Friday, October 28, 2011

Michael Coren - The Arena - Mark Steyn & Ann Coulter

Listen to his brilliant analysis of society and his outstanding guests, and bemoan with me the fact that Michael Coren is not on US television. He's on in Canada, and next Friday he'll be interviewing me for his show about "A Special Mother is Born". If I can get a video of the show, I'll be posting it.
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National Down Syndrome Society asks that we write to Sequenom about MaterniT21

A request from the National Down Syndrome Society, who asks that we write an email to Sequnom the makers of MaterniT21 the new prenatal screening test which we fear may decimate the Down syndrome population of 400,000 in the US.

Read about it in my article.

Jon Coleman the Director of NDSS says,

Please urge Sequenom to meet all NDSS criteria for prenatal test companies. To see the NDSS Criteria to Evaluate Companies with Non-Invasive Prenatal Diagnostic Tests for Down Syndrome click here.
Click here to download the customizable letter and email it to

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bishop Lori defends religious liberty in front of Congress

Yesterday, Bridgeport Bishop William C. Lori testified before the House Judiciary Committee on the subject of religious freedom. He is the Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) new "Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty."

Catholic League president Bill Donohue issued the following remarks today:

USCCB president Archbishop Timothy Dolan made an excellent choice when he selected Bishop Lori for this post. The Bridgeport bishop did not disappoint us yesterday. Indeed, he laid out, in exacting detail, the threats to religious liberty that exist today.

What is most disturbing about the nature of today's threats is that most stem from government, with the Obama administration leading the way. This is a condition that cannot be tolerated at any level of government, but it is particularly alarming when the federal government amasses its resources against the First Amendment. Because of its wide network of social agencies, the Catholic Church is feeling the pressure more than other religions, making this a critical issue for Catholics across the nation.

To read Bishop Lori's statement, click hereBookmark and Share

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Special Mother is Born discussed on Special Chronicles Podcast

Special Chronicles Podcast Episode 27:"A Special Mother is Born," featuring an interview with author +Leticia Velasquez is now available to listen at http://www.specialch
Special Chronicles | Podcasting a message of respect.
This is the website for the Special Chronicles Podcast.

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Celebrate the Feast of Blessed Pope John Paul II with a new film series.

Review of John Paul II; The Man, The Pope, and His Message
By Alberto Michelini
Leticia Velasquez
Catholic Media Review.
Volume 8 I Am Your Voice: The Pope on Human Rights
Catholics have long enjoyed the work of papal videographer, Alberto Michelini. Now under a special arrangement with the Vatican, what was formerly available on video has been converted to a four DVD set containing five hours of dramatic documentary footage, organized by topic into ten 30 minute films. Each film focuses on a different aspect of the pontificate of Blessed John Paul; including youth, children, the poor, the family, Marian devotion, historic events, a day in the papal apartments, and the working world. The series is available in English, French, and Spanish.  The companion website for this DVD set has free downloads of companion discussion guides for leaders and participants for each volume with tools for group discussion. This makes this series an ideal tool for teachers to use in Catholic school, CCD, and parish adult ed programs. Study groups could use these films in private homes. Homeschooling mothers from the JPII Generation will find this ideal for teaching their children about the legacy of Blessed John Paul.

