Author Archives: LEC

Teens & Young Adults Take Lead in Culture of Life (November 2019)

by Frank Tinari, Ph.D., Life Education Council Board of Trustees

Young Woman Reports on Her Experience

“The March for Life is one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. It was just incredibly eye-opening. It made me want to learn so much more about the movement and what we are fighting for.

I came in not knowing exactly where I stood but I do now. I know that I am a pro-lifer and I am so very proud of it. I am proud to say that I stand for others’ lives and not just my own. It was amazing to see people of all colors, religions, and states and countries all come together for one cause. I feel so strongly about this topic now and I want everyone to know the truth. The March for Life was absolutely amazing and now I know that I am the pro-life generation!!” – from Reagan [March for Life Education & Defense Fund Info flyer] Editor’s Note: The 2020 March for Life in Washington DC is scheduled for Friday, January 24th. For bus information, contact your local Respect Life Office.

Trial Begun: Planned Parenthood Suing Young Men & Women Activists

Life Legal Defense Foundation attorneys appeared in federal court recently in the Planned Parenthood video trial. PP sued David Daleiden & others for their role in recording and publishing videos showing PP executives haggling over the price of organs and tissue harvested from 2nd & 3rd trimester aborted babies.

Planned Parenthood attorneys attempted to paint the pro-life defendants as “extremists,” citing a statement that “we must destroy the evil Planned Parenthood empire” and calling abortion a “holocaust” as an example of radical, anti- abortion views. But this tactic only demonstrates how out of touch PP’s high-priced attorneys are. A corporation with $1.3 billion in annual revenue that was founded to suppress & ultimately exterminate certain populations its founder deemed to be “defective,” “unfit,” “human weeds” is by definition an evil empire. And when the abortion industry strips all protections from children in the womb so it can kill hundreds of thousands of preborn human beings every year, it is not “extreme” to call that a holocaust. And at least one PP abortionist said she could use a “less crunchy” technique to obtain intact bodies for organ harvesting.

The trial is expected to continue through the second week of November. Please pray for the attorneys representing the heroic pro-life defendants in this case. [www.lifelegaldefensefoundation.org] 

ProLife Boot Camp Going Strong

Called the Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust Pro-Life Boot Camp, this year it was held in Washington DC. The teens who come are trained in many aspects of the pro-life movement from apologetics to street activism. The first few days include training & talks; they practice scenarios, make signs, come up with activism ideas, and then hit the streets to be a public witness.

This year the teens went to visit members of the House and Senate, asking them to take stands for life. They also held events like a “Die In” and protests at several offices. On one evening the Survivors set up a movie screen in front of the mega DC Planned Parenthood and showed the entire movie Unplanned. It was amazing to see all the people sitting around the front walk of PP watching the movie that is changing so many hearts.

The kids also did a protest inside the National Portrait Gallery near the statue of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, exposing the racist & eugenic background of PP. [Bryan Kemper, Youth Outreach Director, Priests for Life]

Do not content yourself with anything less than the highest ideals. … You are right to be disappointed with hollow entertainment and passing fads, with aiming at too little in life. If you have an ardent desire for the Lord you will steer clear of the mediocrity and conformism so widespread in our society. St. John Paul II

Pro-Abortion Student Mob Rages Against Courageous Young ProLifers

TFP Student Action volunteers visited George Washington U. in DC on Sept. 30, 2019. That’s when the dark pro-abortion reality hit them. Every innocent human person – born or preborn – has the right to life. However, our culture has strayed so far from God and reason that what used to be self-evident is no longer so, particularly on left-wing college campuses where procured abortion is considered more than a right–it’s been elevated and granted the status of a secular virtue.

After reciting a short prayer, 15 TFP volunteers fanned out on the sidewalks and got to work for moral values. “Here – have a flier, 10 Reasons to Protect the Unborn,” offered one, politely. Others unfurled a banner, displayed signs or played the bagpipes to attract attention. “I’m in favor of slaughtering 1,000 babies if that helps already born babies have a better life,” said a female student coldly, without showing a scintilla of remorse. Yet each volunteer was engaged in courteous conversation or debate.

Word got out quickly: TFP is on campus. Soon, protesters set-up a large speaker that blasted vulgar “music.” Holding pro-abortion signs, dozens of students danced in chaotic disorder to pulsating beats that emphasized the F-word. Few cared about having a civil discussion. The scene looked like a group riot more than a gathering of students who spend $55,230 in yearly tuition to receive a higher education. “My body, my choice!” yelled one student. “Hail Satan!” blurted another.

On several occasions, pro-abortion students waved contraceptives in front of TFP members’ faces. The pro-abortion mob of about 100 became unruly & attempted to surround the 15 TFP volunteers. Various assaults unfolded, yet campus police officers stood observing at a distance. When their help was requested, they said, “We already called the city police. They will be arriving shortly.” Finally, police officers created a buffer zone with their bodies between the mob and the TFP volunteers. But the screaming continued: “My body, my choice.”

Later in the day, GW Voices for Choices issued a statement claiming that the TFP’s peaceful action constituted “dangerous discourse” and expressed “outrage” against the police department for not expelling the TFP volunteers. According to a pro-homosexual group, “students felt unsafe” because the police “failed to remove a nuisance from campus.”

While the mob yelled profanities, a nurse in scrubs approached the TFP banner. “I love that you’re here,” she said cheerfully. “It takes a lot of courage and I’m grateful.” Then pointing to the pro-abortion mob, she added: “That’s what Hell looks like. I want to go over there and spray them with Holy Water.” The mob followed the TFP volunteers to their vehicles where they screamed, “never come back” & spat on their van windows.

Nevertheless, many students who saw or heard about the campaign were encouraged to continue fighting the good fight for God’s law. “I just wanted to lend my support for all of the volunteers who went out yesterday afternoon & to let you all know that there are people out there who genuinely believe that the Culture of Death can be extinguished,” wrote a GWU student. Yes, with God’s grace all things are possible – even the end of abortion. After cleaning the spittle off the van windows, TFP volunteers are ready to visit the next campus. May God inspire more young Americans to stand up and fight the good fight. [https://tfpstudentaction.org/blog/unruly-pro-abortion -mob-gwu]

Rescuers Enter Abortion Clinics

In September 2017, a small group of pro-lifers entered a mid-west abortion clinic, offered red roses to the women there waiting for abortions, introduced themselves, and spoke about the babies in the women’s wombs and all the help that was available for mothers who really didn’t want abortions but felt they had no choice, like most (70%) in their situation.

These rescuers gave the women who would listen information on fetal development and on the many resources available to help pregnant women, including free ultrasounds, medical help & housing, both before & after the baby is born. On that September day two years ago, 14 women left the abortion mill, and 14 babies survived.

Red Rose Rescuers was started by Citizens for a Pro-Life Society. There are about 50 such groups across the nation. In the past few years they have rescued many babies from abortion in DC, Virginia, New Mexico, New Jersey, Michigan, etc. When not rescuing, they pray outside of abortion clinics, usually on their knees, say rosaries, pray novenas, fast and make other sacrifices to help save babies.

When arrested for trespassing, they continue to help the babies while in court through their passionate witness to the truth, and through their example and counsel to fellow prisoners. Pregnant prisoners planning abortions often change their minds as they get to know & speak with rescuers. [Adele Gilhooly, Justice, Legal Center for Defense of Life, Fall 2019]

Helping Couples with Infertility

“During my training as a family physician with a concentration in women’s health & fertility, I knew I wanted to practice medicine that was aligned with my Catholic beliefs. I learned about Natural Procreative Technology that is based on the best medical science, and much better for the patient’s health. It offers an ethical, positive alternative to in vitro fertilization to help couples with infertility.” In 2009, Dr. Ann Nolte helped open the first Gianna Center (NYC). Since then eight other centers have opened. In NY & NJ alone, she said, “we’ve had 1,200 babies born to couples with infertility or at risk of miscarriage.” [Archdiocese of NY, Archives, Fall 2019]

This free monthly newsletter is used by dozens of churches as a bulletin insert, and posted on four diocesan websites. To receive your monthly copy, email editor Frank Tinari at tinarifr@shu.edu 

October is Respect Life Month (October 2019)

by Frank Tinari, Ph.D., Life Education Council Board of Trustees

40 Days for Life Kicks Off Biggest Campaign Yet

… with pro-lifers dedicated to peaceful advocacy and prayer for unborn babies in 505 communities across 30 nations. Held every spring and fall, 40 Days has made a huge impact for life since it began in 2004. Organizers said the fall campaign is their “largest ever” and that in the past 15 years, pro-lifers have helped to save more than 16,000 unborn babies from abortion through 40 Days; have helped 191 abortion workers quit their jobs; & watched 104 abortion facilities close in their communities.

The unexpectedly successful film “Unplanned” highlighted the impact of 40 Days for Life, based on the true story of Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson who became pro-life partially because of the 40 Days volunteers in her town.

Along with peaceful compassionate sidewalk counseling and prayer, many local vigils also organize diaper drives, baby showers and other fund-raisers to help mothers and children in need. Organizers said the need for prayer is more important than ever as politicians advocate openly for late-term abortions and infanticide. The fall 40 Days runs through November 3rd . For more info or to find a local vigil, visit 40DaysforLife.com. [Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com, 9/24/19]

Children learn to love their own husband or wife by watching the example of their parents. Testify to the Gospel of the loving family to everyone you meet in your public and social life. St. John Paul II

Have the Guts to Do the Right Thing

In the face of the U.S. Senate failure to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, Archbishop Joseph Naumann, head of the U.S. Bishops’ Pro-Life Activities Committee, said “There should be no bill easier for the Senate to pass than one that makes clear that killing newborn babies is wrong and should not be tolerated. That even one senator, let alone 44, voted against the Act, is an injustice that should horrify and anger all Americans. The vast majority of American people support this bill demand justice for innocent children.”

