Voters Should Embrace Life and Reject Physician-Assisted Suicide

While Trump vs. Clinton is the contest on most Americans’ minds this election year, an even more important struggle has quietly emerged which could significantly impact our nation: that of life vs. death.

Earlier this week, the Washington, D.C., City Council voted to advance the “Death with Dignity” Act, legislation which would make D.C. one of six American jurisdictions allowing legalized physician-assisted suicide. The bill now moves on to Mayor Muriel Bowser, who a spokesman said “expects the bill to become law.”

And in Colorado, Proposition 106 is on the ballot this year, a “medical aid in dying” initiative that’s modeled after legislation that was debated and rebuffed in the state legislature. If the initiative succeeds, Colorado would become the third state to legalize assisted suicide by popular vote.

The assisted suicide movement caught fire after Brittany Maynard publicly declared her intention to end her life with help from her doctor, with the blessing of the Oregon state government. Proponents of this self-styled “death with dignity” argue that it is based out of compassion and respect for the individual seeking death, because they are preserved from further suffering in the face of a terminal illness.

However, unfortunately, recent news has shown the opposite. In California, where assisted suicide is legal, we learned last month that a patient’s chemotherapy treatment was no longer covered by her insurer — suicide pills were considered instead a more financially viable option for both the patient and her medical insurance provider.

This reeks of cold calculation rather than human compassion. Continue Reading

WATCH: The Three Best Moments from Trump’s EWTN Interview

Last night, EWTN aired an extended interview with Donald Trump, his first with the Catholic television network. Trump and host Raymond Arroyo covered a number of important topics, including life, religious liberty, Obamacare, and the importance of the 2016 election.

You can watch the full interview below:

Here were Trump’s top three moments from the interview:

1.) “The person who was pro-choice is now pro-life…and that had a big effect on me.”

Trump discussed his change in view on the pro-life question, describing an event with a couple close to him, including the baby they eventually had, and the effect that experience had on him:

ARROYO: You’re very concerned about the late-term abortions. What was the moment that changed your thinking, your heart, on this?

TRUMP: Well, there are a number of moments, but one was a couple that I know very, very well — and you had a strong pro-life [person] and you had a strong pro-choice [person], and they argued over [the pregnancy]. … The mother was pregnant. They argued over the child. One, I won’t get into specifics.

But one wanted to abort. And the other said, “We can’t do that. We’re not going to do that.” Anyway, they had the baby. It was a long time ago. And the baby is such a magnificent person, who I know, a magnificent person. And the person that was actually pro-choice is now pro-life because of it, and it had a big effect on me. But I’ve seen other examples similar to that; but I’ve seen other examples, so …

ARROYO: So, it was a personal change for you?

Continue Reading

DePaul University President Calls Pro-Life Message “Bigotry”

Photo credit: southie3 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

At DePaul University in Chicago, it is now impossible to be both pro-life and pro-black lives — at least according the university’s president.

Last week, Fr. Dennis Holtschneider silenced the DePaul College Republicans, halting use of their proposed “Unborn Lives Matter” campaign on campus. In a letter explaining his decision, Holtschneider claimed, “Yet there will be times when some forms of speech challenge our grounding in Catholic and Vincentian values. When that happens, you will see us refuse to allow members of our community to be subjected to bigotry that occurs under the cover of free speech.” He went on to describe the advertising campaign as “[s]peech whose primary purpose is to wound” and called it “inconsistent with our Vincentian and Catholic values.”

Holtschneider may have believed these words when he wrote them, but his accusation rests on a baseless assumption of malicious intent on the part of the College Republicans. The poster blocked by the University merely imitates a well-known, popular phrasing of a powerful message, and one that the university had a chance, and perhaps even an obligation, to promote as an avenue for unity. Is it really so difficult to consider that the group’s reappropriation of “Black Lives Matter” is more akin to others’ reappropriation of the British mantra “Keep Calm and Carry On,” for example, than it is to mocking the rallying cry of a movement seeking justice and equality for African Americans?

Furthermore, when it comes to protecting and defending black lives, it can be argued quite compellingly that the pro-life movement is at the forefront. Continue Reading

Trump Reaffirms Support for FADA, Conscience Protection Act

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore), a prominent Catholic issues organization, yesterday published a letter they received from Donald Trump which indicates an increased commitment to religious liberty from the Republican presidential nominee. As he did in the letter his campaign sent to the American Principles Project last December, Trump discussed the importance of freedom of religion and reiterated his support for the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), which would prevent government discrimination against individuals and organizations which hold traditional views on marriage. In his letter to CatholicVote, Trump also added that he would press for the passage of the Conscience Protection Act, a bill which would prevent pro-life healthcare workers from being forced to participate in abortions. (The Pulse 2016’s Michael Lucchese previously wrote on the Conscience Protection Act here.)

