On abortion and equality

CELEBRATE-THE-MOM-TRF      The Radiance Foundation (www.theradiancefoundation.org) produced this timely poster in March. International Women’s Day is marked that month.  Action Life believes that all human beings are equal before and after birth. The most fundamental human right is the right to life.  Without it, true equality cannot be achieved.

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Canada’s First National Cord Blood Bank Opened

September 30th saw the opening of Canada’s first national cord blood bank and the first donations of umbilical cord blood, a rich source of stem cells.

This is good news. These cord blood stem cells are not embryonic stem cells hence do not pose an ethical or moral problem. Embryonic stem cells however require the destruction of a human life at the embryonic stage.

As Elizabeth Payne reported in her October 1st Ottawa Citizen article “Cord blood bank opens with first donations,” the collection of cord blood donations began at the Ottawa Hospital’s Civic and General campuses.

Dr. Heidi Elmoazzen, director of the National Public Cord Blood Bank, explained that doctors of patients needing a stem-cell transplant can access international cord blood banks at a cost of $42 000 per unit; however, owing to Canada’s ethnic diversity, a close match for patients can’t be found in many cases. In fact, half of the 1 000 patients awaiting stem-cell transplants can’t find a match. Having a national cord blood bank will ensure Canada’s ethnic diversity is reflected and help more patients find matches.

The goal is to have 18 000 units of cord blood available in Ottawa and Edmonton, where the second phase will be opened. By the middle of 2014, umbilical cord blood will also be collected in Brampton, Edmonton and Vancouver. Dr. Elmoazzen noted these cities were chosen along with Ottawa because of their ethnic diversity and high birthrates.

Although private cord blood banks (where parents save their infants’ cord blood for their own possible use) already existed, Canada was one of the few G20 countries with no national public cord blood bank.

Canadian Blood Services will run the bank for the provinces and territories except Quebec, where Héma-Québec runs the provincial bank.

Dr. Elmoazzen said that more people would have access to stem cells to treat leukemia and lymphoma, among other diseases. Stem cells are more easily matched and these treatments result in fewer side effects than other options, such as bone marrow transplants.

In her October 16th Canadian Medical Association Journal article “National cord blood bank opens first sites in Ottawa,” Laura Eggertson reported that the bank had collected 40 units of cord blood within a week of its opening. Dr. Elmoazzen expected the bank to meet its goal of collecting 18 000 units in six years.

To inform expectant mothers about the donation process, more than 10 000 information booklets on cord blood donation have been sent by Canadian Blood Services to Ottawa physicians and midwives.
Umbilical cord blood can be donated as long as the mother is healthy, delivers at 34 weeks into her pregnancy or later, and gives birth to a single child.

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The cost of abortion in Ontario

At least, 30 million tax dollars pay for abortion in Ontario.

ON DEMAND    The cost of abortion has been estimated at 30 to 50 million dollars a year for the province of Ontario.

In 2010, 44,091 abortions (43,997 surgical abortions + 94 chemical abortions) were performed in Ontario according to data obtained from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care through a Freedom of Information request submitted by Patricia Maloney at Run with Life blog.   If one uses the low estimate of $800.00 per abortion, the cost would be close to 36 million dollars for the year 2010.

Abortions are publicly funded in the province whether performed in hospitals or private abortion clinics.

There is much talk of scare health care dollars, of patients waiting for medically necessary procedures, yet when it comes to abortion which we are told is a woman’s choice, the taxpayer must fund this “choice”.

Indeed , the common refrain of abortion advocates, “My body, My choice” doesn’t speak of medical necessity.

On October 31, 2001, Marilyn Wilson, the then Executive Director of the Canadian Abortion Rights Action League, told the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance:

“Women who make the decision to abort a child at a certain point in their lives do so for socio-economic reasons. Sometimes, it is a desire to complete their education and become financially independent. In  many cases, couples with children wish to restrict their family size in order to provide adequate financial support.”

Health care dollars are used to fund abortions for socio-economic reasons while others wait for much needed medical services.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Abortion in Canada

Morgentaler-2014-Meme-1024x1024

 

Over 100,000 abortions are performed in Canada every year.

Every unborn child who dies by abortion is more than a statistic. Every abortion ends the life of a unique human being, a human being of infinite worth.

 

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The slippery slope of euthanasia and assisted suicide

elderly man with hat

The Québec government’s Bill 52 does not restrict euthanasia to the terminally ill. It would allow people who have a serious and incurable illness, who “suffer from an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability” or those who are in “constant and unbearable physical or psychological pain, which cannot be relieved in a manner the person deems tolerable” to avail themselves of euthanasia. Multiple sclerosis, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease are  incurable illnesses but usually patients live with these illnesses for many years. Medicine has more to offer patients than abandonment to euthanasia and assisted suicide. Euthanasia would involve the physician giving a lethal injection to the patient. Euthanasia is not medical care it is killing.

