Friday, January 30, 2015

ObamaCare


 

How Obamacare Rationing is Harming the Economy



By Burke. J. Balch, J.D., director, NRLC’s Powell Center for Medical Ethics
Pro-abortion President Barack Obama
Pro-abortion President Barack Obama

President Obama has been among the many deploring the reality that despite an improving economy, middle-class wages have remained largely stagnant. Yet there is now evidence that the rationing provisions of Obamacare are partly responsible.

Even during recessions, in the past the health care sector has been a part of the economy in which employment has generally increased – as, due to productivity increases, Americans have been able to devote larger portions of their income and assets to keep themselves alive so as to be able to enjoy how they spend the rest of their funds. Under Obamacare, that has changed.

A January 25, 2015, article in the Wall Street Journal by Edward Lazear reports, “Between 2010 and 2014, the average real wage fell 1.1%, a poor showing after rising 3.4% between 2006 and 2010.”
Lazear notes that during those years there were “significant declines in the proportion of the workforce employed in two high-paying industries. Those declines contributed to overall wage declines—and they may have been caused by policy mistakes.”

One of those is “hospitals,” in which jobs pay 24% above the economy’s average. “The share of the private workforce employed in . . . ‘hospitals’ decreased by about 5% between 2010 and 2014. . . . Because a smaller share of labor is working [in that] high-wage [industry, together with a similar employment decline in “financial activities”], the typical job in the economy is now lower-paying than in 2010.”

As Lazear recognizes, the drop coincides with the enactment and implementation of Obamacare: “[T]he share of workers in hospitals increased rapidly from 2006 to 2010, placing it among the top 10% of industries in labor growth. That trend was reversed in the past four years. Nursing and residential care’s share of employment also grew in the early period and declined in the latter one. Ambulatory health-care services, whose share did continue to grow from 2010 to 2014, slowed to one-fourth the pace of growth that prevailed from 2006 to 2010.”

Obamacare contains numerous provisions specifically designed to suppress health care spending in the private as well as the governmental sector, as detailed at www.nrlc.org/uploads/communications/healthcarereport2014.pdf . The “success” of these measures has tragically cut growth in what we are spending to save our lives and preserve our health.

Obamacare’s rationing isn’t just harming patients – it’s harming the economy as well.
Source: NRLC News

Babies Feel Pain


 

Pain-Capable Abortion Ban to be Introduced in Ohio



60 Percent of Americans Support 20-Week Ban when babies can feel pain

feelpainCOLUMBUS, Ohio—On Tuesday, Ohio Right to Life announced landmark legislation that will ban abortions in Ohio at 20 weeks gestation, the point during pregnancy at which pre-born children can feel pain. This legislation, which is similar to National Right to Life’s Pain-Capable legislation, will be introduced in the Ohio General Assembly in the coming weeks.

“Our Pain-Capable legislation will alter the abortion debate in Ohio,” said Stephanie Ranade Krider, executive director of Ohio Right to Life. “An overwhelming majority of Americans, especially women, support protecting pre-born babies from scalpels and dismemberment. This is priority legislation for Ohio Right to Life and once again, the nation is watching.”
In November 2014, The Quinnipiac University Poll found that 60% of Americans would support prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks, while only 33% opposed such legislation. Women voters strongly support such a law by 59-35%, while independent voters supported it by 56-36%.
Currently, at least 275 facilities in the U.S. offer abortions past 20 weeks, using a variety of techniques, including a method in which the unborn child’s arms and legs are twisted off with a long stainless steel clamping tool.

“This strategic pro-life legislative initiative will save lives and guarantee Ohio remains at the forefront of the national pro-life movement,” said Krider. “No state in the nation has accomplished as much as Ohio to protect women and their pre-born children as evidenced by the historic low number of reported abortions tracked by the Ohio Department of Health. Our Pain-Capable bill will ensure that we continue this life-saving trend.”

Together with their constituents, the Ohio legislature is responding to our babies’ pain, extending empathy to the most vulnerable among us and saying ‘enough is enough,'” said Krider.

