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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.

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

December 2018 Newsletter

Building a Fulfilling Marriage

[Ed. note: every month we will present excerpts from Pope Paul VI’s encyclical, Humanae Vitae, the brief but prophetic papal letter to all people of good will, proclaimed in 1958. Pope Paul VI was canonized in October 2018.]

  • Married love is not confined wholly to the loving inter- change of husband and wife; it also contrives to go beyond this to bring new life into being. “Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the procreation and education of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute in the highest degree to their parents’ welfare.”
  • Parenthood Husband and wife must be fully aware of their obligations in the matter of responsible parenthood, rightly understood. In its biological, emotional, social and environmental aspects, the exercise of responsible parent- hood requires that husband and wife recognize their own duties toward God, themselves, their families and human society. It follows that they are not free to act as they choose in the service of transmitting life, as if it were wholly up to them to decide what is the right course to follow. On the contrary, they are bound to ensure that what they do corresponds to the will of God the Creator. The very nature of marriage and its use makes His will clear; the constant teaching of the Church spells it out.
  • Intimacy The sexual act, in which husband and wife are intimately and chastely united with one another, is the means through which human life is transmitted. The Church urges observance of the precepts of the natural law, which it interprets by its constant doctrine, and teaches that each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life.

“It is poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.” St. Teresa of Calcutta

Incidence of STDs Continues to Rise

Over 110 million Americans have one or more sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and the number keeps rising. Some can pose permanent health problems; some persist for years without any symptoms; others can be treated and cured with antibiotics. The surest way to avoid infection is to practice sexual abstinence while single. If you marry, ensure that your partner is not infected with an STD, and remain sexually faithful during marriage. [STDs: What You Should Know booklet, www.abstinenceresources.com]

Adoption: Sharing New Life & Bringing Joy For each child who is available for adoption in the U.S., approximately 36 couples are waiting, hoping and praying for a chance to adopt. Open adoption helps pregnant women choose from dozens of approved families waiting to adopt. Contact arrangements with the adopting family are flexible and can be changed over time. Adoption services are free, and many expenses through pregnancy are covered through the adoption process. Adoption isn’t “giving your baby away.” Learn about Open Adoption in confidence at 800-923-6784. [www.LifetimeAdoption.com] Healing Brings Peace

For help after having, or participating in, an abortion, seek God’s peace and reconciliation through one of the following organizations:

  • Rachel’s Vineyard 877-467-3463 rachelsvineyard.org
  • National Helpline for Abortion Recovery 866-482-5433 nationalhelpline.org
  • Project Rachel 888-456-4673 hopeafterabortion.com
  • Abortion Recovery International 866-721-7781 abortionrecovery.org

Law Suit Filed Over “Disorderly Conduct”

A case was recently filed by the American Center for Law and Justice on behalf of two pro-life activists challenging the constitutionality of Iowa’s disorderly conduct statute. Two peaceful counselors were arrested on a public sidewalk outside an abortion business for preaching Scripture, carrying pro-life signs, and talking to passers-by.

The ACLJ has a superb track record of protecting free speech outside abortion clinics, having just won victories in two cases, Turco v. Englewood (NJ) and Devine v. City of NY. The ACLJ remains steadfast in its decades-long commitment to defending the free speech rights of those on the front lines who are speaking up to protect the lives of the unborn. “It’s my body, so it’s my choice!”

If the preborn child is just a part of her mother’s body (like an organ) or growing on her mother’s body (like a tumor), this rhetoric might make sense.

But the reality is that from the moment of fertilization, the child in the womb possesses her own individual, complex genetic makeup, separate from her mother’s DNA. A preborn child is definitely not part of the mother’s body – she is her own self, with her own body. [Who Do You Believe, magazine for teens & young adults, www.humanlife.org]

Recommended Books from Notre Dame U.

Great advice and good moral teachings for courting, marriage and raising kids may be found in many recent books from Ignatius Press, EWTN and Notre Dame’s Ave Maria Press. Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak, authors of Just Married, published another book, Then Comes Baby, the Catholic guide to surviving and thriving in the first three years of parenthood. Author Dawn Eden revised and updated the Catholic edition of her book The Thrill of the Chaste, with the theme of “finding fulfillment while keeping your clothes on.” Author & radio personality Patrick Coffin said: “Very few writers can crank out prose that is at once elegant and funny … and spiritually enriching with no treacly aftereffects….”

