Friday, October 31, 2014

Vote- Lives Depend on It


New York State Right to Life “speaks from the heart”

By Barbara Meara, Chairman
ny-panel-imgEditor’s note. The following comes from New York State Right to Life, NRLC’s state affiliate.

Recent years have brought good news for unborn babies in our nation: fewer doctors are now willing to do abortions, several abortion clinics are closing, there are currently more pregnancy care centers than abortion clinics, and many states are passing pro-life legislation.
Various states have passed laws protecting pain-capable unborn children, policies recognizing unborn victims of violence, measures prohibiting taxpayer dollars from funding abortions, and requirements ensuring informed consent and an ultrasound view for mothers prior to an abortion.
Instead of supporting these common sense policies, which serve to protect mothers as well as their unborn babies, pro-abortion advocates are striving to enshrine a “fundamental right” to abortion on demand in New York State law. The recklessly unregulated abortion industry in New York already targets those living in neighboring states, such as underage women seeking abortions without their parents’ knowledge.

Abortion advocates are pushing the so-called “Women’s Equality Act,” the tenth, abortion-expanding, component of which would allow non-doctors to perform abortions, sanction late-term abortionists operating outside of hospital settings, threaten the conscience rights of pro-life health care providers, decriminalize forced abortions, and obstruct efforts to enact common sense regulations on abortion.
Why is anyone in Albany willing to vote for a bill that would threaten more babies’ lives and pose a greater risk to their mothers?  Our opponents are very noisy and effective.  Their nonsensical “War on Women” narrative continues to be touted in the media, as though what New York women need most is more abortion.

It is our job to change the argument and demonstrate our commitment to supporting mothers facing unplanned pregnancies, pregnancy care centers, and legislators working to protect both mothers and children from further expansion of abortion in our state.
Letters to editors and legislators, calls to radio shows, and ordinary conversations with friends and relatives will get our message out.
And, of course, Tuesday’s election will make all the difference – recall that abortion expansion was only one vote away from passing the State Senate last session and that every senator is up for re-election. Please, share our pro-life voter guide [] far and wide in the coming days. Their lives depend on us.

And we continue to pray, pray, pray.
Editor’s Note: We are so grateful to all who helped hold back abortion expansion last legislative session. Thank you! Only your vote and your continued efforts will protect the babies and their moms in the year to come.

Source: NRLC News

Assisted Suicide


Poison vs Personal Care

By Paul Russell, founder
HOPE Australia
Dr. Rodney Syme
Dr. Rodney Syme

It has long been an argument of the pro-euthanasia and pro-assisted suicide lobby to say that having a bottle of poison (Nembutal) in the cupboard provides a certain level of comfort and restores a sense of control. Many would add ‘for those who are experiencing a terminal illness’, or something similar. Philip Nitschke these days is marketing his suicide methods more broadly under the sales pitch: ‘You might be healthy now – but you never know!’ or similar.

We reported recently that Dr Rodney Syme was claiming this effect as his intention in supplying Nembutal to Steve Guest in Victoria in 2005:
“My intention was to provide the most effective palliation for his psychological and existential suffering. There is ample evidence in medical and palliative care literature that the provision of control is a powerful palliative intervention.”

Syme’s claim muddies the waters here and seems more like an attempt to establish a law-changing precedent as a defence against assisting in suicide than it does about providing good palliative care.
Certainly, restoring or enhancing a sense of control to patients can provide peace of mind. This is simply common sense and is, after all, a stock-in-trade tool in good palliative care. But the marketing of a deadly substance to achieve such an end is exceedingly dangerous – especially as it seems to be the only path to restoring control that the euthanasia/assisted suicide crowd promote, albeit sometimes with the insipid rider ‘if all else fails’.

And while assisted suicide in Oregon seems to be a provision for the elite (most who access the law are white, well-educated and well off), most people, in my experience, simply live as well as they can and die as well as they can. That is not to say that most people do not fear the trajectory towards dying; nor is it to say that most people do not fear a loss of control. Again, Oregon data shows clearly that loss of autonomy ranks far higher in the concerns of people who access the assisted suicide laws than does a fear of pain and other issues.

Sometimes expressed as concern for ‘not being able to do the things I used to do’ this loss of autonomy or control is a very broad category of concern. Even if we are to concede that a vial of poison in the fridge can help assuage such concerns, it is never true that having an ‘easy out’ actually addresses any of them. All it really does is to enable a person to decide not to address such fears.
The Guardian newspaper online had an interesting story this week about a cancer sufferer names Jo Beecham who went public in the UK earlier this year about her ‘bottle of poison in the fridge’. Jo Beecham died in October surrounded by her family and friends without using her supply of Nembutal.

Beecham was, until the end, an advocate of assisted suicide. The guardian reports that, as her disease wore on, she received ‘better palliative care’ and support from a palliative carer, Annie, and had second thoughts about suicide.
The report pulls no punches. The journalist chronicles Annie’s previously unquestioned views on assisted suicide – second thoughts on both sides. The two obviously had a great friendship. Both women have influenced each other’s thinking. This is not an article about how a former assisted suicide supporter had changed their mind. It is about how effective, personalized care can and does help people to work through these fears.

What has made the difference, Jo says, is “Annie’s experience, her calmness. I’m being accompanied. I’m not alone. When I’m in pain and I don’t recognise it, and it’s really strong, it panics me. I want Annie more and more to be here. I know she’ll calm me quickly.” One knee pokes up and lifts her fleece blanket like a sail.
“She was full of fear when I met her,” says Annie, “fear of symptoms that couldn’t be controlled.”

The article also talks about Jo’s friends who had agreed to ‘be there’ with her if and when she had chosen to suicide using Nembutal.
In July, five friends had agreed to be present when Jo chose to take the drugs. But as the months have passed, the thought of what’s in the fridge has become more difficult for everyone.

“So, I feel I really understand this now,” Jo says quietly, her knees swaying under the blanket. “You really are on your own.”
“This is something that’s coming up more now,” says Annie. “Jo’s feeling that if she took that route, she would do it in isolation. What you’ve expressed to me, Jo, is that there was a sense of relief from your friends when you told them you’d chosen the option of palliative care. You said you felt that on the whole they were sighing with relief.”
“Yes. Of course, they’d go there with me, but it was like ‘Oh, good! Phew!’ I’m sure someone would be here, but it would be a sadder occasion.” Jo shuts her eyes. “I’ve gone through moments where I’ve thought: ‘If I take the stuff in the fridge, have I failed Annie?’
Here we see both the difficulties and the advantages of inter-personal relationships. On the one hand it would seem as though Jo’s friends had perhaps not had the courage to challenge Jo about her intended suicide (or if they did, they had not dissuaded her). We often here this: “Oh, well, it is her decision.” On the other side, we have her interdependent, positive relationship with Annie expressed in the thought that Jo did not want to let Annie down. This must surely have helped Jo through some difficult periods.
I don’t want to be seen to ‘cherry-pick’ one side of the argument from this excellent article; so here are the closing paragraphs in full:
Jo remains a firm advocate of the legalisation of assisted dying, alongside excellent palliative care, her experience of which has mellowed her position. The drugs no longer appear to be what she wants.
“They may not be,” she says quickly, moving to sit up. “But maybe they are. Just you saying that makes me feel antsy.” Their presence, if not their use, makes the future feel navigable.
“Sometimes feeling drowsy and nodding off is a relief, because that’s where I see I’m going,” Jo says. “My body is driving my thoughts now. I’m just going to sleep more, drift off and die. And not really be aware. And that’s OK. The beauty of what’s in the fridge is that it is there if you change your mind.”
But Jo did not change her mind. The post-script says: Jo Beecham died peacefully at home in the company of friends…the drugs stayed in the fridge until her friends disposed of them safely.
It is entirely understandable that someone facing a difficult prognosis will experience a range of fears. We are used to autonomous self-direction of our lives. A difficult life threatening illness changes that; the disease seems to control us, to direct us to a place we don’t want to go.

