WASHINGTON—Federal funds should be reallocated so women can obtain their health care from providers that do not promote abortion, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, archbishop of Boston, said in an August 3 letter to the U.S. Senate. Cardinal O’Malley, who chairs the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, urged support for S. 1881, which would withhold federal funds from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates.The full text of his letter follows and is available online: http://bit.ly/defundpp832015Dear Senator:I am writing to ask your support for S. 1881, to withhold federal funds from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates.It has long been troubling to many Americans that the nation’s largest abortion network, performing over a third of all abortions, receives over half a billion taxpayer dollars a year. This concern has rightly grown in recent years. The most recent revelations about Planned Parenthood’s willingness to traffic in fetal tissue from abortions, and to alter abortion methods not for any reason related to women’s health but to obtain more “intact” organs, is the latest demonstration of a callousness toward women and their unborn children that is shocking to many Americans.The Catholic Church comes to this issue from a perspective rooted in experience. Catholic charitable agencies and pregnancy help centers have helped countless pregnant women find life-affirming alternatives to abortion. Our hospitals and other health facilities are second to none in providing quality health care for women. We support the legislative proposal to reallocate federal funding, so that women can obtain their health care from providers that do not promote abortion. It is my sincere hope that you will be able to help advance this goal by supporting S. 1881.---Keywords: federal funds, women, health care, abortion, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, Boston, U.S. Senate, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, S. 1881, defund, Planned ParenthoodMEDIA CONTACTDon ClemmerO: 202-541-3206# # #
Santa Fe, NM, Aug 17, 2015 / 03:53 pm (CNA).- It is in Christ that true compassion for the dying is found – not in assisted suicide, said the Catholic bishops of New Mexico.
Their comments came after the state’s Court of Appeals struck down a lower court’s ruling that assisted suicide is a constitutional right.
“We conclude that aid in dying is not a fundamental liberty interest under the New Mexico Constitution,” Judge Timothy L. Garcia said in the 2-1 majority decision Aug. 11.
The state’s Catholic bishops thanked God for the court’s decision.
“Only God can give or take life and the state does not have the competency to shorten this precious gift, even for seemingly laudable purposes. While each stage of life is sacred, the end of life is filled with special meaning and opportunities,” the bishops said Aug. 13.
“Christ showed what true compassion is when he died for us that we might live forever with him in heaven. The way to prepare for that ultimate reality is to live our lives as fully as possible until God calls us home.”
They said that assisted suicide is not compassionate. Rather, it allows suffering to “blind us to the meaning of life.”
In January 2014, a New Mexico court ruled that a 1963 law making assisted suicide a felony was invalid when applied to doctors who administered a lethal dose of drugs to medically competent, terminally ill patients, the Washington Times reports. The ruling came in response to a lawsuit on behalf of two doctors and a cancer patient in her 50s who were seeking to legalize requests for lethal treatment.
The patient’s cancer is now in remission.
The lawsuit had the support of the American Civil Liberties Union and Compassion & Choices, the organization once known as the Hemlock Society.
In the latest ruling, Judge Linda M. Vanzi dissented. She said that the state’s interests in preserving life and preventing suicide are “insufficient” to justify what she characterized as “infringing the right to aid in dying.”
New Mexico’s bishops reflected on Christian duties to the suffering and recounted the Church’s history of health care and service to the dying. They also encouraged people to take a Christian view of pain and suffering.
“All too often, our society sees pain as the enemy while in fact suffering often accompanies genuine growth and new opportunities. The answer to suffering is not death but rather the grateful acceptance of life while at the same time managing pain through proper medications and the support of loved ones.”
The process of dying is a “communal event” for loved ones to accompany a dying person in his or her final days.
The bishops stressed the need for true compassion that “invites us all to journey with our loved ones as they prepare for eternal life, sharing and easing their suffering as we assure them that we are with them every step of the way.”
Catherine Glenn Foster, litigation counsel for the legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, said that New Mexico law “clearly criminalizes deliberate assistance in someone else’s suicide.”
“The court was right to reverse the lower court’s decision which invented a right to doctor-prescribed death that does not exist,” Foster said. “Families will now have the opportunity to honor and cherish their loved ones in their final days.”
She said suffering patients need “understanding and sound medical treatment, not encouragement to kill themselves.”
Washington D.C., Aug 19, 2015 / 02:36 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Warning: Graphic content
A new video in an investigative series on Planned Parenthood shows a former technician saying that she had once been traumatized by the experience of gathering tissue from an aborted baby whose heart was still beating.
