The decision by the Lone Star State would axe funding for over a dozen Planned Parenthood facilities that don’t provide abortions on-site. Planned Parenthood received $1.2 million in taxpayer dollars under the program last year. A finalized budget will be decided on before June 1.
In January, key budget writers state Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) and state Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) acknowledged that they want to keep state money away from health care providers that also perform abortions.
The state sent a similar message in 2011 when abortion providers were cut off from state funding. Although the Obama administration threatened to cut off Medicaid funding for the state’s women’s health program, then-governor Rick Perry still committed his state to run and fully fund the program.
Unfortunately, Texan values, and, more importantly, the truth, are lost on Planned Parenthood— from its CEO to its supporters.
In favor of funding legitimate providers, as long as Planned Parenthood continues to provide abortions, that’s reason enough to bar it from the program.
While it is technically true that federal dollars are not supposed to go towards abortion, the amount of tax dollars Planned Parenthood receives, and an increase in abortion services, makes it clear where our tax dollars are going. While taxpayer funds cannot (legally) be used for abortion, such funds allow the organization to use monies for the procedure more easily.
Not only did Planned Parenthood increase abortion services, it has decreased “Cancer Screening and Prevention Services.” This information comes straight from Planned Parenthood’s 2012-13and 2013-14 annual reports.
From an objective level, wouldn’t it make sense for such productivity levels to send that program to the bottom of the list, or off of it completely? It’s not just about saving money then, but sending a message that Texans do not want their money going towards abortion providers.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion business, and it very much operates on an abortion-centric model. Let’s see Planned Parenthood for what it really is: a abortion business and not a champion for health care.
West Virginia's recently passed law prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks save for the health of the mother has officially taken effect.
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, or House Bill 2568, was overwhelmingly passed by both houses of the state legislature and then passed via the overriding of a governor's veto.
West Virginians for Life, the Morgantown-based state affiliate of the National Right to Life, lobbied for the passage of the bill.
WVFL Program Director Mary Anne Buchanan told The Christian Post that she was "extremely proud of our legislators" for passing the bill and overriding the veto.
"It is thrilling to see the unborn baby being put into the abortion debate by making an issue of their pain. Pain is something that we can all relate to," said Buchanan.
"In a nationwide poll of 1,623 registered voters in November 2014, The Quinnipiac University Poll found that 60% would support a law such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks, while only 33% opposed such legislation."
In late February, the West Virginia Legislature passed HB 2568. In early March, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed the bill over reportedly constitutional concerns.
"Tomblin's veto message reflected the same concerns he sent out in a veto response to a similar bill that passed the Legislature in 2014," reported WOWK TV.
"Despite Tomblin's veto, this year, the GOP-led Legislature had the numbers to override any piece of legislation sent back within a reasonable time. The WV House voted to override the veto by a vote of 77-16; the Senate's vote was 27-5."
Buchanan of WVFL told CP that she did not believe there would be a viable legal challenge to the new law as it takes effect this week.
"This bill has not been challenged in the courts in nine of the 11 states where it has become law," said Buchanan.
"Therefore, West Virginians for Life has reason to believe that it won't be. If it should be, we believe the bill will pass the test."
West Virginia's new law taking effect comes as many states consider increased regulation of abortion clinics and restrictions on when the abortion procedure can be performed.
Earlier this month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a similar piece of legislation after previously delaying a vote due to concerns over sufficient exemptions.
Mailee Smith, staff counsel with Americans United for Life, told CP via email that they were "encouraged by West Virginia's actions."
"Not only do such laws affirm the value of the unborn child, but they are also necessary for protecting the health of the mother," said Smith.
"It is undisputed that risk from abortion to the mother increases exponentially with increasing gestational age. It is also undisputed that the risk of harm to the mother is highest at/after 20 weeks."
Smith also told CP that there appeared to be "growing interest in these bills", as during this year "at least 11 states" were "considering measures limiting abortion at 5 months."
"Significantly, abortion proponents have challenged only 3 of these laws. One federal Circuit Court of Appeals — the notoriously pro-abortion Ninth Circuit — has invalidated Arizona's 5 month limitation," continued Smith.
