Author Archives: LEC

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, https://sidewalkadvocates.org/] 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 (www.letthemlive.org). 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: lifeadvocatesnj@protonmail.com

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 FertilityCare.org, DrHilgers.com, CreightonModel.com, International Institute of Restorative Reproductive Medicine, and NaProTECHNOLOGY.com [www.stgiannacenter.com]

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.” [www.c-fam.org]

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, www.lifesitenews.com, 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, https://alexschadenberg.blogspot.com/]


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 tinarifr@shu.edu

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, LifeNews.com, 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, LifeSiteNews.com, 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 ProLifeUniversity.org

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 tinarifr@shu.edu



Family & ProLife News Brief – March 2024 Newsletter

Changing Hearts Will Take Huge Effort

According to Prof. Scott Yenor, the reshaping of sexual relations, including acceptance of abortion, developed over 150 years. Public schooling, introduced in America in the 19th century, transferred a main function of domestic life to the state. Divorce by mutual consent had become common in the mid-1900s. Later, obscenity regulation was loosened. But, ironically, the desire for fairness embedded in anti-discrimination laws, including discrimination on the basis of sex, established the main mechanism for the public deconstruction of sex roles within the family.

The new order, supported by extensive court findings and legislated rules, promotes a sexless, egalitarian understanding of “human dignity.” Though marriage showed men and women how their different interests could converge in a life well lived, any social pattern that presumes difference amounts to wrongful discrimination. The family must be rebuilt on this basis. Today, education and careers come first. Marriage is delayed. Childbearing is deferred. Women are encouraged to celebrate their divorces and abortions. We strain to eliminate old stereotypes, but live under new ones.

Traditional practices are now deemed illegal and stigmatized, being replaced by an anti-discrimination “constitution.” The 2020 Supreme Court holding in Bostock v. Clayton County said that transgender individuals must not be discriminated against, a decision that requires us to affirm that men can become women and vice versa. The 1991 Civil Rights Act allows employers to be sued for emotional distress and punitive damages. Now corporate America “educates” its workers and seeks to deconstruct sex stereotypes.

We need to revive common-sense values reflecting the different innate roles of men and women. [For the full article by Yenor, see First Things, March 2024]

Most Abortions Are Unwanted

Recent Elliot Institute research reveals that “most women report feeling pressured to agree to an abortion that violated their own personal values.” Population controllers don’t mind unwanted abortions given their efforts to push the abortion pull to market precisely with the aim of eliminating “the barely educated, unhealthy and poor segment of our country.” For those who see babies born to “lower” classes as a burden on society, the fact that a “bare educated, unhealthy, and poor” woman wants to have her baby but feels pushed into an unwanted abortion by her male partner, social workers, doctors, or employers is just an alternative way toward achieving the goal of reducing birth rates among the poor. The goal is almost always hidden behind pro-choice euphemisms. [ElliotInstitute.org, 2/14/2024]

New Poll on Key Life Issues

Results from a newly February poll by McLaughlin & Associates, in partnership with leading pro-life organization Priests for Life, offer critical insight into American voters’ current priorities, steadfast values and stance on key issues like abortion. Poll respondents were Democrat (36%), Republican (36%), and 28% were Independent/Other.

  • 85% support financial, medical and emotional assistance for women facing unplanned pregnancies.
  • 81% support reducing legal and financial barriers to adoption and foster care
  • 77% support ensuring faith-based organizations can help provide services to pregnant women and young mothers
  • 61% say it’s good when the mother decides to keep and raise the child, or make an adoption plan
  • 21% support an extremist position of abortion being available anywhere, at any time [Detailed poll info may be requested from Media@PriestsForLife.org]


Radiant is a platform for women in their 20s and 30s who are rooted in their identity in Christ, striving for a vibrant life on this side of heaven. We are all called to give glory to God throughout this one, beautiful life we’ve been given. Discover more at radiantmagazine.com


Anti-Woke Question Puts Teacher on Leave

Tiger Craven-Neely, an elementary school teacher who questioned a California school’s spending $250,000 on a teacher training program called “Woke Kindergarten,” was placed on leave by his school district, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Glassbrook Elementary School used the federal funds for underperforming schools to pay for training their teachers how to be “anti-racist” and “disrupt whiteness” in the classroom. The teacher said he had voiced concerned over the program at a staff meeting and questioned what it meant to “disrupt whiteness” in his third-grade classroom.

The bad news is that since implementing the “woke” program, scores for English and math at the school have fallen further. Fewer than 4% of students post proficient scores in math and a little under 12% test at grade level in English. [Brandon Poulter, Daily Signal, 2/11/2024]

Men Less Interested in Marriage

American men are significantly less likely to want to get married or raise a family, according to a recent analysis from religious statistician Ryan Burge who analyzed data from the Cooperative Election Study, which asks participants about their marital status. He found that in 2008, men tended to get married around 29 years old. In 2022, the average age of first marriage for both men and women jumped by about 4.5 years. Also, about 65% of 30-year old men had never been married, compared to 48% of 30-year-old women.

Only 33% of 30-year-old men were parenting, but for 30-year-old women, the number was 50%. Also, 65% of women between the ages of 35 to 40 were currently parenting young children. “Not only are women much more likely to get married, they are also much more likely to become parents, as well. In essence it’s like women are trying to maintain some of the traditional familial institutions in American society while men have decided that this is not the direction they want their life to go,” Burge wrote. For men, having a higher level of education makes one less likely to stay single and never have kids. Said another way, educated men settle down. But more highly educated women are more likely to be single & childless between the ages of 35 & 50 after controlling for race, ideology, income & religion. [H. Hiester, CatholicVote.org, 2/20/24]

Does Marriage Really Work?

If you were to form your opinions by relying solely on TikTok influencers, Netflix movies like “Marriage Story” or cultural commentary in The New York Times or the New Yorker, you could be forgiven for thinking marriage was dreadful. Sealed off from reality, young and middle-aged men and women think that anything but marriage is where to find fulfillment, happiness and prosperity. Boy, are they in for a surprise!

Sociologist Brad Wilcox found just the opposite in his book Get Married: Why Americans Must Defy the Elites, Forge Strong Families, and Save Civilization. The data show that married men and women are the most financially secure, least lonely, healthiest and happiest people in America. Their children have the best life outcomes compared to peers whose parents are not married. The evidence from multiple studies is overwhelming, hence the title of his book. For example, 60% of married mothers aged 18-55, compared to only 36% of single, childless women of the same ages were completely or somewhat satisfied with their life. Also, happiness is reported even higher for those who regularly attend religious services with their spouses.

On average, men and women married with children, despite all of the challenges of marriage, are more likely to navigate life successfully, forging financially stable, meaningful and happy lives. [Our Sunday Visitor, 2/4/2024]

Have You Visited These Websites?

Reversing the STI Epidemic

In 2000, genital Chlamydia trachomatis infection was reported by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) at a rate of 257.5 cases per 100,000 persons. That rate of reported chlamydial infection among women had been increasing annually since the late 1980s. By 2021, the rate had nearly doubled to 495.5 cases per 100,000 population, In 2021, 58% of all reported chlamydia cases were among persons aged 15–24 years.


More striking is that back in 1994 the Surgeon General announced a “National Plan to Eliminate Syphilis from the United States.” The rate in the year 2000 was still too high at 2.2 per 100,000 persons. In 2021, the syphilis rate had skyrocketed to a huge 53.2 per 100,000 persons.


The latest CDC report states: “Reversing the STI epidemic is possible with a holistic approach” that employs holistic, coordinated care to address concurrent epidemics and health disparities. A critical first step is connecting people to the STI testing and treatment services they need. And, in recent months, we’ve seen historic progress toward new STI prevention innovations. Admitting that it cannot do this alone, the CDC director concluded that through collaboration and a whole-of-nation, whole-person approach, “I am hopeful that we can improve our nation’s health and well-being.” [The full reports are at https://www.cdc.gov/std/stats/archive/2000-Surv-All.pdf and https://www.cdc.gov/std/statistics/2022/2021-STD-Surveillance-Report.]


Ed. Note: What is really striking is that nothing is mentioned about trying to change people’s behavior that continues to feed the STI explosion. Promoting moral behavior seems to be sadly forbidden for consideration by government agencies like the CDC. Several agencies and organizations promote so-called “safe sex” and we now see the unhealthy results.

Is Human Life Valued Only Because It’s “Productive”? – February 2024 Newsletter

Can Human Life Be Easily Discarded?