Jo Beecham’s example of embracing good care through a developing friendship of trust is evidence of sound choices made with excellent support. Naysayers may suggest that the presence of Nembutal as some kind of backstop aided Jo in her path and provided comfort. I don’t think that would be a fair reading of the article at all. As one person commented to the online article: Coming to terms with our own weakness, frailty and eventual mortality, and realizing that we do not lose dignity because we are terminally ill, makes acceptance of end-of-life care much more agreeable and beneficial.

In summary, had the ‘poison in the fridge’ not been there, Jo Beecham would most likely have taken the same path as the article reports. Had she swallowed the Nembutal we would have been robbed – as she would have – of the story of a wonderful relationship and a good death.
Editor’s note. This appeared at

Source: NRLC News


By Sarah Terzo
Editor’s note. This appeared in the latest digital edition of National Right to Life News. You can read the entire 38-page issue at
z19weeks   From a woman who was being tested to see if her baby had Down syndrome or another handicap; she had been considering abortion if the baby was discovered to be disabled. She’s describing what she saw on the ultrasound:
“I was on this incredible high, like I saw the head and the little shoulders and then I came home and I suddenly crashed because I thought, there was this little person, I mean, it looked like a little person. And I was more upset than I’d ever been because what would I do? You know, would I have an abortion? Because here I’ve seen it, and it looks like a little person.”

   Rayna Rapp “Testing Women, Testing the Fetus: the Social Impact of Amniocentesis in America” (New York: Routledge, 1999) 129
This appeared at

Source: NRLC News

Down Syndrome


Down Syndrome: Not “The Shape of the Eye,” father writes

By Dave Andrusko
Editor’s note. As we approach the conclusion to Down Syndrome Awareness Month, we are re-printing this encouraging post, which is from last year, and writing a new, very grim story about parental behavior toward another child with Down syndrome.  The latter, our first story today, is as far apart from this post as the east is from the west.
George Estreich and Laura
George Estreich and Laura

No doubt because two of my daughters work with kids with developmental needs, I am especially receptive to books about the challenges but also the rewards of rearing a child with what are commonly called “special needs.”
Skimming the site, I ran across a delightful interview with George Estreich who has a new book about his daughter, Laura, titled, “The Shape of the Eye.” Since you can read this terrific interview at, let me offer just a few highlights to encourage you to read Jessica Ryen Doyle’s story and perhaps buy the book.

We learn it the beginning that Estreich started documenting his life with Laura when she was 3 ½ months old,  in 2001, shortly after she had undergone heart surgery. (He had a head start in writing a moving narrative because he is a  college writing professor and former poet.)
He neither pretends there were no challenges nor over-magnifies them to the point where Laura is reduced to a bundle of conditions. Estreich and his wife Theresa did not know of the diagnosis of Down syndrome until Laura was 2-weeks-old. They already had a daughter Ellie (now 17) and their “pretty good life” changed with the diagnosis. “Things were difficult at first,” Estreich admitted to Doyle.

Laura had typical problems—“a congenital heart defect, which was ultimately fixed during surgery, and a feeding disorder that required her to be fed through a tube in her nose about six months.”  Doyle tells us that  Estreich researched everything he could find  and discovered the normal developmental delays and that one in every 691 babies born in the U.S. have Down syndrome, or approximately 400,000 Americans.
“The Estreichs, who now live in Corvallis, Ore., opted not to do any prenatal screening during Theresa’s pregnancy; they figured it was pointless since false-positive rates are so high, and they didn’t want to have an amniocentesis, which can increase the chance of a miscarriage,” Doyle writes. “Theresa insisted no matter what a test discovered, she wouldn’t have terminated the pregnancy anyway.”

If I write any more, it will take away from your enjoyment of Doyle’s fine article. But for those who don’t make it to, here’s the last incredibly thoughtful paragraph:
“I’d like people to think about who belongs in our society, and the obstacles to belonging,” Estreich said. “And (the book is) not just about (Laura) developing and getting through her medical troubles – but about my development as a parent.”

Source: NRLC News

Horror Story


“Every voice must be heard”; the starvation death of Robert Gensiak

By Dave Andrusko
Susan Gensiak, the mother of Robert Gensiak who was starved to death, is escorted by police
Susan Gensiak, the mother of Robert Gensiak who was starved to death, is escorted by police

It seems like only yesterday, not for a good reason, but because  the horror of the case made the memories so vivid.
A year ago last June we reported on the arraignment of the mother and sisters of Robert Gensiak. The women were charged in the starvation death of the 32-year-old  Taylor, Pennsylvania, man.
Mr. Gensiak, who had Down syndrome, weighed 69 pounds at his death, ”his shrieking flesh raked by scabies and lice,” wrote Chris Kelly for the Scranton Times Tribune.
I just learned today that earlier this month all three were sentenced by Lackawanna County Judge Margaret Bisignani Moyle. The mother, Susan Gensiak, was sentenced to 10 to 20 years. “Joan Gensiak, 36, will spend six to 15 years in state prison while Rebekah Gensiak, 25, was sentenced to six to 23 months in Lackawanna County Prison,” Kelly wrote.
When we first reported on this ghastly case, we quoted Lackawanna County District Attorney Andy Jarbola. “This is the worst case of neglect I’ve seen the last 26 years,” he said at a press conference. “This family, the mother and two sisters, basically let this young man rot to death” [].
According to Joseph Kohut of the Scranton Times Tribune
“An autopsy conducted by forensic pathologist Gary W. Ross, M.D., revealed an extreme case of neglect. Autopsy photos show his skin was a sickly yellow with cracked areas that had oozed with blood and fluid. Open sores pockmarked his body, so extreme in spots that his bone was visible. As a matter of taste, The Times-Tribune is not publishing the photos.”
   Just what Mr. Gensiak meant to the family was clear from the very beginning. When police came by the day after he died to find out how his health had deteriorated so badly, “Family members expressed concern that if they placed Mr. Gensiak in a personal care facility, the financial support they received from his Social Security benefits would dry up,” Kohut reported.
“Before the end of the interview, investigators said Mr. Gensiak’s mother asked if she would still receive her son’s Social Security check even though he died.”
All that came back at the trial.

Mr. Gensiak “was confined to a child-sized bed soiled with human waste and his emaciated frame was pockmarked with oozing open sores,” Kohut reported. “He had a mouth full of rotten teeth that probably gave him agony when he tried to eat, Assistant District Attorney Suzanne Tierney said.”
“He suffered and suffered as he lay in a room inside that home,” Judge Moyle said. “No one (in the home) can claim ignorance or that they didn’t know better.”
All this unfathomable neglect transpired while the “mother and the sisters cashed the $1,042 monthly state checks meant for his care,” Kelly wrote.

“Help was available, but Robert’s mother and sisters refused to seek it,” Kelly wrote. “They filled their prescriptions, had doctor appointments and ate regularly. They had money for Internet and cable TV, but none to feed the miserable prisoner in the next room. Robert was a source of income, nothing more.”
Rebekah Gensiak received a far lesser sentence. She had “pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of neglect of a care-dependent person because she testified against her family at court proceedings as part of a plea deal,” Kohut reported.

