The Next Step Continued
Every week we see evidence that it will only be a matter of time before those who love abortion and all of its accouterments will be going door to door in your community, demanding to speak to your children without your presence and giving them information about how to obtain abortions and contraception without your permission.

We last saw health officials in New York City handing out city-made condoms at NYC subway stations and other areas of high pedestrian traffic.

Now we see Planned Parenthood has instituted a "Pill Patrol" in an effort to encourage their supporters to visit local health pharmacies in cognito and see what kind of resistance they get in trying to purchase Plan B, the so called "Emergency Contraception."

If they can purchase the Plan B Pill, then all is good with the pharmacy and they receive good marks from Planned Parenthood.

But watch out if you have a religiously based objection to providing Plan B to someone who comes into your pharmacy. As a part of their campaign to encourage (mandate) pharmacies to carry Plan B, Planned Parenthood now wants to set policy for pharmacies nationwide, and they don't want people with religious convictions involved, as we see from the below excerpt of their "policy":

2. Refusals: Pharmacy chains should institute a policy and set of procedures that ensure that - even in the event that an employee has a genuinely held religious belief against dispensing or distributing contraception — the pharmacy will ensure that customers receive valid, lawful, medically appropriate contraception in-store (on location), without discrimination or delay (e.g., within the normal timeframe for distributing an OTC product or filling a walk-in prescription, as appropriate) and without judgment or regard for the number of refills prescribed.
Yes, if you have religious based beliefs on contraception and abortion that prevent these things from taking place, then you are the bad guy and are "harming" women's health. They don't say what specifically should happen to the offending religious believer but I am sure they would love to see them fired or disciplined, as has already happened in the past.

And what is truly outrageous is that all of this flies in the face of a recent study done by a prestigious medical journal, The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, that said, among other things that, "increased access to emergency contraception pills enhance use but has not been shown to reduce unintended pregnancy rates." It also said that "no study has shown that increased access to this method reduces unintended pregnancy or abortion rates on a population level” and that “the consistency of their primary findings is hard to ignore."

And yet they are ignored. As so now they have gone from subway stations to local pharmacies. The march to your house is getting closer and closer.

Labels: ,

3 Bills to Watch in the Texas Legislature
Out of the more than 6,000 bills that have been filed in the Texas Legislature this session, we can expect only a few hundred to be passed and out of that few hundred, only a handful of them will be pro-life bills.

During the last session (2005) we passed exactly one pro-life bill for Parental Consent, and that at the very last minute against tremendous opposition.

For whatever reason, the Texas Legislature only meets every other year on the odd numbered years for 140 days and, although there may be benefits to a rarely-in-session legislature, from our end it never really seems to work out.

With all of that in mind, below are three pro-life bills that have been introduced in the Texas Legislature and have a reasonably good chance of passing, IF, we the citizens of this great state actually take into account our obligation to be politically active and do something about it, like call our State Senators and Representatives and ask them to support these bills.

(HB 225) Funding Ban on Embryonic Stem Cell Research - This is an absolute no-brainer bill. It would cut off funding to unethical and unproductive experimentation on embryonic stem cells.
There are no clinical benefits to embryonic stem cell research. The FDA has approved no uses in humans since it has proven to be clinically problematic in animal studies. There are better ways for us to be spending this money.

(HB 175 / SB 186) The Trigger Ban - This is a great law and 4 other states have already done it. This would effectively ban all abortions in the state of Texas (with the exception of the imminent death of the mother) if the US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade or otherwise decides that the states have the right to regulate abortion.

If passed, although it would not have an immediate effect, it would tell the world that Texas is a pro-life state and that we are opposed to the legal reasoning imposed on us by the Roe decision and that the people do not want it.

(HB 21) Relating to Informed Consent to an Abortion - This bill would close the loophole in the current Women's Right to Know Act that allows abortionists to not give the women entering an abortion mill information that the State of Texas has deemed they should have.

The crux of the bill is that women who enter an abortion mill should be getting this booklet, which contains great information about abortion procedures, the risks of abortion, fetal development and other information. We know that when women have this kind of information (information that the other side fights tooth and nail to not give them) and can make a fully informed choice, the numbers show they decide to not have the abortion.

Abortionists have found loopholes around giving women this book by having them either listen to a pre-recorded message about it or encouraging them to not take it because it is "not well written" or "contains bad information." When was the last time you went to a doctor for a medical procedure and had to listen to a pre-recorded message about the procedure?

This bill would simply mandate that the book be physically handed to the women as she enters the abortion mill. Very simple and yet, pro-abortionists are bitterly opposed to it.

Visit the Texas Legislature Online or our web site for detailed information and the status of each bill. You can also find out who your state Representative is and how to get ahold of them.


