Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Bioethics


 

Who Decides the Harm in “Do No Harm?”



By Wesley J. Smith
Editor’s Note: In his excellent piece Wesley Smith sounds the alarm about a Canadian board that typifies the push to deny life-saving medical treatment against the will of patients and families on both sides of the border. National Right to Life is more pessimistic than he is about the “rarity” of these cases – see ww.nrlc.org/uploads/medethics/WillYourAdvanceDirectiveBeFollowed.pdf. And in our view the circumstances in which health care providers should be able to coerce denial of treatment should be limited to physiological futility – only when, in reasonable medical judgment, withholding or withdrawal of the desired treatment would neither cause nor hasten the patient’s death.
Julie Cheah holds a photo of her late husband, Mann Kee Li. Cheah, who went to court to dispute a "do not resuscitate" code on his hospital chart, says she was not told of the Ontario panel that mediates in such cases. RICHARD LAUTENS / TORONTO STAR
Julie Cheah holds a photo of her late husband, Mann Kee Li. Cheah, who went to court to dispute a “do not resuscitate” code on his hospital chart, says she was not told of the Ontario panel that mediates in such cases.
RICHARD LAUTENS / TORONTO STAR

Medical futility disputes often involve the question of harming the patient. Family/patient believe they should decide what constitutes “harm” in these cases, and that for the patient/family, the greatest harm would be death. Hence, they insist that efficacious treatment to extend life continue–as the way to avoid harm. That is, after all, a fundamental purpose of medicine when staying alive is wanted.
Bioethicists and some doctors believe that they get to decide what constitutes “harm.” Thus, if a patient is unlikely to recover or ever lead a “meaningful” life, they insist on being able to stop wanted treatment.

Religion is also a large factor in many of these situations. The secularist view sees suffering as the worst harm. Many religions, particularly more traditional approaches to Catholicism, Islam, and Judaism, death. Thus, forcing treatment to cease is often viewed as disrespecting freedom of religion.
At the same time, many futilitiarians believe in judging “harm” on a the macro level. They look beyond the patient to perceived emotional harm to the family–and the morale of the reluctant medical team–as well as financial harm to society by “investing” resources on the patient supposedly more wisely spent elsewhere.

So who gets to decide the meaning of “harm” in a particular situation–the patient/family or the technocrats?
Canada has established a bureaucratic board to make these decisions when doctors/bioethicists and patients/families disagree. From the Toronto Star story:
In Ontario, intractable, life-and-death disputes between physicians and patients’ families sometimes end up before a unique provincial body charged with wading into complex issues of medicine, ethics and faith. The little-known Consent and Capacity Board (CCB) — the only one of its kind in North America, perhaps anywhere — is a working laboratory for the most pressing issue facing Canada’s healthcare system: the end of life.
When a physician’s treatment proposal is challenged by a family member whose loved one can no longer communicate their wishes, doctors can make an application to the CCB. The Board then convenes a hearing within seven days, often in hospital board rooms, headed by a lawyer, a public member and a medical professional, typically a psychiatrist.
The panel’s job is a mix of legal arguments and character analysis. It must ultimately determine an incapacitated patient’s “prior wishes” or “best interests.” The panel must then issue a binding order within 24 hours of the hearing’s conclusion — a remarkably fast and economical process relative to the courts.
It seems to me that these futility cases are so relatively few and far between that coercion should rarely–if ever–be used.

These are subjective decisions. Establishing bureaucratic boards would sow mistrust for the system and validate the concept of “death panels.”
And talk about the potential for abuse of power. Why should strangers to the patient be given so much authority, in effect, empowered to impose their values over those of the family?
No. Education and continual mediation should be the watchword. Doctors should be brutally frank about the consequences of continuing care. But barring very rare circumstances, the patient/family should have the final word.

Source: NRLC News

Life and Elections


 

Abortion in Elections: It’s not about us – it’s about the 3,000 babies who will die by abortion today



By Karen Cross, National Right to Life Political Director
Editor’s note. The column appears in the September digital edition of National Right to Life News. The entire 38-page edition can be read at www.nrlc.org/uploads/NRLNews/NRLNewsSeptember2014.pdf
VotefuturereI’m going to say something some may find shocking.
It’s not about you.
Nope. And it’s definitely not about me. It’s about the nearly 3,000 unborn children who will die a brutal death by abortion today. And another 3,000 tomorrow. It’s about protecting their lives – and their futures.

Occasionally, I hear from people who are opposed to our endorsements who complain that a Congressman or Senator has “been in too long,” or they’re too old, or that they’re “not conservative enough.”
These concerns entirely miss the point. We are in the business of saving lives. If someone has reached a level of power after serving long enough that they can impact lifesaving legislation, God bless them!
And what on earth does age have to do with whether a member of the House or Senate can vote for life?

How they vote, and whether they will vote to protect life, is what really matters.
Life matters.
Protecting life transcends all political parties, all religions, all races, and people of all economic status.
This year, the United States Senate is only a net gain of six seats shy of achieving pro-life leadership.
Thirty-six U.S. Senate seats are up this year – 21 are held by pro-abortion Democrats or “Independents” who caucus with them, and 15 are held by Republicans.
We, who understand how precious life is, must defend the pro-life seats.
And, we must also work to take those seats held by pro-abortion senators and representatives and replace them with legislators who will vote for life.

Since 1973, more than 56 million defenseless babies have been aborted – more than 3,000 each day, 365 days a year. When we stay home on election day babies die, allowing atrocities seen in the murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell to continue across the nation.
Some people wrongly believe what they personally do won’t really make a difference. Yet, this past spring in West Virginia (my home state), four House of Delegates candidates lost or won their primary elections by fewer than twenty votes combined. Had a handful of their friends shown up to vote, the outcome may have been altered.

What is the clear message? You CAN make a difference in your community, and even in our nation. You can make sure your pro-life family and friends go to the polls and vote for pro-life candidates.
Together, if we remain focused and we persevere, if we continue to work and organize, in 2014, we can bring needed change to Washington, D.C. We can begin to reverse the perverse culture of death which is shaming our nation. It is essential that we prioritize protecting our nation’s most precious resource – our children, and those who are most vulnerable.

