Rochester Area Right To Life
LifeLines is the newsletter of the Rochester Area Right to Life Committee, Inc., Education Fund. Older, complete issues in print are available in the Rochester office. These articles have been selected from the issue in print. An index for this issue and all previous issues for this year is available.
Volume 29; Issue 4 January , 2001
Information and news you can use to protect and defend lives threatened by abortion and euthanasia
2001: A YEAR OF HOPE AND FEAR
Just a year ago we were recovering from the hype of a new century beginning. We looked at the coming 12 months and wondered what they would bring. Some were optimistic or nervous. Others were apprehensive. A few were indifferent.
Year 2000 and events which occurred are now written in historys indelible ink. Many roads on which we will walk in 2001 were paved throughout 2000 here and in all parts of the world. Some will be used in our lifetimes. They are important, but have a bittersweet taste, with no certainty as to which taste will prevail.
Few expected Hillary Rodham Clinton to be elected a U.S. Senator from New York. The seat presented an opportunity to send a pro-life Senator to Washington to offset pro-abortion New York Senator Charles Schumer. Unbelievably, Clintons opponent was an experienced, pro-abortion legislator. Lazio versus Clinton; he had supported the partial-birth abortion ban but no other pro-life bills. She opposed the ban and any abortion limitations. Six years maybe fewer if she seeks a different elective office will give no opportunity for representation of pro-life views from either New York Senator in Washington.
One pro-life light was seen in 2000 although it flickered for 36 days. On January 20, 2001, George W. Bush will be inaugurated President of the United States. His Cabinet appointments thus far reflect his proclaimed pro-life stand. Pro-abortion nominees have been named only for seats with no impact on abortion. But there will be limits on how much he can increase legal protection of unborn children and mothers. He will have a divided U.S. Senate which will approve/disapprove whomever he nominates for the U.S. Supreme Court. Remember how successfully they opposed confirmation of Judge Robert Bork?
Although President Bush will be a sharp contrast to pro-abortion President Clinton, we will face challenges. All legislation going to the President for signature must first be passed by both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. In 2000, a ban on partial-birth abortion was passed, only to be vetoed by Mr. Clinton. Fear of vetoes has been eased. Passing pro-life bills in Congress will remain a challenge.
Laws reflect the will of the people. The will of the people about abortion has been suppressed successfully by having abortion approval come from the U.S. Supreme Court. That 9-member body is appointed, not elected, and not accountable to the people. Restoration of legal protection of the unborn may come from the U. S. Supreme Court but probably not until new justices are seated.
|Our desire for pro-life laws must be made clear to all our elected representatives. Although Senators Schumer and Clinton favor abortion, they must be often reminded of being elected to represent constituents views. Locally, pro-abortion Congresswoman Louise Slaughter must hear from her constituents as vigorously as pro-life Congressmen Thomas Reynolds and John LaFalce hear from theirs.|
The New York State Legislature also offers enormous challenges. Governor George Pataki, regrettably, is pro-abortion. He is not militantly so, but sufficiently committed to include millions for Medicaid abortion coverage in his annual proposed NY state budgets. Why will he ever reconsider this if he hears none of our objections?
On to our State Legislature. The election results appear to have brought little change to a pro-life Senate majority and a pro-abortion Assembly majority. New York has textbook gridlock. But here too, if the voices of pro-life people are not heard, there is no hope for change.
|This is not "all about legislation." Until there is a sufficiently persistent, loud outcry from the public to stop the killing of innocent children little will change. We must communicate with our legislators who favor abortion. We must also send thanks and encouragement to our representatives who support the pro-life position in Albany and Washington. They have hard, lonely roads.|
Our greatest hope comes through prayer and education. Our prayers should include each other. Had more people known/cared about the abortion issue, thered be more new faces in Washington and Albany. Also in our families, neighborhoods, churches, schools, and work places are people who confront the push to abortion so often felt during a "difficult" pregnancy. We all have opportunities to share pro-life information in these places.
Pregnant women and pro-life people have good reasons and resources for hope. The greatest fear is that too few people will take the roads available to end the disgrace of abortion.
|I M 4 LIFE|
|March in Washington: 2001
Friday, January 22nd
|Sunday, January 21
7:00 PM Mass;
|St. Jude Church Parking Lot
4100 Lyell Ave; Gates
|*Both buses arrive 7 AM at National Shrine of Immaculate Conception for Mass||Sunday, January 21
10 PM Bus Departure
|St Thomas the Apostle Parking Lot; 4536 St.
