Monday, December 21, 2009 Pro-Life News Report 12/22/09 Pro-Life News Report

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

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Current Headlines

• Senate Ends Filibuster on Manager's Amdt to Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill

Bart Stupak Will "Hold Firm" on Banning Abortion Funding in Health Care

Ben Nelson Faces Pro-Life Rally, Backlash After Abortion-Health Care Sellout
Catholic Bishops Oppose Nelson-Reid Deal on Abortion Funding in Senate Bill
House Abortion Advocates Unsure How to Respond to Reid-Nelson Deal
Wisconsin Senator Expands Call to Probe Planned Parenthood on Abortion
Asheville, North Carolina Councilman Acts as Abortion Center Escort
• Oklahoma Judge Extends Restraining Order Against Abortion Reporting Law

Judge in Killing of Abortion Practitioner Tiller Considering Roeder Motions

• Bob Casey's Wife: Will Support Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill After Prayer
• Spain Pro-Life Group Condemns First Passage of Law to Expand Abortions
Spring 40 Days for Life Campaign Against Abortion Takes Applications

• Wisconsin Right to Life Lawsuit Challenges Funding for Supreme Court Races
California Pro-Life Advocate John Finn Passes Away, Fought Abortion

--> IMPORTANT ACTION ALERT: Please call both of your members of the Senate and urge them to support the filibuster of the pro-abortion health care bill. Find any senator's contact information here.

Senate Ends Filibuster on Manager's Amendment to Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill
Washington, DC ( -- The Senate has ended the filibuster against the manager's amendment, the changes Senate Leader Harry Reid is sponsoring to the pro-abortion Senate health care bill to get it to 60 votes. The vote came after Sen. Ben Nelson upset pro-life groups by
ending his objection to the bill over its abortion funding.

Senators voted 60-40 to end debate on the amendment, with all Democrats voting for the cloture motion and all Republicans voting against it.

The amendment makes major changes to the massive abortion funding already found in the bill.

In a letter to senators urging a no vote on the anti-filibuster motion, the National Right to Life Committee pointed out that the manager's amendment "is light years removed from the Stupak-Pitts Amendment that was approved by the House of Representatives on November 7 by a bipartisan vote of 240-194."

"The new abortion language solves none of the fundamental abortion-related problems with the underlying Senate bill, and it actually creates some new abortion-related problems," the group added.

The changes allow the federal government to subsidize private insurance plans that cover abortion on demand, to oversee multi-state plans that cover elective abortions, and to empower federal officials to mandate that private health plans cover abortions even if they do not accept subsidized enrollees.

"The abortion-related language violates the principles of the Hyde Amendment by requiring the federal government to pay premiums for private health plans that will cover any or all abortions," NRLC indicated. "The federal subsidies would be subject to a convoluted bookkeeping requirement, different in detail but similar in kind to the Capps-Waxman accounting scheme that the House of Representatives rejected." Full story at

Bart Stupak Says He Will "Hold Firm" on Banning Abortion Funding in Health Care
Washington, DC ( -- Should the Senate ultimately pass its pro-abortion health care bill at the end of the week, the next step for the measure will be a conference committee that will produce a final version of the legislation. When the House votes on it, pro-life Rep. Bart Stupak says not to expect him to compromise like Sen. Ben Nelson did.

Nelson has come under fire for compromising his position against the bill over its abortion funding and becoming what is expected to be the 60th vote for it.

Stupak, like Nelson, sponsored an authentic ban on abortion funding under the legislation, but his received House approval while Nelson's was defeated. Unlike Nelson, Stupak says he will "hold firm" on the ban.

"We are going to hold firm and make sure the Stupak-Pitts language stays when this legislation comes back to us. We will not vote for this bill if that language is not there," Stupak promised.

When asked how negotiations will take place should the conference committee send a bill to the House and Senate without his abortion-funding ban in place, Stupak said he won't bend. "We'll have a conversation if it comes back that way," Stupak said. "Not a negotiation; a conversation." Full story at

Ben Nelson Faces Pro-Life Rally, Backlash After Abortion-Health Care Sellout
Washington, DC ( -- Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska faces a significant backlash after compromising his pro-life views on abortion
by proposing language in the Senate health care bill that funds abortions and saying he would vote for the pro-abortion health care bill.

