Saturday, January 16, 2010

Assisted suicide = medical treatment?

Charlie Butts - OneNewsNow - 1/16/2010 4:10:00 AM

Mercy killings have increased in the Netherlands as the number of euthanasia cases rose by 200 for a total of 2,500 last year, but because reporting cases to the government is voluntary, exact figures are not available.

Rita Marker (International Tasf Force on Euthanasia and Assited Suicide)"Even under the self-reporting, it is acknowledged by the Dutch at least that...not everybody's reporting," says Rita Marker, head of the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide. "And yet that was their very reason that they gave for legalizing euthanasia because it had been practiced for years. And then when they finally legalized it they said, 'Well, this way we'll have a better handle on it. We'll know what's happening. It will be more carefully done' -- and in fact, that isn't what's happened."

Marker notes that people have become desensitized and no longer blink an eye at euthanasia, and she feels that is an important point of concern because assisted suicide is now considered to be "medical treatment" in three American states. She is also troubled about the possibility that healthcare reform may lead to assisted suicide.
Full article.

The fuzzy frontier of death

7 January 2010 | Michael Cook

Since trends normally begin in the New York Times, an article about organ donation on December 16 may signal a move towards redefining death to maximize the number of available organs. Darshak Sanghavi, the chief of pediatric cardiology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Slate’s health care columnist, highlights the shortage of organs – 18 people die every day because they can’t get an organ – and the "inherently arbitrary" moment of death.

The thrust of Dr Sanghavi’s excellent overview of the ethical dilemmas in organ donation is that the protocols governing donation after cardiac death (DCD) need to be loosened. He contends that there are too few brain-dead organ donors to shorten the ever-lengthening waiting list. DCD donors, on the other hand, are far more numerous.

On the whole, DCD has had a slow uptake in American hospitals since it was endorsed by the Institute of Medicine in 1997. This body established that exactly 5 minutes should elapse after the heart stops beating before death can be declared and organs removed. Full article.

Life and Social Justice

If Life Isn’t Sacred, Nothing Is

Chuck Colson

To build a good house you need a strong foundation. Likewise, to pursue social justice, you need a strong ethical foundation. Find out what that is.


LISTEN NOW | DOWNLOAD


This month marks a tragic date: the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, when our “robed masters”—the Supreme Court—discovered a constitutional right to kill innocent babies waiting to be born.

The good news is that polls reveal that Americans are more pro-life than ever. The bad news is the culture of death is making ominous inroads on many other fronts.

A few months ago, as most of you know, theologian Timothy George, Princeton scholar Robby George, and I co-authored a document called the Manhattan Declaration. Two hundred Christian leaders and hundreds of thousands of lay people have signed it online. Some younger evangelicals, however, demurred. Why limit the agenda to life, family, and religious liberty, they asked. What about social justice and the environment?

What these well-meaning folks fail to realize is that a strong pro-life commitment is absolutely essential for social justice. For 34 years I’ve gone into America’s prisons to witness to the most marginalized among us, precisely because I believe every human being is made in God’s image. When I walk through the vile-smelling cell blocks, I don’t see tattooed inmates; I see children of God.

There is no social justice, you see, without respect for the innate dignity of each human being created in God’s image. Full article.

Related link:

The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview Two Minute Warning: Life, Liberty, and Love

Untangling healthcare bills on conscience rights

Wondering what's happening with conscience issues in the current healthcare bills?

With all the closed-door secretive legislating scheming, tracking any specific issue is a real challenge.

Thankfully, our friend Mary Harned, an attorney with Americans United for Life, has developed a chart that tracks life issues including conscience--in the Senate bill, the House bill, and the Hyde amendment law.

The bottom line is that even in the best case, healthcare professionals remain vulnerable to discrimination simply for following well established norms of medical ethics--norms as basic as the Hippocratic oath. Even the good Stupak-Pitts amendment in the House bill applies only to abortion.

Think about all the issues that a physician encounters, from birth control to reproductive technology to requests for lethal medications for assisted suicide, and much more. Add to that current list potential future challenges involving unethical genetic testing and risky manipulation, embryo-destructive research, transhumanism and you begin to get a feel for how challenging it is to be a life-honoring physician.
Full article.

