July 10, 2002
From Ancient Times
Abortion was present
even in ancient times. Under Roman rule "[n]ot only [was] … abortion
permitted; [but also] infanticide. The shriveled remains of exposed
babies could be found in every countryside of the [Roman] Empire…"2
Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun referred to this culture in
Roe v. Wade: "Greek and Roman law afforded little protection to
the unborn … Ancient religion did not bar abortion."3
Limited records indicate
that early Americans used abortion as well. "Solid statistics concerning
early abortion and unwed pregnancy are unavailable," Dr. Marvin
Olasky writes in Abortion Rites: A Social History of Abortion in
America, "but I have looked at enough pre-1800 records of infanticide
and abortion to see a pattern." Samplings of those records include
a 1648 execution for infanticide in Massachusetts, a 1652 conviction
for intention to abort in Maryland, abortifacient use in the 1680s,
and a 1719 murder of a newborn in New York. Additionally, in a study
of colonial Massachusetts records, only about 2 percent of all children
were illegitimate, yet 90 percent of murdered newborns were illegitimate.4
But overall, in America’s
early years abortion was recognized as a negative phenomenon and
an attack on human life. To combat this, early American colonies
adopted laws drawn from English common law, which declared abortion
prior to quickening (feeling life) a misdemeanor, and after quickening
a felony. In 1869, the British Parliament passed the "Offenses Against
the Persons Act." It pushed the felony punishment back to fertilization—the
point at which scientific evidence proved life begins. During the
same time period, every existing state passed its own law against
Foundations for the
As the legal system
increasingly recognized the sanctity of life in the 19th century,
philosopher Thomas Malthus developed his theories on population
growth and economic stability. He took a very different perspective.
In An Essay on the Principle of Population, Malthus wrote: "All
children born, beyond what would be required to keep up the population
to a desired level, must necessarily perish … we should facilitate
… the operations of nature in producing this mortality."6
Margaret Sanger was an
avid follower of Malthus. She embraced his view that the weak should
be purged from society to maintain order. "The most merciful thing
a large family can do to one of its members is to kill it." —Margaret
Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood7 In The Pivot of Civilization,
she "unashamedly called for the elimination of ‘human weeds,’ for
the cessation of charity, for the segregation of ‘morons, misfits,
and the maladjusted’ and for the sterilization of ‘genetically inferior
races.’"8 Sanger also endorsed the euthanasia, sterilization, abortion
and infanticide programs of Hitler’s Third Reich.9
"The most merciful
thing a large family can do to one of its members is to kill
Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood7
In 1916, Sanger founded
the Planned Parenthood Federation of America—which called for legalized
abortion. Her anti-family, pro-promiscuity, pro-contraceptive and
pro-abortion views slowly grew in popularity and acceptance throughout
the first half of the century.
In 1939, Sanger outlined
her plan to eliminate the Black community. She argued that:
The most successful,
educational appeal to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We
do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro
population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that
idea if it ever occurs to any of their rebellious members.10
Throughout the 20th century,
Planned Parenthood gained ground, and Alfred Kinsey’s fraudulent
theories on human sexuality afforded legitimacy to Planned Parenthood
and its allies. Kinsey’s studies, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male
and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, were published in 1948
and 1953 respectively.
Kinsey argued that children
are sexual from birth, and he "proved" his theory through data gathered
during the systematic sexual abuse of children. Not only was Kinsey
a "sadomasochistic homosexual on a perverted mission," he also advocated
an "amoral new order—possible only if human life is unhinged from
the divine." Kinsey promoted, with the "fraudulent data of his ‘studies,’
the abandonment of absolutes in the social or juridical reasoning
of America’s Judeo-Christian moral system."11
Together, the agendas
of Malthus, Sanger, Kinsey—and other militant pro-abortion groups
such as the National Association for Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL)12
and the Population Council—slowly permeated American culture and
led to the Supreme Court’s fateful decision in 1973.
The Decision that
Changed a Nation
Although abortion spans
history, the 20th century response is unique. Now, not only does
the government allow abortion, it has placed its stamp of approval
on the practice of killing the unborn. It has allowed a largely
unregulated industry to be built upon the premise that life in the
womb has no value.
n 1955, Planned Parenthood
held a secret abortion conference,13 which declared war against
the "epidemic" of "back-alley" abortions. It claimed that thousands
of women were dying from botched abortions occurring on the black
market. And the only way to save women’s lives was to decriminalize
Dr. Melvin Schwartz,
an early abortion-rights proponent, strove to further the cause
by advocating the removal of moral considerations from the medical
field. In an editorial urging Missouri to decriminalize abortion,
The decision should
be a medical one … In Missouri we live under many antiquated laws
written by non-medical zealots who have confused medical necessity
with their own interpretation of the moral values of the day. The
result of the decision can have a tremendous effect on the physical
and psychological well-being of the pregnant woman involved. The
decision is … not theological—not political.15
Lobbying efforts by pro-abortion
groups began to gain ground in the late 1960s and early 1970s. By
April 1970, one-fifth of the states had approved measures allowing
abortion—in extreme conditions only. However, New York, California,
Hawaii and Alaska had more liberal laws. In fact, California’s loose
interpretation of "mental health" essentially allowed abortion-on-demand.16
"Our nationwide policy of abortion-on-demand through all nine months
of pregnancy was neither voted on by our people nor enacted by our
legislators." —President Ronald Reagan, Abortion & the Conscience
of the Nation, 1984.
