LifeNews.com Pro-Life News Report
Saturday, July 24, 2010
|For pro-life news updated throughout the day, visit LifeNews.com.|
• Senate Republican Leadership Now Unanimously Opposes Pro-Abortion Kagan
• Obama Rationing Czar Donald Berwick Has Lifetime Health Care, GOP Responds
• House Members Slam Obama Admin's Promise to Not Fund Abortion in Health Care
• Right to Life to Senate: Defeat Disclose Act, Places Limits on Pro-Life Groups
• Kenya Residents Support New Pro-Abortion Constitution, Polling Results Show
• Don't Trust Obama Administration to Keep Abortion Funding Out of Health Care
• Salon Writer Responds to "Family Guy," Let's Have More Abortion on Television
• California Pro-Life Group Disputes Results of Field Poll Showing Abortion Support
• New Jersey Governor Christie Vetoes Bill Sending Millions to Planned Parenthood
• Nebraska Attorney General May Not Fully Defend New Abortion Screening Law
• Birmingham, Alabama Dismisses All Charges Against Pro-Life Protestors
• Pro-Life News: Susan Collins, Kagan, Abortion, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Waco, Texas
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Senate Republican Leadership Now Unanimously Opposes Pro-Abortion Kagan
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Sen. Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who is the chairman of the Senate GOP conference, announced his opposition today to the nomination of pro-abortion Solicitor general Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. His announcement makes it so every top Republican lawmaker now opposes Kagan.
I voted against the president s nomination of Elena Kagan to be Solicitor General and I will vote against her confirmation to the Supreme Court for the same reason," Alexander said today in a statement.
President Obama won the election, and I am not surprised that he would nominate someone to the Supreme Court whose political and judicial philosophy is different from mine, he continued.
Although he voted for another pro-abortion nominee last year, Alexander says Kagan is too far outside the mainstream to receive his support.
It is not necessary for a judicial nominee to be on my side politically for me to vote to confirm her. One year ago I voted to confirm the president s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court," he said.
With his announcement, Kagan now has only two GOP supporters, Sen Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Dick Lugar of Indiana. Both are pro-life but they say presidents should be entitled to have their Supreme Court nominees confirmed. Full story at LifeNews.com
Obama Rationing Czar Donald Berwick Has Lifetime Health Care, GOP Responds
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Earlier this month, President Barack Obama used a recess appointment to make rationing advocate Donald Berwick the director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Now, new information shows the rationing czar has lifetime health care insurance from an institute paying him millions of dollars.
Writer Byron York of the Washington Examiner highlights in a column today that Republican members of the Senate, who did not get a chance to hold a hearing or vote on Berwick thanks to the recess appointment, are pointing to Berwick's ties to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement as a problem.
The nonprofit organization received $12.2 million in contributions and grants in 2008, the Examiner indicates, and Berwick received $2.3 million that year in compensation. His salary from the organization was $637,006 in 2007 and $585,008 in 2006.
But York writes that one item researchers into Berwick's background noted is a small paragraph inserted into an audit report noting the members of the board of directors approved, in 2003, health insurance coverage for Berwick and his wife "from retirement until death."
"Millions of Americans worry about securing coverage and paying for it. Berwick, who advocates rationing for the masses, will never be one of them," York writes.
Republicans would like to question Berwick on this and other issues, but will not have the chance. Full story at LifeNews.com
House Members Slam Obama Admin's Promise to Not Fund Abortion in Health Care
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- A group of 21 hardcore pro-abortion members of the House sent a letter to Obama administration officials today complaining about its promise not to fund abortions in the new high risk health insurance programs created under the national health care plan President Barack Obama signed.
As LifeNews.com has reported, the National Right to Life Committee uncovered plans by the Obama administration and state officials to fund abortions in the programs.
The abortion funding would have taken place in Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Maryland and potentially other states. Responding to NRLC's whistleblowing, HHS officials promised no abortion funding would occur -- although no law or administration rules have been implemented to do that.
Now, some of the most ardent abortion proponents are complaining because they want abortion funding guaranteed.
In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the lawmakers argue the Obama administration should be working to expand women s access to care, and not narrow the scope of care available.
We are concerned that limiting the range of services that women can access will affect how women and their physicians make private medical decisions, the lawmakers wrote. Women with pre-existing conditions may be in medically vulnerable positions, when health considerations and life considerations are most intertwined and complicated. Full story at LifeNews.com
Right to Life to Senate: Defeat Disclose Act, Places Limits on Pro-Life Groups
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- The National Right to Life Committee is again asking members of the Senate to defeat the DISCLOSE Act, the campaign finance reform bill. The pro-life organization says the bill places such onerous limits on pro-life groups that they would have problems getting their message out.