"Another case out of Idaho remains pending before that same Circuit. The third case is pending in Georgia state court. The rest of the laws are in effect, protecting both women and their unborn children, and should encourage other states outside of the Ninth Circuit to do the same."
They call it “hope in the heart of hell.” Seneca Choices for Life in Columbus, GA, is a pregnancy resource center (PRC) not even a year old, but its quest is to move in next door to the Columbus Women’s Health Organization. Only 10 feet would separate death and life, and Seneca says that’s really the choice.
Responding to current pressures to be “neutral” in its approach as a PRC serving pregnant women, the center is not backing down: “Seneca believes it is time that a pregnancy resource center boldly presents itself to the community as a pro-life option that wants to rid the community of the intolerance of abortion.”
Ten feet away from Seneca’s proposed new location is an active abortion facility owned by Diane Derzis, an infamous abortionist, who said God wants her to provide abortion.
Derzis, most notable for running the now-closed All Women New Woman abortion facility in Birmingham, AL, and the last remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi, has a thriving business in Columbus, GA. And Seneca Choices for Life is ready to challenge that.
The strategy to counter abortion, the center notes, is to be as boldly pro-life as the abortion clinics are pro-abortion:
“How can we expect to foster a pro-life culture if we hide our beliefs in the shadows? Abortion clinics have flourished by boldly and unapologetically declaring their stance. As a result clinics like Planned Parenthood have become a mainstream part of our culture; being invited into our government’s budget, school systems and communities. Pro-life options have been bullied into a corner where their life affirming options are patronized under a label of intolerance.”
Seneca is raising funds to move in next door to the abortion clinic, offering women a chance to choose life: “Women are not going to stroll into our clinic because we are vague about the services we offer; the women who are going to walk into Seneca are those women who are desperately searching for a light in the mist of darkness; searching for love in the mist of intolerance.”
The fact is, a woman in crisis wants answers. Abortion clinics make a promise that the “problem” can go away. But Seneca says it can, too. With support for the woman and baby—for up to two years after birth—Seneca promises a woman a solution, not a problem.
“Hope in the heart of hell” is what Seneca Choices for Life is offering, and the women who will walk 10 feet across the way and find hope and healing will agree.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
by Steven Ertelt | LifeNews.com | 5/25/15 10:20 AM
A federal appeals court has issued a ruling banning Choose Life license plates in New York state and claimed in its decision that pro-life views are “patently offensive.” The court issued ruling in The Children First Foundation v. Fiala, which rejects a pro-adoption group’s application to sponsor a “Choose Life” specialty plate with the New York Department of Motor Vehicles.
The appeals court ruling overturned a lower court decision upholding the right of drivers in New York to purchase the pro-life plates.
A new decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals holds that New York’s state government has the right to ban “Choose Life” license plates on the grounds that such a statement is “patently offensive.”
The dispute stems from a now-suspended program offered by New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) which allowed private organizations to create custom license plates. If drivers purchased the plates, the purchasing price was split between the DMV and the non-profit.
The Children First Foundation (CFF), an organization promoting adoption as an alternative to abortion, submitted a design for a “Choose Life” license plate, which featured a drawing of two children’s faces in front of a yellow sun.
The proposed plate was rejected, with the DMV citing a policy that allows it to ban “patently offensive” plates in order to prevent incidents of road rage. The “patently offensive” category in U.S. speech is typically related to public obscenity laws, and allows for limitations on things like the public display of pornography or other materials that blatantly violate community standards.
Judge Rosemary Pooler, a Clinton appointee, agreed with New York’s position in her majority opinion. She took this view even though she also ruled that license plates are private speech subject to First Amendment protections. Despite these protections, however, she said that so many New Yorkers could find a plate advocating an anti-abortion position “patently offensive” that the DMV was justified in suppressing the speech.
In a strong dissent, Judge Debra Ann Livingston said the court was essentially granting the New York DMV the right to suppress any viewpoints it did not like.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco decried the decision.