Proponents of assisted suicide and euthanasia attempt to convince us that the slippery slope does not exist and that effective safeguards could be enacted which would guarantee that all euthanasia and assisted suicide deaths would be voluntary, this despite an abundance of data which proves otherwise. Legalizing euthanasia has consequences. In jurisdictions where it is legal safeguards have not protected patients.  32% of euthanasia deaths in the Flanders region of Belgium from June to November 2007 were done without the patient’s explicit request according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal of June 2010.

In the Netherlands, patients have also been euthanised without request or consent. According to Dutch government statistics, 310 individuals had their lives ended by euthanasia without explicit request. The Netherlands also permits euthanasia of infants with disabilities through the Groningen protocol. 23% of euthanasia deaths were not reported in the Netherlands in 2010. (Lancet July 2012)

Canadian palliative care consultant and nurse educator Jean Echlin said “that one person’s autonomy could be another’s death sentence.”

Euthanasia and assisted suicide fundamentally alter the role of the physician from one of healer to killer. Euthanasia and suicide advocates would have you believe that death with dignity can be achieved by a lethal injection or a prescription for a lethal dose of drugs.  Killing the patient is much cheaper than offering quality end of life care. There is a better way to handle patient needs and fears than to propose that doctors become death dealers.

 

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“Palliative” Care and Assisted Suicide Only Options for some Oregon Patients

 

hospital arms

Oregon is spending $3.2 million on an ad campaign for the Affordable Care Act to increase enrollment in the new “Cover Oregon” health insurance exchange.

Meanwhile, the state is taking steps “that would deny life-saving treatments” to low-income residents who find themselves among the roughly 19 000 Oregonians diagnosed with cancer each year, according to Peter J. Pitts’ November 4th Statesman Journal article “From Eugene to Eugenics: Oregon’s new cost-cutting strategy is to deny care to cancer patients.”

Mr. Pitts, President of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest and a former Associate Commissioner at the Food and Drug Administration, reported on the Oregon Health Evidence Review Commission’s August update to its guidelines regarding cancer treatment for low-income individuals under the state’s Medicaid program.

Medicaid must now refuse coverage for certain cancer treatments for those who have been deemed too sick, who have not responded well to previous treatments, or who are unable to care for themselves. For these patients, Medicaid will provide “palliative” care such as painkillers, acupuncture treatments, wheelchairs and anti-nausea medicine.

Medicaid currently covers more than 640 000 Oregonians, or approximately one in five residents.

Describing the state’s approach as “the practice of cost-centric controls over patient-centric care,” Mr. Pitts wondered, “So while Oregon won’t let Medicaid patients have access to cancer medicines that could prolong or save their lives, it will pay to make their deaths slightly less painful. Is that what Oregon considers compassionate care?”

Kenneth Thorpe, Chairman of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, stated that these guidelines are based “on the odds of survival observed in a group of patients” rather than on medical literature or best clinical practices.

B. J. Cavnor, Executive Director of the Northwest Patient Education Network, noted that “patients who could have beaten their illness will no longer have that chance” and described the treatment restrictions as “extremely frustrating and morbidly ironic, especially for those of us who have tried to argue that the Affordable Care Act doesn’t allow for ‘death panels.’”

Brian Koenig’s August 15th article for The New American, “Oregon Expands ‘Death Panel’ Healthcare System,” explained that “‘Death panel’ is a term referring to ObamaCare’s panel of bureaucrats who decide whether or not certain Americans should receive medical care, through deciding which treatments to cover or not.”

Gayle Atteberry, Executive Director of Oregon Right to Life, noted that the Oregon Health Plan already included a similar provision affecting a much smaller group of people.

With more rigorous enforcement of the new guidelines likely, the rationing system will become “a broader, death panel-guided system,” according to the article.

Medicaid continues to subsidize assisted suicide for terminal cancer patients as an alternative to life-extending treatments. The state’s Death with Dignity Act, passed in 1997, allows terminally ill residents to end their lives by taking doctor-prescribed lethal medications.

The article noted that, along with health care rationing, there have been cases in Oregon where Medicaid patients denied medical treatment were offered assisted suicide, as in the case of Randy Stroup, who had prostate cancer. Wesley Smith’s February 20, 2009, article in The Telegraph, “‘Right to die’ can become a ‘duty to die’,” quoted Mr. Stroup as saying, “[How could they] not pay for medication that would help my life, and yet offer to pay to end my life?”

A few years ago, Another patient, Barbara Wagner was also offered assisted suicide instead of further cancer treatment. The Oregon Health Plan would not cover the costs of the medication prescribed by her oncologist. Ms Wagner said at the time: “To say to someone , we’ll pay for you to die, but not pay for you to live, it’s cruel. I get angry. Who do they think they are?”

