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The Erie Echo
"Voice for Life"
Volume XXVIII No. 4  -------- October-November 2000

Inside this issue . . .

Presidential Election

Abortion advocates, as well as opponents, understand that the presidential election on November 7 will be a watershed event for legal abortion in the United States. On this, the two sides heartily agree!

Contrasting Bush with Gore, the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) "warns" that: "The next president will have the power to take away a woman's freedom to choose.... George W. Bush would nominate Supreme Court Justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade. He even supports a constitutional amendment to outlaw abortion." Patricia Ireland, president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), had this to say about Supreme Court appointments: "[Bush] also says they are also going to have to be people who interpret the Constitution strictly.... That is code, you know, for people who believe that strictly interpreted, the Constitution does not provide a constitutional right to abortion."

The next president will influence the future course of legal abortion by many different means, including appointments within the executive branch, legislation signed - and vetoed, and executive orders. The most dramatic changes, however, will likely result from appointments to the Supreme Court. Three Justices are 70 or older, Stevens, Rehnquist and O'Connor. At least two are expected to retire in the next four years.

Dr. & Mrs. Anthony Levatino

People for Life is very pleased to introduce not one, but two highly respected pro-life advocates who will be speaking at the annual Pro-Life Prayer Breakfast on January 13, 2001. Dr. Anthony Levatino and his wife Cecilia will share their unique perspective on why a physician who has been trained to save lives would take the lives of unborn children. Their insights have educated and inspired audiences around the world.

Dr. Levatino used to carry out first and second trimester abortions as part of his Ob-Gyn practice in upstate New York, but he stopped doing abortions after a terrible tragedy struck the Levatino continued on page 4


Prior to each election, the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation PAC publishes a guide containing important information about the candidates. Most candidates are classified as either "pro-life," "pro-abortion," or "mixed" unless there was "no response or information" available. These evaluations are based on "candidate questionnaires, public statements, personal interviews, or voting records." The pro-life designation indicates that a candidate supports legislation to protect unborn children and supports positive alternatives to abortion. The pro-abortion designation indicates that the candidate will not support legislation to protect unborn children or would insist on so many exceptions and loop-holes that any such legislation would be rendered meaningless.

Pennsylvania House of Representatives
At the local end of the spectrum, the guide for the upcoming November 7 general election includes the candidates for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. In races of interest in northwestern Pennsylvania, Linda-Bebko Jones (D), unopposed in District 1, is listed as pro-abortion; Italo Cappabianca (D), unopposed in District 2, is listed as pro-life; Karl Boyes (R), unopposed in District 3, is listed as mixed; in District 4, incumbent Thomas Scrimenti (D) and challenger David Mitchell (R) are listed as pro-life; in District 5, John Evans (R) is listed as pro-life and Karen Mulkearn (D) is tagged "no response or information"; Theresa Forcier (R), unopposed in District 6, is listed as pro-life; in District 7, incumbent Mike Gruitza (D) and challenger Jack Kopen (R) are listed as pro-life; in District 8, incumbent Richard Stevenson (R) is listed as pro-life and challenger James Coulter (D) is said to "lean pro-life"; Rod Wilt (R), unopposed in District 17, is listed as pro-life; and Jim Lynch (R), unopposed in District 65, is listed as pro-life.

Pennsylvania Senate
One-half of the seats in the Pennsylvania Senate are up for reelection this year, and in northwestern Pennsylvania, in District 25, incumbent William Slocum (R) and challenger Joseph J. Calla, Jr. (D) are listed as pro-life and in District 49, M. Jane Earll (R) is listed as pro-abortion and John Paul Jones (D) is tagged "no response or information."

U.S. House of Representatives
In northwestern Pennsylvania contests for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, John Peterson (R), with no democratic opposition in District 5, is listed as pro-life and in District 21, Phil English (R) is listed as pro-life and Marc A. Flitter (D) is listed as pro-abortion. The guide notes that John Peterson and Phil English are pro-life incumbents with 100% pro-life voting records.