“Pro-adoption organizations should have the same speech rights as any other organization. While the district court affirmed this basic freedom, the circuit court denied free speech in favor of government censorship. The state doesn’t have the authority to target The Children First Foundation specialty plates for censorship based on its life-affirming viewpoint. The state has wrongly gotten away with speech discrimination against our client for more than 10 years. We will review our legal options.
The battle to allow motorists to purchase Choose Life license plates has been going on in the Empire State for years.
Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed the lawsuit on behalf of The Children First Foundation in 2004 against state officials who denied its attempt to allow motorists to purchase Choose Life license plates. The New York Department of Motor Vehicles rejected CFF’s design in August 2002 — considering it “too political and controversial” to approve. The organization redesigned the plate, adding the group’s web site to it to better explain its purpose, and the DMV rejected it again.
The state dismissed the attempt to create the plate and said it was rejected in order “to avoid any appearance of governmental support for either side in the divisive national abortion debate.”
Saying its free speech rights were denied, Children First filed suit with assistance from Alliance Defense Fund attorneys and, in January 2005, a federal judge ruled it had sufficiently argued its First Amendment rights would be violated.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s second attempt to ban the plates and allowed the lawsuit to move forward. The DMV eventually suspended review of specialty plates — a move that Elizabeth Rex, president of the Children First Foundation, says was done specifically to block the Choose Life plate.
Friday, May 22, 2015
By: Brent Boles, MD| Wed May 20, 2015 - 2:02 pm EST| LIFE SITE NEWS|
May 20, 2015 (Bound4Life.com) -- On Monday, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed into law a legislative measure that requires a 48-hour waiting period following a counseling session with a licensed medical professional – before an abortion can be performed.
Abortion advocates have predictably tried to portray this as a step backwards for women, that Tennessee is “out of the mainstream” in regards to abortion rights. In reality, Tennessee has now joined the majority of the states on this issue.
Tennessee has become the 27th state with a law that requires a waiting period. The constitutionality of these types of waiting periods has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Given these facts, it is obvious Tennessee has pursued a path that is neither unconstitutional nor is it out of the mainstream.
This law is important for the protection of women the abortion industry claims to serve. Women will now complete a standardized informed consent process that accurately addresses the issue of abortion and its alternatives – and then have 48 hours to consider the information with which they have been provided.
In the online edition of the Tennessean, the state’s largest newspaper, the reporter left unchallenged a statement from abortion advocates: “no other medical procedure has a mandatory waiting period in the state.” In fact, there is a waiting period of thirty days for women who wish to undergo a permanent sterilization procedure – if they are patients who have Medicaid as their means of coverage.
This is not a state requirement; it is a federal requirement. The waiting period is designed to protect women from unscrupulous providers who might prey on women when they are vulnerable.
Perhaps the woman has just finished a long labor, and (at that moment) is unsure she ever wants another child. A provider could take advantage of a woman in that situation and talk her into a quick procedure – for which the provider would be compensated.
Thus, federal law requires that Medicaid patients who wish to ‘have their tubes tied’ complete an informed consent session with a provider, sign the form, and then wait 30 days before the procedure is done. Women who have an unintended pregnancy are just as vulnerable as women who have just finished a difficult delivery.
If a 30-day waiting period is appropriate for women who wish to end their fertility, then a 48-hour waiting period before ending a pregnancy cannot be legitimately said to be overly burdensome.
The passage of this law ends a significant chapter in the fight to protect women and unborn children from the abortion industry in the state of Tennessee.
The case of Planned Parenthood v. Sundquist in 2000 had virtually ended all abortion restrictions in the state of Tennessee. In that decision, four out of five justices on the State Supreme Court ‘found’ a fundamental right to abortion in the state constitution.
Their decision struck down laws requiring a waiting period and an informed consent process. As a result of that decision, the owner of two abortion clinics in the state successfully prevented the state from inspecting his facilities in 2002. Since then, any inspections of abortion clinics in the state have been voluntary.
