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July 8, 2009

http://www.lifenews.com/state4290.html

http://www.lifenews.com/bio2885.html

Obama Admin Ignored Majority Who Opposed Embryonic Stem Cell Research Rules

by Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com Editor

July 7, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The National Institutes of Health is drawing condemnation today from pro-life advocates who say it ignored the majority of Americans who opposed the proposed guidelines that would implement President Barack Obama’s decision to force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research.

NIH yesterday released the new guidelines, which not only allow the destruction of “leftover” human embryos but could open the door to their purposeful creation and destruction.

The decision also came with considerable controversy, with the Obama administration apparently ignoring the comments it solicited.

Acting NIH director Raynard Kington told The Hill, a newspaper that covers Congress, that a strong majority of the comments were against embryonic stem cell research funding.

The agency received more than 49,000 comments from the public after issuing a draft of its guidelines in April, Kington explained, and he noted 30,000 came from people who opposed the immoral research.

Kington admitted that NIH ignored such comments as “unresponsive.”

“We actually did not ask the public whether we should fund research on human embryonic stem cells. We asked the public how we should fund human embryonic stem cell research,” Kington told The Hill.

That’s not going over well with pro-life advocates like Richard M. Doerflinger, associate director of the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities.

He told the Catholic Review that it was “disingenuous (for Kington) to say that comments criticizing the guidelines overall were to be ignored.”

Doerflinger said the 61 percent of Americans who didn’t want to be forced to pay for research that has never helped a single person said in their comments, “You’re not responding to what the American people want. Start over.”

Deirdre A. McQuade, assistant director for policy and communications in the pro-life secretariat of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told the newspaper that her group helped more than 9,436 people write to NIH.

Meanwhile, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council blasted the guidelines themselves as immoral and unethical.

“Embryonic stem cell research requires dissecting and commoditizing the youngest, most vulnerable humans,” he told LifeNews.com.

“The new guidelines demanded by the President promote poor science, reflect bad health care policy, and do nothing to fund treatments with adult stem cells that are providing documented benefits for suffering patients,” he explained. “The guidelines implement a plan that will force taxpayers to foot the bill for research that involves human destruction, not healing.”

“The NIH guidelines create an incentive to create and destroy so-called ‘excess’ embryos, pasting a veneer of ‘ethics’ on unethical experiments. They remove limits on taxpayer funding of experiments that require embryo destruction, and open the door to future abuses,” he continued.

“The guidelines purport to have tight informed consent requirements, but don’t even require the IVF doctor and the stem cell researcher to be separate persons, opening a gaping loophole for researchers to increase embryo production for their own purposes,” added Perkins.

Perkins told LifeNews.com that the Obama administration should be focusing on alternatives like adult stem cell research that is already helping patients.

“Instead of funding more life-destroying experiments, federal funding should go toward life-saving treatments and clinical trials using adult stem cells, which are on the cutting edge of treating patients for diabetes, spinal cord injury, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and other diseases,” he concluded.

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jul/09070709.html

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jul/09070702.html

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jul/09070710.html

Tuesday July 7, 2009

Best Pro-Life Quotes from Pope Benedict XVI’s New Encyclical

In new encyclical Pope Benedict slams population control, urges openness to life

Compiled by John-Henry Westen

ROME, Italy, July 7, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Today the much-anticipated social encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate (Truth in Love) was released, after being delayed for a year due to the global economic crisis. The encyclical includes several passages of great interest to those involved in the pro-life movement. The most pertinent and striking passages dealing with the life issues are reproduced below. To read the complete encyclical click here.  [ http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/
encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20090629_caritas-in-veritate_en.html
 ]

28. One of the most striking aspects of development in the present day is the important question of respect for life, which cannot in any way be detached from questions concerning the development of peoples. It is an aspect which has acquired increasing prominence in recent times, obliging us to broaden our concept of poverty66 and underdevelopment to include questions connected with the acceptance of life, especially in cases where it is impeded in a variety of ways.

Not only does the situation of poverty still provoke high rates of infant mortality in many regions, but some parts of the world still experience practices of demographic control, on the part of governments that often promote contraception and even go so far as to impose abortion. In economically developed countries, legislation contrary to life is very widespread, and it has already shaped moral attitudes and praxis, contributing to the spread of an anti-birth mentality; frequent attempts are made to export this mentality to other States as if it were a form of cultural progress.

Some non-governmental Organizations work actively to spread abortion, at times promoting the practice of sterilization in poor countries, in some cases not even informing the women concerned. Moreover, there is reason to suspect that development aid is sometimes linked to specific health-care policies which de facto involve the imposition of strong birth control measures. Further grounds for concern are laws permitting euthanasia as well as pressure from lobby groups, nationally and internationally, in favour of its juridical recognition.