The conclusion of Kohut’s story is extremely powerful:
Don Broderick, the executive director of the Arc of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and Sara Wolff, a motivational speaker who has Down Syndrome, sat in the courtroom and watched. They wanted to speak, but settled for writing the judge letters.
“Had we known of Robert, we could have helped the family find services and supports for him,” Broderick wrote. “We could have received day services and even residential care if warranted. But he was removed and hidden from society, secluded and isolated, eventually to die a horrible death.”
The Arc will place a memorial plaque at their Meadow Avenue office in the coming weeks that reads: “Robert Gensiak: Every voice must be heard.”

Source: NRLC News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Truth About Assistd Suicide


Trying to stifle debate about assisted suicide

By Wesley J. Smith
Brittany Maynard
Brittany Maynard

The Brittany Maynard media explosion is an intense advocacy offensive-–funded substantially by the culturally subversive George Soros through his support of Compassion and Choices–-that is intended to do two things:
1. Drive assisted suicide into implementation by the power of hyper-emotion.
2. Silence those who want to discuss non-lethal approaches to caring for terminally ill patients in the larger context of the issues raised by Maynard’s illness.
Thus, Maynard has unfairly attacked palliative care expert, Dr. Ira Byock, for daring to state that people with terminal brain cancer can die peaceful deaths without taking poison. From a transcript presented on Thaddeus Pope’s Medical Futility Blog:
“I am Brittany Maynard and it concerns me that Dr. Ira Byock will speak on my ‘behalf’ at all again.
I watched a special on PBS where this same individual spoke about my case as though he knew personal details about me, saying some things that were quite frankly not true. “For example, he said that a gentle death would be available to me easily through hospice, unfortunately that would be after a great length of time, with lots of suffering (physical and emotional), and loss for my young body.
Byock did not speak on her “behalf.” He hasn’t treated her and wouldn’t do that.
To the contrary, he addressed the issue of what hospice can do for patients with terminal brain cancer. Maynard–and more particularly, Compassion and Choices–are just trying to shut up voices they don’t want heard in the discussion by using her tragedy as a bludgeon.
Back to Maynard:
As a terminally ill patient, I find it disrespectful and disturbing when people discuss my personal health with details that are not accurate to push an agenda.
My request is that physicians speak only what they directly know to be factually true and have a right to discuss.
Do you see what is going on? Do you see the cynical tactic?
Maynard put herself into the international spotlight to push assisted suicide–and then uses her own tragedy as a bludgeon to shame anyone who gainsays the agenda into silence.
Well, baloney: Nobody is violating Maynard’s privacy. To the contrary: She and C & C are inserting her story into in every possible venue.
That being so, people have every right to comment about the ISSUE presented–and that includes what hospice can do for people with brain cancer–as well as whether assisted suicide is appropriate or beneficent public policy.
People also have every right to opine about whether she is doing the right thing in her campaign and in deciding to take poison. She brought the issue up.
To put it bluntly, whether to legalize physician-prescribed suicide is about much more than Brittany Maynard’s individual circumstances, as tragic and emotionally compelling as that may be.
Editor’s note. This appeared on Wesley’s great blog.

Source: NRLC News

Love Changes Everything


One twin’s ‘rescuing hug’ saves the life of her sister

By Becky Yeh
rescuehugBrielle and Kyrie Jackson were born premature on October 17, 1995, a full 12 weeks ahead of their due date. As standard medical practice, doctors at The Medical Center of Central Massachusetts placed the twins in separate incubators in order to reduce the risk of cross-infection. The stronger twin, Kyrie, began to gain weight and her condition improved, but her sister, Brielle, had trouble breathing. Brielle’s oxygen level was extremely low and she had difficulty gaining weight.
On November 12, Brielle’s condition dropped to critical. Her tiny arms and legs turned blue as she lay gasping for air. Her heart rate skyrocketed, and her family watched in tears as they prepared for the possibility that Brielle would not make it.

The medical staff tried everything to save tiny Brielle, but no remedy seemed to work–then, Nurse Gayle Kasparian sought parental permission to place Kyrie in the same incubator as her struggling sister. The practice, used commonly among medical centers in Europe, was almost unheard of in the United States– but as soon as Nurse Kasparian placed Kyrie in the same bed, Brielle moved close to her sister and her heart rate began to steady.
Within a few minutes, her blood-oxygen readings miraculously began to stabilize. As Brielle started to fall asleep, her sister wrapped her left arm around her, and Brielle’s body temperature increased to normal.

When the hospital released the twins, their parents placed them in the same bed and their condition continued to improve. Even after five years, their parents said the twin girls still slept in the same bed.

Kyrie’s “Rescuing Hug” has garnered the attention of CNN, Life Magazine and Reader’s Digest, and has sparked an interest in the practice of co-bedding premature twins, triplets and quadruplets. The University of Massachusetts Memorial placed roughly 100 sets of premature multiple birth siblings in the same incubator. In all cases, doctors have not reported a single case of infection between the newborns. The twins, who are now all grown up, still share the same tight knit bond they had when they first entered the world.

Editor’s note. This appeared at

Source: NRLC News

Down Syndrome


Simon Barnes—Eddie’s dad—demolishes Richard Dawkins counsel to abort children with Down Syndrome

By Dave Andrusko
Simon Barnes and his son, Eddie
Simon Barnes and his son, Eddie

We are approaching the conclusion of Down Syndrome Awareness month. The bitter irony, of course, is that the better and better the lives of children with Down syndrome are, the more and more willing we seem to be to abort these children if their condition is diagnosed prenatally.
We re-ran a story yesterday that we first posted two years ago, based on an amazing column written by Simon Barnes, a prominent British sportswriter.

I had not kept track of Barnes and his son, Eddie, until I ran across a response he’d written last month to remarks made by Richard Dawkins.
We’ve posted several times about Dawkins awful tweet. As Barnes explained, Dawkins “told a woman on Twitter that if she was knowingly pregnant with a Down’s syndrome foetus she should ‘Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have a choice.’”
Barnes correctly first addresses the “immoral” description–“a strong word,” Barnes adds. Not aborting a baby diagnosed with Down syndrome could be “immoral” on two grounds. The first is fiscal—“that it’s immoral to give birth to a child that would be a drain on national resources.”
But why stop there? If we are going to be “logical,” as Dawkins is fond of describing his inhuman and inhumane arguments, “then we need to do something about old people, about all people with serious illnesses, about all low achievers.” But, Barnes asks, why pick on kids like Eddie? “[E]ven by this argument, people with Down’s syndrome are just part of the crowd of drainers.”
Barnes reminds his readers that while Dawkins never recanted, he did backfill a bit when people were scandalized by his remarks. Dawkins shifted his emphasis to the argument that not aborting the child is “immoral from the point of view of the child’s own welfare.” Barnes responds
In other words, a foetus with Down’s syndrome is better off unborn. Logical inference: a person with Down’s syndrome is better off dead. Dawkins doesn’t know what it’s like to be dead, and he doesn’t know what it’s like to have Down’s syndrome, so I’m not convinced he has a valid argument here.
Barnes demolishes that particular fallback position, citing example after example of the full lives of people whose days, like Eddie’s, “are lit up by reciprocal affection.”
In other words, the argument that giving birth to a child with Down’s syndrome is immoral from the point of view of the individual’s welfare is a non-starter — an absurd example to choose, in fact.
Barnes then explores a final justification for aborting children with Down syndrome:” What have people with Down’s syndrome ever done for us?” Here he reaches a whole level of insight.
Barnes begins with territory unfamiliar to the Richard Dawkinses of our world: the “ever so slightly non-quantifiable”–unacceptable to Dawkins, perhaps, because he “judges everything with ruthless scientific rigour. Though that does pose the question of whether ruthless scientific rigour is the only valid way to look at the world.”
Eddie is a blessing to his family, his school mates, his teachers, pretty much everyone who comes in contact with him. He draws out something that many of us too often keep well hidden.
This capacity “will continue into adult life,” Barnes writes

Eddie will make people more generous, make them behave better towards other people with problems, make them think about such people in a better way. He will make people fractionally gentler and fractionally kinder. That doesn’t seem to me a negligible contribution to society; many people do less.
I could paraphrase Barnes’ conclusion, but that would be a huge error on my part; it would deprive you of his almost sublime eloquence.