In 1973, the U.S. Supreme
Court handed down its Roe v. Wade decision. The woman at the center
of the lawsuit, Norma McCorvey ("Jane Roe"), had challenged Texas’
abortion law in 1969. At the time, she was pregnant and wanted an
abortion—which was illegal. According to McCorvey, political opportunists
grabbed hold of her case in an effort to further their pro-abortion
policy of abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy
was neither voted on by our people nor enacted by our legislators."
—President Ronald Reagan, Abortion & the Conscience of the
The court’s decision
in Roe’s favor rested on two premises: a woman’s "right to privacy,"
and the belief that the beginning of life cannot be pinpointed.
Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun wrote the majority decision
in Roe v. Wade, stating, "We need not resolve the difficult question
of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines
of medicine, philosophy and theology are unable to arrive at any
consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s
knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer."18
One observer wrote, "The
Court’s majority dismissed the living individual within the womb
as ‘potential’ life, worthy of the ‘interest’ of the state but meriting
no protection from it … In other words, under Roe a developing child
may be killed at any point in the pregnancy, since the child is
not recognized as a ‘person’ by the Supreme Court."19
Roe v. Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade, Jan. 22, 1973:
that the 14th Amendment guarantees a woman's "right to privacy";
held that the fetus is not a person and the decision to abort
should be left up to a woman and her doctor.
Doe v. Georgia Attorney General Arthur K. Bolton, Jan. 22,
1973: Restricted the scope of permissible state regulation
and overturned a law requiring abortions to be performed only
in hospitals. Abortion could be performed "in light of all
factors-physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and
the woman's age-relevant to the well being of the patient
[mother]. All these factors may relate to health." 21
Parenthood v. Missouri Attorney General John C. Danforth,
July 1, 1976:
Declared it unconstitutional to require doctors to exercise
care to preserve fetal life; overturned a ban on saline abortions
and a law which required a husband's consent to abortion.
Social Services Commissioner Edward W. Maher v. Susan Roe,
June 20, 1977:
Declared that Medicaid should not pay for nontherapeutic elective
abortions because the state has a legitimate interest in protecting
Health and Human Services Secretary Patricia R. Harris v.
Cora McRae, June 30, 1980:
Stated that states are not obliged to fund "medically necessary"
abortions for which federal funds are blocked by the Hyde
amendment-also upheld as constitutional.
Attorney General William L. Webster v. Reproductive Health
Services, July 3, 1989:
Upheld Missouri's ban on using state facilities or employees
to perform elective nontherapeutic abortions, as well as a
requirement for medical tests to determine a fetus' viability.
Parenthood v. Pennsylvania Gov. Robert P. Casey, June 29,
Court accepted a 24-hour waiting period, informed consent
guidelines and parental consent in some cases. "It essentially
… adopted a new 'liberty' standard. The above restrictions
would not apply if they 'unduly burdened' her right to abortion."
Roe placed the
Court’s stamp of approval on "abortion-on-demand" throughout all
nine months of pregnancy. Supposedly, abortion would become "safe
and rare" because women would no longer die from "back-alley" abortions.
The Legacy of Roe
In the more than 26
years since that Supreme Court decision, the phrase "rare abortion"
has become a mockery. Over thirty-five million abortions have been
recorded.23 Original restrictions—such as limiting abortions in
the second and third trimesters—have disappeared altogether. Further,
one out of every three children conceived in America since 1972
has died a brutal death through abortion—more than six times the
number of Jews that Adolf Hitler put to death in his Nazi concentration
In addition, 45 percent
of abortions in the U.S. in 1995 were repeats.25 Even the pro-abortion
Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI) admits that the "reasons women give
for having abortions include that they have had all the children
they want, they want to delay the next birth, … they are estranged
from or on uneasy terms with their sexual partner, and they do not
want a child while they are in school or working."26 Essentially,
these elective abortions demonstrate that they use abortion as birth
Today, a misguided "abortion
rights" mentality pervades America. Women demand their "right to
choose." Americans recoil at even perceived restrictions on their
freedom, so abortion advocates’ rallying cry of "rights" resonates
throughout the country. Shirley Spitz, a supporter of abortion-on-demand,
states, "Without freedom, women will always be shackled; we will
always be second-class citizens."27
By calling themselves
"pro-choice," feminists avoid the label "pro-abortion" and manage
to dodge the real issue. In his book, When Choice Becomes God, F.
LaGard Smith asks, "Could it be that, deep down, feminists know
they would lose the battle if it were fought on the turf of basic
morality, and that the childlike response ‘But I want to do it!’
is all they can legitimately cling to?"28
The U.S. Supreme Court
has made a "right to abortion" the judicially created "law" of this
land. But there is a law of nature and of nature’s God that supersedes
even the Supreme Court. This law attests to the value and sanctity
of life. Can one person’s right to do anything take precedence
over another’s most basic right to live? The answer is obvious.
Today, clashes between
the "pro-life" and "pro-choice" sides regularly capture the headlines.
The debate over this issue has left our nation deeply divided. But
when the last words of eloquent rhetoric are spoken, one must acknowledge
that the conflict over abortion is about pitting a mother against
her child. In the cacophony of voices arguing over "rights," the
quiet consciences of those who stand for the sanctity of all life
understand this is an assault on the most vulnerable—those who are
too weak to defend their rights—as well as an exploitation of women.
