Life Notes

NEW YORK POST, Oct. 24-Eugenics are back in style with models leading the charge.

Fashion photographer Ron Harris launched to cell the ova of beautiful models to infertile couples, reported a columnist in the Post.

“Natural selection is choosing genes that are healthy and beautiful,” Harris said. “This celebrity culture that we have created does better economically than any other civilization in our history.”

Critics contend that this is simply taking sperm banks to their next logical step, the customization of our offspring.

“This Web site is the product of a materialist society that has decided pleasure and the avoidance of suffering are its highest virtues,” writes Post columnist Rod Dreher. “When life itself is not believed to have intrinsic worth, this is what we get.”

If the demands of consumerism are invited into the process of having children, we face a grave danger, Dreher writes.

“On what grounds will ethicists lecture parents that they must abort their unborn child becuase she is likely to be fat, or homely, or handicapped, or gay, or anything else that might disadvantage the child in the real world?”

Hospital Changes Policies, But Not Enough, Lawmaker Says

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, Oct. 23-In the wake of public outcry and under the investigation of the authorities, Christ Hospital is changing its policies on “therapeutic abortion” (“Chicago-area Babies ‘Aborted’After Live Birth,” Register, Oct. 10–16).

Starting on Jan. 1, only two hospitals under Advocate Health Care will perform the abortions, and then, only in the cases of rape, incest, when the child would not survive, or to save the life of the mother.

So-called therapeutic abortions occur when, after learning that a baby will be born with mental or physical handicaps, labor is induced and the child is born, only to be starved or asphyxiated.

Illinois State Sen. Patrick J. O'Malley resigned from the hospital's board saying that the hospital's new provisions did not go far enough.

“I'm a big cheerleader for Christ Hospital, but you have to draw the line somewhere,” O'Malley told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Hospital executives sent a letter to O'Malley in which they thanked him for four years of service and said they have “great appreciation of your personal views on pregnancy termination and respect your choice to resign.”

Congress Urged to Study Fetal Body Parts Claim

CNS-An official of the U.S. bishops' pro-life secretariat called for a congressional investigation and “in-depth investigative reporting” into claims by a U.S. senator that abortion clinics are selling fetal body parts.

Sen. Bob Smith, I-N.H., made the claim on the Senate floor Oct. 21 during debate on the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

Helen Alvare, director of planning and information for the bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, said Smith had “produced credible evidence that some U.S. abortion clinics have worked hand-in-glove with wholesalers of fetal body parts.”

Smith said some clinics were committing infanticide and performing abortions in ways calculated to produce the maximum of fresh human body parts for sale.

“No matter if this is going on in one clinic or 500, it would be an intolerable situation, a statement that some children are worthless as persons but valuable as parts,” Alvare said.

“There ought to commence as quickly as possible extensive congressional hearings as well as in-depth investigation reporting on this unthinkable violation of the dignity of the human person,” she added.

Maine Voters Urged by Bishop To Be Faithful to Lord of Life

CNS-As Maine voters prepared to decide by referendum whether to ban partial-birth abortion in their state, Bishop Joseph J. Gerry of Portland has called on Catholics to be “faithful to the Lord of life.” Question 1 on the Nov. 2 ballot asks whether partial-birth abortions should be banned in Maine, except when necessary to save the mother's life. In a pastoral letter called “Faithful to the Lord of Life,” Bishop Gerry noted that Catholics in the state also are likely to face a vote next year on physician-assisted suicide and efforts in the state Legislature to reintroduce capital punishment.