Skip to comments.Terri Schiavo Revisited: Brother Bobby Schindler Speaks
Posted on 11/14/2010 10:59:10 AM PST by wagglebee
There was not a dry eye in McGivney Hall's Keane auditorium Wednesday as more than 150 students watched a short video of photos and footage from the life of Terri Schiavo-a Florida woman whose tragic medical condition riveted the nation and Congress five years ago.
The video presentation followed a talk given by Bobby Schindler, the late Terri Schiavo's brother and advocate from the Terri Schiavo Life and Hope Network, sponsored by the CUA student organization Students for Life.
Schindler's talk addressed the misconceptions surrounding Schiavo's death, its treatment by the media, and its ongoing impact in today's culture, in a presentation both emotionally moving, and factually startling.
For many, Schiavo's controversial 2005 death after suffering a traumatic brain injury in 1990 that left her severely disabled, was a vague memory. Current CUA students were between grades 7 and 10 when Schiavo died and for many the details of the case were unclear.
According to Schindler, this confusion exists for most of America because of the misleading coverage the case received in the mainstream media, the many rumors that circulated about its details, and a common atmosphere of both ridicule and acceptance surrounding the event that has developed in pop and media culture.
But Schindler's primary message was a call for awareness in the present day. "The reason why we're still talking about this case, why it's so important, is because this issue did not end with Terri," he said.
Schindler began his presentation by declaring false much of what is now assumed about the case. "She was not in a coma, she was not in a persistent vegetative state, she was certainly not brain-dead. There were no machines, no respirators, dialysis machines, nothing at all hooked up to her keeping her alive, other than food and water."
On February 5th, 1990, Schiavo collapsed in her apartment for reasons still unknown. The lack of oxygen to her brain for several hours left her with what is termed a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Her injury resulted in difficulty swallowing and she was put on a feeding tube.
Schindler explained that in the years following her injury, Schiavo made progress. She was able to go out in a wheelchair and was beginning to say certain words, he said. However, in 1993 her husband and legal guardian Michael Schiavo stopped all rehabilitation and Terri was confined to a nursing home.
"If you do that to anybody with this type of brain injury, they are going to naturally deteriorate, and Terri did," Schindler said. Over the course of the next twelve years, Michael Schiavo and Terri's family became engaged in a legal battle over Terri's life; Michael argued that her wish would be to die, and her family sought the right to care for her at home.
In 2005 after a series of court cases, Congress stepped in, passing a bill giving cases like Terri's the right to a federal review. A federal judge ruled that the original court decision on Terri's case would stand and that her feeding tube would be removed.
"This case is often talked about as an end-of life issue; it's not. She wasn't dying. She didn't have a terminal disease. Doctors said that Terri quite possibly could have lived a normal life span," Schindler argued. Many doctors have argued, however, that Terri's condition was irreversible.
Feeding tubes by law are considered extraordinary means of keeping a person alive. "The health care profession now recognizes food and water as artificial life support," Schindler said. "Food and water have been defined as medical treatment." While debate continues within the medical community, Schindler firmly expressed his belief that food and water should not be denied to patients in Terri's position.
After two weeks without food and water, Schiavo died of dehydration on March 31, 2005 at the age of 41. Schindler called it a "brutal death."
Schindler and his family formed the Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation (now the Terri Schiavo Life and Hope Network) as a response to this experience. He described the organization's mission as "advocating for people who are not dying, who are only being sustained by food and water."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year in the United States about 1.7 million people sustain a Traumatic Brain Injury. The CDC reports, "TBI is a contributing factor to a third (30.5%) of all injury-related deaths in the United States." (www.cdc.gov) It is also a signature injury of troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Schindler said these figures are what give the issue such relevance today. "I think this is an issue that's going to touch everyone, either directly or through a family member," he said.
But he also sees his sister's case as part of a larger cultural movement. "We are now deciding whether someone should live or die based on what they can and cannot do," he said. "This is not only a life issue," he said, "but a disability rights issue."
In April, a controversial episode of the TV show Family Guy aired mocking the Terri Schiavo case. Schindler said that such instances in pop culture reveal a "prejudice" against the disabled and "a dangerous apathy in our society."
The distortion of the case in the mainstream-media is nothing recent, according to Schindler. He quoted journalist Nat Hentoff, who wrote in 2003, "The reporting on the fierce battle for the life of 39-year-old Terri Schiavo has been the worst case of this kind of journalistic malpractice I've seen."
Students who attended the event commented on this misrepresentation. Sophomore Meghan Dietzler said, "I didn't even realize that she was not on life support or brain dead. I believed what the media told me, and I thought my family was pretty informed about it."
"I didn't realize how much of an issue this was, or that it affected so many people in our country and in our culture," said sophomore Mary Linn.
