Thursday, August 30, 2012

Santorum: you can be inclusive while you support abortion

In August 2000 I was an uninvited protester at a rally for Hillary Clinton in her New York State Senatorial campaign. This was not open to the public, and no questions were taken from the assembled crowd of 200. I stood with my young daughters who didn't understand why, in a public waterfront park in my hometown of Northport, Long Island, the swings were behind barriers. I held a home made felt banner our family made at Catholic Familyland that summer, which read, "Our Lady of Long Island, pray for us" in which an image of Our Lady stood over the map of Long Island, her arms outstretched in prayer. I was not allowed past the barriers, but when I unrolled the banner, Hillary missed a beat while reading her laminated speech, as it caught her eye.That is why I was there, to be a fly in the ointment, to let her know that she might use New York as a stepping stone to a career in politics, but that her stand on abortion was abhorrent to Catholics, no matter where they live.
 Soon I had two big Secret Service guards assigned to me. Somehow, a supporter of Catholic devotion to Our Lady was seen as a threat. I joked with the guards about being a peaceful pro-lifer and they made it plain it wasn't personal, just orders. They even moved the barriers to let the uninvited attendees get a bit nearer to the podium and promised me I'd be next to Hillary as she approached the van she would be leaving in.
I listened as she described how pro-child she was, and got my Irish up. By the time she was done autographing and shaking hands, and began to walk past me sideways to avoid eye contact, I was losing it. "You can't be pro-child and pro-abortion, Hillary!" I shouted. "Do you hear me?" Then I remembered my liberal brother, who had been invited to the rally, and told me about it but who had begged me not to get myself arrested before his wedding that week, so I kept quiet and merely planted my banner outside the van window for Hillary to see. The rank hypocrisy of saying you are pro-child while you support every kind of abortion at any stage in pregnancy and that you support programs of pre-natal testing which focus on locating and killing disabled infants has taken over the Democratic party.
Rick Santorum is expressing the same outrage when he points out that the Obamacare payment for pre-natal testing is a means of making sure that disabled infants who are aborted at a tragic rate between 75-92%, a means to insure that they won't survive to reap the many benefits which Democrats have set up in the health care and educational systems.

“I love how the left and this president talk about inclusion as they advocate the discarding and destruction of over one million children every year,” Santorum said. “Some inclusion.”
“One of the things that you don’t know about ObamaCare in one of the mandates is they require free prenatal testing,” he said. “Why? Because free prenatal testing ends up in more abortions and, therefore, less care that has to be done, because we cull the ranks of the disabled in our society. That too is part of ObamaCare — another hidden message as to what president Obama thinks of those who are less able than the elites who want to govern our country.”
 Its more than a scam, its a lethal hypocrisy. And its time to end it. 

Listen to a clip of the speech regarding the Democrat hypocrisy on abortion.
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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Women Defy “We Are Women” Rally Claims; Say Let Women Speak For Themselves

Helen Alvare at Franciscan University of Steubenville
Washington DC, August 18—As some women gather at the Nation’s Capitol today for the “We Are Women” rally, members of the advocacy group, Women Speak For Themselves (WSFT;womenspeakforthemselves.com) are making their own voices heard. WSFT began with an open letter to the White House, Congress and Secretary Sebelius in February 2012, demanding respect both for religious freedom and for an understanding of woman’s freedom and equality that goes beyond “free contraception.” It now has over 31 thousand signatories from every state.
“It defies reason that a few groups could speak for all women on issues of life, family, sex and religion,” said WSFT founder, Helen Alvaré.
“The 31,000 plus women who have signed onto our open letter will no longer sit silently by while a few political figures and their allies insist that religious freedom has to bow to the theory, the ideology really, that the centerpiece of women’s freedom is sexual expression without commitment,” continued Alvaré.
Catherine, a woman in her twenties living in New York City and a signatory, wrote to WSFT: “Out of respect for themselves and others, many women choose to live a life of sexual integrity…Many of my girlfriends and I have found this approach to our sexuality to be freeing, empowering, and constitutive of a deep sense of happiness.”
“I’m a pro-choice woman who respects the rights of other women to hold different views,” wrote another WSFT member Carol, from Vermont. “More specifically I expect the government, in compliance with the Constitution, to protect every person from being coerced into acting in a manner contrary to his or her conscience. The HHS mandates are a fundamental violation of our rights to free speech and religion.”
Hundreds more women wrote to WSFT to express their strong opposition to the message of the Saturday rally.
“Our women come from diverse political, ideological and religious backgrounds,” Alvaré explained. “But they are united in their opposition to a ‘one size fits all’ version of what women really want, particularly a version contradicted by decades of data and women’s experience in the new sex, dating and marriage markets formed by the idea that contraception, with abortion as the backup, is the sum and substance of women’s equality.“
Jennifer from Indiana, for example, a signatory to the WSFT letter says:
”Women and reproduction are not things that need to be fixed, medicated, sterilized. To equate women’s rights and health to these things is to do an incredible disservice to the rights and health issues that women do face today.”
“An honest ‘We Are Women’ rally would acknowledge the diverse views held by women. It would acknowledge the science about the decline in women’s well-being associated with the world view this rally represents.” Alvaré says. “No one speaks for all women on these issues. Let women speak for themselves.”
######
Contact: Helen Alvaré
Helen@chiaroscuroinstitute.org