1.Cheryl Wetzstein, "Ex-'Jane
Roe' says her abortion case was based on lies," The Washington
Times, 22 January 1998, A7.
2.Joseph Sobran, "Commemorating
you-know-who," Conservative Chronicle, 24 December 1997,
3.Francis A. Schaeffer,
The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer: A Christian Worldview,
Volume Five, A Christian View of the West (Westchester, IL: Crossway
Books, 1982), 308.
4.Marvin Olasky, Abortion
Rites: A Social History of Abortion in America (Wheaton,
IL: Crossway Books, 1992), 26.
5.Dr. and Mrs. J.C. Willke,
Why Can't We Love them Both (Cincinnati, OH: Hayes Publishing
Company, 1997), 28.
6.George Grant, Grand
Illusions: The Legacy of Planned Parenthood (Franklin, TN:
Adroit Press, 1992), 51.
7.William F. Jasper,
"Calling the shots," The New American, 19 January 1998, 27.
10."Who was Margaret
Sanger?" (Stafford, VA: American Life League, 1996).
11.Col. Ronald D. Ray,
USMC (Ret.), "Kinsey's Legal Legacy," The New American, 19
January 1998, 31.
12.Today, NARAL is known
as the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League.
13.Leslie J. Reagan,
When Abortion Was a Crime (Berkeley, CA: University of California
Press, 1997) as cited in Christina Dunigan, "Notable Abortion Dates
in the 20th Century: The Transition Period: 1950-1970," About.com,
15.Cynthia Gorney, Articles
of Faith: A Frontline History of the Abortion Wars (New York:
Simon & Schuster, 1998), 29.
18.Roe v. Wade,
410 U.S. 113 (1973).
19.William Norman Grigg,
"License to Kill," The New American, 19 January 1998, 11.
20.Frank J. Murray, "Birth
of a battle," The Washington Times, 21 January 1998, A3.
21.Doe v. Bolton,
22.U.S. Supreme Court,
No. 70-40, IV, January 1973, 11, as cited in Willke, 34. U.S. Supreme
Court, 29 June 1992, Planned Parenthood of S.E. PA v. Casey No.
91-744 and 91-902, as cited in Willke, 41.
23.Jeff Jacoby, "What
hath Roe wrought in the intervening years?" The Washington Times,
22 January 1998, A1.
24.L. Brent Bozell III,
"Assaults on valued beliefs," The Washington Times, 27 January
25.S. Henshaw et al.,
"Abortion Characteristics, 1994-95," Family Planning Perspectives
28, no. 4 (July 1996): 143, as cited in Willke, 113.
26.AGI, "Facts in Brief:
Induced Abortion Worldwide," May 1999.
"A Continual Call for Women's 'Freedom,'" The Washington Post,
21 January 1998, B3.
28.F. LaGard Smith, When
Choice Becomes God (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1990),
79. Contributing writers: Jessica Wadkins, Trudy Chun, Catherina
July 10, 2002
Ed Szymkowiak thought
that this article deserved wide distribution. It concerns the destructive
consequences of pro-lifers holding a "neutral" stance on contraception.
(If you are interested of course.)
This column was recently
published in the Nov./Dec. issue of Celebrate Life.
God Bless, Patrick Delaney
American Life League,
PO Box 1350, Stafford, VA 22555
The National Right to
Life Committee: Coddling Contraception The exceptional consequences
of zealous indifference
By Patrick Delaney, M.
As destructive floods
can begin with a crack in the dam, vast social evils usually begin
with a rationalized exception. Breaking with 1900 years of consistent
moral teaching in all of Christianity, the 1930 Lambeth Conference
of the Anglican Church was the first to approve the use of contraception
for married couples in extraordinary circumstances. Today, contraceptive
safe sex, with all its tragic social consequences, has risen to
the cultural status of a cardinal virtue.
Possibly the most fatal
problem in the pro-life movement today is the refusal to admit the
connection between contraception and abortion.
Planned Parenthood founder
Margaret Sanger campaigned for 51 years to accomplish a moral and
legal acceptance of contraceptives. Once the Supreme Court sanctioned
the full legality of birth control in the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut
decision, it took only eight more years for the 1973 Roe and Doe
cases -- fully sanctioning legal abortion -- to logically follow.
In the 1992 Supreme Court
decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the court makes this connection
clear. Very rationally the court observed the abortion decision
is of the same character as the decision to use contraception for
two decades people have organized intimate relationships on the
availability of abortion in the event that contraception should
Birth control creates
a mentality of viewing babies as unwanted, and implicitly authorizes
sexual promiscuity through the abandonment of self-control. Having
adopted this most unnatural new and perverted ideology, sex educators
continue to indoctrinate young people into believing that habitual
promiscuity, controlled reproduction, and abortion are a normal
way of life. When these new lifestyles happen to produce a baby,
the disposition of the parents is already established to reject
that child. A cultural habit of such behavior will inevitably rationalize
and demand legal abortion.
Indeed, a recent study
conducted by the pro-abortion British Pregnancy Advisor Service
found that almost 60% of women requesting abortion claim to have
been using a method of contraception at the time they became pregnant
[and] almost nine of 10 women claimed that they usually used a method
of contraception even if they had not on this occasion. Ian Jones,
chief executive of BPAS, admits, Abortion is an essential support
to other family planning services.