Most students were also touched on an emotional level. Freshman Cassian Utrie explained, "This stuff moves you because it's real."
The president of Students for Life, senior Deirdre Lawler said, "I think it was very powerful to hear him talk about it from a personal perspective .These issues can become abstract very easily."
Asked about the club's reasons for bringing Schindler to campus, Lawler said, "We were really excited to have Bobby to represent another facet of our mission which is to promote a culture of life, and his story is very important to address another way in which that culture of life is threatened."
Vice president of SFL, senior Ryan Cooley said, "The intentionality here was to promote and highlight an issue that often goes unspoken of and misrepresented."
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Evil, George Greer is going to be a mediator now. Would I call him to mediate? lol lol lol lol Only his friends will refer mediation to him. He’s a murderer.
Too bad Mikey was a good husband, maybe an astronaut who would help Terri instead of spend years trying to kill her and then with the help of the corrupt legal system in Florida and our legislature gets no pass, she was finally killed. Republicans in Tallahassee, Republican judges and democrats murdered Terri. I have not forgotten their names. I’ll never vote for any of them.
Thread by markomalley.
A teenager from another state may get permission to travel out of state for an abortion without their parents ever knowing. Thats the decision recently released by the Kentucky Court of Appeals.
In a 2-1 ruling last week that was sealed, the majority on the appeals court said they felt obligated to make the decision despite significant reservations about allowing Kentucky judges to essentially keep parents from 49 other states in the dark about whether or not their teenage daughter can travel to the Bluegrass State for a secret abortion without their knowledge or consent.
The appeals court reversed Jefferson District Court Judge David Bowles who ruled he did not have proper jurisdiction to consider whether an Indiana girl had the right to get a secret abortion with a Kentucky judges permission, using the judicial by[pass provision in the states parental notification law that the Supreme Court currently requires.
The Courier-Journal newspaper obtained a copy of the decision and indicated Bebe Anderson, senior counsel for the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights supported the decision, as does Derek Selznick, director of the Reproductive Freedom Project at the ACLU of Kentucky.
Margie Montgomery, executive director of Kentucky Right to Life, tod the newspaper she is worried Kentucky could become a haven for teen girls seeking to escape telling their parents about their pregnancy and abortion. She said she was surprised to hear the bypass provision didnt already limit it to Kentucky residents and said she would work with the state legislature to fix the problem.
Tom McClusky of the Family Research Council also condemned the decision.
In a 2-1 ruling last week two Kentucky judges decided that young girls from other states may ask Kentucky judges to give them permission to have abortions without their parents knowledge or consent. This means if a young girl in Indiana wants to avoid getting her parents permission, which is required by law in that state, they can go judge shopping in Kentucky for a judge who will allow her to abort her unborn child and her parents need never know, he said.
McClusky says the decision makes it more important for Congress to pass a bill like the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act that prohibits taking a minor girl to another state for a secret abortion that violates the parental involvement laws of her home state.
Another avenue the 111th Congress needs to pursue is passing legislation requiring parental notification. The problem is that many abortion clinics lure young girls from their home states that have parental notice laws to states where they can get abortions without their parents knowing, he explained. Often the man who gets a young girl pregnant takes her to the clinic. To counter this type of human trafficking they should reintroduce the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act.
Chief Judge Jeff Taylor of Owensboro and Judge Michelle Keller of Covington were in the majority and they admitted to the judge shopping that concerns McClusky. But they said Kentuckys law makes it so every minor gets the bypass and that the law does not place any limits on it to Kentucky residents only. They said the Supreme Court makes it so states cant prohibit non-residents from obtaining abortions.
Judge Joy Moore of Burlington said Kentucky judges have no business making any decisions regarding a minor from another state seeking an abortion without parental consent.
She cited as her basis for rejecting the claims that Kentuckys abortion laws say it is in the interest of the people of the commonwealth that every precaution be taken to insure the protection of every viable unborn child being aborted.
Threads by TSgt, tcg, EternalVigilance and me.
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) Eyewitness News has learned that a West Philadelphia doctor, his wife and eight other suspects are now under arrest following a grand jury Investigation.
Sources say Dr. Kermit Gosnell faces eight counts of murder in the death of a woman following a botched abortion at his office at 38th and Lancaster Avenues, along with the deaths of seven other babies who, prosecutors allege, were born alive following illegal late-term abortions.
Four of the suspects, some improperly licensed, also face multiple counts of murder for allegedly killing the newborns.
All of the suspects are now behind bars after warrants were served overnight.
Dr. Gosnell, who has practiced in the West Philadelphia neighborhood for decades, is also the target of a federal grand jury investigation into illegally prescribing prescription drugs.
Investigators say during a search of his home, they found $240,000 in cash.
