Skip to comments.Bobby Schindler: The Presidentís Torturous Dilemma
Posted on 05/31/2009 9:33:51 AM PDT by wagglebee
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Thread by madprof98.
If Id passed her on the street, I probably wouldnt have known her. Her gait is a bit stiff and her left eye somehow different from her right. Shes not famous, exactly, but some people might know her name: Emily Lyons. Shes the nurse who survived the 1998 bombing of an abortion clinic in Birmingham at the hands of Eric Rudolph.
I was 14 years old when that clinic was bombed, killing a police officer and spraying Emilys body full of hot nails and shrapnel. Back then, I lived in a small Alabama town, went to church every Sunday and was adamantly opposed to abortion. But by the time I met Emily last year, I was president of the Birmingham chapter of Medical Students for Choice, a group supporting abortion rights. Watching her walk slowly into our fund-raiser on her husbands arm - a woman whod endured more than 18 operations - I thought of all shed been through and knew that Id come to the right decision in my support of reproductive rights.
That conviction only became stronger after I read that Kansas physician George Tiller had been murdered at his Wichita church.
Im a third-year medical student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I plan to become an obstetrician-gynecologist. I dream of delivering healthy babies, working with families and supporting midwifery. But as part of my practice, I also envision providing abortions to women who need them.
The road I took to get here isnt your stereotypical one. My parents are conservative Christians who believe abortion is wrong. Growing up, I naturally shared their view. But Ive also wanted to be a doctor since I was 4 years old, and in high school, I began to feel drawn to issues of womens health. In college, I designed my own major to broaden my understanding of womens health by including psychology, sociology and womens studies.
I also served as a counselor for a volunteer organization that helps victims of rape. I sat in hospital rooms with young women who would look at me and say, I just couldnt carry his baby. I could feel their desperation.
At the same time, I found myself shocked at how little many of my friends - women who were studying biology and planning to become doctors - knew about their own sexual health. They didnt know about or couldnt get the reproductive health care they needed because of barriers put up by their culture, their religion and their parents.
I began to feel as if I were leading a double life. At school, the choices I saw women struggling with were forcing me to question my old convictions. When I went home, Id go to church with my parents but would find that my views contrasted starkly with those I heard in the sermons. It was a difficult time, because I felt that neither my family nor my church would welcome my questions or understand my struggle.
For the most part, I dont talk to my parents about those beliefs. They already feel as though Ive turned my back on much of what they taught me because my husband and I bought a house and lived together for a few months before we were married. Two and a half years later, that rift isnt fully healed. I know that my views on reproductive rights would be another blow.
But ultimately, we have more in common than they might think. I agree that ending an unwanted pregnancy is a tragedy. When I advocate for reproductive rights, for choice, I dont claim that abortion is morally acceptable. I think that its a very private, intensely personal decision. But I was stunned when one of my professors, a pathologist and a Planned Parenthood supporter, told me that decades ago, entire wings of the universitys hospital were filled with women dying from infections caused by botched abortions. Its clear that women who dont want to be pregnant wont be deterred by limited access to providers or to clinics. And I believe that its immoral to let them die rather than provide them with safe, competent care.
I still have a long way to go in my medical training. Ive never witnessed an actual abortion procedure, though I have been trained, through my work in Medical Students for Choice, in manual vacuum aspiration, a simple procedure used for both incomplete miscarriages and elective terminations in the first trimester. I plan to choose a residency program that provides further training - a place where I wont worry that asking to be taught to perform an abortion could somehow limit my future options. At the start of medical school, I was very careful about how I presented my views to the faculty for fear that I could jeopardize my grades or hurt my chances for recommendations or of being accepted into a program run by any of the professors. . .
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Thread by theruleshavechanged.
Operation Rescue President Troy Newman said he would love to make an offer for the property and that his group had discussed the idea.
Newman's group bought another former abortion clinic in Wichita in 2006 for its headquarters. Newman said Operation Rescue could use more space. . .
Thread by me.