Volume 8 “I Am Your Voice” is the powerful film on human rights; Pope John Paul is seen interacting with and addressing poor, sick and persecuted people from every corner of the globe.  A heartbreaking cry of misery is documented in this film; from the slums of Latin America and Calcutta, the prairies of Canada, the plazas of South Korea, the Australian Outback, the savannahs of Africa, and the shipyards of Gdansk. The desperation of the members of the human family who are callously denied basic human dignity are heard by the man who himself suffered under two oppressive regimes.  South Americans who are living forsaken in squalid slums while neighbors enjoy luxury, occupying land was stolen from them. African lepers whom the government has forgotten, living in filth, workers who are deprived of just wages and political freedom, aboriginal tribes whose numbers are decimated yet remain proud of their culture. The Pope listens to their pleas with love and tells them “The Church hears your voice”
He responds to such pain with tears of compassion, embracing the disconsolate and dying, and railing with righteous indignation at the perpetrators of injustice at the rich who ignore the hunger of the poor, and the violence between protesters and police in Chile while he shouts to the multitude, “Love is stronger, Love is stronger!” John Paul speaks unflinchingly in defense of human rights at the United Nations in 1979, attempting to awaken the powerful of the world from the somnolence of egotism. He prays with profound sorrow at the grave of murdered Polish priest and Solidarity activist Fr Jerzy Popieluszko. Not taking sides for political purposes, as he is often accused of doing, the Pope is consistently on the side of the downtrodden, pointing out that the Church cannot be silent when human dignity is at stake.
During this moving footage, the narrator adds context to the scenes, and quotes from John Paul’s numerous encyclicals dealing with social justice; allowing viewers to grow in understanding of the Church’s position on human rights issues, as a preferential option for the poor,  while avoiding the errors of Liberation Theology. He says that Christ came that we might have life abundantly, yet does not favor one political solution over another, rather, he attempts to stir the consciences of those in charge of the world’s economic systems, both left and right. For this he receives criticism for “dabbling in politics”.
Today there are protests of increasing intensity around the world, expressing frustration with injustices both political and economic. The Holy Father addressed this in his speech at the United Nations in 1979 when he said, “wars develop when inalienable rights are violated.” His warning was fulfilling the prophetic duty of the Church, to be the voice of the oppressed. He exclaims “the Church cannot be silent when human dignity is at stake”. One of the most emotionally charged moments of this documentary is when John Paul II upbraids his fellow Poles in 1991 in Kielce when he reminds them, shortly after the Solidarity Movement brought freedom to those behind the Iron Curtain and there  was a movement to tell the Church to get out of politics with regard to abortion. He reminded his countrymen that a child is a gift from God.
No human being is forgotten in John Paul’s passionate defense of the dignity of mankind from birth to natural death. These films are compellingly narrated using the best of John Paul II’s encyclicals to educate the public about why Pope John Paul is called the Great and why millions attended his funeral shouting “Santo Subito!”
Don’t miss this outstanding series which offers an unparalleled opportunity to relive this extraordinary pontificate, and grow in your appreciation of the historical legacy of soon to be St John Paul.
In the spirit of the Gospel as well as out selfless Pope, It is “better to give than to receive”, CCC of AMERICA is hosting a contest: JPII They Love You. People who go to the Pope Series website to complete a brief web form in order to enter someone of their choosing to win a DVD set (valued at $49.99). They will have only 50 words or less to say why they are entering that particular friend, relative, neighbor, CCD teacher, Priest, etc to win a copy of the series.
More information may be found at this website;

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Read my article on The Fight to Eliminate Down Syndrome

Yesterday, I posted about the New York Times' fair to favorable coverage of life with a loved one with Down syndrome.
But there is no paper like the National Catholic Register who is an open advocate for the Culture of Life, in all aspects. Thanks to their commitment to the life issues, I have published no less than four articles about Down syndrome and abortion. Down not Out,     Down, Hero Dad and Palin,  and Remembering Jerome Lejeune,
Three of four of them mention the French pro-life hero and geneticist,  Dr Jerome Lejeune, who I believe will be canonized and serve as the patron saint of those with Down syndrome. He was declared Servant of God on June 28, 2007 (what a great birthday gift for me!)

Here is my latest article The Fight to Eliminate Down Syndrome; Eugenics at Work?
Go on over, and leave a comment!

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Hartford high schoolers compelled to watch passionate gay kiss in play

The parents were deliberately kept in the dark as where the students as their principals plotted to shock them into accepting gay sexual relations.

