A variety of news sources are available to keep informed about issues related to life, marriage and the family.  

The following websites may be of interest to you:

Life Site News

Life News

National Catholic Register

Catholic News Agency

National Right to Life

Marriage In the News(from For Your Marriage)

National Organization for Marriage

Heroic News

Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute

Family Honor


Family Research Council
JUNE 2015 | VOLUME 7.2

Abortions drop in almost every state, a new survey shows

(LiveActionNews.org) - A survey released Sunday by the Associated Press (AP) shows that abortion rates are dropping nationwide: the overall decrease was roughly 12 percent. The survey shows in states with significant pro-life legislation, such as Indiana, Missouri, Ohio and Oklahoma, the drop is closer to 15 percent; however, pro-life states were not alone. The report notes that “more liberal states such as New York, Washington and Oregon also had declines of that magnitude, even as they maintained unrestricted access to abortion.”

AP conducted the survey by acquiring abortion data from all the states that had numbers available (California, Maryland, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Wyoming do not compile abortion data). Most of the information collected came from 2013 to 2014, which as AP writer David Crary notes, the numbers provide “a unique nationwide gauge of abortion trends during a wave of anti-abortion laws that gathered strength starting in 2011.”

The only increases reported were in Louisiana (12 percent increase), and Michigan (18.5 percent increase). MORE


News Briefs


For Your Marriage

Life Issues Forum

Respect Life Program




West Virginia’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act takes effect today

(National Right to Life) -- Rarely does a headline better capture the obstacles our Movement so often overcomes in winning protection for unborn children. The Associated Pressstory, written by Jonathan Mattise and run today, is titled “20-week abortion ban in West Virginia becomes law despite governor’s veto 2 years in a row.” The measure passed the first time in 2014, but Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s first veto of that legislative session came after the session ended. This prevented an override vote. Pro-lifers came back more fired up than ever and the bill passed both houses by wide margins. Governor Tomblin’s March veto came after the state House of Delegates and the state Senate overwhelmingly approved the bill in February and was promptly overridden. Although the legislature overrode Tomblin’s veto of HB 2568 last March, this legislation that protects unborn children from abortion at the point that they are able to feel pain did not take effect until today. MORE

Pope: abortion, euthanasia, abandonment of migrants are 'attacks against humanity'

(CNA/EWTN News).- A civilization whose technological advancements do not seek to protect the most vulnerable, from conception until natural death, fails to live up to its responsibility, Pope Francis said. In remarks made during an audience at the Vatican with members of the Italian Associazione Scienza & Vita (Science and Life Association), the pontiff decried victims of abortion and euthanasia, migrants left to die on the sea, and other travesties. Progress in civilization is not measured by its advancements in technology, but “its capacity to protect life, especially during the most fragile stages,” he said. “The scourge of abortion is an attack against life. Leaving our brothers on boats to die in the Sicilian channel is an attack against life. Death in the workplace, because the minimum safety conditions are not followed, is an attack against life. Death from malnutrition is an attack against life. Terrorism, war, violence; but also euthanasia are attacks against life.” MORE

Special Report: Secret Ohio Department of Health Docs Reveal 47 Horrific Botched Abortions, Countless Safety Violations and More >>

Opening Our Eyes to the New Slavery Close to Home >>

The New York Times Finally Throws in the Towel on the “Overpopulation” Myth >>

Gallup Poll: 55% of Americans Want All or Most Abortions Made Illegal >>

California moves closer to passing assisted suicide bill >>

Indifference to migrants is unacceptable, Pope tells Dominican Republic bishops >>

Taxpayer-Funded PBS Pushes Teaching Sex Ed to 4-Year-Olds >>

New Law Says Rapist Shouldn’t Get Custody of His Child When a Raped Woman Rejects Abortion >>

'Is anyone surprised?' A Vatican response to the FIFA soccer scandal >>

CRS vice president in same-sex civil marriage steps down >>

Why Didn't Most of the Journalists at the Pre-Synod ‘Shadow Council’ Report on It? >>

Pope’s Eco Encyclical to be Titled ‘Laudato Sii’ (Praised Be You) >>

Families Evangelizing Families

Do Fathers Matter? What Science Is Telling Us About The Parent We’ve Overlooked

Intentionally Child-Free

Look at This Abortion Clinic That No Longer Kills Babies and Has Been Bulldozed to the Ground >>

