Family & ProLife News Briefs: Cultural Pressures Continue – May 2023 Newsletter

Court Allows Abortion Pill – For Now

The Supreme Court blocked the effect of a lower-court order that was poised to limit access to the pill, which is used in more than half of U.S. abortions. The Court’s action was not a decision on the merits of the case; instead, the justices were deciding whether the pill could remain available during a law suit by medical associations and individual doctors. FDA-approved access to mifepristone would remain until litigation concludes in the lower courts and the Supreme Court itself has an opportunity to review those decisions—a time line that likely will take many months. 

New Orleans-based Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the FDA to reimpose a pre-2016 regimen for administering the drug. That included limiting its use to the earliest weeks of pregnancy, requiring three doctor visits, & precluding mailing pills to patients. Arguments in the case are set for mid-May. 

“The FDA must answer for the damage it has caused to the health of countless women and girls and the rule of law by failing to study how dangerous the chemical abortion drug regimen is,” said Erik Baptist, an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents the plaintiffs. “We look forward to a final outcome in this case that will hold the FDA accountable.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/22/23] 

How Safe is Mifepristone?

The Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology and Research:: about 0.01% of patients who receive penicillin will experience a true anaphylactic allergic reaction. A Canadian study of mass antibiotic prophylaxis with penicillin showed that, of 2,707 people receiving the drug, only 5 experienced what could be classified as a serious adverse event, a rate of 0.18%. According to pro-abortion sources, the abortion pill sends 6% of women who take it to the emergency room or urgent care for complications. This is a rate that is 33 times higher than that of penicillin. And it is 107 times greater than the rate for complications from acetaminophen/Tylenol.” [

The Charlotte Lozier Institute found that the rate of abortion-related emergency room visits by women taking the abortion drug increased more than 500% between 2002 and 2015, resulting in the death of millions of unborn babies.

A 2009 study “Immediate Complications After Medical Compared With Surgical Termination of Pregnancy,” in Obstetrics and Gynecology found a complication rate of approximately 20% for the abortion drugs compared to 5.6% for surgical abortions. Hemorrhages and incomplete abortions were among the most common complications. 

For Working and Stay-at-Home Mothers

Chef, dietician, nurse, cosmologist, lawyer, physician, judge, spiritual director, moral compass; teacher of discernment, manners, temperance and modesty; life coach, home organizer, chauffeur, referee, head janitor, and example of faithfulness and respect to her husband. For all the mothers who read “Goodnight, Moon” twice a night for a year and then read it again, just one more time. Her calling, along with fatherhood, is the greatest and highest vocation on earth

Said Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty: “The most important person on earth is a mother: She cannot claim the honor of having built Notre Dame Cathedral. She has built something more magnificent than any cathedral, a dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby’s body. Mothers are closer to God the Creator than any other creature; God joins forces with mothers in performing this act of creation. What on God’s good earth is more glorious than this, to be a mother?” 

For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. And all the mothers who don’t. This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can’t find the words to reach them.  This is for the mother who gave birth to babies they’ll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes. This is for the mothers whose priceless art collections are hanging on their refrigerator doors. [Christian Action News, 5/22] 

Doctor-Assisted Suicide on Steroids

Over the last few years, Canada’s doctor-assisted
suicide program was originally restricted to those facing
“reasonably foreseeable” natural death. In 2021 it was
expanded to those whose illnesses need not be terminal.
Now the government wants to cover ‘mature minors,”
including those as young as 12, who are deemed “fit” to
make an end-of-life decision. These policies are widely
popular. We should not be surprised. As Leila Mechoui
explains in Compact magazine: “State-administered
euthanasia on-demand is the logical endpoint of a society
built on secular humanism and utilitarianism. These
frameworks preclude any appeal to an absolute authority
beyond the individual. The ultimate expression is as a
state-protected ‘right’ to a ‘dignified’ death.” The future
of the West: a culture of death under the sign of choice.
[First Things, March 2023]

Recommended: Nefarious

The movie trailer, billboards & print ads seem to promote this movie as a horror film, but it is, according to one viewer, “amazing, with Catholic/ Christian themes.” And it has top quality production value.

