Thursday, October 31, 2013

Unborn Babies


Scientists say babies remember lullabies played for them in the womb

HELSINKI, Finland, October 31, 2013 ( – There’s no shortage of products on the market designed to help parents expose their unborn babies to music. Experts and savvy marketers alike have long speculated that prenatal musical exposure might make babies smarter, or at least help them develop similar tastes to Mom and Dad. Others dismiss the “Mozart Effect” as a myth and a sales gimmick.

A new study out of Finland, however, may send sales of belly-mounted headphones skyrocketing, as researchers say they have found conclusive proof infants can recognize a lullaby heard in the womb for several months after birth. Not only does this suggest babies can remember things they hear and experience prior to birth, the study’s authors say it may be an important component of speech development for infants as they grow into children.
The University of Helsinki’s Cognitive Brain Research Unit studied 24 women during the third trimester of their pregnancies. Half of the women played “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” for their babies five days a week throughout the final weeks of pregnancy; the other half did not.
Researchers found that after the babies were born, the ones who had listened to the song while still in their mothers’ wombs reacted much more strongly than the others to the sound of melody when it was played, even up to four months later.

Previously, the team had studied the effects of speech on preborn babies, and found that as newborns, they showed a clear response to words they had heard repeatedly in the third trimester of their mothers’ pregnancies. But that study did not follow up to see if the babies remembered the words later on.

“This is the first study to track how long fetal memories remain in the brain,” said Dr. Minna Huotilainen, the study’s lead author. “The results are significant, as studying the responses in the brain let us focus on the foundations of fetal memory. The early mechanisms of memory are currently unknown.”
Scientist Eino Patanen added, “Even though our earlier research indicated that fetuses could learn minor details of speech, we did not know how long they could retain the information. These results show that babies are capable of learning at a very young age, and that the effects of the learning remain apparent in the brain for a long time.”

The study, which was conducted with the help of the Academy of Finland's Finnish Centre of Excellence in Interdisciplinary Music, was published Wednesday in the American scientific journal PLoS ONE.

Source: LifeSite News

3 Parents and a Baby!

Obama admin’s FDA mulling three-parent embryo creation

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 31, 2013 ( – While some European ethicists and politicians have called for an end to the creation of “three-parent” IVF embryos, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced it is considering allowing the practice - without having held a public consultation.

Researchers say that the technique “modifies standard IVF technology” to create an embryo from the eggs of two women and sperm from one man.

The FDA’s most recent draft guidance on the issue included no mention of the ethical concerns over the nature of the procedure itself, but only offers suggestions for developing early stage clinical trials.
“This guidance is intended to facilitate [cellular and gene therapy] development by providing recommendations regarding selected aspects of the design of early-phase clinical trials of these products,” the document said.
The FDA’s Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee had planned on holding a public consultation in Silver Spring, Maryland, on October 22-23, but an announcement said they had postponed it because of the federal government shutdown.
No new consultation date has been announced.
Among those objecting to the FDA’s proposal is the Arkansas-based Family Council, who have published their response to the consultation, listing three reasons the creation of children with three genetic parents should not be allowed.

First, they said, the technique, like human embryonic stem cell research, inevitably involves the creation of human embryos whose sole purpose is to be “created and killed in the name of science.”
They also said that the research, while it is purported to be about preventing genetic disorders, “could also be used by polygamous or polyamorous ‘families’ to ‘create’ children biologically-related to all the adults involved in the relationship.”

The document also warns of potentially wide-ranging issues in law and public policy related to child welfare or parental rights, all of which currently “assumes children have two biological parents.”
“While it’s fairly common for children to be reared by only one parent, or for someone other than a biological parent to have custody of a child, it is not known what damage could be done to the rights of two-parent children if the laws change to accommodate parents of three-parent children,” the group said.

The Vatican is on record against the procedure. The document, Dignitas Personae, by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, says that, since all research used to develop such therapies starts with the artificial creation of human embryos, most of which are then destroyed, “it must be stated that, in its current state, germ-line cell therapy in all its forms is morally illicit.”
Much of the objection to the proposal comes from the fact that alterations to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) result in genetic changes that will be carried down the line of inheritance when the embryo becomes an adult and has his or her own children.
This “germ-line” genetic therapy was condemned by the 2008 CDF document, which said when “genetic modifications are effected on the germ cells of a person will be transmitted to any potential offspring,” the procedure cannot be morally licit.

The ethics of the procedure are not the only concerns. The Scientist also reports that some clinical “safety” issues remain unresolved. The researchers who developed the technique reported genetic abnormalities in about half the embryos created, and other researchers have expressed concerns “about the compatibility of the mitochondrial and nuclear DNA from two different donors.”
Most of the research community is dismissive of such concerns. In 2012, Sir Mark Walport, then head of the UK’s Wellcome Trust, described mitochondrial gene transfer as merely the equivalent of “changing the batteries in a camera.” The trust had just awarded a grant of £5.8 million to researchers at Newcastle University, a major center for embryo research.

The procedure was described in an article in The Scientist as a means of avoiding the various pathologies caused by genetic anomalies in the mitochondria, the tiny organelles found in the cytoplasm that act as “batteries” providing power to an organism’s cells.
In it, the nucleus from the ovum of a woman carrying “mitochondrial defects” is transferred into the second “donor egg,” whose cytoplasm is free of the mitochondrial defects and from which the nucleus has been removed.

The result is an ovum, (oocyte or female gamete) that has the nuclear DNA of the first woman, but with the defect-free cytoplasm of the second woman. The resulting genetically modified ovum is then fertilized with the sperm, becoming an embryo which can be implanted in the “donor” who has the mitochondrial disorder.

The technique was developed by a team of biologists at Oregon Health and Science University in Beaverton in 2009, which created healthy rhesus monkeys free of mitochondrial genetic disorders. In 2012, the same team announced success in human trials, having created a dozen human embryos, all of which were later “destroyed,” who had no mitochondrial disorders.
Those with concerns may contact the FDA:
Gail Dapolito
Phone: 301-827-1289,
Fax: 301-827-0294
Writers are asked to use “Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee Meeting Comment” as the e-mail’s subject line.

Source: LifeSite News


The day I returned to Planned Parenthood to ask for the ultrasound of my aborted baby

A memory box created by Hannah to remember her son Luke, including the ultrasound image. 
Oct. 30, 2013 ( - For nearly three years after I had an abortion at 6 weeks gestation in February 2009, I had a strong desire to return to the abortion clinic to obtain my records. I hoped to find out something, anything, I could about my first baby, though I honestly don't know what I thought I would find. I just knew I needed to go. At times, it felt as if my child didn't really exist because I had nothing tangible declaring he did.

What I hoped more than anything else was that they would have an ultrasound photo on record. I remember having an ultrasound before the abortion, but I never saw the screen and I don't remember them printing anything off. One reason I put off getting my records was because I had no idea whether they would have an ultrasound photo or not... and if they didn't, I knew it would break my heart.

