Tuesday, March 31, 2009

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Don't Forget!

Today is Red Envelope Day!

Monday, March 30, 2009


Actor America Ferrera Co-Hosts Celebration

HOUSTON, TX — On March 27, 2009, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) proudly honored reproductive health and rights advocates who have made significant contributions to the advancement of women’s health care through their work promoting prevention and family planning, and presented its highest honor, the PPFA Margaret Sanger Award, to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Secretary Clinton received this award for her unwavering support of women’s health and rights throughout her public service career. Actor America Ferrera co-hosted the event with PPFA President Cecile Richards.
“It was a great privilege when I was told that I would receive this award,” said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, in accepting the award. “It’s part of a movement which is about economic and political progress for all women and girls. It’s about making sure that every woman and girl everywhere has the opportunity she deserves to fulfill her potential, the potential as a mother, worker and human being. The overarching mission of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the cause of reproductive freedom that you continue to advance today is as relevant in our world now as it was 100 years ago. So, I thank you.”
“Throughout her public service career, as first lady of the United States, as a U.S. senator, and now as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton has blazed a path to make health care affordable and available to all Americans,” said Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards. “We are honored to work alongside such a champion of health care reform to meet the needs of women, men, and families across the country.”

The PPFA Maggie Award for Television was awarded to The CW program Privileged for the episode, “All About the Power Position,” which entertained and educated the public about safer sex and the HPV vaccine. Writer and producer Rina Mimoun and Privileged actor JoAnna Garcia accepted the award. The Maggie Award for Television recognizes exceptional contributions by the entertainment industry that enhance the public's understanding of reproductive rights and health care issues.

“The creators of Privileged seized an opportunity to educate young viewers about the emotional responsibilities that come with sexual relationships,” said Richards. “Planned Parenthood applauds Privileged for its socially responsible message.”

PPFA’s “Walk the Talk” Award recognized Audre and Bernard Rapoport of Waco, TX, for their tremendous generosity and decades-long commitment to supporting Planned Parenthood in Texas. A Corporate Leadership Award was presented to Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP, for contributing invaluable legal advice that led to significant changes in the PPFA bylaws and governance structure — and for providing critical and ongoing legal support to the PPFA PROPER ATTIRE® condom program. Lillian Tamayo, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of South Florida and the Treasure Coast was honored with the Ruth Green Award, which is presented to a Planned Parenthood affiliate chief executive chosen by her or his peers for outstanding leadership with board volunteers in planning, public affairs, and fundraising.

The awards gala was the highlight of the 2009 Planned Parenthood National Conference.

Planned Parenthood offers free implantable birth control to Iowa women who have no insurance

Leave it to Planned Parenthood to take care of women when the economy gets bad.

Implantable birth control offered free to Iowa women

Free, implantable birth-control devices are being offered to women throughout Iowa, paid for through a multimillion-dollar project financed by an anonymous donor.

Women can choose intrauterine devices, known as IUDs, or Implanon, a matchstick-size hormone-releasing device that is put into the upper arm.

The devices can last several years. Unlike birth-control pills or patches, they don't require women to remember to take any action.

"You are much less likely to have an unintended pregnancy. That's the real upside," said Penny Dickey, Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa's chief operating officer.

Planned Parenthood branches around Iowa expect to give away about 1,400 of the devices in the next year. The agencies will bill patients' insurance if they have coverage, but won't charge people who have no insurance, Dickey said. The offer, worth several hundred dollars, includes the cost of having a medical professional insert the device and remove it if a patient decides she wants to get pregnant.

Visiting Nurse Services in Des Moines is making a similar offer. Vice President Keri Lebeda Townsend said the agency has seen an increase in requests for help with birth control.

"Some women have been laid off or maybe they're working part time and they don't have insurance," Townsend said.

The offer, which started last year, is financed by an anonymous donation coordinated by the Iowa Initiative to Reduce Unintended Pregnancies, a group led by former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack. The group also finances other forms of birth control.

Like many things in medicine, the devices do have possible side effects, which can include cramping or other menstrual issues, and they offer no protection against sexually transmitted diseases.

Dickey, the Planned Parenthood leader, said her agency encourages women to use the implantable devices only if they want to put off pregnancy for several years. Although the effects of the devices are easily reversible, she said, the agency doesn't want to spend several hundred dollars on a long-term form of birth control if the patient plans to stop using it quickly.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Culture of Death Accomplishments

From attacking conscience protections, to funding abortion and unrestricted human embryo research, the President takes aim at pro-life protections.

After only 2 months in office, President Barack Obama is clearly the most pro-culture of death President in history. Here's why:

1. President Obama reversed the Mexico City Policy four days after taking office. Instead of restricting foreign aid to organizations who directly support abortion, American taxpayers will be funding abortions overseas, all while trying to make ends meet in the midst of a recession.

2. The new omnibus budget increases money spent on the abortion industry, including an increase of $7.5 million to $307.5 million for Title X Domestic Family Planning and a 19% increase of $88 million to $545 million for International Family Planning.

3. President Obama signed an executive order forcing American taxpayers to fund unrestricted embryonic stem cell research. As pointed in a column by Charles Krauthammer, President Obama “pointedly left open the creation of cloned -- and noncloned sperm-and-egg-derived -- human embryos solely for the purpose of dismemberment and use for parts.”

4. President Obama has started the proceedings to rescind the “conscience clause” regulations put in place by President Bush, which protects healthcare professionals and medical students who refuse to perform abortions for moral reasons. (To speak out, go to www.Freedom2Care.com)

5. President Obama nominated one of the most pro-abortion governors in the country, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, to be Secretary of HHS, which oversees millions spent on the abortion industry. Sebelius hosted infamous late-term abortionist Dr. George Tiller and his staff at the governor's mansion.

