Life Advocacy Briefing

March 10, 2014

Promoting Euthanasia? / Drawing the Line / Out of Business / Looking for Business?
Over-Reacting? / With a Straight Face / Co-Sponsors of ‘POLST’ Bill

Promoting Euthanasia?

IT HAS BEEN SITTING IN THE ENERGY & COMMERCE COMMITTEE’s Health Subcommittee for a year, but we believe our readers ought to know about HR-1173, a pet project of Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), particularly since some of its 54 co-sponsors have joined the list just recently. And a handful, we are hoping, do not grasp the true implications of the Blumenauer measure.

Some of those co-sponsors may have been attracted by the title of the legislation, which may (superficially) sound good in an ObamaCare-hot election year. But the “Personalize Your Care Act” has been described – we think accurately – as a bill to implement the “death-panel” structure embedded in the ObamaCare law itself.

It would promote – including taxpayer-paid propaganda funding – an instrument whose acronym POLST stands for Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment. But the form itself, warns a bulletin from Lake County (IL) Right to Life (LCRL), is “a standard document that, when signed by a designated healthcare professional, dictates whether to withhold or administer certain forms of medical treatment and/or care.”

The POLST form is not specific to a patient’s current medical condition; it is a standing order which – once executed – goes with the patient “from one healthcare setting to the next,” warns LCRL, “and even follow[s] the patient home for use by EMTs in the event of a medical emergency.

“Important Note,” cautions LCRL: “Informed consent requires that each medical decision be made in the context of a patient’s present situation and be based on truthful and complete information presented in a way that patients, agents and families can understand.”

The LCRL bulletin goes on to quote concerns found among long-term-care ombudsmen surveyed by California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform. Quoting the survey’s conclusions: “‘Many times POLST forms will be accompanied by handouts meant to sway patient decision. For example, on the POLST form, options such as CPR [cardiopulmonary resuscitation] only describes the negative effects of broken ribs, etc., without including any of the benefits of the treatment, such as recovery. Also important to note: facilitators present treatments as if they are morally neutral, even though certain decision[s] may lead to euthanasia by omission.’”

The nursing home patient advocacy group also reported, states LCRL, “that 59% of surveyed ombudsmen found that POLST forms were ‘often’ or ‘sometimes’ signed by third parties, even when the nursing home resident had the capacity to make healthcare decisions.” And, adds, LCRL, “some states, such as Wisconsin and Oregon [home of the federal bill’s sponsor], do not require witnesses or even the patient’s signature. How,” asks LCRL, “can we be sure that a POLST form reflects the patient’s own treatment choices rather than someone else’s choices?”

Co-sponsors of the Blumenauer bill – which, according to LCRL, is “strongly endorse[d]” by “groups that promote euthanasia and assisted suicide” – are listed at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing. We ask those of our readers who live in the home states of these co-sponsors to request that they drop their sponsorship. Members can be contacted via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121.


Drawing the Line

THE BATTLE IN NEW YORK over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s attempt to strip the state’s laws of all limitations on the killing of unborn boys and girls has sparked a stunning rebuke of a Buffalo-area state senator by a recently installed bishop of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Most Rev. Richard J. Malone, bishop of the Buffalo Catholic diocese, took to task State Sen. Tim Kennedy for his about-face on the Cuomo controversy. Defeating a pro-life Democrat in the 2010 primary while claiming, himself, to be a pro-life Democrat, reports Anne Hendershott in Crisis, Timothy Kennedy recently shocked constituents by announcing he would vote in favor of the radical Cuomo proposal. (Crisis Magazine is a conservative Catholic publication.)

“In what the Buffalo News has called an ‘unprecedented statement by a Buffalo bishop about a local Catholic officeholder,’” reports Ms. Hendershott, “Bishop Malone wrote that ‘For anyone to say that he or she is a faithful Catholic and to be pro-abortion/pro-choice is totally inconsistent with Catholic teaching, which is clearly articulated in the catechism of the Catholic Church.’”

Seeking to cover himself in announcing his posture switch, State Sen. Kennedy, writes Ms. Hendershott, “claims that he ‘remains a practicing Catholic at St. Martin’s Church in South Buffalo and that he is nurturing his children in the faith.’ But Bishop Malone countered such a claim,” the Crisis reporter writes, “by issuing yet another statement pointing out that ‘practicing Catholics who claim they are nurturing their children in the faith must teach their children that abortion is intrinsically evil, that human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.’” Oops.