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- A new video has surfaced showing Supreme Court candidate Sonia Sotomayor participating in a September 2000 panel discussion of end-of-life issues. As has been the case with abortion, the video doesn't appear to allow an easy discernment of where she stands on assisted suicide or euthanasia.
CBN News White House correspondent David Brody has obtained the video footage, which comes from a Federal Bar Council Inns of Court panel discussion with what appear to be other judges and attorneys.
The clips show Sotomayor and the others discussing patient rights and a hypothetical case of a patient who is near death and the kinds of decisions that can be made.
Sotomayor says patients may make their own medical decisions but appears to believe that physicians can hold significant sway with their influence.
"Ultimately the law says the choice is the patient's. My own feeling the reality is it's what the doctor's pitch is," she says. . .
"We will not be silent.
We are your bad conscience.
The White Rose will give you no rest."
Thread by me.
PHILADELPHIA, June 10, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Operation Rescue said today that it is appalled to learn that Philadelphia Women's Center gave away free abortions on Tuesday as a means of "honoring" slain late-term abortionist George Tiller.
"There seems to be no comprehension of the value of human life with these people. Killing babies for free to honor someone who was murdered can only be described as sick," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.
The abortion facility told the media that an unspecified number of abortions were done free of charge, but there are no further plans to offer additional free abortions.
"There is no such thing as a 'free abortion,'" said Newman. "It costs the life of an innocent baby and puts the woman at risk for increased problems in her life. The loss of each innocent life diminishes us all."
Studies show that women who have received abortions are more at risk for problems such as suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, and mental illness.
"If the people running that abortion clinic really wanted to help women, they would follow the Tiller family's example and close their clinic for good," said Newman.
Thread by sionnsar.
Yeni is a medical assistant and receptionist at the Clínica Médica para la Mujer de Hoy, an abortion clinic in Chula Vista. She's taking care of a customer, a very thin young Mexican, 28 years old, and of disheveled appearance. He's come to get information. He smiles nervously all the while. Yeni deals with him coldly. In Spanish, she greets him, "Hi, good afternoon."
Customer: "Is this where you do abortions?"
Customer: "How much does it come out to? She's got about two-and-a half months."
Yeni: "If it hasn't been over three months, the cost is $300. The doctor's not coming in today. He won't be available until Saturday of next week, but what you don't want to happen is for it to go over three months."
Customer: "It's a little over two months."
Yeni: "You can come in a week from this coming Saturday. Come in with the patient and it'll be $300. Do you know her blood type?"
Yeni: "No? Well then, if it turns out her blood type is negative, there will be an additional $75 charge. Okay, I'm going to give you a number for you to call in case you want to make the appointment later on since we don't have a doctor right now. But if you want to make the appointment next week, this is the number for the clinic."
Customer: "I can make the appointment by phone?"
Yeni: "Uh-huh. You can make the appointment by phone, but for a week from this Saturday. This coming Saturday you won't be able to do it because we've got a lot of patients."
Customer: "Is it safe?"
Yeni: "It's very safe. It takes five minutes for the termination."
Customer: "Five minutes?"
Yeni: "Five Minutes."
Customer: "Is there any treatment, afterward?"
Yeni: "Yes, she needs to come back in two weeks for a checkup to make sure she's doing okay. We will prescribe medication for pain, and an antibiotic. It's very safe, but she needs to follow the treatment and come back in two weeks, okay?"
Customer: "Yes. Thank you."
Yeni: "Have a nice day."
This young man was her last customer for the day. It's almost dark outside, and the clinic is about to close. Yeni is staying to tidy the reception area. She agrees to an interview next week away from the clinic. What follows is her testimony from that interview.
"I started working at the clinic in 2002. I had just graduated as a medical assistant. I had applied at a lot of places, but I didn't get a job because I didn't have any experience. Then someone told me that Sonia, an acquaintance of mine, needed someone. When I talked to her, she made it clear that it had to do with a clinic where they do abortions, but that they do other things, too. My goal was to gain at least six months' to a year's experience in the medical field. Sonia told me to go to the clinic to try to help out the doctor, and that if I couldn't take it, it was no problem, they would have me do something else. I didn't like the idea, even though having an abortion isn't something I'm unfamiliar with. I myself had an abortion a year before. Sonia had the same thing happen to her, though it wasn't as voluntary as mine. Her parents took her to get the abortion.