And from Emmaus Road Press: Sex Au Naturel: What It Is and Why It’s Good for Your Marriage by Patrick Coffin. Making the case against contraception, this book presents a clear and compelling case for the timeless teaching of the Church on “birth control.” Why Cohabiting Couples Have Higher Divorce Rates

First, consider what research shows: most couples who live together never marry. Those who do marry have a divorce rate up to 80% higher than those who waited until after the wedding to live together. Cohabiting couples report greater marital conflict and poorer communication.

Those who cohabit are less likely to be faithful to one another. Cohabiting women are far more likely than wives to suffer domestic violence. Women who cohabit are more than three times as likely to be depressed as married women. Cohabiting couples are less sexually satisfied than married couples.

As to the higher divorce rate, cohabiting partners who marry think less of marriage and are less likely to work tirelessly to preserve it. Having sex during the courtship period hinders their ability to look at each other clearly. And cohabitation undermines commitment. On the one hand, the couple desires complete intimacy, but they also want to leave a way out if their partner does not measure up. This lack of faith in the other sows seeds of doubt and distrust from the start.

Successful marriages are not the result of few annoying qualities in one’s spouse, but the result of choosing to love and forgive the other each day, with all his or her imperfections. Wanting to “test drive” a marriage really shows a lack of understanding of what makes a marriage work. [www.chastity.com; also, www.usccb.org/laity/ marriage/cohabiting.shtml]

“I depend on life support, but I won’t ask for ‘aid in dying’”

That’s what Diane Coleman said recently in a guest newspaper column. “I have an advanced neuromuscular condition and must use breathing support with a mask 18 hours a day.” Regarding so-called assisted suicide laws in some states, “disability groups have pointed out the inherent discrimination and empty pretense of safeguards in these bills. Why does everyone else get suicide prevention, while old, ill and disabled people get suicide assistance? How could a doctor who’s known a person for an average of only 13 weeks know if he or she is being pressured to ask for assisted suicide?” Requests for suicide come from feeling a loss of autonomy, loss of dignity, or feelings of being a burden. Yet these “could be addressed by consumer- directed in-home care services. People who need home care are treated as disposable.”

Regarding assisted suicide bills like those proposed in New Jersey, if “the only other person present at the end is a greedy heir or tired care giver, there are no safeguards to determine whether they self-administered the lethal drug or were cajoled, tricked or forced.”

“We urge [elected officials] to consider the dangers to the many elders, ill and disabled people who are not safe from mistake, coercion and abuse.” [Newark Star-Ledger, 10/28/18]

“We must not be surprised when we hear of murders, of killings, of wars, of hatred. If a mother can kill her own child, what is left but for us to kill each other.” St. Teresa of Calcutta Questions for the New Year

Can Catholics who take God seriously yet request procedures, use certain prescribed drugs, or support health policies that attack the sanctity of unborn children or the elderly, can they still be right with God? Or if they vote for officials who support policies that undermine the dignity of human sexuality and the family, won’t God demand an accounting?

In his remarks to the Phoenix Catholic Physician’s Guild, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver condemned moral indifference in the face of the culture of death as dishonesty towards God and ruinous to America; and reminds us that God will hold us responsible for our lack of action in support of Life.

Edited since 2005 by Frank Tinari, Ph.D., tinarifr@shu.edu

Past issues: posted on the Diocese of Paterson, NJ website. To have your church receive this newsletter each month, email your request to the editor.

Family & ProLife News Briefs for Catholics May 2018

Cherishing Every Life from Beginning to End

Reasons to Be Pro-Choice?

Recently, NY Times columnist & Catholic Ross Douthat wrote about ‘abortion extremists’ among his liberal friends. Abortion supporters responded in letters to the editor (NYT, 4/15/18). Some of their key points are paraphrased here together with a Catholic response by your editor.

