National Catholic Register

Culture of Life


BY Jim Cosgrove

August 05-11, 2001 Issue | Posted 8/5/01 at 2:00 PM


Spain Encourages Pregnancy

NATIONAL POST, July 17 — As the economic consequences of Spain's low birth rate become clearer, government officials have begun speaking out on television and radio, appealing to young women to set aside their ambitions and reproduce for the sake of the nation.

According to United Nations figures, Spain's birth rate is the world's lowest, plummeting to fewer than 1.2 births per woman — well below the 2.1 rate needed for a generation to replace itself.

Spanish demographer Juan Antonio Fernandez says with fewer babies born each year, Spaniards, on average, are getting older. As the balance tips further, he says he fears the country's social-welfare system, particularly its pension plan, will collapse.

No Right to Money

MIAMI HERALD, July 13 — Florida's Constitution does not require the state to pay for abortions for poor women who can't afford them, the state Supreme Court ruled, upholding a ban on state spending for most abortions, reported the Miami Herald.

The justices said although the right of privacy in Florida's Constitution “protects a woman's right to choose an abortion,” it does not give her “an entitlement to the financial resources to avail herself of this choice.”

The decision lets stand a rule that prohibits state money from being spent on abortions, except in cases of rape or incest or when needed to save a woman's life.

Methodists on Stem Cells …

GENERAL BOARD OF CHURCH AND SOCIETY, UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, July 17 — Jim Winkler, the general secretary of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, sent a letter to President Bush, a member of the United Methodist church, urging him to continue to impose “an extended moratorium” on human embryo stem cell research.

Winkler wrote in the letter, “Such practices seem to be destructive of human dignity and speed us further down the path that ignores the sacred dimensions of life and personhood and turns life into a commodity to be manipulated, controlled, patented and sold.”

And Bret Schundler

NEWARK STAR-LEDGER, July 20 — A day after Democrat gubernatorial nominee Jim McGreevey urged President Bush not to block federal funding of embryonic stem cell experiments, Republican nominee Bret Schundler came out against the research, reported the Newark Star-Ledger.

Schundler called on Bush to instead increase funding for adult stem cell research, an alternative that does not involve the destruction of human embryos.

He said, “Recent scientific studies have shown that adult stem cell research holds the most promise in finding new treatments and cures to some of mankind's most serious infirmities.”