Paul Blvd; Irondequoit
Bernice @ 482-7337
Students all ages: $25
|*People from both buses then either march/visit Congressional offices; information given en route||For Reservations:
Mary Jo @ 342-3216
Students all ages: $20
|Reserve seats immediately||First come
|*Leave Washington 4 PM Monday, in Rochester early AM 1/23||Reserve seats immediately||First come
Meanwhile, in Rochester,
Pro-life people can take time to:
Pray that changes in hearts and laws will reduce the number of unborn babies who will die by abortion in 2001;
Educate and help women in difficult pregnancies find and use pro-life alternatives to abortion
Call local office of your Congressman(woman) to ask for his/her support in ending legal abortion in the U.S.
Write a "Letter to the Editor" about abortion; information on page 3 may provide topic ideas
Call RARTL or the other area pro-life groups to learn what help you can provide to their pro-life effort
Pro-abortion claims early proven erroneous
Child Abuse: Legalizing abortion was supposed to help reduce child abuse. Abortion proponents claimed most abused children were unwanted at birth. They ignored facts, e.g. high percentages of abused children had been given name of parent unlikely if the child is unwanted. The theory was early disproven by scientific studies and evidence that child abuse has sharply increased since abortion became legal. When abortion became legal in the United States in 1973, 167,000 cases of child abuse and neglect were reported. In 1980 there were 785,100 reported cases - an increase of 370% from 1973. Later, in 1987, there were 2,025,200 cases reported, representing an increase of 1112%. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Center of Child Abuse and Neglect; National Analysis of Official Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting).
Rather than helping stop child abuse, legal abortion has actually contributed to its sharp rise due to the effects abortion has had on women's self-esteem and the ability to deal with stress. Dr. Philip Ney in a widely read study on the connection between abortion and child abuse noted:
"... elective abortion is an important cause of child abuse." "Recent evidence indicates many women harbour strong guilt feelings long after their abortions. Guilt is one important cause of child battering and infanticide. Abortion lowers women's self-esteem and there are studies reporting a major loss of self-esteem in battering parents...." P. Ney, M.D. "Relationship between Abortion and Child Abuse." Canada Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 24, pp. 610-620.
Damaged Families: Researcher Emily Milling studied over 400 couples in which women had "chosen" to have an abortion. Her research confirmed that 70% of their relationships ended within one month of the abortion. Sociologist Arthur Shostak found three out of four male respondents had persistent day and night dreams about "the child that never was." Linda Bird Franke has written "In my research, almost every relationship between single people broke up either before or after the abortion."
Stress for Women: In a 1985 University of Minnesota study Dr. Anne Speckhard researched "long-term manifestations of abortion" (5-10 years). She found that 81% of mothers reported preoccupation with their aborted child, 54% had nightmares, 35% had perceived visitations with their child, and 96% felt their abortion had taken a human life.
Unborn babies and many more are abortions victims.
Divisions among Americans in election
We have a newly elected Congress with sharp divisions. In the Senate is a 50-50 Republican-Democratic split. Dick Cheney, the vice-president elect will have the tie-breaking votes. The balance could change depending on the health of South Carolinas 98 year old Senator Strom Thurmond. If he leaves the states Democratic governor would surely appoint a Democrat. Divisions were seen in voting patterns:
*By race. African Americans voted 90% for Gore, Hispanics 62% and Asians 55%. 54% of white voters supported Bush;
*By education: Those without high school diplomas favored Gore, 59% to 39% for Bush. Voters with graduate degrees voted for Gore over Bush 52% to 44%. People with high school or college educations slightly leaned toward Bush;
*By income: People earning less than $30,000 and 4% of voters in the upper class were solid Gore voters;
*By religion: 56% of Protestants voted for Bush while 79% of Jews voted for Gore. Catholics presented a mixed picture. In total, Catholic votes went 50% for Bush. This was, however, a significant shift to the GOP compared with 1992 and 1996. In those years, first a plurality of Catholic votes and then a majority, i.e. 43% and 53% respectively in a pair of 3-way races, put Bill Clinton in the White House and kept him there for a second term. An actual majority of white Catholics voted for Bush this year;
*On abortion: the vote for Gore was 70% and 58% respectively, among people who think abortion should always or mostly be legal. That was a total of 56% of the entire electorate. Among those who believe it should always or mostly be illegal, which is 40% of all voters, Bush got 74% and 69% percent of the votes.
|Russell Shaw, Our Sunday Visitor 12/31/00 issue wrote:
"Leaving aside the special case of African Americans and Hispanics, non-religious Americans overwhelmingly supported Gore, while religious Americans overwhelmingly backed Bush. The culture war is now a religious war being fought out in the political arena."