Statewide Contests
Four statewide contests are on the ballot in Pennsylvania. For the U.S. Senate, incumbent Rick Santorum (R) and challenger Ron Klink (D) are listed as pro-life. The guide notes that incumbent Rick Santorum has a "100% pro-life voting record" and is a "national leader to stop partial-birth abortion." For Pennsylvania Attorney General, Mike Fisher (R) is listed as pro-life and James Eisenhower (D) is listed as pro-abortion. For Pennsylvania Auditor General, incumbent Bob Casey, Jr. (D) and challenger Katie True (R) are listed as pro-life. The voter's guide notes that Katie True is the "Leader in House pro-life caucus." For Pennsylvania Treasurer, Catherine Baker-Knoll (D) is listed as pro-life and Barbara Hafer (R) is listed as pro-abortion.

President and Vice-President
For the offices of President and Vice-President of the United States, George W. Bush (R) and Dick Cheney (R) are listed as pro-life. Al Gore (D) and Joseph Lieberman (D) are listed as pro-abortion. The guide notes that Bush and Cheney support a ban on partial-birth abortion and that Gore and Lieberman oppose a ban on partial-birth abortion. Lieberman has voted against banning partial-birth abortion at every opportunity, a total of five times.

When both candidates for a particular office are identified as pro-life, the incumbent receives the support of the Pro-Life Federation PAC.

Gore Would Execute a Pregnant Woman

On NBC Meet the Press, July 16, 2000, host Tim Russert asked Al Gore if he agreed with "a federal statute, on the books, that if a woman is pregnant and she's on [federal] death row, she should not be executed." Gore laughed and responded, "You know, it's an interesting fact situation. I'd want to think about it." Next day, Gore announced his support for the execution of pregnant women: "The principle of a woman's right to choose governs in that case." Such an execution would violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Article 6(5), as well as common law and U.S. law, 18 U.S.C.A. Sect. 3596, which reads: "A sentence of death shall not be carried out upon a woman while she is pregnant."

A DAY OF GRACE is yet held out to us. Both North and South have been guilty before God; and the Christian church has a heavy account to answer. Not by combining together, to protect injustice and cruelty, and making a common capital of sin, is this Union to be saved, -but by repentance, justice and mercy; for, not surer is the eternal law by which the millstone sinks in the ocean, than that stronger law, by which injustice and cruelty shall bring on nations the wrath of Almighty God!


Religious leaders urge responsible citizenship

Executive Director, Lutherans for Life
"[Abortion] is such a fundamental wrong, that when it comes to voting, a candidate's stance on other issues is irrelevant if he or she favors abortion. A vote is not a passive act. By voting for a particular candidate, the voter participates in promoting the agenda of the candidate in an intentional action."

R.C. Diocese of Omaha, Nebraska
"[W]e oppose the death penalty as well as euthanasia and abortion. However, Catholic teaching does not weigh opposition to capital punishment the same way it weighs opposition to abortion. The thousands of innocent pre-born babies killed every year by abortion constitute a greater evil than the execution of a few convicted felons by the state, not only because of the sheer number of deaths but because of the gravity of the act itself."

President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission,
Southern Baptist Convention
"Chief among our concerns about the disintegrating moral fabric of our society is the fact that, still in 2000, our government continues to condone the devaluing of human life by permitting abortion on demand.... Obedient discipleship requires nothing less than active, principled involvement with society, including informed participation in our nation's public policy process."

R.C. Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York
"Catholic citizens especially should affirm a personal stance that respects and sustains human life and makes it unmistakably clear to all candidates and officials that this will be a determining factor in their choice of candidates."

R.C. Diocese of Arlington, Virginia
"The moral principle that every person is created in the image and likeness of God and thus must be treated as a gift of God stands taller than any Supreme Court decision permitting the destruction of life in the womb."

"Given the fact that no threat to human life in our society claims more victims than abortion, and given the fact that no other rights can be enjoyed unless one is born, we urge voters to give priority consideration to the fundamental right to life in choosing pro-life candidates with realistic chances of being elected as the keystone for all the other good they hope to bring about as a result of their vote."

R.C. Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania
"Some people say that there should not be single issue voting. I say, life is the fundamental issue. It is the keyhole through which to look to see the values of the candidate."

Vote for Life
By Bishop Donald W. Trautman

By a very close vote, 5-4, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the practice of partial-birth abortion. This decision effectively extends the "right to abortion" beyond the destruction of babies within the womb to now include babies outside the womb.

