Wednesday, May 11, 2011

BenchBriefs: Planned Parenthood Makes a Mother's Day Appeal

Bench Briefs


Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Planned Parenthood and Nancy Pelosi try to raise money to support abortion in a surreal Mother’s Day fund raising effort, and pro-life legislation on Capitol Hill advances.

Happy Opposite Day:
Planned Parenthood Makes a
Mother's Day Appeal 


Would it surprise you to learn that the nation’s largest abortion provider decided to celebrate Mother’s Day with a fund raising pitch?

“Being a mother is incredibly difficult, even in the very best of circumstances,” wrote Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, in an appeal that went out on a mournful note before the holiday. Bizarrely, the fund raising e-mail implied that third world suffering would increase if the forced participation of the American taxpayer in subsidizing the abortion industry did not continue.

Just remarkable:  ordinary Americans paused Sunday to celebrate the joys of motherhood, while the CEO of the world’s largest abortion provider made her tone-deaf pitch to “Please help with your Mother’s Day contribution.”  Her emphasis on the difficulties inherent to motherhood, highlighted her inability to see that those costs provide the opportunity of becoming more in motherhood than any woman can fully know as she anticipates the birth of her unique child.

Strangely, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi also sent out a Mother’s Day fundraising e-mail, seeking funds to attack Republicans who cared enough about life to vote against the abortion lobby, which works to gather more than $360 million in tax dollars annually.

 In an appeal titled, “the Republican War on Women,” Pelosi wrote: “Your actions today can make a difference for many of the women in your life — whether it is for a friend, your sister, your wife, your daughter, or yourself.” (Click here to read a Life News account of Pelosi’s effort.)

“Fund raising with a Mother’s Day appeal on behalf of efforts that would prevent women from knowing the joys of motherhood seems surreal,” said Americans United for Life President and CEO, Dr. Charmaine Yoest, a mother of five. “Mothers joyfully invest the price they pay to build into their children’s lives. As mothers we treasure the laughter and endure the sorrow that is an intrinsic part of a whole life.  When they are considering whether to embrace the birth of a child, women deserve to be encouraged that they can find themselves strong and able to overcome any obstacles. Motherhood is worth it.”

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Abortion Funding Moves to the Senate 

The abortion lobby is gearing up this week to fight for scarce taxpayer dollars. Last week, Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced S. 906, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act in the Senate.  S. 906 ensures that Americans are not forced to watch their tax dollars support elective abortion or insurance plans that cover elective abortion with their tax dollars.  The Senate bill is companion legislation to H.R. 3, the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act, which passed in the House by a bi-partisan vote of 251-175 last week.

Charmaine Utah Senator

At left, Dr. Charmaine Yoest of AUL and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) - a sponsor of S. 877. 

“The passage of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act with a strong, bipartisan majority of House members is a crucial step forward and one we hope to replicate in the Senate,” Senator Wicker said. “Our goal is to codify in a single federal act a policy that has been endorsed again and again by the Congress and which has overwhelming public support – that of withholding taxpayer funding of abortion.”

A large group of Senators, including Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced another critical piece of legislation last Wednesday that prevents the federal funding of abortion in President Obama’s pro-abortion health care law: S. 877, The Protect Life Act. 

Like its companion bill in the House—and consistent with longstanding federal law and policy—S. 877 ensures that no funds appropriated through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) can be used for abortion or insurance plans that provide abortion coverage.   The bill also closes loopholes in PPACA that could otherwise be used to require private insurance companies to cover abortion.  In addition, the Protect Life Act protects health care providers from discrimination for refusal to participate in abortion by codifying the Hyde-Weldon conscience clause.

bb-wicker-dome.jpgAt right, Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) - sponsor of S. 877.

 “Forcing Americans to pay for abortion services with their own dollars is a grave abuse of government authority. The administration’s track record of ambiguity in this area underscores the need for federal legislation clarifying, once and for all, that public funds will not be used to pay for abortion services under the new health law,” Senator Coburn said. 

To encourage your Senator to support S. 877, click here

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Overwhelming Majority of Americans Support Protecting Conscience


Freedom of conscience is a core American principle.  It is a principle that a strong majority of Americans believe is important to apply to the health care profession.  While attacks against health care providers’ conscience rights are on the rise, several pieces of federal legislation – including H.R. 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act that is now in the Senate  – seek to ensure that the basic civil right to provide care, without violating one’s conscience, is protected. More issues are at stake in the bill in addition to taxpayer dollars for abortion.

According to poll results released by, for 77% of American adults it is either “very” or “somewhat” important to them “that healthcare professionals in the U.S. are not forced to participate in procedures or practices to which they have moral objections.”

To read the latest on conscience protections from AUL attorney Anna Franzonello (pictured at left), click here for further analysis.

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In the News
AUL Vice President of Government Affairs Dan McConchie and Rep. Dale Crafts of Maine
(sponsor of LD 1457 - AUL's parental consent bill.) 

As reported in Bench Briefs last week,  AUL’s Vice President of Government Affairs Daniel McConchie testified about three pieces of pro-life legislation before the Maine legislature. News reports indicated an overflow crowd filled the hearing room and two other rooms set aside for the large crowd.

Newspapers across the state of Maine, as well as Maine Public Broadcasting Network covered the hearings and the legislation. Click here to read more. 

McConchie also provided his analysis of potential budget cuts to Planned Parenthood in a column he wrote on events in Wisconsin.

Click here to read.

AUL Vice President for Legal Affairs Denise Burke discussed trends in ultrasound this week with Citizenlink. Click here to read more.


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