Gallup polling indicates that 76% of Americans support laws that protect babies who survive an abortion, 81% oppose abortions in the third trimester, and 65% oppose abortions in the second trimester. A Rasmussen poll showed that 70% of Americans agree that doctors should be required to provide medical care to a child who survives an abortion. And a Basswood Research survey found that 54% of Americans oppose 97%- 100% of all abortions. [Priests for Life, 9/13/19] 

Texas Musicians Gave up Celebrity Status to Defend the Preborn

Jim Seals and Dash Crofts of the popular group Seals & Crofts were at the height of popularity in the early 1970s. With such now iconic hits as “Summer Breeze” and “Diamond Girl,” the duo seemed to be gearing up for many more years of success. All that changed in 1974 with the release of their album “Unborn Child.” The title track is a haunting song for a preborn baby whose mother is considering abortion. The simple and evocative message of the song is that the preborn baby is fully human and deserving of Life.

Writing for CNS News, John Stonestreet explains: To put it mildly, this is not what their label, Warner Records, had in mind. This was less than a year after Roe v Wade; abortion was, if nothing else, controversial. Add in the duo’s unapologetic and urgent plea for women contemplating abortion to “stop, think it over …” and it’s no surprise their record label wanted them not to release the album. Crofts responded: “But you’re in the business to make money; we’re doing it to save lives. We don’t care about the money.”

After the album’s release, radio stations boy- cotted the title track & abortion activists protested their concerts. The duo went on to release other albums & songs, but their celebrity was never again what they had enjoyed previously. Their experience shows the extreme bias in favor of abortion in the music/entertainment industry that was only just taking root in the years immediately following the legalization of abortion. Now, not only are celebrities discouraged from promoting a pro-life message, but pregnant mothers in the entertainment industry are often pressured to abort their babies to advance their careers. Some courageous people within the industry are speaking out about this abortion bias, but the infiltration of abortion lobby groups like Planned Parenthood into media giants is far-reaching.

As for Seals & Crofts, they have no regrets. Crofts said, “I think we got more good results out of it than bad because a lot of people called us and said, ‘We’re naming our children after you because you helped us decide to save their lives with that song.’ That was very fulfilling for us.”

This is the 45th anniversary of a courageous moment in pop music history when two Texas singers used their spotlight to stand in defense of innocent human life. Despite the ongoing tragedy of abortion, we have reason to hope that one day all human beings will have the Right to Life in our nation. [Texas Right to Life, 7/30/19]

Patient Sues Catholic Hospital for Not Assisting in His Suicide

A terminally ill patient and his doctor are suing a Catholic-run hospital in Colorado for failing to participate in the man’s suicide – the latest attempt to force an institution of faith to act against its religiously held objectives. Neil Mahoney, 64, and Dr. Barbara Morris filed suit against Centura Health Corp. whose president said in a letter to Morris: “Rather than encouraging the patient to receive care consistent with that doctrine or transferring care to other providers, you have encouraged a morally unacceptable option.” The hospital contends that its First Amendment rights should supersede its forced compliance with Colorado’s End-of-Life Options Act. [Our Sunday Visitor, 9/22/19]

You Are NOT Alone!

  • “I never knew my wife had suffered so much pain over an abortion she had before I met her. It was a real eye opener to attend the Rachel’s Vineyard Weekend with her & offer my support in an area of her life where there so much secret grief. Our marriage has truly been blessed: we are closer now than we’ve ever been.”
  • From one mom: “My abortion has left me with an empty place in my heart and soul. I had tremendous sorrow and regret over the effect this has had on my family. As a mother, I struggled with the reality that I destroyed my child.”
  • One attendee said: “You are able to experience the sadness, grief and shame in the company of other women & men feeling very much the same. You are able to turn this pain into hope with the help of nurturing counselors and supportive caretakers. You’re not rushed or hurried, but given time to reflect and become open to the healing process gradually.”

If you or someone you love is hurting from an abortion, please check the complete listing of available weekend retreats throughout the U.S. at www.RachelsVineyard.org 

The Sneakiest, Most Shame-Faced of All American Rights

The purported right-to-abortion’s most devoted supporters don’t dare speak its name. They hide behind evasion & euphemism. Their side knows how difficult it is to say out loud that it considers abortion a positive good. The pro-abortion style- book demands that abortion be called “reproductive health,” though it is the opposite of reproduction and (for one party involved) the opposite of health. Even organizations wholly devoted to abortion shrink from the term.The former National Abortion Rights Action League, then the National Abortion & Reproductive Rights Action League, finally settled on NARAL Pro-Choice America, eliminating all reference to the one procedure that it holds in such high esteem.

Planned Parenthood says that abortion is only 3% of what it does. This is a dodge … and not much of a defense. Saying they only kill babies 3% of the time is not something to brag about. How much credit would we give someone for saying he only hits his wife during 3% of domestic disputes? The truth is the group performs about 330,000 or a third of all abortions in the country. Its 2017-18 annual report says it provides more abortions than Pap tests and breast-care services.

America’s abortion advocates specialize in moral obtuseness, opposed to recognition of personhood of any sort for the unborn child, worried that such a concession might undermine the premises of our abortion regime. Consider the heartbeat bills passed in several states. Even if blocked by the courts, the bills have an educative effect. After all, an appendix or a kidney doesn’t have its own separate heartbeat. The pro-abortion argument is that a fetus is a blob of cells of no account — but with a heartbeat; that the fetus is a non-human being – with a heartbeat.

The fundamental reality that pro-abortion forces shrink from is how the average person views an unborn child. Even before her child is born, a mother and her family sacrifices for her child, protects her child, prays for her child, & dreams for her child. She talks to and often names her child. She takes her child to the doctor. Later on, she knows when her child is active and when her child is resting. Her unborn child, in short, is already what it will be after he or she is born – a cause of worry and joy and ceaseless wonder at the miracle of life.

Pro-lifers should not be shy about what we believe. We can weigh in with confidence and clarity of thought and expression. The same cannot be said of the defenders of the indefensible. [Rich Lowry, The Right That Dare Not Speak Its Name, Human Life Review, Summer 2019]

Culture Divide on Life Continues (September 2019)

by Frank Tinari, Ph.D., Life Education Council Board of Trustees

Division Exists on Many Issues

While a federal Commission on Unalienable Rights makes its plans, Hollywood tries to normalize acceptance of abortion and the NY Times publishes a piece by a gynecologist who argues that sexually transmitted diseases should no longer have any stigma. While abortion groups issue their ‘Blueprint’ to promote abortion without limits, the federal government implements a partial end to funding abortion and a doctor has successfully filed an injunction against New Jersey’s new physician-assisted suicide law. The U.S. population is seriously divided on issues related to the culture of life. Here are a few details:

  • Mary Ann Glendon has been appointed chairwoman of the administration’s new Commission on Unalienable Rights. She is a former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See and a Harvard Law professor with an extensive back- ground in international human rights. The commission will re-examine the nation’s distinctive rights tradition, and study the Universal Declara- tion on Human Rights issued in 1948 by the UN with involvement of former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. “The world is confused about human rights,” she said. “Many regimes not only ignore basic freedoms but also make deliberate efforts to undermine our common ground of human rights.” [National Catholic Register, 8/18/19]
  • Hollywood agents, celebrities and producers were recently invited to a ‘diversity summit’ to hear a pitch from an abortion attorney on the need to normalize abortion on television. Such tactics are working. There are more TV shows putting a positive spin on women who have had an abortion. [Bill Donohue, Catholic League]
  • Dr. Jen Gunter says it is better to called STDs ‘sexually transmitted infections’ that reduces their stigma. She states that no sort of sexual behavior is “wrong” and yet 50% of sexually active people will have at least one STD by age 25. The viral forms that persist worry people. “The idea of an infection that you can’t get rid of is very challeng- ing.” Between 2013 and 2017, the number of cases of gonorrhea increased 67% and syphilis by 75%. [J. Gunter, Why sexually transmitted infections can’t shake their stigma, NY Times, 8/25/19] We wonder if the good doctor ever considered encouraging patients to change their behavior.
  • A coalition of nearly 80 pro-abortion groups including Planned Parenthood and NARAL released a ‘Blueprint for Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights and Justice’ that outlines their vision for the future of abortion: no restrictions, no religious exemptions and full funding by the U.S. government. They argue that the government should mandate that Catholic & religious hospitals provide abortion and “gender- affirming” care, and that parental notification for pregnant minors be eliminated.
  • Updated federal regulations state that no longer will Title X funds be granted to a clinic that provides abortion on site or refers teenage girls or adult women to an abortion provider. Planned Parenthood is refusing to comply with these requirements and thus will no longer be able to tap into this portion of federal money. On August 19, Human Life Review President and Editor, Maria McFadden Maffucci, said “For too many years, the U.S. government has wrongly permitted American taxpayer dollars to abet Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates in terminating millions of innocent unborn babies. Federal law outright states that no taxpayer dollars shall be used to abort an unborn child. The new regulations now make that crystal clear.”
  • In a letter (8/22/19) to The Beacon (Paterson Diocese), Sean Parkot reported that a physician and orthodox Jew, Dr. Yosef Glassman, obtained a restraining order preventing implementation of New Jersey’s physician-assisted suicide law. The doctor “cannot condone any participation in the process, even the transferring of the patient.” The law passed by only one vote in the assembly & the senate, and Catholic governor Murphy said he had reservations although he signed the bill. Parkot urged New Jerseyans to contact their elected officials to determine how they voted.
  • Even our laws have created internal conflict. “Because of Roe v. Wade, contradiction permeates through our system of laws. Our laws mandate accommodation for the disabled at the same time our government funds attempts to prevent the birth of those with disabilities; they say that gender cannot determine whether one is hired or fired, but allow it to determine whether an infant lives or dies.” [Tim Busch and Kevin Stidham, Undaunted, Justice Thomas seeks the court’s atonement on abortion, Washington Examiner, 8/17/19.]

A Look at Catholic Families 76% of married Catholic parents have a Catholic spouse 22% of Catholic parents attend Mass weekly 53% of Catholic parents attend Mass at least monthly 66% of Catholic parents with three or more children attend Mass at least once a month. 71% of parents agree “somewhat” or “strongly” that prayer is essential to their faith. 36% of parents pray at least once a day. [U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, www.usccb.org] 

Conquering Pornography Addiction

Pornography addiction is a growing epidemic in America today. It is an addiction that can have the same effect on the brain as cocaine, is widely available, and has a devastating effect on relationships, families, and marriages.

