This morning we received a photo taken by a person at the University for Medical Sciences in Little Rock showing a tray of cupcakes next to a handmade sign reading,
Happy International Safe Abortion Day!
take a cupcake, read, enjoy!
-Future Health Professionals for Reproductive Rights
Attached to each cupcake were flyers with “KEEP ABORTION LEGAL,” “NORMALIZE ABORTION,” and “ABORTION IS HEALTHCARE” printed on them along with pro-abortion talking points.
The cupcakes apparently were prepared by anonymous medical students, and were made available for others at UAMS.
International Safe Abortion Day is an annual event created by abortion advocates. It falls on September 28 of each year, and there are a number of pro-abortion groups and websites that observe it.
A tray of cupcakes may not seem like a big deal to some people, but here are some points to keep in mind:
First, abortion is never safe. It certainly isn’t safe for the unborn baby who is killed, but it also isn’t safe for the woman on whom the abortion is performed, either. Abortion carries a number of risks and consequences, which is why Arkansas’ lawmakers have worked hard to pass one of the strongest informed-consent laws for abortion in America. Informed-consent laws ensure women receive all the facts about abortion and about the alternatives that exist to abortion.
Second, there’s nothing to celebrate when it comes to abortion. In the past even those who supported abortion argued it ought to be legal, but also rare. It’s only recently that we’ve seen this kind of support for normalizing and celebrating abortion in America. Stunts like this trivialize abortion in a way that would have been unheard of two or three decades ago.
I realize UAMS isn’t sanctioning International Safe Abortion Day, but it’s troubling to see something like this from medical students. I would expect students training to become healthcare professional to realize better than anyone that abortion is a very serious issue that shouldn’t be treated so flippantly.
On Wednesday a three-judge panel from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a pro-life law in Louisiana that is similar to one Arkansas passed in 2015.
[The Louisiana law] requires abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges in case patients experience emergency complications. Soon after it became law, the Louisiana abortion facility Hope Medical Group for Women and the Center for Reproductive Rights challenged it in court.
The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a similar Texas law in 2016, arguing it burdened women’s access to abortion. However, the Fifth Circuit panel said the Louisiana law is different because it “does not impose a substantial burden on a large fraction of women.”
Although pro-abortion groups have not made a clear statement, the Louisiana ruling presumably will be appealed to the full Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The ruling is significant, because right now the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals is reviewing an Arkansas law that requires abortion clinics that offer abortion drugs like RU-486 to contract with a doctor who has hospital admitting privileges.
Planned Parenthood and others have argued the Arkansas law is unconstitutional and should be struck down. The fact that federal judges have upheld a similar law in Louisiana bodes well for Arkansas.
Photo Credit: By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
A Gallup poll released earlier this year shows most Americans support euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.
However, support rises or falls depending on how the question is worded.
For example, 72% of those polled support letting a doctor “end the patient’s life by some painless means if the patient and his or her family request it.” However, only 65% say a doctor should be able to “assist the patient to commit suicide if the patient requests it.”
In other words, the answer hinges at least in part on whether or not the question includes the word “suicide.”
The poll shows support for assisted suicide is fairly strong among people of all age groups and political parties. The only group that strongly opposes physician-assisted suicide is weekly churchgoers.
Of weekly churchgoers, 58% oppose physician-assisted suicide.
Moreover, the poll indicates that many people who believe physician-assisted ought to be legal still question whether assisted suicide is right or wrong.
Despite the fact 65% believe doctors ought to be able to assist in a patient’s suicide, only 54% of those polled said assisted-suicide is morally acceptable. Gallup writes, “These findings are in line with a general tendency for Americans often to be hesitant to ban behaviors even if they think they are morally wrong.”
Here are two important points to take away from all of this:
First, when it comes to suicide and euthanasia, what we call it and how we talk about it really do matter.
Groups that support suicide and euthanasia like to use terms like “medical aid in dying” to describe what they’re promoting. In reality, physician-assisted suicide isn’t about medical aid. Many doctors and hospitals now specialize in pain management, and patients are well-informed about their medical options during a terminal illness. Surveys conducted in Oregon and Canada as well as information published in California shows most people who inquire about assisted suicide are actually much more concerned about losing their autonomy. Instead of being referred to a mental health specialist or offered other assistance, most of these patients simply receive a lethal prescription for drugs they can use to commit suicide.
Americans need to know what’s driving the demand for physician-assisted suicide and what really happens when a person seeks assisted suicide in states like Colorado or Oregon.
Second, Christians need to be able to explain thoughtfully and clearly what is wrong with assisted suicide.
Just like abortion, suicide fails to acknowledge that God is the creator and giver of life. Human life is sacred, and no sickness gives us an excuse to end someone’s life prematurely. Christians are called time and again to help those who suffer. Simply put, we do not eliminate suffering by eliminating people who are suffering.