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Posts Tagged ‘Abortion’

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after justice, for they will be satisfied.”

In 07 Observations on 2016/07/29 at 12:00 AM

While the Church has a duty to call attention to the temporal problems of the world that have a moral dimension, it is not her role to solve them.  Hers is to satisfy peoples thirst for the restoration of the relationship essential to man by applying the merits of Christ’s life and death through the Sacraments so as to give man the ability to love God and live in union with him.  The Church is involved in guiding souls to freedom from eternal death from the claws of the devil and from the seductions of the flesh.

The lay members of the Church in particular have a responsibility to try to see that society’s laws and customs are in accord with the teachings of Christ in education, the home and the workplace.

Each woman has an obligation to make her environment more Christian and to pray for the legislators, government officials and business leaders to solve the major problems that confront society today.  While justice is an essential component of resolving problems, it is charity/mercy that is the main component.  Mercy/charity enrich and make justice effective.

No Christian woman who hopes to live her faith cannot in political action ever support ideologies or groups which propose false and distorted views of mankind or the dignity and nature of the person or just plain sin

All the fundamental principles of the natural law God implanted in man’s nature must be respected, supported and defended.  This means standing firm against contraception, sterilization, abortion,  euthanasia, divorce, same-sex unions, and for religious and academic freedoms and property rights.

What is due to a person in justice cannot be considered charity.  What is due to a person is a demand of justice.  Each person is another Christ and this is particularly so in the case of the weak, the defenseless and the needy.  Our hearts need to have compassion for the pains of the injustices that afflict others.

One acknowledges God’s presence in another individual by treating that person with both justice and charity.  Each person’s dignity and greatness is derived from God who gives the soul its spiritual reality and who gives meaning to every person’s life.

How can one judge progress in society and science?  Very simply: by how the dignity of the person is acknowledged in word and deed.  Man is not an economic entity or gadget.  He is neither merchandize nor tool but a member of a society with God given rights  for the protection of which is the main purpose of laws and governments.

An aspect of justice which is very much ignored in our times is the right to one’s good name.  Gossip has become a media staple.  Sins by unbridled tongues included envy, negative criticism, slander, calumny; all of which are acts of defamation, whether spoken, broadcasted by the media or printed as well as e-mailed or texted.

Justice towards others in thought and deed must proceed from our hearts if we are to live harmoniously with others.  We must beware of partial truths, flawed simplifications, hasty judgments and empty words.  At all times we must be open to having our opinions calibrated to truth.

Beware of excessive curiosity and of any intrusion into the private lives of others particularly now that the Internets parades before us the lives and follies of others.  Also, beware of false zeal which conceals hypocrisy.  When you are with others, beware of falling into making rash judgments of others, gossiping, making false deductions and accusations or revealing the flaws of others that detract and diminish others’ view of them.  Be instead actively committed to denounce unjust accusations made of anyone.  Reject any type of falsehood in word or cheating in actions.  Do not be a gossip or spread rumors.  Be scrupulous in respecting others rights to their good name, their property and their possessions.  You are your brother’s keeper.

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Marriage: Where Do We Go From Here?

In 04 Fr. John McCloskey on 2015/05/29 at 12:00 AM

MARRIAGE: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

With D.C.’s March for Marriage drawing near, this is a good moment to take a look at how we Catholics—laypeople, priests, and bishops—can better prepare couples for this holy Sacrament, which was blessed in a special way by the first miracle of Our Lord at Cana at His Mother’s request. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is quite clear that “the matrimonial union of man and woman is indissoluble. God himself has determined it “What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder” (no. 1614). Of course, this teaching cannot be changed. It is divine revelation expressed in the words of Jesus Himself and is the infallible teaching of the Church. So where to go from here?

The answer is simple, but challenging, both to the hierarchy and the Church faithful. However, if the first Christians could do it over the course of the decline of the Evil Empire, so can we with the help of the Holy Spirit; so can we, and even quicker with the help of prayer and sacrifice, and the generosity of married couples and their plenteous offspring.

With fertility rates in much of the so-called developed world sinking below replacement level, and showing precipitous declines even in most of the developing world, it is clear that world population is positioned to fall, perhaps by the end of this century. This decline of course tracks with the introduction of artificial contraception and the heinous crime of legalized abortion. The growing number of jurisdictions (with Quebec the most recent) that have legalized euthanasia have not yet added multitudes to the death toll. But as nations face the economic consequences of the inverted human pyramid that their contraceptive practices produce—with fewer productive workers left to provide for an elderly population that outnumbers them—we can expect national health policies more and more to encourage such killings, willing or not.

CONTINUE READING…
http://www.catholicity.com/mccloskey/marriage.html

What does this tell your heart and mind?

In 07 Observations on 2015/01/16 at 12:00 AM

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Little bundle of joy Leo David Hargreaves could just be the cheeriest baby in the country, according to his parents.

Not only does the five month-old smile all the time, he’s been smiling since before he was born.

A 4D ultrasound scan, taken when Leo’s mother, Amy Cregg, was 31 weeks’ pregnant, clearly shows him grinning from ear-to-ear.

Miss Cregg, 24, and her partner Leighton Hargreaves, of Church, Accrington Lancashire, say that baby Leo has continued to wear a perma-grin since he was born on June 30.

Modelling companies, and Next, the high-street fashion chain, have already been in touch with the couple to express an interest in signing-up Leo’s winning grin.

Miss Cregg, a rehabilitation support worker, said: “Leighton and I were absolutely shocked – even the people who did my scan were amazed.

“I’ve been walking in the park and had people come up to me and say, ‘What a gorgeous baby!’

But Miss Cregg and Mr Hargreaves, a painter and decorator, say there’s no rush to put pen to paper.

Baby Leo has worn a perma-grin since he was born on June 30 (MEN Syndication)

“I’d be interested in doing modelling, but only when Leo’s older.”

The 4D scan – which captured gender, growth and the weight – was taken at Babybond Ultrasound Direct clinic in Burnley.

A spokesman for the clinic said: “Our sonographer who scanned Amy and her gorgeous baby was overwhelmed at her smiley baby throughout the entire scan.

“I think we can safely say that Amy’s baby has been the smiliest baby we’ve ever seen.”

 

The Telegraph

St. Therese of Lisieux

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2014/10/03 at 12:00 AM

 This past week the Church celebrated the feast day of one of Her most popular saints: St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Many of us know her as the Little Flower.

 While this cloistered Carmelite lived only a short 24 years on this earth, and all of it in relative obscurity, she is perhaps one of the most well known saints of all time – and certainly one of the most important saints of modern times – and for good reason.

 In her spiritual autobiography called Story of a Soul, St. Thérèse wrote extensively on the virtue of charity and her vocation to be love in the heart of the Church.

 One of the things that the Little Flower teaches us is that the Church has a heart burning with love. This love in the heart of the Church is what moves all of her members to act.

 St. Thérèse opined that, “if love ever became extinct, apostles would not preach the Gospel and martyrs would not shed their blood.”

 And so we, who make up the Church, must keep the virtue of charity burning within us! Charity – love – must be the animating force that impels us as we seek to live out our lives as Christians.

 As St. Paul writes to St. Timothy in our 2nd reading, we must “stir into flame the gift of God,” which is not a “spirit of cowardice, but rather of power and love and self‐control.”

 As many of you know, the month of October is Respect Life month. And as in years past, an ecumenical group within our city is running a 40 Days for Life Campaign, in which people gather to pray at local abortion mills in the hopes of closing them down.

 Last week I went with many of you to the Latrobe abortion mill, and unfortunately there was a very vulgar and hate‐filled woman harassing us as we prayed.

 In those moments when we come face to face with such people, it’s very easy to develop an “us vs. them” mentality. Personally, I often feel great temptations toward anger. But anger is exactly what we need to avoid!

 As I reflect more on Pope Francis’ recent interview, I wonder if this might be part of his point. In his interview the Holy Father gave us this great image of the Church as a “field hospital.” Truly, we cannot tend to the wounds of others if we are angry or hate them.

