LifeNews.com Pro-Life News Report
Monday, March 1, 2010
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• Obama's Changes to Senate Health Care Bill Include Rationing Via Price Controls
• Pro-Life Advocates Accuse Planned Parenthood CEO of Lying About Abortion
• Pro-Life Group Conducts Interview With Woman Who Live Blogged Her Abortion
• Rick Santorum to Receive Top Honor From Catholic Franciscan University
• International Team of Post-Abortive Women Headed to United Nations Meeting
• Florida Senate Candidate Marco Rubio: Real Pro-Life Advocates Oppose Roe
• Texas Pro-Life Group Warns Pro-Life Voters About Kay Bailey Hutchison
• Massachusetts Rationing Proposals Show Danger of Federal Healtjh Care Bill
• South Carolina Bill Would Stop Tax-Funded Abortions in Cases of Rape or Incest
• Ohio Pro-Life Advocates Worried About Bill That Hurts Medical Conscience Rights
• Tennessee Legislature Will Hold Hearing on Bill to Stop Forced, Coerced Abortions
• Kentucky House Cmte Kills Bill to Allow Women to See Pre-Abortion Ultrasound
• Florida Lawmaker Files Bill to ban Abortions Even Though Prospects Very Dim
• Oklahoma Legislature OKs Bill Banning Paying Women for Eggs for Fertility Clinics
• Northern Ireland Health Dept Threatened With Legal Action on Abortion Rules
Obama's Changes to Senate Health Care Bill Include Rationing Via Price Controls
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Burke Balch, J.D., director of the National Right to Life Committee s Powell Center for Medical Ethics, says the Obama health care plan has more rationing problems than he found at fist glance. Balch explains: "The February 22, 2010, Obama Administration health care proposal imposes premium price controls on ALL insurance plans, not just those for Medicare-eligible senior citizens. That means that the right of Americans to spend their own money to get insurance plans less likely to deny treatment will be significantly limited.
People will not be allowed to spend their own money, if they choose, to improve the chances of saving their own family s lives. It is basic economics that price controls force rationing. Under the President s proposal, states and the federal government would be empowered to review and reject premiums charged by any health insurance plan, even the supposedly grandfathered plans that Americans now have. Yet the Administration has the temerity, even now, to state, For Americans with insurance coverage who like what they have, they can keep it.
Nothing in this act or anywhere in the bill forces anyone to change insurance they have, period. It is as though a government, concerned about the high cost of restaurant food, imposed a price limit of $5 per meal, and then asserted that for those who like their restaurant food, nothing will force them to change their eating habits. The reality, of course, is that restaurants would be unable to afford to offer meals at prices below the cost of their ingredients. Consequently, about all restaurant-goers would be able to get would be fast food.
Similarly, when every premium increase is subject to veto by government officials, it means that instead of Americans making their own choices balancing the cost against the benefit in evaluating competing insurance plans, that decision will be taken out of their hands by bureaucrats whose principal duty is to hold health care spending down. Denial of lifesaving diagnostic tests and treatment would surely follow. This is rationing, pure and simple."
Pro-Life Advocates Accuse Planned Parenthood CEO of Lying About Abortion Video
Milwaukee, WI (LifeNews.com) -- After an undercover video released last Tuesday showed staff at their Milwaukee abortion clinic agreeing to cover up the sexual abuse of a purportedly 14-year-old girl by her 31-year- old "boyfriend," Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin says they "were unable to make any report" of the suspected abuse because the girl would not give the clinic any identifying information.
Live Action, the group responsible for the video, has released extended footage proving Planned Parenthood's claim false. In the extended footage, a Planned Parenthood counselor, "Sonia," after coaching the 14-year-old to obtain a judicial bypass waiver for her abortion so her parents will not find out about her sexual relationship with the older man, asks the girl, "What is your name? So I can call them and tell them you're coming." Lila Rose, the president of Live Action who is posing as the 14-year-old, says her name is "Janelle Marion", spelling out the last name for her, and tells the counselor she was born on July 27.
On Tuesday, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin CEO Teri Huyck claimed, "In this particular circumstance, we did not have the name of the young woman. She did not give it to us. She did not provide any ID. So we were unable to make any report." On Wednesday, Huyck again said there was nothing Planned Parenthood could do: "Assuming this patient gave us her name, we would report it," she said. "The so-called patient in this case did not provide identifying information. In fact, she refused." Huyck said, "It would've been difficult if not impossible to make any kind of report."
