National Catholic Register

Culture of Life


BY Jim Cosgrove

April 9-15, 2000 Issue | Posted 4/9/00 at 2:00 PM


Number and Rate of U.S. Births Rise

THE WASHINGTON POST, March 29 — A government report shows a 2% increase in total births, a rise in fertility rates for most ethnic groups, and upward blips of second and third children, the Post reported.

Both the total number of births and the birthrate were up for the first time since 1990. This was true for all women between ages 15 and 44, but the overall trend appeared to be driven by an increase in births among women in their twenties.

The number of women aged 20 to 24 is rising for the first time since early in the 1990s, which “is an important shift in itself,” said Stephanie Ventura of the National Center for Health Statistics, who is the report's lead author. That age group also is experiencing a higher fertility rate. Together, the two changes are pushing births upward, reported the Post.

Defending Vatican From Pro-Abortion Ef forts at U.N.

REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE , March 27 — The Catholic Task Force of the Republican National Committee called on Democratic presidential contender Al Gore and Senate hopeful Hillary Clinton to denounce political supporters pushing to take away the Vatican's non-voting status at the United Nations, the committee announced in a press release.

Led by Co-Chair Bonnie Livingston, wife of former Rep. Bob Livingston (R-La.), the task force said that the campaign to “kick the Vatican out of the United Nations offends Catholics … because the permanent observer status gives the Catholic Church a chance to ‘at least raise its pro-life position on abortion to the representatives of the world's nations.’”

Woman Sues Virginia Abortion Facility

THE NORFOLK PILOT, March 23 — A Newport News, Va., woman who was seriously injured during a 1998 abortion has accused the Hillcrest Clinic abortion facility of performing an illegal, second-trimester abortion on her, reported the Pilot.

Chloe L. Ott filed a lawsuit in Norfolk Circuit Court stating that Virginia law allows second-trimester abortions only at licensed hospitals, and that Hillcrest is not such a facility, the Pilot reported.

Ott is suing the clinic and the abortionist for $500,000 in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages.

A Hillcrest spokeswoman denied that second-trimester abortions are performed at the facility. “We're very clear about what the legal restrictions are in Virginia,” spokeswoman Suzette Caton said, reported the Pilot.

At its website, the c,linic advertises “second trimester abortion services through 20 weeks of pregnancy” and lists a 20-week abortion as costing $1,000.

Court Upholds Abortion Practitioner's Murder Conviction

ASSOCIATED PRESS, March 23 — A state appeals court upheld the 1995 murder conviction of a Queens abortion practitioner who killed a mother after a botched abortion — the first case of its kind in New York state, the wire service reported.

David Benjamin, 63, will continue serving his 25-year-to-life sentence following the decision by the Appellate Division.

Guadalupe Negron, a 33-year-old mother of four, bled to death from a 3-inch rip in her uterus following the abortion at Benjamin's Queens abortion facility on July 9, 1993.

“The victim, who had been anesthetized and sedated, bled profusely over a one to two-hour period, during which time the defendant failed to adequately monitor her,” the court said according to AP.

The abortion facility's receptionist testified that the abortion practitioner ignored the woman for more than an hour after the abortion, reported AP. She died a short time later at a nearby hospital.