Saturday, March 01, 2008

Massachusetts Girl Haleigh Poutre, Near Victim of Euthanasia, Talking More

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 29, 2008

Boston, MA (LifeNews.com) -- Haleigh Poutre nearly became a victim of euthanasia when doctors gave up hope on her after she entered a coma and state officials, who had custody, petitioned a court to let them take her life. Poutre showed unmistakable signs of consciousness just prior to her possible euthanasia and now the young girl is talking more about what happened.

The Massachusetts Department of Social Services eventually took 14-year-old Poutre into custody after she was hurt in a case of child abuse.

When she appeared to slip into a coma, the agency asked the state Supreme Court for permission to take her life.

Doctors declared Haleigh "brain dead" and in a permanent vegetative state but that's when Poutre began responding.

She began to interact with people and now, according to the Republican newspaper, is talking more. [read more]

Friday, February 29, 2008

Catholic League News Release

CATHOLICS TAKE NOTE:
McCAIN, HUCKABEE VIE FOR BIGOT’S SUPPORT

Yesterday, Catholic League president Bill Donohue criticized Senator John McCain for embracing Rev. John Hagee; the Texas minister has a long record of Catholic bashing. Referring to Hagee’s endorsement on Wednesday, McCain reiterated his position on Thursday saying he was “pleased” to “have received the endorsement of Pastor John Hagee.”

Interestingly, the Hagee endorsement didn’t sit well with presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee; he expressed his “disappointment and surprise” with Hagee for not choosing him.

Donohue weighed in on this today:

“If Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama were fighting over the support of Louis Farrakhan, we’d say they’re nuts. So what are we to conclude about McCain’s embrace of Hagee, and Huckabee’s lament for not getting the bigot’s endorsement?

“I am pleased to have the unsolicited support of Rabbi Irwin Kula, president of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership; he is one of the nation’s most prominent Jewish leaders. Here is what he told me: ‘We Jews should know best, from our own history, that looking away and ignoring someone’s hate and bigotry because it is pointed at another group and not at us is short-sighted and wrong…Jews as well as all Americans need to make equal demands of our political leaders to renounce support from bigots and hate-mongers.’ He concludes by imploring McCain to ‘reject Pastor Hagee’s hate whatever the political calculations and consequences.’ [To read Kula’s entire statement, click
here.]

“Just this week, McCain repudiated the remarks of talk radio host Bill Cunningham He should now repudiate Hagee’s long record of bashing Catholicism. After all, George W. Bush apologized for speaking at Bob Jones University, and Hagee makes Jones look like a lightweight in the ring of bigotry.”

Kiera M. McCaffrey
Director of Communications
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
catalyst@catholicleague.org
New York, NY 10123
212-371-3191
212-371-3394 (fax)

http://www.catholicleague.org/release.php?id=1394
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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Governor's Budget for DHH to Include Enhanced Funding for Health Information Technology

Baton Rouge – The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals announced today Gov. Bobby Jindal’s budget priority for improving health care through investment in health information technology. The new funding supports several statewide initiatives toward the goal of ensuring every Louisianan has a privacy-protected electronic medical record, and ensuring health care providers have access to relevant information they need to provide the best quality health care.

“One of the primary goals of the Jindal Administration is the measurable improvement of health outcomes,”said DHH Secretary Alan Levine. “Gov. Jindal’s budget reflects this by adding $18.6 million in the proposed Executive Budget for health information technology initiatives. This funding will improve the opportunity for more widespread adoption of technology that can reduce medical errors, streamline the processing of information and improve the management of chronic diseases.”

The Governor’s budget includes:

• $4 million toward the investment in the infrastructure for the development of the statewide Louisiana Health Information Exchange. This system will provide the hardware and systems to allow the interoperability of health care information between multitudes of providers.

• $11.1 million for the Louisiana Rural Health Information Exchange. As the state embarks upon ensuring providers can communicate electronically, it is also important our many rural hospitals have the digital information infrastructure to participate. This funding will allow more rural hospitals to acquire digital technology, opening the gateway for telemedicine and allowing rural providers to participate in the information exchange.

• $3.5 million to provide financial incentives to physicians who utilize recognized electronic medical record software in their practices.
[read more]

Catholic League News Release

McCAIN EMBRACES BIGOT

Yesterday, Senator John McCain said he was “very honored by Pastor John Hagee’s endorsement.” The Republican presidential hopeful also called Hagee “the staunchest leader of our Christian evangelical movement,” citing the minister’s pro-Israel stance.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue addressed this today:

“There are plenty of staunch evangelical leaders who are pro-Israel, but are not anti-Catholic. John Hagee is not one of them. Indeed, for the past few decades, he has waged an unrelenting war against the Catholic Church. For example, he likes calling it ‘The Great Whore,’ an ‘apostate church,’ the ‘anti-Christ,’ and a ‘false cult system.’ To hear the bigot in his own words, click
here. Note: he isn’t talking about the Buddhists.