I went to Planned Parenthood on a sunny December afternoon in 2011 to request my records along with any ultrasound photos they might have. A friend of mine told me they usually purposefully leave out any ultrasound photos unless they are specifically requested. Shaking and nervous, I prayed for courage and the right words to say as I waited in anticipation of photos. I watched as the woman behind the counter went over to the copy machine. The woman who had counseled me, before the abortion, arrived in the parking lot just after I did and came into the room just as I asked if I could have the original. I see that as God's perfect timing because I almost went on a different day, at a different time.

The counselor told me they are required to keep the original photo on file for ten years. When I asked if I could have it before they got rid of it, she informed me that nobody else had ever asked her that, and that she'd have to look into it for me. Appearing alarmed, she asked why I wanted the photo, while offering for someone to talk to me about it. I explained to her that God has healed me, but that having my ultrasound photo is important for me to honor my baby's valuable life through healthy recognition and grieving. Taking this to be an open door to briefly share my pro-life testimony, I told of having an abortion and almost having a second abortion. I then told of my choice to embrace my daughter's precious LIFE instead and subsequently finding healing in Christ. I was sharing all this with the very woman who had counseled me before having the abortion.
Hannah Rose Allen
I remember her telling me, before I took the RU486 pill, that some initial sadness after an abortion would be normal, but if I was still feeling sad after a couple of days, that would not be normal and I should seek help. Almost three years after the abortion, I was there to tell her I wasn't "over" ending the life of my child, but that God has restored and redeemed my heart. I was there to make known that my child's life mattered and that I was acknowledging his existence. I believe she was meant to be there to talk to me that day so I could give her a glimpse into the life of a post-abortive woman who regrets her "choice."
How exceedingly difficult it was to walk back into that Planned Parenthood after the elapsed three years. I was terrified of facing the place filled with profoundly painful memories from the darkest period of my life. However, I knew that God was with me and would hold my hand as I faced my fear. I knew I was meant to go there. And because I did, I was given an even greater measure of peace and healing.
Even though I am content to have a copy of my ultrasound photo for now, I hope to one day have the original. My intention in writing this is to encourage other post-abortive women to contact the abortion clinics where they went and retrieve their records. Ask the clinics for any ultrasound photos they might have. Even if you don't feel ready to look at/read everything yet, get whatever is available so you will have it to view when you are ready. Some places only hold records on file for a certain number of years. It can help bring closure to look through your records. I am thankful to have discovered my first child had a due date of October 1st.
My first child who matters deeply to me and to God. My first child who I will openly grieve the loss of. My first child who I've named Luke Shiloh, meaning "light and peace." My first child, who should be four years old today. I am so thankful to have this gift, this ultrasound photo... evidence of my first child's life...

You can keep up with my pro-life ministry here.
Hannah Rose Allen is a Christian young woman passionate about the pro-life message. Through her own experience with unplanned pregnancy, abortion and the loss of a child, Hannah Rose has become a pro-life advocate dedicated to ministering the love of Jesus to others. She tells her unique and compelling story on her website,, and at banquets and pro-life events, churches, and college campuses. Hannah Rose is pursuing her B.S. in Psychology/Crisis Counseling through Liberty University Online. She resides with her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she volunteers at her local Pregnancy Resource Center and works as a nanny.

Source: LifeSite News

Abortion Coverage in ObamaCare

Sebelius: ‘I don’t know’ if Americans can be told which Obamacare exchange policies cover abortion

Updated 10/30/13 at 2:37pm EST
Oct. 30, 2013 ( – During testimony this morning before the House Energy & Commerce Committee, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said she doesn't know whether the administration can commit to ensuring that Americans seeking to purchase health insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's (ACA) exchanges can be told which plans do or do not cover abortion.
Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) asked Sebelius if she could “commit to us that the federal exchanges that offer that is clearly identified, so people can understand if they’re gonna buy a policy that has abortion coverage or not, because right now you cannot make that determination.”
“I don’t know," Sebelius answered. She continued, "I know exactly the issue you’re talking about. I will check and make sure that is clearly identifiable.”
Earlier this month, Rep. Chris Smith had introduced a bill that will ensure that companies will no longer be able to hide whether their plans cover abortion and will charge enrollees a $1 monthly abortion surcharge.
Shimkus followed up by asking Sebelius to “provide for the Committee” which insurers “in the federal exchange” are not offering abortion coverage. Sebelius said, “I think we can do that, sir.”
Rep. Smith told today that Sebelius' statement is an "outrage." "It doesn’t pass the straight face test and it’s just not believable—that at this stage Sebelius cannot, or will not, tell consumers how to find out whether the plans they are considering include abortions that painfully dismember or chemically poison unborn children."

“Why are they hiding?" he said.
The ACA currently mandates that insurance companies that are part of the law's state exchanges not disclose whether they pay for elective abortions until enrollment.
Section 1303(b)(2) of the law specifically states that agents “shall provide information only with respect to the total amount of the combined payments” – and not about abortion coverage.

One of the most controversial aspects of the Affordable Care Act has been its coverage of abortion.
The ACA contains the most radical departure from the principles of the Hyde amendment to become federal law since the 1970s.  It deviates from decades of abortion policy by allowing taxpayer money to flow to plans that include coverage for abortion on demand. As a part of this deviation from the Hyde amendment, plans that include abortion will charge a mandatory $1 abortion surcharge.
President Obama signed an Executive Order in March 2010 that ostensibly prevented the Act from covering abortion except when consistent with the Hyde Amendment – in cases of rape, incest, and life of the mother. However, months later, in at least three states - New Mexico, Maryland, and Pennsylvania - the Administration tried to use funding under the Act to fund non-Hyde Amendment abortions. Pro-life activists responded, stopping the effort.

Source: LifeSite News

With the HHS mandate introduced in January 2012, mandating that employers provide insurance that includes coverage of contraception and some abortifacient drugs, the issue of abortion funding has led to dozens of lawsuits against the federal government, including one by the business Hobby Lobby and the Catholic organization Little Sisters of the Poor.
Representative Smith's (R-NJ) H.R. 3279, the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2013, has 108 co-sponsors.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

More News On ObamaCare



Charitable hospitals to be fined under Obamacare

A new provision under Obamacare will fine tax-exempt hospitals via the Internal Revenue Service:
A new provision in Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code, which takes effect under Obamacare, sets new standards of review and installs new financial penalties for tax-exempt charitable hospitals, which devote a minimum amount of their expenses to treat uninsured poor people. Approximately 60 percent of American hospitals are currently nonprofit.
Fines could be as high as $50,000 for non-compliance. Some wonder if this provision is designed to end the existence of non-profit hospitals altogether.
Nonprofit hospitals should be advised that the new PPACA requirements will play a significant role in how they operate and report, specifically when it comes to billing and collections for services provided to the uninsured. The new law leaves many gray areas and hospitals themselves will have to establish eligibility criteria for financial assistance. Following the new procedures as best they can will ensure the best chance of maintaining their tax exempt status,” wrote D. Douglas Metcalf, partner at the law firm Lewis and Roca, in a 2013 op-ed entitled “Will nonprofit hospitals disappear under Obamacare?”
Read “Obamacare installs new scrutiny, fines for charitable hospitals that treat uninsured people” at The Daily Caller.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has complied with all requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) since it was passed in 2010 and anticipates no problems in meeting all requirements of ACA now or in the future.”]
Reprinted with permission from Acton Institute

Source: LifeSite News



Euthanasia puts the elderly at risk: Legalisation contaminates the caring ethic and compromises our ability to trust doctors.

