Monday, December 28, 2009 Pro-Life News Report 12/29/09 Pro-Life News Report

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

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Current Headlines

Obama Rep: He Prefers Senate Health Care Bill With Abortion Funding

Conference Committee Members Likely Pro-Abortion, Senate Bill Prefered

Five Ways of Looking at Bart Stupak: Will He Be Pro-Life Hero on Abortion
Senate Dems, GOP Squabble Over Pro-Abortion Obama Pick Dawn Johnsen
Catholic Health Association: We Agree With Bishops on Abortion, Health Care
New York Times Discusses Palliative Sedation, Pain Control Pursued
Mexico City Sees 34K Abortions Since Legalization in 2007, More Coming

Thousands Rally Against Abortion in Spain as Govt Moves Expansion Ahead
Pro-Life Advocate Hired to Run Museum at Susan B. Anthony's Birthplace
Fort Wayne, Indiana Reconsiders Measure for Admitting Privileges on Abortion
Queensland, Australia Government Refuses Bid to Remove Abortion Ban Law
Seattle Man Kills Girlfriend, Daughter After She Refused His Abortion Request
News: Military, Britain, Arizona, Virginia, South Dakota, Australia, Abortion

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Obama Spokesman: He Prefers Senate Health Care Bill With Abortion Funding
Washington, DC ( -- President Barack Obama promised Americans in a speech to Congress that his version of a government-run health care bill would not contain abortion funding. Now his top spokesman confirms that Obama favors the Senate bill that funds abortions over the House bill that bans abortion funding.

In a September nationally-televised speech to Congress, Obama sought to clear up projections from pro-life advocates that his health care plan would fund abortions.

"One more misunderstanding I want to clear up -- under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions," Obama claimed.

Since his speech, the House has approved a health care bill that contains the Stupak amendment making it so taxpayer funding of abortions is prohibited in virtually all cases. On the other hand, the Senate bill contains the Reid-Nelson language that opens the door to forcing taxpayers to fund abortions and allowing the Obama administration to force insurance companies to cover them with taxpayers' premiums.

Members of the House and Senate will have to work out final language and battle each other over whether the conference committee bill will fund abortions or not.

Following up on the impending battle, ABC News correspondent Jake Tapper spoke with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs after their interview on "This Week" about health care.

"So, does the Senate language come closer to what the president wants than the House language?" he said he asked Gibbs. "Gibbs told me this morning: 'Yes.'" Full story at

Conference Committee Members Likely Pro-Abortion, Senate Bill Moving Ahead
Washington, DC ( -- When members of Congress return next month following their Christmas break, the attention in the abortion-health care debate will turn to a House-Senate conference committee. The panel, if it actually meets, will be charged with the task of merging the House and Senate versions of the bill.

The House has already approved a government-run health care measure with the Stupak amendment that stops abortion funding. The Senate bill contains the Nelson-Reid compromise that allows states to force taxpayers to fund abortions with federal dollars and contains the Mikulski amendment that allows the Obama administration to force insurance companies to cover abortions with taxpayers' premiums.

The conference committee will have to determine whether it wants to keep the Senate language -- potentially frustrating pro-life Democrats in the House who may vote against the bill -- or the Stupak amendment, which pro-abortion lawmakers say may prompt them to vote against the bill.

If the process for appointing members of the conference committee follows tradition, the heads of the committees that contributed to the final legislation will be appointed to the panel.

On the Senate side, that means Sens. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, Sen. Max Baucus of Montana and Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa -- all abortion advocates -- will decide the fate of the abortion language. The House side would also feature pro-abortion stalwarts: Reps. George Miller and Henry Waxman of California and Rep. Charles Rangel of New York. Full story at

Five Ways of Looking at Bart Stupak: Will He Become a Pro-Life Hero on Abortion?
by Deal Hudson
In 1917 Wallace Stevens published "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird," a poem now firmly ensconced in every anthology of American poetry. Generations of students have read it as a lesson in perspectivism -- how the imagination can see the same thing under a variety of guises.

Bart Stupak (D-MI) is not the subject of anyone's poem, but already a discernible pattern of Stupak caricatures are forming in the wake of his explicit rejection of the abortion funding "compromise" in the Senate bill and his rather barbed comments on the White House pressuring him to drop his objections. Over the next two weeks these interpretations of Stupak will clash in the media coverage of the health care bill's final throes.

