Sarah Kuntz

Opinion

My nephew Kaleb: putting a human face to our national shame

Sarah Kuntz

December 14, 2012 (Unmaskingchoice.ca) - There’s something so indescribably heartrending about holding a lifeless baby, and even now I cannot begin to wrap my mind around how I felt after being handed the tiny body of my nephew Kaleb. He was swaddled up tightly in a blue knitted blanket and as I cradled him I naturally began to rock him slowly back and forth. He was so still, so heavy, and, “Oh God, he’s supposed to be breathing. Why isn’t he breathing?”

I will never forget that day nearly three months ago, and I will never forget the look of agony in my sister’s eyes as I sat there in that hospital room holding her firstborn son. It was like a nightmare, and I kept trying to make sense of what was happening. I remember thinking, “Babies are not supposed to be stillborn ... what could have happened? He looks like he’s sleeping … this is so wrong.”

“His little hands are so cold … but they are so perfect. Wake up, Kaleb… why won’t you wake up?”

As I sit here trying to sort through my thoughts and emotions, things become more difficult when I begin to consider how, in Canada, Kaleb’s little life was is not respected enough, nor valued enough, to be considered a life. Kaleb did not “completely proceed, in a living state, from the body of his mother,” therefore, according to the Criminal Code of Canada, his life was not a life, nor was he considered valuable enough to be referred to as a human being and all that that implies. Under Canadian law Kaleb never lived, and thus, he was never entitled to the rights that so many of us take for granted.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that, “Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.”

I keep running over the term, “ … in a living state …” in my mind as I consider the implications of our Criminal Code. During the final hours of Kaleb’s life something went drastically wrong. Although the doctors aren’t able to definitively piece together what caused Kaleb to descend from “a living state” into a lifeless state, one thing is clear – twelve hours before his birth Kaleb was most assuredly living.

This fact cannot be either disputed or denied. All the things that are used to measure and reassure us that life is indeed in existence were present. His little heart was beating soundly, he was moving and his movements were being distinctly felt, and the scans reassured my sister that her son was indeed alive. In fact, these measurable signs of life are already distinctly present in the first month after fertilization when the baby’s heart begins to beat, and from the very beginning as cells begin to rapidly divide from the moment of conception. These measurable signs of life are used by medical practitioners to reassure every mother that her child is in a “living state,” and they are present from the very start. In Kaleb’s case some unknown factor caused him to descend from a “living state” into a lifeless one, and his heart stopped beating somewhere between noon and midnight on September 16th, 2012. He died before he had a chance to “proceed from the body of his mother,” however it is very clear that he was measurably and notably alive before his heart stopped beating. Not even the Criminal Code of Canada denies that fact, but it staunchly denies his intrinsic worth and humanity.

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Kaleb was not considered to be a person under Canadian law, and neither are the countless other children who are born still and without a heart beat every year in our country. There is something very wrong with a law that defines personhood as, essentially, a change of location. I fail to understand how one trip five inches down a birth canal can change someone from being a non-person with no rights, to a person who is entitled to the indisputable rights every other living, flesh and blood Canadian possesses.

That’s a tough pill to swallow for the mothers and fathers of children like Kaleb - a child who was so desperately wanted, so completely loved, and so indisputably alive.

However, this is also true of another group of pre-born individuals – the child who is so desperately unwanted, so completely unloved, yet still so indisputably alive. The aborted pre-born have no rights, but deeper and more essentially still, no protection. Kaleb had the safety and protection of a mother and father who looked forward to his coming with anticipation, and who wept with sorrow when his heart stopped beating. What about the thousands of living, pre-born persons without protection who are discarded by their parents and mercilessly ripped to pieces to the tune of a suction machine in the sterile environments of our hospitals and abortion clinics? Who is going to raise the alarm and speak out on their behalf?