You are pro-life because you recognize that it’s not about us, or our individual states, or our preferred candidate: It is about coming closer each day to a pro-life Court that will protect the lives of vulnerable human beings – unborn children, and medically dependent and people with disabilities.
The 3,000 babies who die by abortion today are too important to lose sight of that ultimate goal.
Look for election updates in future National Right to Life News and National Right to Life News Today

Source: NRLC News

Elderly


 

Pope Francis calls the abandonment of the elderly “tantamount to a hidden euthanasia”



By Dave Andrusko
longlife2To put it mildly, a headline that read only, “Pope’s Meeting With the Elderly in St. Peter’s Square” missed all that was special Sunday in a gathering Pope Francis (and his predecessor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI) had with elderly from around the world.
According to the news agency Zenit, on the initiative of the Pontifical Council for the Family, thousands of elderly and grandparents, accompanied by their families, came to in St. Peter’s Square in Rome.
Pope Francis’ warning was strong and clear: “How many times are old people just discarded, victims of an abandonment that is tantamount to hidden euthanasia? This is the result of a throw-away culture that is hurting our world so much.”
The Pope went on to say at a meeting entitled, “The Blessings of a Long Life,” that “A people that does not care for its grandparents, that does not treat them well, are people that have no future! Why do they not have a future? Because they lose their memory and [are torn] from their roots.”
Even in the most difficult trials, Pope Francis said, “the elderly who have faith are like trees that continue to bear fruit. And this is true also in the most ordinary situations where, however, there can be other temptations and other forms of discrimination.”
He said when the elderly person does not have a family that can receive them, the homes that are established
“must be truly homes and not prisons! They must be for the elderly and not for the interests of someone else! There must not be institutes where the elderly live forgotten, as hidden, neglected. I feel close to so many elderly who live in these institutes. …Homes for the elderly should be ‘lungs’ of humanity in a country, in a neighborhood, in a parish; they should be ‘shrines’ of humanity where one who is old and weak is taken care of and protected as an older brother or sister. It does so much good to go to meet an elderly person. Look at our youngsters: sometimes we see them listless and sad; Then they go to see an elderly person and they become joyful!”

Source: NRLC News

RU 486


 

Playing the victim card ignores the real victim: the unborn baby


By Dave Andrusko
ru486bAs we have documented in exhaustive detail, one wing of the Abortion Movement (and not an insignificant one) has become militantly insistent that women have the “right” to self-abort. And never you mind about state laws, the incredible dangers of buying powerful chemical abortifacients sight unseen, and their own version of “mission creep”: abortions performed well into the second trimester, if not beyond.

Some of the arguments are more sophisticated than the one I’m about to look at, a piece from the student newspaper at the University of Buffalo that ran under the headline (I kid you not), “In prison for parenting.”
National Right to Life News Today readers are familiar with Jennifer Whalen and the publicity campaign to make a martyr out of woman who trolled the Internet for chemical abortifacients to kill her grandchild.
She was recently sentenced to serve a 9-to-18-month in jail (with granted work-release) for what the New York Times’ Emily Bazelon described mockingly as
“[O]rdering pills online that her older daughter took in the first several weeks of an unplanned pregnancy, when she was 16, to induce a miscarriage. The medication was a combination of mifepristone (formerly called RU-486) and misoprostol. The drugs have been available from a doctor with a prescription in the United States since 2000 and are used around the world to induce miscarriage.”
The author of the editorial in the University of Buffalo student newspaper piece obviously read Bazelon’s piece. To their credit, he or she grasped that “The illegality of Whalen’s actions isn’t in question here. There’s no doubt that the dispersal of prescription drugs needs to be strictly monitored and controlled by professionals who are trained to do so.”
So what is in question? “[T]hat Whalen felt she needed to circumvent the law is the real issue at hand.” And that the judge, in the editorial writer’s opinion, was too harsh. That “reveals a lack of sympathy for Whalen’s situation – a situation created by factors entirely outside of her control.” We read
“Tasked with helping her daughter end an unwanted pregnancy – with protecting her daughter and the future she wanted – Whalen didn’t feel like she had any options available, at least not any legal ones (she also says that she didn’t know her actions were illegal when she committed them).”
And since, as the last paragraph concludes, “Thanks to her mother’s efforts, [her daughter] is free to pursue whatever future she desires,” it is “patently unjust that freedom is only a distant hope” for Jennifer Whalen.
Apparently it’s not unjust that the grandbaby has no hope, distant or otherwise.
A couple of thoughts. The list of reasons the editorial cites—distance to the nearest abortion clinic, cost, and ignorance (“if Whalen had known of the risks of ordering pills online”)—is just a backdoor way of getting at the real “enemy”: the absence of an abortion clinic on every corner, any law that requires a waiting period, limitations on how late in pregnancy chemical abortifacients should be used, and (although not mentioned here) requirements that abortion clinics meet minimal standards.
In other words, you (authors of pro-life legislation and, I guess, the FDA) made Ms. Whalen do it. They (taxpayers) should be paying for Ms. Whalen’s teenage daughter’s abortion.
Moreover you and/or they are responsible when the inevitable happens, (but fortunately did not to Ms. Whalen’s daughter): women and girls die.
It’s a very unsubtle argument. We must facilitate abortions, pay for abortions, forget protective laws, and keep parents out of the loop.
Because if we don’t, the blame is not on the women getting the abortion (or the parents who order abortifacients online) but us.

Source: NRLC News

Abortion and Religious



On the day before the anniversary of passage of the Hyde Amendment, a “religious” call for its elimination



By Dave Andrusko
The Rev. Harry Knox
The Rev. Harry Knox

I promise to try extra-hard to critique, not ridicule, “Reverends like us should never oppose access to abortion or sex ed,” by Harry Knox and Alethea Smith-Withers which appeared today in the Washington Post. That being said, the column runs under the heading PostEverything. A better heading would be PostAnything.
This is such a silly column, we’ll devote only a few paragraphs (and none to sex education which is not our issue).

Of course there is no “monolithic” view on abortion; there is no monolithic view on almost anything. Even if there was, Reverends like Knox (who is the President of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice) and Smith-Withers (chair of the board) would still pad their op-ed with the usual pro-abortion talking points.

By the way abortionist Willie Parker is on the RCAR board. We have profiled Parker, a typical RCRC type, who flies into Mississippi twice a month and performs as many as 45 abortions a day.
We’re told “And clergy do not always use Bible verses as political weapons — a misrepresentation too often promoted in the media.” Perhaps they don’t use Bible verses at all because they don’t have any they can twist to serve their life-denying purposes. We’re also told

“People of faith, as well as those with no religious affiliation, have widely varying opinions about moral questions. That’s okay. Freedom for differing views and beliefs is a core American value. The problem is when one particular religious viewpoint gets written into law, in direct violation of our national commitment to religious liberty.”
This is so silly, indeed so sophomoric, it almost is a waste of time to respond. When abortions are funded by law; when the law is changed to allow everyone but plumbers to abort children; when the law is changed from protecting unborn children to declaring open season on them—is that not an example of “one particular religious viewpoint get[ting] written into law”?
The Rev. Alethea Smith-Withers
The Rev. Alethea Smith-Withers

And of course Knox and Smith-Withers take dead aim, so to speak, at the Hyde Amendment. Any law that does not facilitate the deaths of the unborn children of poor women means that hundreds of thousands, even millions of babies are saved. That is what the Hyde Amendment has done and why pro-abortion apologists are dead-set on getting this amendment to the annual appropriations bill of the Department of Health and Human Services removed.
I wasn’t sure why this piece appeared in the Post until just now when I realized tomorrow is the 38th anniversary of the Hyde Amendment’s passage.
These people are relentless—and pitiless—but also blind to the real implications of the language they so glibly employ.