Many Americans think babies with Down syndrome are better off being killed in the womb than being born. Their language turns a baby into a “thing.” But our language must remind the world that babies, in or out of the womb, are human. Each pre-born child is a real, immeasurably valuable, and unique human being. An innocent little person worthy of life.

Pro-lifers support a real alternative, a real choice for women, like pregnancy resource centers. Abortion activists frame the narrative that killing the baby is the only choice, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Those who believe in abortion must separate it from the fact that unborn children are people. They must use language that strips the unborn of all dignity and deceives vulnerable women into thinking killing a child is “reproductive freedom.” [extract from Sarah Holliday, Language Matters, The Washington Stand, 1/25/24]

Follow Up Thoughts

What our culture teaches us is that things are valuable insofar as they are productive, helpful or useful. Sensible as that utilitarian view is, many erroneously apply it to our fellow human beings. Thus, elderly, sickly and severely disabled persons are treated as “less valuable” than healthy individuals. What Pope St. John Paul II called a “culture of death” describes a strictly
materialistic, utilitarian view of our fellow human beings, be they elderly or in the womb. But science teaches us that each and every human being is unique, having his or her unique personality, skills, tendencies and other attributes. Each of us, then, needs to examine what we believe gives value to human life. As Christians, we know that each person, no matter what his or her condition is, has a soul and is loved infinitely by our Creator. [editor]

Over 3,000 Help Centers for Women

The March for Life has introduced a new resource at its website: “Support Families Facing Unexpected Pregnancies by Donating to Your Local Pregnancy Resource Center or Maternity Home!” The website has a pull-down menu of states. Every state is listed, many with multiple pregnancy help centers.

After choosing a state, one can select from among the many pregnancy centers listed. Your editor did this for New Jersey and found the following listed:

Bridge Women’s Center (Old Bridge), Crisis
Pregnancy Services (Egg Harbor City), Gateway
Pregnancy Center (Elizabeth), Good Counsel
Homes (Riverside), Several Sources (Ramsey),
and Solutions Health & Pregnancy Center
(Shrewsbury).

[www.marchforlife.org]

Reinvigorated Growth of …..

In 2020, parents got a glimpse of the bureaucracy of public sector education. The pandemic offered parents a rare opportunity to see its darker underbelly. It revealed, in many though not all places, a system that prioritizes staff over students, an administration that has a disdain for parental rights, a hollowed-out and often vacuous curriculum, and a teaching class motivated by political ideology and a false anthropology. One sad feature of modern secular education is its fragmentation. Following certain philosophical and pedagogical trends, it divides the student and the curriculum, and separates the illuminating and vivifying power of faith from both. For many parents, this was enough for them to seek alternative educational opportunities. Since 2020, there
have been over 200 new Catholic “classical” schools established in the United States and a 78% enrollment increase in established classical academies.

The aim and purpose of all education, whether classical, secular or parochial, is twofold: the acquisition of truth and the formation of culture. Schools, such as many modern online academies, choose to emphasize the quest for knowledge and, by design, have very little formation in culture. What makes Catholic classical education distinct is that it seeks to form students in the totality of truth and intends to initiate them into the breadth of Western civilization. Catholic classical schools aim at the acquisition of truth for the sake of truth itself and are not directly interested in passing on knowledge to prepare students for the labor market (although it does do this, and does it well), but rather focus on exposing them to the breadth of knowledge available to the human person. For an outstanding example, the Diocese of Tulsa reports that 30% of its parochial schools are now classical. There is also a large and very active diocesan supported K-12 home-schooling co-op that utilizes a thoroughly classical curriculum. [excerpts from Richard Meloche, Exploring the new springtime for Catholic classical education, Our Sunday Visitor, 1/26/24]

Americans Have Too Much Freedom

A new Rasumussen poll finds that 55% of graduates from Ivy League colleges said there is “too much freedom” in the country. Also, 47% of top-one-percent earners polled said Americans have “too much freedom.” However, a majority of everyday voters (57%) believe that there is “too much control,” compared to only 16% who said there was “too much freedom.”

The poll also found other areas where elite Americans had vastly different opinions from average citizens. For example, respondents were asked the following question: “To fight climate change, would you favor or oppose the strict rationing of gas, meat, & electricity?” A whopping 89% of Ivy League graduates supported rationing. Seventy-seven percent of the top 1% also agreed. Among everyday voters, only 28% supported the drastic measure.

Nearly three-quarters of the elites surveyed believe they are better off now financially than three years ago. Less than 20% of ordinary Americans feel the same way.

Most elites think that teachers unions and school administrators should control the agenda of schools. Most mainstream Americans think that parents should make these decisions. [Poll: Ivy Leaguers, Top 1% of Earners Think Americans Have ‘Too Much Freedom’, Catholic Vote, 1/26/24]

Meanwhile, the federal government administration has issued a new proposal to amend conscience protections for healthcare workers and institutions that wish to refrain from performing abortions and other procedures that violate their religious beliefs. The proposed rule eliminates protections that federal law shall not require individuals “to perform or assist in the
performance of any sterilization procedure or abortion if his performance or assistance in the performance of such procedure or abortion would be contrary to his religious beliefs or moral convictions.”

Also to be eliminated is the prohibition against mandating that recipients of federal funds make their “facilities available for the performance of any sterilization procedure or abortion if the performance of such procedure or abortion in such facilities is prohibited by the recipient on the basis of religious beliefs or moral convictions.”

Catholic Vote states that it’s now time for another grassroots effort, similar to a 2019 campaign, to stop the latest pro-abortion effort. [excerpt from www.CatholicVote.org, 1/16/24]

Human Rights Parallels: Racism & Abortion

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, I thought I’d offer some quotes from his “Letter from the Birmingham Jail,” written from a prison cell to the clergy in 1963. Parts of the letter have become well known, such as King’s insistence that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Here are a few longer excerpts, which can be read together or separately. The parallels with the pro-life movement are plain.

“But as I continued to think about the matter, I gradually gained a bit of satisfaction from being considered an extremist. Was not Abraham Lincoln an extremist? ‘This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.’ Was not Thomas Jefferson an extremist? ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ So the question is not whether we will be
extremist, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate, or will we be extremists for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice, or will we be extremists for the cause of justice?”

“In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have watched white churches stand on the sidelines and merely mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a mighty struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice, I have heard so many ministers say, ‘Those are social issues which the gospel has nothing to do with,’ and I have watched so many churches commit themselves to a completely otherworldly religion which made a strange distinction between bodies and souls, the sacred and the secular.” [W. Ross Blackburn, Martin Luther King—In His Own Words, www.HumanLifeReview.com, Jan. 2024]

“The Best Week Ever” for HS Juniors

Each year, hundreds of high school juniors entering senior year spend a week at Christendom College and say (4.7 out of 5) it’s one of the best weeks of their lives. This is a popular, well-attended and highly-ranked pre-college summer program. Attendance is competitive, and interested students should not delay in applying. If you mention Relevant Radio, you will receive a 50% discount. Here is the application link: https://www.christendom.edu/admissions/thebestweekever/

Helping Young Adults Find a Good Spouse

In The ABC’s of Choosing a Good Wife, Stephen Wood offers time tested advice for making the greatest decision of your life. It’s practical, convincing, full of invaluable wisdom including the key questions to ask before you ask the big question. For young women, you’ve dreamed of that special man who will appear and ask you to be his bride. In The ABC’s of Choosing a Good Husband, author Wood gives practical and insightful advice to women on how to choose a partner for life. Both books are available (get a 20% discount by submitting your email address) at https://shop.catholic.com/.


This monthly newsletter is used by dozens of churches as a bulletin insert. 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 tinarifr@shu.edu

Respect for Life Takes Many Forms — January 2024 Newsletter

New Year Editorial

Every day we hear about tragedies all around us: gun violence, abortion, the trafficking and abuse of children, poverty, homelessness, and more. At the heart of all these sins is people’s treatment of other humans as things, as not having any worth, as a means to one’s desires. The tragedy of suicide, too, is based on a lack of care and devaluation of oneself.

If you are not a believer but a humanist, you may nevertheless want to see the end of such disrespect for human life simply because we are all part of the same human race. For Christians, life has value because we know we are made in the image of God, with inherent dignity and uncountable worth. Thus, we weep, we pray, and we do whatever we can.

Have you not yet become active in or supported the pro-life movement? This new year is a time to start. Much of the pro-life effort has focused on abortion because more than 65 million pre-born children have been aborted in the USA alone. For 2024, it is estimated that the lives of about 900,000 developing babies will be terminated. Thankfully, there are many ways to help. Ask at your church, find out about your state’s right to life group, or inquire into your diocesan programs. Your efforts will be for a good cause and the Lord will amply reward you.

