National Catholic Register

Culture of Life


BY Jim Cosgrove

May 19-25, 2002 Issue | Posted 5/19/02 at 2:00 PM


Virginia Apologizes

WASHINGTON POST, May 3—Virginia Gov. Mark Warner formally apologized for the state's embrace of eugenics, denouncing a practice under which some 8,000 people were involuntarily sterilized from 1927 until as recently as 1979.

“The eugenics movement was a shameful effort in which state government never should have been involved,” Warner said.

The governor's statement marked the first time that a U.S. governor has formally apologized for eugenics, a practice that was adopted by 30 states and resulted in the involuntary sterilization of an estimated 65,000 Americans.

Pro-Life Picketer Vindicated

THOMAS MORE LAW CENTER, May 2—When Ann Norton's pro-life sign showing a color photo of a bloody, aborted baby's head was torn from its backing by a passerby, a Kalamazoo police officer was dispatched to the scene.

To Norton's surprise, she was threatened with arrest for violating section 750.38 of the Michigan Penal Code, a criminal law that prohibits the public display of pictures of murder.

Earlier this April, a federal judge signed a Consent Judgment permanently enjoining the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety and several of its officers from arresting Norton under this arcane Michigan law.

As part of a settlement with the City of Kalamazoo, Norton agreed to dismiss her claims for damages against the individual police officers.

In turn, the City agreed to pay Norton $650 as part of this settlement.

According to Norton, a portion of the money from the City will be used to purchase several new pro-life signs to aid her in the future.

Abortion Clinic Loses Lease

OPERATION RESCUE WEST, May 1—The Abbey Company, landlord to the San Diego abortion facility Family Planning Associates (FPA), has notified pro-lifers they will not renew the clinics lease. FPA controls 6700 square feet of office space.

The news came as a stunning victory for pro-lifers who have faithfully maintained a presence at the abortion facility, since it first moved to La Mesa in 1987.

The Abbey Company decided not to renew FPA's lease after police in riot gear, SWAT officers, and bomb-sniffing dogs were called out for the annual observance of the Roe v. Wade anniversary in January of 2001. Pro-life activists' midweek presence and years of pressure at FPA was also mentioned as a factor.

“My company has come to the conclusion that having Family Planning as a tenant is a detriment to the project,” stated an Abbey Company representative in a letter to pro-lifers.