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Dear Friends:

A Massachusetts judge's decision to order the abortion of "a mentally ill woman's unborn baby and sterilize her - if it meant she had to be 'coaxed, bribed, or even enticed ... by ruse' into the procedure" has drawn appropriate fire from officials in the Bay State.

Judge Christina Harms, who retired from the bench last week, not only wanted to compel the woman known only as "Mary Moe" to have an abortion - a procedure serious Catholic Ms. Moe said, explicitly, she did not want - but also to sterilize her. Thankfully, State Appellate Court Associate Justice Andrew R. Grainger has reversed Judge Harms' ruling, stating that 'No party requested this measure ... and the judge appears to have simply produced the requirement out of thin air." Justice Grainger has now given the case to another judge.

The forced sterilization of roughly 30,000 Americans occurred in our own country in the years leading up to World War II (U.S. Holocaust Museum). The inherent injustice and cruelty of the practice was not only odious to most of our fellow citizens, but its barbarity was cast into horrible relief with the rise of Nazism in Germany. Hitler's "Law for the Prevention of Progeny with Hereditary Diseases" (July 14, 1933) compelled "the sterilization of all persons who suffered from diseases considered hereditary, such as mental illness (schizophrenia and manic depression), retardation ('congenital feeble-mindedness'), physical deformity, epilepsy, blindness, deafness, and severe alcoholism." In addition to the estimated 400,000 persons sterilized, by 1945 up to 250,000 people had been murdered for their real or perceived physical or mental problems.

All of this poses a troubling question: Our society's outrage over Judge Harms' decision, while admirable, is much too muted when it comes to the ongoing death of more than 3,000 unborn children daily in the U.S., as is our culture's compassion for their mothers, who often are "left uninformed" of the other, non-abortion related options they have.

At FRC, we work with dedicated people across the country to provide those better options. That's why, on Monday, January 23 - the day of the annual "March for Life" here in the nation's capital - FRC will launch the second edition of our "A Passion to Serve: How Pregnancy Resource Centers Empower Women, Help Families, and Strengthen Communities." Make sure to visit our website, A Passion to Serve, where you will be able to download your own free copy on January 23.


Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice President

Family Research Council

P.S. Be sure to watch the Webcast of FRC's annual "ProLifeCon," the premier gathering of online pro-life activists, on January 23.

Educational Freedom and Reform


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To read about the latest advances in ethical adult stem cell research, keep up with leading-edge reports from FRC's Dr. David Prentice, click here.

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  • "I, iPhone," Jordan J. Ballor, The Acton Institute

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