This contraceptive trap
is so efficient that former abortionists like Carol Everett claim
to have provided free safe sex education, birth control pills and
condoms to increase teenage pregnancies and thus increase demand
for abortions, which her clinics would perform at a minimum cost
of $250 each (emphasis added).
Despite the overwhelming evidence of the role contraceptive ideology
plays in our societal demand for abortion, the National Right to
Life Committee and many other alleged pro-life organizations have
adopted a zealous neutrality on the issue.
The federal government,
therefore, continues to massively subsidize the culture of death
through population control efforts, family planning and sex education
with no substantial resistance from the pro-life movement and no
resulting political fallout.
In fact, NRLC gives tacit
approval for such funding. Addressing members of Congress in a 1997
letter, NRLC Legislative Director Doug Johnson states, NRLC takes
no position on contraception, or on federal funding of contraceptive
services, whether in the U.S. or overseas; NRLC has no objection
to providing increased funding to the population assistance program
The inconsistency here
is obvious. To have no objection to massive sex education, family
planning and population control funding is to have no objection
to fostering a vicious cultural climate that always demands legal
These funding efforts
are the toxic blood supply of the culture of death. Without the
hundreds of millions of tax dollars the government provides annually
to propagate this evil ideology worldwide, the culture of death
just might slither back into the tabooed underworld from where it
Supporting this argument,
law professor Charles Rice writes in his 1999 publication, The Winning
Side, Any pro-life effort that temporizes on contraception will
be futile because the trajectory is a straight line from the approval
of contraception to the acceptance of abortion euthanasia pornography
promiscuity divorce homosexual activity in vitro fertilization [and]
The morning-after pill
and other abortifacients NRLC's zealous indifference on birth control
causes an even greater, more immediate tragedy. Few people seem
to understand that many of these taxpayer funded contraceptives
really act as abortifacients -- meaning they cause the death of
an already living human being. Such abortifacients include the birth
control pill, Depo-Provera, Norplant and emergency contraception
(often called the morning-after pill).
As Bishop Paul Loverde,
Bishop of Arlington, Va., explains, Make no mistake about it. The
purpose of emergency contraception is to send a dose of a very strong
hormone into a woman's reproductive system solely for the purpose
of preventing the implantation of a newly conceived child. It causes
an early, less visible abortion.
The Food and Drug Administration
and the scientists who designed this chemical recognize this scientific
fact. The Vatican and several other national governments that have
banned this drug recognize it as well. But the National Right to
Life Committee will not recognize this scientific reality.
In fact, last February
when the Virginia House of Delegates considered a bill which would
allow these emergency contraceptives to be available over the counter,
certain committed pro-life delegates could not elicit the aid of
the NRLC state affiliate in Virginia. After pressing further, they
were shocked at NRLC's flat refusal to even issue a statement opposing
this deadly bill.
Could population controllers,
sex education peddlers, and pro-abortion ideologues have ever planned
a better scenario than having such a large pro-life organization
in the world's richest country take a neutral stand on contraceptives?
NRLC's refusal to mend
this flaw in its pro-life philosophy has served to neutralize any
legitimate obstacle from threatening the hundreds of millions of
annual tax dollars that fund the culture of death.
While some would wish
to classify the moral and cultural legitimacy of birth control on
a strictly abstract religious plane, the concrete results of the
contraceptive culture have been a clear disaster. Does anyone believe
that we can bring an end to abortion and build a culture of life
while the federal government annually pours hundreds of millions
of dollars into worldwide contraceptive propaganda? Does NRLC believe
One of these days we
are going to have to wake up and consider that maybe, just maybe,
1900 years of unified Christian moral teaching has a little wisdom
to offer us sophisticated moderns.
Patrick Delaney is assistant
director for education at American Life League [A.L.L].
OP-ED------JANUARY 22, 2001
THE LEGACY OF ROE/WADE and
The Supreme Court decisions of
Roe/Wade and Doe/Bolton sodiminished the boundaries between medicine
and homicide that an entire culture has been altered to accommodate
the new precepts. For the unborn child and the millions of ensuing
abortions the law became the consummate felon. Those rulings of
January 22, l973 legalized abortion during all nine months of
pregnancy for any reason. The ramifications now affect nearly
every facet of society.
Anyone under 35 cannot recall
when abortion was not legal. The truth is tht the "back alley
butcher" moved his shingle to Main Street. (A killing is a killing
no matter the locale). This select group, those born since l/22/73,
is known as "The Survivors"--their mothers did not opt to terminate
them--survivors of the termination generation.
Bioethicist Prof. Wm. May states
that never has the gift of human life been more threatened. Advances
in science and medicine proliferate. Verbal engineering accomplishes
much. The euphemisms of the abortion movement are found in the
euthanasia movement. In pursuing "freedom of choice" and "reproductive
rights" we heard "products of conception", "clump of cells", "blob
of tissue". Pursuing euthanasia we hear "mercy killing", "assisted
suicide", "physician assisted suicide", etc.
Euphemisms signal the Culture
of Death--the politically correct killing of pre-born, the defective,
the dependent, the "unwanted" or the "inconvenient" at any age.
There is no genuine love or compasion in either the abortion or
euthanasia movements. Euphemisms are deter- mining "Quality of
Life" over "Sanctity of Life".
The "quality of life" is the
assumed lack of a meaningful future as an excuse to elininate
that someone. Pursuing "reproductive rights", the "freedom of
choice" , demands that an inconvenient unborn may be aborted.
"Quality of Life" translates easily to the "inconvenient" born.