Sacramentum Caritatis or something else
A review of the Apostolic Exhortation 'Sacramentum Caritatis' issued by the Vatican is described by the Dallas Morning News in this way (highlighted red scare words done by me):

Pope holds fast to conservative requirements

Divorced Catholics can't receive Communion; politicians admonished

10:59 PM CDT on Tuesday, March 13, 2007
From Wire Reports

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI rebuffed calls to let divorced Catholics who remarry receive Communion in a new document Tuesday and told Catholic politicians they are expected to wage the church's fight against abortion and gay marriage.

Putting his conservative stamp on his nearly 2-year-old papacy, Benedict also reaffirmed that Priests must be celibate and included a nostalgic call for Latin use by rank-and-file faithful. A worldwide meeting of bishops, held at the Vatican in 2005, endorsed the celibacy requirement, and Benedict embraced their call, despite shortages of priests in some places.

The 131-page "exhortation" is part of the pope's vigorous campaign to ensure bishops, priests and the world's 1.1 billion Roman Catholics strictly follow church teaching.
The rest of the article just quotes from the document and refrains from using scare words. But honestly, can any person read the above and not think that the author, whom is not named but I am assuming it is a DNM staffer, has a bias against the Catholic Church?

Why do they put "exhortation" in scare quotes and not explain what an Apostolic Exhortation is?

At a press conference introducing the document, the Pope said that his main goal for the document was to "help in liturgical celebrations, in personal reflection, in preparing homilies and in the celebration of the Eucharist." He also said he hoped it would "serve to guide, enlighten and revitalize popular piety," especially eucharistic adoration.

Is any of this reflected in the above article from the Dallas Morning News? No, what is reflected is the media's desire to undercut the Church and to portray it in the worst light possible. As a result they use scare words, ignore the deeper meaning of the document and focus on the things that are not as important.

For a Catholic analysis, which is really the only one that Catholics should be paying attention to, click here, here and here. These are links to Catholic bloggers who are interested in finding the meaning behind what the document actually says.

Mike Aquilina has a great analysis of the document from the viewpoint of the Fathers of the Church.

Zenit interviews Cardinal Angelo Scola who was the Relator General of the 11th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops held in Rome from Oct. 2 to 23, 2005. Sacramentum Caritatis reflects the conclusion of the Assembly and Cardinal Scola provides an important perspective.

Don't look to the Dallas Morning News as a source for what's going on in the Catholic Church.

Labels: ,

Glorified Sickness
There really is no way to make abortion seem like a normal thing, no matter how hard you try.

Planned Parenthood discovered this a few years back when they introduced a t-shirt with the message "I had an abortion" on it. The shirt raised a fire of controversy and even some Planned Parenthood affiliates though it was wrong to do. The shirts do not seem to be available any longer.

So, up steps another pro-abortion group trying to make abortion seem somehow less shameful and more legitimate. Exhale has produced a line of e-greeting cards to send to someone you know who has had an abortion and is suffering.

The cards are ridiculous and even mock religion, indicating that God would have supported the decision to have an abortion.

I have a better idea for women who are suffering from a past abortion. Rather than send them a e-card that only further solidifies a decision they know deep in their hearts was the wrong thing to do, have them call a post-abortion healing number, such as 214-544-CARE (2273) in Dallas or 817-923-4757 in Fort Worth.

We will be holding a healing retreat April 20-22, 2007 here in Dallas. Men and women who have suffered from abortion can attend and receive the help they needed in overcoming their pain. All inquiries are kept confidential.

In supporting women, we need to make sure that we fix problems instead of making them worse.


Bishop Farrell on Culture and Theology
At the press conference last Tuesday with the new Bishop of Dallas, Bishop Kevin Farrell, a reporter asked him about the possibility of ordaining women and priestly celibacy. Here is his answer:

"I do believe that there is a great tendency in modern society and modern culture to believe and think that “now we have arrived”, now we know the perfect answer to every situation and every crisis that comes along, and therefore everything we have held in the past is wrong and from now on we've got it right. I don’t believe that we should ever allow ourselves to be carried away by the culture of the moment. Our task is to interpret the culture of the day in the light of our faith, not to interpret our faith in the light of culture."
Yes, this is a home run answer and although this was his first press conference, and he did not want to say too much, there are some things that need to be said. It is interesting how he answered the question as though it referred to culture instead of morality or theology. But, maybe he was trying to tell us something.

After the press conference was over, he was surrounded by the reporters asking more questions. Dave Palmer from KATH 910 AM asked Bishop Farrell of his feelings about the pro-life issues. This is what he said:

"Obviously, that is the most fundamental and the most important issue that our society in general faces today…is the dignity of the human person… from the moment of conception to its natural end. We must always make every effort that everyone in their heart and soul believes and understands the importance of this issue."
This time, instead of answering from a cultural point of view, he instead refers us back to theology and morality and indicates that they, in fact, are the answer to a societal and cultural problem.

