Merry Christmas to the Ever-Vigilant
the Weak, the Vulnerable, and the Defenseless
By Dave Andrusko
As I write these remarks it’s the day before Thanksgiving and we’re
putting the finishing touches on this edition of National Right to
Life News. Naturally my thoughts, like those of NRLC President Carol
Tobias, begin with an abiding appreciation of the blessings that all
pro-lifers enjoy because of what they do and for whom they are
privileged to labor. Please read her wonderfully moving column on
These are such exciting times and so much that is of importance to
our 360,000+ readers that 28 pages only begins to touch on the vast
array of stories that even 50 pages could not do justice to. That is
why I fervently hope you are reading our daily online newspaper
National Right to Life News Today (www.nationalrighttolifenews.org).
For more, take a look at the back cover. I guarantee that once you
begin receiving these Monday through Saturday updates, you will
wonder how you ever got along without them.
So let me use this editorial to touch on several other subjects of
keen interest to the pro-life community.
Carefully digest the page twelve story which highlights the enormous
political stakes that are part and parcel of the Supreme Court’s
decision to hear challenges to ObamaCare. Obama told a calculated
risk; his Justice Department could have maneuvered to push a
decision to 2013.
Whoever Obama’s pro-life Republican challenger will be next year,
the Movement knows that he or she will adamantly oppose ObamaCare as
part of standing up for the littlest Americans. In a different
context there is a lot of talk about the “99%” and the “1%.” Obama
belongs to the 1% who never believes there are enough abortions;
never encounters a protective law they (unlike the babies) could
live with; and all that notwithstanding never tires of insisting
that it is pro-lifers who are out of the mainstream!
By the time you read this editorial the topsy-turvy GOP contest may
have taken still another twist. The big news, of course, is that
former Speaker Newt Gingrich has catapulted from what appeared to be
total irrelevance into a virtual tie for first place with former
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, or actually gone ahead. Three polls
were published this week, showing Gingrich up 2% and by 4% with
Romney up by 1% in another. In addition, Gingrich assumed leadership
in “positive intensity,” meaning simply the difference between those
who have a strongly favorable opinion minus the number of who have a
strongly unfavorable opinion.
The campaigns of candidates who had previously soared
high—businessman Herman Cain, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann—seemed to have stalled out or fallen
precipitously. Other pro-lifers competing in the field include
Congressman Ron Paul, former Senator Rick Santorum, and former Gov.
From politics let me make an abrupt switch to update you on a story
we’ve written about dozens of times over the last eleven months.
Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell will go on trial of eight
counts of murder: seven babies aborted alive whose spines he is
accused of severing; and one woman who died of a drug overdose that
authorities say Gosnell prescribed.
I am glad to report that one by one Gosnell’s minions have already
pleaded guilty, including to murder charges. One—Tina
Baldwin—pleaded guilty to lesser charges in an agreement that
requires her to testify against Gosnell.
The details of what took place at his Women’s Medical Society
abortion clinic will either curl your hair, turn your stomach, or
both. If the prosecution’s case is true, Gosnell represents the
Those who receive National Right to Life News Today (which you can
sign up for at www.nrlc.org/join_our_mailing_list.htm) have been the
beneficiaries of an ongoing tutorial on stem cells. All pro-lifers
are conversant with the basics. Stems cells from human embryos are
morally objectionable, and embryonic stem cell research (ESCR)
simply has not benefited humans at all. By contrast morally
unobjectionable adult stems are helping people all over the planet.
Nobody basked in the media hype like the Geron Corporation. Every
tiny step forward—no matter how insignificant and how far behind
schedule—was touted as the foundation for what would be embryonic
stem cell treatment for acute spinal cord injury. When Geron
abruptly left the embryonic stem cell field altogether in November,
its abandonment disappeared virtually without a media bubble.
By contrast to all the positive media glow about ESCR, when’s the
last time you read a gush story reminding the reader that over
50,000 people around the globe are treated each year with adult stem
cells for diseases that include numerous cancers, spinal cord
injury, heart damage, multiple sclerosis, sickle cell anemia, and
many others? The double standard is breathtaking.
Finally, common to the anti-life ethos is a rush to evict those
already in the community, typically on the grounds that they lack
sufficient “quality of life” and therefore do not deserve our
protection. Common to the pro-life ethos is a commitment to the
equality of life, which makes us protectors of the weak, the
vulnerable, and the defenseless. Nobody outside the unborn child is
more at risk than patients with severe brain injuries.
However, a new study published in The Lancet buttresses the
conclusion of many ingenious studies demonstrating that many
patients in a so-called “Persistent Vegetative State” (PVS) have
been misdiagnosed and that some actually in a PVS are consciously
aware. The application to severely brain-injured patients like Terri
Schiavo is obvious, although her family insists Terri never was in a
Many patients, probably thousands, have had their food and fluids
cut off, based on what we now know may well have been the mistaken
assumption that they had lost all capacity for consciousness. The
Lancet study, together with earlier functional MRI studies, holds
out the hope that we may develop ways to communicate with aware
patients who have routinely been diagnosed as “vegetative,” much as
today eye movements and blinks are used to communicate with some
patients with paraplegia.
Let me conclude by merely saying thank you, thank you, and thank
you! It is a privilege to be a co-worker on behalf of the greatest
movement for social justice of our time.