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Archive for June, 2012

On the eve of the Fortnight for Freedom, there are those within the Catholic Church who are denying that the two-week observance has anything to do with the Church’s teaching on contraception and everything to do with upholding the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religious expression. That’s a false dichotomy and misattribution of the causal nature of our current dilemma.

It’s akin to those who say the American Civil War wasn’t about slavery, that it was all about states’ rights; which of course begs the question: The right to do what?

There is no doubt that the states who seceded feared the loss of self-government to the Federal Government, but the loss of liberty was rooted in the issue of slavery which was woven into the very social and economic fabric of the South. In the case of slavery (which took on a more prominent role for Northerners as the struggle wore on) it was an example of the Federal Government getting it right. The unalienable (That is, God-given) right to liberty had been denied to African-Americans for far too long. Federal troops were sent to both preserve the Union and end slavery for good.

In the current struggle, the Federal Government has sought to attack the Catholic Church over an issue that is central to her identity and mission, the teaching that all human life is made in the image and likeness of God from the moment of fertilization and is to be respected as such until natural death. Our loss of freedom is centered on the mandate by the Federal Government that we pay not only for birth control pills, some of which are known abortifacients, but that we pay for sterilizations and known abortifacient morning-after pills such as RU-486 and Ella.

Further, the Government is dictating what institutions constitute “religious” institutions and which do not. The only “religious” institutions that qualify for an exemption by the Obama criteria would be those who violate equal opportunity law by hiring most of their employees who are members of that church, and whose services go mainly to members of that same church.

Otherwise, Catholic hospitals, schools, and social service agencies are required to pay for contraceptives, abortifacients and abortions, and sterilizations. If the bishops do so, they shred Humanae Vitae and every decent moral precept undergirding Catholic Anthropology. If they voluntarily close down these institutions, they cooperate with evil by giving our enemies precisely the evisceration of our Church that they seek.

Perhaps jails overflowing with civilly disobedient Catholic bishops, clergy, religious, and laity will be the sole salvation of religious liberty in America. We’ll see soon enough how this situation breaks. The Supreme Court ruling on the HHS mandate is due out any day, and then there are the November elections.

That’s plenty of reason to pray during this fortnight.

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Lila Rose has done it again. In Live Action’s most recent sting of Planned Parenthood and National Abortion Federation abortion clinics, it is revealed that the abortionists will flout the law regarding sex-selective abortions, facilitating and suborning lies in order to close the sale. The videos released to date are posted below.

The issue of sex-selective abortion has finally made its way to the fore of American consciousness, but almost certainly faces an uphill battle. That’s because we have swallowed the poison pill of radicalized autonomy. Seen through the eyes of Planned Parenthood, it is not altogether unreasonable to think that anger at sex-selective abortions is rather silly.

Parents are actively encouraged by genetic counselors and obstetricians to butcher their babies diagnosed in utero with all manner of genetic conditions, the rationale being that these children will place emotional and/or financial burdens on the parents. In many cultures, so does the genetic condition of being female.

So in that light, really, what’s the big deal? Every woman showing up at an abortion clinic has a reason for seeking the death of her baby. How can the radical left get behind efforts to restrict women’s choices, or begin to arbitrate what is or is not a legitimate reason to have an abortion?

Abortion is predicated on the very notion of radicalized autonomy, where women are a law unto themselves, where the woman’s right to control her own bodily functions is absolute. It follows that laws restricting the reason for abortion would be held in contempt by the radical left.

One of the keys to cracking the pillars of abortion is the corroding of the concept of radicalized autonomy. Sex-selective abortion is a great topic to nail our current president and left-wing politicians on. Will they support sanctions for the clinics and workers in the following videos? Will they support a national law that outlaws sex-selective abortions?

If they will, then we have a basis on which to go after abortions for genetic conditions. If they won’t, it is an indication of the malevolence that has co-opted a once proud national party.

