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Rep. Reschenthaler Fights to Protect Abortion Survivors, Stop Infanticide

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Congressman Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) furthered Republican efforts to force a vote on H.R. 962, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which protects babies born alive after failed abortions. This marks the seventh time Democrats have said no to protecting these children and stopping infanticide.

Rep. Guy Reschenthaler

“This should not be a partisan issue. It is time for Democrats to show us whether they stand against infanticide or if they think leaving babies to die after being born is acceptable,” stated Reschenthaler.

H.R. 962, introduced by Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), ensures that a baby born alive after a failed or attempted abortion receives the same medical care as any other newborn. It would also penalize doctors who allow such infants to die or who intentionally kill a newborn following a failed abortion. Reschenthaler is a cosponsor of this critical legislation.

Gianna Jessen shared her story of surviving an abortion with the House Judiciary Committee, of which Reschenthaler is a member:

“Instead of dying, after 18 hours of being burned in my mother’s womb, I was delivered alive in an abortion clinic in Los Angeles on April the 6th, 1977. My medical records state: ‘Born alive during saline abortion’ at 6 am. Thankfully, the abortionist was not at work yet. Had he been there, he would have ended my life with strangulation, suffocation, or leaving me there to die. Instead, a nurse called an ambulance, and I was rushed to a hospital. Doctors did not expect me to live. I did. I was later diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, which was caused by a lack of oxygen to my brain while surviving the abortion. I was never supposed to hold my head up or walk. I do. If abortion is about women’s rights, then what were mine?”

A recent Marist poll found that for first time since 2009, as many or more Americans identify as pro-life as those who identify as pro-choice, with the number identifying as pro-choice dropping 8 percent over the last month. This demonstrates a dramatic shift in public opinion on abortion policy following public discussion on the new measures in New York and Virginia.

If the Democrats continue to block consideration of H.R. 962, after 30 legislative days, Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Rep. Wagner plan to file a motion to discharge the resolution from the Rules Committee.

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“It’s a discussion worth having”: the born-alive abortion survivor and “fourth trimester abortion”

By Dave Andrusko

We have now reached the countdown stage. There are only four more days before the Senate is scheduled to vote whether to proceed (“invoke cloture”) on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. As we come closer to Monday, let’s ponder what a refusal to allow a vote on whether to treat abortion survivors as you would any other premature infant signifies.

*Yesterday, a pro-abortion member of the Arizona House of Representatives frantically tried to stop debate on her bill. Why? Because of her “drafting error,” she left herself wide open to the wholly accurate charge that she favored infanticide.

She lamented that all she wanted to do was pull the teeth out of a 2017 law which made a 1975 law more specific about how to treat an abortion survivor. Left unsaid was without the enforcement mechanisms and the list of actions the abortion team must take in the case of a “failed abortion,” the abortionist could chose to define whether the child had been “delivered alive” and whether he would do anything meaningful to save the baby.

But the House Judiciary Committee chairman said no. Rep. John Allen rightly observed that numerous Democrats sponsored HB 2697.

“This is a core value of a lot of members on the other side of the aisle who signed onto this bill,” Chairman Allen said when Terán repeated her request to hold the bill. “It’s a discussion worth having.”

*Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse has played a prominent role in this unfolding and very revealing debate. He wrote an op-ed for a state newspaper, which we have reposted, in which Sen. Sasse wrote

A refusal to condemn infanticide would be the tragic culmination of abortion radicalism. Under the sway of a multibillion-dollar abortion industry that hands out millions of dollars in campaign donations, some politicians no longer have the courage even to defend a baby outside of the womb. The old slogan of “safe, legal and rare,” has been tossed aside, and some politicians appear to be comfortable with abortions even into the “fourth trimester.”

This is madness, plain and simple.

It is, but not if you’ve already imbibed a strain of extremism that is frightening not just to pro-lifers, but those countless millions of Americans who would be bewildered if they knew what the Democratic Party now stands for. One more….

*”What’s the difference between abortion and infanticide?”asked Professor Justin Dyer in an extremely thoughtful investigation at “The Public Discourse.” The subtitle is “The two issues are uncomfortably entangled.”

Prof. Dyer untangled a lot of tangled webs in the comments about treating abortion survivors made by pro-abortion Va. Gov. Ralph Northam, first on the radio, and then (even more revealingly) in his subsequent clarifications:

As the public conversation focused in on Northam’s comments, before they were quickly overshadowed by the discovery of a shockingly racist photo from his medical school yearbook page, the Governor’s office released a statement that third-trimester abortions always arise in tragic or difficult circumstances, such as a nonviable pregnancy or in the event of severe fetal abnormalities, and the governor’s comments were limited to the actions physicians would take in the event that a woman in those circumstances went into labor.

The Governor’s clarifying statement inadvertently brought to the table this clarifying question: is an infant, marked for abortion but delivered alive, even in tragic circumstances, a person whom the law ought to protect?

