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Friday, December 18, 2009

Unraveling Legislative Legerdemain

Following is a commentary published today that I wrote for The Church Report:
""You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time." –Abraham Lincoln

With over 5,000 pages of House and Senate healthcare overhaul bill text written in legal mumbo-jumbo designed to fool people, the best way to figure out what’s really behind the legislative legerdemain is to watch what happens to clear-cut amendments.
The Senate recently defeated by a 54-45 vote, for example, Democrat Senator Ben Nelson’s clear amendment to bar government funding of abortion. That revealing vote signals that pro-abortion senators fully intend their bill to launch government funding of abortion on demand.
The same is true of the rabidly pro-abortion House leadership. With teeth gritted and fists clenched, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, finally allowed a vote on a similar anti-abortion funding amendment only after Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak had secured enough Democrat commitments to block passage of the entire healthcare overhaul bill. The pro-life Stupak-Pitts amendment won 240-196, while the overall bill barely passed, 220-215.
Now the relentless renegade Republican Senator Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Ob-Gyn physician, is pulling the veil off the senate companion bill by introducing an amendment to protect conscientious medicine. Dr. Coburn’s Amendment 2967, which Senate leadership would rather keep from coming to a vote, would bar discrimination against health care professionals who decline to participate in abortions. I recently provided Senator Coburn’s staff with a raft of real-life stories of physicians and others who have faced firing, coercion and discrimination simply for following life-affirming codes of medical ethics such as the Hippocratic oath.
  Perhaps few stories of coercion are as compelling as a case currently under litigation with the aid of the Alliance Defense Fund. Cathy Cenzon-DeCarlo, an operating room nurse at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, was forced to assist, despite her vigorous protests, with a late-term abortion of a 22-week old unborn baby.
The nurse’s lawsuit notes, “By being forced to participate in the abortion, Mount Sinai forced Mrs. DeCarlo to witness the killing of a 22-week-old preborn child by dismemberment. Mount Sinai forced Mrs. DeCarlo to watch the doctor remove the bloody arms and legs of the child from its mother’s body with forceps … to view the bloody body parts of the 22-week-old preborn child in the specimen cup, to put saline in the cup, and to take it to the specimen area.”
Mrs. Cenzon-DeCarlo is quoted in an article by ADF attorney Matt Bowman as saying, “I still remember the baby's mangled body with twisted and torn arms, fingers, legs and feet. It felt like a horror film unfolding. I kept imagining the pain this baby must have gone through while being torn apart with the forceps. It was devastating.”
World-renowned experts such as Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand have testified in Congress and in court regarding fetal pain research, which reveals that not only do developing babies have all the architecture for feeling pain at 20 weeks (about halfway through a full-term pregnancy); they also can feel “severe and excruciating pain” at levels far beyond what adults feel.
That any government or medical system would actually force healthcare professionals to participate in such barbarity seems beyond reason. But we live in a New Age where reason is being replaced by raw political power and compulsion, and where the dictates of conscience are being replaced by the dictates of a ruling elite that has little regard for unborn life or conscience.
Despite promises of democratic transparency, the ruling elite in Congress have conspired and crafted their anti-life agenda behind closed doors. The most devious and deceptive closed-door mischief could occur during a conference when House and Senate bills would be reconciled.
Speaker Pelosi would likely side with her pro-abortion allegiances and make sure that no pro-life, pro-conscience provisions survive in the final bill version. That last-minute larceny would please the 54 senators who refused to duplicate the Stupak anti-abortion funding amendment and also President Obama, who has publicly promoted abortion as key to his healthcare plan. And they will all do so while claiming that their bill, deliberately designed to launch new and massive government funding of abortion on demand, simply keeps the abortion “status quo”.
Contact your lawmakers and write a letter to your paper, making clear that you are not fooled by legislative legerdemain and deceptive rhetoric. If we expose and derail this conspiracy before a final bill vote, we can kill this healthcare overhaul bill before it starts killing our nation’s children.

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