June 6, 2012 8:06 pm
A recent New York Times article says no. But Dr. Donna Harrison who was at the FDA hearings that approved of requiring the labels for Ella notes that the best of science shows that scientists agree Ella works by preventing implantation:
The European Medical Association technical review articles state that Ella is embryocidal. That means that Ella kills embryos. I attended the FDA Advisory Committee Hearing on approval of Ella, at which data were presented which demonstrated that Ella is around 95 percent effective in preventing a clinically recognized pregnancy. One of the Advisory Committee members repeatedly pointed out to the manufacturers that there was no way the effectiveness of Ella could be explained by delaying ovulation alone.
April 2, 2012 7:37 pm
Recent medical research indicates that tissue from the brains of fetuses could provide considerable assistance to individuals suffering from such diseases as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It is also possible to transplant organs, such as livers, from fetus to fetus. To date, the US government has sustained a highly controversial ban against the use of fetal tissue for research purposes or for purposes of transplantation. This decision has met with great opposition from those who think that it is cruel and inhumane not to provide whatever relief possible to those suffering from various debilitating diseases. The availability of massive amounts of fetal tissue from aborted fetuses seems a great resource to many. Those who believe abortion to be a morally permissible act are not troubled by the charge that use of aborted fetal tissue amounts to complicity in abortion. Since they do not believe the fetus is a person, they maintain that it is permissible to use fetal tissue much in the same way one could use the hair gathered from the floor of a barber shop. They see use of fetal tissue as transforming what seems to be needless waste into a compassionate good.
Those opposed to the use of fetal tissue for purposes of research and transplantation have three major objections; 1) the fetus is not being respected as a human person of intrinsic worth but is being treated as an instrument; 2) use of fetal tissue amounts to complicity in abortion and demand for the use of such tissues will legitimate the abortion industry; 3) the ready access to tissue from aborted fetuses will lessen the effort to find alternative sources of treatment for sufferers of Alzheimer’s, etc.
March 29, 2012 3:08 pm
What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god: the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals; and yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me; nor woman neither . . .
Hamlet, II, ii, 310-319
The modern age shares too little Hamlet’s admiration for man and too much his disdain for man. We, like Hamlet, seem depressed and lost and unable to delight in the wonders of this world, perhaps because we, too, fail to embrace our duties and to act as we ought. Whatever the reason, the modern age seems not to experience awe at the thought of human powers and human nature. We take some pride in man’s technological advances but these hardly balance our experience of and fear of man’s inhumanity to man. Our century in particular has given us reason to think that man is “the paragon of animals” only insofar as he surpasses all other animals in his cruelty and bloodthirstiness. The millions dead because of holocausts, wars, and of famines that could be averted have brought us to have a dismal evaluation of human nature, an assessment confirmed by daily reportings of individuals who randomly commit horrific brutalities.
The rot in the state of Denmark, rather than serving to galvanize Hamlet into action, cast him into a state of doubt and depression. Our age exhibits the same signs; the offenses against life in this century have not served to increase our respect for life or our zeal to protect life. Rather, we have sunk into a state of lethargy and indifference, and as in the state of Denmark, the pile of corpses only gets higher. Indeed, abortion and euthanasia provide the quintessential evidence that we have lost our reverence for life. Some ethicists — highly respected and published by the most prestigious presses — now argue that some forms of animal life have greater value than the lives of some humans suffering various debilitating conditions. In the name of respecting life, researchers and physicians seem to be salivating over the prospect of using fetal tissue to treat a variety of diseases.
March 8, 2012 1:20 pm
Many in the pro-life movement are reluctant to make a connection between contraception and abortion. They insist that these are two very different acts — that there is all the difference in the world between contraception, which prevents a life from coming to be and abortion, which takes a life that has already begun.
With some contraceptives there is not only a link with abortion there is an identity. Some contraceptives are abortifacients; they work by causing early term abortions. The IUD seems to prevent a fertilized egg — a new little human being — from implanting in the uterine wall. The pill does not always stop ovulation but sometimes prevents implantation of the growing embryo. And, of course, the new RU 486 pill works altogether by aborting a new fetus, a new baby. Although some in the prolife movement occasional speak out against the contraceptives that are abortifacients most generally steer clear of the issue of contraception.
March 1, 2012 10:00 am
Too few people know that Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, was a full-blown proponent of eugenics. That is, she wanted to “help” the “unfit” by eliminating the unfit. The “unfit” included immigrants (meaning Catholics, for the most part) and African-Americans and the mentally and physically disabled. I have met individuals in the Philippines and Africa who believe that population control programs are a form of racism. Indeed, abortion has, in fact served as true genocide in the black community.
We need voices like that of Gloria Purvis who recognizes the racist/eugenic elements among today’s crazed enthusiasm for contraception. “Gloria Purvis told CNA on Feb. 27 that she is offended by the suggestion that minority communities need contraception, sterilization and abortion.
“It reminds me of the eugenics movement,” she said. “In that statement that the black community needs this is the sentiment that we are unfit to be mothers, unfit to have families.”
February 16, 2012 6:18 pm
Despite what some commentators and politicians think, Church teaching on abortion and contraception has remained unchanged.
The recent indignity by which the Obama administration wants to mandate everyone, including all Catholic institutions or their insurers, to pay for contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, has raised the issue of Catholic teaching on these issues.
Some commentators have mistakenly asserted that the Catholic ban on these practices only goes back to Humanae Vitae (On the Regulation of Birth), by Pope Paul VI in 1968, or as far back as Casti Connubii (Of Chaste Wedlock), by Pope Pius XI in 1931.
The latter encyclical was written in response to the change of moral doctrine by the Anglican Church, which undermined centuries of Protestant condemnation of contraception by permitting it at the Aug. 15, 1930 Lambeth Conference.
Paul VI wrote Humanae Vitae in response to the then newly invented birth control pill, rejecting it as a legitimate means of contraception for Catholics. However, these encyclicals, along with the 20th century’s nearly 100 other Vatican statements condemning artificial birth control, were simply restating the continuous history of moral theology on this topic.