Tuesday, May 31, 2005

British Case Builds “Duty to Die”

An unfolding British case offers us an invaluable picture of a darkening future. It has received very little attention in the United States, so we are grateful to Wesley Smith for notifying us about this very troubling evidence of an eroding ethics within the medical establishment.

Mr. Smith is one of the world’s leading experts on modern ethics within medicine, especially issues relating to end-of-life. One of his latest books is entitled, “Forced Exit – the Slippery Slope from Assisted Suicide to Legalized Murder”.

But back to the disturbing case of Leslie Burke. He is a British citizen who has sued the government to secure his right to continued feeding should he lose the ability to swallow. The good news is that he won at the trial court level. The bad news is that various medical authorities, as well as the central government of Great Britain have filed an appeal.

The British government is actually challenging Burke’s right to basic feeding. And while the socialist form of medicine in that nation is part of the problem – the real culprit is a growing endorsement by medical professionals of something called “Futile Care Theory”. Under that new form of medical ethics – doctors and hospitals can refuse care to a patient if, in their view, his “quality of life” does not justify the resources.

Wesley Smith argues that this new ethic is a result of greed, that it’s about the money. No doubt the establishment of rules which can justify rationing of medical care will save governments and insurance companies a bunch of money. But I don’t believe money is the heart of the matter.

We are growing more spiritually ill as a culture – the once precious regard given human life is being undermined on numerous fronts; the poisoned fruit of a secularized civilization. In modern times, it began with a mechanized assault on the preborn; now the infirm and old are the targets.

Monday, May 30, 2005

New Hampshire Case May Hold Important Implications for Idaho Families

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to accept a case from New Hampshire dealing with notification of parents in situations where a girl is considering an abortion. The law was passed by the Legislature in 2003, but struck down by a federal district court. Upon appeal by the State, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s decision.

We’re still digging into the facts of this case, because it may provide valuable insight for our pending battle in Idaho federal court over the recently amended Parental Consent Law. But certain fascinating facts have already been uncovered.

First – it is important for listeners to realize that, just like here in Idaho, Planned Parenthood is the mastermind behind this fresh assault on children and parents.

Secondly, this case is fascinating because the central issue is New Hampshire’s insistence that parents be notified except when “necessary to prevent the minor’s death”. That is a much stricter “health” exception than the one struck down by the 9th Circuit last year in the Idaho’s case.

News reports suggest that language similar to New Hampshire’s has already been upheld by the Supreme Court; while I am uncertain about this – the fact that the Supreme Court has agreed to accept the case suggests that they are preparing to over-rule the lower courts. That may offer new weapons for our Idaho fight.

But yet another important piece of this New Hampshire case is the whole issue of parental rights. In all the cases previously decided by the U.S. Supreme Court on teenage abortions, they have held that the right to an abortion trumps parental authority. But what they have not answered is the thorny problem of how it is constitutional to strip parents of their rights without even a pretense of due process. In other words, it is enough for a child to allege that her parents may over-react if they learned she was pregnant. Where is the opportunity for parents to defend themselves and their duty to protect their children from the wiles of the Abortion Industry?

Perhaps this case will provide the Supreme Court with an opportunity to honestly address this crucial issue.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Baseball Bat Murder Goes to Trial

A Michigan Circuit Court Judge has ruled that the boyfriend who worked with his girlfriend to kill their preborn child must stand trial.

This is the infamous “baseball bat abortion” we reported on several weeks ago. A teenage boy and his girl discovered they were pregnant. They determined that they would solve their problem by repeatedly beating the baby with a miniature baseball bat until they killed him. At 6-1/2 months into the pregnancy, they finally succeeded. The girl delivered her dead baby. Then the teen couple buried the baby in a field near the boy’s home.

The girl is not charged with criminal conduct because of a strange loophole in Michigan’s fetal homicide statute, which gives mothers blanket protections for killing their preborn children. Such a feature is the result of Supreme Court rulings legalizing abortion.

But the baby’s father is facing criminal charges.

In an attempt to get the boy off, his attorney argued in court that the charges should be dismissed because the girl consented to the murder. The attorney went so far as to argue that the girl had the right to consent to sexual relations with the boy – despite her being just 16.

But the judge ruled otherwise. He said that the boy could not defend himself through the girl – because the girl did not have a blanket right to consent to an abortion. His reasoning is that Michigan has a Parental Consent Law. If she could not give consent to a legal abortion, she also could not give consent to this type of killing.