6. On March 17, 2009, for the first time in eight years, the Obama State Department released $50 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), an organization linked to China's one-child policy and coerced abortions. Unsatisfied by the $50 million mark, House members, led by pro-abortion Rep. Louise Slaughter, are asking for even more money in the next budget Congress will consider.

7. Under Obama’s proposed healthcare plan, the same advocates that are pushing for taxpayer-funded abortions and wiping out parental consent laws, were front and center at the Healthcare Summit in Washington, DC to present their solutions.

Can Planned Parenthood get any more stupid?

Seriously folks, when fighting Planned Parenthood you will run into some things that really have you wondering, how stupid can PP get? With a desperate cry to get more people into its clinics, PP of South Texas is sponsoring a competition of who can make the most creative outfit…out of condoms. Can you say stupid? I’m sure plenty of other things come to mind, but with $336.7 million of your tax dollars, this ridiculous business must be shut down.

If you haven’t picked up on it yet, PP is trying to make condoms into some kind of fashion. With its most recent attempts of selling “Proper Attire” condoms with a new “collection” of condoms, PP is once again trying to desensitize the young people of our generation and lure them into its clinics.

The event in South Texas is titled Project Slicker 2009 and the condoms to create these costumes “will be provided free of charge to registered artists.”

This condom on the brain, baby-killing organization must be defeated. With all of its nonsense and medically inaccurate information, PP still claims to know it all. PP supposedly has “leaders” that offer a “robust vision and commonsense solutions designed to protect women’s health and safety and the basic human rights of us all.”

Give me a break.

Sign the petition to stop PP agenda: http://www.stopp.org/agenda/

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Notre Dame ignores calls to rescind Obama invitation

SOUTH BEND, IN - The University of Notre Dame is sticking with its invitation to President Barack Obama to speak at its May 17 commencement despite criticism from some Roman Catholics that his views on abortion and stem-cell research run counter to Catholic teachings

The Cardinal Newman Society, an advocacy group for orthodoxy on Catholic college and university campuses, calls the invitation to Obama "a scandal and an outrage."

As of Monday evening, the society said more than 33,000 people had signed its online petition urging Notre Dame's president, the Rev. John Jenkins, to withdraw the invitation.

Jenkins issued a statement Monday saying the invitation does not mean that Notre Dame supports all of Obama's positions. In an e-mail to The Associated Press, Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown added, "I don't foresee a circumstance in which we would rescind the invitation."

African American Pastor Sent to Jail for Offering Abortion Alternatives on Public Sidewalk

OAKLAND, CA, March 23, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - On Friday the Rev. Walter Hoye of Berkeley, California, was ordered to serve 30 days in county jail by Judge Stuart Hing of the Alameda Superior Court. Rev. Hoye had been found guilty on January 15, 2009, of unlawfully approaching two persons entering an abortion facility in Oakland. Judge Hing had also ordered him to stay one hundred yards away from the abortion facility for three years. However, Rev. Hoye refused this term of probation and would not agree to a stay-away order. Therefore, the judge denied the defense motion to stay the sentence pending appeal. Mr Hoye was taken into custody from the courtroom.

At a hearing on February 19, Judge Hing stated that he had not intended to impose any fine or jail time on Rev. Hoye if he would agree to stay away from the abortion facility. After Rev. Hoye refused to agree not to offer alternatives to abortion-minded women, Judge Hing imposed a 30-day sentence and $1130 fine.

Dozens in the African-American and pro-life communities from around the nation who came out in support of Rev. Hoye were outraged by the sentence.

"It is absolutely incredible that in America an individual can be sentenced to jail for engaging in peaceful free speech activity on a public sidewalk," remarked Allison Aranda, Staff Counsel for Life Legal Defense Foundation. "Rev. Hoye is being singled out for particularly harsh punishment because he refused to agree not to offer help to women considering abortion. Where is the justice in that?"

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, today denounced the sentence leveled against the pastor.

Rev. Hoye, said Pavone, "has just begun serving a sentence which is blatantly unjust. Rev. Hoye did no violence, but rather attempted to stop violence by his prayerful presence at an abortion mill in Oakland.

"He was right to refuse to promise not to approach the abortion facility. By intervening for these children, he simply seeks to fulfill the command, 'Do to others what you would have them do to you.' No government can put a cap on peaceful efforts to save children from violence."

Rev. Hoye is an African-American pastor who says he feels a special calling to work for the end of what he calls the genocide by abortion taking place in the African-American community. As part of his efforts, he stands in front of an abortion facility in Oakland with leaflets offering abortion alternatives and a sign reading, "Jesus loves you and your baby. Let us help."

In response to Rev Hoye's efforts, the Oakland City Council passed an ordinance making it a crime to approach persons entering abortion centers to offer alternatives to abortion. Approaching women to encourage them to enter the clinic is permitted, according to City policy.

According to 2004 statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics, about 37 percent of pregnancies of black women end in abortion, compared with 12 percent for non-Hispanic white women and 19 percent for Hispanic women.

LLDF Legal Director Catherine Short and attorney Mike Millen, who also represented Rev. Hoye at trial, are currently challenging the constitutionality of the ordinance on Rev. Hoye's behalf in federal court. They say they are hopeful the ordinance will be struck down and Rev. Hoye vindicated.

See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:

Pro-Life Pastor Faces 2 Years Jail and Fine for Peaceful Sidewalk Counseling

African American Pastor Sentenced to Jail for Counselling Women on Public Sidewalk

Dr. George Tiller faces 19 misdemeanor counts of violating the Kansas law governing late-term procedures.