These are the fruits of the assisted suicide mentality where life has little value and an offer to cover a prescription for lethal medications to kill yourself  is presented as compassionate care.

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Adoption: Celebrate Beautiful Possibility

adoptionimage -radiance foundationNovember is National Adoption Awareness Month. We would like to share with you a beautiful website adoptedandloved.com by the Radiance Foundation. There are six heartwarming videos for you to watch on the site as well as information about adoption. From the Radiance Foundation:

“Celebrate Beautiful Possibility

There are over 7 billion people on this planet. And there’s no one like you. You are unique and irreplaceable. You were created with Purpose. And though many of us on this earth were not “planned”, we’re all wanted by someone. Adoption is one of the ways we discover beautiful possibility.”

This website is certainly worth a visit.

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Adoption : A loving option

facebook memeNovember being Adoption Awareness Month, Life Canada (as does Action Life) seeks to educate on adoption.  We share with you Life Canada’s latest press release:

Adoption: A Positive, Loving Choice

 

For Immediate Release

November 1, 2013

 

 

Ottawa, Ontario—November is National Adoption Awareness Month, and Adoption in Canada, a project of LifeCanada to raise awareness of adoption choices for women facing unplanned pregnancies, will work to spread the message that adoption can be a positive, loving choice.

 

“Too often lately, we are seeing media stories about past and present abuses in relation to adoption, and that is not what the vast majority of adoptions represent today,” says Anastasia Bowles, Project Director for Adoption in Canada. “We need to ensure that the many positive stories about adoption are being heard as well. We hope our efforts, especially through social media, will address that.”

 

In Canada, less than 2% of single women facing unplanned pregnancies will choose adoption. “We have to ask why those numbers are so low,” says Bowles. “Are women being deterred by all the negative stories about adoption? Are they getting all the facts about adoption today? Adoptions now are very different from what they used to be.”

 

“There is a strong anti-adoption movement out there in both traditional and social media,” adds Bowles. “We are concerned about the impact that might be having on adoptive families and on women who have chosen, or who may consider choosing, adoption. Parents who have voluntarily entrusted their babies for adoption have made an incredibly difficult and heroic choice, but instead of receiving support and resources, they are being portrayed as victims or worse. “

 

A search for ‘post-adoption support’ on the Internet reveals that very few sites affirm those who have voluntarily chosen adoption. “We must address that deficit,” says Bowles.

 

Through November, Adoption in Canada hopes to raise awareness about choices in infant domestic adoption and to support birthparents who have made that choice. “These people deserve compassion and support, not judgment,” says Bowles. “We hope to see more of the many positive stories about adoption, so people will know that adoption can truly be a loving, positive choice.”

 

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Contacts:  Anastasia Bowles, Project Director and Natalie Sonnen, Executive Director 866-780-5433

 

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Umbilical cord blood stem cells: An Ethical source of stem cells

Canada’s First National Cord Blood Bank Opened

September 30th saw the opening of Canada’s first national cord blood bank and the first donations of umbilical cord blood, a rich source of stem cells.

baby 5As Elizabeth Payne reported in her October 1st Ottawa Citizen article “Cord blood bank opens with first donations,” the collection of cord blood donations began at the Ottawa Hospital’s Civic and General campuses.

Dr. Heidi Elmoazzen, director of the National Public Cord Blood Bank, explained that doctors of patients needing a stem-cell transplant can access international cord blood banks at a cost of $42 000 per unit; however, owing to Canada’s ethnic diversity, a close match for patients can’t be found in many cases. In fact, half of the 1 000 patients awaiting stem-cell transplants can’t find a match. Having a national cord blood bank will ensure Canada’s ethnic diversity is reflected and help more patients find matches.

The goal is to have 18 000 units of cord blood available in Ottawa and Edmonton, where the second phase will be opened. By the middle of 2014, umbilical cord blood will also be collected in Brampton, Edmonton and Vancouver. Dr. Elmoazzen noted these cities were chosen along with Ottawa because of their ethnic diversity and high birthrates.

Although private cord blood banks (where parents save their infants’ cord blood for their own possible use) already existed, Canada was one of the few G20 countries with no national public cord blood bank.

Canadian Blood Services will run the bank for the provinces and territories except Quebec, where Héma-Québec runs the provincial bank.

Dr. Elmoazzen said that more people would have access to stem cells to treat leukemia and lymphoma, among other diseases. Stem cells are more easily matched and these treatments result in fewer side effects than other options, such as bone marrow transplants.

In her October 16th Canadian Medical Association Journal article “National cord blood bank opens first sites in Ottawa,” Laura Eggertson reported that the bank had collected 40 units of cord blood within a week of its opening. Dr. Elmoazzen expected the bank to meet its goal of collecting 18 000 units in six years.

