Family & ProLife News Brief: Human Dignity and Standing for Life – May 2024 Newsletter

Every Person Has Human Dignity

In April, On Human Dignity [or Infinite Dignity] was issued by the Vatican on the 75th anniversary of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights that reaffirmed the inherent dignity of every man and woman in the world. It stated that all human beings “must be recognized and treated with respect and love due to their inalienable dignity.” The Vatican document states that “even human reason can arrive at this conviction,” and that this “applies to an unborn child, an unconscious person, or an older person in distress.” Dignity is intrinsic to the person and cannot be lost. “All human beings possess this same intrinsic dignity, regardless of whether or not they can express it in a suitable manner.” The document goes on to explain that the concept of human dignity can be misused to justify many a subjective new “right,” often at odds with the original conception of dignity. At the same time, human progress is shown by the increasing desire to eradicate racism, slavery, and the marginalization of women, the sick, children, & the disabled. Christianity bolsters such strivings even in an increasingly secularized world. Cited in the document is the teaching of the Second Vatican Council: “all offenses against life itself, such as murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, and willful suicide” are contrary to human dignity, including “subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children and degrading working conditions” as well as the practice of torture. The second half of the document addresses poverty, war, migration, human trafficking, sexual abuse, violence against women, abortion, surrogacy, euthanasia and assisted suicide, marginalizing persons with disabilities, gender theory, sex change, and digital violence.

“In the case of abortion, there is widespread use of ambiguous terminology, such as ‘interruption of pregnancy,’ which tends to hide abortion’s true nature …. Procured abortion is the deliberate and direct killing, by whatever means it is carried out, of a human being in the initial phase of his or her existence, extending from conception to birth.” The document further states: “Unborn children are, thus, the most defenseless and innocent among us. Nowadays, efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this. … Defense of unborn life is closely linked to the defense of each and every human right. It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development.”  [The full document is available for free online.] 

Attacks on Christian Church

Between January 2018 and November 2023, at least 915 acts of hostility occurred including vandalism, arson, gun incidents, bomb threats, and more. In 2023 alone, 436 incidents, more than twice those in 2022, were identified. Hostility against U.S. churches is accelerating. In Annapolis, e.g., Fowler United Methodist Church experienced shredded Bibles, slashed upholstery and a torn-down cross. Arielle Del Turco, director of the Center for Religious Liberty, said: “We see the main stream media constantly maligning religion and Christianity in particular. It is blamed in academia as a source of oppression … when you have all these social forces built up, it is going to spill over into real-world effects.” Tony Perkins in The Washington Stand wrote: “The growing anti-faith rhetoric of the Left … has made it open season on houses of worship.” The goal seems to be to interrupt church services and bully Christians into silence. “While we need to be taking practical steps to ensure our churches are safe, we also need to be bold, defend the faith, and live out our Christian faith for the glory of God (Matth. 5:14-16).” [Family Research Council, Washington Impact Report, April 2024] 

 Ed.’s note: The National Shrine of St. John Neumann (Phil.) was the 401st Catholic Church in the U.S. vandalized since 2020. [Our Sunday Visitor, 3/10/24]

Pray for Joan Bell Along with 10 others, Joan was convicted under the federal FACE Act for entering and praying in an abortion clinic. She has been held in prison for months & expects sentencing on May 15th. The judge could give her 11 years in prison, which would be outrageous. Please keep Joan in your prayers.

“The Baxters” on Amazon Prime

The ups and downs of relationships and marriages form the basis of this new video series that aired on March 28th. The couples in the program aren’t perfect – they’re regular people with regular issues and struggles such as infidelity. Actress and producer Roma Downey said that at the heart of the show is a reminder that “we belong to each other.” The series is based on Karen Kingsbury’s #1 NYT Best selling Series. [excerpted from Our Sunday Visitor, 4/21/24]

Abortion because “I don’t have a choice”

Significant others, trusted friends and parents often place heavy pressure on women to throw away God’s greatest gift: 

  • “You can’t even pay your bills. You can’t take care of yourself, let alone a baby.” 
  • “You’re too young. It will ruin your life if you keep the baby.” 
  • “You promised ME we wouldn’t have children.”
  • “You have nowhere to live.” 
  • “You need to finish college first.” 
  • “You can’t bring a child into that kind of situation.”