Texas

New York City

Arizona

Hawaii

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Daily Opening Prayer

O Holy Spirit, Divine Consoler!
I adore you as my True God.
I bless You by uniting myself to the praises
You receive from the angel and saints.
I offer You my whole heart,
and I render You heartfelt thanks
for all the benefits You have bestowed
and do unceasingly bestow upon the world.
You are the author of all supernatural gifts
and who did enrich with immense favors the soul
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
the Mother of God,
I beseech you to visit me by Your grace and Your love,
and grant me the favor
I so earnestly seek in this novena,

Your inspiration and guidance to all truth, and the courage to proclaim that truth without hesitation or reservation.

O Holy Spirit,
spirit of truth,
come into our hearts:
shed the brightness of your light on all nations,
that they may be of one faith and pleasing to You.

Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.

✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞

DAY NINE

O Lord, Holy Spirit,
grant me sight to see the wondrous promise of divine love;
insight to see my own weakness;
delight in Your divine presence in my soul
which You have made Your temple through sanctifying grace.
I pray, O Holy Spirit,
that I may be not doubting;
that I be spared the pain of being alone
without trust or hope in Christ;
that my prayer may always be “My Lord and my God!”
I pray that I may acquire a sense of retreat
to prayer and recollection at various times in my daily life;
for prayer is the bond that joins us to Christ.
I pray that I may be aware of the physical needs of the poor
and that I may share what I can with them
in the charitable works of the Church.
I pray, O Holy Spirit,
that You will in Your mercy
grant me the favor I have sought in this novena,

That your Church remain free to do her works of mercy according to her understanding of our human nature, which has been revealed by you, that all may come to see that no government could ever espouse a higher understanding of human nature and human dignity; and that this form of government with its religious freedoms, for which over a million have sacrificed their lives, may survive and grow stronger in its protections of this all-important freedom.

Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of Your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.

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Daily Opening Prayer

O Holy Spirit, Divine Consoler!
I adore you as my True God.
I bless You by uniting myself to the praises
You receive from the angel and saints.
I offer You my whole heart,
and I render You heartfelt thanks
for all the benefits You have bestowed
and do unceasingly bestow upon the world.
You are the author of all supernatural gifts
and who did enrich with immense favors the soul
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
the Mother of God,
I beseech you to visit me by Your grace and Your love,
and grant me the favor
I so earnestly seek in this novena,

Your inspiration and guidance to all truth, and the courage to proclaim that truth without hesitation or reservation.

O Holy Spirit,
spirit of truth,
come into our hearts:
shed the brightness of your light on all nations,
that they may be of one faith and pleasing to You.

Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.

✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞

DAY EIGHT

O Holy Spirit,
life and light of the Church,
give us thoughts higher than our own thoughts,
and prayers better than our own prayers,
and powers beyond our own powers,
that we may love and live,
imitating Jesus Christ,
our Lord and Savior.
Come to us, Holy Spirit,
come with the Father
and the Son
and grant me the favor I so earnestly request in this novena,

That during this time of awareness, You inspire our medical professionals with a desire to embrace the truth of contraception’s ill-effects and that they realize how they will lose their own freedom as professionals, becoming instruments of the state in what they know to be bad medicine and even worse medical ethics.

Vouchsafe to dwell within our souls
and quickly make our hearts Your own.
Quench in us the fires of hate and strife,
the wasting fever of the heart.
From perils guard our feeble life
and to our souls Your peace impart.
Let voice and mind and heart
and strength confess
and glorify Your name
and let the fire of charity burn bright
and other hearts inflame.

Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of Your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.

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Daily Opening Prayer

O Holy Spirit, Divine Consoler!
I adore you as my True God.
I bless You by uniting myself to the praises
You receive from the angel and saints.
I offer You my whole heart,
and I render You heartfelt thanks
for all the benefits You have bestowed
and do unceasingly bestow upon the world.
You are the author of all supernatural gifts
and who did enrich with immense favors the soul
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
the Mother of God,
I beseech you to visit me by Your grace and Your love,
and grant me the favor
I so earnestly seek in this novena,

Your inspiration and guidance to all truth, and the courage to proclaim that truth without hesitation or reservation.

