Archive for the ‘Women’s Health’ Category

Priests for Life calls for probe of Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011





STATEN ISLAND, NY – Priests for Life has joined a Louisiana pro-life advocate in calling for an independent investigation of that state’s Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH).

Baton Rouge resident Richard Mahoney has uncovered evidence that Delta Women’s Clinic in Baton Rouge has, for decades, falsified medical records and under-reported the number of abortions that result in death or injury to pregnant women. DHH officials have been aware of the practice and have allowed it to continue, he alleges.

Father Peter West, associate director of Priests for Life, is working with Mahoney to expose abuses at DHH and Delta, which has ties to indicted Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell.

Mahoney has documents that show Delta Clinic submits forms to DHH on which many of the boxes had been pre-filled. On two separate forms, the box for “Complication of Pregnancy Termination” have been pre-printed with an “x” next to the “None” response.

“This practice of falsifying legal documents to the DHH’s Office of Vital Records and the medical malpractice and fraud involved in sending forms to the DHH that were…completed prior to seeing any patients, is tantamount to the largest travesty of justice ever perpetrated by the medical establishment under the guise of women’s reproductive health care,” Mahoney said. “In no other branch of medical practice would this be tolerated. The ramifications of these perjuries to the health of women in the United States is staggering.”

Father West said it is within DHH’s power to close Delta Clinic immediately.

“Under a 2010 law, DHH has the authority to close abortion facilities that violate state standards,” said Father West. “In fact, the publicity surrounding Delta Clinic in Baton Rouge is at least partially responsible for the closure of a New Orleans abortion facility. We demand that DHH immediately use its power to close Delta. Failing that, Priests for Life demands an independent congressional investigation of DHH.”

In the past, Delta owner Leroy Brinkley employed Gosnell one day a week. Eileen White O’Neil, who has been charged in the Gosnell case with pretending to be a licensed physician, also has worked for Brinkley.

“Women in Louisiana need to know the danger they are in once they step inside Delta Clinic,” Father West said. “DHH has the authority to shut it down today, and yet officials refuse to act. It’s time – it’s way past time – to find out why.”

Mahoney said: “The public needs to know the truth about abortion, the atrocities that have been committed by the abortion industry, and the government’s complicity in the skewing of the number of abortions performed and the injuries and complications associated with these procedures. All records that were falsified to the DHH Vital Records Registry need to be corrected and the appropriate information needs to be reported for each patient. We believe that only a Congressional hearing and an Independent Council investigation on these false reporting practices will reveal the truth about these abominable practices.”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Miscarriage

Monday, June 6th, 2011





The wound comes from well-meaning people. “Well, it wasn’t that far along.” “You can always have another child.” “Lots of people go through this.”

Miscarriage is a tragedy that so many people misunderstand. They are not quite sure how to console a friend or relative who has suffered this loss.

While there are no magic formulas, there is one fundamental truth that needs to stay front and center: a miscarriage is the loss of a child who is just as real and has just as much value as any other child of any age. A woman who has a miscarriage is a parent who has lost a child, as is the father of the child as well.

In a society which continues to have a legal and cultural blind spot for the unborn, many suffer from the illusion that miscarriage doesn’t grieve a parent as much as the loss of, well, a “real child,” and that is precisely what hurts so much. We can never console someone in grief if we imply, even remotely, that the person they lost wasn’t real.

Dr. Byron Calhoun, President of the American Association of Pro-life Ob-Gyns, has observed that prior to 1970, the loss of a child before or during birth was often treated in medical literature as a “non-event,” but that now there is a growing awareness of the grief associated with such loss. In fact, Dr. Calhoun has developed a hospice program for unborn children.

As the medical community advances in sensitivity and understanding of these points, so must we all. Our love, our compassion, our sharing in the grief of such losses, can bring healing to the parents who have suffered miscarriage. The naming of these children who have died is one significant way of acknowledging their reality. The counting of these children matters too, so that if a parent is asked how many children he/she has, the child who died before birth is counted as one of them.

I recall the first pro-life billboard that we set up in 1990 here in our community of Staten Island, New York. It depicted a developing unborn child. One of the first phone calls I received about it was from a woman who had lost a child by miscarriage. “I can’t tell you how consoling your billboard is to me. Thank you.” That was all she said.

Perhaps the reason it was consoling was that someone was saying publicly what she knew privately: that was a real child. The life of that child matters, no matter how short it was. The death of that child matters, no matter how many may not cry. And the love I have for that child matters, even if nobody else knows.

Lord, comfort all parents who grieve the loss of their children of any age. Take them into Your loving arms, and give us strength until the day You give them back to us in heaven. Amen.

