Life Issues Connector
1721 W. Galbraith Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45239
Phone (513) 729-3600 · Fax (513) 729-3636 · E-Mail LifeIssues@aol.com
President & Publisher....................J.C. Willke, M.D.
25 Years of Loving Them Both
By J.C. Willke, MD
On January 22, 1998, it will be 25 years since the Roe vs. Wade decision was handed down. This is a birthday that should be observed. Yes, it will be a bitter-sweet occasion, but it won’t be a time to hang a lot of black crepe. In many ways, it should be a celebration.
A Look Back
For those of you who were around 25 years ago, try to go back in time for a moment. Could you then have envisioned where this issue would be in 25 years? Today’s situation probably never crossed our minds. It was much too far ahead to predict. True enough, but there was a current of conviction back then that was very clear. Most of us felt that we would have to reverse the Court’s decision fairly promptly. We felt that if we didn’t reverse it within a very few years, the practice of abortion would become embedded into the very fabric of our society and we would never be able to change it.
On balance, during these years the courts have made the situation worse. We’re still killing almost every third baby conceived in America. We now have an entire generation of people in this nation who’ve never known anything except permissive abortion. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that we’re still here fighting the good fight. We see no reason to give up, and indicators are that sooner or later we’re actually going to win. Yes, we have given up any thought of getting that treasured Human Life Amendment in one fell swoop and suddenly protecting little babies again. Almost no one thinks that that’s going to happen in the near future. Rather, almost everyone feels that this is going to be a slow, incremental process. Nevertheless, there’s great optimism out there that this is beginning to happen – that it’s not merely a dream but that we are beginning to see some light ahead.
Their Old Arguments Invalid
Much has changed in 25 years. Back then the central question that we argued was whether or not this was a human life. This argument has basically been answered. Yes, ultrasound and medical technology have gone a long way toward helping us. Nevertheless, an immense amount of credit goes to each of you reading this and to all of those whom you have helped to train, for we have educated a nation and taught them that this is truly a human life from conception. This question is not really in contention any longer.
The other major argument – that this is only a religious issue – still surfaces and is still thrown at us, but now with much less force. As medical developments have proven the humanity of the unborn, so parallel developments have shown this to be a human rights, a civil rights issue to more and more people.
Other arguments have fallen by the wayside. "Remember these are unwanted pregnancies who will grow to be unwanted and battered children." That argument is essentially dead as, after 25 years, we now have, not a decrease in battered children, but an explosion of battered children and child abuse. Abortion clearly has not solved this problem.
"There are too many people in the world. The population explosion mandates abortion to control population." For those who will listen, this argument no longer is valid, although it remains center stage, however, for Al Gore, the Clinton State Department and at the United Nations. It certainly is not valid for the US or any Western nation. With only one or two exceptions, Western birth rates are well below replacement level. The problem in the West is not too many people but rather not enough babies being born and far too many old people to take care of. Underdeveloped nations are moving rapidly in this same direction, so this argument, at least in the west, is no longer relevant.
We said it would lead to euthanasia, and they laughed at us. And so, 25 years later it’s leading to euthanasia. Happily, we are in the middle of a heartening move away from assisted suicide, which is euthanasia. We await its long-term outcome, but this is no longer a distant threat, and the relation of abortion to euthanasia is increasingly apparent to many people.
The argument for abortion for an assault rape pregnancy continues and remains approved by two-thirds of our citizens. The answer here is education, pointing out that there are only 200-300 such pregnancies a year in the whole US – that only half of these women seek abortion, and that her chief complaint is not being pregnant but how others treat her. Our central answer of course is that we oppose killing an innocent baby for the crime of his father. Sadly, politicians continue to put this exception in law.
Their Remaining Argument – Our Answer
Their only remaining argument has sadly been extremely successful. As they put it – "The single most important question is, does the woman have a right to choose and keep the government out of this private matter?" For them, no other consideration trumps this argument. Well, yes, something else does, and the rising tide of our answer to pro-choice is the successful use of "Why Can’t We Love Them Both".
A look across the terrain of the pro-life movement shows a vast difference from 25 years ago. Back then, there was one Birthright office in Toronto. Today, in the US alone, there are almost 4,000 such women helping centers, 98% of whose staffing is female. Their total thrust – and these make up three-fifths of the pro-life movement – is to help the woman. The fact of their existence, and of the publicity we should be giving them, is in fact the cutting edge of our counter-attack to the pro-choice argument.