To inform expectant mothers about the donation process, more than 10 000 information booklets on cord blood donation have been sent by Canadian Blood Services to Ottawa physicians and midwives.
Umbilical cord blood can be donated as long as the mother is healthy, delivers at 34 weeks into her pregnancy or later, and gives birth to a single child.

Stem cells collected from umbilical cord blood after the birth of a child are an ethical source of stem cells unlike embryonic stem cells which require the destruction of a living human embryo. The removal of stem cells from a human embryo ends a human life. Cord blood stem cells have provided successful treatments for patients with leukemia and other blood disorders. Umbilical cord blood stem cells have also been used in treatments for metabolic disorders. All this without destroying a single human life!

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Crisis Pregnancy Centres will not appeal ruling in Defamation Lawsuit

 

young woman face 2

On August 26th, the B.C. Supreme Court dismissed the defamation lawsuit against abortion activist Joyce Arthur brought by the Vancouver and Burnaby Crisis Pregnancy Centres (CPCs).

On September 25th, in their media release “Crisis Pregnancy Centres won’t appeal defamation case, but will respond to pro-choicer’s allegations,” the CPCs stated they would not pursue an appeal but would respond later and in more detail to Ms. Arthur’s 2009 report entitled Exposing Crisis Pregnancy Centres in British Columbia, which contained allegations that CPCs used unethical practices in serving women and their communities.

According to Brian Norton, Executive Director of the CPCs, concern about the possible negative effect on their reputation and community service led the CPCs to launch the defamation suit in the hope that Ms. Arthur would be ordered to withdraw the report. However, the judge found the vague language of the section in question made it impossible to conclude Ms. Arthur meant the two CPCs used the practices she described.

Mr. Norton worried those who found the report online would think that “the misconduct that Arthur unfoundedly alleges is ‘common to many or most CPCs throughout North America’ must also be true of BC Centres in general and our Centres in particular.”

Lola French, Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services, expressed her opinion that allowing a report such as Ms. Arthur’s to stand, “with its conveniently vague but staggeringly broad allegations to taint the reputation of centres and volunteers across the province of BC, and beyond,” seriously hinders CPCs in their work.

Dr. Sherry Chan, a board member for the CPCs, emphasized the importance of the volunteer-based, privately funded centres, which “provide pregnancy options information, as well as practical resources, from donated maternity and baby clothes, to accommodation assistance, and prenatal and childbirth classes.”

Mr. Norton affirmed that women dealing with crisis pregnancies or post-abortion difficulties “can have confidence that our Centres adhere to the highest standards of counselling ethics and provide accurate information and non-judgmental help.”

In her September 26th Activate CFPL blog post “The Joyce Arthur Defamation Suit and the Tactic of Being Vague,” Faye Sonier discussed the decision of the CPCs not to appeal the ruling.

The defamation suit, launched by the CPCs in the hope that Ms. Arthur would be ordered to withdraw or correct her report, focussed on the allegations considered most defamatory, including allegations that “CPCs use graphic videos and pictures to shock and horrify young women about abortion”; that “CPCs … won’t say upfront they are religious, and will lie about being religiously-affiliated to get a woman into the centre”; and that they “provide misinformation about abortion and its risks” and “break confidentiality.”

The court found the report’s vague language meant that a reasonable person would not necessarily think the two CPCs committed the ethical breaches in question.

Ms. Arthur commented in her Rabble.ca post that her strategy in the lawsuit was to argue that the report did not specifically state the two CPCs used the tactics she described.

While understanding the reasons the CPCs would not appeal the decision and declaring her support for their plans to rebut the allegations, Ms. Sonier expressed her frustration that the report would damage the reputation of CPCs in Canada. She pointed out that an Internet search of certain city names with keywords such as “Crisis Pregnancy Centres” would find Ms. Arthur’s report among the first search results, which “negatively affects people’s understanding of Canadian CPCs.”

Ms. Sonier contended that the report did not meet “some of the most basic academic research standards, as an authoritative source on Canadian CPCs.” For example, the serious allegations made in one section of the report “aren’t supported by a single footnote or source.”

Ms. Sonier also argued that “the average reader would likely assume that the allegations made within the report apply to B.C. CPCs, and likely to the two CPCs which launched the suit against Arthur.” She noted that the report was entitled Exposing Crisis Pregnancy Centres in British Columbia; that its stated goal was to “find out what these centres were doing and saying to women in B.C., and whether they were engaging in deceptive or harmful practices”; and that its appendix listed CPCs in British Columbia alone.

In spite of of Ms. Arthur’s report, Crisis Pregnancy Centres will continue to serve with compassion and kindness women facing unintended pregnancies  as they have done for so many years.

 

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