Grappling seriously with this question takes us very quickly to the heart of the debate over Roe v. Wade and its legacy today.

Okay, this is a teaser, but I want you to read the entire essay. Ask yourself what were/are the ticking time bombs in the Roe decision that would explode in infanticide? And why are pro-abortion Democrats so adamant in their embrace of abandoning newborn babies who miraculously escape the abortionist’s clutches?

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Unanimous consent, after-birth abortion, and the unanimity of evil

By Dave Andrusko

There must be a special place in the House and Senate Democratic caucuses reserved for those blessed by their pro-death compatriots with the honor of saying “No!” to requests for unanimous consent so Congress can move forward to consider the Born Alive Survivors Protection Act.

These champions of “women’s right” have moved (as they say in sports) to “the next level.” They are gleefully throwing sand in the legislative gears, left and left, so that members of the House and Senate can ensure that babies who miraculously survive abortions are left to die.

The truly beneficence ones will, no doubt, echo the sentiments of pro-abortion Va. Gov. Ralph Northam who opined that these helpless babies be made “comfortable” on their way to wherever their corpses are disposed.

These are not only a forthright and courageous lot, they are also clearly tender-hearted as well. Do Democrats have a Hall of Fame? If so, they should be inducted unanimously on the first ballot.

Now, admittedly you and I would consider folks such as pro-abortion Senator Patty Murray, who thwarted the call for unanimous consent in the Senate, as candidates for the Hall of Infamy. But that’s because we don’t get why their names should be included in a kind of demented Honor Roll.

We keep thinking that babies born alive are—stay with me now—alive. Separate from their mothers. Breathing on their own (unless they need assistance or, conversely, someone on the hospital staff concludes it is “unkind” to allow them to “suffer”).

We keep missing the point!!!!!!!!!!!!! They are supposed to be dead.

For whatever reason (probably danger to the mother), they have not butchered the child, like cattle at a slaughterhouse. The abortionist has induced labor early, confident the child will not survive delivery.

Alas, on occasion, there is (to use a one-time famous phrase) a “dreaded complication.” The child survives, the best efforts of the abortionist to the contrary notwithstanding.

And those darn pro-life Republicans want this child treated like any other child born prematurely. Where do they get off?

Republicans don’t understand that infanticide—whoops, failure to treat—is like a continuation play in basketball. The player is in the act of shooting (the abortion), is fouled (the baby survives), and she get a free throw (infanticide) whether or not she made the basket.

To quote that famous article written by Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva, infanticide is like “after-birth abortion.”

We’ll do our best in the days and weeks to come to let you know which Democrats in the House and Senate make sure there is no unanimous consent to move forward to consider the Born Alive Survivors Protection Act. You can be sure that each time they do, like Democrats in New York after they passed their abortion on demand “Reproductive Health Act,” they will whoop it up.

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Infanticide becomes justifiable

By Wesley J. Smith

Photo by Craig via Creative Commons. Image cropped.

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus wrote that bioethicists “professionally guide the unthinkable on its passage through the debatable on the way to becoming the justifiable until it is finally established as unexceptionable.” After the events of the last few weeks, the same could be said of liberal politicians.

Infanticide was once “unthinkable.” But over the last few decades, some of the world’s foremost bioethicists have considered baby killing worthy of respectable debate.

Princeton University’s Peter Singer is the most famous such advocate. A crass utilitarian, he argues that “being human” doesn’t have any moral import. The question of value rather depends on whether an individual exhibits the cognitive traits of a “person” over time, such as self-awareness. In this view, some human beings are non-persons—an invidious category that includes the unborn, infants, the profoundly cognitively disabled, and those who have lost their personhood through illness or injury.

Non-persons do not possess the right to life. In Rethinking Life and Death, Singer explicitly compares human non-persons to mackerel: “Since neither a newborn infant nor a fish is a person, the wrongness of killing such beings is not as great as the wrongness of killing a person.” He opines in Practical Ethics:

When the death of a disabled infant will lead to the birth of another infant with better prospects of a happy life, the total amount of happiness will be greater if the disabled infant is killed. The loss of the happy life for the first infant is outweighed by the gain of a happier life for the second. Therefore, if killing the hemophiliac infant has no adverse effect on others, it would, according to the total view, be right to kill him.

Singer has repeatedly argued that since both late-term fetuses and newborn infants lack the cognition required to attain the status of “person,” infanticide should be permitted under the same circumstances in which society permits the abortion of viable fetuses.

Singer is far from alone in tying the morality of infanticide to the ethics of late-term abortion. Several years ago, the Journal of Medical Ethicspublished an infanticide advocacy piece asserting that whatever justifies abortion also supports the right of parents to have unwanted infants killed:

In spite of the oxymoron in the expression, we propose to call this practice “after-birth abortion”, rather than “infanticide”, to emphasize that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus (on which “abortions” in the traditional sense are performed) rather than to that of a child. Therefore, we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk.

The evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne has similarly written that as a matter of Darwinian logic, killing a newborn and aborting a late-term fetus should be viewed through the same moral lens:

If you are allowed to abort a fetus that has a severe genetic defect, microcephaly, spina bifida, or so on, then why aren’t you able to euthanize that same fetus just after it’s born?

I see no substantive difference that would make the former act moral and the latter immoral. After all, newborn babies aren’t aware of death, aren’t nearly as sentient as an older child or adult, and have no rational faculties to make judgments (and if there’s severe mental disability, would never develop such faculties).

The events of the last few weeks have moved the “Neuhaus Gauge” on infanticide from “debatable” to “justifiable” because it is now being embraced within the political and cultural mainstream. New York recently legalized late-term abortion and repealed a law requiring doctors to care for babies who survive abortions. A similar Virginia proposal made huge news but failed in committee. Rhode Island has a similar bill pending, supported by its governor. Meanwhile a Vermont bill aims to make abortion an absolute right without any limitation as to time of gestation, purpose, or method. The bill has 91 co-sponsors.

Further evidence can be seen in the support Governor of Virginia Ralph Northam received after asserting that babies who survive late-term abortion can legally be left to die. Northam falsely (according to a study published by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute) states that late-term abortions are restricted to “cases where there may be severe deformities, there may be a fetus that’s non-viable.” Northam later said:

So in this particular example, if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.

Northam, a physician, is a specialist in pediatric neurology. His statement, made with such clinical detachment, chilled many. But Northam was defended—notably by New York Times liberal columnist Michelle Goldberg. Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported the brouhaha as merely a “Republicans pounce” political story, not a question of significant moral import.

This isn’t just a question of advocacy. Dutch doctors openly commit infanticide on babies born with terminal conditions or serious disabilities. Indeed, infanticide has become so socially acceptable that a bureaucratic checklist called the Groningen Protocol exists to help doctors decide which babies can be killed. Despite allowing this blatant human rights violation, the country remains in good standing in the international community. Meanwhile in the United States Senate, Democrats blocked a bill that would require medical professionals to provide care and treatment for babies born alive after abortion attempts.

How is it that infanticide has become justifiable when it was unthinkable in the years following World War II (German doctors were hanged at Nuremberg for killing disabled babies)?

The answer involves an increasing clash between contesting first principles vying for societal dominance. Is human life sacred, or does our moral worth depend on relevant personhood characteristics? Is society’s ultimate purpose to protect all innocent human life or to eliminate suffering—a category which both includes eliminating the sufferer, and, as with an unwanted fetus or newborn, the perceived cause of suffering? The answers we ultimately give to these questions will determine whether infanticide is finally established as unexceptional.

Editor’s note. This appeared at First Things.

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Tucker blasts pro-abort for dodging VA Gov’s infanticide comments: ‘I think less of you’

By Calvin Freiburger

Tucker Carlson

January 31, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Fox News primetime host Tucker Carlson devoted his opening monologue [last] Wednesday evening to Virginia Democrats’ apparent support for infanticide, leading to a firey exchange with a pro-abortion guest who refused to answer questions about the scandal.

Video went viral this week from a subcommittee hearing in which Democrat Del. Kathy Tran takes questions about her bill to repeal any restrictions and regulations on late-term abortions. Republican Del. Todd Gilbert asked how late in the third trimester a physician could perform an abortion and whether that includes when the mother “has physical signs that she is about to give birth.”

“I don’t think we have a limit in the bill […] my bill would allow that, yes,” Tran answered. In a radio interview, Virginia’s Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam also discussed the bill, suggesting that a born-alive “infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired.” He later claimed he was only referring to cases such as a “nonviable pregnancy” or “severe fetal abnormalities.”

Tran’s bill has already been tabled in committee, but the controversy – and the mainstream media’s defensive coverage of it – has sparked a discussion of the extremes to which Democrats and their allies have settled on abortion.

“Abortion at the point of dilation. If you’re confused about what that means, ask anyone who has given birth,” Carlson said of Tran’s comments. “And then think about it for a second. There’s a lot going on, obviously. But just think about that for one second. You may be pro-choice – are you okay with that?”

Moving on to Northam, Carlson said, “the governor of Virginia has just told us in public, on camera, that it’s okay to kill a child after the child has been born. That used to be called infanticide, not rhetorically, but literally infanticide – taking the life of a child who is breathing.”

“Did he misspeak? Well, you’d hope. But no, he didn’t. Ralph Northam is a physician. He is a pediatric neurologist, in fact. He is not some clueless layman who mangled a neutral talking point,” the host pointed out. “This is really what he thinks. This is what his party thinks. No one ever says it, but it’s true. This is the new, moderate pro-choice position. You should know that.”

Later in the episode, Carlson had on Monica Klein, a founding partner of and communications strategist at Seneca Strategies, which “focuses on promoting progressive, diverse and female candidates, non-profits and issue campaigns.”

