Thursday, June 18, 2009


Pro-Life Advocates Ask Senate to Adopt Amendment to Stop Rationing of Health Care
Washington, DC ( -- The first pro-life battle in the national health care reform debate is coming up in the Senate as soon as the end of the week. Bu
rke Balch, the medical ethics director for the National Right to Life Committee talked with about what pro-life people can do. The debate concerns the health care reform bill sponsored by Sen. Ted Kennedy that Balch says is concerning because it could lead to the rationing of lifesaving medical treatment. Balch says the Ken
nedy bill would lead to the cutting off of certain treatments that the government doesn’t consider cost effective. He says the bill would employ a system similar to the “quality of life years” system, or QALY, in England where payment for treatment is only authorized if it extends the quality of life not the length of life. Under such a system someone in a wheelchair is determined to have a lower quality of life compared with an able-bodied person. National Right to Life is asking pro-life advocates to support an amendment from pro-life Sen. Mike Enzi, a Wyoming Republican, to the Kennedy bill that would say the government can’t use that system to deny treatment to people on the basis of a disability or degree of medical dependency or quality of life. Enzi will offer the amendment as soon as Friday during the Senate HELP committee markup on the Kennedy health care bill and calls and emails are needed to urge support for it. Balch says National Right to Life is working with senators on the Senate Finance committee, including pro-life Sen. Charles Grassley, for a similar amendment to the companion bill that panel is crafting. The National Right to Life Committee is also working to ensure that the health care plan that comes out of Congress doesn’t fund abortions or force insurance companies to cover abortions. NRLC executive director David O’Steen tells that the plan will likely cover abortions and not be “up front” about it and that the pro-abortion nature of the plan would be a part of it unless an “overt” amendment is inclu
Logo for the National Right to Life Committee,...Image via Wikipedia
ded making it abortion neutral.

National Right to Life Opens Annual Pro-Life Convention, Focus on Obama Abortion Agenda
Charlotte, NC ( -- The National Right to Life Committee opened its 37th annual pro-life convention on Thursday in Charlotte, North Carolina with the support of hundreds of pro-life advocates who are excited about learning what they can do to combat President Barack Obama’s pro-abortion agenda. That Obama agenda is the main focus of the Right to Life convention as banners and booklets with the message “Stop the Abortion Agenda” adorn the halls and meetings rooms of the Blake Hotel. Wanda Franz, a former psychology professor at West Virginia University and the NRLC president, told that the “pro-life educational event of the year” is needed to organize the counteraction to Obama’s pro-abortion mantra. “With an aggressive abortion agenda and attacks on life coming from pro-abortion leadership at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, this year’s convention gives every member of the pro-life community the opportunity to network and learn from some of the leading experts in the pro-life movement.” The convention features more than 70 workshops and five general sessions with top pro-life advocates who are combating abortion, assisted suicide, euthanasia and bioethics practices like embryonic stem cell research and human cloning. In her opening address to a packed house, Franz told pro-life advocates that polling data from five polls in the last two months shows either a majority of Americans are pro-life or that the numbers are moving in the pro-life direction. She also said that every attendee and rely on legislation in their own state legislature to react to the Obama abortion agenda. She pointed to neighboring South Carolina, where the passage of several pro-life state laws, ranging from informed consent legislation to parental consent, has resulted in nearly 100,000 fewer abortions and reducing the number of abortions in the state by half over the last twenty years. Ultimately, Franz said that the public needs to know that Obama’s actions as president are “extreme” and that his rhetoric wanting common ground on reducing abortions is a “fraud.” ‘President Obama believes a woman must have a right to an abortion under any circumstances.”