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Chick fil A Aftershock


Why were the gay rights folks in a state of panic to see the huge response to the Chick fil A Appreciation Day?
Austin Ruse posits an answer in The Tears of the Sexual Left. 
Is this the first time they have ever seen us? I do believe it may be the first time they have ever seen us en masse, certainly on the marriage issue. They saw our numbers when before they only saw the result of elections or the rumors of our numbers but they had never seen us with their own unbelieving eyes.
I live in an alternate universe. A stay at home mom cushioned by a wonderful Catholic community both in person and online, I forget that my beliefs in the sanctity of marriage are considered hateful. Admittedly, I have deliberately surrounded my children to protect them till they can engage the world's ire with love and truth.
That's how those who support homosexuality live, but they live out in the worlds of academia, media and politics. A world deliberately created by the powerful, but it is just as much a fantasy world. Because their world is so broad, they are able to forget that we exist. We are their neighbors and we are exercising our right to disagree publicly with their moral relativism.
The reason we make them panic is that they are not too sure about their brand new stance on gay 'marriage' and the morality of homosexuality, and they need us to validate it for them. When we don't they begin to doubt it. God's laws are written on our hearts and are very hard to ignore. They will down redouble their efforts to force us to agree with them or face persecution. Be prepared for a battle.



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Is it ethical to abort for a gay gene?


Soon genetic carriers for several genetic conditions will be in the same quandary which those who parent a child with Down syndrome find themselves according to this article in Bioedge.  Parents can eliminate embryos from a petry dish before implantation or abort a diagnosed baby for one of a number of defects. 
Within a few years, parents may be able to screen embryos and foetuses for the “gay gene”, according to a Columbia University bioethicist. Robert Klitzman, whose most recent book is Am I My Genes?: Confronting Fate and Family Secrets in the Age of Genetic Testing,
 They will be able to find out if an unborn baby has a tendency towards autism, Alzheimer's or homosexuality. Will prenatal testing which so naturally leads to abortion in the vast majority of cases when the diagnosis of Down syndrome is delivered, suddenly be seen as immoral? I was told that at a biotehics conference at the United Nations. It was stated by a Danish bioethicist that since gay people contribute to society but people with Down syndrome don't it would be immoral to abort for a gay gene. Really? Useless eaters, eh?
Parents of children with Down syndrome were told for forty years that prenatal testing with abortion was the 'cure' for Down syndrome. Very little effort was made to find treatments for the cognitive delays of Down syndrome since the 'cure' had been found. We had refused our only option, and didn't deserve another, according to scientists. What other disease do we treat by executing the patient?

During these forty years from the time he discovered trisomy 21, the cause of Down syndrome in 1959,, French geneticist Dr Jerome Lejeune was the lone researcher for a cure for Down syndrome. He was mortified that his discovery led to the death of thousands of babies with Down syndrome, and said,

“Again and again we see this absolute misconception of trying o defeat a disease by eliminating the patient! It’s ridiculous to stand beside a patient and solemnly say, “Who is the upstart who refused to be cured? How dare he resist our art? Let’s get rid of him!” Medicine becomes mad science when it attacks the patient instead of fighting the disease. We must always be on the patient’s side, Always.”

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Thursday, August 09, 2012

Prenatal Testing does equal Eugenics


In answer to Ellen Painter Dollar's article at Patheos Does Prenatal Testing Equal Eugenics? I discussed the following history of eugenics and how it might influence our so called private decisions on whether to abort our disabled children. The question to keep in mind is; with the extensive history of eugenics in the US and Europe are we really free of its influence?

