In fact, a majority of Catholics quietly ignore the teachings of their own Church on the subject, teachings which were reiterated and clarified with shocking prescience fifty years ago.
Humanae Vitae said ‘no’ to artificial contraception
Blessed Pope Paul VI bravely presented to a hostile world what is perhaps the most profound encyclical of the modern age: Humanae Vitae (Latin for “of human life”).
In a nutshell, this teaching said NO to artificial forms of contraception, including the recently approved (1960) birth control pill. Natural family planning methods were the only acceptable forms of ‘planning for parenthood.’
Why? What could be wrong with artificial birth control? The Pope’s own commission investigating new forms of contraception recommended their acceptance.
Abortion advocates, eugenicists, and champions of population control were confident that the ancient Church was about to get in step with a modern world. In fact, the Pope said it was them, not the Church, that was out of step with the times. Even more, said the Pope, contracepting was “intrinsically evil.”
The Pope’s warning
Pope Paul VI warned that a contraception culture would produce dire consequences, such as:
- An increase in marital infidelity.
- A general lowering of moral standards.
- A loss of respect for women.
- Coercive government intervention in citizens’ reproductive lives.
Each warning has come to pass. They have come to pass because Pope Paul VI understood that decoupling sexual intimacy from its “procreative and unitive” basis is ultimately destructive. As Bishop Robert Barron put it,
“When we are permitted casually to separate love from procreation—or as one analyst had it, to sever the link between sex and diapers—we place ourselves on a short road to reducing sexual intercourse to a form of self-indulgent recreation.”
Divorce rates spiked after “The Pill” was approved
As you can see in the chart below, the divorce rate spiked after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of the Pill in 1960. Certainly, many variables influenced the shocking break-up of families. The contraception mindset laid the foundation for them all.
No one can deny the lowering of moral standards in our culture since the 1960s. No one can deny the lowering of respect for women from a culture that views them as sex objects more than ever since procreation has been decoupled from sex.
The “Me Too” movement and on-demand pornography is the culmination of a mindset that suggests self-indulgent sexual recreation is a right.
The ‘over-population’ creed
Ironically, another tome on human reproduction exploded on to the culture in 1968, “The Population Bomb,” by Professor Paul Ehrlich. Professor Ehrlich built on the creed of eugenicists who preceded him, such as Planned Parenthood founder, Margaret Sanger, that viewed over-population as the gravest threat to mankind. People were bad, in his view, because they destroy the environment and deplete natural resources.
Where Sanger viewed eugenics as a way to reduce the populations of “human weeds,” Ehrlich was more concerned with over-population in general.
The solution was to implement voluntary and coercive programs to reduce our population. His tools: contraception, sterilization, and human abortion.” Said Ehrlich:
“We must cut out the cancer of population growth. Coercion? Perhaps, but coercion in a good cause [population control] … We must be relentless in pushing for population control.
It is absolutely essential that we slow or halt population growth by making contraception and abortion available to all of the world’s women.
If we do not put the brakes on our runaway population, the use of coercion will be necessary in order to save the planet.”
Ehrlich advanced solutions which included putting birth control in our water supply, forced abortions, coercive sterilization, punitive taxes on people who have children, and other heavy-handed government solutions that violate civil liberties and human dignity.
“People are bad”
This idea that “people are bad” fed the notion that human abortion was a legitimate solution to save the planet. Ironically, liberal thinking that had always been defined as “looking out for the little guy” abruptly turned on the little guy, the pre-born. Mother Earth became more important to them than the future polluters residing in the womb.
His philosophy gained remarkable traction in the U.S. even though his predictions were grotesquely, even comically inaccurate, as you can see in the chart below. Rather than exploding population growth rates, the world experienced declining rates.
The Ehrlich/Sanger creed of radical population control is the antitheses of the creed of life pronounced by Blessed Pope John Paul VI in Humanae Vitae. Their creed has become the dividing line people the political Left and Right in the U.S.
Their creed asserts that abortion is a fundamental women’s right. But they try to soften their tone by suggesting that birth control reduces the potential for abortion.
Contraception increases the likelihood of abortion
They were wrong, as demonstrated by Roe V Wade. Despite the prevalence of affordable contraception, 60 million unique human persons have been aborted since 1973.
Contraception fails. When the beauty of procreation is decoupled from sexual intimacy, unplanned pregnancies are viewed as “mistakes” which are easily “fixed” with an abortion. Data provided by the Alan Guttmacher Institute confirms it. Fifty-one percent of women seeking abortion were using some form of contraception the month they got pregnant.
