The Canadian magazine Toronto Lifecelebrates the lives of Torontonians and showcases all the good things that Toronto has to offer—from the cultural mosaic that makes up the city to music, art, cuisine and so much more. So a certain July 29 article didn’t seem to fit the magazine’s thrust: “I threw my grandmother an assisted suicide party.” On the other hand, it was treated as a joyous event with all the makings of a wedding, or… bar mitzvah perhaps? Susie Adelson, granddaughter of Sonia Goodman, describes the “deathbed party” that she arranged for her grandmother in her room at Sunnybrook Hospital. Sonia wasn’t dying, she didn’t have a terminal illness, and her pain could be alleviated with medication. She had had recent surgery and was probably suffering some depression due to the loss of her husband and two of her children. She was 88 years old. But, in Sonia’s word, she was “done” with living and wanted assisted suicide. Her doctors determined that she met the “criteria” for a medically-assisted death. So, the date was decided, invitations given, classical music chosen, and a bottle of St.-Remy brandy bought for the occasion. As each person surrounding Sonia toasted her, “she was delighted when person after person remarked on her glamour.” And since Sonia didn’t have to worry about driving, she shared a glass also. After all, it was her party. Then the doctor began to administer a series of medications, Sonia waved good-bye to her guests a laQueen Elizabeth and fell asleep forever. Several months later, one of her doctors noted that “Sonia’s death helped him realize how good a “good death” can be. And her granddaughter remarked that her grandmother “would love the fact that she’s Twitter famous.” Too bad Sonia isn’t around to celebrate her notoriety.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson had a guest column in the Ottawa Citizen that began, “I’m gay. There – I said it.” After more than two decades in public life, Watson “came out” and apologized for “not coming out sooner,” which he described as a mistake. He said that his family and friends probably assumed he was a homosexual, but “respected my privacy and never broached the topic.” He said he struggled about “whether or not to come out.” Watson is proud of his public stances and voting records on LGBQT issues and the fact he has long participated in pride parades. He related a few stories from 2014 and 2017 that convinced him to make his homosexuality a public issue on August 20, 2019 and encouraged others to come out when they were ready, but encouraged them not to wait 40 years, like he did.
In 2004, California voters passed a referendum requiring the state fund embryonic stem cell research to the tune of $3 billion. With interest on the bonds, it cost taxpayers $6.5 billion over 15 years. As the Sacramento Beereported, “there are no readily available cures” stemming from the research. The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has not a single success to show for all that spending on a total 56 clinical trials, despite the fact that a decade-and-a-half ago, supporters of embryonic stem cell research thought medical breakthroughs were just around the corner. Embryonic stem cell research – which requires the destruction of embryonic human beings in order to harvest stem (basic) cells which are theoretically capable of developing into any type of cell in the body – was full of promise, but has failed to deliver. Marcy Darnovsky, executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society at Berkeley, said that “CIRM has been a flop” if measured by the exaggerated promises in the 2004 referendum campaign, including suggestions of cures for cancer and Alzheimer’s. That hasn’t stopped advocates of embryonic stem cell research to call for more taxpayer funding. CIRM backers are organizing to put another $5.5 billion funding initiative on the ballot for November 2020. As blogger Glenn Reynolds noted, “15 years and billions of dollars later, all they’ve produced is a demand for more cash.” Embryonic stem cell researchers need taxpayer funding because they are considered longshots to provide cures; venture capital funds adult or somatic stem cell research sourced ethically from tissue that does not require killing a human being, such as from umbilical cords, skin, blood, and bone marrow because adult stem cells have been labeled “the gold standard” for stem cell research, with hundreds of successful clinical trials over the past two decades.
In the state of Alaska, women seeking an abortion must receive state- mandated counseling, including information to discourage her from having an abortion. (We could not find the year this counseling began.) However, here are some statistics to consider. In 2009, 1,938 abortions were carried out; in 2018, the number was vastly reduced to 1,283 abortions. Similarly, since 2003, the first year that Alaska began recording abortion statistics, yearly totals have declined by 31 percent. So, counseling may have made a difference in a woman’s decision. But, Alaskans were facing another battle in the abortion war. By 2017, over half of abortions were funded by state Medicaid dollars, and not one of the 5 health insurance options available excluded abortion. The legislative and executive branches of Alaskan government are pro-life, but the activist Supreme Court of Alaska is solidly pro-abortion and consistently rules that the state must fund abortions. Republican Governor Michael Dunleavy found a solution. He ruled that if the courts would not give pro-life health insurance options to Alaskans, then the courts would bear the cost of abortions. Hence, their current budget has been reduced by $334,700. The Alaska Family Council reported: the Supreme Court “never offered any real consequences for its extremist rulings on abortion …Now they will feel the pain of their own arrogance. Every dollar the state spends on killing unborn children will be cut from their budget.” Currently, Dunleavy is being accused of mismanaging the budget by slashing funding in certain areas, including, of course, the Supreme Court’s budget.
