Contact: Timothy Williams, Pro Vita Advisors, 937-226-1300
DAYTON, Ohio, May 15 /Christian Newswire/ -- Once again, Catholic religious orders have chosen to address almost every liberal social issue imaginable while ignoring the subject of abortion at the annual meetings of major corporations.
It has become increasingly common to see nuns and priests at annual meetings, through the strategic use of a shareholder resolution, exhorting corporate executives to address issues like global warming, the environment, tobacco, executive pay and health insurance. Since Roe vs. Wade in 1972, these religious corporate gadflies have seldom, if ever, seen fit to use the same tool to address the subject of abortion.
Religious orders like the Sisters of Saint Francis of Philadelphia and the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in Houston, Texas, will do a dozen or more resolutions every year. All counted, Catholic religious orders will file or co-file over 100 resolutions this year and have done thousands on a wide variety of issues since abortion was legalized. Yet you will not hear one word from their mouths concerning abortion. Sister Pat Daley of the Dominican Sisters in Caldwell, New Jersey, and one of the most visible Catholics at annual meetings, once explained she didn't think it was "ecumenical" to address the issue of abortion.
Surprisingly, the Catholic bishops once described abortion as "the human rights issue of our time" and said in 1991 they "will consider supporting shareholder resolutions on abortion related issues when deemed appropriate."
Work on the abortion issue at the corporate level by way of a shareholder resolution has been the almost exclusive province of Thomas Strobhar of Pro Vita Advisors. Pro Vita Advisors is a non-profit organization dedicated to exposing and confronting the business aspects of abortion.
Strobhar has authored approximately sixty shareholder resolutions addressing the abortion issue alone. Unfortunately, this is the first year in almost 20 that not one of his shareholder resolutions will appear on a corporate ballot. Strobhar explained, "JP Morgan Chase had us excluded on a technicality and we voluntarily withdrew at American Express and Ford after sufficient progress had been made in addressing our concerns."
Earlier this year, a resolution authored by Strobhar was filed challenging Pfizer's use of human embryonic stem cells for research purposes. It asked them to abide by the Nuremburg Code, developed after the Nazi atrocities, which requires consent of the person being experimented on. Pfizer fought to keep the issue off the ballot. Unfortunately, the Securities & Exchange Commission agreed with Pfizer that slicing and dicing the smallest of humans was "ordinary business" and hence unsuitable for shareholder action.
Although not every resolution will make the ballot, Strobhar believes every attempt to draw attention to the sanctity of life is valuable. Throughout the years, resolutions he drafted have appeared at AT&T, Berkshire Hathaway, Bank of America, General Mills, Microsoft and many other major American corporations.
"The bigger issue," Strobhar said, "is where are my Catholic brothers and sisters, especially of the religious variety? They have the time, talent and energy, but they don't have the heart to speak out when it comes to abortion. It is most unfortunate."
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