Sunday, December 7, 2008


The Texas state motto is friendship,
a single word that is loaded
with immense meaning in view of recent news from the state.
It would appear
that a deeper affection for the preborn child is affecting the way Texans
think and act.

Just a few days ago in Corpus Christi, pro-life activists took to the
streets to protest the killing of preborn children. It all started at St.
Joseph's Catholic Church, and according to news reports, "hundreds of
Catholics filled the streets." In fact, the news item was so heartening that
that it reminded me of the old days when protests were in their prime and
the media was hard-pressed to ignore them.

Three days after this report appeared on the local news, another report came
across the airwaves announcing that a
$30,000 grant earmarked for Planned Parenthood would not be made. One
councilwoman made it perfectly clear: "It's inappropriate to use taxpayer
money." After the councilwoman made this simple statement, applause is
reported to have filled the council chamber.

A local Episcopal priest, however, spoke in defense of Planned Parenthood,
telling the council, "If you don't want Planned Parenthood to talk to your
children about sex, then you talk to them. ...To not fund Planned
Parenthood, doing the job that we as a community are failing to do, puts
more children in danger."

The majority of those who spoke to the council were in complete agreement
with the removal of the grant. In fact the city council vote against Planned
Parenthood was unanimous!

And here's the kicker!

The people of Corpus Christi who care about their children and the preborn
called American Life League's Stop Planned Parenthood office to say , "I just had to call and let you
know your plan works! We did everything just the way you said and we won!
Thank you!"

The STOPP Report says it all:

On February 15, ALL vice president Jim Sedlak, and ALL's Rock for Life
director, Erik Whittington, traveled to Corpus Christi to give pro-life
talks and attend a daylong Rock for Life event sponsored by the local RFL
chapter. During that visit, the pro-lifers asked how they could stop
taxpayer funding of PP.

We described, in detail, our plan to defeat public funding of PP. It is
section three of our overall Plan for Defeating Planned Parenthood, which
can be found at The plan provides a
31-step process, which begins with explaining how to obtain information on
PP's funding in your local area and then describes how to activate the
community to get funding taken away from PP.

Of course, the real thanks for this victory go first to God and then to
the dedicated people of Corpus Christi, who painstakingly executed the plan
and brought about victory in a very difficult situation. They overcame many
obstacles and are still fighting to stop other taxpayer money from going to
PP in the community. They are also following our plan to get PP out of the
local schools.

If you want to successfully fight PP in your community, read the plan at
the link above. Jim Sedlak is willing to travel to your community to help
get things organized. Just contact him at .

On the same day, we learned about the fabulous work being done by the Corpus
Christi Hope House, which is a home for mothers
facing crisis pregnancies. The babies who have been saved adorn the web site
for this amazing ministry, which served 3,000 clients in 2007 alone! Now
that's friendship!

And as if all this good news was not enough, we just learned that an
appellate court in Texas has upheld a lower court ruling affirming
personhood for a preborn baby who, along with his mother, was murdered. Please take note of
the significant point raised and defended by the court regarding the harmony
that exists between a secular law and a religious ideal:

Jacob Eguia, who was convicted of the capital murders of a woman and her
nearly eight months gestation unborn child, challenged the court's ruling on
several points. He argued that finding him guilty of the unborn child's
death violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution and Art. I,
Sec. 6 of the Texas Constitution, which bars giving preference by law to a

In the Texas Penal Code, as the court noted, "'Person' means an
individual," and "individual" may refer to "an unborn child at every stage
of gestation from fertilization until birth"; and "'death' includes, for an
individual who is an unborn child, the failure to be born alive."

According to the court's published opinion, Eguia complained that "the
State's definition of 'individual' 'has the effect of endorsing religion as
it is based solely upon a religious belief that life begins at conception.'"

Justice Elsa Alcala concluded that, because a statute does not violate the
Establishment Clause when serving a secular purpose, "the definition of
'individual' serves the State's legitimate secular interest in protecting
unborn children from the criminal acts of others."

The court also cited precedent to affirm that, "a statute is not
automatically rendered unconstitutional simply because it advances ideals
that harmonize with religious ideals."

Clearly, the point we have been making for years regarding the personhood of
the child, based on the scientific fact that a human being exists from the
point of creation is beginning to be taken seriously, at least in the
friendly state of Texas.

Finally we want to publicly express our gratitude to Diocese of Tyler Bishop
Alvaro Corrada, S.J. for his courageous public statement condemning
the sterilizations that had been taking place in Catholic hospitals. He
said, in part:

I wish to address the matter of direct sterilizations in Catholic
Hospitals in the Diocese of Tyler. Last June it was reported by anonymous
researchers that a large number of tubal ligations performed in Catholic
Hospitals in the state of Texas. Initially both Catholic hospitals in the
Diocese of Tyler responded that they were in compliance with the Ethical and
Religious Directives for Catholic Health Services. Sadly, subsequent
investigation reveals that there had been a serious mis-interpretation of
the ERDs and that in fact many direct sterilizations had been done and
continued to be done at the time of the article. As a Bishop, I am deeply
saddened and upset by this news. As Bishop of the Diocese of Tyler, I have
to admit my failure to provide adequate oversight of the Catholic Hospitals
as regards their protection of the sacred dignity of each human person.

It is so encouraging to read these words and to know that Tyler is blessed
with a Catholic bishop who is diligent, humble and committed to defending
human dignity. A thank you can be sent to him at

Friendship expresses itself in many ways, but it is heartening to realize
that in the great state of Texas, friends are being made with the most
vulnerable people in our midst, principles are being defended, and lives are
being touched through the goodness of shepherds, activists and judges. May
such friendship spread across our land.

December 5, 2008
Texas takes friendship to a new level
By Judie Brown

© Judie Brown

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