Research from Life Issues Institute and elsewhere clearly points the way for the next few years. We must soften the negative image given us by the public media. The best way to do this is to publicize our women helping centers. We have a 25th anniversary coming up. It can offer an unparalleled opportunity to do just that.
Cincinnati Right to Life has been in the forefront of many innovations in this movement, and they come to us again offering ideas for this 25th remembrance. Prime among these is the title they have suggested for this event, "25 Years of Loving Them Both". We think this title can be a real public relations coup. It is positive. It emphasizes both avenues of the pro-life movement – the educative, lobby and legislative branch which devotes itself to saving babies, as well as the service branch devoting itself to helping women. It is a constructive, almost joyful theme. Yes, the killing continues, and that is an unparalleled negative. But, yes, the positive aspects of this movement continue to grow and blossom, and that is truly something to celebrate. This theme offers that to the nation.
The charm of this theme is that it gives us an opportunity to explain to journalists and others the fact that three-fifths of the personnel in the pro-life movement are women dedicated to helping the woman. Only two-fifths, again mostly women, are working diligently to save babies. This tends to surprise them because our stereotyped image in the media is one of only being fetus-lovers, with no compassion for women. If January 22, 1998 can turn into a nationwide celebration with a theme such as this, it could go a long way toward changing public opinion about the pro-life movement.
Cincinnati RTL will rent a large auditorium on the evening of January 21st. Fifteen busloads, largely of students from Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, will leave their starting points and come to this auditorium to unload their occupants for a program before beginning their overnight journey to Washington, DC and the March for Life on the 22nd. There will be an entrance parade, testimony from a woman and a man injured by abortion, banners from all twelve of the local crisis pregnancy centers, from the right-to-life chapters, from the local multi-issue groups that are pro-life, from churches, college student groups, etc. However, these are details you can work out in your own area. The heart-shaped logo of "Love Them Both" is already available from Cincinnati Right to Life in posters, bumper strips, buttons, stickers and billboards.
Give it some thought. A public 25th anniversary next January could rally the troops. This can be a time for rejoicing and, most emphatically, an excellent opportunity to improve our public image nationwide. ?
Life Issues Today
with Dr. J. C. Willke
Portugal — a Close Shave
Back in 1984, the Parliament in Portugal legalized abortion – but in only narrow circumstances. It allowed it when a woman’s health was at "serious risk", until 12 weeks for rape pregnancies, and until 16 weeks for fetal handicap. Nothing has changed since that time except that other Western European nations progressively passed more permissive laws.
But things bubbled up this past spring. The members of the ruling Socialist Party, which holds 122 seats in the 230-seat Parliament, were split on the issue. Prime Minister Antonio Guterres was for no change. The Communists with 15 votes and the Greens with 2 favored change. The main opposition Party, the Social Democrats, was split.
As usual, the pro-abortion side pumped up imagined numbers of illegal abortions and put forth the arguments that our readers are familiar with. Among other arguments, they claimed that there were 16,000 illegal abortions committed annually – this without any visible proof of that number.
Portugal has remained a very Catholic country compared with the rest of Western Europe. Within it is the Village of Fatima which is known world-wide as the site of apparitions of the Virgin Mary during World War I. Portugal has a number of pro-life groups, including several crisis pregnancy centers. A fair number of these are attached to the Catholic Church which has considerable influence in that small country.
But the challenge came, and after a stormy 8-hour debate, the lawmakers voted on a proposal that would have allowed unrestricted abortions. This was narrowly defeated by a vote of 112 to 111. During this time, both pro-abortion and pro-life activists were demonstrating outside of the Parliament. The pro-abortion side burned an effigy of the Pope, while pro-life campaigners of all ages, many with babies, gathered outside of a Lisbon church for a silent march on Parliament.
A second bill was then submitted which passed 155 to 46. This extended the age for aborting for fetal handicap, from the previous 16 to 24 weeks. Abortions for assault rape pregnancies were advanced from the 12th to the 14th week.
International Right to Life had sent a supply of pro-life materials to Portugal’s pro-life activist groups. As its president, I and my wife Barbara were able to visit Lisbon a short time later. We landed amidst considerable agitation to reopen the issue and again vote on a much more radical bill. Given only a few weeks notice, the pro-life groups quickly organized a meeting of pro-life leaders. A week later, they had scheduled for us a public meeting to which many people had been invited. By the time we arrived, it had expanded to fill the major auditorium at the University of Lisbon, a meeting which proved immensely fruitful. Along with other leaders, we presented a 3 1/2-hour session to an overflow audience, and a great deal of literature was distributed.