The American Medical Association (AMA) is the largest association of physicians in the U.S. Its mission is to “promote the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health.” It has sided with the abortion industry by suing the state of North Dakota which has enacted a law that any woman undergoing a medication abortion must be informed beforehand that, if she changes her mind after taking the first (of two pills), and before taking the second pill, the abortion procedure can be reversed and the baby saved. The new law also requires that the pregnant woman be informed that “abortion terminates the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.” This information in no way puts obstacles in the woman’s path. However, the AMA sees things differently. It lies when it says that a medication abortion cannot be reversed. (See AbortionPillReversal.comfor the truth of the matter.) The AMA also claims that abortion ending a human life is an ideologicalposition (emphasis added), “unmoored from scientific facts” Both the AMA and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists promote the falsehood that “there is no evidence that abortion pill reversal is possible, and that attempts to reverse the process are unsafe.” A July 23 article in the Stream.org, by Brent Boles, a pro-life practicing Ob/Gyn provides much more information on the subject. In a nutshell, in a medication abortion procedure the first pill is a progesterone blocker, and before the second pill is taken – a number of hours later – a physician can reverse the abortion procedure safely and simply by administering extra progesterone to overcome the effect of the blocker. That’s it. As Boles says: “The AMA and American College of Ob/Gyn are not being advocates for women. They advocate for the abortion industry.” (Note: The AMA represents fewer than 25 per cent of American physicians. It has no regulatory or licensing authority and has become a lobby group for special interests.)
A scholarship fund has been established to offer educational assistance to moms who are facing unplanned pregnancies. The scholarships will help young women to continue their education while raising their babies. Heartbeat International—the largest pregnancy help network in the world – has teamed up with Ashley Bratcher, who played Abby Johnson in the recent movie Unplanned, to offer the scholarships. Bratcher explained that “I wanted to be a part of empowering mothers to chase their dreams and to provide a means for those who chose life to continue their education; …the women, by connecting to Heartbeat International with respect to the scholarships available, will also be connecting to an organization that can assist them even beyond their pregnancy.” Information on the scholarships and how people can donate is available at www.UnplannedMovieScholarship.com.
“Healthy families are more important than economic growth” declared the government of Hungary as it launched its pro-family budget recently. A government spokesman told Breitbart Newsthat “there is a clear distinction between Hungary’s approach (towards families) and those of other European nations who chose to import people instead.” He went on: “Europe is at a crossroads. Western Europe seeks to address the problem of demography with simple solutions which only offer short-term success, but convey catastrophic consequences in the long run … Our goal is to halt Hungary’s demographic decline using family support measures.” This brings us to the latest family policy measure unveiled by the Hungarian government. It will offer up to 30,590 euros to married couples who have three children. The money is offered as a loan to eligible couples upon their marriage which will have to be repaid until the couple has three children and then the debt will be forgiven. About 2,400 families have already signed up and applied for the loan which is paid back in small amounts each month. Should couples have a child within a five-year period, the interest on the loan is suspended along with repayments suspended for three years. So with the birth of each child the interest and repayments are suspended. When the third child is born, no more interest or repayments will have to be made.
Italy, under the leadership of Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, is following in Hungary’s footsteps proposing similar family friendly policies. One such proposal is that the government would give free tracts of rural property to Italians with three or more children to help repopulate rural areas.
The Bangladeshi Supreme Court has given all the country’s rivers legal rights. Vox reports that The National River Conservation Commission, a government agency, can take people to court who damage a river as if they harmed a living entity because the Court ruled the river has the right to life and in its decision, called for rivers to be protected “at all costs.” (In 2012, Bangladesh legalized chemical abortions through the combined use of mifepristone and misoprotol, although surgical abortions remain illegal in most cases; clearly human life is not protected “at all costs” in the country.)Vox reports that the Bangladeshi decision is the most recent example of a national- or state-level government or court granting legal protection to bodies of water. Earlier this year, residents in Toledo, Ohio, approved a measure declaring Lake Erie to have the legal right to “exist, flourish, and evolve naturally,” under the voter-approved Lake Erie Bill of Rights. It is unclear how that will affect local industry or water management policy, as American jurisprudence is not well developed on the matter. As a result of the Bangladeshi Court ruling, some fisherman and farmers are being removed from their riverside settlements. As Vox’s Sigal Samuel noted, “nature may now enjoy more rights than some humans in those societies do.” In recent years, New Zealand and Columbia have also recognized the “rights” of rivers. In 2017, Colombia granted rights to the Atrato River and in New Zealand, the courts declared the Te Awa Tupua River to have legal personhood. In many of these cases, local indigenous populations insisted that maintaining historic waterways was necessary to protect traditional indigenous lifestyles.