IN THIS ISSUE...
From Our Director
With the sad passing of Justice Scalia, who frequently visited Louisiana, the future of the Supreme Court and admitting privilege laws to be considered by the court on March 2nd are up in the air. We are happy Sen. Bill Cassidy already defended Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's intention to wait until after a new president is sworn in to consider a nominee.

In Louisiana, the regular legislative session begins March 14th. Among other items, we are looking at
supporting legislation ensuring parents who have suffered a miscarriage have a right to bury their deceased babies. If you or others have had difficult experiences with hospitals or other facilities on this note, please share your story with us at info@prolifelouisiana.org.  With your approval, we want to present your testimony as additional reasons to advance the legislation.  
 
For a Pro-Life Louisiana,
Benjamin Clapper

P.S. I am headed this evening to Westwego to speak to a Knights of Columbus Council.  Remember, Louisiana Right to Life is able to offer you an inspiring pro-life speaker to your group, no matter the age, on a number of different topics. Please contact us!

Need a Pro-Life Speaker_ 
Texas Abortion Law
Edwards Joins Amicus Brief to High Court

On Feb. 4, Gov. John Bel Edwards joined an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court initiated by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and joined by eight other governors urging the Supreme Court to uphold provisions of legislation requiring admitting privileges for abortion facilities.

Benjamin Clapper, Executive Director of Louisiana Right to Life, said the following upon the news of the brief, "Louisiana Right to Life applauds Gov. Edwards for signing on to this amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to uphold common-sense regulations requiring abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges. We believe admitting privileges are an important protection of the health and safety of women seeking abortion. As the governor of a state currently defending a similar law in federal court, Gov. Edwards' supportive voice is essential."

Pro-Life Justice Dies
Scalia Supported Overturning Roe

Pro-life Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, 79, was found dead Saturday morning at a West Texas ranch, where he was staying as part of a private group of about 40 people. Scalia is one of the minority of judges on the nation's highest court who is pro-life and supports overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that allowed virtually unlimited abortions.

While President Obama has vowed he will nominate a new justice, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will not take up a vote on a replacement until a new president takes office.


Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy also believes the Senate should wait until the election is over.
On Facebook, he accused Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., of hypocrisy for criticizing the Republicans' stance after demanding Democrats in 2007 never allow hearings on any other Supreme Court nominee of President George W. Bush.

Scalia frequently talked about his views on abortion and the high court case that allowed for unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy for any reason.
"You want a right to abortion? There's nothing in the Constitution about that. But that doesn't mean you cannot prohibit it," he said in an interview previously with California Lawyer.
For those wanting to make abortion legal, "Persuade your fellow citizens it's a good idea and pass a law. That's what democracy is all about. It's not about nine superannuated judges who have been there too long, imposing these demands on society."

Scalia was considered to be one of the four justices most likely to support overturning Roe if a case reached the high court. Justice Clarence Thomas has also publicly expressed his desire to overturn the 1973 decision.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito have already issued one abortion opinion overturning a previous Supreme Court decision allowing partial-birth abortions and overturning a partial-birth abortion ban claiming it required a health exception. Their decision to reverse and affirm Congress' findings that abortion is never necessary to protect women's health is seen as an indication they may be willing to overturn Roe as well.

Together, the four comprise a minority of four justices compared with the pro-abortion majority for Roe, which includes Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has gone along with limits on abortion but has not shown any indication he would side with those favoring overturning Roe.

For more coverage of Scalia's death and reaction to it, visit lifenews.com.
Pro-Life Banquet
Abby Johnson Speaking at Pointe Coupee Banqut
 
Abby Johnson, a national pro-life advocate, former Planned Parenthood director and Pointe Coupee native, is returning home to be the guest speaker at the annual Pointe Coupee Right to Life banquet on Feb. 28, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The event, which also features a silent auction, will be held at the Scott Civic Center in New Roads.

Tickets are $50. For more information email pcrighttolife@gmail.com. 
Learning A Lesson From Peter
 
Handling Adverse Pre-Natal Diagnoses
With a Pro-Life Heart 
 
By Ryan Verret
LARTL Associate Director
 
We need to be honest about how widespread eugenic practices and philosophies affect legislation, administration, and human conduct in our nation today. This particularly affects the decision-making process in choosing whether or not an unborn child with a disability should live or even have ordinary forms of care provided to them.

New prenatal testing and modern technology have made it more possible than ever to know extensive details about a baby's health in utero. In those cases of an adverse diagnosis, these prenatal advancements provide crucial information needed to treat or better prepare for the birth of the child.

Tragically, however, a diagnosis of any type of disability evokes a subtle or even coercive conversation with parents about the immediate termination of a life that truly just needs additional care and support for a certain period of time. A terrible example of this is the accepted statistic that 90 percent of the babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb are aborted.