Any one of us whose convenience may be determined by another--a
family member, or even the State--could be the next victim of
such mentality. Hence, another aspect of population control.
Do not forget the "defective
patients" in Nazi Germany. Those "medical" and "scientific" experiments
and starvation were not pleasant for the "useless eaters". This
was eugenics in action--the fall-out of a social attitiude as
observed by Dr. Leo Alexander of the Nuremberg War Crimes trials
The attorney for Dr. Death Kevorkian
openly acknowledged that Roe and its progeny have paved the way
for death on demand.
Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a strong
pro-life voice who once ran the largest abortion mill in the world,
has stated that medical advances have unleashed a Pandora's Box--a
"medicine cabinet of horrors".
In the 28 years since Roe and
Doe (by the way, both women have the luxury that very few victims
caught up in the abortion culture have, in that both their children
were not aborted and are alive today) medical science has accomplished
amazing advances with ultrasound, in fetology, refinements in
fetal surgery, and more; yet, other research has doomed the preborn
for presumed imperfections in search and destroy missions. Thirty
years ago fetal reduction and sex selection abortions were unheard
of. The harvesting--buying and selling--of fetal tissue, body
parts and organs was unthinkable. Now it's debated in Congress,
the legislatures, and the Courts.
The public has been duped regarding
both chemical and surgical abortion. Legislation and court actions
have removed parental rights re minor children, whether it's abortion,
birth control sexually transmitted diseases and more, all in the
name of "privacy". Parents rights are blocked at the school and
clinic doors, at every doctor's office front desk and sur- reptitiously
at school clinics. Informed consent is denied, though if it were
a real estate transaction or any other surgical procedure, detailing
the risks and parental permission would be required by the state.
This is how a totally unregulated multi-million dollar industry
flourishes in every com- munity. And, you, the taxpayer fund over
$40 million for abortions in California. (No one is ever denied
an abortion for lack of funds). Check your health insurance. You're
probably paying for it there as well.
RU-486, the chemical coat hanger
abortion, brings the showers of the Third Reich into the privacy
of the woman's bathroom, confronting her dead baby face to face.
This human pesticide drug is imported from China (with a notorious
reputation for tainted drugs). Further, the Searle Co. that manufactures
the second drug to complete the deadly act says it is contraindicated
in pregnancy! Hence, the excessive bleeding problems, transfusions,
even deaths. And why, why were original trials done on Third World
women? (They're expendable, too?)
What else can we add to the Roe/Doe
legacy? Formal education is often replaced by Planned Parenthood's
misleading sex/AIDS education --offering recreational sex that
prostitiutes our youth while real world hardships of post-abortion
syndrome and sexually transmitted diseases are ignored. Throw
in drug education, trendy self-esteem classes--and, the latest
mandated "diversity"/homosexual education, K-12 in California
public schools. Add family breakdown, cloning, stem cell and embryo
re- search, restricting free speech, and free dom of assembly.
Without the children in the swings, who's to pay into social security
for the future? Where does it stop?
Pro-lifers predicted that abortion
would lead to the slippery slope of infanticide (partial-birth
abortion), the starvation and dehydration of disposable newborns
and elderly in some hospitals. This ultimately pro- voked the
assisted suicide and euthanasia movement that has found its way
to legislatures, courts, and ballot initiatives.
All of this, and more, is the
fall-out of the pursuit of "reproductive rights". DNA can now
identify the youngest fetus and embryo and even the criminal--dead
or alive. It is not a potential life, but life with potential.
Pregnancy is not a disease. The womb should not be a killing field.
The cervix should be life's entrance, not a path of demise. Enough
of the population control propaganda.
M. Pat Riehle
RIGHT TO LIFE of Santa Maria (CA) Tel--(805) 937-2097
pls call a.m.'s
Medical Van in the “Monument Corridor” of Concord, CA. creates
larger clientele for state funded abortion/contraception
REPORTING: Camille Giglio, Founder, Ca. Right to Life
Daily reports in the
media predict dire consequences for the low to middle income families,
the minorities and now the elderly, if they do not obtain easy
access to government provided health insurance. These sentiments
seem to be echoed in the Sunday Homilies heard in certain Oakland
Diocese parishes as the faithful are called upon to heed the “preferential
options for the poor.” We are told that we can not remain indifferent
to the “plight of half of the world’s population” as one Deacon
announced recently from the pulpit.
In Concord, California,
a group of parishioners from neighboring churches took the homilies
to heart and decided that residents of a nearby low income neighborhood
known as the Monument Corridor, a ten square mile area, needed
government provided health care.
They learned about
a 40 foot truck that had been renovated and turned into a mobile
medical van equipped with examining cubicles, refrigerators for
medicines, generators for heat, light and air conditioning. etc,
that was sitting idle in the back of the Concord Police station.
Funds to purchase and equip the van had been provided by a $200,000
grant from the John Muir/Mt. Diablo hospitals Health Institute
for this renovation.
Working through an
organization entitled Contra Costa Interfaith Sponsoring Committee
- CCISCO - which includes members of Concord Catholic Churches,
the Hispanic Ministry, and Protestant church, they lobbied local
Public Health officials to cut through the bureaucratic red tape
of licensing and get the van on the road.
A notice about the
van/clinic appeared in the local newspaper on August 23, 2000.
