Monday, June 22, 2009


Barack Obama's Job Approval Falls to Lowest Levels Since Presidency Began
Washington, DC ( -- President Barack Obama's job approval rating fell to 58% in Gallup Poll Daily tracking from June 16-18 -- a new low for Obama in the polling firm's survey. He had previously received 59 percent on four different occasions. Thirty-three percent of Americans now disapprove of the job Obama is doing as 
Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.), rebounds the ba...Image via Wikipedia
president, just one point shy of his record-high 34% disapproval score from early June. Since Obama took office in January, his approval rating in Gallup tracking has averaged 63%, and most of his three-day ratings have registered above 60%. Approval of Obama did fall to 59% in individual readings in February, March, April, and early June; however, in each case, the rating lasted only a day before rebounding to at least 60%. The latest decline in Obama's approval score, to 58%, results from a drop in approval among political independents as well as among Republicans. Democrats remain as highly supportive of the president as ever. In the June 16-18 polling, Democrats' approval of him stands at 92% -- up slightly -- whereas approval is down among both independents (by seven points) and Republicans (by four points). Since February, Obama's weekly approval ratings from Republicans have consistently averaged close to 30% and from independents, close to 60%. With Republican approval now down to 21% and independent approval down to 53%, Obama's overall job approval has dipped to a new low for his presidency.

National Right to Life Proposes Health Care Alternative Without Rationing
Charlotte, NC ( -- At its annual convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, the National Right to Life Committee re-released its plan for a reform of the health care system that will not result in rationing. One of the main concerns pro-life advocates have concerning the health care reform debate, apart from worries that any plan will be used to require taxpayer-financed abortions or require insurance companies to cover abortions, is that the plan will lead the rationing of health care. As Congress moves into high gear in its consideration of health care reform legislation, National Right to Life shared its proposal of how affordably to finance subsidized expansion of insurance to the uninsured without the need for rationing lifesaving medical treatment. “We cannot afford to accept rationing in the name of reform,” said Burke J. Balch, J.D., director of the National Right to Life Powell Center for Medical Ethics. “It is a false assumption that we must sacrifice life-saving medical treatment to provide health care coverage to the uninsured and under-insured.” “Denial of lifesaving medical treatment to patients against their will, including through government rationing, is a form of involuntary euthanasia,” Balch added. During his discussion of the alternative plan, Balch talked about the dangers of rationing, as seen in Canada and Europe, and of how some forms of “comparative effectiveness” research can result in rationing that discriminates on the basis of disability. He also explained how , on the other hand, sustainable long-term financing could be obtained to allow health care reform without rationing. In Washington, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee continues another day of debating amendments to one massive health reform bill, while the Senate Finance Committee is expected to release an alternative proposal it plans to consider. A third bill to be heard by the three U.S. House committees with jurisdiction will be made public shortly.

Senate Can’t Find Sponsors for Resolution Praising Abortion Practitioner Tiller
Washington, DC ( -- 
After the House of Representatives approved a resolution praising late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller and condemning the violence that led to his death, the Senate tried this week to approve a similar measure. Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, talked about the developments. “Rather than praise Tiller's legacy of death, House members decided to pass a resolution condemning all violence. That didn't satisfy the most militantly pro-abortion Senators, who tried--without success--to find enough sponsors to introduce a resolution paying tribute to all abortion providers and ‘the services they provide,’” he explained. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a New Hampshire Democrat, was behind the pro-Tiller, pro-abortion resolution and she spoke on the Senate floor late this week lamenting the fact that her colleagues would not support the idea. "I know that there are many heartfelt feelings on both sides of this issue and on both sides of the aisle," she said. "However, I was hopeful that regardless of our differences of opinion... the Senate could come together and pass a resolution that rejects the use of violence against reproductive care providers." However, pro-life lawmakers asked her to remove language from the resolution praising abortion and told her they would support it should it only condemn abortion-related violence. She refused and the measure failed. Perkins responded, “What an encouragement to the pro-life community that while some Senators may vote in favor of abortion, they stand strongly against any effort to glorify it. Like us, they realize that just as violence cannot be tolerated, neither can any effort to exalt those who practice it against the unborn.” Senators Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, and Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrats, were also behind the pro-abortion resolution.

Oregon Senate Fails to Get Democrats to Allow Debate on Unborn Victims Bill
Salem, OR ( -- Republicans in the Oregon state Senate failed to receive authorization from ruling Democrats to allow for a debate and vote on a bill that would help offer more protection and justice for pregnant women and unborn children. They wanted a chance to approve the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, a bill that would allow prosecutors the ability to charge defendants with two crimes when the kill or injure both a pregnant mother and her unborn baby. The measure, which has the backing of Oregon Right to Life and pro-life advocates, came in response to a widely publicized case in which an Oregon woman stands accused of murdering a pregnant mother and cutting her unborn child from her womb. Both died as a result of the incident and the woman has been charged with one crime of homicide. On Friday, Republican members of the Senate used a parliamentary procedure to try to bring the Unborn Victims bill out of committee for a debate on the floor. They want Oregon to join 35 other states that offer protection and justice for pregnant women and unborn children, but Senate Democrats voted the move down and the bill is likely dead for the rest of the legislative session, which concludes June 30. Korena Elaine Roberts, 27, reportedly killed 21-year-old Heather Snively recently in order to steal her unborn child and call the baby her own. An autopsy indicates Snively was killed following "blunt force'' and "sharp force'' injuries and that Roberts is behind the attack. Because Oregon is not one of the 35 states with an unborn victims law, prosecutors can't charge Roberts with the death of the unborn child, who was eight months old at the time of the killings. Sen. Bruce Starr had been leading the fight for the legislation. “I hope to never see another case like we've seen," Starr said. "But in the event that we do, where you have an unbelievably barbaric crime and clearly two victims, both victims will receive proper justice."

