Tuesday, December 22, 2009

LifeNews.com Pro-Life News Report 12/23/09

LifeNews.com Pro-Life News Report

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

For news updated throughout the day, visit LifeNews.com.

Current Headlines

Senate OKs Manager's Amendment to Health Care Bill Funding Abortions

Poll: 72 Percent of Americans Oppose Paying for Abortions in Health Care Bill

After Senate, Lawmakers Will Have to Decide Between Abortion, Health Care
Sam Brownback: I Hope Abortion Kills Pro-Abortion Health Care in Congress
Senators Challenge Health Care Bill Section Making Death Panels Permanent
Kathleen Sebelius Admits, Covers Up Abortion Funding in Health Care Measure
Conservative Attorney Sues Obama Admin Over Abortion-Health Care Meetings
Pro-Life Democratic Congressman, Doctor, Switches to GOP Over Health Care
Sex and the City Actress Cynthia Nixon Promotes Taxpayer-Funded Abortions
North Carolina High School Denied Pro-Life Student Free Speech, Backs Down

Judge Rejects Scott Roeder's Necessity Defense in George Tiller Murder Trial

--> IMPORTANT ACTION ALERT: Please call both of your members of the Senate and urge them to support the filibuster of the pro-abortion health care bill. Find any senator's contact information here.

Senate OKs Manager's Amendment to Health Care Bill Funding Abortions
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Tuesday morning, the Senate approved the Harry Reid manager's amendment to the government-run health care bill. Reid's amendment includes the so-called "compromise" language he agreed on with embattled Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska that keeps abortion funding in the bill.

The Senate voted on the manager's amendment, number 3276, on a 60-39 vote. All Democrats in the chamber voted for the amendment while all Republicans, except absent pro-life Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, voted against it.

The strict party-line vote was similar to the 60-40 vote in favor of the cloture motion to end the debate and filibuster against the amendment.

With the vote today, the Senate now begins 30 hours of post-cloture debate that will continue throughout the day today and tomorrow. The next vote is slated for Wednesday afternoon, when senators will vote on cloture to end debate on the pro-abortion health care bill itself. The Senate is still expected to vote on the bill on Christmas Eve, although there has been talk this morning of moving up the vote because of further snowstorms across the country.

The amendment makes major changes to the massive abortion funding already found in the bill, as Dorinda Bordlee of the Bioethics Defense Fund explains.

"The Manager s Amendment does not contain language similar to the pro-life Stupak amendment approved by the House," she told LifeNews.com. "Instead the section on abortion (starting on page 38) adds a provision allowing states to opt out of providing abortion coverage through the exchange and adds further layers of accounting requirements." Full story at LifeNews.com


Poll: 72 Percent of Americans Oppose Paying for Abortions in Health Care Bill
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- A new poll shows 72 percent of Americans oppose paying for abortions with their tax dollars under the government-run health care bill in Congress. As the Senate prepares to vote on legislation that contains massive abortion funding, a Quinnipiac University survey released today shows opposition.

American voters mostly disapprove of the pro-abortion health care bill, by a 53-36 percent margin. They also disapprove of pro-abortion President Barack Obama's handling of the health care issue by a similar 56-38 percent margin, the new survey showed.

But abortion funding draws strenuous opposition from the American public, regardless of political persuasion, with 72 percent saying they oppose "using any public money in the health care overhaul to pay for abortions" and just 23 percent saying they favor it.

The poll found Republicans oppose funding abortions in the health care bill an a 91-5 percent clip, Democrats oppose it 54-38 percent, and independents oppose it 74-23 percent.

Men oppose taxpayer funded abortions on a 73-21 percent margin while women also oppose it by a 70-25 percent margin. Whites opposed it 72-23 percent while blacks oppose abortion funding 67-20 percent. Full story at LifeNews.com


After Senate, Lawmakers Will Have to Decide Between Abortion and Health Care
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- The Senate is expected to approve its pro-abortion health care bill this week and conclude round two of the match between pro-life advocates and lawmakers who favor funding abortions. When the bill moves to a conference committee following the Senate vote, abortion advocates will have to make tough decisions.

The conference committee will include members of the House and Senate and they will have to resolve the very different abortion funding language in the bills. On the House side, lawmakers approved the Stupak amendment that bans abortion funding while the Senate language -- the fake Reid-Nelson "compromise" -- allows government funding of abortions and possible abortion coverage mandates for insurance companies.

With Rep. Bart Stupak promising to vote against the bill, along with his pro-life colleagues who voted for the House version, if the conference committee removes his abortion funding ban, abortion advocates have a tough decision to make.

