The Supreme Court of the United States has has ruled again to protect the conscience rights of religious orders and pro-life organizations against the abortion lobby.
The Court ruled 7-2 in favor of the Sisters. Earlier this year, the Trump administration created exemptions in the ACA (Affordable Care Act) for organizations whose religious identity or other beliefs would not allow them to pay for the deaths of employees' children.
In his majority opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote:
"For over 150 years, the Little Sisters have engaged in faithful service and sacrifice, motivated by a religious calling to surrender all for the sake of their brother. But for the past seven years, they -- like many other religious objectors who have participated in the litigation and rulemakings leading up to today’s decision -- have had to fight for the ability to continue in their noble work without violating their sincerely held religious beliefs."
While this decision seems natural in light of U.S. declared freedoms, it has been hotly contested for almost 8 years.
Under the Obama Administration in 2012, HHS mandated that all employers be forced to provide abortion-inducing drugs to employee via their insurance plans. The Supreme Court dealt blows to this mandate twice following Obama's mandate, once in 2016 and once in 2017 (Hobby Lobby Stores v. Burwell and Zubik v. Burwell).
When President Trump took office, his administration redefined rules regarding abortion in the ACA and HHS mandate. These new strictures affirmed the rights of pro-life organizations, and religious orders, to opt out of offering abortion to employees.
The only two justices in dissent were Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Sonia Sotomeyer.
While the ACLU -- against its purported mission to secure civil liberties to citizens -- called the decision "shameful", Sister Veit of the Little Sisters of the Poor told media:
"We dedicate our lives to this because we believe in the dignity of every human life at every stage of life from conception until natural death. So, we've devoted our lives -- by religious vows -- to caring for the elderly. And, we literally are by their bedside holding their hand as they pass on to eternal life. So, it's unthinkable for us, on the one way, to be holding the hand of the dying elderly, and on the other hand, to possibly be facilitating the taking of innocent unborn life."
Sister Veit, via Fox News
By Myrna Maloney Flynn, MCFL President
As far as this business of solitary confinement goes, the most important thing for survival is communication with someone . . . It makes all the difference. -John McCain
Joy’s text said the package arrived just in time. I'd sent her several issues of MCFL’s member magazine featuring her daughter, Hope, who was diagnosed at 12 weeks gestation with an occipital encephalocele, meaning her brain developed outside of her skull. Joy and her husband were told their child was “not compatible with life” and were advised to abort. Now five months old, Hope defied the odds. As I write this, the family is on their way to Boston for Hope’s first surgery this week. They wanted to make sure our magazine got to family and friends before they left.
Please keep Hope, her doctors, and the Dupells in your thoughts and prayers.
About an hour after I sent my April 11 email, in which I shared the compelling story of a Springfield teen who’d recently chosen life for her son, I received a response from a new MCFL member and volunteer named Faith Delaney, who wrote, “MCFL helped me when I was pregnant at age 23, unwed, and my boyfriend wanted me to get an abortion. I was pro-life and followed my beliefs. . . My son is now 32, I went to law school, and have a successful practice in Merrimack Valley. I will donate again but would like to speak to teens when we are allowed to gather.”
Our summer magazine issue will include Faith’s story, along with several other timely, informative, and inspiring pieces. We have chosen to highlight the women of Massachusetts’ pro-life movement, past and present. I got a sneak peek at the contents last week; the issue's going to be one of our best.
The magazine is just one MCFL membership benefit. Members receive voting privileges, ultimately electing the organization’s Board members at our Annual Meeting (due to the pandemic, this will likely be held in the second half of 2020). And when MCFL heads to Beacon Hill, we go on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves, but we also represent our members at the State House and fight on their behalf. In fact, despite the shutdown, my team and I continue our first-of-its-kind strategic lobbying effort with partner organizations and will soon deliver this united message to state representatives on behalf of our thousands of supporters: “Say No to ROE!”
Perhaps the benefit most coveted by our members, though, are the advance event invitations they receive to our well-known and much-anticipated gatherings.
- Members in 2020 will have first dibs on a seat at a November 10th Harvard debate between international pro-life activist Stephanie Gray and campus abortion rights supporters;
- Our members are already looking forward to one of MCFL’s most influential traditions, the Massachusetts March for Life, to be held November 7;
- Members out west will welcome Alveda King on October 15 to celebrate our postponed Mother’s Day Dinner;
- And, of course, MCFL members receive advance invitations to our premier event: the annual fundraising banquet, to be held on Thursday, September 17 at the Four Points Sheraton. It is my honor to announce Melissa Ohden as our keynote speaker.