By Irene Ogrizek
elderlycanereThe current euthanasia debate in Quebec frightens me. As a woman of a certain age, I fear I am heading into a future where I may lose meaningful control of my life. Whether I live or die may hinge on the kindness of individuals unknown to me, perhaps nurses or doctors, who will be put in the position of determining my worth.

If I’m lucky and live past my retirement, evidence of all the things I’ve accomplished in my career will be gone. How will I look as a 75 year-old to myself and others? How will I be judged?
When it comes to euthanasia, the slippery slope aspect of it keeps being swept under the carpet. For me, it is the single most compelling reason not to go forward and here’s why: I have seen the slippery slope played out in the care my mother receives at her nursing home.
First I’d like to say that I chose this nursing home carefully; the staff to resident ratio was good and the building was clean and bright. It is located in a large Canadian city and is part of a government network of homes. My mother’s pension plan covers her monthly bill, and so I use leftover money to pay for extras, like paid companions, to visit her. She has been disabled by a stroke and needs help wheeling herself around.

Despite having helpers, my mother has gone through three periods of unauthorized medicating. I believe she was given medications that made her drowsy and docile and that were not included on her chart. Because of her fragile health, and the fact that she tires naturally, I had some difficulty, at least initially, detecting the problem.
The first time I noticed something was awry, it took a few visits to make sure I wasn’t catching my mother during an unstable phase in her health. When I saw her drowsiness was ongoing, however, I brought it up with a nurse, who said my mother was simply tired. I asked to see her chart anyway, just in case her medications had been changed and they’d forgotten to tell me.
The nurse promised to leave a note for the doctor, reporting my mother’s lethargy and asking him to examine her. I didn’t hear back from anyone, but on my next visit, my mother was back to her old self, sharp as a tack and telling me I needed to do a better job combing my hair before I left the house. It was a good sign and when I asked about the doctor’s examination, I was told it had been conducted and that there were no new developments. I let the matter go, but of course wondered.
The next time it happened, the drowsiness was far more pronounced. Using my phone, I took videos of my mother having lunch and then supper every day for several days. At lunch she was her usual chipper self; at supper she was unconscious. When I presented my evidence to the head nurse, he didn’t even try to deny it. He said he would take care of it internally – under his authority, that is – and that I could trust him when he said it would stop. I did trust him and it did stop. However, he resigned a few months later.

That was a year ago and I have just come off the third round of this same problem. Starting a few weeks ago, I kept finding my mother unaccountably drowsy, asked for a doctor to examine her and, within days, she had miraculously recovered. Earlier in the month, her eyes had been glassy and unfocused and she could barely communicate. Fearing the worst, I had called her partner, who is now living near his children, to come and say goodbye.
Now, I am sympathetic to nursing and personal support care staff. I took care of my mother for some time before she went into a home and so have a realistic idea of the energy it takes to care for her properly. There’s no doubt about it: it’s hard work.
However, what is important, for the purposes of this discussion, is the phenomenon of rogue healthcare workers. I believe this last bout of over-medicating came about because there is probably one newly-placed employee, on the morning shift, who wants to decrease his (or her) workload and this is how he is doing it. The problem is not that the oversight at the home is adequate: it has a good reputation deservedly. It’s just that elderly residents like my mother are expected to be poorly at times. Drugging her, under these circumstances, is easy.

I am worried about legalizing euthanasia because the chances are excellent that similar patterns will arise but with graver circumstances. Think of administrators being to urged to open beds in hospitals or nursing homes. Imagine they are being asked to clear out the most “expensive” patients. They would not have to euthanize, necessarily. They could present an elderly patient in a drugged state and convince a family that a catastrophic neurological event had happened. They could also claim a sedated patient was simply withdrawing from life. Having just seen my mother in this condition, without any medications on her chart to explain it, I know it could happen. It’s sad, but not all families are engaged enough to question an institution’s findings.

The elderly are the most vulnerable to the unethical use of “voluntary” euthanasia. They have financial and material wealth younger relatives may covet, and they are more likely to be nudged into this kind of “beyond hope” scenario. A little Benadryl or Dilaudid is all it would take.
These problems will touch the rest of us. I keep hearing over and over again, from supporters of euthanasia, how “It’s my life; I have a right to take it if I want.” It’s true people have a right to commit suicide. However, what I object to is the involvement of healthcare staff. As someone who has seen abuse in the system, I do not want a doctor who believes in euthanasia. I do not want this because if I am given a bad diagnosis, he or she may push me toward it and away from a more expensive life-saving option. This could be accomplished by exaggerating the difficulties facing me; I could be told I’m going to suffer a protracted and painful death.

And there are more complications.
Given the protectionism I’ve seen among most (although not all) doctors, I don’t think it likely Quebecers will be told which doctors are practicing euthanasia. I suspect the doctors who choose to do it will not, perhaps for reasons of safety, be putting their names out in the public sphere. Despite the fact that users of the system have a right to know, I doubt we will.
So for all the cries of “It’s my life; I can do what I want with it,” I say this: involving a doctor, a doctor in a pool of doctors we all use, contaminates and compromises their decision-making and contaminates and compromises our ability to trust them.

Another argument I keep hearing is this: why would you insist on making someone suffer through unimaginable pain? How can you truly know what another person is feeling? Here’s my answer: I believe my mother was deliberately under-treated by a physician who tried to make a life and death decision for her. Perhaps it’s because he heard my mother had been athletic and decided she should not live out her years in a wheelchair. I suspect important procedures had been postponed — too often — because he had prioritized younger patients and de-prioritized her. Ironically, those postponements are what led to her poor condition in the end.

And that’s the problem. Assumptions were made in my mother’s case too. Healthcare workers saw her future and decided it would be “cruel” to let her live. This was said to me even after my mother had been told of her prognosis, accepted her fate and told me she wanted to go on. However, had she not become conscious when she did, and insisted on that right, I have no doubt the infection she was suffering from would have been allowed to take its course.
I’ve got a phrase for this: I call it euthanasia by attrition. Where my mother was concerned, it was a back-room decision that could not have been undone. In my view, the suffering of a small percentage of patients, at the end of their lives, is not worth the taking of another life arbitrarily. Even if my mother is sick and elderly, she still has rights, including the right to go on living.

Here’s my final argument. Every time my mother has been drugged, I myself was going through a down period, a period, in other words, when my energy was flagging and I scheduled my visits in the evenings and made them quick. I am the sole caregiver for my mother and after years of taking care of her, there are just times when I need to go easy on myself.

It’s been at those times that the medicating started. So if this pattern of events is anything to go by, a heightened vigilance is what is needed for me to prevent yet another episode. However, this is easier said than done.