Will they remove the abortion funding from the Senate bill and send back to both chambers legislation that contains the abortion ban in order to get a health care bill approved? Or will they rely on the Senate language (or some other "compromise" that Stupak, pro-life lawmakers and pro-life groups will undoubtedly oppose) and take their chances that a pro-abortion health care bill will receive House approval? Full story at LifeNews.com


Sam Brownback: I Hope Abortion Kills Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill in Congress
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- In an opinion piece posted at the Politico web site, Kansas Republican Senator Sam Brownback says he hopes the abortion funding in the government-run health care bill will ultimately defeat the bill. As LifeNew.com reported today, abortion advocates may have to choose between abortion and the bill.

That's because a conference committee must merge the House and Senate bills into one bill that either funds abortions and may be defeated by pro-life advocates or one that doesn't fund abortions and may be defeated by pro-abortion activists.

"Even if the Democrats are able to ram this bill through the Senate, there is still hope that it may founder in the conference with House Democrats," Brownback writes.

"Both abortion rights supporters and anti-abortion advocates on the House side have pledged to vote against the current abortion-funding language in the Reid amendment and called it unacceptable," he said. "Since the Democrats are working with a thin margin of support for the bill in the House, it is just possible that the attempt to use health care reform to force taxpayer funding for abortion will end up killing the bill."

Brownback says in the Politico piece that the abortion funding divide "is now the central debate in reconciling the differences between the House and Senate Democratic bills." "If the issue of abortion funding brings down this bill, it will be a victory for the cause of protecting innocent human life. That would be an irony that Henry Hyde would have greatly appreciated," Brownback concludes. Full story at LifeNews.com


Senators Challenge Health Care Bill Section Making Death Panels Permanent
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Two pro-life senators plan to raise a constitutional challenge to a section of the Senate health care bill that makes the infamous "death panels" permanent. They say it is unconstitutional to pass a law that prevents Congress from overturning the law at a later point.

Senators Jim DeMint of South Carolina and John Ensign of Nevada raised a Constitutional Point of Order on the Senate floor against the bill on behalf of other Republican lawmakers. The Senate will vote tomorrow on the bill s constitutionality.

At issue is Section 3403 of Senator Harry Reid's manager's amendment that the Senate adopted Tuesday morning and is now part of the pro-abortion, government-run health care bill. The section, on page 1020, says "it shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection."

That would be a problem for any section of any bill but the language in contention concerns pro-life advocates because it is the so-called death panels section whereby regulations are imposed on doctors and patients by the Independent Medicare Advisory Boards.

"This is not legislation. It s not law. This is a rule change. It s a pretty big deal. We will be passing a new law and at the same time creating a Senate rule that makes it out of order to amend or even repeal the law," DeMint said in a Monday night Senate speech. Full story at LifeNews.com


Kathleen Sebelius Admits, Covers Up Abortion Funding in Health Care Measure
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is getting attention for an interview yesterday in which she essentially admits that the American public would be forced to pay for abortions under the Senate health are bill and then relies on accounting gimmicks to suggests that's not the case.

Sebelius spoke with BlogHer interviewer Morra Aarons-Mele yesterday and praised the new abortion language the Senate adopted in Harry Reid's manager's amendment.

The language, submitted by Sen. Ben Nelson in conjunction with Sen. Bob Casey and pro-abortion Sens. Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray, opens the door to massive abortion funding.

"I would say that the Senate language, which was negotiated by Senators Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray, who are very strong defenders of women s health services and choices for women, take a big step forward from where the House left it with the Stupak amendment," the pro-abortion Obama administration official said.

Sebelius said she thinks the language does a "good job making sure there are choices for women, making sure there are going to be some plan options, and making sure that while public funds aren't used."

She added: "That would be an accounting procedure, but everybody in the exchange would do the same thing, whether you're male or female, whether you're 75 or 25, you would all set aside a portion of your premium that would go into a fund, and it would not be earmarked for anything, it would be a separate account that everyone in the exchange would pay." Full story at LifeNews.com


Conservative Attorney Sues Obama Admin Over Abortion-Health Care Meetings
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- A conservative attorney has filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration demanding that it release documents about meetings on health care. Larry Klayman alleges it is violating federal law by not providing it information on meetings that could include Planned Parenthood.

Klayman filed suit in federal district court saying the Obama administration is not complying with its Freedom of Information Act requests.

As a result, he contends Obama officials have violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act and the Freedom of Information Act by not handing over information on closed-door meetings at the White House.

The lawsuit's focus is the Health Reform De Facto Advisory Committee that included representatives of other groups along with Planned Parenthood. The Obama administration came under fire for not inviting any pro-life groups to participate in health care meetings.