For those clinics that did allow inspections, no enforcement provisions existed; Tennessee authorities could not compel clinics to correct their deficiencies. Even a cursory inspection of public documents available shows that some clinics allowing inspections had lists of deficiencies more than 50 pages long.
The battle to amend the state constitution culminated in November 2014 when Tennessee voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 1 – a measure which now allows the Legislature to once again pass meaningful actions that pertain to the abortion industry. This amendment restored the state constitution to a neutral position on the issue of abortion.
The enactment of the waiting period law follows the signing, last week, of a law requiring any facility that performs more than 50 abortions annually to be regulated as an ambulatory surgery center.
Without this law, women having an abortion in Tennessee lack the protections that patients having procedures in legitimate medical facilities enjoy. Ensuring proper infection control measures and proper training for facility personnel, among other provisions, will now exist for those patients who seek to have an abortion.
If all other patients are worthy of protection by requiring facilities to meet state standards, then it cannot be legitimately said that such requirements are inappropriate for women undergoing abortion.
Abortion is dangerous for women and ends the life of a developing human child. Common-sense laws like these result in less harm to women in our society, and more lives of beautiful possibility contributing to the future of Tennessee.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
by Sarah Zagorski | LifeNews.com | 5/21/15 8:23 AM
Vermont has a new Safe Haven law, which means that parents can hand over an infant to an employee at any fire station, health facility or hospital, with absolutely no questions asked. However, apparently Planned Parenthood is considered a safe place for infants in Vermont.
In an advertisement from Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, the abortion business announced, “Vermont has a new safe haven law. This means that rather than abandoning your newborn, you can bring your baby to a safe place where he or she will be carried for. All Planned Parenthood health centers in Vermont are safe places to bring an infant up to 30 days old. And you won’t face any legal charges if your baby has not been abused or neglected. We can help you with medical care, counseling referrals and more.”
Pro-life speaker Monica Kelsey commented on Planned Parenthood’s ad and said, “WHAT?? Say What? Are they serious?? Planned Parenthood in Vermont is a Safe Haven drop off location? I called and asked to make sure and yep, you can relinquish your child at Planned Parenthood a few minutes after it was legal for them to rip the child apart through abortion.”
Planned Parenthood is hardly a safe place for newborns considering the fact they support late-term abortion and consistently refuse to protect infants born alive at abortion facilities. For example, in 2013, a representative from the abortion business publically acknowledged that they believe an abortionist shouldn’t be mandated to provide a child with medical attention after a failed abortion.
As LifeNews previously reported, Monica Kelsey has been is a big supporter of safe haven laws because she was safely abandoned at a hospital in Indiana in 1973.
She said, “As a firefighter/medic for the state of Indiana and the fact that I was abandoned as a child, I feel a personal need to educate our youth and our communities about this life-saving law. In a perfect world, we would prefer that the mother come forward, visit a local crisis pregnancy center, and receive the assistance and counseling she needs; however, this may not be possible in all situations. With these cases, we want young women to know that the Safe Haven Law is there as an option that respects the lives of both mother and child.”
Additionally, Kelsey has been working tirelessly to bring “baby boxes” to the United States, which are climate controlled devices that allow women to relinquish their child completely anonymously without even seeing another person.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
by Steven Ertelt | LifeNews.com | 5/20/15 10:50 AM
A federal appeals court has denied a request by the University of Notre Dame to get out of having to comply with the pro-abortion HHS mandate that is a part of Obamacare and requires businesses and church groups to pay for abortion-causing drugs for their employees.
Notre Dame won a victory at the Supreme Court earlier this year. After a lower court dismissed the lawsuit, in March the Supreme Court ordered the lower court to reconsider its ruling that denied a Catholic university the freedom to follow its faith. But, today, a panel of a federal appeals court ruled that Notre Dame must comply with the mandate.
In a two-to-one ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit cleared the way for a trial of the university’s challenge but denied any immediate religious exemption.
This marked the first time that a federal appeals court had rejected a claim that the Supreme Court’s ruling last June in the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores should shield a non-profit religious organization from any role whatsoever in carrying out the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate. The issue seems certain to return to the Justices, probably next Term, although Notre Dame could try to get some temporary relief by returning quickly to the Supreme Court.