Opening arguments got underway Monday in the criminal case against Dr. George Tiller, one of the only physicians in the country who provides late-term abortions. And by day's end, it was clear that the case could hinge on such nonmedical issues as who paid for copy paper and toner, the meaning of a hug and whether selling a beat-up sedan to a colleague can constitute proof of guilt.

Tiller, 67, faces 19 misdemeanor counts of breaking the Kansas law that governs how late-term abortions should be handled.

In cases where the fetus is deemed viable -- or able to survive outside the womb, around six months' gestation -- the state requires the approval of a second doctor who is not affiliated legally or financially with the first doctor before an abortion can be performed. The doctor must certify that the mother will suffer permanent and irreversible harm, which can include psychological harm, if she carries the baby to term. The state also requires that the second doctor be from Kansas, which considerably narrows the field since few doctors in the state perform abortions.

Prosecutors contend that Tiller's relationship with Dr. Ann Kristin Neuhaus of Lawrence, Kan. -- who signed off on 19 of his cases in 2003 -- violated the state's independent physician requirement. Neuhaus, who did not have her own clinic at the time and whose only source of income was Tiller, used his office but denied using his staff.

The defense has countered that Neuhaus saw patients at Tiller's office for security reasons -- protesters regularly harassed patients outside the clinic -- and because it was convenient for patients, many of whom were emotionally fragile teenagers.

One of the 19 patients in question was 10 years old. Many of Tiller's patients are women who discover late in their pregnancies that they are carrying severely impaired fetuses.

On Monday, antiabortion activists lined up before the courtroom opened in hopes of getting seats inside.

About 25 did, including Troy Newman of Operation Rescue and a handful of young adults he described as "survivors of the abortion holocaust" because they were born after 1973, the year the Supreme Court legalized abortion. Two people in apparel with antiabortion slogans were asked by sheriff's deputies in the courtroom to turn their sweat shirts inside out or cover up.

In his opening statement, Kansas Assistant Atty. Gen. Barry Disney told the jury that Tiller had recruited Neuhaus, hired his attorney to train her about legal requirements and scheduled his patients for her to see at his office. "They were so entwined that she, in essence, was an employee," Disney said. He implied that one way to tell their relationship crossed the line was the hug she gave Tiller when she saw him at the courthouse Monday.

Neuhaus -- who testified under a grant of immunity -- said she saw five or six of Tiller's patients a week, earning about $300 for each consultation.

During cross-examination, defense attorney Dan Monnat asked Neuhaus: "When you saw [Tiller] this morning and gave him a hug, did you mean to convey that you were legally or financially affiliated with him?"

"No," she replied.

Disney also implied that Tiller had given Neuhaus a special deal when he sold her a 1994 Toyota Camry in 2006 for $300. But Monnat produced an appraisal from a local dealership setting the value of the car at $300 and showed the jury a photo of what he mockingly called "this sleek car" -- which Neuhaus testified needed $3,000 worth of body work.

Neuhaus, the day's only witness, seemed at times flustered.

On some points, such as whether she had received legal advice from Tiller's lawyers, Neuhaus on Monday contradicted her earlier deposition. Tiller's attorneys had sent her a packet of information about the Kansas abortion law, she said Monday, but she did not recall meeting with them. In her deposition, she had said that she received the packet "after consulting with his attorneys."

Her deposition, she testified, may have been flawed because "it was a pretty hostile engagement." She later added, "I was being interrogated for four hours and was a little distraught."

Still, she testified, she maintained her independence from Tiller, going so far as to pay for the copy paper and toner that she used while seeing patients at his Wichita clinic, Women's Health Care Services.

When the prosecutor pressed her about whether she had paid rent to Tiller or paid for any of his staff, she said she had not, adding: "I didn't pay for the toilet paper or coffee" either.

Outside the Sedgwick County courthouse, a couple dozen antiabortion activists prayed. A truck with large panels showing aborted fetuses and slogans such as "Tiller the Killer" drove slowly around the block to mark the first time that Tiller, who has practiced in Kansas for more than three decades, has been charged with a crime.

If convicted, Tiller would face one year in prison and a fine of $2,500 for each count. The trial is expected to last at least through the week.

Catholic Notre Dame University to Give Obama Honorary Degree on May 17, Against USCCB Policy

NOTRE DAME, Indiana, March 20, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - White House Secretary Robert Gibbs stated today that President Obama will give the commencement address at Notre Dame University this year. The school confirmed the announcement, stating on its website that Obama will also receive an honorary doctor of laws degree at the University's 164th University Commencement Ceremony at 2 p.m. May 17 in the Joyce Center on campus.

In 2004, the United States of Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved a policy statement called "Catholics in Political Life," which says, with reference to pro-abortion politicians, "They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."

President Obama has been called the "abortion president" by pro-life activists, and his appearance at the university would appear to violate the USCCB's policy against honoring pro-abortion politicians.

One alumnus from the university has already expressed his displeasure in an open letter sent today to the president of Notre Dame, Rev. John Jenkins.

William Newton, a D.C. area attorney, wrote, "As an alumnus of Notre Dame Law School, I am deeply offended that you would invite President Barack Obama to speak at Commencement this year."

Newton then lists the numerous pro-abortion decisions that Obama has made since assuming the office of the presidency. "This is the person that you feel is worthy to address the students and faculty of Notre Dame, in the shadow of Our Lady atop the Golden Dome, with the spires of the Basilica in the background?" writes Newton.

"Father Sorin must be wringing his hands in heaven, that his successor would approve this disgrace. Shame on Notre Dame for choosing to scandalize the faithful who continue to support the Catholic identity and mission of the University."

Conservative commentator Kathryn Jean Lopez said on The Corner that the arrangement was "shameful."

"Last week the president of the United States perpetrated an assault on human dignity. No statements or press releases will undo what Notre Dame's position in the eyes of the world is in response: 'Doesn't matter,'" wrote Lopez. "We've got THE ONE. So much for the One the school's namesake gave birth to."

