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Archive for July, 2011

Dr. Richard Grossman is the longest serving physician with privileges at Mercy Regional Medical Center, a Catholic hospital in Durango, run by Englewood, CO’s Catholic Health Initiatives.

Dr. Grossman is at his hospital office one day per week. When he’s not there, he spends 1-2 days per week working at the local Planned Parenthood as their abortionist. If that isn’t enough, the Planned Parenthood in Durango is the only one providing surgical abortions within a 200 mile radius.

Worse still, Live Action did a telephone sting of Grossman’s office in the hospital and actually solicited an abortion referral from within Mercy with absolute ease. See the video:

“Personally, I believe in the strength, intellect and fortitude of women. When a woman says a fetus is a person, I think it is one. I believe the woman empowers the fetus,” Grossman is quoted as saying in a Durango Herald article on last year’s protest.

Also from the article:

Grossman, 67, was approved by the hospital’s board of directors to practice medicine at the hospital in 1976. Today, he is the hospital’s longest-serving physician.

He was at work in the hospital during the protest.

In a statement, Mercy spokesman Nathan Schmidt said abortions are not performed at the hospital and that it neither employs nor compensates Grossman.

“Dr. Richard Grossman is a member of the medical staff at Mercy Regional Medical Center. Being a member of the hospital’s staff does not constitute employment,” Schmidt said.

Mercy’s physician-credentialing and privileging practices are consistent with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, Schmidt said.

Mercy is part of Catholic Health Initiatives, the nation’s third-largest Roman Catholic health-care system, headquartered in Denver. It was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1882.

There is a reason why physicians gain “privileges” to practice medicine at a given hospital, and not mere “permission.” Having an MD, or DO does not constitute an automatic prerogative. The character of the physician, as written in the history of how they practice medicine, factors into whether or not a physician is deemed worthy of practicing at the hospital in question.

In that light, it is rather disingenuous of the hospital to assert that Grossman is not an employee. The fact of the matter is that the man who spends as much, if not more time aborting babies at Planned Parenthood as he does delivering babies at Mercy (by his secretary’s own admission in the above video), has been granted the PRIVILEGE of practicing medicine at a Catholic Hospital. Moreover, he is being given a level of social/professional recognition by elements within the Church that he does not deserve, and which no official arm of the institutional Church has a right to give-especially when abortion referrals are coming from his office within the hospital.

Simply put, his privileges at Mercy are tantamount to approving his murder of children at Planned Parenthood, as they are not seen as a moral or ethical impediment to gaining privileges at Mercy.

Next Thursday there will be another protest at the Hospital. It must be made perfectly clear to the officials at Mercy and the Diocese of Pueblo that Grossman’s continued presence is intolerable. He must be confronted and forced to choose. We do him no service in charity by allowing him to live in both worlds.

Folks should contact protest organizer, Daniel Anguis, President of LifeGuard at 970-385-8451.

We should also call the following folks and demand some positive action:

Mercy Regional Medical Center 970-247-4311

Catholic Health Initiatives 303-298-9100

Catholic Diocese of Pueblo 719-544-9861

Catholic Archdiocese of Denver 303-715-3129

More to come on this…

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Good Counsel and Hope

As I continue to settle in at Good Counsel Homes, I am finally able to articulate to myself at this stage in life the things that intuitively resonated with me when I did this work in my twenties. Seen now from the perspective of fund development work, which affords me the perspective that comes with viewing the work from two steps back, I see how our universal human nature manifests the deepest yearnings of the soul in the hour of greatest vulnerability and need.

I am impressed and moved beyond words at how Chris Bell and the team at Good Counsel have revolutionized the work of maternity homes beyond the traditional model of safe haven and passive waiting for birth. Our homes are active and dynamic places of growth and preparation for all of the adult responsibilities that come with single motherhood. The two years that women spend in residence with us, and the two years of follow-up programming afterward are characterized by the singular virtue that allows the human soul to breathe free:

Hope.

The intensive Life Skills training, formal education, parenting classes, employment preparation are only made possible because so very many pro-lifers have made them possible through their generosity and shared vision. It is the least celebrated dimension of our movement, but a powerful one, as it sustains the inner yearnings of frightened young mothers’ souls through the pregnancy, and for the next three years.

They do not walk the road alone. And so I am left with a few thoughts about hope for young single mothers, not necessarily well connected to one another. Just some insights inspired by my observations of the interactions between our moms and a dedicated staff and all that they communicate to these moms in their most desperate hour.

