Monthly Archives: July 2015

Suicide Should Not Be Made Easy

NRL News Today

Suicide Should Not Be Made Easy

By Wesley J. Smith948446-jay-franklinSuicide should not be easy to access. It should be difficult. That is how lives are sometimes saved.

I daresay, there may be people reading this post who once wanted to die for enduring and understandable reasons, but who are now glad to be living because their suicides were resisted by family, friends, and society. I know: I have met them. I hear from such people all the time.

But these days, we are told in the media and among suicide activists that we should make suicide easy.

In Australia, the media boosts a man’s quest top access suicide. Jay Franklin has a painfully debilitating chronic disease. He was accepted for a death appointment at a Swiss suicide clinic.

As they were with Brittany Maynard, the media are in full supportive mode of the planned suicide. From The Age story:

In 2013, a Dignitas doctor decided that Mr Franklin’s constant abdominal pain, difficulty eating and constant struggle to live a productive life meant he qualified for an assisted death. To get to the clinic, Mr Franklin raised thousands of dollars from sympathetic supporters to cover his expenses.

I am always stunned that people would pay to help make another person dead. Anyone who contributed to that fund will have Franklin’s death on their own shoulders if he takes a one-way trip to Switzerland.

But now, Franklin wants to do it at home, and is again asking for others’ assistance in making him dead–a request dutifully amplified by the reporter:

Taking another step in his extraordinary journey, Mr Franklin has made a video pleading for someone in Australia to give him the drug Nembutal – the so-called “peaceful pill” promoted by pro-euthanasia groups. The drug is not available on prescription in Australia, although an increasing number of people have illegally sourced it and taken their own lives with it in this country over the last decade.

Extraordinary journey?” Do you see how the reporter is validating and praising Franklin’s desire for suicide, thereby pushing an insidious and thoughtlessly cruel message–not only to Franklin that he is on the right path, but that others struggling with medically and mentally difficult conditions should consider suicide too.

In a moral and truly compassionate–the root meaning of which is to “suffer with”–world, there wouldn’t be suicide clinics.

But if flying to one is more than a suicidal person wants to do, then life is obviously still preferable to death. Anyone supplying the deadly and illegal drug to a suicidal man should be imprisoned.

Hey, The Age, hey Australia! How about support for Franklin’s life, rather than cheering on his death?

Oh: That would not sell papers.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Wesley’s great blog at

Read more at:


“And another boy!” –Planned Parenthood’s Harvesting-to-Custom Order of Baby Body Parts is ‘Sickening and Deplorable’

NRL News Today

“And another boy!” –Planned Parenthood’s Harvesting-to-Custom Order of Baby Body Parts is ‘Sickening and Deplorable’

nrl-comm-ltrhdA fourth undercover video by The Center for Medical Progress (CMP), released today, appears to show a senior physician-executive of an affiliate of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) casually discussing the harvesting and trafficking of body parts from unborn children killed by abortion. National Right to Life calls the Planned Parenthood doctor’s remarks “sickening and deplorable.”

“The chirpy nonchalance with which these Planned Parenthood executives talk about dismembering and pricing unborn children is both sickening and deplorable,” said Carol Tobias, National Right to Life president.

One segment contains footage apparently taken at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM) in Denver, and shows a conversation between two investigators posing as representatives of an organ-vending firm, and a woman identified by CMP as Dr. Savita Ginde, the clinic’s vice president and medical director.

In the video, Ginde says that most of the second-trimester abortions they perform are “D&Es,” a dismemberment method that usually does not produce “intact” specimens, but she suggests that the abortionists perhaps could be trained to perform D&Es in ways “to make sure they didn’t crush . . . to see if we could do a little work with them to maybe be a little more gentle,” in order to preserve the desired organs in good condition. Ginde notes, “I know I’ve seen livers, I’ve seen stomachs, I’ve seen plenty of neural tissue. Usually you can see the whole brain come out.”

Near the end of the video segment, after carefully picking through the parts of a 12-week abortion victim, a medical assistant happily chirps: “And another boy!” Perhaps she thought that the identifying body part would bring a premium price from the organ vendors.

In several passages Dr. Ginde appears to be acting on a belief that some of the activities under discussion are problematic from a legal standpoint or with respect to public relations, or both. For example, she advises those who she thinks represent an organ-vending firm, “Because if you have someone in a really anti-[abortion] state that is going to be doing this for you, they’re probably going to get caught.”

