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On Tuesday, May 22, President Trump addressed the Susan B. Anthony List 11th Annual Campaign for Life Gala.

He said (emphases mine):

This organization bears the name of one of the greatest champions of freedom in American history: Susan B. Anthony. (Applause.) She fought for decades to end slavery, to secure women’s right to vote, and to respect the dignity of every single person. A great person, a great woman, was she. (Applause.)

Now we have a chance to honor her legacy and restore the first right in the Declaration of Independence. It’s called the right to life. (Applause.)

The president then introduced the Alexanders from Gaithersburg, Maryland, who adopted an opioid-dependent baby girl, Catherine. Now four years old, Catherine is developing normally, including cognitively:

Hi, Catherine. Hi. (Applause.) Come on up here, Catherine. Come on. Catherine is four years old, and she is full of incredible energy, spirit, and talent. At the age of two — come on up, Catherine — she memorized “America the Beautiful.” She recites poetry. And recently she announced to her dad that when she grows up she wants to be a famous police officer. And then, when she gets tired of that, she wants to become President. That’s okay with her. (Applause.) She’ll be President someday.

Every time Catherine’s older siblings come home from school, Catherine runs into their arms and gives them a great, big, beautiful hug. They’re amazed by how much she loves them and how much they love her.

So tonight, we celebrate you, Catherine. We celebrate your life. Thank you, darling. (Applause.)

The president pointed out that the United States has more pro-life people in government than ever before in recent history:

This video clip has highlights of the event:

Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas and Republican presidential candidate, made an excellent point:

If only Democrats realised that.

Thank goodness America has someone in the White House who does.

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Hundreds of thousands of people attended the March for Life in Washington, DC on Friday, January 27, 2017. This year’s theme was ‘The Power of One’.

Local Marches for Life took place around the nation, and a Marche pour la Vie in France attracted tens of thousands of people.

The exact number of participants in Washington is not yet known. However, that is unimportant.

For the first time, a vice president addressed the pro-life crowd. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W Bush telephoned in to the march during their tenure but never appeared in person.

Mike Pence said, in part:

I’m deeply humbled to stand before you today. I’m deeply humbled to be the first vice president of the United States to ever have the privilege to attend this historic event.

More than 240 years ago, our founders wrote words that have echoed through the ages.

They declared these truths to be self-evident that we are, all of us, endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

44 years ago, our Supreme Court turned away from the first of these timeless ideals.

But today, three generations hence, because of all of you, and the many thousands that stand with us in marches like this all across the nation, life is winning again in America.

That is evident in the election of pro-life majorities and the Congress of the United States of America. But it is no more evident, in any way, than in the historic election of a president who stands for a stronger America, a more prosperous America, and a president who, I proudly say, stands for the right to life – President Donald Trump.

President Trump actually asked me to be here with you today. He asked me to thank you for your support, for your stand for life, and for your compassion for the women and children of America.

President Donald Trump could not attend. He held a meeting and press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May. However, he sent this message:

Another speaker at the event, Christian talk-show host Eric Metaxas, explained Trump’s position to The Atlantic:

He’s been shockingly, and perhaps even ironically, the most pro-life president in the history of the republic. He is widely perceived as being anything but a social conservative. Somebody who has had three wives and who has been pro-choice most of his life … is not the kind of person you would expect to advocate for the unborn. But he’s 70 years old. I think he has a sense of the weight of his new position.

The Atlantic article also stated:

In just his first week, Trump has signaled that he will be loyal to the pro-life movement, whose members arguably helped him carry the White House. The March for Life showed that he’s not just amenable to pro-life policies—he’s aligning his White House with the culture of the pro-life movement, as well.

Trump’s senior counsellor Kellyanne Conway — the first woman to ever manage a winning presidential campaign in the United States — also spoke. Conway turned 50 on Inauguration Day. She is a married mother of four. Despite her hectic work schedule and responsibilities, she loves when her children call her ‘mommy’. None dare call this fearless woman — who gives interviews that male Trump advisers won’t — a feminist!

She told the crowd:

I am a wife, a mother, a Catholic, Counselor to the president of the United States of America and, yes, I am pro-life.