I think that people embrace babies when they see babies.
They embrace motherhood when it becomes a thing to be celebrated.

I think people dare to hope when they see others willing to love.
They dare to dream when others are willing to mentor.

I think people abandon dread when they are surrounded by joy.
They thrive when others share life with them.

I think they build community when they respond to dire need.
And they grow when the possibilities are made accessible.

Most of all, I think that life becomes more precious and dear for those who teetered on the brink.
Having stared into the abyss, they revel in the simplicity of just being.

Homes are springing up all over the nation, using the model that has evolved at Good Counsel. It’s much bigger than just Chris Bell or the staff. It’s the size, the power, the generosity of the faith-filled pro-lifers who promote and sustain all of these homes. That level of involvement, that power, that drive and tenacity in turn fill me with hope;

Hope that we are not alone in this fight, and hope that the tide is indeed turning. Though it may not seem so, our adversaries are scared, truly scared for the first time since Roe v. Wade. The ascendancy of the burgeoning pro-life movement, especially among the young has them frightened. It’s a long, hard battle, but we’re winning it.

One baby, one mother at a time.

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Union Major Sullivan Ballou

We are now in the 150th Anniversary of the events of the United States Civil War, of which I have been a devoted student for many years. Many have drawn striking parallels between the abolitionist movement and the pro-life movement, myself among them. From time to time over the coming months, I’ll be revisiting some of those men who fought that fight, and from whose sterling example I draw strength and inspiration for our abolitionist fight, and pray that ours, unlike theirs, may always remain a bloodless war–fought in the arena of moral and scientific erudition.

On July 14, 1861 on the eve of the Battle of Bull Run, Major Sullivan Ballou of Rhode Island wrote a letter to his wife, Sarah. It is perhaps the greatest expression of love I’ve ever read, on many levels. Here is an excerpted reading of the letter in Ken and Rick Burns’ towering documentary of the Civil War. The far-richer full text of the letter follows.

July the 14th, 1861
Washington DC

My very dear Sarah:

The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days – perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write you again, I feel impelled to write lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more.

Our movement may be one of a few days duration and full of pleasure – and it may be one of severe conflict and death to me. Not my will, but thine 0 God, be done. If it is necessary that I should fall on the battlefield for my country, I am ready. I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in, the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans upon the triumph of the Government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and suffering of the Revolution. And I am willing – perfectly willing – to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt.

But, my dear wife, when I know that with my own joys I lay down nearly all of yours, and replace them in this life with cares and sorrows – when, after having eaten for long years the bitter fruit of orphanage myself, I must offer it as their only sustenance to my dear little children – is it weak or dishonorable, while the banner of my purpose floats calmly and proudly in the breeze, that my unbounded love for you, my darling wife and children, should struggle in fierce, though useless, contest with my love of country?

I cannot describe to you my feelings on this calm summer night, when two thousand men are sleeping around me, many of them enjoying the last, perhaps, before that of death — and I, suspicious that Death is creeping behind me with his fatal dart, am communing with God, my country, and thee.

I have sought most closely and diligently, and often in my breast, for a wrong motive in thus hazarding the happiness of those I loved and I could not find one. A pure love of my country and of the principles have often advocated before the people and “the name of honor that I love more than I fear death” have called upon me, and I have obeyed.

Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me to you with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly on with all these chains to the battlefield.

The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when God willing, we might still have lived and loved together and seen our sons grow up to honorable manhood around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me – perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar — that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name.

Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have oftentimes been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle with all the misfortune of this world, to shield you and my children from harm. But I cannot. I must watch you from the spirit land and hover near you, while you buffet the storms with your precious little freight, and wait with sad patience till we meet to part no more.

But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the garish day and in the darkest night — amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours – always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; or the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by.

Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again.

As for my little boys, they will grow as I have done, and never know a father’s love and care. Little Willie is too young to remember me long, and my blue eyed Edgar will keep my frolics with him among the dimmest memories of his childhood. Sarah, I have unlimited confidence in your maternal care and your development of their characters. Tell my two mothers his and hers I call God’s blessing upon them. O Sarah, I wait for you there! Come to me, and lead thither my children.

Sullivan

32 year-old Major Sullivan Ballou died at the Battle of Bull Run 150 years ago today, July 28, 1861.

