Today's News & Views

 


FEBRUARY 2007
Vol. 34, No. 2


Pro-Lifers Gather around the Nation to Commemorate 34th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade


Your Calls to Congress Needed Immediately
Health Care Rationing Looms;
Ability to Spend Own Money to Save Life in Danger
By Burke Balch, JD

Nine years after the pro-life movement won the ability of senior citizens to avoid rationing of lifesaving medical treatment, food, and fluids under Medicare, this right is under renewed attack by leaders in the new Congress.

At issue is the fundamental question of whether seniors will be prevented from using their own money, if they wish, to gain access to insurance that will not ration prescription drugs—or medical treatment.

A partial assault, already passed by the House and likely soon to come to a vote on the Senate floor, would limit the ability of older Americans to use their own funds to obtain innovative lifesaving drugs. A complete assault—to repeal the right entirely, as it applies to medical services as well as prescription drugs—has been promised by a key congressional leader and will likely be up for a vote later this year.

Why is NRLC involved? Since its inception, the National Right to Life Committee has been as concerned about protecting older people and those with disabilities from euthanasia as about protecting the unborn from abortion.

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President Vows Another Veto
Democratic Leaders Push Bill to Fund Embryo-Killing Research

WASHINGTON (January 31, 2007)—Only a week after taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, Democratic leaders fast-tracked legislation that would mandate federal funding of the type of stem cell research that requires the killing of human embryos.

The legislation would overturn a policy adopted by President Bush in 2001, which prohibits federal funding of stem cell research that requires harming human embryos. (See related story, page 9.)

After Democrats took control of the House on January 4, one of their first legislative priorities was the bill to fund such research, authored by Representatives Diana DeGette (D-Co.) and Mike Castle (R-De.) (H.R. 3), which was brought to the House floor on January 11. The bill contains the same language as a bill that President Bush vetoed in July 2006—a veto that was sustained by the House. (See August 2006 NRL News, page 1.)

The bill would mandate federal funding of the type of stem cell research that requires the killing of human embryos in order to harvest their stem cells. The embryos would be those authorized by the parents to be “donated from in vitro fertilization clinics, [and that] were created for the purposes of fertility treatment.”

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Vol. 34, No. 2

 

From the President

Wanda Franz, Ph.D.

THE THREAT OF HEALTH CARE RATIONING & THE DENIAL OF LIFESAVING DRUGS - Part 1
By Wanda Franz, Ph.D.

Pro-lifers rightly take satisfaction in the fact that abortion rates are down, that public support for unrestricted abortion has significantly declined, and that there is now majority support to severely restrict abortion or outlaw it altogether. We have made encouraging progress in our long campaign to secure the right to life for the child in the womb.

In fact, some have been so preoccupied working on behalf of the right to life of others, namely the unborn, that they have paid insufficient attention to the looming threat to our own right to life. This threat arises from demographic, political, and cul-tural trends that play into hands of those obsessed with “end of life solutions.”

The demographic trends are simply this: A tidal wave of “baby boomers” is approaching retirement. In 2005, the number of U.S. citizens 65 years of age or older was 36.8 million. In 2010, just three years from now, the number will be about 40.2 million. And in only eight years, in 2015, it will be 46.8 million. Not only will there be more elderly citizens than ever, they will also tend to live longer—albeit with frailties of varying degrees. From these trends it is obvious that a significant number of us will face disability and chronic medical conditions.

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