Wednesday 25th November 2015

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Profile: March Of Dimes”

August 6, 2014 Featured Today No Comments


(Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of this article with footnotes, e-mail him at

+    +    +

“There is no substitution for a constitutional right to abortion which protects our fundamental rights” — The March of Dimes.

+    +    +

No organization has done more to eliminate crippling birth defects than the March of Dimes. The MoD enjoys a great reputation and a quarter-billion dollar annual budget sustained by many imaginative fundraising campaigns. It has improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of handicapped children and their families with its emphasis on improved prenatal care and innovative research into providing groundbreaking treatments for children who are born with birth defects.
This is the public face of the March of Dimes, and this is what the public supports. Unfortunately, the MoD has fallen victim to one of the more prominent features of the anti-life mentality to a certain degree: a devotion to expediency, a desire to accomplish the mission by the most efficient and cost-effective means.
The primary mission of the March of Dimes “is improving infant health by preventing birth defects.” Some of its activities in pursuing this goal are certainly pro-life. These include the promotion of fortifying grains with folic acid, leading to a dramatic decline in neural tube defects (NTDs), and encouraging the addition of iodine to salt, leading to large decreases in both severe congenital hypothyroidism and maternal iodine deficiency.
However, although it consistently denies that it supports abortion, the March of Dimes has indirectly enabled the practice for many years.
In the early 1970s, the March of Dimes began to sponsor major seminars on handicapped unborn babies. These gatherings led to the MoD pioneering mid-trimester amniocentesis, which not only risked causing miscarriages, but also led to an increase in abortions for eugenic reasons.
The March of Dimes has also awarded a number of substantial grants to abortionists for the purpose of implementing “search and destroy” eugenic abortions. The MoD gave abortionist Maurice Mahoney $35,000 to research the prenatal genetic diagnosis technique known as chorionic villi sampling (CVS), which paved the way for aborting first-trimester unborn children with certain serious birth defects.
The MoD also awarded $50,000 to eugenics advocate Dr. Haig H. Kazazian of Johns Hopkins University so that he could research methods to detect beta-thalassemia, hemophilia A, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and cystic fibrosis, none of which are treatable before birth. More than 90 percent of preborn babies with these conditions are aborted.
The March of Dimes also gave $19,000 to Dr. John Crocker of Dalhousie University in Canada to study kidney defects. Crocker wrote that his study involved “60 pairs of embryonic kidneys . . . obtained from human therapeutic abortions after five to twelve weeks gestation.”
The March of Dimes’ primary tool in accomplishing its mission of “preventing birth defects” is support of a range of prenatal genetic diagnoses, which often lead to abortion. One March of Dimes booklet entitled Genetic Counseling: Should You Consider It? says:
“When a birth defect is diagnosed, genetic counselors provide emotional support and understanding during what can be a very difficult time. If there are decisions to be made — about the pregnancy, the care of a child, having more children, or about the ability of the family to cope with ongoing problems — the parents can make more informed choices with the facts in hand.”
What “informed choices” is the MoD talking about here? In a 1979 symposium sponsored by the March of Dimes, bioethicist Joseph Fletcher described one option: “People who carry genetic disease should be prevented from having children. We ought, in conscience, to have a humane minimum standard of reproduction, not blindly accepting the outcome of every conception. And we ought to act on our genetic information to prevent the birth of children below that minimum.” What Fletcher is missing here, of course, is the fact that it is impossible to contracept or abort birth defects out of existence. No matter how many Down syndrome babies are aborted (and more than 90 percent of them are aborted), they will continue to be conceived.
The March of Dimes has also supported “selective reduction,” which is the abortion of one or more unborn children in a multiple pregnancy. One MoD paper said that this kind of abortion was acceptable if the mother wanted “to allow the birth of a healthy newborn without the birth of a coexisting fetus with a congenital abnormality” or “to reduce a multiple pregnancy to a single pregnancy for social or personal indications.”
The March of Dimes also encourages abortion by favoring the transplantation of human fetal tissue from abortions. It is one of many charities that advocate for federal funding of fetal transplants in experiments for treatments to cure or ameliorate the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other diseases and disabilities.
The most direct way that the March of Dimes supports abortion is the grants it gives to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which operates the largest chain of abortion mills in the USA, and which has performed more than six million abortions. These 31 grants total more than half a million dollars. Of course, this is a tiny drop in the bloody bucket compared to PPFA’s billion-dollar annual budget, but these token grants do show that the March of Dimes approves of the abortion giant’s work.
The March of Dimes supports Planned Parenthood in other ways. The MoD supported PP’s 2013 white paper entitled Taking Control: The Ongoing Battle to Preserve the Birth Control Benefit in the Affordable Care Act. The purpose of this white paper was to support Congress in forcing all employers, regardless of their religious beliefs, to pay for contraception (including abortifacients) for their employees. The report was filled with the usual shrill nonsense from PPFA, including the charge that those companies that opposed the Obamacare contraception mandate were “for profit and against women’s health.”
Dr. Jerome Lejeune, who discovered Down syndrome and dedicated his life to finding a cure for it, was familiar with the March of Dimes claim that it does not promote abortion, even as it influences people to have them. He compared this evasiveness to selling guns to terrorists: “I know they are terrorists, but I am just selling guns. Nothing more than that.”