This latest video underscores the need for passage of legislation to cut off all federal funds to Planned Parenthood and its affiliates. The U.S. Senate is expected to vote next week on such a bill, S. 1881, introduced by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), with numerous cosponsors and the strong backing of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

“Senator Ernst’s bill would push the snout of Planned Parenthood, a bloated abortion mega-marketer and a fetal organ trafficker, out of the U.S. Treasury feeding trough,” said Douglas Johnson, legislative director for National Right to Life.

The bill states, Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no Federal funds may be made available to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, or to any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, successors, or clinics.” The bill also contains language to provide that “all funds no longer available to Planned Parenthood will continue to be made available to other eligible entities to provide women’s health care services.” In other words, any funds removed from Planned Parenthood would be reallocated to women’s health services provided by others (but such funds cannot be used for elective abortions).

PPFA is the nation’s largest provider of abortions – about one-third of all abortions in the U.S. are performed at PPFA-affiliated facilities. PPFA also receives at least $528 million annually from the federal government or other levels of government.

“As abortionists reassemble dead babies on a table, they can try to couch their actions in compassion, but they can’t mask this truth: they package violence as compassion and market it as ‘helping women’,” Tobias added.


Why the Pro-Abortion Camp Fears John Kasich

Ohio Right to Life

Friend —

At a time when the abortion industry has been exposed for trafficking aborted baby body parts, one would think this to be a terrible time to trash pro-life accomplishments like late-term abortion bans. Apparently, Mother Jones thinks otherwise.

This week, Mother Jones published a smear article on pro-life Governor John Kasich, calling him an “extremist”–a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Why? Because over the last four years, he’s signed 16 pro-life measures, including our late-term abortion ban in 2011. 

7-17-15_Kasich_on_PP.jpgSo much for a smear. Governor Kasich signed a ban on extreme late-term abortions, and he signed legislation providing new funding for pregnancy help centers at a time when Ohio is facing an infant mortality crisis. Only radical abortion cheerleaders would believe this to be devious.

Make no mistake – Big Abortion fears Kasich because after enacting a record number of pro-life laws he still won re-election in a “purple” state by 30 points! He won 86 of 88 counties in the great state of Ohio. Ohio is THE swing state and his pro-life record helped catapult him to a historic victory on election day.

We shouldn’t be surprised that Mother Jones finds scandalous all the life saving laws Governor Kasich enacted. Kasich is public enemy #1 to the abortion industry and this industry views him as a threat to their financial bottom line of aborting babies and selling their body parts.

At Ohio Right to Life, we are grateful to note that abortions are at their lowest level since their high point in the 1980s. As abortion mills continue to close their doors, and abortions continue to decline, we’re glad to read articles like this one from Mother Jones. It means we’re doing something right.

As the campaign to expose Planned Parenthood continues to unfold, it’s more important than ever that we work with our pro-life leaders to change the culture and pass life-saving legislation. Will you sign our petition to de-fund Planned Parenthood? When the pro-abortion camp is clearly scrambling to play defense, it’s critical that we keep pushing forward.

Ohio Right to Life


Are you in?

Hi  —Here’s the latest:


Your SBA List is literally working around the clock to apply as much pressure on wavering Senators as we approach this historic vote, but our funding is running dangerously low. 

ACT NOW: Make an emergency donation of $10, $35, $50, or even $100 or more to fund our efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood, America’s abortion giant. 

There is no time to spare.

Senators are deciding how to vote NOW.

We must have the resources to mobilize Americans across the country to keep the phones ringing off the hook and fill up inboxes of Senators demanding the defunding of Planned Parenthood.

So please, make your emergency contribution of any size right now – it only takes a minute. 

And then, I need you to storm Heaven with prayers

Pray that God will move the hearts of Senators…

that He will open their eyes…

allow them to watch the videos…

move their hearts… stir their conscience…

so they will vote to end taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, the Abortion Goliath.

I don’t normally ask for your prayers. And I should more often.

And I try not to bug you too much for your donations – I know it’s a sacrifice.

But now is the moment where I must ask you for both.

Are you in?

For Life,

Marjorie Dannenfelser
President, Susan B. Anthony List

PS: Your Susan B. Anthony List’s legislative and political teams are working around the clock to prepare for Monday’s historic vote to Defund Planned Parenthood in the U.S. Senate. We need an immediate infusion of contributions so we can put tremendous pressure on wavering Senators. Please, make the biggest contribution you can afford right now so we can DEFUND this abhorrent organization

U.S. Senate to Vote Within Days on De-Funding Planned Parenthood!

NRL News Today

U.S. Senate to vote within days on de-funding Planned Parenthood!