"I've been optimistic that the radicalism of this administration on life could be a real catalyst for renewal in many churches. At Notre Dame, the administration there just made a choice. They took a giant step away from their identity as 'Catholic.' They [sic] rather be of this world than the one they supposedly exist to bring people toward."

Notre Dame is among the most prestigious Catholic universities in America. The school's Center for Ethics and Culture recently established a pro-life fund in an effort to bolster Notre Dame's pro-life identity.

Sign the Petition to Father Jenkins

To contact Notre Dame:
Phone: (574) 631-5000
email form: http://president.nd.edu/contact-us

Notre Dame Fellows:
Rev. E. William Beauchamp, C.S.C., President, U. of Portland
(503) 943-7101

Patrick F. McCartan, Senior partner, Jones Day
(216) 586-7272
Email: pmccartan@jonesday.com

William M. Goodyear, CEO, Navigant Consulting
main: (312) 583-5700

list of all Notre Dame Fellows: http://www.nd.edu/leadership/fellows/

To contact the USCCB:

Cardinal Francis George, President
Archdiocese of Chicago
phone: 312-751- 8200
email: mfox@archchicago.org

Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, Chairman, Committee on Education
Diocese of Worcester
phone: 508-791-7171
committee email: catholiceducation@usccb.org

To contact Notre Dame's bishop:
Bishop John D'Arcy, Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese
Fort Wayne Chancery
phone: (260) 422-4611

Fishermen find infant girl in trash bag

Police are asking for the public's help in finding a mother after two fishermen make a disturbing discovery Sunday -- an infant girl in a trash bag at Lake Artemesia.
"When you see something like that it doesn't go easy on you," says Will Perdue, one of the fishermen who found the child as they fished at the 38-acre lake.

Will Perdue and Joseph Dean didn't know each other before Sunday. Perdue says they were "just trying to clean up trash" when they found the bag around 3 p.m.

"You don't do it that way -- by disposing a trash bag," Dean says. "Hospitals is where you take them."

Police hope someone comes forward to report a mother who may have been pregnant but no longer is, or someone who may know what happened. If you know anything that may be helpful to police, call 866-411-TIPS.

The tragedy has Prince George's County Police Cpl. Erica Johnson reminding people that "Maryland has what is known as the 'safe haven law.'" Under that law, a child up to 72 hours old can be left at a hospital, police station or fire department without any questions.

Dean wants to see the person responsible for dumping the baby brought to justice.

"If I was the person who that baby belonged to, I would give them the chair," he says.

Woman Accused Of Ending Daughter's Pregnancy, Dumping Baby In Trash

A South Florida mother says she ended her teenage daughter's pregnancy and dumped the infant's body in the garbage. Miramar Police Detective Yessenia Diaz says 39-year-old Tonuya Rainey admitted giving her daughter medication from a Miami clinic to end the pregnancy.

Rainey is not a nurse, but works in the medical field. The daughter told police she gave birth two weeks ago over a toilet. Rainey later said she placed the infant in a bag and dumped the body in the garbage. Rainey said the infant was born dead, but her daughter claimed she saw it breathing.

Rainey was arrested Friday and faces felony charges that include performing the termination of a pregnancy without a physician license, unlicensed practice of health care professional, child abuse and improper disposal of human remains.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Harvard AIDS Expert Says Pope is Correct on Condom Distribution Making AIDS Worse

March 19, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Edward C. Green, director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, has said that the evidence confirms that the Pope is correct in his assessment that condom distribution exacerbates the problem of AIDS.

"The pope is correct," Green told National Review Online Wednesday, "or put it a better way, the best evidence we have supports the pope's comments."

"There is," Green added, "a consistent association shown by our best studies, including the U.S.-funded 'Demographic Health Surveys,' between greater availability and use of condoms and higher (not lower) HIV-infection rates. This may be due in part to a phenomenon known as risk compensation, meaning that when one uses a risk-reduction 'technology' such as condoms, one often loses the benefit (reduction in risk) by 'compensating' or taking greater chances than one would take without the risk-reduction technology." ( see the full interview with Green here.

The Harvard AIDS Project's webpage on Green lists his book "Rethinking AIDS Prevention: Learning from Successes in Developing Countries". It is stated that Green reveals, "The largely medical solutions funded by major donors have had little impact in Africa, the continent hardest hit by AIDS. Instead, relatively simple, low-cost behavioral change programs--stressing increased monogamy and delayed sexual activity for young people--have made the greatest headway in fighting or preventing the disease's spread."

The full text of Pope Benedict XVI's exchange with the reporter, which has set off a firestorm around the world in the media, has been released by the Vatican press office.

The pope was asked, "Holy Father among the many evils that affect Africa there is also the particular problem of the spread of AIDS. The position of the Catholic Church for fighting this evil is frequently considered unrealistic and ineffective?"

Benedict XVI replied:

"I would say the opposite. I think that the reality that is most effective, the most present and the strongest in the fight against AIDS, is precisely that of the Catholic Church, with its programs and its diversity. I think of the Sant'Egidio Community, which does so much visibly and invisibly in the fight against AIDS ... and of all the sisters at the service of the sick.

"I would say that one cannot overcome this problem of AIDS only with money -- which is important, but if there is no soul, no people who know how to use it, (money) doesn't help.

"One cannot overcome the problem with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, they increase the problem.

"The solution can only be a double one: first, a humanization of sexuality, that is, a spiritual human renewal that brings with it a new way of behaving with one another; second, a true friendship even and especially with those who suffer, and a willingness to make personal sacrifices and to be with the suffering. And these are factors that help and that result in real and visible progress.

