National Catholic Register

Culture of Life

Prolife Victories

BY John Lilly

April 23-29, 2006 Issue | Posted 4/24/06 at 11:00 AM

 

French Incentives Work

BBC, April 3 — Efforts to increase the birth rate in France are beginning to have an impact on the nation’s population levels. With a birth rate of 1.9, France has reached second place in the rates of European countries — second only to Catholic Ireland.

At least some of the credit for a tenuous hold on a rising birth rate goes to the gamut of financial incentives provided by the government for parents.

A graduated income-tax rate means the more children parents have, the less tax they pay. In addition, the government pays a monthly allowance of $314 for families with three children.

The “large family” card gives a 30% reduction on train fare and half price for riding the metro. The Paris-family card gives families free entrance to swimming pools and other venues, as well as an annual stipend for extra-curricular arts and sports.

Massive March

EL TIEMPO, April 4 — Hundreds of thousands of Colombians took to the streets in the capital earlier this month to demonstrate against a possible ruling by nation’s Constitutional Court that could legalize abortion, reported the Bogotá daily.       

The campaign, launched under the leadership of the city’s archbishop, Cardinal Pedro Rubiano, has included an appeal to the international pro-life movement to join in a massive prayer effort to stop the spread of abortion.

“The loss of one country will substantially weaken the pro-life fabric of all of Latin America,” wrote Cardinal Rubiano to pro-life organizations throughout Central and South America.

While pro-lifers say El Tiempo is often hostile to their cause, the newspaper published an aerial shot of the vast number of demonstrators, conceding that their number exceeded 100,000.

Informed in Florida

MIAMI HERALD, April 7 — The Florida Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the Women’s Right to Know Act, a statute prohibiting abortion without the informed and voluntary consent of the patient.

A state appeals court ruled last year that the informed consent law violates Florida’s right to privacy contained in the state constitution.

The Florida Supreme Court said “the doctrine of informed consent … is grounded in the common law and based in the concepts of bodily integrity and patient autonomy.”

The court said, “as with any other medical procedure, the state may require physicians to obtain informed consent from a patient prior to terminating pregnancy.”

No Suicidio Asistido

LEAGUE OF UNITED LATIN AMERICAN CITIZENS, April 6 — The U.S. Latin American community does not support assisted suicide, according to a statement from the league, known by the acronym Lulac.

The oldest and largest Latino organization in the U.S., Lulac says its national board had voted unanimously to oppose doctor-assisted suicide in California in response to a request from its branch in California, which is now considering a law to legalize doctor-assisted suicide.

In doing so, Lulac said it was joined by organizations that defend people with disabilities, the poor and the uninsured.       

Virtue Vision

DAKOTA VOICE, April 10 — Thousands of women across the United States are going to crisis-pregnancy centers rather than abortion businesses, thanks to a successful TV ad campaign by Arizona-based VirtueMedia, Inc.

The company began airing the commercials last fall. The spots show “abortion-vulnerable” young women expressing their fear and confusion over finding themselves pregnant. Viewers are then directed to the Option Line, a toll-free crisis helpline managed by Care Net and Heartbeat International. The Option Line directs callers to local crisis-pregnancy centers.

In one city alone, Atlanta, some 2,646 calls were prompted by the ad’s January run. VirtueMedia is online at virtuemedia.org.