Poster of the Nazis T4 Program to kill the disabled
 I did research on eugenics and found far more eugenics going on in the US that I ever imagined. Buck v Bell in 1926 was merely a reflection of the eugenics going on throughout the USA at the time.  Eugenics was highly respected and widely practiced, especially in the USA: in the South, with compulsory sterilizations of 60,000 citizens, mainly African Americans, in New York with the Negro Project of Margaret Sanger which sought to lower the African American populations via birth control. In her publication, Sanger said,
"The purpose in promoting birth control was “to create a race of thoroughbreds,”
“More children from the fit, less from the unfit—that is the chief aim of birth control.”
Birth Control Review, May 1919
Sanger said worse, "On blacks, immigrants and indigents:
”...human weeds,’ ‘reckless breeders,’ ‘spawning... human beings who never should have been born.”  Margaret Sanger, Pivot of Civilization
On the West Coast there were many eugenics facilities in Silicon Valley. In 1904, the Carnegie Institution established a laboratory complex at Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island that stockpiled millions of index cards on ordinary Americans, as researchers carefully plotted the removal of families, bloodlines and whole peoples. From Cold Spring Harbor, eugenics advocates agitated in the legislatures of America, as well as the nation’s social service agencies and associations.
The Harriman railroad fortune paid local charities, such as the New York Bureau of Industries and Immigration, to seek out Jewish, Italian and other immigrants in New York and other crowded cities and subject them to deportation, trumped up confinement or forced sterilization.
By far the most damning connection is that the Rockerfeller Foundation funded a eugenics institute in Germany  until just before WWII which hired the infamous Dr Mengele. When it comes to eugenics, this nation is guilty, guilty, guilty.  Read more in this August 9,2012 article in the San Francisco Chronicle.
The question is can we say with absolute certainty that eugenics has truly ended
when routine prenatal testing is required by governments  such as Mike Sullivan's native New Zealand? What is the underlying purpose of prenatal testing?  It is now being argued in the European Court oh Human Rights that eugenic abortion is a civil right. Here is the website of Stop Eugenics Now the group which opposes this movement.
It is even arising as an issue in the USA with new prenatal tests such as the non invasive MaterniT21, which may be part of the prenatal testing covered by the Affordable Care Act.  Could it be the intent of the Obama administration to prevent children with Down syndrome from being born?  Tucker Carlson pointed out in a 1996 Weekly Standard article that Joycelyn Elders, in 1990, when she was Arkansas state health director, testified before Congress that “abortion has had an important, and positive, public-health effect,” in that it has reduced “the number of children afflicted with severe defects.”
“As evidence, the future (U.S.) surgeon general cited this statistic: ‘The number of Down syndrome infants in Washington state in 1976 was 64% lower than it would have been without legal abortion,’” Carlson wrote.
I wrote about this in greater detail here.
Ms Dollar,  at a talk you gave this Tuesday in Connecticut, the point was raised that women feel that they have an obligation to bring to birth only healthy children who will not be a burden upon society. Where did this 'obligation' arise if not from our extensive history of eugenics, which has affected our national consciousness,  even what we consider private decisions? Can we really say that we are free of such deep seated cultural influences?
I was recently in a training session for parents of children with Down syndrome who wanted to connect with moms expecting babies with Down syndrome. Fifteen women told stories which broke my heart, they had made a decision to carry their baby with Down syndrome to term, yet their OB's bullied them incessantly, asking them to reconsider over and over again.  They were not given information on Down syndrome which would have informed their decision. They were being not so subtly influenced. Can this be considered a form of eugenically influenced coercion?
Read my book A Special Mother is Born and you will see that the new, insidious eugenics is alive and well. Only its worse than the T4 program. Those who practice it make women think they are making their own private decisions. Then the women, not the doctors carry the guilt of the death of their children.


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Friday, August 03, 2012

Much more than a chicken sandwich

On the very day Obama hoped no one would be paying attention to how he treats Christians,  the beginning of the HHS Mandate,  fining Catholic institutions $100 for every employee without contraceptive and abortifacient coverage insurance, the very victims of his takeover of religious freedom exercise that freedom in a big way. Everyone in America noticed how much our freedom of speech and freedom to practice our faith in the public square means to us. I doubt that Mike Huckabee had this in mind when he planned this event, but I think God has a sense of humor in this convergence of events!

