Oklahomans for Life survey

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Oklahomans for Life, the organization that advocates at the State Capitol for the sanctity of human life, has published the responses to its survey of candidates for the November 4 general election in the October 2008 issue of its newsletter. There are separate surveys for federal and state candidates; both surveys ask about concrete policies and bills that are likely to come before Congress and the Oklahoma Legislature. Topics include abortion and abortion funding, cloning, embryonic stem cell research, and euthanasia. The federal survey includes a couple of questions about rationing of federally-funded medical care:

10) Some hospitals have implemented formal policies authorizing denial of lifesaving medical treatment against the will of a patient or the patient's family if an ethics committee thinks the patient's quality of life is unacceptable, even though the patient and family disagree. The federal Patient Self-Determination Act currently requires health care facilities receiving Medicare or Medicaid to ask patients on admission whether they have an advance directive indicating their desire to receive or refuse lifesaving treatment under certain circumstances. Would you support preventing involuntary denial of lifesaving medical treatment by amending the Patient Self-Determination Act to provide that if failure to comply with a patient's or surrogate's choice for life-saving treatment would in reasonable medical judgment be likely to result in or hasten the patient's death, a health care provider unwilling to respect the choice for life-saving treatment must allow the patient to be transferred to a willing provider and must provide the treatment pending transfer?

11) Would you vote against any bill that imposes price controls or otherwise limits the right of older Americans who choose to do so to add their own funds on top of the government contribution in order to obtain Medicare health insurance that is less likely to ration medical treatment and prescription drugs?

The same issue of the newsletter includes a response by OfL director Tony Lauinger to Jerry Riley, husband of State Sen. Nancy Riley (D-SD37), who took exception to OfL's characterization of Sen. Riley's voting record. Lauinger points out that the votes a legislator casts trumps the position a legislator claims, and Nancy Riley's two no votes on SB 714 in 2007 made the difference in the legislature's attempt to override Gov . Brad Henry's veto. Lauinger reminds that Sen. Riley's votes on SB 714 contradicted her responses to the Oklahomans for Life survey in 2000 and 2004 (as a Republican candidate for State Senate) and in 2006 (as a Republican candidate for Lt. Governor).

Lauinger's letter addresses the matter of the rape and incest exception, and why the consistent pro-life position permits abortion only when the life of the mother is in jeopardy. (Riley cited the lack of a rape and incest exception as the reason for her opposition to SB 714, but she failed to offer such an exception as an amendment, either in her committee or in the Senate as a whole.)

Ethel Waters, the revered African-American vocalist of blues and spirituals, had occasion near the end of her life to recount its beginning: "My father raped my mother when she was twelve years old, and today they've named a park for me in Chester, Pennsylvania." Recounted in her autobiography, His Eye is on the Sparrow, her life is but one of many of children conceived in rape who went on to make great contributions to this world.

She might wonder how it makes sense, in logic or in law, to execute a child for the crime of his or her father? Abortion does not erase the trauma of a rape. Abortion compounds the first tragedy with a second tragedy - one for which the woman herself is responsible.

It is not valid to assume the best thing for a victim of rape or incest is to abort her baby. For society, abortion might seem to "solve the problem." But for the woman herself, it does not. Abortion often leads to psychological anguish and emotional devastation. Britain's Royal College of Psychiatry issued a warning in March that women may be at risk of mental health breakdowns if they have abortions. They advised that women should not have an abortion until they are counseled about the possible risk to their mental health.

There are more than one million unborn babies being killed by abortion in our country every year. One could rely on the absence of a rape exception as an excuse for opposing all manner of bills that seek to reduce abortions and save the babies we can. Or one could support these reasonable, modest regulations which, while not making abortion illegal, at least give some unborn children - and their mothers - a chance to avoid catastrophe.

That's why Nancy's votes against SB 714 were so disappointing. When the opportunity to help these babies came, she didn't give the benefit of the doubt to life.

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1 Comments

S. Lee Author Profile Page said:

One of the characteristics of liberals is their tendency to insist on a fine sounding ideal that is destined to be a complete failure in the real world. When their plan -- which looked so wonderful on paper (if you don't look too close) -- turns out to be a disaster, they claim total innocence because their ideal was so pure they can't be blamed for its failure.

As you know, I generally support most of the Bates proclamations, but on this "right to life" stuff I must accuse you of thinking like a liberal. There is no question that a large part, perhaps the majority, of crime -- thousands of people murdered, drugs, billions in property crime, etc. -- poverty, the decline in eduation quality, and a host of social maladies are the direct result of illegimate births. I consider illegitimacy to be the number 1 problem in America. It is number 1 by a huge margin. Fix that, and you fix a lot of other things too.

When you consider that liberal social policies and ubiquitous mainstream media advocacy of casual sex drives the cause of problem, and the conservative's do-nothing choice of burying the head in the sand while chanting "abstinence" wishing the problem would just go away, it's easy to see why the problem has become the mess that it has. If it takes off in the white population that way it has in the black population, life in the city will be most unpleasant indeed.

For the record, I do not support late term abortions, however I do support easy access to early term abortions. If you're going to do it, then make up your mind and get it done. I don't expect strict pro-lifers to go along with that. But I think it is completely liberal-type thinking to oppose the teaching of pro-active birth control -- holding to a high-sounding ideal while disavowing all responsibility for the consequences.

For those who think this will encourage more promiscuous sex, I'll say that the encouragement has already been done, over and over, by the mainstream media which has successfully infiltrated current social attitudes. I'm all for fixing that, but until that happens (and I'm not holding my breath), the very real and geniunely dangerous problem of rampant illegitimacy must be recognized and dealt with.

As a side note: I am of the opinion that many "conservatives" who do the abstinence chant also watch television programs or movies that convey the message that casual sex is OK.

Conservatives are the ones who are supposed to be pragmatic. While the liberals are going around yelling about lack of gun control, I would like to see some conservatives yelling back that the real problem is a lack of birth control.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 4, 2008 11:26 PM.

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