Rose, a 21-year-old student at UCLA, says the video shows Huyck's statement is false: "Planned Parenthood had the little girl's name and birth date -- more than enough information to make a report. As they have done consistently in the past, Planned Parenthood chose not to report the abuse, and now they are lying to cover up that fact."
Pro-Life Group Conducts Interview With Woman Who Live Blogged Her Abortion
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Bryan Kemper of the pro-life group Stand True conducted an interview with Angie the Atheist, the woman who received national attention last week for live-blogging her abortion. From Kemper: "If you have not heard about this yet, a young woman named Angie decided to give a play by play of her RU 486 abortion on the Internet via Twitter. Here is my interview with Angie the Anti-theist ( a name she has given herself). I told her I would not edit her answers in any way, which I have not."
Q. Do you call your self pro-choice?
A. Yes. I support the notion of trusting women to make the best reproductive choices for themselves, with the help of their medical providers (and family & friends, if they choose). Pregnancy is a medical condition with varying degrees of risk, however I do not believe I have the right to tell another person how much risk they should be take on my behalf. Certainly, I do not believe I have the right to dictate by law what another person may do medically with their own body. We have not yet gotten to a point technologically where I find it useful to discuss how we ll handle things in the future, when abortion will not be a woman s only option for ending a pregnancy within her body. For now, it is and so it must remain legal. Read the full interview here.
Rick Santorum to Receive Top Honor From Catholic Franciscan University
Steubenville, OH (LifeNews.com) -- Franciscan University of Steubenville will bestow the 2010 Poverello Medal on former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum and his wife, Karen, for their outstanding pro-life and pro-family witness as Catholics in public life. Santorum is a potential 2012 presidential candidate. University President Father Terence Henry will present the award at a formal reception on March 11.
The Honorable Rick and Karen Santorum have dedicated themselves to the pro-life cause, standing up for the sanctity and dignity of the human person in their professional and personal lives, says Father Henry. They are true pro-life heroes, and Franciscan University is happy to honor them, especially during this time of increasing attacks on the weakest and most vulnerable in our society. Their witness as a pro-life couple inspires us all to keep fighting the good fight.
Rick Santorum was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990, then served in the United States Senate from 1995 through 2007. He authored legislation that outlawed Partial Birth Abortion and championed the successful fight to pass the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, and the Combating Autism Act, believing each and every individual has value and the most vulnerable in our society need to be defended.
An accomplished author, Rick wrote the 2005 New York Times Best Seller It Takes a Family. He is now a Senior Fellow at The Ethics and Public Policy Center, the Friday host of Bill Bennett s Morning in America nationally-syndicated radio program, a contributor on the FOX News Channel, and a columnist with The Philadelphia Inquirer.
International Team of Post-Abortive Women Headed to United Nations Meeting
New York, NY (LifeNews.com) -- An international team of former abortion patients (now pro-life) will attend the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York starting this week. to defend life, motherhood and traditional families against the pro-abortion activists gathering there.
Whether legal or illegal, abortion hurts women , says Denise Mountenay, leader of Team One. Mountenay is the Canadian representative of Endeavour Forum and Co-Director of Women for Life International and Founder/President of Canada Silent No More. "Our mission is to network with other pro-life NGO s, distribute educational literature, conduct CSW parallel events and meet with UN Ambassadors. Each year we have been successful in enlightening CSW Delegates through our workshops. We cover topics such as: Breast Cancer Link to Abortion with Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, Breast Cancer Surgeon, and co-founder of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute; Women s Reproductive Health after abortion including the physical, psychological and emotional aftermath; maternal-fetal bonding; and abstinence education."
It s the power of testimony that exposes the lies of safe abortion and changes hearts , says Molly S. White, leader of the second team attending the second week. White is also with the same two groups. This is my 6th year of attending the UNCSW and this is by far the largest team I have led," says White. "I am very excited to see the impact our teams will have on the outcome of this conference."
The international team of 68 representing 10 nations not only consists of women who have had abortions and now testify of its devastating impact on women s health; but, also eight women and men who were conceived in rape or incest who will speak on behalf of children conceived in sexual assault.
Florida Senate Candidate Marco Rubio: Real Pro-Life Advocates Oppose Roe
Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) -- Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio has a message for his opponent, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist: real pro-life advocates oppose Roe v. Wade. Rubio appeared at the Christian Family Coalition candidate forum in Miami this weekend.