 Without a doubt we need to work for an end to abortion and other elements of the Culture of Death like same sex unions, contraception, euthanasia, etc. But as we do, we must try to avoid the polemics that lead us to demonize our opponents.

 As we listen to the evil propaganda of the supporters of the Culture of Death or have experiences with people like the hateful woman at the abortion mill, it’s easy to think that we have nothing in common with those with whom we disagree on the issues of life.

 Yet we do have something in common; something very fundamental: we are all sinners. As your pastor, this is something I pray you never lose sight of. All of us are sinners; all of us are in need of God’s mercy.

 Therefore, we must have compassion on our enemies. If we are members of the Church, then we are the doctors and nurses in the spiritual field hospital of the Church. As the Holy Father said, we must try to meet people in their woundedness.

 My experience as a priest has shown me that those who sin by participating in any way in the Culture of Death are often the most wounded people in our society.

 If you contravene the natural ordering of the marital act through sins like same sex relations or contraception, or even more egregiously, if you participate in the sin of abortion, you are sinning in a way that goes against very fundamental aspects of our human nature. At our core, we are ordered toward procreation and life. This is how God created us – and we are fearfully and wonderful made!

 When we sin against procreation or life, we become less human!

 Yet, as awful as the wounds from these sins are, my experience as a priest as also taughtme that these wounds can be healed by God’s grace – most especially the grace wereceive through the Sacraments. So we must do all we can to help people receive grace.

 When people fall into these terrible sins, the Church must be the place they turn to forhelp. She should never be an obstacle to a sinner’s healing. So we must meet people intheir woundedness with honesty and compassion – for both are necessary for healing.

 Meeting people in their woundedness does not mean excusing their sin. Our model fordealing with our fellow sinners is Jesus and His interaction with the adulterous woman.

 Jesus was compassionate and even saved her from her persecutors, but He didn’t fail to tell her to repent. He said to her, “Woman, has no one condemned you? . . . Neither do Icondemn you. But go and from now on sin no more.” (John 8:10‐11)

 This must be the role of the Church in society – and not just the priests and bishops, butall of us! We must all reach out compassionately to those enmeshed in sin, gentlytending to their wounds with the healing balm of charity and the bandages of truth.

 At the same time, we must also be that prophetic voice in the world that fearlessly and courageously speaks the truth about the inherent dignity of man and the grave evils ofthe Culture of Death – all without demonizing those caught up in the Culture of Death.

 In short we must hate the sin with a ferocious tenacity, while loving the sinner with allthe tenderness we can muster.

 Sound difficult? It is, but if our hearts are burning with charity and our minds and willsare intent on doing the will of God, then all things are possible.

 Through the intercession of St. Thérèse and especially of Our Lady, may each of ourhearts be turned into burning furnaces of charity so that we may attend generously to our fellow sinners caught up in the evil snares of the Culture of Death.

06 October 2013

© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio.
To enable the audio, lease go directly to Fr. Reid’s homily homilies and select the matching date.

Link to Homilies:
http://stanncharlotte.org/content/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=8&Itemid=61

The 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade and Dr. Nathanson the Prophet

In 04 Fr. John McCloskey on 2013/01/18 at 9:15 AM

by Father John McCloskey

In 1973, the infamous Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade legalized the crime that would take the lives of over 50 million innocent unborn humans, who were made in the image and likeness of God. As a result of this unspeakable decision and its aftermath, the United States of America has plunged into a moral chasm that no longer respects the dignity of the human person from conception until a natural death. In my opinion, this will inevitably destroy our country, unless America returns to its Christian roots in recognizing the natural law written in our hearts as children of God.

However, there is always hope.

Part of the hope is the story and witness of Dr. Bernard Nathanson, whom I came to know well during our many years of friendship. Nathanson was the co-founder in 1969 of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL, later renamed the National Abortion Rights Action League), and former director of New York City’s Center for Reproductive and Sexual Health, then the largest abortion clinic in the world. In the late 1970′s he turned against abortion to become a prominent pro-life advocate.

I played a small part in bringing him into the Catholic Church where he found peace and happiness. Nathanson served as a prophet for life, as he engaged in a heroic worldwide effort through tireless travel to deliver pro-life speeches in foreign countries. He continued his work through his writings and video productions until his death in 2011.

When the heinous decision of the Supreme Court is overturned and the Holy Innocents are saved again from the atheistic American Herods, Dr. Nathanson’ conversion to life and to the Catholic faith will be seen as a very important part of the possible resurgence of respect for life at all stages.

After his conversion, Dr. Nathanson became a target for the cultural anti-life forces in America, the subject of ridicule and satire in comic strips, news commentary, and for television comedians because he had the audacity to change his mind regarding the objective reality of abortion. Since then, along with a distinguished obstetric medical practice and teaching in a university, he gave hundreds of lectures throughout the world in defense of the unborn.

Upon the verge of retirement he wrote his autobiography, which contains searing personal revelations about how a man could possibly become an abortionist, yet also a powerful witness to the possibilities of divine grace as he draws near to the final step of Baptism and incorporation into Christ’s Church.

Later this year, Regnery Press will be republishing an updated edition of Nathanson’s powerful autobiography, The Hand of God with a new forward by yours truly. Keep an eye out for it. It can change minds and hearts.

Now read below for a taste of its contents so as to understand the horrors that Dr. Nathanson had to overcome, including his family background and his complicity in the death of over 75,000 children. Indeed, in some ways we can see in him another St. Paul:

A warning to the reader: this is not an easy or pleasant book to read because it tells the truth about evil acts that are truly repugnant. What is remarkable and praiseworthy is that the doctor does not make excuses for his behavior. The reader certainly has many reasons at least to understand without condoning his behavior after reading about his childhood and adolescence in a familial setting that can truly be described as loveless. Nathanson recounts in painful detail his bringing up in New York by a family that appears to have been seriously dysfunctional for at least a couple of generations without the slightest semblance of religious faith or familial loyalty or affection.

The first chapter is entitled “The Monster,” referring to his father, and spells out very clearly the young Nathanson’s relationships with his Jewish Canadian physician father and his family. “We would take long walks together, he and I, and he would fill my ears with poisonous remarks and revanchist resolutions concerning my mother and her family and. I remained his weapon, his dummy, until I was almost seventeen years old, when l-as-he rebelled and told him I would no longer function as his robotic surrogate assassin.” About his sister, “her mental health destroyed, her physical health intact but–to her befuddled mind–suspect, her children rebellious, fallen in with bad company and truant, my sister killed herself one sunny August morning with an overdose of a powerful sedative.” Regarding himself, “And l? I have three failed marriages and have fathered a son who is sullen, suspicious but brilliant in computer science.”

In one of the final chapters of the book, entitled “To the Thanatoriums” he prophesies about what Pope Paul VI presaged so clearly in his Encyclical Humanae vitae, that once the respect for human life at its inception is lost the way will lead inevitably to euthanasia. “Drawing largely from my experience with a similar brand of pagan excess I predict that entrepreneurs will set up multiple small, discreet infirmaries for those who wish, have been talked into, coerced into, or medically deceived into death…. But that will only be the first phase. As the thanatoria flourish and expand into chains and franchised operations, the accountants will eventually assume command, slashing expenses and overheads as competition grows. The final streamlined, efficient, and economically flawless version of the thanatorium will resemble nothing so much as the assembly line factories that abortion clinics have become and–farther on down the slope–the ovens of Auschwitz.”

However, he ends the book on a note of hope in Christ’s mercy, forgiveness, and offer of salvation. As is often the case in a story of conversion, it is the prayers and personal example of so many of his pro-life friends and coworkers that over time melt down the resistance of a hardened atheistic sinner so that he can see that there might be room in God’s heart even for the likes of him.