On July 27, Father Cassiday Stinson began the #BreakTheChains prayer campaign on Twitter, writing that he was tired of seeing “so many souls caught in shame and isolation and despair.” (Follow Fr. Stinson on Twitter @TheHappyPriest) The Knights of Columbus’ official account re- tweeted his original thread with a call to action: “Knights, time to #BreakTheChains.”

Fr. Stinson says that if you’re struggling with pornography in your life, then look very concretely and realistically at the times and places where you’re struggling with it. What does the habit look like? Once you’ve identified that, you can start to make concrete changes & put up boundaries for yourself to help avoid it. That may be as simple as during certain times of the day & in certain circumstances, you put the source somewhere else.

Alongside that human dimension, make sure there is some kind of prayer in your life as well. Very often we’re turning to any kind of quick pleasure, like pornography, because there is some kind of wound or loneliness there. One of the important things that needs to happen is to let God into that wound. [Brian Fraga, Priest starts a Twitter group to break the chains to pornography, Our Sunday Visitor, 8/16/19]

STRIVE: A “21-Day Detox from Porn” is an online video series for men who wish to break free from an addiction to pornography. The series, which launched March 27, is written and hosted by Matt Fradd, an anti-pornography crusader and Catholic apologist, and directed by Chris Cope of Cardinal Studios. Participants sign up at www.strive21.com to receive access to daily videos, where Fradd takes viewers on a step-by- step process of ridding their lives of pornography. 

Missouri Bans Certain Abortions

Missouri may protect unborn babies with Down syndrome from discriminatory abortion deaths after a judge declined to block the new law Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs’ order stops the state from enforcing most parts of the law, but he did not include the non- discrimination parts in his preliminary injunction.

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union challenged the state law, which includes multiple pro-life provisions including a ban on abortions after 8 weeks when an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable. 

This means that Missouri is one of just a few states that legally can protect unborn babies with Down syndrome from discriminatory abortion deaths. The law also ends abortions based on the unborn baby’s sex and race. “As the father of a child with special needs, Attorney General Schmitt is particularly sensitive to suggestions that an unborn child who will have special needs is any lesser of a human being, and we’re glad that provisions relat- ing to that issue were left in place in the judge’s ruling today,” a spokesman said.

However, Dr. Colleen McNicholas, an abortionist and chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, said: “Although we are grateful today’s ruling allows us to provide care to some Missourians, we will continue to defend the truth: every reason to have an abortion is a valid reason.”

This eugenic targeting has prompted a number of states to pass laws protecting the unborn. Missouri is not the first, but it is one of the few that has been allowed to enforce its law. Eight states also prohibit sex-selection abortions, which often target unborn baby girls. [M. Bilger, Judge Rules Missouri Can Ban Abortions on Babies With Down Syndrome, LifeNews.com, 8/27/19]

ATTENTION: Each year, October is declared Respect Life Month by the U.S. bishops. More information will be provided in the October issue of this newsletter. Your parish likely will have a homily, guest speaker, pamphlets or other means to help you support the dignity of every human life. For New Jersey residents, the 20/20 Campaign continues and everyone is urged to obtain a “baby feet” car magnet – visit http://babiesinthewombfeelpain. com/ for more information. In addition, the US Catholic Bishops’ Respect Life Office publishes new material each year to help parishes promote the respect for life in various ways. For example, information is available regarding Project Rachel that serves to help women heal from the effects of an abortion.[www.usccb.org]

Life Issues Intersect with Family Values (August Newsletter)

by Frank Tinari, Ph.D., Life Education Council Board of Trustees

Unprecedented Pro-Life Momentum

Marjorie Dannenfelser, Pres. of the national pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, spoke about the great momentum in 2019 at the group’s 12th annual Campaign for Life Gala. “Going into 2020, abortion extremists are giving us an unlikely gift. They know the Roe regime is rapidly unwinding and coming to end. They are overreaching and unleashing a tidal wave of pro-life momentum.

“Part of America that has been sitting on the sidelines is awakening to the human cost of failing to engage in this battle. State lawmakers, acting on their constituents’ will, have been emboldened to advance pro-life legislation like never before, introducing more than 375 pro-life bills this year alone. In Missouri, Alabama, Ohio, Kentucky, Georgia, Montana, N. Carolina, Utah, Louisiana – across the nation we’ve seen strong bills that protect unborn children when they can feel pain, when their heartbeat can be detected, or through- out pregnancy; bills that stop discriminatory race, sex-selection and Down syndrome abortions.

“We have seen protections signed into law by courageous pro-life governors, many advanced by women of our Pro-Life Women’s Caucus. We will not let up on that momentum for an instant.” [Mallory Quigley, LifeNews.com, 6/4/19]

New Jersey’s Assisted Suicide Law

[Excerpts from statement of Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin] Human compassion fills our hearts with sadness when we hear about an individual who wishes to end his or her life to escape the pain and suffering of illness, disability, or disease. However, respect for human life encourages a trust & peace with God despite illness & suffering.

In reality, “death with dignity” is legal permission for one to end life with a lethal overdose of prescription drugs. This new state law has become an answer to addressing one’s fear of affliction or suffering. Also, in for-profit health care, there is the real danger that euthanasia will be seen as a cost-cutting measure. There is evidence in states that have already legalized assisted suicide that insurers encourage this “solution” instead of more costly medical care. The handicapped and impaired will feel pressure to end their lives.

Catholics in health care ministries should be able to follow their conscience instead of being coerced into providing assistance that is immoral. Dying patients who request euthanasia should receive loving care, psychological and spiritual support, & appropriate remedies for pain so they can live with dignity until the time of natural death. 

Problems with Cohabitation

A 2016 study using data from the National Survey of Family Growth found a sustained rise in nonmarital births, in particular to cohabiting mothers, coupled with a decrease in the number of these cohabiting mothers who eventually marry. Therefore, it is likely that the children of these unions will experience more family instability than their counterparts of a generation ago, compounding the marriage deficit into the future. [Susan L. Brown, J. Bart Stykes, Wendy D. Manning, Trends in Children’s Family Instability, 1995–2010, Jnl Marriage & Fam. Oct 2016; 78(5): 1173–83.]

A 2017 study using data from Add Health found that adolescents exposed to family instability, parental cohabitation, low parental socioeconomic status, and low sense of family belonging are more likely to cohabit. [Maggie L. Thorsen, The Adolescent Family Environment & Cohabitation across the Transi- tion to Adulthood, Soc Sci Res. May 2017; 64: 249–62.]

Words for Young People
“Are you capable of giving of yourself – your time, your energies, your talents – for the good of others? Are you capable of love? If you are, the Church and society can expect great things from you.” St. John Paul II: World Youth Day – Manila, Philippines, 1995.

Planned Parenthood’s True Mission Exposed by Ousted CEO

After years of spin, the unexpected firing of Dr. Leana Wen, Planned Parenthood’s CEO, exposed the real mission and priorities of the nation’s largest abortion provider. A NY Times report on Wen’s ouster offered illuminating details that contradicted Planned Parenthood’s downplaying the issue of abortion activism, instead making the provision of “comprehensive health care” to low-income women the focus of its concern.

Dr. Wen wrote: “The new board leadership has determined that the priority of Planned Parenthood moving forward is to double down on abortion rights advocacy.” In May, the Washington Post Fact Checker column addressed questions about Wen’s “repeated claim that ‘thousands of women died every year pre-Roe’ from a lack of legal abortion care. Her statement was rated ‘false.’ Wen was merely stating the abortion movement’s primary argument for upholding Roe v. Wade. The Fact Checker noted, by 1972, fewer than 100 women died from legal & illegal abortions together. [Joan Desmond, National Cath. Register, 7/19/19]

Toddlers Don’t Have to Go to School

Some parents are resisting the pressure to start school early. Last fall, Harvard researchers published findings in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that in states with a Sept. 1 cutoff for kindergarten enrollment, the youngest children (born in August) were 30% more likely to be diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder than their peers who were born in September. This was particularly true for boys.

Increasingly, kindergartners are expected to be able to read. Researchers at the University of Virginia discovered that 31% of kindergarten teachers in 1998 agreed that children should learn to read in kindergarten. By 2010 it was 80%. Children who can’t meet this evolving benchmark may find themselves labeled or medicated.

Research shows that the benefits of early schooling are unclear. Some studies show positive results for low-income children, but often those results don’t last. For children with advantages, the upside is negligible.

Families that choose to delay or forgo formal schooling are disillusioned with a model of mass schooling that rewards conformity over creativity. They want to nurture their children’s curiosity and originality, not watch these qualities eroded by one-size-fits-all schooling. When allowed to learn on their own, children also receive a stronger connection to family, unhurried exposure to literacy and numeracy, & abundant time outdoors and at play. [Kerry McDonald, Wall St Jnl, 8/6/19]

All Humans Should Be Free From Violence …

for the duration of their lifetime, say New Wave Feminists. “We subscribe to something called the Consistent Life Ethic. We’re anti-war, anti-death penalty, anti-torture; and we extend this philosophy to our earliest moments of existence by also being anti-abortion.”

This is a challenge seeing as the unborn fetus is inside of someone else’s body and often considered part of the woman’s body itself. But science shows us that the fetus has its own body, separate DNA, a separate heart beat and brain waves, and is a totally unique genetic creation. Many would say that the fetus is actually the most vulnerable member of the human family and yet, because it is smaller, weaker, and can’t tell us to stop, we’ve decided it’s okay to dispose of it however we see fit.

It’s the ultimate in “might makes right” thinking, which women were subjected to for most of history, and in many parts of the world still suffer under. Because men were stronger and had most of the power and resources, they were able to treat us as property. Now we are passing that same type of oppression down to our unborn children… and calling it liberation.

