Monday, February 29, 2016

Crime and Abortion


 

Man sentenced to nearly ten years for spiking girlfriend’s food with chemical abortifacient, killing 8-10-week-old unborn baby

By Dave Andrusko
Scott Bollig was found guilty of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and sentenced to 117 months in jail. Naomi Abbott lost her unborn baby in 2014 after ingesting the abortifacient mifepristone.
Scott Bollig was found guilty of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and sentenced to 117 months in jail. Naomi Abbott lost her unborn baby in 2014 after ingesting the abortifacient mifepristone.
When last we reported on Scott Bollig, a jury of seven men and five women had found the 32 year old of WaKeeney, Kansas, guilty of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.
However, after five hours of deliberation, the jury found Bollig not guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated battery, and distribution of adulterated food.
Naomi Abbott lost her unborn baby in 2014 after ingesting the abortifacient mifepristone.
Although his attorney insisted last week that he was not trying to relitigate the case during the sentencing phase, Dan Walter did file two motions prior to the proceeding for what is known as “a downward departure sentencing” and a post-conviction bond.
James Bell of the Hays Post explained that “Downward departure sentencing would have allowed District Judge Glenn Braun to forgo Kansas sentencing guidelines.” Judge Braun denied both motions and sentenced Bollig to 117 months in jail. Walter said he would file an immediate appeal.
Bollig has insisted he was innocent, that Bollig “did it to herself.” In addition, Bell reported,
He also testified during his trial he had found odd jobs in construction and on the family farm and had continued his education – even earning a pilot’s license.
In denying the bond request, Judge Braun said “now the presumption of innocence is gone in the case and Bollig is a potential flight risk,” Bell reported.

At the trial, Ms. Abbott testified that on a Sunday in January 2014, Bollig cooked pancakes for her. By Thursday she was seeking medical treatment for extreme nausea and dehydration. Bell reported.
Following that visit, she said she was admitted to the hospital for IV treatment of a urinary tract infection, chlamydia, dehydration, nausea and extreme cramping.
The following morning, Abbott said she awoke finding herself covered in blood. …
It was later confirmed she had lost the baby.

A pathologist and medical examiner testified that the death of Abbott’s unborn baby was “not a natural miscarriage” but the result of the abortifacient mifepristone.
WaKeeney, Kansas, Police Chief Terry Eberle testified that on February 20, 2014, Bollig told him “he had sprinkled a drug called mifepristone [an abortifacient] on pancakes eaten by Abbott,” Bell reported.

But Walter labored to make the case that Abbott was aware she was taking an abortifacient but later panicked and blamed Bollig. The jury did not buy the explanation but by planting the idea that Naomi Abbott was not a victim, it may have played a role in convincing the jury to convict Bollig of a lesser charge.

Source: NRLC News

Assisted Suicide

 

picassistedsuicide39

Colorado Once Again Defeats Bill to Make It The 5th State Legalizing Assisted Suicide

  Steven Ertelt
For the second time in two years, the Colorado legislature has killed a bill that would have made it the 5th state to legalize assisted suicides, after Oregon, Washington, Vermont and California.
Lawmakers in the Colorado state House today decided to lay over the bill, HB 1054, until June — effectively killing the legislation for the session.
The House Judiciary Committee passed the bill earlier this month. Had the measure been voted out of the Democrat-dominated House pro-life advocates hoped the Republican-led state Senate would be able to defeat the measure, as it did when a panel defeated the legislation in early February.
The House Judiciary Committee passed the bill on a 6-5 party-line vote after hearing 10 hours of testimony.  The bill is co-sponsored by Democratic Sen. Michael Merrifield of Colorado Springs and Reps. Lois Court of Denver and Joann Ginal of Fort Collins.
Leading physicians said the bill would have the medical profession turning its back on the most vulnerable patients.
“What this bill asks me as a physician is to look at my patients with sympathy rather than empathy,” said Dr. Robert Jotte, an oncologist at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers. “We can’t as a medical profession give up on these patients.”
Another speaker, an attorney opposed the bill as well:
Probate attorney Skip Morgan opposed the bill, drawing from his experience in estate law.
“I am gravely concerned about this proposed act,” Morgan told the committee. “My years of experience tell me that the safeguards … are unenforceable.
“The requirement for two witness to witness the actual execution by the patient makes no intonation that those two have any idea of this patient,” Morgan. In some estate cases, he said, attorneys used random members of their staff to act as witnesses.
One of the witnesses to a patient’s assisted suicide would be allowed to be an heir under the House bill, Morgan said, which could involve “somebody with a claim, someone who may benefit from their death.”
Keep up with the latest pro-life news and information on Twitter.
“There is no requirement to witness the administrations of medication. There’s no requirement that this actually be documented.”
Morgan said that insurance companies could abuse the bill, as “the least expensive treatment is to put that patient to death.”
Rep. Paul Lundeen, a Republican, asked if the bill could promote elder abuse.
“Yes, I have seen that … in a number of the proceedings,” Morgan said. “I have seen a very subtle pressure put on these people. They see themselves as a burden. ‘Mom, I love you to death, but how much longer do you want to go on?’”
Margaret Dore, an attorney in Washington state, opposed the bill, which is similar to Washington’s Death With Dignity Act.
“The law is deceptively written,” Dore said. “The term ‘aid in dying’ makes you trust this is for the dying. There’s no requirement that people be dying. The bill is sold as choice and control. It’s stacked against the person.”
Dore said the medication typically used is water-soluble, and could be “given to a patient without their consent.”
She said she’d had a client whose father was given the medication, and decided not to take it when he brought it home, but took it later when he was intoxicated.
“They’re sitting ducks,” Dore said.
Dore is concerned that, under the amended bill, the death certificate from an assisted suicide is required to be falsified to reflect a natural death by a terminal illness.
This is due to the following provisions:
1.  25-48-114(2) states:
A qualified individual’s act of self-administering aid-in-dying medication pursuant to this article does not affect a life, health, or accident insurance or annuity policy, other than that the death is a natural death resulting from the qualified individual’s terminal illness.
2.  25-48-109 states:
(1)  Unless otherwise prohibited by law, the attending physician shall sign the death certificate of a qualified individual who obtains and self-administers aid-in-dying medication.
(2)  When an attending physician certifies that a death occurred in accordance with this article, the death is not reportable and does not constitute grounds for post-mortem inquiry under section 30-10-606 (1), C.R.S. [ such as a death that “is or may be unnatural as a result of external  influences” and “due to the influence of or the result of intoxication by alcohol, drugs or poison“] 
3.  25-48-120 states:
Actions taken in accordance with this article do not, for any purpose, [such as the death certificate] constitute suicide, assisted suicide, mercy killing, homicide, or elder abuse under the “Colorado Criminal Code”, title 18, C.R.S.
picassistedsuicide39

Impact of D&E Abortions

ultrasound-3-D-fetus-baby

Abortionists describe impact of learning D&E abortions

Medical students may seek out training in abortion procedures with the intention of performing abortions as a career when they graduate. Motivated by a strong pro-abortion ideology, they may have every intention of entering the diminishing ranks of abortionists.
However, some of these students become so uncomfortable with the gruesome nature of abortion procedures they change their career plans. Others do become abortionists, but retain some moral qualms about what they are doing. This happens particularly when students are exposed to the D&E, or dilation and evacuation, abortion procedure.