Source: NRLC News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Euthanasia


 

Dutch “Better Killed than Disabled” Bigotry



By Wesley J. Smith
GerbervanLoenenbookI have been reporting on the non-voluntary euthanasia deaths in the Netherlands for more than 20 years, the infanticide, euthanasia of the elderly “tired of life,” psychiatrists killing the mentally ill.

Often people hear this truth and yawn, “Oh, hum–but Brittany Maynard!”
Now, Gerbert van Loenen–-a Dutch journalist who once was supportive whose partner became disabled only to experience disdain from friends and doctors–-has written a book that exposes a pronounced Netherlander death-is-better-than-disabled cultural attitudes.

From a review by Barbara Kay in the National Post of Do You Call This a Life?
Van Loenen found himself brooding over certain friends’ reactions to their situation. “It would have been better if he had died,” one said at the outset.

Another told Niek when he expressed frustration, “You choose to go on living, so you have no right to complain.” Once “an average Dutchman who thought of euthanasia as one of the crown jewels of our liberal country,” van Loenen became “someone who was shocked by the harsh tone used by the Dutch when they talked about handicapped life.”

Of course, disability rights activists will tell you they often hear such harsh and discriminatory attitudes here. But combining anti-disabled bigotry with the right to kill creates extreme peril for those deemed to have lives not worth living:

van Loenen says cultural acceptance of euthanasia has progressed to the point that it is no longer the physician who ends someone’s life without request who must justify his actions; rather it is the physician who decides to prolong a life perceived as meaningless who feels societal pressure.

For me the most unsettling aspect of this fascinating and informative book is the marginalization of the central actor — the “better-off-dead” person — as the discussion turns more and more to the sensibilities of those who are affronted by his continued existence.
This is absolutely consistent with my research over the last 20 years.
And it is going to get worse as the Dutch couple euthanasia with organ harvesting:
”Sorry, time to die. Someone else deserves your liver more than you.”
But Wesley! Don’t you know euthanasia is progressive and enlightened? No. I don’t.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Wesley’s great blog.

Source: NRLC News

Unborn Babies and Their Mothers


The Amazing Interplay between Mother and Unborn Child



By Dave Andrusko
Editor’s note. This first ran in January 2012. We’re reprinting it today because it seems just right to re-run it the week after the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Comparatively speaking, in 1973 we knew nothing about either the unborn child and/or the child’s incredibly complicated bond with his/her mother.
pregnant453Pro-lifers hearing National Public Radio’s Morning Edition Monday had to be smiling when Science editor, Robert Krulwich, revealed a little-known bond between a mother and her child.

The report examined the increasing evidence that “when a woman has a baby, she gets not just a son or daughter, [but] an army of protective cells–gifts from her children that will stay inside her and defend her for the rest of her life.”
Krulwich begins his interview with Dr. Kirby Johnson, of Tufts University, by doing a little myth-busting about the placenta, formerly considered “an impenetrable barrier [in which the] mommy cells stay on the mommy side and nature keeps them separate.”
Rather, Johnson discusses how researchers found, “in a teaspoon of an ordinary pregnant woman’s blood… dozens, perhaps even hundreds of cells… from the baby.” (The scientific name for the phenomenon is fetomaternal microchimerism.)

Researchers were surprised that the ‘baby’ cells aren’t attacked by the ‘mom’s’ immunity system. (The references throughout the NPR interview to the unborn child as a baby, and to the pregnant female as mom, are refreshing.)

Chimed in Carol Artlett, a researcher at Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University, “even if a woman has a miscarriage or an abortion, even if there is no baby, the cells of an unborn child will stay in the mother for decades.” Artlett adds, “Yeah, these cells last essentially forever.”
But it’s what these cells do that is remarkable. “There’s a lot of evidence now starting to come out that these cells may actually be repairing tissue,” according to Artlett.
One case study the interview discusses concerns a Boston woman with hepatitis, with a maternal history of five pregnancies, including one living child, two miscarriages and two abortions. Her liver biopsy showed not just a few stray fetal cells, but hundreds at work ‘repairing’ her liver. Months later, she was found completely healthy, with no signs of further liver damage!

