NewsFri Dec 12, 2008 - 12:15 pm EST
Ontario School Board Votes against Sending Warning Pamphlet on HPV Vaccine to Parents
By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
SAULT STE. MARIE, Ontario, December 12, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board (H-SCDSB) has voted against including a pamphlet produced by Alliance for Life which warns of the dangers of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, known as Gardasil, in an information packet to be sent to parents. See an on line version of the pamphlet at http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008_docs/HPV_vaccine.pdf.
As reported previously by LifeSiteNews, the Catholic school board in Sault Ste. Marie has confused parents by first refusing to administer the controversial vaccine at its schools on moral grounds, saying that sexually transmitted diseases are best prevented by abstinence, and then later reversing that decision. (See: Ontario School Board Flip Flops on HPV Vaccine Decision: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/nov/08112008.html)
At Wednesday’s board meeting, Director of Education John Stadnyk recommended parents receive a letter from himself, another letter from the Ontario Council of Catholic Bishops (OCCB) regarding the moral issues surrounding the vaccine, and an information package from Algoma Public Health, but not the warning pamphlet produced by Alliance for Life. (Link to the OCCB letter: http://www.alcdsb.on.ca/Bishopsletter07.pdf)
The Bishops’ letter warns that the vaccine protects against a sexually transmitted disease and that premarital sexual activity, “carries with it profound risks to a young person’s spiritual, emotional, moral, and physical health.” The bishops also warn that “there is no consensus” that the vaccine is “the most prudent strategy in terms of allocating health care resources to address the goal of preventing deaths resulting from cervical cancer.” It warns that “more research is necessary.”
However, the bishops’ letter offers no specifics on the potentially negative health effects of Gardasil, an information void that Alliance for Life had hoped to fill with its pamphlet.
"The long-term effects of the vaccine on young girls are completely unknown," the pamphlet advises.
The vaccine has been linked to 21 deaths of young women, hundreds of hospitalizations and thousands of adverse reaction reports, according to Judicial Watch, a non-profit interest group which has monitored the vaccine’s use.
The Sault Star reports that Trustee and Vice-Chair Regis O’Connor, who supports distributing the pamphlet, said the board shouldn’t be afraid to disseminate information to inform parents, and is concerned about the bias, in favor of the vaccine, of information being provided by Algoma Public Health.
"What do you expect Algoma Public Health to say? That’s like asking Dracula if he’s in favour of looking after the blood bank," said O’Connor.
In answer to the Director of Education’s remark that the board would be "challenged to verify" the materials contained in the pamphlet, trustee Grace Tridico said the pamphlet was both "very professional" and backed up its statements with cross-references to a number of reputable sources.
"They have no hidden agenda. They just want to make sure that info goes to the public," said Tridico. "They know there is information that hasn’t gone out to the parents. It includes information that every parent needs to make an informed decision."
Vice-Chair O’Connor added that if the board had a problem with the Alliance for Life pamphlet, they could get the same information from other sources and distribute it to parents.
"No one has seen the other side of this case," O’Connor said. "We are an educational institution and if we are afraid to disseminate both sides of this to parents, we are remiss. It’s a balance situation."
Trustee Kathleen Rosilius, who has resolutely opposed the vaccine, asked Director of Education Stadnyk if he had spoken with the bishop about the pamphlet.
"In fact I did talk with Bishop Plouffe on the matter," said Stadnyk. "He had no strong position on the Alliance for Life pamphlet. But he thought it would be confusing to parents, especially after the board changed its position on the issue, because he thought the pamphlet tended to be biased against the vaccine."
Trustees Rosilius, Tridico, and O’Connor voted for the motion to include the warning pamphlet. Trustees Lindsay Liske, John Caputo and Sandra Turco voted against. Trustees Gerald Beerkens and Conrad Bobiwash were absent.
Trustee and Chairman Marchy Bruni broke the tie by voting against the motion.
Talking Points on Gardasil:
1) It is not cheap and there are known and unknown side-effects.
