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NRL News
Page 2
Fall 2011
Volume 38
Issue 8

Merry Christmas to the Ever-Vigilant Protectors of
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 page three.

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. Jon Huntsman.

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 .001%.

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 PVS.

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.

Merry Christmas!