Being vigilant takes time and energy and is not always possible, for individuals like myself and institutions like hospitals. It’s this kind of naive faith – that we have the time, energy and resources to oversee euthanasia – that is an illusion. It’s this same naive faith – that the paperwork controlling euthanasia will do its job – that is equally illusory. The controls will slip. Crack open a history book is what I want to say when I hear euthanasia supporters accusing me of being a holy-roller and going on about their rights.

That’s right, a history book. Our province’s future, when it comes to euthanasia, is in one.
Editor’s note. Irene Ogrizek teaches English literature in Montreal, Quebec. This article was republished with permission from her blog by

Source: NRLC News

Assisted Suicide


Phony “Disability Rights” Pro-Euthanasia Scam

By Wesley J. Smith
Dr. Kevin Fitzpatrick

Disability rights activists are among the most implacable and effective opponents of legalizing assisted suicide and euthanasia. In the USA, Not Dead Yet’s entry into the fray after the passage of Measure 16 in Oregon (1994) helped slow the advance of the killing agenda to a crawl.
Alarmed by the advocacy successes of these advocates, pro assisted suicide bankrollers funded Astroturf (as distinguished from “grass roots”) “disability rights” groups to support the killing agenda. Now the tactic is being tried in the UK as that country is dragged into yet another attempt to legalize physician-induced death.

Not Dead Yet UK is exposing the sham of an Astroturf group called Disability Activists for Dignity in Dying (DiD). From, “False Claims,” by Dr. Kevin Fitzpatrick:
“It is true they are all disabled people. However they are individuals with a point of view, not representatives of any Disabled People’s Organisation. For example, this new arm of the DiD campaign, is led by wheelchair user Greg Judge. He is listed as a member of staff and is therefore paid by DiD to represent the organisation’s core mission and values. Hardly representative!
“NDY [Not Dead Yet] UK, on the other hand, is a network of disabled people working largely pro bono and who have been mandated to represent the views of many disabled people. There is a real difference.”
He’s right. For nearly 20 years, I have seen people with disabilities sacrifice their own money and suffer serious discomfort to protest and lobby against assisted suicide! They did so because they know disabled people are in the cross hairs–not because they were paid lobbyists who happen to be disabled. Huge difference.

Fitzpatrick highlights the danger to people with disabilities:
“DiD know what the evidence shows – from Holland, where children over the age of 12 are entitled, and disabled babies are euthanized because of their disability, or because of their parents’ suffering, when the law was first introduced for exactly the kind of ‘desperate, hard case’ DiD keep promoting to gain public sympathy – from Belgium where people who are in need of support and care are euthanized – and where the current discussion to extend euthanasia to children is proceeding but where ‘We all know that euthanasia is already practiced on children. Yes, active euthanasia’ according to the head of the intensive care unit of Fabiola Hospital in Brussels. He made his comments to the Senate’s Judicial and Social Affairs Committee at a February 21 hearing 2013. Belgium, where if you are becoming blind you can opt for euthanasia, or if the healthcare system botches your sex-change operations your care options can include death by lethal injection, and where ‘studies…demonstrate that 32% of people killed under the Belgian law were killed without consent and without their own request, in breach of a fundamental condition of that law’ (as pointed out by Alex Schadenberg of EPC).”
These statements are not “slippery slope” alarmist projections. They are facts on the ground!
He concludes:

“DiD are promoting themselves as a caring organisation who offer the ‘voice of reason’. They are using a handful of non-representative disabled people to promote the idea that disabled people agree with them. The facts do not support this assertion, real disabled activists are opposed to the law being changed and nothing I have read, seen or heard makes me think otherwise.”

So again, I find myself asking: what is their real purpose?
Answer: To sow confusion among disability-friendly people toward the end that a law be passed that will result in the euthanasia/assisted suicide abandonment deaths of people with disabilities.

Source: NRLC News

New York, Abortion and Gov Cuomo

NEWS ALERT: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Reproductive Health Act

Editor’s note. The following was sent out today by the Chiaroscuro Foundation.
Pro-abortion New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Pro-abortion New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recommits to passing the radical abortion expansion bill, known as the Reproductive Health Act, in the coming legislative term.

Gov. Cuomo resurrects fight to expand abortion access in New York with an appearance endorsing a county-level candidate, a position too extreme for most New Yorkers. Taking the time to attend the White Plains rally, endorse county-level candidates, and make comments focused on abortion, Cuomo sent a clear sign of what is to come in the next legislative session.

41% of all viable pregnancies in New York City alone end in abortion—twice the national ratio. Nearly 8 in 10 New Yorkers believe there is already sufficient access to abortion in New York State, when they are informed of the number of abortions in New York. New Yorkers know increased access to abortion will not solve the underlying issues that lead to crisis pregnancies in the first place and will not help women.
A blog recently covered the endorsement rally and quoted the Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference spokesman Eric Soufer:

“Last session, every member of the Independent Democratic Conference voted in favor of the full Women’s Equality Act,” Soufer said Saturday. “All of our members would like nothing more than to see Roe v. Wade codified into New York state law.”

The only problem is that Roe v. Wade is not the defining case for codified abortion in the United States. Casey v. Planned Parenthood in 1992 ruled that certain restrictions on abortion are not only reasonable, but constitutional. The Casey ruling allows for sensible restrictions regarding waiting periods, informed consent, and parental consent—none of which are in place in New York.
The majority of New Yorkers agree with the Casey verdict:

80% oppose unlimited abortion through the ninth month of pregnancy
87% favor providing pregnant mothers with information about their options before they make a decision

78% approve of a 24-hour waiting period
76% approve of parental notification for a minor seeking an abortion
86% favor regulating abortion clinics as strictly as other medical facilities
75% oppose changing the law to allow non-physicians to perform abortions.
Visit the NYC 41 Percent website for more statistics on abortion in New York

Source: NRLC News

Down Syndrome


Special Parents for Special Needs Kids?

By Leticia Velasquez, Co-founder of KIDS (Keep Infants with Down Syndrome) and author of “A Special Mother is Born”
GirlwithpumpkinRick Smith, the effervescent dad of “Noah’s Dad” fame didn’t see it coming. He had remarked that God only gives special children to special parents is whack (nonsense). Tempers ran high and he was attacked.

He answered with typical good sense, a sense of humor, and Christian charity, which is why, even though I disagree with his statement, I wanted to comment on it. The first response we both might make is that if God is selecting parents of children with special needs, how and why then do nearly 90% of these parents abort their baby before they realize what a blessing they said “no” to?
But, unlike Rick, I am not ready to toss out the special parent idea just yet.

Which one of us hasn’t marveled in the patience we see in the mom or dad who, like Rick, take extra time to teach their babies the simplest skills and broadcast them over the blogosphere as if a new planet had been discovered?!

The joy in their beaming faces is a foretaste of heaven, isn’t it? We can see God’s grace at work in them. But just how did it get there? Hint: it starts with the word “yes.”
When we conceive a child with special needs, Our Heavenly Father offers each parent the opportunity to receive abundant grace (supernatural power to help her or him overcome natural weaknesses and act more like God would have us) in order to parent this child who will require extra amounts of patience, perseverance, hope, and faith.
The expectant parent doesn’t hear that this child will return those gifts in abundance. Instead she most often is given the “prenatal testing horror show” by their OB and genetic counselor: a list of things which may go wrong with the child physically or mentally.

