Friday, April 23, 2010

The Prophetic Voice of Pope Paul VI

Pope Paul VI's 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae was met with a firestorm of objections from Catholic theologians and laity who had prematurely determined that the use of artificial contraception within marriage should and would be declared licit. Pope Paul's ultimate decision to disallow artificial methods of avoiding pregnancy and his warning of the consequences involved in opening that door, has proven to be truly prophetic. Today, these consequences have become a reality, making it more vital than ever that we turn back to his teaching On Human Life, read it, understand it, and act on it.  The following excerpt is from Humanae Vitae, paragraph 17:

Consequences of Artificial Methods


17. Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.
Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.

Find the entire encyclical at the website below:
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Importance of Defending Conscience Protections

In Washington State in 2007, pharmacists lost their legal right to freedom of conscience when Gov. Christine Gregoire pushed the State Board of Pharmacy to revoke existing conscience protections, forcing all pharmacists to dispense abortifacient drugs. At that time, a local editorial ridiculed the legimate conscience concerns of Christian pharmacists, suggesting they could leave the medical profession and drive cabs for a living. I responded with the article below.

Conscience protections for medical professionals were further eroded when Washington State became the second in the nation to permit legalized physician-assisted suicide in 2008. At this time in our nation's history, as we face a new and national threat to conscience protections with the recent passage of the health care legislation, concerns for conscience protections in the medical profession are more relevant than ever. With this in mind, I have reprinted my 2007 article below:

Doctors lose conscience protection

Catholics. What a bunch of self-righteous hypocrites! Fed up? So is the State of Washington. Let’s see if we can get them out of the medical profession. We could start with the pharmacists and work our way up to closing hospitals. Let all those Catholic pharmacists and doctors drive cabs for a living. Who needs them and all their bickering about the sanctity of life? And what’s so sacred about a human embryo anyway?


If attacks like the one above have become so acceptable that a respectable newspaper sees nothing wrong with denigrating a group of professionals who face the loss of their careers because of their ethical beliefs, why not spell out who we’re talking about? The Tri-City Herald certainly didn’t pull any punches in its August 7th, 2007 editorial.

A recent ruling revoking a pharmacist’s right to conscience should concern all people who desire to defend human life from the moment of conception. The ruling by Washington State Board of Pharmacy requires all pharmacists and pharmacies to fill prescriptions for any legally dispensed drug, including those that cause abortion. Catholic hospitals are not exempt. A pharmacy may no longer even refer a patient to another drugstore except by patient request. Penalties for failing to provide contraceptive and abortifacient drugs include stiff fines and/or revocation of the license of the pharmacy or pharmacist. Pharmacies may refuse to hire pharmacists who object to dispensing abortifacient drugs.

The implications of this ruling go far beyond accessibility to Plan B, the “morning after pill.” This drug, which aborts a fertilized egg, is already easily accessible without a prescription. The real issue is whether pharmacists have the right to refuse to dispense drugs that kill rather than heal. This ruling dictates that religious and moral values must no longer play a part in the medical profession. What consequences will this have for health care in our country?

As new abortion drugs are approved, pharmacists must dispense them. If euthanasia is legalized, pharmacists must fill prescriptions for lethal doses of medicine to facilitate the “mercy” killing of a handicapped, elderly, or ill person. Don’t suppose this will stop with the pharmacists. The European Union recently declared abortion a “human right,” opening the door to lawsuits against Catholic countries where abortion is restricted. How long before this is attempted in the U.S.? If abortion advocates are victorious, do you suppose Catholic doctors and hospitals will be allowed a conscience clause? Not if this precedent is any indication.

If we remain silent while people of conscience are forced to conform or leave the practice of medicine, who will ultimately control health care? In the end, that role could go to the ardent promoters of the new eugenics: genetic screening, abortion, contraception and euthanasia. If so, the successors of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger may finally achieve her stated goal of eliminating those she deemed “human weeds” from the earth, including the poor and selected “inferior” ethnic groups. For information on the connection between Sanger and the eugenics theories that were adopted by the Nazis, Roy Schoeman’s book Salvation is from the Jews (http://www.salvationisfromthejews.com/index.shtml) provides well-documented evidence of the historical facts.

For a detailed source of scientific evidence of the dangers inherent in the push to normalize contraceptive use, casual sex, homosexuality, and abortion, read Dr. Miriam Grossman’s book entitled Unprotected (http://www.miriamgrossmanmd.com/books.php). This UCLA psychiatrist exposes the politically correct agenda that drives health care on college campuses today. Sadly, this same variety of “health” education is now mandatory in Washington schools. This affects all of us. We can’t afford to be uninformed about these issues. It’s a matter of life or death.

I would like to thank pharmacists Rhonda Mesler and Margo Thelen, and Stormans, Inc., the owners of Ralph’s Thriftway in Olympia, for taking a stand against this injustice. To rephrase Rev. Niemoller’s famous quote: They have come first for the pharmacists – if we fail to stand up because we are not pharmacists, who will be left to stand up for us?


Postscript:

In July 2009, the pharmacists' appeal failed. The LA Times reported:

"In a case that could affect policy across the western U.S., a supermarket pharmacy owner in Olympia, Wash., failed in a bid to block 2007 regulations that required all Washington pharmacies to stock and dispense the pills."

The complete article can be read at: http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jul/09/nation/na-pill-ruling9

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Abortion - The Unchoice

The Elliot Institute has released a new report on forced and coerced abortions in the United States. It's well worth taking the time to read and consider - is the debate over abortion really about "choice"? Has it ever been?

Read the report at: http://www.theunchoice.com/pdf/FactSheets/ForcedAbortionReportAdvanced.pdf

Nicholas Kristof's Birth Control Advice Hurts Women and Demeans the Poor

Photo from theFederalist.com     My response to a New York Times article by Nicholas Kristof promoting birth control for teens was ...