Speaking of the witness of pro-lifers at a demonstration at an abortion clinic: “They prayed, they supported, and encouraged each other, they sang hymns of joy, and they constantly reminded each other of the absolute prohibition against violence. They prayed for the unborn babies, for the confused and pregnant women, and for the doctors and nurses in the clinic. They even prayed for the police and media who were covering the event. And I wondered: how can these people give of themselves for a constituency that is (and always will be) mute, invisible, and unable to thank them?”

Witnessing these pro-life demonstrators who were willing to go to jail and suffer bankruptcy for their belief made such a powerful impression on Nathanson that “for the first time in my entire adult life, I began seriously to entertain the notion of God, a God who problematically had led me through the proverbial circles of hell, only to show me the way to redemption and mercy through His Grace.”

As we can see, if with God’s grace, Dr. Bernard Nathanson could overcome such obstacles, well, then so can the other citizens of our country. With the sorrowful anniversary ofRoe v. Wade around the corner, we need the witness of prophets like Nathanson to inspire us to continue our work for a culture of life. We can never underestimate the power of the example of our prayer and love.

Author’s Note: Part of the article above is adapted from a review I wrote for the Vatican Newspaper, Le Osservatore Romano in 1996.

First appeared at The Truth and Charity Forum on January 14, 2013.

Informed Consent: A Woman’s Right to Equal Treatment in Medicine

In 09 Mary Summa, JD on 2012/04/20 at 9:11 AM

By Mary Summa, J.D.

It is not just a clump of cells. … We wish we would have had to pay for an ultrasound and been able to view it. … We wish we would have even had that opportunity, to be told the truth,” one woman told a reporter from the Tampa Tribune. As part of Operation Outcry, on June 10, 2010, two dozen women, who regretted their own abortions, traveled to Tampa, Florida to urge Governor Crist to sign a newly-enacted Florida Right to Know bill.1

“The doctor never conferred with me. … I wasn’t given any information on what they were going to do or how. I was just taken in and taken care of, as they put it. I was never given the choice of whether I would want to allow adoption or anything,” Linda E. wrote about her own abortion at http://www.pregnant- pause.org, a website devoted, in part, to allowing women to tell their own stories about abortion.2

Pro-life testimonials and newspaper interviews provide a narrow glimpse into the deep, heart-wrenching pain and regret women suffer after an abortion—and how they were told very little before

their baby was ripped from their wombs. Our culture is saturated with organizations and politicians demanding rights for women. Yet, these same voices remain deafeningly silent when it comes to a woman’s right to know the risks and consequences of an abortion. Following a Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of real informed consent laws for abortion in 1992, a growing number of state legislatures have responded to these women’s cries and have enacted laws requiring detailed counseling and/or a reflection period before an abortion.3 Many state’s legislatures, including North Carolina, have ignored their pain, while still waiving the banner of women’s rights and freedom.

Un–Informed Consent

Often, pro-lifers, in their desire to end the slaughter of millions of unborn children, assume that women made an informed choice to allow an abortionist to kill their child, and they should now be left to live with the harrowing consequences of that decision. Yet, in truth, most of these women were never given that chance.

A 2004 study found that 84 percent of women seeking an abortion said they did not receive adequate counseling; 79 percent were not told about available alternatives and 67 percent said they received no counseling at all. Sixty-four percent felt pressured into having an abortion.4 Another study found that 81 percent of women surveyed felt victimized by the abortion process.5

The Consequences

The physical and emotional consequences of having an abortion have devastated women. One study found that 65 percent of women studied experienced multiple symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which they attributed to their abortions. A little over 14 percent reported all the symptoms necessary for a diagnosis of PTSD. Other studies have linked abortion to increased risk of anxiety, substance abuse, sleep disorders, suicidal behavior, and depression.6

The risk of physical harm and the long-term effects of abortions have been documented also. One study revealed that early complications from abortion can include hemorrhaging, infection, perforation of the uterus, cervical lacerations, and thromboembolic complications including pulmonary infarction and deep thrombosis of the legs.7 Other studies show that induced abortion may contribute to ectopic pregnancies,8 miscarriages9 and breast cancer.10 In his book, Aborted Women – Silent No More, David Reardon, Ph.D., concludes that a minimum of 10 percent of women suffer physical complications from abortion.11

As the Supreme Court has stated, abortion is “inherently different from other medical procedures, because no other procedure involves the purposeful termination of potential life,”12 which is nothing less than a life at its genesis. It is a procedure that, in most cases, does nothing to enhance the life or wellness of the patient, but can cause tremendous physical and psychological damage, even when “successful.” Considering these stakes, women need to be protected and informed about exactly what is entailed in the decision to go through with having an abortion.

The Law Has Failed

In a country that prides itself on individual liberty and autonomy, it is unthinkable that women are being denied the right to real informed consent. After all, every state in the country has medical informed consent statutes designed to insure that patients are adequately informed and consent to all medical procedures prior to a procedure being performed.

Perhaps adequate for other procedures, these laws have failed to protect women seeking abortion. Some scholars believe the problem lies in fundamentally flawed informed consent laws and the pecuniary interest of the person entrusted to provide the information and secure the consent— the doctor.13

Defining Consent

Consent is a common law defense to the legal civil claims and criminal charges of assault and battery. “Informed consent” requires enough informa- tion to be able to weigh the pros and cons of a decision before making it.

Consent in medicine is a right to understand the benefits and risks of a medical procedure and to consent to it before it is performed. While generally recognized in common law, the principle of informed consent was first expressed in American courts by Justice Cardozo, when he sat on the New York Court of Appeals. In Schloendorff v. Society of New York Hospital 14, the justice stated, “Every human being of adult years and sound mind has the right to decide what shall be done with his own body.” Subsequent cases imposed a duty on physicians to provide sufficient information to a patient to afford the patient the right to make an informed decision.15

In a country that prides itself on individual liberty and autonomy, it is unthinkable that women are being denied the right to real informed consent.

Medical Knowledge

Traditionally, reflecting a paternalistic nature of the doctor/patient relationship in medicine, state laws have given the physician wide latitude in deciding what to tell the patient. As long as the physician provides information that meets “community standards,” the information given meets the required legal threshold and protects the doctor from malpractice. This type of informed consent law is a “physician-centered” standard.

A growing respect for patient autonomy prompted some state legislatures to abandon physician-centered consent. First recognized by the D.C. Court in 1972, some states and the District of Columbia have replaced the physician-centered standard with a “reasonable patient” standard. To meet this threshold, the doctor should adequately provide information that a “reasonable patient” would want to consider, including the risks of the procedure

and the possible long-term effects to the patient’s health. As the Court stated, “It is the prerogative of the patient, not the physician to determine for himself the direction in which his interests seem to lie.”16 The information given must be material to the patient’s decision and the doctor must be confident that the patient understands these risks. The discussion should include: treatment and non-treatment options, and the benefits and risks of each; short-term risks during the procedure; long-term effects of all the treatment and non-treatment options; and the available public and private insurance coverage for the procedure.17 With either standard, however, there is a therapeutic privilege which allows the physician to withhold information when the physician believes the “information would present a threat to the patient’s well-being.”18

As we have witnessed over the past 30 years, by misapplying the “therapeutic privilege,” abortionists have denied women the right to know much at all about the baby, the procedure, or the physical and psychological risks they face with an abortion. When women do ask and receive “counseling,” it is merely a “sales pitch” for the abortion.19 Abortionists have driven a truck through this narrow exception for informed consent, and have stream-rolled women in the process.

As we have witnessed over the past 30 years, by misapplying the “therapeutic privilege,” abortionists have denied women the right to know much at all about the baby, the procedure, or the physical and psychological risks they face with an abortion.