Dawkins’s website contains a vigorous pseudonymous defence of Dawkins on Down’s. It’s written in duh! duh! logic designed to make even us stupid people grasp the subtleties of Dawkins’s argument, and makes clear that this argument stands or falls on the question of whether or not people with Down’s syndrome live in perpetual hell. And they do nothing of the kind.

Dawkins’s argument is based on an error. He hasn’t researched Down’s syndrome, he just assumed that people with the condition live in constant suffering. It’s a shame that Dawkins wasted his title ‘The God Delusion’ for his fundamentalist tract. He should have saved it for his autobiography.
But never mind him: it’s Eddie that matters here. Dawkins implies that both society and Eddie would be better if Eddie did not exist: not just Eddie but everyone else with Down’s syndrome. I disagree. So — sorry and all that — we’re going to have to face up to the gritty reality of society. If we distil every-thing that matters down to its last brutal reductionist essence, what are we left with? Eddie’s job in this world is to love and to be loved. Isn’t every-one’s? Or is love just another meme?

Source: NRLC News



Novelist Pearl S. Buck speaks about life and death

By Sarah Terzo
The-Good-EarthThe following is from the Foreword to Robert E. Cooke and others, ed., “The Terrible Choice: The Abortion Dilemma” (New York: Bantam Books, 1968), ix-xi, x.
“…I fear the power of choice over life or death at human hands. I see no human being whom I could ever trust with such power–not myself, not any other. Human wisdom, human integrity are not great enough. Since the fetus is a creature already alive and in the process of development, to kill it is to choose death over life. At what point shall we allow this choice? For me the answer is–at no point, once life has begun. At no point, I repeat, either as life begins or as life ends, for we who are human beings cannot, for our own safety, be allowed to choose death, life being all we know.”
Pearl S. Buck. [Buck, the daughter of missionaries to China, was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1938. Her most famous novel was “The Good Earth.”]
Editor’s note. This appeared at

Source: NRLC News

Life is Beautiful


Papa’s Big Yellow Truck

By Richard Wingard
Editor’s note. This first appeared in “Turning Wheels,” the Official Publication of the Studebaker Drivers Club (SDC) and is reprinted with the author’s permission. The following is the introduction to the story as it appeared in the November 2014 edition.
The following heart-warming story relates to the 1954 truck article appearing on the previous pages, but it is much more than a look at a 60-year old 3R11 Studebaker truck. The author, Richard Wingard, is an SDC member from Santa Ana, California.
studebaker-1955reWhen our daughter Olivia was born the doctors didn’t give her much chance. In fact after Olivia had been in NICU for five weeks the “ethics” board at the hospital told us that we should take her home and “withhold nourishment.” Her taking nourishment was just one of many, many, problems she faced.
After eight years of trying unsuccessfully to have children and giving up on the notion, my wife Lorena became pregnant in the middle of a major remodel to our home.
Despite the awkward timing of my wife being pregnant while moving back into the house on concrete floors and the remodel incomplete, we were delighted to hear the news. Then at five months we found out that she may have hydrocephaly (water on the brain), which obviously alarmed us but the outcome for children born with Hydrocephaly is usually not that bad and most of the time with medical assistance can be overcome.

The day our daughter was born, I remember holding Olivia in my hands as I bathed her right after birth with the genetic specialist next to me taking her measurements and making comments about my daughter’s anomalies and I remember saying to the doctor, “I don’t know what you see doctor, but all I see is a beautiful baby girl like I’ve always dreamed of having and whom God has seen fit to give us.” Unfortunately the next day we found out she was born with a rare form of Hydrocephaly that is not “water (Cerebral Spinal Fluid) on the brain,” but rather the water filling in the void where the Cerebral Cortex had not formed. Our daughter was born virtually without a cerebral cortex and along with that the doctors told us that she was blind, deaf, would have difficulty in feeding herself and indeed might not even have any awareness of her surroundings at all.

Of course, this was devastating to us and we didn’t know what to do, but one thing we did know we could not go home and “withhold nourishment” from our daughter as the medical ethicists advised. What parent could? After five harrowing days at home “feeding” my daughter with a small vile of formula without much success, I asked my wife if the doctors had ever suggested nursing Olivia. She told me that they said it would be much too difficult for a child like Olivia to be able to take that on. That seemed to be completely illogical to me as I reasoned that if our daughter had any natural instinct to live then she would know how to nurse and indeed she did… and she did it with relish. It was like a light went on in our daughter, she had a choice to make and she made it with an exclamation point.

That was the beginning of a very long journey into the unknown with our daughter. It took us five years before we finally found out her underlying disease that caused all of her complications was a rare Metabolic disease that leaves her unable to take any nourishment from carbohydrates or protein, only that derived from fat. Typically, this condition is fatal, but our daughter has for some reason been able to beat those odds and is as healthy as she ever has been today. This has not come without a lot of hard work and blind devotion to bring our daughter out of the darkness and into the light.
As a consequence of this disease and the global neurological damage our daughter has suffered, she is considered “institutionally deemed” by the state, is wheelchair bound, tube fed, has Scoliosis and Kyphosis (curvature of the spine), hip and joint dysplasia among many other challenges. She has had fourteen operations and seventeen visits to the hospital in her now thirteen years of life with the largest surgery being a “spinal fusion” procedure that saved her life a few years ago. Her vision improves everyday as her brain continues to open up new neuro-pathways for her optical nerve, she loves music, her parents, family and her home.

She is trying very hard to walk and talk as she wants to be as much like the other kids she sees around her. Most importantly she is very happy from all the love she is surrounded with, and she expresses her love for us unconditionally every day.

When a special needs parent starts on this journey you have no idea where it will go and how you will handle it, and indeed my wife and I have been tested like never before in our lives, but the one thing I have tried to hold on to throughout all of the ordeals is to live as normal of a life as possible and incorporate our daughter into as much of that as we can. Although our daughter has profoundly changed our lives in many ways, I still do manage to pursue some of my passions in life like cycling, skiing and vintage cars. Oddly enough unlike a lot of children with challenges, my daughter enjoys the sense of speed whether it be behind my bike, in a boat or a sports car.

One of her great joys in life is to ride in “Papa’s Big Yellow Truck,” which is my 1954 ¾-ton pickup truck. It is painted in chrome yellow and used to belong to the Santa Fe Railroad for decades before I bought it from a broker who was about to take it over to Europe to sell. Of course, the “Stude” with its flat head in-line six and “three on the tree” with overdrive transmission doesn’t go particularly fast, about 60mph if I push it, but it makes a whole heck of a lot of noise and bounces around a lot, both of which my daughter just loves.

Whenever I go up to my yard to pick up some firewood for the home, I fasten her into the Recaro child seat I got especially for her size, and immediately she has a big grin from ear to ear. With a child like Olivia, you never know where life is going to take you, and how we will deal with our daughter as we age is almost too overwhelming to think about even though we have to try to prepare for that eventuality.

Someday, we still hope to resettle on some rural land we own in Cambria, California, with my Big Yellow Truck, my dog Gus in the back and Olivia in the cab with her big smile while cruising down Highway 46, not needing to go anywhere fast.

