Victory for pro-life nurses in lawsuit against NJ hospital
UMDNJ agrees not to force nurses to assist with abortion cases
As a result of a federal court hearing Thursday, a New Jersey hospital has agreed that it will not force nurses to assist with abortion cases. Alliance Defense Fund attorneys represent 12 nurses who filed suit against the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey after the hospital sought to require the nurses to help with abortion cases in violation of federal and state law.
“No pro-life medical personnel should be forced to assist or train in services related to abortions. The hospital has finally done the right thing in agreeing to obey the law and not force our clients to do any work on abortion cases in violation of their beliefs,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman, who represented the nurses before the court Thursday. “The hospital agreed not to penalize our clients in any way because they choose not to participate in abortion according to their legal rights.”
The hospital agreed not to replace the pro-life nurses or reduce their hours. The nurses affirmed that if a woman suffers a true emergency from an abortion, they will help protect her until other staff, such as the emergency team, arrives moments later. Because the abortions are all elective, outpatient surgeries, and the court is requiring the hospital to fully staff all abortion cases with non-objecting medical personnel, the pro-life nurses should never actually be needed in any such case.
At Thursday’s hearing, the judge warned the hospital that the nurses can return to the court if the hospital penalizes them, assigns them to work abortion cases, or pretextually attempts to require them to assist with abortions.
Last month, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey issued a temporary restraining order, with the hospital’s temporary consent, that prohibited the hospital from coercing the nurses until the court could further consider the case at Thursday’s hearing.
Federal law prohibits hospitals that receive certain federal funds from forcing employees to participate in abortions. UMDNJ receives approximately $60 million in federal health funds annually. In addition, New Jersey law states, “No person shall be required to perform or assist in the performance of an abortion or sterilization.” The lawsuit requests that the hospital be ordered to obey these laws and to return part of the federal taxpayer money it has received in light of its violation of federal conscience laws.
Turnabout in Britain: How Cameron and Clegg vowed to hand back our liberties but are instead planning illiberal changes to justice system
What a difference 19 months makes. Speaking in the sun-lit Downing Street gardens as he launched the Coalition back in May 2010, Prime Minister David Cameron promised it would be ‘committed to civil liberties and curbing the power of the state’.
Nick Clegg added that after years of Labour authoritarianism, theirs would be a government ‘that hands you back your liberties’.
Now, however, almost unnoticed, this same Government is planning to enact highly illiberal changes to the justice system.
If, as Mr Cameron intends, they become law later this year, the consequences will be an unprecedented growth of secret hearings in both civil court cases and inquests; to deny ordinary citizens the ancient Common Law right to challenge evidence against them; and to make it far more difficult to call wrongdoing by government agencies to account.
Greater secrecy in court would have a further by-product: the stifling of investigative journalism, for which information rev-ealed through the legal process is often critically important.
‘Many of the biggest recent scandals were exposed through a combination of journalism and litigation,’ says Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty. ‘These proposals would bring the shutters down for ever.’
The key points, set out late last year in a Green Paper on Justice and Security, include a sweeping power to allow Ministers to withhold evidence they deem ‘sensitive’ from any civil open court hearing or inquest, if the Minister thinks disclosure would cause ‘damage to the public interest’.
The courts would not be able to weigh such assertions against the need for open justice, while the terms ‘sensitive’ and ‘public interest’ are not defined.
The key points, set out late last year in a Green Paper on Justice and Security, include a sweeping power to allow Ministers to withhold evidence they deem ‘sensitive’ from any civil open court hearing or inquest, if the Minister thinks disclosure would cause ‘damage to the public interest’
But lawyers say the types of material that could be concealed are likely to embrace not only national security, but policing, relations with foreign governments, and government commercial contracts. In most cases, the Minister exercising this power would also be a party to the case – an extraordinary conflict of interest, which breaches another Common Law principle, that ‘no one shall be a judge in his own cause’.
The Green Paper also states that in cases where this ‘closed material procedure’ was invoked, the only person apart from the judge and the lawyers representing the Government who would be allowed to see the secret evidence would be a ‘Special Advocate’.
These advocates are security-vetted barristers of the type already used in immigration hearings involving national security – such as that of Ekaterina Zatuliveter, the Russian Commons researcher who MI5 claimed was a spy.
Special Advocates are not only forbidden from talking to their clients, they may not even speak to their ‘normal’, open-court lawyers.
‘The Government can make an allegation, but you have no way of countering it because you can’t find out what the client’s response might be,’ one former Special Advocate says. ‘They might claim your client had been identified doing something incriminating by their beard. You can’t even ask whether they had a beard at the time.’