If you don't believe Roe v. Wade should be overturned, you are not pro-life. Everyone says they're pro-life, but I am pro-life because I want to protect the rights of everyone, including unborn children who can't speak for themselves," he said. Some say they're pro-life but don't want to change laws, only hearts. However, senators can't change hearts. Only God can. Senators make laws and make decisions about the judges that interpret those laws. During his 2006 campaign for governor, Crist said he was "pro-life" but was not for changing abortion laws.
But Rubio told an audience last week that he "won't dance around the issue." Rubio said that the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized abortion, Roe V. Wade, is wrong. Rubio has also been touting votes he made against spending taxpayer money on stem cell research as well as a bill requiring abortion centers to show women an ultrasound of their unborn child with the hopes some will not have an abortion.
The differences in the candidates has prompted Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council to back Rubio. "Marco Rubio has been a true friend of the family and the culture of life as a state legislator in Florida. Senators who will fight to defend the family against the radical leadership in the Senate are crucial to the future of our country. Rep. Rubio has fought to protect mothers and their unborn children," he said.
Texas Pro-Life Group Warns Pro-Life Voters About Kay Bailey Hutchison
Austin, TX (LifeNews.com) -- In advance of a Tuesday primary with pro-life Gov. Rick Perry, a Texas pro-life group is warning voters about Kay Bailey Hutchison, one of the state's two senators who is a Republican and sometimes votes pro-life but has a pro-abortion stance."Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison ... wish[es] that more pro-choice (that is, pro-abortion) Republicans would win office so much so that" she has belong to the WISH List (Women In the Senate and House), an organization focused on electing pro-abortion women, Texas Right to Life says.
"Senator Hutchison served on the advisory board of the WISH List, and the WISH List contributed $34,500 to Hutchison s first Senate campaign. In 2005, she asked for her name to be removed from their lists when considering a 2006 run for Texas governor. The removal signified an attempt to hide her views on abortion," the group explains. "Don't forget that Senator Hutchison voted to affirm that Roe v. Wade is appropriate law for the land. She is also on record in support of removing the Pro-Life plank from the Republican National Platform. In 2005, Terry Sullivan, Hutchison's campaign manager in Austin, noted to the Star-Telegram, [T]he senator has enjoyed strong support from GOP voters and has made no efforts to conceal her views on abortion.
Dr. Joseph Graham, the group's president, has more. Senator Hutchison has always been forthright with Texas Right to Life about her views on life. While she favors some restrictions on abortion, she has steadfastly held to her viability position throughout her political career. Additionally, Senator Hutchison has personally told us in meetings that she favors embryonic stem cell research. While we have enjoyed a cordial relationship with her, her views on life are not appropriate for one seeking to be the Governor of our Pro-Life state," he said.
Massachusetts Rationing Proposals Show Danger of Federal Healtjh Care Bill
by Burke J. Balch
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- We have repeatedly warned that rationing will result if the federal government creates a major new entitlement to health insurance for the uninsured, yet relies on vague hopes that greater efficiency will restrain health care costs instead of providing an adequate, sustainable funding mechanism to pay for the entitlement. Now we are seeing clear evidence that National Right to Life is not exaggerating--it comes from Massachusetts.
In 2006, Massachusetts enacted a widely heralded plan essentially mandating universal health insurance coverage, with subsidies to enable the low-income uninsured to afford it. To pay for the subsidies, the state bill cobbled together a series of funding sources, including federal payments, existing state funds for health care for the uninsured, and other sources of revenue that shared one commonality--they were not based on what people actually pay for health care. (For background on why this is a fundamental error, click here and the webinar that links to that page.)
After the first couple of years of the new program, Massachusetts began to face a mounting gap between the cost of health care subsidies and the available funds. Last year it relied on one-time funding from the federal stimulus bill to help bridge the gap. Read the full story.
South Carolina Bill Would Stop Tax-Funded Abortions in Cases of Rape or Incest
Columbia, SC (LifeNews.com) -- Last week, a state House budget committee approved by voice vote a measure that would end the state health plan's coverage of abortion in cases of rape or incest or to save a woman's life. The state health plan already prohibits abortion coverage in other cases.
The measure was proposed by state Rep. Rex Rice (R), who is running for Congress and released a statement saying that "state funds should not cover abortions of any kind." Rice said in introducing the measure, "This is basically saying that we cannot afford to fund any abortions in the state health plan," though he did not say how much the change would save the state as it looks to balance its budget. "I don't have any idea," Rice said. But "I don't think we ought to be funding any abortions." The bill's fate is far from certain in the weeks ahead that will shape the budget in the House and Senate.