Source: NRLC News

Wednesday, October 29, 2014



“Say So” to the Children, Say No to Abortion

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
Editor’s note. This first appeared in the October digital edition of National Right to Life News. This article is part of a 38-page issue which can be read online in its entirety at
babygirl540I will always remember my first trip to Gettysburg, the site of the bloodiest conflict of the American Civil War. It was so jarring to see the battlefield upon which so many perished, and to recall a time when Americans were enslaved because of their skin color.
This past weekend, I traveled to Philadelphia to take part in the “Say So” march against the black genocide caused by abortion. The phrase “Say So” is an abbreviation of the motto “If You Love the Children Say So.”

The march ended at the crime scene known as the Women’s Medical Society, where abortionist Kermit Gosnell killed full-term babies, butchered women, and secured a unique place of dishonorable mention in the rogue’s gallery of American abortion history.
Upon seeing Gosnell’s killing center, I wanted to vomit.
The facility appears to be stuck in time—you can peer through the windows and see the seediness inside. But what struck me was the location—close to centers of higher learning, typical of the outskirts of a downtown.

I realized I had driven down the street a number of times before, never realizing the real-life horror movie taking place at 3801 Lancaster Avenue. (You might want to pause here and watching the gripping documentary chronicling Gosnell’s crimes which can be found at .)
Placing my hand on the red brick exterior of the otherwise nondescript building was not unlike taking that first trip to Gettysburg—an overwhelming heartache surging through my soul. To think of so many dying here in a particularly gruesome way, a disproportionate number of them African-American.

It was at Gosnell’s House of Horrors that the Say So march ended, with black pastors decrying the bloodshed and seeking a justice that goes beyond Gosnell’s murder conviction. Because Gosnell was part of a system, a system which, according to the march’s organizers, ends the lives of more than 1,700 African-American children each day. Justice truly will not be served until all black children are protected from the abortionist’s instruments of destruction.
Make it a point to learn about this black genocide. You can visit to learn why, in the words of Pastor Clenard Childress, “The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb.”

Gosnell does not work on Lancaster Avenue anymore. But the business of ending the lives of black Americans continues each day in Philadelphia and in cities throughout the nation. Let’s be the generation that, through peaceful, legal means, brings this bloody business to a close

Source: NRLC News

Defending Marriage is Pro-Life


Why defending marriage is a pro-life issue

This past weekend saw the 2014 Faith of Our Fathers conference, held in Knock, Ireland, and organised by the Catholic Voice newspaper.
John Smeaton, chief executive of the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Children (SPUC) and the co-founder of Voice of the Family, delivered an address entitled Why defending marriage is a pro-life issue (full text).
In his address, Mr Smeaton explained:
Statistical evidence on abortion clearly shows that marriage as an institution protects children, both born and unborn. [Also], same-sex marriage represents an attempt to redefine marriage, thus undermining marriage and family life, as a growing body of academic research clearly shows. It is this undermining which lessens protection for unborn children which true marriage provides.
Mr Smeaton discussed the threats to the institution of marriage posed by the acceptance of the same sex unions:
Legalising same sex marriage is not a question of being kind to people with same-sex attraction and letting them get married if they want to. It is a question of the destruction of the oldest human institution in the world which protects the mental and physical wellbeing of men, women and children; No other grouping offers such a high level of the security and stability that human beings need to flourish. Research shows overwhelmingly that children growing up within marriage do better in terms of health, educational success, happiness, careers and their own marriages. It is precisely because children matter, that real marriage between one man and one woman matters so much.
Discussing the problems with the Synod Interim Report that failed to guide the faithful in correct treatment of people engaged in homosexual lifestyle, Mr Smeaton explained:
By focusing on the supposed positive aspects of objectively sinful unions we risk giving people a false understanding of their situation. We run the risk of giving them excuses not to change their lives or to feel that the Church in some way approves of their behaviour.
[W]e should never tire of pointing to the value and dignity of every human being which resides in our creation in the image and likeness of God, and our possession of a rational soul capable of knowing and choosing the good.
Mr Smeaton confirmed that the leaders of the faction, who are assaulting Catholic doctrine on marriage consequently attacking a number of sacraments of the Church, “are quite clear that they will continue the struggle at the Ordinary Synod next year, and beyond.”
“Faced with such a threat to our faith, to our families, and to our children, what can we do?” asked Mr Smeaton.
He suggested that:
In the first place we must follow the call made by the brave Archbishop of Riga, Arcbishop Stankevics, to give ourselves over to prayer. We must pray unceasingly for the Pope, for the Bishops, and for all clergy, religious and laity that we may remain firm in our profession of the gospel.
Secondly, we must remember that we, the lay faithful, have both the right and the duty to make known to our pastors our views about the crisis which has engulfed the Church. We have a right and a duty to require from our clergy unwavering obedience to the natural law and the teaching of the Catholic Church.
The Code of Canon Law clearly upholds this right and duty. Canon 211 states that:
All the Christian faithful have the duty and right to work so that the divine message of salvation more and more reaches all people in every age and in every land.

This is followed by Canon 212 which, among other things, states:
The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.
According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.
Canon 213 says:
The Christian faithful have the right to receive assistance from the sacred pastors out of the spiritual goods of the Church, especially the word of God and the sacraments.
Towards the end of his address, Mr Smeaton said:
Finally of course we must strive to remain faithful in our own lives and try to lead our families, and all those we come into contact with, to Jesus Christ.
As we have learned at this conference, it is only through holiness in our own lives that we can hope to draw our family members, our parish communities, our church leaders and the whole social and political community to respect for life, for the truth about marriage and human sexuality, and true reverence for God and God’s laws.
But holiness includes urgent action: urgent action, in particular, to uphold parents as the primary educators of their children. The truth about parents is a truth which, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children has found, really does echo in the hearts of women and men of all faiths and none.
Tomorrow, here in Knock, leaders of various groups, including thank God the magnificent organizers of this conference Catholic Voice, are meeting together to plan seminars for parents around Ireland based on the universal truths which brought together 20 pro-life and pro-family groups in Rome these past few weeks as Voice of the Family. The universal truths are these:
1. Sacramental marriage, binding parents together in an indissoluble union, is the greatest protector of children both born and unborn.
2. The artificial separation of the unitive and procreative dimensions of the sexual act is a major catalyst of the culture of death.
3. Parents are the primary educators of their children and it is through the education and formation of parents, and future parents, that the culture of life will be built.
Reprinted with permission from Voice of the Family.