On alternating Fridays the van parks at one of two Monument Corridor
elementary schools serving the students and residents of that
area. The clinic is staffed through the county Department of Public
Health on a rotating basis by Dental personnel, pediatric nurse
practitioners, family nurse practitioners, financial service counselors,
and community outreach workers. Though reports vary according
to various departmental spokesmen, it seems that whole classes
of students are released from class, ten to 20 at a time, to attend
On Tuesdays, the van
parks at a local shopping center in the same neighborhood. There
it serves a broader clientele which includes mothers with babies,
the homeless, the uninsured and the immigrant, both legal and
illegal, with a wide variety of free, tax payer funded services.
Those health matters that are considered urgent or can not be
addressed on site are referred to other county health clinics
or community based, non-profit agencies. An agreement has been
made with a local cab company to transport to county facilities
anyone without a car needing immediate attention.
So far all of this
may sound pretty good. Catholics are being accountable for their
less fortunate brothers and sisters. The problem, however, is
that this group of social justice activists, as admitted by the
CCISCO Director, Don Stahlhut, failed to research the full ramifications
of the types of services to which this vulnerable group of people
would be exposed.
This mobile clinic
is a temporary substitute for a school-linked health care facility.
When this van parks on school property it is a school based clinic.
Latinos, we are told,
leery of government officials, do not typically seek out the services
of government agencies, especially if they are without visas or
green cards. Now this group, in its shortsighted wisdom is bringing
government oversight of the residents into this community.
The typical services
provided by the state and county Departments of Public health
include tax funded family planning and abortions through Medi-Cal
and a variety of state and federal funded programs. It is authorized
through federal and state public laws to provide these services
to minors without parental consent or knowledge. Typically a family
receives a blanket permission slip at the beginning of the school
year which allows their child to visit the van/clinic. There is
no permission slip for any of the services provided at the clinic
or for the referrals to other clinics. Further, according to a
private letter sent August 21, 2000, to a California Pro Lifer
and signed by Senator Jesse helms, he states that: ...”The Congressional
Research Services - CRI - a branch of the Library of Congress--confirmed
to me that federal law does, indeed, permit school clinics to
use federal funds to distribute ‘morning-after pills’ to school
children behind the backs’ of parents.” (as of this writing the
FDA is set to approve RU 486 by the end of September.)
The van, as an extension
of the county clinics is authorized to refer clients to a variety
of tax supported and non-profit clinics including the following:
1. FAMILY PLANNING/sexually
transmitted diseases for the purpose of obtaining birth control
counseling, education, supplies, Depo Provera injections, pap
smears & pelvic exams, diagnosis & treatment for sexually transmitted
diseases, confidential HIV counseling & screening.
2. PREGNANCY testing, emergency contraception (abortion or morning
after pills), pill refills.
3. TAP CLINICS. Teen age pregnancy clinics provide teenage exams
thru 20 yrs of age. Well exams for school, sports, & camp physicals,
health ed. re: STD, drugs, nutrition and family planning. I imagine
few parents realize that when they send their child to the county
for a sports physical that child is also subject to a lecture
on birth control.
4. SUNSHINE PEDIATRICS. Well & sick care, sports, camp & school
physicals. A report from Pennsylvania concerning a law suit brought
by parents of a particular school details the results of an over
zealous clinic nurse, searching for evidence of sexual abuse,
demanding that unwilling children undress and submit to very invasive
pelvic exams without a parent present or aware of the exams.
4. HOME HEALTH CARE. In-Home nursing care, physical therapy, and
Social Services. Welcome Home Baby, a unit within the Healthy
Families government funded health insurance program, is a tool
placing government employees and sometimes volunteers into private
homes under the premises of assisting new mothers adjust to their
babies. In reality their assignment is to evaluate the family
and living arrangements for the potential for child abuse. the
definition of child abuse can be an extremely broad and vague
blanket encompassing how many tvs or computers in a home.
Who originated the
idea for a van? “The county wanted access to people in this community,”
was the response from Mr. Juan Cruz, representing John Muir Hospital
as Coordinator for the Monument Corridor Community Project. According
to elected officials with whom I spoke, the life styles of some
residents in the Monument area had been a constant source of complaints
to the City Council from local businesses and community agencies
for some time. The van opened up a means of accessing these residents.
Public schools now
require evidence of vaccinations before children can attend school.
Parents bringing their children to the van for free shots must
complete a form indicating their health care coverage. If they
are uninsured they are given the opportunity to sign up with the
Healthy Families or Healthy Start taxpayer funded program, or
some other. It is worth noting that several medical and health
based parent sponsored non-profit organizations are now warning
people about the negative side effects of some shots, such as
vaccination induced autism. It is doubtful that any of these parents
will ever hear about those concerns.
At least one of these
schools, Cambridge Elementary, is begging for people to come in
and help teach reading to the students while at the same time
students are losing whole periods of class time waiting for their
scheduled clinic appointment.
administrator to whom I expressed my concerns about our parish’s
involvement waved those concerns away with the comment that they
were unimportant. These people needed health care, and our parishioners
needed to exercise their compassion for the poor.
The parish social justice
committees can feel good about delivering health care to the poor,
the public/private hospital partnership can feel good about providing
the $200,000 in funds to purchase and equip the van. Those who
were formerly complainers before the city council are now members
of a coalition to improve the monument corridor community, the
local government agencies can expand their lists of clients proving
their demands for increased budgets . The employment rolls are
expanded with coordinators and managers. Grant writers are hired
because this van needs constant sources of funds for upkeep, drivers,
utilities, gasoline while the county hospital is under utilized.