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A Passion to Serve

Thursday, May 19th, 2011





Each year I have the privilege of addressing the various national training conventions for pregnancy center directors. Over 2,300 of these centers across the United States serve close to 2 million people every year. This outnumbers the approximately 750 abortion mills. And while the abortion mills receive millions of dollars from the government, 29 out of 30 people who work in the pregnancy centers are volunteers.

As I travel the nation, I frequently visit these centers, which are usually affiliated either with Heartbeat International, Care Net, or NIFLA, three of the largest networks of centers.

I urge the Churches and the centers to work very closely together so that everyone tempted to abortion will know that better alternatives are close at hand. Visit priestsforlife.org to learn more.

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No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion

Monday, May 2nd, 2011





WASHINGTON, D.C. – Father Pavone released the following statement in advance of the May 4th vote on the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.”

“The pro-life movement has another opportunity this week to take a giant step forward to protect the unborn by urging support for House Resolution 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. Americans do not – and have never wanted – to pay for the killing of children.

“To every legislator that votes against this bill, we will send women who have suffered from the abortions they had, and they will ask, Why would you want to fund my pain?

“Then we will urge the voters to elect public servants who can tell the difference between serving the public and killing the public.”

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The Pope’s Bioethics Council

Monday, April 18th, 2011





At the end of February I was privileged to be welcomed at the Vatican as a new member of the Pontifical Academy for Life. Established in 1994 by Pope John Paul II, this body has “the specific task to study and provide information and training about the principal problems of law and biomedicine pertaining to the promotion and protection of life, especially in the direct relationship they have with Christian morality.”

In our General Assembly meeting this year, we addressed in depth the theme of post-abortion healing. Two other members of our Priests for Life team were also invited: Janet Morana, co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, and Dr. Theresa Burke, who founded Rachel’s Vineyard.

The group met with Pope Benedict, who said in his address, “It is necessary to provide the necessary help to women who sadly have already taken recourse to abortion, and who now experience all its moral and existential tragedy. There are many initiatives, at the diocesan level or through individual volunteer entities, which offer psychological and spiritual support for a complete human recovery. The solidarity of the Christian community cannot give up this type of co-responsibility.”

He also had strong words about the responsibilities of doctors:

“Doctors cannot fail to defend against the deception of the conscience of many women who think they will find in abortion the solution to family, economic, social difficulties or to the problems of health of their children. Especially in this last situation, the woman is convinced, often by the doctors themselves, that abortion represents not only a licit moral choice, but that in addition it is a necessary “therapeutic” act”.

He also said doctors are to “Continue affirming that abortion does not resolve anything, but that it kills the child, destroys the woman and blinds the conscience of the child’s father, often ruining family life.”

The Pope expanded on the idea of fathers by saying:

“It would be useful to focus attention on the fathers of the children, who often abandon pregnant women. It is the duty of the moral conscience to discern good from evil in the different situations of existence.”

While men can’t have abortions, they do commit the sin of abortion. The “abandonment” of which the Pope speaks often consists in the man saying it is the woman’s choice. This makes her feel alone and desperate, and increases the temptation to abort. The man, instead, is called to stand with the woman and the baby and say, “we can do the right thing.”

Finally, the Pope reminded us all that “It is necessary that the whole of society defend the right to life of the conceived and the true good of the woman, who never, under any circumstance, will be fulfilled in the choice of abortion.”

As one of many entities of the Vatican – essentially a bioethics council for the Pope and the Church — the Academy for Life represents a key concern of the Church. You can follow its activities and publications at www.AcademiaVita.org.

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New Series The Catholic View for Women to Premiere

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011





Staten Island, NY – A new era in women’s programming begins Friday, March 11th with the debut episode of The Catholic View for Women. Designed as an authentic Catholic alternative to secular discussion shows, the show is aiming for today’s active, involved women.

“As hard as it apparently is for most television shows to realize, the view of millions of women goes beyond the mirror – it even goes beyond Manhattan,” says Janet Morana, Executive Director of Priests for Life, co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, and co-host of The Catholic View for Women. “We will be talking about the real world where real women face real issues.”

In addition to Janet, co-hosts of the six-episode miniseries are Teresa Tomeo, host of the Catholic Connection show on EWTN Global Catholic Radio, and Astrid Bennett Gutierrez, Executive Director of Los Angeles Pregnancy Services.

“On The Catholic View for Women our feminism will fully embrace life, not self, and our makeovers will start at the foot of the cross, not 5th Avenue,” said Teresa Tomeo.

“Anyone tired of the same old view should tune in and give us a look. You’re going to like what you see,” added Astrid Bennett Gutierrez.

