Illinois Right to Life Committee
Summer 2011 IRLC News
Girl Scouts continue working with Planned Parenthood
Regulation of Abortion Facilities (or Lack Thereof)
The Dangerous Distortion of Palliative Care in Hospice and Elsewhere
President's Report: Does Abortion Trump All Other Rights?
Sex Education Leaves Young Children "Uneducable"
Consequence of Abortion: Destroying Respect for Human Life
Threat to Down Syndrome Babies Likely to Increase
At the national level the Girls Scouts of America leadership has long been supportive of "reproductive health" which includes "abortion rights." This skewed perspective has led to greater involvement with Planned Parenthood and their dangerous programs directed at young women.
Recently, two teenagers, both former girl scouts, Tess and Sydney Volanski, have begun an effort to educate their friends and girls around the nation about the relationship between Planned Parenthood and the Girl Scouts. They describe it as a moral imperative to speak the truth about the girl scouts. Get details at their blog, which presents the following opening statement:
We are two teenagers that were involved in Girl Scouts for eight years. We parted ways with the organization when we discovered that they have a pro-abortion mindset. We refuse to remain silent while this organizations unscrupulous principles mislead over 2 million girls in the United States alone. We created SpeakNowGirlScouts.com in order to spread the truth to others who have no idea what GSUSAs true intentions are. This website is our way to speak now and we hope it encourages you to do the same!
In a recent column for the Denver Catholic Register, Denver Auxiliary Bishop James D. Conley observes that in the last year a growing number of parents and youth ministers have shared concerns with him over the Girl Scouts alignment with groups advocating abortion.
He urges parents to browse for themselves the websites of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA) to see the organizations approach to "sexuality, choice, and reproductive issues," saying this exercise "may be a sobering experience."
In his column, Bishop Conley quotes a youth minister who warned that girls who have been influenced by Girl Scouts USA will be "more receptive" to the pro-abortion and pro-contraception agenda. Two scouting alternatives to the Girl Scouts are American Heritage Girls and Little Flowers and Blue Knights.
Regulation of Abortion Facilities (or Lack Thereof)
New regulations of abortion facilities have been enacted in many states during the 2011 legislative session. One bill even passed unanimously in Illinois. That bill (HB 2093) makes more abortion facility personnel mandated reporters when statutory rape is suspected, including physicians, physician assistants, nurses, medical technicians, social workers, and licensed counselors.
Unfortunately, another Illinois bill (HB 3156) to require that abortion facilities meet the same regulations that apply to ambulatory surgical treatment centers generally was not advanced after it fell 3 votes short in the Illinois House. That vote suggests too many legislators are more beholden to abortion providers than to women's safety. Why should consistently applying outpatient surgical medical regulations to include abortion facilities be considered controversial?
Planned Parenthood has established a dangerous protocol for committing RU-486 abortions in Iowa. This approach, where the patient never sees a doctor in person, is called webcam or telemed abortion. As it became clear that Planned Parenthood intends to expand webcam abortions from Iowa into other states, some states have taken action. Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arizona have enacted laws to ban webcam abortions.
In 2010 Nebraska became the first state to enact a law banning late-term abortion based on evidence the baby feels pain. During 2011 a number of states have enacted laws to ban abortion after 20 weeks because of the scientific finding that the baby can feel pain. Joining Nebraska are the states of Kansas, Idaho, Oklahoma, Indiana, and Alabama.
Kansas and Virginia have passed laws to require abortion facilities to comply with medical standards that other ambulatory surgical facilities must meet. Pending closure of some abortion facilities in those states demonstrates the need for more regulations to require compliance with medical standards, such as HB 3156 that failed in Illinois this year, followed by more oversight of abortion facilities.
The Dangerous Distortion of Palliative Care
in Hospice and Elsewhere
When a loved one is facing serious medical issues, the stress of the moment can lead to assumptions that the medical team always has the best interests of the patient in mind or that the nearest relative is taking sufficient care to oversee the situation. Unfortunately, lack of vigilence can lead to actions or omissions that ultimately hasten death, whether under hospice care, or within a hospital or nursing home.
Painkillers such as morphine can be used effectively to keep a patient comfortable in the true spirit of palliative care, where hastening death is not the intent and usually not the result. However, under the influence of people affiliated with the right to die movement, another care philosophy is being pushed that views steps to hasten death as compassionate care. When medical staff are conditioned to accept this viewpoint, they take a more aggressive approach that often involves excessive painkillers and denial of food and water, but such practices are being promoted and hailed as "improved" end of life care.
Too often patients who at one point seemed on the road to recovery are found to move quickly to the point of death, not because their underlying condition has changed radically for the worse, but because they are given painkillers in excess, quickly slip into a sedated state, are unable to eat and are given nothing by IV or feeding tube. Under these circumstances their rapid decline leads to untimely death.
In one recent case a son contacted me about his father. After a stroke, the attending physician was positive about the fathers prospects for recovery, and he was sent to a facility for therapy. Another son lived closer to this facility, so the son that contacted me was not initially aware of a developing problem. The stroke had made swallowing problematic, but the therapy facility staff chose to ignore this issue, give the patient standard food that he was hardly able to eat, and offer no alternative sources of food and water.