Judges shoot down Notre Dame's appeal on contraception mandate >>

Tennessee Gov. signs 48-hour waiting period into law

Why disability rights advocates oppose assisted suicide

21st Century progress toward making abortion unthinkable

Newer birth control pills pose dangerous health risks >>

Terminally ill woman fights assisted suicide in CA and so should you >>

Senate to introduce bill that would ban abortions after five months >>

Marriage in the Balance

(Columbia) - In what seems like a bewildering whirlwind of social and political change, the United States is now on the brink of a Supreme Court ruling that could change the legal meaning of marriage. In short, the court could reject the universal understanding of marriage that has prevailed for millennia in favor of the novel idea that two men or two women can marry each other. On April 28, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case from Ohio, Obergefell v. Hodges. About 150 amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs have been submitted to the Court, with almost equal numbers on each side of the issue before the justices. Most observers expect a closely divided Court, with a decision anticipated in late June. All eyes are on Justice Anthony Kennedy, not an entirely predictable swing vote in this case, since he asked both sides tough questions during oral arguments. MORE

Cardinal Kasper Backpedals on Papal Endorsement of Controversial Proposal

(NCRegister.com) - Almost single-handedly one cleric has turned the Church’s teaching on Communion, marriage and divorce into an international debate. For decades, German Cardinal Walter Kasper has promoted a proposal to allow divorced-and-civilly-remarried Catholics to receive holy Communion after a period of repentance. His controversial position has drawn intense criticism from some and rapturous support from others. Cardinal Kasper said last fall that a “growing majority” of synod members supported his position. And he has claimed to be promoting what Pope Francis wants. The retired German bishop, former Curial official and the man often called “the Pope’s theologian,” spoke last week at a Georgetown University conference on the Second Vatican Council. MORE

Nebraska bishops praise move to repeal death penalty

(CNA/EWTN News) .- Nebraska’s Catholic bishops on Wednesday praised the Nebraska legislature’s veto-proof vote to end the death penalty, saying  capital punishment “cannot be justified” in the state at present. The bishops said their support for the bill was based on Catholic teaching and their prudential judgement that the death penalty is now unjustifiable. Their support “also flows from our prayerful reflection on the words of Jesus Christ himself: ‘love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father’,” they said. Nebraska’s unicameral legislature on May 20 voted 32-15 to pass LB 268. The legislation replaces the death penalty with life in prison without parole. The state last executed a prisoner in 1997, and there are currently 11 men on death row in Nebraska, the Associated Press reports. MORE

Florist asks court to overturn mandatory gay marriage support

(CNA/EWTN News).- A florist has appealed to the Washington State Supreme Court to review court rulings that could cause her financial ruin because she declined to serve a same-sex wedding ceremony. Kristen Waggoner, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, said Stutzman and others have been “more than willing to serve any and all customers, but they are understandably not willing to promote any and all messages.” “No one should be faced with a choice between their freedom of speech and conscience on one hand and personal and professional ruin on the other.” The appeal involves Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts in Richland, Wash. “For me, it’s never about the person who walks into the shop, but about the message I’m communicating when someone asks me to ‘say it with flowers’,” Stutzman said June 1. “We should all have artistic freedom and the right to disagree without one side of a conversation being threatened by the government.” MORE

Federal Court Overturns Arkansas Law Banning Abortions at 12 Weeks

(LifeNews.com) - A federal court has issued a ruling overturning a pro-life law in Arkansas that bans abortions at 12 weeks of pregnancy. The ACLU filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the strongest pro-life law on the books in the nation on behalf of two abortion practitioners. The law requires a test to detect a fetal heartbeat before an abortion is performed. If one is detected, a woman could not have an abortion, except in cases of rape, incest and if a mother’s life is in danger. The measure bans abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy, but pro-life groups expected the lawsuit and expected it would be overturned in court as conflicting with Roe v. Wade, which prohibits states from banning abortions. As NPR reports, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has blocked the law: The court’s ruling notes: “By banning abortions after 12 weeks’ gestation, the Act prohibits women from making the ultimate decision to terminate a pregnancy at a point before viability. Because the State made no attempt to refute the plaintiffs’ assertions of fact, the district court’s summary judgment order must be affirmed.” MORE

Federal Court Strikes Down Pro-Life Idaho Law Banning Abortions After 20 Weeks

(LifeNews.com) - A federal appeals court has struck down a pro-life law in Idaho that bans abortions after 20 weeks —just weeks after the House of Representatives passed a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks because unborn babies feel intense pain in abortions. Idaho Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter signed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act into law in April 2011, making Idaho the third state at that time to protect from abortion the life of the pain-capable child. The law is a new trend in pro-life legislation that prohibits abortions and places the focus on the unborn child as a victim during the abortion procedure and this suit is the first lawsuit brought against any of the similar laws state legislatures have passed. After he signed the law, Jennie Linn McCormack, a Pocatello resident, filed suit because she faced prosecution for engaging in a self-abortion using an abortion drug she purchased off the Internet. McCormack’s attorneys brought a class action lawsuit against an older law, from 1972, that makes it a crime for a woman to self-abort her own pregnancy. MORE



All Love Bears Fruit

All love bears fruit: this is the theme of chapter six of the World Meeting of Families catechesis.