The kiss occurred during Hartford Public High School’s production of “Zanna, Don’t!,” a play depicting a world in which homosexuality is normative and heterosexuals take up the role of “outcasts.”

The Hartford Courant reported that “screams and loud voices” and sounds of disgust came from the audience during the display of affection, while “dozens” of mostly male students left the auditorium. While some trickled back in, officials had to prevent many from leaving the school building.

Dr. Christina Kishimoto, Superintendent of Schools

It backfired, dozens of shocked students fled the play in disgust, and tried to leave the school. Officials are pleased they are getting in touch with their inner gayness. Below read my response to the Superintendent of Hartford Schools.

You can reach her at

Here is my letter:
I am a certified ESL teacher, with 20 years of experience.
I am also the mother to two teenage girls who have never attended public school. Thanks to this event, they never will.

I have the Constitutional right to raise my children according to my moral standards. It is not compulsory to accept homosexual activity (yet) in this state, despite the fiat of the Supreme Court which imposed same sex "marriage" on the citizens of Connecticut in 2008.

I will withdraw my nine year old daughter from public schools in CT before she can be exploited for political correctness and her innocence destroyed. My girls are taught in St Mary's Church to love and respect everyone, regardless of their orientation. They are also taught that homosexual actions as well as any sexual activity outside of marriage is a sin which leads to eternal damnation.
You will never change this teaching it comes from God Himself. You have no right to impose your immorality on innocent children.
You may teach respect, but not try to acclimate them to sin, this is intolerable, and you should be ashamed of this action. I am posting this on my blog.

Read the entire LifeSiteNews Story here.
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fair article on MaterniT21 at the New York Times

Ever since Amy Harmon's Pulitzer Prize winning The DNA Age Series article "Prenatal Testing Puts Down Syndrome in Hard Focus" I have had a growing respect for the Times' coverage of issues regarding Down syndrome. Dan Hurley's wonderful magazine article on Dr Alberto Costa was another proof that they are giving our side a fighting chance despite the acrid tone of most of the comments. I wrote him to thank him and he said he was overwhelmed with positive emails from his article. I hope that he told his superiors, that more such press would do the paper proud.

Andrew Pollack's piece today on the Prescriptions blog is further proof that advocates of those with Down syndrome have made inroads in public reporting of the issue.Our position is fairly articulated

But some advocates for those with Down syndrome fear the new tests, which can be conducted as early as the 10th week of pregnancy, will lead to more abortions and reduce the population of those with Down syndrome. And they lament what they say is the perception that lives with Down syndrome are not worth living.

 He quotes Dr Skotko's impressive survey on the happiness of those with Down syndrome and their families,
Dr. Brian G. Skotko, a specialist in the Down syndrome program at Children’s Hospital Boston, said that the number of babies born annually with Down syndrome in the United States declined 11 percent from 1989 to 2006. This was during a period when the number of such births would have been expected to increase by 42 percent because more women were putting off child-bearing until they were older, when the risk of an affected pregnancy increased.The reason is that most women who find they are carrying a fetus with Down syndrome, which causes mild to moderate mental retardation, terminate the pregnancy.
 and the angst felt by researcher Dr Alberto Costa who is afraid the money will not be there to cure the cognitive delays in Down syndrome if all the research dollars go to prenatal screening tests.

All in all, its an accurate portrayal of the other side of the ''good news" that other papers are insensitively touting as a "life saving breakthrough." Such language hits me in the stomach like a sucker punch. That's my daughter they're desperately trying to abort!
If only they knew her like we do!

Which is the reason I became a blogger five years ago this month.

Read the entire article here. And please take the time to leave a positive comment amid the sarcastic and condescending ones. So many hurting people used this article about our innocent children to spew their venom!
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Monday, October 17, 2011

Sequenom releases Down syndrome test; will babies with Down syndrome become extinct?