Holly O’Donnell, former technician for the biotech company StemExpress, LLC, said that after the intact delivery of “the most gestated fetus and closest thing to a baby that I’ve seen,” a clinic worker called for her to come over and see something “kind of cool.”
“She just taps the heart, and it starts beating,” O’Donnell said in the video released by the Center for Medical Progress.
“I’m sitting here and I’m looking at this fetus, and its heart is beating, and I don’t know what to think,” she said. “I don’t know if that constitutes it’s technically dead, or it’s alive.”
After seeing the fetus, O’Donnell said she was handed scissors “to cut down the middle of the face” in order to obtain brain tissue for medical research. “I can’t even describe what that feels like,” she said.
Dr. Ben Van Handel of Novogenix Laboratories, LLC, said in the video that “there are times when after the procedure [abortion] is done, that the heart actually is still beating.”
The accusation that Planned Parenthood has been harvesting organs of babies born before an abortion procedure is part of an ongoing legal controversy between the abortion giant and citizen journalist group Center for Medical Progress.
In July, StemExpress sought an injunction to block the release of a video “where their leadership admitted that they sometimes get fully intact fetuses shipped to their laboratory from the abortion clinics they work with,” said David Daleiden, project lead for Center for Medical Progress, in a July 31 interview with CNN.
“That could be prima facie evidence of born alive infants,” he said.
While the temporary restraining order was initially granted, a California judge later stated that it was unlikely that a preliminary injunction would be granted. StemExpress severed its ties with Planned Parenthood last week.
According to the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002, a baby “born alive” is one who “breathes or has a beating heart.” Under the law, infants born alive or those who survive botched abortion attempts must be granted the same protection and treatment that any other newborn baby is entitled to under federal law.
Daleiden, discussing fully intact fetuses and tissue procurement on CNN Aug. 4, said that any feticide or fatal drug like digoxin that is administered before an abortion procedure would adversely disrupt the tissue extraction process since it “poisons” the fetal tissue. Thus harvesters who obtain a “fully-intact” baby from an abortion did so from an abortion procedure performed after a live birth, he claimed.
The Aug. 19 video claims evidence of “fully-intact” babies delivered to harvesters. Perrin Larton, a procurement manager for a company called Advanced Bioscience Resources, described in the video how women would sometimes give birth before an abortion procedure could be performed.
“I literally have had women come in, and they’ll go in the O.R. and they’re back out in three minutes,” she said, adding that “the fetus was already in the vaginal canal whenever we put her [the mother] in the stirrups, it just fell out.”
Larton also described how “they induce fetal demise at about 18 to 20 weeks,” but when asked if the babies were administered digoxin she replied “no, no, no, no, no.”
In addition, O’Donnell said she had witnessed correspondence between a doctor and worker that a “fully-intact fetus” had been procured and they “were sending it straight to the lab.”
In a previous video released by the Center for Medical Progress, one Planned Parenthood doctor said that mothers sometimes give birth before an abortion can be performed.
“Sometimes, if we get, if someone delivers before we get to see them for a procedure, then we are intact, but that’s not what we go for. We try for that to not happen,” Dr. Savita Ginde, vice president and medical director of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said in an undercover video released July 30, of providing tissue procurement companies with “intact” body parts of aborted babies.
CNA reached out to Planned Parenthood for comment on the Aug. 19 video, but did not receive a response.
O’Donnell said that the experience of seeing and dissecting a developed fetus with a beating heart shook her. After transferring the baby’s brain and body for research transport and disposal, she said “that was the moment I knew I couldn’t work for the company anymore.”
She said that she held the fetus afterwards in her hands. “It’s pretty hard knowing you’re the only person who’s ever going to hold that baby,” she reflected.
The Aug. 19 video is the seventh released by the Center for Medical Progress. Previous undercover videos show Planned Parenthood and medical procurement officials discussing the collection and transfer of body parts from aborted fetuses, compensation and itemization of the parts, and possible alteration of abortion procedures to obtain more intact specimens.
The videos have sparked investigation and calls for the removal of funding from Planned Parenthood from both congressional and state legislators and officials. The organization receives more than $500 million a year from the federal government.
Planned Parenthood maintains that it has been acting within federal law, and that any donation of fetal organs of aborted babies are made with the mother’s consent and are not done for “valuable consideration.”