Author archives: Cathy Ruse

Its a Girl! Could be a Death Sentence in Canada

by Cathy Ruse

January 23, 2012

Recently the interim editor-in-chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal made a radically pro-life proposal: to ban the disclosure to parents of their babys sex before 30 weeks gestation in order to save baby girls from abortion.

A pregnant woman being told the sex of the fetus at ultrasonography at a time when an unquestioned abortion is possible is the starting point of female feticide from a health care perspective, writes Dr. Rajendra Kale.

Quelle surprise, I know. Canadas approach to abortion is nearly as extreme as the United States in everything but numbers of babies slaughtered. Yet heres the interim editor of Canadas top medical journal sounding the alarm on female feticide and trying to fight back. Even her admission that Canada allows unquestioned abortion before 30 weeks gestation is worthy of note.

The horrible practice of aborting baby girls due to a preference for sons has come to Canada with the immigrant communities who secretly practice it, though it is not thought to be widespread.

Still, [s]mall numbers cannot be ignored when the issue is about discrimination against women in its most extreme form, says Dr. Rajendra Kale, interim Editor-in-Chief of the journal. This evil devalues women. How can it be curbed? The solution is to postpone the disclosure of medically irrelevant information to women until after about 30 weeks of pregnancy. Kale advocates that the policy banning sex disclosure before 30 weeks be adopted by the provincial colleges that govern doctors in Canada.

While my first reaction was pleasant surprise, my friend Wesley Smith was more cynical. From his Secondhand Smoke blog:

Oh, so now abortion is feticide is it? And here I thought the procedure was called, right to choose.

Let me see if I have this right: Committing feticide to better enable lifestyle choices or, say, because a boyfriend has leftfine and dandy. Committing selective feticide to reduce triplets to two triplets and one dead sibling post IVF? Splendid. Eugenic feticide that terminates fetuses diagnosed with Down or some other genetic condition. We should have more, not less. But aborting because you want a boy instead of a girl, that cannot be tolerated! Never mind that 50% of fetuses killed in abortion are female. They may be dead, but they werent targeted, so its okay.

His point is spot on, of course. But any port in a storm, I guess. Ill take the illogical, hypocritical anti-girl-abortion-only approach in the hope that the true reason to be horrified that the baby is a human and not that the baby is a girl will somehow take root.

For a recent blockbuster study on the incidence of sex-selection abortion in Indian communities in the United States, see the University of California, San Francisco study conducted by Dr. Sunita Puri revealing an 89% abortion rate for women carrying girls.

What Babies Learn in the Womb

by Cathy Ruse

December 12, 2011

In a recent column on CNN online, science writer Annie Murphy Paul discusses her astonishment at finding myriad studies about what babies can learn in the womb.

Once considered a mundane field for the researcher, [n]ow the nine months of gestation are the focus of intense interest and excitement, she writes, pregnancy is not a nine-month wait for the big event of birth, but a crucial period unto itself.

Researchers are learning that much of what a mother experiences in her daily life is communicated to developing child, from the air she breathes and the food and drink she consumes even to the emotions she feels. Paul likens it to biological postcards from the world outside.

The fetus, we now know, is not an inert blob, but an active and dynamic creature, responding and adapting as it readies itself for life in the particular world it will soon enter. Amen to that.

The findings wont shock the pro-lifer, but the fact that theyre gaining attention in the scientific community and are being reported in places like CNN online should cheer the pro-life soul. The recognition that learning actually begins before birth leads us to a striking new conception of the fetus, the pregnant woman and the relationship between them.

Some of Pauls conclusions, though, seem to be a stretch. By attending to such messages, she writes, the fetus learns the answers to questions critical to its survival: Will it be born into a world of abundance, or scarcity? Will it be safe and protected, or will it face constant dangers and threats? Will it live a long, fruitful life, or a short, harried one? A bit deterministic, if you ask me, but I welcome her acknowledgment of the growing childs sentience.

You Will Always be With Me: Fetal Cells Cross Placenta and Stay with Mom for Life

by Cathy Ruse

December 7, 2011

You will always be a part of me, might be a mothers teary farewell when her child goes off to college, but research is showing its quite literally true.

Kathy Ostrowski reports in the Kansans for Life blog on a recent National Public Radio Morning Edition program featuring Science editor Robert Krulwich and his explosive report about fetomaternal microchimerism. According to Krulwich there is increasing evidence that when a woman has a baby, she gets not just a son or daughter, [but] an army of protective cells gifts from her children that will stay inside her and defend her for the rest of her life.

Some interesting points and quotes from the segment:

  • In a teaspoon of an ordinary pregnant womans blood… [are] dozens, perhaps even hundreds of cells… from the baby, according to a Tufts University researcher. Lab studies done over and over and over and over of mother mice with diseases (ovarian, endometrial, and cervical cancers) show that fetal cells rush to the places where theyre needed in the mom.
  • The cells of an unborn child will stay in the mother for decades… essentially forever, said a researcher from Thomas Jefferson University. Theres a lot of evidence now starting to come out that these cells may actually be repairing tissue.
  • A study involving a Boston woman with hepatitis (and a history of five pregnancies) found hundreds of fetal cells at work repairing her liver.