Related link:

Finding searchers

Pregnancy centers buy Google real estate to reach abortion-minded women | Emily Belz

JAMES ALLEN WALKER FOR WORLD

WORLD MAGAZINE (WASHINGTON)—Type "morning after pill" in Google's search box. The top result: Planned Parenthood. But above the search results are three "sponsored" results: One is OptionLine.org, a site that tells women they have choices aside from abortion, a site sponsored by pregnancy center networks.

The largest demographic of women considering abortions is between the ages of 16 and 24, a group that will turn first to the internet for information before opening the yellow pages or responding to billboards on the highway. And when it comes to a matter as private as pregnancy and abortion, women are even more likely to take advantage of the anonymity of the internet.

"She might be alone in her bedroom, her dorm room," said Joy Crosby, a vice president at Care Net, which helps oversee Option Line. "It's being where she is at her point of need." Full article.

Eyewitnesses

world magazine ROE V. WADE | Ultrasound technology is among the reasons that more Americans, especially young Americans, are becoming pro-life | Alisa Harris

COLLEEN CAHILL/DESIGN PICS/NEWSCOM

NEW YORK—On weekdays Chris Kan, 28, wears nice slacks and a pressed button-up shirt to work in the sky-scraping world of New York finance. On the weekends, he puts on sneakers, gym pants, and a sweatshirt, goes to the Midtown Pregnancy Support Center—located in an office building close to Grand Central Station—and sits down with people in crisis.

The office building's lobby, torn up for renovation, is hung with plastic tarps and cluttered with ladders, but the center itself, seven floors above, is peaceful. Its whole floor is painted like a baby's nursery in light blue and yellow, with softly blurred posters by Impressionist painters framed and hung on the walls. In an office that doubles as a counseling room, Kan sits down at an oval conference table with the husbands and boyfriends of women contemplating abortion. Next to that office is a more comfortable room with overstuffed pale blue chairs. That's where female counselors meet with the women themselves, a box of Kleenex within reach. Full article.

Learning to wait

world magazine ROE V. WADE | Denied federal funds, abstinence educators plan their next moves | William McCleery

INDIANAPOLIS—Seventeen-year-old Sarah Beth Pfister leaves her high school in Indianapolis for a few hours each semester to visit a nearby middle school, where she mentors sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.

Her main message: Abstain from sex until marriage. She talks with them about pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and the ways drugs and under-age drinking can wreck relationships.

Pfister is part of a program called PEERS—Peers Educating and Encouraging Relationship Skills—that is one of more than 100 abstinence programs across the country to receive federal funds. The last budget approved under President George W. Bush included $99 million for abstinence education. The Obama administration, though, wiped away funding for abstinence education in its first budget, which Congress recently passed. Full article.

Life changes

WORLD MAGAZINE ROE V. WADE | Anti-CPC forces alter their tactics, auditors cast a probing eye on Planned Parenthood, and other news on the abortion front | Alisa Harris

GREG SMITH/CORBIS

AUDITING PLANNED PARENTHOOD

Government agencies are auditing Planned Parenthood for dubious financial practices that cheat taxpayers and enrich Planned Parenthood.

The Washington Department of Social and Health Services audited Planned Parenthood Spokane and informed the group that it owes the taxpayers more than $629,000 due to overbilling. The audit found that Planned Parenthood has dispensed prescriptions and billed the government for drugs without substantiating documents. When people came in for a simple injection or to pick up a prescription, Planned Parenthood allegedly recorded their visits as face-to-face consultations to charge the taxpayers more.

It also allegedly overcharged the government to reimburse for condoms, billed for a pregnancy test that was not medically necessary, and engaged in "unbundling"—meaning that instead of billing the government for abortion-related services in one package, Planned Parenthood made more money by billing the government for post-abortion antibiotics separately. Planned Parenthood has responded by appealing every one of the charges. The attorney general's office is also auditing Planned Parenthood Western Washington. Full article.

