Life, Medicine and Science – June 2023 Newsletter

Lila Rose Slams Hookup Culture

Pro-life leader Lila Rose caught the attention of millions of people online on May 9 when she defended abstinence until marriage & monogamy on “Whatever” a popular dating podcast. Rose, the president and founder of the pro-life organization Live Action, offered a number of compelling arguments about marriage and sex throughout the three hour podcast, despite some rough & crude language used by panelists. “That’s where the power of love comes in, a love that doesn’t leave, a love that isn’t based on feelings or desire, but a love that’s based on choice,” Rose said. “And I think deep down we’re all wired for that. … I think deep down we want a love that stays, a love that lasts, and it is possible for everyone.” [LifeNews, 5/17/23] 

Gender Confusion Everywhere

Is there a religious or ideological bias in those who promote the transgender idea? The American Medical Assoc., Amer. Academy of Pediatrics, Amer. Psychiatric Assoc., and Amer. Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry all have spoken out against state laws to restrict access to “gender-affirming medical care” for children, including both hormones and surgery. Yet none of these organizations object to restrictions of children’s rights to express their self identity in the form of permanent tattoos. Many, many states have absolute bans on tattoos for children, and others have strict parental notification and consent laws. Jim Riley of Innervision Tattoo (Nevada) says he wouldn’t tattoo a minor even with parental consent: “Of all the people I’ve tattooed in my 20+ year career, it’s very common to hear the phrase ‘I got this tattoo when I was 15 and now I hate it. Can you cover it up?’ Let’s face it, when we’re teenagers we don’t have the foresight to know what we will like when we are in our 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond.” [J. Sciortino, WSJ, 5/15/23]

The Department of Education under the current administration has proposed a new rule that would generally require sports programs to allow athletes to compete according to, not their sex, but their gender identity. Permitting any male to compete against females undermines the long-standing goals of equal opportunity for women & girls. [National Review, 5/1/23]

Transgender rights are among a slew of hot-button issues driving states in opposite directions. New proposals include bans on gender-affirming treatment for minors, limits on discussing gender identity in primary schools, and prohibitions on transgender students competing on school sports teams that align with their identified gender. [S. Armour, WSJ, 4/24/23]

The Archdiocese of Portland, OR, has adopted a model policy on dealing with transgender students: designations and pronouns should accord with biological sex; restrooms and locker rooms should be organized according to biological sex; no person should have on site or distribute medications for the purpose of gender transition; parents are the primary educators of their children and should be involved in any psychiatric or medical decisions regarding their children. [Catholic League, Catalyst, April 2023]

He Thought Abortion Was Good Medicine

Dr. John Bruchalski’s book Two Patients: My Conversion from Abortion to Life-Affirming Medicine (Oct. 2022) tells his pro-life story as an OB/GYN. At first, I adopted the mindset that abortion was good medicine for women. I grew up during the so-called “sexual revolution.” My faith journey outside of my family and parish in the 1970s and 1980s told me that my conscience was my supreme guide and the Church could not force me to change my mind. My journey into studying the scientific taught me that what my faith taught me was backward, dangerous and a curse on women and science and medicine.

The change came for me in early 1989. I was an OB/GYN resident practicing so-called “good medicine.” Cognitive dissidence was building up inside me. At night I was visiting a pregnancy resource center, getting to see the faith of an evangelical community rescuing women from abortion. During the day I was performing atrocities as an honorable and caring OB/GYN. Yet medical data in our journals were clearly indicating the
dangerous side effects of abortion and its association with mental illness, preterm birth, and breast cancer.
But with each abortion I performed my heart grew harder and harder, darker and darker.

Then an honest Catholic NICU doctor, Dr. Debbie Plumb, challenged me to stop treating her patients, these babies, as tumors to be cut out and discarded. I went to Medjougorie and became a redeemed sinner. I was touched in the sacred font of Divine Mercy through the assistance of His Blessed Mother. By 1994 I had
founded Tepeyac OB/GYN. My heart was exploding in fire to share what merciful, life-affirming medicine
could be with other practitioners and with patients.