The coercive power of the state
The Pope’s final warning has been realized here in the United States with the imposition of President Obama’s HHS Mandate. It coerced people of faith to pay for contraception and abortifacients in their healthcare plans, even if they considered such actions “intrinsically evil.”
Although the current president undid the mandate, it can be easily re-imposed.
The Pope was right. Humanae Vitae has been validated by a half century of social pathology. A contraception culture that separates sex from procreation led to abortion, no-fault divorce, so-called same-sex marriage, and pathological sexual confusion.
Families have been destroyed.
Forty-three percent of children live in homes without their father.
Twenty-one percent of children live in poverty due largely to single-parent incomes.
Blessed Pope Paul VI called it.
[Be sure to mark your calendar for Iowans for LIFE annual fundraising banquet on October 24th, 2018. You’ll be treated to a dramatic presentation of “A Clash of Creeds.” Reserve your table today!]
By Maggie DeWitte
Do you tend to vote Democrat? Are you a little uncomfortable with your party leadership that is rigid on their call for abortion-on-demand for the entire nine months of a mother’s pregnancy? But, are you reluctant to call yourself a pro-life Democrat?
By the same token, are you uncomfortable with Republicans on some, even most issues?
I respectfully would like to engage you in a conversation. In fact, this may be the most important blogpost we’ve ever posted.
Here’s the deal: the pro-life movement needs your help. You may be held back from getting involved because of some misconceptions about Iowans for LIFE (IFL) specifically, and the pro-life movement generally.
Let’s clear the air
Let’s quickly clear the air on some of your immediate concerns:
Is IFL non-partisan? Yes.
Is IFL a single issue non-profit? Non profit, yes. Regarding issues, we are dedicated to protecting human life by informing, educating, and inspiring society to value the sanctity of all human life from its conception to natural death.
We’re certainly focused on abortion since nearly a million occur in the U.S. every year. However, we are concerned about other life-related issues, such as euthanasia and contraception. So, we ARE focused on a single issue which we broadly characterize as “dignity of life” issues, but this area is complex enough to encompass multiple political and social issues.
Does IFL ever take positions on other issues such as immigration reform, minimum wage, or tax reform? No. The way we see it, social justice begins with life. We focus on life issues alone. Sometimes, this dips into other areas, such as mandates requiring pro lifers (such as The Little Sisters of the Poor) to purchase abortifacients in their health insurance coverage). This is not to say we don’t care about those issues or think that they are unimportant. They are simply not part of our mission.
Does IFL use their blog and social media platform to promote specific political candidates? No.
Okay, that’s a little about us. Let’s talk about the Democratic Party. Iowans for LIFE believes that the party’s leadership may not represent the views of rank and file Democrats.
The truth about the pro life movement
Many, maybe even most in the pro-life movement, aren’t purists. We have supporters who call themselves pro-life, but are willing to consider a variety of exceptions for abortion, with which IFL disagrees.
Most Democrats are the same. According to a Marist Poll just published in January, 79% of self-identifying Democrats do not support unfettered abortion any time during a woman’s pregnancy, unlike your party’s leadership.
Do you? If you’re like the majority of rank and file Democrats, keep reading.
Pro-life Democrat polling data
Some 61% of rank and file Democrats support significant regulations on abortion in one form or another. For example:
- 29% want abortion restricted to the first three months of a pregnancy.
- 19% only want abortion used in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.
- 9% only want it used if it is necessary to save the life of the mother.
- 4% of Democrats believe it should never be permitted under any circumstances.
Democratic leadership has become more extreme on abortion issues
By contrast, the Democratic 2016 party platform called for a repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which would compel pro life Democrats, Republicans, and Independents to pay for human abortion for Medicaid recipients, an egregious violation of your conscience rights.
Here in Iowa, not a single Democratic legislator voted for the The Heartbeat Bill, which extends human rights protections to the pre-born when their heartbeat is detected.
Last year, not a single Democrat voted to regulate abortion at the point when a pre-born person can feel the pain of abortion.
At the national level, every House Democrat but six voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. A variety of sources, including the Centers for Disease Control, estimate that more than 1200 babies survive an abortion attempt each year and are born-alive. This bill would require an abortion clinic to transport the infant to the hospital to save her life, report the incident, and be subject to legal sanction if they don’t comply with either.
A similar bill passed both houses with a voice vote in 2002. In light of the polling data above, you can see how far party leadership has drifted away from rank and file Democrats since then.
Take a couple of minutes to watch the video below of a woman who survived an abortion attempt. You can find hundreds of survivors on YouTube, but I show this one since the victim, Melissa Ohden, spoke at our banquet a number of years ago:
Iowans for LIFE invites Democrats to support the cause of life
Let’s be honest, IFL is probably more pro-life than you, but you’re probably more pro-life than your party’s leadership.