May God rest the souls of all who fought that tragic fratricidal war, and bring our modern day abolitionist movement to a fruitful and peaceful conclusion.

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PLANNED PARENTHOOD IS HERE AT THE UNITED NATIONS THIS WEEK PUSHING FOR THE REMOVAL OF PARENTAL CONTROL OVER THEIR CHILDREN’S SEXUAL BEHAVIOR. I’M REPOSTING THIS TO START AN ANALYSIS OF WHAT THE SCIENTIFIC DATA HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THEIR APPROACH.

Remember Joe Camel? Remember the furor over Camel brand cigarettes and their cartoon icon being used to market something dangerous and deadly to children? We were concerned that something children were doing in the present moment might well come back to bite them three or four decades later in the form of cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Rightfully so.

How would the debate have played out if children suffered these diseases within days or weeks of their first cigarette? How might we have responded under those circumstances? More vociferously, for certain. And if these diseases struck our children in their prime, maiming them for life, or even killing them, what sort of legislation would we demand regarding those who sell to minors?

Now let’s consider Planned Parenthood and how they have managed to strong arm our legislatures into doing their bidding, in being able to dispense contraceptives to children twelve and older without parental knowledge or consent, how they have fought against parental notification and consent laws regarding surgical and medical abortions on children, and how they circumvent these laws where they do exist with judicial bypasses.

Let’s consider how Planned Parenthood has their own cartoon character, Superhero for Choice, who kills Christian protesters in a promotional video targeting children. See the sick video here.

Planned Parenthood Superhero for Choice

We need to consider some Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data that shows the plight of our children, the staggering rates of their affliction with STD’s, how CDC says condoms don’t work very well at all in preventing disease transmission, and then we need to discuss the timing for some class action suits.

Consider:

Here are the CDC data that show what a horrifically effective job Planned Parenthood and their fellow travelers have done in destroying the lives of our young people, corrupting them in their innocence and fertility.

The data are from the Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surveillance, 2008. These data are presented as a follow-up to an earlier post on Planned Parenthood In New Initiative Targets 10 Year-Old Children With Condoms That Don’t Work. This is the new initiative by PP to finish off our children, pushing all-out for comprehensive sex education down to age ten.

A glance at the data tells the story. Children 10-14 have the lowest rates of STD’s as well as pregnancies. Recall how former PP center Director Abby Johnson t reported how PP is pushing hard for abortions, as they are the principle source of income.

Now link to the post linked above, and look at the data on STD’s and condom efficacy. Condoms don’t work. Even CDC and Planned Parenthood’s own contraceptive bible state as much.

Now consider how much higher condom failure rates and early teen pregnancies would rise after PP gets done completing the corruption of our youth.

As we say in the lab, the data don’t lie. The age groups are in the center of the graphs with the incidence per 100,000 for men and women going to the left and right respectively. The disease being reported is at the bottom of each graph.

Chlamydia — Age- and sex-specific rates: United States, 2008


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Gonorrhea — Age- and sex-specific rates: United States, 2008


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Primary and secondary syphilis — Age- and sex-specific rates: United States, 2008


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Human papillomavirus (HPV) — Prevalence of high-risk and low-risk types among females 14 to 59 years of age from a national survey, 2003–2004


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Genital herpes — Herpes simplex virus, type 2, seroprevalence in non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks by age group from national surveys, 1976–1980, 1988–1994, 1999–2004


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Ectopic pregnancy — Hospitalizations of women 15 to 44 years of age: United States, 1997–2006


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Finally, the abortion data. These data are from Abortion Surveillance — United States, 2006, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports, November 27, 2009 / 58(SS08);1-35

White Bars=Number of abortions per 1,000 live births.
Blue Bars=Number of abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years.
Black Bars=percentage of total abortions, by age group of women who obtained an abortion — selected states, United States, 2006§

§Data from 48 reporting areas; excludes California, Florida, Louisiana, and New Hampshire.

The age groups may not be so visible along the bottom of the graph. They are, from left to right:

Under 15
15-19
20-24
25-29
30-34
35-39
Over 40

These numbers fail to describe the numbers of cases of cervical cancer that will result from HPV, the numbers of ectopic pregnancies from PID, the numbers of future miscarriages from damaged cervixes in abortion, the horror of children contracting lifetime herpes infections.

Why do we not demand warning labels on condoms? Why do we not demand more stringent laws to protect our children when it comes to sex, especially when the consequences are so much more dire, so much more immediate, so much more life-altering at such earlier ages, than cigarette smoking?