"Therefore I would say this is our double strength -- to renew the human being from the inside, to give him spiritual human strength for proper behavior regarding one's own body and toward the other person, and the capacity to suffer with the suffering. ... I think this is the proper response and the church is doing this, and so it offers a great and important contribution. I thank all those who are doing this."

See Dr. Green's impressive credentials and list of publications.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

U.S. Lawmakers Fight to Remove Law, Signed by Obama, against Federal Funding for Embryo Research

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 17, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - While President Obama's executive order last week abolished former President George Bush's order forbidding taxpayer funds from being used for embryo-destructive research, the move did not address current U.S. law that bans federal funds from being used for the creation and destruction of embryos. Anti-life legislators are now working to repeal the pro-life law as the next logical step to completely free up funds for embryonic stem-cell research.

Just two days after signing the embryonic stem cell research executive order, Obama signed the annual omnibus appropriations bill, which since 1995 has included an amendment that forbids federal funds from facilitating the harm or destruction of life.

Known as the Dickey-Wicker amendment, the language states: "None of the funds made available in this Act may be used for the creation of a human embryo or embryos for research purposes, or research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death."

Obama's executive order only states that embryonic stem cell research would be allowed "to the extent permitted by law."

Peter Breen, an attorney with the pro-life Thomas More Society, told LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) that the Dickey-Wicker law prohibits the president from authorizing funds for research that creates or destroys embryos. However, because of the executive order, funds can now go to research on stem cells taken from embryos already destroyed via private funding. The Bush executive order had restricted such research to the cell lines of embryos destroyed before August 2001.

A White House official recently confirmed to the Cybercast News Service (CNS) that the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the government's medical research arm, will be drafting guidelines to perform research in compliance with the Dickey-Wicker law.

But now that President Obama has lifted the Bush ban, legislators have set to work to abolish the Dickey-Wicker language from next year's appropriations bill, thereby completely freeing up federal funds for embryo research.

Reps. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., and Mike Castle, R-Del., are working to repeal the amendment.

"Dickey-Wicker is 13 years old now, and I think we need to review these policies," DeGette told the New York Times. The Times published an editorial Tuesday urging Congress to do away with the law.

Rep. Mike Castle, a Republican co-sponsor of Rep. DeGette's bill, said the law is "something we need to look at."

"That was passed in 1996, before we realized the full potential of embryonic stem cell research. Some researchers are telling us now that that needs to be reversed," he told the Congressional Quarterly on Monday.

But pro-life leaders are warning that removing the law would give free rein to scientists eager to create, manipulate, and destroy countless human lives.

On the same day that Obama signed his controversial executive order, Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee pointed out that Obama's order "sets the stage for an attack" on the Dickey-Wicker amendment, the removal of which would have dire consequences.

"Many researchers are already demanding federal support for research in which human embryos would be created for the specific purpose of research, through human cloning and other methods, and there was nothing in the President's remarks today to limit NIH to the use of so-called surplus embryos created in IVF clinics," said Johnson.

"Any member of Congress who votes for legislation to repeal this law is voting to allow federal funding of human embryo farms, created through the use of human cloning."

Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ) told the Times that he doubts the public would approve of discarding the law.

"I don't think it will fly because the movement in the country is in favor of life," said Smith. "For Congress to say that the new guinea pig will be human embryos, most Americans will find that highly offensive."

US births break record; 40 pct out-of-wedlock

More babies were born in the United States in 2007 than any year in the nation's history, topping the peak during the baby boom 50 years earlier, federal researchers reported Wednesday.

There is both good and bad news from the more than 4.3 million births:

• The US population is more than replacing itself, a healthy trend.

• However, the teen birth rate was up for the second year in a row.

The birth rate rose slightly for women of all ages, and births to unwed mothers reached an all-time high of about 40 percent, continuing a trend begun years ago. More than three-quarters of these women were 20 or older.

For a variety of reasons, it's become more acceptable for women to have babies without a husband, said Duke University's S. Philip Morgan, a leading fertility researcher.

Even happy couples may be living together without getting married, experts say. And more women – especially those in their 30s and 40s – are choosing to have children despite their single status.

The new numbers indicate the nation is experiencing a baby boomlet with fertility rates higher in every racial group. On average, a US woman has 2.1 babies in her lifetime. The highest fertility rates were among Hispanics.

But it's not clear the boomlet will last long. Some experts think birth rates are already declining because of the economic recession that began in late 2007.

"I expect they'll go back down. The lowest birth rates recorded in the United States occurred during the Great Depression – and that was before modern contraception," said Dr. Carol Hogue, an Emory University professor of maternal and child health.

The 2007 statistical snapshot reflected a relatively good economy coupled with cultural trends that promoted childbirth, she and others noted.

Meanwhile, US abortions have been dropping to their lowest levels in decades, according to other reports. Some have attributed the abortion decline to better use of contraceptives, but other experts have wondered if the rise in births might indicate a failure in proper use of contraceptives. Some earlier studies have shown declining availability of abortions.

Cultural attitudes may be a more likely explanation. Morgan noted the pregnancy of Bristol Palin, the unmarried teen daughter of former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. The young woman had a baby boy in December, and plans for a wedding with the father, Levi Johnston, were scrapped.

"She's the poster child for what you do when you get pregnant now," Morgan said.

Teen women tend to follow what their older sisters do, so perhaps it's not surprising that teen births are going up just like births to older women, said Sarah Brown, the chief executive for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

Indeed, it's harder to understand why teen births had been declining for about 15 years before the recent uptick, she said. It may have been due to a concentrated societal effort to reduce teen births in the 1990s that has waned in recent years, she said.