As the patients condition deteriorated over the next 10 days, the son who later called me finally realized something was wrong when he could no longer communicate with his father. Only after a difficult struggle with the medical team was this son able to get an IV introduced, but his father developed new complications, possibly caused by the serious lack of food and water over two weeks. The result was a move from therapy to hospice. To add more insult to injury, the hospice likely used excessive painkillers given the quick death that followed.
Another sad case was described in emails that I received:
[Tues PM] My father has terminal lung cancer; I have no doubt that he will be dying in the not so near future, and it will be hard to accept when the time comes. Long story short, he entered hospice care this last weekend, and if the course of action does not change immediately, he will likely be dead by the end of the week. He was for the most part fine, just needing some breathing assistance and oxygen, when I spoke to him Sunday. They are dosing him heavily with morphine, and he is currently catatonic.
[Wed PM] Sadly, my father passed at about 1am this morning. My father had a very limited life expectancy remaining, about 6 months. With that in mind, I am still very sad and angry that this played out just like the stories related on your website. Regardless, it was not our wish, desire, or decision for him to be terminally sedated, and that's very likely what happened. We had very real plans to move him down to Florida to enjoy his last days, and I can't help but feel cheated in this.
In another case, a nurse witnessed a doctor euthanizing a Catholic priest who stated in no uncertain terms that he did not want hospice. The priest did not have cancer or any other terminal illness. He was 94, still saying Mass and very active. When the priest needed knee surgery for an injury to his knee, the doctor decided it was time to call in hospice. The priest adamantly and angrily refused. So the doctor took his medicine away and started to give him 'pain pills' even though the priest said he was not in pain. Side effects from a drug complication required a hospital stay. While in the hospital, the doctor refused him food and fluids, and then began drugging the priest with morphine. The priest told the nurse what they were doing when she visited him. Even with her attempted intervention, the priest never made it out of that hospital.
When members of the medical team decide a person should not be living that way using their own quality of life criteria, whether they first use excessive painkillers and then deny food and water or deny food and water and then introduce painkillers, the result is the same. Vigilence is necessary both to find facilities that offer life-affirming medical care and monitor and assess that care closely.
IRLC offers a hospice checklist, but some of those same questions now need to be asked to evaluate hospital and nursing home care. Having the right advance directive can also help, but is no guarantee, especially if you have not been selective in choosing an agent who will truly defend your right to life.
IRLC recommends that you avoid both the living will (in any form) and the "Illinois Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney for Health Care." Choose either the IRLC Patient Self-Protection Document or another life-affirming durable power of attorney for health care.
Does Abortion Trump All Other Rights?
Did you know that a minor girl in Illinois can get an abortion without the knowledge or consent of her parents? While parents are kept in the dark, young girls are at the mercy of abortion clinic counselors and the abortionist who have an incentive of profit to promote and perform the abortion.
It is often suggested that the young woman shouldnt have to inform her parents because she is afraid of abuse at home. Can anyone actually believe the majority of parents are abusive? That parents do not love their children or help them through difficult situations and bad choices?
The original parental notification of abortion law was passed in 1977. It was declared unconstitutional by the courts and it was never enforced. Another parental notice law was passed in 1983, but it faced the same fate as the 1977 law.
In 1995, the Illinois General Assembly enacted the Parental Notice of Abortion Act. It requires a parent or guardian to be notified 48 hours before a child under 18 has an abortion. Immediately the ACLU obtained an injunction in Federal Court due to unclear rules on the judicial bypass procedure by which a minor girl could obtain an abortion without her parents being notified if a judge approved the procedure. In 1996, a Federal district court permanently enjoined the act due to the lack of a confidential appeal and bypass rule. The law remained locked in judicial limbo for over a decade.
In 2005, the Thomas More Society began, with the help of some States Attorneys, once again to work toward getting the injunction lifted by appealing to the Illinois Supreme Court. The Illinois Supreme Court issued the required instructions for the bypass rule, but the parental notice law continues to be blocked due to litigation in Federal and state courts by the American Civil Liberties Union.
In the fall of 2009, it was enforced for the first time everbut only for four hours. The ACLU intervened and convinced an Illinois judge to put a temporary restraining order on the law to block enforcement. In June of this year, an Illinois Appellate Court once again stalled implementation of the law. Sadly, after 16 years of litigation the law is still not in force.
Since 1995, over 50,000 abortions have been performed on Illinois minors, including almost 5,000 abortions on girls 14 years of age or younger. Illinois is the only Midwest state without a parental notice or consent law in effect, so over this period, thousands of abortions were performed in Illinois on non-resident minors, who were able to evade their own states parental notice or consent laws.
Parental involvement is in the best interest of these pregnant teens. It is necessary because abortion has greater physical and psychological risks to minors than to older women. Minors have a greater risk of surgical laceration during an abortion than older women, are more likely to get post abortion infections and have a greater risk of psychological damage resulting from abortion. What about complications of mental or physical damage? Who will pay for the medical care needed after a botched abortion?