A D&E is performed by using forceps to pull apart the baby, piece by piece. Dr. Anthony Levatino describes the procedure in detail here:
Sometimes the baby is given an injection to stop his or her heart before the abortion begins, but often he or she is dismembered alive.
Dr. Rebecca Holmes was taught how to do D&E abortions, but stopped doing them after her training. She thought that women carrying disabled or sick babies should have the right to abort. But she wouldn’t do the abortions herself:
I knew I wouldn’t. I just didn’t want to. I just did not enjoy pulling the fetus out… When someone did decide to go through with the abortion, I always respected that, like you’re saying, “Stop now and don’t cause this child any pain”… That part actually wasn’t the problem for me, it wasn’t the choice. It was more just the sadness that the mother would, you know, that the child couldn’t have a chance… And personally, I just didn’t want – I just felt like I’d done enough. I just did not want to do them anymore.
While she is still pro-abortion, she is aware that abortion destroys a “child.”
de
Another doctor, looking back on his abortion training, explained why learning late term D&E abortions was so hard for him:
I think when we did the second trimesters and learned D&Es and such, that’s always harder… In the same [time period] you’re doing rotations in [ premature obstetrics] where you’re… giving meds to these babies and trying to save them…
The contrast between the valuable “wanted” babies and the disposable “unwanted” babies is vividly shown when doctors fight to save infants who are the same age as the infants they kill in another part of the hospital. The only difference between a baby doctors are struggling to save and a baby doctors are trying to kill is the opinion of the baby’s mother. If she believes her child’s life is valuable, it is. If she doesn’t, and wants her baby dead, the baby’s life is expendable and he can be legally killed. This strange situation leads to moral confusion. Abortionists have spoken about the irony of the situation elsewhere.
When a woman’s baby dies but is not passed, she may have to have the baby removed in a procedure like a D&E. One abortionist describes the emotional difference between aborting a living baby and completing a miscarriage, where the baby he is pulling apart is already dead.
If it’s [a miscarriage], you’re like [with a pained voice], “Oh, here’s this little life!” And you know that it was meant to be because, that’s what happened. And if it’s an abortion, you just feel sad that the woman wasn’t able to raise the child.
Note that this doctor calls the preborn baby a “child” and a “life.” Even though he does abortions, he is aware that abortion is killing children. There is a long list of similar admissions by abortionists in a previous Live Action article here.
You can also read more about the emotional impact of abortion clinic workers and doctors here.
Source:  Lori Freedman Willing and Unable: Doctors’ Constraints in Abortion Care (Nashville, Tennessee: Vanderbilt University Press, 2010) 46, 77,  80 – 81

Source: LiveAction News

Ultrasound

a9dde3f0-445b-4b9e-a972-f96479860287

Baby Alora was saved from abortion after her mother saw her ultrasound

Rachel panicked when she found out she was pregnant. She was using illegal drugs and feared the drug abuse would cause her baby to be born with complications or severe deformities. Rachel believed that having an abortion was her only option. She talked with a few of her co-workers about her pregnancy decision. They were Christian women who encouraged her to value the new life growing inside of her.

When Rachel told her boyfriend Nick about the pregnancy, he was in support of her keeping their child. Nick begged Rachel to not abort their baby, but she was still convinced it was the best choice. She ignored her boyfriend’s wishes and scheduled an appointment at an abortion center for the very next day.

Rachel was 17 weeks along in her pregnancy and the abortionist told her she would need a two-day procedure. The first day of her procedure, the abortionist inserted sterilized seaweed called laminaria that allows the cervix to be dilated. In the video below, former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino describes what happens once laminaria has been inserted in the most prevalent second trimester abortion procedure.

Rachel was told to return the second day for the removal of the “contents of her uterus.”
Everything was going according to Rachel’s plan until the abortionist did an ultrasound to ensure the laminaria was in place. It was then that Rachel caught a glimpse of her preborn child. An ultrasound can have a very powerful effect on a woman, and for Rachel, it caused her heart to soften toward her child. She suddenly knew that abortion was not what she wanted to do.
Rachel asked the abortionist to remove the laminaria, but he refused, telling her she would be “just fine.” Rachel persisted and went to the emergency room for help. Her co-workers who had encouraged her not to abort joined her there. To her dismay, the doctors in the ER weren’t able to offer her any help. They told Rachel they couldn’t interfere with a procedure the abortionist started.
a9dde3f0-445b-4b9e-a972-f96479860287
One of the doctors in the ER talked to the abortionist and asked his permission to take out the laminaria – but even when the abortionist learned Rachel was at the ER seeking help, he told the ER doctor he was against anyone removing the laminaria. The ER doctors encouraged Rachel to return to the abortionist and ask him again to help her.
Rachel was beginning to feel things were hopeless when one of the ladies from her office suggested she go to a CareNet pregnancy center in Huntsville called Choose Life. Rachel’s boyfriend joined her and although the center was getting ready to close, they took time to listen to her story. The staff at Choose Life called local doctors and one of them said he would try to save the baby if she came to his office immediately. The doctor had recently started volunteering at the center and he showed compassion towards Rachel. He was able to successfully remove the laminaria, and Rachel and Nick heard their baby’s heartbeat for the first time.
Rachel and Nick are now married, and the child who was saved from abortion is a little girl named Alora. They now also have another beautiful daughter.
Rachel shared these encouraging words on the CareNet website:
We are so thankful for the wonderful people at Choose Life. And to anyone who is considering an abortion, I would say that it is normal to be afraid. It is normal to feel like you cannot handle the situation, but you don’t have to because God will carry it if you let Him. There is help if you will just seek it out. I could not imagine life without my daughter!

Source: LiveAction News

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Assisted Suicide


 

Diane Coleman: Inherent discrimination in assisted-suicide laws

Editor’s note. The following is excerpted from an article which represents one side of the debate between Diane Coleman, the founder of the disability rights group, Not Dead Yet, and Dr. Timothy Quill, a long-time supporter of assisted suicide that was published in the [Rochester, NY] Democrat and Chronicle on February 18, 2016.
Opposing the aid in dying bill
Diane Coleman
Diane Coleman
Diane Coleman: “I think there is a very strong alliance of different segments of society that are really concerned about the danger of legalizing assisted suicide from the culture we have today,” Coleman said. “Policy makers have to really consider not only the idealized case that proponents put forward on assisted suicide but the real danger that affects so many elderly, ill and disabled people in this society and be sure that the protections that current law offers are still in place to benefit everyone.”
What are the main concerns of people who are opposed to aid-in-dying legislation?
Diane Coleman: I don’t think I speak for all (opponents), but the disability community’s core message is that if assisted suicide is legal, some people’s lives will be lost due to mistakes, coercion and abuse, and that’s an outcome that can never be undone.
There’s inherent discrimination in assisted-suicide laws. Most suicidal people receive suicide prevention. Assisted suicide laws would carve out an exception to that, and that exception would apply to people who are elderly, ill, disabled, and those are devalued groups in society. … Assisted-suicide laws would say, ‘these certain people, we’ll not only agree with their suicide but give them the means to carry it out.’ We’re saying it comes down to social justice. Equal rights means equal suicide prevention.
Isn’t this a matter of the individual’s right to choose?
Diane Coleman: We agree that people have the right to refuse life-sustaining treatment. We do think it’s important that that be based on informed consent, that there be protections against health care providers that overrule people who want treatment.
You should have the choice to get all the pain relief that you need in order to not have any physical pain. You should have the choice to get all the home care you need so you don’t have to feel like a burden on your family or friends. …
It’s the discrimination that’s inherent in assisted suicide that is our concern. But assisted suicide needs to remain illegal because of all the dangers the public policy of assisted-suicide creates of mistake, coercion and abuse.
We think everyone deserves suicide prevention no matter how old, no matter how ill, no matter how disabled.
What’s the difference between stopping or never starting treatment and asking for help in dying?
Diane Coleman: …I can see why it seems similar, but the intent of the health care system cooperating in your refusal of treatment, the system still is trying to provide palliative care, to make you comfortable to do the best they can within that parameter. When it’s facilitating your suicide, that’s an intent to kill.
Can you see any benefit to terminally ill people who believe they are ready to die being able to ask their doctor for help?
Diane Coleman: The way the law is written, it’s based on an idealized view that everybody has a good doctor who understands palliative care and that everybody has a loving family and that neither the health care system nor family would ever steer the person in the direction of assisted-suicide. But that’s not reality. There are cost-cutting pressures that prevent them from getting the health care they need. One in 10 elders experience abuse. So the risks of mistake, coercion and abuse when assisted suicide is legal are simply too great.
What about the issue of severe pain?
Diane Coleman: Nobody should be in pain, we agree with that. Palliative care can take care of all pain.
It’s really not about physical pain. If you look at Oregon reports, about reasons people want to commit suicide, the reasons are things like feeling like the person has lost their autonomy, they’ve lost their dignity, they can’t do the things they used to do. They feel like a burden on their families. Those are psycho-social reasons that relate to the disability that people have when they have an advanced stage or chronic condition.
You’re saying assisted suicide. Proponents use aid in dying. Are they the same terms?
Diane Coleman: Assisted suicide includes physician assisted or other. Physician-assisted suicide is the term in the bioethics arena and it’s in the literature. Aid in dying is the public relations term to make it sound more palatable and make it easy to conflate with palliative care and other support given to terminally ill people.
Our society has a feeling about suicide and most important a commitment to suicide prevention as a concept. Yes, people commit suicide but if someone comes forward and says I want to commit suicide, then as a society we respond by saying, ‘How can we help you? We want to support you.’
Go to the Not Dead Yet website for more information about their opposition to assisted suicide.

