KIDNAPPING

Washington.  By a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court in Washington in May 1992 declared it legal to kidnap foreigners in their own countries for trial by American courts.  Chief Justice Rehnquist applied a longstanding doctrine that courts may try defendants without regard to how they were brought before them.  But dissenting justices called the decision “monstrous,” American diplomats were embarrassed by it, and the rest of the world denounced the decision as a violation of international law.

PRAYER

One week later, in another strange decision, the Court ruled that school prayers mentioning God and containing phrases fom the Bible violate the “separation of Church and state.”

During a commencement ceremony in Providence, R.I., in 1989, a rabbi asked God’s blessing and concluded with “Amen.”  Speaking for the majority (in a 5-4 vote), Justice Anthony Kennedy said that the First Amendment of the American constitution was inspired by the thought that what might begin as a tolerant expression of religious views might end in a policy to indoctrinate and coerce.

Kennedy’s ruling stretched the meaning of the First Amendment, which says merely that Congress can make no laws bringing about an established Church.  Kennedy is rapidly becoming the Justice Brennan of the present court, the Catholic who, because he lives in a pluralistic society will bend over backwards to ensure that nothing resembling a common sense understanding of justice affects his rulings.

ABORTION

In the crucial ruling on Roe v. Wade on July 1, Justice Kennedy again took an ambiguous stance.  He was one of seven justices upholding the State of Pennsylvania’s restrictions on abortion (requiring a 24-hour delay; teenagers to have the consent of one parent or a judge; and doctors or clinics to make statistical reports to the state).

But when the Court came to discuss the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling itself, he joined with Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and David Souter to write the majority report, with which Justices Blackmun and Stevens concurred.

In a 5-4 decision, the Court said that the 1973 decision established a “rule of law and a component of liberty we cannot renounce.”

“An entire generation has come of age,” the five justices said, “free to assume Roe’s concept of liberty in defining the capacity of women to act in society, ad to make reproductive decisions.”

The Court added that the 1973 decision had acquired a “rare precedential force” and could be overturned only “at the cost of both profound and unnecessary damage to the court’s legitimacy, and to the nation’s commitment to the rule of law.”

Minority

Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justice Anthony Scalia were scathing in their criticism of this position.

Rehnquist stated that the Court had not actually reaffirmed Roe v. Wade but rendered it a façade, replacing its framework with a standard “created largely out of whole cloth” and “not built to last.”

His view reflected the massive attacks which have been made on the judgment since it was first made, the conviction that it was not soundly based in the Constitution and that if it was a precedent it was a bad one.

Similarly Justice Scalia strongly disagreed with the majority’s assumption that abortion remained on a solid constitutional foundation.

The surprising thing about this July 1992 ruling is that Sandra Day O’Connor and William Kennedy voted for it, since both of them have made serious criticisms of Roe v. Wade in the past.

Compliments

The New York Times, however, complimented O’Connor and Kennedy, saying that these two and David Souter now constitute a core of “judicious moderation” in “a court moving to the right.”  The pro-abortion newspaper called Roe “a brilliant resolution of seemingly irreconcilable interests and described those who oppose it as “right-wing extremists.”

Years ago law professor John T. Noonan’s dismissed Roe v. Wade as an example of “raw judicial power.”  The majority’s decision that it establishes a rule of law and a component of liberty which ought not to be renounced is nothing but rhetoric.

Margaret Sanger

In 1935, Time magazine reported (2/18/35, pp. 36-37) that Margaret Sanger had traveled to Russia to “study the biggest and best abortoriums  in the world.”  What she saw there caused her pertly to warn Joseph Stalin and other virile Russians: ‘Abortions make women nervous.  It is common knowledge that the practice of abortion, if it becomes a habit, can do considerable harm to a woman’s sex life.  Neuroses may develop and these in turn may result in frigidity.  In this country woman is no longer economically dependent on man.  If she become frigid, she will not be dependent on him in any other way and, in fact, will no longer be interested in him…Yet there is an honesty and lack of hypocrisy about the Soviet policy with respect to abortions which should be noted with approval.”

Catholic Lesbians support abortion

Mary E. Hunt, frequent spokeswoman for the small group of U.S. Catholic lesbians,, has come out in defense of RU-486, the chemical abortion treatment.

Writing in the Newsletter of the International Network of Feminists interested in Reproductive Health, Ethics (Spring 1992), Hunt argues that all “reproductive operations” should be guided by a threefold principle:
–    the primary concern of the women’s well-being;
–    the right to choose
–    risk-benefit calculations on safety and long-range benefits.

According to these principles Hunt approves of RU-486.  Her article appeared simultaneously in Conscience, the newsletter of pro-abortion Catholics for a Free Choice.

Directives

At least four different directives to request treatment are now available from pro-life, anti-euthanasia sources.