Fruitfulness is part of the very definition of love: “It is the nature of love to overflow, to be life-giving” (USCCB, Marriage: Life and Love in the Divine Plan, p. 13). True love is never closed in on itself, seeking its own interests. Instead, love goes out, seeking the good of the other.

This truth about love – that it is always fruitful – is particularly meaningful for married couples like me and my husband, who have not, so far, been blessed with children. MORE

Copyright © 2015, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.All rights reserved.

Featured Article from the
2014-2015 Program

Poverty and Abortion: A Vicious Cycle

 Pamphlet: English / en español

Bulletin Inserts: English / en español

Text-only: English / en español

Order: English / en español 



Life Issues Forum: Establishing The Culture Of Life 

By Anne McGuire

In the midst of the many attacks on human life these days, we are called to help establish a “culture of life” that has at its heart the understanding that each of us is deeply loved by God, created to be with him, and offered redemption through Christ’s death and Resurrection. We can vote in a way consistent with respect for life, take part in Respect Life Month observances each October, and participate in events like the March for Life each January. But is there anything else we can do? MORE


Copyright © 2015, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
All rights reserved.

JH video
A Unique Opponent to Assisted Suicide

In 2000, when Oregon resident, Jeanette Hall, had less than a year to live, she asked her cancer doctor for the pills to commit suicide. Dr. Kenneth Stevens got to know her better and inspired her to consider treatment. The tumor just “melted away” and now -- 15 years later -- Jeanette says: “It’s great to be alive!”

Watch the video here!

humanumExploring the Truth and Beauty of Marriage!


The Complementarity of Man and Woman: An International Colloquium was an international gathering of scholars and religious leaders to explore the truth of marriage and to discover ways to promote the beauty of God’s plan for marriage. Check out the series of short videos that explore different dimensions of marriage.


FHFamily Honor, Inc. 

Rooted in Saint John Paul II's Theology of the Body, Family Honor seeks to is the premiere ministry for empower and equipping parents to educate and guide their children according to God's plan. 

Family Honor offers a variety of programs and resources for parents, as well as programs for parents and teens together.  Learn more from their website. 

UNFILTERED: Equipping Parents for an Ongoing Conversation about Internet Pornography

Covenant Eyes offers a great resource kit to help parents to protect their children from ever-growing saturation of pornography. They also offer an excellent video introduction on their website.

My House Columbus
is a non-pr
ofit lay apostolate working to promote sexual integrity through pornography prevention family protection, theology of the body information and resources, and accountability and healing networks. My House Columbus is a collaborative effort between Columbus Catholic Men’s Ministry, Columbus Catholic Women’s Ministry, and the Diocese of Columbus. My House offers three aspects: Protection, Healing, and Prevention. Learn more from their website.


Catholic Pulse is a service of the Knights of Columbus dedicated to bringing readers the top, daily headlines that Catholics need to know. We seek to present the news from the perspective of Catholics who want to know what’s happening in the Church, nation and world around them. From election coverage and breakthroughs in science, to breaking news and opinions around the globe, Catholic Pulse is the one-stop site that serves up those headlines quickly while providing further resources on social issues that are important to Catholics, such as the sanctity of life and marriage.  Learn more on their website.

 NCBCLooking for Catholic Bio-medical Ethics Information?  FREE consultations are available from the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC).  Established in 1972, NCBC conducts research, consultation, publishing and education to promote human dignity in health care and the life sciences, and derives its message directly from the teachings of the Catholic Church. According to their website, they guarantee that a credentialed ethicist will be available 24/7 to assist any person with those most difficult moral health care decisions one must make from the beginning to the end of life. In 2012 alone, the ethicists of the Center helped over 1500 individuals in their time of need; free of charge. Read more about them on their website.



The Culture of Life Update is a monthly email newsletter of the Culture of Life Ministry of St. Mary Basilica in Marietta, Ohio.  A key goal of the Culture of Life Ministry is to help people become better informed about life, marriage and family issues.

The sad reality is that many people simply are not aware of the attacks on life and the family.  Nor are they aware of the many positive actions that are being taken to defend life and build up the family. Here's where our monthly email newsletter can help.

Designed for busy people, the Culture of Life Update provides a once-a-month overview of news stories related to life, marriage and the family.  It's a great and easy way to get informed. For the current and past issues, please visit our website!

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STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND DISCLAIMER: The purpose of this newsletter is simply to inform the public about issues related to life, marriage, and the family. The inclusion of any article is not meant to be an endorsement of a particular author’s viewpoint, nor it is meant to be an endorsement of the organization providing the information. St. Mary Parish Culture of Life Ministry follows the teachings of the Catholic Church, and is subject to the authority of the hierarchy of the Church.