We’ll continue to follow this dark case, which offers us a disturbing view of the Supreme Court’s impact on the moral fiber of the nation.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Planned Parenthood Behind Drive to Expand MAP

There has been big action in the fight to create wide and easy distribution of the Emergency Contraception Pill, also known as the “Morning After Pill”. In just the past week, the Oregon State Senate passed a bill which makes it legal to dispense the Morning After Pill (MAP) without a doctor’s prescription. The legislation is pending before the House. If enacted, Oregon would become one of only seven states which treat this dangerous drug as a cold remedy.

Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Legislature is considering a bill which protects pharmacists from having to dispense the MAP – even with a doctor’s prescription. It is called a matter of conscience by many, because it sometimes involves the destruction of a new life through chemical abortion.

At the same time, the Governor of Illinois has driven a truck over those professionals by ordering that pharmacists in his state shall henceforth dispense the MAP – regardless of their beliefs about abortion. Failure to provide the MAP on demand could mean a loss of the pharmacist’s license.

And in yet further developments, parents of a teenage girl in Philadelphia are suing the city because a worker there gave the girl a dose of the MAP – without parental consent. Furthermore, the girl became violently ill from the pill, as the drugs produced a chemical abortion.

So what is behind this drive to make common use of MAP? It is none other than Planned Parenthood. According to a report in the Human Life Review, Planned Parenthood is increasingly turning to abortions and delivery of the “Morning After Pill” to provide growth income to its organization.

That growth comes at a price of increased promiscuity and the spread of STDs; it comes at the price of more damaged women and girls; it comes at the price of morally-compromised physicians and pharmacists; and it comes at the cost of more killed preborn children.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

New Leadership Matters

I’d like to expand for a moment on yesterday’s commentary, regarding the state of conservative principles within the nation and the Republican Party.

I mentioned that one sign of the slippage referred to by Pat Buchanan is the impending passage of legislation by the Republican Congress to open hunting season on embryos in order to harvest their stem cells.

Gallup claims that 87% of adults interviewed believe that it is wrong to clone human beings; the same survey found that 60% of Americans have come to believe it is morally okay to conduct medical research using stem cells obtained from human embryos.

No doubt, the pro-abort members of the GOP caucus are using this data to herd their fellow congressmen into supporting public funding of embryonic stem cell research. But what intrigues me is the moral confusion evidenced by the Gallup poll. Another question found that 51% believe abortion is morally wrong; only 40% believe it is “morally acceptable”.

Obviously, there is a substantial body of folks out there who need challenging: it is not possible to be pro-Life while supporting the wanton destruction of human embryos for research purposes.

And this brings me back to the question of leadership: President Bush has actually done a fair job of articulating the case for recognizing the sanctity of human life. During a National Prayer Breakfast last week, Mr. Bush reiterated his position, saying that he opposes efforts to use science to destroy life. And on Friday, the President announced that he is prepared to veto any legislation which provides federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

I believe that President Bush is, in part, responsible for the poll’s findings of a pro-Life majority.

Interestingly enough, Gallup found 40% of Americans supported legalized abortion in the 1st Trimester back in 1969, years before the Roe decision.

Thus, we have seemingly come back to a point similar to where we began – and leadership will matter as we press forward after President Bush. Who will be the next pro-Life national leader to replace George Bush in the Republican Party? Most of the prominent names being bandied about as potential candidates in 2008 carry heavy pro-abort baggage.

It is not too soon for God’s people to begin praying that He will raise up men and women willing to use their talents to defend the innocents.

Friday, May 20, 2005

New Study Confirms Abortion-Preemie Linkage

Several major news organizations have reported in the last week on the latest study to demonstrate a strong linkage between an abortion history and premature births in future pregnancies. The Telegraph in London, the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the AMA’s Medical News Today have all reported the findings of a major French study which found that abortion doubles the risk of premature deliveries later in life.

Many babies born before 28 weeks die soon after birth; and a relatively high percentage of those who survive suffer with serious disabilities.

Despite the welcome hoopla, this is not the first such study.

Another major study was conducted in 1995 by Professor Barbara Luke in her landmark book, “Every Pregnant Woman’s Guide to Preventing Premature Birth”. In fact, there have 56 previous studies of this link. And unlike the ghastly politics which surround the debate over breast cancer and abortion – we are unaware of a single study refuting the connection between abortion and premature birth.

And, yet, we wonder: Why doesn’t anyone seem to know about this very serious problem? Why are women and girls not told of this serious consequence when they are contemplating an abortion decision?

Why doesn’t the State of Idaho enforce current law, requiring that women and girls be told about this costly consequence?