The first one available was the Life Support Directive put out by Citizens United Resisting Euthanasia ((CURE).  It contains both an explanation section and instructions, as well as a treatment directive for individuals as well as a “Mother and Child’s Life Support Directive.”  This document is the most encompassing of the four and circumscribes withdrawal of medical treatment and food/fluids.  Contact CURE at 812 Stephen Street, Berkley Springs, VW 25411, telephone (304) 258-LIFE.

The Protective Medical Decisions Document (PMDD), put out by the International Anti-Euthanasia Task Force (IAETF), combines specific instructions.  A set costs $4 .  Contact (IAETF), University of Steubenville, Steubenville, OH 43952.

A coalition of groups and individuals formed as the “Ad Hoc Committee of Americans for the Protection of the Sick, Disabled and Elderly” have prepared a “Patient self-protection document,” which also combines specific instructions and provisions for appointing a proxy.  Contact: Center for the Rights of Terminally Ill, P.O. Box 54246, Hurst, TX, 76054.

The National Right to Life Committee has drafted a model “Will to Live” document which states a “general presumption for life.”  It instructs physicians to provide medication, CPR and other medical procedures.  Blank spaces are provided to specify which treatments may be withheld or withdrawn under certain conditions.  Send a SASE to: NRTLC, Will to Live Project, 419 Seventh Street, NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20004.

(Editors note: Inclusion of these documents in “Beginnings” does not constitute endorsement of any one of them over the other by PFL.  PFL does, as a general rule, oppose living wills as they are normally used to pro-euthanasia forces to facilitate killing the sick, elderly and disabled.)

World

Russia’s abortion trade fuels West’s cosmetics.

The vast numbers of abortions in Russia are fuelling the cosmetics industry in the West, with tons of placenta being used to make expensive face creams that claim to erase wrinkles, the London Sunday Times reported (March 29, 1992)

The news story reports the creams are sold in London at some of the most expensive shops, including Harrods, after being exported via France.  Several years ago, a truckload of aborted baby tissue capsized on a highway in Switzerland traveling from the former Yugoslavia to France.  No mention is made that the placenta comes from the mothers of aborted babies rather than animals, or from Russia, where the per capita abortion rate is the highest in the world.

The firms using the material, which they vociferously defended as being rich in nutrients which moisturize and “regenerate” the skin, include Roc, a subsidiary of the Louis Vuitton-Moet Hennessey Group.  Said Marcelle d’Argy, editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, “If it’s true then, good God, it’s appalling …It’s like finding out the Queen has been stealing.”

The placenta used in cosmetics are sold by the Institut Merieux in Lyon, France, which buys an average 19 tons a day from various countries.  Michael Galy, director of biotechnical operations at Merieux, told the Times that all placenta is processed together, most of it into serums and vaccines.  But tons are sold to other laboratories that process it.  Galy said, “We sell to intermediaries and do not have any responsibility for what they do with it.”

One pharmacologist compared that to Farbon IG’s selling of zyklon B gas to the Nazis for the extermination camps.  Farben was the predecessor of Hoechst AG, major shareholder of Roussel Uclaf, maker of RU-486.

Other brands containing placenta from Institut Merieux include Sicobel’s Placentor range, made in Miribol, France, and Rlastil’s “anti-wrinkle” range, manufactured by Ganassini Laboratories in Milan.  Sicobel sells 58,000 tubes or ampules of Placentor products annually in France alone; Rilastil sells 100,000 in France, where a 50 ml. Tube of Crème Visage Nuit goes for 140 francs (about $26 U.S.)

Roc has three products containing aborted baby tissue: Skin Energizing Concentrate, Night Revitalising Cream and Eye Contour Treatment Gel.

EXIT

Chicago – Creation spirituality promoter Father Matthew Fox was given a third date, June 10, to return to his home province of the Dominican order in Chicago.  Fox, whose base for his promotional activities is in California, once again refused to take notice.  Earlier deadlines were in February and April of this year.

In their last letter to him (May 23), his superiors indicated that the process of dismissal would be inevitable if no adequate response was received.

Rio di Janeiro – South American theologian and Franciscan priest Leonardo Boff  has announced he is “calling it quits.”  By that he means that he is abandoning his religious order and the priesthood as a protest against the refusal of the Catholic Church to accept or support his theological interpretations of church and society.

FINAL EXIT

Sydney – The publication and importation of the suicide manual Final Exit has been banned in Australia.  The Commonwealth Attorney General’s office said that the manual instructs people on methods of suicide in all Australian states.  Right to Life Australia brought the manual to the attention of the Commonwealth Censor’s office.

In Canada, Section 221 of the Criminal code says that everyone who advises, encourages, or aids a person to commit suicide is guilty of an indictable offence, punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment.  Why, then, do all our major book stores carry and display “do it yourself” suicide books unimpeded by the law?