Tuesday, December 29, 2009

LifeNews.com Pro-Life News Report 12/30/09

LifeNews.com Pro-Life News Report

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

For pro-life news updated throughout the day, visit LifeNews.com.

Current Headlines

Pro-Abortion Leader in House May Back Nelson-Reid Abortion Funding in Bill
Poll: Ben Nelson's Abortion Funding Compromise Costs Him With Nebraska Voters
Nancy Pelosi: Free Will Trumps Catholic Church's Pro-Life Teachings on Abortion
• Senate Republicans Block Obama Pro-Abortion Judicial Nominee Edward Chen
• Chief Jewish Rabbis in Israel: Abortion Delays Coming of Messiah, Back Pro-Life
• Humane Society Animal Cruelty Ad Make You Sad? What About Abortion Victims?
• Pro-Life Group Got 1.5M Letters on Abortion-Health Care, More Needed in 2010

• Pioneering Adult Stem Cell Treatment Helps Man Recover Sight After 15 Years
• Bishop Slams Young Catholic Group Promoting Contraception, Birth Control
• Northern Ireland Petition Requests UK Government Fund Abortions for Women
• Tennessee Lt. Governor Ramsey Criticizes Memphis Abortion Center Plan
Kurdish Father Living in Germany Jailed for "Honor Killing" Daughter After Abortion

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Pro-Abortion Leader in House May Back Nelson-Reid Abortion Funding in Bill
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- The big question that could decide the fate of the pro-abortion government run health care bill in Congress is what abortion language will the conference committee use in the final bill. Will it adopt the Stupak amendment the House okayed to ban abortion funding or the Nelson-Reid language.

Nelson-Reid is the phony compromise struck by Sen. Ben Nelson, whom pro-life advocates trusted to not back the health care bill because it funds abortions.

The compromise language still funds abortions -- but not enough for some abortion advocates in the House or for pro-abortion groups like NARAL and Planned Parenthood to sign off on it.

In what could signal the direction the conference committee will go, one of the top pro-abortion activists in the House says she could envision herself supporting the Nelson language. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a Connecticut Democrat, has been asked by House Democratic leaders to help fashion the final abortion funding language -- so her comments have added importance.

In a new interview with the Huffington Post, she said she could support the Nelson-Reid language as long as it did not go further than the Hyde amendment (though pro-life advocates correctly point out it doesn't come close to the time-honored abortion funding ban). "There are some questions I still have," DeLauro told the pro-abortion web site. "And that's why I want to see this side-by-side with the language." Full story at LifeNews.com

Poll: Ben Nelson's Abortion Funding Compromise Costs Him With Nebraska Voters
Lincoln, NE (LifeNews.com) -- Until his recent sellout on abortion funding, Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson was a darling of the pro-life movement as the lone consistent pro-life Democrat in the Senate. Now, a new poll shows him losing massive support and he would lose by a lopsided margin in his 2012 bid for re-election.

A new Rasmussen Reports survey shows Nelson struggling after becoming the 60th and deciding vote for the Senate's pro-abortion health care bill.

Should pro-life Republican Governor Dave Heineman challenge Nelson for his Senate seat, a new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey shows he would get 61% of the vote while Nelson would get just 30%.

Nelson was reelected to a second Senate term in 2006 with 64% of the vote so a poll having him with less than half of that mark reveals serious consequences for his decision to work with Senate Leader Harry Reid to allow abortion funding under the bill.

Rasmussen says "Nelson s health care vote is clearly dragging his numbers down."

Just 17% of Nebraska voters approve of the deal Nelson made to support taxpayer-funded abortions and vote for the bill in exchange for kickbacks for Nebraska. Overall, 64% of Nebraska residents oppose the congressional health care legislation, including 53% who are strongly opposed to the pro-abortion bill. Full story at LifeNews.com

Nancy Pelosi: Free Will Trumps Catholic Church's Pro-Life Teachings on Abortion
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- The rift between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Catholic Church will likely grow thanks to new comments the abortion advocate made. Pelosi said in a new interview that the "free will" of women wanting abortions outweighs pro-life Catholic teachings.