Daily we encounter countless stories of medical discrimination toward unborn children with disabilities. A common, almost duty-bound refrain often echoes from doctors who quickly conclude that some are just not worthy of life even if they happen to make it to delivery.

"We have to think about resources, and you know he will never be able to contribute to society," one doctor told friends of mine when they asked why they had been given false information about their 2-day-old son. The parents were told that no children with their son's disability, Trisomy 18, survived more than two weeks after birth, and they were instructed to simply wrap their son in a blanket and let him die.
But they didn't listen to this inaccurate and misleading information. If not for my friends recognizing that their son Peter's life was worthy of both life-sustaining treatment and the normal care given to any individual, they would not have been able to experience his most recent 6th birthday. What a blessing Peter has been to his family and to all those around him!

Peter beat the odds of the terminal diagnosis given to him with the tremendous support of his parents, but we do recognize that he was the exception and not the norm.

Few parents are ever prepared to receive an adverse prenatal diagnosis or any abnormal test results concerning their unborn child. It is extremely difficult to hear your child will very likely not survive delivery or will die shortly after birth. Many of us know families who have gone through this experience with children having challenging diagnoses such as Trisomy 18, a congenital disorder of glycosylation, spina bifida, or anencephaly.

The difficult journey of accepting an unborn child's probable terminal diagnosis is a process that takes time. For many parents, unfortunately, abortion seems to be the logical solution to the supposed issue of one's disability being incompatible with life.

But we don't agree with this logic. We stand for supporting and respecting all human life regardless of disability, illness, or life expectancy. Every person, no matter the particular illness or disability, has a right to medical care and should not be discriminated against just because it would be cheaper to let them die or never be born. Authentic support will always begin and end with providing care and avoiding any decision that directly ends the life of another.

I should note that some forms of treatment are truly futile and if continued would result in much more of a burden than a benefit to anyone approaching death, no matter the age. Authentic care does not always mean choosing to do every possible extraordinary procedure or treatment in hopes of extending life. Each situation must always be looked at individually always ensuring that basic forms of ordinary care are provided as either the healing or the dying process continues.

In instances where treatment is unsuccessful and/or futile, perinatal hospice becomes an opportunity to provide authentic care for these precious children whose days are unfortunately numbered on this earth. It is because of organizations and providers that use this method that parents like my friends can respond to a physician, not with agreement to terminate the pregnancy or by letting their newborn die without treatment, but with love.

It is our prayer that every parent facing these trying circumstances can say, "I have peace that we carried him to term. I know in my heart that I have given my son all that I could and loved him every day of his life."

To learn more about this developing form of perinatal hospice and palliative care, and where these services are provided in Louisiana, you can visit www.PerinitalHospice.org. In addition, I have collaborated with another national support group called Prenatal Partners for Life (www.PrenatalPartnersForLife.org). Prenatal Partners for Life has been a tremendous blessing and solace to many families around our nation. Along with our entire organization, I am available to provide assistance in any way I can.

(Email questions to Ryan at rverret@prolifelouisiana.org)
First PULSE Weekend Immersion a Success!
Students visited the Louisiana Capitol during an outing over the weekend.












47 Students Trained During
First PULSE Weekend
 

Louisiana Right to Life's first PULSE Weekend Immersion is in the books, and it was a resounding success.

Forty-seven teenagers converged on the Tracey Center in Baton Rouge Friday and spent the weekend learning more about the pro-life cause. The weekend was packed with speakers and fun activities, and students were spirited and ready to become pro-life advocates in their communities when the event ended on Sunday.

If your student missed out, don't fret! There are three more weekends planned in the coming months to train students to be pro-life leaders.
Krista Corbello, Youth Programs Co-Director for Louisiana Right to Life, was excited about what she saw and heard from the students.

"The students left with a desire to do more for life!" she said. "There is a general spirit of activism for the culture of life. They want to table outside of local businesses
and chalk at public parks. They want to join their pro-life clubs and start new ones in their churches."

She said students were excited about the prospects of bringing speakers to their high schools and displaying the Cemetery of Innocents in their communities.
Dr. Kathy Allen gives her testimony to students and talks about abortion in the black community. One student commented about Dr. Allen's talk by saying, "I was impacted the most by Dr. Kathy's story... it made me realize the impact of abortion on women's lives."

Upcoming Events
April 15-17: 
PULSE Weekend, BR 
April 20: 
Pro-Life Day at Capitol
April 29-May 1: 
PULSE Weekend, COV 
May 10:  June 19-24: 
PULSE Leadership Institute, BR
Jan. 21, 2017: 
La. Life March South
Jan. 28, 2017: 
La. Life March North
Feb. 4, 2017: 
La. Life March Central 
Louisiana Right to Life
ProLifeLouisiana.org    1.866.463.5433    @LARightToLife

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