We don’t work to make abortion illegal. We work to make it unthinkable and unnecessary. And we do that by getting to the root of the need for it. Both sides unanimously agree that no woman ever wants to have an abortion. So let’s work towards a culture that supports a woman so well that she never has to have one. Let’s work towards a culture that tells her “You Can,” “You Are Strong Enough,” “If You Need Some Help – We Are Here. That’s what sisterhood is all about. [www.newwavefeminists.com]

Silent Rise of Pregnancy Care Centers

Across the country, staff and volunteers at what were once called “crisis pregnancy centers” but now are more commonly referred to as “pregnancy care centers” focus on saving the lives of children and their mothers. There are more pregnancy care centers in the United States today than there are abortuaries. Dozens exist in states that now have only one or two abortion clinics. Unlike those clinics, they never charge for their services — and the services they offer continue to expand.

Many now offer post-abortion counseling. Women who’ve had an abortion are welcomed with open arms, not with judgment; the best way to pre- vent another abortion down the road is to embrace the post-abortive woman with the arms of Christ.

Many pregnancy care centers offer rape counseling — again, not just as a means to save the innocent child whose life resulted from the rape, but because the experience can scar a woman so badly that she may no longer believe than anyone could love her. An increasing number offer testing for sexually transmitted diseases, both to women who are pregnant and to those who aren’t.

And in addition to providing clothes and food for babies and their mothers — a service of pregnancy care centers from the very beginning — some are now employing caseworkers who help pregnant women and mothers of newborns apply for public benefits, navigate the healthcare system, make alternative arrangements for education and find employment. Christians have long provided these types of services because they were imitating Christ. In the ancient world, abortion and infanticide were common. But as Christianity was embraced, they disappeared because Christians embraced the way of life for themselves and modeled the love of Christ for others. [Editorial: Beyond the politics of abortion, Our Sunday Visitor 7/23/19 ] 

This free monthly newsletter is used by dozens of churches as a bulletin insert, and has over 30,000 readers. To receive a copy in your inbox, email editor Frank Tinari, Ph.D. at tinarifr@shu.edu

July Newsletter: Positive Developments for Culture of Life

by Frank Tinari, Ph.D., Life Education Council Board of Trustees

AMA Rejects Doctor-Assisted Suicide

After further examination of the issue, the American Medical Association’s Council on Ethical & Judicial Affairs recommended the AMA retain its current opposition policy. “The practice & promo- tion of assisted suicide poses grave consequences for our entire society but particularly for persons living with illness, disabilities or socioeco- nomic disadvantages,” said Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann (Kansas City), chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on ProLife Activities. / Catholic News Service,June 2019

“Their Remains Deserve Respect”

So said Archbishop Joseph Naumann in commenting on a new policy of the National Institute of Health: “We commend the Administration for taking action to move our tax dollars away from research using body parts of aborted babies and toward ethical alternatives. Scavenging and commodifying the body parts of aborted victims for use in research gravely disrespects the bodies of these innocent human beings. Their remains deserve the same respect as that of any other person. Researchers have demonstrated the ability to pursue excellence in medical research without collaborating with the abortion industry to further victimize aborted babies.”

Dr. Marie Hilliard of the Catholic Medial Association’s Ethics Committee said: “The new policy clearly indicates the growing public awareness that from the moment of conception the unborn child is a human being who has the right to be respected and protected.” [Richard A Sokerka editorial, The Beacon, Paterson NJ Diocese, 6/27/19]

U.S. Marriages & Divorces Down; Catholics Have Lowest Divorce Rates

Back in 1970, there were 76.5 marriages per 1,000 unmarried women, while the divorce rate peaked in 1979 at 22.6 per 1,000 marriages. By 2017, however, there were only 32.2 marriages per 1,000 unmarried women, and a lower divorce rate, 16.1 per 1,000. For married 15- to 24-year- olds, the divorce rate dropped from 47 per 1,000 in 1990, to 27 per 1,000 in 2017. The divorce rate also declined for middle-aged marrieds, but increased for those aged 55 & older.

“There’s a fear of divorce looming large in people’s minds,” says Wendy D. Manning, co- director of Bowling Green’s Center for Family and Marriage Research. “They don’t want to make a mistake. They’re waiting longer to get married to divorce-proof their marriage.” Women married at an average age of 20 in 1963. In 2017, the average age was 27 for women, and 29 for men. This also explains why there has been a large increase in cohabitation, with 22 the average age. [Jo Craven McGinty, Wall Street Journal, 6/22/19]

According to research by the Pew Research Center, Catholics had one of the lowest incidences of divorce. The Gospel Coalition noted there is a somewhat significant difference between those who are actively practicing Catholics and those who consider themselves nominally Catholic. Nominal Catholics are 5% less likely to divorce than non-religious persons, while Catholics who are actively practicing in their parishes are 31% less likely to get divorced than non-religious persons. [Jennifer L. Betts, Divorce Statistics by Religion, DivorceLoveToKnow.com]

Disabled Man Shines on “America’s Got Talent”

On May 28, singer-pianist Kodi Lee’s performance was met with a standing ovation & the elusive “golden buzzer.” Blind & autistic, his mother found out that he loved music at an early age: “Through music & performing, he was able to withstand living in this world because it’s really hard to do what everybody else does. It actually has saved his life playing music.”

Lee’s story affirms the belief that all life is sacred, even those born with defects. His story should signal caution regarding prenatal screening. Such tests can help parents allay fears during pregnancies, but can also encourage pregnancy termination.

God, the author of life, can surprise us, as he did with Kodi Lee. Despite his “imperfect” development, Lee moved an audience to tears with his talent. How many Lees have lost their opportunity to do the same? [Sam Lucero, The Compass, Diocese of Green Bay, WI, 6/4/19]

U.K. Court Stops Abortion Order

A British appeals court overturned a lower court’s order that a mentally disabled woman undergo an abortion. The earlier ruling had prompted an outcry from the Roman Catholic Church and abortion opponents. The woman is in her 20s and 22 weeks pregnant had been diagnosed as having a moder- ately severe learning disorder and the mental age of a child. The woman’s mother said she would be willing to care for the baby. “To force abortion on any person is abhorrent and to do so in the name of medicine and in the complete defiance of the religious and cultural values of the mother calls into question the structures of law and justice in our society,” said John Deighan, of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. [Paul Hannon, Wall Street Journal, 6/2519] 

Mark Zuckerberg Admits Facebook Banned Pro-Life Ads Before Ireland Legalized Abortions

Facebook banned pro-life ads ahead of an important abortion vote in Ireland last year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted this summer. The Irish Post published new details about Zuckerberg’s admission this week after LifeNews and other conservative news outlets reported on his comments in June.

In May 2018, LifeNews reported how Facebook stopped running outside ads about abortion a few weeks before the Irish election on its pro-life Eighth Amendment that protected unborn babies’ right to life. Most of the ads that Facebook took down appeared to be from pro-life sources. Facebook leaders first said their decision to remove the ads was based on Irish election laws that prohibit political campaigns from accepting money from foreign donors.

“During that election leading up to that referendum, a bunch of pro-life American groups advertised … to try and influence public opinion there,” Zuckerberg said. “We went to the Irish and asked: ‘Well how do you want us to handle this? And their response at the time was: ‘We don’t currently have a law, so you need to make whatever decision you want to make,’” said Zuckerberg. “We ended up not allowing the ads.” But the Washington Examiner reported that the people who he consulted about the issue were Ireland’s pro-abortion political leaders. [Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews.com, 7/11/19] 

Abortion & ‘Black Lives Matter’ Collide

Abortions have dropped over the last 15 years, but black women continue to have the highest abortion rate at 27.1 per 1,000 women compared with 10 per 1,000 for white women. (American Journal of Public Health) Polls show that 77% of African-Americans support at least some form of restriction on legal abortions. Both black and white Americans oppose abortion at similar rates.

Promoting policies that address some of the root causes of abortions by black women has become a favored approach, especially for those against abortion. From womb to tomb, they say, describing their concern for the full life span of black people.

The predominately black Church of God in Christ is building a $20 million pregnancy center in Memphis after several years of sponsoring an educational campaign on the impact of abortion on black communities and to encourage preventative actions like fostering or adopting children.

Boston’s Seymour Institute for Black Church & Policy Studies is planning a campaign this summer with billboards & ads in black media outlets & social media that speak out against abortion – and against capital punishment and mass incarceration. [John Eligon, “When Debate Pits Abortion vs. Black Lives,” NYT, 7/7/19] (Editor’s comment: the report does not mention the vast network of pregnancy help centers that serve everyone including a sizable portion of African-American women. Nor does it mention the efforts of Catholic Charities in minority neighborhoods.)

“Yes, these economic circumstances are real, they’re difficult, but nothing about an abortion improves a woman’s economic situation,” said Randall K. O’Bannon, education & research director, National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund. “You’re back where you were, except now you’re dealing with the heartache of having lost a child.” [Brian Fraga, Bridging the abortion divide with compassion, Our Sunday Visitor, 7/11/19]

For High School Seniors

The Cardinal Newman Society released a new edition of The Newman Guide to Catholic Colleges. The recommended colleges are committed to uniting faith & reason, striving to be faithfully Catholic and rejecting moral laxity that is typical of campus life.

At NewmanGuide.org, you’ll have the ability to sort colleges by major and activities. High school students can learn more about Newman Guide colleges by signing up for their Recruit Me program that allows students to be recruited by Newman Guide colleges, find tips on navigating the college search, and compete in the Newman Society’s $5,000 Essay Scholarship Contest. 

This free monthly newsletter is used by dozens of churches as a bulletin insert, and has over 30,000 readers. To receive a copy in your inbox, email editor Frank Tinari, Ph.D. at tinarifr@shu.edu

June Newsletter: Anti-Life Pressures from Our Secularized Culture

by Frank Tinari, Ph.D., Life Education Council Board of Trustees

“The Extraordinary Ability to Deceive”

… is why, for over a half century, the so-called ‘pro-choice’ movement has thrived in hiding what it’s really about, the willful taking of innocent human lives in abortion. Legislators in thrall to Big Abortion dollars vie to keep sidewalk counselors away from abortuaries, in order to maintain the pretense that what goes on inside those chop-shops [what they call “reproductive health clinics”] involves no more than unwanted “tissue.”