O Holy Spirit,
spirit of truth,
come into our hearts:
shed the brightness of your light on all nations,
that they may be of one faith and pleasing to You.

Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.

✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞

DAY SEVEN

Come, Holy Spirit,
creator of all things:
come visit our hearts with Your power.
Fill with grace, friendly guest,
the hearts which You have created.
You are called the Consoler,
gift from the hand of God,
source of life, light, love,
and flame, highest good.
You are the pledge of sevenfold grace,
finger of the Father’s hand,
promised us by Him,
and You make our tongues speak the truth.
Cast light on our senses,
pour love into our hearts.
Grant our weak bodies strength
that they may never grow weary of doing good
and grant me the favor I so earnestly seek in this novena,

That all the members of our Church will come to realize in this time of prayer and awareness that democratic government is a rare experience in human history and affords us the best means of religious freedom, and that they become aware of how that freedom is in grave peril through government mandates that strike at the very heart of the Gospel of Life.

Keep the enemy far from us,
give us peace always,
let us willingly follow in Your footsteps
that we may be far removed from sin.
Grant that through You
we may grow in knowledge of the Father and of the Son,
and that we may ever strongly believe in You,
the Spirit of both.
Praise and honor be forever to the Father on the highest throne,
in the risen Son of God,
in the Consoler.

Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of Your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.

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Daily Opening Prayer

O Holy Spirit, Divine Consoler!
I adore you as my True God.
I bless You by uniting myself to the praises
You receive from the angel and saints.
I offer You my whole heart,
and I render You heartfelt thanks
for all the benefits You have bestowed
and do unceasingly bestow upon the world.
You are the author of all supernatural gifts
and who did enrich with immense favors the soul
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
the Mother of God,
I beseech you to visit me by Your grace and Your love,
and grant me the favor
I so earnestly seek in this novena,

Your inspiration and guidance to all truth, and the courage to proclaim that truth without hesitation or reservation.

O Holy Spirit,
spirit of truth,
come into our hearts:
shed the brightness of your light on all nations,
that they may be of one faith and pleasing to You.

Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.

✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞

DAY SIX

O Father in Heaven,
I beg You to send the Holy Spirit.
May Your Holy Spirit remind me
when I am apt to forget Your law.
Your love, Your promises.
May Your Holy Spirit strengthen my memory
to recall frequently Your sanctity,
omniscience, wisdom, and goodness,
faithfulness, and love.
May Your Holy Spirit encourage me when I am slothful;
strengthen me when I am weak;
enlighten me when I no longer can help myself.
Breathe into me, O Holy Spirit,
that I may do what is holy.
Stir me, that I may love what is holy.
Strengthen me, that I may preserve what is holy.
Protect me, Holy Spirit,
that I may never lose what is holy
and grant me the favor I so earnestly seek in this novena,

That our nation looks with grateful remembrance on those who have sacrificed their lives, their youth, their peace for the freedoms which are now imperiled, that we resolve to honor their sacrifices by fighting peacefully to secure those liberties for which they gave all that you had bestowed on them.

Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of Your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.

Read Full Post »

Daily Opening Prayer

O Holy Spirit, Divine Consoler!
I adore you as my True God.
I bless You by uniting myself to the praises
You receive from the angel and saints.
I offer You my whole heart,
and I render You heartfelt thanks
for all the benefits You have bestowed
and do unceasingly bestow upon the world.
You are the author of all supernatural gifts
and who did enrich with immense favors the soul
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
the Mother of God,
I beseech you to visit me by Your grace and Your love,
and grant me the favor
I so earnestly seek in this novena,

Your inspiration and guidance to all truth, and the courage to proclaim that truth without hesitation or reservation.

O Holy Spirit,
spirit of truth,
come into our hearts:
shed the brightness of your light on all nations,
that they may be of one faith and pleasing to You.

Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.

✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞

DAY FIVE

Come, O Spirit of sanctity,
from the glory of heaven
and send forth the radiance of Your light.
Father of all the poor,
light and peace of all hearts,
come with Your countless gifts.
Consoler in desolation;
refreshment full of loveliness,
come dear friend of my soul.
In weariness send repose;
breath gently cool refreshing breeze;
console the desolate who weep alone.
Light of Beatitude,
make our hearts ready;
come enter our souls.
Without Your grace,
man stands alone;
he cannot be good or sure.
Cleanse what is soiled;
heal what is wounded;
moisten what is arid.
Bend the stubborn will;
warm the cold heart;
guide the wandering footstep.
O Holy Spirit,
we beg You to give us grace through Your sevenfold power
and grant me the favor I so earnestly seek in this novena,

That our leaders and laity may come to see the roots from which this war on religious freedom springs, that it has sprung from the deep roots of abortion and hedonism which have choked our land and driven decency and kindness from her like beggar orphans.

Give us merit for the present,
and one day beatitude when we have finished our earthly journey.

Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of Your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.

And a beautiful musical adaptation of tonight’s prayer:

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In March of this year an article calling for the normalization of infanticide for any reason was published and created something of a stir. In the fluid dynamics of this election year, the malignancy of the article was quickly overtaken by other events, and it is worthy of a revisit in some detail, especially in light of government-controlled healthcare and who has a vested interest in the new eugenics.

In analyzing this paper, one can only arrive at an apt analogy that runs afoul of Godwin’s Law, which states: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.”

There is an exception to this rule, and that is when the contemporary circumstance under discussion moves beyond tenuous analogy and becomes recapitulation of history, echoing George Santayana’s admonition that those who are ignorant of history are condemned to repeat its mistakes. In March of this year, no less a respected journal than the Journal of Medical Ethics (JME) published an article worthy of the rabid Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher’s screeds in his publication, Der Sturmer. We do well to recall how Streicher and the other Nazi leaders who went to the gallows with him deemed Jews, homosexuals, the mentally retarded, and those with autism (among others) as, “Life unworthy of life.”

Such analogy is quite apt in the case of the article in question.

The article, After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?, by authors Alberto Giubilini (Department of Philosophy, University of Milan, Milan, Italy; and Centre for Human Bioethics, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), and Frencesca Minerva (Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) is published in J Med Ethics (2012). doi:10.1136/medethics-2011-100411 and may be viewed and downloaded here.

In their abstract, the authors state:

“Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.”

[emphasis added, G.N.]

What follows is a three-page argument for redefining infanticide, beginning with justifying it on the basis of killing those handicapped that might have slipped through the genetic submarine net, and then opening the redefined infanticide to any parent killing their newborn for any reason at all. It is a fascinating and profoundly disturbing read into the process of malevolent apologetics.

The article begins with the typical appeal to the most extreme, grotesque, and heart-wrenching cases in order to establish the authors as reasonable and garner sympathy for the mothers whom the authors are, a priori, giving permission for and absolving of premeditated murder. The first example offered is Treacher-Collins Syndrome. As the authors state:

“One example is the case of Treacher-Collins syndrome (TCS), a condition that affects 1 in every 10 000 births causing facial deformity and related physiological failures, in particular potentially life-threatening respiratory problems. Usually those affected by TCS are not mentally impaired and they are therefore fully aware of their condition, of being different from other people and of all the problems their pathology entails. Many parents would choose to have an abortion if they find out, through genetic prenatal testing, that their fetus is affected by TCS. However, genetic prenatal tests for TCS are usually taken only if there is a family history of the disease. Sometimes, though, the disease is caused by a gene mutation that intervenes in the gametes of a healthy member of the couple. Moreover, tests for TCS are quite expensive and it takes several weeks to get the result. Considering that it is a very rare pathology, we can understand why women are not usually tested for this disorder.”

