Monday, November 23, 2009 Pro-Life News Report 11/24/09 Pro-Life News Report

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

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Current Headlines

Fate of Pro-Abortion Senate Health Care Bill Rests With Dems, Public Option

Pro-Life Groups Will Hold Dems Accountable for Pro-Abortion Health Care
Health Care Support Drops to Below 40% After Senate OKs Pro-Abortion Bill
Catholic Bishop: Pat Kennedy Misrepresenting Letter on Communion, Abortion

Sarah Palin: My Life With Trig, Our Down Syndrome Child; Excerpt From Book

Man in Supposed 23-Year-Long Coma Speaks, He Was Always Conscious
Pro-Life Movie Sarah's Choice Debuts, w/ Christian Singer Rebecca St. James
Tennessee Hospital Faces Order Over Revoking Care for 9-Month Baby
Republican Party Chair Defends Dropping Employee Abortion Coverage
Scott Roeder's Defense Attorney Uses Necessity Defense in Tiller Killing

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Fate of Pro-Abortion Senate Health Care Bill Rests With Democrats, Public Option
Washington, DC ( -- Now that the Senate has approved the Motion to Proceed on its pro-abortion health care reform bill, its fate rests with Democrats who will determine whether changes will be made to the legislation and whether they like them. The only consistent pro-life Democrat has said he will vote no if abortion funding remains.

The Senate voted on a slim partisan margin of 60-39 Saturday night to begin debate on the bill and will consider potentially hundreds of amendments starting the week after Thanksgiving.

For the pro-life movement, stopping the massive abortion funding through the public option and the affordability credits is priority number one.

Sen. Orrin Hatch plans on proposing an amendment similar to the Stupak amendment that would yank the abortion funding, but it is not expected to get the 60 votes needed to be added to the legislation. If the amendment is defeated, Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson says he will vote against the bill. He said over the weekend that he would have voted not if the vote had been on the final bill and not on starting the debate.

"I would have voted no. I would have voted not to end debate. I would have voted no on a cloture vote to end debate," he said Sunday on ABC's This Week program. "I would not let it get off the floor." Full story at

Pro-Life Groups Will Hold Democrats Accountable for Pro-Abortion Health Care
Washington, DC ( -- Pro-life organizations are disappointed by the outcome of the vote on the Motion to Proceed which saw a one-vote partisan victory to start debate on the pro-abortion health care bill. Though they worked overtime to secure no votes, they say they will continue to try to amend or defeat the legislation.

"Obama and Reid wanted debate – so now they'll get debate on their cloaked provisions that would cover abortion on demand in proposed new government-run and government-subsidized insurance plans," Douglas Johnson, of the National Right to Life Committee, told

"During the weeks ahead, National Right to Life will continue to fight the efforts of President Obama and congressional Democratic leaders to cover abortion on demand in two huge new federal health programs," he promised.

Although the defeat represented just one skirmish in the battle to stop abortion funding, Johnson promised more chances to stop the bill ahead. "The Senate bill faces additional 60-vote hurdles in the future," he said. "Moreover, a courageous group of pro-life Democrats in the House of Representatives will oppose final approval of health care legislation if the Stupak-Pitts Amendment is gutted or removed."

Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women for America, warned that the "vote will come back to haunt many of these senators." "Several have tried to have it both ways. They say they oppose the bill yet at the most crucial time when only one Democrat senator could have changed or killed the bill, they supported it,' she lamented. Full story at

Health Care Support Drops to Below 40 Percent After Senate OKs Pro-Abortion Bill
Washington, DC ( -- The level of support for a health care bill has plummeted to below 40 percent for the first time in a new Rasmussen poll. The numbers showing health care support at its lowest levels all year come after the Senate on Saturday approved a bill that contains massive abortion funding and other pro-life concerns.

Just 38% of voters now favor the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats, the Rasmussen survey indicates.

With 56 percent now opposing the pro-abortion plan, that is the lowest level of support measured for the plan in nearly two dozen tracking polls Rasmussen has conducted since June. Half the survey was conducted before the Senate voted late Saturday to begin debate on its version of the legislation. Support for the plan was slightly lower in the half of the survey conducted after the Senate vote, the polling firm indicates.