Money

Why do abortionists refuse to inform women? The answer is money. While one would hope that all doctors have the best interest of their patients in mind, the financial gain from performing abortions trumps patient interests and undercuts any desire to discuss risks. Most abortions are performed in free-standing clinics. In 2008, 378 specialized abortion clinics nationwide accounted for 21 percent of all abortion providers, but performed 70 percent of all abortions. The same year, 24 percent of abortions were performed in non-specialized clinics. In contrast, only 4 percent of all abortions were performed in hospitals.20

Whether the physician who is performing the abortion owns the clinic or is an employee of the clinic, the pecuniary interest of the institution cannot be ignored. In 2009, a director of a Planned Parenthood abortion facility made national headlines when she disclosed that Planned Parenthood pressures employees to meet abortion goals each month. As reported by Lifesitenews.com, Abby Johnson, an ex-director of Planned Parenthood in Texas, said she grew uncomfortable when she was told to try to bring in more abortions because of the economic downturn. “Every meeting that we had was, ‘We don’t have enough money, we don’t have enough money—we’ve got to keep these abortions coming.”21 The lives of babies and their mothers have been reduced to numbers on a balance sheet.

Mounting evidence suggests that real informed consent (including a reflection period) results in fewer abortions.22 Because real counseling reduces dollars in the pocket of the abortionist or his employer, they do not want women to know the truth about abortion.

Real Informed Consent

According to the Guttmacher Institute, as of January 2011, 34 states require that women receive counseling before an abortion is performed; 32 states require that women be given information about the specific procedure and 19 require information about all common abortion procedures. Twenty-four of these states detail the information that must be given, 22 of which require information about abortion risks. Twenty-five states require a waiting period—usually 24 hours—be- tween the counseling and the abortion. Seven states require that the counseling be provided in person and before the waiting period begins. Ten states require information on the ability of the fetus to feel pain. Ten states require information on accessing ultrasound.23

According to Americans United for Life, states continue to enact and to strengthen laws protecting women seeking abortions. In 2010, South Carolina extended its one-hour reflection period to 24 hours. Missouri enacted a true detailed informed consent statute with a 24 -hour waiting period. Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee enacted measures requiring the posting of signage informing women that they cannot be coerced into having an abortion. At least three states—Missouri, South Carolina and West Virginia—considered measures to require counseling on possible fetal pain during the abortion. Missouri enacted a law requiring that for a woman seeking an abortion at or after 22 weeks, she be counseled on fetal pain. Missouri amended its law to require an abortion provider to offer the ultrasound to every woman seeking an abortion. Utah and West Virginia now require that, if an ultrasound is performed before an abortion, the abortion provider must offer to show it to the patient.24

Promoting Women’s Freedom

The North Carolina General Assembly has ignored the rights of women to know the whole story about abortion. Until now, many legislators have been satisfied with allowing abortionists to leave women uninformed about the realities of abortion, the risks involved or even who the doctor is who is performing the abortion. North Carolina law treats abortions like any other medical procedure, using a physician-centered standard and upholding the “therapeutic privilege.” In North Carolina, an abortionist does not need to say much of anything to meet the requirements of the informed consent statute and protect himself/herself from the malpractice claim of negligence or a criminal charge of battery.25

The North Carolina Legislature has an opportunity to change this travesty and really protect North Carolina women. A bill should be enacted this year and require the following:

At the time of the appointment for the abortion, a price list for counseling, ultrasounds and abortions and locations where the counseling and ultrasounds can be provided other than at the abortion clinic, including locations providing free services.

A 24-hour waiting period between counseling and abortion to provide the woman with time for reflection after she has received counseling. Information given orally and in writing by a physician, physician assistant, or registered nurse (including doctors, P.A.s and nurses unaffiliated with the abortion facility) regarding:

— Gestational age of the unborn child.

— Name of the doctor performing the abortion.

— Liability of the father for support. — Location of the hospital within 30 miles of the abortion site where the physician has admitting privileges. — Alternatives to abortion. — The right of the woman to withhold consent at any time. — If the physician has liability insurance or admitting privileges. Detailed information provided in writing and given to the woman regarding:

Information on other facilities providing counseling and ultrasounds, including facilities providing these services free of charge. • Other requirements, including:

— An ultrasound as part of the counseling 24 hours before the abortion is scheduled to be performed. The mother will be offered the opportunity to see the ultrasound at least 24-hours before the scheduled abortion.

— Reporting requirements regarding counseling and effect. Penalties for non-compliance.

• Penalties for Failure to Provide Informed Consent

Conclusion

Cease the deception. Uninformed consent is no consent at all. In fact, it is a form of tyranny. North Carolina must join other states in granting to women a freedom they have never enjoyed. If legislators are truly interested in the lives of women and their right to make informed choices, they will support a law guaranteeing to women the right to know and understand about the unborn child they are considering aborting, see an ultrasound, and know the gestational age of the child. They have a right to know the realities of the abortion procedure, including the risks involved, and the right to reflect on that decision after this counseling and before the abortion. The consequences of that decision, for women and their babies, are dire. Mothers deserve the freedom to know the truth, and babies deserve the chance to live that comes with their mother being truly informed about the decision she is facing.v

Physical characteristics of unborn children at two-week gestational increments. Information on services available to help the woman carry the baby to term, aftercare and care for women with dependent children. Information on the legal obligations of the father to provide at least financial support of the child.

Mary Summa, J.D., is an attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina, who served as Chief Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Jesse Helms during the 1980s. For a footnoted version of this article, please visit ncfamily.org.

ENDNOTES:

1) Whittenburg, Catherine. “Anti-abortion Group Urges Crist to Sign Bill Requiring Ultrasounds”, TBO.com, June 10, 2010.

group-urges-crist-sign-bill-requirin/> (February 1, 2011).

2) Linda E., “Multiply Abused,” PregnantPause.org. available athtm> ( January 18, 2011)

3) Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992).

4) Rue, VM, Coleman PK, JJ, Reardon, DC. “Induced Abortion and Traumatic Stress: A Preliminary Comparison of American and Russian Women. Medical Science Monitor, 2004 10(10); SR 5-16.

5) Speckhard & Rue, “Post Abortion Syndrome: An Emerging Public Health Concern”J. Soc. Issues. 48(3): 95-119 (1982).

6) “64% of Women Having Abortions Report Being Pressured: Trauma Symptoms Are Common,” http://www.theunchoice.com, November 16, 2004, http://www.theunchoice.com/News/ruestudy. htm (February 1, 2011).

7) P.I. Frank, et al. “Induced Abortion Operations and Their Early Sequelae: a Joint Study of the Royal College of General Practitioners and The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists,” Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners, April 1985. 175-180.

8) Levin, A. et al. “Ectopic Pregnancy and Prior Induced Abortion” Am J Public Health. 1982 Mar;72(3):253-6.

9) Levin, A. et al. “Association of Induced Abortion With Subsequent Pregnancy Loss,” JAMA. 1980. 243:2495-2499.

10) Melbye, M. et al. “Induced Abortion and the Risk of Breast Cancer”. The New England Journal of Medicine, 9 January 1997. 336(2): 81-85.(February 1, 2011).

11) Reardon, David. Aborted Women-Silent No More (Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1987)

12) Harris V. McRae, 448 U.S. 297, 325 (1980).

13) See Stuart, Joseph. “Abortion and Informed Consent: A Cause of Action.” 14 Ohio N. U. L. Rev. 1 (1987); Reardon, D. “Informed Consent: The Abortion Industry’s Achilles’ Heel”, Elliott Institute. Reprinted atV2/n2/INCONSNT.htm> (February 1, 2011)

14) 211 N.Y. 125, 129, 105 N.E. 92, 93 (1914).

15) Woods v. Brumley, 71 N.M. 221, 377 P.2d 520, 524-25 (1962).

16) Cantebury v. Spence 464 F2d. 772 (D.C. Cir.), cert. denied 409 S.Ct. 1064 (1972).

17) Gale Encyclopedia of Public Health:

Informed Consent. < http://www.answers.com/topic/informed- consent> January 19, 2011.

18) Canterbury at 789.][Joseph Stuart,“Abortion and Informed Consent: A Cause of Action,”14 Ohio N.U. L. Rev. 1, (1987) at 10.