The new test is aimed directly at unborn babies with Down syndrome as its name suggests MaterniT21. T21 is the nickname for trisomy 21, the true name of what we call Down syndrome because they have three copies or trisomy of the 21st chromosome.

Two years ago, Sequenom said it had this test ready but it seems some of their employees deliberately skewed the results, causing an investor crisis. Their stock plunged to $3 a share from $28. Apparently prenatal tests are big business, and the company plans to target 750,000 "at risk" women. At risk for having a baby like my nine year old Christina (see our portrait) If only they knew what they were missing!

But starting today, a woman can for a $235 co-pay, have her blood tested at 10 weeks gestation to know with 99% accuracy if her baby has trisomy 21. At the present time, early screenings like the Quad and Triple Screen blood tests are very unreliable, as is the sonogram called the nuchal thickening (which looks at the extra fold of skin on the neck characterizing trisomy 21). This is causing journalists to laud this new test as a life saving breakthrough. The New York Times says as much in its article

"New tests are coming to market that can detect Down syndrome in a fetus using a sample of the mother’s blood, potentially reducing the need for riskier invasive tests while also stirring ethical concerns."

But for the babies who test positive for Down syndrome, there is a 92% chance they will not live to be born.

Dr Brian Skotko warns; "“The number of American women who will have to grapple with this information prenatally will substantially increase,” said Dr. Brian G. Skotko of the Down syndrome program at Children’s Hospital Boston. His sister has Down syndrome, he said, and he pointed out that these tests could encourage more people to end their pregnancies, causing a decline in the numbers of people with the condition and leading to diminished support for them."

This is exactly the dilemma faced by researcher Dr Alberto Costa, whose daughter has Down syndrome. He is fighting for funds in a limited pool of research grants to test memantine, an Alzheimer's drug which when injected into mice with a form of trisomy 21 causes immediate increases in their ability to learn, equaling their typical counterparts. Now there is tremendous enthusiasm, in the research community that a treatment for the cognitive delays of Down syndrome will be found soon, within ten years. Clinical tests are being conducted in New Jersey for another drug developed by Dr William Mobley with similar spectacular results in trisomic mice.

“This was a disorder for which it was believed there was no hope, no treatment, and people thought, Why waste your time?” says Craig C. Garner, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and co-director of the Center for Research and Treatment of Down Syndrome at Stanford University. “The last 10 years have seen a revolution in neuroscience, so that we now realize that the brain is amazingly plastic, very flexible, and systems can be repaired.”

So, just as there is amazing progress to make life better than ever for people like my daughter, this test comes crashing down on us to destroy our hopes, by threatening to make children like Christina virtually extinct. Why? Because if the investors think there is more money to be made in preventing babies from being born, none will invest in these drugs to make learning and memory normal for people like Christina who has difficulty speaking but is learning to read and write.

"Costa, like others working on drug treatments, fears that the imminent approval of those tests might undercut support for treatment research, and even raises the possibility that children like Tyche will be among the last of a generation to be born with Down syndrome.

“It’s like we’re in a race against the people who are promoting those early screening methods,” Costa, who is 48, told me. “These tests are going to be quite accessible. At that point, one would expect a precipitous drop in the rate of birth of children with Down syndrome. If we’re not quick enough to offer alternatives, this field might collapse.” (NYTimes Magazine)

So we are faced with a choice, either use medical science to conduct high-tech eugenic search-and-destroy missions for those babies we deem 'life unworthy of life' or use it to enhance the lives of 400,000 Americans who have Down syndrome, and give hope to the 750,000 moms who might be carrying a baby with trisomy 21.
  The choice is ours. Our answer will tell a lot about the type of civilization we are.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

All CT Representatives voted NO on HR358 Protect Life Act

As expected, this week the House of Representatives passed the Protect Life Act (H.R. 358)—which stops taxpayer funding of abortion and strengthens conscience protections under Obamacare—by a vote of 251-172.