Chemical reaction

world magazine ROE V. WADE | The drug RU486 gives women the option of abortion in privacy—a lonely, painful, devastating privacy | Alisa Harris

ANNEBICQUE BERNARD/CORBIS SYGMA

On a rainy fall Friday, the Planned Parenthood clinician gave Michele Stewart the first pill she needed to abort her seven-week pregnancy, patted her on the knee, and said, "Good luck!" Stewart had just spent two weeks—the loneliest of her life, she said—wavering on whether she should have the baby of a man who didn't want one, and she had finally decided to do what one sister advised: "Get rid of that."

Stewart chose RU486, the drug that induces abortion, because it seemed less scary than a surgical abortion with its suction machine. But the moment she swallowed that pill, she had second thoughts: "Everything in me wanted to push the pill back out."

Like Stewart, more women are choosing RU486 abortions. The number of drug-induced abortions at non-hospital facilities increased from 122,200 in 2001 to 161,000 in 2005. The drug works by inducing a miscarriage. Critics say that its appeal—that it lends itself to privacy—can take a destructive toll on women's psyches, as Stewart found. Full article.

A pro-baby wave

world magazine ROE V. WADE | Optimistic signs point to a changing abortion debate | Marvin Olasky

Societies change from the top down or the bottom up.

The abortion regime in the United States arrived via top-down imposition.

A Gallup poll in 1972 showed 66 percent of Americans opposing abortion legalization. That year Detroit newspapers heavily supported a Michigan referendum to establish abortion on demand through the first five months of pregnancy, but 61 percent of Michigan voters said no. In North Dakota, 77 percent of voters turned down a similar referendum. Nevertheless, in 1973 seven U.S. Supreme Court justices imposed their beliefs on the nation.

Over time, top-down pressures have an effect on popular sentiment. That's why Moody, the evangelical magazine, asked in 1980 whether evangelicals had been co-opted: "We've organized no protest. . . . The Catholics have called abortion 'The Silent Holocaust.' The deeper horror is the silence of the evangelical." Full article.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What if I Were Born After The Roe Abortion Decision? Two Reasons to Hate 37

by Bryan Kemper
January 14
, 2010

LifeNews.com Note: Bryan Kemper is the president of Stand True Ministries, a pro-life group that reaches out to youth and young adults. He is the author of a new book, Social Justice Begins In The Womb.

My thirty-seventh birthday was probably the worst birthday ever for me; I dreaded that day all year leading up to it. For some reason the psychological trauma of knowing I was that close to being forty years old hit me when I was turning thirty-seven. I had no problems at thirty-six, but once thirty-seven hit I was a wreck.

I am now forty-two years old and it is no big deal; I kind of like the idea of being that old. In fact if I were turning thirty-seven this year, I don't know if I would even be alive. If I were turning thirty-seven this year then that would mean that I would have been born on July 19th of 1973 and I just don't believe I would have ever made it to my birth day. Full article.

'Reservoir' of money for abortion must be nixed

Charlie Butts - OneNewsNow - 1/14/2010 5:00:00 AM

ObamaCare 3The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) is contacting pro-life lawmakers in Washington to oppose six major abortion problems in the Senate healthcare reform measure.

The Senate-passed bill being fashioned to send to the House would set up a $7-billion fund for community health centers without any restrictions against using the money for abortions. Douglas Johnson, a spokesman for NRLC, laments that fact.

"In fact there are groups such as the Abortion Access Project which are already pressing [and] encouraging these community health centers to do abortions," says Johnson. "This Senate healthcare bill would open up a huge reservoir of federal funds that could be used for that purpose."

Douglas Johnson (NRLC)According to the pro-lifer, that is just one of six ways the bill would expand abortion. Full article.

Is Korea rejecting legal abortion?

14 January 2010 | Michael Cook

Repentant doctorsFor perhaps the first time, South Korea is debating abortion, to the great discomfiture of its gynaecologists. Unlike the US and other Western countries, abortion has not been framed as a moral issue in Korea, despite the growing number of Christians. And with a vigorous government campaign to reduce the birth rate, the number of abortions annually is about 340,000. Yet paradoxically, nearly all of them are technically illegal. Abortion is only permitted when the mother’s health is in serious danger, or in cases of rape, incest or severe hereditary disorders. All abortion over 24 weeks are illegal.

