Friday, July 31, 2009


Congressional Committee Defeats Another Attempt to Limit Abortion in Health Care
Washington, DC ( -- After defeating one pro-life amendment Thursday night and adopting a phony ban on abortion funding, the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Friday afternoon defeated another amendment to limit abortion in the House health care restructuring bill. Rep. Joe Pitts, a Pennsylvania Republican, would ensure taxpayer dollars do not pay for abortions or subsidize health insurance plans that include abortion. "We want an explicit exclusion in the bill to prevent any taxpayer funding from paying for abortions," Pitts told his colleagues. "Anything else is wrong, and contrary to overwhelming popular opinion.” Though Pitts received support from most Republicans and a handful of pro-life Democrats, he could not gather enough votes to overcome the pro-abortion Democrats who control the committee. The panel voted 31-27 against the amendment. Douglas Johnson, the legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee, told "This is 'Condition Red' for the pro-life movement. Every pro-life American should communicate, loudly and clearly, his or her opposition to this Obama-backed bill, before it comes to the floor in early September." 
Full story at
ACTION: Click here to see how your members of the House Energy and Commerce committee voted on the Pitts amendment and let them know your thoughts about their votes. If your member of the House is not a member of the committee, contact your representative and urge strong opposition to taxpayer funding of abortion. Call 202-224-3121 or see
Note: Rep. Skimkus voted no in order to change his vote and allow for a reconsideration of the amendment later after persuading another colleague to vote pro-life. Shimkus is a long-time pro-life lawmaker.

House Panel Adopts Amendment to Help Stop Rationing in Health Care Legislation
Washington, DC ( -- A House of Representatives committee, late Thursday, approved a phony “compromise” amendment to the health care legislation it is considering. The amendment, sponsored by an abortion advocate, gave the impression that it would stop tax-funded abortions in the health care bill but, in reality, would allow it. The House Energy and Commerce Committee has been considering its version of the House government-run health care plan, H.R. 3200. Rep. Lois Capps, a California Democrat, proposed an amendment that she claimed was a "compromise" between pro-life advocates and abortion proponents. The amendment explicitly permits the Secretary of the Health and Human Services Department, pro-abortion advocate Kathleen Sebelius, to include abortion in the services offered by public option and requires abortion coverage in the government health plan if the Hyde amendment is ever reversed. HR 3200 authorizes taxpayer-funded affordability credits and he Capps amendment specifically requires taxpayer subsidies to flow to plans that include abortion, but creates an accounting scheme designed to give the impression that public funds will not subsidize abortion. The Capps amendment also requires that a plan that includes abortion be made available in every region of the country. Despite bipartisan opposition from Republicans and some pro-life Democrats on the committee, the panel approved the Capps amndment on a 30-28 vote. (Click here for vote listing.) Full story at
Medical professionals are on the frontlines of the battle on life issues. From abortion to assisted suicide, we are challenged in the workplace to defend our beliefs and risk our employment. The National Association of Pro-life Nurses has been here for nurses since the beginning. Join with us to protect those voices.

House Cmte Defeats Amendment to Stop Abortion Mandate in Health Care Plan
Washington, DC ( -- The House committee that is considering the main House health care restructuring plan defeated a pro-life amendment Thursday night that would stop any mandate for abortion coverage. The vote saw Tennessee Rep. Bart Gordon change his vote, allowing for its defeat. The panel's vote and re-vote came along with a vote for a phony measure that abortion advocates said would stop abortion funding in the health care bill, but would actually do otherwise. Reps. Joe Pitts, a Pennsylvania republican, and Bart Stupak, a Michigan Democrat, combined for a bipartisan amendment to prevent mandated abortion coverage in the essential benefits package. The amendment said abortions could not be a required basic benefit of any government or private plan. The House Energy and Commerce committee initially approved the amendment on a 31-27 vote. However, Rep. Henry Waxman, a California Democrat who is the committee chairman, switched his vote from nay to yea at the last minute, so he could call for a re-vote later in the night. A few hours later, when Waxman brought up the amendment for reconsideration, it failed by a vote of 30-29 with Waxman switching sides along with Gordon, who has a pro-abortion voting record on other issues. Also, a Democrat who hadn't voted the first time, Rep. Zack Space of Ohio, voted against the amendment under reconsideration. 
Full story at