Source: NRLC News

Infantacide


 

Groningen U Slogan Should Be “We Kill Babies”

By Wesley J. Smith
GroningenProtocolDoctors at the Groningen University Medical Center commit infanticide. If a baby is born with serious disabilities–and the death doctors conclude they will have an “unlivable life”–the baby’s fate is often to be on the receiving end of a lethal injection.
Doctors there even created a how-to-decide-which-babies-to-kill bureaucratic checklist known as the Groningen Protocol That is why I had to chuckle (bitterly) when a reader sent me a story about how the university’s official slogan has been voted worst in Netherlands.
From the DutchNews.nl story:
Groningen University’s slogan ‘Born leaders reach for infinity’ has been voted most stupid university catch phrase in the country in an online poll…
In the meantime, according to the Parool [an Amsterdam-based daily newspaper], Groningen has a new slogan ‘Think Bold’ which as several people have already pointed out, is not correct English.
I think official school slogans should be truthful. Thus, I suggest the following: Groningen University: “Where Disabled Babies Are Sent Into Eternity.”
Nah:
Too clunky.
Best in these kind of things to be simple and to the point: “We kill babies.

Source: NRLC News

Pro-Abortion Hillary


 

PPFA’s Political Arms brag about how much money they will spend on behalf of Hillary Clinton

By Dave Andrusko
PPHillaryClintonPAC4Am I lucky, or what? My family lives in Virginia and POLITICO is reporting that the cash-drenched political arms of Planned Parenthood are going to spend a boatload of money in my state, Michigan, and Texas.
Let’s check the boilerplate statement of Deirdre Schifeling, executive director of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. (The PP Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Votes are the two entities vowing to make a “seven figure, pro-Clinton ad buy.”)
“Hillary Clinton is the only candidate in this race who has made women’s health and rights a priority. Hillary Clinton has been fighting for women and their families for her entire life.” Schifeling added, “Politicians in Virginia, Texas and Michigan have been stripping women and families of their basic health and rights. Women in these three states know how important it is to elect a champion who will fight for women. That’s why so many women are standing up in support of Hillary. They know what’s at stake, and they know she’ll fight for us.”
Three quick thoughts, besides the obvious fact that Mrs. Clinton has had major problems winning the support of Democratic women in her battle with fellow pro-abortionist Democratic Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders.
We’re told “The campaign will use videos, digital ads, phone banks and mailers” in support of the former Secretary of State whom the largest “provider” of abortions endorsed over Sen. Bernie Sanders a while back. We can just hope/pray we can avoid the tedious onslaught.
Second, back in January, the New York Times (of all places) wrote about their cheek by jowl relationship. In writing about PPFA’s first-ever-in-a-presidential-primary endorsement of Clinton, Amy Chozick observed
The Clinton campaign has functioned almost as a marketing arm for Planned Parenthood, featuring a section on its official website titled “17 times Hillary Clinton stood with Planned Parenthood,” Facebook messages and Instagram posts with the hashtag #StandwithPP. (Ms. Richards’ daughter works on the campaign’s staff in Iowa.)
Third, PPFA’s political arms will keep the press updated with hot-off-the-press PR statements about how they are spending their latest cache of money. But to be fair to Chozick, she did note that the endorsement was/is not an unmixed blessing:
The endorsement does not come without risks for Mrs. Clinton. Planned Parenthood is a polarizing topic and the group suffered damaging public relations setbacks this summer when anti-abortion rights activists released video of an official from the group discussing the price of providing fetal parts.
The Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Votes will spend, spend, spend.
But come November, they will lose, lose, lose.

Source: NRLC News

Friday, February 26, 2016

Pro-Abortion Hillary and Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood's family ties to Hillary Clinton

Planned Parenthood unveils million-dollar campaign for Hillary Clinton

Planned Parenthood has announced that through its Planned Parenthood Votes and Planned Parenthood Action Fund groups, it will be spending more than a million dollars on advertising to push for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
The money will be put toward urging Michigan, Texas, and Virginia primary voters to support Clinton via videos, digital advertising, phone banks, and mailings.
“Hillary Clinton is the only candidate in this race who has made women’s health and rights a priority. Hillary Clinton has been fighting for women and their families for her entire life,” Planned Parenthood Action Fund executive director Deirdre Schifeling said of the decision, reiterating the abortion giant’s endorsement of the former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State. Clinton has a 100% pro-abortion record, including opposition to bans on late-term and partial-birth abortion.
levatino-ad-LAN
But Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, suggest Planned Parenthood’s support was more out of self-interest than principle: “Hillary has said she would favor appointing Barack Obama to the Supreme Court – a guaranteed pro-abortion vote! Hillary has also refused to watch the full undercover Planned Parenthood videos, and has consistently supported the organization since the release of the footage exposing their role in the harvest and sale of body parts from aborted babies.”

Source: LiveAction News

Former Abortion Workers

pregnant7

Former late-term abortion worker: We aborted mostly healthy babies

Abby_Johnson_SFLA-240x173
Abby Johnson
Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood director and founder of the pro-life group And Then There Were None, recently held a conference call featuring former abortion clinic workers. These workers shared details of what it’s like inside the clinics and those heartbreaking moments when they decided to leave the abortion industry.
Margot, who worked in a late-term abortion facility, shared her experience with guilt and shame while she worked in the industry.