Perhaps even more outrageous is the role the March of Dimes plays in this conspiracy. Just this past session, during consideration of the Planned Parenthood Funding Bill, the March of Dimes was among those snickering in the Senate Health & Welfare Committee when I testified of the linkage between abortion and premature birth.

Even if you don’t care about health of babies or their mothers – this report should motivate you to action. Premature births cost Idaho taxpayers a substantial fortune each year. State officials have a grave duty to inform women and girls about the risks to future childbearing posed by abortion. Self-interested groups like the March of Dimes must find a little integrity as they fleece Americans of their compassion.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Dr. Brind Blasts National Cancer Institute

Dr. Joel Brind, president of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, has just published a new article in the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly challenging the ethics and scientific practices of the National Cancer Institute.

He specifically charges that a recent article on the subject of breast cancer and abortion, published in The Lancet, disregards the plain evidence. That article excluded data from 15 different published papers which demonstrated an 80% increased risk of breast cancer among post-abortive women.

Despite such data, the National Cancer Institute has declared that no link between abortion and breast cancer exists. In fact, a spokesperson for the National Cancer Institute said last week that the “abortion-breast cancer controversy is pretty much settled”.

That comment reminds me of the writings by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in one of her last abortion opinions. In the Casey decision, O’Connor openly wondered about strategies to lay the abortion question to rest once and for all. But despite their best efforts at pummeling America into submission – the Supreme Court and their friends across the Judiciary have failed to persuade a majority of Americans that legalized abortion at any time, for any reason, is sound or righteous public policy. The simple truth of the matter is that abortion “issue” won’t go away because it is in conflict with fundamental truth.

Likewise, increasing rates of breast cancer in this nation and others which have adopted legalized abortion are causing a major public health crisis. Various experts can abuse their authority all day long, but the truth about breast cancer and abortion will prevail. Unfortunately for many, the politicians at the National Cancer Institute can only prolong the suffering, measured by increasing numbers of women killed by breast cancer.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Planned Parenthood Faces Financial Scrutiny

The Pro-Family Law Center of Southern California has issued a public call for a public official in Los Angeles to step down from the Board of Planned Parenthood or face a public interest lawsuit alleging conflict of interest.

John Chiang is a member of the California State Board of Equalization, which has some responsibility for ensuring the proper use of state tax funds. Planned Parenthood is a significant recipient of California taxpayer money – millions in money to pay for abortion, treat STDs, pass out condoms to teenagers and other so-called services in which Californians luxuriate.

That immense and intricate relationship should be enough for Chiang to withdraw from one position or the other—especially since he is, apparently, an attorney and ought to be familiar with basic ethical standards.

However, this situation is even worse.

There is a lawsuit pending against Los Angeles Planned Parenthood, in which a former employee is claiming that he was fired because he exposed serious financial improprieties at Planned Parenthood. The Pro-Family Law Center is representing the former employee, a Mr. Jones.

Mr. Jones once worked as Program Manager for Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles. He has alleged that the organization engaged in a conspiracy to deceive public officials about mismanagement of public received under programs like Medi-Cal. Apparently, a private accounting firm hired by Planned Parenthood uncovered numerous examples of financial mismanagement – but these findings were withheld from state and federal officials.

It is unclear from the news report, filed by WorldNetDaily, whether the State of California is itself investigating suspected taxpayer abuse and fraud.

What is clear is that Mr. Jones was quickly fired after he made public the financial chaos within Planned Parenthood’s local affiliate in Los Angeles.

We’ll keep you informed about this potentially important situation.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Computerized Dolls to Fill the Void

Today, I’d like to share with you a different perspective on the abortion devastation. Often we in the pro-Life movement focus on the destruction of the Innocent, the cruel denial of God’s gift. But there are many victims among us, the living.

Chuck Colson recently reported on a new phenomenon in Japan, which has one of the lowest birth rates in the world. Companies there are marketing new toy dolls, called “Yumel”. The dolls have a vocabulary of 1200 phrases. While that is somewhat interesting to those of us with children – what really makes these toys unique is that they are not for kids. The manufacturers are marketing them for the lonely elderly.

Forgotten men and women in hospitals, apartments and nursing homes with no family to care for and about them are turning to these computerized dolls for companionship. Over 6000 have been sold in the first test marketing.

The generation which taught selfish sex for pleasure, who preached that the self was the beginning and end of all meaning – is now reaping the whirlwind. For those who just never found the ability to make commitments to others; for those who put careers and wealth ahead of children – there is now no one to care for them.

And not only are the lonely suffering, but so are the societies they leave behind.

Japan’s population is expected to actually decline this year for the first time in history; it is a trend expected to continue, uninterrupted, into the future.