It is such an honor to stand with the vice president of the United States. And with so many leaders, families and students from places near and far, to defend the unborn. Your courage, your conviction, your resolve and your faith are impressive and consequential. This is a new day, a new dawn for life …

It is no coincidence that the first right cited in the Declaration of Independence is the right to life. It is a right. It is not a privilege. It is not a choice. It is God-given. It is unique and it is beautiful. This dismissive notion of out of sight, out of mind is over.

Science and medicine have joined religion and morality in causing many Americans to rethink just how fragile and how triumphant human life truly is.

Other speakers included Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Rep. Mia Love (R-UT), Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Benjamin Watson, Tight End for the Baltimore Ravens, Abby Johnson, Former Planned Parenthood Director and founder of “And Then There Were None”, Karyme Lozano, Mexican telenovela star, and Bishop Vincent Mathews Jr., President at Church of God In Christ World Missions.

Look — no Democrats.

Mia Love said:

Every time we kill a child, all of us suffer. We lose a little of ourselves and a whole lot of our future. We strip a child from their God-given potential when we, as a society, accept abortion as health care. My fellow Americans, we cannot accept what might have been. We won’t know what might have been if we allow an organization to convince our pregnant women that they have no choice but to abort the life and the potential within them.

The night before, Pence met with pro-life leaders:

Earlier on Thursday, LifeNews.com reported that Trump bashed the media, predicting little to no coverage of the march:

Trump first slammed the media in an interview with ABC News. Then today during his address to the Republican Leadership Retreat, Trump said that the March for Life will have hundreds of thousands of people but the mainstream media will barely cover it if it all.

“You know, the press never gives them the credit that they deserve. They’ll have three hundred, four hundred, five hundred, six hundred thousand people, you won’t even read about it,” he said …

“When other people show up, you read big-time about it, right?” Trump asked the crowd, referring to the pro-abortion Women’s March …

Trump also defended his decision to sign the Mexico City Policy, defunding International Planned Parenthood.

March for Life president Jeanne Mancini dismissed queries about crowd size. LifeNews.com reported (emphases mine below):

Mancini immediately dismissed any comparison to last week’s Women’s March on Washington, saying that the organizers were not concerned with crowd size or likes on social networks. Instead, Mancini said that the only number that she was concerned about was abortion’s death toll over the 44 years since the Roe vs. Wade decision.

“The only number I care about, and the only number that we all care about is – 58 million. Since 1973, 58 million Americans have died as a result of abortion. We stand here today for them – for the little innocent children who have lost their lives to abortion. We also stand here for the mothers who regret their abortion decision.”

I remember back in 1973 when women who supported Roe v Wade told me that very few women would seek abortions. I wonder what they think now that the number of aborted American babies is the size of a nation.

(We also have a figure in the tens of millions here in the UK.)

Now times are changing.

The Catholic League’s Bill Donohue wrote ‘March for Life Scares Death Industry’, which is an excellent article. Donohue says that Trump is sure to appoint a Supreme Court Justice who is pro-life. Last week:

the House passed a bill introduced by Rep. Chris Smith ensuring that the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal abortion funding, will be made permanent, thus vitiating the need for annual reapproval; the bill now goes to the Senate for a vote. On January 12, Rep. Steve King introduced a House bill that would ban an abortion after the baby’s heartbeat is detected.

He says that some states are also rethinking abortion:

Last year, Louisiana passed seven new laws restricting abortion. Texas introduced 17 new civil rights laws protecting children in the womb, and 2017 will see at least some of them enacted.

Kentucky just passed two pro-life laws, one of which bans abortions after 20 weeks. Just this month, lawmakers in Florida, New Mexico and Tennessee introduced bills that would also ban abortions after 20 weeks; New Jersey filed a similar bill last month. Moreover, Missouri legislators refiled 14 pro-life bills this month. And Iowa is considering a bill to defund Planned Parenthood.