Partial-birth abortion is really infanticide. It involves killing an infant who has been mostly delivered alive outside of his or her mother. The medical evidence is overwhelming. There is no credible medical indication for its use. Congress has voted to ban partial-birth abortion three times. President Clinton has vetoed it twice and has promised a third veto. While most people oppose its continued use, it is shocking to learn that 34 senators and the president of the United States actually defend it.

The upcoming presidential election will impact the future composition of the Supreme Court, as well as the course of pro-life legislation for a long time to come. Every Catholic and person of good will must answer the question: How will we protect the weakest in our midst-innocent, unborn children? How can our nation help parents raise their children with respect for life and sound moral values? Leadership is crucial and the position of each presidential candidate is well known.

With reference to the so-called abortion pill, it is interesting to note that the Food and Drug Administration held in secrecy the names of researchers involved and the company that was to produce the drugs. In a free democracy this was done in secrecy, contrary to the nature of free communication of research findings.

The research should have been made known so that it could be scrutinized in a scientific manner. Once more the present Washington administration has shown itself to be pro-abortion.

There are those who state over and over: "America's women have the right to choose." But they never finish the sentence: "I support a women's right to choose." Choose what? They never say the word "abortion." That would not be politically correct.

We need to help candidates seeking public office to face the reality and finish the sentence. I support a woman's right to choose - choose what? - an abortion, the killing of an innocent human life.

If American Catholics and people of good will show moral blindness at this election time, they bear the consequences of their actions. We must exercise our power of voting in ways that defend human life and support human dignity. We must see beyond party politics and choose political leaders according to principle, not party affiliation.

We must examine campaign rhetoric critically. We have heard from the highest office in the land the difficulty in understanding what the word "is" means. Recall the infamous words: "It depends on what 'is' is." And now we hear from the vice-president: "I support the right of the woman to choose." But the sentence is never completed. Choose what?

What can an individual do?

Some people say there should not be single issue voting. I say, life is the fundamental issue. It is the keyhole through which to look to see the values of the candidate. If the right to life and the quality of life issues are not the most important, what is?

When making up your mind to vote, consider among other issues of concern to you the reality of partial-birth abortion. A doctor starts to deliver a living child in the second or third trimester of development. The doctor stops mid-delivery and with only the child's head still inside his or her mother, the doctor kills the baby brutally.

The American Medical Association and respected specialists have judged that partial-birth abortion is never medically necessary. Know what the presidential contenders would do in regard to partial-birth abortion if elected. The issues are clear.

The main sin of many Americans consists not in doing evil, but in permitting it. God have mercy on us.

For the Record

Baby Poison
"The pro-life position means, by definition, that we give the lives of innocent children waiting to be born the same status as those of children already born. Accordingly, we should be committed to opposing the FDA ruling with the same vigor we would presumably show if the agency had approved a poison for general use in the extermination of 10-year-olds."   -- ALAN KEYES

Supreme Court is Top Issue
"[N]o issue is more vital in the race between Al Gore and George W. Bush than the makeup of the Supreme Court and the future of a woman's right to choose."  -- Kate Michelman, director, National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL)

Character and Politics
"There is nothing dishonorable about politics. It reflects the people who are in it. If the good people leave politics to the bad people, then good folks have no one to blame but themselves for the sorry results. The only alternative to choosing rulers with ballots is to choose them with bullets. Trust me, whatever defects our system has, it is far better than elections won or lost with gunfire and death. One of the blessings we as Americans have is the knowledge that ours is virtually the only revolution in the history of the world that did not produce a dictator. People alive at that time understood that was because of the character of George Washington, which is why he was so revered and deserves today to be revered."   -- CHARLEY REESE, syndicated columnist

Free Speech
"Effectively assuming that all protests within 100 feet of any clinic and eight feet of any individual will constitute unlawful harassment, Colorado law imposes a clear prior restraint on protected political speech. How do you hand a pamphlet to someone if you're prohibited from coming within eight feet of her? Women and girls seeking abortions have a right not to be criminally harassed or blocked from entering clinics. But they have no right not to be upset, offended, or even traumatized by abortion protests." -- WENDY KAMINER, "Abortion and Autonomy," commenting on sidewalk counseling restrictions in Colorado