“I worked at Planned Parenthood for about a year and then moved into a privately owned abortion center that did late-term abortions and I was there for five years,” explained Margot. “The heavy burden of guilt and shame never ever left in all those years because who can you talk to about this? If you tell somebody what you did they aren’t going to understand.”
Margot calls abortion “horrifying” but she truly believed that what she was doing was good and right and helpful for women. The abortion industry claims that late-term abortion is mostly used in cases where the life of the mother or health of the child are at risk, but Margot reveals that this is not the truth.
“Almost never [was it the case of fetal abnormality],” she said. “The highest profile of women having later-term abortions were completely normal pregnancies, quite often young, and sometimes had an abortion just for fear of having to tell someone they were pregnant or being so completely out of touch with their own body they didn’t understand how rapidly the pregnancy was progressing. […] Overwhelmingly the late-term procedures that we did were not for fetal anomalies.”
Margot also revealed that abortion is never really safe. She told callers that many of the staff members are not properly trained and that abortionists will do everything they can to avoid calling for help.
“Not all clinics are a Kermit Gosnell situation,” she said, referring to the notorious abortionist who killed born-alive babies by cutting their spinal cords. “But it’s also true. […] I was doing RN level work […] people who are not really adequately trained to do the tasks they are doing. We did everything we could not to call an ambulance. And we never told the women how close they came to almost dying. People would come back with complications.”
Those complications included hemorrhaging, embolisms, lacerations of the uterus, and perforations of the uterus. The clinic where she worked didn’t have any crash carts for emergencies and didn’t have any safeguards in place in case a patient’s health was in danger.
“… Because the marketing machine of the abortion industry has worked so hard to make it seem as if it’s not surgery, as if it’s some little procedure,” said Margot. “And that’s a great disservice to the women.”
For years, Margot lived her life with shame hanging over her head. She left the abortion industry but still lived with a great deal of regret and guilt. She tried to numb that pain with heavy drinking.
“After I left he abortion industry, the enormity of the things I had done, it weighed so heavily on me even years later,” she explained. “I’m ashamed to say that the doctor that I worked for used to compliment me that I was the best nurse because I was able to distract the patients with the best small talk. So I was being praised for diverting people’s attention from the fact that there baby was being murdered right there in the room.”
ATTWN will help clinic workers out of the abortion industry.
ATTWN will help clinic workers out of the abortion industry.
Finally, Margot found And Then There Were None and was able to attend retreats that helped her to heal.
“The only way through it and the only way to feel healing is that you really have to admit your culpability and you have to understand that there is no sin too great for God to redeem.”

Source: LiveAction News

Abortion


 

Pro-abortionists use flawed study in challenging Texas pro-life law now before the Supreme Court

By Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D. NRL Director of Education & Research
TXPEPwaittimesreWith the Supreme Court about to hear oral arguments in the case of a 2013 Texas pro-life law, it is no surprise to see pro-abortionists citing the result of a study they say backs up their claims about the law’s dire consequences, particularly about wait times to get abortions.
But the question is not whether they would contest any and all pro-life laws–of course they would.
Apropos their claims in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the real question is do abortion clinic safety laws increase wait times and delay abortions? Are they the cause of abortion clinic closures? Do they drive women to pick up abortion drugs on the black market or push women into more dangerous second trimester abortions?
These are common complaints lodged by representatives of the abortion industry whenever clinic regulations or hospital admissions privileges are considered or passed by state legislators. With respect to Texas and HB 2, these claims, based on a study that appeared late last year, are now being recycled in multiple briefs as the abortion industry makes its case in the media and the courts.
Let’s examine that research brief, “Abortion Wait Times in Texas: The Shrinking Capacity of Facilities and the Potential Impact of Closing Non-ASC Clinics,” a product of the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP). It is being trumpeted in recent state “Truth Tours” sponsored by the abortion industry. [1]
Are these claims true? If you take the time to study the study, you see that it makes unwarranted assumptions and relies on flawed or incomplete data, raising serious questions about its validity. It also acts as if the very changes it laments had not already started long before HB 2 was passed.
Faulty Findings
In 2013, the Texas legislature passed a series of laws, popularly known as HB2. It protected pain capable unborn children from abortion (never challenged by pro-abortionists), ensured that abortion clinics meet the basic safety standards of other ambulatory surgical facilities, and required that abortionists have hospital admission privileges at a nearby hospital in cases of botched abortions.
Abortion activists took to the media and to the courts, complaining that the laws were unnecessary and would close many of Texas’ clinics. And while that played out, reliably pro-abortion academicians at the TxPEP did their part, supposedly documenting the dire effects of the new laws.
We have addressed and rebutted in earlier editions of the NRL News Today the claims of one of their research briefs, that between 100,000 and 240,000 women have self-aborted in Texas. As we noted, if there is an increase, it is the result of the abortion industry’s incessant promotion of chemical abortifacients, not pro-life laws.
As for this more recent study, it claims that wait times for abortion appointments increased with passage of the law, reaching as high as 20 days at Dallas, Ft. Worth, and Austin.
Researchers for TxPEP say that if more clinics close, wait times in those cities could increase to the point that the number of second trimester abortions in the state would nearly double, from about 6,600 in 2013 to a projected 12,400 a year once the law reached full effect.
In the group’s press release, Daniel Grossman, one of the lead investigators for TxPEP and one of the country’s most active abortion researchers from the notorious abortion academy University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), expressed his concern. “The increase in second-trimester abortion is concerning from a public health perspective,” said Grossman, “since later abortions, although very safe, are associated with a higher risk of complications compared to early abortions. Later abortion procedures are also significantly more costly to women” (TxPEP release, 10/5/15).
The devil in the details
The TxPEP briefing goes into some detail, noting the wait times they were given over an 11 month period (November 2014 – September 2015) when they anonymously called one of the state’s operating abortion clinics representing themselves as women seeking appointments for first-trimester abortions.
Charts note fluctuations in average wait times for clinics in some of the state’s larger cities. Houston, where Planned Parenthood has a massive abortion megaclinic, and San Antonio, where there are three large clinics (and Planned Parenthood is constructing a new megaclinic of its own), saw no real increase in wait times over the study period. Wait times in Dallas, and Ft. Worth saw increases that appeared to correspond with the closure of one abortion clinic in Dallas and another stopping offering abortion in Ft. Worth.
Wait times in Austin peaked, dropped, then peaked again with no identified obvious reason. There were no charts, but wait times in El Paso and McAllen were never more than 8 days.
TxPEP researchers claim on the basis of these numbers that wait times would increase if clinics failing to meet the state’s new ambulatory surgical center (ASC) standards were to close. And these increased wait times, they project, would have the result of pushing about 5,700 women into more dangerous second trimester abortions.
TxPEP says that there were 34 clinics open when they began making calls and 18 when they published their results in October. Seven clinics closed between April and July 2013, prior to the law’s July 2013 passage and the initiation of the study. Six more clinics would be expected to close in major metropolitan areas , TxPEP claims, if currently operating abortion clinics which are unable to meet the state’s new ASC standards shut down.
Not so fast…
This level of detail, however, ignores some critical contexts and masks some serious limitations in the data that call into question some of the study’s basic conclusions.
Wait times vary, yes, over time, as old clinics close and others open And yes, a fair amount of clinics have closed in Texas in recent years, some perhaps in response to the new state regulations.
But note, clinics were closing before the state passed its new law, and abortions were declining in Texas for years before the latest mandates were passed, reducing the demand overall for Texas clinics.
TxPEP makes much of the reduction of clinics from 41 in April 2013 to 18 in October 2015. As already noted, many of those closures happened before the law passed in July of 2013 and several of the others before the law actually took effect (some portions became operational in October of 2013, others not until September of 2014; different sections of the law were enjoined and enforced over the study period as appeals made their way through the courts).
Perhaps those closures were in anticipation of the law’s enforcement, with the industry not wanting its clinics exposed to inspection. But there is a simpler explanation.
In a 2006 fact sheet, Guttmacher says that there were 65 “abortion providers” in Texas in 2000, meaning that clinics there had already declined by more than a third before the law passed. This is part of a larger national trend. Guttmacher found 2,918 “providers” in the U.S. in 1982, but only about 59% that many in 2011, when it found 1,720.
There are many reasons for that – the retirement of abortionists due to age, their mounting disgust at the bloody nature of their business, the public unpopularity of their practice, etc. But one major factor is simply the reduction of demand. There were 1.6 million abortions performed a year in1990. In the most recent figures from Guttmacher, 2011, there were just over 1 million.
Clinics are closing because business is drying up.
Guttmacher says there were over 110,000 abortions performed in Texas in 1981. They had dropped by more than a third by 2011, when Guttmacher recorded 73,200.
The loss of a caseload that large could not help but affect clinic business. Some of the clinics that depended on abortion had to close. Passage of the law put the spotlight on older, smaller, more dilapidated facilities and abortionists with limited practices not connected to their local medical communities, and this may have hastened some closures and retirements, but these were far from the only causes.
What about the claim that such laws lead to more later abortions? There is little evidence of any increase in 2nd or 3rd trimester abortions in recent years, in spite of the protestations of groups like TxPEP that new laws would push women into later abortions. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), abortions at greater than 13 weeks gestation have gone down, not up, since 1998 (probably earlier – earlier CDC charts break gestational dates down differently), pointing to their being fewer, not more of these later abortions since the advent of various pro-life laws.
Unable to imagine a world without abortion
At one point, TxPEP admits that its projections on increasing wait times are based on assuming “if demand for services remained constant…”. In spite of the aforementioned evidence–that demand for abortion is dropping in Texas and nationwide–TxPEP assumes for the purposes of its study that demand will remain constant.
It never seems to occur to them that attitudes toward abortion are changing and that, relieved of the pressure and the immediate presence of an abortion clinic, many women have been, and will be, choosing to let their babies live.
For example, not too long ago researchers at UCSF were citing a study of women “turned away” from getting abortions because they were past a given clinic’s gestational limit (clinics lacked the equipment or abortionists with the training to handle abortions at later developments).
While some of the women in that study ended up going elsewhere and getting their abortions, many (despite originally being very much inclined to abortion) made the decision to go ahead and bear their child once their initial request was turned down.
According to that study, within a week of their being “turned away,” a third were no longer willing to say that abortion was the right decision. And more than eight in ten were living with the baby after birth, with the majority reporting their relationships were “good” or “very good” (“Takeaways from the UCSF “Turnaway” Study, 1/9/13, NRL News Today).
The point is that when women do wait, when they are not rushed into an abortion that they cannot “undo,” even many of the most “abortion-minded” change their minds.
The abortion industry and its researchers have always invested too much hope in the market remaining as it is.
The industry endures
Anyone expecting the abortion industry to happily accept its demise is sadly mistaken. This study itself is evidence of its determination to fight back to restore the industry to the old status quo where it simply went about its deadly business without question or confrontation.
They obviously hope to win Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. But the industry is not placing all its hopes in the judicial basket. For some time, groups like Planned Parenthood have been shutting down their old, small-town store front clinics. They are replaced with giant new, high volume megaclinics, sporting not only the latest designer colors and hues, but also built to meet state codes for ambulatory surgical centers.
Planned Parenthood opened its 75,000 square foot Houston clinic in 2010. Planned Parenthood used the occasion of the passage of HB2 to raise money for megaclinics being built in both San Antonio and Dallas (Mother Jones 8/28/14).