Another worthwhile article is at American Thinker. ‘Obama and the Marxist/Communist View of Marriage and Abortion’, which appeared in 2012, is less about him than it is left-wing history from the 19th and 20th centuries, from Marx through to American communists in the 1950s. An excerpt follows:

The Bolsheviks advocated abortion.  It was one of the first things they legalized.  By the early 1920s, Bolshevik Russia had the most liberal abortion policies in the world.  And what happened?  Just like divorce, abortion exploded.  In fact, the proliferation in abortions was so bad that it shocked even Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger during a trip to Russia in 1934.  By the 1970s, when America was just getting around to legalizing abortion, the Soviet Union was averaging over 7 million abortions per year — dwarfing the very worst rates in America post-Roe v. WadeThe direct effect of this on the Russian population has been staggering.

For the record, Russia’s horrific abortion rates are common in communist countries, which to this day lead the world in abortions.

Marx, to my knowledge, did not deal with abortion — to think he would in the mid-19th century is unrealistic.  However, his disciples in the international communist movement a century later certainly did — including here in America.  To cite just one example, Whittaker Chambers noted how abortion “was a commonplace of Party life.”  He honestly and painfully wrote about his wife’s first pregnancy, when she had to plead for the life of their unborn child.  The blessed birth of that child changed Chambers completely, particularly regarding his views on God.  Interestingly, the termination of an unborn life was no mystery to Chambers’ nemesis, Alger Hiss.  Hiss’s wife, Priscilla, who aided him in his treason, had an abortion before she met him (for the record, it devastated her).

A final article worth reading on the subject is ‘Marxism and Abortion’, which recaps a 1988 article by an Australian Communist, Rebecca Albury, for The Tribune, the official newspaper for the Communist Party of Australia. It explains much of why Communists see no value in family. Excerpts follow, so please be sure to read all of it:

A Marxist believes that personality and human value are imparted by the external and economic environment, not by any inherent spiritual value, or even by biological processes.

The humanity of the fetus depends upon how the mother perceives the “social relationship” that exists between them. If the mother desires to keep the baby, then she “fantasizes” it into becoming a human being. But, if she does not want the pregnancy, “it is something else entirely.” Her opinion of the fetus thereby denies it of personhood.

According to Albury, “Material conditions of life change, and so do moral values.” This means that, to a Marxist, the unborn baby may be a human being for a time, but may then become depersonified and rendered ‘pre-human,’ all because his or her mother began to think differently about him or her.

That’s incredible. I now better understand how Communist regimes can go on killing sprees. They do not look at fellow human beings but rather at what they perceive as depersonalised objects.

This particularly struck me, because we Westerners have been pounded with this egregious message since the 1960s:

Material conditions of life change, and so do moral values.

Parents and church leaders would do well to make sure that youngsters in their care or congregations understand the background to modern immorality, abortion and the people who have supported both throughout modern history.

A human heartbeat comes earlier than previously thought.

This is further evidence against the popular ‘pro-choice’ belief that a foetus remains a ‘lump of cells’ for months on end.

From Breitbart:

A study finds an unborn baby’s first heartbeat occurs as early as 16 days after conception.

A research team funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) at the University of Oxford says a baby’s first heartbeat is now far earlier than was previously understood, reports the Daily Mail.

The objective of the research is to help treat congenital heart disease. However, this points out how early the human foetus begins to develop.

The Daily Mail article explains that researchers (emphases mine):

have demonstrated earlier beating of the heart in mouse embryos which, if extrapolated to the human heart, suggests beating as early as 16 days after conception.

In the study, published today in the scientific journal eLife, researchers studied the developing mouse heart and found that the muscle started to contract as soon as it formed the cardiac crescent – an early stage in heart development

In mice, this crescent forms 7.5 days after conception, which is equivalent to day 16 in the human embryo.

Previously, it was thought that the heart started to contract a stage later, when the heart appears as a linear tube.

Congenital heart disease is diagnosed in at least 1 in 180 births, which equates to around 4,000 each year or 12 babies each day, in the UK. 

The researchers ultimately hope that by understanding more about how the heart forms in the womb they will one day be able to prevent heart conditions that arise as a foetus develops.

God has the development of His creatures — including mankind — planned as only He can.

We begin functioning very early. This should put a big question mark around abortion in everyone’s mind.

Abortion is the taking of human life.

The ancient Jews never practised abortion. This is why it is not mentioned in the Bible.

