BBC Airs Assisted Suicide Documentary; NRLC responds

The BBC aired a documentary produced by author Terry Pratchett last night which shows the final moments of Peter Smedley’s life in a Dignitas assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland.  NRL News Editor Dave Andrusko wrote about the show for NRL News Today.  According to London’s Daily Mail, as of just a few hours ago, the BBC has received nearly 900 complaints about the one-sided presentation “romanticizing” assisted suicide.

Early today, we received a call for a response from NTN24, a Colombian-based 24-hour cable news outlet which can be seen both in the United States and throughout Latin America.  National Right to Life’s Cristina Minniti-Perez responded to the documentary saying compassion, not death, is what patentients need.  Cristina’s interview served to provide a strong pro-life pespective to viewers around the world.

Alabama Legislature Sends Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to Governor

WASHINGTON – With less than 30 minutes before the midnight deadline, the Alabama legislature sent the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to Governor Robert Bentley’s desk for his signature.

 “Modern medical science furnishes us with compelling evidence that unborn children recoil from painful stimuli, that their stress hormones increase when they are subjected to any painful stimuli, and that they require anesthesia for fetal surgery,” said Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D., director of state legislation for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC).  “Therefore, the states have a compelling interest in protecting unborn children who are capable of feeling pain from abortion. We strongly encourage Governor Bentley to make Alabama the fifth state to recognize this obligation by signing the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act into law.”

 The Alabama House, led by Representative Rich, passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Protection bill with a vote of 69-19.  The Alabama’s Senate, led by Senator Beason, passed the bill by a vote of 26-5.

 As drafted by National Right to Life’s state legislation department, the model Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act protects from abortion unborn children who are capable of feeling pain except when the mother “has a condition which so complicates her medical condition as to necessitate the abortion of her pregnancy to avert death or to avert serious risk of substantial or irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function or..it is necessary to preserve the life of an unborn child.”

 Further documentation and links to the scientific studies can be found at: www.doctorsonfetalpain.com.

 “We commend Representative Kerry Rich and Senator Scott Beason for their actions in protecting unborn children and helping their mothers through enactment of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” added Cheryl Ciamarra, Alabama Citizens for Life’s representative to the Board of Directors of the National Right to Life Committee. “We ask Governor Bentley to sign this bill into law so that Alabama becomes a state which protects from abortion unborn child who are capable of feeling pain.”

 Founded in 1968, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters, is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement, NRLC works through legislation and education to protect innocent human life from abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide and euthanasia.

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Alabama Senate Votes to Protect Pain-Capable Unborn Children

NRLC urges Alabama House to take final action before midnight

WASHINGTON – Today, the Alabama Senate voted 26-5 to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which protects unborn children capable of feeling pain. The action of the Alabama Senate continues a trend sweeping through the state legislatures. Already this session, the Alabama House has voted in favor of enacting similar legislation this past April. The House has until midnight tonight to concur with the small changes made by the Senate.

 “Alabama is the latest in a line of states poised to protect unborn children capable of feeling pain,” said Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D., director of state legislation for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC).  “State legislatures are stepping up to protect these children, thus reflecting the majority wishes of their constituents.”

The model Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, drafted by the National Right to Life Committee’s state legislation department, protects the life of the unborn child at the point that they are capable of feeling pain except when the mother “has a condition which so complicates her medical condition as to necessitate the abortion of her pregnancy to avert death or to avert serious risk of substantial or irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function or…it is necessary to preserve the life of an unborn child.”  Further documentation and links to the scientific studies can be found at: www.doctorsonfetalpain.com.

 “We are calling on the Alabama House of Representatives, which already passed the bill, to quickly concur with the Senate version before tonight’s midnight legislative deadline,” said Cheryl Ciamarra, Alabama Citizens for Life national director.

 This continued trend in the states during the spring legislative session began in Nebraska last year when they passed this first-of-its-kind legislation. Already this year, the legislation has been passed in Idaho, Kansas and Oklahoma.  In addition to Alabama, the National Right to Life model Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is currently under consideration in Oregon, Massachusetts, and Minnesota.

 “We are pleased with the progress we have been making in the states,” said Spaulding Balch.  “We are working to ensure that pain-capable unborn children all across the country will be protected from horrendous death by abortion.”

 Founded in 1968, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters, is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement, NRLC works through legislation and education to protect innocent human life from abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide and euthanasia.