Whole Woman’s Health, a plaintiff in the case now before the Supreme Court, took the opportunity of the media’s presence during the industry’s big recent Texas “Truth Tour” to show off the spacious, tidy, decorated examination rooms of its San Antonio clinic, packed with the latest medical equipment (San Antonio Express-News, 2/9/16).
It was obviously part of an effort to have people forget the health and sanitation violations at Whole Woman’s Health clinics that helped prompt Texas legislators in the first place to pass many of the sort of regulations the court is now considering (see NRL News Today 4/24/13).
The implicit and sometimes explicit promotion of abortion pills and other herbal abortifacients on the black market (see NRL News Today 9/30/14) is also part of an strategy to try to convince elected pro-life representatives that laws are pointless and that abortion cannot be stopped. However the closure of clinics and the decline in the number of abortions prior to the passage of HB2 demonstrate otherwise.
Talking up self-abortion may mean more women buy these dubious drugs and are exposed to serious health threats, but nothing seen thus far seems to show this happening on a scale sufficient to spawn a large new underground abortion economy (see NRL News Today 11/20/15).
Pro-lifers who have been around a while have learned to expect to see the abortion industry trot out pro-abortion academics predicting public health catastrophes whenever a new pro-life law protecting mothers or their unborn children has passed. This is clearly the case with this latest study from TxPEP.
But in Texas, as we have seen elsewhere, the real effect of these laws has been to see more lives saved, and more mothers spared the agony of abortion.

Source: NRLC News

Assisted Suicide in Canada

 

Liberals backtrack on requiring party members to support party line on ‘assisted-dying’ bill

By Deborah Gyapong, Canadian Catholic News
Liberal MP Dominic Leblanc
Liberal MP Dominic Leblanc

OTTAWA – In the face of political and public criticism, a Liberal directive that would have forced its MPs [Members of Parliament] to vote the party line on an upcoming ‘assisted-dying’ bill has been put on hold.

Government House Leader Dominic Leblanc told the Globe and Mail Feb. 20 he had suspended a decision on a whipped vote until after the report of a special parliamentary committee is tabled [introduced] in the House of Commons. The report was due Feb. 25.
Earlier this month both Leblanc and Liberal Whip Andrew Leslie said the vote would be whipped — meaning Liberal MPs would be forced to support the party line — because the bill represented a Charter of Rights issue.

That announcement sparked criticism from the opposition benches and from within the Liberal caucus itself as several MPs argued that assisted suicide was a matter of conscience and should be subject to a free vote.

The Conservatives and NDP [New Democratic Party] have said they will allow a free vote for their MPs.
Conservative MP Michael Cooper, a member of the joint committee, said it was “remarkable” Leblanc would call for a whipped vote before the committee’s report was even finished. He said the committee met “in good faith and tried to take their role and their responsibility seriously.”
Whipping the vote raised “the spectre that the outcome was predetermined all along and this special committee was nothing more than a fa├žade to allegedly consult broadly but come back with a recommendation that supported the government’s predetermined agenda,” Cooper said.“It’s tough to have any other conclusion than the fix was in.”
Although pleased the Liberals have at least temporarily backed away from a whipped vote, opponents of assisted suicide are concerned the Liberals have signalled their intention to table [introduce] a bill that fails to offer sufficient protection for the vulnerable and for the conscience rights of health care workers.
The executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition said there would be no need to whip a vote on a tightly crafted bill with adequate protections for the vulnerable. Alex Schadenberg is concerned that “the bill is going to be more radical, more wide-open than some of the caucus members are willing to accept.”

“It was very premature to think this is something they could impose on the Liberal caucus,” said Schadenberg.
“Their argument this is a Charter issue is false. The Supreme Court did not go so far as to make it a Charter issue.”

NDP MP Murray Rankin, also a member of the parliamentary committee, said “everybody should be allowed to vote on an unwhipped basis.”
He called the matter “very sensitive” and said it “goes well beyond the Charter.”
He said he has been trying to ensure the report includes a recommendation for implementing a national strategy to make palliative care available across the country.
“I have argued palliative care is part of that package,” Rankin said.
“I’m very worried so few can have access to palliative care.”

Margaret Somerville, the founding director of the McGill University Centre for Medicine, Ethics and the Law, said MPs should not be forced to support assisted-suicide legislation “when they have ethical or conscience objections to doing so.”

“Respect for Members of Parliament’s freedom of conscience is not only necessary to respect them, it is also required to protect Canadians and can be the last such protection against doing them serious harm or other serious wrongdoing,” she said.
That view was supported by Johanne Brownrigg of Campaign Life Coalition Ottawa.
“This is a conscience rights vote, equivalent to capital punishment, abortion or taking a country to war,” she said.
Brownrigg is concerned that the pending law may go further than what is required by the Supreme Court decision.