When the early Church began to expand into Greece and the Roman Empire, provision had to be made to condemn the practice.

This is how the document known as the Didache (‘did-uh-kay’) came to be written. Excerpts follow from my post from 2009 (emphases mine):

There appear to be no records or treatises on abortion for social reasons prior to the ancient Greek Empire in its decline

Hippocrates — he of the oath which doctors take — made the first mention of the procedure and instructed physicians of the day not to give an expectant mother drinks or potions fatal to the child in the womb.  By the time he devised the Hippocratic Oath, social abortion was becoming more commonplace among the ancient Greeks.

Social abortion continued when the Roman Empire was in its decline.  They were the first to legalise against it.  The Romans ordered the mother into exileThose involved with procuring or administering the necessary potion were exiled to an island if they were from the upper classes or sentenced to work in metal mines if they were from lower social classes

The early fathers of the Christian Church wrote the Didache which dealt not only with abortion but also other sins, e.g. witchcraft, which were unknown to the Jews.

Author and lecturer Dr Paul L Williams explains the early opprobrium regarding abortion and how it became infused into Roman society:

‘You shall not kill an unborn child or murder a newborn infant.’ This equation of abortion with homicide was upheld by Tertullian, the father of Latin theology. In his treatise ‘On the Veiling of Virgins’ (206 A.D.), this Church father railed against women who ‘conceal their sinful failures’ by committing ‘homicide’ by means of procured abortions. In 250 A.D., St. Cyprian maintained that abortion represented a crime far worse than ‘parricide’.

A century later, the Church in Spain declared abortion a sin of ‘double damnation’ when it was the result of fornication (pre-marital sex) or adultery.  The guilty woman was forbidden from taking Holy Communion for the rest of her life, including on her deathbed.

Later penalties included those for murderers.  Eventually, any society which had converted to Christianity, like the Visigoths, prohibited abortion.

But, these days, it’s a legal ‘right’. Some ‘progressive’ thinkers would like to extend that ‘right’ to infancy.

Very wrong. Very wrong.

Confessional readingeaglecomI was confused reading the articles about the Pope’s permission for priests to forgive the sin of abortion in the upcoming Jubilee Year which starts on December 8, 2015 and ends on November 26, 2016.

The BBC had the best explanation:

In most countries, only a bishop can approve forgiveness for abortion. They would then delegate an expert priest to hear the confession.

I didn’t know that. I assumed that priests could forgive any sin, provided the supplicant was truly contrite for the past and repentant for the future.

That is true only in certain countries. In the case of the United Kingdom:

the rule relaxation will not affect Catholics in England, Wales and Scotland as all priests there can already forgive abortion without seeking permission from a bishop.

Other news outlets could have explained this better, but who expects modern media to ask enough questions?

In any event, this is not a new ‘forgiveness’ for past abortions, as such absolution is nothing new in the Catholic Church. This simply extends it to a priest’s discretion during the Jubilee Year.

Let us hope it is not misread by young women as meaning they have permission to proceed with an abortion now — notionally in good conscience (I use the words advisedly) — and be forgiven for it in a few months’ time.

Fetus freethinkercoukOn March 19, 2015, the French government voted to suppress the mandatory seven-day cooling off period between the first and second medical consultations for women seeking abortions.

The Socialist parliamentarian Catherine Coutelle expressed the sentiments of many in the pro-choice lobby:

This delay is infantilising and stigmatising.

However, that is not entirely true. Le Monde asked for women who had had abortions to describe their experiences. The paper received 70 responses.

Whilst stigmatisation was part of having an abortion in France, as one woman said:

… the unsympathetic look from the obstetrician, an even more critical one from the midwives …

other women described crises of conscience.

That was the objective of the cooling off period, intended to provide an enforced time of reflection.

The article has a photo from a feminist demonstration which took place on January 8, 2014; their banner says:

1 child, if I want, when I want.

Last year legislators began relaxing the process leading to abortion: no questions asked if a woman seeks a consultation up to 12 weeks into her pregnancy and more information about the procedure.