The time has come for the adults to get serious about the savagery of our children by Planned Parenthood. It’s time to defund and dismantle this criminal enterprise once and for all.

We did it to Joe Camel.

We can do it again.

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When Regina was pregnant with our three children, people would ask if it was a boy or a girl. When I responded with, “We don’t know,” I was met with the ubiquitous, iniquitous, mindless, and moronic refrain:

“As long as it’s healthy.”

I would challenge this well-intentioned, ill-thought well-wish with:

“If it isn’t, we’ll love the child all the same, and even more.”

That shook people out of their torpor and made them realize exactly what they were saying. It usually left most pretty angry with me.

“Can’t you just accept a good wish and leave it at that?” was the reply of one associate.

It’s a valid point, but one that fails to own up to what was being said. “As long as it’s healthy,” is a world apart from, “I wish your child health and happiness.” Even in the absence of health, one can have happiness, fulfillment and contentment. In an age of increasing reliance on pre-natal technology to murder the pre-born for the crimes of being female, male, having cleft palate, clubbed foot, spina bifida, Down syndrome, trisomy 18, etc…, “As long as it’s healthy,” rings deadly ominous. It needs to be confronted.

Thomas Jefferson wrote the antidote to our eugenic mentality in a letter to his daughter, Patsy. It stands for all time as the most eloquent reproach to the intolerance of imperfection:

Every human being must be viewed according to what it is good for; for none of us, no, not one, is perfect; and were we to love none who had imperfections, this world would be a desert for our love.

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My article in today’s HeadlineBistro.

Yahoo News recently carried a story that reports from the proceedings of the annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in Stockholm, where a recent study was discussed linking in vitro fertilization (IVF) with an increased incidence in Down Syndrome.

The language in the story is a mess, and care must be taken to vet the verbal engineering contained therein so that the true moral and bioethical implications may be brought into sharp relief. The story may be read here.

First, a summation of the science involved. Investigators analyzed the DNA strands (chromosomes) produced by the divisions of human eggs and counted the chromosome numbers using a new technique (Array Comparative Genomic Hybridisation.) that is highly sensitive to not only differences in chromosome numbers, but also changes in the size and composition of the chromosomes.

Now, just a tiny bit of biology before the analysis.

Recall that all of the instructions for making a human body are contained within the DNA, and a normal human has 46 DNA chromosomes. There are 23 pairs of these chromosomes. One member of each pair comes from the sperm cell and one member of each pair from the egg cell. In persons with Down syndrome, there is an extra copy of the twenty-first chromosome. For this reason, we describe the three copies of chromosome #21 as “Trisomy 21.”

During the development of the egg, or ovum, the chromosomes are replicated, so that there is twice the normal number. It isn’t important to get into all of the why’s here. Suffice it to say that before a sperm cell can successfully fertilize the egg, the egg must jettison its extra copies of the chromosomes, leaving one member of each pair to pair with their partner from the sperm. The jettisoned chromosomes are contained in little pods called “polar bodies.”

The study in question analyzed the number of chromosomes in the polar bodies to determine how successfully the DNA divided in the eggs. This was done after the fertilization of the eggs by the sperm. If all went according to plan, there should have been the same number of chromosomes in the polar bodies as in the eggs. If not, then unequal division is responsible.

To make a long story short, in a study of 34 women’s (average age of 40) polar bodies it was found that there was a significant incidence of chromosomal abnormality. It is being hypothesized that the powerful hormones given to women in order to stimulate release of several eggs may very well loosen the molecular glue that holds chromosome pairs together prior to cell division, and that is the factor responsible for the unequal distribution of chromosomes.

Now for the verbal engineering.

“After IVF hormone stimulation, fertilised eggs bore patterns of chromosome abnormalities that were quite distinct from abnormalities in eggs that had been harvested naturally,” said Alan Handyside, the research team’s leader.

The article continues:

The new test helps pinpoint healthy eggs and damaged eggs, enabling doctors to advise a woman whether it is worth the emotional and financial investment to try for a pregnancy, said Handyside.

… “But for another group we will be able to say, ‘actually it’s good news, only about half of your eggs were abnormal, so you have a good likelihood of getting pregnant.’ And at the same time we can screen and reduce the possibility of having a Down’s child.”