19) Rebecca Pierce-Banks. “Tracy’s Abortion Remembered – A Sales Pitch and Absent Boyfriend” LifeSiteNews.com. 16 August 2005. <http://www.lifenews.com/2005/08/16/nat- 1546>( January 19, 2011)

20) Rachel Jones, Kathryn Kooistra, “Abortion Incidence and Access to Services In the United States, 2008,” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, Vol. 43 No. 1 March 2011.

21) Tillman, James, “Planned Parenthood Pushes Abortion for Profit’: Ex-Abortion Facility Director”, LifeSiteNews.com,

November 5, 2009. http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ ldn/2009/nov/09110505. (February 1, 2011).

22) See Randolph, Toni, “Abortions Hit 30 year low in Wake of Waiting Period Passage” Minnesota Public Radio, July 12, 2005, http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/07/12_ap_ abortion/];Also: Barbour, Charles, Shughart, William. “Legal Institutions and Abortion Rates in Mississippi” Cato Journal, Vol. 18, No. 1 (Spring/Summer 1998)][“Serious About Reducing Abortion? Make Women See an Ultrasound of the Procedure” Christian Science Monitor, http: http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2010/0107/Serious-about-reducing-abortion- Make-Women-see-an-ultrasound-of-the-procedure. (January 10, 2011).

23) “Counseling and Waiting Periods for Abortion”, Guttmacher Institute: State Policies in Brief, January 1, 2011. http://www. guttmacher.org/statecenter/spibs/spib_MWPA.pdf. ( January 19, 2011)

24) Americans United For Life 2010 State Legislative Session Report, December 21, 2010. http://www.scribd.com/ doc/45748671/2010-State-Session-Report. ( Feb. 1, 2011).

25) N.C.G.S. 90-21.13 (2005).

Re-printed with permission – Originally appeared – “Informed Consent:  Equal Treatment for Women in Medicine.”  Family NC.  Spring 2011.

A Reality Check Before an Abortion

In 10 Colleen Carroll Campbell on 2012/04/19 at 9:11 AM

It’s a moment every mother knows, and these days, it typically comes during the first ultrasound. As you lie in a darkened room and stare at what appear to be meaningless black-and-white streaks on a computer screen, your eyes suddenly fix upon that distinct little circle clinging to the uterine wall and you realize: That’s my baby.

Sometimes the moment comes when you hear the heartbeat, that staccato throbbing echoing through the exam room at a pace all its own. It overlaps at times with your own but is definitely not the same — it’s faster and more urgent, a reminder that the life growing within you has its own trajectory, intertwined with but independent from your own.

Until now, everything about your pregnancy has had a distant, theoretical feel: a faint plus sign on a pregnancy-test stick, a bunch of numbers on a blood-level report, a slight rounding of your stomach where it used to be flat.  You may have celebrated these signs or lamented them, but either way, the pregnancy did not feel quite real. Now it does.

And for the first time, it really hits you. This is not just about me or even the baby’s father and me. There is someone else involved — another body, another destiny, another human life.

A bill winding its way through the Missouri Legislature right now would ensure that every woman seeking an abortion has an opportunity to experience that moment before she decides to end her pregnancy and her unborn child’s life.  Sponsored by Sen. Robert Mayer, R-Dexter, this measure, Senate Bill 793, cleared the Senate last month. Now it is in the House awaiting consideration before the legislative session ends next week.

The measure includes a number of other features. It would provide women seeking abortions information about fetal development, pregnancy resource centers, alternatives to abortion and the child support obligations of the baby’s father under state law. It also would bar taxpayer-funded insurance coverage for elective abortions in plans offered through health insurance exchanges established by the new federal health care law.

The most controversial aspect of the bill has turned out to be the one that would seem to be its least offensive: its call for an ultrasound to be offered at least 24 hours before an abortion to any woman who wants one. Similar legislation in Oklahoma, Florida and Louisiana has sparked heated condemnations from abortion-rights activists, who have denounced ultrasounds as “burdensome” and “invasive.” This despite the fact that many abortion providers routinely conduct ultrasounds anyway, and the Missouri bill merely stipulates that a pregnant woman be given a chance to see what her doctor or nurse sees: the living, breathing being targeted for abortion.

It is true that viewing an ultrasound can complicate a woman’s decision to abort. Slogans about “my body and my choice” ring a little hollow when you are faced with another body that will be destroyed by your choice. And it’s harder to believe that it’s “just a lump of tissue” when you hear that lump’s heartbeat or see her tiny hands waving at you from the sonogram screen.

But if the vast majority of women choosing abortion are what abortion-rights advocates always say they are — empowered, informed and sufficiently deliberative about the irreversible decision they are about to make — then an optional ultrasound will not tell them anything new or sway them from a choice about which they feel secure.

Of course, there are countless stories of women who, upon hearing their baby’s heartbeat or seeing his blurry ultrasound image, decided to spare his life.  Supporters of informed consent laws see those stories as proof that too many women choose abortion from a position of desperation and vulnerability rather than knowledge and strength.

If they are right, more mothers will discover the humanity of their unborn child, more children will be allowed to live, and more couples hoping to adopt will find a child to love. If they are wrong, women in Missouri will face a minor speed bump on their road to speedy abortions.

Surely that little life peeking out at us from the sonogram screen is worth that much.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch May 06, 2010

Colleen Carroll Campbell is a St. Louis-based author, former presidential speechwriter and television and radio host of “Faith & Culture” on EWTN. Her website is www.colleen-campbell.com.

Poisonous Fruit: Abortion’s Dark Beginnings in Eugenics by Mary Summa, J.D.

In 09 Mary Summa, JD on 2012/02/10 at 9:11 AM

“Frankly, I had thought that at the time [the case]…was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”1

One may think this statement was made by a Supreme Court Justice who sat on the bench in 1927, and was referring to the Buck v. Bell case, which upheld the constitutionality of forcible sterilization.  However, this startling statement was made by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsberg in an interview with the New York Times Magazine on July 7, 2009 in reference to the Roe v. Wade case, which legalized the slaughter of millions of babies, many from, as Justice Ginsberg stated, the low income, at-risk population.

The North Carolina General Assembly is poised to reimburse victims of the State’s Sterilization Program. Certainly, that’s the least that can be done. But make no mistake about it, simply providing restitution to these victims will not close the door on North Carolina’s shameful involvement in the Eugenics Movement. This movement continues today, sanctioned by the General Assembly through legalized abortion—a shameful violation of basic human rights that will be scrutinized by future generations the same way the eugenics movement is being regarded today.

Eugenics and Its Proponents

The American eugenics movement swept across the United States in the first half of the 20th Century. First coined by Sir Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, it describes a belief that the law can be used to “improve” the human population by encouraging people with above-average intelligence to procreate at higher rates, while discouraging or preventing “undesirables” from procreating. Their methods to reduce certain populations from procreating included segregation, sterilization, birth control and abortion.2

The American eugenics movement of the 20th Century captured the imagination of America’s financial and intellectual elite including the Rockefellers, the Kelloggs, the Harrimans and the Carnegies. The Carnegie Institute funded the Station for Experimental Evolution at Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island, beginning in 1904. The Station housed the Eugenics Record Office (ERO), funded with money from the Harriman family. The ERO served as a “policy center for the activities of the organized eugenics movement.”3 The Kellogg family started the Race Betterment Society. The Rockefellers started the Population Council, a promoter of eugenics disguised as population control.4

Harry Laughlin, the Superintendent of the ERO, was among the most effective American eugenicists. He dedicated his efforts to the eradication of people “generating the most social costs, those confined to institutions and recipients of welfare programs.”5

In 1914, Laughlin published the Model Eugenical Sterilization Law. The 1924 Virginia Eugenics law, modeled after Laughlin’s, was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1927 in the case Buck v. Bell.6

American eugenicists sought legal enforcement of their agenda, and eugenics proponents scored their first victory in 1907 with the passage of a law allowing forced sterilization in Indiana. By 1935, all but 13 states, including North Carolina, had sterilization laws in effect or had bills pending in state legislatures.7 In total, 31 states enacted compulsory sterilization laws and the majority remaining in effect until at least the mid-1960s.8