"I think the FDA's decision to approve the abortion pill RU-486 is wrong. People on both sides of the abortion issue can agree that we should do everything we can to reduce the number of abortions, and I fear that making this abortion pill widespread will make abortions more and more common, rather than more and more rare. As President, I will work to build a culture that respects life." -- GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH

The More Things Change...  "Facts too shocking to be contemplated occasionally force their way to the public ear, and the comment that one often hears made on them is more shocking than the thing itself. It is said, 'Very likely such cases may now and then occur, but they are no sample of general practice.' If the laws of New England were so arranged that a master could now and then torture an apprentice to death, would it be received with equal composure? Would it be said, 'These cases are rare, and no samples of general practice'?" - HARRIET BEECHER STOWE, Uncle Tom's Cabin or Life Among the Lowly (1852)

An editorial of the Washington Times, October 4, 2000

"Elation" is a weird and even unfathomable reaction to what Rep. Tom Coburn has perceptively described as an FDA first: the unprecedented approval of "a drug intended to kill people."

"A sweet victory," said Kate Michelman of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League. "A great morning for American women," said Eleanor Smeal of the Feminist Majority Foundation. "A day that women should remember because their health and their choices are finally being respected," said Sen. Barbara Boxer. This victory, this great morning, this day to remember invoked so expansively by feminists refers to last Thursday's announcement by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the so-called French abortion pill, RU-486, is now legal in the United States. Eleven years after President George Bush blocked its importation, seven years after President Clinton on his third day of office directed the FDA to begin its review, this decision brings to market what may be the ultimate postmodern convenience. RU-486 stands as the state of the art in early pregnancy termination: five pills, three office visits, two glasses of water, and life is beautiful again.

That is, it must be. What else explains, as reported by The Washington Post, the mood resembling war's-end euphoria at a local Planned Parenthood clinic over this government announcement. "The staff was waving [the announcement] in the air and saying, 'They approved it! They approved it!'," said a supervisor of "patient services" at the organization's six D.C.-area clinics. "There was a great deal of elation."

"Elation" is a weird and even unfathomable reaction to what Rep. Tom Coburn has perceptively described as an FDA first: the unprecedented approval of "a drug intended to kill people." But elation is nonetheless the salient reaction of proponents of abortion rights to the legalized sale of RU-486. Why?

Any description of the procedure quickly disabuses one of the notion that RU-486 is really as effortless as swallowing a couple of aspirin. As described by the New York Times, studies show that this pill-popping abortion method, which requires three doctor's office visits, combines two drugs that together cause "bleeding and cramping that usually last 9 to 16 days" - usually - "but can continue for 30 days or more. About half the women also reported nausea, and a quarter to a third said they experienced headaches, vomiting or diarrhea." In 5 percent of the women who take RU-486, the abortion is "incomplete," requiring the woman to undergo a surgical abortion "to empty her uterus of fetal tissue." A few women - 1 percent - bleed severely enough to require a blood transfusion in addition to a surgical abortion.
So, RU-486 is not quite so convenient after all. What may instead explain the eye-shining admiration for the drug among abortion rights activists is the privacy with which RU-486 is administered - at home or in any doctor's office. As one local abortion clinic owner put it to The Washington Post, "Some women may like the privacy of [having an abortion] in their home, with their husband or significant other or parents there." But it's not just the preference of the consumer that likely accounts for all the excitement. Consider the fact that, if RU-486 catches on, the drug would remove abortion, literally, from the obvious venue of the abortion clinic - particularly if the drug were ever retooled and approved for use beyond the first seven weeks of a pregnancy. In other words, the abortion pill could effectively decentralize the practice of abortion, rendering the procedure itself increasingly anonymous, and also decreasingly a tangible target of abortion opponents.

To abortion rights activists, that would be the biggest convenience of all.

Copyright (c) 2000 News World Communications, Inc.
Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times.