Klayman says he wants the Obama administration to give up documents showing minutes of the meeting and their final results. The lawsuit says Obama's "haste to socialize medicine in the United States, and increase government control generally," he has "violated his commitment to transparency." Full story at LifeNews.com


Pro-Life Democratic Congressman, Doctor, Switches to GOP Over Health Care
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Alabama congressman Parker Griffith has had enough of the Democratic Party thanks to its pushing a pro-abortion health care bill. The pro-lie Democrat announced today that he is switching parties and becoming a Republican because of the problems associated with the bill.

"I believe our nation is at a crossroads and I can no longer align myself with a party that continues to pursue legislation that is bad for our country, hurts our economy, and drives us further and further into debt," Griffith said today.

"I want to make it perfectly clear that this bill is bad for our doctors," he said Tuesday. "It's bad for our patients. It's bad for the young men and women who are considering going into the health care field." When it comes to abortion and the government-run health care bill, Griffith said, "I now believe that the differences in the two parties could not be more clear."

The party switch won't impact the eventual vote in the House on the conference committee health care bill as he had already voted for the Stupak amendment to ban abortion funding and against the final bill. Full story at LifeNews.com


Sex and the City Actress Cynthia Nixon Promotes Taxpayer-Funded Abortions
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- The Hollywood elite and abortion promotion have long been synonymous but Sex and the City actress Cynthia Nixon is quickly becoming one of the leading pro-abortion voices in Tinseltown. Nixon followed up her Planned Parenthood fundraising letter earlier this year by wading into the health care debate.

Nixon is joining abortion advocates who want to ensure taxpayer funding of abortion remains in the Senate government-run health care bill.

Just one week after returning to the United States from filming the sequel to the popular television franchise's first feature film, Nixon is bashing a congressman's ban on abortion funding that made it in the House bill.

She explained to CNN why she "can't keep quiet" about promoting abortions -- at taxpayer expense. "It's a very basic female right that we need to protect," Nixon said. "What's so frightening about this Stupak ban is that he's found a backdoor way to basically not cover abortion for the vast majority of American women."

In the CNN interview, Nixon, who plays the character Miranda on Sex and the City, talked about her decades-long abortion activism and said it stemmed from personal reasons. "I've been involved since I was 15, so we're talking almost 30 years now," she said. Full story at LifeNews.com


North Carolina High School Had Denied Pro-Life Student Free Speech, Backs Down
Asheboro, NC (LifeNews.com) -- A North Carolina high school is backing down after a pro-life legal group helped a pro-life student who faced a revocation of her free speech rights. Brianna Cardwell wanted to participate in the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity sponsored by Stand True Ministries.

The day is an opportunity for students to wear red tape or armbands to show their solidarity with unborn children who can't speak for themselves. It features pro-life t-shirts and fliers explaining how abortion kills unborn children and has adversely impacted society.

Caldwell wore a T-shirt with the word abortion crossed out and distributed her fliers during non-instructional time to her classmates that explained her pro-life views. However, the assistant principal at Randelman High School told her to stop disseminating the literature and said she would be require to keep her jacket on for the remainder of the school day to cover up her shirt.

The female school official confiscated the fliers and said that Cardwell s T-shirt and fliers were offensive and violated the separation of church and state. When Caldwell tried to secure the return of her fliers the next day, school officials refused.

The Alliance Defense Fund stepped in to help Caldwell and sent a letter asserting her rights on her behalf. The assistant principal responded to that November 24 letter from ADF by giving the fliers back to Cardwell and telling her that she would be able to wear her T-shirt and distribute the fliers in the future. Full story at LifeNews.com


Judge Rejects Scott Roeder's Necessity Defense in George Tiller Murder Trial
Wichita, KS (LifeNews.com) -- A judge ruled today that Kansas law does not allow a man accused of killing late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller to use a necessity defense. Scott Roeder hoped to be able to tell the court that he killed Tiller because his death was necessary to save the lives of unborn children.

But Judge Warren Wilbert denied that line of defense for the man who has no affiliated with any pro-life groups and who has confessed in media interviews to killing Tiller.

According to an AP report, Judge Wilbert cited a 1993 criminal trespassing case involving an abortion center as his reason for turning back the defense argument. In the case, the Kansas Supreme Court said state law allows no room for personal beliefs to allow unlawful activities. The state court's ruling said allowing it would "not only lead to chaos but would be tantamount to sanctioning anarchy."

Judge Wilbert did note that Roeder's case involves taking a life and to merely the destruction of property or misdemeanor crimes, but AP noted him saying he didn't want to make that kind of assessment. "That is certainly not a position I want to be in because I am not God," Wilbert said.

Despite the ruling, the judge told Roeder's defense attorneys he would "leave the door open" to consider whether to allow evidence based on the legitimate use of force for the defense of another person before allowing the jury to hear it. Full story at LifeNews.com

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