Abortionist Brags She Kills Babies Up to 34-Weeks-Old

Morgan Nuzzo is the co-owner of a Maryland abortion business. But the abortion center she owns doesn’t just kill babies early in pregnancy. In an new interview, Nuzzo brags that her abortion biz kills babies up to 34 weeks. That’s nearly full-term. Not only are these abortions killing babies who elsewhere are born healthy every day in hospitals across the country, they are past viability. The record for the earliest viability where a baby has survived is 21 weeks. And 22, 23, and 24 week-old babies are not only surviving but surviving more frequently and at higher rates than ever before as medical technology continues to improve.

“We aren’t booking out now for a[[ointments — we have availability next week. Whereas before, the wait time was two to three weeks on average, sometimes as much as five. We were getting a little worried about where the patients are,” Nuzzo added. Worried? Hopefully women later in pregnancy are getting the legitimate medical care they and their babies need. [excerpts from Steve Ertelt, LifeNews.com, 12/27/23]

17 States To Hold March for Life Events

In addition to the National March for Life on January 19th in Washington DC, many states will be hosting their own statewide rallies and marches. One of the newest to sign on is New Jersey, scheduled to hold its first Rally for Life on September 26, 2024. Other hugely attended state marches include California and Pennsylvania.

In Washington DC, the national Rally for Life begins at 12 noon, with the March up Constitution Avenue at about 1:15 pm. The Rally, which is usually attended by over 200,000 people, will host a number of nationally known speakers. Jeanne Mancini, head of March for Life, said: “It’s the largest annual human rights demonstration in the world. But this is not just a protest. TOGETHER, WE GATHER TO CELEBRATE LIFE. We celebrate each and every life, from the moment of conception. We envision a world where every life is celebrated, valued, and protected.” For additional information, visit https://marchforlife.org/

The Fight for Life is Raging Nationwide

The American public is being bombard by false info, much of it from within the medical community.

  • Miscarriage care is not abortion. But radical abortion laws are being proposed and passed because medical groups claim they can’t care for women experiencing a miscarriage, if abortion is made illegal.
  • Abortion Pill Reversal is established, safe, and effective. But Colorado is outlawing its use, based on the lie that it’s dangerous to women and not researched.
  • Induced abortion is not safe. It does not improve lives. And it never saves them. But The American College of OB/GYNs (ACOG) and The Society of Family Planning recently said just the opposite in a chilling Washington Post letter to the editor.

Opposing these erroneous statements is the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. More info may be found at www.aaplog.org.

Are Phones Making Students Dumber?

Regarding students’ mental health, research has shown that various measures of student well-being began a sharp decline around 2012 throughout the West, just as smart phones and social media emerged as the attentional centerpiece of teenage life. But what about school learning? The Program for International Student Assessment, conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in almost 80 countries every three years, tests 15-year-olds in math, reading and science. Test scores have been falling for years. Across the OECD, science scores peaked in 2009, and reading scores peaked in 2012. Since then, developed countries have as a whole performed “increasingly poorly” on average. Even in famously
high-performing countries, such as Finland, Sweden, and South Korea, PISA grades in one or several subjects have been declining for a while.

Research found that students who spend less than one hour of “leisure” time on digital devices a day at school scored about 50 points higher in math than students whose eyes are glued to their screens more than five hours a day. This gap held even after adjusting for socioeconomic factors. Nearly half of students across the OECD said that they felt “nervous” or “anxious” when they didn’t have their digital devices near them. (On average, these students also said they were less satisfied with life.) This phone anxiety was negatively correlated with math scores.

Studies have shown that students on their phone take fewer notes and retain less information from class, “task-switching” between social media & homework is correlated with lower GPAs, and students who text a lot in class do worse on tests. Students whose cellphones are taken away in experimental settings perform better.

In sum, students who spend more time staring at their phone do worse in school and feel worse about their life. For the past decade, the internet-connected world has been running a global experiment on the minds of young people. Results from a decade of observational research have now repeatedly shown a negative relationship between device use and life satisfaction, happiness, school attention, information retention, in-class note-taking, task-switching, and student achievement. These cognitive and emotional costs are highest for those with the most “device dependence.” Banning phones in school would be a bold and novel experiment. The present fallacy is believing that doing nothing is harmless. Time for a new intervention.
[excerpts from Derek Thompson, The Atlantic, 12/19/23]

Porn: A Viral Addiction

For a powerful ½ hour documentary about the dopamine effects on the brains and on the social lives of teens and young adults who get snared into the world of porn watching, see the video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwdb9NsaA1Q. Though there is vulgar language in some segments, the overall message is one of information and insight.

For help in getting out from under the spell of pornography, to get your life back, get started with
https://integrityrestored.com/ as well as https://support.covenanteyes.com/ and https://exodus90.com/

At the Heart of the Pro-Choice Worldview

An unavoidable fact is that each adult was at one time an embryo in his or her mother’s womb. Politicians who support abortion in the Western world, and the millions of voters who place them in office [including Christians and Catholics], are seeking to deny a particular form of knowledge, namely, their own participation in evil. With all our busyness, evil may not be in our field of vision, but it is always hiding in the back of our minds. [excerpt from Ellen Wilson Fielding, Descending from Paganism, Human Life Review, Fall 2023.]

Should Human Embryos Be Destroyed?

Eugene Tarne, a senior analyst with the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute recently published an article entitled “Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research 25 Years On.” In it he reviews the controversy that grabbed headlines beginning back in 1998: Should human embryos be destroyed so that their stem cells can be harvested and used to work medical miracles?

Laws were passed that said yes. But no cures were ever generated, and none is on the horizon. Tarne lists political leaders as well as prominent scientists who delivered similar prophecies, and who have turned out to be the unreliable Prophets of Baal. Meanwhile, research in regenerative medicine was continuing using adult stem cells. The discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells, another ethical alternative to embryonic stem cells, led to funding most research and treatments that now do not
involve the destruction of human embryos. [Life Legal Defense Foundtn, 12/5/23, https://lifelegaldefensefoundation.org]


Mark Houck, the Pennsylvania father and pro-life activist who was acquitted of violating the FACE Act in January 2023, didn’t stop there. In October, he announced that he is suing the Department of Justice for its aggressive and traumatic persecution of him and his family. “I think if the DOJ gets hit hard enough and there’s a big enough black eye against them, then they’re going to cease and desist from coming after pro-life people and people of faith.”


GoodTube Kids

GoodTube Kids is a new platform hosting wholesome entertainment and educational content anchored in the truths of the Christian faith. It features shows for small children, tweens, and teens, as well as videos on arts & crafts, music, cooking, outdoor adventures, etc. GoodTube Kids is available online and is downloadable from the Apple and Google Play app stores.

The Secret to Happiness

According to the 2022 General Social Survey, viewed as the nation’s top social barometer, 35% of married men and 40% of married women aged 18-55 reported being “very happy” while 14% and 22% of unmarried, childless men and women did. Despite all modern cultural shifts and the sacrifices marriages and children entail, it appears that these two traditional markers of adulthood still represent the most reliable route to a fulfilling life. [excerpted from Salvo magazine #67, Winter 2023]


This monthly newsletter is used by dozens of churches as a bulletin insert. 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 tinarifr@shu.edu

Family Life and Respect for Life – December 2023 Newsletter

One Woman at a Time

“What struck me was their obvious vitality & love.” So wrote Charles Lewis, a Catholic convert regarding the Sisters of Life operating in Toronto. They created a community of “helpers” who donate funds, collect food items, drive the women to medical appointments, pray, and offer friendship to those who are often poor and alone. The Sisters are trying to change the world one woman and one baby at a time.

The order was founded in 1991 under the guidance of their spiritual father in New York, Cardinal John O’Connor. Their mission is to help women who want to have their babies but who are facing financial and emotional hurdles. They also counsel women who have come to regret their abortions. “It’s easy to forget, amid all the talk of what’s wrong with the Church, there is an eternal goodness that will outlast all the so-called controversies.” [Charles Lewis, Natl. Catholic Register, 10/22/23]

Likewise, recognizing the dignity and sanctity of all human life, U.S. Bishops have been promoting Walking with Moms in Need, a grass-roots initiative through which Catholic communities walk alongside local pregnant and parenting women in need. Many parishes and dioceses have joined the effort. One such example is in the Diocese of Paterson, NJ, with its 3-step strategy for parishes. Level 1 involves getting parishioners educated about the program and its goals. Level 2 includes gathering & providing essentials for moms such as diapers, clothing and food. Level 3 involves volunteering to accompany moms to appointments & more. Information about the nationwide effort is found at http://www.walkingwithmoms.com.

