December 28, 1999
Issue No. 37
Post Office Box 33292
Washington, DC 20033
A Newsletter for Members and Friends of the
Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians
PLAGAL NEEDS YOU
TO PARTICIPATE IN MARCH FOR LIFE 2000
As you read this latest issue of the Memorandum, PLAGAL is hard at work organizing our participation in the March for Life 2000. You may recall last year's embarrassment to the pro-life movement when PLAGAL was banned from participating in the March for Life under threat of arrest, by the misguided belief that some members of the human family are not worthy of openly defending the rights of the unborn. Well, we're back and we're asking that you and your friends join us. We plan to participate in this year's March in some capacity. What might that be exactly? We're not telling -- just yet. We have a few options and we want to stay flexible. Whatever we do that day, we are going to need you. We are NOT going to perpetrate violence. This will be a peaceful event in the hope of freeing the March from the vice-like control of narrow-minded extremists.
As is our custom, we will gather at the Old Post Office located at 12th and Pennsylvania Avenue on January 24, 2000 at 11:30 A. M. No matter what happens, PLAGAL will still stand at the Constitution Avenue entrance to the Russell Senate Office Building and hand out flyers calling for inclusiveness in the struggle to help women and their unborn children. We will then proceed to the Supreme Court and from there to meet with our elected officials and encourage them to support the right to life.
Other activities occurring that weekend will include:
If you need accommodations please contact us as soon as possible at 202-223-9737, or at PLAGALOne@aol.com, so that we may arrange them for you at no charge. If you have extra room in your house or apartment for a PLAGALite, please contact those same addressses.
We look forward to seeing you in DC!
SHOULD PLAGAL OPPOSE "PHYSICIAN ASSISTED SUICIDE?"
PRO AND CON
The author is the PLAGAL Contact in San Jose, California.
Recently, I have been asked by those outside PLAGAL to work against the proposed California legislation to legalize physician-assisted suicide. Western Service Workers Association asked for my aid in their fight against physician-assisted suicide, and the President of the California Council of Churches asked me to speak against physician assisted suicide at the church where he pastors. In both cases, I clarified that PLAGAL does not take a stance about physician-assisted suicide, and I agreed to oppose physician assisted suicide without doing so as a representative of PLAGAL.
Because physician-assisted suicide targets AIDS patients, I believe that PLAGAL should take a formal stand against physician-assisted suicide.
Here in California, it is a big issue, as State Assembly Bill, No. 1592, would legalize a doctor prescribing poison drugs to a patient requesting it. The bill does not mandate that the doctor report her action to either the government or to the family of the patient. (Imagine what Agatha Christie would do with such a policy!) In Oregon, further, such action is currently funded as a "medically prescribed treatment." Thus, "dying with dignity" is becoming "the duty to die" to be less than a "burden." In California, in combination with other existing laws defining consent to "medical treatment," a doctor could administer this "treatment" to a patient who had no idea that he or she was giving consent (such as the unconscious patient, whose consent could be presumed).
In 1992, on the campus of San Jose State University, I spoke as a gay-rights activist against a member of the Hemlock Society on the subject of "physician assisted suicide." In the debate, I reminded the audience that the German euthanasia program began with killing mentally retarded children and led to homosexual men having to wear pink triangles and being taken to concentration camps. Then the debating board member of the Hemlock Society, who earlier had identified herself as having fled Nazi Germany during World War II, denied that homosexual men ever were put into concentration camps. Then in a defensive one of voice about the Germans, she said, "All they were trying to do was get rid of the non-functioning people and the imbeciles."
Across the country, both traditional and non-traditional pro-life groups are joining with some pro-abortion groups and individuals in opposing physician-assisted suicide, but the pro-death movement advancing physician-assisted suicide is very strong. Both the pro-life and the lesbian and gay communities need PLAGAL's help in this battle. PLAGAL should not remain silent on a life and death issue that directly impacts the AIDS community.
Steven Wesley Cook
The author is a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates.
"Choice" and "privacy" are often cited as the philosophical concepts justifying legal abortion. However, we in PLAGAL know full well that one can be fully in favor of such concepts and still oppose abortion. Why? Not because there is anything wrong with individual autonomy or personal privacy, but because the abortionists are forgetting to extend those rights and values to the unborn child, a living human being (from the moment of conception!) with the same right to life as the rest of us.
Physician-assisted suicide is another matter entirely. I don't think a person should commit suicide (it goes deeply against my moral conscience, informed by my belief in God), but I wouldn't want to impose my values on another person. For these reasons, I believe PLAGAL as an organization should stick to the issue of abortion only and forgo taking an official stand on the legalization of assisted suicide. Individual PLAGAL members and officers, speaking for themselves only, of course, can and should be active on these and related issues.
