Kresta in the Afternoon – September 22, 2009

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    Topic One  – Kresta Comments

    Topic Two – Abortion in the Senate Health Care Reform Bill

    The "America's Healthy Future Act," proposed last week by Senator Max Baucus (D-Mt.), contains an array of pro-abortion mandates and federal subsidies for elective abortion. That according to National Right to Life who strongly opposes the legislation in its current form. The bill contains provisions that would send massive federal subsidies directly to both private insurance plans and government-chartered cooperatives that pay for elective abortion.  This would be a drastic break from longstanding federal policy, under which federal funds do not pay for elective abortions or subsidize health plans that cover elective abortions. We talk with Doug Johnson of National Right to Life and Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life.

    Topic Three – Why the assisted-suicide movement is winning

    The assisted-suicide movement has come a long way in just a couple of decades. Consider, for example, this recent item from the San Francisco Chronicle: “Charlotte Shultz [the wife of former secretary of state George Shultz] accepted the invitation to be honorary co- chair (with Dianne Feinstein) at a Nov. 5 luncheon and program for Compassion & Choices of Northern California, saying, ‘I’m glad to support the cause, but I’m in no hurry to use the services.’” Compassion & Choices used to be called the Hemlock Society. It is the nation’s premier assisted-suicide advocacy group. When members of the social and political elite — people like Senator Feinstein and Mrs. Shultz — associate themselves with assisted-suicide groups as openly as they would with charities like the United Way, we have reached a new cultural moment. Assisted-suicide advocates once mostly inhabited the kook fringe. Groups like the old Hemlock Society published how-to-commit-suicide newsletters and promoted wacko suicide paraphernalia like the “Exit Bag” (which had Velcro straps sewn in to ensure “a comfortable fit”). The movement’s public face was the ghoulish Jack Kevorkian. Promoters of assisted suicide were both short on cash and lacking in respectability. No more says Wesley Smith. He is here to analyze.

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