Friday, September 29, 2006

Respect Life Sunday, Part 3

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a news release regarding Respect Life Sunday:
In a statement marking Respect Life Sunday, celebrated in Catholic parishes this year on October 1, Cardinal William H. Keeler welcomed “true advances” in respect for human life in our society. He also criticized recent developments that, while “hailed as forms of technical progress” by some, are “regressive and harmful in their effects on human life.”

Cardinal Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore, is Chairman of the Committee for Pro-Life Activities at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Among the “signs of progress” welcomed by the Cardinal are the “enthusiastic involvement” of young people in pro-life education and activism, and “the growing number of youth committed to living chastely until marriage,” a trend that has helped reduce abortions. He noted shifts in public opinion against abortion, spurred in part by “the public debate on partial-birth abortion,” and against the use of the death penalty.

Among negative developments the Cardinal cited FDA approval of the abortion drug RU-486 and the Plan B “emergency contraceptive,” which can harm women as well as unborn human lives. “In the field of stem cell research,” he added, “the genuine and growing promise of treatments using adult stem cells is often downplayed or ignored, while exaggerated or even fraudulent claims are made for avenues that require destroying early human lives.” Citing the example of a “Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative” on the November ballot in Missouri, he said the initiative claims to ban human cloning but “would actually elevate the cloning of human embryos for destructive research to the status of a constitutional right.”

The entire release is available here.