Carlson began by simply asking for her thoughts on Northam’s comments, but she immediately tried to change the subject to him wanting to “go back to a time where Roe v. Wade was illegal, where women were having back-alley abortions” (which is a long-discredited myth).

“Actually, no, that’s not what I’m arguing, and please don’t be tiresome,” Carlson asked. “The governor of Virginia, who’s a rising star in the Democratic Party, just said this, there’s pending legislation that mirrors it, and I’m asking what you think of it. That’s it. I’m not here to debate Roe v. Wade.”

Yet Klein continued to sidestep the subject entirely, instead responding with general pro-abortion talking points such as “72 percent of Americans support the right to choose” and that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is a “sexual predator” (both of which are false).

“This isn’t about babies, this is about healthcare, this is about you attempting to control women’s bodies,” she claimed.

“Okay, please don’t be a robot, Monica, you’re smarter than that,” an agitated Carlson tried again. “This is the governor of Virginia just saying this, I just want to know what you think of it. Is that okay? Does that bother you? It’s a sincere question. It just happened!”

“Okay, it bothers me that you are attempting to control women’s bodies,” she responded.

“I wonder if you think you’re convincing anybody, or if your unwillingness to address what just happened today on tape, that we just played, is a sign that you can’t defend this,” Carlson replied. “And if you can’t defend it I wonder why that is. Have you paused to ask yourself as an American, as a person, what about as a woman, what do you think of that?”

Klein shot back by repeating the “control women’s bodies” talking point, and declaring, “you as a man should not have a single say in that.” Carlson expressed bewilderment that she could think she’s “making a case that most people agree with, that it’s okay to abort a child in the third trimester.”

“Tucker, you can keep trying to put words in my mouth and keep trying to say that the Democratic Party is hurting children,” she responded, “but your party is the one that is tearing families apart” via the Trump administration’s immigration policies. “So whose party is actually hurting children?”

“Let me just ask you one quick question, I mean, this is obviously a pointless conversation, and I think less of you after it,” Carlson said. “It’s an honest question: have you ever thought about it, do you have a real answer to what the governor of Virginia said, or are you gonna throw yet another talking point at me? Have you actually thought about it, will you answer that question?”

“I already think less of you,” Klein shot back, before repeating the same talking points. “I’m sorry that as a man what you’re focused on is controlling women’s bodies, but we will not allow you to do that.”

“This is a child who’s been born, this is not a woman’s body, this is an independent person,” Carlson pointed out, to which Klein simply accused him of “preted[ing] that you have concerns over children,” citing immigration once again. After that, Carlson ended the segment.

Pro-abortion activists do not appear to see the irony in their complaining about “tearing” children away from illegal immigrant parents when abortions literally tear children out of and away from their mothers forever.

The exchange has gone viral online, with most reactions falling along ideological lines. The Huffington Post’s Ed Mazza claimed Klein “put [Carlson] on notice right out of the gate,” though he didn’t explain how.

“She wouldn’t answer. Because she couldn’t answer. Because as a pro-choice diplomat, if you cede ground on one area, you must cede ground on others. Apparently,” Louder with Crowder’s Courtney Kirchoffwrote. “I guess it’s too much for Monica Klein, and other pro-abortionists, to admit that yeah, killing a born baby is bad. Let that sink in.”

Klein herself appears pleased with her performance, tweeting several favorable reviews and dismissing her critics as “trolls.”

Editor’s note. This appeared at LifeSiteNews and is reposted with permission.

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National Right to Life Praises Sen. Sasse’s Call for Action on Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

WASHINGTON – The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) today praised Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) for taking to the Senate floor to call for passage of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (S. 130). If enacted, the bill would extend federal legal protection to babies who are born alive during an abortion.

“Pro-abortion Democrats who oppose this bill should be forced to explain why they are against making it a crime to treat a born-alive human person as a creature who may be subjected to lethal violence with impunity or as medical waste,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “Pro-abortion Democrats should be forced to explain why their allegiance to the abortion industry agenda should allow a practice that is tantamount to infanticide.”

The call for Senate action comes a week after the New York legislature passed, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed, the so-called “Reproductive Health Act.” Among other provisions, the law repealed protections for infants born alive during an attempted abortion. Previously, New York law stipulated that a second physician be present to care for a child 20 weeks or older born alive during an abortion. Cuomo was an enthusiastic supporter of the bill.

Sasse’s comments on the floor also come a day after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) waded into the debate over a similar measure in the Commonwealth. In a radio interview Northam indicated that, in his view, an infant born alive during an attempted abortion wouldn’t necessarily be entitled to immediate treatment.

“The extreme pro-abortion agenda has been laid bare for all to see, thanks to the governors of New York and Virginia: they believe it should be legal to kill unborn babies, for absolutely any reason, at any time up to and including the moment of their birth, and even in the moments after they are born.” Tobias added.