The problem is that the government’s campaign has been too successful. Liberal attitudes towards abortion have helped the South Korean birth rate to plunge to 1.19 children per woman. Now the government is desperate to boost it, lest the rapidly ageing population drag down the economy. President Lee Myung-bak has called for "bold" steps to increase the nation’s birthrate. Amongst these, apparently, is a crack-down on illegal abortions. Full article.

twitter / hawaiirtl

twitter / 40DaysHonolulu

UN: Elderly to Outnumber Children for First Time in 2045

By Kathleen Gilbert

January 14, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A new report from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs concludes that the number of elderly people worldwide will outnumber children for the first time in 2045, forecasting the start of a "demographic winter" some experts say could constitute the biggest international crisis in the coming century. Full article.

Christendom College Closes to Protest Abortion at March for Life

FRONT ROYAL, VA, January 14, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Christendom College, a private Catholic college located in Virginia, says that it will close its doors on Friday, January 22 and its Student Activities Council will charter busses enabling the entire student body to attend the 2010 March for Life in Washington D.C. Full article.

New Hampshire House Strikes Down Assisted Suicide Bill

By Kathleen Gilbert

CONCORD, New Hampshire, January 14, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The New Hampshire House of Representatives on Wednesday rejected a bill that would have legalized assisted suicide.

Lawmakers voted 242-113 to kill the measure. In November, the House Judiciary Committee had recommended against passing the bill by a wide margin, 14-3.

HB 304, introduced by Representative Charles Weed, would have allowed a "mentally competent person who is 18 years of age or older" who was deemed terminally ill to request a fatal drug through a written request.

"It's not the function of government to encourage suicide in the young or the old," said Committee Republican Rep. Nancy Elliott in November. "It's a prescription for elder abuse." Full article.

Operation Rescue Offers $10,000 to Abortion Clinic “Whistleblowers”

WICHITA, KS, January 14, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Operation Rescue announced today that it is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of abortionists who are breaking the law.

The campaign, known as Abortion Whistleblowers, is encouraging abortion clinic workers and others to come forward and tell what they know about abortion clinic abuses. Full article.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bangladesh endorses one-child policy

Bangladesh is going to introduce a voluntary "one couple, one child" population planning policy by 2015 to curb its growing population.

The Director General of the Directorate of Family Planning Mohammad Abdul Qayyum told the Chinese news agency Xinhua that: "The Chinese policy influenced us in framing our policy though we are not making it mandatory." He said that the government plans to promote a "No more than two children, one is best".

"We are eager to develop relationship with Chinese population planning authorities for training our men, using modern contraceptive and other related matters," Qayyum said. Full article.

Pro-life magazine finds excited audience

Charlie Butts - OneNewsNow - 1/11/2010 6:40:00 AM

A student-produced pro-life magazine called The Advocate is now circulating on high school and college campuses.

The Advocate is a project of student-led Live Action, an organization which has had considerable success in exposing Planned Parenthood (PP) for providing false information and allegedly assisting underage girls to get abortions without parental notification. The undercover probes have also revealed that some PP abortion clinics have failed to report the older boyfriends who sometimes impregnate the underage girls.

Lila Rose launched the ministry and is excited about the national quarterly publication. She says, "We focus on cutting edge, pro-life news stories [and] independent news. That includes investigative journalism done by those [who] create The Advocate, pieces about abortion, whether it's right or wrong, the facts about abortion, facts about the right to life and related issues."

The magazine also includes personal stories written by young people, all oriented to that generation. Tommy Silva, 20, is coordinator of The Advocate and tells OneNewsNow they are already getting very positive reaction.

"From the students who are already pro-life, we've heard a lot of people wanting to help out," he reports. "From the students who are pro-abortion already, at least the ones I've interacted with, have been really interested. They've been wanting further discussion and to find out more because we do really challenge their beliefs."