The statistics are based on a review of most 2007 birth certificates by the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The numbers also showed:

• Cesarean section deliveries continue to rise, now accounting for almost a third of all births. Health officials say that rate is much higher than is medically necessary. About 34 percent of births to black women were by C-section, more than any other racial group. But geographically, the percentages were highest in Puerto Rico, at 49 percent, and New Jersey, at 38 percent.

• The pre-term birth rate, for infants delivered at less than 37 weeks of pregnancy, declined slightly. It had been generally increasing since the early 1980s. Experts said they aren't sure why it went down.

• Among the states, Utah continued to have the highest birth rate and Vermont the lowest.

CDC officials noted that despite the record number of births, this is nothing like what occurred in the 1950s, when a much smaller population of women were having nearly four children each, on average. That baby boom quickly transformed society, affecting everything from school construction to consumer culture.

Today, U.S. women are averaging 2.1 children each. That's the highest level it's been since the early 1970s, but is a relatively small increase from the rate it had hovered at for more than 10 years and is hardly transforming.

"It's the tiniest of baby booms," said Morgan in agreement. "This is not an earthquake; it's a slight tremor." - AP

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A mother is appealing for women to have sex with her adopted Down's syndrome son.

Truly nauseating...

Lucy Baxter says she will even pay for a prostitute so he can lose his virginity.

The mother has now set up a Bebo page for Otto appealing for potential dates to come forward.

The leading campaigner has three other adopted sons with Down's and works with the charity Mencap.

She said: "I'd like all my boys to find love and enjoy sex.

"I always look at what other people are doing and why shouldn't they do the same things?

"I strongly believe, and have always said, that society has a learning disability when it comes to Down's syndrome.

"If he doesn't get a girlfriend, I will feel really bad, because I have sold him this thing that he is like everybody else. That's why I'm working overtime to get this sorted for him."

Otto enjoys acting and has appeared in local stage versions of Macbeth and The Canterbury Tales.

He persuaded his mum to help him find a girlfriend after being rebuffed for three years - and says presenter Fearne Cotton is his ideal woman.

He said: "I'm on a mission to find a girlfriend. I'm looking for girlfriends everywhere."

Miss Baxter, 50, of Abingdon, Oxfordshire, has never married but has four adopted sons - James, 25, Otto, 21, Titus, 14, and Raphael, seven.

She said: "Everyone else his age is having sex and enjoying being young adults, so why shouldn't Otto?"

Miss Baxter is a respected member of the Down's Syndrome Association and has been at the forefront of research into the condition.

A charity spokesman said: "Lucy has worked tirelessly to break down the stigma attached to people with Down's Syndrome."

Pope: Condoms 'Increase' AIDS Epidemic in Africa

If only someone would listen...

Pope Benedict XVI said Tuesday that the distribution of condoms is not the answer in the fight against AIDS in Africa.

Benedict has never before spoken explicitly on condom use although he has stressed that the Roman Catholic Church is in the forefront of the battle against AIDS. The Vatican encourages sexual abstinence to fight the spread of the disease.

"You can't resolve it with the distribution of condoms," the pope told reporters aboard the Alitalia plane headed to Yaounde, Cameroon. "On the contrary, it increases the problem."

Some priests and nuns working with victims of the AIDS pandemic ravaging Africa question the church's opposition to condoms.

The pope also said that he intends to make an appeal for "international solidarity" for Africa in the face of the global economic downturn.

He said that while the church does not propose specific economic solutions, it can give "spiritual and moral" suggestions.

Describing the current crisis as the consequence of "a deficit of ethics in economic structures," the pope said, "It is here that the church can make a contribution."

Benedict's seven-day pilgrimage will take him to Cameroon and Angola.

Africa is the fastest-growing region for the Roman Catholic Church.

Monday, March 16, 2009

My Amazing Husband

Although I wrote last week that I was having a rough lent (which is still true, but getting better thanks to a friend's advice), I have to tell you that I am truly grateful to be alive. I have the most amazing husband! He is so tender and caring, so thoughtful and supportive, so understanding and gentle. And he loves ME. I feel unworthy. I often wonder how on earth I got this lucky. I am so very blessed. Please pray for us as we begin trying for a baby!

Study: Women Who Use Birth Control Pill 1.5 Times More Likely to Develop Bowel Disease

LONDON, UK, March 13, 2009 - A study on the role of oral contraceptives in the cause of inflammatory bowel disease, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, found that women who use the pill are one and a half times more likely to develop Crohn's disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis (UC) than women who have not used oral contraceptives.

The research by doctors at the Gastroenterology Unit of St. Mary's Hospital, Imperial College, and the Department of Surgery of St. Mark's Hospital, London, reported that a total of 75,815 patients were involved in the study of the etiology of UC and CD between 1983 and 2007. Of these women, 36,797 used the oral contraceptive pill (OCP) and 39,018 did not.

The report stated that the relative risk of developing Crohn's disease increased with a prolonged exposure to the OCP. Whereas the overall average of increased risk was 1 1/2 times, the relative risk of developing CD for a woman who has used the pill for three years increases to almost 3.5 times.

This study has also shown that the risk associated with OCP exposure was reversed to that of the non-exposed population after stopping the use of the drug.

The adjustment of the results for smoking was an important aspect of this analysis, since it was found that smokers are more likely to take the OCP, and oral contraceptive users have been reported as more likely to smoke. The adjustments for smoking increased the relative risk of CD and decreased the risk of UC.

The study also suggested that a reduction in the estrogen and progesterone dosages in OCPs over the last two decades has not reduced the relative risk of inflammatory bowel disease in women who use the contraceptive pill.

An abstract of the study is available here.