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Late-Term Abortion and Infanticide: Defending the Indefensible

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

I recall an incident that occurred when I was working as a journalist for the mainstream media. A woman from the pro-abortion lobbying group known as NARAL led a gaggle of reporters to believe that late-term abortions only occurred to save mothers’ lives.

Virginia state Rep. Kathy Tran

Later, a national abortion industry spokesman admitted that the majority of those obtaining late-term abortions were teenagers. The spokesman indicated that the teens were uneasy about abortion, so they had delayed the decision to abort into the third trimester.

Now, we have a Virginia lawmaker openly and brazenly admitting that her bill would allow for abortions while a woman is in labor. The bill will thankfully go nowhere, but the discussion is relevant nonetheless.

Here is the exchange between the lawmaker, Kathy Tran (D-Fairfax) and a fellow legislator, Todd Gilbert:

Gilbert: Where it’s obvious a woman is about to give birth, that she has physical signs that she is about to give birth. Would that be a point at which she could still request an abortion if she was so certified? She’s dilating.

Tran: Mr. Chairman, that would be a decision that the doctor, the physician, and the woman would make at that point.

Gilbert: I understand that. I’m asking if your bill allows that.

Tran: My bill would allow that, yes.

Not to be outdone, the Governor of Virginia, Democrat Ralph Northam, took the explosive situation a step further. On a radio show, Northam delivered a defense of what can only be described as infanticide: “If a mother is in labor…the infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and mother.”

To paraphrase Shakespeare, “To kill or not to kill, that is the question.”

One national poll showed that only 15 percent of Americans support late-term abortions. I would hazard a guess the number is even lower for those supporting “after-birth abortions.”

These politicians are completely out of step with the American mainstream. They express no compassion whatsoever for a baby–whether inside or outside the mother’s womb.

The time to act is now. Please share these stories of late-term abortion and infanticide propaganda with your friends and relatives. Let them know what these politicians stand for–a total contempt for the most innocent and defenseless among us.

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The Pagan Logic of Infanticide

Autonomy over Human Dignity

By John Stonestreet & Roberto Rivera

Among the pagan practices vanquished by early Christians was infanticide. As Christianity fades in the West, so do our defenses against infanticide in all its grisly forms.

Since its beginning, the pro-life movement has argued that the logic that justified abortion-on-demand could, at some point, be also used to justify infanticide.

And for just as long, defenders of abortion rights have rolled their eyes, literally and figuratively, regarding our concerns about the slippery slope of killing innocents as “kooky” and “alarmist.”

But then in 1997, Steven Pinker, one of the leading lights of what’s known as “evolutionary psychology,” published a piece in the New York Times that argued for the “naturalness” of infanticide. While not denying that under modern conditions, “Killing a baby is an immoral act,” it was a kind of triage for our not-so-distant relatives to separate those likely to survive from those unlikely to survive.

More importantly, as Pinker memorably put it, the genes that shaped that behavior are still present within the human race today. “A new mother . . .” he said, “will first coolly assess the infant and her situation and only in the next few days begin to see it as a unique and wonderful individual.”

To which the late Michael Kelly, who had previously dismissed any link between abortion and infanticide, replied “Yes, that was my wife all over: cool as a cucumber as she assessed whether to keep her first-born child or toss him out the window.”

While Kelly may have won the battle of wits two decades ago, it may be that Pinker is winning the long-term war of ideas.

Fordham ethicist Charles Camosy recently noted in Commonweal magazine []that what was shocking to Kelly two decades ago is becoming normal today. Far from being “alarmist” or “kooky,” there’s a straight line between our ideas about abortion and our increasing willingness to countenance the idea of infanticide.

As Camosy points out, if “being a living organism of the species Homo sapiens,” as a human fetus certainly is, doesn’t confer “a moral or legal right to life,” what does? The “most reasonable” answer is “self-awareness and the ability to care about one’s own life.” But since newborn infants, like fetuses, don’t meet this criteria, “infanticide does not violate a person’s right to life.”

Now, Camosy doesn’t believe any of this. He’s merely explaining “the surprisingly compelling” link between abortion and infanticide.

Just in the past decade, this lethal logic has made its way into government and hospitals. In 2004, the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands adopted a protocol to allow for the killing of infants whose condition was deemed “hopeless.” Now such a killing is technically illegal under Dutch law, which reserves euthanasia for those twelve and older, but no physician who follows this protocol has ever been prosecuted.

And consider the recent cases of Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans, whose parents were denied permission to leave Britain in search of further treatment for their ailing sons. As Camosy writes, “Their lives were deemed (by doctors with no special moral training or authority) to be without dignity; their suffering deemed to be pointless.”

Camosy’s logic and his use of the word “dignity” points to the ultimate source of creeping infanticide—the West’s rejection of Christianity. The idea of human dignity is one of Christianity’s great gifts to Western civilization.