A further key point from the Paper is that in cases where the evidence was secret, all or part of the court’s eventual judgment would remain secret too.
One result would be that a citizen who lost a case against the Government would never find out why. Another would be the steady accumulation of secret legal precedents: case law hidden from the public.
Whitehall sources say the Green Paper proposals are the direct consequence of the efforts of this newspaper and others to expose British Government complicity in the ‘extraordinary rendition’ and torture of terrorism suspects such as the former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Binyam Mohamed. Two years ago, we persuaded the Court of Appeal that hitherto redacted details of his treatment, contained in a High Court judgment, should be published.
After the 2010 Election, say the sources, MI5’s Director-General, Jonathan Evans, began a Whitehall lobbying campaign, arguing that the scrutiny Mr Mohamed’s case had directed at his agency had caused severe damage. He was also trying to overturn a decision by the Supreme Court, made after former Guantanamo prisoners sued the Government for damages.
Although the Government had already settled the case by paying them millions, MI5’s lawyers tried to get the court to agree that even without legislation, they should have the right in future to have evidence heard in secret, concealed from all but Special Advocates.
The Supreme Court’s response was withering. In the words of one of its judges, Lord Kerr: ‘The right to be informed of the case made against you is not merely a feature of the adversarial system of trial, it is an elementary and essential prerequisite of fairness.’
Lord Kerr also rejected the Government’s argument – repeated in the Green Paper – that allowing the judge to see all the evidence would protect individuals’ rights.
This was ‘deceptively misleading ..... To be truly valuable, evidence must be capable of withstanding challenge. I go further. Evidence which has been insulated from challenge may positively mislead’.
Mr Evans was undaunted. Months ago he was boasting that if he could not get his way at the Supreme Court, he would persuade Mr Cameron to grant it through an Act of Parliament.
But though the new proposals’ origins may lie in Guantanamo, their scope is far wider. What price the 7/7 bombings inquest if Ministers could conceal evidence merely by classifying it as ‘sensitive’? What would be the chances of the recent case filed by female Green campaigners, who discovered they had been seduced by undercover police officers?
‘It’s incredibly dangerous,’ says one leading QC. ‘All too easily, “sensitive” can mean simply embarrassing, or inconvenient.’
In a foreword to the Green Paper, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke claims these ‘commonsense proposals’ would merely ‘better equip our courts to pass judgment in cases involving sensitive information’.
The Paper asserts that the existing use of secret evidence and Special Advocates in immigration cases has proven them ‘capable of delivering procedural fairness’.
Interestingly, the Special Advocates themselves disagree. On Friday, 59 of them – of a total of 69 – submitted a response. They said: ‘Contrary to the premise underlying the Green Paper, the contexts in which closed material procedures are already used have not proved that they are “capable of delivering procedural fairness”.’
In fact, their experience had shown that they ‘represent a departure from the foundational principle of natural justice, that all parties are entitled to see and challenge all the evidence relied upon before the court . . . They also undermine the principle that public justice should be dispensed in public.’
Yet all three main parties have indicated they support the plans, and to date, only one MP has publicly opposed them, the Conservative David Davis.
‘They are a disgraceful assault on the principles of open justice,’ he says. ‘When it comes to curbing misbehaviour by the executive, we would end up with the least effective courts in the English-speaking world.’
‘When you think about it, it is rather ironic,’ adds Ms Chakrabarti. ‘The Green Paper has emer-ged as a result of terrible scandals. And yet the Government’s answer is not to ensure greater public scrutiny, but less.’
Australian government doles out tough love for unemployed teenage parents
COOKING classes will be among the life skills programs offered to teen parents in the Federal Government's tough-love welfare trial.
The first 1000 teens to join the trial, which ties Centrelink payments to efforts to finish year 12, have been sent letters telling them what they have to do. From next Monday, teenagers who have children between six months and six years old must book a meeting with welfare staff to discuss their education plans.
If they fail to meet appointments and do not have a valid excuse, they could lose parenting payments.
During the first Helping Young Parents meetings, discussions will also cover free support measures, such as childcare, that can be used to allow more study time. Other support measures include cooking tuition, parenting classes and budgeting advice.
The classes are separate from the requirement young parents must try to finish year 12 or its equivalent.
Human Services Minister Brendan O'Connor said the trial, which in Victoria will run in Hume and Shepparton, had been designed to give young people a range of skills. "This is about equipping them with the education that will help them enter the workplace," he said.