Melissa is the survivor of a failed saline infusion abortion in 1977. Despite the initial concerns regarding her future after surviving the attempt to end her life at approximately seven months gestation, Melissa has not only survived but thrived. She is a Master’s-level prepared social worker, the author of You Carried Me: A Daughter's Memoir, and the founder and director of The Abortion Survivors Network. Melissa is a frequent contributor to pro-life news outlets and a regular guest on radio and television programs around the world. Fulfilling the purpose that she believes God set out for her when He saved her from the certain death of the abortion attempt, Melissa is truly a voice for the voiceless.
If you’re an MCFL member, then you can relate to the value membership brings. If you’re not, I hope you will join today—to experience our events in a new way, to expand your knowledge though our magazine, to influence MCFL’s leadership and, with your powerful vote, propel this phenomenal organization toward a forward-thinking, vibrant, lifegiving new decade.
I wish you a wonderful week! As we each continue our confinement, I hope you receive all varieties of communication from friends and family, as I have, that make you laugh, prompt a good deed, elicit a prayer, and ensure our common survival.
Doctor Prescribed Suicide does not give patients the right to die; it gives doctors the right to kill
By Dr. Mark Rollo, Board of Directors, MCFL
Giving doctors the right to kill is dangerous.
Take Kate Cheney for instance. She was an eighty five year old Oregonian with terminal cancer. Her daughter, Erika, brought Kate to her physician to ask about assisted suicide. However, Kate had mild dementia and her physician refused to prescribe suicide pills because he felt she lacked the capacity to understand the process.
Erika then engaged in "doctor shopping." She took her mother to see a psychiatrist who rejected the request for assisted suicide on the same grounds as the former doctor, saying that Kate lacked the ability to weigh options about assisted suicide. The psychiatrist noted that Erika seemed coercive.
Undeterred, Erika continued to shop and took her mother to an “ethicist” at the HMO who determined that Kate was cognitively able to request suicide pills. Thus, poison was prescribed despite the obvious conflict of interest. You see, Kate would no longer be an expense for the HMO if she were dead. After initial reluctance, Kate consumed the suicide cocktail. She had just spent a week in a nursing home, alone.
Kate is one of many people in Oregon who have been steered toward suicide. This has been documented in the New England Journal of Medicine where patients doctor-shopped for suicide until they got what they wanted . . . . or what their family wanted for them.
It is estimated that about 10% of the elderly in Massachusetts are subject to abuse. Doctor prescribed suicide is the perfect recipe for carrying out that abuse while simultaneously saving money for the health insurance carrier and providing the lure of a quick inheritance to family members.
All patients have the right to refuse care and take advantage of palliative care or hospice. Doctor prescribed suicide is different. This act corrupts medicine by making the doctor, who should be committed to healing, complicit in killing.
Doctor prescribed suicide is dangerous indeed.
Who would be the first Kate Cheney of Massachusetts to die at the hands of a “healer?”
Bills that are before the Massachusetts joint committee on public health, S.1208 and H. 1926; “An act relative to end of life options,” would fuel elder abuse in Massachusetts and must be defeated.
Mark J Rollo, MD
By Anne Fox
When we worked so hard against The Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"), we opposed it for four reasons. One of those reasons was its in-built rationing.
According to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, an Obamacare provision penalized hospitals for readmitting Medicare patients within a month of being discharged and led to increased mortality rates among adults who experienced pneumonia and heart failure. The provision imposed financial penalties on hospitals with too-high readmission rates for patients with heart failure, heart attacks or pneumonia starting in 2012. It was supposed to encourage better care. But it has encouraged something else: Medicare has levied approximately $2 billion in penalties on hospitals since 2012.Read more
By Nancy Valko
When the Trump administration announced a new department of Conscience and Religious Freedom, the pushback from abortion and assisted suicide proponents like Planned Parenthood and Compassion and Choices was immediate and accompanied by apocalyptic predictions of harm to patients.