Young Americans are Dying?

Auto accidents, homicide, suicide & drug overdoses, in that order, are the leading causes of deaths of Americans aged 1 to 19. Boys have mortality rates roughly twice those of girls. Distractions from cell phones have made driving more deadly in recent years. Black teens accounted for nearly two-thirds of homicide victims ages 10 to 19, mostly via guns.

School closures, canceled sports and limits on in-person socializing worsened an already growing mental-health epidemic among young people. Social media helps fuel it by replacing successful relationships with a craving for online social attention that leaves young people unfulfilled, and exposes them to sites that glamorize unhealthy behaviors. Fentanyl, more potent and riskier than heroin, has spread broadly to every corner of the illegal drug market, including numerous fake fentanyl-laced pills. U.S. authorities are trying to slow the spread of xylazine, an animal tranquilizer that can cause severe wounds and is increasingly mixed into the fentanyl supply. Cartels are replacing heroin with less-expensive, easier to make fentanyl. [extracted from Wall Street Journal, 5/18/23]

Federal 15-Week Abortion Ban?

The idea is being floated as a way to create political consensus over a divisive issue. While grateful for all restrictions on the killing of innocent children, a 15- week ban poses critical problems:

1. Pro-life states have enacted abortion restrictions much more stringent and effective. A federal ban will put pressure on those states to water down their existing life-saving measures.
2. Over 95% of abortions are performed before 15 weeks. Thus, the overwhelming majority of abortions in this country would still be completely legal.
3. By 15 weeks, a baby’s arms & legs are formed and moving, organs are in place; the heart has been beating for over 2 months. Human life should be protected from conception, but even in states where we can only achieve incremental abortion restrictions, 15 weeks is too far.

Now is NOT the time for face-saving compromise. [extracts from Life Legal Defense Foundation, In Brief, Oct/Nov 2023]

Which Religion Promotes Abortion?

  • Most Islamic nations severely restrict abortion, citing
    the Koran: “Do not kill your children for fear of poverty.
    For it is we who shall provide sustenance for you as well
    as for them.”
  • The Buddhist Vinaya monastic code specifically
    forbids monks & nuns to perform abortions; traditional
    Buddhist ethics condemn it as a form of homicide.
  • The reverence for life and hatred of violence in the
    Hindu concept of ahimsa strongly discourages abortion.
    Early Hindu Vedas hold that abortion is worse than
    killing one’s parents.
  • The Talmud condemns bloodshed against the child in
    the womb.
  • The earliest Christian catechism, the Didache, in a
    teaching reaffirmed across two millennia, commands
    Christians not to procure an abortion, placing it among
    murder, infanticide, child rape. [National Review, 7/31/23]
  • What religion do proponents of abortion follow today?

Artificial Contraception & Society

Since the use of contraceptives became widespread, promiscuity has increased dramatically, as have sexually transmitted diseases, abortions, single motherhood and fewer marriages. If sexual intimacy is disconnected from having babies, many no longer see why it should remain in marriage. Homosexual acts became seen by many as having the same value as heterosexual acts. We have not “redefined” marriage as undefined it. Widespread confusion and misunderstanding have resulted from disconnecting sex and procreation. We have separated what God has joined: this is never good. [Msgr. Charles Pope, Our Sunday Visitor, 11/19/23]

Addressing Declining Births

Modernity’s “birth dearth” seems to be worldwide. South Korea reduced birth rates with national propaganda. The Chinese did it through tyranny. The U.S. has done the same by contraception and praising individual independence. Centuries ago, David Hume traced the decline in the populousness of nations to a lack of hope and faith in the future. Some say it is caused by materialism, that humans are just another species, one that has overreached and must be curtailed. Others say that it is our belief that we can overcome nature, be free from unchosen bonds and slavish bodies, that encourages people to skip parenthood; it is today’s temptation that we shall be like gods. [letters to editor, First Things, Aug/Sept 2023]

Some nations Like Australia and Hungary have instituted pronatal policies such as paying bonuses to families that have more children. Hungary provides such fiscal relief and has policies to promote stronger families. Hungarian President Katalin Novak said: “We protect parental freedom. The right to raise children does not belong to the state, nor to NGOs, nor to the knowledge industry and the media, but to parents. Anyone who has a child is ready to fight at any time to ensure that their child can live in peace and freedom. Families pass on their values from generation to generation in the face of every difficulty, every challenge.” [C-Fam, Letter from the UN Front, Oct. 2023]

But advocating for pronatalist policies alone will not stem the tide of our declining birth rates. We have to welcome families in our culture. We have to encourage a workplace culture that values work-life balance and prioritizes family time. We should encourage employers to adopt family-friendly policies that can create an environment where employees feel supported in their roles as parents. Moreover, we should work to shift cultural attitudes toward larger families, challenging stereotypes that may discourage people from having more children.” [editorial, Our Sunday Visitor, 9/27/23]

Super Bowl Champ Speaks Out

Plenty of smart and talented people are successful but remain unhappy. In the end, Harrison Butker said, no matter how much money you attain, none of it will matter if you are alone and devoid of purpose. By insisting that our human gifts are God-given, his speech at a secular school and his alma mater, Georgia Tech, was open to the transcendent truths of faith.

Brandishing his wedding ring, Butker smiled, saying: “This is the most important ring I have right here.” He said kicking in Super Bowl LVII, the most watched football game of all time, gave him happiness, but only temporary happiness. “None of these accomplishments mean anything compared to the happiness I have found in my marriage and in starting a family. Sadly, we are encouraged to live our lives for ourselves, to have loyalty to nothing but ourselves and make sacrifices only when it suits our own interests.” He concluded: “Focus on meaningful relationships and know that with or without the spotlight, your life has value and you are meant for more.” [Fr. Pat Briscoe, Our Sunday Visitor, 5/21/23]


Short Films

[Salvo magazine, Fall 2023]
Groomed (at DailyCaller.com) tells the story of a California mother who fought to rescue her adolescent daughter after her daughter’s mind was virtually abducted by a combo of sex-ed school instructors and transgender activists online. Five years later, her daughter is recovering, but with no thanks to professional medicine or counseling. Worth watching solely for seeing what trans activists are perpetrating on children.
XXX is a free YouTube documentary by sex-addiction therapist Roane Hunter on internet porn’s effect on the brain. The “Coolidge Effect” is when the brain’s reward system seeks ever-increasing novelty to get an ever-diminishing dopamine rush. The film (language warning) drives home the urgency of the risks porn poses to us all.


ProLife Ballot Defeats

Ohio voters’ passage of an amendment to the state Constitution guaranteeing the right to one’s own reproductive decisions including abortion, election of a proabort to Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court, and other losses, serve as a reality check about where we are as a nation when it comes to protecting the lives of the unborn.

Reasons given include deceptive ballot language,media bias, and twice the campaign spending by proabortionists over pro-lifers. But the fact is that legalized abortion enjoys wide support around the country, a result of having 50 years of Roe that produced an abortion mentality in our laws, schools, workplaces, news and entertainment industries. So we must work increasingly to convert hearts and minds to a culture of life, respecting the inherent dignity of every human being. [extract from editorial, National Catholic Register, 11/19/23]

Voting, Taking Action on Life and Family – November 2023 Newsletter

Voting This Month

Though many moral issues are before us, not every one is equal. A 2-page flyer “We Care, We Vote” states: “We vote conscientiously because we are people of faith. Out consciences are formed through studying Scripture and the teachings of the Church, examination of the facts, and prayerful reflection.” But some folks are so engaged with daily TV news and opinion shows that politics has become their primary basis for judging the world. Many voters adopt views that are purely secular, based on political party allegiance. Christians, though, have a higher moral basis to make judgements. The USCCB highlights key issues (note the very first one):

  • Issues that directly affect human lives- such as abortion and euthanasia- are fundamental and demand serious consideration.
  • Our Constitution heralds religious liberty in the First Amendment, yet increasingly people of faith are fighting to retain this basic right.
  • There is a move to redefine marriage. The marriage of a man and woman is the foundation of the family and an essential core element of a flourishing society.
  • The growing disparity between rich and poor means most of the world’s resources are in the hands of a small percentage of its people. The federal budget is a moral document and must prioritize the poorest and the most vulnerable among us.
  • The millions of undocumented persons living in the USA deserve our compassion. There is an immigration problem, and we need a humane solution to it.
  • War, terror, and violence have caused thousands of lost lives. We must work for just solutions to conflict throughout the Middle East, and beyond.