The governor of New York celebrates a new law that legally permits abortion up to the moment of birth because this is all a matter of “women’s reproductive health.” The governor of Virginia babbles about letting children who survive abortions die, thinking himself humane because he insists that the victims will be kept comfortable.

What Big Abortion, its ideological allies, and its political facilitators fear most of all is the truth – the truth that strips away the rhetorical facade behind which the campaign for “liberalized” abortion laws has been conducted since the late 1960s. The tens of millions of lives lost to the abortion license in America since Roe v. Wade–lives that might have been creatively lived–scars the national conscience, and women who have chosen abortion, whatever the euphemisms that put Band-Aids over the scars. Healing for women, and effective service to those in crisis pregnancies, must always complement argument and witness in pro-life activism. And men should be required to watch movies like Unplanned. Men have benefitted far too long from Big Abortion and its wicked language games. [George Weigel, Truth-telling & big abortion, The Beacon, 5/30/19]

Pope Francis: like hiring a hit man to solve a problem. “It is not right to kill a human being, regardless of how small it is, to solve a problem. It is like hiring a hit man to solve a problem. In the last century the entire world was scandalized over what the Nazis were doing to maintain the purity of the race. Today we do the same thing, but with white gloves.”

Why Legally Compel Christians to Cooperate with Sinful Behavior?

Religiously observant people today have very little power to ‘persecute’ others. On the other hand, proponents of the sexual revolution and those of a secular mind-set aligned with the state are quite willing to use the punitive force of the law.

In America and throughout the world, Christian believers are being hauled into courts and legally threatened. Christian bakers and photographers in the wedding industry are being sued repeatedly. Food chains & other Christian marketers are being sidelined publicly because they do not support the recent notion of the same-sex “marriage.” The Little Sisters of the Poor are back in court for the fifth time, and Catholic pharmacists are being decertified because they will not supply contraceptives or abortifacient drugs. Catholic Charities is being excluded from obtaining government contracts for adoption services because the Church favors married heterosexual couples over single parents or same-sex couples. Christians also legally are being forbidden from public prayer & displays of their faith.

The Church and other Christian-based groups have no similar legal powers to impose their views. The imposition of views is dominated by those rooted in the sexual revolution. Why not accept that many of us withhold approval from the sexual revo- lution for sincerely held religious beliefs? [Msgr. Charles Pope, Pastoral Answers, Our Sunday Visitor, 6/16/19]

Hollywood’s Love Affair with Abortion

Hollywood contributes mightily to one of the root causes of abortion: promiscuity. The kind of graphic sexual fare in Hollywood films, eroticizing the culture for decades, helps to create an environ- ent where men & women are more likely to abandon restraint. Hollywood’s denial of any cause & effect doesn’t work. Why did Hollywood decide long ago not to feature smoking in movies? Because it didn’t want to create an environment that induced young people to smoke. They can’t have it both ways.

In 2007, Disney said it would place an anti- smoking public service announcement on DVDs of any future film that depicts smoking. Hollywood launched an educational anti-smoking campaign. Imagine if it stopped making as many sexually saturated movies, & decided to launch an educa- tional anti-promiscuity campaign? That might lead to behavioral changes such as a decrease in sexual recklessness, which in turn might lessen the need for abortions. But Hollywood doesn’t have the will to do any such thing. [Bill Donohue, The Catholic League, 6/13/19]

Prevent Unfit People from Reproducing?

Margaret Sanger, feminist icon and founder of Planned Parenthood, opposed abortion but thought birth control – including forced sterilization – should be used to prevent “unfit” people from reproducing. She was especially concerned about black people having children. She campaigned for birth control in black communities and set up a clinic in Harlem in 1930. In contrast, today’s pro-abortion advocates argue simply for “reproductive rights.”

Criticizing his fellow justices’ decision to block part of an Indiana law that banned abortion based on sex, race or disability, Clarence Thomas pointed out how, in practice, abortion acts in racist & eugenic ways. In practice, technology like genetic screening still has a “solve poverty by cutting birthrates” bias, and abortion-rights rhetoric easily slides into fears about “too many poor kids in foster care.” In practice, Planned Parenthood clinics are in the abortion, not the adoption, business, and create a disparate impact of abortion on black birthrates. [Ross Douthat, New York Times, 6/2/19]

Eight decades after Sanger set up her clinic in Harlem, Justice Thomas writes, “there are areas of NYC in which black children are more likely to be aborted than they are to be born alive–and are up to eight times more likely to be aborted than white children in the same area.” Pro-choice advocates cite black poverty and discrimination to explain high black abortion rates, but other low- income minorities such as Hispanics terminate pregnancies at far lower rates than blacks. [Jason L. Riley, Wall Street Journal, 6/5/119]

The Contraception Mess

By the late 1960s there were expectations that the Catholic Church would fall in line with the culture & give approval for contraceptive usage. Proponents claimed it would reduce abortions to nearly zero–every child would be a “wanted child.” Divorce would drop because couples could have more sex without pregnancy worries. And the dignity of women would be enhanced, no longer being “slaves” to their bodies.

In 1968, Pope Paul VI declined to change the Church’s teaching and, instead, predicted the opposite outcomes. He said abortions would increase as would divorce, and the dignity of women would diminish, because they would be seen as sexual objects, not as wives and mothers. Since then, widespread contraception use has ushered in promiscuity and the lie of “sex without consequences.” Both abortion and divorce have skyrocketed, as have sexually transmitted diseases, teen pregnancy, single motherhood, absent and irresponsible fathers, the breakdown of families. There is also a pornification of our culture that helps spread sexual confusion.

When sex no longer is about having children and thus belongs in stable, traditional marriage, then it becomes only about self-satisfaction, and people engage in harmful, unhealthy & self-destructive practices. Children either are aborted or they survive in a confusing world of absent fathers and broken families. Much of this dysfunction can be tied to the promiscuity that contraception has helped promote. For example, condoms are not even close to 100% effective, and they increase the very behavior that causes individual and family dysfunction.

Through contraception we have separated what God has joined (sex, marriage and having children) and we are reaping the whirlwind. The only “safe sex” is within a monogamous, faithful marriage. [Msgr. Charles Pope, Our Sunday Visitor, 6/2/19]

A Call for Responsible Fatherhood

Pathologies and moral crises of our era do not stand in isolation. The intersecting layers of family life, human sexual behavior, public policy, and the well-being of children are all entwined. Fatherhood is a theme that weaves throughout them with compel- ling frequency. Fatherlessness is one of the most important, albeit ignored, social issues of our time.

“Fathers have a direct impact on the well-being of their children … Girls with involved, respectful fathers see how they should expect men to treat them & are less likely to become involved in violent or unhealthy relationships,” states a report published by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Adminis- tration for Children and Families [Jeffrey Rosenberg & W. Bradford Wilcox, “The Importance of Fathers in the Healthy Development of Children,” 2006] Sadly, “children who live in fatherless homes often face higher risks of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect than children who live with their fathers.”

According to a study conducted by the Journal of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, “Women whose parents separated between birth & six years old experienced … more than four times the risk of early sexual intercourse, & two and a half times higher risk of early pregnancy when compared to women in intact families. The longer a woman lived with both parents, the lower her risk of early reproductive development. Women who experienced three or more changes in her family environ- ment exhibited similar risks but were five times more likely to have an early pregnancy.” [Rob Schwarzwalder & Natasha Tax, Family Research Council, 12/15]

This free monthly newsletter is used by dozens of churches, and has over 30,000 readers. To receive a copy in your inbox, email editor Frank Tinari, Ph.D. at tinarifr@shu.edu

May Newsletter: Life’s Fundamentals Cannot be Ignored

by Frank Tinari, Ph.D., Life Education Council Board of Trustees

The Birth of the Doctor’s Own Child Ended Her Killing Any More Unborn

A former abortionist told a massive crowd at the 46th March for Life: “A woman cannot kill her child & remain unscathed. Millions of women in the USA have had abortions. Post-abortive women are hurting and need pro-lifers’ help and compassion. They need to hear that God wants to heal & restore them,” said Dr. Kathi Aultman.

“I used to feel that abortion is a woman’s right,” she said. “This belief became strengthened when I got pregnant & made the decision to have an abortion, a decision I terribly regretted later.”

“Medical students and residents are taught that abortion is a normal part of women’s health care. The pro-life view is discouraged.” She said it is difficult for pro-life students to get into medi- cal school and residencies, especially obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN). Medical professors can lose their positions if they express pro-life opinions. “The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, who should be the most pro-life, is staunchly pro-abortion,” Aultman revealed. “All OBGYN residents are required to do abortions unless they opt out because of conscience. But that is discouraged, and we need to protect those civil rights.”

The first time Aultman felt qualms about doing abortions was during her neo-natal rotations when she was trying to save babies of the same gestational age as the babies she was aborting. “I finally made the connection between ‘fetus’ and ‘baby’ and could no longer do abortions. The fact that the baby was unwanted was no longer reason enough for it to be killed.”

Believing the lie that having a baby out of wedlock inevitably destroyed a young woman’s life, she continued to refer for abortions. But her view changed: “I noticed that those who kept their babies did well in contrast to those who were dealing with the physical and psychological consequences of abortion,” she said. “My perspective was challenged as I watched children in my church who were almost aborted grow up.”

“It’s much easier to accept ‘terminating a pregnancy’ than it is ‘killing a baby’,” she noted. Aultman asked her listeners to “help people see that what’s in the womb is a person with their own unique characteristics and potential, not just a blob of tissue.” She thanked the massive crowds for their activism “for protecting those who cannot protect themselves, those who wouldn’t have a chance to live if you did nothing.” [Dorothy Cummings McLean, LifeSiteNews.com]

Assisted Suicide is “False Compassion”

The idea that assisting a suicide shows compassion and eliminates suffering is misguided. It eliminates the person, and results in suffering for those left behind – grieving families and friends, and other vulnerable people who may be influenced by this event to see death as an escape.