“In Hagee’s latest book,
Jerusalem Countdown, he calls Hitler a Catholic who murdered Jews while the Catholic Church did nothing. ‘The sell-out of Catholicism to Hitler began not with the people but with the Vatican itself,’ he writes.

“For the record, Hitler persecuted the Catholic Church and was automatically excommunicated in 1931—two years before he assumed power—when he acted as best man at Joseph Goebbel’s Protestant wedding. Hitler even bragged about his separation from the Church. As for doing nothing about the Holocaust, Sir Martin Gilbert reminds us that Goebbels denounced Pope Pius XII for his 1942 Christmas message criticizing the Nazis (the
New York Times lauded the pope for doing so in an editorial for two years in a row). Much to Hagee’s chagrin, Gilbert also says that Pius XII saved three quarters of the Jews in Rome, and that more Jews were saved proportionately in Catholic countries than Protestant countries. Indeed, Israeli diplomat Pinchas Lapide credited the Catholic Church with saving 860,000 Jews. No religion can match that.

“Senator Obama has repudiated the endorsement of Louis Farrakhan, another bigot. McCain should follow suit and retract his embrace of Hagee.”

Kiera M. McCaffrey
Director of Communications
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
catalyst@catholicleague.org
New York, NY 10123
212-371-3191
212-371-3394 (fax)

http://www.catholicleague.org/release.php?id=1393
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Catholic League News Release

OBAMA CHAMPIONS “CULTURE OF DEATH”

In last night’s debate between Senator Barack Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton, MSNBC moderator Tim Russert asked both presidential candidates whether there was “any word or vote that you’d like to take back” in your “careers in public service.” Senator Obama cited his role in a unanimous decision by the U.S. Senate regarding the Terry Schiavo case. He said it was “a mistake” for the Congress “to interject itself into that decision-making process of the families” to settle her fate.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue addressed this issue today:

“So now we know that Obama thinks it was a mistake—the biggest mistake he’s ever made in public life—to allow Schiavo’s parents the right to petition a federal court over the withdrawal of food and medical services necessary to save her life. Never mind that the vote was merely procedural: it simply allowed the patient’s parents the right to ask for federal review, never guaranteeing a particular outcome. Moreover, the bill was case specific—it had no bearing on any case other than Schiavo’s, and it explicitly said that ‘nothing in this Act shall constitute a precedent with respect to future legislation.’ Yet Obama now says his vote ‘was not something I was comfortable with, but it was not something that I stood on the floor and stopped.’ How revealing.

“Just as important as what Obama said is what he didn’t say: He could have taken the opportunity to say that the biggest blunder of his career in public life was his vote to kill a bill in the Illinois legislature that would have provided medical care for infants who survive abortions. In 2003, while chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee of the Illinois Senate, he led the fight to oppose a bill that would have mandated health care for a baby who survived an abortion, and he did so
even though the bill explicitly said it would not imperil Roe v. Wade.

“In conclusion, Senator Obama thinks it is none of the federal government’s business to allow doctors to intentionally starve a person to death, nor is it the law’s business to require doctors to attend to the health care of a fully born baby who has survived an abortion. All this from the Minister of Hope.”


Kiera M. McCaffrey
Director of Communications
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
catalyst@catholicleague.org
New York, NY 10123
212-371-3191
212-371-3394 (fax)

http://www.catholicleague.org/release.php?id=1392
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Catholic League News Release

COLORADO BILL THREATENS CATHOLIC HOSPITALS

A bill has been introduced into the Colorado legislature that would inhibit the right of a Catholic order of nuns to purchase two non-Catholic hospitals in the Denver area. The Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System is seeking to acquire Lutheran and Good Samaritan hospitals, something the proposed legislation wants to thwart.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue supports the efforts of Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput and the Colorado Catholic Conference to help the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth succeed in their quest to obtain the two hospitals. Here is what he said:

“The idea that the Catholic Church wants to impose its will on the public is one of the oldest and most invidious canards ever expressed. Ironically, here we go again—except in reverse: It is the Church’s adversaries who want to impose their secular conception of health care on the Sisters. What is bothering some Colorado lawmakers is the right of Catholic hospitals not to perform operations, or make available certain drugs, which violate their ethical standards.