Over the past several weeks, videos released by The Center for Medical Progress have shown top doctors of Planned Parenthood Federation of America casually discussing the harvesting and trafficking of body parts from unborn children killed by abortion.If you are as troubled as I was by these videos, you should be equally troubled that more than one million unborn babies are similarly and brutally killed by the abortion industry each year.

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest provider of abortions – about one-third of all abortions in the United States are performed at Planned Parenthood facilities.

Enough is enough. It’s time to end public funding of this abortion giant!

The U.S. Senate will vote as early as Monday, August 3, on a bill — strongly backed by National Right to Life — that would cut off all federal funds to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and all of its affiliates.

Please act immediately — urge your two U.S. senators to vote in support of “Sen. Ernst’s bill, S. 1881, to de-fund Planned Parenthood.” 

Thank you.
Carol Tobias,
National Right to Life President

Assisted Suicide: This is a Road Down Which We Should Not Go

NRL News Today

Assisted suicide: This is a road down which we should not go

By Alex Schadenberg
International Chair, Euthanasia Prevention CoalitionGlyn Davies, the  MP [Member of Parliament] from Montgomeryshire  UK, responded to  Rob Marris’s Assisted Dying Bill  in an article that was  published today by Politics Home  in the UK.

Davies, focuses on the effect of legalising assisted suicide in the UK. For instance, Davies responds to Marris’s assertion that assisted suicide is happening already.  From the article :
Mr..  Marris will be aware that breaches of the existing law in this area are rare. Less than 20 cases a year cross the desk of the DPP [ Director of Public Prosecutions] throughout the whole of England and Wales. However, he tells us that “terminally ill people are ending their own lives” and that “some doctors are complicit in hastening patients’ deaths”. 
The claim about terminally ill patients ending their own lives rests on an extrapolation of data from just seven out of 139 health authorities. Even so, the number is dwarfed by the death rate from legalised assisted suicide in Oregon. Oregon’s death rate from this source last year is the equivalent to over 1,500 assisted suicide deaths in England and Wales if we had a similar law here. And it is Oregon’s law that is the model for Mr.Marris’ bill. 
As for the claim that doctors are already engaging in hastening patients’ deaths, I can do no better than quote the words of Sir Graeme Catto, Chair of the campaigning group Dignity in Dying (formerly the Voluntary Euthanasia Society). He told Mr. Marris’ meeting last week that “that is highly unlikely” because “doctors now work in teams and it is very hard to get one-to-one contact”. In fact, Sir Graeme was only confirming independent research, which has concluded that covert hastening of deaths of patients by doctors in the UK is “rare or non-existent”
Davies then points out that Marris’s assisted suicide bill is based on arbitrary criteria.  From the article :
… The essential question before Parliament is this: do you want to license doctors to involve themselves in deliberately bringing about the deaths of some of their patients? Most doctors don’t want that. 
All these ‘assisted dying’ bills rest on purely arbitrary criteria – like terminal illness (but not chronic illness or disability) and assisted suicide (but not administered euthanasia). Their boundaries are irrational and therefore permeable. That is why so many people are worried about the thin end of the wedge. This is a road down which we should not go.
Liz Carr, who is an actress and disability rights leader, stated at the  Not Dead Yet UK rally two weeks ago :
I am terrified by this bill. I am terrified because as a disabled person I have experienced first-hand how poorly our society values disabled people. It’s the same with elderly people.
I’m always been told, ‘If I was like you I’d kill myself’. ‘If I was like you I’d want to die.’ There are people who sincerely believe that people like me are better off dead. 
This is really serious. It’s about life and death. If this bill becomes law some disabled and vulnerable people will be subjected to exploitation and abuse and will die as a result. 
This bill if passed will also mean that innocent people get killed. The current law protects people against this kind of abuse. It does not need changing.
This is a road down which we should not go.
Editor’s note. This appeared at and is reprinted with permission.

NRLC Asks U.S. House Members to Co-Sponsor Bill to Prevent Obama Administration Paying Doctors To Ask Seniors if They Really Want Life-Saving Health Care

NRL News Today

NRLC Asks U.S. House Members to Co-Sponsor Bill to Prevent Obama Administration Paying Doctors To Ask Seniors if They Really Want Life-Saving Health Care

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RE: Coverage of Advance Care Planning Services Under the Medicare Program (H.R. 3251

Editor’s note. The following letter was sent today to Members of Congress.