The fact of the matter is that we all have been robbed by the Abortion Culture which permeates the whole of western civilization. Workers, visionaries, scientists, friends, companions and even grandchildren – gone by the millions; the great void created by their absence will play itself out in coming decades with tragic result.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Oregon Legislature Considers Two Pro-Life Laws

The Oregon Legislature has been debating two important pro-Life bills this session. One would require parental notification before a teenage girl can get an abortion. That legislation passed the House of Representatives on a vote of 32-27 earlier this month. But it is apparently now bottled up in the Senate Rules Committee.

Pro-life advocates view the chances of passage in the Democrat-controlled Senate as rather dim. Even more depressing is the prediction that Democrat Governor Ted Kulongoski, a fan of abortion, would veto the bill to satisfy Planned Parenthood.

The other legislation is much like Idaho’s “Noah’s Law”. It would treat the murder of an unborn child as a separate crime. It also creates criminal sanctions for harming a preborn child, with punishment of up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

HB2020 passed the House Judiciary Committee on a vote of 5 to 3. Representatives Ackerman, Barker and Macpherson voted against the measure.

As of last week, the measure, sponsored by Representatives Minnis and Flores, was stalled on the House floor.

Like other such laws, this measure presents certain ethical problems for the pro-Life community. It specifically exempts any actions by the mother which result in the injury or death of her child; and it excludes any lawful abortion of the child. Many in the pro-Life community object to such provisions as an acknowledgement of the abortion “right”.

On the other hand, such legislation expands the cover of legal protection to the many innocents who may be harmed by or killed by third party assailants. In order to protect some, we must acknowledge the present reality of the Supreme Court’s insanity. At the same time, laws such as HB2020 help build the case for overturning legalized abortion.

Friday, May 13, 2005

U.S. House Appears to Be Caving on ESCR

The Congressional debate over federal funding of embryonic stem cell research is intensifying, as the Abortion Lobby pushes members of the House to go along with the wholesale slaughter of the innocent.

We’ve known for some time that the U.S. Senate is soft on the crime of killing preborn children in order to harvest their stem cells – but the U.S. House has so far stood behind President Bush’s insistence that hunting season on embryos will not open on his watch.

Under persistent political pressure and a fortune of lobbying expenditures, campaign contributions – it appears that the House may be buckling.

HR 810, sponsored by Delaware Republican Mike Castle and Colorado Democrat Diane DeGette would overturn the Bush Policy. They may be getting close to the votes – despite the fact that the Bush Administration has expended more than $190 million in federal grants to adult stem cell research efforts; and those efforts have resulted in dozens of new treatments for various diseases.

To influence the vote, both sides are producing opinion polls claiming public support.

In August of 2004, Wilson Research Strategies conducted a national poll which found that 53% of voters opposed “using tax dollars to pay for research which requires the killing of human embryos”.

But just this week, national pollster David Winston brought forward a poll of Republicans only, claiming to show that 57% of rank-and-file Republicans favored embryonic stem cell research. According to the Seattle Post Intelligencer, the question did not include tax-funding. But regardless, I remain skeptical of his results. Surely the grassroots members who support a Human Life Amendment could not also think it good policy to pay for the selfish destruction of tiny humans.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

“MIB” No Science Fiction Tale

I’ve just finished reading Mark Levin’s new book, Men in Black. I strongly encourage you to do the same – although this book should come with a warning label. It is not for those suffering from enfeebled hearts.

Many of you may know Mark Levin as the sharp-tongued guest on Fox News. But he is not just another “talking head”; he served as Chief of Staff to Attorney General Ed Meese during the Reagan Administration. In fact, the former Attorney General has written a special supplement to the book.

Meese declares, “It is well past time for a thorough examination of this gathering constitutional crisis. This is a debate we must have, and a topic the American public must begin to understand – lest the country we bequeath to our children barely resemble that which the framers established for us.”

Those are powerful words from an attorney who has earned his living at the law for many decades; he is a master of his craft – and one with rare knowledge and experience with the inner workings of our modern system of government.

But Levin himself is even more blunt:

“Were our forefathers to view the American federal government of the 21st Century, I believe they’d be appalled….The judiciary, operating outside its [proper] scope, is the greatest threat to representative government we face today.”

Levin catalogues an epoch of judicial abuse – ranging from Roe v. Wade to affirmative action, to economic oppression to interference with the president’s war powers.

But then he offers some remedies: First, the Congress needs to begin systematically enacting legislation to limit the jurisdiction of the federal courts; secondly, he thinks that the terms of federal judges should be limited, with the ability for renewal based upon Congressional and Presidential review of the judge’s record. And, lastly, he proposes a second constitutional amendment creating a congressional veto over Court decisions, much like an override of a presidential veto.

