John Jalsevac

Woman gives birth to quintuplets after rejecting ‘selective reduction’ abortion

John Jalsevac
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A California woman refused doctors’ advice to abort some of her unborn children after finding herself pregnant with quintuplets - and now has given birth to five healthy babies.

From CBS News:

A Fullerton mom has successfully given birth to a live set of quintuplets at a Phoenix-area hospital, after refusing the advice of doctors who recommended fetal reduction.

Meryl Ferraro, 39, and her husband, John, last week welcomed the arrival of their quintuplets, whom they have collectively nicknamed GRACE, for their first name initials: Gabrielle, Riley (a boy), Addison (a girl), Cooper, and Emerson (a girl).

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According to the family’s blog, the Ferraros – who had already conceived and given birth to a now 2-year-old daughter with the help of fertility treatments – decided to follow Dr. Elliott back to Arizona after being advised by several doctors in Southern California to seriously consider fetal reduction, the practice of killing one fetus in a multiple-baby pregnancy.

“After reading all the information, we were horrified,” the Ferraro’s background page reads. “We decided it was not our place to choose which of our babies would live and which one would die. If God was giving us 5 babies, there was a reason. We made a decision to see them as a precious blessing from God above and not as burdens we needed to eliminate.”

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How do you think a government body whose job it is to make sure that medical treatment does not go over budget, will respond to an opportunity to take these expensive people out of the picture? Shutterstock

How socialism makes old people want to kill themselves: a true story

Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary
By Hilary White

Let me tell you a little story.

Once upon a time, my beloved uncle and aunt, who live in northern England, were close friends with a nice couple whom I’ll call Margaret and James. These were perfectly ordinary middle class people, who are of the immediate post-War generation, born in the mid-40s. They worked quite hard all their lives, and built a business, which did fairly well. They had assumed that this work would pay off in the long term, and that because they had planned carefully and wisely, and had saved and lived pretty sensibly, that they were more or less set for retirement. This is, after all, how it is supposed to work.

They were about five years into this retirement, and having a pretty nice time, going on modest holidays, spending a lot of time with the grandchildren, being involved in local civic and cultural organisations… exactly what you would think such salt-of-the-earth types would be up to in the second half of life. Then one day, James had a stroke. He was rushed to hospital and received excellent treatment and care, but the damage was done. James was a long time in hospital, and when he was released to go home, he was unable to care for himself.

The therapists had mostly got him talking again, and he could eat on his own, but he required constant attendance, something his loving wife was, given her age and lack of formal nursing skills, realistically unable to give. James was able to get about the house for a while, but needed a wheel chair when he went out, and his condition deteriorated.

How do you think a government body whose job it is to make sure that medical treatment in Britain does not exceed its budget allocations, will respond to an opportunity to take these expensive people right out of the financial picture?

Finally, the inevitable had to be faced, and Margaret looked into the options. But this is Britain, so all the “options” were whatever the government was willing to provide. This meant that a home help for household tasks and a home visiting nurse were impossible – and of course, a live-in nurse was out of the question.

You see, James and Margaret had worked too hard and planned too well for their retirement. While they weren't so well off that they could afford to pay 100% of the costs of long-term care themselves, they had planned too well in the eyes of the government. 

The Council told them, “You have too much money and too many assets. You can only get James in if you sell your home, liquidate all your assets and give us the money. Once you are jointly worth under 24,000 pounds, then we’ll have a place for you.”

(This sort of thing has become common. Read here.) 

The Socialism that has taken over every public institution in Britain, and crowded and bullied the churches out of their caring role, had taken away all the choices but one. They must impoverish themselves, wiping out any possibility of a comfortable long-term survival for Margaret – and never mind leaving something for the grandchildren, before getting the care James needed. Everything they had worked for all their lives was sold off and given to the government in exchange for care.

It was not very long before James, a kindly and hard working, decent man, started using that peculiar British expression, “being a burden.” He died soon after of natural causes.

The names and details of the story have been changed, of course, but the story is absolutely true.

Falconer's bill

Every year, with the end of the summer holidays and the turning of the leaves come all the joys of the new Parliamentary session, and a return to all our legislative worries, including, perhaps most prominently in the UK this year, the possibility that the mother country will legalise assisted suicide. The Falconer bill is headed back to the committee examining it in the House of Lords, and it is expected to be passed by that formerly august body, and sent off to the Commons.