Rather than seeing fertility as something to be controlled and shut off and polluted with class one carcinogens,
fertility awareness is utilized fully. Rather than considering unborn children as sexually transmitted diseases, the unborn child is our second patient. Rather than treating embryos as property to be used, children and progeny are to be unconditionally loved and nurtured. Rather than seeing the underserved as someone else’s problem to be fixed and a waste of precious time, we do what we can to accompany our patients. Rather than pitting mom against her child in elective abortion, we collaborate with regional pregnancy centers. Rather than seeing a sick unborn child in the womb as a sump for pain and needless suffering and ending the life of the person/child with that illness, we offer perinatal hospice. It is the breaking of the unity of reason with faith that led to the sterilizing tables in the 1930s, the gas chambers in the 1940s, and now to the abortion mills and chemical abortions of today. In a post-Roe world, we must continue the political and the advocacy and the scientific inquiry. We must serve human flourishing, collaborate with fertility, and not treat our children as sexually transmitted diseases to be altered or eliminated. Through God’s grace, and in sacrificial relationship with others, we can provide a light in the darkness and show that the way of medicine going forward must be
toward care, healing and wholeness. [Zoe Romanowsky interview, 1/19/23,]

Salt-N-Pepa Singer Rejected Abortion to Save Her Singing Career

Cheryl James of the hip-hop group Salt-N-Pepa said the entertainment industry tried to pressure her to abort her daughter. In an interview, James said her daughter was one of the best things that ever happened to her. James, the “Salt” of the group, and Sandra Denton, or “Pepa,” spoke about balancing their careers with raising their children even though many in the entertainment industry told them that they could not do both. “You just have to know that it’s something that you’re capable of handling if you want a kid and a career. And it’s definitely harder. Having my girls, besides finding Jesus, is the best thing that I’ve ever experienced, my kids,” she said.

Other celebrities have shared similar stories about the pressure female entertainers face to abort their unborn babies. Earlier this year, former Pussycat Dolls lead singer Kaya Jones told of the “train of trauma” she suffered after having three abortions as a young woman. Jones described the entertainment industry as almost like a sex trafficking ring that objectifies women and girls and, when they become pregnant, pressures them to abort their unborn babies. Later, Jones said she found forgiveness and healing in Christ. [M. Bilger,, 5/9/23]

Mutilated Animals Left at Clinic

The FBI and local police opened an investigation after three mutilated animals were left on the property of a pro-life pregnancy center in Orlando, Florida. All of the clinic’s services are free and it mostly serves minority
women. The director Bob Perron thinks the clinic was targeted “because we don’t support or refer for abortions
because we know that that hurts women & their families. We are just a medical clinic trying to help moms.” A doorbell camera may have recorded part of the targeting. There have been more than 60 attacks on pro-life
pregnancy centers since May 2022 when it was reported that Roe v. Wade would be overturned. Yet, there have been only six reported arrests. Many Catholic churches, a maternity home, political organizations, billboards and ads, a political figure, and a memorial have all also come under pro-abortion attacks since last May. [Excerpt from Joe Bukuras, 5/16/23: © 2023 EWTN News, Inc. Reprinted with permission from CNA,]

Abortion Pill Safety The FDA only requires fatal complications from mifepristone to be reported. In other words, “if the woman has to go to the emergency room if she has excessive
bleeding, if she is in the ER on life support for days and days and days, if she recovers from that, the FDA says, ‘Don’t tell us about it. Only tell us if she dies,’” U.S. Sen. James Lankford said. And because of the lack of reporting, OB-GYN Dr. Donna Harrison said doctors cannot provide good information about its risks to their patients. Research indicates that emergency room doctors take care of more than half of abortion pill complications. [Steven Ertelt,, 5/10/23]

Three Parent Baby?

An English Catholic bishop has denounced the first reported births of “three-parent” babies in the UK as
“deeply concerning.” Auxiliary Bishop John Sherrington of Westminster said the creation of babies by mitochon- drial donation treatment (MDT) was unethical because the process involved the destruction of two embryos to
create a single new life. The Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, the British regulator, has
permitted the creation of 30 babies by pronuclear transfer although “less than five” have been born.

The procedure assumes that the nucleus and the mitochondria can be transferred without any consequence. Yet Paul Knoefler, a researcher and professor of cell biology and human anatomy at the University of
California, Davis, writes that “there is strong evidence that the mitochondrial genome, for example, ‘talks to’ the nuclear genome, and has ‘pervasive effects on cellular and organismal functioning.’” Professor David Albert Jones, director of Anscombe, said: “This is a new and unnecessary technique that does not add to the safety of IVF involving an egg donor, but adds further risks.” [Simon Caldwell, Our Sunday Visitor, 5/15/23]

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