Elise Hilton

Paying for college by selling yourself (or your eggs)

Elise Hilton
By Elise Hilton
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May 23, 2013 (Acton Institute) - There is no doubt that higher education is costly. Textbooks alone can run $1,000 a semester for some undergraduates. Waiting tables and flipping burgers won’t cover those costs. With many parents just as strapped for cash as their children, how does one pay for a college diploma?

For some young women, the answer is to sell themselves. There are websites that offer “matching” services for “mutually beneficial relationships”; that is, a young woman signs up for a “sugar daddy.” He pays for college and she has her money problems solved. One website does offer helpful information, such as “keep your emotions in check” and “sugaring is not welfare.” All just business, plain and simple.

Although young men sign up for this type of arrangement, the vast majority are young women.

Another option for the cash-strapped young woman is selling her eggs. For every donation, a young woman can make upwards of $5,000, which goes a long way in paying for tuition, room and board. Like getting a sugar daddy, though, there’s quite a bit involved:

The egg retrieval is performed in our Grand Rapids office under intravenous (IV) conscious sedation.  You will need to be in the office for about 2 ½ hours. Most of this time is for your instructions, starting the intravenous (IV) for pain medications, and monitoring you afterwards.  The procedure takes approximately 10-15 minutes to retrieve the eggs from the ovaries. You will need an escort to bring you to and from the egg retrieval.  You will not be able to work or go to school this day due to the pain medications, but most people return to work or school the following day.

Two weeks after the egg retrieval procedure, you will have a post-operative appointment with one of our doctors to be sure you are healing properly.  If you are interested in donating again, let us know at that time.  Future cycles involve fewer appointments because much of the prescreening is already complete.

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This happens only after the young woman has been given hormones to increase her egg count. One young woman described her experience:

Finally the big day arrived, and luckily it was a pretty painless and quick procedure. I was completely sedated, and the whole thing only took 30 minutes. The next day I took the antibiotics that were prescribed, and that is is when things started to take a turn for the worst. The following four days are kind of a blur, but I know they involved a lot of puking and a lot of trips back to the clinic. I was extremely dehydrated, and they needed to administer an IV to get liquids into my body. My body was rejecting everything I tried to put into it. It was clearly screaming at me, fed up and shutting down until further notice.

Around day three the pain became excruciating. Apparently I had developed something called ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome and I needed to have a procedure to drain all of the excess fluid from my abdominal cavity. After they drained everything from my body and inserted what felt like a suction cup into my vagina and literally sucked the liquid out, I immediately felt better. I slept for another five or six hours at the clinic. When I opened my eyes, for the first time in days I didn’t feel like a zombie. I was going to survive!

My body and I learned a lot about each other during those two months, and I gained a new appreciation for what it is capable of doing not only for me but for others others. One egg donation is all my body could survive, and I would never do it again, but I don’t regret it. I needed the money, and I found a legal way to deal with my financial situation without another call to my parents. That felt good emotionally, even if it was painful physically.

There is no economic transaction that occurs in an ethical vacuum. When goods, services and money are exchanged, a contract is fulfilled and each party plays a role. Indeed, both parties must gain something for it to be beneficial. Now, one can say that these young women do gain something: they get the money they want to pay for their education. But these types of transactions are inherently flawed: one party “pays” far more than the other, and gains far less. No economic transaction that costs someone their dignity, that demeans them, that allows them to be used simply as a thing rather than an embodied, eternal soul can ever be moral.

Even if one is a “willing participant” in such a transaction, it is still unbalanced. 

The Rev. Robert Sirico speaks to morality in the marketplace:

The market and technology lack the logic to tell us who we are and what we ought to do. For that we must look elsewhere: to the texts of Scripture, to God’s love and action on behalf of those created in His likeness and image.

The market and technology give us the how —and this how is critically important—for without it life would be burdensome and difficult. Earth would be unable to sustain the abundance that provides for human well being and prosperity. But while the free market is necessary in providing the how of technological progress, it is to the Scriptures that we must look to discover the ought of our lives; to answer the perennial questions: How ought, then, we to live? What is the purpose, the value, and the end of our society, our homes, and our lives?

Clearly, the technology we possess today allows young women to find sugar daddies on the internet and donate their eggs for the cash they want. That’s the how. But theought escapes them. College is paid for…but at what price?

This article originally appeared on the website of the Acton Institute and is reprinted with permission.

