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In This Issue

State Assembly Passes Fetal Pain Bill with Life-of-the-Mother Exception

Following passage in the State Senate, the Wisconsin Assembly on July 9 passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act on a 61-34 party-line vote. The bill now moves to Governor Walker’s desk for his expected signature. Senate Bill (SB) 179 would prohibit direct abortion at or beyond 20 weeks based on the preborn child’s capacity to feel pain at that gestational age.  Regrettably, the legislation still includes a medical emergency / life-of-the-mother exception.

Pro-Life Wisconsin supports legislation shielding preborn children from the excruciating pain of late-term dilation and evacuation dismemberment abortions. But we could not support SB 179 because it includes an exception for a “medical emergency,” as defined in section 253.10 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Because the term medical emergency is defined to allow direct abortion, the medical emergency language in the bill constitutes an unacceptable life-of-the-mother exception.

In order to be moral and effective, pro-life legislation must be simple and clear. In the instance of fetal pain legislation, it cannot explicitly authorize the intentional destruction of certain categories of human beings based, for example, on the circumstances of their conception or the health status of their mothers.

Although SB 179 does not contain exceptions for rape/incest, the life-of-the-mother exception in the bill is a patent denial of equal protection under the law. We must never codify in law the importance of one innocent human life over and above another. Physicians must provide equal care for mother and child, and must never be given license to intentionally kill either one of them.  

Moreover, the life-of-the-mother exception undermines the legal premise of the bill by removing the focus on the baby's pain and shifting it to the mother's health. Certainly the courts will see right through this and recognize the legislation as an attempt to ban late-term abortion, rather than shielding the baby from pain. After all, the preborn child whose mother’s life is threatened feels pain too. The argument is lost before it is made.

There are no situations where abortion, defined as the direct and intentional killing of an unborn child, is medically necessary to save the life of the mother. Over 1,000 pro-life doctors and medical researchers have signed the Dublin Declaration, a document stating that abortion is never medically necessary to save a mother's life.

Killing to Heal? Ethical Problems with DCD (Donation after Circulatory Death)

By Nancy Valko, RN, ALNC and Julie Grimstad, Patient Advocate,
Prolife Healthcare Alliance
Donation after Circulatory Death (DCD) is ethically controversial because it links the so-called “right to die” with organ donation, opening a terrible Pandora’s Box. In the quest to secure life-saving vital organs, DCD is pushing the boundaries of what constitutes death. Those with the responsibility to determine death are cautioned to take ample time, even in hospice patients, lest death be declared prematurely. When death is hastily declared for the purpose of acquiring organs, as the DCD procedure requires, the paramount ethical principle – the sanctity of human life – can be overridden by utilitarian calculations of whose life is worth more, the organ donor’s or the recipient’s. Consider the following:

