Portraits of the Saints

February 29, 2020 Joseph M. Hanneman 7

Tracy Christianson spends her days and nights with the angels and saints. The suburban-Seattle artist’s time is consumed with lives of virtue, suffering, perseverance, and grace. Lives of virgins, martyrs, confessors, mothers, fathers, and priests. […]

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News Briefs

Senators respond to defeat of pro-life bills

February 29, 2020 CNA Daily News 0

Washington D.C., Feb 29, 2020 / 09:00 am (CNA).- Two pieces of pro-life legislation failed to overcome a Democratic filibuster this week—but two pro-life senators said the bills forced debate on a vital subject.

The Pain-Capable Unborn-Child Protection Act, introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R- S.C.), would have banned elective abortions after five months, the point at which science suggests an unborn child can feel pain. The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, introduced by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), would have required that a child who survives a botched abortion attempt receive the appropriate medical care for their gestational age.

Although both bills received majority support, they each failed to reach the 60-vote threshold required to proceed. Three Democratic senators—Sens. Doug Joes, Bob Casey, and Joe Manchin—broke with their party to support the Born-Alive bill. Casey and Manchin also voted in support of the Pain-Capable Bill, while Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski voted against it.

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), an original co-sponsor of both the Pain-Capable and Born-Alive bills, told EWTN Pro-Life Weekly on Thursday that passing these pieces of legislation would have been a “great step forward.”

Ernst noted that contrary to some arguments from pro-choice senators, the Born-Alive bill would not restrict abortion procedures.

“These are living, breathing, babies that are born,” Ernst said. “They are born alive. And so they are outside of the mother’s womb. They are babies, and they should be cared for.”

Ernst argued that both bills are in the interest of women as well as the unborn.

“I would say that every woman, every girl, regardless of age, in the womb, to an old, old age, every woman should be respected. Every life is valuable,” Ernst said, adding, “So I see these bills as being very pro-woman. We’re trying to protect that young girl, that baby in the womb, and make sure that she has every opportunity given to every other child that’s wanted.”

“We are trying to protect that young girl, that baby in the womb, and make sure that she has every opportunity given to any other child that’s wanted.” @SenJoniErnst explains why #ProLife is #ProWoman. pic.twitter.com/VkVnc9ur1m

— EWTN Pro-Life Weekly (@EWTNProLife) February 27, 2020


Ernst said despite the defeat, she hopes to win the support of her pro-choice colleagues on these bills.

“I am always hopeful,” she said. “I am an eternal optimist and I think that these bills and the stories behind some of these bills will resonate with our friends and colleagues on the left, and I am hoping that they do draw something from deep down inside of them and understand that we can be pro-life and pro-life is pro-woman, and hopefully that they would come to understand that and support us on these very, very important pro-life measures.”

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), who authored the Born-Alive bill, argued the legislation should have passed “one hundred to zero.” 

“We had 44 Democrats not with us, 41 actively filibustered, and three were off on the presidential campaign trail where they’re pretending to kiss babies, but they wouldn’t actually show up to vote to protect real-life babies,” Sasse said during a Thursday interview on EWTN Pro-Life Weekly.


“We had 44 Democrats not with us, 41 actively filibustered, and 3 were off on the Presidential campaign trail where they’re pretending to kiss babies, but they wouldn’t actually show up to vote to protect real life babies.” @SenSasse on the Born-Alive bill Senate failed to pass. pic.twitter.com/wP2YWJv6u4

— EWTN Pro-Life Weekly (@EWTNProLife) February 27, 2020


Sasse said although he is disappointed by the outcome of the vote, “we want to keep drawing more attention to this and force people to have these conversations about these moral responsibilities we have to love the weakest and most vulnerable among us.”

Kate Scanlon is a producer for EWTN Pro-Life Weekly.


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News Briefs

Canadian hospice forced to close after refusing to offer assisted dying

February 28, 2020 CNA Daily News 1

Vancouver, Canada, Feb 28, 2020 / 05:00 pm (CNA).- A hospice in Canada has lost its funding and is being forced to close after refusing to offer and perform medically assisted suicides.

The Irene Thomas Hospice in Delta, British Columbia, will lose $1.5 million in funding and will no longer be permitted to operate as a hospice as of February 25, 2021. Fraser Health Authority, one of the six public health care authorities in the province, announced on Tuesday that it would be ending its relationship with the hospice over its refusal to provide medically assisted deaths to its patients. 

Per Fraser Health’s contract with the Delta Hospice Society, which administers the Irene Thomas Hospice, a one-year notice had to be provided before funding could be withdrawn without cause.

“We have made every effort to support the board to come into compliance and they have been clear that they have no intention to,” said British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix in a statement.

Dix said that the decision to pull funding was taken “reluctantly,” and that “when the role of the Delta Hospice Society concludes, patients in publicly funded hospice care will again be able to fully access their medical rights.”

A press release from Delta Hospice said that while it is not affiliated with a religion, the board of the Delta Hospice Society is opposed to medically assisted death on moral and philosophical grounds. 

“Delta Hospice officials were shocked and outraged this week by the Fraser Health Authority’s blatant move to cut off all discussions and close the facility because it wants the hospice to provide MAiD (Medical Assistance in Dying) at every facility,” said the statement. 

“The Irene Thomas Hospice is dedicated to allowing patients access to expert symptom management for physical, emotional and spiritual distress. It provides comfort, meaning dignity and hope as one dies a natural death.” 

In September 2016, about three months after medically assissted suicide became legal in Canada, Fraser Health introduced a new policy which required all hospices receiving more than 50% of provincial funding for their beds to offer the procedure to their residents. The hospice receives $1.4 million of its $3 million operating budget from the Fraser Health Authority, and Fraser Health funds virtually all of the beds at Irene Thomas Hospice. 

Angelina Ireland, president of the Delta Hospice Society, said in the press release that Fraser Health ignored her request to lower the amount of funding to below the 50% threshold, and also forbade the hospice from finding another partner to work with. 

After the contract with Fraser Health ends, the public health authority intends to take over the buildings that currently compose the Irene Thomas Hospital and bring in medically assisted dying. 

“By refusing to allow us to find another partner, [Fraser Health is] basically forcing us to be in default of our lease–because in order to have our lease, we have to be a hospice,” Ireland said. 

“They feel that they can just come in and seize our assets.” 

Ireland told CNA that although the facilities are on land that is leased from the government, the buildings were constructed using donations from the community of Delta.

“We built this facility,” she said. “We built that 10 years ago, and we put $9 million into that of privately-raised money from donations.” 

“This didn’t come from the taxpayer. This came from private people.” 

The Delta Hospice Society wishes to provide patients with a peaceful natural death, not actively end patients’ lives, Ireland explained to CNA. 

“[The hospice] worked really hard to have the people to trust us that when they come to hospice they will not be killed,” she said. “We will take care of them, they will take care of their families. And now basically the government has said that any hospice that does not provide euthanasia, it’s not allowed to exist.”

Ireland called this a “direct attack” on the medical specialty of palliative care. 

Faith-based healthcare organizations, as well as medical professionals opposed to MAiD, are not required to offer medically assisted suicide to patients in Canada. Doctors, however, must refer patients seeking an “assisted death” to a healthcare provider who is willing to euthanize them. 

Assisted dying is readily available at Delta Hospital, which is a one-minute drive from the Irene Thomas Hospice.