Americans Want to Know Sotomayor’s Views on Abortion Before Senate Confirmation Vote 

Washington, DC ( -- A new poll sponsored by CBS News and the New York Times finds a majority of Americans say it is very or somewhat important to know where Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor stands on abortion before the Senate confirmation vote. The poll found 48 percent say it is very important and 28 percent say it is somewhat important to know her abortion views beforehand while just 22 percent say it is not very or not at all important to know. Republicans are more likely to want to know her abortion views with 85 percent saying it is very or somewhat important and just 13 percent saying Sotomayor’s abortion views are not important. The poll found Democrats also want to know with 75 percent saying it is very or somewhat important and 72 percent of independents agreed. Meanwhile, the poll found Obama’s first Supreme Court nominee receives a net positive rating from the American public but she remains largely unknown to most. Half of those Americans polled can’t say whether the Senate should confirm Sotomayor although more Americans who have an opinion favor her nomination than oppose it. The poll found 34 percent who say the Senate should confirm her to replace pro-abortion Justice David Souter while 9 percent opposed her and the rest did not have a position. Despite the high number of voters who don’t have an opinion, 60 percent of Americans say they are following the news of her appointment closely. The Senate plans to start confirmation hearings on Sotomayor in July.

Second Report Confirms Sex-Selection Abortions Taking Place Among Asian-Americans 
Washington, DC ( -- A new report in the New York Times is the second in the last two years to make the case that sex-selection abortions are taking place in the United States among Asian-Americans. With cultural mores in Asian nations favoring boys over girls, that preference is apparently making its way to the U.S. as more immigrants make it their home. A new report in the New York Times indicates demographers say the statistics show Asian-American families show a greater statistical deviation in terms of the male-female ratio. That appears to indicate sex-selection abortions are taking place that are resulting in the birth of fewer girls born. Prof. Lena Edlund of Columbia University told the newspaper that “a number of experts expressed surprise to see evidence that the preference for sons among Asian-Americans has been so significantly carried over to this country. That this is going on in the United States -- people were blown away by this.” The story also reports on a study previously covered (see where researchers Douglas Almond and Lena Edlund published new findings to this effect in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. They say their analysis of the 2000 Census shows the odds prematurely increasing for Asian families from China, Korea and India to have a boy if they already have a girl child. The data "suggest that in a sub-population with a traditional son preference, the technologies are being used to generate male births when preceding births are female," they wrote in the paper. The Times story interviews a Hong Kong-born gynecologist who practices in Brooklyn and says that she tried to discourage some couples who wanted boys from having an abortion when they learned they were pregnant with a girl baby. In some cases, she knows the sex-selection abortions were done.

Planned Parenthood Raising Money Based on Anonymous Donor Who Promises One Million 
Washington, DC ( -- Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business, is conducting a new email fundraising campaign based on an anonymous donor who has promised $1 million in a matching donation. “If we can raise a million dollars by June 30, a wonderful donor will match it,” Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards says in the fundraising missive. “Please, take a moment now to make your donation worth twice as much.” Richards says Planned Parenthood can do more to target “women, men and teens” with the money. “Here at Planned Parenthood, we can do a lot with $1 million — and a whole lot more with $2 million. We can help Planned Parenthood health centers provide critical health care,” including abortions, and to “defend every woman's right to access comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion services, in the U.S. and around the world.” Richards appears surprised by the anonymous donor and says her pro-abortion group’s supporters may not have a chance in the future to double their money. “And in this economic climate, I honestly can't tell you the next time Planned Parenthood will have a million-dollar opportunity to keep our work going.” According to the most recent published annual reports from Planned Parenthood, it received more than $350 million from the national, state and local governments in taxpayer funds, took in more than $1 billion in income, and pushed 95 percent of the pregnant women who went to its centers into abortions.

Pro-Life Advocates to Hold Weekend Memorial Events in Wichita Over George Tiller 
Wichita, KS ( -- Several pro-life advocates are putting together a series of prayer and memorial events for slain late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller and his family over the weekend. The events will be held in Wichita, Kansas on Friday and Saturday, June 19-20, to pray for healing and an end to abortion-related violence. Operation Rescue and the Christian Defense Coalition, along with Living Word Outreach in Wichita, will co-sponsor the event, called “A Time for Healing… A Time for Life.” Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition will lead a Friday evening prayer vigil, a Saturday walk across Wichita down Kellogg Avenue to pray for peace and healing, and a memorial service at Tiller's former abortion center where hundreds of flowers will be placed to honor the unborn children who die there. Prayers for the Tiller family will be offered by members of the clergy. "We encourage the pro-life community, including the community's pastors, to join us in earnest prayers to the cessation of violence, both inside and outside the womb, and to memorialize those who have tragically lost their lives," said Troy Newman, the president of Operation Rescue. "This is a time to come together in unity to pray and reflect on the precious gift of life, and to thank God that pre-born babies are currently safe in this community. It's time for the healing process to begin."