The university’s case has yet to go to trial in a federal district court, so the appeals court ruling was limited to denying preliminary protection for the university in the meantime. Still, it was a strong signal that the Roman Catholic institution may have a hard time, at least in lower courts, getting an exemption.
Although the government has made clear that non-profit groups need to take only a minimal step to take advantage of a religious exemption, Notre Dame — like some other non-profits — has been arguing that even taking such a step would mean that it had helped to implement the mandate in a way that violates its religious opposition to birth control.
Although the Supreme Court has now issued four temporary orders in non-profit cases, it has made clear that none of those was a decision on whether such institutions will ultimately be spared any role at all under the ACA mandate. This Term, the Court has sent two of those cases — Notre Dame’s was one of them — back to appeals courts to examine the impact, if any, that the Hobby Lobby ruling would have on the non-profit sector.
Circuit Judge Joel M. Flaum dissented, saying that Notre Dame had already made a case for an exemption, and so enforcement of the mandate should have been blocked.
The university has the legal option of asking for further review by the en banc Seventh Circuit or instead returning to the Supreme Court. The Justices have only about six more weeks remaining in the current Term, so it would be too late to get a formal appeal decided before the summer recess.
Previously, U.S. District Judge Robert L. Miller Jr. dismissed the suit, claiming that Notre Dame is sufficiently protected by a very narrowly-drawn religious exemption in the mandate — that pro-life legal groups say does not apply to every religious entity. Then, a three-judge panel from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision on a 2-1 vote.
In appealing that decision, the University of Notre Dame brought its request to the Supreme Court — saying the lower court decision made it the only nonprofit religious ministry in the nation without protection from the HHS mandate. The Supreme Court’s ruling today vacates the entire lower court decision forcing Notre Dame to comply and the 7th Circuit must now review its decision taking into consideration the entire Hobby Lobby case upholding that company’s right to not be forced into compliance.
The Obama administration has relied heavily on that lower court decision in other courts around the country, arguing that it should be able to impose similar burdens on religious ministries like the Little Sisters of the Poor.
After the Supreme Court ruling in the Notre Dame case, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which filed an amicus brief in the case, commented on the decision.
“This is a major blow to the federal government’s contraception mandate. For the past year, the Notre Dame decision has been the centerpiece of the government’s effort to force religious ministries to violate their beliefs or pay fines to the IRS.” said Mark Rienzi, Senior Counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which filed an amicus brief in the case. “As with the Supreme Court’s decisions in Little Sisters of the Poor and Hobby Lobby, this is a strong signal that the Supreme Court will ultimately reject the government’s narrow view of religious liberty. The government fought hard to prevent this GVR, but the Supreme Court rejected their arguments.”
He said University of Notre Dame’s pursuit of higher education is defined by its religious convictions. Its mission statement reads: “A Catholic university draws its basic inspiration from Jesus Christ as the source of wisdom and from the conviction that in him all things can be brought to their completion.” Its fight to stay true to its beliefs has brought it all the way to the Supreme Court – and back to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
According to Rienzi, over 750 plaintiffs in the other nonprofit cases have been granted protection from the unconstitutional mandate, which forces religious ministries to either violate their faith or pay massive IRS penalties.
“Half of voters now oppose a government requirement that employers provide health insurance with free contraceptives for their female employees,” Rasmussen reports.
The poll found: “The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 38% of Likely U.S. Voters still believe businesses should be required by law to provide health insurance that covers all government-approved contraceptives for women without co-payments or other charges to the patient.
Fifty-one percent (51%) disagree and say employers should not be required to provide health insurance with this type of coverage. Eleven percent (11%) are not sure.”
To them, there is no restriction that is acceptable on abortion, ever— even something as banning late-term abortions. And an article written by Emily Crockett at RH Reality Check has a nice little round-up of the pro-abortion outrage, including from one pro-abortion congresswoman who calls the bill “disgustingly cruel.”