Shows will air Fridays at 3:00 am and 6:30 pm Eastern on EWTN starting March 11th. To learn more about the show, link to it on Facebook, and send viewer feedback and ideas, visit www.TheCatholicViewforWomen.com.

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Pope Benedict: Abortion Does Not Resolve Anything

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011





Pope Benedict said the following words in February regarding abortion as he addressed an audience I attended with the Pontifical Academy for Life: “Doctors cannot fail to defend against the deception of the conscience of many women who think they will find in abortion the solution to family, economic, social difficulties or to the problems of health of their children. Especially in this last situation, the woman is convinced, often by the doctors themselves, that abortion represents not only a licit moral choice, but that in addition it is a necessary “therapeutic act.”

He also said doctors are to: “Continue affirming that abortion does not resolve anything, but that it kills the child, destroys the woman and blinds the conscience of the child’s father, often ruining family life.”

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We Must Minister to Those Suffering from Abortion

Monday, March 7th, 2011





At the end of February I was with the Holy Father as he addressed the Pontifical Academy for Life. The Academy had addressed the theme of post-abortion healing. The Pope said, “It is necessary to provide the necessary help to women who sadly have already taken recourse to abortion, and who now experience all its moral and existential tragedy. There are many initiatives, at the diocesan level or through individual volunteer entities, which offer psychological and spiritual support for a complete human recovery. The solidarity of the Christian community cannot give up this type of co-responsibility.”

Among those presenting at the Academy’s meeting was our full-time Priests for Life Pastoral Associate Dr. Theresa Burke, founder of Rachel’s Vineyard, which is one of those initiatives to which the Pope was referring.

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Silent No More Awareness Campaign to Rally on Capitol Hill today

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011





As the Senate prepares to debate the defunding of the abortion giant Planned Parenthood, members of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign will be outside the Russell Senate Building to remind them that women do regret abortion, and men do regret lost fatherhood.

The women and men who have personally suffered the debilitating physical and emotional consequences of abortion will gather from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today on the corner of 1st St. NE and Constitution Avenue, holding signs that say “I Regret My Abortion” and “I Regret My Lost Fatherhood.”

“Father Frank Pavone reminded me that Sen. Zel Miller of Georgia changed his mind about abortion when he saw our ‘I Regret My Abortion’ signs on Capitol Hill,” said Nancy Tanner, northern Virginia regional coordinator for Silent No More. “No one can dispute that women who have had abortions, who made this legal choice to kill our babies and have regretted it ever since, are the most qualified to speak out about abortion in general, and Planned Parenthood in particular.”

The Silent No More Awareness Campaign is a joint project of Priests for Life and Anglicans for Life. Father Pavone, Pastoral Director of the Campaign, said, “This week’s gathering at the Senate offices will be the start of a regular presence on Capitol Hill, so that our legislators and their staffs see the Campaign’s message. Moreover, we urge those who are lobbying their Senators this week regarding the defunding of Planned Parenthood use the testimonies of these women and men as they communicate with their Senators. They need to understand that abortion, and therefore Planned Parenthood, hurts those it claims to serve.”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit priestsforlife.org.

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Fr. Pavone Received as Member of Vatican Academy

Friday, February 25th, 2011





Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, was formally welcomed on Thursday as a Member of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life. The Academy, which was established by Pope John Paul II and initially led by Dr. Jerome Lejeune, engages in research on life issues at the service of the Holy See and the Universal Church.

Fr. Frank and Priests for Life have collaborated with the Academy for many years. Last year, Fr. Frank was named a member of the Academy, and on Thursday, His Excellency, Most Reverend Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, formally welcomed Fr. Frank as a member at the opening session of the Academy’s 17th General Assembly, and bestowed on him the pin with the insignia of the Academy. Among those present were the President Emeritus of the Academy, Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, who said that his recent elevation to the College of Cardinals was a sign from Pope Benedict XVI of the importance of the work of the Academy and of the pro-life movement in general.

This Assembly, which includes Academy members from around the world, will continue meeting on Friday and Saturday, and will conclude with an audience with Pope Benedict XVI. Sessions will include presentations on the topics of Umbilical Cord Blood Banks, and also Post-Abortion Trauma. Among the presenters will be fulltime Priests for Life Pastoral Associate Dr. Theresa Burke, founder of Rachel’s Vineyard, and among the special invited guests present at the Assembly is Janet Morana, Executive Director of Priests for Life and co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.

Other members of the Academy from the United States include, among others, Dr. John Haas, Carl Anderson (Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus), Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, SV (Superior of the Sisters of Life), Dr. Thomas Hilgers, Dr. Joanne Angelo, and Dr. Fran Hogan.

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