Read related SLN articles on the dangers of the oral contraceptive pill:

Birth Control Pill May Cause Prostate Cancer and Bladder Disease in Mothers' Children

Birth Control Pill Raises Heart Attack Risk 100%

Massive Study Finds the Pill Significantly Increases Cancer Risk if Used more than Eight Years

Birth Control Pill Linked to Hardening of the Arteries

Vatican Slams Choice of Kathleen Sebelius for Secretary of Health and Human Services

SAN DIEGO, CA, March 13, 2009 - The head of the Roman Catholic Church's highest office overseeing Church law has slammed the nomination of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), calling the nomination "the source of greatest embarrassment" to the Catholic Church.

In an interview with Thomas J. McKenna, president of Catholic Action for Faith and Family, Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, strongly supported the means by which the Governor has been disciplined by her bishop because of her public support for abortion. Kansas Archbishop Joseph Naumann has been strongly critical of Sebelius in the past, publicly admonishing her not to receive Communion, and has called Obama's nomination of the governor "offensive."

"Archbishop Naumann acted with exemplary pastoral charity in the matter, protecting the Body and Blood of Christ from unworthy reception, preventing the Governor from the commission of the most serious sin of sacrilege, and ending the great scandal caused by the Governor's unworthy reception of the Body and Blood of Christ" said Archbishop Burke in the interview.

When asked for his opinion on the nomination of Governor Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services he said, "As a Roman Catholic, her appointment is the source of the greatest embarrassment because she has publicly and repeatedly betrayed her Catholic faith."

"What is more, she has obstinately remained in her moral error after being admonished by, at least, three of her Bishops … Her position on the question of procured abortion is the source of the greatest scandal to Catholics and to all who uphold the natural moral law."

"No matter how good Governor Sebelius' record regarding other human life concerns may be, if she is not committed to the safeguarding of human life from its very inception, she should not be entrusted with the questions of health and human services for our nation" he continued.

The Archbishop concluded his remarks by saying that "every bishop" is held to the "universal Church discipline" found in Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law, which state that, "Those [...] who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion."

"Whether Governor Sebelius is in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, or in any other diocese, she should not present herself for Holy Communion because, after pastoral admonition, she obstinately persists in serious sin."

In a separate interview with Archbishop Naumann, McKenna asked why the bishop publicly asked Governor Sebelius not to present herself for Holy Communion. "My motivation was primarily to protect the Church and her teaching, as well as to protect our people from being misled" he explained.

When asked about the sin of scandal he explained, "I am very concerned about the governor and others like her leading individuals to think that it is not really so bad if you support abortion. What I think is even more deadly, especially for our young people, is for them to think that if the law permits abortion it must not be all that bad for me to procure an abortion either."

Both interviews can be read in their entirety on Catholic Action for Faith and Family's web site, http://www.CatholicAction.org

Friday, March 13, 2009

I am struggling this Lent...

I am having some issues this Lent. I am really struggling.

There is a woman who sits next to me at work who used to be a friend/acquaintance whom I will call Jane. In the past 12 months, Jane and her husband filed for and are now divorced, she started a new romantic (and intimate according to her) relationship with a man in the office whom I will call Bob (I can only assume this is what caused her marriage failure) and she has stopped going to church (Lutheran). I just heard her on the phone renewing her prescription for her birth control pill. Jane has a two year old son who is truly suffering with her new lifestyle. She complains that the boy cries when she takes him to daycare, has trouble sleeping on the 3 nights a week that she has him (her ex-husband has him 4 nights a week), that he does not eat well. Jane's personality has changed tremedously since I met her almost four years ago.

You know how there are some people in this world with whom you simply cannot get along with? Bob is someone whom I have never liked, and from what I can gather the feeling is mutual. It has been made apparent in how they both act towards me when he is at her desk. I must say, this does not bother me at all. I have always been a person who is self-concious, but the fact that Bob dislikes me has no affect on me whatsoever. It is Jane I am concerned about.

As I said before, Jane and I were acquaintances. I was invited to her baby shower before her son was born, but I assume it was because I am very close with the woman who hosted it. My problem is that Jane has fallen victim to an immoral life and I have little tolerance for it. I have been avoiding her, but it is not really in my nature to be cold to people and it is really starting to make me feel crappy. I am unsure what to do?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bishop: "President Obama is forcing all American taxpayers to pay for this homicidal research"

PHOENIX, March 11, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Bishop of Phoenix in Arizona has written a straight-talking column responding to President Barack Obama's executive order providing federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

"This means that American taxpayers will now be paying for the killing of human beings at a very early stage in their lives (as embryos), so that scientific research can make use of them for experiments that may or may not yield positive results," writes Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted in his diocesan newspaper, the Catholic Sun.

Unwilling to sugar-coat the reality with polite euphemisms, Bishop Olmsted says, "We U.S. taxpayers will now be forced to pay, whether we wish to or not, for the killing of our youngest brothers and sisters on the dubious hypothesis that their murders might, in the future, benefit others."

"What President Obama is doing is forcing all American taxpayers to pay for this homicidal research," he said.

The Bishop offers five ways in which Catholics should respond to the President's action. "First, we must beg forgiveness for this horrendous sin of our nation," he says. "Second, we Catholics must join with others of good will and make our voices heard across our land, at the White House, on Capitol Hill, in our state Legislatures and in the media. We must not stand by idly while our neighbor's life is at stake. The dignity of a human person does not depend upon his or her age, developmental stage, or ability to function."

To read more see the full column here.

Studies Find Contraception Makes Women Obese and Newborns Too Thin

OTTAWA, March 9, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - University of Ottawa researchers have found that women who conceive within a month of taking birth-control pills tend to have premature babies or babies with a low birth weight. At the same time, another study from the University of Texas has revealed that users of the contraceptive "shot" are significantly more likely than other women to become obese.

Xi-Kuan Chen, an epidemiologist and senior analyst with the Canadian Institute for Health Information at the University of Ottawa said doctors should inform patients of the link between chemical contraceptives and low birth weight, which is a growing problem in Canada, because children born too thin are likely to suffer health problems later in life.