Although the March of Dimes does much good work and does not take an activist pro-abortion stand, its activities actually encourage the performance of abortions in cases where birth defects are detected by prenatal genetic diagnoses. There is a large philosophical and practical difference between the approach the MoD takes and the true pro-life approach of valuing every human being regardless of his or her mental or physical condition. Sadly, it is a human trait to choose the easier wrong over the harder right when faced with a difficult problem.
The March of Dimes has repeatedly stated that it is “neutral” on abortion, but its claims ring hollow. In its 2006 Global Report on Birth Defects, it says:
“The March of Dimes maintains a policy of neutrality on the issue of abortion. If termination of pregnancy is discussed with parents in the course of prenatal care, this discussion must be within the limits of the legal terms of reference of the country. Health-care providers must not give directive or coercive advice, are obliged to respect the religious and moral beliefs of the parents, and should abide by and support their decisions.”
This language is uncomfortably similar to what we find on the websites of many abortion clinics and pro-abortion population control groups. By not opposing abortion, MoD implicitly accepts it as an acceptable option.
Fortunately, there are alternatives to the March of Dimes. For example, pro-lifers who would like to assist a life-supporting group doing genetic research may be interested in looking into The Michael Fund, which calls itself “The Pro-Life Alternative to the March of Dimes,” at

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

How did heterodox prelates try to change doctrine at synod?

In this address delivered at the Catholic Voice conference Faith of Our Fathers, Matthew McCusker of Voice of the Family discusses three key elements of the “progressive” strategy deployed at the Ordinary Synod: arguing for changes in the Church’s language,…Continue Reading

Bishop Defends Against ‘Vicious’ Bill Donohue Attack

by Church Militant • • November 24, 2015 65 Comments Bishop Rene Henry Gracida is criticizing the Catholic League The bishop emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas is defending against what he calls the “vicious attack” by Catholic League’s…Continue Reading

Pope Francis to German Bishops: Your Church is a mess! Fix it and … GO TO CONFESSION!

The German bishops are making their ad limina visit. Every few years diocesan bishops have to go to Rome to meet with offices of the Roman Curia and, usually, the Pope. Pope Francis gave an address to the German bishops…Continue Reading

Germany’s bishops discuss decentralizing the Church in meeting with Pope Francis

ROME, November 23, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — The German bishops, sixty-seven of them, recently visited Rome together for their obligatory Ad Limina visit with the pope from November 16-20. This Ad Limina visit, which is obligatory for all bishops of the…Continue Reading

In Australia, Catholic Bishops Face Court Action, Huge Fines Over Traditional Views on Marriage

Australians have always viewed America’s litigious culture with suspicion. Our “no worries mate” approach to life means we tend not to rush off to court at the drop of a hat. So last week when a state government commissioner ruled…Continue Reading