2) There have been no long term (10 yrs plus) studies on Gardasil’s safety when used in humans. We do not know the long term ramifications on these girl’s reproductive systems.
3) There are more than 90 strains of HPV - Gardasil only protects against 4 - other HPV viruses can cause cancer.
4) HPV can take up to 20 years to cause cancer. The effectiveness of Gardasil is questionably 5 years. How many booster shots will be required?
5) We do not have an epidemic of cervical cancer, the majority of women who develop it are in their late forties.
6) Cervical cancer is not a public health crisis, it is already preventable through pap smears.
7) An HPV infection will clear up in the overwhelming majority of women. Only a few get an infection that stays - only few of these will develop precancerous lesions and only a few of these will develop cancer.
8) The test carried out in young girls by Merck only looked at the immune response not whether it would prevent cervical cancer.
9) Gardasil provides less than 70% protection from all the HPV strains known to cause cancer. Your daughter will not need this vaccine if she does not smoke, is not sexual active, or if she is - gets an annual pap smear, has no family history of reproductive cancer or DES use, and has a healthy diet.
To contact the Trustees of the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board with your opinion and concern:
90 Ontario Avenue,
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, P6B 6G7
Email: [email protected].
Chairman: Marchy Bruni
Email: [email protected].
To contact Bishop Plouffe with your opinion and concern:
Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie
Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe
30 Ste-Anne Road
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada P3C 5E1
Email: [email protected]
Read previous LSN coverage:
Ontario Catholic School Board Rejects HPV Vaccine on School Premises http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/oct/07101806.html
To see many previous, factual LifeSiteNews reports on the HPV vaccine enter "HPV vaccine" and/ or "gardasil" in the LifeSiteNews search.
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Planned Parenthood closes Iowa abortion facility because of low business
DUBUQUE, Iowa, May 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Planned Parenthood closed an Iowa abortion facility on Friday, noting low business that left the facility unsustainable from a financial standpoint.
Although Planned Parenthood of the Heartland announced in January that it planned to close the Dubuque, Iowa, office, pro-life sidewalk counselors were overjoyed on Friday to read the sign in the window that read: “Our office is closed, effective April 28, 2016.”
The office did not perform surgical abortions but did provide medication abortions to the community of about 58,000.
“Rejoice with us for the lives of unborn children saved!” Iowa Right to Life said in a statement after the closure.
As with numerous other closures, Planned Parenthood, which styles itself a provider of “care no matter what,” emphasized it was closing its doors to preserve its bottom line.
“After assessing the shifting health care landscape, changing demographics, and the challenges of operating in areas with low patient volumes, we made the tough decision to close the Dubuque Health Center,” the group said in an announcement. “This change allows us to expand hours and see more patients in Cedar Rapids, where there is unmet demand due to lack of clinician hours.”
“While we regret making this change, we know it is a necessary step in order to continue our mission to provide, promote and protect reproductive and sexual health through health services, education and advocacy. Patients have been notified, and if they wish, they can receive a broader array of services at our health center in Cedar Rapids, where we have expanded hours to accommodate more patient,” Planned Parenthood said.
American Life League’s vice president, Jim Sedlak, remembers speaking to the county right to life group nine years ago.
“I told them at the time that they needed to protest outside Planned Parenthood at least once a week,” he said. “They told me they would do better than that. Over the last eight years, these dedicated pro-lifers were outside Planned Parenthood every hour it was open. And now...it’s closed for good.”
That aligns with advice that David Bereit, the founder of 40 Days for Life, once told young people who wanted to know how to end abortion.
Be loving and compassionate, he said.
“Your peaceful, loving presence out there flies in the face of all the stereotypes they want to throw onto us,” he added. “When you show them love instead of condemnation, when you show them peace and joy instead of anger and judgment, that will begin to break down the walls.”
Iowa Right to Life credited just such tactics with closing an office in Red Oak that performed webcam abortions. “Planned Parenthood shut down in Red Oak in large part because of the constant, prayerful presence outside their clinic,” the group said.