President Barack Obama Tells NIH to Adopt Embryonic Stem Cell Research Rules
Washington, DC ( -- Prescient Barack Obama on Thursday directed the National Institutes of Health to officially adopt its proposed rules to implement his decision to force taxpayers to pay for embryonic stem cell research. Obama reversed protections that prevented the funding of new research destroying human life. President Bush has kept protections in place because new embryonic stem cell research requires the destruction of unborn children to obtain their stem cells. The research has yet to help a single patient, unlike adult stem cell research -- which has helped patients with more than 100 diseases and medical conditions and which Bush supported with hundreds of millions in federal funding. Obama's decision to force funding required the NIH to adopt rules to implement it. 
In a statement, he instructed the NIH to officially adopt the rules: "I hereby direct the heads of executive departments and agencies that support and conduct stem cell research to adopt these guidelines, to the fullest extent practicable in light of legal authorities and obligations."The NIH rules received significant pro-life criticism when the agency released them earlier this month and because the Obama administration ignored the majority of public comments opposing embryonic stem cell research. Full story at

New Poll Shows Just 41 Percent Favor Sonia Sotomayor for Supreme Court Post
Washington, DC ( -- A new Rasmussen poll finds just 41 percent say they favor adding appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor on the Supreme Court. The Senate is expected to vote on her confirmation next week -- and will likely confirm her -- to replace retiring pro-abortion Justice David Souter. Leading pro-life organizations oppose the Sotomayor nomination because they say she will likely advocate abortion on the high court. The Rasmussen telephone survey of Americans finds 41 percent believe Sotomayor should be confirmed, while 37 percent oppose her confirmation. A large contingent of those polled, 21 percent, aren't sure whether the Senate should confirm the woman who would become the first Hispanic on the high court. There’s been little change in voters’ views of Sotomayor since the end of her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings nearly two weeks ago. At that time, Rasmussen found 43 percent favored her confirmation and 39 percent were opposed. Full story at

England MP to Introduce Bill to Legalize Assisted Suicide After Purdy Ruling
London, England ( -- Following a House of Lords rulingthat Debbie Purdy's husband can take her to Switzerland for an assisted suicide without facing prosecution, a British MP plans to introduce a new bill in Parliament. The measure would legalize assisted suicide in England and follow nations like the Netherlands and Belgium. David Winnick, Labour MP for Walsall North, said he planned to enter the lottery with a private member's bill. He told the London Daily mail his bill would be "a measure whereby assisted dying could take place in this country." "The question arises from yesterday's decision - should we recognize cases such as Debbie Purdy, should we change the law, should people have to go abroad?" he said. In their ruling, Lord Hope, sitting with Lords Phillips, Brown and Neuberger and Baroness Hale said their decision was not meant to open the door to legalizing assisted suicide, but to clarify and interpret the current law prohibiting suicide tourism. But Paul Tully, the general secretary of the pro-life group SPUC, said the House of Lords is disingenuous. 
Full story at

Abortion Drug Has Killed 29 Women, European Maker Tells Italy's Government
Rome, Italy ( -- The world may never know how many thousands of women have been injured, or even killed, by the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug. The best worldwide guess is that 13 women have been killed as a result of the mifepristone abortion pill, but the maker of the drug in Europe is saying 29 women have died. If the information given to the Italian Pharmaceuticals Agency (AIFA) by European abortion drug maker Exelgyn is correct, then twice as many women have died from the abortion drug globally than the pro-life community has thought. Currently, eight women have died from using the RU 486 abortion drug in the United States, two in England, and one each in Canada, Sweden and France. But, according to a report by the Italian news agency ASCA, Exelgyn provided the figure of 29 women dying from the abortion pill to the Italy Ministry of Health, which, in turn, gave the information to the AIFA drug regulatory agency. Meanwhile, Eugenia Roccella, the subsecretary of the Italian health office, also reportedly confirmed the figure she received from Exelgyn to L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper. Full story at