Newsweek's Eleanor Clift conducted a year-end interview with Pelosi. The conversation turned to the topic of abortion and health care and Pelosi blasted the Catholic bishops for their opposition to the pro-abortion bill.

She tells Clift it was frustrating that Catholic bishops "were not willing to accept what we know to be a fact" -- that the "public option" would supposedly not violate a ban on federally-funded abortions.

Then, as Clift asks about her "brushes" with the church, Pelosi drops a bomb.

"I have some concerns about the church's position respecting a woman's right to choose," Pelosi responds. "I am a practicing Catholic, although they're probably not too happy about that. But it is my faith."

"I practically mourn this difference of opinion because I feel what I was raised to believe is consistent with what I profess, and that is that we are all endowed with a free will and a responsibility to answer for our actions," she continues. "And that women should have that opportunity to exercise their free will." Full story at LifeNews.com

Senate Republicans Block Obama Pro-Abortion Judicial Nominee Edward Chen
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Senate Republicans have blocked yet another Obama pro-abortion judicial nominee, and this time it is Edward Chen. President Barack Obama nominated the U.S. Magistrate for a federal judgeship in San Francisco. Chen is a former attorney for the pro-abortion legal group ACLU.

The Senate sent Chen's name back to the White House last week because Republicans have filibustered his nomination and Democrats apparently don't have the 60 votes needed to confirm him.

In August, Obama appointed Chen to the lifetime judicial post as a federal district court judge. He has come under criticism because he was employed as an ACLU attorney in San Francisco for decades.

The Senate Judiciary Committee signed off on Chen's nomination in October on a 12-7 party-line vote. Since then, Republicans have put a hold on his nomination and several other abortion advocates and other controversial nominees.

Sending back Chen's name to the White House doesn't mean his nomination has been rejected but it gives Obama a chance to determine whether or not to renominate him or give him a recess appointment that would be effective for one year only. If Obama renominates Chen, he would be required to undergo another vote on the judicial panel. Full story at LifeNews.com

Chief Jewish Rabbis in Israel: Abortion Delays Coming of Messiah, Back Pro-Life
Jerusalem, Israel (LifeNews.com) -- The top two Jewish rabbis in Israel sent a letter on Monday to their colleagues denouncing abortion. They said that abortion kills thousands of Israeli babies a year and delays the coming of the Messiah and they promised to do more to promote pro-life and pregnancy help efforts.

Rabbis Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar sent a letter yesterday to all of the state-employed Jewish rabbis saying they would "strengthen" the efforts of the pro-life council in the rabbinate to help reduce abortions.

The letter says "the vast majority of abortions are unnecessary and Halacha severely prohibits them" and says as many as 50,000 abortions are done annually in Israel. The Jewish leaders also said abortions "delay the redemption" by postponing the coming of the Messiah.

The Jerusalem Post newspaper indicates the letter bases the statement on the Babylonian Talmud in Tractate Niddah which says each baby that is born brings the Jewish people closer to redemption. "The redemption does not take place until all the souls are brought out of their storing place," the Talmud states.

The letter goes on to condemn "the killing of fetuses in their mother's womb."

The Post indicated the rabbis' letter said they would encourage local Jewish teachers to do more to promote the pro-life ethic in their Shabbat sermons, passing out pro-life literature to couples seeking pre-marital counseling, and developing closer ties with the pro-life organization Efrat to change public opinion. Full story at LifeNews.com

Humane Society Animal Cruelty Ad Make You Sad? What About Abortion Victims?
by Maria Vitale
It's gotten to the point where I have to turn my head away when I hear the opening bars of music. The haunting melody is the soundtrack for a tear-jerker of a commercial for the Humane Society. Images after images of abused pets appear on the screen. As the joyful owner of a tabby, I find portrait after portrait of man s cruelty hard to fathom.

To me, it's quite an effective ad. I want the miserable music to stop, the cats to be placed in loving homes, the crescendo of a happy ending to play. A few dollars a month can stop this horrendous inhumanity? Sign me up to be a donor.