We feel that our visit will bear substantial fruit, particularly in helping to unify and strengthen the pro-life organizations there, both secular and church-related. Plans are underway for considerably more pro-life activity in the future. We hope the pro-life dike will hold.?
New Information on March of Dimes Boycott
For those relatively new to the pro-life movement, it is important to remind everyone how long the boycott of the March of Dimes has been going on. In 1971 the MOD published the papers of a seminar they had sponsored. It was a blueprint for aborting handicapped babies. It recommended mid-trimester diagnostic amniocentesis, which at the time was quite new. It urged the creation of genetic testing centers, and clearly endorsed an attempt to purify the race by eliminating handicapped people by this method.
Cincinnati Right to Life was already publishing a national newsletter which went to all then-known pro-life organizations. It recommended a boycott of the March of Dimes because of this anti-life activity. As a direct result of this boycott, which was picked up by pro-life groups nationwide, the MOD eliminated a requirement that they had originally had. This requirement stated that if the MOD had paid for the amniocentesis test, and a handicapped child was discovered, that child must be aborted. With the publicity surrounding the boycott, the MOD hastily and publicly retracted that requirement and has since proclaimed its neutrality on the subject of abortion. However, when Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in all 50 states in 1973, the MOD went along with the decision. While claiming neutrality, they recognized the woman’s right to choose whether or not to get an abortion, which was in fact the core finding of Roe v. Wade.
Dr. John Willke, in his successive positions as co-chair of Cincinnati Right to Life, president of Ohio Right to Life, and then president of National Right to Life Committee, remained at the center of this controversy. During these years, there were episodic contacts made including meetings with MOD authorities, correspondence, publications, etc. The MOD authorities made no serious attempts to correct the ongoing problems which justified the continuation of the boycott.
Their support for genetic testing centers slowly waned, as individual medical centers and physicians assumed this function. Specific concerns about the MOD cooperating with Planned Parenthood-types in sponsoring anti-family and anti-life seminars came and went. Before Dr. Willke left the presidency of National Right to Life in 1991, he specifically asked the MOD to provide a detailed list of all of their grants for the previous three years. The intention was to closely examine this information with the hope that the reason for the boycott would no longer exist and that right-to-life authorities could then call for its end. MOD authorities refused to provide this information.
It’s interesting to note that during the past 25 years, with rare exceptions, every one of the almost 3,000 right-to-life chapters has maintained the boycott.
About this time, when it seemed as though the pro-life movement was losing interest in the boycott and that it might slowly fade away, the fires were re-ignited by a major seminar sponsored by the March of Dimes. Its papers were published by the MOD in 1991 under the title, "Strategies in Genetic Counseling: Reproductive Genetics & New Technology". Many of the papers in the book are scientifically factual. Others not so. An example is an article in which the notorious abortion propagandist, Mitchel Globus, of University of California. SF, discusses fetal diagnosis and the methodology of fetal "termination in multiple pregnancies", among other things. To pro-lifers this is outrageously pro-abortion.
Another example from this MOD seminar was Estelle Rogers who stated, "It is hard to be involved in the abortion issue these days and not be feeling rather buoyant. The pro-choice majority we always talked about really is here and has become energized to an extent few would have imagined even six months ago." She speaks of the rising "pro-choice ground swell" and the filing of an amicus brief in the Casey decision, noting, however, that, in the midst of her "euphoria", "we must be mindful that there is no substitute for a constitutional right to abortion which protects our fundamental rights..."
In 1996 the entire situation was reopened by the Reverend Robert Fleischmann, National Director of Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) Lutherans for Life. In response to the above, the MOD, in a letter to Rev. Fleischmann dated four years after this seminar, admits to making an error of judgment, regrets the error and has "taken action to insure that it will not recur." Rev. Fleischmann accepted that explanation. He did, however, and quite properly, pursue his investigation further. He asked for the same documentation that Dr. Willke had asked for in ‘91, and was pleasantly surprised to receive it in a computer printout. This was referred out to a number of knowledgeable people for analysis. These individuals and WELS Lutherans for Life closely examined the printout of abstracts for research grants the MOD had made for the year, and concluded that they contained nothing specifically compromising its "biblical view of life". They did, however, raise the question of whether MOD "does or would support fetal tissue research using material taken from induced-aborted children". Their pamphlet (see illustration) goes into detail about the fact that the MOD refused to add "their own restrictive policy in which they would refuse grants for research projects involving the use of tissue from induced-aborted children."
In view of the above, the WELS investigation led them to "conclude that we discourage raising funds for March of Dimes. We further counsel the pro-life movement to continue its boycott of the March of Dimes."