Sometimes it even gets very personal. Some parents I interviewed for my book told me that the doctor told them this child will “ruin your life” or “break up your marriage.”
Really, that’s going a bit beyond prenatal diagnosis, don’t you think?
The parent, justifiably, is terrified. Overwhelmed by the news and far too often, in fear, she says “no” to God and aborts her baby. This is the tragic consequence of the gift of free will. However the loss is not only the life of the child, but also the beauty God was going to create in the parents’ soul by means of raising that wonderful, challenging child.

Dr. Brian Skokto of Massachusetts General Hospital Down Syndrome Clinic knows a thing or two about Down syndrome. His sister Krista has Down syndrome. Dr. Brian Skotko’s survey said that 97% of siblings of children with Down syndrome say they are better people because of being special siblings. Did I mention the 99% rate of happiness reported by those with
Down syndrome and their parents?

Being a person of religious conviction is not a prerequisite. When you give your child with extra chromosomes life you are both saying “yes” to God and opening up a new world of beauty which only those of us who are farther down the road can see.
Every time I speak on live radio, the station is flooded with calls from people with stirring testimonies on how someone with Down syndrome made a wonderful difference in their lives. Some of the testimonies are decades old, but the effect remains.
Many are parents, but some are teachers, neighbors, friends, and siblings. Those people who are remembered so fondly were not angels; they were flawed human beings. But there IS something pure and holy about them, which brings out the best in us.

Where does it come from? God, of course. All good things come from His Hand.
When my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, it was the prayers of Christina which inspired my family to take our heartbreak to God in prayer.
So, when I had seen those saintly old ladies in church gently guiding their 40-somethings with Down syndrome and concluded, “God can’t give me a child like that, I am not holy enough,” I was right. And wrong.

Right I wasn’t holy enough. Wrong, that God couldn’t give me a child like my wonderful 11 year old Christina with Down syndrome. He had a plan for my life, and He told me while I was in line for Communion, “I want you to accept this child as a gift from my Hand.” I said “yes” before I even believed I could become one of those elderly, saintly mothers of special needs children.
What I forgot was, those old ladies were my age when God gave them their special needs children, and may have had my impetuosity, hot temper and lack of patience. But, like me, they told God “yes,” and day by day, in His grace, they were shaped and fashioned into the saintly images of God I admired in church.

They probably thought the same thing about not being up to the challenge of raising a son or daughter with Down syndrome. But we have learned that God doesn’t call the prepared, He prepares the called.

So when I take a little extra care of my daughter on that hay ride, and attract curious looks, I remember where I was 11 years ago when I learned my daughter Christina had Down syndrome. I feared I could never be one of those patient moms I saw in church. Truth is, I wasn’t. Then.
I am a bit closer, now, thanks to a little girl with a little something extra.

Source: NRLC News

Texas, Abortion and the Law


Four Takeaways from Judge Yeakel’s decision in the case of Texas’ HB 2 law

By Dave Andrusko
gavel5Depending on which story you read late yesterday or earlier today, the average reader will come away with a radically different understanding of yesterday’s decision by Austin-based U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel on portions of Texas’s pro-life HB 2.
If you read what we wrote—“Federal Judge overturns one provision of Texas’s pro-life HB 2 but Pain-Capable Unborn Child provision not challenged and goes into effect Tuesday,”–you would appreciate that stories that simplified his 26-page decision badly missed the mark. Here are four takeaways from Judge Yeakel’s decision.

#1. Judge Yeakel overturned that part of the law which required abortionists to have admitting privileges in a hospital within 30 miles. Yeakel declared that “the act’s admitting-privileges provision is without a rational basis and places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus.” At last week’s three-day trial, some abortion clinics argued that they had been unable to find hospitals willing to admit their abortionists and as a result a sizable proportion would be forced to close down.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott quickly filed an emergency appeal of Yeakel’s order to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. Today his office filed an emergency motion, asking the courts to stay final judgment on Yeakel’s ruling pending the appeal.
All of that is fairly straightforward.
#2. While Abbott was busy filing an appeal, the silence of pro-abortionists was deafening on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. That law which prohibits aborting babies capable of feeling pain went into effect today. CBS News put the best face on this (from the pro-abortion perspective): “Also not included in the suit was the 20-week ban since the vast majority of abortions are performed prior to that threshold.”
But the reluctance of the ACLU, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, and several other Texas clinic owners and abortionists had nothing to do with the number of abortions and everything to do with the fact that they desperately want to avoid talking about unborn babies feeling pain as they are torn apart.
Pro-Life Gov. Rick Perry
Pro-Life Gov. Rick Perry
#3. Yeakel’s decision on chemical abortifacients was a mixed bag, but more than many observers anticipated from him. The Texas law requires the abortionist be in the same room as the woman receiving the chemical abortifacients (which is not the case with so-called ‘web-cam” abortions) and that abortionists follow the protocol approved by the FDA for the use of the two-drug “RU-486” abortion technique. The two drugs are the RU-486 itself (mifepristone) which kills the baby and a prostaglandin (misoprostol) which induces contractions to expel the now dead baby.
What did Yeakel rule? He said nothing to challenge the law’s requirement that the abortionist “must examine the pregnant woman,” which is not done in web-cam abortions where the abortionist communicates with her via teleconferencing. Very, very important for the Abortion Industry sees web-cam abortions as a massive new revenue stream. (See “Judge to hear Planned Parenthood challenge to Iowa board of medicine’s new rules governing web-cam abortions”)
What about the FDA protocol requirement that limits the use of the RU-486 abortion technique to the first 49 days? (The abortion industry wants it expanded to 63 days.) He upheld the requirement, aptly noting that there is an alternative for the period between 49 days and 63 days: a surgical abortion. The only women for whom this limitation would constitute an “undue burden” are women “for whom surgical abortion is, in the sound medical opinion of their treating physician, a significant health risk.” Those women would be allowed to have a chemical abortion.
Then there is the other pro-abortion goal vis a vis chemical abortions: they wish to use far more of the cheaper prostaglandin and less of the more expensive mifepristone than is recommended by the FDA. Yeakel gave the green light to that change.
But Yeakel also left in place the Texas law requirement’s that the abortionist or his office must schedule a visit “no more than 14 days after the administration or use of the drug.”
#4. Meanwhile, earlier today, we came closer to some sort of possible resolution on Oklahoma 2011 law on chemical abortions. The law requires that abortionists not use abortion-inducing drugs when a woman’s pregnancy is past 49 days and the woman must come back to the clinic or office to receive the second drug (the prostaglandin).
This case has gone up and down the legal chain for years. To take just the highlights, the Oklahoma’s Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional in Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice.
The Oklahoma Attorney General asked the United States Supreme Court to get involved, but the High Court first asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court to answer some questions about its decision. According to the Washington Post, in its new filing, “Oklahoma’s Supreme Court answered those questions,” reaffirming its belief that the 2011 law violates the federal constitution.
Now the issue is whether the High Court reviews the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s decision, lets it stand, or chooses some third option.

