News Roundup

US Democratic Presidential debate takes turn towards eugenics

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders sparked outrage after linking abortion to population control during a discussion on how to combat climate change Wednesday night.

The Vermont Democrat was asked during CNN’s town hall on climate change whether he would make curbing population growth a “key feature” of his plan to address climate change.

Sanders said he would and added that he would support taxpayer-funded programs to provide abortions and birth control for women in developing countries as a measure to combat the climate crisis.

“The Mexico City agreement, which denies American aide to those organizations around the world that allow women to have abortions or even get involved in birth control to me is totally absurd,” Sanders continued. “So I think, especially in poor countries around the world where women do not necessarily want to have large numbers of babies, and where they can have the opportunity through birth control to control the number of kids they have, is something I very, very strongly support.”

Conservative CNN host S.E. Cupp, meanwhile, accused Sanders of referring to eugenics: “Let’s just state for the record: talking about needing ‘population control’ through ABORTION for the sake of CLIMATE is talking about EUGENICS,” Cupp tweeted. “The fact that @BernieSanders is willing to entertain this vile idea is not only disgusting, it should be disqualifying.”


Healthy baby born 117 days after mother suffered brain death

A healthy baby was born in the Czech Republic to a mother who had been brain-dead for nearly four months, doctors said Monday.

The baby girl was born by Caesarean section in the 34th week of pregnancy last month, 117 days after her mother was declared brain dead, doctors at University Hospital in the second Czech city of Brno told a press conference.

The girl, weighing 2.13kg, is “one of the heaviest and most mature babies born to a brain-dead mother”, said Roman Gal, the hospital’s head anaesthesiologist.

The mother was declared brain dead after suffering a haemorrhage in April when she was 16 weeks pregnant.

Doctors kept her heart, lungs, kidneys and other organs working while monitoring her unborn child.

Nurses “talked” to the child in the womb, while her grandmother read her fairytales and a therapist moved the mother’s legs to simulate walking, Gal added.

The mother’s life-support system was turned off after the birth.

The baby is being breastfed by her aunt, who also has a baby.

In a similar case in Portugal, a baby boy was born to a brain-dead mother in 2016.


Dutch opposition party proposes euthanasia for ‘completed lives’

The Dutch Liberal democratic party is drawing up legislation which would make it possible for the elderly who consider their life is at an end to be helped to die.

D66 parliamentarian Pia Dijkstra said she plans to introduce a draft bill early next year. Government ministers are currently looking into options for assisted suicide for people who are ‘tired of life’ but, says Dijkstra, health minister Hugo de Jonge is not working quickly enough. ‘The minister obviously senses the urgency less than I do,’ she said. ‘The very elderly who have had enough should be able to die when they choose.’

In June the government launched a new campaign to encourage people to think more about the end of their lives – well before they reach them. The website About Palliative Care brings together all sorts of information about care options for later life and how to talk with family and friends about your wishes.

Euthanasia was legalised in the Netherlands in 2002 for those over 12 experiencing ‘hopeless and unbearable suffering’, who want to die and have come to the conclusion independently.


Sharp rise in people getting prenups in the US, especially among millennials

62% of divorce attorneys in the US surveyed reported an increase in the total number of clients requesting prenuptial agreements in recent years. That’s according to a recent study conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML).

Among those attorneys who reported an increase, 51% said there was an increase in the number of millennial clients signing prenups.

Jacqueline Itani, an Associate at Stutman, Stutman & Lichtenstein, LLP told Business Insider that young people are interested in signing prenuptial agreements for a variety of reasons: they want to protect their assets; they are getting married later in life and may have more assets going into marriage than past generations; they don’t just want to protect their current assets — they also want to safeguard assets they may acquire later on in life; they don’t see prenups as taboo. She also noted that more women are interested in prenuptial agreements than ever before.


South African Doctor faces charges for saying a foetus is a human being

A doctor in South Africa is facing charges for telling a patient that a foetus is a human being.

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) are hearing a case against the doctor, Jacques de Vos. He is facing charges of unprofessional conduct and has been prohibited from practicing medicine due to his views on abortion, according to Sowetan Live.

In December 2016, the former intern at 2 Military Hospital in Wynberg discussed the nature of pregnancy and abortion with a patient. During the consultation he supposedly told the patient that a foetus was a human being.