"I agreed to try it out," Yeni continued. "The first time I helped the doctor, I almost fainted. I couldn't see, and I couldn't hear. I was overwhelmed by the blood and the girl's screams. They took me out of there and I told Sonia that I couldn't do it, but they advised me to try it once more. By the second abortion I found that I could deal with it. The weeks went by, and even though the job is ugly, I was learning a lot about medicine.
"I made up my mind to withstand the work at the clinic until I got a little experience I could apply somewhere else. Then came the abortions of babies who were five or six months, and it became impossible for me to continue. After three months, I resigned. But the pressure to pay my bills, all my debts, and my situation as a single mother, forced me to go back to work at the clinic.
"To this day, I have left and returned three times," she said, but added, "I myself can't believe that I'm here for the money. That's what is so absurd. I make $8.50 an hour here. But because I wanted a career as a medical assistant, I stayed."
Yeni checked a small notepad where she has made a few notes for the interview. In this little notebook she has written important points she wants to mention, "So," as she put it, "that it can be of use to someone."
She then continued her account. "At first I thought most of the patients would be young, single mothers, but it's not that way. The great majority are married women; say around 29 years-old, the typical woman who doesn't want another child. The ones who are separated, or don't have a man in their life, also come to us. We hardly get really young ones. I think that younger girls appreciate becoming a mother more than the ones who are on their second or third pregnancy.
"We get patients on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. On average, five or six women come in each day. However, since the doctor hasn't been able to come in until tomorrow, which is Saturday, we'll be getting 16 patients," she said.
Yeni then explained what her work entails.
"Basically, what I do is to assist the doctor in the terminations [abortions]. After the patient fills out the forms and waits for her turn, I lead her into the private room where the procedure is carried out. I tell the patient to take her clothes off from the waist down. I tell her where she needs to sit and ask her to wait for the doctor.
"As soon as the doctor arrives, he has her lie down for the ultrasound to see how many months she is pregnant. If the baby is less than three months, the abortion can be done the same day.
"The doctor sits in front of the patient. The patient is lying there conscious as if she were about to give birth. I hand the doctor the local anesthesia and I hand him the instruments as needed. I am seeing everything.
"Our doctor is quite old. He's 84 and uses an antiquated method." (The doctor to whom Yeni is referring is Dr. Phillip Rand. On Sept. 29, the California Medical Board suspended his license to practice medicine, noting that Rand is "incapable of practicing medicine safely.")
"First he puts the mirror in place. Then he measures the depth of the uterus. Next he opens the neck of the uterus with a dilator to make it easier. Then he introduces a small rod with an abrasive ring at the end. The ring isn't sharp, but the scraping hurts a lot of women and they cry or scream.
"When the baby is less than three months, the baby disintegrates completely. When the doctor feels that the baby has been dislodged completely, he introduces something similar to a straw. The exterior opening of the straw connects to a vacuum. Then he vacuums up everything that has broken apart. All that he vacuums goes into a jar. You see blood, and bits and pieces of tissue that look like chopped meat. It all comes out in pieces.
"This is the procedure for eight weeks or less, " she said. "When they're about 12 weeks, then the doctor takes the baby out with forceps. He takes the baby out in pieces. He checks each part and he places each one in a tray down below. When he finishes the procedure, I have to drain everything. We drain it to separate body parts from blood. We place all the parts in a jar that goes to the laboratory.
"It's impressive how well-defined they are. You can't believe what you are seeing. You see perfect little hands, tinier than those of a Barbie doll. You can see intestines, tiny ribs, their little faces, and their tiny squashed heads. You can distinguish among the parts if the baby was a boy or girl.
"It makes me so sad to see the jars. It's very hard for me to do all this. To see all that falls on the floor, or for example, to remove a tiny foot from the instruments. A girl who worked here told me that she came home with a tiny foot stuck to her uniform, close to her shoulder. She, of course, hadn't noticed until her husband told her."