Would you really want an abortionist to leave a baby who survives an abortion attempt to die?
I doubt it.
Let’s meet in the middle
I know Democrats are supportive of Planned Parenthood. I’ll shoot straight with you: we’re not. The organization dramatically shifted its focus during Cecile Richard’s tenure as CEO away from legitimate women’s reproductive health issues and towards abortion.
Since her first year on the job in 2006, PP experienced a 23% decline in patient visits at the same time that abortions increased by 11 percent. What is striking about this number is that the national abortion rate sharply declined at the same time Planned Parenthood’s abortion business was rising.
At the same time, the number of cancer screenings performed at PP dropped every year that Richards was president, with 200 percent more screenings taking place in 2006 than in 2017. Even more, Ms. Richards and Planned Parenthood hasn’t been forthright with us on the services they provide. For example, they launched a massive PR campaign that suggested that they provide mammograms as a foundational component of their women’s reproductive healthcare services. It turns out it wasn’t true:
Iowans for Life believes that on this critical issue of human abortion, a majority of rank and file Democrats have more in common with our position than the Democrat’s leadership at the state and national level.
Support the little guy like Democrats always have
So, am I asking you to vote Republican? Actually, no. I’m asking you to support the little guy by voting for candidates who roll back abortion and “make it rare” as President Bill Clinton called for back in the 90s. After all, the Democratic Party was once known as the party of the little guy.
I’m asking you to wield your considerable clout. Let your Democratic representatives know you want them to vote pro life. Here in Iowa, not one voted for any regulations on human abortion in the past two years.
I suspect that many of these Democrats are more pro-life than their votes indicate. But they need to hear from people like you that they won’t lose your vote if they vote pro-life.
If this concerns you and you’d like to do something about it, here’s a list of Iowa legislators who opposed The Heartbeat Bill, which the governor just signed into law. Let them know your displeasure.
No other issue is relevant if you’ve been aborted. Everything begins with life.
We’ve got to stop shouting at each other. I acknowledge that social media has gotten very polarized. Let’s try to change that.
Thanks for reading this far. I do appreciate it.
[Iowans for LIFE depends entirely on donations to pursue a mission of advancing the dignity of life. Every dollar counts, even it it is $5. Please support us with your donation. Thank-you.]
Dear IFL Supporters & Iowa Legislators: Our brave pro life legislators and governor are under spiritual attack. The spiritual climate at the Capitol is intense today. Angry shouts. Protests by Big Abortion. Spiritual attacks are running high on anyone standing up for the rights of our brothers and sisters in the womb.
You need to stop what you’re doing and pray right NOW.
Iowans for LIFE thanks our legislators for the groundbreaking work you’re doing on behalf of the preborn. Please know, IFL and our followers are still praying for you!
You are not alone.
We’re grateful for the work you’ve done passing Heartbeat legislation. We know there are still several pro-life measures being considered, including:
· Blocking the abortion industry from state-funded sex ed programs in our schools
· Fully defunding the abortion industry of taxpayer dollars
· Stopping “wrongful birth” lawsuits that allow parents to sue doctors for NOT aborting their child.
Let’s make sure we’re encouraging our pro-life champions and lifting them up in prayer TODAY!
THANK YOU, legislators! Stay in the fight!
In Christ, Maggie DeWitte
Iowans for LIFE Executive Director
By Maggie DeWitte
Last night, we witnessed high drama at the State House as the Heartbeat Bill was debated. The bill protects life of the pre-born when a heartbeat is detected. This occurs around the 6th week after fertilization.
To say that passions ran high is an understatement. One side insisted that human life is sacred and deserves protection when a heartbeat is detected.
The other side insisted that human life is conditional, and deserves no legal protections if she is unwanted.
The Heartbeat Bill passes!
In the end, the pro life position prevailed in the Iowa House, 51 to 46.
You can watch a quick excerpt of the debate below. Representative Shannon Lundgren speaks on behalf of the bill. Representative Beth Wessel-Kroeschell in speaks in opposition.
Iowans for LIFE fundamentally disagrees with Ms. Wessel-Kroeschell and her party in her characterization that human abortion is medical care. In almost all cases, it begins with a healthy mother carrying a healthy baby and ends up with a dead baby and an emotionally (and sometimes physically) scarred mother.
That’s certainly not healthcare.
Even more, Iowans for LIFE believes that social justice begins at fertilization and extends to natural death.
The Heartbeat Bill was slightly diluted with amendments that provide exceptions for rape, incest, and fetal abnormalities, exceptions IFL opposes. Sadly, the bill would not have passed without those exceptions this year.