He said cutting off parenting payments would be a last resort, and that a reprieve was possible. "If parents do have their payments suspended, as soon as they get back in touch with Centrelink and start up their activities again, they will have their payments back-paid," he said.
The back-pay rule will help placate concerns from social services groups' that cutting welfare could lead to more problems for young families.
To coincide with the first Centrelink meetings, a new blog site will go live on January 16, allowing young parents to talk directly to other participants.
Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten said encouraging teens to finish school would help them later in life.
Muslims in Norway and the dishonest Left-run Norwegian government
Like all Leftists, the Norwegian Left hates their own society so crippling it by importing a large number of hostile immigrants turns them on. Some excerpts below from a very comprehensive article
So far I've listed three separate incidents in which Muslims in Norway have expressed their willingness to have individuals they believe are guilty of offending Islam killed. Zahid Mukhtar has gone on record twice, expressing the desire to have Salman Rushdie killed, and expressing sympathy for the killing of Theo Van Gogh. Again it's necessary to point out that in his capacity as spokesperson for the biggest Islamic organization in Norway, Zahid Mukhtar simply reflects the views of the other members of the organization, eighty thousand of them, to be exact.
Upon hearing these comments, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg felt compelled to implore Mukhtar to retract his statements, as Stoltenberg felt that Mukhtar's statements would portray the rest of the Muslim community in Norway in a less than flattering light. Notice here that Mr. Stoltenberg acknowledges that Mukhtar acts in his capacity as an official spokesperson.
"It has devastating consequences for Muslims in Norway when their spokesperson expresses sympathy for the horrible murder that occurred in the Netherlands. Such attitudes make it so much harder to combat racism and xenophobia. I'm a strong proponent for a society where different religions and cultures can co-exist, but I absolutely do not condone violations of basic human rights. The right to live and the right to express oneself freely are part of those basic human rights, and when they are violated we need to have a zero tolerance policy," says Stoltenberg.
Mr. Stoltenberg equates criticism of Islam and Muslims with racism. He claims that statements like the one made by Zahid Mukhtar severely damage the fight against racism and `Islamophobia' in Norway. A more correct assertion would be that such statements give Norwegians a better insight into the twisted ideology that espouses such values. Mr. Stoltenberg's statement also gives us a good insight into the mentality of the political establishment in Norway, and it explains why the political establishment is so reluctant to criticize Islam. They deliberately refrain from doing so because they believe it will create a massive backlash against Muslims in the country, and that it would be detrimental to the political establishment's efforts at creating a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society in Norway. Mr Stoltenberg clearly stated here his and the government's intentions in this regard.
The statement made by Mr. Stoltenberg in this case is also completely contrary to the reaction from the political establishment in Norway in the aftermath of the 2011 Oslo attacks, when the political Left systematically targeted anyone who had ever dared to write anything negative about Islam. The Left feverously attempted to incriminate those they perceived had contributed to the creation `Breivik the terrorist'. Honest and law-abiding individuals who had never in their lives advocated violence were all of a sudden the targets of a massive smear campaign, and unlike Zahid Mukhtar - who indeed expressed sympathy for terrorism on several occasion - these conservatives were indirectly blamed for the Oslo attacks.
Bashim Ghozlan was also in the media spotlight in 2009 when he refused to denounce infamous statements made by Yusuf al-Qaradawi in 2009 in which Qaradawi stated:
"Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the Jews people who would punish them for their corruption.The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them - even though they exaggerated this issue - he managed to put them in their place. This was a divine punishment for them.Allah willing; the next time will be at the hand of the believers."
Bashim Ghozlan told Dagbladet:
"I do not wish to comment on those statements. I know Qaradawi as a respected religious scholar and we watch his TV programs. But I do not wish to comment on his political statements."
If Bashim Ghozlan was appalled by these statements, which most sane people would be, he would have categorically distanced himself from such vile rhetoric and condemned it. These despicable statements both condone previous genocides and express the desire to commit future genocides. By refusing to distance himself from them, Ghozlan has already indicated that he doesn't find them offensive. He doesn't believe that the pogrom in the past perpetrated against the Jews and potential new ones in the future perpetrated by the hands of the Muslims is `such' a bad thing. It's sad to think that these are the people that the political establishment in Norway incorrectly labels as `peace-loving' and `democratic'.