In the 1940s and 50s, the media exposed the link between the Nazi Regime’s eugenics programs and the U.S.’s sterilization programs, and states began repealing sterilization laws. Still, however, eugenicists did not abandon their cause. They simply cast their movement in a more favorable light. Funded with Rockefeller money, the movement was rebranded as a population control program, and in 1952, they founded the Population Council.9 The Population Council’s objective was clear—through legal reforms, curtail population growth and preserve the “quality” of the population.10

North Carolina’s Sterilization Program

North Carolina’s entrance onto the eugenics stage can be described as tepid at best. In 1919 North Carolina became one of the first southern states to enact a compulsory sterilization law.11 Concerns about the law’s constitutionality, however, temporarily kept the statute from being implemented.12

For a few years, North Carolina seemed to lose its penchant for forced sterilization. However, the 1927 Supreme Court case, Buck v. Bell, which found Virginia’s sterilization law constitutional, seemed to breathe new life into North Carolina’s enthusiasm for the movement. Just two years later, in 1929, North Carolina enacted a second eugenics law, authorizing the forced sterilization of institutionalized citizens without a hearing and without a right to appeal. In all, 49 people were sterilized under this law before it was found unconstitutional13 by the N.C. Supreme Court in 1933.14

Undaunted in its mission to “free” the state of the “unfit,” the General Assembly passed a new law in 1933, which addressed the constitutional deficiencies of the 1929 law and established an Eugenics Board.15 The Eugenics Board approved over 90 percent of those individuals recommended for sterilizations by doctors and social workers.16 During the Depression years, however, the Board was forced to keep sterilizations at a minimum because of a lack of funds.

Targeting the “Unfit”

Almost simultaneously with the upstart of the sterilization programs, North Carolina officials expanded their assault on the “unfit” with birth control funded by a member of the country’s financial elite. Dr. Clarence Gamble, of the Proctor & Gamble soap fortune, came to North Carolina almost by happenstance. An avid eugenicist, Gamble was spending his fortune supplying birth control supplies to  the natives of an island off the Florida coast. The nurse in charge of the program, Frances Pratt, longed to return to her native North Carolina, and convinced Gamble to approach the state about a birth control program here. In his proposal to the state, Gamble offered to fund a project to provide contraception to poor citizens by providing the supplies and the nurse, Miss Pratt. The program would be under the umbrella of the State Public Health Department.The officials at the State Public Health Department jumped at the chance. In March 1933, North Carolina became the first state in the country to sponsor a health department birth control program.17

Gamble’s money was quickly used to expand birth control clinics across the state. In 1933, there were only three private clinics in the state. Five years later, the state had created 56, and by mid- 1939, according to one source, 62 birth control clinics existed in the State, second only to New York. Gamble’s “success” in establishing clinics is particularly startling when one considers that North Carolina housed 13 percent of the country’s birth control clinics with only three percent of the nation’s population.18

It cannot be denied that these clinics operated for the purpose of advancing eugenics. Despite his claim that he was concerned about the population he targeted—the poor, ignorant, “unfit”—Gamble resisted attempts to expand health services beyond contraception. According to James Miller of the Population Institute, Gamble clashed with the South Carolina Public Health Director when the suggestion was made that he expand his services to other health services. Bristling at the suggestion, Gamble reportedly wrote Margaret Sanger that he did not want his financial contribution, “diluted with a lot of general health work.”19

After four years, Gamble withdrew his funding because of the low participation rates around the State. Nonetheless, the venture reaped dividends for Gamble. It had provided a state-wide laboratory for him to test the efficacy of his preferred contraceptive methods. Furthermore, the project produced respectability for birth control as an eugenics tool within the State and gave him personal respectability as an eugenics proponent.20

Gamble’s interest in North Carolina and eugenics did not end with his contraceptive experiments in the State. In 1947, he joined forces with James G. Hanes, the Winston-Salem hosiery tycoon, and Dr. C. Nash Herndon, a renowned geneticist at Bowman Gray Medical School, among others, to found the Human Betterment League of North Carolina. Reportedly, Gamble provided $5,000 in seed money. In later years, Gamble continued to donate generously to the Society. Indeed, according to the Winston-Salem Journal, one year he funded most of the sterilizations in Orange County.21 According to the Population Institute, Gamble became the organization’s biggest contributor.22

The Human Betterment League of North Carolina was just what the fledgling State sterilization program needed. Sterilizations had peaked at 202 in 1938 and fallen to 117 in 1945.23 The League brought political clout, legitimacy, and national recognition to the Eugenics Board that it had not previously enjoyed. The League also brought money and a massive publicity campaign and created almost a witch-hunt atmosphere against the “unfit,” expanding the net to include those “unfit for parenthood.”24 In 1963 alone, nearly one-half of the sterilizations nationwide were performed in North Carolina.25

In 1968, six years before the last sterilization in North Carolina, one researcher from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research described the State’s policy as “the most systematic program in the country.”26 Concerns about the rising costs of welfare for unwed African-American mothers prompted state officials to target efforts toward that population. After 1950, African-American blacks were sterilized at a higher rate than whites, leaving some to conclude that sterilizations in North Carolina became more about racism than about eugenics.27 The last sterilization in North Carolina occurred in 1974. The Eugenics Board of North Carolina was abolished in 1977. The remaining involuntary sterilization laws were repealed in 2003.

An Unholy Trinity

As the eugenics movement in America grew, prominent eugenicists began to pool their resources and efforts. While financially linked to sterilization, Gamble continued to expand his influence with his eugenics-driven birth control programs. In 1947, he began working with his long-time friend Margaret Sanger.

An avid eugenicist herself, Sanger sought extermination of the “unfit” through birth control, rather than sterilization. In 1923, she opened the American Birth Control League (ABCL) whose mission was to abolish the federal Comstock Law, a law that prohibited the creation, importation, or mailing of drugs, devices, or articles that prevented conception or caused abortion. In her book, The Pivot of Civilization, Sanger revealed her disdain for the poor by characterizing the poor as “dead weight of human waste,” and charity as a means to “render them [the poor] to a menacing degree dominant.”28  Furthermore, the ABCL’s Board of Directors was dominated by well-known eugenicists, including Harry Laughlin.29

In 1939, the ABCL was reconstituted into the Birth Control Federation of America (BCFA), and the racial targeting of the eugenics movement through birth control became apparent. In 1943, the ABCL changed its name for a final time and became Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) with its initial offices housed in the offices of the American Eugenics Society.

Gamble had previously served as an at-large director for the ABCL. He then became the organization’s regional director for the South in 1947. Gamble quickly brought suggestions to the Board regarding Sanger’s “Negro Project,” an initiative with the objective to reduce the procreation of African-Americans in the South.

Abortion as Eugenics

By the 1960s, the Rockefeller family was chin deep in the eugenics movement, under the guise of population control. As part of their efforts, they funded the development of the American Law Institute’s Model Penal Code. Understanding that state abortion laws could not be overturned overnight, proponents of legalized abortion used the Penal Code as a vehicle to liberalize abortion laws state by state.30

The Model Penal Code smacked of eugenics in that it allowed for abortions in cases of mental or physical deficiencies in the mother or the child. Furthermore, it allowed for the abortion of healthy babies in cases of rape or incest. More radical eugenicists advocated unrestricted abortion.31

Understanding the mindset of North Carolina’s power brokers in the 1960s, it is easy to understand how the State was ripe-for-the-picking by those advocating abortion. The state was a “true believer” of the eugenics movement and despite eugenics’ association with the Holocaust, North Carolina never flinched, even once, as to the righteousness of the cause. North Carolina had associated herself with nationally known eugenicists with deep pockets, revealing her willingness to use just about any means possible to exterminate the “undesirables.”