Nonetheless, Iowa is once again leading the New Wave Movement of the 21st century with a social justice creed that emphasizes LIFE. To be clear, Iowans for LIFE embraces the same Social Justice Creed expressed by the Catholic Church.
It “proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society.”
The most pro life bill in the U.S.
The Heartbeat Bill is the most pro life bill passed by any state legislature in the United States.
It comes just a year after the passage of the landmark 20 Week Bill.
The sweep of history is on the side of LIFE. One state after another relentlessly expands the rights of the pre-born.
From 2012 through 2016, state legislatures passed 334 pro life laws with another fifty added last year (according to the pro abortion Guttmacher Institute).
The Heartbeat Bill is the culmination of intense lobbying by the Iowa Pro Life coalition, of which Iowans for LIFE is a founding member.
To demonstrate the passion and commitment to the cause of life, every single member of this coalition was present at the Capitol last night at 2:30AM when the reconciled bill finally passed the Senate side!
Believe me, our legislators took note.
Believe me, they knew of the support for this bill because of the thousands of emails and letters they received, some of which were from you!
The New Wave Movement of the 21st Century.
You are part of a movement the likes of which America hasn’t seen since the slaves were freed. We call it the New Wave Movement of the 21st Century.
Think about it: the Emancipation Proclamation that at last extended God-given rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness to slaves was the defining moment of human liberty in the 19th century.
In the 20th century, the defining human liberty moment was the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1919 which gave women the right to vote.
And in the 21st century, pro-lifers wage a furious battle to extend human liberty to our pre-born brothers and sisters.
The Heartbeat Bill is a major victory. Now it goes to Governor Kim Reynolds for her signature.
Ironically, Democrats unanimously opposed the Heartbeat Bill just as their predecessors opposed the 15th Amendment (outlawing human slavery) and the 19th Amendment (giving women the right to vote).
Our work to advance human liberty is far from over. Yes, this bill will save something like 30,000 lives over the next decade. But thousands more will still fall victim to the scourge of human abortion.
60% of pro-choicers are open to more regulation on human abortion
What’s interesting about the New Wave Movement of the 21st century is how many people who self-identify as “pro choice” want to join the movement. Sixty percent welcome more protections for our pre-born brothers and sisters, even if they don’t support a full ban.
History is being forged before your very eyes with the passage of the Heartbeat Bill which extends more legal protection to the pre-born than any other state in the union.
Iowans for LIFE is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to protecting human life from fertilization to natural death. To that end, we call on our friends on the other side of the aisle on this issue to get with the program.
Don’t once again be the party that obstructs human liberty.
Join the New Wave Movement of the 21st Century defined by a social justice creed that emphasizes LIFE.
Don’t let history once again pass you by.
[If you are as excited as I am about the passage of the Heartbeat Bill, I humbly ask for you to support Iowans for LIFE with a donation today. And be sure to reserve your table for our October 24th banquet today! ALL of our funding comes from faithful donors. Thank-you!]
Who should have control over your kids, you or the state? The debate rages today. It builds with each passing week. Little Alfie Evans and his parents got caught in the crosshairs of this century-long eugenics clash of creeds.
Margaret Sanger’s creed is alive and well.
Make no mistake, the eugenics movement promoted by Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood’s founder, is alive and well, even though its “brand” has been discredited.
To bring you up to speed, Alfie Evans is a 23 month old boy with a mysterious disease that has rendered him comatose. The Great Britain government-run health service took him off life support against his parents’ wishes. They said his malady is hopeless, and that he has most likely suffered brain damage.
His folks sued and lost. Other countries have offered to take Alfie and care for him. The Brits’ government says ‘no,’ that they control Alfie’s fate. They decided to override the parents and let the boy die because his cause is hopeless in their view.
Hopelessness defines eugenics.
Wikipedia defines eugenics as “a set of beliefs and practices that aims at improving the genetic quality of a human population.” It views the “potential” of certain groups as being beyond hope, and calls on state intervention to reduce these undesirable populations.
Little Alfie Evans is a member of such an undesirable population, just as the Jews were to the Nazi eugenicists who exterminated six million of them in the name of “improving” the genetic quality of the human population.
Let’s prune “undesirables” from our population.
Most Americans are oblivious to Margaret Sanger’s advocacy of eugenics, and even more, her call for the state to proactively prune these “undesirables” from our population.
“Eugenics is … the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems.”
She wanted our Congress to solve these “population problems” by appointing a “Parliament of Population,” as she spelled out in her essay, “A Plan for Peace.” It appeared in the Birth Control Review in April of 1932:
“Directors representing the various branches of science [in the Parliament would] … direct and control the population through birth rates and immigration, and direct its distribution over the country according to national needs consistent with taste, fitness and interest of the individuals.”