Upon hearing of the latest abortion facility shuttering, the Dubuque County Right to Life said that Planned Parenthood isn't the only group that will move its base of operations. “We will probably put our efforts in Cedar Rapids and will continue to spread the pro-life message,” said Executive Director Marian Bourek.
Ted Cruz confronted by mom who supports aborting disabled babies…just like hers
MARION, Indiana, May 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Senator Ted Cruz was met on the campaign trail by a mother who strongly opposed a state pro-life law that would have protected children with birth conditions – like her own.
Andrea DeBruler, a 41-year-old nurse, confronted the presidential hopeful in the city of Marion as Cruz campaigned with Gov. Mike Pence.
DeBruler first asked Cruz, then Pence, about House Bill 1337, which bans abortions performed due to the child's race, sex, or disability, such as Down syndome.
DeBruler held up a picture of her daughter, Jania, who was born with cerebral palsy. “This was a choice,” she said.
She asked Sen. Cruz if he supported the bill, which made Indiana the second state in the nation to ban abortion for Down syndrome, after North Dakota.
“I'm not Governor Pence,” he replied. “But I'll tell you this: I believe in protecting human life.”
Pence, who endorsed Cruz in today's make-or-break Indiana primary, listened to her objections.
“I'm not here as a Republican, I'm not here as a Democrat. I'm here as a woman, a woman with choices, choices that you guys should not make,” DeBruler said.
After hearing that she felt many families lacked sufficient resources to care for children, especially in an area like Marion, Gov. Pence offered to connect her with social services.
“God bless her,” he said, looking at Jania's picture, “and God bless you.”
Though it may be unusual to encounter a woman arguing for the right to abort her own child, the governor handled it calmly. Pence had specifically reflected on “precious moments” he spent with “families of children with disabilities, especially those raising children with Down syndrome” when he signed the bill into law in March.
"We are truly thankful for the passage of this historic legislation by the Indiana House and applaud the new civil rights protections this bill creates for unborn children, as well as the new provisions this bill establishes for the humane final disposition of aborted babies," Indiana Right to Life President Mike Fichter said at the time.
DeBruler told the UK media outlet The Independent that H.B. 1337 “means you can no longer have an abortion based on deformity. I’m against this law, because I think it should be a woman’s choice” to abort for any reason.
Congressional Democrats made similar statements during hearings last month for Rep. Trent Franks' federal Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA), with Congressman John Conyers saying the bill is “patently unconstitutional,” because a woman has the right to abort a child before viability for any reason.
Both leading contenders for the Democratic nomination expressed their displeasure with the law, which protects unborn children from racial or sexual discrimination, as well as discrimination on the basis of an inborn trait like mental capacity.
When Gov. Pence signed the law, Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted:
The decision to have an abortion is for a woman to make, not the Governor of Indiana. https://t.co/1VOroXS2br— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 24, 2016
Hillary Clinton later said, “I commend the women of this state, young and old, for standing up against this governor and this legislature.”
DeBruler told The Independent, despite her comment about not being a Democrat or a Republican, she is in fact a Democrat and will vote for Hillary Clinton in today's primary.
The moral challenge to Cardinal Wuerl in pending Notre Dame outrage
May 3, 2016 (CatholicCulture) -- In 2009, when the University of Notre Dame invited President Barack Obama to deliver a commencement address, dozens of American bishops lodged loud public protests. Yet this year, as Notre Dame prepares to confer an even greater honor on Vice President Joe Biden (together with former House Speaker John Boehner), the silence from the hierarchy is deafening.
Back in 2009, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Houston said that Notre Dame’s invitation to President Obama was “very disappointing,”, while then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan termed it a “big mistake.” The late Bishop John D’Arcy, then leader of the Indiana diocese in which the university is located, spoke of “the terrible breach which has taken place between Notre Dame and the Church.” For the first time in his 25 years of service to the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese, Bishop D’Arcy declined to attend the Notre Dame commencement exercises; instead he addressed a protest rally organized by pro-life students, faculty, alumni, and staff.