[https://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/faithfulcitizenship/parishes-and schools/upload/catholics-carecatholics-vote-bulletin-insert.pdf]

Pew Research Center Survey on Marriage

40% said they are very or somewhat pessimistic about the institution of marriage and the family. Just 25% are very or somewhat optimistic. Just 23% called being married as either extremely or very important to living a fulfilling life while 26% of Catholics said likewise. Just 26% said the same about having children while 31% of Catholics said the same.
[Our Sunday Visitor, 10/8/23]

Human Trafficking in Our Town

“Thanks for covering the film Sound of Freedom. The reality is sex trafficking of children and adults happens in every U.S. community, rural and urban. Children need to be rescued, but adult men and women need to be
rescued, as well, and given the opportunity to begin the healing process from the complex trauma they have experienced. Another great resource is U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking. These efforts show the world that Catholic nuns are forerunners in this challenging work.” [letter to Nat. Catholic Register from Sister Shirley Fineran, OSF, Sioux City, Iowa, 10/22/23, who founded Lila Mae’s House for women who have been sextrafficked since childhood.]

New York ranks 4th behind California, Texas and Florida for human trafficking which is now the second most profitable criminal activity after illegal drugs. Human beings are sold for labor and sold for sex. Traffickers do not want pregnant workers. So they force the women to abort their babies. Sadly, many are trafficked by romantic partners and family members, including parents. [Circle of Life Newsletter, Good Counsel Homes, Fall 2023]

Britney Spears Pressured to Abort Baby

In her upcoming memoir, The Woman in Me, pop star Britney Spears reveals she had an abortion, and not because she wanted one. “If it had been left up to me alone, I never would have done it. Yet Justin was so sure that he didn’t want to be a father. He said we weren’t ready to have a baby in our lives, that we were way too young.” Spears started dating Timberlake when she was 17 and he was 18 in 1999. The two singers broke up in 2002. “To this day, it’s one of the most agonizing things I have ever experienced in my life,” writes Spears.

“I loved Justin so much. I always expected us to have a family together one day. This would just be much earlier than I’d anticipated,” writes Spears. Sadly, it’s common for women who have an unexpected pregnancy to be pressured by others to have an abortion. A 2023 survey by Charlotte Lozier Institute, surveying women ages 41- 45, found that a whopping 60% who had abortions felt they faced “high levels of pressure to abort.” But if this is an issue of women’s rights and choices, why do these moms facing unexpected pregnancies have to shoulder so much pressure? Shouldn’t it be their choice? We can start with men: If you’re having sex with a woman, you need to be ready to step up to be a dad. (Yes, birth control fails.) [Katrina Trinko, The Daily Signal, 10/17/23]

Couples Plan Their Family Naturally

FAbM Base gives practical & scientific information and support for those learning and practicing fertility awareness in all stages of life. Family planning is done without putting chemicals into a woman’s body, without devices or surgery. The group’s website provides loads of useful info and resources.

“By treating hormonal and fertility issues, we embrace the worth and dignity of the whole person. Scientific information of fertility awareness and the community necessary for successful practice are valuable for every woman, no matter her faith or stage of fertility. Science shows ovulation is a sign of health, and our resources promote holistic care based on this evidence. We do not promote use of hormonal contraception or artificial reproductive technology because  shows that these are not good for women. We welcome all to learn about their bodies and find the support they need through our extensive resource databases, the stories we share honestly and without censorship, and factual information regarding alternative natural methods.” [https://fabmbase.org]

Margaret Sanger’s Wish

In the USA, black women have the highest abortion rate of any racial group, and the highest abortion-related mortality rate. The 20th-century eugenics movement specifically targeted Blacks and other racial minorities in order to reduce their birthrates, by promoting contraception, abortion and coercive measures such as forced sterilization. Yet, legalized abortion hasn’t narrowed the persistent wealth gaps between racial groups in the USA. In recent testimony before Congress, Dr. Monique Wubbernhorst noted that abortionists have killed an estimated 17 million American babies of African descent, at the cost of not only their lives, “but all of their descendants and, families and their hopes, dreams and contributions to our society.” [Letter from the UN Front, C-Fam, Sept. 2023]


Speaking Up Against Hate

Catholics led the way with other groups to hammer the LA Dodgers when they honored an anti-Catholic group of gay men dressed as nuns. The FBI is now in the spotlight regarding its spying on Catholics. Mothers are being more vigilant than ever about what is going on in public schools. And surveys indicate that Catholics want their clergy to be more vocal. [William A. Donohue, Catalyst, October 2023.]


Germans March for Life

Pro-life marches were held simultaneously in Sept. in two German cities for the first time, drawing over 6,000 participants. Besides Berlin, the annual demonstration against abortion made its debut in Cologne. Both marches were met with counter-protests. [Our Sunday Visitor, 10/1/23]

In My Mother’s Womb

A new book expresses the mysterious unfolding of a life in a mother’s womb from the unique point of view of the child. The story imagines what the child is seeing, hearing, thinking, and feeling. In diary form week by week, the little soul enthralls the reader with wonder at the vibrant growth and development of the human person that occurs before birth. With accompanying Scripture verses and stunning artwork for each week, this book provides a fresh encounter with life and the Author of Life. Pre-order at www.osvcatholicbookstore.com

Helping Singles Meet

CatholicMatch is the largest exclusively Catholic singles community to help singles meet more people who are better matches faster than anywhere else, including the mega sites. Its Match Portrait® coupled with Temperament profiling and advanced search features combine both the art and science of why two people click at the deepest level, helping individuals find their perfect match. CatholicMatch claims thousands of confirmed marriages: “our results speak for themselves. If you’re looking for a relationship with someone who shares your faith, this is the place.” [ htpps://www.CatholicMatch.com ]

Fairness in Girl’s & Women’s Sports

In a Parent Resource Guide booklet that responds to
transgender extremist policies, the Family Policy Alliance
and other groups present the negative consequences when
society regards bodily sex as irrelevant. [for copies of the
booklet, contact info@njfpc.org]
In a section on sports facts, citing published medical
research, we discover the following:

  • There is a 10% performance gap between male and
    female athletes in most sports. It hasn’t narrowed as
    women train harder
  • Men have higher hemoglobin levels–their body can
    oxygenate muscles more quickly and efficiently
  • On average, males have 66% more upper-body muscle
    and 50% more lower-body muscle than females
  • Women’s speed world records are about 90% of men’s
    speed world records. Each year, hundreds of men easily
    beat the world’s best time in women’s marathon
  • On average, men have broader shoulders, larger feet and hands, giving them an advantage in sports like volleyball, swimming and basketball

The booklet concludes with sample opt-out letters, public records requests for school boards, and studies showing the majority of children with gender dysphoria accept their biological sex by adulthood. “Many school boards are pressured by outside activist groups to pass policies that treat bodily sex as irrelevant. By respectfully speaking out, you can help to ensure that school boards hear what the research makes clear: our sex does not change according to our feelings, and school policy that ignores that fact ends up hurting our kids.”


This monthly newsletter is used by dozens of churches as a bulletin insert. 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 tinarifr@shu.edu

Respect Life Month – October 2023 Newsletter

Another Election Coming

“I encourage all eligible Catholics to vote and to be guided in your voting by an informed conscience,” writes Bishop Kevin J. Sweeney (Paterson Diocese, NJ). He cites the U.S. Bishops document on forming one’s conscience on topics such as Human Life, Promoting Peace, Marriage and Family Life, Religious Freedom, the Poor and Economic Justice, Health Care, Migration, Catholic Education, and Combating Unjust Discrimination. [Visit the USCCB website for the full document.] “There is a compelling argument that, if the value of Life itself is not respected and protected, then there is no ‘point’ in speaking about some of the other important issues.” Being against the killing of the unborn means caring for both babies and their mothers. Bishop Kevin states: “We are the Church, called by God, to untiringly advocate for the reverence of the gift of life at all stages.” [The Beacon, 10/28/21]

USCCB Issues 2023 Theme for Respect Life Sunday: “Radical Solidarity” to be courageously pro-woman, promoting a choice that truly protects, accompanies, and supports women and their children.

