Abortion. It’s a word that grips us when we hear it—sometimes with anger, sometimes with fear, and oftentimes with pain. Most people avoid the subject. According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, approximately 1 out of 3 women in the United States will have had an abortion by age 45. It’s fair to say that the majority of Americans have either had an abortion or know someone who has experienced one.
Roe v. Wade
Roe v. Wade is the 1973 Supreme Court case which struck down existing state laws nationwide that had heretofore made abortion illegal. Roe v. Wade effectively legalized abortion throughout a woman’s 9 months of pregnancy. While the legal validity of Roe v. Wade has always been considered questionable by those in defense of the sacredness of human life, in recent years this case has come under considerable scrutiny and criticism from the general public and influential media outlets.
The USCCB developed the “Second Look” national education campaign, providing facts vs. myths about the Supreme Court decisions that legalized abortion.
Abortion & African Americans
Abortion has, in particular, devastated black and African-American communities across the United States. Among this population, abortion is the leading cause of death. In New York City, over 50% of pregnancies in these communities are terminated. Find more information on how abortion is devastating black communities.
Abortion & Breast Cancer
Scientific research indicates a link between Abortion and Breast Cancer. Dr. Chris Kahlenborn documents the effect that abortion has on breast cancer, as well as uterine, cervical, liver, and other cancers, and even the transmission of AIDS in his book, Breast Cancer, Its Link to Abortion and the Birth Control Pill. Jenn Giroux tells about this connection in her article, Race for the Truth About the Susan G. Komen Foundation: Is Abortion and Hormonal Contraception a Prescription for Breast Cancer?
Visit www.ichooseadoption.org for a beautiful adoption website with basic information, testimonials of birthmothers, profiles of adopted families, and places to go to get more resources.
Adverse Prenatal Diagnosis
An Adverse Prenatal Diagnosis often leaves expecting parents concerned and flanked with questions and mounting pressure by hospitals or physicians. In spite of that, there are resources and networks of support that assist during this challenging time in a pregnancy.
BeNotAfraid.net is an online outreach to parents who have received a poor or difficult prenatal diagnosis. The family stories articles, and links within the site are presented as a resource for those who may have been asked to choose between having an abortion or continuing despite the diagnosis. The benotafraid.net families faced the same decision and chose not to abort. By sharing their experiences, they hope to offer encouragement to those who may be afraid to continue on.
For complete listing go to Perinatal Hospice and Palliative – A Gift of Time: http://www.perinatalhospice.org/Perinatal_hospices.html
Former Senator Rick Santorum writes about the gift of his daughter, diagnosed with Trisomy 18, in this article. Also, the New York Times published an informative article, called “Laws of Physics Can’t Trump the Bonds of Love”.
Baby’s Development in the Womb
Science for Unborn Human Life contains hundreds of easily accessible facts about the rapid development of the unborn child’s body, movement, sensations (including pain) and learning. Each fact is accompanied by a reference to the medical or scientific literature. SFUHL focuses on the first eight weeks after conception, the period when most abortions are performed. It is a good complement to the striking ultrasound images that are usually taken much later in gestation. The accuracy of the information is attested to by the comments of eight OBGYNs, whose comments are posted at the top of the home page.
Truth Booth: A window to the womb offers DVDs and displays of 3D and 4D ultrasound images, providing an educational experience for all age groups on the development of a child in the womb.
Infertility & In Vitro
Are you having trouble conceiving? The following resources on infertility are available:
- “Addressing Infertility with Compassions and Clarity”brochure By Rev. J. Daniel Mindling, OFM Cap., USCCB (Spanish version).
- NaProTECHNOLOGY a more natural alternative to assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization, in accordance with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. The Gianna Center’s work in NaProTECHNOLOGY is documented in this video
- Angelique Ruhi-Lopez and Carmen Santamaria writes about infertility in her book, The Infertility Companion for Catholics.
- Marie Meaney writes about infertility in her article, “Embracing the cross of Infertility”.
- Timothy O’Malley, Ph.D. writes about prayer and infertility in his blog article, “Waiting for Gabriel: Learning to Pray through Infertility”.
- Jeannie & Bruce Hannemann publishes a booklet on infertility called, Infertility Journey.
- Julie Kelemen writes to inspire hope and offer help in Dealing With Infertility. This booklet discusses what the Church teaches about assisted reproductive technologies and offers comfort and advice on how to deal with the emotional, financial, and spiritual challenges of infertility.
- Anne Nolte, founder of the Gianna – Catholic Healthcare Center for Women, writes about NaProTECHNOLOGY’s success with infertility in her article, “New Hope in Infertility”.
- The USCCB published an article, “Life-Giving Love in an Age of Technology”, in November 2009.
Stem Cells & Cloning
A common misperception is that the Catholic Church opposes all stem cell research. The Catholic Church, in fact,emphatically supports some stem cell research and funds such research through many of it’s Catholic Universities. The Catholic Church, does however, oppose embryonic stem cell research because it involves the destruction of a human being at the embryonic phase. The following resources on stem cell research are available:
- The National Catholic Bioethics Centersprovides consultation, resources, events, publications, and advocacy on Catholic bioethics issues, including stem cell research and cloning.
- Brother Daniel Sulmasy, OFM writes about stem cells and cloning in his short article, “Cloning and Stem Cells”, a potential resource for a bulletin insert.
Euthanasia is the intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit. This is always a violation of the sanctity of human life. For a clear overview and concise history, see the website of Students for Life. For thorough information and up-to-the-minute news, visit Euthanasia.com.