Yeni continued getting off her chest what happens inside the clinic: "When the patient is less than three months pregnant, we have to prepare her so that she can come back the next day when she is dilated. The really large terminations are impressive. I have seen three fetuses come out whole. In one instance, you could see the little hand coming out of the uterus. The little hand was moving. But the most impressive thing was the baby that came out breathing. That time, the doctor got sick.
"The girl lived in Tijuana. They put dilators in her for two days. The baby was five and a half months. She didn't have a car and came walking to the clinic. Then it seemed like she was going through labor. When the doctor started to work on her, the baby came out without any help. The child came out breathing and died right there. After a minute, he changed color. He turned purple. The assistants felt very bad. They didn't want to put him in the receptacle. The doctor had to do it. All of us were very affected by it.
"Later, I saw the doctor in his office. His gaze was lost and fixed on the wall. Afterward, he was on the phone with someone telling them what had happened."
Yeni pauses. She wants to continue talking, but it's as if she has a lump in her throat. The interview took a bitter and sad turn.
"Since a few days ago," she said, "a substitute doctor has been coming in. He's younger and has a different technique. He doesn't scrape the uterus, he just uses the vacuum. Last Sunday, he couldn't take it any more because we did some rather large terminations around four months. He used a technique I hadn't seen. He divided the ultrasound screen in two parts and used an apparatus during the entire procedure. Usually, what you see with the ultrasound is the child sucking his finger, or playing, but on this occasion when the doctor began vacuuming, you could see the baby was moving as if he hurt because it was pulling him or tearing something off. It was horrible, horrible.
"During the procedure, I feel as if they were doing it to me. I want it to finish quickly. I don't want to see it, and yet I have to see it. It's as if it were a penance for the abortion I had myself. With every patient I relive the same thing, and I feel the same thing. It's as if they're doing it to me again. It's as if it were so that I never forget, that I never forget what happened. And it hurts. Every day I wake up thinking, 'I have to go work there again.'
"When I started working at the clinic, Sonia and I made up our minds to help people. We were going to try to persuade them not to get an abortion. We often tried to secretly do a good deed. We'd ask the girls, 'Are you sure?' We would tell them to think it over carefully. Sometimes we would tell them it was going to hurt them terribly. We scared them. A few here and there would regret it and not go through with it. We even helped a few of them, who arrived under pressure from their mother or their husband, to escape out the back door.
"But this attitude of helping out was off and on for short periods of time. This is because you see how, when a patient has made up her mind, there's not much you can do. That has discouraged us. What's more, I would tell the ones who got an abortion, 'Be careful; make sure you don't have to go through this again. Look at me; I did it and it has really affected me.' According to me, I was providing them with therapy. That has passed in me. I don't feel sorry for them, as I did at first. Now they make me angry.
"In most of the cases we handle there is no really pressing need. We used to ask them what their situation was, but I don't ask them any more because they're the same dumb responses. I'm angry that they come to get an abortion so unashamed, joking, and laughing. One that was in the reception area told me, clowning around, 'Kick me, why don't you, so it comes out.'
"When I did it [had an abortion], I was totally in shock. I can't justify it, but here I see almost all of them come in as if they were getting a facial. They're very selfish. One 38-year-old woman told me, 'It's either the baby, or it's my daughter's quinceañera (A traditional Mexican debutant party for 15-year-old girls). It's not my daughter's fault that I got pregnant.' Some of them have gotten mad at us because they're seven months pregnant, and we can no longer do it. We have had women who come in as patients and later bring their daughter. We have patients who come back here in three months. There's one patient who has had eight abortions. Even the doctor said the tenth one will be free. Another one came because she was going to get married and wanted the abortion before the honeymoon.
"One woman was afraid and said, 'Oh my God, please don't let it hurt, don't let it hurt.' Sonia answered, 'Ma'am, you leave God out of these things.'
"Others ask, 'How did it come out?', like they want to see it. I don't answer them. I only say to myself 'Don't worry, the baby came out in pieces. What do you want to see? The baby in pieces?' After the abortion, they'll ask, 'Can I go to a party? Can I drink alcohol?'