Editor's note: It is not at all clear that RU-486 will "effectively decentralize the practice of abortion." Readers should consider that the various abortion methods employed to date have not been relegated to free standing abortion facilities because they are particularly complex or difficult to for abortionists to master. Rather, most physicians avoid abortion because of ethical and moral convictions, or to avoid being stigmatized and rejected by their patients and their communities.
Pro-Life Pro-Family Ad Hoc Committee
Candidate Survey

1. INFORMED CONSENT AND WAITING PERIOD FOR ABORTION Pennsylvania law requires that before a woman is subjected to abortion, she must be provided with certain information, including information about medical risks and alternatives, the probable gestational age of the unborn child, the availability of more detailed information about fetal development, and the possibility of medical assistance benefits if the woman decides to continue her pregnancy. This information must be presented at least 24 hours before the abortion procedure takes place. Should these provisions in Pennsylvania law be relaxed or repealed?

2. PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT Given that Roe v. Wade currently precludes measures that would be substantially more protective, do you agree with the provision in Pennsylvania law which requires the informed consent of one parent or, if such consent is withheld, an authorization from a court of common pleas, before a woman less than 18 years old is subjected to abortion?

3. PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTION In the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 1997 (H.R. 1122), the Congress of the United States enacted legislation which defined partial-birth abortion as "an abortion in which the person performing the abortion partially vaginally delivers a living fetus before killing the fetus and completing the delivery." Do you think that such a ban, which would allow an exception only if the procedure is necessary to "save the life of the mother," ought to be enacted at either the state or federal level?

4. LEGAL PROTECTION FOR THE UNBORN CHILD When Roe v. Wade is overturned, should the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania prohibit abortion except to save the life of the mother?

5. EXCEPTIONS When Roe v. Wade is overturned, should the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania necessarily include exceptions for rape, incest, or fetal handicap, in addition to the life of the mother exception, in any prohibition of abortion by the Commonwealth?

6. HUMAN LIFE AMENDMENT Should the Constitution of the United States be amended to ensure legal protection for the unborn child in recognition of the scientifically incontrovertible fact that every individual human life begins at conception?
7. LATE TERM ABORTIONS Should third trimester (post viability) abortions be prohibited by law?

8. GOVERNMENT FUNDING Should public money be used to pay for abortions when the mother's life is not in endangered?

9. COUNSELING AND REFERRAL Should public money be used to pay for abortion counseling or referral?

10. ASSISTED SUICIDE Should there be state laws to prohibit physician assisted suicide?

QUESTION 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
State Senator District 49
John Paul Jones nr nr nr nr nr nr nr nr nr nr
M. Jane Earl nr nr nr nr nr nr nr nr nr nr
State Representative District 1
Linda Bebko-Jones (D) nr nr nr nr nr nr nr nr nr nr
State Representative District 2
Italo S. Cappabianca (D) nr nr nr nr nr nr nr nr nr nr
State Representative District 3
Karl Boyes nr nr nr nr nr nr nr nr nr nr
State Representative District 3
Tom Scrimenti (D) N Y Y Y y Y Y N N Y
David E. Mitchell (R) N Y Y Y N Y Y N N Y
State Representative District 5
Karen L. Mulkern (D) nr nr nr nr nr nr nr nr nr nr
John R. Evans (R) N Y Y n y Y Y N N Y
State Representative District 6
Teresa Forcier (R) N Y Y Y N Y Y N N Y

KEY Y - yes N - no nr - no response
UPPER CASE indicates the pro-life, or strongest pro-life, response.

Putting Babies Ahead of Politics

Karenna Gore-Schiff, the oldest daughter of pro-abortion vice-president Al Gore, paid a visit to Erie on August 24 on behalf of the Gore for president political campaign.

To call attention to Al Gore's total submission to the abortion industry and the pro-abortion political lobbies, an informational demonstration was conducted in front of East High School, where Ms. Gore-Schiff was addressing a political rally.

With less than a 24 hour notice, more than 30 pro-life demonstrators responded on behalf of the innocent unborn in America. The north side of East High School was picketed from about 5:45 PM until 8:00 PM when Ms. Gore-Schiff finally made her getaway. The demonstration was arranged by the Pro-Life Pro-Family Ad Hoc Committee, the political action committee of People for Life. Tim Broderick, secretary of the Ad Hoc Committee, was interviewed by two local TV news departments and by the Erie Times-News.