Source: LifeSite News

Assisted Suicide Thoughts


If Suicide’s a Right, Must be Open to All

By Wesley J. Smith

Supreme Court of Canada
Supreme Court of Canada
As regular readers know, I am increasingly impatient with the phoniness of the assisted suicide debate.
Hemlock sellers pretend that it will be strictly limited. But they also claim that assisted suicide is the ultimate civil right.
If that is so, how can it be limited strictly? Indeed, other than, say, a troubled teenager or someone with an impulsive or transitory desire to die, how can it be restricted at all?
Logically, it can’t, the point made in a typically excellent column by the Canadian journalist, Andrew Coyne. It is important to read the article from the beginning, because he follows the logic. For example, we are told euthanasia is only for the terminally ill. Except, Quebec already left that limitation behind. From, “If Assisted Suicide is a Right, How Can It Not be for All?”
Under the Quebec law the pain could be “physical or psychological.” And the patient doesn’t actually have to be incapable of killing themselves or even disabled: just in “an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability.” So we have expanded the definition somewhat from our initial argument. But that only makes sense. Would we extend a right to the disabled we would deny to everyone else?
Along these lines, I once did a talk radio show in San Francisco, shortly after one of the host’s colleagues jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge due to a business scandal. Within one minute, he went from arguing assisted suicide should be severely restricted to asserting that his friend should have been able to go to a doctor rather than take the big jump! Logic moves inexorably in the human mind.
Back to Coyne:
In those European countries that permit the practice — Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland — there is no requirement of terminal illness, either. Again, this is only logical: A disease can cause unbearable suffering without being fatal. Neither would it seem necessary that the suffering be disease-based. For example, Belgium has lately extended the right to euthanasia to prisoners serving life sentences.
Yup. Simple logic.
More of Coyne’s applied logic and dot-connecting:
Similarly, should the right to a painless death really be restricted to adults? As Eike-Henner Kluge, former director of ethics and legal affairs for the Canadian Medical Association, has argued, this is an obvious example of age discrimination. Here again Belgium has shown the way, amending its legislation this year to allow children to seek help in killing themselves, albeit with the consent of their parents or guardians. That’s probably unavoidable, though it is natural to ask whether parents who could refuse their children that request, if the alternative were constant and unbearable physical or psychological pain, should really be left in their charge.
Well, you get the picture. Coyne concludes:
The more clearly we think about the issue, the more we will realize how incomplete, how inconsistent current models of legalization are. This is not a matter of slippery slopes, but of respect for personal autonomy and equal rights for all. The euthanasia most people have in mind — severely disabled adults, at the end of their lives, making a conscious choice in the absence of other alternatives — is not in fact what is at issue. Indeed, if we are honest with ourselves, we will see that what we are really talking about here is not the rights of the disabled, but the normalization of suicide, as the rational alternative to suffering.
No longer something to be discouraged, stigmatized as an act of individual aberrance, it will henceforth be a social act in which others are expected to assist. Just so long as we acknowledge that that is what we are doing.
This is the argument we would be having if assisted suicide advocates were interested in honest and open debate. But they are not. And neither is the media who are huffing and puffing so hard about Brittany Maynard.They just want society to let them light the fuse, you know, just an itty-bitty fire.
Of course, they also know that small incendiary action that leads to a much bigger boom. Advocates know the cultural bomb will eventually go off. It’s what they want.
Editor’s note. This appeared on Wesley’s great blog at

\Source: NRLC News



Irish Abortion campaigners planned to import abortion pills

Editor’s note. The following comes from the Irish Pro-life organization, Life Institute. The “Leinster House” in the first sentence refers to the seat of the national parliament of Ireland.
Niamh Ui Bhriain
Niamh Ui Bhriain

Abortion campaigners, including two political researchers in Leinster House, along with the Chair of Labour Women and a member of the board of the Irish Family Planning Association, were part of a Google discussion group which opened a thread discussing illegally importing abortion pills to force a change in the law.

The Google group had left their discussion open and their conversations were being followed by the Life Institute, who noted that the emails confirmed that importing abortion pills illegally had been under discussion by abortion supporters for some time.
Member Andrew F wrote that: “The scope for direct action on the provision of abortion itself has been massively expanded with the arrival of RU484 (sic) and similar pills,”  and added that this provision should become the primary focus of pro-choice activists, saying that it would be an “open, and by necessity, illegal provision of medical abortion in the Republic.”
He argued that this would make a ban on abortion unenforceable and cause the law to be changed.
An Abortion Rights Campaign spokeswoman replied to Andrew F saying: “I think it sounds like an interesting and potentially great idea” and added that political lobbying and the distribution of abortion pills need not be exclusive.

Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute said that it was “horrendous” that campaigners would endanger women’s lives to push a political agenda.
“We’ve heard medical experts such as Dr. Sam Coulter Smith and others warn that if women administer these drugs at the wrong dose and at the wrong intervals or by the wrong route then there are very serious risks to women’s health,” she said.
“What we’re seeing from custom seizures is that a small number of people – only 24 in 2013 and only 60 this year so far – are importing a large number of abortion pills. Clearly most of the pills are being imported to sell or distribute. Is it the case that abortion campaigners are now putting the ideas outlined in this Google group into action and illegally importing pills to challenge the law?” Ms. Uí Bhriain asked

“That would show a simply shocking disregard for the safety of women,” she said. “The absolute lack of compassion for the baby in the pregnancy is, sadly, not remotely surprising at this stage.”
Ms. Uí Bhriain said that the Life Institute had come across the emails in late 2012 but that, given the emergence of new evidence as to the importation of abortion pills, the emails were now going to be handed to the Gardai [the police force of Ireland]

Amongst those who took part in this and other discussions in the Irish Choice Network (ICN) were Clare Butler of the Abortion Right Campaign; Sinéad Ahern of Labour Women; Aoife Dermody who said she was a board member of the Irish Family Planning Association; Stephanie Lord, then a political advisor to Sinn Féin [an Ireland political party]; and Alison Spillane then a political researcher for Mick Wallace TD [the TD is the lower House of the Irish Parliament].
Editor’s note. This appeared at

Source: NRLC News

Down Syndrome


Our Movement summarized in ten words: “There Was a Life That Had to Be Cared For”

By Dave Andrusko
Simon Barnes and his son, Eddie
Simon Barnes and his son, Eddie

Editor’s note. We are approaching the end of Down Syndrome Awareness Month. NRL News Today has run a number of new and “best of” stories about the challenges and the blessings of these special children. The following is among my personal favorites.
“The human imagination can do many extraordinary things. But we can’t imagine love. Or perhaps I mean loving: love as a continuous state; one that carries on in much the same way from day to day, changing and growing with time just as people do. The great stories of literature are about meeting and falling in love, about infidelity, about passion. They are seldom about the routines of married life and having children.” — From “I’m not a saint, just a parent” by Simon Barnes, London Times.
For years I have been fascinated by an insight Philip Yancey, one of my favorite writers, borrowed from theologian H. Richard Niebuhr. I have shared it so often and in so many settings, it’s odd that I did not think of using it in my role as editor of NRL News until last month.
Yancey writes, “Before its discovery [the Rosetta Stone's], Egyptologists could only guess at the meaning of hieroglyphics. One unforgettable day, they uncovered a dark stone that rendered the same text in Greek, ordinary Egyptian script, and previously indecipherable hieroglyphics. By comparing translations side by side [since they knew Greek and ordinary Egyptian script], they mastered hieroglyphics and could now see clearly into a world they had known only in a fog.”
To 98% of the American people, the abortion debate is like that. It is shrouded in a fog of conflicting claims and counter-claims. What can unlock the “secrets” tell them who has the legitimate claim to their allegiance?
For those who honestly don’t understand whether pro-lifers or pro-abortionists are right, what you might suggest to them is that they lay the conflicting claims side and side and use as the Rosetta Stone the way the two sides deal with the mother and child bond.

To pro-abortionists (on their best day), the unborn child is a appendage that can/ought to be cut off if “it” comes into existence at an inconvenient time. It’s hard to miss the staggering irony.
Six days a week and twice on Sundays, pro-abortionists accuse pro-lifers of forgetting/ignoring/overlooking the woman. Yet it is they who treat the woman in isolation.

They are the ones who insist on viewing the unborn as if the child, unbeknownst to the mother, were like a trunk that mysteriously made its way onto the ship. As mere luggage, rather than a real human being, the unborn child can be tossed overboard without compunction.
By contrast we recognize the moral (not to mention biological) poverty of seeing the mother as if she were a solo passenger. This means our task is much more difficult, but far more rewarding.
We care about both. We want both to reach safe harbor.

But there are other categories of powerless people who need our help: babies born with serious disabilities and the medically vulnerable elderly, to name two. If I could, let me briefly talk about babies who used to be called “Baby Does.”
A prestigious British think tank not only is recommending limited (or no) treatment for premature babies, it also expressly took disability into account when formulating its heartless guidelines.
But at least these children were allowed to be born. The same kind of advanced technology that allows parents to view their bouncing baby boy in utero also affords them the hitherto secret knowledge that Johnny won’t be perfect. Overwhelmingly, the sentence for daring to be imperfect is death.
Simon Barnes and his wife, Cindy, chose otherwise. In a remarkably powerful excerpt from a new book that appeared in the London Times, Barnes wrote about his five-year-old son, Eddie, whom they knew before he joined them outside the womb had Down syndrome.
Barnes, the lead sports writer for the London Times, refuses to be “canonized.” The title of his piece is, “I’m not a saint, just a parent.”

