Ross Douthat on Video: Organs Are Lucrative for PP Because Fetuses Are Human

07/27/2015 Comments (2)

Last week, after two undercover videos badly damaged Planned Parenthood's credibility with the public, the nation's paper of record stepped up to do some damage control.

"The Center for Medical Progress video campaign is a dishonest attempt to make legal, voluntary and potentially lifesaving tissue donations appear nefarious and illegal," stated an editorial published by The New York Times. And within days, Kamala Harris, the attorney general of California, vowed to investigate the Center for Medical Progress — not Planned Parenthood, which also faces allegations that its abortionists alter their procedures to secure organs.

Likewise, Hillary Clinton criticised the videos as a "concerted"...READ MORE

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Ashley Madison Hack: "Cyberterrorism" or Vigilante Justice?

07/22/2015 Comments (5)

By (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

This week, we learned that computer hackers are not only interested in exposing the dark secrets of U.S. foreign policy, or stealing consumers' credit information for profit. 

Some hackers seek to impose a kind of vigilante justice on the shadowy world of a dating website like Ashley Madison. The site is geared for people seeking extra-marital affairs, and it has an engaging pitch: "Life is short. Have an affair."

Here's an early report on the breach from KrebsonSecurity, a top site specializing in the ever-growing threat posed by cyberattacks.

Large caches of data stolen from online cheating site have been posted online by an individual or group that claims to have...READ MORE

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A Perfect Trifecta, Made in Hell

07/21/2015 Comments (15)
YouTube/Center for Medical Progress

Dr. Deborah Nucatola, senior director of Medical Services at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, discusses harvesting of fetal organs and tissues in an undercover video posted July 14 on YouTube.

– YouTube/Center for Medical Progress

[Update: Check out these columns by two of the best and most courageous writers on this issue:

"Crush Planned Parenthood" by USA Today columnist Kirsten Powers, and "deas for Reporters Struggling to Cover Planned Parenthood," by the Federalist's Mollie Hemingway.

With GOP on Capitol Hill poised to launch a fresh investigation into Planned Parenthood's role in the trafficking of fetal organs, Heminway suggets some useful questions,and here are a few:

How much money does Planned Parenthood receive via sales of baby organs? Do they keep records? Are those records trustworthy?

How far along in a pregnancy must a woman be for her child’s organs to be considered worthwhile for procurement,...READ MORE

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"Politically Safe": Obama Admin Resuscitates End-of-Life Counseling For Medicare Patients

07/09/2015 Comments (5)
Colour photogravure after the Hon. J. Collier, 1908. CC BY 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

"A Physician Telling a Patient That He is Going to Die"

– Colour photogravure after the Hon. J. Collier, 1908. CC BY 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Beginning January 1, 2016, Medicare will cover counseling sessions for end-of-life care, the Obama administration announced yesterday.

NPR noted that this development comes "just weeks after a Supreme Court decision solidified the Affordable Care Act." And Julie Rovner, senior correspondent with Kaiser Health News,  told NPR, "the decision might have prompted Medicare officials to conclude that 'it was safe politically ... to go ahead with this.'"

An estimated 55 million people are on Medicare. The New York Times reported that  the new policy will reimburse physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants to have "conversations with patients about whether and how they would want...READ MORE

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In Brittany Maynard's Home State, California Assisted Suicide Bill Defeated

07/07/2015 Comments (1)

Brittany Maynard

– CNA/YouTube

In 2015, disability rights groups feared that Brittany Maynard's crusade to legalize assisted suicide in California would finally secure legislation permitting physicians to provide lethal medication to terminally-ill patients who want to control the time of their death.

In life and death, Brittany Maynard has been the poster girl for Compassion & Choices, the nation's leading voice for assisted suicide. For the past year, Maynard has appeared in widely-circulated YouTube videos, and a People magazine story featured her husband's disturbing memories of their final day together.

But the Sacramento Bee just reported that the authors of Senate Bill 128 had issued a statement confirming that...READ MORE

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Are We Losing Millennials?

07/03/2015 Comments (100)


Shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling that found a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, I had a long talk with a young relative that left me unsettled in an already difficult week.

This twentysomething cradle Catholic did not endorse "marriage equality." But he said it was past time for the U.S. bishops to cut their close ties with Republicans and get back to serving the poor. 

Perplexed, I asked him to elaborate.  He explained that many of his peers viewed Catholic leaders as GOP groupies.  "They need to get back to basics," he said. And to regain their credibility, they should follow Pope Francis' lead by helping the poor and speaking out against...READ MORE

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With Weak Protections For Conscience, "Obergefell is Roe on Steroids"

06/30/2015 Comments (46)
By Ted Eytan from Washington, DC, USA (SCOTUS Marriage Equality 2015 58151) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

– By Ted Eytan from Washington, DC, USA (SCOTUS Marriage Equality 2015 58151) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Liberals and conservatives have compared the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision with Obergefell v. Hodges. Both are landmark rulings, in which the high court takes sides in a fractious national debate that was far from decided in the minds of many voters.

But Bill McGurn, the Wall Street Journal columnist, takes issue with that assessment, at least as it involves the likely impact of the court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage.

McGurn does not dispute the grave immorality of legal abortion. Rather he argues that the weak, ambiguous language on free-exercise protections in Justice Kennedy's majority opinion in Obergefell will unleash unprecedented attacks on individuals,...READ MORE

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If Marriage Is the Sanctuary of Life, What Happens When That Sanctuary Is Redefined?

06/26/2015 Comments (17)
Mary Cassatt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

– Mary Cassatt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court has finally ruled on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, invoking the Fourteenth Amendment to require every state to license marriages between people of the same sex.

Over the years, gay activists have convinced some of the public that the inclusion of same-sex couples in legal marriage would not harm a vital social institution.  But scant attention has been paid to how the redefinition of marriage will shape our  legal system's treatment of nascent human life and the rights of natural parents.

Can we continue to become a more pro-life nation if the sanctuary that once welcomed children into the world changes in ways we do not yet fully understand?

During...READ MORE

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About Joan Desmond

Joan Desmond
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Joan Frawley Desmond, is the Register’s senior editor. She is an award-winning journalist widely published in Catholic, ecumenical and secular media. A graduate of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies of Marriage and Family, she lives with her family in California..