LifeNews.com Pro-Life News Report
Friday, December 25, 2009
|For pro-life news updated throughout the day, visit LifeNews.com.|
• Senate Passes Health Care Bill: Funds Abortions, Mandates Coverage
• Ben Nelson Attacks Pro-Life Advocates, Defends Pro-Abortion Compromise
• Pro-Life Groups Decry Senate Passage of Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill
• Senator Bob Casey Accused of Abandoning Father's Legacy Against Abortion
• Do You See What I See? Christmas Reminds People Unborn Have Value
• Case of Rom Houben Should Prompt Renewed Look at Terri Schiavo's Death
• Abortion Advocates Still Oppose Compromise in Senate Health Care Bill
• Abortion Doesn't Need Tax-Funding in Health Care Bill, Group Funds 21,000
• Blogger Condemns Abortion Advocates for Silence on Calls for One-Child Policy
• Slain Pro-Life Advocate Jim Pouillon named Operation Rescue's Person of Year
• Hawaii Candidate Gets Backing of Pro-Abortion Group Emily's List
• New Jersey Man Sees Charges Dropped in Pennsylvania Abortion-Attack Case
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Senate Passes Health Care Bill: Funds Abortions, Mandates Insurance Coverage
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- The Senate today passed the government-run health care bill that includes massive taxpayer funding of abortion and opens the door for the Obama administration to force insurance companies to pay for abortions. With passage, the two chambers of Congress have approved very different legislation.
It will now be up to a conference committee to work out the differences on a host of political issues related to the health care bill, including abortion.
Reacting to the vote, Americans United for Life Action president Charmaine Yoest told LifeNews.com of her disappointment. Americans don't want taxpayer funding for abortions and are opposed to a first-ever, mandatory abortion tax. Knowing this, the bill s proponents have rushed it through the Senate at a time when Americans are focused on celebrating Christmas with their families," she said.
During the Senate health care vote today, pro-abortion Vice President Joe Bidden presided over the Senate as lawmakers approved the bill on a strict 60-39 party-line vote with Democrats backing the pro-abortion, pro-rationing bill and Republicans opposing it.
President Barack Obama applauded the vote for a bill that violates he supposed pledge to not have health care legislation that funds abortions. With today s vote, we are now incredibly close to making health insurance reform a reality in this country, he said. Our challenge, then, is to finish the job.
Republicans, on the other hand, vowed to continue to fight the bill as the process moves forward. "This fight isn't over. My colleagues and I will work to stop this bill from becoming law. That s the clear will of the American people and we're going to continue to fight on their behalf, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said. Full story at LifeNews.com
ACTION: Go to http://www.Senate.gov and contact your senators about their vote.
Ben Nelson Attacks Pro-Life Advocates, Defends Pro-Abortion Compromise
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Facing an enormous backlash for becoming the 60th vote for a health care bill that his language allows to fund abortions, Ben Nelson is striking back. In comments both on and off the Senate floor yesterday and today, Nelson lashed out at pro-life advocates and is defending his much-maligned compromise.
In a Senate floor speech on Tuesday, Nelson defended the abortion language he added to the Senate-passed health care bill.
He said when his legitimate amendment to ban abortions failed, he compromised. "I began the process of trying to find other solutions that I thought equally walled off the use of federal funds and made it clear that no federal funds would be used," he claimed.
However, as the head of Nebraska Right to Life informed LifeNews.com, Nelson ditched pro-life advocates by refusing to allow them to provide analysis on the language -- which ultimately was found by every pro-life group to fund abortions.
Upset that he is now regarded as a sellout, Nelson struck back. "Now, apparently I didn't say, 'Mother, may I?' in the process of writing that language because others took issue with it, even though they cannot constructively point out how it doesn't prohibit the use of federal funds or wall off those funds or keep them totally segregated. They just didn't like the language," he said. Full story at LifeNews.com
ACTION: Respond to Nelson at (202) 224-6551 or http://bennelson.senate.gov/contact-me.cfm
Pro-Life Groups Decry Senate Passage of Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- The following is a collection of comments from various pro-life groups that contacted LifeNews.com with comments following the Senate passage of the government-run health care bill that funds abortions and could require insurance companies to cover them.
Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America, stated, "No senator with an ounce of integrity can be proud of this bill or how it was passed. It marks among the lowest points in the U.S. Senate's history. Americans overwhelmingly disapprove of the Democrats' health care bill and distrust how the Democrats passed it. The bill will fund abortions."
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins made the following comments: "Today's Christmas Eve vote may signal the end of the debate in the Senate, but it's far from the end of the debate at large. Since Senator Reid's bad bill is substantially different from the House's bad bill, the lower chamber will have to vote on the plan again. The Senate bill's massive funding for elective abortions and the construction of abortion facilities are among the most radical differences."
Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser offered the following statement: "On Christmas Eve, the U.S. Senate gave Americans a gift no one wants: abortion for all, at taxpayer-expense. Even more tragic, they can thank self-described pro-life senators like Ben Nelson, Bob Casey, Jr., and Harry Reid for paving the way for legislation that will open the floodgates for the greatest expansion of government-backed abortion since Roe v. Wade." Full story at LifeNews.com
Senator Bob Casey Accused of Abandoning Father's Legacy Against Abortion
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- With today's vote for a health care bill that will force taxpayers, and possible insurance companies, to pay for abortions, some pro-life advocates believe Sen. Bob Casey has officially abandoned any claim he had to the pro-life legacy his father left as a Democrat who opposes abortion.
Casey came to office in 2006 as a Democrat who would supposed continue fighting against abortion in a political party whose leaders and prime supporters love it.
When asked by the Washington Times on Tuesday about what Robert Casey, the late and former Pennsylvania governor, would have thought of the abortion funding in the health care bill, Casey didn't know.
"I have no way of knowing," he told the newspaper. "We're dealing with something here which is unusual and unprecedented. We've had year to year appropriation bills where the Hyde amendment was attached to year by year appropriation for health and human services. We've never had an exchange before. Never in American history have we had to face these kinds of questions," he said.
The issue doesn't seem to be as complex for pro-life groups -- all of whom oppose the health care bill, along with the nation's Catholic bishops, because it contains abortion funding. Full story at LifeNews.com
Do You See What I See? Christmas Reminds Pro-Life People Unborn Have Value
by Dave Andrusko
It was late in the afternoon the Saturday after Thanksgiving. My wife, Lisa, and I had established a temporary safe haven in our kitchen free from the usual chaos that comes with the presence of four joyfully rambunctious children. We'd somehow managed to wrest free a few minutes just to read the paper, enjoy a cup of coffee together, and chat. It was nice!
For reasons I did not fully understand at the time, when I read in our local paper that the Salvation Army was experiencing a dramatic shortage in volunteer bell ringers to man its familiar red kettles, I was so shocked I jumped up from the table and searched out the local number.
Violet, the gentle lady who answered, mistakenly thought I was someone inquiring about a paid position. When I assured her otherwise, she was so pathetically grateful for my willingness to help them help the poor a wave of shame washed over me.
How many times, I thought guiltily, had I brushed past these magnanimous folks, who patiently waited for some sign my heart was a few degrees warmer than the temperature outside? How many times had I been so self-absorbed that these devoted volunteers simply blended into the brick facades behind them? Full story at LifeNews.com
Case of Rom Houben Should Prompt Renewed Look at Terri Schiavo's Death
by Wesley J. Smith
Terri Schiavo continues to prick our collective conscience, our sensitivity to the way she died -- deprived of all food and water, even the balm of ice chips for nearly two weeks -- as raw today as on the day she drew her last breath five years ago next March.
Usually, the trauma remains just beneath the surface. But every once in a while events conspire to bring it all back to the fore. Take, for example, the intense international focus paid to Rom Houben. In 1983, Houben suffered catastrophic head injuries in an automobile accident. He was brought to the hospital unconscious. Doctors eventually concluded that his case was hopeless, that he was in a persistent vegetative state.