The pamphlet contains the full text of Rev. Fleischmann’s letter to the March of Dimes. It also contains the full text of the response of June Masse, Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer of MOD, along with a response to her comments from Dr. John Willke.
These three statements are available in a small pamphlet printed by WELS Lutherans for Life, which, in our judgment, provides pro-life people with an updated, authoritative statement on the issue of boycotting the March of Dimes. This pamphlet is available from WELS Lutherans for Life, 2949 N. Mayfair Rd., Suite 309, Milwaukee, WI 53222. Phone (800) 729-9535. The cost is 50¢ each which includes shipping and handling.?
New Flashing Heartbeat Pins!
An Effective Way To Present The Pro-Life message
Education has been the key to changing the hearts and minds of Americans on abortion. Polling consistently shows that when people are made aware of the humanity of the unborn child, they support laws protecting innocent life from abortion.
Life Issues Institute is pleased to announce a new way to effectively demonstrate the develop-ment of the preborn child. It is sure to get the attention of those who see it.
This copyrighted button bearing the phrase "Abortion Stops a Beating Heart" has a bright red light in the center of the heart that flashes a beat similar to that of an unborn baby’s own heart. This high quality 3-inch button is printed in red and blue on a white background. While activated, the batteries will keep this eye-catching message going for 100 hours. Replacement batteries (2 per pin) can be purchased for 50¢ each regardless of quantity.
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100 $2.25 $3.01 to $10.00 $3.00
50 $2.50 $10.01 to $40.00 $4.50
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Call for quotes on larger quantities. Call for charges on orders over $100.00.
Payment must accompany all orders.
Write to: Life Issues Institute, 1721 W. Galbraith Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45239
RU 486 Boycott Is Working
The boycott against Hoechst Marion Roussel regarding RU 486 is having an impact. In spite of their aggressive efforts, pro-abortion activists haven’t been able to make this drug available in the US. Even with an unlimited amount of money and the total support of the Clinton administration, no drug company wants to touch it. Further, the original owner, Hoechst, who controlled the manufacturer (Roussel Uclaf), continues to be boycotted with apparent success.
Whether this huge drug conglomerate will be stung enough to affect it remains to be seen. However, it appears that other major drug companies are witnessing the experience of Hoechst Marion Roussel, and don’t want to jeopardize their own financial well-being. According to a story by the Washington Post in mid-June, a European partner, pledged to manufacture RU 486 for distribution in the US, has backed out of the latest deal. Gedeon Richter, a large Hungarian pharmaceutical company, apparently signed a contract in 1995 with Danco Laboratories Ltd. (a Bahaman Corp.). Danco had been licensed to market RU 486 in the US by the pro-abortion, Rockefeller-supported Population Council. In February, Richter informed Danco that it was "terminating its contract and halting the manufacture of RU 486". Danco, in turn, has now sued for breach of contract and is asking a court to require Richter to continue the project, having already paid them $500,000 from the US partners.
The suit states that Danco and the Population Council are "having great difficulty finding another manufacturer, and even if they do, the project is likely to be delayed three to five years." (Wash. Post, 6/12/97). According to the Post, this has dealt "a potentially ruinous blow" to the effort to bring the drug to the public in the United States.
This latest court action follows previous lawsuits involving the production of RU 486. The Population Council created Advances in Health Technology (AHT) to handle RU 486. Joseph D. Pike received a sublicense from AHT to make and distribute the drug. It was learned later that Mr. Pike is both a convicted forger and disbarred lawyer currently serving 18 months’ probation on a two-year suspended prison sentence. One prospective investor, the Giant Group, also accused Pike of fraud and of planning to try to sell over 100% of the shares in the partnership. After this the Population Council gave the manufacturing contract to the Hungarian firm.
Two years have passed since the drug was scheduled to reach American soil. Further, this latest example of RU 486 providers turning on each other resembles an animal eating its young. Needless to say, pro-lifers are pleased with the results.
This new can of worms is certainly creating another delay. So whose fault is it? Gloria Feldt, head of Planned Parenthood, said, "Much of the blame falls on US pharmaceutical companies. They have refused to step forward and produce mifeprestone [RU 486]. They capitulated to economic and political pressures from a small, vocal minority who want to outlaw all abortion." And who might that alleged minority be? It’s you who read this publication and all other pro-lifers in the US who have cooperated in this boycott. Obviously our efforts are paying off. As a result, tens of thousands of unborn babies may be saved every year that RU 486 is kept at bay. It’s imperative that we continue our efforts to boycott Hoechst Marion Roussel.?