Passage of the Protect Life Act is a promise fulfilled to pro-life activists by House GOP leadership. As you may remember, SBA List activists led the charge in petitioning Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor to include the Protect Life Act in its “Pledge to America” shortly after last year’s elections that swept them into power.

Now, it’s up to the Senate to take up the Protect Life Act. We look forward to keeping you updated in the coming weeks on how you can help make it happen.

But for now, I need you to do two things.
See how your Representative voted on the Protect Life Act.
Use the SBA List Action Center to thank your Representative or express disappointment based on how they voted.

After you’ve taken those two important actions, I encourage you to watch clips from the heated debate on the Protect Life Act which was led by the courageous Rep.Virginia Foxx (R-NC) on the pro-life side.

Take a look at the SuzyB Blog to see if your Representative stood up to defend Life on the House floor and watch some of the compelling speeches from the debate on the bill.

As you watch the floor speeches, notice how our pro-life leaders in Congress overwhelmingly agree that Obamacare allows for taxpayer funding of abortion, which is exactly why the Protect Life Act is needed in the first place – and the exact message we worked to spread during the 2010 mid-term elections that have resulted in a federal defamation lawsuit.

Passing the Protect Life Act in the House of Representatives was a step in the right direction, but it’s going to be an uphill battle to have this must-pass legislation taken up in the Senate. We’re going to need your help to get it done!

Connecticut is one of the most Catholic states in the union. The Catholic Church is unequivocally pro-life, yet not one of our Congressmen voted yes. Don't expect any better from our Senators.
We need change in 2012!
Shame on Catholic Congressman Joe Courtney. I hope he doesn't present himself for Communion this Sunday.

NoCT-1Larson, John [D]
NoCT-2Courtney, Joe [D]
NoCT-3DeLauro, Rosa [D]
NoCT-4Himes, James [D]
NoCT-5Murphy, Christopher [D]

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Pre-orders for my book "A Special Mother is Born" are now being accepted!

Great news for those of you who have been wondering when the books will be available!
WestBow Press has informed me that my books are coming within three weeks!

I am taking  pre-orders here on my blog, as well as on my other blogs Cause of Our Joy, Causa Nostrae Laetitiae, Keep Infants with Down Syndrome, and Catholic Media Review.

Just click the paypal button in the margin on the right, and leave your shipping information and  your payment of $22.50 ($19.95 plus $2.55 shipping for a total of $22.50) by credit or debit card , and I will ship your book to your home in one month.

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Friday, October 07, 2011

Our Lady of Victory saved a life today!

It was a brilliantly sunny fall morning, and Gabbi my 18 year old asked me over breakfast, "Do you want to fill in for a vacancy at 40 Days for Life at noon today?" I have been ill with pneumonia for two weeks, but little by little, am venturing outdoors again. I answered "yes", and continued praying the rosary with the children at the Worldwide Children's Holy Hour at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington on EWTN.

At noon we were at 12 Case Street in Norwich, CT where Planned Parenthood has an abortion mill in the medical building with a rear entrance. We relieved an older woman, who was there since 11AM, but Joe, the tall young man who was with her,  got involved in conversation with us in front of the main entrance to the building. Gabbi was holding a sign which read, "women deserve better than abortion" and I had another sign which read "STOP all abortion". Soon a gentleman came running up and started a pleasant conversation about his involvement with pro-life activities. As we were all talking,  a metallic green SUV stopped abruptly in the road opposite us and the driver, a man in his forties, seemed very angry with us. I was afraid of a confrontation and avoided his eyes, but he seemed engrossed in conversation with the twenty something woman next to him in the front seat.
"Well, make up your f---ing mind," he growled, "are you going in or aren't you?" The woman, looking down, merely shook her head. The driver took off with a start, and turning around in the handicapped parking lot with exaggerated motions and angry glares in our direction, careened into the Obstetrician's office parking lot across the street. The SUV disappeared behind the building for twenty minutes.