It would be good to see more of this kind of thinking in the future ie. the need to replace a focus on cultural concerns with one of begin faithful to the teaching tradition handed on from many generations. Many people do not understand what that means, and there is the possibility that culture has become their god and is the primary way in which they express whatever belief they happen to have.

So, the work of evangelization continues.
Have Mercy on me, a Sinner
An interesting article written by Bishop Grahmann as he prepares to retire from his many years of service. Here is the key line:
" . . . as I examine my life’s service, I ask pardon of God for all of my failings when I didn’t measure up to his holy will. Thirdly, I ask forgiveness of all those whom I have offended, in any way, through my words, actions, or omissions. The “old self” of St. Paul’s letters often stood in the way. I, too, forgive all of those who have offended me. The late John Paul II said to build the civilization of love, reconciliation lies at the heart of it: seeking forgiveness of others, and forgiving others for their offences. I stand before God and pray: “Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner.”
It would be interesting to find out how many commentators are willing to read that, much less give it any consideration knowing how Bishop Grahmann has been treated in the past.

Meanwhile, the numbers of babies saved from abortion in the Diocese passes 2,000, none of whom would ever have had a chance had it not been for Bishop Grahmann.
Pro-Life Day at the Capitol
Yesterday, we spent the day lobbying our elected officials in Austin on a number of bills that the Texas Catholic Conference, and all of the Respect Life Directors around the state of Texas, consider important for this legislative session.

A group from the Catholic Pro-Life Committee and about 30 junior and senior high school girls from the Highlands School in Irving journeyed down to Austin to take part. The Texas Legislature meets every other year on the odd numbered years and the session is only 140 days long and there are lots of bills to try and pass in a short time.

The Texas Catholic Conference has designated their priorities for the session (also check out their newly re-designed web site) and asked us to lobby on a few of them in particular. Check out the Civic Action section on our web site for more details about them.

Below I post a few of the many pictures that were taken yesterday. More will be coming on our web site here.

Catholic Pro-Life Committee Executive Director Karen Garnett talks with a staff member of Senator Florence Shapiro about supporting pro-life legislation.

Madeline Johnson and Danielle Mauldin from the Highlands School in Irving talk to Tre Black, Legislative Aide to Senator Royce West.

Jonathan Saenz from the Free Market Foundation and Joe Kral from the Texas Catholic Conference have provided invaluable service to the pro-life movement in Texas. Both are also recipients of the Civic Action Award given by the Catholic Pro-Life Committee, Mr. Kral in 2006 and Mr. Saenz in 2007.

The entire Texas delegation before heading inside to lobby. More than 100 people attended this day and each Representative and Senator received a visit from one of us.

Welcome Bishop Farrell!
Today, we received the news that Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Bishop Kevin Joseph Farrell, an auxiliary Bishop of Washington D.C., to head the Diocese of Dallas.

The appointment of a new Bishop had been expected for some time and this morning a press conference was held at the Cathedral de Guadalupe to welcome the new Bishop and introduce him to the diocese.

Bishop Farrell (who is technically the Bishop - Elect of the Diocese of Dallas, Bishop Grahmann, whose resignation has been accepted by the Holy Father, is now the Apostolic Administrator) mentioned that he was essentially new to the Diocese, did not know too much about it and did not come with any kind of pastoral plan to lay out.

In his soft spoken voice, he commented that he was looking forward to the opportunity to work with the people of the Diocese on the "road to holiness."

I had the opportunity to meet him before the press conference and when I introduced myself and said I was representing the Catholic Pro-Life Committee, his eyes lit up and he gave a surprised "oh."

Some of the media questions focused on the issues that the media cares about (some might say obsessed with) like the ordination of women and the role of the laity in the church, but most of them were fair questions. I do think there was a general feeling of wanting to be welcoming and wanting to give him an opportunity to present himself.

Dave Palmer from KATH 910 AM asked the Bishop what his opinion was on the life issues. The Bishop looked at him and said (I'm paraphrasing here)that it was the most fundamental issue of our time and that the Church has to make a strong defense for the right to life, from conception to natural death.

There is a lot of speculation and rumor about why Bishop Farrell left the Legionaries of Christ in 1984. He was asked this question at the press conference today and he responded that he had "intellectual differences" with the Legionaries and I get the impression that he simply wanted to be a parish Priest.

Afterwards, I was interviewed by Jeff Brady from Channel 8 News and he asked me what I though about the Bishop's response. I told Jeff that I did expect Bishop Farrell to continue the great work in the pro-life movement that Bishop Grahmann started and that since the Roe decision began here in Dallas, that we need to make a big effort to end it here.