But while watching this spot for the umpteenth time, I couldn't help but wonder: What if cable television ran commercials showing the violated faces of preborn children attacked by abortion? Could viewers stand to be exposed to such brutality, day after day? Would they let the injustice of abortion stand? Would many admit to being pro-choice, if those images haunted our television screens?

It came as little surprise to me when cable TV host Bill O'Reilly named Schindler s List as one of the best movies of all time. The film has brought the horror of the Holocaust to the attention of students around the country. There is something about the moving image that demands to be noticed. What if there were a Schindler s List -type film about the grotesqueness of abortion, with an all-star cast and top-notch director? Would the eyes of Americans be open then to what abortion is really about? Full story at LifeNews.com

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Pro-Life Group Got 1.5M Letters on Abortion-Health Care, More Needed in 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Sometimes pro-life people may feel they are alone when contacting their elected officials with concerns about abortion promotion. A pro-life women's group tells LifeNews.com they don't need to feel alone because it alone generated 1.5 million letters and emails.

Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser announced today that the organization's 280,000 pro-life grassroots activists from around the country sent over one and a half million letters, emails and phone calls to Congress in 2009.

Combined with the efforts of members of other national, state and local pro-life groups, it's likely that millions of pro-life advocates made tens of millions of contacts with their elected officials about the pro-abortion health care bill.

Dannenfelser told LifeNews.com today that "2009 saw pro-life grassroots activity grow exponentially, and we have exceeded our activism goal this year by well over half a million contacts."

The SBA List president said pro-life "activists were more engaged this year than ever before, and each and every one of them has been passionate about making sure their voice is heard by Congress." Full story at LifeNews.com

Pioneering Adult Stem Cell Treatment Helps Man Recover Sight After 15 Years
London, England (Lifenews.com) -- A man who was partially blinded when ammonia was squirted in his eye during an attack 15 years ago has regained his sight after receiving a pioneering stem cell treatment, according to a London Guardian report. Russell Turnbull, 38, suffered massive damage to his right eye when he was caught in a scuffle after a night out in Newcastle in 1994. On the bus home, Turnbull had tried to intervene in a fight between two men but was injured when one of them began squirting passengers with ammonia. The chemical severely scarred Turnbull's cornea, the clear membrane that covers the front of the eye, and destroyed stem cells that usually help keep the cornea healthy. "I was in unbearable pain. It burned my eye shut," Turnbull told the Guardian. "I was in hospital for two weeks and eventually I was able to open the eye again. It was like looking through scratched perspex." Turnbull was left with "limbal stem cell deficiency" (LSCD), a condition that seriously impairs sight, and was in pain every time he blinked or saw bright lights. In an experimental treatment devised by doctors at the North East England Stem Cell Institute in Newcastle, stem cells were taken from Turnbull's healthy eye and grown on a layer of amniotic tissue, which is routinely used as a burn dressing. The NHS banks amniotic sacs donated by women who have had a Caesarean section. When the cells had covered the membrane, a piece the size of a postage stamp was transplanted onto Turnbull's damaged eye. Two months later the membrane had broken down, leaving his damaged eye with a fresh supply of healthy stem cells, which repaired the cornea. Eye tests six months after surgery showed that Turnbull's vision was nearly as good as it had been before the attack.

Bishop Slams Young Catholic Group Promoting Contraception, Birth Control
Glenview, IL (LifeNews.com) -- A group of young Catholics promoting a worldwide advertising campaign to push contraception disown their Catholic heritage, according to an outspoken Catholic bishop who will soon become the bishop of Milwaukee. Young Catholics for Choice, part of the Washington, D.C.-based Catholics for Choice, has launched a television campaign in Wisconsin and has partnered with the Wisconsin Family Planning Health Services to promote condom use and the morning after pill. The national office has begun a web site with the theme, Good Catholics Use Condoms. They plan is for ads to appear on bus shelters, subways, billboards and in newspapers around the world. While people can call themselves whatever they want, it is my duty as a bishop to state clearly and unequivocally that by professing and disseminating views in grave contradiction to Catholic teaching, members of organizations like Young Catholics for Choice in fact disown their Catholic heritage, tragically distancing themselves from that communion with the Church to which they are called, said Bishop Listecki in a statement December 15. Bishop Listecki is an outspoken pro-life bishop, and in 2007 clashed with Catholics for Choice in opposing the Wisconsin legislature that supported a bill that would force Catholics hospitals to administer the morning after pill. The bill passed in 2008.