We read
“As clergy we are called by our faith to promote compassion, respect, and justice for all — in other words, to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.”
Just for all.. and loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. Last time I looked, tearing an unborn baby limb from qualified under neither category.

Source: NRLC News

Abortion and Supremes


 

Justice Ginsburg, an “icon to the left,” unashamedly criticizes Texas pro-life law



By Dave Andrusko
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
As they say, pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is on a roll. We talked three last week about the excerpts that appeared from a forthcoming story in the October issue of Elle magazine and are coming back to another interview today.
In her Elle interview, Justice Ginsburg lowered the boom on fellow Justice Anthony Kennedy, Congress the “Hobby Lobby” decision, “those people” having too many babies (“It makes no sense as a national policy to promote birth only among poor people”), younger feminists who aren’t as gung-ho as she is about abortion, and, indirectly, President Obama for signaling that maybe, just maybe, she might be stepping down in time for Obama to appoint a younger clone of Ginsburg. (She is having none of that!)
Well, Ginsburg also gave a long interview to the New Republic’s Jeffrey Rosen. Writing at National Review Online, Ed Whelan asks if the following comment doesn’t amount to an obligation on Ginsburg’s part to recuse herself.
[Rosen]: So how can advocates make sure that poor women’s access to reproductive choice is protected? Can legislatures be trusted or is it necessary for courts to remain vigilant?
[Ginsburg]: How could you trust legislatures in view of the restrictions states are imposing? Think of the Texas legislation that would put most clinics out of business. The courts can’t be trusted either. Think of the Carhart decision or going way back to the two decisions that denied Medicaid coverage for abortion. I don’t see this as a question of courts versus legislatures. In my view, both have been moving in the wrong direction. It will take people who care about poor women. The irony and tragedy is any woman of means can have a safe abortion somewhere in the United States. But women lacking the wherewithal to travel can’t. There is no big constituency out there concerned about access restrictions on poor women. [Emphasis added]
Well, of course she should not be involved. This law could well come before the High Court and Justice Ginsburg has prejudged the outcome. But, of course, she won’t. 

There is more very much worth reading at newrepublic.com.  Here at two items.
#1. In the quote above Ginsburg bashes the “Carhart” decision which upheld the ban on partial-birth abortion. Only the most zealous, eyes-shut-tight ideologue could be so hard-hearted as to allow this incredibly brutal abortion technique to remain legal. But to Ginsburg Gonzales v. Carhart was nothing more than “a new form of ‘Big Brother must protect the woman against her own weakness and immature misjudgment.’”

#2. The ability to completely miss the point. She told Rosen
“Going back to the 1980s, I was speaking at Duke, not about abortion in particular, but about equal opportunities for women to be whatever their God-given talent allowed them to be, without artificial barriers placed in their way. During the question period, an African American man commented: ‘We know what you lily-white women are all about. You want to kill black babies.’ That’s how some in the African American community regarded the choice movement. So I think it would be helpful if civil rights groups homed in on the impact of the absence of choice on African American women. That would be useful.”

An African-American correctly understands that people just like Ginsburg have as a priority making sure that “those people” don’t have too many kids. Answer to his trenchant observation? Certainly not to address the truth that African-American babies are aborted in wildly disproportionate numbers. Rather focus on the impact of the “absence of choice.”
Amazing. No wonder Ginsburg has become, in Rosen’s fawning words, “an icon to the left, inspiring fanwear and Tumblr tributes.”

Source: NRLC News

Abortion and Supremes


 

Justice Ginsburg, an “icon to the left,” unashamedly criticizes Texas pro-life law



By Dave Andrusko
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
As they say, pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is on a roll. We talked three last week about the excerpts that appeared from a forthcoming story in the October issue of Elle magazine and are coming back to another interview today.
In her Elle interview, Justice Ginsburg lowered the boom on fellow Justice Anthony Kennedy, Congress the “Hobby Lobby” decision, “those people” having too many babies (“It makes no sense as a national policy to promote birth only among poor people”), younger feminists who aren’t as gung-ho as she is about abortion, and, indirectly, President Obama for signaling that maybe, just maybe, she might be stepping down in time for Obama to appoint a younger clone of Ginsburg. (She is having none of that!)
Well, Ginsburg also gave a long interview to the New Republic’s Jeffrey Rosen. Writing at National Review Online, Ed Whelan asks if the following comment doesn’t amount to an obligation on Ginsburg’s part to recuse herself.
[Rosen]: So how can advocates make sure that poor women’s access to reproductive choice is protected? Can legislatures be trusted or is it necessary for courts to remain vigilant?
[Ginsburg]: How could you trust legislatures in view of the restrictions states are imposing? Think of the Texas legislation that would put most clinics out of business. The courts can’t be trusted either. Think of the Carhart decision or going way back to the two decisions that denied Medicaid coverage for abortion. I don’t see this as a question of courts versus legislatures. In my view, both have been moving in the wrong direction. It will take people who care about poor women. The irony and tragedy is any woman of means can have a safe abortion somewhere in the United States. But women lacking the wherewithal to travel can’t. There is no big constituency out there concerned about access restrictions on poor women. [Emphasis added]
Well, of course she should not be involved. This law could well come before the High Court and Justice Ginsburg has prejudged the outcome. But, of course, she won’t. 

There is more very much worth reading at newrepublic.com.  Here at two items.
#1. In the quote above Ginsburg bashes the “Carhart” decision which upheld the ban on partial-birth abortion. Only the most zealous, eyes-shut-tight ideologue could be so hard-hearted as to allow this incredibly brutal abortion technique to remain legal. But to Ginsburg Gonzales v. Carhart was nothing more than “a new form of ‘Big Brother must protect the woman against her own weakness and immature misjudgment.’”

#2. The ability to completely miss the point. She told Rosen
“Going back to the 1980s, I was speaking at Duke, not about abortion in particular, but about equal opportunities for women to be whatever their God-given talent allowed them to be, without artificial barriers placed in their way. During the question period, an African American man commented: ‘We know what you lily-white women are all about. You want to kill black babies.’ That’s how some in the African American community regarded the choice movement. So I think it would be helpful if civil rights groups homed in on the impact of the absence of choice on African American women. That would be useful.”

An African-American correctly understands that people just like Ginsburg have as a priority making sure that “those people” don’t have too many kids. Answer to his trenchant observation? Certainly not to address the truth that African-American babies are aborted in wildly disproportionate numbers. Rather focus on the impact of the “absence of choice.”
Amazing. No wonder Ginsburg has become, in Rosen’s fawning words, “an icon to the left, inspiring fanwear and Tumblr tributes.”