ABORTION = BABY DEATH
SHOW DECLINE IN NEW YORK
1998 abortion data, recently released by the New York State Department of Health, showed New York abortion numbers going down as they also are nationally.
New York recorded 134,687 abortions in 1998 which was a drop from 145,334 in 1997 and 150,907 in 1990.
Included in the report: were the following statistics:
Of the total abortions performed in New York state in 1998, just 11% were done in hospitals. The remainder were done in clinics or doctors offices. Most abortions were performed on women of ages 20 to 24. Almost 57% were done at 9 weeks gestation or less and 85% utilized the suction and curettage method.
In 1998, abortion drugs rather than surgery were used in 1,105 abortions, compared to 701 in 1997. Although mifepristone, the abortion-inducing drug, was not approved by the FDA until September, 2000, these numbers show that clinical trials of abortion drugs have been occurring in New York State.
72% of the 1998 abortions were done in the New York City area. Highest numbers there were 33,759 in Kings County with the Bronx showing more abortions than live births, i.e.: 1,102 abortions for every 1,000 births. Complete statistics were not initially available at www.health.state.ny.us, the State Health Department web site, but are likely to be available by the time you read this.
|Abortion funding in New
In 1976 Congress first adopted the Hyde Amendment and has maintained it with each subsequent HHS budget bill. The Hyde Amendment prevents federal Medicaid money from funding abortions, except in cases of reported rape, incest or endangerment of the mothers life. These exceptions are very rare. Thus federal Medicaid funds are rarely spent for abortions in any state.
Medicaid funds, i.e. our tax dollars, are spent on abortions in New York state every year. They are the millions of dollars the Governor puts in to the Executive Budget which is subsequently approved by the NY State Legislature. In 1998 $23,000,000 was the approved funding amount for abortions- on - demand. Such funding is not required by any federal or state law. It is done by the will of the Governor and legislature not the will of the NY state taxpayers.
By now, the 2001-2002 Executive Budget has been presented to the Legislature. There is no doubt the Governor has abortion funding money in his budget. Unknown is the amount of Medicaid money he has requested.
By April 1, the NY State Legislature is supposed to have approved the budget proposed for 2001-2002. From January through March, and probably longer with our history, hearings about aspects of the budget will be continuous.
|Time for Action
Call, fax, e-mail or write your 2 state legislators, i.e. Your State Senator and Assemblymember
If unsure who represents you, call your County Board of Elections, phone number in blue government pages of your telephone book. Give them your address; they will give you the name and phone number of your Senator and Assembly member.
Use either the local or Albany office addresses:
Send message, in your words, with your reasons: to request end to Medicaid abortion funding in NY and to use these dollars for help to pregnant women needing personal and prenatal health care.
RARTL PAC endorsements
With delight we report that nearly all candidates endorsed by the Rochester Area RTL PAC were victorious. The election of George W. Bush was the good news softening the reality of the Hillary Clinton victory. Regrettably, Lazio, her opponent, is "pro-choice" and could not be endorsed by our PAC.
100% of the Congressional and all but one NY State Legislature candidates we endorsed were victorious. Two other area winners, Congressman LaFalce and Assemblyman Errigo were victorious, although not endorsed. Mr. LaFalce is known to be predominantly pro-life in his voting but had supported campaign-finance reform. Communication difficulties had led to no endorsement being given in Mr. Errigos race to fill the seat vacated by Assemblyman Jerry Johnson.
Despite successes, our cheers are not loud. From NY state are sent 2 pro-abortion U.S. Senators. From our 6 Congressional districts we send 3 pro-life and 3 pro-abortion Congressional representatives.
Downstate New York is a Democratic stronghold. Regrettably, most Democratic legislators are pro-abortion. Upstate, with more of a mixture of representation, retained 7 pro-life state Senators and 9 pro-life N. Y. Assemblymembers. Thankfully, the Senate will remain pro-life.
The Assembly representation from our area is essentially unchanged but for Mr. Errigos election. From our area there are 9 pro-life and 5 pro-abortion Assemblymembers. We, sadly, were unable to reduce the gridlock in the state legislature. With heavy heart we project New Yorks legislative future looks substantially pro-abortion.
Our future must include a commitment to increased and more effective political efforts.
|"Right to abortion" does not mean taxpayers must pay for them|
|More survey follow-up
A response to the survey about LIFE-LINES asked for a list of "successes," because " its hard to read all the negative news It seems like were going nowhere." Following is a "success story."
|Maternity Crisis Task Force and the NYS Abandoned Infant Protection Program|
In 1981, Nancy Larraine Hoffmann, a Syracuse City Councilor worked to address the problem of infant abandonment. In that year thered been a girl in a trash bag, boy in a trash can and a girl in a vacant field. Ms. Hoffmann created the Maternity Crisis Task Force with goals:
Since forming the Task Force nearly 20 years ago, Mrs. Hoffmann, now a NY State Senator (R-48), led efforts to formulate a comprehensive community response system to offer "Jane Doe" anonymity for expectant mothers seeking confidential delivery and surrender of unwanted babies. The Task Force also set up confidential telephone hotlines, developed public service announcements and distributed information in local schools about safe alternatives to abandonment.
