Charlie Gard’s Human Rights

And now for something completely different, after a month filled with New Hampshire posts.

Read this from Aleteia: “Charlie Gard case raises questions about medical treatment and parental rights.”

Charlie Gard is an infant who at this writing is in a hospital in London, England. He was born severely ill with a “rare, fatal condition” (quoting the Aleteia post).

Charlie’s parents want to bring him to the United States for an experimental therapy. They are prepared to pay for the treatment. There’s just one catch: the hospital won’t release their baby to them, and the hospital’s been backed up by the European Court of Human Rights.

Time to let the little tyke “die with dignity,” say the experts. Reportedly, the hospital is now free to remove whatever life support is being used for Charlie’s benefit.

I believe that there is such a thing as burdensome care, and no one has a moral obligation to accept it. I also believe that when a government tells parents that they can’t take their sick child for care at a facility that’s not under the control of that government, something’s very wrong.

I have to wonder: if the parents wanted to hasten their son’s death via active euthanasia, would the hospital and the Court be resisting them?

This is a terrible situation, though I won’t say “terrible case” because Charlie’s a child, not a case. No happy outcome is likely, by any earthly measure. Aggravating the situation is the fact that it’s now been established that in England, a government-run health care facility can deny custody of a disabled child to parents who are willing and able to seek treatment for that child.

That’s enough to give government-run health care a bad name. One may hope such decisions would never be made here. I suspect Charlie’s parents didn’t think it would happen in England.

Situational Personhood

During the debate preceding the recent vote on the fetal homicide bill, one New Hampshire state representative made her way to the House gallery to hand me a thick bundle of stapled papers. She pointed out the top page to me, and then left without further comment to take her seat on the House floor.

The bundle was an amendment to a Commerce bill that had just been voted on. The topic was trusts, basically property, and the protection and conveyance thereof. Check out the words that pass without controversy when the subject is trusts.

Unborn person.
Ironically, at the moment I read that, a representative was making a speech cautioning that a fetal homicide law would confer personhood on the fetus. No word on whether she takes issue with the term “unborn person” as it applies to trust law.

Legislation addressing unborn victims of violence is not personhood legislation. If it were, with nearly 40 states and the federal government having one or another form of a fetal homicide law, Roe v. Wade would have been kicked to the curb long ago.

The irony meter jumped up another notch as the omigosh-not-personhood politician at the microphone switched between “fetus” and “baby” as she spoke against the bill.

I’d like to think she’s teetering on the edge of a revelation, for all her thus-far adamant abortion advocacy.

 

Resistance to prenatal ultrasounds is “non-negotiable”?

Pro-life Democrats are getting some national attention this week, courtesy of a party leader.

The Washington Post has a commentary by Adam Blake about a declaration this week by the Democratic National Committee chairman, Thomas Perez. The occasion for Mr. Perez’s outburst was concern over a  Democratic candidate in Nebraska.

DNC chairman Tom Perez

Perez: “Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health. That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.”

Abortion on demand, without apology, and at your expense – but wait! There’s more. The occasion for Mr. Perez’s ire, according to the Post, was the fact that the Nebraska candidate “supported a bill requiring doctors to tell women where they can receive ultrasounds before obtaining an abortion.” Continue reading “Resistance to prenatal ultrasounds is “non-negotiable”?”

A small step in the right direction: less tax money to UNFPA

Cross-posted from my piece on DaTechGuy Blog, 4/5/17.

President Trump’s State Department has told the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to get along without U.S. financial support. There are people who think this is a bad idea. I’m not one of them. Neither is Reggie Littlejohn.

Reggie Littlejohn of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers (Photo by Ellen Kolb)

I met Reggie very briefly a couple of years ago, when we were speakers at a pro-life convention in New Hampshire. My job was to talk about effective use of social media. Reggie’s job was to talk about China’s coercive abortion policy. She got better billing – and deserved it. Her stories were compelling and persuasive.

She became interested in Chinese policy when as an attorney she represented a Chinese woman seeking political asylum in the United States. It was Reggie’s first exposure to the wretched effects of the One-Child Policy: forced abortion, forced sterilization, and gender imbalance as boys are more valued culturally than girls. The revelations changed her life. She later established Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, an international coalition dedicated to fighting forced abortion in China.

Wherever she speaks, she points out the support China’s policies have received from UNFPA. She has called repeatedly for U.S. de-funding of the organization. She released a statement the other day when de-funding was finally announced.

“We are thrilled that the U.S. is no longer funding forced abortion and involuntary sterilization in China.  The blood of Chinese women and babies will no longer be on our hands. My very first press release, in 2009, was entitled ‘You Are Funding Forced Abortions in China.‘ I have consistently advocated for the defunding of UNFPA over the years…

“The UNFPA clearly supports China’s population control program, which they know is coercive. Under China’s One (now Two) Child Policy, women have been forcibly aborted up to the ninth month of pregnancy. Some of these forced abortions have been so violent that the women themselves have died, along with their full term babies. There have been brutal forced sterilizations as well, butchering women and leaving them disabled. Where was the outcry from the UNFPA? In my opinion, silence in the face of such atrocities is complicity.   Dr. Martin Luther King once said, ‘In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.’ The UNFPA’s silence in the face of decades of forced abortion has been a sword in the wombs of millions of women and babies of China. I rejoice with them that the foot of the UNFPA is finally off of their necks.”

Read the rest of the post at DaTechGuy Blog.

On Party Unity: a Tale of Two Bills

The New Hampshire House voted a few minutes ago to kill a “right-to-work” bill. My Facebook and Twitter feeds are noisy with the cries of RTW advocates who are upset that SB 11 failed on the Republicans’ watch. Right-to-work is in the state GOP platform. Republican leadership in legislative and executive branches promoted the bill.  It failed anyway, by 23 votes.

*Yawn.*

No one who has seen pro-life bills fail in the New Hampshire House under Republican majorities can be shocked when “party unity” fails.

Many of today’s House members were in office last year when the House voted 167-116 to kill a bill (HB 1627) to protect children born alive after attempted abortion. There was a Republican majority in place then, too, under the same Speaker who holds the position today.

One difference between today’s vote and last year’s: protecting children born alive after attempted abortion was not a leadership priority. Unlike with RTW, there was no press conference by the state GOP calling on reps to pass HB 1627. Unlike with RTW, the Speaker didn’t hand over the gavel to another rep so he could go on record supporting HB 1627.

I happen to think RTW legislation is a good idea, and I’m sorry today’s bill lost. But surprised? Shocked?

Please. Without party unity on the fundamental right to life, party unity on anything else seems irrelevant.

I’m hanging on to what the state of New Hampshire insists on calling my “undeclared” voter registration. Any candidate who wants my vote knows how to earn it.