Ms. Hendershott goes on to celebrate Bishop Malone as “[personifying] the new generation of what Christopher White, my co-author, and I call ‘transformational bishops’ in our new book, Renewal: How a New Generation of Bishops and Priests is Revitalizing the Church. For this new generation,” she notes, “sanctity of life issues are foundational – not just because of religious views about abortion but because the act of dehumanizing and killing the unborn child attacks human dignity in a uniquely grave way. … Faithful Catholics,” she writes, “are hoping that the courage of a growing number of transformational bishops like Bishop Malone can be contagious.”


Out of Business

THE TOLL OF CLOSING ABORTUARIES IN CALIFORNIA is now five so far since Jan. 1, according to Operation Rescue (OR). This, despite liberalized abortion laws in the radical-run state.

Number Five is Family Planning Associates (FPA) abortion mill in Los Angeles-suburban Montclair, which, according to an OR report, “closed due to a lost lease.” Local activists have appealed to area landlords to refuse to lease new space to the enterprise.

“All services [were] expected to halt by the end of February,” OR reported just before the month ended, “but furnishings stacked behind the clinic near a large dumpster, which was loaded with medical and office equipment, more furniture, brochures and even money bags from a local bank, indicated that the business is finished. ‘When abortion clinics are tossing out the money bags,’” said Troy Newman, OR president, “‘you know they have shut down for good.’” The closure must have given Mr. Newman particular pleasure, as he “has personally spent time protesting at the [Montclair] facility,” OR states.

Then, too, the mill “was also the site of several known abortion-related medical emergencies,” reports OR, “the most recent of which occurred on Oct. 11, 2013.” The activist group notes also an incident in 2006, when an abortionist botched a procedure and was found to be operating under an assumed name.

“FPA abortion clinics are generally high volume clinics,” notes OR, “but in recent years, surgical abortion appointments in Montclair had been reduced to one day per week. …

“‘It looks like this abortion facility has thrown in the towel,’” said Mr. Newman in the OR report, “‘and is referring women to other abortion clinics in the FPA chain. Because there will no longer be an abortion business in this community,’” he said, “‘we know many women will simply opt to keep their babies. It’s a proven fact,’” he declared, “‘that when abortion clinics close, lives are saved.’”


Looking for Business?

SOME CHICAGO-AREA DOCTORS RECENTLY GOT A RECRUITMENT APPEAL – decidedly unsolicited – from Vinod and Vijay Goyal, a couple who, notes John Jansen of Pro-Life Action League, “own and operate more surgical abortion clinics than anyone else in Illinois.”

The letter begins, reports Mr. Jansen, “‘Dear Dr. _____, We realize that it can be difficult to find a truly professional medical facility to refer your patients to for pregnancy termination services. Please allow me to introduce the state-licensed outpatient surgery centers of’”

As Mr. Jansen notes, the purpose of the mailing is “to drum up business.” And it is also to recruit personnel. The letter, Mr. Jansen writes, “doubles as a want ad: ‘The centers are also recruiting part-time physicians in the following specialties … .’ Abortion supporters have been wringing their hands for years,” notes Mr. Jansen, “about a shortage of abortionists – due in large part to the fact that most doctors want to be subject to pro-life protests about as much as they want a malpractice suit.” (We hope most also are men and women of principle who take seriously their Hippocratic Oath to “do no harm.”)

“We know abortions are down in Illinois,” states Mr. Jansen. “In fact, between 2008 and 2011, abortions were down 18% statewide,” according to official records, “during which time the Pro-Life Action League was stepping up our pro-life activist efforts in the Chicago area, where the vast majority of the state’s abortion clinics are located. We also know,” he writes, “that during this same period the Goyals closed one of their abortion clinics (Dimensions, located in the Chicago suburb of Des Plaines), because [they] knew it would have never passed a state inspection.”

We hasten to add: State law gives surgical abortuaries a choice of whether they will submit to licensure as “ambulatory surgical treatment centers.” (Other clinics offering surgical services have no such choice.) Many of the abortuaries in Illinois – including the Planned Parenthood shops – are not even licensed or ever inspected.



A LUTHERAN-BASED FRATERNAL BENEFIT SOCIETY HAS PULLED pro-life organizations from its list of approved charities that receive matching funds through the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation funding pool.

