientists behind the new technique explained the moral concerns that drove their research. Dr. Shinya Yamanaka told the New York Times: ‘When I saw the embryo, I suddenly realized there was such a small difference between it and my daughters. I thought, we can’t keep destroying embryos for our research. There must be another way.’ At the same time, Dr. James Thomson, the original discoverer of embryonic stem cells, told the Times: ‘If human embryonic stem cell research does not make you at least a little bit uncomfortable, you have not thought about it enough. I thought long and hard about whether I would do it.’ He went on to add that because of this latest technique, ’a decade from now, this will be just a funny historical footnote.’”
Anderson adds that the Obama order opens the door to human cloning for research:
“It is, therefore, critically important to note what Obama did not say this morning. He promised that he would make sure that ‘our government never opens the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction.’ He went on to add that ‘it is dangerous, profoundly wrong, and has no place in our society, or any society.’ This is certainly correct. But in pledging only to prevent reproductive cloning, Obama intentionally left the door open for research cloning. The cloning procedure involved, of course, is exactly the same in reproductive and research cloning; the only difference is that in research cloning the developing human is killed before being allowed to be born. Given what we know about the necessity of cloning for the medicinal use of embryonic stem cells, Obama’s implicit support for research cloning and killing is unconscionable.”
Embryo-destroying research is so unnecessary. Tremendous breakthroughs are being made with adult stem cell research. Let’s do our best to get the truth out about stem cell research–about the successes of the adult kind, and the dangers of the embryo-destroying kind.
President Barack Obama has made a tragic mistake in issuing a decision which will open the door for taxpayers to fund research that kills human embryos.
“It is clearly wrong to require taxpayers to foot the bill for experiments that involve taking the lives of the most vulnerable among us, human beings at the embryonic stage of development,” said Maria Vitale, Education Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life.
“With this decision, President Obama is betraying the American principle of justice for all. The only thing that separates the human embryo from an adult human is degree of development. We were all embryos once,” Vitale added.
The claims that anti-life embryonic stem cell research is necessary to cure diseases are completely unfounded, Vitale noted. Adult stem cell research, which does not involve the killing of embryos, has proven to be highly effective in treating a range of illnesses, from breast cancer to Parkinson’s disease. Meanwhile, not only is embryonic stem cell research ethically troubling, it has also proven to be harmful, due to the tumors that can result from embryonic stem cells.
Private investors have been channeling their dollars to adult stem cell research rather than embryonic stem cell research because research involving adult stem cells has simply been more effective.
“President Obama’s Executive Order amounts to a bailout of the biotech industry. But what’s even more troubling is that it is giving false hope to people who are suffering from debilitating diseases, whose best chance for a cure rests with adult stem cell research,” Vitale added.
For more information about the problems associated with embryonic stem cell research versus the successes of adult stem cell research, see the “Do No Harm” website at www.stemcellresearch.org .
A pro-euthanasia bill has been introduced in the Pennsylvania state Senate. The bill’s very wording is chilling:
“Any adult resident of this Commonwealth who is capable and has been determined by the attending physician and consulting physician to be suffering from a terminal disease, and who has voluntarily expressed his or her wish to die, may make a written request for medication for the purpose of ending his or her life in a humane and dignified manner in accordance with this chapter.”
Senate Bill 404 is a sign that the culture of death marches on. Certainly, anyone who is seriously ill is in need of the utmost care and compassion. But killing is not an act of compassion.
What if a patient is suffering from depression? A request to die may actually be a cry for help.
The bill, sponsored by Senators Leach, Boscola, and Washington, was referred to the Judiciary Committee on March 5th. It’s a painful reminder of how disrespect at the front end of life (abortion) leads to disrespect at the back end of life (euthanasia).
Catholic hospitals could be forced to shut their doors if the Freedom of Choice Act becomes law.
That, at least, is the scenario being raised in an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
While FOCA hasn’t been introduced yet, a spokesman for Rep. Jerold Nadler (D-NY) says the bill “is among the Congressman’s priorities” and could be re-introduced soon.
Chicago auxiliary Bishop Thomas Paprocki has said Catholic hospitals would close rather than comply with FOCA, which would make abortion a fundamental right. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, there are currently 624 Catholic hospitals in the U.S.
A disturbing story out of Pennsylvania today: A couple is claiming that a hospital killed their son in order to harvest his organs. The 18-year-old Ohio man had suffered a brain injury while snowboarding. His parents have filed a lawsuit against Hamot Medical Center in northwest PA, alleging that doctors there intentionally suffocated him so that they could seize his organs. A spokeswoman at the hospital said the medical center’s policy was not to comment on pending litigation.
Back when I was in grade school, my teacher drew a line on the blackboard between the words “abortion” and “euthanasia.” She said that one led to the other. After 36 years of abortion on demand, it’s no wonder that life is threatened more and more at the other end of the spectrum.
One would hope that the allegations of euthanasia at a Pennsylvania hospital are untrue. But we must be more vigilant than ever to protect human life at all its stages, and no matter what the level of dependency.