OpinionTue Sep 4, 2012 - 5:51 am EST
NARAL’s deceptive ‘no-cost birth control for me’ Facebook App
September 4, 2012 (LiveActionNews.org) - In an apparent effort to convince the American public that “no-cost birth control” would be good for everyone, NARAL has created a Facebook app. The app requires you to plug in some basic information – your age, how many children you want, and what form of birth control you want to use. Then, the app details exactly how much money “no-cost birth control” would save you over a lifetime. It also informs you of exactly what you could do with the thousands of dollars you would save.
For instance, if I put in my age, the number of children I’d probably like to have, and the birth control pill – just for kicks – NARAL informs me I would save $7,128 over the course of my lifetime. Since I am 25 years old and most women lose their fertility around the age of 40, I have about 15 years left. “No-cost birth control,” according to NARAL, would save me about $475 a year and roughly $39.50 a month.
As a side note, while NARAL doesn’t make it clear how it’s are getting its numbers, it appears that the organization is blowing the savings out of proportion. If I had an insurance plan that did not cover contraceptives, I could get the birth control pill at Target for only $9 a month. Under those figures, NARAL has exaggerated my savings by quadruple numbers. Interesting, no?
Under the new health-care law, you’ll be able to access services that are considered “preventive” at no cost. …
Newly issued insurance plans beginning on or after August 1, 2012 must cover all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives at no cost. Newly issued plans created before August 2012 have one full plan year to comply with the new law
NARAL’s numbers are left unexplained, and they do not all stand up to scrutiny, as I briefly explained above. However, even assuming that the numbers are correct, NARAL goes for the “feel-good” punch. They list out options for what I could spend my saved money on. Instead of paying for my own choices and my own birth control, I could apparently help stop human trafficking, house needy girls, save rainforests, pay my family’s utility bills, and buy groceries. Hmmm…yes, all good things last time I checked. And all things that most of us would like to do. But really, what do those things have to do with birth control? Just because we would like to do good things, should we be absolved from the responsibility of paying for our own choices?
I mean, come on. If the government paid for any of my monthly expenses, I could use my money differently. That’s not peculiar to having birth control paid for. What if I campaigned for the government to pay my electric bills each month? Or, in reality, to have all of you taxpayers contribute to my electric fund? Wait, no – I have an even better idea! Maybe my employer ought to be the one footing the bill (come on, Live Action!). After all, if I was cold and hungry because my heat didn’t turn on and my refrigerator didn’t work (or my computer’s battery died), I’d be unable to work in the first place. So it must indeed be my employer’s responsibility to pay my electric bill.
Of course, that would be a joke. My employers are not responsible for my electric bill, and they should not be responsible for my birth control, either. (As a disclaimer, I do not believe that the birth control pill is a pro-life form of contraception. I’ve merely been using it as an example in this article because it’s a very common form used by many women at some point in their lives.)
One more idea and I’m done. All this talk of what I could do with saved health care expenses made me think of a really great idea. I happen to have someone in my family who has a child with RAD (restrictive airways disease). This child has spent two nights at the hospital in her short life for catching a common cold. While it’s been scary for her parents, RAD really isn’t that uncommon. In some cases, it’s called childhood asthma. You may be more familiar with that term – I know I was.
After one time in the hospital – with oxygen and three or four simple meds – the parents had accrued a bill of $10,000-$11,000. Thankfully, after their insurance plan kicked in, they were left with a bill just over $3,000. Still, that’s a lot of money! And there’s no telling how many times their little kid might end up in the hospital with her life literally at risk. Now, what could these people in my family do with $3,000 if the government gave them a “no-cost RAD treatment plan”? Hmmm…a whole lot, come to think of it.
Now, I don’t think their hospital expenses ought to be 100% covered by the government or the taxpayer anymore than birth control ought to be, even though RAD is far more life threatening to a child than a lack of birth control pills is to most women. Should our health care system be reformed? Yes, absolutely. The costs of basic health care in this nation are outrageous. There, I’m a conservative, and I’ve said that health care ought to be reformed. Don’t be too shocked.
But the answer is not to force the government, the taxpayers, or employers to foot the bill for “no-cost birth control.” That really never should have entered the discussion. And NARAL’s feel-good Facebook app doesn’t do a thing to change the actual realities of this debate.
‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’
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.
UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react
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.
Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’
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.
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.