Cardinal Wuerl’s Embassy Row Penthouse

Walking through the posh neighborhood of Embassy Row in October, I stumbled across a scoop: that Washington, D.C.’s Cardinal Donald Wuerl lives in a penthouse atop a mansion priced north of $40 million. That Embassy Row mansion is the Our…Continue Reading

Australia investigating archbishop for distributing pamphlet defending true marriage

TASMANIA, Australia, November 13, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — An Australian Catholic archbishop is facing legal action after recently distributing a pamphlet to local Catholic school children that supported Catholic teaching on marriage being between a man and woman. “Dear Friends, I…Continue Reading

A ‘most powerful woman’ – National Geographic’s major hat tip to the Virgin Mary

Washington D.C., Nov 10, 2015 / 03:45 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Our Lady. Blessed Mother. Virgin Mary. Queen of Peace. Theotokos. Handmaid of the Lord. Mother Mary. These are just some of the titles used to describe the young woman to…Continue Reading

At Al Smith Dinner, Former Mayor Bloomberg Honors Vets

Speaking at the Al Smith Dinner on the eve of Veterans Day, former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg took time from his humorous political remarks to remind guests “there are a lot of places around the world where…Continue Reading

Bishop Rebukes Catholic College for Allowing Massive Planned Parenthood Display on Campus

A Catholic bishop in Indiana is calling out a Catholic college for promoting Planned Parenthood and abortion this week. As LifeNews previously reported, Saint Mary’s College, a Catholic school in Notre Dame, Indiana, hosted the large pro-Planned Parenthood display in…Continue Reading

Former Planned Parenthood abortion clinic reopens as pro-life pregnancy center

BRYAN, TX, November 12, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The former Planned Parenthood abortion facility where Abby Johnson once worked as director is now a pro-life haven for women in crisis pregnancy. The facility is now aptly named, “Hope.” It celebrated its…Continue Reading

Supreme Court agrees to rule on birth control insurance mandate

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court agreed Friday to settle a widespread dispute between the Obama administration and religious non-profits over insurance coverage for birth control, which is sure to elevate issues of religious freedom and reproductive rights in next year’s…Continue Reading


Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Pope’s Q-and-A on the Challenges of Education

“To rethink the works of mercy, the 14 works of mercy; to rethink how to do them, but in education” Rome, November 23, 2015 ( Staff Reporter On Saturday, the Holy Father received in audience participants in the World Congress “Education Today and Tomorrow: A Passion that Is Renewed” (Rome, November 18-21, 2015), organized by the Congregation for Catholic Education (of the Institutes of Studies) to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Gravissimum Educationis (Declaration of…Continue Reading

“One who looks at the cross cannot help but see the surprising gratuitousness of love”

Here is a translation of the address Pope Francis gave today before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square, on this solemnity of Christ the King and also the feast of St. Cecilia. * * * Dear brothers and sisters, good morning! On this last Sunday of the liturgical year, we celebrate the solemnity of Christ the King. And the Gospel of today brings us to contemplate Jesus as…Continue Reading

U.S. Bishops clash as Pope Francis appointees push to downplay battle for life and family

LifeSiteNews/ Lisa Bourne and Patrick B. Craine  Nov 20, 2015 – BALTIMORE, Maryland, November 20, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — A group of Pope Francis’ episcopal appointees and other like-minded prelates provoked an open clash at the American Catholic bishops’ fall meeting in Baltimore this week as they pressed the conference to rewrite its election guide for 2016 to downplay the importance of the battle for life and family. Ahead of a vote on a revision to…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: the Church must not worship “holy bribery


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said that the Church must not be obsessed by money or power, nor worship “holy bribes”. Instead her strength and joy should come from the words of Christ. He was speaking at the morning mass at Casa Santa Marta on Friday. The Holy Father reflected on the reading from Maccabees, which tells of the people’s joy following the reconsecration of the Holy Temple, which had been destroyed by pagans and those…Continue Reading