Openness to life is at the centre of true development. When a society moves towards the denial or suppression of life, it ends up no longer finding the necessary motivation and energy to strive for man’s true good. If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of a new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away.67 The acceptance of life strengthens moral fibre and makes people capable of mutual help. By cultivating openness to life, wealthy peoples can better understand the needs of poor ones, they can avoid employing huge economic and intellectual resources to satisfy the selfish desires of their own citizens, and instead, they can promote virtuous action within the perspective of production that is morally sound and marked by solidarity, respecting the fundamental right to life of every people and every individual.

44. The notion of rights and duties in development must also take account of the problems associated with population growth. This is a very important aspect of authentic development, since it concerns the inalienable values of life and the family.110 To consider population increase as the primary cause of underdevelopment is mistaken, even from an economic point of view. Suffice it to consider, on the one hand, the significant reduction in infant mortality and the rise in average life expectancy found in economically developed countries, and on the other hand, the signs of crisis observable in societies that are registering an alarming decline in their birth rate. Due attention must obviously be given to responsible procreation, which among other things has a positive contribution to make to integral human development. The Church, in her concern for man’s authentic development, urges him to have full respect for human values in the exercise of his sexuality. It cannot be reduced merely to pleasure or entertainment, nor can sex education be reduced to technical instruction aimed solely at protecting the interested parties from possible disease or the “risk” of procreation. This would be to impoverish and disregard the deeper meaning of sexuality, a meaning which needs to be acknowledged and responsibly appropriated not only by individuals but also by the community. It is irresponsible to view sexuality merely as a source of pleasure, and likewise to regulate it through strategies of mandatory birth control. In either case materialistic ideas and policies are at work, and individuals are ultimately subjected to various forms of violence. Against such policies, there is a need to defend the primary competence of the family in the area of sexuality,111 as opposed to the State and its restrictive policies, and to ensure that parents are suitably prepared to undertake their responsibilities.

Morally responsible openness to life represents a rich social and economic resource. Populous nations have been able to emerge from poverty thanks not least to the size of their population and the talents of their people. On the other hand, formerly prosperous nations are presently passing through a phase of uncertainty and in some cases decline, precisely because of their falling birth rates; this has become a crucial problem for highly affluent societies. The decline in births, falling at times beneath the so-called “replacement level”, also puts a strain on social welfare systems, increases their cost, eats into savings and hence the financial resources needed for investment, reduces the availability of qualified labourers, and narrows the “brain pool” upon which nations can draw for their needs. Furthermore, smaller and at times miniscule families run the risk of impoverishing social relations, and failing to ensure effective forms of solidarity. These situations are symptomatic of scant confidence in the future and moral weariness. It is thus becoming a social and even economic necessity once more to hold up to future generations the beauty of marriage and the family, and the fact that these institutions correspond to the deepest needs and dignity of the person. In view of this, States are called to enact policies promoting the centrality and the integrity of the family founded on marriage between a man and a woman, the primary vital cell of society,112 and to assume responsibility for its economic and fiscal needs, while respecting its essentially relational character.

In order to protect nature, it is not enough to intervene with economic incentives or deterrents; not even an apposite education is sufficient. These are important steps, but the decisive issue is the overall moral tenor of society. If there is a lack of respect for the right to life and to a natural death, if human conception, gestation and birth are made artificial, if human embryos are sacrificed to research, the conscience of society ends up losing the concept of human ecology and, along with it, that of environmental ecology. It is contradictory to insist that future generations respect the natural environment when our educational systems and laws do not help them to respect themselves. The book of nature is one and indivisible: it takes in not only the environment but also life, sexuality, marriage, the family, social relations: in a word, integral human development. Our duties towards the environment are linked to our duties towards the human person, considered in himself and in relation to others. It would be wrong to uphold one set of duties while trampling on the other. Herein lies a grave contradiction in our mentality and practice today: one which demeans the person, disrupts the environment and damages society.