Christina had to get up early for the 2 hr ride to Chick fil A
But the opponents of God's plan for the family are very upset. They were mocking the idea of Chick fil A Appreciation Day. They didn't understand why buying fast food in the name of freedom was such a wildly popular idea, which set the internet ablaze,  that world records were set as family values activists lines up by the hundreds of thousands to buy Dan Cathy's chicken sandwiches. They didn't know we cared. We have been asleep, it seems. But no longer.

 We are tired of being told that our values, the values held by Christians for two millenia and by Jews for five millennia, that marriage is a sacred covenant between a man and a woman which was instituted by God Himself is somehow hateful.
 We are tired of being told that our moral values cannot be discussed in the public square, and that our tax dollars will be used to murder unborn children, and if we do not violate our consciences by paying for contraceptives and chemical abortions for our employees then we will pay a fine designed to put our Catholic institutions out of business.We are told we have to help our government  erase God's fingerprints on our civilization.
"Mom, why did  we have to get on this LONG line again?"
We stood up and said a loud "NO!!" to censorship yesterday by traveling hundreds of miles out of our way to our nearest Chick fil A, standing on a lines which wrapped around the block, and gratefully eating a delicious chicken meal which was cheerfuly served by an exhausted employee who managed to smile.
I asked my server, a young man named Mario Perez, how they had enough chicken for the thousands of customers in the Burlington Mall outside of Boston. "I don't know where they are getting it from, it just keeps coming!" he said in amazement. Was there a multiplication of chicken miracle?
I know there was a miracle in the patience, cooperation and charity in the 200 hundred person line in the food court. In the way the angry lesbians in the anti Chick fil A 'homophobic' t shirts were treated. Person after person came up to gently explain why we feel that their lifestyle is not sanctioned by God, how He is calling them home to Him for confession and healing of same sex attraction.
I know the miracle kept going for over four hours, from 11:30 to 4:00PM when the line of 200 began to diminish, just in time for the dinner rush, it was a mere 100.
I saw smiles and 'excuse mes' from people crowded together, cheers for the immense crowd,  and prayers over the food. It was a celebration of love, not an occasion of hate. I pray we can keep the enthusiasm going till November 5 when we again must make our values heard by telling President Obama, that his anti-Christian, anti-life, and anti-family policies do not reflect our values.

In case you were going to report me for child abuse, I took the girls for a ride to lovely Rockport MA after the long drive and long wait in line at Chick fil A. See the photos here.  All is forgiven!

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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Religious Liberty has ended in the USA


Wednesday August 1st is Chick fil A Appreciation Day, and my girls and I are travelling 2 hours to Burlington MA on the 95 beltway around Boston to eat lunch at the nearest Chick fil A.  We hope to express our appreciation for the founder of Chick fil A's bold stand in support of traditional marriage. We are privileged to be exercising our right to Free Speech.
HT Catholic Advocate blog
But it is also a tragic day. On the very same day, the first of August, we have lost our First Amendment Right to the Free Exercise of Religion. Its the day that the HHS mandate takes affect, and soon Catholic institutions will be fined for their refusal to carry health coverage which pays for abortifcacient drugs like Plan B, and the Pill. No longer will Catholics be able to live like Catholics in the public square, unless this law is overturned either in court or by Congress.
That is not the only provision the HHS will mandate. Prenatal testing as a preventative measure for Down syndrome will be covered by the Affordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare. I describe in this article how this is a cost saving measure to save the government the expense of raising children with Down syndrome.

A 2004 study published in the journal Fetal Medicine explored the connection between prenatal-screening policies in Europe and termination for neural-tube defects and Down syndrome. Excluding data from Ireland and Malta, where abortion is illegal, results showed that more than 90% of women terminated following a prenatal diagnosis. So, having a screening policy results in more prenatal detection, and almost all babies with Down syndrome are terminated.

Could it be the intent of the Obama administration to prevent children with Down syndrome from being born? If so, it would not be the first time a eugenic agenda has darkened American public policy. Tucker Carlson pointed out in a 1996 Weekly Standard article that Joycelyn Elders, in 1990, when she was Arkansas state health director, testified before Congress that “abortion has had an important, and positive, public-health effect,” in that it has reduced “the number of children afflicted with severe defects.”

“As evidence, the future (U.S.) surgeon general cited this statistic: ‘The number of Down syndrome infants in Washington state in 1976 was 64% lower than it would have been without legal abortion,’” Carlson wrote.
So, as of August 1st.  our government is forcing us to pay to end babies lives calling it preventative care. Abortion is not health care, and we will continue to protest until we no longer fund death for the unborn.