Krulwich interjects the possible alternate hypothesis–that fetal cells can harm the mother–but Johnson responds, “I can’t recall a single study that’s been truly reproduced to verify the bad fetal cell hypothesis.”

What is actually happening is that lab studies done on mother mice with diseases (ovarian, endometrial and cervical cancers) “over and over and over and over” suggest, “that fetal cells regularly rush to the places where they’re needed in the mom,” according to Krulwich.
Wow! Heady stuff that there IS an inseparable, healthy, and providential maternal-infant bond at the most basic biological level.

Source: NRLC News

Abortion Funding


 

When fact checkers take sides


By Chris Smith (R-NJ)
Editor’s note. The following was in response to a misguided Washington Post “fact checker” which ran under the headline “Does Obamacare provide federal subsidies for elective abortions?”
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx and I were on absolute bedrock when we argued last week during the House floor debate in favor of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act that the President’s health care law authorized massive subsidies to assist millions of Americans to purchase private health plans that cover abortion on demand.

Conspicuously missing from the Washington Post Fact Checker’s incomplete report and egregiously flawed conclusion was robust analysis of what the President actually pledged in his highly public executive order promising to extend the Hyde Amendment to the Affordable Care Act.
Readers expect—and deserve—much more from the Post.
In order to gain the votes of several pro-life holdout congressional democrats needed for passage of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama issued an executive order on March 24, 2010 that said: “the Act maintains current Hyde Amendment restrictions governing abortion policy and extends those restrictions to newly created health insurance exchanges.”

The Hyde Amendment—named after the late Congressman Henry Hyde of Illinois—is current law and prohibits federal funding to any health insurance plan that includes abortion except in the cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. The Hyde Amendment, however, only legally applies to health programs administered under the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related Agencies Appropriations Act, including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Because the health care exchanges and other programs authorized and appropriated under the Affordable Care Act are separate from all other appropriations laws, the President’s promise to extend the Hyde amendment to the “newly created exchanges” was the game changer. The President got the votes of several pro-life democrats needed for passage.
Recent history now shows the President’s solemn promise to extend Hyde to the Affordable Care Act was a lie.

While the Hyde Amendment prohibits federal funds to any health plan that includes abortion except for rape, incest or to save the life of the mother, the Secretary of the Treasury pursuant to notice by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, is today making monthly advance payments with U.S. taxpayer funds to insurance companies or to exchanges to pay for health insurance plans that subsidize abortion on demand.

It couldn’t be more clear—the President is not extending the Hyde Amendment to the “newly created exchanges.”

Moreover, an extensive audit released last September by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that 1,036 Affordable Care Act exchange plans had abortion secretly embedded in the plan. If the Hyde Amendment truly had been applied the number of plans with elective abortion coverage would be zero.

We live in an age of ultrasound imaging—the ultimate window to the womb and the child who resides there. We are in the midst of a fetal health care revolution, an explosion of benign interventions designed to diagnose, treat and cure the precious lives of these youngest patients. We also know unborn children, at least by 20 weeks, or about 6 months, feel horrific pain while being aborted.

Because of this, Americans have consistently demanded—and now in ever-growing numbers—that public funds not pay for abortion. The Marist Poll released this month found that 68 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding for abortions, and that includes 69 percent of women; 71 percent of the millennials. The younger generation knows that we cannot build a better future by paying for the destruction of the most vulnerable among us.

(Rep. Chris Smith is the author of HR 7, the No Taxpayers Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act.)
Source: NRLC News

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Planned Parenthood and Abortion


 

Planned Parenthood 2013-2014 Annual Report:  Pro-Abortion, Prosperous, and Proud



By Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D.
Editor’s note. This appeared in the current issue of National Right to Life News. You can read the entire 39-page edition at www.nrlc.org/uploads/NRLNews/NRLNewsJan2015.pdf
PPFAannualreportp1reDespite the closing of some clinics (usually in pursuit of greater profits) and constant complaints about “assaults on reproductive rights,” Planned Parenthood again made hundreds of millions last year off of abortion as the country’s largest “abortion provider,” which is today responsible for about a third of all America’s abortions.

