Obama administration "will be the most anti-life ever"
2 December 2008
A pro-life group has criticised Senator Barack Obama for choosing as secretary of state Senator Hillary Clinton who has always voted for abortion. The Susan B Anthony List says the US president-elect's appointments are not in line with his campaign promise to find common ground on the issue. Ms Marjorie Dannenfelser says Mr Obama's undertaking to sign the Freedom of Choice Act goes against the common ground commitment. She described the proposed office holders as aggressive abortion advocates. Ms Ellen Moran, likely White House communications director, has been executive director of Emily's List. [LifeNews, 30 November] Praise has come from pro-abortionists for Mrs Clinton and for Ms Susan Rice, nominated for UN ambassador. Planned Parenthood said Ms Rice: "understands the important role the United Nations plays in promoting and protecting women's health around the world, especially in developing countries" and would support UN Millennium Development Goals, which have been hijacked to serve anti-life objectives. The National Organization for Women was also exuberant. [LifeNews, 30 November] SPUC says the Obama administration will be the most anti-life ever. [John Smeaton, 2 December] Catholics who supported Mr Obama in the election have been urged formally to repent before going to communion. Fr Joseph Illo of St Joseph's, Modesto, California, reportedly told his 15,000 parishioners that such votes were sins to be confessed because of the candidate's support for abortion. More than half of Catholics who voted reportedly did so for the Democrat candidate. Rt Rev Stephen Blaire, the local bishop, disagrees with Fr Illo's actions, saying many Catholic clergy will have voted for the president-elect. It was only wrong if one supported him because of his stance on abortion; there were other issues to consider. [LifeNews, 30 November]
A bishop says Catholic hospitals must ignore the requirements of the Freedom of Choice Act if Mr Obama signs it. Rt Rev Paul Loverde, Bishop of Arlington, Virginia, would not close hospitals but just tell them to defy the measure. Though Bishop Loverde does not have any hospitals in his diocese, he said he would risk arrest over the matter. The act's title was a misnomer he said, adding: "[I]t's neither free nor choice ... nobody has a choice for abortion." Rt Rev Thomas Paprocki, Auxiliary in Chicago, has said hospitals could close. The act would reportedly increase annual abortions by 125,000. [LifeNews, 30 November]
President Bush could widen conscientious objection for health workers before leaving office. A wide range of staff and institutions could opt out of various procedures, perhaps including artificial insemination and birth control, as well as abortion. Staff who sterilised instruments might be allowed not to do it for unethical operations. The Christian Medical Association said morning-after pills were the real battle line. [Los Angeles Times, 2 December]
A psychiatry professor in Ireland has called for mental health care for women after abortion. Prof Patricia Casey, of University College and Mater Hospital, Dublin, also said that abortion providers should tell women about the mental health risks of the procedure or risk litigation. Newly published New Zealand research suggests abortion raises the risk of mental problems, including anxiety and substance abuse, by more than a quarter. [Irish Times, 2 December]
European Union (EU) patent law cannot be applied to techniques which involved the destruction of human embryos. The patent office used these grounds to decline an application from Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation for rights over a stem cell technique. Mr Wesley Smith, the American lawyer and bioethicist, said it was the EU's first recognition of the issue of the embryo's status. [LifeSiteNews, 1 December]
Heavy smoking in pregnancy adversely affects the quality of premature newborn babies' sleep, according to research by the University of Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens, France. Sleep problems led, in turn, to developmental problems. [Medical News Today, 1 December]