In 1967, the General Assembly adopted the Rockefeller-funded Eugenics Abortion Law, becoming one of the first three states in the country to do so. The radical eugenicists did not need to wait long for unrestricted abortion nationwide. In 1973, the United States Supreme Court delivered two decisions, Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, which made unrestricted abortion legal nationwide. Today, 85-90 percent of babies with Downs Syndrome are aborted.32 African-American babies are being aborted at the highest rate in the country and four times that of white babies.33 What eugenicists originally sought with sterilization, they are accomplishing with abortion.

In the wake of the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions, many states began scrambling for ways to protect the unborn and limit abortion. In North Carolina, however, fortified with the same callous disregard for human life it had exhibited with the sterilization program, the General Assembly underscored its support for abortion. Subsequently, the General Assembly amended its abortion statute to mimic the protections of Roe. Although legally unnecessary, the majority of the General Assembly made it clear that it supported the termination of innocent human life all nine months of pregnancy for any reason, with or without Roe v. Wade.

The spirit of the decade was best illustrated by a 1976 court decision, two years after North Carolina’s last sterilization. In In re Moore,34 the justices found the forced sterilization of the mentally handicapped constitutional. The majority’s total disregard for all human life, not just those exposed to forced sterilization, became crystal clear: “The interest of the unborn child is sufficient to warrant sterilization of a retarded individual … The people of North Carolina … have a right to prevent the procreation of children who will become a burden on the State.”

Undoing Wrongs

It must be difficult for North Carolina to let go of its dark past. Despite dozens of bills having been introduced in the North Carolina General Assembly to restrict abortion, very few have ever even been given a hearing, until this past legislative session when the General Assembly enacted three pro-life bills—including one to guarantee that women seeking abortion are given vital information about the baby and the abortion procedure, the risks involved, and contemplation time before the abortion is performed. Despite these victories—the Woman’s Right to Know Act, coupled with previously enacted laws restricting public funding and requiring parental consent (weakened by the court), North Carolina has a long way to go if she wants to shed her eugenics past.

Championing Liberty

Man is made in the image and likeness of God. Because of this special status, man is given special dignity and inherent rights by a gracious God, including the right to life and the right to liberty. In a free society, the government cannot participate in or even condone the infringement of these rights. It must protect them, and be a servant to the people, instead of attempting to be their master. The founding fathers recognized these principles; these are the bedrock principles upon which they built the foundation of this republic.

Between 1929 and 1974, North Carolina shamefully stole the fundamental right to liberty from its most vulnerable citizens. Government officials sterilized them by the thousands, in an attempt to rid the State of the “unfit.” Eight years before the door was closed on that horrible chapter in State history, another chapter opened, with the authorized wholesale slaughter of the most innocent of human life. A woman’s right to “choice” did not spawn legal abortion. Eugenics did.

G.K. Chesterton, an outspoken opponent of eugenics,35 once wrote: “Unless a man becomes the enemy of an evil, he will not even become its slave but rather its champion.”36 If North Carolina is to be restored to being a State that cherishes freedom, it must do more than provide restitution for sterilization victims, as noble as that gesture is. North Carolinians must elect statesmen, not politicians, at every level of government who understand the inherent right to life, and who will fight to ban abortion in this State and across this nation. If not, such demonstrated ambivalence will continue to champion eugenics, an evil all should despise.

Mary Summa, J.D., is an attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina, who served as Chief Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Jesse Helms during the 1980s. For a footnoted version of  this article, please visit ncfamily.org.

Re-printed with permission from the NORTH CAROLINA FAMILY COUNCIL MAGAZINE PUBLICATION.

“Poisonous Fruit:  Eugenics and Abortion.”  Family NC.  Winter 2012.

Respect For Life by Fr. Reid

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2012/01/21 at 9:11 AM

• Before Jesus died, He founded a church on earth. And history bears witness to the fact that the church founded by Christ Himself is none other than the Catholic Church.

• And we know by faith that the full revelation of Christ’s truth has been entrusted to and preserved whole and entire by the Catholic Church. Vatican II teaches that while all churches and faith communities possess some share of the truth, only the Catholic Church possesses the fullness of truth.

• This fullness of truth was first given by Jesus Christ to the apostles, and it has been systematically handed down from generation to generation and enshrined in our teachings, beliefs and in our liturgies and safeguarded by the Holy Spirit.

• This is what we believe as Catholics.

• And the truth of Catholic teaching is evident in the fact that our teaching is unchanging. While some teachings have developed and been further defined over the years, we still believe today what we believed 2000 years ago.

• Therefore, as Catholics we must be willing to speak out when it comes to truth. As St. Paul reminds us today, “God did not give [us] a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self‐control.”

• Thus, we must “not be ashamed of [our] testimony to our Lord,” but we should “bear [our] share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.”

• And never is this more important than when it comes to issues that concern human dignity and human life.

• On Respect Life Sunday generally every year priests preach about the horrors of abortion, human cloning, euthanasia, or embryonic stem cell research – all of the major threats to life.

• These are difficult topics because they’re highly politicized in our country, and opinions on these issues – even among practicing Catholics – tend to vary and to be emotionally charged.

• And these aren’t even all the Pro‐Life issues. There are other threats to the dignity of human life in the realm of sexual ethics. Issues like contraception and family planning and same‐sex unions also have implications for the dignity of human life.

• Of course, I think we all know where the Church stands on each of these issues. The Church has always been constant in opposing abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, same‐sex unions, and contraception because of the threats they pose.

• In fact, the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church is the only institution that is constant in her opposition to all threats to human life and human dignity.

• Today I want to encourage you to courageously proclaim the truth of our Catholic beliefs, most especially when it comes to human dignity and human life.

• To do this, we must first understand both the philosophical and the spiritual issues that are at stake.

• I realize that for many people it is a difficult thing to believe and practice everything the Church teaches, especially when it comes to sexual ethics. And many Catholics struggle with or disagree with at least one of these pro‐life issues.

• But with issues that are as important as these, we must not simply allow our emotions to hold sway, nor must we allow ourselves to be formed by the liberal media and societal trends. We need to study these issues rationally, intellectually, and philosophically.

• It doesn’t matter what various states and countries choose to legalize. The legalization of an immoral act does not make it any less immoral.

• The basic reasoning behind the Church’s stance on any of these issues is derived from an understanding of human dignity.

• As Catholics we believe that each person is a special gift. Each of us is created in God’s own image and likeness. We are living images of the almighty Himself. And while we are all created in His image and likeness, we are all unique.

• While fully human, we were created with a divine purpose in mind. Specifically, we were created for eternal union with God! We also have intelligence and free will.

• Therefore, we have a particular dignity that other forms of life do not have. And all of us are “good” because of how we’re created. Each human life shows forth God’s goodness in a unique way.

• Thus, our faith teaches that human life in all its forms, from conception to natural death, must be respected for the unique gift it is. It makes no difference if a person is old and sick and dying or not even born yet. All human life possesses this special dignity, and therefore all human life is sacred.

• Because all life is sacred, the marital act by which life is created is also sacred, and therefore it is not to be misused. Moreover, the marital act has two purposes: first, the creation of new life; the other: for couples to grow in unity and holiness.

• Whenever we intentionally close this act to the possibility of life through contraception, sterilization, or aberrant or unnatural behavior, we change the nature of the act and rob the act of its inherent beauty, dignity, and sacredness.

• Moreover, when we use our God‐given freedom to destroy human life or misuse the gift of procreation, we rob ourselves and others of our God‐given dignity, and worse yet, we place ourselves at enmity with God. We separate ourselves from Him in a grave way.

• It is for these reasons that the Church teaches as She does on all of these issues.

• Spiritually speaking, at the root of all these threats to human life and human dignity are two terrible sins: pride and selfishness.

• It is a blinding pride that makes us believe that we know better than the Church, who was founded by Christ and whose teachings are safeguarded by the Holy Spirit. And it is wicked selfishness that induces us to pervert and misuse the marital act simply for our own pleasure.