"I can't help being angry at the patient, at the doctor, and at myself. It's useless to be here. We aren't doing anything good. I'm very mad at myself. I feel wasted away. I feel as if I'm not the same person."
At another time in her life, Yeni was part of a youth group at a Tijuana parish. Imbedded in her mind are many happy moments, innocent and full of hope. One recent event has made her think long and hard about the meaning of her life.
"Three days after it opened, we went to see Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. Believe me, it was very hard. When we saw how they beat Jesus and the instruments they used, we compared it to the instruments the doctor used. I saw everything we did in the clinic in that movie so much blood spilled. I couldn't stop crying in the theater. I also saw the devil portrayed as a fetus. I wanted to die. The following day, I told Sonia that we had to stop working at the clinic. She also saw the movie and we remembered that in the picture they said 'He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.' We were very afraid because just a few months before, the manager of the clinic was killed by her husband. We felt something was going to happen to us because of what we were doing", she said.
"Before my abortion, and before working here, I wasn't afraid of death. Whenever I thought of the day God would come for me, even while knowing I have sinned, with all of my sins, I wasn't afraid. Now, I live with that fear. I feel that I don't want to die because I wonder how I would face God if I should see him. I don't have peace.
"Last week, I visited my brother and wanted to hug my nephew. The child was crying almost hysterically. My sister-in-law said the child was scared because he felt I have the devil inside because I kill babies for a living. I was really angry at my sister-in-law, but I felt it was true to some extent."
Yeni wants to leave her present situation and has started to take the first steps.
"A few days ago, I went to see a guy from the church group that I used to go to. He told me that he was happy that I worked for God and that I was doing well. I felt as if I were choking! I told him I worked at something that I had to leave before I can get closer to God again. He told me to talk to a priest, but I'm afraid. I can't see how I can in all conscience walk into a church. I know the trouble that I'm in. I know the situation I'm in, and what it is I need to do.
"I applied for a job where they take care of the elderly in San Diego. I told the woman who interviewed me about the type of work I do at the clinic, and I pleaded with her to help me get out of here. I told her my hope was with this new job. She was very kind, and she said she would do all she can. No matter what happens, if I don't get the job, I'm going to look for a job in whatever I can. It doesn't matter if it's not as a medical assistant. I'm fed up with the situation here.
"Sonia also had an interview somewhere else. It is for a totally different job. She told me that when she was walking back from her interview, she was telling God, 'My dear God, please, you don't want me to return to the clinic. Give me this job. Please give it to me.' She also told me, 'You'll see; they're going to give us those jobs.'
"We're both sick of our jobs, but for one reason or another, we're still here. I agreed to talk to La Cruz because I think it's necessary that people know the horrors that we have experienced here. Both of us feel a great need to do something good to start compensating God for everything we have done in this job."
Yeni said she wanted to make one important comment before concluding the interview:
"I want to add that some religious groups deliver pamphlets to women before they enter the clinic. I've seen that they look at those pamphlets that show the formation of a baby week after week. Some reconsider and leave the clinic. They are few, but sometimes it happens."
Yeni and Sonia left their job at the clinic a week after this interview, which was conducted on September 27, 2004. The woman who was their supervisor is considering resigning, as well. She has told this to the coordinator of one of the two prayer groups that get together in front of the clinic. They continue to pray for the clinic to be closed permanently.
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Thread by me.
I still ache remembering those long days we all prayed and cried out for Terri to receive water and food.
I do not know how her parents or bobby or sister held on. I don't. Our Father must have really tucked them into a very special place.
Thread by Homer_J_Simpson.
Less than two weeks later Lou Gehrig would learn his fate and July 4, 1939 was "Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day" at Yankee Stadium where he gave his farewell speech:
"Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.
"Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldnt consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, Im lucky. Who wouldnt consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseballs greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I'm lucky.
"When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift thats something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies thats something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter that's something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so that you can have an education and build your body it's a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed that's the finest I know.