In a culture where children are too often seen as a threat to self, heres an argument that might reach even the hardest heart.

Heres a Good One for the Dirty Jobs Show: Health Inspector of Illinois Abortion Clinics

by Cathy Ruse

November 29, 2011

The Thomas More Society reports that an Illinois judge yesterday ordered the doors of the Northern Illinois Womens Center to remain shut pending a formal public hearing. The abortion center lost its license some months ago after failing public health inspections, the first inspections in 14 years.

Lawyers at the Society say the inspections uncovered numerous health and safety violations, including:

  • Gynecological cannulas (surgical instruments inserted during abortion) stained with brown substance
  • Shoes stored inside open box of surgical gloves
  • Equipment used to sterilize medical instruments failed biological testing
  • All 3 operating rooms failed to ensure a sanitary environment
  • Box of opened surgical gloves stained with a dried brown substance
  • Failure to prevent contamination of surgical equipment
  • Operating rooms not staffed with a qualified Registered Nurse as required by law
  • Abortion practitioners without hospital admitting privileges

Heres hoping it wont take 14 years to close the place for good.

Steve Jobs the Unwanted

by Cathy Ruse

November 3, 2011

Joan Desmond has written a nice review of the new Steve Jobs biography in the National Catholic Register:

In it she recounts Jobs gratitude to his biological mother for not choosing abortion:

[Biographer Walter] Isaacson traces Jobs effort to find his biological mother, a Midwestern graduate student raised in a Catholic family. I wanted to meet my biological mother mostly to see if she was okay and to thank her, because Im glad I didnt end up as an abortion. She was 23 and went through a lot to have me, Jobs told his biographer.

Apparently Jobs biological mother sought to secure his future well-being by insisting that a college-educated couple adopt her son. Instead, recounts Desmond, two high-school dropouts provided a loving and secure home and a garage where Jobs watched his father fix things and make them work. Meanwhile, the well-credentialed biological father left his children in the lurch.

This last point presents a major theme of the biographer: that the circumstances of Steve Jobs birth to unmarried parents and adoption as an infant left him with deep abandonment issues that impacted the rest of his life. But so, too, is there healing and redemption through love the love of his adoptive parents, the experience of loving his own children, and the love between Jobs and his sister, Mona Simpson, whom he didnt meet until they were both adults:

After his death, Simpson offered a eulogy that reflected on the emotional scars inflicted by their biological father and the healing power of her brothers love. Even as a feminist, my whole life Id been waiting for a man to love, who could love me. For decades, Id thought that man would be my father. When I was 25, I met that man, and he was my brother, said Simpson.

One incident Desmond highlights gives testimony to Jobs determination to be a very present father to his own children, despite all of the money and fame:

Theres a wonderful scene in the biography when Bill Gates comes to pay his respects to his old nemesis. While Gates lives in a house that rivals the square footage of Versailles, Jobs consciously chose to reside in a comparatively modest residence that functioned without live-in staff or a security detail. The Jobs family gathered every night at the kitchen table for dinner. When Gates checks out Jobs home, he asks in wonderment, Do you all live here?

How wonderful, that part of the legacy of this American genius is the potential greatness of every unwanted child and the enormous significance of fatherhood.

Listen to My Heart Beat

by Cathy Ruse

October 13, 2011

When Austin and I learned we were pregnant for the fourth time, we rushed to the radiology lab not the usual response to such happy news, but this pregnancy followed three miscarriages and so we had a routine: positive home pregnancy test followed quickly by a blood test to check for hormone levels and then an ultrasound to try to see what was happening. In prior ultrasounds we had seen a yolk sac but not much growth and, most important, no measurable heartbeat. Each of these pregnancies miscarried between 4 and 9 weeks.

This time was different. There on the ultrasound, at just 4 weeks, was the rapid flutter of a tiny rudimentary heart! What a sight! And then, what a sound! I had always held pro-life views. Always known that a tiny growing child in the womb was a living human being. But seeing and hearing Lucys heart beat brought me to a deeper knowledge of the truth of her humanity. It was my sweetest encounter with Thomistic epistemology.

A coalition of pro-life groups is embarking on a new effort to promote state laws nationwide that would do one simple thing: require abortion practitioners to make the fetal heartbeat audible and visible to pregnant women before an abortion. It does not ban abortion or restrict it in any other way. It does not require abortion practitioners to make pro-life statements. It simply requires the use of medical technology to impart medical facts. Genius.

An Associated Press report yesterday quoted Ohio Right to Life director Mike Gonidakis, whose group is part of the coalition, as touting the measure as both legally sound and effective: This is it, he said. This is the one thats going to continue to save lives in the current court environment we have. The approach is supported by Family Research Council Action, the National Right to Life, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Americans United for Life, and Susan B. Anthony List.