Parents Sue to Opt Out of LGBTQ+

An interfaith group of Maryland parents has asked a federal appeals court to allow them to opt their children out of classroom instruction pertaining to books containing LGBTQ+ themes (such as gay romance) to which they object on religious grounds. Becket, a Washington-based religious liberty law firm, is representing the group of parents, including Muslims, Jews, Catholic and other Christians, as they sue the school board in federal court over the Montgomery County Public Schools policy. [Our Sunday Visitor, 9/17/23

Parents have “the first responsibility for the education of their children” according to The Catechism of the Catholic Church. “Mothers and fathers retain the right to both teach their children the morals imparted by the Church and to choose a school for them which corresponds to their own convictions.” (¶2229) 

Fed. Govt. Continues to Push Abortion

  • Dept. of Health & Human Services (DHH) is taking away the conscience rights of health care workers.
  • DHH has a taxpayer-funded national abortion hotline.
  • Dept. of Defense is using taxpayer dollars to cover the cost of abortions for female medical personnel.
  • Dept. of Veterans Affairs is turning VA hospitals into abortuaries, even where pro-life laws prohibit this.
  • FDA continues to allow the sale of abortion pills despite weak medical research support. 

[Population Research Institute Review, Sept.-Oct. 2023] Editor’s question: Why is the federal administration promoting these policies?

Addiction: Moral Failing at First, Medical Problem Thereafter

Addiction can take many forms. One of the most widely experienced addiction today is pornography. At first, it’s curiosity and bad moral decision-making. Then, in short order, the dopamine high needs to have stronger, more outrageous, stimulus. And down the dark path one goes. Medical science says it is difficult to stop. Porn creates unrealistic expectations. Porn degrades the opposite sex. Porn eats away at one’s family. Porn addiction uses up life’s valuable time. Porn, like other addictions, shackles us and reduces our freedom as humans.

But addiction can be professionally helped. Therapy intervention is available. See IntegrityRestored.com for comprehensive assistance. “Catholics in Recovery” is a great online group, focused on men’s recovery Also, covenanteyes.com (use “integrity30″ for 30 free days) helps monitor your online use. “Fight the new drug” is a secular group that also provides sound advice. These can help those addicted to pornography get back their life, get back their family, and achieve freedom again. [For more details, listen to the podcast of Trending with Timmerie using the Relevant Radio app, 9/19/23]

Global Report on Trafficking in Persons

for 2022 estimated at least 5 million were children. Overall, human trafficking rakes in a monstrous $150 billion annually, with child trafficking accounting for $35 billion, now surpassing the arms trade & on pace to sur pass the drug trade as the world’s fastest growing illegal enterprise (International Organization of Migration, 2022 report). Sadly, the U.S. ranks #1 in both production and consumption of child pornography and sits among the top three as a destination country for sex trafficked children. For example, in 2010 Atlanta, Georgia recorded 7,000 online requests for sex with underage victims (children) in just one month (Shapiro Group, 2010). 

In the 1990s and 2000s, the rise of modern day slavery brought reports of India’s red-light districts onto the world stage, because of ministry work overseas and the 

award-winning movie Slum Dog Millionaire, which ex posed gruesome trafficking rings in India. The blockbuster hit Taken also opened people’s eyes to trafficking, depict

ing young women being abducted from one country & sold to another. The film Amazing Grace partnered with the anti-slavery movement to expose the issue. The powerful line, “God’s children are not for sale” is at the heart of the movie taking the nation by storm, Sound of Freedom

Our border is an abundant source feeding the expanding business of selling children. In 2022, the U.S. Custom and Border Protection Agency reported that over 150,000 unaccompanied minors crossed the border. Approximately 85,000 children are unaccounted for, not including those children coming with families that are indebted to cartels nor do they account for children being used by adults, mostly young males, who are NOT their relatives. None of the children will be able to pay the debt owed as the fee for bringing them across the border. They become indebted to their captors for life. Nothing is deterring these criminal/ terror organizations from growing their illegal businesses. 

Americans have crossed the Rubicon and we cannot go back. It is time to rescue our children! [Trayce Bradford, Children Are Not For Sale, Eagle Forum Report 9/23]

In the Name of “Diversity”

Public schools continue to be ground zero to eliminate knowledge of God-derived rights and obligations from our children: 

  • 1962: Prayer forbidden (Engel v. Vitale)  
  • 1963: Bible reading banned (School District of Abington Township v. Schempp
  • 1980: Ten Commandments banned from public spaces (Stone v. Graham
  • 2000s: some schools distribute condoms, some teach graphic sexual content in primary schools, some sponsor drag queen presentations, some allow young children to “decide” their gender and not tell parents

ACTIVITIES: for Respect Life Month many events and activities are held in support of life. The Life Chain project is planned for the afternoon of October 1st, Respect Life Sunday. Each year, Life Chains form in hundreds of cities nationwide for a public, prayerful, peaceful stand for Life. Also, 40DaysforLife prayer vigils worldwide began on Sept. 27thand end on November 6th. For a local vigil, visit https://www.40daysforlife.com/ Also, check church & right to life groups in your area for other activities such as guest speakers and conferences, processions and masses for life.

Pregnant Mom w/Cancer: “No Abortion” 

Just over a year ago, 30-year-old mother Tasha Kann was diagnosed with a rare and malignant brain tumor called Anaplastic Astrosytoma Grade lll. She was approximately 20 weeks pregnant with a healthy baby girl. Doctors said that her best chance of survival & more time was to abort the child & immediately begin chemotherapy and radiation. However, Tasha didn’t want to end her baby’s life, even if it meant her own life would come to an end sooner. 

According to Tasha’s GoFundMe, “After much research & many prayers, Tasha decided her best out come from this disease would be to continue her pregnancy and fight it as naturally as possible, refusing chemo and radiation.” Gracey Joyce Kann was born last October, healthy and lovely. Tasha’s cancer had been growing from her central nervous system. The prognosis lessened from years to 12 months, yet Tasha is now at 14 months. When making the decision about her care, Kann said her faith was the biggest factor. 

“Every single day, I look at my beautiful baby and think about how easy it was for them to tell me to abort – like she was nothing,” Kann told Fox News Digital. She is now getting expensive immunotherapy that will cost over $100,000 per year. Her community and family have always been & always will be there to support her. She is not giving up. [Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com, 9/12/23]

 Students Afraid of Princeton Professor

Earlier this month, Princeton Univ. professor Robert P. George was slated to give a talk at Washington College in Chestertown, MD, including “a discussion of the importance of free and open discourse during college of the great questions of human life.” College President Mike Sosulski emailed students: “It is incumbent upon us as a community to create & maintain an environment where everyone feels safe to share their ideas, even those that may be controversial or offensive.” Sosulski himself attended George’s talk. 

But “Protesters at Washington College were successful in silencing the speaker,” reported The Star Democrat, a local Maryland paper. Students were outraged about his long history of bravely defending & articulating conservative principles about traditional sexual morality & abortion. “As faculty tried to attempt to help continue the lecture, it proved futile. Fast-tempo music began blaring, whistles constantly blew, and there was even a little dancing in between the tables.” 

The Washington College protesters aren’t some crazed outliers. A new survey of college students reveal horrifying views about free speech. 31% of students say they believe that it’s always or sometimes acceptable to shout down a college speaker to prevent him from speaking, according to the survey by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression and College Pulse. More than half (57%) agree that a speaker who thinks abortion should be completely illegal should definitely or probably be blocked from giving a campus speech. Shockingly, 11% of students say they think it’s always or sometimes acceptable to use “violence to stop a campus speech.” [Katrina Trinko, DailySignal.com, 9/16/23]

State by State Battles – September Newsletter 2023

Alabama: Court Upholds Law Protecting minors

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit vacated a preliminary injunction against an Alabama law that protects minors from gender-transition hormone treatments. The unanimous decision found no “constitutional right to treat [one’s] children with transitioning medications subject to medically accepted standards.” The court said it is “undisputed that the medications can cause loss of fertility and sexual function. Some families will not fully appreciate those risks and some minors experiencing gender dysphoria ultimately will desist and identify with their biological sex.”

“This case revolves around an issue that is surely of the utmost importance to all of the parties involved: the safety and wellbeing of the children of Alabama,” it said. “But it is complicated by the fact that there is a strong disagreement between the parties over what is best for those children. Absent a constitutional mandate to the contrary, these types of issues are quintessentially the sort that our system of government reserves to legislative, not judicial, action.” The 11th Circuit’s decision in favor of Alabama could hold major implications for the other states in its jurisdiction, Florida and Georgia, where judges have issued a preliminary injunction against similar laws. [Joshua Arnold, The Washington Stand, 8/23/23]

Sept. 9: National Day of Remembrance

Thousands will mark the day as both celebration and mourning as they remember the 65 million unborn babies who were aborted under Roe v. Wade. Eric J. Scheidler, exec. director of the Pro-Life Action League, one of the groups sponsoring the event, said “On this 11th annual National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children, we visit the burial places of aborted children and other memorials put up in their honor — and we solemnly pray for God to heal the deep wounds of abortion in our society. With over 185 services scheduled in the U.S., including 36 at the burial places of aborted children, there’s likely to be a Day of Remembrance prayer service near you,” he added. “It’s not a protest or rally. It’s not held at an abortion facility or government office. It’s a prayerful opportunity to remember, and to heal.”