The authors then move on to Down Syndrome, citing that only 64% of European cases studied were diagnosed in utero, leaving 1,700 live births whose mothers might very well have aborted had they known. Incredibly, the authors go on to state:

“Euthanasia in infants has been proposed by philosophers for children with severe abnormalities whose lives can be expected to be not worth living and who are experiencing unbearable suffering.”

[Emphasis added, G.N.]

Lest anyone doubt that the authors do not intend those with Down Syndrome, they immediately follow this thought with:

“It might be maintained that ‘even allowing for the more optimistic assessments of the potential of Down’s syndrome children, this potential cannot be said to be equal to that of a normal child’. But, in fact, people with Down’s syndrome, as well as people affected by many other severe disabilities, are often reported to be happy.

“Nonetheless, to bring up such children might be an unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole, when the state economically provides for their care. On these grounds, the fact that a fetus has the potential to become a person who will have an (at least) acceptable life is no reason for prohibiting abortion.

[Emphasis added, G.N.]

“Therefore, we argue that, when circumstances occur after birth such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible.”

And there we have it, at this moment in time when the United States has its last chance to dismantle Obamacare with its rationing systems established by Donald Berwick, it is argued that the state has a compelling interest in not only screening and aborting those with genetic conditions who might lead perfectly happy lives if born, but there is a compelling reason for the state to intervene and commit infanticide for those who are born when it is the state paying the bills.

Then, to underscore their position, the authors state:

“Therefore, we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk. Accordingly, a second terminological specification is that we call such a practice ‘after-birth abortion’ rather than ‘euthanasia’ because the best interest of the one who dies is not necessarily the primary criterion for the choice, contrary to what happens in the case of euthanasia.”

[Emphasis added, G.N.]

In that last breathtaking sentence, the authors leave behind Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the “Death with Dignity’ movement, euthanasia, and even the vile excesses of the Dutch physician assisted suicide experience, propelling us into the scenario where those who may be perfectly healthy apart from even the mildest limitations imposed by a genetic condition may be murdered by their parents. In fact, the authors go even further when they state in their abstract:

“ what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.”

[emphasis added, G.N.]

Given the widespread practice of abortion on demand, no questions asked, this means that parents of newborns ought to have the right to commit infanticide for any reason at all. In the final analysis, then, abortion rights are simply being used as a moral and ethical pretext for the wholesale and indiscriminate murder of newborns.

Presumably fathers, who have no say in abortion because of a woman’s bodily autonomy, would now have a right to murder an unwanted baby in order to escape the ‘economic burden’ of child support. While such a move would balance out the current inequity in paternal rights, it is an equality born in the pit of hell.

We have moved beyond the musings of an isolated radical such as Prof. Peter Singer of Princeton University and have, with this article, the evidence that such thinking has found a comfortable niche in the medical mainstream, as the article passed peer review and the exacting standards of the editorial board at a mainstream medical ethics journal. In so doing, they have all outdone the wildest excesses of Julius Streicher.

By 1938, Julius Streicher was too much even for Hitler’s inner-circle, and was marginalized. What is incredible is that not even Streicher at his worst sank to the depths of such indiscriminate, blood-thirsty depravity in calling for infanticide as a function of nothing more than parental whim. Even Streicher had standards, such as they were. For Singer, Giubilini, and Minerva, hate-filled tirades are entirely unnecessary. For them, all that is necessary for infanticide is ice-cold indifference and detachment. Anti-semitic screeds and wild fulminations are so twentieth century.

People such as Singer, Giubilini, and Minerva have forfeit their membership in the ranks of civilized, moral, and ethical academics. Having argued against the two-patient model of medical care in obstetrics, which sees the fetus as a patient, they have now set their sights on the standards of pediatric medicine, which sees the newborn as an autonomous human being meriting all the rights of any other patient. Such a standard, if adopted, must necessarily be applied in every area of medicine where a patient of any age is dependant on others. When the comfort of the provider is the only standard for judging murder as a solution, how could it not?