The doctor, in past interviews with CBS 3, has proclaimed his innocence, predicting if charged, he will be acquitted.
The Philadelphia District Attorney has scheduled a press conference for 10:30 a.m. to officially announce details of the arrests and the grand jury presentment.
...news reports were filled with stories concerning the events which occurred in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania involving one Dr. Kermit B. Gosnell. He has been criminally charged for the commission of eight murders. Seven children were killed by this man after they were born. This butcher executed them by utilizing a procedure he referred to as "snipping". He severed their spinal cord with surgical scissors which he inserted into the back of their necks. The eighth charge involved the death of one of the mothers from an apparent overdose of anesthetics administered during one of the executions.
...The truth is what "Doctor" Gosnell did is no different than what is done in every procured abortion. The only difference is that it is hidden from view, at least from most of us. The same sonogram technology used for baby's first picture is also being used to guide the instruments of execution or the injection of the chemical weapons. The same deadly "snipping" using surgical scissors is being done within the womb. The same body parts found in the House of Horrors in Philadelphia are suctioned and scraped out of the wombs of women who have been lied to by evil organizations like Planned Parenthood who then try to make it all sound so "clinical".
...We are killing our children based upon the sole criteria of convenience and "wantedness". That is the effect of legal abortion on demand. Usually, the disposal of their little bodies is hidden from our eyes. We do not want to see what an abortion really looks like. When people show graphic images of the remains of a child killed by abortion, they are called "extremists". However, today, the veil was removed for all to see and the House of Horrors reveals our National shame...
(Excerpt) Read more at catholic.org ...
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, January 20, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A massive, photograph-laden Grand Jury Report released Wednesday has detailed the bone-chilling practices of a Philadelphia abortionist, who clinic workers testified had delivered hundreds of living, breathing newborn children before severing their spinal cords or slitting their necks to complete the abortions.
Abortionist Kermit Gosnell was arrested Wednesday for eight counts of murder. One of the charges was for the botched-abortion death of 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar, a Nepalese refugee. The other seven were for children who police had discovered, by examining their remains, had been born alive and then killed.
District Attorney R. Seth Williams released the 281-page report that was the basis for the murder charges against Gosnell and nine of his associates. Included in that report were photos of some of Gosnells victims.
In the report, the Grand Jury notes that several agencies and groups became aware of what has become known as Gosnells shop of horrors, but did nothing. They also provide extremely explicit descriptions of botched abortions, late-term abortions and infanticides rarely seen in court documents.
Pennsylvania law requires physicians to provide customary care for living babies outside the womb. Gosnell chose instead to slit their necks and store their bodies in various household containers, as if they were trash, stated the report.
The report provided detailed testimony from clinic staff who said that killing large, late-term babies who had been observed breathing and moving was a regular occurrence at the filthy clinic: one staffer said such events happened hundreds of times.
Another clinic worker, Tina Baldwin, told the jurors that Gosnell once joked about a baby that was writhing as he cut its neck: thats what you call a chicken with its head cut off.
(Excerpt) Read more at lifesitenews.com ...
Slates Will Saletan, who definitely pitches his beliefs tent in the pro choice camp, goes into details about the Philadelphia abortion/infanticide mill, which I posted about the other day. He first notes that some pro choice absolutists believe in abortion through the ninth monthand quotes and links them. Thats worth discussing, but rather than repeat that here, Ill let those interested read the piece, which I link below, for themselves.
He then recites the awful details of what happened at the clinic, as alleged in the grand jury report. From Saletans The Baby Butcher:
According to the newly released grand jury report, [Kermit]Gosnell accepted abortion patients without regard to gestational age. Gosnell catered to the women who couldnt get abortions elsewherebecause they were too pregnant, the report explains. More and more of his patients came from out of state and were late second-trimester patients. Many of them were well beyond 24 weeks. Gosnell was known as a doctor who would perform abortions at any stage, without regard for legal limits.
This meant killing viable babies. We were able to document seven specific incidents in which Gosnell or one of his employees severed the spine of a viable baby born alive, the grand jury concludes. One victim was killed at 26 weeks. Another was killed at 28. A third was killed at 32. Some of the dead were 12 to 18 inches long. One had been moving and breathing outside the womb for 20 minutes. The report alleges hundreds of such atrocities. One employee admitted to severing the spinal cords of 100 babies, each one beyond 24 weeks
You can argue that what Gosnell did wasnt conventional abortionhe routinely delivered the babies before slitting their necksbut the 33 proposed charges involving the Abortion Control Act have nothing to do with that. Those charges pertain strictly to a time limit: performing abortions beyond 24 weeks. Should Gosnell be prosecuted for violating that limit? Is it OK to outlaw abortions at 28, 30, or 32 weeks? Or is drawing such a line an unacceptable breach of womens autonomy?