PPFA’s overall $1.3 billion income for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, was a record. Put in perspective, according to 2013 figures from the World Bank, a country with a gross domestic product this high would rank ahead of Greenland, Grenada, Tonga, Micronesia and several other independent countries.

To be clear the aforementioned $1.3 billion in income is not all directly from abortion, but a substantial portion of it is and a lot more is indirectly connected. (See below.)
According to Planned Parenthood’s 2013-2014 Annual Report, “Our Health, Our Decisions, Our Moment,”  clinics affiliated with the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) performed 327,653 abortions in 2013. This is up slightly from 2012’s 327,166, but just a bit below 2011’s record 333,964.

The stability of Planned Parenthood’s abortion count – between 324,000 and 334,000 since 2008 – is remarkable, given that national figures for abortions have been in a nosedive since 2008; they have dropped 13% in just the last three years. Planned Parenthood’s ability to continue to prosper in a “down market” is a testament to PPFA’s unchallenged role as the overwhelmingly dominant provider of abortion and its powerful political connections.

Abortion income: direct and indirect
At the going rate for standard surgical abortion at 10 weeks ($451 is the figure from Guttmacher for 2009), the 327,653 abortions performed by Planned Parenthood would represent at least $147.7 million. That does not account for the greater cost of chemical abortions, which are a big part of Planned Parenthood’s total and are heavily promoted and widely available at its clinics.
Nor does the figure take into consideration that many PPFA clinics offer considerably more expensive second trimester abortions (over a hundred clinics, with more than a dozen of those offering abortions at 20 weeks or more), meaning that $147.7 million is likely an extremely conservative figure.

Not often talked about is that when women come into Planned Parenthood for abortion, they are also sold pregnancy tests, contraceptives, and may be tested and treated for sexually transmitted diseases or infections. These will be counted and costed as separate “services” but all may be connected to the abortion visit.

For all their talk about “choice” and allowing women to make their own determinations with regard to their pregnancies, the services such women receive at PPFA clinics are decidedly one-sided. According to the annual report, the breakdown of services rendered specifically to pregnant women shows Planned Parenthood’s clear institutional bias: prenatal care 5.4%, adoption 0.5%, abortion 94.1%.

Looked at another way, these figures tell us nearly 19 out of every 20 pregnant women who got these services at Planned Parenthood were sold abortions. And notice that abortions outnumbered adoption referrals by a more than a 174 to one.
Using Tax Dollars, Angling For More
Despite of (and sadly, in some places, perhaps because of) its clear abortion agenda, Planned Parenthood continues to receive an inordinate amount of its funding from taxpayers. We learn from the report that 41% of its revenues are from “Government Health Services Grants & Reimbursements.”

These are services or programs paid for by local, state, or federal governments. While law prevents federal dollars from paying directly for abortion (those dollars mean more private funds available for that purpose, though), many state and local governments do fund abortions, helping to keep the abortion giant running.

PPFA is fully aware of the significance of its government ties, seen not only in the dollars and energy expended in recent elections, but in their concerted effort to promote ObamaCare, which could deliver them customers for years to come.
The annual report notes that Planned Parenthood reached “more than 1.7 million people in 18 cities across eight states” with information about their eligibility for new health insurance and says it was able to help over 100,000 fill out their applications. It also noted, in the same sentence, that it had registered 15,000 people to vote.