I write this to honor the memory of my nephew, Kaleb, as well as the memory of over 100, 000 Canadian pre-born children who die each year without a voice and without the legal identity of human person. This article reprinted with permission from Unmaskingchoice.ca



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A photo of Kim Tucci at 25 weeks gestation Erin Elizabeth Photography
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‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’

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An ultrasound of the five different compartments, each with its own baby, inside Kim's womb.

AUSTRALIA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- A 26-year-old Australian mom has given birth to five healthy babies, all conceived naturally, after refusing the doctor’s advice that she must abort three of them in order to give the remaining two a better chance at life. 

“After my initial ultrasound I was told I could consider the selection method to give 2 babies the best chance in life,” wrote mom Kim Tucci in a Facebook post last September. 

“I watched a YouTube video on the procedure and I cried. I could never do that! Was I selfish for not giving two the chance of 100% survival? All I knew is that I already love them and that every heart beat I heard I connect with them more. For me life starts when a heart starts beating and all I know for sure is that I will do whatever it takes to bring them into this world healthy,” she wrote. 

Last Thursday Kim and her husband Vaughn welcomed the five new members into their family — one boy and four girls —increasing the number of their children from 3 to 8. The babies were born at 30 weeks, 10 weeks early, due to insufficient space in Kim’s womb. They weighed on average about 2.5 pounds. 

The quintuplets’ story began last March, after Kim and Vaughn had been trying for six months to conceive just one more child for their family. Due to health complications, Kim wondered if she would ever become a mother again. 

After what she thought was an extra long cycle, she decided to take a pregnancy test. 

“I was feeling tired and a little nauseated and thought I would take a pregnancy test just to get the ‘what if’ out of my head. To my shock and utter excitement it was positive,” she wrote on a Facebook post.

The parents got the shock of their lives when doctors confirmed in an ultrasound examination that there was not one baby, but five. 

“After a long wait for the ultrasound we finally went in. The sonographer told me there were multiple gestational sacks, but she could only see a heart beat in two. I was so excited! Twins!”

“I was moved to another machine for a clearer view and had the head doctor come in and double check the findings. She started to count, one, two, three, four, five. Did i hear that correctly? Five? My legs start to shake uncontrollably and all i can do is laugh. The sonographer then told me the term for five is ‘quintuplets,’” Kim wrote.

Even though Kim began to feel stretched to the limit with all those human lives growing inside her, she chose to focus on her babies, and not herself, referring to them as “my five little miracles.” 

“It's getting harder as each day passes to push through the pain, every part of my body aches and sleeping is becoming very painful. No amount of pillows are helping support my back and belly. Sometimes I get so upset that I just want to throw my hands up and give in.”

“Sometimes my pelvis becomes so stiff I can barely walk and my hips feel like they are grinding away constantly. I'm finding it hard to eat as I basically have no room left in my stomach, and the way it is positioned it's pushed all the way back with the babies leaning against it.” 

“My skin on my belly is so stretched its painful and hot to touch. It literally feels like I have hives! No amount of cream helps relieve the discomfort. I have a lot of stretch marks now. Dealing with such a huge change in my body is hard.” 

“Is it all worth it? Yes!!!! I will keep pushing through,” she wrote in one Facebook post days before the babies were born. 

The newborns' names are Keith, Ali, Penelope, Tiffany, and Beatrix. They were born at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco, Western Australia. Mother and babies are reported to be doing well. 



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UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react

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GENEVA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- The United Nations, following the lead of international abortion activists, is now urging Latin American countries hit by the mosquito-borne Zika virus to lift restrictions on abortion for pregnant women who have contacted the virus and whose pre-born children may be at risk for birth defects, including having smaller than normal heads. 

The UN human rights office said today that it is not enough for South American countries to urge women to postpone pregnancy without also offering them abortion as a final solution. 

“How can they ask these women not to become pregnant, but not offer… the possibility to stop their pregnancies?” UN spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters. 

UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that governments should make available contraception and abortion services.