"Personally I don't feel like my tax dollars should go to fund abortions," said Rex Rice. "I believe God created every human being and I don't think the state tax dollars should be used for abortions to eliminate a life."
South Carolina voter Marvin Oree backed the bill. "I don't believe in abortions," he said. "In spite of the situation, in spite of the circumstance, who are we to take someone's life?" Rice knows this could be a long battle, but he's not fighting alone. "I will continue to stay with this and watch it," said Rice. "There's a lot of members of the House that support this."
Ohio Pro-Life Advocates Worried About Bill That Hurts Medical Conscience Rights
Columbus, OH (LifeNews.com) -- Ohio Right to Life says pro-life advocates should be concerned about a bill in the Ohio legislature that would hurt conscience rights for medical workers. H.B. 333, which was introduced by State Rep. Dan Stewart (D, Columbus) in October, has been advancing in the Ohio House Health Committee.
A hearing was held for proponents of the bill on February 24 and the bill is scheduled for proponent, opponent and interested party testimony on Wednesday, March 3. The bill tramples on the conscience rights of medical professionals and religious hospitals, ORTL says. Under the bill, hospital emergency rooms, including those at religiously-affiliated hospitals, are required to provide the morning-after pill (referred to as "emergency contraception") to victims of sexual assault.
Hospitals would be required to inform the women that emergency contraception "does not cause an abortion" or "interrupt an established pregnancy." But ORTL says: "Because "emergency contraception" in some cases may cause the death of an early human embryo by preventing implantation after fertilization has occurred, this information would be very misleading to any pro-life person who believes that life begins at fertilization."
If a hospital violates these requirements, the Department of Health can impose a civil penalty of at least $10,000 with no limit on the maximum penalty. If there is a second violation, the State can seek an injunction to close the hospital. The group urges pro-life advocates to call their legislators and urge a no vote on HB 333 at http://www.house.state.oh.us
Kentucky House Committee Kills Bill to Allow Women to See Pre-Abortion Ultrasound
Frankfort, KY (LifeNews.com) -- A pro-life Kentucky bill that would have allowed women to see a pre-abortion ultrasound has been killed by a state House committee again. The bill would have also required women wanting an abortion to meet face to face with a doctor 24 hours before the abortion. Current law allows that consultation to be done by phone. Senate Bill 38 was shot down in the Health and Welfare Committee by a vote of 7-to-7.
The bill had passed the Senate last month 32-4. The vote came after two women who had abortions in the past pleaded for passage of the legislation, claiming they wished they had seen the pictures of their unborn babies.
"I was never offered an ultra sound picture or offered to hear the heart beat of my child," Heidi Reihing of Lexington said of her abortion 13 years ago. "I chose an abortion because I thought it was the only choice I had. My life has not been the same since. I lived in darkness, shame and anger for over 13 years now. It's a huge lie when the abortion doctors say just sit there, it will be over quickly in a few minutes and you'll never have to think about it again, you never stop thinking about it."
Mary Jo Davis, an ACLU volunteer, lobbied against the bill. This is the fourth time the ultra sound bill has been stopped in the Kentucky General Assembly, but the bill's sponsor says she's not giving up. "The Lord willing and the creek don't rise, I will be here next year to do it again," said Republican Senator Elizabeth Tori.
Tennessee Legislature Will Hold Hearing on Bill to Stop Forced, Coerced Abortions
Nashville, TN (LifeNews.com) -- Tennessee's Freedom from Coercion Act (HB 3301) by pro-life Rep. Susan Lynn (R-Mount Juliet) will be heard again next Wednesday, March 3, following limited debate last week by members of the House Public Health and Family Assistance sub-committee. Action was slowed when Rep. Henry Fincher (D-Cookeville) expressed concern that women at risk of undergoing coerced abortions may not benefit from proposed signage to be displayed in the offices of physicians performing abortions.
Rep. Fincher repeatedly stressed that many women in Tennessee may not know the meaning of the word 'coerced.' Opposition to the pro-life bill was also voiced by the Tennessee Medical Association (TMA), in part because of the bill's "burden" on abortion providers to post required signage in waiting areas and procedure rooms where abortions are performed. Ed Albin of Tennessee Right to Life says, "It would seem that another concern is that such signage would alert pro-life patients that their physician or facility participates in the practice of abortion."