Since his announcement, pro-life groups have come down hard on Nelson saying his compromise just allows more abortion funding.

"I couldn't create the opportunity to be the 60th vote. It happened," Nelson said on CNN on Sunday. "If you think it's fun having both sides on an issue mad at you when you're trying to do something in good faith, just think, it's like going home and getting bit by the family dog. So - who enjoys that?"

Nelson defended his abortion funding decision by saying even more abortion funding would be allowed had he not struck a deal with Senate leader Harry Reid. Nelson said Reid could have used the reconciliation process to bring up a bill that was even worse to get around his opposition preventing Reid from getting 60 votes.

"Then you wouldn't have gotten what's in the bill right now," Nelson said on CNN. Nelson added that "The high intensity here is as harsh and as unforgiving and unrelenting as I have ever seen it in my nine years," he said about the response he faced.

He added: "I'm an independent-minded sort of person. And I think that's demonstrated. I don't take my marching orders from a party or a group or any other entity. And, as in this case, I put together what I thought was appropriate, and I'm sorry that both sides didn't enjoy it. And that's the way it works. I'm an independent type of person. I'm not a lone eagle. I do consult. I do get input. But at the end of the day, I make my own decision about what to do." Full story at

Catholic Bishops Oppose Nelson-Reid Deal on Abortion Funding in Senate Bill
Washington, DC ( -- The Catholic bishops have issued a new statement responding to the so-called compromise deal on abortion funding struck by Harry Reid and Ben Nelson that still results in massive abortion funding. They join the national pro-life groups that have unanimously opposed the deal and the health care bill.

As reported extensively over the weekend, Nelson proposed abortion language Reid agreed to that will likely be adopted in Reid's manager's amendment.

The language allows states to opt out of abortion funding, but will force taxpayers to fund abortions in states that don't and overturns limits on abortion funding in other instances.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York, and Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City issued a joint statement saying, "The Senate health reform bill should not move forward in its current form."

"Today a Manager's Amendment was proposed to make final changes in that bill," they said. "The amendment includes some improvements from Senator Casey's proposal, including adoption tax credits and assistance for pregnant women, but differs from that proposal in other ways."

"It does not seem to allow purchasers who exercise freedom of choice or of conscience to 'opt out' of abortion coverage in federally subsidized health plans that include such coverage," they continued. "Instead it will require purchasers of such plans to pay a distinct fee or surcharge which is extracted solely to help pay for other people's abortions." Full story at

House Abortion Advocates Unsure How to Respond to Reid-Nelson Abortion Deal
Washington, DC ( -- The pro-abortion activists in the House of Representatives are unsure how to respond to
the deal struck between senators Harry Reid and Ben Nelson in the Senate health care bill. The deal is opposed by pro-life advocates because it does not truly ban abortion funding under the legislation.

In the Senate, top pro-abortion lawmakers like Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray applauded the language, partly out of their desire to get the pro-abortion, government-run health care bill approved.

But pro-abortion advocacy groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL panned the deal and the language -- saying it is not pro-abortion enough and is offensive because women in states that opt out of paying for abortions have to purchase separate insurance riders for abortions.

Eventually, if the Senate approves its bill, a conference committee made up of House and Senate lawmakers will have to hash out a final version of the legislation for each chamber to approve. The big question is whether the abortion funding ban in the House or the pro-abortion Reid-Nelson language in the Senate will remain.

Rep. Diana DeGette, the Colorado Democrat who is the chair of the pro-abortion caucus in the House says she and her colleagues are analyzing the new Senate language. They are huddling with pro-abortion attorneys and insurance company executives on how to proceed.

"We're still trying to figure out what this language means," DeGette told MSNBC. "It seems at the very best incredibly cumbersome for women, and at worst unconstitutional." Full story at

Wisconsin Senator Expands Call to Probe Planned Parenthood on Abortion Video
Madison, WI ( -- A Wisconsin state senator is expanding his call for an investigation of a Planned Parenthood abortion center shown on an undercover video misleading women about abortion and fetal development. Live Action's latest video has an abortion practitioner and staffer saying abortion does not kill a human being.