 Surveys indicate that, among women who’ve had abortions, 58% said they did so to “make someone else happy,” nearly 70% said they felt “pressure from others to abort,” and 66% said “they knew in their hearts they were making a mistake.” [Sidewalk Advocates for Life,] Pregnancy help centers now number over 3,000 in the U.S. and strive to assist women in unplanned pregnancies, to give them a choice they feel they don’t have.  

Adrianna Rowatti of Life Advocates of NJ Inc. states that dire financial straits and the fact that the fathers walk away are major abortion drivers. She believes that beyond the wonderful work of pregnancy support services, women need material and financial aid such as rent or security deposit, cell phone, furniture, grocery gift cards, car repairs, and more. 

Her group trains sidewalk counselors to rescue women from choosing abortion. They then aid pregnant moms financially and seek added support from groups such as Let Them Live ( In  addition, Life Advocates issues  a 16-page guide (in English and  Spanish) that provides detailed  information on sources of free  baby essentials, transitional  housing, emergency shelters,  maternal & child health programs, and more for their NJ  area. Rowatti says the greatest need at present is to bring on more volunteers. If interested, contact her at:

Help for Infertility

The St. Gianna’ Center (FL) provides help for women’s health and fertility care. Couples who need assistance should check the helpful resources that the Center provides that include,,, International Institute of Restorative Reproductive Medicine, and []

Standing for Life at the United Nations

The Center for Family & Human Rights (C-Fam) reports that the UN has a campaign to crack down on what they call “anti-rights” groups that includes pro family & pro-life groups around the world.   C-Fam has fought policies at the UN on several fronts: it blocked a global right to abortion and an international right to same-sex marriage, and created a global network of like-minded government and activist institutions. It is now establishing The Center for Religious and Political Speech to continue its fight against what it calls “the international thought police.” []

Smithsonian Pays Students $50,000

Shortly after the 2023 March for Life in the nation’s capital a group of Catholics from Our Lady of the Rosary school (Greenville, SC) were kicked out of the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum for wearing hats that said “Rosary PRO-LIFE.” After a year in mediation, the museum agreed to pay students $50,000, give them a private tour hosted by museum director Christopher Browne, make personal apologies, and disseminate a report on the incident as well as policies clarifying the permissibility of religious and political speech on apparel. The settlement is one of the largest ever against the federal government over the First Amendment, according to the American Center for Law and Justice.  “We are grateful for this group who were willing to take a stand to defend their rights,” said ACLJ exec. director Jordan Sekulow. “From the beginning, they wanted to know who gave the order to require them to cover up their pro-life apparel or leave the building, & to expose the truth to ensure that this never happens again.”  ACLJ also represented another group of 2023 March for Life participants who experienced a similar incident at the National Archives museum where they were instructed by security officers to take off or conceal the pro-life messages on their apparel if they wanted to remain in the museum. NARA settled and agreed to pay $10,000 to the plaintiffs and take steps to prevent future visitors from experiencing the same treatment. [Calvin Freiburger,, 4/2/24]

“Euthanasia” is Medical Homicide 

Gordon Friesen (Pres., Euthanasia Prevention Coalition) wrote about the spread of euthanasia in British Commonwealth nations, with Ireland now considering it. In all probability the Irish will soon authorize euthanasia for people “diagnosed with a disease, illness or medical condition … causing suffering to the person that cannot be relieved in a manner that the person finds tolerable.” His warning to Ireland: “If euthanasia is legalized as a cure for suffering, then suffering people will be ‘cured’ with euthanasia! Suffering people will be killed.” His blog post contains many insights into the spread of the culture of death. [4/8/24,]

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

Family & ProLife News Briefs – IVF… Abortion Pills … Teen “Therapy” – April 2024 Newsletter

April is Abortion Recovery Month

During the months of March and April there will be 85 Rachel’s Vineyard weekend retreats in the U.S. and globally. About 800 men and women will be served during these healing retreats. Attendees are always surprised that there are so many others who experience prolonged grief and trauma after abortion. Those in supportive healing groups learn it’s possible to survive and find meaning in all the unspoken suffering. When individuals are healed from the traumatic experience of abortion, healing is brought back into their families and marriages. There is a positive ripple effect for the entire family and the community. When peace ends their internal war, many women desire to give voice to their own experience. They believe women deserve better than abortion. Repeat abortions can be stopped as women are empowered to make healthier choices that do not involve violence to babies as a form of “reproductive healthcare.” [excerpted from Dr. Theresa Burke, Founder, Rachel’s Vineyard, Priests for Life newsletter, April 2024] Rachel’s Vineyard retreats are offered in confidence by many Catholic dioceses.