On 2/23/00, Senator Hoffmann introduced Senate Bill 6688 to enact that Abandoned Infant Protection Program. This essential legislation was passed by both the NY State Senate and Assembly and signed into the Laws of 2000 by Governor George Pataki on July 18, 2000.
The bill aims to encourage desperate mothers not to kill their newborn babies either directly or by leaving them in unsafe places. Under this bill, parent(s) who abandon babies would be exempt from prosecution, if they do it safely, within 5 days of birth and with infants showing no sign of abuse. Parents giving up their babies under this law would not automatically surrender their parental rights; they may later try to reclaim their child.
The child, by the age of 5 days, must be taken to a safe place, e.g. hospital, fire station, police station neighborhood home; a responsible person must be notified. There were some disagreements. Some wanted a longer time period for abandonment but the 5 days limit was accepted as being a common time length in abandonment. Some "fathers rights" groups were opposed but ultimately focused on child safety.
The bills passage by the NY State Legislature and approval by Governor Pataki are most unusual. Pro-abortion Assembly Speaker Sidney Sheldon said:
"But ultimately what the bill comes down to is saving lives If we can convince one desperate, confused, frightened parent not to make the ultimate mistake in a moment of desperation; if with this bill we can prevent one infant from dying in a Dumpster or drowning in a toilet, then this bill will have been an enormous success."
Mr. Silver has led the Assembly and successfully blocked efforts to pass partial-birth abortion ban bills.
Whether reducing abortion or infanticide, this is a pro-life measure. Similar bills have now been passed in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, So. Carolina, and W. Virginia.
Respect of the Dignity of the Dying was published 12/12/00 by the Pontifical Academy of Life. It explains that the recent Dutch legislation making euthanasia legal is the result of a general "spiritual and moral weakening" in regard to the dignity of the sick as well as a specific pro-euthanasia campaign conducted since 1970 with the help of intellectuals and scientists.
The document states alternatives to euthanasia, e.g. home care, religious consolation and the support of family members and specialists. It allows for halting treatments only in the extreme case of inevitable and imminent death, where the treatments would lead only to precarious and painful delays of the inevitable.
In the U.S.:
Pain: The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, in July, 2000, published new standards to improve pain assessment and management. "The standards will facilitate change from the bottom up by empowering patients and families to request more effective pain control." Medical Student Journal; AMA, 12/00l
On 12-29-00 Italys Health Minister expressed support of a report backing human stem-cell cloning. This form of research is permitted in several countries but rejected by the Vatican.
The Catholic Church and pro-life organizations support life-saving medical research. They are critical of the research being done by the destruction of unborn children to obtain stem cells. It is now certain that there are other methods of obtaining stem cells.
We receive calls from both women and men seeking names of obstetricians/gynecologists who do not perform abortions. (Website edition note: We also have names of some pro-life midwives.)
We do have that information and are pleased to share it. Call the RARTL office at 716-621-4690. If no one is available, please leave your name and phone number.
Mifepristone, aka RU-486, is being distributed across the U.S. It is being supplied directly to physicians who meet certain qualifications and will not be dispensed through pharmacies or by pharmacists. More information about mifepristones usage, restrictions, physician qualifications can be found at www.fda.gov/cder/drug/infopage/mifepristone.
G.D. Searle, a drug company, manufactures misoprostol, known as Cytotec, for women to ingest to complete the abortion. Cytotec has only been approved for treatment of gastric ulcers. G. D. Searle Company has written to health care professionals to warn that "serious adverse events have been reported following off-label use of Cytotec in pregnant women," including severe vaginal bleeding, uterine rupture or perforation and maternal death. The 11/14/00 New York Times reported many doctors have no plans to offer chemical abortions to their patients.
Fetal Deformity: A study in February Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology reported oral doses of Cytotec affected uterine arteries and fetal heart rate. When the drug was given in first trimester of pregnancy and an abortion did not occur, "the child who is born may have multiple congenital abnormalities."
In oral arguments on the partial-birth abortion case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Antonin Scalia asked:
1) "Doesnt the state have an interest in preventing society from descending
into the degree of callousness exhibited by ancient societies that permitted infanticide?