“The Catholic League stands with Archbishop Chaput when he says, ‘They [the Sisters] can’t compromise their Catholic beliefs without undermining their whole mission.’ It is for this reason that we strongly urge all members of the Colorado legislature to protect the religious liberty rights of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth to exercise their religious strictures.”

Contact: Morgan Carroll, chief sponsor of this draconian legislation: morgan.carroll.house@state.co.us


Kiera M. McCaffrey
Director of Communications
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
catalyst@catholicleague.org
New York, NY 10123
212-371-3191
212-371-3394 (fax)

http://www.catholicleague.org/release.php?id=1391
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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hispanic activists call for immigration omnibus bill veto

The Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY -- Hispanic activists are urging citizens to call Utah's governor asking for a veto of an omnibus immigration bill that would create obstacles for undocumented immigrants looking for housing and jobs.

SB 81, sponsored by Sen. Bill Hickman, R-St. George, is awaiting final passage in the Senate.

Hispanics considered a Capitol Hill rally to voice their opposition to the bill, but after a meeting of about 100 people Saturday decided instead to encourage contacting individual lawmakers and an appeal to Gov. Jon Huntsman.

"We must be very careful. It's easy to say let's march and rally, but we must be sensitive that some legislators don't want that," said Tony Yapias, director of Proyecto Latino de Utah. "At some point we have to do something, but we must be cautious."

Yapias said Huntsman understands the impact such pressure on Hispanics would have on Utah.

"SB 81 is the mother of all immigration bills," Yapias said. "We need to be thankful to Gov. Huntsman. I think he understands what it would do to our economy and that immigration reform needs to be done at the federal level."

SB 81 would allow state and local police agencies to enforce federal immigration laws, force public employers and their contractors to verify a worker's immigration status, and make it a class A misdemeanor to transport or shelter undocumented immigrants. It would also force landlords to evict tenants who are in the U.S. illegally. [read more]

Pope Benedict XVI Calls on Doctors to Resist Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 25, 2008

The Vatican (LifeNews.com) -- Pope Benedict XVI addressed a conference on Monday and urged doctors and other medical professionals to resist getting involved in euthanasia or assisted suicide. He said the grisly practices fail to respect the dignity of people who are disabled, elderly or incurably ill.

The speech came in an address to members of the Pontifical Academy for Life as the group began a two day conference on end of life issues.

The Catholic leader reaffirmed the Church's strong teachings against assisted suicide and euthanasia saying Catholics should have a "firm and consistent ethical condemnation for all forms of direct euthanasia."

He said "all of society, through its medical and civil institutions, is called to respect life and the dignity of the gravely ill and dying person." [read more]

CATHOLIC LEAGUE NEWS ALERT!

On Tuesday, February 26, Catholic League president

Bill Donohue will appear on CNN Headline News' "Glenn Beck"

to discuss the Pew Forum survey on the U.S. religious landscape.

7pm, 9pm and midnight, ET.

Catholic League News Release

BISHOP BASHING IS INEXCUSABLE

Catholic League president Bill Donohue takes issue with a column by Joe Feuerherd that appeared in yesterday’s Washington Post:

“According to Feuerherd, his decision to vote for a pro-abortion candidate in the Maryland primary, namely Barack Obama, means that the bishops have consigned him to Hell. Indeed, his vote means that he has put his ‘soul at risk,’ all but assuring himself of a ‘ticket to Hell.” He concludes by charging, ‘the bishops be damned.’ In between, Feuerherd manages to impugn the motives of the bishops, offer snide remarks and misrepresent Church teachings.

“The bishops’ document that Feuerherd references,
Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship
, says at one point that ‘It is important to be clear that the political choices faced by citizens…may affect the individual’s salvation.’ Two paragraphs above that one it explicitly says that when all candidates ‘hold a position in favor of an intrinsic evil,’ the voter may decide not to vote or to ‘vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position and more likely to pursue other authentic human goods.’ In the next paragraph it says, ‘In the end, this is a decision to be made by each Catholic guided by a conscience formed by Catholic moral teaching.’ Does this sound like the bishops have condemned Feuerherd to Hell?

“Feuerherd would have us believe that the document lists as ‘intrinsically evil’ such things as ‘abortion, stem cell research and same-sex marriage.’ He is twice wrong. The document does not call either stem cell research or same-sex marriage ‘intrinsically evil.’ There are eight acts which merit that label: abortion, euthanasia, human cloning, the destruction of embryos, genocide, torture, racism and targeting noncombatants in war.