IVF’s Abuse of Human Dignity

The Alabama Supreme Court last month ruled that embryos created through IVF are human persons protected under the state’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act. Basic science tells us that whether the embryo is created through natural procreation or when sperm and egg are joined in a petri dish, it is a human being in the earliest of stages.

For every successful IVF-aided birth (there were more than 97,000 in 2021, according to federal data), multiple surplus embryos are either destroyed, used for experimentation (mostly to hone the industry’s own techniques), or frozen for possible future use. According to a recent worldwide survey, the vast majority of rejected embryos are simply tossed in the trash. Sometimes it’s because of a genetic disorder like Down syndrome. Increasingly, though, human embryos are screened out for other reasons, like the baby’s sex or eye color. “It’s like going to a sandwich shop and ordering a ham sandwich with cheese. Do you want to put pickles on?” one IVF doctor recently told The Washington Post. IVF clinics are designer baby boutiques and as death-dealing, on an industrial scale, as Planned Parenthood.

In the U.S. alone there are an estimated 1.5 million embryos in cold storage, equivalent to the population of the city of Philadelphia. Celebrity Paris Hilton boasts of having 20 unborn baby boys on ice. If she’s fortunate, some random person won’t wander into an unsecured cryopreservation area and accidentally drop them on the floor, which is what tragically happened to the embryonic children of three Alabama couples who filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against their IVF clinic. In 2018, 4,000 embryos were destroyed when a high capacity freezer tank malfunctioned at a fertility clinic in Cleveland. And what happens to Hilton’s embryos if she & her partner split up? Whose “property” are they?

Other countries regulate IVF to varying degrees but not the U.S. Many sincere Catholic couples who have struggled to start a family see IVF as an answer to their prayers. We want to support them, but many simply aren’t well-informed about what IVF entails or about the basis for the Church’s clear teaching against it. IVF violates human dignity by commodifying human life and de-humanizing and de-personalizing the sacrosanct process of procreation. The Church recognizes that each child has a right to be conceived in a natural way, not in a petri dish in a laboratory at the hands of technicians. And each child deserves to be protected and nurtured in the warmth and privacy of his or her mother’s womb, not stored in a freezer in cryogenic nurseries. Weeding out embryos because of certain subjectively undesirable traits is eugenics, plain and simple; allowing them to be experimented on before they’re destroyed is gravely evil. We saw that from the Nazis’ eugenics programs.

Yearning to have children is good, but resorting to means that trample on the dignity and rights of unborn children isn’t the answer. Fertility resources today are helping couples navigate this difficult medical/ethical landscape, groups like The Fruitful Hollow, Springs in the Desert and Them Before Us. The Saint Paul VI Institute & other principled Catholic medical practitioners offer couples ethical alternatives to IVF, such as those based on the FertilityCare System & NaProTechnology. These efforts need to be replicated nationwide.

Support with your prayers & understanding couples close to you who are struggling with infertility. Public opinion may not be on your side, but the truth is. It may be your witness and charity that changes everything. [excerpt from Michael Warsaw, publisher, National Catholic Register, 3/15/24]

Walgreens, CVS Now Abortion Businesses

By now, you’ve probably heard that Walgreens and CVS will dispense the abortion pill, Mifepristone. The neighborhood pharmacies that we trust with our everyday needs have now been turned into abortion mills. Chemical abortion now accounts for the majority of abortions. Mifepristone and Misoprostol are the two pills taken to complete a chemical abortion. A new investigation just found that a network of pro-abortion groups and websites are shipping foreign abortion pills, for less than $100, with zero oversight.