The PVS diagnosis meant that on the day Terri died, most bioethicists would have also approved Rom being dehydrated to death. He is no longer a person, they might have said., Why prolong a useless life?
Indeed, removing food and water from the profoundly cognitively impaired, has, over the last twenty years, been legalized in all fifty states and declared by bioethicists and judges to be fully ethical, indeed, just a matter of death with dignity. This, even though repeated studies have shown that about 40% of PVS diagnoses are mistaken.
One of those misdiagnoses, it turned out, was of Rom Houben. Full story at LifeNews.com
Abortion Advocates Still Oppose So-called Compromise in Senate Health Care Bill
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Abortion advocates responded to today's passage of the Senate health care bill with condemnation of the so-called compromise language on abortion funding found in it. While pro-life groups point out how it funds abortions, pro-abortion groups say it doesn't go far enough. Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL, said, "While the Senate bill does not include the Stupak-Pitts provision, this new language is unacceptable. It is inexplicable that a bill seeking to expand health coverage for Americans would impose such great administrative burdens on women who purchase abortion coverage and plans that offer it." Keenan added, "The bill does include other provisions that will improve women's access to reproductive-health services significantly. However, the language regarding abortion coverage comes at too high a price for reproductive health. Thus, we must oppose this new Nelson language." Keenan added that NARAL "withholds support from the overall health-reform legislation until we assess the totality of provisions in the final bill that comes out of a conference committee between the House and Senate." She said abortion advocates need to elect more pro-abortion lawmakers so the most pro-abortion funding language possible can be included in the bill. Meanwhile, Terry O'Neill, the president of the pro-abortion women's group NOW, also opposed the Reid-Nelson language and said the group would press for abortion funding in the conference committee.
Abortion Doesn't Need Taxpayer-Funding in Health Care Bill, Group Funds 21,000
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- As the Senate prepared to vote for the abortion-funding health care bill today, a national pro-abortion organization made it clear why the bill doesn't need to fund abortions. The National Network of Abortion Funds is a group with members across the country that contribute money given to women to pay for abortions. NNAF sent a Twitter message LifeNews.com obtained saying in 2009 it funded tens of thousands of abortions. "We got 50,000 calls for [abortion payments] in 2009. We funded 21,500," the group admitted. The NNAF isn't the only organization that funds abortions, as it has separate state-level organizations that also pay for abortions. Founded in 193, the NNAF has a network of organizations in more than 40 states that pay for abortions. "Each year, our member funds raise and disperse over $2 million to help more than 20,000 women" get abortions, the group says on its web site. The organization says there are local abortion funding groups in every state except for Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Hawaii, Missouri and Mississippi.
Blogger Condemns Abortion Advocates for Silence on Calls for One-Child Policy
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- If pro-choice really meant that and wasn't just a euphemism for abortion, pro-abortion groups should be the first to condemn recent calls for a worldwide one-child policy making it so couples can't have more than one baby. The call comes as environmental advocates push pro-abortion population control to supposedly help the environment. In a recent op-ed in the Canadian National Post, editor-at-large Diane Francis calls on world leaders, especially those attending the UN's Copenhagen Conference, to consider the environmental virtues of China's one-child policy. Blogger Rachel Campos-Duffy has responded: "As a mom of soon-to-be six kids, I am always fascinated and concerned by environmental fundamentalism and its propensity to see and treat children of large families as environmental 'terrorists' guilty of violating some arbitrary carbon footprint quota. (You wouldn't believe how many moms I know who have been accosted by strangers and scolded for having a big brood.)" She continues: "But even more difficult for me to swallow as a pro-life feminist is the deafening silence coming from the feminist establishment itself with regard to this outrageous op-ed. To date, despite the attention Francis' comments have received in both the Canadian and the U.S. media, I could not find a single statement from any of the prominent national women's organizations specifically denouncing Francis or her scandalous position. And while the Center for Reproductive Rights has addressed China's dehumanizing reproductive policies, it's list of accomplishments is almost entirely devoted to expanding abortion rights -- especially abroad -- and makes no mention of any work on China's one-child policy."