The Christian vision of humanity is the basis for our ideas about equality and human rights. As Eric Metaxas recently said on BreakPoint, Christianity is why we believe the poor and the weak have intrinsic value, something the ancient Greek and Roman pagans would have scoffed at.

And so do people like Pinker. He calls the idea of human dignity “stupid.” In his thinking, “human dignity” should be replaced with “autonomy,” and therefore personhood can only be established after birth.

As it turns out, our concerns weren’t that kooky after all.

Editor’s note. This appeared at Breakpoint and is reposted with permission.

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Canadian Doctors Get Ready for Child Euthanasia

In the United States’ most culturally aligned nation, a race toward the once-unthinkable accelerates

By Wesley J. Smith

It never made any sense. The assurance that active euthanasia would always be limited to terminally ill, competent adults just never made any sense.

Here’s the problem: Once a society widely supports eliminating suffering by eliminating the sufferer and redefines as a “medical treatment” the act whereby doctors kill seriously ill patients, there is no logical argument for limiting euthanasia to adults with legal decision-making capacity. After all, children suffer too, so how can they be logically refused “medical aid in dying” — or MAiD, the current euphemism for euthanasia and assisted suicide — only because of their age?

The short answer, of course, is that they can’t and they won’t be, once a society generally embraces euthanasia consciousness, as is demonstrated by the three countries where lethal-jab euthanasia has been legalized and now has popular support.

Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002 for anyone age twelve and older. In 2014, it eliminated all age restrictions. A recent report published by Belgian authorities reveals that three children were euthanized  legally in 2016–17 — the youngest at age nine — with the two others at ages eleven and 17, respectively. Their maladies? Cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, and a brain tumor.

Euthanasia has popular support in the Netherlands as well. There children down to age twelve are permitted to be euthanized, with parental permission required until age 17. Infanticide is also practiced openly by Dutch doctors, even though it is technically illegal. Indeed, the “Groningen Protocol,” a bureaucratic checklist published by Dutch pediatricians, describes which terminally ill and seriously disabled babies can be put down.

When these horrors are brought up in euthanasia debates in the United States, assisted-suicide advocates wave off the concern as mere slippery-slope advocacy and sniff that whatever policies Belgium and Netherlands have adopted, those countries are very different culturally from the United States. Now that blithe assurance is poised to become inoperable, as Canada appears on the verge of allowing children to be euthanized.

The Canadian Supreme Court in 2015 created a right to be euthanized, followed by enabling legislation in the national and provincial parliaments. The law basically guarantees the availability of euthanasia to adults experiencing intractable suffering — as defined by the patient — in circumstances where death is reasonably foreseeable. Serious discussions are now underway to expand that license to children. That development is especially alarming for the United States, given that Canada is our closest cultural cousin.

The Canadian medical establishment has clearly signaled its acquiescence.

Earlier this year, the Canadian Paediatric Society issued a position paper titled “Medical Assistance in Dying: A Paediatric Perspective.” The paper is entirely uncritical of expanding the euthanasia law to include minors. More than that, the statement makes recommendations about how to implement pediatric euthanasia once the law permits. In refusing to oppose legalization or, indeed, to make even one substantive argument against its moral propriety, the society implicitly endorses a policy that would allow sick and disabled children to be killed.

Member pediatricians were polled about the question. Only one-third of respondents opposed expanding Canada’s euthanasia law to children in all circumstances. Almost half (46 percent) were in favor of extending the MAID option to “mature minors experiencing progressive illness or intractable pain.” (According to the report, “the mature minor doctrine recognizes that a patient’s comprehension of the nature and consequences of a treatment has determinants beyond age, and that children’s wishes should be granted degrees of deference that reflect their evolving maturity.”) There’s more: Twenty-nine percent of answering respondents believe in making euthanasia available to mature minors experiencing “intolerable disability,” while 8 percent would even extend the killing to mature minors with “intolerable mental illness as the sole indication”!

Some parents are already open to having their sick children killed. A startling 40 percent of those responding to questionnaires reported having already held “exploratory discussions” with parents about killing their seriously ill mature children — and that’s while child euthanasia remains illegal in Canada.

What about euthanasia for “never competent children”? Forty-five respondents reported having received explicit parental requests to euthanize their children. One-half of the requests were for babies under the age of one. Netherlands-style infanticide, here we come. Thirty-two percent of responding doctors said they approved of allowing euthanasia for immature children “in rare situations involving terminal illness or intractable pain, provided that the process was accompanied by significant oversight.”

While the paper did not take an explicit position on legalizing child euthanasia, it is not reticent about forcing doctors’ participation once it becomes legal. Even though only 19 percent — still a startling figure — of responding doctors stated they would personally euthanize children, the society argued that, on legalization, dissenting doctors would have the ethical obligation to “inform” patients about the euthanasia option and to “refer requesting patients or families appropriately” to doctors known to be willing to do the deed. (In Canada, this is known as an “effective referral.” An Ontario judge has even ruled that Catholic and other dissenting doctors morally and religiously opposed to euthanasia must so participate in adult euthanasia or get out of medicine. One presumes that the same coercion would apply to pediatricians should pediatric euthanasia become legal.)