He is the first to admit how easily things could have turned out otherwise. “At the hospital, when they discovered on the scan that Down’s syndrome was a possibility, they very kindly offered to kill him for us.”
Had he been married to someone other than Cindy, Barnes writes, “and had that woman preferred to go the way of amniocentesis and termination, I have no doubt that I would have gone along with that, too, and treated parents of Down’s syndrome children with a lofty pity.”

But “They needn’t have bothered,” he writes. “The idea of not caring for something in your care is an abomination to her. The idea of not caring for her own child was impossible to contemplate. Amniocentesis? Not a chance, it puts the child at risk. And no matter what such a test would say about the child, she would go ahead. There was a life that had to be cared for.”
“There was a life that had to be cared for.” Not a bad motto for our Movement.
There will be occasions in the future when people who have formed no alliances will, in essence, throw up their hands in frustration. They will lament, “Who is right?” These situations should be seen for what they are: golden opportunities.

Your answer will be simple. You will ask them to consider which side refuses to choose death over life, refuses to puzzle over elementary human biology as if it were written in hieroglyphics, would be incredulous if you suggested they could abandon their own, and refuses to give into despair.
I’ll take our chances, won’t you?

Editor’s note. We will be talking about Simon Barnes tomorrow. He had a brilliant column a couple of months back responding to Peter Singer’s tweet that “It would be immoral to bring it [a child diagnosed to have Down syndrome] into the world if you have the choice” [that is, “Abort it and try again.”]

Source: NRLC News

Assisted Suicide


Why I’m afraid of Steven Fletcher’s assisted-suicide bill

Editor’s note. This article was first published in the Toronto Star on October 26, 2014.
By Heidi Janz
Dr. Heidi Janz
Dr. Heidi Janz

Like many Canadians with disabilities, I have been following the renewed national debate on legalizing assisted suicide and euthanasia with growing fear and trepidation.
I am at the point where, to put it bluntly, I am sick and tired of hearing about how TABS (temporarily able-bodied people) and former TABS want the “right” to die, lest they have to live with some of the limitations that I do. The (not so) implicit message is: People with disabilities have crappy lives, therefore, they should want to die.

It’s true that I have some significant advantages that many disabled people don’t: I have a PhD; I live in my own home, and I direct my own care. It’s also true that I live with some limitations that many TABS would deem intolerable — namely, I’m bladder incontinent and eat via a g-tube.
But my dignity/worth as a human being is neither defined by my advantages, nor diminished by my limitations. Rather, as a human being, my life has intrinsic dignity and worth. It is when my life is devalued by society as a “fate worse than death” that I am robbed of my rightful human dignity.
Indeed, like most people born with disabilities, I have had a lifetime of encountering temporarily able-bodied people who automatically assume that the fact that I need other people to assist me with personal care means that I have neither personal dignity nor quality of life. In latter years, I have developed a swallowing disorder that has made it necessary for me to receive part of my daily nutrition via a g-tube. This further lowers my perceived quality of life in the eyes of many people.
Sadly, this includes medical practitioners, as they are not immune to the same able-ist biases which afflict the general public. Consequently, I already live with the fear that, the next time I’m admitted to ICU in severe respiratory distress, a physician could read my medical history, see my feeding-tube, conclude that I have a poor quality of life already, and therefore deem further treatment as “futile.”
The legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide would inevitably, exponentially increase my social vulnerability, along with the social vulnerability of every single disabled and elderly Canadian, thus putting our lives in real and present danger.
The issue of suffering is inevitably central to discussions around the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia. No human being wants to suffer; yet, suffering is demonstrably an intrinsic part of human life from beginning to end.

The question thus becomes: At what point does suffering become legitimate grounds for ending someone’s life? Should society be obligated to honour a request to die made by a newly paralyzed 18-year-old who can’t yet conceive of the fact that it is possible for someone with a disability to have a life? Or what about a request to die made by a Canadian soldier who returns from the battlefield with disabilities? Or a request to die made by a middle-aged person with disabilities whose extensive care needs and lack of assisted-living options force them to go into a long-term care facility?
These are not merely hypothetical scenarios; rather, each of these situations is a case in which assisted suicide and euthanasia would be permissible under the Private Member’s Bill that Member of Parliament Steven Fletcher has put before the House of Commons, as the bill cites both physical and psychological suffering as legitimate grounds for assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Fletcher and those who support the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia argue that safeguards would be put in place to ensure that legalized assisted suicide and euthanasia are not misused and abused, resulting in people with disabilities being “assisted to die” without their consent. But data from jurisdictions where euthanasia and assisted suicide have already been legalized, such as Belgium and the Netherlands, clearly indicate that such supposed safeguards simply do not work.
Thus, I am one of the many Canadians with disabilities who feel strongly that our energies as a nation would be much better spent creating increased access to assisted living and palliative care.
Of Steven Fletcher, I respectfully ask: Why don’t you use your privileged position as a Member of Parliament to seek to help your fellow Canadians with disabilities live better lives, from beginning to end, rather than seeking to enact legislation that will inevitably further devalue and endanger our lives?

Heidi Janz is an adjunct professor at the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre and the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta.

Source: NRLC News

Pro Abortion Book


New pro-abortion book “likely to horrify and alienate everyone who isn’t already initiated into her death cult”

By Dave Andrusko
proabortionrightsWe’ve posted several times on Katha Pollitt’s new book. We’ve done so not because of its originality (pro-abortionists are the ultimate “Greens”; they recycle the same nonsense over and over), but because her fans have convinced themselves that Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights will restart a movement which is stuck in place and down to one gear.
But the book is worth revisiting again because of a typically brilliant review by Mollie Ziegler Hemingway which appeared today at National Review Online [].

I just purchased Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights on Kindle and have skimmed some of the book. From what I can tell, Hemingway (as you would expect) does an excellent job boring in on Pollitt’s inconsistencies, her habit of substituting wishes for evidence, her raging hostility toward the maternal side of motherhood [Hemingway’s review is aptly headlined, “Shiny, Empty Uteruses”], and her thirst for a dystopian, technological future where all women are freed of the “burden” of bearing children.
For example, as Hemingway perceptively notes, Pollitt begins by stating as fact that her mother had an abortion in 1960. But there is no direct evidence. When Pollitt subsequently learned her late mother had been in the care of a physician for “gynecological problems,” she assumed that must be code for abortion, even though her father never knew about the abortion. Here’s Hemingway:
It’s unclear why she is convinced that unspecified “gynecological problems” meant her mother had an abortion instead of all the thousands of other things it could mean, but it’s an early indication of the way the book will jump to conclusions, focus on abortion as a moral good, and make claims that seem more fantasy than reality. A few pages later, Pollitt says she daydreams about “shiny and empty uteruses,” where clearing the womb is just another form of housekeeping. Her very last paragraph finds her dreaming of a future feminist heaven where “there will be abortion.”
Judging by Hemingway’s review, the book is consistent with Pollitt’s writings elsewhere. Pollitt is an exceedingly sloppy writer who is convinced that if she trivializes the significance of the unborn child and slanders pro-lifers, that substitutes for a reasoned argument. In other words, this book is for not just the true believer, but the true-true believer.
Did I mention Pollitt (whom her admirers insist has revitalized their movement’s fortunes with this stem-winder) recycles? There is the obligatory “clump of cells” label and comparison to “pea-sized shrimp-like embryos.” Such originality.
But it gets worse. Consider: We now have incredibly detailed, 4-color, real-time ultrasounds.
Not for Pollitt, as Hemingway writes: “Ultrasound images of children in the womb are ‘really just a gray blur’ and ‘fuzzy, high-tech smudges’ that she compares to photos of the Loch Ness Monster.” Get it? Loch Ness Monster.
Final thought. As pro-abortionists do routinely, Pollitt attributes attitudes and values to pro-lifers which make you and I scratch our heads. We don’t know anybody like that, and Pollitt doesn’t bother to actually quote any pro-lifer saying the things she says we are motivated by.
That the usual suspects have treated Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights as some sort of turning point in the abortion debate tell you all you need to know about the desperation they feel. Pollitt’s view of life is simply warped by an embrace of abortion as a positive good. It’s all very strange.
Hemingway ends her review with the keen observation that Pollitt’s “odd view of motherhood” will be “a very tough sell, even with the pliant media.”
“In fact, pro-lifers should welcome Pollitt’s contribution to the debate. Pro is likely to horrify and alienate everyone who isn’t already initiated into her death cult.”