The primary purpose of this printed effort is to educate all youngsters on life-versus-abortion and to thrust that generation into the pro-life movement of the future. The Advocate is still looking for young people to distribute the magazine at high school and college campuses.

The Advocate is looking for help distributing the magazine at high school and college campuses. Learn more at LiveAction.org/index.php/projects/TheAdvocate/.

Political Action Training for Pro-Lifers

Hawaii Family Forum / Hawaii Catholic Conference is offering training to help Christians better understand how to be involved in the political process.

February 4, Thursday, 7:00 p.m.
St. Stephens Diocesan Center Auditorium
(on Pali Highway, Kailua bound side)

RSVP to Eva Andrade at info@hawaiifamilyforum.org

A Story of UnChoice

From the Elliot Institute, a story about UnChoice...

"The counselor glared at me:
'They're all waiting for you, you know.
Look, I'll give you five minutes to think about it.' "

Genevieve had canceled two appointments at the abortion clinic in Canberra. Before the next appointment, she spent four hours walking around the clinic, her mind battered by conflicting thoughts, incapable of making a decision. In a submission she forwarded to me, written for the Government-commissioned report "Services for Termination of Pregnancy," she described trying to express her deep inner conflict:

I collapsed in sheer exhaustion. I told her that I had been outside for hours. I cried hysterically curled over with my head in my hands on my knees. I said that "I feel like I'm depriving my child of life."

Our conversation was cut short by the doctor. The pressure was on. I stopped crying in disbelief when the counselor told me that if I was going to abort then I would have to do it right now. The counselor said, "Look, I'll give you five minutes to think about it and when I come back, I want your answer."

I couldn't believe it. Now I was going into a state of panic and shock. I could now barely speak ... The counselor glared at me, sighed a deep sigh and impatiently said, "Look, they're all waiting for you, you know" ... They seemed angry at me. They were sick of me and in the end I weakly obeyed their commands.

Genevieve's story is an important reminder of why it matters and why it's urgent that we educate citizens and leaders about the risks, injustices, heartbreak and harm to both the unborn and women.

From the book Giving Sorrow Words

Pro-Life Demonstrator Recounts Experience

Went to Anti-Federal Health Bill demonstration (abortion clause) in front of Obama's vacation rental community. His secret service threatened to arrest me and [my baby daughter]! I tried to park her stroller on the grass so she would be futher away from the road/traffic, but apparently that was the private property of the condo and [my baby] was a threat to national security. I asked to see his badge. Then I said, "You must not be from Hawaii, otherwise you would never threaten me like this." Then I moved.

The Catholic priest in charge of the demostration did NOT move and was yelled at but ultimately, NOT arrested. We got a lot of supportive honks, but also plenty of [curses] and other vulgarities. One man even drove up close to me and [my daughter] while we were going back to the car and shouted, "someone should have aborted you!" It sent a shiver down my spine. Who says stuff like that? Why get ugly and mean?

On Saturday, a lady took both hands of the wheel of her car to use both hands to flip off the peaceful demonstrators....and crashed into the car in front of her. Oops! Can't we disagree without being disagreeable?

Related link: http://www.kitv.com/news/22066294/detail.html

Editor’s Note: This demonstrator recently organized a group for pro-life Republicans online at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HawaiiRepublicanPartyProLifeCoalition/. Although we are unaware of a similar local group, pro-life Democrats may wish to visit Democrats for Life of America at http://www.DemocratsForLife.org/.

LifeNews.com Nominated for "Shorty" Award

Leading pro-life news reporter Steve Ertelt of LifeNews.com has been nominated to receive a "shorty" award on Twitter (the site allows short posts of 140 characters or less). LifeNews is an excellent source of pro-life news that is updated daily.

If you like LifeNews.com go to http://shortyawards.com/StevenErtelt to vote for them for the Twitter Shorty Awards. You can nominate them for the #politics, #news and #journalist categories and can vote once for LifeNews.com for each category (send three seperate tweets to do this). Please give them a hand: they are trailing three pro-abortion sites in politics and are competing with pro-abortion MSNC host Rachel Maddow in journalist. Thank you for your support.