The Senate is scheduled to a cloture vote on Tuesday on whether to take a vote on the bill (S. 3628).
With that in mind, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) today sent senators a letter characterizing the bill as "a blatant political attack on the First Amendment rights of NRLC, our state affiliates, and our members and donors."
The letter advises members that the limits are so problematic, NRLC is forced to include a roll call of the vote in the annual ratings of Congress it provides to millions of pro-life voters.
The bill would codify a vague and expansive definition of express advocacy under which any expenditure for a public communication that takes a position on a candidate s character, qualification, or fitness for office might be deemed to be an independent expenditure and therefore subject to numerous burdensome and intrusive regulations.
"The bill applies this vague standard not only to broadcast ads very near elections, but to any public communication broadcast or print at any time of the year, and even to paid ads on the Internet," the letter complains. Full story at LifeNews.com
Kenya Residents Support New Pro-Abortion Constitution, Polling Results Show
Nairobi, Kenya (LifeNews.com) -- Two new polls released today reveal Kenya residents plan to support the proposed constitution on an August 4 vote. The constitution has become an international debate as the Obama administration has come under heavy criticism for spending as much as $23 million to support it.
The polling firm Synovate conducted a survey with more than 6,000 Kenyans and found 58 percent of those interviewed say they plan to vote for the constitution while just 22 percent said no and the rest were undecided or said they would not vote.
The poll also found just three percent of those surveyed worried violence would break out if the constitution is defeated, as happened the last time Kenyans rejected one at the polls. That appears to undermine some of the arguments government officials are using to request a Yes vote.
"The numbers are quite low, which therefore means that there is that level of tolerance of each other's position," said George Waititu, the managing director of the polling firm, told AP.
The new poll also found abortion is the main reason Kenyans cited for potentially voting no -- with 62 percent of those saying they will oppose the constitution naming abortion as the top reason.
Meanwhile, AP indicates a second poll conducted by the firm Infotrack with 1,200 people found 65 percent of Kenyans planned to vote Yes on the constitution and 25 percent said they would vote no, while the rest remained undecided. Full story at LifeNews.com
Don't Trust Obama Administration to Keep Abortion Funding Out of Health Care
by Richard M. Doerflinger
Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in March, amidst an unresolved debate about the legislation's impact on abortion and conscience protection.
As president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Francis George explained then that the bishops had to oppose the final bill despite their strong support for health care reform, because (among other things) it appropriates billions of dollars in new funding without explicitly prohibiting the use of these funds for abortion. Others dismissed this charge, saying that legislative intent and a last-minute executive order from President Obama prevented abortion funding.
Fast-forward to July, when one of those PPACA provisions appropriating billions of dollars was about to take effect. Section 1101 of the Act provides $5 billion for high-risk insurance pools, providing much-needed health coverage for people with pre-existing conditions who cannot otherwise get coverage.
This program ends in January 2014, when these patients can join others in purchasing qualified health plans on the new state insurance exchanges. State governments can propose the benefits list and other details for covering their residents in these pools, but the federal government makes final decisions and provides all government funds for subsidizing this coverage.
Pro-life groups found that several states beginning with Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Maryland had announced on their web sites that their statewide plans would include elective abortions. Full story at LifeNews.com
Salon Writer Responds to "Family Guy," Let's Have More Abortion on Television
by Melissa Afable
What does Salon think American TV needs more of? Abortion, and lots of it.
In a July 20 "Broadsheet" article, Salon writer Mary Elizabeth Williams addressed Fox's decision to release the highly controversial "Family Guy" abortion episode as a stand-alone DVD feature this September. Williams crassly compared the comedy show's efforts to make money off a "Banned From TV" episode to "having an abortion and getting your baby too."
The episode's controversy revolved around character Lois Griffin questioning whether to go through with a pregnancy as a surrogate mother for a couple who died in a car crash. Williams used the network's move as a springboard for her real complaint: the lack of abortion on American airwaves. Full story at LifeNews.com
California Pro-Life Group Disputes Results of Field Poll Showing Abortion Support
Sacramento, CA (LifeNews.com) -- The director of the California Pro-Life Council is disputing the results of a new Field Poll showing state voters strongly support abortion. The poll has been used by the media and political observers to imply pro-life Senate candidate Carly Fiorina may have a tough election battle.
According to the new survey, more than 70 percent of Californians support legalized abortion.
The Field Poll says that number has remained steady -- with anywhere from 66 percent to 71 percent of Golden State voters saying they support abortion since it began polling on it in 1987.