Furthermore, he allegedly likened abortion to killing an unborn human, while working for the gynaecology division during his intern year.

The complainant alleges Dr de Vos tried to infringe her autonomy with his anti-abortion utterances.

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK Catherine Robinson said: “This case is nothing short of incredible. That a foetus is human is a well established scientific fact and to claim otherwise demonstrates a complete failure to grasp basic human biology. If this doctor, or any medical doctor, claimed that a foetus was not a human being, it would raise serious questions about the value of their medical training.”


HSE seeks manager to ensure all maternity units perform abortions

The Health Service Executive is seeking to recruit a doctor tasked with ensuring that abortion takes place in all 19 maternity units around the country. Currently about half are not, partly because of conscientious objections by doctors in those units, Around 350 GPs out of several thousand also facilitate abortion.

The person to be appointed will be required to provide clinical leadership for the implementation of “safe, evidence-based, quality-assured, woman-centred, accessible services for women who require abortion care”, according to the role description.

The post is a part-time one, open to experienced obstetricians and gynaecologists for a two-year period. The HSE says it may be re-advertised thereafter “if the continuation of the role is deemed necessary”.


Prosecution looms for childminders who don’t register with Government

Any childminder looking after children in their home who is not registered with Tusla will face prosecution under plans being rolled out by the Government.

Toby Wolfe, principal officer at the Department of Children, said it would be a “legal requirement” for all non-relative childminders to register with the agency and to meet a range of standards if they wished to remain in business.

He was speaking at the publication of a draft childminding action plan and a consultation process on the plan, which will see the mostly informal sector regulated and standards imposed. Parents or guardians using childminders will, as result, be able to avail of childcare supports.

Legislation will be drawn up and implemented over the course of the next five years requiring that childminders undergo formal training and are Garda vetted. Their homes will also have to be inspected to ensure they meet minimum requirements.


Medical Council says pro-life doctors must refer for abortions

The Medical Council has issued new ethics guidelines that take account of the change in law regarding abortion. New abortion legislation was introduced in January permitting abortion on wide grounds and requiring pro-life doctors to refer women seeking abortions to doctor willing to facilitate that. The new ethics guidelines strengthen that requirement. The section on end of life care still prohibits the deliberate killing of patients in that context.

In respect of abortion, the guidelines state that ‘Termination of Pregnancy is legally permissible within the provisions of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018’ and add that ‘You have a duty to provide care, support and follow-up for women who have had a termination of pregnancy.’


Vietnamese family ‘brutally attacked’ for converting to Christianity

A Vietnamese family have been “brutally attacked” because of their Christian faith, according to Open Doors charity who serve persecuted Christians around the world.

The family of three were forcibly removed from their home in a village in Northern Vietnam.

They were then beaten, and the six-year-old daughter was beaten so badly she fell into a coma for a month. She has now regained consciousness but does not recognise her parents or remember the incident.

The family had recently stopped the village practice of ancestor worship and become Christians. The local authorities and the whole village had reportedly become angry with their decision to change their religion.

Refusing to deny their faith, the villagers carried out attacks, Open Doors said the family were, “mocked, tied with ropes and severely beaten while being dragged over rocky ground towards the entrance of the village, forcing them to leave.”


Catholic schools will be labelled ‘heretics’ for speaking about God, says Bishop

A Bishop says Catholic educators are increasingly likely to be condemned “as heretics” if they continue to speak about God and promote traditional faith values within their schools.

Dr Donal McKeown said that criticism of Catholic education will continue to grow, “because we are doing such a good job of daring to speak a counter-cultural message into our society.”

He added: “We will increasingly be condemned for being heretics if we are crazy enough to speak openly about love, community, forgiveness, virtue, family and responsibility rather than just grades and famous past pupils.”

He said some challenges come from those who criticise the existence of faith-based schools and who would prefer that “education could be the only area of society where we don’t have choices”.

Dr McKeown said, “Many will shout for our removal if we are brazen enough to speak of a God who gives meaning to our lives whether we are rich or poor, glamourous or frail, hero or villain.”

Speaking on the theme, ‘The path I walk, Christ walks it’, the bishop stressed, “Our schools do not seek merely to offer a good secular education with a bit of RE fluff on the side.”