"Doctors should be bringing this to the attention of patients," said Dr. Chen in a National Post report. "When they consult with some patients, they should suggest there might be some effect for them."

The study used the singularly comprehensive database of the Saskatchewan drug and medicare plans to look at 1,500 women, divided into three groups, who had taken contraceptive drugs within 30 days, 31-60 days and 61-90 days of their last period before becoming pregnant. They then compared the birth weight of their children with 6,100 women who had not used birth-control pills for at least a year before they gave birth.

Analysis of the data showed that women who had taken the pill within 30 days of getting pregnant were more than three times as likely to have a very low-weight newborn (under 3.3 lbs) and twice as likely to have a child born weighing less than 5.5 pounds or to deliver the child six weeks prematurely.

The report also showed that the longer the abstention from contraceptive drugs before conceiving, the closer the newborns birth weight would be to those women who had not used birth-control pills.

Dr. Chen said that although the study does not definitively prove a cause-and-effect relationship and needs to be confirmed by more research because it did not take into account factors such as smoking, which also contribute to low birth weight and prematurity, the results of the study should not be ignored.

At the same time as the findings of Dr. Chen's study are being reported, Dr. Abbey Berenson at the University of Texas Medical Branch has revealed that the use of certain contraceptive drugs causes significant weight gain and an increase in body fat, according to a study published in the current issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Dr. Berenson and her team of researchers studied the use of the contraceptive drug depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), commercially known as Depo-Provera, which is delivered in the form of a shot, and found that DMPA users were more than twice as likely to become obese as women who did not use that contraceptive drug.

"Women and their doctors should factor in this new data when choosing the most appropriate birth control method," said Berenson.

"One concern is DMPA's link to increased abdominal fat, a known component of metabolic syndrome, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes."

See related LSN articles:

Abortion-Causing Birth Control Patch Manufacturer Faces Class-Action Lawsuit

Two Canadian Women Die from Use of Contraceptive Patch; Sixteen More Suffer Blood Clots

The Pill: "the largest unregulated human trial that's ever been conducted"

Gov. Sarah Palin selects former PP board member to Alaska State Supreme Court

Anchorage Superior Court Judge Morgan Christen, a former PP board member, was selected to be the 20th Supreme Court Judge in Alaska.

Because of Alaska’s State Constitution, the governor was given a list of nominees that were provided by the Alaska Judicial Council. The list Gov. Palin received had a choice of two nominees. That was of Superior Court Judge Morgan Christen and Superior Court Judge Eric Smith.

Despite many letters from pro-lifers across the country, Gov. Palin selected Judge Morgan Christen.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

As Lent Begins, 3 Prominent Catholic Universities Celebrate Porn, Promiscuity

MANASSAS, VA, February 26, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - As Christians worldwide kneel in prayer to begin the holy season of Lent, students at three Jesuit Catholic universities are busy celebrating extramarital sex, homosexuality, cross-dressing and pornography, the Cardinal Newman Society has revealed.

From February 23 to 28, Georgetown University is hosting "Sex Positive Week," sponsored by feminist and homosexual student clubs.

On Monday, the event "Sex Positive … What's That?" featured a speaker from Black Rose, an organization "which provides a forum for the many different expressions of power in love and play. This can include dominance & submission, bondage & discipline, fetishism, cross-dressing, to name a few."

A talk on Ash Wednesday, "Torn About Porn?" was advertised to include "discussion about arguably alternative forms of pornography that are not supposed to be exploitative, but rather radical and empowering."

On Saturday, February 28, pornographic film director Tristan Taormino will speak at the university on "Relationships Beyond Monogamy" - one day after speaking in downtown Washington, D.C., about "Anal Pleasure 101." She will discuss her book "Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships" with Jenny Block, author of "Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage." Taormino is also the author of "True Lust: Adventures in Sex, Porn and Perversion."

On Tuesday, the Student Diversity and Cultural Affairs Office of Loyola University Chicago presented the film "Brother to Brother," about a homosexual African-American who is transported in time to cavort with the allegedly homosexual writer Langston Hughes.

The film is part of a semester-long "Color of Queer Film Series" sponsored by the university. Upcoming films include "Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros" about a 12-year-old boy who falls in love with a male police officer, and "I Exist: Voices from the Lesbian and Gay Middle Eastern Community in the U.S."

This week is "Transgender Awareness Week" at Seattle University, which includes a session on allegedly transgender Bible heroes and heroines and "Criss-Cross Day," where students are encouraged to "come dressed for the day in your best gender-bending outfit." The events are sponsored by the university's Office of Multicultural Affairs and the student Trans and Allies Club.

"These obscene abuses of Catholic values come just as Christians begin a holy season of penance, fasting and almsgiving," said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society. "That Catholic universities would permit these events on their campuses at any time of the year is unthinkable, but to do so during the holy season of Lent is unconscionable."

"The saddest part of this story is that there is no indication that these universities are ashamed or embarrassed by what is taking place on their Catholic campuses. Parents and potential students might begin to wonder how these universities can in good conscience consider themselves Catholic when they allow such perverse distortions of Catholic values to take place."

Visit the Cardinal Newman Society at: http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/


Georgetown University

President John J. DeGioia
Office of the President
204 Healy Hall
37th & O Streets, NW
Washington, DC 20057
Tel: (202) 687-4134
Fax: (202) 687-6660

Seattle University

President Sundborg SJ, Stephen
President's Office
901 12th Avenue, P.O. Box 222000
Seattle, WA 98122-1090
Administration Building 109
(206) 296-1891

Loyola University

Michael J. Garanzini SJ
Phone: 1 - 312 - 915-6400