“This is huge,” she said. “Very few pieces of legislation irrevocably change a society and this is one of them.”
Editor’s note. This appeared at catholicregister.org
Source: NRLC News

Assisted Suicide in Maryland


 

Physician Assisted Suicide Proponents Will Say Anything to Pass HB 404

Editor’s note. This post appeared Maryland Against Assisted Suicide.
MDagainstAssistedsuicide· Requiring a professional mental health evaluation would “unnecessarily slow down” patient’s access to physician assisted suicide.
· Terminal patients are in pain so this bill must be passed.
· [Including] too many regulatory requirements [in this bill] would make it impossible for a dying person to access death with dignity.
· It’s not falsifying the death certificate [by only listing the underlying terminal diagnosis instead of listing assisted suicide as reason for death] because that’s the way it is done in Oregon and Washington.

It goes on and on like this. The list of false and misleading statements that physician assisted suicide proponents said at the House hearing on HB 404 last Friday is hard to believe. But let’s take them at their word and address each of these assertions one by one:

1.Medical studies show that terminal patients have high rates of depression: according to this study “best estimates are that between 15% and 50% of cancer patients experience depressive symptoms, and 5% to 20% will meet various diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder.” These depressed, terminal patients have a higher likelihood of having suicidal thoughts. Proponents of physician assisted suicide and HB 404 are blatantly ignoring these data and argue that nothing should slow down a terminal patient’s quest to commit suicide, even if they are seriously depressed.

The 2015 data from Oregon show that an optional psychiatric evaluation does not work! Only 5 out of 132 patients receiving an assisted suicide prescription were referred for a professional mental health evaluation. That’s 3.8%. Far lower than the 15%-50% of cancer patients estimated to have depression (where 72% of OR residents receiving assisted suicide in 2015 had cancer!)

2.Pain isn’t even in the top 5 reasons why patients in Oregon chose assisted suicide. The 2015 Oregon “Death with Dignity” annual report shows that pain was the sixth highest reason stated for requesting assisted suicide – far behind “less ability to engage in activities that make life enjoyable”; “losing autonomy”; and “loss of dignity.”
3.More regulatory requirements are exactly what an issue like physician assisted suicide demands and what legislators should seek in issues that are literally life and death. It’s insulting for assisted suicide proponents to argue that receiving a prescription to commit suicide should be as simple as possible.
4.Just because Oregon and Washington “death with dignity” laws allow for the falsifying of a death certificate doesn’t mean it is OK to do in Maryland.

During the hearing, we questioned the bill’s main proponent Compassion and Choices directly about these statements on Twitter and Facebook.

Source: NRLC News

Organ Donation


 

Hospital says teenager shot in murder spree was not declared brain dead

By Dave Andrusko
Abigail Kopf
Abigail Kopf

On Monday we posted a story about a glimmer of light in the horrific weekend in Kalamazoo, Michigan in which a Uber driver stands accused of murdering six people.
A number of stories, which NRL News Today quoted accurately, said that 14-year-old Abigail Kopf had been shot Saturday in a Kalamazoo Cracker Barrel parking lot and pronounced brain dead shortly after arriving at Bronson Methodist Hospital.

But as Michigan State Police Lt. Dale Hinz told ABC News Today
Her family told the lieutenant that an hour or two later, the hospital was in the process of preparing her organs for donation when the girl squeezed her mother’s hand…
The mother then asked her daughter to squeeze her hand again if she could hear her, and she did, Hinz said. The doctor asked the girl to give a thumbs up if she could hear him, and she gave two thumbs up, he added.
Abigail was then rushed into surgery to treat her very serious wounds.
I was not there, so I cannot say exactly what Lt. Hinz said to reporters, or how accurately they conveyed his words. However subsequently some readers wrote NRLC to say that this was inaccurate–that Abigail had not been declared brain dead.
We went to the gift of hope Michigan site. There was a statement from Vicki and Gene Kopf, Abigail’s parents, thanking the community for their support and mourning the loss of life.
The post (dated Tuesday) said
We have been by Abigail’s bedside since this happened. She remains in critical condition fighting for her life, but as we mentioned, she is strong-willed and she is fighting.
The parents did not address the brain-dead issue, but on the site you will also find, “Bronson Methodist Hospital issues statement correcting details about 14-year-old Kalamazoo shooting victim.”
According to Dr. Aaron Lane-Davies, medical director, Bronson Children’s Hospital
Saturday night Abigail was critically injured.
Her heart stopped during the on-going attempts to sustain her life.
Following restoration of her heart beat, our team shared with her parents the grave nature of her life- threatening injuries.
Due to both the nature of her injuries and efforts required to sustain her life, our team discussed the possibility that she could become brain dead.  (Underlining added.)
At the request and with permission of Abigail’s parents our team contacted Gift of Life.
The act of organ donation, after a tragedy like this one, can only occur after a person has died. Determining brain death requires a series of physical exams, sometimes in conjunction with other testing over the course of multiple hours. This series of exams was not begun due to Abigail’s clinical condition.
Abigail was not declared medically brain dead.

Source: NRLC New

Abortion Clinics Closing


 

Abortion Establishment’s alarm over clinic closings conveniently omits what is really happening and why

By Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., NRL Director of Education & Research
closedsign3That abortion clinics are closing is not really news. They have been closing for years, for reasons we have explained at great length at NRL News and NRL News Today.
But with states passing clinic regulation laws and the Supreme Court scheduled to hear challenges to Texas’ HB2 next month (Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt), it is not hard to guess the reason for the media’s sudden interest in the closings (see here).
However, it is vitally important to take every reason they offer as an explanation–primarily the claim that the decline in numbers is the result of the passage of pro-life laws–with a shaker of salt.
For example, yesterday Bloomberg Businessweek published results of its own investigation under the headline “Abortion Clinics Are Closing at a Record Pace.”  Bloomberg claimed that since 2011, at least 162 “providers” had shut their doors or stopped offering abortions. During that same time, just 21 new clinics opened.

Whether this constitutes a “record” or whether Bloomberg used the same criteria for identifying and counting clinics that long time abortion industry researcher the Guttmacher Institute uses, is hard to tell. That said, a loss of 141 clinics in five years would be significant.
The highest number of abortion “providers” ever identified by the Guttmacher Institute, which has tracked abortion statistics since the earliest days of Roe and was once a special research affiliate of abortion giant Planned Parenthood, was 2,918 in 1982. Those numbers have declined steadily ever since.

Guttmacher recorded just 1,720 in 2011 in its most recently published clinic figures. Note that the biggest drop it recorded was for the period 1992 to 1996, when the number of “providers” declined from 2,380 to 2,042.

Continuing a trend that Guttmacher reported between its 2008 and 2011 abortion reports, a significant portion of the drop Bloomberg found was among clinics performing 400 or more abortions a year. Guttmacher identified 553 that met this criteria in 2011; Bloomberg says its study showed an average of 31 clinics per year closing or stopping performance of abortions since that time.
There are no new national abortion numbers from Guttmacher since that time. However clinic closings and a decline in the number of abortions have generally gone hand in hand. And available state data for 2012 and forward seems to indicate further declines.
Bloomberg echoes the line of the abortion industry, saying that this vanishing number of clinics is “propelled by Republican state lawmakers’ push to legislate the industry out of existence.” While one hopes that these laws have been effective in protecting both mothers and their unborn babies from the horrors of abortion, Bloomberg’s own data points to a broader range of reasons and, to the keen observer, hints at some dangerous trends in the data.
Bloomberg does not give precise numbers, but a chart accompanying its report appears to show between 40-50 clinics closing because of “legislation.” This is not explained or identified for each clinic, but Bloomberg says that “State rules that make it too expensive or logistically impossible to remain in business drove most of Texas’s closings – at least 30.”
But Bloomberg finds other reasons behind many of the other closures which are ignored by the sky-is-falling crowd. It doesn’t say how many or mention them by name, but it does show what appears to be at least seven closures for what it terms to be “unfit providers” in Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, and places along the Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania corridor. (It is hard to tell with precision on the accompanying map.)
“Business decisions” were responsible for nearly forty of the closures, including 14 in Iowa operated by Planned Parenthood. Bloomberg says Planned Parenthood “attributes the drop to changing demographics and industry consolidation.”
In English, for groups like Planned Parenthood, what this often meant was the closing of smaller satellite offices and the building of giant new megaclinics. So it‘s not the least bit surprising that there are several places on the map showing a new clinic being built amidst multiple closures.
What are some other reasons? We also know, from observing recent Planned Parenthood history that the national office has had to disaffiliate some members and close clinics for financial or other mismanagement (ex., Planned Parenthood Golden Gate in 2010, Planned Parenthood of South Palm Beach and Broward Counties, 2008). Some of these clinics later reappear under a new affiliate, so the net effect is hard to calculate.
Between 15-20 clinics closed, says Bloomberg, because there was “no doctor available.” This is the reason that states like California are pushing to have physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives authorized to perform abortions and why organizations like Planned Parenthood’s large Heartland affiliate have pioneered web-cam abortions that are designed to minimize the need for direct medical supervision.