First, it should be noted that the popular literature is saturated with the term, “fertilized eggs.” This is another dehumanizing and developmentally misleading term. The truth is that there is no such thing as a fertilized egg, unless one is willing to claim that there are over 6 billion fertilized human eggs walking the planet today. The truth is that the act of fertilization brings about an immediate end to the sperm and egg cells as such, and causes a human embryo to come into existence. The human embryo in its single-celled stage is called a zygote, not a “fertilized egg.”

Next, note how the clinician will approach the woman in the third quote. Note how the woman will be told that half of her eggs were abnormal. This can only be ascertained by analyzing the polar bodies, which are jettisoned AFTER fertilization. Thus, what is being said is that half of the woman’s offspring are headed for the trash can in the lab. These aren’t defective eggs. These are handicapped humans in their earliest stages of development.

Welcome to Twenty-first Century eugenics, the intolerance of imperfection in other human beings. In fairness to the parents undergoing IVF, nobody aspires to conceiving children who will be handicapped. It certainly wasn’t the aspiration my wife and I shared nineteen years ago when we married. However, God saw fit to permit us the privilege of having a son with autism, and our lives were forever changed for the better in the process.

We’ve learned an invaluable lesson raising Joseph. He has no imperfections, only additional needs. His additional needs have placed demands on us that have uncovered every selfish and self-centered appetite in us and challenged us to grow. In a narcissistic and hedonistic culture such as ours, such demands are intolerable to most, and those making them are being dispatched with increasing ruthlessness and efficiency.

The eugenics of the early Twentieth Century did not begin with Hitler’s Third Reich. It began decades before in the medical community. At the culmination in 1945 of those terrible events the world vowed, “Never again!”

It is a distant echo that is ringing increasingly hollow.

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This is an interesting story, one showing the value of our priests, and the need for prayer in this spiritual war. It makes me wonder what would happen if the bishop tasked these priests with a full-time assignment at the mill. The following is from Catholic Online:

NASHVILLE,TN (Catholic Online) –“And how can men preach unless they are sent? As it is written,‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach good news!’”(Rom 10:15).

According to tradition,typical demonic responses during exorcism include foul language,references to sexual perversion,deceit,and profuse blasphemy. Similarly,prayers for exorcism outside the Northern Illinois Women’s Center abortuary in Rockford have provoked just such a reaction from pro-abortion workers and activists within.

“Not Against Flesh and Blood,But the Rulers of Darkness”

Their revulsion for anything as holy as a Catholic priest is evident in their bizarre window displays,a few of which reportedly include a nun in a coffin,a rubber chicken hanging from a noose,and a picture of Jesus flipping the bird that says,“Even Jesus Hates You.”

The beautiful thing about this ongoing battle is that the number of abortions has reportedly been cut by half at this abortuary since the spiritual power of the Jesus was first unleashed through the prayers of the priests who have prayed outside since September of 2008. At least,the abortuary seems to blame them and the special prayers of the Church.

Just this past Friday someone inside the building displayed a sign in reaction to a priest and seminarian praying outside that said “F…. Your Perverted Priests.”They have endured personal insults and vandalism of their vehicles. One priest’s car was egged,another discovered a hand-written sign that read “I Rape Children”taped to his car.

Another hand-written sign displayed prominently outside the main entrance to the clinic read “Stop the Perverted Catholic Priests from Raping Young Boys.”In convoluted pro-abortion logic,it seems that somehow child abuse is bad,but abortion is good.

The priests in Rockford quietly stand vigil in every type of inclement weather with open coats,so that the women seeking an abortion are aware that a priest is present in his flowing,seemingly flaming cassock.

Invoking the matchless power of Jesus Christ through the Church,they make sweeping Signs of the Cross and pray that the abortion mill and the whole earth will be cleansed from the evil that surrounds and drives abortion.

Beautiful Victories

The Rockford mill hates and attacks the priests outside so viciously because they,and priests and pro-life workers like them all over the country,have saved countless lives and souls.

When they first began their vigils,it was reported that the pro-life sidewalk counselors in Rockford noticed an immediate,dramatic decline in the numbers of mothers who go there for abortions,a distinct rise in the numbers of mothers who choose life outside the mill,and the correlation of these changes with the beginning of the displays of blasphemy from inside.

The response at this abortuary has been particularly virulent,but priests are praying outside them all over the country through Priests for Life,in which priests and parishes are paired with specific abortuaries.

Read the rest here.

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