The gatherings will include testimonies from women who regret their abortions, reflections by clergy of various faiths, music, prayer, mourning for aborted babies and celebration of the end of Roe. Priests for Life, Citizens for a Pro-Life Society & Scheidler’s group want to remind Americans of the horrors of abortion. The grave-side services expose how every abortion results in the death of an unborn child, and that child’s body must be gotten rid of by some means, whether incinerated or thrown in the trash, cut up for scientific experiments or, in some cases, buried. Pro-life leaders also hope the day will bring mercy and healing to the tens of millions of mothers and fathers of aborted
babies.

For more information and a list of locations, visit NationalDayofRemembrance.org. [Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com, 8/28/23]

Massachusetts: Foster Parents Denied

Mike & Kitty Burke allege that the commonwealth denied their adopting children due to their Catholic religious beliefs concerning marriage, sexuality, and gender. During interviews, they affirmed their willingness to love and support any child, regardless of orientation or gender struggles. Their application was rejected with their religious views labeled “not supportive.” The couple believes that the states’ rejection is discriminatory and filed a lawsuit against the Massachusetts Dept. of Children & Families for violation of their religious liberty. [Our Sunday Visitor, 8/27/23]

Court Limits Access to Abortion Pills

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided in part with a federal judge’s decision in Texas to curtail access to mifepristone. The court held that the Food and Drug Administration failed to adequately take into account safety concerns when it loosened access to mifepristone in 2016. The FDA extended the window when mifepristone could be used to terminate pregnancies from seven weeks’ gestation to 10 weeks and reduced the number of in-person visits patients were required to make from three to one. Then, in 2021, it removed a requirement that mifepristone be dispensed only in clinics, medical offices and hospitals, thereby allowing it to be administered through telehealth and sent by mail.

Attorney Erin Hawley of the Alliance Defending Freedom said: “we are very pleased with the Fifth Circuit’s decision. It restores the original 2000 safeguards to a dangerous chemical drug regimen.” Katie Daniel, the state policy director of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, a leading anti-abortion group, hailed the ruling: “The FDA ignored science and its own rules when it rubber-stamped Democrats’ reckless mail-order abortion scheme. We won’t rest until the FDA and the profit-driven abortion industry are held accountable for the suffering they’ve inflicted on women and girls, as well as the deaths of countless unborn children.” [NBC News, 8/16/23]

Iowa: Judge Blocks Abortion Ban

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law a ban on most abortions after 6 weeks of pregnancy, passed by the Iowa Legislature. It prohibits almost all abortions once cardiac activity can be detected, usually around six weeks, but includes exceptions for rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother. However, an Iowa judge issued a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking the new law, thus reverting the state to its previous legal abortion limit oat 20 weeks of pregnancy. “I will fight this all the way to the Iowa Supreme  Court where we expect a decision that will finally provide justice for the unborn,” Reynolds said. [Our Sunday Visitor, 7/30/23]

“Family planning is contraception AND abortion.”

So said Ann Furedi of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service based on findings that over 50% of women having abortions had been using at least one form of contraception, and 25% had used methods considered “most effective.” She said: “women cannot control their fertility though contraception alone.” U.S data show similar findings: about half of abortion patients said that they used a contraceptive method in the month they become pregnant.”

Assoc. professor Melissa Moschella (Catholic U.) siad there is no evidence that widespread access to contraception reduces abortion rates. Where contraception becomes the norm, people have an expectation that they can engage in sexual activity without worrying about consequences.” And since no method is 100% effective, more unplanned pregnancies result. In his encyclical The Gospel of Life, Pope St. John Paul IIworte that contraception and abortion are “fruits of the same tree.”

Oral contraceptives have potentially serious adverse health effects. Moral theologian Pia de Solenni said “most women don’t feel good when they’re taking hormonal birth control.” More women are questioning the physical effects the pill has on their bodies. “Article after article acknowledges that women report a variety of adverse effects including depression.” [Lauretta Brown, National Catholic Register, 8/27/23]

Michigan: Famer’s Religious Liberty Win

A federal court decision in favor of a Catholic orchardist in Michigan, who announced that his farm would not host same-sex weddings, and was banned from a farmers market as a result, is being hailed as a victory for free speech and religious liberty. In the decision, the judge said Country Mill Farms and the owner Stephen Tennes “were forced to choose between following their religious beliefs and a government benefit for which they were otherwise qualified.”

The farm includes a cider mill and donates produce to the Greater Lansing Food Bank. It also hosts events such as wedding shower and birthday parties from August through Thanksgiving, according to its webpage. The judge’s decision notes that Tennes “Stopped running haunted houses, something his father started, because the practice was not in line with his faith. He has declined to host bachelor and bachelorette parties for the same reason.” [Kurt Jensen, Our Sunday Visitor, 8/28/23]

Warren Buffett’s Dark Side

The “Wizard of Omaha” is America’s most revered investor and famous penny pincher whose wealth is $100 billion. The dark side? The biggest funder of abortion in human history poses as America’s most celebrated philanthropist. Since 2002, Buffett has poured $41 billion into four foundations, each of which bankrolls groups expanding abortion-on-demand policies nationwide or even sustain the UN’s population control campaign in impoverished countries. “Warren Buffett has never spoken publicly about his views on abortion,” the New York Times observed in 2010. “But in the 1990s [his foundation] helped finance the research and development of the [mifepristone] pills that induce abortion… [and] helped finance a lawsuit to overturn the ban on so-called partial-birth abortion in Nebraska.

For decades, Buffett’s committed a fortune de to his belief that humans will reproduce ourselves into oblivion, endangering global supplies of food, housing, and even human survival. Since 2003, Ipas has received over $422 million from Buffett family foundations. Ipas invented and markets manual vacuum aspiration technology, literally sucking embryos and fetuses from the womb in more than 100 countries. Another under-the-radar group is Pathfinder International, which used its funding to overturn the U.S. Mexico City Policy, a ban on federal funding of groups that perform abortions overseas.

In the past decade, Pathfinder used close to $1 billion from USAID to abort Africans, Asians, and Latin Americans and push looser abortion policies in poor countries. Pathfinder was seeded in the 1950s by Clarence Gamble, heir to the Procter & Gamble soup fortune, himself a committed eugenicist and ally of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger who sat on the group’s board. Many are familiar with Sanger’s “Negro Project of the South” to expand birth control and abortion to southern blacks; she got the idea from Clarence Gamble, the project’s funder. EngenderHealth is a little-known group that provides abortions in poor countries. Even less well-known is its original name: The Sterilization League of New Jersey, one of a crop of sterilization advocacy groups created by eugenicists in the 1930s.

Advocates for Youth is one of the lead transgender groups grooming schoolchildren for gay sex, pedophilia, and HIV – thanks to $29 million from Buffett. We’ve recorded its vision for sex education in classrooms, which includes teaching second-graders about sexual consent, fifth-graders about “trusted adults” whom they “can talk to about relationships” (invariably sexual), and tenth-graders about the latest medical breakthroughs that make living with HIV tolerable. [Hayden Ludwig, Restoration of America, 8/28/23]


Next Month: October is Respect Life Month when many events & activities are held in support of life. The Life Chain project is planned for the afternoon of October 1st, Respect Life Sunday. Each year, Life Chains form in hundreds of cities nationwide to make a public, prayerful, peaceful stand for Life. For a location near you, see https://www.lifechain.org Also, 40DaysforLife prayer vigils worldwide will begin Sept. 27th and end on November 6th. For a local vigil, visit https://www.40daysforlife.com/ Also, check church and right to life groups in your area for other activities such as guest speakers and conferences.