The video also shows the staff misleading two women posing as potential abortion customers by telling them that the heart of the unborn child doesn't begin to beat until late in pregnancy -- instead of at about 22 days as is the case.

Senator Glenn Grothman has already called for an investigation and, on Friday, circulated a letter for legislators to sign onto asking the Medical Society and the Medical Examining Board to investigate the abortion practitioner in the incident.

The abortion practitioner, Dr. Prohaska, tells the woman, "you don't want to wait" to get an abortion, that an abortion is "very, very safe . . . much safer than having a baby" and warns her, "women die having babies."

Grothman told that Prohaska "is clearly choosing his words carefully to encourage a young woman to have an abortion." Full story at

Asheville, North Carolina Councilman Cecil Bothwell Acts as Abortion Center Escort
Asheville, NC ( -- Newly-minted city councilman Cecil Bothwell has received considerable national news attention recently because he is a declared atheist, and because the North Carolina Constitution prohibits anyone who denies "Almighty God" from holding office.

Bothwell is also coming under fire because he continues to work as an escort at an abortion center despite his position in local elected office.

What no media outlet has mentioned is that, for many years, Bothwell has been a volunteer "escort" at the Femcare abortion facility in Asheville. Once a month, wearing a blaze-orange vest, Bothwell patrols the Femcare parking lot, greets pregnant women at their cars and walks them to the door, sometimes holding the door, inside of which they will have their pre-born children killed.

"I… have such a high regard for constitutional rights that I'm willing to put my life on the line to protect women who are threatened with violence when they seek access to family planning help," Bothwell posted on the Asheville Citizen-Times on-line commentary site prior to the November election. Local pro-life activist Meredith Eugene Hunt disagrees with Bothwell's characterization. Full story at

Oklahoma Judge Extends Restraining Order Against Abortion Reporting Law
Oklahoma City, OK ( -- An Oklahoma county judge has extended a restraining order against a pro-life law requiring the state to issue better reporting on abortion. District Judge Daniel Owens also has scheduled a February 19 hearing on the lawsuit from the abortion business challenging the law. Owens placed a temporary restraining order until the date of the hearing.

The Statistical Reporting of Abortions Act, set to go into effect on November 1, received the support of large majorities of the Oklahoma House and Senate.

Governor Brad Henry signed the bill into law in May but it was challenged by the Center for Reproductive Rights, a pro-abortion law firm based in New York City.

The law requires a report for each abortion be sent to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. The questionnaire gathers demographic information including age, race, marital status and educational level and gathers information on the method of abortion used. Full story at

Judge in Killing of Abortion Practitioner George Tiller Considering Roeder Motions
Wichita, KS ( -- The judge who is presiding over the case involving the killing of late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller will be considering motions tomorrow. The motions come from the defense of Scott Roeder, the militia activist accused of killing Tiller at his church this summer.

District Judge Warren Wilbert has yet to rule on a request for a change of venue for the trial and another motion to allow Roeder to use a justification defense.

The defense would argue that he was justified in killing Tiller because Tiller's death would result in saving the lives of unborn children.

Roeder was not affiliated with any pro-life organizations and the pro-life movement has soundly condemned his shooting and pointed out that Tiller was close to having his medical license revoked -- which could have put him out of business legitimately. Full story at

Bob Casey's Wife: Will Support Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill After Prayer
Scranton, PA ( -- Members of the pro-life group Insurrecta Nex and local Pennsylvania pro-life advocates are in day two of a vigil outside Senator Bob Casey's home in Scranton. The pro-life advocates are literally camped on the street, praying, and holding signs with the hope that they will be able to convince Casey, who claims to be pro-life, to vote against the pro-abortion Senate health care bill. By their witness, and with their prayers, they are pleading for Senator Casey to filibuster the measure -- the only way to stop it from advancing. Diana Roccograndi told she introduced the group to Casey's wife and explained that they would be holding a vigil in front of her house for the next four days regarding the health care bill because Sen. Casey has said he is pro-life. She responded, "Why won't you leave him alone? Why doesn't anyone give him credit for the votes for life he has made?" She was upset about us being there, and said: "My children and neighbors will also be upset; you should have gone to his office, not here." Casey's wife admitted that their protest would not likely yield any results. "It is not going to do any good; he has prayed about it, and has already made up his mind, and is not going to change it," she reportedly said. Roccograndi wondered what God Casey prayed to if the answer was to support a bill that would result in paying for hundreds of thousands of abortions.