“This bill is a danger to women’s lives and well-being, an affront to their dignity, and a threat to the rights and liberties all Americans hold dear,” Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement after the bill’s passage.
… “It’s the beginning of the end of abortion—at 20 weeks, at 17 weeks, at 12 weeks, at one week, at conception,” Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) said on the House floor. “This is an anti-abortion bill. It’s not about fetal pain, it’s not about 20 weeks.”
… President Obama has threatened to veto the bill. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest called the bill “disgraceful” at a press conference Wednesday, and said that the president “strongly opposes” it.
… Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) talked about her own two abortions, and how it felt to have to “carry around a dead fetus for two days” while waiting for her medically necessary abortion procedure.
“Women who go through these experiences go through them with so much pain and anguish,” Speier said.
Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) called the bill “disgustingly cruel” and read aloud the stories of real women whose struggles with medical and financial hardship brought them to the difficult and expensive decision to have a later abortion.
Unsurprisingly, Cecile Richards joined in on the outrage, too:
Planned Parenthood tweeted out the commonly-used pro-abortion lie that most late-term abortions are done for medical reasons, something that the ardently pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute hasdiscredited. But women getting late-term abortions, where the baby will be cruelly ripped limb from limb, because they just didn’t want the baby isn’t quite as sympathetic as the mother who “had” to get a late-term abortion because their baby had some kind of birth defect or abnormality, right?
NARAL also tried to make it seem as if this is something that Americans don’t support, by saying that it’s not an issue that Americans want legislators spending time on — except that the overwhelming majority of Americans, even those considered to be “pro-choice,” would not only ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, they would ban abortion after the first trimester.
It’s truly interesting to see how many pro-abortion extremists are wringing their hands in anguish over the idea of abortion being banned after 20 weeks. After all, the United States is one of but a small handful of countries that allows late-term abortions. Somehow, women in the rest of the world are able to survive without late-term abortion. They aren’t in constant peril of bodily injury from the lack of late-term abortions. Most countries in Europe don’t allow abortion after the first trimester, and it is not uncommon for abortion laws to be even stricter than that.
As for Louise Slaughter’s claim that a 20-week abortion ban is “disgustingly cruel,” perhaps she should take a look at the cruelty of late-term abortion methods. Babies are either ripped apart limb from limb, or they’re given a shot of poison straight to their heart in order to kill them. To her, not being able to murder a preborn child in such a callous and horrific way is cruelty, which says a lot about just how extreme she is in her pro-abortion fanaticism.
Banning abortion after 20 weeks is not extreme, cruel or dangerous to women— it is something that the majority of Americans,including the majority of women, support.
Very few countries around the world allow late-term abortion. It is needlessly cruel and violent, and almost never performed for medical reasons. Yet somehow, pro-abortion advocates fight the idea of a 20 week abortion ban tooth and nail —and all because it isn’t women’s health or women’s rights that they support. It’s because their priority, first and foremost over everything else, is abortion.
This diehard extremism in support of abortion is beyond wrong — it’s ghoulish and scary.
Monday, May 18, 2015
by Louisisna Right to Life | LifeNews.com | 5/15/15 6:35 PM
On Monday, Louisiana Right to Life and the Nola Needs Peace Coalition will host a “Stand for the 2,844″ Nola Needs Peace Rally next to the Planned Parenthood construction site at 4612 S. Claiborne Avenue in New Orleans. The event will run from 6 – 7 PM and will be rain or shine.
The event will feature the following speakers:
Ramona Trevino, Former Manager of a Planned Parenthood facility in Texas
Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond, Archbishop of New Orleans
Dr. Fred Luter, Jr., Senior Pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church
Dr. Kathy Allen, Louisiana Black Advocates for Life
Benjamin Clapper, Executive Director of Louisiana Right to Life, said the following on Friday, “Planned Parenthood wants the people of New Orleans to believe they are something other than what they are. This rally, and the testimony of Ramona Trevino, will show that Planned Parenthood is an abortion business aimed to profit off selling abortions. Why else would they set a goal of performing 2,844 additional abortions in New Orleans every year?”