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Jack Kevorkian Dead at 83

 WASHINGTON – Jack Kevorkian, the Michigan pathologist known the world over as “Dr. Death” for his push to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide in the United States, died in a Detroit-area hospital at age 83.  He readily admitted to assisting in the deaths of more than 100 people.

 “Many of the victims on whom Jack Kevorkian preyed were people with disabilities who had no terminal illness; one was simply old. In at least five cases autopsies were unable to confirm any disease at all,” observed Burke J. Balch, J.D., director of National Right to Life’s Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics.

 Kevorkian’s “suicide machine” drew worldwide attention when the CBS program “60 Minutes” aired footage, shot by Kevorkian himself, as he administered lethal drugs to Thomas Youk, a man suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease.  The tape quickly became evidence in a murder trial that sentenced Kevorkian to 10 to 25 years in prison for second-degree murder.  He was paroled in 2007.

 His often inflammatory efforts to legalize assisted suicide as a constitutional “right” were soundly rejected by the unanimous 1997 Supreme Court decision in Washington v. Glucksberg in which the Court held that assisted suicide was not a constitutional right.  The case overturned a previous decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

 “While some euthanasia advocates have sought to distance themselves from his bizarre positions and tactics, his tragic legacy illustrates the dangers to the most vulnerable when compassionate, humane responses to depression or disability are replaced with death as an acceptable final solution,” Balch added.

 Founded in 1968, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters, is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement, NRLC works through legislation and education to protect innocent human life from abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide and euthanasia.

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New Video: A Special Thank You

A special thank you from NRLC President Carol Tobias:

New Video: Medicare & Rationing

National Right to Lfie President Carol Tobias discusses the rationing provisions affecting the Medicare program under the Obama Health Care law enacted by Congress in March 2010:

National Right to Life Responds to Latest Guttmacher Report

When tax dollars pay for abortion, you get more abortion’

 WASHINGTON – Today, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates, disputed claims that restrictions on abortion “disproportionately affect” poor women.  The assertion was made in, “Changes in Abortion Rates Between 2000 and 2008 and Lifetime Incidence of Abortion, published online yesterday in the June 2011 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology by researchers from  the Guttmacher Institute (originally founded as a special research affiliate of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America).

 “Data showing an eight percent drop in abortion rates across the board from 2000 to 2008 are encouraging,” said Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., National Right to Life director of education and research. 

 “Guttmacher suggests that higher abortion rates among poorer woman and abortion restrictions are somehow connected, yet it’s a thesis that goes undefended,” O’Bannon further noted.  “How common sense regulations like right-to-know laws, which tell women about abortion’s risks and alternatives which are better for both them and their unborn children, and similar protective measures, are supposed to hurt poor women is hard to fathom.”

 The overall downward trend seems to indicate that such laws, along with the assistance provided by pregnancy care centers, which provide lifesaving alternatives to abortion, are enabling more women to choose life for their unborn child. However, several states – California, New York and at least a dozen others – publicly fund abortion for poor women.  “While the abortion industry saw declines among most demographic groups, it just happened to see growth among women for whom states were covering abortion costs,” observed O’Bannon.   

 The fact is, when tax dollars pay for abortion, you get more abortion,” O’Bannon observed. 

 The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), according to their own 2008-2009 annual report, showed over $1 billion in revenues, including $363.3 million in “Government Grants & Contracts” (an increase from $165 million in 1998).  At a time when the overall number of abortions has decreased, PPFA reports performing 332,278 abortions for the period covered in the 2009 report – accounting for more than 27% of all abortions performed annually in the United States. 

 O’Bannon noted: “The abortion industry likes to argue that high abortion rates are due to insufficient government funding for ‘family planning,’ but the record seems at odds with that assertion.  As abortion industry giant Planned Parenthood has received hundreds of millions of tax dollars each year, abortions at their facilities have steadily increased at rates that very nearly match their increases in government funding.”

 “Ultimately, the report says less about pro-life laws and more about the aggressiveness of the abortion industry that, funded by tax dollars in many states, exploited poorer women during the recession and profited from their misery. If more women choose life for their unborn children as a result of pro-life legislative initiatives, the abortion industry knows that it will adversely impact their financial bottom line,” O’Bannon concluded.

 The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life organizations and more than 3,000 local chapters nationwide, is the nation’s largest pro-life group. National Right to Life works through legislation and education to protect those threatened by abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and assisted suicide.