Abortion Defense and Advocacy

Planned Parenthood bills itself not only as “the nation’s leading reproductive health care provider” but also adds “and advocate.” It is clear from this latest annual report that they take that “advocate” role seriously, and that the defense and promotion of abortion is a central part of that advocacy.
While Planned Parenthood’s abortion agenda was being thwarted in many statehouses across the country, the group trumpets the claim that “We won court victories protecting abortion access.” They have in mind restrictions placed on chemical abortions in Arizona that enforced the protocol approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and a rule in Iowa requiring physicians to be present when chemical abortions are prescribed (which is not the case with so-called “web-cam abortions” where the abortionist only interacts with his patient over the internet). And appeals were pending at the time of the report.
Planned Parenthood also hailed a federal judge’s decision on an Alabama law that would have required abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, a reasonable regulation designed to insure the abortionist be able to accompany his “patient” to a local hospital when emergencies arise.
What is remarkable is not that Planned Parenthood temporarily won in some courts what they could not win in the legislatures – this is, after all, the legacy of Roe v. Wade – but that they were only partially, and one hopes, temporarily successful in that regard.
The photo from one section of “Our Health, Our Decisions, Our Moment” features a woman wearing a “Stand with Texas Women” T-Shirt, a state where Planned Parenthood invested enormous amounts of money and publicity. Their political star—pro-abortion state Senator Wendy Davis—was obliterated in her race for governor, and the courts are still listening with varying amounts of skepticism to a flurry of lawsuits filed against Texas’ H.B.2. Planned Parenthood also says they’re “pushing back” against other laws in Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin where they have seen limited success.

Aiming for the Next Generation

Planned Parenthood touts the existence of 200 college campus groups, 182% more than they had just three years ago, and the deployment of 1,503 “peer educators” – young advocates for Planned Parenthood’s agenda – to reach “nearly 100,000 of their peers across the country.

A quote featured in this section shows where this outreach is headed. After “Dakota” mentioned learning about Planned Parenthood when visiting the clinic with her mother and eventually getting involved in the peer educator program there, she shares, “My plan is to go to medical school and become an abortion provider. Being part of Planned Parenthood gives me the space to do this work.”
Just how saturated the report is with spin is made apparent in the section proudly proclaiming that “We fought abortion stigma in popular culture.” The discussion here centers around the awful film “Obvious Child” which featured the story of a woman unapologetically getting an abortion. It was supposed to be a comedy. Planned Parenthood calls it “edgy, hip, funny, remarkably honest” though there was little-to-no honesty about either the humanity of the “obvious child” or the psychological pain that follows many women after their abortion.
Planned Parenthood hailed the movie as a “major breakthrough” when it came out, but failed to highlight the integral role it played in bringing the story to screen. Now here in the annual report PPFA mentions how they “worked for years with the film’s writer, director, and producers to shape the story, helped them film it in a Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic health center, and oversaw its release to widespread critical and commercial success.”

While there were some of the usual media sycophants that gave “Obvious Child” the politically correct praise that might be expected, it is a far stretch to call the film a “commercial success.” According to Box Office Mojo, the domestic total gross for the film was just $3,123,963. The highest it ever ranked in any week of its release was #19. For the year, it came in #158, behind “The Lunchbox,” “Vampire Academy,” and the 30th anniversary re-release of “Ghostbusters.”
Like much of the rest of Planned Parenthood’s talk about abortion and the unborn child, there’s more spin than substance to their claims.

Leaner … and Meaner
Planned Parenthood does not mention how many clinics it closed or affiliates it merged in the year, but notes the “25 percent increase in productivity” that followed efforts to help “35 affiliates strengthen their operations.”

Planned Parenthood claims to have opened 10 new “health centers,” though one of the three it specifically mentions (Tacoma, WA) appears to be a relocation and another (Fayetteville, NC) seems to be a mega-clinic that opened in 2009.

PPFA affiliates all over the country have been building and opening giant new megaclinics over the past ten years, massive modern new facilities that can not only process many more abortions a day, but also can meet new health codes being passed by many state legislatures.
So, in a nutshell, even as the culture around them grows increasingly uncomfortable with their signature product, Planned Parenthood is as committed to abortion as it ever was and is looking for ways to defend and expand its abortion empire.

Source: NRLC News

Disabilities


 

Changing the “negative narrative” about unborn babies diagnosed with disabilities


By Dave Andrusko
Editor’s note. A friend who marched with KIDS (Keep Infants with Down Syndrome) last Thursday reminded me about this story.
childrendisabilities2re“My abortion story,” which appeared on Salon.com, will rend your heart. And that will hold true regardless of where your opinion lies on the spectrum of abortion opinion.
The sub-headline to Jacqui Morton’s remembrance criticizes legislation that makes it possible for women to hear their unborn child’s heartbeat: “Hearing my little girl’s heartbeat would have been unbearable.” But if you read her piece carefully, there is a far different message tucked in between the tears and the regret.

