Wednesday, March 23, 2011 Pro-Life News Report 3/23/11 Pro-Life News Report
Wednesday, March 23, 2011

For pro-life news updated throughout the day, visit

Current Headlines

Top Stories
• GOP Presidential Hopefuls, Congressional Leaders Bash Obamacare
• Report: Number of Planned Parenthood Centers at 25-Year Low
• Stupak: No Regrets for Role in Allowing Pro-Abortion Obamacare
• Senator Highlights Rationing Problems With Obamacare Law

More Pro-Life News
• Where Does Scott Brown Stand on Planned Parenthood Funding?
• Baby Joseph Maraachli Baptized, Family Pleased with Tracheotomy
• Pro-Lifers to Seattle U: Stop Promoting Pro-Abortion Groups

• Kansas Senate Passes Fetal Pain-Based Late Abortion Ban
• Hey Mitch Daniels: Abortion Battle Moving in Pro-Life Direction
• Texas Medical Board Gets Complaints on Problem Abortionists
• Idaho House Committee Moves Assisted Suicide Ban Further
• Idaho Senate Passes Fetal Pain Bill Banning Late Abortions
• Assisted Suicide Advocate Heads Up Palliative Care in Vermont

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GOP Presidential Hopefuls, Congressional Leaders Bash Obamacare
Likely Republican presidential hopefuls bashed Obamacare on the day of its one-year anniversary — joining pro-life advocates who hope the courts overturn the pro-abortion law or Congress repeals it. House Republican leaders joined them.

Fresh from his announcement of a presidential exploratory committee, pro-life former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty took a firm position against Obamacare, similar to the one he took as governor where he refused to implement parts of the controversial health care plan.

"One year ago today, President Obama signed into law the federal government takeover of health care, one of the most flawed and misguided laws in modern history," Pawlenty said. "Obamacare takes our health care system in the wrong direction, failing to reduce costs and improve quality. The law infringes on individuals' and states' rights by forcing individuals to purchase a good or service, which is why I joined a lawsuit calling the law unconstitutional."

If the Supreme Court does not eventually rule Obamacare unconstitutional, Pawlenty said he would take steps to repeal it.

"If courts do not do so first, as President, I would support the immediate repeal of Obamacare and replace it with market-based health care reforms," he said.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who is widely expected to run for the GOP nomination to face pro-abortion President Barack Obama, also came out swinging against Obamacare, which recent polls show is still significantly unpopular with American voters. He said he would issue executive orders on his first day as president allowing all 50 states to have waivers to opt out of implementing the health care law. Full story at

Report: Number of Planned Parenthood Centers at 25-Year Low
A new report indicates the Planned Parenthood abortion business is closing centers faster than it can open new ones and the total number of facilities it operates has hit a 25-year low.

The organization STOPP International released the report yesterday showing that, for the fifth straight year, the number of Planned Parenthood centers has declined. In 2010, the Parenthood Federation of America opened 18 new clinics and closed 49, bringing its total clinic number down to 785 – the lowest it has been since 1986.

"Closings were spread all across the country and took place in 20 different states. Only three states (Massachusetts, Utah and Washington) had more clinics in 2010 than they did in 2009," the report indicated. "Although nine clinics were closed because of the financial failure of Planned Parenthood Golden Gate, the reason given by Planned Parenthood for most clinic closings was a cutback in taxpayer funding or insufficient number of clients."

The study confirmed Planned Parenthood is increasingly shifting away from performing surgical abortions and, instead, using the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug that has been responsible for killing at least 13 women worldwide (maybe more) and injured 1,100 in the United States alone as of FDA figures from 2006. Planned Parenthood lowered the number of surgical abortion centers by 8, in 2010, but increased its number of facilities pushing the abortion drug by 25.

The abortion business ended the year with a total of 321 abortion facilities with 165 doing surgical abortions and giving out the abortion drug mifepristone, and another 156 dispensing the abortion drug but not doing surgical abortions. This represents an increase of 5.5 percent from the 304 abortion facilities it operated at the end of 2009 and, although Planned Parenthood likes to talk about the low percentage of abortions it does compared to other "services," more than 40 percent of its centers do some type of abortion. Full story at

Stupak: No Regrets for Role in Allowing Pro-Abortion Obamacare
Congressman Bart Stupak went from one of the darlings of the pro-life movement to the public face of its opposition to Obamacare overnight when he changed position and supported the legislation. He says now he has no regrets.