But this wasn't the only controversial view that the Muslim leadership advocated. The Islamic Council Norway was also unwilling to oppose death penalty for homosexuality, because the answer of this question hadn't been finalised by the European Fatwa Council, which is headed by none other than Qaradawi. The very same vile anti-Semite who expressed the desire to eradicate the Jews of the face of the planet:
The leader of the Islamic Council Norway, Shoaib Sultan, confirms that the matter is still being looked at by the Fatwa Council, and that they don't know when they'll get an answer. Sultan does not wish to comment on the statements made by Qaradawi, and referrers to the leader of the Islamic Council and its leader Senaid Kobilica, who also doesn't wish to comment. Kobilica refers to Basim Ghozlan, leader of the Islamic association of Oslo.
Another example of the Norwegian Muslim community's unwillingness to embrace traditional Western values occurred in 2006 during the Mohammed cartoon crisis, which resulted in worldwide Islamic riots and several dozen fatalities. The artist who drew the cartoons has been the victim of Muslim revenge attacks since then, and today has to live under 24/7 police protection.
Norway was affected by these incidents due to the actions of a small Norwegian periodical called Magazinet, which decided to publish the cartoons. This led to the attack on the Norwegian embassy in Iran and the attack on Norwegian soldiers in Afghanistan by a large mob of armed Afghani civilians. Norway was also strongly condemned by Islamic nations and by Muslims living in Norway for having laws guaranteeing freedom of speech, which allowed Magazinet to print these cartoons.
One would assume when taking all of these factors into consideration that the Norwegian Government would defend Vebjorn Selbekk, the editor of Magazinet and make it obvious to Muslims that in Norway freedom of speech and freedom of expression are rights that we're not willing to compromise on. But, sadly, that was not the case. The Norwegian Government sided with the Islamic nations and practically forced Selbekk to make a humiliating apology for having exercised his obvious right to express himself freely.
This is just another incident which clearly exemplifies the undemocratic nature of the Muslim community, and its inability to reconcile its views with modern Western democratic principles. And there is no way that the political establishment wasn't able to see this undemocratic side. It wasn't simply hatred directed at Norway from beyond its borders; it was also hatred directed at the country from inside its borders, from members of the Norwegian Muslim community. Several Islamic organizations in Norway actually filed police reports against Vebjorn Selbekk for having printed the cartoons:
This incident took place just over a decade after the assassination attempt on William Nygaard. But even so the political establishment yet again failed to criticize the Muslim community for advocating views and values that ran contrary to Norwegian and Western values. Instead the Government tried to convince the Norwegian people that we have to exercise our freedom of speech sensibly. In other words we shouldn't use our freedom of expression to offend Islam. And once again we get a glimpse into the world of double standards exposed by the very same establishment that chastised Norwegian conservative commentators in the wake of the Oslo attacks.
But this wasn't the end of the Mohammed cartoons controversy in Norway. Things flared up again when the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet decided to publish a cartoon depicting Mohammad as a pig in 2010. This led to more Muslim demonstrations. And this time specific threats were directed at the Norwegians because of `perceived' insults. Again, this was done by members of a community that Norwegian authorities portray as democratic. One of those present at the demonstration was Mohammad Mohyeldeen, who stated that:
"When are the Norwegian government and media going to understand the seriousness of this? Maybe not until it's too late. Maybe not until we get an 11 September on Norwegian soil. This is not a threat, but a warning."
What is worth noting here is that Mohyeldeen was able to utter this threat without being corrected by the other Muslims who were present at the demonstration. No one in the crowd tried to stop him or to criticize him for making these threats, which raise the questions whether the other Muslim were in agreement with him. The fact is that several thousand Muslims were appalled and moved to demonstrate to get their message across when Dagbladet printed the cartoon, but the same individuals did nothing when these threats were made against Norway. This would indicate support for Mohyeldeen's statement, which again lays bare the undemocratic nature of the Muslim community in Norway.
The episodes mentioned above are just a few out of many, but they are incidents that should really have prompted the political establishment in Norway to change their attitudes towards the Muslim community. It cannot be denied that the Muslim community in Norway espouses an ideology that is hostile to Western values and that many of its members hold views that are deeply offensive to people who cherish democracy.
Another thing worth noting is that the Muslim community in Norway are highly organized, and that they often speak with one voice. The authorities in Norway will concede if pressed sufficiently that there is only a tiny minority of the Muslim populace that exhibit undemocratic views, but evidence suggests that the opposite is true. Both during The Satanic Verses protests and the two Mohammad cartoon protests the Muslim community managed to muster several thousand people, which would tend to indicate that these protests were not spontaneous displays of displeasure, but rather staged occasions of political and religious dissent.