What women told Le Monde about the now-repealed seven-day period of reflection is interesting. Most of the comments indicate their personal psychological discomfort during that time:

punishment

humiliation

torture

Even if you have made up your mind, those days of waiting give rise to questions, to guilt. You can’t escape it.

The most incredible comment, however, was this:

a real Calvary.

What a choice of words. I wonder if that woman even knows the meaning of Calvary.

(I did work with a woman who thought that ‘martyr’ meant ‘crybaby’, thanks to her father’s atheistic influence. After hearing the umpteenth misuse of this word, I advised her to look it up in the dictionary. She did so and stopped saying it.)

I do hope that the French abortion folks use a set of pictures and descriptions as to what happens to the foetus within a short space of time.

These two resources are very useful. Girls would do well to study them carefully:

Babycenter’s fetal development images diary

WebMD’s Fetal Development Pictures Slideshow

Far from being the well publicised ‘mass of tissues’, a foetus at six weeks has a beating heart. At seven weeks, fingers and toes begin to develop. At eight weeks, the baby can bend his knees and elbows. At nine weeks, the baby has eyelids. At 11 weeks, the baby starts stretching and kicking. At 12 weeks, synapses begin forming in the brain.

Yes, abortion is death. Feeling guilty about it is entirely the right thing to do.

Choices, choices. A bit of reflection before engaging in coitus prevents difficult decisions afterward.

Fetus freethinkercoukGosh, I was in secondary school in 1973.

Abortion was a frequent subject in our Ethics class a few years later.

David Fischler, a frequent contributor to the Episcopalian / Anglican site Stand Firm had a thought-provoking piece on this legislation last week:

Fischler examined the congratulatory White House statement on this anniversary, which began:

Today, as we reflect on the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, we recommit ourselves to the decision’s guiding principle: that every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health.

It also had this statement:

Because this is a country where everyone deserves the same freedom and opportunities to fulfill their dreams.

An average of approximately 1.3m foetuses per year in the United States alone have lost that chance of freedom and opportunity since 1973.

Fischler has sharp observations. Here are but a few:

Abortion is not health care, except in very rare cases. It is virtually always about taking a healthy, growing human being and killing it because its life would complicate its parent(s) lives.

“Reproductive freedom” is the kind of euphemism that George Orwell was talking about when he wrote his seminal essay “Politics and the English Language.” Notice that the word “abortion” doesn’t appear in the statement. Heaven forfend the White House should actually mention the barbaric practice that they are so invested in defending.

Apparently the White House has a rather limited definition of “all our children,” since a million a year are not welcomed into “safe and healthy communities,” but instead are thrown out like so much trash for the garbage collector to haul off.

This is what the Lord said to the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:5). If this was true for him, surely it must be true for everyone (emphases mine):

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.

Because the Old Testament has many other verses on the creation of human life, among them:

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  (Psalm 139:13)

Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands. (Psalm 119:73)

And for those who doubt God’s sovereignty:

This is what the LORD says– your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself  (Isaiah 44:24)

As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.   (Ecclesiastes 11:5)

It is alarming and tragic that abortion is being used as a method of birth control in so many countries around the world.

I remember the arguments from abortion proponents at the time: ‘It’s to ensure women don’t die in the back streets from an illegal and unsafe procedure’, ‘Very few women will seek an abortion’ and ‘It will only be used in emergencies when women’s lives are in danger’.

Really? Look how well that turned out. It was and is a lie.

Kevin DuJan at HillBuzz shared breakfast with his black friends at a Chicago hotel recently.

One of their hot issues, along with their opposition to gay marriage, is their frustration with abortion and Planned Parenthood.

This is what DuJan had to say (emphases mine):

every time someone comes out screaming about wanting more abortions that the correct response would be to call that woman a racist and tell her that she’s only doing this so more black babies could be killed.  ”That would shut those [morally derelict women] up in a heartbeat if Republicans [and other pro-life supporters] would do that…just call them racists and they will run for the hills.  It will work on the Planned Parenthood crowd. Go and start accusing them of being a racist organization and watch all Hell break loose”.  The Think Squad has always been very open about how useful accusing someone of being a racist can be, particularly if you are doing it to anyone on the Left…since the Left FREAKS OUT when its own weapons are used against it.