In contrast to the society’s supportive neutrality (let’s call it) to child euthanasia, in “Medically Assisted Dying in a Paediatric Hospital,” an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics, doctors and bioethicists associated with a children’s hospital in Toronto are positively enthusiastic about expanding the law. Indeed, the authors report, some doctors at the Hospital for Sick Children have already volunteered to euthanize children once that lethal act becomes legal.

The authors assume that pediatric euthanasia will be soon legalized in Canada, at least for mature minors — a good bet, as the government has planned legalization as a two-step process, starting with competent adults and then potentially expanding to the legally incompetent. Accordingly, the paper describes the bureaucratic process the hospital plans to implement once minors can be given lethal jabs.

I found this point particularly startling: Doctors will be allowed to euthanize “capable minors” — akin to a “mature minor,” as previously described — without parental consent or even their notification (my italics):

If . . . a capable [legally underage] patient explicitly indicates that they do not want their family members involved in their decision-making, although healthcare providers may encourage the patient to reconsider and involve their family, ultimately the wishes of capable patients with respect to confidentiality must be respected. If we regard MAiD as practically and ethically equivalent to other medical decisions that result in the end of life, then confidentiality regarding MAiD should be managed in this same way.

The paper was not as explicit about doctors euthanizing children who do not have the perceived mental capacity to decide for themselves. But the paper does state that lethal jabs should be considered “practically and ethically equivalent to other medical practices that result in the end of life.” That means parents would be able to request pediatric euthanasia in the same way they can now order the removal of life support in an ICU.

COMMENTS

The members of the working group are also intent on doing what they can to normalize pediatric euthanasia as a standard part of medical practice, stating,

“We will . . . as an institution, publicly discuss the provision of MAiD in an effort to normalise this procedure and reduce social stigma for everyone involved.”

Good grief. Sometimes “social stigma” serves a positive social purpose by preventing immoral acts regardless of legality.

Here’s the bottom line: Countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, and now our most culturally aligned nation, Canada, demonstrate that once a society popularly accepts euthanasia, there are no brakes to prevent the steady expansion of the killing license, to include eventually even children and babies — acts that, until very recently, were universally condemned in the civilized world. Those with eyes to see, let them see.

Editor’s note. Wesley’s great posts appear at National Review Online and are reposted with his permission.

The post Canadian Doctors Get Ready for Child Euthanasia appeared first on NRL News Today.

Categories
assisted suicide Blog child assisted suicide Euthanasia Infanticide Medical Ethics Parental Involvement

Canadian Doctors Get Ready for Child Euthanasia

In the United States’ most culturally aligned nation, a race toward the once-unthinkable accelerates

By Wesley J. Smith

It never made any sense. The assurance that active euthanasia would always be limited to terminally ill, competent adults just never made any sense.

Here’s the problem: Once a society widely supports eliminating suffering by eliminating the sufferer and redefines as a “medical treatment” the act whereby doctors kill seriously ill patients, there is no logical argument for limiting euthanasia to adults with legal decision-making capacity. After all, children suffer too, so how can they be logically refused “medical aid in dying” — or MAiD, the current euphemism for euthanasia and assisted suicide — only because of their age?

The short answer, of course, is that they can’t and they won’t be, once a society generally embraces euthanasia consciousness, as is demonstrated by the three countries where lethal-jab euthanasia has been legalized and now has popular support.

Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002 for anyone age twelve and older. In 2014, it eliminated all age restrictions. A recent report published by Belgian authorities reveals that three children were euthanized  legally in 2016–17 — the youngest at age nine — with the two others at ages eleven and 17, respectively. Their maladies? Cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, and a brain tumor.

Euthanasia has popular support in the Netherlands as well. There children down to age twelve are permitted to be euthanized, with parental permission required until age 17. Infanticide is also practiced openly by Dutch doctors, even though it is technically illegal. Indeed, the “Groningen Protocol,” a bureaucratic checklist published by Dutch pediatricians, describes which terminally ill and seriously disabled babies can be put down.

When these horrors are brought up in euthanasia debates in the United States, assisted-suicide advocates wave off the concern as mere slippery-slope advocacy and sniff that whatever policies Belgium and Netherlands have adopted, those countries are very different culturally from the United States. Now that blithe assurance is poised to become inoperable, as Canada appears on the verge of allowing children to be euthanized.

The Canadian Supreme Court in 2015 created a right to be euthanized, followed by enabling legislation in the national and provincial parliaments. The law basically guarantees the availability of euthanasia to adults experiencing intractable suffering — as defined by the patient — in circumstances where death is reasonably foreseeable. Serious discussions are now underway to expand that license to children. That development is especially alarming for the United States, given that Canada is our closest cultural cousin.