In its 6/28/00 ruling, the Supreme Court answers to these questions were "No."
The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) claimed to have received an $8 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The money, which will be spread over five years, will help the British based IPPF promote abortion and family planning in more than 180 countries around the world.
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, and his wife have donated more than $20 billion to the pro-abortion IPPF.
"Ive learned that:
A Wise Man Once Wrote ;Rickpen16@cs.com
More responses to survey comments
"I get asked for donations to Right to Life often. Sometimes there are different names, but the address is always on Ling Road. Why not save money on printing and postage by asking for donations just once a year?"
This is a question we were pleased to receive. The answer will be a bit long, but hopefully helpful.
The Rochester Area Right to Life Committee, Inc. is our primary organization. This is the committee people "join" when they become "Right to Life members." Because we are "incorporated" there are laws we must follow. One law requires that members must pay a membership fee annually, receive a membership card and be given opportunity to vote for a proposal and for 2 Advisory Board Members to have voting rights on the Board of Directors.
From the RARTL Committee you receive a request for a membership donation and an invitation to participate in the annual Save-A-Baby Campaign. These funds help us pay some of our expenses, but donations are generally modest because donations to the committee are not tax-deductible.
The RARTL Education Fund is a 501C-3 organization. The Internal Revenue Service regards donations to it as deductible for income tax purposes. Thus when individuals are willing and able to offer more support to "Right to Life", most prefer to make the donation in a manner that enables them to receive the tax deduction. Donations to the Education Fund are welcome at any time. We annually ask for donations to the Education Fund in December when people are most likely to consider "end of year" tax write-offs.
Finally there is political action. In political activities, the Election Commission laws are very strict. For our Political Action Committee (PAC) we must maintain two separate, segregated treasuries. One is for the "federal" PAC; the other is for the "state" PAC. Money spent to help elect federal legislators, e.g. President, U.S. Senators, Congressmen comes from the federal PAC treasury; state activity is funded by the state PAC.
Both political action committees need funds for the efforts to elect pro-life legislators. By law, we can ask anyone on the mailing list for a donation to the state PAC. We can only ask "members" for a donation to the federal PAC. All people on the RARTL mailing list are invited to donate to the RARTL PAC. Some will be invited to make the donation to the state PAC; members only will be asked to donate to the federal PAC.
Finally, because we are able to receive donations specified for RARTL Education Fund through the United Way, many of you have provided support through that route. We are most grateful for that as well as the unsolicited donations that come throughout the year.
If we made but one request each year, it would have to be for a membership donation. Membership is critical to our continuation. But since that donation is not tax-deductible, the amount raised would not keep us doing programs, mailings, LIFE-LINES. Donations to the Education Fund provide the needed additional support. No political action work could be done unless there is money donated solely for that purpose. Who would disagree that it is critical to elect pro-life legislators?
We hope you understand our fund raising patterns. We understand that you will have donation preferences and we are most grateful to you for whatever you can give.
Please become a prayer partner by spending 5-10 minutes daily in prayer about life issues. We hope this partnership will fill 24 hours of each day to have a prayer shield over the area. Please join in the following suggested weekly prayer themes that
January 14: We who serve the living God pray and work for the protection of all
innocent human life;
January 21: Each American seeking the truth about abortion remember that God formed us as His child in the wombs of our mothers;
January 28: Those who perform abortions may be converted to the cause of life;
February 4: People turn away from the foolishness of the world that denies the unborn child the right to life;
February 11: We remember that all whose lives are in danger and have no voice rely on us to protect them;
February 18: Teachers may teach their students respect for innocent, human life.
February 25: Government and religious leaders in our country use their opportunities to do good and dismiss opportunities to "do harm."
Mary A. Cilano (anniversary)
We are most grateful
To the many people who donated their time to work on mailings in December and January
For the donation of the high quality, glossy paper on which this is printed.
Want to do a RARTL MEMORIAL/HONOR TRIBUTE? You are most welcome to remember a deceased loved one by making a memorial contribution to the Rochester Area Right to Life Committee Education Fund. Your tax-deductible contribution can also commemorate birthdays, new arrivals, or other special occasions.
A card in your name will be sent to the family/person you designate. The contribution amount is confidential.
Would you like a subscription to this newsletter?
Official Publication: Rochester Area Right to Life Committee, Inc. Education Fund
A non-profit organization
675 Ling Road, Suite 3 - Rochester, New York 14612 - (716) 621-4690
Fax: (716) 621-6966 e-mail: email@example.com www.righttoliferoch.org
Please feel free to copy/distribute and include mention of LIFE-LINES and its sources in copied materials.
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