These prelates and others explained their dismay by referring to the statement “Catholics in Political Life,” released in 2004 by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. In that document, the bishops reflected on the need to maintain a consistent public witness in defense of human life, and therefore to distance themselves from public officials who support legal abortion. The statement set forth a clear policy that Catholic institutions should not give public honors to “pro-choice” politicians:
The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.
By giving President Obama an honorary degree and offering him an opportunity to speak at graduation, Notre Dame clearly violated that policy. University officials could offer only garbled partial defenses, claiming that they were honoring Obama not because he supports unrestricted abortion, but because he is President of the United States.
This year the university cannot offer even that lame defense of the decision to award the Laetare Medal to Vice President Biden. Unlike Obama, Biden is a Catholic, and by granting him this award the university is explicitly saying that the Vice President has “illustrated the ideals of the Church and enriched the heritage of humanity.” In other words, Notre Dame is honoring Vice President Biden as a Catholic political leader despite his unwavering support for abortion and same-sex marriage.
Give credit to Bishop Kevin Rhoades, the current leader of the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese, for raising a lonely voice of protest. “I believe it is wrong for Notre Dame to honor any ‘pro-choice’ public official with the Laetare Medal, even if he/she has other positive accomplishments in public service,” Bishop Rhoades said. But if any other bishops have joined him in that rebuke to Notre Dame, I must have missed their public announcements.
Some observers, of liberal political sympathies, have argued that it is wrong to honor John Boehner, too, because the former Speaker disagreed with the US bishops’ stand on immigration. This is a tired old argument, conflating disagreement with the bishops on a prudential political decision with defiance of Church teaching on a fundamental moral principle. But it is noteworthy that Notre Dame officials saw fit to make a joint award, no doubt in a cynical effort to dodge political criticism by choosing one honoree from each side of the political spectrum.
“We live in a toxic political environment where poisonous invective and partisan gamesmanship pass for political leadership,” said Father John Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame, in announcing the Laetare Award recipients. (Notice the pre-emptive suggestion that those who criticize the school’s choices may be engaged in “poisonous invective.”) He went on to make a tortured argument that although Notre Dame is honoring two politicians, it is not honoring them for what they have done in their political careers:
In recognizing both men, Notre Dame is not endorsing the policy positions of either, but celebrating two lives dedicated to keeping our democratic institutions working for the common good through dialogue focused on the issues and responsible compromise.
By now we all know the familiar dodges. The politician claims to oppose abortion personally, but to feel a delicate reticence about imposing his views on others. He says that we must be willing to compromise (even on life-and-death decisions). He insists that he is not “pro-abortion” but “pro-choice.”
That last bubble of rhetoric was unceremoniously burst by Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, DC, when he celebrated Mass at Georgetown after Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richard had delivered a lecture there. “The word ‘choice’ is a smokescreen,” he said, “behind which those killing unborn children take refuge. Every chance you get, blow that smoke away!”
Now Cardinal Wuerl himself has a chance to “blow that smoke away.” As things stand, he is scheduled to celebrate Mass at the Notre Dame commencement, and to receive an honorary degree. He could pull out; he could absent himself from the ceremonies, to ensure that he does not become part of an event that pays homage to a “pro-choice” Catholic politician.
And there is a precedent. Back in 2009, the Harvard legal scholar (and former US ambassador to the Holy See) Mary Ann Glendon was chosen to receive the Laetare Award. But when she learned that President Obama would be speaking, she announced her decision to decline the award. Clearly annoyed that her presence might be used to quiet the critics of the honor for Obama, Ambassador Glendon wrote that she did not want to be used as a counterweight, nor did she see the Notre Dame commencement as an appropriate venue for a genteel debate about legal abortion:
A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision—in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops—to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.
Could Cardinal Wuerl do this year what Ambassador Glendon did in 2009? Even at this late date, his withdrawal would send a powerful message of support for the right to life: an unmistakable rebuke to politicians who hide behind the smokescreen that the cardinal himself identified. To be sure, if he did withdraw, the cardinal would be caught in an avalanche of public criticism; he would suffer for his public witness. But there is a reason why cardinals wear red.
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