The pro-abortion crowd is sounding the alarm, of course, and falsely claiming this approach takes away womens rights. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Knowledge is power. Let those little hearts beat!

On the Passing of Dr. Margaret Ogola, Kenyan Pro-Life Hero

by Cathy Ruse

September 28, 2011

Margaret OgolaLast week Margaret Ogolas life on Earth came to an end, at the very young age of 53. Here was a woman who understood the gift of time, for she filled the hours allotted to her in radical solidarity with those God entrusted to her care, and in service of advancing the cause of human life and dignity.

Dr. Ogola was a medical doctor, an award-winning novelist, a university professor, a human rights advocate, and a mother of six children. She ran a hospice for AIDS orphans. She directed the Institute of Healthcare Management at Strathmore University in Nairobi. She was an advisor to the Catholic Bishops of Kenya. She was a powerhouse, yet was described as a person filled with peace. (For a comprehensive obituary see the Strathmore University web site.)

Margaret Ogola was well known in her country as an award-winning novelist. Her first novel, The River and the Source, won every African literary award around. Her subsequent works also received acclaim.

Dr. Ogola was well also known to many Americans active on the world pro-life stage. Family Research Councils own Pat Fagan and my husband Austin Ruse knew her from their work with her on the biennial World Congress of Families where I am told she kept huge audiences rapt with her soft voice and powerful message. In a speech she made at the 4th Women International Conference in Beijing (China) in 1995, she argued that, unless we recognize that each individual is valuable by virtue of simply being conceived human, we cannot begin to talk about human rights.

May God give comfort to her husband and children and may He rest her soul in eternal peace.

Dead Baby Jokes at Planned Parenthood: Not Funny, Give Us Back Our Tax Money

by Cathy Ruse

September 6, 2011

Abby Johnson has opened a window to the world inside Planned Parenthood, the nations abortion giant, and its disgusting, worse than imagined.

If you dare, read on:

Abby Johnson Recalls: Planned Parenthood Alarm Was 2229 (BABY)

It took a few weeks before I got the alarm code to our clinic. I guess it takes that long for them to trust you. I remember getting the code and feeling shocked. The code was 2229. That seems innocent…until they told me what it spelled out…BABY. Really. Wow. We were really joking about that…our alarm code was mocking the murder of children.

A few weeks later I was introduced to our freezer in the POC (products of conception) lab. This was the freezer that held the fetal tissue until the biohazard truck came for disposal. I found out the name for that freezer…the nursery. Again, that was a joke. How had that become a joke?

Read the rest at Life News.

Meet the Co-Parents: Friends Not Lovers

by Cathy Ruse

August 29, 2011

A few years ago the New York Times ran a story about a new social phenomenon: Couples, who claim to love each other, who have an exclusive sexual relationship, and who share financial expenses, are choosing not to live together. The arrangement is called Living Apart Together, and apparently its on the rise. The couples interviewed spoke of their need for alone time and personal space and a desire not to wait on the other person they claim to love. Why bother joining households and lose a great city apartment? one suggested.

Reading that story brought to mind how Woody Allen once described the perfect arrangement he had with Mia Farrow: separate apartments on opposite sides of Central Park where they could see each others lights go off at night. But we know how that ended. (For those too young to remember: Woody ended up having an affair with, and then marrying, his own stepdaughter, and in his defense famously said, The heart wants what the heart wants.)

Last week the London Telegraph reviewed another new social relationship trend: people who are neither married nor in love (nor, in some cases, even acquainted) are apparently having children together through the use of in vitro fertilization. Why?

The story leads with examples of homosexuals who wanted to have a child of their own partnering up with people of the opposite sex to share biological material. But also interviewed was this single heterosexual woman, approaching the end of her fertile years, who explained: In a worst-case scenario I would seek an anonymous donor, but Ive always thought a child needs a father. At the very least I wanted a donor who would visit regularly.

What kid wouldnt want Daddy Sperm visiting regularly? But why does little Johnny hide under the bed when the door bell rings?

WSJ: Britains Chief Rabbi on the Riots—Causes and Solutions

by Cathy Ruse

August 22, 2011

Here is an interesting piece from Saturdays Wall Street Journal.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks posits that it is the breakdown of the family and, even more fundamentally, a turning away from its Judeo-Christian faith, that has created a moral crisis in the West of which the London riots are a symptom.

I do not agree with everything he says (when he calls the rioters victims and says its not their fault, that is a bridge too far for me), but his broader argument for the moral reinvigoration that a return to religion can bring to society, and its necessity in bringing about a common good, is persuasive.

An interesting quote from the end of the piece:

One of our great British exports to America, Harvard historian Niall Ferguson, has a fascinating passage in his recent book Civilization, in which he asks whether the West can maintain its primacy on the world stage or if it is a civilization in decline.

He quotes a member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, tasked with finding out what gave the West its dominance. He said: At first we thought it was your guns. Then we thought it was your political system, democracy. Then we said it was your economic system, capitalism. But for the last 20 years, we have known that it was your religion.