The demonstrators received numerous expressions of support from East High students who had been attending an orientation meeting unrelated to the Gore event. One young man asked for a sign to carry and joined the demonstration!

The attendance at the rally itself was very poor. The numbers were well below those four years earlier when Hillary politicked at East High School on behalf of the 1996 Clinton-Gore reelection campaign and was greeted by many of the same dedicated pro-life pickets who were on hand for Ms. Gore-Schiff.

Lieberman Excommunicated

Vice-presidential hopeful Joseph Lieberman was excommunicated by a rabbinical court, or beth din, in New York City on October 23. The court stated that Lieberman has caused "grave scandal" for the Jewish religion "by the fact that, while claiming to be an observant Jew, Lieberman has been misrepresenting and falsifying to the American people the teachings of the Torah against partial birth infanticide."

Dr. & Mrs. Levatino from page 1
family. Cecilia Levatino is the only wife of an abortionist who has dared to pull back the veil of confidentiality about family relationships and the impact of abortion on the physician's families. She says, "The tragedy of abortion has a ripple effect which reaches far beyond the woman and her unborn child and touches the hearts and souls of everyone, including the physician's and their families." The Levatinos describe their story as a "resurrection from death to life."
In addition to his MD, Dr. Levatino earned a JD from Albany Law School in 1993, class rank 5 of 228.

Area News Briefs

People for Life is helping to fund this billboard at the site of the pending abortion facility in Erie. It is sponsored by the HEART (Healing Emotions of Abortion Related Trauma) Division of the Women's Care Center. To pledge your financial support, please contact People for Life.

Signature Campaign
Since October 1999, People for Life has been gathering signatures from people opposed to the opening of any abortion facility in Erie. More that 23,627 signatures have been collected to date. Over 3000 people signed up while visiting the PFL booths during the recent fair season. Signature forms can be obtained from the PFL Pro-Life Center.

Demonstration Schedules
Demonstrations at 1611 Peach St. take place every Saturday from 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM and at least once during the week. Days and times for the weekday demonstrations vary. Signs are provided, as well as balloons for the kids. People for Life will be happy to call or e-mail you each time a new demonstration schedule is published. Please phone or e-mail PFL to request the occasional updates:

Life Chain 2000
Erie's Life Chain, on Sunday, October 1, was truly one to remember. Held at a new location, in the vicinity of Erie's pending abortion facility at the 1611 Peach St. Professional Building, the Life Chain attracted over 1000 area residents. This more than doubled the attendance figures of recent years.

Peach St., from 19th St. north to 15th St., was lined on both sides with people standing shoulder to shoulder. The same was true of 18th St., from State St. almost as far west as Sassafras. Demonstrators also stood along the State St. side of the Professional Building.

The news media speculated that the Clinton-Gore FDA approval of RU-486, the so-called Abortion Pill, on September 28, was the reason for the remarkable turnout. However, the capable leadership of local Life Chain coordinator John Dombrowski and opposition to the pending Erie abortion mill probably better account for the good results. At the information table staffed by People for Life, a few questions were asked about RU-486, but far more frequently, people wanted to know "the latest about the abortion mill" or "the latest about Brigham." (Steven Chase Brigham is the New Jersey abortionist who is attempting to open the abortion facility in the Professional Building.)

Another special opportunity for the pro-life community to speak out against the abortion mill (besides the ongoing twice-weekly sidewalk demonstrations at the Professional Building) will be the Greater Erie March & Motorcade for Life at 12:00 Noon, January 13, 2001.

Ongoing Demonstrations
People for Life joins with other concerned members of the Erie community at least twice each week for orderly sidewalk demonstrations at 1611 Peach St. These demonstrations are geared for full participation by individuals and families of diverse religious, political, and social backgrounds. The demonstrations are for everyone who does not want a killing facility in downtown Erie. Our 100th demonstration took place on September 30.

Each demonstration is an appeal to the general public emphasizing that abortion is not just a religious thing, a political thing, or a philosophical thing. Abortion is, in fact, an aberration from minimal standards of human decency, similar to the evil of slavery 150 years ago, but even more fundamentally at odds with widely held American values.