Planned Parenthood poured concrete for the foundation of their facility in late March, but has apparently made little progress since that time.
500 people attended a similar rally was held at the same site two years ago in May of 2013.
A study published last weekin the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrates widespread discriminatory denial of life-preserving medical treatment to premature infants based on fear that if assisted to live they might have disabilities – in defiance of protective federal law. It provided a startling snapshot into the treatment of very premature infants.
The study looked at the survival and outcomes of almost 5,000 babies born before 27 weeks gestation at 24 hospitals from 2006 -2011. It found that 23 percent of infants are surviving at an astonishing 22 weeks gestation (20 weeks after fertilization) with treatment, but that many hospitals deliberately deny them life-saving medical treatment. In fact, the hospital attitude made the most significant difference in the probability of survival of these very premature babies.
Writing about this first major look into hospital practices regarding premature babies, Marilynn Marchione, AP’s Chief Medical Writer, explains, “There was a wide range — some hospitals always gave active treatment to the youngest preemies as opposed to just comfort care, but others never did.”
According to the AP article,
Parents need to know that “the hospital that you go to might determine what happens to your baby, although many parents are not in a position to shop around when they find themselves in these emergency situations,” said one study leader, Dr. Edward Bell of the University of Iowa.
In the NEJM study, five hospitals always actively treated babies at 22 weeks, but four other hospitals never did. When a baby was actively treated at 22 weeks, he or she was 18 percent more likely to survive than if only comfort care had been given.
According to Marchione,
“About 12,000 babies each year in the United States are born between 22 and 25 weeks gestation. …Researchers looked at rates of comfort care versus active treatment, such as breathing machines, feeding tubes or heart resuscitation. Active treatment was given to 22 percent of babies born at 22 weeks, 72 percent of those at 23 weeks and nearly all beyond that. Survival without severe impairment also was higher with treatment: 15 percent versus 3 percent at 22 weeks, and 25 percent versus 18 percent at 23 weeks.”
The reason that some hospitals treat these infants and others do not is not based on the equipment available, or hospital capability, but rather is grounded in assumptions the hospitals are making about the infants’ future quality of life.
According to Marchione,
“We just seem to be resuscitating more and more tinier babies, and there are consequences,” said Dr. Jonathan Muraskas, a neonatologist at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois. Despite medical advances, the rates of cerebral palsy, blindness, deafness, asthma and other major problems have not changed much,” he said.
In other words, Dr. Muraskas is saying that, yes, many of these babies will indeed survive, but will have disabilities. The assumption is evident: death is preferable to living with significant disability. This bias persists despite the fact that, as the study documented, providing active treatment earlier did yield dramatically less severe impairments.
For the past three decades, there has been controversy over cases in which children born with disabilities have been denied lifesaving medical treatment. The best-known instance is “Infant Doe.”
Infant Doe was born with Down syndrome in Bloomington, Indiana, on April 9, 1982. He slowly starved to death as court after court, in a widely publicized process, turned down efforts to save his life. He died after six days even as attorneys were en route to file a petition with the United States Supreme Court.
In March 1983, the Reagan Administration established a hotline to report cases of such denial, which it maintained would violate existing federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of handicap among recipients of federal funds, a position ultimately rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 1986.
In the interim, Congress adopted the Child Abuse Amendments of 1984.
Under that law, which remains in effect, in order for a state to receive federal funding for its child abuse and neglect program, it must have in place and enforce procedures to prevent “withholding of medically indicated treatment from disabled infants with life-threatening conditions.” (The exact nature of “medically indicated treatment” is detailed in the statute and its implementing regulations.)
Thus, the denial-of-treatment practices in many hospitals are directly contrary to the protective provisions of federal law designed to prevent discriminatory denial of treatment based on present or projected disability.
The AP article closes:
Hospitals’ actions had “a dramatic influence” on how infants fared, Dr. Neil Marlow of University College London commented in the journal. Just giving parents survival statistics without saying whether treatment was attempted “is misleading and helps to make poor survival a self-fulfilling prophecy,” he wrote.