"Intensity remains stronger among those who oppose the push to change the nation's health care system: 21% Strongly Favor the plan while 43% are Strongly Opposed," Rasmussen noted.

As has been the case for months, Democrats favor the plan while Republicans and voters not affiliated with either major party are opposed. The latest numbers show support from 73% of those in the president's party. The plan is opposed by 83% of Republicans and 70% of unaffiliated voters. Full story at

Catholic Bishop: Patrick Kennedy Misrepresenting Letter on Communion, Abortion
Washington, DC ( -- Congressman Patrick Kennedy, a pro-abortion member from Rhode Island, says Bishop Thomas Tobin has asked him to stop receiving communion because of his pro-abortion views. However, Tobin says the demand was merely a voluntary request that was issued two years ago and meant to be private.

"The bishop instructed me not to take Communion and said that he has instructed the diocesan priests not to give me Communion," Kennedy told the Providence Journal newspaper on Saturday.

Kennedy said the bishop explained to him "that I am not a good practicing Catholic because of the positions that I've taken as a public official," in support of abortion. He would not say when Tobin made the decision or whether he has followed the instruction not to receive communion but added that he has "personal feelings of disappointment" about the decision.

On Sunday, Tobin disputed that Kennedy was told not to receive communion but said the pro-abortion congressman was asked if he would agree to voluntarily stop receiving it because of his pro-abortion views. Tobin also revealed that the request was not a recent one but came in the form of a letter to Kennedy back in 2007.

In comments to the Journal, Tobin called the letter a "pastoral" message and said it was "absolutely inaccurate" for Kennedy to say that he told priests in the diocese to not allow him to receive the sacrament. "If I had told 300 priests of the diocese in any format not to give Communion to Kennedy or anybody else, you think that would have remained confidential?" Bishop Tobin asked. Full story at

Sarah Palin: My Life With Trig, Our Down Syndrome Child; Excerpt From New Book
by Sarah Palin
A couple of years ago I began to notice some peculiar yet familiar physical symptoms, like the smell of cigarettes making me feel more nauseated than usual. For a few weeks, I brushed these aside. Then I began to suspect something.

There was no way I could buy a home pregnancy test in Alaska. I was the state governor. The supermarket cashiers would know, the people in the queue would know, and the next thing I'd see would be a headline. There were still a few things that I thought were not for public consumption, at least not at first.

My chance came when I flew to New Orleans to speak at an oil and gas conference. I asked my security guy to drop me off at a pharmacy. Back at the hotel, before my speech, I followed the instructions on the pregnancy test box. Slowly a pink image materialized on the stick. Holy geez!

Todd and I had always dreamt of a big family, and he, especially, dreamt of having another boy — bookends for his three daughters. I quickly prayed about this surreal situation. First, that I'd even be able to fathom it. I was happy but I could hear the critics:

"She'll be distracted from state business." "She won't be physically up to the job." "That's what we get for electing the first woman governor."

I sighed and stared at the ceiling. These are really less-than-ideal circumstances. And for a split second it hit me: I'm out of town. No one knows I'm pregnant. No one would ever have to know. Full story at

Man in Supposed 23-Year-Long Coma Speaks, Says He Was Always Conscious
London, England ( -- After he was the victim of an automobile accident, doctors said 23-year-old Rom Houben was in a comatose state and unable to communicate with those around him. Now, 23 years later, the 46-year-old says he felt trapped as he was conscious the entire time and attempted to communicate.

Houben became paralyzed after the crash but, thanks to advances in medical technology, he is now able to tell the world his thoughts via computer.

"I screamed, but there was nothing to hear," he told the London Daily Mail newspaper. "I dreamed myself away," he said of how he coped with the situation. "All that time I just literally dreamed of a better life. Frustration is too small a word to describe what I felt."

Although tests at the time showed that he was essentially "extinct," newer tests conducted just three years ago showed Houben's brain was functioning normally -- and his renewed ability to communicate is something he describes as a "second birth."