Pope Francis at Audience: Door to God’s Mercy never closed

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis held his weekly General Audience on Wednesday, during which he focused his catechetical reflections on the upcoming Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, which opens on December 8th, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. In an impassioned address to the thousands of faithful pilgrims and tourists on hand, in which he departed frequently from his prepared text to emphasize his points, Pope Francis said, “If the door of God’s mercy is always…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke . . . Marriage Catechesis Should Be Priority For Catholic Schools

By ADAM CASSANDRA (Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted from the November 16 Catholic Education Daily, an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society. All rights reserved.) + + + Sound catechesis on marriage is “a great, great responsibility” for Catholic schools and colleges, Raymond Cardinal Burke told a representative of The Cardinal Newman Society…Continue Reading

Drug Smugglers Flow Across Our Border, Syrian Christians Don’t

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of Creators Syndicate provided this column. All rights reserved.) + + + Whom should Americans see as worthier candidates for entering our country? Syrian Christians fleeing persecution — and possible beheading by the Islamic State — or smugglers moving drugs across our…Continue Reading

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn: A Forgotten Beatitude

By JAMES MONTI When reflecting upon the sacredness of all human life, a cemetery is probably not the first thing that comes to our mind. And yet a Catholic cemetery is actually one of the Church’s most profound expressions of this truth by affirming in practice that every human life is so sacred that even…Continue Reading

Escape From Cynicism

By DONALD DeMARCO Cynicism results when a person believes that he has conquered hope. Since it is a conquest of sorts, though surely a negative and counterproductive one, it can endow the cynic with a certain amount of pride. In a similar way, a younger brother can take pride in knocking over the tower of…Continue Reading

Paris And Freedom

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO The tragedy in Paris on November 13 has regrettably been employed as a catalyst for renewed calls by governments in Western Europe and even in the United States for more curtailment of personal liberties. Those who accept the trade of liberty for safety have argued in favor of less liberty. They…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Irish Priest In Kenya . . . Describes What The Pope Will Find

By KATHLEEN NAAB (Editor’s Note: Fr. Conor Donnelly is a priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei, a medical graduate from University College Dublin, and has a doctorate in theology from the University of Navarre. He has lived for 10 years in Manila, 12 in Singapore, and has been in Nairobi for ten years. (In the November 17 interview below…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Defenseless Europe A Lesson For Defending Faith

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK While recently on retreat in New York, you might say I celebrated the Church’s year of consecrated life as I prayed daily Mass for the sisters who kindly hosted me. I invited them to kneel at the Communion rail to receive our Lord as I do at every Mass at my home parish. They all…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course… “Sola Scriptura” — The End

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Here is a simple question for those people who believe in sola Scriptura: If every Christian had the ability — a God-given ability, of course — to interpret Scripture on his own, why is it that there are so many contradictory doctrines held by those who espouse it? Bible interpretation is not an easy thing…Continue Reading

Forms Of Consecrated Life Within The Church

By DON FIER Part 3 The majority of last week’s column dealt with the third form of consecrated life outlined by the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), that of religious life. Generally recognized as the most familiar and visible form of consecrated life in the Church, religious life encompasses many different expressions: from nuns or monks who devote their…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. Regarding a recent reply about the steps to be taken by a man who wanted to return to the Catholic Church after having been a Mormon, I have a similar question, and I wonder if your answer would be the same. Someone close to me, who was a practicing Catholic, now denies the existence of God. If this person…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Maria Virgo

By CAROLE BRESLIN When I visited my aunt in St. Louis, Mo., we would visit the basilicas, the museums, and other places of interest. She had many sites near her that were particularly special to her, such as her parish, The Little Flower, in Richmond Heights. In addition, she described a place where she frequently went for eucharistic adoration at…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Raphael Kalinowski

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are many terms we use in our language which are clichés. We hear people say that somebody “kicked the bucket,” meaning that he has died, or “I’ll send you to outer Mongolia,” meaning that they will ship you so far away no one will find you. Fr. Kalinowski not only went to a place just north…Continue Reading