Recently, the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Surgeons, and perhaps most poignantly, the Association for Palliative Medicine, submitted strong statements against the idea of legal “assisted suicide” (a term that is coming to have very little to distinguish it from outright euthanasia).

They mainly argue that patients suffering from terminal illness are emotionally vulnerable, they can be frightened and deeply agitated, and in a depressed mental and emotional state. They point out that the bill’s main flaw is the concept that a person in such a state could make a valid choice to want to die. They point out that this mental state, that would naturally produce a desire for suicide, is, ipso facto, a condition that would preclude their being able to make a calm and informed decision.

One would think that the statements of these people, doctors who deal directly with such patients, would hold a lot of weight. But if one were inclined to think that, one might also think that ultrasounds demonstrating that an unborn child is in fact a living human being, whom it is wrong to kill, would have put a stop to legalised abortion decades ago. What is at work here is not reality but a determined nihilist, anti-human ideology, a “culture of death,” as someone once called it.

If there are people out there who still think, in the face of forty-odd years of such medical evidence, as well as common sense, that such legislation is based on facts, science and reason, then I suppose no amount of evidence to the contrary will suffice to change their minds. As Professor Peter Kreeft once said in answer to my question about it, “There are some who can only be moved by prayer and fasting,” meaning that we are faced not with science, reason and facts, but the awful, ancient and terrifying mystery of human evil, which will never be fully fathomed by us in this life.

So, yes, this year we again have Falconer’s bill to fight. And, despite the sudden plunge of the proposal’s popularity among medical professionals, the notion of killing oneself with a doctor’s “help” still remains wildly popular among Britain’s public.

While Falconer’s supporters, the organisation formerly known as the Voluntary Euthanasia Society, have claimed that support is at 80%, Care Not Killing counters that the numbers, once numerical clarity has been achieved, look more realistically like 43%.

But while 43% won’t tip the scales in a referendum (no, there isn’t going to be one) it’s still an extraordinary figure. Of a population of about 64 million people, nearly thirty million think allowing doctors to give people drugs to kill themselves or, more likely, to have their relatives do the deed, is a perfectly sane, sensible and reasonable idea.

How did the UK learn to love euthanasia?

It does make one wonder, how did a country formerly known for its stoicism and common sense come to such a cultural pass?

The reasons for the peculiar enthusiasm of British people for euthanasia are varied and complex, and probably have much to do with the terrible hardening of many British hearts that have, apparently, definitively turned away from God and his priority of mercy, love and self-forgetfulness. A thorough examination of the phenomenon would require a fearless dive into the nation’s philosophical and moral history since the English Reformation, and therefore be more or less impossible for a blog post.

But there is one thing that is clearly fuelling the nation’s euthanasia-mania that perhaps is easier to talk about, but that is going largely unnoticed: socialism. All medical care in Britain is provided by the government. All. And the government has this interesting body, called the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE – yes, that’s really it … not making it up…) whose task it is to decide who does and does not get treatment, and, perhaps even more ominously, what “level” of treatment a person is entitled to, all judged according to a precise mathematical formula.

The NICE are, effectively, the triage body, to decide whether your life, or the life of your mum or dad or grandma, is worth spending the money trying to save, given whatever’s wrong with you. For instance, if you are 30 and you have cancer, you might get access to certain drugs or treatments for which a 70-year-old with cancer will not be approved. The principle at work, in its essence, is back to good old British Utilitarianism; Jeremy Bentham’s ice-cold calculation of the “greatest good for the greatest number”. It is still not widely understood that this, the philosophy of the gas chamber, is back with a vengeance as the leading principle in nearly all the hospital and medical ethics boards and conferences in nearly every country of the western world.

Now, with this in mind, how do you think a government body whose job it is to make sure that medical treatment in Britain does not exceed its budget allocations, will respond to an opportunity to take these expensive people right out of the financial picture?

And How long do you think it would take a couple like James and Margaret, who, like most British people, had never been near a church for anything but weddings and funerals since the 1950s, to start to think that a painless injection would be the solution to all their problems? 

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Take heart: Nature is on our side, and she does not change

Anthony Esolen Anthony Esolen Follow Anthony
By Anthony Esolen

Our opponents in the battle to form or deform the imagination of children have on their side, for the most part, the school, the airwaves, and mass culture.