As an organization, we uniquely straddle the gay community and the pro-life community. The members of PLAGAL understand how important it is in a free society to respect the basic right of a person to live his own life (and lifestyle) so long as that person does not violate the rights of another person. At the same time, we also have an instinctive identification with the defenseless, voiceless, wholly innocent unborn child. The child also has a right to "choice" and "privacy!"
However, adults who contemplate suicide of their own volition are in a completely different set of circumstances. If they are otherwise of sound mind and understand the consequences of their proposed action, the law should leave them alone. While we as individuals may dare to be judges of their pain and suffering, we should not impose our values on them by the coercive power of the government. I would hope that their family, their friends, their counselors (religious and secular), and their medical care-givers would talk them out of it, ease their pain, and relieve their fears and whatever else may seem to drive their intention.
But the law should respect their choices, their autonomy, and their basic human right to live their lives, or not, as they see fit. There should be severe legal hoops to ensure that they are indeed making their own decisions; it shouldn't be easy. But ultimately, their lives are theirs to live, not ours to control, however much we may disagree with their moral choices.
Let us as an organization focus all our energy and attention on the unborn child, because there is no doubt that abortion denies her any choice to be or not to be.
AN OPEN LETTER TO DR. WILKIE
Dear Dr. Wilke,
First, let me commend you for the wonderful work you are doing. The Life Institutes is a wonderful source for material that is well researched and yet heart wrenching.
Your article on "Baby Parts for Sale" has to be one of the most useful pieces of new material I have run across to use in communicating the pro-life message. I would very much like to have a copy of the interview. In addition as soon as I can afford a copy of the documentation I will be ordering it. I am currently very financially short. All of my writing is done gratis.
I hope that you will pass along my heartfelt thank you to the woman who has imparted this knowledge and documentation.
But, now for my criticism. As I read this article I was so impressed and pleased to see such accurate information expressed about the processes that I felt it would be a wonderful article to have reproduced to present to other lesbians and gays to help them to see this issue realistically. And then I read the paragraph commenting on the behavior of the lesbians (and men) at these clinics, and I knew that for all the valid information you had presented that this paragraph would simply cause most gays and lesbians to chalk the article up to another anti-gay, radical right view.
I am a very pro-life lesbian, and was pro-life well before I came out of the closet. As a matter of fact it was the early work of you and your wife that gave me the information to cross that line and begin to fully understand what abortion is and does, and what the stages of an unborn babies life is composed of. So I was quite excited at the prospect that I would, with this article and proof be able to move others (both homosexual and heterosexual) to a more solid position (as you know, a great number of people say they are against abortion but don't want to tell other people what to do). But I know that that paragraph will just enrage many people needlessly. It bothered me and I am already very pro-life. As a matter of fact I am on the Board of PLAGAL (Pro-Life [Alliance of] Gays and Lesbians) and have worked with them since the inception of the organization.
Please, as you publish these facts reconsider throwing in information that should be discussed in another venue. Yes, if this goes on, it is an outrage as it is for the men who do the same thing, but it should be handled in a separate article. When it is I will be with you 100% about exposing it. It is immoral and should not occur. However, it was a total aside to the points made in the whole rest of this article, and as a writer, much less a reader, and a person who wants all I can get my hands on to show people the insanity of abortion it tied my hands for sharing it with others. I will of course, for the sake of the babies, share the information in my articles, but I would much prefer just to recommend the article itself since except for that paragraph it is so compelling, and powerful.
Again, I thank you for the work Life Issues Institute is doing, and the good they are accomplishing. I hope you take this criticism in the spirit it is intended; that is, to better provide information so that the world knows the horror, and ultimate aim of many if not most abortionists. Many years ago as I spoke in many places I warned that this was the "logical" progression that could be expected if the abortion horrors continued. I as a lay person could not provide the actual proof, now it has come to light and the proof is available, let us not have it discarded because of a single side issue that though very important was not needed to make the facts stand on their own.
Vice President, PLAGAL
ABORTION/BREAST CANCER LINK GROWS STRONGER
The link between abortion and breast cancer (ABC) is one that most abortionists don't like to discuss in public. But now they may have to. When PLAGAL sponsored a seminar on the statistical evidence, it was largely unreported in any media -- straight or lesbian and gay. The Washington Post dismissed the evidence as beneath notice.
In a recent publication of the Wisconsin Law Review, law student John Kindley demonstrates that the medical evidence of the link is strong enough now to create some sticky legal problems for those reticent abortionists.