In Part II, we’ll see the authors’ justifications for redefining infanticide in this paper which reads like a prosecutor’s exhibit from the Nuremberg trials, or to quote the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, “Defining deviancy down.”

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Daily Opening Prayer

O Holy Spirit, Divine Consoler!
I adore you as my True God.
I bless You by uniting myself to the praises
You receive from the angel and saints.
I offer You my whole heart,
and I render You heartfelt thanks
for all the benefits You have bestowed
and do unceasingly bestow upon the world.
You are the author of all supernatural gifts
and who did enrich with immense favors the soul
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
the Mother of God,
I beseech you to visit me by Your grace and Your love,
and grant me the favor
I so earnestly seek in this novena,

Your inspiration and guidance to all truth, and the courage to proclaim that truth without hesitation or reservation.

O Holy Spirit,
spirit of truth,
come into our hearts:
shed the brightness of your light on all nations,
that they may be of one faith and pleasing to You.

Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.

✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞

DAY FOUR

O God, Who today by the light of the Holy Spirit
did instruct the hearts of the faithful,
give us, by the light of the same Holy Spirit,
a love for what is right and just
and a constant enjoyment of His comforts.
Pray Holy Spirit,
that I may strive to learn more of my faith;
that I may ever be conscious that reason in all
its human magnificence is capable of grasping
but a glimpse of the reality that is God.
Pray that I may accept as the motto of my life:
“All for the greater glory of God”
and grant me the favor I so earnestly seek in this novena,

That in this period of prayer and awareness, people may come to an understanding of the injustices facing Your church and thirst for justice and authentic freedom, that the nation may rise up and demand a return to an authentic separation of powers, especially from a government given to an aggressive eugenics.

Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of Your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.

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Yesterday, Pam Belluck of the New York Times wrote an article entitled Abortion Qualms on Morning-After Pill May Be Unfounded. Reading the article from the perspective of the scientific layman, one could interpret the article as indicating that the original objections to morning after pills are being attenuated by advances in scientific understanding of their mechanisms and effects, and that remaining opposition is merely religious or philosophical objection being stubbornly clung to by the less enlightened in the biomedical community. Ultimately Belluck’s piece can only be charitably characterized as confused.

Reading the article, I noted that Dr. Donna Harrison, Director of Research for the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), was made to look like a weak, shallow hack. I know Dr. Harrison, quite well. Five minutes with Dr. Harrison is all one needs to realize that she possesses a brilliant mind with an encyclopedic grasp of ALL of the research in the field, pro and con. Belluck’s quotes from Dr. Harrison indicate that she chose not to report the scientific truth that I know Dr. Harrison communicated to her in a lengthy telephone conversation.

It’s a shame, because once again women are being denied the whole truth in the New York Times, a truth which is indispensable to making decisions founded on the facts.

Dr. Harrison wrote a reply in today’s National Review Online. Some of it is reprinted here. Follow the link at the end to read the rest at NRO. If people have questions regarding the mechanisms by which these drugs act, post your questions and we’ll get them answered.

Here’s Dr. Harrison:

The Times’s Convolution of Facts on Abortifacients
By Donna Harrison
June 6, 2012 12:30 P.M.

The recent New York Times article by Pam Belluck, asserting that so-called abortifacient drugs may not be abortive at all, is a wonderful example of convolution of facts to obscure reality. First of all, lumping together two very different drugs and calling them “morning-after pills” allows for clever confusion of what is known about the mechanism of action of each drug, and the role of progesterone in helping the embryo to implant and sustain the pregnancy.

First of all, Plan B and Ella are very different drugs with very different mechanisms of action. Plan B is a progestin, a type of progesterone. Progesterone is a hormone that must be in a woman’s body for her to be able to allow the embryo to implant and develop the placental connections between the embryo and the mother. But Plan B is a very large dose of progesterone, higher than the woman’s body would normally make. It is the effect of that high dose which is under debate.