We discussed the incident and started to pray the Hail Mary for the young woman who was obviously in conflict over entering the abortion mill.

Soon our doubts were answered as the SUV came driving violently out of the OB's parking lot, turned down the street, and passed the abortion mill's parking lot without going in. We tried not to cheer, as it was obvious that the young woman upon seeing our signs, had a change of heart which her companion was not happy about.
We give all the credit to Our Lady of Victory whose feast day, now called Our Lady of the Rosary is today.
NEVER underestimate the power of prayer!
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Monday, October 03, 2011

USCCB forms religious liberty committee

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the decision by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to establish a Religious Liberty Committee:
The president of the USCCB, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, has announced the establishment of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty;Bridgeport Bishop William Lori will chair the committee. Dolan lists six reasons why the new group is being launched:
• The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is seeking to force private healthcare providers to carry contraceptive and sterilization services 
• HHS wants to force the USCCB's Migration and Refugee Services to provide "the full range of reproductive services"
• The federal government is seeking to force international relief programs to offer reproductive health services 
• The Department of Justice is attacking the Defense of Marriage Act, arguing that support for marriage is a form of bigotry
• The Justice Department is attacking a religious liberty known as the ministerial exception; it insulates religious employers from state encroachment
• New York State recently legalized gay marriage, providing a very narrow religious exemption
With the exception of the last concern, all of the others reflect the policies of the Obama administration. To say that this administration disrespects religious liberty is too kind—it shows nothing but contempt for the "First Freedom."
Bishop Lori knows first-hand how contemptuous government can be of religious liberty—he fought a prospective state takeover of the administrative affairs of the Catholic Church in Connecticut. Archbishop Dolan is also no novice: he has fought anti-Catholic bigotry for years. The Catholic League has worked with both bishops before, and looks forward to assisting them again. 
from the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. 

This is welcome news; our bishops are preparing for war. Obama and his pro-abortion administration has declared war on Catholics who are faithful to the Magisterium, and the Church Militant is preparing to fight back. Bishop Lori has already fought back discriminatory legislation in CT aimed specifically against the Catholic Church, and lost the battle against same sex marriage. Archbishop Dolan narrowly lost the battle against same sex marriage in New York. 
Let's get behind them and let he

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Saturday, October 01, 2011

Cardinal Di Nardo issues Bishops Respect Life Month Statement


Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo
Chairman, Committee on Pro-Life Activities
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