The sufferings caused by chronic or terminal illness are often severe. They cry out for our compassion, a word whose root meaning is to “suffer with” another person. True compassion alleviates suffering while maintaining solidarity with those who suffer. It does not put lethal drugs in their hands and abandon them to their suicidal impulses, or to the self-serving motives of others who may want them dead. It helps vulnerable people with their problems instead of treating them as the problem.” [U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, To Live Each Day with Dignity: A Statement on Physician-Assisted Suicide]

Primary Elections Coming in Many States

According to the U.S. bishops’ 2015 document, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (or FC), four principles of Catholic social doctrine are key to making practical judgments to do good and avoid evil in voting:

1. Promoting and defending the dignity of the human person

2. Supporting the family and subsidiarity in local, state and national institutions

3. Working for the protection of human rights and meeting basic responsibilities

4. Concern for all as our brothers & sisters, espe- cially the poor and most vulnerable [FC, Nos. 40-52]

All of these issues are important, but they are not all morally or ethically equivalent. “The direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life from the moment of conception until natural death is always wrong & is not just one issue among many. It must always be opposed.” [No. 28] At the same time, issues such as war, the death penalty, racism, care for the poor and the immigrant are enormously important. “These are not optional concerns which can be dismissed.” [No. 29] So, before voting:

  • Inform yourself about the Church’s teachings. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is a great place to start. In your church’s men’s & women’s groups, discuss Church teachings in relation to the candidates or policies.
  • Inform yourself about the issues. Read the Catholic press. See where the candidates stand on critical moral and social issues.
  • Seek input from Catholics you respect.
  • Pray. Take your hopes, concerns and worries to the Lord and ask for His guidance.

Free issues of EWTN’s National Catholic Register It’s not easy to find a trustworthy source for Catholic news and information. For over 90 years, Catholics have turned to the NCR for reliable, timely and relevant news. So, try 6 issues FREE! If you continue your subscription after your trial, you will receive 26 issues in all for just $49.95. Otherwise, just cancel.

Youngest Planned Parenthood Director Quit, Became ProLife Activist

While running her clinic, Abby Johnson would remove & collect medals that pro-life protesters left in the flower beds. When she came to the realization that her clinic was killing developing human beings, she took her personal items and the jar holding the medals and left, never to return. “I didn’t know what they were but I was compelled to keep them in my office.”

Johnson later converted to Catholicism. She is now familiar with the history of the Medal of the Immaculate Conception which, due to countless reported miracles, came to be known as the Miraculous Medal. “When I look back, even to my childhood, I see that the Blessed Mother was always there with me. My Baptist mom told me that she used to come home & find me watching Mother Angelica on TV with a towel draped over my head like I was a nun.”

Calling herself a “testament that conversion is real,” Johnson today works to help others leave the abortion industry. Her ministry, And Then There Were None, has helped more than 500 clinic workers leave including several abortionists who have “put down their abortion tools to defend life.” [Joe P. Brown, Miraculous Images Found in “Unplanned” Our Sunday Visitor, 5/11/19]

The movie Unplanned tells her story in a compelling way. Though Hollywood has given it an R-rating, and Google’s biased editors call it ‘propaganda’, it’s a professional, well-done, must- see film for all who have a concern for the sanctity of human life.

Some Facts of Life

†   Over 3,000 pro-life crisis pregnancy centers exist in the U.S. offering support to women and their babies.

†   Over 2 million couples are willing to adopt – and that includes children of all races and those with special needs.

†   Abortion is legal through all nine months of pregnancy, which is not true in most of the rest of the world.

†   After 18 days in the womb, a baby’s heart begins to beat. After just 9 weeks, a baby has unique fingerprints. At 12 weeks (3 months), a baby can suck his or her thumb.

For College Students & Young Marrieds

“We live in a hookup culture that fears authentic intimacy above all else. What kind of problems does that cause in marriage? And how can sacramental marriage heal those wounds? That’s what we’re talking about in this episode with Dr. Timothy O’Malley, author of Off the Hook: God, Love, Dating and Marriage in a Hookup World, the book we wish would be used everywhere for marriage prep.”

“Tim is a husband, father of two, and the director of education at the McGrath Institute for Church Life as well as academic director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy. He and his family live in South Bend, Indiana.”

“In this episode we discuss how married sex can be overemphasized as the center of married life, how the true nature of marriage is communion and deep friendship, and how raising children fits into everything. We also chat about misconceptions about marriage we have personally suffered from and how a Catholic view of marriage as two people helping each other to heaven differs from the cultural concept of marriage as achieving personal fulfillment. It’s a great conversation so grab a cup of coffee and listen in!”

[The full interview of O’Malley by Christy Isinger can be listened to anytime on your device at: https://fountainsofcarrots.com/?powerpress_pinw=13 54-podcast]

In his popular undergraduate course, “Nuptial Mystery: Divine Love and Human Salvation, ” O’Malley learned that the hookup culture is present in all his students’ lives, whether they’re hooking up or not. Some students approach sex and love as transitory and fleeting transaction—they love the idea of romance; they love the sexual chase; and they crave the hookup, but not the commitment. Others have come to idolize the mystery of marriage. This group lacks understanding about what real love and intimacy demand of two people in everyday life.

This free monthly newsletter is used by dozens of churches, and has over 30,000 readers. To subscribe, email your request to tinarifr@shu.edu

Editor since 2005, Frank Tinari, Ph.D.

April Newsletter

by Frank Tinari, Ph.D., Life Education Council Board of Trustees

Laity & Clergy Continue to Promote ProLife Values

Jennifer’s Words: “On the day I walked out of the rectory…”

… after confessing my abortions to the priest, I fell in love with a God I never knew existed before. I became a new creation and the daughter He always had in mind.” The Sisters of Life journey with women like this who have suffered after abortion, to experience the love & healing mercy of Jesus. For more information about Days of Prayer and Healing, contact the Sisters at 866-575-0075.

They Entered a Planned Parenthood Facility to Help the Unborn

Just before last Christmas, Red Rose Rescue, led by Fr. Stephen Imbarrato of Priests for Life, Fr. Fidelis Moscinski of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, and two others entered a Pl. Prthd. waiting room in NJ to speak to women, offering prayers and assistance for them to keep their unborn babies, and handed out red roses with a note, “A new life, however tiny, brings the promise of unrepeatable joy.” Red Rose Rescue has engaged in a number of similar efforts over the past few years. When law enforcement officers come, they go limp, refusing to cooperate with the arrest, and risk jail time for trespassing, disorderly conduct and such. [Stephen Vincent, Is Our Love Enough?, Human Life Review, Winter 2019.]

Knights of Columbus’ Ultrasound Initiative

An especially effective program since 2009, the KofC recently placed its 1,000th machine in pro-life pregnancy centers. In the Initiative, local Knights councils identify centers that are able to medically staff and operate an ultrasound machine and then raise half of the funds for its purchase. Knights’ headquarters in New Haven then matches the funds for the machine’s purchase and delivery. A majority of the women who see the live ultrasound image of their baby make the choice for life. Donations to this worthy cause are always welcomed. Go to www.kofc.org!

“The practice of medicine purposefully seeks to eradicate illness. Physicians pledge an oath to ‘do no harm.’ Taking a life before natural death violates that vow, and there is no turning back.” – Bishop David M. O’Connell of Trenton, NJ, speaking in opposition to the state’s Aid in Dying legislation.

Do Parents of Kids with Down Syndrome Love Their Offspring?

[Christopher M. Reilly, Eugenics Goes into Hyperdrive, Human Life Review, Winter 2019.] Most healthcare professionals have negative attitudes regarding DS and provide poor counseling and inadequate information for parents; they automatically recommend abortion when pre-natal DS is detected. As a result, close to 90% of unborn children diagnosed with DS are aborted in the United States.

Yet, it is astounding to learn that 99% of the parents of children with DS love their offspring, and 88% of siblings say they are better people because of their brother or sister with DS. [Skotko, Levine & Goldstein, Having a Son or Daughter with Down Syndrome: Perspectives from Mothers and Fathers, American Jnl of Medical Genetics, 2011.] This nearly universal positive attitude between siblings is extraordinary.

Hitler-style eugenics has been revived in a different yet still deadly form. Increasingly, unborn children are killed specifically because they have the potential to be disabled or are perceived as failing to thrive in some way. Opposition to eugenics works to protect vulnerable and genetically different populations from being excluded from the human community.

Subscribe to marriage news

Published on the internet by the Family Life Office of the U.S. Bishops, it is free and you can select the topics of most interest to you: dating, engagement, marriage preparation, married life, family life and parenting. http://www.foryourmarriage.org

Abortion Needed to Stop Overpopulation?

In China, India and Indonesia, tens of millions of unborn children, mostly female, have been aborted in the name of population control. But “overpopulation” is a myth. The world is not running out of living room or resources.

We can now easily feed the 7.5 billion people on the planet; with current agricultural methods, we can feed twice that number. We now produce more food on less land, and humanity is eating better than ever before. There are still hungry people, not because there is a global food shortage but due to corrupt governments, poor distribution systems, and ongoing wars and civil unrest.

Around the world, birth rates have fallen, and the number of workers is shrinking while the number of elderly increases. This is a recipe for economic decline. It is now clear that young people are the scarce resource in many countries. In this century the U.S. could be the slowly aging leader of a rapidly aging world.

Overpopulation is not only a myth, it is one that kills. We need more babies, not fewer. That means ending abortion. [Steven Mosher, Population Research Institute Review, March/April 2019.]

“Abstinence doesn’t generate a profit for Planned Parenthood. Risky behavior does.”

So said Ryan Bomberger of the Radiance Foundation in 2017: “Our nation is facing an STD epidemic. The 18% failure rate of condoms is alarming. Birth control pills, shots, implants, rings, and IUDs don’t prevent STDs at all. Abstinence is the only 100% effective way to avoid STDs, HIV, HPV & unintended pregnancy. So, should a business that profits from selling abortions, birth control and STD treatments be teaching our teens that there’s nothing wrong with promiscuity?”