Attorney General Eric Holder Condemns Tiller Shooting, Pledges to Target Pro-Life Advocates 
Washington, DC ( -- The biggest fear for the majority of Americans who take a pro-life position on abortion following the shooting death of late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller is that the administration of President Barack Obama will unfairly target them. Shortly after the shooting, Attorney General Eric Holder directed U.S. marshals to directly protect abortion practitioners across the country. In a more recent response, Holder spoke to a conference of attorneys in Washington and offered his most forceful condemnation of the Tiller shooting and promised to go after pro-life people. Holder pledged that the Department of Justice would do everything possible to "deter violence against reproductive health care providers" an prosecute the person responsible for killing Tiller. But the Obama official went much further. "Neither our respect for the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech nor our clearest hope for common ground can justify the violence that we saw in Kansas," Holder said. "We will not tolerate murder or the threat of violence masquerading as political activism. Let me be clear, the Justice Department will use every tool at its disposal to protect the rights ensured under our constitution and we will do all that we can to deter violence against reproductive health care providers and prosecute those who use such violence to the fullest extent of the law." Holder added that the killing of Tiller “reminds us of the potential threat posed by violent extremists and the tragedy that ensues when discourse is replaced by armed confrontation." Combined with a report from the White House prior to the shooting claiming that people who oppose abortion are “right-wing extremists” who could engage in violent or terrorist acts.

Editor of Vatican Newspaper Stands by Comment That Obama “Not a Pro-Abortion President” 
The Vatican ( -- The editor of the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano has taken heat from pro-life advocates for his coverage of President Barack Obama and comments that Obama is “not a pro-abortion president.” Gian Maria Vian participated in a lengthy question and answer interview with National Review and said he stands by his statement. Vian said that he made the statement in an interview with an Italian journalist on the day that Obama gave his commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame. He said it was “based my observation primarily on the speech President Obama gave on that occasion -- a speech which demonstrated openness. In this sense, I said that he didn't seem a pro-abortion president.” Vian claims Obama considered abortion, in the Notre Dame speech, “as something to prevent” and that he wants to “widen the consensus” on reducing abortions. Vian admitted that Obama has made decisions “that certainly cannot be defined as pro-life, to use the American term” however he attempted to make the case that Obama has suddenly abandoned his pro-abortion position after his election. “I believe that the senator's activity prior to his presidential election is one thing, and the political line he is following as president of the United States is another. We have noticed that his entire program prior to his election was more radical than it is revealing itself to be now that he is president. So this is what I meant when I said he didn't sound like a pro-abortion president.” Vian also claimed that Obama is less pro-abortion now because he has said that the so-called Freedom of Choice Act is no longer a priority for his administration. However, Obama is passing portions of the bill in a piecemeal fashion and members of Congress have said they are still planning to push it eventually. Vian told National Review that he never heard from the Pope or any other Catholic Church leader about his comment.

Catholic Colleges Criticized for Promoting Internships With Pro-Abortion Organizations 
Washington, DC ( -- At least ten Catholic colleges and universities are under fire for promoting student internships with pro-abortion organizations whose work directly contradicts the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church. The Cardinal Newman Society, a pro-life watchdog group for Catholic colleges, says several universities have internships with pro -abortion groups and some with Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business. CNS says Boston College lists two pro- abortion groups€, the Feminist Majority Foundation and the National Organization for Women, on its web page directing college students to nonprofit organizations providing summer or school-year internships. Meanwhile, Boston College Law School suggests that students participate in an internship with the Massachusetts affiliate of Planned Parenthood. The Cardinal Newman Society says Georgetown University goes further and allows students to receive university funding for internships at abortion advocacy groups. Georgetown once refused funding for a student’s internship at Planned Parenthood, but GU officials caved after pro- abortion students and faculty protested and called for a policy change. CNS notes that the Gender and Women’s Studies department at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University in Minnesota promotes internships with FMF, the pro-abortion women’s group that supports late-term abortions. Included in the FMF internship training is first-hand exposure to working in “clinic defense” as someone who counters the pro-life advocates who provide help and information to women outside abortion centers. Other pro-abortion internships include DePaul University’s Women’s and Gender Studies program’s internship with Planned Parenthood; Loyola University of Chicago’s listings include NOW, FMF, Planned Parenthood and an abortion fund for poor women; the University of San Francisco promotes the California NARAL affiliate; and Notre Dame funded a student’s internship at NOW. St. Edward’s University in Texas and St. Norbert College in Wisconsin also came under fire for problematic internships. “Under what definition of ‘Catholic education’ do students receive academic credit to work for leading pro-abortion organizations?” asked CNS president Patrick Reilly. He said his group has written to presidents of the offending colleges and universities to inform them of the problems and urges pro-life advocates to follow up.