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 tinarifr@shu.edu

Science and the Dignity of Human Life – August 2023 Newsletter

Every Picture Worth 1,000 Words

New trucks are being converted by the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform into rolling billboards to target 34 California State and University campuses. To educate the public & college students, the themes will invoke the dangers of abortion pills that are now being dispensed in student health centers. Some of the signs will address the “trans” mania also sweeping American college campuses. “Nor do we believe that biological men should be permitted to menace real women in women’s prisons or shelters. We also oppose policies which permit biological men to consistently defeat and often injure real women by invading in women’s sports and posing as real women.” [CBR newsletter, June 2023, cbr@cbrinfo.org]

Assisting an abortion for the first time

Abby Jonson dropped the ultrasound probe and ran, crying, from the procedure room. Despite two of her own abortions, she was shocked by the images on the screen: the first-trimester fetal human had limbs, movement, and a heartbeat: “What was in this woman’s womb just a moment ago was alive. It wasn’t just tissue, just cells. That was a human baby, fighting for life! What I told people for years, what I believed and taught and defended, is a lie!” Johnson came to view abortion as morally impermissible. She quit her job at the clinic and ultimately became a pro-life activist. [Heidi M. Giebel, The “Unplanned” Effect: Impact of Fetal Ultrasound Images, Life and Learning XXXII, June 2022.]

Contraception and Abortion

Modern medicine continues to promote the use of contraception to prevent unintended pregnancies. People have come to believe that only through contraception can women have control of their lives. Health professionals provide unmarried sexually active adolescents, especially African Americans and the poor with the pill, the condom, and more recently the use of the IUD and implants. These approaches are not solving the problem of unwanted pregnancy & abortion, and they promote the likelihood of catching an STD.

Reducing abortion will only happen when a true understanding of human sexuality, marriage, and the conjugal act can be effectively communicated and lived. The only way to decrease abortion is through chastity-based human sexuality programs for teens and their parents, marriage preparation that includes Natural Family Planning, and the understanding that women’s roles and careers are not contingent on eliminating their human fertility. Not seeing the link between contraception and abortion eliminates strategies for effective change in our culture to become a culture of accepting life. [Richard J. Fehring, The Influence of Religiosity and Contraception on the Odds of Abortion, Life and Learning XXXII, June 2022.]

Genetic Editing: Respect for Human Life

13-year-old Alyssa with aggressive leukemia is now in remission thanks to the experimental gene editing CRISPR technology. After exhausting all known treatments, she received a dose of donor immune cells genetically modified to attack the cancer. Though it will be years before doctors know if she will remain cancer free, the treatment took effect in only 28 days.

Genetic manipulation is laudable morally when its goal is healing and its methods are aimed at the good of the individual. It becomes problematic when it simply uses the person or, in some cases, causes the demise of the individual for the sake of research. Using individuals as simply means to a greater end demeans that human life.

Catholic bioethics seeks to apply the Church’s moral wisdom to both new and existing questions of medical practice, research, and technology. For example, to harvest DNA from a woman’s egg or embryo, risky egg extraction is needed. Using cells from the embryo results in its destruction. Thus, on embryo is destroyed for the sake of another. “Medicine” that treats some human life as expendable is morally unacceptable by failing to respect the dignity of every human life. Yes, a world where genetic selection occurs (“designer” babies) is appealing. As philosopher Chris Kaczor says: “This brace new world, even if populated with only beautiful people, is an ugly creation in which the gift of a child becomes a consumer product.” Couldn’t those monies be better spent on research to cure diseases?

The Catholic storytelling podcast “Brave New Us” explores the many facets of genetic editing. Samantha Stephenson, author of Reclaiming Motherhood from a Culture Gone Mad, dives into topics such as the role of disability in God’s kingdom and also asks big questions: “What makes a life valuable” and “What does it mean to be human.” Find it wherever you listen to podcasts. [Stephenson, Our Sunday Visitor, 7/16/23]

Helping Couples

  • “I can just say that even though I love being a pediatrician, I love, love teaching Natural Family Planning to couples. NFP gives them tools for lifelong intimacy, intimacy that is in addition to the conjugal sexual union.” (Maria Meyers, MD)
  • “It is a beautiful experience in teaching women/couples the very foundation of how our bodies and fertility work. For medical problems, the ability to help women work with their body and work toward finding and treating the root cause is not only a better long-term solution for their health but is truly respectful of their body & God’s creation.” (Brittany Kudrna, DNP, FNP-c)
  • “It was wonderful to see women (and their partners) come to understand their cycles and persevere with NFP despite all society’s pressures to contracept. And it was a great joy to help engaged couples return to chastity before their marriage if they had become sexually active.” (Kathleen M. Raviele, MD, Ob/Gyn) [R. J. Fehring, Building a Culture of Life Through a University Institute for NFP, Life and Learning XXXII, June 2022.]

Blockbuster Film Thriller

In its first two weeks, sleeper smash hit Sound of Freedom crossed the $100 million mark. The film made headlines opening on the Fourth of July by beating Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny for the day with $14.2 million. The movie, billed as a political thriller, stars The Passion of the Christ‘s Jim Caviezel as the real-life Tim Ballard, who worked as an agent for the Department of Homeland Security before embarking on his own quest to bring child traffickers to justice (Ballard founded his own anti-trafficking organization, dubbed Operation Underground Railroad). The picture placed third over the July 7-9 weekend with an impressive $19.7 million from 2,634 theaters, then coming in second in the July 14-16 weekend with $27.3 million from 2,852 locations, a rare 39% weekly jump. Cinema owners rushed to carry the movie as other summer offerings struggle to find a foothold. Over the July 21-23 weekend it played in 3,287 theaters. [Pamela McClintock, The Hollywood Reporter, 7/20/23]

Do They Serve Women or Babies?

Pro-life pregnancy centers began sprouting in the U.S. as repeal of criminal abortion prohibitions arose on state legislative agendas in the late 1960s. Although most pregnancy help leaders identify with the pro-life movement, the typical center identifies itself as a ministry or service provider rather than an activist organization. If pregnancy centers have a hidden agenda behind the claims to provide practical and emotional support through unplanned childbearing, it is to transform the lives of women clients through sharing faith-based messages rather than to stop all the abortions that they can. [Laura S. Hussey, The Pro-Life Pregnancy Help Movement: Serving Women or Saving Babies?, Univ. Press of Kansas, 2020.]

Abortion’s Impact on Society

“As we stand here on this day, quite literally thousands of unborn children will be sacrificed before the sun sets in the name of the new ethic. Such a situation cannot continue indefinitely without doing irreparable damage to the most cherished principles of humanity and to the moral sensibilities of our people. The issue at stake is not only what we do to unborn children, but what we do to ourselves by permitting them to be killed. With every day
that passes, we run the risk of stumbling down the path that leads to the devaluation of all stages of human life, born or unborn.

What kind of society is it that will abide this sort of senseless destruction? What kind of people are we that can tolerate this mass extermination? Abortion, which was once universally condemned in the Western World as a heinous moral and legal offense, is now presented to us as not only a necessary, sometime evil, but as a morally and socially beneficial act. The Christian counsel of perfection which teaches that the greatest love consists in laying down one’s life for one’s friend, has now become an injunction to take another’s life for the security and
comfort of one’s own. The world of abortion is one in which black becomes white, and right wrong, in which the powerful are authorized to destroy the weak & defenseless, a world in which the child’s natural protector, his own mother, becomes the very agent of his destruction.” [Senator James Buckley, from his address introducing his Human Life Amendment on the U.S.; Senate floor, 5/31/1973. Reprinted in the Human Life Review, Spring 2023.]


Last fall, answers to a Gallup poll question revealed some of the lowest rates of American optimism in decades. Too many Americans do not see the light that comes with believing in a higher power and in its ability to redeem even those of us who seem beyond saving. Liel Leibovitz, First Things, 4/23]


Femininity is Not a Function of Stilettos.

Or red lipstick. Or even skirts and dresses. Drag queens are not showcasing femininity when they don their costumes on stage, and neither are any female politicians when they don their red lipstick. Femininity is not a measure of fashion choices or makeup usage. Drag queens insult me because they reduce femininity to an appearance that can be purchased and painted on. We who believe in biological sex as an essential part of our
human and personal identity ought to be sure we do not
fall prey to the same error.

My female body has matured through the trials of puberty, the decades-long challenges of menstruation, pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth, and nursing. I will never bond over any of these experiences with a man, a (male) drag queen, or a trans “woman,” even if we swap dresses, wear matching shades of lipstick, or hire the same surgeon to reconfigure our chests. Masculinity and femininity can’t be bought. Our (gender) identity is given to us freely at the moment of conception. My body, with its uniquely feminine powers, makes me a woman. Not my wallet.

Being pro-choice defaces a woman’s femininity—built by God to nurture life—more than ugly shoes ever could. Some women scorn their femininity in a parody just as grotesque as a man dressed in drag. [letter, Gina Loehr, First Things, April 2023]


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 tinarifr@shu.edu