The fact that Muslims are over-represented in assault rape cases would tend to indicate that they have a lower regard for women than the average Westerner, and there is evidence to back up this claim. In Oslo newly released figures indicate that 70 percent of all domestic abuse in the capital is perpetrated by non-Westerners. Another claim that brings weight to the assertion came in 2006 when reports presented by special investigators working for the UDI estimated that more than two thousand young women of non-Western ancestry in Norway were forcibly married between 2004 and 2006. Forced marriages are common in Muslim countries, so it's reasonable to assume that the majority of these young women were indeed Muslims.
Now sit back and take some time to think about this fact. To force a person to marry a complete stranger is one of the cruellest things that anyone can do to another human being. Choosing a partner is a crucial life decision. It will to a large extent determine the level of happiness that this person will experience. It will also determine the future of his/her children, and what opportunities are made available to the individual. To take this choice away from someone is cruel beyond words, and there is absolutely no place for it in a civilized society.
The people who perpetrate these crimes have absolutely no respect for the most basic human rights, so how can the authorities allow it to happen? Prime Minister Stoltenberg was quoted earlier in this essay saying that controversial statements made by Muslims could jeopardize the work of combating racism and xenophobia. Does he also believe that publishing less desirable facts about Muslims also increases the level of `Islamophobia' in Norway?
Failing to criticize this gross abuse of human rights is highly disrespectful towards the victims of this practice. Claiming that the people responsible for such abuse are just as democratic as any other ordinary Norwegians is a punch in the face of the victims. A more honest description would be that Muslims who engage in this kind of cruelty view women as a mere commodity, which can be traded in order to obtain certain benefits, such as money or a permanent residence permit. And realising that this is a common practice within the patriarchal Muslim community in Norway gives us a better understanding of why Muslims are over-represented in Norwegian assault rape statistics.
And when we analyse all the statistics and facts that are available to us, it appears that violence is more commonly accepted within the Muslim community in Norway than among the rest of the population. In 2007 an imam in the city of Drammen (approximately 40 kilometres west of Oslo) was arrested by police after reports of children as young as seven being physically abused at various Koran schools in the city. The imam was accused of beating the children with a cane if they failed to recite verses from the Koran correctly. This abuse took place over a period of several years at three different Koran schools in the city before the police eventually intervened. I'm not even going to mention what would have happened if this abuse had taken place in a Norwegian school and the children were beaten because they failed to correctly recite various passages from the Bible. Needless to say it would have been a media bombshell. However, the news about the Imam in Drammen wasn't a big news story at all and it hardly generated any media attention.
All of these episodes, combined with the opinions expressed by the leadership of the big Islamic organizations in Norway, give us an insight into the mentality of the average Muslims residing in the country. When we start putting the pieces together, the picture that emerges shows us that members of the Muslim community have values and views that are at odds with those of the majority population. And the fact that Muslims keep showing up in the media for all the wrong reasons indicates that the behaviour displayed by them as a group is pretty static.
However, despite the extremely undemocratic behaviour exhibited by Muslims in Norway, there is very little negative media scrutiny of the community. The political establishment constantly attempts to tone down any criticism.
It's worth noting that Norwegian Christians are not being accorded the same treatment. Conservative Christians in Norway - i.e. individuals who don't accept the official socialist government's interpretation of the Bible, and who reject homosexuality and abortion, etc. - are referred to in Norway as `Morkemenn', literally meaning `the dark men', or as Christian fundamentalists. This derogatory term is meant to silence the opinions of this group, and it is often used in newspaper articles and public discourse. It's the equivalent of calling someone a Nazi in a debate over immigration. Unlike their Muslims counterparts, Christian conservatives are also always asked to explain their views and opinions by supporters of the Left. Sadly, Islam does not face the same demands, which is a sign of intellectual dishonesty.
This pattern of exculpating dark forces in Norway - which is exactly what Islam is - will not be able to continue indefinitely. Sooner or later something will have to give, and when it does all the emotions that have been held in check by the very strict use of propaganda and political dishonesty will no longer have any effect.
I believe that we will see major political and ideological changes in the next few decades in Europe. The sad part is that the tumultuous times that are ahead of us could have been avoided if the elected representatives of the European peoples had been able to show more integrity and moral courage.
When the Norwegian authorities tell us that Muslims in Norway are peaceful, hardworking, and democratic, they don't really have any hard evidence to back up this claim. As a matter of fact, there is ample hard evidence and empirical data that can be used to refute all of their claims. The authorities' arguments are basically empty shells, and will eventually collapse.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.