Source: NRLC News

Free Speech


 

400 copies of College newspaper with CPC ad vandalized



By Dave Andrusko
pregnancyad4bIt is a free country so a Drake University professor of English and Women’s and Gender Studies was welcome to hammer the student newspaper (the Times-Delphic) for the audacity of running an ad from AGAPE Pregnancy Center in Des Moines, Iowa.

Beth Younger walloped AGAPE with the usual pro-abortion subtly(AGAPE is one of “these deceptive and harmful organizations”), attempted to neutralize the impact of the ad (asking/demanding the student newspaper “publish a disclaimer next to the ad”), and demonstrated complete indifference to the facts (the entirety of her screech).
As an academic, no doubt Prof. Younger was appalled when somebody took her indignation a few steps further. Last Thursday afternoon, Austin Cannon, managing editor, found a pile of 400 destroyed copies in front of their office.

“On top of the pile was one paper with an advertisement for a pregnancy resource center circled in black marker,” reported KCCI Channel 8. The vandalism represented a cost of around $200 worth of newspaper.
The reaction of the President was straight-forward. In a campus-wide email sent out Friday, David Maxwell wrote
“This act goes beyond mere vandalism — it is an attempt to curtail First Amendment rights regarding free speech, and is thus antithetical to our core values as the Drake University community. … Those who have concerns about the agency that paid for the advertisement have every right to express those concerns and to catalyze debate, as Prof. Younger has done in her letter to the editor. But we should all be outraged by an act that not only entails the destruction of others’ property, but is intended to communicate a message in a manner that violates our sense of who we are and what we stand for as a university.”

In a television interview on Channel 8, Editor-in-Chief Courtney Fishman said
“It’s just a little disheartening to me because it doesn’t mean we support the organization, and we’ve run ads from Planned Parenthood in the past. So it’s interesting to me that people are upset about it, and they’ve very welcome to be upset about it, but it’s upsetting that they’re vandalizing our property.”

Fishman told the Des Moines Register that he paper will “absolutely” continue to publish ads from Agape, despite criticism.

One other note. In his email, President Maxwell also cited the letter from Prof. Younger as a way “to catalyze debate.” Younger’s name was not mentioned in any story about the vandalizing that I could find [Editor’s note. I subsequently found her name mentioned in a UPI story], nor her outlandish slurs against AGAPE addressed.

What outrageous things did the ad say? The headline is “Think you might be pregnant?” followed up by “Free pregnancy tests” and “Free ultrasounds.”
What will those villainous pro-lifers think of next?

Source: NRLC News

Monday, September 29, 2014

HHS Mandate

scale justice

BREAKING: Catholic university complies with abortion mandate

Earlier this month, the state of California demanded that even Catholic universities offer elective abortions through insurance plans. Life Legal Defense Foundation and Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a complaint with the United States Department of Health and Human Services. But for now, Loyola Marymount University, a private Catholic school, must offer elective abortions to all those under its insurance policy.
Campus newspaper, Los Angeles Loyolan, reported Saturday:
“LMU’s insurance will cover faculty and staff for elective abortions effective from August 22 to the end of the policy period, the University announced.
“The news was confirmed in an email sent to faculty and staff yesterday, Vice President for Human Resources Rebecca Chandler confirmed that LMU’s insurance providers will now cover all procedures deemed medically necessary, including elective abortions.”

This reversal comes under the heavy hand of the state of California directive from Michelle Rouillard, director of the Department of Managed Healthcare (DHMC). Rouillard said, when the directive was issued, that: “Abortion is a basic health care service.”  And for now, Rouillard and Gov. Jerry Brown, a former Catholic seminary student, have their way in forcing Catholics to violate their conscience protections.
Though the university is following the law as it stands, the story is not over. The complaint to the United States Department of Health and Human Services asserting the state of California’s discrimination against federal conscience protections, says:
“DMHC ordered elective abortion coverage into the Complainants’ own LMU health plan…..This directive of the DMHC constitutes unlawful discrimination against a healthcare entity…. DMHC is subject[ing] Complainants’ “health insurance plan” to “discrimination,” by denying its approval of the plan that omitted elective abortions solely “on the basis that the [plan] does not… provide coverage of… abortions.”
Life Legal Defense Foundation and Alliance Defending Freedom continue to fight for the rights of Catholic universities to be allowed to exercise their rights as well. Life Legal Defense Foundation also said, “If you or anyone you know, individual, employer, or insurance provider, is directly affected by this decision, please contact Life Legal Defense Foundation.”
The response to the complaint filed with the Department of Health and Human Services is still pending.

Source: LiveAction News

Baby Development


 

Early Options Abortion Clinic Distorts the Truth about Early Abortion

 
 

By Sarah Terzo

Poor abortion clinics. There is so much information on the Internet that it’s hard to keep women in the dark anymore. You can Google fetal development and see that the heart of the baby begins beating at 21 days. It’s becoming more widely known. So one abortion clinic, Early Options, which claims that an embryo “doesn’t exist” that early (one wonders what they are aborting then) says the following on their website:
“If there is no embryo, why do they say there is a heartbeat? At seven weeks of pregnancy, the cells that will become the embryo start to cluster inside the gestational sac. These cells can be seen on ultrasound, but would not be visible to the naked eye. At this time, the cells that are determined to later form the heart start to “beat.” An ultrasound technician will often interpret the beating cells as a ‘heartbeat’ long before a heart develops.”
Cited in Stacy Trasancos “Clinic: We Do Abortions With No Disturbing Suction Noise” LifeNews 11/3/11.
That’s right, a heartbeat isn’t a heartbeat – it’s just cells beating… Makes perfect sense. By the way, below is a picture of an unborn baby at 7 weeks after conception.
7-weeks1
Just in case they’re referring to an embryo at 7 weeks since the woman’s last period, 2 weeks before conception, here is a 5 week old embryo – it’s not as recognizably human, but it’s clearly an embryo, not simply a collection of cells. You can clearly see the heart of the baby.
5-weeks1b
And if that’s not enough, here is a video of an unborn baby’s heart beating at 6 weeks:
Is that a heart or just “cells determined to be a heart?”
It’s amazing how abortion clinics distort the truth sometimes.

Source: NRLC News

Life


 

Mother’s water breaks at 16 weeks, she refuses “termination,” miracle baby now thriving



By Dave Andrusko
Katy Evans and Leo
Katy Evans’s waters broke when she was just 16 weeks pregnant, leaving doctors to warn her unborn baby had a one per cent chance of surviving.