A call for state-coerced sterilization.
In 1934, she crafted a law calling for state-coerced sterilization of those she considered unfit to bear children. If they refused, they faced internment in concentration camps:
“Feeble-minded persons, habitual congenital criminals, those afflicted with inheritable disease, and others found biologically unfit by authorities qualified to judge should be sterilized or, in cases of doubt, should be so isolated as to prevent the perpetuation of their afflictions by breeding.”
Ultimately, her creed calls for state control over the Alfie Evans of the world and over parents who breed these “defectives” for the sake of …
“… the release and cultivation of the better racial elements in our society, and the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extirpation of defective stocks, those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization.”
G.K. Chesterton pushed back.
Margaret Sanger promoted her eugenics creed beginning in the early 20th century. British writer, G.K. Chesterton, was one of the few voices pushing back against what he realized was a dangerous movement. Chesterton saw it as the ultimate contradiction to the American experiment:
Eugenics is “a denial of the Declaration of Independence. It urges that so far from all men being born equal, numbers of them ought not to be born at all.”
This clash of creeds roils today with a growing fury. Iowans for Life takes on the subject at our next fundraising banquet. On October 24th, we will present:
A CLASH OF CREEDS
“An evening with Margaret Sanger, Ayn Rand, and St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, moderated by G.K. Chesterton”
Competing creeds vie for dominance here in America as well as Europe. Do you know what is going on?
You will once you’ve attended “A Clash of Creeds” on October 24th at Prairie Meadows.
Reserve your table of 8 today ($500). Tables are very limited. Prices go up to to $600 on June 15th.
In the meantime, pray for little Alfie Evans and his parents. They are the latest victims of a eugenics mindset at odds with individual liberty.
[Iowans for Life promotes respect for the dignity of human life from fertilization to natural death. We depend on donations to grow our educational outreach. We humbly ask for your financial support. One of the best ways: attend our banquet.]
At nine months, he began experiencing seizures, and caught a chest infection when his parents checked him into the hospital in Great Britain.
Once again, the world witnesses a tug of war between parents who want the hospital to save the life of their child, and a system constrained by bureaucracy, budgets, and bean counters.
Doctors expected Alfie to die.
He fooled them. He improved enough to have his ventilator removed.
Then he had a set back when beset by another chest infection. Ultimately, the medical system in Great Britain said Alfie’s situation was hopeless and insisted that his ventilator be permanently removed.
The parents took the bureaucracy to court and lost. Like Charlie Gard before him, the government-run health system in Great Britain is giving up on Alfie. Other countries, including Italy, said they would take him and care for him. But the bureaucracy won’t allow it.
They are convinced his life isn’t worth saving.
The Culture of Death.
But is it? In this culture of death, have we created systems that are too quick to give up on human life? Is this the system so many want to see established in the United States?
Pope Francis tweeted out his prayerful support:
“Moved by the prayers and immense solidarity shown little Alfie Evans, I renew my appeal that the suffering of his parents may be heard and that their desire to seek new forms of treatment may be granted.”
Bishop Robert Barron echoed the Pope’s feelings:
“Friends, let’s join with the Holy Father in praying for this poor boy and his family. May God bless them!”
Little Alfie’s name evokes a beautiful song composed by Burt Bacharach in 1967 with memorable lyrics by Hal David:
What’s it all about, Alfie?
Is it just for the moment we live?
What’s it all about when you sort it out, Alfie?
Are we meant to take more than we give
Or are we meant to be kind?
And if only fools are kind, Alfie
Then I guess it is wise to be cruel
And if life belongs only to the strong, Alfie
What will you lend on an old golden rule?
As sure as I believe there’s a heaven above, Alfie
I know there’s something much more,
Something even non-believers can believe in
I believe in love, Alfie
Without true love we just exist, Alfie
Until you find the love you’ve missed you’re nothing, Alfie
When you walk let your heart lead the way
And you’ll find love any day, Alfie
Let’s be fools.
Don’t you think when it comes to this little boy that we should be fools?
Shouldn’t we believe in love, which means to give until it hurts, as Mother Teresa of Calcutta once stated? As Mr. Davis expresses,
“without true love, we just exist.”
Let’s do more than just exist. Let’s embrace life.
Let Alfie live.
[Iowans for Life depends on donations to continue its pro life educational outreach. Support the cause of LIFE with your financial support today. Thank-you.]
You know how most fundraising banquets usually play out. They focus on a nice meal and some nice speeches. Nothing wrong with that, by the way!
Not this year.