Local agencies get access to more tax dollars through an influx
of client referrals, family planners get a chance to control the
population through prescriptions and distribution of birth control
pills and devices and abortions. nurse Al who apparently supervises
the activities of the health care workers said that they dispense
foam and condoms from the van as well as make referrals to agencies.
Even the local cab company got a contract for services.
Where the residents
of the Monument Corridor ever consulted? Maybe some of the truly
poor will get their health needs met, but they could have received
that anyway especially if they are already signed up for welfare
to work programs or Healthy Start? One is eligible for these and
many more services when their income is at the level of 250 percent
of poverty. That is within the lower middle class range for some.
There are also plans in the state legislature to increase that
limit to 300 percent of poverty .
The Bishops of the
United States recognize that opportunities for church and public
cooperative efforts is a new and growing phenomenon. they have
published a booklet entitled: Ethical and Religious Directives
for Catholic Health Care Services. It sets forth principles governing
this cooperation instructing Catholics in what constitutes a licit
and an illicit association. If a particular activity has an evil
intent and certain parties cooperate knowingly with that intent,
then it is an illicit association and morally wrong. “If the cooperator
does not intend the object of the wrongdoer’s activity, the cooperation
is material and can be morally licit.” A thorough reading of this
booklet could lead one to the understanding that if you just don’t
bother to research the full extent of the activity, or if each
group involved accepts only limited information, then it would
appear p ossible to join in any public/religious program without
bothering one’s conscience.
THE CHURCH STATE
Solidarity for a new morality that includes abortion/contraception
Dec. 2, 2000
The story of the Good
Samaritan has taken on a whole new twist. No one has ever asked
what the Good Samaritan did after he left the robbery victim at
the Inn. Today’s religious activist would tell you that he went
back to his church and joined an interfaith Social Justice committee
lobbying for local, government funded health care clinics. These
community level interfaith activities have become the norm rather
than the exception.
Through the Charitable
Choices amendment to the 1996 federal Welfare to Work legislation,
Protestant and Catholic churches have become eligible for funds
by becoming partners with community activists and government agencies
in matching parishioners with government programs, especially
social service and health insurance programs. A recent editorial
in the Fresno Bee began “the most dangerous intersection in American
public life is where religion and politics meet.”
“We, the church, have
to become a good will special interest lobby group,” so stated
Father Mike Cunningham, Pastor of Queen of All Saints Catholic
Church to Senator elect Tom Torlakson,(D), at a recent town hall
type meeting held at St. Bonaventure’s church, in Concord, Ca.
The meeting, sponsored by the Contra Costa Interfaith Sponsoring
Committee - CCISCO - was entitled: “Justice For All.”
The purpose of the
November 3, 2000 meeting, Emceed by Fr. Rubio, President of the
Board of CCISCO, was to promote the CCISCO COVENANT, a set of
10 demands for state legislation and funding, to state level officials.
The officials who came were Sen. Dion Aroner, (D),Berkeley, Assemblyman
Tom Torlakson,(D), Pittsburg, Martinez City Councilman Joe Canciamilla,
Assembly candidate Jim Dias, (R), Concord, Senate candidate Linda
The audience consisted
mostly, of Latino people bussed in from neighborhoods within the
parish boundaries of St. Mark’s Church, Richmond, St. Peter Martyr’s,
Pittsburg, as well as Queen of All Saints, Concord and the First
Congregational Church of Concord. St. Bonaventure’s parishioners
were not represented except for the Pastor, Fr. Mangini, Chaplain
for the Concord Hispanic ministry. He welcomed everybody and then
The meeting was held
inside the church. A large banner advertising CCISCO hung on the
wall behind the altar and banners calling for specific economic
and social justice goals hung from the remaining walls of the
church. Everyone entering was handed two small banners, one resembling
a pennant and the other with blue and white streamers. The audience
was instructed to wave the streamers which represent “Justice
rolling like a river,” and participate in a call and response.
They were to cry out for “Justicia” whenever certain words were
spoken. This was followed by a call: “What do we want?” and the
response: “We want justice” Then “When do we want it?” “We want
it now.” “Who do we want it for?” “We want justice for all.”
Unlike the usual town
Hall meeting, it was not open for public comment. The invited
officials listened to personal accounts of the “hardships of living
in a community ( Contra Costa County) lacking in equality and
economic justice.” Each account related to one of the 10 CCISCO
COVENANT demands. The CCISCO objectives were
1. PUBLIC EDUCATION.
*More state funding for after school programs.
*Equalized state educational funding.
2. YOUTH ACTIVITIES
*Funds for multi-service youth centers.
*Delinquency prevention programs.
*increased affordable housing set-aside from 20% to 35% of community
*Enforcement of State Fair Share Housing Laws in Contra Costa
*Strengthened state renter’s protection laws.
4. HEALTH ACCESS.
*Further relax eligibility requirements for the Healthy Families
*Increased funding for further expansion of health vans by non-profit
*Legislation to fund a county wide parish nurse program.
At the end of the
evening the officials declined to sign the covenant declaring
too many difficulties in bringing such requests to successful
legislative completion. It was at this point that Fr. Cunningham
responded by saying that “CCISCO understands.” To conclude Fr.
Cunningham said, using a humble posture, “you legislators didn’t
really understand the issues.” However, he hoped they would be
willing to work with CCISCO and learn from them. They all reassured
the gathering that they would, indeed, be supportive of the CCISCO
CCISCO, an exception?