Katy Evans doesn’t blame the doctors at Lister Hospital in Stevenage, England for asking her if she wanted to “terminate” her pregnancy when her water broke just 16 weeks into her pregnancy.
“Mrs. Evans had preterm prelabour rupture of membranes (PPROM), a rare condition causing the amniotic fluid to drain from her womb,” reported The Daily Mail’s Louise Baty. Mrs. Evans learned it was standard procedure for doctors in the UK to offer a “termination” in this situation to give the mother the best chance of avoiding a serious infection.
But Mrs. Evans and her husband, Rich, held onto hope, although they were told the baby had less than a 1% chance of survival and “even if it did survive, it might develop without limbs or be born unable to breathe.” They went home after Mrs. Evans spent 48 hours in the hospital and received antibiotics.
Then, as Louise Baty explained,
“Incredibly, two weeks later, scans revealed her waters had replenished themselves in her womb – something doctors treating her had never seen before.
“Five months later, Mrs. Evans and her husband Rich welcomed their ‘miracle son’ Leo, a brother to their three-year-old daughter Amber.”
During those two days in the hospital she’d read up. She found that although the chances of a successfully completed pregnancy were very, very small, “I discovered that, in reality, there seemed to be a much higher rate of survival in these cases than the one per cent figure from official statistics. That gave me hope.”

She refused to give up on her unborn child. “This was a very much wanted pregnancy,’ she told Baty. “I could feel my baby kicking. I already loved this little person.” 
Two days later she hadn’t miscarried and a consultant came to see if she would agree to a “termination.”

“I told her that no, I didn’t want an abortion. I said that I wanted nature to take its course.
“She was clearly shocked because she told me that, perhaps, I should speak to my husband, implying that he’d be less emotional.”
But husband Rich was in full agreement with his wife.
Of course when she went home, a premature delivery/miscarriage was possible at any moment. But when they went back to Lister Hospital two weeks later, a scan
“revealed the unbelievable had happened. Mrs. Evans’s waters had replenished in her womb, after the rupture healed. Doctors told the couple they had never seen a case like theirs before. The scan also revealed that the baby seemed to be developing normally.”
“It was the first time that I allowed myself to cry,” Mrs. Evans said.

They were warned that her water could break again and that she was still at a high risk of infection. But “I barely heard the doctors telling me all this because I was on cloud nine and thought everything was fantastic,” she said.

The milestones came and went—the key being 24 weeks. As Mrs. Evans diplomatically explained to the reporter, “from then on, the NHS [National Health Service] considers it a viable pregnancy – a baby rather than a foetus.”

Leo is now 8-months-old, weighs 17lb, and is expected to have completely caught up with his development by 10 months. “We feel unbelievably lucky,” Mrs. Evans said. “It’s just over a year now since I was sitting in that hospital bed, waiting for a miscarriage.”
She added thoughtfully, “It’s amazing how you will fight for this baby inside you. I wanted my child to make it.”

Source: NRLC News

Building the Pro Life Movement


 

How to Build a Better Leader – In Wisconsin, Summer Camps Are Just the Start



By Joleigh Little, WRTL Region Coordinator and Teens for Life Director
Editor’s note. This appears on page seven of the September digital edition of National Right to Life News. You can read the entire issues at www.nrlc.org/uploads/NRLNews/NRLNewsSeptember2014.pdf
Wisconsin Right to Life’s summer camps build leaders who will benefit the cause of life for years to come.
Wisconsin Right to Life’s summer camps build leaders who will benefit the cause of life for years to come.

Throughout history we’ve been consumed with making things bigger and better. It’s the American way. But what good, really, is a bigger and better car/house/boat/mousetrap in a world where the most basic rights – specifically life – are not cherished? The answer is obvious. Not much.
It is with that in mind, that we at Wisconsin Right to Life, like other NRLC affiliates, have devoted much time and effort to building something a little more lasting. In short, we’re building leaders – young people who will carry the cause of life into the future as they grow up, graduate, attend college, enter the workforce and start families of their own.

The beauty of this strategy is that the right-to-life message – the basic truth that life is valuable and must be protected – is not something you outgrow. It’s something that, once you have made it a part of your life, you carry forward and share with others. You talk about it on campus. You share with co-workers. You teach your own children to love and protect life. You build a culture that cherishes life one conversation, one interaction at a time.
Here in Wisconsin, we have been hosting summer camps to train young pro-life leaders since the summer of 2003. In that time we have trained hundreds and even thousands of young people to defend the cause of life with words and actions as they debate, engage in social media and reach out to help women who face unplanned pregnancies. And while that training is invaluable and forms the bedrock for our youth outreach program, we quickly realized that it, alone, wasn’t enough.
It was a fabulous start, of course. But we needed to do more. (And this is true for all of us in this movement… until every life is protected, we MUST continue to do more, every single day.)
What, for example, about kids who were trained at our camps as teenagers but then graduate and go to college?
Enter our college grant program which helps form right-to-life groups on college campuses throughout the state, ensuring that what is learned at camp will continue to reach hearts and minds throughout a young person’s post-high school years. This idea was one proposed by a volunteer in the living room of a local chapter leader back in 2004. Since that time, hundreds of college students have participated in a program that has educated thousands on campuses across the state.
But, as we examined our work – it’s the only way to improve your reach – we realized that even more could be done. In 2013 we started a program to initiate and grow new Teens for Life groups across the state. The pilot year followed groups in all corners of the state and continues to build leaders who are savvy, articulate, and ready to answer any challenge set before them. The leaders of these groups, in turn, train the members of the group, and those members go home and educate siblings, parents and extended family.
You see, we have learned through the years of our youth outreach, that while training is vital, you can’t just throw information at teenagers, send them home, and expect them to succeed. As with anything of real value, much of the success will be based on relationships. We have seen that as those relationships are nurtured – as conversations happen, as friendships form, and as young men and women feel truly a part of something bigger and broader than themselves, leaders are built – one brick, one stone, one layer at a time.
Wisconsin Right to Life has learned that building leaders starts with relationships that affirm life.
Wisconsin Right to Life has learned that building leaders starts with relationships that affirm life.

The best news in all of this is that building leaders is something that can be done at every level in every single state in our entire great country. State affiliates can sponsor youth programs that train high school and college-aged youth. Those youth will help train other young people. At the same time, they will go back to their local right-to-life chapters and help with projects. And at every step of the process, relationships will be established and another layer will be added to the leadership capabilities of each individual young person.

Sound too good to be true? Do you think this is harder than it sounds? Perhaps you’re skeptical that it will really work. Imagine with me, for a minute, that your local chapter receives a letter from a shy 15 year old girl who would like to become more involved. You give her a call and invite her to a meeting. She attends and you gradually give her more and more responsibilities until eventually she graduates and goes to college.
She goes on to intern and then work full-time at National Right to Life. In time she returns to your state and takes a position with your state affiliate, working with youth. Or social media. Or legislators. This isn’t fiction. It has happened time and time again.
You see, when you invest, when you establish a relationship, when you give of your time – YOU can and will build young leaders. And in doing so, you will save lives. Perhaps even the world. One brick, one stone, one layer at a time.