I’ve seen articles out there talking about how Obama’s decision to embrace gay marriage has really hurt him with black people (which is true …) but it’s really the abortion celebration that Democrats held in Charlotte that’s angered black women in particular.

Pro-life campaigners should feel free to play the race card.

In fact, as recently as a few years ago — and perhaps even now, who knows? — you could call Planned Parenthood and ask that your donation be dedicated to the extermination of a specific race in a specific city. No sound needed for this short video recording an actual conversation (a set-up, but Planned Parenthood appeared to accept the premise). A transcript is included in the video:

The Advocate, which is behind the video, is not the American gay magazine but a UCLA action group.

We are now beginning to see some questionable stories after the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics Games. Two follow.

On the day that a story about mother-to-daughter womb transplants in Sweden appeared, the Telegraph also reported a request for a ‘ban’ on abortions where disability in the foetus has been detected. Interestingly, this did not come from groups of or for the disabled but from Catholic and Evangelical Protestant church groups.

The Paralympic Games were a joy to watch and, as I said previously, got many of us thinking differently about disability. This can only be a positive.

However, one has to wonder about the way disabled people are treated in general in the UK — benefits, mobility, job opportunity. Is this appeal for an abortion ban a form of emotional blackmail?

Women who want an abortion will go where they can get one, regardless of the law. Many Irishwomen came to the UK, teenage girls included, to get abortions. I don’t read so much about that now.

Here are a couple of reader responses, the first — and most recent — from a disabled person (emphases mine):

blondieuk: How dare these religious groups try to hijack the good feelings after the Paralympics for their own political and religious ends.

The athletes don’t triumph over their disabilities – they like myself, just make the best of what we can.

At a time when the disabled need all the help we can get with unfair benefit cuts, lack of access to jobs, lack of public transport we can use and an increase in hate crimes –  what do the religious groups do ? –  try to use disabled athletes for propoganda purposes.

Shame on you.

I’m disabled and fully support decisions made by families on what to do with unwanted pregnancies – even if the embryo has the same disabilities as I have.

If you want to help the disabled how about giving us a job or a tube we can get into or access to benefits when we are too sick to work instead of cynically using us for your own ends.

Anita Bellows: The Paralympics might trigger this call, but the way disabled people are treated by this government makes for the opposite argument.

MarinaS: Shame on you Telegraph for giving a platform to such an exploitative campaign. No disability campaigners or groups signed this letter; it is a case of outside religious interests exploiting the disabled (who have enough to worry about these days, thanks) to push an anti-woman agenda. 

Organisations like Life are pushing for a ban on all abortions, not just specific types. This is clearly a disingenuous wedge campaign on their part. A respectable broadsheet should not encourage such bad-faith arguments, especially ones that usurp the voices of the disabled.

This is a sensitive issue which the disabled, their families and their support groups should be mooting first.

The second news story involves an exhortation from the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, to businessmen. He believes they should model themselves on Olympian ideals. I can see a case for excellence, good ethics, sporting teamwork and so forth. However, I fear this is not what he has in mind:

We have no political agenda. We have instead a moral tradition that has accumulated wisdom down the centuries, drawing on the twin sources of revelation and reason.

It has given us an outline of a paradigm of good business practice that is contained in Catholic Social Teaching. This talks of solidarity and subsidiarity and their relation to common good, of the unique human dignity of every person specially those who are poor, vulnerable or disadvantaged, and it also talks about the nature of work and human creativity. And it is intensely conscious of the content and influence of culture, the shared values of any society that can do so much good – and if they go wrong, much harm.

I am joining prominent leaders of business and industry at a conference in London today [Tuesday Sept 18] in discussion of what it would take to bring about a renewal of the business culture in Britain.

We have sub-titled it “Uniting corporate purpose and personal values to serve society”, because we have detected a tendency for business people to feel they need to adopt a different set of values in business than those which they apply in the rest of their lives. That intriguing insight clearly needs further investigation.

Hmm, that sounds suspicious, too, especially as he goes on to mention that he and the Archbishop of Canterbury are in agreement on the matter. ‘No political agenda’, only that of the social gospel. (For more on this, please see my Marxism / Communism page and the heading ‘Communism and the Church Today’.)