On October 24th at the Meadows Events & Conference Center, you will be thrust into a vortex of viewpoints that will leave your head spinning.
Yes, you are going to enjoy a simply lovely meal, but for the first time in history, four of the 20th century’s most influential thinkers will be on the same stage together for what can only be described as a clash of creeds, dramatically presented in their own words. Issues such as contraception, God, charity, and yes, abortion, are all going to be on the table.
She was a pioneering feminist who labored long and hard to advance women’s rights.
Mrs. Sanger is the person who not only coined the term “birth control,” but who is largely credited with making it legal and accepted by the masses, regardless of religious affiliation.
And she was a sex educator who authored many books on the subjects of sex, motherhood, and eugenics, including “The Pivot of Civilization,” “What Every Girl Should Know,” and “Motherhood in Bondage.”
Time Magazine named her one of the 20 most influential Americans of all-time.
And finally, she is the founder of a sprawling medical empire that operates 650 health clinics in the U.S., Planned Parenthood.
She staked out a unique career that blended writing and philosophy. Her two most famous novels were Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. She founded a philosophy she dubbed “Objectivism.”
For those who have never read any of her writings, you should know that she has had a profound impact on legions of prominent leaders in the United States, including Majority Leader of the House, Paul Ryan; Senator Rand Paul; John Stossel on Fox News; and Mark Cuban who you see on the television show, Shark Tank and who owns the Dallas Mavericks.
One of her most provocatively titled philosophical treatises is “The Virtue of Selfishness.” Get ready for Ayn Rand!
Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Our next guest hails from Albania. She committed herself to Catholic religious life and at the age of 21, she took her first vows. After living in a convent in India for many years and serving as a headmistress of a school, she received a call from God to live among and serve the very poorest of the poor in Calcutta, one of the most destitute places on the planet.
She founded the Missionaries of Charity with about a buck in her pocket. Imagine walking into one of the poorest places in the world with little more than the shirt on your back. Before she “retired” to more heavenly pursuits, she leveraged that buck into an international outreach to 133 countries served by some 4500 women.
She was recognized for her humanitarian outreach by receiving a Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, and in 2016, Pope Francis named her a saint. You know to whom I refer, the one and only Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
With three such strong women on stage exchanging such adversarial viewpoints, we felt we needed a strong moderator who had the ability to inject some wit into the proceedings in case the conversation heats up.
Who better than G.K. Chesterton?
Chesterton is an enigma. Is he a poet? A novelist? A philosopher? A theologian? A biographer? An orator or a debater? Yes, on all scores.
He famously debated the well-known attorney and atheist, Clarence Darrow. Rumor has it that he mopped the floor with his hapless adversary.
No less a figure than Archbishop Fulton Sheen identified our moderator as “the greatest influence on his own writing, because he never used a useless word, he saw the value of a paradox, and he avoided what was trite.”
Our esteemed moderator does not fit into a neat category. He is a once-upon-a-time atheist who became a Roman Catholic for the simple reason, he said, that Catholicism is true.
Mr. Chesterton is one of the most quoted men of the 20th century.
This is THE banquet of the year!
Do you see what I mean? This banquet will be unlike any other you’ve EVER attended
Get ready for an epic clash of creeds!
There’s more! Select audience members will even have an opportunity to ask questions of our guests during the Q & A section.
IFL welcomes the Natural Journey Alliance
And there’s still more! Iowans for Life is thrilled to offer this banquet under the umbrella of The Natural Journey Alliance (NJA), our new parent company. This exciting alliance includes our partners, Iowa Right to Life and Restored by Grace Ministries.
We slashed overhead thanks to NJA, leaving more resources for mission.
Five-hundred people attended last year’s banquet. We added a couple hundred more seats this year in anticipation of the buzz being created by the presence of Mrs. Sanger, Mrs. Rand, Mother Teresa, and G.K. Chesterton.
As you can see, the pro life movement is expanding and changing in anticipation to the new challenges of the 21st century.
We expect the Clash of Creeds to sell out very early. We encourage you to take advantage of our early bird registration and reserve your table of 8 today for $500.
The price will go up to $600 beginning June 16th, so don’t wait.
You are going to be talking about Clash of Creeds for a long time to come!
If you found a certain type of egg in your backyard and destroyed it, you would be in violation of federal law if the egg was that of a bald eagle. There are no legal consequences, though, for destroying a human fetus up to 20 weeks in the womb. This is one of the great moral issues of our age.
Most Iowans would admit that a human person is more important than any bird. So how can this be?