So… GO OUT THERE AND BUILD SOME LEADERS! Do you think a Teens for Life camp sounds like a grand idea, but your state doesn’t have one? Contact us! Would you like to start a Teens for Life program in your state? We can help. Whatever you can do, please do it. And if you need help, please let us know!

For more information on National Right to Life’s Life and Leadership Camp Initiative, how to start a local Teens for Life group, or any of these other projects, please contact us at jlittle@wrtl.org.

Source: NRLC News

China


 

Remembering the War on Women and Girls in China



By Marie Smith, Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues (PNCI)
heartforfreedomThursday marked the 34th anniversary of the enforcement of China’s brutal One-Child Policy, a policy which results in the loss of millions of unborn children and inflicts horrific abuse upon women. The cruel policy – which makes siblings illegal – has been implemented through coercion and violence and resulted in a dramatic gender imbalance in the population.
Despite a reported lessening of the population control policy for small sectors of the population, China continues to oppress and victimize Chinese mothers, fathers, and children through forced abortion and involuntary sterilization.
Women found to be pregnant with an “unapproved” pregnancy are forcibly aborted, including in the last month of pregnancy. Families found with children “over-quota” are forced to pay staggering social compensation fees equaling years of wages and “unauthorized” children can suffer alienation and denial of education and health benefits.
The Chinese war on the littlest of women continues through sex-selective abortion and infanticide, enabled by a cultural preference for males. Yet, the origins of sex-selective abortion go back to 1969 in the United States when the Population Council proposed it as an “ethical” way to control population. In her book Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men, Mara Hvistendahl explains:
“By August 1969, when the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Population Council convened another workshop on population control, sex selection had become a pet scheme….Sex selection, moreover, had the added advantage of reducing the number of potential mothers….if a reliable sex determination technology could be made available to a mass market,” there was “rough consensus” that sex selection abortion “would be an effective, uncontroversial and ethical way of reducing the global population.”
Reggie Littlejohn, President, Women’s Rights Without Frontiers
Reggie Littlejohn, President, Women’s Rights Without Frontiers

Population controllers were successful. There are an estimated 160 million females missing from the world today, mainly in Asia. These missing women will not become wives, daughter-in-laws, mothers, or grandmothers; they are not only missing but they are sorely missed.
The effects of this gendercide are particularly felt in China as new and devastating social, economical and demographic challenges have arisen from the disproportionate population. China reportedly accounts for 60% of the world’s sex trafficking and tens of millions of men cannot find wives, leading to an increase of men who seek to purchase women to serve as a “slave wife.”
Marking the anniversary of the policy, Women’s Rights Without Frontiers (WRWF) has issued an open letter to China’s President Xi Jinping in which WRWF President Reggie Littlejohn calls for an end to the policy:

“The mayhem caused by China’s One Child Policy continues unabated and has taken some troubling new twists, with people being driven to mental breakdown, murder and suicide, as well as an obstetrician using her position of trust in order to traffic babies. The minor modification of the Policy that took place on January 1 of this year has failed to solve these problems. The One Child Policy does not need to be modified. It needs to be abolished.”

In August WRWF filed a complaint at the United Nations to the Commission on the Status of Women chronicling cruel and disturbing reports of forced abortion and other violations of basic human rights emerging from China over the past year. One report is about an obstetrician in Shaanxi province who
“was convicted of trafficking seven infants, after she had convinced their parents that the infants were seriously ill or deceased. She was given a suspended death sentence. It has been estimated that 70,000 children a year are trafficked in China.”
In another
“… a husband demanded compensation from the Chinese government, claiming that his wife … has suffered from schizophrenia and violent behavior since she was forcibly aborted at seven months in November, 2011.”

All Girls Allowed – an organization founded by Tiananmen Square pro-democracy leader Chai Ling – also marked this anniversary by not only highlighting ongoing efforts to help save the lives of baby girls in China but has called attention to the practice of sex selection abortion in the United States. In Time to End Gendercide in China and in America, Chai Ling expresses shock and heartbreak that a proposal by San Francisco’s Supervisor David Chiu to lift a ban on sex selective abortion in the city was approved. She warns that the approval of this resolution “removes a pregnant woman’s last weapon she could use to fight for her baby girl’s right to live.”

She continues,
“As an Asian in America myself, I am not proud of this cultural practice. However, pretending this practice does not exist does not stop the brutal slaughter of Asian baby girls and attacks on their mothers; rather, it condones it and encourages it. If Mr. Chiu truly wants to show care, to support and protect a woman’s freedom to choose, I challenge Mr. Chiu to openly condemn China’s One-Child Policy which deprives women’s basic reproductive rights. Furthermore, instead of being remembered by history as an Asian man who encourages the killing of baby girls, I invite Mr. Chiu to join the movement to end Gendercide!”
PNCI notes that San Francisco is the first city in the USA to prohibit a ban on sex-selective abortion. A bill – the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act – had been introduced earlier in the California state assembly but it failed to pass the first committee vote. Currently eight states in the U.S. have approved bans on sex-selective abortions.

Editor’s note. This appeared at pncius.org

Source: NRLC News

Friday, September 26, 2014

RU 486

woman-girl-question

The abortion pill: the greatest medical advance in history?

It seems to be happening more and more frequently that in my research I uncover quotes from pro-choice leaders that are completely astonishing. For example,  pro-life writer George Grant quoted Molly Yard, then president of the pro-abortion group the National Organization for Women, explaining how important it was for women to have access to the abortion pill.
The abortion pill, then called RU-486, had not yet been approved in the United States and pro-choicers were pressuring the FDA to approve its use for American women. A number of pro-lifers have written about how the FDA may have rushed the approval of the abortion pill for political reasons; pro-choicers dispute this. But in the words of Molly Yard, the abortion pill is:
“…[Perhaps even]  the most significant medical advance in human history and the symbol of a brighter future for women everywhere.”

This quote appeared in the New York Observer on May 16, 1991, and is cited in George Grant, Grand Illusions: the Legacy of Planned Parenthood (Franklin, Tennessee: Adroit Press, 1988, 1992) page 35.
Molly Yard’s statement shows how out of touch with reality pro-choice leaders have historically been. To think that the abortion pill, which kills babies (and sometimes women) is the greatest medical advance in human history is incredibly skewed thinking.
Think about what she has said here for a moment. She is claiming that the abortion pill is more valuable than the discovery of antibiotics, which has saved hundreds of millions of lives. It is greater than cutting edge cancer treatments that prolong life and send patients into remission. It is greater than the elimination of smallpox, greater than the creation of vaccines which protect children from dangerous illnesses, greater than the advances in mental health care that has allowed mentally ill people to live independent lives rather than being institutionalized. Greater than medical treatment that allows AIDS patients to live longer.
Her statement is amazing. Instead of all these advances, she says the greatest medical advance in human history is a pill that that kills babies and makes many women suffer horribly. Just read Abby Johnson’s story of her abortion by pill.  Johnson was then the director of a Planned Parenthood clinic.  She supported abortion, yet her suffering after taking the abortion pill was so extreme that afterwards she went to great lengths to avoid prescribing women the pill, instead encouraging them to get surgical abortions.