In voicing his support for both bills, Trump was cautious to add that he would take action only if Congress was first to take the initiative: “If Congress considers legislation such as the First Amendment Defense Act or the Conscience Protection Act a priority, then I will do all I can to make sure it comes to my desk for signature and enactment.” In his letter to APP, Trump used remarkably similar language: “If Congress considers the First Amendment Defense Act a priority, then I will do all I can to make sure it comes to my desk for signature and enactment.”

While not the strongest possible language, these letters do indicate that a President Donald Trump, if elected, would be generally supportive of religious liberty initiatives undertaken by Congress. Continue Reading

WATCH: New Ad Defends N.C. “Bathroom Bill” Protecting Women’s Privacy

Heard about HB 2 in North Carolina? You know, the law the media’s been calling the “bathroom bill”? Then you’re probably aware of all the big corporations, musical artists and sports leagues crying “bigotry.”

Thankfully, the Institute for Faith and Family is giving voice to the other side. A new commercial uses the testimony of a Greenville, N.C., high school junior named Chloe who makes a simple yet impassioned plea for the safety and privacy of the sons and daughters of the Tar Heel State. Check it out for yourself below:

“It’s not just about privacy. It’s about safety too.” This is clearly Chloe’s strongest argument. Women and children in bathrooms and locker rooms shouldn’t be forced to change and shower with grown men. The alternatives proposed by Democrats in North Carolina are unsupervised, constant use of showers and bathrooms by anyone who chooses.

Chris Sgro, a Democratic state representative, called HB 2 an “economic disaster that discriminates against LGBT North Carolinians.” It’s only an economic disaster because big business interests have been buying what the totalitarian left is selling. When a state legislative body has come to a policy decision, it would be bad practice to reverse their decision because business interests are trying to hold the electorate ransom. Instead, opponents of HB 2 could propose a legislative alternative that finds a compromise for both sides of the argument. Perhaps there is a possibility that transgender protections could be extended without withdrawing protections from supporters of HB 2.

However, that hasn’t happened, and it won’t happen. Continue Reading

WATCH: Pro-Life Group Releases New Ad Slamming Pro-Abortion Extremism

In a presidential race featuring Hillary Clinton — perhaps the most pro-abortion candidate ever — pro-life advertisements are bound to flood the airwaves. Now, March for Life Action is here with your newest, easily digestible information on abortion in the United States. Clinton, endorsed by Planned Parenthood, has been a vocal advocate for repealing the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal tax dollars being used to fund abortions. “Consensus,” March for Life Action’s new ad, takes information from a Marist Poll released in July 2016 to cut through the spin regarding Hyde:

The strongest takeaways from this ad? Eight out of 10 Americans believe that there should be real, legal limits on abortion, a stance which is opposed by a number of vocally pro-abortion politicians, many of whom would like to see abortion legal right up until birth. Notable among them? Hillary Clinton.

Just to reiterate: Hillary Clinton supports legal abortion up until the moment of birth. And she wants every American, including those who believe abortion kills a child in the womb, to pay for it.

As “Consensus” points out, however, almost two-thirds of Americans oppose federal funding for abortions. The reasoning for this is simple — those who oppose abortion oppose it (for the most part) because it involves willful destruction of a human life. No taxpayer wants to see their money go directly to abortion providers for this express purpose.

Even if pro-abortion politicians like Hillary Clinton disagree, and insist that a fetus is different than a human, they should be able to agree that conscientious objectors to abortion should not be forced to subsidize it. Continue Reading

House Panel Votes to Hold Fetal Tissue Provider StemExpress in Contempt

Photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Meeting Wednesday afternoon, the House of Representatives Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives voted to recommend that StemExpress, a firm connected to the alleged illegal procurement of aborted babies’ body parts in undercover videos last year, be held in contempt of Congress. This comes after StemExpress failed to provide sufficient information after being subpoenaed by the Panel earlier this year.

According to the Panel’s Republicans, the subpoena required three things of StemExpress:

  1. Accounting records
  2. Names of entities/individuals that provided StemExpress with fetal tissue
  3. Names of entities/individuals that were provided with fetal tissue by StemExpress

The aim of the request was to ascertain whether or not StemExpress had violated federal law prohibiting the for-profit transfer of human fetal tissue. However, in response to the subpoena, StemExpress only provided a summary of how much money was involved in the fetal tissue transactions and a limited list of names of those involved in the transactions, well short of the information the Panel had requested.

According to the Panel’s report, “Over a three month period, the Panel subpoenaed StemExpress twice, its CEO, Ms. Catherine Spears Dyer (Ms. Dyer) once, and StemExpress’ outside accountant, Scinto Group, LLP (Scinto) once,” and when StemExpress and its personnel did not respond appropriately, Panel Chairwoman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and her colleagues moved to hold them in contempt.

