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Peace & Life Connections #264
June 12, 2015

Good News: Declines in Violence
       The AP has recently noticed the dramatic drop in abortions in the United States over the past few years; we expect more of these stories will be coming out. The more people know that abortions are declining dramatically, the safer it is for them mentally to take an interest in pro-life perspectives. The psychology of this is explained in the book Achieving Peace in the Abortion War.  
264 Decline
        Meanwhile, the number of nuclear weapons is down even more dramatically, from a height of many tens of thousands to only thousands – still way more than needed to destroy the world several times over, but the trend is in the right direction. As for feeling safe about opposing them – the vast majority of the world’s countries, 108 countries, have now signed the Humanitarian Pledge (what used to be called the Austrian Pledge) for the entire abolition of nuclear weapons.
Rape Survivor Child Custody Act
        Good news -- as part of the sex trafficking bill recently passed by the U.S. Senate, the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act also passed. This gives incentives to states to pass laws so that a woman impregnated by rape who chooses to raise her own child is protected from the outrageous possibility of the rapist suing for visitation or even custody (a threat some rapists use to pressure for abortion). Model legislation would require only clear and convincing evidence of the rape. The “beyond a reasonable doubt” evidence that is rightly required for putting a man in prison is not required, nor need the woman wait for court proceedings that will likely take longer than the pregnancy does.
        Another piece of good news is that this is one of those areas where pro-life and pro-choice can agree and work together. A sponsor of the bill in the US House, Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has been publicly assertive about her "pro-choice" position up until birth. But the rights of women impregnated by rape who choose to give birth must be protected.
Quotation of the Week
Diane Coleman, President, Not Dead Yet
Why disability rights advocates oppose assisted suicide (Commentary)
Syracuse Post Standard, May 11, 2015
        People are often surprised to learn that all of the major national disability rights groups that have taken a position on assisted suicide oppose bills to legalize it. It may seem counterintuitive that the National Council on Independent Living, the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund and similar organizations that fight for increased rights for people with disabilities would oppose a public policy often characterized as a new right.
        Simply put, assisted suicide sets up a double standard, with suicide prevention for some and suicide assistance for others, depending on their health or disability. If such distinctions were based on race or ethnicity, we'd call it bigotry. The dangers of mistake, coercion and abuse it poses to old, ill and disabled people are rooted in a profound and still largely unacknowledged devaluation of our lives.
 264 Coleman
Left: Recent photo of Diane Coleman.
Right: Not Dead Yet’s first 2-day protest in 1996; Coleman on the front left 
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