"I shall never forget the day when they discovered what was truly wrong with me - it was my second birth," he told the paper. "I want to read, talk with my friends via the computer and enjoy my life now that people know I am not dead." Full story at

Pro-Life Movie Sarah's Choice Debuts, With Christian Singer Rebecca St. James
Washington, DC ( -- A new pro-life-themed movie staring popular Christian pop singer Rebecca St. James hits stores and has received kudos for its message. Grammy Award winner Rebecca St. James., whose record sales have soared into the millions globally, stars in "Sarah's Choice," in what is her first full-length acting role.

Pure Flix Entertainment has nationally released the DVD "Sarah's Choice," and the premier took place last week at Warner Brothers Studios in Hollywood.

The film's story line follows a young career woman on the fast track to success in the corporate world when she discovers she's pregnant outside of marriage. That's a far cry from the pro-abstinence message St. James has promoted in her music, showing she is not shy about showing the flip-side.

The role is a courageous one for the single Aussie singer who has made her home in the U.S. since moving from her native homeland while still in her teens to find major success in both contemporary Christian music and as a best selling author. Full story at

Tennessee Hospital Faces Emergency Order Over Revoking Care for 9-Month Baby
Knoxville, TN ( -- A Tennessee hospital is facing a possible emergency injunction after Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed legal papers today to save the life of nine-month-old Gabriel Palmer. East Tennessee Children's Hospital says it may abandon his medical care, resulting in the child's death.

Baby Gabriel was born prematurely with a genetic abnormality, club foot, and narrow airway, but he flourished when he went home from the hospital in June.

There, he grew, played, and received physical therapy while going to regular doctor visits. He was fed through a tube and received some oxygen and medications.

On an October weekend, when the baby's regular doctors were unavailable, Catherine Palmer took her son to the ETCH emergency room because of breathing problems. After interventions by the medical staff, the baby went into shock, developed pulmonary vascular disease, and was placed on a respirator.

ETCH recently began giving up on Baby Gabriel's care, and on Nov. 13, the head of ETCH's PICU, Dr. Kevin Brinkman, told Palmer that the hospital was going to stop feeding him milk and giving him his medications, as well as disconnect his respirator, because the staff considered his care "futile."

Update: 5:19 p.m. EST: After ADF filed its lawsuit, doctors with the East Tennessee Children's Hospital changed their opposition to ongoing care for Baby Gabriel. The ethical panel formally agree to not withdraw his care.

ADF told "The agreement between the hospital and Baby Gabriel's mother has not yet been put in writing. ADF attorneys are withdrawing their motion for temporary restraining order but will not withdraw the complaint until a written agreement is finalized. Until then, the lawsuit is still active. We are pleased at the ethic's panels's decision and look forward to full resolution in writing so that Baby Gabriel's life will no longer be in danger." Full story at

Republican Party Chair Defends Dropping Employee Abortion Insurance Coverage
Washington, DC ( -- The chairman of the national Republican Party is defending his decision earlier this month to drop coverage for elective abortions from its insurance coverage. Michael Steele says he made the decision as soon as he was informed that a decades-old policy allowed coverage.

The GOP had covered abortions since 1991 under its policy with Cigna, although there is no evidence that anyone ever used the policy to pay for one.

He said today there is "no hypocrisy" in dropping the coverage and added that it actually shows a party that is consistent with its pro-life platform on abortion.

Steele's comments today made it appear that Cigna gave the media misleading information about the policy and he said he is upset Cigna talked about the policy in public.

"We have done some digging into that and it's not as it appears, as we found out from our insurance carrier," Steele told CNN's "American Morning" program. "We're going to be having further conversation on that point." Full story at

Scott Roeder's Defense Attorney Uses Necessity Defense in George Tiller Killing
Wichita, KS ( -- The defense attorney for former militia activist Scott Roeder, who is charged with killing late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller, is using the necessity defense. That tells the court Roeder feels compelled to kill Tiller because the lives of unborn children were in danger had he not killed him.

The legal papers with the defense come after a recent interview in which Roeder essentially admitted he killed Tiller. "Defending innocent life – that is what prompted me. It is pretty simple," he said.

The legal motion filed today also comes after defense attorney Steve Osburn said he would not use a necessity defense to defend Roeder.

But the filing asserts Roeder has an "absolute right" to present the defense, according to an AP report. Prosecutors have been hoping to ban the defense and a hearing on whether it will be allowed is set for December 22. Full story at

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