And Abby’s experience is not a rare one.  You can read other horror stories from women who took the abortion pill here.

If all this wasn’t enough, the abortion pill has allowed for something that would never have been possible otherwise – the opportunity for men to trick their pregnant girlfriends or wives into aborting their babies. Babies that the women want, but the men in their lives do not. Cases such as this one were only made possible by the existence of an abortion pill.
So the abortion pill – is it really the greatest medical advance of history? Or is this a ridiculous statement by a fanatic  who is obsessed with abortion?

Source: LiveAction News

Politics

Attorney General Eric Holder

Eric Holder, longtime foe of pro-lifers, announces resignation

Attorney General Eric Holder has been facing calls to resign throughout his six year tenure with the Obama administration — and finally, he’s announcing that he will, in fact, step down.
Barack Obama has been the most pro-abortion president in this country’s history, and Eric Holder, as Obama’s right-hand man, has been right there with him every step of the way.

Under Holder, the Department of Justice unsuccessfully attempted to bully and intimidate a pro-life sidewalk counselor into silence. So ridiculous was the case against the sidewalk counselor that the judge publicly wondered why Holder even tried to prosecute.


He has turned a blind eye to Planned Parenthood’s many crimes, including defrauding Medicaid and covering up sexual abuse and sex trafficking of children. Of course, Planned Parenthood also contacted him personally pretending that they wanted the cover-ups of sex trafficking investigated… while leaving out at least one state where this was discovered, and also begging Holder to pretty please condemn Live Action for their undercover investigations which are kind of embarrassing to Planned Parenthood. Eric Holder never did get around to investigating Planned Parenthood for their numerous crimes. Holder also conveniently pretended the Born Alive Infant Protection Act doesn’t exist, and that abortionists never, ever kill babies that survive abortion. (Here’s a hint: they do.) His wife and sister-in-law also own a building where abortions are performed, a fact that he failed to disclose.

Needless to say, pro-lifers will not miss Eric Holder.
Unfortunately, Obama is likely to nominate someone who is just as willing to cover up the crimes of the abortion industry as Holder was — unless more pro-life politicians are voted into office in November, and can block the appointment of another pro-abortion extremist into office as attorney general. Otherwise, it will be business as usual, with an Eric Holder clone continuing to look the other way for the abortion industry, while using the power of the government to target pro-lifers.

Source: LiveAction News

Supreme Court


 

Justice Ginsburg circles back to her concern that poor people are having too many babies



By Dave Andrusko
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Kudos to the ever-readable, always thoughtful Mollie Hemingway for her excellent piece yesterday, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg Really Wants Poor People To Stop Having Babies
We had also written about the excerpt from the interview Justice Ginsburg gave Elle magazine.  But we focused on how she had trashed fellow Justice Anthony Kennedy, Congress, the “Hobby Lobby” Supreme Court decision, and had more subtly tweaked affluent younger women (for insufficient pro-abortion advocacy) and President Obama who had used the prospect of her possible resignation prior to the November elections as red meat to gear up Democratic activists. (Ginsburg made it clear she likes it just fine where she is.)
Hemingway zeroed in on Ginsburg’s…insensitive comments about poor people having babies (I am trying to give Ginsburg the benefit of the doubt, although that is hard).
Hemingway reminds us of the incredible comments Ginsburg made to pro-abortion scribe Emily Bazelon in a piece that ran five years ago in the Sunday New York Times Magazine.
NRL News Today wrote about that exchange, a 4,327-word-long Q&A about the direction justices like Ginsburg would like abortion jurisprudence to go. (Hint: back to the future.)
Ginsburg momentarily got herself in hot water in response to Bazelon’s inquiry about what Bazelon described as the “lack of Medicaid for abortions for poor women.”
JUSTICE GINSBURG: Yes, the ruling about that surprised me. [Harris v. McRae — in 1980 the court upheld the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of Medicaid for abortions.] Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn’t really want them. But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong.”
As I wrote at that time it was hard not to reach a very ugly conclusion. Ginsburg read Roe to be setting the stage for the government to pay for the abortions of poor women. Why? Because part of the backdrop for Roe—and the reason she expected the High Court in to overturn the Hyde Amendment’s limitation on Medicaid-financed abortion in McRae–was fear that the “wrong” kinds of people were experiencing population growth (the kind “that we don’t want to have too many of”).
It is no accident, as they say, that three years later, Bazelon would caught up with Ginsburg after a speech at Yale College to read her the quote and ask her what she really meant. Bazelon then dutifully transcribed Ginsburg’s revisionism in the form of an article for Slate.com.
Hemingway explained to her reader that Ginsburg was back saying the same old ugly things, only more briefly.


Hemingway writes, “Anyway, in an interview with Elle, [Ginsburg] says her kid and grandkid don’t get how awful it would be to not have legal approval for snuffing out one’s growing baby in the womb. And then when she’s trying to say that protections for unborn children hurt poor women more than wealthy women since wealthy women can just pay the baby away, she lets that old eugenics thing slip again.” Ginsburg said
“It makes no sense as a national policy to promote birth only among poor people.”
I could paraphrase Hemingway’s brilliant conclusion but I could not possibly do her justice. So here it is:
“I get that Ruth Bader Ginsburg is one of the most important champions of abortion and that those people who think people should be able to end some lives after they’ve begun just love her to pieces. And I get that the birth control and abortion rights movements have always had deep ties to eugenics, population control, and master race-type stuff. I get all that.
“But it’s all kind of unseemly, no? It would be one thing if she were talking about the importance of promoting birth among all groups of people as a way of affirming the sacredness of life or what not, but her long-standing focus on how some ‘populations’ shouldn’t be encouraged to have babies and should have subsidized abortion is beyond creepy. We get it, RBG, your social circles think life would be so much better if you didn’t have to deal with those awful poor people and their unapproved backgrounds and living conditions. But you’re supposed to be a tad bit better in covering up those motivations, mmmkay.”

Source: NRLC News

Assisted Suicide


 

Switzerland’s “Suicide Tourism” by Victims with Treatable Conditions Increases



By Jennifer Popik, JD, Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics
MountainsIn Switzerland, the numbers of people traveling from abroad to die are growing dramatically. Even more disturbing is the fact that the reasons they cite in seeking suicide are growing beyond inevitably terminal illness to include traditionally manageable conditions. In a New Scientist magazine article, “Non-fatal diseases increasingly drive assisted suicide,” Penny Sarchet reports

“An ongoing study of assisted suicide in the Zurich area has found that the number of foreign people coming to the country for the purpose is rising. For example, 123 people came in 2008 and 172 in 2012. In total 611 people came over that period from 31 countries, with most coming from Germany or the UK, with 44 per cent and 21 per cent of the total respectively.”
Assisting suicide is legal in only a handful of jurisdictions both in the U.S. and abroad. Assisting suicide in Switzerland is technically illegal, but the law on the matter punishes only those with selfish motives–which has turned out to be nearly impossible to prove in Swiss courts. This has, in practice, led to a system where anyone can assist in a suicide with essentially no restriction on whose suicides they facilitate.