In vitro fertilization, embryo research, the possibility of manufacturing clones and human hybrids: all this is now emerging and being promoted in today’s highly disillusioned culture, which believes it has mastered every mystery, because the origin of life is now within our grasp. Here we see the clearest expression of technology’s supremacy. In this type of culture, the conscience is simply invited to take note of technological possibilities. Yet we must not underestimate the disturbing scenarios that threaten our future, or the powerful new instruments that the “culture of death” has at its disposal. To the tragic and widespread scourge of abortion we may well have to add in the future – indeed it is already surreptiously present – the systematic eugenic programming of births. At the other end of the spectrum, a pro-euthanasia mindset is making inroads as an equally damaging assertion of control over life that under certain circumstances is deemed no longer worth living. Underlying these scenarios are cultural viewpoints that deny human dignity. These practices in turn foster a materialistic and mechanistic understanding of human life. Who could measure the negative effects of this kind of mentality for development? How can we be surprised by the indifference shown towards situations of human degradation, when such indifference extends even to our attitude towards what is and is not human? What is astonishing is the arbitrary and selective determination of what to put forward today as worthy of respect. Insignificant matters are considered shocking, yet unprecedented injustices seem to be widely tolerated. While the poor of the world continue knocking on the doors of the rich, the world of affluence runs the risk of no longer hearing those knocks, on account of a conscience that can no longer distinguish what is human. God reveals man to himself; reason and faith work hand in hand to demonstrate to us what is good, provided we want to see it; the natural law, in which creative Reason shines forth, reveals our greatness, but also our wretchedness insofar as we fail to recognize the call to moral truth.

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jul/09070701.html

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jul/09070711.html

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jul/09070705.html

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jul/09070708.html

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jun/09063002.html 

referenced in the following letter to the editor at http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jul/09070713.html:

Regarding the above-mentioned article published on June 30, 2009: I was one of the individuals polled at the time, and I had no doubt as to what the terms “pro-life” and “pro-choice” mean. I also remember vividly that the poller asked this and all other questions in an extremely professional, neutral manner. Furthermore, I am a nineteen-year-old female, one whom most would expect to be pro-choice. However, I am unapologetically pro-life, and I can see that the pro-choice movement is growing ever more desperate to deceive and recruit young women such as myself.

I greatly appreciate all the work done at LifeSiteNews, and I thank you all for your bold and straightforward reporting. You are an immensely valuable resource.

Cynthia L. Verzwyvelt, Colorado Springs, Colorado

http://catholicexchange.com/2009/07/08/120183/

http://www.americanpapist.com/2009/07/tomorrow-at-6am-est-text-of-caritas-in.html#links (and many related posts at that blog regarding the new encyclical)

http://www.americanpapist.com/2009/07/pope-benedict-xvi-recognizes-miracle.html#links

speaking of saint-to-be Cardinal Newman:

http://woman.catholicexchange.com/2009/07/03/1742/

http://woman.catholicexchange.com/2009/07/04/1639/

and thanks to emails from http://www.alliancealert.org for leads to these articles about several of the subjects noted above (it’s good to use more than one source):

http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/1433810878.html

http://www.frc.org/pressrelease/nih-stem-cell-guidelines-ethically-irresponsible-scientifically-unworthy-useless-to-patients

http://www.alliancealert.org/2009/07/07/rules-will-allow-financing-for-old-stem-cell-lines/

http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=30833&ref=BPNews-RSSFeed0706

excerpts:

Teachers who have religious objections to paying NEA dues — which can be used to fund the pro-choice and homosexual agendas — have the right in some states to give money to a charity instead, Smith said. Information is available from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation at nrtw.org. [ http://www.nrtw.org/ ]

“People don’t realize — because they’re told otherwise — that they have a right to get out of the union,” Smith  [Jeralee Smith, cofounder of the Conservative Educators Caucus within the NEA] said.

. . .

NEA’s 3.2 million members work at every level of education, from preschool to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.

http://www.all.org/article.php?id=12016

http://works.bepress.com/bridget_fuselier/1/

This may be a good time to remind you of my general disclaimer that I don’t get to read all the articles that I mention, and that I don’t necessarily agree with the parts that I have read. But I do try to provide you with links to items that may be of interest on a variety of subjects, sometimes to present opposing views that are important to be aware of and sometimes to draw attention to situations that the mainstream media misses. In any case, if you ever notice that something I mention/linkto is very bad or misleading, please bring it to my attention (politely) and I’ll try to respond to your concern.

In closing, I’ve got to step back again and not spend even this much time (i.e., used for the quick listings of these past few days) here at the blog. Please use the various Web sites that I’ve mentioned above and at other times, as well as the official site of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops http://www.usccb.org/ to keep yourself aware of what is going on around the country and world, so that you can effectively communicate to other people as well as take civic action when appropriate.

Some specifics at the http://www.usccb.org/ site:

 

 

http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2009/09-155.shtml

http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2009/09-154.shtml

http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2009/09-152.shtml

http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2009/09-146.shtml

http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2009/09-145.shtml

http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2009/09-144.shtml

http://www.usccb.org/caritasinveritate/

 

 

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