Kindley writes, "The purpose of this comment is to show that the current level of scientific evidence linking induced abortion with increased breast cancer risk is sufficient to support an ethical and legal duty to disclose fully the risk to women who are considering pregnancy termination." For a copy of the article, write to Clarke D. Forsythe, Esq., Americans United for Life, 310 S. Peoria Street, Suite 300, Chicago, Illinois 60607-3534. (First Things, November, 1999).
Those of you who serve as citizen-lobbyists in state legislatures across the country will find Mr. Kindley's law review article extremely helpful in informing legislators and their staffs of the ABC Link. The risk of the onset of breast cancer later in life to girls seeking abortions should be included in informed consent and parental consent legislation and should be incorporated into all literature mandated by the state for use in providing information on abortion-related health risks to women.
AN OUTRAGEOUS BUT LOGICAL OUTCOME OF ABORTION
In the past I have been fairly tolerant of "pro-choice" thought because not all people have the full knowledge of what an abortion truly does. In addition, others have a very different philosophical view about the importance of life than do I. And, they have a right to that view and it is not my job to judge their thoughts.
I do, however, always try to share the knowledge that led me from being a "pro-choice" person to a "pro-life" position whenever a civil discussion is in process. Unfortunately, it is very seldom that people who see abortion as a healthy solution are even open to hearing the specifics of what happens during an abortion; the stages of development of the baby; or of scientific findings in regard to the feelings and knowledge of that baby in the womb.
Recently I read an article that has me OUTRAGED, and should have anyone who values life at any level outraged as well. The implications of the actions reported in this article may eventually extend well beyond fetuses and on to people deemed no longer valuable to society. The article is from the Life Issues Institute, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is entitled Baby Parts for Sale.
This article is well researched, and the documentation of the information is available to anyone who cares to know the truth. The article reports the first hand account of a woman who worked for "an outside source, hired with a team to go in [to late term abortion clinics] to dissect and procure fetal tissue for high quality sales." These companies were buying and providing "a wide range of human fetal tissue to pharmaceutical, government and university laboratories." Everything from whole babies to parts are in demand and provided.
Evidence reveals that the team, at times, "even instruct the abortionist as to which type of procedure should be performed on the woman to ensure that the desired tissue is delivered intact." This is especially interesting since most clinics do not want anybody with concern about the safety for the mothers to even have access to their clinics to investigate procedures, cleanliness, or care.
According to the article, many babies are delivered alive and just set aside in a bucket to die, or are killed by having their necks broken, or are beaten to death. Others are dissected alive, or are partially delivered and have their brains punctured with scissors just before the crown of the head leaves the birth canal.
Any human with any feeling for life will surely reevaluate their position, at least on partial birth abortions, after reading this article. In my opinion, if they are not willing to do so they are no better than the Germans (and others) under Hitler who refused to see the evil of the Holocaust.
It is against federal law to sell body parts or human tissue, but this article tells how these people get around that. These parts are sold for profit by the abortion clinics. Any way you look at it, and no matter how many loopholes are squeezed through, these abortion clinics have no feeling for any life, only their pocketbooks.
The article also points out that the buyers want only healthy, normal tissue, which definitively belies the theory that most abortions are for reasons of health or life threatening abnormalities.
For years I have been stressing that this would be the "logical" next step in the abortion rights movement. I am not at all happy that I was right.
This article can be an excellent aid in educating the public to the reality of abortion. Unfortunately in the first part of the article one paragraph comments on the behavior of lesbians in the clinics. I have written to Dr. Wilke asking that he rethink commenting on this as he relates the facts that can make a great impact if presented to people who say they are against abortion for themselves but don't want to say anything to anyone else. I am hoping that Dr. Wilke will allow us to reproduce the article and delete this side comment which is found in only one paragraph. FYI I have heard nothing from him but maybe if more of us politely wrote to him and Mr. Mattes we might be able to get more results.
The article Baby Parts for Sale is in two parts, beginning in the June 1999 issue. It is found in Life Connector, is the newsletter of the Life Issues Institute, Inc. The first part of the article is written by Dr. J.C. Wilke, the second part by Bradley Mattes, the Editor of Life Connector. To obtain a copy of the original interview contact: Life Issues Institute; 1721 W. Galbraith Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45239 or email them at: LifeIssues@aol.com. A full set of documentation has been assembled into a booklet and can be obtained for $5.00 by writing: Life Dynamics at PO Box 2226, Denton Texas, or calling (800) 401-6494.
I hope all our PLAGAL readers will take the time to write for the full article, and to spend the $5.00 for the documentation to present to skeptics.
The Membership Form -- always the last page of the PLAGAL Memorandum -- now contains space to order PLAGAL buttons, bumper stickers, T-Shirts, and flyers. Order Now!!
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