The FDA had initially approved the pills for women up to 8 weeks pregnant, then later changed that to 10 weeks. They were administered by the woman’s doctor who monitored any complications. Now, no age verification, no prescription, and no concern for state laws. This has catastrophic consequences for pregnant mothers who are deceived into believing that chemical abortion is “safe.” We have all heard the increasing number of horror stories of at-home abortions gone wrong.

Heartbeat International, has helped save over 5,000+ babies from death by the abortion pill, thanks to Abortion Pill Reversal (APR), a safe and successful option for the women who regret taking that first abortion pill. [Tom Brejcha,, 3/29/24]

Your editor switched last year from CVS to a local, family-run pharmacy that does not deal with these abortion pills. If you are fortunate to have such a local pharmacy, you may want to do something similar.

Americans Becoming More Pro-Death?

Under the joint direction of Beacon Research and Shaw & Company Research, a recent Fox poll of Americans revealed a remarkable 35% of registered voters said they think abortion should always be legal. This is much higher than the McLaughlin & Associated poll reported in this newsletter’s previous month’s issue that 21% of all Americans surveyed support abortion being available anywhere, at any time. The survey also shows that voters are split on whether abortion should be banned at six months (when a child is fully formed and can survive outside the womb with proper life support). Nearly half (48%) are opposed to such a ban. Moreover, the survey showed that 68% of voters believe access to the abortion-inducing pill Mifepristone should be legal. The apparently increased support for abortion among American voters is troubling given that the procedure brutally kills innocent human life, as former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino has demonstrated. [For the full story, see Emily Mangiaracina,, 3/28/24]

A Free Online Pro-Life University

A free online pro-life university launched by Bishop Joseph Strickland, Deacon Keith Fournier & Frank Pavone will offer classes in science, medicine, law, religion, public relations, politics, & the process of healing the wounds after abortion. Deacon Keith said: “We need to equip people to go into the courts, into the culture, into the academy, wherever they are.” Students can log in whenever they have the time and choose from hundreds of courses. Bishop Strickland said: “A university for the sanctity of life is for now and the future.” For more information, go to

Teen Anxiety

Talk therapy administered to youngsters one hour weekly has side effects including demoralization, rumination, alienation, overdiagnosis, hypochondriasis, overmedication. In a new book, Bad Therapy: Why the Kids Aren’t Growing Up, Abigail Shrier argues that therapy is the cause of America’s youth mental health crisis, “the worriers, the fearful, the lonely, lost and sad.” From 1990 to 2007, the number of mentally ill kids increased 3,500%. Ever more teens present anxiety, depression, dissociation, gender dysphoria (the subject of her previous book), eating disorders, self-harm behavior, hair-pulling compulsions, and tics. Almost 40% of American kids have received therapy. But the benefits of psychotherapy are vague, and many kids get worse:

  • Demoralized – the patient regards herself as a problem that her parents can’t solve
  • Ruminative – told by therapists to dwell on disappointments and dissatisfactions
  • Alienated – encouraged to judge as guilty or inadequate their friends and family
  • Dysfunctional – patients take this on as their identity
  • Over-medicated – loss of affect, mental acuity & libido; weight gain; suicidal ideation

Such therapy is too strong for developing brains, yet too many parents stress happiness & validation of children. Kids must receive “consequences,” not punishment. They should “enjoy themselves” at school, sports, piano lessons, etc. The “ideal childhood means no pain, no discomfort, no fights, no failure.” School discipline and teaching reflect these values. This is folly. Stress in life is normal, a learning experience. American schools exhibit a decline in academic outcomes and an increase in unruliness.

Shrier says that “conversations about feelings and problems styled as medicine” are easily hoisted on fragile teenagers whose parents’ insurance plans cover therapy. These trends coincide with increased fatherlessness and unchurching. Smartphones have only exacerbated the negative self-focus of teens. [excerpts from book review, Julia Yost, First Things, March 2024]

“I shall never tire of saying that abortion is murder, a criminal act; there is no other word for it. … It is a defeat for everyone who carries it out and anyone who is complicit in it: mercenaries, killers for hire!” Life: My Story Through History by Pope Francis.

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