Northern Ireland Petition Requests UK Government Fund Abortions for Women
Belfast, Northern Ireland (LifeNews.com) -- A petition has started in Northern Ireland from abortion advocates who say the UK government should pay for abortions for women from there raveling to England, Scotland and Wales for abortions. The British government pays for abortions for British women in certain conditions and the petition says the same should be done for women from Northern Ireland, where abortion is illegal. Audrey Simpson, director of the pro-abortion Family Planning Agency (fpa) in NI is behind the petition and says women have spent £1.5m on abortions. In England, Scotland or Wales, a woman would not be told that she would have to pay for an abortion if she had been raped, sexually abused or if she has a pregnancy diagnosed with fetal abnormality. This is what happens to women in Northern Ireland every day, she said. Women who decide, for a whole range of personal reasons, to end their pregnancy have to pay between £600 and £2,000. Collectively in 2008, the 1,173 women who traveled from Northern Ireland to England to access a private abortion paid in total approximately £1,550,700."

Looking for a Pro-Life Speaker for 2010?
Looking for a pro-life speaker for your next banquet, conference or convention? LifeNews.com editor Steven Ertelt is a low-cost speaker who can entertain and educate your audience as well as help you with a fundraising pitch if necessary. He can also speak on any pro-life topic. For more information, email news@LifeNews.com.

Tennessee Lt. Governor Ramsey Criticizes Memphis Abortion Center Plan
Memphis, TN (LifeNews.com) -- Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville) recently harshly criticized the Health Services and Development Agency for voting to locate a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic two-tenths of a mile from a Catholic high school and home for retired priests. It is shocking that the HSDA would do something so stupid and insensitive, said Lt. Governor Ramsey. They voted to allow over 700 abortions to be carried out annually next door to a Catholic school and home for retired priests. Abortion providers should not be located near any school, much less a religiously affiliated institution. The HSDA should revoke this action and apologize immediately. The Catholic Diocese of Memphis formally protested the HSDA action in a letter to the agency. The facility would consist of two surgical rooms where abortions would be performed at 1750 Madison Avenue in Memphis. I have asked the Chairman of the Senate Government Operations Committee to bring the HSDA before the committee and explain this action, said Lt. Governor Ramsey. There is no excuse for a government entity to intentionally insult every pro-life citizen of Tennessee. Lt. Governor Ramsey was recently named Tennessee Right to Life Legislator of the Year. In the 2009 legislative session, he led the fight to deny state funds to Planned Parenthood, the nation s largest abortion provider.

Kurdish Father Living in Germany Jailed for "Honor Killing" Daughter After Abortion
Kleve, Germany (LifeNews.com) -- A Kurdish father of 10 has been jailed for life for ordering the murder of his 20-year-old daughter in a so-called "honor killing," a concept supported by some Muslims. Judges at the court in Kleve in Germany said they were convinced the only motive for the murder of Gulsum Semin was that she had undergone an abortion. The German authorities have vowed to stamp out honor killings, according to EuroNews. The news web site indicated spokesman for the North Rhine-Westphalia regional court, Gerhard van Gemmeren, said: At the basis of the offence is the fact that the culprits presumably did not agree with the victim s Western attitude to life. The convicted man s son and an Azeri friend carried out the killing. They lured Gulsum to a country road, strangled her and battered her beyond recognition. The victim s brother s lawyer Hans Reinhardt said he believed his client could not help himself. I think my client was completely bound into a value system which did not leave him any scope of action. He had to execute the offence because it was expected of him, he said. The victim s 20-year-old brother was sentenced to nine and a half years and his 37-year-old accomplice was jailed for seven and a half years.

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