I want to focus on different question: How is what happened in Philadelphia morally different than what Peter Singers values would allow?
Peter Singer has repeatedly stated there is no moral difference between a late term fetus and an early neo-natesuch as at a Princeton conference about abortion that I discussed here at SHS (a post in which I was mainly concerned with his contention that a human being doesnt have full moral status until after age 2). Heres a relevant Singer quote to our discussion today from the Princeton conference:
Maybe the law has to have clear bright lines and has to take birth as the right time [to outlaw killing], although maybe it should make some exceptions in the cases of severe disability where parents think that it is better for the child and better for the family that the child does not live The position that allows abortion also allows infanticide under some circumstances If we accept abortion, we do need to rethink some of those more fundamental attitudes about human life.
Singer takes a very casual view of these matters, including late term abortion. In a 2001 Salon interview, he breezily accepts late term abortion if the mother has a good reason, which includes balancing the genders within a family! From the interview:
Theres a difference between early and late abortions. If you have a late abortion, where the fetus might feel pain, then I think you should have a good reason. Because then youre inflicting pain. As you go through the third trimester, you need to have more serious reasons to end a pregnancy. For instance, I would not support ending a pregnancy only because you want a boy and youre going to get a girl, because it would reinforce sex discrimination. But if you already have two boys and you want a girl, that could be enough reason for abortion.
And here is what he wrote in a 2007 newspaper column:
Arguably, the fetus first becomes a being of moral significance when it develops the capacity to feel pain, some time after 20 weeks of gestation. We should be concerned about the capacity of fetuses to suffer pain in late-term abortions. On the rare occasions when such abortions are necessary, they should be performed in a way that minimises the possibility of suffering.
Admittedly, birth is in some ways an arbitrary place to draw the line at which killing the developing human life ceases to be permissible, and instead becomes murder. A prematurely born infant may be less developed than a late-term fetus. But the criminal law needs clear dividing lines and, in normal circumstances, birth is the best we have.
So, let us assume that the Philadelphia clinic was run with proper sanitary methods, employed painless killing techniques, and exercised clinical excellence to care for the women, I repeat: How is what Dr Gosnell and staff are alleged to have donelate term abortions and induced-premature-birth-and-kill infanticidesany different than what Peter Singers practical ethics would allow? (Realize that Singers recent acceptance of birth as a line is not a moral assertion, but just a hedge to keep from having to defend the killing of healthy infants, a legal line that he said at Princeton should not be absolute in any event.)
Recapping: Singer supports late term abortion if the the reason to kill is good, which, considering his example cited, is a very low standard indeed. He strongly implies that a full term fetus has greater moral worth than a prematurely born baby. Besides, we are repeatedly told we have no right to judge a womans reasons.
So, to answer my own question, other than technical issues of clinical procedures and sanitary methods, I cant think of a single reason Singers values would not permit a professionally operated abortion/infanticide abattoir. And that should tell us all we need to know about Peter Singers values.
Thread by markomalley.
USA Today is reporting that Barack Husseon Obama echoed his support for abortion rights yesterday, the 38th anniversary of the Supreme Court's pro-abortion decision in Roe v. Wade.
"Government should not intrude on private family matters," Obama said in a statement, adding that he also supports policies to prevented "unintended pregnancies."
Crime And Punishment...
It was the same Barack Hussein Obama who stated while campaigning for president in 2008;
"...look, I've got two daughters, 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby."
History Of Advocating Genocide...
While still an Illinios State Senator, National Review reported that in 2001, Obama was the only member of the Illinois senate to speak against a bill that would have recognized premature abortion survivors as persons. The bill was in response to a Chicago-area hospital that was leaving such babies to die.
Obama voted present on the bill after denouncing it. It passed the state Senate but died in a state house committee.
In 2003, a similar bill came before Obamas health committee. He voted against it. But this time, the legislation was slightly different.
This latter version was identical to the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which by then had already passed the U.S. Senate unanimously (with a hearty endorsement even from abortion advocate Sen. Barbara Boxer) and had been signed into law by President Bush.
Thread by me.
When Sarah Palin warned that Obamacare could lead to medical rationing and death panels, supporters were outraged. Alarmism! they roared. A lie! Right-wing propaganda! Alas for supporters of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Palins provocative sound bite was at least partly grounded in realitywhich is why the term entered the political lexicon.
Now, however, some are seeking to wield the term against conservatives. Case in point: The Arizona legislature recently cut its Medicaid budget because the state is in dire financial straitsa move approved by the Obama administration. When the cuts led to canceling Medicaid coverage for organ transplant surgeries, and a potential organ recipient died, death panel claims suddenly became all the fashion. For example, CBSs HealthWatch opined:
There is a certain irony here. During last years federal battle over President Obamas health care legislation, some Republicans claimed his program promoted death panels which they seemed to suggest would involve government bureaucrats deciding who lives and who dies. The health care bill did include language which paid doctors to offer end-of-life counseling. That was eventually removed. Facing a tough budget situation, however, Arizona has instituted what critics say is much closer to these so-called death panels than anything that ever appeared in the federal governments health care legislation.