Pro-Life Pastor Walter Hoye Returns to Abortion Center After Free Speech Denial
Oakland, CA ( -- After pro-life Berkeley pastor Walter Hoye was sent to jail following his conviction on a local ordinance that targets the free speech rights of pro-life advocates, he has returned to the abortion center where his offer of help to pregnant women led him to prison. Hoye has been ordered by a local judge to stay 100 yards away from the abortion center, but he says he plans to provide abortion alternatives information to women anyway. In response, an Alameda County prosecutor went back to court Friday hoping to convince the judge to order an injunction using the new Oakland law, implemented specifically to target Hoye, which puts a “bubble zone” in place within eight feet of women entering any local abortion business. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Stuart Hing delayed a ruling until next month but answered attorneys for Hoye by saying he believes he has jurisdiction in the case and broad authority to issue an order against Hoye preventing him from helping pregnant women considering an abortion. Hoye said it is clear that abortion advocates, who have control of Oakland’s city’ council, are using the law to target people with whom they disagree. "We're at a point here in American history when the system is being manipulated to impose particular viewpoints on another viewpoint," he said. Attorneys with the Life Legal Defense Fund, a pro-life legal group defending Hoye, have filed a lawsuit challenging the Oakland ordinance in federal court saying it violates the First Amendment free speech rights and a hearing on it is slated for this coming week. Hoye chose 18 days in jail over volunteer work and a probation order to stay away from the Family Planning Specialists Medical Group on Webster Oakland but Hoye’s attorneys and prosecutors say the order will likely be overturned on appeal. Hoye says he has returned to the abortion center twice since then to offer women better solutions to abortion. During the Friday hearing, Deputy District Attorney Mas Morimoto asked Judge Hing to keep Hoye 100 yards from the abortion center for a period of three years with an injunction for people who have been convicted under the bubble law.

Missouri Judge Dismisses Pro-Life Group’s Suit Against Officials on Ballot Proposal
Jefferson City, MO ( -- A Missouri judge has dismissed a lawsuit a state pro-life group has filed accusing three state officials of improperly blocking its efforts for a ballot proposal that would ban taxpayer funds from paying for abortion and human cloning. The Missouri Roundtable for Life proposed a state constitutional amendment earlier this year, but the Secretary of State, pro-abortion Robin Carnahan, drafted ballot summary languages that would appear before voters that was essentially an argument against the measure. Cole County Circuit Court Judge Patricia Joyce dismissed the challenges Thursday and rejected Missouri Roundtable for Life’s claim that the office worked with abortion advocacy groups to put together the negative summary. The allegations “are without merit, and rise to the level of being frivolous,” Joyce ruled, and upheld the ballot summary language. Attorney General Chris Koster and State Auditor Susan Montee were also named in the Roundtable suit.

New York Widow of Slain Abortion Practitioner Slepian Wants New Legislation
Albany, NY ( -- The widow of Barnett Slepian, a New York abortion practitioner who was killed in his Buffalo-area home in 1998, wants new legislation that would put more punishments in place for anyone who harasses or assaults abortion practitioners. Lynne Slepian’s call for a new bill follows the shooting death of Kansas-based late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller. Assemblyman Sam Hoyt has agreed to sponsor legislation calling for enhanced penalties, or a hate crime statute, for anyone who tries to interfere with an abortion or commits any acts of violence against abortion practitioners or abortion facility staff. It would move the penalties up form a misdemeanor crime to a felony. "New York state would be the first in the nation to recognize the serious nature of these crimes by passing a law that creates enhanced penalties," Hoyt said. Slepian added, "In order to bring an end to tragedies such as my husband's and Tiller's murders, we as citizens of New York state need to take action.” Pro-life advocates called Slepian’s request an attempt to profit politically from a person who has no affiliation with the pro-life movement killing Tiller and using it as a means of targeting pro-life advocates. Derby attorney Stasia Vogel said Hoyt should be ashamed for using the recent murder of Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller for publicity. She issued a statement that read, in part, "Hoyt seeks to misuse a crime in another state to show-boat and tar tens of millions of decent Americans who have given their lives to defend the defenseless child awaiting birth in the womb by unneeded alarmist proposals to unfairly defame the pro-life cause." Slepian claims the bill would not target peaceful protesters or those who provide alternatives and help to pregnant women considering abortion, but Vogel says she’s concerned it will.

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