The Canadian medical establishment has clearly signaled its acquiescence.

Earlier this year, the Canadian Paediatric Society issued a position paper titled “Medical Assistance in Dying: A Paediatric Perspective.” The paper is entirely uncritical of expanding the euthanasia law to include minors. More than that, the statement makes recommendations about how to implement pediatric euthanasia once the law permits. In refusing to oppose legalization or, indeed, to make even one substantive argument against its moral propriety, the society implicitly endorses a policy that would allow sick and disabled children to be killed.

Member pediatricians were polled about the question. Only one-third of respondents opposed expanding Canada’s euthanasia law to children in all circumstances. Almost half (46 percent) were in favor of extending the MAID option to “mature minors experiencing progressive illness or intractable pain.” (According to the report, “the mature minor doctrine recognizes that a patient’s comprehension of the nature and consequences of a treatment has determinants beyond age, and that children’s wishes should be granted degrees of deference that reflect their evolving maturity.”) There’s more: Twenty-nine percent of answering respondents believe in making euthanasia available to mature minors experiencing “intolerable disability,” while 8 percent would even extend the killing to mature minors with “intolerable mental illness as the sole indication”!

Some parents are already open to having their sick children killed. A startling 40 percent of those responding to questionnaires reported having already held “exploratory discussions” with parents about killing their seriously ill mature children — and that’s while child euthanasia remains illegal in Canada.

What about euthanasia for “never competent children”? Forty-five respondents reported having received explicit parental requests to euthanize their children. One-half of the requests were for babies under the age of one. Netherlands-style infanticide, here we come. Thirty-two percent of responding doctors said they approved of allowing euthanasia for immature children “in rare situations involving terminal illness or intractable pain, provided that the process was accompanied by significant oversight.”

While the paper did not take an explicit position on legalizing child euthanasia, it is not reticent about forcing doctors’ participation once it becomes legal. Even though only 19 percent — still a startling figure — of responding doctors stated they would personally euthanize children, the society argued that, on legalization, dissenting doctors would have the ethical obligation to “inform” patients about the euthanasia option and to “refer requesting patients or families appropriately” to doctors known to be willing to do the deed. (In Canada, this is known as an “effective referral.” An Ontario judge has even ruled that Catholic and other dissenting doctors morally and religiously opposed to euthanasia must so participate in adult euthanasia or get out of medicine. One presumes that the same coercion would apply to pediatricians should pediatric euthanasia become legal.)

In contrast to the society’s supportive neutrality (let’s call it) to child euthanasia, in “Medically Assisted Dying in a Paediatric Hospital,” an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics, doctors and bioethicists associated with a children’s hospital in Toronto are positively enthusiastic about expanding the law. Indeed, the authors report, some doctors at the Hospital for Sick Children have already volunteered to euthanize children once that lethal act becomes legal.

The authors assume that pediatric euthanasia will be soon legalized in Canada, at least for mature minors — a good bet, as the government has planned legalization as a two-step process, starting with competent adults and then potentially expanding to the legally incompetent. Accordingly, the paper describes the bureaucratic process the hospital plans to implement once minors can be given lethal jabs.

I found this point particularly startling: Doctors will be allowed to euthanize “capable minors” — akin to a “mature minor,” as previously described — without parental consent or even their notification (my italics):

If . . . a capable [legally underage] patient explicitly indicates that they do not want their family members involved in their decision-making, although healthcare providers may encourage the patient to reconsider and involve their family, ultimately the wishes of capable patients with respect to confidentiality must be respected. If we regard MAiD as practically and ethically equivalent to other medical decisions that result in the end of life, then confidentiality regarding MAiD should be managed in this same way.

The paper was not as explicit about doctors euthanizing children who do not have the perceived mental capacity to decide for themselves. But the paper does state that lethal jabs should be considered “practically and ethically equivalent to other medical practices that result in the end of life.” That means parents would be able to request pediatric euthanasia in the same way they can now order the removal of life support in an ICU.

COMMENTS

The members of the working group are also intent on doing what they can to normalize pediatric euthanasia as a standard part of medical practice, stating,

“We will . . . as an institution, publicly discuss the provision of MAiD in an effort to normalise this procedure and reduce social stigma for everyone involved.”

Good grief. Sometimes “social stigma” serves a positive social purpose by preventing immoral acts regardless of legality.

Here’s the bottom line: Countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, and now our most culturally aligned nation, Canada, demonstrate that once a society popularly accepts euthanasia, there are no brakes to prevent the steady expansion of the killing license, to include eventually even children and babies — acts that, until very recently, were universally condemned in the civilized world. Those with eyes to see, let them see.

Editor’s note. Wesley’s great posts appear at National Review Online and are reposted with his permission.

The post Canadian Doctors Get Ready for Child Euthanasia appeared first on NRL News Today.