“Laws and policies that restrict (women’s) access to these services must be urgently reviewed in line with human rights obligations in order to ensure the right to health for all in practice,” he said.

But Brazil’s bishops strongly asserted yesterday that efforts should be made to eradicate the virus, not the people who may be infected by it. 

The disease is “no justification whatsoever to promote abortion,” they said in a statement, adding that it is not morally acceptable to promote abortion “in the cases of microcephaly, as, unfortunately, some groups are proposing to the Supreme Federal Court, in a total lack of respect for the gift of life.”

Honduras Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has also come out strongly against the notion of “therapeutic abortions” as a response to the problem. Unlike Brazil where abortion is legal in the case of rape or health of the mother, abortion remains entirely illegal in Honduras.

“We should never talk about ‘therapeutic’ abortion,” the cardinal said in a homily at a February 3 Mass in Suyap. “Therapeutic abortion doesn’t exist. Therapeutic means curing, and abortion cures nothing. It takes innocent lives,” he said. 

While the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international public health emergency February 1 on account of concerns over the virus, critics have pointed out, however, that not one death as resulted from the virus. Even on WHO’s own website the virus is described in mild terms. 

“It causes mild fever and rash. Other symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis. Zika virus disease is usually mild, with symptoms lasting only a few days,” the website states. “To date, there have been no reported deaths associated with Zika virus,” it added. 

Critics suspect that the crisis is being manipulated to advance an anti-human agenda on the pre-born. 

“Is Zika, actually, a hideous virus that threatens to spread uncontrollably across the world creating an army of disabled children with tiny heads and low IQ’s? Or might this be a willful misinterpretation of the scarce data to manipulate public opinion and legislatures?” wrote pro-life critic Mei-Li Garcia earlier this week.

“It becomes very clear that the publicity surrounding this story has a very little to do with medicine and a lot to do with a convenient crisis that is being used by those pushing for the legalization of abortion around the world,” she wrote.



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Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’

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DERRY, NH, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Hillary Clinton has a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees - several, in fact. At a Democratic event on Wednesday, Clinton unveiled her criteria in selecting a judge for the nation's highest court.

“I do have a litmus test, I have a bunch of litmus tests," she said.

"We’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed,” she said.

There have been over 58,000,000 abortions since the 1973 court ruling legalizing abortion in all 50 states, according to National Right to Life.

That echoes her recent call to arms speech before Planned Parenthood last month, when she stated that taxpayers must fund abortion-on-demand in order to uphold the "right" of choice.

“We have to preserve marriage equality,” Clinton said, referring to last summer's Obergefell v. Hodges case, a 5-4 ruling that redefined marriage nationwide. “We have to go further to end discrimination against the LGBT community."

Her views differentiate her from the Republican front runners. Ted Cruz has called the court's marriage ruling "fundamentally illegitimate," and Donald Trump told Fox News Sunday this week that he would "be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things." Marco Rubio has said he won't "concede" the issue to the one-vote majority.

All Republican presidential hopefuls say they are pro-life and will defund Planned Parenthood.

Her husband, Bill Clinton, raised the makeup of the Supreme Court early last month in New Hampshire, saying it receives "almost no attention" as a campaign issue.

On Wednesday, Hillary said "the next president could get as many as three appointments. It’s one of the many reasons why we can’t turn the White House over to the Republicans again.”

Clinton said her judicial appointees must also reverse the Citizens United ruling on campaign finance and oppose a recent decision striking down a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In 2013's Shelby County v. Holder, justices struck down Section 4(b) of the act, which said that certain states and jurisdictions had to obtain permission from the federal government before changing their voting laws.

At one time, most politicians frowned upon any "litmus test" for judicial nominees, emphasizing the independence of the third branch of government. "I don't believe in litmus tests," Jeb Bush told Chuck Todd last November.

But with the rise of an activist judiciary in the middle of the 20th century, constitutionalists have sought to rein in the power of the bench.



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