Perhaps the most dominant caricature of Stupak will be "Anti-Choice Fanatic." For example, the Huffington Post's recent headline, "Stupak Coordinating Anti-Choice Activism with GOP Senate Leadership," included a link to Politico's story on alleged emails between Stupak's office and Senate Minority leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY). A Google search of Stupak and "anti-choice" yields 190,000 hits. Full story at

Senate Democrats, GOP Squabble Over Pro-Abortion Obama Pick Dawn Johnsen
Washington, DC ( -- Most of the focus on the Senate last week revolved around the pro-abortion government-run health care bill the chamber passed on Christmas Eve. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans and Democrats squabbled over a pro-abortion nominee President Barack Obama as put forward for a crucial legal position.

Dawn Johnsen, a law professor at Indiana University who is a former legal counsel for the pro-abortion group NARAL, is Obama's selection to head the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel.

Her nomination has been delayed by Republicans who oppose her because she is strongly pro-abortion -- going as far as saying pregnant women are subjected to a form of slavery -- and because of other political reasons. If confirmed, Johnsen would be in charge of the office that formulates the attorney general's formal opinions and provides counsel on the thorniest legal questions.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas helped lead the opposition to Johnsen in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which approved her nomination and sent it to the full Senate. He has said Johnson "has not demonstrated the seriousness and necessary resolve to address the national security challenges we face." Full story at

Catholic Health Association: We Agree With Bishops on Abortion, Health Care
by Dave Andrusko
Washington, DC ( -- The president of the Catholic Health Association is saying in a new interview today that her organization agrees with the bishops on banning abortion funding in the health care bill. However, the organization released a statement recently that made it appear otherwise.

On December 17, Sister Carol Keehan, the president of the CHA, released a statement obtained showing it praising a phony compromise on abortion funding

Sen. Bob Casey floated a compromise in an attempt to get Sen. Ben Nelson to withdraw his then-objection to the Senate bill because of its abortion funding. The measure would have forced pro-life advocates to opt out if they objected to their tax dollars paying for abortions. Otherwise, Americans would be forced to pay for abortions under the legislation.

The proposal was thoroughly trashed by pro-life groups with the National Right to Life committee and other organizations calling it "unacceptable" and Richard Doerflinger, a spokesman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, saying the bishops appreciated the goals of some of Casey s proposal, but that they did not actually stop taxpayer funding of abortion. Full story at

New York Times Discusses Palliative Sedation, Pain Control Should be Pursued
by Wesley J. Smith
Palliative sedation, that is putting an imminently dying patient into an artificial coma and allowing the disease to take its course, is a legitimate palliative technique when the symptoms warrant it. Thus, in the rare case where pain can't be controlled or a patient panics due to severe agitation or inability to catch a breath, a legitimate answer is sedation.

This should give us all the great comfort of knowing we need not die in agony no matter what our condition. And today, the New York Times has a pretty good in-depth discussion of the issue. It is too long to detail fully in a blog, but there are some points worth highlighting.

First, it shouldn't be called terminal sedation because death isn't the intent. The words we use matter in this debate. Second, I don't know of any palliative expert that opposes sedation as a last resort legitimate medical tool. Indeed, if properly applied based on otherwise uncontrollable symptoms, palliative sedation isn't slow motion euthanasia because the issue isn't whether life is shortened. The issue is whether the physical suffering of the patient could not otherwise be alleviated. If not, and sedation is applied, then if death comes sooner and as the article points out, there is usually little way to tell it is a side effect of a legitimate treatment. Full story at

Mexico City Sees 34K Abortions Since Legalization in 2007, Network Pays for More
Washington, DC ( -- The members of the legislative assembly of the federal district of Mexico City voted to legalize abortions in 2007. Since then, abortion business have done approximately 34,000 abortions and those numbers are likely set to increase -- though they have prompted a backlash in other Mexican states.

The legislative assembly, in April 2007, approved a bill that legalized abortion within the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.

The Archdiocese of Mexico City s weekly newspaper, Desde la Fe, cited more than 23,000 abortions as of April 2009 and that number how now reached 34,000 according to a new Los Angeles Times report.

The abortions take place at the city's 14 public hospitals and at least one teenager girl died from a botched abortion, though pro-life advocates say there have been more undocumented deaths.

Following passage of the law, the Mexico Supreme Court, in August 2008, upheld the legislation -- but that has led to 17 Mexican states passing laws or state constitutional amendments affirming their abortion bans or noting the unborn child's right to life. Full story at

Thousands Rally Against Abortion in Spain as Government Moves Expansion Ahead
Madrid, Spain ( -- Tens of thousands of Catholics in Spain rallied on Sunday against abortion in the capital of the nation whose government is pushing a move to expand legalized abortions. The legislation would allow abortions through the 14th week of pregnancy and without any parental involvement for teenagers.

The event took place at a huge open air mass beside Real Madrid's Bernabeu stadium that marked the Feast of the Holy Family.