Now, with the passage of a series of federal and state pieces
of legislation three once parallel avenues of service have quietly
Churches are providing
access to members of the community. Community activists are training
church members to become volunteer lobbyists. The government is
providing the funding and the programs.
In California two programs
were created to meet the federal requirements for participation.
Prop 10 created a fund with tobacco tax money for the Rob Reiner
developed Children and Families First Program. This created an
eligibility for children from birth to age 2 to receive services
regardless of financial or other eligibility requirements. These
services include the “Welcome Home Baby” program and a mentoring
The second program
was the Healthy Families California version of CHIPS. CHIPS did
not include abortion and family planning programs. Then Gov. ,Pete
Wilson, sought a waiver from the federal program allowing reproductive
coverage. This program is for individuals, children and adults,
who are at 250-300% of poverty.
In order for legislators
and the governor to become enthused about authoring, passing and
signing these bills, they had to believe that the general public
favored and even demanded these services. They needed to be lobbied.
In 1997 the Oakland
Diocese’s newspaper The Catholic Voice, ran a front page article
entitled “Parishes join organizing efforts to clean up their neighborhoods.”
It reported on a community activist organization called The Pacific
Institute for Community Organizing - PICO. PICO and its local
branch, the South Alameda County Interfaith Sponsoring Committee,
had maintained a presence in the area since 1994. It’s goal was
to organize neighborhoods to fight against the local bureaucracy
for improvements in community life. PICO itself had been around
for 25 years according to its co-founder, Jesuit Father John Baumann.The
Voice article details the entrance of Our Lady of Rosary Parish,
Union City, into the role of community activist.
According to the Voice
article, PICO was founded in Oakland in 1972 by two Jesuit Priests,
Father Baumann and Father Jerry Helfrich. As Seminarians at Alma
College they had attended a summer program in Chicago on community
organizing. “We worked with Tom Gaudette, one of Saul Alinski’s
lieutenants at the Urban Training Center,” said Father Baumann.
The Jesuits gave an
added dimension to community organizing unavailable to other community
activists. They had entrance to churches. The Oakland Community
Organizing - OCO - was their first experiment, emerging from St.
Elizabeth Parish, in Oakland.
PICO went on to create
other branches including CCISCO, Contra Costa Interfaith Sponsoring
Committee, PACT - People Acting in Community Together in San Jose,
PIA - Peninsula Interfaith Action, North Santa Clara county and
San Mateo County, and SFOP - San Francisco Organizing Project.
They have also been
active in San Diego creating the San Diego Organizing Project
- SDOP. The May 11, 2000, edition of the Southern Cross, the San
Diego Diocese paper, carried a front page story entitled: “Area
Catholics Lobby for Expanded health Coverage.” This details the
trips taken by local parishioners and religious along with the
Orange County Diocese Bishop, Jaime Soto, to lobby the legislators
for expanded health care. PICO’s goal was the lobbying of Gov.
Davis “to make an immediate investment of $50 million for the
infrastructure needs of community clinics.” The parishioners in
their naivete and trusting sense of compassion for the poor and
needy, met with some of the most ardent pro abortion legislators
urging them to author bills that would, in realty, further the
legislators own population control agendas. (this legislation
was killed through pro life efforts).
This San Diego lobbying
effort was summed up by a St. Jude parishioner. She said, “Jesus
asked us all to do for the least [of our brethren]. Jesus worked
for health care when He healed people.”
In West Contra Costa
County, at about the same time, parishioners were bussed to Sacramento
by CCISCO to also lobby for expanded health care and community
clinics. In addition they were urged to lobby the legislators
to remove the debt owed by the [formerly Richmond] West County
Unified School District. That district went into bankruptcy a
few years back due to incompetent management. they were still
paying on the debt. As a result of that lobbying trip, Governor
Davis signed a bill, authored by Assemblyman Tom Torlakson, removing
the debt and, in fact, repaying the district all the money it
had paid on the debt.
CCISCO’s funding comes
from grants by local Foundations and government funds. Churches
are required to pay dues for participation. Churches that agree
to become sites for recruiting applicants for the Healthy Families
Insurance through the Parish Nurse Program receive $50 per successful
application from the state Healthy Families funds. St. Francis
of Assisi church, in concord, which has refused to provide any
information to its parishioners on its involvement, is the only
Catholic church listed on the healthy Families web site as a certified
application assistant. The Director of the county Healthy Families
Program, also a member of St. Francis church has said that he
has trained at least 20 application assistants including members
of St. Bonaventure’s, St. Mark’s. These volunteers were recruited
The applicant chooses
one of five health insurance carriers all of whom pr ovide elective
abortion and family planning coverage. The Healthy Families enrollees
may present themselves for health care to a large number of local,
community agencies, health vans and clinics including Planned
The average parishioner
is not being informed of this partnership. Those who are informed
see and hear only a portion of the whole picture. Recently a very
fine, pro life nurse said: “I’m confused, what’s the problem,
I thought we were supposed to minister to our fellow man?” The
assignment, she declared, was to place people in health care.
If they chose to use this health care “to sin” that was their
problem. In the meantime the church is now on the government payroll
and our religious principles have been compromised.
Catholics must become
informed, we must evaluate what our church is doing and decide
if its activities are bringing scandal and dishonor to our church
and our Faith. Then, we must act.