"So I close in saying that I might have been given a bad break, but I've got an awful lot to live for. Thank you."
What struck me today was the total dignity that he maintained as he faced death and never once did ANYONE suggest he would be better off if he was dead.
With a pro-abortion president in the White House, new sub-groups in the broader "culture of death" are coming into view. One of them is dark, indeed.
Take two recent events: Dr. George Tiller is compared to Martin Luther King, Jr. The president of Catholics for Choice attacks a political appointee, Alexia Kelley, who defended Obama's abortion record before the nation's Catholic voters.
As head of Catholics in Alliance with the Common Good, Alexia Kelley was second only to Doug Kmiec in making Obama's record on abortion palatable to Catholics. Aren't these two organizations supposed to be on the same side? Why wouldn't Catholics for Choice applaud Ms. Kelley's appointment to the faith-based office of the Department of Health and Human Services?
In previous commentary on this quarrel, I implied that the objection to Kelley was a simple territorial spat. During the presidential election, Kelley's Catholics in Alliance had supplanted Catholics for Choice as the preeminent organization of the Catholic Left. Kelley now stands atop not only the movement pecking order, but also controls $20 million of the Health and Human Services budget earmarked for family-planning services. The present and former presidents of CFC, Frances Kissling and Jon O'Brien, fear the loss of status, but they fear the loss of power as political gatekeepers even more.
In dwelling on the political aspects of the attack by O'Brien and Kissling, I neglected to probe the deeper issue feeding their animus against the "abortion reduction" argument and Kelley's support for it. That dimension reveals a subculture among abortion supporters that may well distinguish O'Brien and Kissling from Kelley. If not, it surely distinguishes them from many who consider themselves "pro-choice."
O'Brien considers his objection to Kelley's advocacy of abortion reduction so fundamental that he describes both her and Catholics in Alliance as "anti-choice." I should have paused longer over that description, because it reveals an outlook entirely at odds with the abortion-reduction program (assuming that it is held as a matter of sincere conviction and not political expediency).
When O'Brien accuses Kelley of an "abandonment of ideals," it should be clear that Catholics for Choice cares, first and foremost, about protecting a woman's alleged "right" to end a human life in her womb. What pains O'Brien and Kissling is any stifling of a woman's choice, not the death of an unborn child. What enrages these two about Kelley is that she and her organization publicly regarded abortion as something to be equated with torture or war. Catholics for Choice is so exercised over Kelley's leadership that the organization produced a pamphlet titled, "The Trouble with Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good."
Indeed, Kissling and O'Brien employ "pro-choice" not as a euphemism to disguise the horror of what they espouse, but as a direct signifier of what they value to the exclusion of anything else: choice. Anyone who describes herself as pro-choice but has any impulse to protect the unborn is "anti-choice." Thus is revealed the darkest recesses in the "culture of death," when all compassion for the unborn child is reviled in the name of freedom. . .
Thread by Salvation.
OMAHA, Neb. - A Nebraska doctor says he'll perform third-term abortions in Kansas after the slaying of abortion provider George Tiller, even though Tiller's clinic is closed.
Dr. LeRoy Carhart declined to discuss his plans in detail during a telephone interview with The Associated Press, but insisted "there will be a place in Kansas for the later second and the medically indicated third-trimester patients very soon."
"I just think that until everything is in place, it's something that doesn't need to be talked about" in detail, Carhart said a day after Tiller's family announced his Wichita clinic was permanently shutting its doors. . .
I do not know how her parents or bobby or sister held on. I don't. Our Father must have really tucked them into a very special place.
I truly regret that my schedule prevented me from being down there while Terri was being murdered, but those of you who were have my eternal and heartfelt gratitude.
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PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, JUNE 11, 2009 (Zenit.org).- A group of experts are highlighting papal teaching that people in persistent comas should be nourished regardless of the cost, as an ordinary duty of persons to one another.
This was affirmed in an article published this month in the journal of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, Ethics and Medics, signed by a group of 15 scholars.