One year after pro-abortion President Barack Obama traded a much-maligned and ineffective executive order for votes from Stupak and his colleagues for the health care law, which contains significant loopholes allowing abortion funding, Stupak told The Hill he has no regrets.

"You take the bad with the good, but it came down that I played a pivotal role," Stupak told the congressional magazine. "I'm comfortable with doing it, I'm comfortable with the legislation, and I still think it's a good piece of legislation."

Stupak received so much criticism for his part in allowing the government takeover of health care that he became one of the most hated politicians for conservative and pro-life voters. The criticism was so much and became so personal that Stupak eventually retired from Congress and was replaced by a pro-life Republican, physician Dan Benishek, who promised to make opposing Obamacare the centerpiece of his service in Washington.

Now, Stupak is a fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and he told The Hill it's "not unusual" for him to still face public criticism from strangers who recognize him at places he goes.

The criticism of Stupak's deal has also come from top Republicans and pro-life groups as recently as this year. Full story at

Senator Highlights Rationing Problems With Obamacare Law
Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is a pro-life Republican elected last year in part because of the massive public opposition to the Obamacare health care bill. Today, in a Wall St. Journal column, he outlines the rationing concerns with the law.

"America has always been a place where medical miracles happen. Since 1970, American doctors have won more Nobel Prizes for Medicine than all other countries combined. According to McKinsey and Co., thousands of foreigners come to the United States every year for medical care they cannot get at home—due to rationing or because it is simply not provided. And cutting-edge drugs to treat serious illnesses are more widely available in the U.S. than abroad," Johnson writes.

"Those in need of timely care from specialists are better off in the U.S," he says.

"Take cancer as one example. Compared to the U.S., breast cancer mortality is 9% higher in Canada (according to the government statistics of each country), 52% higher in Germany and 88% higher in the United Kingdom (according to studies published in Lancet Oncology). Prostate cancer mortality is 604% higher in Britain," the senator notes.

"Drawing on several peer-reviewed studies, Dr. Scott Atlas of the Stanford University Medical Center notes that patients who need knee and hip replacement, cataract surgery, and radiation treatment wait months longer in the United Kingdom and Canada than in the United States," he continues. "The plain truth is that the American system is better at rewarding innovation and responding to consumer needs. But the history of government-led care is there for all to see. Are we doomed to repeat it?" Full story at

Where Does Scott Brown Stand on Planned Parenthood Funding?
Scott Brown, the Republican senator from liberal Massachusetts, has just announced he opposes efforts to de-fund Planned Parenthood. That's what most mainstream media outlets reported — but is it true?

As reported yesterday, Brown's office released an obviously carefully-worded statement either designed to deliberately confuse organizations following the de-funding debate in Congress or masterfully tiptoeing around a delicate issue.

"I support family planning and health services for women. Given our severe budget problems, I don't believe any area of the budget is completely immune from cuts. However, the proposal to eliminate all funding for family planning goes too far. As we continue with our budget negotiations, I hope we can find a compromise that is reasonable and appropriate."

The statement, which most media outlets and even top officials with leading pro-life groups, was interpreted as Brown shifting his position on de-funding Planned Parenthood. Brown already supported de-funding once — very recently — by virtue of his vote for the House-passed long-term Continuing Resolution containing the Pence Amendment scrapping every dollar of taxpayer funding for the abortion business.

However, the House bill also deleted every bit of funding for the Title X family planning program, which doesn't pay for abortions. Brown's actual statement only concerned the family planning funding program and not about funding the abortion business itself though, as this news outlet pointed out, Brown's staff released it with a headline saying the actual quote concerned Planned Parenthood funding. Full story at

Baby Joseph Maraachli Baptized, Family Pleased with Tracheotomy
aby Joseph Maraachli, the infant who escaped Canada to come to the United States for a tracheotomy procedure his parents wanted so he could breath easier as he dies from a debilitating disease, has been baptized.

