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BY The Editors
Register on the Go
Being a traditional Catholic, I
love the National Catholic Register. But, I have precious little time
to sit and read it.
However, I have an Amazon Kindle,
which I just love. I carry it in my purse, and when I get a few moments, I pull
it out and read.
The Register is not one of the few
newspapers available for download to Kindle. I was hoping that could change in
the near future.
The editor responds: We
hope to be available in most media, Kindle being one of them, in the near
I am American Life League’s senior
legislative analyst and expert on language used in human personhood initiatives
and legislation. As such, I take issue with two points made in Barb
Ernster’s “Promoting Personhood” article in the Dec. 6 issue of the Register.
First, the article expressed concern
about the language of the state human personhood initiatives for which ALL has
served as a consultant. “Conception,” apart from being neither a legal nor a
scientific term, was redefined by the American College of Obstetricians and
Gynecologists in 1965 to mean “implantation” in order to call abortifacients
“contraceptives.” “Fertilization” is not used because any language that defines
a human being’s life as beginning “at fertilization” would necessarily exclude
all human beings who are reproduced asexually (not by the process of
fertilization). That would be arbitrary discrimination. Furthermore, it would
be deceitful to knowingly promote language that does not protect all human
beings while claiming that it does.
Second, the article focused on the
overturning of Roe v. Wade. I submit that it is an error
on the broader pro-life movement’s part to be focused on this grossly
ill-informed and discriminatory court opinion. Roe
was a symptom of the permissive attitude toward denying the personhood of human
beings deemed “inconvenient” or “undesirable” by a culture that had already
been dehumanizing vulnerable persons. America previously saw this type of
bigotry in the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision,
which was never recanted or overturned. Citizens took it upon themselves to
renew the culture and restore justice by way of a constitutional amendment.
Similarly, it is not the goal of the human personhood movement to overturn Roe,
but to restore the recognition of personhood to all human beings. We do not
need the court’s permission to do that.
Life League Inc.
Regarding coverage of the
health-care reform debate: Even if one does not hold, as I do, that legalized
abortion assaults constitutional protections of life, the ban on abortion
coverage in the legislation recently passed in the House of Representatives
represents a good development — for reasons wholly separate from either
religious identity or constitutional persuasion.
As someone who teaches
statistics, I tell students “correlation does not imply causation.” If one
wants to show causation, one needs to use techniques of designed experiments.
That is exactly what the authors of “The Effect of Abortion Legalization
on Sexual Behavior” (2003), Jonathan Klick and Thomas Stratmann, employed,
using, in part, Centers for Disease Control data no less! Then, correlation
coefficients and coefficients of determination have telling power. The
financial consequences of the Klick-Stratmann article quoted in the next paragraphs
“Our results attribute a large
increase in gonorrhea and syphilis rates to changing sexual behavior, which was
induced by abortion law changes. This increase resulted in additional
expenditures for the treatment of gonorrhea and syphilis on the order of $300
million per year. If a similar abortion effect exists for other STDs, which we
could not examine because of data limitations, additional treatment
expenditures might amount to more than $4 billion annually.
“What is clear, however, is that the
CDC and medical authorities in general have not considered this abortion effect
on STD infection rates, nor have they considered that changes in institutions
can cause changes in the relative prices faced by individuals. Instead, the
medical community tends to attribute the changes in STD rates to fluctuating
social mores, changing demographics, and changing diagnosis patterns. As
indicated by our results, ignoring the effects of changing incentives precludes
an accurate understanding and modeling of this epidemiological phenomenon.”
Unless pro-choice advocates can show
that the spikes in STD rates as a result of legalized abortion are not only not
harmful but are, in fact, cost-effective and salubrious, abortion
coverage should not be part of any health-care package.
I just finished reading the article
“Pro-Life School Enhances Its Pro-Life Reputation” in the Dec. 6 issue. The
article mentions that “Golisano also gave $5 million to Nazareth College and
received an honorary doctorate from that private Catholic school and from St.
John Fisher College, both in Rochester [N.Y].”
I would like to correct this.
Neither Nazareth College nor St. John Fisher College is Catholic. That title
was removed from St. John Fisher in 1968.
In 2003, Nazareth College was
removed from The Official Catholic Directory, having been declared to no longer
be a Catholic institution by Rochester, N.Y., Bishop Matthew Clark. It was the
second time since Pope John Paul II issued Ex Corde Ecclesiae,
the apostolic constitution on Catholic universities in 1990, that a bishop
declared a historically Catholic college or university to be not Catholic.
Regarding “Creating Further
Disunity” (Nov. 29): In response to Anglicanorum Coetibus,
Rev. R. William Franklin said, “If the whole Christian world started to act on
this principle, to invite the disgruntled in, to make a place for them, imagine
the confusion that would set in to the body of Christ.”
People already do this — they’re
called Protestants — while the Pope calls for unity.
The possibility that global-warming
alarmists may push for population control (“Warming Up to People,” Dec. 13) is
only part of the problem.
Recently uncovered e-mails proved
that Penn State global-warming alarmist Michael Mann “hid the decline.” His
defense is that the decline that he hid was of the reliability of the raw data
he collected — to indicate global warming. And probably the dumbest example
of scaremongering was the recent report from ABC News that the snow is
melting in the Andes in December — the Andes are in the southern hemisphere, so
that news is about as shocking as the snow melting in the Rockies, in the
northern hemisphere, in June.
And follow the money: If “green
millionaire” Al Gore II really believed in man-made global warming, would he
have 20 times the “carbon footprint” of the average American? If the
global-warming alarmists meeting in Copenhagen really believed their own
scaremongering, wouldn’t they have found some more “eco-friendly” way of
meeting, say teleconferencing, than clogging Denmark with more private jets and
limousines than it has ever seen?
There’s something obscene about
global-warming alarmists partying in four-star hotels while planning how to
make the rest of us poorer.
Advent Guides Effective
Regarding your Advent guides: These
are wonderful, yet I’m thinking they could be even more effective if updated to
reflect our current pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI (photos, “Authors to try,” etc).
Editor’s note: The
print edition guides include Pope Benedict in words and pictures.