Christmas Party
People for Life's Annual Christmas Party will be held at St. Stan's Social Hall, 520 East 13th St. on Sunday, December 10 from 2:00 to 5:00 PM. All members and friends of People for Life are cordially invited, including our many wonderful demonstrators, literature distributors, fair booth volunteers, carnation volunteers, and everyone else who gives of their time and treasure so that our work may continue. There is no admission charge, but it is suggested that everyone bring an article of children's (0-12 years) clothing, new or used, as a donation to Agnes Priscaro's Multi-Cultural Health Evaluation Delivery System (MHEDS). MHEDS will distribute the clothing to needy families in the Erie area. Please call the PFL Pro-Life Center, 814-459-1333, and let us know if you are planning to attend. We're looking forward to seeing you! To volunteer to help set up, serve dinner, or clean up afterwards, please call the PFL Pro-Life Center, 814-459-1333.

Volunteers Needed For January Activities
Lots and lots of help will be needed with the upcoming Pro-Life Prayer Breakfast and Greater Erie March & Motorcade for Life on January 13, 2001, and with the Bus Excursion to the 28th March for Life in Washington, DC. on January 21-22. For example, we will need set up people, greeters, ushers, and literature table helpers for the Prayer Breakfast, and parade marshals and several drummers for the March & Motorcade. There will be extra mailings, and extra help will be needed at the PFL Pro-Life Center for answering telephones, processing reservations, and so forth. One way to get involved is to attend the regular PFL General Meeting on November 20. You are also encouraged to call the Pro-Life Center, 814-459-1333 as soon as possible, to let us know if you would like to help. (It's a great way to liven up your January!!) You can also send an e-mail to pfl@peopleforlife.org.

Updates and Action Alerts by E-Mail & FAX
The challenges faced by the Erie pro-life community have never been more urgent, and fast, efficient communication has never been more crucial. At the present time, People for Life is dealing with the challenge of ongoing demonstrations at 1611 Peach St. We also face the possibility of having to maintain a daily pro-life witness at a local abortion facility, should one materialize. These, and many other projects, depend on the pro-life community's active involvement - "grassroots" participation, as they say.

Fortunately, e-mail and PC FAX capabilities have made it much easier for PFL to stay in touch with our many friends in the pro-life community (and around the nation, for that matter). If you have not done so already, PLEASE send us your e-mail address. We also need e-mail addresses and FAX numbers for area churches. Please make sure that YOUR church is receiving PFL's e-mail updates and faxes.

Fax numbers and e-mail addresses can be called in to the PFL Pro-Life Center, 814-459-1333, or sent to pfl@peopleforlife.org.

Clinton-Gore FDA Approves the "Abortion Pill"

WASHINGTON, DC - October 2, 2000 Even this morning, four days after the Food and Drug Administration approved licensing of the abortifacient RU 486, newspaper editorial pages are still weighing in. Virtually all of the editorials, including today's Philadelphia Inquirer, express support for the FDA's politics-driven decision. What is most interesting-if equally predictable-is the insistence that proponents are merely fostering "good science" while opponents of RU 486 are hip-deep in politics.

Just a quick refresher. Last Thursday, barely six weeks before the November 7 elections, the FDA said OK to marketing this two-drug chemical technique. This curiously-timed decision is the culmination of a nearly-eight year long campaign by the Clinton-Gore Administration to market a technique lusted after by its staunchest allies, the Abortion Lobby.

Beyond the tragedy of even more babies losing their lives, the use in this country of RU 486 will almost inevitably result in the deaths of some of their mothers. Why do I say that?

Even proponents-now that the FDA has done its dirty work for them-are 'fessing up to part of the truth about RU 486, beginning with the stone-cold truth that these abortions are drawn out, not quick, and excruciatingly painful. There is even a nod at conceding some of the dangerous realities of a technique that utilizes two powerful artificial steroids: mifepristone (RU 486) and misoprostol, a prostaglandin companion already licensed for use in treating ulcers.

These "side effects" include bleeding, nausea, dizziness, hemorrhaging, infections, and the "failure" to abort, which occurs at least 5%-8% of the time. (Occasionally you might even read that women burdened with any of a variety of different physical conditions ought to avoid RU 486.)

But, alas, only in National Right to Life News and in Today's News & Views will you regularly read about the enormous potential for lethal harm when the second drug-misoprostol [known as Cytotec]-is used "off-label."