Source: NRLC News

Buying Votes


Cosmo party bus decked with “snacks, swag, and male models” to transport female college students to polls to vote for pro-abortion Kay Hagan

By Dave Andrusko
01 cosmo  Consider this. On the Cosmopolitan magazine webpage–up to left of the story headlined “The #CosmoVotes Party Bus Is Coming to NC State University”–is a teaser for another story: “How can I get my older coworkers to respect me?”
Well, granted a lust for intellectual respectability has never been high on Cosmo’s most wanted list. But the magazine may want to ask itself whether it is willing to forfeit the last smidgeon of what little respectability it has accrued.

Put another way, if Cosmo insists on mixing politics with Animal House, doesn’t it understand that it will be laughed off the planet?
You may have heard—and then dismissed it because it must be a parody—that Cosmo had announced that “On Election Day, a bus decked out with snacks, swag, and models (hi, this is Cosmo) will roll up to North Carolina State University, the winner of’s first-ever party bus contest. The bus will shuttle students back and forth to a nearby polling location so students can vote.”
But that’s the tamer version of what will take placeNovember 4. According to CBS Charlotte
Shirtless male models and party buses are being offered to encourage female students at North Carolina State University to get out and vote during the Nov. 4 midterm elections. NC State students looking to vote will have the option of taking “a party bus equipped with snacks, prizes and shirtless male models” provided by Cosmopolitan magazine, student newspaper, Technician Online, reports.
As I (increasingly) say, you can’t make this stuff up. Back in early September, we reported that Cosmo had just announced it had launched its #CosmoVotes which would include “candidate endorsements, stories on women-centric issues by a recently hired political writer, and a social media effort to get readers to the polls and be part of ‘the party of the year,’” according to POLITICO.
   Needless to say, its endorsements would not include pro-lifers. “We’re not going to endorse someone who is pro-life because that’s not in our readers’ best interest,” Editor-in-Chief Joanna Odell said matronizingly. In the case of North Carolina State, the bus will bring the “voters” out on behalf of pro-abortion Senator Kay Hagan.
   I’m not going to belabor the obvious hypocrisy/double standard. It is worth noting that as the “war on women” flames out this year, pro-abortionists are more and more desperate. They attempt to turn anything—including treating pro-abortion female candidates as adults, not children, able to take as well as give—into acts of “disrespect.”
  Having said that, the last word on double standard belongs to P.J. Gladnick, writing at
“Imagine the outrage if a party bus full of topless female models were sent to a college campus to shuttle male students to the polls with the ulterior motive of encouraging votes for Republicans. But since the reason for the male model Cosmo party bus is to encourage the Democrat vote, no problem.”

Source: NRLC News

Saturday, October 18, 2014


Pro-Life Student Saves Her Own Sibling, Her Mom Had Abortion Appointment The Next Day

by Leslie Palma 

Sometimes, the baby you save might be your own sibling.
Preparing for the 10th anniversary of the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity on Oct. 21, Priests for Life Youth Outreach Director Bryan Kemper received an email from a young woman who took part in the silent protest last year.
prolifestudents38“One young student e-mailed me about when she participated in the Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity for the first time, and was excited to get to school and be a voice,” Kemper said. “She walked downstairs with the LIFE tape on her mouth and her mother asked her what she was doing.

“She took off the tape to explain she was taking a stand for those being killed by abortion every day in this country. She was shocked when her mother started crying. Her mother then explained how she was pregnant and had an appointment for an abortion the next day. They talked for a while and her mother changed her mind and kept her baby.”

For the day, or even a portion of the day, student groups, individuals, businesses and ministries take a vow of silence, and pass out informational fliers to anyone who asks what they’re doing.
“Not everyone who pledges to give up their voice for a day in solidarity with the unborn will see such a tangible result as the girl who saved her own sibling from abortion, but we know that hearts and minds are changed and awareness is raised about the truth about abortion,” Kemper said. “And the truth is, we do hear from a fair number of participants that abortion-minded women and girls do approach them to ask for help. This is a very powerful thing that everyone can do.”
To find out more information, find resources on how to make the day a success and to register, go to Kemper asks participants to spread word of the day on all their social media outlets.

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, challenged people of all ages to get involved with the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity: “Are you willing to give up your voice for a day for those who will never have a voice,’” he asked. “Can you do it for the least of our brothers and sisters?”

Source: LifeSite News

Profond Loss/Abortion


Abortionists describes abortion of 13 week old unborn baby

By Sarah Terzo
12 weeks. A week younger than the baby being aborted
12 weeks. A week younger than the baby being aborted

In an article about abortionist Dr. William Harrison, the author [Stephanie Simon] describes an abortion:
An 18-year-old with braces on her teeth is on the operating table, her head on a plaid pillow, her feet up in stirrups, her arms strapped down at her sides. A pink blanket is draped over her stomach. She’s 13 weeks pregnant, at the very end of the first trimester. She hasn’t told her parents.

A nurse has already given her a local anesthetic, Valium and a drug to dilate her cervix; Harrison prepares to inject Versed, a sedative, in her intravenous line. The drug will wipe out her memory of everything that happens during the 20 minutes she’s in the operating room. It’s so effective that patients who return for a follow-up exam often don’t recognize Harrison.
3d sonogram at 13 weeks
3d sonogram at 13 weeks
The doctor is wearing a black turtleneck, brown slacks and tennis shoes. He snaps his gum as he checks the monitors displaying the patient’s pulse rate and oxygen count.
“This is not going to be nearly as hard as you anticipate,” he tells her.
She smiles wanly. Keeping up a constant patter – he asks about her brothers, her future birth control plans, whether she’s good at tongue twisters – Harrison pulls on sterile gloves.
“How’re you doing up there?” he asks.
“Doing OK.”
“Good girl.”
Harrison glances at an ultrasound screen frozen with an image of the fetus taken moments before. Against the fuzzy black-and-white screen, he sees the curve of a head, the bend of an elbow, the ball of a fist.
“You may feel some cramping while we suction everything out,” Harrison tells the patient.
13 weeks
13 weeks
A moment later, he says: “You’re going to hear a sucking sound.”
The abortion takes two minutes. The patient lies still and quiet, her eyes closed, a few tears rolling down her cheeks. The friend who has accompanied her stands at her side, mutely stroking her arm.
When he’s done, Harrison performs another ultrasound. The screen this time is blank but for the contours of the uterus. “We’ve gotten everything out of there,” he says.
Stephanie Simon “Offering Abortion, Rebirth” The Los Angeles Times 29 November 2005.

Editor’s note. This appeared at

Source: NRLC News