The biggest category of clinic closures are due to what Bloomberg terms “unknown/other” reasons not specified. This described perhaps 50-60 of the closures, many in states like California. This is particularly telling because, as Bloomberg notes, California “lost a dozen providers, showing availability has decreased even in states led by abortion-rights friendly Democrats.”
Buried in the story is an admission that “declining demand” for abortion was also one of the factors behind the clinic closures. That’s bad news for abortion clinics but good news for everyone who does not have an interest in keeping the number of abortions as high as possible.
Many clinics were closing because there simply was not sufficient business! Abortions have fallen from 1.6 million in 1990 to just over a million in the latest Guttmacher report for 2011. This latest data lends support to the expectation of additional declines after that.
This loss of business is not something for which the abortion industry is going sit still. As we have noted, they have challenged clinic safety regulations in the courts. They are trying to recruit and train new abortionists from the ranks of nurses, midwives, and physician assistants.
They will promote web-cam abortions that require fewer trained medical personnel, less office space, and less specialized medical equipment. They will build giant, new shiny regional mega-clinics that can handle large caseloads.

Hints of this industry transition are seen in the numbers. Bloomberg says that “Of all the facilities in the nation that closed or stopped performing terminations, about a third were operated by Planned Parenthood; of the ones that opened, three-quarters were.”
If you didn’t understand Planned Parenthood’s corporate model, you would be surprised that even as the number of abortions has dropped enormously, its totals have held steady. Clearly, PPFA’s new megaclinics are picking up the slack from the closing of its old storefront abortion clinics.
Planned Parenthood bears close watching. The larger picture, however, shows that the market itself is collapsing, that there simply isn’t enough demand to keep all these abortion clinics in business.
And that is good news for future generations.

Source: NRLC New

Texas Case B4 Supreme Court


 

Lead pro-abortion lawyer outlines case she will make to Supreme Court

By Dave Andrusko
abortion-tools66As promised, NRL News Today is running at least an article a day about Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt as we come up on March 2, the day the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in this challenge to two parts of Texas’ 2013 pro-life HB2.
I read “Supreme Court Abortion Case Seen as a Turning Point for Clinics” yesterday.
While Eric Eckholm’s story largely turns over old soil, it does plow some new (or at least not widely discussed) ground.

This afternoon, the equally pro-abortion Houston Chronicle ran a story under the headline, “Abortion providers reveal their Supreme Court strategy ahead of arguments.”
This post will talk about both.
To refresh your memory, pro-abortionists did not challenge the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which forbids aborting babies who would experience excruciating pain as they are torn to pieces.

They turned their guns instead on two other provisions. (1)That abortion clinics meet the same building standards as ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs); and (2) that abortionists have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital for situations of medical emergencies.
The linchpin of the attack on the provisions is that they place an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to abortion, a reference to language in the 1992 Casey decision.

As Eckholm reminds us, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the admitting privileges requirement, “although exceptions were later granted for geographically isolated clinics in McAllen and El Paso. The second requirement, mandating costly surgical center facilities, has been temporarily stayed by the Supreme Court, but it would force still more reductions if upheld.”
Eckholm explains that with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, a 4-4 tie is possible. If that does prove to be the case, the decision by the 5th Circuit would stand.
However, “a tie vote would not be a binding precedent, leaving uncertainty for other states and highlighting more than ever the importance of the next Supreme Court appointment.”
The story by the Houston Chronicle’s Brian M. Rosenthal is not nearly as dramatic as the headline makes it sound. Nothing in the five arguments outlined by Stephanie Toti of the Center for Reproductive Rights, is even a little surprising.

Here are the first two, according to Rosenthal’s account:
1. The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires meaningful scrutiny of abortion laws to make sure they have a permissible purpose and don’t impose an undue burden on women seeking the procedure.
2. Precedent dictates that the justices should not simply accept legislative statements about the purpose of the law. An independent analysis of the justification is necessary

Re: #1.Well, HB2 does have a permissible purpose. The health and safety of women coming to the abortion clinic, on the one hand, the state’s interest in unborn life, on the other hand.
Moreover, when the 5th circuit upheld the law, it explained in great detail why the law did not constitute an “undue burden.” (See

Re: #2 I thought the way Eckholm put the issue in his story answers that question. He wrote, “Can the courts second-guess a legislature’s assertion that a rule promotes women’s health?” This is truly a bone of contention among the justices. No one put it better than Justice Scalia who was constantly reminding his colleagues that they were not a super-legislature and that the opinion of nine lawyers does not automatically supersede what state legislatures determine is appropriate for their states.
Eckholm’s next sentence was “Can a state enforce laws that seriously reduce access to abortion without valid medical reasons?”

The 5th circuit, as noted above, already addressed the question of “seriously reduc[ing] access,” finding that it didn’t. And as much as the abortion industry hates to hear it, there are plenty of “valid medical reasons” why laws are passed–that’s why they were passed: to protect women from the abortion industry which is not known as a hotbed of self-regulation.

Source: NRLC News

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Assisted Suicide


 

Suicide Advocacy Comes to Albany Law School

By Emma Tiner
Editor’s note. This appeared on the webpage of New York State Right to Life, NRLC’ s state affiliate.
Dr. Timothy Quill
Dr. Timothy Quill

Earlier this month I attended the second of Albany Law School’s series on end-of-life issues. Unsurprisingly, but still frighteningly, it wasn’t so much about end-of-life as it was about ending life. This event, described as “‘Death with Dignity’ and the Role of Medical Professionals,” revealed some new insights about the tactics of the pro-assisted suicide movement.

Despite being advertised as “an examination of legal and medical perspectives,” only one side of the debate was represented. The speakers were David Leven, Esq., the director of “End of Life Choices New York” (the NY branch of Compassion and Choices, one of the off-shoots of the Hemlock Society) and Dr. Timothy Quill, Director of the Center for Ethics, Humanities and Palliative Care, University of Rochester, and famously of Quill v. Vacco, who has not only been involved in the movement to promote assisted suicide, but has assisted many himself.