Similarly, New York Times liberal columnist Gail Collins raged:
Republicans kept ranting about how Obamacare would put the federal government between you and your doctor and try to save money by prohibiting said doctor from using the best treatments and procedures. All this came to mind when I was talking to Flor Felix, whose husband, Francisco, a 32-year-old truck driver with four kids, was denied a liver transplant because the Arizona Legislature had yanked funds for it out of a state Medicaid program.
But these and other similar columns and editorials miss the point: The Arizona Medicaid story was not grounded in conservative heartlessness or hypocrisy. It resulted from a single-payer health care system crashing into a budgetary brick wall. The real lesson here is that single payer and death panels go together like Sees and candy.
Oregon, a decidedly liberal state, provides an unequivocal example. In 1993, the Clinton administration gave permission to the Oregon Health Plan, the states Medicaid program, to introduce rationing. The system involves a treatment schedule that lists 649 potentially covered procedures. The state pegs the number of procedures the state will cover to the available funds. Patients requiring procedures above the cutoff line are out of luck.
As of October 2010, only the first 502 treatments were covered. But even that low number doesnt tell the full story of rationing in Oregon. The Oregon Health Plan also rations covered procedures under certain circumstances. Chemotherapy, for instance, is not provided if it is deemed to have a 5 percent or less chance of extending the patients life for five years, meaning that a patient whose life might be extended a year or two with chemo may not receive it.
Worse, even though it is not a formally ranked procedure, assisted suicide is covered under state law. Thus, when two recurrent cancer patients were rationed out of receiving potentially life-extending chemotherapy in 2008, an administrator wrote a letter assuring them that the state would pay for the costs associated with their assisted suicides. Talk about a death panel!
As state Medicaid budgets become increasingly strained, some within the medical establishment are promoting formal rationing systems. Thus, the Wisconsin Medical Society recently argued that the states Medical Assistance program should be allocated and prioritized by creating a ranked order of coverage. The goal is health, the association stated, rather than health services or health insurance, a potentially alarming prospect for those with seriousand expensive to treatillnesses and disabilities.
Looking abroad, one should note that rationing is routine in single-payer health systems. Canadas Medicare allocates services primarily by time, forcing patients to wait weeks, or even months, to receive urgent diagnostic screenings and surgeries. A recent study by the free-market Fraser Institute found that the median wait for surgeries in Canada has grown to 18.2 weeks141 percent longer than in 1993.
Britains National Health Service (NHS) best illustrates the connection between stringent health care rationing and single-payer funding. Until very recently, the National Institute for Clinical and Health Excellence (NICE) determined what proceduresand which patientswould be covered by the NHS. (The new government in Britain is replacing NICE rationing with decisions made by general practitioners, creating the potential for conflicts of interest between physicians and their patients.)
In its heyday, NICE followed a complicated quality-of-life/cost-benefit formula to ration care, using a unit of measurement called the quality adjusted life year, or QALY. Briefly, the process of determining whether a given treatment would be covered involved determining how much time a procedure might give a patient, then subtracting for low quality of life. The resulting QALY estimate was then analyzed to determine whether the predicted benefit was worth the projected cost. Some Obama-care supportersincluding the New England Journal of Medicinewant the United States to adopt a QALY system, raising the prospect of bringing the worst aspects of single-payer rationing to federally controlled private health insurance markets.
Our current private system certainly has serious problems that need addressing. But no private insurance company would dare unilaterally deny a previously qualified patient life-saving surgery, as Arizona did. Only government can get away with something like that.
Indeed, if insurance companies fail to pay for covered care, they risk juries awarding tens of millions in punitive damages against them in bad faith lawsuitsand there are plenty of trial lawyers eager to bring such cases. At the same time, government regulators of private systems are much more likely to side with patients than insurance companies, a benefit of the doubt likely to be reversed in single-payer or federally bureaucratized plans. Potential loss of market share serves to keep private carriers on the up and upparticularly in markets with robust competition, which is why expanding health insurance markets is an urgent agenda item for those seeking to replace Obamacare.
As the nation continues to debate health care reform, we should keep in mind that many Obamacare supporters see the Affordable Care Act as merely a first step on the road to a national single-payer plan. Those who oppose such a centralized system should stress that avoiding death-panel medicine in a time of strained budgets requires that we eschew both single-payer financing and federalized bureaucratic control. They should also promote cost-containment innovations, such as price competition at the source of services, and reforms that enable hard-to-insure people and workers with low wages to gain broader access to coverage or inexpensive care.