A unique perspective
Tadeusz Pacholczyk has a unique perspective on this disconnect. He is scientist with a PhD in Neuroscience from Yale University who is also a Catholic priest. Here is his reaction:
“One example I use a lot when giving testimony before lawmakers involves a 1940 American law protecting the bald eagle. The law states that if you come across a bald eagle’s nest containing eggs and you decide to destroy one of those eggs, you suffer the very same sanctions and penalties as if you had shot an adult bald eagle out of the air.
What is so special about that bald eagle’s egg?
What is inside that egg?
The answer is very simple. It is an embryonic eagle. It is the very same creature that flies gloriously in the sky. Even an atheist can appreciate the cogency of such a law. We are eager to protect all sorts of animal life.
Yet when it comes to our own humble embryonic origins as humans, we go through sophisticated mental gymnastics to tell ourselves that we were never embryos. We are all too willing to sacrifice young humans on the altar of stem-cell research. There is a profound double standard here that people really need to assess and confront.”
Bats are protected by law, why not pre-born babies?
I took a look at the Polk County website today regarding what you do if a bat invades your house. The answer is you can carefully remove the bat as long as you don’t hurt it:
“Bats are protected by Iowa state law, which means it is illegal to capture, harm, or kill any of the nine species of bats in Iowa. However, homeowners have the right to remove them from their property.”
This leads to the Heartbeat Bill in the Iowa legislature. The bill would outlaw human abortion at the point at which the heartbeat is detectable, which can occur as soon as the 5th or 6th week upon fertilization.
What a double standard!
Why are we debating a double standard that protects rodents and birds, but not the next Mozart, Einstein, or Mother Teresa?
Every single Democrat opposes the Heartbeat Bill. Every single Republican in the Senate supports the bill, but a number of critical votes among House Republicans are wavering.
They are fearful of losing their next election if they stand up for human life in the womb. Some of these men have stated that they are “undecided.” This brings to mind a quote from the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen:
“The refusal to take sides on great moral issues is itself a decision. It is a silent acquiescence to evil. The tragedy of our time is that those who still believe in honesty lack fire and conviction, while those who believe in dishonesty are full of passionate conviction.”
One of the great moral issues of our time
The Heartbeat Bill is a great moral issue in the history of the state of Iowa.
If these men don’t have the courage to stand up for the little guy in the public square, maybe they need a boost from you. Contact them. Let them know they’re not alone, that they stand with thousands of Iowans who embrace the dignity of human life and insist that Iowa law honor our heritage. Contact them now. Send them a link to this blogpost. Let them know that we have an army of prayer warriors praying for them and this bill. If they don’t believe it, here is a small sampling.
Remind them that God is with them, as Isaiah so eloquently stated long ago:
“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
[Iowans for LIFE speaks, blogs, educates, and evangelizes on the dignity of human life from fertilization to natural death. We do it on a tight budget. Every DONATION is a big deal to us no matter how small. Support the cause today. Donate. Thank-you!]
‘Anti abortion’ legislation will create a return to the era of back alley abortions. How many times have you heard this straw man argument? The back alley abortion myth is trotted out on a regular basis as pro-life legislation continues to relentlessly advance at the state level.
Let’s debunk this straw man argument, just as we debunked several others in last week’s Iowans for Life blogpost, “How to annihilate an anti-Life straw man argument.”
Abortion kills a unique human being
Any pro life defense always begins with the fact that human abortion kills a unique human person. It recognizes that the overwhelming majority of abortions involve a healthy mother carrying a healthy baby in her womb.
In other words, most abortions are elective surgeries. Restricting these surgeries is certainly not immoral if it is protecting a human life. Abortion advocate, Mary Anne Warren, admitted as much:
“The fact that restricting access to abortion has tragic side effects does not, in itself, show that the restrictions are unjustified, since murder is wrong regardless of the consequences of forbidding it.”
The problem is that abortion advocates, such as Ms. Warren, simply don’t believe the fetus is a person.
So if we banned human abortion, would we see a return to thousands of ‘back alley’ abortions a year as proclaimed by abortion advocates?
No, not if the past is any indication.
How many women died from a botched abortion in 1972?
Ask any abortion advocate how many women died from abortion in 1972, the last year abortion was illegal throughout the country. They’ll probably shoot a pretty big number at you, because they’ve been listening to Planned Parenthood, NARAL, NOW, or a left-leaning politician.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Vital Statistics, though, there were only 39 women who died from a botched abortion in 1972. Each of these deaths is a tragedy, as is the death of their babies. But note that the number is in double digits, not tens of thousands.
Abortion advocates also suggest that these deaths came at the hands of “butchers” or, in other words, untrained medical personnel.