Spring 40 Days for Life Campaign Against Abortion Takes Last Chance Applications
Washington, DC ( -- The following update comes from our friend David Bereit at 40 Days for Life: "Just a quick reminder that the deadline to apply for the spring 40 Days for Life campaign is tonight, Monday, December 21, at midnight. If someone from your community has already applied, congratulations. It's going to be an exciting spring campaign! If nobody from your town has applied yet -- and you want to bring this breakthrough pro-life campaign of prayer and fasting, peaceful vigil, and grassroots outreach to your community from February 17 to March 28 -- it's decision time. By taking this step of faith, you will be joining cities across America and numerous international locations for one of the largest and longest coordinated pro-life mobilizations in history.

Spain Pro-Life Group Condemns First Passage of Law to Expand Abortions
Madrid, Spain ( -- The Spanish pro-life group Spanish Family Forum submitted the following statement to after
the passage of the pro-abortion bill in the Spanish parliament. Benigno Blanco, the president of the group, said: "The Law which was passed today in the Congress is one of the most radical in the world, because it not only makes the unborn child more vulnerable than ever before, but it also establishes the right to abortion as a part of women's right to health and puts in place mechanisms to impose this doctrine throughout the Spanish educational and health systems. As far as I know, there is no precedent for a law which, apart from legalizing abortion, imposes the view that abortion is a good thing and forms part of the right to health and life of all women." The passing of this law does not mean the end of the abortion debate in Spain; a large number of associations, Spanish Family Forum among them, will continue their fight to make heard the voices of unborn children, women and medical personnel and to defend the right to freedom of education for school children, university students and parents.

Wisconsin Right to Life Lawsuit Challenges Public Funding for Supreme Court Races
Madison, WI ( -- Last week, the Wisconsin Right to Life Political Action Committee filed suit in federal court against Wisconsin's recently enacted public funding scheme for Wisconsin Supreme Court candidates, asserting it is an unconstitutional infringement of their First Amendment free speech rights. Under the scheme, supreme court candidates who agree not to fundraise are given initial campaign funds from the state of $300,000, with additional "rescue fund" money of up totally $900,000, depending on the amount spent by third parties and their opponents. Wisconsin Right to Life's PAC plans to spend its own money supporting candidates for the upcoming 2011 Wisconsin Supreme Court race. Wisconsin Right to Life challenges the inclusion of third party spending in determining when a participating candidate has been out-spent by a nonparticipating opponent and is entitled to rescue funds. It also challenges rules that require additional reports on its spending because the reports are in place solely to make sure candidates receive additional public funding. According to James Bopp, Jr., counsel for Wisconsin Right to Life, "under this system, simply running an ad against a candidate can result in that candidate getting more taxpayer money." Says Bopp, "third parties are chilled from speaking in support of a candidate because doing so will likely result in providing additional funds to that candidate's opponent."

California Pro-Life Advocate John Finn Passes Away, Fought Abortion Since 1972
Redondo Beach, CA ( -- John Edward Finn, Jr., 72, of Redondo Beach, peacefully passed away Saturday, December 12, 2009 at his home in Redondo Beach, California with family members at his side after a valiant battle with cancer. John was a dedicated Catholic, devoted spouse, wonderful father, former teacher at Jesuit Dallas, successful businessman, conservative publisher and a pro-life leader. A talented athlete, John was boxing champion in the annual Bengal Bouts at the University of Notre Dame… and then later in New York City, the former heavyweight champion of the world, Jack Dempsey, kindly advised John to get married and have a family, rather than pursue dangerous, professional boxing. John and his wife Sherry were key figures in the American conservative movement in the 1960's. Together, they helped Ronald Reagan's political career by publishing and mailing out, from their kitchen, 500,000 copies of the book The Reason for Reagan. John met the future President Reagan while helping publish this book. John's decades of pro-life leadership and activism began before Roe v. Wade. He published and distributed huge quantities of pro-life literature and bumper stickers, while also praying and protesting abortion, including nonviolent peaceful "rescue" sit-ins for which he went to jail.

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