Morton tells her readers she’d always been pro-choice but never planned to have an abortion. She reached an unexpected fork in the road when Morton learned her baby had Trisomy 18.
There is no reason to question that she and her husband wrestled with the decision. Nor that she cried and cried and cried some more. Morton wanted this baby.

In explaining how she came to abort, Morton writes about teaching her toddler son to make choices.
“When he doesn’t want to hold my hand in the parking lot, I tell him that sometimes we have to make the choice we don’t want to make because it is the right choice or because it is the safe choice. I knew that to mother this baby, I had to let go. I could not bring myself to ask if it was a girl or boy until after we had made our decision. I had always hoped for a daughter. I had already imagined her first day of kindergarten.”

No one would minimize the odds facing babies with Trisomy 18, certainly not me. Many babies will be stillborn and, according to Morton, “Less than 10 percent will have a first birthday.”
But it is unfortunate that Morton and her husband apparently had no exposure to families whose babies have (or had) Trisomy 13, no chance to learn from them what they learned by not aborting their babies.

For example (and this is just one example), we once ran a story about a study that was running in the Journal “Pediatrics.” Most parents of children with Trisomy 13 or Trisomy18 conditions (in this case Canadian parents) consider their child to be happy and found that their lives were enriched by the child.

Reporter Helen Branswell, writing in The Canadian Press, noted that
“Medical textbooks are grim and bleak about babies born with genetic codes considered ‘incompatible with life.’ But the study says parents who have these children speak of the joy found in what is almost inevitably a short lifespan. These children, they say, can enrich a family rather than destroy it.”
The study was conducted by ethicists and the mother of a child born with Trisomy 13.
A separate story, running in Reuters began with the observation that one in four parents felt “judged” when they want life-sustaining treatment for their newborns!

I thought of Morton when I re-read these quotes from the story:
“This study should have us stop and think about what decisions, for which children, have been made on the basis of misinformation,” says Francoise Baylis, a professor of bioethics and philosophy at Dalhousie University in Halifax. “The negative narrative needs to change. Parents’ experiential knowledge matters and should be available to expectant parents and new parents.”

Morton concludes with a powerful remembrance of her aborted child and with the implied concession that the “post-abortion distress” she believes is only for women “left alone to cope with grief” has a wider audience: herself.

“I’ve heard that the DNA of our children lives on in our bodies for 21 years. I don’t know if that’s true. But I think of her every day.”

Media and Abortion


 

Entertainment Weekly Weeps ‘Warm and Vulnerable’ Abortion Comedy ‘Nominated for Nothing’



By Katie Yoder
obviouschild89Entertainment Weekly is trying a new method of writing: Oscar obituaries.
In a Jan. 26 piece for Entertainment Weekly (EW), writer Emily Blake lamented that “abortion comedy” “Obvious Child” was “nominated for nothing” for the upcoming Oscars. Laying out the reasons for the Oscar-censorship, she bashed the Academy Awards for refusing to recognize the “warm and vulnerable” film full of “humor.”
The film, glorified by the media as an “abortion romantic comedy,” first hit theaters summer 2014. Written and directed by Gillian Robespierre, “Obvious Child” follows 28-year-old aspiring comedian Donna Stern (SNL’s Jenny Slate) who has an abortion after a one-night stand – and ends up living “happily ever after,” or, as Blake put it, “instead of [abortion] ruining her life, everything turns out kind of all right.”

From the beginning, Blake condemned the “real shame” of the film’s branding as an “abortion comedy” – “especially if that label cost it awards love.” “To call Obvious Child political, even provocative, is selling it short,” she whined.
(Or, as for Planned Parenthood and the media, selling it long.)
Blake continued:

Yes, Donna’s decision is a crucial part of the story—but it’s really the engine that propels a romantic comedy. The film, like its protagonist, is bristly and sarcastic on the outside, but warm and vulnerable at its core.