Now the term “conscientious objection” is increasingly being used rather than “conscience rights” when it comes to health care professionals. I believe this is not accidental. The term “conscience rights” is a powerful and accepted term about individual rights while “conscientious objection” is associated with the traditional definition of “A person who refuses to serve in the military due to religious or strong philosophical views against war or killing” and who “may be required to perform some nonviolent work like driving an ambulance.” (Emphasis added)Read more
By Anne Fox, President of Massachusetts Citizens for Life
Betsy McCaughey is the expert on medical care. You must read her article, "Do you have a DNR? It may kill you." If you have a DNR (do not resuscitate order) on your hospital file, they will essentially deprive you of mach needed care.
DNR means if your heart stops or you can’t breathe, medical staff will let you die naturally, instead of rushing to give you cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Correctly interpreted, a DNR bars just that one procedure, resuscitation. But scientists are discovering that many doctors and nurses take DNR to mean you want end-of-life care only. They misconstrue DNR as Dying Not Recovering.
In other words, the existence of a DNR order in your file creates mindset in doctors and nurses that you should receive less healthcare, that you’re going to die. For example, a survey at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that patients with a DNR were twice as likely to die in the hospital than those who didn’t have one. And it wasn’t just for those who were already mortally ill. For those patients who were the healthiest, their likelihood increased by five times.
Please read the whole article and let everyone else know about the danger of DNRs.
Usually we are working for others. This is important for others and for you!
By Nancy Valko
When abortion was legalized in the 1973 Roe v Wade decision, we were told that abortion should be a private decision between a woman and her doctor.
Now there is a lawsuit by Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union to force the state of Maine to allow abortions by non-physicians such as nurses and midwives.
Why? Although Planned Parenthood and the ACLU claim that this is about the safety of first-trimester abortion and the lack of enough accessible abortion clinics as well as “threats of violence”, the truth is that it is getting harder and harder to find doctors willing to do abortions.
This new expansion of abortion is part of a larger movement to remove restrictions on abortion. According to the liberal Public Leadership Institute, already “California, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon and Vermont allow trained and licensed APCs (advance practice clinicians like nurses and physician assistants) to perform aspiration abortions.”
The Institute even provides model legislation for states called the “Qualified Providers of Abortion Act” and cites the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as recommending “expanding the pool of non-obstetrician/gynecologist abortion providers by training advanced-practice clinicians (APCs)—nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives and physician assistants—to perform aspiration (aka suction or vacuum) abortions.”Read more
By Nancy Valko
As a nurse threatened with termination for refusing to participate in an unethical health care decision years ago, I have a special interest in conscience rights for health care professionals.
Over the past several decades, new threats to conscience rights have widened from refusing to participate in abortions to other deliberate death decisions like withdrawal of feedings from people with serious brain injuries, VSED (voluntary stopping of eating and drinking), terminal sedation and physician-assisted suicide.Read more
By Nancy Valko
In her February 2018 article”Prenatal Testing and Denial of Care”, Bridget Mora exposes another dark side of prenatal testing: refusal to treat. Ms. Mora is the community education and communications coordinator for Be Not Afraid, a nonprofit that supports parents experiencing a prenatal diagnosis and carrying to term.
While most people have heard of amniocentesis (using a needle to extract and analyze the fluid surrounding an unborn baby in the second trimester), many people are unaware of the screening blood tests that have now become virtually routine for all pregnant women.
The difference is that blood screening tests may indicate a probability or risk score that a baby has a chromosomal anomaly, but a definitive diagnosis can only be made through amniocentesis or CVS (Chorionic villus sampling) using a needle to take a sample of tissue from an unborn baby’s placenta for analysis in the first trimester. Tragically, some parents make a decision to abort based on just a blood screening test.Read more
By Nancy Valko
A few weeks ago, a 95-year-old friend with chronic congestive heart failure was recovering from a hip fracture and blood clot when she developed a very serious pneumonia. I was with her in the ER when the doctor asked her son and me about how aggressive to be if her heart or breathing worsened. I said, “Ask her!” and the doc was stunned when she vehemently said “Yes!”, even after he explained the potential problems with cardiopulmonary resuscitation and ventilators. My friend has a durable power of attorney naming her daughter as her health decision maker, but the doctor wrongly assumed my friend was unconscious and that we were her decision makers.
My friend astonished the doctors by recovering with antibiotics and temporary BiPap (a face mask machine to support her breathing). After a stint in rehab, my friend was able to go home last week.
It was because of mistaken but potentially fatal situations like this that I wrote my 2015 blog “Living with ‘Living Wills” about the history, uses, problems and pitfalls with living wills and other end-of-life documents known as advance directives.Read more