Source: NRLC News

Some of the Truth About ObamaCare


The Truth about ObamaCare: “What we’re seeing now is reality coming into play”

By Dave Andrusko
obamacare87Let’s put together a few quotes that dramatically illustrate the gap between what people were told about ObamaCare’s health insurance exchanges; what had been known for years (which the Administration nonetheless adamantly insists it didn’t know); and the stubborn insistence that the exchanges are “working” and will work “better.”
In reverse order: From NBC News’ Maggie Fox report this morning:

“The head of the agency running the troubled federal government health insurance website apologized for the website’s problems Tuesday, promising once again that they would be fixed.
“But Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Marilyn Tavenner insisted the website, the crowning glory of 2010 Affordable Care Act, was working and would eventually work better. She also pushed back against allegations that the administration misled people about whether they could keep health plans they liked, saying any cancelled plans were scrapped by insurers who knew they were not meeting the law’s requirements. …’This site is fixable,’ she said. ‘The system is working. It’s just not working as smoothly and consistently as we want,’ she added later.”
And speaking of what they knew and when they knew it, NBC News’ Lisa Myers and Hannah Rappleye wrote

“President Obama repeatedly assured Americans that after the Affordable Care Act became law, people who liked their health insurance would be able to keep it. But millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obamacare, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years.
“Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act tell NBC NEWS that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a ‘cancellation’ letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law. One expert predicts that number could reach as high as 80 percent. And all say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience ‘sticker shock.’

“None of this should come as a shock to the Obama administration. The law states that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010 will be ‘grandfathered,’ meaning consumers can keep those policies even though they don’t meet requirements of the new health care law. But the Department of Health and Human Services then wrote regulations that narrowed that provision, by saying that if any part of a policy was significantly changed since that date — the deductible, co-pay, or benefits, for example — the policy would not be grandfathered.”
And while it’s like pulling teeth, the Obama administration kind of, sort of concedes that is true by (what else?) re-writing history. Myers and Rappleye note

“White House spokesman Jay Carney was asked about the president’s promise that consumers would be able to keep their health care. ‘What the president said and what everybody said all along is that there are going to be changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act to create minimum standards of coverage, minimum services that every insurance plan has to provide,’ Carney said. ‘So it’s true that there are existing healthcare plans on the individual market that don’t meet those minimum standards and therefore do not qualify for the Affordable Care Act.’”
What do these “changes” mean in real life? Jan Crawford, of CBS News, has done some of the best work. According to a story on the website of “CBS This Morning” (CTM), she said of these “changes” that they are

“being told through anecdotes in local papers and on social media. But the hard numbers reveal the evidence is far more than anecdotal. CBS News has confirmed with insurance companies across the country that more than two million people are getting notices they no longer can keep their existing plans. In California, there are 279,000; in Michigan, 140,000; Florida, 300,000; and in New Jersey, 800,000. And those numbers are certain to go even higher. Some companies who tell CBS News they’ve sent letters won’t say how many.

“Industry experts like Larry Levitt, of the Kaiser Family Foundation, say the insurance companies have no choice. ‘What we’re seeing now is reality coming into play,’ he said.
“Obamacare forces them to drop many of their plans that don’t meet the law’s 10 minimum standards, including maternity care, emergency visits, mental health treatment and even pediatric dental care.

“That means consumers have to sign on to new plans even if they don’t want or need the more generous coverage. …
“And for the people who’ve gotten the letters, the broken website is a real problem, Crawford added on ‘CTM. They don’t know what to do. They don’t know if they get subsidies. And then there are others getting the letters who have very good insurance but are being told they can’t keep it. Industry experts CBS News talked to say for everyone, the best bet is to just call their insurance companies to get the information.”

Source: NRLC News

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

ObamaCare and Money


LA Times Headline: ‘Some Health Insurance Gets Pricier as Obamacare Rolls Out’

By Noel Sheppard
Mark Boster, Los Angeles Times

While the media surprisingly focus attention on the disastrous rollout of the health insurance exchanges, the bigger story is the number of Americans that are seeing their premiums explode as a result of the so-called “Affordable Care Act.”
Kudos therefore go to the Los Angeles Times which began a Sunday article titled “Some Health Insurance Gets Pricier as Obamacare Rolls Out” with the equally surprising lead, “Thousands of Californians are discovering what Obamacare will cost them — and many don’t like what they see”:
“These middle-class consumers are staring at hefty increases on their insurance bills as the overhaul remakes the healthcare market. Their rates are rising in large part to help offset the higher costs of covering sicker, poorer people who have been shut out of the system for years.
“Although recent criticism of the healthcare law has focused on website glitches and early enrollment snags, experts say sharp price increases for individual policies have the greatest potential to erode public support for President Obama’s signature legislation.
“’This is when the actual sticker shock comes into play for people,’ said Gerald Kominski, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.”

After sharing a real-life example of a southern California attorney whose premiums are going to almost triple, the Times continued:

“But middle-income consumers face an estimated 30% rate increase, on average, in California due to several factors tied to the healthcare law.
“Some may elect to go without coverage if they feel prices are too high. Penalties for opting out are very small initially. Defections could cause rates to skyrocket if a diverse mix of people don’t sign up for health insurance.
“Pam Kehaly, president of Anthem Blue Cross in California, said she received a recent letter from a young woman complaining about a 50% rate hike related to the healthcare law.
“’She said, ‘I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it,’” Kehaly said.”
The Times also shared some scary numbers:
“Blue Shield of California sent termination letters to 119,000 customers last month whose plans don’t meet the new federal requirements. About two-thirds of those people will experience a rate increase from switching to a new health plan, according to the company.
“HMO giant Kaiser Permanente is canceling coverage for about half of its individual customers, or 160,000 people, and offering to automatically enroll them in the most comparable health plan available. [...]

“All these cancellations were prompted by a requirement from Covered California, the state’s new insurance exchange. The state didn’t want to give insurance companies the opportunity to hold on to the healthiest patients for up to a year, keeping them out of the larger risk pool that will influence future rates.”
And there was one more surprise:
“Still, many are frustrated at being forced to give up the plans they have now. They frequently cite assurances given by Obama that Americans could hold on to their health insurance despite the massive overhaul.

“’All we’ve been hearing the last three years is if you like your policy you can keep it,’ said Deborah Cavallaro, a real estate agent in Westchester. ‘I’m infuriated because I was lied to.’”
Now it’s of course wonderful to see the Times tell the truth about this disaster. However, conservatives predicted all of this when the law was being debated before its enactment without a single Republican vote.

If the media had been honest about this at the time, it might never have passed.

Source: NRLC News

Canada, Court and Euthanasia

Canadian Association for Community Living Relieved at Dismissal of Appeal in Rasouli Case

The Supreme Court of Canada

Editor’s note. This statement from CACL first appeared on its website following a hugely important decision by the Supreme Court of Canada. It was reprinted by the anti-euthanasia organization “Not Dead Yet” with the following introduction.

