Groups petition FDA to revoke approval of abortion pill
After reports of deaths, severe hemorrhaging, serious bacterial infections, heart attacks, and other major medical trauma associated with abortion drug RU-486, three organizations have petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to revoke its approval.
"From the outset, the process used by the FDA to bring RU-486 to the U.S. market was fraught with violations of the FDA's established norms for ensuring drug safety and effectiveness," says the petition (executive summary | full text | statistics), signed by the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Christian Medical Association, and Concerned Women for America. "Regardless of one's position on abortion, FDA's violations of its standards and rules have put women's health and lives at risk."
More on life ethics:
- Spare embryos | If they're going to die anyway, does that really entitle us to treat them as handy research material? (Gilbert Meilaender, The Weekly Standard, subscription required)
- Religions reveal little consensus on cloning | Spiritual guidance depends upon the denomination, but is the flock listening? (MSNBC)
- Bush admin. to push embryo adoption | The administration plans to distribute nearly $1 million for public awareness campaigns promoting donation of embryos, one of several options available to couples who create more than they need for in vitro fertilization (Associated Press)
- Stem cell debate heats up | The first night of debate on embryonic stem cell research has raised emotions in the Australian Parliament (ABC News, Australia)
- Cell study opens way for evil, says Australian's deputy prime minister (The Australian)
Couple who had sex in St. Patrick's Cathedral face charges
Meet Brian Florence and Loretta Lynn Harper. Last week, the Virginia couple traveled to New York City. Like a lot of tourists, they visited Fifth Avenue's famous St. Patrick's Cathedral. But they didn't go to pray. The two started having sex in one of the vestibules as worshipers just feet away celebrated the Feast of the Assumption. Soon enough, police burst in and arrested them. How did they find out? The sex was part of a radio show stunt in which couples won points for having sex in public places. The show even sent out a producer to describe the scene in detail via cell phone (he also was arrested). The radio station has suspended—but not fired—the two radio hosts.
"What late-pubescent and culturally suicidal dementia has afflicted the West that grown people insist on defiling and slandering the very faith to which we owe our civilization?" asks UPI's Uwe Siemon-Netto, who notes that this isn't the first time Americans have desecrated their houses of worship, but it's certainly one of the worst.
FCC Commissioner Michael Copps says he'll "consider the strongest enforcement action possible against this station, up to and including revocation." But as William F. Buckley Jr. points out on National Review Online, it's not just about WNEW-FM. "It is an arm of Viacom. This is a giant corporation which owns not only New York radio stations that sponsor pornography in church, but also huge divisions of entertainment at large, including MTV and Blockbuster Video. … We have had many reports in recent years of desecrations of synagogues. None comes to mind that was sponsored by a radio station owned by a corporate colossus."
Yesterday, Florence and Harper appeared in court for a preliminary hearing. Their lawyer says they were just simulating sex, but Harper, at least, was naked from the waist down when police arrived.
The New York Daily News gives the final word today to construction worker Michael Prinzo, who provided sermon fodder for pastors across the country when he shouted outside the courtroom yesterday, "Hey, it's sex. Everybody does it. What's the big deal?"
Abu Sayyaf is back
The Philippine guerrilla group that had American missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham captive for more than a year has now taken other missionaries hostages: Jehovah's Witnesses. Two of the six captives were beheaded yesterday.
"This is what will happen to those who do not believe in Allah," said a note found one of the preacher's head. "This is part of our jihad."
Jolo army commander Brigadier Romeo Tolentino told reporters, "This is a barbaric act by a barbaric group trying to propagate their religion." He should be careful—someone might interpret his comments as suggesting Islam isn't a religion of peace.