The move came after a Lutheran pastor, who writes an Internet “blog,” publicly questioned Thrivent Financial Services on donations the charity has sent to Planned Parenthood.

“Following the outcry that naturally came from the Missouri Synod members when this funding was discovered,” writes Rachael Denhollander for Live Action News, “… Thrivent responded by pulling not only Planned Parenthood from its list of approved organizations but also all pro-life organizations that had previously received matching grants as well.”

As of Feb. 6, reports Ms. Denhollander, when the charity “released its most recent statement and new guidelines for its gift-matching program, Planned Parenthood, reportedly, will no longer receive funds. But neither will any pro-life organization as well – a move,” she writes, “that robs crisis pregnancy centers and other pro-life groups of $878,569 annual average in matching funds, or nearly a million dollars a year.

“Thrivent’s justification for the move,” she writes, “is that such a controversy may ‘distract … from the common purpose of Thrivent and its membership.’

“Good to know,” opines Ms. Denhollander, “that protecting society’s most vulnerable and defending a child’s right to life is nothing more than a ‘distraction’ to an organization with the self-proclaimed mission of ‘supporting the values of faith, family, stewardship and service’ and being ‘called to care for others.’” We hope Thrivent’s constituents will pull the organization back to the foundations of its principles.


With a Straight Face

Commentary by Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, published March 3, 2014, at

Cecile Richards is no stranger to controversy. As the president of Planned Parenthood, she leads one of the central institutions of the Culture of Death – an organization that was born in the dark vision of Margaret Sanger and now exists as the nation’s most visible promoter and provider of abortion. Cecile Richards has been an ardent defender of a woman’s “right” to abort her baby at any time for any reason. She also believes that women should be able to abort their babies for free, with taxpayers footing the bill.

Her support of abortion for any reason and for any stage of fetal development – including the most barbarous partial-birth abortions – was explained, perhaps accidentally, in an interview she recently gave to Jorge Ramos of Fusion TV. When Ramos asked Richards when life begins, she said: “It’s not something I really feel like is really part of this conversation. … Every woman needs to make their own decision.”

Her non-answer to one of the most fundamental questions of human dignity was shocking enough, but there was more to come. As it turns out, Richards does have a belief about when life begins.

Ramos was apparently surprised by her evasion of the question and asked, “Why would it be controversial for you to say when you think life starts?”

Richards offered another non-answer: “I don’t know that it’s controversial. I don’t know that it’s really relevant to the conversation.”

Seriously? When the conversation is about abortion?

Then she dropped the bombshell:

“For me, I’m the mother of three children. For me, life began when I delivered them. They’ve been probably the most important thing in my life ever since. But that was my own personal decision.”

So life begins at delivery. Until then, no life, no dignity, no sanctity at all. This defies any moral sense, but it also defies modern biology. Cecile Richards did not try to argue the now infamous trimester argument of Roe v. Wade or a point of viability or any other argument about fetal development. As her comment makes clear, in her worldview the fetus doesn’t matter at all.

She identified her three children as “probably the most important thing in my life” since their delivery. Were they nothing to her in her womb? Each of those three precious children was precious in the womb – at every point of development.

Candid admissions of a worldview like this one are rare, but Cecile Richards’ statement perfectly explains her advocacy of abortion at any time for any reason.

In her interview, the Culture of Death bares its teeth.


Co-Sponsors of ‘P.O.L.S.T.’ Bill

Along with Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Republican Representatives Schock (IL), Hanna & Reed (NY), Roe (TN), and Petri & Ribble (WI).

Also, Democratic Representatives Bera, Capps, Eshoo, Farr, Garamendi, Huffman, Lee, George Miller, Napolitano, Peters, Linda Sanchez & Waxman (CA); Courtney, DeLauro & Larson (CT); Deutch & Hastings (FL); Lewis (GA); Hanabusa (HI); Rush & Schakowsky (IL); Yarmuth (KY); Pingree (ME); VanHollen (MD); McGovern (MA); Levin (MI); Ellison & McCollum (MN); Titus (NV); Andrews & Holt (NJ); Israel, Owens & Serrano (NY); Price (NC); DeFazio (OR); Cartwright & Schwartz (PA); Cicilline (RI); O’Rourke (TX); Welch (VT); Connolly, Moran & Scott (VA); Larsen & McDermott (WA) and Kind (WI). A further co-sponsor, Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC), is no longer a Member of Congress.