Moe Maraachli, Joseph's father, commented on the developments: "It's a miracle. My son now has freedom. I'm very happy. My wife and I will respect the second opinion from the hospital in St. Louis. We will accept        it with all my heart because Joseph got his human right to get a chance to get a second opinion. When God wants to take his life He'll take it and nobody can say 'No' to God."

Father Frank Pavone, the director of Priests for Life, talked about that and gave an update in an email to, saying Joseph's parents are pleased following the procedure.

"Wednesday he underwent surgery for the tracheotomy that Canadian officials refused to allow doctors to perform," Pavone said. "His parents are so happy that he received a fresh evaluation and second opinion, and they now feel that their baby has been given the proper kind of medical care."

"Also, Baby Joseph was baptized just the other day, and Jerry Horn of our Priests for Life team is now his godfather," he added. Full story at

Pro-Lifers to Seattle U: Stop Promoting Pro-Abortion Groups
More than a dozen pro-life groups are banding together for a letter to the president of Seattle University asking that the Catholic institution end its promotion of the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

Earlier this month, Seattle University came under fire for offering students internships with the local Planned Parenthood abortion business.

In a section on "Public Affairs Student Internships," Seattle University lists Planned Parenthood of Western Washington and encourages students to contact its career services department for additional information. No internship possibilities with pro-life groups or crisis pregnancy centers are listed.

The problems go beyond the mere listing as the Women Studies department at Seattle University encourages students to "get involved" with pro-abortion groups. The Women Studies web page states: "On the Seattle University Campus, in the Northwest, and across the Nation there are countless women's organizations for you to get involved with. Here are some links to help you get started."

Immediately after this "get involved" offer, students find pro-abortion groups such as the National Organization for Women, the Feminist Majority and Legal Momentum. Full story at

Kansas Senate Passes Fetal Pain-Based Late Abortion Ban
The Kansas state Senate quickly followed a committee vote and approved a bill banning late abortions based on the scientific evidence showing unborn children can feel pain beginning at 20 weeks of pregnancy. Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee signed off on HB 2218, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, that bans abortions at 22 weeks gestation (20 weeks post-conception) due to the scientific evidence that not only do unborn children feel pain, they feel it more acutely because pain "dampeners" do not fully develop until 40 weeks gestation, and later. Full story at

Hey Mitch Daniels: Abortion Battle Moving in Pro-Life Direction
An article that ran Monday in the Associated Press ("Growing evangelical clout shaping debate") laments the "growing clout" of social and religious conservatives in Iowa, a state traditionally very important in presidential races because its caucuses are held first. Full story at

Texas Medical Board Gets Complaints on Problem Abortionists
The Texas Medical Board, which oversees licensed physicians but not abortion centers, has received complaints about a dozen abortion practitioners after a massive statewide investigation. As reported earlier this month, the pro-life group Operation Rescue conducted a wide-ranging investigation and found numerous abortion centers, staff and abortion practitioners evading Texas laws, illegally dumping patient records and medical waste, covering up potential cases of statutory rape, and helping teenagers avoid the Texas parental involvement law on abortion. Full story at

Idaho House Committee Moves Assisted Suicide Ban Further
An Idaho state House committee moved the legislation banning assisted suicide and making it a felony further down the legislative process. The House State Affairs Committee approved SB 1070 on a unanimous voice vote on Tuesday and the action sends the legislation to the full House for a debate and vote. While surrounding states like Washington and Oregon pushed ahead to become the first in the nation to legalize assisted suicide and Montana could be right behind them, the Senate already approved the bill and it is likely headed to the governor. 
Full story at

Idaho Senate Passes Fetal Pain Bill Banning Late Abortions
The Idaho state Senate approved a bill that bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on the scientific evidence showing unborn children feel extensive pain. The Senate voted 24-10 for the legislation. During the debate, according to an AP report, Democratic Sen. Diane Bilyeu, of Pocatello told lawmakers the legislation "lets Big Brother decide what's best for our families," but sponsoring Sen. Chuck Winder, a Republican, said the bill is about science and protecting human life. 
Full story at

Assisted Suicide Advocate Heads Up Palliative Care in Vermont
orter Medical Center proudly announced their new "Partners in Palliative and Home Care" practice staffed with Diana Barnard, MD and Will Porter, MD in the summer of 2009. Full story at


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