Neither of these news items is completely honest. And that is not necessarily the Telegraph‘s fault.

The following is for mature readers only.

My jaw dropped in disbelief the other day when I read this post on one of the most famous colas in the world (emphases in the original):

Thought of as a soft drink. Strong enough to kill.

Yes. One 12 oz oca Cola [sic] is all it takes to end a human life. Many women when late try to end their pregnancy, in poor countries, and over a period of time, they’ve worked out the best way to do it.

All they need is a 12 oz bottle of Coca Cola. This they boil for fifteen minutes. Then they leave it out in the midday sun from morning til afternoon.

This must do something to alter the chemical composition, because that alone, when drunk, can be fully effective to cause an abortion. They only add headache pills to beef up the solution, and whack, the pregnancy’s over. It works in about half of cases, my partner assures me. Her friends have used it successfully.

What chemicals are there inside Coca Cola which achieves this outcome, I wonder?

Another report says that a metal coin left in Coca Cola for a week will dissolve into the liquid. You put an egg in Coca Cola and the shell disappears.

What’s in that drink, for God’s sake?

It attracted two anonymous comments asking for more information. Another person mentioned the douche method from the 1950s and 1960s, which I’ll get to below.

First, however, let’s look at the issue of the pointed accusation at the world’s top cola drink manufacturer. Would the world’s other leading brand work as well? What about other brands of cola? Surely, they contain nearly the same ingredients. What about non-cola drinks?

Furthermore, once the cola is combined with headache pills, then it is no longer cola as originally manufactured.

One might as well ask what is in the headache pillnote, the brand was unspecifiedthat acts as a possible abortifacient.

And no one has speculated on the effect of hot sunshine, boiling and how combining a soft drink with headache pills under those conditions produces a halfway-reasonable abortion method.

One thing is clear: the substances will have all been altered either by heat or by combining one with the other. Neither colas nor headache pills can produce the effect as they are, if such an effect really exists.

I searched the Internet and could find nothing to support this method, which I can only conclude must be purely anecdotal with a 50% success rate.

Ladies — do not expect this method to work. Men — think a little bit about the above questions before advising people not to drink a particular brand of cola.

Now to the original Coca-Cola abortion myth.

Nearly 60 years ago, a story developed saying that douching with Coca-Cola would produce a home abortion. This was common currency until sometime in the 1960s. The origins of the story are unclear.

However, anyone — man or woman — who has paid attention in high school biology class will know instinctively and logically that this is anatomically impossible.

Let’s explore myth and reality further.

How was the method meant to work?

From Urban Dictionary:

The practice of rinsing the vaginal vault with a carbonated beverage, such as a cola drink. The can or bottle is usually agitated vigorously post coitus, and the ensuing spray is directed towards the vaginal opening. In the 1950s, prior to availability of the oral contraceptive pill, this was considered a form of birth control, and Coca cola was thought to have some spermicidal properties. Referred to in the song “Coca Cola Douche” by 60s New York band, The Fugs.

Snopes says that Dr Pepper was also used. The carbonic acid in the shaken bottle of the soft drink was thought to act as a spermicide and that the sugar would ‘explode’ sperm cells. They cite studies which have tested for spermicidal properties in Coca-Cola; the initial positive results by Harvard University researchers in 1985 could not be replicated by other teams around the world. A Taiwanese group concluded that ‘cola has little if any spermicidal effect’. The same holds true for Pepsi-Cola. Nigeria’s Krest Bitter Lemon, studied in 1992, seemed to work the best; researchers attributed this to the lemon — an alkaline (not acid) property — in the drink. It is unclear whether further research on Krest was done. Note that the researchers experimented with the soft drinks on sperm in vitro — in glass — so, using test tubes. It is highly unlikely that Krest would work as a post-coital douche.

Why doesn’t it work?

Sexologist Dr Ruth Westheimer, writing for Dummies.com, explodes the myths about pregnancy. This is worthwhile reading, especially as I have known a few young women who were caught out by the first time, standing up and withdrawal myths.

