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Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Dying to Be Politically Correct
By Judie Brown

It used to be that doctors and hospitals did everything in their power to uphold the Hippocratic Oath and do no harm. Patients and their well-being came first, and the sick and dying were cared for with love and respect. But things have changed. We now see patients and their families pushed to become organ donors or to sign orders that allow themselves or their loved ones to “die with dignity,” thereby freeing up a hospital bed for the next patient. This scary scenario is all too prevalent in our society, as seen in today’s commentary.  

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HEADLINES

Parents organize against sex ed in [Oregon] schools

Catholic Sentinel

A father’s battle against Planned Parenthood instruction at North Salem High School has gathered support towards organized action in confronting school board and elected officials about hiring the nation’s largest abortion provider to teach comprehensive sex education classes in public schools. A group of nearly 80 people from various school districts, including Salem-Keizer, Portland, Beaverton, Canby, Tigard-Tualatin, and Mount Angel attended the meeting held Aug. 28 at Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Salem. The meeting was spearheaded by Doug Muravez and other concerned citizens. Father Todd Molinari, pastor, was asked to preside over the meeting, whose objectives included discussion of Planned Parenthood’s comprehensive sex-ed curriculum and its impact on children and families, parental rights, resources for parents and guardians, and a call for volunteers.  

 

Emergency contraception won’t decrease teen pregnancies

The Public Discourse

The New York Post revealed that a pilot program in New York City public schools was distributing Plan B emergency contraception and other hormonal contraceptives to minor students without telling their parents, so long as their parents had not found and returned an opt-out form at the beginning of the year. The program began in five city schools last year and expanded to thirteen schools this year. The program is “part of a citywide attack against the epidemic of teen pregnancy, which spurs many girls—-most of them poor—-to drop out of school.” Nothing described here is illegal. If anything is new in this scenario, it is public schools’ active role in connecting adolescents to these services, to which they have every right of access under New York state law. Of course plenty of parents and other citizens find these policies outrageous, but there is not much legal recourse. There’s not much to do other than to make perfectly clear that the policy is stupid. In order to see this, only two questions need to be answered. First, is there an “epidemic” of teenage pregnancy, and second, is there any reason to think this policy will do anything to affect this “epidemic”? The answer to both questions is no.

 

Judge dismisses St. Louis suit challenging health care law’s contraception mandate

St. Louis Post Dispatch

A federal judge in St. Louis has dismissed a claim that the 2010 health care reform law’s contraception mandate violates an employer’s religious freedom. It is believed to be the first decision on the merits among more than two dozen such lawsuits across the country. O’Brien Industrial Holdings, owned by Frank O’Brien, a devout Catholic, filed notice Monday of appeal. The law requires coverage of prescription birth control pills and implants at no cost to enrollees in all private health insurance policies, starting in 2013. U.S. District Judge Carol Jackson ruled late Friday that the “regulations do not impose a ‘substantial burden’ on either Frank O’Brien or OIH, and do not violate (their) rights.” O’Brien’s lawyer, Francis Manion, said he thinks Jackson’s ruling is “not well-supported by the law or logic.” He added, “Court of appeals, here we go.”

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