Ann Landers settles all our moral and emotional problems. Of course we don’t know whether she is still alive or who her ghost writers are. But lately they, or she, have had it in for the “pro-lifers.”

Abortions

On December 15, 1988 Ann’s column concerned a “woman pressured not to have an abortion.” On March 22, she held forth on how the “poor need information on birth control.” On April 4 “pro-life ‘zealots’ (were) urged to adopt unwanted kids;” and on April 9 these same pro-lifers were exhorted to do “worthwhile” work by helping the already born (instead of wasting time protesting).

According to Landers it is parents or grandparents who want their daughter to give birth instead of aborting the child, who are the “selfish party,” not the woman herself. As for the father, he should have nothing to say because “I have never seen a pregnant man, nor have I ever heard of a man who became a mother.” (December 15, 1988)

In her April 4 column, Landers “responds” to “A Grandmother” who has just seen a frightening thing in the paper – a well-dressed man was shouting at a poor, thin terrified woman. “His face was twisted with anger and there was fire in his eyes. H ewas leading a crowd trying to block the entrance to an abortion clinic.” How much more pleasing in God’s sight, the grandmother said, if the man had approached the women with a smile and said that if she agreed to have her baby he would pay her expenses and adopt the child.

The “Grandmother” contrivance allows the columnist toe let loose: “Granted, those zealots may be sincere,” she began, “but they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law for interfering with the rights of others.” Then turning to the protesters, she smugly asked, “Would you be willing to adopt a handicapped child or a minority child? Since you claim to care about all living creatures, why don’t you open your hearts and homes to these unwanted children and prove that you are sincere?”

She forgot to inform her readers that in big cities the waiting list for adoption is now seven years (in Toronto). Meanwhile the column has implied that “anti-abortionists are frauds without actually providing a stitch of evidence for the accusation.

Contraceptives

Where does “Ann” get her information? She consults Planned Parenthood. It is on the advice of Dr. Weintraub, vice president for international programs at PP in the US, that readers were told on March 22 that “every year more than 500,000 women world-wide die form pregnancy-related problems, childbirth or self-induced abortions.” How does Mr. Weintraub know? He doesn’t, of course. As Dr. Bernard Nathanson pointed out in his book Aborting America, such figures are “created” out of nothing by those who have an interest in painting the blackest picture possible as part of their scare tactics.

Through the mouth of her questioner, the writers of the Ann Landers column can make their point. Thus they wonder, through letter writer E. H., whether the organizations which do such a good job of feeding these people could not address the problem. If birth control methods were taught and provided in such countries, the people’s health and well-being would improve dramatically. People have a right to be parents, mind you, but “if they can’t feed their children, they have no right to bring them into the world. What kind of love is it that can look into the eyes of a starving child, knowing that the child will die of malnutrition?” How warped can these people in underdeveloped countries get? Let us straighten them out as soon as possible by funding massive birth control programs!

PP and Japan

Japan is a prosperous rather than an undeveloped country. But it, too, needs Planned Parenthood to straighten it out, or so says Dr. Kunion Kitmura, director of the Japan Family Planning Association. What his country needs, he states, is a safe contraceptive. (Toronto Star April 3, 1989).

Japan’s reported abortion rate is 17.8 for every thousand women 15 to 49 years old compared in the United States.

Under the 1948 Eugenic Protection Law, abortion is permitted to “prevent the increase of inferior descendants from the eugenic point of view,” and to protect the life or health of the mother. But, like elsewhere, health is not a reason; abortions are done for socio-economic reasons. Kitamura translates this to mean that the real reason for abortions “is the lack of absolutely safe contraceptive methods.” Japanese women will not use the pill because they think it is dangerous; the memory of the thalidomide disaster is still in their minds. Hence, “Japan needs a more reliable contraceptive method,” Kitamura said. “Otherwise the problem of induced abortion cannot be solved.”