If the surgery were an appendectomy, would the minor child find her own doctor and make all the arrangements for the surgery without a parents knowledge or consent? And what doctor would perform such surgery on a minor child without consulting a parent?
Only the parents know the young girls medical history. Only the parents who have raised her can truly counsel her about the best options for herself, her baby and her future. Only the parents can protect their child from the exploitation of the abortion industry. Yet they are denied the information they need to fulfill their role as parents.
It is long past time to protect the young girls in our state from the terrible consequences of abortion. Now is the time to make our voices heard.
Sex Education Leaves Young Children "Uneducable"
Not only does "comprehensive" sex education encourage young children to experiment with casual sex and generate more customers and revenue for Planned Parenthood, it also leads to the "dumming down" of the population based on the assessment of childhood sexual development expert Melvin Anchell, M.D.
Anchell stated, "The scholastic problems in todays schools cannot be corrected by spending more money for buildings, equipment and teachers. They can only be corrected by removing the sex education interferences that make students uneducable."
How does this situation occur? Anchell explains, "In the 6- to 12-year-old child, direct sexual feelings become quiescent. Because of this dormancy for direct sexual energies, latency is a time in life when the individual normally experiences the greatest tranquility. The dormant sexual energies in the child do not disappear during latency, but are redirected by the mind and are used to serve other purposes. For example, during latency, some redirected sexual energy is used for acquiring knowledge. This is why the 6- to 12-year-old child is most educable."
In 1985 Anchell noted, "Scholastic tests done on todays sexually educated 6- to 12-year-olds, indeed, show that these students have accomplished less scholastically than pre-sex-education students." How much worse is the situation likely to be in 2011?
Consequence of Abortion:
Destroying Respect for Human Life
The Supreme Court decision of 1973 to legalize abortion allowed it to be considered just another "medical procedure". More recently, Amnesty International declared abortion a "human right" and is demanding legalization in nations that still ban abortion. Only a minority of nations have so far prevented the United Nations from establishing abortion as a "human right" under international law.
Two recent articles point to the huge disparity between true respect for human life and the current state of human affairs in the world. According to Asia News, Bishop Gabriel Chang Bong-hun of Cheongju, head of the Korean bishops commission on bioethics, in a message for that nations first Sunday of Life, stated, Abortion is even worse than ordinary murder because it is committed by the parents of the victim and the medical staff that is supposed to protect life. He added, It is a brutal crime against a defenseless human being and must be condemned without question.
This blunt statement puts this "medical procedure" in proper perspective, but so few people today will even accept this viewpoint as reality. Most doctors accept abortion as a "medical solution" even if they do not practice it. Even people who consider themselves Pro-Life are likely to have a dulled sense of the gravity of abortion with how common and accepted it has become.
Where has this sliding respect for human life led? An editorial appearing recently in the English language edition of the Vaticans LOsservatore Romano newspaper, points to the growing acceptance in the medical community of withholding life-saving treatment and resuscitation from newborns based on the so-called quality of life or best interests criteria.
Medical ethics, the papers Carlo Bellieni said, has adopted a tragic and mercantile vision of life and human rights that assumes that a particular life can be considered unacceptable. The research suggests, he said, that a high percentage of doctors think that in cases of disability (physical or mental) death is preferable to life. Thus, they justify a "right" to kill infants.
Bellieni then noted the impact on human life well after infancy when he added, It is no surprise, then, that in some countries in the case of the illness of senile dementia and patients who are unable to feed themselves, care is reduced or hydration is withheld and that people with mental disabilities have become invisible for the health care system. One tragic consequence of abortion is lost respect for human life at any stage.
Threat to Down Syndrome Babies Likely to Increase
A recent study published in the journal Nature Medicine suggests that a blood test may accurately identify children in the womb with Down syndrome. Given that over 80% of Down syndrome children are already aborted, this new test raises serious concern that even more of these babies will be aborted.
This prenatal blood test compares differences in the mother and unborn childs DNA. The test would replace the current invasive amniocentesis test, which involves removing amniotic fluid from the uterus with a needle. Amniocentesis is typically done during the second trimester, at 15-16 weeks gestation. It carries a risk, estimated at 1-2 percent, of miscarriage. New DNA testing could be done as early as 11-13 weeks gestation and avoid the invasive amniocentesis.
While avoiding the dangerous amniocentesis test will be good, that test should never have been used because of an unethically high risk of miscarriage with very little medical value for the unborn child.
Given that Down syndrome affects approximately 1 in 700 children born worldwide, according to well-known pediatric geneticist researcher Dr. Brian Skotko, rates should have statistically increased in recent years due to the fact that more women are waiting longer to have children. However, this expected increase has not occurred. This fact is almost certain evidence of the extremely high abortion rate for children diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome.
While the new test itself will no longer present risks to unborn children, the danger to those children found with Down syndrome may border on total extermination. What a tragic disregard for the dignity of life!