Pro-Abortion Women’s Group, Ms. Magazine, Raises Funds on George Tiller Shooting 

Washington, DC ( -- The Feminist Majority Foundation, the pro-abortion women’s group that owns and runs Ms. Magazine is raising funds by exploiting the shooting death of late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller. FMF president Eleanor Smeal, who sent out fundraising requests before his death saying her group was helping with his legal defense fund and t keep his late-term abortion business open, wrote the new fundraising letter for Ms. “In Dr. George Tiller's memory, Ms. invites you to honor his life and work by thanking and supporting abortion providers and by speaking the truth about abortion - it saves women's and girls' lives,” she claims. “You see, the murder of Dr. Tiller is not just one horrific, isolated event. As I write this e-mail abortion providers and their clinics are being targeted, harassed and threatened in more than 10 states.” Smeal said she hoped to raise money for workers at other abortion centers. “We must defend a woman's right to make her own decision about their bodies and their lives and we must support the courageous health care workers who provide abortions,” she said. The fundraising pitch included a pledge that donors could sign that will be sent to the White House, members of Congress and state legislators asking for “tougher laws” and “to enforce the laws we already have on the books to protect abortion providers.” Smeal concluded: “And we ask signers to make a contribution so Ms. can promote the pledge and provide needed funds to support targeted abortion providers and counter anti-abortion terrorism.”

Virginia Man Gets 12 Years in Prison for Attempted Killing of Pregnant Wom
Official seal of City of Richmond, VirginiaImage via Wikipedia
an, Unborn Child 
Richmond, VA ( -- A Virginia man’s failed attempt to kill his pregnant girlfriend and her unborn child will leave him in prison for 12 years. Judge Walter Stout of the Richmond Circuit Court sentenced Raymond Martin Scott to 30 years in prison with 18 suspended for the solicitation to murder Nakeisha Holliday and her unborn child. He pleaded no contest to the charges in April. Scott contacted Kenneth Daniels and told him he would pay $1,300 to kill Holliday and her baby but Daniels, thinking that murdering a pregnant woman and her child was a “cowardly” action, contacted police and agreed to help them catch Scott in the plan. Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Tracy Thorne- Begland said Scott and Holliday worked together and that she was reportedly pregnant with his child. Scott wanted Holliday to get an abortion because he was also seeing another woman. Police set up a second meeting between the would-be killer and Scott and recorded a conversation providing the evidence they needed to prove their case in court. During the meeting, Scott gave the man a gun and a box of bullets and Scott asked the hitman to wipe the gun clean of his fingerprints. During the conversation, Scott made it clear his intent was to kill both mother and child. The informant asked Scott if he should shoot Holliday in the head. According to the newspaper, he replied, "I don't want the baby saved, man" When the pair drove away following the meeting, police arrested Scott. Holliday took the stand at the sentencing, and through tears explained her relationship with Scott. The two had gotten to know each other last year through their work at a Henrico County Bank of America, she said. After their relationship turned romantic, Holliday informed him in July that she was pregnant with his child. "He became very agitated -- we started talking about an abortion," she said, describing Scott as "very ambitious" and "goal-driven." Holliday said they discussed adoption, but Scott became increasingly detached and started dating someone else at the bank, denying the child was his.

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