On Growing Old
Many of you are aware that Dr. Willke hosts a daily five-minute radio commentary on abortion and related issues. Life Issues is broadcast on hundreds of radio stations throughout the nation and in various English-speaking parts of the world.
Recently, Dr. Willke shared a thoughtful essay called A Meditation On Growing Older with his listeners. It was written by Professor Charles Horejsi of the University of Montana. We received a high volume of mail requesting copies, and thought we’d share it with the readers of this publication. It’s particularly poignant today as society struggles with the issues of euthanasia.
"Why must we grow old? Why does not God allow us to remain young, energetic and healthy? What is served by the anxieties, pain and losses of growing old? God answers:
"Remember, I am a God of Love. My love keeps you in existence. Because of my love, I will not possess or control you. You are free to accept my love or look elsewhere for happiness.
"I will, however, constantly invite you to accept my love. These invitations will be written in the everyday events of your life.
"If you accept, you must learn how to love. And for this, you will need others and others will need you. Love can only exist in a relationship. It is not a solitary act.
"Your life on earth began with your birth and it will end with your death. It will consist of thousands of small births and deaths. Each small birth is a new beginning, an opportunity to start over again. Each small death is a loss, a separation that offers an opportunity for you to re-evaluate your choices and your way of life.
"If it were not for these constant changes, you would probably not learn about love, and you might mistake possessions, power and prestige for love.
"To most people in the first half of their life, I give a strong and active body so they may move about, go places, meet people and explore the world. In the second half of their life, I allow their bodies to weaken and their energy to diminish so they will slow down and explore the inner world of spirituality.
"In the first half of life, I give excellent vision and hearing so they will notice the people I have created, enjoy them. In the second half, I allow their capacity to see and hear to decrease so they learn that outward appearances and words are not the most important thing in life.
"In the first half of life, I give a quick mind and good memory so you can learn about the world, its people and creatures. Later I allow mental ability and memory to slip so people will re-evaluate their lives and decide what is really necessary for happiness.
"In the first half, I give a healthy body so they can experience freedom, independence and can choose their way of life. Later I allow aches, pains and illnesses so they may turn to others for assistance and perhaps find love in the relationships they previously took for granted.
"Most people are given a long life. Many use it to seek possessions and power. I have chosen to limit the length of human life so people will anticipate their death and not become absorbed in their own importance nor preoccupied with possessions.
"Perhaps now you can understand why you must grow old."
Our thanks to Professor Horejsi. If you would like to know more about Dr. Willke’s radio program, Life Issues, or if you would like to know how to get it on the air in your community, please contact our office.?
Help for Men After Abortion
Pro-lifers are becoming increasingly aware that it’s not only women who suffer from the psychological after-effects of abortion. Evidence is mounting that men are also affected from the loss of a child due to abortion.
After considerable research, Life Issues Institute has just released a new tool to help assist men in crisis. Bradley Mattes, the author of Men Hurt Too, designed the brochure for use in multiple applications.
Counseling men. The key to counseling men is to help them grieve the loss and shame of the abortion. When men understand why they’re experiencing these feelings, and that they are not alone, it is easier to begin the healing process.
Crisis pregnancy counseling. If fathers of unborn children accompany the pregnant girl to counseling, this brochure will provide an excellent opportunity to involve the father in the process. The "my choice" rhetoric tells men to stay away, so in the event the father is not present during counseling, the pregnant girl will be armed with valuable information to share with her partner.
Abstinence education. An added way to influence young men to make responsible sexual decisions, is to let them know that abortion may have devastating long-term effects on them.
General education and awareness presentations provide a more complete picture when the audience understands that abortion affects more than the obvious individual.
Men Hurt Too addresses three key aspects that will assist men who are dealing with an abortion decision. First, it explains why an abortion may have a profound impact on men emotionally.
Second, symptoms of grief and shame associated with abortion both vary from and reflect what women experience. The brochure identifies the most common symptoms found in men.
Third, ways in which to treat these symptoms are briefly outlined, as well as encouraging men to seek assistance in dealing with this serious loss.
Men Hurt Too can be ordered through Hayes Publishing Co., 6304 Hamilton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45224. Phone (513) 681-7559. Phone/Fax (513) 681-9298.
The official quarterly publication of Life Issues Institute. Vol. 6 Number 15 Subscription $25. Copyright Life Issues Institute, Inc. 1997. Used with permission. Last updated: 11/03/06
Used with permission. Articles may be reproduced with acknowledgment of their source.