But Brian Johnston of CPLC says the Field Poll demonstrates its intentional "framing of answers" in it's opinion survey and is at variance with reputable opinion analysis.
"The Field Poll is well known for its ideological agenda and is a paid contractor of such for a consortium of California newspapers," he told LifeNews.com yesterday. "The questions in its most recent poll are clearly designed to mislead those questioned and thus intentionally misconstrue their answers. Full story at LifeNews.com
New Jersey Governor Christie Vetoes Bill Sending Millions to Planned Parenthood
Trenton, NJ (LifeNews.com) -- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie won the praise of pro-life advocates today by vetoing a bill that would restore the family planning funds his administration cut from the state budget because of deep economic troubles. Although it doesn't fund abortions directly, the money goes to the Planned Parenthood abortion business.
The funds go to 58 family planning clinics but Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion chain, runs 29 of the facilities.
Christie thinks there's little reason to send the abortion centers $7.5 million when the state currently faces an $11 billion deficit. He said the "unprecedented financial difficulties" of the state made it so the money was better off not spent.
Christie's state budget removed the millions in funding for the abortion businesses but Democrats, in June, voted to restore the health and family planning services via a supplemental funding bill that is on his desk.
Marie Tasy, executive director of New Jersey Right to Life, told LifeNews.com this afternoon, "For far too long and without voter approval, NJ taxpayers were forced to fund Planned Parenthood in the state budget under 'family planning services.'" Full story at LifeNews.com
Nebraska Attorney General May Not Fully Defend New Abortion Screening Law
Lincoln, NE (LifeNews.com) -- Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said in a radio interview today that he may not fully defend a new state law that helps women obtain more information about abortion risks. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland filed a lawsuit against a bill supported by pro-life advocates.
The measure is designed to help women get the kind of information on abortion's risks and alternatives that it fails to provide.
During an interview on Lincoln's KLIN radio, Bruning said he is debating whether it is worth the time and expense to defend the law through what is expected to be a lengthy appeals process or whether lawmakers should draft a new bill to respond to the issues raised in the lawsuit.
Last week, U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp issued a ruling blocking the state from enforcing the law.
When he issued a statement to coincide with his brief filed beforehand to defend LB 594, he said he vigorously opposed the preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order requested by Planned Parenthood.
LB 594 was enacted to ensure that women are informed of the risks and complications of having an abortion, said Bruning. Today we filed our brief and we are confident the law will stand. Full story at LifeNews.com
Birmingham, Alabama Dismisses All Charges Against Pro-Life Protestors
Birmingham, AL (LifeNews.com) -- The city of Birmingham's legal department dismissed all criminal charges against nine members of the Survivors pro-life group after losing a case about an incident involving its police department.
The pro-life people were arrested in February 2009 and jailed overnight for displaying pro-life signs and handing out literature on a public sidewalk outside a high school in Birmingham.
The pro-life youth activists were represented by Life Legal Defense Foundation staff attorney Allison Aranda, along with local attorney Nicholas Beckham.
Despite video evidence of the events showing the team peacefully and lawfully exercising free speech rights on the public sidewalk, the City filed trespass charges against the individuals claiming that the young people unlawfully entered school property.
"While we are elated that justice has finally come to the nine youth who were falsely arrested," said Dana Cody, Executive Director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation, "these meritless charges should have been dismissed long ago." Full story at LifeNews.com
Pro-Life News: Susan Collins, Kagan, Abortion, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Waco, Texas
Pro-Abortion Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins to Back Elena Kagan
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins has announced she will support pro-abortion Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. Collins' announcement made her the third GOP senator to support Obama's choice to succeed retired pro-abortion Justice John Paul Stevens.
Two Pennsylvania Abortion Centers Reportedly Close, Run by Steven Brigham
Harrisburg, PA (LifeNews.com) -- Two Pennsylvania abortion centers have reportedly closed following news reports that state health officials are pursuing complaints against abortion practitioner Steven Brigham.
Arizona Pro-Life Governor Jan Brewer Cruising to Solid Lead in November
Phoenix, AZ (LifeNews.com) -- Arizona Governor Jan Brewer was struggling earlier this year but now holds a commanding lead in the campaign to keep her job.
Waco, Texas Pro-Lifers Battle Planned Parenthood Again on Nobody's Fool
Waco, TX (LifeNews.com) -- Pro-Life Waco has challenged its local Planned Parenthood with the content of Healthy Happy and HOT from International Planned Parenthood Federation.
Full story at LifeNews.com
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