Adam and Eve After the Pill, Revisited

In a book of penetrating essays, Mary Eberstadt shines a light on the ideological extremism of our times. Since her 2012 book, we’ve seen the introduction of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, a further plunge in birth rates, a decline of the American life span, the rise of “revenge porn,” and the proliferation of dating apps. Beyond these is the sudden proliferation of gender clinics promising to “affirm” the gender identity of young people by feeding them off-label puberty blockers and scheduling surgeries that will make them infertile and in many cases incontinent. All this was accompanied by a ferocious surge in identity politics, a rising tide of intolerant secularism, levels of reported teen depression never before recorded, and a deadly opioid epidemic. 

 Writes Eberstadt: “Children today are considerably less likely to have siblings — and by extension, cousins, aunts, and uncles — than they were sixty years ago. Almost 30 percent of all households consist of just one person. Some 40 percent of all children lack a biological father in the home. A world of fewer and weaker family ties is one in which deprived people are furious about things they do not have or no longer know.” 

To put it starkly, in the name of human freedom, we have unwittingly created a society in which children on the whole experience less love and commitment in their lives than ever before. “The vast majority of incarce rated juveniles have grown up in fatherless homes,” she writes. “Teen and other mass murderers almost invariably have a filial rupture in their biographies. Absent fathers predict higher rates of truancy, psychiatric problems, criminality, promiscuity, drug use, rape, domestic violence, and other tragic outcomes.”

Clearly, the social contagion of nonbinary and trans identity among young girls on the verge of puberty is related not just to family breakdown but to the ubiquity of violent pornography, which makes female sexuality look like an occasion for male abuse and contempt.  Eberstadt’s arresting thesis is that the decline of family life — traceable in massive drops in general fertility — is a preview of defection from the Christian church, not the reverse. Religious families do not divorce as often, and they have more children. Those who are defecting from the family way of life, by not marrying and not experiencing the primordial shift of mind brought on by fatherhood and motherhood, have fewer reasons to turn to the church for encouragement and guidance. “Social science confirms that people who have robust social bonds are more likely to thrive than people who do not,” she writes. [book review by Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 3/2/23] 

Fewer In-Person Connections

Your editor received an email message from Prime Video saying that you can watch a movie alone but with your favorite people through a chat program. “It’s almost like watching side-by-side in real life, without having to share your popcorn.” What fun – all by myself!

A Tough Mother’s Day?

Your editor got a recent email message from, of all places, It started out by saying: “We realize that for some, Mother’s Day may be a tough time.  If you’d prefer not to receive emails about our 2023 Mother’s Day Sale, you can opt out below.” Maybe I should opt out of their entire site. 

No Wi-Fi in College Residence Halls?

How can a college produce graduates who build lasers, engineer software systems, launch their own metadata startups, and have successful technology careers? Thomas Aquinas College states that its Catholic liberal arts education does by helping students learn about reality, about nature and nature’s creator, about man and man’s relationship to the world, to other men, & ultimately to God. The college does not have Wi-Fi in its residence halls, prohibits electronic devices in the classroom, asks students to read ancient texts and contemplate the works of long-dead masters.

Summer Program for High Schoolers

Thomas Aquinas College offers a High School Great Books Program at both of its campuses. In New England, it is July 9-22; in California, it is July 16-29. The college says: “Ask the big questions and explore the answers, forging new friendships to last a lifetime.” [

School Choice

The President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) claims school choice starves “public schools of the funds they need to suc ceed.” Research has found, however, that school choice boosts per-student funding in public schools, and more than 20 high-quality studies have found neutral-to positive effects on students who remain in public schools subject to school choice. []

This free monthly newsletter is used by dozens of churches as a bulletin insert, and since 2013 has had over 30,000 readers. To receive each month’s issue in your inbox, email Frank Tinari, Ph.D. at