For her, “Obvious Child” proved “one of the few films in which the protagonist actually carries through with an abortion without it upending her life.”
Besides the labeling, Blake also blamed the Oscars for “always view[ing] comedies as low-brow second-class citizens” and not offering a “Best Actress in a Comedy category.” While “[t]here are plenty of Oscar voters who aren’t afraid to go there,” she added, “it’s likely that plenty more still flinch at the whole issue.”
She compared the film to “American Sniper” which received six nominations, but is, she complained, “arguably just as divisive.”

Blake expressed hope, however, by detailing “Why history will remember [“Obvious Child”] better than the Academy did.” She wrote:
While the “abortion comedy” thing may have hurt its prospects in awards season, that hook—and its status as a film that helped to change the conversation around women’s reproductive rights—will give Obvious Child a fair amount of staying power past 2015.
“This film makes it okay for its heroine to make this decision and still be a heroine,” she gushed,“[a]nd underneath all that, it’s also a pretty hilarious romantic comedy.”
(Well look who’s calling it an abortion romantic comedy now…)

She concluded by crediting “Obvious Child” for actress Jenny Slate’s “big break” – “one she took on gracefully by tackling a still-taboo subject with vulnerability and — yes — humor.”
Blake’s piece surfaced as part of an EW initiative to take “a closer look at films that were too small, too weird, or perhaps simply too awesome for the Academy Awards.”

Editor’s note. This appeared at newsbusters.org.

Source: NRLC News

Crime


 

Trial of woman accused of neglect of a dependent and feticide enters second day


Aborted baby was over 25-weeks old

By Dave Andrusko
Purvi Patel
Purvi Patel
Back in May, NRL News Today reported that St. Joseph Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Hurley had just granted Purvi Patel a fourth continuance, meaning the trial of the woman accused of taking abortifacients to induce an abortion and then dumping the body of her (at least) 25-week-old baby in a dumpster behind her family’s restaurant, was delayed yet again.
Yesterday, the trial began in St. Joseph County, Indiana, for Patel who stands accused of neglect of a dependent and feticide. All accounts suggested that the keys will be a series of texts Patel sent to a friend and the testimony of physicians at the ER where Patel arrived the night of July 13, 2013, bleeding, with an umbilical cord hanging from her body.

“The evidence in this case is irrefutable that some pretty terrible things happened July 13 and 14 of 2013,” Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Aimee Herring said in opening statements. “A mother lost her child. What could be more terrible than that? Well the evidence will show that the loss of that child in this particular case was not due to any natural cause. In fact, the loss of that child’s life was the direct result of that mother, Purvi Patel’s actions.”
In her story, Kelli Stopczynski, of WSBT television, added, “Herring went on to say Patel sought care for herself when she needed help, ‘while her baby lay dying.’”
Defense attorney Jeff Sanford said the defense’s own pathologist arrived at a different conclusion than the state’s forensic pathologist who ruled the infant was born alive after about 25 weeks in the womb, and could have survived if given proper care. Sanford asked the jury to review the facts.
“There are pictures that are going to upset you,” Sanford told the jury. “They have nothing to do with the evidence.”

The chronology is a lengthy one and it begins, according to the prosecution, in April 2013 with a series of texts Patel sent to a friend.
According to Herring, Patel began texting her friend about an irregular menstrual cycle and cramping. Patel did not take her friend’s advice to see a doctor. The texts continued, according to Stopczynski’s story into June when Patel took a pregnancy test.
Stopczynski then reported
On June 10, Patel text messaged her friend about ordering abortion pills from an “international pharmacy,” and when the friend asked Patel three more times to see a doctor, she replied, “I’d rather not even go to a doc. I just want to get this over with,” Herring said.

According to text messages, the pills arrived at Moe’s Southwest Grill in Mishawaka – a restaurant Patel’s family owns – in early July. But Patel waited to take those pills until July 10, continuing to provide a detailed account of her situation to her friend, Herring told the jury.