Dear Member of Congress:

On July 8, 2015, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule (to take effect January 1, 2016) to pay doctors for “advance care planning” in Medicare. Although many advance care planning proponents give lip service to honoring individual preferences, in practice its pervasive focus is to ‘nudge’ patients to agree to forego life-saving treatment and even assisted feeding through the use of unbalanced, distorted, and even inaccurate information. Advance care planning is openly promoted as a means of slashing health care spending.

Congressman Steve King has introduced a bill, H.R. 3251, that would prevent Medicare from paying for these new and potentially biased advance care planning sessions. Advance care planning refers to counseling potential patients on deciding when to accept or reject life-preserving medical treatment and advising on legal documents embodying that decision.

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the nationwide federation of state right-to-life organizations, urges you to do everything you can to advance this legislation, including adding your name as a cosponsor if you have not already done so. NRLC is regularly updating our affiliates nationwide on the status of the cosponsorship drive.

Far from opposing the concept of advance directives concerning treatment, the National Right to Life Committee provides a ‘Will to Live’ version on and supports alternatives that provide truly informed consent to decisions about medical treatment. But we must fight the tax funding and promotion of advance care planning counseling that cannot be adequately monitored for bias and that typically is less about discovering and applying patients’ own wishes than about pushing them to accept premature death.

The Powell Center recently released a report entitled “The Bias Against Life-Preserving Treatment in Advance Care Planning,” available at .

The report cites a 2013 Health Affairs article entitled “Decision Aids: When ‘Nudging’ Patients to Make A Particular Choice Is More Ethical Than Balanced, Nondirective Content,” which gave this advice on how to get people with prostate cancer to agree not to have costly surgery:

[I]f incontinence and impotence are presented as plainly stated–that is, with no detailed description of these risks– men with early-stage prostate cancer may be swayed toward the option of surgery. If instead those possible effects of surgery are presented vividly via personal stories, men may be swayed away from the surgery option.

The Powell Center report gives multiple examples of advance care planning materials in widespread use that violate the principle of informed consent by selectively presenting facts in a distorted and unbalanced manner to “nudge” unwary patients to reject cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), IV fluids, and medically assisted feeding. Other advance care planning materials, it documents, describe disabilities and illnesses in an inaccurately repugnant way so as to induce people to agree that a low “quality of life” is not worth living.

The Powell Center report notes that providers of advance care planning materials to health insurers frequently tout the money it saves them. For example, to implement an advance care planning program Aetna hired the “Center to Advance Palliative Care,” which proudly reported that the result of its efforts was an average reduction of more than $12,000 annually in benefits for senior citizens covered by the insurance company.

The Powell Center report concludes, “Significant safeguards would need to be incorporated in any governmental program promoting . . . advance care planning in order for [it] to be truly protective of the values and intent of patients, and to ensure they are not pressured into rejecting treatment against their wishes…all in the name of cost-savings.” The proposed rule would give a blank check to use tax funds for advance care planning without any safeguards against the widespread bias against choosing life-saving that is tragically so pervasive.

Thank you for your consideration of our request that you co-sponsor this vital legislation.


David N. O’Steen, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Burke J. Balch, J.D.
Director, Powell Center for Medical Ethics

Jennifer Popik, J.D.
Senior Legislative Counsel for Medical Ethics


Connecting the dots–what We Can Learn about PPFA and the Traffic in Baby Body Parts

NRL News Today

Connecting the dots–what we can learn about PPFA and the traffic in baby body parts

  By Dave AndruskoCEO AND FOUNDER of Stem Express, Cate Dyer, stands next to a photograph of a stem cell and smaller magnetically charged antibodies on at Stem Express on Pacific Street on Nov. 12. Lab technicians at the facility used the charged antibodies in the collection process of many different types of cells for research. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene

As we’ve discussed elsewhere today, the Center for Medical Progress released the third in a series of undercover videos. Only this time, high ranking Planned Parenthood associates are not merely talking about baby lungs and brains and livers and hearts. In the third video we are taken inside a laboratory and shown the remains of an 11.6 week-old unborn baby laid out on a pie plate and being culled for saleable organs and tissues.

Also today the New York Times published a 1,459-word-long story on “fetal tissue” from abortions “for research.”

Not until one gets to the 25th paragraph–1,068 words in–does the reader learn “Fetal tissue sales are not limited to cells in a vial. More than a dozen research papers published since 2012 acknowledge obtaining intact fetal eyes, hearts, livers and kidneys from StemExpress.”

You would think that would merit mentioning in the first two paragraphs. But you would be wrong. Besides the Times might accidentally mention brains and lungs and that makes the transactions even grislier.