Slain Pro-Life Advocate Jim Pouillon named Operation Rescue's Person of Year
Wichita, KS (LifeNews.com) -- Operation Rescue announced last week that slain pro-life activist James Pouillon is the posthumous recipient of its 2009 Person of the Year Malachi Award. Pouillon was a long-time pro-life street activist from Owosso, Michigan, who was gunned down on September 11, 2009, as he protested abortion outside Owosso High School. A local man, Harlan Drake, has admitted to targeting Pouillon for death because he did not agree with his views on abortion. Pouillon was a regular protester at the Feminine Health Care Clinic in Flint, Michigan, operated by abortionist Alberto Hodari. Since his death, Hodari has placed that abortion clinic up for sale in the wake of a lawsuit filed by Caitlin Bruce who alleges that Hodari forced an abortion on her there even though she had withdrawn her consent after viewing her pre-born baby on ultrasound. Operation Rescue and other pro-life groups are asking for a criminal investigation of Hodari, who appears to be liquidating his assets so he can flee the country to avoid being brought to justice. "It's too bad that Jim did not live to see that abortion clinic in Flint go up for sale, where he spent countless hours praying and offering practical help to abortion-bound women. The impending collapse of Hodari's abortion empire is a tribute to Jim and his tireless public defense of the pre-born," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. :Jim Pouillon gave his 'last full measure of devotion' to the cause of life, and it is our privilege to award him with Operation Rescue's fourth annual Person of the Year Malachai Award."
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Hawaii Candidate Gets Backing of Pro-Abortion Group Emily's List
Honolulu, HI (LifeNews.com) -- Rep. Neil Abercrombie has announced plans to resign his House seat, triggering a special election in Hawaii's first district and providing an opportunity to replace the abortion advocate with a pro-life supporter. However, the pro-abortion group Emily's List has announced it will put major money and support behind state Senator Colleen Hanabusa. Hawaii's special election rules could put this Democratic-leaning seat in Republican hands as there will be only one winner-take-all ballot, with no primary, and Democratic votes may be split between Hanabusa and a former Democratic congressman. Under this special election scenario, the lone Republican, Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou, could benefit from a Democratic split. National Republicans see the potential for a win, too, naming Djou to the NRCC's Young Guns program to boost his campaign start. "That's why Colleen must set herself apart from her Democratic opponent, Ed Case," Emily's List president Ellen Malcom wrote to her group's supporters this week drumming up financial support. "Already, Case is on the air with television ads promoting his campaign. Colleen is just the candidate to beat both men on the ballot, having already made history as the state's first woman Senate president. But with turnout typically low in special elections, and voters having three candidates to choose from, this is going to be a tough race."
New Jersey Man Sees Charges Dropped in Pennsylvania Abortion-Attack Case
Bethlehem, PA (LifeNews.com) -- A New Jersey man who is formerly from Pennsylvania accused of putting a gun in his girlfriend's mouth because she wouldn't get an abortion saw the case against him dropped last week. Jonathan R. Stock, 28, of Hackettstown, New Jersey, appeared for his preliminary hearing, but the woman he was accused of attacking didn't. That led to prosecutors withdrawing charges that included aggravated assault, according to the Morning Call newspaper. Authorities say Stock is a member of the Pagans motorcycle gang and District Judge James Narlesky's hearing was held at the county courthouse in Easton for security. But without the testimony of now-ex-girlfriend Tammy Smith, 31, the prosecution's case couldn't proceed. ''She's concerned for her safety,'' Assistant District Attorney Patricia Mulqueen said of Smith's absence. Stock had wanted her to get an abortion, they argued, and he attacked her, according to court records. Maria Vitale of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation commented on the case to LifeNews.com. She said, "One of the lies told by the abortion industry is that women are exercising their free choice in obtaining abortions. Research shows, however, that as many as 60 percent of abortions are coerced, meaning that women are being pressured by someone else to abort. All too often, women are threatened by violence if they don't seek abortions. There is a definite link between abortion and violence against pregnant women.
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