The only nod to the “other side” was when the moderator, Dean Alicia Ouellette of Albany Law, asked the two men what they thought the strongest opposing argument was. According to Leven, there isn’t one—it’s just ignorance. Ignorance and Catholicism, if you take Leven’s word for it. However, despite this mere ignorance, I guess they didn’t feel comfortable having an opposing perspective presented at the same time as their own?
David Leven, director of New York branch of "Compassion and Choices"
David Leven, director of New York branch of “Compassion and Choices”
They focused on the lawsuit currently on appeal, and the various legislation that they’re trying to push through the New York Senate and the Assembly this session. In particular, Republican Senator Bonacic’s support of assisted suicide (and his sponsorship of a bill) is a proud selling point for the pro-death movement. They even had a petition at the door to support passing “aid in dying” laws.
Although they used a lot of persuasive language about compassion and choice, Quill and Leven’s conflicting logic was clear when they advocated the “need” to pass assisted suicide laws to protect doctors who are currently prescribing lethal doses against the law—yet at the same time stated that those with disabilities would be safer if the laws were passed, since they wouldn’t be taken advantage of so easily. They tried to portray “hero” doctors who nonetheless pose a substantial risk to disability communities.
Also, despite Leven’s insistence that the purpose is compassion, choice, and nothing more–no secret agenda, no other motivation but respecting the autonomy of the terminally ill–he followed up his Albany Law presentation with a presentation the next day at the Sierra Club, discussing issues of population. If all his interest in death is to support individual autonomy, what relevance does that have to population “issues” allegedly affecting the environment?
These men are willing to go to whatever lengths are needed to end life sooner. At the close of the discussion, they said that if they can’t pass assisted suicide laws (which they prefer to call “aid in dying”, to avoid the “negative” repercussions of the suicide label), they’ll turn to other tactics such as palliative sedation, “voluntary” refusal of food and water, and they even went so far as to encourage people to indicate their desire for assisted suicide on advance directives, although it is against the law.
They promised that it won’t be a slippery slope to euthanasia—but when I asked how they would it keep from becoming so, they merely said that this was where they’d decided to draw the line. They even compared it to abortion, stating that abortion was limited by clear regulation.
We know well enough that what we have is abortion on demand. If Quill and Leven get their way, death will be on demand at the other end of life as well.

Source: NRLC News

Pregancy


 

“Mom, I’m Pregnant”

Editor’s note. We keep close tabs on our benighted opposition, especially when they post about how wonderful their abortion was (for them). But there are also many stories that don’t make it on pro-abortion blogs that explain the reason a young girl aborted was so that she would “not disappoint my parents.”

Over the years, we’ve run many stories about parents who were, of course, upset when their young daughter told them she was pregnant but helped her find a life-affirming solution. The following is one of my favorite examples.
_____________________
love88reThere are three words that no mother ever expects or wants to hear from their young teenage daughter. The words, “Mom, I’m pregnant,” were spoken to me by my middle daughter when she was just 15 years old.
At that moment, time stood still. My beautiful young daughter, the really good athlete with the winning personality and smile to match, was going to become a mother; no, actually she already was a mother.

All I could say at that moment was, Jenna, we will get through this. I then asked her to excuse me for a few minutes as I needed to go to my room to collect myself.
I calmly walked to my room, shut the door, and sobbed. I didn’t want Jenna to see me this upset as I knew she was equally upset especially for fear of the unknown.

I called my husband and we cried together. I decided then and there that we would do whatever it took to get Jenna through this. I also decided that life would be tough for Jenna and this new little life; the last thing I was going to do was make it tougher!
The next few days are a bit of a blur as we discussed many options. My husband and I wanted her to stay home and finish school and we would help her with the baby. She and her boyfriend had other plans.

Her boyfriend was going to join the military so they could marry and he would be able to support his new family. We felt she was entirely too young to marry. Her boyfriend was almost four years her senior, and he wanted to care for Jenna and the baby.
The irony was that we did not allow them to date in the first place because of their age difference. Quite frankly, I told her that it was not wise and that these age differences almost always ended with the young girl becoming pregnant and I did not want that to happen to her.
Of course she said that would not happen, and they certainly found a way to be together. After much consultation with our pastor and others we allowed her to be married. Yes, I know what you are thinking, we could have had him put in jail, but then we would have lost our daughter completely.
I also wondered aloud if we were crazy to let her get married, but we knew we had no choice. They married and he headed off to Boot Camp while she stayed with us, and we cared for her throughout her pregnancy.

At the age of 16, Jenna delivered a beautiful baby boy named Tyler. He was so tiny and beautiful. We were all in love with this little new life.
It is true what most say about mother-daughter relationships during pregnancy. As she was in the throes of her most intense pain, it was her mother she wanted, it was me who yelled at the midwife to get her an epidural, and when met with resistance from that same midwife, was ready to fight for my baby as she was in the process of delivering her baby.

Needless to say she received her epidural!!
Later as things began to calm and life was almost normal, I began to think on certain things. Why when faced with a crisis pregnancy did my daughter choose life? Why did she come to me?
The situation could have turned out so differently. I began to remember certain instances that I now believe set the stage for my daughter to choose life.
My older daughter Stacy had a very good friend who became pregnant as a teen. We will call her Sarah. Stacy came to me and told me that Sarah was so afraid to tell her mother because she was sure that her mother would make her have an abortion.
I told her to have Sarah call me. When she did call me I assured her that she should tell her mother. I also told her that I was sure her mother loved her, and would respect her decision to have the baby.
I then went out on a limb and told her that if her mother tried to force her to abort, she could come and live with us at our home. She couldn’t believe I had offered this. Quite frankly, I was a bit surprised myself as my husband had absolutely no idea of my offer!
Without realizing it, I had put my faith into action, was literally practicing what I had been preaching! It is easy to talk the talk but this was a time for action! As I had predicted, Sarah told her mother and she responded exactly as I had predicted and things went well for Sarah.
My daughters were watching me! I also decided many years earlier that I would not engage in any negative talk about the behavior of any pregnant teens. I had heard some pretty tough comments in the past from some well-meaning people and purposefully did not participate in that negative talk. I tried to speak and act with compassion, not judgment.

This is certainly not an endorsement of destructive behavior and sexual activity outside of marriage. This is simply not pronouncing judgment upon those girls who find themselves in that situation! This is the time for compassion.
I am not going to pretend that life is easy for these young ladies who choose life for their babies, but I promise you, it is far better than the alternative. But the saga of Jenna continues.
As I stated earlier her husband had joined the military and they had just received their orders. I just knew she would be stationed someplace close to me, someplace where I could hop in the car or on a plane and be there quickly.

But the Lord had other plans! When Jenna told me where they were being stationed I thought this was a cruel trick. My 16-year-old child was headed to Hawaii with her husband and my now 6-week-old first grandchild.

The day arrived to put Jenna and Tyler on the plane. With a huge lump in my throat and tears welling up in my eyes I knew I had to be brave for my daughter. I choked all my emotions back and acted bravely. I filled my daughter with encouraging words about what a wonderful mother she was. I reminded her how she had detected an early problem with Tyler that resulted in a nine-day hospital stay.
Of course, I, the mom, the expert, told her when Tyler had some pale pink blood in his diaper that it was probably nothing. Thankfully, she did not listen to me as she insisted we load the baby up and take him immediately to the pediatrician.
We did and the doctor just gushed over Jenna and told me that mothers in their 30s overlook this. The baby had a severe urinary tract infection. She instinctively knew something wasn’t quite right.
As I talked to her and reassured her, I knew that I was really reassuring myself. She was fine, I wasn’t! As they began calling for passengers to load the plane, I almost couldn’t stand it. But I was cool, that is until she walked away, out of my sight.
Then I pounced on the flight attendant who was taking the boarding passes. I asked her if she was going to be on the plane. She said she was. I began to cry, as I said, “Did you see that young girl with that new baby, well she is my baby and she is only 16, please watch out for her, please help her with the baby, please!” She is so young, I raved.
I know I must have looked like a blubbering fool but I couldn’t help it. The kind attendant just nodded her head and told me not to worry. I cried all the way back to my car!
An eternity later Jenna called me. I almost laughed when she told me how nice they were to her on the plane, even helping her with the baby off of the plane. She just couldn’t get over the kindness. I never told her about my tearful request. It is a secret to this day, at least it was!

Source: NRLC News