Who/what is StemExpress? According to Times’ reporters Denise Grady and Nicholas St. Fleur, StemExpress is a five-year-old business based in Placerville, California that “describes itself as ‘the largest provider of maternal blood and fetal tissue globally.’ It also says it offers ‘special discounts to the academic community.’”

So here are just three quick points, using quotes from the Times story.

#1. “Companies that obtain the tissue from clinics and sell it to laboratories exist in a gray zone, legally. Federal law says they cannot profit from the tissue itself, but the law does not specify how much they can charge for processing and shipping.” We won’t know how much PPFA charges–and for what–until a leading figure, like Dr. Nucatola, gives a briefing to staffers of a congressional committee.

#2. “A StemExpress brochure uncovered by the organization Center for Medical Progress, which was responsible for the leaked videos, contains an endorsement from a chapter of Planned Parenthood. It quotes Dr. Dorothy Furgerson of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte saying: ‘Our partnership with StemExpress is beneficial in a number of ways.’ It goes on to describe contributions to ‘lifesaving research,’ and its confidence that patients’ anonymity is secure.”

It’s not as simple as that, as we’ve discussed multiple times. In addition, the Times reporters do not talk about the heavy-duty selling points that PPFA affiliates use in trying to persuade women to “donate” their baby’s “tissue”: finding a possible cure of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. This is 90% hypothetical and 10% exaggeration. And

#3. Cate Dyer is the founder of StemExpress. Grady and St. Fleur write, “StemExpress uses procurement technicians to obtain fetal tissue. ‘We’re collecting biohazardous waste, discarded waste,’ Ms.  Dyer said. ‘They go to a hospital or to a facility that does terminations and collect tissues from those waste products.’”  What can you add to that dehumanizing description?

We are told by CMP that there are more videos to come. As they are made public, we will, of course, write about what they tell us.


Jahi McMath Lawsuit Percolates Under the Surface

NRL News Today

Jahi McMath Lawsuit Percolates Under the Surface–>By WESLEY J. SMITH

Jahi McMath and mom

The law professor and bioethicist, Thaddeus Mason Pope, and I disagree about most issues. But I have to say, he sure keeps up on legal affairs of mutual concern.

Through his Medical Futility Blog and Twitter feed–as far as I know, it hasn’t been reported in the papers–I discovered that there is a hearing on July 30, in the medical malpractice suit filed against Children’s Hospital and the surgeon in the Jahi McMath case, to determine whether the case can go forward.

One of the primary issues in the case concerns whether Jahi is still alive, or dead because an earlier court ruling found that she was and a death certificate was issued.

I agreed initially, but concluded that the case should be reopened based on written declarations by respectable physicians that she is not brain dead. At the very least, there should be another thorough examination of Jahi since her body has not deteriorated, which happens in almost all brain death cases.

Children’s Hospital and the doctor are fighting this. And for a good pecuniary reason: If her terrible injury was caused by malpractice, the damages will be much higher if she lives than if she is dead. Of course, that is a sword that cuts both ways.

In any event, the medical malpractice case will go forward as a wrongful death case if her “death” can’t be overturned, of that I have no doubt (having no opinion on the outcome). More when I know more.

A huge HT to Thaddeus Pope for keeping abreast! This could be a very important case. Because if Jahi isn’t dead, it will make history.
Editor’s note. This appeared on Wesley’s great blog at


“Five Star” Baby Parts: Planned Parenthood Caught Lying Again


Dear Friend of Life,
Today, there can be no further denial that Planned Parenthood is selling the body parts of human beings for profit. A third investigative video released this morning by the Center for Medical Progress shows doctors callously sifting through pieces of an 11-week aborted baby, discussing an “intact” and “five star” kidney or spinal cord as if a price tag is attached to each.

From CEO Cecile Richards, down through the ranks, it is clear that Planned Parenthood is engaging in a system-wide enterprise of profiting from the calculated destruction of human life. First, Planned Parenthood sells an abortion for several hundred to thousands of dollars, then Planned Parenthood seeks to maximize its profit by selling the baby’s remains.

These practices are a direct attack on the most basic human rights, and Ms. Richards’ only response to the mountain of evidence is to continually lie and mislead the media, elected officials, and the American taxpayer.

Video: Fact-checking Cecile Richards on baby parts sales
Planned Parenthood received over $500 million in taxpayer money last year alone. It’s time to end the taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood.
Please join me — and 120,000 fellow Americans — in signing the petition to defund Planned Parenthood today.
Yours in the fight for life,
Lila Rose President Live Action
Source: Live Action

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