"We will not be silent.
We are your bad conscience.
The White Rose will give you no rest."
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Where are the screams for renewed Nuremberg Trials ???
Fitting to view as hundreds of thousands March for Life, in DC!
Thread by wmfights.
When Barack Obama was running for President, he was described by some observers as one of the most radical candidates in the nations history in terms of support for abortion. Once in office, President Obama has done little to dispel that judgment. Even as the President is tracking to the middle on many issues, this is not the case when it comes to abortion.
This past Saturday, on the 38th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, the President issued a statement that is remarkable, even for presidents who support legalized abortion. The Presidents statement included not one word that indicated any recognition that abortion is in any case or in any sense a tragedy. There was not even a passing reference to the unborn child. President Obama did not even use the language used disingenuously by President Bill Clinton the pledge that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.
Today marks the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that protects womens health and reproductive freedom, and affirms a fundamental principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters, the President stated. That fundamental principle was not actually the principle claimed by the Supreme Court, which located the right to abortion with the woman, not with a family.
The President continued: I am committed to protecting this constitutional right. I also remain committed to policies, initiatives, and programs that help prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant women and mothers, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption. So, the President of the United States puts his high office behind his hope to encourage healthy relationships, but not behind any effort even to reduce the number of abortions in this country. Currently, in America one out of five pregnancies ends in abortion.
As he concluded his brief statement, the President said: And on this anniversary, I hope that we will recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights, the same freedoms, and the same opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.
That paragraph is just a recitation of the feminist argument that was enshrined in Roe v. Wade that women, no more than men, should be encumbered by the professional and personal limitations required by a pregnancy. That logic is enshrined as orthodoxy within the Democratic Party, and President Obama is one of its most ardent defenders.
Ever since Barack Obama emerged on the national political scene, he has been promoted and protected by a corps of preachers and religious leaders who have tried their best to explain that he is not so pro-abortion as he seems. Nevertheless, his record is all too clear as is this most recent statement. There was not one expression of abortion as a national tragedy, even as a report recently indicated that almost 60 percent of all pregnancies among African American women in New York City end in abortion.
How can any President of the United States fail to address this unspeakable tragedy? There was no hope expressed that abortion would be rare, only the expression that he would remain committed to protecting this constitutional right. The only words that even insinuate any hypothetical reduction in abortion were addressed to reducing unintended pregnancies and promoting adoption. But no goal of reducing abortion was stated or even obliquely suggested. No reference at all was made of the unborn child. There was no lament not even a throwaway line that would cost him nothing in terms of his support from abortion rights forces.
These words were not imposed upon this President. This is his own personal statement. It is one of the most revealing and tragic statements made by any political figure in our times.
Thread by NYer.
Back when I first got into this line of work, I wrote a piece for Newsweek about the dangers of euthanasia consciousness. I was a naif at the time. I had no idea how insidiously seductive the culture of death could be nor how deeply it had already seeped into the culture of the West. Since then, the darkness has spread like a stain.
But even then, in my innocence, I was prophetic. Heres a key paragraph from my first anti-euthanasia piece, The Whispers of Strangers, published on June 28, 1993:
Of greater concern to me is the moral trickledown effect that could result should society ever come to agree with Frances. Life is action and reaction, the proverbial pebble thrown into the pond. We dont get to the Brave New World in one giant leap. Rather, the descent to depravity is reached by small steps. First, suicide is promoted as a virtue. Vulnerable people like Frances become early casualties. Then follows mercy killing of the terminally ill. From there, its a hop, skip and a jump to killing people who dont have a good quality of life, perhaps with the prospect of organ harvesting thrown in as a plum to society.
Over the years, I have been told many times that my fears would never happen. Assisted suicide/euthanasia was just for the terminally ill, at the very end of life, for whom nothing can be done to alleviate suffering. We would never use euthanasia to harvest organs!
For years I waited for the organ harvesting shoe to drop. Then, I found a letter in a transplant medicine journal in which doctors admitted harvesting organs from the euthanasia of a catastrophically disabled woman. They had done it, the letter stated, ergo it was ethical. Thats the kind of self justification we see in this field.
Now, Belgian doctors have taken to the road to sell the idea. From the story:
A group of Belgian doctors are harvesting high quality organs from patients who have been euthanased. This is not a secret project, but one which they described openly at a conference organised by the Belgian Royal Medical Academy in December. In a PowerPoint presentation, Dirk Ysebaert, Dirk Van Raemdonck, Michel Meurisse, of the University Hospitals Of Antwerp, Leuven And Liège, showed that about 20% of the 705 people who died through euthanasia (officially) in 2008 were suffering from neuromuscular disorders whose organs are relatively high quality for transplanting to other patients. This represents a useful pool of organs which could help to remedy a shortage of organs in Belgium (as everywhere else).