According to the Swiss government, “Assisted suicide is resorted to when life no longer appears worth living for the person concerned, in particular due to a serious physical illness.” This sort of standard-less direction from the government has made Switzerland attractive to outside groups who promote suicide. Over the past decades, so-called “suicide tourism” had become a booming business in Switzerland, where an organization called “Dignitas” and other groups arrange trips for potential suicide victims.

The number of those with non-fatal neurological disorders, arthritis, osteoporosis, and mental illness who are “helped” to kill themselves has spiked. Sarchet reports,
“Neurological diseases, only some of which are fatal, were given as the reason for 47 per cent of assisted suicides for the years 2008 to 2012, up from 12 per cent in a similar study of the same region between 1990 and 2000. Rheumatic or connective tissue diseases, generally considered non-fatal, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis, accounted for 25 per cent of cases in the new study. Between 1990 and 2000, they were cited in only 10 per cent of cases. There was also a tiny rise in the number of people coming to Switzerland because of mental health problems – 3.4 per cent in the latest study, up from 2.7 per cent. Cancer, on the other hand, was cited in 37 per cent of cases between 2008 and 2012, a decrease of 10 per cent.
The New Scientist article quotes UK suicide advocate Michael Charouneau claiming, “We know that many of those who travel do so earlier than they would wish, whilst they are still physically well enough to make the journey.”

He then uses this to argue that Britain’s protective law should be repealed so the suicidal will know they can be assisted to kill themselves at home!
The United States is not immune to such trends. In one place where doctor—prescribed suicide is legal — Washington State —  there was a 43 percent rise in doctor-prescribed suicides in 2013. In a trend similar to that in Switzerland, other concerns–not pain from a terminal illness–are motivating the requests for suicide. Loss of autonomy and “dignity” rank highest, according to the official state government report.

Washington State’s annual report covering 2013 states that 91 percent reported to their health care provider concerns about loss of autonomy, 79 percent reported to their health care provider concerns about loss of dignity, and 89 percent reported to their health care provider concerns about loss of the ability to participate in activities that make life enjoyable. In contrast, only 36% expressed concern over inadequate pain control or concern about it in the future.
While suicide advocates such as Compassion and Choices deride fears of a “slippery slope,” in fact once they achieve a foothold under the banner of limiting assisting suicide to those with “terminal illness,” and surrounding it with “safeguards,” experience shows they quickly move on to expand the grounds and eliminate the “safeguards.”
For one example, after trumpeting “safeguards” in Oregon and Washington laws, in Vermont Compassion and Choices successfully promoted a bill that ultimately has virtually none. For another example, after a Montana court decision held that “consent” is a defense to the crime of homicide, Compassion and Choices issued a factsheet for legislators that said
“The Legislature should affirm the Court’s guidelines, and not place obstacles in patients’ way. The Legislature should affirm that physician participation is voluntary, and enact protections from civil liability and professional sanctions for physicians who practice within the court’s guidelines.”
But the Montana court, while setting a few vague boundaries, never actually issued guidelines. Compassion and Choices does not really advocate for guidelines, so much as employ them to give voters and legislators a false sense of security that people will not be abused under these laws.
In seeking to head off the organized, well-funded lobby that advocates legalization of assisting suicide, it is crucial to expose the inaccuracy of the claim that “safeguards” can effectively prevent abuse. Moreover, it is important to educate others that seemingly narrow laws will inevitably expand both here and abroad.
Note:
Currently, doctor-prescribed suicide is legal in Oregon, Washington, and Vermont –and may have some legal protection in the state of Montana, due to a court decision. Also, an appeal is pending of a Second District court decision in New Mexico that struck that state’s decades-old law protecting against assisting suicide. Most recently, New Jersey was in the crosshairs, with a law like Washington’s that died in the Assembly this term. Maryland and Nevada may also be prime targets in 2015.
More information on doctor-prescribed suicide can be found hereMountains.

Source: NRLC News

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mexico and Abortion


 

NGO Ipas Promotes Illegal Abortion Network in Mexico



Editor’s note. This is reprinted from the monthly newsletter of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues. “NGO” refers to Non-Governmental Organizations. Ipas is an international abortion advocacy organization.
IPASWhile promoting access to abortion as a “reproductive right” at the United Nations and advocating for the elimination of pro-life laws, Ipas is also busy creating illegal abortion networks in Mexico. The work is based on an “accompaniment model” which pairs abortion seeking women with volunteers who guide a woman through the self-induced or do-it-yourself (DIY) abortion and is the subject of the documentary “Accompaniment” by Ipas partner Las Libres.
According to the Ipas website, “Ipas partner Las Libres has produced a short documentary film detailing its successful ‘accompaniment model’ that pairs women seeking medical abortion [chemically-induced abortions] with women committed to accompanying others on a volunteer basis throughout the process of a safe abortion.” (It is important to note that “safe” abortion in this context is illegal abortion or in Ipas terminology “outside the formal health system”.) Las Libres Executive Director VerĂ³nica Cruz stated, “…we were tired of hearing that abortion is almost always a negative experience for women.”

The network promoting the illegal destruction of children in the womb has been operating for a number of years in the Mexican state of Guanajuato where abortion is legally restricted and permitted only in the case of rape but where Ipas has trained volunteers on the use of abortion inducing pills for illegal DIY abortion. Volunteers accompany abortion-minded women to the pharmacy to buy the drug–usually Cytotec/Misoprostol–and tell her how to take the pills, calling or texting during the abortion process.

Las Libres’s goal for the network is to change the cultural view of abortion by showing “the other face of abortion, the positive experience, the accompanied experience, the exercise of the human right of women to decide, and the accompaniment of women by other women who have lived the accompaniment process … to see how after a safe abortion, accompanied, that woman, that couple or that family eliminates the stigma around abortion.”

The film is expected to be shared “widely via social media, public screenings, university classes, conferences, partner organizations, and through the various accompaniment networks that already exist across Mexico” with the intent that the “film will help reduce the stigma surrounding abortion in Mexico and help viewers cultivate a new and more positive perspective on abortion.” The NGOs hope that abortion activists in other countries will create their own illegal abortion networks.
PNCI notes that according to the Pew Global Views on Morality Survey, 63% of people in Mexico believe having an abortion is morally unacceptable.

Source: NRLC News