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President Obama speaks at Planned Parenthood's national conference in 2013.
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Obama remakes the nation’s courts in his image

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By Dustin Siggins
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It has often been said that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is President Obama's greatest achievement as president. However, that claim may soon take second place to his judicial nominees, and especially their effect on marriage in the United States.

In a new graphic, The Daily Signal notes that while President George W. Bush was able to get 50 nominees approved by this time in his second term, Obama has gotten more than 100 approved. According to The Houston Chronicle, "Democratic appointees who hear cases full time now hold a majority of seats on nine of the 13 U.S. Courts of Appeals. When Obama took office, only one of those courts had more full-time judges nominated by a Democrat."

Three of the five judges who struck down state marriage laws between February 2014 and the Supreme Court's Windsor decision in 2013 were Obama appointees, according to a CBS affiliate in the Washington, D.C. area. Likewise, the Windsor majority that overturned the Defense of Marriage Act included two Obama appointees, Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Obama has nominated 11 homosexual judges, the most of any president by far, says the National Law Journal.

Only one federal judge has opposed same-sex "marriage" since the Supreme Court's Windsor decision. He was appointed under the Reagan administration.

This accomplishment, aided by the elimination of Senate filibusters on judicial nominees, could affect how laws and regulations are interpreted by various courts, especially as marriage heads to a probable Supreme Court hearing on the constitutionality of state laws.

Democrats eliminated the filibuster for all judicial nominees except for Supreme Court candidates last year, saying Republicans were blocking qualified candidates for the bench. However, the filibuster was part of the reason Democrats were able to keep the number of approved Bush appointees so low.

The Supreme Court may hear multiple marriage questions in its 2015 cycle. 

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Lisa Bourne

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Cardinal Dolan: Debate on denying Communion to pro-abortion pols ‘in the past’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

As America heads into its 2014 midterm elections, a leading U.S. prelate says the nation’s bishops believe debate over whether to deny Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians is “in the past.”

The Church’s Code of Canon Law states in Canon 915 that those “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” Leading Vatican officials, including Pope Benedict XVI himself, have said this canon ought to be applied in the case of pro-abortion Catholic politicians. However, prelates in the West have widely ignored it, and some have openly disagreed.

John Allen, Jr. of the new website Crux, launched as a Catholic initiative under the auspices of the Boston Globe, asked New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan about the issue earlier this month.

“In a way, I like to think it’s an issue that served us well in forcing us to do a serious examination of conscience about how we can best teach our people about their political responsibilities,” the cardinal responded, “but by now that inflammatory issue is in the past.”

“I don’t hear too many bishops saying it’s something that we need to debate nationally, or that we have to decide collegially,” he continued. “I think most bishops have said, ‘We trust individual bishops in individual cases.’ Most don’t think it’s something for which we have to go to the mat.”

Cardinal Dolan expressed personal disinterest in upholding Canon 915 publicly in 2010 when he told an Albany TV station he was not in favor of denying Communion to pro-abortion politicians. He said at the time that he preferred “to follow the lead of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who said it was better to try to persuade them than to impose sanctions.”

However, in 2004 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI the following year, wrote the U.S. Bishops a letter stating that a Catholic politician who would vote for "permissive abortion and euthanasia laws" after being duly instructed and warned, "must" be denied Communion. 

Cardinal Ratzinger sent the document to the U.S. Bishops in 2004 to help inform their debate on the issue. However, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, then-chair of the USCCB Task Force on Catholic Bishops and Catholic Politicians, who received the letter, withheld the full text from the bishops, and used it instead to suggest ambiguity on the issue from the Vatican.

A couple of weeks after Cardinal McCarrick’s June 2004 address to the USCCB, the letter from Cardinal Ratzinger was leaked to well-known Vatican reporter Sandro Magister, who published the full document. Cardinal Ratzinger’s office later confirmed the leaked document as authentic.

Since the debate in 2004, numerous U.S. prelates have openly opposed denying Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians.

In 2008, Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley suggested the Church had yet to formally pronounce on the issue, and that until it does, “I don’t think we’re going to be denying Communion to the people.”

In 2009, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington D.C. in 2009 said that upholding of Canon 915 would turn the Eucharist into a political “weapon,” refusing to employ the law in the case of abortion supporter Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

Cardinal Roger Mahoney, archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles, said in a 2009 newspaper interview that pro-abortion politicians should be granted communion because Jesus Christ gave Holy Communion to Judas Iscariot.

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However, one of the Church’s leading proponents of the practice, U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke, who is prefect of the Vatican’s Apostolic Signatura, insists that denying Communion is not a punishment.