At the huge rally, Cardinal Antonio Rouco, the leader of Spain's Roman Catholics, told Spaniards that expanding abortions will further deplete the birth rate in Spain, part of a European continent that is already facing underpopulation problems.

"Europe will be practically without children," he warned. "Who denies to defend a human being so innocent and weak, already conceived but not born, commits a grave violation of moral order," Cardinal Rouco added. Full story at

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Pro-Life Advocate Hired to Run Museum at Susan B. Anthony's Birthplace Home
Adams, MA ( -- A pro-life advocate has been hired to run the museum at the home of renowned pro-life women's rights leader Susan B. Anthony. In 2006, Carol Crossed, a longtime New York pro-life advocate who has been a leader with Feminists for Life of America and Democrats for Life, purchased the historic home.

Crossed purchased Anthony's historic Massachusetts birthplace on the 100th anniversary of her death and turned it into a museum.

Now, former Feminists for Life vice president Sally Winn has been hired as the museum's executive director.

Crossed told the local iBerkshires news web site that the hire helps the museum focus on communications and promotions as it prepares to open this winter.

"We are grounded and rooted in history, we have 10 exhibits that are near completion [and] now it's a matter of promoting the museum and educating the public about Susan B. Anthony," she told the web site. "Since 2010 is the 90th anniversary of the Anthony [19th] Amendment; it's a very appropriate time to take it to a new level." Full story at

Fort Wayne, Indiana Reconsiders Measure for Admitting Privileges on Abortion
Fort Wayne, IN ( -- Legalizing abortion didn't make the procedure any safer for women. Because so many suffer from botched abortions that require immediate follow-up medical care, the Fort Wayne, Indiana county commission is considering a landmark measure.

The proposed ordinance would require abortion practitioners operating in the county to have admitting privileges at a local hospital so they can admit patients who are victimized by failed abortions.

Anyone who does abortions in Fort Wayne but does not have admitting privileges will be prohibited from doing abortions.

Fort Wayne officials proposed the ordinance in 2008 but never moved forward on it because the state legislature considered a similar measure. In other states where the proposal has gained traction, it has resulted in shutting down abortion centers that can't provide medical care for women in botched abortions.

With the Indiana legislature not acting on the legislation, Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters is expected to reintroduced the provision today. He is expanding it from solely focusing on abortion to covering other medical procedures. Full story at

Queensland, Australia Government Refuses Bid to Remove Abortion Ban Law
Brisbane, Australia ( -- The government of the Australian state of Queensland has resisted a petition campaign to request that the old law banning abortions there be removed from the books. The law is not enforced as abortions are allowed nationwide across the various states.

Abortion advocates got the signatures of just 4,368 people requesting that the law be removed from the books.

State Attorney-General Cameron Dick has issued an official response saying he would not remove abortion from the Criminal Code.

"The Premier has made clear that the government has no plans to undertake a wider review of the general abortion laws," Dick wrote, according to The Australian newspaper. Full story at

Seattle Man Kills Girlfriend, Daughter After She Refused His Abortion Request
Santa Cruz, WA ( -- A Seattle-area man is in police custody after allegedly killing his girlfriend and their infant daughter after the woman refused his request to get an abortion. Daniel Thomas Hicks is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the death of 28-year-old Jennifer "J" Morgan and 13-month-old Ema Morgan.

The Seattle Times indicates the trio hailed from Santa Cruz, a town on the Washington state coast west of Seattle.

Hicks was charged on Thursday after he was apprehended following the discovery of the bodies by Morgan's mother and cooperation with other relatives who aided them in locating Hicks.

The Times indicates Hicks was diagnosed as depressed and suicidal for some time after having lost his job and that the condition worsened when he learned Morgan was pregnant.

Legal papers the Times obtained say Hicks wanted Morgan to have an abortion and claimed she "was just trying to trap him with the pregnancy." They say Hicks made several threats about killing Morgan and himself. Full story at

Pro-Life News: Military, Britain, Arizona, Virginia, South Dakota, Australia, Abortion
Congressional Bill Would Require Military Health Centers to Stock Morning After Pill
• British Girls Using Abortion as Birth Control, 18 Year-Old Has Four Abortions
• Arizona Republic Says Pro-Abortion Sandra Day O'Connor Arizonan of the Decade
• Virginia Pro-Life Candidate Attacked by NARAL Over Pregnancy Center Ties
• Massachusetts Law Limiting Free Speech for Pro-Life Advocates Makes AUL Brief
• Australia Woman Gives Birth to Dead Baby After Failed Abortion
• South Dakota Law Gets Support From Americans United for Life Legal Brief

Full story at

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