HARBINGERS OF A PRO-LIFE SOCIETY? Or Just Aberrant Little Blips on the Radar Screen?

HARBINGERS OF A PRO-LIFE SOCIETY? Or Just Aberrant Little Blips on the Radar Screen? February 7, 2011

Over the last week, the airwaves have been buzzing with anti-abortion news. 

Live Action Scores Big in Latest Sting Against Abortion Provider – Last week there was Lila Rose’s shocking exposé of Planned Parenthood, revealing once again that an employee of the sexual and reproductive health care giant had counseled clients in how to obtain reproductive services, including abortions, for under-age women– in this case, for young women working as prostitutes.  You’ve got to laugh at how a spunky 22-year-old has created a crisis for this leviathan with its annual budget in excess of $1 billion (one-third of which comes from taxpayer dollars). 

  • First, Lila released hidden-camera clips showing a Planned Parenthood staffer in New Jersey helping to conceal the illegal activity of a pimp operating a sex slavery ring with under-age girls. 
  • When Planned Parenthood cried foul and said she’d taken words out of context, Lila’s youth-led pro-life organization Live Action released the tape in its entirety—showing that indeed, Planned Parenthood had colluded to aid the sex trade industry.
  • And when Planned Parenthood, in a show of righteous indignation, denounced and fired the clinic manager caught by Live Action’s sting, calling her approach “repugnant” and against Planned Parenthood’s official policies, Lila responded by releasing three more film clips from PP centers in Virginia—proving that this was, in fact, de rigueur for America’s largest abortion provider. 

 The goal of Lila Rose’s latest undercover project is to force the defunding of Planned Parenthood by the federal government, thus protecting the conscience rights of the majority of American taxpayers who find the organization’s mission to be abhorrent. 

Controversial Program at a Catholic University – Over the weekend, another abortion story broke here in the Detroit area, when pro-life activists reported news that Christine Gannon, manager at Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania, would speak at Madonna University’s Orchard Lake campus.  Gannon, who oversees the abortion organization’s Sexuality Program for the Deaf, has written several sexuality and HIV curricula and has published on “Sexuality and the Deaf” in professional journals. 

After an email campaign by pro-lifers to Madonna University president Sister Rose Marie Kujawa, it was announced on Sunday that the presentation would be cancelled. 

Was the university’s administration kept in the dark about the nature of the program when it was scheduled, when flyers were distributed, CEUs offered, and announcements posted on the university website?  I don’t know—but let us give thanks that this organization, which is by its very nature antithetical to a Catholic understanding of the sanctity of life and of married love—will not be given a platform at a Catholic university.

As the news of the cancellation spread via Facebook and other social networks, I contacted Madonna University to ask for information.  Karen Sanborn, director of marketing at Madonna, offered a preliminary statement; and in fairness, I am quoting it in its entirety here:

Madonna University, as you know, is a Catholic university.  We uphold the truths and principles recognizable in the Catholic tradition.  Furthermore, we reaffirm it is a pro-life institution, with the intent of preserving human life.  In view of our mission, we will not have any speakers from Planned Parenthood.

Additional information will be forthcoming regarding the signing workshop on February 26 on our Orchard Lake campus.

Sanborn went on to delineate other Respect For Life activities on campus.  She reported  that:

…there is an event scheduled for March, “For the Love of Life,” on March 19.  This conference is being put on by Madonna’s campus ministry group, specifically the Respect Life Subcommittee, which is very active.  It is a pro-life conference for young adults 16-30.  Admission is $20 plus one baby item.  Conference speakers include the university’s own Dr. Monica Miller, Archbishop Vigneron (who will celebrate Mass during the conference), Dr. Beverly McMillan, and Sherri Richard.

Additionally, Madonna University students participate annually in the March For Life in Washington, D.C.  They really have quite a strong campus ministry program, and specifically, a Respect For Life subcommittee.

All’s well that ends well.  Thank you to Karen Sanborn for the positive report—and I look forward to the future announcement regarding the status of the sign language conference on February 26.  

WDIV Headline Recognizes Fetal Life – After these blockbuster stories, today’s Channel 4 headline is small potatoes– but it made me smile, nonetheless.  The station’s on-line report (http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/26769255/detail.html) carried the headline “Unborn Baby Survives Van Crash.”  The subheading continues: “Mother Killed In Semi-Truck Accident; Baby Being Kept In Hospital.”

I’m so sorry that the mother, who had longed for this child, did not survive the terrible accident; and I pray that God will comfort her husband, who must endure the great sorrow of losing his beloved wife, while welcoming the new life that has been entrusted to his care. 

What struck me, though, as I read this story was that WDIV unapologetically defined this survivor as a “baby”– not the “product of conception,”not a “cluster of cells,” not an intruder in the womb of its mother, but a whole new person.   And so it was:  a new human life, destined for an eternity with God.

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