That may seem an insuperable triad. But, even setting aside the power of prayer and the mighty grace of God, these three share several weaknesses we would do well to remember, lest we grow discouraged. And we have one formidable ally whereof they cannot avail themselves.

As for the weaknesses: the first is that they are often stupid and inept. For every one of my college freshmen who is dismayed to hear that his beloved childhood schools taught him things that were foolish or false, there are five who are gratified to hear it, and who feel vindicated. For every one of my college seniors who will try to persuade me that I should take a Leonardo Di Caprio seriously as an actor or an intellect, there are five who want me to give them a “viewing list” of classic movies made by men and women whose roots were set in the earth of a Jewish or Christian culture before the advent of mass entertainment. It is hard to listen to or even to look at a Justin Bieber when once you have encountered the far greater talents of George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, or Cole Porter, let alone Aaron Copeland or Antonin Dvorak.

I am persuaded that we could clear our heads of most of the unnatural evils we have come to accept if we would simply leave the Teaching Machine and the Entertainment Machine, and go out of doors, and stay there for a while, walking, listening, perhaps whistling, playing, working, thinking, or simply being.

The second is that they bring no joy. Sure, for as long as there have been schoolboys, they have been “creeping unwillingly to school,” as Shakespeare put it. But the very worst of schools in ages past were still bad in a human way and on a human scale. You might have a crabby old lady for your second grade teacher, or a sour-stomached schoolmaster who was quick with the ruler. They still taught ordinary things, and even ordinary virtues, by precept if not by example. You knew your fellow sufferers by name, all of them, and their families. The schoolhouse was, in distance and in being, not so far from home. And then there were schools that might press a tear from the eye of an old person walking past its venerable doors.

That's not true now. What joy is there in the long bus ride, the rushed lunch, the bustling from room to room, the general anonymity, the indoctrination in partisan politics, the mass-marketed slop for reading, the noise, the surveillance, the ever-looming standardized tests, the sexual chaos, the enmity of teacher against parent?

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None, as there is no joy in the boredom of the Internet, or in the twaddle for the ear and eye and soul that is sold and consumed like fast-food hamburgers, more plastic than meat.

The third is that they bring no peace. School is instruction in simultaneous sloth and busy-ness. The Internet delivers a jittery stasis. Mass entertainment is little more than an array of needles to prick people into handing over some of their cash. 

What then is the formidable ally I have alluded to? Gerard Manley Hopkins knew:

But for all this, nature is never spent:
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things,
And though the last lights off the black west went,
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs,
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with, ah! bright wings.

It is the world that God has made, waiting outside of our doors and windows.

It is not heaven, that I know well. But it is also not hell, or an unnatural cubicle, fitted out with fluorescent light and the drop-ceiling tiles with their prick-marks as numerous, alas, as the stars in the sky.

I am persuaded that we could clear our heads of most of the unnatural evils we have come to accept if we would simply leave the Teaching Machine and the Entertainment Machine, and go out of doors, and stay there for a while, walking, listening, perhaps whistling, playing, working, thinking, or simply being.

You walk past a field in autumn and there are the wild turkeys pecking away in the stubble. How they got there, you don't know; or where they roost, or how they are going to last through the coming winter. You know that turkeys have been living and hatching young and finding their food and dying, for thousands and thousands of years, and something of the permanence of nature strikes you. It is apart from you, but also within you; it warns you, and yet it sustains you. It is good that there are turkeys. The tom turkey you see with his brilliant red accoutrements, his thicker muscles, and his imperious ways among the females, and you smile, and you understand, for better and for worse, that maybe human beings and turkeys are not so far distant after all.

You walk on, and you see the dragonflies flitting about a muddy little pond, hardly more than the puddling of a creek, and you know that they will be laying their eggs soon, and they will die, though their wings are dazzling green and violet and indigo. And the life of man on earth is, in comparison with eternity, no more enduring than the brief glory of the dragonfly. Is there something in you that then that cries out, “This cannot be the final truth about man”?

Or you are in the field, working, wiping on your sleeve the sweat from your brow and brushing away the gnats. The hay has to be made. The silly feminist who declares that fairy tales are evil – she has never had to make the hay. Most things that most people fret about, and most of the unnatural states they imagine themselves into, vanish into the vanity they are when you have a field, mown grass everywhere, and hay to make. Your very muscles will rouse you back into reality.