Some of the contributing scholars are: Robert George, jurisprudence professor at Princeton University; William May, retired moral theology professor at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family; Christian Brugger, moral theology professor at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary; and Father Thomas Berg, executive director of Westchester Institute for Ethics and the Human Person.
They responded to a statement published in the February issue of Commonweal, written by a consortium consisting of seven directors of bioethics programs at Jesuit universities, about the "papal teaching on the moral requirement to provide food and water to patients in the so-called persistent vegetative state."
The aim of the consortium, the scholars asserted, "is to influence the American bishops against amending the 'Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.'"
The article reported that this month the bishops will consider the amendment which will "bring the directives in line with the March 2004 teaching of Pope John Paul II" on the "persistent vegetative state."
The scholars underlined a 1992 document by the pro-life committee of the U.S. bishops titled "Nutrition and Hydration: Moral and Pastoral Reflections," which "warned against any removal of food and water from persons in the vegetative state based on a 'quality of life' judgment about the value of their lives or on the cost of total care."
Although the prelates did not at that time explicitly include patients in the vegetative state, they noted that this was only because they were waiting for the official word from the magisterium, which came with Pope John Paul II.
The article reported the Pope's statement that "providing food and water to patients in a [persistent vegetative state] is morally required, even when doing so does not facilitate the patient's recovery from the comatose condition."
It explained: "Providing food and water should not be considered a medical act strictly speaking, but an ordinary and proportionate means of caring for disabled patients; the Pope calls them forms of basic health care to which every patient, no matter how disabled, has a right. . .
Thread by NYer.
ENID, Oklahoma, June 11, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A former employee of Kansas late-term abortionist George Tiller has shared how her gruesome experiences at Tiller's abortion facility drove her away from her pro-choice views and into a life of activism for the rights of the unborn.
Luhra Tivis, who was hired as a temp worker for Tiller and eventually became a full employee for one year, discussed her story Tuesday with the Enid News & Eagle in the wake of Tiller's death May 31. Tiller was shot and killed while serving as an usher in his Lutheran church. His family has stated that Tiller's Wichita abortion facility, Women's Health Care Services, will not reopen.
In addition to normal secretarial work, Tivis told the Eagle that she "underwent some sales training" when she began work in 1988. In a separate testimony, published on the Pro-Life Action League's website, Tivis explained: "I thought they were going to tell me how they want the information sheet filled out and how to keep the phone record and this and that.
"But what I was handed instead was a packet of information - materials to study - on how to be a high-pressure salesperson over the phone, like telemarketing: how to convince somebody to buy your product."
Though Tivis says Tiller assured her at the outset that he only performed late-term abortions on "severely deformed" children or for a medical crisis, Tivis says she soon came to realize that Tiller's words were not consistent with his practice.
I was seeing eight- and nine-month pregnant women come in, she said, and out of those two dozen a week, only about 2 percent had medical deformities. I thought I was pro-choice back then, but week after week I kept seeing these women coming in with healthy babies and I saw all the records. I didnt think that was right.
Tivis' testimony is congruent with the allegations of Operation Rescue, who had frequently denounced Tiller for killing perfectly healthy late-term babies. At the time of his death, Tiller was under investigation by the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts for performing illegal late-term abortions.
Discussing the typical abortion procedure, Tivis told the Pro-Life Action League in a previous interview: "[the mothers] have a sonogram, first thing and he tells them, 'Oh, you're not that far along.' He's very happy to take their money. Then the first thing he does to them is he kills that baby, because once that baby is dead, they can't change their mind and get their money back.
"He uses the sonogram a tool for life to kill the baby. He uses that to guide the needle into the baby's heart and he injects it with digoxin, which is a heart medication and it slows the baby's heart down.
"The second day, the women come in and they have little group counseling sessions, but they don't do any counseling until after that baby is already dead."
Livis described the testimony of a Southwest Kansas woman who had written a letter to Tiller, which Tivis says the abortionist distributed to his staff to read, describing her third-trimester abortion there as "the most horrible experience of her life."