These are important ideas for saving America. As we approach another congressional primary season, candidates should be closely scrutinized as to where they stand on the most pressing question of our time.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The All Powerful Status of an Imperfect Profession

The Terri Schiavo tragedy continues to unfold new implications for the nation, in particular issues involving the law and standards of care for those of us who become vulnerable.

It also clearly demonstrates the shortcomings of the modern medical community.

You may recall that there was a spat between Michael Schiavo and Terri’s parents over whether an autopsy would be performed on Terri following her painful demise. Michael seemed to magnanimously offer the post mortem testing, even though Florida law mandated an autopsy because Schiavo demanded a cremation of his wife’s body.

Now it turns out that medical experts reveal that even an autopsy cannot confirm Terri’s exact condition. Dr. Michael Williams, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins admits that there are limits to the medical community’s understanding of the brain and how it works. There is no neat correlation between the number of brain cells and various states of consciousness.

This lack of precision is certainly understandable; but it raises questions about the amount of raw power we’re investing in the medical profession. A recent report from the National Right to Life Committee suggests that most states now have laws on the books which give doctors the power to decide when people ought to be cut-off from further medical treatment, including food and water. These provisions of the law apparently trump even those cases where a “Living Will” is effective.

LifeNews.Com reports that a national poll last month found 76% of Americans believe patients should have ultimate say or whether they are withdrawn from life sustaining measures – regardless of whether their doctor believes the patient’s quality of life does not warrant more care.

These are serious warning signs about our culture, and bring to mind the kind of developments which characterized the early Nazi era.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Maine Case Demonstrates Parental Powerlessness

Here is an interesting story from Maine. I say ‘interesting’ because it is both disturbing and informative for parents out there curious about the disintegration of our role in our children’s lives – all under the spreading cover of a liberal ideology intent upon replacing our judgment for theirs.

Anyway, a school nurse in Maine took a student to the local Planned Parenthood clinic during school time to help her get birth control pills and a dose of “Emergency Contraception” – commonly known as the “Morning After Pill” or “MAP”.

The girl’s parents knew nothing of the trip beforehand. You see, it was really none of their business that their 15-year old daughter was sexually active, that she may have undergone a chemical abortion as a result of the Morning After Pill; they are not ‘medical professionals’ like the school nurse or the high school graduates running Planned Parenthood clinics.

What makes this situation more than the usual cause for outrage is that the school principal learned of the situation and fired the nurse. He believes the nurse violated community standards in taking such action without parental involvement. Furthermore, the nurse violated school policy which prohibits students from leaving school grounds without parental permission.

The nurse has, of course, filed suit in federal court - arguing that her rights had been violated.

A motion to dismiss the suit has already been rejected by the judge, so there is probably reason to worry that the court will adhere to a liberal ideology which acknowledges an effective right for teenagers to engage in sexual activity. A central issue in the case is Maine’s law, which requires health care providers to keep patient information confidential – even in cases involving children, and even when the person seeking that information is the child’s parent.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Boxer Boldly Announces She’ll Use Courts to Impose Agenda

We spoke last Friday about the wholesale retreat of House Republicans following the death of Terri Schiavo. Despite tough and honest talk about the arrogance of federal judges in ignoring Congress when the pain of Terri Schiavo’s destruction was fresh in our hearts and minds – the raw politics of our current system of government have caused even Tom DeLay to blink.

This greatly compounds the tragedy of Terri Schiavo. We will not even see her death translated into salvation for others.

It also points to the power politics undergirding America’s present system of government.

In a perfect example of how politics really works these days, we can look to the statements and strategies of California’s Barbara Boxer – one of the Senate’s most strident liberals.

She attempted to force a vote repealing the Hyde-Weldon Amendment. That amendment says the federal government cannot discriminate against doctors, hospitals or insurance companies who refuse to perform or pay for abortions. Her pals at NARAL and Planned Parenthood began bombarding the Senate with phone calls and emails.

But Boxer backed off when she realized the votes were simply not there to overturn the law.

Instead, she announced she would work to overturn the law through the federal courts.

In fact, Boxer is at work with California Attorney General to get a federal judge to declare this simple protection of moral conscience declared “unconstitutional”.

Despite the historical fact that America was founded upon the principles of religious and moral freedom, the Left will not be content until it vanquishes all dissent in the matter of abortion. And, tragically, they are likely to find sufficient allies on the bench willing to further “adjust” the Constitution to suit Boxer’s agenda for America.