Our opponents claim the unnatural. Let them. Nature is on our side, and she does not change.

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A topless activist with Femen attacks Belgian Archbishop Andrè-Joseph Leonard, who is known for his strong pro-life and pro-family stance.

Why are pro-abortion protesters always taking their clothes off?

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon van Maren

I’ve seen a lot of bizarre responses to pro-life activism. There’s the crude picket signs, the illiterate chants, the flashes of violence, the incoherent threats that so often seem to involve used tampons, and even activists dressed up like giant genitalia.

But there is one phenomenon that never ceases to stagger me with its counterproductive stupidity and moral blindness: The increasing prevalence of “feminist” protestors, almost exclusively women, stripping down to “protest” something—usually protection for the pre-born or some other dissent from the totalitarian death cult of the Sexual Revolution.

When people ask me what the weirdest response to pro-life work is and I try to explain this phenomenon, they find it hard to believe. So do I. But yet it happens, time and time again.

The suicidal tendencies of modern-day feminism would be almost laughable if they were not so depressing.

One student stripped down and sat on a folding chair in front of our pro-life display at the University of British Columbia. A few protestors decided to protest the launch of our 2012 national tour by going topless. Then, at a presentation in London, Ontario, a bunch of pro-abortion protesters showed up at a counter-protest organized by the Canadian Auto Worker’s Union, sans clothing. And of course, at last year’s March for Life a topless Femen protestor flung herself at a remarkably composed Catholic bishop as he spoke to the crowd, shrieking “F*** your morals!”

You’d think such behaviour would attract ire rather than admiration. But this is 2014 and most of our municipal governments use our taxpayer’s cash basically to fund a day dedicated to that type of behaviour when the Pride Parade rolls around.

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Instead, these women are now generally referred to as “brave.” Even the popular, but tiresomely far-left website Upworthy recently pushed a video with a street activist protesting harassment by misogynist pigs by standing on the street in her lingerie. (Little tip: Protesting the fact that some misogynists define you by your body by voluntarily showing them what they wanted to see in the first place isn't defiance, it's acquiescence. Protesting the fact that these guys aren't treating you with dignity by acting like you have none is counter-productive. “That guy crudely suggested he wants to see me naked! Well, I’ll show him! By showing him exactly what he wants to see! Wait…”)

A bit of research into the infamous nude activist group Femen (“Our mission is protest, our weapon is bare breasts”) shows just how exploitative (inadvertent though it may sometimes be) this entire phenomenon is. In recent documentary the group’s leader, Viktor Svyatski, admitted that he had perhaps started the group to “get girls,” and that he carefully selected only the most attractive girls for his group. The documentary also revealed that Svyatski had described the Femen girls as “weak,” and was often verbally abusive with them.

Again, the suicidal tendencies of modern-day feminism would be almost laughable if they were not so depressing.

But the phenomenon of public nudity is also more than just incoherent protest—it is a way of forcing people to accept any and all manifestations of the Sexual Revolution. As I noted some time ago:  The public is now regularly subjected to crude and wildly exhibitionist “Gay Pride Parades” and “Slut Walks.” These are not considered to be optional festivals hosted by tiny minority groups. No, politicians who refuse to attend are labelled as heretics by the high priests of the New Moral Order, which is of course not an order at all, but a proud lack thereof.

Liberal activists don’t want the State to be outside the bedroom anymore, they want the State in the bedroom—loudly applauding the acts they see taking place, refraining from any judgment but one of approval, and paying for pills and bits of rubber to ensure that such acts do not go awry and result in reproduction or infection.

Your prayers are not welcome in public, but your privates are. The Emperor has no clothes, and is quite enjoying it—so long as the chilly breezes of moral truth don’t leak out of drafty cathedrals to cause discomfort.  

There may be hope on the horizon, as indicated by the wild popularity of such books as Wendy ShaIit’s A Return to Modesty, as well as increasing disinterest in topless beaches in places like France. Some “feminists” have responded to such trends with irritation, grumbling that all the hard-won ground they had fought for is being spurned by the ungrateful brats of today. But perhaps, instead, many women are realizing that allowing men to freely objectify them in public is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Perhaps people have begun to rediscover a human value that was once enormously prized, but now almost forgotten: Dignity.

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