See an excellent post at Catholic Advocate on the death of religious liberty.
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First ever drug to treat Down syndrome


Dr Alberto Costa and his daughter Tyche

An encouraging article by Dan Hurley in the Washington Post describes the clinical trials of the first ever drugs to improve learning and memory in those with Down syndrome, conducted by Dr Alberto Costa and Dr William Mobley. Enthusiasm is spreading througout the research community that Down syndrome, once considered too complex to treat, and abandoned by researchers, is now the subject of clinical trials.
“A lot of us are well aware of progress we’ve seen . . . in the past five to 10 years,” said Jamie Edgin, a developmental psychologist at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Among those advances, she said, are tests designed to measure the cognitive abilities of people with Down syndrome. The development of mice with the genetic equivalent of Down syndrome, essential for studies of possible drug treatments, has been another milestone. “There’s a lot of excitement,” Edgin said.

It is a devastating irony that stunning advances in accuracy in  prenatal testing  AND the first clinical trials for medicine to treat cognitive impairment of Down syndrome are discovered concurrently. Sadder still is the fact that the prenatal testing is receiving vastly more press coverage.
Imagine the excitement in the press if a new cancer drug were discovered?! Well, this is how the families of over 400,000 Americans who have Down syndrome feel about this drug and its potential to change lives. Not only can it help my ten year old daughter communicate with her classmates, but it may help insure that she has more classmates who look like her.
Maybe, just maybe, if mothers who are told that their unborn baby has Down syndrome heard that there are amazing advances in treatment for the cognitive delays in Down syndrome, they would not despair of their child's potential for a happy and fulfilling life as stated in this article.

Servant of God, Dr Jerome Lejeune
Of course, we who love our children with 'designer genes' already know their lives are wonderfully rich, full of love and learning, and giving back to their community. But if it takes more hope to help bring such gifted people to birth, then we want to be the first to spread the word. Thank you WaPo for joining us in our efforts to spread the good news.
Dr Jerome Lejeune, the French geneticist who won the Kennedy prize for his discovery of trisomy 21, the cause of Down syndrome spent his career hopeful that such treatments would be discovered, and his family via Lejeune USA  continues to fund such promising research. Dr Lejeune understood the importance of such research when he said,
“I see only one way left to save them, and that is to cure them. The task is immense, but so is Hope.”

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Is prenatal testing good or evil?


Excellent discussion of the pros and cons of new scientific advances in pre-natal testing from Dr Denise Hunnell on Zenit. She admits the benefits to knowing what birth defects an unborn baby has, but warns against misuse of this information by the government.Its not whether you have information that is troublesome, its what is done once the information is obtained. Dr Hunnell explains how the Nazis used the information they had about birth defects. One shudders at the prospect of what they would do if our technology were available to them.
Seeking to rid a population of genetic disease through controlling reproduction is not a new endeavor. On July 14, 1933, Germany enacted the Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring. Any man or woman who was afflicted with “feeblemindedness,” schizophrenia, manic-depressive disorder, epilepsy, Huntington’s chorea, genetic blindness, genetic deafness, severe physical deformity or chronic alcoholism were brought before hereditary health courts. The courts then mandated these individuals be sterilized. By 1935 the law was amended so the patients had no avenue for appeal and there were fines for physicians who failed to report patients who met the criteria for sterilization. This law was followed by the creation of Information Centers for Genetic and Racial Hygiene to identify potential targets for sterilization. By 1945, 400,000 Germans had been forcibly sterilized. It was this expanding quest to create the “master race” that precipitated so many of the atrocities of the Holocaust.
I am grateful to Dr Hunnell for pointing out the progression from making prenatal testing available to making it mandatory, to requiring that 'unacceptable' babies be aborted. We have to be sure our society does not repeat the tragic history of the holocaust.
 That is what we who love our children with Down syndrome fear, not the helpful knowledge which comes via non-invasive tests like MaterniT21, but the subtle and not-so-subtle coercion to abort their babies which so many mothers have experienced from their health professionals.

When the government health program funds pre-natal testing, it is with the goal of saving the cost of raising a child with Down syndrome.
The French geneticist who discovered trisomy 21, the cause of Down syndrome, Dr Jerome Lejeune said,
“People say, ‘The price of genetic diseases is high. If these individuals could be eliminated early on, the savings would be enormous!’ It cannot be denied that the price of these diseases is high—in suffering for the individual and in burdens for society. No to mention what parents suffer! But we can assign a value to that price: it is precisely what society must pay to be fully human.”

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