Apparently it has not yet occurred to this Japanese Planned Parenthood propagandist that he might reflect on the situation in the United States. This country has an even higher rate of abortion than his own, despite the fact that it is the home of every contraceptive method imaginable.

PP and Calgary

On March 20, Calgary City Council not only approved the $175,000 budget of the Calgary Birth Control Centre for 1989, but gave the abortion referral centre an extra $10,000. Campaign Life Coalition’s Michael O’Malley, who has fought the public funding of Planned Parenthood with taxpayers’ dollars over the years, announced he would seek an injunction to stop the city signing the funding agreement on the ground that the CBCA lacks malpractice insurance “to do abortion referrals by lay volunteers who are not professionals.”

Also, he said, the agency is treatment oriented and should not be funded through the Family and Community Support Services social program.

The case was heard on May 4.

Planned Parenthood and Sweden

For forty years Swedish children have been brought up to learn about, discuss and eventually practice sex without embarrassment, reported the Toronto Star March 25. But now some experts are warning that the AIDS campaign is bringing a new unwanted element into the teaching of the schools – moralizing. “Our AIDS campaign is very condom-fixated,” said Annika Strandel, chief medical officer at the National Board of Education. This makes it almost immoral not to use this device, and “if too much moralizing comes into the campaign, then the pupils switch off.”

“What makes our sex education so good,” added Margot Blum, another education ministry official, “is that we don’t moralize about how young people ought to behave.” As they reach their teens, far from being told not to have sex, they are provided with contraceptives.

“It’s no goof telling teenagers ‘Don’t do it,’ as they do in the United States for example,” said Strandel, “they will do it anyway. It’s better to recognize that there is sexual activity within the group and discuss it openly.”

Both seemed satisfied that the system works. But according to their own statistics the number of abortions in Sweden has risen to 38,000 a year. This is in a population of 7,000,000. The equivalent number of Canada’s population would be about 121,000 – well over our own rate.

PP and Britain

The debate on the link between the Pill and cancer has been going on for years.

As time passes, studies confirming such a link increase in number. The latest study was published in a British medical journal, The Lancet, at the beginning of May 1989. It found that young women who take birth control pills for more than four years run a significantly higher risk of breast cancer than those who do not. Researchers found a 43 per cent increase after four years and a 74 per cent one after eight. The women in the study were 35 or younger. The risk is still not high – only one woman in 500 develops breast cancer by this age – but the authors advised women to take the lowest-dose pill available and stay on it for the shortest possible time.

The researchers said that they still could not answer the “crucial question” of whether the increased risk persisted after age 36. They are undertaking a further study to try to resolve this issue.

Earlier studies on the pill and breast cancer have conflicted. Last January, a UK Food and Drug Administration study declared that recent research was inconclusive. As expected, Britain’s Family Planning Association and National Association of Planning Doctors declared that the new study “does not clarify the continuing debate about the pill and breast cancer risks.” Planned Parenthood has been the leading promoter of the Pill throughout the world, always with the claim that no risks were involved.

PP and the Pope

Pope John Paul II, speaking in Madagascar on his fifth African tour, urged the people of this underdeveloped nation to reject “contraceptiveimperialism” and abortion.

The Pope devoted part of his homily to birth control at an open-air Mass attended by 100,000 people. The average wage in this country is $250 US a year. The island has a population of 11 million.

According to the World Population Institute, a Planned Parenthood affiliate, only one in 100 married women in Madagascar uses contraception. Western agencies have been trying to impose the use of artificial birth control by tying it to foreign aid programs.

“The power to transmit life must be respected,” said the Pope, speaking in French from a wooden altar overlooking a dirt field near the airport.

“You cannot let yourselves be won over by the tendency to consider [child bearing] secondary, or even want to prevent human fertility from expressing itself. “The teaching of the church seems difficult,” he said.

“But many couples testify that it is possible to follow it and that it is even a liberation compared to what we call “contraceptive imperialism.”