Ella is a second-generation derivative of the abortion drug RU-486, and is equipotent with RU-486 in blocking the action of progesterone at the level of the ovary and endometrium, one of the facts I explain in my paper on this topic. Indeed, if taken before a woman ovulates, Ella will interfere with progesterone action and prevent the egg from being released. But the critically important question is what happens when you take Ella after ovulation. And the answer is clear. Ella blocks the action of progesterone at the level of the ovary, and blocks the action of progesterone at the endometrium, both of which interfere with implantation. Ms. Belluck is in factual error in her article. The European Medical Association technical review articles state that Ella is embryocidal. That means that Ella kills embryos. I attended the FDA Advisory Committee Hearing on approval of Ella, at which data were presented which demonstrated that Ella is around 95 percent effective in preventing a clinically recognized pregnancy. One of the Advisory Committee members repeatedly pointed out to the manufacturers that there was no way the effectiveness of Ella could be explained by delaying ovulation alone. This fact does not take an FDA Advisory Committee member to figure out. If Ella works even when a woman takes it after ovulation, then of course it doesn’t work in that woman by preventing ovulation.

The same Advisory Committee member stated that the manufacturer had an even bigger problem. If you consider the pregnancies which are mentioned in the NYT article, what Ms. Belluck failed to mention is that 90 percent of those pregnancies “miscarried” and the other 10 percent were “lost to follow-up”. So what the studies supporting the FDA approval of Ella actually show is that even the dose of Ella used as “emergency contraception” is high enough to interfere with the early development of the embryo in such a fashion as to increase the miscarriage rate if a pregnancy is recognized.

And here, abortion proponents speak out of both sides of their mouth. The quote from Trussell in the NYT article was particularly amusing. If you read his previous research papers, sometimes he claims over 90 percent efficacy from Plan B, and sometimes he claims around 50 percent efficacy. Why these differences? Well, as he so readily admits, you can’t get numbers of 90 percent efficacy without some sort of post-fertilization effect. So when the issue of mechanism of action is raised, suddenly the efficacy for Plan B gets “adjusted” to what would be expected from a drug with no post-fertilization effect. But, when issues of funding arise . . . well Plan B becomes much more effective.

In point of fact, any drug which can act to prevent pregnancy after a woman has ovulated must have some post-fertilization effect. Whether it kills the embryo directly, or prevents the embryo from travelling down the tube, or prevents the embryo from implanting, or interferes with ovarian function, or increases immune rejection of the embryo, or directly destroys the placenta, some mechanism must be in place to interfere with the normal embryo functioning and then kill the living embryo.

Get the rest here.

Tomorrow, a deeper analysis of the subject.

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Daily Opening Prayer

O Holy Spirit, Divine Consoler!
I adore you as my True God.
I bless You by uniting myself to the praises
You receive from the angel and saints.
I offer You my whole heart,
and I render You heartfelt thanks
for all the benefits You have bestowed
and do unceasingly bestow upon the world.
You are the author of all supernatural gifts
and who did enrich with immense favors the soul
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
the Mother of God,
I beseech you to visit me by Your grace and Your love,
and grant me the favor
I so earnestly seek in this novena,

Your inspiration and guidance to all truth, and the courage to proclaim that truth without hesitation or reservation.

O Holy Spirit,
spirit of truth,
come into our hearts:
shed the brightness of your light on all nations,
that they may be of one faith and pleasing to You.

Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.

✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞

DAY THREE

Heavenly Father,
You have called me to be a member
of the mystical body of Your Son, Jesus Christ,
and to be a temple of the Holy Spirit.
I ask You to give me these gifts of the Holy Spirit:
wisdom, that I may understand the follies of this world;
understanding, that I may grasp more fully
the meaning of my existence
and the purpose of all things in the world;
counsel, that I may always choose the proper way;
fortitude, that I may remain faithful to You
under the pressure of temptation.;
piety, that I may revere You in all I do, think or say;
fear of the Lord, that should the motive of love fail me,
I may quickly be awakened to the eternal consequences of my deeds.
Visit me by Your grace
and Your love
and grant me the favor I so earnestly seek in this novena,

That the people of the Church recognize the bondage that has ensnared them over the past half-century, and that they be given the grace of humility to listen to the voice of the Magisterium during this time of raising awareness; that your people come to understand the connection between slavery to sin and slavery to the state. We pray for the grace of repentant hearts during this extraordinary time.

Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of Your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.

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Daily Opening Prayer

O Holy Spirit, Divine Consoler!
I adore you as my True God.
I bless You by uniting myself to the praises
You receive from the angel and saints.
I offer You my whole heart,
and I render You heartfelt thanks
for all the benefits You have bestowed
and do unceasingly bestow upon the world.
You are the author of all supernatural gifts
and who did enrich with immense favors the soul
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
the Mother of God,
I beseech you to visit me by Your grace and Your love,
and grant me the favor
I so earnestly seek in this novena,

Your inspiration and guidance to all truth, and the courage to proclaim that truth without hesitation or reservation.

O Holy Spirit,
spirit of truth,
come into our hearts:
shed the brightness of your light on all nations,
that they may be of one faith and pleasing to You.

Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.

✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞

DAY TWO

O Holy Spirit,
make me faithful in every thought,
and grant that I may always listen to your voice,
and watch for Your light,
and follow Your gracious inspirations.
I cling to You,
and give myself to You,
and ask You by Your compassion
to watch over me in my weakness.
Holding the pierced feet of Jesus,
looking at His Five Wounds,
trusting in His Precious Blood,
adoring His opened side and stricken heart,
I implore You adorable Spirit,
helper of my infirmity,
to keep me in Your grace,
now and always,
and grant us the favor we ask in this novena,

That in this time of prayer and action you imbue the people of our country with the understanding that authentic freedom consists not in doing what we wish to do, but in having the ability to do what we ought to do; that we have the courage to be bold in helping our fellow citizens to see that what they ought to do flows from the understanding that everyone’s body is a temple for Your indwelling.

Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of Your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.

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As we prepare for the Fortnight for Freedom, we do well to pray for our Bishops, our secular leaders, and our Church, that during this period of consciousness-raising all may be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

The Novena begins with the same prayer each day, followed by the specific prayer for the day.

 

✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞   ✞

O Holy Spirit, Divine Consoler!
I adore you as my True God.
I bless You by uniting myself to the praises
You receive from the angel and saints.
I offer You my whole heart,
and I render You heartfelt thanks
for all the benefits You have bestowed
and do unceasingly bestow upon the world.
You are the author of all supernatural gifts
and who did enrich with immense favors the soul
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
the Mother of God,
I beseech you to visit me by Your grace and Your love,
and grant me the favor
I so earnestly seek in this novena…

Your inspiration and guidance to all truth, and the courage to proclaim that truth without hesitation or reservation.

O Holy Spirit,
spirit of truth,
come into our hearts:
shed the brightness of your light on all nations,
that they may be of one faith and pleasing to You.

Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.

DAY ONE

O Holy Spirit,
bestow upon us Your seven holy gifts.
Enlighten our understanding that we may know You.
Give us wisdom that Your will may be clear to us
and that we may accept it.
Grant us the gift of counsel
that we may always perceive what is right.
Fortify us that we may always be capable
of fulfilling Your Divine Will.
Inspire us with the spirit of learning
that we may be able to penetrate more deeply
into the truths that You have revealed.
Let our hearts be steeped in the spirit of childlikeness
that we may bring You joy.
Let us have proper fear of God
that we may never grieve You
or wander from the path of goodness.
Give us the fulness of Your gifts
that we may glorify You.

Amen.

Look with compassion upon us,
O Holy Spirit,
and grant us the favor we seek in this novena…

That You will come down upon our bishops in a mighty way and inspire them with Your wisdom, which is beyond all understanding. Strengthen Your Apostolic Successors and give them the gift of an energized faithful.

if it be in accordance with Your Holy Will.

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