Dr Ruth says:

Douching is useless both for hygiene and birth control purposes. If you’ve heard that douching — with vinegar, Coca-Cola, commercial douches, or anything else — prevents pregnancy, don’t believe it. By the time you finish with intercourse and douche, many sperm have already begun their trip toward the egg and are beyond your ability to flush them out.

The sugar may also give the user a yeast infection.

It amazes me that the following even needs saying in the 21st century, but …

Drinking soft drinks or douching with them to induce an abortion will not work.

What about Coca-Cola’s ability to clean pennies?

This will work with any soft drink, not just Coca-Cola.

From Wiki Answers:

Simply put, coke is acidic on the pH scale. If you don’t remember what the pH scale is, it is a measure of how acidic or alkaline a substance is. Coke is about 3 on the pH scale, making it decently acidic (just so u have a comparison distilled water is 7 on the pH scale which is neutral). In short acid eats away at metals while alkaline eats away at protein. So when calcium and zinc build up on your penny soaking it in coke will eat away at the metals built up, leaving it nice and shiny.

Side note: alkaline pH substances eat away at proteins so that’s why we use high alkaline products to clean our sinks and toilets.

The same is true of Sprite, which has citric acid. Coca-Cola does not.

Bottom line: carbonated soft drinks are acidic. Soft drink acids target metals, not humans.

Now let’s stop the nonsense about carbonated drinks.

Now there is a controversial triangle of topics.

A few recent news items caught my eye:

The Amish and Muslims are exempt from Obamacare because both religious groups object to insurance. Two states are also exempt. Hmm. Anna’s Clue Tank points out that the health care package is unconstitutional as it denies equal protection and smacks of totalitarianism. It also seems, to me, as if these exemptions show favouritism to certain groups. Beyond that, it’s just a bad idea (and isn’t how the NHS works). IRS agents deciding whether you’ve got the right Obamacare plan, i.e. paying enough into government coffers? You couldn’t make it up. However, there is good news on the horizon, as a number of Protestant evangelicals support the 12 lawsuits Catholic organisations have filed against Obamacare.

William Peter Blatty, the 85-year author of The Exorcist, might sue Georgetown University in Washington DC’s Diocese Court of Canon Law.  Although he graduated from Georgetown in 1950, he has been unhappy with the Jesuit-run university’s drift away from Catholicism. The last straw for him was their inviting Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to be their 2012 Commencement speaker.  The Archdiocese of Washington (DC) also found the invitation ‘shocking’. Shades of the University of Notre Dame’s inviting President Obama to be their Commencement speaker in 2009. The Diocese of Fort Wayne was also outraged but couldn’t do anything about it. They do not have direct control over religious orders, i.e. Notre Dame’s  Congregation of the Holy Cross.

– Speaking of Notre Dame, the elderly priest Father Norman Weslin, who was so cruelly manhandled by security staff there after peacefully protesting against abortion during Commencement weekend in 2009, is now very ill. The priest has been living at an Alzheimer’s residence for the past two years but his health is deteriorating. Norman Weslin served his country as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army. He started the Mary Weslin Homes for Pregnant, Unwed Mothers in memory of his late wife, also firmly pro-life.  Father Weslin was ordained in 1986. Please remember him in your prayers.

– Back to Georgetown and the Washington Post article concerning William Peter Blatty. Anna’s Clue Tank picked up on number of Catholic comments against Blatty and in defence of Georgetown. As Anna rightly observes:

… since they are unsure of what the Catholic Church stands for and they don’t want to stir themselves on a Saturday or a Sunday to attend Mass, I suggest they buy a recent copy of a book called Catechism of the Catholic Church.  It might do them a world of good.  And when they questions they could talk to the parish priest.  It could be an eye opening experience …

As for Georgetown (which covered up Jesus’s name for Obama’s team in 2009):

Perhaps they do need to get out the incense, Holy Water, crack open a Bible, and then examine themselves.  Then they just might discover the log in their eye and remove it.  Might find again the path St. Ignatius of Loyola set out for all Jesuits.  And as a result – Go forth and set the world on fire.

Indeed.

We all hoped the same would happen at Notre Dame, unfortunately, it was business as usual.

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