“The Church’s discipline from the time of Saint Paul has admonished those who obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin not to present themselves for Holy Communion,” he said at LifeSiteNews’ first annual Rome Life Forum in Vatican City in early May. "The discipline is not a punishment but the recognition of the objective condition of the soul of the person involved in such sin."  

Only days earlier, Cardinal Francis Arinze, former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, told LifeSiteNews that he has no patience for politicians who say that they are “personally” opposed to abortion, but are unwilling to “impose” their views on others.

On the question of Communion, he said, “Do you really need a cardinal from the Vatican to answer that?”

Cardinal Christian Tumi, archbishop emeritus of Douala, told LifeSiteNews around the same time that ministers of Holy Communion are “bound not to” give the Eucharist to Catholic politicians who support abortion.

Pro-life organizations across the world have said they share the pastoral concern for pro-abortion politicians. Fifty-two pro-life leaders from 16 nations at the recent Rome Life Forum called on the bishops of the Catholic Church to honor Canon 915 and withhold Communion from pro-abortion politicians as an act of love and mercy.

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Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Vatican's Apostolic Signatura Steve Jalsevac / LifeSiteNews
John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

Sources confirm Cardinal Burke will be removed. But will he attend the Synod?

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By John-Henry Westen

Sources in Rome have confirmed to LifeSiteNews that Cardinal Raymond Burke, the head of the Vatican’s highest court, known as the Apostolic Signatura, is to be removed from his post as head of the Vatican dicastery and given a non-curial assignment as patron of the Order of Malta.

The timing of the move is key since Cardinal Burke is currently on the list to attend October’s Extraordinary Synod on the Family. He is attending in his capacity as head of one of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, so if he is removed prior to the Synod it could mean he would not be able to attend.

Burke has been one of the key defenders in the lead-up to the Synod of the Church's traditional practice of withholding Communion from Catholics who are divorced and civilly remarried.

Most of the Catholic world first learned of the shocking development through Vatican reporter Sandro Magister, whose post ‘Exile to Malta for Cardinal Burke’ went out late last night.

If Burke’s removal from the Signatura is confirmed, said Magister, the cardinal “would not be promoted - as some are fantasizing in the blogosphere - to the difficult but prestigious see of Chicago, but rather demoted to the pompous - but ecclesiastically very modest - title of ‘cardinal patron’ of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, replacing the current head, Paolo Sardi, who recently turned 80.”

At 66, Cardinal Burke is still in his Episcopal prime.

The prominent traditional Catholic blog Rorate Caeli goes as far as to say, “It would be the greatest humiliation of a Curial Cardinal in living memory, truly unprecedented in modern times: considering the reasonably young age of the Cardinal, such a move would be, in terms of the modern Church, nothing short than a complete degradation and a clear punishment.”

On Tuesday, American traditionalist priest-blogger Fr. John Zuhlsdorf also hinted he had heard the move was underway. “I’ve been biting the inside of my mouth for a while now,” he wrote. “The optimist in me was saying that the official announcement would not be made until after the Synod of Bishops, or at least the beginning of the Synod. Or at all.”

“It’s not good news,” he added.

Both Magister and Zuhlsdorf predicted that the controversial move would unleash a wave of simultaneous jubilation from dissident Catholics and criticism from faithful Catholics. The decision to remove Cardinal Burke from his position on the Congregation for Bishops last December caused a public outpouring of concern and dismay from Catholic and pro-life leaders across the globe.

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Both men speculated on the reasons for the ouster. 

Magister pointed out that Burke is the latest in a line of ‘Ratzingerian’ prelates to undergo the axe.

“In his first months as bishop of Rome, pope Bergoglio immediately provided for the transfer to lower-ranking positions of three prominent curial figures: Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, Archbishop Guido Pozzo, and Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, considered for their theological and liturgical sensibilities among the most ‘Ratzingerian’ of the Roman curia,” said Magister.

He added: “Another whose fate appears to be sealed is the Spanish archbishop of Opus Dei Celso Morga Iruzubieta.”

Fr. Zuhlsdorf observed that Pope Francis may also be shrinking the Curial offices and thus reducing the number of Cardinals needed to fill those posts. He adds however, “It would be naïve in the extreme to think that there are lacking near Francis’s elbows those who have been sharpening their knives for Card. Burke and for anyone else associated closely with Pope Benedict.” 

“This is millennial, clerical blood sport.”

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