I can think of few more dangerous activities then to convince people with disabilitiesand societythat their deaths have greater value than their lives. That pebble with which I was concerned has grown into a massive boulder that is generating tidal waves of harm.
Thread by NYer.
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, January 26, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Scores of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnells victims are coming forward after his arrest last week, says Pennsylvanias District Attorney. Many women are detailing the horrid atrocities in the media, with some alleging that he even forced them to abort their child.
One woman, Robyn Reid, told ABC News that she had planned to sneak away when her grandmother brought the then-three-month-pregnant 15-year-old to Gosnells facility on January 31, 1998. When I said no, the doctor got upset and he ended up taking my clothes off, hitting me, my legs were tied to the stirrups, she said.
I was fully dressed. He actually managed to get all of my clothes off and tie me down to the medical bed, she continued. I just remember my very last thought ... looking up at the light and thinking, Dont fall asleep.
In the midst of the 30-minute struggle, she says the abortionist assured her by saying, This is the same care that I would give to my own daughter.
Reid said the drugs Gosnell gave her were so strong they knocked her out for 12 hours, and she was carried home asleep by her mother and aunt. What would you give somebody that small that would knock me out for 12 hours? What if I had died? she asked.
Gosnell, 69, was arrested last Wednesday for eight counts of murder, which included charges for killing seven babies that were born alive and one count for the botched-abortion death of 41-year-old Nepalese refugee Karnamaya Mongar.
His arrest followed the release of a 281-page photograph-laden Grand Jury Report that detailed Gosnells bone-chilling practices, including the killing of what clinic workers testified were hundreds of living, breathing newborn children by severing their spinal cords or slitting their necks.
I said, I dont want to do this, and he smacked me. They tied my hands and arms down and gave me more medication, Davida Johnson, who went to Gosnell in 2001, told The Associated Press.
Within a few months, the then-21-year-old began suffering gynecological issues, and learned she had contracted a venereal disease. She said she now suffers from an unidentified lifelong illness, and has since had four miscarriages.
Commenting on Gosnells horrid treatment of the babies, Johnson asked, Did he do that to mine? Did he stab him in the neck? Because I was out of it. I dont know what he did to my baby.
Gosnell has faced 46 civil lawsuits in the past, the Pennsylvania District Attorneys office told ABCNews, and more and more victims are coming forward. Phones are ringing off the hook. There are scores of women, District Attorney Christine Wechsler said.
LaToya Ransome told CNN that her abortion in July 2007 by Gosnell left her disabled. It was the utensils that he used ... to do the abortion, she said. They wasnt sterilized, so it caused me to get an infection called endocarditis.
By August 31, 2007 I had open heart surgery, she said. October the first of 2007 I was disabled, meaning I couldnt do nothing for myself, take care of my son, take care of myself, feed myself, clothe myself, none of that.
Hes crazy and hes careless. He had ... no type of feelings of what hes doing to these women and these babies, she added.
Nicole Gaither, 38, told ABC News that she was in excruciating pain and could hardly sit down after Gosnell aborted her baby at five-months gestation in 2001. It turned out that the abortionist had left parts of her babys body inside her. When she went back, he sucked the remains out without giving her anesthesia. Afterward he said, Stand up, you arent in that much pain.
I was just laying on the table and crying and I just asked the Lord to get me through it, she said.
The Grand Jury report slammed the Pennsylvania Department of Health and other state government agencies for turning a blind eye to Gosnells practices, despite their knowledge of complaints and lawsuits against the abortionist.
According to the Grand Jury, the state ceased inspecting abortion facilities in 1995 under the administration of former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, a pro-abortion Catholic. The inspections were only resumed in 2010 by then-Governor Ed Rendell.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health abruptly decided, for political reasons, to stop inspecting abortion clinics at all, said the grand jury. With the change of administration from Governor [Robert] Casey to Governor Ridge, officials concluded that inspections would be putting a barrier up to women seeking abortions Even nail salons in Pennsylvania are monitored more closely for client safety.
The report also implicated the National Abortion Federation, which failed to report him to authorities after observing numerous violations during an evaluation as part of a failed membership application.
Authorities only discovered Gosnells gruesome thirty-year abortion operation when they raided his facility for a drug bust.
Today the pro-life activist organization Operation Rescue emphasized that Gosnells abortion facility is merely one of the few house of horrors to be caught, as they released a report exposing Gosnells connection to the Delta Clinic of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The report, says the group, reveals a web of death between Gosnell, co-arrestee Eileen ONeill, and Delta Clinics owner Leroy Brinkley, who also owns the Atlantic Womens Services abortion facility in Wilmington, Delaware. Gosnell was employed at Atlantic Womens Services one day per week, and ONeill, who pretended to be a licensed physician, was employed by both Gosnell and Brinkley. She was arrested along with Gosnell last week.