  • Pregnancy exacts a heavy price on women in the U.S. Many die in childbirth; if she keeps her baby and is single, she is more likely to be unemployed; giving up a baby for adoption is heart-wrenching; it is better to have the right to abort the baby. Catholic Response: to reduce deaths during childbirth, pregnant women need better health care and services, not the killing of her baby. Single moms do face greater economic hardships. The Catholic Church provides much needed services to help such women including maternity homes, food banks, hospital services and more. And the Church promotes strong marriages through marriage preparation classes. Killing an unborn baby (“terminating a pregnancy”), like any killing, cannot be justified for economic reasons.
  • Government ban on abortion has its own real dangers. Catholic Response: The notion that regulating abortion will cause women to seek an illegal “back-alley” procedure is a myth. A 2012 study, e.g., reveals that outlawing abortion in Chile not only saved children, but advanced women’s health. Of course, pro-abortionists ignore the real danger to millions of pre-borns who have been “terminated” legally.
  • Pro-choice advocates want to choose reproductive outcomes for themselves & let others choose what they want. Catholic Response: Using misleading terms like “reproductive outcomes” is not helpful. What is really happening is the destruction of a tiny developing human being. The time to choose one’s reproductive outcomes is before one gets pregnant. Abortion destroys a separate living human being.
    [The remaining arguments will be covered in the next issue.]

Radical Pro-abortion Culture War Failing

Outgoing Planned Parenthood (PP) President Cecile Richards just published a book detailing her lifetime of pro-choice activism. The book claims pro-abortionists are “transforming the culture” so they can “quit apologizing for abortion.” 3,547,123 is the number of abortions committed at PP since 2006 when Richards became its president. Ten years of public opinion research shows that Americans consistently support significant restrictions on abortion. This year’s Marist poll on abortion found that more than 75% of Americans would limit abortion to — at most — the first three months of pregnancy. A majority of Americans (56%) said they believe abortion is morally wrong. Love is winning! 52% of respondents, and 52% of women, said having an abortion will more likely cause harm to a woman’s life than good. Likewise, 78% said that our laws can protect both the well-being of women and the lives of the unborn rather than choose between them. The poll makes clear that much of what Planned Parenthood advocates falls far out of the mainstream. For example, 63% of Americans support banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy unless the mother’s life is at risk, while just 33% oppose such a ban. Most Americans also oppose the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for elective abortion procedures – another position PP embraces that places them in a minority. In truth, there is a consensus in our culture on abortion: Americans support major rollbacks on abortion. That’s because the pro-life movement is winning hearts and minds on this issue. [March for Life President Jeanne Mancini on Fox News, 4/3/18]

There’s Nothing Funny About Abortion

beyond crass … almost beyond belief.


“There is nothing in the least bit funny about abortion. Not for the baby’s mother. Not for the baby’s father. Not for the abortion workers. And, above all, not for the baby, who is brutally terminated in the womb.

There is nothing funny about the remains of abortion (clinically called the ‘products of conception’). Nothing funny about the severed parts of tiny humans – little hands and little legs and little eyes. Nothing funny about Planned Parenthood making money off these dismembered babies.

There is nothing funny about the after-effects of abortion. Nothing funny about the grief and guilt experienced by many a mother (and father). Nothing funny about the women who are unable to conceive after an abortion. Nothing to laugh at, at all.

Yet in the midst of a vulgar, over-the-top ‘comedy’ routine at the annual White House correspondents’ dinner, Michelle Wolf (right) decided to joke about abortion.

This was beyond tasteless. Beyond crass. It almost beyond belief.

Speaking of Vice President Pence, she said that he is ‘very anti-choice. He thinks abortion is murder, which, first of all, don’t knock it ’til you try it – and when you do try it, really knock it. You know, you’ve got to get that baby out of there. And yeah, sure, you can groan all you want. I know a lot of you are very anti-abortion. You know, unless it’s the one you got for your secret mistress.’

Perhaps Wolf was right to raise the issue of hypocrisy. There have been conservative politicians who allegedly urged their mistress to have an abortion. Perhaps some corrupt preachers have done the same.

But to joke about abortion itself. To joke about using violent means to dislodge a little baby from its mother’s womb – how does one respond to this? To repeat her words: ‘when you do try it, really knock it. You know, you’ve got to get that baby out of there.’

How would we respond if she decided to joke about the Holocaust? ‘You better get those ovens super hot! There are a whole lot of Jewish bodies to burn!’

How would we respond if she decided to joke about slavery? ‘How many Africans can you cram into the belly of a ship? Don’t worry about overcrowding. You can toss the extras overboard!’

How would we respond if she decided to joke about human trafficking? “You know why selling people is so much better than selling drugs? You can only sell drugs once.”

We would be horrified with such ‘jokes.’ From the left to the right, we would say, ‘Off limits! There’s nothing to laugh about here.’