The Panel’s Democrats were predictably not pleased. The ranking Democrat on the Panel, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) has in the past likened the StemExpress investigation to a McCarthy-esque witch-hunt and condemned Blackburn’s actions, claiming that the chairwoman’s goal “is to harass and intimidate” companies like StemExpress in order to halt fetal tissue research. Continue Reading

WATCH: New Video Exposes Planned Parenthood’s Biggest Abortion Lie

Everyone needs to watch this new video from Live Action, “Debunking Planned Parenthood’s 3% Abortion Myth.” It’s simply excellent. Have you ever come across a pro-choice apologist claiming that abortion doesn’t significantly factor into Planned Parenthood’s profit margins? Live Action has got the answer. In fact, in their new video, they have several answers.

“It’s in their annual report. It’s on their website. And their supporters say it all the time.” That’s the lead in on this new video, after restating Cecile Richards’ attempt to claim that abortion makes up only “3%” of the services they provide. Pointing out that The Washington Post gave the claim “three pinocchios” (read: “very misleading”), the narrator iterates that in 2014, 323,999 abortions were carried out by Planned Parenthood. That’s one abortion every 97 seconds.

One abortion every 97 seconds. Are you kidding? Even if the “3%” figure were to hold up, that is an incredible reality; not incredible as in “good,” but incredible as in “impossible to believe.”

But it doesn’t hold up. With 323,999 abortions performed upon 2.5 million patients, this “means that one in eight patients who walk into Planned Parenthood will get an abortion.” How does Planned Parenthood get to their “3%” number? They include every single action as a service. And they treat them all equally. So they divide number of abortions by the number of steps in providing an abortion, for example. A woman comes in for an abortion? She will get a pregnancy test (that’s a “service”); an abortion (that’s a “service”); a sexually transmitted infection (STI) test (yet another “service”); and will be given contraceptives (a “service”). Continue Reading

Baltimore Archbishop Blasts “Reckless” Language in Govt. Religious Liberty Report

Photo credit: American Life League via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0

Responding to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ (USCCR) recent report “Peaceful Coexistence,” Archbishop William E. Lori rebuked the notion that claims for religious liberty were “code words” to allow for discrimination.

In a statement released yesterday, Lori, who is archbishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Baltimore, reminded the USCCR’s chairman, Martin Castro, that “[m]en and women of faith were many in number during the most powerful marches of the civil rights era,” referring to the contributions of prominent religious leaders such as Rev. Martin Luther King. Lori also called Castro to account for his “reckless” statements which the archbishop said “reveal a profound disregard for the religious foundations of his own work.”

Lori did not limit his criticism to a Christian perspective, either, but included the concerns of orthodox Jews and Muslim communities as well, saying that Castro was equating these faith communities en masse “to fringe segregationists from the civil rights era.” And with later references to Dr. King, as well as Fr. Theodore Hesburgh and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, the archbishop reminded the USCCR that Americans motivated by religious beliefs have made leading contributions during some of the most important periods of United States history.

Finally, Archbishop Lori hit the nail on the head as he blasted Castro’s claim that religion is being used solely to obtain exemptions from nondiscrimination laws, “such as the right to marry”:

The vast majority of those who speak up for religious liberty are merely asking for the freedom to serve others as our faith asks of us.

Continue Reading

WATCH: Trump and Clinton Spar with Dueling TV Ads

Post-Labor Day marks the start of general election season, and the ads are starting to flow. Amidst a flurry of activity this past week, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton each released a new commercial going after their opponent’s perceived weakness.

The Clinton ad, titled “Agree,” highlights Trump’s poor favorability with members of his own party, featuring prominent Republicans like Senators Ben Sasse and Susan Collins, along with former Governor Mitt Romney, speaking out about their problems with the GOP nominee:

Released Saturday, the commercial concludes that Donald Trump is “Unfit. Dangerous. Even for Republicans.” It’s a tactic that lines up with Clinton’s alleged pursuit of Republican donors who have not been supportive of Trump and clever in the use of a GOP darling like Ben Sasse and others. And clearly, the ad got under the mogul’s skin, as he quickly took to Twitter:

For their part, Trump and his campaign stuck to their weekend theme and released a commercial hitting Clinton for her “basket of deplorables” comment Friday night:

The ad’s visual high point — and most powerful message — is its focus on how the delegates to the Republican National Convention, far from being exclusive to party elites, were comprised of many voters’ friends, colleagues, and long-time acquaintances. It’s a message bound to reinforce the belief among many Americans that Clinton truly does not have their best interests at heart. Continue Reading