Proposed signage opposed by both Rep. Fincher and the TMA would state the following: "Notice: It is against the law for anyone, regardless of the person's relationship to you, to coerce you to have an abortion. By law, we cannot perform an abortion on you unless we have your freely given and voluntary consent. It is against the law to perform an abortion on you against your will. You have the right to contact any local or state law enforcement agency to receive protection from any actual or threatened criminal offense to coerce an abortion. "
Albin added, "Tennessee Right to Life will continue to work with legislative sponsors to address sincere concerns and to find language acceptable to members of the sub-committee."
Florida Lawmaker Files Bill to ban Abortions Even Though Prospects Very Dim
Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) -- A Clay County legislator's plan to ban abortions in Florida has everything needed to make pro-life advocates feel good but faces numerous obstacles, from skeptical House colleagues to the U.S. Supreme Court. State Rep. Charles Van Zant, a Republican, filed a bill this month that would make nearly all forms of abortion a first-degree felony for the abortion practitioner.
"I just felt like we're destroying a lot of Florida's children, and we need to stop," Van Zant said, "and I felt led by the Lord to do that." Although other states have tried to ban abortions, such efforts are futile until there is a pro-life majority in the Supreme Court. Van Zant's bill is a politically explosive issue to tackle in an election year, and many other Florida legislators say they don't expect it to go far.
Despite its dim legislative prospects, pro-life advocates like Mary Huston, who became a staunch opponent after having an abortion at age 19, would like to see it be successful someday. Huston is the regional coordinator for a group called Silent No More, a public awareness campaign that stresses the long-term side effects of abortion. Huston blames her abortion for an inability to conceive, but she said few people give consideration to the big-dollar business of abortion, what she said tends to coerce women and hurt them physical and affect their mental health.
"The truth would make people run to the state Legislature for help," Huston said. "When's the last time someone came up to you and said, 'Hey, I just had an abortion, and it was great?' They are the walking wounded. They know it's horrible, and that's why nobody talks about it."
Oklahoma Legislature OKs Bill Banning Paying Women for Eggs for Fertility Clinics
Oklahoma City, OK (LifeNews.com) -- The Oklahoma state legislature has approved a bill that pro-life advocates are hailing because it stops fertility clinics from paying women for their eggs for research. Such practices are seen as exploitive and help prop up an industry that destroys unborn children via in-vitro fertilization, abortion, and eventual embryonic stem cell research. House Bill 3077 easily won House approval, passing 85-8. It now goes to the Senate.
"We are endangering our young women s lives, said Rep. Rebecca Hamilton, D-Oklahoma City, the bill s author. "These girls are being injured. They are dying. Low-income women and college students are especially vulnerable to enticements to undergo the procedure Hamilton described as complicated, dangerous and painful, including prodding and surgery. Women are paid and sometimes given hormones to ensure they produce more than the routine monthly number of eggs.
HB 3077 does not regulate or prohibit the procurement of eggs for the treatment of infertility being experienced by the woman from whom the eggs are being taken. Women would be allowed to donate, they just can't sell them, Hamilton said. A facility in Dallas often runs ads in college newspapers offering payments of between $5,000 and $45,000 to harvest women s eggs, she said. "What this (HB 3077) does, it stops the payment for women donating their eggs, she said.
Northern Ireland Health Department Threatened With Legal Action on Abortion Rules
Belfast, Northern Ireland (LifeNews.com) -- The health department in Northern Ireland has been threatened with further legal action following its decision to re-issue an edited version of the abortion guidance deemed unlawful by the high court last year. Attorneys for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) have written to the health minister notifying him that it will seek a second judicial review if the guidance is not withdrawn.
SPUC argues that the High Court identified serious flaws in the way the guidance dealt with counseling for women and the right of doctors not to participate in abortions. Lord Justice Girvan, who rejected a request to allow an edited version to remain in operation, ordered the department to withdraw the guidance in full. The letter from SPUC's lawyers describes the department's latest move as "irrational or perverse."
Liam Gibson of SPUC Northern Ireland said: "It s simply irrational and perverse for the department of health to re-issue its guidance on abortion law without giving any weight to the High Court's findings. It was clear from Lord Justice Girvan s judgement on 30 November that the guidance ought to be withdrawn as a whole, not just in part. Any doubt about this was removed on 14 December when the judge rejected the department's request merely to cut two sections from the document. The judge accepted SPUC's argument that the guidance was not made up of hermetically-sealed sections but the issues it dealt with were inter-related.
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