His official installation date is Tuesday, May 1st and will take place at the Cathedral. No time was given. Bishop Grahmann plans to go fishing more often now and plans to spend his retirement with the poor.

I will be posting more at this blog about Bishop Farrell and the hopefully great things to come in the future and will especially be monitoring the coverage by the mainstream media to make sure they are acting fairly.

Click here for the full bio and coat of arms of Bishop Kevin Joseph Farrell.

Vatican Information Press Release

Dallas Morning News - Top Priorities for Bishop Farrell

NBC Channel 5 article - Linked here. There is some preoccupation with the "scandal" in this article and it is mentioned several times. Wish there could be a little more balance. BTW, the people clapping at the Bishop's remarks were mostly Chancery staff and lay Catholics involved in ministry from around the diocese. Very few parishioners of the Cathedral actually present.

Update 10:50 pm: Diogenes from Catholic World News pipes in about the resignation of Bishop Grahmann. Since the Pro-Life Committee, which Bishop Grahmann started, began sidewalk counseling in 1997, more than 2,000 babies have been saved from abortion. I wonder if any other Bishop, or any other organization on the planet, has compiled such a record?

03-07-07 Video of the press conference from WFAA's Jeff Brady. Good overview of situation and a short clip of Patricia Sherk. Jeff mentioned that Dallas is the ground zero for Roe v. Wade, which I explained to him when I spoke to him.

03-08-07 Here, here and here are some articles written by the Dallas Morning News about our new Bishop. Most of them are focused on how Bishop Farrell will handle the aftermath of the "scandal" and what he will do with the Hispanics and the seeming lack of vocations.

There are other things that the Bishop will be concerned with, of course, and I imagine that his homily at the installation Mass will be significant and may possibly lay out either his thinking about his role as a Bishop or some kind of pastoral plan that he said he would not talk about at the press conference. Either way the point is, be there on Tuesday, May 1st for the installation mass. Early.


What the other side tells us
A constant source of information about what those who support abortion think about things is the fund raiser mailings that NARAL sends out.

Out of the several points they list in their latest letter about the successes of the pro-life movement in the past few years, this one needs attention:

- George W. Bush has appointed two new anti-choice Justices
to the Supreme Court which will soon issue a decision on the constitutionality of the Federal Abortion Ban, which could outlaw abortion as early as the 12th week of pregnancy and has no exceptions to protect a women's health.

This is true but misleading as there is no such thing as a "Federal Abortion Ban."

There is however the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 which President Bush signed into law in November of 2003 and we are now awaiting the decision of the US Supreme Court on whether or not it is constitutional. I am pretty certain this is the "Federal Abortion Ban" they are referring to.

It also seems that the only people who are calling it the "Federal Abortion Ban" are those groups who support abortion. The web site www.federalabortionban.org is supported by a plethora of pro-abortion groups.

NARAL is correct in saying that there is no exception for the health of the mother because there is plenty of evidence that tells us that partial-birth abortion is never medically necessary. In particular, read these lines from the text of the Congressional bill itself:

"..the great weight of evidence presented at the Stenberg trial and other trials challenging partial-birth abortion bans, as well as at extensive Congressional hearings, demonstrates that a partial-birth abortion is never necessary to preserve the health of a woman, poses significant health risks to a woman upon whom the procedure is performed, and is outside of the standard of medical care."
It is not an easy thing to be honest about what is happening, especially when the side you are on is crumbling and you find it easier to mislead your own supporters into scaring them so they give you money.

But why would you not be honest with your own people, some of who probably depend on you to give you accurate information, about the actual name of the bill and the lack of the necessity of the procedure in the first place?

Because it does not help their cause when they do so. When people find out what partial-birth abortion is, they are horrified and they start to make the journey to becoming pro-life.

If we cannot depend on them to be truthful in telling us the name of the bill then how can we trust them to be truthful in telling women the risks of abortion?

As we await the decision of the US Supreme Court, let us not be afraid to show the truth about what partial-birth abortion is and what it does to babies in the womb.


Staunch Pro-Lifer
There are many "single-issue" voters out there who have a leaning toward a particular issue and many times they vote based on that issue. Many in the pro-life movement vote this way for a simple reason; if there is no Right to Life, then all other rights fade into nothingness. After all, you can't have rights if you are not alive.

So, it is disturbing to read that someone who considers themselves a "staunch pro-lifer" would vote for, and encourage others to vote for, someone who supports abortion.

I don't know the author of this article and I don't mean to sound mean. But there is a good chance that this person is not really pro-life, especially if a main consideration they put forward for supporting this abortion-supporting Presidential candidate is that they one time visited New York City and, as they describe it, saw that "the streets were clean, the people were nice, and I never even heard a gunshot or saw a mugger. " That's not solid thinking.

What's that old saying? With friends like this, who needs enemies? Bingo.