The report also implicates again the National Abortion Federation, which claims Brinkleys Louisiana and Delaware facilities as proud members.
A group of attorneys has threatened to sue the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals if it does not immediately order the Delta Clinic closed for violations that mirror squalid conditions found at Gosnells Philadelphia abortion mill.
Certainly Gosnells mill is not the only house of horrors in operation. He is just one of the few that has been caught, said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. Horrific conditions and practices exist at most abortion clinics, and in fact, we have yet to find even one that obeys all the laws.
However, we can take hope in the fact that political conditions that have ignored and covered up for abortion abuses are changing and the arrests in Philadelphia of Gosnells band of criminals are a testament to that, he added. However, there is still a very long way to go, as this report shows.
See the expose, Not the Only House of Horrors: Troubled Baton Rouge Abortion Mill Has Disturbing Ties to Gosnell, at Operation Rescues website.
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Thread by me.
It compared a cohort of women who had given birth with a cohort of women who submitted to abortions during the first trimester of their pregnancy. The findings indicate that compared to giving birth, obtaining an abortion did not increase the likelihood that women would seek psychiatric treatment for a mental disorder
Priscilla Coleman, a professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Bowling Green State University is one of the nations leading scholars of the mental-health consequences of abortion, and she has found a number of methodological shortcomings in this particular study.
First, this studys conclusions are largely based on the fact that the cohort of women who submitted to abortions experienced similar (but high) rates of mental-health problems both in the months before the abortion and in the months after the abortion took place. However, that does not negate a causal link between abortion and mental health. A number of academic studies find high levels of stress among women considering an abortion. Furthermore, it should be noted that the cohort of women who had abortions were more likely to experience mental-health problems than either the cohort who gave birth or the cohort who never became pregnant.
There exist other methodological shortcomings as well. This study lacks controls for other factors that might affect the likelihood of psychological disorders including pregnancy wantedness, coercion by others to abort, marital status, income, education, and exposure to violence. Additionally, there is also evidence that women with psychiatric histories are at increased risk for post-abortion mental-health problems. However, these women were excluded from the study. Finally, the results follow women for only one year post-abortion or -childbirth. There is significant evidence suggesting that the negative psychological effects of abortion may not surface for several years.
It should also be noted that this research was funded by a grant from the Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation. This foundation was formed by investor Warren Buffet and named in honor of his wife after her death in 1994. This foundation has been very active in supporting abortion rights. Over the years, Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation has donated millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood. In fact, donations from the foundation have enabled dozens of Planned Parenthood clinics to add abortion to their services. Furthermore, this summer, an article in The New York Times Magazine indicated that two new programs designed to train and encourage young physicians to perform abortions were funded, in part, by the Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation.
Furthermore, this is not the first time that The New England Journal of Medicine has used its reputation to advance liberal causes. In the spring of 2010, shortly before the vote on health-care reform, the journal published a superficial analysis of Massachusetts abortion trends. This was to argue that providing insurance coverage of abortion would not increase abortion rates. However, sophisticated statistical techniques were not used and there was just simply too little data after the enactment of Commonwealth Care to seriously analyze its effect on abortion rates in Massachusetts. Overall, it is unfortunate that such a prestigious and high-visibility journal is often deciding to place greater emphasis on ideology than scholarship in its editorial decisions.
LifeNews.com Note: Dr. Michael New is a political science professor at the University of Alabama and holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University. He is a fellow at Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey.
Thread by me.
The Dutch voluntary euthanasia society (NVVE) is planning to open an eight-person clinic in 2012 where people can go to end their lives. It estimates that about 1,000 people a year would take advantage of its facilities. It would cater for people whose doctors have refused to euthanase them. Not only people with an incurable illness, but also people with chronic psychiatric conditions and dementia would be welcome.
Reported deaths by euthanasia in the Netherlands rose 13% to 2,636 in 2009, although it is strongly suspected that there are many unreported euthanasia deaths. Euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands under certain conditions. The patient is supposed to be suffering unbearable pain and the doctor must be convinced the patient is making an informed choice. The opinion of a second doctor is also required. It is not altogether clear how the proposed clinic would meet these guidelines.
The Dutch medical association (KNMG) does not support the clinic partly because patients would only stay there for three days before they died. A spokesman for the KNMG said that doctors feared that the clinic would not give proper care and would make death too easy. "Decisions about death require an open mind, not a tunnel vision in which the only outcome is death," said the spokesman.
The NVVE is seeking a partner to help finance the project.
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