• It is a monstrous pride that makes us believe that we can arrogate to ourselves the power of creating and destroying human life. It is the most insidious form of selfishness to kill an unborn baby because we fear the responsibilities of parenthood or simply find the child inconvenient.

• To be truly pro‐life, we must not only accept the Church’s teachings but also seek to be free from these forms of pride and selfishness. We must be humble enough to accept that all human life is a gift from God and therefore cannot be exterminated out of convenience.

• We must be humble enough to recognize that human sexuality is also a gift from God, that it comes with serious responsibility, and it is not to be misused for our own selfish reasons.

• And we must be generous: generous with our money to help those organizations that help promote a culture of life; generous with our time in praying for and working for pro‐life causes.

• And if we’re married and of child‐bearing age, we must ultimately be generous with our fertility. Having a large family is one of the best ways to witness to our Catholic beliefs on marriage and family life, and I think it’s wonderful that we have so many large families in our parish.

• My dear friends let us seek to defend and protect all human life by courageously proclaiming the truths of our Catholic faith, which alone can defeat the culture of death that so afflicts our society.

• Let us free ourselves from that pride and selfishness that hinder us from promoting a culture of life. And let us trust that our Lord will help us in this battle against the gravest evils in our society. May Jesus Christ be praised, now and forever. Amen.

Copyright 2010 by Reverend Timothy S. Reid

Reverend Reid is pastor of St. Ann’s Catholic  Church in Charlotte, NC

The Major Threats to Life

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2011/10/08 at 1:00 AM

While there are many topics that can be included under the banner of “threats to life,” there are two right now that stand out as the most dangerous to our society: abortion and same-sex unions.

Of course when it comes to abortion, it’s very easy to see why this is a threat to life. The good news is that an increasing number of Americans believe that abortion is wrong in every circumstance, and abortions are decreasing in our country.

Some states like our own are now enacting stricter abortion laws, and many abortion mills in the U.S. are experiencing financial difficulties. These are all reasons for us to be optimistic.

But the war on abortion is far from over, and as a Pro-Life community we must keep up the pressure through programs such as 40 Days for Life and by voting only for pro-life politicians.

Why same-sex unions are a threat to life, however, is not as easy to understand. And sadly, Americans are increasingly relaxing their attitudes toward this grave evil.

Before I go any further on this topic, I want to make it absolutely clear that the Church makes a distinction between those who suffer from same-sex attraction and homosexual acts. Certainly the Church teaches us to love the sinner yet hate the sin.

Experiencing same sex attraction is a disorder, but it’s not a sin. To be sure, there are many types of disordered attractions that humanity is subject to. But acting on this disordered attraction and engaging in homosexual activity is always gravely sinful.

Same sex unions are a threat to life because they change and pervert the very act by which new life is created. And they are a threat to our society because they undermines God’s plan for the family, which is the very building block of our society.

As Catholics we know that all human life is sacred because we are created in Gods’ image and likeness, and thus the act by which life is created is also sacred and is not to be misused.

When we use our free will to misuse the gift of procreation, we rob ourselves and others of our God-given human dignity. We become less than who we are called to be.

You see, the conjugal act is sacred and holy only when directed towards its purposes established by God: first, for the procreation and education of children, and second for mutual up building in love of a married couple joined together in a permanent covenantal relationship. Any conjugal act that is not open to these two purposes is intrinsically evil.

The very first chapter of the Bibles teaches us that: “God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27). God did not make them male and male, but male and female.

Thus, this passage teaches us that there is a necessary complementarity that must exist in the marital union, a complementarity that can only exist between a male and female.

The next verse continues: “God blessed them, saying: ‘Be fertile and multiply.’” Because they lack the complementarity necessary for true union, homosexual unions are not fertile and cannot multiply, and therefore they can never be open to the gift of life.

To the contrary, homosexual unions distort the marital act, destroying the procreative aspect of it as well as the unitive good, for love not rooted in Truth is not authentic love.

By legalizing same sex unions, we are not only consenting to grave sin as a society, but we are also changing the God-given nature of marriage. Salvation history teaches us that when we willfully turn away from God’s will, we set ourselves up for disaster.

Therefore, contrary to all the rhetoric we hear from the media, banning same sex unions is not a discriminatory act. It’s preventing the legalization of evil. It’s not a matter of denying someone happiness; it’s a matter of trying to save souls.

While I could talk for hours on the evils of abortion and same-sex unions, there is one evil that underlies and makes possible an acceptance of both abortion and same sex unions, and thus, it’s important to address this topic too. This root evil that has produced the rotten fruits of abortion and same sex unions is contraception.

Again, as with abortion and same sex unions, I have no intention of judging or condemning anyone who is caught up in this sin or has been in the past.

I know that many of you here right now are probably a bit uncomfortable. Well, I’ll tell you a secret: I’m uncomfortable too! Honestly, I don’t like talking about these topics. But considering the state of our society today, I can’t not talk about these things.

So I stand here today as both your spiritual father and your brother in Christ – as someone who loves you. And because I love you, I want you to have a fuller understanding of why these issues are evil so that you can make a more informed decision about them.

As I’ve said so many times before, truth is objective. It’s real and independent of us whether we like it or not. We don’t determine truth for ourselves. It simply is. And part of cooperating with God’s salvific grace is conforming our lives to Him Who is Truth!

In the parable of the landowner and tenants, Jesus tells us today of the consequences awaiting those who refuse to follow God’s will, and who instead do violence to those who represent Him: they do not inherit the Kingdom of God.

As Catholics, we are blessed that the fullness of truth has been revealed for us in Jesus Christ, who has enshrined this fullness of truth in the teachings of His Catholic Church.

As for contraception, we know that it is evil because it willfully sterilizes the marital act. By willfully eliminating the possibility of procreation, it distorts the purpose of the marital act.

By its nature marital love is meant to be fruitful and boundless. It’s like an intimate language in which spouses speak to one another and say: “I give myself to you fully.” When couples use contraception, it’s as if they are lying to each other when they engage in marital intimacy.

By contracepting we make the conjugal act something less than it was intended to be, and we take God out of the picture. This is why the Church teaches that using contraception is intrinsically evil and gravely sinful.

In essence contraception makes couples the arbiters of God’s plan for life rather than the servants of that plan. It’s an inherently selfish act and a refusal to accept the responsibilities that come with marital love. It’s a refusal of the fullness of marital love.

More than anything else, it is the widespread acceptance of contraception in western society that has led to the ill-begotten belief that the marital act can be about something other than the procreation of children. This is a terrible lie that has led to terrible consequences for us.

Pope Paul VI predicted that with the widespread use of contraception, there would be a general increase in promiscuity, adultery, and illegitimate births, as well as an increased divorce rate and the eventual acceptance and proliferation of abortion. Sadly, he was right.

This is because contraception teaches us that we can engage in the conjugal act without love and responsibility. It teaches us that we can use each other for our own gratification without consequence. This same mindset of using the conjugal act for our own selfish ends is now leading to an acceptance of same sex unions.

My brothers and sisters, look around at our society. We are drowning in an ocean of disordered sexuality. Every form of sexual perversion and impropriety is readily accepted and defended in our society as long as the people involved are consenting adults.

But we are mocking that which is sacred in God’s eyes. We mock God Himself. And it’s time that we Catholics fully embrace our faith and say “ENOUGH!” It’s high time that we rise up, speak out, and defend our society from these evils that are afflicting us.

I know that having children can be a scary proposition, and it’s often because of this that people turn to abortion and birth control. I also understand that embracing a life of celibate chastity can be lonely, which may lead those with same sex attractions to sinful unions.

But please remember that you will never find the peace and freedom we all desire apart from God’s will. And engaging in these evils is never part of God’s will for any of us.

Let us pray today for the courage not only to follow God’s will in all of these matters, but also to speak up and make these truths known for the good of our country.

10/2/11   Reverend Reid is pastor of St. Ann’s Catholic  Church in Charlotte, NC