  1. DCD involves taking organs from patients who have not been determined to be “brain dead” but who are on ventilators and considered hopeless in terms of predicted survival or “quality of life.” U.S. guidelines (from The Organ Procurement and Transplant Network) even allow conscious disabled people on ventilators to agree to the DCD procedure. In spite of the fact that the patient’s or family’s consent to removal of the ventilator must precede consent to organ donation, these guidelines imply that disabled patients’ organs are more valuable than their lives.
  2. As noted by reporter David Wahlberg, “…critics, including some Catholic hospitals and the disability rights group Not Dead Yet, say circulatory death donation can pressure families to withdraw life support. Some say drugs given beforehand can hasten death.” [“UW Hospital a leader in alternative to brain death organ donation,” David Wahlberg, Wisconsin State Journal, July 5, 2015]
  3. The DCD procedure requires a doctor’s prediction that a person’s heartbeat and breathing will stop within 1-2 hours after the ventilator is removed, but doctors are often wrong. A study presented at the 2015 Transplant Congress by University of Wisconsin doctors stated, “In 46 patients (27.2%) no organs were recovered because the patients did not expire within 2 hours.” Such patients are then just returned to their rooms to die without further treatment. There is something dangerously awry when doctors’ prognoses are so often wrong – fatally wrong.
  4. The DCD procedure usually involves moving the patient-donor to an operating room and there removing the ventilator in order to bring about death in a controlled environment. The donor’s organs are taken only 2-5 minutes after breathing and heartbeat stop. Haste saves organs because they rapidly deteriorate without circulation.
  5. The basic ethical principle guiding organ donation is the Dead Donor Rule: a person must be dead before the removal of organs for transplantation. Shouldn't we be absolutely certain a person is dead before organs necessary for life are removed from him/her? What good is the Dead Donor Rule if the "dead" part is fiction?
  6. Evidence suggests at least some DCD donors would survive and even recover given time and therapy. For example, NBC’s Today show, September 6, 2011, featured an interview with Shelli Eldredge, a young mother who was comatose after a traumatic brain injury from an accident on June 16, 2011. A doctor recommended stopping life support. Although Shelli’s husband, a doctor himself, also believed it was medically impossible for her to recover, he wouldn’t give up. After a month, Mrs. Eldredge woke up and started speaking. Three months later, she was giving this interview – alert, articulate, and working toward a full recovery.

A civilized society must not allow the deaths of some people to be manipulated in order to obtain organs for others. 

Pro-Life Minute No. 25 - Pray for Expectant Mothers! 

Pray for expectant mothers - AND - JOIN US for a BABY SHOWER!

Help a Young Mother! Join a Baby Shower for Bella

Join us for a baby shower for a young mother named Bella!

Bella is registered at Buy Buy Baby reg. #542410621

Gift cards are gladly accepted. All cash donations will be converted into an in-store gift card.

When: Tuesday, July 28 noon – 3 p.m.

Where: St. Jerome Parish, Oconomowoc, WI

RSVP – Bonnie via email or phone 262-796-1111 ext. 10

Gifts can be dropped off at the Pro-Life Wisconsin office. 

Read Bella's story here.

Pro-Life News

  1. Young pro-life crusaders find new tactics to spread message
  2. Obama circumvents Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision
  3. Abortion 'fundraiser' a hoax
  4. Abusive abortion activists terrorize children at pro-life rally
  5. Jimmy Carter: Jesus would be ok with abortion, gay marriage
  6. Salon Writer: Pro-life movement downright 'dangerous'
  7. Catholics celebrate end-of-life victory in California
  8. Two gun incidents threatening pro-lifers, but only one arrest
  9. How the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision is tied to abortion and contraception
  10. Marco Rubio on pre-born babies: "If it's not a person, what is it?"
  11. Satanists sue Missouri: Pro-life laws violate our pro-abortion beliefs
  12. Hillary Clinton to share in $60 million money bomb from pro-abortion groups

Affiliate Announcements

A Deadly Silence - Pro-Life Wisconsin is proudly sponsoring "A Deadly Silence: What Advocates for Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide Won't Tell You" with the St. Gianna Molla Guild of the Catholic Medical Association on July 16. The event begins with Mass at 5:15 pm at the Bridgewood Hotel in Neenah, WI. The featured speaker is Alex Shadenberg, Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition . Registration is $35 for members and $45 for non-members. Registration begins soon! More details available at
More Affiliate Activites

Courtesy Announcements

Historic 2015 National 54 Day Rosary Novena - August 15 through October 7, 2015. Join hundreds of thousands of people of all ages in prayer across America. Mark your calendars and spread the word.
A Message of Hope in response to the spiritual crisis in our culture and nation. 
What: Pray the rosary for 54 straight days for the Novena Intentions. 
Where: Pray the rosary individually or as a family in your home or as part of your parish community.
Primary Novena Intention: "For the Family & Marriage" including for peace, human life and religious freedom. A Hearts United Campaign of the Rosary Evangelization Apostolate. 
Visit the website for more information 

More Courtesy Announcements

July 13, 2015



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