This is unlikely according the former medical director of Planned Parenthood, Dr. Mary Calderone. She wrote an article in 1960 for the American Journal of Health where she cited a 1958 study that indicated 84% to 87% of illegal abortions were performed by licensed physicians in good standing. By 1960, Dr. Calderone said that 90% of abortions, illegal though they may be, were performed by trained physicians, not by so-called back alley butchers.
Doctors disagree with the back alley abortion myth
The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology also disagrees with the back alley abortion myth. In 1978, they stated that Roe V Wade “has had no major impact on the number of women dying from abortion.” They cited their own study which supported Dr. Calderone’s claim that 90% of illegal abortions had been performed by licensed physicians, not ‘back alley’ butchers.
The pro abortion Huffington Post runs columns that claim the number of annual abortions in the U.S. in the 1950s ranged from 200,000 to 1.2 million abortions per year. But that doesn’t make any sense in light of abortion statistics from the Centers for Disease Control after Roe v Wade legalized human abortion.
Logically, you would think that abortion would increase once it was made legal. The CDC reports that there were 615,831 abortions in 1973, increasing to 988,267 abortions by 1979. It is irrational to believe the abortion rate in the 1950s was higher than the 1970s.
In other words, the claims of Big Abortion and their disciples are straw men. They fabricated numbers out of thin air.
A history of deceit
Big Abortion has a long history of being less than forthright in their public utterances.
Who can forget Ron Fitzimmons? The Executive Director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers went on ABC’s Nightline in 1995. He said that partial birth abortion, the procedure where the fetus’ skull is crushed and its brains suctioned, was only performed in situations to save the mother’s life. He said it was rare. Sixteen months later, he admitted “he lied through his teeth.”
It is almost refreshing when an abortion advocate is honest about lying. Cecile Richards had no such compunction, as you can see in the video below:
Cecile Richards and legions of her surrogates traveled the country proclaiming that Planned Parenthood is all about women’s health, including mammograms. This was the wedge they used to extract taxpayers’ money from the government. Live Action exposed the lie in this remarkable video.
More dishonest data
The co-founder of NARAL, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, also acknowledged the use of dishonest data to promote abortion legislation:
“We claimed that between five and ten thousand women a year died of botched abortions. The actual figure was closer to 200 to 300 and we also claimed that there were a million illegal abortions a year in the United States and the actual figure was close to 200,000. So, we were guilty of massive deception.”
Deceit drives the abortion trade.
Interestingly, with the advent of the ultrasound that clearly exposed the humanity of the fetus, Bernard Nathanson left Big Abortion, renouncing his former trade.
When confronted with a back alley abortion myth, remember, this is another straw man argument that is a lie. Iowans for Life is your resource for annihilating anti life straw man arguments.
[Iowans for LIFE depends on donations to continue educating Iowans on critical pro life issues. Support LIFE. Donate. Thank-you!]
Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal ran with the headline: “Iowa’s Labor Plight: Too Many Jobs.” They ran with the wrong lede. The correct headline should have been: “Iowa’s Labor Plight: Worker Shortage.”
The article points out that Iowa’s unemployment has dropped to an astounding 2.9%. Manufacturers in particular cannot find enough people to fill available jobs.
It is getting so dire that job training programs are irrelevant, because there aren’t enough people to train. The problem is acute throughout the Midwest. If every unemployed person in the Midwest were to find a job, there would still be 180,000 unfilled positions.
Why are we having this problem?
The WSJ cites Iowa challenges, such as an outflow of residents to warmer climates, and an inability to attract more immigrants.
But they’re missing another variable: abortion and Iowa’s low replacement birth rate, which are related.
Since 2009, Iowa’s birthrate has remained below replacement levels. What little population growth Iowa has enjoyed has come primarily through immigration.
Since 2004, Iowa’s abortion rate has ranged from 10% to 14% of all pregnancies. The rate appears to be dropping, but no one really knows by how much since data only accounts for surgical abortions, not chemical abortions which are skyrocketing in number.
Although pro life advocates bristle at looking at our aborted brothers and sisters as mere cogs in our economic system, we can’t escape the reality that Iowa has a labor shortage in part due to human abortion.
As you can see on the chart above, in the 13 years from 2002 through 2014, Iowans lost around 73,000 potential future workers through abortion. This doesn’t include those aborted via chemical abortions.
In the previous 13 years, Iowa data isn’t available, but we know that the numbers would have been even higher if Iowa’s abortion rate followed national trends.
Abortion is the first place to start
So when we discuss why Iowa is faced with a worker shortage, the first place to start is abortion. We have reduced the size of the Iowa workforce through human abortion.
The simplest way to solve the problem in the future is to reduce the abortion rate in Iowa. The Heartbeat Bill is the first place to start.
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