British House of Lords: Debbie Purdy Can Escape Law on Assisted Suicide Tourism
London, England ( -- The British House of Lords on Thursday issued a ruling allowing Debbie Purdy, a Briton who wants her husband not to go to prison for taking her to a Swiss euthanasia center, to escape a national law. The law allows for the prosecution of family members who talked loved ones out of the country for an assisted suicide. Under current English law, which has rarely been enforced, anyone assisting in a suicide could receive as much as 14 years in prison for doing so. British law covers a person who "aids, abets, counsels or procures" the suicide of another person. The High Court and the Court of Appeal had previously ruled that the Director of Public Prosecutions is not required to issue a public prosecuting policy on suicide tourism. Without such a public policy, Purdy can't know if her husband will face legal judgment after he takes her for an assisted suicide. The House of Lords ruling requires the DPP to issue guidance on when he will or will not prosecute those who criminally assist suicide. The judgment directs that the new policy should cover "a case such as that which Mrs Purdy's case exemplifies."Full story at

Catholic Bishops Ask Congress Not to Fund Abortions in Health Care Reform Plan
Washington, DC ( -- With members of the House and Senate rejected amendment after amendment to stop taxpayer funding of abortions in the Congressional health care plans, the nation's Catholic bishops have written a second letter imploring elected officials to do something. The Catholic bishops say they are behind efforts to reform the health care system, but they say it must not be done on the backs of unborn children. Cardinal Justin Rigali, chairman of the Catholic bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, wrote a letter Wednesday that is now becoming public. He urged lawmakers in the House to change H.R. 3200, the main House ill for a government-run health care system, to retain longstanding policies stopping taxpayer funding of abortion. Cardinal Rigali reiterated criteria for “genuine health care reform” set forth by Bishop William Murphy, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Policy, in his letter to Congress on July 17. He described health care as “a basic right belonging to all human beings, from conception to natural death” and said that “the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is working to ensure that needed health reform is not undermined by abandoning longstanding and widely supported policies against abortion funding and mandates and in favor of conscience protection.” Full story at

Frankenstein's Folly - Why We Need the Brownback Bill Banning Human Chimeras
by Ken Connor
Those who would defend human dignity in the face of science's relentless march towards "discovery" are once again under attack. Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) are making headlines for introducing controversial legislation that would ban the American scientific community from developing embryos that contain both human and animal material. Dubbed the Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act of 2009, the bill upholds the unique dignity of the human species and condemns human-animal hybrids as "grossly unethical because they blur the line between human and animal, male and female, parent and child, and one individual and another individual." One might think that even the most ardent disciples of science would acknowledge the problems (if not the downright creepiness) inherent in blending human and non-human genetic material, but no. Instead, critics are dismissing the grave ethical and moral concerns at stake as paranoid hyperbole and characterizing opposition to human-animal hybrid experimentation as yet another attempt to sabotage scientific progress, and thus, the betterment of mankind. Full story at

Scotland Parliament Expected to Debate Bill to Legalize Assisted Suicide This Fall
Edinburgh, Scotland ( -- The parliament of Scotland is expected to debate a bill this fall that would legalize the practice of assisted suicide. MSP Margo MacDonald had originally secured enough support from colleagues to introduce the measure and now it has won cross-party backing. The proposal would allow people with a progressive and irreversible illness, the terminally ill, or those who had an "intolerable" quality of life to kill themselves with the help of a doctor. Private bills at Holyrood require at least 18 signatories before they can be presented and MacDonald's bill has the support of 21 MSPs. In comments to the London Guardian newspaper, MacDonald said that her bill would allow someone like Debbie Purdy, who won her suicide tourism case at the House of Lords, to kill herself in Scotland instead of having to travel to Switzerland. Full story at

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