Searle, its manufacturer, has written a letter that enumerates a number of complications, including maternal or fetal death, amniotic fluids embolism, severe vaginal bleeding, shock, and pelvic pain. Searle has also said it disapproves of its use for abortion.

Thus, ironically, Cytotec, the role of which is elevate the "success" (death) rate high enough to compete with surgical abortions, will also boost the likelihood that the mother will die as well.

Much of this is matter of factly recognized, only to be brushed aside as if merely acknowledging them makes this... unpleasantness go away. Most accounts simultaneously say (1) the marketing of RU 486 will not end the abortion debate but (2) it's a great day in the morning anyway and, besides, the "science" is so good, the FDA really had "no choice."

Well, of course it won't "end" the abortion debate. Indeed, the debate will intensify exponentially.

The whole point of the Abortion Establishment's passionate love affair with RU 486 is to expand the pool of abortionists to further its crusade of multiplying the number of abortions. They believe, based on some survey data and intuition, that more ob-gyns will agree to participate, both because these are "early" abortions and because they are more "private."

But this is highly dubious when the exact time at which any individual woman aborts is unpredictable. Ditto for the location. She could abort on the subway!

As for the FDA having no choice in the matter, this is preposterous. Like a good lap dog, the agency has tried to accommodate its masters-Bill Clinton and Al Gore. But operating within a highly decentralized medical system, there were (and are) simply too many unknowns associated with an abortion technique that requires a minimum of three office visits for the approval process to move quickly. It is this unknown quality that may also deter many/most of the physicians who say (in the abstract in response to a survey) that they would perform abortions were RU 486 available.
And surely the FDA had a choice whether to cave in on the protections it reportedly wanted just a few months ago, such as requiring that the abortionist have the technical skill to perform a surgical abortion if the RU 486 abortion "fails." Its choice was to succumb to political pressure and forget about commonsensical guidelines.

Finally, the last line of defense from proponents is that this will reduce the number of "late" abortions. Not so. Based on what we already know about women contemplating an abortion, the far more likely scenario is that it will have little effect on women who would have an abortion anyway but, tragically, will induce other women to abort with the lure of "easy," "quick" abortions.

But, as we said last week, this fight is far from over. So long as even a smidgen of the truth gets out, opposition will grow, and not just from pro-lifers. In addition, there is action being contemplated on a number of fronts.

By DAVE ANDRUSKO, Editor, National Right to Life News

This article appeared in Today's News and Views, an e-mail publication of the National Right to Life Committee, Washington, DC. It is reprinted here with the permission of the author.

PFL Rents Office in Professional Building

"A doctor who intends to open an abortion clinic in Erie does not expect a welcome wagon from some of his new neighbors-an anti-abortion group that rented space down the hall. People for Life Inc. has a lease for offices near Dr. Steven Brigham's suites at the Professional Building."

That was the way PFL's newly established presence in the 1611 Peach St. Professional Building was announced to the world by the Associated Press on July 28, 2000.

Our new office is approximately 20 ft. from the entrance to Dr. Brigham's "clinic." We signed the lease on July 13. Visitors to the Professional Building will notice People for Life listed in the main building directory on the first floor and also in the third floor director just across the hallway from the elevators. The office itself is identified by as Suite 321 - People for Life.

We are obviously very pleased to have this new base of operations. Everything possible will be done to ensure that the new "branch office" will be utilized as effectively as possible to help women not to have their babies killed by our next door neighbors.

People for Life, Inc. is an all-volunteer, non-profit, citizen's organization committed to the intrinsic value of human life. People for Life is dedicated to advancing true justice by working for the protection of all innocent human life, whatever the age, race, sex, physical condition, economic status, or place of residence (including the womb). People for Life encourages local involvement through education, political awareness, and the promotion of loving alternatives to the primitive and violent "solutions" of abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia. Together, we can create a society in which all human lives are held sacred.

The Erie Echo is published bimonthly in Erie by People for Life.  Tim Broderick, editor

The official registration statement and financial information of People for Life, Inc. may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free in Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.

Due to IRS regulations, donations to People for Life, Inc. are not tax-deductible.
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