"Although I was not down in the basement for any more than just a few seconds when those women were down there, I got a very vivid description of what actually went on down there from this woman," said Tivis, referring to a room in the facility where women would give birth to their babies' corpses following an abortion. "She said that women were crying and screaming and there was blood everywhere - blood running down their legs and it was just horrible."
One of the more disturbing aspects of the abortion process at Tiller's clinic was the "memorial services" he openly offered, as published on his website, to parents after they had killed their child. Tiller even employed a chaplain at his clinic, where he offered baptisms, baptismal certificates, and mementos such as a lock of hair or "fetal footprints."
The clinic also offered parents a chance to bond with the child's corpse for a little while after the abortion, in a process Tiller described in a 1996 promotional video as an "identification and separation encounter."
"We will bring the baby to you, either at the bedside, or we will go to our quiet room, and we will bring the baby to you there," said the abortionist.
"During this encounter we will describe to you what's right with your baby, we will identify what's wrong with your baby. You may hold the baby. We can take pictures of you and the family holding the baby, if you wish, and that is not an uncommon request. ... the identification/separation encounter may involve 2 or 3 hours of bonding with the baby - the identification that this is your baby and you have had a delivery."
Tivis told the Eagle about one pivotal experience just before leaving the office: Tiller emerged from the surgery room with a cardboard box one day and asked her to open a door for him. Tivis saw his crematorium - where the babies' remains are regularly incinerated.
I realized that box was full of dead babies," said Tivis. "That freaked me out."
She says Tiller fired her after an attorney she had applied for a position with told Tiller she was searching for jobs. . .
Thread by me.
In his commencement address to the University of Notre Dames 2009 graduating class last month, President Obama recognized an obvious truth with his statement that pro and anti abortion advocates have certain irreconcilable differences. Those differences were obvious when Obamas invitation to Notre Dame was subject to controversy and pronounced public disagreement. It was obvious again during the Presidents commencement address when anti-abortion advocates vocally challenged the President and were, in turn, vocally challenged by others in the audience. What might not be so obvious, however, is that one of the differences between the two sides of this issue, whether irreconcilable or not, is in the area of logic.
Beyond the questionable logic of defining as a human being the primordial parasitical conglomeration of human cells attached to the female uterus; beyond the questionable logic of considering the medical use and destruction of human stem cells to be a form of homicide; beyond the questionable logic of condemning birth control as immoral; beyond all of this questionable logic is the flawed logic found in the narrow, fervent focus on the unborn by so called pro-life advocates. Ultimately, they are not pro-life.
Life on earth is more than the animate existence of the human species regardless of what state of development it is in, or could develop into. It is, in fact, an interdependent, complex, network of many species that depend on a careful balance among them all to sustain them all. Because they all share a finite planet with finite resources upon which they all rely for continued existence, their mutual survival is threatened by the disproportionate procreation of any one of them.
Because human population on this planet has grown to a disproportionately high level, it has done extensive damage to the network of life, and now threatens the very existence of many species including humans themselves. Those so concerned about the sanctity of life that they seek to criminalize abortion, condemn, and even persecute those who support it are not thinking past myopic moralities. Birth control methods actually preserve life by preventing continued irresponsible increases in human population.
The argument that a reallocation of world resources will solve this Malthusian nightmare is ultimately based on an expectation of the miraculousboth economic and ecological. The problem is demand, not supply. The world is simply running out of the basic finite resources, water, arable land, and sea life, needed to create food. The solution, therefore, is not going to come from increasing supply; it must come from reducing demand, which means reducing population, which, in turn, means effectively controlling birth rates.
Abortion is one effective method to do that, but just one. The number of abortions can be reduced by availing women of birth control methods, devices, and pharmaceuticals that can prevent conception, but when public policy is polluted with theological moralities, as it was under the Bush Presidency, these birth control alternatives can be denied the worlds women who need them the most. This moral arrogance only results in more death by abortion, starvation, and disease. This is not pro-life.
Abortion is pro choice, and, until human population is reduced to a sustainable level, it is also pro-life.
For the Record!
Saint George Tiller
Please show ONE quote where someone complains that it 'costs too much'. Thank you.
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