National Media Watch

Mother Arrested for Intervening in Daughter’s Abortion

ILLINOIS LEADER, March 22 — A Southern Illinois woman was arrested March 17 after trying to intervene on behalf of her 14-year old daughter’s effort to have an abortion, the Illinois Leader reported.

According to the girl’s mother, her 14-year old daughter was called out of school in Madison County by a woman posing as the girl’s “grandmother.” It was later determined that that woman was the mother of the male who had impregnated the girl.

When the parents were notified their pregnant daughter was not at school, they suspected she had been taken to the Hope Abortion Clinic in Granite City. The girl’s mother repeatedly called out her daughter’s name, telling her “don’t do it.” Authorities were called and the mother was arrested.

According to the report, the girl told her mother she could hear her but when she asked employees to give her mother a message, they came back to the room and told her that her mother had left. The police in the community in which the family lives allegedly told the girl’s mother that they couldn’t intervene despite her making a charge that her daughter had been statutorily raped because the charge was stale — seven weeks after the incident. They did tell the girl’s mother that, while she had no right to stop the abortion, she did have a right to go into the clinic and speak to her daughter.

Government Abstinence Website Draws Ire

ASSOCIATED PRESS, April 1 — The federal government was asked to take down a new website after groups complained it presents biased and inaccurate advice to parents on how to talk to their children about sex, AP reported.

The site,, advises parents to tell their teens why they should not have sex before marriage: “Tell them abstinence is the healthiest choice. They will not have to worry about getting pregnant or getting someone pregnant. They will not have to worry about sexually transmitted diseases. … Nor will they have to worry that the person they are dating is only interested in them because of sex. “

The groups who protested, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Human Rights Campaign and Planned Parenthood, said the government also should stress the need for contraception if sexual relations do occur.

Officials at the Health and Human Services Department said they were not surprised certain groups disliked the site. “They’ve always opposed us on the issue of abstinence,” said Bill Pierce, the department’s spokesman.

Former Socialite Suited to Carmelites

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, March 27 — Who would have thought that Ann Russell Miller, mother of 10, grandmother of 18 and heiress to Southern Pacific Railroad and Pacific Gas and Electric fortunes, would choose to live out her remaining years in a convent? But that is exactly what she is doing, according to the Chronicle.

The day after her 60th birthday, she flew to Illinois and knocked on the door of the contemplative Order of Discalced Carmelites in Des Plaines, and there she has stayed. Sixteen years later, she is known as Sister Mary Joseph, and she has traded materialism for a life of spiritual devotion, seclusion, poverty, chastity and obedience. In addition to her prayer life, she tends the roses used to make rosary beads.

Miller’s choice was an act of faith, daughter Janet Abbott told the Chronicle. “It’s like that saying — for those who believe, no explanation is necessary, and for those who don’t believe, no explanation is possible.”