Life Notes

New Zealand Bishop Thrilled

NEW ZEALAND HERALD, Dec. 15 — The bishop of Auckland is rejoicing at the number of babies who have been born since he vowed in March to help women choose life over abortion, reported the New Zealand Herald.

Bishop Dunn's offer was attacked by the Auckland Women's Health Council, which was concerned that women would be pressured by the Church.

At least 72 girls and women chose to become mothers following Bishop Pat Dunn's public vow.

“It is small-scale still, but it is quite touching … when you actually see a child and the mother will say, ‘I was going to have an abortion.’ We are not talking about a cause. We are talking about individuals.”

Bishop Slams U.S. Government

CATHOLIC HERALD (Diocese of Arlington, Va.), Dec. 14 — During a homily delivered December 9, Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde blasted the U.S. government, asking, “How is it that our nation threatens to withhold foreign aid to countries unless they subscribe to an abortion-rights agenda?” reported the Catholic Herald.

The homily compared the United States to ancient cultures that practiced human sacrifice.

The bishop echoed the Pope in calling for “ardent evangelizing activity” in order to enter a new “world without abortion, a world where every human is treated as a person from conception until natural death, a world where there is right and wrong and right means following the will of the Father.”

STD's Force Abstinence Push

BBC NEWS, Dec. 15 — Complacency over “safe sex” is being blamed for a dramatic rise in cases of sexually transmitted diseases, reported BBC News.

According to the British government, new cases have hit a 10-year high with rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea rising dramatically since 1995.

The statistics from the Public Health Laboratory Service show that since 1995 the incidence of genital chlamydia has risen by 77%, gonorrhea by 57%, syphilis by 56% and genital warts by 22%.

Proposals that officials should promote abstinence come from Dr. Trevor Stammers, writing in the British Medical Journal. Dr. Stammers said research showed that early intercourse carried greater risks and often led to subsequent regret, reported BBC News.

Sexually active teenagers are also more likely to be emotionally hurt, to experience depression, and to commit suicide.

‘Choose Life’ Plate Succeeds

ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, Dec. 12 — The “Choose Life” license plate is proving to be popular in Florida, with Floridians buying 500 a week since the plate made its debut in August, reported the St. Petersburg Times. It's outselling most of the state's 50 other specialty plates.

Abortion advocates argue that the plates are a state-sanctioned political statement against abortion.

While the license plate is still facing a legal challenge, sales raise money for charities that help pregnant women who are putting their babies up for adoption instead of having abortions.