”The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed an appeal that would have permitted doctors to end life support for a severely brain-damaged man without the consent of his family or a substitute decision maker.
“Under the Health Care Consent Act, doctors who want to withdraw life support from an incapacitated person without the consent of their authorized health care decision-maker must take the issue up before the Consent and Capacity Board.

“The burden is on the doctors to push their case for withdrawing care, rather than on the individual’s family to block the doctor. The Board’s decision can be appealed to the courts.”
What follows is the full statement from the Canadian Association for Community Living:

The Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) is relieved that the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) has dismissed the appeal in the case of Cuthbertson v. Rasouli where Mr. Rasouli’s attending physicians sought to override the wishes of his family and withdraw life support measures. In a majority judgment, the Supreme Court clearly affirmed that life support is medical “treatment” within the definition of the Ontario Health Care Consent Act (HCCA). Thus disputes over whether or not it should be withdrawn are disputes about consent to health care treatment or about acting in the best interests of the patient in respect of health care decisions. The regime in Ontario provides a process for resolving such disputes through the Consent and Capacity Board, and the SCC judgment asserts that is the place to resolve them.
Had the SCC ruled otherwise, it may have opened the door to physicians acting unilaterally to withdraw life sustaining treatments, unless their patients or their substitute decision makers or supporters could get to court to request an injunction. Such requirements would impose significant barriers to justice for older persons and persons with disabilities who, as the SCC has already acknowledged, face historic and systemic disadvantage.

CACL has been involved in a number of cases where medical professionals have attempted to override the wishes of individuals and their families with regard to continuation of life-sustaining treatments, often for infants born with complex health care needs. These cases demonstrate the perilous position that people with disabilities can find themselves in when they enter the health care system. These have taken many forms—from inappropriate use of “Do not resuscitate” orders, to pressure from physicians to terminate treatment.

Today’s decision is welcomed by CACL in preventing potentially disastrous implications of granting blanket decision making authority to physicians. Only providing recourse to apply for court injunctions is not the way to resolve decision-making challenges. In making clear that legislated procedures under the HCCA govern decision making, the Court has ruled against further barriers to justice and equality for people with disabilities and older persons.

Source: NRLC News

Texas Law and Judical Power

Federal Judge overturns one provision of Texas’s pro-life HB 2 but Pain-Capable Unborn Child provision not challenged and goes into effect Tuesday

By Dave Andrusko
Editor’s note. This updates a story filed earlier today.
Judge Lee Yeakel
Judge Lee Yeakel

Austin-based U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel today overturned a portion of Texas’s pro-life HB 2 that required abortionists to have admitting privileges in a hospital within 30 miles. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is expected to file an emergency appeal of Yeakel’s order to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

However Judge Yeakel offered a mixed conclusion on that portion of HB 2 that addresses chemical abortifacients and how they are administered.
Although addressed in media accounts as little more than a side note (at best), the ACLU, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, and several other Texas clinic owners did not challenge that part of HB2 which prohibits killing unborn children who have reached the developmental milestone of being able to feel pain which substantial medical evidence places at 20 weeks, if not earlier. Pro-abortionists are leery about taking on a law that clearly demonstrates that the pain-capable unborn child is a living member of the human family worthy of protection.
Pro-Life Texas Gov. Rick Perry

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is now the law in ten states.
Judge Yeakel and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals have disagreed about abortion-related laws previously. He issued a temporary injunction against a Texas law that disqualified abortion business affiliates from participating in the state’s Women’s Health Program which first a three-judge panel and then the full circuit overturned.

In his decision today Judge Yeakel declared that “the act’s admitting-privileges provision is without a rational basis and places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus.” At last week’s three-day trial, some abortion clinics argued that they had been unable to find hospitals willing to admit their abortionists and as a result a sizable proportion would be forced to close down.
Texas Solicitor General Jonathan F. Mitchell disputed those assertions, “saying the group had no evidence to support its claims and was wrongly trying to shift the burden of proof to the government.” Mitchell maintained that the admitting-privilege rule would not pose an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions, which would remain available in Texas.
Moreover, “The Supreme Court has recognized that the state’s interest in promoting fetal life is present throughout pregnancy,” Mitchell said.

The measure requires that the abortionist be in the same room as the woman receiving the chemical abortifacients (which is not the case with so-called ‘web-cam” abortions) and that abortionists follow the protocol approved by the FDA for the use of the two-drug “RU-486” abortion technique. The two drugs are the RU-486 itself which kills the baby and a prostaglandin which induces contractions to expel the now dead baby.

What Judge Yeakel appears to be saying is three-fold. First, that it is not an undue burden for Texas to require that abortionists use the FDA protocol that limits the technique to the first 49 days EXCEPT for those “women for whom surgical abortion is, in the sound medical opinion of their treating physician, a significant health risk during the period of pregnancy falling 50-63 days.”
Second, abortionists cannot tinker with the FDA protocol with one exception: the respective dosages of RU-486 and the prostaglandin can be altered. Abortionists like to use more of the cheaper prostaglandin than the more expensive RU-486.

Third, it is acceptable to require the abortionist “must examine the pregnant woman,” which is not done in web-cam abortions where the abortionist communicates via teleconferencing.

Source: NRLC News

Texas, Law and Abortion


Texas law protecting pain-capable unborn children goes into effect tomorrow

unbornbaby25WASHINGTON – Tomorrow, a law will go into effect that will protect unborn children in Texas who are capable of feeling pain. The Texas bill, HB 2, was signed by Governor Perry on July 18, 2013. Despite efforts to derail other elements of HB 2, the central portion protecting pain-capable unborn children was never challenged.

That central portion of HB 2, protecting pain-capable unborn children is based on the Pain Capable-Unborn Child Protection Act, drafted by National Right to Life. Texas will now join nine other states in prohibiting the excruciating deaths of the smallest members of our human family.

“While attacking smaller pieces of HB 2, opponents of pro-life legislation never challenged the protections on pain-capable children; even our opponents realize this legislation, and the extensive science behind it, is sound,” said Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D., National Right to Life director of state legislation. “Unborn children and their mothers deserve better than the violence of abortion.”

Forty years ago, the unborn child virtually did not exist in medicine. “Fetal medicine” was an oxymoron. Our understanding of pain was so primitive that even a newborn undergoing surgery did so without anesthesia! They received only a paralytic to keep them still. Today, pain-capable unborn children are treated as patients. And now Texas joins nine other states in protecting them from being killed by abortion.

In a nationwide poll of 1,003 registered voters in March 2013, The Polling Company found that 64% would support a law such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks — when an unborn baby can feel pain — unless the life of the mother is in danger. Only 30% opposed such legislation. Women voters split 63%-31% in support of such a law, and 63% of independent voters supported it.

Some of the extensive evidence that unborn children have the capacity to experience pain, at least by 20 weeks fetal age, is available on the NRLC website at and also here:
A medical illustration of one common method of late abortion (“D&E”) is posted here:

“The American public understands the importance of this law. Pain-capable unborn children should be protected from the violent act of a dismemberment abortion. Sadly, 40 states still allow it. We continue to work for a day when mothers and their children are fully protected and respected by our laws and our society,” added Balch.