Politics and law:
- New child welfare head in Florida is drawing fire | Gov. Jeb Bush's appointee to head Florida's troubled child welfare agency supports spanking of children that may cause "temporary and superficial bruises and welts" and denounces abortion, parenting by gays and women in the work force (The New York Times)
- Also: Dems decry Fla. child agency pick | Jerry Regier disavows earlier article (Associated Press)
- Palestinian Authority seeks to remove Greek Orthodox patriarch | They say he's trying to turn the Arab members of his church into a minority (The Jerusalem Post)
- Christians castigate NH gubernatorial candidate | Gordon Humphrey's comments on voters in 2000 race cause uproar (Concord Monitor)
- Earlier: New Hampshire gubernatorial candidate says not enough Christians voted for him in 2000 | Gordon Humphrey targets evangelicals this time around (Associated Press)
- Australia's PM has faith in the God squad | Religion is playing a stronger role in politics as family values push economic issues to the edge (Michael Millett, The Sydney Morning Herald)
Church and state:
- Religious language sparks Boys & Girls Clubs controversy | Critics argue that since the Boys & Girls Clubs accepts federal funds, it must eliminate God from its rhetoric (Fox News)
- More file for Pledge's return | American Legion joins U.S. Justice Department, 50 state and territorial attorneys general, and 17 Republican members of Congress, who have all gone to court to try to get the June 26 ruling by a three-judge panel struck down (The Washington Times)
- Clearfield County commissioners spurn bid to remove 10 Commandments courthouse marker | Tablet hasn't drawn attention since its erection in 1972 (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- Senate looks at giving religious charities federal cash | Many such groups are wary, fearing regulation will hamper their mission. (Contra Costa [Calif.] Times)
- Ex-moderator of the Church of Scotland says no one goes to hell | The Very Reverend Dr Andrew McLellan, said there are no people in Hell and that God would be a "monster" if he condemned humans to eternal punishment (Scotland on Sunday)
- Anger as bishop urges faithful to get in touch with God's 'feminine' side | Harries, the Bishop of Oxford, advocates a notion of God "which is beyond gender" and claims that failure to recognize His feminine side is an insult to women struggling to get to grips with the teachings of the Bible (The Daily Telegraph, London)
- 'Oh God, not today!' | Survivors say prayers work, but some pastors say it's wrong to ask for your life (The Washington Post)
- Catholic U-turn on conversion of Jews divides America's Christians | Evangelicals say everybody, including Jews, needs Jesus (The Daily Telegraph, London)
- B.C. bishop has a fight on his hands | Conservative Anglican leaders convene to protest same sex blessing (Times Colonist, Victoria, B.C., Canada)
- Homosexuality debate could split Anglican Church | In the frankest admission yet that the controversy could tear the worldwide Church apart, the group of 12 primates and bishops said it was dominating their agenda (The Daily Telegraph)
- Vancouver bishop protests 'inflammatory' visit by top clergy | At least five of the world's leading conservative Anglican leaders are coming to the city this month despite strong warnings from Vancouver's liberal bishop, Michael Ingham (Vancouver Sun)
- Small minds can't grasp gays' role as Big Brothers | The Focus on the Family folks aren't really scared that I'll molest my Little Brother. They fear is we'll show that gay people are normal, caring, contributing members of the community who live in stable relationships and fulfill their civic and personal duties (Steve Friess, The Baltimore Sun)
- Gays write death notice for marriage | The last bastion of bourgeois morality has entered into an irresistible decline (Miranda Devine, The Sydney Morning Herald)
- Anti-gay Web site shut down | Canadian Human Rights Tribunal says equating homosexuality with pedophilia and bestiality violates country's hate laws (The Globe & Mail, Toronto, thanks to RelapsedCatholic.com for the link)
- Also: Read the decision.
- Also: Visit the website.
Crime and violence:
- Wyo. candidate has forgiven shooter | Stephen Watt says releasing his assailant would be among his first acts if elected as governor (Associated Press)
- Nigeria's stoning sentence confirmed | Amina Lawal will be stoned to death for having a child out of wedlock (BBC)
- Also: Nigeria's stoning appeal fails | Human rights groups have 30 days to lodge an appeal (BBC)
- Indonesian troops sent to quell violence | About 3,000 military and police personnel are set to join the 11,000 forces in the region centered on the town of Poso after an outbreak of violence between Christians and Muslims (The Washington Times)
- Italy arrests men over 'church plot' | Police in Italy have arrested five people on suspicion of plotting to attack a church in the northern city of Bologna (BBC)
- Also: Postcards prompted Italian alert | Security forces have been warned about the possibility of attacks on religious ceremonies in Italy after anti-terror investigators came across postcards with pictures of Italian churches (Associated Press)
- The war on women | Stoning someone for out of wedlock sex is barbaric, in any culture. (Lashawn R. Jefferson, The Wall Street Journal)
Abuse charges against the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney:
- Catholic Archbishop of Sydney accused of molesting 12-year-old boy | George Pell, has stepped aside from his job pending inquiry (AAP)
- Archbishop denies child-sex allegations | "To allege that I am now personally implicated in this evil is a smear of the most vindictive kind," says Pell (The Sydney Morning Herald)
- Pell's perfect path | Many have been hunting him, but he had avoided the arrows. Until now. (The Sydney Morning Herald)
- Pell accused, and it could be shattering for the church | Such an outcome would undermine confidence that the hierarchy is capable of dealing with the clerical sexual abuse issue. It would bring into question the whole appointment system for bishops. It would undermine what remains of the church's credibility as a moral force (Chris McGillion, The Sydney Morning Herald)
- 'Big George would grab me from behind and molest me' | What Pell's accuser is saying (The Sydney Morning Herald)
- PM criticized over Pell stance | Opposition leader says John Howard has prejudged issue (News.com.au, Australia)
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