And anyone who was idiotic enough to crack such ‘jokes’ would be universally panned, if not banned.

Why, then, is it OK to joke about abortion? About a decision that is terribly painful for many mothers to make. About a gruesome procedure that slices up or burns up or sucks out a helpless human being from the sanctuary of its mother’s belly.

Wolf has been rightly criticized for her savage attack on Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. But Ben Shapiro was correct to tweet: ‘The worst part of Michelle Wolf’s garbage performance last night wasn’t her nasty riff on Huckabee Sanders. It was that dumpster fire abortion joke. But few were as offended by her literally celebrating baby killing as they were by her knocking eye shadow.’

One of the side-effects of abortion is that it desensitizes a culture. As Mother Teresa famously said, ‘Abortion kills twice. It kills the body of the baby and it kills the conscience of the mother.’ And it kills the conscience of the nation.

If you wanted any proof for that, look no farther than the White House correspondents’ dinner, where a comedian thought it funny to crack a joke about abortion on live national TV. And look no farther than the wide-scale absence of outrage on the left in response to her ‘joke.’

Personally, I would love to see the day when Michelle Wolf becomes a passionate pro-life ally. She wouldn’t be the first to make a radical turn.

But for the moment, what we have is shame and woe. Shame for aborting more than 55 million babies. Disgrace for mocking their agony.”

Article created by Dr. Michael Brown on askdrbrown.org

Family & ProLife News Briefs for Catholics (April 2018)

Joyous Easter Season: Time for Healing & Staying Informed

Healing After Abortion

Though abortion is a serious sin, we know that all sins can be forgiven. But there still remains regret, questions, guilt and other feelings long after someone has had an abortion. These, too, can be healed.The Sisters of Life work not only with those contemplating abortion but also those seeking healing. There is help and hope available, and the pain and sorrow of abortion need not endure for a lifetime. A “Day of Prayer and Healing” offers the opportunity to experience the love and mercy of God and to heal the wounds of abortion. They have only two Saturday sessions left before summer: April 21 and May 26, 2018. For location and confidential registration, or to talk to a Sister, please call the Sisters of Life at (866)-575-0075 (toll free) or email hopeandhealing@sistersoflife.org. And for men who have been involved in an abortion, sign up for a Day of Prayer and Healing for Men: contact Lumina at 877.586.4621 or Lumina@postabortionhelp.org.

“Hero of Legendary Courage & Integrity”

It’s rare to hear that said about an elected official, but that is what Congressman Dan Lipinski (D, IL) was called by Susan B. Anthony List (SBAL) president Marjorie Dannenfelser. “He’s not just a pro-life vote in Congress. He is a leader on this issue.” Lipinski is just one of a few Democrats who work hard for the pro-life cause. He co-chairs the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, speaks at anti-abortion rallies, and regularly sponsors legislation that seeks to restrict the termination of unborn babies. In the general election, SBAL will continue to support Lipinski over his Republican opponent, Arthur Jones, a Nazi and Holocaust denier. It is hoped that Lipinski’s success will embolden other Dems to vote against abortion rights. “We just think it’s important that the issue remains bipartisan,” Mallory Quigley said. “[Lipinski] is the model for how we want pro-life Democrats to act in Congress, to choose pro-life principles over party when those two things clash.” [Christina Cauterucci, Why an Anti-Abortion Advocacy Group Went All-In for an Illinois Democrat, Slate, 3/21/18] THE LIFE ISSUE IS POWERFUL. In the Lipinski primary, SBA List was outspent nearly 10 to 1 by the abortion lobby, yet its candidate won. Planned Parenthood spent $474,000 in the election. Radical abortion group NARAL spent $430,000. And pro-abortion women’s group EMILY’s List spent $250,000. ed. by Frank Tinari, Ph.D., tinarifr@shu.edu over 30,000 readers; for free subscription, email the editor.

“The Program Changed My Mind About Sex Before Marriage”

That was one of many positive comments from students who attended an all-day “True Love Waits” middle-school retreat on March 4, and the “Free to Love” retreat for high schoolers on March 18. These programs are offered to schools by LIFENET at very reasonable cost. They engage students with skits and discussion groups. If your local school might be a good place to host a pro-life retreat, contact Christine Flaherty at 973-497-4500 or www.lifneteducation.org