A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found nearly 2.3 million people were diagnosed with chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis in 2017, an increase of more than 200,000 from 2016, according to Vogue. The 2017 numbers represent the fourth consecutive year of an increase and the highest number of STDs ever reported, according to the CDC.

Planned Parenthood’s materials suggest why. In 2015, pro-lifers discovered a Planned Parent hood booklet telling patients that it is their “human right” not to tell their sexual partner that they have HIV. The abortion chain also tells children on its Tumbler page that: “There’s nothing bad or unhealthy about having a big number of sexual partners.”

Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America, aborting about 320,000 unborn babies annually. Abortion is a lucrative practice, and sexual promiscuity often is connected to abortion. [M. Bilger, STDs Reach Record Highs Despite Planned Parenthood and Its Tax- payer-Funded Sex-Ed Programs, LifeNews.com, 8/30/18.]

Unplanned Movie Inspires Nationwide Candlelight Vigils Outside Planned Parenthood Facilities

Organizers are calling the National Pro-Life Candlelight Vigil on April 13th outside abortion mills an outstanding success. Altogether, there were 166 vigils at Planned Parenthood facilities across the nation, in 40 U.S. states, including many for whom this was their first time taking part in pro-life activism. The vigils were inspired by the chilling look inside the abortion industry as portrayed in the recently released movie Unplanned, which tells the story of Abby Johnson, a Planned Parenthood manager turned pro-life activist. The film has seen unanticipated commercial success, playing for several weeks all through April, despite efforts to squelch awareness due to its pro-life message. Many of the attendees said they were inspired to participate because of having seen the movie.

At a number of vigils, clergy were guest speakers including Fairbanks, Alaska’s Bishop Chad Zielinski & Colorado Springs’ Bishop Michael Sheridan.

Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League, said: “We’re encouraging people to take those feelings of sorrow and sadness, what they saw in that movie, and also that feeling of gratefulness to God’s mercy that Abby Johnson was shown, and turn that into action,” he said. “Go out into the front lines, be part of this movement.” He listed praying at Planned Parenthood during a vigil, sidewalk counseling, volunteering at a pregnancy center, supporting pro-life groups, getting involved legislatively, talking to neighbors and becoming informed. “There’s so much that you can do,” Scheidler said, “but do something. Be a part of this movement actively. It’s the only way we’re going end abortion.” [LifeSiteNews.com, 4/15/19]

Well-Funded Groups Pressure Legislators to Legalize Marijuana Despite Health Concerns

Both the cannabis industry and states seeking more revenue are pushing for the legalization of marijuana. Even elements of the press such as the Newark Star-Ledger promote legalization in its editorials despite the numerous reports the paper itself publishes on the various dangers of pot use. One recent example is a report titled “Study: Smoking weed as teen linked to suicide risk as adult”, March 10, 2019.

A new book by Alex Berenson details the many problems with marijuana use: Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness and Violence (Free Press, 2019). Berenson once believed what many believe today: “Marijuana is safe. Nobody every died from smoking too much pot.” According to one reviewer: These words are a more or less perfect summary of the lazy, ignorant, self-serving beliefs of highly educated, rather stupid middle-class metropolitans all over the Western world in such places as, let’s just say for example, the editorial offices of the New York Times.” [Peter Hitchens, Reefer Sadness, First Things, May 2019.]

Medical studies indicate that a long-term cumulative effect of pot use leads to mental illness and, often, violence. Yet we are on the verge of allowing it to be advertised and put on open sale. Berenson’s book provides facts and data about violent crime in places where marijuana is widely available. The campaigns to legalize it cite “medical marijuana”use, but only about 6% of users use it for medical therapy. The book also exposes the false belief that associates marijuana and liberty.

March Newsletter: Most National Pro-Life Groups Headed by Women

by Frank Tinari, Ph.D., Life Education Council Board of Trustees

National Press Ignores Pro-Life Women

These key pro-life groups are led by women:

  • March for Life – Jeannie Mancini
  • Center for Urban Renewal & Education (CURE) – Star Parker
  • Live Action – Lila Rose
  • Students for Life – Kristan Hawkins
  • Americans United for Life Catherine Glenn Foster
  • Susan B. Anthony List (SBA) – Marjorie Dannenfelser
  • National Right to Life Committee or NRLC – Carol Tobias
  • And Then There Were None – Abby Johnson
  • American Life League – Judie Brown
  • American Association of Prolife Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) – Dr. Donna Harrison

Also noteworthy among women leaders are the late Phyllis Schlafly, founder of the Eagle Forum, and the late Dr. Mildred Jefferson who was the first black woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School, prominent prolife physician and activist, and the co-founder of the NRLC. Yet another leading figure in the pro-life movement is Dr. Alveda King, niece of the Dr. Martin Luther King. She works with Priests for Life to educate the public on how Planned Parenthood targets the black community.

Some Call it ‘Black Genocide’

Some Christian leaders like Pastor Clenard Childress say: “The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb.” They believe that Planned Parenthood targets elimination of babies in the minority community by placing a greater proportion of their facilities in those communities. This has echoes of the eugenics movement of past centuries. An engaging historical documentary on racism and abortion may be found at www.MAAFA21.com or Black Genocide in the 21st Century.

Rev. Childress is director of LEARN Northeast which, in February of 2015, together with the Center For Bio Ethical Reform launched the “All Black Life Matters” project that has proven to be extremely effective in opening the eyes of the public to the evils of abortion. The group’s website www.BlackGenocide.org contains numerous informational & educational resources.

Archbishop: Catholic Politicians Voting on Abortion Up to Birth are “On a Path to Hell”

Catholic Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Commit- tee on Pro-Life Activities and archbishop of Kansas City, KS, said those who refuse to repent for sup- porting the killing of babies are putting themselves in mortal danger. “While we can object to the actions of these public officials, we are not able to judge their souls. At the same time, we know there will be a Judgment Day,” he said in a statement last week. “Conscious and unrepentant mortal sin endangers our eternal souls and places ourselves on a path to Hell.”

Naumann said he felt compelled to condemn their actions so that other Catholics are not misled or confused. “Recent efforts to perpetuate and expand abortion in state laws have illuminated the deplorable actions of some Catholic public officials and advocates,” the archbishop said. “Their efforts to support and even celebrate such legislation will result in killing many more unborn children, as well as the spiritual and emotional wounding of their mothers and fathers. Advocating for intrinsically evil acts, like abortion, is a serious immoral act,” Naumann said. He also indicated that these so-called Catholic politicians may be denied communion if they continue to support the killing of unborn babies.

For example, a nominal Catholic New York Governor has enthusiastically signed a law that allows unborn babies to be aborted for any reason up to 24 weeks and up to birth for “health” reasons, a broad category that includes basically anything. It redefines a “person” as “a human being who has been born and is alive,” and describes abortion as a “fundamental right.” The law also removes state protections for infants born alive in botched abortions. The Catholic Church teaches that every human life is valuable from conception to natural death, and abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and other life-destroying practices are evil. [Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews.com, 3/1/19]

“No one becomes a Christian by his own unaided power. The process begins only when a person rejects the illusion of independency and self sufficiency. We must acknowledge that it is God Himself who must act in us, who must lead us to our true selves.” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

“Reversing Roe” on Netflix is Fake News!

What do you do when you don’t like a factual version of history? You come up with made-up feminist ‘herstory.’ In an essay, Ryan Bomberger says a key figure in Roe v. Wade would be Jane Roe herself, the late Norma McCorvey. She’s nonexistent in a movie that wouldn’t exist without her historic role. Norma never aborted her child but made a loving plan of adoption instead. She became pro-life, devoting the rest of her years to aborting the Roe decision.

In one of the film’s massive omissions on the history of abortion in America, the Catholic Church is completely missing. There would be no prolife movement without Catholics, and their fight began long before Roe. It’s why eugenicist/ socialist Margaret Sanger repeatedly vilified Catholics, as evidenced in her alarmingly anti-human 1922 book, The Pivot of Civilization.

The film portrays a non-existent world where, magically, thousands of (mostly women-run) pregnancy help centers don’t even exist. Yet millions of American women oppose abortion.

Netflix offers free “educational screenings” in classrooms for their propaganda, calling its completely imbalanced film “essential viewing.” Notre Dame Univ. signed on and held an event recently, accusing the prolife movement of – get this – white supremacy. Yet, the slaughter of over 62 million human lives since Roe, nearly one million a year, is disproportionately black. Rabidly pro-abortion Notre Dame professors calling pro-lifers ‘racists’ for tireless efforts to protect mothers and their unborn children, regardless of race or ethnicity, is truly Just. Fake. News. It’s bizarre to see them defend a violent institution actually birthed in eugenic racism and elitism.

Bomberger says: “I’m a black adoptee and adoptive father, yet would be called a ‘racist’ for fighting abortion. More black babies have been aborted than born alive in New York City where eugenic pseudo-science spawned Planned Parenthood. Actual & fatal violence against black lives happens 247 times a day inside the nation’s largest abortion chain. The only thing that reigns supreme in “Reversing Roe” is deception. There are so many lies in this misinfomercial that it’d take another documentary to highlight them.” [2/26/91:“Reversing Roe” on Netflix: The Pro-Abortion Crockumentary of the Century” www.LifeNews.com]

“The basis for determining the value of work is not primarily the kind of work being done but the fact that the one doing the work is human. It is on this principle that the work of man – whether it be physical or intellectual – finds its value in the dignity of man.” St. John Paul II

Coming Train Wreck: Pro-Abortion Laws Coexist with Laws Protecting the Unborn

Why do the unborn have property & inheritance rights but not the right to life? Why do the unborn have a right to medical care, but not the right to live? Why do federal and state laws prohibit a death sentence from being carried out upon a pregnant woman? Every other area of law assumes the human rights of the unborn as a person, as a human: homicide, property, inheritance, medical malpractice, pre-term medical care and many others.

But for abortion, why is the mother’s desire the determining factor? How can one person’s feelings determine the rights & value of another person? Why can an abortionist kill an unborn baby with mom’s consent, but no one else can?