“Feuerherd is angry because issues like ‘affordable housing’ are not given the same preeminent status as killing the innocent. He is entitled to his opinion, but he is not entitled to bash the bishops or distort their words, not even in his quest for martyrdom.”


Kiera M. McCaffrey
Director of Communications
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
catalyst@catholicleague.org
New York, NY 10123
212-371-3191
212-371-3394 (fax)

http://www.catholicleague.org/release.php?id=1390

2/20/08 Lou Dobbs: NAU and the NAFTA Super Highway

Sunday, February 24, 2008

American Federalist Blog: My Appeal to Social Conservatives

I've been holding off on posting on this for a couple of days as I've wanted the idea to solidify itself in my mind. I'm sufficiently pleased that it has, and it's time, I think, to get after it.

This post is a critique and an appeal to people who consider themselves social conservatives. My critique will center on the role of government in the eyes of social conservatives, and my appeal will be to reject this view and embrace a balanced government perspective.

Disclaimer: while I would describe myself as "socially conservative" I would not call myself a "social conservative" because the former describes one's views on morality and the latter is a description of one's political philosophy. The socially conservative person holds traditional ideas about family, religion, marriage, life and society. These are all admirable and desirable values, necessary to a healthy and strong society. The self-described social conservative holds those ideas; yet also views the role of "government" as one of advancing those ideas.
[read more]

Lou Dobbs - NAFTA Superhighway 2/19/08

Wisconsin Bill to Repeal Old Pro-Life Laws Stopping Abortions Gets Hearing

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 22, 2008

Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) -- A Wisconsin pro-life group is concerned about a bill the state legislature will hold a hearing on next week that would repeal the old law still on the books that prohibits abortions. Should the Supreme Court ever reverse Roe v. Wade, the law would apply and abortions would be illegal in the Badger State.

The legislation, SB 398, would repeal Wisconsin's long-standing law to prohibit abortions (s.940.04).

The legislature will hold a hearing on the bill next Wednesday and Wisconsin Right to Life is urging pro-life advocates to attend the hearing and urge their legislators to oppose it.

"Planned Parenthood is desperate to keep Wisconsin's abortion mills open," the group said in an alert LifeNews.com obtained. "They know that when Roe v Wade is overturned, s.940.04 will come back into effect and Wisconsin's abortion clinics will be out of business."

The group is concerned pro-abortion advocates will have hundreds of people present for the forum and WRTL is providing free bus transportation for those who attend.

WRTL accused pro-abortion groups two years ago, when they began their effort to get the bill approved, of lying about what it would do.

Both NARAL and Planned Parenthood have made statements saying the abortion ban would be used to put women in jail when it actually targets abortion practitioners.

NARAL's Wisconsin affiliate put out a press release claiming that the abortion ban on the books "could be used to threaten women with up to 3-1/2 years in prison and fines up to $10,000."
Wisconsin Right to Life says the two abortion advocacy groups have been promoting the falsehood for months, claiming that women would be prosecuted if Roe is reversed. [read more]

Missouri Ballot Proposal to Stop Forced Abortions Can Move Ahead Carnahan Says

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 22, 2008

Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) -- Secretary of State Robin Carnahan announced on Thursday that a state ballot initiative seeking to prevent forced abortions in Missouri can move ahead. Carnahan certified that the proposal met state standards for circulation and now the sponsors can begin collecting the signatures necessary to qualify it.

Before the measure can be placed on the November 2008 ballot, backers must obtain signatures from registered voters equal to five percent of the votes cast in the 2004 governor's election from six of the state's nine congressional districts.

Depending on the combination of districts, the number of signatures required ranges between approximately 86,000 and 95,000 valid signatures.

The Stop Forced Abortions Alliance submitted ballot language to Carnahan previously and, last month, she approved for circulation a petition with erroneous language claiming the measure is about "banning abortions."

Media outlets then mis-reported the effort as a state abortion ban rather than an initiative to get abortion practitioners to ensure that women are not pressured into having an abortion by a partner or family.

Stop Forced Abortions told LifeNews.com that it re-filed the language, which Carnahan approved yesterday.

The new initiative now explicitly states that "It is not the intention of this law to make unlawful an abortion that is otherwise lawful."

According to Paula Talley, one of the group's organizers, the new language should preclude any further misrepresentations of the initiative as a ban.

"Our initiative is properly titled the Prevention of Coerced and Unsafe Abortions Act," she said. "All it really does is allow women to hold abortion doctors liable if they fail to screen for evidence of coercion or other risk factors." [read more]