National Catholic Register

Culture of Life

Life Notes

BY Jim Cosgrove

June 20-26, 1999 Issue | Posted 6/20/99 at 1:00 PM


House Votes Against RU-486

ASSOCIATED PRESS, June 8—The House has voted for the second year to forbid the government to test, develop or approve abortion-inducing drugs such as the French RU-486 pill.

Reported the Associated Press, “Although the 217-214 vote [June 7] was a victory for House abortion foes, the bill's chances for becoming law this year appear dim.”

However, Rep. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said that there is something “terribly wrong” when the Food and Drug Administration uses taxpayers' dollars for “drugs that are designed to kill unborn children.”

Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) was reported as saying, “Come up with drugs that heal.”

Sex, Lies and Television

PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, June 7—America has become absorbed in a debate over the epidemic of violence in the media, said the Philadelphia Daily News , but the argument has been going on for decades. “Remember when Congress took on TV Westerns in the early '60s?” it asked.

“But when it comes to an issue that some observers consider to be equally vexing — sexuality on television — these same politicians seem perfectly willing to ignore it.”

The report suggested that that it was perhaps because Hollywood's most vocal critics were “responsible for keeping last year's mature-rated hit, The Bubba and Monica Show, on the air for so long.

However, there are several organizations unwilling to let Washington set the stage and the pace when it comes to TV viewing. Among those the paper cited is the Parent's Television Council.

“L. Brent Bozell's Parents Television Council, which has targeted advertisers of The Howard Stern Radio Show, recently announced the launch of its Green Light Film Review as a resource for parents seeking ‘wholesome’ entertainment fare,” said the Daily News.

“The project promotes family-friendly feature films and made-for-TV movies, including the recent CBS mini-series, Joan of Arc, and hopes to encourage Hollywood to ‘voluntarily refrain from aiming at children those products that glorify sex, drug use and a culture of disrespect and death,’” said the report.

Young Women and Breast Cancer

CHICAGO SUN TIMES, June 6—More than 8,400 women under 40 will, this year, be diagnosed with breast cancer even though it is not usually a young woman's disease, reported the Sun Times.

“More than three-fourths of women diagnosed with breast cancer are over 50 and nearly half are over 65, according to the American Cancer Society. Only 4.7 percent are under 40,” said the report.

Of the women under age 40 who will get cancer, “some will have a family history, or a gene mutation that causes breast cancer. But many have no risk factors.”

Breast cancer is more dangerous in young women, said the report, because it typically is detected at a later stage, and is more aggressive.

This is one reason why survival rates are lower among younger sufferers compared to older women.

The report suggested that beginning at age 20, a woman should examine herself every month, and “have a clinical exam by a doctor or nurse every three years.”

Even though a lump frequently turns out to be benign, or a cyst, it shouldn't be ignored, said the report.

The Sun Times missed one point: An American Life League statement reports that there have been at least four studies between 1977 and 1992 that conclude that the use of birth control pills by young women, before their first pregnancy, increases the incidence of breast cancer by as much as 88%.

“This data clearly shows that providing birth control pills to young girls — one of the chief aims of the Health and Human Services Title X program — contributes to one of the major medical problems for women, breast cancer. We are calling on any member of Congress who votes in favor of ‘Title X’ funding, to justify why they feel it is more important to facilitate teen sex than to protect our young women from breast cancer,” said Judie Brown, president of the American Life League.