Source: NRLC News

Death Panels

Teaching Children Death Panel Ethics : Social Usefulness or the Imago Dei?

By John Stonestreet
thepointjohnstonestreetIt was the kind of assignment that makes you nostalgic for paper-mache volcanoes and baking soda. Freshmen and sophomores in a social studies class at St. Joseph-Ogden High School in Illinois were asked to make life-and-death decisions concerning people they’d never met.

While the exercise was theoretical, the thinking involved in the exercise has real-world consequences.
The lesson began by telling students that ten people shared a serious problem: Without access to a dialysis machine, they would all die.

Unfortunately, they were told, the local hospital only has enough machines for six of them. The assignment was to decide who got the treatment and who didn’t. The students were asked to rank the potential recipients from one, the person they most wanted to receive treatment, to ten, the person they least wanted.

All they knew about the people was age, race, and occupation or lack thereof: a housewife, doctor, lawyer, disabled person, cop, teacher, minister, college student, ex-convict, and prostitute.
When a mother of one of the students learned about the assignment, she thought about how her own family, which included an autistic child and an elderly bed-ridden mother, would fare in the exercise. So she contacted the school and complained about the assignment.

As she told the website Champion News, “I am a special needs advocate and deal with the denial of services on a daily basis in my own home. I live this.” Her objection was that the students were too young and their minds weren’t developed enough to handle this kind of assignment.
The school insists that the assignment was about “social bias,” a claim that is belied by the fact that the following lesson was about abortion and when in pregnancy it was permissible.
When news about the assignment spread, people invoked the “death panels” that figure in the debate over health care reform. While understandable, making that connection misses a far larger and more pernicious point.
The assignment was a lesson in utilitarian ethics, the kind made famous—or infamous—by Princeton professor Peter Singer. The students were being taught to value a person’s worth and dignity on the basis of what kind of contribution they could make to society.

And it’s a lesson they took to heart: The students’ choices reflected the person’s social prestige and/or age. The top three were the doctor, lawyer and teacher. The bottom three were the college student, ex-convict, and the disabled person.

The objecting parent was right—impressionable fourteen- and fifteen-year-olds lacked any alternative to ranking people on the basis of their contribution to the maximization of overall happiness. It’s a criterion that by definition is stacked against the disabled, the elderly and the marginalized.
The utilitarian emphasis on “maximizing total human happiness” is, as Dr. Dianne Irving, a pioneer in the field, has written, at the heart of modern bioethics. This assumption, more than any law, is what Christians must oppose with all their might.

Our children must grow up believing in what Wesley J. Smith calls “human exceptionalism,” the “sheer moral importance of believing in the unique value of human beings.” This idea, which is rooted in the Christian idea that every human being is created in the image of God, is all that stands between us and the real-world application of the lessons learned by those students in Illinois. After all, these students will be the ones making real decisions about the elderly and the unborn in just a few years.

That’s why I’d love for you to check out the newest edition of Chuck Colson’s “Doing the Right Thing” video series on ethics, designed especially for high school students, even those in public schools. Come to and click on this commentary to learn more.

Source: NRLC News


Problems continue to multiply for ObamaCare’s Health Care Insurance Exchanges

By Dave Andrusko
Baby23It is no doubt true that the impact programs such as “Saturday Night Live” and Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” can have can be absurdly exaggerated. But since their program is decidedly from the “progressive” side, when (as has been the case over the last week) they’ve ridiculed the rollout of ObamaCare’s health insurance exchanges, it says something about how universally obvious the administration’s incompetence is.
We’ve written about what’s happened beginning October 1 regularly for three weeks. Here are a couple of updates. We’ll only discussed in passing many of the problems already examined.
Today we’ll briefly talk about two questions. First, the famous “what did they know and when did they know it”; and, second, was this debacle readily anticipated—and will it likely get worse?
The New York Times began a story with this introductory paragraph:

“WASHINGTON — Just days before went live with disastrous results, top White House officials were excitedly briefing lawmakers, reporters, Capitol Hill staff members and Washington pundits on their expectations for the government’s new health care Web site.
A couple of paragraphs further in the story by Michael D. Shear and Sheryl Gay Stolberg
“The technical problems that emerged have raised questions — still not entirely answered — about how much the president’s aides knew, or should have known, about the site’s troubles.”
The remainder of the story tap-dances around the ridiculously rosy predictions for a smooth functioning system–

“Led by David Simas, a senior communications adviser in the West Wing, and sometimes joined by Denis McDonough, the White House chief of staff, and others, the fast-paced PowerPoint briefings showed images of a shiny new Web site that was elegantly designed, simple to use and ready for what officials hoped would eventually be a flood of customers on Oct. 1. One lawmaker recalled comparisons to Travelocity, the travel booking site.”
– and the reality that the system is ridden with problems with stem to stern. In congressional testimony last week, contractors discreetly suggested this was a distinct possibility, given “that ‘end to end’ testing of the Web site did not take place until two weeks before the site made its debut.”
The other important reminder that has emerged is that the website’s manifold “glitches” and failures were a part of what supposed to be the “easy” component! There are a number of “big hurdles,” according to Jim Geraghty, that ObamaCare will run into in the next five months—seven, to be exact.
To name just one (from Reuters)

“A data center critical for allowing uninsured Americans to buy health coverage under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law went down on Sunday, halting online enrollment for all 50 states in the latest problem to hit the program’s troubled rollout.
“The data center operated by Verizon’s Terremark experienced a connectivity issue that caused it to shut down, affecting the federal government’s already problem-plagued online marketplace and similar sites operated by 14 states and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
“Administration and company officials could not say how long it would take to fix the connectivity problem.”

As I was about to post, I read a report from “CBS News This Morning.” Here are the core paragraphs which are ominous for Americans, to put it mildly:
“For many, their introduction to the Affordable Care Act has been negative: a broken website, and now cancellation notices from insurance companies followed by sticker shock over higher prices for the new plans. It’s directly at odds with repeated assurances from the president, who has said ‘if you like your insurance plan, you will keep it. No one will be able to take that away from you.’

“But people across the country are finding out they’re losing their existing insurance plans under Obamacare because requirements in the law, such as prenatal and prescription drug coverage, mean their old plans aren’t comprehensive enough.
“In California, Kaiser Permanente terminated policies for 160,000 people. In Florida, at least 300,000 people are losing coverage.

“That includes 56-year-old Dianne Barrette. Last month, she received a letter from Blue Cross Blue Shield informing her as of January 2014, she would lose her current plan. Barrette pays $54 a month. The new plan she’s being offered would run $591 a month — 10 times more than what she currently pays.

“Barrette said, ‘What I have right now is what I am happy with and I just want to know why I can’t keep what I have. Why do I have to be forced into something else?’
“According to, Barrette is eligible for some subsidies, CBS News’ Jan Crawford pointed out on ‘CBS This Morning.’ But Barrette told CBS News she has no idea what those subsidies would be because she cannot log on to the website — an issue U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is sure to be asked about when she testifies on Capitol Hill Wednesday.”

Source: NRLC News