These questions are unanswered by abortion advocates. The silence is deafening – and deadly. [Matt Britton, Esq, Day 41, 40DaysforLife.com, 2019]

New York abortion law permits abortions up to the moment of birth, and allows non-physicians to perform them. Yet Ohio, Louisiana, North Dakota and Indiana have anti-discrimination laws prohibiting eugenic abortions of children with Down syndrome and other disabilities. Similar laws are in the works in other states. Much has been written about political polarization. In the cause of life, the moral stakes are now clearer than ever. [First Things, 3/19]

Man Virtues

That’s the title of a new book by the late Robert Lockwood (OSVCatholicBookstore.com) who asks: “What the hell am I doing with my life?” In the end, you just want to be happy. Not three-beer happy, I- got-a-raise happy, or the Steelers-made-the-playoffs happy, but that quiet contentment that comes with living a good life. Lockwood says that by developing some holy habits, and with the sacraments, a life of virtue and happiness really is possible.

Youth Study Re: Health & Well-Being

In September, the American Journal of Epidemiology published a Harvard study of more than 5,000 youths revealing the link between religious upbringing and better health and well-being. “Compared with no attendance, at least weekly attendance of religious services was associated with greater life satisfaction” and several other positive outcomes.

Those who prayed daily in their youth reported greater life satisfaction and positivity in their 20s. Following these same religious youth years later, the study found them less likely to have depressive symptoms, smoke, use illicit drugs, or have a sexually transmitted infection. [Family Research Council, Washington Impact Report, 2/2019]

Edited since 2005 by Frank Tinari, Ph.D who is on the LEC Board of Trustees. Past issues posted on the NJ Diocese of Paterson website. To have your parish receive this newsletter each month free of charge, email your request to the editor, tinarifr@shu.edu

February Newsletter: Life Issues are Everywhere in Society

by Frank Tinari, Ph.D., Life Education Council Board of Trustees

This issue addresses the New York Times special section on women’s rights, as well as the 2019 March for Life.  It also highlights the litigation against the Little Sisters of the Poor, and two new Christian movies that will appear soon in theaters.

NYT Editors vs. Rights of the Unborn

In a special Sunday (1/20/19) section titled “A Woman’s Rights,” the paper’s editors mount a case against giving personhood rights to developing babies. Of course, they don’t ever use the words “developing baby” but use, instead, “fetus”. The unabridged Oxford Dictionary defines fetus as (1) offspring, and (2) the young of viviparous animals in the womb. In other words, “fetus” can be applied to animals as well as humans. So pro-abortionists use that word instead of saying the young animal or, in our case, the young person in the womb. Shouldn’t the prestigious newspaper use the more accurate term, “baby in the womb”?

The editors worry about “a deep shift in American society … toward the embrace of a relatively new concept: that a fetus in the womb has the same rights as a fully formed person. …The idea has … begun not only to extend rights to clusters of cells that have not yet developed in viable human beings but also to erode the existing rights of … women.”

The paper goes on to say that the idea of fetal rights is a reaction to the Roe v. Wade decision. It cites the words of then-presidential candidate Ronald Reagan, who had previously supported abortion rights in California: “With regard to the freedom of the individual for choice with regard to abortion, there’s one individual who’s not being considered at all. That’s the one who is being aborted.”

The Times piece states disapprovingly that “at least 38 states and the federal government have so-called fetal homicide laws, which treat the fetus as a potential crime victim separate and apart from the woman who carries it.” The various editorial writers note that such laws pit the rights of pregnant women and their developing babies. But nowhere in the eight pages is maternal responsibility mentioned, i.e., that a pregnant woman needs to take special care of herself in order to nurture her developing baby. Of course, the paper focuses on a few extreme cases that appear to unfairly persecute pregnant women. But such cases are few and far between.

The baby developing in the womb as a person with legal rights appears to be the next big battleground social issue in the U.S. We Catholics need to understand clearly what is at stake. Since science tells us that life begins at conception, we must stand firm in protecting the most vulnerable who cannot speak for themselves.

Little Sisters of the Poor Back in Court

Over several years, the sisters had to go all the way to the Supreme Court to protect their religious liberty to stop the federal government from mandating contraception, including abortifacients, for their employees. Last year, the current administration expanded the federal health law’s religious exemption to include the sisters and like- minded groups. But federal judges recently issued injunctions against the exemptions. So the Little Sisters, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, must return to court to battle again. As a WSJ editorial (1/19/19) stated, don’t under- estimate “the cultural imperialism of today’s American left.”

“Marriage means man and woman giving of themselves in their entirety. It is a surrender of one to another.” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Challenging to Be Catholic in Hollywood Today

Actor Neal McDonough was pretty much a constant on TV for years, and then he was gone … for a while. Why? The happily married man and Catholic father of five refused love scenes! He was fired from the television show Scoundrels and things looked pretty grim for a while. “After that,” McDonough said, “I couldn’t get a job because everybody thought I was this religious zealot. I am very religious. I put God and family first and me second. It was hard for a few years. Then Band of Brothers producer Graham Yost called me and said, ‘Hey, I want you to be the bad guy on Justified. I knew that was my shot back at the title.”

McDonough said everything has worked out well for him professionally because the setback pushed him to improve his acting. He’s on the History Channel’s new series Project Blue Book and has several other projects in the works including the animated Sonic the Hedgehog.

He met and instantly fell in love with his wife-to-be after meeting her in England where he was filming HBO’s acclaimed 2001 miniseries Band of Brothers. “Almost 20 years, five kids and just one heck of an awesome life later, to have her as my partner in everything, I’m just the most blessed guy I know,” he said. “That’s why I go to church every day and say thank you to God for everything he’s given me.” P.S. Scoundrels was cancelled after several episodes. McDonough’s career, however, is back on track. [Matthew Archbold, National Catholic Register, 1/10/19]

“We Stand Between America & Darkness”

“America was founded on the promise of God-given rights, chief among them the rights to life and liberty,” conservative commentator Ben Shapiro told the 2019 March for Life participants. Once America’s children were her most prized group; “then something happened. We decided to erase them … we lied to ourselves, and then we built walls around that lie. We pretended these were not human lives at all, but disposable balls of meat,” he continued, after detailing multiple scientific truths of fetal development denied by the abortion lobby. “We told ourselves we were virtuous for our lie. We reversed good and evil.”

Shapiro then cited Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s comment this week that pro-lifers are “not in line with where we are as a government and quite frankly where we are as a society.”

“Maybe they’re right. Maybe we today here are not in line with the rest of society,” Shapiro said. “To which I say, good. So were the abolitionists. So were the civil rights marchers. So were the martyrs in Rome and the Jews in Egypt. Righteousness doesn’t have to be popular; it just has to be righteous.”

He then assured the crowd that, despite the mainstream media’s best efforts, their stand for life would not be forgotten. “Our children standing here with us today, they will remember, and they will march until they no longer have to march. Our children yet unborn will remember, and they will thank us in our prayers. And most of all, God who built and preserves nations, who brings life and maintains it, who stands with those who suffer most at the hands of evil. He will remember us too. He will remember America and He will bless her. God will bless us, because we are the guardians of His most precious creations. We stand between America and the darkness, and we will march until that darkness is banished forever, & all of our children can stand together in the sunlight.” [Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNews.com, 1/18/19

Watch for Two New Movies

Garabandal [PG-13 for brief violence; in theaters in February] On June 18, 1961, in a small village in Northern Spain, four girls claim that St. Michael the Archangel appeared to them. On July 2nd they receive a visit from Our Lady of Mount Carmel. After this followed more than two thousand visits from this Lady. The village’s parish priest and the Civil Guard brigadier suddenly become protagonists in an overwhelming event, struggling to find the truth while confronting a perplexed hierarchy and facing an ever growing multitude of people arriving in search of answers. [www.garbandalthemovie.com]

Unplanned [in theaters in March] brings us an eye-opening look inside the abortion industry from a woman who was once its most passionate advocate. Based on Abby Johnson’s memoir, this inspiring true story gives voice to a woman who has been on both sides of the abortion conversation. This is an important movie about the most controversial issue of our time. No matter which side of the fence you’re on, no one will leave this film unmoved by Abby’s journey. [www.UnPlannedfilm.com]

Cut Off Taxpayer Abortion Funding

According to Fr. Tad Pacholczyk, Director of Education at the National Catholic Bioethics Center, despite their “health care provider” veneer, “Planned Parenthood is much more of a menace than a benefit to the health and well-being of Americans. It has faced a string of scandals ranging from the sale of baby body parts to over billing and unsanitary clinic conditions, from cover ups of sexual abuse of minors to botched abortions, from falsified medical information to LGBT activism, to the promotion of offensive forms of sex education to young children.”

As House of Representative member Diane Black notes, “Abortion is not healthcare. It destroys one life and damages another.” Fr. Tad went on to explain:

“The U.S. needs to eliminate the financial lifeline of Planned Parenthood by defunding the organization of taxpayer dollars. Its supporters argue that low-income women would not be able to get needed healthcare. Yet federally qualified (community) health centers could take up the slack. They receive broad government funding and offer care regardless of the patient’s ability to pay, making available an even broader array of primary care services than Planned Parenthood. And there are many more community health centers than Planned Parenthood clinics nationwide.”

He supports Congress making Planned Parenthood affiliates ineligible to receive either Medicaid reimbursements or Title IX grants if they continue to perform abortions. Taxpayer money from these programs could be redirected to the more than 9,000 federally qualified health center sites that provide comprehensive health care for those in need without entanglement in abortion. [The Beacon, 1/17/19]

Do You Watch Fake or Biased News?

On Friday morning of the 46th annual March for Life in Washington DC, the largest national pro-life gathering of more than 100,000 people, ABC, NBC and CBS’s morning news shows all ignored the event. CBS gave a whole segment to the feminist, anti-Semitic “Women’s March” scheduled for Saturday but didn’t even give a passing mention to the March for Life. [www.LifeNews.com]

Written and edited by Frank Tinari, PhD, a member of the Life Education Council Board of Trustees