“BTW, these pills taste like sh**. If these pills don’t work…I’m gonna be mad,” the text messages allegedly said.
Then on July 13, Patel text messaged her friend, “Just lost the baby. I’m gonna clean up the bathroom and then go to Moe’s.”
That’s where investigators have said they ultimately found the baby, in a dumpster, wrapped in plastic bags.

Covering today’s second day of the trial, Stopczynski tweeted
*Jurors saw pictures of baby outside the dumpster where police found it. Purvi Patel appeared to cry

*Baby was lying on its side, where a doc placed it after it was found. Had full head of hair, arms, legs, ears and nose. Jurors appeared stoic
*Defense attny tried to get pictures removed from evidence before trial, arguing they weren’t necessary and would evoke emotion
*Crime tech testified about “red stained” evidence (underwear, pants, towel) collected from Patel’s home & sent to crime lab

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Euthanasia


 

The price we pay when respect for the sanctity of life is lost



By Dave Andrusko
Diane Weber Bederman
Diane Weber Bederman

I had never heard of Diane Weber Bederman until I ran across an incredible piece she’d written that appeared in Canada Free Press.

The reader learns that she is, among other things, a blogger for the Times of Israel and a multi-faith endorsed hospital trained chaplain.

When trying to get a grip on Belgium’s race to the bottom, her opening paragraphs are about as good as it gets:

“Bob Schieffer, of CBS News, recently lamented on the condition of the world. It’s gone mad, he said. Then Schieffer quoted [author and philosopher] Will Durant.
“’Barbarism, like the jungle, does not die out, but only retreats behind the barriers that civilization has thrown up against it, and waits there always to reclaim that to which civilization has temporarily laid claim.’
“I have the 1927 edition of Durant’s book ‘The Story of Philosophy.’ It is a treasure for so many reasons. I found it in my father’s library, long after he had passed away. I have come to love and respect Durant’s reflections. Based on the wisdom of Durant I can safely say Belgium is in the process of being reclaimed by the jungle.”

We have also written extensively about what one commentator said of Belgium: that it has “leaped head-first off a moral cliff.”

Most NRL News Today readers are well aware that euthanasia—supposedly bracketed by “safeguards”—is completely out of control in Belgium. Not just a “500% increase in cases in ten years; one third involuntary; half not reported; euthanasia for blindness, anorexia and botched sex change operations; organ transplant euthanasia,” to quote Dr. Peter Saunders. In the name of autonomy and non-discrimination, children can now be euthanized on the flimsiest of grounds.
Bederman writes that Belgium is losing (actually, willfully throwing away) “the most important, most revolutionary piece of civilization”:

“respect for the sanctity of life. All life. Not that long ago it was common practice to sacrifice women and children to the gods. …Sadly, sacrificing human beings still continues at the hands of present day barbarians.”

If you read NRL News and NRL News Today regularly (which I hope you do and are passing along to pro-life friends), you know that the bioethical establishment considers every 24 hours a lost day if it has not found some “given” that needs to be thrown overboard. Wesley J. Smith writes about that eloquently. We republish his posts nearly every day.

Wesley wrote a piece for the June NRL News which we republished in NRL News Today—“ Making infanticide respectable.”

There he offered thumbnail sketches of the worst offenders, places—the most “respectable places”—where a cold-blooded secular gospel of killing babies is preached with gusto and inventiveness.
Bederman reminds us that by adopting a “changing ethical paradigm,” Belgium now has “a growing and thriving euthanasia industry.” It is no exaggeration to say that
“Belgium is devolving. She has let go of the foundation of Western culture–the sanctity of life.”
Put another way, the equality of life is the strongest barrier against the incursion of barbarism, which is always probing for weakness. She adds

“We are forgetting that life is sacred,” she writes. “As children of God we are all equal, all equally loved and valued, and that value is intrinsic. We are loved for being, for existing, not for what we do or how we can be used.” (emphasis mine).
I would highly recommend that you read Bederman’s post. After you do, you will be reminded once more how crucial your role is.
Source: NRLC News