September 26, 2011

This October the Catholic Church throughout the United States will observe Respect Life Month, an annual tradition now in its fortieth year.
Cardinal DiNardo on Respect Life Month
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo Releases Statement for October 2011, Respect Life Month
Beginning on October 2, 2011—Respect Life Sunday—Catholics across the nation will join together to witness to the inherent equality and transcendent value of every human being.
In countless liturgies and events we will give thanks to God for the gift of human life, and pray for his guidance and blessings on our efforts to defend the most vulnerable members of the human family.
We will voice our opposition to the injustice and cruelty of abortion on behalf of those victims whose voices have been silenced. At the same time, we will remind the living victims of abortion—the mothers and fathers who grieve the loss of an irreplaceable child—that God’s mercy is greater than any human sin, and that healing and peace can be theirs through the sacrament of reconciliation and the Church’s Project Rachel Ministry.
The theme chosen for this year’s Respect Life Program is I came so that all might have life and have it to the full. In this brief explanation of his mission (cf. John 10:10), Jesus refers both to our hope of eternal life, to be restored through his death and resurrection, and to our life in this world.
By following Jesus’ new Commandment of unselfish love, our lives can be richly fulfilling, and marked by joy and peace. In contrast, treating others as either means or obstacles to one’s self-serving goals, while never learning to love generously, is an impoverished way to live.
Viewing life as a “zero sum” game, in which advancing one’s interests requires putting aside the needs of others, can lead to callous unconcern for anyone who is especially weak, defenseless, and in need of our help. The unborn child, the aging parent who some call a “burden” on our medical system, the allegedly “excess” embryo in the fertility clinic, the person with a disability, the cognitively impaired accident victim who needs assistance in receiving food and water to live—each today is at risk of being dismissed as a “life unworthy of life.”
Jesus’ promise of “life to the full” is especially poignant today, when our culture and sometimes our government promote values inimical to the happiness and true good of individuals and society. We face increasing attempts to expunge God and religious discourse from public life. This promotes the dangerous proposition that human beings enjoy no special status by virtue of their God-given humanity. Some now even seek to eliminate religiously motivated people and organizations from public programs, by forcing them to violate their moral and religious convictions or stop serving the needy.
The same forces, aided by advertising and entertainment media, promote a selfish and demeaning view of human sexuality, by extolling the alleged good of sexual activity without love or commitment. This view of sex as “free” of commitment or consequences has no place for openness to new life. Hence contraceptives are promoted even to young teens as though they were essential to women’s well-being, and abortion defended as the “necessary” back-up plan when contraceptives fail. And fail they do. Studies report that most women seeking abortions were using contraception in the month they became pregnant. Again and again, studies show that increasing access to contraception fails to reduce rates of unplanned pregnancies and abortions.
Both these trends—a distorted view of sexuality and a disdain for the role of religion—are exhibited by the Department of Health and Human Services’ recent decision on the “preventive services” to be mandated in virtually all private health plans under the new health care law. The Department ruled that such mandated services will include surgical sterilization and all FDA-approved contraceptive drugs and devices—including the abortifacient drug “Ella,” a close analogue to the abortion pill RU-486.
The decision is wrong on many levels. Preventive services are aimed at preventing diseases (e.g., by vaccinations) or detecting them early to aid prompt treatment (e.g., screening for diabetes or cancer). But pregnancy is not a disease. It is the normal, healthy state by which each of us came into the world. Far from preventing disease, contraceptives can have serious health consequences of their own, for example, increasing the risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted disease, such as AIDS, increasing the risk of breast cancer from excess estrogen, and of blood clots that can lead to stroke from synthetic progestin. Mandating such coverage shows neither respect for women’s health or freedom, nor respect for the consciences of those who do not want to take part in such problematic initiatives.
The “religious employer” exemption offered by the Department is so extremely narrow that it protects almost no one. Catholic institutions providing health care and other services to the needy could be forced to fire their non-Catholic employees and cease serving the poor and vulnerable of other faiths—or stop providing health coverage at all. It has been said that Jesus himself, or the Good Samaritan of his famous parable, would not qualify as “religious enough” for the exemption, since they insisted on helping people who did not share their view of God.
All these misguided efforts to foster false values among our youth, to silence the voice of moral truth in the public domain, and to deprive believers of their constitutionally-protected right to live according to their religious convictions, must be resisted by education, public advocacy, and above all by prayer.
The founders of our nation understood that religion and morality are essential to the survival of a freedom-loving society. John Adams expressed this conviction, stating:
“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.
Catholics must not shrink from the obligation to assert the values and principles we hold essential to the common good, beginning with the right to life of every human being and the right of every woman and man to express and live by his or her religious beliefs and well-formed conscience.
As Pope Benedict XVI reminded us last year in one of his Ad Limina addresses to visiting bishops, “a society can be built only by tirelessly respecting, promoting and teaching the transcendent nature of the human person.” That common nature transcends all accidental differences of age, race, strength, or conditions of dependency, preparing us to be one human family under God.
During this Respect Life Month, as we celebrate God’s great gift of life, let us pray and reflect on how each of us might renew our commitment and witness to “respecting, promoting and teaching the transcendent nature of the human person,” thereby shoring up the foundations of a society sorely in need of this guidance.

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